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

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Mail and Guardian

Zimbabwe farmers continue to fight for their land


      18 October 2002 08:07

Hundreds of Zimbabwean farmers have quit production, but continue their
fight against land grabs. Justice for Agriculture (JAG) representative John
Worswick said on Thursday that only about 200 commercial farmers were still
trying to keep producing this season although about 600 commercial farmers
were still on their properties.

"Many farmers are no longer able to farm and thousands of their employees
are unemployed, homeless and destitute and over six million Zimbabweans face
starvation," JAG representative Jenni Williams added.

So far approximately 500 of the 2 900 commercial farmers issued with
eviction orders have successfully challenged their validity and more cases
are pending. JAG would also launch a court challenge on the basis of
unconstitutionality once President Robert Mugabe promulgated another
amendment to the Land Acquisition Act, making it easier for the government
to seize farms.

"Most farmers are committed to a depoliticised agrarian reform programme
based on sound economic principles and where commercial production is not
compromised. Many who have left would not need more than one invitation to
return to rebuild an integrated farming sector," Williams said.

This week the Harare High Court nullified 11 more eviction orders issued to
white commercial farmers in Mashonaland because they were not properly
served and last week the Bulawayo High Court issued a provisional order that
all Matabeleland farmers forcibly and illegally evicted by the Zimbabwe
Republic Police be allowed to return.

About 75 Commercial Farmers Union members brought the urgent court
application on the basis the evictions were unlawful because some of the
white farmers removed from their farms had not been issued with eviction
notices although the ZRP had allegedly forcibly evicted about 90% of white
farmers in the province by the end of last week.

The High Court gave the two most senior police officers in Matabeleland 10
days to file opposing papers if they wished to contest the order. Finance
Minister Herbert Murerwa has been quoted in Zimbabwean media as saying his
annual budget next month would concentrate resources on helping the
300 000 blacks being resettled on the confiscated farms.

But Oliver Gawe, representative for the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association,
presented a paper to parliament last week in which he said the land
redistribution program was badly damaging the tobacco industry. The industry
used to account for 30% of Zimbabwe's foreign exchange.

Gawe rejected government claims that the 300 000 black Zimbabweans to be
resettled on the land could speedily restore production levels.

"From our experience dealing with smallholder farmers, it takes five to six
seasons for a farmer to master the crop and get the quality right," he
said. - Sapa
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Waterford News and Star (Ireland)

Waterford Woman Continues To Stand Firm Against Zimbabwe Eviction Order
By Jennifer Long

THE Portlaw-born woman who has defied orders by tyrannical Zimbabwe
President, Robert Mugabe, to hand over her farm and home to his authorities,
is continuing to stand firm against the eviction order.
In recent weeks two of Kathy Martin's home helpers, who have been working
with her family for years, have left their jobs - with the Martin's
convinced that it was under duress from Mugabe's authorities. According to
Kathy's brother, Willie O'Keeffe, who still lives in Portlaw, the loss of
the two men has "devastated" his sister who looked upon them as part of her
own family.

Last month, the Waterford News & Star reported that Kathy - who has lived in
Zimbabwe for nearly 30 years - and her South African husband, Denis, were
barricaded into their homes after they refused to obey an edict to hand over
their 3,000 acres near the district of Mutorashanga.

Their son, Sean, had also endured a severe beating some time earlier with
sandbelts and chains forcing him to "up ship" for Botswana. In the
subsequent newspaper report, Kathy's brother, Willie, had said her family in
Waterford feared for their sister's safety and wanted her to come home.

"She is still refusing to get out and knowing Kathy, she will stay that
 way," said Willie O'Keeffe last week. "I think the fact that she is a nurse
is probably helping her. She is acting as a nurse, midwife and even vet in
her area and is vitally needed."

He said contact with Kathy was still minimal but his brother Paul, who also
lives in Portlaw, had undertaken to ring his sister every Friday in a bid to
find out what was happening.

"The fact that Richard, their kitchen helper, and Anderson, who worked out
on the land, have left is a major blow to them now, which has not been
helped by the fact that a close elderly friend of Kathy's has recently
 died," said Willie.

"They can't get anybody to work for them because of the safety fears and are
absolutely convinced their two helpers were forced by Mugabe's people to
leave their jobs or else."
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Zim Independent - Comment

Time the CFU woke up to the national mood
IF any doubts remained that the Commercial Farmers Union was a confused and
misdirected body events this week will have removed them.

Firstly President Thabo Mbe-ki, desperately seeking to be let off the hook
of responsibility for the Zimbabwe crisis, was thrown a lifeline by CFU
directors who he said had urged him to oppose sanctions.

Coming from a group supposedly hostile to President Mugabe's land grab, this
was unexpected manna from heaven for the South African leader which he used
to justify his do-nothing policy. The land issue was entirely a matter
between Britain and Zimbabwe he claimed ignoring the implications for the
region of violence and lawlessness across the Limpopo.

Then CFU director David Hasluck, addressing a delega-tion of African
American politicians brought here at taxpayers' expense to eulogise the
Mugabe regime and camouflage its appalling human rights record, blamed the
Blair government for its failure to pay compensation.

"The British government has absolutely rejected that there will be
compensation for land based on our history," Hasluck claimed.

