JAG SITREP 09 October 2002
Sam Cawood (74), is in the
process of restocking and selling his pedigree
beef herd on the back of
forced eviction. In the past couple of days he
has been loading up cows to go
for slaughter, and has had no alternative
but to slaughter the calves in situ
on the farm, as the only humane
alternative to letting them starve. He was
not allowed back on the farm
to slaughter the calves himself, and therefore
had to instruct his
employees to kill the calves with an axe. This was a
for all involved, as any farmer or farm worker who has any
their cattle can testify.
He was arrested today and held
in custody in Beitbridge, charged under
the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Act (allegedly for stoning the
animals in question). In the light of the past
season's drought, numerous
fires around the country, many farmers are in the
same predicament, and
have no alternative but to send their cattle to be
Forrester Estates, J Section.
(the owner's son) was abducted at 16h45 on Monday after
an altercation with
war veterans about planting tobacco. This was the
third planting stoppage.
Heindrich was taken to the Zanu PF camp at
Zvimbo growth point in Chiweshe
communal area. He was released at 19h15.
Work is currently confined to the
barns area and harvesting the wheat
lawyer, JACOB JOGI from Stumbles and Rowe was arrested in
Harare on Monday
night. Jogi was involved in negotiations with the GMB to
move the maize off
Craig's farm in Tengwe, because Werritt has been
unable to return since he
was chased off three weeks ago.
Following the ultimatum
delivered two days ago, many farmers have
temporarily vacated their farms
with a minimum of possessions. Many are
relocating to Triangle/Chiredzi,
where they plan to be resident for the
short term. They are still determined
to harvest the cane crop from their
farms within the next 4-6
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09 Oct 2002 19:10
Political unstability worsens
HARARE, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Political and social instability in Africa
to seriously disrupt health services in the continent, one of the
in the world by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, a World Health
said on Wednesday.
The report, released at an annual meeting of
African health ministers,
said that although a few countries in the continent
had stabilised or even
reversed the upward trend in HIV transmission,
"progress against the
HIV/AIDS pandemic is unsatisfactory in most countries
of the region".
"Social and political instability, including war
and mass population
displacement in several countries, have disrupted health
"The social catastrophe of over 11 million aids orphans
left in the
wake of the pandemic seem to be beyond the capacity of national
and communities to cope," the report said.
the high prevalence of HIV infection and AIDS in southern
Africa has worsened
the plight of some 14 million million people facing food
estimates that at least 300,000 people could die as a result
of the joint
crisis in the next six months.
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe --
who denies that the food shortage
in his country is partly a result of his
controversial seizure of
white-owned farms for black resettlement -- conceded
that the programme had
negative health implications.
was plunged into crisis in 2000 when Mugabe sanctioned the
invasion of white-owned farms by pro-government militants
backing his land
"There is no doubt that in the new resettlement areas, low
or no water
and sanitation coverage do create a conducive climate for
outbreaks," Mugabe conceded at the start of the health ministers
WHO host Mugabe puts food crisis on table
2002 at 05:55AM
Harare - African health ministers gathered in
here on Tuesday for a key
regional World Health Organisation (WHO) meeting
that was supposed to have
been held in Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo
but was switched to
Zimbabwe because of security concerns, officials
"We are sorry that this particular regional committee meeting could
held in Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo, which is the seat of the
regional Office for Africa, because of some security reasons,"
President Robert Mugabe said in opening remarks.
said it was also appropriate that the October 8-12 meeting was being
Zimbabwe because of the southern African food crisis.
Southern Africa is facing one of the severest droughts in recent
Apart for causing severe shortages of food for our people, there
addition serious health consequences of this drought," said Mugabe.
added the humanitarian crisis resulting from the drought had been
compounded by the HIV/Aids and tuberculosis pandemics in the
"Because of the economic downturn in many of our countries in the
the already compromised health system is failing to respond
effectively to these health challenges," he said. -
Zanu Ndonga won't recognise poll result
10/9/02 8:50:46 AM (GMT +2)
From Kelvin Jakachira in
WILSON Kumbula, the president of Zanu last week said his
not recognise the results of the rural district elections, which
were won by
"We will not accept the election results,"
Kumbula, who is the Chipinge South MP, alleged that Zanu
voted more than once in the election.
that the practice was rife in wards in Chipinge district, a
stronghold for Zanu.
Zanu failed to garner a single seat in the
Zanu PF swept the entire wards in Chipinge and all the other
except in Chimanimani and Nyanga.
Zanu PF won 146 of
the 151 contested wards in the province.
The ruling party also won a
crucial by-election in Dangamvura's Ward
Zanu PF's Ronald
Chayambuka polled 233 votes against 200 garnered by
the MDC's Tapiwanashe
The MDC, the largest opposition party in Zimbabwe won five
Chimanimani out of the contested 23.
In Nyanga, two
independent candidates won while Zanu PF candidates won
the rest of the
Kumbula accused the ruling party supporters of assaulting
intimidating supporters of his party during the election
But Charles Pemhenayi, the Zanu PF spokesman in Manicaland,
the allegations saying the election was conducted in a free and
"The rural and urban elections mark a turning
point in the fortunes of
Zanu PF," Pemhenayi said.
"But now it
is the time to deliver the goods and improve the lives of
the people of
Zimbabwe Evicts All White Sugar Cane Farmers
9 Oct 2002 14:24 UTC
All of Zimbabwe's
white, sugar-cane farmers have been evicted from their
properties in the past
two days. A small town in southeastern Zimbabwe is
overflowing with homeless
According to the sugar cane growers association, the
government's land task
force moved into the town of Chiredzi on Monday and
ordered 72 white farmers
In a telephone interview, an
association spokesman said that by mid-day all
the farmers had left their
homes, and had not managed to take any farm
equipment with them.
farmers produce 18 percent of Zimbabwe's sugar, and were six weeks
harvesting this year's crop. There are scores of black, sugar-cane
the area, but none of them have been affected.
President Robert Mugabe
launched often violent invasions of white owned land
in February 2000, but
the sugar-cane farmers were largely unaffected until
task force, appointed by President Mugabe, spent last week in the
ranchland of Matabeleland province and forced more than 70 cattle
and the only export flower grower, to leave.
Some violence and the arrest
of several white farmers accompanied these
evictions. Dozens of workers on
the flower farm lost all their possessions
when their houses were
Next week, commercial farmers believe the task force will move to
two provinces where white farmers still remain, and will evict
According to the state-controlled media, President Mugabe met with
politburo on Monday, and discussed the land issue. After the
Politburo member, and justice minister Patrick Chinamasa was quoted
saying allegations that confiscated land had been given to ruling
members are false.
