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- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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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.

A good-looking young man, he had an incisive mind and quick wit which made
him a popular figure with the media. A trained lawyer, he quit his job to
become a full time employee of the MDC so that he could maximize his
contribution. 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
stand clearly for principle - even when it was unpopular. He will be sorely

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 a significant
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 voting procedure
itself. Then you clamp down on the information getting into the constituency
by limiting the means of direct communication and massively directing the
state media channels - TV, radio, the state controlled print media.

Then you inhibit the opposition in every way you can think of - denying them
the right to campaign, locking up and beating their supporters at every
opportunity, throwing a armed cordon of roadblocks around and within the
constituency to ensure full control on the ground. You deny the opposition
the right to see the voters roll to avoid any embarrassing questions about
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 the State.

To make sure the opposition candidate is not able to somehow undermine all
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 back here,
we cannot protect him, or his family?" The candidate retires to the safety
of Bulawayo and watches helplessly as the people who voted MDC in 2000,
stand in lines to vote for a party they hate and despise. Just so that they
can guarantee they will get food for themselves and their families in the
hard months ahead. Just to drive that point home, I am sure the World Food
Program and its affiliates will be back in Insiza this week. Probably
working through Orap - run by a government Minister, or the Red Cross,
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
shrugged their shoulders.

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 "democratic
process". It embarrasses regional governments who need to have something to
say that will enable them to defend the record of African governments in the
field of governance. It is slowly dawning on the business community here
that there can be no economic turn around under Zanu PF leadership. There
can be no relaxation of the network of sanctions that are gradually
strangling the country and its political leadership. In fact this type of
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
government elections. 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 encouragement.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, 29th October 2002.
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      Stevens' murder suspects apply to court for discharge

      10/29/02 11:08:36 PM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporter

      THE lawyers for four suspects in the murder of Macheke farmer, David
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
their clients discharged. The judge is expected to make a ruling on the
lawyers' application tomorrow.

      Charles Kandemiri of the Attorney-General's Office said the State had
proved there was a prima facie case against the accused.

      William Chirambasukwa represented Richard Svisviro of Chichetu village
in Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe. Innocent Musimbe represented Muyengwa Munyuki of
Murehwa business centre.

      Joseph Chinyama represented Charles Matanda of New Canaan, Highfield,
and Clement Phiri represented Marondera war veteran, Douglas Chitekuteku.

      Yesterday the lawyers said when the last two State witnesses testified
that the State had failed to prove a case against their clients.

      Chirambasukwa 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
witnesses' evidence.
      Svisviro, Matanda, 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 shotgun.

      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.
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      War vets pave way for Moyo on farm

      10/29/02 11:10:35 PM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      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 Office.

      Yesterday, the junior minister, when asked for comment on his alleged
intention to occupy Patterson Farm, immediately switched off his cellphone.

      A war veteran who refused to have his name published alleged that
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
their grievance.

      "If they continue to favour ministers, it will lead war veterans to
lose respect for ministers. We are also part of government and soldiers," he

      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
Bailey, 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 separate
homesteads on the farm. Bailey Snr walked with the aid of a frame after hip
replacement surgery two years ago, and needed regular assistance. The
settlers said yesterday they were surprised at the manner in which they have
been treated by the government since their invasion of the farm, and their
subsequent allocation of plots under the
      A2 resettlement model.

      Nixon Mushore, 42, said they had been on the farm since 5 February
2000. "We were officially allocated the 14 plots by the provincial land
committee in Bindura," Mushore said, "some of us built decent houses. We
started preparing our land and now we have been ordered to leave. Nothing
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
plough about three hectares for each war veteran affected by the eviction.
Mushore said: "They told us they would use maximum force to evict us if we
refused to 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, identifying himself
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
to jail.

      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 evictions.

      "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 there were
police officers there, they were not from Marlborough Police Station."

      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
with offer letters from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural

      "Everyone was formally allocated land by the provincial land
committee," he said. "It was pegged. People had been developing their plots
as they were waiting for their promised offer letters from the government."
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      Fate of arrested foreigners unclear

      10/29/02 11:57:04 PM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Mutare

      THE fate of nine foreign nationals arrested after they had allegedly
entered Zimbabwe illegally from Mozambique, remains unclear, amid reports
they could have been taken to Harare for vetting by a refugees' committee.

      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 seek political

      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
office in Harare, was expected to meet Zimbabwean government officials to
discuss the 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.

      Last week, Wayne Bvudzijena, the police spokesperson, said the police
had detained 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
the country.