The government already has a lengthy list of apologists. Why Hasluck thinks
it needs another one is anybody's guess. But the CFU has a record of being
unable to adopt clear and principled positions on the land question,
preferring instead to cultivate politicians and then claim they don't want
to involve themselves in politics. That they are unable to see the
connection between politics and economic policies or understand the basic
right of all Zimbabweans to participate in the political process speaks
volumes of their civic failings.

Hasluck knows perfectly well that Britain has pledged £36 million for land
reform. The EU, the United States, and other donors are prepared to pitch
in. But they won't fund a violent campaign of land theft that sabotages
production, places land in the hands of President Mugabe's cronies, and
compounds poverty.

The "historical background" that Hasluck claims Tony Blair is ignoring
includes £44 million lost before 1993 on acquired land that now lies barren
or is occupied by chefs.

What does Hasluck think he is doing repeating Mugabe's facile mantras for
the benefit of African American politicians who are being paid to pretend
that the murder of farmers and opposition supporters, the impunity granted
to their killers, the outright theft of land in clear contempt of legal
procedures, and the eviction of tens of thousands of workers, is part of an
historic process aimed at empowering the masses?

The masses of course face starvation as a result. The reason Justice for
Agriculture broke away from the CFU was because the CFU was unable to stand
up for the legal rights of its members, choosing instead to put together
deals with a lawless regime. As a result solemn undertakings given by the
most senior people in government to farmers' leaders where offers had been
made of land, resources and training, were abandoned without compunction.
The CFU has nothing to show for its unprincipled collaboration with an
avaricious political class.

If the visiting American delegation noticed nothing else, it must surely
have been Mugabe's open contempt for the people of Zimbabwe's cities.
Because they are sceptical of his claims to be leading a genuine rural
revolution they are dismissed as "cosmopolitan wage-earners" whose future
doesn't matter.

Nothing could more clearly expose Mugabe's pretensions to be a national
leader. Railing at the forces of change from the isolation of Zimbabwe
House, Mugabe denounced urban workers, falsely claiming the MDC wanted to be
included in his government.

Nobody in their right mind would want to be contaminated by contact with his
toxic regime.

Hasluck and CFU president Colin Cloete who accompanied him at the meeting
need to get a life. The people of Zimbabwe in every democratic test have
rejected Mugabe's damaging land seizures and said instead they want a
coherent programme of land reform that guarantees productivity and
alleviates poverty, the position spelt out by donors and the UNDP at the
Harare land conference of 1998.

Instead of pandering to a repressive regime in the hope of securing respite
for themselves the CFU leaders should listen to the people and for once do
the right thing. That means at the very least not repeating foolish remarks
that expose a complete ignorance of the popular mood.

Sent: Friday, October 18, 2002 10:35 AM
Subject: JAG and CFU Meetings.

G. A. Whitehead
Chiredzi Support Group
17th October 2002
Hi all,
Most of you have now listened to JAG and CFU, and with over thirty months of experiencing the worsening situation are, I am sure, now able to conclude the following:
Mugabe's agendaTo totally destroy all opposition to ZANU PF and ridding Zimbabwe of all white farmers and business men. He even told us that whites would leave Zimbabwe with a suitcase only.
Dialogue.   This is a very short term option knowing Mugabe's agenda.
How can you dialogue with someone who is murdering your own people anyway, this would be very dishonorable. Imagine if you had been murdered and now are a spirit, watching your friends make deals with the very people who murdered you. I think that I would be very disapointed and angry. How do you think GOD would feel. Dialogue will destroy all the work that the activists have, at great risk, done exposing the evil and getting the international community on our side.
 At the very least, if we are forced to leave with our suitcase, we must go with our heads up, knowing that we fought well and acted honorably.
CFU.   There is something wrong here, how can Cloete look us in the eyes and tell us that he has the members mandate to act in the way that he has done in the past three months. We are in a very serious situation now and before too much harm is done, the CFU must prove that they have the support of the farmers. We can and must force them to do this , we are the farmers.
JAG.  This group is a God fearing, decent bunch who will fight for us within the law and I am sure, that we all now know, that this is the only honorable option left to us. Let the international community see us prove through the courts whats happened to law and order.
 We heard the JAG team describe what is happening as an evil train and our only option was to all do our best to derail it. If one comprehends Mugabe's agenda we would know that we have only two options, run or attempt to derail this evil train. Let us all be bold and work hard together and derail this evil train for the sake of our country and its people. We are right, God is on our side and so is the international community, what else do we want. 
The JAG team excepting for one person are funding all their travelling expenses themselves, all donations are used for litigation only.
I know that you are all aware of the above, What I am actually asking for is for all of us to keep funding JAG, this can be done through my office.
G W 
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Zim Independent

Another blow to Mugabe in Luanda
Mthulisi Mathuthu
IN what analysts see as a further shot across President Mugabe's bows, it
has emerged that the Southern African Development Community (Sadc), led by
Botswana, suspended the signing of a Mutual Defence Pact proposing military
intervention in conflict resolution at the just-ended Luanda summit in

Sources said Botswana objected to a provision in the pact making it
mandatory for Sadc member states to intervene militarily in the event of one
of its members being attacked, leading to the suspension of the signing of
the pact.

Diplomats this week said this was a blow to Mugabe, accused of trying to
smuggle an adventurist licence through the backdoor.

In August 1998, he persuaded Angola and Namibia to join him in intervening
in the Democratic Republic of Congo under the banner of the Sadc Organ on
Politics, Defence and Security.

