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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Battalion online

Zimbabwe a victim to racial reparations
Violent seizure of land from white farmers is destroying nation's economy

Matthew maddox
October 17, 2002

The international community stands by as ethnic cleansing under the guise of
reparations takes place per the orders of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.
You won't read this in an American newspaper or hear it from the United
Nations. The world has turned a deaf ear to the cries of suffering from
Southern Africa, both white and black.

Mugabe came to power in 1981 as the first and only black Zimbabwean
president after the end of white apartheid. Since that time, he has molded
the once prosperous democracy into a communist dictatorship. His most recent
abuses of power include using the military to intimidate opponents at and
away from the polls, expatriating the media for his own use, and forcing
members of the independent judicial branch to quit. Zimbabwe, once the
breadbasket and tourist mecca of Southern Africa, now faces the starvation
of more than 6 million of its people, according to Refugees International.

As Zimbabwe's problems emanating from nepotism and mismanagement have grown,
so has the Zimbawean people's disapproval of Mugabe. In 2000, as his
popularity reached an all-time low, according to, Mugabe turned
on the same scapegoats he had used his previous two decades in power:
whites. In an attempt to deflect personal responsibility for the country's
woes, Mugabe claimed white ownership of commercial farms in Zimbabwe were to
blame. He called for reparations in the form of farm seizures from whites to
be given to the country's poor, black citizens.

Despite the defeat of a constitutional amendment to allow such action,
Mugabe instituted the confiscations through brute force. Reuters reports
that armed young militants, under the direction of Mugabe, have repeatedly
stormed farm property.

The latest figures from the South African newspaper, the Sunday Independent,
show only 400 white farmers remain in Zimbabwe versus 4,500 just two years
ago. The effects of the attacks are not limited to Zimbabwe. The violence
against farmers has been spreading to nearby South Africa and Namibia.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum says that Mugabe thugs have left hundreds
dead, thousands beaten and raped, hundreds of thousands jobless and millions
on the brink of starvation. The ugly proof can be viewed at

Ironically, the named beneficiaries of the land program are hurt the most.
As commercial farms are destroyed, thousands of local black laborers who
live and work there lose their homes and livelihoods. In a continent already
stricken by AIDS, Zimbabwe's lack of agricultural production has placed the
price of food beyond the reach of most. Food aid given by international
organizations and other countries to help the starving has been intercepted
by the Zimbabwe government, according to the Associated Press. Similar to
Somalia in 1993, food is being withheld as a weapon against political
opponents of Mugabe.

Those who believe "the end justifies the means" should know even those
causing the violence are unhappy. says the majority of
confiscated lands have gone to wealthy political allies of Mugabe. This has
angered many of Mugabe's followers, who believed they had terrorized for
their own benefit, according to

Neck-deep in civil rights violations, Mugabe has received international
acclaim rather than criticism. Participants in the UN World Summit on
Sustainable Development gave a deafening applause after President Mugabe
defended his "land reform" program.

The African Descendants World Conference Against Racism this month in
Barbados issued this statement: "'Be it resolved that we applaud and support
the courage and foresight of President Mugabe for embarking upon the land
reform program."

That is not surprising coming from a group that on the same day expelled all
non-blacks from its conference hall. U.S. Nation of Islam leader Louis
Farrakhan, forbidden to enter Britain for inciting racial hatred, counts
himself as a Mugabe enthusiast. The Zimbabwe Independent also lists the
National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America as supporters.

While it is not the job of the U.S. military to "nation-build," if there
ever was a use for the United Nations, the situation in Zimbabwe is it.
Mugabe is a despot in the tradition of Stalin, Pol Pot and Pinochet. The
world and the media must wake up and recognize tyrants of all stripes.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Communiqué by Jenni Williams

This statement represents my professional and personal opinion.

Over the last 18 months, I have represented the agricultural sector as they
faced the ZANU PF war of attrition, called the Third Chimurenga. I
communicated the plight of the four thousand farmers, 300 000 employees and
their families - one and a half million people who reside on commercial
farms. Many farmers are no longer able to farm and thousands of their
employees are unemployed, homeless and destitute and over six million
Zimbabweans face starvation.

I am neither a farmer nor a politician. I am a concerned Zimbabwean
communicating about the crisis facing Zimbabweans and I put principle above
politics and profit.

My representation began with two briefs:
1. Assist in strengthening the negotiating platform, which was the Zimbabwe
Joint Resettlement Initiative known as ZJRI, a joint team of farmers and
Government representatives finding common ground for a partnership on land
reform. One million hectares of land was on offer without legal

2. My company, PR Newsmakers managed the news of the farmers' plight on the
farms and use that as a barometer of change. If the stories we reported were
used we believed that the battle would have been won and that international
pressure would ensure that sanity prevailed. I eventually stepped forward
into media management and became a spokesperson. This was due to the fact
that most Zimbabweans were not prepared to say publicly what I believed had
to be said.

Unfortunately the 6th Sept 2001 Abuja deal was broken 24 hours later and
that betrayal remains the biggest confidence trick of all time. The enormity
of which we have only just seen as President Mugabe refused to attend the
Abuja review recently, terming the meeting 'a waste of time'. The
negotiating platform, along with the rule of law was totally compromised.
The ZJRI deal then appeared to die a slow and protracted death only
resurfacing when needed as a political card.

I helped to dialogue and lobby, from the townships to the White House, and
participated in Government and President's Office meetings, speaking to any
Minister who could intervene. Lip service was the order of the day and the
invasions and human rights abuses continued unabated.

I have worked among you and know that most farmers are committed to a
depoliticised agrarian reform programme based on sound economic principles
and where commercial production is not compromised. Many who have left would
not need more than one invitation to return to rebuild an integrated farming

I make the following appeal to Farmers:
1. It is not time to give in to this madness, retreat to the urban centres
if you are under threat but keep your Title Deed intact for the day of
2. Farmers must resist being divided. Added to the 'degrees in violence' are
'degrees in creating division'. If farmers and the Union are to change their
dialogue strategy, they must democratically enact a change by allowing a
special Farmers referendum and then abide by the result and formulate a new
strategy forward.
3. Meanwhile, they must commit themselves to focusing their energy on the
core issues enshrined in the Zimbabwean Constitution. The constitutional
issues and human rights are a solid basis to envelope the agricultural
plight and communicate through the quagmire. If we are to resolve this
impasse, which plays itself out under the guise of land or agrarian reforms,
we must couch our message in pressing for a return to a democratic Zimbabwe
with all its characteristics: good governance, the rule of law, the respect
for human and property rights allowing dignity, and where the freedom of
expression is canonised.
4. We must also add to our arsenal of sane arguments the teachings of our
African Ubuntu, which encompasses group solidarity for collective good. If
this spirit can once again take root, moral and ethical levels can be
5. They should take stock of their position and fully recognise and draw
unlimited strength from the fact that it is their God-given and democratic
right to own property and earn a living and their right to call themselves
Zimbabweans or investors to Zimbabwe that has been eroded. To do this
effectively they must take their place amongst civic society and with other
Zimbabweans to defend their human rights. It is not a crime to demand
justice, peace and freedom.
6. Dialogue has been exhaustively conducted by many. It is however, not
being carried out on a fair and democratic negotiating platform so it will
not yield the desired results. No amount of dealing or signing of
sub-division forms will provide honour where there is none, and just serves
to feed the appeasement crocodile. We can only resolve the conflict if we
have a fair and equal negotiating platform and equally important and
communicated views.
7. Calls to acceptance of foreign compensation under these conditions will
be selling out Zimbabweans right to a Democratic win-win solution.

I call on farmers and their staff to support the organisations that give
their issues voice, such as CFU and other farmers unions, GAPWUZ and other
such workers unions. Pay your levies to keep your vote in place and your
voice heard.

I also call on the business community to empower the groups manning the
frontline; these are Justice For Agriculture (JAG) and other
Non-Governmental Organisations and the Crisis in Zimbabwe coalition.

