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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Independent (UK)

Mugabe men 'shot white farmer and drank his blood'
By Basildon Peta Southern Africa Correspondent
25 October 2002
Rampaging war veterans killed a white farmer, David Stevens, and drank his
blood mixed with alcohol, the Zimbabwe High Court has been told. The
accusation was made by a witness testifying against four militants from the
ruling Zanu-PF party, charged with the murder in April 2000 of Mr Stevens, a
farmer and opposition political activist.

The militants are the first to face trial over the deaths of 12 white
farmers - and 200 black activists - at the hands of President Robert
Mugabe's supporters after the Zimbabwe government unleashed a violent
campaign to seize and occupy white farms.

The High Court heard that war veterans occupying Mr Stevens' Arizona Farm,
in Macheke, 100 miles east of the capital, Harare, frogmarched him to their
office in the nearby Murehwa district. He was beaten and then dragged to a
burial shrine for heroes of the 1970s independence war, where he was shot.

"One of them knelt over Stevens' body and brought a container filled with
blood, which they mixed with alcohol and shared among themselves," the
witness, who cannot be named for his own protection, told the High Court
judge, Benjamin Paradza.

The four accused - Richard Svisviro, Muyengwa Munyuki, Charles Matanda and
Douglas Chitekuteku - were arrested and remanded shortly after the murder. A
fifth suspect, Banda Katsvamudanga, has disappeared.

This month, Jocyline Chiwenga, the wife of Zimbabwe's army commander,
threatened to kill a white farmer, saying she had not "tasted white blood"
for a long time. The farmer is taking legal step to recover money for his
produce, which was soldafter Mrs Chiwenga forcibly evicted him.

In a separate development Geoffrey Nyarota, editor of the Daily News,
Zimbabwe's only independent newspaper, has been charged with "undermining
confidence" in the police by publishing claims of police torture made in
court by an opposition activist.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

ABC News

Zimbabwe Newspaper Editor Charged
Police Charge Zimbabwe Newspaper Editor With Violating Stringent New
Security Laws

The Associated Press

      HARARE, Zimbabwe Oct. 24 - Police have charged the editor of
Zimbabwe's only independent daily newspaper with violating stringent new
security laws, his newspaper reported Thursday.

      Daily News editor Geoff Nyarota was charged Wednesday with
"undermining confidence" in the police by publishing allegations of police
torture given by an opposition activist in court.

      The 51-year-old Nyarota was not held, and no court date has been set
for the case. If convicted, he could face 10 years in prison.

      The charge the latest move in a government crackdown on the media
stemmed from a Daily News story about Thomas Spicer, 18, who testified
police tortured him last month with beatings and electric shocks.

      Police Inspector Charles Mavhangira said the story was, "either wholly
or materially false."

      Nyarota stood by the Daily News story.

      "The statements published were on the basis of firsthand information
and the source of information was disclosed. Publication was in the public
interest," he said, according to the Daily News.

      Spicer's mother, filmmaker Edwina Spicer, said medical reports backed
up her son's case.

      "Tom could hardly walk and his mouth was lacerated from electric
shocks they applied on him," she said. Her son is out on bail and being
treated in South Africa.

      Nyarota has won awards for his work from the United Nations, the World
Newspaper Congress, and Human Rights Watch. In recent months, he has been
repeatedly charged with violating Zimbabwe's new security and media laws.

      Copyright 2002 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

POACHING: Snares continue to kill and injure many thousands of wild animals in National Parks and throughout Zimbabwe. On the game count, observers saw a number of animals with apparent snare injuries, including a number of elephant with injuries to the legs and trunk. Two young elephant with leg injuries have been immobilized and treated by volunteers from the research teams in the park. This month, Sharon Pincott of the elephant research project, in her newsletter "LETTERS FROM ZIMBABWE" gives us a touching story about one such animal. It shows that many people care deeply about our animals, and are willing to take substantial personal risks to help them.

"LETTERS FROM ZIMBABWE" (No. 28) - 18 September 2002 by Sharon Pincott

The day dawned like any other, but today we would change a life - an elephant’s life. With all of the permissions now in place, we prepared to remove the tight wire embedded deep in the right back leg of a little 4-year-old calf. For the last few weeks the snared elephant family had been drinking regularly at Kanondo pan on the ‘Touch the Wild’ estate. A small family of only 8, with 3 adult females, they hadn’t wandered far from the pan, the snared calf clearly unable to walk long distances. Today I would go to Kanondo pan earlier than normal to await their arrival. Would today be the day that they didn’t arrive? I felt somewhat nervous and uneasy. The head Painted Hunting Dog researcher soon joined me. With dangerous drugs license and extensive darting experience, he was key to the operation. Both mother and baby would need to be immobilised, and he would be the one to do this.

