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

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Farm Invasions And Security Report
Friday 30 August 2002

This report does not purport to cover all the incidents that are taking place in the commercial farming areas.  Communication problems and the fear of reprisals prevent farmers from reporting all that happens.  Farmers names, and in some cases farm names, are omitted to minimise the risk of reprisals.


·         Reports mainly centre on the arrest, detention and release of farmers throughout the country.  


Chipinge - There are approximately 15 farmers off their farms, farming by telephone. 

Burma Valley - On one farm there was a labour strike on 23.08.02, resolved on 24.08.02.  There is still unrest from the labour, who are wanting an increase of 100%.

The rest of Manicaland is quiet.

No report received.


Beatrice - three Farmers went to court: they were remanded out of custody on bail of $5000.00.  One farmer is not allowed back on to the property.  Additional bail conditions for the other two are not known.  In general theft ongoing of sprinklers, housebreak ins, fencing, and cattle slaughtered and stolen, grazing burnt.  Settlers were settled on one farm where there is only a Section 5. 

Bromley/Ruwa - four farmers went to court and were remanded out of custody on $5000.00 bail until the 2/9/02.  They were allowed back on to their properties only with police escort.

Enterprise – two farmers have been to court and released on technicalities.

Featherstone - one farmer went to court, released out of custody on $5000.00 bail and remanded until 30/8/02 not allowed back on to property.

Harare South – three farmers went to court: one is remanded until 30/8/02, bail of $5000.00 and not allowed back onto property.  This FA not aware of the bail conditions of the other two.   In general, one farmer was barricaded in his house but this was resolved.  A bushfire was lit on one farm and the dam was also netted.  The farmer was told to vacate his farm.  On another farm a cow was slaughtered. 

Marondera – five farmers went to court: all released out of custody on $5000.00 bail, with different remand dates and are allowed back on to their properties to wind up business and move assets, accompanied by a police detail.

Macheke/Virginia – five farmers went to court: four were released out of custody on $5000.00 bail, remanded to 30/8/02 and are allowed back on to properties to wind up business and move assets.  Not aware of the bail conditions yet for the fifth farmer.  In general, one farmer returned to his farm to find his labour had been chased out of the farm village.  Wedsec security was told to move out of Macheke Club.  Various problems experienced with payment of labour with regards to S.I 6.  One farmer had damage to his farm village.  General theft including 3km fencing, 10 irrigation pipes, 4 tyres and 4 wheels.  On one farm the foreman’s wife was beaten up.  One farm received a Section 5.  One farmer returned to his farm to find a barricade, so entered through another route.   

Wedza - 17 farmers went to court: they were released from custody on $5000.00 bail with different remand dates and different dates to wind up business.  They are allowed back on to the property with a police detail.  Two farmers went to the police station, were questioned and released. In general, there are various disputes with regards to S.I. 6.  Two houses on one farm were broken into. 


Beatrice - An elderly, partially disabled member of the community was severely assaulted by three people, one of whom was armed with a revolver.  The motive appeared to be theft, stealing money, a TV, microwave, clothing, a hand held radio, a .303 rifle, two shotguns and a revolver.  The .303 was later recovered.  CID attended and fingerprints were lifted.

Macheke/Virginia – five farms were visited by Ministry of Lands officials and a Policeman asking why the owners had not vacated their farms.  Some of these farms had been de-listed.

No report received.

Norton - On Windsor Farm the owner finally sold his dairy herd after all the intimidation that he faced.  On Tilford the owner has now sold his entire beef herd due to all the interference that has taken place.  On Farnley a uniformed army man with a weapon was seen in the company of the main settler from Beersheba where the owner has just moved out.  In general, there is huge pressure being brought to bear regarding S.I.6 payouts on most farms, and most farmers are paying out at this stage.

Selous - A large number of farm owners remain off their farms.  On Umfuli Banks the A2 settler came into the owner’s house, stopped tobacco grading, flower picking etc.  On Lot A of Cromdale the owner was also evicted by an A2 settler and a number of the workers were arrested for resisting the eviction. 

Chegutu - On Oldham Estate from which the owner was absent due to his arrest, the DA came out and wanted to know why the livestock were still being fed and watered, as this was illegal.  All the geese, chickens, peacocks, ducks etc have been moved off by S.P.C.A.  Some looting has also taken place on the property.  The D.A. also left ten militia on the property.  Minister Chombo was seen on the property as well.  Some of the few farmers that had not received Section 8's previously are receiving them now. 

Kadoma/Chakari/Battlefields - Less than 10% of farmers still remain in their homes, with the majority of homes occupied illegally by A2 settlers and government officials.  On Inniskilling Farm  the owner has finally moved off on the advice of police, even though they admitted he was not illegally in his own home, as a Section 8 had not been received.  Although he was able to move off most of his property, the authorities refused to allow the moveable assets from his boreholes to be removed. 

Masvingo East and Central
– the Beauly Farm owner met with the DA, Masvingo and Police Officials, concerning queries from individuals as to his extension of time given in writing by the DA Masvingo until the end of September.  The owner was told that he has until 31.08.02 to remove the rest of his belongings. He is then not to return to the property.

Chiredzi – the Bangala Ranch owner was given a letter by the DA, Chiredzi enabling him to remove some equipment from his workshop. Two other farmers went to assist. The settlers were not happy with this and barricaded the owner inside his property for two days. This was reported to Police who did not respond. Late afternoon 25.08.02, two Police details and Ministry of Land officials arrived to try and resolve the problem. Settlers were informed the owner had been given written permission. Settlers had already stormed security fence twice and were very angry, hostile and vocal. The situation was resolved.

Save Conservancy - Nothing to report.

General Comments - Barclays Bank of Masvingo are said to be phoning all their clients to enquire as to whether they have been given Section 5 or Section 8 Notices.  Many problems continue all over with labour making demands for payments and retrenchment packages.

No report received.