      Nationals 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
launched a massive witch-hunt on individuals suspected to have participated
in the 1994 genocide which left about one million people of Tutsi ethnicity
and 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.

      Efforts are underway in Tanzania to resolve the crisis.

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      Settlers charged with arson

      10/29/02 11:50:34 PM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporter

      FOUR members 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 today.

      In passing judgment, Ngweshiwa said the four and their accomplices
acted in common purpose and it was not necessary for the court to prove the
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 on fire.
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      MDC election agents purged

      10/29/02 11:20:45 PM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Masvingo

      SCORES of MDC polling agents have been displaced following a fresh
wave of violence perpetrated by suspected Zanu PF supporters during the
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 assaulted.

      Njokoza said: "I was assaulted all over the body for supporting the
MDC. Several other MDC polling agents have been assaulted and some of them
have fled their homes to seek refuge in towns."

      "My assailants threatened to beat anyone who supported the MDC during
the council elections. I am not going back home until the situation

      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
Maduve and Zanu PF youths named as Hezekia Munwa and Freddy Munzwa.

      It was 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

      At 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
investigating the matter.

      Lucia Masekesa, the MDC Masvingo women's assembly chairperson,
yesterday said scores of their supporters in Zaka have been displaced
because of the violence.

      Masekesa said most polling agents in the district were ordered to
leave the area soon after the elections.


      28 Oct 2002 20:12
      Zimbabwe opposition blames govt for MP's death


      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.

      Many ran alongside the hearse carrying his body as it drove around his
Kuwadzana 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 Harare.

      Police said Jongwe, who was treated at the prison hospital for a
suspected chest infection on October 19, developed a severe cough and
vomiting two days later leading to his death on October 22.

      "This regime is accountable for his death. Jongwe is joining thousands
in the MDC who died, were raped and displaced as a result of this brutal
regime," MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai told supporters at the funeral

      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 new
constitution. Learnmore fought for a new government, we must fight for a new
government. When you come back from (his funeral) we want you to start
demonstrations," Madhuku said.

      Jongwe's death and two by-election defeats have left the MDC with 54

      State radio announced on Monday the ruling party had reclaimed the
southwestern district 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 contested parliamentary
seats at June 2000 elections, riding on a wave of public discontent over an
economic and political crisis blamed on government mismanagement.

      But the ruling party says the MDC's by-election defeats indicate
voters are disillusioned with a party it accuses of serving the interests of
minority whites.

      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.
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      Wildlife under threat, says Nhema

      10/29/02 11:52:07 PM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Beitbridge

      THE Minister of the Environment and Tourism, Francis Nhema has
acknowledged that poaching and massive environmental degradation in the
resettlement areas are a threat to the implementation of his ministry's $88
million integrated conservation plan.

      Nhema was addressing guests at a solar eclipse promotional function
hosted in Beitbridge by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority last week.

      He said wildlife in the resettlement areas was exposed to two risk

      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 the wildlife
resources against other agricultural activities.

      "These factors undermine the sustainability of the resettlement
programme since wildlife-based enterprises are an attractive means of
livelihood on 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.
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      Cattle rustling reaches alarming levels in Chiredzi

      10/29/02 11:19:58 PM (GMT +2)

      From Energy 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.

      The development has prompted the police to strengthen operations at
the border post to curb the practice as hundreds of illegal cross-border
traders smuggle goods into neighbouring Mozambique, where there is a ready

      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.

      Mike Clark , the Commercial Farmers' Union regional spokesman, said
cattle rustling was rampant in Mwenezi and Chiredzi districts, threatening
the beef industry in the country with imminent collapse.

      He said most of the stolen livestock were smuggled into Mozambique
where demand for beef was high.

      Clark said: "Cattle rustlers are stealing even the breeding herd. We
need to import the breeding herd because most of the cattle have been

      "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 illegal cross-border
traders, in order to evade the police.

      Ncube said: "The situation has improved since we have sent more
officers to 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
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Leader Page

      Time for another country-wide aerial flip, Made!

      10/29/02 12:21:11 AM (GMT +2)

      By Cathy Buckle

      DAILY life in Zimbabwe has become such a struggle for us all now that
worrying about today is about the best we can do. We worry about the soaring
inflation rate, the bills we cannot pay and the food we cannot find.

      Amidst all this stress and the battle for survival, we seem to have
forgotten that it is our right and duty to demand accountability from our
leaders. We, the taxpayers, pay their wages after all, we own their cars and
houses and buy the food and drink that fills their stomachs.

      One month after the end of the 2001 growing season in Zimbabwe, Lands,
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
about what he'd seen from the air and changed his mind about food security
in Zimbabwe.

