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

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The Times

            September 13, 2002

            Mugabe 'thugs' kidnap election candidates

            by Daniel McGrory

            The Harare regime has unleashed a wave of terror as voters
prepare to go to the polls

            ORGANISED gangs loyal to Robert Mugabe have kidnapped and beaten
hundreds of opposition candidates to stop them from registering for this
month's local elections.
            As Zimbabwe's President attended the United Nations General
Assembly in New York, his opponents in Harare released a dossier showing how
nearly 600 of their 1,200 candidates had been blocked from contesting the
ballot. Leaders of the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), said that Western powers were so obsessed with dealing with
Iraq that they were ignoring President Mugabe's worsening reign of terror.

            Paul Themba Nyathi, the MDC's Director of Elections, who has met
Foreign Office diplomats in London, said: "Mugabe is acting with impunity
now because he knows he can get away with it. Western leaders talk about
dealing with tyrants, so how does Mugabe escape?"

            MDC candidates have been kidnapped and beaten to stop them from
registering in time for the September 28 elections. Police roadblocks have
been placed at registration centres in some parts of the country to bar
access by MDC candidates and armed militias have waited outside a number of
offices to intercept opponents attempting to meet the deadline. Some
candidates are still being held hostage.

            Mr Nyathi said: "So who do we complain to about this? The
courts, the police, the election officials are all in Mugabe's pocket. Look
at who the beneficiaries are who are being given previously white-owned
farms - judges, army commanders, secret police chiefs, senior policemen; so
who maintains the law? "The West is more concerned about the confiscation of
white-owned farms and Mugabe's performance at the Earth Summit to monitor
this latest episode. It doesn't matter what sort of intimidation is employed
during campaigning if you have stopped nearly half of the opposing side from
even standing."

            For his part, Mr Mugabe told the UN yesterday that Zimbabwe had
cast off the "colonial yoke for all time", and attacked Britain and Tony
Blair. He said: "I appeal to this General Assembly to convey to Britain and
especially to . . . Mr Tony Blair that Zimbabwe ceased to be a British
colony in 1980 after Prince Charles had gracefully lowered the British flag.

            "He should also be informed that the people of Zimbabwe waged an
armed revolutionary struggle for their independence and stand ready to
defend it in the same way."

            The campaign of intimidation in Zimbabwe is worse than that
during the presidential election campaign earlier this year. Mr Mugabe won,
but international observers said that the election was flawed. For the vote
on the last weekend of September there will be no outside observers.

            The MDC's dossier alleges that one of Mr Mugabe's ministers,
Didymus Mutasa, led a Zanu (PF) mob in Manicaland that was stopping
opposition candidates from registering. In Chegutu a mob stormed the
district offices, assaulted MDC officials and abducted Hilda Mafudze, the
local MP.

            In Midlands South, 100 miles (160 km) south of the capital, 36
candidates pulled out of the election and 20 other aspiring councillors were
assaulted and tortured.

            Typical of the assaults was the midnight abduction last month of
Wilson Mabhera, the MDC chairman in Hurungwe. He was woken by a group of men
who said that their lorry had broken down and asked for help. As he stepped
outside he was dragged to the lorry where he recognised some of his Zanu
(PF) opponents. He was beaten for two hours and told he would be killed if
he stood in the election.

            The MDC leader has begun a court challenge to March's
presidential election. He has also warned that the growing frustration
inside Zimbabwe is leading to a "people's storm" which is ready to take on
what he calls the President's "civil-military junta".

            MDC leaders have restrained their followers from mass
demonstrations because they fear that the security forces will be ordered to
use "extreme force" against any protest.

            Mr Nyathi said: "Frustration is boiling over. There is hunger
and soon there will be starvation. If you remove their only hope, which is
the election, then what have people got left but to protest?

            "The West does not think Zimbabwe is a priority and so Mugabe
can do what he wants. It's too late for any observer force. The damage has
been done. This election is the worst fraud yet."

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Daily News

The Mole

      Mugabe and Moyo are birds of a feather

      9/13/02 9:48:44 AM (GMT +2)

      ANY keen follower of the utterances of President Mugabe and
Information and Publicity Minister Jonathan Moyo will have been tempted, at
one point or another, to use an idiom such as the Shona mbudzi kudya mufenje
hufananyina or mhembwe rudzi inozvara mwana ane kazhumwi to describe their
singularly similar mercurial characters. Both idioms mean the same thing.
Their English equivalent is "Like father like son".

      But since Moyo is not Mugabe's son and the two men's relationship is
not in any way sanguinary, it would be more appropriate to use the
expression "birds of a feather flock together" when talking about the close
working relationship between these two corrosively acid-tongued gentlemen.

      Not only do they have not a single kind word for anyone who sees
things differently from them, but they also have perfected the art of
vulgarity and coarseness in speech totally out of keeping with their
stations in society - what we would call shasha dzekutukirira in Shona.

      There were women who had that reputation in every neighbourhood in the
"locations" in days gone by, and no one would ever want to engage such women
in an argument. They would verbally undress you in public.

      Each time Moyo and Mugabe open their mouths it will be to spit venom
upon whoever will have been unfortunate enough to say or do anything they
don't particularly like, especially something critical about the government'
s myriad of misdemeanors, transgressions and downright criminal acts against
the people of this country.

      If the truth be told, the government of which Moyo is spokesman is
widely regarded as technically illegitimate anyway, both in and outside
Zimbabwe. But that is besides the point. It is Mugabe and Moyo's complete
lack of decorum in both speech and conduct - a fact which has brought the
office of the President into total disrepute and shorn the incumbent of any
vestige of dignity - which is The Mole's main concern here.

      Moyo's vicious and vitriolic attack on MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai on
Tuesday went far beyond his usual vulgarity.

      It went so far beyond even the farthest boundaries of human decency
into territories which it is doubtful even the most foul-mouthed women in
the "locations" of old could have dared enter. And all because Tsvangirai
had told the government a home truth the junior minister would rather not

      Assisted by the ever obsequious editors at The Herald who, in line
with the falsehoods peddled by Moyo in their story, published Moyo's
utterances under a completely misleading and defamatory headline "Tsvangirai
calls settlers 'Stone Age', Moyo called Tsvangirai all sorts of names.

      In a speech on Monday at a seminar organised by the Mass Public
Opinion Institute, Tsvangirai said in part: "The total emasculation of the
people's political power has been complemented by another strategy to reduce
the majority of the population economically to the level of Stone Age
scavengers, available for manipulation and abuse by Mugabe and his cronies."

      This is very straightforward and "quite clear" - to borrow Moyo's
current favourite phrase.

      All that Tsvangirai was saying is that, because of the government's
disastrous economic policies and Zanu PF's politics of expediency as
typified by the rushed and chaotic "land reform", the people of this country
have been reduced to scavenging for food as people used to do during the
Stone Age.

      We all know that some people in the rural areas are now having to eat
roots and wild fruit to survive. We also know that some villagers near
mission boarding schools are surviving on left-overs retrieved from bins at
the schools' dining halls because they have nothing to eat.

      Is that not being reduced to scavengers?

      And who is responsible for the country running out of food by stopping
farmers from growing food and chasing them off their farms? The government
of course!
      But Moyo and his mouthpiece seized on the use of the expression "Stone
Age scavengers" to distort the import of Tsvangirai's message to make it
appear as if he was disdainfully referring to newly resettled farmers.
Almost everyone in this country, including urbanites, is now scavenging.

