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

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This is from the Ludwig Von Mises Institute website

Mugabe's Famine
by Timothy D. Terrell

[Posted September 18, 2002]

It is one of the most common tragedies of human history: a region populated
by relatively defenseless farmers is set upon by a gang of well-armed
bandits, who force the farmers off their land and divide the land and spoils
among themselves. In 1893, the tragedy had come to Zimbabwe, and the gang of
well-armed bandits were British settlers led by mining magnate Cecil Rhodes.

Rhodes was sponsored in his aggression by the British government, operating
under an 1889 royal charter to settle this fertile region of southern
Africa. Having suppressed the local Ndebele people, the colonists entrenched
the new status quo by (hypocritically) enforcing property rights in their
ill-gotten gains.

Secure in their conquest, Rhodes and his group of miners and farmers soon
made "Rhodesia" into a prosperous country. The influx of foreign capital,
combined with European technical skills, translated into rising standards of
living in Rhodesia, even for many of those who had been robbed of their
lands in 1893.

Rhodesia became independent from Britain in 1965 and, after 15 years of
turmoil and violence, conceded to international demands that the rule of the
white minority give way to mass democracy. In 1980, with British and
American officials looking on approvingly, Robert Mugabe was elected prime
minister. Unfortunately for the renamed Zimbabwe, the Mugabe regime was not
to be characterized by a respect for private property rights. In some ways,
in fact, Mugabe's rule would come to resemble the banditry of Cecil Rhodes.

Mugabe began efforts at land reform, through which white farmers were to be
required to transfer their land to black Zimbabweans. This movement picked
up steam in 1997, though not without opposition. In a climactic 2000
referendum, voters rejected the forcible confiscation of white-owned farms.

Mugabe responded by cruelly suppressing his opposition, using property
destruction, rape, and murder to eliminate any possibility of a change in
government. His plans for land reform proceeded, and 95 percent of the
white-owned farms were targeted for redistribution. A deadline of August 10,
2002, was set for 2,900 farmers to leave their lands. Hundreds of arrests
followed the passing of the deadline, as some farmers refused to comply.

Mugabe has defended his actions as necessary to eliminate the remaining
inequities of white colonial rule. If Mugabe's land reforms were truly an
attempt to restore stolen property to the heirs of the rightful owners, we
might applaud the principle of redistribution, if not the methods, as
consistent with a staunch defense of private property. Land redistribution
would be particularly welcome in Eastern Europe, where property stolen by
the Communists has yet to be returned to the families from which it was

Yet this is not what Mugabe's land reforms have been about. Certainly Mugabe
has shown no concern for the minority Ndebele whose ancestors Rhodes
defeated. In 1983, Mugabe used his North Korean-trained troops to brutally
massacre thousands of Ndebele civilians. Even if the rightful heirs could be
identified, which is doubtful, Mugabe's government has been much more
concerned with garnering political support, extracting revenues from the
wealthy, rewarding friends, and buying off enemies.

In just a few years, the government of Zimbabwe has managed to destroy its
agricultural markets, and to impoverish and starve its population, in the
guise of defending historical property rights. A principled advocacy of
property rights allows no excuse for the government's actions. Murray
Rothbard's comments in Power and Market are particularly relevant here:

"One charge often made against the market is that 'all' property can be
traced back to coercive depredations or State privilege, and therefore there
is no need to respect current property rights. Waiving the question of the
accuracy of the historical contention, we may state that historical tracings
generally make little difference. Suppose, for example, that Jones steals
money from Smith or that he acquires the money through State expropriation
and subsidy. And suppose that there is no redress: Smith and his heirs die,
and the money continues in Jones' family. In that case, the disappearance of
Smith and his heirs means the dissolution of claims from the original
titleholders at that point, on the 'homestead' principle of property right
from possession of unowned property. The money therefore accrues to the
Jones family as their legitimate and absolute property."[1]
Mugabe's government does not appear to be making a good-faith effort to find
rightful heirs. According to the Washington Times, "at least 190 senior
politicians, businessmen and members of the armed forces close to Mr. Mugabe
have been allocated farms." In August, President Mugabe's wife, Grace,
showed up at a particularly choice 3,000-acre farm with some of her
husband's troops. "I'm taking over this farm," she announced.

A few days later the 78-year-old owner was arrested. The Times report
indicated that Mrs. Mugabe "intends to settle her relatives on the farm."
The black farm workers who lived on the property were abruptly dismissed. In
addition to Mugabe's wife, two of his sisters, his brother-in-law, and his
wife's nephew have also received farms.

Overall, around 70 percent of the white-owned farms have been turned over,
not to poor landless blacks, but to Mugabe's friends and relatives. The land
grab is certainly not about reparations. And when Mugabe straight-facedly
added another far-fetched rationale--sustainable development--at a recent
U.N. conference, many Zimbabweans could only bitterly laugh.

The consequences have been dramatic and deadly. At the beginning of Mugabe's
rule, Zimbabwe was a net exporter of grain. During the land redistribution,
members of Mugabe's ZANU-PF party have burned more than 10 million acres of
crops and prevented many more acres from being farmed. Combined with a
drought, government policy has produced terrible food shortages and
wide-ranging crisis. At least 300,000 black farm workers (possibly as many
as 1 million) have been thrown out of their homes. Most of the 12.5 million
people in the country are unemployed, desperately poor, and now face
starvation. Per capita income is now only $380 a year, barely over half the
level of five years ago.

Mugabe's government, meanwhile, seems more concerned with maintaining a
revenue stream. While the government has raised some funds by reselling
confiscated farms to wealthy Zimbabweans, it has also resorted to inflation.
By August, the inflation rate had reached an annual rate of 123 percent, and
some predict that it will become a true hyperinflation by the end of the
year. Zimbabwe appears well on its way to becoming another vivid
demonstration of statism-induced disaster.

Journalist Mercedes Sayagues, who was expelled from Zimbabwe for her
opposition to Mugabe's regime, contended that the crisis ultimately "is not
about land redistribution." The land grab and the associated violence have
everything to do with suppressing citizens who had publicly repudiated
Mugabe's policies in the 2000 referendum and who had endangered his rule. As
Sayagues wrote,

"It is about keeping power in the hands of Zanu PF at the cost of destroying
a country. It's about a regime that creates and unleashes an armed militia
of thugs to terrorise the countryside and cities to deliver the vote, to
punish opponents, and to maintain its grip on the country. Were it not for
the armed militia, for its organised, widespread torture and gang rape
accomplished with police complicity, Mugabe would be out, and he knows
In Zimbabwe, reparations are a transparent cover for one of the most
monstrous governmental crimes of the last 10 years. Mugabe's land reforms
have amounted to nothing more than a power grab by his government, which is
starving a country that once was one of Africa's shining stars.


Timothy Terrell is assistant professor of economics at Wofford College and
an adjunct scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Send him MAIL. See his Articles Archive.
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 Justice For Agriculture (JAG) Zimbabwe

Email: Website


As Zimbabweans and the world await news of proceedings at the Meeting of Commonwealth Troika in Abuja, Nigeria on 23rd September 2002, Justice for Agriculture (JAG) Zimbabwe release the following statement:

Just this past week Parliament was called into session to debate a new bill, which awaits the Presidents endorsement. The need to make this amendment is further proof that Land Reform has been implemented without due regard to the laws.


1.       A return to a legally recognised Land Reform Programme - “People first”. The 10-year resettlement programme “People First”, adopted in June 2001 said government had already listed 6 million hectares for acquisition, one million more than it thought it would need for resettlement in that period, and it would start de-listing. Another 4 million hectares have instead been added. The programme has been doubled in area and shortened from 5 years down to just one, without resources to pay for any part of it. Forgotten is that precaution to spread land acquisitions over 5 years to 2005 and to still leave a 6 million hectare “strategic core” which government recognised was necessary for economic stability and food production.

2.     A return to the previously adopted criteria and the delisting of farms acquired that cannot be turned into productive units due to budgetary restrictions in terns of inputs and compensation. Despite previously set criteria, 1 024 single owned farms have been listed for acquisition with at least 50% of these farmers being off their farms and unable to produce. A large number of these were stopped from farming after the signing of the 6th September Accord.

3.     Appointment of an impartial board in accordance with the Land Acquisition Act and Constitution, and the Agricultural Land Settlement Act governing applications for allocation of land and conduct an independent audit. The laws regarding allocation have not been complied with. An impartial board is required to consider each application for a lease, with specific criteria to be taken into account, and make recommendations. This has not been done.

4.     Promises have repeatedly been made for a transparent land reform programme, but little detailed information is available about the ultimate beneficiaries. There are serious problems over the allocations, arising in part from the Minister’s announcement in April that maximum farm sizes would not apply to blacks, only whites. The few published lists and information from farms show that some people, particularly those associated with police and defense forces, government, and the ruling party are receiving pieces of land far larger than those maximum farm sizes, largely at the expense of other Zimbabweans including skilled farm workers.

a)     Over 50 000 people were promised ‘commercial’ plots of land before the election, their names published as approved applicants. Only about 12 000 seem to have actually been allocated land. The overall total names officially published of those who have now been allocated and accepted land is only about 6 456 names, on 698 farms. The number of farms thus shown is insignificant.

b)    A recent survey conducted by the Zimbabwe Community Development Trust (ZCDT) indicated that already 150 000 agriculturally skilled employees are jobless and only 34 000 of these have somewhere to go with some obtaining plots. This translates to 750 000 Zimbabweans displaced to date.

5.     The polarisation of Zimbabweans. This current environment is not conducive to true democracy and this has also allowed for the denuding of the rule of law.

a)     Property Rights are enshrined in the principles of FREEDOM. Commercial Farmers owned 28,2 of Commercial land, of this 97% has been listed for compulsory acquisition. Despite this, Government is silent on the aspect of Title.  The new beneficiaries of the A2 Resettlement Model (Commercial) are receiving mixed signals and already the Banking sector have said they will not fund new farmers who do not possess collateral. Commercial Farming can only succeed on the basis of ‘Security of Tenure and Provision of Collateral”.

b)    Settlers trying to use contested land risk losing all they plant if the Administrative Court decides against the government. The Court must order the return of the land, and there is not provision for the interim settlers to receive compensation.  Because of this, banks will not lend funds invested with them to the new settlers on those farms. There is insufficient money or resources to help the new settlers together with those already needing help elsewhere in the country after the failure of last years dry land crop, mainly because of delays in paying for the previous years maize crop and delayed planting.

6.     Government of Zimbabwe to make a public statement calling for Settlers/War veterans/ other persons to cease interfering in the vital production process on legally correct farms and where there are violations, to press for convictions of offenders.

a)     Unlisted farmers who thought they were being left as part of that 6 million hectare core and planted crops have since found their farms listed, then been given an order from the Minister to stop farming and leave their homes before completing harvest and rendering their staff jobless.

b)    Allowing the farm owners to reap, harvest and market all Wheat grown.

c)     Urgently allowing an environment conducive to the planting of Tobacco Seed beds. The arrests of Tobacco farmers in the last few weeks compromised 4.3 million kgs of flue cured tobacco valued at Z$1.4 billion and severely eroded confidence at a crucial time.

d)     Allow for the Agricultural sector to dialogue amongst themselves WITHOUT political interference to source ways to plant food crops necessary to ameliorate widespread starvation for Zimbabweans.

