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

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Zim Independent

Mugabe promises election re-run
Dumisani Muleya
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has promised an election re-run if he loses the
legal challenge lodged by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to his
disputed March poll win, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has said.

Obasanjo told journalists last week in Abuja after meeting with other troika
members South African President Thabo Mbeki and Australian premier John
Howard that Harare had undertaken to re-run the poll if Mugabe's victory was

"Since March.the opposition (Movement for Democratic Change) has gone to
court to challenge the election (outcome), I am told," he said.

"The government has said if the challenge of the election result in the
court is upheld they will call for another election. If, however, the
challenge is not upheld then they will expect the opposition to recognise
the government that comes out of that election."

However, Mugabe, who claimed victory after the profoundly-flawed March poll,
has ruled out a re-run in statements designed for the domestic market.

Obasanjo said reconciliation talks between the ruling Zanu PF and MDC would
resume after the court battle. His remarks followed the meeting in which he
and Mbeki blocked Howard's bid to have Zimbabwe fully suspended from the

Harare was suspended from the club's political councils in March for a year
after the Commonwealth observer team found evidence of blatant vote-rigging.

Howard, who chaired the meeting, said Obasanjo and Mbeki gave Mugabe a
six-month grace period to fully comply with Commonwealth demands to restore
democratic legitimacy, while he insisted on immediate expulsion.

"There was a difference of opinion," Howard said. "My view is very clear. I
think we should have suspended Zimbabwe forthwith. My two colleagues are of
the opinion that the progress of Zimbabwe should continue to be monitored
over the next six months."

Despite the disagreement, troika leaders agreed Mugabe, who angrily
boycotted the meeting claiming an unprocedural invitation by Canberra, has
so far failed to meet his side of the bargain.

Obasanjo admitted there has not been a "noticeable or sufficiently
noticeable" improvement in the situation since March. He said he believed
"President Mugabe should be co-operating with the Commonwealth on the issues
that we have raised" and "I believe he can".

Asked whether he thought the crisis was deepening, Obasanjo said: "Well, it
depends which way you look at it." He said litigation against Mugabe, for
instance, was an improvement because it averted civil unrest.

On the land issue, Obasanjo said Mugabe told him during the Earth Summit in
Johannesburg the crisis was "virtually over".

Mbeki said no one was in a position to say whether or not Mugabe would
comply in the next six months.

"As you know there is none of us here who can speak on behalf of President
Mugabe," he said. "So it's difficult to answer the question how confident we
are (that he would respond positively)."

Meanwhile, Australian officials have pointed out that the text of Howard's
invitation to Mugabe to attend the Abuja meeting was first cleared by Mbeki
and Obasanjo. It was submitted to Mugabe's chief of protocol in the normal
way. It was not put on the Internet or faxed, they point out in response to
offical claims in Harare.
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Zim Independent

Fuel crisis to spread countrywide
Barnabas Thondhlana
ZIMBABWE'S fuel crisis is expected to spread to the south of the country as
financing agreements signed with suppliers in South Africa come to an end.

Fuel industry sources said this week Zimbabwe had a US$20 million facility
with Sasol and Engen to supply mainly the south and central parts of the
country. Already US$10 million has been exhausted and the remainder will
only last about 10 days.

"Fuel purchasing company Petronas, which has been delivering Sasol and Engen
fuel to Zimbabwe under the facility, will cease doing so as soon as the deal
expires," said an industry source. "The likelihood of it being renewed is
minimal as government does not have the money." Only four shipments are

The source said there was an immediate need to address the ongoing fuel
shortages as failure to do so would see Zimbabwe slipping back to the days
when fuel queues were the order of the day.

"The current crop of leadership in the Energy ministry has failed to contain
the crisis and looks incapable of doing so," the source said.

The current shortages are likely to persist as there is no prospect of
foreign exchange reserves improving.

Harare has for the last two weeks been surviving on a US$10 million fuel
financing facility sourced from the Afroxim Bank. The facility, organised by
Trust Bank and the Merchant Bank of Central Africa, was sufficient to keep
the city supplied for a week. The fuel was sourced from the Independent
Petroleum Group's stocks at Noczim's Mabvuku storage tanks where IPG has
over 100 million litres of various fuels.

"A new facility of around US$60 million needs to be quickly negotiated if
the situation is to be brought under control," said the industry source.

The US$360 million Libyan fuel deal is yet to see a drop of petrol being
delivered to the country. The Libyans have called in their US$63 million
debt and have said delivery would only be effected if government made an
effort to pay up.
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Zim Independent

Land seizures cost Zesa $12b
Augustine Mukaro/Blessing Zulu
THE Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) will lose at least $12
billion in revenue this year alone as the effects of the chaotic land reform
programme remove power and service users in commercial agriculture.

Documents to hand show that the 4 000 farmers forced to leave their
properties or who have stop-ped production pending departure were paying on
average a total of $1 billion in Zesa bills every month.

Sources at the power utility said the parastatal is projected to incur the
worst losses in its history this year.

"Zesa suffered a $1 billion loss in the year 2000 and that was understood to
be the worst compared to 1995's $100 million loss," sources said.

"The loss of farmers as a revenue base will undoubtedly negatively impact on
Zesa's delivery capacity and debt servicing."

The $12 billion shortfall contributes a significant percentage of the
parastatal's annual turnover.

The power utility is struggling to service its debt to neighbouring
countries from whom it imports power for distribution to local consumers.

Zesa owes Mozambican power-company Cahora Bassa over US$40 million and DRC's
Snel more than US$2 million. It also owes Eskom of South Africa over US$40
million. Cahora Bassa has threatened to disconnect Zimbabwe if the debt is
not serviced.

