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My ordeal with the dragons at customs

Maggie Mzumara
10/17/02 2:49:02 AM (GMT +2)

"What do you mean you have got nothing to declare? Mabhegi
ese aya akazara chii?" came the nasty enquiry by the customs attendant on my
arrival at the Harare Airport.

This broke my relaxed unassuming reverie for it
interrupted my concentration as I tried to admire the now bigger and a
little more modern airport facilities.

The airport is still on the small side but definitely a
very big improvement. I dared to steal back into my thoughts. But it wasn't
long before another sharp and very unrelenting inquiry broke into my peace
once more. "Ndati, you have to go to the line remavisitors iro!"

"But we are not visitors," matter-of-factly retorted my
law-abiding, public-appeasing, patient and usually very tolerant husband.
"We are returning residents and this is the line we should join . . ."

"Mandinzwa here imi? Ndati, this is the line we want you
to join," the customs dragon lady bellowed,
unashamedly pointing to a sign which boldly stated

Like lambs to the slaughter we complied. What else could
you do? You wanna know what else isn't over
until the dragon lady says it is. This was just but the

Welcome back home Mzumaras.

After you have been away from home for a long time and
feelings of longing and nostalgia have been your constant companion
particularly in the face of some anti-foreign feelings in a foreign country,
before you know it, you put on rose coloured glasses and start to
romanticise about home and to idealise the past.

Gone from your memories are the harsh realities,
unpleasant practicalities and bitter experiences and yes, including those at
the hands of customs goalkeepers.

As my sister Mai Kuda says, "Chete kana kaakare, zvinhu
zvinokanganikwa." True indeed. Very true.

For this is exactly what happened. Having been away from
home for a while, all I held onto and subconsciously
chose to remember about home as I navigated the once
unknown land of America, were the supportive networks
by kin with and for kin extended and all.

The somewhat intrusive, nosy but nevertheless concerned
inquiries by
"vakadzi vemumaraini" (women of the neighbourhood). All of
which make the
cushioning fabric of our culture where folks generally
extend themselves the extra mile for others.

Forgotten were the other side of the coin - the nastiness
by local authorities, the punitive and altogether
unforgiving rules and regulations lacing all facets of
existence in the country. The unfairnesses, the informalities and gross
irregularities characteristic of our beloved yet abhorred Third World

Perhaps this is how our psyches protect us from
unpleasantness, maybe some type of "selective retention". (Note to self:
might have to check with
Freud and see how he breaks that down for us mere

Mere mortals indeed! That is exactly how I felt as my
husband, son and I watched ourselves hand over our immediate fate on a
platter to the dragons of customs, trying eagerly to neither ruffle any
feathers nor step on any toes.

We felt so vulnerable and very insecure. Scared even. But
should it be so? Should home-coming be characterised by such feelings? But
then again who do you ask and who would answer? On the one hand there were
the larger than life queens of doom (there were no male attendants on this
unlucky morning). And on the other hand there were some loitering elements
in that part of the airport which we couldn't make out whether they were
there to help us or help themselves to our hard-earned possessions of many
been-to years.

Perhaps folks should be clearly
identified so everything is on the up and up so no one can
suspect another person of something they are not
guilty of.

After reading so many press reports about how petty crime,
like hunger, is rampant in the beloved country - honestly it's never
immediately apparent who you can trust from innocent bystanders, to the
customs dragons and even up to the election candidates. Just who do you

This question has apparently underlined and punctuated
many a different situation for us since landing in the "beloved" country at
the "beloved" airport where the "beloathed" customs agents
were the first determinants of our fate.

Nevertheless as we inched the visitors line at the arrival
check point where my husband and I were wondering to
ourselves how much of our stuff we would have to part
with, pay for, or get confiscated, our quiet reveries were once again
pierced through by another apparently been-to fellow ahead of us who was
going through what we would go through when our turn came.
"Ndizvo zvinonetsera kumba izvozvi,"(That's the hassle of
coming back home) he lamented loudly. "Totiwo tiuye kumba motiomesera so.
kundibhadharisa zvinhu zvekutumidzirwa nevamwe here?" (We
decide to come back home and you make life difficult for us . You want me to
pay for things that have been sent to me from other people?)

My sentiments exactly! As opinionated as I am, I felt
compelled to join in this chorus and share sentiments
with a similarly "tormented" and "harangued" returning son
of the soil. But I dared not lest I be further punished for "speaking out"
and "expressing" my
disapproval and discontent. This was home, I had to
remember that. Not America - the land of the free . This was home where
opinions are not always welcome, a place where "kafira mukati" (suffering
meekly) is widely encouraged.

Complain and raise hell as he did, the fellow in front of
us finally had to succumb because out at the entry points, the customs
dragons rule and it isn't over until they say it is.

When our turn finally did come, we spent a good hour and a
half as the dragons got into every nook and cranny of our luggage.

"Tinoda kuona zvacho zvamavigira vanhu. Handiti mune hama?
Ndezvipi zvamavavigira? (We want to see that which you brought for your
relatives. Isn't you have relative? What have youbrought them?) the dragon
allocated to us bellowed.

At which point I found myself trying to remember why in
the first place I thought it had been a good idea to bring gifts for folks.
The dragon lady seemed
to imply it wasn't.

But wait a minute - who the hell is the customs dragon
lady in the grand scheme of things?

After all was said and done and the dragon lady found she
had nothing on us and that indeed after all that
time and the hassle, we really didn't owe them anything
she resorted to the one last thing.

'Well, we will have to hold your computer here while we
determine the price and while you guys contact our
town office and get some clearance," she said without
looking back.

We left the computer which after the clearance and
everything it came out once more that we really didn't
owe them anything at all.

But guess what, it really isn't over until the customs
dragon says it is.
We ended up not paying anything for customs duty but
instead we had to pay storage for the time they had
kept the computer while they gave us the run around. Go

That's home for you. Home sweet home? I don't think so.

Maggie Mzumara is a local media specialist, social
commentator and entrepreneur. She can be reached at
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††††† Sydney Masamvu

††††† Crocodiles feast on DRC war
††††† 10/17/02 2:02:30 AM (GMT +2)

††††† WHEN the Zimbabwe National Army went into the Democratic Republic of
the Congo (DRC) in 1997 to save the government of the late President Laurent
Kabila from being overthrown by Tutsi rebels, many Zimbabweans, including
those in the leadership, thought it would be a brief and experimental
expedition to flush out the enemy.

††††† In fact, many thought the venture to secure Kinshasa would not last
more than a month and would be a good exercise for the rusty Zimbabwean

††††† Retired army general Solomon Mujuru, who has vast military experience,
was one of the few to express his reservations about the idea, warning that
the DRC venture would not be an easy ride.

††††† A number of conservative army officials concurred, but unfortunately
their advice and expertise was not taken into account. This was because the
opinion of 'crocodiles' close to President Robert Mugabe prevailed.

††††† Who can begrudge the crocodiles who had the foresight and shrewdness
to see the opportunities that could be exploited using the war in the
diamond-rich Congo?

††††† The crocodiles were indeed spoiling for a kill in the Congo and did
not want to hear anything that could come between them and making a fortune
of a lifetime.

††††† It was a God-sent opportunity and the war venture had to be executed
at whatever cost.

††††† What was supposed to be a month-long exercise then turned into a
five-year battle. What many Zimbabweans are still asking is: at what cost
did the country participate in the war and what was the benefit?

††††† When Zimbabwean troops were being dispatched to Kinshasa, Mugabe gave
a simple, plain and banal reason for the country's involvement in the
conflict: Zimbabwe was going to the DRC to restore the territorial integrity
and sovereignty of the people of the Congo.

††††† He neglected to tell us the cost and benefits of the DRC war to the
people of Zimbabwe.

††††† Do we Zimbabweans eat the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the
DRC if we are to go by his reasoning?

††††† The crocodiles in our political leadership however saw fortune,
fortune and more fortune to be made from the war. In their wisdom, they did
not leave anything to chance.

††††† But if the truth were to be told, ordinary Zimbabweans have benefited
absolutely nothing from that war.

