Another funeral, more to come.
Yesterday I attended the funeral service
for Learnmore Jongwe in Harare.
Just the other day we were mourning another
MDC legislator - George Ndlovu,
who died under mysterious circumstances after
attending a conference at
Great Zimbabwe. Learmore - what can we say? He was
young (28) already well
known as the MDC spokesperson and student activist.
He had been Chairman of
the SRC at University and then threw his weight
behind the drive for a new
constitution, after that he joined the MDC and
became the MP for Kuwadzana
and a member of our National Executive.
good-looking young man, he had an incisive mind and quick wit which made
a popular figure with the media. A trained lawyer, he quit his job to
a full time employee of the MDC so that he could maximize his
He was a key player in the Youth Assembly and a good public
speaker. In the
debates in the National Executive he could be relied upon to
for principle - even when it was unpopular. He will be
What happened - we will never know unless someone
inside the system spills
the beans. But the facts point to him being poisoned
in some way while in
the hands of the CIO. Why kill him when he was about to
go to court on a
murder charge and was probably going to face the gallows?
That is a mystery,
a revenge killing? Fear as to what might come out in the
court? Whatever the
reason, like the senseless killing of Steve Biko in South
Africa, we have
lost a very talented young Zimbabwean who was poised to make
contribution to the life of his country.
The funeral was
well attended - several thousand people, mostly young and
angry. The sight of
them pouring into the stadium where it was held roaring
"hondo, hondo" (war,
war) was disturbing if you want to see a peaceful
transfer of power in
Zimbabwe. These young people were angry - very angry
and the police (after
tear gassing the mourners again at the funeral parlor)
wisely stayed away
from the venue.
Then we lost the Insiza bi-election - by a huge margin.
We won this seat in
2000 by a narrow margin of 800 votes, this time it was 12
000 to 5 000. How
was this achieved by Zanu PF? Well its quite simple really
- you control the
whole process through a politically motivated Registrar
General who has 20
years experience in manipulating the voters roll and the
itself. Then you clamp down on the information getting into
by limiting the means of direct communication and massively
state media channels - TV, radio, the state controlled print
Then you inhibit the opposition in every way you can think of -
the right to campaign, locking up and beating their supporters
opportunity, throwing a armed cordon of roadblocks around and within
constituency to ensure full control on the ground. You deny the
the right to see the voters roll to avoid any embarrassing
people with addresses in Mashonaland appearing in their
thousands on the
You bus in hundreds of young, trained militia
in military uniforms and
station them throughout the area at key points. You
then take full control
of the food supplies to the people - about 200 000
people in all, you close
down the food aid programs, take over the transport
and distribution of all
commercial food supplies. Then you get the
traditional leaders (Headmen in
villages and Chiefs) to gather the people
together and at the meetings you
clearly spell out what will happen if they
vote for MDC - they will starve.
Just to drive home the message you hand out
seed packs (not available
through normal commercial channels) and small
grants of money for crop
inputs - see how generous we are with those who
support us? Any Headmen or
Chiefs who refuse to participate in this massive
form of intimidation is
told they will be replaced and lose their salary from
To make sure the opposition candidate is not able to somehow
this (with no money and little else available) you then drive
him out the
area altogether and get the police to tell him that "if he comes
we cannot protect him, or his family?" The candidate retires to
of Bulawayo and watches helplessly as the people who voted MDC in
stand in lines to vote for a party they hate and despise. Just so that
can guarantee they will get food for themselves and their families in
hard months ahead. Just to drive that point home, I am sure the World
Program and its affiliates will be back in Insiza this week.
working through Orap - run by a government Minister, or the Red
Chaired by a Minister.
To round off an successful exercise,
several hundred of the militia came out
of Insiza on Monday and on their way
to the train station to catch a special
train back to Harare, they attacked
the MDC Regional offices. They smashed
the windows and did a couple of
million dollars worth of damage to the
vehicles parked there. They also
attempted to burn the offices down but were
prevented by a handful of young
people on guard. (These are same offices
that were burnt to the ground last
year by a similar mob.) They then toy
toyed to the Station to go back to
their camps in the north to await the
next bi-election - Kuwadazana, now
vacant following the mysterious death of
Learnmore in State custody. No
action was taken by the Police, but they did
come and look at the damage and
took a statement - when asked why they do
not round up the mob at the Station
(less than a kilometer away) they simply
What does this all mean? Not a great deal I am afraid. Sure
Zanu got what
they wanted - but what for? It does not change the situation we
are in one
iota - no western Government is going to accept this sort of
process". It embarrasses regional governments who need to have
say that will enable them to defend the record of African
governments in the
field of governance. It is slowly dawning on the business
that there can be no economic turn around under Zanu PF
can be no relaxation of the network of sanctions that are
strangling the country and its political leadership. In fact this
activity simply makes our situation worse.
Today it is four
weeks since all food deliveries into the Binga District
were stopped by the
State as punishment for voting MDC in the recent local
Four weeks - 28 days without food. 200 000 men, women
and children under
siege. It's a national disgrace, it's a sad indictment of
the whole UN system
that they cannot defend even women and children in a
country at peace (no
armed struggle) despite the fact that they know people
are dying and that the
situation in hot dry, Binga is beyond imagination.
This is a crime against
humanity, no less, and if the international
community does not do something
soon to break the deadlock, we will have to
think of something that we can do
- and let me tell you, our young people do
not need any
Bulawayo, 29th October 2002.
Stevens' murder suspects apply to court for
10/29/02 11:08:36 PM (GMT +2)
THE lawyers for four suspects in the murder of Macheke
Yendal Stevens, applied for their clients to be discharged at
the close of
the State's case in the High Court yesterday.
They applied to High Court judge, Justice Benjamin Paradza, to have
clients discharged. The judge is expected to make a ruling on the
Charles Kandemiri of the Attorney-General's
Office said the State had
proved there was a prima facie case against the
William Chirambasukwa represented Richard Svisviro of
in Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe. Innocent Musimbe represented
Muyengwa Munyuki of
Murehwa business centre.
represented Charles Matanda of New Canaan, Highfield,
and Clement Phiri
represented Marondera war veteran, Douglas Chitekuteku.
the lawyers said when the last two State witnesses testified
that the State
had failed to prove a case against their clients.
told the court that the State had failed to prove
through its witnesses that
his client and the other suspects had acted in
common purpose and with intent
to kill Stevens.