      In that season, when farmers should have been doubling up to try and
replenish the empty granaries and fill hungry bellies, exactly the opposite
happened. Ninety-five percent of farms were listed for State seizure by

      People who called themselves war veterans were joined by other
government supporters and they chased the growers of food off the land. They
rampaged and pillaged, barricaded and evicted farmers. They held all-night
pungwes (political indoctrination meetings), seized, stole and destroyed
agricultural equipment and did not let anyone grow any food at all. That
season was also wasted and even when it became clear that we were in the
middle of a drought, still no one in authority did anything to stop the farm
pillaging and ensure food security. Made's head was saved by the declaration
of first a drought, and then a national disaster. He didn't bother to
explain why, after a drought, our dams were full and rivers were running.

      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.

      On the 67 kilometre journey from Marondera to Harare through prime
farmland, there 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.

      There are dozens of kilometres where all the fences have gone and the
lands everywhere are criss-crossed with footpaths made by Zimbabwe's
so-called new farmers.

      Fly high when you do your aerial survey this year, Minister Made,
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 will tolerate
many more of your lame excuses. You and your ministry have made us hungry
and have stripped our lands of life, diversity and money, but don't forget
who it is that pays your salary every month.

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      State paranoia against press dangerous

      10/29/02 12:20:13 AM (GMT +2)

      AS a former Minister of Information, Dr Nathan Shamuyarira can speak
with authority of the origins of the Zimbabwe Mass Media Trust (ZMMT), which
was 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
became increasingly paranoid about the role of the media in developing the

      As soon as the public media, including newspapers, radio and
television, displayed the slightest inclination to criticise government
action, those responsible were immediately removed or reassigned to the
government's version of the Siberian salt mines, where they vegetated.

      As long as the government viewed the public media as performing its
assigned function as the megaphone of every government action, including the
massacres in the Matabeleland and the Midlands provinces, every leader was
happy with it.

      It was when editors started probing, thoroughly and exhaustively,
certain government actions and policies that the authorities altered their
tack. Such people became, almost overnight, enemies of the State. They were
hounded out of journalism, if they did not find a niche in the then
burgeoning independent media fraternity.

      So, while through the ostensibly noble idea of forming the ZMMT the
government intended to introduce a "neutral" Press, in reality Zanu PF's
Marxist-Leninist baggage 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
parliamentary candidates.

      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
terrorist policies.

      But special venom was reserved for the independent Press. A government
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.

      What it meant was that, henceforth, the government would treat such
journalists as terrorists, to be hunted down like animals and eliminated, as
they were perceived to constitute a threat to the survival of the government
of the day.In passing the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act (AIPPA), the Parliament of Zimbabwe may have virtually sealed the
chances of this country ever being re-accepted into the community of nations
as a 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'
s sympathisers, including the Chief Justice, are on those blacklists. After
the first journalists have been barred from practising under AIPPA, more
countries are 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 starvation.

      Certainly, it has acted with more vigour to muzzle the independent
media than it has to fend off the threat of death from starvation among the
people. The tragic irony is that one reason why many countries are unwilling
to help the country with food aid is because of its intolerance of dissent,
whether it is from the independent media or from the churches, the lawyers
or the trade union leaders.

      Such a government may survive in the short term, but the chances are
that it is digging its own grave.

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Protesters in Johannesburg say Mugabe must go
            October 29, 2002, 12:45

            About 100 Zimbabweans held a placard protest on William Nicol
Drive this morning calling on South Africans on their way to work to show
their support for the downfall of Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe.

            One protester said the group was made up of jobless Zimbabweans
hit by famine and others whose lives were in danger because they were
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters.

            "We are suffering in Zimbabwe...people are dying from no food
and others are dying because of Mugabe," he said, drawing his hand across
his throat to indicate a person's throat being cut.

            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 government had
withheld food aid since the vast majority of voters backed the MDC's Morgan
Tsvangirai in the presidential elections in March.

            A Zimbabwean newspaper The Standard reported yesterday that the
Zanu-PF government had prohibited a consignment of 1 000 metric tonnes of
maize destined for Matabeleland and sourced by the Catholic Fund For
Oversees Development (Cafod) from being brought into the country.

            Earlier this month, the World Food Programme pulled out of
Insiza, southwest of Harare, saying that the food was being distributed to
people on the basis of political affiliation. In less than three years,
since Zanu-PF lost the February 2000 referendum on constitutional change
which presaged defeat for the ruling party in then upcoming parliamentary
elections, the economy has gone into rapid decline.

