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

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Over the edge and down the gorge
No dreams no future here to forge
The darkness smothers all dreams and plans!
You're a refugee in your own land!
The world is deaf - no one hears
Or is it just that no one cares?

Yet long ago you stood and fought
For what was right - what you were taught.
The world cried, "Shame!"
"Change your ways and change your name!"
Give up your future, your life and generation!
Then the world's eyes were on your Nation!

Now they look the other way
And they have no words to say.
The pain is worse than ever before -
After - or during the "freedom" war!
The Terrorist now wears suit and tie -
In motorcades he drives on by.

Larger than life, so evil and bold
Adorned in medals, silver and gold!
Whilst you battle each day to live
Your life, dig deep to find more to give.
You've no where to go, nowhere to turn….
With heavy heart you watch your nation burn.

The rest of the world has other views
As they get caught in their daily news.
Their fight is pictured from page to page,
Yet no one hears Zimbabwe's Rage.
More people are homeless, hurt and die…..
But no one cares - life passes by.

Mr. Bush, Mr. Howard, Mr. Blair
It really is time for you to hear!
Listen to what's happening to this nation -
Destruction! Terror and Desecration!
Stop this madness soon before….
Too late! Its' become another war!

Millions go hungry, they have no home
Together on this planet - so alone!
There's no tomorrow - no to-day,
No one to stand and lead the way.
The light is dim, the tunnel long.
Where do these people all belong?

They belong in Africa, it is their home.
Born to die here - all alone!
The sky their roof, for they have none
The war with terror once more begun.
Terror now rules with a mighty hand!
Terror covers all the land.

No corner safe. No life secure
Once again consumed by war.
Torture and terror,  now in every place.
Seen daily,  etched in every face.
We need your help we need your hand
To bring peace to this promised land!
Let the people be as one!
One Land, One People under the African Sun!

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Daily News

Police arrest MDC MP

10/15/01 7:17:37 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporters

THE MP for Dzivaresekwa, Edwin Mushoriwa was arrested yesterday on a charge
of public violence and taken to Warren Park police station.

A policeman who declined to be named confirmed the arrest and charge.
Mushoriwa, a member of the MDC, was arrested after his party’s supporters
were attacked by Zanu PF youths at Kambuzuma Shopping Centre in Section
Five, where a rally was scheduled to be held.

All shops were immediately ordered closed for the day.
Willas Madzimure, the MP for Kambuzuma, said: “This was a planned thing by
Zanu PF. As I was setting up the tables and chairs for the MDC delegates, I
heard a whistle blow. All of a sudden a group of Zanu PF youths came running
towards us from all directions. They threw stones at us. Then I heard two
gun shots and we fled.”

The furniture set up by Madzimure for the MDC delegates was still on fire
when The Daily News crew arrived at the scene.
“What is surprising is that my fellow MP who had absolutely nothing to do
with the violence has been arrested and is being charged with public
violence,” said Madzimure.
“I don’t know how they think they can get away with it because the people of
Zimbabwe are not foolish. We were given the permission to hold the rally and
we expected police protection, but none of the police were there. For all I
know, they may have been part of the group.”

Riot police were called in to quell the violence.
Madzimure, Nelson Chamisa, the MDC’s national youth chairman were due to
address the rally.
Two weeks ago, a similar incident occurred when MDC supporters on their way
to a “reunion” rally in Epworth were attacked by Zanu PF youths.
Meanwhile, the MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai says his party will emerge
stronger and more united after the commission of inquiry, set up to look
into the internal disturbances that rocked the party late last month,
presents its report.

Tsvangirai said in an interview yesterday that no member had been expelled
from the MDC.
They had merely been suspended from party positions and the national
Tsvangirai was explaining the suspension of four Members of Parliament party
spokesman and MP for Kuwadzana, Learnmore Jongwe; security chief and MP for
St Mary’s Job Sikhala; Zengeza MP and member of the national executive
Tafadzwa Musekiwa; and shadow minister of finance Tapiwa
Mashakada, who is the MP for Hatfield.

The four MPs, together with Alex Musundire, the Chitungwiza provincial
chairman, were relieved of their duties on Saturday pending investigations.
Tsvangirai said the suspensions were a temporary measure meant to facilitate
the commission of inquiry.
The MDC president said he was aware of the general anxiety among party
members following the recent developments within his party but said the MDC
was not divided at all in all its structures.

“I believe the party will be much healthier, stronger and more united
afterwards. The members have only been relieved of their official duties and
this is as a result of collective action agreed to by the party. If we don’t
take action, you begin to accuse us of being lethargic,” Tsvangirai said.
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Commercial Farmers Cling to Their Maize

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

October 14, 2001
Posted to the web October 15, 2001

Paul Nyakazeya

The government directive that all farmers must sell their grain products to
the state-owned Grain Marketing Board (GMB) is proving ineffective as large
scale producers prefer to cling to their maize out of fear that the
parastatal could fail to pay them.

For the past few seasons, the GMB has struggled to pay farmers resulting in
even the communal farmers refusing to sell their grain, particularly maize,
through the organisation.

Faced with a serious food crisis triggered by its fast track land
resettlement programme which has disrupted farming activities on many of the
productive farms, the government decided to restore the GMB's monopoly on
the procurement of maize to ensure total control of the grain produced in
the country.

The ban saw farmers who had forward contracted their produce, registering a
loss as their lucrative deals were rendered void.

Another problem with the GMB monopoly is that the government sets the
producer prices of the respective grains, and with players such as the
Zimbabwe Agricultural Commo- dity Exchange (Zimace) out of the running, the
GMB no longer has to worry about competition.

Farmers who spoke to The Standard last week said although the board had paid
out about $1 billion to the farmers last season, it still needed to improve
its payment system to instil confidence in producers.

Said one farmer: "It would be better if they gave a reason for the delayed
payments. The money they paid the farmers recently was for maize delivered
to them from the beginning of the marketing season.

"It is a pity that farmers cannot sell their maize elsewhere after the
gazetting of the Statutory Instrument which gave the GMB the monopoly on all
grains." The producer price for maize is currently pegged at between $8 200
and $8 500 a tonne.

Contacted for comment, the acting GMB chief executive, Joan Mtukwa,
acknowledged the delays in payment to the farmers but said the situation was
likely to change.

"We have computerised some depots to speed up payment. Farmers should
actually rally behind the government to ensure the country has enough grain
for the nation by delivering to the GMB," said Mtukwa.

The government decided to classify maize this year when it became suspicious
that the farmers were attempting to create false shortages by hoarding their

Zimbabwe is set to import about 100 000 tonnes of maize from South Africa to
complement local stocks from last season.

The maize shortage has been attributed to the seizure of farms which started
last year in February after the rejection of the government-sponsored draft
constitution in a referendum. This year, farmers produced 1,54 million
tonnes of maize-down from last season's 2,1 million tonnes.

The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) is said to be lifting
restrictions to allow quick movement of grain from Zimbabwe and other
southern African countries and thus avert the looming shortage in the

Farmers have also expressed reservations over the fixed maize pre-planting
price of $15 000 per tonne for the 2001/2 season. They described the price
as too low and as failing to move with inflation.

Meanwhile, agricultural experts have warned that the regulation of the maize
market is likely to act as a disincentive to maize producers.

"Being restricted to one buyer who tells you the price you get for your
produce is not the exact situation any producer would envy," said an expert.

