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

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Toronto Star

      Zimbabwe's forgotten struggle
      By Gordon Barthos
      Foreign Affairs

      MATTHEW NGWENYA was battling for his life yesterday.

      He's a member of Zimbabwe's courageous Movement for Democratic Change,
the only real opposition to President Robert Mugabe's violent, corrupt,
isolated regime.

      Ngwenya was elected to the Kamativi town council in last month's
municipal elections. That sent Mugabe's men into a "vicious" fury, according
to local press reports. They rampaged through the town on Saturday and beat
Ngwenya senseless, crushing his skull and breaking an arm.

      They stabbed his wife and left her for dead.

      They beat a woman eight months pregnant with iron bars.

      And they chased injured people into the surrounding hills.

      Police couldn't even begin to assess the damage.

      This is what daily life is like for Zimbabwe's embattled democrats, as
Canada and other Commonwealth countries look the other way and the media
focus on "hotter" stories.

      Seven months ago, Mugabe effectively stole the presidential election
from MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai in what was widely seen as a fraudulent
vote. Since then Mugabe has tightened his 22-year grip on the nation of 12
million, driving white farmers from their holdings, and harassing judges,
the media, opposition figures Ñ even charities Ñ as the economy crumbles and
6 million go hungry.

      This past week Tsvangirai decried Mugabe's "state-sponsored terror"
and begged the United Nations to investigate "the carnage, the violence and
the human rights abuses" that have taken place.

      Mugabe, meanwhile, has been ranting that foreign embassies, the
private media, trade unions, banks, companies and even drought relief
agencies have made themselves enemies of the state. How? He claims they
support his opponents.

      Where are important African leaders as all this goes on? South African
President Thabo Mbeki and Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo are still
preaching "engagement" with the Mugabe regime. They're embarrassed by
Mugabe's violence, but still regard him as a freedom fighter. Since the
fraudulent vote, they have rejected any suggestion that Zimbabwe be expelled
from the 54-nation Commonwealth. Officially Zimbabwe is merely suspended for
a year. Mugabe isn't welcome at summits, but other contacts continue.

      Has this gentle approach worked? No. Things have gone from bad to

      During the municipal elections last month, MDC candidate Nikoniari
Chabvamudeve was hacked to pieces, to intimidate others. Scores of MDC
candidates promptly withdrew, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum reports. No
fewer than 37 other MDC supporters have been murdered this year. And the
forum cites 1,000 cases of police torture.

      Anyone who defies the regime is a target.

      On Sunday, Australian Prime Minister John Howard broke with the
Commonwealth herd and took stronger, though still largely symbolic, action.
He formally banned Mugabe and 76 of his ministers and officials from setting
foot in his country. He froze their Australian assets. And he suspended
other contacts.

      "Democracy has been trashed by President Mugabe," explained
Australia's foreign minister Alexander Downer. "Human rights egregiously
abused, people harassed, driven off farms without compensation. It is a
situation I think all Australians feel strongly about."

      Canadians, too.

      Prime Minister Jean ChrZtien's government has made it clear that
Mugabe and his cronies aren't welcome here. But Ottawa's sanctions are less
sweeping than Australia's. Our criticism is muted. We are reluctant to
demand that Africa's leaders lean on the regime.

      That is a cop-out, as people like Matthew Ngwenya and Nikoniari
Chabvamudeve are attacked and left for dead. It is a betrayal of other
Zimbabwean democrats who are terrorized daily.

      Linos Mushonga, a Harare city councillor and MDC member, just this
week said he was beaten and tortured by police who gave him electric shocks
that sent him into convulsions. Medical reports confirm injuries consistent
with his story. "If the police can do this to me, a city councillor, then
who is safe?" he told The Guardian newspaper. "The international community
is letting us down."

      Tongesai Goremucheche, an MDC supporter, was attacked by thugs
wielding sticks, iron bars and broken bottles during the local elections.
Gift Dhliwayo, a traditional healer and MDC sympathizer, had his home torn
apart and burned. John Hwenhira and his wife were beaten and left for dead.
Keiphas Madzorera was beaten with an iron bar, and stabbed.

      There isn't space in this column to catalogue the suffering.

      Yet Zimbabwe's democrats struggle on, risking everything to rescue
their nation from autocracy, violence and corruption. They deserve more than
a passing bleat of concern.
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Daily News

      250 000 farm workers jobless after land grab

      10/18/02 10:42:20 AM (GMT +2)

      ABOUT 250 000 farm workers are unemployed since the onset of the land
reform programme, according to research conducted by the Farm Community
Trust of Zimbabwe (FCTZ).

      The FCTZ said in its Budiriro Mumapurazi newsletter for September that
about 50 percent of the farm workers had become redundant as their employers
wound up their businesses, following the acquisition of their farms by the
      Before the launch of the fast-track resetlement programme in 2000,
about 500 000 workers were employed by commercial farmers.

      Close to two million people are direct dependants of the farm worker
      About 94 percent of commercial farmers have been issued with eviction
      While some commercial farmers who have left the country have
retrenched all their workers, those who have decided to stay have reduced
their workforce.
      For example, one Beatrice farmer, whose name cannot be revealed for
fear of victimisation, had about 650 workers three years ago.

      The farmer, whose only farm has been listed, has retained 65 workers
on his farm, to look after his dairy cattle.

      The farmer has also been ordered by so-called war veterans to stop
growing yellow maize and tobacco, crops on which some of the workers were
      Asked about the whereabouts of some of the farm workers who had left
Beatrice Farm, a farm worker who declined to be named said: "Some of the
workers have left for the rural areas, while others are living on
neighbouring farms where they have occupied farms. Some of them are

      The FCTZ report reveals that farm worker livelihood has deteriorated
and there is increased vulnerability among them.

      The study, conducted in Mashonaland West, East and Central as well as
Manicaland, was aimed at assessing the impact of the land reform programme
on farm worker livelihood.

      The research used 235 farms, representing about 10 percent of all
farms, identified as the worst affected in the four provinces.

      The report says: "The affected farm workers are in urgent need of
assistance, the main priority being food, so as to avert massive

      "The staple food situation on all farms surveyed was found to be very
      Although on those farms operating near normal or which had scaled down
significantly, the farmers were said to be assisting farm workers with
subsidised supplies, but these were not adequate to meet their requirements,
the FCTZ said.

      The FCTZ also said the unemployed farm workers were in dire need of
food aid because they no longer had any source of income with which to
sustain themselves.

      Some farmers were providing subsidised maize for the workers before
the onset of the land reform programme but these had since stopped,
particularly in cases where the farmer had moved out. About 30 percent of
the 2 900 farmers issued with eviction notices have left the country to
explore farming opportunities in countries such as Zambia, Mozambique,
Uganda, Botswana, New Zealand, Canada and Australlia.

      The study revealed that the situation in Mashonaland East was
generally confrontational between farm workers and the new settlers.

      Over 90 percent of the farms in Chikomba district were said to have
stopped operations while about 80 percent of farms in Wedza were also not
      Marondera and Seke had over 50 percent and Goromonzi is the least
affected, with 20 percent of farms in this category.

      "In Mashonaland Central, however, nearly 80 percent of farm workers
have continued to stay on farms. The situation on the ground in Mazowe,
Shamva and Guruve districts was found to be very tense, with most farmers
having left and settlers having moved in," says the report.

      The FCTZ said settlers were becoming increasingly impatient with the
farm workers' continued presence long after the farmers who employed them
had left, and were now threatening the farm workers with eviction.
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Zim Independent - Eric Bloch Column

Identifying the economic saboteurs
LAST week I experienced a sudden rush of adrenalin. In the early hours of
the day I was engaged in one of my usual unsatisfying chores. I was reading
that day's issue of one of Zimbabwe's national daily newspapers controlled
by the State. Its an unedifying task which must necessarily be done in order
to have an awareness of the misrepresentations and distortions which
habitually characterise governmentally driven dissemination of news.

It is also a required task in order to know who are the latest, innocent
victims of unsubstantiated and unfounded allegations emanating from those in
authority and, in particular, from those who abuse their status and
authority to abuse others. And, it is necessary to do so in order
analytically to identify reality from fiction.

To obtain an emotional uplift from such an undertaking is a very rare event.
But it occurred when my eyes settled upon an Editorial headline:

"Hit Economic Saboteurs Hard!". For an illusionary moment visions of just
retribution being wrought upon those responsible for the dismal state of
Zimbabwe's economy flashed by. Of course, that editorial did not identify
the saboteurs, other than to imply that they were opponents of Government,
misguided entities within the private sector, and those described as

Surely the fundamental motivation for entrepreneurial activity and the
placing of capital resources is to make a profit? Undoubtedly the objective
of economic empowerment in general, and that of the indigenous population in
particular, is to access profits from employment of capital and endeavours.
Why, then, is "profiteering" a dirty word, indicative of criminality or of
exploitation in an unjust manner?

But reading that editorial headline, and then the editorial itself, prompted
two inevitable questions. The first was, of course, whether or not the
economy has been sabotaged, whilst the consequential question, if the
response to the first was in the affirmative, must be "Who are the
saboteurs?" Addressing the possibility of sabotage, the first fact that
emerges is that the economy has been severely undermined, and is in a
rapidly accelerating downward spiral towards total destruction.

It is an economy wherein official inflation rates have soared to over 135%,
whilst real inflation is well in excess of 150%, and is rising rapidly. It
is an economy wherein approximately two-thirds of the labour force is

It is an economy wherein the Balance of Payments is in massive deficit, and
wherein the insufficiency of foreign exchange is the principal cause of
immense shortages, including insufficient and erratic supplies of fuel, of
medications and other health requisites, of agricultural inputs such as
fertilisers, of food and of much else. The economy is one wherein the State
annually incurs gargantuan deficits, its expenditures (considerably
misdirected) vastly exceeding its revenues.

It is an economy of declining productivity, as manufacturing and other
operational efficiencies shrink as a result of labour demotivation and low
morale as a consequence of economic hardships, as a result of erratic
inflows of required production inputs, and as a result of tens of thousands
of man-hours expended in queues for fuel, bread, sugar, /cooking oil, maize
meal and much else.

These circumstances are indisputable, all know that they exist. But are they
the consequence of sabotage, or only due to unfortunate occurrences? The
Concise Oxford Dictionary defines sabotage as "malicious or wanton
destruction", and defines malicious as being "active ill-will", and wanton
as "irresponsible".

Zimbabwe is possessed of much that could assure it of a vibrant, virile
economy, or has been so possessed. Until recently, its agricultural
potential and resources were such that Zimbabwe could be the granary of
Africa, and the producer of very great quantities of numerous other
agricultural products, including high-grade tobacco, cotton, citrus, sugar
and much else.

