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The Age, Melbourne

Zimbabwe voters' roll in 'shambles': civic group audit
HARARE, March 8 AFP|Published: Saturday March 9, 8:05 AM

The voters' roll for Zimbabwe's presidential election this weekend lists the
wrong constituency for nearly half the electorate, a civic group said today
after an audit of the list.

"We believe that the voters' roll is in a shambles," David Chimhini, head of
Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust (ZIMCET), which commissioned the audit, told

The probe, carried out between January 31 and February 22, checked 1,699
randomly selected voters listed on a preliminary voters' roll released in
early January. The final voters' roll has yet to be released, with voting
set to begin early tomorrow.

"Only 40 per cent of those who have registered appeared in their respective
constituencies, implying that the voters' roll is not up-to-date," a summary
of the ZIMCET report said.

Chimhini said ZIMCET researchers were arrested and detained by the police
during the fieldwork or ordered to stop interviews by supporters of the
ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).

Chimhini said the study suggested that the state of the roll was due more to
sheer inefficiency in updating rather than deliberate efforts to manipulate
the list.

The interim report also said the names of dead people still appear on the
country's voters' register.

"There is a possibility that everyone who has died in the last 20 years is
still on the voters' roll," Maasdorp said.

Some 5.6 million people are registered to vote in the weekend presidential
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Farm Invasions And Security Report
Friday 8 March 2002

This report does not purport to cover all the incidents that are taking place in the commercial farming areas.  Communication problems and the fear of reprisals prevent farmers from reporting all that happens.  Farmers names, and in some cases farm names, are omitted to minimise the risk of reprisals.


·        At Charleswood Estates, Chimanimani, the security officer Mr. Makaza was detained prior to President Mugabe’s rally to be held in the area.  Whilst the President was giving his address, Mr. Makaza and two colleagues were beaten up. The farm manager and a lawyer phoned the police, who denied having him at their station. The three were later released.

·        On Mondynes Farm, Mvurwi, seven foremen were assaulted at a Zanu (PF) youth meeting on 01.03.02. The next morning, they were loaded on to the owner’s bakkie, without his permission, and taken to Mvurwi, where they were assaulted again, this time with the youths urinating into jars and pouring the contents over them for further humiliation. The police responded.

·        Meryl Harrison (SPCA) stated she had tried to go to Pennyfather, Featherstone, to collect the dogs but was stopped by +- 70 hostile youths. She requested an escort from police or support unit to return on 07.03.02.

·        Two Streams Farm, Macheke Virginia, reported the tractor driver was beaten up 06.03.02. A security company was called in to assist along with a policeman from Twist base. Four youths have been detained in connection with this incident.

·        Zanu (PF) youth from the neighbouring communal land abducted 6 teenage farm youth on Stow, Marondera South, took them to a tent on Stow farm, stripped them naked and beat the soles of their feet and bodies with heavy sticks. The crime: open handed waving to girls.

·        In Banket, Sholliver Farm has been completely shut down by settlers and Zanu (PF) youth.  The manager has no access to the farm and police reaction is extremely poor.  Approximately $10 million worth of tobacco left in the barns.

·        In Chegutu there are very few farmers left on their farms along Tilford Road, as a result of the roadblocks and general harassment. 

·        Gutu/Chatsworth has continued problems, with Muirlands Farm reporting one Friesland heifer slaughtered on 03.03.02 and six in-calf heifers chopped with axes.  Two have since died.  The Grasslands Farm owner’s dog was fed meat laced with glass thrown over the fence.  The same happened with the two guard dogs at Chibakwe Farm.




Chipinge - Section 8s are still being handed out, but otherwise all is quiet.

Chimanimani – at Charleswood Estates the security officer Mr. Makaza was detained prior to President Mugabe’s rally to be held in the area.  Whilst the President was giving his address, Mr. Makaza and two colleagues were beaten up in a hall.  The three were then taken to the police station and 'interrogated' further.  The farm manager and a lawyer phoned the police, who denied having him at their station. The three were later released.

Headlands - General intimidation, including "war vets" dismissing the ‘hierarchy’ within the labour forces such as foremen, mechanics etc.

Rusape - There has been a complete work stoppage on Dyffryn Farm the result of a minor disagreement.

All other areas are too quiet.


Glendale - The housesitter at Avonduur Farm was notified last week the Section 8 Notice issued November 2001 was due to expire on 03.03.02 and the "new owner" was going to forcefully evict everyone on that date. On 02.03.03 employees began to move equipment from the barns and sheds. The housesitter and his wife were barricaded into the house that night but managed to escape at midnight. There are armed guards at the gates who refuse entry to everyone except for two white employees moving the owner’s household effects under an armed escort. The situation remains tense. On an adjacent farm, a team of game capturers arrived in a helicopter to relocate some of the game to a safer area. They were told that the game now belonged to the state. Mr. Mutungire has forcibly occupied the homestead on Thrums Farm.

Mvurwi – on Mondynes Farm, seven foremen were assaulted at a Zanu (PF) youth meeting on 01.03.02. The next morning, they were loaded on to the owner’s bakkie, without his permission, and taken to Mvurwi, where they were assaulted again, this time with the youths urinating into jars and pouring the contents over them for further humiliation. The police responded, took the youths away for questioning, issued RRB numbers and were given the medical reports from the foremen. The Zanu (PF) youths on release threatened they had sent for the chief "war vet" in the area.  Under Cragg labour in the farm village were attacked by Zanu (PF) youth at approximately 1130 hrs on 02.03.02, in apparent retaliation for MDC slogans painted on the main road nearby. Windows were broken, several labourers abducted and others beaten up.  Those abducted were taken to the Zanu (PF) base camp on the neighbouring farm Mutendamambo. Police in Mvurwi were notified (Cst Kazembe at 0120 am), with no reaction. Three people were returned.  A polling station is apparently to be deployed at this location during the Presidential election.  Fourstreams received another Section 8 Notice.

Horseshoe – the Amajuba Farm labour was forced to run to Gokwe School, about 5/6 km away, where they were thoroughly beaten up.  On Makombi Farm, the leading "war vet", Chabayanzara, wanted to use the sheds and barns. The owner agreed on condition that he was paid for the hire of the buildings. The "war vet" response was the owner must "go and wait in Harare until we can pay you".  Youths from Horseshoe School came to Norwe Farm and took away eight workers they claim are MDC members. The owner threatened to report them to the police and the election observers and they fled. The owner of Red Lichen was castigated by "war vet" Chabayanzara for being unco-operative and "stroppy" with his labourers.  A work stoppage occurred on Pen Rose as youths asked each labourer if they would vote, taking down their name when they said they would be.  At Mangondo Farm, the manager’s house was stoned and a petrol bomb, containing paraffin and live AK shells, tossed into the building. The fire was quickly extinguished and little damage was done.  On 06.03.02, the "war vets" went on the rampage chasing and then stoning cattle and threatening to burn down farm labourer's houses.  The settlers herded all the Brahman bulls up to the homestead security fence, throwing rocks and shouting obscenities at the owner and ordering him to open the gate. The terrified animals slammed into the fence and broke a corner post, almost toppling the fence. On the night of 06.03.02, the settlers went on a rampage and burned 60 huts in the home village, 48 of which were due for demolition, but 12 were in good condition. The labourers are continually chased away from the protea plantation.

General - meetings are called on farms by "war vets", ostensibly for "voter education".    Instructions are given on how to fill in the voting forms, but emphasis is placed on getting the names and ID numbers of labourers who intend to vote!  Guruve "war vet" leader, Chabayanzara, has called a voter education meeting on 07.03.02 at Gwakwe School for all labourers.


Beatrice – at Plumstead one dairy cow slaughtered on 03.03.02, with the meat taken away, and 800 metres of powerline stolen. On Constantia two dairy cows were slaughtered. The Eden owner has no cattle left but about 20 young Brahman commercial-type were seen on farm.  Attempts are being made to identify them. The following day 15 Brahman cattle were seen on Greenlands farm, also unidentified.  The Nebo Farm owner is under great pressure to pay his father’s labourers their gratuities. The elderly father has moved off his own farm for now. To avoid further problems, the son has also moved off his farm and now the local warlord Chitsinde has made the labour reap and cure tobacco in sub standard barns.  Zanu (PF) Youth are an ongoing problem.

Enterprise/Bromley/Ruwa - Nothing to report

Harare South – at Edinburgh the Zanu (PF) youth from Walmer assaulted a labourer and forced him to shout slogans till 4 am. They were looking for two more labourers who hid.  On Auks Nest a settler fell into the dam and drowned.  At Houmoed four men arrived in a Peugeot sedan, all carrying whips, and told labour to go to the Charter grading shed for re-education on 07.03.02. The owner had to come as well.  On Tantallon

Agritex is pegging 1 ha plots.  This is not the first time the farm has been pegged.  At Albion four Zanu (PF) youth from Charter grading camp told labour to attend a meeting at the Camp, and the owner had to supply transport or his safety would be in danger. The police were informed but said they would not react, as there would be no violence. All labour on surrounding farms have now been told they must be at the meeting. The observers have been informed.  At Harare South Club, golfers were approached by four drunk men in their thirties, who arrived in a Peugeot 752141T, and said there would be no more golf. When the golfers returned to the club they were followed by the four who shouted at the members the club no longer belonged to them. There was a strong reaction from the club members and the four realized they were in the minority and backed out, noisily threatening to return but never did. At Chollo Zanu (PF) youth manning a nearby roadblock seem to be looking for spray paint.

Featherstone – Uitkyk Farm is unlisted but demands continue from labour and ex-employees for gratuities. Zanu (PF) Youth and labour entered the security fence and gathered at the back door of the homestead, claiming the police authorised them to be there. One youth approached the farmer’s daughter and told her if they were not paid she and her children would be targets. The owner was forced to sign cheques and also forced to leave a 4x4 vehicle at the police station as security. There is a continued work stoppage at Oasis with various demands for payments and protective clothing. Ministry of Labour and NEC officials attended and advised the labour of the regulations. The Zanu (PF) youth insisted something must be paid immediately and the balance when tobacco is sold. The Hazeldene work stoppage continues with demands for maize meal and long service pay. Zanu (PF) Youth from Oasis advised the owner to pay something or they would come with animals and camp at the homestead.  A report received from M. Harrison (SPCA) stated she had tried to go to Pennyfather to collect the dogs but was stopped by +- 70 hostile youths. She requested an escort from police or support unit to return on 07.03.02.  At Kuruman with the assistance of local "war vet” Wezhira and youth, a stolen submersible pump and car battery were recovered. An accused was arrested, the whereabouts of other stolen property revealed, which will be recovered when the settler/purchaser comes home from work.   A work stoppage occurred on Dover as labour claim they might not be paid after the elections. On Klipheaval local "war vet" Chifamba attended a dip day, recording numbers and class of cattle. He told the labour there were no whites left in Featherstone and cattle would be divided up among them. The police were informed.