I close on the old adage - United We Stand, Divided We Fall.

Contact Jenni Williams on Mobile (+263) 91 300456 or 11213 885 Or on email
or Fax (+2639) 63978 or (+2634) 703829
Office email
A member of the International Association of Business Communicators. Visit
the IABC website
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

Leader Page

      'Stand up for your rights' is not a cliche

      10/17/02 9:08:02 AM (GMT +2)

      LAST week, Masvingo gave Vice-President Simon Muzenda the Freedom of
the Town. According to one report, attendance was low. Villagers from the
surrounding areas reportedly made up most of the crowd, the report said.

      The people of Masvingo, who voted for an MDC mayor last year, showed
little enthusiasm for what ought to have been a grand ceremonial occasion.
Most said they had not been consulted.

      It wasn't that they were not convinced Muzenda deserved the accolade.
It was probably that the predominantly Zanu PF council deliberately
sidelined them because, by and large, they are not Zanu PF supporters.

      To register their protest in the most graphic manner possible, the
residents stayed away from the ceremony, at which Muzenda was reported to
have made interesting remarks about the MDC.

      The Vice-President, like most Zanu PF leaders, from President Mugabe
down to the party youth functionary, has previously spoken of the MDC with
withering contempt. Mugabe has spoken most scathingly about Morgan
Tsvangirai, personally, going way beyond the political rhetoric you would
      between rivals.

      Masvingo residents stood up for their right not to honour an occasion
during which people who have spoken of their party with contempt were going
to honour each other at their expense.

      There is far too little of this assertiveness in Zimbabwe today.
People seem all too willing to accept the status quo without first examining
the possible consequences of their acquiesence.

      Later this month, the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) will hold a
crucial conference billed by many as a make-or-break summit. Yesterday, we
reported rumblings of discontent against the CFU leadership. On the same
day, it was reported elsewhere that David Hasluck, the director of the CFU,
had blamed the land fiasco in Zimbabwe on British Premier Tony Blair.

      The conference being held later this month will provide the commercial
farmers, the victims of the government's bloody land reform programme, with
an opportunity to decide whether they are men or mice, in a manner of
      Do they lie down and die as the government's big shots grab their
farms and pay them a pittance in compensation? Or do they gird their loins
for a fight to the finish - standing up for their rights?

      The tendency among most people to be malleable in the face of the
official abuse of their rights has tended to give the government the
impression that it can trample over those rights with impunity. The teachers
' strike, which took the government by surprise and over which Education
Minister Aeneas Chigwedere ought to resign if he has any honour left, is a
fine example of people standing up for their rights.

      This is not to encourage anarchy, but with a government as wedded to
intolerance of dissent as this one is, people must know that only if they
are willing to stand up for their rights can they hope to have those rights
recognised all the time.

      In many ways, the people's casual attitude towards their rights could
be responsible for an appalling case of the violation of human rights
witnessed recently in Harare.

      Three defendants awaiting trial were reportedly so brutally assaulted
by the police that on the day they appeared in court they had to crawl from
their remand cells into the courtroom - so severely had they been beaten.

      A magistrate in Harare has ordered an investigation into the beatings.
Until the investigations are completed, it would be unfair to cast any
aspersions on the conduct of the police.

      But this is not the first time the police have been caught on the
wrong side of the law. The force, as well as the army, has become so
politicised in the last few years, it has virtually become part of the evil
apparatus of repression the government has built up since 2000.

      This is the result of ordinary people not being fully aware of their
rights. Clearly, it is time they stood up for their rights, whatever the
Back to the Top
Back to Index


Mbeki: 'We must act on the Zimbabwe crisis'

Brendan Boyle

Cape Town - South African President Thabo Mbeki promised on Thursday to get
directly involved to help resolve Zimbabwe's crisis.

"We must act on the Zimbabwe crisis to change it," Mbeki said during
parliamentary question time.

"We will work with the government, we will work with the opposition, we will
work with the Zimbabwe business community, we will work with the commercial
farmers to assist in the change."

Mbeki has previously shied away from any unilateral intervention in Zimbabwe
and again rejected calls to punish President Robert Mugabe and his ruling
Zanu-PF party.

"We are not going to act on the Zimbabwe question with a view to punishment.
What we have got to do is to ensure that the situation in Zimbabwe changes,"
he said.

"That's the policy and the position we will take. It's the only position we
will take.

Referring to Foreign Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's recent visit to
Zimbabwe, he said: "We will continue to engage in Zimbabwe and push as hard
as we can to produce results."

'Missed a good opportunity'

His comments, however, fell short of expectations of a change of tack on
Zimbabwe, leaving diplomats and political analysts in the gallery
disappointed that he had not taken the opportunity to announce other
initiatives trailed by his staff.

"I was expecting a lot more than that. He has missed a good opportunity,"
said one Western envoy.

Aides and officials said earlier on Thursday that Mbeki was adopting a more
hands-on policy on Zimbabwe, which has become an economic albatross around
southern Africa's neck.

They said he would revive a stalled bilateral ministerial commission and
would visit Harare soon as part of a Southern African Development Community
(SADC) fact-finding mission.

'Mugabe realizes he needs help'

Sources in Mbeki's team and one government official told reporters there had
been clear signals from Mugabe over the past month that he realised he
needed help from his neighbours.

One aide said Mugabe had told Dlamini-Zuma during a visit last week that he
was ready to talk about "anything under the sun, including media freedom,
the courts and the land issue".

Instability in Zimbabwe damaged foreign investor confidence in the region
last year, contributing to a dramatic fall in the value of the South African

Mbeki said, however, that policy on Zimbabwe should not be dictated by the
fear of white South Africans that they might suffer the same fate as white
farmers stripped of their land.

In the toughest signal yet that Mugabe has lost regional support, the
14-nation SADC decided at a summit two weeks ago to deny him the deputy
chairmanship that would have lined him up for the leadership position in a
year. - Sapa and Reuters


Hopes brighten for new strategy on Zimbabwe

      October 16 2002 at 09:50PM

      By John Battersby

President Thabo Mbeki was expected to inject some new hope for a negotiated
settlement to the Zimbabwean land seizure impasse on Thursday.

Sources close to the new manoeuvres suggested that South Africa's
relationship with Zimbabwe was shifting from "quiet diplomacy" to
"constructive engagement".

The shift in stance was anticipated in a reply the president was due to make
to questions from Democratic Alliance leader Tony Leon.

Leon has asked Mbeki, in the light of the recent meeting of the Commonwealth
troika in Abuja, Nigeria, whether the situation had improved and, if not,
why he did not support tougher action against Zimbabwe.

If the situation in Zimbabwe had improved, Leon wanted to know from Mbeki
what improvements had led him to take no action against the Zimbabwean

Meanwhile, in the British House of Lords, Lord Peter Carrington, who chaired
the Lancaster House conference in 1979 which led to Zimbabwean independence,
has asked the British government to put its money where its mouth is.

He demanded to know whether it would be prepared to use money earmarked for
compensating Zimbabwean farmers who sold their farms on a willing-buyer,
willing-seller basis to support those who had been evicted without

His question on Wednesday followed growing public pressure in Britain for
the government to help compensate farmers left destitute.

Prince Charles recently wrote to British Prime Minister Tony Blair on the
issue, asking him to intervene.

Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has hinted that there was nothing
stopping the British from paying compensation.

Britain's Minister for Africa, Baroness Valerie Amos, responded to Lord
Carrington's question with a carefully worded restatement of British policy,
which suggested that Britain could be prepared to shift its position on
compensation if there was a gesture from the Zimbabwean side.

Natal Witness

Mbeki slams SA whites over Zim

SA will continue to engage with Zimbabwe and will not condemn Mugabe


President Thabo Mbeki has reaffirmed South Africa's policy of constructive
engagement towards Zimbabwe and again rejected calls to punish President
Robert Mugabe and his ruling Zanu-PF party.

"We are not going to act on the Zimbabwe question with a view to punishment
What we have got to do is to ensure that the situation in Zimbabwe changes,"
he told MPs during parliamentary question time on Thursday.

