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

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Dear Farmers,


At JAG's request a proposal has been tabled with a consortium of
valuators.  Farmers are strongly advised, especially in the light of
on-farm pressure, to complete the loss claim documents with the utmost
URGENCY.  A team of JAG persons will facilitate the imputing of the loss
claim document information onto a database.  The option for valuations by
JAG ($25,000.00), or a commercial valuator option via the consortium, is
an individual farmer's perogative.  The commercial option involves
registration ($20,000.00) followed by a quantitative assessment and
recording via another database questionnaire and a farm visit ($30,000.00
total of $50,000.00).  This will include storage on their up and running
database, externalization and storage outside.  Full valuation and
representation in court later will be on a success fee basis.

Please call at the JAG offices at 17 Phillips Avenue, Belgravia, Harare to
collect a loss claim form if you have not already done so.  You can also
request a copy via email.


The representative urgent action on behalf of 10 farmers on remand under
harsh bail terms brought by Ray Passaportus in the High Court and funded
by CFU was successful in the High Court on Monday afternoon.  The written
hand down was still not available yesterday, Tuesday afternoon.  Delay
tactics?  Those affected farmers under similar harsh bail condition terms
are advised to act collectively through a shared lawyer to represent them
in the applicable magistrate's court to alter existing bail terms on bail
receipts to $5,000.00 - $10,000.00 bail, no bail conditions ie. can return
to farm unencumbered.  Those farmers must ensure they return to court on
the remand date.

SITREP 12/09/02

Following the Ministry of Agriculture deadline for many farmers nationwide
to vacate their farms by 12 noon on Sunday "regardless", a number of
arrests and several incidents were observed throughout the country. The
main focus of these operations was in Mashonaland Central, although there
are reports coming in from other areas.


Two farms were surrounded by the farm labour and local war veterans, who
were demanding SI6 severance packages. In both cases, no Section 8 had
been issued, so the farmers were under no obligation to leave. On both
farms there were several armed men, some with automatic shotguns, and one
man (Patrick Muponga, an ex-army colonel) with an FN automatic rifle. On
Renroc farm (owned by Ian Cochran), stones were thrown and several shots
were fired as Ian attempted to force his way through from one house on the
homestead to the main house. Ian was also armed, and fired warning shots
in response. Nobody was injured in this incident. Several farmers who
attempted to make their way onto the farm to rescue the family were also
fired upon, and a bullet passed through the windscreen of one vehicle.

On the neighbouring farm, the household remained in the homestead, and
over the period of the afternoon, eleven shotgun blasts were fired at the
house.  Again, nobody was injured in this process. In both cases, the
Karoi police was exceedingly slow to react, at first refusing to go to the
farms, and then eventually appearing some two to three hours after the
initial request was made.

On the farm of Chris Shepherd, a Karoi pig farmer, the settlers put the
pigs out of the sties on Tuesday. The pigs were locked out of the sties,
and were not fed or watered for the full day. The following day, when the
first few pigs started dying, the farm labour stepped in. They asserted
that the settlers' actions were violating the welfare of the labourers,
and returned the pigs to their sties, despite threats to their persons
from the settlers. Chris Shepherd has no Section 8, and intends to keep


8 farmers were arrested on Monday evening by the ZRP, and held overnight
on charges of contravening the terms of their Section 8. The arrested
farmers include Guy Dollar, Rob Masterson, Neil McTavish, Bertie Palmer,
Rob Webb and Viv Steyn. They were brought to court on Tuesday afternoon
(10/09/02), and were all released on bail. The bail conditions allowed
them back onto the farms, and they have all since returned.


Six farmers were arrested and taken to Concession Police station by the
local ZRP, supposedly for contravening their Section 8 orders. The farmers
included Dave and Pat Wakefield, Ian and Jan King, Frank Miller and
Anthony Staunton. In all cases they had either not received a Section 8,
or had legally challenged the order and had it overturned in
Administrative Court, and hence could not be in violation of such an
order. They were held for a short while at the police station, and then
released in the evening with no charges.

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Family under fire, horse burnt

Harare - President Robert Mugabe's militias in northern Zimbabwe have
stepped up their attempts to drive a white farmer off his land, opening fire
on the family for the second day in a row and apparently burning a horse to
death, say neighbours.

The horse apparently was trapped in its stable on the Karoi-district farm,
about 200km north of Harare. Neighbours said the animal had 90% burns and
had to be destroyed.

Earlier in the afternoon, Ian Cochrane (43) and his wife, Jo, fled when they
were confronted by about 60 people. Up to 30 shots were fired, first in the
air and then at them, by eight men armed with shotguns, said neighbour Alan
Parsons. The couple were not injured.

The use of firearms by war veterans and squatters against white farmers has
been relatively uncommon since the illegal state-driven invasion of white
land began in February 2000.

However, several of the 13 white farmers murdered since then have died from
gunfire, some of them in military-style assaults or ambushes by armed
"veterans" and members of Mugabe's secret police.

Mugabe claims that whites continue to own most of the arable land, and has
implemented forced evictions of white farmers from about 3 000 properties
and turned the land over to landless peasants.

Outspoken member of community

Hundreds of thousands of workers employed by the farmers, however, have been
displaced and many Zimbabweans are starving because of lagging food

Cochrane's farm has not been listed for takeover, but he is regarded as an
outspoken member of his community who has confronted police and demanded
they act against lawless ruling-party militias.

The recent attacks are regarded as a bid to force him to flee.

Parsons said the crowd also surrounded the home of Cochrane's mother, Thea
(67), screaming at her, while some of them forced their way into a cottage
belonging to Cochrane's sister, and looted it.

Armed police arrived after the crowd had left, but refused to leave an armed
guard to protect the family, including Cochrane's two young children. No
attempt was made to chase after the crowd.

On Tuesday, Cochrane had to fire into the air and into the ground to keep
the crowd from storming his homestead.

Burnt horse was stumbling about

"I don't believe they will stop until they have removed ...Ian Cochrane,"
said Parsons. "If what happened in the past two days is anything to go by, I
don't believe they will stop at anything."

Parsons said the burnt horse was discovered by Cochrane after the crowd had

"When we found it, it was still in the stable, stumbling all over the place,
in great anxiety. It had 90% burns, its back was completely burnt, its eyes
were burnt, the back of its legs were burnt.

"We had to destroy it," he said.

He said it was apparent that some of the crowd had carried bales of hay into
the stable and set light to them there. "It was deliberate. Those burns
could only have come from throwing burning straw at it," said Parsons. -
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Thursday, 12 September, 2002, 13:22 GMT 14:22 UK
Zimbabwe to speed up farmer evictions
Looted farm
White farmers have had two years of intense pressure
The Zimbabwe Government plans to change the law, making it easier and quicker to evict white farmers, state media has reported.

The new legislation would be introduced soon, according to the Herald newspaper, widely seen as a government mouthpiece.

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
  • September 2002: 2,500 farmers defy evictions
  • This follows the refusal of many white farmers to comply with a government deadline to leave their farms by 9 August.

    Many have filed legal challenges and the High Court has ruled that many eviction orders were invalid because the government had failed to notify banks, to which many farms are mortgaged.

    Fines for not complying with eviction orders will be increased from 20,000 Zimbabwe dollars to 100,000 Z$ ($1,800), the Herald says.

    The paper also quoted Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa as saying that he will be trying to reduce the time farmers have to leave their farms from 90 to five days after they are served with an eviction order.

    Some 2,900 of Zimbabwe's 4,000 white farmers were told to leave their land last month.

    But lobby group Justice for Agriculture (Jag) says that 2,500 have remained.

    Some 300 of them have been arrested by the police, according to Reuters news agency.


    Correspondents say the government is frustrated by its inability to legally take possession of white-owned farms.

    President Robert Mugabe has promised his supporters that his "land revolution" would be completed by the end of last month.

