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BBC
 
Dumped in Zimbabwe's poor villages
By Justin Pearce
BBC News website, Zimbabwe

In the second of his series following an undercover trip to Zimbabwe, Justin Pearce reports that the government's policy of moving city dwellers to rural areas is worsening the effects of food shortages.

Couple relocated to village
Thomas and Charity have no means of making a living after being taken out of the city

For Thomas and his wife, Charity, it was not a happy homecoming.

In fact, it was not really a homecoming at all. The Zimbabwean government had decided that the young couple belonged in a village deep in the dry bush of Matabeleland North province, in western Zimbabwe.

Thomas was born there, but had not lived there since childhood. His ageing grandmother is his only relative still living in the village.

"They were not pleased to receive us since we came empty-handed," Thomas said. "They are in a difficult situation with drought. It was a difficult moment for them."

The United Nations estimates that up to four million Zimbabweans will need food aid over the coming year - mostly in rural areas.

Thomas, 23, and Charity, 21, had made a living as informal traders in a squatter camp in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second largest city, some 200 km away.

'Filth'

That came to an end in July, when the government's Operation Murambatsvina [Drive Out Rubbish] reached the place where they were living.

Village well and donkeys
The villages are an alien environment to people born and bred in the cities
"We were harassed by police who destroyed our shack - that's why we had to come to this place," Thomas said. "The police said there was too much filth in this city."

The story he tells is typical of the unknown numbers of Zimbabwean city dwellers who have been dumped in country districts where they have few useful survival skills.

Zimbabwean humanitarian staff say that after destroying homes in the cities and moving people into transit camps, the government assigned people to rural areas on the basis of their identity numbers.

On the identity cards carried by all Zimbabwean citizens, the first few digits form a code for the bearer's home area. This, however, reflects one's ancestral home rather than one's own birthplace.

They want total political control - they want to peasantify people like Pol Pot
Archbishop Pius Ncube
"Some don't want to go home because they have nothing there," says a Zimbabwean who is involved in church-based relief efforts.

"Some may be the second or third generation to be born in the cities. There are some Zimbabweans who don't have a rural area."

Strategy

The government's critics believe that the relocations are part of a strategy to reassert control over urban people who have voted overwhelmingly for the opposition in recent elections.

"They want total political control - they want to peasantify people like [former Cambodian leader] Pol Pot - force them into they country so they can control them," says the Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo, Pius Ncube.

Villagers carry blankets and food
People have become dependent on aid from churches
"In the countryside they have no newspaper or radio except Zanu-PF propaganda, and they are controlled by the chiefs, who support the government."

Thomas and Charity were forced onto a truck which took them out of Bulawayo, then a local bus, and ended up walking for several hours through the bush. They say they received no food during the journey.

Charity says she did not even have a chance to say goodbye to her own family: "Since I came here they don't know I'm here. I want to go and tell them where I am."

Nowhere to go

The relocations from cities to villages have affected thousands throughout Zimbabwe.

At just one church in Harare, charity workers have compiled a list of 700 people who have lost their homes and are looking for food and blankets.

List of names of people awaiting transport
Churches have counted hundreds of people who are to be transported
Madeleine, 29, was born in Harare but is being sent to the district of Murewa, her husband's birthplace, about 70km from the city.

"We are going because we have nowhere to live, no way to survive here," she says.

Asked whether her husband has land to farm there, she shakes her head.

"Sometimes we were helping my husband's family by sending money," Madeleine says.

"My in-laws are having a problem with drought - there's been no rain this year."

With their livelihood as informal traders destroyed, Madeleine, her husband and their three young children will now be a burden on the rural community to which they used to provide financial support.

All names in this piece were changed to protect interviewees.

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Reuters

      Zimbabwe to import 120,000 T maize monthly - paper
      Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:27 AM GMT

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe plans to import 120,000 tonnes of maize every
month and has bought 300,000 tonnes in the past three months to stave off
food shortages after poor rains, the official Herald newspaper reported on
Monday.

President Robert Mugabe's government has said it will not formally ask the
United Nations World Food Programme for help despite a devastating drought
last season. Aid agencies say around 4 million people, a third of the
population, will need assistance.

"We are well networked and we intend to import grain at the rate of 120,000
tonnes per month," Samuel Muvuti, the state-run Grain Marketing Board chief
executive told the Herald. The government says it will import 1.8 million
tonnes of maize in total.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change has asked where the funds
to buy the maize will come from. The government has not said how it would
pay for it, and some South African grain traders question if it has the
required foreign currency.

But traders and shippers say purchases made so far by Zimbabwe -- almost all
from neighbour South Africa -- have been paid for.

Critics says food shortages in the country since 2001 have been worsened by
a collapse in commercial farming following a land reform programme that gave
white-owned farms to landless blacks, most of who have failed to plant or
fertilise on time.

Mugabe says the land seizures were necessary to redress colonial land
imbalances and denies they are to blame for food shortages, which the
government blames on poor rainfall that has also afflicted Zambia, Malawi,
Botswana and parts of Mozambique.

Muvuti said distribution of imported maize had been affected by a bad road
network in Zimbabwe and acute fuel shortages that have grounded transport.

Tony Hall, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations food agencies in Rome
said recently that government policies were worsening Zimbabwe's food crisis
while red tape was preventing food getting to the needy.