No report received.                                               Visit the CFU Website

Unless specifically stated that this message is a Commercial Farmers' Union communiqué, or that it is being issued or forwarded to you by the sender in an official CFU capacity, the opinions contained therein are private. Private messages also include those sent on behalf of any organisation not directly affiliated to the Union. The CFU does not accept any legal responsibility for private messages and opinions held by the sender and transmitted over its local area network to other CFU network users and/or to external addressees.
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The Times

            Letters to the Editor

                  August 31, 2002

                  EU 'weakness' over Zimbabwe
                  From Mr John Corrie, MEP for West Midlands region

                  Sir, Earlier this week Zimbabwe's police chief Augustine
Chihuri - for the second time in four months - evaded the European Union's
travel ban imposed on all Mugabe's leading henchmen (report, August 27; see
also letters, August 28, etc). Some seven million Zimbabweans are facing
starvation because of their Government's policies.
                  Chihuri's presence at Interpol's executive meeting in
France must horrify honest police officers across the world. Under Chihuri,
Zimbabwe's police force is an instrument of government oppression as
officers watch Zanu (PF) thugs beat up farmers, farm workers and members of
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

                  But Chihuri could have been stopped if ministers read
their decisions. In February, the 15 EU foreign ministers unanimously agreed
a common position stating, "Member States may grant exemptions" from the
travel ban for international meetings in Europe. "May" does not mean "shall"

                  The same document notes:

                  The exemption will be deemed to be granted unless one or
more of the Council Members raises an objection in writing within 48 hours
of receiving notification of the proposed exemption.

                  Where were the objections from Downing Street?

                  Next week the European Parliament will hold an emergency
debate on Zimbabwe and demand explanations. Rules must be applied strictly
and the travel ban upheld, since weakness is exploited to the full by

                  And on Monday Tony Blair's speech in Johannesburg to the
UN World Summit on Sustainable Development will test the Government's real
commitment to help millions of innocent Zimbabweans.

                  No more words are needed, but a concrete plan of
co-ordinated international action against Zimbabwe as proposed by Canada's
Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien.

                  Yours faithfully,
                  JOHN CORRIE
                  (Development policy spokesman, Group of the European
People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats),
                  European Parliament,
                  Rue Wiertz, B-1047 Brussels.
                  August 29.
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The Telegraph

Fleeing Iraqis push pleas for asylum to record
By Andy McSmith, Chief Political Correspondent
(Filed: 31/08/2002)

Hundreds of Iraqis fleeing Saddam Hussein's regime have pushed the number of
people seeking political asylum in Britain to a record level, the Home
Office confirmed yesterday.

The figure of 20,400 in three months, an increase of four per cent, will put
renewed political pressure on the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, who has
recently had to abandon his target for removing unsuccessful applicants for
asylum from the country.

It is the first time the quarterly figure for the number of asylum seekers
has exceeded 20,000, though the Home Office also claimed a record for the
number of appeals by asylum seekers which had been dealt with. There were
15,525 cases heard, with 3,450 people - a higher than usual proportion -
given permission to stay.

The largest group of asylum seekers in the three months from April to June
was 3,420 Iraqis, an increase of nearly 700 on the previous quarter. The
number from Somalia also increased by about 170 to 1,455, but asylum seekers
from Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, who make the two other largest groups, both

The Home Office also reported a sudden rise in applications from the Czech
republic, most of which were rejected.

Overall, there was a marked increase in the number of asylum seekers given
"exceptional leave" - meaning that they were allowed to remain in the UK on
humanitarian grounds even though they have been unable to prove a concrete
case for being granted asylum.

Immigration officials made 19,625 decisions on asylum applications between
April and June, of which nine per cent were granted, 27 per cent were given
exceptional leave to stay in the UK and 64 per cent were refused. During the
whole of 2001, the proportion granted exceptional leave was 17 per cent, and
in 2000 it was 12 per cent.

Over the summer, the Home Office admitted that the Government had abandoned
the target, set earlier by Blunkett, of removing 30,000 rejected asylum
seekers from Britain each year.

Beverley Hughes, the Immigration Minister, told BBC Radio 4's The World at
One programme: "The 30,000 target that was set some time ago wasn't really a
target that, within the capacity of the organisation at that time, was
readily achievable.

"But a target is not an end in itself, it's a means to an end," she added.
"And in that sense it is achieving that because we have achieved the highest
ever number of people removed in this quarter."

Oliver Letwin, the shadow home secretary, said: "This is yet further proof
that the Government's asylum system is in chaos.

"Our calculations show that it would take 43 years and two months for the
accommodation centres to clear the backlog of asylum claims alone. What is
needed is much faster processing in smaller, one-stop centres."

Nick Hardwick, chief executive of the Refugee Council, said: "You only need
look at the top four nationalities - Iraq, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and
Somalia - of those seeking asylum in this last quarter to see that this
increase proves that the majority of asylum seekers are fleeing for their
lives from harsh and oppressive regimes."
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The Times

            Blair to show solidarity with Zimbabwe farmers
            By Melissa Kite, Political Correspondent

            WHEN Tony Blair arrives in Mozambique today he will deliver a
scathing public rebuke to President Mugabe by a show of solidarity with
white farmers taking refuge there.
            The Prime Minister will spend two days in the region, which as
Zimbabwe's immediate neighbour has offered sanctuary to farmers fleeing the
Mugabe regime, before joining the summit in Johannesburg.

            Mr Blair will highlight the difference between democratic
Mozambique, which is recovering well from civil war and famine, and
Zimbabwe, which continues to deteriorate despite high levels of aid.

            The trip drew a furious response from Mr Mugabe's officials, who
condemned it as provocative. "The visit seems aimed at fuelling tension. Mr
Blair is trying to whip up emotions," one official said.

            The Prime Minister will try to avoid an open slanging match with
Mr Mugabe and will refrain from meeting white farmers face to face during
his visit. However, his visit was clearly designed as a snub to Mr Mugabe
and is the closest Mr Blair has come to a direct confrontation.

            Mr Blair has taken pains not to bump into the Zimbabwean leader
at the summit, where the timing of his main speech has been changed from
Monday afternoon to Monday morning to avoid his appearing just one hour
before the slot allotted to the African leader.

            The visit to Mozambique will also allow the Prime Minister to
avoid spending too long at the summit, which has attracted claims of
junketing amid a sea of African poverty.

            Mr Blair will steer clear of the lavish hospitality laid on for
thousands of delegates in Johannesburg by spending only Monday at the
conference before heading back to Britain that night.

            By visiting Mozambique, the Prime Minister is also hoping to
show that the main aims of the summit - eradicating poverty and safeguarding
scarce world resources - must be coupled with internal reforms in developing

            Mr Blair is expected to have a private dinner with President
Chissano of Mozambique, whose ruling Frelimo party abandoned Marxism in
1989. The Prime Minister will make clear that he regards Mozambique as a
success story and an example of how international aid can work if coupled
with a clampdown on corruption.