Mr. Chinamsa's wife, Monica, moved onto a
white-owned farm southeast of
Harare three weeks ago.
'Sham' local elections condemned
London - Last month's
local elections in Zimbabwe were "a complete sham",
British junior foreign
office minister Valerie Amos told the House of Lords
short debate on Zimbabwe in Britain's upper house of parliament, Amos
"Zimbabwe's people must be allowed free and fair elections in the
impartial international observers.
"The rural district council elections
on September 28 to 29 demonstrated the
lack of democratic accountability. The
election was a complete sham."
Amos added: "Through a process of
intimidation and bureaucratic obstruction,
Zanu-PF (President Robert Mugabe's
ruling party) prevented the opposition
MDC (Movement for Democratic Change)
fielding candidates in half the wards.
"During the campaign MDC
supporters were killed. Others were intimidated.
And Zanu-PF used food to
Zimbabwe's state radio reported that Mugabe's ruling party
had won the
majority of seats in the polls. - Sapa-AFP
Mail and Guardian
Challenge to Mugabe's citizenship laws
09 October 2002 14:23
The Zimbabwe-born son of
Hungarian refugees on Wednesday won the right to
challenge President Robert
Mugabe's draconian new citizenship laws which
threaten to leave two million
Leslie Leventhe Petho (42) a Harare-based
businessman, won his appeal in the
Supreme Court against a ban on a class
action lawsuit on behalf of the
children of immigrants who have been refused
Zimbabwean passports on the
grounds they may secretly hold an illegal second
through their parents.
Supreme Court judge
Wilson Sandura overruled an earlier High Court ban on
Petho's case, for which
he needed special permission under newly-enacted
Sandura directed Petho, whose case is backed by the Legal
Foundation, a civic lobby group, to advertise his legal action so
the same situation would be aware of the likely impact on their
The Supreme Court is expected to hear Petho's case -- he is
have his Zimbabwean passport and citizenship restored --
within the next six
months, setting a precedent for Zimbabweans of Malawian,
South African and British descent, who have been turned
registrar-general Tobaiwa Mudede.
Legal sources say over
two-million people may be affected by Mugabe's move
to strip Zimbabweans with
foreign-born parents of their automatic right to
citizenship. He has claimed
foreign-funded opponents, particularly Tony
Blair's labour government, were
behind rising discontent in the country.
Dual citizenship is already
banned, but Mugabe claimed white critics of his
regime were secretly flouting
the prohibition. Petho, whose parents fled the
1956 Hungarian uprising, was
born in Zimbabwe in 1960.
He was told by the Hungarian embassy in
Pretoria that he could only obtain
legal proof he had no claim to Hungarian
citizenship by successfully
applying for it and then completing renunciation
However, the act of applying for foreign citizenship, whether
not, would irrevocably strip him of Zimbabwean citizenship
new law. He said he was pleased with his court success. "I
think I did the
right thing to find out what my rights were and stand up for
them in court,"
A US State Department Human Rights report
alleges there is rampant
corruption in Zimbabwe's passport office, with
bribes frequently required as
a precondition for granting passports and proof
of citizenship. - Sapa-DPA
Zimbabwean Minister Sounds Alarm On Manufacturing Sector
October 9, 2002
Posted to the web October 9,
ZIMBABWE'S Finance Minister
Herbert Murerwa said yesterday the country's
manufacturing industry was in a
sharp decline, inflicting great damage on
the rest of the
Murerwa, who was recently reappointed to his former ministry in
reshuffle, told a Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries congress
manufacturing sector's dramatic fall must be halted to stop the
"The Zimbabwean economy in general and the
manufacturing sector in
particular, has been contracting during the past five
years," he said. "Over
the period 1998 to 2002, the manufacturing sector, in
cumulative terms, has
declined by 25,8%, while the aggregate output
cumulatively declined by
Zimbabwe has one of Africa's
fastest-shrinking economies. Murerwa attributed
the economic contraction to
acute foreign currency shortages, a brain drain,
agricultural production due to "drought", low rates
of savings and
investment, and globalisation.
Confederation president Jacob Dube said
the sector's contribution to the
gross domestic product has plunged from
25,8% to less than 15%.
"The manufacturing sector has experienced a major
decline over the past
three years as a result of the economic crisis," he
said. "On average,
manufacturing volumes in 2001 were down 11,5% from levels
achieved in 1995,
according to statistics produced by the Central Statistics
Thousands of companies have either shut down, downsized
retrenched employees to cut costs.
"The major challenges
facing the manufacturing sector are the shortage of
foreign currency, high
inflation, price controls, declining demand for
products, loss of export
competitiveness, and understandably high wage
demands by workers," Dube
Local Farmers Come First, Zambian Union Warns
The Daily News
October 9, 2002
Posted to the web October 9,
Takaitei Bote, Farming Editor
THE Zambia National
Farmers' Union (ZNFU) has warned their government not to
commercial farmers fleeing President Mugabe's land reform
programme at the
expense of the Zambian indigenous farmers.
The ZNFU is the main farming
union in Zambia, with a membership of both
black and white
The black farmers, the majority of whom are small-scale, account
75 percent of the union's membership in 40 districts in
Large-scale farmers, the bulk of whom are white, have a
membership of 25
percent of total ZNFU membership. There are a total of 5 000
paid up members
of ZNFU. In an interview in Lusaka last week, the ZNFU
Simwanda said: "We are aware that some farmers from
Zimbabwe have been
making enquiries to invest in Zambia. If the government is
it should make sure that its own indigenous farmers are
before helping the foreign investors.
should also be scrutinised in case fake farmers come into
About 125 large-scale commercial farmers, most of whom
were issued with
eviction notices which expired in August 2002, are in Zambia
possible agricultural investments there.
About 2 900
commercial farmers were given a 10 August deadline to vacate
as part of the government land reform programme.
Some of the farmers have
left the country to invest in Zambia, Mozambique,
Botswana, Uganda, New
Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and
President Levy Mwanawasa, who has introduced a programme to support
in the country, ravaged with food shortages over the years, has
Zimbabwean farmers with open arms.
Mwanawasa has set aside funds to
assist both local and foreign investors to
boost the country's economy, which
relied solely on copper for its foreign
government has said the Zimbabwean farmers' input would add value
development of Zambia but said it would make sure its people
Farmers coming from Zimbabwe and investing in Zambia are
reported to have
started making an impact in Zambia's economy. The Zambia
(ZIC) latest monthly information bulletin said the
recorded the highest investment of US$1,2 million ($66
million) in August
this year because many Zimbabwean farmers were investing
This was followed by the Zambian manufacturing sector which had
investment of US$767 000 ($42,1 million). Agriculture has always
regarded as costly and risky in Zambia. About three Zimbabwe farming
have been issued with investment certificates since June this year.
have injected about US$1,2 million ($66 million) into the Zambia
There are unconfirmed reports that about 74 Zimbabwean farmers have
in Chisamba commercial farming area, in northern
Chisamba is one of Zambia's prime farming areas. ZNFU information
Ben Mwale, said: "The ZIC is saying that it has been receiving
from Zimbabwean farmers, but does not have specific figures of how
settled in Zambia.