7.     Government of Zimbabwe to clarify Compensation issues. Moreover, under the Constitution, when the government does not act in accordance with its programme, it is required to promptly pay full “fair compensation”, including for the land itself. It clearly has no funds allocated or available for this, again contrary to the law.

a)     Section 16(1) of the Constitution requires any law for compulsory acquisition a) to require the authority to give reasonable notice of an intention to acquire, and b) to require the authority to pay compensation before or within a reasonable time after acquiring it. Only 106 owners have received payment (in part) since January 2000, and the Minister has announced he is not paying anything more to owners now. The draft budget for next year contains no allocation for land acquisition.

8.     Rule of Law Commitment. Despite the promises made on the 6th September 2001, lawlessness continues unabated on the farms.

a)     The land reform programme conducted over the last 3 years has been both brutal and chaotic. Farmers and their loyal staff have had their homes burnt down; had their equipment and personal assets looted and stolen; many have been subjected to torture and been unlawfully imprisoned. Despite this level of criminal behavior often perpetrated by state sponsored elements, no farmer or their workers have retaliated with firearms, even under the most extreme provocation.  Scores of persons in our sector have been murdered and yet not one conviction has been secured. Instead the State, hell-bent on their ‘propaganda’ campaign ‘fast-tracked’ the case of Philip Bezuidenhout and after a three-week campaign of intimidation on the judiciary, we are not surprised that he was sentenced to 15 years in prison, saved from a Death sentence by a ‘whisker’ after Judge Hlatshwayo allowed extenuating circumstances.

In is the view of JAG members that unless Zimbabweans take back into their own hands the production of food from the Politicians who merely use it as a tool, there will be a humanitarian crisis of enormous proportions come November/December. Our people are already hard hit with the HIV/Aids pandemic and to burden their immune systems with low nutrition at this time is tantamount to committing murder most foul.

We the executive of JAG request on behalf of the agricultural sector, that the Commonwealth Troika members, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, South African President Thabo Mbeki and Australian Prime Minster John Howard intervene to assist Zimbabweans in curbing political interference that lends a lie to the true meaning of Sovereignty. (Sovereignty is defined as – The sovereign good the greatest good, esp. for a State, its people, etc.)

When you meet and discuss the Zimbabweans situation with the Zimbabwean delegation, please help us to make them accountable to the disaster they have perpetrated against their own people.

 David Conolly - Chairman

Justice For Agriculture (JAG) Zimbabwe

For more information, please contact Contact Jenni Williams Mobile (+263) 91 300456 or 11213 885 Or on email or Fax (+2639) 63978 or (+2634) 703829 Office email

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Farm Invasions And Security Report
Friday 20 September 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


Old Mutare - Mr. F. Bezuidenhout was charged with murder and given l5 years.
Other areas quiet.

Report available in next sitrep.

Beatrice - Ongoing theft in the area especially fencing and standards and
electrical motors.  Two Section 5's and two Section 7's received.
Harare South - Ongoing labour problems where labour refuse to load tobacco
and barricade homesteads, demanding the full payout of SI6.  One farmer
reported cattle missing.  Theft reported of electrical equipment removed
from bulk curers.  One farmer reported an armed poacher shooting game.  One
Section 5 and Section 7 were received.  A number of Harare South farmers are
packing up and vacating their properties.
Wedza - One farmer went back to retrieve movables and discovered that 2 ha
of Olive trees had been burnt (value $3.6 million), 3 ha of apple trees
complete with micro jet irrigation had also been totally burnt (value lost
$6.2 million) and various small movables stolen (value $1.1 million).  The
farmer returned the next day and was barricaded in and told he must pay out
the full SI6 before he could remove his equipment.  This farm was shut down
last year.

General:  Normal labour hassles with SI6 in all areas.
Ayrshire - Quiet.
Banket - Very quiet. The Coombe Farm owner moved out on 07.09.02.  The
settlers moved in and ripped out the basin from the scullery, the hand basin
from the small bathroom, bathroom cabinets from the main bathroom and the
kitchen sink from the cottage.
A 30 tonne rig arrived carting away scrap metal, however the farmer managed
to find the business card from the lady who is collecting the scrap.  This
was reported to the police RRB 0033418.  To date police have not
investigated, but Border Gezi Youths are investigating and threatened the
settlers.  Four settlers ran away. On Nkuyu Farm, Mr Gumbo, one of the
settlers is demolishing a beer hall on the farm and carting the bricks to
Border Gezi Youths want to arrest him, but could not find him. Reported to
the Police.
Chinhoyi - Very quiet.
Doma - Very quiet.
Karoi - Very quiet. The owner of Marmi Farm was barricaded by labour in his
house all weekend because of SI6.   He received a Section 8 on 31.08.02
dated 31.07.02.  He is carrying on with farming operations - paprika,
tobacco grading and has 140 cattle.  He explained to his labour that he is
not leaving, but Zanu PF has stirred up the situation.
Trelawney/Darwendale - Very quiet.
Umboe - Quiet. Kwa Kwa Farm received a Section 8, delivered on 27.08.02 with
no date stamp.
Nyabira - No report received as yet.
Crime Report For Trelawney/Darwendale And Banket Farming Areas Week Ending
Ziroto Farm (Mitchel) had theft of 2 MCB's and a switchgear valued at $ZW100
000-00 from the pumphouse.  Nothing recovered case - reported to Banket
Police.  RRB 0033429 Cst. Marangure.  Excelsior Farm had theft of irrigation
pipes valued at $ZW200 000-00 from the lands.  Nothing recovered.  Case
reported to Zalonyika Police RRB 0055343 Cst. Mukotami.  Nzira Farm had
theft of sprinklers and raisers valued at $ZW51 500-00 from the lands.
Nothing recovered. Reported to Banket Police Cst. Izeki.  At Cyrenaika Farm
an accused was arrested for theft of 2 x irrigation taps valued at $ZW72 000
from the lands and recovered.  RRB 0055350 Sgt. Mpofu.  Zanyandwe Farm had
attempted theft of 2 x electric motors from the pumphouse.  Only 2 x fan
belts were stolen.  Nothing recovered.  Reported to Darwendale Police
RRB0055349 Sgt. Mpofu. Firhill Farm  suffered a housebreak and theft at the
rose section office with a computer valued at $ZW200 000-00 stolen.  Nothing
recovered. Reported to Banket Police RRB 0033469 Cst. Murombo.   Sundown
Farm also had a housebreak and theft at the main house with a decoder,
radio, videocassette, and sheets stolen.  Nothing recovered.  Reported to
Banket Police RRB 0033472 Cst. Muwa.  At Dieu Donne Farm a suspect was
picked up reference 6 cattle, which went missing on 14.07.2002.  All cattle
recovered.  Suspect handed over to Darwendale Police RRB 0055351.  At Hendra
Farm two accused ere arrested for theft of 10 chickens from the chicken run.
Only 6 chickens were recovered.  Accused were handed over to Darwendale
Police RRB 0055353 Cst. Mugorogodi.  At Muacha Farm one accused was arrested
for theft of a 13m x plastic paper valued at $ZW2 125-00 from the green
house and recovered. Accused handed over to Darwendale Police.  RRB 0033481
Cst. Izeki.
Tengwe - The following farms were vacated by their owners, following
instructions by OIC Tengwe, Asst. Insp. Matarofa:  Dunroming, Quovadif,
Impala Plains, Loughry, Tayesa, Kumusha, Tatenda, Deremour, Romona, Pollux,
Dendera, Mudiki Estates.  The following farm owners have vacated their
property but still have belongings and equipment on the farm, also on
instructions by OIC Tengwe Asst. Insp. Matarofa: Chirodza, Mana.  The owner
of Bonanza Farm was given five weeks to leave by an individual businessman
Gumpa from Kariba (wife of the ex-mayor of Kariba).  The Mshowe Pools Farm
owner was given five weeks to leave by retired Major Mponga, who is
presently planting tobacco in the ridges the farmer has made, using his own
seedlings but all the farmer's equipment, and is now irrigating the farmers
coffee with the farmers equipment. Silverlining Farm/Holme Lacy Farm was
closed down by retired Major Mponga who told the labour the owner will be
leaving and they are to get their wages and leave.  At Meidon Farm, Tengwe
Estates, the occupants were forcibly evicted and are not able to return.
Doma - the Tevrede Farm owner continues having trouble getting his
belongings and equipment off the farm.  Major Mbunwe is using the owner's
equipment and doing as he pleases.
Police are finding it difficult to deal with higher rank personnel when it
comes to law and order.

The office will be manned from 20.09.02 by Nova Nicolson. She is in the
process of acquainting herself with the various FAs in the area and a report
will be compiled as of the next Sitrep.

Masvingo East and Central - farmer A stated six cattle had been hacked with
axes and pangas by settlers.
Gutu / Chatsworth - farmer B is presently residing in Masvingo town and it
is reported extensive vandalism has taken place at the homestead. 85 roofing
sheets, 18 doors and one French door have been removed. Farmer C reports
extensive stock theft the evening of 12.09.02.  Thirty cows and calves were
stolen and driven up the road. Some cows and calves returned home of their
own accord. On the evening of 15.09.02, a further 30 were stolen. Some were
found in the early hours of 16.09.02, resting alongside the road proving
that they had been driven under harsh conditions.
Mwenezi - farmer D reports continued poaching on his property. The latest
incident reported is where a poacher (armed with a bow and an arrow) and
hunting dogs cornered a Kudu into the dip kraal. The owner's game guard came
upon the incident and proceeded to try and apprehend the poacher. The
poacher attempted to shoot the game guard with a bow and arrow, and the
poacher then fled into the bush. Four dogs were subsequently destroyed.
Farmer E reports an escalation in stock theft, and that it is now out of
control. Owner has lost eight head of cattle in the last week.

Generally, theft and poaching have reached unprecedented levels. Cattle are
being slaughtered in huge numbers. Gold panners are a big problem as they
are a law unto themselves and are getting out of hand.

No report received.

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Daily News

Leader Page

      Land Act amendment shows stark cynicism

      9/20/02 9:30:09 AM (GMT +2)

      CYNICISM has been the hallmark of the government's handling of the
land reform programme since 2000. It has ignored most legal fundamentals in
its quest to make its grand land grab plan a stroll in the garden.

      There has been much evidence since 2000 that the programme is Zanu PF'
s ultimate political gimmick. But last Wednesday's passage by Parliament of
the Land Acquisition Amendment Act marks a new low in this attempt to drive
out the commercial farmers. What it must do is to convince even
dyed-in-the-wool Zanu PF loyalists that there was never a plan, meticulously
worked on by agrarian experts, and not the fly-by-night "analysts'' paraded
nightly on ZBC-TV, to make this programme work. Patrick Chinamasa, the
Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, had the decency to
admit to his peers on Wednesday: "I take the responsibility. I do not know
what really went wrong. We have come up with a number of factors, some of
which border on sabotage."

      Some of them are already disillusioned: the government has hardly
fulfilled its pledges to provide them with the requisite inputs to start
farming, only a few weeks before the rains start in earnest. Others now know
that the most fertile farms are not being allocated to the genuinely
landless peasants in the poverty-stricken, overcrowded communal lands, but
to the fat cats who sustain this government immorally and politically. One
Cabinet minister once described these people, memorably, as
"resource-endowed" - rich people holding high-paying jobs in the government,
commerce and industry, with two or three houses in the cities, and the
resources to take their entire families on long holidays to the South of
France - if they are not blacklisted by the European Union.

