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

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A so-called national task force has been operating in Mashonaland East
today evicting farmers and demanding compliance within a 24 hour period.
Legal opinion, ex Ray Passaportis, with regards to the Matabeleland High
Court ruling is that this has a blanket effect on the whole country.  As
a result this "task force" is in direct conflict with the abovementioned
ruling, copies of which are available from JAG offices.

The JAG teams wishes to once again remind farmers of the huge importance
of completing the loss claim document, copies of which can be collected
from the JAG offices in Harare at 17 Phillips Avenue, Belgravia, Harare.
Farmers can also request copies of the document via email.  Contact: or

Our team is standing by to assist you where possible.


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Daily News

      Two die of starvation

      10/16/02 9:00:54 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo

      AT least two villagers in Binga are reported to have died recently
from starvation after the government stopped food aid into the district as
punishment for Zanu PF's defeat in last month's rural district council
elections in the area.

      Although officials at Binga hospital refused to talk about the deaths,
sources yesterday said Siatema Siamabuyu, a villager from Nalubuyu, died
after going for days without food. Another villager, identified only as Mrs
Fife from Simbala village, died after eating a poisonous plant. Hospital
sources said they were aware of the death of Fife but could not give details
as no postmortem was conducted.

      Joel Gabbuza, the Binga MP said: "With the ban of Save The Children
UK, we are likely to witness more deaths because people have virtually
nothing to eat."
      The government stopped Save The Children from distributing food aid in
Binga last week.
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Daily News

      Thousands queue for maize-meal

      10/16/02 9:25:18 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      IN WHAT was one of the longest queues ever seen in Harare, more than 7
000 people waited patiently on Friday at the grinding mill of a Kuwadzana 5
businessman to purchase maize-meal, which was selling for $300 per 10kg bag.
      It was not clear where the maize was coming from.

      A Daily News crew which visited the centre was briefly detained by two
men claiming to be war veterans and a bunch of Zanu PF youths. The Zanu PF
activists demanded the photographer's film which carried pictures of people
in the queue and refused to let the crew go until they took down their
national identification numbers.

      The group accused the Daily News of being "servants of the British"
and insulted Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC president, in unprintable language.
The owner of the grinding mill was not around and the journalists were saved
from a beating by the arrival of the businessman's son. "We supply the whole
of Kuwadzana, Mufakose and Dzivarasekwa," the businessman's son said,
insisting they were only providing a community service.
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Daily News

      Cleric traces root of Mugabe, Blair conflict

      10/16/02 8:38:43 AM (GMT +2)

      From Simba Chabarika in Johannesburg

      Colonial memories - and not the land question - are the root cause of
the deep animosity between the British Prime Minister Tony Blair and
President Mugabe, the general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, Dr
Ishmael Noko, said here on Monday.

      Noko, a Zimbabwean, said African nations and people had been enveloped
in a vicious cycle of violence throughout much of their history. He was
speaking at the opening of a week-long, first ever Inter-Faith Peace Summit
being held in Benoni, near Johannesburg. He said the brutality of slavery
and colonialism compounded the violence of the Africans' pre-colonial past.
"The violence continues to the extent that Africa is at best a continent of
cured, but unhealed, memories. A classic example is the tension which
exploded between President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tony Blair during the
recent World Summit on Sustainable Development here in Johannesburg. "The
tension between these two leaders goes far beyond the legitimate issue of
land redistribution, to events that occurred more than 100 years ago.

      "While the Lancaster House Constitutional Agreement of 1979 produced
what seemed to be a 'cure' for the political situation, it has not, however,
brought about genuine healing of the memories between Zimbabwe and the
United Kingdom," Noko said. The Geneva-based clergyman was speaking to more
than 100 delegates from 21 African countries and observers from Sweden,
Finland and the United States of America. Noko said he was convinced that
unless and until those memories were genuinely healed and reconciled, the
tension between the two countries would continue, regardless of the current
political leaders remaining in power or the land redistribution question
being resolved.

      "I, therefore, suggest that the religious communities of both Zimbabwe
and the United Kingdom consult together to find a way of moving beyond the
current arguments to a form of true reconciliation." Noko said there were
many unhealed memories in Africa, including between many of the nations and
communities represented at the summit. "Images of mutilated children, women
and men in some of the recent conflicts in our region, force one to question
the moral and ethical fibre of an Africa in which such things are allowed to
happen. The power of modern weapons has lent a special horror to
contemporary conflicts in Africa and elsewhere," he said.