"No farmer has been refused entry as long
as they satisfy ZIC requirements."
Asked if some Zimbabwean farmers had
joined the union, Mwale said: "At the
moment, we cannot say officially that
there are Zimbabwean farmers who have
joined ZNFU. The farmers who have
approached us wanted to find out how the
has one main farming association, Zimbabwe has three farming
unions - the
Commercial Farmers' Union, mainly for white farmers, the
Union, for black communal and small-scale farmers, and the
Commercial Farmers' Union, which represents black large-scale
Gezi youths seize Daily News copies
8:06:05 AM (GMT +2)
From Our Correspondent in
A GROUP of rowdy youths spotting T-shirts from the Border
Training Centre went on a rampage in Mutare yesterday and confiscated
copies of The Daily News worth $27 240.
The youths took the
papers to the Government Complex where the offices
of Oppah Muchinguri, the
provincial governor and resident minister, are
Yesterday, The Daily News carried a story headlined Angry Mugabe flies
after Sadc snub, quoting The Sunday Times of South Africa.
story said President Mugabe left the Angolan capital Luanda in
week after his regional allies denied him a chance to be next
of the Sadc.
Martin Zimudyi, the sales and distribution
Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe in Manicaland, said of
the seizures: "The
youths went around the town confiscating copies of The
Daily News. Vendors
said the youths were angered by the lead story including
Fortunately, no-one was attacked. The newspapers were taken to
The incident was reported to the
Killian Mupingo, the provincial administrator,
Muchinguri, could not be reached for comment.
According to The Sunday Times all the summit documentation had billed
as the new deputy chairman of Sadc, who would take over leadership
Angolan president Edwardo Dos Santos in 2003.
The newspaper said
instead of going through the motions of electing
Mugabe, heads of state at
the annual Sadc summit told him that the image of
the regional body would
suffer in his hands.
The decision was delivered to Mugabe by his
Bakili Muluzi on Wednesday.
But in the
State-controlled paper The Herald, Professor Jonathan Moyo,
the Minister of
State for Information and Publicity claimed Zimbabwe had
over the vice-chairmanship to Tanzania because it wanted
to concentrate on
its land reforms.
Kunonga's bid to bar parishioners fails
10/9/02 8:04:14 AM (GMT +2)
Nolbert Kunonga's lawyer yesterday abandoned his application in
magistrates' court for a permanent order to bar a number of
entering the Cathedral of St Mary and All Saints and
carrying out their
Mabasa Crispen Mukome told magistrate Peter Kumbawa that he
proceed with the application without further instructions from
head of the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe, who was not in
Kunonga was said to be out of town and could not be
The court granted Kunonga an interim order barring the 19
on 26 September.
They included 12 church
councillors, two wardens and five members of
the church choir.
Yesterday, Mukome had earlier sought that the hearing be postponed to
October because there were several disputed facts emanating from
respondents' opposing affidavits.
Mukome said: "Basically,
the applicant is saying he needs time to make
an answering affidavit, which
cannot be done on 24 hours' notice. He has
indicated he needs a period of two
weeks at most."
Beatrice Mtetwa of Kantor and Immermann, for the
successfully argued against the postponement, saying Kunonga
should not have
brought the matter as an urgent application in the first
place if he then
wanted it to be postponed.
successfully argued against Mukome's leave to appeal against
the dismissal of
his application for a postponement.
Kumbawa said of the application
for postponement: "It is clear that
this is just an effort to shackle the
After Mukome said he could not proceed without
from Kunonga, Kumbawa said: "I will make a ruling that
the application has
been abandoned. We take it that it has been
He ordered Kunonga to pay the costs of the application
on the higher
legal practitioner and client scale.
Mukome after he applied to be excused from the case
because he could not get
further instructions from Kunonga, Kumbawa said:
"You are abandoning the
applicant. You have a duty to carry them through."
"We are experts. Like doctors we do not let our
patients die on us. We do
everything to help them."
The 19 cathedral officials, almost all of
whom were in the court, were
jubilant after Kumbawa's ruling.
Church councillor Llewelyn Nhamo said: "I think it has gone very
Justice has been done. God reigns."
Sekai Chibaya, the
cathedral's finance chairperson, said the council
was going to pursue the
issue of the cathedral's almost $1,3 million which
Kunonga reportedly removed
from the cathedral's Standard Chartered Bank
account opened by the
Teachers go on strike
10/9/02 8:00:42 AM
THOUSANDS of teachers
from two rival unions joined forces yesterday in
observing a strike for more
pay and better working conditions.
Members of the Progressive
Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), which
called the strike, and the Zimbabwe
Teachers' Association (Zimta), whose
leadership had opposed it, both staged
sit-ins at schools around the
At most schools visited
by The Daily News in Harare, Bulawayo,
Chitungwiza, Gweru and Mutare,
teachers reported for work but did not teach.
One teacher at George
Stark High School in Mbare said: "What you are
seeing here is more than meets
the eye. Though everything seems normal,
teachers are on a sit-in or go-slow.
We realise that this is the only way to
force the government to address our
desperate and dire plight. We are in
full support of the
Students at Girls' High School in Harare said some of
had not reported for classes and others were already leaving
for home by
At Glen View High One, the headmaster,
Chimwechii Ndoziya, said
everything was normal, but several of his teachers
said they had not done
In Chitungwiza, only a handful
of teachers reported for duty at Seke 6
and Zengeza 3 high
A teacher at Vainona High School in Harare said most
between six and 15 years' service earned a gross salary of $41
home $ 31 198,76.
He said teachers with less than
five years' service earn a gross
salary of $27 000.
Midlands, there was little activity at most schools as
teachers affiliated to PTUZ staged a sit-in. The most
schools in the urban centres - Gweru, Kwekwe,
In Gweru the schools affected were Herbert Mahlaba,
Primary School, Gweru Primary, formerly Cecil John Rhodes,
formerly Chaplin, and Benson Ndemera High, formerly Guinea
"We will continue reporting for duty to stage a sit-in until
grievances have been taken seriously by the government," said a teacher
Benson Ndemera High.
In Kwekwe, dozens of teachers at Kwekwe
High, Fitchlea Primary School
and Sally Mugabe Primary School, formerly
Russell, heeded the strike call.
