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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

      Zanu PF ecstatic over Makoni exit
      By Farai Mutsaka

      THE removal from cabinet of former finance and economic development
minister, Simba Makoni, has sparked joy and celebration within Zanu PF
circles, especially among those who had vigorously campaigned for Makoni's

      According to information reaching The Standard, Makoni's departure
from cabinet marks the success of a bitter smear campaign against the former
finance minister by an influential section within the ruling party. The
campaign had seen Makoni being maligned even by the state-owned media-a rare
thing indeed for the pro-Zanu PF media.

      Sources said two camps had emerged within the party, both determined
to have Makoni out and that last week, they had both been "celebrating" the
success of their mission.

      Although united in their anti-Makoni crusade, the two camps had
different reasons for wanting Makoni out. One of the camps, made up mainly
of the old guard, had become insecure over suggestions that Makoni was the
only person fit to succeed Mugabe, while the other camp, led by Chinhoyi MP
Philip Chiyangwa, was dissatisfied with Makoni's approach to economic

      Some members of the anti-Makoni crusade who talked to The Standard,
described his exit as one of 'good riddance to bad rubbish'.

      They dismissed a public outcry over his departure from cabinet, saying
Makoni was a failed presidential appointee. In explaining Makoni's departure
from cabinet, President Mugabe himself had admitted that there had been
differences between Makoni and the rest of the cabinet over his economic

      Makoni's detractors within the party said the former finance minister'
s track record, both as a politician and a businessman, had been one of

      Chiyangwa said Makoni's exit had been long overdue and signified a
vote of no confidence from the ruling party because of his deviation from
party policies.

      "This man was appointed by the president. Although he has been in Zanu
PF for a long time he has failed to command respect, even in village
politics. He has been an appointee through and through-in parliament, in
government and in the politburo. His history is littered with failure since
the days of independence when he was the youngest minister-he was booted out
of Sadc and later Zimpapers. His is a history of demise.

      "His actions were tantamount to a departure from the promises Zanu PF
made during the campaign and that is why he received a vote of no confidence
from the party. Immediately after the elections, the man went for the
devaluation of our currency and from then, it became a priority for him, yet
it was not on the Zanu PF agenda. The new thinking in Zanu PF cannot allow
for someone who is so detached from the people," said Chiyangwa.

      A central committee member who refused to be named echoed Chiyangwa's
sentiments: "He is just one of those people who are protected by his doctor
qualifications. Ndiudzewo paakamborova ndima kuti ndepapi (Tell me one
success story he has). To be a doctor doesn't necessarily mean you are good.
When he came in, he was a presidential appointee and we could not challenge
the presidency, but we knew it was a mistake to appoint such a guy. Now that
he is out we can expose him for what he is. Even if he joins the opposition
he will not work wonders."

      Contacted for comment, Makoni said he was not yet prepared to talk to
the media.

      "Call me next week. I will have made up my mind then on what to say,"
he said.

      Makoni fell out of favour with the ruling party after consistently
calling for the devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar. This led him to being
branded a saboteur by Mugabe.

      However, despite his fall out with Mugabe, Makoni managed to retain
public sympathy as most people saw him as the only level headed cabinet
minister, who could help pull Zimbabwe out of its economic quagmire.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

      Donors' withdrawal threatens research stations
      By Debra Mazango

      MOST research stations dotted around Zimbabwe are set to close as
donors have withdrawn their sponsorship citing failure by the Mugabe regime
to end the unlawful land seizures and violence rocking the nation.

      Investigations by The Standard last week revealed that all was not
well at the once thriving research stations which used to provide many
solutions to agriculture related problems facing the country.

      Work at the stations, where experiments aimed at improving seed, soil
and livestock productivity used to take place, has almost ground to a halt
due to lack of funding.

      Donors, mainly EU countries alarmed by the chaotic land reform
exercise that has disrupted prime agricultural activities, stopped funding
agricultural research stations in the country some months ago, threatening
their viability.

      These countries have also slapped sanctions on Mugabe and his proteges
in a bid to dissuade them from a dangerous political and economic path that
has ruined the once bread basket of southern Africa.

      Said a senior research officer based at Makoholi Research Station in

      "All was well until farm invasions started in 1999. We started seeing
red as the centre, hard hit by reduced funding, started to operate below
capacity. Things have gone worse and at the moment we are surviving on
residual funds which will take us nowhere since we need to do more
experiments in light of the land reform programme."

      The officer bemoaned the fact that this was occurring at a time when
the centre had to gear up to challenges presented by the resettlement
exercise which saw some with no agricultural experience taking up pieces of
land left by white commercial farmers.

      "We may be forced to close down unless the government comes to our
rescue,'' said the officer.

      The Standard is informed that as funding has dried up, government has
been forced to recruit agricultural research extension (Arex) officers who
do not have the scientific knowledge that is required to improve
productivity on the lands.

      "The commercial farmers had always come to our rescue as they sourced
donations from western countries but since they were chased away, we do not
know how our stations will survive," said a research officer based in

      Grasslands Research Station in Marondera which used to be a hive of
activity is now a pale shadow of itself. Without the financial support of
the EU countries and Australia, work has been been badly affected, leaving
research specialists frustrated and with virtually nothing to do.

