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

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Herewith a copy of a letter sent to Prime Minister Howard of Australia
prior to the Commonwealth Troika meeting in Abuja on Monday, copies of
which have been forwarded to other members of the troika. This letter
will appear in the press on Sunday. Discussed therein are issues of
extreme national importance. Please distribute this letter as widely as

The Honourable John Howard
Prime Minister of Australia

                              Commonwealth Troika

Dear Prime minister,

Re: Meeting Of Commonwealth Troika - Abuja, Nigeria 23rd September 2001

Justice for Agriculture (JAG) is a group of concerned Zimbabweans with a
mission to secure justice, peace and freedom for the agricultural sector.
Its contribution to the Zimbabwean economy is presently under attack,
which has led to the displacement of expertise, causing poverty and

JAG incorporates the interests of commercial farm owners, farm workers,
as well as the agricultural ancillary industries and their employees.

Its mission is to safeguard and support people directly affected, in
whatever way possible, and to document and expose the injustices and
human rights abuses being perpetrated against them. These rights are
enshrined within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as adopted by
Zimbabwe, a member of the United Nations.

JAG remains determined to find a lasting and just solution to the crisis
currently facing the agricultural sector, in accordance with the freely
expressed wishes of the people.

JAG is not adverse to reforms but the manner in which the reform is being
implemented is not within the law and constitution of Zimbabwe. Just this
past week Parliament was called into session to debate a new bill, which
awaits the President's endorsement. The need to make this amendment is
further proof that Land Reform has been implemented without due regard to
the Zimbabwean Laws and Constitution.


 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 to the lists. 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. It was 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 and other reasons and assured everyone it would be
    leaving alone.

 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 terms 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.
    Conduct an independent audit. The laws regarding allocation have not
    been complied with. An impartial board, with no members of
    Parliament, 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 of 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 maximums, largely at the expense of other
    Zimbabweans including 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.

 1. 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 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.

 1. 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 white 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.

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

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.

 1. Government of Zimbabwe to clarify Compensation issues. Farmers are
    being ordered and coerced to pay retrenchment packages, we believe in
    lieu of the farm workers getting land. 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.

 1. 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.

Prime Minister, Justice for Agriculture are aware that unless Zimbabweans
take back the production of food from 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 a murder most foul.

I, request on behalf of my executive and on behalf of the agricultural
sector, for your intervention in curbing political interference that
lends a lie to the true meaning of Sovereignty, defined as "The
sovereign good the greatest good", esp. for a State, its people, etc. Give
assist us to make our leadership accountable to the disasters they have
perpetrated against their own people.

Yours faithfully,

For and on behalf of Justice for Agriculture

David Conolly


As a result of the article in the Independent dated Friday 20th
September entitled "CFU, JAG join hands" JAG is encouraged by the CFU's
attitude. However on the issues raised in JAG's letter to the CFU of 14th
Sepember as regards the "one man, one farm" representative action by the
CFU and a single policy by the CFU rather than fragmented policies from
the farmers association level, these issues and this letter have not been
addressed. In the light of the above, JAG remains both cautious and
suspicious about this article and the insinuation therein.


JAG are desperate for more volunteers for the various support groups:

    > Trauma and stress counselling groups
    > Housing procurement group
    > Fund raising group
    > Loss document database group
    > Office staff

Please contact Di Southey on 011 424712 and register with us, giving
details of your skills and talents. Likewise farmers with transport rigs
for contract works should register with our transport association by
completing the relevant forms.


    (011) 205374 Please call if you need advice or are
    (011) 863354 in trouble - we're here to help
    (091) 317264