Most of those resources now barely exist. Zimbabwe has an enormous mineral
wealth, much of which is as yet untapped. It has a unique tourism resource.
It has the second most advanced industrial infrastructure in sub-Saharan
Africa, with a potential regional market of over 320 million people. And it
has a very large, able, willing and ambitious labour force.

With such possessions, what could possibly have brought Zimbabwe to its
economic knees? Government would have one believe that the economic collapse
and disarray is attributable wholly to adverse climatic conditions and to
the evilly-motivated sabotage perpetrated by Britain, other countries of the
European Union, the United States, commercial farmers, industrialists,
retailers, financiers, whites in general, opposition political parties, and
any others who do not worship at its feet and do not unctuously comply with
all its dictates and wishes unreservedly. Most guilty of all are those who
have the bare-faced temerity to differ with, or criticise, Government.

To a very limited extent, Government is right when it ascribes economic
decline to negative climatic conditions. It cannot be denied that Zimbabwe
suffered a severe drought last year. However, the magnitude of the drought
varied between the country's different agricultural regions, and many of
those regions had extensive accumulated water resources in their many dams.

The overriding cause of agriculture's near collapse, removing more than a
fifth of total economic activity, was the ham-fisted, arrogant,
ill-considered, irresponsible, lawless and unjust manner of Government's
pursuit of agrarian reform, instead of such reform being achieved
constructively, equitably, and in co-operation between the established and
the aspiring farming communities.

The manner in which Zimbabwe has sought to implement agrarian reform can be
described as nothing less than wanton and destructive, and therefore those
who have done so can only be considered to be saboteurs. As agriculture was
the mainstay of the economy, those are therefore undeniably Zimbabwean
economic saboteurs.

Nevertheless, they are not the only ones, for the responsibility for the
destruction of Zimbabwe's agriculture must also be attributed to War
Veterans, and to the many thousands of self-designated "new settlers" who
have avariciously and in contempt of law availed themselves of the
properties of others, destroyed or stolen assets, and resorted to extortion
and violence against those they sought to displace.

Responsibility lies also at the feet of those who were supposedly the
guardians of law and order, but who callously disregarded their
responsibilities and, in many instances, aided and abetted those bent upon
self-enrichment at the expense of others and of Zimbabwe's economy and

Yet further sabotage has been perpetrated by those who have destroyed
Zimbabwe's international image, for that destruction has brought to a
virtual end the inflows ofForeign Direct Investment (FDI), a halt in most
international funding, and nearcessation of donor funding of development.

The Authorities in general, and the Minister of Fiction, Fable and Myth in
particular, would have one believe that it is the international media, the
independent Zimbabwean press, and the political opposition that have brought
about Zimbabwe's negative image, but the truth is that it is the Authorities
themselves, with their contempt for law, human rights, democracy, and the
views of others that have fuelled Zimbabwe's appalling image and, therefore,
compounded and accelerated economic collapse.

Those who have steadfastly rebuffed external advices, and have continuously
pursued economic policies proven to be ineffective or destructive, must
similarly be classified as economic saboteurs.

Many decades have evidenced that rigid State regulation and regimentation of
an economy fails to develop economies but destroys them. That has been the
case in the former Soviet Union, and for prolonged periods in China,
Tanzania, Ghana, Cuba, and elsewhere, only reversing when deregulation was
resorted to.

But in Zimbabwe demands and policies persist that Zimbabwe not devalue its
currency, even though that is patently necessary, as do policies of
ineffectual and economically destructive price controls. Government and
those others who press for continuance and intensification of these policies
are economic saboteurs. So too are those in both the public and private
sectors as resort to corruption, which is a pronounced Zimbabwean economic

Incontrovertible evidence exists as to who are the real economic saboteurs.
However, regrettably, despite the call for the economic saboteurs, made by a
State-controlled national daily, to be hit hard, there are no signs that
this will occur, for the State remains unwilling to accept realities.

This tragic realisation soon reversed my adrenalin rush!
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Zim Independent

Reign of terror in Mbare
Staff writers
ZANU PF militias have unleashed a reign of terror in Mbare as a way of
avenging the death of their supporter Ali Khan Majengwa who was killed in
the area last month.

The terror is being coordinated through six community halls in blocks of
flats which have been converted into bases.

Eyewitnesses in Mbare said the militias started by evicting people from
Nenyere flats and allocating themselves their homes.

"The evicted people only returned to their homes after the intervention of
the army," eyewitnesses said.

Trymore Magamu, an MDC councilor for Ward 3 who has also been evicted from
his flat in Block 7, confirmed to the Independent that Matapi Flats has
become a no-go area for opposition supporters.

"Militias have virtually taken over my flat," Magamu said.

"They are evicting all opposition supporters and taking over the flats. As I
speak, some evicted people's belongings are lying in the corridors because
they do not have alternative accommodation," he said.

Meanwhile, violence has continued in Mashonaland Central, two weeks after
the rural district council elections as Zanu PF militias attempt to
politically cleanse the region.

The Independent was in the region over the weekend to assess the impact of
the political violence, which has displaced villagers from Muzarabani and
Guruve districts.

People interviewed gave harrowing tales of physical abuse at the hands of
the militias and the war veterans whose scorched-earth policy is being used
in the buying and distribution of maize from the Grain Marketing Board

"MDC members are being barred from buying maize from the GMB," said Mahamba
Munyambari, MDC chairman for Guruve North.

"Zanu PF youths and war veterans, at the instigation of ruling party
officials, are manning the gates at the GMB depots to make sure that MDC
supporters do not have access to the maize."

Munyambiri said war veterans and the militia first subjected people in
Guruve, Muzarabani and Mvurwi to a thorough screening before allowing them
to purchase maize.

In Muzarabani, the militia is evicting all perceived members of the
opposition in a cleansing exercise that has now taken the form of

"Villagers from Mahwenda, Sahwe, Gunduza, Mvundura, Mawere, Mushinya and
Chibadu in Muzarabani were first abducted and then evicted by suspected Zanu
PF officials," said Edwin Dzambara, MDC vice-secretary for the province.

Those who have been evicted include Tererai Mugadza, Elias Mahwenda, Austin
Mashingaidze, Mwaka Katsamwa and Chamunorwa Ndoro, among many others.
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Zim Independent

MDC war veterans' pensions stopped
Staff writers
WAR veterans who have joined theopposition Movement for Democratic Change
have had their ex-combatants' pension benefits terminated by the Robert
Mugabe regime, the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.

The move is meant to send a warning to disaffected members of the Zimbabwe
National Liberation War Veterans' Association that they should not join the

Despite official propaganda, the MDC has attracted thousands of war veterans
to its ranks since its inception three years ago.

War veterans who took influential posts in the party include MPs Giles
Mutsekwa, shadow minister of defence, Fletcher Dulini-Ncube, and Mzila Moses

Other prominent names include Dr Tichaona Mudzingwa, the secretary for
security and defence, and Chitungwiza executive mayor Misheck Shoko.

War veterans interviewed by the Independent confirmed that once it was
established that they had joined the opposition party, government hastened
to terminate their monthly pension.

Mutsekwa confirmed the termination of the benefits for war veterans who had
joined the opposition.

"About 20 war veterans came to me complaining that their benefits had been
terminated," said Mutsekwa.

''War veterans are being victimised openly by Zanu PF and the party is not
even ashamed to do this and boasts about it. The compensation they are
getting is a social welfare arrangement and it has got nothing to do with
Zanu PF as a party."

While other war veterans were not willing to go on the record for fear of
victimisation, Raphinos Madzokere said he wanted to take the government to
court over the issue. Madzokere, an MDC candidate in the council elections
in Murehwa South and his wife Francisca, lost property worth millions of
dollars destroyed by Zanu PF supporters and were forced to flee.

"My benefits which I am supposed to enjoy as a war veteran were cut as soon
as it was known that I am an MDC supporter," a visibly angry Madzokere said.

"I'm now staying in a single room with all my five children. I am certainly
taking this case to the High Court and demonstrate to my colleagues who are
in a similar position that they should stand for their rights. I was even
denied a piece of land by this evil party."

Dulini-Ncube said he had not received anything in the form of compensation
from the government.

"I was arrested by the Ian Smith regime and I was tortured," said

"I was examined by a doctor to determine the extent of my injuries and he
certified my forms which I submitted but to date nothing has come out of it.
The only thing I got from this government is harassment."

War veterans' chairman Patrick Nyaruwata said he was aware of the problem
and urged all affected to report to his office.

"We urge all those affected to come to our offices so that we can assist
them. It is not a policy that our association supports and we are willing to
assist them," said Nyaruwata.

The MDC not only attracts war veterans but also has in its ranks police
officers, prison officials, army personnel and teachers, many of whom have
been victimised or even dismissed once it became known they were supporters
of the MDC.

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Daily News

      Majongwe disappears

      10/18/02 10:30:14 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporters

      THE whereabouts of Raymond Majongwe, the secretary-general of the
Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), arrested by the police on
Wednesday afternoon, remained unknown yesterday, after his lawyers failed to
locate him.

      His colleagues said they feared for his safety.
      Majongwe was arrested after addressing teachers at Dzivaresekwa 2 High
School, Harare, together with Innocent Sibanda, the PTUZ national
co-ordinator, and MacDonald Mangauzani, the union's treasurer.
      Majongwe's arrest was the second inside a week.
      Last week he was arrested and detained on allegations of coercing
teachers in Harare to strike. He was charged under Section 17 of the
notorious Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and released on $15 000 bail.

      Tinomudaishe Chinyoka, of Chinyoka and Gunje, the union's lawyers,
said initially Majongwe, Sibanda and Mangauzani were charged with
contravening Section 24 of the repressive POSA, which bans public meetings
without police consent.

      Chinyoka said: "In an about-turn, the police released Sibanda and
Mangauzani and pressed new charges against Majongwe for allegedly violating
his bail conditions.

      "However, we believe the police actions are erroneous because the
court ruled that Majongwe will not be allowed to visit only three schools
where he is alleged to have manhandled teachers, and not necessarily at
Dzivaresekwa 2 High School."

      Chinyoka said Majongwe had been detained at Marlborough Police Station
on Wednesday, but police officers at the station said yesterday Majongwe had
been transferred to Harare Central Police Station by a Detective Assistant
Inspector Chazingira.

      He said: "When we contacted Harare Central Police Station, they denied
that they had a police officer called Chazingira. The police were unable to
confirm that Majongwe was indeed being held in their cells."
      The police public relations office refused to comment.
      Mangauzani said they feared for Majongwe's life.

