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

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Associated Press

U.S. Accuses Zimbabwe of Harassment
Mon Sep 30, 4:47 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AP) - The State Department said Monday that President Robert
Mugabe's Zimbabwean government has engaged in "a continuing pattern of
harassment" of political opponents leading up to local elections during the

Spokesman Richard Boucher cited reports of violence and unlawful
intimidation of members of the opposition party.

He said five opposition youth leaders were arrested last Thursday and remain
in detention, although no charges have been filed.

"If the reports of beating and torture of the youth leaders are true, that
would constitute a serious human rights violation and another indication of
continuing degradation of the rule of law in Zimbabwe," Boucher said.
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Washington Times

Forced transfers of farms threatened
By Nicole Itano

     JOHANNESBURG - South Africa, while pledging to avoid the violence and
lawlessness over land reform in neighboring Zimbabwe, nevertheless is
threatening to forcibly transfer white-owned farms to landless blacks.
     The government says land reform must move more quickly if it is to meet
its target of redistributing 30 percent of the country's commercial
farmland - most of which is owned by the country's white minority - to
blacks by 2015.
     The land ministry, however, has reiterated promises that reform will
take place within the law, unlike in Zimbabwe, where vigilante groups and
government forces have seized nearly 3,000 white-owned farms without
     "If the process of negotiations fails irrevocably, then we have the
option of invoking the right of the state to expropriate land in the public
interest," Gilingwe Mayende, director-general for land affairs, has told the
South African Business Report.
     "Property rights are protected by our constitution, but the
constitution says these property rights must be balanced against the public
interest and the nation's commitment to land reform."
     In Zimbabwe, thousands of white farmers have been driven from their
land, and millions of people face starvation as a drop in commercial
agricultural production is compounded by a severe drought.
     As in Zimbabwe, the vast majority of South Africa's most productive
farmland is white-owned.
     According to government estimates, 87 percent of commercial land is
owned by whites and 13 percent by blacks. The country's largest farming
union disputes those figures, saying about 60 percent of the country's
farmland is commercial property owned by whites.
     An estimated 3.5 million black South Africans were driven from their
homes during the 46 years of apartheid, or racial separation.
     Voluntary attempts to redistribute land since the end of apartheid have
yielded poor results.
     Little of the 4 percent to 6 percent of agricultural land placed on the
market each year has been purchased by blacks. Also, fewer than half the
claims for restitution have been settled, most of those in cash rather than
a transfer of landownership.
     The nation's largest farming union, Agri South Africa, which represents
about 40,000 mainly white commercial farmers and about 30,000 smaller-scale
black farmers, says the biggest problem is the scarcity of blacks willing to
become commercial farmers.
     "The whole feeder process of finding and training the right candidates
is going to take time," said Jack Raath, chairman of Agri South Africa.
     "If you just want to transfer land and not have any development, that's
easy. But experience has shown that you have to have the right beneficiaries
if you want to maintain competitiveness and profitability."
     But critics of the South African program say the government must be
more proactive about acquiring land. Without faster movement on land issues,
they warn, farm invasions could begin.
     "We think we need to revisit the fundamentals of land reform in this
country, especially the willing-seller, willing-buyer ideology," said Zakes
Hlatshweyo, chairman of the National Land Committee, a South African land
lobby group.
     "After eight years of democratic rule and social transformation, very
little has happened insofar as the transfer of land is concerned," Mr.
Hlatshweyo said.
     Mr. Hlatshweyo's organization says that at the current pace of
purchasing land for redistribution, it would take at least 215 years to meet
the government's stated target of 30 percent black ownership.
     Along with other groups operating under the banner of the Landless
People's Movement, the lobbyists have threatened to begin invading unused
public and private land if reform continues to drag.
     To date, however, law-enforcement officials have dealt swiftly with
illegal attempts to occupy land in South Africa.
     Only once in the country's post-apartheid history has the government
tried to force the sale of farmland. In that case, a farmer refused a
government offer to purchase his property after a special commission ruled
that the land had been taken illegally from black owners during apartheid.
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Zim police tortured us - MDC members
Posted Tue, 01 Oct 2002

Five young opposition members who appeared in a Zimbabwe court on Monday
charged with public violence say they were tortured by police while in

The most severely tortured was a white 18-year-old member of the group,
Thomas Spicer, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said in a

In applying for bail their lawyer, Romauldo Mavedzenge, told the magistrate
that he wanted it placed on record that "assault or physical abuse" had been
committed against his clients while in jail.

The MDC statement said the group was arrested on Thursday evening and
assaulted in police custody. Spicer received electric shocks and was beaten
on the soles of his feet.

Spicer, whose fluency in the local Shona language and popularity in the
country's townships has made him something of an MDC mascot, was helped into
the dock by another member of the group.

The MDC said the five had been denied access to their lawyer, and were
charged with public violence under the country's notorious Public Order and
Security Act (POSA).

"This is not an isolated incident," Newton Spicer, his father told reporters
outside the court. "Tom represents thousands of youths across the country
who've been abused in this way."

The five were remanded out of custody until October 23 on Z$10 000 (US$181)
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Washington File

; 30 September 2002
State Department Briefing Transcript - extract
(Rwanda, Iraq, Department, Georgia, European Union, Zimbabwe, Morocco,
Cote d'Ivoire) (6770)

QUESTION: On that point, any new ICC deals, Article 98 agreements,
since? Are you still at 12, or have you managed to get another one?

MR. BOUCHER: I'm not aware of any new ones today, but there are always
numerous negotiations underway.

QUESTION: No, no, I've got a couple. I've got two election questions.
You didn't seem to think that Zimbabwe was going to have a very decent
local election. You said the prospects for it being free and fair were
"dismal" on Friday. I'm wondering if that is still -- were they
"dismal" elections? And yes, I'm going to ask about Morocco.

MR. BOUCHER: Well, we've not yet seen definitive results for the
weekend's election. But we note a number of incidents -- Sunday, a
member of Parliament from the opposition was arrested for refusing to
vacate his farm; he remains in detention. Last Thursday, five
opposition youth leaders were arrested; they remain in detention,
although no charges have been filed.

We think there is a continuing pattern of harassment by Zimbabwe
authorities against political opposition and its leadership. These
incidents increased in frequency leading up to the elections on the
28th and 29th of September. They appear to be further attempts at
violence and unlawful intimidation of members of the opposition party.