The withdrawal of funding by the World Bank, the European Investment Bank,
and the African Development Bank last year worsened Zesa's financial woes.

The billion-dollar loss came to light when management wrote a memo dated
July 18 to workers who were demanding a cost-of-living adjustment.

"The need for a cost-of-living adjustment is acknowledged," the memo said.
"The financial position is currently not strong in view of a loss of $1
billion as at May 2002."

CFU president Collin Cloete who has only 80 hectares of irrigable land, said
when operating at full capacity he paid on average $0,5 million every month.
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Zim Independent

MDC petitions govt on violence
Blessing Zulu
MOVEMENT for Democratic Change MPs have petitioned the government over the
increasing cases of violence, lawlessness, abuse and torture by members of
the police and the ruling Zanu PF party.

The petition was addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa,
Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri and the Minister of Home Affairs,
Kembo Mohadi.

MDC chief whip and MP for Mutare Central Innocent Gonese told the Zimbabwe
Independent yesterday that they had handed in the petition.

"We handed the petition to the Speaker in Parliament," said Gonese. "We then
went to the Police General Headquarters to hand one to Chihuri but were
asked to hand it to the Minister of Home Affairs instead. Mohadi refused to
take the petition arguing we could not meet him without an appointment. We
left the petition with his secretary."

In the petition, the MDC said it was alarmed by the complacency of the state
in dealing with lawlessness in the country.

The party said the police had allowed "violence, lawlessness, abuse and
torture to pervade the country, with the active and passive support of the
state which had completely failed to fulfil its constitutional obligation of
protecting each and every Zimbabwean without regard to political affiliation
from violence, abuse and torture".

The petition also took exception to the selective application of the law.

"We are alarmed that the Zanu PF government has promoted lawlessness, the
abuse and misuse of the rule of law, the systematic politically motivated
arrests of members of the opposition, the severe torture of those placed in
police and Central Intelligence Organisation custody and the increasing
incidents of indiscriminate beatings and assaults on members of the
opposition by the army or persons dressed in army uniform," the petition said.
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Zim Independent

Politically-related deaths now over 150
Augustine Mukaro
THE death toll of victims of political violence has risen to 151 since 2000,
the latest Human Rights Forum report says.

The latest victim is Nikoniari Chibvamudeve who was killed in Hurungwe two
weeks ago as the ruling Zanu PF party supporters stepped-up violence and
intimidation during local government polls.

According to the report, "Political Violence", 58 of the recorded deaths
occurred this year. Just before the March presidential election the figure
stood at 132 while 19 others died in post-election violence.

"Organised violence has continued to prevail in all parts of the country,"
the report says. Some of the violence was allegedly perpetrated by uniformed
details, with the greatest prevalence being reported in Manicaland.

Soldiers have reportedly been spearheading violence in Manicaland. Examples
include the 10 soldiers who severely assaulted bus conductors at Nyakamete
and others who assaulted guards at Charleswood Farm.

"Specifically, in Chimanimani CIO agents, police officers and soldiers are
meting out a reign of terror, assaulting civilians with baton sticks,
sjamboks, booted feet and open hands," the report said.

"Victims of violence are allegedly being taken to prison cells in the area,
which the victims claim now serve as torture centres."

Reports of political violence against teachers have been recorded in eight
of the 10 provinces in the country with Bulawayo and Harare being the

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum report documents 238 individual cases of
abuses against teachers by Zanu PF militias.

"Since January 2001 violence on teachers witnessed the closure of 30
schools," the report says.

"Most of the closures were due to teachers fleeing violence perpetrated
against them and subsequently refusing to go back until their safety is
guaranteed against the marauding war veterans and Zanu PF supporters."

The forum said apart from school closures, other abuses suffered by teachers
included abduction, unlawful arrest and detention, death threats and
displacement from work places.

"Pepertrators would go to schools where targeted individuals taught and then
physically remove them from their places of employment or just ordered the
transfer of teachers they suspected to be opposition supporters," the report

Teachers were also threatened with either job loss or personal injury if it
was established that they supported the opposition.

"At the highest level, this was done by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Stan
Mudenge, but it was also done by 'war veterans' in Chimanimani, Bikita West,
Masvingo Central, Mberengwa West and Zaka East," the report said.

Some teachers were forced to flee their places of work as their schools were
used as bases by Zanu PF militia for the torture of opposition members or as
re-education centres and generally springboards from which they carried out
political activities.
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Zim Independent

Govt moves against farmers
Loughty Dube
THE government's National Land Taskforce has set today (Friday) as the last
day for commercial farmers served with Section 8 eviction notices, but who
are still contesting the orders in the courts, to vacate their properties,
the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.

Sources close to the task force said the process was expected to be
finalised by today when district land committees throughout the country were
expected to report back on the forced removal of the remaining white
commercial farmers.

The sources said the decision to drive out the farmers was reached at a
meeting convened in Bulawayo this week and attended by National Task Force
members, district administrators and the Matabeleland Land Taskforce.

"The police will this week accompany the land committee members throughout
the province to ensure that the farmers move off their farms and make way
for resettled farmers," said the source.

"This is despite the fact that some of the white commercial farmers are
still contesting the acquisitions in the courts while others are still
negotiating with government."

The government on May 10 issued more than 2 500 white commercial farmers
with Section 8 orders to vacate their properties but the majority have
contested the orders in court while the rest have been forcibly driven off
the land by government militias or powerful individuals.

The two Matabeleland provinces have about 500 farmers sitting on Section 8
orders that expired on August 10.