      A senior research officer for livestock at the station said:
"Australia had offered financial assistance for crucial experiments as from
November, but all this has been shattered because of Zimbabwe's wayward
policies which have reduced this nation to a pariah state."

      The director of Research snd Specialist Services Mrs Gata, was not
available for comment at the time of going to press.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

      Agriculture Show: A big flop
      By Itai Dzamara and Debra Mazango

      WITH a suppressed grin depicting shame, veteran journalist WiIf Mbanga
described this year's Harare Agriculture Show in these words:

      "There is no show. If you go around the stands, you will notice that
at most stands, people are displaying goods smuggled from South Africa and
Botswana. We are witnessing a show of little things. We would have expected
Zimbabwean products to be on display. But most sectors are collapsing, hence
the absence of their products."

      Mbanga's words correctly described the show, which was dominated by
small scale entrepreneurs, especially those in the business of selling
imported clothing. Most big companies, which have regularly exhibited at the
annual event stayed away this year as they were still reeling from an
acrimonious business environment created by President Mugabe's warped
economic policies.

      Top of the list of the counter-productive economic policies are
meaningless price controls, daily price rises of basic commodities and the
chaotic land reform programme.

      Lever Brothers, the major manufacturer of cooking oil and detergent
did not exhibit at the show.

      "We didn't participate because we could not afford the costs needed to
book a stand as well as meet the other expenses. The economic environment is
very difficult so exhibiting would not have benefited us in any way," said
Noah Matibiri the spokesperson for Lever Brothers.

      Other big companies that were conspicuous by their absence at the show
included National Foods, Colcom, Olivine industries, Agrifoods and Colgate

      These companies are among many that have been almost driven out of
business by Mugabe's crippling price controls.

      Mary Ndaona, the spokesperson for Colcom noted that they had decided
not to exhibit this year because of the tough economic environment.

      "We decided not to be there because things are tough," said Ndaona.

      Circle Cement, the major producer of cement, which has also been
seriously affected by price controls, is exhibiting at a very small stand of
approximately four square metres.

      When The Standard visited the stand, no one was receiving visitors and
only eight bags of cement were on display. There was clearly no activity
taking place on Thursday.

      The few big companies which decided to exhibit, such as the Zimbabwe
Fertiliser Company and SeedCo, had to content with criticisms from curious
visitors querying the unavailability of their products on the market. Said
one visitor at a SeedCo stand: "You people, where are your seeds? We are
failing to get them on the market. So what is the use of coming to display
them here?"

      The show usually attracts exhibitors and visitors from other countries
of the Sadc region, but this year they were absent .

      Although small scale entrepreneurs dominated the show, they seemed to
record very low business. Donald Chihota, the marketing manager of Chihota
Enterprises which specialises in textile clothing, said business had been
very low.

      "Although people have been visiting our stand, we have recorded very
little in terms of sales. People don't have money," said Chihota.

      According to Oliver Gawe, the spokesperson for the Zimbabwe
Agricultural Society, 427 stands had been booked by exhibitors. An exhibitor
occupying a small stand of about four square meters said that it had cost
him $40 000 to secure the stand.

      The show epitomised the destruction that has befallen the agriculture
industry as Mugabe continues with his catastrophic land reform programme.

      A sad situation prevailed at showgrounds where cattle pens were empty
forcing visitors to miss out on what is usually a popular spectacle. Even
the few stands that exhibited farming products, such as pumpkins, maize,
poultry and piggery, told the same sad story of the prevailing crisis.

      A few tobacco farmers and companies exhibited in the tobacco hall,
which like many other arenas, resembled a grave yard, as it was devoid of
visitors. Victor Musena, who was sitting idle at the stand occupied by Cut
Rag, a tobacco processor, said: "A-a-a we are doing virtually nothing except
watch the roamings around of school children who are on holiday."

      Only fast food outlets recorded brisk business, but workers from here
noted that customers and sales had declined from last year.

      Just after 5pm on Friday, Stella Murwira led her four children out of
gate one at the Exhibition Park. They all looked dejected and uncertain, as
they embarked on the joyless 15-minute walk into the city centre.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

      Farm evictions leave animals stranded
      By Trevor Muhonde

      THE Zimbabwe National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
(ZNSPCA) says the eviction of white farmers from their land has caused
untold suffering to animals that have been left at the mercy of marauding
war veterans and Zanu PF supporters, some of them with a strong appetite for

      Using Section 8 notices, the government has been forcing about 3 000
farmers off their productive farmland for the past few weeks, leaving the
animals in the hands of the newly resettled farmers.

      Some of these farmers have found ready meat at their doorstep while
others have ventured into the lucrative business of selling meat.

      "We are appealing for sanity to prevail on the farms. The new farmers
should realise that animals should be treated in a humane manner and their
owners should be allowed to move them to safety," said Meryl Harrison, the
national coordinator of the ZNSPCA.

      The society's concern comes amid reports that some of war veterans and
Zanu PF supporters had now ventured into the lucrative business of selling
meat, while others were unnecessarily being cruel to animals.

      Only two weeks ago, some of the new farmers went on the rampage
attacking horses, cattle, dogs, cats and sables in what was suspected to be
a desperate move to intimidate farmers who were refusing to leave their

      At one farm in Marondera, unknown assailants inflicted serious
injuries on horses' legs in a night attack.