††††† In fact, the war marked the start of Zimbabwe's sharp decline, from
the once "Great Zimbabwe to the Zimbabwe ruins", as a local political
analyst eloquently put it two weeks ago. It marked Zimbabwe's economic

††††† Foreign currency resources were ploughed into a war effort from which
Zimbabwe was recouping absolutely nothing.

††††† It is not surprising then that we do not have the hard currency needed
to purchase fuel and maize to feed millions of starving Zimbabweans.

††††† Unfortunately, while the country is bleeding economically because of
the war, the crocodiles, also known as the "untouchables" in our political
hierarchy, are enjoying the loot from the DRC war with much abandon.

††††† As a country, Zimbabwe is owed over $100 billion for the war effort in
the DRC and it is obvious nothing substantial has been recovered.

††††† The sabotage caused to Zimbabwe's economy and its people by the DRC
must, in time, be probed and the crocodiles who benefited held accountable
in future when a responsible government comes to power.

††††† We were told that timber logging and diamond concessions had been made
available to the government of Zimbabwe by its DRC counterpart in exchange
for its support, but the country has seen none of these benefits.

††††† All that is there for everyone to see is that Zimbabwe's crocodiles
are feasting on the proceeds of the DRC war.

††††† It is actually becoming increasingly clear that the war effort was not
owned by Zimbabweans collectively, it was a money-spinning project for these

††††† One would be forgiven for asking why we have been bogged down in the
DRC for the past five years if it had become clear that the war was all but
draining our resources, including human life.

††††† The answer is this: once the crocodiles saw that they could make a
fortune in the confused war situation, they decided the war could be
prolonged until 'amen'.

††††† In their heart of hearts, they are even cursing the ceasefire between
the warring parties are holding because it is thwarting the exploitation of
opportunities to loot to increase their personal wealth.

††††† I personally believe in retribution and that any future government in
Zimbabwe should charge the crocodiles with crimes of war - that is if these
untouchables are still alive when meaningful political and economic change
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††††† Mbeki in two-pronged thrust to end Zim crisis

††††† By Abel Mutsakani News Editor
††††† 10/17/02 7:22:21 AM (GMT +2)

††††† AFTER failing to talk President Robert Mugabe off his controversial
policies, South African President Thabo Mbeki appears to have adopted a
two-pronged approach: refraining from chastising the Zimbabwean leader
publicly but piling pressure privately on him to change.

††††† Analysts this week said just as Mbeki's previous quiet diplomacy
disappointed, Pretoria's change of tactics on Harare was bound to yield
little, if any, fruit.

††††† Mbeki, presiding over southern Africa's biggest economy, will have to
use Pretoria's huge financial muscle to arm-twist Mugabe - one of Africa's
last remaining Big Men - to change his policies that have angered the world
and tarnished the region in the eyes of international investors and capital.

††††† "It will not work. They have said it themselves that he (Mugabe) will
not listen," South Africa Institute for International Affairs (SAIIA) senior
researcher on Africa Ross Herbert told the Financial Gazette this week.

††††† Herbert spoke as Mbeki revealed in an interview with a South African
newspaper this week that a ministerial delegation from the regional Southern
Africa Development Community (SADC) would visit Harare for talks with Mugabe
and other stakeholders on how to resolve the country's deepening crisis.

††††† Mugabe thrust Zimbabwe into its worst crisis since independence from
Britain in 1980 because of his policy of seizing land from white farmers
without paying for it and then redistributing it mostly to his supporters.

††††† The international community has also been angered by a presidential
election held in March this year which most countries and Zimbabwe's main
opposition say Mugabe stole through violence and fraud.

††††† The 15-nation European Union (EU), the United States, New Zealand,
Canada, Switzerland and Australia have imposed targeted sanctions on Mugabe
and his top officials over their policies which they say have fuelled
lawlessness in the country.

††††† The 54-nation Commonwealth has partially suspended Zimbabwe by
prohibiting the southern African nation from its councils.

††††† The regional SADC, in an unprecedented move, barred Mugabe during its
annual summit held in the Angolan capital Luanda two weeks ago from becoming
deputy chairman of the organisation.

††††† Most analysts say the SADC step did not only send a clear message to
Mugabe that the region was unhappy with his policies but also helped stoke
pressure against him.

††††† The analysts said regional superpower South Africa played a more than
simple role in bringing SADC to refuse Mugabe the post which could have seen
him assuming the chairmanship in 12 months' time.

††††† Barely a week after the Luanda summit, Mbeki dispatched his Foreign
Minister Nkosazana Zuma to Harare for talks with Mugabe.

††††† Harare paraded Zuma's visit as an ordinary consultation between
brother-African governments but observers say much more was at stake.

††††† Neuma Grobbelaar, another SAIIA analyst, said: "Clearly behind the
scenes quite a lot of pressure is being put on the Zimbabwean government."

††††† She said declarations by Mbeki earlier this week that South Africa
will continue to pursue negotiations to resolve the Zimbabwe crisis and that
Harare should not be singled out for punishment were merely part of his new
twin-approach to the crisis.

††††† "The official position is to keep the door open, to tell the world
that negotiation is the only way out, but certainly pressure is building
up," Grobbelaar observed.

††††† Regional allies Botswana and Mauritius have in the past few weeks also
spoken out loudly against Mugabe's policies which they see as affecting the
SADC region. They attacked his land grab and clampdown on the media and
political opponents.

††††† Pressure from within the region, whose support has kept a hard
cash-strapped Harare government afloat, as well as swelling domestic anger
against Mugabe could leave him no option but to change his policies,
Grobbelaar said.

††††† But Herbert said the latest moves by Pretoria to push Mugabe to change
his policies would achieve little chiefly because Mbeki himself appeared
only concerned with appeasing certain quarters who are critical of his
handling of Zimbabwe rather than helping end the crisis engulfing the

††††† "When South Africa says it is not prepared to use military force
against Harare, it also means that it is not prepared to apply economic
sanctions," Herbert said.

††††† Harare would not last long against sanctions by Pretoria, which
supplies oil and electricity to Zimbabwe on credit and whose ports receive
food aid for seven million Zimbabweans, or half the population, who are
facing starvation.

††††† Herbert said: "South African policy on Zimbabwe is not driven by a
desire to sort out the problem; it is a reaction, an attempt to avoid
criticism by certain quarters."

††††† He said moves in the past few weeks by Mbeki to try to put pressure on
Mugabe were also largely because of pressure Mbeki himself was getting from
South African business to get tough with Zimbabwe.
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Mugabe stops charities' famine work

Andrew Meldrum in Harare
Thursday October 17, 2002
The Guardian

The Zimbabwe government has banned Oxfam and Save the Children from
distributing urgently needed food aid, UN officials confirmed yesterday.
Despite reports that people are dying of starvation, President Robert
Mugabe's government has refused to allow the two charities to deliver food
supplied by the UN World Food Programme (WFP).

The government also told Save the Children to stop distributing its own food
to people in the Binga district of western Zimbabwe. Hospital officials in
Binga have confirmed that 29 people have died in recent months through

"This is political obstruction of desperately needed food aid at a crucial
point. If people do not get food now, many will die," said Tony Hall, the US
representative to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, after a
three-day tour of Zimbabwe.

"Government officials confirmed to me that they will not allow those
non-governmental organisations to distribute food aid for political reasons,
because the government views them as loyal to the opposition party. I said
that is unacceptable. They are major international organisations with fine
reputations for non-partisan activity."

Mr Hall also said that he had "credible reports" that the Mugabe regime was
"using state-owned food as a political weapon to punish communities
suspected of supporting the opposition. I heard it over and over again,
particularly about the Binga area."

Binga, on Lake Kariba, is one of Zimbabwe's poorest areas and it has voted
consistently for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Last
month, it was the only rural area won by the MDC in local council elections.

The WFP has asked the government to reconsider its ban.

"By December, we estimate that 6.7 million Zimbabweans will be in need of
food aid, but so far we only have food for 3.9 million," said a UN official.

The European Union has promised 32m euros (£20m) for food relief to the WFP
effort in Zimbabwe, bringing pledges up to 37% of what is needed.