But there were unconfirmed reports
of intimidation of teachers by
suspected Zanu PF militias in Gokwe, Shurugwi
In Mutare, most teachers reported for duty but also
did not teach. The
police kept a close watch at all schools in the city and
intimidated those not in class to go in.
interviewed said there was very little to do as most
teachers took part in
Takavafira Zhou, the PTUZ president in Manicaland, said
of the sit-in:
"Our call was successful as our survey showed that about 85
teachers did not attend to their classes in Mutare."
But Linah Nhiwatiwa, the acting Regional Director for Education, said
situation was normal but she had no yet received reports from all
"So far, things are under control, but I am still
waiting for reports
from the various districts," she said.
Masvingo, most teachers said they had reported for duty as they
At Don Bosco Primary School in the city, students said
they were not
affected by the strike.
At Masvingise Primary
School in Gutu, teachers said they reported for
duty as usual.
"We really support the idea of a strike, but the union did not tell us
would happen if we are threatened with dismissal. Our salaries are very
and we urge the union to mobilise people for a big showdown with
government," said one teacher.
The PTUZ secretary-general,
Raymond Majongwe, said yesterday: "We've
told the teachers to report for duty
but not to teach, in line with our
strategy. Though the strike might have
started at a slow pace, we expect it
to pick up in the next few days. There
has been intimidation by government
On Monday, Majongwe
urged the government to urgently address the
teachers' pay and cost of living
packages or risk plunging the country into
its worst education strike in
He told journalists it was unfortunate that teachers had
into an industrial action at a crucial time when Ordinary and
examinations were starting.
Leonard Nkala, the
president of ZIMTA, yesterday denied that members
of his association were
taking part in the industrial action.
"As far as we are concerned,
there's no sit-in. Things are normal and
we're going ahead with negotiations
with the government. We hope the
government is going to respond positively to
our demands," Nkala said.
The government last week ruled the strike
illegal and warned teachers
against taking part.
Majongwe said Charity Chipuriro, a secretary with the PTUZ
in Harare, was
detained at the Harare Central Police station for seven hours
I have been following the progress at the world summit
in South Africa and when I hear reports of
Leaders not wanting
to address the "issues of Zimbabwe" I just want
to scream. The conference
about sustainable development
and the truth of the matter is
there is a shininng example, right
next door to South Africa, on how not
go about it . Our leader
has chosen a path of absolute destruction which
have all read
in countless e-mails and the world has chosen not to look.
Being part of a family that has suffered the loss of property as a
The Land Distribution Programme has caused me many
sleepless nights. I
tried to figure out where the land
program will take Zimbabwe in the
term and it does not
take rocket science to arrive at the same obvious
people on land with no resources and no training can only
starvation and the levelling of a once thriving economy.
Below is a paper by George Ayittey who is president of the Free
Foundation in Washington DC. I found these views an
assesment of the situation on our continent.
Africa's shady politicians are at root of continent's destitution
By George Ayittey (Filed: 27/08/2002)
Africa's potential is enormous, yet it is inexorably mired in steaming
squalor, misery, deprivation, and chaos. Four out of 10 Africans live in
absolute poverty and recent evidence suggests that poverty is on the increase.
Most Africans today are worse off than they were at independence.
Africa in this state? "Externalists" ascribe Africa's woes to factors beyond its
control: Western colonialism and imperialism, the slave trade, racist plots,
avaricious multinationals, an unjust international economic system, inadequate
flows of foreign aid and deteriorating terms of trade.
local systems of governance: excessive state intervention and corruption at all
levels, from the police and judiciary to the highest branches of
Since independence in the 1960s, African leaders, with few
exceptions, have attributed almost every malaise to external agents. But a new
and angry generation of Africans has emerged.
As Nigerian novelist Chinua
Achebe says: "There is nothing basically wrong with the Nigerian character.
There is nothing wrong with the Nigerian land or climate or water or air or
anything else. The Nigerian problem is the unwillingness or inability of its
leaders to rise to the responsibility, to the challenge of personal example,
which are the hallmarks of true leadership."
Many African countries are
"vampire" states, their governments hijacked by gangsters who use the
instruments of the state to enrich themselves and their cronies. In Africa, the
richest people are heads of state and ministers.
They destroy wealth: rather
than encourage investment, they encourage activities designed only to capture
some of the President's largesse. The instinct of the ruling elite is to loot
the national treasury and invest the booty in foreign banks.
The UN has
estimated that in 1991 alone, more than $200 billion was siphoned out of Africa
by the ruling elite, more than half the continent's foreign debt.
politics is the gateway to fabulous wealth, the competition for power is
ferocious. Defeat can mean exile, jail or starvation. Those who win power award
key positions to fellow tribesmen, cronies and supporters. Those exploited
remove themselves from the formal economy, either leaving the country or turning
to the black market.
This deprives the state of tax revenue and foreign
exchange. The formal economy shrinks and the state finds it increasingly
difficult to raise revenue. Then those excluded from the spoils rise up. It
takes only a small band of determined malcontents to plunge the country into
In 1981, Yoweri Museveni, now the President of Uganda, started with
only 27 men in a guerrilla campaign against Milton Obote. Charles Taylor, now
the President of Liberia, set out with 150 rebels; no post-colonial African
government has been able to crush a rebel insurgency.
In destroying their
economies, African tyrants received much help from the West - out of sheer
naivety. Since the end of colonialism, Western governments, development agencies
and international financial institutions have provided generous
According to the OECD, the net disbursement of official
development assistance, adjusted for inflation, between 1960 and 1997 was
roughly $400 billion, equivalent to almost six Marshall Plans.
probably the most execrable example. Huge amounts of economic and disaster
relief aid was dumped there, but it was the massive inflow of food aid in the
early 1980s that did much to shred the fabric of Somali society.
famines are not new to Africa, and traditional societies developed methods of
coping. Cheap food aid destroyed these methods and Somalia became dependent on
Africa's crises have little to do with artificial colonial
borders, American imperialism, racism or the alleged inferiority of the African
people. They stem from bad leadership and the enabling role played by the West.
The centralisation of power and absence of mechanisms for its peaceful transfer
lead to a struggle which degenerates into civil war.
destroyed. Food production and delivery are disrupted. Thousands are dislocated
and flee. Food supplies run out. The Western media bombards us with horrific
pictures of famine victims. Unable to bear the horror, the conscience of the
international community is stirred to mount 11th-hour humanitarian rescue
Foreign relief workers parachute in dispensing high-protein
biscuits, blankets and portable toilets at hastily-erected refugee camps. The
same macabre ritual is repeated year after year.