Macheke/Virginia - Farmers were requested to supply transport for a Star rally at Virginia Store.  Macheke police, Macheke "war vet” Matatse and DA Mature in Murewa, were phoned to confirm the meeting. They knew nothing about it.  It was later confirmed by Matatse to local "war vet" Chibanda, that the meeting had been called by the local Zanu-PF chairman/Councillor, Sebastian Jairos. There was a high level of intimidation at the bottom end of the district for this meeting, and a large number attended. Nyadora  reported Zanu (PF) youth arrived at the gate to make their presence known. They dispersed on their own accord.  Journeys End reported that a group had been disturbed reaping tobacco on the back end of the farm.  A local security company was called in to investigate.  A farmer reported the youth from a neighbouring farm, where the owner is away, came and demanded a tractor to ferry people to the rally at Virginia store. He was threatened his tobacco would no longer belong to him if he did not comply. He allowed his tractor to be used to resolve the issue. The youth came back again later, demanded more transport and that his labour also had to go to the rally.  Two Streams reported his tractor driver was beaten up 06.03.02. A security company was called in to assist along with a policeman from Twist base. Four youths have been detained in connection with this incident.  Lowlands Farm reported labour is told the ballot boxes will be opened at the polling stations and counted. It also reported there was normally only one polling station in the area but now appears there will be three or four.  Marylands Farm reported another cow slaughtered. Belgravia Farm had a diesel motor stolen.  On Mignon Farm, it was reported seven workers were forced to stop work by "war vets” until after elections. On 06.03.02, hunger, and the need to earn money, made them disobey the "war vets" and return to work. By evening they had been forced to abandon their work again. No help from Police or the Matatsi "war vet" in Macheke. Springs Farm had another cow slaughtered. Nyadora reported that MDC literature had been dropped along the Virginia road for voter perusal. ZANU PF youths threatened to close down his farming operations, because he did not get his workers to pick them up. He pointed out if his labourers did pick them up, they would be assaulted, and accused of being MDC. He queried who had given these orders and was told it was a Mr. Kativhu. He went to see him, together with his foreman and manager. There has been an upsurge in numbers of youth into the area, at Virginia Store, and Virginia Farm all wearing ZANU PF scarves and paraphernalia, and putting up illegal roadblocks to intimidate all who pass. When reported to police, they remove them before the police can get there. At Athlone Farm a farmer was travelling through, when he was stopped by youths from the Glen Somerset Farm training camp, demanding to know who he was and where he was going. They let him pass after he gave his name. Zanu (PF) Youth meetings were held at Waterloo and Elim Park.

Marondera North – on Nygamba rocks on the farm road and the roadblock were put up again.  Botha's Rust had a lot of irrigation equipment stolen.  Zanu (PF) Youth are very active in the area.

Marondera South – on Stow Zanu (PF) youth from the neighbouring communal land abducted 6 teenage farm youth, took them to a tent on Stow farm, stripped them naked and beat the soles of their feet and bodies with heavy sticks. The crime: open handed waving to girls.

Wedza – on Igudu although nothing official confirmed, it is felt something was said to the settlers as the owner is still on the farm. Two farmers went to visit and on the way out were stopped by the settlers who told them that the farmer could have visitors but they would have to sign a book, as there had been too much theft on the farm!! There is still a boom on the access road, which they take down and put up at random. At Plymtree another cow was slaughtered and the owner called the Police on 03.03.02 who did not arrive. The settlers will not release the remaining cattle, as they want to work out how much compensation they want for maize.  On Iamba four fences were cut and cattle driven on to Shaka. Three were recovered but two cows and three calves are still missing. Another MCB was stolen. On Ruware  the cattle are chased away from where the settlers live as they say they are eating their maize, which is non-existent. At Chirume a heifer was found with an axe in it and another had been slashed and a leg broken.  The latter had to be destroyed.  Makombe reports irrigation taps and sprinklers, MCB's and starters stolen.


Raffingora – there was an armed robbery at Mete house on 02.03.02.  About 4/6 armed men entered the house, held two occupants at gun-point, looted the house and stole two TVs, a hi-fi system, cell phone, camera and several bags of clothes.   At least two were wearing Zanu (PF) T-shirts, and they were chanting Zanu (PF) slogans.  On leaving, they locked the two occupants in the house.  Police and locals reacted and a get-away vehicle and the driver were apprehended.  A former hotel Settlers is now split into private residences.  An occupant and his wife were woken up late at night, beaten up all over their bodies and their feet were persistently beaten with a wooden bat until they couldn’t walk. Their house was trashed and pay received that day stolen.  Names of the perpetrators are Fletts, Oliver and Mshlanga, who are all resident in Raffingora Township and are known Zanu (PF) officers/youth trainers.  The police were notified, but no RRB number given.  Raffingora hospital refused to treat them; they were advised to go to Banket Hospital.  At Nchefu Farm, the farm tractor used to transport people to a rally at Katawa was held for a short while as Zanu (PF) claimed the owner had not sent enough food.  The owner was forced to part with cash in lieu of food to secure release of the tractor.  The owner at Mwara was visited by people in a pick-up on 03.03.02 and told he had only sent ZW$ 2,000 worth of food for the rally and they wanted ZW$ 5,000 worth.  He was forced to pay an extra ZW$ 3,000 cash in lieu of food.  On 04.03.02, it was reported Zanu (PF) held meetings on all the farms they believe would be polling stations and all farm labour ordered to attend.   The people present were divided into groups of 20.  Each group was given a “leader” with a code name and was told the group leader would vote with them to ensure they voted “correctly”.

Trelawney/Darwendale – transport for a women’s league meeting was requested at Ziroto Farm by women settlers.  When this was refused, they commandeered a Mazda T3500 without consent.  The owner reported the vehicle was stolen and told the occupants over the radio it had been reported.  The vehicle was returned.  Later, these women caused a work stoppage, gathered the labour and congregated by the homestead. On being told the police had been notified, they re-grouped outside the homestead complex. The police arrived to follow up on the stolen vehicle and refused assistance with the work stoppage.  The women reported the incident to the Zanu (PF) Youth at Trelawney Training Centre, which resulted in the abduction of the farm manager and subsequent assault.  Although eventually taken to Banket Hospital for treatment, he is reluctant to make an official report as he fears for his life.  At Kazanzi Farm the owner had met with the workers committee and a plan to water the roses was put in place.  A Mr Shumba from Zanu (PF) Chegutu later arrived, instructed the watering be stopped and threatened to evict a tenant.  The farmers in the area were put on alert.   Later, the tenant and the owner were threatened in their vehicle by Mr. Shumba, and approached by people wielding sticks.  Mr. Shumba made them get into his vehicle and took them to the Darwendale Police station.  After a traumatic ordeal, they were released.  The conclusion is the labour unrest on the Kazanzi flower project is ongoing.  On 28.02.02, three labourers on Spes Bona were taken to a house in Trelawney Village and severely beaten with batons on their backs.  They were released after dark and told to report back to the same house the next day at 8 am.  In spite of the assault, they were terrified not to obey.

Lions Den / Chinhoyi – on 6.03.02, at Manyamba Farm settlers commandeered a tractor mowing the airstrip.  The settlers wanted to use the tractor until the diesel ran out on their own lands.  The owner went down to instruct the driver to finish mowing the airstrip.  Both he and the tractor driver were severely assaulted.  The owner was struck on the head with a "badza" (hoe), and the tractor driver attacked with a spear.  They are both in a stable condition and the police are attending to the incident.

Banket - Sholliver Farm has been completely shut down by settlers and Zanu (PF) youth.  The manager has no access to the farm and police reaction is extremely poor.  Approximately $10 million worth of tobacco left in the barns.  A total work stoppage has occurred on Glen-Athol Farm, with serious threats made against the owner and son.  No police response to date.

Trelawney – this area reports on 6.03.02 there are many work stoppages and owners threatened with their lives.  Labour, especially foremen, are assaulted by Zanu (PF) youths based at Trelawney Training Centre (Tobacco).  There has been police response but the situation is not resolved and remains volatile.


Norton - a roadblock was set up by ZANU (PF) youth, demanding party cards from passing motorists, by the Norton Police station on the Murombedzi Road.  Subsequently the youth held a meeting at their camp further down the road at Lydiate.  Work was stopped at Daisy Farm by about twenty of these youths.  The owner intervened when they assaulted the tractor driver, who was hitching up trailers so the labour could be taken to this impromptu rally. A labourer from Merton Park was assaulted by ZANU (PF) youth in Norton town and unable to come back to work.  There was an impromptu ZANU (PF) rally at Tilford Farm on the Tilford Road. The owner from Fort Martin Farm came past with his wife and was stopped and forced to chant ZANU (PF) slogans for about an hour.  The Zanu (PF) youth base at Emojeni is active, enforcing a curfew between 6.00 pm to 6.00 am on the road. Chief Chibero is living in the house and the youth have broken two boreholes.  The Chingwiri Zanu (PF) youth base in Mhondoro is led by Comrade Guna, who is very active. The owner of Farnley had Zanu (PF) youth at a road block try climb in through his windows and on to the back of his bakkie, but managed to get away.  On Shingwiri where there is to be a polling booth, the manager was evicted from his home and had to organise transport to remove his personal property.   Police responded but did nothing to stop the eviction.  The youth ate his trophy tiger fish amongst other things and forced his children to dance with them. There are very few farmers left on their farms along Tilford Road, as a result of the road blocks and general harassment. 

Selous - On Carskey Farm approximately 60 ZANU (PF) youth, led by settlers on this unlisted farm, assaulted the cattle foreman.  Most had sticks and one beat him over the head with an iron bar until unconscious.  After being revived he was made to run approximately four kilometres, then dance at the Mount Carmel farm village for a few hours.  The youth came from Nyamachecha resettlement, Orange Grove, and Balclutha.  No police investigation has taken place to date. Three armed poachers with dogs were seen on Mount Carmel. The main "war vet" from Arbor Farm is managing to secure maize and selling it at double the official price.  At Garamwe Farm two poachers with dogs were seen. 

Chegutu - On Burnbank ZANU (PF) are organising securing IDs for those without, in order for them to vote.  A new satellite Zanu (PF) youth base was set up on the farm when it was learnt there is to be a polling station operating on the premises.  On Tiverton a Zanu (PF) youth base was set up and the youth are demanding food from the owner; again, a response to knowledge a polling station is operate on the farm.  The same occurred on Pickstone for the same reason.  On Torphin the new ZANU (PF) youth base set up was moved from Katawa.  There is also a polling station being set up here.  At C.T.E Paprika there was a strike, which was amicably resolved.  

Suri-Suri - There are ZANU (PF) youth bases at Pfupajena and Chanton.  Stanley Majiri, the ZANU (PF) campaign manager for the constituency, has been going farm to farm telling workers that he "will know what they have voted".  On the Chakari road just outside Chegutu, ZANU (PF) set up a road block after MDC had done a leaflet drop.  People moving along the road were made to pick up the leaflets and burn them and some passing motorists had ZANU (PF) stickers put on their cars.  Police were present, but not stopping this activity.  On Petra Farm 100 000 bricks were stolen by "settlers".  On Doddington the wheels were taken off the owner’s vehicles at night. 

Chakari - Trucks are commandeered from farmers for ZANU (PF) rallies and labour told the ruling party would know what they vote.  On Blackmorvale the owner has not been allowed to irrigate any of his citrus trees (over 50 hectares) for nearly two months despite having tried all the political channels. 

Kadoma - The owner of Pamene (had his truck commandeered for a ZANU (PF) rally.  Most of Kadoma closed down 6.03.02 due to a Presidential rally.  Several new Section 8's have been issued.  At Empress Mine people were made to fill in ballot papers over the weekend, which were then collected by ZANU (PF) at a rally. 

Battlefields - The manager at Umsweswe River Block 10A had to leave the property due to a drop of MDC leaflets appearing on the farm overnight.  ZANU (PF) settlers tried to get him out of his vehicle and he is not allowed to go back to the property now.  The owner has not been able to go back to his property now for approximately 5 months.  At Queensdale there are ongoing hassles with roadblocks.  On Railway Farm 4 Mr Madzikanda threatened to bring 100 youth into the owner’s garden.  He caused a complete work stoppage and the chickens could not be fed or watered, and he demanded retrenchment packages. Police responded and the situation resolved.  Mr Madzikanada told the owner, who was reticent to allow him to search his house that he was "above the law and even above Jesus Christ". 