"This season, all producers are obviously forced to sell to the GMB hence
more maize will be available to the parastatal's strategic reserves.

However, in the coming seasons, more farmers will shy away from maize which
is regulated, and concentrate on crops which are not regulated by
government," he added.

Another agriculturalist said it would be difficult for farmers to entrust
all their maize to the GMB because of the parastatal's poor record of

"The GMB has been rocked by scandals and already, it clearly has too much on
its hands-the Silo brand, the input credit, the general grain and crop
marketing strategy and now sole buyer of the nation's maize...this will
definitely worsen the inefficiency within the GMB," he said.

Another problem is that the parastatal is perennially underfunded. In recent
years, it has not been able to make timely payments to the farmers for their
produce. Last season, farmers were paid six months after their maize

Said Blessing Mazire, another agricultural expert: "Beset with such cash
flow problems, the GMB should not shoulder the responsibility of buying all
maize produced in the country. With an official 70% inflation rate, getting
paid after six months will not be attractive to any farmer who aims at
viability but has bank loans to clear and workers to pay." The experts also
dismissed the new $15 000 per tonne producer price for maize, saying such a
price will lead to a drop in the profitability of maize production.

"If more farmers move out of maize production or reduce maize hectarage, we
will come back again to the food security problem," said Mazire.

"Zimbabwe may thus become a perpetual importer of maize if the incentives to
produce keep dropping. With the country's precarious forex situation this
would be the worst case scenario." With devaluation of the local currency
imminent, millions of dollars will be spent on sourcing forex to import a
few tonnes of maize.

"The government will be forced to fork out between $25 000 to $30 000 per
tonne for imported maize. This would be self-defeating as government will be
paying more to outside producers at the expense of local farmers," said an
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Business Report

Zimbabwe government will seize failed businesses says Mugabe
October 15 2001 at 12:25PM
Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Monday threatened to
nationalize businesses that close because of strict price controls on basic
commodities issued last week.

"We will as the state take over any businesses that close. Businesses that
deliberately close, we will take them over, they are ours anyway as the
nation. We will reorganize them with the workers," Mugabe said at the
funeral of liberation war veteran Clement Muchachi.

"After all, the assets belong to the people of this country, and those tired
of doing business here can pack up and go. So government will vigorously
enforce the gazetted prices, and let no one on this front expect less," he

"We are not saying to businesses, let them operate with a loss at all. We
are saying, let them not operate at profiteering levels that affect everyone
in the country. And also let them not operate with political motives
underlying," he added.

Mugabe has accused businesses of attempting to foster popular discontent by
repeatedly raising their prices, ahead of hotly contested presidential
elections expected early next year.

Soaring inflation topped 70 percent last month, and is expected reach 100
percent by the year's end.

But prices for basic goods such as bread, sugar and cooking oil have risen
faster than the official rate of inflation, some quadrupling in recent

Last week the government ordered manufacturers and retailers to revert to
prices of two months ago for bread, maize meal, sugar, cooking oil, beef,
chicken and pork.

The price freeze is the first since the government abolished price controls
in 1991 as part of Western-backed economic reforms. - Sapa-AFP
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15 Oct 2001
Save the Children: training for disasters in Zimbabwe

Save the Children's Jester Primary School in Mutorashanga, Mashonaland.

Save the Children UK has organised a series of disaster preparedness workshops in the country. Its programme director for Zimbabwe Chris McIvor told AlertNet correspondent Busani Bafana what the workshops are designed to achieve and spoke more broadly about her organisation’s activities in Zimbabwe.

BB: What led Save the Children to hold disaster preparedness workshops such as the one held recently in Mashonaland province?

CM: There were several factors that led to our decision to embark on an emergency preparedness programme in Zimbabwe. One factor that prompted our interest was the clear evidence from the events surrounding Cyclone Eline that many local and international NGOs, as well as local and national Government departments were caught unawares by what happened. Plans were either not in place or were inadequate for the scale of the problem. Transport of relief supplies and assistance took too long to reach the people in need. The other event that prompted us to look at emergency preparedness training arose from our response to the floods in Muzarabani and Tsholotsho earlier this year. We had very good liaison with the authorities at provincial and district level, and the communities were committed to helping identify and assist those who were most affected.

But on the ground, at district and community level, there were several gaps identified in terms of assessments and evaluation of the scale of the problem, planning response, managing logistics, targeting those in need, communications and evaluating the relief programme. The district level authorities expressed a keen interest in receiving training, so that they would be better prepared if future events of this nature occurred. Save the Children then held discussions with the Civil Protection Unit (CPU) in Harare, who confirmed that they were keen to decentralise training to provincial and district level.

BB: What do you hope to achieve through such training workshops?

CM: Emergencies and disasters are unpleasant events to talk about. People also think that it may be a waste of time to prepare for an emergency which never happens. But it is our experience in many countries where Save The Children works, that unless communities, ministries, NGOs are prepared and have plans for a response, that the scale of suffering will be much higher in the end if a disaster strikes. Through these workshops we hope to support the acquisition of skills at provincial, district and community level so that if an emergency of whatever nature takes place a professional, timely and effective response can be mounted.

BB: Would you say NGOs such as yours are adequately trained for disasters such as the recent flooding in southern Africa?

CM: No amount of training is ever adequate. An event will always occur that clearly shows our responses can be better. Look at what happened in the United States last month. Despite being one of the most sophisticated technological societies in the globe with almost unlimited resources at their disposal, they were still unprepared for what happened. So none of us in the NGO sector can ever afford to say that we are adequately prepared for emergency events. We constantly need to improve our training, our plans, our responses etc. so that the communities we work with can be better served if a disaster, like the floods in southern Africa, occurs again.

But I would also like to add that it is not just the role of NGOs to respond to disasters when they occur. We need to be more pro-active in preventing them from happening in the first place. If poverty forces people to live in flood-prone areas, as is the case in parts of the Zambezi Valley and Mozambique, then we need to carry out development programmes that reduce people's vulnerability. Quite frankly, they shouldn't be living in some of these areas, but poverty has forced them to cultivate fields and build houses in areas which are prone to flooding. There are more people dying in emergencies these days than 10 years ago. I do not believe that this is because there are more so called "natural" disasters or that the climate is rapidly changing. I believe it is because poverty is increasing and people are more vulnerable to hazardous events as a result.

BB: What other projects or programmes is your organisation involved in in Zimbabwe and southern Africa?

CM: Save the Children has been working in Zimbabwe since 1980. We have worked in close partnership with government, local government, communities and other NGOs to deliver programmes that benefit children. Our current portfolio of work includes programmes in education, food security, water and sanitation, child rights, and HIV/ AIDS prevention and care. In addition we have been involved in emergency preparedness, training and capacity building for over one year. Our principal areas of focus are those communities which remain marginalized, because of poverty, geography and social or ethnic status. We have therefore concentrated much of our work in the Zambezi Valley, where the Tonga communities were seriously impacted by their relocation from the Zambezi River in the 1950s to make way for Kariba dam. We also worked for some 19 years with farm worker communities in Mashonaland Central, where we ran programmes in nutrition, housing, literacy, pre-school education and health care. We have also undertaken some work in informal mining communities, especially those around Mutoroshanga, since our recent research clearly indicated that children in these locations were deprived of a whole range of services. Many have been forced to engage in child labour, to an extent that compromises their rights to education, health and recreation.