"Food is coming in but it is not coming in fast enough," said Mr Hall, who
monitors food distribution efforts all over the world. "Within two months
many more people will be hungry. We are looking at the possibility of major
famine, major death. And yet the government is still obstructing food
deliveries. I don't know why they are doing it at this point. They are
hurting their own people."

Ten other aid bodies have government accreditation to distribute WFP food.
They are: Catholic Relief Services; Goal; Concern; Lutheran World
Federation; Care International; Helpage; Plan International; Christian Care;
World Vision; and Orap, a Zimbabwean group founded by a current cabinet
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African divisions disrupt relief effort

Rory Carroll
Thursday October 17, 2002
The Guardian

The six countries worst affected by southern Africa's food crisis have tried
in vain to form a united front on whether to accept genetically modified
relief food, a debate which is already affecting the region's 14 million
hungry people.
Logistics in several countries have been disrupted as a result of Zambia's
decision to refuse the GM maize even when it is milled, a hardline stance
approved by those who fear that the technology will take root as a result of
the crisis.

Lesotho and Swaziland have made no formal stand on GM, and the modified
seeds donated by the US and other countries can be freely distributed there.

Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique will accept the maize only if it is first
milled into flour, preventing farmers from planting the seeds and
potentially cross-pollinating other crops.

GM maize destined for Malawi is stuck at the port of Nacala in Mozambique
because Malawi cannot afford the milling. Thousands of tonnes are also
sitting idle at the South African port of Durban, due to red tape.

Aid workers say it is inevitable that the logistics of milling hundreds of
thousands of tonnes of maize will create bottlenecks in Zimbabwe and

GM maize that had been earmarked for Zambia before its ban was announced has
been redirected, and Zimbabwe has agreed to swap unmodified for modified.

The 14-member Southern African Development Community (SADC) wants a unified
front to smooth relief operations. Each country is entitled to decide its
own policy, but the bloc is expected to push for a consensus on accepting
milled seeds.

'Persistent concerns have been raised over the safety of GM maize and this
has seriously jeopardised the delivery of food to vulnerable people,' said
Ana Dias Lourenco, the chair of SADC's ministerial council.
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††††† Zim heads into summer of discontent

††††† By Nqobile Nyathi Assistant Editor
††††† 10/17/02 7:20:25 AM (GMT +2)

††††† ZIMBABWE is heading for a summer of discontent as the impact of the
government's economic mismanagement begins to manifest itself in industrial
unrest that will further damage a sinking economy already in a third year of

††††† Economic analysts this week warned that industrial strikes that rocked
Zimbabwe's public sector in the second half of this year were only the
beginning of a wave of labour unrest likely to sweep through the country in
the next few months.

††††† A bleak Christmas and New Year period beckons, they said.

††††† Since July - when most workers are awarded cost-of-living pay
increases - doctors, city council workers, paramedical staff as well as
engineers from the country's national airline Air Zimbabwe have downed tools
demanding sharply higher salaries to compensate for galloping inflation.

††††† Last week, school teachers nationwide and lecturers of the University
of Zimbabwe (UZ) also went on strike to press for better wages and working

††††† Although government officials have dismissed some of the industrial
action as the work of the opposition, analysts say the truth is that the
government is only reaping the bitter harvest of its own economic bungling.

††††† "All what is going on is a symptom of the inability of the government
to govern effectively," UZ political science lecturer Elphas Mukonoweshuro
told the Financial Gazette.

††††† "It's up to the government to govern effectively or announce to the
nation that it has failed to govern. If it doesn't, the situation will go
from bad to worse.

††††† "There will be a lot of unrest as people fail to meet their individual
commitments and this will only result in instability from which no one can

††††† Zimbabwe's powerful labour watchdog, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions, has already warned of "spontaneous reaction" by workers to the harsh
economic climate.

††††† Analysts this week said further labour turmoil was inevitable as the
distortions and hardships caused by the government's mismanagement of the
economy became unsustainable.

††††† The major impetus for the strikes is soaring inflation, which has
eroded wages, making it impossible for many workers to make ends meet.

††††† "As long as inflation remains high, then this problem (of unrest) will
persist," First Mutual Life fund manager Nyasha Chasakara said.

††††† "Invariably when wages are not catching up with inflation, people
won't be able to make ends meet."

††††† A commercial bank analyst said: "This is really just the beginning. We
haven't really seen workers in the private sector coming on board but it's
only a matter of time.

††††† "There's no way we can avoid it given the way things are shaping up.
On the one hand, you have price controls and food shortages forcing people
to queue to buy the most basic essentials, which more often than not are
unavailable. When they are, they are being sold at exorbitant prices.

††††† "Then you have people outside the country just buying up everything in
sight because of the distortions in the economy, and pushing up prices. It's
all fuelling inflation, which is raising the cost of living.

††††† "People can't cope, they want more money and if they can't get it,
they will go on strike. What it is really is the chickens coming home to
roost for the government because all this can be laid at its door."

††††† According to official statistics, Zimbabwe's year-on-year inflation
rose to a record high of 135.1 percent in August. But analysts fear that
this is not a true reflection of conditions on the ground, where price
controls and food shortages are pushing up the cost of basic commodities.

††††† State-imposed price controls and food shortages caused by drought and
the government's controversial land reforms have spawned a thriving black
market in basic foodstuffs, lifting the prices of these by more than
threefold in the past year alone.

††††† Prices are expected to rise further in the next few weeks following a
25 percent devaluation of exchange rates on the parallel market for foreign

††††† Most of Zimbabwe's forex transactions are conducted on the black
market because of a severe hard cash crisis and because the government
refuses to devalue the Zimbabwe dollar from $55 against the United States
dollar, even though it has allowed nine other devaluations of the dollar to
meet the interests of specific sectors.

††††† Opposition Movement for Democratic Change economic committee member
Eddie Cross said: "The US dollar is now up to $900, the rand is over $80 and
the pound is about $1 200 (following last week's depreciation)."

††††† Cross, a Bulawayo-based industrialist, added: "It has been like that
for about 10 days now and the business community here is starting to adjust
its prices accordingly. That will have serious implications and knock-on
effects on inflation."

††††† Foreign currency dealers said rates on the parallel market were likely
to devalue further because of increased capital flight and because more
speculators are likely to invest in the foreign currency market, further
putting upward pressure on the cost of living.

††††† They said an increasing number of Zimbabweans were leaving the
country, selling their assets and converting them into forex, while some
companies uncertain about their future in Zimbabwe were also doing the same.

††††† A rising number of workers were also using their earnings and other
assets to invest in forex.

††††† Economic consultant John Robertson said: "What has become common now
is that people want to cash in their assets and use their Zimbabwe dollars
to go shopping for foreign currency. I'm sure people have little shoe boxes
full of US dollars stashed away."

††††† This is increasing demand for hard currency and depreciating the
Zimbabwe dollar, forcing up commodity prices and inflation.

††††† The crisis has been compounded by economic refugees, said to be
sending at least 20 million pounds into Zimbabwe every month, which is
driving up asset prices.

††††† "If you look at the (high) prices being asked for houses now, they are
the kind of prices that were being asked for commercial buildings at the
beginning of the year," Chasakara said.

††††† "This is making life difficult for people who are earning Zimbabwe
dollars and it pushes up costs for companies as people ask for higher

††††† The analysts said with most Zimbabwean firms already struggling to
remain in business because of the economic crisis, many workers would be
forced to resort to industrial action to press for higher wages that
companies could not afford.

††††† This would hit the economy through lost production. Increased
production costs would force more firms to downsize and even shut down.

††††† "A lot of companies which export and can trade in foreign currency
will be able to afford these wage increases and workers in these companies
will probably be egging on others to strike," Robertson said.

††††† "But those companies that have no exports and depend on importing raw
materials for production will be in trouble. We are working ourselves into a
corner where there won't be an easy escape without a lot of pain to
everyone. We need to desperately change our policies so that we don't get in
any deeper than we already are."

††††† Mukonoweshuro added: "What is happening in this country requires a
joint national effort. The government must make an appeal to various sectors
of society to bring about a broad national solution to issues that are
confronting the nation.