            Despite big debts, the former Portuguese colony has enjoyed 19
per cent growth in recent years and has built up a positive trade balance
with the European Union. By contrast, in Zimbabwe coping mechanisms are
stretched and London believes that poor governance has played a major role
in the food shortages.

            In a statement yesterday, the Department for International
Development said: "The crisis underlines the need for good governance in
Africa. The three worst affected countries have been hit by drought, but
have also suffered in varying degrees from poor governance (corruption in
Zambia under the previous Administration, poor economic management and
management of food stocks in Malawi, disastrous land and economic policies
in Zimbabwe), which have turned a fall in agricultural production into a

            Mr Blair will fly on to Johannesburg on Monday to join his
deputy John Prescott, Margaret Beckett, the Environment Secretary, Clare
Short, the International Development Secretary, and Michael Meacher, the
Environment Minister.

            He will then fly overnight to the North East of England, where
he is due to host the third of his series of televised press conferences on

            Iain Duncan Smith, the Conservative leader, has urged Mr Blair
to boycott Mr Mugabe's speech and to use the summit as a platform to
denounce his regime.

            Mr Blair's official spokesman said: "We have no plans for any
meeting with Mr Mugabe." Asked about Mr Mugabe's anger at the Mozambique
visit, he said: "That is entirely a matter for Mr Mugabe, just as our travel
arrangements are a matter for us."
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Note that a section 8 order is NOT an eviction order. According to section 9 (1) (b) it constitutes notice to the owner or occupier to cease to occupy, hold or use land (45 days after 10 May) and notice to cease to occupy the living quarters within 90 days (i.e. 9 August).

Failure to vacate the living quarters may constitute the crime of contravening section 9 91) (b) (ii) for overstaying but it is only if and when the owner/occupier has been convicted that the court should issue an eviction order.

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The Democratic Party in South Africa is trying to establish how many
farmers in Zimbabwe are South African nationals.  They do not necessarily
need your identity, they simply want numbers.  Andries Botha, a Democratic
Party MP will be in the country next week and would like to personally
speak to some SA Nationals who are experiencing problems on their farms so
that he can establish how he can assist them.  If you would like to see
him please contact 011-205 374.  They also need the statistic so please
could you let your provincial JAG Representative know if you are a SA
national even if you had to relinquish your SA citizenship in January.
This information will be completely confidential.


011 - 205 374
091 - 317 264

We have people standing by to help you where we can.


JAG urges you to complete your Loss Claim Documents and return them to JAG
offices at:

17 Phillips Avenue, Belgravia, HARARE         Telephone: 011 424 712

These documents form an important part of JAG's strategy and need to be
completed as soon as possible.

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Please find attached, in the interests of transparency, a letter to
members of CFU in Mash West South Region from Mr. Ben Freeth, Regional
Executive Officer with the CFU Mash West South Region with regard to his
requested resignation from the CFU.

The entire national JAG committee is unreservedly unanimous in their
support for his stand in this matter and urge all farmers to respond with
utmost urgency and support of not only Ben's stand but the resolution
tabled by the Karoi and Tengwe Farmers Associations at last week's
(Wednesday) emergency council meeting called to discuss a representative
action in the high court by CFU on behalf of all farmers against their
Section 8 orders.

In the light of farmer arrests since the 8th August Deadline and current
SI6 retrenchment pressure the situation on the ground has become virtually
untenable.  Many farmers in outlying areas are not in the position to
leave their farms to visit lawyers, lawyers are inundated with individual
high court cases as well as trying to represent farmers in District
Magistrate courts; the Attorney General's office is overflowing with
applications in the High Court.  What is beyond any shadow of doubt, is
that it is those farmers who have not had their Section 8's set aside that
are being targeted by the authorities with both criminal court action and
SI6 retrenchment pressure.  Please give this your urgent attention and
action by pressurizing the CFU through your farmers association to act in
the interests of all farmers in line with the congress vote on legal
advice for the coming year.  A representative action brought by the CFU,
even at this late stage, will go a long way to alleviating most farmers'

If it were possible for JAG to take these representative actions ie.
Sections 8's and SI6, we would not hesitate to do so.  However we are not
yet legalised and duly constituted and do not have the membership to
represent and are not registered with government.

John Worswick

From: CFU Chegutu <>
Date: Tuesday, August 27, 2002 8:28 AM
Subject: Resignation

I was called up to a meeting today at CFU Head Office with President
Cloete and Director Hasluck.  The meeting lasted for an hour and twenty
minutes, and in essence hinged upon the current CFU council direction and
my own beliefs, and the beliefs that I believe that most of the members
have got in this region.  As you are aware the CFU council's decision is
to continue with dialogue, and for this to happen CFU has to be in Colin's
words "accepted politically".  They believe that I am standing in the way
of CFU being accepted politically, and that my prayer at Congress
particularly had stopped a breakthrough in dialogue taking place.  I have
been asked to resign on the grounds that I was not prepared to change my
principles. I am quite willing to resign if the majority of the membership
in this region feel that I am a hindrance to them.  Please send your
replies via this means by return, and ask neighbours without e-mail to get
back in writing as well.  I have been told to get back to the CFU heirachy
on whether I am prepared to resign or not by Wednesday 28th August.

Ben Freeth




Mr Doug Alexander, as Chairman of Battlefields Farmers' Association,
wishes the CFU to exercise every legal right available for its members
and to make appropriate applications to court.  For example: declaring the
Amendment to the Land Acquisition Act 2002 unlawful; opposing restrictive
bail conditions precluding farmers from residing on their farm pending
trial and such other action deemed necessary to protect the legal rights
of farmers with immediate effect.





Mr Keith Croshaw, as Chairman of Chegutu Farmers' Association, wishes the
CFU to exercise every legal right available for its members and to make
appropriate applications to court.  For example: declaring the Amendment
to the Land Acquisition Act 2002 unlawful; opposing restrictive bail
conditions precluding farmers from residing on their farm pending trial
and such other action deemed necessary to protect the legal rights of
farmers with immediate effect.





Mr Alf Read, as Chairman of Kadoma Farmers' Association, wishes the CFU
to exercise every legal right available for its members and to make
appropriate applications to court.  For example: declaring the Amendment
to the Land Acquisition Act 2002 unlawful; opposing restrictive bail
conditions precluding farmers from residing on their farm pending trial
and such other action deemed necessary to protect the legal rights of
farmers with immediate effect.