Mbeki repeated that South Africa will work with the Zimbabwean government,
the opposition, the business community and the Commercial Farmers Union to
assist in changing the crisis-ridden country.

"That's the policy and the position we will take. It's the only position we
will take."

Referring to Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's recent visit to
Zimbabwe, he said: "We will continue to engage in Zimbabwe and push as hard
as we can to produce results."

However, it is perfectly clear that there are people within South Africa who
have a different objective, Mbeki said.

"Other people think our task is to punish, to defeat, to crush Robert Mugabe
and Zanu-PF."

Mbeki said the way to ensure human rights and democracy is not to crush,
"but to ensure that Zimbabwe gets on to a different path".

He noted that many of those calling for the "crushing" are putting the
obligation on South Africa to do so.

"If they want to crush, I don't know why they don't do so themselves," Mbeki
said to the amusement of ANC MPs.

He repeated that some opposition parties' attitudes towards Zimbabwe are
based on "the fear that things happening to white people might happen here".

"That is the centre of the concern and the result is that major challenges
happening on our continent, those people in our country do not want to

"It doesn't matter how many Ivorians die. 'Let's talk about Zimbabwe'.
Doesn't matter who many millions of Sudanese die. 'Let's talk about
Zimbabwe'," Mbeki chided.

Pointing to the government benches, Mbeki said South Africa will not proceed
to define Africa's agenda on the basis of whether "those people who sit
there constitute a threat to white South Africa and to demonstrate that we
are not such a threat then we have to do something about Mugabe".

"What we have to do with Zimbabwe is to assist Zimbabwe to get out of its
crisis the economic, political and social crisis."

He repeated that there are many things that are wrong with Zimbabwe, and
with which South Africa does not agree.

On the recent Commonwealth troika meeting in Abuja, he said Zimbabwe's
Commercial Farmers' Union approached South Africa's High Commission to
Harare ahead of the meeting and forwarded a memorandum in which it said
sanctions are not the answer to the country's ills.
Publish Date: 18 October 2002
Source: SAPA

Extract from a piece about Mbeki from Natal Witness

Of course, the most glaring area of Mbeki's neglect is Zimbabwe. His answer
to the appeal to "do something" is "do what?" He holds that the "land
question" is central to Zimbabwe's dilemma. "A continuation of this colonial
legacy cannot be allowed," he says, adding airily that the matter "must be
handled in the context of the law and without any conflict." He has no
standpoint on the fact that Mugabe has subverted the rule of law and that
tyranny and anarchy prevail. Even worse is his failure to admit what the
whole world knows, namely, that the so-called land question is contrived and
that the farm seizures and evictions are criminal measures by Mugabe to
aggrandise his power while demolishing the MDC opposition.

It is a well-known fact that white farmers in Zimbabwe own less than 20% of
the available land while 3,8 million hectares of state land is available for
resettlement. Moreover, those white-owned farms were legally registered and
recognised by Mugabe's government. They were the legitimate properties of
Zimbabwean citizens. But Mbeki ignores those realities in the same way he
ignores the mass starvation that now grips Zimbabwe as a result of Mugabe's
policies. Instead, Mbeki the universalist says that "it doesn't help to
pretend this is the most grievous problem in the world" and that Zimbabwe
has not impacted on Nepad. Dream on, Thabo. The plight of Zimbabwe with all
its implications is of immense significance to South Africa, while condoning
Mugabe's tyranny and pretending that Nepad is unaffected simply compounds
Mbeki's folly.

Mbeki's world is all about agendas and the need to be wary lest South Africa
is "dragooned to come and fulfil" other people's agendas. Jan Smuts' neglect
of South Africa's "little problems" eventually cost him his constituency.
Detached and preoccupied with his next foreign destination, Mbeki, it would
seem, is courting Smuts' fate.

a.. Duncan du Bois is a DA Durban Metro ward councillor. He writes in his
personal capacity.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

White farmers giving up in Zimbabwe

Hundreds of white farmers in Zimbabwe are giving up their efforts to farm.

Farmers' groups say they have been forced to do so after 30 months of
harassment under Robert Mugabe's land redistribution programme.

Almost 7 million Zimbabweans, more than half the population, are facing
hunger because of a sharp drop in agricultural production blamed on a
drought and the land policies.

In the corn and tobacco region north of Harare, white farmers have conceded
defeat in their efforts to continue farming.

A statement, believed to be issued on behalf of several hundred farmers,
said: "We have tried to continue production for the last 30 months under
near-impossible conditions - we now give notice we cannot continue any

"The effective destruction of commercial farming is causing far worse
starvation than previously estimated and has put the economy in free fall."

The white farmers say much of the seized land is lying fallow because the
government has not given poor blacks the resources necessary to start

Jerry Grant, deputy director of the Commercial Farmers Union, says only 600
whites are left on farms, "the rest have been driven out".

Dairy farmers are warning of an imminent shortage of milk as a result of
eviction notices served on more than half the nation's dairy farmers.

There are already shortages of corn meal, bread, cooking oil and sugar, as
well as long lines at filling stations for petrol.

Story filed: 14:26 Thursday 17th October 2002
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Focus On Rising Dissent As Cost of Living Soars

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

October 17, 2002
Posted to the web October 17, 2002

This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations

Rising discontent over soaring inflation and a rapidly shrinking economy
could lead to serious confrontation between the government and disgruntled
Zimbabwean workers, analysts warned on Thursday.

In response to declining living standards, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions (ZCTU) has called for widespread tax cuts, saying the deepening
economic crisis had eroded the purchasing power of workers.

Zimbabwe is in the midst of its worst economic crisis since independence
from Britain in 1980, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warning
that the inflation rate will rise to 155 percent by the end of the year -
twice the government's estimate of 70 percent.

Lovemore Matombo, the president of the ZCTU, said the umbrella labour
movement had appealed to the government to exempt all workers earning below
Zim $23,000 (US $418 at the official rate) from paying tax.

"The level of poverty has dramatically increased. Workers are no longer paid
for overtime work, the cost of living is very high. It has become near
impossible for families to afford basic food items as well as access to
social services," Matombo told IRIN.

The federation also wanted the government to scrap tax on retrenchment
payouts for workers who were laid off by liquidated companies.

"The government would do well to heed the frustrations of the workers.
Whether or not they concede to our request, it is important that the people
are aware of the labour movement's position on spiralling inflation,"
Matombo added.

As the pace of Zimbabwe's economic decline accelerated in the mid 1990s, the
unions emerged as the main political challenge to President Robert Mugabe.

However, the once powerful ZCTU may be losing its clout as the formal sector
of the economy continues to shrink at an alarming rate, robbing the movement
of members.

Earlier this year a three-day industrial action received a lukewarm response
from workers. Analysts suggested that fear of the government's response -
after a violent presidential election campaign - and draconian labour laws
were responsible for the poor showing.

A new security law also gives the president the power to declare any strike
illegal. All public demonstrations - including protests by striking
workers - now require prior police approval.

The ZCTU was central to the creation of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) in 1999, and is regarded as synonymous with the
party by the government. MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai led the ZCTU during
the 1990s, at a crucial period when the movement marked its independence
from the ruling ZANU-PF.

This week, the government demonstrated how it could deal with recalcitrant
workers by firing 627 striking members of the Progressive Teachers Union of
Zimbabwe ahead of crucial end of year exams.

The teachers demanded a 100 percent salary increment backdated to January
this year and another 100 percent cost of living adjustment backdated to

Also this week health care professionals at Harare and Parirenyatwa
hospitals downed tools again. Doctors and nurses went on strike in August
pressing for more pay but had resumed their duties following a government
undertaking to review their salaries.

Analysts told IRIN that the recent flurry of strikes was a sign that
Zimbabwe's labour force was becoming restless over the government's failure
to address spiralling inflation.

John Makumbe, a political analyst at the University of Zimbabwe said:
"Already there is talk that the hospital technicians may go on strike. It is
also likely that the electricity workers may join them. There is mounting
resistance to how the government is running the country."