One of our other principal areas of interest is also to seek to ensure that children participate both in the identification of problems and the solutions that are offered to them. I think that there is a tendency in the work of charitable organisations to assume that you always know best, that communities are beneficiaries of assistance and have nothing to contribute. This is especially the case with children, who are treated as passive recipients of aid rather than partners in development. As a result they are never consulted, even when they know more about appropriate solutions. Children, for example, pointed out to us a few years ago that the water pumps we constructed in the Zambezi Valley were "unfriendly". They were sited far away from schools. They were too heavy to operate. And they told us that they were the ones in the household who had the major duty of collecting water. They asked us why we had never given them training in pump maintenance and water hygiene. Our programme has now begun to incorporate their inputs, and we have included children in several of the village water point committees that we set up in the Zambezi Valley communities.

BB: How many people have been trained in these workshops and they are at what level of management?

CM: We have funded three emergency training workshops to date, and another three are planned over the coming two months. The target audience various from senior level decision makers in organisations, to operational staff on the ground. The Bindura workshop had around 60 participants, and the Sphere minimum standards workshop we held in Harare had about 30 participants at each workshop.

BB: What are your responsibilities in Save the Children UK and how long have you been with the organisation in Zimbabwe?

CM: I am currently the programme director of Save the Children in Zimbabwe. I manage a team of around 40 people, nearly all of whom are national staff members. It has been a privilege for me to work with such a dedicated group of officers who have shown a lot of commitment, energy and skill in seeking to improve the lives of children in this country. I have worked with Save the Children for almost eight years, as programme director in Morocco, then the Caribbean, and for the last three years in Zimbabwe. Prior to my joining Save the Children, I worked in Zimbabwe for seven years as the programme director of an organisation that recruited technical development workers to share their skills with different ministries and organisations in the country.

BB: What successes would you say your organisation has achieved in Zimbabwe?

CM: Twenty years is a long time to work in a country and I believe we have had many successes throughout this period. I believe one of our main achievements is to have acquired a reputation for professional, committed and effective work in many of the communities where we have been located and among our partners in government, local government and civil society organisations. I think we have also played a significant role in promoting an appreciation of child participation in programme design and implementation, as well as involving children in research, although I believe more needs to be done so as to promote effective methodologies of ensuring that this is not tokenistic. In terms of emergency response, I believe we carried out a speedy, efficient and effective intervention this year in Muzarabani and Tsholotsho when they were affected by floods. Within some 48 hours of the disaster occurring we had delivered both non-food items (blankets, cooking utensils, buckets, etc) and food items (maize, beans, cooking oil) to those who had been affected.

Over the past two decades in the Zambezi Valley we have also food aid interventions on some five occasions. This year we also intend to provide food aid for people in Binga, who were seriously affected by the mid-season drought and subsequent heavy rains. We are intending to provide food assistance to some 60,000 people this year, starting in October and finishing in March. Save the Children also remains committed to local empowerment and capacity-building. It is not our intention to create any dependencies in Zimbabwe, and we are keen to ensure that local skills and abilities are enhanced so that the needs of children can best be addressed by indigenous structures.

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Daily News

Clement Muchachi hero status exposes Zanu PF’s hypocrisy

10/15/01 7:30:04 AM (GMT +2)

By Conrad Nyamutata Chief Reporter

TODAY, a gun carrier, draped in the national flag, rolls into National
Heroes’ Acre carrying the body of Clement Muchachi, the first
post-independence Minister of Works, unfortunately striking a sharp contrast
to an ox-drawn scotch cart which once rushed him to a clinic in his time of

He died last Tuesday after a long battle with hypertension and arthritis.
Politically, he had long found his place on the Zanu PF dumpsite.
But, predictably, President Mugabe will today invoke Muchachi’s wartime
record to cover up Zanu PF’s neglect of the former minister.
He had languished at his rural home in Shurugwi with very little help from
his former colleagues.

But today, he will be buried amid lavish praise.
His coffin will be lowered into the grave to a gun salute, the traditional
honour for a “gallant son”.
Such is the posthumous respect accorded Zimbabwe’s late national heroes.

Sadly, he never enjoyed such honour after he left the government in 1982. If
anything, he had become a virtual destitute.
Two years back, when we buried a colleague in Zvishavane, I was among staff
from The Daily News, who included the Editor-in-Chief, Geoffrey Nyarota, at
the funeral.

While the deceased did not have the honour of gun salutes, we buried him
with a satisfactory measure of decorum.
Soon we were on our way back to Harare. In Gweru, we decided to make a
stop-over, stretch our feet and buy some food.

Moments later, we found ourselves in the company of Gweru businessman
Patrick Kombayi. As we discussed with Kombayi, we learnt about Muchachi’s
plight. The former minister was in Gweru General Hospital then.
It became clear as we talked about Muchachi that he had been deserted by the
high and mighty he hobnobbed with during his time as a government minister.

But his new status was perfectly epitomised by the sad episode in which the
former minister was rushed to a clinic in a scotch cart from his rural home,
en route to Gweru General Hospital.
In short, it was a story of utter neglect by erstwhile colleagues who,
today, will predictably be pouring praises over his body.
Out of curiosity, we made for Gweru General Hospital. We came face-to-face
with Muchachi.

We still hold vivid memories of the former minister lying in one of a row
beds in a dingy environment, devoid of any privacy. Some patients were on
the floor in the overcrowded hospital.

As an aside, I thought it was an indictment on his former associates in the
government for wrecking the health delivery system.
We were all convinced that, although ordinary people have been subjected to
such undesirable conditions, ministers in the present government and senior
Zanu PF officials would not stand such an environment for a day.

Muchachi had been in the hospital for some days when we visited him.
A total stranger or fellow patients would have been forgiven for thinking
Muchachi was just another rustic old farmer recuperating after overworking
himself in the fields.

After brief salutations, we engaged him in discussions for sometime. Wearing
worn-out green hospital pyjamas, he tried to be jovial with his visitors.
But he was a pathetic sight.
We left, but we still battled to reconcile Muchachi the minister with the
poor old patient in hospital.

It was hard to imagine. Perhaps, virtue got the better of him while his
colleagues “made hay while the sun was shining”.
As he tilled his almost barren two-hectare piece of land at Tanhira village
in Shurugwi, his former colleagues were perfecting the art of
self-enrichment over the years, acquiring huge tracts of land and assets.
But he died a pitiful man in obscurity, engulfed in poverty while his former
friends turned a blind eye.

Viewed against this background, today’s grand but solemn occasion cannot but
smack of hypocrisy.
In 1982, Muchachi, then secretary for external affairs for the Zimbabwe
African People’s Union (Zapu), resigned from his Cabinet post following the
sacking of his Zapu colleagues from the coalition government for allegedly
hiding arms of war.
Several ministers from the party were expelled from government and others
jailed after the discovery of arms caches on Zapu-owned properties.

These included the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo, Vice-President Joseph
Msika, Dumiso Dabengwa, the late Josiah Chinamano and Jini
Although Muchachi was spared the axe, he resigned saying he could not remain
in the government when his colleagues had been removed.
After the signing of the Unity Accord in 1987, Nkomo and several other
former Zapu cadres were recalled to Cabinet, but Muchachi was left in the
cold. He was condemned to the political wilderness.
He then returned to his rural home in Shurugwi after selling his house in

After the death of his wife, Elina, in the early 1990s, Muchachi lived a
lonesome life. He had no pension, and relied mainly on the maize produce
from his plot. He hardly featured in Zanu PF’s political activities in the
Except for Cephas Msipa, the Governor for the Midlands, few bothered about
his welfare after he left the government.
He became the forgotten nationalist.
If Zanu PF believed Muchachi deserved a national hero’s status which he did
he ought to have received better treatment during his lifetime from those
still benefiting from the gravy train.