      "We are especially concerned about Majongwe's health because he was
due to meet his doctor this afternoon (yesterday) to have an eye examination
after he sustained injuries from the assault on him while in police custody
last week."
      Meanwhile, hundreds of teachers in Bulawayo, including those on leave,
were yesterday morning dismissed by police officers for allegedly taking
part in a strike which was called by the PTUZ two weeks ago.

      The police officers went around schools, including Milton High,
Sobhukazi Secondary, Nkulumane High and Mzilikazi High, where some of the
teachers took part in the strike to press for a cost of living adjustment
and a pay rise.

      At Milton High, 72 teachers were dismissed in the morning, including
Caroline Moyo who had been ill for a long time and died on Saturday.

      Some of the dismissed teachers had worked during the strike,
invigilating an art examination that finished on Wednesday. Only the
headmaster and his two deputies remained at the school.

      "We were not given any letters," said one of the sacked teachers, "but
we were told that we should not be seen anywhere near the school grounds and
we were given 30 minutes to leave. The police said they would be at hand to
keep us away today."

      Innocent Sibanda, the PTUZ's national co-ordinator, said the teachers
would not be intimidated by harassment from the government and would report
for duty as usual today.

      He said according to a statutory instrument under the Public Service
Commission (PSC), employees should be legally served with letters of
dismissal if they have been fired.

      "We have a mere labour dispute between us and the PSC, but State
security operators have been unleashed in schools to fire teachers, which is
illegal," said Sibanda.

      He said in Harare some of the dismissed teachers had left the teaching
      No comment could be obtained from the Regional Director for Education,
Dan Moyo, who was out of the office.
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Daily News

      Zanu PF moves to abolish executive mayorship after poll losses

      10/18/02 10:51:35 AM (GMT +2)

      From Kelvin Jakachira

      THE national leadership of Zanu PF, apparently frustrated by the
dominance of the opposition MDC members in local council politics, is
planning to do away with elected executive mayors. Instead, they want to
introduce government appointed mayors.

      If approved, the idea would be fast-tracked through the Zanu
PF-dominated Parliament, after amendments to provisions of the Urban
Councils Act.
      Under the Act, executive mayors and councillors, who serve on local
government authorities, are elected by residents and ratepayers.

      The Daily News understands Zanu PF's supreme body, the politburo, has
been discussing the possibility of doing away with elected executive mayors.
      Sources told The Daily News Zanu PF's hierarchy is seriously toying
with the idea of replacing elected executive mayors with government
      These mayors, it is being suggested, would then report directly to the
provincial governor and resident minister of a given province, the sources
      This plan is part of a concerted strategy to thwart the popularity of
the MDC in urban centres and towns around the country.

      "A draft document is already being deliberated on by the politburo," a
Zanu PF official, who asked not to be named, said.

      The official added: "The leadership said it does not augur well for
big cities like Harare, Bulawayo or even Mutare to be run by MDC mayors and
      In Harare, executive mayor Elias Mudzuri and Dr Ignatius Chombo, the
Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, have
publicly clashed over a decision by the minister to appoint a "special
committee" to "assist" the MDC-dominated council to run the affairs of the
      Mudzuri, who was elected on an MDC ticket, and all but one of the 45
councillors have resolved to fight the ministerial interference.

      Mutare residents are set to elect a new executive mayor by August next
year when the term of the incumbent, Lawrence Mudehwe, expires.
      "As soon as the politburo finalises the draft document it will be
taken to
      Parliament to amend the Urban Council's Act accordingly," another Zanu
PF official said.

      Last month, the provincial chairman of Zanu PF in Manicaland, Mike
      reportedly told members of the ruling party's caucus in the Mutare
City Council that the city's mayoral post "may not be through the ballot box
next year". However, when contacted for comment, Madiro denied making such
      He said: "That is not true. Executive mayors are elected by popular
vote. That is the position."

      Both the ruling party's secretary for information and publicity Dr
Nathan Shamuyarira, and his deputy, Professor Jonathan Moyo, were not
immediately available for comment.
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Daily News - Leader Page

      Beitbridge saga exposes State's skewed priorities

      10/18/02 10:18:25 AM (GMT +2)

      "PEOPLE first" has been the government's campaign slogan during the
past 30 months of its misguided "agrarian revolution". But this week it
demonstrated that where foreign currency is concerned, money and not people,
comes first.

      About 3 000 residents of the high-density Dulibadzimu township in
Beitbridge, on the border with South Africa, were rendered homeless because
the local authority is anxious to attract foreign tourists, who are expected
to throng the border town to view the solar eclipse.

      The solar eclipse can be observed on 4 December 2002.
      The local authority wants the impoverished residents to vanish for the
duration of the solar eclipse. That is how ordinary Zimbabweans come first
for the people who rule this land.

      The irony of this eviction of the residents of Dulibadzimu and the
demolition of their shacks is that the Minister of Home Affairs, Kembo
Mohadi, is the MP for Beitbridge, and the riot police, who fall under his
ministry, were used during the evictions and demolitions.

      Beitbridge and Gwanda South were the only two constituencies in
Matabeleland South won by Zanu PF. The Beitbridge seat was won by Mohadi
with 12 988 votes against 7 686 votes for Feso Moyo of the MDC, and 1 084
for the Zapu candidate.
      If Mohadi is unduly concerned about the treatment of his constituents,
the reason would be that he is unhappy that out of a possible 45 000 voters,
only nearly 13 000 voted for him. The dislodgement of residents and
destruction of their shacks in Dulibadzimu would be an attack on suspected
      supporters, who are largely urban-based.

      The argument would then be that he believes the nearly 13 000 people
who voted for him are in rural as opposed to urban Beitbridge.
      The resources provided for the evictions would have been better used
if they had gone into the upgrading of Dulibadzimu. At least it would have
shown the outside world that while a problem exists, something positive was
being done about it. Many tourists would appreciate such an approach. After
      they are coming to watch the solar eclipse, not to assess the living
conditions of squatters in the country.

      But there is a futile preoccupation with trying to present a positive
image of Zimbabwe. Improving the conditions in the sprawling high-density
township of Dulibadzimu would make a far more positive impression, than does
the wholesale eviction of families at the onset of the rainy season,
exposing them to various health hazards and the inclement weather.

      When tourists visit a country, most often they do not like being
confronted with conditions similar to those in their own countries - that is
what they will be trying to get away from. It is important that Zimbabwe
develops the courage to let the world see it as it is, and not what someone
believes it should be.

      But the country's preoccupation with the foreign currency earnings
generated from the tourists coming to see the solar eclipse is
      During the June 2001 solar eclipse, Zimbabwe earned more than $55
million from 25 000 foreign tourists, and obviously the government is
looking at exceeding that mark, even though this defies logic, because of
the prevailing political conditions.

      The government seems to realise the importance of foreign currency
with every solar eclipse, yet during the past 30 months it has driven out
tobacco farmers, who contribute 31 percent of the country's foreign currency
earnings and caused the near collapse of the horticultural sector, a
billion-dollar revenue-
      generating sector.

      The equally billion-dollar tourism sector has suffered a considerable
setbacks because the government refuses to apply the rule of law and enforce
law and order, which would guarantee security for both Zimbabweans and
foreign tourists.
      The government's lack of concern for the poor can be traced back to
the Commonwealth Summit held in Harare in 1991. Porta Farm squatter camp and
Hatcliffe are two of the government's outcomes, designed to drive the
poverty-stricken from the sight of visiting dignitaries.

      But the poverty in which they find themselves in is a clear
manifestation of the government's failure to create opportunities for the
people of this country.

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Farm Invasions And Security Report
Friday 18 October 2002

This report does not purport to cover all the incidents that are taking place in the commercial farming areas.  Communication problems and the fear of reprisals prevent farmers from reporting all that happens.  Farmers names, and in some cases farm names, are omitted to minimise the risk of reprisals.



Middle Save - Some farmers were issued with Section 8's over the weekend.  Some new, some repeats.

Chipinge - Most of the listings last Friday were new. 

Rusape - A farmer letting his dog out in the evening was shot at.  He was carrying a torch and it is thought he interrupted an attempted burglary. Later that same evening a cattle truck full of cattle was fired at on the main road, 10 km before Rusape.  The culprits ran into the road to stop the truck, but the driver ignored them and then they opened fire.  Neither the driver nor any of the cattle were injured.  It is thought these two incidents are linked.  A farmer has a manager’s cottage on the farm in which there are archaeological artefacts, including a human skull.  He was arrested for murder and held for several hours until a lawyer arrived.  The murder charge has been dropped; the farmer is awaiting further developments.

Tsatsi - Out of a radio call list of 60 families in the Tsatsi F.A. (Barwick) only six families are still in their homesteads.  Poaching and vandalism continue unabated.  Settlers have moved into all the houses.  On one particular farm the settlers evicted all the farm workers stating those from the Chiweshe area were the only people allowed to remain in their houses.  Theft and break-ins continue.       

Mvurwi - The situation on the ground remains the same.  Incidents of theft of electrical equipment remains high.  Less than 10 farmers have tobacco seedbeds in.  Reaction from the police force varies.

Glendale - There is no change within the district.  Farmers are dealing with ongoing labour problems.  Packages for farm workers have been paid in some cases.  The new wage proposal is having negative effects on future farming.  There are high reports of theft especially over the weekends.  The police are disappointing.

Beatrice - On Monday 14.10.02, four farmers were visited: two were asked to report to Beatrice Police Station on 15.10.02, the other two appeared before the Beatrice Magistrate and charged for not vacating their farms after expiry of their Section 8 orders and released on $5000.00 bail and remanded until 19.10.02.

Harare South - two farmers were told to vacate their properties within 24 hours.

Enterprise - Farmers with Section 8 Orders were told to vacate their properties, even those whose Section 8 orders were nullified. 

Bromley/Ruwa/Goromonzi - A number of farmers were given 24 hours to vacate their properties.  One farmer, his wife and daughter were severely assaulted.

Macheke/Virginia - six farmers were visited and one farmer told to vacate his property by 17.10.02.

Banket - Quiet.

Doma - Very quiet.  Problems with labour on going.