            In the 32 months since then, GDP has fallen 24%, official
inflation has gone up to 135%, the value of the currency has dropped 96%,
and arrears on foreign debt of $3,4 billion have risen from 2% of GDP to

            Commercial agriculture, formerly the engine of the economy, has
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.

            Half the 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
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  ZIMBABWE: More teachers suspended for striking
      IRINnews Africa, Tue 29 Oct 2002

      ©  IRIN

      Salary increases are expected in 2003 budget

      JOHANNESBURG, - The impasse between striking teachers in Zimbabwe and
the government over better pay continued on Tuesday as a further 230
teachers were served with letters of suspension.

      So far close to 700 teachers have been ordered not to turn up for work
following a break-down in talks between the government and the Progressive
Teacher's 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 said.

      Mangauzani added that the suspension held for three months and that
teachers would not be remunerated during this time. Moreover, teaching staff
would not be allowed to leave the country without the permission of the
department of education and could not seek other employment while under

      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
the government would assess the conditions of service for teachers, in a
move that will see them receiving hefty salary increments in January next
year, the state-controlled Herald newspaper reported.

      Zimbabwean teachers are among the poorest paid in the region. A high
school teacher takes home Z $20,000 (US $365) a month.

      The material contained in this article is from IRIN, a UN humanitarian
information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United
Nations or its agencies. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post any item
on this site, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or
extracts should include attribution to the original sources. All graphics
and Images on this site may not be re-produced without the express
permission of the original owner.
      All materials copyright © UN Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs 2002

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Daily News

      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
said the government would probe the teachers who have been suspended before
firing them.
      Speaking to the ZBC Newsnet, on Sunday, Chigwedere said: "There are
regulations that do not empower us to fire them.

      "We will, however, call for an inquiry and then conduct investigations
before firing them."

      Chigwedere's permanent secretary, Dr Thompson Tsodzo, dismissed 627
teachers a fortnight ago for participating in the ongoing national strike
for higher pay and improved conditions, called by the militant Progressive
Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) on 8 October.

      Announcing the dismissal, Tsodzo vowed the teachers would never be
accepted back and barred them from visiting their schools. Innocent Sibanda,
the PTUZ national co-ordinator, said yesterday he was concerned at the
ministry's suspension of teachers when Advanced and Ordinary Level students
were writing their final examinations.

      Sibanda said: "The government has, at some schools, suspended all the
staff and hired inadequate, unqualified and inexperienced replacements to
teach and 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 our education
standards, because the ideal examination conditions have now been altered,"
Sibanda said.
      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 a non-event."

      Addressing Parliament at the onset of the strike, Chigwedere scoffed
at the teachers' action, saying "only two-and-a-half high schools in Harare
and three more in Bulawayo" were on strike.

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Daily News

      Funeral costs go up

      10/29/02 11:56:01 PM (GMT +2)

      By Chris Mhike Business Reporter

      An executive funeral in Zimbabwe now gobbles up at least $1 million, a
top 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 dignity."

      He said the liberalisation of monetary limits for life assurance
policies by the Commissioner of Insurance last year had enabled insurance
companies in Zimbabwe to introduce insurance products, truly reflective of
funeral-related costs for the country's elite. Katunga said: "We have
discovered that the funeral-related costs at the death of an average
executive now stand at $1 million or above. In this regard we thank the
Commissioner who has lifted the limits previously imposed on the insurance
industry. "The ceiling level of life assurance policies that were on offer
in the past few years had become too low for many of industry's executive
      Until October last year, funeral assurance limits were regulated by
the commissioner of insurance under the Insurance Act.

      Before the introduction of the Executive Funeral Assurance package
last week, the highest cover policies offered a ceiling of $30 000. Many
executives therefore complained that the policies on the market were
inadequate for their needs. The new policy is co-underwritten by First
Mutual Assurance Company and AIG Zimbabwe Limited, a member company of the
American International Group. Administered by Progressive Insurance Brokers,
the Executive Funeral Assurance and Personal Accident plan offers three
schemes the bronze, silver and gold schemes. Under the bronze scheme,
clients will be afforded a minimum funeral assurance cover for accidental
death and disability cover of $5 million with the maximum set at $15
million. The silver scheme provides a minimum cover of $16 million and a
maximum of $35 million for accidental death or disability.

      The supreme category, the gold scheme, offers $26 million as the
minimum cover, 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.
Values for service delivery will be subject to the ruling or available
exchange rate on the market."
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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.

Aid 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 fail.

In instances where there was seed available, prices were generally unaffordable for local farmers, the agencies had found.

The CRS 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.

