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

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      $100m drought relief funds idle in Masvingo coffers

      3/3/2003 1:16:32 AM (GMT +2)

      From Energy Bara in Masvingo

      MORE than $100 million meant for drought relief under the public works
programme is lying idle in rural district council bank accounts in Masvingo.

      Masvingo Governor, Josaya Hungwe, has appealed to war veterans and the
police to ensure that councils disburse the money to the intended
beneficiaries, most of them villagers.

      There are strong fears that the money might have been misappropriated
by the councils, hence the delays in implementing the projects.

      While starvation continues to tighten its grip in the country, the
rural councils have failed to pay the beneficiaries on time.

      In some areas, villagers have since abandoned the projects to look for
money elsewhere to feed their families.

      Money amounting to nearly $180 million was given to Masvingo's seven
administrative districts by the government last year to help ease the
current food shortages under the public works programme.

      Under the programme, starving people work on public projects and are
paid $1 500 a month to buy food. The programme is supposed to be run and
supervised by local

      Addressing a provincial development council meeting in Masvingo last
Thursday, Hungwe said the money was lying idle in the local authorities'
accounts while people were starving.

      The meeting, attended by chief executive officers, chairpersons and
councillors of rural district councils in Masvingo province, revealed that
local authorities were unable to carry out the activities due to lack of

      Hungwe said: "Please ensure that the money is given to the people now.
We have to accept that we are in a crisis. I appeal to you war veterans and
the police to make sure that the money is given to the people.

      "Some people were last paid in October while the money is in your
accounts. This is unacceptable."

      Officials from most of the councils said they were unable to carry out
the programme since there was no budget to deal with the supervision and
implementation of the projects.

      It also emerged that the current fuel shortage has crippled the
operations of most rural district councils in the province.

      It was revealed that rural district councils in Masvingo had no
adequate manpower, vehicles and money to supervise the projects since this
was not budgeted for.

      In Gutu alone, the local authority had to use over $8 million from its
coffers for the repair of vehicles which had broken down while supervising
the public works projects.

      Money allocated to councils under the public works programme has to be
used only for paying beneficiaries so that they can use it to buy food.
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Daily News

      Britain to donate $472,5m food aid to Zimbabwe

      3/3/2003 1:13:07 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      BRIAN Donnelly, the British High Commissioner to Zimbabwe, and Kelvin
Farrell, a United Nations official, on Friday signed an agreement for
Britain to donate £5,25 million (Z$472,5 million) to the World Food
Programme (WFP)'s feeding schemes in the country.

      The donation is part of the British High Commission's small grants
scheme aimed at supporting over 40 communities countrywide.

      Donnelly said the money will help WFP feed about 4,5 million hungry
Zimbabweans until June when a new appeal is expected to be launched.

      He said: "In addition, we will also provide a meal a day to nearly 1,5
million people, mostly children, pregnant and nursing women and the elderly,
through bilaterally funded non-governmental organisation (NGO)s' feeding

      "In addition to the £5,25 million, we have also contributed about £26
million over five years to help tackle HIV/Aids in Zimbabwe," Donnelly said.

      "We have recognised there is a direct interaction between poverty and
Aids, hence there is need to constantly boost the immune system of those
infected. The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, will at least get a
share from the money to be used in the procurement of essential drugs and

      Farrell replied: "WFP Zimbabwe is very grateful for this extremely
generous contribution and ongoing support from the United Kingdom."

      Donnelly said the British High Commission donated $232 billion since
September 2001 to date in helping to address the current humanitarian crisis
as well as for supplementary feeding programmes through NGOs.
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Leader Page

      Is this Obasanjo's idea of normalcy?

      3/3/2003 1:32:28 AM (GMT +2)

      No matter what the Obasanjos and Mbekis of this world might want the
Commonwealth and the world at large to believe, the truth about the
situation in Zimbabwe will remain the truth as known by Zimbabweans
themselves, including even those in Zanu PF who are benefiting materially
from the suffering of the rest of the populace.

      And the truth is that our social, economic and political crises are
worsening and not improving, as the hypocritical Nigerian President,
Olusegun Obasanjo, through his letter to John Howard, tried to mislead the
Australian Prime Minister into believing.

      According to reports in the government-controlled media, Obasanjo's
co-conspirator in the attempt to endorse President Mugabe's disputed claim
to legitimacy and, with it, the right to oppress the people of this country,
South African President Thabo Mbeki had earlier also convinced British Prime
Minister Tony Blair that the political situation in this country had
significantly improved.

      One of the main arguments both Mbeki and Obasanjo advanced as proof of
the Mugabe regime's purported shift towards normalcy was that the government
had signalled a willingness to address the thorny issue of the Press-gagging
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA). But neither
Mugabe himself nor his gadfly, Jonathan Moyo, has said or done anything to
raise any hopes that such a move is afoot.

      In any case, even if there was some truth to the two African
presidents' assurances, caution would dictate that, in the obvious absence
of specifics, those directly affected, the people of Zimbabwe, that is,
would be well advised to take that assurance with a pinch of salt.

      Simple logic would suggest that if there were any serious plans to
move in that direction, the government would have signalled them by dropping
the many lawsuits instituted against journalists practising in this country
since AIPPA came into force which are still pending in the courts.

      But then, it's not only AIPPA which is of grave concern to the people
of this country. The Public Order and Security Act (POSA), which has
practically taken away all the people's political rights, is probably of
even graver concern to the people of this country.
      Under that obnoxious piece of legislation, normal political activity
or social life is impossible as people are literally banned from associating
in any numbers above three. It is to state the obvious to say this law is
ridiculous and totally out of place in any civilised society.

      It is in terms of that law that pressure groups such as the National
Constitutional Assembly are finding it impossible to stage public
demonstrations. It is also because of POSA that the country's main
opposition party, the MDC, is finding it impossible to call any public
meeting or rallies.

      It is POSA which is making it impossible for students to organise and
stage peaceful demonstrations against the government's neglect of their
basic needs and curtailment of academic freedom.

      And, even if someone might want to blame it on the "overzealous"
police, it still remains a fact that it was in terms of POSA that women,
including an 83-year-old nun, who marched peacefully for love and peace on
Valentine's Day in Bulawayo and Harare were arrested.

      The arrest and humiliation of Elias Mudzuri, the Mayor of Harare, as
well as the systematic arrest, detention and torture of Members of
Parliament who belong to the opposition MDC are all being made possible by

      Last Friday, 23 pastors were arrested outside the Police General
Headquarters in Harare as they, ironically, peacefully demonstrated against
police brutality and intimidation.
      Yesterday, 27 MDC supporters were arrested and detained for at least
two hours for no other reason than that they were wearing MDC T-shirts and
singing political songs.

      Does all this constitute Obasanjo's idea of "a significant improvement
in the political situation in Zimbabwe"? Obasanjo and Mbeki must get real.
Only after a return to the rule of law and the repeal of both AIPPA and POSA
can they recommend the lifting of Zimbabwe's suspension from the

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Leader Page

      Zimbabweans must stand up for what's right

      3/3/2003 1:33:04 AM (GMT +2)

      By B. Freeth

      There comes a time in the life of a man where he is faced with a
choice: Does he stand up for what he believes in; or does he not?

      My father taught me that the person who does not stand up for what he
believes in is not a "man".

