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

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Zimbabwe -  A View from the Pan.
Speaking to a group of "settlers" of a commercial farm during the recent
visit by the Commonwealth Ministers delegation, the Zimbabwe Minister of
Foreign Affairs said "we will never reverse our stance on the land - it is a
matter of honour." He went on to say "our honour is at stake in this
matter". Then this morning the BBC carried an interview with John Nkomo, who
asked, "why are you trying to criminalize us?"  They are both right - their
honour is at stake in many ways in the present crisis and they are being
treated increasingly as common criminals by all and sundry.

The ZBC and the State controlled newspapers have also excelled themselves
this week - the anthrax outbreak in the midlands is the result of "Rhodesian
biological warfare which killed thousands" of Zimbabweans in the war of
independence. Then they changed tack and said it was the result of
activities by "white commercial farmers who were unhappy with the occupation
of their farms". Anthrax may be new in the USA but it is endemic in Africa
and dozens of cases occur each year. If anything it is the lawlessness and
breakdown of veterinary controls that is causing any outbreak at present.
The fact that 15 people were hungry enough to eat meat from a carcass and
catch the disease - is a matter for us to ponder as well.

The visit by the Commonwealth representatives is yet another round in the
struggle between the international community and this government. At stake
is the whole issue of good governance as defined in a multitude of treaties
and agreements. Who won this round - I think the score card was a narrow
points victory for the visitors. They adopted a resolution that called on
the Zimbabwe government to fulfil its obligations under the Abuja Agreement.
That's a tall order as the Agreement calls on the Zimbabwe government to
fully respect the terms of the Harare Declaration as well as the rule of
law.  But how to enforce this dictum? All they can continue to do is to
withhold financial support and aid to Zimbabwe until we comply.

I thought the CFU presentation was factual and clear - the idea of actually
doing a full survey of commercial farms was very clever. The facts were
stark - nearly 700 farms invaded since Abuja, 105 000 illegal settlers on
the farms, 80 per cent of all invasions violent in one form or another.  75
000-farm workers and their families displaced. No wonder John Nkomo is being
treated as a criminal - these are, in any reasonable persons understanding
criminal acts. Once again the Secretary General of the Commonwealth did
little to convince that he is up to the job.

Who will enter the ring for the next round? The EU meets today to decide on
what to do next, the USA must be close to adopting the Zimbabwe Democracy
Bill and the SADC Heads of State must be close to becoming engaged yet
again. They are the real heavy weights in this contest and if a knock out is
to happen, it will be in the SADC/Zimbabwe round.  But the other players are
landing body blows and if you have boxed - you will know that gradually
these blows make themselves felt.

In the meantime the food crisis deepens, now we have a mysterious explosion
on the rail link from Beitbridge to Gauteng. This is our main lifeline and
is the only railway system that is capable of carrying the heavy loads
required on a modern railway. The bridge was destroyed at the site and the
line will be closed for 6 weeks or more. All traffic is being diverted
through the Botswana system.

New controls on food prices - Zanu PF politics is very simple at its heart,
how to win votes - you simply double private sector wages in three months
and then reduce the selling prices of their products to below cost. There is
something wrong with that formula, but for the life of me I cannot see what
it is? Can you?  Maybe the present shortages of maize meal, sugar, salt,
bread, soap, washing powder are the result?  What to do with these
irresponsible business persons who refuse to sell their products below cost
- why we threaten to take over their business and let the workers run them -
its simple really.

What is more difficult to understand is the attempt to stop people using
their own grain to feed their own families. The picture of police taking
maize off busses and confiscating the product is astonishing. The image of
those who are raiding the informal markets in the towns to confiscate grain
being sold along the roadside is also difficult to comprehend if you are
expecting to win an election in 4 months time.

Real basic food shortages are appearing - not just in the rural areas where
crops failed last season but also in the cities as stocks decline. Still no
action on the part of the authorities, do they really want starvation? Is
this part of the plan to drive all the MDC voters off the farms and out of
the towns into South Africa so that they cannot vote in the election?

M Ngwenya
29th October 2001.

Please note that this note is personal and does not necessarily reflect the
views of the Movement for Democratic
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Mugabe vows not to relent to international pressure on Zimbabwe land

The Associated Press

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) President Robert Mugabe said his government would not
back off its plans to nationalize white-owned farms despite international
condemnation of often violent land seizures, The Herald newspaper reported
Mugabe said he would not be deterred even if Britain, the former colonial
power here, "and its friends piled pressure through their economies,"
according to the state-owned newspaper.

Mugabe was speaking Sunday, a day after international mediators ended talks
aimed at salvaging a deal signed Sept. 6 in Abuja, Nigeria, to end the
violent occupations of white-owned farms and political violence around

Those talks ended inconclusively late Saturday after nearly 10 hours of
haggling over a final joint statement between Zimbabwean officials and the
mediators from the Commonwealth of Britain and its former colonies.

Zimbabwe's farming districts have been convulsed by chaos over the past 18
months, when ruling party militants began occupations of 1,700 white-owned
farms, demanding they be redistributed to landless blacks.

The government has since embarked on a plan to seize 5,000 farms nearly all
the farms owned by whites without paying compensation.

Opposition officials accuse the government of using land seizures to garner
support and intimidate opponents ahead of presidential elections scheduled
for next year.

The government said last week it will not allow the European Union to send
election monitors ahead of the poll, accusing some EU nations of bias.

EU ministers are expected to debate possible sanctions against Zimbabwe this

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Zimbabwe preoccupied with economic woes

Staple commodities are running short in the shops and the threat of European
Union sanctions is looming

Commonwealth representatives arrived in Zimbabwe this week to determine if
President Robert Mugabe is upholding September's Abuja agreement, under
which he pledged to stop the forcible occupation of white-owned farms and
the British government promised to help finance an orderly land-reform
But with staple commodities running short in the shops and the threat of
European Union sanctions looming, ordinary Zimbabweans were more preoccupied
with their economy than the esteemed foreign visitors.

Police said thousands of traders have been fined for flouting price-control
regulations, hurriedly imposed to try bridle record 83% inflation.

