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

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Zimbabwe: Border Timbers report Z$15 million in timber set on fire
It was reported that Border Timbers in Zimbabwe has said that at least Z$15 million in timber plantations have been destroyed by government supporters when at least 15 000 cubic metres of mature timber had been set ablaze.
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority seeks greenlight for 30 percent tariff hike
The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) is reportedly seeking Cabinet approval to increase electricity tariffs by as much as 30% in order to remain viable. ZESA executive chairman Sydney Gata has reportedly stated that the increase is in line with plans for the unbundling of the energy parastatal.
Precarious forex position worsens

10/11/01 8:06:17 AM (GMT +2)

Business Editor

Zimbabwe’s precarious foreign exchange (forex) situation continues to worsen, with exports bringing in only US$6,4 million (Z$352 million) on a cash basis.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has said that for the period ending 21 September import payments, on the other hand, totalled US$5,1 million (Z$280,5 million

Muchachi dies

10/11/01 7:56:48 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

CLEMENT Muchachi, a founding member of the nationalist struggle, died on Monday. He was 76.

He was virtually destitute after he was dumped and forsaken by his erstwhile liberation war comrades. Zanu PF plans to declare him a national hero. July Moyo, the party’s provincial chairman for the Midlands, yesterday said they had requested that Muchachi be declared a national hero.

Editor condemns Press harassment

10/11/01 7:58:00 AM (GMT +2)

By Collin Chiwanza

GEOFFREY Nyarota, the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily News, has denounced the continued harassment of journalists, which he said is part of a general crackdown mounted by an increasingly intolerant government.

Nyarota said this in his acceptance speech on Tuesday night in Washington DC, soon after he was presented with the prestigious Knight International Press Fellowship Award for 2001 by the International Centre for Journalists.

Nyarota said: “Journalists, especially those working for The Daily News, have been harassed, intimidated and physically attacked. They have also been subjected to a barrage of vitriolic and defamatory attacks in the government media.


Company invasions increased damage to Zimbabwe's economy.
October 11 2001 at 03:18PM

Harare - Invasions of companies by supporters of Zimbabwe's ruling party earlier this year cost the already staggering economy millions of local dollars in lost production, a report said Thursday.

Between March and May this year, war veterans who support the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) stormed companies under the pretext of resolving wage and employment disputes.

The report, sponsored by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) and a German civic group Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, is based on an analysis of 40 companies, mostly in the capital.

A total figure on losses incurred as a result of the invasions could not be given, but the maximum loss by a single company in the study amounted to 34 million Zimbabwe dollars (US$618,000s), researcher Phineas Kadenge said.

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Price controls to close more firms

By Joseph Ngwawi Business News Editor
10/11/01 7:50:59 PM (GMT +2)

ZIMBABWE'S manufacturing sector and economic experts yesterday warned of
more company closures, massive job cuts and the birth of a black market for
basic commodities as the country slides deeper into economic crisis
following the return of government controls on prices.

In yet another sign of desperation by President Robert Mugabe, the
government yesterday gazetted a Statutory Instrument in which it slapped
controls on the wholesale and retail prices of basic commodities such as
bread, cooking oil, staple maize meal, milk, soap and generic drugs.

The move comes in the wake of accusations by the government and its
supporters that the private sector is profiteering by constantly raising the
prices of basic commodities.

"It is regrettable that repeated appeals for price restraint have gone
largely unheeded and prices have continued to spiral upwards, in many cases
without justification," Industry and International Trade Minister Herbert
Murerwa said yesterday.

"It is government's intention therefore to issue a Statutory Instrument
today in which the wholesale and retail prices of a number of identified
basic commodities and foodstuffs will be gazetted and therefore controlled,"
he said.

But the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, an umbrella body for the
country's manufacturing sector, said the price controls, which became
effective today, could lead to the decimation of Zimbabwe's already
declining industrial base.

"Imposing price controls may have short-term benefits but in the medium to
long-term these measures will result in stressed companies, company
closures, loss of employment and government revenue," CZI president Jacob
Dube warned.

He criticised the government for failing to address the root causes of
Zimbabwe's economic crisis - the government's runaway spending and resultant
ballooning budget deficit - and for focusing on peripheral issues that only
serve short-term interests.

Zimbabwe is facing serious shortages of hard currency and fuel as well as
runaway inflation of 76 percent, which has priced most goods beyond the
reach of the majority of consumers.

"No sane businessman would deliberately price his goods and services to such
an extent that nobody can afford them. Every Zimbabwean manufacturer runs
his business and prices his goods and services in a manner that gives a
return," Dube noted.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change spokesman Learnmore Jongwe said
the decision to control prices, which effectively reverses the government's
market reforms launched in 1991, was the latest in a spate of desperate
measures by Mugabe to shore up his declining national popularity.

"While the decision to control prices is a naked admission of failure on the
part of this government and a further admission of the fact that Zimbabweans
deserve compassionate economic policies, we believe that government
subsidies and not price controls are the short-term answer to this wholly
government-created crisis," Jongwe said in a statement.

Economic analysts said the government's latest action would not bring relief
to the consumers because no steps had been taken to address the problems of
rising production costs and warned that controls would lead to shortages of
basic foodstuffs.

"What they should address first is the problem of the breakdown of the rule
of law and the country-risk issue, which have been the main reasons behind
the shrinkage of Zimbabwe's manufacturing output," said Zimbabwe National
Chamber of Commerce economist James Jowa.