The chairman of the Commercial Farmers Union in Matabeleland, Mac Crawford,
told the Independent that his association was aware of the visit to farms by
the land committee and said the committee members, accompanied by the police
have been to most parts of Matabeleland where farmers were told that they
had only an hour to vacate their farms.

"They have been to Figtree, Nyamandlovu and Kezi where they have been
ordering the farmers to pack their belongings and leave their properties
within the hour," said Crawford.

The sources said the police in the province would enforce the orders of the
land committees during the exercise.

The government has so far acquired 11 million hectares of land and is still
appropriating more farms for its controversial land reform programme.

The sources said the three-day exercise will see all farmers issued with
Section 8 orders vacating their farms before the National Land Taskforce
moved the exercise to other provinces.

Agriculture minister Joseph Made last week warned government would no longer
entertain white commercial farmers who wanted to negotiate with the
government over acquired farms.
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Zim Independent

Government fails to account for millions lent to businessmen
Vincent Kahiya
BILLIONS of dollars might have been siphoned from state coffers as
government has failed to account for money advanced to businessmen for
projects under the Commodity Import Programme and other facilities set up to
revive the economy.

Official sources this week said the government has over the past five years
failed to account for the funds advanced to certain business people to
promote exports and to help them import key commodities.

The sources said there were fears that the funds were not used for their
intended purposes but by speculators on the foreign currency parallel

Some of the money has been laundered and ended up on the Zimbabwe Stock
Exchange, said a source.

This comes in the wake of the tabling of the Comptroller and Auditor-General
Eric Harid's report this week which chronicled increased incidents of fiscal
delinquency by the Zanu PF government which exceeded its borrowing limit by
77,5% in 1999.

The report said there were no returns for advances from the National
Development Fund amounting to $366,63 million and an unexplained amount of
$1,3 billion due to the Exchequer.

The main object of the fund is to account for the receipt of foreign aid for
national development projects. The Auditor-General said the fund,
administered by the Ministry of Finance, was unable to deal with bad

"An amount of $45 million owed by 29 private companies which benefited from
the Commodity Import Facility may not be recovered as some of the amounts
are being disputed by the debtors," the report said.

"Included in the figure of debtors is an amount of $25,41 million owed by
Packaging Systems, that is to say 56% of the long-standing debtors."

The report said disbursement of the Industrial Rehabilitation Loan Facility
was poorly managed as records were not updated for audit. The value of the
loans disbursed could thus not be established.

Official sources said the biggest threat to the government coffers was the
poorly-staffed office of the Accountant-General in the Ministry of Finance.
The sources said there were no real qualified personnel to handle huge sums
of money, which resulted in abuse of the funds.

"The Central Payments Office is like a bank managed by clerks and without
any form of security," said a former employee of the ministry.

The stop-payment system has virtually collapsed as evidenced by the
Comptroller and Auditors-General's report.

"For the second year running, the advances account that was operated by the
Financial Administration section (of the Finance ministry) had no written
instructions governing the conduct of business and control of public funds,"
the report said.

"It would appear that the account was introduced to circumvent the controls
around the stop payment system and it was improperly used to meet
expenditure for ministries of Foreign Affairs, Transport and Energy, Finance
and Home Affairs," the report said.

The report also took a swipe at the Ministry of Defence's procurement

"There was a tendency to procure from middlemen instead of from
manufacturers and wholesalers.

Prices quoted by the commodity brokers were in some cases much more than
those offered by manufacturers and wholesalers.

"The reason given for buying from the commodity brokers was that most
reputable companies did not accept government requisitions because of delays
in payment," Harid said in his report.

"I observed that the commodity brokers were apparently paid faster than
reputable companies."
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Zim Independent

State moves to restore order on farms
Dumisani Muleya
AS President Robert Mugabe continues to come under heavy international
pressure to halt chaotic land reforms, government is moving to clean up its
act and re-establish order on the farms.

Vice-President Simon Muzenda issued a directive after meeting ministers
involved in the land reform programme on September 11 ordering that all
activities on the farms which contravened official policy should stop.

Muzenda was acting president at the time while Mugabe was in Libya on an
official visit and later in New York attending the United Nations General

The ministers who attended the special meeting included those of
Agriculture, Local Government, Rural Resources and Water Development,
Defence, Home Affairs, State Security and the newly-established Land Reform

Muzenda's co-vice-president, Jose-ph Msika, who is also chair of the
national land acquisition committee, was tasked to spearhead the land reform
face-lift and report to cabinet.

In a note copied to all diplomatic missions and international organisations
accredited to Harare, Muzenda said he had issued a directive that "any
action on the ground that is not consistent with our policy and laws be
discontinued forthwith.

"No-one," he instructed, "should take any action that contradicts our policy
and laws and embarrasses His Excellency the President who has received
international acclaim as a champion of social equity and justice."

The land reform process has been characterised by violence, a breakdown in
the rule of law, and impunity for individuals involved in wrong-doing.

Government in the past refused to intervene to stop the mayhem claiming
landless peasants were "demonstrating" for land. But it later transpired
that authorities had instigated the farm invasions and then jumped on the
bandwagon of land-grabbing.

Muzenda claimed the landredistribution has been under-taken "within our
policyframework which emphasises social equity andempowerment of the
indige-nous (people) without necessarily depriving those white commercial
farmers who want to continue to farm".

He said the resettlement programme was done with-in "the framework of our
laws and statutes, however imperfect some of them may be".

Mugabe has repeatedly said no commercial farmer would go without land. But
over 1 000 single farm-owners have so far been dispossessed of both
compensation and the prospect of alternative farms.