Karoi - Glen Ellen Farm is under huge pressure from "war vets", who caused a work stoppage.  Police are to intervene.  At Nyahowa Farm police removed the "war vets” who had evicted labour from their homes.  They have also taken the farm owners cattle. At Runnimede Farm an Army major has taken over a few plots on the farm, and the owner is under pressure to assist the major in his farming operations.  The Coldomo Farm owner paid the SI 404 package as the farm is leased.  The labour was dissatisfied and barricaded in the farmer.  Trying to get the police to react.  Illegal settlers are becoming more and more militant.  Zimyewe Farm suffered a work stoppage by labour demanding SI6 packages.  Farmer was held hostage on Friday afternoon and was forced to sign a piece of paper to pay the SI6 packages.  The farmer was told by the D.A. to carry on farming.  Rugari Farm settlers were instructed to move off but have resisted.  They locked in the farmer and put up road barricades.  Kururama Farm had a two week work stoppage by labour demanding SI6 packages, which action was driven by retired Major Mapinga. The owner is unable to grade his tobacco.  Jambo Farm is in its third day of work stoppage by labour demanding SI6 packages, all of which is instigated by retired Major Mapinga. Kilindini Farm (O Johnson) is also in its third day of work stoppage by labour demanding SI6 packages, again instigated by retired Major Mapinga. The farmer cannot grade his tobacco, which is of great concern.  Elephants Walk Farm labour threaten to strike, which action is once more driven by retired Major Mapinga.  Dentrow Farm faces labour threatening to strike.  The farmer cannot grade his tobacco, which is of great concern.  The issues at Meiden Farm and Tengwe Estates are still not resolved.  90% of their tobacco ungraded.


No report received.


Masvingo East and Central - Nothing to report.

Chiredzi - Poaching and snaring continue as hunger takes over in this area.

Mwenezi - Stock theft is on the increase while owners have been unable to return to their properties. On Farm A five cattle are missing. On farm B 10 are reported missing and on Farm C seven are reported missing.

Save Conservancy - Poaching and snaring continue.

Gutu / Chatsworth – the farm manager at Farm E went to see the Gutu Police last week concerning a certain "war vet” causing problems on the farm. The "war vet" had posted a Police constable at the farm gate and was refusing entry into the homestead, as well as demanding the removal of the remaining cattle from the property. Owner eventually had to move the cattle walking them some 45 km for their own safety.  The owner had already relinquished several other properties in return that this farm be left for him. The DA Gutu had been out to this farm the week before and told settlers the property was theirs to do with as they wished. The Deputy DA Gutu / PA Masvingo was aware the owner had gone through the courts and had legally offered his remaining farms in exchange for this one.  After many attempts to meet with several Government Officials, as well as obtaining a further letter from the PA, the owner was told to attend a meeting with the DA at Gutu. At this meeting he was politely informed he could have 500 ha at Farm E excluding the homestead or 2000 ha in the Lowveld.  The owner then met with the Governor on 17.10.02 and told by the Governor that he was unaware of any of the problems.  He stated he was off to a Lands Committee meeting and he would put the case at the top of the agenda.  Farmer F had four cows in calf stolen overnight.  Farmer G suffers continued harassment, eg the switching off of water taps etc, from the settlers. Stock theft continues on this property.

The situation presently remains quiet with no reports of farm invasions or harassment from any of the farming areas.

Earlier this week, it was reported from Shurugwi area that a farmer experiencing problems from illegal occupiers / gold panners was assisted by the authorities in clearing them off his farm.

In the circumstances, most Midlands farmers who are financially able are busily engaged in preparations for the new farming season.  

No report received.                                               Visit the CFU Website

Unless specifically stated that this is a Commercial Farmers' Union communique, or that it is being issued or forwarded to you by the sender in an official CFU capacity, the opinions contained therein are private.  Private messages also include those sent on behalf of any organisation not directly affiliated to the Union.  The CFU does not accept any legal responsibility for private messages and opinions held by the sender and transmitted over its local area network to other CFU network users and/or to external addressees.
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ABC News

S.Africa Official: No Zimbabwe-Style Land Grab Here

      Oct. 18
      - By Gershwin Wanneburg

      MALMESBURY, South Africa (Reuters) - South Africa's Western Cape
province, alarmed by Zimbabwe's chaotic land grab, plans to ensure by 2007
that half the region's farmers are black, a local minister said on Friday.

      Provincial Agriculture Minister Johan Gelderblom told Reuters that the
Western Cape -- South Africa's premier tourist destination -- wanted to act
before frustration begins to build.

      "We don't want to get another Zimbabwe. We are working hard to make
certain that doesn't happen," he said during a visit to one of the
province's newest black-owned farms.

      Gelderblom said the province planned to beat the national target for
post-apartheid land reform, which aims to transfer 30 percent of
agricultural land to black ownership by 2015.

      He said the Western Cape, which includes Cape Town and the country's
scenic winelands, had 4,000 black farmers at present. His department would
increase that to 11,000 over the next five years to equal the current number
of white farmers in the area.

      "Farmers in the Western Cape are aware of the fact that the Zimbabwe
situation must not take place here. The attitude of farmers in the Western
Cape is so positive, they feel we must move quicker with land reform," he

      Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has sanctioned a sometimes violent
land grab by blacks to reverse the white domination of the country's best
commercial farmland.

      Thousands of whites have been thrown off their farms without
compensation, plunging Zimbabwe into a political crisis, exacerbating a
drought-induced food shortage and slashing foreign exchange earnings mainly
from tobacco.

      South African said in 2000 it would transfer 30 percent or 28.6
million hectares of agricultural land to blacks, who would be helped to buy
and run the farms. The South African program is based on the willing sale of
land at market related prices.

      A spokesman said the National Land Department had so far transferred
2.3 million hectares to new black owners.

      Gelderblom was speaking during a visit to a community of 50 farmers at
Malmesbury, north of Cape Town, who bought their farm from their former
white employer with government help and started the One Nation Agrivillage

      "The aim was to improve our standard of living," Trust chairman Petrus
Cupido told Reuters. "We now have privileges we didn't have before.... We
work for ourselves, we pay our own salaries. We no longer have to crawl
before anyone."

Focus On Farm Attacks

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

October 18, 2002
Posted to the web October 18, 2002

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

So-called "farm attacks" have increased in South Africa, leaving the police
and farming community increasingly at odds over the motives behind these

Underlying the phenomenon - of murder and robbery on farms - was the legacy
of South Africa's brutal apartheid years, said police expert on farm attacks
Assistant Commissioner Johan Burger.

Police statistics illustrate the increasing number and violent nature of the
attacks. In 1997, the total number of incidents was 433. By 1998 the number
had increased to 769. It jumped to 813 in 1999 and to 906 in 2000.

The latest figures, for 2001, have not been cleared for release by the
government. However, IRIN has learnt that the national agricultural
organisation, AgriSA, puts the number at about 1,000.

In 1997 there were 88 murders connected to farms attacks. By 1998 the figure
had jumped to 142 and was at 144 in 1999. It stabilised at 144 murders in
2000. The figures for 2001 are believed to show a small increase over the
2000 statistics.

"Yes there has been an increase, unfortunately," Burger acknowledged. But he
dismissed claims that the attacks were perpetrated for political reasons.
The motives were more often than not theft, not to chase white farmers off
the land, said Burger.

Burger said the farming community - which historically has been mostly
white - was often suspicious of the police because they believed there was a
more sinister motive behind the farm incidents, especially in light of
recent developments in Zimbabwe.

Recent research has calculated the percentage of crimes committed on farms
for purposes of revenge, or any reason other than criminal, at just 8

"In more than 90 percent of cases we have studied - these were cases
investigated on a factual basis with the intention of taking a case to
court, so they were evidence driven investigations - the motive behind the
attack was criminal," Burger said.

"We have had no indication yet that there is any involvement of organised
crime syndicates or politically organised groups [in farm attacks]," he

"There was an attack in the North West province where the attackers left a
note with [political] slogans to try and mislead police during the
investigation. The case was properly investigated and we found no connection
to any political party or grouping. There have been no attacks with any
confirmed involvement of any political group," Burger reiterated.

Criminal incidents on farms could not be divorced from the fact that crime
levels throughout South Africa were "unacceptably high".

"It's a very complex issue ... we all know that especially serious and
violent crime levels are unacceptably high. We have had a marked success
over the last two years in stabilising most of these serious crimes. We've
succeeded in bringing down the murder rate by 40 percent since 1994. It's
been decreasing on a yearly basis, rape, serious assault and even attempted
murder have been stabilising over the last year or two," Burger noted.

"But still, it's a high rate. So that is throughout the country, our
unemployment rate is very high as you know. The official rate is at about 38
percent, unofficially people put it at a much higher rate. We have a huge
socio-economic problem in this country, which we believe may contribute, as
people are inclined to commit crime just to sustain themselves," he said.

Farms and smallholdings made for "softer targets" for criminals who were
increasingly "confronted by people who are more alert and much better armed
... in urban areas". High walls, electrified fences and armed response
private security firms have become standard security arrangements for many
suburbanites in South Africa.

"They [criminals] find much more resistance in urban areas, the police
reaction time is much quicker in urban areas. They see farming areas as more
vulnerable and attractive," Burger noted.

AgriSA's farm attacks expert Kobus Visser told IRIN that a commission of
enquiry established by the government was due to issue a report on its
findings in December.

"They've been going now for about 18 months and it's quite a task to come up
with a legitimate position on what the probable motives are for farm
attacks. We see it as a very serious problem, it has a negative effect on
the farming community. When a murder is committed it takes about 18 months
before that farm is back in production and the workers employed on that farm
can get salaries again," Visser said.

Organised agriculture hoped the commission would be able to explain why
attacks on farms increased while "normal crimes" decreased over the same

"The difference between this country and Zimbabwe is the fact that our
government has clearly committed itself to a legal programme of land reform
and has spoken out clearly against what has happened in Zimbabwe and their
actions bare out their words," said Burger.

Hanekom Says SA's Land Reform Policies Could Avert a Replay of Zimbabwe's

Business Day (Johannesburg)

October 18, 2002
Posted to the web October 18, 2002

Ernest Mabuza , Senior Reporter

IF SA continues steadily with its land reform programme, it will not have
the same land problems afflicting Zimbabwe 22 years after independence, says
former Land Affairs and Agriculture Minister Derek Hanekom.

Hanekom said there were many landowners in SA who were not interested in
land reform, but the situation in Zimbabwe forced them to change.

He was addressing the SA Institute of Race Relations on comparisons between
Zimbabwe's and SA's land reform policies and also giving his assessment of
promising developments in SA and how to deal with less promising

SA had instituted a number of programmes as part of the land reform project,
including restitution, redistribution and tenure reform, he said.

He said if government had not extended tenure to farmworkers through
legislation, there would have been a volatile situation.

"Where were those workers going to stay? They need to live somewhere."

After Zimbabwe attained independence in 1980, the country did not have a
land reform programme in place, he said.

Hanekom said even though the Lancaster House agreement dictated that land
would be acquired through a willing-buyer/willing-seller arrangement,
government in Zimbabwe did not really have a coherent land reform programme.