The government has said local agriculture firms will produce less than half
of the national maize seed requirements for the next farming season, risking
more shortages next year.

© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.
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New Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: debunking the myths

By David R. Katerere
Last updated: 08/22/2005 14:18:28
THERE are some cold, hard facts we need to come to terms with as Zimbabwe
and as Zimbabweans. Only by debunking certain myths stemming from decades of
propaganda, can we be able to see our way out of the crisis tearing the very
fabric of our society and wreaking the kind of havoc which will take
generations to repair.

I was also beholden to these myths.

First, that Zimbabwe was born of a glorious revolution. When I speak to
South Africans or other people who are willing to hear me out and to
understand more of what is happening in Zimbabwe, I always start by telling
them that there was a war in Zimbabwe: an all-out full-on war, which I
witnessed as a child growing up in the Eastern Highlands, a stronghold of
the Zanla forces in the late 1970's. In fact, I have vivid memories of my
mother tuning and surreptiously listening to Radio Zimbabwe, the Zanu-PF
rebel radio station broadcasting from neighbouring Mozambique (years later,
I would listen with her just as surreptiously to SWRadio Africa on the eve
of the 2002 elections and be struck by the irony!).

I remember my mother pilfering some of our groceries to take with her when
she attended "morari", the all-night meetings which were held to "educate
the masses" and "orientate" them in the ways of the revolution, and of the
day when my father was taken away in the dead of night and frog-marched to
the faraway mountains, accused of working for the "bishop" (Muzorewa's
Zimbabwe-Rhodesia dispensation) and therefore, like many ordinary men and
women trying to make a living in war-torn Rhodesia, of being a sell-out. I
have memories of misty mountain mornings filled with the roar of bomber
aircraft and the thunder of reverberating bombs and shelling, of curfews and
roadblocks and landmines and nights spent hiding out and beatings meted by
both sides to the villagers caught in the attrition that is war. As a
seven-year old rural boy, I remember these things - my earliest memories are
war memories.

And this war was no glorious revolution - it was a guerrilla war marked
typically by attacks on soft targets: white farmers in isolated rural farms,
Christian missionaries, black children at outlying mission schools and
churches and hapless peasants. Subsequent to such attacks were the
retaliatory and punitive actions of the Rhodesian forces. Caught in between
the two protagonists the civilians, mostly black rural folk were forced to
cook and clothe the liberators ("comrades") on the one hand, and forced to
give information on their whereabouts, and / or detained for being
collaborators by the Rhodesian army.
Most of the action was sporadic. History records that there were flare-ups
in 1972, then in the late 1970's after the first ever confrontation of the
"Second Chimurenga" came in 1966 at Chinhoyi, which by all accounts was
botched resulting in unnecessary casualties on the side of the guerrillas.
In between there were abortive attempts to negotiate with the rebel regime
of Ian Smith, intra-party and / or tribal strife leading to the
assassinations of leaders, Herbert Chitepo among them in 1975, power
struggles and pleas from the likes of Nyerere and Kaunda to the nationalists
to show some seriousness and forge unity of purpose. As the late Masipule
Sithole aptly describes the struggles within the struggle in his seminal
account of nationalist movements.

The role played by civilians in Zanu-PF's re-written account of the
struggle, has been edited out completely. But it is precisely their
unenviable position which may explain the inertia and paralysis one sees in
Zimbabwe to-day in the face of Zanu-PF's brutal repression. People in
Zimbabwe do not want another war. They understand the suffering that war
brings, and the trauma that they experienced in those few years of upheaval
they still carry with them. The recent callous behaviour of the state in
executing Operation Murambatsvina further re-awakens the memories of the
suffering of the 1970's war. The fact then is that those who talk about a
people-driven revolution from the streets in Zimbabwe also perpetuate a
myth. There will be no popular uprising. Least of all from the cities. The
cities are held in contempt by those who fought in the war because their
contribution to the struggle was non-existent. Apart from clashes in the
early 1960s (which were triggered by rivalry between the various nationalist
groups), and the 1972 Pierce Commission defiance campaign, the war in
Zimbabwe was mainly fought, and experienced, by the rural populace, which
remains cowed by the memories of the brutalities and hence prone to continue
to fear Zanu-PF which never tires of reminding them that it is prepared "to
back to the trenches" and bring back the suffering of those times.

Thus you have, on one hand, a timid and traumatized population (call it
cowardly if you may) which knows that there is no glory in war, and on the
other, an army built from the brutal former protagonists who perfected the
art of cowering and intimidating the very people they claimed to be fighting
for. This explains the callous actions of the police which, under Ian Smith's
regime assumed para-military powers and was then bolstered by ex-guerillas.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police Commissioner Chihuri is an ex-combatant. Thus
policing in Zimbabwe has always been militarised which is an affront to
democratic practice.