There were now ‘plenty plus’ elephants around the pan. There were many different family groups present. Too many, I feared, although I knew that some would soon move off. Through binoculars, I sighted the snared elephant family. The horrific snare wound was getting worse by the day. The little snared elephant kept his foot in the air and swung it backwards and forwards at every opportunity. It was very swollen, very infected and clearly very painful. I radioed for backup. ‘Touch the Wild’ armed support and National Parks representatives quickly arrived. We positioned ourselves. From the back of open 4WD, the head Painted Hunting Dog researcher took aim with the first dart. It was a tranquiliser, and it was directed at the snared calf’s mother. She would potentially cause us the biggest threat. Rather than bring her completely down it was agreed that she would instead be tranquilised so that she would continue to stand, albeit in a sedated state.

The dart hit. A pink-feathered dart now protruded from her rump. Shocked by the sting of the dart she ran a few paces, and then continued to move off. More tranquiliser was needed. A second dart had already been prepared. It was a perfect hit once again, and now she had two pink-feathered darts in her rump. She moved off further into the bush, while we did some 4WD ‘bush bashing’ to keep up with her. The family group moved with her, the snared calf at her heels. We waited. Although she was clearly feeling the effects of the tranquiliser, a third tranquiliser dart was fired from ground level, with armed support, just to be sure that she was properly sedated. Although she was vocalising, the other family members stayed a short distance away. A big old bull came to harass her, and us, but thankfully he soon moved off.

It was time now to administer the immobilising drug to the calf. Fired again from ground level, with armed support, it was another perfect hit. In no time at all, the calf was down. Now the family group moved in. One adult female stayed longer than the rest, but she too soon ran off. It was a different, much better scenario than we all had expected. Why didn’t the family group stay with the tranquilised mother and the immobilised calf? Was it because the mother (who is also the matriarch) was still standing, and appeared to still be in control? Was it because she communicated in infrasound, a vocalisation that we could not hear, and warned the other family members of perceived danger? Was she in such a tranquilised state that she was not capable of communicating properly, and this scared the family group more than anything else? So many questions will remain unanswered.

Whatever the reasons, we were soon presented with the ideal environment - the calf down on his side, the mother in a ‘standing immobilised’ position close by, and no family members in the immediate vicinity. It was a little disconcerting working on a calf with mum standing just metres away. Everything continued to go like clockwork however. Armed support kept guard while multiple strands of ridiculously thick twisted wire was removed from the snared leg. Massive amounts of antibiotics were injected. Water was continuously sprayed on and under the calf’s ear to keep him cool. Working quickly, the reversal was soon administered and the calf, after a long deep snort, scrambled to his feet and walked straight on over to his mother’s side. Joy. Relief. Pride. We smiled. We hugged. The sweet smell of success. The head Painted Hunting Dog researcher walking up to the ‘standing immobilised’ mother to remove the three pink darts from her rump and to administer a reversal, all by hand, definitely wasn’t in the original game plan. Thankfully he’s still around to tell the story!

Next day, I sighted the family of 8 drinking again at Kanondo pan. It was confirmation of a job well done. The family unit was back together. The calf was putting more weight on his little injured leg. The family showed no signs of agitation at my close presence, despite their recent ordeal. I said a quiet thank you. The antibiotics will help the horrific wound to heal. If needs be, more antibiotics will be administered using a dart gun, without the need for a second immobilization. Kind donations of monies for drugs help make everything possible. It’s true. We can all help to make a difference.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

CTV Canada

Zimbabwe speeding toward catastrophic famine

By Sandra Dimitrakopoulos, CTV News Staff
Zimbabwe was once called the bread basket of Africa. Today, it is a place
where millions are facing starvation and the hope of food is fading as white
farmers are forced off their land.
"In our community, we don't have anything to help us," says one woman from
Marambinda, Zimbabwe. "And there is not enough sufficient food."
According to the United Nations World Food Programme, a total of 14.4
million people are starving in southern Africa -- a whopping 6.7 million in
Zimbabwe alone.
Zimbabwe's government blames a 20-year drought, but it is clear the
controversial land reform program that calls for the redistribution of land
owned by white farmers to blacks -- many of whom are President Robert
Mugabe's supporters -- has played a part.
In many regions, the farmland has been divided up into plots to be given to
landless blacks.
However, it seems as if much of the land goes to supporters of Mugabe's
Zanu-PF party. Turning the land into plots could also mean the end of
commercial farming.
The UN already feeds six million people in the country, but international
experts are warning Zimbabwe is moving past the brink. Its next harvest
could be so meagre, the famine could become catastrophic. Even aid agencies
may be powerless to help.
"UNICEF is supporting supplementary feeding programs in the five districts
totalling 189,000 children under five," says Mayke Hurgbregts Elfving of
Meanwhile, food aid from foreign countries has become scarce amid reports
that Mugabe is denying food to regions supporting the opposition political
parties. Last week, the UN stopped delivering food to one area where
political intimidation had become intolerable.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Jongwe's Death Sparks Debate

The Herald (Harare)

October 23, 2002
Posted to the web October 23, 2002


THE tragic death of Learnmore Jongwe is the latest high profile incident
which has sparked fresh debate about 'ngozi' (avenging spirits) in
Zimbabwe's social and political circles.