He cited the example of Stephanus Krynauw, a
farmer who went to assist
Stevens when violence broke out at his Arizona
Farm, who could not identify
the suspects. Musimbe said one witness
identified as Chigwada had exonerated
his client. "The perpetrator is the
actual person who pulled the trigger and
shot the deceased," Musimbe said.
"Whoever that person is, the State
witnesses failed to identify them, but
certainly it was not my client."
Chinyama said there was not an
"iota of evidence showing common
Phiri said there was no
evidence laid before the court to suggest that
his client, Chitekuteku, was
at the scene of Stevens' murder.
Kandemiri said contrary to what
the lawyers had said in their
applications, the State had managed to prove
the suspects had a case to
answer and the court could convict all of them on
the basis of the State
Munyuki, Chitekuteku and one Banda Katsamudanda,
who has yet to be accounted
for, are believed to have been part of a mob of
Zanu PF militants who
abducted Stevens from Arizona Farm in Macheke on 15
April 2000, took him to
Murehwa Heroes' Acre where one or two of them
allegedly shot him twice with a
Stevens died instantly.
They later allegedly
placed Stevens' body in a pick-up truck and
dumped the body and the truck in
Mukarakate communal lands.
War vets pave way for Moyo on farm
11:10:35 PM (GMT +2)
ABOUT 14 war
veterans, settled in February 2000 at Patterson Farm in
Mazowe, have been
ordered to leave the property, now believed to be
earmarked for Jonathan
Moyo, the Minister of State for Information and
Publicity in the President's
Yesterday, the junior minister, when asked for comment
on his alleged
intention to occupy Patterson Farm, immediately switched off
A war veteran who refused to have his name published
people from Moyo's office had harassed his colleagues on the
farm. He said
his colleagues now feared for their future on the farm. He
said: "Who is
Moyo to be offered land for which some comrades suffered for
the past two
"Our comrades have lived on the farm with
all their faith in the
system. Who is he, considering his background in the
party? The party can be
destroyed because of the affected comrades. We will
be under pressure
because these people will be forced to turn against us. We
will forward our
issue to President Mugabe."
He said Joseph
Made, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural
Resettlement, who had
promised to look into their issue, had not replied to
"If they continue to favour ministers, it will lead war
lose respect for ministers. We are also part of government and
The war veteran leader said they had
arranged to speak to Patrick
Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice, Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs, but the
meeting did not materialise.
Patterson Farm is part of Danbury Park Farm, formerly owned by Tom
who has since left.
Tom Bailey(Snr), 89, held hostage by war
veterans at his farm for 37
days, died in May. His son, Tom (Jnr), his wife
Patricia and their
two-year-old daughter Diana were also held captive in two
homesteads on the farm. Bailey Snr walked with the aid of a frame
replacement surgery two years ago, and needed regular assistance.
settlers said yesterday they were surprised at the manner in which they
been treated by the government since their invasion of the farm, and
subsequent allocation of plots under the
Nixon Mushore, 42, said they had been on the farm since 5
2000. "We were officially allocated the 14 plots by the provincial
committee in Bindura," Mushore said, "some of us built decent houses.
started preparing our land and now we have been ordered to leave.
has been explained to us."
He said the national office
of the command centre at the Ministry of
Lands, Agriculture and Rural
Resettlement had informed them they would be
allocated plots at Belluvue
Farm, near Jumbo Mine in Mazowe.
"Major Mushakavanhu, a member of
the lands command centre, came to
Patterson Farm about a fortnight ago and
told us we should move out to pave
way for Moyo," Mushore said.
He said Mushakavanhu promised them the government would assist them to
about three hectares for each war veteran affected by the eviction.
said: "They told us they would use maximum force to evict us if we
leave the farm.
"The situation is so tense we fear the government
might really arrest
some of us for refusing to go." Another war veteran,
only as Comrade Marks, said they had been issued with
eviction letters on 11
October, ordering them to leave the farm immediately,
or they would be sent
He said the letters were issued
by Mushakavanhu with the help of
policemen from Marlborough Police
Station.But Inspector Moses Mandizvidza,
the officer-in-charge at the police
station, denied his officers were in any
way linked to the reported
"I did not order anyone to be removed. I know the farm.
It has been
quiet in recent days. I am not aware of what happened there. If
police officers there, they were not from Marlborough Police
But the war veteran leader at Danbury Park Farm, who
asked not to be
named, said 22 war veterans were allocated about 40-hectare
plots at Danbury
Park Farm, with 14 settled at Patterson Farm.
The veteran said only 22 veterans at Danbury Park Farm had been issued
offer letters from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and
"Everyone was formally allocated land by the
committee," he said. "It was pegged. People had been
developing their plots
as they were waiting for their promised offer letters
from the government."
Fate of arrested foreigners unclear
10/29/02 11:57:04 PM (GMT +2)
From Our Correspondent in
THE fate of nine foreign nationals arrested after they had
entered Zimbabwe illegally from Mozambique, remains unclear, amid
they could have been taken to Harare for vetting by a refugees'
The nine, eight Rwandan nationals and one from
Burundi, were arrested
last month in the Border Streams area of Vumba and are
reported to have
indicated to the police that they were in the country to
There were also reports, however,
indicating the nine could now be at
Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge, which
accommodates more than 800
refugees mostly from the Great Lakes region of
Central Africa who have fled
civil wars and ethnic fighting.
John Adu, who heads the United Nations High Commission for Refugees
Harare, was expected to meet Zimbabwean government officials to
fate of the nine.
Adu declined to discuss the matter when
contacted, saying he could
only do so after meeting the Zimbabwean officials
who include Isaac Mukaro,
the commissioner of refugees.
week, Wayne Bvudzijena, the police spokesperson, said the police
the nine foreigners.
Bvudzijena said: "They were arrested on 17
September at Border Stream
and were handed over to the Department of
Immigration for interrogation."
He said all nine had said they
wanted to apply for political asylum in
from Rwanda and Burundi and to a lesser extent the
Democratic Republic of
Congo, have over the past year been trekking into
Zimbabwe seeking political
asylum as tensions in the affected countries
continue to rise.
In Rwanda, the Tutsi-led government of President Paul Kagame has
massive witch-hunt on individuals suspected to have participated
in the 1994
genocide which left about one million people of Tutsi ethnicity
politically moderate Hutus dead.