The analysts said the price freeze effectively threw off track the already
delayed Zimbabwe Millennium Recovery Programme (MERP), which had been widely
expected to provide some relief to the country's widening economic problems.

The MERP¾ like its predecessors known as the Economic Structural Adjustment
Programme and the Zimbabwe Programme for Economic and Social Transformation
¾ is based on the premise of market forces.

"It really does throw out the whole programme and sends wrong signals to
investors and others interested in doing business in Zimbabwe," economist
Ternard Kwashirai said.

The analysts noted that the controls would make it virtually impossible for
the Intrernational Monetary Fund, which pulled out of Zimbabwe in 1999 and
has now suspended Zimbabwe from receiving its aid, to return to the country.

The analysts were agreed that the price controls had been timed to try to
lift Mugabe's waning popularity ahead of a crucial presidential ballot due
early next year, but said the consequences of the controls would be
far-reaching and long-lasting.

Already more than 600 companies have folded in Zimbabwe, which has record
unemployment of 60 percent, since last year and at a time when nearly 80
percent of the population lives below the poverty line.
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Major purge at Chronicle

Staff Reporter
10/11/01 7:52:22 PM (GMT +2)

BULAWAYO - Peter Bortwright, the general manager of the state-run Chronicle
newspaper based here, was dismissed this week amid indications that a purge
of its management and editorial departments is imminent.

As news of Bortwright's sacking spread, insiders said uncertainty surrounded
the tenure of Edna Machirori, the daily's first female editor, with some
speculating that she might also be axed.

They said the board of Zimpapers, which runs state newspapers including the
Chronicle, wanted her removed from the post apparently because of her
alleged failure to take a hard line against the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) in Matabeleland.

A memo dated October 9 2001, notifying staff on the paper about the
dismissal of Bortwright and signed by the branch's human resources manager
Caroline Johnson, said:

"Following the departure of Mr P Bortwright from the company, Mr M Moyo will
be acting general manager with effect from October 8 2001 until further

Bortwright retired from the Chronicle as general manager about two years ago
but was later re-appointed to the same post by the late George Capon, the
former chief executive of Zimpapers.

Insiders said the board and some government officials were not happy with
Bortwright's continued presence at the Bulawayo-based daily newspaper.

Zimpapers' chief executive officer Bramwell Kamudyariwa was yesterday
reluctant to discuss the issue, saying only: "Put your questions in writing
and maybe I might respond to them."

The Financial Gazette faxed him the questions but he had not responded at
the time of going to print.

Insiders said Machirori's job as editor of the paper was on the line, but
she declined any comment.

One insider said: "It is just a matter of days before she leaves the paper."

It is understood that she had been initially offered a job at the state-run
news agency ZIANA in Harare and another one at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Authority, but appears to have turned down both.

"In the case of the Broadcasting Authority, she told them that she has no
broadcasting experience as she majored in printing," one source said.

Another added: "The board also feels that as editor of the daily, she has
failed to discredit the MDC in Matabeleland."

The MDC, whose leader Morgan Tsvangirai faces President Robert Mugabe in
crucial presidential elections early next year, enjoys enormous support in
Matabeleland where it won all but two of the 23 contested seats in last
year's parliamentary ballot.

If Machirori leaves Zimpapers, she would be the eighth editor to be fired at
the company since Professor Jonathan Moyo was appointed Information Minister
and government spin-doctor last year with a brief to wage a vigorous
campaign against the MDC.

Meanwhile Brezhnev Malaba, the Chronicle news editor, is tipped to replace
Stephen Ndlovu as editor of the Sunday News. But insiders said there was
vehement opposition from some executives and the newsrooms to the promotion
of Malaba.

"They say he is too green," one source said.

Malaba, who is also linked to a job at the Zimpapers' flagship Herald daily,
yesterday refused to discuss his impending job change.

The Zimpapers board has to date fired Ray Mungoshi, Steven Mpofu, Bornwell
Chakaodza, Pascal Mukondiwa, Funny Mushava and William Chikoto, among other
editors. Former board chief Tommy Sithole was also forced out in March last
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Plot to expel farmers foiled

By David Masunda Deputy Editor-in-Chief
10/11/01 7:55:06 PM (GMT +2)

INFLUENTIAL leaders of Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU PF party and senior
intelligence officers hatched an "Idi Amin-type" plan to expel almost all
white farmers from Zimbabwe by December if international efforts to resolve
the land crisis failed but the plan has apparently been abandoned, it
emerged this week.

The government however denied the existence of such a plan saying the
introduction of the fast-track land reform programme was meant to address
such concerns as the slow pace of resettlement.

Idi Amin, the 1970s ruler of Uganda, expelled all Asians from the East
African country after accusing them of corruption and excessively exploiting
the economy.

The Zimbabwean plan, which seems to have been aborted following the signing
of the Abuja agreement last month, would have begun with riots on farms in
the Chinhoyi and Mhangura areas of Mashonaland West, intelligence sources
told the Financial Gazette.

Many farmers in August fled the rich farming areas from rampaging government
supporters who targeted their small communities for random assaults.

According to the sources, the plan by the CIO and ZANU PF hinged on landless
villagers, party youths and self-styled war veterans being inflamed to
attack farmers and drive them out of properties as the quickest way of
implementing the government's fast-track land reforms.