And already sociologists say the death of one of Zimbabwe's youngest
lawmakers in a prison cell could be related to the 'ngozi' of his wife,
Rutendo, who died after being allegedly stabbed by Jongwe at their home in

"When you do strange things they also lead you into strange things," says
University of Zimbabwe sociologist, Mr Claude Mararike. "Strange deeds lead
into strange deeds."

"Mukadzi wake apfuka. Ndozvazvinoita, ingozi iyi," he says. "All Africans
will give you that interpretation."

Jongwe (28), an MDC Member of Parliament for Kuwadzana was facing charges of
murdering his wife in July.

He was denied bail several times on the grounds that he was likely to
abscond or harm himself.

A post-mortem report revealed that there was a savage and brutal attack on
Rutendo with a formidable weapon, a kitchen knife.

"You don't spill blood and get away with it in our African culture,"
Mararike says. "This is instant revenge on the part of the aggrieved spirit.
The white Roman Dutch Law does not help to handle such matters."

He says even if one goes to court, pays bail and is freed, blood spilt is
too sacred to set one free.

"These are not matters that can be dealt through the white man's court," he
argues. "You will never be free even if the white man's court sets you

He says the Jongwe tragedy should send a frisson of alarm to all young

"Young people must learn that if you do such a thing you will never be
free," he says. "The ngozi will eventually catch up with you."

Other sociologists say this is the beginning of a big scale of trouble for
the Jongwe family.

"The Jongwe family never attended the burial of Rutendo nor did we hear of
moves to appease their in-laws," says a sociologist who declined to be

"A pall of gloom will continue to hang over the Jongwe family unless they
take the traditional route to appease the Muushas."

At her burial, Rutendo's father Mr Chino Muusha deplored Jongwe's violent
behaviour and said he wished Jongwe could die in the same manner his
daughter had died.

"My daughter died violently and painfully. I am not a judge but if I were
one, I would have ordered that Learnmore should die in the same manner that
my daughter died so that he felt the pain," said Mr Muusha emotionally.

"God is for us all and judges will do their job."

Some commentators say the Jongwe tragedy will rock future hopes of the two
remaining MDC legislators, Tafadzwa Musekiwa and Job Sikhala and the party's

"When they came in they were branded as the new breed of young Turks," said
a commentator who declined to be named. "They made history but I think there
was a lot of pressure on them."

The trio made history in the June 2000 parliamentary election by beating
seasoned politicians to win tickets to Parliament.

But, just as they climbed the mountain, commentators say the trio was
overwhelmed by the vertigo's standing.

"Student politics is different from real national politics," says one
analyst. "This partly explains the Jongwe tragedy - a case of one being
overwhelmed by success at a tender age."

Mr Mararike strongly denies this.

"It's not success," he says. "It's just that he did not manage his social
life properly."

Dr Vimbai Chivaura, a UZ social commentator says people should not make
mileage on the misfortune of the Jongwe family.

"People should be sympathetic and help the two families to come together,"
he says. "My sympathy is with the baby (the couple's baby). We engage in
politics to build the nation, not to celebrate other people's misery."

Already, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai is now using the death of Jongwe to
evoke political support from his western backers by blaming President Mugabe
for the death of Jongwe despite pending investigations by the police.

"We hold the Mugabe regime accountable for the death of Jongwe," he said.

Jongwe was born on April 28 1974 in Zhombe in the Midlands province.

He did his primary education at Samambwa Primary School from 1982 to 1989
and his secondary education at Nyaradzo High School.

He did his 'A' levels at Gweru Adventist High School.

After completing his 'A' levels, he enrolled at the University of Zimbabwe
in 1995 for a Bachelor of Laws Honours degree.

Between 1995 and 1996, he was an executive member of Zimbabwe Law Students
Association and was UZ's Student Union president between 1996 and 1997.

He was elected president of the Zimbabwe National Students Union during the
same period.

Jongwe graduated in 1999 and joined a Harare-based legal firm before he went
into politics full-time when the MDC was formed.

He contested and won the Kuwadzana seat in the June 2000 parliamentary

His demise started in July when he stabbed his wife several times after a

He was arrested for the murder of his wife and the courts denied him bail on
several occasions arguing that Jongwe was likely to abscond or harm himself.