Whether or not workers would take to the streets in protest, resulting in an
inevitable confrontation with the security forces, depended on the
government's response to their frustrations, Makumbe said.

"Workers are acutely aware of the government's capacity to use its
instruments of repression. Nobody really wants to lose their lives in the
process. The firing of so many teachers has elicited a lot of anger among
parents. It is this anger that may filter onto the streets of Harare,"
Makumbe added.

But, he said, the anti-trade unionism laws and extra-legal constraints would
make it difficult for the ZCTU to mobilise support on the same level as it
did 1998.

The ZCTU successfully flexed its muscles in 1998 when it forced the
government to scrap a 2.5 percent sales tax, a 5 percent tax on personal
incomes, a 15 percent tax on pension-fund profits and a range of other

"The government is unlikely to heed ZCTU's demands for tax cuts. In fact,
ZANU-PF has become a lot more strident in recent months. A confrontation
between the government and workers could lead to a bloodbath and everyone
concerned is very aware of this. [But] we are likely to see further
stayaways and sit-ins," Richard Cornwell, a senior researcher at the
Institute for Security Studies in South Africa said.

However, Makumbe did not rule out the possibility of mass action, as a
"simple incident could transform an ostensibly calm situation into an
all-out confrontation between the police and workers".

Meanwhile, since the MDC's defeat in local council elections last month -
marred by intimidation and the inability of the MDC to contest in half of
the wards - the party had "lost direction", one analyst said.

Tsvangirai was reluctant to call for mass action fearing the government may
use the opportunity to violently clamp down on opposition supporters, said
the analyst who asked not to be named.

"The MDC has yet to recover from what they perceive was a 'stolen
presidency'. There have been rumours of internal squabbles and the bruising
they received from losing the last local elections has left them without
direction. All they do now is hope for a managed transition from Mugabe to
somebody else in ZANU-PF," Cornwell said.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's currency this week sank to its lowest level in the
country's history. At the present parallel rate of exchange, it now costs
nearly 1,000 Zimbabwe dollars for one US dollar. Economists say the latest
plunge was sparked by the cost of imported fuel.

Three weeks of fuel shortages ended on Monday after the government
reportedly used all its available foreign currency to pay Libya for fuel.
The fuel was stored in tanks controlled by the Libyans on the outskirts of
Harare, and they only released it after receiving payment in foreign
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      Expats nothing but a drain on meagre resources - MPs

      10/17/02 9:23:41 AM (GMT +2)

      By Columbus Mavhunga

      MEMBERS of Parliament have said the government's hire of expatriate
health personnel is causing more harm than good to the nation and its

      The MPs spoke on Tuesday during debate after the presentation of the
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Welfare on Health
Sector Reforms - Decentralisation.

      They said the government should provide incentives for local personnel
instead of hiring foreigners who did not understand the system in the

      Their statements followed reports of Cubans doctors conducting
hysterectomies (surgical removals of the uterus) at Bulawayo's Mpilo Central
hospital without the patients' knowledge and consent.

      "Sometimes their practices are very, very different from what we do
here," said Trudy Stevenson (Harare North).

      "We need to be careful when hiring from abroad. There have been a host
of adverts for our nurses and doctors being wanted in Australia, the United
States and Britain. That is a pity.

      "We don't need to train our nurses and doctors so that they can be
employed abroad. We need to pay our health personnel well. In this regard we
must call for a higher vote for the health ministry so that we can have a
decent health delivery system. Let's have a more realistic allocation of
funds for the health sector," said Stevenson.

      Over the past 10 years, Zimbabwe's health delivery system has
deteriorated as budget allocations for the Ministry of Health and Child
Welfare were reduced in favour of the Ministry of Defence.

      That has resulted in the country being hit by a massive exodus of
nurses and doctors as they sought greener pastures in the region and abroad
where they are paid handsomely.

      The Parliamentary Report said the brain drain was due to salary
discrepancies, general economic hardships, the current grading system and
the staff being overworked.

      "The brain drain of nurses, pharmacists and physiotherapists has
reached alarming levels," said Blessing Chebundo, the chairman of the
Portfolio committee and the MDC shadow minister of Health and Child Welfare.
      "The alternative has been to employ expatriates who are expensive.
Their emoluments are about $2 million a month at the parallel exchange rate.
These expatriates are also impeded by the language barrier to effectively
diagnose and treat patients as most of them are from non-English speaking

      "A disturbing issue is that in the case of Cuban doctors, after one
year, they are entitled to go back to their country on holiday at the
expense of the government. This draws quite a substantial percentage from
the Ministry's budget, taking into consideration that most airlines quote
their fares in foreign currency, a scarce resource at the moment in this

      Chebundo was supported by Willias Madzimure (Kambuzuma} who said
Zimbabwean doctors were by far better than expatriates

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      War veterans accused of arson attack in Sanyati

      10/17/02 9:14:31 AM (GMT +2)

      From Zerubabel Mudzingwa in Gweru

      PROPERTY worth thousands of dollars was destroyed in a fire started by
so-called war veterans at Sanyati growth point last week as the Zanu PF
terror campaign against suspected MDC supporters continued in Mashonaland
West province.

      The attacks came barely a week after Zanu PF candidates won almost all
the contested wards in the violence-torn rural district council polls held
last month.

      A war veterans' leader, Collen Gwandibva and a Zanu PF activist
identified as Steven Gotohori, allegedly led the attack in which they burnt
down market stalls and looted goods belonging to MDC supporters.

      Zvikomborero Dhliwayo, the losing MDC candidate for Ward 29 in Kadoma
West, said no suspects were arrested in connection with the incident
although the matter was reported to a Constable Muwoti at Sanyati police

      "In fact, two days before the election, about 200 Zanu PF youths
besieged my house with buckets full of human excreta which they poured
around the house, threatening to set it on fire," said Dhliwayo.

      "Soon after the elections they torched the market stalls, destroying
thousands of dollars worth of wares owned by our members and ordered them to
leave the growth point," he said.

      Farai Mutekwa, an MDC supporter alleged he lost goods worth over $14
000 in the attack.

      The police confirmed both incidents.

      "No one has been arrested yet in connection with the attack at
Dhliwayo's home and the market stalls, but we are still investigating," said
the officer-in-charge at Sanyati police station, who identified himself only
as Matuku.

      Dhliwayo said rank marshals and bus touts suspected to be MDC
supporters were ordered to seek permission from the war veterans before they
could operate at the bus terminus.

      "They confiscated our carts and asked us to apply in person at the war
veterans' base near the council offices so that we are vetted and given
permission to operate," said a vendor, who declined to be named for fear of

      Meanwhile, the winning Zanu PF candidate for Ward 29 in Kadoma West,
Wilson Mutubuki, is reportedly under siege from his party supporters who
have accused him of being sympathetic to the MDC.

      Documents shown to The Daily News on Tuesday indicate that Mutubuki
joined the MDC on 14 August 2002, just a few weeks before the council polls.
      His MDC card number is 718579.

      But Mutubuki later defected to Zanu PF where he contested the election
and garnered 215 votes, against Dhliwayo's 147.

      Mutubuki could not be reached for comment over his alleged affiliation
to the MDC party.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      MDC resolves to reject election results for Bubi-Umguza area

      10/17/02 9:12:14 AM (GMT +2)

      From Chris Gande in Bulawayo

      THE MDC has resolved not to recognise the outcome of the rural
district council elections in the Bubi-Umguza constituency.

      At a review of the elections on Monday, the constituency's losing
candidates and their agents said there were gross irregularities during the

      As in the rest of the country, several MDC candidates in the
constituency were barred from contesting for several reasons, giving Zanu PF
candidates leeway to win unopposed.

      Some irregularities cited by the party included violence, distribution
of maize at polling stations and disenfranchising of voters.

      The MP for the area, Jacob Thabane, who attended the meeting, said the
results should be nullified.