Another myth is that "we won the war". This then justifies why Zanu-PF
clings to power because, in their eyes, they "defeated the enemy". This
conveniently ignores the fact that guerrilla warfare, by its nature, is
unwinnable. All the long-running conflicts in the world from Colombia's
communist insurgents to Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army and the Phillipine's
Islamic fighters are unwinnable because they are guerrilla insurgencies and
hence unconventional. Guerilla warfare is meant to put pressure on the
governing regime to come to the negotiating table so that a political
solution is found. In that sense, Ian Smith could have chosen to dig his
heels and continue his counter-insurgency war of attrition, as, in fact, he
planned to do. It was, ironically, apartheid South Africa's John Vorster who
pulled the plug on him by withdrawing his economic support and by
withdrawing members of the South African security forces deployed in
then-Rhodesia. Years later, Smithie would rant and rave about this "Great
Betrayal" in his book of the same name.

The irony is that President Thabo Mbeki now stands in the same position that
Vorster stood 29 years ago in 1976. With its financial muscle, South Africa
can again pull the plug on a rebel neighbour to force Mugabe to come to the
negotiation table. This should lead to a new era in Zimbabwe because the
myth that we won democracy in 1980 with independence is the biggest and most
pernicious of all the myths that we have been fed over the years. In fact,
Zimbabwe was born out of a compromise, and a bad one at that - the infamous
Lancaster House Agreement. This was a ceasefire document which essentially
became a constitution. This document did not arise from the generality of
the Zimbabwean population nor was it subject to interrogation by workers,
the intelligentsia and other stakeholders; neither was it ever put to the
test by way of referendum. It was enough for the British government that
they had finally managed to assemble the various protagonists to the table
after 15 years of trying and that they could salvage some dignity for
themselves as good imperial masters and some breathing space for their kith
and kin.

Growing up in the 1980's in Zimbabwe it was normal not to criticize the
government; to whisper in conspiratorial tones for fear of being heard.
There were reports, mostly unfounded, of people disappearing all the time;
dissent was not tolerated; political opposition was stifled; civil society
movements were unheard of and students' protests were brutally put down. The
system of government was non-participatory and largely patriarchal. In other
words "they had fought and died" for the country and knew how best to run
it. When you have never lived in a democracy, it all appeared quite normal
and we all believed the lie that we were living in a democracy because we
had regular elections and a veneer of respectability from the rest of the
world.

It is therefore clear that anyone who is interested in the long-term
stability of Zimbabwe needs to help to plant the seed of true participatory
and open democracy. The only way of doing this and of beginning the process
of bringing Zimbabwe back into the fold of nations and fostering democratic
governance and practice is not to force the protagonists to talk, therefore
producing another "Lancaster House Agreement" or a government of national
unity (another "Unity Accord") but rather to explore ways of initiating a
proper constitutional overhaul and ushering in a new republic. In order to
do this we must admit that we were never a democracy in the first place and,
though independent and sovereign since 18 April 1980, we have never actually
enjoyed the freedoms that democracy entails.
Dr Katerere lives and works in South Africa
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New Zimbabwe

Reducing moral hazard of SA's bailout package

By Dr Alex T. Magaisa
Last updated: 08/22/2005 14:28:37
THE rescue package from South Africa to Zimbabwe has raised considerable
interest in the last few weeks.

Zimbabwe has the worst performing economy in Southern Africa. Even the DRC,
which has been involved in conflict in recent years is recording positive
growth. That Zimbabwe now needs a bailout package is official
acknowledgement of its precarious state. No amount of denials will cover the
fact that the country is in dire straits. Not even the headlines and
statements proclaiming that the country is on the road to recovery. However,
the debate over what SA can do for Zimbabwe and how it can achieve that
result appears to overlook the wider politics of international bailouts.

This article attempts to highlight some of the key issues at play. In
organising a bailout, SA is not simply acting as a benevolent big brother,
but is also acting to safeguard its interests. As this article will show,
such rescue packages have been organised elsewhere previously. SA must
however realise that in the pursuit of its interests present a moral hazard.
To the extent that such moral hazard arises SA also has at the very least, a
moral obligation to the account to Zimbabwean citizens. They need assistance
to survive these hardships but far more important is that they need help to
lay down a foundation for restoration of prosperity in the long term.

Bailouts are not new and we can learn a bit from recent history. The two
principal goals of bailouts are firstly, to prevent total collapse of a
country's economic system and enable it to meet its international
obligations and secondly, to prevent the spread of systemic risk to other
countries. The total breakdown of a country's economic system has major
social and economic implications on the region. It would mean mass migration
to neighbouring countries, breakdown in trade relations and loss of major
markets. It would not have escaped SA's attention that Zimbabwe is one of
its major trading partners in Africa. Zimbabweans flock to South Africa as
economic migrants and political refugees. SA cannot afford to have a total
collapse in Zimbabwe because it would entail a huge loss of market as well
as open the floodgates of immigration. Total collapse would negatively
affect SA and other neighbouring countries.

In organising a rescue package for Zimbabwe SA is doing no more than the US
did in 1994-5 during the Mexican financial crisis. At that time the US led a
major financial rescue operation to save Mexico partly to safeguard it's own
interests. In the end Mexico received almost US$50 billion from the US, the
IMF and a consortium of other countries. Similar responses were taken during
the Asian financial crisis in 1997-8. The international community took a
pro-active stance to safeguard the international financial system from the
threats posed by crises in the emerging economies. There is a key theme in
all this: protection of self-interest. It is therefore not surprising that
SA would deploy its resources not so much for the sake of Zimbabwe, but for
its own interests. And that is where the problem lies: the moral hazard
created by such rescue packages and what SA could do to minimise it.