      The authentically landless peasants who have actually been resettled
have not been heard to enthuse wildly about how well the government has
treated them. This is probably because they have the same tale of woe - the
government has not kept its promises. There is no doubt that somewhere in
this country must be a group of people who are grateful for the benefits of
the land reform programme. These people must be convinced that this was not
a political gimmick but a justifiable attempt to redress a colonial wrong.
But even they must be wondering why it is necessary to turn the campaign
into a hate-filled, racist and violence-ridden exercise in which scoring
points against the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, seems to be a

      They must wonder too why the government has not denied too strenuously
widespread reports that vast tracts of fertile land have been given free of
charge to the Libyans in exchange for their oil. If this is viewed by the
government as a legitimate component of the land reform programme, then all
Zimbabweans must ask themselves searching questions about the sovereignty on
which President Mugabe has harped for so long. Most people concerned about
the future of this country - and that must include all, black and white, who
have worked hard to make this country the prosperous gem that it was before
all hell broke loose in February 2000 - have long accepted the logic of land
reform. What they will not accept now or in the future is a programme that
cynically ignores their rights as citizens. This must include their right to
own property.
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Zim Independent - Muckraker

How would Freud describe Mugabe?
PRESIDENT Mugabe's recent description of Tony Blair as "a gangster" who had
"gone insane" has led to queries from analysts as to the president's own
state of mind.

They point out that Mugabe's remarks show every sign of a disorder called
"projection" which Freudians and Jungians identified at the turn of the last
century as "an unconscious process of projecting one's fears, feelings,
desires, or fantasies onto other persons or situations in order to avoid
recognising them as one's own and so as to justify one's own behaviour".

The earliest quotation, notes Geoff Hughes, professor emeritus at the
University of the Witwatersrand writing in The Star, is from Jung who
pointed out that "by a method of outward projection, they frequently place
the responsibility on some foreign agency".
Other analysts described the condition as "a defence system of distrust
being directed against others".

In other words the president has fallen victim to a psychiatric disorder
that was first identified over 100 years ago and is well-documented in the
profession. Calling Tony Blair "a gangster" is of course a notable example
of "projection" by somebody who has himself been accused of heading a
gangster regime. But what do we make of his depiction of his enemies as "gay
gangsters"? The psychoanalysts could have a field day there!

Instead of trying to identify the many demons currently inhabiting the
presidential mind, perhaps it would be simpler to accept former archbishop
Desmond Tutu's explanation of the affliction bedevilling Mugabe. "Bonkers"
requires much less elucidation!

Police spokesman Bothwell Mugariri claims "some white commercial farmers"
were "peddling inaccurate and exaggerated reports" of events on farms so as
to "raise international alarm with the aim of tarnishing the image of the
police by such misrepresentation", according to the Herald.

He singled out reports that a Karoi farmer had exchanged gunfire with a
group of settlers.
Mugariri has yet to understand that the biggest single factor "tarnishing"
the image of the police is the perception that they are unprofessional and
partisan. His statement will have added to that impression as will
Commissioner Augustine Chihuri's crass political speech at the regional
police meeting at the Victoria Falls in which he once again attacked the
private and international media for their reporting of the land crisis which
he disingenuously described as "initiatives to correct colonial imbalances".

Chihuri's irritation is understandable. The international media now
routinely point out that some police spokesmen who take it upon themselves
to defend the government's indefensible record are themselves recipients of
farms under the current land grab.
Detailed reports of the recent shooting incident on a Karoi farm have also
been reported in the foreign media. Mugariri claims that "some of these
clashes are being stage-managed".
And a new offence has been invented. That of "annoying" settlers.

He singled out reports that a Karoi commercial farmer, Ian Cochrane of
Renrock Farm had exchanged fire with a group of settlers, according to the
Herald. Later, a group of white farmers are said to have taken refuge in a
farmhouse after being approached by settlers wanting to know when they would
be leaving. They locked themselves in and drew all the curtains, "possibly
annoying" the settlers who then ran around the house chanting slogans, the
Herald reported.

The farmers said the settlers fired 12 shots into the air before stealing
two cameras, a briefcase and CDs. The police say they couldn't find any
empty cartridges. There were several witnesses who saw armed settlers firing
shots including a news agency cameraman.
Lack of police progress does not in itself mean a lack of evidence. They
have also made no progress in the bombing of the Voice of the People radio
station, according to a report in this newspaper last weekend. However, they
did arrest Hatfield MDC MP Tapiwa Mashakada after an anonymous "tip off".

Let's hope this doesn't mean that anybody can call the police, accuse an MDC
official of a crime, and have him or her arrested without the slightest
prior investigation of the facts. Because that's what it looks like it.
Meanwhile, people like Biggie Chitoro and the killers of Tichaona Chiminya,
Talent Mabika, David Stevens, and Gloria and Martin Olds are still on the
loose. Clearly, no tip-offs there!

Patrick Chinamasa has also invented a new crime. He told parliament last
week: "We are looking into ways and measures to take against MPs who exhibit
evidence of unpatriotism."
He didn't say what measures would be taken against ministers demonstrating
evidence of illiteracy!

Zanu PF's hysteria about boycotts which has led to calls for them to be
outlawed will make interesting reading in South Africa where boycotts were
an instrument of liberation politics for 20 years or more. Zanu PF supported
the international boycott of South Africa.

Congratulations to the prime minister of the Cook Islands for reining in a
wayward advisor who had suggested Zimbabwe's draconian media laws should
serve as a model for the tiny Commonwealth territory. Dr Robert Woonton said
his senior advisor Piho Rua was expressing a personal opinion which did not
represent the views of the government.
Woonton said Zimbabwe's laws were "known internationally for being
heavy-handed and extreme". He said his government had no intention of
introducing anything similar in the Cook Islands.

Rua had told the Cook Islands Herald that government should use media laws
in Zimbabwe as a model to regulate the print media because there was "too
much inaccurate reporting".
A good example of inaccurate reporting is the way the Zvimba Island Herald
leveraged scattered clapping for President Mugabe's speech at the Earth
Summit into "tumultuous applause". We had the same problem in New York when
President Mugabe was, according to state media reports, mobbed by fans as he
tried to make his way out of the General Assembly hall at the UN. These were
probably the "Red Indian chief" from Alaska again and the delegate from
Surinam - or was it Seattle?

In the same way, polite remarks by the governor and mayor of Casablanca at a
dinner were reported as: "Morocco has described President Mugabe as one of
Africa's greatest leaders who is a source of inspiration to the continent."

While praising Mugabe for fighting for Africa's independence, the Moroccan
officials appear to have avoided mention of the land issue. The Herald's
Itayi Musengeyi told us that the president was on a visit to Morocco at the
invitation of King Mohammed VI. In fact it looked suspiciously like a
private visit arranged at the request of Office of the President officials
when Mugabe's plane landed in Casablanca to refuel en route to New York. He
came back the same way and was given the nod to leave his plane and tour
Casablanca and Rabat for three days. The state media led by Musengeyi
represented this as a triumphal parade.
Mugabe's opportunities for stopovers of this sort are diminishing as the red
line against him heads further south. An attempt to break out of the airport
building in Madrid when the president made a stop there en route to Cuba in
July was thwarted by Spanish officials acting in line with an EU ruling.
Now, apart from UN meetings, he is confined to Africa and Asia and is
reduced to being transported around in a Libyan aircraft when he is not
commandeering AirZim planes.

Has he thought of visiting Russia? They might have him. So of course would
Iraq although he would have to be careful about timing any visit there. We'
re still not sure why he didn't make it to Venezuela in July.

But what we are seeing is sudden requests by his officials to unsuspecting
governments, announcing that the president is heading towards their country
and could he please be received by somebody, preferably above the rank of
minister, because his diminishing electorate back home need to be reassured
that he is still recognised in some places as head of state. All very
pathetic. No wonder the Moroccans referred in the past tense to his
contribution to Africa's liberation.

Let's hope "Sam" Musengeyi, reporting from Casablanca, doesn't "play it
again" although ZTV surely will.

How come state-media reporters missed the big story in New York? President
Mugabe was excluded from the Nepad meeting at the UN on Monday where top
officials from 80 countries including 10 African heads of state, US
Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Canadian premier Jean Chretien gathered
to flesh out details of the recovery plan at a special session of the
general assembly. Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo and South Africa's Thabo Mbeki
played a key role in setting up the meeting which Kofi Annan addressed
"We welcome this new direction in Africa's development plans," Powell said.
"But countries that fail to live up to Nepad's commitments will suffer.
Zimbabwe's economic decline is a warning about the dangers of ignoring the
linkage between good policies and human development."

Muckraker was interested to note that regional police chiefs, including
Zimbabwe's, have adopted a code of conduct that places emphasis on human

"In the performance of their duties police officials shall respect and
protect human dignity and maintain and uphold all human rights for all
persons," the code states.

"No police officer shall inflict, instigate, or tolerate any act or other
cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment to any person. They are
required to ensure protection of health of persons in their custody and
secure medical attention where needed."
In the same week the code was adopted it was reported that a former
Zimbabwean judge was arrested at 4am, detained without access to his
lawyers, denied food, refused medical attention and then driven to court
shivering in the back of an open Land Rover.
A farmer was pictured in the Herald on Wednesday being led to court manacled
and in prison garb.

The code also states that the police shall not accept "any gifts, presents,
subscriptions, favours, gratuities, or promises that could be interpreted as
seeking to cause the police official to act or refrain from acting or
performing official responsibilities in a manner other than required by
We would be interested to know how the award of land to police officers is
regarded in this context.

Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said the code would be easy to enforce as
the ZRP had already incorporated human rights training and practice in the

"That is why we have pocket human rights manuals for all officers meant for
easy reference," he said.

It would seem from the examples mentioned above that the manuals have
remained in their pockets. Let's hope the code doesn't face the same fate as
the Police Service Charter!

Muckraker welcomes Harare mayor Elias Mudzuri's attempts to renovate the
city. But where roadsigns have been replaced it would be useful to have
somebody proof-read the final product. Among several atrocities we have a
Nineth St on the corner with Herbert Chitepo. Can we now look forward to an
Ate St - as in Seven Ate Nine?
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Zim Independent

Magistrates put under pressure in land rulings
Vincent Kahiya
AS government struggles to effectively use the law to evict commercial
farmers sitting on Section 8 notices, the country's justice system has
become a victim of manipulation by political forces that regard the courts
as tools in the ruling party's damaging land seizures.
The land reform exercise has become the epicentre of conflict between the
Zanu PF government and the judiciary resulting in a purge that has seen the
forced retirement of Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay and the expurgation of
judges that Zanu PF considers to be obstacles to its land grab.

The Zanu PF government has generally regarded the judiciary as an
obstructive institution in its quest to seize land as High Court and Supreme
Court applications by commercial farmers have exposed inherent flaws in the
Land Acquisition Act despite its repeated amendments.

The current attempt to evict farmers using defective law has put the legal
system in a fix as magistrates and law officers have indicated in a number
of lawsuits challenging evictions that their hands are tied.

In 2000 then Chief Justice Gubbay ruled that the land reform programme
contained a number of illegalities. He declared that Mugabe's "fast track"
land reform programme was "chaotic and illegal".