    People queuing to receive food aid
    Up to half the population needs food aid

    When speaking to international audiences, Mr Mugabe says that white farmers will be allowed to keep one farm each.

    But many farmers say they only own one property and this has been earmarked for seizure.

    When addressing his supporters, Mr Mugabe says that 95% of white-owned land will be taken and given to blacks.

    The United States and Britain say that some of the land which has been seized has been given to Mr Mugabe's political associates and military leaders, instead of the landless blacks he has promised to help.

    Zimbabwe is currently facing a severe food crisis, with up to six million people - half the population needing aid.

    Aid agencies and Mr Mugabe critics say this has been worsened by the disruption to agriculture caused by his land reform programme.

    He denies this, saying that 70% of food crops are grown by black farmers and that poor rains caused the failed harvests.

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ZIMBABWE: Malnutrition worsening

JOHANNESBURG, 12 September (IRIN) - Malnutrition rates are increasing at an alarming rate in Zimbabwe, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Thursday.

"All the assessments show that it is actually getting worse, as we move away from the harvest season towards the new planting season ... things have got worse," UNICEF Representative in Harare, Festo Kavishe, told IRIN.

Figures from a joint assessment conducted in August by the Zimbabwe National Vulnerability Assessment Committee, the World Food Programme, and UNICEF showed that wasting rates have increased from 6.4 percent to 7.1 percent, underweight rates from 20.4 percent to 24.4 percent, while stunting rose from 33 percent to 43.2 percent.

UNICEF was set to provide vital nutritional support for 129,000 young children and women who are pregnant or breast-feeding in Zimbabwe. A convoy of trucks recently brought in 360 mt of UNIMIX, a supplementary food for children, from South Africa.

Kavishe said the UNIMIX could be used to make a porridge and was "mainly composed of soya and maize fortified with several micronutrients, which includes multi-vitamins and minerals," to provide a nutritional boost to recipients.

"The consignment is the first in a number of procurements which will eventually bring the total to 1,200 mt. The funding for the US $700,000 programme has been provided by UNICEF and ECHO [European Commission - Humanitarian Aid Office]," UNICEF said in a statement.

Zimbabwe has the highest number of people at risk from a humanitarian crisis that affects six countries in Southern Africa. An estimated six million Zimbabweans need aid as a result of severe food shortages, poverty and the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

"The supplementary feeding programme is due to start on Monday 16 [September] and will target five districts in the north east of the country. It is expected to last three months. UNICEF will closely monitor and evaluate its feeding programme together with other UN agencies, donors, government counterparts and NGOs," the agency said.

Community health workers were being trained to make the UNIMIX porridge, which is given as part of a planned nutritional programme to children under five and women who are in particular need of dietary supplements.

"The workers will be educated on the need to use safe water sources and to keep accurate weight records of beneficiaries," UNICEF noted.

"We are seeing a frightening and rapid deterioration in the condition of many children. We are trying to provide a timely and relevant response to save children from severe damage if not death," Kavishe said.

UNICEF has appealed for more than US $26 million to assist emergency programmes in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland.

In July, the agency appealed for US $8 million for Zimbabwe. So far, it has received just US $1.2 million, Kavishe said.

"We've requested close to US $4.5 million for nutrition [programmes] alone and received about US $900,000 so far," he added.


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

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New laws to aid Mugabe's land grab

      September 12 2002 at 11:17AM

Harare - President Robert Mugabe's government is to rush new laws through
Zimbabwe's Parliament that will make it easier to seize white-owned land.

It would increase the penalty for farmers who disobeyed eviction orders, the
country's state press reported on Thursday.

The Herald said Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa notified Parliament on
Wednesday that he would introduce a bill that would remove legal
requirements that had slowed down the process of land seizures.

A drive last month to force over 3 000 farmers off their property was only
partially successful because state officials bungled the orders and were
overturned by the courts.

      Most of the 3 000 eviction orders issued last month were nullified
Last week Chinamasa admitted there had "not been full compliance" with the
issue of 90-day eviction orders. However, he warned that "no farmer should
take any comfort from failure or oversight by government officials" because
he would introduce laws that remove the legal protection for property

The Herald said Chinamasa gave notice he would ask Parliament to lift legal
requirements to allow his proposed amendments be discussed first by
ministerial committees and by his legal committee.

The current law obliges the government to reissue eviction orders which give
the farmers affected another 90 days in which to wind up their affairs.

The new law would give the farmer with a reissued order only five days, the
Herald said.

Most of the 3 000 eviction orders issued last month were nullified by a high
court order which ruled that they had to be served on both the owner and any
financial institution holding a bond on the property at the same time.

In terms of Chinamasa's proposed amendments, the government would be able to
serve them on the financial institution at any time.

The current law said the government had to prove in court that the land it
wanted to seize was "suitable for agricultural resettlement". The amendments
would do away with the clause.

The amendments would also increase the fine for non-compliance with an
eviction order from ZIM$20 000 (about R2&nspb;200) to ZIM$100 000 (about R11

The government has said it intends seizing 11-million hectares of land and
claims it would leave the commercial farming sector of 4 500 families with
200 000 hectares. - Sapa

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Scammers Latch Onto Zimbabwe Misery

ITWeb (Johannesburg)

September 12, 2002
Posted to the web September 12, 2002

Alastair Otter, Itweb Journalist

With police hot on the trail of Nigerian 419 scammers, fraudsters are
changing tack. A new scam e-mail claims to be from the secretary of the
Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) of Zimbabwe looking to "redistribute" $46
million that has been saved from "black looters".

In the e-mail, someone identifying himself as CFU secretary Max Crawford,
writes that the CFU's Harare head office was attacked and burnt down.
Fortunately, however, the $46 million cash stockpiled in the strongroom was
saved by the CFU secretariat who took the liberty of storing the money on
the union's property rather than risk it being seized by the government if
it was deposited into a bank account.

Now Crawford claims to be looking for "a viable business venture" in Europe.
"Once I can get your commitment and sincerity of investing this fund on our
behalf then I would proceed to get the funds freighted to Europe, where you
would be required to pick it up for investment for us," he writes.

Typical of the 419 scam, the letter assures that the process is 100% legal
and risk-free. It promises that those who assist with the transfer of funds
will be "adequately compensated".

But Crawford warns that all correspondence will have to be via e-mail "as
most phone lines of white farmers are bugged by the government". To reply,
however, victims are requested to mail not Crawford himself, but rather
William Hamilton ESQ, who has two e-mail addresses, one at and
one at

"I expect 100% confidentiality and your prompt response to this mail so as
to proceed," concludes Crawford
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Digital Freedom Network Hosts Online Meeting with Andrew Meldrum

The Guardian Journalist Jailed Earlier This Year Will Discuss Press
Conditions in Zimbabwe

When: Thursday, September 19, 2002 from 1:00 to 2:00 PM New York Time
(5:00 - 6:00 PM GMT)

Where: On Digital Freedom Network's (DFN) Web site,

Andrew Meldrum, Zimbabwe correspondent for the British daily the
Guardian, will share his thoughts on the country's current social and
political climate under President Robert Mugabe in an online
interview with DFN.

In May, Mr. Meldrum was arrested for publishing a "falsehood" in the
Guardian and charged under the Access to Information and Privacy Act.
Mr. Meldrum, who has spent the past 22 years in Zimbabwe and also
acts as chairman of the Foreign Correspondents' Association, was
acquitted in July, but was immediately ordered to leave the country.
The orders were subsequently rescinded by the High Court in Harare.

In January, the Zimbabwean Parliament passed the Access to
Information and Privacy Bill. The law imposes numerous restrictions
on the media and was considered unconstitutional by some members of
Mugabe's own party. Since this time, examples of foreign journalists
who have been prosecuted and harassed continue to proliferate. Most
recently, Agence France Presse (AFP) foreign correspondent Griffin
Shea was denied a work permit on September 7 and now plans to leave
Zimbabwe for Johannesburg, South Africa.