      Obviously with an aim to incite maximum national resentment against
Tsvangirai (an uphill task, if the truth be said), The Herald's story kicked
off thus: "MDC leader, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, was at it again yesterday when
he attacked thousands of people who have benefited from the land reform
programme by describing them as 'Stone Age scavengers'.

      "The Minister of State for Information and Publicity, Professor
Jonathan Moyo, said Mr Tsvangirai was a 'typical example of a puppet singing
a colonial song for his puppeteers (sic)'.

      "He said when the British colonised this country they brutalised
Zimbabweans, destroyed their homes, looted their property and denied them
every human rights (sic), (haven't we heard this enough times now?) calling
them 'savage, stone age scavengers' (now, that's certainly a new line as far
as anyone can recall).

      "Now their puppet is reminding them of that. Anybody who thinks that
Zimbabweans who have benefited from the land reform programme are Stone Age
scavengers (could it be the Professor himself who so thinks?) does not
deserve to be ever taken seriously. People are sick and tired of this . .
. "

      No, Professor, if by "people" you mean the majority of Zimbabweans,
you are certainly mistaken.

      People will never be sick and tired of what Tsvangirai says. And the
reason is very simple: he speaks their language; he articulates all the
hopes, wishes, aspirations, fears and anxieties in every Zimbabwean outside
the small circle of the beneficiaries of Mugabe's misrule.

      But then, of course, we all know that when Moyo says "people", he
means one person only: himself. Because, being an appointee of Mugabe, he
can not lay any pretensions to speaking on behalf the people. He seems to
think Mugabe is "the people". And that's really sad.

      The people have long ceased to take him seriously and instead, if the
constant snide remarks being made about him are anything to go by, many
      people are now feeling sorry for him. Some actually believe he is now
suffering from some terrible affliction.

      Quite seriously though, what kind of language is that, Professor Moyo?

      That kind of intemperate and clearly undiplomatic language belongs in
the dark alleys of the ghetto, not in Cabinet offices. Suffice it to say
that if, by Moyo's own reckoning, Tsvangirai is a puppet of the British,
which is of course not true, Moyo himself is a puppet of the man who
appointed him.

      In short he is "His Master's Voice" (Remember those old gramophone
records of the 1950s?), which is why they speak the same language. Both men
have lost touch with the people and, in the process, have also lost the
respect of the entire Zimbabwean citizenry.
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Daily News

  Leader Page

      I, too, would tell the world to keep out of Zimbabwe because of its
shameful state

      9/13/02 9:33:42 AM (GMT +2)

      President Mugabe created a stir at the World Summit on Sustainable
Development a few days ago with angry words which he spat at Britain. He
said: "So Blair, keep your England and let me keep my Zimbabwe." The
President clearly believes that he owns Zimbabwe and will be in power
forever. He spoke about towering elephants and roaring lions, about land and
satisfying the needs of his land-hungry people.

      I cannot help but wonder just exactly what it is that Mugabe has to be
so proud about. The things that I see and hear are cause for deep shame and
disgust and not national pride. After 29 months of political turmoil and the
almost complete cessation of commercial agriculture, small towns are falling
apart. Marondera, like dozens of others, is an agro-based town. Its wealth,
jobs, industries and companies were all dependent on the land and farmers
and as these people are increasingly forced out of their homes, the town has
begun to collapse. In Marondera town the commonest sight is of crowds of
people who are always waiting for one thing or another. On the pavements and
outside, the few companies still operating, crowds of young, hungry men,
stand around waiting on the off-chance of a day's employment.

      Outside every single supermarket and shop, men and women wait on the
off-chance of a delivery of food. They wait for sugar, cooking oil,
maize-meal and salt. This week even more people are waiting - for bread and
flour, for petrol and diesel.

      Outside every single government office, hordes of people wait for bits
of paper - paper which tells them which piece of land they may or may not
occupy; whether their application for government project money has been
approved; whether their request for seed, fertiliser or school fees has been
accepted or not. Outside the once beautiful Marondera municipal offices this
week, lines of tired and thin women sit with their hungry babies waiting for
a piece of paper with a government stamp on it entitling them to queue for
maize at the town's Grain Marketing Board. At the main Marondera hospital
there are hundreds of people sitting, waiting on the ground in the sun - for
a doctor or a nurse, a pain killer or bandage. Around our town litter is
everywhere, the roads into the suburbs are mapped with deep craters which
used to be potholes, two out of every 10 street lights work and nine out of
10 street signs have been stolen. On the 67km journey from Marondera to
Harare the neglect is phenomenal. Almost all the farms have been taken over,
the fences are gone or falling down and the fields are deserted, burnt or
barren. Travelling this road late on a Sunday afternoon, the new owners of
these farms turn out onto the highway where every single road sign has been
stolen for its tin and most of the cats' eyes have been dug out of the tar
for their aluminum bases.

      If these people driving home into a glowing red sunset are landless
peasants then, as my parents used to say, I'll eat my hat. They are driving
Z$20 million Pajeros and Mercedes, they are Zimbabwe's new weekend and
cellphone farmers who acquired their new properties as rewards for their
dirty deeds in almost three years of political campaigning. For almost three
years the farmers have been crying out for help, but their calls have not
been heeded by the people living in their luxury houses in Harare. Perhaps
when levels of neglect, poverty and destitution similar to that in Marondera
arrive in suburbs like Chisipite and Borrowdale, then town and country
people will stand together and say it is enough. Perhaps when towns like
Marondera, Karoi and Kadoma no longer exist, Zimbabweans will pay the price
of their silence. Zimbabwe's small towns are dying, her people are starving,
dirty and desperate - and Mugabe tells the world to keep out of "his
Zimbabwe". I, too, would be ashamed and not want anyone to see what is
becoming of us. I too would say "hands off" and "keep out" if this is what I
had to show for 23 years of being in power.
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Daily News

      War vets try to grab $230m firm

      9/13/02 9:21:19 AM (GMT +2)

      By Lloyd Mudiwa Court Reporter

      TWO war veteran leaders are allegedly trying to forcibly take over a
$230 million Bindura engineering firm, Hammond Engineering (Pvt) Ltd, in
defiance of a High Court order issued on Wednesday last week.

      Justice Charles Hungwe issued the order, in default, which interdicts
war veteran Mukutu Henry Kowerai Hamadziripi, his colleague Edward
Chikerema, and six of the company's former workers from interfering with the
company's business operations.

      The six ex-workers are Shoeshine Mbata, Godfrey Chanetsa, Kenias
Mavura, Benjamin Murape, Tengani Punzaro and Onias Nhemachena.

      But yesterday, Chikerema reportedly led a group of about 50 Zanu PF
youths to evict the company's owners, George Hammond and his wife Elaine,
who are both in their 60s. The mob proceeded to eject Peter Arnold, the
company's managing director, from his home.

      "Arnold actually saw Chikerema drop off the youths in different groups
from a car, a Mazda B1800, that he stole from him three weeks ago," Mark
Bromley, a director of the company, said yesterday.

      "Although we reported the theft of the motor vehicle at Bindura Police
Station nothing has been done to Chikerema who resides in Bindura's Chipadze
      "The mob actually said it did not want them anywhere in Mashonaland
Central province by 5pm today. They manhandled Arnold and confiscated keys
to his house, car and workshop. We have reported the matter to the police
who said they would see what they could do."