In Burundi, a peace deal
negotiated by former South African leader
Nelson Mandela recently collapsed
after armed groups belonging to the Hutu
tribe refused to recognise the
transitional government installed as part of
the deal. The 10-year-old civil
war in Burundi has claimed lives in excess
of 300 000.
are underway in Tanzania to resolve the crisis.
Settlers charged with arson
11:50:34 PM (GMT +2)
of a group of settlers who torched 39 workers' huts at
two farms in Macheke
last year, were last week convicted of arson and public
violence by a
Marondera Magistrates' Court.
Onias Mukomawasha, 35, Elijah
Kagoni, 40, Rueben Kanjanda, 45, and
Nicholas Mukowa, 25, who were
represented by Clement Phiri, pleaded not
guilty when they appeared before
magistrate, Clemence Ngweshiwa. They are
expected to be sentenced
In passing judgment, Ngweshiwa said the four and their
acted in common purpose and it was not necessary for the court to
conduct of each of them.
On 18 September, the four men
who were part of groups of settlers who
took over Mazuri and Murrayfield
farms in Macheke during a spate of farm
invasions in the district, ganged up
with their peers and attacked workers
at Mazuri Farm and set 17 workers' huts
MDC election agents purged
11:20:45 PM (GMT +2)
From Our Correspondent in
SCORES of MDC polling agents have been displaced following
wave of violence perpetrated by suspected Zanu PF supporters during
rural district council polls in Zaka.
Last Njokoza, one
of the victims was on Thursday severely assaulted
and left for dead by
so-called war veterans in Fuve communal lands because
he was an MDC polling
agent.Njokoza sustained serious injuries all over his
body after he was
Njokoza said: "I was assaulted all over the body for
MDC. Several other MDC polling agents have been assaulted and
some of them
have fled their homes to seek refuge in towns."
assailants threatened to beat anyone who supported the MDC during
elections. I am not going back home until the
He was an MDC polling agent at Fuve Primary
School. The situation in
Zaka district remains tense as the so-called war
veterans embarked on a
witch hunt to identify MDC supporters.
Leading the terror campaign is a war veteran only identified as Game
and Zanu PF youths named as Hezekia Munwa and Freddy Munzwa.
alleged that the so-called war veterans called for meetings
during the day on
the pretext that they wanted to give food aid to the
the meetings they then called suspected MDC supporters and
assaulted them in
front of other villagers. The police in Zaka on Sunday
confirmed that a
report was made by Njokoza. They said they were
Lucia Masekesa, the MDC Masvingo women's assembly
yesterday said scores of their supporters in Zaka have been
because of the violence.
Masekesa said most polling
agents in the district were ordered to
leave the area soon after the
28 Oct 2002 20:12
Zimbabwe opposition blames
govt for MP's
By Stella Mapenzauswa
HARARE, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's main
opposition blamed President
Robert Mugabe's government on Monday for the
death of its former spokesman
while in custody awaiting trial for allegedly
murdering his wife.
A leading civic activist, speaking at Learnmore
Jongwe's funeral on
Monday, also urged supporters of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) to
protest against what he called an "illegitimate
government" as a tribute to
the party's former information secretary and
member of parliament.
Riot police kept a watchful eye as thousands
of MDC supporters singing
anti-government songs and waving party regalia
lined the streets for
Jongwe's funeral procession.
alongside the hearse carrying his body as it drove around his
constituency in the capital Harare.
Jongwe, one of Zimbabwe's
youngest legislators at 28, surrendered to
police in July after his wife died
in hospital following a stabbing incident
at their home in
Police said Jongwe, who was treated at the prison hospital
suspected chest infection on October 19, developed a severe cough
vomiting two days later leading to his death on October 22.
"This regime is accountable for his death. Jongwe is joining thousands
MDC who died, were raped and displaced as a result of this brutal
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai told supporters at the
Tsvangirai is challenging Mugabe's re-election
to a fifth term in
office in March after a poll many Western countries
condemned as fraudulent.
Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of the National
Constitutional Assembly, a
coalition of civic groups, also paid tribute to
Jongwe and urged MDC
supporters to protest against Mugabe.
"Learnmore fought for a new constitution, we must fight for a
constitution. Learnmore fought for a new government, we must fight for a
government. When you come back from (his funeral) we want you to
demonstrations," Madhuku said.
Jongwe's death and two
by-election defeats have left the MDC with 54
announced on Monday the ruling party had reclaimed the
of Insiza in a weekend election to replace an
opposition member of parliament
who died in August.
Formed in 1999, the MDC won 57 out of 120
seats at June 2000 elections, riding on a wave of
public discontent over an
economic and political crisis blamed on government
But the ruling party says the MDC's by-election
voters are disillusioned with a party it accuses of serving
the interests of
Mugabe says the MDC is a
puppet of the West, led by former colonial
ruler Britain, which wants to see
him ousted in retaliation for his seizure
of white-owned farms for
redistribution to landless blacks.
Wildlife under threat, says Nhema
11:52:07 PM (GMT +2)
From Our Correspondent in
THE Minister of the Environment and Tourism, Francis
acknowledged that poaching and massive environmental degradation in
resettlement areas are a threat to the implementation of his ministry's
million integrated conservation plan.
addressing guests at a solar eclipse promotional function
Beitbridge by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority last week.
wildlife in the resettlement areas was exposed to two
Nhema said: "One is where the landowners wish to
carry out mass
translocation of animals to undesignated farms. The other
threat comes from
resettled people who do not fully appreciate the value of
resources against other agricultural activities.
"These factors undermine the sustainability of the resettlement
since wildlife-based enterprises are an attractive means of
many commercial farms."
He said the Department of National Parks
and Wildlife Management,
which was this year reported to be so understaffed
that it was operating at
its lowest capacity, had intensified anti-poaching
efforts with the support
of other government agencies to minimise the
negative impact of resettlement
on the environment. The increasing use of
firearms in poaching had reduced
significantly the number of animals in the
wildlife conservancies, he said.
In Matabeleland North, the
government has ignored the concerns of
environmentalists, and last month
announced that it would proceed with plans
to resettle more people in the
Gwayi Forest Conservancy.