Marauding bands of villagers and war veterans attacked farmers in
Mashonaland West in August and looted properties, forcing owners and their
workers to flee after an altercation at Liston Shield, a farm about 15 km
from Chinhoyi, ignited the rampage.

It is alleged that some senior ZANU PF leaders had visited the farming area
and urged villagers to physically attack farmers to force them to abandon
their properties.

Twenty-one white farmers were later arrested and are being charged with
common assault. Their case attracted international attention when the courts
initially refused them bail.

According to the sources, the exercise to induce the mass exodus of white
farmers from Zimbabwe was only abandoned after Nigeria successfully cobbled
up a truce between Zimbabwe and Britain, its former colonial master, in
Abuja on September 6.

What also helped to cool tempers was the generous land reform plan offered
before Abuja by some members of the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) as part
of the Zimbabwe Joint Resettlement Initiative.

Under the Abuja agreement, Zimbabwe assured the international community it
would restore law and order in exchange for the resumption of Western aid
and the funding of its land programme.

One source said the "Idi Amin" plan was actually part of a "grand strategy"
hatched by members of the spy Central Intelligence Organisation, war
veterans and some ZANU PF leaders as the final countdown that would have
culminated in attacks on leading members of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC).

Aspects of the plan that apparently found favour among senior military and
intelligence officers included forcing MDC leaders to flee the country
before next year's presidential poll.

"When it comes to the nitty-gritty, these people do not care. They are
guerillas, they are just like the Talibans," said one intelligence source,
referring to the militant Islamic government being pounded by the United
States for allegedly supporting international terrorism.

Almost all of Zimbabwe's senior military and intelligence officers are
former members of Robert Mugabe's pre-independence ZANLA guerrilla army.

The source said Britain and the CFU must have got wind of the plan and
immediately agreed to attend the Abuja talks. The CFU, through a spokesman,
however said this week the organisation did not know of the plan.

Contacted for comment, a senior ZANU PF legislator this week said in
confidence that while not privy to the original plan to scare away farmers,
the intention to get rid of them was well known within the party and would
continue "whether there is Abuja or not".

"It is simple," said the legislator who preferred anonymity, "the whites
have to leave the farms. The difference now is that with Abuja, they will be
paid. Before they would have left with only the compensation for
improvements they made on the properties."

The ZANU PF leader said in provinces such as Mashonaland Central, white
farmers had already realised that only working with the ruling party would
assure their continued stay on their properties.

Welshman Ncube, the MDC's secretary-general, said his party was aware of the
plan to force some of its senior executives into exile or into detention and
scrap next year's presidential election.

"We are aware that that is one of the contingency plans which is said to be
preferred by ZANU PF even now. It's not as if this has been abandoned
because of Abuja," Ncube said.

He said his party's own intelligence sources had warned the MDC that the
ruling party would use all means at its disposal to retain power and these
might include introducing martial law and arresting opposition party

The department of information yesterday evening brushed off the so-called
"Idi Amin" plan saying the fact that the government had introduced the fast
track land reform programme was to address concerns over the slow pace of
resettlement since the Lancaster House conference in 1980.

A government spokesman directed the Financial Gazette to ZANU PF or the
Zimbabwe Liberation War Veterans Association to check whether they knew
about the alleged plan to chase away farmers to speed up the resettlement
exercise. It was not possible to do so before going to print.
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New ZBC managers forced to leave

Staff Reporter
10/11/01 7:55:51 PM (GMT +2)

THREE senior managers of the state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation
(ZBC) have left their posts barely three months after being appointed, it
was learnt yesterday.

Sources said two managers, head of radio services Medelina Dube and head of
broadcasting technology Craig Matambo, had been asked to leave the ZBC
apparently over their performance.

Mike Chingosho, the head of finance and administration, has left

Admire Taderera, the head of sports desk known as SportsNet, has been
ordered to concentrate on his new portfolio and stop his other duties at
Radio Three.

According to the sources, the ZBC board is not happy with the performance of
some managers after evaluating their performance in the first 70 days they
have been in office.

A total of seven managers were appointed in July in a new-look structure
aimed at turning around the operations of the loss-making state broadcaster.

The board is also understood not to be impressed so far by the performance
of the corporation's chief executive Alum Mpofu, who was dramatically
recalled home last week from a trip to France. He returned home yesterday.

ZBC board chairman Gideon Gono could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The ZBC board is understood not to be happy about Mpofu's long absence from
work when he is supposed to be implementing the restructuring exercise of
the corporation, which is still in its initial stages.

Mpofu, a librarian at the South African Broadcasting Corporation in
Johannesburg, joined the ZBC earlier this year charged with lifting the
operations of the corporation ahead of a long-mooted liberalisation of
Zimbabwe's broadcasting industry.
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War vets force Red Cross to abandon $10m project

Staff Reporter
10/11/01 7:59:31 PM (GMT +2)

THE Zimbabwe Red Cross Society has temporarily abandoned a $10 million
sanitation project in Mudzi, Mashonaland East, following attacks on its
employees last week by gangs of war veterans, it was learnt this week.

Five employees were severely assaulted on suspicions of supporting the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change and conducting political
activities in the area.

