- Title: ZIMBABWE: ROBERT MUGABE DISSOLVES CABINET, PREPARES TO UNVEIL NEW TEAM.
- Date: 24th August 2002
- Summary: (W6) HARARE, ZIMBABWE (FILE - JULY 23, 2002) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. MV: ZIMBABWE PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE STANDING DURING CEREMONY 0.04 2. GV: HONOUR GUARD 0.09 3. GV/MV/PAN: VARIOUS OF MUGABE INSPECTING GUARD (2 SHOTS) 0.20 4. MCU: YOUNG CHILD WATCHING 0.26 5. MV/PAN: MUGABE INSPECTING PRESIDENTIAL GUARD 0.36 6. TV: INTERIOR OF PARLIAMENT 0.39 7. MV: GRACE MUGABE, ROBERT MUGABE'S WIFE, SEATED 0.42 8. TV: RULING PARTY ZANU PF MPs LISTENING TO MUGABE'S SPEECH 0.47 9. MCU: (SOUNDBITE) (English) ZIMBABWE PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE SAYING "This third session of the 5th Parliament of Zimbabwe is opening during a period our country's facing considerable challenges arising from a combination of continued British machinations and the consequences of the drought which has affected not only our country but almost the entire southern African region." 1.16 10. MV: ZANU PF MPS LISTENING 1.21 (W6) HARARE, ZIMBABWE (RECENT - AUGUST 12, 2002) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 11. LV: NATIONAL CEREMONY 1.24 12. GV: BANNER READING 'BRITAIN, STOP DEMONISING ZIMBABWE' (English) 1.30 13. GV/PAN: ZIMBABWE PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE WALKING ON RED CARPET DURING CEREMONY 1.39 14. GV: CEREMONY 1.45 (U7) DARWINDALE, MASHONALAND WEST PROVINCE, ZIMBABWE (FILE--AUGUST 18, 2002) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 15. GV/GV/PAN: FARMERSWALK INTO POLICE STATION (2 SHOTS) 2.18 16. MCU/PAN: FARMERS SEATED IN POLICE STATION 2.29 17. MCU/TILT UP: HANDCUFFED FARMERS 2.41 (U7) CHEGUTU, ZIMBABWE (FILE--AUGUST 19, 2002) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 18. MV/CU/GV/PAN: VARIOUS OF FAMILY PACKING AT FARM (4 SHOTS) 3.02 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 8th September 2002 13:00
- Location: HARARE AND DARWINDALE, MASHONALAND WEST PROVINCE, ZIMBABWE
- Country: Zimbabwe
- Reuters ID: LVA5YCB90ANF0ODR13YGFIXVTDSC
- Story Text: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has dissolved his
cabinet and will announce a new government team on Monday
Official sources said the surprise move by Mugabe was
linked to a government drive to seize white-owned farms for
Mugabe, who has vowed to press ahead with the land
seizures despite resistance from farmers and growing criticism
abroad, will announce a new cabinet on Monday (August 26), a
government statement said.
It gave no reason for the move by Mugabe, 78, who has
ruled the southern African country since leading it to
independence from Britain in 1980.
"His Excellency, the President, Comrade R.G. Mugabe,
today, 23rd August, 2002, dissolved cabinet," said the
statement signed by Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba.
Zimbabwe has been gripped by a political and economic
crisis since pro-government militants invaded white-owned
farms in early 2000 in support of Mugabe's campaign to
redistribute farms to landless blacks.
Charamba was not immediately available for comment.
But official sources said Mugabe had summoned his
ministers and his two vice-presidents for an unscheduled
meeting at his official residence earlier on Friday where he
discussed the government's controversial land seizure drive.
"The stories we are hearing are that he expressed
unhappiness with the way in which some of his ministers are
handling the land issue," one source told Reuters.
Mugabe's government has ordered 2,900 of the country's
remaining 4,500 white commercial farmers to quit their land
But nearly two-thirds have defied an August 8 deadline to
leave their farms, and police have arrested more than 200 in a
crackdown launched last week.
Civic groups also said the cabinet move may be linked to
the land programme.
But they speculated that it could have been prompted by
court challenges filed by the opposition and white farmers
which argue Mugabe's cabinet is illegal because it was not
re-appointed after a March election as required by the
"I think there is a realisation on his part that legally
he was on slippery ground," said Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of
the National Constitutional Assembly, a coalition of civic
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and
Western powers, including former colonial ruler Britain and
the United States, say the March polls were badly flawed.
Mugabe's government insists they were free and fair.
Madhuku said he did not expect any major shifts in policy
even if new faces were brought into cabinet.
"The bottom line is that government policy revolves around
Mugabe, and whatever changes we are going to see in personnel
will not mean a change in policy," he said.
"I think we might see a change in style in some respects
but not the substance, and that includes on policies like
land," Madhuku added.
The disruption to agriculture in Zimbabwe, once the
bread-basket of southern Africa, comes as millions in the
region face food shortages.
Mugabe says his land drive is aimed at correcting a
colonial injustice which left 70 percent of the best farmland
in the hands of white farmers.
White farmers say they support land redistribution but are
opposed to the government's methods.
A report in the state-owned Herald newspaper on Friday
(August 23) said the government would make changes to its land
programme in a bid to speed up the eviction process after a
flurry of appeals.
More than 2,700 farmers are challenging the evictions on
the basis of a High Court ruling this month which said the
state could not confiscate land owned by one particular farmer
because it had not told the bank, which had a mortgage on the
Former Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa was quoted as
saying that only about 100 of the 2,737 court challenges could
be valid and the government would issue new eviction notices.
Chinamasa also said he would recommend to cabinet an
amendment to reduce the eviction period to five days from 90
days from the time the eviction papers are served.
"Therefore no farmer should take comfort from failure or
oversight by government officials to comply with all
procedures," Chinamasa was quoted as saying.
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