Gubbay's successor, Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku last December in a
ruling endorsing the programme, said government's land reform agenda was a
matter of "social justice and not, strictly speaking, a legal issue".

There have been repeated attempts by the Zanu PF government to subvert the
justice system in its proclaimed quest to achieve that social justice. War
veterans and party leaders have since the eviction of farmers been accused
of giving instructions to magistrates, the police and prosecutors.
Magistrates have been threatened for handing down "unfriendly" rulings.

Retired Justice Ahmed Ibrahim's dissenting judgement in response to the
constitutional challenge to the Land Acquisition Act cited important issues
which have continued to fuel the battle between the government and the legal
system in the implementation of land reform.

He said of Justice Chidyausku's ruling: "It was impossible to state that the
rule of law had been restored on the country's white-owned farms, or that
there was a land reform programme. It is not the function of the courts to
support the government of the day,
"The court's duty is to the law and the law alone. They may never subvert
the law. To act otherwise would create huge uncertainty in the law," Justice
Ibrahim said.

"This would truly deserve the epithet that was once attributed to the
short-lived Rhodesia and Nyasaland Court of Appeal (1953-63), that it should
be abolished under the Lotteries Suppression Act."

A High Court ruling last week appeared to give credence to claims that the
land reform programme has seen the courts subverting the law in order to
support the government of the day. Judges and magistrates have been slow to
afford applicants the rights to which they are entitled when detained by
police. In some cases presiding officers have forbidden farmers from
returning to their homes while their cases are heard, thus depriving them of
their livelihoods.

Justice Lawrence Kamocha last week relaxed bail conditions imposed on 10
farmers who were ordered by a magistrate to vacate their farms before they
had been convicted of defying eviction notices under Section 8 of the Land
Acquisition Act. Justice Kamocha said magistrates did not have the power to
forbid farmers from returing to their properties as part of a bail
condition, as it was "wrong in law to impose such a condition".

"Quite clearly the magistrates did not have the power in law to impose such
conditions which can only be imposed on people who have been convicted. The
appellants have not been convicted," he said.

In the case, state counsel Elizabeth Ziyambi had argued that a magistrate
had the discretion to impose any condition in a bail application.

"I did not understand the state counsel to suggest that the magistrate has a
licence to impose conditions which are contrary to the law," Kamocha said.

Heads of argument by lawyers representing the farmers pointed to political
pressure being brought to bear on magistrates and law officers from the
Attorney-General's Office. Magistrates were under pressure to make rulings
that facilitated the eviction of farmers, notwithstanding the fact that the
rulings might be ultra-vires the Land Acquisition Act.

"In the course of my submissions," a lawyer for one of the farmers said in
court papers, "one such magistrate (who I shall decline to name for his/her
personal security and further for the safety of my clients) indicated to me
in chambers that despite agreeing with my submissions, it was not possible
to either alter my clients' bail conditions or have them released from
remand because his/her hands were tied and there was an over-bearance of
pressure from the provincial powers-that-be.

"He/she also told me that there was also a threat of his/her personal
security being jeopardised should a judgement be entered in favour of the
farmers," the lawyer said.
A supporting affidavit in the case signed by lawyer Linda Cook said state
counsel told her after a telephone discussion with the Director of Public
Prosecutions that farmers were to be kept off the land despite defects in
the service of Section 8 notices.

"At the end of the conversation (with the director) I was advised that the
position of the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions was that the
merits of the process under the Land Acquisition Act were not to be gone
into, and that farmers were to be kept off the land whether or not the
process was defective," said Cook in the affidavit.

In another affidavit lawyer Jeremy Graeme Nish of Winterton, Holmes & Hill
said a public prosecutor in Chiredzi, a Mr Mutyamaenza, told him that he had
instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions to request bail
conditions that ensured that farmers were removed from the land.

"Mr Mutyamaenza candidly admitted that whilst he accepted that it was
improper for such a bail condition to be imposed, agreeing with me that it
was both judgmental and punitive, his hands were tied by the directive he
had received from the office of the Director of Prosecutions," said Nish.
The High Court has also invalidated a number of Section 8 notices which were
improperly served. In August Justice Benjamin Paradza, in a case involving
46 farmers, ruled that the evictions were illegal.

Legal experts said the government would continue to face problems in
implementing the defective Land Acquisition Act, hence last week it gazetted
the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill to correct anomalies and effectively
reverse the High Court ruling. If passed into law, the Bill will operate
retrospectively as it will take effect from September last year.

Magistrates in courts located at rural centres and those in the country's
small towns have become targets of unsavoury interference from politicians.
In January Zanu PF supporters demanded the removal of magistrates, Munamato
Mutevedzi, Feyi Tito and Lawrence Malimbiza from Bindura for allegedly
making rulings sympathetic to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
and whites in the area. Such was the gravity of the threat that the
magistrates had to be placed under police protection.

In Chipinge, a magistrate was violently removed from the court and attacked
by war veterans for granting bail to three suspected MDC supporters accused
of burning three tractors. The attack resulted in magistrates going on a
one-day strike and seeking police protection.
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Zim Independent

CFU, JAG join hands
Augustine Mukaro
THE Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) has dropped its appeasement approach on
the land issue and opted for a legal challenge in face of government's
continued violation of its own policies on land acquisition.

CFU officials this week confirmed their organisation was taking the Justice
for Agriculture route seeking land reform resolution through the courts.

CFU advocacy of dialogue had threatened the survival of the organisation as
major stakeholders pulled out after failing to agree on how to tackle
government on land reform.

CFU president Colin Cloete this week said his organisation was concerned at
government's continued deviation from its policies.

"In light of events taking place on commercial farms, CFU wishes to place on
record that what is happening is at complete variance with stated government
policy. Despite President Mugabe's statements at many international fora of
a one-man, one-farm position and that no farmer shall be dispossessed of all
of his land," Cloete said, "this is simply not being adhered to."

Cloete said in the last 10 days, farmers with Section 8 notices and in some
cases where none had been served, had been forcibly evicted regardless of
whether they are single farm owners or not.

"The farmers were forcibly evicted from their homes and in some instances
given just five or six hours notice to leave," he said. "Furthermore, these
farmers were threatened that anything left behind would be forfeited to the
state, which is unlawful."

Cloete said some evicted farmers had court orders allowing them to continue
living in their homes. The recent High Court ruling which precludes eviction
before cases were heard or judgements passed was also being ignored, he

l Meanwhile, Justice for Agriculture (JAG) will challenge the Land
Acquisition Act passed by parliament this week on the grounds it is
unconstitutional, unreasonable and motivated by malice.

In a statement yesterday, JAG chairman David Connolly said the proposed
amendments to the Act compounded the illegal basis of the existing

"Giving a farmer seven days notice to vacate his farm is unconstitutional.
The Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that reasonable notice must be given
to the owner," Connolly said.
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ZIMBABWE: Troika to discuss crisis

JOHANNESBURG, 20 September (IRIN) - The Commonwealth troika meeting to discuss the crisis in Zimbabwe on Monday has been criticised for extending an invitation to President Robert Mugabe, but excluding the opposition and civil society.

Mugabe has reportedly ignored an invitation to the Abuja, Nigeria, meeting of the troika - made up of Australian Prime Minister John Howard, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and South African President Thabo Mbeki - who were charged with monitoring the crisis in Zimbabwe, and recommending appropriate action to the Commonwealth.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has slammed Mugabe's invitation as "fundamentally wrong" and "unlikely to contribute to the reduction of the crisis in our country".

That it was done "without extending the same invitation to the opposition and to civil society is extremely worrying", MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube said in a statement this week.

Expelling Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth will be one option discussed when the troika meets. Howard said he was doubtful the troika, which he chairs, could convince Mugabe to cooperate with the rest of the Commonwealth, the Australian newspaper The Mercury reported.

Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth following March presidential elections which were marred by political violence and intimidation.

The poll returned Mugabe to power, but was widely condemned as not being free or fair. The Commonwealth, European Union and United States have refused to endorse the election.
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Get Mugabe to go, MDC urges Commonwealth

      September 20 2002 at 02:34PM

Harare - Zimbabwe's main opposition party on Friday called on members of a
Commonwealth monitoring committee, due to meet next week to discuss action
against Zimbabwe, to ask President Robert Mugabe to step down.

In a petition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) urged Nigeria, South
Africa and Australia to "encourage Mugabe to step down so that fresh
presidential elections can take place in Zimbabwe".

The committee comprises Australian Prime Minister John Howard as
chairperson, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and South African
President Thabo Mbeki.

The MDC's presidential candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, lost to Mugabe in a
March poll that the MDC rejected and which most Western observers said was
flawed. The Commonwealth said the election failed to reflect the will of
voters and suspended Zimbabwe from its meetings.

The MDC claimed on Friday that the government had "made no effort to stop
electoral violence and fraud, restore the rule of law, end state-sponsored
violence and restore democratic legitimacy to the country".

Mugabe has been invited to attend the September 23 meeting in Abuja, the
capital of Nigeria.

"If Mugabe refuses to stand down and makes no commitment to a return to
democratic legitimacy, it is our appeal that tough action and additional
punitive measures should be taken against the Mugabe regime," the party

Most Western countries, including the United States, Britain and those of of
the European Union, have imposed travel restrictions against Mugabe and his

The MDC said it would present its petition, signed by its parliamentarians,
to embassies in Harare representing the committee members. - Sapa-AFP


      Abuja Two: what options?

      9/19/02 6:22:20 AM (GMT +2)

      A YEAR after Britain and Zimbabwe met in Nigeria's capital Abuja to
try to find a peaceful solution to Harare's self-inflicted upheavals,
President Robert Mugabe travels there next week for what clearly will be his
last chance to redeem himself or be condemned even by his own African peers.

      Mugabe, fresh from bashing British premier Tony Blair in Johannesburg,
must be under no illusions whatsoever that he will be treated with kid
gloves when he meets leaders of the Commonwealth troika charged with
resolving the Zimbabwe crisis.

      The mood is hardening markedly among these leaders - indeed some in
the troika of Nigeria, South Africa and Australia have publicly said as
much - over his policies which have plunged Zimbabwe into chaos and pushed
it to the brink.

      Mugabe's options have narrowed significantly at Abuja Two chiefly
because he has shown himself to be a master at wriggling out of Abuja One
and similar accords.

      This time he can be certain that the troika, itself under pressure to
act from an increasingly hostile international community and crisis-weary
Zimbabweans, will read him the riot act, however diplomatically, that he
rapidly puts his house in order or faces full-scale international

      For all their diplomatic niceties and kind words in public, presidents
Olusegun Obasanjo and Thabo Mbeki are literally at the end of their tether
over a colleague who persistently and stubbornly refuses to heed their
advice and protection which they have had to give at the expense of their
own countries.

      In the words of Mbeki recently, the time has come to take vigorous
action against the government for its defiance of world opinion to restore
law and order, to stop a widening crackdown on the judiciary and the
independent media, to halt its chaotic land seizures and to stage a fresh
and transparent presidential ballot.

      Mbeki especially will only be too aware of promises made by Mugabe
after Abuja One and at other regional summits to end Zimbabwe's chaos, and
is likely to insist that any accord reached now is measured only by its
implementation and not words.