No-one so far has been arrested and successfully prosecuted for killing or
perpetrating egregious human rights abuses in the name of the agrarian
revolution despite the fact some of the offenders are well-known.

Observers said this week the circulation of Muzenda's statement to diplomats
reflected official sensitivity to views expressed by Mugabe's allies,
particularly the South Africans, that land reform must be conducted within
the framework of the law.

Last week Botswana's ruling party compared Zimbabwe's land reform process to
a runaway vehicle where the driver had lost control.
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Zim Independent

Sadc deals Zimbabwe major diplomatic blow

ZIMBABWE was yesterday replaced as deputy chair of the 14-nation Southern
African Development Community (Sadc) in what diplomats said was a sign of
the region's displeasure with President Robert Mugabe's policies.

Zimbabwe's role as acting deputy chair of the regional body had been
expected to be formalised yesterday at Sadc's annual summit in Luanda.

That would have made Harare the scheduled venue for next year's meeting.
Instead, Zimbabwe was replaced as deputy chair by Tanzania and the 2003
gathering will be in its capital Dar es Salaam.

"The whole reorganisation of the Sadc bureau was unscheduled and is meant to
send a message to Zimbabwe that the region values peace, security, stability
and respect for greater democratisation," said a diplomat who asked not to
be named.

Mugabe's land policies and his controversial re-election in March were not
on the official agenda of this year's summit, which ended yesterday.

But during the two-day gathering in Luanda, several leaders called for
improved governance to lure foreign investment and spur economic growth in
the region.

"The heads of state and government did not have to discuss Zimbabwe's land
reform directly. Their actions sent the right signal," another diplomat

In Harare, Zimbabwe's state-owned Herald newspaper said the country had
decided not to take over as deputy chair of the Sadc in order to concentrate
on its land reforms.

But observers saw this as a face-saving formula. Clearly, Sadc leaders do
not want Zimbabwe's crisis to overshadow every meeting - which was likely if
Mugabe is the host.

Meanwhile, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has urged the
international community to step up diplomatic pressure on Harare.

MDC foreign affairs spokesman Moses Mzila-Ndlovu said the international
community should adopt further hard-hitting measures to isolate President
Mugabe's regime and force it to reform.

He said European Union and United States smart sanctions against Harare
officials should be rigorously enforced to galvanise Mugabe into action. -
Reuter/Staff Writer.
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Zim Independent

EU to decide on fate of Zimbabwe's beef quota
Augustine Mukaro
ZIMBABWE's European Union beef quota remains suspended with EU member
countries deciding on Zimbabwe's fate at the Copenhagen meeting scheduled
for early next month.

EU/Zimbabwe office press and information officer, Josiah Kusena, said the EU
beef quota would be reinstated only after Zimbabwe had put its house in
order and an EU team of experts recommended the reinstatement.

"The beef quota remains suspended until an EU delegation comes to the
country to assess the situation," Kusena said.

"The delegation will only come at the invitation of the Department of
Veterinary Services after getting a directive from government."

Diplomatic sources said there was no way the beef quota would be reviewed if
the Zimbabwe government continued to violate its international obligations
under the Cotonou Agreement signed in 2000.

"Zimbabwe failed to prevent the on-going political violence and to respect
the principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law especially in
the chaotic land invasions and run-up to the March presidential election," a
diplomatic source said.

Zimbabwe's beef exports were suspended last year following the outbreak of
foot and mouth disease (FMD).

The same source said the FMD outbreak in August last year was a direct
result of farm invasions.

"Farm invasions resulted in uncontrolled movement of animals, both wildlife
and domestic," the source said.

"With the present political strategy it is impossible to see how the
veterinarians will ever be able to convince the EU or other foreign buyers
that there is effective FMD control in Zimbabwe."

The source said as the barometer of FMD control, the disease control rules
of the Save Conservancy have been blatantly flouted.

With the destruction of the extensive perimeter fence and illegal movement
of communal cattle, which are regularly mixing and drinking with buffalo,
FMD has now broken out in communal areas on either side of the conservancy.

The new farmers are also transporting cattle and livestock from affected
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Zim Independent

Mugabe more isolated than ever
Mthulisi Mathuthu/Blessing Zulu

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's continued intransigence in the face of
international opinion has done nothing to solve his key problem - isolation.

Mugabe has claimed victory over the "white Commonwealth" after the stalled
Abuja talks in Nigeria last month, coming hard on the heels of his bluster
at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg.

But far from rescuing him from the hole he has dug for himself, he now
appears more cut off than ever.

Mugabe is already caught up in a dilemma where he has to strike a balance
between his continued undemocratic hold on power characterised by political
gangsterism and the reform needed to forestall further censure.

But analysts say Mugabe's boycotting of the Abuja meeting and the subsequent
diplomatic noise he made celebrating his grace period have galvanised
international opinion against him.

Abuja has actually encouraged the countries opposed to his hold on power to
tighten the sanctions regime.

On the local front, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party says
it will step up efforts to engage African leaders to make them appreciate
Mugabe's lawless behaviour.

The opposition says it hopes to convince the African leaders that Mugabe was
directly responsible for the collapse of the MDC/Zanu PF talks.

Crisis Zimbabwe's Brian Raftopoulos said despite Mugabe's authoritarian hold
on Zanu PF, the subdued discontent over his policies was already showing and
he would soon be under pressure to contain that.

"At the moment there is tension within Zanu PF on changing strategy for a
way forward to stop fighting with everybody and go on to debate the issues,"
said Raftopoulos.