The business community remains sceptical that the government can replace the
ditched structural- adjustment programme, formerly backed by the World Bank,
with a coherent new scheme for a socialist-style centrally controlled
economy, as promised by Mugabe.

The Minister of Finance, Simba Makoni, is due to present his annual budget
to Parliament on November 1 but his figures have little credibility.

“There are enormous discrepancies in the numbers we are getting for
government borrowing,” said Professor Tony Hawkins of the University of
Zimbabwe School of Business Studies.

He said the figures show domestic borrowing up from Z$48-billion in January
to Z$94-billion in June, but the debt figures show an increase from
Z$156-billion in January to Z$195-billion in September.

Talk Back Forum
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NGOs prepare to distribute food October 17, 2001
Is Zimbabwe facing famine? May 9, 2001
Famine menaces Africa March 7, 2001

Spectre of famine looms in Zimbabwe October 17, 2001
Thousands face famine in rural Zimbabwe September 18, 2001
Zim gloom forces up SA maize futures July 20, 2001

“This suggests they are not giving us the full story,” said Hawkins, “we
just don’t know why there is this discrepancy.”

Despite Mugabe’s threat to seize extra white-owned farms to resettle
Zimbabweans expelled from South Africa, the latest bad news from the
agricultural, manufacturing and tourism sectors suggests it will be
impossible to reverse the human tide trekking south.

The Commercial Farmers’ Union reported a 40% drop in output as a result of
political disruption, with 829 incidents of violence against farmers and
their workers since the Abuja agreement.

Businesses warned of a spate of impending bankruptcies as a result of Mugabe
’s attempts to force them to sell below the cost of production. More than
400 firms closed last year with the loss of thousands of jobs.

And the crisis in the once lucrative tourism industry was highlighted when
Air Zimbabwe abandoned its newly opened London-Victoria Falls weekly Boeing
767 service, citing “lack of viability”.

Louis Michel, the Foreign Minister of Belgium, the current holder of the EU’
s rotating presidency, gave his counterpart Stan Mudenge until Monday to
confirm Zimbabwean willingness to receive independent monitors for pending
presidential elections or face possible sanctions. Mudenge claimed the
Europeans were “trying to use dirty tricks to remove the Zimbabwe

The Commonwealth delegation visiting Harare has been significantly
downgraded from that which attended the Nigerian summit. British Foreign
Secretary Jack Straw has been replaced by Baroness Amos, Britain’s Minister
for Africa, and South Africa’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nkosozana
Dlamini-Zuma, has been substituted with the Minister of Labour, Membathisi

Britain had pledged last month to renew aid for the resettlement of the
rural poor in return for an end to violence associated with Mugabe’s “fast
track land reform”. The Abuja agreement was hailed as a breakthrough but
violence and land seizures have continued. Amnesty International reported
last week that 50 opposition supporters had been murdered by Zanu-PF party
militants since last year’s parliamentary elections.

Aid agencies have voiced fears of impending famine in Zimbabwe. World Vision
International has warned that in the Matabeleland and Midlands areas 500 000
will run out of food within two months. The United States-based famine early
warning unit said maize stocks were down 41% and immediate imports of 200
000 tonnes were needed.

After repeated denials of the problem, Minister of Agriculture Joseph Made
has made arrangements to import 100 000 tonnes from South Africa.

“The budget will be full of numbers that won’t be credible and meaningful,”
said Hawkins. “Come the elections they will be changed. For example, they
are promising Z$15 000 a tonne for maize to try and get the lads in the
peasant farming areas to vote for them — double the price this year. At the
same time they have put controls on the selling price of maize meal. You
wonder just what is going to happen.”

Hawkins said the government had still not published the final version of its
long-awaited millennium economic recovery programme.

Initial outlines ignored the cost of Mugabe’s military adventure in the
Democratic Republic of Congo, and the crash in the value of the Zimbabwe
dollar that followed unbudgeted payments to war veterans. The recovery
programme was drafted before Mugabe announced the abandonment of all
economic liberalisation measures adopted under the economic structural
adjustment programme.

Said Hawkins: “They tell us the EU is wrong, the British are wrong,
everybody is wrong, everybody is out of step except Jonathan Moyo [Mugabe’s
propaganda minister]”.

-- The Mail&Guardian, October 29, 2001.

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Zim tobacco production drops sharply in 2001

Harare | Monday

ZIMBABWE'S tobacco production dropped 35,3-million kilos in 2001, to 201,7-million kilos, after last year's record-high crop, the state-run Herald said on Saturday.
With an average price of 175 Zimbabwe dollars (US$3,18) per kilo, tobacco sales totalled 35-billion Zimbabwe dollars ($630-million) when the auction season closed on Friday, producers said.
Prices were higher than 2000, although the crop was smaller, so on the surface sales rose sharply from last year's total of $395-million for 237-million kilos.
But because of Zimbabwe's overvalued currency, officially pegged at 55 to the greenback compared to about 260 to one on the parallel market, tobacco farmers have complained that they are in a financial pinch.
The farmers have to import their supplies -- such as fertilizer and equipment -- and must source the foreign currency on the parallel rate. When they sell their crops overseas, the government keeps the foreign currency and gives the farmers the equivalent amount at the official rate.
Production costs have shot up 140% since July 2000, according to farmers, much higher than the official rate of inflation at 86,3% in September.
The drop in production is largely because of the violent occupations of white-owned farms since February 2000. The pro-government militants occupying the farms have blocked farmers from working, burned fields and chased away farm workers.
Zimbabwe Tobacco Association (ZTA) president Kobus Joubert said in June that it was "nothing short of a miracle" that this year's crop was so large.
He warned that next year's crop could be significantly smaller, with seed sales down 22% from the same time last year.
Zimbabwe exports 98% of its crop, which brings in about one-third of the country's desperately needed foreign exchange, making it the country's largest earner.
Zimbabwe is the world's second-largest exporter of tobacco after Brazil, and is one of the top three producers of quality flue-cured Virginia leaf along with the United States and Brazil. - AFP
Zimbabwe’s beef exports to drop because of foot and mouth outbreak
Pana reported that according to Zimbabwe meat industry officials, the country is to expect a drop in beef exports due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in 2001. The European Union followed by South Africa are Zimbabwe’s main export markets.