      "They are first attacking our animals before they come to us. I heard
a lot noise at night a fortnight ago coming from the paddocks. I decided to
investigate only to see that some of the so-called new farmers were cutting
my horses with big machetes," a sobbing farmer from Marondera who refused to
vacate his farm told The Standard on Thursday.

      ZNSPCA said it was receiving many reports about the ill treatment of
animals from several farmers who had been chased off their land.

      "Our organisation is aware of what is going on and we are urging the
new occupants who are now the new owners of the animals to treat them in a
more humanly way," said Harrison.

      The animal society however applauded a section of evicted farmers who
had prepared for the future of their animals.

      "Many adverts that we posted in the local newspapers have been well
received by many evicted farmers who have made contingency plans for their
animals, especially domestic pets," said Harrison.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard


      Downright lies
      Peter Rosenfels Bulawayo

      I HAVE just read an article in your paper of 25 August 2002, with a
mixture of horror and anger. This article by one Loughty Dube, would appear
to have been scraped from the depths of evil rather than from any lofty
height of journalistic ability. It is so laced with inaccuracies, and
downright lies.

      In the article, it is clearly stated that both myself, and my father,
Max Rosenfels were arrested for remaining on our farm beyond the August 10
deadline for farmers to vacate their properties.

      This is plainly untrue, and when Loughty Dube telephoned me last week,
I informed him that my father had been arrested. I was not arrested for this
or any other matter.

      Further, Dube states: "The Rosenfels family raised the government's
ire three years ago when it made public plans that it was organising
celebrations commemorating Cecil John Rhodes' entry into the country." There
are so many inaccuracies in this statement alone that the integrity of the
entire article is in doubt.

      The insinuation that we "poured money into Zanu PF coffers" and "that
some farmers who were Zanu PF praise singers are being given back their
farms for their loyalty to President Mugabe" is where you come closest to
libel. I challenge you Mr Editor or your reporter Loughty Dube to
substantiate this in any way. Or expose your 'source', so I can sue him. The
less said here the better.

      It might interest you to know that we applied in December 2000 for
delisting on the grounds that this was our only home, and that having given
one farm to 'the cause' we felt we could be considered to have contributed.

      This was ignored, and our home property has been resettled with 76
families, we have not been able to keep cattle on our property since June
16th 2000, and we have only been able to hunt our legally acquired game
since 25 July 2002-having lost three full safari seasons. We have heard from
other farmers who happened to attend a meeting of the Bulilimamangwe Land
Committee, that a senior member of that committee brought up the fact that
Max Rosenfels Senior would be left homeless. We can only assume that it was
decided there to allow us to live in our only home, and we are very grateful
for that decision. To insinuate in any way that we have paid money or
political tribute to anyone for this 'favour' is grossly incorrect.

      I demand a retraction of the insinuations contained in the article,
and a public apology.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

      Tourism body falls victim to land grab
      By Kumbirai Mafunda

      AS government gloriously drown itself in celebrating the 'end' of its
suicidal land grab, it has emerged that the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA)
has become the latest victim of this controversial programme as it is now
experiencing a significant decline in proceeds from the mandatory 2% levy
collected from all tourism operations.

      The ZTA collects a tourism levy from registered tourism operators and
uses the money for marketing the local tourism industry abroad.

      However, the exercise has affected lodge and safari operators who were
served with Section 5 and 8 notices that compel owners to vacate their

      Investigations by Standard Business revealed that a couple of lodges
across the country had closed shop as a result of the land grab.

      "The whole thing is in turmoil. Quite a number of lodges were served
with notices and have since ceased operations and this will significantly
decrease bed occupancy rates. There are no tourists visiting the country at
the moment and it is highly unlikely that the new settlers will be able to
run the lodges," said sources in the tourism industry.

      The sources said such was the negative nature of the whole exercise
that a prominent tourism operator in Matabeleland North was served with
eviction notices, prompting frantic negotiations with the ministry of
environment and tourism to have the directives reversed.

      In Mhangura and Chinhoyi, Chichimini Lodge and Doma Safari Lodge
respectively, were closed after their owners were served with eviction

      "There is high potential that the ZTA has been prejudiced of revenue
as a result of the operators closing down due to declining tourist volumes
and those affected by the fast track land reform," said a source within ZTA.

      The controlling body of the tourism industry has been reeling under
foreign currency shortages to sustain its international marketing which
forms the bulk of its activities. Only recently, the financially troubled
authority ordered all operators in the tourism industry to remit the levy on
foreign receipts in hard currency in a bid to ease the ever worsening
foreign currency shortages.

      Other observers said the combination of economic and political
problems besetting the country was a contributory factor to some of the

      "Landela has so far closed four lodges. They are not even on the
farms," said a source with the Zimbabwe Association of Tour and Safari

      However, an official with Landela disputed the number of lodges that
are not operational saying there were only two that were not operational at
the moment because of low tourist arrivals.

      "Out of our nine lodges, Gatigati in Kariba and Sekuti in Victoria
Falls have no clients occupying them as tourists are still very jittery and
unwilling to come to Zimbabwe, whilst Chokamella in Hwange has been served
with a Section 8 notice. So there has been no bed levy coming from those
lodges," said the official.

      Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe president, Shingi Munyeza, said at
the moment he had no statistics with regard to lodges affected by the
evictions. Efforts to get a comment from the ZTA were fruitless as the
officials refused to comment.