"If there had been a modest land reform programme in the 80s, it would have
made a difference to Zimbabwe 20 years later," Hanekom said.

He said during the 80s, the few land transactions that took place in
Zimbabwe did not target the poor but benefited the political elite.

Uncertainty was brought into the economy because of the uncertain land
reform programme in Zimbabwe.

Hanekom said even after the promulgation of the Land Acquisition Act in
Zimbabwe in the 1990s, no coherent land reform occurred.

"We saw a president who was increasingly getting desperate and the
population lost confidence in government."

He said the pressure for land reform becomes more pressing when there is
growing unemployment, as had happened in Zimbabwe in recent years.

On SA's programme, Hanekom said although many viewed it as being slow, it
was being done through a fair process.

"It is not just that we have a running land reform programme we have a
vibrant civil society in SA and we should value that," Hanekom said.

He said because of civil society, government would never be able to do what
the government in Zimbabwe was doing.

"The pressure on our government to deliver is strong and that's why you see
the civil society fighting government to protect the socio-economic rights
of our people."
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Business Day

A solution' for Zimbabwe


REALISTIC though Adam Sargent sounds in his letter (Negotiated settlement
will benefit all Zimbabweans, Letters, October 16), he does not see that his
suggestion of a United Nations-mandated "investigation" in Zimbabwe would go
the same way as SA and Nigeria's "mediation".

Of course SA cannot overthrow' Mugabe. But President Thabo Mbeki cannot
agree to sanctions or even simply denounce' Mugabe either. He also cannot be
seen to agree to anyone else doing so. To do so would split the African
National Congress and break Mbeki's presidency. SA's policy will continue to
be to lie low, pray Mugabe's excesses don't increase, and eventually present
the world with a fait accompli and the repair bill.

The truth is, we have been witnessing the only possible solution' for
Zimbabwe. Remorseless exposure, protest and pressure are all people have
got. This is still a bad time for democracy in southern Africa. But it's not
quite what it was for dictators either.

Paul WhelanUmhlanga
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Zim Independent

Zimbabwe's economy resilient
By Dianna Games
REPEATED pronouncements of the demise of the Zimbabwe economy over the past
year look to have been premature. It has shown surprising resilience in the
face of assault, principally from within. How does it survive? How long has
it got? What will be its death knell?
No one has ready answers; but, all things considered, the end is surely
People close to the workings of the Zimbabwean economic engine give it
anything between six months and three years - assuming the current corrosive
leadership remains in place.
But most businesses in the country do not look that far ahead.
Year-on-year strategising is seen as a luxury, if not a folly. Commercial
players look at next week, maybe next month. "Our time is taken up finding
the next batch of raw materials and the foreign exchange to buy them," said
one businessperson interviewed last week.
Yet, ironically, the remnants of the rattletrap economic vehicle on which
the survivalist businesses ride are, to a large extent, being fuelled by
distortions created by the government's ill-considered economic
Key among these is a ballooning parallel market for foreign exchange. With
the government's resolve to keep the exchange rate artificially pegged at
$55 to US$1, the currency market is dominated by black market trading.
The parallel rate rises almost weekly. It is currently at anything between
$600 and $800 to US$1 and is likely to jump again at the end of the tobacco
selling season in November. Tobacco accounts for about a third of Zimbabwe's
hard currency inflows.
Although the government recently labelled former finance minister Simba
Makoni a saboteur for suggesting the currency be devalued, it has
contradicted itself by introducing a range of ad hoc sectoral and other
agreements at more favourable exchange rates - for example, a new duty on
luxury imports at $300:US$1, more than five times the official rate.
There are currently nine different exchange rates in operation. In addition
to the official rate, the parallel rate and the rate described above, there
are also different rates for tobacco, for tourism, for the National Oil
Company of Zimbabwe and for the gold sector, among others.
The booming foreign exchange trade has been boosted by a swelling stream of
remittances sent home by the more than one-million expatriate Zimbabweans,
mostly in SA and the UK, which are estimated to run into millions of dollars
a month. This money is mainly aimed at alleviating hardships of relatives
back home, and buying property at bargain prices in anticipation of an
eventual recovery. It's a further distortion providing life-support for an
economy in its death throes.
While price controls remain, there is a thriving black market in
price-controlled goods that are in short supply in the formal market.
However, exporters and manufacturers have been hard hit by the requirement
that they sell 40% of export earnings to the government at the official
rate. This is used primarily to buy fuel and electricity supplies.
Appeals for relief from this crippling measure have mostly fallen on deaf
ears. An exception is in the gold mining sector, which has benefited from a
support price introduced to stave off the collapse of mining operations.
But business chambers report the government mostly ignores their suggestions
on how to effect economic recovery - even though it has downgraded its own
GDP growth predictions to minus 11,1%.
"The government knows what it has to do, but the political costs are too
high," says a Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce official. He points to
short voting cycles in the drawn-out election schedule, which mean the
economy is held ransom to vote buying.
None of the macroeconomic fundamentals looks good. Inflation is at around
140%, interest rates have been pushed down artificially through the use of
Treasury Bills to reduce massive domestic debt - currently at a third of GDP
and rising by $3bn a week, price controls create distortions, foreign
investment has dropped by 80% since 2000 and at least 60% of government
spending goes on servicing debt.
The government, seemingly unable to backtrack on its calamitous land reform,
is looking at effectively raiding pension funds to help finance the
strategy, further eroding the nation's savings base.
It is launching an agricultural bond to raise $30bn to fund inputs for new
farmers and is expecting the pension funds to buy into it. The funds have
been given until the year-end to increase their prescribed asset ratios to
President Robert Mugabe, despite being principally responsible for this
mess, seems invincible. Many in the country are fearful of his "spies". Most
of those interviewed asked not to be named for fear of some form of
Cabinet ministers, reliant on his patronage for their survival, are too
scared to publicly cross him although, in private, a number have voiced
concern about his policies. The only criticism he hears is from the
international community, the media and the private sector. He has vilified
the first two and largely ignores the third.
Ruling party officials are reported to be threatening and intimidating
white-owned companies in Zimbabwe, looking to take over their assets at
prices well below market value. This follows invasions of such companies
last year by war veterans and government-led trade unionists.
For many Zimbabweans, change seems elusive. Each time other regional leaders
fail to even register their disapproval of a ruinous regime, Mugabe's hand
is strengthened.
So what will be the catalyst for real change? "The economy will jettison
Robert Mugabe. He is going to find that if you don't manage the economy it
will manage you. Eventually all these unsustainable policies will converge
in the collapse of the economy," predicts one businessman.
So while many Zimbabweans still hope for effective outside intervention as a
catalyst for reasonably orderly change, in the end it might be empty
stomachs that lead the broad mass of Zimbabweans to declare that enough is
enough. - Business Day.
Games is director of Afri-ca@work. This report was compiled for the SA
Institute of International Affairs.
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Zim Independent - Editor's Memo

To accredit or not?
Iden Wetherell
TOMORROW journalists from across the country will gather at the Monomatapa
Crowne Plaza Hotel to determine their response to Aippa, Jonathan Moyo's
sweeping Act designed to muzzle the media.

Misa-Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists, the Independent
Journalists Association of Zimbabwe (Ijaz), the Federation of African Media
Women of Zimbabwe, and the Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe will be
hosting the meeting.

Our newly-formed Zimbabwe National Editors Forum (Zinef) is due to be
represented by its chair, Geoff Nyarota.

At the centre of discussion is the requirement that journalists accredit
themselves with the media commission set up under the Act. Newspaper
proprietors in the private sector have already decided, under protest, to
register their companies with the commission. Failure to do so renders them
liable to closure and confiscation of equipment.

We at the Zimbabwe Independent have collectively decided to apply for
accreditation as journalists. News organisations are not permitted to employ
unaccredited journalists. And we have no wish to give a gift to government
by disqualifying ourselves at the very outset.

In any case it is difficult to quarrel with the principle of accreditation.
Many governments around the world require journalists working in or visiting
their countries to accredit themselves with the appropriate ministry. In
democracies this is intended to facilitate their work. Here it is clearly
intended to hinder it.

We have no doubt that the media commission will quickly become a tool of the
minister. The commission's chair Dr Tafataona Mahoso has already advertised
his hostility to the independent media reflecting the government's own
refusal to respect freedom of expression where it challenges their hidebound
nationalist pretensions. As the state's trail of misrule becomes more
difficult to disguise, so its campaign against the independent press will

Aippa created the Mass Media Commission whose functions and powers are,
inter alia:

To receive and act upon comments from the public about the administration
and performance of the media in Zimbabwe;

To conduct investigations and audits to ensure compliancewith any provision
of the Act;

To receive and evaluate for registration and consider applications for
registration as a journalist; To accredit journalists;

To enforce professional and ethical standards in the media;

To monitor the media and raise public awareness of the media;

To register mass media in Zimbabwe;

To investigate and resolve complaints;

To perform any powers or fun-ction that the minister may, fromtime to time,
prescribe as a power and function of the commission.

It is significant that while instigating the arrest and prosecution of
journalists in the private media, often on trivial and vexatious grounds,
the government has allowed, and arguably encouraged, its own media to
distort, falsify and engage in unprofessional practices undisturbed.

The realisation that Aippa is a badly-drafted and legally vulnerable measure
has no doubt led to the amendments currently before parliament. I am still
keen to know how "abuse of journalistic privilege" is determined. It seems
the opinion of a not disinterested minister and his handpicked appointees on
the commission will continue to contradict constitutional guarantees to
freedom of expression despite the latest attempt by government to cover its
legal backside.

What right does an unqualified Polytech lecturer like Mahoso, who appears
unable to edit his own copy, have to interfere with our editorial decisions;
to prescribe what we can or can't say?

I would fully understand it if journalists at their meeting tomorrow decided
that accreditation with a discredited government under a bad law is
unconscionable. But in life we have to make decisions about when and how to
stand for what we believe is right.

Ijaz and foreign correspondents have already launched legal challenges to
the Act. Zinef will probably follow suit. Given the government's need to
limit exposure of its miscreant behaviour, the likelihood of the media
commission being used to penalise us is considerable. That is the arena of
future combat. And we are ready for it.

We have no doubt that the public will support us as they have already
demonstrated a hunger for the truth. As John F Kennedy said: "A nation that
is afraid to let its people judge truth and falsehood in an open market is a
nation that is afraid of its people."

Zim Independent

Moyo backs down
Dumisani Muleya
INFORMATION minister Jonathan Moyo is retreating from his media onslaught
after bumping into a wall of resistance to his legislation under which over
a dozen independent journalists have been arrested and charged.