      "We don't recognise the outcome of the elections for a number reasons.
We feel the results should be nullified," he said.

      Moses Moyo, who lost in Umguza Ward Four, said the polling stations
were situated only near resettlement areas where there was a heavy Zanu PF

      "People from the ward had to walk long distances to the polling
stations," he said.

      Macloud Dube, an MDC election agent at Mbembesi, said he was told
election agents were not allowed at polling stations during voting.

      "If the ballot papers for Ward Four are recounted it can be proven
that Zanu PF lost," he said.

      The losing candidate for Ward 16, Captain Mlotshwa, said officials
from the Registrar General's Office reduced voting to only one day.

      He said villagers who were known MDC supporters were struck off the
drought relief and food-for-work programmes.

      Leonard Mhlanga, an election agent for Ward Two, said all grinding
mills in the ward were closed and only Zanu PF was allowed to distribute
food to its supporters.

      Mhlanga, the former chairman of the Umguza Rural District Council and
a war veteran, was barred from contesting the elections because his father
was born in Zambia.

      "Soldiers who do not live in the wards but were from a nearby barracks
were allowed to vote," he claimed.

      John Gama, an MDC candidate for Ward Three in Mbembeswana, is still
nursing injuries he sustained when he was assaulted by suspected Zanu PF
supporters in the run-up to the elections held on 28 and 28 September.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      Victim of Zanu PF shooting arrested

      10/17/02 9:31:18 AM (GMT +2)

      From Chris Gande in Bulawayo

      DARLINGTON Kadengu, an MDC member, was yesterday arrested by the
police after he had been shot and seriously wounded, allegedly by Andrew
Langa, the Zanu PF candidate for the Insiza parliamentary by-election.

      Professor Welshman Ncube, the MDC secretary-general, said the police
in Filabusi arrested Kadengu together with 12 other MDC members after the

      Ncube said he was concerned that Kadengu was being detained and yet he
had a bullet lodged in his back, near the spinal cord.

      The 13 MDC members were still in police custody by late yesterday
afternoon and were expected to appear in court today.

      Kadengu was briefly taken to Filabusi Hospital where he was treated
and sent back to the police cells.

      Superintendent Wayne Bvudzijena, the police spokesman, as is his habit
concerning The Daily News, refused to comment when contacted yesterday.
      Langa, who was not arrested, could not be reached for comment
yesterday. He was attending a Zanu PF rally at which the Minister of State
for Information and Publicity, Professor Jonathan Moyo, and Elliot Manyika,
the Minister of Youth, Gender and Employment Creation, were key speakers.

      The shooting is reported to have occurred after the MDC members were
ambushed by a group of armed men, who robbed them of more than $5 million in
election campaign funds, 1 000 party T-shirts and other campaign material.
      Maxwell Zimuto, the MDC national information officer, who was in the
travelling group, said they left Bulawayo on Tuesday at around 9pm.

      "As we were approaching Filabusi, the driver of our car told us he had
noticed a vehicle following us. We told him to accelerate, but the car
behind us did the same," Zimuto said.

      When their car eventually stopped, the truck trailing them also
stopped and four men jumped out, threatening to shoot them.

      The assailants then allegedly took out all the campaign material,
including the money, from the MDC car and loaded it into their own vehicle.
They then sped off.Zimuto said the MDC team proceeded to Filabusi and went
to Langas home to find out whether he could assist them recover their
      Langa allegedly fired a gun at the group and they fled to the police
station. As they were making a report to the officer-in-charge, an Inspector
Shoko, Langa turned up brandishing a revolver.

      He allegedly fired at the group, hitting Kadengu below the armpit.
Their cars' tyres were deflated and the vehicles were still at the police
station yesterday.
      Mkandla, the MDC district chairman, said the police had initially told
him that they were keeping the group in custody for their own safety.

      "The police later changed and said they had been given instructions to
keep them in custody and to charge them," he said.

      Gibson Sibanda, the MDC vice-president, who was at Filabusi yesterday,
said: "This is a desperate effort by Zanu PF and clearly shows how a
dictator is using every trick, including violence, to cling onto power."

      Siyabonga Ncube, the MDC candidate, described the incident as an act
of evil. He said it was shocking that the police could arrest the victims of
the shooting and leave the perpetrator free.

      The by-election is set for 26 and 27 October.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      US delegates cost taxpayers $11m

      10/17/02 9:29:34 AM (GMT +2)

      By Luke Tamborinyoka Political Editor

      THE visiting nine-member delegation from the United States has cost
the starving Zimbabwean taxpayers in excess of $11 million in travel,
ccommodation and general upkeep after their three-day long,
all-expenses-paid trip.

      Zimbabwe consumes 5 000 tonnes of maize a day. The maize costs US$240
      (Z$13 200) a tonne.

      The team, which was scheduled to leave for New York last night, was in
Zimbabwe on a "fact-finding" mission and was hosted by the government.
      The delegation was led by councillor Charles Barron from New York, who
has declared his support for President Mugabe.

      They arrived on Sunday and were booked at the plush five-star Sheraton
Hotel in Harare, courtesy of the Zimbabwean taxpayer.

      The delegation met its own travel expenses from New York to London
while the government footed their travel from London to Harare, apart from
the other expenses incurred during their three-day junket.

      The return airfares from London to Harare for nine people average
around Z$10 million (or US$585 on Air Zimbabwe), while the cheapest dinner
at the Sheraton costs $3 000 a person.

      Accommodation is Z$17 000 a night and the cost for three days is Z$459
000 for nine guests.

      Barron yesterday confirmed that they were sponsored by the government,
but said that would not affect their report.

      He said they did not simply support the government because they had
gone to meet other organisations and people who did not necessarily support
the government.

      The team met several organisations during their stay in the country.

      On Tuesday, he met the Harare and Chitungwiza Executive Mayors, Elias
Mudzuri and Misheck Shoko respectively, at the MDC headquarters at Harvest

      On the same day, the delegation met officials from human rights group,
Amani Trust and the United States Ambassador, Joseph Sullivan.
      The delegation confirmed to the mayors during the two-and-half-hour
meeting that they were indeed funded by the government.

      The two, in turn, impressed upon the delegation that the crisis in
Zimbabwe was one of governance, which had led to the current starvation
      They told the delegation that the answer to the crisis lay in holding
internationally-supervised elections following President Mugabe's disputed
victory in the March presidential poll.

      The government was expected to have taken them to some of the farms
which it acquired.

      The delegation was scheduled to meet officials at the
Registrar-General's Office yesterday.

      The delegation leader, Barron, was only one of 50 councillors who
accepted President Mugabe's offer of the free luxury trip. Only one other
councillor, James Davis, of Brooklyn agreed to come.

      While in the United States, Barron admitted he had already made up his
mind that Mugabe was a hero for grabbing thousands of commercial farms for
distribution to veterans of the liberation war.

      The vast majority of council members wanted nothing to do with Mugabe
and his propaganda charade, especially when millions were facing starvation
in Zimbabwe.

      Some of the handful of councilmen who cheered Mugabe when he went to
New York City Hall last month later developed cold feet, according to
reports from New York.

      They backed out of the trip after they did some homework about the
extent of opposition to his rule.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      Shortage of milk looming

      10/17/02 9:36:49 AM (GMT +2)

      By Takaitei Bote Farming Editor

      A SERIOUS milk shortage is looming in the country.

      Commercial dairy producers are stopping production because of the
uncertainties created by the land reform programme and interference by newly
resettled villagers.

      About 90 percent of the milk in the country is produced by large-scale
commercial farmers, most of whom have been issued with eviction notices.
      A visit to Beatrice commercial farming area on Tuesday showed that
some large-scale milk producers had packed their bags after they were given
eviction orders by the government.

      Others, facing operational problems because of shortages of stockfeed
or the high cost of procuring the stockfeed, have destocked and stopped
dairying altogether.

      Some farmers, whose properties have been earmarked for compulsory
acquisition and have remained on the farms, have no grazing area for their
animals because the settlers have even occupied pastures.