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Daily News

More farms invaded

10/15/01 7:54:44 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporters

FIVE workers at Uitkyk Farm in Marondera were brutally attacked by land
invaders and Zanu PF supporters in a fresh wave of violence that swept
across three adjacent farms over the weekend.

The attacks come amid reports of a $12 million extortion racket by the
so-called war veterans in Mashonaland Central.
The other farms affected are Eirene, owned by Hamish Charters, and Bon
Chance, run by Henry Harris.

One of the workers at Uitkyk Farm, a 27-year-old, sustained a deep cut to
the head after he was struck with an axe.
He was rushed to Marondera Hospital on Saturday where he received six
stitches. He said they were attacked after being accused of being MDC

Two other workers at the farm showed the Daily News crew the injuries they
sustained after being attacked with chains and sticks.
By late yesterday, two of the five workers had not returned from Marondera
where they were taken by the police in the morning for treatment.

Angus Campbell of Uitkyk Farm said the fresh wave of violence began last
Thursday when a group of farm invaders carrying chains, knobkerries and
sticks invaded his farm early in the morning.
The invaders, who were led by Edward Jera from the nearby Svosve communal
lands, accused the farm workers of supporting both the MDC and the white
commercial farmers whose operations they have ordered stopped.

He said visits to Shadreck Magunda, the Marondera District Administrator,
had proved fruitless while a Sergeant Matambanadzo of Marondera police had
failed to contain the situation.

Several farmers in the area, including David Kay of Chipesa Farm and Belinda
Taylor of Marirangwe Dairy Farm, say they have almost stopped farming
operations because of the relentless violence and lawlessness.
On 6 September, the government signed the Abuja agreement in the Nigerian
capital of the same name, in which it agreed to curb violence on the farms
and uphold the rule of law.

The latest violence is despite a recent High Court order issued by Justice
Moses Chinhengo instructing Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri, the
provincial and district administrators in Mashonaland East, and the Central
Intelligence Organisation to curb lawlessness and allow farmers to operate

Meanwhile, war veterans in Mashonaland Central have extorted about $12
million from commercial farmers, forcing them to pay gratuities and terminal
packages to their workers.
The Agriculture Labour Bureau says commercial farmers in the province paid
the money under duress in the last few months as the anarchy on commercial
farms escalates.
The bureau said 950 farms nationwide were facing varying degrees of work
stoppages while 350 have virtually ceased operations.
“Reports received by the Agriculture Labour Bureau reveal that farm workers,
particularly in Mashonaland Central areas, have made outrageous demands for
gratuities, apparently under manipulation by criminal elements, who are in
some instances war veterans,” said Ewen Rodgers, the chief executive officer
of the bureau.

The report comes at a time when thousands of distressed farm workers are
facing an uncertain future because of the political violence on the
commercial farms.
Farmers said reports of extortion are rampant nationwide, but are more
prevalent in the Zanu PF stronghold of Mashonaland Central. One farmer in
Mvurwi was forced to pay out $3 400 to each worker for every year served.

The latest development also comes at a time when the government seeks to
introduce a statutory instrument forcing commercial farmers to pay
retrenchment packages to farm workers, left jobless by the chaotic land
reform programme.

The farmers say the government should pay the workers because it is seizing
the farms.

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The Times


Basic foods unavailable after Mugabe reduces prices


BREAD, margarine and other staple foods became unobtainable in many parts of
Zimbabwe at the weekend after President Mugabe sought to reduce prices amid
hyper-inflation officially put at 76 per cent.
Bakeries have laid off staff and the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, led by Morgan Tsvangirai, said that the country could soon see food

Mr Tsvangirai escaped unhurt on Friday when up to 70 youths from the ruling
Zanu (PF) party ambushed his car with a barrage of stones as he went to
address a rally in Zimbabwe’s Midlands. He told the international community
that the accord agreed in Nigeria last month by which Zimbabwe pledged to
restore the rule of law in return for renewed aid with land reform had been
reduced to “a smokescreen” ahead of next year’s presidential elections. Mr
Tsvangirai’s party, which fears infiltration by the Government’s Central
Intelligence Organisation, suspended four MPs from official functions at the
weekend while an inquiry was carried out.

South Africa is expelling up to 15,000 Zimbabwean farm workers from its
Northern Province. Billy Masetlha, head of South Africa’s Department of Home
Affairs, said that the expulsions would create jobs for local people.

However, Alec Erwin, the South African Finance Minister, said: “What is
happening to ordinary people and workers (in Zimbabwe) is devastating — they
desperately need help.”

Emma Algotsson, of Lawyers for Human Rights, said that the expulsion order,
which came into force at midnight, was “obviously political — how can they
do this with the situation like it is in Zimbabwe?” More than 75 per cent of
Zimbabweans are living in absolute poverty, according to United Nations
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ZIMBABWE: Government to nationalise failed businesses

JOHANNESBURG, 15 October (IRIN) - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Monday threatened to nationalise businesses that closed because of strict price controls on basic commodities issued last week, agencies reported. Speaking at the funeral of liberation war veteran Clement Muchachi, Mugabe also lashed out at Britain, accusing the former colonial power of deliberately sabotaging his nation's economy through undeclared sanctions. "We will as the state take over any businesses that close. Businesses that deliberately close, we will take them over, they are ours anyway as the nation. We will reorganise them with the workers," Mugabe said.

Defending his government's decision to slap price controls on basic commodities, Mugabe said free trade had fallen victim to "the British government interfering with our own system of importation of goods, going to suppliers and whispering to them to impose sanctions on us." He accused Britain of intercepting ships carrying fuel destined for Zimbabwe and offering to buy it to prevent the shipment from arriving in the country. The price freeze on commodities - including bread, maize meal, sugar, cooking oil, beef, chicken and pork - was the first since the government abolished price controls in 1991 as part of western-backed economic reforms.

The government has pegged the price of a loaf at 48.40 Zimbabwe dollars, a drop of about 14 percent from last week's price. That price would be about 88 US cents at the official exchange rate, but less than 17 US cents at the unofficial rate used by most currency traders. A main bakery chain in Harare said the set prices did not take into account transport, power and other costs, and 200 of its workers were put on shorter working hours as production was cut. According to analysts, the price freeze was an attempt by Mugabe to stave off discontent over soaring prices ahead of next year's crucial presidential poll.

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Police recover stolen traffic lights

POLICE in Harare have recovered $300 000 worth of traffic lights stolen
around the city recently.

The lights were recovered after police on patrol became suspicious when they
saw a truck being loaded with goods in a bush near King George Road in
Avondale last week.

On seeing the police the group sped away but police gave chase. When the
suspects realised that police were gaining ground they stopped their truck
and took to their heels.

One suspect was arrested and the lights recovered. Thieves steal the lights
and strip aluminum components, which they sell as scrap metal.

Avondale police officer-in-charge, Assistant Inspector Robert Dondo said
theft of traffic lights, street nameplates and even road reflectors had
increased in Harare.