It seems nothing has been
learned. The real tragedy of Africa is that most of its leaders don't use their
heads. Even more tragic are the Western donors who, gushing with noble
humanitarianism, don't use theirs either.
· George Ayittey is president of the Free Africa Foundation in
Washington DC. This article is a precis of his contribution to Sustainable
Development, a collection of essays published this week by Profile Books,
Needed urgently: anti-Chibhoyi
10/9/02 9:22:46 AM (GMT +2)
CHIBHOYI is to use your wits to obtain any goods or services, through
It's to cheat, to be corrupt and to engage in all manner of
to get your way.
Chibhoyi is not chivanhu, as some
have discovered to their chagrin.
Governments can be obsessed with
Chibhoyi is to allow yourself to be packed like
sardines in a big or
small bus with an asthmatic engine and a driver and
conductor in almost the
same condition - perhaps through no fault of their
own - and not complain
You won't complain because, as
a typical mubhoyi, you have no idea of
your rights: to ride in comfort when
you pay your hard-earned cash for it -
unless you didn't earn your cash but
stole it, in which case you have no
rights at all.
to be railroaded into voting for a party you know teems
with men and women
ravaged with terminal kleptomania.
It's to believe you ought to be
grateful to these people for giving
you the vote - and showing your gratitude
by voting for them every time,
even as they continue to milk
You are lucky they don't call you a bobbejaan (baboon), but
forget Simon Muzenda once said even if Zanu PF put up as its candidate
baboon, people would still vote for it.
Think seriously about
that. You could end up with a parliament full of
Personally, I have nothing against these anthropoid cousins of ours,
have them in our Parliament is stretching the kinship too far.
People who fritter away your hard-earned tax money, not on schools,
or bridges, but on trinkets for their wives and girlfriends,
lavish trips to
Outer Mongolia and dubious land reform programmes in which
violence is a
concomitant, are practising chibhoyi. That's if they don't
squander it on
huge, fuel-guzzling, bullet-proof, armour-plated limousines.
is the opposite of chibhoyi? It could be chivanhu or even
European way. I know this will annoy Claude Mararike and his
Nhaka Yedu and National Ethos.
Mubhoyi derives from houseboy,
kitchen boy, spanner boy - the African
worker during colonialism. Mabhoyi was
the plural, encompassing all
Africans. We all became mabhoyi because our most
were the "boys" working for the early settlers, most
of them adults.
With their penchant for self-mockery, Africans
would chide each other
with gems like: "You are a real mubhoyi." Uncouth,
unsophisticated. If you really wanted to rub it in you said: "Uri
chaiye." I suspect it referred to how black you were - as black as the
irredeemably uncivilised. A thief, a laggard, someone wearing clothes
loud people needed sunglasses to look at them.
such ostentation raised you to the European status - "an
You were, in short, the object of derision among your
Is all this cultural self-flagellation necessary? you may
The time has come for us to wage a liberation war against the
syndrome which some of our leaders are trying to foist on us,
disguised as a
return to our African origins.
They may fool some
of the people some of the time, but they won't fool
all of us all the time.
It all started after the 2000 referendum. It was
considered unAfrican to have
voted against the draft constitution.
Since then the government has
tried to ram it down our throats that to
be an African is to love Zanu PF and
all its evil deeds, the rape of women
and the cold-blooded murder of
What they want is to hoodwink us into believing
that being a real
African entails being an uncomplaining automaton, being
uncritical of a
corrupt and murderous government because it is an African
We should love ZBC-TV because it screens African films,
most of them
fourth-rate, badly-acted and horribly-written.
it was refreshing to hear Francis Nhema, the Minister of the
Tourism, admonish the so-called new farmers recently to
avoid chibhoyi. To
put it succinctly, to be a mubhoyi is to do things
shoddily, to cut corners,
to cheat, to lie, to pretend you know everything
when you are what I call an
ignoramus wemakoko - a 24-carat charlatan.
Nhema is not a square
peg in the round hole of President Mugabe's
so-called war cabinet, still
searching desperately for an enemy, since Tony
Blair decided Mugabe was too
small fry for him to stage his own version of
The Battle of Britain. Saddam
Hussein is considered much bigger fish.
Nhema is not your typical
sloganeering demagogue spouting racist,
ethnic invective at a rally in
He once headed the Zimbabwe Building
Society, which almost went under.
Perhaps a surfeit of chibhoyi led to its
near-demise. So, he could be
speaking from personal experience. It's a fact
most parastatals reek of a
chibhoyi management style.
while Nhema went quiet, as if he too had developed that peculiar
amnesia: smell no evil, talk no evil, see no evil, hear no evil -
evil. But his warning against chibhoyi took some guts.
been a lot of government chibhoyi in the last 22 years. This
is a government
unwilling to conform to the universal concept of governance.
wrong with an African government being so squeaky clean a
political science and administration from Oxford University
would write a
prize-winning magnum opus on it? Is the idea that such a
government would be
unAfrican, that it would be a travesty of everything
African - corrupt, lazy,
mendacious and immoral?
There is cronyism, and a tolerance of
corruption in high places it has
been compared with the Cosa
Hurumende yechivanhu would simply mean a government of
the other hand, hurumende yechibhoyi would be something else. A
I admit some of this may be a little over
the top. But mubhoyi does
not translate into munhu mutema, a black person, a
fairly respectable and
decent description of the African. Mubhoyi is rather
stupid, for all he
could do was follow instructions - hamba lapha, buya
lapha, tatha lo, yenza
lo - go there, come here, take that, do
For those too young to know it, this was Kitchen Kaffir, the
which Europeans and Africans communicated in most of Southern
Even those Africans who could speak English were addressed
Kaffir. It was supposed to define their status in
The chimurenga war against chibhoyi ought to start with a
of what it is to be a proud African - assertive, self-critical,
reservoirs of tolerance for other races, honest, hard-working, with
awareness of their rights, likely to shout the heavens down if those
are abused, especially by a government which espouses violence against
The proud African would never rush to be a
farmer unless they had the
resources and the know-how. They know, like Nhema,
that without these assets
the temptation to use chibhoyi methods would be
Business must also
10/9/02 9:09:53 AM (GMT +2)
attack on the business community for its failure to contribute in
Zimbabwe's worsening situation has some merit.
Business people are
in the business of running corporate organisations
and should be the right
people to advise the government on what measures and
policies would assist
the growth of the economy and expansion of
government has no business being in business.
Yet for far too long,
Zimbabwean business people have preferred to
fawn on the government, instead
of telling it unambiguously that its conduct
and actions harm the economy of
Business people have tended to look after their own
moaning about the general state of decline in
There are some observations that can be made about
The first, and judging by the number of expensive luxury
the Italian-style villas going up in and around Harare and
country, is that rather than face hardships, some of the
have become the beneficiaries of the misfortunes this country
The second is that they must all be
politically connected to the
government, and that it is this fact that is
responsible for their apparent
disinterest in pushing the government to
desist from plunging the country
into the abyss.