The five, who were stationed at St Pius Clinic in Mudzi, were confronted by
the war veterans in the early hours of Thursday last week and forced to
drive to the Research Centre at Kotwa Township where the veterans are based.

On arrival at the township, the Red Cross workers were asked to produce
membership cards of the ruling ZANU PF party, which they did not have.

"Four of them came to St Pius Clinic where we were based and asked us to
accompany them to Kotwa to prepare a report for a meeting with the Member of
Parliament," Kisi Katumire, one of the workers, told the Financial Gazette.

"When we queried why we had to prepare a report in the early morning, they
threatened to chop off our heads so we had to oblige," he said.

On arrival at Kotwa, he said, they were asked to explain what they were
doing in Mudzi and to produce "passports", the ZANU PF membership cards.

The workers were beaten for more than an hour for failing to produce the
cards and asked to leave Mudzi the same day after being threatened with

The five, who included a woman, were later admitted at Marondera General
Hospital but were discharged at the weekend.

Desmond Mudombi, secretary-general of the Red Cross, said his society was
still verifying the incident and that its president, Telecommunications
Minister Swithun Mombeshora, was to have visited the area over the weekend.

Mombeshora, who is also a senior ZANU PF leader, could not be reached for
comment yesterday.

Katumire however said his officials had not made a report to the police
because they were following protocol and would wait for their Harare head
office to give the go-ahead.

Red Cross provides the Mudzi community with boreholes, sanitation facilities
such as Blair toilets and health education.

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Officers transferred over passport scam

10/11/01 8:05:12 PM (GMT +2)

THE Registrar-General's Office is transferring many of its senior passport
officers from its Harare head office after allegations of massive corruption
in the issue of travel documents surfaced this week, the Financial Gazette
has learnt.

Reports say rampant corruption is suspected within the passport office, with
desperate travellers being forced to bribe some officers to get their
documents in time.

There are also reports of touts who allegedly work in cahoots with some of
the corrupt officers from the Registrar-General's city premises.

Harare residents this week said they were being charged as much as $3 000 on
top of the usual cost of a passport by the touts to facilitate the quick
processing of travel documents.

The touts charge $1 000 to have a new passport processed within a week and
as much as $20 000 for new documents for those who might have been expelled
from countries such as the United Kingdom and need new birth certificates
and passports.

One of the touts said business was brisk because many young Zimbabweans were
being turned away from countries such as South Africa, the United States and
Britain when they would have tried to sneak into the countries in search of
work and would need new documents because the old ones would be stamped.

Sources at the passport office said officials this week began transferring
some officers to remote parts of the country after suspicions that a massive
passport racket involving some of them could be underway but the move is
being resisted.

It was not possible to get comment from Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede.

- Staff Reporter
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War vets unleash fresh wave of terror

Staff Reporter
10/11/01 8:06:18 PM (GMT +2)

BULAWAYO - Mobs of self-styled war veterans have unleashed fresh violence
against villagers in Nkayi district in Matabeleland North in what appears to
be retaliation for the death last week of a colleague in a grenade explosion
at a popular bar.

According to villagers who visited the Financial Gazette here this week,
state security agents have also descended on the normally peaceful and quiet
district to investigate the incident that led to the death of Mbuso Nyathi,
a 41-year-old war veteran and ZANU PF supporter.

Nyathi, who hailed from Dakamela village, was buried at the weekend amid
rising tension in Nkayi, a constituency that is in the hands of the main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The villagers said war veterans and plainclothes state security agents had
turned Nkayi district into a no-go area for supporters of the labour-backed
MDC, which won all but two of the parliamentary seats in Matabeleland during
last year's parliamentary ballot.

The state security agents, working closely with the war veterans and other
ZANU PF supporters, were harassing, assaulting and intimidating civil
servants and other residents suspected to be supporters of the MDC, the
villagers said.

It is understood that the war veterans blame the death of their colleague on
well-known MDC supporters who have established a campaign base at Nkayi
Business Centre, charges vehemently denied by the opposition party

According to six villagers and MDC activists who visited this newspaper on
Monday, the grenade that killed Nyathi exploded in the hands of the late war
veteran, who intended to throw it at revellers in the Carlton Bar.

"I fled a village in Nkayi in the middle of the night on Sunday for fear for
my life," 31-year-old Alex Khanye told the Financial Gazette. "Police and
war veterans are after my head. They accused us of throwing the grenade that
killed their colleague."

A visibly shaken Khanye, who has been placed in an MDC safe house in
Bulawayo, added: "I was not in the bar when the incident happened, but my
colleagues who were in the bar say the grenade exploded in the hands of the
war veteran. We suspect he wanted to throw it to kill MDC youths who were
drinking in the bar."

Nkululeko Mkandla, 21, said after the explosion the war veterans who were in
the Carlton Bar went on a rampage, assaulting anyone in sight.

"I was beaten up by war veterans the very night the grenade exploded," he
said. "I know the war veterans who beat me up and left me for dead.

"I was later ferried to Nkayi district hospital where I was stitched in the
head. Police came the following day and took me to the police station,
accusing me of being part of the people that threw the grenade."

He said he fled from the police station in Nkayi after realising that the
police and plainclothes state security agents were working in cohoots with
the war veterans.

"You see, these people (war veterans and police) are in the same league so I
felt that my security was not assured, hence the decision to flee to
Bulawayo," Mkandla said. "Out there in the rural areas, it is easy for me to
be killed but not in a bustling city like Bulawayo."