      Mbeki, a consummate if not too patient a diplomat, is slowly but
surely waking up to the hard reality that the Zimbabwe crisis is posing on
his own country's economy, let alone on his pet project NEPAD.

      Obasanjo, though not too hamstrung by the Zimbabwe contagion, will
also be eager to distance himself from Mugabe if only because of NEPAD and
his own nation's economic interests, never mind the constitutional crisis
now preoccupying him.

      Australian Prime Minister John Howard, the chairman of the troika, is
certain to take a hard line from the start if only because he believes, as
many other leaders now do, that the Zimbabwe government never listens to

      Mbeki and Obasanjo realise that their single most potent weapon to
bring about positive economic and political change in Zimbabwe is to
withdraw their support for Mugabe, leaving him to his devices if he does not

      They may not publicly tell him so for obvious reasons, but their
implied actions brought on by frustration over lack of progress on resolving
the Zimbabwe crisis are increasingly more strident and things could get

      With Zimbabwe's other crucial neighbour Mozambique already walking a
tight rope and tilting its wings against Zimbabwe, Mugabe looks particularly

      The President would do well not to bare his well-known bravado and
brinkmanship at this time, lest he is left alone in the harsh political

      It is perhaps this realisation which this week prompted Harare to
announce that it is diverting some of its imports, chiefly food aid, away
from South Africa's ports to Namibia, a move far too costly in terms of
transportation but is seen by Harare to be politically expedient to its
uncompromising stance.

      But this and any other emergency measures being taken by Mugabe merely
skirt the key issues of the crisis and postpone the inevitable for one more
day. He needs to bite the bullet hard, aware as he must that the game is
surely up.

Thursday 19 September 2002

"Save Zimbabwe" campaign news release


The troika of Commonwealth leaders tasked with monitoring Zimbabwe have been
challenged to show moral leadership and political courage when they meet in Abuja
on Monday.

The international campaign group "Save Zimbabwe" said today:

"Mugabe has declared war on his people. His government ministers talk happily
of slashing the population in half through starvation, in order to bring about
their vision of an opposition-free Zimbabwe. Six million people in Zimbabwe are
now facing starvation as a result of the regime's brutal policies. Violence and
political intimidation are widespread. Communities are being broken up and destroyed.

It is time for the Commonwealth to show moral leadership and political courage.
African Commonwealth nations such as South Africa and Nigeria have a particular
responsibility, because they have the economic leverage to bring Mugabe down
if they choose to do so.

They can no longer stand passively by while this illegitimate and criminal regime
inflicts such suffering on its people. If you allow murder to take place at your
side, and you make no attempt to intervene, you assume some of the guilt for
the act."

Ephraim Tapa, chief spokesman for the "Save Zimbabwe" campaign said: "Six months
after the first meeting of Presidents Obasanjo of Nigeria, Mbeki of South Africa,
and Prime Minister Howard of Australia, the situation in Zimbabwe has become
far worse.

"The beating and intimidation of opposition supporters, the vast majority black
Zimbabweans, increases. The numbers of black farm workers fleeing from this intimidation
and into certain starvation, increases. The number of farms, which once fed the
whole of southern Africa, left empty and uncultivated, increases.

"Mugabe has fed the world a lie. He postures as a liberator fighting the forces
of white colonial oppression, and many have swallowed this lie. The truth is
that he is a tyrant engaged in a programme of intimidation and genocide against
his own people.  The people of Zimbabwe are desperate for help in their struggle
for freedom. If our fellow Africans will not come to our aid, and if the Commonwealth
hesitates to do more than wring its hands and bemoan Mugabe's unmannerly behaviour,
then we will have been betrayed by those we most looked to for support.

"The Commonwealth has always worked to nurture democracy. Mugabe is destroying
democracy, and his people with it. This is the time for the Commonwealth troika
to put fond memories of Mugabe's past behind them, and confront the reality of
his actions today, against his own people. Monday would be a good day to change
history. Tell Mugabe it's time to go"

The "Save Zimbabwe" campaign is a non-partisan international initiative, with
broad-based support drawn from both political parties and community groups. It
was launched during the recent African Union meeting in Durban and is designed
to restore democracy, human rights and legitimate government to Zimbabwe. The
holding of early, free and fair elections, under full and proper international
supervision, is a key objective of the campaign.


For more information please contact:

Mark Pursey on +44 20 7939 7934 or +44 7796 954 105, or

Helen Campbell on +44 20 7939 7939 or +7768 283 145


      Mbeki, Obasanjo to act on Mugabe in Abuja

      By Abel Mutsakani News Editor
      9/19/02 7:40:21 AM (GMT +2)

      COMMONWEALTH leaders meeting in Nigeria on Monday are expected to
extend indefinitely Zimbabwe's 12-month suspension from the 54-nation group
until the government upholds democracy, the rule of law and implements a
just, transparent and legal land reform plan, diplomatic sources said

      The diplomats, who represent Commonwealth member countries in Harare,
said such a prolonged suspension was tantamount to an outright expulsion.

      Alternatively, the tri-nation Commonwealth panel which earlier this
year banished Zimbabwe from the councils of the club could set out a new and
shorter deadline for President Robert Mugabe and his government to meet or
face full expulsion.

      Australian Prime Minister John Howard, the chairman of the
Commonwealth troika on Zimbabwe, suspended Harare after poll observers from
the club found that Mugabe had won a March presidential election through
alleged violence and fraud.

      South African President Thabo Mbeki and Nigerian leader Olusegun
Obasanjo are the other members of the troika.

      "The troika will have to act because it is important that the
Commonwealth is seen as being consistent in how it treats all its members,"
one diplomat said.

      The diplomat was referring to mounting pressure from within the
Commonwealth that it treats Zimbabwe in the same way it did to Fiji, which
it expelled and imposed limited trade sanctions on two years after a
military coup there.

      "If the three leaders see it fit to extend the suspension, they will
certainly impose stiffer penalties," another diplomat observed.

      Political analysts said a fresh crackdown on political opponents by
pro-government militias in recent weeks and the general disdain with which
Harare had defied the conditions spelt out to it by the Commonwealth could
alone force the troika to adopt tougher measures against Zimbabwe.

      Taking advantage of the shift in international focus to the threat of
a new Gulf War between the United States and Iraq, the militias have stepped
violence against political foes ahead of local government elections due by
month's end, the human rights watchdog Amnesty International said this week.

      The government has also stepped up its controversial programme to
drive white farmers off their land, with more than 300 farmers arrested in
the past few weeks because they have refused to comply with an August 10
deadline evicting them from their properties.

      Ross Herbert, an analyst at the South Africa Institute for
International Affairs, said while African members of the troika, especially
Mbeki, could be reluctant to approve tougher action against Harare, they
would find it difficult to plead Mugabe's case in the face of hard evidence
that the Zimbabwean leader had ignored the Commonwealth's demands.

      "If the troika finds that Zimbabwe is willingly failing to do the
things it was asked to do, as is clearly the case now, then they will have
to take action," Herbert said by telephone from South Africa's commercial
capital Johannesburg.

      He did not foresee the Commonwealth committee expelling or imposing
sanctions against Harare at Monday's summit in Nigeria's capital Abuja
chiefly because the panel did not appear to have such powers.

      But Herbert said chances were high that Zimbabwe's 12-month suspension
could be extended to a much longer-term period.

      The South African analyst spoke as the World Bank was this week
expected to review Zimbabwe's membership to the bank following action lat
week by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to formally initiate
Zimbabwe's suspension from the fund.

      The IMF, which had already cut off vital aid to Zimbabwe over Mugabe's
farm seizures and related governance issues, is severing ties with Harare
because it has failed to settle a debt of more than US$300 million to the
two agencies.

      Should Zimbabwe lose its IMF rights, it will join a small club of
pariah states such as Iraq, Liberia, Somalia and Sudan.

      University of Zimbabwe political scientist Masipula Sithole said:
"Clearly Harare has not moved to meet the demands set out by the
Commonwealth. If there has been any movement at all, it has been backwards."

      Sithole said Howard, Mbeki and Obasanjo had their job cut out for them
at Monday's summit.

      He said the least the three leaders could do would be to sternly warn
Mugabe, who has been invited to the meeting, and to give him a strict
timetable during which he should meet the Commonwealth's demands, with a
clear indication that they would recommend Zimbabwe's expulsion should the
conditions be ignored.

      Herbert said another factor likely to weigh heavily on the troika's
shoulders was the mounting pressure within the group that it had to be more
assertive on issues to do with democracy and human rights or become
irrelevant to ordinary citizens of member states.

      Sithole said if the Fiji example was followed and Zimbabwe was
expelled and limited trade sanctions imposed against it, then Harare would
be forced to comply with the demands of the international community.

      All of Zimbabwe's neighbours are members of the Commonwealth and it is
their economic and political support which has kept the financially crippled
administration in Harare on its feet.

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Zim Independent

Mugabe faces storm in Abuja
Mthulisi Mathuthu/Blessing Zulu
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is headed for a stormy meeting of the Commonwealth
troika in Abuja, Nigeria, on Monday amid club concerns he has openly flouted
the conditions his government agreed to in Abuja last September.

Primarily, Mugabe agreed to a just land reform exercise with due regard for
human rights, the rule of law and democratic principles.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was this week engaged in a
last-minute bid to be represented at the meeting and make its voice heard on
the crisis in the country.

Australian prime minister John Howard is expected to fly to London this
weekend to discuss the crisis in Zimbabwe with British Prime Minister Tony
Blair ahead of Monday's meeting.

Nigeria's junior foreign minister Dubem Onyia said British Foreign Secretary
Jack Straw was also expected at the talks in Abuja involving the
Commonwealth troika of Australia, Nigeria and South Africa.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday confirmed to the Zimbabwe Independent
that the MDC was engaged in talks with the troika chair, Howard, with a view
to dispatching a delegation to Nigeria's capital to present the opposition's
concerns and also to prove that Mugabe was responsible for the collapse of
the MDC/Zanu PF talks.

"We are currently negotiating with the chairman to allow us to send a
delegation to Nigeria," said Tsvangirai.

MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube in a statement this week said the
Commonwealth's failure to invite the MDC and civil society to the meeting
was "fundamentally wrong" and "extremely worrying".

The MDC fears that Mugabe will try to hoodwink the Commonwealth in Abuja by
claiming once again he only wants to share land.

Howard is pessimistic that the troika can convince Mugabe to co-operate with
the rest of the 53-member group. He said if Mugabe remained defiant the
troika would talk about its options regarding continued Commonwealth

"At this stage I'm not too hopeful that we can achieve Zimbabwe's
co-operation but we can try," said Howard. "Zimbabwe has been in total
defiance of Commonwealth opinion. There are some limited options regarding
Commonwealth membership that are open to us and then of course individual
Commonwealth countries can take action if they so wish."

A spokesman for the Australian High Commission yesterday allayed fears that
Howard would be fighting a lone battle in Abuja with African leaders siding
with Mugabe.

"The decision to have Mugabe reform was taken by the Commonwealth and not by
Mr Howard," said the spokesman. "So the leaders in Abuja will be out to
express the Commonwealth's displeasure with Mugabe." Mugabe has yet to
confirm his attendance
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Zim Independent

Lawyers blast Blackie story

LAWYERS representing Justice Fergus Blackie have expressed outrage at a
report carried in the government-controlled daily, the Herald claiming their
client had a sexual relationship with Tara White, the woman at the centre of
the charges preferred against the former judge.