      Hamadziripi and Chikerema had tried to force the Hammonds to sell the
company for only $65 million, before Hungwe granted the company a temporary
order barring the two war veterans and the six workers from interfering with
the business.

      Augustine Chihuri, the Commissioner of Police, and the Officer
Commanding Mashonaland Central Province were ordered to ensure that the war
veterans and the ex-workers do not enter or loiter within a 100-metre radius
of the property. The police were ordered to arrest any of the eight and
bring them before the High Court to explain should they defy the order. The
war veterans and the workers had in August allegedly detained and threatened
to assault a deputy messenger of court, who tried to serve them notice to
appear in court. They directed the messenger to Elliot Manyika, the Minister
of Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation, who was accused of
blessing the company's closure in February by war veterans and 24 workers
demanding their severance packages, although the company was not shutting
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Daily News

      A disgusting speech by an undignified president

      9/13/02 9:48:08 AM (GMT +2)

      I listened with disgust when our undignified President was given the
podium at the just-ended Earth Summit in Johannesburg. I was really ashamed
to hear him talk himself out of topic in such a way that I wished the ground
could just open up and swallow me rather than have the rest of the delegates
who knew me turn their eyes towards me with an expression on their faces
that said: "Is this the type of persons you have for presidents in your

      Instead of addressing issues pertaining to saving the earth from
poisonous emissions and desertification, Mugabe thought this was the
opportune time to attack British Prime Minister Tony Blair with such venom
you couldn't believe it's coming from a man as old as Mugabe. Africa in
general and Zimbabwe in particular needs good governments before it can
address the issue of growth, poverty and disease in earnest. How can one
expect development to thrive in an environment fraught with corruption,
fraud, favouritism, factionalism and selfishness? The so-called land reform
programme is only meant to serve the interests of the senior people in the
government, police and army.

      What happened to all those young and energetic graduands from
agricultural colleges like Gwebi, Chibero, Esigodini and Kushinga ever since
they have been coming out of these colleges from 1980 to the present day?
What you do think the likes of Shuvai Mahofa can accomplish on the land
compared to these graduates? "Blair should keep his Britain while I keep my
Zimbabwe," bellowed Mugabe in the now only too-familiar childish tantrums
fashion. But what is he doing to avert the looming starvation which is
facing the very people he is purporting to keep? What has he achieved by
kicking out the people who put food on the population's tables? Where is the
salt, let alone the mealie-meal, for the people? Does he know that the
henchmen he gave those stolen farms only go there to hunt and shoot down
animals and to destroy the ecology in direct contrast with the theme of the
Earth Summit he was addressing for all the wrong reasons?

      Lameck Mahachi
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Daily News

  Government mulls laws to deal with opposition MPs

      9/13/02 9:31:34 AM (GMT +2)

      By Luke Tamborinyoka

      PATRICK Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs, on Wednesday told Parliament the government would soon come up with
comprehensive measures to deal with opposition MPs who walk out of the

      Chinamasa was responding to a question by Chirumanzu MP, Innocent
Chikiyi, on whether there was no law to deal with MPs who boycott the
President's speech.

      "This is a clear lack of patriotism on the part of the MDC and it is a
cause of concern for the nation," Chinamasa said, amid jeering by opposition

      "They did not only boycott the opening session but they have been
going around the country and all over the world, lobbying for sanctions and
military intervention by other countries.

      "We are looking into ways and means against MPs who exhibit evidence
of unpatriotism when they have sworn an oath of loyalty to the country," he

      The MDC MPs walked out again when debate on the President's speech
resumed soon after Chinamasa had threatened the government would take action
against them.
      The MPs first walked out when President Mugabe officially opened the
third session of the fifth parliament in July.

      They said they would not listen to his speech because their party's
position was that President Mugabe was not the legitimately elected leader
of Zimbabwe.

      The MDC is challenging Mugabe's victory in the High Court, citing
massive rigging and intimidation.

      The MPs again walked out on Tuesday when debate on President Mugabe's
speech started.

      Later, Chinamasa skirted a question by Pumula-Luveve MP, Esaph
Mdlongwa, on why Mugabe had increased the size of the Cabinet when the
government had no money. Three ministries were also formed.

      "The number of deputy ministers has increased from nine to 12 and this
is at a time when the workers of this country are heavily taxed.

      "These deputy ministers do not act in the absence of Cabinet ministers
and they do not attend Cabinet meetings.

      "We wonder why they are being increased," Mdlongwa said. Chinamasa
said he would not respond because the issue had nothing to do with
government policy.

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Daily News

      11 teachers flee schools

      9/13/02 9:29:21 AM (GMT +2)

      From Brian Mangwende in Mutare

      AT least 11 teachers in Manicaland and Masvingo provinces have not
reported for duty since the beginning of this year's third term, citing
rampant intimidation and assaults by Zanu PF youths and war veterans, the
Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) said yesterday.

      Takavafira Zhou, the PTUZ president, said the union was helping three
teachers from Mutasa Secondary School in Buhera District named as Mr and Mrs
Muti and Ms Tariro Marabanda. "Muti was seriously assaulted while his wife
was intimidated to an extent that the two had to flee the area," Zhou said.
"The couple was treated at a hospital in Harare." He said at Mutasa Primary
School teachers were harassed by Zanu PF vigilantes over the school holidays
and some of them were even threatened with death. One victim from that
school was identified by Zhou only as a teacher called Svinurai. He said
Svinurai had also fled to Harare. In Masvingo, Zhou said more than six
teachers at Mapanzure Secondary School were beaten up and failed to report
for duty. "It is unfortunate that there doesn't appear to be any concerted
effort by the responsible ministry officials, politicians and the police to
end the victimisation of teachers," Zhou said.

      "The whole education system is in tatters and the country will soon
feel the consequences. Teachers must seriously consider putting this
victimisation to an end by any means necessary." Stanislous Chikukwa, a
national executive member of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans'
Association who is based in Manicaland, dismissed the allegations as a smear
campaign against the war veterans.

      Chikukwa said: "I now believe there is a conspiracy going on. It's not
surprising that they are saying all these bad things about us. It's time for
us to take legal action and sue these liars. "Even in America, civil
servants abide by the rules of the government of the day. Why should
Zimbabwe be different? "I am not saying it's true that we beat up teachers.
On the contrary, war veterans are the most disciplined group of people in
the country. But it is not that we are timid. If they want to play those
games, let them do so and we will see what will happen." Winnie
Chirimamhunga, the Regional Director of Education for Manicaland, could not
be reached for comment. Efforts to get comment yesterday from Aeneas
Chigwedere, the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, were also
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Daily News

      MDC accuses Midzi of misleading nation

      9/13/02 9:27:52 AM (GMT +2)

      By Luke Tamborinyoka

      THE MDC yesterday accused Amos Midzi, recently appointed Minister of
Energy and Power Development, of emulating his predecessors by misleading
the nation about the fuel crisis.

      Midzi last week said there were adequate fuel reserves in the country
but long queues have resurfaced at most fuel stations as diesel and petrol
have begun to run out.

      Silas Mangono, the shadow minister of Energy and Communications,
accused the government of deceiving the nation.

      "The government continues to lie and give people the assurance that
the country will never run out of fuel. Ambassador Midzi has taken after his
predecessors, Sydney Sekeramayi and Edward Chindori-Chininga, in
misinforming the nation that all is well when the situation on the ground is
a different story," Mangono said.