††††† "The hardheadedness that the government is demonstrating is not good
for the people of Zimbabwe and that kind of approach to problem-solving is
not likely to help anyone. It's time the government shows some maturity."
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††††† Only 600 farmers left after upheavals

††††† Staff Reporter
††††† 10/17/02 7:19:09 AM (GMT +2)

††††† ONLY 600 white commercial farmers out of a total of 4 500 have been
left farming in Zimbabwe after the government's controversial fast-track
land reforms, the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) said this week.

††††† CFU deputy director Gerry Grant said 90 percent of the farmers had
been evicted from their properties by the government since the start of the
often violent reforms in June 2000.

††††† "Only about 600 farmers are on the ground after the rest have been
driven out," he told the Financial Gazette. "In fact, many of those evicted
are frantically looking for alternative accommodation in cities."

††††† According to farming industry officials, over 400 farmers have left
Zimbabwe permanently and more than 3 200 have migrated into towns and

††††† About 600 farmers occasionally visit their properties if the security
situation permits but are unable to farm because of serious disruptions to
their work by ruling ZANU PF supporters who occupy most of the farms.

††††† Zimbabwe's commercial farm production is valued at $69 billion,
representing 14 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

††††† If 90 percent of farmers stop production, as they have now, about $62
billion will be lost, representing 12.7 percent of GDP.

††††† Commercial agriculture contributed US$765 million in exports last
year, or 38 percent of Zimbabwe's total exports. Zimbabwe stands to lose
US$689 million if 90 percent of the commercial farmers cease production.

††††† Grant said court orders barring some farmers from being evicted from
their properties had become irrelevant because the orders were being ignored
by the government's land committees overseeing the allocation of land to
newly resettled black farmers.

††††† This was also despite a High Court interim ruling in Bulawayo last
Friday by Judge Misheck Cheda ordering police in Matabeleland provinces to
stop evicting any farmers until the administrative court had confirmed the
government's acquisition of farms and the evictions had been served

††††† The order also states that any farmer being unlawfully evicted from
his farm should be permitted to stay on the property.

††††† The government, which has refused to pay compensation for the farms it
is seizing, gave the farmers up to mid-August this year to leave their
properties or be evicted. Many are challenging the legality of the order on
constitutional grounds.

††††† President Robert Mugabe, the architect of the reforms, told Southern
Africa Development leaders in Angola two weeks ago that no farmer would be
left without land.

††††† Commercial farmers employ about 300 000 workers, with an annual wage
of $15.1 billion. The closure of 90 percent of the farming sector will
result in a loss of $13.6 billion in wages for the farm workers, most of
whom have been left out of the land redistribution programme.

††††† The land chaos has triggered Zimbabwe's worst food crisis, which has
left more than seven million people, or half the population, in need of
imported emergency food aid.

††††† It will cut output next year of the staple maize, soya beans and
tobacco, deepening the country's economic crisis that is shown out by
shortages of virtually all essentials.

††††† Soya bean production from the commercial sector in the 2003 season is
projected at 60 000 tonnes, down from 170 000 tonnes. The output of tobacco,
the single biggest earner of critically short foreign exchange, is expect to
touch a record low of 60 million kilogrammes versus this season's 170
million kilogrammes.

††††† Maize output, which fell by 60 percent this season partly as a result
of drought, is seen collapsing further because the new black farmers do not
have farm inputs.
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††††† Vehicle prices jump 174 percent

††††† By Joseph Ngwawi Business News Editor
††††† 10/17/02 7:17:54 AM (GMT +2)

††††† PRICES of new motor vehicles in Zimbabwe have gone up by more than 174
percent since February as punitive duty imposed by the government earlier
this year on imported goods it considers to be a luxury begins to bite the
country's car industry.

††††† Figures released by Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries (WMMI) yesterday
show that although the prices of new imported Japanese vehicles have
remained static since the beginning of the year, the local currency cost of
cars has almost trebled in the seven months to September 2002.

††††† The cost of a brand new Mazda 323 Familia vehicle has remained at 1.13
million yen between February and September while that for a Mazda 626 model
has been fixed at 1.66 million yen during the past seven months.

††††† However local charges over and above the actual cost price of the
vehicle have shot up by between 32 and 54 percent since the beginning of the

††††† A brand new Mazda 323 Familia vehicle now costs up to $9 million,
depending on where the customer buys the foreign currency, up from around $3
million in February 2002.

††††† The price of a brand new Mazda 626 has leapt from around $5 million in
February to more than $13 million last month.

††††† The WMMI figures show that if the Japanese yen were readily available
and were converted at the official exchange rate, the brand new Mazda 323
Familia and Mazda 626 would cost $2.9 million and $3.4 million respectively,
including local handling charges.

††††† But due to the hard cash crisis afflicting Zimbabwe, the bulk of the
transactions are made in US dollars, which are largely available on the
parallel market.

††††† WMMI and Quest Motor Corporation are the only two vehicle assemblers
in Zimbabwe. It was not possible this week to get comment from Quest.

††††† WMMI chief executive Ben Kumalo said the vehicle prices quoted by the
company now largely depended on where customers got their foreign currency
and at what rate.

††††† Zimbabwe has two exchange rates - one for the official interbank
market and the other for the parallel market.

††††† The trade-weighted US dollar is presently trading at up to 1 000
Zimbabwe dollars on the parallel market compared to 55 local dollars on the
official market. The bulk of the hard cash in the country is traded on the
parallel market, where speculators say they get the proper value of the
overvalued Zimbabwe dollar.

††††† "The rise in prices is triggered by the exchange rate on the parallel
market between the Zimbabwe dollar and the Japanese yen and US dollar,"
Kumalo said.

††††† WMMI has drastically slashed production during the past few years,
citing viability problems caused by shortages of hard cash.

††††† The firm, which at its peak produced 1 000 cars a month, has
temporarily closed its Harare plant on at least two occasions in the past
three years as the foreign currency shortages made it impossible to import
vehicle kits.

††††† Kumalo said the WMMI's viability was on a knife-edge but that the
vehicle assembler would continue production on a survival mode until the
economy emerges from the doldrums.

††††† "We produce and sell about 140 vehicles a month. This is not an
optimal level as WMMI has the capacity to produce 800 vehicles a month on a
single shift," he said.

††††† Analysts attributed the sharp rise in vehicle prices to the move by
former finance minister Simba Makoni to introduce a separate and more
punitive exchange rate on imported luxury goods including cars, as well as
the shortage of foreign currency which has severely constrained WMMI's
capacity to produce.

††††† Makoni hiked the exchange rate on luxury goods from the official 55
Zimbabwe dollars to the American greenback to 300 local dollars against the
US unit.

††††† This increased import duties on motor vehicles and other goods
regarded as luxuries by the government, which spiked pressure on the prices
of the affected products.

††††† "The shortage of foreign currency and the higher exchange rate have
also meant that some customers who have foreign currency are now importing
kits and having the vehicles assembled locally in order to avoid paying
duty," independent economist John Robertson said.

††††† The sharp increase in prices of new vehicles has also trickled down to
the second-hand market, where prices have gone up by more than 200 percent
since the start of the year.

††††† For example, the price of a 1995 Mazda 323 has increased from about
$800 000 in January 2002 to more than $2 million now.
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††††† ZANU PF panics over failure to secure adequate food aid

††††† Staff Reporter
††††† 10/17/02 7:02:23 AM (GMT +2)

††††† THE ruling ZANU PF is panicking over its failure to import adequate
food to feed seven million hungry Zimbabweans, or half the population, party
insiders said this week.

††††† Zimbabwe is expected to be reliant on food handouts for the next two
years if the country's 2002/2003 rainy season is poor and because of the
decimation of the commercial farming sector.

††††† ZANU PF officials this week said the government was so apprehensive
about the threat of famine that weather experts from the Department of
Meteorological Services were being summoned to weekly cabinet meetings to
provide rainfall forecasts.

††††† The new rainy season begins next month and preliminary forecasts from
the weather experts say normal rainfall can be expected in the first half of
the season, with the remainder, which starts in January, being marked by a
dry spell.

