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

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I know that many of you - like me, are suffering a bit from farm fatigue, but Jean Simons case is so graphic that I felt you should see the communications from her.  Jean is a single woman, farming on her own account.  Bought her farm in 1992 with a "Certficate of No Interest for Resettlement" from the Minister of Agriculture and has invested millions of dollars in the property.  Clearly an above average employer her staff have stood by her through thick and thin.  In many ways she has become a symbol of all that is wrong and illegal about the "land reform exercise" that Mugabe has undertaken in the past two years.
Eddie Cross
Bulawayo, 10th September 2002
Dear Sirs
I corresponded with you earlier this week concerning potential eviction from my farm in Zimbabwe.
As I sit here the police are at my home forcing my staff to pack all my possessions into boxes to move them out of my home.
I have a High Court Order from Justice Chinhengo in which the Ministry of Lands consented that my section 5 and Section 8 were invalid and of no effect.
I have a High Court Interim Order from Justice Paradza stating that the Minister of Lands, as well as Minister of Housing , the Commissioner of Police, the Governor, the District Administrator, The Officer in Charge Chinhoyi, Dr Ignatious Chombo (my local Member of parliament) Kangachepi (the resident war vet on my farm) as well as the Member in Charge of my local police station must
- stop harassing me and my staff
- stop allowing illegal settlers to occupy my farm
- stating that the occupation of my farm by settlers is illegal
- instructing the Deputy Sheriff to evict the illegal occupiers of my farm with the assistance of the police
- instructing the Commissioner of Police and the member in Charge of Chinhoyi Police station to ensure that the order is carried out and the peace is kept.
Despite that, the Member -in Charge of Raffingora Police station, Sergeant Mukiwa, has instructed the resident War Veteran to remove all my possessions from my home today and sent Constable Njenje to ensure that the eviction is carried out.
The staff on my farms have refused to allow the War Vet and settlers to touch my possessions and have rallied together to pack everything up and move it to our irrigation farm.
While that has been happening, an A2 settler allocated a plot on my irrigation farm has arrived and threatened to burn any possessions taken to Nswala (irrigation farm).  This farm only received its section 8 10 days ago and I have to be off that farm by the end of November unless I can get relief from the courts.
I understand that your hands are tied by the fact that you cannot interfere in the affairs of a sovereign state but I wish to bring this atrocity to your attention.
The gross human rights abuse by government fully assisted by the police is appalling.  They are ignoring the court decisions and are removing farmers and their labour from the farms by brute force.  Law and order has broken down completely on the farms and in the rural areas.
The displacement of farm labour is going to result in a humanitarian crisis of mammoth proportions.
Yours sincerely

Farmer arrested as deadline passes

HARARE: Some white Zimbabwe farmers complied with a new deadline yesterday
to quit their properties and make way for landless blacks, but police
arrested one farmer for failing to deliver his harvested maize to the state
grain board.

Jenni Williams, spokeswoman for farm lobby group Justice for Agriculture,
said it was not clear what police would charge Jim Arrow-Smith with
following his arrest at his Harare residence.

"Indications are that they are trying to hold him for having on-farm maize
but we're waiting to hear what the exact charge is," she said.

His farm had been designated for takeover. Ms Williams said he was held for
leaving his maize on the farm and not delivering it to the state Grain
Marketing Board, which has a legal monopoly on all maize trading.

JAG vice-chairman John Worswick earlier said several farmers in Mashonaland
West province hurriedly left their land as the deadline approached, but were
likely to return.

"I'm sure a lot of them will be going back to their farms tomorrow. We also
had a lot of farmers on their properties who haven't been arrested," Mr
Worswick said.

President Robert Mugabe has ordered 2900 white commercial farmers to quit
their land without compensation and hand them over to blacks.

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Shots fired as Zimbabwe
family 'dig in' on their farm

Harare - Gunfire was exchanged as about 70 pro-government militants raided a
white-owned farm and barricaded the family inside their home in northern
Zimbabwe, says the Justice for Agriculture organisation.

No injuries have been reported, but the family remained barricaded inside
the farmhouse as police refused to intervene, said Jenni Williams,
spokeswoman for JAG.

A crowd had gathered late on Monday at Ian Cochran's farm in the northern
district of Karoi, and early on Tuesday a truck carrying about 50 people
arrived at his home, said Williams.

Two of them were armed with semi-automatic shotguns, while a third man had a
rifle, she said.

The mob attacked the home and dragged out Cochran's mother, who managed to
slip away, said Williams.

Cochran, who was in an outlying building on the farm, took his gun and
walked through the crowd to get to the home, she said. A shot was fired as
he neared the house, and he responded by firing into the ground.

Several more shots were fired, and Cochran fired twice in response, she

The incident came two days after the expiry of government eviction orders
for some farmers to leave their land under President Robert Mugabe's
violence-wracked land reform programme. - Sapa-AFP

Zimbabwe police intervene on besieged white farm

HARARE, Sept. 10 - Zimbabwean police intervened on Tuesday after a white
farmer who ignored a state order to quit his land exchanged shots with
militants loyal to President Robert Mugabe, a farm source said.
       Earlier, sources in the area said militants forced their way onto Ian
Cochrane's farm in Karoi on Monday night, in a bid to force him to leave the
property, located about 200 km (125 miles) north of Harare.
       Cochrane, barricaded in the farm homestead with his mother, sister
and two children, exchanged shots with the militants but no one was injured.
       ''The police have since reacted, they are investigating the situation
there. There were no injuries and no one has been arrested yet,'' one
farming source who declined to be identified told Reuters.
       The militants had left the farm, and Cochrane and his family were
likely to stay on, the source added.
       Police chief spokesman Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena could
not confirm the incident.
       ''We've had inquires to that effect but we're still trying to
verify,'' he told Reuters.
       Mugabe ordered 2,900 commercial farmers to quit their land without
compensation by August 8 under a controversial programme to seize
white-owned farms and hand them over to the largely landless black majority.
       A farmers' lobby group, Justice for Agriculture (JAG), says some
2,500 farmers have defied the initial government eviction orders. Police
have charged more than 300 defiant farmers.
       Mugabe gave his latest ultimatum to white farmers last week, telling
them to cooperate with the land reforms, leave the country or face jail.
       Zimbabwe has been in crisis since pro-government militants led by
veterans of the 1970s liberation war began invading white-owned farms in
early 2000.
       Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, says his
land drive is aimed at correcting colonial injustice, which left 70 percent
of the country's best land in the hands of whites who make up less than one
percent of the population.
       But critics say the programme has mainly benefited Mugabe's cronies
at the expense of people in genuine need of land.
       Aid agencies say nearly half the country's 13 million people need
food aid this year, a result of a wider food crisis in six drought-stricken
southern African countries, which they say has been exacerbated by Mugabe's
land reforms.
       The government says the drought alone is to blame for the food
Tuesday, 10 September, 2002, 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK
Shoot-out at Zimbabwe farm
White farmer
Mugabe has been trying to evict farmers for two years
A white farmer and a group of government supporters exchanged gunfire on Tuesday morning at a farm in the Karoi area of northern Zimbabwe.

Ian Cochrane was trapped on his farm with his mother, sister and two children by about 100 people armed with sticks, stones and several guns who were apparently trying to seize the farm.

It seems they are trying to provoke farmers to retaliate with weapons

Alan Parsons
But tensions eased after police arrived, reports the French agency, AFP. No-one was hurt.

Last week, President Robert Mugabe warned white farmers to co-operate with his land reform programme, leave the country or face jail.

Farmers in parts of northern Zimbabwe were again warned to leave their farms by Sunday, prompting about 100 to flee to the capital, Harare.


A crowd of government supporters broke through the security fence at the farm and converged on Ian Cochrane's farmhouse early on Tuesday morning.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
Zimbabwe's land reform

  • 1890-1980: Black peasants were moved to less fertile areas during the colonial era
  • 2000: 4,000 whites own 70% of prime land
  • March 2000: 'War veterans' occupy white-owned farms
  • 2000-2002: Several white farmers and black workers killed during violence
  • 9 August 2002: 3,000 white farmers ordered to leave their homes

  • The farmer's mother was trapped in another house on the farm. Fearing for her life, Mr Cochrane went to her aid, firing a warning shot as he went.

    He said a violent scene followed.

    "These guys started firing shots at me and I fired shots back because I was outside with this huge mob of people, possibly over 100, all around me.

    "This is absolutely a terrible situation and we can't carry on like this now."

    "When the police got there, the three armed men had disappeared," said Jenni Williams of farmers' lobby group, Justice for Agriculture (JAG).

    Two of the men were armed with semi-automatic shotguns, while a third had a rifle, she said.

    The government supporters later left the farm with the Cochrane family still there, Reuters news agency reports.


    One of Mr Cochrane's neighbours, Alan Parsons said the militants were led by an army major, according to the Associated Press news agency.

    "It seems they are trying to provoke farmers to retaliate with weapons," he said.