      He said the "so-called fuel deals", which the government had struck
since the fuel crisis in 2000, had failed to arrest the problem.

      "The nature of the deals is never explained to the people of Zimbabwe
who will bear the cost of the loan repayment for generations to come. "The
secrecy that shrouds the details of these deals gives credence to
speculation that huge tracts of land acquired under the fast-track disaster
have been parcelled out to the Libyans, in addition to other State-owned
assets," Mangono said. Mugabe, Midzi and other senior government officials
were in Libya early this week, reportedly to negotiate a new fuel deal for
the country. Large portions of land in Mvurwi and other areas in Mashonaland
Central were reportedly given to the Libyans as part payment for fuel.

      "The so-called Libyan investment in infrastructure development is
actually an exchange of Zimbabwean assets for Libyan oil without adhering to
internationally acceptable standards of competitive bidding in the disposal
of our national assets," Mangono said.

      He said the fuel deal with Libya was like payment for fuel through the
colonisation of Zimbabwe.

      The only solution was to allow private entrepreneurs to procure fuel
in order to bring about fair competition and price stability.
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Daily News

      Settlers adamant as health time bomb ticks at Whitecliff Farm

      9/13/02 9:25:24 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THOUSANDS of settlers at Whitecliff Farm near Harare could be sitting
on a health time bomb as there are no proper sanitary facilities such as
clean drinking water and toilets.

      The settlers, who have been on the farm for two years and have renamed
it Tongogara Park, recently defied a ministerial directive to vacate the

      lgnatius Chombo, the Minister of Local Government and Public Works and
National Housing tried in vain to evict them after informing them the
settlement posed a health hazard, not only to the settlers but also to the
residents of nearby Greater Harare.

      Chombo, who declared two months ago the illegal settlers would be
forcibly evicted from Whitecliff Farm, could not be reached yesterday.

      The settlers warned him to immediately drop the eviction plans if he
wanted to retain his job.At present the settlement has no proper water
points and the settlers have to walk long distances to fetch water. Some
settlers who spoke to reporters yesterday said they were worried about their
health as they feared there could soon be a cholera outbreak.

      Solomon Manjengwa, a settler, said: "We live in constant fear of
disease outbreaks here because people relieve themselves anywhere in the

      "There are no toilets and there is no water. We have tried to alert
the authorities of this dangerous situation and they promised to do
something, but up to now nothing has been done."

      Manjengwa said the situation was being aggravated by the continued
allocation of plots to more people by war veterans at the squatter camp.
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Daily News

      Bakers in alleged secret bread sales

      9/13/02 9:24:34 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo

      A snap survey conducted by The Daily News in several supermarkets
around the city revealed that while the bakers say there is no bread, they
sell bread to their friends and relatives through the back door.

      A bakery manager at a supermarket in the city, who declined to be
named, said
      although no one had been caught taking money from customers, they were
aware that something fishy was taking place.

      "It's a sign of the times. People are desperate and will do anything
to secure a loaf of bread, and if the bakers are gullible they fall for it,"
he said.

      One customer observed doing this said it was the only way he was
guaranteed of bread every day as he could not afford to feed his family on
anything else.

      Meanwhile some supermarkets are now only baking milk loaves which sell
at $125 each while the price of bread on the black market has gone up to
$150 from $100.
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Howard-led troika hardens on Mugabe
By Dennis Shanahan
JOHN Howard is expected to go to Africa soon for a Commonwealth summit to
impose tough new sanctions on Zimbabwe.

The Prime Minister, South Africa's president Thabo Mbeki and Nigeria's
President Olusegun Obasanjo have been working for more than two weeks on how
to take tougher sanctions against President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and
his government.

Mr Howard made a lightning trip to London last April to meet his fellow
members of the "troika" in charge of Commonwealth action against the former
British colony. It is likely Mr Howard will meet Mr Mbeki and General
Obasanjo in Nigeria soon.

Mr Mugabe has ignored all the steps the Commonwealth has taken so far and
the calls from other nations, including the US, to reform Zimbabwe's economy
and political process.

Several nations, including South Africa, have declared that Zimbabwe's
recent elections were corrupt and that people in Zimbabwe face famine
because of the forced removal of white farmers from their land.

Independence war veterans have invaded hundreds of white-owned farms over
the past year, severely curtailing agricultural production.

Political opposition has been crushed in Zimbabwe with critical newspapers
closed down and politicians jailed.

At the South Pacific Forum three weeks ago Mr Howard, as the leader of the
troika, was urged to take more action against Zimbabwe for its continued
breaches of human rights and electoral corruption. After the London meeting
Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth for 12 months.

During the Earth Summit in South Africa Mr Mugabe struck out at Britain, the
US, Australia and New Zealand accusing them of colonial and racist

"What colour are they, most of the people there? White," Mr Mugabe said.

"They are the ones leading in the fight against Zimbabwe, the fight of
resisting the completion of the independence process that began in 1980."

Mr Mugabe's tirade against Britain was met with applause in South Africa but
Commonwealth leaders took it as a sign that he would not react to the
current sanctions.

"It's clear he's not taking any notice," a government source said this week.

There has been a series of communications between Australia, South Africa
and Nigeria in the last two weeks.

A meeting of the three leaders is now likely before the end of the month and
expulsion from the Commonwealth for Zimbabwe as well as travel bans on Mr
Mugabe and his ministers are expected to be considered.
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Daily News

  Leader Page

      Health sector brain drain: who is to blame?

      9/13/02 9:32:48 AM (GMT +2)

      David Parirenyatwa, the Minister of Health and Child Welfare, lamented
the exodus of qualified health professionals from the public service at a
meeting with James Morris, the director of the World Food Programme in
Bindura last week.

      In remarks broadcast on national television, he criticised South
Africa and the United Kingdom for recruiting nurses, pharmacists, doctors
and other key staff after the government had spent millions of dollars
training them. It is unclear what Parirenyatwa expected to achieve by
raising this subject with Morris when he must know the causes of the brain
drain which has wreaked havoc to the health delivery system. He must know
the answers too. The government - not Morris, South Africa or Britain - has
the power to create an enabling environment for the citizens it has trained
to stay and work at home. Health professionals are treated like dirt by this
government which prefers to reward, as a fairly routine priority, the
police, the army and ex-combatants, to buy off their loyalty. Money is being
diverted to raise their salaries, buy tear-gas, armoured cars and other
weaponry to punish the opposition.

      For that reason, solutions to the now perennial dispute between health
workers and the government remain elusive. Their employers, the Public
Service Commission and Parirenyatwa's ministry, seem overwhelmed by the
merits of the workers' grievances. In the past 10 years, the government has
attended to the health sector's concerns on a piecemeal basis, usually after
a strike. Under the circumstances, no health professional would sneeze at a
job offer from South Africa, the United Kingdom, the private sector -
anywhere. The latest case involves paramedics, on strike for the past three
weeks. Although they resumed work yesterday, are there any guarantees that
the ongoing talks will result in a long-term and sustainable agreement that
protects the most vulnerable segment of our society against the government's
casual attitude towards their plight? Last year, both doctors and nurses
struck for almost two months. If major public hospitals can stay closed for
so long, then the government has little use for all the health workers. It
is pushing health professionals out of the country.