The online interview will take place in DFN's chat room. No
registration is required and anyone may attend the moderated forum,
which will be conducted in English, to ask questions.

For those unable to attend the chat, questions for Mr. Meldrum can be
sent to DFN using our Web form at

The online meeting will be accessible to anyone running a Java-
enabled Web browser or an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) client

# # #

The Digital Freedom Network (DFN) is an international organization
that develops and promotes the use of Internet technology for human
rights activism. DFN designs online campaigns, makes technical
information more readily available to activists, and provides an
online voice to those prohibited from expressing themselves. DFN's
web site is
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      To hell with populist politics

      Sydney Masamvu
      9/12/02 1:33:37 AM (GMT +2)

      LAST Friday afternoon, I was in Mutare. I passed through Dangamvura
shopping mall on the way to my rural home. The purpose of my stopover at the
shopping centre was to grab a few groceries for my parents.

      The challenge was to see whether I would manage to get bread, cooking
oil, mealie- meal and salt. Unfortunately I could not find any of these
essential commodities. There was no sign of them on any supermarket shelf.

      As I was milling around in the shopping centre, a lorry stacked with
10-kilogramme bags of mealie meal, which were to be delivered to a local
supermarket, came into sight.

      Pandemonium broke out in Dangamvura township, with women of all
shapes, sizes and age running out of their homes to queue for the staple

      It was a heart-rending and saddening experience to see women urging
their young children to run fast and queue while they followed behind, also
running. In short, people were running for dear life.

      I was face to face with starvation.

      Just 20 minutes before I reached the shopping centre, I had visited my
uncle in Dangamvura township. Upon my arrival, I bumped into a neighbour of
my uncle's who was begging for a portion of mealie meal so that he could
prepare a meal for the evening.

      So you can imagine the kind of desperation on the faces and in the
hearts of the people who had been galvanised into action by the sight of the
mealie meal delivery lorry.

      Thousands of people thronged the supermarket in an attempt to grab
just one bag of mealie meal. Some were shouting that they would make do with
any type and amount of mealie meal as long as it was available.

      The situation is even more critical in outlying areas, including my
own rural home area, where people are sometimes forced to sleep on empty
stomachs, save for a plain cup of tea.

      With a crisis of this magnitude developing in Mutare, Agriculture
Minister Joseph Made recently had the gall to tell the world that Zimbabwe
was not going to accept genetically modified (GMO)) food aid, most of which
is being donated by the United States of America.

      He said during the World Summit on Sustainable Development in
Johannesburg: " Zimbabwe will not accept genetically modified food
aid...There is nothing to discuss with (US officials)...You cannot use the
Zimbabwe population as guinea pigs.

      "You cannot talk of the morality of the America position. They always
carry double standards when it comes to the developing world...There is no
way we can bring that material into Zimbabwe, which is a very clean

      When Made was saying this, obviously with the concurrence of Mugabe,
people in Mutare, like millions of others in many areas of Zimbabwe, were
having to make do without mealie meal.

      Mugabe and Made should know that they can politic only up to a point.
You cannot play politics with people's lives and reject food because it is
coming from America just because you hate that country and its leadership.

      That is an intolerable act. In any country, starving people would
dismiss a leader who puts power before politics.

      This is about life, Mr President. Stop the circus. Let us not see
politics where there is no politics. Let us see starvation for what it is
and get food aid to save the starving people of Zimbabwe.

      To hell with populist politicians when people are starving to death.
To hell with populist politics when people are on a daily basis failing to
gather the raw materials to eke out even a simple meal.

      To hell with populist leaders when children have to abandon their
playing to queue for mealie meal.

      The problem with ZANU PF politicians is that when they reach oratory
orgasm at international conferences, they tend to overlook the real needs
and suffering of the common man in Zimbabwe and concentrate on politicking.

      That was the problem with Made's statement.

      Barely two days after the end of the Earth Summit, we were told with
the approval of Mugabe that GMO maize would now be allowed into the country
after all.

      I wonder what had changed in 48 hours to warrant this dramatic U-turn.

      What happened to all that stern talk about not allowing Zimbabweans to
be used as guinea pigs by the Americans?

      Indeed, we may ask what has happened to the contempt for the double
standards of America?

      What has happened to the need to protect Zimbabwe's clean environment
at the expense of starving people?

      Mr President, starving Zimbabweans want food aid, whether it comes
from Bush or the "gay gangster" Blair.

      The sooner you appreciate that, the better for your continued stay in
the power that you cherish so much.

      In the meantime, to hell with your populist politics when people are
starving to death.
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      Which way now Bob's country?

      9/12/02 2:16:10 AM (GMT +2)

      AT the stroke of a pen, President Robert Mugabe last week dramatically
made an about-turn on his government's refusal to accept genetically
modified (GMO) maize donated by the United States.

      No doubt his decision will be welcomed by millions of Zimbabweans who,
in the words of visiting United Nations' special envoy James Morris, have
had to eat tree roots and donkey meat to survive in the face of the
country's worst famine.

      Mugabe's decision, made only days after Agriculture Minister Joseph
Made banned the importation of GMO maize because he claimed it would turn
Zimbabweans into guinea pigs for US farm experiments, shows at least three
important things.

      First, it shows that Mugabe runs the government solo, deciding solely
on his own what has to be done, when, how and by whom, clearly making his
large Cabinet irrelevant.

      Second, the U-turn underlines the confusion that runs through the
bloated administration, with ministers such as Made merely echoing their
master's real or imagined voice on crucial issues that affect the country.

      At times the puppets second-guess him only to find that he has
retreated, leaving them in the proverbial lurch, as the GMO maize case
graphically illustrates.

      Third, it shows that for all his inimical actions which have brought
Zimbabwe to its bended knees, Mugabe can indeed swallow his pride and climb
down from his high pedestal when confronted by painful reality.

      The main lesson emanating from this episode is that Mugabe still has
the capacity to right the wrongs which he has singularly brought on Zimbabwe
just to remain in power.

      Although time is running out for him to act in the same way he has
backtracked now, we urge him to:

        a.. stop his violent land reforms which will only worsen Zimbabwe's
famine and kill agriculture, the locomotive of an already distressed
economy, and to start anew a properly planned, legal, transparent, fair and
broad-based agrarian reform;

        b.. stop the senseless mass evictions of farmers in the middle of a
new farming season that could be more crucial than most given the impending
El Nino. Zimbabwe needs to harness the expertise and farm produce of these
veterans of the land for the national good;

        c.. stop his militant mobs of so-called war veterans from
persecuting real or perceived opposition supporters;

        d.. disband the hated militia also wreaking havoc on innocents
across the nation;

        e.. stage fresh presidential elections under international
supervision and a new and democratic constitution to guarantee durable
peace, stability and prosperity of Zimbabwe; and

        f.. embrace workable economic reforms which are supported by the
international community not only to pull the economy back from total
collapse but to free the entrepreneurial spirit of all who live and work in

      The catalogue of what Mugabe needs to right is too long, but he can
make a fresh though late start by vigorously tackling these key issues which
have hobbled his presidency and, unfortunately, the country itself.

      Although he warned farmers the other week that they were running out
of time to give up their properties, the truth is that it is him who is
running out of time to willingly correct his many wrongs which have ruined
one of Africa's most promising countries.

      He either does this in the mould of his rare boldness shown in the GMO
fiasco or he prepares to go immediately because Zimbabweans have had enough.
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      Has our judgment become this bad or we've become this irresponsible?

      Masipula Sithole
      9/12/02 1:32:16 AM (GMT +2)

      IT is now 12 months since the most devastating drought to hit this
country in living memory was announced by the scientific community while our
government was in denial.