Sources said this was a setback for Zimbabwean foreign policy as Gaborone
had adopted South Africa's position in favouring dialogue and regional
consensus, rather than military action, as the best means of settling
internal disputes.

President Festus Mogae is reported to have steadfastly refused to sign the
pact protesting that the provision was calculated to undermine individual
countries' sovereignty and their right to make independent decisions.

Diplomats told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that the leaders had also
sidelined Mugabe within the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security by
re-electing Mozambique's Joaquim Chissano for another one-year term.

This, they said was part of a wider plan to deny the Zimbabwean ruler the
opportunity of holding any key positions within Sadc for fear of
compromising the region's relations with international bodies.

In a move to appease the European Union, which is increasingly concerned at
Mugabe's behaviour, the leaders have already successfully barred Mugabe from
taking over as the Sadc deputy chair.

Botswana was also driven by fear that Namibia, as an ally of Mugabe, would
be allowed to hold on to disputed territory in the Caprivi Strip which is a
bone of contention between Gaborone and Windhoek.

The Organ on Politics, Defence and Security has been operating in a vacuum
since South Africa's refusal to sign its 1996 protocol citing fears that it
would give the then organ chair, Mugabe, too manypowers.

During his tenure as the ad hoc chair, Mugabe was accused of abusing the
organ to fulfil regional 'Napoleonic ambitions'.

This led to a standoff between Harare and Pretoria until last year when
Chissano took over as the chair in a bid by the leaders to prise the organ
from Mugabe.

Only last month, the Sadc troika, comprising Zimbabwe, Mozambique and
Tanzania, met in Harare to spruce up a document setting up the defence pact.
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Zim Independent

Visitors allege harassment in Zim

In what seems a tit-for-tat measure after Botswana's criticism of President
Mugabe's land reform programme, Batswana who recently visited Zimbabwe have
complained of harassment by police at roadblocks between the Ramokgwebana
border and Bulawayo.

Phase Four Customary Court president, Paul Motshwane, said they were shocked
at the way the police had handled them.

"What happens at the roadblocks there is a clear form of discrimination.
Despite driving an immaculate car you are simply signalled off the road and
subjected to a thorough check whilst Zimbabwean vehicles are given the green
light to proceed," he protested. After producing all the necessary
documents, the police reportedly move around the vehicle looking for
something to charge the driver with.

"I was charged $500 for a cracked vehicle wheel stud which I paid on the
spot. I was not given a receipt. Given the police hostility we encountered,
we decided not to wait to demand one," he said.

At another roadblock, Motshwane and his companions were inexplicably asked
to produce foreign exchange declaration forms and the declaration for all
the goods they had in their possession.

"All the police demands were simply a repetition of the point of entry
procedures," Motshwane said.

He asserted that the behaviour of the Zimbabweans was a clear sign of

"Even the remarks they made whilst they were seeing to us were really
worrying but we gave them a deaf ear because we were not there for
confrontation," he asserted. He stated that he had been to Zimbabwe several
times before, but the treatment he encountered on his last visit on
September 29 was unusual.

Motshwane said they incurred more hostility at the Bulawayo Sun.

"We entered the hotel talking amongst ourselves in our own language when a
boisterous and rather negative Shona-speaking man turned on us and shouted:
'You Batswana, you should leave us alone. And as for the South Africans, we
will soon demand visas from them. You Batswana, you think you are smart and
can simply come into our country and buy Zim dollars when you like',"
Motshwane said they were told.

The man went on to pronounce himself a Zanu PF man who would die as such.

Motshwane's experience on his way home the following day at the roadblocks
was not any better. His advice to Batswana who enjoy their shopping in
Bulawayo is to "act with a lot of caution".

Police officer Goitsemodimo Mogale who accompanied Motshwane on the visit
was shocked that a neighbour and fellow Sadc country could mistreat innocent

"Batswana are generally peace-loving people who also respects the rule of
law. It seems those officers were really looking for us," he said.

Meanwhile, the Officer Commanding Francistown Police District, Senior
Superintendent Boikhutso Dintwa, has expressed ignorance about the
ill-treatment of Batswana in Zimbabwe. He indicated that the Botswana Police
and their Zimbabwean counterparts were working well together.

"The relationship between us and our Zimbabwean counterparts remains
cordial," Dintwa said. - Mmegi
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      18 Oct 2002 16:00
      Africa meeting switched so Mugabe can attend


      COPENHAGEN, Oct 18 (Reuters) - The European Union has accepted
Mozambique's offer to host a meeting between the EU and a group of poor
southern African countries, which would enable Zimbabwe President Robert
Mugabe to attend.

      The ministerial-level meeting between the EU, a bloc of 15 prosperous
West European countries, and the 14-nation Southern African Development
Community (SADC) had been scheduled to take place in Copenhagen.

      Denmark is among many nations that imposed a travel ban on the
controversial Zimbabwean leader after what the West and Zimbabwe's
opposition say was Mugabe's fraudulent victory in the March presidential

      The meeting will now be held on November 7-8 in Maputo, Mozambique's
capital, the Danish EU presidency said in a statement. Mozambique has not
joined the ban on Mugabe.

      "It is important that the meeting should take place and that the
dialogue between the EU and the countries in southern Africa continue,"
Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller said.

      "The EU member states have been an important partner for many years
and are contributing considerable assistance, not least in the current food
crisis," he said in the statement, referring to the shortages of food that
threaten millions of people in southern Africa.