Mr Trevor Lowein, as Chairman of Suri-Suri Farmers' Association, wishes
the CFU to exercise every legal right available for its members and to
make appropriate applications to court.  For example: declaring the
Amendment to the Land Acquisition Act 2002 unlawful; opposing restrictive
bail conditions precluding farmers from residing on their farm pending
trial and such other action deemed necessary to protect the legal rights
of farmers with immediate effect.

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Washington Times

August 31, 2002

Mugabe withholding food
By David R. Sands

     Zimbabwe's government is using a policy of "selective starvation" to
punish political opponents, enrich supporters and ensure a victory in local
elections next month, according to an American researcher who just completed
a weeklong visit to the south African country.
     John Prendergast, who heads the Africa program for the Belgian-based
International Crisis Group, said in a telephone interview yesterday from
Kenya that the policy of manipulating the food supply has proved even more
effective for the government of President Robert Mugabe than direct violence
and intimidation of his political opponents.
     "What we saw was selective starvation, the use of food as a political
weapon," he said.
     "Local officials were told that if they didn't deliver the vote, they
wouldn't get food for their districts. That's a pretty frightening message
in a region that's already facing a major food shortage," Mr. Prendergast
     Mr. Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe for 22 years, has feuded bitterly
with Britain, the United States and other Western governments in recent
months over a disputed March presidential election and a land redistribution
program that has forcibly displaced about half of the 4,500 white Zimbabwean
farmers who were the backbone of the country's agricultural economy.
     With southern Africa in the grip of a 4-year drought, U.S. Agency for
International Development chief Andrew Natsios said in South Africa he was
"very, very alarmed by what is happening" in Zimbabwe.
     "The wrong policies are in place, and things are sliding fairly rapidly
there," Mr. Natsios told reporters on the sidelines of the U.N. summit on
development now under way in Johannesburg.
     Mr. Mugabe has defended the evictions of white farmers as a necessary
step to address inequalities in land ownership dating back to colonial times
under Britain.
     He has also rejected criticisms of the March elections, widely
denounced by outside monitors for intimidation of the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) and for newly imposed restrictions on the press
and criticism of the government.
     Mr. Prendergast, who has written extensively on Zimbabwe, declined to
detail where he had traveled in the country last week, saying it could
endanger the people he met with.
     But he said he saw clear evidence that the government was using its
control of both foreign food aid supplies and the commercial food and grain
distribution networks to its political advantage.
     "The most affected areas weren't the MDC strongholds like Matabeleland,
but swing districts which might have voted for either [the government] or
the MDC in the past," he said.
     "Because government suppliers have a monopoly of the distribution
networks, cutting back supply sends prices through the roof and is just one
more way for the Mugabe government to steer money to its friends. Put that
on top of the lack of nutrition, the high unemployment and the general
economic decline, and you have a train wreck on the way."
     Zimbabwe holds district elections Sept. 28-29, and Mr. Prendergast said
the government is pushing to run up even bigger majorities than it recorded
in the March presidential vote, an election the Bush administration
denounced last week as "illegitimate."
     The United Nations World Food Program warns that up to 13 million
people across the region could begin to face famine by the end of this year
if emergency food aid is not forthcoming. At least 6 million Zimbabweans,
half of the country's population, could face crippling food shortages and
starvation, according to U.N. figures.
     Based on his tour of Zimbabwe, Mr. Prendergast said mortality rates
among AIDS sufferers in Zimbabwe have already spiked because of the
declining food stocks. At an estimated 35 percent of the population,
Zimbabwe has the second-highest infection rate in the world after Botswana.
     While much of the Western criticism has focused on the struggles of the
white farmers, Mr. Prendergast said the government's food policies have been
far more devastating for the 1.5 million black farm workers and their
families who have been ousted from their plots as the white-owned farms are
     Although the drought is real, the researcher said the food crisis in
Zimbabwe was fundamentally a result of the government's control of the aid
and commercial distribution channels.
     "If you broke the government's monopoly on the commercial food
distribution chain, you could avert the famine tomorrow," he said.
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Business Day

Mugabe expected to arrive today

Some 19 government leaders will arrive in South Africa today to attend the
World Summit on Sustainable Development.
The group comprised presidents, deputy presidents and prime ministers,
Foreign Affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said last night.

The countries whose leaders were expected to arrive in South Africa today
are Gambia, Canada, Qatar, Argentina, Oman, Bangladesh, Romania, Guinea,
Croatia, Belgium, North Korea, Panama, Armenia, Ghana, New Zealand,
Mauritius, Tuvalu, Dominique and Luthenia, Mamoepa said.

Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe is also expected to arrive at Johannesburg
International Airport today, according to sources at the WSSD.

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Mail and Guardian

UN condemns Zimbabwe over attack on magistrate


      31 August 2002 10:23

Zimbabwean authorities broke international law by failing to protect a
magistrate who refused to detain opposition members and was later assaulted
by supporters of President Robert Mugabe, a United Nations expert said on

The UN special investigator on the freedom of judges and lawyers, Param
Cumaraswamy, said he condemned an attack by Mugabe loyalists on magistrate
Walter Chikwanha.

Cumaraswamy said in a statement that earlier this month Chikwanha had been
dragged from his courtroom in the town of Chipinge and beaten after he
refused to place in custody several members of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change.

Mugabe supporters also attacked the property of a lawyer who defended the
opposition party members, he said.

"The provision of adequate protection to judges and lawyers when their
safety is threatened is a basic prerequisite for safeguarding the rule of
law," Cumaraswamy said. "This is simply fundamental, in order to guarantee
the right to a fair trial by an independent and impartial tribunal and the
protection of human rights."

"The apparent failure to do so in this case represents a serious threat to
the independent judicial system in Zimbabwe," he added.

"Unfortunately, this represents another example of the government of
Zimbabwe's continuing disregard for the independence of the judiciary and
contempt for the rule of law."

Cumaraswamy, a Malaysian lawyer, has criticized Zimbabwe authorities on
several previous occasions.

Zimbabwe has been suffering its worst political crisis since gaining
independence from Britain in 1980. Independent media outlets and opposition
activists say they have been subject to attacks by ruling party militants
during two years of political unrest.

The government also has ordered the seizure of farms owned by the country's
white minority, but has been accused of distributing the confiscated land to
its supporters.

Zimbabwe is facing an economic crisis, with nearly half the population of
12,5-million needing food aid.