      Tourist receipts in 2001 decreased by 34,7%, falling from US$124,7
million in 2000 to US$81,4 million.

      Pedia Moyo, the president of the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism (ZCT)
lamented the foreign currency crisis besetting the country saying it was
hindering them from carrying out promotions in overseas markets.

      "Times have been very hard for us. Travel warnings are still in
effect. We have been visiting embassies where they have been telling us that
at the moment we can't bring tourism to your country, " said Moyo.

      She added: "We are in a difficult position. Our task forces are
visiting embassies telling them that Zimbabwe isn't a dangerous country for
tourists but these embassies are telling us they are looking after the
interests of their citizens. We have also lost a number of our staff given
the prevailing economic difficulties."
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

      Tobacco seed sales plummet
      By Kumbirai Mafunda

      Pre-season forecasts that next year's tobacco output will drastically
plunge below this year's output were further reinforced this week by
revelations that this year's total seed sales which ended last week, failed
to surpass figures realised last year. This came to light despite claims by
indigenous farmers' organisations that beneficiaries of the land grab will
realise a better crop yield than what commercial farmers were producing.

      Duncan Millar, the president of the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association (ZTA)
told Standard Business that although his organisation had tried to maximise
this year's seed sales for the dry land crop, total sales had dropped by

      "Although we have actually maximised the dry land seed sales, total
seed sales amounted to 235 kilograms compared to last year's 304 kilograms.
The July-August seed sales have gone much stronger than last year. We have
lost 40 million kilograms on the irrigated crop because the seed sales could
not go on well in June," said Millar.

      Seed sales for the irrigated crop amounted to 115 kg against 225 kg
sold over the same period last year. The ZTA said this would not only result
in a loss in the golden leaf's output, but would also see Zimbabwe fall from
its prime position in the world market.

      On preparations for the coming season, Millar said some farmers had
started tilling their land whilst some are expected to start transplanting
seedlings soon.

      Out of the total sales, small sector farmers account for 80 kg whilst
commercial sector farmers bought 153 kg.

      It is feared that tobacco growers who were last month evicted under a
government crackdown on white-owned commercial farms will lose millions of
dollars in undelivered crop as their efforts to push their crop to the
auction floors were affected by the evictions. As a result, many might be
forced effectively to stop every farm activity.

      "Hundreds of millions of US dollars will be lost because we were still
grading our tobacco. It makes no sense to force farmers off the land before
the crops have been delivered and this jeopardises farmers' ability to pay
severance packages and fertiliser companies are likely to carry bad debts,"
said one farmer.

      However, Millar said he remained optimistic that all tobacco will find
its way to the auction floors.

      "No tobacco has been lost at the moment. So far we have only sold 83
kilograms and half the nation's crop is being graded at the moment. I am
positive that no tobacco will be lost as some farmers have taken their
tobacco to commercial graders," Millar said.

      Next year's tobacco output is projected to decline from last year's
170 million kg as most A2 settlers have not prepared seedbeds, coupled with
the eviction of traditional tobacco growers under state sanctioned land

      Zimbabwe tobacco exports account for about 20% of the world's flue
cured tobacco and contributes up to 12% of the gross domestic product.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

      Acute vegetable shortage imminent
      By Itai Dzamara

      VEGETABLES will join the growing list of commodities that are in short
supply in the country following revelations that supplies would be
drastically reduced in the next few weeks.

      The impending shortage has been blamed on the drying up of natural
water sources on which small scale farmers depend on for watering, as well
as the eviction of white commercial farmers.

      Many of the small scale farmers who provide the majority of vegetable
supplies to markets in major towns and cities have already stopped
deliveries after the drying up of their water reservoirs. Some of those
still making deliveries told Standard Farming that they would be stopping
within the next two weeks.

      Simon Rufaro of Goromonzi, who delivered his last batch of tomatoes to
Mbare Musika in Harare, said most farmers in his area had already wound up
operations because their water reservoirs had dried up.

      "This is my last trip here this year; the wells in my garden have
dried so we will have to wait for the onset of the next rains to plant
another crop. Most farmers from my area have already stopped supplies and
within the next few weeks, there will be virtually no deliveries from

      Roswita Musunga of Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe also said most
horticulturalists from the area had stopped operations for the season due to
lack of water, adding that the inhibitive prices of chemicals and pesticides
was stifling their business.

      Said Musunga: "Even before our wells dried up, it had become extremely
difficult to remain viable. Prices of chemicals, pesticides as well as seeds
and seedlings are become too exorbitant."

      President Mugabe's land reform programme is a factor in the vegetable
shortage equation. Shimel Ruby, of Indian origin, who owns a plot in
Domboshava producing tomatoes, potatoes and cabbages, said he was uncertain
whether to continue growing the vegetables under irrigation because of the
threats he is getting from villagers near the plot who intend to take it

      "Usually I deliver two truckloads of tomatoes, cabbages and potatoes
to Harare but lately, I have reduced this to two loads per week because I am
not certain of my future at the plot. Villagers have made several attempts
to evict me and they claim that they have the blessings of government," said

      The Horticultural Promotion Council said that a significant number its
members have been displaced through the land reform. "Some of our members
have lost their plots and farms. The effect will soon be felt on the market
because we are inevitably headed for biting vegetable shortages," said an
official at the council who preferred anonymity.