      If dairy cattle reduce feeding, their output of milk drops.

      About 169 farmers, out of a total of 310 large-scale commercial dairy
producers in the country, have been issued with eviction notices.

      Dairibord Zimbabwe Limited (DZL), the largest marketer of milk in the
country, said about five commercial producers had left dairy farming between
January and September.

      DZL said most of the farmers who were destocking were doing so because
of difficulties in procuring stockfeed.

      Anthony Mandiwanza, the DZL managing director, responding to questions
from The Daily News, said : "It is estimated that in 1995we had 105 000
dairy cattle and in 2001, there were 70 000."

      Mandiwanza said DZL was currently receiving about 300 000 litres a day
compared to 365 000 litres a day during the same period last year.

      "Currently the demand for milk is estimated at 13 million litres per
month against a supply of 10 million," he said.

      One large-scale farmer in Beatrice, who cannot be identified because
he fears victimisation, has about 950 dairy cattle on his farm. The pastures
on the farm have been occupied by so-called war veterans and landless

      A worker at another Beatrice farm said: "The settlers on the farm do
not allow us to graze the cattle on the pastures.We are having to move the
cattle to limited pastures and that means output is reduced. The war
veterans on the farm have warmed us not to talk to the press, especially The
Daily News."

      The farm, which used to produce between 9 000 and 10 000 litres of
milk a day, is now down to 7 500 litres a day because of restrictions on

      The farmer, who used to produce yellow maize for stockfeed, has
allegedly been ordered by so-called war veterans on the farm to stop farming
operations. He cannot, however, buy enough stockfeed because of shortages of
maize in the country.

      He has not produced tobacco, the country's largest foreign currency
earner, in the past three seasons because the farm is under siege.

      Contacted for comment yesterday, Stoff Hawgood, the chairman of the
National Association of Dairy Farmers (NADF), confirmed milk production had
dwindled. He attributed the decline to a viability crisis.

      Hawgood said: "While it is true some farmers are not able to access
grazing, the biggest issue is viability as farmers are buying stockfeed at
high cost because most of the raw materials are imported.

      "Stockfeed producers are also importing maize because of shortages of
maize in the county."

      Hawgood denied that farmers had left dairy farming because of the land
      Dairy farmers, who in recent months have been negotiating with the
government to have their farms delisted, do not want to be confrontational
because they fear it would jeopardise the chances of their farms being
removed off the compulsory acquisition list.

      While Hawgood said the land reform programme had not affected milk
production, the shortages in stockfeed had been caused by a reduction in
maize production in the past two years because of farm invasions, and

      Hawgood said: " In 1992-1994 period, we produced about 240 million
litres of milk.Two years ago production was 180 million litres, while last
year farmers produced about 168 million litres. This year milk output is
expected to go down to 140 million litres because of feeding problems."

      Hawgood said the NADF was negotiating with the government to delist
dairy farms earmarked for compulsory acquisition.

      "As far as we are concerned, no dairy farmer has been driven off their
farms. Those who have left, have made an economic decision to stop dairy
farming. We are negotiating with relevant government officials to have those
farms issued with eviction notices to be delisted. The issue is being
Back to the Top
Back to Index

      Students bid to break Mugabe's university link


      ZIMBABWEAN president Robert Mugabe could lose his honorary degree from
Edinburgh University after students there began proceedings to have the
award revoked.

      Students from the university's Labour Club have petitioned the
institute's authorities to retract the degree which was awarded to Mr Mugabe
in 1984 in recognition of the groundbreaking educational programmes he
instigated in Zimbabwe.

      But since then his record on human rights has led him to be censured
by the Commonwealth and now students claim the honorary degree is an
embarrassment to them and the institution.

      Neil Cardwell, campaign officer in charge of the petition, said there
had been discontent among the student population over Mr Mugabe's degree for
some time.

      He added that the institution was giving "tacit approval" to Mr Mugabe
's human rights abuses by not withdrawing the degree.

      Mr Cardwell said: "It has been building up for a while, but when
[former UN high commissioner for human rights] Mary Robinson was given a
honorary degree for her human rights work in June that highlighted the

      Campaigners will present their petition at the next general meeting of
the student association, due to be held next month.

      Other university clubs, including its branch of Amnesty International
and its Conservative and Unionist Association, have also backed the Labour
Club's campaign. If the student association agrees to take up the matter it
will be put before the university court, the institute's highest body, for

      The court is chaired by the student rector, currently Green MSP Robin
Harper, who is also a member of the parliament's cross-party group on human

      Mr Harper said he had "every sympathy" with the move but said it would
be up to the student court as a whole to make a decision on the matter.

      However a spokeswoman for the university said: "The degree was awarded
in 1984 on the merits of the case at the time. We have a concern that the
withdrawal of such a degree might rebound on any in the country associated
with the university - our graduates in Zimbabwe and also the Edinburgh
graduates of many nationalities who work all over the world."

      She also confirmed that the institute had never revoked a degree
before, and there were no procedures in place for doing so.

      Mr Mugabe came to power in 1980. However the country has been in
social and growing economic crisis since pro-government militants, led by
veterans of the 1970s liberation war, began invading white-owned farms in
early 2000 and using violence or even murder to evict the owners.

      Zimbabwean courts have consistently ruled the veterans should not be
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      Thousands left homeless as Beitbridge cleans up town for solar eclipse

      10/17/02 9:27:43 AM (GMT +2)

      From Oscar Nkala in Bulawayo

      THE lure of the bonanza in revenue that Beitbridge expects to reap
from the solar eclipse in December has left about 3 000 residents of
high-density Dulibadzimu township homeless.

      The shacks they call their homes were destroyed as council spruced up
the town's image for the tourists, expected in the town to view the
extraordinary natural phenomenon on 4 December.

      Dulibadzimu residents said the council had deployed demolition teams,
accompanied by armed riot police, to evict them together with their
property, before destroying the mud and pole structures, home to almost half
the town's population.

      "The operation started last month and is still continuing," said a
resident, Edith Muleya.

      "So far, I can safely say more than three-quarters of the slums have
been levelled. There is only one section, which forms the original
Dulibadzimu, which has been spared.

      "We were thrown out into the open. No alternative arrangements for our
accommodation have been made and we are now squatting at the rural bus

      She said the council had told them to move out into the nearby rural
areas, such as Lutumba, but the villagers in those areas had made it clear
they did not want them.

      Muleya said: "We are in a fix. The villagers do not want anyone from
the township. We believe the council should have found somewhere else for us
to live temporarily instead of throwing us into hostile villages."

      Almost all the people who went to the villages returned to squat at
the rank.
      Only those with relatives were allowed to stay.

      Muleya said some of the people were staying in the open at shopping
centres in the town and had nowhere else to go.

      "In fact, the tourists are going to find squatters everywhere they go.
To us, this is unfair since we are being made to suffer to fool tourists
into believing that Beitbridge is a paradise and yet thousands are sleeping
in the open and getting choked by uncollected garbage because of the
inefficiency of the council. We will be there for the tourists to see us,"
Muleya said.

      Dulibadzimu township has over the years degenerated into a slum where
the original owners of two-roomed mud structures have extended them by as
many as eight rooms.

      The monthly rent for each room can be as high as $800 or more,
depending on its size.

      Due to the acute shortage of accommodation in the town, most
home-owners have extended their houses to accommodate whole families in
single rooms.
      A Beitbridge Rural District Council official said the council would
consider finding alternative accommodation for the people whose structures
had been spared because those were the original township dwellers.

      "Those who are complaining are squatters who just settled themselves
in illegal structures. We have no plans for them, and the council has told
them so," said the official, who refused to be named.

      Beitbridge will experience a total solar eclipse on 4 December.
Tourism companies and organisations are competing vigorously with South
Africa, which is offering better sites, and luring tourists to view the
solar eclipse from their side of the Limpopo River.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


Mugabe tells farmers: Fight UK

Harare - President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has called on the country's
white farmers to join the government in its "fight against Britain" over
land reform, a state-owned newspaper reported on Thursday.