Zimbabwe: Horticulture exports to increase in 2001
It was reported by Pana that Zimbabwe’s flower growers have said that despite political and economic instability the industry had increased export earnings by 15% in 2001. According to the report the Export Flower Growers Association of Zimbabwe said that Zimbabwe would earn more than US $75 million from horticulture exports in 2001. Zimbabwe exports flowers mainly to Europe.
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No backing off from farm nationalisation says Mugabe

Robert Mugabe says his government will not back off its plans to nationalise
white-owned farms.

Mr Mugabe will not be deterred even if Britain "and its friends piled
pressure through their economies," according to the state-owned newspaper

The Zimbabwe president spoke a day after international mediators ended talks
aimed at salvaging a deal to end the violent occupations of white-owned
farms and political violence.

Those talks ended inconclusively after nearly 10 hours of haggling over a
final joint statement between Zimbabwean officials and the Commonwealth

Speaking at his vice president's birthday party, Mr. Mugabe, 77, said he
prayed to live long enough to see land returned to its "rightful owners."

"The biggest prayer of my life is that God gives me more life to see me
through the land issue. I have the backbone, the courage and I am fearless,
but I need God's blessings," he said.

The remarks were expected to fuel reports of Mr.Mugabe's ailing health.

In recent months, the Zimbabwe president has attended fewer public functions
and has appeared weak and disoriented. Aides have privately expressed worry
over his apparently diminishing powers of concentration.

Story filed: 12:28 Monday 29th October 2001
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Business Day
Ministers chilled' by Harare


HARARE The Commonwealth mission which probed what steps were taken to end violence on Zimbabwe's farms in exchange for help with land reform has found little hope for an early end to the crisis.

Ministers from seven Commonwealth nations issued a cautious communique at the end of their three-day visit, calling on the government of President Robert Mugabe to implement the September 16 agreement signed in Abuja, Nigeria, and to probe reports of rights abuses and violence.

With the Abuja agreement, Zimbabwe pledged to curb rural violence in exchange for British financial backing for its land reform programme.

But commission member Keith Martin, Canada's shadow secretary of state for Africa and Latin America, said: "The reality is frightening. Farm workers have a loaded gun pointed at their heads and I find that quite chilling," said Martin.

The ministers said Harare had "established a process in accordance with the Abuja accord", but Martin said the procedure of the talks "ensured that there would be a mild statement because the mission was operating under rules of consensus; with Zimbabwe being part of the process it had to reflect Zimbabwe's position".

Martin said: "Zimbabwe must not be allowed to get into a spiral of violence and anarchy".

If the Abuja accord was not satisfactorily applied, Martin said, the international community had to act and "remove the government of Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth".

The Commercial Farmers' Union, which has 4500 white farmer members owning more than two-thirds of Zimbabwe's prime farm land, responded cautiously to the outcome.

A team of experts from the United Nations Development Programme will visit Zimbabwe next month to decide on the procedure and details. Harare is adamant: land reforms will take place with or without Abuja.

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Warnings That Birthday Bash Could Be Last Supper

African Eye News Service (Nelspruit)

October 29, 2001
Posted to the web October 29, 2001

By Thabo Mzimkhulu

While Zimbabwe's economy crumbles, its leaders threw an extravagant bash on
Saturday to celebrate the 79th birthday of vice president Simon Muzenda.

Several government ministers and an elite group of black businessmen
surviving under the patronage of the leading Zanu-PF party, attended the
festivities at a top class Harare hotel.

"The bash was open to selected dignitaries and I'm glad the preparations
went off well," said one of the organisers, Mutumwa Mawere, who is also a
businessman and champion of black empowerment.

But the opposition sees the celebrations as yet another unnecessary hole in
an already heavily leaking national bucket.

"It is strange, very strange that someone still finds time to celebrate when
the country is burdened by overspending, corruption and mismanagement," said
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) secretary general, Welshman

"But the people can read between the lines and are waiting for a time when
they can make known their anger. That place is the ballot next year."

October has seen an escalation in public frustration because of government's
overt economic and political mismanagement, Ncube said.

The recent imposition of a price freeze on basic foodstuffs to avert
'economic sabotage' by white entrepreneurs has spawned unprecedented food

President Robert Mugabe has threatened to take-over all businesses that
close down as a result.

The international community has also intensified pressure this month over
Zanu-PF's flagrant disregard of the Abuja agreement.

Under the Abuja deal in September Zimbabwe agreed to respect property rights
and restore order.

It also pledged to stop farm invasions and pave the way for Britain's
cooperation in the compensation of white commercial farmers.

But the government has failed to control war veterans who continue to harass
white farmers and their black workers.

South Africa is also being seen as a threat as reports that over 10 000
Zimbabwean's working on Northern Province farms will be deported.

Zanu-PF regards the deportations as a diplomatic backlash by President Thabo
Mbeki's government for the jolly relationship between Zimbabwean authorities
and the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC).

As prospects that Zanu-PF could lose next year's presidential elections
intensify, Mugabe has promoted close lieutenants, mostly war veterans, in
the Zimbabwe National Army in readiness for war.

Violence against opposition supporters has also increased.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, recently survived attacks from pro-government
militants just a few weeks after his deputy Gibson Sibanda was forced to
dodge a hail of bullets.

While Muzenda and his supporters toasted a revolution against the few
remaining whites and 'imperialistic tendencies' of the international
community, some have warned that it could be the Zimbabwean government's
Last Supper. - African Eye News Service
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Commonwealth Visit to Zimbabwe Offers Little Hope
VOA News
28 Oct 2001 23:57 UTC

A three day Commonwealth mission to Zimbabwe seems to offer little hope to
deal with the country's political violence and illegal land seizures.

Commonwealth officials issued a final communique Saturday in the capital,
Harare, urging the government of President Robert Mugabe to respect its own
laws concerning land reform and human rights. During their mission they met
with Zimbabwean officials and interested parties.