The third is
that they have benefited from government contracts and
would never do
anything to jeopardise lucrative future transactions with
The billion-dollar budget frittered away by Zanu
PF in the March 2002
presidential poll is a case in point.
of businesses benefited enormously from providing services to
party and they would not like to be seen to be rocking the boat.
Alternatively, although this might not be so widespread, they could
fronting for politicians, especially now that United States and
Union smart sanctions are being enforced.
the business community has kept silent because of
intimidation or outright
Anyone who is unafraid to speak their mind has found
applied on those with whom they conduct business to distance
taking their custom elsewhere.
treats divergent criticisms or views that do not
originate from it as a
challenge to its authority, and they can be ruthless
Prominent businesses have folded and have gone on to
opportunities in neighbouring countries, while those that have
appear to have decided to subject themselves to the government,
advising it on how best to run the economy in the best interests
If industry and commerce were as vocal as they
should be, they would
have long warned the government about the consequences
of disengagement with
the international community and its financial
They would have pointed out to the government that a
economy that is encouraged to pursue growth, is good for any
because it creates jobs for voters, offers an environment that
more foreign currency earnings, provides basic commodities
infrastructural development, and that such a government is more likely to
voted back into office than one associated with shortages, unemployment
Certainly, they could have convinced the government
that a violent and
illegal land reform programme is not viable.
So many defences have been put forward in favour of so-called
solutions, but these arguments miss the point that the economy
does not have
to collapse first in order for such corrective measures to
Home-grown remedies can co-exist with external
The Global Village is here to stay.
Zimbabwean business sector does not appear to realise that they,
everyone else, have an obligation to contribute to solutions aimed
resolving the current crisis.
That sector, like the rest of
society, is guilty of allowing the
government to do as it pleases. If there
were loud protests, the government
would not be taking this country for a
But with each demonstration of docility, the government's
other views grows stronger.
Wednesday, 9 October, 2002, 18:45 GMT 19:45 UK
Tories back Blair
A US jet patrol's Iraq's 'no-fly' zone
By Mark Davies
BBC News Online political
Tony Blair's stance on
Iraq will be backed by the Tories while it remains in the national interest,
Conservative foreign affairs spokesman Michael Ancram has said.
He said the
UK must act within international law under a time-limited United Nations
resolution that left Saddam in "no doubt" about the consequences of failing to
The view was backed by defence spokesman Bernard Jenkin as the
Tory conference in Bournemouth turned its attentions to defence and foreign
The Tory leadership has come under fire from senior figures,
including former Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind, over its "unquestioning"
support for Labour's stance on Iraq.
Jenkin said: "So long as the prime minister is doing the right thing, we
recognise that we have a duty to support him."
stressed as long as Saddam defied UN resolutions there must be the threat of
Mr Ancram also called on the government to immediately
suspend talks over joint sovereignty with Spain for Gibraltar.
said the UK had not done enough in response to Zimbabwean President Robert
On Iraq, Mr Ancram said that if sending in weapons
inspectors failed to deal with the threat from Saddam Hussein there had to be a
"clear and fully developed plan" for military action.
He said he
appreciated the concerns of anti-war campaigners but said the threat from Saddam
was such that "we must support whatever action is appropriate to achieve it".
Turning to Zimbabwe, Mr Ancram said he had seen the "murder, rape,
robbery, famine and ethnic cleansing" in Zimbabwe at first hand on a visit to
"One displaced, broken and desperate black farm worker said
simply to me 'don't let the world forget us'.
"We won't. But Mr Blair
already has. "He gave great hope to Zimbabweans last year.
believed him. They told me so. And that hope has proved false."
The Tories want an extension of sanctions to Mugabe's
funders, tighter control of the travel ban on him and his team and the
withholding of investment.
In a wide-ranging speech, Mr Ancram said the
Tories must help "move Europe away from the mad dash to full integration".
He said full political union should be resisted and that the European
Union needed fundamental reform.
"What is needed now is a comprehensive
review of the EU.
"An audit into what is working and what is not, what
should be changed and what should be discarded," he said.
"There must be
no sacred cows, no sealed vaults. Everything must be looked at." 'No shared
Mr Ancram said the government was "hell bent" on sharing
sovereignty of Gibraltar with Spain.
He said a Tory government would not
be bound by any deal on sharing sovereignty.
Mr Ancram said: "Mr Blair
and Mr Straw are hell bent on selling Gibraltar out. "They have surreptitiously
agreed in principle to share sovereignty with Spain - they are now cynically
trying to browbeat Gibraltar into accepting it."
He said Foreign Secretary Jack Straw must not ignore a referendum being
held on the Rock.
a "Trojan horse for anti-American
Bernard Jenkin on an EU army
"This vote will
reflect the passionately held views of the people of Gibraltar ... it simply
cannot be ignored.
"The fact is that these talks with Spain have reached
a dead end - they should immediately be suspended.
"And any agreement
between the two governments, whether in principle or otherwise, should be
declared null and void as if it had never existed.
"The people of
Gibraltar are British and want to remain British - so long as that is their wish
we will never sell them out."
Mr Ancram said
Labour's ethical foreign policy had been exposed as a "cynical sham". In his
speech, Mr Jenkin attacked cuts in defence spending and vowed that a
Conservative government would provide the armed forces with the "manpower and
tools" they needed. He said calls for a new European army amounted to a "Trojan
horse for anti-American sentiment".
Zimbabwe is likely to be on agenda of Mbeki
The meeting will seek ways to reverse negative perceptions about SA
Trade and Industry Editor
PRETORIA The crisis in Zimbabwe may well
be raised at this weekend's
meeting of President Thabo Mbeki's International
Investment Council (IIC),
the government conceded yesterday.
focus of the meeting will be on seeking ways to reverse negative
about SA, with two mystery marketing experts due to brief SA
Mbeki's international advisers on how to spin SA
The director general of the trade and industry
Ruiters told a media briefing yesterday that the style of
the meeting in the
luxury Zimbali Lodge would be very informal.
"Whatever issues members wish to raise, they will," he said. "If they
it (Zimbabwe) is an issue which affects investor perceptions, they are
to raise it."
The minister in the office of the presidency Essop
that Zimbabwe had been discussed at the previous meeting of
the IIC in
Hermanus, when some of the international businessmen who advise
expressed their concerns about the impact of events in Zimbabwe on
investment climate in SA.
The IIC includes a number of
prominent businessmen, including
DaimlerChrysler CE Jurgen Schrempp and
Mitsubishi boss Minoru Makihara.
