- Aug 13, 2002Journalist Killed in Troubling
Reporters sans frontières
August 12, 2002
Posted to the web August 12, 2002
Reporters Without Borders today expressed its concern
about the death of freelance journalist Don Kulapani on 8
August during the hold-up of a bar in the capital, and called
on the authorities to conduct a full investigation into this
killing, which has coincided with attacks on journalists by
the ruling party.
"We ask you to fully clarify the circumstances of the
journalist's death and to establish that it was not linked to
the exercise of his profession", Reporters Without Borders
secretary-general Robert Ménard said in a letter to Interior
Minister Monjeza Maluza. "The fact that it coincides with
recent attacks on journalists by the UDF's youth league is
troubling, to say the least", Ménard said in the letter, which
requested that Reporters Without Borders be kept
informed about the investigation's progress.
A freelancer who used to work for The Chronicle
newspaper, Kulapani was in a bar in the capital, Lilongwe,
on 8 August when four armed men entered and opened
fire, hitting the journalist. They then stabbed him many
times. The assailants took cases of beer, musical
equipment and cash from the till before making off.
Kulapani died as a result of these injuries.
The journalist's death comes soon after the release of a
statement by the ruling UDF denying news media claims
that it had a unit tasked with silencing investigative
journalists who "embarrass" the government. In early
August, the National Media Institute of South Africa
claimed to have discovered a UDF plot to attack
journalists of the Daily Times, Weekly Chronicle, Pride
and BBC for having accused the UDF of intending to
change the constitution to allow President Bakili Muluzi to
run for a third term in 2004.
Young activists have been implicated in beatings of
journalists who support the opposition party, especially
journalists working for the Chronicle, Kulapani's former
employer. The Daily Times had already alleged in
November 2001 that the UDF had complied a list of
journalists who "discredit the party" and that it intended to
use its youth wing to attack them.
Tension Rises on Zimbabwe Farms
By Angus Shaw
Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, August 13, 2002; 8:56 AM
HARARE, Zimbabwe ** White
farmers facing eviction reported
Tuesday a wave of threats and
intimidation by government officials
and ruling party militants trying to
force them off their land.
Farmers leaders said five farmers in
southeastern Zimbabwe left their
land early Tuesday after local
officials, armed police and soldiers visited their
farms and told them they were
violating the eviction laws.
No physical action was taken, but five farmers went
to stay with neighbors
not affected by eviction orders, the Commercial
Farmers Union, representing
4,000 white farmers, said.
In other incidents in the north of the country,
militants threatened violence if
farmers did not abandon their properties, said
Justice for Agriculture, a group
calling for the evictions to be challenged in
A black settler on one of the farms in the Banket
tobacco and corn district
fired a pistol in the air in an effort to drive the
owner and his black workers
away Monday, said Jenni Williams, a spokeswoman for
In other incidents near Harare, a black manager
employed by a white farmer
was assaulted by militants Monday and three other
farmers were under
pressure from black settlers to leave, she said.
A deadline for nearly 3,000 white farmers to leave
their land expired last
week as part of the government's often violent land
reform program. But the
government has taken no direct action to enforce the
The government says its program was a final effort
to correct colonial era
imbalances in land ownership. Critics say it is part
of the increasingly
authoritarian government's effort to maintain power
amid more than two years
of economic chaos and political violence mainly
blamed on the ruling party.
The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans'
Association, which has led
the often violent occupation of white-owned farms
over the past two years,
said its members would not take the law into their
own hands to remove
"It is now the responsibility of the government of
Zimbabwe to make sure the
laws of Zimbabwe are obeyed in all respects,"
chairman Patrick Nyaruwata
President Robert Mugabe said Monday he would not
tolerate opposition to
his plans to redistribute white-owned farms to
blacks. He said he would not
allow whites to retain massive farms, though he said
he was willing to let
"loyal" farmers keep some land.
Mugabe did not refer to evictions in a second speech
marking a Defense
Forces Day holiday Tuesday.
He said the land redistribution program was "being
personnel had been given farms and more would
continue to get land.
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