Justice for Agriculture mailing list
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Dear Family and Friends,
Summer has arrived in Zimbabwe, the days are getting longer, the sun is getting warmer and it's perfect weather for farming and for sport. I sat on the edge of a sports field one evening this week to watch my son playing a friendly hockey game. I'm not really in to sport so had taken a newspaper to read but after an hour and a half had not even read one paragraph as I got talking to a stranger who sat next to me. The stranger was an 11 year old farmer's son and when I asked him why he wasn't playing, my question opened a flood gate This boy is one of thousands of Zimbabwean children whose life has been changed forever. His parents have been chased off their farm; the only home the boy had ever known has been taken over and he is struggling to understand it and come to terms with reality. He asked me if I could help him to understand some things. He asked me why these men are doing these things to us. Why they are taking all our things. Why they want our houses and why the police don't do anything to stop them. He asked me why the men grabbing farms aren't growing any crops and where all the food is going to come from. He wanted to know why some of these so called new farmers are just breaking everything in the farm houses, smashing baths and toilets off walls and stripping roofing off houses. He asked me why President Mugabe doesn't like whites any more and asked me what we'd done to make him do these awful things to us.  He said that his mum had told him that he must just try and forget the farm and that he must stop worrying but the boy just cannot.
Now an 11 year old boy worries about if his mum and dad will get jobs in Harare. He says they only know how to do farming and he's not sure if they are going to manage in other jobs. He said they've both had to go back to school like him to learn other jobs. He said that all his friends are leaving and that his best best mate had recently left for Australia. "Who's going to be left?" he asked me. "Why don't our parents want to tell us what's really going to happen?" he asked, "why don't they just tell us things?" he asked with a choked voice. I didn't have a lot of answers for a strange 11 year old boy sitting next to me on the edge of a hockey pitch. More than once I couldn't stop my eyebrows from raising as I heard words of despair, anger, frustration and deep sadness. I was amazed at the depth of an 11 year old boy's questions and often felt as if I was talking to an adult. As the hockey game came to an end, the stranger and I parted.
 When I left the boy was playing dinky cars with some other children in the dusty driveway under a majestic full moon and we waved to each other. He'd gone back to being a child and even though we'll probably never see each other again I hope that one day both he and I will have answers to some of his questions.
This huge tragedy in Zimbabwe is reaching a climax now as we are just three weeks away from the main planting season. If I was one of Zimbabwe's so called new farmers I would be tearing my hair out by now as there is still not one single pip of seed maize to be bought in any of the main farming stores in this part of the country. When we grew maize on our Marondera farm before it was taken over, the seed and fertilizer would already have been in the sheds waiting, the land would have been ploughed and ready and the seasonal workers would have been recruited and be standing by to plant by the first or second week of October as soon as the rain arrived.  I phoned the major seed maize suppliers in Marondera this morning. None have any seed in stock and do not know when it is expected to arrive. Even worse though, a UN humanitarian report just released says the government's main land preparation team have only 50% of their fleet of tractors serviceable and available for ploughing. The report also says that most of the so called new farmers do not have animal draught power and in other areas there is foot and mouth disease which has drastically reduced animal power. Agricultural experts say that at best, even with the money government has put aside for farm inputs, only 15% of the resettled farm land will be prepared and ready to plant with the onset of the rains.
We are at the beginning of what weather experts have predicted will be a difficult and erratic rainy season in Zimbabwe. This would have been a hard enough year for professional farmers and their workers who would have been expected to feed the revised 6.8 million starving people in the country. It is an impossible task for the so called new farmers who cannot plough the land they have been given, have no machinery or equipment and even if they had the money, there is no seed to plant just a fortnight or two before the rains begin. Our government continue to deny the existence of these cold, ugly facts though and addressing the UN summit in America this week, President Mugabe again told Britain and other world critics to keep out of Zimbabwe. We can only assume that he does not want anyone to see just exactly what he has done to our once thriving land. Until next week, with love, cathy.  Copyright Cathy Buckle 21st September 2002.
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Over 600,000 Zimbabweans live with full-blown AIDS: official


      Xinhuanet 2002-09-21 14:33:41

      HARARE, Sept. 21 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwean Minister of Health and
Child Welfare David Parirenyatwa has disclosed that more than 600,000 people
in the country are currently living with full-blown AIDS while about 2.1
million others living with HIV.

      The number of children orphaned through the disease has been put
at 900,000.

      Local media Saturday quoted the minister as saying that an
estimated 26 percent of the adults was infected with the deadly virus.
However, about 90 percent do not know their HIV status.

      Speaking at the launch of an AIDS testing center in the resort
town of Victoria Falls on Friday, Parirenyatwa said the impact of HIV was
fast eroding national achievements in the health sector and putting enormous
strain on already over-stretched financial resources.

      "The premature deaths of young and middle-aged adults are
adversely affecting the socio-economic base of our planned development, thus
creating serious challenges for our nation," he said.

      The government, in conjunction with the United States Agency for
International Development, is funding the project while Population Services
International is the implementing partner.

      The Victoria Falls center brings to 13 the total number of
suchcenters around the country. Since 1999 when the project started, more
than 88,000 people have sought services at the centers countrywide.