      The realities in Zimbabwe are grim. Only about 15 percent of
commercial farmers with their farm workers are still farming, many of these
on a much-reduced scale.
      As a result of the policy that created this situation and other
similar revolutionary policies:
      - Over half the population is beginning to starve;
      - Our inflation is the highest in Africa;
      - There are shortages of almost everything;
      - Unemployment is above 70 percent;
      - Basic wages are plummeting;
      - New laws regarding basic freedoms are amongst the most draconian in
the world;
      - The human rights record continues to worsen with police torture
becoming more and more commonplace;
      - Our economy remains the fastest shrinking economy in the world; and
      - More farmers with their workers continue to be given section 5,
section 8 and section 7 notices and continue to be illegally evicted from
their farms.

      The situation continues to deteriorate.
      These are indisputable facts. How should Zimbabweans and the
international community react to these man-made crises?

      In the end it boils down to two questions:
      1. What does the individual making that decision believe?
      2. Does that individual have the courage to stand up for those

      The most life-threatening symptom of the man-made disaster currently
facing Zimbabwe is starvation. Starvation has been created because
government policies dictate not to allow food producers to produce food. Do
the food producers (farmers), the food consumers (everyone) and the aid
suppliers (international community) believe in the policies that have
created this massive life-threatening situation? If they do not, why do so
few have the courage to openly say so?

      The most threatening poverty creation symptom of the man-made disaster
facing Zimbabwe is manifest in the economic policies of the government. They
are clearly designed to collapse the economy and they are succeeding, almost
faster than any nation in history to do this. Economists cannot, in fact,
believe the rate at which the Zimbabwean economy is currently contracting.
This contraction is unprecedented in a peacetime scenario. If individuals
are being adversely affected by these policies and if the international
community sincerely believes in poverty alleviation, why do nothing? Few
people have the courage to openly speak out and act against these policies
creating poverty, hardship and suffering.

      Until individuals and organisations show a bit of moral courage and
backbone to speak out for what they believe in, survival is not on the
cards. How can it be?

      A man only achieves what he wants to achieve if he gets up and does
something about it.
      - If you believe in the law, have the courage to stand up for it and
use it locally and internationally, otherwise there will be no law. By not
litigating one becomes complicit to the breakdown of the rule of law. Do not
wait for "someone else" to show the way forward.
      - If you believe in justice, have the courage to publicise injustices
and stand up for justice, otherwise there will be no justice. Do not wait
for "someone else" to show the way forward.
      - If you believe in poverty alleviation and development, have the
courage to stand up against the policies of poverty creation and
disinvestment, otherwise the economy will continue to collapse. Do not wait
for "someone else" to show the way forward.
      - If you believe in people being able to eat, have the courage to
stand up against the policies that are throwing the farmers and their
workers off the land, otherwise there will be no food. Do not wait for
"someone else" to show the way forward.
      - If you believe in freedom of speech, have the courage to speak out
on this forum and in letters to the newspapers, otherwise all we will have
is "propaganda-speak". Do not wait for "someone else" to show the way
      - If you believe in democracy, have the courage to exercise your
democratic rights, otherwise democracy will not take its course. Do not wait
for "someone else" to show the way forward.
      - If you believe in God and doing what is right, have the courage to
stand up for Him, otherwise the evil one will prevail. Do not wait for
"someone else" to show the way forward.

      If what you believe in is not stood up for and actively pursued, how
can it possibly ever come to pass? The hard reality, however much you duck
the issue, is that if you want to survive, you are going to have to stand up
for what is right.

      There is no other way unless you are happy to live in a lawless,
hungry state of injustice, despondency and despair.
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Daily News

      WTO rejects draft document on agricultural trade

      3/3/2003 1:19:18 AM (GMT +2)

      By Chris Mhike Business Reporter

      A REVIEW hearing of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on
Agriculture in Geneva last week dismissed the Harbinson Draft, describing
the document as inadequate in addressing the concerns of developing nations
in international agricultural trade.

      Over 100 participants drawn from civil society groups from 30
countries met over four days last week in Geneva, Switzerland, where
discussions focussed on a draft text of Modalities on the Agreement on
Agriculture (AoA).

      The draft, commonly known as the Harbinson Draft, had been issued on
17 February by Stuart Harbinson, chairman of the WTO Agriculture Committee.

      AoA, the subject of the Harbinson Draft is one of the Uruguay Round
agreements that was signed by governments in 1994 at the Marrakech
Ministerial meeting. It sets in place rules for agricultural trade for all
WTO members.

      In a statement released at the end of the review hearing last week,
participants said: "The Harbinson Draft text reveals the emptiness of the
Doha Ministerial Declaration's stated intention of placing development, food
security and rural livelihoods at the heart of the
      Doha Round."

      Doha is the capital of the Middle East country, Qatar, where trade and
agriculture ministers met in November 2001 for trade negotiations under the
auspices of the WTO.
      Rangarirai Machemedze, a programme officer at the Southern and Eastern
African Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) attended the
Geneva Review.

      In an interview, Machemedze echoed the sentiments of the post-review
      He said the Harbinson Draft totally failed to correct the existing
imbalances in world trade and agriculture.

      "The document's contents would result in the continued dumping of
agricultural products through high levels of the distortion of domestic
support and export subsidies for at least 10 more years," Machemedze said.

      To address the issues raised at the review hearing, delegates set up a
committee that would redraft the Harbinson text so that it would reflect the
concerns of developing countries.

      The next WTO meeting would be the 5th Ministerial Conference,
scheduled for September this year in Cancun, Mexico.

      SEATINI has launched a campaign for domestic policy makers to
understand the contents and implications of any new agreements and treaties
that could be signed in Cancun.
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      Judge slams ZimRights

      3/3/2003 1:15:38 AM (GMT +2)

      By Fanuel Jongwe

      HIGH Court judge George Smith has rebuked Munyaradzi Bidi, the
Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) boss, for allegedly abusing
his office and trampling on the rights of some people while purporting to be
unbiased campaigners for human rights.

      Justice Smith lamented ZimRights' deterioration from being a human
rights body of international repute, in its early years, to its current
obscure status.

      ZimRights, once a respected human rights watchdog, went bankrupt and
fizzled into obscurity two years ago when its major donors withdrew funding
in frustration with the association's in-house squabbles and alleged
infiltration by Central Intelligence Organisation agents.

      Responding to allegations of racism levelled against him by Munyaradzi
Bidi, ZimRights' executive director, the judge said: "I am disgusted that
you are prepared to draw adverse inferences against Judge Lawrence Kamocha
and me before you have even investigated the facts."

      Justice Smith responded in a letter to Bidi on 20 January. Bidi had
complained in a letter to Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku about Smith's
alleged racial bias.

      "At one time ZimRights had a very good reputation and was highly
respected," Smith said. "That reputation has been tarnished. Nowadays,
ZimRights is seldom heard of. Letters such as yours to the Chief Justice are
not likely to help ZimRights regain the reputation it previously enjoyed in
the legal fraternity and elsewhere. I accept that judges are not above
criticism, but any criticism should be informed. I would have thought
someone in your position would at least investigate the case and then try to
reach an informed conclusion, not just leap to conclusions which are not
soundly based."

      In a letter to Justice Chidyausiku, Bidi alleged Justice Smith "being
a white judge" could have ruled in favour of Permasan, a company owned by
Roland Neville Craig-Smith, a businessman, in a legal wrangle between
Permasan and Shoreline Investments, belonging to Trevor Batezat, a black

      The letter was quoted in The Sunday Mail's 2 February issue, headlined
"Justice Smith Caught Up in Racial Controversy".