If the reports of the beating and torture of the youth leaders are
true, that would constitute a serious human rights violation, and
another indication of the continuing degradation of the rule of law in

As I noted, the Government of Zimbabwe, we think, did not take the
necessary steps to ensure conditions for a fair and credible
democratic election, and failed to ensure that all parties and
candidates were able to participate; to condemn and punish
election-related violence; and to follow transparent and equitable
registration procedures for all candidates. So that's the way it
turned out.
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      Britain pledges 7 mln pounds to end Africa wars

      UK: October 1, 2002

      BLACKPOOL, England - Britain pledged an extra seven million pounds
($11 million) yesterday to support efforts to end years of armed conflict in
four African countries.

      International Development Secretary Clare Short told the ruling Labour
Party's annual conference that the money would fund "relief and
rehabilitation to help drive forward the peace in Angola, (Democratic
Republic of) Congo, Sudan and Rwanda".
      The sum was in addition to 29 million pounds Britain already committed
to Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan, officials said.

      Short said Britain sent a team of six humanitarian specialists to
southern Africa to help tackle a growing regional food crisis.

      It was also funding restoration of a rail link into landlocked Malawi,
one of the six countries facing the most severe food shortages, to allow the
shipment of an extra 10,000 tonnes of food a month, she added.

      British officials said more than a quarter of Malawi's population will
need food aid by next March and the improved rail link is essential to U.N.
World Food Programme efforts to get supplies to those in need.

      Short said Britain was funding feeding programmes for 1.3 million
people in Zimbabwe, where she said farm seizures approved by President
Robert Mugabe had brought ruin.

      "There is serious drought in southern Africa. And I am very fearful
that the disastrous policies of the Mugabe regime have exacerbated the
drought and are likely to turn a natural disaster into a terrible human
catastrophe," she said.

      The United Nations said this month that more than 14 million people
face starvation in southern Africa where drought, HIV-AIDS and politics are
blamed for the region's worst food crisis in a decade.

      Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho are among
the hardest hit.
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Natal Witness

SADC to reprimand Mugabe

As Zim resorts to torture


Southern African ministers meeting in Angola said on Monday they will
deliver a stern message to Zimbabwe to resolve a crisis threatening investor
confidence in the region.

Foreign and trade ministers from the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) are holding two days of talks before their leaders arrive for a
summit tomorrow.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's land policies and his disputed
re-election in March are not on the agenda, but ministers say they will
still raise concerns.

"We have to resolve the governance issue. We cannot be punished for the
mistakes of one country - Zimbabwe," Mauritian minister Anil Gayan said.

SADC has criticised Mugabe's seizure of white-owned farms, which has
shattered investor confidence in the region.

Meanwhile, in Zimbabwe five young opposition members who appeared in a
Zimbabwe court yesterday charged with public violence say they were tortured
by police while in custody.

The most severely tortured was a white 18-year-old member of the group,
Thomas Spicer, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said.

The MDC said the group were arrested on Thursday and assaulted by police.
Spicer received electric shocks and was beaten on the soles of his feet.

Spicer, whose fluency in Shona and popularity in the townships have made him
something of an MDC mascot, had to be helped into the dock by another member
of the group.

The MDC said the five were denied access to their lawyer.

"This is not an isolated incident," his father Newton Spicer told reporters
outside the court. "Tom represents thousands of youths across the country
who've been abused in this way."

The five were bailed for Z$10 000 (U.S.$181) each.

In South Africa the Democratic Alliance said it wants National Assembly
Speaker Dr Frene Ginwala to contact her counterpart in Harare to urge him to
take up the case of arrested MDC MP Roy Bennet with Mugabe.

"Parliaments are the heart of any functioning democracy. We cannot turn a
blind eye to harassment of members of parliament by intolerant governments,"
DA MP Andries Botha said yesterday.

Bennet, his wife, bodyguard, and a South African friend, were arrested at
the weekend for supposedly contravening Zimbabwe's Land Acquisition Act.

Botha said the charges are spurious.

"I am extremely concerned that this may be the start of a campaign targeted
at opposition MPs in Zimbabwe.

"Mugabe has already told David Coulthard MP that the only place he belongs
in Zimbabwe is in jail."

Botha said he raised the issue in a letter to Ginwala. Ginwala was not
immediately available for comment.
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Zimbabwe ruling party seals victory
Tuesday, October 1, 2002 Posted: 0035 GMT

HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) -- President Robert Mugabe's ruling party won the
majority of seats in weekend council elections in Zimbabwe, sealing its grip
on its traditional rural power base, state radio reported on Monday.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),

which won 12 of the seats announced by late on Monday, says 700 of its
candidates were barred from registering or intimidated from running in the
polls, in which 1,400 seats were up for grabs.

ZANU-PF's victory was largely expected. "The ruling ZANU-PF party has taken
a commanding lead in the just-ended local government elections, clinching 72
of the 86 wards announced so far," the state radio said.

On Sunday, the MDC said it had received reports from various parts of the
country showing ZANU-PF had stepped up violence to prevent Zimbabweans from
voting freely.

It said Roy Bennett, an opposition legislator, and eight others, including
his bodyguard, had been detained.

But Police Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said on Monday only three
people were arrested and that they were likely to appear in court on Tuesday
charged with disrupting the election process at a polling station.

He said Bennett would also face charges of defying government orders to
vacate his farm.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher repeated the U.S.
view that the Zimbabwean government had not taken steps to ensure the
elections were free and fair.

"We think there's a continuing pattern of harassment by Zimbabwe authorities
against the political opposition and its leadership. These incidents
increased in frequency leading up to the elections," he told a daily

"The government ... failed to ensure that all parties and candidates were
able to participate, to condemn and punish election-related violence, and to
follow transparent and equitable registration procedures for all the
candidates. So that's the way it turned out," he said.

The MDC, which accuses Mugabe of stealing victory in a presidential election
in March, said Mugabe had resorted to political violence in the council
elections because he knew he would lose any free and fair poll.

The ruling party dismissed the charges of intimidation as lies.

Zimbabwe has been in turmoil since pro-government militants began invading
white-owned farms in early 2000 in support of the government's drive to
redistribute the farms among landless blacks.

Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, says the
controversial land reform programme is aimed at correcting colonial
injustice, which left 70 percent of the country's best land in the hands of
whites who form less than one percent of Zimbabwe's population.

The opposition says the land policies have contributed to a severe food
shortage which is affecting nearly seven million people, or half the
population. The government insists the shortages are solely the result of
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            US says Zimbabwe elections were not free and fair
            October 01, 2002, 05:30

            The United States yesterday decried weekend local elections in
Zimbabwe, saying government harassment of opposition supporters and
candidates had destroyed the credibility of the vote.