Masvingo East and Central - Chidza Farm owner reports he heard automatic gunfire on his property.  At Dromore Farm a report was made to Farmers Hall Police about a settler digging a trench, from the dam on the owner’s property along the rivers edge, to the settlers’ land for flood irrigation.  When investigated by Police the settler said he obtained permission from the local DA. It appears that the settler was then warned by the Police to desist and cover up the trench. On 05.03.02 the owner found the trench had not been covered and further proof of other trenches dug found. He again reported to Farmers Hall Police. The Police Official declined to give the owner a RRB Number. At Pa Nyanda Lodge the owner reports rifle shots are heard night and day on this property. Poachers are cutting game fences and hunting. Gangs of poachers with packs of dogs from the resettlement area were seen and many snares laid.  Charges have been laid against a certain village.

Save Conservancy - Nothing to report.

Chiredzi - Essanby Ranch / Buffalo Range reports on the evening of 03.03.02 at approximately 20 00 hr, a group of 20/30 people visited one of the farm villages, situated on the Mkwasine boundary of Essanby. They severely assaulted two labourers who were hospitalised, as well as several others. Crown Ranch owner received a Section 7 Notice on 27.02.02.  The R/E of Buffalo Range owner received a Section 7 Notice on 27.02.02.  A meeting was held on Ruware Ranch to choose a new councillor.  However they have set about choosing a ZAKA councillor instead of a CHIREDZI councillor.  On Mungwezi Ranch settlers assaulted a game guard after he and another game guard released a settler cow caught within a snare.

Gutu / Chatsworth – the Edina Farm owners are elderly. Zanu (PF) Youths surrounded their home and made threats they should not come outside. They stole the solar panels from the roof and ran off. The following day one of the owner’s calves was chopped on the head with an axe.  At Muirlands Farm one Friesland heifer was slaughtered on 03.03.02 and six in-calf heifers were chopped with axes.  Two have since died.  The Grasslands owners dog was fed meat laced with glass thrown over the fence.  The same happened with the two guard dogs at Chibakwe Farm Polling booths have been set up at Condor A Farm, Good Luck Farm and Lauder Farm.

Mwenezi - A man known only as Nkomo has been offering farm workers in the Mwenezi Area 7 head of cattle each if they cast their vote for ZANU PF, and only given to them after the election if ZANU PF wins. This election bribe would be worth over ZW$ 200 000 each.  It was reported at the weekend Mwenezi MP Isiah Shumba was giving out ZW$ 1000.00 to potential voters in Mwenezi Village.

No report received.

No report received.                                               Visit the CFU Website

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Mugabe rival says no mass protests if loses poll

HARARE, March 8 — Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said on
Friday he would fight in the courts and not in the streets if President
Robert Mugabe ''steals'' a weekend presidential election.
        Tsvangirai, who poses the strongest challenge to Mugabe after 22
years in power, said he was still confident of victory despite what he
called wholesale rigging by the ruling ZANU-PF party.
       ''If Mugabe steals the result we will say so. We will say the
government is illegitimate...and we will use constitutional means to seek
remedy,'' Tsvangirai told Reuters in an interview.
       ''There are no extra-legal methods that we will engage in,'' said the
former trade union leader, who turns 50 on Sunday.
       Tsvangirai accuses Mugabe, 78, of using violence, intimidation,
special laws and dirty tricks to fix the two-day election, in which the
president faces his toughest opponent since independence in 1980.
       Independent monitors say 33 people have died this year alone, most of
them opposition supporters. There are fears the violence will intensify
after the winner is announced.
       The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader said 80 opposition
rallies had been stopped by ZANU-PF militias or by the police since the
election campaign began two months ago.
       Tsvangirai said he had addressed 10 major political rallies compared
to 50 by Mugabe, whom he said had moved freely around the country with the
financial resources of the state.
       ''You get to a point where you say what is the point? Especially when
you expose your own people to danger and when you know that rallies are not
the only barometer of measuring your support and reaching people,''
Tsvangirai said.

       Tsvangirai said there was no question of boycotting the election,
despite what the opposition says is a process heavily skewed in Mugabe's
       The MDC said earlier about 100 ZANU-PF militants had surrounded and
abducted 40 MDC polling agents in Harare and handed them over to police, who
said they were later released.
       ''Despite everything that has happened and is happening, we are still
confident of winning and we are saying this not simply because want to show
a brave face,'' he said.
       ''We have gone this far and I don't think there will arise a moment
when we will pull out of this election. We are determined to go all the
       Tsvangirai is accused of treason after the airing of a
secretly-filmed video purporting to show him discussing the assassination of
       He said the treason allegations were a ''pre-emptive strike'' by
Mugabe in case the veteran president lost the election.
       But Tsvangirai said he was not sure whether Mugabe would detain him,
as he has threatened, over the videotape controversy.
       ''I don't know. Whatever his options I will be able to defend myself
because I am innocent and they have no iota of evidence to secure a
conviction on these charges,'' he said.
       ''I have no intention now or in the future of running away because I
am innocent and I am also confident of victory,'' Tsvangirai said,
dismissing reports in state media that he intended to flee to South Africa
or Britain.
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Cape Argus

Military coup feared as troops engulf Zim

March 08 2002 at 09:48AM

Harare - Zimbabwean troops have been observed being deployed on a large
scale across the country on the eve of polling days on Saturday and Sunday,
heightening fears of a military coup.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's main opposition party filed a petition in the
country's highest court on Thursday seeking nullification of President
Robert Mugabe's decree on electoral restrictions.

Under Mugabe's decree potential voters have to prove they are residents of
the constituency in which they will be casting their ballots, a measure more
likely to affect urban dwellers, who tend to support the MDC.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged Zimbabweans to vote during the
weekend's presidential election, but he demanded that the poll be fair and
that the results respected.

Annan said he was worried about violence following the election, in which
Mugabe is facing the toughest challenge to his leadership since first taking
office in 1980.

"I encourage (voters) to exercise their democratic right to vote for the
candidate of their choice," said Annan in a written statement.

"I attach the highest importance to the vote count being completed without
interference or manipulation and the result announced without delay."

In a show of the military might, Zimbabwe's army began rolling out and
deploying countrywide on Thursday, two days before the most fiercely fought
presidential contest in the country's history.

The independent media in Zimbabwe reported on Thursday that the government
had placed its more than 70 000 strong armed forces on high alert and
cancelled all leave in anticipation of instability after the elections.

It has also reportedly withdrawn some troops from the Democratic Republic of

Michael Quintana, editor of the online African Defence Journal in Harare,
said around two-thirds of the army appeared to have been deployed.

"This is unprecedented. They're being spread around like pieces across a
chess board," he said.

Even the army's mechanised battalion - its most heavily armoured force, with
more than 3 000 troops, tanks, armoured vehicles and mobile rocket units -
was observed leaving its barracks on Thursday morning, he added.

"From my observations, the army and air force have been rearming ahead of
the election, conducting war games, and, starting on Thursday, they started
countrywide deployment of up to two-thirds of their forces.

"There have been reports of troops receiving special training in the
south-eastern highlands, where tear gas canisters were being dropped from
the air and soldiers were given lessons in crowd control."

Fears of a military coup in the event of an opposition victory have been
high since senior military officers said they would not stand by and see the
ruling party defeated.

On Tuesday, a senior Zanu-PF figure and close associate of Mugabe, Didymus
Mutasa, said on South African television that there would be mayhem in the
entire southern Africa region if Zimbabweans voted Tsvangirai into power.

"Under these circumstances, if there were to be a coup, we would support it
very definitely," he said.

Brian Raftopoulos, a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, told the weekly
Financial Gazette that there was a real chance that the country could slide
into chaos.

"Whoever wins, there are going to be problems after this election. It is
going to be very dangerous," he said. "If Mugabe loses, people in his party
are going to make trouble and he will certainly encourage that."

In another development, Opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader
Morgan Tsvangirai alleged that Mugabe's fanatical militia had abducted 22
MDC polling agents. - Foreign Service and Reuters

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Small Victories That Lead to Bigger Ones

Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)

March 8, 2002

Peter Lovemore

IF I read one more word about this violent, blood-stained election I shall
throw up, I swear. Having said that, I will be at my local PB (polling
booth, stupid!) first thing tomorrow with a cold eye, clean hands, a clear
conscience and certainty as to the destiny of my vote, or votes since it is
to be a tripartite affair.

Naturally, I shall only reveal this secret when, not if, the dust and gun
smoke clear and it is safe, once more, to behave like an ordinary citizen in
a reasonably free and fair country.

Oh heck, alright, I cannot resist giving out a small clue as to my
intentions. In the feature race, as we call the main event at Borrowdale
Park Racecourse, I shall be voting for the man who says he will protect me,
listen to me and respect me, not the other fellow who shakes his fist
angrily at me from every roadside poster and who hates me, if not me
personally, then what I represent.

Mr Ganguly

But these are not the victories to which the headline refers. No, I am
talking about our test match cricket team in India who, under the able
captaincy of Stuart Carlisle and the guidance of Messrs Marsh and Curran,
put up such a splendid fight in New Delhi earlier this week.

Defending a paltry target of 122 runs again-st one of the world's most
powerful batting line-ups, Zimbabwe came far too close for India's comfort
to causing one of the bigger upsets in the history of test cricket when the
hosts eventually scratched and scraped their way to a three wicket victory.

Had it not been for Sri Lankan umpire Asoka de Silva's temporary condition
of blindness towards the end, that margin would have been no more than three
wickets and, had he done the right thing and given out Harbajhan Singh when,
off a brilliant Streak delivery, the former was plumb leg before as the
saying goes, the result might have been altogether different.

At that stage India had just lost two quick wickets with the score mired on
105 and the wheel wobble was threatening to become a full-scale crash and
burn collision. Singh was out. No, let me rephrase that. Singh was OUT!
Then, just to rub our gallant team's noses in it, the cheeky but brilliant
Indian off-spinner lifted the hapless Heath Streak over long-on for the
winning hit 15 tense minutes later.

So, the net result of all these pre-breakfast (local time) shenanigans on
Monday was that India won the series 2-0 and with it the Pepsi-Cola Trophy.
What, then, of these small victories which will, ultimately, I am now
convinced, lead on to greater things.

Well, there was the calm and steady captaincy of Stuart Carlisle, allied to
his more than solid performances (the first innings of the second test
excepted) in the difficult and demanding opening slot. There were signs,
too, that Trevor Gripper can become a worthy partner to Carlisle in test
match cricket. His 60 in the second innings of the first test was a model of
concentration, patience and grit, all the qualities of a good opener.

Alastair Campbell more than justified his return to the side, even if he did
continue to frustrate us, his fans, with unnecessary carelessness. Dion
Ebrahim only played in the second test where, after an innings of real class
with a career best of 94 on the opening two days at New Delhi, the only
wonder was that he did not play in the first test as well. It was not so
much the fact that Ebra-him scored 94 and 22 in the second test, but that he
showed such huge improvement in dealing with those tricky Indian spinners,
Kumble and Singh, on their home turf.

Tatenda, Tatenda

The experiment of giving the wicketkeeping role to Tatenda Taibu might,
midway through the first test at Nagpur, have seemed rash. By the time the
second test came to an end on Monday, it had been thoroughly vindicated. He
kept superbly in Delhi and, despite not scoring many runs, his batting has a
look about it which suggests that, in the fullness of time, he will become a
force in that area, too. His overall demeanour in the field, too, is quite
excellent. Like Ebrahim, this diminutive youngster is a future star.

Then there was Friend. Batsman Friend or bowler Friend? You might well ask,
for here is a man who has always been selected purely for his bowling but
who, after this series, threatens to become a really top-class all-rounder.
In this series it was the bat, rather than the ball, that so enhanced Travis
Friend's increasing value to national cricket.