      Until about February 2002, the minister responsible for feeding this
nation, Joseph Made, was falsely assuring us no one would starve. At one
point the minister even took a joy ride over what he thought were maize
fields in order to visually allay our fears of starvation. He was vividly
shown doing this in the national media.

      We continued this self-deceit until the starvation hitting the
countryside was hard to conceal. It was then that we ended the self-denial
and admitted a substantial number of our people (half the population) were

      But in admitting that we were experiencing a drought we found comfort
in the fact that the whole of the southern Africa region - not just
Zimbabwe - was experiencing the devastating drought.

      Misery loves company, they say. So, it wasn't Zimbabwe alone, as if
that should console us.

      In May or thereabout, the Americans offered us genetically altered
grain to feed our starving people. Our characteristic impulse was to reject
the offer while some in the region accepted it. As late as at the Earth
Summit in Johannesburg our flamboyant and well-fed minister of agriculture
was adamant in his refusal of genetically altered grain from the United

      Then a few days ago, President Robert Mugabe, after meeting James
Morris, United Nations special envoy for humanitarian aid in southern
Africa, announced that the government would now accept the genetically
modified grain. This was five long months after the offer was first made.

      One wonders how many people would have been saved from starvation had
the grain been accepted in May when the offer was originally made. What did
Morris say to the President that finally convinced him (Mugabe) that he
didn't already know?

      Did it have to take a foreigner, Morris, to finally convince us that
we are in a sorry state; that our own people here are starving?

      Or that is not the point. The point is that we have fallen victim to
bad judgment, or indeed we our leaders have become highly irresponsible.

      This is not the only issue that our impaired judgment should be of
concern. There is the issue of our artificially overvalued dollar that
remains at Z$55 to the United States unit.

      Common sense has persistently told us to devalue our dollar. But we
pig-headedly refuse even as we know full well that some day we will be
forced by circumstances to devalue, like we have been forced by
circumstances to accept the genetically altered grain.

      But by then we would be worse off than we would have been had we
devalued the dollar at the time we should have - that is before even Simba
Makoni told us to.

      Most of our injuries are self-inflicted. Even the lone fight against
the international community we are presently engaged in. Common sense tells
us we will lose this war, but we soldier on as if there is a prize for

      We know only too well that for us there is no alternative to the
Bretton Woods institutions if we hope to get our economy moving again. Yet
we excite ourselves with phrases and slogans like "ESAP is dead" when it is
us who are dying.

      We are busy going east when we know full well that this journey will
lead us west because the east itself is going west. The shorter way to the
west from where we are is going directly west. Why are we doing the

      Now there is this reluctance to embrace the New Partnership for
Africa's Development when others are embracing it until the law of common
sense forces us to.

      The question that arises is: why do we take so long to respond
correctly to common sense? Put differently: why are we so resistant to
common sense?

      Now we are driving the people to the wall where their only escape is
revolt. This too the law of common sense teaches us. But, for some silly
reason, we think the people will not revolt.

      Has our judgment become this bad or have we become this irresponsible?
I think both.

        a.. Professor Masipula Sithole is a lecturer of political science at
the University of Zimbabwe and director of the Harare-based Mass Public
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      Lack of mavericks in ZANU PF tragic for Zim

      Marko Phiri
      9/12/02 1:30:58 AM (GMT +2)

      THE tragedy that has befallen Zimbabwe as the economic and political
crisis marches on without any signs of fatigue is one that could be
attributed to a phenomenon that has marked how business is conducted here
and elsewhere in Africa.

      It is very simple really for ruling party parliamentarians and its
foot soldiers from the women's league to the youth militias - all they have
to do to prove their allegiance is echo the sentiments of their president.

      Never mind that it is the kind of behaviour that would have them
twisting the ears of their own toddler sons and daughters.

      Those who question the wisdom of the party's "elect" only prove
nothing but that they support the opposition, and by natural consequence
fall out of favour with the rest of the faithfuls.

      Silence has thus not only emerged from the ranks of the ordinary
people but effectively from those taking part in the gladiatorial politics
where all calls for reason appear to be numbed as soon as one decides they
are to
      become ruling party activists.

      But for them it is not silence because they fear reprisals, but
silence because they firmly believe there is nothing to complain about.

      There has not been much criticism of government policies from within
the ranks as all party "cadres" are expected to endorse party policies,
never mind that they defy all what these individuals in the privacy of their
thoughts stand for or believe in.

      Simply, ruling party officials are not divided for
      example along left or right wing such that it depicts
      a true picture of democracy at play unlike a situation like that in
Zimbabwe were all supposedly think alike as if they were programmed

      Thus one has to imagine for example what would become of American
politics if all Democrats were to think alike, and the same for Republicans.

      In Zimbabwe, ZANU PF officials and party supporters are all
dyed-in-wool leftwingers. For those politicians who made it into parliament
through a ZANU PF ticket what it has meant is that they fulfil the party
manifestos - no matter how far removed from the ordinary people's reality,
they are simply endorsed without question.

      The fate of those officials who decided to make some noise and
criticise "their" party has been all too predictable since the party came
into power in 1980.

      "Mavericks" who attempted to be "outspoken" lost favour with the party
gurus and as per tradition were overlooked in appointments to higher

      Edgar "Twoboy" Tekere knows it. He was expelled from Cabinet back in
the 1980s for daring to question the prime minister and standing up to bad

      Some simply disappeared from the political arena after their attempts
to bring sanity where it appeared to be deliberately hounded out of their
collective psyche were met with resistance.

      Others even left this earth under circumstances which many observers
firmly believed where not the doings of the hand of God.

      Perhaps what has made Zimbabwe go down to this depth is precisely the
absence of men and women within the ruling party who could have stood up to
the party's
      flawed economic policies and Robert Mugabe's dictatorial streak and
told the party's gurus that history was not going to judge them kindly.

      It is a downright farce that amid a clique of men and women who when
addressed always have their names prefixed by some title of learning, all
can be found without having the slightest disapproval of the turn the
country took when the mayhem in the farms began some three years ago.

      Yet because African politics has since the
      coming of independence been guided by the indefatigable spirit of
feathering one's nest, criticising one's source of that kind of life has
never been the
      smartest thing one could do.

      But for Zimbabwe's post-independence politics, and especially after
the merger of the country's two main
      political parties, PF-ZAPU and ZANU PF, with the signing of the Unity
Accord in 1987, there emerged some independent thinkers who became the
ruling party's gadflies.

      But theirs remained a lonely fight considering the odds. They
attempted to make the merged party accountable and became champions of good

      The leading light was no doubt the late Sydney
      Malunga, then Member of Parliament for Makokoba.

      He was ex-ZAPU and had in the 1980s gone through the ZANU PF torture
machine on allegations that he and other Zapu officials where funding the
activities of dissidents who had inspired the wrath of the Fifth Brigade
killings in Matebeleland.

      Here was a man who many believed to be some kind of daredevil, a mere
backbencher but who made his presence felt both in parliament and therefore
in the ruling party itself.

      When he died in a road accident in August 1994, not many, especially
from Matabeleland, were too eager to accept that his death had not been via
human agency.

      The country had lost one who could stand up to the party from within
its ranks. He was presumably the most outspoken MP against the status quo
the country ever had. And him coming from Matabeleland could as well have
made him unpopular within the party as it could be said he was still ZAPU at

      But who could blame him when the story since independence has been one
of deliberate marginalisation of Matabeleland by central government on
issues of development.

      For him to have harboured those loyalties to the "swallowed" ZAPU
therefore meant deliberate efforts to put the region back into the agenda of
national development. But still that could have been an unfair analysis
given that as MP, he was obligated to push the cause of his constituency and
if that meant bringing the question of the region's push to the periphery of
government priorities, that link then
      became inevitable.