The assistance that was given to Mexico and Asian countries was criticised
as giving rise to specific moral hazard in the investment community. Besides
the superficial picture of assisting the country in crisis, critics argued
that it was in fact assisting imprudent investors who would otherwise have
lost their money if the crises were to persist. In other words, the
interventions had the effect of encouraging unwise and reckless behaviour of
investors knowing that whatever happens they would recoup their losses.
Critics argued that the governments were using taxpayers' money to bail out
reckless investors who should have carried their losses. Now getting back to
Zimbabwe, there is a large number of SA business involvement in Zimbabwe.
The South Africans who have invested in Zimbabwe would suffer great losses
as a result of economic and political collapse in Zimbabwe. The package has
the effect of cushioning these investors and the question really is for
South Africans to question whether they would allow their taxpayers' money
to be used to protect a selection of businesses investing in Zimbabwe. But
for Zimbabweans there is also a further moral hazard and that is why SA
should also be concerned with their views.

The argument is that other than being a temporary reprieve, the loan will
not really solve the core problem affecting Zimbabwe's economy. Further, it
would be argued that far from rescuing the country from economic malaise,
the loan permits the government to pursue skewed economic and political
policies knowing that it has a cushion to fall back on. It is this moral
hazard that SA ought to consider in its relations with Zimbabwe.

The question they ought to ask themselves is: Are we, by advancing this
rescue package to Zimbabwe permitting and encouraging imprudent behaviour on
the part of the Zimbabwe government? If the answer to that question is yes,
it does not necessarily mean that SA should not advance the rescue package.
As I have stated already, SA also has some self-interest to safeguard. It
means however, that in making its decisions, SA must balance the
self-interest and the interests of Zimbabweans. The question that arises
therefore would be: If by our assistance we create such a moral hazard, what
can we do to minimise it? It is at this point where the issue of conditions
to the loan arise. In these circumstances, the principal purpose of the
conditions should be to minimise the moral hazard created by advancing the
bailout package. The loan should not simply have the effect of a temporary
solution, but should be part of a long-lasting transformation covering
economic, political and social aspects pertaining to Zimbabwe.

We ought to recall again that the issue of conditions to rescue packages is
not new. In accepting the rescue packages, Mexico and most of the Asian
countries had to also accept certain conditions. These conditions had impact
on both economic and political matters in the respective countries. It has
been said that Malaysia resisted these conditions but most of the countries
believed that they had no choice and duly accepted. Conditions do not always
work in the anticipated fashion and the IMF-led rescue packages have been
widely criticised over the years. The key however, as far as Zimbabwe is
concerned, is for SA to identify and understand the causes of Zimbabwe's
problems and negotiate conditions that have the effect of dealing with those
specific challenges.

Now there is also some controversy regarding the genesis of Zimbabwe's
problems and care must be taken at this stage. In my view, these causes may
be both external and internal to Zimbabwe. All too often however, there is
huge polarisation - on the one hand there are those who argue that Zimbabwe's
problems are internal but refuse to acknowledge the external factors and on
the other hand are those who argue that Zimbabwe's problems are external but
refuse to acknowledge the internal factors. There is need to accept the
reality that there is no single cause to the problems. Perhaps some are more
prominent than others, depending on each individual's platform but it would
be a mistake, as we have seen over the years, to stick adopt a narrow view
and refuse to see the point from the other side. So what's the point of all
this?

The point is that in debating SA's position in relation to the rescue
package and how it can play a role in helping Zimbabwe, we need to avoid a
narrow approach. We should take a wider and more comprehensive plan that
addresses a wider cross-section of issues impacting on the Zimbabwean
economy. The more the issues we place on the table, the easier it is to
negotiate the major obstacle. The way I see it is that simply discussing the
issue in political terms has the effect of placing SA in a difficult
position. We have seen over the years that it is keen to avoid being seen as
a bully by the Zimbabwe government and its allies. Yet in being soft it has
also risked being called a poodle by its critics. The key however is that it
must take into account the long-term interests of Zimbabweans and realise
that its actions have an impact on their future.

In doing so SA has to realise that the key question is not whether it gives
Zimbabwe the current loan request, but what it will do next time when
Zimbabwe comes again extending the begging bowl. This is because unless
there is fundamental overhaul stretching from political to economic systems
in Zimbabwe, it is more than likely that Zimbabwe will soon be broke again.
In order to avoid that, SA needs to assist Zimbabwe out of this by taking a
more comprehensive approach. In doing so it would also be assisting itself,
because it has major economic and political interests to safeguard by
helping Zimbabwe to be successful.

There are of course differences between the Mexican and Asian crises on the
one hand and the Zimbabwean crisis on the other. Unlike the Mexican and
Asian crises, the Zimbabwean crisis is not seen as a major threat to the
international financial system. If anything, its impact is limited to the
Southern African region, which explains why SA would be interested in
keeping systemic risk at bay. Secondly, the other crises took place over a
relatively short space of time and were major shocks to the international
economic system at the time. Zimbabwe's crisis has unfolded gradually and
visibly over a period of time and its demise has been predictable. The
current liquidity problem is widely seen as an opportunity to halt that
crisis. Third, the crises in Mexico and Asia were largely perceived as
threats to the model of the free-market economy, which at the time was being
largely promoted by the Bretton-Woods institutions - World Bank and the IMF.
Rightly or wrongly, the Zimbabwean crisis is largely perceived as political
rather than a threat to that model. In any event, as we saw in relation to
the Argentinean crisis, the criticisms of the rescue packages of the 1990s
have discouraged knee-jerk reactions on the part of the IMF in crisis
situations. Hence, despite persistent talk about Zimbabwe and the need for
reform, it is unsurprising that there has not been much international
mobilisation to advance a rescue package.