      The story alleged Justice Smith reversed a decision by Justice
Kamocha, a fellow High Court judge, and ruled in favour of Roland N
Craig-Smith in what the newspaper described as unclear circumstances.

      The story also claimed that Justice Kamocha heard the matter between
Shoreline Investments and Permasan (Pvt) Ltd on 4 December last year and
that Kamocha ruled in favour of Shoreline Investments.

      On 11 December 2002, Justice Smith sat to hear the same matter and
ruled in favour of Permasan, the story alleged.

      Smith said there were two cases involving two different issues. The
judge said the first case heard by Kamocha was for a spoliation order.
Batezat and Shoreline Investments were successful and a vehicle at the
centre of the legal wrangle was returned to them.

      He said in the second case "the order sought, and granted, was to the
effect that two vehicles should be surrendered by Shoreline Investments and
Batezat to the Deputy Sheriff for safekeeping while the question of
ownership was determined.
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Daily News

      Public demands mass action

      3/3/2003 1:42:43 AM (GMT +2)

      By Fanuel Jongwe and Chris Gande

      RESIDENTS of Harare and Bulawayo have urged the MDC leadership to call
for mass action against Zanu PF rule and pledged to rally behind the
opposition party in whatever action the party would propose.

      About 5 000 Harare residents made the commitment by a show of hands at
a rally addressed by Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC president, at Samuriwo
shopping centre in Mufakose yesterday.

      In Bulawayo on Saturday, thousands of residents who met Tsvangirai
during a meet-the-people tour, called on the MDC leader to extricate the
nation from the current economic hardships by calling for effective mass

      "As MDC, we know the suffering you are going through," Tsvangirai told
the gathering in Mufakose attended by Engineer Elias Mudzuri, the Executive
Mayor of Harare, and MDC Members of Parliament, councillors and members of
the party's national executive.

      "People I met in Bulawayo were bitter and I told them Tsvangirai on
his own would not bring freedom no matter how committed he may be. Youths,
we are not doing this for ourselves. We are doing it for you who do not have
food and jobs. You must know that change demands action and if you want
fuel, you have to act.''

      Tsvangirai challenged the people to translate their call into action
and support.
      "When we lead, you must follow," Tsvangirai said. "We don't want to
turn behind and find that there is no one following us. We need to overcome
fear. Some of us are no longer scared of dying or being imprisoned."

      Mudzuri lamented that the majority of the people had resigned
everything to fate.
      "When Tsvangirai is arrested, you must follow. When the mayor is
arrested, you must follow. There is no way the government can lock us all
up. They don't have the space or food in the jails."

      In Bulawayo, residents who came face-to-face with Tsvangirai had one
message: "We are behind you. We are only waiting to hear from you what
action we must take to get rid of this government."

      At Bellevue shopping centre, the atmosphere became charged with
excitement as soon as the people recognised Tsvangirai, accompanied by party
vice-president Gibson Sibanda. Within minutes, the crowd swelled and, later,
the MDC leader had to be whisked away by his security personnel.

      Also in Tsvangirai's entourage were four MPs Abedinico Bhebhe, Paul
Themba Nyathi, Esaph Mdlongwa and Thokozane Khupe.

      At Renkini bus terminus, Tsvangirai could not emerge from his car as
residents mobbed the vehicle shouting words of encouragement and pleading
with him to "do something".
      On realising that Tsvangirai was not going to come out, the jubilant
crowd tried to lift the vehicle instead.

      Two elderly women, who managed to talk to Tsvangirai before he was
mobbed, told him they were forced into vending because of the economic
      "Please, please, my son, you are our only hope in these hard times. We
are counting on you," said one of the women.

      At Magwegwe, a man who managed to shake Tsvangirai's hand said: "Ever
since Zimbabwe became independent have you ever seen President Mugabe mingle
with the people like this?"

      At Nketa, people abandoned transport queues for a while and rushed to
Tsvangirai, whistling and shouting MDC slogans.

      Nkulumane shopping complex was transformed into a rally when hundreds
gathered to meet Tsvangirai, expressing their support for him.

      Tsvangirai also visited Ascot shopping centre, Luveve, Cowdray Park
and Bulawayo's oldest suburb, Makokoba.
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Sunday Mirror, Zimbabwe

Zim to re-engage IMF
Tawanda Majoni

THE GOVERNMENT of Zimbabwe might be on its way to re-embrace free market
economic policies if the current dialogue with an International Monetary
Fund (IMF) team currently in Zimbabwe is anything to go by.

Top officials from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development are
currently dialoguing with a team recently dispatched to Harare by the IMF,
in a move intended to iron out feasible strategies of engagement.

Economists told The Sunday Mirror that the change of heart by the Zimbabwean
government is out of a realisation that the country could soon collapse
without the financial help of the Bretton Woods institution.

"There is no question that we need the help of the IMF and any other talk
would be political popularism. There is simply no choice," said one leading
economist. He commended the latest efforts by the government to talk to the
IMF, adding that he hoped that Harare would fully commit itself to the
revival of a workable symbiosis with the United Nations body.

Addressing the IMF team last Tuesday, the first to visit Zimbabwe since
September 2001, the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development,
Chris Kuruneri promised that Zimbabwe would its settle its arrears with the
IMF, paying US$1,5 million per quarter.

Zimbabwe, which owes the IMF more than US $300 million, had its vote
effectively cancelled in 1998 when it failed to pay up.

An independent economist, Jonathan Kadzura also welcomed the revival of
negotiations, saying discourse between the government and the IMF would
benefit both. "It is in the interest of both Zimbabwe and the IMF to
normalise relations," he said.

While acknowledging that Zimbabwean businesses' viability was threatened by
foreign currency shortage, difficulties in acquiring spare parts and
investor confidence, Kadzura said multi-nationals were also suffering and
would be excused to put pressure on the IMF.

"The suspension of aid to Zimbabwe was politically motivated after lobbying
by certain western countries that were not happy with the land reform
programme. But conglomerates like BAT, Lever Brothers, Anglo-American, among
others, have also been feeling the pinch," he said. He urged the IMF to
"accept the reality that the land reform programme was through" and to work
closely with the Zimbabwean government.

Zimbabwe recently came up with a new economic recovery blueprint, the New
Economic Recovery Programme (NERP), which is ostensibly meant to ensure an
economic turnaround through improvements in forex inflows, agro-industrial
performance and investment, among other things.

The country virtually devalued the dollar by announcing a preferential rate
for exporters and pegging it at $800 to the greenback. The move came after a
long time of intense opposition by the government, with President Robert
Mugabe at one time telling off advocates of devaluation.

The former Finance Minister, Simba Makoni was reportedly booted out during
last year's cabinet reshuffle for repeatedly calling for the devaluation of
the local currency and the re-engagement of the Bretton Woods institutions.
The devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar is seen as one of the indicators of
the government's change of heart in its attitude towards the west.

After severing ties with the IMF and the World Bank, particularly from 2000
when it embarked on the controversial fast track land reform in which about
4000 white farmers were displaced to make way for the landless black
majority, the government looked to Asian countries, particularly Malaysia,
for economic salvation.

However, the eastern region could not provide the panacea Zimbabwe needed to
crawl out of its economic crisis. "Zimbabwe has failed to obtain the
equivalent of the IMF in countries like Malaysia," said another economist.