      The EU, together with the United States, Canada, New Zealand and
Australia, all ban Mugabe.

      Zimbabwe belongs to the SADC, but in a signal that Mugabe is losing
regional support, the body decided at its meeting two weeks ago to deny
Zimbabwe its deputy chairmanship, which would have lined Mugabe's country up
to lead the SADC in a year.

      Diplomats said at the time the EU had been involved in efforts to
block Harare's chances of taking charge of the SADC by indicating that
Western donors might withdraw aid in protest.
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Zim Independent

Governors on payroll despite expiry of tenure
Mthulisi Maththu /Blessing Zulu
THE government is paying full salaries and benefits to six governors and
resident ministers whose terms of office expired over four months ago.

A government source told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that governors
Obert Mpofu, Stephen Nkomo of Matabeleland North and South, Oppah Muchinguri
of Manicaland, Josiah Hungwe of Masvingo, Peter Chanetsa of Mashonaland
West, and David Karimanzira of Mashonaland East had been illegally occupying
office when their terms expired in June.

"Most should have had their terms extended in June to justify their
continuing in service," said a source. Mpofu was due for renewal in August.

The governors this week refused to comment on the issue referring all
questions to the Office of the President and to the cabinet. Both Hungwe and
Chanetsa said they couldn't remember when they were appointed, that only the
president knew.

"My friend, I don't know what you are talking about because my duty is to
work," said Chanetsa yesterday. "The president is the one who knows what he
is doing. Why not ask him?"

Hungwe said: "I didn't appoint myself so I do not see why you are asking me
that question."

Mpofu switched off his phone when the question was put to him while the
other governors were not reachable.

Constitutional lawyer Lovemore Madhuku, said while the appointment of the
governors was the president's constitutional right, he still had to announce
the appointment or extension of office of his appointees.

"The president has to issue a Government Gazette to announce the extension
of a governor's term or the appointment of another. If that doesn't happen,
then the whole thing becomes illegal," Madhuku said.

According to the Provincial Districts Act, a governor's term should not
exceed two years.

The secretary for the president and the cabinet, Charles Utete, was said to
be out of his office until next Monday.

A governor earns an annual salary of $1,12 million with an annual general
allowance of $56 004 and a housing allowance of $142 104. Governors in
Zimbabwe are generally seen as part of President Mugabe's patronage network
as they have few individual powers to run their provinces.
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Zim Independent

Govt accounts in shambles
Vincent Kahiya
GOVERNMENT-controlled funds amounting to at least $2 billion have not been
audited - some for as long as seven years - as accounting systems for public
funds continue to degenerate, the Zimbabwe Independent established this

Portfolio ministries which administer the funds have failed to present
accounts for auditing resulting in the Comptroller and Auditor-General's
department failing to incorporate them in its latest audit report.

Monies in these funds are derived from Treasury and grants by foreign donors
while some are held in trust by government.

Poor accounting methods and outright disregard of Treasury instructions has
resulted in the veracity of figures being sent to the Auditor-General for
auditing being questionable.

The late remission of accounts by accounting officers in various ministries
has become endemic in government and parliament has failed to censure guilty

The Auditor-General's report was due for tabling in parliament in September
2000 but was only tabled two weeks ago as its preparation was delayed owing
to late submission of accounts.

Information made available to the Independent this week by the
Auditor-General's office show that the Ministry of Justice, Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs has since 1995 failed to avail for audit the
Guardian's Fund which is administered by the Master of the High Court.

In March 1995 the fund had $143 million and with the escalation of
Aids-related deaths, officials at the Ministry of Finance this week said
there should be at least $500 million in the kitty.

The fund pools together deceased persons' monies held in trust by the Master
of the High Court pending disbursement to beneficiaries who include orphans,
minors or disabled persons.

Other large sums of money, which have not been audited, include the Parks
and Wildlife Fund which had $269 million in December 1999. The last time the
fund was audited in 1996, it had $90 million.

The Ministry of Rural Resources and Water Development did not submit for
audit accounts for the Rural Development Fund, which had $334 million
dollars in 2000.

The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare also did not remit for auditing
accounts for the Health Services Fund which in the 10 months ended June
1997, had $48 million and $154 million as of December 31, 1998.

The District Development Fund, with $59 million as of December 1999, was
also not audited.
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Zim Independent

Govt 'criminalising democrats'
Blessing Zulu
A GROWING list of Movement for Democratic Change leaders and supporters are
on a "hit-list" as government steps up its crackdown on the opposition party
using defective and controversial laws.

MDC spokesperson Paul Temba Nyathi is the latest addition to the growing
list of party MPs facing charges ranging from treason to defaming President
Robert Mugabe.

Nyathi was last week summoned to Gwanda Police Station for his alleged
utterances in Nkwidze in Gwanda four months ago.

To date about 18 MDC MPs and their president, Morgan Tsvangirai have been

Tsvangirai, MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube and Renson Gasela are
facing treason charges arising from allegations that they plotted to
assassinate President Mugabe.

Facing charges under the Public Order and Security Act for causing alarm and
despondency are party vice president Gibson Sibanda, Job Sikhala on six
occasions, and Abedinicho Bhebhe and Thokozani Khupe on two occasions.

Tafadzwa Musekiwa has been arraigned before the courts for allegedly making
abusive phone calls to Minister of Information, Jonathan Moyo. Moses Mzila
Ndlovu has been arrested on two occasions.