            "The government of Zimbabwe did not take the necessary steps to
ensure conditions for a fair and credible, democratic election," Richard
Boucher, a state department spokesperson, said. "It failed to ensure that
all parties and candidates were able to participate to condemn and punish
election-related violence and to follow transparent and equitable
registration procedures for all the candidates. That's the way it turned

            Boucher, who had said the prospects for the elections being
free, fair and credible were "dismal", noted that harassment of the
opposition had increased ahead of weekend voting. He cited reports of an
opposition member of parliament being arrested Sunday and the arrests
Thursday of five opposition youth leaders, who were allegedly beaten and
tortured. "They appear to be further attempts at violence and unlawful
intimidation of members of the opposition party."

            Zimbabwe's state radio has reported that President Robert
Mugabe's ruling party had won the majority of seats in the local polls.
Since just under half the seats were uncontested in the two-day weekend
poll, the result is unlikely to come as a surprise. The opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) said 699 of its candidates had been barred from
registering or intimidated into not standing, effectively handing victory to
Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) in
half of all wards.

            The opposition filed a last minute bid to have the elections
postponed on the basis of intimidation. The application was however thrown
out by a High Court judge. - Sapa-AFP
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Vanguard (Nigeria)

      US supports Africa's new partnership for development


      Tuesday 1st October, 2002

      By Brimah Kamara, with agency reports

      The United States fully supports the African initiative called the New
Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and is hopeful that it will
make a difference in people's lives, US Assistant Secretary of State for
African Affairs has said. Speaking at a press briefing at the foreign press
center in New York, Assistant Secretary Walter Kansteiner said: "There are a
lot of similarities between NEPAD and president Bush's Millennium Challenge
Account initiative." The Millennium Challenge Account, highlighted by
President Bush at the Monterrey conference, will increase US direct
assistance 50% over a three-year period.

      Every year $5,000 million in new money will go to developing nations
that are governed wisely and fairly, that are strongly committed to
investing in health and education, and that follow economic policies that
encourage and spur growth.

      NEPAD was launched by the Organization of African Unity, now the
African Union, at its summit in Lusaka in 2001. The plan is a partnership
between African leaders and their people and between states within Africa
based on a commitment to good governance, zero tolerance for corruption,
democracy, sound management of the economy, and conflict prevention. In
addition, NEPAD calls for a new partnership between Africa and the
international community, especially the industrialized countries.

      Kansteiner pointed out that the philosophies behind the Millennium
Challenge Account and NEPAD are similar. " Good governance, delivery system
to the people-primary health care and education and economic freedoms and
liberties," he said. "So there is a lot of crossover and a lot of
commonality in the Millennium Challenge Account, and that is why we take
NEPAD seriously and we are hopeful that it does more than just talk, but
that there is implementation," the assistant secretary said.

      The General Assembly held a daylong high-level meeting on NEPAD
September 17 and in a resolution the body expressed support for the
initiative and its goals of economic development, peace and stability, good
governance, democracy, and respect for human rights. The assembly hailed the
plan because it is led, and managed by the African Union.

      "We welcome the commitment of African countries to take effective and
concrete measures....through the establishment of various institutions and
mechanisms and the development of strategies for the implementation of the
new partnership for Africa's development. This commitment reflects the
recognition that the primary responsibility for the implementation of the
partnership rests with the African governments and peoples," the resolution

      Kansteiner pointed out that a main difference between NEPAD and
previous plans for Africa is that "the core of NEPAD's theology is a notion
that good governance is not only expected, but good governance is going to
be required of African governments".

      "The implementation component of that is the neighbors-other African
states-are going to expect their colleagues to have good governance and
practice good governance," he said.

      The assistant secretary said that Secretary of State Collin Powell
briefly mentioned Zimbabwe in his speech to the session on Africa as "a
warning" of what can happen. "We specifically brought up Zimbabwe
example of what happens when you don't pay attention to good governance,
when you don't pay attention to the issues NEPAD is surrounding itself with.
You end up with a failed country like Zimbabwe," he said.

      Kansteiner said US-South African relations are "excellent" and were
not affected by former South African President Nelson Mandela's criticisms
of the US position on Iraq.

      He suggested that in light of President Bush's General Assembly speech
emphasizing US willingness to work with the Security Council and the
UN...which won the support of the international community for the US
position, Mandela's position may have changed.

      President Bush met with Central African leaders and the presidents of
South Africa, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Powell also held
bilateral meetings with President Paul Biya of Cameroon and President
Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria while attending the General Assembly session.

      The assistant secretary said that the United States looks forward to
working with the African Countries on a wide range of issues from helping
Gabon establish national parks and protecting unique ecosystems throughout
Africa to fighting HIV/AIDS.
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Howard calls for Zimbabwe action
10.20AM BST, 25 Sep 2002

Australian Prime Minister John Howard has said that Zimbabwe should be fully
suspended from the Commonwealth.

As the situation currently stands, Robert Mugabe's regime is suspended from
the councils of the Commonwealth and full suspension would be the next step.

Mr Howard, South African president Thabo Mbeki and Nigeria's Olusegun
Obasanjo were asked by other Commonwealth leaders at their summit in
Australia earlier this year to monitor the situation in Zimbabwe and
recommend any further action.

But the three leaders - or "Troika", as they are known - failed to agree on
the way forward.

Mr Howard said: "I was arguing with the Troika we should move immediately to
fully suspend Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth because of the failure of
Zimbabwe to show any sensitivity at all to Commonwealth opinion."

"I'm concerned, if we just remain mute and indifferent, that democratic
governance, which is a central Commonwealth value, will just go by the

"I don't believe that in a situation like this you should just have the
lowest common denominator as a position."

"I think there is widespread resentment around the Commonwealth about how
Zimbabwe has behaved," he said.

With the Troika failing to agree on action, Australia may choose to go it
alone and impose sanctions against Zimbabwe, following the lead of the
European Union and United States.

Mr Howard also disclosed that he had spoken to Prime Minister, Tony Blair
about the issue and added: "We have to be absolutely consistent and
steadfast in defending the democratic principle."
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Daily News

      Lawyer files urgent application for cops to present Bennet

      10/1/02 8:12:33 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Mutare

      AN urgent application for the police to produce detained MDC MP Roy
Bennet was yesterday filed in the High Court by his lawyer, Arnold Tsunga.

      Bennet, the MP for Chimanimani was arrested on Sunday in unclear
      Since his arrest, Bennet's whereabouts and his condition were still
unknown by yesterday.