"The problem of theft and vandalism of traffic lights is prevalent and needs
to be quickly dealt with as it is resulting in the increase of accidents at
intersections," said Asst Insp Dondo.

Two people were also arrested last week at a roadblock after they were
caught with bags full of cut aluminum irrigation pipes.

Avondale police said the two had stolen the irrigation pipes from a farm in
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News from S Africa...

Zimbabwean farm labourers have to go

Farmers fear fewer hands could lead to crop losses when harvesting season
kicks off
GRANT Downie has employed Zimbabweans to pick citrus fruit on his farm near
Messina in Northern Province for as long as he can remember. They come
across the border as seasonal workers to pick and pack tomato and fruit
crops at the height of the harvests between April and October.

But from today, the estimated 15000 Zimbabwean farm labourers who find work
on his and other farms along South Africa's northern border are no longer
welcome. Farmers found harbouring them face hefty fines and possibly arrest.

Over the weekend, Zimbabwean farm labourers made their way across the border
post at Beitbridge into Zimbabwe to avoid the police and army searches
expected this week. Many more have slipped back through a border fence along
the Limpopo river that is full of holes and in disrepair.

Others, however, risk deportation by staying to see out the end of the
tomato-picking season.

They hope that an application by the farmers to the Pretoria High Court
today for an interdict to stop deportations will buy enough time for them to
finish off the season.

Government has ordered the Zimbabweans out and stopped a permit system that
allowed farmers to hire workers from the neighbouring country.

The Zimbabweans were a ready and cheap source of labour, but the government
believes they have taken local people's jobs in one of the country's poorest

It also suspects that farmers pay workers next to nothing and hire illegal

"We don't want to go for the farm workers, but the farmers. We can put the
farm workers on the next train and many of them will come back. But what can
we do? There has to be a rule of law," says Leslie Mashokwe, a spokesman for
the department of home affairs.

The local farming community, which earns R21m from exporting fruit, argues
that the expulsion of Zimbabwean labour will bring economic calamity when
harvesting begins next year.

It also believes poverty in Zimbabwe may force farm labourers to return to
prey on their former employers.

"If farmers do not have sufficient labour to harvest their crops, which are
mostly perishable products, these crops will be lost. This will result in
widespread bankruptcy. There will be no job opportunities left neither for
Zimbabweans nor for local workers," said Edward Vorster, the head of Agri-
North, the province's farmers' union.

The struggle between government and the farmers centres on low wages.

Zimbabweans work for less than their local counterparts and farmers say they
are more productive.

Pickers earn about R300 a month plus food and accommodation on a casual
basis. On better-paying farms they can earn as much as R750 a month.

Over the past six months, efforts have been made to hire local workers, but
Downie said locals had found the hard work unappealing and the pay
unattractive. Local workers were brought by truck, but drifted away after a
few days.

"They wanted transport back home every day, a flat rate of pay and weren't
happy with the living conditions. We missed shifts with the grapefruit and
had over-ripe tomatoes," he said.

Negotiations over the repatriation of Zimbabwean workers have run for three

The enforcement of today's deadline shows the government has run out of
patience with the farmers and the increasing numbers of expatriate

Not everyone will miss their northern neighbours. "They are keeping the
wages down. Local people would be happy if they were not here," says Charles
Nemadzivanani, a local farm labourer.

A Business Day correspondent reports that Agri-SA said at the weekend that
farmers had set up a recruitment agency in Messina to encourage the hiring
of local farm labourers.

The agricultural organisation said it had appealed to the provincial
government in Pietersburg to avoid confrontation and avert an economic
crisis in the Northern Province.

Kobus Kleynhans, a spokesman for Agri-SA, said farmers in the border area
were willing to pay training levies and to discuss other contributions that
they could make to avoid "a sudden cut-off" from Zimbabwean labour.

"You don't have to just make a cutoff to keep pressure on the farmers," he
said. "It should be a gradual process."

He also warned that Zimbabweans would be returned to a desperate plight in
Zimbabwe where they could face widespread poverty and famine.

Oct 15 2001 12:00:00:000AM James Lamont Business Day 1st Edition

15 October 2001
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Daily Telegraph

Zimbabwe accuses Britain on land deal

By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
(Filed: 15/10/2001)

GOVERNMENT officials in Zimbabwe have accused Britain of failing to honour
its pledge to fund the country's land reform programme.

An official told the state-controlled Sunday Mail newspaper that Britain had
"not taken any steps" to implement an agreement reached in Nigeria last
month and was "squandering" its opportunity to settle the land dispute.

The criticism comes amid continued intimidation of white farmers by
government-backed mobs, a depressed economy critically short of foreign
exchange, and a shortage of basic foodstuffs, with bread disappearing from
Harare supermarkets.

The attack on Britain's commitment to land reform, agreed on at the meeting
of Commonwealth foreign ministers in Abuja last month, was rejected by the
Foreign Office yesterday.

A spokesman said: "Zimbabwe made commitments to six Commonwealth countries.
All are watching closely to ensure that the Harare government honours the
commitment. There is sadly little sign of this so far."

David Hasluck, director of the mainly white Commercial Farmers' Union, said
it is Zimbabwe, not Britain, which is holding up British and other donor
support for land reform.

Mr Hasluck said progress was stalled because the Harare government failed
for two weeks to reply to a letter from the United Nations Development
Programme, which agreed to facilitate "sustainable" land resettlement. The
UNDP has a team ready to move on to white-owned land to assess the situation
"on the ground," Mr Hasluck said.

President Robert Mugabe launched the violent land grab campaign after voters
rejected a new constitution in February last year, but fewer than 50 out of
5,000 seized farms have been processed through the Administrative Court,
according to farmers' solicitors.

Since the Abuja meeting there have been at least 24 farm invasions and
violence against farmers and their workers has continued.
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From The Financial Gazette, 11 October

War vets unleash fresh wave of terror

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 supporters.

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 cahoots 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 cahoots 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."

From The Zimbabwe Standard, 14 October

Death of a farm

Doma - A burnt building is all that remains of what once was a farm house. In the wheat field, cattle can be seen helping themselves to the winter crop which is due for harvest. Dozens of huts have sprouted up on the other side of the wheat field. The sound of axes is almost deafening as settlers cut down trees. Animals are being killed in numbers, including cattle. Welcome to Cotswold Farm in the Chitomborwiza area of Mashonaland West where the devastation that has taken place is similar to that of other farms taken over by the so-called settlers. The situation is evidently tense as one goes through the security net of the Zanu PF youths which involves searching every visitor and demanding details of their business on the farm. Then the man in charge emerges. He identifies himself as Comrade Cephas Mugwagwa, chairman of the invaders. He offers to take The Standard crew on a tour of their new acquisition but we do not reveal our real identities, for security reasons. Mugwagwa is upbeat about the coming agricultural season but events on the ground resemble total chaos. "We have taken over the farm and we are now running it. The farmers left the equipment with us and we will be using it," says Mugwagwa. "We are expecting a bumper harvest and as you can see, the comrades are getting ready to plough the fields. We took over the farm because it was being underutilised," he boasts.