Justice Blackie is facing charges of contravening the Prevention of
Corruption Act or alternatively defeating or obstructing the course of
justice arising from the way he disposed of a fraud case involving White.

The Herald reported that the state alleged Justice Blackie had a sexual
relationship with White while still on the bench. The paper quoted
prosecutor Stephen Musona as alleging the relationship had influenced the
judge to "unilaterally give out a judgement in her favour".

Lawyers representing Blackie said the allegations of sexual impropriety were
not stated in court and they categorically denied them.

"I was in court on Tuesday and nothing like that was ever said," said Agmos
Moyo of Coglan Welsh & Guest. Moyo said they would consider suing the

Advocate Firoz Girach said the allegations in the Herald were very

"It is particularly disturbing that these allegations have surfaced at this
stage and in circumstances where our client has not had the opportunity to
comment on them," said Girach.

"These allegations, of course, were not mentioned at the time our client was
placed on remand."

Attorney-General Andrew Chigovera refused to comment on the conduct of the
government-controlled daily.

"Commenting may prejudice the people who are involved and I would not want
to say whether the state will use that evidence or not," said Chigovera. -
Staff Writer.

Daily News

      Blackie's lawyers deny sex link

      9/20/02 9:14:56 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      Lawyers representing former High Court judge, Justice Fergus Blackie,
who is facing a charge of defeating or obstructing the course of justice,
have denied the State allegations that their client had a sexual
relationship with Tara White.

      In a statement yesterday, Raphael Costa of Costa and Wadzonga legal
practitioners categorically denied the sexual allegations announced in court
on Tuesday.

      "It is particularly disturbing that these allegations have surfaced at
this late stage and in circumstances where our client has not had the
opportunity to comment on them. These allegations, of course, were not
mentioned at the time that our client was placed on remand," Costa said.

      Blackie appeared before provincial magistrate Lilian Kudya on Monday
and was granted $10 000 bail. He was remanded to 19 November and ordered to
surrender his travel documents and report once every Wednesday to the CID.

      Blackie, 65, is alleged to have unprocedurally handled White's appeal
after she was convicted and sentenced for the theft of $500 000 from her

      White had been sentenced to four years in prison with three years
conditionally suspended. She then appealed against both conviction and
sentence and the case was handled by Blackie.

Daily News

The Mole

      State media get carried away over Blackie

      9/20/02 8:31:45 AM (GMT +2)

      It never ceases to amaze me why humans the world over seem hardly ever
able to manage to conceal their obvious pleasure each time someone else
other than themselves or one of their closest relatives, gets into trouble.

      Witness, here at home, how the State-controlled media always get into
something akin to an orgasmic ecstasy, falling just short of calling on
everybody to pour out into the streets and break into wild dances of joy,
each time a prominent citizen who is not a member of Zanu PF, particularly
if they are a member of the MDC or of the white community, falls foul of the

      Never mind that, in a significant number of cases, the most celebrated
of which being the Ari Ben-Menashe-concocted "Mugabe assassination plot"
treason case against Morgan Tsvangirai, most of the trouble will have been
engineered by the government itself, of course.

      A few weeks ago the State media went into a frenzy over the tragic and
very sad developments in young MP Learnmore Jongwe's private family life,
shamelessly turning it into a party issue.

      One did not need to try hard to detect in their treatment of the case,
that strong hint of a thinly-veiled gleeful gloating within that section of
the media.

      Aided by the politicised Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku whose
comments at the hearing of Jongwe's bail appeal were as good as convicting
him even before he has has had the chance to stand trial, they seem to have
concluded, rightly or wrongly, that it's the end of Jongwe's political

      Well, although it may seem to them like something to celebrate about,
The Mole's sixth sense says that all right-thinking Zimbabweans were
extremely saddened by that turn of events in the young MP's life.

      He is, without any shadow of doubt, a very brilliant young man who
held much promise for not just his party, the MDC, which the Zanu
PF-controlled public media is so fond of vilifying without any
justification, but also held much hope for the nation as a whole.

      Now the hounds in the State media have turned their vicious attention
to one hapless retired judge, Justice Fergus Blackie, whom they are tearing
to pieces with special relish.

      Blackie is facing charges of breaching the Prevention of Corruption
Act or, alternatively, defeating the course of justice.

      It is alleged that Blackie improperly freed on appeal, one Tara White,
a white woman who had been convicted on a charge of theft by a magistrate,
and set aside an effective one-year jail term, without the concurrence of a
fellow judge, Justice Rita Makarau, with whom he had heard the appeal.

      Now Blackie's case has taken a new dimension with the allegations that
Blackie and White had a sexual relationship while he was on the Bench, an
allegation which, if proved true, would weigh heavily against Blackie's
hearing of White's appeal in the first place.

      It is not the business of The Mole to exonerate or convict people
facing whatever charges in the country's courts of law, but we cannot help
making some interesting observations here.

      To begin with, it is curious that it took Justice Makarau nearly a
year to discover that judgment in a case in which she had sat together with
Blackie, and which naturally she would have had more than a casual interest,
had been passed. And why did she wait until after Blackie had retired before
reporting to her superiors her obviously alarming discovery which, if proved
true, appears to have all the makings of a breach of professional conduct?

      Even more curious is why this juicy stuff in the form of allegations
that Blackie and White had a sexual relationship, is surfacing only now
after the judge has retired when it is obvious that whoever is spilling the
beans knew about it even at the time of the appeal.

      Wasn't it supposed to be an issue of even greater concern then?

      The public will be forgiven for suspecting that Blackie is being
subjected to this embarrassment because he dared to call to heel Justice
Minister Patrick Chinamasa by slapping on him a three-month custodial
sentence for contempt of court.

      It is now payback time for what Chinamasa must obviously have seen as
extreme insolence on the part of the judge.

      One parting shot: Why is that House Speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa, who as
Justice Minister, ordered the release of a notorious armed robber with more
than 20 years of his sentence still to serve, has not yet been arrested and
brought to court months after admitting to that misconduct?

      I would have thought his was a more serious case than Blackie's
alleged improper release of a woman who had been sent to jail for only a
year on a conviction of a white collar crime.

      Or could it be that we have two sets of laws - a lenient one for those
in power and ruthless one for the ordinary citizens?

      n Hardly a fortnight after it made a dramatic U-turn from a "no-no-no"
to a "yes-yes-yes" position over the issue of accepting a United States
offer of hundreds of tonnes of genetically modified maize for Zimbabwe's
starving millions, the government has made another dramatic - and this time
a more embarrassing - U-turn or policy shift.

      In its anti-democratic - and probably unconstitutional - bid to
disenfranchise before the March presidential election as many as possible of
its citizens whom it believed would vote for Morgan Tsvangirai and, thus,
hopefully stave off certain defeat which was staring President Mugabe in the
face, the government committed a terrible blunder.

      It declared as aliens people who were Zimbabwean citizens by birth on
the totally unsustainable argument that their parents were of foreign

      Frankly, I had never known any government in the world to do anything
so foolish and illogical. It simply did not make sense. Everybody said so
with the exception, of course, of the that brain-dead crowd in the
government to whom even common sense is not so common, so it seems.

      Now, the slow thinkers have at last done their correction and,
thankfully, got the answer right at last.

      People born in Zimbabwe by parents who came from Southern African
Development Community countries will soon be recognised as Zimbabweans,
Chinamasa announced this week!

      But they have always been Zimbabweans anyway. Stupid! The dimwits, of
course, did not get the answer completely correct in that they left out
those born in Zimbabwe by parents who originated from the rest of the world,
and who, therefore, are as Zimbabwean as the rest of the people in the
Cabinet no matter what the Chinamasas of this world may persuade themselves
to believe to the contrary.

      But it's a step in the right direction and, therefore, a good
correction under the circumstances.

IBA Expresses Concern at the Reports of Inhumane Treatment of Zim's Retired

International Bar Association (London)

September 20, 2002
Posted to the web September 20, 2002

The International Bar Association (IBA) has today written to the Attorney
General of Zimbabwe, Andrew Chigovera, to express grave concern about the
arrest and detention of former Justice Fergie Blackie.

The IBA has been advised that Chief Justice Chidayausiku reportedly ordered
the Police Commissioner, Augustine Chihuriover, to investigate the conduct
of retired Justice Blackie in relation to a case involving a white woman
convicted of stealing from her employer. Contrary to normal procedure,
former Justice Blackie, who is 65 years of age, was arrested at 4am on the
morning of Friday 13 September. No formal charges at the time of arrest and
up until his release were put forward by the police. Sources advise that the
allegations against Justice Blackie are without foundation. It is also, in
our submission, wholly inappropriate that in a matter of this nature an
elderly gentleman should be arrested at 4am in the morning.

The IBA is extremely concerned to learn that Justice Blackie was denied
access to legal representation for the first 32 hours following his arrest.
The IBA is also alarmed at reports that Justice Blackie was denied
medication necessary to control high blood pressure and that he was denied a
phone call to his family and food during the first 32 hours he was detained.
The IBA in its letter to Attorney General Chigovera, reminded the Zimbabwean
Government of its obligations under Article 5 of the African Charter on
Human and Peoples Rights and Article 7 of the UN International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which prohibit the use of torture and ill
treatment, which includes the failure to provide medical treatment to
detainees. Further we should like to draw the Zimbabwean Government's
attention to Principle 24 of the UN Principles for the Protection of all
Persons under any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, which obligates the
detaining authorities to provide medical treatment.

Following the visit of the IBA delegation to Zimbabwe in March 2001, the IBA
concluded in a widely read report that the rule of law was in grave peril,
and that the independence of the judiciary was under threat. Despite
assurances received from President Mugabe to the IBA delegation that the
rule of law would be respected and the safety of judges ensured, the IBA has
observed with extreme concern the further deterioration of the rule of law
in Zimbabwe.

Mark Ellis, IBA Executive Director stated: 'Just when you think Mugabe could
not possibly inflict any more pain on the people of Zimbabwe, he tightens
his grip even more'

The IBA has asked the Attorney General to ensure that the aforementioned
irregularities will not occur again in the future. The IBA has also asked
for assurance that the case will proceed in accordance with the principles
of natural justice, and that there will be no further breaches of
international and regional standards.

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Zim Independent

Latest attack on judiciary a litmus test
THE arrest of former High Court Justice Fergus Blackie last weekend exposes
just how determined this regime is to punish its critics - real and
perceived. Blackie was arrested at 4am last Friday on allegations that he
had violated the Prevention of Corruption Act, alternatively defeating or
obstructing the course of justice.

The ex-judge who is 65 was held incommunicado for over 24 hours, according
to reports, and denied food, medicine or warm clothing as well as access to
his lawyers. Despite an order by a High Court judge for him to be brought
immediately before the High Court, the police at several stations reportedly
refused to accept the order, claiming they did not know his whereabouts.

As the Legal Resources Foundation points out, the time and manner of Blackie
's arrest and subsequent attempts to conceal his whereabouts and to prevent
him being brought to court are typical of the way perceived opponents of
government are treated. Members of the Law Society were subjected to the
same abuse.

It is now common for people to be detained on a Friday so that the police
can hold them for the weekend before bringing them to court.