      Tsunga said: "The police have frustrated all my efforts to represent
Bennet. They have blatantly refused to make him available and I do not know
whether he is dead or alive. I have filed an urgent application in the High
Court for them to produce him."

      Bennet's wife, Heather, arrested together with her husband but later
released, said an officer at Chimanimani police station, whom she identified
only as Dhliwayo, informed her Bennet was transferred to Middle Sabi police

      But Zacharia Mutize, the deputy provincial police spokesman, said he
was unaware of the MP's whereabouts and referred all questions to his
senior, Edmund Maingire, the provincial police spokesman.

      Maingire was not available yesterday.

      Bennet was arrested about 5km from his farm in Chimanimani together
with his wife and two other people, Mike Makaza and Stewart Girvin, a

      Heather said she heard loud screams from the area where Makaza was
being detained.

      Bennet has in the past resisted several eviction attempts by
government officials to move him off his Charleswood estate.
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Daily News

      Kunonga asks court to bar parishioners

      10/1/02 8:14:03 AM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporter Lloyd Mudiwa

      ANGLICAN Bishop Nolbert Kunonga wants the leadership and choir of the
Cathedral of St Mary and All Saints in Harare banned from attending services
and visiting church buildings in the Harare diocese.

      He said they had allegedly disrupted church services by joining other
parishioners in accusing him of abusing his position by preaching pro-Zanu
PF sermons.

      Kunonga has filed an application in the civil magistrates' courts in
Harare for a temporary order barring the leadership and choir members from
disrupting services and from visiting his home in Chisipite.

      The leadership includes two wardens; Ambrose Chikukwa and Newton
Nyamupingidza, and 12 councillors: Llewlyn Nhamo, Albert Nhamoyebonde,
Chenai Chitakunye, Sekai Chibaya, Pauline Makoni, Winnie Murape, Merjory
Chombe, Graham Gilmour, Stanley Tsingo, George Mapuwire, Walter Gwete and
Solomon Rondozai.

      The choir members are: Thompson Mapuranga, Emmanuel Makanza, Florence
Gambiza, Bernard Kafesu and Canford Danga.

      Kunonga wants them prevented from visiting his offices at Paget-Pax
house, the Cathedral and its parking bay and holding meetings, apart from
church services.
      He wants Nhamo, a councillor, ordered to surrender the keys to a
number of church buildings.

      Kunonga is seeking an order directing the Standard Chartered Bank
Zimbabwe Limited to freeze the account opened by the church's wardens and

      In his founding affidavit, Kunonga says he is applying for the orders
against the
      19 church members because of a number of events.

      He said he was supposed to have certified Chikukwa and Nyamupingidza's
election as wardens within 14 days after the voting on 18 August, but had
resumed duties before 25 August when they were to be admitted into office.

      "The wardens have taken it upon themselves to subvert the authority
      by myself," he said.

      "They are acting contrary to their duties to the detriment of the
church in that they met with the 12 councillors on 22 August where the
council resolved to 'fight Kunonga'."

      He said they opened a bank account with Standard Chartered Bank in the
Cathedral's name when there was an account already operational.

      Councillors and choir members were not diligently performing their
duties, he said.

      The choir, Kunonga said, refused to provide music during the service
on 9 June
      resulting in him banning it from participating in the church's

      The wardens and councillors later issued an "illegal directive" to the
parish to disrupt proceedings during services, he said.

      Kunonga said: "They led the congregation on 23 June into singing
uncontrollably, resulting in Father Manyau failing to conduct the service."

      Three other reverends - Leonard Muzhingi, Wilfred Zhuwankinyu and
Linos Makore - whose services had been disturbed had also written to him, he
said, adding that their conduct was unacceptable and likely to cause a
breach of the peace.

      He said: "Nhamo, one of the councillors, changed the locks to the Dean
's office and is keeping the keys. He also without authority received
several keys to the Cathedral and associated buildings from Manyau who had
since been dismissed."
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Daily News

      Magistrate doubles bail for MDC leaders

      10/1/02 8:18:47 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      IN an unusual court development, a Harare magistrate yesterday doubled
the amount of bail for Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC president, to $3 million.

      Tsvangirai, Welshman Ncube, the party's secretary-general, and Renson
Gasela, the MP for Gweru Rural and the party's shadow minister of
agriculture, are facing charges of high treason for allegedly plotting to
kill President Mugabe.

      With the consent of the State and the MDC's lawyer Innocent Chagonda
of Atherstone and Cook, Harare provincial magistrate Joyce Negonde ordered
Tsvangirai to pay another $1,5 million, and Ncube and Gasela another $500
000 each.

      Lawrence Phiri of the Attorney General's office said the increased
bail was as a result of the three having been given a trial date, 11
November. The three are alleged to have hired a Canadian consultancy
company, Dickens and Madison, headed by Ari Ben-Menashe, to assassinate
President Mugabe.

      Tsvangirai was allegedly secretly filmed as he discussed the plot with

      Phiri told the court the State would give Chagonda a copy of the
transcript of the tape.

      He said: "We are also making an undertaking to make available the
original of the tape. Mr Chagonda will have to go and view the original at
the CID. We have also given an undertaking to give copies of all the
witnesses' statements."
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Daily News

      NGOs meet to discuss registration implications

      10/1/02 8:21:55 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      Representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) met in Harare
last week to discuss the implications of proposed legislation regarded as a
ploy by government to undermine their activities.

      The meeting was convened by the National Association of
Non-Governmental Organisations (Nango).

      Last month, the government published a notice urging all private
voluntary organisations to register with the Ministry of Public Service,
Labour and Social Welfare in terms of Section 9 of the Private Voluntary
Organisations Act (Chapter 12:04) or face prosecution.

      Speaking at the meeting, Brian Kagoro, a human rights lawyer and the
national co -ordinator of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, said:
      "Once you have registered it gives the government the capacity to
interfere. Those organisations that are seen as rebels will be
de-registered. We have seen the attempt to de-register the ZCTU and not to
register NGOs that are deemed to be anti-government.
      "This is meant to encourage you to register so that you can be under

      The notice issued by the Ministry of Public Service said it is a
criminal offence "to operate without being so registered".

      "Many such bodies as are not registered urgently will have to stop
their operations until they have regularised their registration in terms of
Section 9," the notice said. "Failure to adhere to the law will result in
arrests being made."

      Kagoro said the government sought to use the cover of the law to keep
non-government organisations under control, supervision and surveillance.