It is yet to be seen how the country will cope with the other demands of the
IMF, such as cancellation of subsidies, complete devaluation and doing away
with price controls. The government re-introduced price controls almost two
years ago to reign in skyrocketing prices of basic commodities. This way, it
abandoned the free market economy that it had embraced in the 1990s. Last
year the price list of gazetted commodities was extended to include
non-basic commodities.

Kuruneri acknowledged that the government, through the Tripartite
Negotiating Forum consisting the government, labour and business was working
on the issue of price controls with a view to ensure the viability of
business and to sustain production. Pic: Simba Makoni..booted out of cabinet
for his pro-IMF, WB stance
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Sunday Mirror, Zimbabwe

Govt denies existence of land audit report
Innocent Chofamba Sithole Assistant Editor

THE government has denied the existence of a confidential interim report on
the national audit carried out to probe land allocation in its land reform
and resettlement programme.

The denial comes as a South African weekend paper - the third foreign
publication to carry the report after London newsletter, Africa
Confidential, and the globally circulating Financial Times - has published a
report on the secret document, a copy of which the Sunday Mirror is now in
possession of.

"There is no such report, and whatever report there is, is merely an
invention of the enemies of the State," a senior government official said.

He strongly castigated the Sunday Mirror for having reproduced the Africa
Confidential report, which broke the story in its February 21 issue.

"It was an act of mischief on your part to have reproduced that story, for
there was definitely no report to leak since it does not exist," the
official reprimanded.

However, the Sunday Times of South Africa has also published its own story
based on the same "confidential" report, ostensibly prepared by the Minister
of State for Land Reform in the Vice President's Office, Flora Buka.

The report, a copy of which the Sunday Mirror is now in possession of,
highlights violations of the land reform and resettlement policy and gives
specific information related to the provinces covered under the land audit.

"The audit was carried out to identify anomalies and policy violations in
the implementation of the Land Reform and Resettlement Programme with a view
to re-aligning the programme implementation to the policy and the
legislative provisions," reads the preamble to the report.

Written in the first person, the report details serious violations of the
land programme's guiding policy by influential personalities, including
prominent politicians and senior government and military officials.

Controversy surrounds the issuance of certificates of no present interest by
the Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Ministry, which, according to
the report, could not provide the audit committee with information on the
farms whose certificates had been rescinded and the farms re-gazetted. As
such, confusion and conflict arose between some blacks who had purchased
their farms, and settlers who had occupied the same properties.

The report also details the displacement of landless peasants from farms
they had been allocated, following the re-planning of A1 farms to A2 model

On Mayfield farm in Mazowe district, which was allocated to war veterans
leaders Chris Pasipamire and Mike Moyo, 36 settlers were displaced following
recommendation by the Mashonaland Central provincial land committee's
withdrawal of their offer letters.

Telecel boss, James Makamba, Zanu PF legislators Edward Chindori-Chininga
and Saviour Kasukuwere, Airforce of Zimbabwe commander Perence Shiri and
Defence Minister, Sydney Sekeramayi, are named in the report as having
displaced A1 settlers from the properties they were allocated.

The report also mentions the flagrant violation of the maximum farm size
policy in Mashonaland Central province.

"All A2 Model allocations of more than 350 ha in Mashonaland Central are
done with the blessing of the governor, Cde (Elliot) Manyika. All the farms
(in the province) mentioned (in the report) are above 350 ha, meaning that
the honourable governor is aware of the existing problem caused by these

Launched in February 2000, following a wave of farm invasions by war
veterans and landless peasants, the government's land reform programme has
so far resettled over 330 000 families under the fast-track A1 Model, while
a further 55 000 are said to have been resettled under the A2 commercial
farming scheme. However, contentious land allocation in some provinces has
halted agricultural production, resulting in sharp depression in crop
output. One such area is the Gwebi/Hunyani ICA in the Nyabira area of
Mashonaland West. According to the report, almost 90 farms have remained
unallocated for about two years now because the provincial governor, Peter
Chanetsa and the ruling Zanu PF party's provincial leadership, "including
the provincial chairman, Cde Phillip Chiyangwa and the Honourable Dr.
(Ignatius) Chombo have failed to come to an agreement on the prospective

Chiyangwa confirmed to the Sunday Mirror that there was, indeed, such a
dispute over the Gwebi /Hunyani area.

"To start with, I don't want to dispute that there are issues in
Gwebi/Hunyani that involve me. If that is Buka's report, then it is
accurate," he said, explaining that the core of the conflict over the farms
was that the people who had been settled there had done so irregularly and
were not from his province.

"I don't know anyone who's there, and I was never consulted by those who put
them there," Chiyangwa said.

"These people came in during the "Jambanja" period, and some of them became
looters who vandalised farm equipment. Now, we are saying because these
people were unprocedurally allocated land, they should be removed and the
exercise started afresh with new applicants," he added.

The audit report recommended that the province urgently resolve the impasse
since it was holding back production in a highly productive area that
contributes significantly to the country's food security. It also cited the
province as moving sluggishly on A2 allocations.

Other contentious allocations include Fountain Farm in Insiza district,
where Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises, Sithembiso Nyoni irregularly
took over the highly developed poultry, citrus and livestock producing farm,
which had been designated as a skills training centre for the National Youth
Service training programme.

"It is disturbing to note that violence is the order of the day on this
farm, with "hired thugs" allegedly driven in from Bulawayo by the honourable
Minister. The violence has not spared the members of the District Land
Committee, who threatened to resign if the relevant authorities do not
intervene," reads the report.

The audit also found widespread evidence of violations of the government's
one-man-one-farm policy. Several high ranking government officials appear on
a list of people allegedly in possession of more than one farm.

"The list is not exhaustive as the people interviewed were scared to reveal
any information, lest they might be victimised by the multiple farm owners
who seem to have their loyalists within the various land committees," the
report states.

The audit committee recommended the correction of the glaring anomalies,
particularly where the leadership was the perpetrator, warning that the
public was restive where such cases existed.

While the government dismisses the authenticity of the audit report as the
work of "enemies of the State", it has not made public findings of its own
investigation into the allocation of land under the resettlement programme

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Sunday Mirror, Zimbabwe

Fuel crisis dominates House debates
Artwell Manyemba

FUEL price increases announced on Tuesday, the day parliament resumed
sitting after the Christmas and New Year break, dominated debate in the
parliament as legislators took turns to comment on the latest price hike of
the scarce commodity and its implications on the nation.

Soon after the Speaker of Parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa welcomed the
legislators back to the House urging the honourable members to "diligently
debate and articulate issues which are of national importance with the
seriousness and purposefulness which these issues deserve," Zanu PF Member
of Parliament for Murewa North, Victor Chitongo castigated government for
failing to curb operations of the foreign currency exchange parallel market.

Chitongo asked government to increase the price of fuel, because Zimbabwe
had the cheapest in the southern Africa region. However, as the legislator
addressed parliament, the Ministry of Energy and Power Development was also
preparing to announce a fuel price increase effective from the next day.

Government hiked fuel prices by between 80 and 90 percent, with leaded
petrol rising by 95 percent from $74.47 a litre to $145.20 a litre, while
the price of unleaded petrol jumped from $77.42 to $176.53 per litre.