There is also a list of those accused of firing shots or beating up Zanu PF
supporters and these include secretary for legal affairs David Coltart,
arrested on two occasions for allegedly keeping broadcasting equipment and
having fired a pistol at Zanu PF youths.

Bennie Tumbare-Mutasa and Paul Madzore have also been arrested on charges of
violence while Jealous Sansole and Peter Nyoni have been arrested twice on
the same charge.

Fletcher Dulini-Ncube has been charged in connection with the murder of
Bulawayo war veterans leader Cain Nkala. Tichaona Munyanyi, MP Mbare East,
was last month arrested over the death of Ali Khan Manjengwa, a Zanu PF
activist who was shot by unknown assailants in Mbare.

Chimanimani MP Roy Bennett was arrested for "practising journalism" without

Human rights activist Brian Kagoro said what the Mugabe regime was doing was
to criminalise democrats.

"The Mugabe regime is criminalising democrats using concocted charges and
the law is being used for purely political reasons and it then becomes easy
to pounce on these MPs," said Kagoro.
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Daily News

      Chinamasa accused of protecting Mnangagwa over damning report

      10/18/02 10:24:16 AM (GMT +2)

      By Pedzisai Ruhanya

      PATRICK Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs is sitting on a report on his predecessor, Emmerson Mnangagwa's
conduct, following his illegal release of a hard-core armed robber, George
Tanyanyiwa Chikanga.

      The report is the result of a probe ordered by the High Court last
      Three weeks after the Attorney-General, Andrew Chigovera, said he had
submitted his report to Chinamasa on how Mnangagwa released Chikanga, the
minister has still not commented on the contents.
      Since last week, Chinamasa has been promising to comment on the
results of the investigations after he acknowledged he had seen the report
but, because of his busy schedule, had not read it.
      Last week on Thursday he promised to make public the report on Monday
this week but when contacted on that day, Chinamasa promised to call The
Daily News
      after he had read the report.

      In November last year, retired Justice David Bartlett ruled that
Mnangagwa unlawfully released Chikanga in March 2000.
      Mnangagwa is the Speaker of Parliament and the Zanu PF secretary for

      Chigovera said then: "I have completed that report and handed it to
the ministry and it is up to the ministry to see what it can do with it.
      I will not comment on the details of the report until I hear from the

      Bartlett said Chigovera should investigate all the files related to
the release of prisoners during Mnangagwa's tenure, to establish whether
such releases were handled properly.
      In his affidavit during Chikanga's trial, Mnangagwa admitted Chikanga'
s release was an error but attributed the anomaly to his then permanent
secretary, Augustine Chikumira, who died in January last year, and his
personal assistant, a Mr Nyathi, also deceased.

      In his ruling, Bartlett said he had a high regard for Chikumira and
from the evidence, was satisfied he was not linked to Chikanga's release.
      During the trial, Bartlett established that Chikanga was previously
convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison on a number of counts
      of armed robbery but only served nine years.
      The court then heard that Chikanga was released early because he was
purportedly suffering from hypertension.

      But a medical examination ordered by Bartlett showed that Chikanga did
not suffer from hypertension. He was redetained and is still to be tried in
another matter involving a $7 million armed robbery.

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Daily News

      Suspend listing of conservancies, says committee

      10/18/02 10:27:45 AM (GMT +2)

      By Columbus Mavhunga

      THE government has been urged to suspend the listing of conservancies
under the land reform programme to stop the disruption of the habitat of
wild animals.

      The recommendation was made by the Parliament Portfolio Committee on
Mines, Energy Environment and Tourism.

      The 11-member committee, chaired by Joel Gabbuza, the MDC MP for Binga
and the party's shadow minister for tourism and mines, made the
recommendations after investigating the causes of the sharp decline in
tourism since 1999.

      The committee said there was need for legislation on the conservancies
to accord full control over them and develop them into a healthy and
sustainable sector.

      The comments came after the discovery that most conservancies had been
listed for compulsory acquisition.
      For example, 99 percent of the Gwayi Valley Conservancy was designated
and 90 percent of the safari operators in the area were served with Section
8 orders.
      "The committee is concerned with the ad hoc shift in decisions as it
creates a dilemma for wild life in those farms," said Gabbuza. "There was a
notable case of a farmer who was raising crocodiles and had been served with
a Section 8 form. The farmer could not just stop feeding the crocodiles and
he did not know where he could transfer them to." There has been massive
deforestation and poaching in the conservancies as poor hungry people
capitalise on the chaotic land reform programme.
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World Food Program suspends relief effort in Zimbabwean town after political