      Lydia Nyatsanza-Zigomo, a member of Nango legal committee, lamented
the "increasingly hostile legal environment" under which non-governmental
organisations were operating.
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Daily News - feature

      Never too late to reclaim people's power and supremacy

      10/1/02 7:58:23 AM (GMT +2)

      IN his maiden address to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU)
summit in Addis Ababa in 1986, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda attacked
the continental body for turning a blind eye to the events in his country
that eventually led to widespread bloodshed.

      The OAU, which even allowed Idi Amin to chair it at the height of
Uganda's internal strife, argued that it was bound by the principle of
non-interference in the internal affairs of its members and could never

      Madagascar went through a rough patch from December to last month when
Didier Ratsiraka stole the presidential election and refused to give way.

      The OAU sent several missions to Antananarivo, only to come up with a
verdict that left the country confused. At its inaugural meeting in Durban,
the African Union (AU), which replaced the OAU, refused to recognise the new
administration in Madagascar.

      Africans fighting for democracy know the shortcomings of the OAU, or
the AU as it now calls itself, and will never bank on the continent for a
resolution of their internal politics. That explains the confusion at last
week's Commonwealth summit in Abuja.

      As hopes for a peaceful resolution to the Zimbabwe crisis fade, it is
becoming clear to civil society that solutions to the impasse can only be
worked out at home. There is a limit as to what outsiders can do to resolve
the crisis. Out of fear, history and insecurity, our neighbours can never be
relied upon for help as shown by their failure to push the government to see
sense and resolve the crisis.

      Nigeria and South Africa, for unexplained reasons, seem to be
interested in merely managing the crisis rather than its resolution. They
have watched, in silence, the government come up with a cocktail of
strategies designed to weaken the population and render it totally

      Seven months after the election, government officials, Cabinet
ministers, war veterans and other desperadoes are still roaming around the
former white-owned commercial farms trying to extort and scavenge whatever
little remains and fighting for farmhouses.

      Open political meetings remain banned and attempts to squeeze
opposition urban councils are in full swing. Civil society, regarded as the
source of sovereignty internationally, has been emasculated to a point where
it appears to be in a state of paralysis.

      Large-scale repression of opponents, the control of the public media,
especially radio and television, and a systematic attempt to break up the
people's spirit, divide families and retribution have destroyed open
channels for mounting effective resistance and the formulation of open and
sustained criticism.

      The government is fighting hard to show a form of legitimacy by
ignoring the reality on the ground in the hope that time will force people
to resign to their fate and let life roll on.

      Commerce and industry are unable to forecast, or even plan or dream
about the way forward. There are fears of random takeovers, commercial
farm-style, which has had a chilling effect on major manufacturers, forcing
them to scale down and dispose of valuables because of the fear of the

      Pension funds, insurance companies and commercial banks are under
pressure to release billions of dollars for unclear agriculture projects,
causing anxiety and panic among depositors and the entire financial sector.

      Although the push has turned Zimbabwe into an unfavourable zone for
tourism and investment, it is never too late for the people to claim their

      What options exist for Zimbabweans to extricate themselves from the
choking levels of tyranny and reclaim their power and sovereignty?

      Churches must begin to preach the message of justice and peace taking
advantage of the growing religious appetite in our society. They must take
the Word of God for what it is: the preservation of the sanctity of life,
the search for eternal happiness, morality and righteousness, the importance
of the family, tolerance and equity on earth.

      Churches can launch a defiance campaign to uphold the virtues of their
folk and demand a climate conducive for pastoral work.

      Reports of pastors being denied access to suspected MDC supporters by
government agents indicate a lack of respect for the vocation of priesthood,
an unsettling phenomenon given the spiritual hunger of the people in times
of stress.

      Burial societies, neighbourhood watch committees, artists, workers,
women, social clubs, lawyers, farmers, students and cultural assemblages
need to discuss the political climate regularly.

      Trade unions must realise that their base is shrinking because of
retrenchments. The few workers still on the job are in trouble. They can't
make ends meet because of runaway inflation, price rises and the
unavailability of goods and services on the open market.
      Unions must provide the leadership and maintain contact with those who
lose their jobs. Farm workers are one such group crying out for support.
Those still at work have new employers whose style of repression includes
intimidation and an outright denial of wages. The so-called new farmers are
so poor that they could easily use politics to turn the farm workers into
near slaves.

      The use of rape as a weapon against women must be taken up and
challenged. Women's groups can lead the campaign, identifying the culprits
and making the nation aware of the dangers posed to innocent people by the
government through lawlessness.

      Students, battling to make ends meet with their meagre allowances,
must work out a way of confronting the government and contribute to the
fight for a better Zimbabwe. The space may be limited, but a lot can still
be done to give hope to the neglected majority.
      A strong freedom from hunger campaign must be launched in the rural
areas, demanding accountability and fairness in food distribution among
government agencies.

      The campaign must involve everybody, across political party lines, to
flash out corrupt officials, ensure transparency and stand up to the
government's suggested economic models which have failed to turn around the
negativity and shapeless character of Zanu PF. Attempts to redefine national
values, through all sorts of political games, must never be allowed to have
an impact on behaviour and tastes.

      A new struggle, drawing from the lessons of the past three years, must
start urgently to force essential reforms. Through a tactical retreat to
rediscover and build key competencies for an all-out struggle, civil society
must organise a national convention to decide the future. A similar exercise
in 1999 gave birth to the MDC.

      Unlike conflicts in other African countries, Zimbabwe's case is well
understood by the outside world. A determined internal effort to harness all
forms of activism and resistance must complement the international goodwill
and solidarity with downcast Zimbabwe.
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SADC to get stern with Zim

Sep 30 2002 08:57:05:860PM

SADC foreign and trade ministers meeting in Angola have said they will
deliver a stern message to Zimbabwe to resolve a political crisis
threatening investor confidence in the region.

Luanda - Southern African ministers meeting in Angola said on Monday they
would deliver a stern message to Zimbabwe to resolve a political crisis
threatening investor confidence in the region.

Foreign and trade ministers from the 14-member Southern African Development
Community (SADC) are holding two days of closed-door talks before their
leaders arrive for an annual summit on Wednesday.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's land policies and his controversial
re-election in March are not on the summit's official agenda, but some
ministers said they would still raise concerns over events in Zimbabwe.

"Clearly we have to resolve the governance issues in the region. We cannot
be punished for the mistakes of one country - Zimbabwe," Mauritian Foreign
Minister Anil Gayan told reporters.

"We shall be asking that they shape up," Gayan added.