Cattle rustling reaches alarming levels in
10/29/02 11:19:58 PM (GMT +2)
Bara in Masvingo
SMUGGLING of basic commodities and livestock has
hit Sango border post
in Chiredzi, amid reports that cattle rustling has
reached alarming levels
in the surrounding areas.
development has prompted the police to strengthen operations at
post to curb the practice as hundreds of illegal cross-border
goods into neighbouring Mozambique, where there is a
Due to the high demand of beef in Mozambique,
cattle rustling has
reached alarming levels in Mwenezi and Chiredzi
districts, where more than
10 000 beasts are reported to have been stolen
since the beginning of the
The two districts share the
border with Mozambique. Most of the stolen
livestock is allegedly smuggled
into Mozambique, where an ox can fetch as
much as $100 000.
Clark , the Commercial Farmers' Union regional spokesman, said
rustling was rampant in Mwenezi and Chiredzi districts, threatening
industry in the country with imminent collapse.
He said most of the
stolen livestock were smuggled into Mozambique
where demand for beef was
Clark said: "Cattle rustlers are stealing even the breeding
need to import the breeding herd because most of the cattle have
"It has become difficult to curb stock theft
because of uncontrolled
movement of cattle in occupied farms. "We are
appealing to the government to
reconsider its position and engage in dialogue
with the commercial farmers
so that the land issue is resolved once and for
all." The police in Masvingo
on Sunday confirmed that smuggling of livestock
and goods at the border post
had increased. Inspector Learn Ncube, the police
spokesperson, said more
police officers had been deployed to the Mozambican
border to curb the
practice. Several entry points had been established by
traders, in order to evade the police.
Ncube said: "The situation has improved since we have sent more
try and curb the practice.
"Smuggling of basic commodities and
livestock at the border post has
reached critical levels, but we are doing
our level best to deal with the
Time for another country-wide aerial
10/29/02 12:21:11 AM (GMT +2)
DAILY life in Zimbabwe has become such a struggle for us all
worrying about today is about the best we can do. We worry about the
inflation rate, the bills we cannot pay and the food we cannot
Amidst all this stress and the battle for survival, we
seem to have
forgotten that it is our right and duty to demand accountability
leaders. We, the taxpayers, pay their wages after all, we own their
houses and buy the food and drink that fills their
One month after the end of the 2001 growing season in
Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Minister Joseph Made
said: "There is no
need for the government to import any maize. The Agritex
figures are not
"I have flown around the country and
seen that there is plenty of
maize in the communal and resettlement areas."
(The Herald, 7 May 2001). Two
months after making that statement and during
winter when it is cold and dry
and most things have stopped growing, Made had
changed his mind.
"We have made it clear, we will certainly have a
shortfall," he said.
(Herald, 6 July 2001) By November 2001 Zimbabwe had
indeed run out of maize
and we have been hungry ever since.
Another whole growing season has come and gone since Made got confused
what he'd seen from the air and changed his mind about food security
In that season, when farmers should have been doubling up
to try and
replenish the empty granaries and fill hungry bellies, exactly the
happened. Ninety-five percent of farms were listed for State seizure
People who called themselves war veterans were joined
government supporters and they chased the growers of food off the
rampaged and pillaged, barricaded and evicted farmers. They held
pungwes (political indoctrination meetings), seized, stole and
agricultural equipment and did not let anyone grow any food at all.
season was also wasted and even when it became clear that we were in
middle of a drought, still no one in authority did anything to stop the
pillaging and ensure food security. Made's head was saved by the
of first a drought, and then a national disaster. He didn't
explain why, after a drought, our dams were full and rivers were
I think it's about time Made did another little aerial
flip around the
country so that he can start working on the excuses as to why
we are going
to waste the third growing season in a row.
67 kilometre journey from Marondera to Harare through prime
is absolutely nothing to see. The dairy cows, beef herds and
sheep are gone.
There are no new-born calves to see.
The hillside fields which
have, for decades, been covered with dry
wheat waiting to be reaped at this
time of the year, are barren. Huge
gumtree plantations have been felled or
burned and are scruffy-looking, thin
men sit on the sides of the road trying
to sell cords of stolen wood.
The fields which always grew early,
irrigated maize for sale as
succulent green cobs are no more. The huge
vegetable farms which were always
bursting with life and activity as you
approach Ruwa are deserted. The
flower farms are gone too and, aside from
one, there are no more roses or
carnations here, no more export crops, no
more foreign currency. The herb
growers have gone too, no more garlic,
parsley, or aromatic oils.
The scenery on the roadside from
Marondera to Harare is utterly
desolate. It is not a case of longing for
views that were always there and
neither is it a question of being a "when
we" ex-farmer. It is the view of
nothingness that is so desperately
depressing for the next year in Zimbabwe.
There is no sign of land
preparation at all.
Along the 67km of road there is one small field
of perhaps five
hectares which has been ploughed and planted with tobacco.
There is not one
other ploughed field to be seen.
dozens of kilometres where all the fences have gone and the
are criss-crossed with footpaths made by Zimbabwe's
Fly high when you do your aerial survey this year,
perhaps from a few thousand metres up it won't look as bad as
it really is.
I will be really surprised if the Zimbabwe taxpayers
many more of your lame excuses. You and your ministry have made
and have stripped our lands of life, diversity and money, but don't
who it is that pays your salary every month.
State paranoia against press
10/29/02 12:20:13 AM (GMT +2)
former Minister of Information, Dr Nathan Shamuyarira can speak
authority of the origins of the Zimbabwe Mass Media Trust (ZMMT), which
created during his tenure of office.
But he ought to be
more straightforward in recounting ZMMT's history.
Its autonomy was not
trashed by anyone but by an intolerant government which
paranoid about the role of the media in developing the
As soon as the public media, including newspapers, radio and
displayed the slightest inclination to criticise government
responsible were immediately removed or reassigned to the
version of the Siberian salt mines, where they vegetated.
as the government viewed the public media as performing its
as the megaphone of every government action, including the
massacres in the
Matabeleland and the Midlands provinces, every leader was
It was when editors started probing, thoroughly and
certain government actions and policies that the authorities
tack. Such people became, almost overnight, enemies of the
State. They were
hounded out of journalism, if they did not find a niche in
burgeoning independent media fraternity.
through the ostensibly noble idea of forming the ZMMT the
to introduce a "neutral" Press, in reality Zanu PF's
could not sustain this hypocrisy.