Justice Blackie has in the past been castigated by government ministers for
his judicial activism, in particular ordering the release of individuals
arbitrarily held. He has only recently ruled in a contempt of court case
against Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa, a step that had government
spokesmen fulminating against him. As the New York-based Lawyers Committee
for Human Rights observed this week, his record of judicial independence may
have been the reason for his arrest and detention.

"The arrest and detention of Justice Blackie were unnecessary measures in
the investigation of the allegations against him," the US lawyers noted. "It
appears rather that the date and time of his arrest were deliberately chosen
to cause the greatest possible distress to Justice Blackie and to ensure
that he would be held over the weekend."

Both the Zimbabwe constitution and human rights conventions to which
Zimbabwe is party contain provisions prohibiting arbitrary detention and
inhuman treatment as well as protecting the right of all persons to be
innocent until proven guilty. But the government has made it abundantly
clear it will brook no opposition. Former Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay and
other judges have been hounded off the bench to be replaced with what
ministers have touted as judges prepared to advance government's legislative

The example of judicial independence Blackie provided is the very antithesis
of what government now expects of the judiciary. The so-called "war cabinet"
is clearly anxious to demonstrate the cost critics of the regime will now
pay for exercising their professional duty or democratic rights. The
Chinamasa case has shown that ministers believe they are above the law.
President Mugabe has suggested much the same thing over the years in regard
to his own edicts.

This is self-evidently a regime that, while claiming to be upholding the
law, is busy subverting it at every turn while sending a clear message to
its critics that punishment awaits in the form of arbitrary arrests and
inhuman treatment. Nothing in the charges being prepared against Blackie
warrant depriving him of food, warm clothes and medicine. Only this week
Zimbabwe's police chiefs signed up to a code of conduct that forbids inhuman
or degrading treatment.

It must be asked what impression the arrest of a 65-year-old ex-judge will
have on an already cowed judiciary. As we report in our Analysis this week,
magistrates are already under political pressure to refuse farmers with
pending cases the right to return to their farms. Judges and magistrates
have in some cases been inexcusably slow in extending to individuals their
right to liberty just because the Attorney-General's Office has not got its
act together. There have been other disturbing signs of judges assisting the

The attack on judicial independence must be high on the Commonwealth troika'
s meeting in Abuja on Monday. The heads of government must not allow
spurious claims of advancing social justice to obscure their view of the
steady erosion of liberties taking place as Mugabe's regime feels
increasingly cornered. Nobody can feel free so long as the state is allowed
to threaten, bully, and arbitrarily detain citizens as part of a political
programme of repression.

Presidents Obasanjo and Mbeki have repeatedly turned a blind eye to the
excesses of their fellow African leader. That misplaced solidarity is now
costing Africa international respect and jeopardising billions of dollars in
trade and investment flows. It would be interesting to know if there is a
line which they are prepared to draw and if so where it is. The current
assault on the judiciary provides a litmus test of their sincerity in
resolving Zimbabwe's spiralling crisis.
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Daily News

      Journalists union warns government

      9/20/02 9:28:11 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) has warned that any
interference by the government in the union's affairs will be strongly

      Luke Tamborinyoka, the ZUJ secretary-general, said on Wednesday: "The
union is driven by the wishes of its members and their branches and any
attempts to have those wishes nullified so soon after the congress will be
met with a stiff fight."

      Tamborinyoka said: "We wonder why the government would want to ask for
the ZUJ constitution soon after the congress. It is also curious that a few
weeks before the congress the Department of Information and Publicity wanted
a list of the ZUJ membership."

      He said ZUJ was an affiliate of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
(ZCTU), and not an appendage of the Department of Information and Publicity.

      "It is only the ZCTU which can ask us about technicalities and
submission of such documents, not the government which has worked very hard
to create a hostile environment for journalists," Tamborinyoka said.

      His remarks followed persistent efforts by the Department of
Information and Publicity to get a copy of the ZUJ constitution.

      The union strongly suspects that the department could be looking for
ways to subvert the results of the election for the ZUJ executive held at
the congress in Masvingo last Saturday, where three political journalists
from the State-controlled newspapers The Herald and The Sunday Mail were
thoroughly trounced in the election. The three, Phillip Magwaza, Munyaradzi
Huni and Lovemore Mataire, were believed to have the backing of Jonathan
Moyo, the junior Minister of Information and Publicity.

      But Edward Mamutse, the director of information, said there was
nothing unusual about the request for a copy of the ZUJ constitution.

      He said he had asked many people for a copy of the ZUJ constitution
but no-one seemed to have it.

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Daily News

      Hundreds to withdraw from school following eviction

      9/20/02 9:23:07 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      HUNDREDS of primary school children from Igava and Mashangwe schools
in Chief Svosve's area near Marondera will have to withdraw from their
schools after their families were forcibly relocated from their new
settlements by the government.

      Settlers at Eirene Farm, formerly owned by Hamish Charters, on Tuesday
said their forced relocation meant their 200 children attending school at
Igava and Mashangwe would be withdrawn.

      Air Marshall Perence Shiri, the commander of the Airforce of Zimbabwe
has taken over the farm.

      The Svosve people who have been on the farm for the past three years
are bitter with the government which they accuse of fooling them into
believing they were now the new owners of Eirene Farm under the A1
resettlement model.

      They said the government had reserved the farm for senior government
officials who wanted the farm-houses and farming equipment.

      Christopher Chingosho, the Mashonaland East provincial administrator,
could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

      His secretary said he was out of his office.

      Shiri has repeatedly said he has every right to own land in Zimbabwe
and is not ashamed to be associated with the soil of this country. For the
past two weeks, government lorries have been transporting the settlers to
Mapuranga Farm, about 30km away, where they are erecting new pole and mud
huts for shelter.

      Cornelius Mandiringa, who relocated from Eirene Farm said: "We cannot
imagine our young children having to walk 30km to school. The unplanned
relocation simply means the government does not want us to send our children
to school."

      He said until the government built schools for their children at
Mapuranga farm, they would not let them across rivers and bushes to school.

      Mapuranga farm, designed for cattle ranching, was formerly owned by a
man identified by the settlers only as Vrystaat.

      Moses Hombarume, 38, said the government should have considered the
future of the settlers' children before forcing the Svosve people to
relocate to Mapuranga.

      Most of the people who settled at Eirene Farm came from Mupazvirirwo,
Nyamunyamu, Muchakata, Delta communal lands and Villages 37, 33, 34, and 16
at the height of the land occupations.

      The headmaster at Mashangwe Primary School was not at available when
The Daily News visited on Tuesday.

      Meanwhile, the settlers said the government's actions had the
potential to destroy Zanu PF if it failed to live up to their expectations.

      The settlers, who asked not to be named for fear of victimisation by
the government, said they had run out of patience and would not be fooled in
future elections.

      They said their life at Mapuranga would be unbearable considering
there was no grinding mill. The only grinding mill they could use was at
Eirene Farm.

      "The people are drinking water from the same dam that Vrystaat's
animals used," one of the elders said.

      "Because the government is treating us like animals, we will behave
like animals in future elections. Our spirits will fight for us."
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Zim Independent

Hyper-inflation: Lessons for Zimbabwe
Barnabas Thondhlana
THE worst episode of hyperinflation in history was registered in Yugoslavia
(1993-94). Under Josef Tito, Yugoslavia ran a budget deficit that was
financed by printing money. This led to a rate of inflation of 15% to 25%
per year.

After Tito, the Communist Party pursued progressively more irrational
economic policies. These and the break-up of Yugoslavia (Yugoslavia now
consists of only Serbia and Montenegro) led to heavier reliance on printing
or otherwise creating money to finance the operation of the government and
the socialist economy. This created the hyperinflation.

By the early 1990s, the government had used up all of its own hard currency
reserves and proceeded to loot the hard currency savings of private
citizens. It did this by imposing more and more difficult restrictions on
private citizens' access to their hard currency savings in government banks.
The government operated a network of stores at which goods were supposed to
be available at artificially low prices. In practice, these stores seldom
had anything to sell and goods were only available at free markets where the
prices were far above the official prices that goods were supposed to sell
at in government stores. All the government petrol stations eventually
closed and petrol was available only from roadside dealers whose operation
consisted of a car parked with a plastic can of gasoline on the hood.

The market price was the equivalent of US$8 per gallon. Most car owners gave
up driving and relied on public transportation. But the Belgrade Transit
Authority (GSP) did not have the funds necessary for keeping its fleet of 1
200 buses operating. Instead, it ran fewer than 500 buses. These buses were
overcrowded and the ticket collectors could not get aboard to collect fares.
Thus, GSP could not collect fares even though it was desperately short of

Delivery trucks, ambulances, fire engines and garbage trucks were also short
of fuel. The government announced that gasoline would not be sold to farmers
for harvests and planting. Despite the government's desperate printing of
money, it still did not have the funds to keep the infrastructure in
operation. Potholes developed in the streets, elevators stopped functioning,
and construction projects were closed down. The unemployment rate exceeded

The government tried to counter the inflation by imposing price controls.
But when inflation continued, and the government price controls made the
price producers were getting ridiculously low, they stopped producing. In
October of 1993, the bakers stopped making bread and Belgrade was without
bread for a week. The slaughter houses refused to sell meat to the state
stores and this meant meat became unvailable for many sectors of the
population. Other stores closed down for inventory rather than sell their
goods at the government-mandated prices. When farmers refused to sell at the
artificially low prices, government irrationally used hard currency to buy
food from foreign sources rather than remove the price controls.

Later, the government tried to curb inflation by requiring stores to file
paper work every time they raised a price. This meant that many of the
stores' employees had to devote their time to filling out these government
forms. Instead of curbing inflation this policy actually increased
inflation, because the stores tended to increase prices by a far bigger
margin to avoid filling more so soon after the last set.

In October of 1993, the government created a new currency unit. One new
dinar was worth one million of the old dinars. In effect, the government
simply removed six zeroes from the paper money. This of course did not stop
the inflation and between October 1 1993 and January 24 1995 prices
increased by five quadrillion percent. This number is a 5 with 15 zeroes
after it.

In November of 1993, the government postponed turning on the heat in the
state apartment buildings in which most of the population lived. The
residents reacted to this withholding of heat by using electrical space
heaters which were inefficient and overloaded the electrical system. The
government power company then had to order blackouts to conserve

The social structure began to collapse. Thieves robbed hospitals and clinics
of scarce pharmaceuticals and then sold them in front of the same places
they robbed. The railway workers went on strike and closed down Yugoslavia's
rail system. The government set the level of pensions. The pensions were to
be paid at the post office but the government did not give the post offices
enough funds to pay these pensions. The pensioners lined up in long lines
outside the post offices.When the post office ran out of state funds to pay
the pensions, the employees would pay the next pensioner in line whatever
money they received when someone came in to mail a letter or package.

With inflation being what it was, the value of the pension would decrease
drastically if the pensioners went home and came back the next day. So they
waited in line knowing that the value of their pension payment was
decreasing with each minute they had to wait in line. Many Yugoslav
businesses refused to take the Yugoslav currency at all and the German
Deutsche Mark effectively became the currency of Yugoslavia.