      Junior doctors went on strike in August. Their case ended when the
proffered solution distorted the entire salary structure and grading system
in public hospitals. Their new packages raise their pay to the level of
specialists and physicians. The sight of poor patients writhing in pain or
lying in hopelessness waiting for the results of laboratory tests, X-rays or
pain killers is now common. Diabetics were hit particularly hard as there
was no one to check their blood sugar levels. Victims of rape, robberies,
muggings and sodomy could not be attended to, resulting in a loss of vital
evidence and a delay in the hearing of cases because of the failure by the
police and prosecutors to obtain the requisite expert assessment of the
cases. Catering staff and dieticians stopped work, making it impossible for
patients requiring special nutrients and diets to access them. The story was
the same for those with hypertension, cancer and cardiac diseases. Renal and
blood tests were abandoned. Also closed were the tuberculosis, parasitology
and bacteriology departments. Those attempting to check in with suspected
malaria, diarrhoea and meningitis were sent home, or referred to council

      In effect, public hospitals became a danger to the lowly-paid who can'
t afford private care. Patients had nowhere to turn to while the government
moved from pillar to post, blaming South Africa and Britain.

      Parirenyatwa, a medical doctor, must be ashamed to remain in office
under these deadly circumstances. A notable but deadly contagion to the
current shortage of food has been a rise in the cases of the chronic aspect
of malnutrition which has been compounded by the total collapse of an
already stressed public sector because of perennial strikes by doctors and
crucial support professionals. Those patients who survive, especially
children, risk stunted growth and other forms of permanent disability.
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Daily News

  Money-changing vaPostori climb up the social ladder

      9/13/02 9:27:09 AM (GMT +2)

      By Foster Dongozi Features Writer

      FORT Street in Bulawayo, between Second and Tenth avenues, is now
known to many streetwise citizens here as "Wall Street" or "The World Bank".
The former name is derived from the New York street of the same name, and
the latter comes from the sister institution of the International Monetary
Fund, in Washington, DC.

      It is estimated that at any given time, dealers handle more than US$1
million in cash in that section of the Bulawayo street. Other than wads of
near worthless Zimbabwe dollars, the vaPostori women also have international
currencies such as the Botswana pula, the South African rand and the
recently introduced euro "in stock". This is a feat that some
well-established banks have found impossible to match. Hundreds of
money-changers from different sects of the vaPostori faith block the
pavements as they jostle for business. "Lisiphatheleni?" (What have you
brought us?) they ask of people who might look like prospective clients.
      The growth of the illegal foreign currency market has seen the
lifestyle of the once-poverty stricken community improve, in spite of the
fact that most of them are seen as semi-literate.

      Yet now, some obviously well-heeled members of the denomination can be
seen driving expensive cars while others have moved to elite suburbs like
Burnside and Matsheumhlophe. So well-bonded are the illegal foreign currency
dealers that following the death of one of the most well-known vaPostori
sect members, Maxwell Kutsanzira in Bulawayo last week, the Zimbabwe dollar
"crashed" briefly against all major currencies. Mercy Maphosa, a foreign
currency dealer along Fort Street, explained its collapse. "Kutsanzira was a
prominent member of the maPostori community and because of his standing in
the community, a
      lot of people, including a large number of dealers, attended his
funeral wake and burial. "This naturally affected foreign currency deals.
The value of foreign currency against the Zimbabwe dollar increased due to

      For years, the maPostori were derided by their fellow countrymen for
their way of life. They are basically uneducated because for years, they
shunned modern institutions and facilities such as schools and clinics. Male
members keep their heads clean-shaven and beards long, and wear flowing
gowns which made them easy targets of ridicule. From a young age, boys would
become apprentices either in carpentry, shoe-making or train as tinsmiths.
The typical male muPostori was one who went around selling tin cups,
containers and other kitchen utensils made by the tinsmiths. Girls would
also "major" in chores believed to be in the women's line of work, such as
crocheting. And to top it all, they worship in what their critics say is a
"bizarre" manner. They sing and worship in the bush all night and make their
way home at the crack of dawn.

      There were, of course, the attendant scandals, of prophets "praying"
for women whom they would allegedly rape. Society's attitude was summed up
by Zexie Manatsa in the 1980s when he released the seven single, Tea Hobvu,
which gave the impression that members had an unquenchable thirst for tea.
But for now, according to Sarah Marange-Mpofu, a member of the sect, the
maPostori have through the lucrative but illicit foreign currency
transactions, graduated from living from hand-to-mouth to conspicuous
affluence. Now their lives have changed. "For a long time, we had miserable
lives but we realised that by dealing in foreign currency, a scarce
commodity countrywide, we would be able to sustain our families," she says.
"Remember, many people in our community are not well-educated and we saw an
opportunity to improve our lives. Although our operations are illegal, we
realise enough profit to support our families."

      Despite a crippling scarcity of foreign currency in formal
institutions such as banks, the abundance of foreign currency among members
of the sect has baffled many. The sect members maintain a strict code of
secrecy concerning their operations. "I can't discuss that with you,"
Marange-Mpofu said pointedly. However, some Bulawayo residents have accused
a well-known businessman, who runs a foreign exchange bureau on the same
street of using members of the sect as fronts. The allegations were
vehemently denied by Marange-Mpofu. "That is just gossip. People just want
to believe we are not capable of thinking for ourselves. We are our own
masters." As hardships continue to set in, some enterprising Bulawayo women,
realising that dealing in foreign currency is a lucrative venture, have
joined the trade. Maphosa confided: "Some people who are not members of our
church have flooded Fort Street to buy and sell foreign currency. What is
annoying is that in order to fit in, they are also wearing the distinctive
white clothes which are our trademark." Maphosa said the "encroachment by
outsiders" had resulted in turf wars along Fort Street.

      "Some people masquerading as members of our church have been 'advised'
to use adjacent streets like Jason Moyo and Herbert Chitepo because they are
newcomers." But can members of the sect, famous for being devout believers
who worship on Saturdays, still claim to be worshippers? Even on Saturdays,
they can be seen dealing in foreign currency. "Of course, we still worship
on Saturdays," said Maphosa. "The women you see on the streets on Saturdays
are the people who pretend to be part of us but expose themselves on
Saturdays because that is a day when genuine members would be attending
services." As they pursue the elusive dollar, the women are exposed to a lot
of hazards, including mortal danger. Reports of the money-changers being
conned or robbed of hundreds of thousands of dollars appear regularly in the

      Some women, in an effort to avoid detection by police, have gone into
strangers' cars or houses to change money, resulting in unfortunate
incidents. But none has been as ill-fated as Magdalene Mhaka of Pumula. She
was lured into a car by a man who claimed he wanted to change a substantial
amount of foreign currency. Her bullet-riddled body was discovered a few
hours later in Paddonhurst suburb, minus the money.
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Daily News

      Consolidate urban power base to prove viability - Matchaba-Hove tells

      9/13/02 9:45:51 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      REGINALD Matchaba-Hove, the chairman of the Zimbabwe Election Support
Network (ZESN), this week challenged the MDC to consolidate its power base
in urban areas to prove to the electorate that it is a viable
opposition.Matchaba-Hove commended the MDC-dominatedHarare City Council for
its performance since coming into office in March.

      The ZESN chairman was speaking at a public meeting held at a Harare
hotel organised by the Mass Public Opinion Institute under the topic:
Reflections on the Zimbabwean Crisis: What is the Future?

      "This is a new reality in today's politics. You have all the
opportunities to turn around the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans. "Your
strength is in the local government and parliamentary elections.

      "Critics of this effective council are beginning to realise that it
means business," he said.