Today, the paranoia against the
independent or privately-owned media
has degenerated into a dangerous
obsession. Shamuyarira speaks with a
straight face of the "Press being used
as an instrument to remove the
government" all because in 2000 the people
rejected the Zanu PF draft
constitution in a referendum and later rejected a
good number of Zanu PF
That year could
be labelled as Zanu PF's Year of Panic. In its panic,
the party sought to
demonise the independent media, the churches which would
not watch with
folded arms while the government and its party terrorised the
people, and any
non-governmental organisation which spoke against its
But special venom was reserved for the independent Press.
minister once described certain journalists in the
privately-owned media as
"terrorists". If anything was designed to expose
publicly the paranoia of
the government towards the voices of neutrality and
independence in our
society, that statement did it.
meant was that, henceforth, the government would treat such
terrorists, to be hunted down like animals and eliminated, as
perceived to constitute a threat to the survival of the government
day.In passing the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
(AIPPA), the Parliament of Zimbabwe may have virtually sealed the
this country ever being re-accepted into the community of nations
civilised, democratic state.
For its other policies, such as its
illegal seizure of commercial
farms, its persecution of the opposition, its
racist campaign against a
section of the population, the government is
already of the blacklists of
many foreign countries.
The Head of
State and his entire Cabinet and many of the ruling party'
including the Chief Justice, are on those blacklists. After
journalists have been barred from practising under AIPPA, more
bound to open their own blacklists.
As far as this government is
concerned, the privately-owned media
constitutes a far more serious threat to
its survival than the spectre of
the death of six million people from
Certainly, it has acted with more vigour to muzzle the
media than it has to fend off the threat of death from starvation
people. The tragic irony is that one reason why many countries are
to help the country with food aid is because of its intolerance of
whether it is from the independent media or from the churches, the
or the trade union leaders.
Such a government may
survive in the short term, but the chances are
that it is digging its own
Protesters in Johannesburg say Mugabe must go
October 29, 2002,
About 100 Zimbabweans held a placard protest on
Drive this morning calling on South Africans on their way to
work to show
their support for the downfall of Zimbabwe president Robert
One protester said the group was made up of jobless
hit by famine and others whose lives were in danger because they
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
"We are suffering in Zimbabwe...people are dying
from no food
and others are dying because of Mugabe," he said, drawing his
his throat to indicate a person's throat being
A woman with two small children said she could not
afford to buy
food in Zimbabwe and was in South Africa temporarily to hawk
some goods for
food to keep her children and relatives back home going. A
number of the
protesters were from Matabeleland province, where they said
withheld food aid since the vast majority of voters backed the
Tsvangirai in the presidential elections in
A Zimbabwean newspaper The Standard reported yesterday
Zanu-PF government had prohibited a consignment of 1 000 metric
maize destined for Matabeleland and sourced by the Catholic Fund
Oversees Development (Cafod) from being brought into the
Earlier this month, the World Food Programme pulled
Insiza, southwest of Harare, saying that the food was being
people on the basis of political affiliation. In less than
since Zanu-PF lost the February 2000 referendum on
which presaged defeat for the ruling party in then
elections, the economy has gone into rapid
In the 32 months since then, GDP has fallen 24%,
inflation has gone up to 135%, the value of the currency has dropped
and arrears on foreign debt of $3,4 billion have risen from 2% of GDP
Commercial agriculture, formerly the engine of the
stopped, tourism earnings have fallen 80%, annual gold
production has been
halved to 14 tonnes and more than 300 000 of a formal
workforce of 1,3
million have lost their jobs.
population of 13 million people are experiencing famine
and 35% of all adults
are afflicted by Aids. The hard currency black market
has become the
country's biggest growth industry. - Sapa
ZIMBABWE: More teachers suspended for striking
IRINnews Africa, Tue
29 Oct 2002
Salary increases are expected in
JOHANNESBURG, - The impasse between striking teachers
in Zimbabwe and
the government over better pay continued on Tuesday as a
teachers were served with letters of suspension.
far close to 700 teachers have been ordered not to turn up for work
a break-down in talks between the government and the Progressive
Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), the union told IRIN.
"Contrary to reports
none of the 627 teachers that were fired had been
reinstated. In fact, just
today [Tuesday] 230 of our members received
letters of suspension. They have
been ordered to stay away from schools,"
PTUZ spokesman Macdonald Mangauzani
Mangauzani added that the suspension held for three months
teachers would not be remunerated during this time. Moreover,
would not be allowed to leave the country without the
permission of the
department of education and could not seek other employment
With a backdrop of 135 percent
inflation, teachers began the
nationwide strike on 8 October. They are
demanding a 100 percent salary
increment backdated to January this year and
another 100 percent cost of
living adjustment backdated to June.
On Monday, Minister of Education, Aeneas Chigwedere, announced that
government would assess the conditions of service for teachers, in a
that will see them receiving hefty salary increments in January next
the state-controlled Herald newspaper reported.
are among the poorest paid in the region. A high
school teacher takes home Z
$20,000 (US $365) a
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information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of
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All materials copyright ©
UN Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs 2002
Chigwedere to fire teachers procedurally
10/29/02 11:09:33 PM (GMT +2)
By Henry Makiwa
AENEAS Chigwedere, the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, has
the government would probe the teachers who have been suspended before
Speaking to the ZBC Newsnet, on Sunday, Chigwedere said: "There
regulations that do not empower us to fire them.
will, however, call for an inquiry and then conduct investigations
Chigwedere's permanent secretary, Dr Thompson Tsodzo,
teachers a fortnight ago for participating in the ongoing
for higher pay and improved conditions, called by the
Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) on 8
Announcing the dismissal, Tsodzo vowed the teachers would
accepted back and barred them from visiting their schools. Innocent
the PTUZ national co-ordinator, said yesterday he was concerned at
ministry's suspension of teachers when Advanced and Ordinary Level
were writing their final examinations.
"The government has, at some schools, suspended all the
staff and hired
inadequate, unqualified and inexperienced replacements to
invigilate the examinations.
"Almost all the teachers at Churchill,
Dzivaresekwa, Glen View 2,
Cranborne, Sobhukazi, Mzilikazi and Allan Wilson
high schools in Harare and
Bulawayo have been affected by the suspensions. It
really boggles the mind
how the government can stoop so low as to compromise
standards, because the ideal examination conditions have now
Sibanda condemned the government for
disrupting the PTUZ's meeting in
Harare last week. "It was a clear plot to
intimidate teachers and to
incapacitate us through repressive and draconian
laws such as the Public
Order and Security Act, from challenging the
dismissal of teachers from a
common position. We are surprised that even the
minister is now concerned
about the ongoing strike which he once dismissed as
Addressing Parliament at the onset of the strike,
at the teachers' action, saying "only two-and-a-half high
schools in Harare
and three more in Bulawayo" were on strike.