††††† Evidence of an emerging El Nino, a weather phenomenon associated with
floods in parts of the world and dry spells in southern Africa, has also
raised fears of a new drought in the sub-continent already devastated by
last season's drought.

††††† Official sources say the looming famine, caused by a combination of
the drought and controversial agrarian reforms that have undermined food
output in the commercial farming sector, also took centre stage at a meeting
held between ZANU PF parliamentarians and President Robert Mugabe in Harare
last week.

††††† Parliament's Speaker and ZANU PF secretary for administration Emmerson
Mnangagwa chaired the caucus meeting.

††††† The legislators demanded to know from Mugabe the exact situation
regarding food imports, stressing that a large number of people were
starving countrywide because they could not buy food.

††††† The MPs urged immediate action to avert a humanitarian crisis in the

††††† "There was real concern and panic in the manner the issue of hunger
was put across to President Robert Mugabe by the parliamentarians," a ZANU
PF MP who attended the caucus told the Financial Gazette this week.

††††† "Mugabe was told point-blank that the level of hunger countrywide has
reached desperate proportions and the government has to devise urgent means
to avert a humanitarian crisis," the MP said.

††††† Party insiders say the ZANU PF lawmakers warned that the hunger, which
is forcing villagers to eat tree roots and wild fruit, would exacerbate the
political crisis in Zimbabwe if not addressed urgently.

††††† The legislators also wanted to know how much food aid the country had
received, saying its impact was not being felt in the needy areas.

††††† They also asked for information on the government's short and
long-term strategies in alleviating the food crisis.

††††† Official sources said Mugabe referred the matter to State Security
Minister Nicholas Goche, who chairs a national task force on grain imports.

††††† Goche outlined the government's efforts as well as constrains it was
facing in importing grain, including logistical problems and, critically,
severe foreign currency shortages.

††††† The government needs more than US$300 million to import 1.2 million
tonnes of food, mostly the staple maize, to last Zimbabwe to the next
harvest in April.

††††† So far it has secured 335 000 tonnes of food imports, while donors
have chipped in with an additional 71 000 tonnes.
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††††† Mudede ordered to move ballot papers to Harare

††††† Staff Reporter
††††† 10/17/02 7:14:21 AM (GMT +2)

††††† THE High Court in Harare yesterday ordered Registrar-General Tobaiwa
Mudede to move to Harare all ballot papers used in the disputed March
presidential elections for safe keeping.

††††† Justice Lavender Makoni ruled that Mudede and his subordinates should
make arrangements to move all the ballot papers from the country's 120
constituencies to one place but still keep them separate.

††††† This follows an urgent court application last week by Morgan
Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
for an order seeking the safe keeping of the ballot papers, which he could
use in his election petition against President Robert Mugabe to prove
allegations of massive electoral fraud.

††††† "It is ordered that all constituency registrars in Zimbabwe shall
preserve in separate sealed packets all counted and rejected ballot papers,
together with counterfoils and voters' rolls used in all polling stations in
Zimbabwe during the said presidential election held on March 9-11 2002,"
Justice Makoni's interim order said.

††††† "And the respondent (Mudede) shall ensure that the said constituency
registrars shall transmit the same (ballots papers) to him forthwith for him
to hold in his safe custody."

††††† Last month Mudede failed to get court permission to destroy the ballot
papers when he wanted to use the same boxes in the local government
elections held late last month.

††††† The court only allowed him to use the boxes but not to tamper with the
March ballots.

††††† Fearing that the papers could be tampered with since they were no
longer in sealed boxes, Tsvangirai applied to the court for an order that
compels Mudede to bring the papers to one secure place.

††††† Yesterday's ruling, which Mudede might challenge, means that he will
have to move the ballot papers to a safe place where they cannot be tampered

††††† Mudede had argued that because of logistical and financial
constraints, it would be difficult to move the ballot papers to one place as
demanded by the opposition leader.

††††† The MDC argued that it was prepared to help the registrar-general keep
the voting materials safely and help ease the reported logistical and
financial constraints.

††††† Tsvangirai is challenging Mugabe's re-election, citing massive rigging
by government and ruling ZANU PF officials and widespread violence and
intimidation against his followers by ZANU PF militia, war veterans and
party members in the run-up to the vote.
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††††† ZANU PF official named in MDC man's shooting

††††† 10/17/02 7:11:10 AM (GMT +2)

††††† BULAWAYO - Andrew Langa, the ruling ZANU PF party's candidate in the
Insiza by-election, and his election agent Patrick Hove have been implicated
in a shooting incident involving an opposition MDC activist in Matabeleland
South, it was established yesterday.

††††† Welshman Ncube, the MDC secretary-general who is also party spokesman,
named Darlington Kadengu as the opposition party's cadre shot on Tueday
night by either the ZANU PF candidate or his election agent.

††††† Kadengu's condition was not known by last night. The Insiza
by-election is scheduled for October 26 and 27.

††††† Ncube said Kadengu was shot near the spinal cord in what he described
as a cold-blooded attack.

††††† "Either Langa or his election agent (Patrick Hove), who were both
armed, fired shots at the MDC team, seriously injuring Darlington Kadengu,"
he charged.

††††† Alfred Zwenyika, the police spokesman for Matabeleland South,
confirmed that a shooting incident took place in Filabusi.

††††† Zwenyika however said he could not comment on allegations that the
shooting happened inside the Filabusi Police Station.

††††† He promised to come back to this reporter with fuller details by 5 pm
yesterday but had not done so up to the time of going to print last night.

††††† Wayne Bvudzijena, the chief police spokesman, said he was on leave and
could not comment. "In fact, I have not heard of the shooting. I am hearing
it from you," he said.

††††† Ncube said 12 of his party's supporters who were with Kadengu were
subsequently arrested and detained after the shooting.

††††† Among those arrested is Charles Mpofu, the MDC's outspoken Bulawayo
councillor who is the opposition's campaign manager in the Insiza

††††† "The party has sent lawyers to Filabusi to represent the victims
attacked by ZANU PF thugs who have now been arrested by the partisan police
which continues to drag the name of the Zimbabwe Republic Police into
disrepute," Ncube said.

††††† "Medical attention is being sought for the injured person."

††††† Langa could not be reached for comment. An official manning the ZANU
PF Filabusi office said Langa was out campaigning.

††††† A senior ZANU PF member in Matabeleland South, who asked not to be
named, said the MDC activists had provoked Langa by visiting his home at
night in search of materials seized by ZANU PF militia at a roadblock in the
constituency earlier on Tuesday.

††††† "It was self defence, nothing else," the official said.

††††† "People from the MDC tried to break into his house and one of them was
shot. In any case, why are they out here campaigning when they know we are

††††† Siyabonga Malandu Ncube, the MDC's candidate in the election who
claims to have witnessed the shooting inside the police station, denied that
his supporters were to blame for the violence in the usually quiet rural

††††† Instead he alleged that police denied him permission to ferry Kadengu
to hospital, a charge that could not be confirmed with the police.

††††† Narrating the incident, Malandu Ncube said Langa and Hove confronted
the MDC team at the police station when the team went to make a report about
the campaign material and $1.2 million which had been seized by ZANU PF
supporters at an illegal roadblock.

††††† "Kadengu was shot inside the police office. Both Langa and Patrick
were armed. It is one of them who shot our man," said Malandu Ncube.

††††† "At one point before the shooting, a police officer had a tussle with
Langa over the gun as Langa was visibly agitated."

††††† The MDC aspiring legislator for Insiza said police allowed Langa and
Hove to go free despite the shooting under their noise.

††††† "We are appalled by the behaviour of the police. These two men should
be locked up until the matter is concluded. It goes to show that ZANU PF is
a violent party," he added.

††††† Welshman Ncube said: "At Filabusi police camp, there was a bunch of
ZANU PF youths who tore up MDC posters and other materials.

††††† "When the MDC team tried to protect themselves from the onslaught, the
ZANU PF candidate and his election agent arrived. Either Langa or his
election agent, who were both armed, fired the shots at the MDC team,
injuring Darlington."
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††††† Should the MDC continue to contest elections?