      The religious beliefs of Africans, which had many common values,
provided a rich resource for peace and reconciliation in the continent, Noko
said. South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma opened the landmark summit
whose theme is Embracing the Gift of Peace. Zuma said African leaders must
be monitored to ensure that they followed the undertakings they made,
especially where peace agreements were concerned.
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Daily News

      Free trip to Zimbabwe finds few takers among New York councillors

      10/16/02 9:29:44 AM (GMT +2)

      By Dave Goldiner

      A New York city councilman arrived in Zimbabwe at the weekend for a
controversial "fact-finding" trip, but just one out of 50 other council
members agreed to go with him.

      Councilman Charles Barron earlier predicted a dozen council members
would accept President Mugabe's offer to pay for a free luxury week-long
      But faced with an outcry over Mugabe's crackdown on the opposition and
violent seizure of white-owned farms, only one other councilman - James E
Davis of Brooklyn - agreed to go on the junket.

      "We're not disappointed," said Paul Washington, Barron's chief of
staff. "There were a lot of scheduling issues." Washington said the
delegation plans to meet with MDC leaders, The Daily News Editor-in-Chief,
Geoffrey Nyarota, and commercial farmers as well as government supporters.
But he admitted he had made no effort to contact anyone outside of
government officials.

      "We'll set all that up when we get there, on Sunday," he said. Barron
admits he has already made up his mind that Mugabe is a hero for grabbing
thousands of white-owned farms for distribution to veterans of the country's
liberation war and leaders of his ruling Zanu PF party. But even the lone
councilman who agreed to go with him said he was not going to Zimbabwe just
to sing Mugabe's praises.

      "If he is taking land by force or violence, I will condemn him," Davis
aid. "I'm not on the same page as Council member Barron." The Zimbabwe
government is paying for the nine-member delegation's round trip air tickets
from London as well as their meals and accommodation at the Sheraton.
      Washington said he could not provide a price tag for the trip.

      The vast majority of council members want nothing to do with Mugabe
and his propaganda charade - especially when millions are facing starvation
in Zimbabwe.
      "Between Aids, starvation and human rights violations, the situation
in Zimbabwe is a mess," said Phil Reed of Harlem. "There are millions of
lives at stake and we should not be doing anything to encourage Mugabe."
      Even some of the handful of council men who cheered Mugabe when he
came to New York City Hall last month later developed cold feet.

      They backed out of the trip after they did some homework about the
extent of opposition to his rule - especially among black Zimbabweans. "I've
gotten quite a bit of direction about the issues," said William Perkins, a
Harlem Democrat. "I wasn't going to go over there as a stooge of the
      A leading Mugabe critic also blasted the trip last week, calling it
"unconscionable" to splash money on visiting VIPs when the government is
going hat in hand to the West for millions in famine aid.

      "The money would be better spent on the starving people," said
University of Zimbabwe professor Masipula Sithole, who is serving as a
visiting scholar in the US. "It is disgusting to say the least, given the
problems we are facing as a nation."