Nkayi villagers Never-lucky Sibanda, Mgcini Ncube, Mthimkhulu Ncube and
Sikhumbuzo Ndebele, who also visited the Financial Gazette this week, said
they fled their homes because the war veterans had sent word that they
wanted them "dead or alive" for supporting the MDC.

Abednigo Bhebhe, the MDC legislator for Nkayi, said the violence in his
constituency had reached alarming proportions, with war veterans taking the
law into their own hands.

Bhebhe, himself severely assaulted by war veterans early this year, accused
police in the area of aiding the veterans and ZANU PF supporters in their
orgy of violence in Nkayi.

He said he had brought the issue of police inaction in his constituency to
the attention of Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo, who also happens to be
from Matabeleland North.

"What is disturbing is the complicity of the local police in the violence,"
Bhebhe said.

"There is one sergeant who always sides with war veterans and is most of the
time in the company of war veterans. It is clear that he is the one after
MDC supporters.

"I have spoken to the Minister of Home Affairs over the conduct of police in
Nkayi. Villagers have asked me to ask the minister to remove (the sergeant)
from the area because if he is no removed, the violence with not end. People
are very angry with the selective justice practised by this policeman."

Nkomo, who also doubles-up as the ruling party's national chairman, was not
immediately available for comment this week.

Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena however denied police
involvement in violence against residents of Nkayi.

"It's highly irresponsible for anyone to say that our officers are working
in cohoots with war veterans or any other members of a political party. We
sent all the necessary special units to work on the issue and investigations
concerning the grenade explosion are still going on. We don't involve
ourselves in politics."
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27 000 Zimbabweans fall victim to human rights violations

Staff Reporter
10/11/01 8:07:31 PM (GMT +2)

ABOUT 27 633 people have fallen victim to human rights violations in
Zimbabwe and 20 853 have been forcibly displaced by violence since the
beginning of the year, according to statistics from the non-governmental
organisation (NGO) Amani Trust.

Shari Eppel, a director of Amani which provides services for the
rehabilitation of victims of human rights violations, said this week the
statistics were contained in a report compiled by Amani using information
from victims affected by the violations and from "credible sources".

She told the Financial Gazette: "We use what we consider credible sources
and don't always speak to the victims ourselves. Some of our information
does come from victims but we also use other NGOs, media reports and other
organisations we consider credible."

According to the Amani Trust report of the victims affected between January
1 and September 30, 30 died from gunshot wounds, burns and beatings.

About six were raped and 12 threatened with rape, while 753 were threatened
with death or disappearance, 2 928 were assaulted with blunt and sharp
objects or burnt and 5 138 were threatened with assault.

The NGO recorded 588 cases of detention and kidnapping while there were 1
165 offences in which property was destroyed or stolen and 20 853
Zimbabweans were displaced by violence or threats of violence.

"Numbers of displaced people are particularly hard to gauge accurately as
they now run to the tens of thousands," the report said.

"Violations that are monitored but not listed here individually include
violations of freedom of expression, association and movement as well as
voters' rights.

"In the last months, owing to increasing prevalence of such violations,
incidents of illegal dismissal of people from their work by others and
barricading of people in their own homes and deliberate burning of grazing
and wilderness areas are now being specifically recorded."

There were 210 unlawful dismissals reported between January and September,
218 cases of people being barricaded in their homes and 33 farming and
wilderness areas were affected by deliberate burning.

About 33 percent of the victims of human rights abuses between July and
September were members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), 5.3 percent belonged to the ruling ZANU PF while 61.7 percent had no
known political affiliation.

The majority of perpetrators, 73.3 percent, were ZANU PF supporters and war
veterans, 16 percent were police officers, 0.6 percent were members of the
Central Intelligence

Organisation, 2.5 percent MDC supporters and 3.2 percent were unknown.

The Amani report said: "There has been a dramatic increase in reported
violence in the last three months, mainly linked to continued violence on
commercial farms which have affected tens of thousands of families, but also
linked to elections around the country, notably in Chikomba and (to a
lesser) degree Bulawayo."

Eppel added: "Political violence has continued (in September), resulting in
three more deaths, hundreds of assaults and thousands of displacements of
people - estimated by some to be around 70 000 displaced at this point.
Harassment of the opposition, including attempted assassinations, false
arrest, beatings and abductions, continued, as have attacks on journalists
from the independent papers.

"All in all, September has not been a good month and the cancellation of the
Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Brisbane in the wake of the 11
September attacks on the USA has been a blow to many Zimbabweans who hoped
President Mugabe would be reprimanded by heads of state around the world and
given guidelines to adhere to ahead of the 2002 elections."

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Govt bars poll observers

Staff Reporter
10/11/01 8:10:14 PM (GMT +2)

THE government has blocked international election observers wishing to visit
the country to prepare for a landmark presidential poll to be held early
next year in what is being interpreted as a calculated plan to give the
international community little chance to scrutinise Zimbabwe's defective
electoral process.

Exploiting a clause in an accord it signed last month with Commonwealth
countries in the Nigerian capital Abuja, which says international
organisations should help Zimbabwe with its electoral process when requested
by Harare, the government has so far prevented exploratory teams from Europe
and the US from visiting Zimbabwe.