Prior to the invasion, Cotswold Farm was a viable farming entity specialising in mixed farming. The farm boasted of over 300 hectares of wheat under irrigation on the one side and on the other, dozens of head of cattle. But things have never been the same since the owner of the farm, Alan Yorke, fled the farm in the face of death threats by war veterans and Zanu PF supporters who have since seized the farm. Not only has the farm been reduced to a village, but it has also become a haven for thieves who are basking in the current wave of lawlessness which has gripped Zimbabwe since farm invasions began last year. When The Standard arrived at a part of the farm now christened "Plot Number 14", goods looted from neighbouring farms could be seen on sale. Among these was a three-door fridge, serial number 84-89 which was going for $30 000, A Capri Deep Freezer serial number 12X 68D3613 selling at $35 000, a combination two-door fridge at $30 000, six rectangular table chairs at $10 000, two Superior four-plate stoves at $25 000 each, as well as a gas stove and a 95kg gas bottle. The farm compound is enveloped in gloom as the few remaining workers vacate their houses. The workers’ future is uncertain and they have already gone for several months without wages.

Cotswold Farm previously employed 100 workers, the majority of whom were of Malawian origin. One farm worker, James Mutila, told The Standard that the invaders had given workers a month’s notice to vacate the farms. "They told us that they had taken over the farm and asked us to join in the invasions and when we refused to co-operate, they asked us to leave the farm. But it is very unfair because we do not know any other home beside this on which we have worked on our entire lives," said Mutila. The situation on Cotswold farm typifies the sorry state of affairs on Zimbabwe’s once thriving commercial farms where dozens of commercial farmers have abandoned their properties to the so-called war veterans. Since the beginning of the farm invasions by Zanu PF supporters last year, scores of white commercial farmers have been harassed, their properties looted and farming operations brought to a halt. One of the most affected areas is the Mashonaland West region, a farming area formerly known for its richness of crop production, animal husbandry and horticulture. The country is now facing severe food shortages - the direct result of the farm invasions. Already, government has given the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) a monopoly to trade in wheat and maize in an effort to avert the impending food shortages.

From The Zimbabwe Standard, 14 October

Mtukudzi threatened

Popular superstar, Oliver Mtukudzi, was last weekend forced to cancel his show in Chinhoyi following threats by anonymous people that they would disrupt the musical performance on grounds that it was being promoted by an MDC sympathiser. Mtukudzi’s manager, Debbie Metcalfe, told The Standard on Friday that she received phone calls, two days before the show which was scheduled for last Saturday, in which threats of assault were issued against Mtukudzi if he proceeded with the show. She said the band had taken the threats seriously after considering the rampant violence that has generally gripped the country.

However, she refuted claims that Zanu PF youths in Chinhoyi had accused Mtukudzi of sympathising with the MDC. She said the youths had instead accused the promoter of the show, Dennis Kagonye, of being an MDC supporter. "We first received two calls warning us not to travel to Chinhoyi. The following day, a band member came with some information that there were some people who wanted to disturb the show. The promoter, Dennis, was considered to be an MDC supporter and apparently some people were not happy about that. At first we decided that we would not play the contentious song, Wasakara, but later we thought it was not worth the risk. We have only one Oliver Mtukudzi," said Metcalfe.

She said a group had been hired to cause violence and disrupt the show. "The information we had was that a group had been hired to cause mayhem at the show. The group was armed with teargas canisters and we just couldn’t take the risk. We couldn’t risk Oliver’s life, especially at this time. We had to incur financial losses as a result of the postponement but we had to take the threats seriously. Imagine if we had gone ahead with the show and people had been hurt, we would be blaming ourselves for not taking the warnings we received seriously," she said.

Mtukudzi earned the wrath of Zanu PF supporters after the release of his blockbuster, Wasakara. In the song, Mtukudzi encourages the aged to accept that the years have taken their toll. He urges them to surrender power to the young who still have the energy. Coming at a time of intense rivalry between the MDC and Zanu PF, the song has largely been seen as ridiculing President Mugabe, 77, who continues to hold on to power and has even made public his intention to run for a sixth term next year. However, Mtukudzi has, himself, said the song has no political connotations but that people were free to interpret the song any way they chose.

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S. African court halts some Zimbabwean expulsions
October 15, 2001 Posted: 3:48 PM EDT (1948 GMT)

PRETORIA, South Africa (Reuters) -- A South African court Monday ordered a
temporary halt to the expulsion of some 5,500 Zimbabwean farm workers after
the South African government and farmers agreed to fresh talks on their

But a South African official said some 10,000 Zimbabweans working on
labor-intensive citrus and vegetable farms still had to leave the country by
midnight Monday, or face arrest and deportation.

Inspectors will begin checking 93 farms in the Soutpansberg area in Northern
Province Tuesday that the 10,000 Zimbabweans have been ordered to leave,
said Leslie Mashokwe, a spokesman for the Home Affairs department.

"We will send immigration officials and labor inspectors to check on these
farms and if need be, if force is needed, they have the backing of SANDF
(the South African National Defense Force)," Mashokwe told Reuters.

The government, faced with soaring unemployment, reached a deal with farmers
a year ago to create more jobs for South Africans. But only 4,000
Zimbabweans have left the farms since then.

The Zimbabweans, some of whom have worked in Northern Province for years,
say prospects back home are bleak and they want to stay in South Africa.

Zimbabwe is struggling through a severe economic crisis worsened by the
occupation since last year of hundreds of white-owned farms by self-styled
war veterans.

The militants say they are supporting President Robert Mugabe's
controversial seizure of white-owned farmland for redistribution to landless

The Zimbabweans work on farms in three small communities near the border
town of Messina.

"Under the order of the court, it was agreed ... that there were other
avenues that could be explored on this matter. We will not expel Zimbabweans
from that area yet," Mashokwe said.

Three farmers' associations appealed to a Pretoria court on Monday to stop
the expulsions.

The farmers want to extend the work permits of their skilled Zimbabwean
workers by 90 days to give them time to train South Africans. Home Affairs
has opened an office in Messina to review the permit applications.

"It is a victory because it shows that these farmers' associations want to
address the problem and start developing local workers," said Hennie Erwee,
a lawyer representing the Messina-area farmers.

The number of commercial farmers in South Africa has dropped to around
50,000 from 130,000 about 30 years ago.

Employment on farms has also dropped sharply as the industry grapples with
tough international competition from subsidized producers as well as free
market reforms since the end of apartheid in 1994.
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Daily News

Mutamba appointed Editor-in-Chief at ZBC as more changes are announced

10/15/01 7:18:50 AM (GMT +2)

By Staff Reporter

THE former Herald news editor, Shepherd Mutamba, has been appointed to the
powerful position of Editor-in-Chief at the State-controlled Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) in a new structure unveiled on Friday.

Gideon Gono, the chairman of the ZBC board, confirmed the changes at NewsNet
were meant to bring ZBC’s activities in line with international standards
such as those at Cable News Network (CNN).
He said: “We would like to make ZBC a leader in news, both at home and
internationally and these changes are part of an exercise towards that.”

Mutamba becomes the second in charge after Munyaradzi Hwengwere, who is the
head of Newsnet.
Hwengwere, a former student of Professor Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of
State for Information and Publicity, is a former principal Press secretary
in the Department of Information and Publicity in the President’s Office.

Mutamba’s former colleague at The Herald, Chris Chivinge, has been promoted
to On-Line Editor responsible for the internet edition of the ZBC.
The appointments are seen as confidence-building moves among reporters at
both State-controlled Zimpapers, publishers of The Herald, and ZBC ahead of
the Presidential election due by April next year.