    Farming leaders said that Mr Cochrane was one of the 2,900 white farmers ordered to leave their land by 9 August.

    Some complied but others, including Mr Cochrane, are fighting the eviction orders in the courts.

    They argue that they are not legally obliged to leave their farms until their court appeals have been heard.

    But some 300 have been arrested for their defiance, according to Reuters.

    Farmer Colin Shand, who has been writing a diary for BBC News Online, is one of those affected.

    ABC news

    Land Grab
    Zimbabwe's Farm Policy Hits Whites and Blacks, But Blacks Suffer the Worst

    By Leela Jacinto

    Sept. 9 - Louise and Rob Cochrane were enjoying a quiet Sunday morning in
    their spacious farmhouse in northwestern Zimbabwe on Aug. 18 when their
    emergency radio crackled the warning they had been dreading for more than a

          A neighborhood network of fellow white farmers had spotted two
    vehicles carrying about 15 men - including uniformed and plainclothes
    policemen - making their way to the gates of the Cochranes' 1,322-acre farm
    in Karoi, about 125 miles north of the Zimbabwean capital of Harare.
          Like hundreds of white farmers across the country, the Cochranes were
    defying what they call an illegal eviction order from the Zimbabwean
    government demanding that approximately 2,900 white farmers leave their land
    by Aug. 9.

          In the tense days following the expiration of the deadline, more than
    200 white farmers resisting the order were arrested. Foreseeing the
    inevitable, the Cochranes had put together an emergency action plan.

          "We decided that I would stay with the children and Rob would leave
    the farmhouse since we didn't think they'd arrest me," Louise said in a
    telephone interview from Harare. "But they were adamant that I abandon my
    children and come with them to the police station. I was very angry about

          Leaving her son, Thomas, 7, and daughter, Alice, 3, with the maid,
    Louise was taken to the Karoi jail, where she was detained for a night along
    with seven other white farmers from the area.

          After a court hearing the next morning, Louise was released without
    any terms or conditions, but the experience so jolted her that she decided
    to spend a few days in Harare before returning to the farm in Karoi.

          "I just needed a change," she told "I thought it might be
    good to stay away - just for a few days."

          Beatings in a Police Station

          Like Louise, Dixon Mugagwa is also taking a break in the bustling,
    relative anonymity of the capital.

          Yet another temporary refugee from the violence engulfing rural
    Zimbabwe, the 32-year-old black farm laborer came to Harare from the Buhera
    district in southeastern Zimbabwe earlier this month.

          But unlike Louise, Mugagwa says he has no idea when he will be able to
    return home to his wife and three children.

          A supporter of Zimbabwe's opposition MDC (Movement for Democratic
    Change) party, Mugagwa says he came to Harare for medical treatment after
    being arrested and tortured by local policemen.

          "It happened on July 14, when the police came to my house to fetch me
    because I supported the MDC," Mugagwa told in a phone interview.

          "While we were on the way to the police station, they produced a
    pistol and told me to get out and fall on the ground and started to beat my
    buttocks and legs and feet with their batons and asked me for the names of
    MDC people."

          Along with a group of other MDC supporters, Mugagwa says he was taken
    to the Buhera police station, where they were severely beaten over a period
    of three days. The police accused the men of torching a local official's
    hut, a charge the men deny and insist is politically trumped up. A court
    hearing is scheduled for October.

          But as reports of arrests and torture incidents in the area mounted,
    Mugagwa says he was forced to flee to Harare, where he is staying in a safe
    house run by the Amani Trust, a Zimbabwean-based aid agency.

          For the moment, he's safe. But his troubles are far from over. More
    than a month after his imprisonment, Mugagwa says he is unable to work or
    even sit since his buttocks and genitals are sore from the baton beatings he

          Breadbasket to Disaster Zone

          Mugagwa's story is not unique. Like millions of black Zimbabweans, he
    says he is the victim of the very government that has promised to right a
    history of colonial wrongs. (See sidebar below)

          When Robert Mugabe took over the reins of the newly formed Zimbabwe in
    1980 after nearly a century of white settler colonization and restrictions
    on black access to lands, he inherited a volatile landownership pattern.
    White farmers - who constituted less than 1 percent of the population -
    owned more than 70 percent of the country's most fertile lands.

          After years of economic crisis accompanied by riots and strikes,
    Mugabe introduced a controversial campaign in 2000 to take over white-owned
    farms. It was sold as a "Robin Hood-style" policy of taking from the rich
    and giving to the poor - with a racial twist.

          But rights groups say the campaign has been accompanied by grave human
    rights violations. And experts warn that the country today is spiraling into
    political, economic and social chaos.

          Mugabe and his party - the ZANU-PF - have controlled the country for
    more than two decades amid brutal crackdowns on any opposition.

          Economically, the country that was once called Africa's "breadbasket"
    is facing starvation as rights groups warn that land seized from white
    farmers is being allocated only to Mugabe's circle of cronies and

          And socially, millions of Zimbabweans - black and white - live in a
    climate of fear, intimidation and often brutal violence.

          "The situation in Zimbabwe today shows what happens when governments
    fail to create institutions to deal with inequalities through legal
    methods," said Michelle Sieff from the Africa Division of the Eurasia Group,
    a New York-based political risk-assessment and industry research group. "The
    pressure grows, governments then resort to illegal means and the process
    gets hijacked for political ends."

          As opposition to Mugabe's ZANU-PF party among the whites and educated
    black Zimbabweans grows, 186 MDC supporters have been killed in the past two
    years, including 11 white farmers.

          Unseen Victims

          But some experts say that while the plight of Zimbabwe's white farmers
    has grabbed world attention, the people worst affected by the violence were
    black Zimbabweans, most of whose gruesome experiences never made it to the
    international headlines.

          "White farmers are facing comparatively limited measures of brutality
    and harassment from the state because they are too visible," said John
    Makumbe, a political science professor at the University of Zimbabwe and
    chairman of Transparency International Zimbabwe, a Harare-based
    nongovernmental organization. "When a white farmer is evicted, all the media
    will focus on it. When 50 black workers are thrown off the farm and
    threatened, nobody covers it."

          A week after her arrest, Louise Cochrane, a third-generation
    Zimbabwean whose grandparents came up from neighboring South Africa, is not
    prepared to give up on the land of her birth - at least not yet.

          "We're determined to a certain extent to stick it out," she said.
    "This is our country and we're entitled to stay here."

          But as the number of joyless farewells for their friends leaving for
    Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States grows, and the
    situation in Zimbabwe only gets worse, the Cochranes admit they have to be

          "For starters we will consider other options here in Africa - like
    Zambia or Mozambique - or then there's New Zealand and Australia. It depends
    on whether they will have us," said Rob with a mirthless chuckle.
    "Ultimately, it comes down to economic security."

          A Good Idea, But a Distant Dream

          But while economic security sounds like a good idea to Mugagwa, it
    seems like an impossible dream. Earlier this month, he says a group of
    militias linked to the ZANU-PF stormed into his Buhera hut, beat up his wife
    and looted his farming tools.

          "Now, I have no tools for planting. I don't have any money to buy new
    tools and to feed my wife and children. I don't know what to do," he said.

          Mugagwa worries about his family's security as rights groups warn
    about an increasing number of politically motivated rapes in the
    countryside. But he fears that if the family leaves Buhera, they would lose
    everything to the militias and war veterans plaguing rural Zimbabwe.

          "I'm not worried about the survival of the white farmers," said John
    Prendergast, Africa Program co-director at the International Crisis Group.
    "What's frightening is that 1 ½ million farm workers and their families are
    literally homeless and desperate and are completely falling through the

          'Bad NGO Groups'

          For its part, the Zimbabwean government insists that its latest
    land-reform measures are going well.

          "As far as land redistribution goes, we are almost on target," said
    Edward Matumhe, a spokesman at the Ministry of Information and Publicity. "A
    number of new farmers are ready for the [October] rainy season and the
    government is assisting them with agricultural inputs like fertilizers,
    chemicals and livestock."

          But experts and witnesses paint an abysmal picture of rural Zimbabwe,
    with squatters occupying farmlands, inexperienced new farmers provided no
    deeds for the land, and bands of militiamen harassing the population with
    apparent state impunity.

          Asked if the government was committed to investigating the growing
    number of cases of alleged police torture of MDC supporters, Matumhe said:
    "What can I say? We get this sort of information from bad NGO groups and
    newspaper reports. We have no details of this."

          But when provided a detailed list of alleged police torture cases in
    Buhera since April - which MDC officials say are just a fraction of the
    political violence cases recorded in the district - Matumhe says the
    government will look into them. "The police as a security organization will
    investigate these allegations," he said, adding, "these allegations, which
    we hear time and time again."

          From the Harare offices of the Amani Trust, Mugagwa brushes aside
    these governmental promises.

          "This will go on, it will go on until that, that guy Robert Mugabe
    surrenders," he said. "He's taking the farms and giving them to his
    relatives. We are getting nothing. I don't know how I will survive. I don't
    know how I will feed my children. This is hell."