The government says the teams from the European Union, the United States of
America and other countries should first wait for its invitation before
coming to Zimbabwe and has not extended any invitations, even though the
high stakes presidential ballot must be held by the end of March.

Foreign diplomats based in Harare this week told the Financial Gazette that
the government was trying to ensure that the international community did not
witness pre-election harassment of the opposition.

Harassment and violence against the opposition was prevalent months before
the general elections last year and before by-elections held since then, and
is already in evidence now.

Foreign Affairs Minister Stan Mudenge would not answer questions over the
phone when contacted by the Financial Gazette about this issue, saying this
newspaper should go through what he called "proper channels".

His permanent secretary Willard Chiwewe had not responded to written
questions by the time of going to print last night.

However, the Unite States government was last week forced to send a
diplomatic note demanding that Harare clearly indicates when it is going to
allow into the country a team from the International Foundation for Election
Systems, which the Harare authorities have barred from entering Zimbabwe.

A US embassy spokesman this week refused to comment on this issue, saying
diplomatic etiquette barred him from commenting about the contents of
diplomatic notes or communication.

A European Union spokesperson said the 14-nation body was still discussing
with Mudenge's ministry for a technical team that was barred three weeks ago
to be allowed into the country.

"We are still talking to the government that the technical team needs to
come and do the preparations now. When you send observers you need time,"
the spokesperson said.

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Squatters slash tobacco crop

10/11/01 8:10:43 PM (GMT +2)

THE Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) this week reported that 20 illegal
settlers on Njiri Farm in Mashonaland west had set upon 1.5 hectares of
tobacco crop and chopped it as violence on farms continues.

A situation report from the CFU said the destroyed tobacco, which had been
planted four weeks ago, was part of a 25-hectare irrigated crop which cost
farmer Peter Flanagan $2 million. The damage which took place on Tuesday
morning was estimated at $130 350.

The CFU said Njiri farm had been divided into about 30 plots by agricultural
extension officers in July but no compulsory acquisition notification had
been received from the government.

Police arrived two hours after the destruction of the crop and addressed the
illegal settlers who then stopped chopping the tobacco, the CFU said.

Meanwhile, the CFU said that a 73-year-old farmer, J H Wessels, was picked
up by police on Saturday morning following a report by war veterans that he
was burning the veldt on his property.

He was detained until Tuesday after his case on a charge of arson was heard
by a Midlands magistrate. He is out on a $5 000 bail.

The CFU said violence, extortion and snaring of game was continuing on
farms, but police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said he had not received any
such reports this week.

He also declined to comment on whether or not the government had started
moving invaders who settled on commercial farms after March 31, in line with
the Abuja accord on Zimbabwe's land crisis signed by the government in the
Nigerian capital last month.

The Minister of Lands and Agriculture, Joseph Made, said yesterday he would
only respond to questions on this issue if they are put to him in writing. -
Staff Reporter
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Moving tale of pain, evils that have torn Zim apart

10/11/01 6:49:31 PM (GMT +2)


Title: Voices of Zimbabwe

Authors: Glyn Hunter, Larry Farren and Althea Farren

Publishers: Alfa (Pvt) Ltd, South Africa, 2001

Pages: 289

INTENSE pain, coura-ge and tears have become a major part of most
Zimbabwe-ans, whose lives have been torn apart by the evil machinations of a
ruling party that is trying to hang on to power by the skin of its teeth.

Voices of Zimbabwe is yet another book that tells the story of both black
and white Zimbabweans in a well structured manner that goes back to when the
latest troubles between the races began.

It narrates the story of people who first survived a civil war, then a
tribal civil war and looks at how, when much later some thought some
semblance of normality had descended on the nation, it was torn apart again.

Following the rejection by Zimbabweans of the government-sponsored draft
constitution last year, the country has been plunged into anarchy by unruly
supporters and war veterans of the ruling ZANU PF party.

With the government's blessing, the war veterans invaded thousands of farms
owned by the country's white commercial farmers in February last year and
life has never been the same again for most Zimbabweans.

This book adequately demonstrates through voices of Zimbabweans from the
different colour divide and from diverse backgrounds what really happened
from the colonial era to 1980 when Rhodesia gained independence to become

It also looks at the intervening periods between 1980 and the present
moment. In graphic detail, it shows the racial resentment built up over
generations as advances in the economy and educational development were not
matched by parallel advances in civic rights for the black majority.

Like Cathy Buckle's African Tears, this is a moving tale of pain, courage,
violence and at times crushing abuse perpetrated by a government against its
own people.

This is also an amazing story of how both black and white people trampled
upon and smothered by their own government have risen above the rubble that
has become their lives to emerge united in the face of one common enemy -
their government.

Simply told in prose as well as by voices of different Zimbabweans, Voices
of Zimbabwe is a must-read for anyone who has been trying to make sense of
the untold violence that has gripped this country since last year when the
farm invasions, rapings, killings and brutal beatings began.

A white commercial farmer tells his story; so does the war veteran and
everyone else who has been touched by the mayhem.

In a no-holds-barred fashion, everyone gets to tell their story, giving the
reader more insight into the thinking of the various groups involved in the
so-called war for the land.

The research by the three authors of the book readily supports the common
knowledge that the Zimbabwean leadership, now gasping for survival, is
hell-bent on destroying the country in order to hang onto power, even if it
means using the emotive land issue to try to regain fast-dwindling support.