††††† Charles Mangongera
††††† 10/17/02 2:53:35 AM (GMT +2)

††††† THE just-ended rural district council elections in which the ruling
ZANU PF won a majority of the seats using violence and intimidation once
again confirm an ugly fact of the Zimbabwean polity.

††††† That ZANU PF has instituted violence as a permanent feature of its
political survival strategy, and unless something miraculous happens this
will remain a sad aspect of Zimbabwean electoral politics.

††††† The question that some are asking is whether the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) should continue to contest these elections given
that they are not bringing the desired change. The argument that has come
from those of this kind of thinking is that what the MDC is doing by
contesting elections is simply legitimising an otherwise illegitimate

††††† The elections have also exposed people to violence as many have lost
their loved ones in the process, thousands have been forced to flee their
homes and villages while many have had their homes and belongings burnt.

††††† The argument seems to be that the MDC should just let ZANU PF enjoy
political power without any contest because the ruling party hates to be
challenged and it will do anything if challenged.

††††† Without a doubt all the elections that have occurred in Zimbabwe after
the emergence of the MDC on the political scene have been flawed and have
flouted all basic tenets of free and fair elections.

††††† The 2000 general election in which the opposition brought to a virtual
standstill ZANU PF's unchallenged majority in parliament was marred by
political violence. Many were killed in the run-up to the election and also
in the immediate post-election period.

††††† The highly prized 2002 Presidential Election was also characterised by
political violence and intimidation and again many lost their lives at the
hands of ZANU PF militia and bogus war veterans.

††††† The result of the election has been rejected by the opposition and
many other observer missions who argue that President Mugabe did not win the
election because it failed to satisfy the minimum conditions for a free and
fair election. The controversy surrounding the election has put President
Mugabe's legitimacy under scrutiny and this has deepened the unfolding
crisis in the hunger-stricken nation.

††††† The mayoral elections have also been held under environments of fear
and intimidation although the MDC has won a majority of them which are
Harare, Chitungwiza, Bulawayo, Masvingo, Chegutu and lost only one in

††††† ZANU PF has also retained seats in by-elections that have been held
under conditions of violence and intimidation. One of these is Chikomba,
home of the late notorious Chenjerai Hunzvi who is arguably the architect of
the wave of violence that Zimbabwe has seen since February 2000.

††††† Other areas that have experinced violence in by-election campaigns are
Marondera West, Bindura, Makoni West, Bikita West, and most recently
Hurungwe West.

††††† The recently held council elections were held under an unfair and
unleveled playing ground as the MDC had most of its candidates intimidated
at the nomination courts. Even those that successfully confirmed their
nomination could not campaign freely because they were threatened with death
and in some cases were forced to flee for their lives.

††††† Moreover all these elections have been held under a voters register
that is in shambles. In the 2002 Presidential Election for instance, the MDC
successfully petitioned the Registrar General to avail a copy of the
register to them but up to now he has not complied with the order.

††††† Should the MDC therefore continue to participate in the electoral
process if it is not bringing them the desired results? I argue that they

††††† Firstly it must be acknowledged that the MDC is the biggest opposition
political party to emerge on the Zimbabwean political scene following more
than two decades of a de facto one party state dominated by ZANU PF. It is
the first party to command a significant number of seats that have denied
ZANU PF a two-thirds majority in the parliament. All this was achieved
through an election, albeit under the most difficult of conditions.

††††† I argue that one of the fundamental functions of an opposition in a
democracy is to safeguard the institutions of democratic governance and my
contention is that the MDC has done that by taking part in elections and
winning a significant number of seats. They have made parliament a house for
debating issues and not a dosing chamber that it had become.

††††† One of the fundamental contributions that the MDC has made by
contesting elections, regardless of the results, is to expose ZANU PF's evil
machinations in the political game. Not only ZANU PF but also all the
institutions that have a role to play in the electoral process. The
Registrar General's office's partisanship has been exposed.

††††† The credibility of the Electoral Supervisory Commission has been put
on the line. The partiality of the judicial system in dealing with electoral
petitions has also been exposed. This is for the good of our emerging
democracy. They have made it difficult for ZANU PF to maintain its
authoritarian grip.

††††† One can see it in the anger of some ZANU PF officials, including the
President when they make comments about the MDC or Morgan Tsvangirai. This
is as it should be. In political science it is called raising the cost of
maintaining an authoritarian regime - that is the role of an opposition.

††††† ZANU PF has always won elections by hook and crook ever since the
party came to power at independence in 1980. Those who failed to see that
then failed for looking. We see it even more today because the MDC is a
bigger party than those that were participating then and it is because our
eyes are wide open now.

††††† My contention is that by continuing to participate in the electoral
process the MDC is upping the stakes for ZANU PF. Even if the results are
culminating in court cases, the effect is that they are keeping ZANU PF on
its feet and this is how it should be in an emerging democracy.

††††† Even if every right thinking Zimbabwean knows that ZANU PF will use
violence in any election, it is imperative to contest that election as it
exposes the perpetrators of violence and the people are seeing this.

††††† Even those in the rural areas are aware of ZANU PF's attempt to
privatise political space in this country and they are getting tired of it.
What ZANU PF is essentially doing by undermining the electoral process is
setting a time bomb for itself. The people will get fed up of the electoral
process and the situation will explode.

††††† Those that assume that ZANU PF has only been violent because of
elections are fundamentally wrong. The party will continue to be violent as
long as the MDC is in existence, elections or no elections. ZANU PF's
struggle is not just to win elections but also to stifle any form of

††††† The attempt to decimate the media is not an electoral strategy. It is
part of a grand plan to silence all dissenting voices. The Public Order and
Security Act was not designed primarily to win elections but to ensure the
privatisation of political space in this country.

††††† My argument is not that the MDC has done a good job in dealing with
the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe. All I am saying is that they should
not give up on their right to contest elections. There are plenty of other
strategies that the MDC could consider in dealing with the ZANU PF regime
but the party should continue to take part in elections.

††††† lCharles Mangongera is researcher with a Harare-based institute. He
can be contacted at

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FinGaz - Comment

††††† Delusional tactics are self-defeating

††††† 10/17/02 2:45:54 AM (GMT +2)

††††† AUSTRALIA this week joined a gathering international crusade against
an isolated Zimbabwe government, ratcheting up pressure on President Robert
Mugabe to see reason and step back from policies that have ruined Zimbabwe.

††††† Predictably though, the government merely laughed off the latest
international smart sanctions slapped on its members, branding them as
racist and ineffective.

††††† Indeed Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge used his response on the
sanctions to launch a scathing attack on the policies of the Australian
government, which he accused of waging genocide against its minority

††††† "Zimbabwe has nothing to learn from Australia on the subject of human
rights and good governance," Mudenge declared, dismissing the sanctions that
are designed to be a symbolic show of the world's displeasure over the
government's lawlessness.

††††† That Mudenge and his Cabinet colleagues would gloat over the travel
ban imposed on them, plus a freeze on their overseas assets, came as no

††††† This is because the government wants to give an impression that the
sanctions are not working and that, even if they were, it would not care

††††† The government took the same self-serving stance in celebrating its
empty victories at both Abuja One and Two, at the World Earth Summit in
Johannesburg and at the recent meeting of the United Nations' General

††††† But the truth is that the sanctions are indeed biting, shown out only
this week by the barring from entry into the United Kingdom of Local
Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, one of the government's chief hawks.

††††† God knows what Chombo or any member of the government could have
possibly wanted in London which, according to Harare, must be shunned
because it is the author of all evil machinations against a revolutionary

††††† With Australia's imposition of sanctions - other countries will follow
suit soon - the international siege is tightening on the government and the
so-called "war" Cabinet and its cronies will soon find to their grief that
they are nothing but international outlaws.

††††† Indeed with Zimbabwe's political and economic crisis set to worsen, it
is possible that government members could eventually find themselves being
declared international criminals who have to face a tribunal to answer for
their crimes.

††††† Instead of retreating from Stone Age tactics of brutally crushing true
democratic dissent, the government wants to give Zimbabweans a false
impression that all is well, using its dominant propaganda apparatus.