                History's Ghosts

                In April 1980, the British flag was taken down from the state
    house in Harare and Robert Mugabe took over the reins of the newly formed
    nation of Zimbabwe after a seven-year war against the government of Ian
    Smith, the white-supremacist prime minister of Rhodesia. It was a period of
    post-colonial African hope.
                Although centuries of settler colonization had put more than 70
    percent of the country's most fertile lands in the hands of white farmers,
    who constituted less than 1 percent of the population, Mugabe initially
    fostered a spirit of reconciliation and granted blanket amnesty to everyone
    on both sides of the independence war.

                While the inequities of land ownership were acknowledged during
    the pre-independence talks - which led to the signing of an agreement
    between the two sides - the details of land reform under the agreement have
    been the subject of diplomatic bickering between Britain and Zimbabwe.

                While Mugabe has insisted that Britain promised to pay for the
    redistribution of white-owned land during the 1979 talks, Britain has
    maintained that no document signed during the negotiations provides for

                Successive British grants to finance land reform have been
    bogged down in diplomatic wrangling as London has periodically expressed
    dissatisfaction with Mugabe's reform measures, which London maintained were
    preconditions for British financial help.

                The 1990s saw a worsening economic crisis as the failure of
    economic restructuring measures lead to riots, strikes and a growing
    opposition to Mugabe's government.

                By the turn of the century, Mugabe seized on the land issue for
    his political gains. The government's failure to crackdown on squatters on
    white-owned land was followed by a policy of seizing white-owned farms.

                Mugabe's political woes, however, worsened after the March 2002
    elections were condemned as seriously flawed. Currently, the European Union
    has imposed "smart sanctions" on Zimbabwe and the Bush administration has
    announced that it is working to foster opposition to Mugabe.
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    ZIMBABWE: Commercial farmers win latest round against evictions

    JOHANNESBURG, 10 September (IRIN) - Ten commercial farmers in Zimbabwe won a legal round against the government's "fast-track" land reform programme this week, setting a precedent for farmers arrested for refusing to leave their land last month.

    The farmers were brought before the courts on allegations of violating their Section 8 acquisition orders, which forces them to stop farming and leave their land. Many of the over 300 farmers who had refused to quit were arrested and granted bail.

    The bail conditions varied, including stipulations that they could not return to their farms, that they had to vacate their land by a specified time, or that they could only return under police escort.

    The Harare High Court revoked the bail conditions on Monday, Commercial Farmers Union vice president for commodities, Doug Taylor-Freeme, told IRIN.

    The rest of the farmers under similar bail conditions have been advised to consult their lawyers following the ruling.

    Taylor-Freeme said that in spite of receiving the Section 8 notices, some farmers had won permission to continue farming wheat, which was currently in short supply. However, he said a wave of labour disputes was disrupting production as farmworkers sought their retrenchment packages.

    Some farmers have argued that they do not have the money to comply with this legal obligation, Taylor-Freeme said.

    Media reports on Tuesday said shots were fired when so-called "war veterans" surrounded a farm in the remote area of Karoi. Associated Press said that after people in the group shot at his homestead and tried to force him off his land, farmer Ian Cochrane fired eight shots into the ground and some shots over their heads.

    He was reported to be among a group of farmers contesting the legality of the government's eviction orders.

    The police could not immediately confirm the incident, and denied allegations that they did not help farmers who said their property was under siege.

    Police Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said people settling on farms were not only veterans from the country's liberation struggle, but also landless peasants and disgruntled workers who were "entitled to protest", and the police would only act if there was violence.

    He told IRIN that previous reports that farmers had been held hostage by miltants were mostly "hearsay".

    The lobby group Justice for Agriculture has alleged that the government has exceeded its original goal of five million hectares of commercial farm land for redistribution. It said farmers were being targeted unfairly, and the authorities were not keeping to their promise to leave multi-farm owners with at least one farm.

    "The complaints from the farmers targeted are part of an agenda to demonise land reform programme," Steyn Berejena, the senior spokesman in the Department of Information, told IRIN.

    He said owners of more than one farm had not come forward to identify which farm they wanted to keep, in accordance with the government's subdivision plans.

    Under President Robert Mugabe's land reform programme, almost 2,900 white farmers have been ordered to stop farming and make way for the resettlement of landless people.

    Taylor-Freeme said that due to the fluidity of the situation, it was not immediately clear how many farmers had already left, or were challenging their orders.


    Tel: +27 11 880-4633
    Fax: +27 11 447-5472

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    Tuesday September 10 2002

    "SAVE ZIMBABWE" Campaign news release


    (Full interview available on-line. No broadcast copyright restriction)

    As the remaining white farmers in Zimbabwe struggle to hold onto their farms,
    a Zimbabwean MP has claimed that the regime has failed to reallocate land already
    seized from productive farmers.

    "The people who have taken the land are not working on it, and the problem of
    starvation in Zimbabwe will become an annual problem", said Mr Edward Mkhosi,
    MDC Member of Parliament for Bulilamangwe South, in an interview broadcast on
    the website. "In my area, about 15 farms have been taken, but
    less than five people have moved onto the land". He added that this pattern was
    replicated in many other areas.

    Mr Mkhosi said that in his constituency, "the movement into the land is less
    than one per cent." He added: "You wonder who is actually getting the land if
    the people who are supposed to benefit from this land reform are just as congested".
    It looked, Mr Mkhosi said, as though the land was going to "people in government
    offices", with reports indicating that Government ministers had benefited, while
    "the local person is still waiting for land"

    Mr. Mkhosi is an expert in land planning, and before entering Parliament spent
    12 years working on the land reform programme. He stressed that the MDC backed
    the concept of land redistribution, but opposed the way in which the regime had
    approached it. Furthermore, he added "The white farmers whom I have seen and
    talked to are more than willing to give up land. To turn this into a black and
    white confrontation doesn't make any sense".

    Mr. Mkhosi underlined the fact that it was not just the whites that were being
    victimised. "We blacks are suffering", he said.


    For more information please contact

    Mark Pursey on +4420 7939 7934 or +447796 954 105, or

    Helen Campbell on +4420 7939 7939 or +44 07768 283 144

    Notes to Editors:

    1. The full recording of this interview can be downloaded from the SaveZimbabwe
    website ( for broadcast without copyright restriction.
    2. The "Save Zimbabwe" campaign is a non-partisan international initiative, with
    broad based support drawn from both political parties and community groups. It
    was launched during the recent African Union meeting in Durban and is designed
    to restore democracy, human rights and legitimate government to Zimbabwe. The
    holding of early, free and fair elections, under full and proper international
    supervision, is a key objective of the campaign.
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    PVO 38/69

    SPCA Member Centres:
    Bulawayo - Chegutu - Chinhoyi - Chiredzi - Gweru - Harare - Hwange - Kadoma - Kwekwe - Marondera - Mashava - Masvingo - Mutare - Zvishavane