Finally, the key lies in the fact that financial injection alone will not
solve the problems in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe and SA both need a clear plan on
what needs to be done. Otherwise, soon after, Zimbabwe will again be
extending a begging bowl elsewhere. The message must be driven home that the
idea is not to punish Zimbabwe, but to help it out of its crisis. SA has a
legal obligation to account to its citizens for using their money. But at
the very least, it also has a moral obligation to the people of Zimbabwe not
simply to assist them as neighbours but also to ensure that its assistance
is put to good use. Zimbabwe needs more than a temporary solution. It
requires assistance that has long term implications on its political and
economic stability. SA is not doing anything new. All it needs to do is
learn from history to avoid making similar mistakes. It is free as a
sovereign nation to help its neighbour and also safeguard its interests. Its
key challenge however is to minimise the moral hazard that would arise from
extending the bailout package.
Dr Magaisa is a Zimbabwean lawyer formerly Lecturer in Law at the University
of Nottingham. He writes a weekly column for the Zimbabwe Independent
newspaper and can be contacted at: wamagaisa@yahoo.co.uk

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MPs attack 'belated' call for Zimbabwe cricket ban

Andrew Culf, sports correspondent
Monday August 22, 2005
The Guardian

A call by the government to have Zimbabwe banned from international cricket
was criticised as belated by British opposition parties yesterday.
In a joint letter Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, and Tessa Jowell, the
culture secretary, urged the International Cricket Council to suspend
Zimbabwe because of widespread human rights abuses. It followed similar
appeals to the ICC by New Zealand and Australia. New Zealand's cricketers
are touring Zimbabwe, and Australia is scheduled to tour next year.

Last year the government refused to intervene when England's cricketers
played in Zimbabwe, saying it was a matter for the England and Wales Cricket
Board (ECB) and the ICC. Under ICC rules, countries that cancel tours can
face huge fines.

In the letter sent this month to the ICC chairman, Ehsan Mani, the two
ministers said: "We would now like to ask if the ICC could reflect on the
current situation and take a view on whether or not they see international
cricket fixtures against and/or in Zimbabwe to be appropriate."

The Foreign Office believes the situation in Zimbabwe has significantly
deteriorated. At the weekend Amnesty International released footage of the
slum clearances in Harare, which the UN estimates has left 700,000 people
without homes or livelihoods.

A source at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said: "Tessa feels
it's right that government isn't seen to be sitting back and letting this
happen."

Menzies Campbell, foreign affairs spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, said:
"I am generally in favour of this, but one has to ask why the government did
not show similar resolve last year, and to wonder whether they understand
that to single out cricket may not make a great deal of sense when Zimbabwe
is competing in many other international sporting events."

Liam Fox, the shadow foreign secretary, said: "The government's response to
the increas-ingly despotic behaviour of Mugabe has been pathetic. In recent
years he and his henchmen have been renowned for their brutality yet Tony
Blair's government has done virtually nothing to protest to either China,
Zimbabwe's largest investor, or South Africa, its strongest ally, about
their support for Mugabe."

The ECB insisted it was a matter for the government and the ICC. But last
year cricketing administrators felt cast adrift by the government when they
were forced to play in Zimbabwe. David Morgan, the ECB chairman, concerned
at the financial penalties, said then that world cricket would grind to a
halt if England did not fulfil its tour obligations.

A similar row had beset England's preparations for the 2003 World Cup, when
the team forfeited points in the qualifying round after refusing to travel
to Zimbabwe.

England are not due to host the Zimbabweans until 2008 and do not have to
travel to Harare until 2009. The issue has flared again because of the tour
schedules for Australia and New Zealand.

Both Alexander Downer, the Australian foreign minister, and Phil Goff, his
New Zealand counterpart, have called on the ICC to intervene.

New Zealand's cricketers are about to start a series of one-day matches in
Zimbabwe. But the New Zealand government has refused to grant players visas
for a return tour by Zimbabwe due for December.

Cricket administrators are to meet at an ICC scheduling summit in Dubai this
week to discuss the programme for the next few years.

No one was available for comment at the ICC, but in June Mr Mani said
reports of human rights abuses would not alter the ICC's policy, saying it
was governments' responsibility and that depriving people of sport did not
usually hurt governments.
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The Star

      South Africa weeps as Mugabe laughs
      August 22, 2005

      I remember a time, not so long ago, when South African hospitals and
doctors were some of the best in the world.

      Even if you had a medical aid and could go to a private hospital, the
best medical care was still to be had at Johannesburg General as well as
Chris Hani Baragwanath in Soweto.

      I met a medical student from America some years ago, who had her name
on a waiting list to work at Bara, and was surprised to hear that
internationally this hospital was considered to be one of the best learning
hospitals in the world.