The price of diesel rose by 80 percent, from $66.39 per litre to $119.43 per
litre, and paraffin went up from $50 to $59.27 a litre. Fuel had been listed
as a controlled commodity by government following a price review in June

Also on Tuesday, Movement for Democratic Change MP for Kwekwe, Blessing
Chebundo moved a motion, asking parliament to give three months of the
National Aids Council and the Ministry of Health to have the funds disbursed
to that council audited by the Auditor-General and assisted by independent

The portfolio committee on Local Government, Public Works and National
Housing also presented its report on holding camps and housing
co-operatives. MDC Glen Norah MP, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga also
presented a report of the committee on public accounts, which she chairs.

On the same day, the Speaker also announced six changes to portfolio
committees. The next day Mnangagwa said he had received apologies from six
ministers who were out of the country and could not attend parliament.

MDC MP for Kambuzuma, Willias Madzimure told parliament that he was alarmed
with the new prices of fuel, saying that all industries had been grossly
affected by the acute shortages of oil commodities.

Madzimure asked why government entered into a fuel procurement deal with
Exor instead of the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe. He asked: "Why was
Exor chosen ahead of other indigenous companies? What criteria was used to
pick Exor? How much is the fuel going to be sold that they will be able to
bring in fuel? The last question is: Who owns Exor?" The MDC MP for
Dzivarasekwa, Edwin Mushoriwa supported the motion saying the fuel problem
had an effect on the generality of the population and the performance of the

Zanu PF chief whip and MP for Mberengwa West, Joram Gumbo said the motion on
fuel was belated and archaic and had been constructed from events of last
year. He said Minister Amos Midzi had explained the problems he faced in
procuring fuel.

"The minister has explained that we have problems but we are managing to go
ahead. The problem is that we have a political party that wants to see its
people suffer and that is the MDC and Chaibva is on the forefront," Gumbo

Massive corruption and gross mismanagement, shortage of foreign currency due
to mismanagement, lack of prioritisation by government and procurement
problems were some of the causes of the fuel crisis, Leonard Chirowamhangu,
MDC MP for Nyanga said.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister July Moyo was not spared
in the fuel crisis debate, while he was grilled during question time on the
availability of mealie-meal. Moyo blamed the shortages mainly on the
transportation problems.

Moyo also notified parliament that he would present the Presidential Pension
and Retirement Benefits Bill. The Minister of State for Information and
Publicity in the President's Office, Professor Jonathan Moyo indicated that
he would present the Broadcasting Services Amendment Bill.

On Thursday, the Speaker announced the resignation of MDC MP for Harare
Central, Michael Auret from parliament. The Speaker said he had received a
letter from Auret, which cited medical grounds for the resignation.

A report on the operations of the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF)
prepared by the portfolio committee on Public Service, Labour and Social
Welfare was presented by committee chairperson, Webster Shamu, the Zanu PF
MP for Chegutu.

The committee recommended the creation of a legal framework to oversee the
promotion of resources for skills development and innovation in areas of
science and technology within an environment suitable to all three social
partners of government, labour and business.

"This will stimulate sustainable economic recovery, growth and development.
This will also yield implementation of policies of social equity and
empowerment, and this will result in the promotion of social responsibility
and poverty reduction policies," Shamu said.

Shamu also congratulated President Robert Mugabe on turning 79 years,
bursting into a happy birthday song. Other Zanu PF MPs joined in and danced
to the congratulatory song, while some MDC legislators walked out.
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Daily News


      CFU, discard fear, secrecy to debate with JAG

      3/3/2003 1:41:53 AM (GMT +2)

      By A Special Correspondent

      It is very disappointing that the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) has
refused an open invitation to debate policy and the way forward for
agriculture with Justice for Agriculture (JAG).

      At a time when disunity is the order of the day, the time has surely
come for all those affected by the nightmare that we are now all living
through to sit down in a civilised manner and chart our own way forward.

      If a union means unity, then surely its membership needs to unify
around a solid policy and strategy that will benefit all Zimbabweans. The
reason for this disunity is because the CFU's policy is nebulous and

      What is the CFU's policy? One might well ask in the conspicuous
absence of anything tangible that might protect national food security,
farmers and their interests.
      To answer this, we need to ask two other questions: What is the party
policy? And more importantly, why is it the ruling party's policy?

      The facts speak for themselves. The "Party" intends to continue as it
has done over the last three years, destroying commercial agriculture and
thus politically annihilating farm workers and white commercial farmers,
thereby facilitating a political genocide scenario.

      While President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria was being assured that
the land acquisition programme was brought to an end on the 31 August 2002,
more acquisition lists were being compiled and published, more Section 8
notices were being delivered, more farms were being pegged and more farmers
and farm workers were being
      illegally evicted from their homes.

      Commercial farmland owned by white farmers will continue to be
expropriated for as long as the Party remains threatened "by the people".
Why? The answer is again quite simple: as white people, we are deemed to
bear witness and are seen to be the main focus of "all this fuss" by the
international community.

      Get the whites out of the way and the political issues will be
resolved. Starve the opposition, beat up, torture or kill dissenters as they
did during Gukurahundi, and before too long power is absolute. Zimbabweans
cannot allow this to continue in their country.
      It appears that the CFU does not have a land policy. Farmers were told
by the CFU to "go the LA3 route if you want to continue farming", "to
negotiate with your District Administrator, Provincial Administrator or Land
's Committee".

      Now Agriculture Minister Joseph Made (with the CFU in agreement!) says
the LA3 is not legal. Farmers are told to remain "politically correct" and
that the CFU is committed to working with the (illegitimate) government of
the day.

      Dialogue and negotiations were understandable at the very outset in
early 2000, but to
      consider that they are acting on behalf of the large-scale commercial
farmers at this stage is ludicrous and dishonest.

      The CFU was mandated by its members to refute the racial propaganda
and to insist on the return to the rule of law. It didn't want to rock the
boat. Hence the formation of JAG.
      JAG recently sent out an e-mail regarding the Vision for Agriculture
for the future.

      Their policies enunciated in this document are: the rule of law and
accountability; the respect and extension of title; the need for supply and
demand market economics; organisation of grants and concessionary finance to
rebuild commercial agriculture; and the necessity for a responsible and
democratic government.

      JAG believes in openly and transparently promoting these policies and
challenging anyone who is promoting otherwise.

      This is why the CFU should come to an open debate with JAG to discuss
these issues. The truth is quite clear, evil Party politics are causing one
of the worst economic, social and humanitarian disasters that Africa has
ever seen.

      We, as Zimbabweans of all ethnic backgrounds, need to stand for the
truth, or we become complicit in the destruction of our nation.

      "Christians are called to speak out against evil, to speak out against
things that are wrong and that are wicked . . .
      Everyone must realise they have to make a stand for what is right."
(Quote from Henry Olonga)

      It is time we wore our hearts on our sleeves openly.

      In the light of this, we once again invite the CFU "to attend an open
debate with JAG to dialogue these issues. Constructive policy will never
come out of fear and secrecy.

      Now, more than ever before, Zimbabwe needs leaders who will uphold
moral values and principles and the basic human rights enshrined in our
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More farmers lose their land
02/03/2003 21:30  - (SA)

Kodzevu Sithole

Harare - Farmers in the northern Karoi district of Zimbabwe have been
ordered to pack up and leave, despite having promising tobacco and maize

More than 40 farmers received the so-called Section 8 notice, which means
that they have to evacuate their farms within 90 days.

Only 44 of the nearly 170 farms in this fertile farming district remained
after the Zimbabwean government started its land reform programme in
February 2000.

A farmer from the Karoi district said farmers voluntary reduced the sizes of
their farms and accepted that small scale farmers would occupy these parts.