††††† But the reality on the ground in Zimbabwe, where seething anger and
harrowing hunger can no longer be hidden even from a child, and the
increasingly strident actions of the international community expose the
government's self-delusional tactics whose failure is inevitable.

††††† It is clear, as we have stated before, that the government has decided
to go down fighting by taking the battle to the wire. No thought is ever
given to the effects of this battle on the lives of long-suffering
Zimbabweans and the future of the country.

††††† In other words, the means of staying in power at any cost justify the

††††† The time is coming however when Zimbabweans will have to ask
themselves: what price should we pay for our freedom?

††††† We end with a sobering thought: isn't it ironic that an independent
Zimbabwe has come full circle to be in the same pariah status of what was
then white minority-ruled Rhodesia, whose leaders were also banned and
shunned by the international community?

††††† Then and now, the only reason why the government had global sanctions
slapped on it is that a small group of people refused to hand over power
peacefully to those preferred by the majority.

††††† History indeed has a curious way of repeating itself!
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††††† Zim beef exports to Libya in limbo

††††† Staff Reporter
††††† 10/17/02 7:13:40 AM (GMT +2)

††††† A DEAL for Zimbabwe to export 5 000 tonnes of deboned beef to Libya
has yet to be realised six months after it was signed. Speculation this week
suggested that Zimbabwe's fixed exchange rate and stringent conditions about
the type of cattle slaughtered may have emerged as snags.

††††† Representatives of Farirayi Quality Food, the Zimbabwean company
involved in the deal, yesterday said exports would begin in the "next few
days", but sources maintained that serious constraints still stood in the

††††† The agreement was reached in early April and was supposed to result in
Zimbabwe exporting 5 000 tonnes, although government officials indicated
they were negotiating for the quota to be increased to 12 000.

††††† In May, Farirayi Quality Foods announced that a team of Libyan experts
had arrived in Harare to monitor the slaughter of cattle as well as the
storage and packing of meat to ensure that these procedures complied with
Halaal or Islamic law, but no shipments have taken place.

††††† Sources this week said stringent conditions set by the Libyans about
the type of cattle to be slaughtered for export may have affected
implementation of the deal and could cause problems in future if the
agreement went ahead.

††††† "This thing has been dragging on for some time and Farirayi Foods may
be having difficulties finding suitable cattle for that market," one source
told the Financial Gazette.

††††† "You have to understand that the commercial beef herd is in the
process of being destroyed."

††††† According to industry, Zimbabwe's commercial beef herd has dropped 70
percent from 1.3 million in December 2001 to around 400 000 because of the
government's controversial land reforms.

††††† The sources said the Libyans had specified that they would only import
beef from steers and not female cows and from cattle that was traceable
through a system introduced by local cattle producers.

††††† "That was introduced for the European market and we haven't been in
Europe since August last year, since the foot-and-mouth outbreak led to the
suspension of exports," one source said.

††††† "The cost of tagging cattle is quite high and when people see there is
no benefit to it and they are being forced off their land and have to
slaughter their cattle for the local market, they simply think 'what the
hell is the use of tagging cattle?'"

††††† The source said even if the Libyan deal was to go ahead, the rapid
destocking of the commercial beef herd in Zimbabwe would still be a problem
because communal cattle was not of the same quality and would not meet the
Libyans' requirements.

††††† The sources said the export pact may also have been affected by
Zimbabwe's fixed exchange rate, which has been pegged at $55 to the United
States dollar for more than two years.

††††† Although Zimbabwe is importing fuel from Libya at the official
exchange rate, sources said Zimbabwean officials had specified a rate closer
to that on the parallel market for hard currency during negotiations for the
beef export deal, which Tripoli is resisting.

††††† The Zimbabwe dollar has been trading at around $700 to one American
dollar on the black market but has risen to between $900 and $1 000.

††††† Farirayi Quality Foods head John Mapondera however yesterday denied
the allegations, saying proper mechanisms had to be put in place before the
deal was implemented.

††††† "These things don't happen overnight, everything has to be in place,"
he told the Financial Gazette. "These allegations are news to me."

††††† Although he said beef exports would begin in the "next few days", he
could not say exactly when the shipments would start.

††††† There was no comment from the Libyan embassy in Harare, where
officials advised this newspaper to call back after a week because they had
no details on the deal.
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††††† Police barred from evicting CFU members from farms

††††† Staff Reporter
††††† 10/17/02 7:12:37 AM (GMT +2)

††††† BULAWAYO - The Bulawayo High Court has issued a provisional order
barring the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) from evicting Commercial Farmers'
Union (CFU) members from their properties in Matabeleland.

††††† Justice Maphios Cheda granted the interim relief order last Friday
following an urgent application by 75 members of the CFU's Matabeleland
branch who are opposed to forcible farm evictions by the police.

††††† The CFU members say the evictions are unlawful because some of the
white farmers removed from their farms in Matabeleland have not been issued
with eviction notices.

††††† By Thursday last week, the police had allegedly forcibly evicted about
90 percent of white farmers in the province.

††††† Albert Mandizha, the officer commanding Matabeleland North, and the
officer commanding for Matabeleland South, Casper Khumalo, are the first and
second respondents respectively in the court case.

††††† Part of Cheda's interim order reads: "Pending the determination of
this matter, the applicant is granted the following relief: that the ZRP be
and is hereby interdicted from evicting the farmer from his farm until such
time the Administrative Court has confirmed the acquisition and there is a
lawful court order evicting the said farmer.

††††† "That any farmer unlawfully evicted from his farm be and is hereby
permitted to return to the said farm and that the first and second
respondent are thereby ordered to ensure that the farmer is restored to his

††††† The High Court gave the two most senior police officers in
Matabeleland 10 days to file opposing papers if they wished to contest the

††††† It could not be ascertained this week from police spokesman Wayne
Bvudzijena if the ZRP would contest the issue in court.

††††† Mac Crawford, the head of the CFU's Matabeleland branch, said the
provisional order offered farmers a temporary reprieve, adding: "We are in
the process of returning to our properties. We hope the ZRP will abide by
the interim relief granted."

††††† Meanwhile the High Court in Harare yesterday nullified 11 more
eviction orders issued to white commercial farmers.

††††† Justice Sandra Mungwira issued consent orders nullifying the eviction
notices because they were not properly served.

††††† More than 500 of the 2 900 commercial farmers issued with these
eviction orders have successfully challenged their validity.
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††††† Mat water pipeline in limbo as Malaysians return home

††††† 10/17/02 7:19:41 AM (GMT +2)

††††† BULAWAYO - The construction of the water pipeline from the Zambezi
River to semi-arid Matabeleland remains in limbo after Malaysians contracted
to build the first phase of the project - the Gwayi-Shangani Dam -
disappeared from the site six months ago.

††††† Investigations by the Financial Gazette show that the Bulawayo City
Council, the designated implementer of the scheme costing billions of
dollars, has been left in the dark on how the project should proceed.

††††† Bulawayo municipal officials say details of the funding of the entire
scheme are sketchy and that Dumiso Dabengwa, the chairman of the project, is
running it as a one-man show. Dabengwa, a former government minister, has
denied the charge.

††††† Information with this newspaper shows that efforts by council
officials, including mayor Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, to meet the Malaysian
investors who are said to be interested in funding the project have failed.

††††† It is now clear that not much work has taken place in starting to
build the Gwayi-Shangani Dam, the first phase of the water pipeline that is
meant to irrigate perennially parched Matabeleland and turn it into a

††††† Ndabeni-Ncube said this week his council was very disappointed by the
information blackout regarding the project, especially on the specifics of
its implementation.

††††† He confirmed that the Malaysian engineers, said to be on site in
Gwayi, had long gone back home and had only visited the area to tour the
proposed dam site.

††††† "As far as council is concerned, the project is at a standstill and
might not even be implemented," Ndabeni-Ncube told the Financial Gazette.

††††† "We are being kept in the dark but we find this strange because we are
supposed to be the project's major stakeholder. As the main customer, in
terms of utilising the water, if ever the project comes to fruition, we
expected the Malaysians to pay us a courtesy call and not just to read in
the Press about their presence.

