Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Annex B

Zimbabwe Community Development Trust—A Report


  The humanitarian assistance to the farm workers begun with a pilot project in the Rusape area. A visit revealed starvation on Sharondale farm and we began providing relief on 18 December 2001. 204 people were supplied with rations for a month including mealie meal, salt, cooking oil, flour, beans and fish. Vegetable and maize seeds were also handed out. The people were fed again on 18 January 2002. The local war veterans had not stolen nor in any way significantly interfered with the work.

  A second project in Rusape was to take destitute displaced farm workers who had been displaced from their farms and forced to live rough beside the roads in the Nyazura area of eastern Zimbabwe. We found a farm and arranged to lease a portion of it. The number of families that would have been sheltered and given land to was 20 (that is approximately 100 people). The "war veterans" stopped the project on 12 January 2002 and the destitute farm workers have remained at Nyazura.

  Details of starving workers in the Mhangura area were collected on Tuesday 15 January 2002. The list of persons needing food was in excess of 300. The relief exercise which followed on Thursday 18 was obstructed by war veterans, but next day it was allowed to proceed. Only 136 people were given mealie for a month because of interference by these liberators.

  Both the ZCDT and the GAPWUZ staff calmly and well handled the situation so that the food, which was detained on the 18, was released for distribution on the 21st.


  Areas visited:

  Rusape: Farms (two) not operating—76 families, 379 workers (full distribution, three trips)

  Mhangura: Farm part occupied—74 families, 371 workers (Mealie meal, two trips)

  Makonde: Farms (three)—occupied—128 families, 548 workers (Mealie meal, three trips)

  Marondera/Wedza: Farms (eight) occupied/not operational—awaiting return

  Macheke: Farms (eight) occupied/part operational—awaiting return

  Ruwa: three tonnes of mealie meal distributed by the CFU to various farms not operational.

  Bulawayo: 18 tonnes of Mealie meal trucked down and distributed by the CFU to various farms that are not operational.

  Selous: Distribution to various invaded farms through previous farm owners.

  Unfortunately the vehicle carrying relief to the Mhangura area of Mashonaland West was written off on Tuesday the 12 February. Distributions will continue through the assistance of farmers in different districts. The vehicle is fully insured.

  With the help of a team of volunteer workers ZCDT is steadily building up a picture of what is happening on a national scale to the farm workers. We are and have been able at the same time to find members of the farming community to distribute in their own areas. The above analysis of the distributions show one done down in Bulawayo, Selous and Ruwa by farmers who not only supplied transport but oversaw the exercise.


  After working out of the modalities of our working relationships with others concerned with victim of the violence we were in a position to open doors. The type of person whom we help is the type judged to be low risk. A low risk person is one for whom a short time away from home will allow things to cool down. He/she could then return. The contract they sign with us forbids any political involvement whilst in our programme. The care programme is for two weeks with each survivor. We are finding that this is enough in some cases but not in others. Where the survivor needs to stay longer another two-week period is entered into. Where clothing is needed we help and if they want money to return home after two weeks then we assist. Some have been repatriated to Malawi and others to new areas of the country that they think are safe for them.

  The crisis centre began operating from 22 January 2002.

  To date close on a hundred people have been screened and have received assistance[35]. The descriptive term ``low risk'' should not hide the considerable trauma that these people have gone through. Here are some examples of people on our programme:

  ***. On the 12 January 2002 Zanu-PF youths attacked him for his allegiance to MDC. They stabbed him in the chest three times and he still has difficulty breathing.

  *** is 39 years old. In a Zanu-PF camp he was tortured for 14 hours and sustained multiple injuries.

  Mopani Trust, a counselling agency working with victims of the violence, has moved into the same premises as ourselves so that we can be more effective in the care of survivors.


  Total distribution to date (*below)  $1,628,700.00

  Total expenditure to date (xbelow)  $9,586,000.00

  Overheads  $4,204,000.00

  Utilisation ratio  39 per cent (#)

  * This includes all food distribution as well as money used in the crisis center initiative, given out as rent or transport.

  x This figure includes the purchase of various fixed assets totaling $5,382,000.00.

  Derived by dividing the total distribution to date by the non-asset expenditure up to date.

  Respectfully submitted,

Zimbabwe Community Development Trust

19 February 2002




  Female:  59  (42 per cent)

  Male:  80  (58 per cent)

  **  Farm:  87

  Farm:  38

  **  Farm:  1

  **  Farm:  3

  **  Farm:  9


  Was the violence witnessed by adults in the family: 81 (58 per cent)

  Was the violence witnessed by children in the family: 76 (55 per cent)

  Was the violence experienced by other family members: 74 (53 per cent)


  Slapping or kicking or punching: 46

  Blows with rifle butts, sticks or whips, irons: 46

  Exposure to extreme heat or cold: 11

  Hanging or suspension: 11

  Prolonged standing or crouching: 25

  Submarine immersion, asphyxiation, strangling: 7

  Burnings: 3

  Electrical shocks: 0

  Rape: 4


  Deprived of food, comfort or communication: 71

  Incommunication, minimal food, overcrowding: 54

  Lack of water: 35

  Immobolisation, restraint: 37

  Lack of sleep: 52

  Lack of needed medical: 26


  Constant noises: 62

  Screams and voices: 78

  Powerful lights: 5

  Constant lighting: 3

  Special devices: 4 (two of these listed special devices as being fear of the unkown)

  Drugs: 0


  Verbal abuse: 120 (86 per cent)

  Threats against person: 115 (83 per cent)

  False accusations: 115 (83 per cent)

  Abuse with excrement: 38

  Sexual abuse (without violence): 23

  Menaces against own life and family: 72 (52 per cent)

  Simulate execution: 26 (19 per cent)


Assaults: 107 (76 per cent)

  Slapping, kicking or punching: 69

  Blows with rifle butts etc: 91

  Hanging or suspension: 4

  Prolonged standing or crouching: 46

  Submarine immersion, asphyxiation: 15

  Burnings: 9

  Electrical shocks: 1

  Rape: 18

Executions: 43 (30 per cent)

  Beating: 33

  Shooting: 14

  Stabbing: 3

  Hanging, strangling: 8

  Burning: 3

  NB: The exact figures for perps are not available yet. However, in most of the cases I have looked at, it was war veterans. Most of the cases of sexual abuse seem to involve abuse against the men in the form of forcing them to commit sexual acts with the ground. In most of the cases the workers were given 20 minutes to gather what they could and were driven off their land by tractors. In some cases, the workers were forced by "buy" their homes in the compounds off the war vets several times if they wanted to stay on the farm, but were still turned out of their home. In many cases the workers were forced to attend all night pungwes, singing, sloganeering and dancing. Upon their return to their homes in the mornings, personal belongings were stolen and the houses ransacked. Few of the workers have suicidal thoughts, most are concerned about blankets for the cold, food, and a large number about school fees for their children and dependents. When asked the question about previous violence, most of the replies indicate from the beginning of this year, but there are incidents from 2000, one man talks of an incident in Mozambique in the 1970s. A lot of the workers belong to a political organsation, two so far indicate that they were active members of Zanu-PF, one of these workers is most indignant that this should happen to him as he is Zanu-PF.

The Bail Circle

May 2002.

35   In the week since then, that number has more than doubled as the violence is still continuing and as we are reaching out as unobtrusively as we can. Back

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