      A survey by Standard Farming showed that vegetable prices have been
gradually rising over the past two months as their availability decreased. A
box of tomatoes which cost between $200 and $300 two months ago is now going
for up to $500 at Mbare Musika.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

      Rainbow nation fails to sell itself
      overthetop By Brian Latham

      Millions of dollars have been spent and millions of miles travelled so
that thousands of delegates could meet last week at the World Summit on
Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. The purpose was to
achieve...nothing except to give the South Africans a warm, fuzzy feeling
and sense of their own (misplaced) importance.

      The summit also gave South African cops a chance to dust off their
truncheons and tear gas canisters, and let loose on the protesting public.
Jubilant South African police said they were pleased. Since the demise of
apartheid, such opportunities came infrequently, they said, adding that they
would express their gratitude to the South African president just as soon as
he realised he was the South African president.

      Meanwhile, attempts to get the problems besetting a troubled central
African country on the agenda at the World Summit were derailed when the
South African president said he did not want problems in the troubled
central African country to derail the World Summit.

      Having confused the hell out of everybody, Thabo 'Maybe' Mbeki, told
his police not to throw tear gas at thousands of supporters of the troubled
central African country's More Drink Coming party when they decided to hold
a protest march at the World Summit for Sustainable Development in rich
western countries.

      The supporters said they were grateful because it was the first time
they'd ever been allowed to hold a protest march, such events being banned
in the troubled central African country-except for members of the ruling
zany party, 12-year-old war veterans and commuter farmers with large
four-wheel drive vehicles, tiny cell phones and less morality than monkeys
on mbanje.

      The More Drink Coming protesters said that they'd like to return to
the troubled central African country, just as soon as the most equal of all
comrades and his evil accomplice, Jomo the Clown allowed them to hold
protest marches there, too. Right now, they said, marches were possible,
though the risk of death, mutilation and a lung full of military tear gas
could be considered a dead cert.

      This rather put them off, especially since while in South Africa they
were earning the Rand which, while not an important international currency,
was certainly worth more than the troubled central African country's
currency which was now more worth less than lavatory paper.

      Still, back to the World Summit for Western Wealth...Analysts said the
only thing missing to complete the ludicrous pantomime was the presence of
that gentleman, currently languishing in prison, who used to head a South
African white supremacist movement, the inappropriately named All White

      Nonetheless, various curious groups emerged from under rocks, from
ghettos and even from trendy white suburbs (where everyone pretends to be
poor) to state their cause to bored looking people from the northern
hemisphere. It was an opportunity for the so-called 'Rainbow Nation' to sell
itself to the world in all its superficial, touchy-feel glory. Sadly, it
failed as it had to, and South Africans looked less like a Rainbow Nation
than a Technicolour Yawn after a heavy night of bad beer and worse, curry.

      Still, newspapers reported that at least one important sector of the
South African economy benefited immensely. Prostitutes and pimps said
business was booming and the inflow of US dollars was such as hadn't been
seen since the previous regime let Nelson Mandela out of prison. No one said
what this was doing to South Africa's Aids problems, said to be among the
worst in the world, although one analyst remarked wryly that at least some
of the foreign dignatories would have something to take home with them.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

      Census a dog's breakfast

      THE just-ended census has clearly shown how the Zimbabwean landscape
has changed from the two previous censuses, in 1982 and 1992. Enumerators
received a great deal of cooperation then. There was an atmosphere of
expectation and excitement and people were eager to be counted; the economy
was in fairly good shape and things were moving well. People understood then
that for government to provide resources to meet the challenges of
sustainable development, they needed to be counted.

      The year 2002 is a different time altogether. The atmosphere was far
from being as census upbeat as it was in 1992. It was as if no census was
taking place in Zimbabwe. For the majority of Zimbabweans, life is a daily
struggle and in a situation of deprivation and scarcity of goods and
services, the last thing you want to see is someone trying to peep into your
life asking about the size of your family etc.

      No wonder the cry throughout the country was food, food and more
food-rather than to be counted. Little wonder also that a number of
enumerators were chased away in many rural districts of Zimbabwe. There is
now discontent in the air. The mass food shortages, the daily rocketing of
prices of basic commodities and the starvation in many parts of the country
do cast a dark shadow on the credible outcome of the whole exercise.

      In fact as official census business came to a close on Tuesday, many
families in Harare had still not been visited by enumerators. If this was
the situation in the capital city, with a well planned residential structure
which would give no one an excuse for missing a single household, what more
of rural areas?

      There are a combination of factors that led to this dog's breakfast of
an exercise. First and foremost, the whole census was poorly planned and
therefore doomed from the start. The people tasked with map reading, which
is vital for demarcating areas covered by enumerators, were either
incompetent or downright negligent. This was amply demonstrated in rural
areas where an enumerator expected to cover, say, 130 households in his/her
catchment area, suddenly found that the actual number was at least double
that recorded on the maps.

      The resultant effect of this was that the exercise had to be extended
by a day in some areas, but with no guarantee that this would result in a
more accurate reflection of Zimbabwe's population.

      The fallacy and confusion of the whole exercise could not have been
better analysed than by census manager Washington Mapeta who said that those
who had been left out were free to come forward and be counted. What an
uncredibly stupid statement!