Zimbabwean president meets US delegation on land issue
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Xinhuanet 2002-10-17 04:08:01 HARARE, Oct.  16 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwe Robert President Mugabe said here Wednesday that the agrarian reforms which the governmenthad embarked on were expected to turn around the economic situation in Zimbabwe despite the efforts of the country's detractors who were doing everything to bring the country down.
Mugabe made the remarks when he met a 10-member United States delegation led by New York City council member Charles Barron who arrived here on Sunday on a fact-finding mission focusing on the land reform program.
"We are not just transferring land from the whites to the peasants.  We are actually investing a lot of money into it to develop it.  We are praying that it is not another bad season.  Unless God punishes us with another season of drought, you are going to hear wonders in Zimbabwe," he told the US delegation.
"It is not just for the farmers, be they black or white, but even spiritual leaders.  It is interesting to see them take positions, which are diametrically opposed to each other,"
he said.
"It is also racial.  Whites are condemning us for taking our land.  But we believe we are doing the right thing.  Anyone who wants to do farming can now do so," he added.
He said history had conditioned the whites to positions of superior in the economic sectors while the blacks were expected tobe satisfied with political power alone.
President Mugabe said the government was working hard to resuscitate those sectors of the economy such as manufacturing, mining, tourism, pharmaceuticals and many others which were crucial to sustain the economic recovery.
"We have set up committees to study problems in all sectors to establish what can be done to sustain them," he said.
Commenting on the remarks by the Commercial Farmers Union director Dave Husluck, President Mugabe said the farmers should pressure Britain to pay them compensation as it had promised at the Lancaster House Agreement of 1979.
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Sent: Wednesday, October 16, 2002 1:22 PM
Subject: Shooting in Insiza
Many of you will know that we have a bi-election under way in the Insiza District just north of Bulawayo.  Its a rural constituency and the seat fell vacant when the incumbent MDC Member of Parliament, George Ndlovu, died after eating some fruit at a conference and then collapsing at the wheel of his vehicle on the way home.
It is a solid MDC area and the bi-election is being contested by both Zanu PF and the MDC.  Last night, a team of MDC supporters in two vehicles were returning from compaigning in the area when they were ambushed on the road, virtually outside the local Police Station.  In the subsequent mellee, one of the team Darlington Kadengu, was shot by a Zanu PF supporter - he is in Hospital in the area and although not critical is seriously injured.  The two vehicles were extensively damaged.
Reports from the incident claim that the shot was in fact fired by the Zanu PF candidate (Mr Langa) who at the time was being restrained by the local Member in Charge of the Police (Inspector Shoko).  It is alleged that the MIC was trying to stop the Zanu candidate using his weapon.
One member of the MDC team was detained by the Police in custody and his fate is not known.  Vice President Sibanda from the MDC is going to the area at noon today to follow up the incident.  he drove back to Bulawayo from Harare where he was attending Parliament, as soon as he heard of the incident.  The bi election will be held on the 26th and 27th of October.
Eddie Cross Bulawayo, 16th October 2002.
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Daily News

      There must be more maize-meal in London

      10/16/02 9:36:08 AM (GMT +2)

      ONE of the government newspapers had this headline over a story about
London: Is life in London worth the effort?

      It was, thankfully, a Reuters story. Whatever their detractors say
about their alleged partisanship, the people at this news agency have built
up a good reputation for fairness and accuracy. This feature on the high
cost of living in the British capital didn't paint an overly grim picture of
how expensive the city has become, or an unnecessarily rosy picture of this
city of Jack the Ripper and Ken Livingstone.

      It even had someone saying they wouldn't live anywhere else but in
London. Which some people have been heard to say about Zimbabwe, not
surprisingly. It must come as a surprise to some, however, to learn that
Ziana, the government's poodle news agency now tottering on the brink of
collapse, had any association with Reuters. Come to think of it, can you
believe that the ZBC had any association with the BBC?

      Zanu PF has an incredible aversion to anything that smacks of
fairness. All journalists who ever worked for the government media in the
early years of independence and then fell out with the control freaks in
Zanu PF, were thrown out for one reason - they tried their damnedest to tell
the truth. Zanu PF is scared of the truth the way the vampire is scared of
daylight. They may not be aware of it, but they promote yellow journalism,
about which someone once said: "The reason why such journals lie is that it
pays to lie; or, in other words, this is the very reason for which they are
silly and scandalous and indecent. They supply a want of a demoralised

      The article in London was not written by a party hack. They are these
pathetic young people who have given journalism a bad name. Older scribes
now prefer to introduce themselves as chroniclers. This can be confusing as
the simpletons might accuse you of working for The Chronicle. You really
have to be desperate to work there.

      My suspicion on reading the headline was they were once again
lampooning London, for the benefit of the thousands of Zimbabweans queuing
to renew their passports for travel to this new El Dorado. As far as the
government and its media are concerned, there can be no reason why a
red-blooded Zimbabwean would want to leave this beautiful country with its
deranged, bloodthirsty Green Bombers, to go to cold, damp, crowded London
with its friendly Bobbies.

      What? Even if they don't have a job, no food, no prospect of any in
the foreseeable future as long as a certain old man believes Fate decided he
ought to rule this country until one of them dies - the country or himself?
      What they won't explain to the satisfaction of even their most
gullible supporters is why the red-blooded folks keep flying off to this
cold, damp place.

      Most are fleeing because they can no longer eat their staple food in
their own country. What are their chances of finding a lot of maize-meal in
the shops in Brixton or the other areas of London and England where there
are now such large concentrations of Zimbabweans (I hear there are pubs
named, nostalgically, Marengenya and Mapitikoti - except the pronunciation
is something like MaRange and MacPit)?

      The chances of an abundance of maize-meal in the UK must be fair.
There has to be more mugaiwa in the London shops than anywhere in Zimbabwe,
otherwise how would these people survive? Some readers would remember my
search for maize-meal in London many years ago. I wrote about it somewhere.
Others wouldn't remember it. I would not blame them for that bit of amnesia.
In Zimbabwe today, people are mostly concerned with IQ - I queue. Sadza or
isitshwala defines what it is to be a Zimbabwean.