His death closes a sad chapter in the career of one of the youngest
lawmakers in the country.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Group Seeks Intervention on Zim Situation

World Organisation Against Torture (Geneva)

October 23, 2002
Posted to the web October 23, 2002


The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in
the following situation in Zimbabwe.

New Information

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by the International
Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), a member of the OMCT network, of
the release of Raymond Majongwe, the secretary- general of the Progressive
Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ).

According to the information received, Raymond Majongwe has been arrested
two times by the police. His first arrest on October 9 was followed by a
48-hours in police custody during which he was reportedly ill-treated. In
this respect, it is reported that Mr. Majongwe appeared before the court
with a torn shirt and injuries to one eye and an arm. After his release on
bail on October 11, Mr. Majongwe has been re-arrested by the police on
October 16 2002 and released on October 21, after the court found that the
state had failed to make its case against him. It is reported that he is
nevertheless due to appear in court again on October 25, after being charged
under the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), an act that makes it an
offence for "any person who, acting in concert with one or more other
persons, forcibly invades the rights of other people".

Brief reminder of the situation

According to the information received, Raymond Majongwe was a leader of a
strike launched by the PTUZ on October 8, and was arrested for his picket
action, allegedly for threatening teachers who were not involved in the
strike at two schools in the capital, Harare. Two other leaders of the PTUZ,
Innocent Moyo and Enock Paradzayi were allegedly arrested as a result of the
strike, and 627 teachers were dismissed.

It is reported that the teachers went on strike to demand a 100% pay rise
that would compensate their loss of purchasing power following the inflation
of the Zimbabwean currency, the Zimbabwean dollar (Z$), which is currently
running at 135%. In this context, a high school teacher in Zimbabwe
allegedly earn 20'000 Z$ (US$364) a month, which is much less than other
civil servants.

Action Requested

Please write to the Zimbabwean authorities urging them to:

i. guarantee that Raymond Majongwe be given a fair trial before an impartial
and independent civil tribunal;

ii. guarantee an immediate investigation into the circumstances of these
events, identify those responsible, bring them before a competent and
impartial civil tribunal and apply the penal, civil and/or administrative
sanctions provided by law;

iii. call for the immediate reinstatement of the 627 dismissed teachers;

iv. guarantee the respect for economic, social and cultural rights and
labour rights of the workers, including the right to work, the right to fair
wages guaranteeing a decent living for the workers and their families, the
right to form and join trade unions and the right to strike.


. President Robert Mugabe Fax: 263 4 79 03 16 / 263 4 73 46 44.

. Home Affairs Ministry Mr. Dumiso Dabenjwa Fax: 263 4 72 67 16.

Please also write to the embassies of Zimbabwe in your respective country
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Herald

Zanu-PF intensifies campaign for Insiza

From Bulawayo Bureau
ZANU-PF yesterday intensified its onslaught in Insiza constituency with a
trail-blazing campaign spearheaded by at least seven cabinet ministers and
other senior party and Government officials as the ruling party prepares to
wrest the vacant seat during a by-election set for this weekend.

With a day left before the crucial poll, Zanu-PF has emerged as the
favourites to win the election following the ruling party's inroads into the

Cabinet ministers, Professor Jonathan Moyo, Dr Ignatius Chombo, Cde Elliot
Manyika, Cde Kembo Mohadi, Dr Joseph Made, Cde Nicholas Goche and Cde
Sithembiso Nyoni yesterday descended on Insiza and addressed separate
rallies at different parts of the constituency.

Speaking at a meeting with chiefs, headmen and village heads at Avoca
Business Centre, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National
Housing, Dr Chombo said the ruling party had made tremendous gains in
Matabeleland since the June 2000 parliamentary elections and had effectively
wrapped up the Insiza seat.

Zanu-PF won all but two seats during the recent rural council elections in
Insiza district.

"I was in my home area in Zvimba when the results of the council elections
were announced. I could not believe it. We wish to congratulate you for
showing MDC the door.

"Where I come from (Zvimba), we had 28 wards and we won in all of them. MDC
failed to field a single candidate because we said our boundaries were
closed to that party," he said.

Dr Chombo said MDC had lied to the electorate during the 2000 parliamentary

"I am glad you later realised that they were fooling you. When we took land
from whites, they said no . . . don't give land to blacks . . . they are
lazy, they cannot farm.

"They (MDC) were saying that because they are puppets for whites. They could
not say take land from whites when they are working for them.

"Therefore, your Government and President Mugabe saw it fit to give you back
your land . . . you are the rightful owners," he said.

Dr Chombo disclosed that before the end of the year, chiefs would have large
areas under their jurisdiction because of the land reform programme.