"The problem is that there are some hardliners who want the status quo to
prevail," he said. "They are running out of alternatives as the economic
situation is getting worse. There are no resources for the land reform
programme and there is need for some form of re-engagement," he said, adding
that soon Mugabe's followers would refuse to suffer personal humiliation on
behalf of their master.

But Mugabe's main threat comes mainly from outside - especially from the

Already the Australians, who until Abuja had managed to keep out of public
exchanges with Mugabe, have announced they will be taking measures to deter
him from further cocking a snook at democratic principles. Above all, they
may be forced to flex their economic muscle, they warned.

Mugabe's Trade minister Samuel Mumbengegwi faced a protest last week at the
European Parliament in an incident seen as the acceleration of isolationist
pressure from the European Union as co-president of the EU/ACP joint
assembly, Glenys Kinnock, called for sterner measures against Mugabe's

More seriously, Mugabe faces being condemned to the same level of perception
as that occupied by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein as has been evidenced by
the British Prime Minister Tony Blair's continued attempts to lump the two

"Mugabe is living dangerously and will do so for some time because he faces
the prospects of really stepping on the toes of the Americans," a Nigerian
political commentator, Oduche Ezikolo told the Herald Tribune after Abuja.

"He has already done so with the British but must play his game neatly to
avoid public brawls with Washington."

Regionally, Mugabe's long time associate and president of Nigeria, Olusegun
Obasanjo, will be exerting more pressure on him to reform. Obasanjo is
taking flak from the West for letting his friend off the hook in Abuja.

"Apart from the West, more pressure will certainly come from Obasanjo and
his South African counterpart, Thabo Mbeki, because they don't want to be
seen to be protecting Mugabe," said Brian Kagoro, an activist with Crisis

He, however, said Zimbabwe was also a beneficiary of internal contradictions
in South Africa and Nigeria.

"Obasanjo is faced with an election and the worst thing he would want to
give the opposition is ammunition to call him an errand boy for the West,"
said Kagoro.

"Mbeki on the other hand, after the Earth Summit, is under pressure from the
so-called land-hungry people and Democratic Alliance leader Tony Leon who is
calling for tough action against Mugabe. Mbeki does not want to be seen to
be agreeing with Leon," he said.

Analysts say comments by former US president Bill Clinton that Mugabe had
become a burden for the whole of Africa was a "sad reality" which could also
help mobilise a fair amount of African opinion against him, especially in
west Africa.

Even Mugabe, who of late has been boasting of his co-operative African
brethren, was already burdened by his lone posturing and had reached a stage
where he was no longer comfortable with being seen as "a caricature of what
the West thinks about African leaders".

Already there has been pressure from some EU quarters to punish the Sadc
leaders for treating their Zimbabwean counterpart with kid gloves, by
cancelling the Copenhagen November ministerial meeting.

Pressure is mounting on Mugabe from his Sadc allies as they are giving
warning shots to Harare to reform.

Setting the tone was Mauritian Foreign minister Anil Gayan at the Southern
African ministers' meeting in Luanda this week signalling that Mugabe was
gradually undermining Sadc as a whole.

"Clearly we have to resolve the governance issues in the region," said
Gayan. "We cannot be punished for the mistakes of one country - Zimbabwe."

"We shall be asking that they shape up."

But analysts say, given the nature of his retributive politics, Mugabe was
set to liquidate the farmers, MDC and the NGOs in direct violation of the
Harare Declaration and last year's Abuja Agreement.

Raftopoulos said Mugabe would eventually plunge headlong into more trouble
because by the very nature of his politics, it would be difficult for him to
avoid condemnation by international leaders.

Analysts say Mugabe will finally choose the worst path than reform because
there were hardly any incentives for him to reform.

"What incentives are there for him if he is not expelled?" asked Kagoro.

"There is nothing to suggest that he will squirm from the shame of being
expelled. For Mugabe the Commonwealth holds no terrors as there are no
sanctions under the club. There is only a symbolic expulsion. This though
does not mean countries like South Africa will stop trading with him and the
relationship with other countries within Africa and Asia will continue as
normal," he said.

But given his fear of dire consequences, as evidenced by the celebrations in
Harare after the troika spared him, Mugabe will also step up his blame game
and try to fuel division within the Commonwealth along racial lines in an
attempt to hedge himself from trouble. But he could fail to find shoppers
for his idea. Many west African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries think as
Britain and Australia do.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard is certainly not intimidated. He said
the Commonwealth was able to deal with such gamesmanship.

"I think the Commonwealth has gone through difficulties like this before and
survived and I think it will in future," he said.
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Zim Independent - Comment

Broadening and deepening ownership
THE resonance of the indige-nisation rallying call has gathered pace with
government's so-called Third Chimurenga and there is evidence now that the
corporate landscape is changing quickly.

Zimsun and now Interfresh are two companies where there has been a rapid
change of share ownership and there is no doubt more to come. A
low-interest-rate environment makes it easy to borrow vast sums of money to
buy assets that should hold their value as inflation erodes the monetary
value of the funds lent. Simply put, if you borrow money at 30% when the
inflation rate is 120%, the cash lent would have lost three-quarters of its
value, but the asset base should retain its value.

Contrary to Zanu PF propaganda, whites do not "own" public companies. Yes,
the percentage of white management does not reflect the racial make-up of
the country, but public companies are owned by shareholders. Around 80% of
the ZSE is owned by pension funds and insurance companies, of which the near
total majority of beneficiaries are black.

The mistake must not be made that these companies are just passing into
black hands; rather the transfer of share ownership will allow the new
owners greater sway in the running of companies, and, in Zimsun's case, the
indigenisation of management.