    10 SEPTEMBER 2002
    By all accounts, the nearly 3000 farms which were listed for appropriation in Zimbabwe have now been taken over, despite any court rulings the contrary.  The farmers in question were given 24 hours notice at the week-end to pack up and leave.  Most SPCA centres are at capacity, coping with the influx of pets.  Inspectors nationwide have been uplifting animals to all centres.  Most farmers are looking for alternative accommodation in the cities or on farms which have not yet been affected.  We continue to provide all assistance to relocate and care for their animals during the turmoil.
    After meeting with the Land Committee, Meryl finally secured the release of the 160 horses at Golden Acres Stud.  She described how the young foals, which had been born during the close confinement of the herd for nearly a month on bare earth covered in manure, were let out for the first time since their birth - she said they ran about on wobbly legs in every direction, obviously jubilant at being freed.  Addmore took the very agitated stallion out on a long rope to exercise and was grinning from ear to ear as he was dragged around the field, sharing the stallion's obvious enjoyment.  Meryl said she was surprised his arms weren't wrenched out of their sockets.
    Incoming reports and appeals for help are endless.  The team have been tackling them one at a time in order of priority.
    Last week both teams were north of Harare in the Bindura area where they rescued quite a menagerie of pets: 2 cats 'Nosy' & 'Oliver", a Bulldog 'Olly', a Pyrenean Mountain Dog 'Cindy', 3 Rabbits, 8 Bantams, 2 Goldfish and a Parrot 'Bluey'.
    They also reached Matepatepa where they uplifted two Boerboels 'Msasa' and 'Pumba' and a lively Jack Russell 'Zazu'.
    At the week-end they went back up to Concession and rescued another pair of Boerboels, 'Regan', 'Sasha' and their little companion, 'Snoopy' the Fox Terrier.
    This week the team have been working flat out - they went further north to the Guruve area and rescued two eight month old Ridgebacks from the Horse Shoe Block, then south west of Harare to Norton to rescue two Cocker Spaniels, a Border Collie and a 19 year old Dachshund as well as 16 laying hens - fortunately they were all compatible travelling companions.
    Meryl has also successfully negotiated the release of a herd of Dairy cows in the same area.  The group of 45 animals will be walked 40 Kms to a neighbouring farm and the team will transport the new born calves.
    I should mention that Meryl has achieved all this in spite of the most untimely loss of her long-time companion, Roly Marais.  He was a devoted partner and hard-working supporter of the Society which has dealt Meryl a most devastating blow in the face of the monumental challenges she is already contending with.  She has greatly appreciated the many kind messages of sympathy from around the globe.
    Yet another untimely loss to the Society a few days later was Derek Bates, the Treasurer of ZNSPCA, who also lost the battle against his long illness. 
    Zimbabwe wildlife and the environment remain under threat.  This year in the Save Valley alone (one of Africa's largest conservancies), 80 Kms of fencing has been destroyed, comprising of 1280 Kms of wire, which equates to a potential 427,000 snares (or 400,000 snares not yet recovered).  It is reported that in the past two years 1,089 animals have been recovered dead from snares (including elephant, wild dog, cheetah, leopard and rhino).
    On Bubiana an estimated 30,000 animals have been killed in the past 18 months.  It is thought that  40 rhino have been lost to poachers snares including a calf which, unable to escape, was burnt to death by a fire set by the poachers which swept through the conservancy.  In addition, an estimated 240,000 trees have been felled.
    In Chiredzi, more than 100,000 acres have been cleared, including Mopane forests which take many years to regenerate.
    The National Parks have been carrying out anti-poaching exercises but conservationists are concerned that the arrests made thus far are only the 'tip of the iceberg'.
    We are gratified to report that the 4 men arrested for assaulting Meryl and Addmore last month have been convicted.
    We have sadly received news that 'Squeak' (the late Terry Ford's 14 year old canine companion who was the recipient of the Elisabeth Lewyt Award for Humane or Compassionate Animals) has suffered a stroke.  He is receiving the best of care but still needs to be carried about - we are obviously all hopeful that he will make a recovery.
    In closing, I would like to reiterate our appreciation to all those who have supported our organisation throughout the past two years.  We could not have done it without you - the financial and material support as well as the kind words of encouragement and inspiration.  Your wonderful messages for the rescue team have helped them to remain focused when the going has been really difficult and they have felt like giving up. 
    Thank you all
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    Mugabe opposition 'gathering'

    ZIMBABWE'S opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai warned today of a gathering
    "people's storm" that would battle what he called President Robert Mugabe's
    "civil-military junta".

    In a speech to about 1,000 cheering supporters in a Harare hotel, Tsvangirai
    called for an alliance of pro-democracy forces to launch a campaign of
    non-violent activism against Mugabe's government.

    "This alliance will constitute the people's storm in this final
    confrontation with the autocracy," Tsvangirai said.

    "What confronts us in Zimbabwe is a dictator who presides over a
    civil-military junta," he said.

    "We must all synchronise and coordinate an activism in the final showdown
    against this dictator."

    Tsvangirai called Mugabe's victory in the March presidential election a
    "coup d'etat," and urged the international community to increase their
    pressure on the president for a re-run of the poll under international

    The speech came at a public discussion organised by the Public Opinion
    Institute, a think-tank that conducts independent surveys in Zimbabwe.

    Tsvangirai, who leads the three-year-old Movement for Democratic Change
    (MDC), did not say what kind of activism he envisioned, and urged his
    supporters against "adventurism" that could provoke a violent response from

    Instead, he called for "non-violent modes of political combat," saying
    "casualties among Zimbabwean citizens must be avoided or minimised."

    "We have acted as a restraining force on people," Tsvangirai said, referring
    to his party's policy of non-violence.

    "But now we have reached a stage where it may no longer be possible to keep
    the lid on," he said. "The people cannot take it any longer."

    "Your bullets cannot stop the tide of change," he said.

    "The path to our freedom is still littered with skeletons and the blood of
    our people. Let us soldier on in courage," Tsvangirai said.

    The MDC has never accepted Mugabe's victory in the March poll, saying
    widespread vote fraud and state-sponsored violence had compromised the

    After the elections, most western nations imposed sanctions on Mugabe and
    his inner circle, while the Commonwealth suspended Zimbabwe from its

    At home, Mugabe is presiding over the nation's worst-ever economic crisis,
    with inflation soaring to a record high of 123.5 per cent and an estimated
    80 per cent of the population living in poverty.

    He has staked his political fortunes on a controversial scheme to resettle
    white-owned farms with blacks, a program plagued by violence and one in
    which his critics claim has mainly benefited Mugabe's inner circle.

    The resettlement scheme also threatens to worsen an already devastating food
    shortage, which has left at least six million people - about half the
    population - threatened by famine, according to UN estimates.
    Business Day

    Tsvangirai calls for nonviolent campaign

    HARARE Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai warned yesterday of a
    gathering "people's storm" that would battle President Robert Mugabe's
    "civil-military junta".
    In a speech to about 1000 cheering supporters in a Harare hotel, Tsvangirai
    called for an alliance of prodemocracy forces to launch a campaign of
    nonviolent activism against Mugabe's government.

    "This alliance will constitute the people's storm in this final
    confrontation with the autocracy," Tsvangirai said. "What confronts us in
    Zimbabwe is a dictator who presides over a civilmilitary junta."

    "We must syncronize and coordinate an activism in the final showdown against
    this dictator."

    Tsvangirai called Mugabe's win in the March election a coup d'etat, and
    urged the international community to increase their pressure on the
    president for a rerun of the poll under international supervision.

    The speech came at a public discussion organised by the Public Opinion
    Institute, a think-tank that conducts independent surveys in Zimbabwe.

    Tsvangirai, who leads the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), urged his
    supporters against "adventurism" that could provoke a violent response from
    the government.

    Instead, he called for "nonviolent modes of political combat", saying
    "casualties among Zimbabwean citizens must be avoided or minimised."

    "We have acted as a restraining force on people," Tsvangirai said, referring
    to his party's policy of nonviolence. "But now we have reached a stage where
    it may no longer be possible to keep the lid on," he said. "The people
    cannot take it any longer."

    "Your bullets cannot stop the tide of change," he said.

    The MDC has never accepted Mugabe's victory in the March presidential poll,
    saying widespread vote fraud and state-sponsored violence had severely
    compromised the returns.

    Mugabe is presiding over the state's worst-ever economic crisis, with
    inflation soaring to a record high of 123,5% and an estimated 80% of the
    population living in poverty. Sapa-AFP
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    Business Day

          Angola offers chance for new start in region

          Closer co-operation with Luanda could help Pretoria to apply leverage
    on Harare
          COLIN Powell's whistlestop visit to Angola after the conclusion of the
    World Summit on Sustainable Development illustrates both the increasing
    importance of the southern African nation to US national interests, and the
    opportunities on offer after the death in combat of Unita rebel leader Dr
    Jonas Savimbi this February.

          In the company of his Africa assistant secretary, Walter Kansteiner,
    the secretary of state addressed senior Angolan officials and the Unita
    leadership billeted at the luxury Hotel Tropico in the capital.

          Stating the US administration's support for economic and political
    reform, he publicly stressed the need not to lose the opportunity for
    reconciliation. In his private meeting with President José Eduardo dos
    Santos, Powell reportedly called for greater focus on the reintegration of
    former Unita combatants, the setting of a calendar for elections now
    scheduled for 2004, and greater transparency on resource inflows.

          Understandably much written about Angola dwells less on options for
    political direction than the humanitarian situation. This is not surprising
    in a country ranked the world's 13th most underdeveloped. More than
    4-million, a third, of its population is displaced, and nine out of
    13-million live on less than $1 a day. This is all the more striking in
    mineral-rich Angola the secondlargest African oil producer after Nigeria and
    fourth-largest diamond producer worldwide.

          It is a land of huge contrasts, with about 2-million refugees living
    in appalling conditions on Luanda's surrounding hills. Those who survive by
    scraps from Luanda's trash cans exist cheek-by-bumper with sparkling
    four-wheel drives, latemodel Volvos and upmarket BMWs.

          Only 40% of the population has access to safe water and sanitation;
    and life expectancy is only 44 years.

          But there has been an important shift in Angola since Savimbi died,
    with implications vital for Pretoria in its pursuit of African stability and
    prosperity, especially in the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
    region all the more so as Angola takes the SADC chair after the annual
    regional summit to be held at the end of this month.

          Savimbi's death has not only brought Unita once more within the formal
    political system with consequent savings in military spending (which
    consumes 30% of the government budget) expected. It has also facilitated
    greater transparency and debate on humanitarian issues.

          Most important, it has meant the war no longer serves as a "national"
    issue, simultaneously deflecting attention away from government
    mismanagement and lack of delivery. In the absence of an ideological contest
    as in the cold war between the Marxist-Leninism of the MPLA and Unita's
    cocktail of pro-western pragmatism and Maoist populism, politics now works
    in a comparative conceptual vacuum of unrestrained capitalism, Darwinian
    self-survival and personal aggrandisement.