HARARE, Zimbabwe, Oct. 18 - The World Food Program said Friday it suspended
hunger relief efforts indefinitely in a Zimbabwean town after ruling party
activists threatened aid workers and seized donated grain.
       The action marked the first time the WFP halted food distributions in
Zimbabwe, whose government has been accused of using food as a political
tool against the opposition.
       An estimated 6.7 million Zimbabweans, more than half the population,
are in danger of starvation in the coming months.
       Workers for the Organization of Rural Associations for Progress were
distributing WFP corn to hungry families Thursday at Insiza, 350 miles
southwest of Harare, when ruling party militants threatened them and seized
more than three tons of the grain, the WFP said.
       The militants then distributed the aid to ''people who may not be
intended beneficiaries,'' the U.N. agency said.
       Insiza, the site of an upcoming by-election, has been racked by
political violence in recent weeks.
       ''Relief food distributions are not the place for any kind of
political activity,'' said Kevin Farrell, WFP's country director in
       ''WFP standing policy is to not tolerate the misuse of its resources
for political ends,'' he said, adding that the U.N. agency was seeking
''urgent assurances from the government'' it will not happen again.
       Government and ruling party officials did not respond to requests for
       Welshman Ncube, secretary-general of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change, said food aid had been used against the opposition for
the past two weeks.
       Officials, sometimes with compliance of aid workers, deliberately
arranged food distributions near MDC rallies to lure away starving voters,
he said. The opposition supporters were then forced to chant ruling party
slogans and surrender their opposition party cards before being given food.
       Human rights workers have reported similar incidents in recent months
as hunger spreads throughout the country.
       Tony Hall, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Food and
Agriculture Organization, said last week that people across Zimbabwe told
him the government had refused to sell grain in some areas considered
hotbeds of opposition support.
       The WFP has blamed the hunger in Zimbabwe on a devastating drought
combined with the government's policy of seizing land from white commercial
farmers and giving it to blacks, a policy that has badly damaged agriculture
       Government officials deny allegations their land redistribution plan
has worsened the crisis.
       Police spokesman Bothwell Mugariri said a complaint about the Insiza
food seizure had been lodged and authorities had ''increased their presence
and were ready to deal with any violence.''
       No arrests had been made over the incident.
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Daily News

      WFP concerned about mounting food needs

      10/18/02 10:40:15 AM (GMT +2)

      THE World Food Programme (WFP) has expressed deep concern about its
inability to respond fully to the ever mounting hunger crises, despite
assistance from donor countries.

      The concern was made ahead of the World Food Day, on Wednesday the
16th of October.

      Zimbabwe is among the six countries in southern Africa which has
benefited from WFP food donations since February this year following poor
harvests in the past two seasons and a reduction in commercial plantings due
to the land reform programme.

      While the WFP and the Grain Marketing Board, have since February this
year imported food, the supply situation remains critical.

      According to Southern African Development Community, Zimbabwe's
planned imports as of August stood at 1,29 million tonnes and they still
left an import gap of about 1,06 million tonnes for which more food aid
pledges were required.
      Current projections in Zimbabwe indicate a maize deficit of 1,98
million tonnes for the 2002/2003 marketing year, inclusive of 500 000 tonnes
minimum strategic grain reserve need.

      "This disturbing new phenomenon is not simply a lack of cash, though
funding for humanitarian emergencies is never easy to secure," said WFP
executive director, James Morris. "The main challenge comes from a surge in
new needs, driven primarily by weather-related disasters and HIV/Aids.

      In Zimbabwe, the WFP initially identified about 558 000 people as
being in urgent need of food aid. Following its second survey countrywide,
the WFP realised that more than six million people in Zimbabwe face

      Morris said: "Extreme weather has intensified the WFP role in current
crises. In southern Africa, drought is the prime cause of hunger which is
now threatening an estimated 14,4 million people, according to a recent

      "At the same time, another serious drought is looming over the Horn of
Africa where the figure of those at risk in Ethiopia alone has unexpectedly
shot to between 10-14 million confronting the international community with a
new and enormous challenge."

      Zimbabwe is the worst affected by food shortages in the southern
African region. While food shortages in Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho and
Swaziland were caused by poor rains in the past season, Zimbabwe's food
situation has been compounded by the land reform programme which has seen
some farmers reducing food production.

      Morris said the WFP has to assist in Ivory Coast where civil unrest
would affect up to four million people. In Mauritania, drought is already
causing serious hardships and is spreading to five neighbouring countries,
affecting up to 1,5 million people according to the WFP.

      In Central America, about 1,5 million people have seen their food
supplies wither because of drought, he said.

      Across the ocean, Asia is battling with floods. In Afghanistan, four
years of drought and conflict are still wreaking havoc on the lives of
almost 10 million people.

      "The combined need of roughly 50 million people cannot be shrugged
off. Nor can the needs of 300 million hungry children, who either go to
school and do not get a meal or do not go to school at all," Morris said.
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ZIMBABWE: Unified action needed to resolve crisis

JOHANNESBURG, 18 October (IRIN) - Deep divisions between African countries and the West over how to deal with the current crisis in Zimbabwe was hampering efforts to help break the political impasse in the country, an international think-tank said this week.

In its latest report titled 'Zimbabwe, The Politics of National Liberation and International Division', the International Crisis Group (ICG) said the lack of a unified response had allowed President Robert Mugabe "to believe that he can exploit the policy fissures between the West and Africa".

The Brussels-based group also pointed to the foreign media's skewed emphasis on forced land evictions, saying that by focusing on the plight of white commercial farmers, the media had inadvertently given Mugabe's liberation rhetoric greater resonance in many African countries.

"Foreign medias' emphasis on the plight of white farmers reinforces the erroneous but widespread belief in Africa that the West is concerned about Zimbabwe only because white property interests have been harmed," the report said.

Instead, the ICG suggested more should be made of allegations of human rights abuses, the dismantling of democratic institutions, and the destruction of the rule of law.

Zimbabwe's current crisis of governance was because of it poor economic performance in recent years and the current food shortages, the crisis group said.