Funeral costs go up
10/29/02 11:56:01 PM
By Chris Mhike Business Reporter
executive funeral in Zimbabwe now gobbles up at least $1 million, a
insurance executive has said.
Launching the Executive
Funeral Assurance and Personal Accident Plan
in Harare last week, Maxwell
Katunga, the group chief executive of
Progressive Insurance Brokers, said
funeral costs, like costs of other goods
and services in Zimbabwe, had over
the past few years, risen astronomically.
Katunga said: "Executive status is
an image which is earned mostly through
hard work and initiative. It is an
image that needs to be maintained
throughout one's life span and thus should
be taken to the resting place in
the event of one's demise. An executive
deserves to live and depart this
world with the same image and
He said the liberalisation of monetary limits for life
policies by the Commissioner of Insurance last year had enabled
companies in Zimbabwe to introduce insurance products, truly
funeral-related costs for the country's elite. Katunga said:
discovered that the funeral-related costs at the death of an
executive now stand at $1 million or above. In this regard we thank
Commissioner who has lifted the limits previously imposed on the
industry. "The ceiling level of life assurance policies that were
in the past few years had become too low for many of industry's
Until October last year, funeral assurance
limits were regulated by
the commissioner of insurance under the Insurance
Before the introduction of the Executive Funeral Assurance
last week, the highest cover policies offered a ceiling of $30 000.
executives therefore complained that the policies on the market
inadequate for their needs. The new policy is co-underwritten by
Mutual Assurance Company and AIG Zimbabwe Limited, a member company of
American International Group. Administered by Progressive Insurance
the Executive Funeral Assurance and Personal Accident plan offers
schemes the bronze, silver and gold schemes. Under the bronze
clients will be afforded a minimum funeral assurance cover for
death and disability cover of $5 million with the maximum set at
million. The silver scheme provides a minimum cover of $16 million and
maximum of $35 million for accidental death or disability.
supreme category, the gold scheme, offers $26 million as the
and $50 million as the maximum, for the same eventuality,
accidental death or
disability. The Executive Assurance and Personal
Accident Plan premium and
sum assured are quoted in Zimbabwean currency.
Katunga said: "The
repatriation sum assured will be paid in Zimbabwe dollars
and will be
utilised to buy foreign currency for the benefit of the assured.
service delivery will be subject to the ruling or available
exchange rate on
SOUTHERN AFRICA: Project aims to fill seed gap
JOHANNESBURG, 29 October
(IRIN) - In response to the desperate need for agricultural rehabilitation in
Southern Africa, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has begun an initiative aimed at
providing timely inputs to farmers in the region.
Having just returned
from a trip to Zimbabwe to assess projects in that country, CRS spokeswoman
Franne Van Der Keilen told IRIN that in addition to general food distributions
and targeted feeding of the vulnerable, CRS felt it was "vital to address the
underlying factors" contributing to the regional food crisis. The organisation
had started seed fairs with this in mind.
"In Zimbabwe, CRS provides
vouchers to vulnerable farmers to allow them to purchase locally available seed
of their own choosing and appropriate to varying local ecological conditions.
The fairs offer a range of seed varieties in order to encourage crop
diversification, which help to balance people's diets," she said.
agencies estimate that about six million people will need food aid to survive in
Zimbabwe until the next harvest in March 2003. But with the World Food Programme
and Food and Agriculture Organisation warning of a critical shortage of seed and
agricultural inputs, the numbers could well climb should the next harvest
In instances where there was seed available, prices were generally
unaffordable for local farmers, the agencies had found.
initiative was aimed at meeting the critical need for appropriate seed inputs
for local farmers.
"Seed vouchers and fairs allow participants to operate
on a level playing field in choosing between local cash and traditional food
security seed varieties. The vouchers are denominated in local currency and
redeemable at the seed fairs. The fairs bring together local seed producers and
farmers, facilitating the exchange of appropriate agricultural varieties and the
sharing of local knowledge," Van Der Keilen added.
Apart from empowering
farmers, the CRS project aimed to strengthen the rural markets as seed traders
were guaranteed a market through the seed fairs.
"By providing the
farmers [with] the type and amount of seed they want, a cash injection into the
local economy takes place creating jobs and free market incentives while at the
same time, CRS uses free markets to distribute humanitarian assistance. It is a
new way of doing business in an emergency situation," she noted.
fairs and seed vouchers initiative in Zimbabwe was based on a model that was
developed by CRS and first applied in Uganda in 2000. "It is now used in a
number of countries in East Africa and was recently introduced to the Southern
Africa region," Van Der Keilen added.
Farmers warn of Zim-style crisis
Johannesburg - Farmers have warned that farm killings and
threatening to tip the country's agricultural sector into a
to that of neighbouring Zimbabwe.
"There is growing
concern among white South African farmers as regards their
future, mainly as
a result of events in Zimbabwe and Namibia, but also as a
result of certain
actions, or lack of action, in South Arica," leading trade
magazine SA Grain
said in an editorial in its latest edition.
"If this spirit of anxiety
and negativism is not addressed vigorously and
effectively, the long-term
sustainability of agriculture in South Africa is
accused President Thabo Mbeki of "marching down a road that must
end in the
destruction of the White South African".
The government has consistently
said it will not tolerate Zimbabwe-style
land grabs, emphasising that any
land reform that takes place under it will
be done in a market-friendly
manner and within the rule of law.
SA Grain said South African farmers
were "already experiencing
Zimbabwe-style situations on their farms", citing
one farmer who had been
unable to evict about 40 000 people who had illegally
occupied his land near
"The question in everyone's
mind...is: 'Will we have a Zimbabwe in South
Africa? Or...How long will it be
before we too are driven from our land?'"
Namibia's whites face farm seizures
By Michael Dynes in Windhoek
white farmers are bracing themselves for a descent
into economic and
political chaos Zimbabwe-style after a decision by
President Nujoma to draw
up a list of foreign-owned farms for seizure.
The hitlist, to
be published in the new year, will include many
of the 350 German and South
African-owned farms that the Government says it
requires to satisfy mounting
demands for land reform.
Emergency legislation is also being
rushed through the National
Assembly to make it illegal for foreigners to own
land. Under the terms of
the Agricultural Land Reform Amendment Bill, anyone
selling land to an alien
could be jailed for five years.