What new management must realise is that their new constituency is the
shareholders and they cannot treat companies as their own private piggy
banks. The market will quickly punish any new owner for destroying
shareholders' wealth, either through bad management, or awarding themselves
unacceptable perks.

The market has given Saviour Kasukuwere's move into Interfresh the thumbs
up. The share price has risen over 30% as the market views this as a way to
solving the impasse over corporate land. The market will deliver more gains
and make Kasukuwere even richer if he shows pragmatism and nuance. At $2,70
a year ago, current management has already presided over a massive increase
in shareholders' wealth.

How this changing corporate landscape turns out remains to be seen. There
can be no excuses for failure if a profitable company is taken over and
driven into the ground. Success should be measured by creating shareholder
wealth and having a productive workforce, rather than the size of the car
you drive around.

Undoubtedly what we really want is for more people to share in the country's
wealth. The poor feel increasingly marginalised. One of the government's
best - if largely maligned - moves was to create NSSA, because this ensures
that, at least through another mechanism, the workers in this country share
in some of the wealth.

In a country where there is little point keeping money in the bank, there
needs to be greater education when it comes to investment, and banks and
brokers have a duty to help people invest in assets and stocks that will at
least retain their value in real terms.

It is morally imperative that the country's assets are not concentrated in
the hands of the few, and black entrepreneurs should be aware that this
should not end up being a transfer of wealth from one elite to another. When
building a new house or buying a posh car, the elite should ask themselves
if this is the right thing to do? Could they do something to improve the lot
of ordinary people? Sadly though, most are unlikely to.

Rich Zimbabweans have less reason to feel embittered. They have education
and options the majority don't. And let's not forget that many created their
wealth from political patronage and voted for the government that has got us
into the current economic mess.

The nation must share in these assets, and recently indigenised companies
would be well advised to set up share ownership schemes and profit
incentives for workers to set a precedent for good corporate governance. If
they do not, they might find they have little sympathy in the nation when
the anger boils over.
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Zim Independent


Jocelyn Chiwenga's taste for pork
LAST week details were published in the local Press of a court case in which
Roger Staunton, a director of Shepherd Hall Farm, described his attempt to
seek the intervention of Vice-President Joseph Msika after Jocelyn Chiwenga,
wife of the army commander, and others forcibly took over his $1 billion
property although they had only been allocated a portion of it.

Not all the details cited in the case have been published. Chiwenga heads a
Zanu PF organisation called Heritage-Zimbabwe. We publish her documented
remarks below to show exactly what sort of heritage she represents.

In his founding affidavit, Staunton recalled how Chiwenga had driven onto
the property with several armed guards. Staunton says he offered his hand in
greeting but was told by Chiwenga that she had no intention of shaking hands
with "a white pig". She said she "had not tasted white blood since 1980 and
missed the experience and that she needed just the slightest excuse to kill

According to Staunton's affidavit "she ordered one of her guards to 'kill
the white bastards', and the guard closest to me cocked his weapon and
pointed it at me in a menacing manner".

Chiwenga, it is alleged, stated that she had now taken over as owner of all
the equipment, plant and machinery, vehicles, tractors, houses and the
roses, as well as all the vegetables.

Chiwenga and the other respondents who include her husband are said to have
reneged on their offer of compensation on the grounds Staunton's company had
"made enough profits over the years using the land stolen from them".

When Staunton later warned Chiwenga that the press was onto the story she is
alleged to have said that she was "filthy rich" in her own right and that
she would sue any paper that printed the story "and that she would end up
even more filthy rich". She claimed she was the "new Ambuya Nehanda",
according to the affidavit.

Another court document refers to the "combination of force, threats of
violence and false pretences" used by the respondents.

"The respondents have broken the law at will and have in the process helped
themselves to assets which they have not worked for," the affidavit states.
"They have taken advantage of the absence of the rule of law to displace the
applicant from (his) sole livelihood."

In a phone conversation with Chiwenga, Staunton was accused of "going behind
the backs" of the respondents in seeking Msika's intervention. Chiwenga said
Msika was "incapable of having her and fellow respondents removed from the
farm", court documents reveal.

"She then said that the Vice-President had phoned the general (her husband)
on the issue and that he did not have 'the balls' to phone her direct."

Temporary court orders have been made against Chiwenga and her partners,
preventing them from benefiting any further from the farm's produce. They
have reportedly already received $80 million for flowers and vegetables sold
from the farm.

Readers will be able to draw their own conclusions on the sort of people
benefiting from land reform. As for not tasting white blood since 1980, we
gather Chiwenga has close ties to Denmark. More on this next week.

'Polls end peacefully - No deaths, injuries recorded," the Herald announced
on Monday. It wasn't true of course. There were reports of violence and
widespread intimidation. But it is interesting that a claim of "no deaths"
in a Zimbabwean election is now headline news.

One of the penalties of being a reporter with the government media is having
to follow ministers around the country reporting their absurd comments, even
where they have absolutely no news value. We had the example of Information
minister Jonathan Moyo last week who, attending a prize-giving ceremony at
Msengezi High School in Mashonaland West, told his audience that the British
and Americans would never be part of the solution to Africa's problems. The
Sunday Mail reported the speech in loving detail.

"There are no successful European experiments in Africa," Moyo declared.
Zimbabwe on the other hand had taken the lead in showing the world that
home-grown solutions were best.