"We are taking the land that was rightfully under your (Chiefs) territory
and giving it back to you. (Mr) Tony Blair of Britain says we should give
land back to his children . . . the whites in Zimbabwe. But there is not
even a single black person who owns one acre of land in Britain.

"That is why Cde Mugabe says 'Blair keep your England, I will keep my
Zimbabwe'," he said.

Cde Andrew Langa, the Zanu-PF candidate, locks horns with MDC's Mr Siyabonga
Ncube during the election which begins on Saturday.

Dr Chombo was accompanied by the Zanu-PF Women's League national chairman,
Cde Thenjiwe Lesabe, the deputy Minister of Local Government, Public Works
and national Housing, Chief Fortune Charumbira, Zanu-PF Matabeleland South
provincial chairman, Cde Lloyd Siyoka and Chief Maduna of Insiza.

It was unfair, he said, for white farmers in Matabeleland to own large
tracts of ranches while blacks wallow in unproductive land.

"Here you have the likes of the Goddards and his children who gave each
other land totalling 52 000 hectares. All of you here under Chief Maduna,
your land does not even add up to this. Even Christianity and democracy do
not allow for that kind of selfishness.

"To a white man, democracy is said to be well and alive when the black man
is suffering and poor. They (whites) have corrupted our minds.

"They think they are eternally privileged. We want equality. We want to see
more blacks living alongside whites in the leafy suburbs of Bulawayo," Dr
Chombo said.

MDC had no wish to see blacks empowered. It is a white-funded party created
to serve its masters and perpetuate white supremacy and dominance.

Government will review the allowances for village heads currently pegged at
$1 000 per month.

"Although this is little, it is a gesture from Government in appreciation of
your sterling work. By the end of the year, we will review your allowances
because of the high cost of living," said Dr Chombo.

The people of Insiza had been given a second opportunity to redeem
themselves and vote overwhelmingly for Zanu-PF in the weekend by-election.

"Lets forget about what happened in June 2 000. This time I know we are not
going to fail. You are going to vote for your child (Cde Langa). When you
have voted him in, I know I am going to come back for the victory
celebrations party," he said.

The whole country and parts of the world were keenly watching events in
Insiza as it is a crucial test for both MDC and Zanu-PF.

"The whole world.that includes Britain and the United States are watching
closely what is happening here. You cannot betray us. We will be with you
for the whole week," Dr Chombo said.

Speaking at the same occasion, Chief Charumbira said Government was
committed to assisting traditional leaders.

"Don't lead people astray.Lead them in the right direction.where there is
light," he said.

Today, (Thursday) the ZANU (PF) juggernaut rolls into Chief Sibasa's
homestead to witness the ceremony to switch on electricity at the chief's
home to mark the launch the district's rural electrification programme.

Government announced earlier this year that it would electrify homes of all
chiefs under the expanded rural electrification programme.

Vice President Joseph Msika will officiate at the ceremony, which will be
attended by thousands of people.

ZANU (PF) secretary for the commissariat, Cde Manyika will thereafter
address rallies at Lochard resettlement scheme.

Meanwhile police in Matabeleland South, yesterday issued a provisional order
banning the carrying of weapons in Insiza constituency, where a
parliamentary by-election will be held at the weekend.

The Officer Commanding Gwanda District whose area of jurisdiction also
covers Filabusi and Fort Rixon, Superintendent Lameck Tsoka said after
having considered the security and public order situation, he had decided to
ban the villagers from carrying weapons, which included catapults, machetes,
axes knobkerries, swords, knives and daggers.

"Being a police officer and regulating authority for Gwanda District which
covers Filabusi and Fort Rixon areas that are in Insiza constituency, after
having considered the security and public order situation in the
constituency I do hereby declare that the carrying in public or display in
public the said weapons is prohibited from 23 October to 5 November," said
Sup Tsoka.

The order to ban the carrying of weapons came in the wake of an outbreak of
violent incidents in the constituency last week and at the weekend.

On Saturday police recovered offensive weapons allegedly from some MDC
officials, while six opposition party youths and an official were arrested
for sparking violence at Silalatshani Business Centre.

The weapons included four home-made petrol bombs, two one litre containers
of petrol, several catapults, stones and a two-pound hammer.

On Wednesday last week, 14 MDC activists including Bulawayo councillor,
Alderman Charles Mpofu, were arrested when they attacked the house of ZANU
(PF) candidate, Cde Andrew Langa.

The 14 have since appeared in court facing charges of contravening sections
of the Public Order and Security Act. They were remanded out of custody to 6
November on $5 000 bail each.

At the weekend a ruling party youth, Cde Mkhululi Ncube was struck with an
axe on the head at Inyozani Business Centre.