Cheerful chap

Highest praise of all, though, must surely go to Raymond Price, the cheerful
chappie of Zimbabwean cricket and now without doubt our premier spinner. A
dour defender with the bat as a tailender, this young man took 10 wickets in
the series, including a five wicket haul during a marathon spell of over 70
overs in the Nagpur test. Whats-more, he dismissed Sachin Tendulkar on all
three occasions that the latter, the world's premier batsman, visited the


In the meantime, the old and experienced trio of the Flower brothers and
Heath Streak, even though their individual performances were sporadic in
nature, showed exactly why their presence continues to be so vital to the
national eleven. Streak was disappointing with the bat, but bowled
heroically. Grant Flower came good in the second test with bat and ball,
whilst Andy, the pillar around whom the team is presently built, was his old
self in the first innings of the second test.

Along with Campbell, these three men impart a visible confidence to their
younger team mates. They are, all of them, needed for quite some time yet.
These are the positives to be drawn from what, on the face of it, was a
whitewash at the hands of the powerful Indian side in their own backyard.
These are the small victories that will, in time, lead to the wins that
really count. This team is settling down. It has an altogether more cohesive
look about it, more joie de vivre in the field and it is a team which looks,
finally, to have turned the corner at the lower end of the road.

Now all we, as a nation, need to do is give them the kind of country that
they would dearly love to play for!

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DAILY MEDIA UPDATE No.8 for March 8th 2002


Fears that thousands of Zimbabweans would not vote in this
weekend's presidential election were confirmed by The Herald's
lead article today headlined "Non-citizens will not vote". The paper
reported that the Supreme Court had ruled that "people who have
lost their Zimbabwean citizenship have no right to vote and
those eligible must vote in their respective constituencies in
tomorrow and Sunday's presidential poll."  The paper described
some of the affected whites in front page photo caption as "aliens."
With less than 24 hours to the election there was still confusion
over what documents voters are supposed to carry to the polling
stations. The Herald quoted Justice Minister Chinamasa saying: "
no urban voters would be required to bring the proof of
residence to enable them to vote in the presidential poll." The
Daily News on the other hand, quoted Mudede urging voters to get
correct information before casting ballots. Said the paper: "As a
precautionary measure and to avoid confusion over their
residential status, they should carry at least one bill (Zesa,
rates and water or PTC) to the polling station, in case of a
challenge on their address."
The Herald also carried an article in which the National Election
Directorate chairman Mariyawanda Nzuwa explained the
documents voters are supposed to produce on election days.
Nzuwa said: "When people go to the polling station to vote,
they should take with them the national registration ID card
(metal or green waiting pass with your photograph) or valid
Zimbabwean passport or driver's licence which shows national
ID number."
Mudede also got the opportunity to dismiss yesterday's Daily News
story that alleged that the weekend presidential poll was being
rigged as some people were still being registered after the official
closing date. Mudede said voter registration was an on-going
process. Mudede said: "Those people who are still registering
have a right to do so and no-one should be worried about
that." He said those registering now would not be able to vote but
those who registered before the closure of the voters' roll on March
3 would be allowed to vote. However, Mudede did not gazette the
extension of the registration process after January 27, casting
doubt over the whole registration process.
In a revealing lead story, Mugabe in last-ditch poll fraud, The
Zimbabwe Independent accused President Mugabe of "systematic
vote-rigging and chaos in tomorrow's presidential poll."  The
paper said last-minute changes to the electoral regulations "were
mostly designed to assist Mugabe's faltering candidacy."
Said the paper: "Mugabe has authorized the involvement of
soldiers, policemen and prison officers in the electoral process
as managers. He has given his justice minister powers to
assign anyone he chooses to supervise elections, and to
impose a fine of $100000 or one year's imprisonment or both
on people voting in constituencies other than their own."

The Daily News also reported that more police officers around the
country continued to vote this week "under the watchful eye of
their superiors."
Lawyer Sheila Jarvis was quoted saying: "Mugabe has assumed
the role of the judiciary and legislature . He has abused the
Electoral Act to make or break laws that have a bearing on his
own candidacy."  Her sentiments were echoed by MDC lawyer
Adrian de Bourbon, who was quoted by The Daily News saying: "It
is a total disgrace. One of the candidates has changed the
The Independent was also suspicious of Mudede's claims that
those registering now were doing so for future polls.
The Herald also reported that representatives of political parties
had signed "the homegrown Electoral Code of Conduct meant
to promote free and fair elections and create a climate of
tolerance."  However, it was only ZANU PF and NAGG
representatives who had done so. It noted that there were "no
representatives" from the MDC to sign but didn't explain why.
Both The Daily News and The Herald tried to provide some
information on the Harare and Chitungwiza elections. While such
efforts are commendable, the information was illegible in the case
of The Daily News, while the boundary demarcations in the map
provided by The Herald could not be seen at all, thus rendering
vitally important voter information totally useless.
While The Herald reported the number of registered voters per
province, The Daily News said the Registrar General had refused to
disclose the number of ballot papers printed for the weekend
elections. He was quoted saying: "There are many ballot papers.
I cannot tell the total, but we printed many. There will be many
of them issued to many different polling stations."
His refusal to provide this crucial piece of information is an
intolerable violation of the public's right to be informed.
ZANU PF CAMPAIGN RALLIES received favourable coverage from
The Herald. The story, "Safeguard your heritage, vote Zanu-PF:
Mugabe", projected ZANU PF as the panacea of Zimbabwe's
problems because it "has the country's heritage - land - at
In Kadoma, Mugabe continued his hate speech against the MDC,
describing it as a party of "killers".
Said Mugabe: "You now have the knowledge that the MDC is
selling out and I will be surprised if you go and vote for them."
In Chinhoyi he attacked Britain and its premier Tony Blair. He said:
"We will win the election no matter what the British say."
Anti-MDC conspiracies also emerged in The Herald, examples are
"Tsvangirai plans to slip out" and "Government probes reports over
Meanwhile, The Daily News led with Walkouts rock Mugabe rallies.
The paper said ZANU PF supporters walked out of two rallies
addressed by Mr. Mugabe in Kadoma and Marondera.
The Zimababwe Independent was critical of Mugabe's rallies and
hailed Tsvangirai's. The analysis, 'The challenge is to choose
between the future and the past' clearly suggests that people
should vote for MDC because it holds the promise of a positive
future while ZANU PF only serves to remind Zimbabweans about
their failed past under its stewardship.
The Zimbabwe Independent expressed shock that 12 years after
the collapse of the Soviet Union, "Moyo is still mourning the end
of the Cold War, claiming it caused Zimbabwe's current image
The Herald also reported that ZANU PF had dismissed yesterday's
Financial Gazette story that it was planning a coup d'etat if Mr.
Mugabe lost the weekend presidential election as "sheer
madness". The paper quoted Moyo saying: "It is sheer madness
of anyone to imagine that ZANU PF, which is set to win the
forthcoming poll with a landslide margin, can stage a coup
against itself."
The Zimbabwe Independent story, Zanu PF mob burns villagers'
IDs to steal poll was about the harrowing experiences of St Peters
villagers in Matebeleland, at the hands of marauding militia. Two
Norwegian observers are reported to have seen houses burning and
took testimonies, noting that most IDs had been destroyed.
Meanwhile, the paper also reported that the Commonwealth
observer team had criticized the ZBC for alleging that its head of
mission in Zimbabwe, General Abdulsalami Abubaka, had said pre-
election violence in Zimbabwe was being exaggerated.
The paper quoted a statement by the observer group saying: "The
Commonwealth observer group has received credible reports
of violence, met with victims of violence and, indeed, has itself
been a victim of election-related violence."
While human rights groups estimate 70 000 potential voters have
been displaced by political violence in the run-up to the election,
the ESC was reported to have admitted that it had failed to educate
displaced people on their voting rights. The Zimbabwe Independent
quoted ESC chairman Sobusa Gula-Ndebele saying: "We could
have done this, but you must understand that the money we
are getting from the government is limited."
The Herald did not report any incidents of political violence.


ELECTORAL ISSUES: ZTV continued to flight the ESC voter
education advert stating that Harare and Chitungwiza residents
should vote for the presidential, mayoral and council elections in
their wards or risk voting for the presidential elections only. This
was despite the fact that, earlier in the day Registrar-General
Tobaiwa Mudede was quoted in The Daily News (7/03) saying that
people can vote for the three elections anywhere in their
constituencies. There was no specific information about the voting
process for the electorate in both areas and no information about
ward boundaries.
With less than a day to go before the election, this failure to
provide vital information and the confusion arising from it, raises the
real possibility that many voters will be disenfranchised in one or
more of the three elections in Harare and the two-tier election in
ZBC (3FM & ZTV, 8pm) announced that the complete voters roll
would be available on March 8, a day before the elections. But the
reporter did not question the fact this does not give any time for
voters to inspect the roll before polling begins.
ZTV and Three FM (8pm) reported the number of people who have
registered. The reporter stated that 40,000 people who registered
after the extension of the voter registration exercise between
January 27 and March 3 would be added to the figures. There was
no breakdown of the figure province by province. Also, there was no
comparative analysis of the total number of registered voters for
this year's election with the number of those registered in the
In what it called a late news report, ZTV (8pm) quoted Information
Minister Jonathan Moyo accusing the media of misleading the
public by saying Mr. Mugabe had reintroduced the provisions of the
General Laws Amendment Act by decree. He said that was not
true as he reintroduced the Act constitutionally, giving the
impression that what Mr. Mugabe had done was normal and no
cause for concern. ZBC has yet to solicit comments from legal
experts or members of civic society or the public on the
implications the last-minute electoral amendments.
SW Radio Africa highlighted the harassment of MDC polling agents
in areas such as Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland East
following the publication of their names. MDC's election Director
Paul Themba Nyathi was quoted. No comment was sought from
relevant authorities.
Although BBC World News led with reports on the electoral
process in Zimbabwe, Joy TV cut this story in its 9pm rebroadcast
of BBC News coverage. It must be noted however, that BBC
inaccurately reported that the polling stations had not been
announced, ignoring the fact that polling stations were identified in
The Herald of March 6th.

CAMPAIGNS: ZTV carried a total of nine campaign stories, all of
which were ZANU PF campaign rallies and out of these, two were
repeats. ZTV allocated 13 minutes 25 seconds to ZANU PF in its
Newshour. Other parties' activities were not reported. 3FM had six
campaign reports and all were ZANU PF.
Radio Zimbabwe had four pro-ZANU PF reports. No other political
party was covered.

POLITICAL VIOLENCE: ZTV (8pm) reported that the country
remained generally peaceful and reported that five incidents of
violence were reported to the police in Harare but gave no further
details of the incidents. Instead, ZBC repeated the report on Endy
Mhlanga's attack allegedly by MDC supporters.
Three FM had two reports including a report on the attack on
Mhlanga. ZANU PF was blamed once while the MDC was blamed
Radio Zimbabwe, like other stations, reported that Mhlanga was
attacked by alleged MDC supporters.
SW Radio Africa reported two incidents of violence. One report was
an attack on MDC MP David Chaibva's house, while the other was
an attack on a Lion's Den farm owner and his tractor driver. In both
reports the victims were quoted giving an account of what
happened. The station stated that they could not get comment
from the police.


