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!
Police arrest MDC MP
10/15/01 7:17:37 AM (GMT
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
were attacked by Zanu PF youths at Kambuzuma Shopping
Centre in Section
Five, where a rally was scheduled to be held.
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
The furniture set up by Madzimure for the MDC delegates was still
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
“I don’t know how they think they can get away with it because the
Zimbabwe are not foolish. We were given the permission to hold the
we expected police protection, but none of the police were there.
For all I
know, they may have been part of the group.”
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,
Tsvangirai said in an interview yesterday that no member had been
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
Mashakada, who is the MP for Hatfield.
The four MPs,
together with Alex Musundire, the Chitungwiza provincial
relieved of their duties on Saturday pending investigations.
the suspensions were a temporary measure meant to facilitate
The MDC president said he was aware of the general anxiety among
members following the recent developments within his party but said the
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.
Commercial Farmers Cling to Their Maize
October 14, 2001
Posted to the web October 15,
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.
past few seasons, the GMB has struggled to pay farmers resulting in
communal farmers refusing to sell their grain, particularly maize,
Faced with a serious food crisis triggered by its fast
resettlement programme which has disrupted farming activities on
many of the
productive farms, the government decided to restore the GMB's
the procurement of maize to ensure total control of the grain
The ban saw farmers who had forward
contracted their produce, registering a
loss as their lucrative deals were
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
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
Said one farmer: "It would be better if they gave a reason for
payments. The money they paid the farmers recently was for maize
to them from the beginning of the marketing season.
"It is a
pity that farmers cannot sell their maize elsewhere after the
the Statutory Instrument which gave the GMB the monopoly on all
producer price for maize is currently pegged at between $8 200
and $8 500 a
Contacted for comment, the acting GMB chief executive, Joan
acknowledged the delays in payment to the farmers but said the
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,"
The government decided to classify maize this year when it
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
The maize shortage has been attributed to the seizure of farms
last year in February after the rejection of the
constitution in a referendum. This year, farmers
produced 1,54 million
tonnes of maize-down from last season's 2,1 million
The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) is said to be
restrictions to allow quick movement of grain from Zimbabwe and
southern African countries and thus avert the looming shortage in
Farmers have also expressed reservations over the fixed
price of $15 000 per tonne for the 2001/2 season. They
described the price
as too low and as failing to move with
Meanwhile, agricultural experts have warned that the
regulation of the maize
market is likely to act as a disincentive to maize
"Being restricted to one buyer who tells you the price you get
produce is not the exact situation any producer would envy," said an
"This season, all producers are obviously forced to sell to the
more maize will be available to the parastatal's strategic
However, in the coming seasons, more farmers will shy away from
is regulated, and concentrate on crops which are not regulated
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.
government will be forced to fork out between $25 000 to $30 000 per
for imported maize. This would be self-defeating as government will be
more to outside producers at the expense of local farmers," said
Zimbabwe government will seize failed businesses says
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
"We will as the state take over any businesses that close.
deliberately close, we will take them over, they are ours
anyway as the
nation. We will reorganize them with the workers," Mugabe said
funeral of liberation war veteran Clement Muchachi.
the assets belong to the people of this country, and those tired
business here can pack up and go. So government will vigorously
gazetted prices, and let no one on this front expect less,"
"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
in the country. And also let them not operate with political
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
Soaring inflation topped 70 percent last month, and is expected
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.
price freeze is the first since the government abolished price controls
1991 as part of Western-backed economic reforms. - Sapa-AFP
|Save the Children's Jester Primary School in Mutorashanga,
Photo by JAMES BRABAZON
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
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
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
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.
Clement Muchachi hero status exposes Zanu PF’s
10/15/01 7:30:04 AM (GMT +2)
By Conrad Nyamutata
TODAY, a gun carrier, draped in the national flag, rolls
Heroes’ Acre carrying the body of Clement Muchachi, the
post-independence Minister of Works, unfortunately striking a sharp
to an ox-drawn scotch cart which once rushed him to a clinic in his
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
record to cover up Zanu PF’s neglect of the former
He had languished at his rural home in Shurugwi with very little
his former colleagues.
But today, he will be buried amid
His coffin will be lowered into the grave to a gun salute, the
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
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
While the deceased did not have the
honour of gun salutes, we buried him
with a satisfactory measure of
Soon we were on our way back to Harare. In Gweru, we decided to make
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
In short, it was a story of utter neglect by erstwhile
today, will predictably be pouring praises over his
Out of curiosity, we made for Gweru General Hospital. We came
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
As an aside, I thought it was an indictment on his former
associates in the
government for wrecking the health delivery system.
were all convinced that, although ordinary people have been subjected to
undesirable conditions, ministers in the present government and senior
PF officials would not stand such an environment for a day.
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
After brief salutations, we engaged him in discussions for
worn-out green hospital pyjamas, he tried to be jovial with
But he was a pathetic sight.
We left, but we still battled
to reconcile Muchachi the minister with the
poor old patient in
It was hard to imagine. Perhaps, virtue got the better of him
colleagues “made hay while the sun was shining”.
As he tilled
his almost barren two-hectare piece of land at Tanhira village
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
Viewed against this background, today’s grand but solemn occasion
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.
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
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
He then returned to his rural home in Shurugwi after selling his
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.
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
More farms invaded
10/15/01 7:54:44 AM (GMT
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
The attacks come amid reports of a $12 million extortion racket
so-called war veterans in Mashonaland Central.