Moyo, who is locked in bruising combat with the independent press, marked
his retreat through a recently gazetted amendment ato the draconian Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Act signed into law in March.

The unusual ministerial climbdown followed a recent court challenge to the
law by the Independent Journalists Association of Zimbabwe (Ijaz).

Moyo's amendment covers clarifications of vague terms such as "abuse of
journalistic privilege", writing "falsehoods", the powers of the Media
Commission set up under the Act and registration of media houses.

If passed into law the amend-ing legislation should significantly water down
the Act, especially Section 80 under which many journalists were arrested
for allegedly "publishing falsehoods".

Ijaz attorneys initiated litigation, saying the law was replete with obscure
definitions and unconstitutional provisions.

Moyo's changes seem calculated to pre-empt a constitutional challenge.

A new section on "abuse of free-dom of expression" has been introduced.
Under this, journalists would no longer be punished for "writing and
publishing falsehoods" but only for "intentionally or recklessly falsifying
information and for maliciously or fraudulently fabricating information".

Journalists will now only be charged for "publishing any statement knowing
it to be false or without having reasonable grounds for believing it to be
true and recklessly, or with malicious or fraudulent intent, representing it
as a true statement."

Ijaz lawyer Sternford Moyo said the modifications were welcome.

"Amendments that ensure that it is only publication of falsehoods," Moyo
said, "which are accompanied by fault in the form of intention or
recklessness or malice or fraudulent intent which are punishable represents
a significant improvement of the quality of the legislation by bringing it
closer to the requirements of the right to freedom of expression and
fundamental notions of criminal justice."

Moyo said removal of strict criminal liability for journalists would be
appreciated. He said however further changes were also needed.
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Zim Independent

After neo-liberalism, what next?
By Dani Rodrik
TWO decades of applying neo-liberal economic policies to the developingworld
have yielded disappointing results. Latin America, the region thattried
hardest to implement the "Washington Consensus" recipes - freetrade, price
deregulation, and privatisation - has experienced low andvolatile growth,
with widening inequalities. Among the former socialisteconomies of Eastern
Europe and the Soviet Union, few have caught upwith real output levels that
prevailed before 1990.

In Sub-SaharanAfrica, most economies failed to respond to the adjustment
program-mes demanded by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.The
few instances of success occur-red in countries that marched to their own
drummers - andthat are hardly foster childrenfor neo-liberalism.

China, Vietnam,India: all three violated virtuallyevery rule in the
neo-liberalguidebook, even as they moved ina more market-oriented direction.

It is time to abandon neo-liberalism and the Washington Consensus. Butthe
challenge is to provide an alternative set of policy guidelines forpromoting
development, without falling into the trap of promulgatingyet another
impractical blueprint, supposedly right for all countriesat all times. The
record suggests that an adequate growth programme needs to be anchoredin two
strategies: an investment strategy designed to kick-start growthin the short
term, and an institution-building strategy designed toprovide an economy
with resilience in the face of adverse shocks.

The key to investment strategy is to get domestic entrepreneurs excitedabout
the home economy. Encouraging foreign investment or liberalisingeverything
and then waiting for things to improve does not work. Aneffective strategy
must accomplish two tasks: encourage investment innon-traditional areas, and
weed out projects and investments that fail.For this, governments must
deploy both the carrot and the stick.Learning what a country is (or can be)
good at producing is a keychallenge of economic development. The carrot is
needed because there isgreat social value in discovering, for example, that
cut flowers, orsoccer balls, or computer software can be produced at low
cost, becausethis knowledge can orient the investments of other
entrepreneurs.The entrepreneur who makes the initial "discovery" can capture
only asmall part of the social value that this knowledge generates, as
otherentrepreneurs will quickly emulate him.

Consequently, entrepreneurshipof this type - learning what can be produced -
will typically beunder-supplied in the absence of non-market incentives. In
turn, thestick is needed to ensure that these incentives do not lock
inunproductive and wasteful investments.

Implementing such a strategy may differ from country to country,depending on
administrative capacity, the prevailing incentive regime,the flexibility of
the fiscal system, the degree of sophistication ofthe financial sector, and
the underlying political economy.

Time-bound subsidy schemes, public venture funds, and exportsubsidisation
are some of the waysin which this approach can be imple-mented, but there
are manyothers. No single instrument will work everywhere.

Governments without adequatecapacity to exercise leadership over their
private sectors are likely tomess things up rather than improve allocation
of resources.The job can be done, but economic growth requires more than
eliciting atemporary boost in investment and entrepreneurship. It also
requireseffort to build four types of institutions required to maintain
growthmomentum and build resilience to shocks:

lMarket-creating institutions (forproperty rights and contractenforcement);

l Market-regulating institutions (for externalities, economies of scale,and
information about companies);l Market-stabilising institutions (for monetary
and fiscal management);l Market-legitimising institutions (for social
protection and insurance).Building and solidifying these institutions,
however, takes time. Usingan initial period of growth to experiment and
innovate on these frontscan pay high dividends later on.A key point here is
that institutional arrangements are, by necessity,country-specific.

Discovering what works in anyone country requires experime-ntation. After
all, institutions arenot hot-house plants capable ofbeing planted in any
soil and climate. Reforms that succeedin one setting may perform poorly or
fail completely in others.Such specificity helps explain why successful
countries - China, India,South Korea, and Taiwan, among others - usually
combinedunorthodox elements with orthodox policies.

It also accounts for why importantinstitutional differences persist among
the advanced countries of NorthAmerica, Western Europe, and Japan in areas
such as the role of thepublic sector, the legal system, corporate
governance, financialmarkets, labor markets, and social insurance.

While economic analysis can help in making institutional choices, there is
also a large role for public deliberation and co lective choice. Infact, we
can thinkof participatory democracy as a meta-institution that helps select
among the "menu" of possible institutional arrangements ineach area.

Designing such a growth strategy is both harder and easier thanimplementing
standard neo-liberal policies. It is harder because thebinding constraints
on growth are usually country-specific and do notrespond well to
standardised recipes. But it is easier because oncethose constraints are
appropriately targeted, relatively simple policychanges can yield enormous
eco-nomic payoffs and start a virt-uous cycle of growth and insti-tutional

Adopting this approach does not mean abandoning mainstreameconomics - far
from it. Neo-liberalism is to neo-classical economics asastrology is to
astronomy. In both cases, it takes a lot of blind faithto go from one to the
other. Critics of neo-liberalism should not opposemainstream economics -
only its misuse.

l Dani Rodrik is Professor ofPolitical Economy at the JohnF Kennedy School
of Govern-ment, Harvard University.

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Zim Independent

Zim to miss crucial Nepad meeting
Dumisani Muleya
ZIMBABWE will not be represented at ministerial level at a crucial
conference on the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) which
opens in Johannesburg tomorrow. It is probable that Zimbabwe, given its
hostility to the project, has been discouraged from attending.

Finance minister Herbert Murerwa's office said he would not be attending the
programme's crucial meeting which is being held in Sandton.

"He is not going," a secretary said. Government spokesman Edward Mamutse
said he did not know whether anyone was going.

Although it could not be established why government was not attending,
sources in Johannesburg said Nepad co-ordinators were not keen to have
Zimbabwean officials at the conference because they "would attract
controversy and divert attention from serious issues".

Sources said there were efforts to quarantine Harare from the gathering to
avoid a looming showdown between anti-Nepad governments and those who
support it.

"Most countries which support Nepad don't want the Zimbabwean crisis to
divert attention from their meetings," a source in Johannesburg said. "I
doubt if Zimbabwe is attending but even if it does, it will send a low-level

Despite being southern Africa's second biggest economy after South Africa,
Zimbabwe, which is currently reeling from a self-inflicted economic
emergency, is not on the 15-member implementation committee of the
continental renewal programme. Only three countries in the region, South
Africa, Mozambique and Botswana, are on the committee.

President Robert Mugabe and his ally, Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi, have
been trying to cast aspersions on Nepad, labelling it "imperialist".
Pretoria has rejected such claims as "nonsense".

The Nepad meeting, which was organised by the United Nations Economic
Commission for Africa, is billed as the biggest gathering on Nepad since the
African Union summit in July in Durban. Its theme is "Accelerating Africa's
performance and progress: The challenge of Nepad".

Over 500 participants, including governors of central banks, economic
experts, academics, and private sector representatives will be attending the
meeting, which opens tomorrow and ends on Monday.

A committee of experts has been meeting since Wednesday to today to make
preparations for the conference.

Mbeki is expected to open the meeting which will also be addressed by his
economic advisor Wiseman Nkuhlu, who is also Nepad's steering committee
chair as well as the G8 representative for Africa, Ambassador Robert Flower,
World Bank vice-president for the African region, Callisto Madavo, AU
officials and economic experts
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Zim Independent

Botswana demands payment for fuel
Mthulisi Mathuthu
THE Botswana government has stepped up efforts to recover payment for a 20
million-litre fuel credit line it extended to President Robert Mugabe's
government in March 2000.

A senior Zimbabwe government official this week said correspondence from
Botswana has been "pouring in" since the report in the Zimbabwe Independent
two months ago that Gaborone was exerting pressure on Harare to service the

"We have been receiving lots of inquiries on the issue from Botswana but I
can't say more than that," said the official.

He said the Botswana government has used every platform available to raise
the issue with Harare, especially with the Foreign Affairs department during
regional gatherings. The latest was at the Angola Sadc heads of state summit
where Foreign Affairs minister Stan Mudenge had talks with his Botswana
counterpart Mompati Merafhe and trade minister Jacob Nkate.

This follows reports that the Festus Mogae government was faced with a
protest from the parliamentary finance committee led by Duke Lefokgo and
some radical MPs who accuse their president of splashing public resources
without consultation. Other MPs said to be pushing for a tougher line are
Tshelamg Mafifi, Lesego Motsumi and Kenneth Goma.

Mogae's government extended the facility in what was seen as a solidarity
gesture after it began losing fuel to Zimbabweans who were regularly
crossing into that country to buy the commodity in bulk.

Zimbabwe received 10 million litres of diesel fuel, five million litres of
petrol and five million litres of aviation fuel from Botswana following an
acute three-month fuel shortage which saw the country nearly grind to a

Both Mines and Energy minister Edward Chindori-Chininga and Noczim managing
director Webster Muriritirwi have steadfastly refused to respond on the
issue saying only the Foreign Affairs department could comment on foreign
trade agreements.

Mugabe's government has been hard hit by an acute shortage of foreign
currency leading to its failure to service its foreign debts. Of late,
Gaborone has become uncomfortable with Mugabe's policies.