The authors - Glyn Hunter, Larry Farren and Althea Farren - although born
outside Zimbabwe, were raised on farms in the country.

Their book is based on their experiences over the past several decades and
on interviews and research they conducted specifically for the writing of
this book.

- Arts Editor Grace Mutandwa
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Industry fretful as Zimbabwe rules out dollar devaluation
October 11 2001 at 07:20AM

Harare - A devaluation of the Zimbabwean dollar in the foreseeable future was ruled out yesterday by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Leonard Tsumba, a move that has riled the country's industry.

Tsumba, on a visit to Malaysia with President Robert Mugabe, told journalists that devaluation was not an option at this juncture.

He refuted widespread reports in the Zimbabwean media last week that the country's currency would soon be devalued by about 56 percent to restore confidence in the exchange rate and crush a thriving black market for foreign currency.

Zimbabwe is facing acute shortages of hard currency. The business sector has repeatedly called for a devaluation and even finance minister Simba Makoni has suggested it. However, he has been overruled by Mugabe.

Makoni has openly said that Zimbabwe's foreign exchange policy is now discredited. However, sources said Mugabe had ruled out devaluation until after the presidential elections next year.

Mugabe and his other cabinet ministers fear devaluation will have inflationary effects on an economy already under heavy siege.

Reports last week said the Zimbabwean dollar was set to be devalued by 56 percent from Z$55 to the US dollar to Z$125.

The Zimbabwean government has dismissed the reports.

Tsumba said devaluation had its own costs and was not an option at this juncture.

The central bank would nonetheless continue with its crackdown on commercial banks trading above the official exchange rate, he said, and a number of banks had already been fined.

The black market is offering an average Z$300 to the US dollar.

An official with the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries said yesterday that the government's refusal to devalue the currency was ample proof that it had run out of ideas to manage the economy.

"That the Zimbabwean dollar is in need of imminent devaluation is now obvious, even to the ordinary man in the street," said the official.

"What I read in this government's refusal to implement what has become obvious is a tacit admission of failure to run this economy."

The spokesperson said prices of commodities would in fact continue rising for as long as businesses resorted to the black market to buy foreign currency to import goods.

"It's mere stupidity to think they can keep prices down by not devaluing. The opposite is what is happening," the official said. - Independent Foreign Service

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Gaddafi, Mugabe in terror probe
Western Intelligence organisations are said to be keeping a close eye on Cape-based anti-drug group Pagad amid allegations that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is funding the organisation, according to reports in Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst (IAA).

Gaddafi’s recent visit and pledge of funding to Zimbabwe seems to have sparked this consternation. The article appearing in IAA quotes a South African intelligence source as saying that Gaddafi had meetings with senior Pagad members in Harare.

The article also claims that South Africa’s intelligence services are particularly interested in Gaddafi’s promise of US$360-million in oil and $1-million contribution to President Mugabe’s ruling party Zanu-PF to fight next year’s election.

Speaking to on the article, editor of Islamic Affairs at the Jane’s Information Group, Stephen Ulph, said it seems Gaddafi, who’s Pan-Arab image has taken a dent, is trying to build up an image in Africa and in return for “funding”, Mugabe will give Gaddafi “space”. In late August Gaddafi bought several safe houses in Harare.

Quoting London’s Sunday Times, the article alleges that the houses are likely to be used “'for death squads supplied by the Libyan dictator as part of his plan to assist the man he sees as his embattled comrade in arms, President Robert Mugabe.'”

But intelligence ministry spokesperson Thembi-Nkosi Lehloesa told that local intelligence is not investigating a link between Gaddafi and Pagad. He denied reports appearing in Die Burger alleging local intelligence services were assisting the Americans in such an investigation.

In reference to the IAA article, Lehloesa told that he does not know who the IAA could be quoting as they have no record of such findings.

However, as South Africa has a relationship with Libya, Lehloesa stated that if Pagad were receiving funding from the country, the matter would be discussed with them.

He did, however, confirm that South Africa was offering intelligence support to their American counterparts, following an undertaking by Cabinet to do so on September 19. The undertaking followed the devastating terror strikes in New York and Washington in which more than 5 000 perished.

However, IAA asserts that South Africa’s intelligence services have already tried to establish to what extent Gaddafi is involved in funding Pagad and are also probing who paid for the 400 Pagad-linked volunteers to join the Palestinian Intifada (uprising) in the Middle East.

During his Harare visit, Gaddafi called on an Indian Muslim Group to declare a jihad and throw the whites out of the country. IAA report that Gaddafi also said that if they did not do so, he would be forced to bring in “strong-arm elements from Pagad, with which he told them he had close links”.

The IAA also reports that Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has confirmed that he is aware of the Libyan/Pagad presence in his country. But when speaking to, the MDC was not yet prepared to comment.

IAA meanwhile quotes another source saying that in a bid to overcome travel problems between South African and Zimbabwe, special instructions have been passed onto immigration officials at both the Harare Airport and the border post at Beit Bridge to allow unrestricted access to Pagad members. This step was reportedly taken on the instructions of Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organisation because Pagad members are likely to have criminal records.

When presented with these allegations, Pagad spokesperson Abeedah Roberts said the organisation had "no comment".

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Mugabe Flies Back to Face the Changes

Michael Hartnack

The Zimbabwean president created an alibi for himself when hangings were reintroduced

President Robert Mugabe flew back into Harare this week, after hangings were resumed and drastic plans to fix basic commodity prices below the cost of production were unveiled in his absence.