The other farms
affected are Eirene, owned by Hamish Charters, and Bon
Chance, run by Henry
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
workers at the farm showed the Daily News crew the injuries they
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
The invaders, who were led by Edward Jera from the nearby Svosve
lands, accused the farm workers of supporting both the MDC and the
commercial farmers whose operations they have ordered
He said visits to Shadreck Magunda, the Marondera District
had proved fruitless while a Sergeant Matambanadzo of
Marondera police had
failed to contain the situation.
in the area, including David Kay of Chipesa Farm and Belinda
Marirangwe Dairy Farm, say they have almost stopped farming
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
The latest violence is despite a recent High Court order issued by
Moses Chinhengo instructing Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri,
provincial and district administrators in Mashonaland East, and the
Intelligence Organisation to curb lawlessness and allow farmers to
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
bureau said 950 farms nationwide were facing varying degrees of
stoppages while 350 have virtually ceased operations.
received by the Agriculture Labour Bureau reveal that farm
particularly in Mashonaland Central areas, have made outrageous
gratuities, apparently under manipulation by criminal elements,
who are in
some instances war veterans,” said Ewen Rodgers, the chief
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
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
The farmers say the
government should pay the workers because it is seizing
MONDAY OCTOBER 15 2001
Basic foods unavailable after
Mugabe reduces prices
FROM MICHAEL HARTNACK IN HARARE
margarine and other staple foods became unobtainable in many parts
Zimbabwe at the weekend after President Mugabe sought to reduce prices
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
Tsvangirai escaped unhurt on Friday when up to 70 youths from the ruling
(PF) party ambushed his car with a barrage of stones as he went to
rally in Zimbabwe’s Midlands. He told the international community
accord agreed in Nigeria last month by which Zimbabwe pledged to
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
party, which fears infiltration by the Government’s Central
Organisation, suspended four MPs from official functions at the
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.”
Algotsson, of Lawyers for Human Rights, said that the expulsion order,
came into force at midnight, was “obviously political — how can they
with the situation like it is in Zimbabwe?” More than 75 per cent
Zimbabweans are living in absolute poverty, according to United
ZIMBABWE: Government to nationalise failed businesses
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.
Police recover stolen traffic lights
POLICE in Harare have recovered $300
000 worth of traffic lights stolen
around the city recently.
lights were recovered after police on patrol became suspicious when they
a truck being loaded with goods in a bush near King George Road in
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.
officer-in-charge, Assistant Inspector Robert Dondo said
theft of traffic
lights, street nameplates and even road reflectors had
"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.
people were also arrested last week at a roadblock after they were
with bags full of cut aluminum irrigation pipes.
Avondale police said the
two had stolen the irrigation pipes from a farm in
News from S Africa...
Zimbabwean farm labourers have to
fear fewer hands could lead to crop losses when harvesting season
GRANT Downie has employed Zimbabweans to pick citrus fruit on his farm
Messina in Northern Province for as long as he can remember. They
across the border as seasonal workers to pick and pack tomato and
crops at the height of the harvests between April and
But from today, the estimated 15000 Zimbabwean farm labourers
who find work
on his and other farms along South Africa's northern border are
welcome. Farmers found harbouring them face hefty fines and
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
Others, however, risk deportation by staying to see out the
end of the
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
Government has ordered the Zimbabweans out and stopped a permit
allowed farmers to hire workers from the neighbouring
The Zimbabweans were a ready and cheap source of labour, but the
believes they have taken local people's jobs in one of the
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
The local farming community, which earns R21m from exporting
that the expulsion of Zimbabwean labour will bring economic
harvesting begins next year.
It also believes poverty in
Zimbabwe may force farm labourers to return to
prey on their former
"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
Zimbabweans nor for local workers," said Edward Vorster, the head
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
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
Over the past six months, efforts have been made to hire local
Downie said locals had found the hard work unappealing and the
unattractive. Local workers were brought by truck, but drifted away after
"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
had over-ripe tomatoes," he said.
Negotiations over the
repatriation of Zimbabwean workers have run for three
enforcement of today's deadline shows the government has run out of
with the farmers and the increasing numbers of
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
A Business Day correspondent reports that Agri-SA said at the
farmers had set up a recruitment agency in Messina to encourage
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
Kobus Kleynhans, a spokesman for Agri-SA, said farmers in the
were willing to pay training levies and to discuss other
they could make to avoid "a sudden cut-off" from
"You don't have to just make a cutoff to keep pressure
on the farmers," he
said. "It should be a gradual process."
warned that Zimbabweans would be returned to a desperate plight in
where they could face widespread poverty and famine.
Oct 15 2001
12:00:00:000AM James Lamont Business Day 1st Edition
Zimbabwe accuses Britain on land deal
Thornycroft in Harare
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
The attack on
Britain's commitment to land reform, agreed on at the meeting
foreign ministers in Abuja last month, was rejected by the
A spokesman said: "Zimbabwe made commitments to six
All are watching closely to ensure that the Harare
government honours the
commitment. There is sadly little sign of this so
David Hasluck, director of the mainly white Commercial Farmers'
it is Zimbabwe, not Britain, which is holding up British and
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
President Robert Mugabe launched the violent land grab campaign
rejected a new constitution in February last year, but fewer
than 50 out of
5,000 seized farms have been processed through the
according to farmers' solicitors.
Abuja meeting there have been at least 24 farm invasions and
farmers and their workers has continued.
From The Financial Gazette, 11
War vets unleash fresh wave of
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
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
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
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
From The Zimbabwe Standard, 14
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
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
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.