      It was said that over the next five years the United States will
contribute 50 million US dollars to mitigate the AIDS crisis in Zimbabwe.
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Zimbabwe opposition urges C'wealth action on Mugabe

HARARE, Sept. 20 - Zimbabwe's main opposition urged the Commonwealth on
Friday to take sterner action against President Robert Mugabe for refusing a
re-run of disputed March elections and failing to stop political violence.
       The call comes ahead of a key Commonwealth meeting in Nigeria on
Monday where the leaders of South Africa, Nigeria and Australia, comprising
a so-called troika, are to consider further action against Zimbabwe.
       The Commonwealth suspended Zimbabwe from its councils for a year
after Mugabe's controversial win in a March poll condemned as fraudulent by
some Western nations and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
       But the grouping of 54 mainly former British colonies stopped short
of full suspension or imposing sanctions.
       ''Since being suspended...the incumbent regime in Zimbabwe has made
no effort to stop electoral violence and fraud, restore the rule of law, end
state sponsored political violence and restore democratic legitimacy to the
country,'' the MDC said.
       The opposition says 16 mainly opposition supporters have died in
political violence since the March polls.
       ''The MDC urges the leaders of the make a concerted
effort to encourage Mugabe to step down so that a fresh presidential
election can take place in Zimbabwe under free and fair conditions and the
rule of law and democratic legitimacy can be restored,'' it said in a
       Zimbabwe has been gripped by a political and economic crisis since
the government launched a campaign in 2000 to seize white-owned farms for
redistribution to landless blacks.

       The MDC has accused Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party of using violence
to win the presidential poll, a charge dismissed by the government.
       ''The presidential poll was free, fair, legitimate and representative
of the will of the majority of the people in Zimbabwe,'' foreign affairs
secretary Willard Chiwewe was quoted as saying in the state-owned Herald
newspaper on Friday.
       ''We hope they (the Commonwealth troika) will be able to come to that
conclusion,'' he said.
       Harare has said its suspension was based on a
''fundamentally-flawed'' report by the Commonwealth observer group, which
was damning of the election process.
       A group of southern African parliamentarians were also critical of
the election, but observers from South Africa, Nigeria and Namibia said the
poll was legitimate.
       Some Commonwealth members have said it is important to take the same
action over Zimbabwe as Fiji which was suspended and faced limited trade
sanctions after a nationalist coup in 2000.
       ''I think Zimbabwe has just thumbed its nose at the Commonwealth
opinion. It's thumbed its nose at world opinion,'' Australian Prime Minister
John Howard said on Thursday.
       Zimbabwe's crisis deepened in August when Mugabe ordered 2,900
commercial farmers to quit their land without compensation under his
controversial land scheme.
       But some 2,500 farmers have defied the initial orders, and police
have charged more than 300 of them, says the farmers' group Justice for
       ZANU-PF party pushed a bill through parliament on Wednesday giving it
power to evict within days white farmers accused of using legal loopholes to
hang onto their land.
       Mugabe has been in power since Zimbabwe gained independence from
Britain in 1980. He says his land drive is aimed at correcting colonial
injustices which left 70 percent of the country's best farmland in the hands
of white farmers.

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Nations can't ask for Mugabe to quit: PM

The Commonwealth had no power to call for the resignation of Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe but would consider other courses of action, Prime
Minister John Howard said.

Mr Howard flew out of Sydney bound for Nigeria where he will meet with
Nigerian President Chief Olusegum Obasanjo and South African President Thabo

The three leaders make up the Commonwealth troika charged with monitoring
the situation in Zimbabwe.

They will consider whether to kick Zimbabwe out of the Commonwealth for
ignoring international pressure to reform its economy and political
processes after electoral corruption and human rights abuses.

"It's going to be quite an uphill task because Zimbabwe so far has been
quite indifferent to the views of other Commonwealth countries and the views
of other countries around the world," Mr Howard said at the Qantas Jet Base.

  "Zimbabwe has not responded to the concerns expressed at our meeting in
March where we imposed 12 months suspension from the Councils of the

"We'll discuss what's happened since then and what further action we can
take on behalf of the Commonwealth."

Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
has urged the Commonwealth troika to call for Mr Mugabe to step down so
fresh presidential elections could take place in Zimbabwe.

But Mr Howard said the troika did not have the authority to call for Mr
Mugabe's resignation.

"What our authority is from the Commonwealth is to deal with the clearly
unsatisfactory nature of the election," he said.

Mr Howard said the troika would not necessarily impose further sanctions on
the suspended country.

"We haven't decided on sanctions and in any event sanctions would be flowing
from discussions taken by individual countries."

Mr Mugabe was invited to meet with the troika in Abuja but Mr Howard said he
had received no indication of whether or Mr Mugabe would attend.

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