      "People are asking where all the potholes have gone in a short period
of time. That shows that you are an effective alternative to this regime."

      But Matchaba-Hove said the MDC should take a firm stand in the face of
brutal attacks on its membership by government and ruling Zanu PF party

      Other speakers included the MDC president, Morgan Tsvangirai, and
Brian Raftopoulos, a researcher at the University of Zimbabwe.

      Matchaba-Hove said it was important for the MDC to contest all the
elections in the country and provide an effective political leadership that
fulfilled people's aspirations."He said the MDC and Zanu PF should resume
the aborted talks, initiated by Olusegun Obasanjo and Thabo Mbeki, the
presidents of Nigeria and South Africa, respectively, to broker a lasting
solution to the political and economic crises in the country.

      He said: "This diplomatic path should remain open."Failure to do so
may mean that we will remain in this crisis for some years to come.
Re-engage the international community and continue this struggle to

      During question and answer time, several commentators castigated
Zimbabweans for their docility despite mounting violation of their rights by
President Mugabe's supporters.

      A woman who attended the meeting said: "Mr Tsvangirai, you won this
March presidential election. You are the people's president.

      "Women and children are being starved in the rural areas. People are
being tortured and killed but the MDC is silent. We need action now."

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Daily News

      MDC dismisses reports on crisis

      9/13/02 9:43:14 AM (GMT +2)

      Chief Reporter

      THE MDC youth assembly yesterday dismissed allegations of a party
leadership crisis as reported in State media.

      It said it "unreservedly and uncompromisingly" supported the speech by
the party leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Monday, attacking President Mugabe's
dictatorial tendencies.

      The assembly's response followed distortions by The Herald and
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation that Tsvangirai described resettled people
as "Stone Age scavengers".

      In a statement, Nelson Chamisa, the MDC's national youth chairperson,
said Tsvangirai's speech reiterated the MDC's commitment to the struggle for
democracy and people's determination in the quest for the objectives and
fundamental ideals of the liberation struggle.

      Chamisa said it was sad that at a time when people were starving "as a
result of the government's failed policies, the same regime was busy dishing
out propaganda not realising that people do not feed on lies".
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Daily News

      State's application for closed hearing in war vet Moyo's trial

      9/13/02 9:28:56 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      The State yesterday unsuccessfully applied for the criminal defamation
trial of war veteran leader Mike Moyo to be heard in camera on the grounds
that witnesses felt intimidated by the presence of hundreds of Zanu PF
youths at the Harare Magistrates' Courts.

      The application was made by Ben Chidenga of the Attorney-General's
      Two police officers, State witnesses in the case in which Moyo is
charged with criminally defaming Peter Lunga, the commanding officer of the
CID, said they felt threatened and intimidated by the presence of the

      Magistrate Walter Bherebhende heard how Moyo is alleged to have
defamed Lunga at a meeting of Zanu PF's provincial executive at Stodart Hall
in Mbare on 10 November last year.

      Moyo allegedly implicated Lunga in the murder of Cain Nkala, a
Bulawayo war veteran leader.

      The State said it would not be in the best interests of justice for
the two State witnesses to give evidence in open court.

      They also wanted restrictions placed on the publication of the names
and addresses of the two State witnesses for their own safety.

      Aston Musunga, Moyo's lawyer, told the court the reasons advanced by
the State were not valid. He said: "The people here in court have come to
listen to the trial of their national leader. They cannot be denied the
right to hear the evidence which the State is advancing against him."
Musunga said Moyo's supporters had not exhibited any degree of violence in
or outside the court.

      Proceedings in camera were usually restricted to where juveniles were
giving evidence in rape cases. Musunga said: "I don't see why public
officials should be protected from giving evidence in court." He said the
identities of the two State witnesses were already known. Dismissing the
State's application, Bherebhende said: "The State must show that its case
will be seriously prejudiced if held in open court.

      "The State failed to show that the witnesses had been threatened or
intimidated. The State also failed to show why they should be protected and
what they should be protected from."

      The trial resumes next Friday.
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From The Star (SA), 12 September

New laws to aid Mugabe's land grab

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. 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 owners. 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 Z$20 000 to Z$100 000. 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.

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Zim Independent

Editor's Memo

Truth gets out
Iden Wetherell
WE say goodbye to another fine journalist this week. Griffin Shea of Agence
France-Presse who has worked in Zimbabwe for two years has been refused a
renewal of his work permit.

This comes as no surprise. Information minister Jonathan Moyo told AFP
director Denis Hiault when he came to Zimbabwe in July that the permits of
non-resident employees of news bureaux like AFP would not be renewed on

This is part of his general crackdown on the media. Moyo this week sought to
justify the government's move by fatuously claiming that Shea, who is
American, would not be allowed to help the US topple Zanu PF from power.

Needless to say, Shea had shown no such inclination. AFP is French, not
American, and the government has always sought to portray the Quai d'Orsay
as sympathetic to its misrule.

I shall be interested to see what excuse Moyo trots out when he declines to
renew the AFP's French bureau chief's permit in November.

Shea, as far as I know, did nothing in particular to offend Moyo but is
nevertheless the target of his childish abuse. Nobody has been "screaming"
over the non-renewal of Shea's permit, as Moyo suggested. Just a sober
statement from RSF. And nobody will believe Moyo's claim that Zimbabwe is a
"constitutional democracy underpinned by the rule of law". The evidence
overwhelmingly points to a lawless state scared of the truth.

"We are not a Banana Republic wanting to please foreign journalists," Moyo
told the Herald. "In this case our law is clear. No foreigner should be
resident here as a journalist."

He is evidently ignorant of the terms of his own legislation which make it
possible for a permanent resident of Zimbabwe to continue working as a
journalist. It was one of several amendments to the draft Bill forced on him
in January. But I was interested to see that in the same article the Herald
is claiming there is "some legal ambiguity" about whether there are one or
more classes of permanent resident.

This is of course completely untrue. The law is unambiguous on the status of
a permanent resident. But what we have here is an indication of what the
AG's office will attempt to argue in a forthcoming case as it wriggles on a
hook of Moyo's own making.

The refusal by government to extend Shea's work permit is part of a futile
attempt to prevent the bad news about Zimbabwe getting out. But so long as
the government behaves badly and enacts bad laws, it will get the press it
deserves - in most cases.

Some foreign correspondents who are allowed to travel freely to Zimbabwe
have leant over backwards to provide what they believe is balanced reporting
of events here. For instance, the New York Times reported last week that it
had been a good week for President Mugabe. He was cheered at the
Johannesburg Earth Summit, the paper said, while Colin Powell was jeered. It
quoted him attacking farmers as "greedy, greedy, greedy colonials".

"Mr Mugabe is criticised in the West for encouraging blacks to invade
white-owned farms, for hounding journalists and judges, and for jailing
opposition party leaders. But to some leaders, particularly in Africa, he is
a hero," the paper reported.

Only much further down the article do we gather from Tendai Biti that some
Africans - such as Zimbabweans - might also oppose his policies. President
Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal and UN secretary-general Kofi Annan have urged
officials in Harare to respect the rule of law, we are told. But Mugabe has
dismissed such criticism as "nonsense", the New York Times says, concluding
with a quote from the president claiming: "We brought democracy to this
country. We brought freedom. We brought human rights."

The claim goes unchallenged.

The New York Times in May carried an equally "balanced" report on Moyo's
media crackdown.