President Mugabe is pitted against Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC in what is
seen as the sternest challenge to his uninterrupted 21-year reign.
The changes came barely a week after the dust had settled after the
departure of 13 bosses at ZBC who were fired under the ongoing restructuring
exercise aimed at sprucing up ZBC’s battered image.

Gono said: “The appointment of people to these positions should pave way for
the appointment of people into other positions. We believe respective heads
should have a say on who they work with.”

But the fate of reporters Michael Table, Wilson Dakwa, John Karimazondo and
Shadreck Tanyanyiwa is not known following the appointment of new personnel
to take over their provincial jobs.

They have been replaced by Patrice Makova (Mutare), Methulise Moyo
(Bulawayo) Phil Chingwaru (Marondera), Tapfuma Machakaire (Harare) and
Johannes Nyamayedenga (Masvingo).
Under the new structure, Reuben Barwe becomes chief correspondent. He will
also double as political and presidential correspondent.

Judith Makwanya, has been promoted to diplomatic correspondent.
Alson Mfiri, Abigail Mvududu, Christina Taruvinga and Susan Chakanetsa have
been elevated to new positions of executive producers for national
languages, current affairs, This Morning and Mid-Day Summary, both
television programmes.

Justin Manyau and Marcelyn Nyangoni become crime and courts, and
parliamentary correspondents, respectively.
Rugare Dobbie comes in as health correspondent in a set-up that has given
former senior reporter, Obriel Mpofu, a new role as executive producer of
News Hour, one of the most attacked programmes on television.

Other appointments are as follows: Tazzen Mandizvidza (Story of the Week and
Media Watch), Supa Mandiwanzira (anchorman on Insight), Noel Sibanda
(production manager), Robson Mhandu (senior producer Current Affairs) Naison
Neganje (senior producer Radio News and Actuality).
Moses Charedza, Linda Bwititi and Admire Gavaza have been appointed news
bulletin writers.

Others are Kumbirayi Nhongo (business news editor), Lovemore Banda (sports
editor) and Wanjiku Ngugi (arts editor).
Makhosini Hlongwane and Regis Mhako take over as bureau chiefs for Gweru and
Bindura, respectively.
Prisca Utete and Douglas Rinomhota have retained their posts as bureau
chiefs for Hwange and Chinhoyi.

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Mugabe returns Zimbabwe to socialism, abandons market-led economic policies

The Associated Press

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) Zimbabwe is abandoning market-based economic policies
and returning to a socialist-style economy, President Robert Mugabe
announced Monday. Businesses opposed to the move should "pack up and go," he
Mugabe said a price freeze on basic foods imposed Friday will be strictly
enforced, and the government will seize firms that shut down, withhold their
goods or engage in illegal profiteering.

"Let no one on this front expect mercy ... The state will take over any
businesses that are closed," Mugabe said. "We will reorganize them with
workers and at last that socialism we wanted can start again."

Zimbabwe dropped its socialist economic policies a decade after it gained
independence in 1980 and embraced Western-style economic reforms.

In recent years, Zimbabwe's economy has become crippled by out-of-control
inflation and unemployment and a crushing shortage of hard currency.

Analysts say the crisis began with the country's expensive military
involvement in the Congo war and worsened when ruling party militants began
occupying white-owned commercial farms, which generate much of the hard
currency in this agricultural-based economy.

On Monday, Mugabe offered a challenge to anyone unhappy with the country's
new economic direction. "Those tired of doing business here can pack up and
go," he said.

Independent economist Howard Sithole said Mugabe's remarks set "a depressing
outlook for private enterprise" in the country.

"We are putting the clock back to shortages and food lines we had in the
1980s. Manufacturers will have to scale down, forget about any new
investment at all and hope this is a temporary political measure that can be
removed" after presidential elections early next year, he said

On Friday, the government ordered price cuts of 5 percent to 20 percent on
corn meal, bread, meat, cooking oil, milk, salt and soap.

Over the weekend, bread, cooking oil and margarine were unobtainable across
the country and there were bread shortages in Harare on Monday.

A main bakery chain in Harare said the set prices did not take into account
transportation, power and other costs, and it had put 200 of its workers on
shorter working hours as production was cut.

Manufacturers have been forced to buy imported spare parts and machinery at
the unofficial hard currency rate nearly six times the official rate.

Mugabe defended his government's new policies, saying he was "extremely
concerned by pricing mayhem in industry and commerce."

"We are not saying no profit, but they (producers) cannot operate at
profiteering levels. Let them also not operate enterprises with political
motives," he said.

Ruling party lawmakers have accused white-owned firms of raising prices in a
bid to undermine the government and trigger civil unrest.

Production of tobacco, the main hard currency earner, and corn have been
disrupted by the farm occupations, and the government's program to seize
more than 4,600 white-owned farms to hand over to landless blacks.

Foreign investment also has dried up and Western financial institutions have
frozen loans to protest the land confiscations, economic mismanagement and
government overspending.
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Where is the law?
The Daily News (Zim): 10/15/01 8:22:14 AM
THE docility of the people of Zimbabwe, sometimes mistaken by visitors as their friendliness, has been on stark display in Harare for a month after an incident at the Town House.
Women were allegedly beaten up by so-called war veterans.

Josephine Ncube, the council’s chamber secretary, said last week she was still not back at work, a month after the incident.
She and others were beaten up by people who allegedly included Joseph Chinotimba, the former municipal policeman now promoted to a driver.

He still faces an attempted murder charge, for shooting another woman, this time a supporter of the MDC.
There have been bizarre attempts to dismiss the incident in which Ncube was beaten up as the figment of someone’s imagination.
But Ncube herself said last week: “I will consult my doctor on when I am likely to start work.”

She said she was still in pain from the beating.
Yet nobody seems willing to take any action against the people who assaulted her and other council officials.
We have not heard any public commitment to investigate the incident from the chairman of the Commission running the City of Harare, Dr Elijah Chanakira.

Neither have we heard the town clerk, Nomutsa Chideya, promising to bring to book the people involved in the assault.
We have not even heard from the police spokesman, Wayne Bvudzijena, whose shameful attempts to portray every misdeed by the government or by their supporters as gloriously patriotic, has become nauseating.
Ncube says she is in pain and the pain was not self-inflicted, unless we are missing something here.

If there is a hush-hush probe into the incident, then the public must be told.
But for the moment we must protest at this lack of action. Such incidents cannot be swept under the carpet on the basis that the people are too docile to protest.

Last week, there was an incident in Sanyati, in which the vehicle the leader of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, was travelling, was stoned, allegedly by a group of 50 Zanu PF supporters.

The MDC spoke of an assassination attempt on Tsvangirai.
On television the same day, Bvudzijena tried to put a bizarre spin on the incident, suggesting there was an element of mistaken identity.
Bvudzijena has tried to feed the public this kind of garbage in the past.
He must believe the public are all morons, ready to swallow any tall tales he tells them because he is the official police spokesman.
It is time for the police to come out in the open: if they are now completely partisan and dedicated to protecting Zanu PF, then let them say so.

If ordinary citizens know that they can no longer depend for protection on a neutral police force which owes its existence to their hard-earned tax dollars, let John Nkomo, the Minister of Home Affairs, spell out this publicly.

Augustine Chihuri, the Police Commissioner, has already declared where he stands on this matter.
Then perhaps people will know they have to depend on their own resources to protect themselves against any crime, whether it is political or otherwise.