He said the established farmers planted tobacco and increased their maize
harvests. However, they are now forced to leave their farms.

The latest appropriation of farms comes amidst renewed accusations that
prominent Zanu-PF officials are taking over large farms that used to be the
backbone of Zimbabwe's commercial farming industry.

Some of these officials are apparently also forcing the small scale farmers,
who are supposed to have benefited from the land reform process, from the

A confidential audit of the government's land reform process, in which
thousands of white farmers lost their land, showed that president Robert
Mugabe's friends and family are not honouring the "one-farm-one-farmer"

These include Information Minister Jonathan Moyo and one of President Robert
Mugabe's sisters.
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Business Day

Much is riding on a Mugabe exit plan


THE inter-African politics of the Commonwealth saga on Zimbabwe show some
interesting dynamics. Since SA and Nigeria parted company with Australia on
the issue of Zimbabwe's suspension, Pretoria has emerged with stronger
British and French backing for its efforts to resolve the crisis in

Kenya and perhaps Botswana, however, favour Zimbabwe's continued suspension
pending improvements in its internal politics. In the case of Kenya, its
foreign minister, Kalonzo Musyoka, recently stated: "We don't want to issue
moral edicts against any of our African brothers, but quite frankly Kenya
can speak with a little bit of authority on the crucial matter of
democratisation on the continent. We would want our African friends to
emulate our example in terms of democratic practice."

If taken together with the reported confrontation between Nigerian President
Olusegun Obasanjo and Senegalese President Aboulaye Wade at last year's
inaugural summit of the African Union (AU) over the issue of recognising the
electorally disputed Malagasy government of Marc Ravalomanana, there may be
a new fissure emerging in interAfrican politics.

This could be a new tension between elected governments emanating from the
capture of state power by nonviolent pro-democracy movements, and elected
leaders who are long-certified members of what might be termed "the African
establishment" of heads-of-state and leaders of former armed liberation
movements in essence, a clash of African political cultures.

This clash has been obscured by an artificial solidarity protecting tyrants
like Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. He has used this solidarity to
manipulate an international politics of race and antiWestern sentiment in a
bid to delegitimise Africa's democrats. Kenya's foreign minister is
challenging this status-quo.

The verdict remains out, however, on Kenya's ruling National Rainbow
Coalition. Yet the coalition represents a democratic renewal following the
human rights abuses and economic impoverishment wrought by post-colonial
authoritarianism in what was a former white settler state like Zimbabwe.
And, given Kenya's defensiveness over SA economic penetration of its home
market, one consequence of its democratisation could be an additional
leadership challenge facing SA and Nigeria as Kenya reclaims its position as
the fulcrum of a reviving East African Community.

What more fitting opportunity for Nairobi to signal it's arrival back on the
African leadership scene than to enter the fray over Zimbabwe's fate within
the Commonwealth. Thus could an AbujaPretoria axis within the AU and the New
Partnership for Africa's Development find itself balanced by a Dakar-Nairobi
axis transcending francophone-anglophone divisions.

Botswana's case is different. Whereas Kenya is geographically removed from
Zimbabwe's crisis, Botswana could be consumed by it. East as well as
southern Africa is affected. But regarding Botswana, its relations with
Zimbabwe are at rock-bottom as a welter of the latter's woes generate a
refugee flood threatening what has been one of the sub-region's economic
success stories. Add to that both countries' HIV/AIDS pandemics and
foot-and-mouth disease and Botswana is desperate.

The problem confronting Gaborone is this: between Zimbabwe's population of
11,3-million and SA's of more than 40million, Botswana, at 1,59-million is a
virtual suburb that could be absorbed by either neighbour. Botswana is
deporting 1600 Zimbabweans every month while an estimated 125000 enter the
country legally every week, many over-staying their visitor's permits. The
result is pressure on President Festus Mogae to have an urgent meeting with
Mugabe over the "invasion" of Botswana by illegals.

Can Botswana's stability outlast Zimbabwe's endgame? Meanwhile, the
opposition studies Kenya's election to see how they can unseat the
long-ruling Botswana Democratic Party. Hence, increasingly high stakes are
riding on the search for a Mugabe "exit strategy".

Kornegay is Programme Co-ordinator, Centre for Africa's International
Relations, University of the Witwatersrand.

Mar 03 2003 06:45:38:000AM  Business Day 1st Edition
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Democratic Space

Today it's a year since the March 2002 presidential elections in Zimbabwe
when Mugabe ran off the field with 400 000 more votes than Morgan
Tsvangirai. We challenged that result in the High Court (as is our
constitutional right) and the case is scheduled to come to court in April.
Not bad in Zimbabwe since none of the 38 challenges to the election of Zanu
PF candidates in the 2000 elections have yet been finalized.

The question is often asked what happened in the March 2002 election that
led to the MDC and the major western powers (the USA, the EU and the
Commonwealth) rejecting the result and what has happened since? The MDC case
against Mugabe's victory in March 2002 is overwhelming but in summary the
election result was brought into question by the following: -

- The violence used by the State and Zanu PF against the MDC during the
- The failure by the State controlled media (two television stations, 4
radio stations and 6 newspapers) to give coverage to all points of view in
the campaign and the use of the media by Zanu PF in a propaganda campaign
against the MDC candidate.
- The inability of the MDC to hold election rallies and to canvas voters
because of the controls exercised by the State through the Police.
- The use by Zanu PF of all the machinery of the State in its campaign and
the flagrant use of State funds for the same purpose.
- The withdrawal of voting rights for some 600 000 voters of foreign decent
in an unlawful exercise mounted and managed by the Registrar Generals
- The denial of the right to vote for about 300 000 urban voters who had
tried unsuccessfully to vote in their constituencies as there were
insufficient voting stations in these areas.
- The denial of access to the voters roll and in particular to a
supplementary voters roll containing some 400 000 new voters which has yet
to be released in any form, to the MDC for scrutiny.
- Ballot stuffing in many areas of the country with up to 1 million
fraudulent votes cast. This claim was subsequently supported by official
data from the census of population carried out at the same time (mid 2002)
which clearly showed that the voters roll and the numbers of votes cast were
substantially above any possible theoretical figures.
- Counting discrepancies at many centers with the Electoral Commission
issuing different figures to the Registrar General.

The Registrar Generals office and the so-called "Independent Electoral
Commission" were taken over by the Army and the CIO and operated under close
political supervision both before and after the election. This supervisory
group - including such figures as the Minister of Defense, State Security,
Information and Publicity and Munangagwa, were responsible for a last minute
panic during which they ordered massive ballot rigging to ensure that Mugabe
was returned. This was so blatant that for the first time, solid evidence
has come out as to what they did and how. From what we know now it is clear
that these strategies were all used - but to a lessor degree, in the March
2000 referendum and the June 2000 parliamentary elections. What finally
exposed the scam was the extent to which they were forced to go to ensure a
Mugabe victory. Their problem with any fresh elections is that they could
not rig any election today by enough votes to win.

We estimate from our own data, that the March and June 2000 elections were
rigged to the extent of about 15 per cent of the poll. The March 2003
election was rigged by at least a third of all votes cast - estimates range
from 800 000 to 1,2 million. Too much to be hidden, no matter what they did.

Since then, Obasanjo and Mbeki say, Mugabe and Zanu PF have started to
correct the errors of the past and begun to behave like democrats - the MDC
and the western world should forgive them for these "minor misdemeanors" and
come back to the table. Join in a government of "National Unity" and work
together to draft a new constitution, put Zimbabwe back on its feet and
then - at a time yet to be determined, hold fresh elections which will
finally wash away the stains of the March 2002 poll.