One must assume Mashonaland West has been unaffected by the famine now
afflicting other parts of the country. That is a direct product of Moyo's
"home-grown" solutions. So is the unemployment that has followed the
collapse of downstream industries in the agricultural sector. Then of course
there are the retrenchments at Ziana and ZBC because the minister failed to
get his maths right - or was unable to match promises with delivery.

The pupils of Msengezi High School should learn a lesson from this: famine,
destitution and unemployment are the result of economically illiterate
individuals with big heads and big mouths abusing the media in order to
mislead the public. Meanwhile, the British and Americans are having to feed
over half the population. The situation is so bad that the country - alone
in the region - faces its third year of GDP shrinkage next year. That is
Zanu PF's legacy to us. That is the price of its Third Chimurenga.

So much for "home-grown" solutions. There is nothing growing there anymore!

Another economically illiterate minister was raving about "saboteurs and
enemies of the state" last week. Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi was
addressing police graduates at a passing out parade. He said unscrupulous
business people were hoarding basic commodities which they later sold above
stipulated prices.

No, you don't say! And where are these unscrupulous business people to be
found do you suppose? On the streets of Harare doing a thriving trade we

Because it can come as no surprise that where a government controls prices
but stokes inflation by failing to contain its fiscal incontinence, it is
very likely that distortions will arise. Most obviously shortages will occur
and profiteers will be quick to move in.

In Zimbabwe we have a reckless populist regime courting public favour by
holding down prices while borrowing and spending as if there is no tomorrow.

This inflationary climate is no place to do business. The costs of inputs
soar. Companies are prevented from making a profit and therefore go to the
wall which boosts unemployment. It is bad news all-round.

Mohadi attacked the independent media claiming it targeted the private lives
of high-ranking government officials. He accused the Press of projecting a
"dark picture" of the country, saying there could be no worse abuse of
freedom of expression.

There is actually a far worse abuse. Feeding impressionable young police
officers this kind of junk. We have no idea which people he thinks the
private Press have targeted. But we are certainly interested in those who
have become very rich very quickly while holding positions of public trust.
Perhaps he has a few examples in mind.

As for the "hate campaign" he alleges is being waged, perhaps he didn't hear
the disgraceful remarks made by President Mugabe at Harare airport on his
return from Johannesburg recently when he targeted two elected MPs. Or any
other speech he has made recently for that matter which is filled with his
customary bile. Can you imagine the repercussions if Morgan Tsvangirai
boasted of his degrees in violence?

Instead of poisoning their minds with Zanu PF's discredited theories, Mohadi
should have instructed the police officers on the importance for the country
's reputation of acting professionally and in a non-partisan way when
dealing with members of the public who have rights laid down by law - as
distinct from those defined by ministers. The arrest of a former judge who
had proved a thorn in ministers' sides did more to "darken" the picture of
this country than electoral manipulation and land theft put together.

We were at least pleased to have Mohadi's confession that there had been
"ugly scenes of terrorism since the commencement of our land reforms in
2000". Will those responsible be prosecuted, starting at the top?

Addressing another passing out parade, Security minister Nicholas Goche said
the birth of "obscene, unprincipled, directionless and unpatriotic political
parties with a high affinity for violence" required vigilance. The minister
should think before speaking. There will be many within Zanu PF who will be
highly offended by such remarks.

'Professor' Tafataona Mahoso, head of the Media Commission, has a reputation
for eschewing the self-indulgent habits of Zimbabwe's bourgeoisie who drive
around in their large cars contributing to the greenhouse effect and
consuming valuable fossil fuels. He was known to take commuter omnibus rides
to and from his workplace at the Polytech rather than driving there in

But all that has changed. Muckraker gathers he was spotted in the back of a
cream Mazda 626 last week. All right, he wasn't sprawled across the back
seat behaving like a chef. In fact he was squeezed up in a corner pretending
hard not to be there, reading an independent weekly paper. But this is
obviously one of the perks of being head of the Media Commission. It also of
course follows hard on the heels of the unfortunate incident when Mahoso was
mugged walking back from State House one evening. He is evidently now
regarded as a valuable commodity by the powers-that-be.

Certainly, we have noticed in recent months a more stridently partisan tone
to his Sunday Mail articles. This, for instance: "Those who know history
remember that a leader does not speak with the frankness, common sense,
inspiration and power of the kind demonstrated by President Mugabe unless he
too is inspired by the core values and aspirations of his people. The two
speeches (in Johannesburg and New York) created a panic because they
revealed that Zimbabwe has long life after Cde Mugabe, not just in
Tamandayi, Muzarabani, Hurungwe and Gokwe, but also in Soweto, Alexandria
(sic), Harlem, Chicago and Atlanta."

Yuk! Is a 626 really worth this?

In the same grovelling piece Mahoso took a pot shot at this paper saying a
"long" article by Tom Henshaw - who Mahoso called "Henslaw" - recently was
aimed at the "destruction of the public morale of the African majority".

Henshaw will be flattered to know that he is held responsible for such a
monumental project. But why Mahoso should deem an 800-word piece "long" when
his own tome this week extended to several thousand unedited words is
difficult to fathom.

On September 22 the School Development Committee of Langham Girls' High
School at Mvurwi took out a large advertisement in the Sunday Mail to
repudiate a story carried in the Herald and on ZBC about girls from the
school being treated at Howard Hospital after suffering from diarrhoea.
There was no case of diarrhoea at the school, the committee pointed out. The
doctor who attended to the girls has confirmed this.

"It was further established that the children were photographed without
their consent or that of the school authorities. The children were
photographed while waiting to be collected by the school bus," the committee
chairman, T Mbiriyakura, pointed out. "One of the students was actually
asleep when this happened.