      He was a man who stood up to bullies. The Daily Gazette of September 6
1994 quoted James Chikerema commenting on the death Malunga: "He was a
fearless speaker who spoke without fear of consequence or reaction from the
party (ZANU
      PF). It is for this reason that he was just an MP and
      not a Cabinet member or even a deputy minister."

      In an obituary in the Financial Gazette of September 1 1994, Jonathan
Moyo asked: "Why for example was Malunga not
      made a Cabinet minister? Was it because he was too
      honest to be part of the gang? In any event, the
      choice of Cabinet ministers is the prerogative of the president."

      Not much has changed since then.

      Then of course there was firebrand Margaret Dongo who took abuse from
some of her male parliamentary colleagues simply because she was a woman and
who spoke out against bad government policies.

      Seeing that she was not getting anywhere working from within, she
formed her own political party - the Zimbabwe Union of Democrats - and thus
sealed her political fate.

      She stood for election in the June 2000 legislative elections, but
unfortunately for her that was the year of the Movement for Democratic
Change. She lost her Harare East seat and it is very unlikely she was going
to win it had she contested under the banner of the ZANU PF considering the
strength of the MDC in urban constituencies across the country.

      Parliament had again lost one of the truly valiant daughters who could
stand up to bad governance.

      From the two sides of the gender spectrum, one could readily cite
these two, Malunga and Dongo, among the few politicians who belonged to the
ruling party but could pass for independent MPs by their stance for
accountable governance.

      While Western democracy has been known for ruling parties that are
home to men and women who could pass for opposition officials, it has bred
an atmosphere that encourages accountability and dictates that the president
does not act on his whims on the sole strength that his suicidal thoughts
will in fact become official government policy which party representatives
in the house will not dare bring to question.

      The absence of that kind of politics is presently
      being painfully felt in Zimbabwe.

      Another person worthy of mention is Lazarus Nzarayebani, one time
Mutare South MP who died in March last year.

      He was one, alongside Dzikamayi Mavhaire (famous for telling Robert
Mugabe it was time to take a bow) who made attempts to make parliament
lively through questioning policies formulated by the party.

      Nzarayebani's contribution was perhaps aptly summarised by former ZANU
PF parliamentary chief whip Moses Mvenge who commented on the ex-MP's death:
"He was among the first group of parliamentarians to be vocal in Parliament.
He openly tried to tell President Mugabe that the country was taking a wrong
political and economic direction."

      The country could use his talents today.

        a.. Marko Phiri is a student of journalism
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      Zimbabwe faces IMF expulsion

      By Joseph Ngwawi Business News Editor
      9/12/02 2:04:11 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWE risks having its voting and other rights withdrawn by the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) which this week was expected to deliberate
on the fate of the southern African country, already cut off from receiving
any technical aid from the Bretton Woods institution over Harare's failure
to settle overdue financial obligations.

      The IMF executive board was scheduled to meet in Washington yesterday
to discuss Zimbabwe as the September 13 deadline approached for Harare to
satisfy conditions imposed on June 13 when the IMF suspended technical aid
to the country.

      "The next board meeting is scheduled for tomorrow at which Zimbabwe
will be discussed," IMF resident representative to Zimbabwe Gilbert Johnson
told the Financial Gazette on Tuesday.

      The IMF operates on the basis of quotas, which are awarded to members
based on each country's economic significance.

      The quotas also reflect the amount of money a member can borrow from
the Fund and determine a country's voting rights, with the United States
allowed to access more IMF resources than any other country.

      Zimbabwe's quota is about 353.4 special drawing rights (SDRs), which
translates to 3 784 votes or 0.17 percent of the total number of votes.

      Withdrawal of voting rights means Zimbabwe would not be able to vote
on key decisions relating to IMF business.

      The IMF board adopted a declaration of non-cooperation on June 13
regarding Zimbabwe's overdue financial obligations to the Fund and suspended
the provision of technical assistance to the country.

      The declaration is one of the remedial measures taken by the Bretton
Woods institution to encourage member countries to pursue economic policies
that would enable them to settle their overdue commitments.

      Latest figures from the IMF show that Zimbabwe's arrears at the Fund
have ballooned from about US$132 million on June 12 to more than US$135
million at the end of July.

      Zimbabwe first incurred arrears to the IMF in February 2001 and the
country was declared ineligible to use IMF general resources on September 24

      It was also removed from the list of countries eligible to borrow
under the IMF's Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility.

      At the time of the suspension of technical aid, the IMF told the
government to make full and prompt settlement of its overdue financial
commitments, giving it three months to do this or risk having its voting
rights withdrawn.

      The IMF executive board also ordered Zimbabwe to adopt an economic
adjustment programme to enable it to restore economic and financial

      Analysts this week warned that Zimbabwe's virtual expulsion from the
IMF would effectively condemn Harare to the doldrums in the face of acute
shortages of foreign currency to buy fuel and import essential raw

      "It looks like we have run out of time to make good our position at
the IMF, particularly at a time we desperately need assistance to stabilise
the situation on the forex market," independent economist John Robertson

      A commercial bank economist said: "I don't think we have been paying
our dues to the IMF, especially when we are struggling to purchase fuel and
other essential imports."

      Zimbabwe has experienced intermittent fuel shortages since 1999, which
are blamed on the shortage of hard cash to pay for supplies.

      President Robert Mugabe was in Libya this week to negotiate the
extension of a US$360 million fuel deal with Tripoli, which expires next
month. State radio said the deal had been extended for another year, but
gave no details.

      The analysts said Zimbabwe's chances of receiving favourable treatment
at the IMF's board meeting had been scuttled by Mugabe's dismissal of Simba
Makoni as finance minister last month.

      Makoni, Zimbabwe's finance minister for the past two years and was
seen as the only remaining pragmatist in a Cabinet of anti-Western
hardliners, was replaced by his predecessor, Herbert Murerwa.

      The analysts said Makoni's sacking showed that Mugabe had effectively
turned his back on economic reforms and wanted to concentrate on socialist
policies, which have brought the economy to its knees.
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      The interview you never heard

      Gwinyai Dziwa
      9/12/02 1:02:52 AM (GMT +2)

      MICHIGAN-Gwinyai the journalist interviewed Gwinyai Dziwa the
socio-political analyst recently in Michigan about the situation in
Zimbabwe. Here are excerpts of the one-hour interview.

      Gwinyai the journalist (GJ): Thank you for allowing us to talk to you
one on one. It took us three years to get this interview. We were always
told that you are very busy. Now we hope you are going to shed light on a
number of issues in your life as a writer and the Zimbabwean situation.

      Gwinyai Dziwa the analyst (GA): Thanks for inviting me for an

      GJ: How did you become a writer?

      GA: Well it developed naturally. I had the desire to express certain
things that I noticed.

      GJ: What's your philosophy in life really?

      GA: Well, my guiding philosophy is that do unto others, as you would
want them do unto you.

      GJ: Do you have any role model in life?

      GA: (laughing) My grandfather has always been my role model. He was
also a great raconteur. He firmly believed that serious human development
can only take place when peace and justice prevail.

      GJ: Did any of your white American friends ever ask you about the
tension between whites and blacks in Zimbabwe?

      GA: Yes and I was frank with them. The reality is that the forefathers
of the white farmers in Zimbabwe were intolerant and greedy. But the other
reality is that most of the contemporary white farmers in Zimbabwe are true
Zimbabweans by birth and some can speak Shona just as good as Murombedzi
Kuchera or Tafataona Mahoso. Therefore they must be treated as our cousins.
More so, they have contributed immensely to our agro-based economy through
food production, employment creation and foreign currency accumulation.
Probably excess and underused land needs fair redistribution rather than the
violence we have witnessed across the country.

      GJ: We understand you heavily condemned the violence on farms. In fact
you likened violent war veterans to "coves who flushed all traces of human
integrity into the toilet, then in self-abasement traipsed from one farm to
the other causing untold mayhem on humans and property" in the
government-controlled Sunday Mail?