      Now, things are very different in the health sector, and
      our standards have dropped dramatically
            "We're donating millions to Zim while many are dying here at
home"
      .

      And yet we are donating millions to Robert Mugabe.

      I remember a time, not so long ago, when orphanages, homes for the
physically and mentally disabled, old age homes and charity institutions in
general were the recipients of sufficient government grants. This is no
longer the case.

      Our police force, education department, nursing and health care
workers are so badly paid that they are seeking employment beyond our
borders, and we are losing these professionals at an alarming rate.

      Squatter camps throughout the country testify to the lack of
subsidised housing, and the so-called land shortage for the previously
disadvantaged continues in spite of large tracts of land being in the
possession of the government, land which could be redistributed for housing
and farming and subsidised through the government itself.

      Millions of people in this country are HIV-positive and many more are
dying daily from Aids without government-subsidised anti-retrovirals.

      And yet we are donating millions to Robert Mugabe.

      All the problems that our country has are constantly blamed on the
previous government, however, with billions to spare, apparently, why isn't
this money being used to redress the inequalities of apartheid and uplift
those who were and in many cases still are disadvantaged?

      Why are billions not being spent on agricultural institutions to train
the farmers of the future? Why hasn't government land been re-allocated to
the young farmers of today?

      Why is our police force underpaid and understaffed? Why is our health
care sector in such a deplorable state and health care workers underpaid?

      Why do schools still remain without books and desks and in some cases
have inadequate buildings? Why are our teachers underpaid?
      The answer must be because we are donating millions to Robert Mugabe.

      Perhaps Robert Mugabe should sell his mansions and use this money for
his own people. He should sell his interests in mines in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo and use this money for his own people. He should sell
his interests in hotels in Europe and use this money for his own people.

      Perhaps when he has made some effort on his part to contribute to the
restructuring of his country from out of his own pocket, then, maybe,
consideration could be given to giving him a loan.

      I doubt very much if these billions will ever be paid back to the
South African people, and it is the citizens of this country who will be
subsidising billions to Zimbabwe.

      Any loans made from out of the taxpayer's pocket to any other country
should be decided by a national referendum. I believe that if this was done,
the answer to Robert Mugabe would be a resounding NO!
      Gail Evans
      Randburg

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Financial Times

      Harare plays down IMF talks as inflation soars and currency is
devalued
      By Tony Hawkins in Harare
      Published: August 22 2005 03:00 | Last updated: August 22 2005 03:00

      IMF officials arrive in Harare today for talks with the Zimbabwe
government before the September 9 meeting of the fund's executive board, at
which Zimbabwe's expulsion from the IMF will be considered.

      Zimbabwe has been in arrears to the fund since 1999 and owes $295m
(£165m, ?245m) in back payments. However, Herbert Murerwa, finance minister,
described the visit as "routine", adding that Harare had agreed to implement
"some measures" during the fund's May visit for Article IV discussions.

      Fund officials would assess "how the government is resolving certain
challenges", he said.

      On the eve of the IMF's visit, Mr Murerwa last week introduced a
supplementary budget that would raise Zimbabwe's fiscal deficit for 2005 to
an estimated 8.7 per cent of GDP. But he sought to mollify the IMF by
raising taxes and cutting spending. At the same time, the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe raised its lending rate to the banks by 80 percentage points from
190 per cent to 270 per cent, following a surge in inflation in July to 254
per cent.

      In a follow-up move on Thursday, the central bank devalued the
Zimbabwe dollar by a further 23 per cent to Z$24.025 to the US dollar,
taking the cumulative devaluation to 75 per cent in the last three months.

      These measures fly in the face of confident forecasts by Gideon Gono,
Reserve Bank governor, of lower inflation and a sharp increase in exports.
Mr Gono expects export sales to more than double to Z$350m monthly over the
next five months, while he has forecast inflation falling to 80 per cent by
the year's end. But bank economists now forecast inflation of over 400 per
cent by then, while export earnings, far from increasing, are reported to
have plunged in the last two months.

      The IMF's visit has added piquancy given the current talks between
Harare and Pretoria over a possible $500m loan to Zimbabwe by South Africa.
Pretoria has indicated willingness to pay off some of Zimbabwe's IMF arrears
to the fund to prevent its expulsion next month, but the two sides have not
yet agreed the loan's terms.

      There has been intense speculation in South Africa that the loan will
carry tough political as well as economic conditions and that these have
been rejected by Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's president.

      But Aziz Pahad, South Africa's deputy foreign minister, last week
denied South Africa would attach political conditions to the loan.

      On Thursday, meanwhile, the Mugabe government tabled a 22-clause bill
to amend the constitution, which will cancel freehold title to property and
bar those whose property has been expropriated from appealing to the courts.

      The timing of this proposed constitutional change is seen by
opposition members of parliament as a direct snub to President Thabo Mbeki
of South Africa who, with President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, is trying
to start talks between Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change
and the ruling Zanu-PF.

      David Coltart, the MDC legal affairs spokesman, called the bill "the
most draconian measure introduced since independence in 1980".