Almost six million Zimbabweans face critical food shortages, mainly due to drought and the government's land programme.
The report echoed concerns that the escalating economic crisis could further destabilise the region, particularly South Africa, by driving tens of thousands more refugees out of Zimbabwe and into neighbouring states.

"South Africa does not yet appear to be sufficiently convinced of the imminence of the threat to its own stability with sufficient energy, especially as it seems to fear the impact of Mugabe's charges that it is in collusion with the West," the report said.

This week, South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki said his government would continue engaging all sectors of Zimbabwean society. However, he pointed out that Zimbabwe's troubles and the concomitant media attention it had received had served as a "smokescreen for those who did not want to address Africa's other problems".

Earlier this month Zimbabwe was replaced as deputy chair of the 14-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) in what diplomats considered a sign of the region's displeasure with Mugabe's policies. 

But the regional body has opposed sanctions, which have been imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States and European Union.

The crisis group called on South Africa and Nigeria to revive efforts to negotiate an inter-party solution between the ruling ZANU-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

Also, it recommended broader African pressure to ensure that the ruling ZANU-PF restore the rule of law and establish conditions for free and fair elections.

Furthermore, the ICG said the international response to the crisis was still characterised by "too much bark and too little bite".

The report suggested a much more nuanced two-track diplomatic strategy for the United States and the European Union "of strong and public actions to isolate the regime while quietly applying pressure on key African states to encourage more resolute action".

Among the measures recommended by the ICG were targeted sanctions that are better enforced and extended beyond ZANU-PF's leadership to include the regime's commercial supporters and bankers and family members, particularly those studying in the West.

The ICG also accused the government of blatantly using emergency food aid as a political weapon against opposition supporters.

The group recommended that food donors shine the spotlight on the politicisation of food aid and make all food relief conditional on ensuring that everyone receives assistance regardless of political affiliation.

To access the report:

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International Division Plays Into Mugabe's Hands

International Crisis Group (Brussels)

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


Deep divisions in the international community about the response to Zimbabwe
's crisis are playing into President Robert Mugabe's hands. Foreign media
emphasis on the plight of white farmers also helps the regime's liberation'
rhetoric reinforcing the erroneous but widespread belief in Africa that the
West is concerned about Zimbabwe only because white property interests have
been harmed.

A new report from the International Crisis Group, Zimbabwe: The Politics of
National Liberation and International Division, a copy of which is attached,
says that the split between broadly Africa and the West has paralysed
international efforts to help break the political impasse in Zimbabwe before
it results in widespread deadly violence or possible state collapse. This
has damaged perceptions of Africa and weakens the New Partnership for Africa
's Development (NEPAD) and the African Union (AU).

The report seeks to emphasise the very real problems in Zimbabwe including
the risks to southern African stability and rising humanitarian costs of the
crisis. Zimbabwean human rights groups are now reporting torture rates that
are among the highest in the world while government policies have turned a
drought into a food emergency, and the regime is blatantly using food as a
political weapon against opposition supporters. One ZANU-PF official is
quoted in the report, saying "We would be better off with only six million
people, with our own people.We don't want all these extra people".
Malnutrition rates are rising sharply and more than 6.7 million Zimbabweans
are expected to need food aid by the end of the year.

John Prendergast, Co-Director of ICG's Africa Program, said: "The policy
division between the West and Africa has emboldened the ruling party and
undermined the international response to the crisis in Zimbabwe. The skewed
emphasis by much of the international media on the plight of the white
farmers has also given Mugabe's revolutionary rhetoric greater resonance in
many African quarters, rather than putting a spotlight on the egregious
human rights abuses, the dismantling of democratic institutions, the use of
food as a weapon, the destruction of the rule of law and the lack of
security for private investment".

Among the measures recommended by ICG are targeted sanctions that are better
enforced and extended beyond ZANU-PF's leadership to include the regime's
commercial supporters and bankers and family members, particularly those
studying in the West.