The national director of the SA
institute of International Affairs
Greg Mills suggested Zimbabwe could not be
ignored by those attending the
"While the SA
government might not want Zimbabwe to be on the radar
screen of international
investors and (African recover plan) Nepad sceptics
alike, it remains a
concern both in terms of the potential economic
contagion in the region and
regarding wider political questions about the
willingness of African states
to show leadership in dealing with the
crisis," he said.
fears are currently compounded by the depressed state of
markets and the flight from risk of emerging markets such
Ruiters suggested that the IIC has had its successes for
driving the creation of the International Marketing Council,
which seeks to
promote the SA brand, and which will be briefing Mbeki and his
He said aside from two meetings a
year which they attend, members of
the Council have also been helpful on
their home turf, hosting presentations
by Mbeki and other ministers to
potential investors, and he cited recent
events in Japan and the
This weekend's meeting would discuss empowerment,
issues, perceptions about SA and the Nepad African growth
Pahad said Mbeki would hold a private breakfast with
the advisers to
gauge their views on the effectiveness of his ministerial
directors general, as had happened at previous
He also revealed that "two of the best brains on
marketing and public
relations will come to the meeting" although he said the
pair would not be
named until after the event, at their request.
09 2002 12:00:00:000AM John Fraser Business Day 1st Edition
09 October 2002
A new iron curtain
The Lords must reform the asylum
Wednesday October 9, 2002
better: a rightwing government drawing asylum procedures so tight
the Geneva convention; or a social democratic administration
doing the same
thing? This was the unspoken question beneath David
Blunkett's shabby defence
this week of his shameless moves on asylum law.
Writing in the Times on
Monday the home secretary leaked details of three
further restrictions that
are to be added today to an already hardline
asylum bill. Each has major
implications. None has been properly examined
and there are only two days
left to debate the bill. His defence? We can
only "defeat the right if we
tackle the most obvious problems in our current
system". Phoey. What the home
secretary is doing is pre-empting the right by
stealing its clothes. He will
be ecstatic over the Times's front page
headline: "Labour's new iron curtain
for refugees". But agreeing to ride
roughshod over fundamental human rights
will only encourage the right to ask
for more. The House of Lords must
There were already fundamental flaws in the bill: a reduction in
applicants' right of appeal and a "white list" of countries from which
applications would be presumed to be "clearly unfounded". Labour
condemned the Conservatives for playing the race card when it pursued
changes in its 1996 Asylum Act. It remained resolutely opposed in the
election, quoting the Economist that the Tories "deserve contempt,
votes, for proposing this nasty little bill". It proceeded to repeal the
in 1999, but now, three years on, is re-introducing the
This week Mr Blunkett announced the first countries on the
white list would
be the 10 eastern European states due to join the European
ominously, he declared he would be seeking powers to add
countries to this
list. Here we are on a slippery slope. He starts with
countries that appear
free from oppression, Poland and the Czech Republic,
but where does it stop?
The Home Office has a notorious reputation for its
definitions of safe
states, returning asylum seekers to Zimbabwe at the
height of its troubles.
Lord Archer, the former Labour solicitor-general,
is seeking to delete from
the bill the power to deport asylum applications
deemed "unfounded", before
an appeal is heard. It is difficult enough to
appeal within the UK, where
advisers can be based miles from dispersed
applicants, but from overseas,
appeals would be impossible. And this presumes
the countries to which they
are sent are safe. Some people returned to "safe"
home states could be
The new ideas are equally oppressive.
First is a tighter application of
"exceptional leave to remain" (ELR) to
people from war-torn states.
Understandably, ELR for Afghan applicants has
ended, but lifting it for
Somalia, now in the hands of war lords, is absurd.
Second is a tougher
scrutiny of in-country applications. These can be
students whose home states
are in turmoil or people brought by traffickers.
Third, and much worse, is
the withdrawal of the right to benefits from this
category. Stand by for a
repeat of French scenes under which homeless
applicants sleep rough in
public parks and queue up for nourishment at
Sangatte soup stations.
There are two positive proposals: the agreement
to accept refugees nominated
by UN High Commission for Refugees, and a new
deal for economic migrants.
These were the two ways Jewish refugees reached
the UK before 1939. The 1951
Geneva convention was written to fill a gaping
applications. Individual assessment is still needed.
From ZWNEWS, 9
By Michael Hartnack
When Geoff retired aged 72 in 1987 as a branch manager for a
Zimbabwe parastatal corporations he expected golden sunset years. Instead Geoff
and his wife, Rita, are among thousands of pensioners, white and black, who have
had their life savings plundered by Robert Mugabe's treasury. Now they survive
on charity and remittances from children living abroad. Geoff and Rita (who
asked to be identified only by their first names) owned their home in an
up-market suburb of the eastern border city of Mutare. Their pension of Z$ 900 a
month (in 1987 worth £300) seemed adequate, in view of Zimbabwe's low cost of
living. The couple felt they could safely ignore the political situation and
enjoy their lush garden and the African sunshine. Today, with a "parallel"
market rate of Z$ 1 100 to the pound, living costs soaring, and medical bills
pouring in (a 15-minute consultation can cost Z$ 20 000) they depend on others.
They long ago sold their house and moved in with the only child who remains in
Zimbabwe. The sports club where the couple once mingled with friends now has a
whip round to send them and other distressed old timers groceries.
Income from pensions and savings has been eroded by the Mugabe
regime to pay for its Congo military adventure, bonus payments to ex-guerillas,
and other follies of 22 years of corrupt and inefficient rule. Pension funds and
financial institutions are forced by law to lodge up to 45 percent of their
total asset portfolio with the government - at rates of interest 110 percent
below the rate of inflation. "They get back $125 for every $100 they are forced
to lend the government, but at the end of the year it costs $235 to buy what
they would have paid $100 for at the beginning of the year," explained economist
John Robertson. Between 30 000 and 50 000 whites, according to varying
estimates, remain among Zimbabwe's 13 million people. The white population, down
from 293 000 in the 70’s heyday of Ian Smith's white-minority rule, is still
shrinking through accelerated emigration. Black Zimbabweans who can are leaving
fast, too. The opposition MDC believes there are 400 000 black Zimbabweans in
Europe, other estimates are as high as 800 000. The South African authorities
estimate that between 1.3 million and 2.4 million Zimbabweans have slipped
Remittances from migrant Zimbabweans are an increasingly
important factor in the country's stricken balance of payments, said Robertson.