The Zimbabwe people, working through Zanu and Zapu, fought a long and hard
political campaign to win the right to self-determination through the
exercise of universal suffrage in 1980. This campaign started in the 1949
general strike and ended in 1980 when we gained independence under a
government led by Mugabe and duly elected by universal suffrage. I was one
of those who supervised that election, and there was no doubt in my mind
that Mugabe was duly elected. The negation of the right of every adult
citizen of Zimbabwe to vote according to his or hers personal convictions
and in safety and secrecy, to my mind is one of the worst possible
violations of our rights that a government can commit. We fought a war to
secure these rights, thousands died in that war. We were supported by the
rest of the world in our campaign for the right to vote and when this
threatens the power base of those entrusted with those rights, they abuse
and negate them in front of the whole world.

In the 12 months since the election the following has been the trend of
events in Zimbabwe: -

- The abuse of the media has continued and the independent media and
international media further restricted in its freedom to report and comment
on events here.
- The violence has continued in all respects - the numbers of people who
have been killed for their political views has not declined in any way, more
people are "disappearing". Torture in State custody has intensified. The
employment of militia has intensified and is now nation wide.
- The use of all the organs of the State in support of the Zanu PF led
oppression of all opposition forces has continued, including the illegal use
of State resources for Party activity.
- The use of the Police and the Courts to control and suppress all forms of
democratic activity has intensified.
- Most recently hotels and printing firms have been instructed by the Police
not to offer facilities to the MDC.
- The Independent Electoral Commission remains under military control and
the Registrar Generals Office continues to abuse its position in the
electoral process by denying access to voters rolls and undertaking the
illegal registration of voters and undertaking the manipulation of voting
and vote counting activity.

What are we supposed to do under these circumstances - accept the views of
the Obasanjo and Mbeki duo?  Lie down and play dead? Give up the struggle as
being unequal? We, unlike opposition forces in a dozen other African States,
will not take up arms against this regime. We prefer to continue to struggle
using legitimate, legal, democratic actions. But what space are we left to
operate in?  We are left with the internet, the international arena, and our
private homes. Even in our homes we are under pressure - the use of food as
a political weapon has, if anything intensified. In our business lives if we
espouse opposition views, we become subjects of State coercion. If we try to
express our views in public - even at a cricket match, we end up in jail.
Wear a black armband to protest at what is going on and your wife has to
flee the country for fear of her life. Democratic space - taken for granted
all over the world, fought for in decades past, is now denied every person
who lives in Zimbabwe. I thought Nepad was going to change all that, we now
know differently and it is a tragedy, not just for Zimbabwe, but for all of

Eddie Cross
Bulawayo, 2nd March 2003.
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MDC News Alert - Zimbabwe's State House Turned Into Torture Camp

26 MDC activists, among them 3 women, who were travelling to an MDC rally in Hatcliffe constituency in Harare today were stopped and forced-marched into State House yard where they were severely assaulted for 4 hours by members of President Mugabe's security. Their crime? Putting on MDC regalia whilst driving past State House. The soldiers used logs, booted feet, the butts of their guns and other instruments to brutally assault the MDC activists.   
The victims were then taken to Harare Central Police Station where they were initially put in the holding cells and accused of addressing a rally at State House. They were released after being forced to pay fines of Zim$5 000 each.
Five of the activists who received serious injuries have since been taken to hospital. 
Meanwhile, 70 MDC activists were arrested after a successful rally in Mufakose today. Police arrived 10 minutes after the rally and rounded up the youths who were carrying away the benches which had been used at the rally, forced them to lie on their stomachs and assaulted them before taking them to Marimba Police Station.
Both the Hatcliffe and Mufakose rallies were authorised by the police.
MDC Information

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From ZWNEWS, 3 March

State House beatings

Twenty six opposition members, including three women, were forced into the grounds of State House on Sunday, where they were assaulted for four hours by members of the presidential security detail, the MDC said yesterday. The group had been travelling to a rally in Hatcliffe, and were accused by the security officers of wearing MDC T-shirts and singing party songs while travelling past State House. The group were kicked and beaten with sticks and rifle-butts, said an MDC spokesman. They were then taken to Harare Central police station, and were finally released after paying fines of Z$5000 each. Five of the activists were later taken to hospital for treatment for their injuries. Also on Sunday, seventy MDC members were arrested after a successful rally in Mufakose. Police arrived ten after the rally and rounded up youths who were carrying away the benches which had been used at the rally, forced them to lie on their stomachs and assaulted them before taking them to Marimba Police Station. Both the Hatcliffe and Mufakose rallies had been authorised by the police.

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ZIMBABWE: Flooding worsens recovery prospects

JOHANNESBURG, 3 March (IRIN) - Flooding last week in the northern parts of food insecure Zimbabwe may have worsened the prospects for recovery, Save the Children warned on Monday.

Heavy flooding affected some 6,000 people in the Muzarabani district, with homes swamped and crops washed away.

"While the immediate rains have ceased in the areas, there are worries that further precipitation could occur later this week as a result of the tropical storm that is now sitting over Mozambique," said Chris McIvor, programme director for Save the Children UK in Zimbabwe.

"The people in this area are extremely vulnerable, since they traditionally plant along stream beds and flood plains in order to maximise their harvest. Two people died in the floods last week. If the rainfall increases, more could be affected, either through having their houses washed away or through the health problems that arise from contaminated wells and boreholes. The next few weeks will require careful monitoring of the situation by all concerned, so that the plight of people in this area is not worsened," he added.

Provincial and local authorities had contacted Save the Children last week to appeal for assistance in responding to the floods.

"Arising from the assistance that Save the Children had provided in 2001 to similar floods, we were asked to contribute again in whatever way we could. By the following morning some 60 mt of relief materials had arrived in the area, ready for distribution the same day," the development agency said in a statement.

Between Friday and Monday, food for 6,000 people affected by the flooding was distributed in three affected wards in Muzarabani. This comprised 30 mt of maize meal, 6 mt of sugar beans and 3,000 bottles of oil. Enough to provide 75 percent of a standard ration for beneficiaries for two weeks.

A senior manager from the Save the Children Emergency Response Team arrived in Muzarabani last Thursday and was coordinating the agency's response with the district administrator, civil protection unit and local authorities in the area. 

A Save the Children food security team will also assess the impact of the floods on food security of the affected areas, in order to suggest recovery and support strategies.

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) reported that a helicopter had been sent to the area at the weekend with food and clothes, as bridges had been rendered impassable by the rains.
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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.


Prelude text: As is to be expected, the difficult times Zimbabwe is facing
is generally reflected in this forum, resulting in a somewhat depressing
tone at times. Although these are vital contributions, we have decided to
counteract this by introducing a new column at the end called "On the
lighter side". This is a forum for sharing jokes, funnies, inspiration and
basically, as the name suggests, anything on the lighter side of the
current state of affairs. Please send any material for publication to The first edition follows*


Letter 1: Irene Staunton

I am trying to find the whereabouts of Mary Clarke, formerly of Blue
Mountains farm in Nyanga and Chloe Edwards who was on a farm in Gwanda. I
once published them, and the publisher has asked me to seek them out with
regard to certain royalties. If you can help, I would be grateful.