††††† "The long and short of it is that the project has not started. How
many times have we heard that the project is starting soon and that the
Malaysians have already cleared the site of the dam? The project is a
disappointment to the council."

††††† But Dabengwa said the project was very much alive, pointing out that a
road was being built from the main Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway to the
dam's site.

††††† "Why worry? The project is very much on," he said. "I don't want to
dwell much on it now. I will tell you when the time comes."

††††† He said Malaysian financiers had shown interest in bankrolling the
entire scheme but declined to say when they would be coming back to build
the dam.

††††† Ndabeni-Ncube said: "If the Malaysians have committed themselves to
the project, I sincerely think that as the major stakeholder we should be
having correspondence to that effect, but we don't have it.

††††† "We wish the project to start and succeed but the information that we
have points to the contrary. The project might never be implemented. Most of
what we read in the Press about the project is verbal and it all comes from
the chairman (Dabengwa)."

††††† - Staff Reporter
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††††† Jokonya for top CIO job?

††††† By Sydney Masamvu Political Editor
††††† 10/17/02 6:52:50 AM (GMT +2)

††††† VETERAN Zimbabwean diplomat Tichaona Jokonya this week emerged as the
leading contender for the top job at the Central Intelligence Organisation
(CIO), the country's premier spy agency.

††††† The CIO's deputy director-general, retired brigadier Happyton
Bonyongwe, is also in the running for the post for which outsiders are being
considered to try to overhaul an agency long torn by factionalism and is
seen lacking professionalism and discipline.

††††† Fears have also been raised that most of the spy agency's senior
officers are involved in shady deals and are also being used by influential
ruling ZANU PF politicians against their rivals.

††††† The post of CIO director-general became vacant when Elisha Muzonzini
was recently re-assigned to head Zimbabwe's embassy in Kenya in a move
insiders see as a demotion.

††††† It was not possible yesterday to establish why Muzonzoni, a former
high-ranking officer in the army, had been relegated to a diplomatic

††††† State Security Minister Nicholas Goche, who runs the CIO, was said to
be out of his Harare office and therefore not contactable.

††††† But sources say ruling party politicians have been lobbying in the
past two weeks to have their "own men" placed at the helm of the CIO, which
won acclaim for its work against South Africa's destabilisation efforts of
neighbouring black nations in the 1980s but is notorious for gross human
rights violations back home.

††††† ZANU PF insiders say attempts are being made to entice Jokonya, until
two weeks ago Zimbabwe's ambassador at the United Nations, to take up the
top job at the spy agency.

††††† Jokonya, who is retiring, is said to have indicated in private that he
wants to lecture at the University of Zimbabwe after retiring from
government service.

††††† "Contacts are being made at a high level to convince Jokonya to take
up the job," a ZANU PF member of its supreme Politburo organ told the
Financial Gazette this week.

††††† "In the coming days, we will see how it shapes up, but his name is
being actively considered. If we fail to convince him to take up the job,
then Bonyongwe will be elevated. But he (Jokonya) has emerged as the

††††† Jokonya has for the past 10 years been Zimbabwe's permanent
representative to the United Nations in Geneva and New York.

††††† Before his UN appointments, he was the permanent secretary in the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Zimbabwe's permanent representative to the
then Organisation of African Unity between 1983 and 1988.

††††† Jokonya comes from Chikomba in Mashonaland East, home to several
officials with a grip on the reins of Zimbabwe's government.

††††† These include President Robert Mugabe's wife Grace, influential chief
Cabinet secretary Charles Utete and retired army general Solomon Mujuru.

††††† Mujuru masterminded the appointments of former army officers Muzonzini
and Bonyongwe to the CIO several years ago.

††††† Sources say President Mugabe is keen to place a mature individual at
the helm of the CIO to instil discipline and boost the spy agency's

††††† The head of the agency is appointed by Mugabe and reports directly to
him, although at times he goes through the minister of security, a post
presently held by Goche.

††††† According to the sources, the CIO has lately been blamed for failing
to produce incisive reports on the operations of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change and Western diplomats based in Zimbabwe.

††††† Intelligence sources say Mugabe has been worried about the
inconsistencies in some reports issued by the spy agency, which have led to
suspicion of possible infiltration by the opposition and foreign spy
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3 women journalists honored for courage
Wednesday, October 16, 2002 Posted: 6:14 PM EDT (2214 GMT)

††††††††††† From left, Kathy Gannon, Anna Politkovskaya and Sandra Nyaira celebrate before accepting their awards.†

†††††††† NEW YORK (AP) -- Three reporters who have faced threats, warfare and lawsuits in the quest for news were recognized Wednesday with the International Women's Media Foundation's Courage in Journalism Awards.

Kathy Gannon, Anna Politkovskaya and Sandra Nyaira were honored at a ceremony that also featured Mariane Pearl, the widow of Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter kidnapped and killed in January while doing investigative work in Pakistan.

"Journalism is the best way to change the world nowadays because journalists are the only ones who see with their own eyes what is really going on in the world," said Pearl, a free-lance journalist and guest at the ceremony, as she cradled her son, Adam.

The baby was born a few months after her husband's death.

The awards, given out in a ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, recognize women who have risked their lives to report about war and repression.

"We have the responsibility to ensure that we report the news as fully and accurately as we can," Judy Woodruff of CNN said in introducing the recipients. "These women of courage each made it their personal mission to take on this fight ... without regard to their own physical safety."

††††††††††††††††† "We have the responsibility to ensure that we report the news as fully and accurately as we can. These women of courage each made it their personal mission to take on this fight ... without regard to their own physical safety."
††††††††††††††††† - CNN's Judy Woodruff
Gannon has covered Afghanistan and Pakistan for The Associated Press since 1988. She was in Afghanistan on September 11 and wrote about the Taliban's reaction to the attacks. Ejected with other foreign reporters, she returned twice after the American bombing campaign began. On October 25, she was the sole Western reporter allowed into Kabul.

Politkovskaya is a reporter for the Moscow, Russia-based independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, whose reporting on the war in Chechnya has earned her threats from both the Russian government and the Chechen rebels.

Nyaira is political editor of The Daily News in Harare, Zimbabwe. She was arrested and charged with "criminal defamation" in April 2001 because she wrote articles accusing President Robert Mugabe of corruption. The case has not been settled.

The foundation also awarded Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory its Lifetime Achievement Award.

The International Women's Media Foundation was founded in 1990 to advance the role of women in the media throughout the world.
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Farmers today continued to evacuate farms on the back of the national
task force directive.† Doubles Draper and her daughter Lee Cary were
severely assaulted in their homestead last night by a gang of 8 to 9 who
arrived at the homestead with one of their A2 settlers a Mr. Barire who
transported them in his own vehicle.† The other A2 settler Pastor Alwin
Bizure who has moved into the homestead cottage could also be implicated.

Please send contributions to: Justice <>


I would just like to express my appreciation for the work you are doing,
I think the letter from A.I. and Ally is spot on. You guys must have
some sort of plan for membership.

Kind regards
Dom Couve


Dear Sir,

Your letter from Ally refers.

I find the statement "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)", somewhat nasty and extremely unnecessary.

Many people have left Zimbabwe for all kinds of reasons and that is
their right and whilst Ally may not enjoy their opinion before and after
they leave she should at least be prepared to listen to what they have
to say with an open mind.

I and my family have been away for nearly a year and during that time
have done my best to promote Zimbabwe and the problems facing my wife's
family who have just lost their farm to the thugs that rule. I presume
that Ally and family are still able to farm?

Its a great shame that Ally should suggest that those who choose to
express an opinion contrary to hers and even decide to leave should be
told "Go we don't need you anyway".† The inability to live with differing
ideas and freedom of speech is exactly what the Mugabe gang are guilty
of and Ally is unfortunately suggesting the same practice.

M. Smith

Justice for Agriculture mailing list
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Prices in Zim

News from Zim - from an email.....

Took a load of† empties back to Coke from the store, 60 cases of empties
came to $160,000.† The must have increased incredibly since we bought them.
Our pick up truck is now worth $10 million.† But a dozen eggs costs $450.
Bread is short and when you can buy it it costs $130 a loaf. There is no
little oil, no sugar and salt is scarce.
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