      Would the English be English without steak and kidney - even during
the horrors of the mad cow disease? The Scots without haggis, the Americans
without mother's apple pie and Coca-Cola, the Italians without pasta, the
Chinese without rice, the Mexicans without tortillas, the Ghanaians without
      Without sadza, Zimbabweans now look distinctly bewildered, walking
around with the permanently sloshed look of the lush.

      You see it in their eyes; they are disoriented. If you put two fingers
in front of them and ask: How many? I bet most of them would holler: "Who
the hell cares? Where is the sadza, man?" My search for maize-meal in
London, in 1964, was in the company of the late George Nyandoro, who was in
Britain recovering from an operation but was still politicking for the
nationalist movement.
      He said he had not eaten the stuff for sometime and was getting quite
desperate. I had been in London for a week or so and had not eaten it
either. We both had severe pangs of longing.

      We searched high and low until we found the equivalent. I can't
remember where we bought it from, but it was enough of a substitute for us
to sit down in George's humble "digs" and pretend we were back in Harare
township. Previously, people bound for London took with them a bag or two of
maize-meal for relatives living there, and getting uglier and uglier and
fatter and fatter on junk food.
      Now that the staple has become as rare in this country as a free and
fair election, they can't even smuggle it in their hand luggage because they
have to find it first.

      Since it is now a crime to be found with maize whose origin you cannot
explain, what is a person to do? Steal it, of course. One reason some people
have used to rationalise their theft of maize - or sugar, cooking and
bread - is quite breathtaking in its logicality: If the government could
steal a whole election from them, why would they feel guilty about stealing
something as teensy-weensy as a loaf of bread from anybody, but particularly
the government?

      So, there are a lot of people with creeping kleptomania who believe
they could get away with the theft by claiming they stole because the
government can still not explain why it stole their vote last March. The
irony is that while hundreds of Zimbabweans can hop on a plane and dash off
to London - and probably have to dash back after being told their papers are
not in order - the President and his many hangers-on, who are accused of
stealing the election, can forget about taking their wives shopping at
Harrods' for a long time to come.

      It's even more ironic that it's the alleged theft of the election for
which the old man and his friends are being denied the chance to shop for
those expensive designer suits in Oxford Street and in fashionable Chelsea.
What must be even more painful for the leaders is that those Zimbabweans in
the UK do not have to queue for anything, except to get into the cinema.
Someone in the government said they intended to hit back at the UK and the
USA with their own sanctions.
      So far, the effect has been as painful as being attacked by a drunken
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Christian Science Monitor

from the October 16, 2002 edition

      When the rains come, I won't want an umbrella

      By Kate Chambers

      I'm waiting for the rains.
      I never thought I'd say that. When I was growing up in England, rain
was a bit of a pain. It meant waterproof jackets in decidedly unfashionable
colors and - horror of horrors - those voluminous waterproof trousers my
mother made us wear if we were bicycling to school.

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      Later, when I was working in Paris, the prospect of rain meant shoving
an umbrella into an already-bulging handbag. It meant damp commuters crammed
into a steaming rush-hour métro and wet seats on the bus.

      Now, in Zimbabwe, I've learned that rain means life. It's as simple as
that. The rainy season should start soon, maybe this month, most likely
next. Summer should mean showers in this part of Africa, and, unlike in
England, no-one wants it any other way. We're all looking up to the skies.

      You see, there's been no rain here for nearly a year. The grass
outside my round thatched cottage is bleached yellow. In the morning, hungry
storks perch there, pecking for insects. But the ants are inside. They've
invaded my house in their search for water. Myriads of red-clay ant tunnels
snake up the stone walls behind the sofa.

      You can't put your feet on the floor - not for any length of time. For
now, I limit myself to brief e-mails, ants crawling up my ankles under the
computer desk.

      I dream of the sea. No longer do I laugh at my husband and the plastic
water bottle he takes with him everywhere he goes.

      No rain means no food, or not much of it, anyway. Half of Zimbabwe's
population faces food shortages as a direct result of the drought. The corn
crop failed, so there's very little of the staple mealie-meal - what
Americans call cornmeal.

      People line up for hours for bread, only to find that loaf sizes have
mysteriously shrunk. Less patient than many, I've switched to rice,
thankfully still in good supply. But there's no more hot, dripping toast or
mealies (corn on the cob) for lunch. These days it's pasta al burro.