Meanwhile, Mugabe arrived in Johannesburg on Saturday morning to attend the
World Summit on Sustainable Development in Sandton.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said Mugabe arrived at the Johannesburg
International Airport. He will be attending the heads of state meeting next
week. - Sapa-AP
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Financial Times

      WHO urges use of GM food aid

      By James Lamont in Johannesburg, Alan Beattie in Washington
and,Frances Williams in Geneva
      Published: August 31 2002 5:00 | Last Updated: August 31 2002 5:00

      The World Health Organisation said yesterday it had sought to reassure
drought-stricken southern African governments that genetically modified
emergency food aid from the US was safe to eat.

      But Gro Harlem Brundtland, WHO director general, said she had not
secured commitments from southern African health ministers at a meeting in
Harare this week to accept GM maize from the US. Some 17,000 tonnes of the
grain is waiting in warehouses in Lusaka for distribution.

      Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique have refused to accept GM maize
intended for 14m hungry people across southern Africa.

      Mrs Brundtland said: "They were suspicious about where the maize came
from - whether it was only for Africans. We were able to correct the
misperceptions. We said that there was no scientific evidence that there was
any risk to human health by eating these foods."

      The WHO, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Food
Programme have acknowledged concerns that GM seeds might "escape" and
compromise the GM-free status of the countries' grain exports. But they say
these could be overcome by milling or heat treatment of the GM grain.

      The WHO fears 300,000 could die from hunger and disease in the region
in the next six months.

      The US is increasingly exasperated by the rejection of its food, which
represents about 50 per cent of the region's emergency supplies. It has
offered to take African scientists to Washington to try to undo a campaign
of misinformation it believes stems from NGOs and the EU.

      The region's food shortages and the political crisis in Zimbabwe are
likely to take centre stage at the UN World Summit on Sustainable
Development in Johannesburg on Monday. In attending the summit Zimbabwe's
President Robert Mugabe is braving a clash with the US, the European Union,
the UK and the Commonwealth over his clampdown on political opposition and
the eviction of white farmers.

      "Zimbabwe wouldn't be having any drought if they had allowed two more
years of commercial farming. To do this [evictions] now is madness," said
Andrew Natsios, the administrator of the US international development

      The debate over who is to blame for food shortages has also raged in
Malawi over liberalisation of the food market. The crisis in Malawi followed
the dismantling of a state agricultural board, which intervened in the
market to fix prices and maintain emergency stocks.

      The board was expensive and beset by corruption. The European Union,
IMF and World Bank recommended its marketing function be put on a commercial
basis and other responsibilities transferred to a new food reserves agency.
They said the reserves stockpile should be cut from 167,000 tons to
30,000-60,000 tons. In fact, the reserves were almost completely sold off.

      The IMF and the World Bank reject claims that they are to blame for
Malawi's food shortage, saying their advice was not followed.

      Local NGOs say the food crisis is the result of ambitious and
badly-designed liberalisation. Ecology opens for business, Page 9

      Fears over weakness of deal as leaders ready to jet in

      As summit officials prepared for the arrival of heads of state, doubts
were raised last night over the strength of any political agreement, John
Mason writes from Johannesburg.

      Ministers rather than officials have taken charge of attempts to reach
agreement on plans to reduce poverty and environmental degradation before
the arrival of world leaders tomorrow night.

      Lack of agreement so far on big issues and the limited time left have
raised fears that the final plans of action to achieve UN objectives could
be weaker than many, particularly the European Union, would like.

      Differences between the US and the EU on issues such as climate
change, sanitation and bio-diversity remain the main stumbling blocks.
However, developing countries remain opposed to new conditions about good
governance and human rights being attached to aid programmes.

      Concern over the lack of progress led the EU to "shake the tree" and
call for ministers to take charge of talks. Hans Christian Schmidt, Danish
environment minister, said: "The Johannesburg summit must be remembered as
the summit of action, not the summit of talk."

      John Prescott, Britain's deputy prime minister, warned failure in
Johannesburg could damage the prospects of the Doha trade talks and other
multilateral agreements. But he remained confident an agreement could be

      However, the prospects of a weak agreement alarmed environmentalists.
Paul Jefferiss, head of policy at the Royal Society for the Protection of
Birds, said: "There is great pressure on the EU to capitulate and agree a
weak text. It would be a disaster for the poor and the planet if that
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Mail and Guardian

      31/08/2002 11:14  - (SA)

Mugabe arrives for WSSD

Johannesburg - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has arrived in South
Africa to attend the UN Earth Summit.

A Foreign Affairs spokesperson had no word on where the veteran leader had
gone after flying in to Johannesburg airport, but delegates said he had gone
to a major hotel at the conference site.

Zimbabwe has been gripped by a political and economic crisis since
pro-government militants invaded white-owned farms in early 2000 in support
of Mugabe's campaign to redistribute farms to landless blacks.

Hosts South Africa have vowed to keep the Zimbabwe crisis from hijacking the
main agenda at the gathering of world leaders, who are expected to agree a
non-binding plan to tackle poverty without damaging the environment.

But land issues are expected to figure prominently at the gathering,
officially known as the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

Mugabe's government, ignoring critics both at home and abroad, has ordered 2
900 of the country's remaining 4 500 white commercial farmers to quit their
land without compensation.

The disruption to agriculture in Zimbabwe, once the bread-basket of southern
Africa, has happened as millions in the region face food shortages.

The United States and European Union imposed travel and financial sanctions
on Mugabe and his ruling elite after his controversial re-election in March
polls condemned as flawed by the opposition and some Western states.

The 78-year-old Mugabe, who has been in power since the former Rhodesia
gained independence from Britain in 1980, insists the elections were fair.

Britain, the former colonial power, has been a particular target of his
wrath. Prime Minister Tony Blair, who left for the region on Saturday, could
come face-to-face with Mugabe, who has called Blair a "little man" acting
like a "gangster".

In all about 100 world leaders from the nearly 200 countries represented at
the United Nations are due in Johannesburg to sign up to a broad but
non-binding plan calling for actions ranging from cleaning up water supplies
to saving trees and fighting Aids.
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Mother forced to sing tyrant's praises as his men raped daughter

By Christina Lamb in Harare
September 1 2002
The Sun-Herald - Australia

"The game we are about to play needs music," the Zimbabwean police constable
said to the12-year-old girl. But as he tossed a mattress on to the ground it
was clear that it was no game he was planning.