The seed 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.
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Farmers warn of Zim-style crisis

Sue Thomas

Johannesburg - Farmers have warned that farm killings and legislation are
threatening to tip the country's agricultural sector into a crisis similar
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
in danger."

SA Grain 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 'Will we have a Zimbabwe in South
Africa? Or...How long will it be before we too are driven from our land?'"

The Times

            Namibia's whites face farm seizures
            By Michael Dynes in Windhoek

            NAMIBIA'S 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
increasingly vitriolic attacks on "arrogant white farmers" and threats of
dire consequences if white farmers do not "co-operate" with the Government's

            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
are "growing impatient".

            Hardline members of the ruling Swapo Party have called on Mr
Nujoma to follow the example set by President Mugabe in Zimbabwe.

            Swapo officials insist that they have no intention of seizing
foreign-owned land without compensation. But white farmers doubt the
Government has the cash to pay for seizures and fears that popular passions,
once aroused, could rapidly result in the land reform programme spiralling
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 colony.

            Ethnic Owambo-speakers, who make up 51 per cent of the
population and are Swapo's main support base, managed to retain most of
their traditional communal lands in the fertile north of the country. But
the Herero and Nama peoples from the arid central and southern regions
mounted a rebellion against the colonial authorities in 1904.

            Tens of thousands of the rebels were massacred and stripped of
their lands. Those who were left were rounded up into native reserves and
used as pools of cheap labour for German colonial farmers.

            About 3,500 white commercial farmers own around 30 million
hectares of farmland, most of which is semi-arid and used for cattle
ranching and trophy hunting for wealthy European and American tourists.
Since gaining independence from South Africa in 1990, the Government has
resettled 30,000 people on 7.5 per cent of commercial farmland bought from
white farmers. But another 240,000 people still want to be resettled.

            Mr Nujoma has accused white farmers of refusing to sell "unused
land" and of demanding excessive prices for properties. Critics insist that
the Government's Lands Resettlement and Rehabilitation Department has
consistently failed to buy farms that have come on the market and regularly
underspends its budget by two thirds because of bureaucratic incompetence.

            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 white-owned farms.

            "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

            While 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 expropriate foreign-owned
farms. Mr Nujoma must tell his supporters that not everyone can have a farm.
If he doesn't, we will end up like Zimbabwe."
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From The Daily news, 28 October

CIO monitors Insiza election

Staff Reporters

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.

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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
Anti-Snare Funding Required
July 2002

.  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
M99  -  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
Dart Needles
600mm smooth (no collar)  -  2 per operation £5.50 each x 16 £88.00
(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  -  £56.50.)

Radio Collars  x 5 £275.00  x 5 £1375.00
Antennae for ground tracking  £160.00
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
Setup of permanent base camp  (One-off cost)   £4,000.00
Deployment  £1,000.00p.a.
Wages and food  -  based on optimum unit size of 8 men  £2,000.00p.a.
With sincere thanks,
Sharon Pincott
Presidential Elephant Research & Conservation Project
PO Box 121

Pictures of snared elephants :

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Zimbabwean Journalist Receives Press Award
Jenny Badner
New York
29 Oct 2002, 03:52 UTC
 Listen to Jenny Badner's report from New York (RealAudio) 
 Badner report - Download 465k (RealAudio) 

      Iden Wetherell (Photo courtesy of the Zimbabwe Independent) 
The 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.

The 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 worse abuse."

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.

Mr. Wetherell, 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 been killed.

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."

"The World 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.

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Zimbabwe says white farmers can't take equipment
            October 28, 2002, 22:15

            Zimbabwe has banned 125 white farmers evicted in a
state-sponsored land reform campaign from moving their equipment to
neighbouring Zambia where they planned to settle, officials have said. Some
white Zimbabwean farmers have been seeking to migrate to neighbouring
Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana and Namibia after their land was seized by the
Harare government for redistribution to landless blacks.

            Cain Mathema, Zimbabwe's High Commissioner to Zambia, said
Harare would not allow the white farmers to remove equipment from farms
designated for resettlement by blacks.

            "The intended 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 October.

            "The only problem they face is that they cannot bring their
equipment. Otherwise they are keen to settle in Zambia," Enoch Kavindele,
the Zambian Vice President, told reporters.

            Zimbabwe was plunged into political and economic crisis in 2000
when militants backed by the state invaded white-owned farms in support of
President Robert Mugabe's land reforms. Mugabe says the reforms are
necessary to correct imbalances of colonialism which left most of Zimbabwe's
prime farming land in the hands of whites who form less than 1% of the

            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
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