Money sent home - regularly exchanged at black market rates - amounts to at
least £ 20 million - a staggering Z$1,6 billion a month. There are some bizarre
spin-offs. A burial society has become a major player in the "parallel" foreign
currency market, thanks to subscriptions received from abroad. Urban property
prices, say estate agents, remain buoyant largely through expatriate Zimbabweans
doing deals with money earned abroad, often including under-the-counter hard
currency for the seller. Here's what the latest official figure of 135.1 percent
inflation means in real life. A doctor with 24 years service - 17 years
pensionable - received a pension of Z$ 790 per month when she hung up her
stethoscope in 1993. Then this would have bought, say, 390 loaves of white bread
or 258 litres of petrol. A house in Harare's northern suburbs, on 4 hectares,
would have cost Z$ 300 000. Unlike Geoff, the doctor has had increments, and is
currently getting Z$8 347. Now this would buy 66 loaves of bread (when
available) or 111 litres (two tanks) of petrol. And the house costs Z$15 million
- 50 times as much.
For successful business people rampant inflation is cushioned
by salaries that range from Zimbabwe $5,7 million a year for a well-qualified
top accountant or marketing manager to Zimbabwe $1,4 million for a chief
executive's secretary, said a consultant. It is those without foreign
connections who suffer worst, whether black or white. Robertson says internet
websites now help exiles with family back home. Emoneytransport.com enables an
exile to have Zimbabwe dollars deposited at parallel market rates in a
relative's Zimbabwean bank account. Current top rates are Z$1 100 for a British
pound, and Z$ 700 for a US dollar. But website transfer rates are believed to be
somewhat below this. The official rate set by the regime is U$ 1 = Z$ 55, £1 =
Z$ 81. "There are provisions for stop orders and £20 a week can give somebody
$20 000, which they can live on," said Robertson. Sadza.com, also run from the
United States, lists Zimbabwean supermarkets, with categories of goods that can
be billed to a credit card in the developed world. The prices of all the items
you click on are in US dollars and cents and the supermarket gets paid in
foreign currency. "Then the supermarket will phone the person you want to take
pity on and say we have a shopping basket for you. The rates are not very good
and it is rather expensive for the foreigner but he doesn't seem to notice it,"
From Business Day, 9
Rautenbach associate faces fraud
Financial Services Reporter
Belgian banker Willie du Bois, well-known for his links to
former Wheels of Africa owner Billy Rautenbach, has been arrested in
Johannesburg on fraud charges. Rautenbach, a Zimbabwean, is a fugitive, wanted
by the SA authorities for alleged fraud totalling more than R60m in various
commercial dealings. In 1998 Rautenbach paid R115 000 to Du Bois after the
banker acted as an "intermediary" between ABN Amro's SA office and Wheels of
Africa in a suspect deal. Du Bois was arrested on Monday night at his house for
fraud. The police allege that he collected more than R158 000 in income tax from
employees of his firm, Crucial Trade, and failed to pay it over to the SA
Revenue Service. After appearing in a Randburg court yesterday, Du Bois was
released on R8000 bail. Police said Du Bois' son Yves was arrested last week on
the same fraud charges relating to Crucial Trade. Both father and son were
directors and managers of the company.
Du Bois first made headlines after he admitted to taking R115
000 from Rautenbach in his personal capacity when he was the sole representative
in SA of Brussels-based bank Banque Belgolaise. He had introduced Rautenbach to
ABN Amro's former vicepresident of corporate banking, Jean-Charles Pirlet, as
the Zimbabwean tycoon was looking to raise $23m to build a Hyundai plant in
Botswana. After allegations that he subsequently acted fraudulently in providing
credit facilities to Hyundai, Pirlet was tried last year on charges of fraud and
corruption involving $47m. Pirlet was alleged to have "conspired" with
Rautenbach and Du Bois to defraud ABN Amro. He was acquitted, however, due to a
lack of evidence. Du Bois received the money for acting as the go-between, but
failed to disclose the transaction to Banque Belgolaise, which no longer employs
him. Du Bois had also helped Rautenbach fund Hyundai Motor Distributors.
Zimbabwe land policy is lethal for pets
By Angus Shaw
NYABIRA, Zimbabwe - Bonnie, a yellow Labrador, wagged her tail
the last time yesterday before she died.
She is one of 600
dogs that once guarded now-abandoned white-owned farms
veterinarians in a blitz of euthanasia.
The dogs, along with hundreds of
domestic pets, horses, swans and even
goldfish, are victims in Zimbabwe's
political unrest, animal-welfare workers
"People have suffered in
this, but the animals have no mouth to speak, no
ability to make other plan;
they are the silent victims of the tragedy,"
said Meryll Harrison, head of
the independent Zimbabwe National Society for
the Prevention of Cruelty to
Harrison strokes Bonnie's fur gently, and veterinarian Anthony
the phenylbarbitone into a vein in the dog's right foreleg that
the fatal drug straight to her heart and vital organs in a second
"It's all right, sweetheart, it's all right," Harrison holds and
the Labrador as she slumps, her eyelids flutter and she dies.
body is laid alongside the dogs that came before her. Farther away,
12-foot-deep grave has been dug for the 24 dogs put down yesterday in
once-thriving farming community of Nyabira, 20 miles northwest of
the capital. Graves nearby hold the remains of 130 other guard dogs
About 440 others also will die, abandoned by the
security company that owned
them when it collapsed a week ago.
think of anywhere else in the world where 600 dogs have to be put
because all we can provide them with is a dignified death,"
The security company provided crop guards and protection
for some 300 white
farmers and their workers in the Trelawney and Darwindale
tobacco and corn
district. It shut down after most of the farms were seized
government program to take white-owned land and give it to
The government has targeted 95 percent of the nation's 5,000
properties for confiscation. Many farmers were ordered to leave
by Aug. 8.
As farmers fled, horses, chickens, domestic pets,
hamsters, cranes, geese,
swans, hand-reared lion cubs, at least one tamed
baby elephant and even
goldfish were abandoned, Harrison said.
collapsing agricultural economy, farmers were forced to sell pregnant
for slaughter. Where fences were broken, sheep ran loose and pigs fled.
found sows lying exhausted and sunburned, unable to move, and boars
each other that had fought each other to the death,"
Harrison said the tendons on some animals were cut by
militants. Some were
clubbed. Others were slashed, axed or torched to death
Conservation groups have also reported the hunting and killing of
half of the nation's small game animals as well as endangered
rhinos bred in
nature preserves. Deer and African antelope have been sighted
in some areas
for the first time in 40 years. They apparently fled a wave of
seized game farms and now face snares and traps and half-wild
dogs used by
local hunters to kill rabbits, rodents and birds.
said his practice in Harare was destroying about 60 domestic pets
as farmers and others leave in the worst economic and political
Zimbabwe since independence in 1980.
Copyright © 2002 The Seattle Times