      Who, at a time when the economy is in bad shape, would be prepared to
incur transport costs simply to be counted? Does he think Zimbabweans have
nothing better to do than spend time lining up to be counted?

      Of course, Zimbabwe is a nation of people used to queuing up for
virtually everything-from bread to salt-but Mapeta's optimism about people's
patience was stretching it too far and was clearly misplaced.

      But perhaps more importantly, the programme was grossly underfunded,
resulting in census officials, particularly the foot soldiers-the
enumerators and their supervisors-getting pathetic allowances for their
labour. Whereas previous post-independence exercises had received generous
handouts from the donor community, this time there was no such benevolence
because of the Mugabe regime's growing isolation by the international

      Census officials, the bulk of whom were teachers, got up to $15 000
for an entire month's work, a pittance if one takes into consideration the
training period. The least government could have offered the officials was
something equivalent to a month's salary, plus a daily allowance to cater
for food and incidentals.

      It was deeply disturbing that some officials ended up using their own
vehicles, after government failed to provide what it had promised, while
there were unnecessary delays in the counting as enumerators quickly
exhausted the books they were using for recording details. To add insult to
injury, the poor fellows were ordered to return ball point pens, notebooks
and bags they had used in the exercise.

      Has the government become so broke that it has to claim back even ball
point pens? This is a powerful statement of how this country has literally
gone to the dogs. How worse can the situation be allowed to get?

      It is most important to point out that a census is a vital exercise as
it helps the country to plan for the future. We need to know the size of our
population, its composition as per age and sex, its distribution patterns,
to name but a few vital statistics. Knowing the population growth rate in
relation to economic growth is critical to allocation of resources for
education, health, poverty alleviation and unemployment as well as HIV/Aids.
It is also central to the whole question of empowering women as a vehicle
for reducing population growth.

      It was therefore unforgivable that the whole exercise was conducted in
such a terrible manner. The way the whole thing was done leaves a lot to be
desired. Not enough homework was done. Neither were adequate resources
allocated to the exercise.

      In the light of all this as well as the hundreds who have fled
Zimbabwe, we strongly believe that the outcome will not be a true reflection
of the population dynamics of this country.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Sunday Times (SA)

            Zimbabwe warns summit to back off

            'We won't be dictated to by kangaroos from Australia,' says Moyo

            ZIMBABWE has demanded that Western governments stop using the
World Summit on Sustainable Development as a platform to attack it.

            Zimbabwean Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, who was
reappointed to his Cabinet post by President Robert Mugabe this week, said
Western governments were giving "strange interpretations" to issues in order
to direct attention to Zimbabwe.

            He said while the summit was dealing with the controversial
issue of land tenure, this was "not a Zimbabwean issue".

            " It is really strange that some people are trying to interpret
that particular provision as dealing with Zimbabwe to direct attention to
us," Moyo told the Sunday Times.

            In the past two weeks, the British, Canadian, New Zealand and
Australian governments have all sought to put more international pressure on
Zimbabwe, and said their leaders would raise the matter at the summit or in
talks with President Thabo Mbeki, who chairs the summit.

            Mugabe this week described his re-appointed ministers as a "war
Cabinet" and vowed to intensify his controversial land redistribution
programme despite growing international pressure. Zimbabwe came in for
strong criticism from many quarters, with British Foreign Secretary Jack
Straw accusing Mugabe of "leading his country to ruin".

            US Agency for International Aid official Andrew Natsios warned
that "things are sliding fairly rapidly" as result of "wrong polices", while
a less strident UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called for reforms that were
subject to the rule of law if the food crisis was to be resolved.

            Moyo said countries like the US, members of the European Union
and Australia had attempted to settle the land issue in exchange for clauses
providing for good governance and the adherence to the rule of law.

            "We will not allow a fundamental issue like land resolved in
accordance with some amorphous, fuzzy notion of the rule of law as dictated
to us by some kangaroos from Australia . . . It is a very serious matter and
has to be resolved in accordance with national laws and the constitutions of
the countries in question," said Moyo.

            The Zimbabwean government did not, however, object to being
discussed on the main summit agenda.

            "We are happy that they want to talk about us. Zimbabwe is a
perfect illustration of the problems associated with the legacy of
colonialism and how sustainable development is dependent on land," he said.

            But leaders such as Britain's Tony Blair, Canada's Jean
Chretien, Australia's John Howard and New Zealand's Helen Clark were "lying"
when they said they wanted to talk about instability in Zimbabwe.

            "They want to talk about preserving white minority land
ownership . . . There are only concerned about the 4 500 white farmers in
Zimbabwe, not the more than 13 million blacks."

            Land Minister Joseph Made said the acquisition of 10-million
hectares of land over the past two years as part of the land redistribution
programme has been a "major achievement" for the Zimbabwean government.
Close to 300 000 families are being relocated onto the land and the
government was now ready to begin the next phase of the "agrarian

            There would now be major institutional reforms such as directing
banks, who previously supported the 4 000 commercial farmers, to provide
financing for the new settlers. The government's aim was to have the entire
agricultural sector of the economy controlled by indigenous Zimbabweans,
said Made.

            Moyo said the commercial farmers had lied by claiming they were
producing food for domestic use before they were evicted. Food for internal
consumption was produced by smallholding and peasant farmers as commercial
farmers were "into exotic farming such as horticulture, tobacco, wildlife
and roses".