The arrogance with which the government and its law enforcement agents, have treated the citizens of this country since February 2000 would have led to massive disturbances in other countries.

Members of Parliament have been beaten up and their homes destroyed.
Ordinary people belonging to opposition parties have fled their rural homes because Zanu PF supporters have threatened to kill them.
And Ncube is probably too frightened to return to work at the Town House because her assailants are still at large.
Where is the law?
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Monday, 15 October, 2001, 09:36 GMT 10:36 UK
Zimbabwe's oposition infighting

Zimbabwe's main opposition party has suspended eight senior members, among
them four members of parliament.

The move comes as the leadership of the Movement for Democratic Change is
trying to stamp out infighting that threatens to split the party ahead of
next year's presidential elections.

But the MDC's secretary general, Welshman Ncube, told the BBC that the eight
suspensions are an isolated case, and that the party as a whole is united.

The MDC is the first party to pose a serious challenge to president Robert
Mugabe since he came to power 21 years ago, and it came close to defeating
the ruling Zanu-PF party in parliamentary elections last year.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service
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MDC on Monday
15 October 2001

Zanu PF government to blame for food shortages

This outgoing government’s decision to reintroduce price controls is clear
evidence that matters of the welfare of Zimbabweans are being managed on an
ad-hoc basis and the economy is being run like a casino project.

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.

This latest government decision will not bring any relief to consumers as no
steps are being taken to resolve the problems of rising input costs to
manufacturers.  On the contrary, government itself is very largely to blame
for this situation given the recent unjustified increases in the price of
fuels, which we note was conspicuously absent from the list of products
affected by price regulation.

Price controls will directly lead to shortages of the basic commodities,
especially food, as companies will stop production.  Ultimately, hundreds of
thousands of jobs will be lost as companies, which are being asked to sell
at prices lower than their production costs, will close down.

Consumers will inevitably be forced to buy basic commodities at higher
prices on the black market in the same way they have been buying foreign
currency at inflated prices on the parallel market.  While the price of
sugar may remain at $34, there will be none in the shops and thus people
will have to buy it for $100 or more on the black market.

In 1999, the country was essentially self-sufficient in wheat production.
This was a success story attributed the ingenuity of our crop breeders who
have produced new varieties that will grow under irrigation in the winter.
It was also a tribute to our farmers who were able to produce the crop at
competitive prices.

In addition to becoming self-sufficient, we were able to export 100,000
tonnes of wheat products to our neighbours.  While this was happening over
800 new bakeries—the great majority owned and operated by indigenous black
Zimbabweans—were established and the quality of bakery products improved and
prices become more competitive on the local market.  In the past two years,
all of these gains have been lost to a senseless, illegal and an
irresponsible attack on the food system.  This attack has as its main goal
to ensure that Zanu PF retains its power in March 2002.  Wheat production
has declined by a third, necessitating imports; rising costs have forced
hundreds of new bakeries out of business.  The cost of raw materials to the
industry have increased so much that bread—a basic staple in the diet of the
majority—is now too expensive to eat.

it is this Zanu PF government that is therefore responsible for the current
food crisis.  It is this government that has consistently claimed that
“there was no need to import.”  It is this government that has undermined
the country’s food system and then refused offers of help—simply on the
grounds that they want to give the food to Zanu PF supporters.

Our position is that the government should subsidise the cost of basic
commodities, particularly mealie-meal, sugar, salt, bread, cooking oil, meat
and soap to provide short-term relief for people.  This is a fair and
realistic short-term solution, which will protect the consumer but at the
same time ensure that basic commodities are available in supermarkets and

The government has the funds to meet these subsidies.  If it can sustain a
bloated government, fight a war without a cause in the DRC and throw away
money like confetti in search of votes across Zimbabwe, how can it fail to
meet subsidies to assist its own people?

Contact us:
Address: Box A1728 Harare

Play your part in completing the change by contributing to the MDC
presidential campaign:
MDC Trust Fund: Standard Chartered Bank, 0100241402900 Bualwayo

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While you looked the other way

Oct 11th 2001 | HARARE
From The Economist print edition

Robert Mugabe's broken promises

After their farm was burnt

A LEADING official of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party was vehement.
“We will stop at nothing to make sure that Mr Mugabe wins another term,” he
snarled to a startled European diplomat. “If it takes violence, then we will
use violence. If you thought the parliamentary elections [in June 2000] were
violent, they will seem like nothing compared with the presidential
elections.” Though taken aback by the party leader's brutishness, the
diplomat was not surprised by the message. In recent weeks it has become
clear that Mr Mugabe, aged 77 and in power for 21 years, is preparing to use
every trick in the book to get re-elected next year to another six-year

He has been an unintended beneficiary of the September 11th attacks on
America. As international attention dwells on that crisis, the scrutiny of
Mr Mugabe has diminished. The postponement of the Commonwealth
heads-of-government meeting from October to March means that, by the time
the rescheduled talks are held, his re-election plans will already be fully
in place (the election has to be held by the end of March).

Mr Mugabe has taken advantage of this inattention. Forget the assurances he
made to a group of Commonwealth foreign ministers, in an agreement reached
in Nigeria on September 6th, that he would stop political violence and
illegal land invasions. Forget, too, his promise, a few days later, to the
leaders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) that he would
curb his thugs from intimidating the political opposition.

Since then, his supporters have carried out 30 new farm invasions, and
violence has stopped work on some 700 farms during the planting season. The
deaths of three people have been blamed on state-sponsored political
violence. The by-election in Chikomba on September 22nd and 23rd was
particularly violent. A school headmaster, accused of supporting the
opposition MDC, was beaten to death. Other teachers in the region were
tortured on the general suspicion that teachers are bound to be on the
opposition's side.

It now seems clear that Mr Mugabe's new-look Supreme Court will draw a veil
of legality over all this. The new chief justice, Godfrey Chidyausiku, chose
three newly appointed justices, all known to be government adherents, for a
crucial land case. Reversing an earlier Supreme Court judgment, they ruled
last week that the land seizures were legal, and directed the government to
proceed with them.

Much is at stake in the courts. The Supreme Court is due to hear cases on
political violence, electoral fraud, intimidation of the press and the
government's intention to strip citizenship from scores of thousands of
Zimbabweans, including those of British descent. But, laments a leading
lawyer, “There is no longer an independent judiciary, there are just a few
independent judges.”

Yet, even with all this help, Mr Mugabe may have trouble getting himself
re-elected, let alone credibly. In the Chikomba by-election, in a campaign
rife with violence and intimidation in the Mashonaland heartland of ZANU-PF
territory, the MDC still managed to win a quarter of the votes. A strong
minority of the votes in rural areas will boost the manifest support the MDC
has in the capital, Harare, and in other cities, as well as in the entire
Matabeleland region. Economically, the country is a disaster, with inflation
heading towards 100%. Price controls were imposed this week. Optimists note
that last year the president unexpectedly lost a referendum on his proposed

Moreover, not all eyes are off Zimbabwe. Mr Mugabe's blatant flouting of the
Commonwealth's and SADC's accords has affronted those organisations. SADC's
leaders have ordered a ministerial team to investigate what is happening in
the country, and the Commonwealth may follow suit. After the government
ejected an American team preparing to monitor the approach to the election,
and told a European Union delegation not to come, both America and the EU
are considering selective sanctions. But attention, and pressure, need to be
arduously maintained.

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