WE DIDN'T KNOW that the voter's registration exercise had been
extended to the 3rd of March. When did this happen and how come
we were not informed about it?
Diana P Chikuwa, Bulawayo

GOOD WORK GUYS - yes where are the observers - cars parked
at restaurants and nightclubs - yes they must eat so maybe that's
why they are spending so much time at restaurants and they must
unwind which means they must also visit nightclubs. Two days to
go and so many irregularities - it's depressing but do keep up the
good work.
Grace, Harare

PLEASE DON'T miss out Mugabe's? the? some? cattle went
astray ... ?we had to drive it back into the? or ?it was driven
back?" during yesterday's lies @ 8.
Sorry, I can't recall the exact wording, as I was a bit taken by
surprise, but he so nicely expressed his attitude towards THE
PEOPLE, his approach towards the electorate...
Anonymous, Harare

OVER THE LAST FEW DAYS the Daily News has repeatedly
published an article on a CZI meeting, held on 1 March, which has
serious factual errors. On Saturday 2 March they attributed
statements supposedly made by the Mashonaland Chamber of
Industries President, Mr. David Govere, to the CZI President, Mr.
Jacob Dube.
Mr. J.J Dube was nowhere near the meeting on the day in question.
On the 4th March they repeated the same mistake. When we called
the senior editors to alert them of this issue we were told to 'Put it
in writing'. These days when the political environment is rather
tense, it is unethical to attribute certain statements to an
organization when they have not done so, or worse still even if
certain statements were made, to attribute them to the wrong
person altogether. It shows that the journalist in question does not
know who the CZI President is, or has never spoken to him to
verify his facts.
It seems the Business Reporters at the Daily News have acquired
a habit of going to print, without verifying even the simplest of facts
with us. Last year, the Minister of Information and Publicity
erroneously reacted to a story about CZI, because the Daily News
had not bothered to check with us or get an update on the facts
pertaining to that issue. I think journalism requires that a bit of
footwork be done when publishing a story. It does not take
anything away just to pick up the phone and verify facts with an
organisation. Sometimes a retraction of the story is not good
enough to deal with the damage done.
Dakarayi Matanga, Advocacy & Public Relations Officer,
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries

This report was produced by the Media Monitoring Project
Zimbabwe, 15 Duthie Avenue, Alexandra Park, Harare, Tel/fax: 263
4 703702, E-mail:, Web:
Feel free to respond to MMPZ. We may not be able to respond to
everything, but we will look at each message. Also, please feel free
to circulate this message.

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Amid threats and violence, Zimbabweans prepare to vote for president


HARARE, Zimbabwe, March 8 — A day before Zimbabwe's presidential elections,
Stephen Bongozozo stood in line with hundreds of people Friday waiting for
corn meal and pleading for help to feed his hungry family.

       His country's economy has crashed. Hundreds of thousands of people
are desperately short of food. And political violence is rampant across the
land. But when he is asked about the election, he grows quiet.
       ''I can't talk too much. I don't know what might happen to me,'' the
36-year-old laborer said.
       As Zimbabweans prepare to vote Saturday and Sunday, many are
terrified to express an opinion about the most competitive elections in the
nation's history.
       Over the past two years, more than 150 people have been killed,
thousands tortured and 70,000 made homeless by political violence mainly
caused by ruling party militants, according to the Human Rights Forum, a
consortium of human rights groups.
       In what appeared to be a show of government force before voting
began, witnesses in Harare on Friday reported unusually heavy movements of
soldiers and military vehicles, including armored cars around the capital.
       No information on troop movements was available from the authorities.
       The few pre-election polls reveal more about voters' fears than about
whether President Robert Mugabe or Morgan Tsvangirai will win.
       In a market in the poor Glen Norah neighborhood of Harare, people
spoke Friday of militants from Mugabe's party living in a nearby camp who
invade the neighborhood every evening, drag off opposition supporters and
torture them.
       ''The electorate is totally intimidated,'' said Munyaradzi Bidi, the
director of Zim Rights, a local human rights group.
       The election is the biggest challenge to Mugabe, the 78-year-old head
of the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front party, since he led
Zimbabwe to independence in 1980.
       Mugabe has promised a host of public works initiatives if he is
re-elected and has pledged to continue his controversial program of seizing
white-owned farms and giving them to landless blacks.
       Campaigning under the slogan ''Do not betray your heritage,'' Mugabe
has called Tsvangirai a servant to white interests and Western powers who
want to see the country fail.
       At an election rally in Bindura, about 60 miles north of Harare,
Mugabe mocked the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, calling it
''the Members of Death Corporation.''
       ''(It) will be buried. We will deal with their ghost,'' Mugabe told
some 10,000 supporters.
       Tsvangirai, 49, is promising to revive the economy, end corruption
and promote a more orderly land reform system.
       At a campaign stop Friday in an industrial area of Harare, Tsvangirai
urged screaming supporters to vote despite the ''intimidation on a massive
       ''We will have the last laugh,'' he said. ''We must ensure this
victory is not stolen by Mugabe.''
       Human rights groups and many political analysts say the election
already is too tainted to be free and fair.
       The violence is rampant throughout the country, police have canceled
scores of opposition rallies and Mugabe has used his presidential powers to
restore controversial election laws struck down by the Supreme Court that
appear to make it easier to rig the vote.
       Late Friday, the opposition said the state was delaying the
accreditation of up to 15,000 polling agents representing the Movement for
Democratic Change just hours before voting was scheduled to begin.
       Opposition officials also said one of its lawmakers and several of
its polling agents were assaulted by uniformed troops in eastern Zimbabwe
       Two weeks ago, Tsvangirai was charged with treason in connection with
an alleged plot to assassinate Mugabe. In newspaper advertisements, the
ruling party calls the election a choice between ''Plots to Kill'' and
''Plots to Till.''
       At a recent Mugabe rally in the rural area of Chinhoyi, 75 miles
north of Harare, laborer Godfrey Jacob said he supported the president
because ''he fought for the liberation struggle.''
       When asked about Tsvangirai, Jacob said he did not know enough to
form an opinion since state-run radio and television, the only news source
in rural areas, nearly ignored the opposition candidate.
       Jim Zonda, a 75-year-old Mugabe supporter in Harare, said the
country's economy will revive once Mugabe is re-elected.
       ''Starting from tomorrow, everything will be all right,'' he said.
       But many opposition supporters in Harare, too frightened to give
their names, wondered why Mugabe was only going to fix the country after the
       ''There is no order in Zimbabwe,'' one man yelled as he walked away
from the food line.
       Joseph Mahutu, an unemployed 23-year-old, said he hopes the
opposition can bring real change to the country and end the violence and
economic destruction.
       ''We are expecting something better, maybe,'' he said.

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Zimbabwe polling stations close early to avoid wild animals

HARARE, March 8 — Some polling stations in rural areas of Zimbabwe will
close two hours early during this weekend's election to avoid voters being
devoured by wild animals.
       Official election regulations said polling stations in most areas
will open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (0500 to 1700 GMT) on both days of the
weekend election.
       But in areas where the population ran the risk of falling prey to
wild animals after dark, the polls would close at 5 p.m. (1500 GMT), the
regulations said.

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Independent (UK)

Profile: Robert Mugabe
The hero turned tyrant
by Kaizer Nyatsumba
09 March 2002

Born: Robert Gabriel Mugabe, the son of a village carpenter on 21 February
1924, in Kutama (in what was then Southern Rhodesia).

Family: First marriage to Sally Hayfron (died 1992) ­ they had one son who
died of cerebral malaria at the age of four; Mugabe remarried Grace Marufu,
his secretary, in 1998 ­ they have two sons, one daughter.

Education: Roman Catholic mission schools in Kutama and Empenden; Fort Hare
University, South Africa; degrees from Universities of London and South
Africa by correspondence.

Before politics: Began teaching at the Kutama mission in 1942 at the age of
18; from 1956 to 1960 taught at the St Mary Teacher Training College in
Accra, Ghana.

Politician and revolutionary: publicity secretary for Joshua Nkomo's
National Democratic Party (NDP), in opposition to the white-minority
government of Rhodesia,1960-61; the NDP was banned and replaced by the
Zimbabwe African People's Union (Zapu); Mugabe was arrested in 1963, but
escaped to Tanzania; he broke with Zapu to form Zimbabwe African National
Union (Zanu).

Political prisoner: Arrested in 1964 and held in detention or under
restrictions for the next 10 years, until he again escaped.

Path to power: Formed Zanu guerrillas in Mozambique, 1975; attended 1976
Geneva Conference and the 1979 Lancaster House talks that led to
independence; prime minister of Zimbabwe from 1980; President since 1988.

He says: "I have a degree in violence."

They say: "You have inherited a jewel. Keep it that way" ­ President Julius
Nyerere of Tanzania, said to Mugabe in 1980

Robert Mugabe, who fights the toughest election of his career this weekend,
has wielded power in Zimbabwe for two decades. Once a hero to many in
southern Africa, he has turned into a terrible embarrassment.

Even today, so many years later, I still remember the day in March 1980
after the results of the first all-inclusive elections in neighbouring
Rhodesia – soon to be renamed Zimbabwe – had been announced. I was then at
secondary school in what was then called Eastern Transvaal, now Mpumalanga,
in South Africa. Our headmaster – who, in keeping with the apartheid
provisions of South Africa's education authorities, hardly discussed
politics – was in a particularly jovial mood.

At huge risk to himself, he informed the school that the momentous elections
across our border had gone well and one Robert Gabriel Mugabe, the leader of
the Zimbabwe African National's Union (Zanu), had been elected that
country's first-ever black prime minister, with the Rev Ndabaningi Sithole
taking the then ceremonial position of state president. The school erupted
in euphoria. I, like many others, rushed home from school and turned on the
radio to listen to the news. One day, we hoped, it would be our turn to
celebrate our freedom.

Robert Mugabe was a man of whom we could not but be immensely proud. A
dapper man with a superb command of the English language, he was a delight
to listen to and an intellectual giant who could hold his own against – and
often dwarfed – fellow political leaders abroad. For many years, he seemed
the model of an African leader: he was well educated; he preached and
practised reconciliation and nation-building long before Nelson Mandela was
to do the same in a free South Africa; he studiously respected – and
governed under – an unfair constitution that had been the product of
negotiations between the then Rhodesian leader, Ian Smith, and the British
government; in his first few years in office he got his government to invest
heavily in education and health; he opposed the white minority government in
South Africa and assisted our liberation movements there.

Like many other African leaders of the time, however, Mr Mugabe – a
committed Marxist – believed in nationalisation and a one-party state. When
he came to power, he inherited an economy that was described by the World
Bank as being "more industrialised than most in Africa, with a diversified
productive base, well-developed infrastructure and a relatively
sophisticated financial sector". Twenty-two years later, Zimbabwe's economy
has shrunk, and the country is dependent on loans from institutions such as
that very same World Bank. Unemployment is widespread, with many people so
desperate that they accept farm or domestic jobs in South Africa at salaries
even some poor, illiterate black South Africans will not accept. Other
Zimbabweans are in South Africa's jails, imprisoned for crimes that include
being in the country illegally.

Since 1997, Zimbabwe has experienced an economic and social crisis induced
by declining prices for its key export products, increased debt and record
inflation. Investors have lost confidence. Recently, the country has hovered
on the brink of food shortages and has accepted help from Libya to stem a
fuel shortage.

Yet so much about Robert Mugabe – his family background, his education, and
his political experience – suggested that he should have made a good and
successful leader. Born the son of Gabriel and Bona Mugabe on 21 February,
1924, at Kutama Mission in what was then Southern Rhodesia, Mugabe was
educated in Jesuit missionary schools and qualified as a primary school
teacher in 1942. After six years, he won a scholarship to the University of
Fort Hare, in South Africa, where he rubbed shoulders with many future
African nationalist leaders, including Nelson Mandela. It was at Fort Hare,
the oldest black university in the region, that Mugabe became politicised.