            Moyo said the government had "an economic war to complete",
adding: "This is why President Mugabe called us the war Cabinet."

            He said the Zimbabwean government had never accepted its
"so-called suspension" from the Commonwealth as the decision by a troika
comprising Howard, Mbeki and Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo was "unprocedural".

            "The Commonwealth is a community of nations, not a trio. Who are
they and on what authority is their decision binding on Zimbabwe?"
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Blunkett backs bid to expel Mugabe victim

Anger as Home Secretary begins court proceedings

Martin Bright
Sunday September 1, 2002
The Observer

Britain has infuriated human rights campaigners by deciding to begin
extradition proceedings against a Zimbabwean opposition figure who says he
was tortured by President Robert Mugabe's secret police.
Supporters say that if Michael Dube is returned to his country, his life
will be in danger and he cannot hope to have a fair trial.

Dube, 29, has described to The Observer how members of Mugabe's feared
Central Intelligence Organisation beat him, kept him awake for days and
applied pliers to his testicles. He was repeatedly urged to inform on fellow
opponents of Mugabe's brutal rule but he refused to do so.

After two weeks of torture Dube's resistance evaporated and he told his
captors he was ready to sign anything. 'I thought I was going to die,' he

Eventually, he signed a confession admitting involvement in a demonstration
against the seizure of a white-owned farm, which led to clashes with
Mugabe's supporters, one of whom died.

Released on bail, Dube fled Zimbabwe and reached Britain two years ago. He
was forced to leave his wife behind. As a fellow activist with the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), she was also arrested and tortured. She claims
she was raped in front of the couple's two small children.

In a move that has stunned human rights activists, the British government
has agreed to the Zimbabwe authorities' request to begin the process of
returning Dube. Attacks on opposition figures are common in Zimbabwe, a
country described last week as a pariah state by Foreign Secretary Jack

Home Secretary David Blunkett has ordered extradition proceedings to go
ahead and Dube will appear before Bow Street magistrates on 16 September.
The authorities in the capital, Harare, have accused him of stealing more
than eight million Zimbabwean dollars (about 96,800) from the Central
Payments Office of the Ministry of Finance where he was a part-time civil

Dube claims he worked as an MDC youth leader in the Mashonaland East
province of Zimbabwe, which saw some of the most violent attacks on the
opposition by supporters of the ruling Zanu-PF party in 2000. The MDC in
Zimbabwe is working to verify Dube's story. His wife has already been
granted asylum in Britain as a result of her own MDC activities.

Mugabe's government has not given up the pursuit and last March the British
police arrived at Dube's Sheffield home to tell him he was being arrested
pending extradition on theft charges.

Speaking from Derby, where the Dubes have now settled, Michael said: 'I have
been aston ished by the attitude of David Blunkett and the Home Office.
There seems to be total confusion. The Government says I have no reason to
fear returning to Zimbabwe when the authorities there are clearly in hot
pursuit of me.'

Britain suspended the deportation of Zimbabwean asylum seekers last January
after The Observer revealed they were being sent back into the hands of
Mugabe's secret police. Dube's lawyers, Bindman and Partners, say
extradition to Zimbabwe from Britain is extremely rare and it may be part of
a new strategy by the Mugabe regime to target opponents abroad by accusing
them of criminal offences.

The Commonwealth Scheme for the Rendition of Fugitive Offenders allows for
the fast-track extradition of people suspected of serious crimes to
Commonwealth countries including Zimbabwe. But such is the concern about the
collapse of the rule of law in the African country that campaigners believe
it would be impossible for Dube to face a fair trial.

In response to the famine gripping Zimbabwe, the MDC this weekend
announced the formation of the Feed Zimbabwe Trust to import maize, the
staple food, writes Andrew Meldrum in Harare .

The party has bought 28 tonnes of maize in South Africa, which was expected
to reach the border yesterday, said the MDC's Shadow Agriculture Minister,
Renson Gasela.

The attempt to import the food is a challenge to the Mugabe government,
which has decreed that only the state-owned Grain Marketing Board can bring
in maize. 'If they refuse to allow it in, they are condemning people to die
of hunger,' Gasela said.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Blair to Meet Local White Farmers in Beira

The Herald (Harare)

August 30, 2002
Posted to the web August 31, 2002

Itayi Musengeyi

BRITISH Prime Minister Mr Tony Blair is scheduled to visit Mozambique
tomorrow to meet white Zimba-bwean farmers in Beira in the wake of reports
that London was preparing to evacuate British citizens from Zimbabwe, The
Herald learnt last night.

Impeccable diplomatic sources said Mr Blair would visit Mozambique
specifically to meet white farmers, some media people and opposition
elements in Zimbabwe.

There have been reports that some white farmers whose farms were designated
for resettlement had left for Mozambique and other neighbouring countries.

Yesterday the British Daily Tele-graph reported that Britain was preparing
to evacuate its citizens from Zimbabwe.

While earlier indications had been that the British Prime Minister would
visit Mozambique after the Earth Summit in South Africa, Mozambican High
Commissioner to Zimbabwe Mr Julio Braga said Mr Blair's visit was scheduled
for tomorrow.

"Yes, it's true he will be visiting Mozambique a day after tomorrow
(today)," Mr Braga told The Herald last night without elaborating.