Recently the ruling Botswana Democratic Party rapped Mugabe's agrarian
programme, saying it had negatively impacted on Botswana's tourism industry.

Senior secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Willard Chiwewe this
week said he was not in a position to comment on the issue.
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Daily News

      Cuban doctor probed

      10/18/02 10:19:35 AM (GMT +2)

      By Columbus

      THE government has withdrawn a Cuban doctor from Mpilo Central
Hospital to facilitate investigations into reports of 100 hysterectomies
(surgical removals of uterus) conducted at the institution without the
patients' knowledge and consent.

      The Minister of Health and Child Welfare David Parirenyatwa told
Parliament on Wednesday when he was responding to a question asked by
Blessing Chebundo, the MP for Kwekwe (MDC) and the party's shadow minister
of health and child welfare.
      He said between April and August this year, 39 hysterectomies were
carried out at Mpilo.

      He said the government was carrying out a "detailed investigation" and
one doctor reportedly behind the hysterectomies had since been withdrawn
from Mpilo.
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From BBC News, 16 October

Asylum seeker's death fears

Following the announcement the first dedicated asylum appeals centre in
Wales will open in Newport at a cost of £3m, BBC News Online spoke to Ronald
Gwenzi who is fighting a decision not to grant him asylum in the UK. Mr
Gwenzi, 23, fled Zimbabwe after he claims he was kidnapped, tortured and
threatened with his life for supporting the opposition party, the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC). He blames supporters of Zimbabwe President
Robert Mugabe's party, Zanu PF, for the attacks, and fears he will be
murdered if he returns to his homeland. Currently, Mr Gwenzi is living in
Swansea while he waits for his appeal hearing at the end of October. Mr
Gwenzi arrived in a UK airport last December where he was stopped by
immigration officials. His claim for asylum was refused, but he said he was
desperate to stay in this country because he feared for his life. "It all
started in 1999 when I became involved with the MDC, the opposition party,"
said Mr Gwenzi, who lived in Bulawayo, in the south west of the country. "I
helped with the security at the political rallies - making sure the area was
safe. The political tensions at the time were growing worse and there was
fighting. People were being kidnapped, tortured and murdered by war veterans
that supported Robert Mugabe's party. I began having some serious
difficulties because of my involvement with the MDC," he said. Mr Gwenzi
claimed that, following threats, he was kidnapped and beaten. "I was stopped
in the middle of the road by a woman asking for help. I found myself
surrounded by about 20 men. I was beaten and taken to a room. They beat me
during the four days I was there," he said.

Following his ordeal, Mr Gwenzi, who was training to be an accountant, gave
up his political activity. But within months he returned to politics,
despite threats on his life. "One night when I was walking home, I was hit
over the head with an iron bar," he said. Mr Gwenzi lost consciousness and
said that when he came around, he again discovered he had been kidnapped.
"They started to threaten me and I thought they were going to kill me."
After being beaten, Mr Gwenzi was dumped in the bush. Over the next year, he
concentrated on his studies, avoiding politics. However, by 2001, elections
were being held and Mr Gwenzi returned to politics and claimed he was again
targeted, beaten and threatened with death. "I was terrified - I thought I
was going to die. I knew I had to escape the country or I would lose my
life," he said. Supported by his employer, who paid for a flight to the UK
and gave him money, Mr Gwenzi thought he would be able to settle and find
work here. But his application for asylum was refused and his appeal against
the decision will be heard on 30 October. "I hope that my appeal is
successful. Things have been very bad for me and my family. I don't know
what I will do if I am not successful. I am very afraid," he added
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Zim Independent

News Analysis

Who funds pro-government papers?

Dumisani Muleya

AS more newspapers with pro-government editorial sympathies mushroom,
speculation is mounting as to where these publications get their funding.

The new media groups publish what they call in Russian zhentsii -
thinly-disguised political puff-pieces on behalf of the establishment -
which they package and present as "patriotic news".

This trend of reporting became apparent after the launch of the Zimbabwe
Mirror in 1997 by businessman and former state functionary Ibbo Mandaza.

Since its launch, the Mirror's coverage has been more associated with
official apologia than robust independent reporting.

The public view of the Mirror, which claims to be nationalist and
pan-African, was actually confirmed in an internal report compiled last year
for Mandaza's newspaper by public relations consultancy, Gary Thompson &

The report said the Mirror needed to deal with perceptions that it was
pro-establishment if it wanted to succeed.

It has tried to respond through ads flighted on ZBC but nothing has changed
in terms of editorial content. Its claimed middle-of-the-road policy often
degenerates into official toadying.

In a bid to revamp its operations, the Mirror has also tried to attract
corporate investment from Old Mutual and borrow money from Barbican Asset
Management and Zimbank - in vain. Its recent private placement flopped.

Media analysts say Mandaza's publications - which now include the Daily
Mirror and Sunday Mirror - have been suffering from image problems due to
the perceived official links and braided interests of their owner with the
ruling political class.

As a result, questions are now been asked as to how they are surviving on
weak advertising support which largely comes from state-connected companies.

One of the regular advertisers in the Mirror is the Rainbow Tourism Group
which Mandaza chairs.

Recent revelations that Libyan businessmen invested in Mandaza's Southern Af
rican Printing & Publishing House shed some light on possible sources of
funding but failed to dispel reports of possible state backing.

Media Africa Group, which publishes the Business Tribune and Weekend
Tribune, has also been the subject of similar speculation. Business magnate
Mutumwa Mawere, who like Mandaza has connections with the ruling elite, is
understood to be the owner of the organisation although no official
announcement to that effect has been made, apparently for fear of market

Zimbabwe now has a number of pseudo-independent newspapers which critics
argue have been set up to support individual politicians and the nouveau
riche whose interests are intertwined with those of their sponsors while
supporting state media efforts to counter the free press.

Mawere is understood to be planning to buy printing and distribution
companies to enhance his media operations. He has his eyes firmly fixed on
Print Originators, a company formerly linked to the Financial Gazette.

Tycoons exercising patronage have the power to distort the media landscape
by establishing media outlets to support their personal and the ruling elite
's oligarchic interests while undermining other newspapers.

This has happened elsewhere.

In Russia former state appara-tchiks and like-minded businessmen set up
media empires to counter the independent Press and promote government

This severely eroded Press freedom. There are similar fears in Zimbabwe.

Observers think the Daily Mirror was established to counter the Daily News.

The Sunday Mirror seems to have been put in place to rival the Standard, and
the Business Tribune and Weekend Tribune - which have been bravely
pretending to be independent despite evidence to the contrary - to deal with
the Zimbabwe Independent and Financial Gazette.

Comparisons are being made to the South African media landscape of the late
1970s when the apartheid regime embarked on a massive covert campaign,
setting up newspapers at home, buying space in foreign media and bribing
journalists to defend its interests.

The extensive campaign, which involved over £37 million, was driven by
former apartheid Information minister Connie Mulder.

The subterranean propaganda war was, however, later exposed in what became
known as the "Muldergate" or "Infogate" scandal.

One of the newspapers established to counter the incisive Rand Daily Mail,
which exposed "Muldergate" under prominent journalist Allister Sparks'
editorship, was the Citizen.

When the Citizen, which was pro-government but masqueraded as an independent
publication, first hit Johannesburg's streets in 1977, there was immediate
speculation it was not what it claimed to be - a privately-funded project of
South African millionaire, Louis Luyt. People thought it was a state-funded
newspaper and they were later proved right.

Suspicion thus hounded the Citizen through the first few months of its
existence but it was not until the greatest-ever apartheid scandal burst in
October 1978 that the paper was exposed for what it was - a phoney state
propaganda mouthpiece.

Observers say Infogate, which led to the fall of Prime Minister John Vorster
and his heir-apparent Mulder, shows the lengths to which discredited
governments can go in image-making and to secure good publicity.

Zimbabwe's corrosive leadership has of late been complaining about its
self-inflicted bad publicity and has intensified efforts to polish its
battered image.

Information Minister Jonathan Moyo's department has even teamed up with
British-based Ugandan fugitive, David Nyekorach-Matsanga's Africa Strategy
in the battle for hearts and minds.

But whether or not an Infogate is unfolding in Zimbabwe at this point
remains to be seen.

However, the pursuit of what appears like party journalism - as opposed to
political journalism - by new entrants into the media scene is fuelling
suspicion that a local version of Infogate could be underway.

Party journalism means coverage of issues from the point of view and
sometimes with the direct influence of a particular political party while
political journalism implies promoting ideas which may or may not converge
with views of a certain political group.

It is not unusual to hear government spin-doctors - and now the Media Africa
Group publications - labelling newspapers they do not agree with as
pro-opposition, not because those papers support any opposition party but
because they sharply and consistently criticise the ruling party.

But because of the lack of substance of such allegations, government
spokesmen and their private media allies often get muddled in their own
jaundiced propaganda.

The Daily News, for instance, is sometimes clumsily referred to as "Strive
Masiyiwa-owned" or a "British-sponsored" paper by the same people.

Other newspapers like the Zimbabwe Independent are described as

But beyond this paranoid mudslinging, such labels, especially those to do
with the British or ideological claims, are simply malicious. Some
newspapers being accused of being pro-opposition were publishing political
commentaries well before the MDC was formed.

The ruling aristocracy - which includes political barons and business moguls
surviving on patronage - can collaborate to distort the media panorama.
Russia is a case in point.

When former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev launched his policy of
perestroika - restructuring and reforming state institutions - and with it
glasnost, or openness, this marked the end of crude communist media
censorship. It was thought the genie of press freedom could not be put back
in the bottle.

But a new form of censorship immediately emerged - money.

After their "golden age" of the later 1980s, the Russian media found itself
hostage to pro-state corporate interests. Circumstances relating to economic
hardships, printing facilities, newsprint production, distribution, legal
regulation and harsh market realities squeezed the Russian media.

Many Russian journalists thought they would be free once communist shackles
were broken. But they underestimated the power of rising pro-government
financial groups venturing into the media.

The founder of Most Bank, Vladimir Gusinskii, was the first to build a media
empire which included Segodnya newspaper, NTV, Ekho Moskvy radio station and
Itogi magazine.

He was soon copied by Logo VAZ boss Boris Berezovskii and others.
Publications like the Nezavisimaya Gazeta, whose editor Vitalii Tretyakov
initially refused state subsidies or money from state-linked institutions,
struggled until they accepted the sponsorship from Logo VAZ.

Subsequent events confirmed Tretyakov's fears as the publication was forced
to toe the state line.

While most business moguls in Zimbabwe with government connections are still
reluctant to openly join the media scene, the situation seems to be changing
with reports that a prominent banker with state links could have bought one
of the country's main independent weeklies.