"Government officials say the moves are necessary to stop irresponsible
journalists from filing false reports that have damaged Zimbabwe's
reputation," it reported.

Among those arrested was American journalist Andrew Meldrum, it noted.

Wayne Bvudzijena was quoted as saying journalists were "trying to do down
with the government".

The paper said the Zimbabwean media was highly polarised.

"The government-run media typically report negative stories about the
leading opposition party . The privately-owned media typically report
negative stories about the government."

Commenting on the New York Times' one-dimensional view of the media
conflict, Meldrum told the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York that
the article made it appear that there was an evenly-matched, two-sided
struggle instead of a battle to keep the free press alive.

"By taking the approach that 'on the one hand this and on the other hand
that', the article neutralises the importance of this struggle to keep a
free press alive in Zimbabwe," Meldrum pointed out.

"This description of a 'tit-for-tat' reporting feud trivialises what is
happening here. It makes it appear that it is a fair contest where both
sides throw mud at each other," Meldrum said.

"As I know you are aware," he told the CPJ, "the privately-owned press is
battling against great odds to report about human rights abuses, corruption,
economic collapse and a breakdown of the rule of law. These are not merely
negative stories, they are the very stories that an independent press is
supposed to do to hold a government accountable," Meldrum said.

"Equally, the government press is not simply reporting negative stories
about the opposition," he said. "The state-owned press is carrying out a
shrill propaganda campaign that vilifies anyone or any group that dares to
stand up and criticise the government."

The New York Times' article reported on the new press law without raising
any questions as to its suitability in a democracy, he pointed out. "It
makes it seem perfectly ordinary that to make a factual error should be a

Meldrum, as we know, won his court case. The Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act proved a defective weapon in the government's
clumsy hands. But the government's vindictive campaign against all
journalists who refuse to submit to its threats or blandishments will

Griffin Shea's name will now be added to the rollcall of foreign
correspondents booted out because they refused to camouflage Mugabe's
misrule. But, with the exception of occasional indulgences, is our rogue
ruler getting a better press as a result of this crackdown? It doesn't seem
so. The truth has an inconvenient habit of finding its way out!
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Zim Independent

Land reform faces formidable obstacles

Vincent Kahiya

AS President Robert Mugabe savours his new-found glory wrought by his
anti-British bluster at the Earth Summit in South Africa last week, he still
has to contend with the sad reality that without international support his
agrarian revolution is doomed.

In December Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, reversing an earlier Supreme
Court judgement by Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay, ruled that government had
in place a proper land reform programme.

Buoyed by the Supreme Court endorsement of its agrarian undertaking
government decided to proceed with the expropriation of commercial farmland
to effect a resettlement programme that was widely expected to encounter
problems so long as it did not follow the basic tenets of legality and
sustainability. International financial support would only come with donors'
endorsement of the agrarian policy.

In 1998 government convened a donors' conference to mobilise support for
phase II of the resettlement programme. Agreements were signed between the
government and key donors keen to proceed on the basis of a trial programme
that would later be expanded based on the success of the experiment.

That was too slow for the Zanu PF government, which wanted something
dramatic to shore up its support ahead of the 2000 parliamentary election.

Thus only a few months after the land conference, war veterans and Zanu PF
supporters began to invade white-owned farms. President Mugabe refused to
stop the farm occupations and his implicit - later open - support was
clearly a breach of the understanding with the donor community. The donors
subsequently suspended all cooperation with government in the land reform.

In 2000 World Bank counsel John W Bruce wrote: "The future of the land
reform is now very much in question. The reform cannot move forward in a
productive fashion without the donor funding needed to cover major
resettlement costs, including costs for both productive investments and
services. The economic situation of the country is desperate, with inflation
moving out of control."

Numerous attempts by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to
broker an understanding between the government and donors have come to
nought as Mugabe said Zimbabwe would go it alone. But the chickens were
always bound to come home to roost. The current agrarian exercise has all
the ingredients of failure to achieve intended targets as long as there is
no international support.

In a stark indictment of Mugabe's current agrarian plan, United Nations
secretary-general Kofi Annan last month reiterated the need for
international support to the resettlement programme.

"There can be no lasting solution to the current problems unless the
government of Zimbabwe implements a phased and fully-funded land reform
programme. It should be one that is run according to the rule of law, that
allows for proper training and adequate support to new small farmers and
compensation to displaced farm workers and commercial farmers," Annan said
in a statement.He said such a programme was "urgently needed in order to
minimise the negative effects of the current situation on food production
and the overall economy in Zimbabwe".

"It would also ensure the engagement and future support of the international
community," he said.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in side meetings at the Earth Summit,
said his government was prepared to avail funds for the agrarian plan as
long as the money was channelled through the UNDP. Zimbabwe had to go back
to the 1998 undertakings of the donors' conference and the Abuja Agreement
of September 2001.

Under the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, the United States
pledged to avail US$20 million for the resettlement programme and payment
for land to be resettled. This is, however, on condition the country returns
to the rule of law.

Opposition MDC secretary for lands Tendai Biti said any international
monetary support for the current land reform programme was out.

"The issue of giving money to Zimbabwe underthe present governmentis a
non-starter," said Biti."Mugabe cannot be trust-ed. In September last year,
the world was celebrating the Abuja Agreement and we said the world should
never trust these guys.

"Twelve months down the line, our protestations have been vindicated. Any
reincarnation of the Abuja Agreement or in other form is headed for dismal
failure," he said.

Western diplomats, sp-eaking on condition ofanonymity, said the op-portunity
for their res-pective governments tofund the resettlement programme was
irretri-evably lost as the Zimbabwean government was not prepared to disband
the current exercise.

"Mugabe believes that Western donors have a soft spot for white farmers,"
said a diplomat.

"He sees this as slowing the momentum of his revolution if he co-operates
with donors in implementing the plan."

But myriad problems lie in the way of Mugabe's resettlement programme.
Zimbabwe requires $78 billion to finance this year's crop and banks are
generally reluctant to make available the required funds. This comes at the
same time as another huge undertaking the government has to fulfill - food,
fuel and power imports for the nation. Government has struggled over the
last nine months to secure adequate food and, with the little resources at
its disposal, it has to strike a delicate balance between importing food and
funding the agrarian revolution.

The UNDP has refocused itself from brokering for resources for the
resettlement programme to seeking humanitarian assistance for Zimbabwe.

The government last month concluded it had successfully completed the land
reform exercise but its self-serving definition of success will not
immediately translate to putting food on the table and rebuilding the
heavily-depleted grain reserves.

There is the spectre of another drought looming and this requires planning
to expand the existing irrigable land. Despite the construction of numerous
large and medium-sized dams throughout the country, these have not been
fully utilised to irrigate crops due to the absence of infrastructure for
use by farmers. Even now when the country might experience a rainfall
deficit, there is still no such infrastructure in place and it is not
practicable to put it in place before the rains. Worse still, existing
irrigation facilities have been vandalised and pillaged by gangs taking
advantage of the eviction of farmers.

Experts say at least $5 billion is required to put up basic infrastructure
like roads, clinics, schools, boreholes, Blair toilets and dip tanks in
resettled areas. Multi-lateral donor agencies were instrumental in setting
up such infrastructure and their support is required to do the same in
resettled areas.