A very good student, he gained a BA in education and a BSc in economics
before returning to Zimbabwe to teach. In later years he obtained six other
degrees, including two master's degrees (in law and economics), from London
University and the University of South Africa – all of them through

In May 1960 he abandoned teaching to work with Joshua Nkomo in the struggle
for Zimbabwean independence from British rule. He was first publicity
secretary and then acting secretary general in Mr Nkomo's Zimbabwe African
People's Union (Zapu). Three years later, after several arrests and
differences with the Zapu leadership, he left for Tanzania and co-founded
Zanu with the Rev Sithole.

The moment he returned to Rhodesia in 1964, he was arrested and sentenced to
10 years in prison. It was in prison that he was elected in absentia to
replace the Rev Sithole as Zanu leader, although it was not until 1976 that
he was finally recognised by Zanu's military wing as leader.

His first wife, the Ghanaian-born Sally, whom he married in 1961, died of
kidney failure in 1992. She was regarded as a major stabilising force in Mr
Mugabe's life and was popular with the public. Many Zimbabweans believe that
Mr Mugabe, who subsequently married his secretary Grace Marufu, who was 40
years his junior, never recovered from Sally's death.

Mr Mugabe was regarded as a dark horse in the 1980 elections that followed
the Lancaster House Agreement of 1979 and surprised many when he formed a
government of national unity with Mr Nkomo and appointed some of his former
white adversaries to his government. He came across as reason personified,
building schools and hospitals and promoting agriculture for small peasant
farmers. Of Britain, with which he has recently been locked in a vicious
propaganda war, he said then: "The historical links between the UK and
Zimbabwe... have gone from strength to strength..."

Quite a different, and much uglier, side to Mr Mugabe emerged two years
later. After falling out with Mr Nkomo and dismissing him from the
government, he dealt very harshly with opponents in Mr Nkomo's Matabeleland,
unleashing the Korean-trained Fifth Brigade on the minority Ndebele tribe.
An estimated 20 000 people were killed. Mr Mugabe expressed regret for the
killings at Mr Nkomo's funeral three years ago.

In 1987, Mr Mugabe became executive president of Zanu-PF (Patriotic Front),
the party that resulted from a merger between his own Zanu and Mr Nkomo's
Zapu. Mr Nkomo became one of two vice-presidents. Three years later, Mr
Mugabe won 78 per cent of the popular vote; he was re-elected again six
years ago.

In his 22-year rule, President Mugabe's chief flaw as a politician – a flaw
that could turn out to be a fatal liability – has been his inability to deal
with opposition. The ruthless repression in Matabeleland was the first
example. More recently, it has come to the fore again in the way he has
treated the fledgling Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), whose leader,
Morgan Tsvangirai, is challenging him for the presidency this weekend. Mr
Mugabe has managed to turn a legitimate grievance of many Zimbabweans – the
land inequity between blacks and whites – into a potent political weapon to
use against his rival.

It should be pointed out that Mr Mugabe, like many black Zimbabweans,
justifiably resents the shackling of his government on the land question in
the Lancaster House accord. He wants his lasting legacy to his country to be
a return of the land to blacks. If land were the only problem facing
Zimbabwe in the past two years, however, it might be possible to think of Mr
Mugabe more kindly. But it is not. As president, Mr Mugabe has forced
independent judges to resign, prevented journalists – both foreign and
local – from reporting freely on developments in the country, passed laws
intended to disadvantage the opposition and used the state-owned media to
unleash a vicious propaganda campaign against the MDC and its leader.

These actions have lost Mr Mugabe many friends and admirers, such as South
Africa's influential Nobel peace prize winners, Nelson Mandela and
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who have each expressed great disappointment.
"Mugabe," said Archbishop Tutu four months ago, "seems to have gone bonkers
in a big way. It is very dangerous when you subvert the rule of law in your
country, when you don't even respect the judgements of your judges... then
you are on the slippery slope of perdition... He's almost a caricature of
all the things that people think black African leaders do. He seems to be
wanting to make a cartoon of himself."

Denouncing "African tyrants" without naming the Zimbabwean leader, Mr
Mandela urged the public to bring down leaders who thought they had a right
to rule forever. "Rubbing shoulders with the rich, the powerful (and) the
wealthy has made some leaders despise the very people who put them in power,
and they think it is their privilege to be there for eternity."

Will Mr Mugabe still be president after this weekend's elections? Will he
accept defeat if he loses? Nobody knows, although he surprised many when he
graciously conceded the defeat of his referendum on a new constitution in
2000. He praised "the rare sense of order, maturity and tolerance" that had
prevailed and said the world now knew Zimbabwe as a country where people
with opposing views could vote peacefully side by side.

After parliamentary elections four months later, when his party won the
narrowest victory since independence, he again called for reconciliation,
urged "unity across race, tribe and ethnicity" and said that international
observers who had doubted his country's commitment to democracy should "go
away both humbled and educated".

Will he be similarly magnanimous in the event of a defeat in this weekend's
elections? Will he gloat if he manages to pull off a victory of sorts? And
will the country be at peace this time next week?

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Friday, 8 March, 2002, 16:07 GMT
A journey into Zimbabwe
Matabeleland warriors
Matabeleland has witnessed some of the worst crimes of the Mugabe era
test hello test
By the BBC's Fergal Keane in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe

If you didn't know what had happened there, you'd believe it to be the most beautiful place in all of Africa.

But in Matabeleland even a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I am not at all a superstitious person, but I have always found places where terrible things have happened, seriously unsettling.

And if you have read the tour guide's brief history of Matabeleland you learn enough to feel, well, at the least unsettled.

Map of Matabeleland
I was carrying a guide book. I was in Matabeleland as a tourist. I wore a South African rugby jersey, a pair of bush shorts, a baseball cap and carried my wildlife books in a rucksack.

I looked like one of those white Johannesburgers who raves about having a mystical attachment to the bush, but who never ever succeeds in looking anything other than a large, white man in Africa.

The disguise fooled the officials at passport control, though there was a nervous moment when I was asked exactly what kind of work I did.

Going undercover

You may find this hard to believe, but lying does not automatically come easy to a journalist.

I had to think quickly, and sought refuge in my favourite hobby.

"I am a fisheries expert," I said.

"What does that mean?" said the official.

"It means I try to stop foreigners stealing my country's fish," I replied.

In a country in the grip of state paranoia, a tourist with a camera and a notebook tends to stand out

At this the official burst out laughing, stamped my passport and bid me on my way.

The difficult thing about being a tourist who has a lot of journalistic work to do is that you do have to go through the motions of being a tourist.

In a country in the grip of state paranoia, full of spies and government lickspittles a tourist with a camera and a notebook tends to stand out.

So every day I and my colleagues did something touristy.

One morning the tour guide suggested we go and view some Rhino in a game park.

We headed out in the warm, early sun, the glorious silence of the bush punctuated by the endless chatter of two elderly Italian ladies seated in front.

I have a feeling they were the only genuine tourists in Zimbabwe.

We quickly came across some Rhino munching happily in the thorn bush.

I was quite happy to observe this from the Landrover - the Italians wanted to get up close and the guide reluctantly agreed to lead them into the bush.

I was shamed into following.

The problem was that the Italian ladies would not stop chattering. The guide pleaded and for a few minutes the torrent subsided.

But then it resumed, and as it did the Rhino caught our scent on the wind. There was a fierce snorting from the other side of the bush, a loud rumble and then the sound of huge animals galloping - away from us.

I pictured the headline: "BBC undercover man gored by rhino."

And then the thought of leaving hospital only to enter the tender care of Mr Mugabe's security police.

Past atrocities

Most of my time in Matabeleland was spent travelling, for I had come to Matabeleland to investigate the worst crimes of the Robert Mugabe era - atrocities committed nearly 20 years ago when Britain and the rest of western countries believed he was a good thing for his nation, or at least if they thought otherwise they were diplomatic enough to keep any doubts to themselves.

President Robert Mugabe
People in Matabeleland still fear what Mugabe's men will do next
In January 1983 Robert Mugabe sent the North Korean trained Fifth Brigade of his national army into Zimbabwe.

When they were withdrawn nearly two years later between 10,000 to 20,000 people were dead and an entire population traumatised.

It was a campaign of rape, torture and mass killing - Mugabe called his men the Gukuruhundi: the storm that sweeps away the chaff.

In Bulawayo - the main town of Matabeleland - the memories of that terrible period are undimmed.

And there is fear about what Mugabe's men may do next.

One morning as I was playing the tourist in the city centre, I encountered a large group of young men carrying posters of Mugabe.

I smiled at them but they glowered back.

"Go away white man," said another.

Speaking out

I was on my way to the Roman Catholic cathedral to meet one of the bravest men in Africa.

My secretary was worried that I might endanger myself, but I have to speak out. How can you not speak out?

Archbishop Pius Ncube

Archbishop Pius Ncube has been campaigning on behalf of victims of the 5th Brigade for years, and he is hated by Robert Mugabe.

I asked him if he was worried about doing an interview.

"My secretary was worried that I might endanger myself, but I have to speak out. How can you not speak out?" he said.

I have returned safely from Zimbabwe.

But Bishop Ncube is still there, still speaking out, still being threatened.

Whenever you are tempted to despair of Africa and its seemingly unending miseries, think of the Bishop with no other weapon but his courage.

Think of him and be comforted.

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World Bank


While Western sanctions might help [undermining Robert Mugabe's regime],
African sanctions would be far more meaningful, writes George B.N. Ayittey
of American University in the Wall Street Journal Europe (p. A8). Turmoil in
Zimbabwe, after all, could destabilize the entire southern African region.
Foreign investors have long since fled and over 500,000 Zimbabweans have
become refugees in South Africa. As long as the political turmoil in
Zimbabwe continues, the various "African Renaissance" plans leaders have
drawn up to revitalize the continent will never be more than slogans.

If Zimbabwe blows, African leaders must be held collectively responsible for
failing to take care of their own, Ayittey says. Time and again, when a
crisis brews in an African country, the leaders do the watusi. They wait
until it explodes then badger the international community for assistance. At
the July 2000 OAU Summit in Lome, Togo, African leaders called for a $13
billion "Marshall Aid" compensation package for Rwanda. The demand grew out
of the OAU inquiry into the 1994 Rwandan genocide, which blamed Western
powers for failing to intervene to stop the mass slaughter. But did these
leaders themselves intervene in Rwanda? In Zimbabwe?

Last Tuesday, President Bush met a delegation of southern African leaders
from Angola, Botswana and Mozambique, seeking aid. He should have sent them
back to Zimbabwe. Promises from donors, like that given by Canadian Prime
Minister Jean Chretien recently for $500 million toward African development,
must reflect confidence that it will be well spent.

Withholding aid is a way to introduce accountability to a situation that has
seen little. The international community cannot take Africa seriously if its
own leaders aren't serious about solving its problems. That, after all, is
what Mugabe told African heads of state when he took action against
Nigeria's brutal military regime, Ayittey says.

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Mugabe vows to "bury" Blair

08 March, 2002 15:23 GMT

Reuters Photo
By Nicholas Kotch

BINDURA, Zimbabwe (Reuters) - President Robert Mugabe has launched a fierce
attack on Prime Minister Tony Blair, calling him "an arrogant little

In an hour-long address to more than 15,000 supporters at the 50th and final
rally of his re-election campaign, Mugabe dismissed the challenge from
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, calling him a British puppet.

"There will be resounding victory when the results are announced on Monday,"
he said on Friday.

He devoted most of his speech to an attack on the British government. "We
will bury (the opposition's) sponsor. Mr Blair will have a political burial
here tomorrow."

Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, said
had worked well with Blair's predecessor, Conservative Party Prime Minister
John Major, and even with Margaret Thatcher.

"Not so with this arrogant little fellow (Blair). He's far too superior to
talk to this black native, Mugabe," he said.

Looking confident in a campaign shirt bearing his own image and flanked by
ministers and top officials of his ruling ZANU-PF, Mugabe scoffed at opinion
polls predicting his defeat in the two-day election.