      GA: Yes I did.

      GJ: How did you manage to do that in the Sunday Mail?

      GA: Well, I was trying to exercise freedom of speech and also they
published it because they knew it was the truth.

      GJ: So what do you think about the isolation of President Mugabe? How
has that happened? Why has Mugabe's popularity waned, a man who was a hero?

      GA: The truth is that Mugabe has to appreciate what the people of
Zimbabwe and his ancestors have done for him over the years. I blame the
people for the crisis. First, people made Mugabe what he is today because
they did not give a constitutional limit to the number of terms an
individual can serve as a president, which is the worst blunder of all time
in modern political dispensation. This is because it compromises one of the
basic tenets of democracy-change! On 18 April 1999 I mentioned in the
government-controlled Sunday Mail that if Mugabe has become a dictator "it
is people who have given the president those excessive powers through the
Presidential Powers Act. I am aware that the president did not draft the
constitution, but his acolytes did."

      GJ: You wrote that in the Sunday Mail too? Where was the professor
when that appeared in the Sunday Mail and what's the way forward?

      GA: I think the professor admired my courage secretly, but said
nothing. Like I advised before President Mugabe should retire.

      But he should not retire because other nations want him to but because
he is very old. If he really wanted the country to be led by someone with
war credentials he should have allowed young people such as Sydney
Sekeramayi to contest presidential elections after his ten years in office.
The problem is that Mugabe is being misled by his close aides who view him
as their meal ticket. Some people can not make it without him so they would
rather see him die in office. In addition, he may be afraid of harassment
after leaving office, but he is willing to give up. He is tired and needs
peace of mind.

      GJ: Can you tell us your views on globalisation since Mugabe's
apologists link globalisation to Western imperialism?

      GA: The truth is that there is clear division between those who want
to spread the ideology of capitalism against those that preach socialism.
That's why some people complain that globalisation is imperialism.

      It's not about the spread of Western civilisation as such because
those who dislike western imperialism send their kids to Europe and America
for education and fly to Europe to buy Gucci shoes and Armani suits.

      They import customised vehicles from Germany and speak in English
everyday! When they get sick they seek treatment in Europe, ignoring their
local doctors. They seem to contradict themselves.

      Anyway, my own model of globalisation is fusion of cultures,
technology sharing and economic co-operation motivated by love, compassion
and tolerance rather than hegemonic motives. This is exactly how I responded
to a question directed to me by a professor at Brown University after I had
delivered a public lecture in 2001.

        a.. Gwinyai Dziwa is a Zimbabwean writer based in Michigan in the
United States of America.
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      EU thrusts Zim crisis at SADC summit

      By Nqobile Nyathi Assistant Editor
      9/12/02 3:22:04 AM (GMT +2)

      THE European Union (EU) is planning to place Zimbabwe on the agenda of
its November meeting with foreign ministers of the Southern Africa
Development Community (SADC), which analysts this week said had emerged as
the weak link in international attempts to resolve the Zimbabwean crisis.

      The EU, which has slapped smart sanctions against President Robert
Mugabe and his top hierarchy, has identified SADC countries, especially
regional powerhouse South Africa, as the most crucial element in attempts to
restore the rule of law in Zimbabwe.

      "The (European) Commission believes that SADC has a leading role to
play in the resolution of the increasingly serious Zimbabwe crisis," said EU
external affairs commissioner Chris Patten.

      "The union will seek to ensure enhanced dialogue with SADC, in
particular during the forthcoming ministerial conference in Copenhagen in
November. It is planned to raise the issue of Zimbabwe as a specific point
on the agenda."

      European Union parliamentarians, who last Thursday passed a resolution
calling for tougher EU, SADC and international action against the Zimbabwe
government, say the Copenhagen meeting will be a test of the 15-member EU's
seriousness in assisting in the resolution of the Zimbabwe crisis.

      Zimbabwe's Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge is one of 72 government and
ruling ZANU PF officials barred from entering EU states and European
parliamentarians say his presence at the meeting could undermine the
effectiveness of the targeted international sanctions.

      Analysts this week noted that the Copenhagen meeting was not the first
attempt by the EU to engage SADC states in dialogue over Zimbabwe, but said
the country's placement on the meeting's agenda would lend more prominence
to attempts to rope the region into taking a tougher stance against Mugabe.

      European Member of Parliament Geoffrey Van Orden told the Financial
Gazette: "There was a high-level troika that went to southern Africa - to
Mozambique, South Africa and Namibia (earlier this year) but it was

      "There wasn't a clear message that they put over and people were left
with the feeling that they were not that robust in what they were demanding
and the whole thing was pointless. It (SADC effort) will certainly have a
high profile on the (November meeting) agenda in ways that it hasn't

      The analysts said SADC countries had emerged as the weak link in
international efforts to resolve the Zimbabwe crisis and plans to place the
crisis on the agenda of the Copenhagen meeting could be an indication that
the EU was ready to apply more pressure on the region to act.

      Southern African countries have come under fire for failing to
strongly condemn alleged electoral fraud in Zimbabwe's March presidential
election, political violence, attacks on the independent Press and human
rights abuses.

      Some countries in the region have also expressed support for the
Zimbabwean govern-ment's haphazard land reforms, which have jeopardised
agricultural production at more than 90 percent of the country's 4 500
commercial farms.

      The programme has slashed food production by more than 60 percent and
contributed to serious food shortages that are being compounded by a drought
threatening to trigger a humanitarian crisis in the region.

      "African countries are the weakest link at the moment and we feel that
they, especially South Africa, are the key," Van Orden said.

      Commentators said the EU could use the Cotonou agreement to bring the
region on board. The agreement, which governs economic relations between the
EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, gives prominence to
democracy and good governance, values analysts say the Zimbabwean government
has abandoned.

      University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Elphas
Mukonowe-shuro told the Financial Gazette: "In the Cotonou agreement, there
are agreed values between the EU and ACP countries, which include SADC.

      "These shared values are democracy, good governance and observation of
human rights and the EU can try to ensure that SADC engages in efforts to
maintain these fundamental shared values."

      On their part, the SADC states could use peer pressure to ensure that
the Zimbabwe government upheld the values that would improve the country's
tarnished image and that of the region.

      The region, especially South Africa, can effectively apply this
pressure because Zimbabwe's battered economy is heavily dependent on its
goodwill, the analysts said.

      Zimbabwe, battling severe foreign currency shortages, depressed
investor sentiment and has lost international balance-of-payments aid, is
importing much of its power from the region.

      Patten said: "We in the commission will contribute to support any peer
pressure that heads of state in Africa, and southern Africa in particular,
may put on the Zimbabwe government to respect the essential elements of the
Cotonou agreement such as on human rights, the rule of law and democracy."

      Failure by the region to adopt a tough stance against Zimbabwe is
expected to contribute to the worsening of the country's problems, which
could spill over into its neighbours in the form of refugees fleeing
repression, violence and hunger or in declining direct foreign investment.

      The Zimbabwean crisis has already knocked foreign investment in
southern Africa and threatens the New Partnership for Africa's Development
(NEPAD), an initiative launched by South Africa, Algeria and Nigeria on
behalf of the new African Union to boost economic growth on the continent.

      Kevin Wakeford, chief executive of the South African Chamber of
Business, said the Zimbabwean crisis was jeopardising the founding
principles of NEPAD.

      "The African Union, in conjunction with the SADC, should urgently
assess the Zimbabwean situation and come up with a pragmatic and sustainable
plan to deal with the situation there," he said.

      Mukonoweshuro added: "It's not altruistic for the SADC countries to
resolve the Zimbabwean crisis, it will be in their own interest because the
crisis has regional ramifications and they would want to ensure that it
doesn't progress any further. It's in their own self interest."
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      Rejection of GMO maize a smokescreen

      By Abel Mutsakani News Editor
      9/12/02 3:16:55 AM (GMT +2)

      PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's dramatic acceptance of genetically modified
(GMO) food aid after staunchly refusing it has exposed his political
grandstanding aimed at brow-beating the West into accepting his
pre-conditions, political analysts said this week.