Many thanks,
Irene Staunton


Letter 2: James Glass


The heroic stand of Henry Olonga and Andy Flower on Monday the 10th of
January, as well as the bravery of a small, black-arm banded handful,
(some of whom ended up in Harare Central), on that day and at subsequent
games, should give right minded Zimbabweans and any who are concerned about
the welfare of the country, much to be thankful for.  Without their actions
and those of the English cricket team, the Cricket World Cup in Zimbabwe
would have provided Zanu PF with an unparalleled Public Relations coup.  A
few small but elegantly dressed windows with potentially powerful

The illegal Mugabe regime lives a schizophrenic existence on either side of
a wall.  On one side is the Zimbabwe that we know - a country of starvation
and decay set about with all the trappings of dictatorship: the motorcades
and state thuggery on the streets, the electrodes in the cellars. On the
other side of the wall is the Zimbabwe that Mugabe seeks to portray to the
outside world and where two linked concepts, normality and legitimacy, are
key.  For though the President and his henchmen appear unbowed in the
knowledge that they are an illegal regime, they cannot escape the cold
fingers of reality and history that relate what unpleasant fate awaits
illegal regimes.  They therefore crave legitimacy as an addict craves his
fix. Thus they sweat and strive to disrupt international condemnation by
projecting a fantastical image of domestic harmony and the rule of law and
order.  This is why Mugabe's invitation to Paris was so very important for
him as, for the first time, a European country was, in effect, recognising
his regime.  Despite being `short-changed on kisses, the visit was a
reward, from Chirac, for eight months of undiluted tyranny since the

Though it is an unpalatable concept, the fact is that Mugabe's allies,
Mbeki, Obasanjo and Chirac, all know full well what is on the Zimbabwean
side of the wall. They know that when Mugabe claims success, for example,
for his land reform programme, he is lying. And he knows they know. But in
the complex world of international relations, appearances count for a great
deal and photographic media coverage of happy crowds watching cricket
matches in Harare and Bulawayo, were worth a great deal to Mugabe. His
state media's delight in these very pictures was tinged only by their being
somewhat eclipsed by Flower and Olonga's unequivocal stand.  They provided
at least a scrap of evidence to support the claim that Zimbabwe is not
going through hell. And a scrap is all that the likes of Obasanjo need to
brandish, as if bearing trophies, to the international community, in order
to plead for tolerance towards Mugabe's contemptible regime.

Thus it is that Mugabe's Zimbabwe presents people of good will with a maze
of moral choices. The contrast between the chosen paths and pronouncements
of Vincent Hogg and Peter Chingoka and two of their aforementioned players,
is stark.  There is the unmistakable stamp of ambition and conveniently
tunnelled vision in the behaviour of the ZCU in recent history.  Similarly
or not, some farmers who have defied Mugabe have lost their farms as a
result and they and their workers are now destitute. Others have dealt and
compromised and hung on to at least some of their land at a cost of
providing subsidy for Mugabe's demolition of commercial agriculture.  This
sector inspires no admiration but there can at least be recognition of the
pressures that finally ground their consciences into the dust. But those
that sat, one eye on the cricket and the other on the weather at Harare or
Queens Sports Grounds, unadorned by any black armband, were under no such
pressures.  The truth is that these people, navigating through Zimbabwe's
moral maze, took a wrong turning and consciously or not, stumbled into an
abyss, selling or at best renting out their souls to Mugabe in exchange for
a day's cricket.  They, along with Chirac, have provided some vital window
dressing for Zanu PF.

Some may be so wrapped in wealth and privilege that they can ignore the
horrors beyond their downtown office and Highlands townhouse. Perhaps they
are the most culpable of all.  Most will trot out the same old lame
excuses: `Nothing makes any difference'; `It would be different if everyone
decided not to go'; `You shouldn't mix sport and politics.' `I never get
involved in such things.' `It was only a game of cricket'.  But such are
none other than pitiful inanities in today's Zimbabwe and are the `everyman
's' equivalent to Chirac's own inadequate responses when asked why he
invited one of the world's most notorious dictators to what was essentially
a conference on Human Rights.  Like him, they were Mugabe's stooges for a
little while.  When it is their turn to suffer the effects of Mugabe's
oppression - a lost farm, a lost job, a two day fuel queue, a hungry child,
a broken head - perhaps they might be honest enough to reflect that for one
or two rainy summer's days in Harare or Bulawayo, they too were members of
ZANU PF.  At least honest enough to reflect that they lent a hand to the
regime that plunged Zimbabwe into a dark age rather than yield power.

Letter 3: Joyce Bains

As a bystander, many many miles away but who is suffering mentally with you
since it all began, I can only support all Mary Van Heerden said about the
Zimbabwe farmers. (1-03-03) I have met many on my visits to that beautiful
country, they are a grand bunch. Now, being as resilient as you are, my
plea to you is to give a chance to the suggestion that Mary makes (JAG,
CFU, ZFU, ZTA, TTA, all work together). Let the people who are watching see
that you are standing together, put aside your differences and your
disagreements, elect one leader who is strong enough to take the knocks
they will surely get from time to time. The scripture tells us, " united we
stand, divided we fall" so true.! May God Bless and protect you all

Joyce (UK)



When God was creating the world, he figured that for humans to prosper, he
would grant them two virtues. So he made the Swiss neat and law-abiding,
the Ghanaians lively and musical, the Brazilians easy-going and sexy, the
Japanese hard-working and patient, and the Italians happy and romantic -
and so on. When Zimbabwe's turn came, God told the Helper Angel who was
taking notes: "Zimbabweans shall be good and bright, and Zanu-PF

When the world was finished, the Helper Angel reminded God: "My Lord you
have given every nation two virtues, but three to Zimbabweans. This is not

God thought about it.

"You are right. Divine virtues however, cannot be taken away. But there is
a way out. They shall keep all three, but not all at the same time.
The Zimbabwean who is good and a Zanu-PF cannot be bright.
The Zimbabwean who is bright and Zanu-PF cannot be good.
And the Zimbabwean who is bright and good cannot be Zanu-PF."

from Last Gasp ZimInd 21/2

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UPDATE - Anti-Hijack Trust
Dear All
There have been yet more reports concerning the flyover going out of town on Simon Mazarodze Rd.   Please be very careful when going under this bridge, there is a gang of thieves operating who try to stop you and smash your car window. I have now reported this again to the Police but will go another route to see if they will deal with this. 
Also, I was in TM Borrowdale last Friday when a woman shopper had her handbag grabbed and the thief made off with it. I then checked other shoppers to see where their handbags were, and was appalled how many of them leave their handbags in the trolley whilst chatting with friends in the aisles or perusing the shelves. Some bags were even UNDONE.  PLEASE ladies wake up, there are thieves everywhere and supermarkets are ideal places to grab handbags and cellphones.  Do those handbags up and put them over your shoulder. Do not take everything but the kitchen sink with you when you go to a supermarket, THINK about it and leave precious documents etc at home. Remember not to chat to anyone in carparks, pack your shopping away in the boot and get out of there always checking to see who is following you home.
If you have a safe at home, get rid of it or at least store whatever is in it in a bank safe deposit box or put it in a safe in the office etc. House robbers are looking for "forex", weapons, jewellery, and electrical goods, there were 12 house robberies in the B'Dale area last Weds night. During the war we used to hide things somewhere else, can any of you remember where??????? I'm not going to spell it out for obvious reasons, but it's time to do that again.
Mary van Heerden - Anti Hijack Trust.
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