          Herein lies an opportunity for SA to work closer with Luanda a policy
    shift and emphasis potentially bringing substantial benefit to both.

          For Pretoria, Luanda is perhaps the only regional power which could
    bring President Robert Mugabe under control. It has displayed a willingness
    to engage regionally, and use its military prowess, not least in the Congo.
    Its relationship with Zimbabwe and Namibia through its involvement in the
    Congo has resulted in something of a regional political schism portrayed as
    that between reformers headed by Pretoria, Gaborone and Maputo, and those
    recalcitrants in Windhoek, Luanda, Kinshasa and Harare.

          However this rift could be healed by rapprochement between Luanda and
    Pretoria, without which the progress of the New Partnership for Africa's
    Development in the region is inconceivable.

          Closer ties could assist in providing the lack of regulatory cover now
    missing from the Angolan business environment. While the risk profile of
    doing business is predictable, it is a hugely costly operating environment,
    partly as the nebulous regulatory regime calls for a setting up and
    maintaining of a costly network of contacts and partnerships. In this way,
    given the relative economic delinkage and independence of Angola from the
    SADC region, there is more to be gained by Pretoria than Luanda from better
    bilateral links.

          For Luanda, a focus on regionalism offers a project other than war, a
    focus for national activity, an acknowledgement of regional status as the
    second-ranking economic power behind SA, and a conduit for investment from
    SA companies.

          However, there are political obstacles to overcome before such a
    regional partnership can emerge. For one, Pretoria will need to make
    positive, public overtures to Luanda's leadership, in doing so placating
    what many Angolans perceive as an ungrateful attitude on the part of the
    African National Congress for the years of sanctuary and military assistance
    Luanda provided.

          Small but significant steps can make this possible: such as was
    offered by the Rwanda-Congo peace accord recently facilitated by Pretoria.
    Pretoria's failure to publicly acknowledge Angola's role left many in Luanda

          And there are also more practical tensions, such as the need for other
    bilateral actors such as Washington and the former colonial master Portugal
    to work together in facilitating such a regional consensus.

          In spite of Powell's comments, US policy is shaped primarily by its
    strategic economic interests, with Angola now supplying about 10% of US oil

          Lisbon and other European "Club Med" players, will also likely be most
    reluctant to accept greater SA involvement a threat to those who see SA not
    as a way to improve the size of the regional economic pie but as enjoying a
    geographic competitive advantage.

          This reflects a paradigm of regional economic interaction as a
    short-term, zero-sum game.

          Pretoria's relations with Angola are akin to Franco-German relations
    before the European Union. While they can invariably develop apart, by
    working together they offer a regional future greater than the sum of their
    respective parts.

          Symbolic political gestures backed by cultural and educational
    exchanges could complement the SADC vision, and in doing so realise benefits
    for both.

          Dr Greg Mills is National Director of the SA Institute of
    International Affairs, and recently visited Angola.

          Sep 10 2002 12:00:00:000AM Greg Mills Business Day 1st Edition
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    Business Day

    Mozambicans report abuse by Zimbabwe

    MAPUTO Mozambican government has launched an inquiry into claims that
    Zimbabwean border officials have abused Mozambicans crossing into the
    country to trade, a senior Mozambican official has said.
    Soares Nhaca, governor of Mozambique's central Manica province, which
    borders Zimbabwe, told state television the alleged abuses were reported to
    him by residents of the Machipanda border area during his recent tour there.
    "We are now in contact with the government of Manicaland in order to clarify
    this issue," Nhaca said.

    Nhaca said Machipanda residents reported that they are excessively checked
    and sometimes beaten and sexually abused by Zimbabwean border guards.

    "I do not understand why they are doing this when we have helped the
    Zimbabweans in many ways from their country's independence war," one woman
    trader said.

    Hundreds of informal traders cross between Mozambique and Zimbabwe every
    day, but Zimbabwe has tightened the screws on cross-border trade amid
    drastic food shortages in the country.

    Zimbabwe's state-imposed price controls on basic foods like sugar, cooking
    oil, salt and other products have made those goods there far cheaper than
    the prevailing market rates in the region.

    But the system has also contributed to shortages in Zimbabwe, as the
    state-mandated prices are often lower than the cost of producing the

    When the products are available, traders from neighbouring states try to buy
    the goods cheaply in Zimbabwe and take them home to sell at a profit.

    Mozambican companies producing commodities such as sugar, beer and cement
    have complained that such competition is unfairly eating into their markets
    and hurting their attempts to rebuild an economy devastated by civil war in
    the 1980s.

    Zimbabwe has tightened border controls to stop the loss of scarce food
    products to neighbouring countries, while at the same time limiting what
    foods can be imported to Zimbabwe because of the government monopoly on the
    sale of grain. Sapa-AFP
    Sep 10 2002 12:00:00:000AM  Business Day 1st Edition
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    Daily News


          Rural elections - a nuisance to the desperate majority

          9/10/02 8:51:48 AM (GMT +2)

          For some reason, it seems the opposition MDC still believes that a
    bubble of saliva can extinguish an inferno.

          The government is determined to punish any challenge, especially among
    the hostage population in the rural areas.

          The fire is still raging, threatening to raze whatever is left of what
    used to be Zimbabwe.

          Experiences from the past 30 months must have taught Zimbabweans that
    taking part in any election is a deadly hazard. Those brave enough to risk
    life and limb know that their safety and the security of their families and
    supporters are never guaranteed.

          Many wonder why the MDC is still fielding candidates under such
    life-and-death conditions, police collusion in political corruption and
    uneven conditions.

          Elections can never be treated as a democratic yardstick in an area
    where political space is at a premium. There is no point in shouting back at
    a rough street kid, or an unpaid prostitute claiming his or her dues at a
    bus stop. Elections have been turned into sharp tools to cajole, humiliate
    and deride legitimate calls for sanity.

          The opposition must revise its strategy and move away from any
    elections in the penultimate stage of the struggle for dignity and
    happiness. Elections have become a dangerous experiment in a social
    laboratory with faulty equipment and inflammable substances.

          The ballot today is basically an insufficient premium for political
    insurance and safety. The opposition must work out a different method to
    reclaim the people's voice.

          Without the necessary institutions and processes designed to protect
    contestants, public liberties, civic rights and human life and dignity,
    elections will always be a nuisance to law abiding voters.

          Zanu PF has already claimed 700 wards without an election. A genuine
    election victory, as is clear to all, is registered in a ballot box, not at
    an inaccessible nomination court.

          It must be remembered that in the past there were fights within Zanu
    PF itself between party-sponsored candidates, Zanu PF independents and
    "independent" independents.
          The executive mayors of Mutare and Chinhoyi assumed office in such

          So serious were the disagreements that Moses Mvenge, Richard
    Shambambeva-Nyandoro, the late Lazarus Nzarayebani and many others were
    fired from Zanu PF because of their desire to stand in an election as

          Our culture always made room for a multiplicity of candidates, even
    members of the same family, in an election. Why are we suddenly being told
    that in 700 wards, there were no takers other than those from Zanu PF?

          Zimbabwe is a diverse and complicated place awash with candidates for
    any office, be it a school committee, a football club or a council office.
    The latest events can only deepen the people's hopelessness. The so-called
    Zanu PF winners will never tackle the people's grievances. Instead, they
    have usurped the people's sovereignty.

          There are numerous reports of candidates withdrawing at the last
    minute or failing to turn up on nomination day. Those at the nomination
    courts, sited at police stations and other government offices, escaped the
    wrath of emotional Zanu PF supporters, without the constitutional protection
    of the police, as was the case in Chegutu, Muzarabani, Chipinge and Shamva.

          In the former commercial farms, the opposition could not dare to get
    near the so-called nomination courts for obvious reasons.

          Another impediment was a fresh demand from the Registrar General's
    Office requiring long birth certificates as an essential document for all
    candidates. The MDC says it was verbally informed of this demand less than
    five days before the deadline. There is no legal basis for it.

          To ask villagers to change existing official documents overnight,
    given the chaos at Makombe Building in Harare, amounts to a direct
    interference with the election.

          In Chipinge and some parts of Manicaland, nomination courts were
    demanding that prospective nominees must first be cleared by the council,
    again contrary to current electoral laws. This is a requirement for
    candidates, not nominees.

          The MDC must make a decision, for the benefit and safety of its
    supporters, whether or not to keep up the fight with this government under
    conditions of blatant arrogance and deceit.

          An MDC pull-out would take away the false claims to victory by the
    government. A pull-out would force Zanu PF to sponsor its puppets as
    candidates as part of the current information war.

          Falsehoods and illusions about the demise of the opposition will never
    change the reality on the ground, which points to growing dissent and
    mistrust for the ruling party.

          Original sites for the nomination courts were shifted to police camps,
    again at the last minute. Anyone watching police behaviour since the
    invasion of commercial farms in February 2000 would accept that the force
    has turned its back on the majority and is now pursuing a partisan agenda.