For the next four hours the girl's mother and younger sisters, aged nine and
seven, were forced to chant praises to President Robert Mugabe and watch
Dora being gang-raped by five "war veterans" and the policeman.

"Every time they stopped singing, the policeman and war vets beat them with
sjamboks and sticks," said Dora, crying and clenching her hands repeatedly
as she recalled the ordeal that took place behind her family hut in a
village in the dark shadow of the Vumba mountains of Manicaland, in eastern
Zimbabwe. "They kept thrusting themselves into me over and over again
saying: 'This is the punishment for those of you who want to sell this
country to Tony Blair and the whites.' When they had finished, it hurt so
much I couldn't walk."

Now in hiding, spending most of her nights in frightened wakefulness, she
remembers feeling the rough breath on her face, the hands forcing apart her
thighs, and "that animal thing" as she calls it slamming into her underfed
body. Dora was raped because her father is a supporter of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change. He is not a candidate, not a party official,
just a simple carpenter who had mistakenly believed that he lived in a
country where he could vote for whom he liked.

Dora's story, as she tells it, started with a Land Rover full of war
veterans drawing up at the door about 10pm one evening in June, while her
father was away, and ended with her left bruised and bleeding at 2.30am.
"There had been a bad luck owl in the msasa tree that day," she said,
recalling hearing it in between passing out. But the real beginning of the
horror can be traced back to March when her village voted against Mr Mugabe
in the presidential elections. For rape has become the latest weapon in Mr
Mugabe's war against his own population. Dora's screams in the African night
were a warning to all the other villagers as to what might happen to those
who even think of defying the President again.

Dora is one of hundreds of young girls who are being raped in the fields and
mountains of rural Zimbabwe every month as part of what human rights workers
are calling a "systematic political cleansing of the population".

Many of the girls are taken to camps run by Mr Mugabe's youth militia, the
Green Bombers; a sinister parallel to the rape camps of Bosnian Muslim women
established by Serb forces in the early 1990s. And with half the country
facing starvation, more and more youths are being lured to join the militia
by the prospect of food.

In Zimbabwe, though, there is an extra, fatal dimension to the ordeals that
the women endure: with at least 38 per cent of the population HIV positive,
the rape is often a death sentence.

"We're seeing an enormous prevalence of rape and enough cases to say it's
being used by the State as a political tool with women and girls being raped
because they are wives, girlfriends or daughters of political activists,"
said Tony Reeler, the clinical director of the Amani Trust, a Harare-based
organisation that monitors and treats torture victims. "There are also
horrific cases of girls as young as 12 or 13 being taken off to militia
camps, used and abused and kept in forced concubinage. But I suspect, as
with Bosnia, the real extent of what is happening is going to take a hell of
a long time to come out."

Rape goes unreported in many parts of the world, but more so in Africa,
particularly in rural areas where a raped daughter is seen as bringing shame
on the family and afterwards becomes hard to marry. The pressure to remain
silent is even stronger in a repressive police state where the police are
often the perpetrators. Dora's family did go to the police station only to
be laughed at with the words: "We're not fools to arrest one of our

Nor do many rape victims receive medical treatment. In Dora's case the local
clinic had no drugs and the family did not have the money to take her to
hospital, so she is being treated with traditional herbs. Her own dreams of
becoming a nurse are in tatters as she is terrified that she may have been
infected with the AIDS virus.

Fear and hunger are what passes for life in much of Zimbabwe. In Harare
there is a facade of normality - workmen repaint the blue trolley shelter in
the gleaming new airport terminal, the traffic lights work and pavement
cafes serve the best cappuccino in Africa. The roads are full of gleaming
new BMWs, known as "girlfriends of ministers' cars", bought by government
officials profiting from black market money speculation.

The only signs of anything amiss are the long, snaking queues for bread,
sugar and fuel, the absence of maize (previously the country's staple food)
from all shops and the number of people simply hanging around. Unemployment
has now reached 70 per cent of the working population.
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Blair to press regional leaders on Zimbabwe

MAPUTO, Aug. 31 - Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Saturday he
would raise Zimbabwe's ''appalling catalogue of mismanagement and
corruption'' with southern African leaders during a three-day visit to the
       Blair told reporters on his flight to Mozambique that Britain was
doing all it could to seek change in Zimbabwe.

       But he added that an international summit on protecting the
environment and enriching poor nations in Johannesburg -- which Blair is due
to address on Monday -- should not be held hostage to the crisis across
South Africa's northern border.
       ''There is a gross and appalling catalogue of mismanagement and
corruption (by President Robert Mugabe's government),'' Blair said. ''That
is why we are doing everything we possibly can to put pressure on that
government to change.''
       ''But it will not and should not dominate us talking about the future
of the planet as a whole,'' he added.
       Zimbabwe, a former British colony, has been gripped by a deepening
political and economic crisis since pro-government militias invaded
white-owned farms in early 2000 in support of Mugabe's campaign to
redistribute their land to landless blacks.
       Mugabe says the actions are a necessary redress of colonial
injustices. Britain says Mugabe is pushing a fertile country to the brink of
famine while enriching his cronies.
       The crisis in Zimbabwe has cast a shadow over plans to create an
African renaissance, championed by Blair, which links increased Western
trade and aid with good governance and economic reform by African countries.
       ''The whole of that region has an interest and responsibility (in
Zimbabwe). That's something I want to discuss with African leaders,'' Blair
       Blair said his two-day visit to President Joaquim Chissano's
Mozambique is aimed at highlighting an African leader ''who is taking his
development programme seriously, doing the right thing,'' in stark contrast
to Mugabe.
       Blair will visit British-funded programmes in the Mozambican city of
Beira on Sunday, including projects to support adult and children's
education and a hospital accident and emergency department.
       Britain has promised to boost its aid to Africa to one billion pounds
a year and Blair said it was ''important that people realise that this money
goes with strict controls and is well spent.''

       Blair sounded a guarded note of optimism that up to 200 nations
meeting in South Africa could strike a deal to promote sustainable
development and protect the environment.
       Ministers and officials have been haggling all week over issues
including trade, energy and sanitation before the arrival of world leaders
in Johannesburg.
       ''My there is a will to find an agreement,'' Blair
       He said it was crucial that the summit endorse previous environmental
commitments made at meetings in Rio and Kyoto, as well as delivering
tangible steps forward both on the environment and economic development.
       ''It's important we send out a big signal in South Africa that we are
going to hold to positions that we have agreed -- there shouldn't be any
backsliding,'' he said.
       ''Secondly (it's important) we get certain specific deliverables that
we want to see on areas like fisheries, education, poverty, sanitation and so on.''
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Mozambique leader backs Zimbabwe seizures
August 31, 2002 Posted: 1:51 PM EDT (1751 GMT)

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano gave his
backing to land redistribution in neighboring Zimbabwe, where the government
seized thousands of white-owned farms, state-owned media reported Saturday.