There seems to be a rigid determination to neutralise or counter the
independent media in official and surrounding circles.

Against this background, the Russian or South Africa experiences could be
repeating themselves in Zimbabwe.
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Zim Independent - Mukraker

Pollyanna, pique, and pantyhose

The Mirror's Scrutator columnist believes things are looking up for Zimbabwe
's economy. There are hopes for a better rainy season together with a
discernible improvement in the political and economic mood. Prophets of doom
are having a hard time making sense of their own negative predictions, he
claims. Those who anticipate an early exit for President Mugabe should not
conflate Mugabe's fortunes with those of the nation. Countries outlive
leaders, Scrutator points out.

The political temperature has subsided, we can expect greater inter-party
dialogue, and many of the NGOs, bereft of external resources, are
"feverishly seeking ways to re-engage the state".

The fuel supply situation is "set to improve", thanks to an agreement signed
with the Libyans, and the National Economic Consultative Forum has been
revitalised following the establishment of a secretariat. All this points to
a turnaround in Zimbabwe's fortunes, Scrutator believes. Even the diplomatic
picture is looking brighter.

The replacement of Swedish and Norwegian ambassadors who Scrutator
considered hostile to Zimbabwe will make a difference, he believes.

Norway has just dispatched a "new and more dynamic" envoy. The Netherlands
and Denmark "have been largely artificial in their anti-Zimbabwe posture,
keener to play up to the media at home than acknowledge the realities on the

"The incoming Netherlands ambassador will no doubt be briefed to improve
relations with Harare and Denmark will in due course reopen its diplomatic
mission in Zimbawe," Scrutator believes .

We will even see a change in the "white Commonwealth", Scrutator forecasts.
The new Canadian High Commissioner has a strong African background and is
keen to improve relations with Zimbabwe. There has even been a thaw in
Britain's relations with Zimbabwe and we can expect to see a Blair/Mugabe
summit in the not-too-distant future, we are told.

This is all delusional nonsense of course. There is nothing wrong with
sensible well-grounded optimism on the political and economic fronts. But
Pollyanna-ish predictions of this sort are unacceptably naïve - especially
when they come from writers who are supposedly trained to be wary of
rose-tinted spectacles.

Does anybody seriously believe that given the critical shortage of foreign
exchange, the government is going to be able to pay the Libyans on time?
That petrol queues are a thing of the past?

Why should we expect any improvement in the performance of the NECF (which
Scrutator omitted to declare an interest in), especially when it has as its
spokesmen individuals who see themselves as apologists for Zanu PF.

We don't know of any genuine NGOs that are desperate to re-engage with a
discredited regime. Perhaps Scrutator could name them. As for the arrival of
new ambassadors, there is no reason to suppose they will depart from the
clearly laid-down policies of their governments.

All diplomats are polite on arrival, hoping for an improvement in relations.
But as they come to terms with the realities around them they become less
hopeful. As for suggestions that representatives of the Netherlands and
Denmark were playing to the media gallery at home, Scrutator clearly
misjudges the mood of the public in EU states where Zimbabwe's trail of
state-sponsored violence and economic sabotage is well documented.

There is no prospect whatsoever of the Canadians, Swedes, Dutch, Norwegians,
British or Danes adopting a more sympathetic view of the Mugabe
administration so long as it remains a rogue regime with a record of

Can you imagine the reaction of parliament in the UK to proposals for a
Blair/Mugabe summit? Contrary to Scrutator's fond expectations, no European
leader could risk being seen in his company. Not even Jacques Chirac!

Last week the Independent published a story pointing out that expectations
in the pro-government media of the UNDP assisting Zimbabwe with land reform
were untenable outside the terms of the 1998 donors agreement. The Mirror
rushed to the UNDP to have them deny the story. No, they said. The 1998
agreement still holds. Pollyanna evidently needs a break.

The management of the Financial Gazette appear piqued by circulation figures
released recently by the Zimbabwe Advertising Research Foundation which
showed an increase in readership for the Zimbabwe Independent. Research
International Zimbabwe (RIZ) which was commissioned by ZARF to conduct the
annual Zimbabwe All Media and Products Survey, was apparently prevailed upon
to "revise downwards" some of the figures for the Independent. It was all a
typographical error, RIZ said.

This followed an earlier report in the Fingaz which had claimed the paper's
readership had "leapt" up while the Independent's rose only "marginally".

On closer inspection it transpires that the revised six-monthly readership
figures for the Fingaz show an increase of just under 1% compared with 41%
for the Independent.

No wonder they are miffed. But it all goes to confirm the adage that there
are "lies, damned lies, and then there are statistics".

The picture of President Thabo Mbeki throwing up his hands in helpless
impotence over the situation in Zimbabwe has now become a familiar sight.
Last weekend he told the Johannesburg Sunday Times he was not going to march
across the Limpopo and overthrow President Mugabe, nor was he going to be
"dragooned" into fulfilling other people's agendas.

This was in response to insistence from other quarters that he should "do

Needless to say, nobody has actually asked him to invade Zimbabwe. All that
he has been asked to do is the right thing: adhere to principles set out by
the AU, Sadc, the Commonwealth and Nepad.

We don't fully understand why he wasn't asked what happened to South Africa'
s ethical foreign policy. Mbeki appeared to think it was immaterial to Nepad
's success that Zimbabwe posed a threat to the region.

The Mirror's South Africa correspondent Tendai Dumbutshena believes that in
the circumstances Mbeki's foreign policy is bound to end up on the rocks. He
pointed to royal despotism in Swaziland, Bakili Muluzi's bid for an
unconstitutional third term which could plunge Malawi into turmoil, and Sam
Nujoma's determination to follow Mugabe's failed policies.

"If Mbeki cannot get leaders in his own Sadc backyard to buy into values
underpinning Nepad and the African Union, what chance does he have in the
rest of Africa?" Dumbutshena asked. "The evidence so far suggests that Mbeki
lacks the political courage to enforce his enlightened agenda on a
leadership still embedded in old ways. It is for this reason that his
foreign policy will fail."

The Sunday Mail last weekend published what must rank as the most disgusting
and tasteless cartoon ever carried in a Zimbabwean newspaper.

It purported to show a Zimbabwean worker abroad offering to clean up after
an incontinent elderly lady. For some reason it chose to call her "Mrs
Duncarn", which we suppose passes for "Duncan" at the semi-literate Mail.
But of more interest to us was a photo on the opposite page headed "Turning
the tables.A white man who occupied a piece of land tries to stop the police
from removing his belongings". The pic is attributed to Baffour Ankomah's
New African magazine.

Which explains how they got it wrong. The picture was taken some years ago,
long before the farm invasions, and shows a deranged squatter being evicted
in Harare at night. Only the camera's flash made him "white".

Why do we need to know the views of Dr Samuel Undenge and Dr Tafataona
Mahoso on Australian sanctions? And what does Mahoso think he is doing
repeating Jonathan Moyo's banal utterances about Howard being a coward? It
is a significant indicator of Mahoso's professional standing that he has
been reduced to the level of a Moyo parrot.

What has the Media Commission got to do with relations between Australia and
Zimbabwe? And why does Undenge think we want to have his comments when they
reflect nothing more than ignorant Zanu PF posturing. No serious economist
would have allowed himself to be associated with remarks of that sort.

What does it tell us about a party and its acolytes whose level of public
comment on international relations is to make Howard and coward rhyme?

And poor old Stan Mudenge reduced to gossiping about Alexander Downer's
stockings. Has it really come to this? Anyway, it was useful to hear Mudenge
comparing Australia's treatment of aborigines over 150 years ago with
Zimbabwe's treatment of minorities today. It was a crime not to pay the
aborigines compensation for their land, he unwittingly suggested.

Stan must be reflecting nostalgically on the days when he used to write his
own lines, when at least he sounded intelligent. Why translate "genocidal
racists" into French? Who told him it would sound better?

So 627 teachers, which have cost the country millions of dollars to train,
have been laid off because they exercised their constitutional right to
strike. Pupils will now suffer as replacements are drafted in.

Let's hope that we don't witness the usual scenes of hopeful applicants
lining up outside the Ministry of Education only to be turned away when the
dispute is settled.

That has happened in previous years. The applicants should be told they will
be used as part of the government's battle with PTUZ only to be discarded
after ZTV has shown them lining up for jobs.

The last time a minister dismissed public-service employees - the nurses in
1997 - they refused to go back to work when given the chance to do so and
are now earning far more in Britain, Botswana and South Africa.

When is a joke not a joke? Ask Harrods proprietor Mohamed al-Fayed. He
announced he was going to launch a version of his upmarket store on a boat
on the Thames. The announcement of the "float" would appear on the
millionaire's personal website until April 1, it was announced earlier this
year. Anybody seeking further information should contact Loof Lirpa (try
spelling that backwards).

The venerable Wall Street Journal fell for it hook, line and sinker. They
announced Harrods was about to float - not on the Thames but on the London
Stock Exchange.

When the paper realised its mistake it decided to get its own back. It
published a story headed "The Enron of Britain?" in which it made a number
of unflattering comparisons between the Knightsbridge store and the
disgraced US firm. Al-Fayed was not amused. When the owners of the Wall
Street Journal, Dow Jones, declined to offer a retraction he sued.

"The original press release was sent out as a joke," said Harrods lawyer
Laurence Harris. "Signing it Loof Lirpa should have given it away, but
clearly the Wall Street Journal had a sense-of-humour failure. Now they are
accusing us of being like Enron, which is a very serious matter and well
beyond a joke."

That was the position as of mid this year as reported in the Sunday
Independent. We will tell you what transpires.

Congratulations to Chris Muts-vangwa on his appointment as ambassador to
China, a move first anticipated in this newspaper on August 9. The suave and
sophisticated Mutsvangwa will make an able diplomat as will his charming
wife Monica. But what we want to know is what happened to Flt Lt Stanley
Goreraza who was put on a slow boat to China when his presence in Zimbabwe
proved inconvenient in the mid-90s? He can't still be in Beijing as military
attaché after all these years. What happened to him? And what price his
silence? Chris: your first dispatch on arrival should be copied to Muckraker
with news of Goreraza's fate. Don't worry about Mudenge; he only speaks

Memories in politics can be remarkably short. Only 14 years ago Robert
Gabriel Mugabe was named recipient of the Africa Prize for Leadership for
the Sustainable End of Hunger.

"President Mugabe has pioneer-ed policies which have energisedhis people to
win their struggleagainst poverty and hunger, poli-cies which point the way
topeace and successful social and economic development across thecontinent,"
the citation read. What would it say now do you think?
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