But government organisations, government employees and pensioners still got
paid in Yugoslav dinars so there was still an active exchange in dinars. On
November 12 1993 the exchange rate was 1DM/1 million new dinars. By November
23 the exchange rate was 1DM/6,5 million new dinars and at the end of
November it was 1DM/37 million new dinars. At the beginning of December, the
bus workers went on strike because their pay for two weeks was equivalent to
only 4DM when it cost a family of four 230DM per month to live. By December
11, the exchange rate was 1DM/800 million and on December 15 it was 1DM/3,7
billion new dinars. The average daily rate of inflation was nearly 100%.

When farmers selling in the free markets refused to sell food for Yugoslav
dinars, the government closed down the free markets. On December 29, the
exchange rate was 1DM/950 billion new dinars. At the end of December, the
exchange rate was 1DM/3 trillion dinars and on January 4 1994, it was 1DM/6
trillion dinars. On January 6 the government declared that the German
Deutsche was an official currency of Yugoslavia. About this time, the
government announced a new new dinar which was equal to 1 billion of the old
new dinars.

This meant that the exchange rate was 1DM/6 000 new new dinars. By January
11 the exchange rate had reached a level of 1DM/80 000 new new dinars. On
January 19, the rate was 1DM/10 million new new dinars.

On January 24 1994, the government introduced the super dinar equal to 10
million of the new new dinars. The Yugoslav government's official position
was that the hyper-inflation occurred "because of the unjustly implemented
sanctions against the Serbian people and state".

Source: James Lyon, Yugoslavia's Hyperinflation, 1993-1994: A Social
History, East European Politics and Societies, vol. 10, No 2 (Spring 1996),
pp. 293-327.

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Zim Independent

Poaching on the increase
Augustine Mukaro
HUNGRY resettled farmers have stepped up poaching activities in wildlife
conservancies putting paid to Zimbabwe's expected claim at the forthcoming
Cites meeting that it has brought illegal hunting under control.

Zimbabwe is bidding to retain its Appendix II status which allows it to
engage in controlled trade in elephants and elephant products.

Commercial Farmers Union Masvingo regional executive Mike Clark said in a
two-day period from August 28/30, 12 poachers were arrested by the
Department of National Parks at Bubye River and Sangokwe in the Lowveld. The
poachers were in possession of a number of animal carcasses valued at $7,18

"Although the poachers were taken to the police they were soon released with
eight hours community service as punishment," Clark said.

"This does not encourage either the scouts or rangers who daily risk their
lives to protect wildlife which is being bred and cared for future

He said the 12 arrested were just the tip of the iceberg as many others were
not being brought to book.

"If the value of the poached animals is extrapolated against the number of
properties being subjected to this suspected state-encouraged lawlessness,
or by the number of animals per hectare, then it would be horrifying and
absolutely unsustainable," he said.

"Will there be any natural resources left for our children, the future
citizens of Zimbabwe, to either exploit or even see and enjoy at the end of
this destructive and unnecessary political action?"

National Parks this week confirmed they deployed army and police on a number
of ranches to curb increasing poaching activities but were in the process of
compiling a detailed response to the Zimbabwe Independent enquiries.

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Arabic News

Herald of Harare: Zimbabwe's Mugabe Calls for Moroccan-Zimbabwean Joint
Morocco-Zimbabwe, Politics, 9/20/2002

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has called for the creation of a joint
commission to take care of agricultural, commercial and political
cooperation between his country and Morocco. "It is important to create a
joint commission, conclude commercial accords and study other problems of
Africa and of the African Union," Mugabe told the Herald of Harare
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Police Arrest 315 Illegal Gold Panners

The Herald (Harare)

September 19, 2002
Posted to the web September 19, 2002

Sifelani Tsiko

POLICE in Shamva yesterday netted 315 illegal gold panners along the banks
of Mazowe and Nyagui rivers in a crackdown that sent a thousand others
fleeing into nearby hills and forests.

Mashonaland Central police provincial spokesman Inspector Dawson Mahonde
said the illegal gold panners were causing extensive environmental damage,
threatening the life of Mazowe River, which supports many people in mines,
towns and others downstream.

"We are raiding all panners because they are threatening the life of Mazowe
River," he said.

"There is a lot of siltation and too much mud, which has led to the blocking
of irrigation pipes and engine pumps."

He said newly resettled Model A2 farmers were the hardest hit and were now
failing to access water to irrigate their wheat and other crops.

"The river is no longer flowing steadily to support other economic
activities downstream because of extensive damage of the river banks,"
Inspector Mahonde said.

"This is now threatening farming activities for newly resettled farmers."

Mazowe River supplies water to Shamva, Trojan and Ashanti mines, and Bindura
while also feeding irrigation schemes for Model A2 farmers dotted in the
Bindura, Glendale, Mazowe and Shamva areas.

But the influx of illegal gold panners from Mount Darwin, Rushinga, Murehwa,
Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe and Musana communal areas has led to the digging of
unprotected shafts on the river, causing clogging and erosion of banks.

Open shafts dug out by the illegal panners were now a danger to humans,
livestock and other wild animals which drink water on the banks of Mazowe
and Nyagui rivers, about 100 km north-east of Harare.

This year, several gold diggers were killed when walls of the shafts
collapsed in these illegal mining activities, which often lack adequate
safety measures.

The illegal gold diggers who were rounded up comprised people of all ages -
mothers, fathers and children.

There is an organised syndicate of diggers and gold dealers who come to buy
the precious metal.

The police destroyed makeshift structures and collected picks, shovels, iron
rods, axes and an array of other implements used by the illegal gold

Some mothers had their children strapped on their backs.

They were taken to Shamva Police Station with their bags full of clothes,
cooking utensils and other personal effects.

Most of them said the current drought had pushed them to these extremes.

"The drought is quite serious," said Elisha Nyamande from
Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe. "We have to struggle to raise money to buy food for
our children."

His wife, with a three-year-old daughter, was also arrested.

He said he uses the money he gets from selling gold to send his four
children to school.

The illegal gold panners and diggers will be charged for contravening
Section 127(i)h of the Water Act, which makes it an offence to interfere
with river and water systems that many people depend on for a livelihood.

They will each be fined $500, which environmentalists say is too little to
act as a deterrent to stop the damage on the river's ecosystem.
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Women Scramble to Get Refunds After Oma Bank Fails to Take Off

Financial Gazette (Harare)

September 19, 2002
Posted to the web September 19, 2002

Zhean Gwaze

Members of 15 Zimbabwean women's groups are frantically trying to retrieve
contributions they made five years ago to raise over $15 million in share
capital to launch a women's bank, it emerged this week.

The fate of the funds raised is unknown.

The project, a brainchild of the ruling ZANU PF Women's League, was launched
in 1996 to empower women financially through the establishment of OMA bank,
which was supposed to open its doors to the public in August 1999.

The women-only commercial bank was to be known as OMA, the shorthand
representing the Ndebele and Shona words for women - Omama and MAdzimai
respectively. It had more than 30 000 women members from all walks of life
who contributed to accounts held at the Post Office Savings Bank (POSB).

The women were required to raise $50 million to acquire an operating licence
from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, but by May 1997 they had only managed to
contribute $15 million.

But by May 1999, no proper application for a licence had been made to the
finance ministry and officials did not notify the members on the fate of
their contributions.

An investigation by the Financial Gazette reveals that several members of
OMA throughout the country are now making frantic efforts to withdraw their
money from the POSB.

POSB officials said the attempts had been unsuccessful because OMA did not
have an account with the post office bank. Instead, contributions had been
deposited in individual accounts in which OMA executives had instructed the
bank not to allow withdrawals.

Officials at the POSB head office in Harare said the bank had initially been
instructed to maintain the accounts for one year, after which they would be
transferred to OMA bank.

"We have several inquiries about the OMA funds but we cannot assist the
members because their accounts cannot be withdrawn and OMA has no account
with us. Nothing new has been communicated to us (about withdrawals)," said
an official who declined to be named.

Members were entitled to deposit a minimum $840 a year or $70 per month, of
which $240 was being kept in a special fund to be used by women facing

The governor of Manicaland, Oppah Muchinguri, told the Financial Gazette
that the bank had failed to take off because licensing fees had been hiked
to an amount the women could not afford.

She said when the women last inquired in 1997, licensing fees for banks had
been increased from $50 million to $55 million. Commercial banks now pay
$500 million to be licensed by the central bank.

Muchinguri said she could not discuss the fate of the funds raised by the
women because she was not a member of the OMA executive. She however said
she had investigated the matter.

"I understand that all the 15 non-governmental organisations (involved in
the project) are to meet and sign some affidavits before the accounts can be
dissolved and the women will be refunded their contributions with interest,"
she said.

She however referred other questions to the OMA executive, the Ministry of
Youth, Gender and Employment Creation and ZANU PF Women's League head
Thenjiwe Lesabe, who initially mooted the idea of the bank.

OMA coordinator Gloria Mukombachoto and chairperson Violet Madzimbamuto
could not be reached for comment.

Mukombachoto is now based in South Africa and past media reports indicate
that she has severed ties with OMA bank.

Lesabe and Youth, Gender and Employment Creation Deputy Minister Shuvai
Mahofa were said to be busy attending meetings.

Among the contributors to the OMA account were President Robert Mugabe, who
pledged $50 000 as a minority shareholder during the launch of the project,
and Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe's managing director Gideon Gono, who pledged
$5 000 to support the establishment of a secretariat that was never set up.

Women contributors were to hold a 60 percent interest in OMA bank, with the
remaining 40 percent being reserved for interested parties.

Similar women's banks operate in South Africa, Bangladesh, Kenya and
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Daily News

      Thieves show no respect for the dead

      9/19/02 8:17:14 PM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo

      THIEVES in Bulawayo are stealing tombstones from cemeteries and are
re-engraving them for resale to unsuspecting customers.

      Athlone Cemetery is the worst affected, although the city council said
all the cemeteries had been hit by the thefts.

      The tombstones cost up to $450 000 each and have a ready market.

      Rita Dlodlo, the council's director of health services, said council
was aware of the thefts and had reported them to the police.

      "The problem is affecting all cemeteries but it is more serious at
Athlone where there is a concentration of tombstones, some of which have
precious metals," she said.

      There is no security at Athlone, where the city's rich and famous are
buried. The thieves are apparently taking advantage of the lack of security.

      In addition to the tombstones, thieves have stolen all the 36 water
taps at Athlone Cemetery.

      Workers at the graveyard said the theft of the tombstones was believed
to be the work of well-organised syndicates who colluded with tombstone

      A caretaker at the cemetery, who refused to be named, said they had
reported the thefts to the police who could not comment yesterday.
      During the past two months about 10 tombstones were stolen from
Athlone Cemetery alone, the council workers said.

      Grave diggers said they suspected the thieves raided the cemetery in
the dead of the night in large groups because the tombstones are very heavy.

      The relative of one of the deceased who was laid to rest at the
cemetery, who requested anonymity, said they were shocked to find the grave
of their loved one desecrated.

      "We had gone to place flowers at the grave when we found the tombstone
gone. It is unbelievable what people can do to get money," she said.

      She added that the family made a report to the police.

      Most of the engravers who spoke to The Daily News said they suspected
the thieves were engravers who had lost their jobs and wanted to make easy

      Akim Asani, the director of Everlasting Memory, a company dealing in
tombstones, said he suspected the thieves were small-time entrepreneurs and
not the established ones.

      "They could be workers retrenched from engraving companies who are
trying to make money," he said.
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