The Insiza seat, which will be contested by Cde Langa and MDC's Mr Siyabonga
Ncube, fell vacant following the death of the opposition legislator, Mr
George Joe Ndlovu in August.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


      U.N. Warns of Danger of Ethnic Massacres in Congo

            October 23, 2002 09:13 PM ET

      By Irwin Arieff

      UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - A senior U.N. official warned on Wednesday
of the possibility of ethnic massacres in a remote corner of eastern
Democratic Republic of Congo, where clashes have been reported after
incitement of ethnic hatred.

      "We already have some reports of violent killings, where estimates of
the number of dead range from 200 to a thousand," said U.N. Deputy Emergency
Relief Coordinator Carolyn McAskie.

      There have also been reports of children showing up at hospitals with
machete wounds, she told reporters after a visit to the region to assess
humanitarian needs.

      The reports center on mineral-rich Ituri province in northeastern
Congo, near the Ugandan border. The area is near Congo's border with Rwanda
where an estimated 800,000 people were butchered during a 1994 genocide
stemming from ethnic hatred.

      The rapid departure of tens of thousands of Rwandan and Ugandan troops
from eastern Congo in recent weeks, fulfilling agreements intended to end
the civil war, has instead created a dangerous power vacuum in the region,
fueling fresh fighting.

      An estimated two million people have already died and massive human
rights abuses have occurred in Congo's four-year civil war. The conflict,
Africa's biggest war, erupted in 1998 when rebels backed by Uganda and
Rwanda tried to topple Congo's Kinshasa government, which was propped up by
troops from Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia.

      Human rights group Amnesty International urged the U.N. Security
Council last week to prevent "genocide" in Ituri province and accused the
Ugandan army of involvement in mass killings and targeted rape.

      Amnesty International Secretary-General Irene Khan said in a letter to
the United Nations that the area was increasingly seeing "extremist calls
for ethnically pure towns and villages."


      "Extremists who were once on the margins of the ethnic groups are now
in leading positions. As extreme hatred is escalating, Amnesty International
fears that deliberate incitement could lead to the possibility of genocide,"
Khan said.

      She urged the Security Council to increase the number of U.N.
observers in the region to prevent further attacks against civilians and to
ensure that attacks against civilians are investigated and monitored.

      McAskie said the council had asked the U.N. peacekeeping mission in
Congo, known as MONUC, for advice on how to handle the situation.

      "But pure and simple this is beyond MONUC's current mandate," McAskie

      "We have to get the information out," she said. "We have to put
pressure on anybody who might be inciting this."

      Armed clashes between members of the Hema and Lendu ethnic groups have
killed an estimated 50,000 people, mainly civilians, since June 1999 and
forced around 500,000 people to flee Ituri province, Amnesty International

      Residents fleeing the town of Nyankunde in Ituri province told U.N.
observers in nearby Bunia last month that their village was attacked by
tribal warriors and fighters from one of several Ugandan-backed rebel

      Church groups say more than 100 people were killed at Nyankunde town
in Ituri province and 110 others, mostly women and children, were hacked to
death at nearby Bunia in August.

Back to the Top
Back to Index


Mugabe heads for Congo to discuss troop pullout

HARARE, Oct. 23 - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe left for Congo on
Wednesday to discuss withdrawing troops deployed to help Kinshasa fight a
four-year war against rebels and foreign armies, state radio reported.

       Mugabe will meet the leaders of Angola and Namibia, which along with
Zimbabwe, sent thousands of troops to prop up the Congo government in 1998
when Uganda and Rwanda invaded in support of rebel forces.
       Many of the foreign troops have now withdrawn under a series of
accords to end a conflict that has killed two million people.
       ''During the meeting the countries will formalise the withdrawal
process of their forces from the Democratic Republic of Congo,'' the radio
       Harare says it will complete its pullout by the end of October. At
the peak of the war Zimbabwe had 11,000 troops -- a third of its army -- in
       The costly war was unpopular in Zimbabwe and partly blamed for a deep
recession. Critics accuse Mugabe and his top commanders of using the war to
enrich themselves.
       On Monday a United Nations panel said Zimbabwe, Uganda and Rwanda
were still plundering Congo's vast mineral wealth even after announcing
troop withdrawals.
       But Zimbabwe's top general, Vitalis Zvinavashe, rejected the charges
on Tuesday, saying the U.N report was the work Zimbabwe's critics in the
West and others opposed to Harare's support for the Congo government.
       Mugabe's government has become internationally isolated over its
policy of seizing white-owned farms for distribution among the landless
black majority.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

GLOBAL: UNHCR facing shortfall of US $80 million

ABIDJAN, 23 October (IRIN) - The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is facing a shortfall of US $80 million to enable it maintain at "least minimum standards for refugees".