A British High Commission spokeswoman could neither confirm nor deny the
visit saying she needed time to check and would only be in a position to
provide an answer today.

Repeated efforts to get a comment from the Government at the time of going
to Press were fruitless.

The diplomatic sources said the visit had raised eyebrows within the
Southern African Development Community.

"The visit seems aimed at fuelling tension in the region. Mr Blair is trying
to whip up emotions," the sources said.

The visit comes a week after United States Assistant Secretary for African
Affairs Mr Walter Kansteiner publicly announced that Washington was working
with Britain, the European Union and some independent journalists in
Zimbabwe to topple the Government.

Another diplomat described the visit as a "provocative visit that will be
ignored by the region.

"Tony Blair is making a mistake by playing his last card in a high stakes
game which Britain is certain to lose," the diplomat said.

The British Prime Minister is one of the 100 heads of state and government
expected in Johannesburg this weekend for the final stages of the Earth
Summit to ratify what the working parties would have agreed on.

In a show of solidarity with Zimbabwe's agricultural industry Mozambican
President Joachim Chissano is expected in Harare today to officially open
the Harare Agricultural Show.

New farmers have made a mark at this year's Agricultural Show by
contributing to its success.

"It's not clear whether Blair's decision to visit Mozambique apart from
rallying support for whites is expected to checkmate President Chissano's
visit to Harare," a local political analyst observed.

He also quipped that hopefully Mr Blair was not under the mistaken notion
that Beira was in Zimbabwe because he "could be relying on an old Portuguese
colonial map."

The Daily Telegraph newspaper said on Thursday Britain's elite SAS commandos
have conducted reconnaissance missions along Zimbabwe's border to get ready
for a possible evacuation of British citizens.

Citing unidentified defence officials, the newspaper said military planners
were finalising road and air evacuation plans for an estimated 20 000
British citizens, mostly white farmers.

A Foreign Office official denied the government was moving to implement
contingency plans in Zimbabwe.

The Telegraph said the plan would involve 250 paratroopers who were
conducting a two-month training exercise with South African troops starting
in October.

The plan would involve 250 paratroopers. The exercise will include Royal Air
Force transport aircraft, which would be used to fly British citizens from
Harare airport, the officials said.

Evacuations could also be made by road into South Africa, they said.

The Ministry of Defence dismissed the report, saying the exercise had
"nothing to do" with the situation in Zimbabwe.

"It has been a long-planned air concentration exercise involving bilateral
training with South Africa," an MOD spokesperson told reporters.

The Zimbabwean government has been on record saying the British government
does not need special forces to evacuate its citizens from Zimbabwe as they
could easily get on a plane and fly to London at any time.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


      Annan Visits Roots of Mankind, Summit Deadlocked

            August 31, 2002 09:09 PM ET

      By Matt Daily

      JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and South
African President Thabo Mbeki will explore the roots of mankind on Sunday,
leaving officials back at the Earth Summit to bicker over how to save
humanity from itself.

      The two leaders will visit South Africa's famed Sterkfontein Caves, a
World Heritage site just north of Johannesburg known as the cradle of
humankind, where ape-man fossils up to 3.5 million years old have been

      The trip will be the first in Annan's four-day visit to the World
Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg where more than 100 world
leaders hope to agree a sweeping United Nations plan to reduce poverty
without poisoning the planet.

       Environment ministers were locked in tense talks late into the night
on Saturday, seeking to reconcile the demands of poor countries, which want
more cash and other help, with the rich world which wants less corruption
and more democracy in return.

      There was some progress but deadlock remained over issues from "green"
energy and farm subsidies to sewers in the Third World, leaving ministers
just one more day to clinch a deal before their leaders arrive on Monday.

      "Now we're down to the crunch questions," Nitin Desai, conference
secretary general, told Reuters late on Saturday.

      States agreed a compromise early on Sunday on protecting endangered
animals and plants, calling for a significant reduction in the rate of
extinction by 2010.

      That agreement was weaker than a biodiversity pact set earlier this
year under which countries said they would halt the rate of biodiversity

      "It's watered down," said European Environment Commissioner Margot
Wallstrom, but was pushed through by what she called "the unholy alliance"
of the United States and developing countries.

      Green groups were angered by what they saw as a rollback of the pact
to save the 10,000 plant and animal species the United Nations has said were
at risk.

      "These same ministers said six months ago they would halt the rate of
loss. This is stunning," said Greenpeace's Remi Parmentier.


      Among the first foreign leaders to arrive was Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe, in a defiant mood about his policy of taking land from white
farmers and giving it to landless blacks.

      South Africa's Mbeki was also in strident form, telling a rally in a
Johannesburg slum that the summit must put an end to the "global apartheid"
which has left millions mired in poverty.

      "There is no reason that the poor of the world should be poor for
ever," he said in a speech at a stadium in the squalid Alexandra township.
"The time has come for action."

      With a flood of foreign dignitaries due to descend on the wealthy
suburb of Sandton where the conference is being held on Sunday, the police
remained on red alert. However they were relieved the first major protest
march passed without incident.

      For all the firebrand slogans such as "Osama bin Laden! Bomb Sandton"
eight hours of rallies ended peacefully, delighting the hosts of South
Africa's biggest international event since the end of its apartheid-era
Back to the Top
Back to Index