International and local news reports Sunday said there were deep divisions
within the Commonwealth team, with the Canadian delegate, David Kilgour,
being one of the most critical of Harare. The reports said the division
among team members resulted in what was described as a weak, compromise
final statement.

One of the most critical of Harare was the Canadian Secretary of State for
Africa, David Kilgour, who questioned Zimbabwe's commitment to the Abuja
accord. That accord, reached last month during talks in Nigeria, calls for
an end to seizures of white-owned farms and political violence. In return,
Britain pledged to fund a lawful land redistribution program.

The Commonwealth team went to Zimbabwe to assess Mr. Mugabe's government's
adherence to that agreement.

Critics say he has continued the illegal seizures of white-owned farms to
rally popular support in next year's elections. The mostly white Commercial
Farmers Union says farm violence has actually escalated since last month's
Abuja meeting. The government denies the charges.

Twenty months of farm invasions by black militant backers of Mr. Mugabe's
ZANU-PF party have plunged Zimbabwe into economic and political crisis.

The Commonwealth team was made up of diplomats from Britain, Nigeria,
Australia, Canada, Jamaica, Kenya and South Africa.

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Daily News

Tekere warns of violent presidential campaign

10/29/01 7:38:30 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

EDGAR Tekere, on Friday warned Zimbabweans of a very violent campaign in the
run-up to next year’s presidential election.

He said President Mugabe would fight tooth and nail to retain power.
Tekere said: “I think I know Mugabe fairly well. He doesn’t like contests
and when you stand against him he is going to fight tooth and nail.”

The veteran politician was speaking at a Mass Public Opinion Institute
meeting in Harare.

A former secretary-general of Zanu PF, Tekere, who was once a close ally of
Mugabe, was expelled in October 1988 for agitating against one-party state

He formed the Zimbabwe Unity Movement and contested the 1990 presidential
election, but lost to Mugabe.

He resigned as ZUM president in January last year.

Tekere reminded the meeting that Mugabe, 77, had boasted of having degrees
in violence.

He said: “There is going to be lots and lots of violence sponsored by the
Head of State make no mistake about it.”

He said Zanu PF would unleash violence during the campaign period, which
would then be toned down just before polling to hoodwink international

Tekere said: “They will have broken your ribs and expect you to remember
that on polling day.”

He said because rigging elections had become difficult over the last decade,
the ruling party would compensate for that through violence.

“You are dealing with a man who believes there is no Zimbabwe without him.
One day he is going to die, but he doesn’t think Zimbabwe will continue
after him. All affairs of state start and finish with Mugabe,” Tekere said.

He dismissed the possibility of a military coup in the event of Mugabe
losing to Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader.

He said: “One who is very outspoken on the issue is Didymus Mutasa, my
uncle. Don’t be deceived by him. The army will comply with the result.
“You only hear that from people like Mutasa. Have you ever heard it from the
real masters of war, Rex Nhongo and Vitalis Zvinavashe?”

Rex Nhongo was the nom de guerre of General Mujuru, the retired commander of
the Zimbabwe National Army, during the liberation war when he was Zanla’s
chief of operations, while General Zvinavashe is the current commander of
the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

Mutasa, who is Zanu PF’s secretary for external affairs, is on record as
saying Zanu PF would go to war if it lost the presidential election.
“There is going to be no such thing, I can tell you quite confidently,”
Tekere said.

He said youths were being trained under the guise of national service
primarily to beat up the electorate.

“They are already doing their practicals,” he said.

More than 30 people were killed, mostly supporters of opposition parties, in
the run-up to last year’s parliamentary election.

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Daily News

Leadership crisis blamed for land chaos

10/29/01 7:39:56 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

CIVIC society and opposition parties last week told a fact-finding
Commonwealth ministerial team that the controversy surrounding the land
issue in Zimbabwe was a result of the leadership crisis in the country.

Representatives of MDC, Zanu and Crisis In Zimbabwe (CIZ), an organisation
that represents more than 200 civic groups in the country, said the land
crisis had also been caused by a panicking ruling Zanu PF, which was fast
losing support.

They were making presentations to the Commonwealth team which was on a
three-day visit to Zimbabwe to assess the government’s adherence to the
Abuja Agreement in which it undertook to enforce the rule of law and to stop
the violent farm invasions led by war veterans.

Tendai Biti, the MDC shadow minister for foreign affairs, told the team that
the leadership crisis would not end until next year’s presidential election.

“The core crisis we have is about leadership,” said Biti soon after meeting
the Commonwealth ministers.

“The crudest expression of the crisis manifests itself in the form of human
rights violations, impending food shortages and the absence of the rule of
law that has resulted in many deaths while the culprits are still free.”

He said the majority of Zimbabweans recognised the need for land reform but
the issue must not be politicised as was the case under the “fast-track”
land redistribution programme.

“The leadership is no longer responsive to the needs of its citizens. The
fast-track programme does not reflect the needs of all citizens but of Zanu
PF,” said Biti.

His sentiments were echoed by CIZ’s Brian Kagoro.
Kagoro said his organisation had no problem with the idea of resettling
He said: “The problem we have is about crisis of governance and the gross
violence that has accompanied the programme.

“We are also concerned by the culture of impunity and the use of executive
powers to pardon criminals. That has nothing to do with the land programme
and is not a colonial crisis as some would want to suggest. This is an
ethical crisis.

“No white colonialist sent soldiers to massacre people in the Midlands and
Matabeleland, or to loot Grain Marketing Board coffers.

Zanu, represented by Vesta Sithole, also said the ruling party was using the
land reform programme to gain votes for the 2002 election.

Dr John Makumbe, chairman of Transparency International Zimbabwe, said: “The
current crisis is resulting from the decline of support for President Mugabe
’s party.”

Meanwhile, editors from the privately-owned Press told the meeting they were
concerned at the continued harassment of journalists by the police and other
State agents.

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Daily News

Extradition of ex-CIO boss Mukandi may hit brick wall

10/29/01 7:41:52 AM (GMT +2)

Chief Reporter

THE extradition of Lovemore Mukandi, the former deputy director-general of
the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), now in Canada, could prove
difficult because Zimbabwe does not have an extradition treaty with Canada.