      Collectively, we're a nation obsessed. Radio news bulletins urge
farmers to get ready for the rains. The nightly television weather forecasts
report on the cloud coverage over Zimbabwe, even though the clouds haven't
actually got to breaking so far. Where there's a cloud, there's hope,

      It rained during my first year here. The heavens broke the day after
my wedding - rains are taken as a sure sign of blessing in this culture -
and I had never seen a storm like it.

      Naively, I wondered if the thatched roof would hold. It did, of
course: They know how to build things to withstand Africa's harsh elements
here. But we still got wet inside. The thunder and lightning knocked out the
electricity for days on end, leaving the clumsy old refrigerator-freezer
we'd been given to slowly but surely defrost over the floor.

      As I write this, late one October afternoon, the skies are darkening
and there's the rumble of thunder far away. Will it, won't it? I wonder. I
long for the strong, sweet smell of damp earth in the morning and the sight
of water-logged purple jacaranda blossoms carpeting the grass.

      When these rains come, I won't be wanting an umbrella.
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Animals : The Silent Victims
Pictures from Monday's Daily News.....a few of the 100's of farm pets put down as a result of rabid robert's chaotic "land reform" policy.
But at least they are having a merciful Meryl Harrison said, "We cannot offer them a good life, so the least we can do is offer them a peaceful death."
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Message 1:

From: A.I. and ALLY
Subject: RE: CFU


So sorry to hear about the explosive meeting held with the Matland branch
of CFU and Colin Cloete.

Firstly I think that we should agree to disagree, we're all entitled to
our own opinions but should try to stand united against the current
regime, a referendum would be appropriate to map our way forward and
find out what the majority of CFU members would prefer.

It is so easy to talk in hindsight but lets be honest - how can we
possibly hope to have dialogue and build bridges with a Government/
President who boasts of having "degrees in violence" and who has
consistently harrassed, intimidated and in some cases killed a number of
our members AND their workers.  How has dialogue assisted us over the
past two years???? Made and co have even admitted in the media that they
don't want to talk to farmers. They must think that we are ignorant
cowards, when they take away our only livelihood, (after so much input
and so many years of hard work) and we just pat them on the back and say
"Well done", now lets build some bridges together and now you can take
the shirt off my back ...

Please don't get me wrong as I am not against Land Reform, but I do
think that it should be done in a transparent manner, with current
market value compensation and equal distribution, why are none of our
farm workers benefitting from the land, as they have the first hand
knowledge, experience and need for land.

We all know that land for all is a farce and that the fat cats are the
only people gaining from the current situation.

My last point is controvercial I know, but it has to be spoken about.

In our district and in most other districts it seems as if the wealthier
farmers are more prone to making deals and supporting the ruling party,
they could probably afford not to farm for the coming year or so and yet
they choose to aid and abet the current ruthless and violent regime, as
long as their interests are protected - on the other hand most of the
farmers with more to lose and less security feel that we should stand up
for what is right and think long term and not just short term for what we
can gain and reap in this time of adversity.  I am not generalizing but
those who have made deals, you should be ashamed of yourselves as you
have contributed to the destruction of the Agricultural industry by
normalising the abnormal.

When and not if things change, I know that we will have no regrets and
that we stood for what was morally right.

How can you not attempt to protect your rights when you have the option
of litigation against those who are trying to undermine your right to
ownership of land (considering that it was legally bought and paid for by
yourself and offered to GOVERNMENT who in turn gave a certificate of NO

To the JAG team and Jenni Williams I admire your courage, perserverance
and determination in these troubled times of adversity.

To Mac Crawford, I salute you, you are sincere, courageous and you are
doing a brilliant job at the helm of CFU Matland.

To Ben Freeth I say KEEP THE FAITH, it will set us free.

To all farmers wives, be brave and keep up the moral support.

To all farmers, there is a long term future in Zim, we just have to
perservere.  Don't listen to all the negative minded people (if they're
unhappy they should have left for NZ,U.K. etc ages ago and tell them
that), be positive but be realistic as we still have a way to go, the
winds of change are blowing and nothing can reverse them - people are
tired of man made famine, torture, rape and violence as a daily ocurrence
in our once peaceful country.

All the best, my thoughts are with you.

Message 2:

Peter Goosen is looking for a good second hand 50 to 60 ha centre pivot.

He is also seeking a maize head for a John Deere 940 type combine.

Pete's email address is

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