          Non-Zanu PF candidates and their supporters, given their experiences
    with the police and war veterans, could find it extremely unpleasant to
    venture into any police charge office and declare their open intentions to
    oust President Mugabe's party from power.

          Some candidates said they were asked to pay nomination fees, a clearly
    fraudulent requirement.

          An interesting case came from the Magamba ward in Mberengwa West,
    where Zanu PF failed to field a candidate in time.

          The nomination court was ordered to extend its tenure until a suitable
    contestant was identified. The court complied. Any judicial officer who does
    not toe the line will be dealt with. It happened to magistrates in Bindura,
    Chipinge and Zaka.

          Candidates who were lucky to make it still faced another hurdle, a
    nagging naysayer and perennial gadfly - the voters' roll. No copies were
    available, at least to the opposition.

          Zimbabwe lacks exhaustive, internal self-assessment benchmarks that
    ensure a free and fair platform for all to decide on the future.

          Those denying the people a chance to fight it out for public service
    have a single agenda. They want the people to lose interest in their lives.

          We have failed to harness and deal with political decay and chicanery,
    thus allowing Zanu PF to claim dubious victories under a beguiling mask.

          Unpopular regimes always use elections to hide their losses and confer
    legitimacy to unworkable, corrupt and rejected policies. Anyone who has
    tried to question the conduct of these elections and the unfair result is
    quickly labelled a traitor. No room is spared for patriotic critics.

          Critics end up seeking help from the courts. But reliance on this
    route for corrections, as we have seen with the parliamentary petitions, is
    a forlorn dream.

          The petitions are still gathering dust in the Supreme Court. Without a
    speedy recourse to law, forget about taking part in an election.
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    Daily News

          State's land acquisition deadline comes to nought

          9/10/02 8:35:35 AM (GMT +2)

          Farming Reporter

          GOVERNMENT'S repeated claims that the controversial land acquisition
    exercise would be complete by August came to nought last Friday with an
    announcement that more farms would be seized for the resettlement programme.

          An Extraordinary Government Gazette published on Friday and signed by
    Joseph Made, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement,
    stated that the government intended to acquire an additional 37 farms.

          Owners, occupiers and other persons with an interest and rights in the
    subject properties were given a grace period of one month within which to
    lodge any objections to the intended acquisitions.

          An earlier notice, published on 30 August, listed 15 farms for
    take-over. The continued listing of properties targeted for compulsory
    acquisition, out of government's deadline, comes at a time when Zimbabwe
    faces acute food shortages due to disruption of productive agriculture for
    the past two years. Overall economic performance in the manufacturing sector
    was undermined by the ongoing agrarian reform. National Foods Limited, whose
    losses worsened this year, commented last week in its statement of results
    for the latest half year period, that "agri-business demand has been
    affected by the land redistribution programme and the future viability of
    this division is still not clear".
          A farm belonging to Irvine's Day Old Chicks (Private) Limited, a
    company that supplies chicken and eggs, appeared on the latest preliminary
    notice of intention to acquire land.

          Economists have warned that government's approach to land
    redistribution will lead not only to food shortages but also the deepening
    of the country's economic crisis.

          Addressing a public forum in Harare last week, Professor Tony Hawkins
    called for a halt of the land programme "in its present form" to repair the
    economy and improve foreign currency earnings.

          "As long as government continues with the land reform programme in its
    present form there can be no way the nation could experience economic and
    social normality", said Hawkins.

          President Mugabe defended the programme at the Johannesburg World
    Summit on Sustainable Development saying that no farmer was being left
    without a farm, a claim disputed by the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU).

          The CFU says more than 1 000 white farmers, all single property
    owners, were being evicted.

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    Leader Page

          State must explain policy flip-flop on GM food

          9/10/02 8:50:53 AM (GMT +2)

          The government must explain its sudden U-turn on genetically modified
    (GM) maize after Joseph Made said: "These guys are arrogant. They intend to
    destroy Zimbabwe's agriculture. You cannot use the Zimbabwean population as
    guinea pigs."

          Made is the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement.
    State media reports that James Morris, the director of the World Food
    Programme (WFP), was rebuffed by President Mugabe, Made, Jonathan Moyo, the
    junior Minister of Information and Publicity, and the Minister of Justice,
    Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa, when he first raised the
    issue on the sidelines of the Earth Summit in Johannesburg. Morris persisted
    and came out to Harare. Soon after meeting Mugabe, the government announced
    the WFP planned to ship 600 000 tonnes of maize, some of it GM, into the

          So what was all the fuss about? The government's only face-saver was
    that the food will be "quarantined", whatever that means.

          The government must explain what it knows now about GM food - which it
    didn't know last week - the precautions people must take before consumption
    and the reason for this radical policy shift.

          The UN maintains that GM food is not new to Zimbabweans. Maize was
    previously shipped in with this government's knowledge. Travellers to South
    Africa and the United States consume the same food, with no known side

          Villagers without other sources of information are confused by the
    barrage of propaganda by the ZBC concerning GM food. Their anxiety is
    heightened by the failure of the stations broadcasting in national languages
    to translate the term "genetically modified" into Shona and Ndebele, let
    alone Kalanga and Venda.

          A visit to any of the communal lands will show that the majority of
    the people have reached the limit of their endurance, aggravating their
    vulnerability to the humanitarian crisis created by the government's
    bungling. "Many people have already exhausted their coping mechanisms. If
    food aid is not delivered in sufficient quantities, the possibility of them
    falling into starvation is very real," Chris McIvor of Save the Children
    Fund warned. The plight of these desperate people is unlikely to be
    ameliorated by a sudden influx of food aid from the WFP, as the government
    has to "quarantine" it first, looking for undesirable bugs as yet unknown to
    science, before distributing it. The "quarantine" process can go on for
    months as Zimbabwe lacks the technical expertise and resources to conduct
    meaningful tests on the maize.

          The issue rests with the origins of the predicament in which Zimbabwe
    finds itself. Was it necessary for the government to hire its supporters to
    disrupt operations in productive farming areas in an attempt to revive its
    flagging fortunes in the election campaign? Now that the land is in the
    government's hands, why is there no activity on most of those farms when
    there is plenty of water?

          Goats and cattle were driven into wheat fields to graze. The result is
    there for all to see - bread is now a scarce commodity. Should Zimbabweans
    continue to watch, in silence, a government that changes its policies
    willy-nilly to suit its political agenda at the expense and the exposure of
    the majority?

          A UN crop assessment earlier this year said maize output had fallen by
    67 percent compared with the situation in 2001. Seven million people need
    705 000 tonnes of food aid until the next harvest in April.

          Even then, there is no guarantee that poverty levels will fall. A
    sharper decline makes the chances of recovery harder. The rains could also
    be in doubt if a potential El Nino, a weather pattern causing climatic
    disruptions, develops, as feared.

          If that happens, then Zimbabwe will be in serious trouble. Even the GM
    maize may not be available, depending on the government's behaviour. Where
    people's lives are concerned, there should be no political element in
    decision-making at the highest level in government. If there is, the most
    likely outcome is for someone to end up with a lot of egg on their face.
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    Leader Page

          Blair needs to understand the mentality of African politicians

          9/10/02 8:52:34 AM (GMT +2)

          It was no surprise when President Mugabe put the knife into Tony Blair
    at the Johannesburg summit.

          The Prime Minister knew Mugabe would use the presence of world leaders
    and the global media to have a stab at him. Nor was it surprising that
    President Sam Nujoma of Namibia, one of Africa's more bone-headed leaders,
    launched his own attack on Blair, accusing him of creating the Zimbabwe

          Both men are still stuck in liberationist politics. Mugabe likes to
    have an evil British Empire as a bogeyman to blame for the catastrophic
    state of once-prosperous Zimbabwe. "Blair," he said, "keep your England and
    let me keep my Zimbabwe." Even though Britain is providing £58 million (Z$5
    billion) for Zimbabwe's starving citizens, Mugabe still treats Britain as an

          What really hurt Blair last Tuesday was not the cheap lies by Mugabe
    or Nujoma, nor even the applause they received from some delegates and
    observers at the summit.

          It was the fact that no African leader came to Blair's defence, not
    even South Africa's President, Thabo Mbeki, the conference's host and until
    recently a "partner" in Blair's attempts to push Africa's plight up the
    international agenda.

          There are reasons for this. First, solidarity among Africa's rulers
    remains more important than the pledges they have made to good governance,
    democracy and respect for human rights. Second, colonialism and apartheid
    are easy targets.

          Africa's present problems such as Aids, corruption, low growth and
    poverty are far less clear-cut. Blair said that he had a passion for Africa.
    The continent has a way of doing that to outsiders. There is a small band of
    Brits - of which I count myself one - who live and breathe Africa. I once
    lived in Africa and have visited it every year for the last 20. I get
    withdrawal symptoms if I stay away too long.