A spokesman for the Canadian High Commission in Harare said: “There is
nothing bilateral in that regard. There is nothing formal.”

About three weeks ago, Patrick Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice, Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs, told Parliament that Mukandi faced extradition from
Canada so he could stand trial for fraud involving $17 million while he was
with the CIO.

Yesterday, Chinamasa referred questions to the Attorney-General, Andrew

“I think you should direct that to the relevant people,” said Chinamasa. “I
am no longer in prosecution.”

Chigovera could not be reached for comment.

Chinamasa told Parliament that Mukandi would face trial in Zimbabwe sometime
next month. He was responding to a question by Zvishavane MP, Pearson
Mbalekwa (Zanu PF), on why he was reluctant to prosecute Mukandi and David
Nyabando, alleged to have defrauded the intelligence agency of more than $17
million through a scam involving the construction of five safe houses.

Mbalekwa asked why Mukandi was granted permission to go to Canada when his
case had not been concluded.

Chinamasa could not say who had given Mukandi permission to leave the
country. He said there was no visa requirement for anyone wishing to visit
Canada and Mukandi could have taken advantage of that loophole.

The spokesperson for the Canadian High Commission said: “There could be
other means of extraditing a person, but I do not know the legalities of

Nicholas Goche, the Minister of State Security, denied Mbalekwa’s allegation
that Mukandi had deposited £400 000 (Z$32 million) into a personal account
of a senior CIO officer serving in London and later transferred it into an
account belonging to a Teddy Jamu. Mbalekwa alleged Mukandi later withdrew
the money for personal use.

Goche said he was only aware of £135 000, deposited by Mukandi in two
batches of £60 000 and £75 000 in 1996. He said the money was used to buy
seven Land Rover vehicles for security operations.

Mbalekwa used to work for the CIO. Mukandi and his boss, Shadreck Chipanga,
were dismissed in 1999 and were replaced by Happyton Bonyongwe and Retired
Brigadier Elisha Muzonzini. Chipanga is now the MP for Makoni East.
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Daily News

Mugabe mistrusts Cabinet ministers

10/29/01 7:39:28 AM (GMT +2)

From Energy Bara in Masvingo

PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday said he no longer had confidence in some of his
Cabinet ministers whom he said were likely to give up the fight if sanctions
are imposed against Zimbabwe over the controversial land issue.

Addressing Zanu PF supporters at the 79th birthday celebrations of
Vice-President Simon Muzenda at Mucheke Stadium, Mugabe said some of his
ministers did not have enough courage to stand the heat during difficult

Mugabe said: “If I look at the calibre of the ministers that I have, I do
not trust them . . . They might say something good now, but if sanctions are
imposed because of the land issue, I know they will give up.”

Mugabe, accompanied by the First Lady, Grace, took a swipe at his close
advisers, saying they were not giving him the right information.

“As a leader, I am like a striker, and if I am not given a good pass, I will
not be able to score.”

Mugabe castigated the British government for failing to support the country’
s land reform programme.

“The British have no resources of their own and cannot survive without
Africa and other countries,” he said.

Mugabe accused non-governmental organisations of sponsoring the opposition

Meanwhile, Shuvai Mahofa, the Deputy Minister of Youth Development, Gender
and Employment Creation, ordered war veterans and the police not to allow
anyone out of the stadium before the presidential speech.

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Daily News

UK holds on to land funds

10/29/01 7:46:24 AM (GMT +2)

By Columbus Mavhunga

REPRESENTATIVES of Britain and Canada, who attended the Commonwealth
Ministerial meeting in Harare last week, want allegations of violations of
the Abuja Agreement investigated first.

They said their governments were not yet ready to finance Zimbabwe’s land
resettlement programme until investigations of alleged serious violations
are concluded.

The Commonwealth team, led by the Secretary-General, Don McKinnon, and
comprising foreign ministers from Britain, Australia, Canada, Jamaica,
Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, was in the country to assess whether
Zimbabwe was honouring commitments made under the Abuja Agreement signed in
Nigeria on 6 September.

Baroness Valerie Amos, representing Britain, said they were shocked by some
of the issues raised during the fact-finding mission.

Amos said there was need to investigate and substantiate reports of the
violations of the agreement, as presented to them by different groups,
before Britain could consider funding the land reform programme.

Under the agreement, Zimbabwe undertook to end illegal farm occupations and
stop political violence.

Amos said: “We listened to more than 30 groups and there were very divergent
views about the situation on the ground since the Abuja Agreement.

“The issue of political violence was raised. We were shocked by the rawness
and depth of the issues. The issues are more deep-rooted than we thought.

“The UK government will be in a position to make a commitment of funding
when a United Nations Development Programme team has made its findings and

The UNDP assessment team is expected in the country during the middle of

Amos’ sentiments were echoed by David Kilgour, the Canadian Secretary of
State (Africa and Latin America), who said: “There is a strong perception
that your land reform programme is still not in line with the Constitution
of the country. The funding will depend on the outcome of the report of the
UNDP technical team. Before that, it is impossible to promise any money.”

Amos and Kilgour made the remarks after Sule Lamido, the Nigerian Minister
of Foreign Affairs and the meeting’s chairman, had read the communique at
the end of the visit. The communique expressed concern over reports of
serious violations of the Abuja Agreement.

Part of the communique reads: “The committee received a number of
conflicting reports of alleged violations of human rights and Press freedom
before and after the Abuja Agreement.

“It, therefore, called upon the law enforcement authorities to look into all
these allegations, ensure that the law is obeyed, in order to build the
necessary confidence that will ensure the speedy implementation of the Abuja

Lamido said he had made a “serious plea” to the Zimbabwean government to
ensure that the rule of law is observed.

Reuters said the Commonwealth ministers called on President Mugabe’s
government to fully implement the agreement to end Zimbabwe’s deepening land

In a communique, the ministerial team also urged co-operation with farmers
and dialogue on other issues confronting the nation.

McKinnon said the foreign ministers had managed to come up with a compromise
document despite initial disagreements on several issues.

“There was a lot of disagreements on a number of facts on the land crisis in
Zimbabwe, but there is no alternative other than to take this process
forward,” McKinnon said.