"Unless we get more money by the end of this month, we'll be forced to in November to halt a number of our operations," UNHCR spokesperson Ron Redmond said in Geneva on Tuesday.

Noting that the agency's budget had increased this year primarily because of the huge needs in Afghanistan, whose programme was now fully funded, others, particularly in Africa - were suffering. "To get through the remainder of this year, we still need $80 million to maintain at least minimum standards for refugees," he said.

At the start of the year, the agency needed to raise $802 million for its 2002 annual programmes, but when it became apparent that contributions were not matching needs, it reduced that budget to $726 million in July and then again last week to $710 million. "In all, some $92 million in cuts have already been made this year, affecting both headquarters and the field," he said.

In a letter to top donor governments last week, UNHCR warned that if no new contributions were received by the end of October, the agency would be unable to provide its field offices with the necessary funds they need to carry out their work for November and December, Redmond said.

This could mean a further reduction still in operations, he said, adding that planning for field operations in specific countries required substantial lead time.

"Currently, however, the unpredictable cash flow means we are unable to conform to field offices that they will be able to carry out their plans. This 'hand-to-mouth' situation has led to frustration among field staff and leaves UNHCR with little or no cushion to deal with any new emergencies," he added.

According to Redmond, the agency's most pressing needs "right now" are in Africa, "where we have numerous protracted refugee situations". "But the shortfall is being felt globally," he said.

The affected programmes range from water, health, education and agricultural projects for Eritrean refugees and a reduction in security in Tanzanian camps to cuts in the provision of winter clothes for children in the Caucasus and the cancellation of a planned relocation of refugees in Thailand and Papua New Guinea currently staying in insecure border regions.

Further details available at:

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Business Report

Zimbabwe power firm to privatise operations
Independent Foreign Service
October 24 2002 at 08:14AM
Harare - Zimbabwe's sole electricity provider, the state-owned Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa), was set to commercialise all its
operations by the end of this year, the state-controlled Herald has said.

The commercialisation process intended to reduce the utility company's debt
would be followed by the break-up of Zesa into five separate businesses.

The paper said the new companies
would be the National Power Company, the National Generation Company, the
National Transmission Company, the National Distribution Company and the
Information Technology Centre, or Powertel-Telecommunications Company.

All five companies would be owned by Zesa Holdings, which would manage and
service government debt, the paper said.

Zesa's executive chairman, Sidney Gata, said the Powertel-Telecommunications
Company would provide unlimited opportunities to benefit disadvantaged
communities in rural areas.

He said services such as telephone, data communications and the internet
would become a possibility in all places where power infrastructure was
installed in rural areas.

The company had plans to extend its network into the Southern Africa
Development Community, he said. - Independent Foreign Service
Back to the Top
Back to Index


Thursday, 24 October, 2002, 16:14 GMT 17:14 UK
Zimbabwe tobacco crop 'to halve'

Zimbabwe is the world's second largest tobacco exporter

Zimbabwe's tobacco harvest is expected to have next year due to the difficulties facing farmers.

      We're going to miss the boat on a lot of potential if we can't get the seedlings out there
      Chris Molam, Tobacco Association 
Farm disruptions caused by the land seizures have already reduced this year's tobacco crop to about 162 million kg, from 202 million kg last year.

Now that figure is expected to halve again, with many farmers unable to transplant their seedlings during the critical pre-rain season between 15 October and 15 November.

"We're falling behind," Chris Molam, chief executive of the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association told BBC News Online.

"Farmers haven't been able to get onto the land. November is looming and we really need to get the crop out."

Economists say the reduction of tobacco output could be devastating to the country's ailing economy.


"Tobacco has been earning over 30% of our foreign exchange, and it is the largest employer of labour, so this is going to have quite a dramatic impact," Mr Molam explained.

      Dwindling tobacco harvest 
      2000 - 237m kg
      2001 - 202m kg
      2002 - 162m kg
      2003 forecast -
      70-80m kg 

"It will make a very scarce foreign currency situation pretty dire, especially as we need to import food and fuel."

Farmers are facing other restraints as well as the land reform programme.

Banks are reluctant to lend to farmers due to the increased risks, fertilizer is in short supply and the overall cost of production has increased by 150% over the past year.

Hoping for change

The Zimbabwe Tobacco Association made a presentation about the outlook to the Parliamentary committee on agriculture earlier this month.

The association is now hoping the government will make some changes to help the farmers before the country's Budget is announced on 14 November.

"We're going to miss the boat on a lot of potential if we can't get the seedlings out there," Mr Molam said.

Zimbabwe has been the world's second largest tobacco exporter after Brazil.