SADC has previously criticised Mugabe's seizure of white-owned farms for
redistribution to landless blacks and the election which has shattered
investor confidence in the region. But it has opposed sanctions.

"Ministers will use the closed door session to tell the Zimbabwe delegation
that it is time to end the political and economic crisis in their country,
which is having a huge influence on investment and business in the region,"
another minister, who asked not to be named, said.

"Mugabe will not be publicly reprimanded by SADC. But there are those in the
region who feel that the land crisis should not have been a long and
drawn-out process and they will make this clearly known to the Zimbabweans,"
the minister added.

Food crisis

South African President Thabo Mbeki and Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo
dashed Western hopes for tougher action against Mugabe last week when they
blocked a bid by Australian Prime Minister John Howard to formally suspend
Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth, which groups 54 mostly former British colonies, had
already partially suspended Zimbabwe in protest against the alleged rigging
of Mugabe's re-election.

Commonwealth observers and a group of SADC parliamentarians said the vote
was flawed, but observers from South Africa, Namibia and Nigeria said the
poll was legitimate.

Mbeki and Obasanjo insisted on waiting until the end of the one-year
suspension already imposed before assessing Mugabe's response and deciding
whether to extend measures.

The ministers will also focus on the region's food crisis due to drought,
HIV/Aids and politics. 14 million in Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland,
Lesotho and Zimbabwe are affected.

They would look at ways to speed up the delivery of millions of tons of
international food aid, and debate genetically modified food aid rejected by
some countries, officials said.

SADC comprises Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho,
Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Seychelles, Swaziland,
Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa.
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01 October 2002 07:57

Tom Spicer - arrested, tortured

Dear Everybody,

As some of you know Tom was arrested again on Thursday while having a drink
with some friends in Mabvuku. 5 were arrested - once again no specific
charges were given by the police. They spent that night in Braeside police
station. The next day their lawyer (Romauldo Mavedzenge of Atherston and
Cook) spent the entire day trying to see them. Braeside said they were at
Central, Central said they'd been taken back to Mabvuku - the usual
run-around. We eventually saw the other 4 (Cosmos and Barbabas Ndira, Reuben
Tichareva and Tendai Maluzi) at 8.30 pm. They had been beaten by the police.
No-one knew where Tom was.

On Saturday we discovered that he had spent the night in Mbare cells (the
ones recently reserved for former judges). We were allowed access to him at
around 10 am on Saturday morning. We discovered that he had been in Central
all day Friday and had been severely tortured for a period of about 4 hours
in the afternoon. He was initially beaten with all of the other guys for
about an hour with batons, boots, fists etc.. The 4 were returned to the
cells and Tom was taken off for special treatment. He was taken to a room in
Central and subjected to a series of about 30 - 40 electric shocks while
blinfolded, with his hands hand-cuffed behind his back. He was beaten on the
soles of his feet, kicked and beaten all over the body. He has severe
lacerations on his tongue and mouth where he bit himself while convulsing
during the shocks. He can not eat and has difficulty drinking. His wrists
and arms are swollen from the handcuffs which restrained his arms behind his
back while our state agents did their patriotic duty. The soles of his feet
are so painful he has great difficulty walking. He can't use his hands. When
we first saw him he was having difficulty focussing, though this improved
towards the end of the day. He is sore all over his body from the kickings
and beatings.

During the course of the above - conducted in a room apparently specially
set aside for such activities in Central Police Station, he was interrogated
about the recent murder in Mbare (which took place while we were away on
holiday with Tom) and various cases of arson. Needless to say he had nothing
to say about any of these. He was also ordered to chant Zanu PF slogans.
This he also refused to do. He says he lost  ciousness several times.

At midday we arranged for a government doctor to come to Central. He was not
allowed to examine or to see Tom. We sought permission from every department
in the police station, none of whom would allow access to medical treatment.
Last night another (unauthorised) doctor accompanied me to the cells during
feeding time. He managed to see him and has written a report to the effect
that his injuries are consistent with Tom's description of what happened to

This morning however there was a new shift on duty and I was not permitted
to see any of the group. My fear is that they have been subjected to further
beatings. You might think "they wouldn't dare" but they don't seem to care.
Police brutality has become  usiness as usual.  Some of the officers who Tom
identified as having been involved in the torture ambled into the room while
the five were making their warned and cautioned statements. We were of
course unable to establish their names. Yesterday a senior officer in Law
and Order verbally threatened the Ndira brothers with a beating in the
presence of the lawyer.

From 6 o'clock this morning Newton has been with the lawyers continuing the
search, started yesterday, to find the clerk of the court to have the duty
high court judge (Justice Paradza) hear an urgent application to have all
five medically treated immediately. Their 15 hour search for the Clerk of
the Court has proved fruitless. They have now given up. The duty clerk has
gone to church, has no contact telephone and will be unavailable until the
end of the day. There is no mechanism to facilitate an urgent  application
in Zimbabwe.

If we ever get before a judge, even if the application fails, at least the
injuries and the conduct of the police will be on public record. Tom and his
co-accused are due to appear in court tomorrow, charged finally late
yesterday afternoon under POSA with "Public Violence". This is apparently in
connection with an incident that happened in Mabvuku 10 days ago when the
citizenry of that fine suburb chased away an allegedly drunk policeman who
had harrassed people and had then fired his police pistol 8 times in the
air. The crowd of about 300 people - Ambuyas and children mostly - ran the
constable out of the area. Tom and the others are accused of inciting this

The 4 other friends have not been as severely tortured as Tom but were
nevertheless beaten. Physically Tom is a mess but his spirit remains

Many thanks to all of you who have phoned and helped. Please circulate this
to anyone you feel should know about the conduct of the police. Remember
this is not just about Tom and friends - there are so many similar cases we
hardly take notice any more. Can't we resurrect the notion that the police
are not allowed to behave like this. This is just my child's story. There
are thousands more.

Edwina Spicer (Toms mother).
30th September 2002

Postscript: The 5 were given bail today of Z$10 000 each. They are in
hospital receiving treatment.
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Mail and Guardian

Young MDC man 'caned, shocked and beaten' in Zimbabwe


      01 October 2002 10:56

Five young Zimbabwean opposition activists who were allegedly assaulted and
tortured in police custody at the weekend, were granted bail and released on

Tom Spicer (18) an official in the youth wing of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change, had to be supported by two colleagues holding his elbows
when he emerged from the cells of the Harare Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Also on Monday, lawyers and relatives of MDC MP Roy Bennett (44) said he and
his bodyguard had disappeared after being arrested on Sunday at Chimanimani
in south-east Zimbabwe.