On Friday, the Canadian representative to the mission said the ministers
thought Mugabe’s government had done little to honour commitments made in
Abuja. Sanctions by some nations could be a possibility, Kilgour told
reporters in Ottawa by telephone from Harare.

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The Telegraph

Mugabe 'not moved by Commonwealth'
By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
(Filed: 29/10/2001)

A COMMONWEALTH delegation left Zimbabwe yesterday after three days of
meetings with the government of Robert Mugabe, farmers and opposition
politicians.Mugabe 'not moved by Commonwealth'

After eight hours of wrangling, the eight members of the delegation - which
included a representative of the Zimbabwean government - issued a joint
communique calling on Zimbabwe to respect an agreement signed in the
Nigerian capital Abuja last month.

The communique stopped short of criticising Zimbabwe for flouting the Abuja
agreement, which called for land reform within the rule of law, guarantees
of freedom of expression and a commitment to tackle violence and

Victims of the terror in Zimbabwe said the Commonwealth's intervention would
do little to advance security or human rights.

Brian Kagoro, co-ordinator of the Zimbabwe Crisis Committee, which
represents more than 200 civil rights organisations, said: "Mugabe ignored
the Commonwealth last month, and he will continue to ignore it now.
Democratic voices are isolated ahead of presidential elections."

Mugabe must hold presidential elections before March 17 and has said he will
stand again for the ruling Zanu PF against former trade unionist and leader
of the Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai.

Tendai Biti, member of parliament for the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, MDC, after presenting a dossier to the Commonwealth said: "We are on
our own. The Commonwealth is unable to do anything for Zimbabweans, but then
it hasn't always had a good record on human rights."

In the escalating crackdown on the MDC, more than 200 of its members,
including Tsvangirai, are awaiting trial for a variety of charges brought by
the Zimbabwe Republic Police.

David Hasluck, director of the Commercial Farmers' Union, said: "A feature
of the visit was that there was realisation by the Commonwealth group of the
conflict that exists on farms, because on the one hand farmers believe in
the law, and on the other the government promotes its own illegal process."

He said more than 30 commercial farms have been invaded since the agreement
in Abuja on Sept 6. "Farmers need to get back to farming immediately to
provide food for the nation and as a confidence-building measure to reduce
conflict on farms."
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The Guardian

Zimbabwe mission ends in fudge

Andrew Meldrum in Harare
Monday October 29, 2001
The Guardian

The Commonwealth was accused of giving President Robert Mugabe an easy ride
yesterday as it wrapped up its mission to Zimbabwe by avoiding censuring his
government for failing to uphold the rule of law and order.
In a statement acknowledged by Commonwealth officials to be "diluted", Mr
Mugabe was merely urged once again to maintain law and order. No mechanism
was established to monitor compliance.

However, the international pressure on Harare remains, since the European
parliament votes today on whether to impose sanctions on Mr Mugabe and his

The British government pledged £36m for land redistribution as part of the
Commonwealth agreement reached in Abuja last month. The Zimbabwean
government, in return, agreed to maintain the rule of law and the basic
principles of democracy.

But the seven Commonwealth ministers who visited Zimbabwe saw compelling
evidence that Harare had done little to uphold its promises, according to
diplomats attached to the mission.

Several of the ministers pressed for a hard-hitting condemnation of the
Mugabe government's continuing land seizures, political violence and media

But Harare was adamant that it had done little wrong, and fought to blunt
every pointed sentence in the final communique. Heated arguments raged
behind closed doors all day Saturday, the unscheduled third day which had to
be added to the mission because of the disagreement.

"The meeting to draft the final statement began with a majority of the
ministers determined to produce a strong condemnation," a Commonwealth
diplomat close to the talks said. "But the Zimbabwean government was defiant
and fought us on every point. In the end, because we needed to produce a
joint statement, we had to dilute it."

Canada took the hardest line, supported by Britain, and was on the brink of
pulling out altogether. The Nigerian foreign minister, Sule Lamido, and
Commonwealth secretary general, Don McKinnon, prevailed on the group to

The ministers stood firm in rejecting efforts by Harare to prevent them
speaking to government critics. They insisted on being allowed to speak to
all interested parties, and stayed all night on Friday to meet 30 groups,
including human rights activists and newspaper editors.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office minister for Africa, Lady Amos, said she
and all the Commonwealth ministers were "struck by the depth of emotion of
those people who told us of human rights violations and repression of the

"What we would like to encourage is a productive dialogue between the
government and these groups. Such a constructive dialogue would have to be
based on a rational and logical exchange, not on such emotions".

Although Lady Amos sought a conciliatory result, she was adamant that the
British government would not grant the Mugabe government new funds for land
redistribution until it was satisfied that the law was being respected.

Although no mechanism was set up to monitor the Mugabe government's actions,
Lady Amos said a new mission by the United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP) to study the land controversy would give an independent and
authoritative report.

"Any further aid from Britain for land reform would only come after a
satisfactory report from the UNDP," she said.

Zimbabwean ministers at the talks were smiling broadly as the final
communique was read out. The state controlled Sunday Mail proclaimed:
"Thumbs up for Zim".

Others were dejected. "After all that was said to the Commonwealth ministers
by groups that are not seeking to be the next government, we had expected a
stronger result," John Makumbe, chairman of the Crisis in Zimbabwe
committee, said.

"They had eyes to see that the Mugabe government is not implementing Abuja
and has no intentions of implementing it, because that would cause Mugabe to
lose the presidential elections [due by March].

"The Commonwealth has said to Zimbabwean civil society: 'You are on your
own.' We will look to other international bodies to apply pressure."
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The Irish Times

Mugabe avoids censure over land crisis

From Stella Mapenzauswa, in Harare
ZIMBABWE: President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe successfully avoided censure
when a Commonwealth delegation merely urged him at the weekend to uphold an
accord to end violent seizures of white-owned farms. Saturday's final
communique was a weak compromise from the Commonwealth ministerial team,
divided after three days of meetings with all sides in the land crisis.

The delegation, led by the Nigerian Foreign Minister, Mr Sule Lamido,
assessed Zimbabwe's adherence to a Nigerian-brokered agreement to end the
violent invasion of white-owned farms by pro-government militants.