"Take your poll here," he said, gesturing to the polite crowd who waited
nearly four hours in hot sun to hear him speak.

"Can anyone doubt there will be resounding victory?"

South African Minister of Safety and Security Steve Tshwete attended the
rally, watching from the sidelines under a shelter set up for guests.

The violent campaign in Zimbabwe and the country's crumbling economy have
caused concern in South Africa and battered its currency, which on Friday
fell to its lowest level since January.

Mugabe's second wife, Grace, said in an earlier address she was confident
her husband would extend his 22-year rule.

Referring to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), she said
to laughter: ""They formed a movement, the Movement for Dogs and Cats....We
have two days to silence them."

Mugabe also mocked MDC, calling it "the movement for dead crooks, cheats and

"If they come back to life...we will deal with their ghosts as well," he

Mugabe blamed the MDC for campaign violence that, according to independent
monitors, has killed 33 people this year alone.

He warned that if the MDC did not stop "the arms of the law will deal with
them very sternly."

Independent observers blame most election violence on supporters of Mugabe's

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Zimbabwe's Mugabe likes withering rhetoric

HARARE, March 8 — Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, facing his strongest challenge
in 22 years of power, has cranked up the rhetoric ahead of presidential
elections this weekend.
       Mugabe, a stirring orator with a fondness for Shakespeare and florid
phrases, has lashed former colonial ruler Britain and Zimbabwe's white
minority, accusing them of backing opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai.
       Here are some quotes from one of the last Big Men of Africa: -''But
of course we say, 'Go to hell. Go to hell.' Our people have decided and that
is what matters to us. It's not the right or responsibility of the British
to decide on our elections.... why should they poke their pink noses in our
business?'' - Mugabe castigates British calls for Commonwealth sanctions
against him.

''You suffered for this country while the Tsvangirais fled the war...Now he
is licking the white man's boots'' - Mugabe referring to his rival's lack of
a record in the independence war.
''We may ridicule some of the things that are happening there (Britain). Man
marries man, woman marries woman. It's a strange world they live in'' -
Mugabe on gays in Britain.
''We should have taken his head long ago. It belongs to us, but we allowed
him to keep his head. We should have beheaded him'' - Mugabe responds to
criticism from former Rhodesian leader Ian Smith. - ''This fist is 78 years
old and has 78 horespower that could send Mr. Tsvangirai to the ground if we
were to get into the ring'' - Mugabe answers critics on his 78th birthday. -
''What do I have to go to Britain for? A wretched country, dreadful'' -
Mugabe fires back at British sanctions.
''Did we interfere with presidential elections in Florida? No, we did not.
So why should America want to interfere in our elections'' - Mugabe responds
to U.S. sanctions threat.
''Where we are going, it is not like the parliamentary elections, which was
like a football game where I was centre striker. This is total war'' -
Mugabe tells ruling party congress after being confirmed presidential
candidate. - ''The biggest prayer of my life is that God gives me more life
to see me through the land issue. I have the backbone to pull through, the
courage and I am fearless, but I need God's blessings. I am human'' - Mugabe
says of campaign to seize white-owned land. - ''If we lose it (independence)
now then we will have betrayed those who have gone before us. The old man
left us united...but now the (opposition) MDC wants to break that unity'' -
Mugabe evokes memory of revered nationalist leader Joshua Nkomo.
''Nothing will come my way in a manner that will make me surrender. I don't
know the word surrender'' - Mugabe vowing to win presidential election.

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U.K., Zimbabwe bound by history

Ahead of polls, former colony and ruler lock horns
Tony Blair and Robert Mugabe

By Daniel Strieff

LONDON, March 8 —  Zimbabweans head to the polls this weekend in a tightly
contested presidential election that will see incumbent Robert Mugabe try to
extend his 22 years in power. During a campaign marred by violence,
accusations of vote rigging and an alleged assassination plot, Britain has
tried to walk a fine line between former colonial ruler and a proponent of
democracy angry that a leader has led his nation toward economic meltdown
and widespread lawlessness.
BRITAIN HAS BEEN fiercely critical of Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s only ruler since
the end of white minority rule in 1980.
       The British have raised Mugabe’s ire by voicing support for the main
opposition candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, who poses the greatest threat yet
to Mugabe’s reign.
       Zimbabwe is a country in crisis. Mugabe’s controversial land
redistribution program — characterized by the seizure of white commercial
farmers’ lands by militant supporters of his Zimbabwe African National
Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), has depleted the country’s food stores and
ravaged the agriculture industry.
       Most estimates for unemployment hover around 60 percent, and
inflation is at nearly 120 percent.
       Violence has become widespread. Tsvangirai’s opposition party, the
Movement for Democratic Change, claims at least 107 of its supporters have
been killed by pro-Mugabe militants in two years of violence.
       Mugabe has also accused Tsvangirai of treason — a crime punishable by
death — based on a highly controversial video purportedly showing the former
labor leader discussing the president’s “elimination.” Tsvangirai denies the
 Newsweek: Unfree and unfair?
 To add insult to injury, Zimbabwe, once known as the “breadbasket of
Africa,” is suffering a crippling drought. But Mugabe has failed to put
forth a viable plan to stem a virtual famine.

       Those key issues have “put Britain and Zimbabwe in the political
boxing ring,” said Dapo Oyewoule of the Center for Democracy and
       British Prime Minister Tony Blair has described the present situation
in Zimbabwe as a “political outrage” and called Mugabe’s actions “completely
undemocratic and wrong and dictatorial.”
       Britain successfully lobbied for the European Union to impose “smart
sanctions” on Zimbabwe and pushed hard for similar measures in the 54-nation
Commonwealth meeting last weekend, but was unsuccessful.

       Britain formally left what was then Rhodesia in 1922 in the hands of
a white minority government.
       Mugabe became one of Africa’s most celebrated “freedom fighters” when
he waged guerrilla war against that government. A British-mediated accord
brought peace and majority rule, and Mugabe won the first independent
elections in 1980. The 78-year-old autocrat has ruled ever since through
violence, intimidation and steady economic decline.
       “It is impossible for Britain to totally disregard its role as former
colonial power,” Oyewoule said. “Whatever pronouncements Britain makes will
always have those ties.”

       Mugabe has used those colonial links to his advantage throughout his

        He has trumped his land reform program as an attempt to right the
wrongs of colonialism, and in the process fulfilled a long-delayed promise
of granting veterans of the war for independence plots of land. In a recent
Newsweek interview, Mugabe said that roughly 6,000 white farmers owning the
most fertile land while many poor blacks remain landless constituted “the
grievance of all grievances.”
       About 1,500 white-owned farms have been invaded in the past two
years, with some of the farmers killed while defending their properties.
Whites make up about one in 17 of Zimbabwe’s 11 million people.
       Mugabe’s ZANU-PF also describes Tsvangirai’s MCD as a
“white-sponsored elitist party” and the opposition leader as a puppet for
white interests.
        “Britain is now getting very interested in the affairs of Zimbabwe
because white interests are being threatened,” said Dr. Charles Alao of the
Center for Defense Studies at King’s College, London.
       “It’s true that Mugabe is mismanaging his country” but few African
nations have backed Britain’s hard-line toward Zimbabwe, Alao said, because
of London’s relative silence during years of a brutal military regime in
Nigeria and throughout South Africa’s racist apartheid system.

       By giving its implicit support for Tsvangirai ahead of the election,
London has gone against the norms of international diplomacy with a fellow
democratic state, analysts say.
       “It goes against the principle of non-involvement in foreign affairs
[and] is an indication of how bad Britain thinks Mugabe is,” Dr. Richard
Connaughton, of the Center for Defense and International Strategic Studies,

        “Blair has probably overdone it,” said Connaughton. “The prime
minister is throwing coal on the fire. Because of the colonial connection
you need to be subtle.”
       Gerry Jackson, station manager for SW Africa Radio, which broadcasts
short wave radio programs to Zimbabwe from its London headquarters, said
Britain has a role in helping its former colony but shouldn’t expect to
provide a solution to all that ails Zimbabwe.
        “Ultimately Zimbabwe is an African problem and it needs to be dealt
with by Zimbabweans and others in the region,” said Jackson, who set up the
station after Mugabe’s draconian new media laws shut down all independent
broadcasts within Zimbabwe.

       Blair and Mugabe have shown an open disdain for one another during a
campaign that has been characterized by bellicose, sharp-edged rhetoric.
       “What we have seen in Zimbabwe is that there has been more of a
direct confrontation, where it’s not just a matter of diplomatic discourse,
but the comments that have been surfacing lately have seemed almost
personal,” Oyewoule.
       At last month’s Commonwealth meeting in Australia, Mugabe’s
information minister, Jonathan Moyo, told Blair to “shut up” and mind to his
own country’s affairs.
       “Hitherto, we are used to a level of decorum in the way leaders
express disagreements but it’s very unfortunate that it’s descended to this
level,” Alao said.
       The day after Blair expressed optimism that Tsvangirai still had a
chance to win the election, Mugabe struck back, telling Britain to “go to
       “Why should they poke their pink noses in our business?,” the
state-run Herald newspaper quoted him as saying.
       In a sharp retort, Britain’s Sun tabloid wrote, “Fair enough. We know
we’d be meeting you there, big mouth.”
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Business Day

Rand tumbles ahead of Zimbabwe vote

By Ray Faure
The South African rand tumbled another 62 cents to 12.2250 against the
dollar on Friday - its worst level in more than two months - as concerns
mounted ahead of this weekend's presidential elections in neighbouring

The fall against some of the other major currencies was even more dramatic -
a whopping 102 cents against the euro and 82 cents against the British

Dealers said local players were scrambling for hard currencies in a bid to
cover short positions ahead of the Zimbabwean elections, the country's first
hotly contested presidential poll, the run-up to which has been marred by

A welcome entry by exporters into the market during the afternoon session
saw the rand reverse some of its losses, but it was still on shaky ground
when the local market closed.

At 4pm on Friday the rand was trading at 11.7750 to the dollar, from its
overnight close of 11.6025, having regained some 45 cents against the
greenback during the course of the afternoon.

It was also looking a bit better against the other currencies.

Against sterling it was at 16.7867 with an intraday worst level of 17.3963,
having closed at 16.5780 overnight. After earlier hitting 10.7298 against
the euro, it was last trading at 10.3361 off a previous close of 10.2214.

After improving to a three-month best of 10.80 against the dollar earlier
this week, the rand suddenly started retracing late Wednesday and then fell
dramatically overnight on Thursday, hitting 11.60 against the dollar
overnight - a loss of more than 50 cents.

This means the rand has lost 112 cents against the greenback in less than 24

"Players have been scrambling to cover short positions ahead of the
Zimbabwean elections, desperately trying to get their hands on some hard
currency," a dealer said.

"Given the violence and intimidation ahead of the elections, the market is
worried about what could happen during the poll itself as well as the
outcome," another dealer said.

Dealers said demand for dollars had been particularly strong over the past
two days.

This is in contrast with many other markets at the moment which are moving
away from the dollar in the belief that other currencies are likely to gain
more from the global economic recovery already under way.

The dollar slipped to one-year lows against the Thai baht and yen on
Thursday and was at its weakest against and most other Asian currencies
since mid-December.

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New Zealand Herald

Zimbabwean expats fear for friends and families

Nicky Rijns will be waiting anxiously by the phone to hear from her father
in Zimbabwe this weekend.

He is one of 5.6 million people voting in elections which have been plagued
by reports of poll fixing and intimidation.

Mrs Rijns, like many other Zimbabweans living in Auckland, is worried about
the mounting violence and what will happen if the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change party is voted in.

At the same time, she fears what will happen if President Robert Mugabe
retains his leadership.