But its current plight is likely to see it fall behind China and the US.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

From The Daily Telegraph (UK), 24 October

EU talks moved so Zimbabwe can attend

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in Brussels

European Union foreign ministers came under harsh criticism yesterday for
moving a meeting 5,500 miles so that a Zimbabwe minister can take part
without breaching the "smart sanctions" travel ban. Euro-MPs are outraged
that the venue was changed from Denmark to Mozambique to accommodate Stanley
Mudenge, the Zimbabwean foreign minister. He is not allowed to enter EU
territory under the sanctions, which target leading figures in President
Robert Mugabe's regime. EU foreign ministers were supposed to hold a meeting
with the Southern African Development Community in Copenhagen on Nov 7 and
8. But several delegations from the 14-nation African bloc hinted that they
would boycott the gathering unless the Zimbabwean government was included.
Rather than cancelling the summit - or simply going ahead regardless - the
European Union agreed to move the entire meeting to Mozambique's capital,
Maputo, making a mockery of the travel ban. The decision to switch the
location is a slap in the face of the European Parliament, which passed a
unanimous resolution last month demanding that Mr Mudenge be banned from the
meeting. Geoffrey Van Orden, a Tory MEP and author of the resolution, called
the move "an absolute affront", saying it was yet another example of the
EU's "utter hopelessness" in sticking to a clear line in foreign policy.
"We've agreed to move a whole meeting to Africa to avoid an internal row
within the EU over enforcement of our own sanctions policy. That's what it
amounts to," he said. There have been repeated sightings of Zimbabwe
ministers and officials in Europe even though they are on the visa
blacklist. Last month, it emerged that the trade minister, Samuel
Mumbengegwi, was allowed to stay for a week at a smart hotel in the Brussels
shopping district.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Business Day

UK to probe UN report on plunder of Congo

State will also examine claim that London-listed Anglo and De Beers violated
code of conduct for multinational companies
International Affairs Editor

THE UK government is to look into the United Nations (UN) Security Council
report on resource pillaging in the Democratic Republic of Congo, including
the claim that London-listed mining companies Anglo American and De Beers
have violated a code of conduct for multinational companies.

Anglo American and De Beers, as well as Anglovaal Mining, have said that
they are mystified by the claim, particularly as they do not operate in the

No evidence is given in the report for listing in an appendix 85 companies
considered to have violated Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development (OECD) guidelines for multinational companies.

The nonlegally binding OECD guidelines cover a wide range of issues in
business ethics, including employment and labour relations, environment,
information disclosure, competition, financing, taxation and science and
technology practices.

The UK trade and industry department says a process of "Whitehall
Consultation" among government departments will look into all the
allegations made in the report.

If it comes out that UK-registered companies did violate the OECD code, they
could be named and shamed. This could result in increasing pressure from
nongovernmental organisations and damage to the credibility of their
commitment to sustainable development practices.

There is also no evidence presented for the same claim against SA-based
mining companies Banro Corporation, Orion and Zincor, traders AH Pong &
Sons, Carson Products, and Mercantile CC.

While the report does not give a basis for its claim of violations of the
guidelines, it does give extensive evidence for the pillaging activities of
military-criminal syndicates linked to the Congolese, Rwandan, Ugandan and
Zimbabwean armies. Rwandan, Ugandan and Zimbabwean officials have denied the
claims in the report.

The SA foreign affairs department said it was studying the report, but would
not respond with a course of action until after today's Security Council
talks on the matter. At the panel's press conference in New York today,
questions are likely to be asked about the evidence for its claiming that
the 85 companies have violated the OECD guidelines.

The publication of the list of companies said to have violated OECD
guidelines could be an attempt by the panel to put pressure on governments
to pursue their own investigations. It could also induce NGOs to conduct
their own investigations.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe left Harare for Kinshasa
yesterday to attend a summit to formalise the pullout of Zimbabwean troops
from the Congo, state media reported.

Mugabe will be joined today by presidents Sam Nujoma of Namibia and Jose
Eduardo dos Santos of Angola for the summit with President Joseph Kabila of
the Congo, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation reported.

The three countries intervened militarily in 1998 to shore up the government
of late president Laurent Kabila in a war against the Congo and Ugandan and
Rwandanbacked rebels.

The UN secretary-general's special envoy to the Congo had announced that
this resumption of "interCongolese dialogue", hosted and mediated by SA,
would take place on Friday through to Sunday.

Zimbabwe still has about 1500 troops in the Congo, and an unspecified number
of Angolan soldiers remain in the country, where they deployed in 1998 to
back Kinshasa against rebels supported by Rwanda and Uganda.

Namibia pulled out all its soldiers from the Congo last year, in line with a
peace accord for the vast central African state.

The accord was initially signed by the belligerents in 1999, but has taken a
long time to get off the ground. With Sapa-AFP
Oct 24 2002 12:00:00:000AM Jonathan Katzenellenbogen Business Day 1st
Back to the Top
Back to Index