"The Commonwealth is being rather cautious with Mugabe at the moment. I
think they are going to have to be tougher with him for all this to work,"
said Prof Brian Raftopoulos, a research professor at the Zimbabwe Institute
of Development Studies.

Under the agreement reached in the Nigerian capital Abuja last month,
Zimbabwe would end the farm seizures in return for funds from Britain to
implement a fair land reform plan.

Zimbabwe's white farmers say hundreds more farms have been occupied by
pro-government militants since the Abuja pact was reached on September 6th.
But the government denied the allegations and accused the white farmers of
trying to embarrass the government during the visit.

After meeting white farmers, farm workers and opposition groups, some
members of the Commonwealth delegation thought Mr Mugabe's government had
done little to honour the Abuja deal.

Mr David Kilgour, Canada's Secretary of State for Latin America and Africa,
said on Friday there had been "virtually no progress" on the government's
commitments, and he suggested that sanctions were a possibility. But in the
final communique, the Commonwealth team "called upon the government of
Zimbabwe to speed up, in particular, the delisting of farms which do not
meet set criteria and also implement the entire process in accordance with
the laws and constitution of Zimbabwe".

Britain and Canada had pressed for a sharper reprimand of Mr Mugabe's
government for allowing the violence on the farms to continue.

The EU is likely to take the first step towards sanctions today, after Mr
Mugabe's government rejected an EU election observer team. The EU's 15
foreign ministers are expected to demand consultations with Zimbabwe over
alleged human rights abuses. On Saturday, Britain's Baroness Valerie Amos
said in Zimbabwe that British aid would not be forthcoming until a UN
Development Programme team had satisfied itself that Zimbabwe was complying
with the Abuja pact. - (Reuters)

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Monday, 29 October, 2001, 08:32 GMT
Mugabe sanctions threat looms
Mugabe opening parliament on Tuesday
Mr Mugabe is accused by many of intimidating the opposition
European Union foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg are considering a formal threat of sanctions against Zimbabwe over its refusal to allow independent monitoring of next year's planned presidential election.

The ministers also face urgent issues related to Europe's contribution to the fight against global terrorism, and the attempt to provide security against possible future attacks.

Correspondents say the subject remains a fraught one after France and Germany and the UK angered other member states at the Ghent summit 10 days ago, by holding a separate meeting to discuss their possible military contributions to the US-led campaign.

The Luxembourg meeting also comes immediately after a visit to Zimbabwe by a Commonwealth delegation which called on Harare to investigate alleged violations of human rights.

Zimbabwean voters
There are fears of more political violence when elections are held next year

EU officials say a consensus is forming that the time has come to step up the confrontation with Zimbabwe.

The ministers must now decide whether to start a formal complaints procedure which could result in economic sanctions on Zimbabwe, including the ending of substantial amounts of EU aid.

There are persistent reports of Zimbabwe government supporters seeking to intimidate political opponents.

The European Union is also dismayed at the lack of progress in restoring law and order, since President Mugabe last month pledged to end the violent occupation of white-owned farms in return for British financial aid for land reform.

The Commonwealth delegation spent three days in Zimbabwe assessing the implementation of the recent Abuja agreement on land reform.

Under the terms of the agreement, Zimbabwe promised to end violent invasions of white-owned land, while Britain pledged to help fund a peaceful redistribution of land.

The Commonwealth ministers were deeply divided on what to say, and eventually came up with a weak declaration.

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From The Guardian (UK), 29 October

From News24 (SA), 28 October

No early end to Zim crisis

Harare – A statement issued at the end of a Commonwealth mission to probe what steps have been taken to end violence on Zimbabwe's farms in exchange for help with land reforms showed there is little hope for an early end to the crisis. Ministers from seven Commonwealth countries who made up the investigating team issued a cautious communiqué at the end of their three-day mission, calling on the government of President Robert Mugabe to implement the agreement signed in the Nigerian capital Abuja on September 6 and probe reports of rights abuses and violence. Under the terms of the Abuja agreement, Zimbabwe pledged to curb the violence that has raged in the countryside for 20 months in exchange for British financial backing for its land reform programme. Harare has said it has set up trouble-shooting committees to respond to incidents on farms. But Keith Martin, Canada's shadow secretary of state for Africa and Latin America who was part of the Commonwealth mission, said reality was "very different from what the government is saying. "The reality is frightening. Farmworkers have a loaded gun pointed at their heads and I find that quite chilling," said Martin.

The Commonwealth ministers also said in their statement that Harare has "established a process in accordance with the Abuja accord". But Martin said that the procedure of the talks "ensured that there would be a very mild (final) statement because the mission was operating under rules of consensus and with Zimbabwe being part of the process (...) it had to reflect Zimbabwe's position". Expressing fear for the stability of the southern African country, Martin added, "Zimbabwe must not be allowed to get into a spiral of violence and anarchy". If the Abuja accord is not satisfactorily applied, Martin said the international community must act and "remove the government of Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth".

Writer and political commentator Chenjerai Hove said it was unlikely that Harare would change its political strategy as a result of the Commonwealth ministers' visit. "I don't think we are going to change much. We are going towards elections violently, nothing is going to change," Hove said, adding that the Commonwealth team had been "thoroughly and properly hoodwinked" and had ended up with "a diluted version of what is happening on the ground". The Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), which represents 4 500 white farmers who own more than two thirds of Zimbabwe's prime farmland, responded cautiously to the outcome of the talks. David Hasluck, director of the CFU, said it was important that the ministers agreed on the "urgent need to get farmers to plant without interference, to build confidence and reduce conflict".

In the absence of mechanisms to monitor the implementation of the Abuja accord, analysts say the main problem is that Abuja is not a legal but a political agreement. A team of experts from the UN Development Programme (UNDP) will visit Zimbabwe in November to decide on the procedure and details relating to the application of the Abuja land deal. But Harare has remained adamant that land reforms will take place with or without Abuja. "Abuja or no Abuja, land is getting back to the people. No amount of lies, besmirching and demonising will stop the process," an editorial in the pro-government Sunday Mail said. Local media reported that the talks were divided on racial grounds, with Australia, Britain and Canada allegedly taking a stance opposed to that of Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.