      They said Mugabe had made the U-turn after realising that the powerful
West would leave him to his devices in the face of stark famine threatening
six million Zimbabweans, or half the population.

      Mugabe, under siege at home and abroad for his misrule, had
unsuccessfully tried to use the plight of the hungry as a weapon in a
self-proclaimed fight against the international community but the trick had
come unstuck.

      Brian Raftopoulos, an associate professor at the Institute of
Development Studies at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), told the Financial

      "The government just wanted political mileage out of it, especially as
the World Summit on Sustainable Development was happening.

      "But after the grandstanding was over, there was a realisation that
the severe food crisis was still there and it needed a rather urgent

      Anglican priest Tim Neill, who heads the Zimbabwe Community
Development Trust (ZCDT), concurred.

      "The GMO food issue was just a smokescreen. A cunning Mugabe picked on
the issue knowing that world opinion was not unanimous on it."

      The ZCDT provides food and shelter mostly to farm workers displaced by
the government's current chaotic and violent land reforms.

      Neill said his agency was seeking food donations to feed about 6 000
families of farm workers who could face starvation unless the aid comes.

      Barley 48 hours after Agriculture Minister Joseph Made rejected GMO
food on the sidelines of the Earth Summit in Johannesburg because he claimed
Zimbabweans could be used as "guinea pigs", Mugabe emerged from talks last
week with United Nations envoy James Morris to announce that Zimbabwe would
take the GMO maize after all.

      More than 100 000 tonnes of food aid raised by the World Food
Programme (WFP), the United States and other international donors had
remained blocked by Harare's insistence that it be certified as GMO-free.

      Following Mugabe's U-turn, Morris said the WFP would now ship 55 000
tonnes of food a month, up from 10 000, into Zimbabwe.

      Mugabe did not give any reason why his government was changing its
position. But he said government scientists would quarantine the food and
carry out tests on it before it is milled and distributed to the hungry.

      Food experts however say Zimbabwe does not have any expertise or
equipment to carry out in-depth analysis or tests on GMO food, which has
been eaten in the US for the past eight years without any problems.

      UZ political science professor Masipula Sithole said: "Had the
government accepted the food aid when it was first offered, it would have
spared those without food much pain and suffering."

      GMO-produced relief food was first offered to Zimbabwe about two
months ago.

      Although Harare initially accepted about 20 000 tonnes of food aid
from the US that was believed to include gene-altered maize, it blocked
several other offers of such aid from international donors, including the

      Other southern African countries facing hunger, most notably Zambia,
had also been reluctant to take GMO food from donors.

      About 13 million people in southern Africa face starvation because of
poor rains last season.

      Food experts and aid agencies say the hunger is worst in Zimbabwe
after Mugabe's controversial and often violent campaign to seize land from
minority but large-scale producing white farmers further reduced food

      Noting that Mugabe's land reforms had virtually killed the mainstay
agriculture sector and the economy, that the government had persistently
denied last year that Zimbabwe faced severe food shortages and now the GMO
food, Sithole asked:

      "One wonders whether our officials are in the right frame or state of
mind to govern the country."

      Even as the food crisis is fast deteriorating, the government has
ordered 2 900 of the country's 4 000 large-scale farmers to vacate their
land or face jail.

      Mugabe says his land reforms aim to right an immoral land ownership
scheme inherited from British colonial system which left 70 percent of the
country's best arable land in the hands of a few whites while five million
blacks were cramped on infertile and rocky land.

      But critics say apart from ruining what was once one of Africa's best
farming industries, the reforms are only benefiting his cronies and
supporters of his ruling ZANU PF party
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      Politically motivated murders, abductions decline: ZHRF

      Staff Reporter
      9/12/02 3:12:13 AM (GMT +2)

      THE Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum (ZHRF) this week reported a decline in
cases of politically motivated murder, unlawful detention, arrest and
abduction in August, but said incidents of political intimidation had more
than doubled last month.

      Statistics from the forum, which groups non-governmental agencies
handling human rights, show that cases of murder fell from two in July to
only one last month, while incidents of unlawful arrest and detention
declined from three each to zero in the same period.

      There were no reports of attempted murder and abduction in August,
compared to two and one report respectively in July. No incidents of
politically motivated disappearances were reported in July or August while
14 torture cases and only two death threats were documented from July 1 to
August 31.

      "In comparison to July violence reports, reports of murder, attempted
murder, unlawful detention, unlawful arrest and abduction have declined in
the month of August while cases of political intimidation are increasing in
some parts of the country," the forum said in its latest monthly report on
political violence.

      According to the report, while there was a dramatic drop in cases of
arson and malicious damage to property from 205 in July to six last month,
cases of political intimidation and discrimination rose from 17 to 35 in the
same period.

      Reports of politically motivated assaults also increased to 23 in
August from 14 the month before.

      The ZHRF attributed most of the violence reported to state security

      "The Press and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum have received a large
number of reports on human rights and political violations allegedly
perpetrated by uniformed officials, with the greatest prevalence being
reported in Manicaland," it said.

      "Soldiers have been reportedly spearheading violence in Manicaland.

      "Examples include the 10 soldiers who severely assaulted bus
conductors at Nyakamete in Manicaland province and the uniformed officials
who assaulted security guards at Charleswood Farm in Manicaland.

      "Specifically, in Chimanimani, CIO (Central Intelligence Organisation)
agents, police officers and soldiers are meting out a reign of terror,
assaulting civilians with baton sticks, sjamboks, booted feet and open
hands. Victims of political violence are allegedly being taken to prison
cells in the area, which the victims claim now serve as torture centres. "

      Political violence, primarily blamed on ruling ZANU PF supporters, has
plagued Zimbabwe since the run-up to the June 2000 general elections.

      The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), whose members
have been the main victims, says violence has intensified prior to this
month's district council elections and most of its candidates have withdrawn
from the polls as a result.

      According to the ZHRF figures, at least 58 people were killed and 1
053 tortured in political violence between January and August 31 this year
which the government has in the past dismissed as fabrications by the
independent Press and the MDC to gain international sympathy
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From SABC News, 12 September

Zimbabwe farmer comes under fire, horse burnt alive

President Robert Mugabe's militias in northern Zimbabwe stepped up their attempts to drive a white farmer off his land yesterday, opening fire on the family for the second day in a row, neighbours said. A horse was also trapped alive in its stable on a farm in the Karoi district 200 km north of Harare and appeared to have been burnt alive deliberately, they said. The animal suffered 90 degree burns and had to be destroyed. Earlier in the afternoon, farmer Ian Cochrane (43), and his wife, Jo, fled when they were confronted by a mob of about 60 people. Up to 30 shots were fired, first in the air and then at them, by eight men armed with shotguns, said neighbour Alan Parsons. Neither was injured. The use of firearms by war veterans and squatters against white farmers has been relatively uncommon since the illegal state-driven invasion of white land began in February 2000. However, several of the 13 white farmers murdered since then have died in gunfire, some of them in full military-style assaults or ambushes by heavily armed "veterans" and members of Mugabe's secret police.

Mugabe charges that whites continue to own the majority of arable land in this southern African country, and has implemented forced evictions of white farmers from about 3000 properties and turned over the land to landless peasants. Hundreds of thousands of black farm workers employed by the farmers, however, have been displaced and many Zimbabweans are starving because of lagging food production. Cochrane's farm has not been listed for eviction, but he is regarded as an outspoken member of his community who has confronted police and demanded they act against lawless ruling party militias. The recent attacks are regarded as an attempt to force him to flee. The mob also surrounded the home of Cochrane's mother, Thea Cochrane (67), screaming at her, while some of them forced their way into a cottage next door belonging to Cochrane's sister and looted it, Parsons said. Armed police arrived at the scene after the mob had left, but refused to leave an armed guard to protect the family, who include the couple's two young children. No attempt was made to pursue the mob.