They were removed early on Monday from the police station in the tourist
village of Chimanimani. Police refused to state where he was.

"Roy and Mike Magaza (his bodyguard) are still missing," said a relative who
asked not to be named.

"Police are playing hide-the-prisoner again. They could be in any police
station within a radius of
100km from here."

Lawyers had travelled to several police stations and magistrates' courts in
the district during the day, "but they are getting nowhere," said the

Bennett was arrested at a roadblock for allegedly failing to leave his farm,
Charleswood, after receiving an eviction order under President Robert
Mugabe's campaign to seize white-owned land.

He had the eviction order set aside by the high court on the grounds that
the farm's official status as an "export processing zone" -- where he grows
and processes crops for export -? legally exempts it from confiscation.

Both Bennett and Spicer have been subjected to harassment over the past two
years because of their support of the MDC.

Spicer's arrest on Thursday last week -- on allegations of public
violence -- was the 11th time police have arrested him in two years.

Nine of the cases have been brought to court and all of them have been
dismissed by magistrates.

The youth's lawyer and his parents, Newton and Edwina Spicer, international
television documentary producers, said he had been tortured on Friday by
eight men who caned the soles of his feet, subjected him to electric shocks
and beat and kicked him all over his body -- concentrating on his kidneys.

The other four, Barnabas Ndira, Cosmas Ndira, Tendai Mlauzi and Reuben
Tichareva, also MDC activists, were subjected to the same treatment, except
for the electric shocks.

Newton Spicer said police had tried to attach the electrodes of the
generator to Tom's testicles, but, although his wrists were handcuffed
behind his back, he had managed to fight his assailants off.

They eventually shocked him by clipping the electrodes to his ear instead,
said Newton Spicer. All five were taken for medical examinations immediately
after they each paid bail of ZD10 000
(about R1 100).

Lawyer Romualdo Mavedzende told magistrate Elizabeth Negonde that "there are
reports of assault and physical abuse against my clients."

However, he said he would not deal with the issue in the magistrate's court
as it was already part of an application to the high court.

Senior assistant commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, the police spokesman, issued
a statement saying that Tom Spicer had appeared but "the allegations that he
was tortured were not raised in court".

When told that they had been brought up, he said: "We will await directives
and certainly investigate this matter."

In 1997, the supreme court ordered police to investigate the torture of
local journalists Mark Chavunduka and Ray Choto. No action has been taken. -
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Livestock - The Political Tool

 "Send me the cameras and let them film me whilst I cut my calves'
throats! What can I do? I have got 499 quality cows and heifers busy
calving and the politicians are forcing me off my farm! Now we have Foot
and Mouth disease (FMD) in the area so the cattle sale has been
cancelled and our only way out is to slaughter our breeding herd - if
the abattoirs have the market! Already 125 have dropped calves."

These were the words of one of the country's foremost cattlemen,
desperate to save his herd, which has taken 37 years to build up to the
present exceptional genetic quality. He has been severely beaten and
threatened. His father has been severely threatened and beaten, as well
as his mother and many members of his most loyal staff. Like many he
fully understands both the economic implications, extent and
repercussions of what the loss of the commercial beef herd means to

Although only 20% of the national beef herd the commercial herd supplies
90% of the beef exports (for which CSC is strategically equipped and
economically reliant upon) and 60% of beef for local consumption.

With the present political strategy it is impossible to see how the
veterinarians will ever be able to convince EU or other foreign buyers
that there is effective FMD control in Zimbabwe. As the barometer of FMD
control, the disease control rules of the Save Conservancy have been
blatantly flouted, and disregarded. With the destruction of the
extensive perimeter fence and illegal movement of the communal cattle,
which are regularly mixing and drinking with Buffalo, FMD has now broken
out in communal areas on either side of the conservancy.

With the political land campaign, the new farmers are, also transporting
cattle and livestock from these dangerous areas, all over the country.

It has been reported that nearly 40,000 head of cattle from the Beit
Bridge Communal Lands have been unleashed onto the commercial farms
during the last month. The dry Beit Bridge area is well known for its
large cattle population, as this is the only type of farming this harsh
environment allows.

However, with the political land campaign the politicians have long been
coveting the developed cattle and wildlife ranches in the commercial
sector. It is hard country with very little underground water. A lot of
the water found is low yielding and totally unhygienic and unpalatable -
almost like seawater! With the low unreliable rainfall it is also
essential that the grazing be only used at a rate of one livestock unit
per 15ha.

Because of the communal areas' location being so close to three
international borders and the Kruger National Park, the Veterinary
Department classifies them as a Red (vaccinated) FMD zone. At the
beginning of the political land campaign the commercial farms in the
North, which were then in the Green Zone (surveillance), ranches were
somewhat protected by the veterinary zone as far as the invasion of
communal cattle was concerned.

There has also been an FMD outbreak festering in the communal lands for
months so ranchers fought the illegal movements with court orders and
any means at their disposal. This obviously annoyed many of the more
fanatical politicians and civil servants who have finally forced these
infective cattle onto the ranches to destroy the limited grazing and
water resources.

The inevitable has happened, and FMD has finally broken out in the
ranches' remaining cattle.

With the pending drought and past experience they had opposed the use of
FMD vaccine, which is said merely to mask the infection, but limits
their cattle's movement to grazing (in the event of the drought) out of
their new zone (Red). They also realised the other implication of the
vaccinations was that the Red Zone communal cattle would be "allowed" to
swamp their farms - which is exactly what has happened now.

Will the "new farmers'" cattle face the same punitive and political
restrictions as those of the commercial farmer? Can they not be moved
onto foreign owned land, which is protected by international bilateral
agreements? Who is protecting our herds and our Zimbabwean citizens?
Where should these productive herds be moved to now?

In fact why should commercial cattle be moved off their owner's farms
when they are so blatantly being used as a political tool? The herd has
already shrunk by over 60% nationally.

Thus remove the cattle - remove the farmer.
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'Sham election' victory for Mugabe

      October 01 2002 at 02:17AM

By Basildon Peta

Early returns Monday night showed that President Robert Mugabe's ruling
Zanu-PF party was winning most seats in the weekend local government
elections marred by violence and intimidation of the opposition, officials

Movement for Democratic Change officials said ruling party militants had
killed one of the opposition party's supporters in Hurungwe and another one
had been hit with an axe in Bindura and was unlikely to survive.

MDC officials said their party had won in only six of about 50 wards counted
at the time of going to press.