"Let them join us in the fight against Britain. They can join us to fight
... to get (Prime Minister Tony) Blair to get a reawakening, to be born
again," The Herald quoted Mugabe as saying.

Mugabe accuses former colonial power Britain of reneging on a promise it
made to fund land reform in the country. Britain rejects the accusation,
saying it will only support land reform that is fair and transparent and
alleviates poverty in the southern African country.

"We are not neglecting the principle of compensation. We are willing to pay
upon an adequate commitment being made by Britain," Mugabe added. "We are
not able to carry the burden ourselves, but Britain should carry the

Mugabe's comments were made a day after the director of the white-dominated
Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) accused Britain of ignoring the historical
background to land reform that required Britain to help pay compensation.

Recently there have been deep splits among the country's white farmers, and
the new stance by the CFU is unlikely to be supported by all of the
country's 4 500 white farmers.

"It's surprising that the CFU which has not pressured Britain to help the
land reform programme now wants to join us in the fight against Britain,"
Mugabe said.

So far 9 154 white-owned farms accounting for 17.4 million hectares of land
have been forcibly acquired by the government, according to official

The government says it has so far resettled 300 000 landless blacks on the
acquired land. - Sapa-AFP
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News - Letter

      Anglican Church in Harare now an object of ridicule

      10/17/02 8:56:09 AM (GMT +2)

      WE ARE in a state of extreme disillusionment with our fellow Anglicans
due to the manner in which the affairs in the Diocese of Harare have been
conducted by those of who have a responsibility to preserve the very
foundation of the Anglican Church.

      Despite reports that have made the rounds either through direct
petitions, the media or hearsay, no one appears to have attempted to verify
in any way, with the person involved, the veracity of the objections.

      In fact, very few people, right up to the Archbishops, have had the
courtesy to acknowledge receipt of any of the petitions. We question their
commitment to their calling, assuming it exists, and the ease with which,
the clergy in particular, can proclaim to profess the word of God and be in
communion with all Christians.

      Our understanding of the Gospels and of Canonical law is limited and
we, together with numerous other Anglicans, continually look for guidance
and assistance in our spiritual growth.

      Not being of a particular diocese is no excuse. The task of a shepherd
is to guard his flock and ensure that it is safe from harm at all times, as
well as from those whose objective is to mislead it.

      The shepherd is not expected to deliver the flock to the wolves and
neither is he expected to sit back and observe while the flock is being torn

      Undoubtedly church politics and machinations are playing a part in
this situation, and it is increasingly apparent that the hierarchy of the
Anglican Church is determined not to lift a finger against a fellow member
of the cloth, regardless of the prevailing circumstances.

      "The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will
condemn you, even though you have the written code and circumcision, but are
a law breaker". (Romans 2:23). Are your positions in the Church more
important in the eyes of God than the individuals who constitute it? St Paul
rightly warns us (Romans 2:6-10): "God will give to each person according to
what he has done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory,
honour and immortality, He will give eternal life.

      "But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and
follow evil, there will be wrath and anger, for God does not show

      We find this situation deplorable. The hierarchy of the Anglican
Church are, in our eyes, as guilty as our tormentors. We cannot understand
the level of disinterest they are showing in a situation that is patently
destructive to the Anglican Church and is causing severe spiritual distress
to those affected.
      The scandal within our church is also causing disharmony among us.

      In view of this, and unless the Church hierarchy is in agreement with
the events that have transpired in our diocese, one would have expected
them, at the very least, to have come forward and sought to foster a spirit
of confession and repentance in the transgressors - whoever they might be -
ultimately leading to forgiveness.

      Like the Pharisee and the Levi, they have crossed the road after a
cursory glance. Their deafening silence has permitted the situation to
fester and become public. By preferring to remain ignorant while passing
judgment, are they serving the interests of Christ in any way?

      Are the Anglican Church's best interests being served by their
reticence? The more important question begs: Are they afraid of God?

      The Anglican Church in Harare is an object of ridicule and pity
throughout Zimbabwe. We appeal to you as congregants, to investigate the
issues that are presently occurring in the Diocese of Harare.

      If the parishioners are found to be erring, educate them and assist
the Bishop in rectifying the matter. If the Bishop is found to be at fault,
take appropriate measures.

      We ask: "In which other Christian organisation does a member of the
clergy bypass the Church's legal and disciplinary structure and appeal
directly to a secular court, in order to obtain a ruling against the Church'
s communicants?
      In which other Christian body does a member of the clergy seek to ban
communicants from worshipping within the diocese and persistently refuse to
meet with his flock? The members have been placed under an injunction
promising their immediate arrest and imprisonment should they violate his

      In which other Christian body do communicants receive death threats
from clergy sympathisers, aimed at prevent them from doing God's work?

      We, as Anglicans are being publicly chastised and ridiculed by
non-Anglicans, with good reason. Sadly while all this is happening, the
Cathedral Chapter, Standing Committee, Clergy, Bishops and Archbishops are
not appealing for transparency, nor are they providing a forum for the
resolution of the dispute.
      Are lay Anglicans of no consequence except at Harvest or for tithing?
On what principles is the worldwide communion of Anglicans based? Why are
you not standing up to build our Church?

      If Anglicans cannot uphold their own principles and laws within the
church, what hope have we of upholding Christian principles and performing
God's work universally? We appeal to you all to examine your consciences and
practice what you all profess to believe.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      MDC MPs urge police to arrest Herald staff for fabricating story of

      10/17/02 9:25:41 AM (GMT +2)

      By Luke Tamborinyoka Political Editor

      THE MDC has called on the police to arrest The Herald editor and his
reporters responsible for what they called a "false story" alleging a split
in the opposition party.

      In a letter to the officer-in-charge at Harare Central Police Station,
four MDC Members of Parliament - Job Sikhala (St Mary's), Ben Tumbare Mutasa
(Seke), Tafadzwa Musekiwa (Zengeza) and Hilda Mafudze (Mhondoro) - said the
newspaper's staff should be charged with publishing falsehoods, under the
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

      "We request that the paper's editor and the reporters who compiled the
story be arrested immediately for publishing falsehoods in terms of the
provisions of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and
that they be brought before the courts in accordance with the laws of the
country," the MPs said.

      The MPs' comments came after a story appeared in The Herald yesterday,
alleging that Western donors of the MDC had foiled an attempt by a
disgruntled group of MPs to form a breakaway party.

      The newspaper said the MPs held a secret meeting at Skyline Motel on
the outskirts of Harare. It alleged that Highfield MP Munyaradzi Gwisai was
pushing for a split because his position in the party was under threat.

      The MPs in their letter to the police yesterday said the story was
intended to cause confusion among the MDC members and to tarnish their
      Welshman Ncube, the MDC's secretary-general, yesterday said there was
      no crisis or divisions in the party.

      He said the meeting at the Skyline Motel was a forum for MDC MPs in
      Chitungwiza province to find ways of co-ordinating development
programmes in their constituencies. He said the meeting was an occasion to
launch the Chitungwiza Development Association.

      "The MDC reiterates that donors of whatever nature have no influence
on MDC policies and activities," Ncube said. "The story is yet another
example of the endless lies about the party peddled by the State media at
the instigation of the Central Intelligence Organisation."

      He urged the police to arrest the journalists for publishing
      "But then we know there is no rule of law in Zimbabwe, and that in
reality there will be neither arrests nor prosecution for the blatant
      The story alleging the split was also aired by the State-controlled
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, which claimed that Harare East MP Tendai
Biti was one of the instigators of the splinter party.