Even in a good rain season, there is no guarantee that resettlement would
result in bigger yields. Studies have shown that farmers resettled during
the first phase of the programme before 1998 are still producing at almost
the same levels as their counterparts in the communal areas. Thousands of
extension workers who have been employed by the Department of Agricultural
Research and Extension Services (Arex) have not been fully-utilised as
farmers, especially in the A2 scheme, have not taken up their plots.

Seed and fertiliser inputs have to be delivered to the new farmer on time to
take advantage of the early rains. But as of now, the government is yet to
raise money for that. Government is still to reach an agreement with seed
companies and manufacturers on a new price regime. There was chaos in
communal and resettled areas last year when fertiliser was delivered before
seeds which were only made available as the rains tailed off in January this
year. Such mayhem and organisational deficiency cannot be ruled out this
year as distribution of inputs is already late.

Horticultural producers say major markets for fresh produce have been lost
and Zimbabwe has to labour to regain its market share in face of stiff
competition especially from South Africa.

Analysts say Mugabe can demonstrate to the West that he does not need their
money by coming up with an agrarian programme that is orderly, sustainable
and which guaranteed food security. That is not the case at the moment as
Zimbabwe's food crisis has made Mugabe even more dependent on the West.
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Zim Independent


State media fuels further brain drain

ALTHOUGH this column has previously addressed the distressing brain drain
being experienced by Zimbabwe and its appalling consequences, the very
marked loss of critically required skills dictates that the issue be
revisited. The pool of expertise available to Zimbabwe is becoming ever
less, with disastrous repercussions upon the economy. Daily one becomes
aware of yet more who either have left Zimbabwe for pastures further afield,
or who are upon the threshold of departure.

The greatest single contributor to the mass emigration of accountants,
architects, engineers, electricians, fitters and turners, medical personnel,
and numerous others who are highly trained, is the distressed state of the
economy. Most find the continuous upsurge of inflation unbearable, for as
rapidly as they may access increased incomes, those incomes are eroded. For
many, their standards of living are in continuous decline.

For the lucky few, they are able to maintain their lifestyles, but have
little or no expectations to improve upon them. The majority need every cent
of their income and more, to fund that which they perceive as essential to
continuing their way of life, and have therefore had to abandon saving and
investment. For them, accumulation of wealth is no longer possible, with
inevitable resulting concerns as to financial security in later life.

The brain drain is particularly pronounced amongst those who are under 40
years of age, they being more readily able to translocate to other
countries, and being concerned that the state of Zimbabwe's economy is such
that they will never be able to acquire their own home, and the only motor
vehicle they may ever be able to use will be employer provided. And the
brain drain is not confined to any particular sector of Zimbabwean society.
Whites, blacks and Asians are all flooding out of Zimbabwe.

That this is so is readily apparent from authoritative estimates that there
are at least 40 000, and possibly as many as 70 000, Zimbabweans resident in
the United Kingdom. (Some of the recent national census cynically comment
that the results cannot possibly be accurate, as the enumerators failed to
include Harare's latest suburb - London!). Many thousands more throng the
economies of South Africa, Botswana and other neighbouring countries, as do
many in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US.

In the main, the only Zimbabweans who have not joined the mass exodus to
distant lands are those who are either unable to qualify for entry into
other countries, or who are too aged to embark upon new career paths in
different economic environments, or those who are able to exploit the
corruption-ridden opportunities that characterise Zimbabwe today.

But it is not only that the ravages of a government-created economy in the
extreme destruction mode motivates mass emigration. Many are unable to
reconcile to a most uncertain future in the prevailing political
environment, being one devoid of the fundamental principles of democracy
and, instead, verging upon near authoritarianism, and one wherein human
rights are discarded, and the preservation of law and order is of almost
zero concern to those who rule the state.

This has been particularly so for many of the farming community who have
witnessed all that they have striven for over decades being unceremoniously
"stolen" from them on grounds that they had allegedly "stolen" them
originally. That such allegations are devoid of foundation, and that the
farming community has been very willing to facilitate a just and fair,
constructive programme of agrarian reform is irrelevant. But not only have
they been subjected to the loss of their lands and their homes, they have
also been forced to abandon their irrigation and other equipment, farm
machinery and most of their possessions.

To add insult to injury, after they have been reduced to near bankruptcy,
they are forced by the state to pay many millions of dollars to their former
workers as severance and retrenchment packages, notwithstanding that the
termination of employment was not at the instance of the farmers, but as
brought about by the state, enforced by thousands of gangsters who are
enabled to flout the law without compunction.

It is therefore not surprising that highly skilled farmers who could
contribute massively to economic recovery and to a successful land reform
programme are flocking out of the country into the welcoming arms of Zambia,
Mozambique, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, all of whom recognise
the magnitude of the skills of those farmers, and the massive potential to
the economies of those countries that the farmers will develop.

Another major contributor to the disillusionment of most Zimbabweans as to
the deteriorating future are the spurious, specious, incredibly false, and
frequently racist, stories published in newspapers controlled by the state
in general, and by the Minister of Fiction, Fable and Myth in particular.

Like stories which stretch the minds of listeners and viewers to the extreme
because of their manifest lack of realism and plausibility, are continuously
flighted on the audio and visual media. So far-fetched are they that the
public to whom they are addressed fear the development of a completely
totalitarian state, and the further collapse of an already almost derelict
economy. They recognise that the misrepresentation, confrontation and racism
represented by the far-fetched headlines and articles destroy whatever
limited business confidence may exist undermining the residues of the
economy. They also fear that the incredible mouthings of the media could
well be a camouflage for even worse conditions than those of which they are

The examples of the abuse of the principles of freedom of speech are
endless. Two of the innumerable instances which can be cited were the front
page stories of the Herald just over a week ago. The lead story under a
banner headline stating "Plot to sabotage economy" alleged that "Western
donors want to contaminate Zimbabwe's agricultural produce to sabotage the

It cited the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Joseph
Made, as contending that donors were offering Zimbabwe genetically-modified
food because "some people could germinate GM grain, causing it to pollinate
and pollute Zimbabwe's pure grain" and stock feed, in which event Zimbabwe
would then be unable to export grain, beef and poultry, "effectively
derailing the economy".

If Western states did wish to destroy an economy, they would have far more
effective, and rapid ways of doing so without resorting to a hit and miss
strategy of a possible pollution of agricultural output. Moreover, due to
foot and mouth disease, Zimbabwe presently has little opportunity to export
beef, and has no grain for export, whether this year or in the foreseeable
future. Most of all, how is it possible to derail an economy when it has
already been derailed to such an extent that there are no economic
locomotives or coaches left upon the rails?

The same paper announced with very great pride that government "has ploughed
more than 5 500 hectares of land for the newly resettled farmers
countrywide". Is that not a really spectacular achievement! Out of 9 million
hectares acquired by the state for resettlement, a magnificent 5 500 have
been tilled! At the very best, they can yield 15 tonnes of maize, and
probably less. That will next year feed Zimbabwe for all of three days. So
much for food security!

Any thinking person who reads such stories, of which there are dozens each
day, fears - with some justification - that they are nothing but a cover-up
for even greater economic ills than those of which they are aware. After
all, it was in February last year that government claimed that there would
be no lack of food, its responsible minister having witnessed its growth
"with my own eyes"!

Only eight months later (before the drought) it was appealing for
international food aid. So when the media carry stories which even the least
educated know cannot be true, the surmise has to be what ills are being
concealed with government "huff and puff". The consequential insecurity
becomes yet another trigger for emigration of the skilled and yet another
deterrent to investment.
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