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Zimbabwe Vigil – 20th August 2005

 

It was wonderful to have such good support on a day when the Vigil clashed with Zimfest, a big charitable event held in London every year.  Several of our stalwarts went there to man a Vigil stall and help with the event.  They report that many people showed interest in the Vigil.  Although we have been going three years we are always coming across people who have never heard of us.  Yet we get people like Claudius Mtasa who made a point of coming to see us.  He is in London with his family all the way from Vienna

 

It was good to have our long-standing supporter, Trywell, at the Vigil.  He was almost deported last week and was only freed at the airport after legal intervention.  It is all very disturbing.  Trywell, like many others, came here on a false passport but the authorities in the UK have accepted him as a Zimbabwean citizen so he would seem to fall under the current legal injunction against sending home failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers. 

 

Wonderful dancing from Jenatry fresh from Zimbabwe who taught us all the latest moves.  They seem to consist of large jumps away from Mugabe.  Anyway they didn’t defeat Patson and, with the singing, the whole day was a great concert. At one stage in the afternoon there was a change in the rhythm of the drumming – a group of young children demanded a turn on the drums.  Our reskinned drums are now so powerful that people must hear them in Harare.  Among supporters today were people from Birmingham. Leicester and Southampton. 

 

FOR THE RECORD: about 30 supporters came today. 

 

 

Vigil co-ordinators

 

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk

 

 

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The Conservative Voice

Zimbabwe's Caustic Apologist for Repression Changes His Tune
Monday, August 22, 2005 02:13:18 AM
The man who was once the chief apologist for Zimbabwean repression has
changed his tune, calling for the ouster of President Robert Mugabe and
predicting chaos and ruin if he stays.

Since Mugabe fell out with Jonathan Moyo and fired him as information
minister in February, Moyo has been giving caustic interviews and writing
Internet columns while portraying himself as a reformer and champion of
democracy.

"If this was a proper functioning democracy this government would have been
kicked out long ago," Moyo said in a telephone interview last week from
Harare, the Zimbabwe capital.

But although his change of tone deprives Mugabe of an articulate defender to
increasingly hostile world opinion, Zimbabwe's main opposition hasn't
welcomed him as an ally. Moyo's critics say he isn't portraying himself as a
leopard that changed its spots, but as one that never had any to begin with.

He is remembered as a hard-line member of Mugabe's inner circle _ destroyer
of press freedom and a force behind repressive new security laws that
outlawed basic freedoms of association and speech.

Moyo used to be a strident defender of Mugabe. When Colin Powell, then
secretary of state, spoke of tyranny in Zimbabwe, Moyo called him a liar and
"an Uncle Tom."

As information minister, critics say, he ordered the arrest of journalists
critical of the government and the expulsion of foreign correspondents. He
closed independent newspapers and broadcasters, at times in clear defiance
of court orders.

Human rights and media-monitoring groups say much of the propaganda carried
by state media on Moyo's orders incited hatred and prejudice against
government critics, the main opposition party, whites and other minorities.

An amateur musician, Moyo ordered state broadcasters to run his jingles and
songs praising the often-violent seizures of thousands of white-owned farms.

When Mugabe's ZANU-PF party was accused of using food aid to reward
supporters and deprive opponents, Moyo vehemently denied it. Now he says
it's true. He used to defend the legality of government actions. Now he says
Zimbabwean authorities abandoned the rule of law, obeying the courts only
when it suited them.

"It is an insult to all of us that he should try to deny that he was part of
the system," said Lovemore Madhuku, the chairman of the Broad Alliance, a
coalition of civic and opposition groups.

But Moyo does deny it, claiming he has been falsely accused when in fact he
was part of a reformist circle within the party.

"I have always been a critic of government policy. I was in government for
more than five years. Before that I was a critic. Within the government I
was a critic, pushing for reform and always at odds with power brokers
within the party," said Moyo.

Nonsense, Madhuku said in a telephone interview Friday. "There is no group
of reformers within ZANU-PF. If there was, they would have shown their true
colors by now. No one who believes in democracy could be part of a party
that carried out Operation Murambatsvina, kills people and refuses food to
people when they are dying."

Operation Murambatsvina, or "drive out trash," entailed the demolition of
shanty towns that left at least 700,000 people homeless or without a
livelihood. A U.N. report called it a "disastrous venture" that broke
international law.

Moyo, 48, is a University of Southern California graduate from a family that
was active in the struggle that ended white minority rule of the former
British colony and brought Mugabe to power in 1980.

He fell out with Mugabe over the president's moves to appoint a deputy and
possible successor, and was fired when he announced he was running in the
March election as an independent. Now the only independent in the
legislature, he calls for a "third way," advocating a new party of clean
government while denying he seeks to lead it.

If 81-year-old Mugabe stays in power, Moyo predicted, the country will
descend into chaos and bloody revolt.

"Zimbabweans are going through the worst crisis in memory. No one is living
today who can remember life as difficult as it is now," he said. "We have 80
percent of the people living below the poverty line, 75 percent unemployment
and three-digit inflation."
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Washington Post

The Plight of Squatters

By Robert Neuwirth

Monday, August 22, 2005; Page A17

Thousands of families are sleeping in the open, atop the rubble of what used
to be their homes. The roads are lined with people pushing jury-rigged carts
piled high with the things they could salvage from the onslaught.

Devastation, deprivation and hardship: It's a common snapshot of the Third
World.

But why are these people living in misery? In India and Zimbabwe, they are
not refugees from an armed conflict or a drought or a sudden natural
disaster. Instead they are the victims of organized demolition drives,
prepared, funded and coordinated by the governments of the two countries -- 
political pogroms directed against squatters.