      Yesterday, Biti said: "This is the height of delusion. They have
called us puppets and terrorists, but they have failed. They will fail

      He said the story was part of the propaganda by the ruling party to
create "artificial fissures" ahead of the parliamentary by-election in
Back to the Top
Back to Index

From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 17 October

British envoy told to 'stop meddling' in Zimbabwe

Harare - British High Commissioner to Zimbabwe Brian Donnelly was warned on Wednesday not to "interfere" in the internal affairs of the southern African country, according to the state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation. Information Minister Jonathan Moyo accused Donnelly of funding non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as the Amani Trust, which were involved in violence in Zimbabwe, according to the ZBC. Amani Trust helps victims of torture and has made allegations of widespread torture by the ruling party against members of the opposition. A state-owned weekly, The Sunday Mail, accused the British High Commission of granting 3,6-million Zimbabwe dollars to the NGO. President Robert Mugabe on Friday warned NGOs not to get involved in politics. Moyo was quoted by the state radio as saying that Donnelly was posted to Zimbabwe to destabilise the country as he did in Yugoslavia where he played an active role, according to the information minister, in the overthrow of the "democratically elected" government of Slobodan Milosevic. The arrival of Donnelly in Zimbabwe in 2001 saw a worsening of the already tense relations between London and Harare with the Zimbabwean government repeatedly accusing the high commissioner of having been sent to Zimbabwe to "do a Yugoslavia."

Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to:
Open Letter Forum <>

Message 1:

From: Ben Freeth
To: Justice for Agriculture
Sent: Monday, October 14, 2002 12:02 PM
Subject: CFU Injustice?

Dear David,

In the interests of transparency I write an open letter to you regarding
my suspension which has now been in effect since the 2nd September 2002,
and which you have told my Chairman could go on for another four months
before things are finalised.

I have written to you twice regarding my future, but have not even had
the courtesy of a reply. In the meantime you have left me with no
vehicle, no phone, no leave pay, no medical aid and no prospect of an
income until you sort the situation out. You have also left our
membership with no Regional Executive Officer, no secretary (she
resigned on principle) and now no office during the time when our
membership are facing more difficulties than at any time in their

Following the meeting between yourself, myself and President Colin
Cloete on the 26th August 2002, I remind you that after you unilaterally
gave me 48 hours to resign I approached the membership whom you and I
serve and was told in no uncertain terms not to resign. I was
subsequently voted in as Vice Chairman for the region after the Farmers'
Association Chairmen's meeting on the 2nd September 2002. My Vice
Chairmanship was proposed by the Suri Suri Chairman and seconded by the
Selous Chairman and fully endorsed by the Norton, Kadoma and
Battlefields Chairman. The only other chairmen in the region being
Chakari and Chegutu were unfortunately uncontactable due to having to
move out of their homes at the time, but both these associations were
also behind me and have been very supportive of me. Again, you
unilaterally kicked me out of council because (I can only surmise) you
were afraid that I might talk about a few home truths which you wished
council to remain in ignorance of.

I find this very disturbing. The most sinister part of the whole
situation is yet to come however. President Cloete offered a cash
payment to me. The money was not to come from CFU and was to be under
the table for the "good work I had done amongst our farmers". Various
questions sprang to mind:

 1. If I had done good work (and the membership have also testified to
    this) why was I being suspended pending dismissal?
 2. Why couldn't the CFU pay out the money in a transparent manner,
    and if it wanted to get rid of me retrench me.
 3. And most importantly who was the money coming from?

I think everything goes back to my prayer at congress (which I attach).
Vice President Msika, Minister Chombo and Governor Chanetsa you have
told me were very angry with me about the prayer. It has become very
apparent of late that the whims of the membership take second place to
the dictates of the "political masters" with whom "dialogue" has become
such an all-consuming passion. I have heard it from a few sources that
it was they that asked for my dismissal. Of course you deny this but why
else would you be so adamant about my dismissal against the membership's
wishes? (I have over 70 letters and expressions of support from them).

And that brings us back to where was the money coming from if it wasn't
coming from the CFU. There is a saying that goes "he who pays the piper
calls the tune". If there is money outside the membership money running
things, it explains why the memberships' wishes are being ignored.
People have a very good idea as to what is going on in the Union at this
time. There are no secrets in Africa. "Murphy's Law" states that " in
any organisation there is someone who knows too much and he must be
fired". You have taken this road despite my wholehearted dedication to
the members and I remind you that I have put my life at risk on many
occasions in the course of my duties in the CFU. I have faced mobs of
hundreds of people; I have been barricaded into homesteads; I have been
attacked with axes; I have been stoned; I have been beaten with sticks
whilst lying in the dust; I have been kicked and slapped; I have been
shot at; and I have never disobeyed an order from yourself or the
council at the time of my suspension. The only two points specifically
mentioned in our interview were :

 1. My prayer at Congress (attached)
 2. An e-mail I sent out in my personal capacity regarding standing by
    ones principles.

Once again I ask, "who is the puppet master"? And "Where are the

Yours sincerely

Ben Freeth
Suspended Regional Executive Officer & Vice Chairman
Mashonaland West (South)

Prayer at CFU Annual Congress 2002

Deuteronomy 8:10-19

"when you have eaten and are satisfied, Praise the Lord do not forget
the Lord your God. Failing to observe his commands, His laws and His
decreesotherwise when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine
houses and settle down and when your herds and flocks grow large and
your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied then your
heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God you may
say to yourself my power and the strength of my hands have produced this
wealth for me. But remember the Lord your God for it is He who gives you
the ability to produce wealth. If you ever forget the Lord I testify
against you today that you will surely be destroyed."

Lord God,

Thank you for the situation we now face. I thank you not because we are
being dispossessed or assaulted or because we enjoy having our friends
or family murdered and abandoned. Lord God I thank you for the situation
because we are being taught to learn and as we heard from Claude Mohler
"the learners will inherit the earth".

Lord God help us to learn what you want us to learn and to learn as Paul
did to be content in all circumstances. Where we are angry calm us,
where we are bitter cut that bitterness out, where we are hateful
replace it with love, where we are racists teach us to know that all
people are created in your image, where we are hopeless give us your
vision, where we are fearful give us faith, where we are dealing in the
darkness bring us into the light, and most of all Lord God let us learn
that where we are proud, where we are arrogant we will learn what it is
to be humble, just as you, Jesus Christ, the creator of the universe was
humble. Help us to forget and repent of me, myself and I. Help us to
read and learn from the manual, your book, which says in the most famous
sermon in history in Mathew 5:5, "Blessed are the meek for they will
inherit the Earth".

Phillippians 4:8

"Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is
right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely - if anything is
excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things".

Message 2:

From: The Hut
Date: Sunday, 13th October, 2002.

The President,
Commercial Farmers Union,

Dear Sir,

This is my first written correspondence to you, and I will keep it
simple and straight forward, so that any other readers, may fully
comprehend the importance of the contents.

I am informed that farmers in both North and South Matabeleland have
been granted Interim Relief, by the High Court of Zimbabwe, in terms of
being evicted from their homes and farms and in terms of Section 8
notices, where the farmers have not had a Section 7. The Section 7 would
in effect allow them "their day in the Admin. Court" to defend
themselves, and in many cases the farmer has been denied this
opportunity, and has been evicted before that day. This Interim Relief
has come about through a Representative Case for Matabeleland being
filed in the High Court.

I wish to personally express my immense gratitude, and I know that there
are many others who have the utmost respect for you, and are truly
grateful for your selfless effort, to serve your members in such an
honourable manner. I naturally assume, that you are aware of the
enormous support that you have, after the meeting on Friday 4th October,
2002, where our branch was disappointed, to say the least, by the
attitude of the National President, and Director.

Your actions speak louder than any words. To respect the Rule of Law,
and to show respect for The Judiciary, and seek recourse through it, is
indeed honourable, and the only long term solution.

Dr. Grant has said that Matabeleland is ahead in the renewal of licences
- your actions will indeed cause more licences to be bought, so there
can be no element of surprise there, at all; whilst others "may fiddle
whilst our Union burns," you have stood up and made a difference.

Mr. President, "cometh the moment, cometh the man," we thank you from
the bottom of our hearts.

Yours sincerely,
J. L. Robinson.

Justice for Agriculture mailing list
To subscribe/unsubscribe: Please write to
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index