The report also details a much more nuanced two-track diplomatic strategy
for the United States and the European Union of strong and public actions to
isolate the regime while quietly engaging with and applying back-stage
pressure on key African states and SADC to encourage more resolute action.
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Reckoning with Zimbabwe's painful past 
  Rachel L. Swarns
The New York Times
Tuesday, October 15, 2002 BULAWAYO, Every year after the dry, hungry winters, old women pray for the spring rains to cleanse the earth and revive parched fields. The first rains, known as gukurahundi in the Shona language, are usually hailed as a symbol of life, fertility and prosperity. But here the term is also a symbol of blood and violence.
Gukurahundi is the name given to the killings that began a few years after white rule ended in 1980. Just as blacks were beginning to enjoy their newfound freedoms, their newly elected leader, Robert Mugabe, sent soldiers to cleanse the land of rival black insurgents. By 1988, thousands of people had been killed here in the province of Matabeleland. The years of terror left many people traumatized, fearful and silenced. Public discussion of the violence is still taboo in many places, which is why Yvonne Vera's new novel, "The Stone Virgins," has created a stir.
One of Zimbabwe's most prominent writers, Vera describes the violence through two sisters whose lives are shattered by the battle between soldiers and dissidents. Thenjiwe is decapitated by a black insurgent. Nonceba survives, but the attacker slices off her lips. Her struggle to heal reflects, in many ways, this nation's struggle to acknowledge and come to terms with its raw, self-inflicted wounds.
Government officials often chronicle the suffering endured by blacks during decades of white oppression, but they speak little of the blood spilled by black soldiers and guerrillas. No one knows how many people died in Matabeleland. Some say more than 3,000; others say more than 10,000. And some book critics here are already comparing the troubles of the 1980s as depicted in Vera's novel to the political violence that batters this country today. In the past two and a half years, Mugabe's supporters have killed scores of black opposition party members, human rights groups say. Journalists, writers and artists who have criticized his government have been harassed, arrested and jailed.
Vera, 38, who runs the National Art Gallery here, is not a political activist, and her novel is not a political tract. She loves Zimbabwe, she says, and spends her time nurturing young artists and huddling over her computer, constructing the haunting imagery, dense narratives and lyrical language that characterize her novels. But she could not ignore the violence swirling across the country. She was frightened at times that the government might take action against her. But she wrote the novel anyway, believing that Zimbabweans must confront the troubled past to move forward. "I asked some friends and they said, 'Don't write it,'" Vera said as she sat in her gallery, describing the warnings she heard whenever she discussed the violence of the 1980s.
"It has been a silenced subject," she said. "There has been an absolute fear of even talking about it. For two years I did not write it. But it was not possible for me to have that self-censorship. I wanted to say, This is how it was. Just that. These destructive people were created, and they roamed the land. I cannot pretend to have been unaware of the relevance now. We weren't past this violence; we have remained in that."
By confronting the troubles of the past and acknowledging their continuing relevance, Vera is following one of Zimbabwe's most striking literary trends.
Black writers here have written eloquently about black suffering under the white government and the jubilation that followed Mugabe's election in 1980. But since the late 1980s many writers who were in their twenties when white rule ended have focused on the damage and disillusionment experienced by blacks during and immediately after the struggle for self-determination.
In "Shadows," Chenjerai Hove, 46, describes how some black guerrillas commandeered homes from their supporters and abandoned the children they fathered in rural villages. In "Harvest of Thorns," Shimmer Chinodya, who is also in his mid-forties, depicts the brutal public killings of blacks who were viewed as collaborators with the white government. In her collection of poems, "On the Road Again," Freedom Nyamubaya, a poet and a former guerrilla, describes how many female fighters, including herself, were raped by their commanders.
And Vera - in her first published work, "Why Don't You Carve Other Animals?," a collection of short stories released in 1992 - describes how Chido, a female fighter, returns from the war and finds herself jobless and misunderstood as the country celebrates its new freedom.
Irene Staunton, who has edited and published many of these books, including "The Stone Virgins," calls them Zimbabwe's unofficial truth commission. Eva Hunter, an associate professor of English at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa, agrees. "Yvonne Vera is very concerned about recapturing some of the truth of the liberation struggle, the truth of the past," Hunter said. "Her emphasis is on the communal suffering, what happens to the people who are not in uniform. She sees recapturing that past as important for individual and national healing."
Vera, who grew up here and earned a doctorate in literature at York University in Downsview, Ontario, has never shied away from controversial subjects in her novels. "Without a Name," published in 1994, tackles infanticide. "Under the Tongue," published in 1996, deals with incest. "Butterfly Burning," published in 1998, deals with abortion. The liberation struggle, the constant backdrop, sometimes spills into the lives of her main characters, mostly women on the sidelines of battle. The man who rapes his daughter, for instance, has just returned home from fighting the white government.
In "The Stone Virgins," the people of Kezi are celebrating the end of the war and the arrival of the country's first black government. Triumphant guerrillas gather with their supporters at Thandabantu Store. Villagers are giddily envisioning the day when the government will bring running water to their community. But a few years later, violence explodes across the land. Thenjiwe is killed by a black dissident. The shopkeeper is tortured and burned to death by soldiers. The hospitals are full of silenced, broken people with psychological wounds that may never heal.
It would be easy to demonize Thenjiwe's killer, but Vera chooses not to. She steps inside his mind and finds an ordinary man, like many of the sons, brothers and neighbors who went to war hopeful and returned numb, damaged, forgotten. In her novel, killers and victims alike are battered by war. Sibaso, the insurgent who kills Thenjiwe, complains that people have forgotten the sacrifices that guerrillas made to win the country's freedom. "They remember nothing," he says of his countrymen. "They never speak of it now, at least I do not hear of it."
Hope and despair intermingle throughout the novel. Mutilated and battered, Nonceba tries to rebuild her life in a country where officials move steadily to expand access to education, health care and jobs to blacks even as they send soldiers to the battles that terrorize the countryside. Amid the violence, there is still some sense of progress.
Vera was determined to describe that kind of damage and healing, but she also seemed careful to avoid language that might outrage the government. Her violent character is a dissident, not a soldier. She does not apportion blame to either side in the conflict, even though most people attribute the majority of killings to the government. The explosive word gukurahundi, which evokes such emotion and anger here, never appears in "The Stone Virgins."
The novel was published here in May and Vera has had no trouble so far. But she still admits to a lingering sense of unease. Some artists and journalists who have criticized the government, including the musician Thomas Mapfumo, have left the country after reporting threats by government supporters. She wonders, sometimes, whether she will be next.
"I shouldn't panic, but I panic," Vera said. "The subject is taboo. Am I seen as a government critic? I don't know. I don't want to be embroiled in politics."
"One thing is for sure: I don't want to leave Zimbabwe," she continued. "But I don't want limits, barriers to my creative energy. What I like is to make someone witness what is occurring in my work. If they can do that, it's a big step in breaking silences."
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