"The worst scenario is anarchy and civil war. We are just sort of hoping
things will be calm."

Mrs Rijns and her South African husband, Kevin, have followed the election
buildup and say things are getting worse by the day.

They say Mr Mugabe was originally a good President, but he has turned into a
dictator who follows his own law.

Howick woman Michelle Gratwicke and her husband, David, are another couple
watching anxiously.

Last night they joined other concerned Zimbabweans and South Africans at
Howick Intermediate School, where a special prayer was said for family and
friends in Zimbabwe.

The Gratwickes came to New Zealand 18 months ago to escape the violence.
Their friends and family still live in Zimbabwe.

"We are very apprehensive and have already made plans to phone family at a
certain time," Mrs Gratwicke said.

She spoke to her mother in Zimbabwe on Thursday night and she described the
mood as tense.

"They know that things aren't going well. They are all basically staying at
home with their doors locked and not going anywhere."

Like the Rijns, Mrs Gratwicke is doubtful the opposition will be elected.

"If the opposition does get in, there will be a coup."

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ZIMBABWE: Political violence scars women

JOHANNESBURG, 8 March (IRIN) - While men have been the high profile targets of Zimbabwe's political violence, concern is beginning to emerge that women may have been its hidden victims.

Young men have been at the forefront of political activism in the run-up to this weekend's presidential election. As a consequence, "it is quite noticeable that in the past six weeks there have been far more injured men that have made it to our offices", said Francis Lovemore of the Amani Trust, an organisation specialising in the rehabilitation of torture vicitms.

"Women are not coming forward, especially where rape is concerned," she said. Poverty, fear and shame may be behind the reluctance of women from the rural areas, where much of the violence has taken place, to report their experiences.

"It's only after [the election] that we will start investigating further and we'll see how many people have been affected," Lovemore said.

But already there is evidence that rape has been deliberately used as part of the "torture process" against women, allegedly by pro-government militia, the Amani Trust said.

One aspect has been the use of public rape against perceived political opponents. Lovemore said five women had come forward since January to report that they were forced to have sex in front of witnesses at militia bases in Muzarabani and Murehwa, north of the capital Harare. They all contracted sexually transmitted diseases, she added.

There has also been a case of two men who were coerced into sexual acts, Lovemore noted, as part of the same political terror. The Amani Trust has helped a total of 300 victims of violence since January.

According to Nancy Kachingwe of the NGO network Mwengo, it is not only the physical impact of Zimbabwe's political violence that has affected women. Lack of access for civil society to rural communities across much of Zimbabwe has hurt empowerment programmes.

"The women's movement has been at a loss to respond to the situation," Kachingwe said. "In the past voter education was directed at women. Now, grassroots fieldworkers can't operate in some constituencies."

Zimbabwe's opposition movement was to an extent kicked off by a woman - Margaret Dongo, who as an independent won a seat in Harare in 1995. But the climate of political violence has tended to rob women of a high profile role in the current campaign.

"The situation continues to relegate us to cheerleaders, spectators and victims in this entire process," Kachingwe observed.
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SOUTH AFRICA-ZIMBABWE: Mbeki strikes back

JOHANNESBURG, 8 March (IRIN) - As the reported death toll from political violence rose to 33 on Friday, South African President Thabo Mbeki hit out at "white supremacists" critical of the Commonwealth and African response to Zimbabwe's deepening crisis. 

This comes after British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned African leaders this week that their African recovery plan could be jeopardised by the growing political and humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe.

Blair, who had denounced the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) statement on Zimbabwe as "the lowest common denominator", warned this week that: "The reason I feel strongly about Zimbabwe is I know that if there is any sense in which African countries appear to be ambivalent towards good governance, that is the one thing that will undermine the confidence of the developed world in helping them."

Mbeki is one of the drafters of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) and was among African leaders who refused to bow to pressure from fellow Commonwealth nations, such as Britain, to take punitive action against Zimbabwe at last week's meeting in Australia.

President Robert Mugabe faces the greatest challenge yet to his two-decade rule in the form of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Violence and political intolerance have been prevalent in the run-up to the poll. And as the death toll mounts, Mugabe has come under increasing international criticism and pressure. The European Union instituted "smart sanctions" against Mugabe and 19 close associates last month.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has also expressed concern about violence during and after Zimbabwe's presidential election this weekend and has called for "utmost restraint". 

Annan said in a statement: "I remain acutely concerned at reports that the elections may be accompanied or followed by violence." He urged Zimbabwe's electorate to "exercise their democratic right to vote for the candidate of their choice, without fear and in the knowledge that the ballot is secret".

Mbeki, meanwhile, has reacted angrily to the mounting criticism of the reaction to the political and humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe by Southern Africa and CHOGM. CHOGM decided to take no action on Zimbabwe until after the election, and then, only if the report from it's observer team is adverse. The "troika" of Mbeki, Nigerian President Olusegan Obasanjo and Australian Prime Minister John Howard have been mandated to decide - in consultation with the Commonwealth secretary-general - what action, if any, should be taken.

In his weekly ANC Today on-line letter Mbeki wrote: "Unfortunately, some have chosen to describe this troika as 'two blacks and one white'. This is consistent with an equally unfortunate, false and dangerous presentation of the debate on Zimbabwe at CHOGM as having been characterised by a division between a black Commonwealth and a white Commonwealth. This characterisation is factually untrue."

This "provides a stark example of the extent to which international relations and values of good and bad, in the eyes of some, including sections of the media globally, are still defined according to the historic black-white divide. Those who have superimposed this divide on the proceedings of CHOGM have argued that:

"CHOGM split on the basis of race and colour, with the Africans, in particular, dominating the black faction; the white Commonwealth, represented by Australia, the UK, Canada and New Zealand, spoke as one; (interestingly nothing is said about Malta and Cyprus); this white Commonwealth stood up in defence of the values of democracy, and therefore urged the imposition of sanctions against Zimbabwe; the black Commonwealth acted in solidarity with the government of Zimbabwe, vetoed sanctions and demonstrated complete disregard and contempt for the democratic values formally proclaimed by the Commonwealth."
Mbeki argued that such commentators believed "the white Commonwealth is the repository of these democratic values and practices" while "the black Commonwealth merely pays lip service to these values and practices".

Such individuals held the view that: "The 'victory' of the black Commonwealth, as represented by the statement on Zimbabwe, constituted a 'cop-out' which undermined the credibility of the Commonwealth, (Blair's statement that it was) 'the lowest common denominator', with CHOGM proving to be 'a rank failure'; and, to sustain its credibility, and for CHOGM to be a success, all the Commonwealth had to do at Coolum was to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe."
Mbeki said: "According to this view, the white world represents the best in human civilisation. The black world does not."

"Whereas the white Rhodesian Smith regime killed thousands of black people, it was nevertheless less offensive and more acceptable than the elected Mugabe government, because all that it did, after all, was merely to kill black people."

Mbeki invited "those inspired by notions of white supremacy" to leave the Commonwealth if they felt "that membership of the association reduces them to a repugnant position imposed by inferior blacks".

But as Mbeki expressed his views on the debate around CHOGM and Zimbabwe on the eve of its controversial election, the South African rand plunged, indicating "Zimbabwe jitters" among traders.

Reuters reported that the rand plunged against the dollar, British pound and euro as financial markets began to panic.

Early in the day the rand slid by more than 5 percent to 12,21 against the dollar - a loss of nearly 10 percent from its early Thursday level of 10,98 - with traders warning a test of its late December low of 13,85 could be on the cards.

Later in the day it had clawed back a hefty chunk of lost ground to reach 11,6630 against the dollar.

The full text of the letter can be read at:
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Independent (UK)

Basildon Peta: Mugabe's lust for power is at core of nation's crisis
09 March 2002
When I requested an interview with Robert Mugabe in 1997 I was told the
President would be too busy until 2001. In February last year I applied
again but was told by his aides that I should try again towards the end of
2004. It was not my wish, I protested, to interview Mr Mugabe in his
retirement. "You are joking," the officer laughed. That is when it began
dawning on me that the President had no wish to relinquish power at the end
of his fourth term.

One of the crudest indicators yet that Mr Mugabe is still determined to
retain power at any cost was his decision to award himself a hefty pay
increase just one day before Zimbabweans begin polling in this weekend's
presidential election. This shows the extent to which the President has
convinced himself that he has oiled his infrastructure to rig the
presidential poll and remain in power.

Zimbabwe has been in crisis since February 2000, when Mr Mugabe lost a
referendum on his authoritarian draft constitution and responded by
unleashing his militant supporters in an orgy of violence in white
commercial farms. The crisis has deepened by the day and the country is now
in ruins.

Mr Mugabe has been unrelenting in his drive to convince the world that land
is at the core of the crisis. He has identified Tony Blair and his "gay
gangsters" as the root of the problems. But the real cause of this disaster
is Robert Mugabe himself, and his lust for power.

Mr Mugabe no longer has any political philosophy beyond maintaining himself
in power, and to this end he has unashamedly mortgaged the entire nation.
The parlous economy – with inflation at a record 117 per cent, unemployment
at 60 per cent, mass poverty and collapsing infrastructure and social
services – has not featured as an issue in the President's campaign
rhetoric. A novice of Zimbabwean politics who has attentively listened to Mr
Mugabe's speeches on the stump would be forgiven for assuming that either
Tony Blair or the chairman of a homosexual club is the President's main
opponent in the electoral contest.

Mr Mugabe's land policies have trashed a once-prosperous economy. And still
he pushes for a violent land redistribution, to justify the myth of a third
Chimurenga (revolution) and create chaos that could let him cling to power.
Zimbabwe will not have peaceful land redistribution under Mr Mugabe because
that wouldn't help his ambition to stay on.

Seizing large-scale commercial farms and cutting them into tiny pieces for
black peasants who are not backed by any resources is not rational land
redistribution – it is the fastest way to destroy an economy in an era where
the world has moved towards mechanisation of agriculture. These policies are
in effect taking Zimbabwe back to the Stone Age, creating a nation of surfs
and peasants.

The institutions of democracy – the judiciary, the media – meanwhile have
all suffered in Mr Mugabe's bid to remain in power. Zimbabwe and Africa do
not need this tyrant. He must go.

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--> Guardian

U.S. Assails Zimbabwe's Ruling Party

Friday March 8, 2002 10:20 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) - On the eve of elections in Zimbabwe, the State Department
accused the country's ruling party of resorting to violence, intimidation
and manipulation to ensure President Robert Mugabe's re-election.

``It is clear that the government intends to win the election by any
means,'' spokesman Richard Boucher said Friday. The election will take place
Saturday and Sunday.

Opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai is giving Mugabe his first major
political challenge since Mugabe took office as the country's first
post-independence leader 22 years ago.

Boucher alleged:

-Ruling party youth militia, sometimes with the aid of the police, operate
freely throughout the country, intimidating and assaulting opposition

-In some urban areas, the source of much opposition support, the government
has reduced the number of polling stations by as much as half.

-There has been an increase in the number of polling stations in rural
areas, traditionally centers of support for the ruling party.

-The government will use civil servants to monitor the voting and counting
instead of representatives of nongovernment organizations. This removes ``an
important safeguard for the integrity of the vote count.''

-The independent press has been barred from distributing papers in many
rural areas, leaving a large segment of the population with access only to
government media sources.

-Military personnel are being forced to vote in front of commanding officers
and to use numbered ballots with their names printed on the return

Boucher's criticism of the process was echoed by Senate Foreign Relations
Committee chairman Joseph Biden, D-Del.; the committee's ranking Republican
member, Jesse Helms, R-N.C.; and Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn.

``We are greatly concerned over the political violence in Zimbabwe that
threatens the legitimacy of this weekend's presidential election,'' the
three said in a statement.
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