          Blair has never lived in Africa. He first came to Africa in 1999 (to
    Cape Town, mainly urban, white and westernised). Since then he has made a
    couple of official trips. Hardly enough to learn much. Yet he dreams of
    saving poor Africa. It is a "scar on the conscience of our world", he says.
    "The world has a duty to heal it. Heal it we can and we will."

          Only someone who had fallen in love with a TV image of Africa could
    have said that. That's the Africa of Bob Geldof and Bono and pictures of

          It brings out the missionary in Blair. He sounds like David
    Livingstone, the missionary who wanted to save Africa from slavery 150 years
    ago. The last time they heard that language, Africans lost control of their
    continent for nearly a century. Missionaries who are passionate to save
    Africa are easily taken in or taken prisoner by African chiefs.

          To become an African ruler you need to be smart and ruthless. If you
    are a Western politician who thinks Africa is poor and weak, you are in for
    a nasty shock. Africa is ruled by men like Mugabe who are rich, tough and
    smart. They understand Britain and Europe far better than Blair knows Africa
    and, using abundant charm, they tell people like Blair what they want to
    hear. Far from being grateful recipients of Western aid, they often twist
    this support to their own political advantage.

          The more Blair and Jack Straw attacked Mugabe, the happier he was. He
    made Blair's crusade for Africa look like a crusade to save white farmers
    and that cost Blair any chance of winning over other leaders. Africans are
    wary of messianic sounds coming from a Western politician.

          A couple of years ago Blair's advisers appealed to Africa -watchers:
    "The PM wants to do something big for Africa. Any ideas?" The answer came
    back: "Don't. Africa must find its own way. Outside interference is almost
    always misinformed and leads to disaster. Support good ideas from Africa and
    stop doing things that damage Africa."

          Up to a point Blair took that advice. He has sought better trade
    access for African goods in rich countries. If Africa were allowed to sell
    its farm produce in a free market, it wouldn't need the $12 billion it got
    in aid last year.

          Blair was right to keep British troops in Sierra Leone until the war
    was over, preventing the country being taken over by the barbarians. But
    since then it has been taken over by the corrupt elite that created the
    causes of civil war in the first place.

          Blair also wanted to avoid basing his Africa policy on personal
    relationships with individual Africans. Instead, he gave Africa a new hymn
    sheet. He helped set up the New Partnership for African Development. It
    promised Western salvation in the form of debt relief, investment and aid.

          African leaders sang this new tune with gusto, and at the G8 summit in
    Canada world leaders hailed this "bold and clear-sighted" initiative.

          If Blair thought Africa's rulers were going to become good little
    European-style Prime Ministers as a result, he was wrong. If Blair wants to
    help Africa he needs to listen more, preach less and tread softly in the
    prickly African bush. He must learn that poverty of the people does not mean
    weakness in the leaders and that Africa's leaders do not split neatly into
    goodies and baddies. Most are mixed, but all dance to a drum that will keep
    them in power, and that is an African drum, not Blair's.

          * Richard Dowden is executive director of the Royal African Society.
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    Daily News

          State allegedly tricks UN famine envoy

          9/10/02 9:08:16 AM (GMT +2)

          From Chris Gande in Bulawayo

          MEMBERS of the World Food Programme (WFP) and World Vision Zimbabwe
    were on
          Saturday shocked to find stacks of maize next to where they were meant
    to distribute food aid to starving villagers at Hwali in Gwanda District.

          Villagers, who last bought maize from the Grain Marketing Board (GMB)
    in June, woke up on Saturday to find six trucks full of maize next to free
    food aid provided by the WFP.

          Villagers said the idea appeared to be to create the impression to a
    United Nations delegation led by James Morris, the UN's special envoy on
    famine who visited the area, that the government was managing the famine.

          "We were surprised when they told us that maize was going to be
    available at the same time that World Vision was distributing its food.

          "We suspect that this is not a genuine effort because where was the
    government all along until today?" said James Ndlovu, a villager.

          The trick appeared to have worked because Morris, after touring the
    area commended the government for its effort in trying to alleviate the food

          The GMB maize was being sold while the World Vision food was being
    handed out free to villagers considered eligible after several economic
    factors had been considered.

          Morris and his delegation were in Zimbabwe to assess the food
    situation as part of their tour of six southern African countries facing

          He left Zimbabwe on Saturday for Zambia where he is expected to make a
    similar assessment.

          At Hwali, more than 100km south of Gwanda 4 300 beneficiaries,
    screened by World
          Vision Zimbabwe, the implementing partner, each received 13,8kg of
    maize-meal, 1,8kg of beans and one 750 millilitre bottle of cooking oil.

          "We are here to better understand the story of the human tragedy that
    has befallen the southern African region.

          "I was encouraged that most of the people are optimistic about the
    future," said Morris.
          He said he was touched by the case of a 12-year-old girl who was weak
    because of hunger but was looking after a family of 15 brothers and sisters.

          Joseph Ndlovu, a villager from the community said the situation was
    desperate as livestock succumbed to the drought.

          He said people were surviving on boiled vegetables from a nearby
    irrigation scheme.

          Some villagers said they were now depending on gold panning to raise
    money to buy food.

          Soneni Dube, the headmaster of Hwali secondary school said schools
    were seriously affected by the drought as both teachers and students had no
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    Daily News

          Parliament resumes business after break

          9/10/02 9:04:46 AM (GMT +2)

          By Luke Tamborinyoka

          PARLIAMENT resumes business today, six weeks after President Mugabe
    officially opened the third session of the fifth parliament at which he all
    but announced that Simba Makoni would not continue as Minister of Finance
    and Economic Development.

          Makoni, who was dropped in a Cabinet reshuffle a fortnight ago, will
    not be in the House today, but Mugabe loyalists, recently appointed to what
    he called a "War Cabinet", will be occupying the front bench reserved for
    Cabinet ministers and provincial governors.

          Parliament met only once since the opening of the third session, when
    it approved a supplementary budget to finance food imports and the chaotic
    land reform programme, which Mugabe described as an "unparalleled success

          This session is expected to pass several Bills, among them an
    amendment to the Education Act, which would make it mandatory for civil
    servants to head all schools, whether public, mission or private.

          "This measure will ensure the appointment of qualified heads in all
    schools and guard against sectionalist and racist policies that continue to
    be pursued by some schools," Mugabe told the House in July.

          He said the national youth service would go ahead and training centres
    would be set up in all the provinces, including Bulawayo and Harare.

          He said the programme would include training on national
    consciousness, HIV/Aids education, First Aid, team building, moral
    education, national history, community service and work-place attachments.

          Mugabe's expanded Cabinet includes Amos Midzi, who lost the Harare
    mayoral election and was fired as chairman of Zanu PF's Harare province.
    Midzi, is now the Minister of Energy and Power Development.

          The "War Cabinet" includes little-known Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe MP,
    Kenneth Mutiwekuziva, who was appointed Deputy Minister of Small and Medium
    Enterprises Development. It is widely believed that Mutiwekuziva, who rarely
    speaks in Parliament, was rewarded because his constituency had the highest
    number of Zanu PF votes in the Presidential election in March.
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    Daily News

          Zanu PF youths accused of attacking MDC candidates at nomination court

          9/10/02 9:05:19 AM (GMT +2)

          From Our Correspondents in Masvingo and Mutare

          TWO Movement for Democratic Change candidates for the forthcoming
    rural district council were seriously injured after political violence
    erupted in Zaka West soon after the nomination court disqualified fourteen
    MDC candidates last Thursday.

          Michael Chitsama and Johannes Chongore were severely assaulted by
    suspected Zanu PF youths while they were waiting for transport to take them
    home soon after the nomination court.

          Chitsama was allegedly robbed of $20 000 meant for a number of MDC
    candidates in the area.

          The two were attacked by suspected Zanu PF youths who were armed with
    sticks and iron bars chanting anti-MDC slogans.

          However 14 MDC candidates were disqualified at the nomination court
    after they were allegedly misled by officials from the registrar-general's
    office to bring wrong birth certificates.

          Police in Zaka yesterday confirmed the incident but refused to give

          In Manicaland, 63 MDC candidates withdrew from the rural district
    council elections alleging intimidation and assaults by Zanu PF activists.

          Fourteen others were arrested in unclear circumstances.

          A police officer in Nyanga said some of the candidates were on the run
    before they were picked up. As a result, 26 of the 31 candidates in Nyanga
    pulled out of the race.

          Out of the 214 candidates, only 151 successfully submitted their
    papers at the nomination court. The remainder withdrew because of fears of
    violence, says Pishai Muchauraya, MDC's provincial spokesman.

          But Munacho Mutezo, the Zanu PF secretary for administration in
    Manicaland, disagreed with Muchauraya's views. He said: "The MDC has lost
    ground and support. They should stop looking for excuses because the game is
    over for them."

          The elections are scheduled for 28 and 29 September.
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    Daily News

          Government issues deadline to surrender arms

          9/10/02 9:03:04 AM (GMT +2)

          Court Reporter

          THE government has given persons unlawfully possessing firearms and
    ammunition a 90-day amnesty in which to surrender such arms without fear of
    prosecution as it tightens control on the ownership of weapons.