The land seizures list and legislation come hard on the heels of
vitriolic attacks on "arrogant white farmers" and threats of
consequences if white farmers do not "co-operate" with the
The Namibian National Farmers'
Union, the black farmers'
organisation, has accused white farmers of
attempting to sabotage all reform
by charging excessively high prices for
land and has claimed that the people
Hardline members of the ruling Swapo Party have
called on Mr
Nujoma to follow the example set by President Mugabe in
Swapo officials insist that they have no intention
foreign-owned land without compensation. But white farmers doubt
Government has the cash to pay for seizures and fears that popular
once aroused, could rapidly result in the land reform programme
out of control.
With fewer than two million
people in a country the size of
Germany, France and Britain combined, Namibia
has more elbow room than any
other nation in sub-Saharan Africa. But, unlike
fertile Zimbabwe, Namibia is
arid. Only 8 per cent of the land is arable, 70
per cent is semi-arid, and
the rest is desert. The bulk of farmland in
Namibia, which was annexed by
Germany in 1884, was divided into about 6,000
farms, many of which are the
size of Luxembourg. They were bought by white
settlers during the 30 years
that the country remained a German
Ethnic Owambo-speakers, who make up 51 per cent of
population and are Swapo's main support base, managed to retain most
their traditional communal lands in the fertile north of the country.
the Herero and Nama peoples from the arid central and southern
mounted a rebellion against the colonial authorities in
Tens of thousands of the rebels were massacred and
their lands. Those who were left were rounded up into native
used as pools of cheap labour for German colonial
About 3,500 white commercial farmers own around 30
hectares of farmland, most of which is semi-arid and used for
ranching and trophy hunting for wealthy European and American
Since gaining independence from South Africa in 1990, the
resettled 30,000 people on 7.5 per cent of commercial farmland
white farmers. But another 240,000 people still want to be
Mr Nujoma has accused white farmers of refusing to
land" and of demanding excessive prices for properties. Critics
the Government's Lands Resettlement and Rehabilitation Department
consistently failed to buy farms that have come on the market and
underspends its budget by two thirds because of bureaucratic
Jan de Wet, president of the Namibian
Agricultural Union, the
predominantly white farmers' organisation, said that
if 1 per cent of the
people wanting to be resettled on commercial farms were
given land, the
Government would have to take over virtually half the
"There is a hunger for farmland in
Namibia," Mr de Wet said,
"but the reality is that farmland is a scarce
resource. Not everyone can own
"Most farmland is used
for cattle ranching, which earns the hard
currency needed to feed the
population. Farmland must be reserved for
accepting the urgent need for more black commercial
farmers, Mr de Wet said
that any attempt to achieve this at the expense of
the viability of the
commercial farming sector would bring catastrophe. His
fear was that "the
legacy of resentment over the colonial past" could take
control of the land
reform programme. "Almost 70 per cent of the people are
dependent on rearing
livestock," he said. "If that was threatened, tourism
would collapse and
hunger would be at our door."
Helmut Halenke, a German farmer
whose grandfather bought the
family's 6,800- hectare farm in 1908, said:
"There are enough farms for sale
on the open market. It doesn't make sense to
farms. Mr Nujoma must tell his supporters that not
everyone can have a farm.
If he doesn't, we will end up like Zimbabwe."
From The Daily news, 28
CIO monitors Insiza
Despite widespread evidence of vote-buying by Zanu PF, very few
of the 45 000 registered voters cast their ballots in the two-day Insiza
parliamentary by-election that ended yesterday. However, the MDC alleged Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO) officers and youths from the Border Gezi
Training Centre observed and monitored the poll in a clear breach of electoral
laws as they have no such statutory role. Nearly 10 000 people cast their
ballots by the end of the first day, representing some 22 percent of the voters
in the constituency. There were bags of maize stacked at most polling stations
in a clear case of vote-buying by Zanu PF. Some village heads stood outside some
of the polling stations with lists of names of their subjects. At Ntute and
Mbokodo polling stations, several headmen stood outside the polling stations
recording the names of the people going in to vote. The MDC said it had
established that some of the voters had received seed packs and $2 000 each from
the ruling party. In a statement, the MDC said some of its polling agents were
barred from entering the stations by presiding officers. Jabulani Mbambo, the
constituency registrar, alleged the MDC had failed to register polling agents
for some polling stations.
Voting began on Saturday morning with a reasonable turnout, but
because of intimidation by Zanu PF in the run-up to the by-election, many people
refused to talk to The Daily News. The by-election pitted Zanu PF’s Andrew Langa
against Siyabonga Malandu Ncube of the MDC. "We have suffered enough. I hope
there is going to be peace now. I have voted, but please do me a favour by going
away," said one terrified villager at Tshazi. Yesterday, Ncube, the MDC
candidate, could not travel to the constituency after the police told him they
could not guarantee his safety. Ncube, who has survived an assassination attempt
last week, said: "I could not go to Insiza after the police told me that I would
go there at my own risk." Members of the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC)
yesterday refused to comment on the incident. The Zanu PF candidate, Langa, who
was chosen to represent the party at the last minute, allegedly shot and injured
an MDC supporter, Darlington Kadengu, during the campaign period. Professor
Welshman Ncube, the MDC secretary-general, said the incident and widespread
State-sponsored violence were some of the irregularities that made the whole
process not free and fair.
I have received the following appeal........if any readers are involved with or know of Wildlife Conservation organisations who may be able to help - please take up this cause with the relevant funding bodies..thanks, Karen
"WEZ Matabeleland Branch
P.O. Box 169
"Sharon Pincott has managed to raise funding in the UK, from the Born
Free and David Shepherd Foundations, for the
Imobilising Drugs and Andidote and for expansion of existing Anti Poaching Unit,
but she is still looking for funding for the Radio Collaring and Subsequent
Tracking Equipment to determine where the Presidential Herd roam:
Sharon's funding request is attached (below) for your
perusal: I have been trying to raise outside funding for the collars for
months, but sofar my requests have fallen upon deaf ears"
Presidential Elephant Research & Conservation Project
BASED ON IMMOBOLISATION OF 8 ADULT ELEPHANTS - ASSUMING 5 FOR
ANTI-SNARE TREATMENT ON DEMAND, AND 3 FOR COLLARING :
. Collars would be
fitted to snared elephants when appropriate (sex, age and size permitting),
thereby alleviating additional darting activity.
. Half of adult drug doses
are required for sub-adults, hence, if darting younger elephants for snare
removal, drug allocations below will treat more than 8 elephants.