"We would like to express our solidarity to all Zimbabweans involved in the
process, which is aimed at enlarging the number of Zimbabwean citizens with
access to land," Chissano, on a one-day visit to Harare on Friday, said in
an address broadcast on state radio.

Zimbabwe has experienced more than two years of political and economic
chaos, widely blamed on the ruling party. The government's decision to
target 95 percent of white-owned farms for allocation to landless blacks has
contributed to widespread food shortages and left half the country's 12.5
million people in danger of starvation.

Western governments have condemned the land seizures and accused longtime
President Robert Mugabe of rigging recent presidential elections, but
African leaders have been reluctant to criticize a long-standing political

Chissano's remarks came a day ahead of a two-day visit to Mozambique by
British Prime Minister Tony Blair, one of Mugabe's fiercest critics. Blair
is due to visit the central port of Beira Saturday and have talks with the
Mozambican leader. The crisis in Zimbabwe is expected to top the agenda.

Britain, the United States and several other countries have imposed targeted
sanctions against Zimbabwe, denying senior officials entry visas and
freezing their overseas assets.

Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since its independence in 1980, has in turn
vilified the British government, blaming the former colonial power for many
of his country's problems.

In the Mozambican capital, Maputo, Foreign Minister Leonardo Simao said
Saturday relations between Mozambique and Britain were excellent and that
the timing of Chissano's visit to Zimbabwe was a coincidence.

Chissano, a moderate leader who has welcomed evicted white Zimbabwean
landowners to farm in his country, denied recent reports that his government
was working with the United States to isolate Mugabe.

"I don't know why (the United States) made this statement because as far as
I know we have had not contact with America about Zimbabwe for a long time,"
Chissano told the state-owned Herald newspaper shortly before returning to

"I would not be here if I had ill feelings about President Mugabe," he said.
"Zimbabwe is not a danger to Mozambique and Mozambique is not a danger to
Zimbabwe, so it is clear there is nothing of that nature."
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Zimbabwe's Mugabe to defend policies at summit

      Reuters News Agency

      Johannesburg - Zimbabwe said on Saturday that President Robert Mugabe
would defend at the Earth summit the controversial land-reform policies that
have brought sanctions against him.

      Speaking to reporters in Johannesburg, Information Minister Jonathan
Moyo rejected accusations that the drive to seize white-owned commercial
farms for redistribution to landless blacks was responsible for a looming
famine in the country.

      "We uphold certain political values such as sovereignty, independence
and pan-African solidarity. These are things we have to pursue here," he

      Mr. Moyo was asked whether he would deliver this message in person to
the British delegation. He said that Mr. Mugabe would address the UN
meeting: "They will hear the president's voice...We hope Britain will be
there to listen."

      As leader of Zimbabwe's former colonial ruler, British Prime Minister
Tony Blair has often been singled out for special attacks by Zimbabwean
state media and cabinet officials. In return, Mr. Blair has openly derided
Mr. Mugabe, calling him a "little man" running a government of "gangsters."

      Agriculture Minister Joseph Made told Reuters that Zimbabwe would not
accept genetically modified foodstuffs as part of mostly U.S. aid shipments
to its famine-threatened population.

      "We do not accept genetically modified material into Zimbabwe," Mr.
Made said. World Food Programme officials said, however, that Zimbabwe has
previously accepted GM food aid.

      Mr. Mugabe accuses Britain of supporting his opponents and seeking to
entrench white dominance of the farm-based economy. The United States and
European Union have imposed travel and financial sanctions on Mr. Mugabe and
his ruling elite after his contentious re-election in March polls condemned
as flawed by the opposition and most Western states.

      Mr. Mugabe has vowed to press ahead with the eviction of 2,900 of the
country's 4,500 remaining white commercial farmers despite legal challenges
at home and criticism by the West.

      "The fast-track land resettlement program is over. There are no people
who need to move in, there are people who need to move out ... We are now
praying that God gives us the next thing, the rains," Mr. Moyo said.

      Zimbabwe is at the centre of southern Africa's worst drought in a
decade, with six million of its 13 million people facing starvation. Aid
agencies and farmers say the land campaign has hurt food output but Mr. Moyo
blamed the crisis only on drought.

      "While we are having drought, they (Europeans) are having floods. Are
they able to do anything with those floods? Are they able to grow anything?
No. So you cannot judge us on such issues as the drought."

      Of six southern African nations threatened by famine, Zambia has also
rejected GM grain. Most of it comes from the United States, which is
providing the bulk of food aid in the region. Asked if he was prepared to
discuss the aid issue with U.S. officials at the Earth Summit, agriculture
minister Made said: "There is nothing to discuss ... You can't use the
Zimbabwean population as guinea pigs."

      Mr. Moyo described as "hogwash" and "colonial propaganda" a report in
Britain's Daily Telegraph that commandos from Britain's elite SAS had
conducted reconnaissance missions along Zimbabwe's border to ready for a
possible emergency evacuation of British citizens.

      "They (Britain) should simply ask for our assistance and we will help
them in a civilized way and make sure they get on board the next British
Airways flight to London," he said.
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Sky News

      Blair And Mugabe May Clash

      Zimbabwe has said at the Earth Summit that President Robert Mugabe
would defend the policies that have brought sanctions against his country.

      Mugabe is due to speak after his 'enemy' British PM Tony Blair on

Speaking to reporters at the summit in Johannesburg, Information Minister
Jonathan Moyo rejected accusations that the drive to seize white-owned farms
to give to landless blacks was casing famine in the country.

'Pursue here'

"We uphold certain political values such as sovereignty, independence and
pan-African solidarity. These are things we have to pursue here," he said.

Moyo was asked whether he would deliver this message in person to the
British delegation. He said Mugabe would address the UN meeting: "They will
hear the president's voice...We hope Britain will be there to listen."

Mugabe has called Blair a "little man" running a government of "gangsters".

GM food

Agriculture Minister Joseph Made said that Zimbabwe would not accept
genetically modified foodstuffs as part of mostly US aid shipments to its
famine-threatened population.