          Government critics, however, dismissed the move, saying it was meant
    to give a reprieve to Zanu PF supporters, supplied with firearms in the
    run-up to the parliamentary and presidential elections, to return them.

          "This is an admission that the government has been issuing its
    supporters with arms," Lovemore Madhuku, the chairman of the National
    Constitutional Assembly, said yesterday.

          "The amnesty shows there is something fishy. Why give an amnesty?"

          Professor Welshman Ncube, the MDC's secretary-general, said the
    amnesty meant the government no longer knew how to trace the arms they gave
    the Zanu PF supporters.

          President Mugabe announced a clemency order in a Government Gazette
    Extraordinary and barred the registration of arms of war.
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    Daily News

          Mudzuri summoned

          9/10/02 8:38:20 AM (GMT +2)

          By Luke Tamborinyoka Municipal Reporter

          The government's simmering discontent with the opposition
    MDC-dominated Harare City Council reached boiling point last night when the
    Executive Mayor, Elias Mudzuri, was summoned to a meeting with a
    high-powered government delegation.

          Among them were the Commander of the Zimbabwe National Army,
    Lieutenant-General Constantine Chiwenga, and the Minister of State for
    Security, Nicholas Goche, who is in charge of the Central Intelligence

          According to a letter signed by Ignatius Chombo, the Minister of Local
    Government, Public Works and National Housing, the meeting was to discuss
    Chombo's directives, the Harare City Council's court action against him, his
    powers regarding the elected council of Harare and the presentation of
    critical administrative documents by the city.

          The meeting was also expected to discuss the professional capacity of
    the council to fulfil mandatory obligations and the co-ordination of
    government policies within major urban centres around the country. The
    meeting comes in the wake of a rift between the council and Chombo. The
    council has filed a petition in the High Court to challenge Chombo, who has
    ordered them to refer all financial and personnel matters to him for

          Chombo made the directive soon after the council had ordered a freeze
    on the appointments and promotions of 1 235 mainly ruling Zanu PF party
    supporters, sanctioned by the government-appointed Commission shortly before
    it vacated office in March.

          According to Chombo's letter, Mudzuri and his colleagues were
    scheduled to attend a meeting in the boardroom of the Ministry of Local
    Government at Makombe Building at 5:30pm.

          Also expected to be present were Elliot Manyika, the Minister of Youth
    Development, Gender and Employment Creation, Kembo Mohadi, the Minister of
    Home Affairs, and Sithembiso Nyoni, the Minister of Small and Medium
    Enterprises Development.

          Mudzuri was to be accompanied by his executive committee.

          The outcome of the meeting could not be immediately established last
    night, but ministry officials said the government delegation was likely to
    read the riot act to the new council, which has had a frosty relationship
    with the minister.

          "Otherwise how does one explain the presence of Chiwenga and Goche, if
    it is not to intimidate the new council?" an official said.

          Mudzuri could not be reached for comment as he was said to have
    already left for the meeting. Chombo's letter is copied to the permanent
    secretaries of all the invited ministers. The council has clashed with
    Chombo over war veteran Joseph Chinotimba, a council employee accused of
    absconding from duty while conducting Zanu PF business.

          The council is currently awaiting a report on his involvement in the
    eviction of a Banket farmer when he was supposed to be on duty.

          The council has fired former public relations manager Leslie Gwindi, a
    Zanu PF apologist, allegedly improperly recruited by the Commission at a
    time the council was supposed to cut its salary bill in line with an earlier
    government directive.
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    Business Day

    Time for big switch-off' on all aid to Mugabe


    PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe and his finance and energy bosses were in Libya at
    the weekend to beg its leader Muammar Gadaffi to bale out a bankrupt

    This despite the recent failure to meet payment obligations on a US360m fuel
    import deal for the supply of 100000 tons of oil products a month Gadaffi
    extended last year.

    The visit also came just as Zimbabwe's electricity authority has announced
    all companies must pay their bills in foreign currency so it can pay back
    monies it owes to the regional southern Africa power pool.

    The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority owes more than US24m to the pool
    for imports. The Harare Financial Gazette reports the authority fears that
    major regional power firms could cut Harare off, unless outstanding
    electricity accounts are settled.

    The long overdue "big switch-off" of Mugabe's regime is now likely to be
    triggered for commercial reasons by regional suppliers. Hydro de Cahora
    Bassa of Mozambique, which by late June was reportedly owed US12m, has
    threatened to cut supplies by 50MW progressively for each week Zimbabwe
    fails to honour payments.

    From April last year, there has been a demand that SA and other neighbours
    do just that progressively turn off the fuel taps and switch off electricity
    supplies to Zimbabwe against stipulated demands that Mugabe improve his
    human rights and economic management.

    Now that the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad), peer review,
    the African Union (AU) and the summit endorsement are in place, and the
    misplaced Nigerian-SA search for a unity government has patently failed,
    Zimbabwe's neighbours are beholden to act to protect the interests of
    Zimbabwean citizens. Will President Thabo Mbeki quietly let their power
    authorities do the job for them?

    The trick is to persuade Libya that for Zimbabwe to install a government
    without a democratic election is unbankable. The sudden demise of commercial
    farming will bury what remains of the modern economy and with it the tax
    base and exports to provide education and health and to pay for energy

    Today, black farmers are not gaining land, but rather party hangers-on, many
    now with records of human abuses and enjoying presidential pardons. And
    there is no effective support to help them be productive.

    Ironically, according to reports, "settlers" under the A1 and A2 models have
    largely not heeded calls to take up their pieces of land ahead of the
    deadline last week. Also, about 1100 VIPs are listed to gain farms about a
    third of commercial farms grabbed by the Zanu (PF) regime.

    A United Nations Development Programme's technical team said late last year:
    "The current scope of the fast-track is not implementable on a sustainable
    basis." In particular, there was "no present basis for optimism on the part
    of settlers about their future leading them to form viable community
    organisations aimed at ensuring sustainability of new settlements".

    Now is the time for the "big switchoff" of all external moral, political and
    economic support to Mugabe. Without it there will be no implementation of
    Nepad, the AU will flounder, and the recent summit in SA will not deliver
    the foundation of global security, "sustainable people".

    Reynolds, a former Zimbabwean government chief economist, is director of
    Earth Africa.
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    From ZWNEWS, 10 September

    Violence shifts focus

    Reports of politically-related violence declined in August compared with July, but the focus has shifted ahead of local elections to be held at the end of September. In its latest monthly report, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum says that the greatest incidence of violence was in Manicaland, which was largely lead by uniformed officials. The Forum specifically highlighted conditions in Chimanimani, "where CIO agents, police officers and soldiers have been meting out a reign of terror. In Manicaland, and other provinces, farmers and farmworkers have also been singled out for attack. The report documents one murder – that of Ali Khan Manjengwa, a senior Zanu PF official – who was shot in Mbare. Two suspects in the shooting, Chikowero and Mushonga were allegedly brutally tortured by suspected CIO operatives and soldiers. The Forum received a total of seven reports of torture, one report of a death threat, 35 incidences of political intimidation, and 23 cases of assault. The August figures bring the cumulative total for the year so far to 58 murders, 1053 cases of torture, 220 kidnappings, and 772 incidents of arson and malicious damage to property.

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    Wattle Company Stops Selling Treated Poles
    The Herald (Harare)
    September 9, 2002
    Posted to the web September 10, 2002
    Leonard Makombe
    THE Wattle Company, a major timber processing concern, has stopped selling treated poles citing increased cost of chemicals.
    Mr Nigel Payne, the company's managing director, said the cost of chemicals, particularly creosote used to treat poles, has gone up significantly.
    "The cost of creosote, which we source from South Africa has been increased twice in the last 14 months by over 20 percent on each occasion in Rand terms.
    "At times we have had to source the foreign currency on the parallel market so that we purchase the creosote, which cost about R2 million to meet our monthly needs," he said.
    Most of the treated poles were used for fencing and the construction of timber structures.
    Farmers, who require the poles for fencing, would be affected by this development.
    Mr Payne said the Mutare-based firm has shifted its attention towards gum-tree saw milling.
    The change in focus would ensure that Wattle Company delivers better value to its shareholders.
    Wattle Company is a subsidiary of Lonhro Africa Limited. The company has been in the business of treating poles for the past 60 years.
    It has vast tracts of exotic tree forests in the Eastern High-lands.
    Mr Payne said 90 percent of the treated poles were sold on the domestic market adding that consumers had indicated that they could no longer absorb further price increases.
    "It was because of these factors that we decided to use the plantation resource for eucalyptus (gum tree) sawn timber for both the local and export markets," he said.
    The discontinuation of the business would affect contract workers.
    Mr Payne all the permanent employees would be re-assigned to other operations within the company.
    Previously, Wattle Company used to sale an average of 15 000 and 20 000 cubic metres of treated poles each year.
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