Meryl and Addmore left for the farming area of Karoi early this morning.  This follows a plea from a farmer in this area who has been under siege since the week-end.  He reported a heartrending story - yesterday afternoon a group of 8 invaders led the family's favourite horse into a small enclosure, surrounded it with bales of hay and then set fire to the hay, causing the most terrifying and agonising death to the beautiful animal who had trustingly followed the group as it was led away to be killed in this most senseless and horrifying manner.
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      WB, IMF poverty-cutting plan needs work

      9/12/02 2:05:47 AM (GMT +2)

      WASHINGTON - A poverty-reduction programme where the world's poorest
countries craft their own self-help plans, aided by the World Bank (WB), the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) and non-governmental organisations, has
helped but could stand improvement, a joint bank and IMF report found.

      And because of the challenges the programme faces, as more countries
create their own Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs), the pace of
improvements may slow, the report said.

      "While there has been progress, there remains substantial scope for
improvement," said the report, which was written for presentation at the
IMF/World Bank annual meetings at the end of this month. The document, a
copy of which was obtained by Reuters, may be changed before it is discussed
by the shareholders at the meetings.

      The country-produced papers - the product of an idea launched in
September 1999 - are intended to work alongside the lowest cost lending
projects as well as the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC)
debt relief programme.

      They are designed to factor in a country's views of how to fix its
problems and are seen as a radical new approach to cutting poverty.

      The papers are put together by a country with help from NGOs, the bank
and fund, and set out a three-year plan for how the country will cut

      The bank, which has faced calls to be more frank in its assessments of
poverty programmes, called the report honest.

      "The whole point of this report is to look at what more needs to be
done and to press our shareholders and clients for further action in a
number of a key areas," said Caroline Anstey, spokeswoman for the bank.

      She also noted that in the last six months, the number of these papers
put together has doubled. - Reuter
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      WFP to substitute wheat for maize in Zambia?

      9/12/02 1:09:32 AM (GMT +2)

      LUSAKA - The World Food Programme this week said it would consider
substituting wheat for maize in aid given to hunger-stricken Zambia, in
response to the country's objections to genetically-modified (GM) food.

      "Since wheat is non GM, we are looking at it and exploring ways of
providing it to starving people," WFP executive director James Morris told

      Morris is also UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's special envoy for the
humanitarian crisis in Southern Africa, where aid workers say up to 13
million people in six countries - including Zambia - face famine.

      Zambia has repeatedly rejected genetically modified food, mainly from
the United States, out of concerns over its safety and the environmental
consequences of GM grains being planted.

      Malawi and Zimbabwe have also expressed concerns over the issue,
although Morris said last week in Harare that Zimbabwe had dropped its
objections to GM crops in a step which may encourage other countries in the
region to follow suit.

      Milled GM grain has been more widely accepted because it cannot be

      Morris said that Zambia had initially proposed that rice be
substituted for maize, but that this would be too expensive. If the wheat
substitution was successful, the WFP might extend that effort to other
countries in the region, he said.

      Zambia would in the next two days send a team of scientists to Europe
to study GM investigations to reach a basis upon which it could either
continue to reject GM food or accept it, Morris added.

      He repeated that the food crisis was worsened by the spreading
HIV-AIDS epidemic in the region - which was also draining financial
resources - and urged international donors to step up their support.

      "This crisis is not just a crisis of food, but it is a crisis of
HIV/AIDS, a crisis of the weather and government management by politicians,"
Morris said.

      Very little of a US$611 million appeal for southern Africa had been
released by various donors, he added.


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Comment from ZWNews

Environmental disaster

By Michael Hartnack

For Western nations – and South Africa - the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg was a diplomatic disaster. For Zimbabwe, the gathering, where power and posturing defeated scientific fact and even common sense, represented a conservation disaster – underlined by Robert Mugabe’s tirade. From Harare, the applause for Mugabe sounded like the death rattle of 7.8 million people at risk of starvation, the crash of forests felled for firewood, the moan of sand-laden wind among dry weeds. Mugabe was applauded for inflicting upon the summit a series of stunning untruths or self-deceptions which translate in Zimbabwe, quite simply, into shortages of bread, maize meal, cooking oil, petrol, into derelict farmlands and homeless ex-farmworkers. "The poor have given us a mandate to govern them," Mugabe told the summit. Given? Is that why it was necessary to terrorise the country with teenage "war veterans", trash farms, stuff ballot boxes, bar thousands from voting? Every white is entitled to at least one farm but some own up to 35. "These are figures I am not just getting out of my mind, they are real figures," he declared. In reality, more than 2 000 single-property owners are being evicted, and no one - except members of Mugabe’s own elite - has farms to the extent he claimed. "We have not asked for one square inch of Europe. So (Prime Minister Tony) Blair, keep your England and I will keep my Zimbabwe." Mugabe has in effect annexed a fair sized European city - there are 10 times as many black Zimbabwean economic refugees in Britain as there are whites in Zimbabwe, quite apart from the 2,4 million Zimbabweans living in South Africa. "We are threatening no one…we wish no harm to anyone." As Mugabe uttered those words, 17 labourers were arrested while digging pit latrines at a refuge for displaced workers, on preposterous charges of "undergoing terrorist training." We must expect an orgy of repression in the wake of Mugabe's Johannesburg triumph - for that is how he sees it. Whites who dare disagree may remain only as jailed felons. Black dissenters are "puppets, traitors".

Even the most casual observer in Zimbabwe can see that Mugabe’s assertions that his regime seeks to protect the environment for present and future generations are patently untrue. In an open letter to Mugabe coinciding with the summit, Zimbabwe-born ecologist Allan Savory, who lauded the Zimbabwe leader in the early years after 1980 independence, finally revealed 22 years of fruitless behind-the-scenes dealings with him on environmental issues. Reflecting painful disenchantment, Savory protested at the "path with tragic consequences" on which he said Mugabe has set Zimbabwe. The ecologist, now based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, urged Mugabe "to reverse our most serious problem – desertification"; not "act as a short sighted politician". If Mugabe notices the letter, it is likely to be with a fleeting, derisive giggle. As a member of Parliament in Ian Smith's Rhodesian Front party, Savory crossed swords with fellow white legislators. On environmental issues, he advocated acceptance of his entire Holistic Resource Management approach. Savory's political views have varied, supporting first the Rhodesian Front and then Mugabe. But many of his pronouncements on ecological issues remain extremely relevant.

Mugabe has been barnstorming round the country urging his supporters to seize irrigation equipment from fleeing whites, and promising a massive programme of dam-construction to free them forever from the threat of drought and famine. Back in 1970, Savory, now 68, warned that vanished civilisations wasted vast labour and resources thinking irrigation works would meet their exploding agricultural needs. These works quickly became worthless, silted-up malarial death traps as catchments were destroyed by bad pastoral and cultivation practices, and once-reliable river flow became erratic in consequence. In his open letter to Mugabe, Savory revealed how in 1984 "I informed you I had finally discovered a way to reverse the land degradation…I requested your government have the matter fully investigated as most officials in Zimbabwe opposed my views - you agreed to my request, saying: ‘We have no more serious problem than our rising population and deteriorating land’ (your exact words)." Savory said he eventually wrote to Mugabe "in desperation" in April 1994, saying the ability to reverse land deterioration was being held up by civil service inertia, and adding that millions might by now have been resettled "without displacing a single farmer, disrupting our economy, or causing massive unemployment." What Savory may now realise is that Mugabe and his associates were never interested in resolving environmental problems: they wanted to exploit them to gain and retain power. Thus it still is today.

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