The United States and European Union imposed travel and financial sanctions
on Mugabe and his ruling elite after his controversial re-election in March
polls condemned as flawed by the opposition and most Western states.

            Last Updated: 16:11 UK, Saturday August 31, 2002
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ABC News

Zimbabwe Rules Out GM Food Aid, Won't Talk to U.S.

      Aug. 31
      - JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Zimbabwe will not accept genetically
modified (GM) foodstuffs as part of mostly U.S. aid shipments to its
famine-threatened population, its agriculture minister, Joseph Made, said on

      "We do not accept genetically modified material into Zimbabwe," Made
told Reuters in Johannesburg following the arrival of President Robert
Mugabe for the Earth Summit.

      Of six southern African nations threatened by famine, Zambia has also
rejected GM grain. Most of it comes from the United States, which is
providing the bulk of food aid in the region.

      Zambia has said it shares European fears that GM is not safe and wants
its own scientists to probe the issue. Western nations have accused Mugabe's
government of hurting output in southern Africa's "breadbasket" through land
seizures from white farmers.

      Asked if he was prepared to discuss the aid issue with U.S. officials
at the Earth Summit, Made said: "There is nothing to discuss...You can't use
the Zimbabwean population as guinea pigs...There is no way we can bring that
material into Zimbabwe, which is a very clean environment."
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31/08/2002 15:32  - (SA)    
It's Bob, the Brits and the 'Battle of Zimbabwe'
Dumisane Hlope

The second week is likely to see Britain and Zimbabwe assuming the centre stage of the political theatre. Political point-scoring at the World Summit on Sustainable Development will be the order of the day.

British politicians, and their media in alliance with certain sections of the South Africa media, will regurgitate their unmodified jargon about Zimbabwe - "all the problems start and end with President Robert Mugabe".

The opposite is also assumed - get rid of Mugabe and Zimbabwe will be on the road to recovery.

Undoubtedly, Mugabe will use the summit to endear himself in the world of international diplomacy. He will cry foul as a victim of British machinations, that it has not yet sunk into the British political psyche that Zimbabwe is no longer Rhodesia. It is a free country - Zimbabwe. Meanwhile, the Brits will portray Mugabe as the man dragging Zimbabwe down the drain. Hence, a bit of Zimbabwean history is necessary.

White settlers brought capitalism to Zimbabwe during the 1890s. While committed to the free-market economy, the settlers were not comfortable with competing with the indigenous black people. Hence, they undertook to deliberately disempower black people. They therefore seized land belonging to black people.

With the emerging mining industry, many blacks were driven to work for low wages in the mines. Those who did not make it to the mines were allowed some land ownership, but barred from mass commercial farming.

Contrary to the racial connotations that blacks cannot produce en masse, and only produce to eat, many of the black farmers at the time were quite well-off from farming. As a result of this threat to white settler farmers, many blacks were driven into the reserves.

Also of concern to the settlers was the possibility of blacks ascending to the middle and upper classes, particularly in the cities. Consequently, the settler administration limited time periods during which blacks could work or stay in the cities. A similar restriction was extended to black mineworkers.

In the second half of the 1940s, the white settler population in Zimbabwe grew considerably. As a result, the then Rhodesian administration implemented a British model of a welfare state. It included the subsidisation of white farmers (just like the Americans and the Europeans are doing now), the reservation of quality jobs for whites only and the undermining of the means for industrial growth of black people.

In short, this was a white settler developmental state. Basically, the white settler regime did all it could to structurally entrench white privilege on the one hand and black poverty on the other.

Put succinctly; both white privilege and black poverty in Zimbabwe were primarily politically driven. Thus, Zimbabwe's crises are not simply a matter of the rule of law and the so-called "right economic fundamentals", but mainly political. In short, they need a political solution. The question is, what kind of politics?

Despite the structural constraints from the settler Rhodesian administration, Mugabe's regime did relatively well in the first four years of liberation, particularly in land redistribution programmes. However, this was not sustained for various reasons.

These included the World Bank-imposed structural adjustment programmes. In addition, white farmers convinced all and sundry that they were the only viable producers of food - therefore land redistribution would be unfortunate; the Brits and Americans failed to honour their undertaking to fund the land redistribution process; and some within the black ruling elite grabbed for themselves massive commercial lands rather than redistributing them to the most deserving.

Moreover, the white population disengaged itself from public political engagement, opting instead to hang on jealously to their properties and disregarding the necessity to share the land with their fellow black citizens of Zimbabwe. They made themselves into an economic community island in the midst of black poverty and landlessness.

This is a lesson for white farmers in both South Africa and Namibia, namely that the white socio-economics of exclusivity among the sea of black poor and landlessness is one of the ingredients for chaos such as that witnessed in Zimbabwe.

Namibia's Sam Nujoma has already drawn the attention of white farmers in Namibia to this realisation. While state officials in the South African government have assured the white propertied in this country that the Zimbabwean situation will not happen here, they nevertheless cannot guarantee that.

Political situations such as those of Zimbabwe are not necessarily planned by a government - they originate with the masses or a certain powerful sector of society. Therein, the government has the choice either to squash such protests violently or condone them, such as Mugabe has done.

Ideally, the land question should be debated seriously at the summit. Land is one of the central assets in sustainable development. It is the basis of shelter, food production and capital development. It would therefore be unfortunate if the summit were to be caught in political machinations between Mugabe and his British political foes.

While Mugabe has lost the plot in Zimbabwe, he is correct to argue that land resolution is a political issue. It is first a political issue before it is a legal issue. In fact, British concern about Zimbabwe is as political as it is economic. Much as the South Africa's DA concern about Zimbabwe is as political as economic.

Both the British government and the DA are concerned about the well-being of white farmers in Zimbabwe. While there are justifiable concerns when Mugabe resorts to giving his cronies land instead of a genuine redistribution, it is also malicious to assume that food productivity is incapable without white farmers.

Whites are not born with genetic dispositions to mass farm production. Farming is an acquired skill. Zimbabwe's agricultural industry can prosper in the hands of black people. The same applies to Namibia, South Africa and anywhere else in Africa.

While Mugabe may have reached his "sell-by date", it is fallacious to reduce part of an unfortunate history to one man. Colonialists such as Britain need to own up to their contribution of chaos in Zimbabwe and elsewhere in Africa.

The Brits cannot be colonisers and yet wear the hat of saviour.

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