Just as Mugabe established a foreign alibi for himself in January 1999 when independent journalists Mark Chavunduka and Ray Choto were abducted and tortured, he was away on a prolonged jaunt to South East Asia when Zimbabwe's newly appointed hangman got busy after a three-year moratorium on executions.

Likewise, the pricing plans were unveiled before Mugabe touched down at Harare. This leaves the way clear for the president to disown responsibility should they prove unworkable. Past somersaults in economic policy were announced during his frequent trips abroad, and declared later to have been made without his consent.

While Mugabe was visiting Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia, Minister of Information Jonathan Moyo and Reserve Bank Governor Leonard Tsumba dropped hints that a return to a pre-1990 command economy was imminent after 10 years of failed reforms.

Professor Welshman Ncube, secretary general of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said he abhorred the resumption of hangings by a regime that had "encouraged killing of political opponents, and authorised murder on a wide scale".

"You worry a great deal about the intentions in the long term. It is terrible you have a government under siege which seems to have all its priorities wrong - you have a country in a mess and you start hanging people."

More than 100 people have died in 18 months of violence centred on 5,000 white-owned farms, many of them occupied by state-sponsored former guerillas.

Moyo and Tsumba said the Zimbabwean government would bridle the current 76% inflation through tighter enforcement of official exchange rates - Z$55 to US$1 - against black market rates of between Z$250 and Z$350 to US$1. The rand, officially at Z$6,5, fetches at least five times that amount from Beitbridge touts.

Minister of Industry and commerce Herbert Murerwa unveiled regulations to force down the price of a loaf of bread from Z$60 to Z$34, while the price of maize meal is to be pegged at just under Z$23/kg, sugar at Z$22/kg, cooking oil at Z$70 for 750 ml and beef at Z$125/kg.

The country is short of up to one million tonnes of maize needed to see it through to next year, while much of the national beef herd has been slaughtered as pandemonium reigns on commercial farms.

Eddie Cross, economics adviser to the MDC, warns basics may soon become completely unavailable. Customs officers have orders to stop cross-border shoppers going home with truckloads bought at comparatively bargain prices.

The MDC fears an official rationing system may be used to dragoon voters in the run-up to presidential elections scheduled before next April.

Malvern Rusike, chief executive of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, said the controls are "futile", leading to shortages, hoarding and bankruptcy of producers.

Zimbabwe's Roman Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace has conducted a prolonged campaign against the death penalty but Mugabe amended the Constitution to block challenges to hanging of those left languishing on death row. One of the latest three hanged in Zimbabwe had been on death row for more than five years.

The last public hangman died shortly after the last executions in April 1998. Mugabe's government has sent 66 to the gallows since independence in 1980.

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Zimbabwean Ministers Discuss 2002 Budget

HARARE, Oct 11, 2001 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The Zimbabwean cabinet ministers
and other senior government officials Thursday attended a closed-door seminar at
Darwendale, about 90 kilometers outside the capital Harare, to fine tune and see
how the 2002 national budget could be piloted through on November 1.

Sources close to the meeting told Zimbabwe News Agency that Finance Minister
Simba Makoni voiced strong concern over farm invasions which are disrupting
production, and over the need for the country to restore confidence.

"Makoni said we should restore confidence ourselves so that others can have
confidence in investing in the country," the sources said. "Talking about
sabotages every time will not help us."

Other hot issues that were discussed included the need to increase exports and
the contentious issue of currency devaluation, the sources said, adding that
"Makoni said more money should go towards capital expenditure which could
improve the welfare of the people and create jobs."

Among those present at the pre-budget seminar were Vice President Joseph Msika,
Industry and International Trade Minister Herbet Murerwa, Public Service, Labor
and Social Welfare Minister July Moyo, Information and Publicity Minister
Jonathan Moyo, other senior government officials and business executives.

Makoni will present the national budget on November 1. Economists observed that
the challenges he faces include tackling a high consumption expenditure,
declining revenue, privatization of public enterprises, devaluation and
repairing the damage that has been done to the economy.
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Security At Border to Be Increased

Daisy Jones

THERE will be an increased police and army presence at the Beit Bridge border post on Monday when between 10000 and 16000 Zimbabwean farm labourers working in SA are repatriated.

The labourers, said to be in SA illegally, are being sent home to free up jobs for South Africans in the Northern Province.

Provincial police spokeswoman Captain Ronel Otto said the SA Police Service and SA National Defence Force members were being sent to the border in case the Zimbabweans refused to leave of their own accord.

Home affairs directorgeneral Billy Masetlha was in Messina yesterday to check breaks in the fence at the border post.

The labour and home affairs departments have been negotiating for the repatriation with the Messina farming community for several months.

Agreement was reached between government and the farmers on Tuesday. Farmers will have the opportunity tomorrow to make appeals on "exceptional cases" to a governmental task team. These cases will be considered during a 90-day "grace" period. Masetlha also assured farmers that their security concerns would be looked into.

On Monday immigration officials will inspect the farms for illegal immigrants, Masetlha said.

The labour department already has a database of unemployed locals to replace the Zimbabweans on the farms.

In addition home affairs have asked local political and traditional leaders to ensure that job seekers are enlisted.

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