Counting had not even started in other provinces last night, but opposition
officials said they held no hope of faring any better because of the
violence which forced them to field candidates in only 700 of the 1 400 plus

State media reports said Zanu-PF was headed for a "landslide victory", but
MDC dismissed the whole election as a "big joke".

"This was not an election. They used intimidation, torture and blackmail
against our supporters," said MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi last night.

Scores of MDC candidates in the rural district councils were forced to
withdraw their candidatures on pains of having their villages burnt down.

The MDC said its polling agents were beaten and chased away from polling
stations in Masvingo and Mashonaland provinces.

"For anyone to claim a victory in such a sham election is the height of
insanity," said Nyathi.
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Local elections marred by state-sponsored violence
Amnesty, Tue 1 Oct 2002

Zimbabwe : local elections marred by state-sponsored violence
Take Action

      Violence has become a tool of the government of Robert Mugabe to
silence its opponents and maintain its grip on power. South Africa, with its
enormous economic and political importance in the region, is in a unique
position to influence Robert Mugabe.

      Amnesty International strongly condemns state-sponsored violence ,
torture, arrests and intimidation of opposition cadidates and supporters
during country-wide local council elections held on 28 and 29 September.

      "Once again, government authorities have failed to ensure that
elections take place in a climate free from harassment and intimidation. All
allegations of human rights violations, including torture, against
opposition Movement for Democratic change (MDC) officials and supporters
during the local elections must be effectively investigated" Amnesty
International said.

      Several MDC supporters were reportedly assaulted prior to and during
polling. For example:

      Mike Magwaza, Roy Bennet and Stewart Girvan were arrested on 29
September. Roy Bennet is the MDC MP for Chimanimani and Mike Magwaza is his
bodyguard. Mike Magwaza and Stewart Girvan, a South African friend of Roy
Bennet's, have reportedly been beaten while in police custody. All three are
presently being held at Chipinge police station, Manicaland province. They
were initially denied access to their lawyer Arnold Tsunga.

      On 30 September, Arnold Tsunga filed an application with the Chipinge
Magistrate's Court asking the police to produce all three detainees. Mike
Magwaza, Roy Bennet and Stewart Girvan have reportedly been charged under
the Electoral Act for allegedly taking photographs within 100 metres of a
polling station. Roy Bennet has also reportedly been charged under Section 8
of the Land Acquisition Act for allegedly refusing to vacate his farm.

      Tendai Maluzi, Cosmos and Barbabas Ndira, Tom Spicer and Reuben
Tichareva were arrested on 27 September and charged under the Public Order
and Security Act with public violence allegedly in connection with an
incident that took place in the Harare suburb of Mabvuku the week before.
All five were reportedly beaten and tortured while in police custody. Tom
Spicer reportedly suffered electric shock torture and was beaten on the
soles of his feet. All five are MDC youth members. They were released on 30
September and have been remanded out of custody until 23 October.

      In Gutu and Bikita districts of Masvingo province, the homesteads of
several MDC candidates and supporters were reportedly burned down during the
election weekend. In Masvingo North, a polling agent was reportedly beaten.
Thus far, no arrests have been made in connection with these attacks.

      Zimbabwe's Electoral Supervisory Commission confirmed that the local
elections were marred by violence. Few independent election observers were
able to monitor the elections due to accreditation only being granted at the
last minute. It was reported that irregularities, such as the late arrival
of ballot boxes, occurred in several wards.

      "The outcome of the Commonwealth troika's meeting last week in Nigeria
is yet another disappointment for victims of human rights violations in
Zimbabwe. The leaders whom President Mugabe might listen to - other African
Heads of State - should push for an end to further violations. This week's
SADC Summit must not be another missed opportunity" the organization said.


      The run-up to the local elections was also marred by violence and
irregularities. Approximately 700 MDC candidates were prevented from
registering or contesting the elections largely in response to threats,
intimidation and violence, but also as a result of irregularities in the
nomination procedures.

      On 27 September, the day before the elections were to start, an MDC
petition to the High Court to nullify the election nomination process,
citing widespread intimidation and assaults of their candidates and
irregularities in nomination procedures, was dismissed.

      Public Document
      For more information please call Amnesty International's press office
in London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566
      Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW. web:

      For latest human rights news view

      printer friendly format

      Amnesty International is impartial and independent of any government,
political persuasion or religious creed.
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From Business Day (SA), 1 October

Rautenbach wins court bid for his assets

But authorities say battle not over yet

Professional Services Correspondent

Beleaguered Zimbabwean businessman Billy Rautenbach, wanted by SA authorities for fraud and corruption involving R100m, won a high court order on Friday to have his assets returned. Despite the court's judgment, it is still unclear whether Rautenbach is entitled to get his property back from the Asset Forfeiture Unit. According to the unit's head, Willie Hofmeyr, the unit would appeal against the judgment. At present the assets were still under restraint, he said. Lawyers for Rautenbach and the unit are due to do battle in court again today on the matter. Hofmeyr said the assets were valued at R40m. The criminal probe into Rautenbach's alleged customs fraud and theft charges was almost complete. A warrant for Rautenbach's arrest was outstanding, and officials were preparing to extradite him from Zimbabwe. Hofmeyr said it was believed that Rautenbach was living in Harare.

In September 2000 Rautenbach's assets were seized in terms of the provisions of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act. Among the assets were a Falcon 10 private jet, a Bell helicopter, a house and six flats in Sandton, a Cape wine farm and a farm in KwaZulu-Natal. He was charged initially with fraud. However, the charges were subsequently changed to contravening the Customs and Excise Act. The charges relate to his Wheels of Africa company. Rautenbach lost numerous attempts in the past to retrieve his assets from the authorities. His lawyer, Nicoleen Fourie, said yesterday there were no charges on which the state could extradite Rautenbach. "All grounds had been resolved by the judge's findings," said Fourie. Rautenbach said he was "relieved that the justice system was still in place in SA". He said the Asset Forfeiture Unit had embarked on a "political assassination" of his character in the past three years. "They had still not come up with anything on which to proceed against me." He did not believe the unit would have a "leg to stand on" if it appealed against Friday's judgment.

Wheels of Africa was liquidated in December 1999 after a string of raids on the holding company by the directorate for serious economic offences. The directorate had arrested five people in connection with the case. The head of customs in Mpumalanga and Limpopo, Dolf Harmse, was the first to be convicted as a result of the probe. Harmse was convicted in the in March last year of corruption for receiving two Hyundai vehicles from Rautenbach in exchange for a "favour", which in effect saved Rautenbach R300 000.

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