In India, a dogged campaign in Mumbai in December and January flattened
45,000 squatter homes and left 200,000 people homeless.

In Zimbabwe, a similar operation in June smashed tens of thousands of homes
in Harare, the capital, and several other cities, and left 200,000 without
shelter.

Mumbai's putsch was intended to clear land, while Harare's may have had a
political slant to it, as squatters have tended to vote against the ruling
party. But both governments offered the same rationale for the demolitions:
that these unsightly and unsanitary areas were retarding development and
restraining investment.

Local leaders of India's Congress Party asserted that their action was part
of a plan to transform Mumbai into a Shanghai -- a city open for
construction and high-tech growth. In Africa, Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's
ruler, named his demolition plan Operation Murambatsvina, meaning that it
was designed to get rid of rubbish.

Every day close to 200,000 people leave their ancestral homes in rural
regions and move to the cities. It is estimated that there are about a
billion squatters in the world today -- almost one in six humans on the
planet. The best guess is that by 2030, the number of squatters will double.
And by 2050 there will be 3 billion squatters -- better than one-third of
the people on Earth.

Who are these illegal citizens? The vast majority are simply people who came
to the city in search of a job, needed an affordable place to live and, not
being able to find it on the private market, built it for themselves on land
that wasn't theirs. For them, squatting is a family value.

Most of their communities start in mud -- acres of shanties without water,
sewers or sanitation. But the squatters improve their houses one wall at a
time, going from mud and stick to concrete and brick. Eventually, they make
all four walls fully modern. Then they start on new projects -- perhaps a
second story, or better windows, or even securing water or electricity.

I spent two years living in squatter communities across the developing
world, and I know how hard the squatters work to establish their
neighborhoods and improve their homes. If the governments of India and
Zimbabwe ran water mains to their communities, the squatters would figure
out how to tap into them to get water to each house. If Mumbai and Harare
installed sewer pipes, the squatters would build toilets with proper
plumbing and streets with good drainage. If global nonprofits invested in
power lines, the squatters would wire their communities and pay to let there
be light on their streets and in their homes.

There is no mud hut utopia. But if society won't build for the mass of
people, don't they have a right to build for themselves? If they are
creating their own homes and improving them over time, then isn't there
something good -- at least potentially -- about a community without water
and sanitation and sewers? And shouldn't those of us in the comfortable
classes stop complaining about conditions in the shantytowns and instead
recognize squatters as impromptu activists who are building the cities of
tomorrow?

Recent reports from Zimbabwe have been harrowing.

The fate of Mthulisi Ndiweni and his family is typical. After their home was
flattened, they braved the cold for two weeks, then sought shelter in a
church. But the government evicted them from this refuge and sent them to a
temporary transit camp.

Finally, they were trucked to a remote rural village and dumped at a
shopping center. The police told them they would be killed if they tried to
return to the city.

Anna Tibaijuka, executive director of U.N.-Habitat, the United Nations
agency that deals with housing, went to Zimbabwe on a fact-finding mission
and issued a harshly critical report. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
and World Bank chief Paul Wolfowitz labeled the events a tragedy.

Their words are welcome. But policy changes are far more important, for
other countries are poised to follow similar demolition strategies. Malawi,
for instance, has warned squatters in Lilongwe, its capital, that it is
prepared to use force to drive them from their homes.

Forget structural adjustments, privatization and free markets. It's time to
invest in the basics: water, sewers and sanitation. And here's another item
that will resonate with people in every country of the developing world:
Export a new component of freedom -- the freedom to build.

Robert Neuwirth is the author of "Shadow Cities: A Billion Squatters, a New
Urban World."
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News24

Doors open for Zim farmers
22/08/2005 08:25  - (SA)

Barnabas Thondhlana

Harare - More than 20 African countries are trying to recruit Zimbabwean
farmers to come and help them develop commercial agriculture in their
countries.

This comes after land reform caused a food crisis in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe is no longer able to feed its people and about 4.3m people are in
danger of starving.

A report by the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) points out that the success
stories of the projects run by Zimbabwean farmers in Nigeria have caused a
number of African governments to sit up and take note.

Similar projects launched

"These projects have opened many doors and will continue to open doors in
other countries. Private companies and government departments are very
interested to launch similar projects," the report explains.

Countries that have already expressed interest and are negotiating with the
CFU include Ghana, Cameroon, Sudan, Benin, the Central African Republic and
Namibia.

The CFU says a team is already launching a similar project in Senegal.

"We have been to Senegal three times and we are gathering suggestions. All
the parties involved are very positive about the project."

Alan Jack, leader of the group who now lives in Nigeria, said up to 23
African countries have already approached his office with suggestions after
15 farmers and their families moved to the Kwara province of Nigeria.

Most of the farmers fled to Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi and Uganda. The
Zimbabwean government is still clamping down on white farmers.

Farmers claim proposed changes to the country's legislation would
nationalize all land. Doug Taylor-Freeme, CFU president, says it is
frightening that parliament will not even be allowed to debate the proposed
changes to the constitution.

"Since nearly every white farmer has been identified (for land reform) in
some way or another, it is clear that ethnic cleansing is taking place
here," he adds.
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