"We also noted that the journalists did not bother to visit the school to
establish the nature and extent of the alleged problem or verify the facts
with the school authorities."

Mbiriyakura said the Herald and ZBC stories were "not only false but
mischievous", causing alarm and despondency among parents and the school
community. He condemned what he called "this irresponsible journalism".

"We trust that the ZRP will act against this barbaric act in terms of the
law. Our children deserve protection from this abuse by journalists,"
Mbiriyakura said.

Have the police acted in response to this complaint? And what does the 626
professor think about it?
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Zim Independent - Editor's Memo

Torture on increase
Iden Wetherell
A NUMBER of reports of individuals being tortured or otherwise abused while
in police custody have been carried in the press recently.

These follow the fanfare given to a code of conduct for regional police
chiefs adopted at their meeting at the Victoria Falls last month.

It is worth recalling here exactly what the code states: "In the performance
of their duties police officials shall respect and protect human dignity and
maintain and uphold human rights for all persons . No police officer shall
inflict, instigate or tolerate any act or other cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment to any person. They are required to ensure
protection of health of persons in their custody and secure medical
attention where needed."

On Tuesday opposition MP Roy Bennett, his bodyguard and a South African
national were released on bail two days after being arrested, reportedly by
the CIO.

Bennett's lawyer Arnold Tsunga said Bennett's security aide, Mike Magwaza,
was subjected to "prolonged assault" by CIO agents.

"Witnesses said Magwaza was assaulted almost immediately after he was taken
into custody," reports said.

Bennett was unhurt, while South African Stuart Gervin had been "slapped

The three were arrested on Sunday at a roadblock in Bennett's constituency
of Chimanimani on allegations of taking photographs of a polling booth. But
Bennett has now been charged with contravening the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act by filming food distribution.

Mugabe recently declared that Bennett and fellow MDC MP David Coltart
"belong in prison".

Bennett's lawyers say they had difficulty establishing the whereabouts of
their client because the police would not disclose where he was being held.

The other case reported this week involves Tawanda (Tom) Spicer (18) who is
an MDC youth activist. Tom was arrested last Thursday with some friends in
Mabvuku. According to his mother, the prominent film-maker Edwina Spicer,
they spent that night in Braeside police station. The next day their lawyer,
Romualdo Mavedzenge of Atherstone & Cook, spent the entire day trying to see
them. According to Edwina, Braeside police said they were at Central, and
Central said they'd been taken back to Mabvuku.

She saw four of those arrested (Cosmas and Barnabas Ndira, Reuben Tichareva
and Tendayi Mlauzi) at 8.30pm on Friday. They said they had been assaulted.
No-one knew where Tom was.

"On Saturday we discovered that he had spent the night in Mbare (Matapi)
cells. We were allowed access to him at around 10am on Saturday morning. We
discovered that he had been in Central all day Friday and had been severely
tortured for a period of about four hours in the afternoon," Edwina Spicer

Reports that Tom and the four other MDC youths were tortured, based on
statements by their lawyers and Tom's parents, have been carried by a number
of newspapers and news agencies including the Independent Group, the
Guardian, News24 and the Voice of America.

At their hearing on Monday when they were released on bail, Mavedzenge told
magistrate Elizabeth Negonde that "there are reports of assault and physical
abuse against my clients". However, he said he would not deal with the issue
in the magistrate's court as it was already part of an application to the
High Court.

In his affidavit to the High Court, Mavedzenge says when he saw the youths
"it was apparent (they) had been subjected to some form of physical torture
or assault while in police custody. (Reuben Tichareva, Barnabas Ndira, and
Tendayi Mlauzi) had swellings and lacerations on their bodies, considerable
difficulty in walking, swellings under their feet and wrists and were
generally unwell and looked disoriented. These applicants confirmed having
been seriously assaulted by between six and eight persons who they suspect
are police officers. They reported having been refused any medical attention

When Mavedzenge saw Tom Spicer last Saturday morning he observed that "he
appeared to have sustained more serious injuries than the other four
applicants. He had swellings in the wrists, mouth, left eye and soles. There
were lacerations on his back and he had difficulty focusing on objects with
both eyes. He reported being assaulted initially together with the other
applicants and later separately through being subject to electrode shocks on
the right ear. He had difficulty walking and was in obvious pain."

Mavedzenge then described in his affidavit the refusal of police officers
involved in the investigation to allow medical treatment of the youths. He
also recounts how one officer threatened to assault one of his clients in
his presence.

Senior assistant commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, the police spokesperson,
issued a statement saying that Tom Spicer had appeared in court on Monday
but "the allegations that he was tortured were not raised in court". When
told that they had in fact been brought up, he was reported to have said:
"We will await directives and certainly investigate this matter."

In 2000, the High Court ordered police to investigate the torture of local
journalists Mark Chavunduka and Ray Choto. No action has been taken to date.

The claims of torture and beatings in the latest cases would point to more
than a deterioration of human rights observance within the police force.
They appear to form part of a campaign of systematic repression and
brutality that has characterised government's response to dissent.

What is also disturbing in the affidavit the youths' lawyers submitted to
the High Court this week is the reported refusal by senior police officers
to allow any form of medical treatment to the detainees. This represents a
clear violation of the terms of the code adopted by the Southern African
Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (Sarpcco), which
Commissioner Augustine Chihuri was elected to head at the Victoria Falls

Sarpcco comes under the auspices of Interpol.

If in the cases cited above it is shown that the police acted in clear
violation of the new code of conduct, it would call into question the ZRP's
commitment to that code and damage the credibility of Sarpcco itself.
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