From The Zimbabwe Independent, 26 October

Villagers denied Campfire proceeds

Villagers in the Matabeleland North province of Tsholotsho have accused a safari operator linked to Zanu PF of denying them proceeds from a Campfire safari project he operates in the area. The wrangle has engulfed the local authority after villagers questioned what they term an "unholy alliance" between council and the operator, Jake Andrews, over the alleged abuse of Campfire projects. The community claims it has been prejudiced of millions of dollars. Sources told the Zimbabwe Independent that the crisis dated back 10 years when Andrews entered into a joint venture agreement with council to establish a safari operation in Campfire management ground.

The joint venture allowed the safari owner to do business for nine years and 11 months with an option to renew on the same terms and conditions. The current agreement elapses on February 28 next year. The sources said it was odd for council to enter into a joint venture with an individual to run a project meant to benefit the whole community. Tsholotsho rural council last week flighted an advertisement inviting tenders for the area under lease. Sources said the new executive was reportedly eager to cancel the previous contract and run the Campfire project as a separate entity.

Villagers, who included traditional leaders, told the Independent that unlike other districts in the country, their community had not reaped any benefits from the Campfire project. The member of parliament for Tsholotsho, Mtoliki Sibanda, said he suspected there was more than meets the eye to the deal. "This whole deal is mired in secrecy," Sibanda said. "When I became MP for the area I requested a copy of the agreement but was told the copy has gone missing from council offices." Efforts to get a comment from the chief executive officer of Tsholotsho rural district council were fruitless by the time of going to press. Andrews scoffed at the idea when contacted for comment and said what he was doing was above board. "These people are just malicious and I am sure they are Movement for Democratic Change supporters. What they are saying is baseless," he said. "I have a contract with council and that is why I operate the safari."

From The Zimbabwe Standard, 28 October

Zanu PF women in Libya drama

Libyan authorities last month locked up in a cold room the information and publicity secretary of the Zanu PF women’s league, Nyasha Chikwinya, during a row over the pricing of goods exported to Libya for sale, The Standard has established. Chikwinya, the former Harare North member of parliament, was in Libya as part of a delegation of 40 Zanu PF women who were on a business exhibition tour of the north African country. The women had joined President Robert Mugabe’s entourage to Libya to commemorate the country’s 32 nd anniversary of the September First Revolution whose celebrations were taking place from 1 to 15 September.

The group of women was to have exhibited its goods for three days at the Arts and Crafts Gallery, and then sell them in foreign currency. Trouble started on the first day of trading when Libyan officials insisted on the right to peg the prices of goods from Zimbabwe, with Chikwinya strongly counter-arguing that the hosts had no right to determine prices. Chikwinya was eventually thrown into a cold room by Libyan security details for remonstrating with officials over the pricing of the goods. Sources told The Standard last week that Chikwinya was detained for about one hour in the cold room of the five-star Allbada hotel. Upon release, Chikwinya is said to have been shivering and to have immediately sought warm clothing. Contacted for comment on Thursday, Chikwinya said: "I am not talking to the press about our Libya trip. I’m in the process of writing a report to the national executive of the women’s league."

Other women who formed part of the delegation said bickering and political smear campaigns had cost them the Libyan market and valuable foreign currency. Goods worth about Z$5,5 million had to be abandoned in Libya when the women were ordered home prematurely because of their squabbles with the hosts. Scores of the women blamed their ordeal on the deputy minister of youth development, gender and employment creation, Shuvai Mahofa, whom they accused of conniving with the Libyans. Contact for comment, Mahofa confirmed that the women had encountered problems in Libya. "We had many women that we do not know, who wanted to travel to Libya and they had also carried excessive luggage. These women who are making noise are part of the MDC who wanted to take advantage of the trip," said Mahofa.

The participants had gone to Libya under the auspices of the Gadaffi Sisters Foundation, a coalition headed by Mahofa and formed to encourage cooperation between the Zanu PF women’s league and the Libyan government. Problems for the women started at the Harare International airport where Mahofa barred some would-be participants, accusing them of being members of the opposition. "We were left at the airport when Mahofa, without any basis whatsoever, accused us of being supporters of the opposition. We are business women from the party. She was only doing that because she wanted to accommodate Jocelyn Chiwenga and Saniso Katerere who are not part of the women’s league," said one woman who preferred anonymity. Jocelyn Chiwenga is wife of army commander, Lieutenant General Constantine Chiwenga, while Saniso Katerere is married to Harare businessman and Zanu PF MP, Philip Chiyangwa.

Upon arrival in Libya, the women were housed at a five-star hotel but their goods were taken by the Libyan authorities for safekeeping. The bickering among the women is said to have continued, prompting Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Libya, John Mvundura, to order some 30 women to return home but without their goods which remained in the hands of the Libyans. The other 10 women, led by Mahofa, remained and were allowed to continue trading but they encountered problems with the Libyans over prices resulting in the Chikwinya crisis. The 10 were then ordered to leave their goods behind and were advised that proceedings from the sales would be forwarded to them. However, no money was forthcoming and they have now been told by Mahofa that their goods were donated to the Libyans on the instructions of the Zimbabwean embassy.

Contacted for comment at his Tripoli office, Mvundura confirmed that the goods had remained in Libya. "I was asked by the leader of the delegation (Mahofa) to donate the goods, so speak to her," he said. Each participant has now been offered US$200 by the foundation as part of the allowances they should have been paid in Libya. Libyan leader, Muammar Gadaffi, facilitated the trip by providing a chartered plane to the Zanu PF women’s league to enable the participants to exhibit their wares which included wooden carvings, batiks, pottery, basket ware, crocheted items, sculptures, copper and other metal wares - weighing over 1 200 kgs in total. The list of the women who visited Libya for the anniversary includes Idah Mashonganyika, Sabina Mangwende, Tabeth Marumahoko, Shuvai Mahofa, Jocelyn Chiwenga, Saniso Katerere, Mandy Chimene and Florence Chiromo.

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