Immobilising Drug and Antidote - M99 and M5050 double-pack
49mg bottle - sufficient for 4 adult elephants
& M5050 - 120mg
bottle - sufficient for 4 adult elephants £290.00each x 2 £580.00
Naltrexone (to add to M5050 antidote) 1 bottle £135.00
Antibiotic - Tricil
Tricil - 5 bottles per adult elephant £4.50
x 25 bottles £112.50
1.5ml darts - 2 per operation £2.75 each x 16 £44.00
600mm smooth (no collar) - 2 per operation £5.50 each x
(Disposables such as syringes, syringe needles and topical wound dressings
to be supplied compliments of the Painted Dog Research Project, who will be
doing the darting.)
Total for Drugs : £959.50
(Cost per snare removal from adult elephant - £128.50. Cost per snare
removal from subadult - £61.50. Cost per snare removal from infant -
RADIO COLLARING AND SUBSEQUENT TRACKING TO DETERMINE WHERE
‘PRESIDENTIAL HERD’ ROAM :
Radio Collars x 5 £275.00 x 5 £1375.00
Antennae for ground
Receiver for ground tracking £750.00
Total for Ground Tracking of elephants : £2,285.00
Microlight tracking time (given extensive home range)
2 x 1hr flights
per week for 28 weeks £40.00 per hr £2,240.00
INCREASE OF ANTI-POACHING PATROLS, IN AREAS WHERE THE ‘PRESIDENTIAL HERD’
ROAMS - I.E. EXPANSION OF EXISTING
ANTI-POACHING (SNARE REMOVAL) UNIT RUN
PAINTED HUNTING DOG PROJECT.
(COSTS BELOW BASED ON THOSE OF
CURRENT UNIT, WHO’S BASE CAMP IS NOT IN ‘PRESIDENTIAL HERD’/ HWANGE ESTATE AREA)
Setup of permanent base camp (One-off cost) £4,000.00
Wages and food - based on optimum unit size
of 8 men £2,000.00p.a.
With sincere thanks,
Presidential Elephant Research & Conservation
PO Box 121
Zimbabwean Journalist Receives Press Award
2002, 03:52 UTC
Listen to Jenny Badner's report from New York
Badner report - Download 465k (RealAudio)
Iden Wetherell (Photo courtesy of the Zimbabwe Independent)
editor of the weekly Zimbabwe Independent newspaper, Iden Wetherell, has been
named Editor of the Year by the New York-based World Press Review. The
organization calls Mr. Wetherell a courageous journalist who struggles under
difficult conditions to give his readers an honest perspective.
World Press Review says the Harrare-based Zimbabwe Independent is one of a
handful of media outlets to challenge what it calls the misperceptions spread by
Zimbabwe's state-run press. But it says, journalists such as editor Iden
Wetherell, face harsh censorship laws passed earlier this year under President
Robert Mugabe's government.
In the past year, Mr. Wetherell along with
thirteen other independent journalists in Zimbabwe have been arrested and
charged with "abusing journalistic privilege."
Speaking at an awards
ceremony held at the United Nations, Mr. Wetherell says that despite the many
challenges they face, the journalists are not the story. "We are not inclined to
complain too much about those conditions or make ourselves the center of any
particular sympathy when the people of Zimbabwe themselves are subject to much
Mr. Wetherell says he tries to expose the reality of the
conditions the people of Zimbabwe live under. Millions of Zimbabweans are in
danger of starvation and thousands of black farm workers have lost their homes
and jobs because of Mr. Mugabe's land distribution plan.
who is white, says that although land reform must be addressed in Zimbabwe, he
accuses Mr. Mugabe of claiming to redress the wrongs of colonialism by seizing
land for his cronies. More than 100 black Zimbabweans and 13 white farmers have
The "Zimbabwe Independent" is available internationally on
the internet. It has a reported 250,000 readers a week. Mr. Wetherell says he
tries to provide a public forum for Zimbabweans, who have been robbed of
democracy, particularly after intimidation and irregularities underscored
Zimbabwe's most recent presidential election. "We see our role essentially of
supporting the right of the people to criticize the government, to hold it
accountable in terms of its record on governance," he says. "We see our role not
simply as holding up the mirror in terms of accountability but in terms of
providing a forum of debate so that the Zimbabwean people can contribute through
the media to policies formulated for their social and economic improvement."
A representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Internally
Displaced People, Francis Mading Deng, presented Mr. Wetherell with the award.
He says that accountability and the freedom of expression is badly needed in
many African nations. "Now the problem is, responsibility implies accountability
and accountability has to be both national and global and to do that you need
information," he says. "You need an independent and free press in order to
inform the world about what goes on. That is the context in which we celebrate
what Iden has done and what the World Press Review does."
Press Review," a monthly magazine that focuses on the international media, has
recognized editors outside of the United States who work to advance freedom of
the press and human rights under difficult conditions, since 1975.
Zimbabwe says white farmers can't take equipment
Zimbabwe has banned 125 white
farmers evicted in a
state-sponsored land reform campaign from moving their
neighbouring Zambia where they planned to settle, officials have
white Zimbabwean farmers have been seeking to migrate to
Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana and Namibia after their land was
seized by the
Harare government for redistribution to landless
Cain Mathema, Zimbabwe's High Commissioner to Zambia,
Harare would not allow the white farmers to remove equipment from
designated for resettlement by blacks.
removal of any equipment from the farms designated
for reallocation is
tantamount to sabotage. It is illegal in accordance with
Zimbabwean laws and
cannot be allowed," Mathema said.
The 125 farmers had planned
to settle in Zambia before seasonal
rains began in
"The only problem they face is that they cannot
equipment. Otherwise they are keen to settle in Zambia," Enoch
the Zambian Vice President, told reporters.
Zimbabwe was plunged into political and economic crisis in 2000
militants backed by the state invaded white-owned farms in support
President Robert Mugabe's land reforms. Mugabe says the reforms
necessary to correct imbalances of colonialism which left most of
prime farming land in the hands of whites who form less than 1% of
Zambia has nearly 13 million hectares of
arable land - and 85%
of it is virgin unutilised fields. The Zambian
government wants to boost
farming in a bid to diversify away from the
country's economic mainstay,
copper mining, which has fallen on hard times.
Zambia and Zimbabwe are among
six countries in the region threatened by
severe food shortages due to
drought and poor government policies. - Reuters