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

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Zim Online

Harare queries SA churches' sincerity over aid
Thu 25 August 2005

††††† HARARE - Zimbabwean authorities last night again questioned the
sincerity of South African churches and said they should comply with every
requirement set by Harare if they were "genuine" they wanted to help victims
of its home demolition campaign two months ago.

††††† Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) officials have barred a local
partner of the South African Council of Churches (SACC) from distributing to
victims of the controversial mass demolition campaign 6 000 blankets donated
by the council unless import duty was first paid for the blankets.

††††† This is despite the fact that the revenue authority normally allows
donated goods into the country duty free.

††††† Thirty-seven tonnes of food sourced by the SACC for displaced
Zimbabweans is still held up in South Africa because Harare has not yet
cleared the food despite the South African Department of Agriculture issuing
a certificate to confirm the food was not organically produced.

††††† The Harare administration, which like several other southern African
governments does not allow genetically modified food (GMO), had initially
banned the food aid saying it wanted proof it was not GMO.

††††† Powerful State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa, who also oversees aid
distribution and land reforms, said he was not aware of the specific reasons
ZIMRA wanted duty paid for the SACC-donated blankets.

††††† But he insisted: "They should satisfy all requirements set by the
government if they are genuine they want to help - in any case who said
those people do not have blankets, what were they using before (their homes
were demolished)?"

††††† Officials of the SACC's Zimbabwean partner, Christian Care, on
Wednesday described the duty demanded by Harare for the blankets as "quite
significant".

††††† Christian Care director Reverend Forbes Matonga, who had said the
organisation was tracking down senior government "people" to try and work
out an agreement over the duty issue, could not be reached last night to
establish progress over the matter.

††††† The SACC angered Harare when two delegations it sent to Zimbabwe to
report on the mass home demolitions harshly criticised President Robert
Mugabe and his government, saying conditions in transit camps set up for the
displaced were inhumane.

††††† Zimbabwe government-run media in turn accused the SACC of having been
funded by British intelligence to report negatively on the urban clean-up
exercise in order to demonise Mugabe and his government.

††††† Mugabe accuses Britain of mobilising its powerful Western allies to
villify Zimbabwe and sabotage its economy as punishment for seizing land
from whites and giving it to blacks.

††††† South African President Thabo Mbeki, a key Mugabe ally, has however
backed the SACC efforts, meeting with the council twice to discuss its
efforts to help at least 700 000 Zimbabweans the United Nations (UN) says
were left without homes or income by the clean-up exercise.

††††† According to the UN, another 2.4 million people were also affected by
the home demolitions which the world body said were in violation of
international law but which Harare said were necessary to rid cities of
squalor and crime. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Farm disruptions slash horticulture sector earnings by 59 percent
Thur 25 August 2005

††††† HARARE - Zimbabwe 's horticultural industry has incurred a 59 percent
drop in export earnings over the past six years which industry officials
blamed on disruptions caused in the sector by the government's chaotic and
often violent land reforms.

††††† The Horticultural Promotion Council (HPC) on Wednesday told ZimOnline
that the sector which earned US$143 million six years ago would this year
generate only US$90 in export receipts.

††††† The sector which grew an average 15 percent per annum before the land
reforms began in 2000 could have earned US$300 million this year at the same
rate of growth, the HPC said.

††††† US$300 million is enough to buy enough petrol and diesel for fuel dry
Zimbabwe for at least five months. The country, grappling its worst fuel
crisis in decades consumes at least US$50 million worth of fuel per month
according to government figures.

††††† HPC director Basilio Sandamu said: "Structural changes in the
agricultural sector affected the supply base of horticultural production.
People allocated farms have no technical expertise to maintain horticultural
projects.

††††† "The displacement of white farmers has resulted in Zimbabwe losing on
competition from neighbours. We are not alone in the (horticultural export)
market and there are others prepared to take the opportunities that we let
slip through our fingers."

††††† President Robert Mugabe and his government in 2000 seized land from
minority white farmers and gave it over to landless blacks in what they said
was a long overdue correction of an iniquitous land tenure system under
which whites owned 75 percent of the best arable land while the majority
blacks were cramped on poor soils.

††††† But the government's failure to provide black peasants resettled on
former white farms with skills training and inputs support has seen
agricultural production plummeting by about 30 percent since 2000 while food
production fell by about 60 percent.

††††† An estimated four million Zimbabweans or nearly half of the country's
more than 11 million people require 1.2 million tonnes of food aid or they
will starve.

††††† The HPC said the plight of the horticultural industry had been
worsened by strained relations between the European Union and Harare . The
EU, which three years ago slapped targeted sanctions on Mugabe and his top
officials for violating human rights and rigging elections, is the biggest
market for fresh cut flowers from Zimbabwe . - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

SA, Zimbabwe talks meant to stem IMF expulsion, says bank governor
Thur 25 August 2005

††††† PRETORIA -- South African Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni on
Wednesday said Pretoria was still in talks with out of pocket Zimbabwe over
a loan to help that country avert possible expulsion from the International
Monetary Fund.

††††† Mboweni, who was addressing the media after presenting the central
bank's annual economic report in Pretoria, said the discussions with Harare
had also explored ways of reviving Zimbabwe's comatose economy.

††††† "The discussion really has centred around what policies need to be
undertaken in Zimbabwe to help boost economic performance, control
inflation, bring about a more stable exchange rate and improve the
production sector of the economy.

††††† "But more importantly, a discussion about what to do to avoid the
possible expulsion of Zimbabwe from the International Monetary Fund."

††††† Zimbabwe is in its sixth year of bitter economic recession that has
seen fuel, food, electricity, essential medical drugs and almost every other
basic commodity in critical short supply because there is no hard cash to
pay foreign suppliers.

††††† Critics blame the economic meltdown on mismanagement and repressive
rule by veteran Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

††††† Mugabe denies ruining Zimbabwe's economy which was among the strongest
in Africa at independence from Britain 25 years ago. The ageing President
instead blames Zimbabwe's economic problems on sabotage by Britain and its
Western allies out to fix his government for seizing land from whites and
giving it to landless blacks.

††††† Zimbabwe recently approached South Africa seeking a massive US$500
million loan to pay off a US$300 million outstanding debt to the IMF and to
buy urgently needed fuel and food.

††††† Pretoria is however said to have, among other things, demanded Mugabe
engages in political dialogue with the main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change party before releasing the money.

††††† Mboweni dismissed as a "media frenzy" reports that South Africa wanted
to offer its troubled neighbour a US$1 billion loan saying the amount was
"nowhere near" that mark.

††††† "Yes, there have been discussions about that, and the discussions are
nowhere near a billion dollar facility," he said. - ZimOnline

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Global Politician

††††† Facts About Land Reform in South Africa
††††† Dr. Izak Labuschagne - 8/26/2005
††††† 1. On 12 August 2005 an open challenge on the Internet containing
extremely serious allegations regarding the governments land reform policy
was made to South Africa's President Mbeki. First at
www.izak/letter%20to%20President%204.htm and as reported by The Foundation
For the Development of Africa at
http://www.foundation-development-africa.org/africa_development/other_africa_issues/index.htm
and THE GLOBAL POLITICIAN at
http://www.globalpolitician.com/articledes.asp?ID=1089&cid=8&sid=56

††††† 2. On 15, 16 and 17 August 2005 evidence of how the President's office
is trying to avoid the challenge and how the National Department of Land
Affairs hurriedly destroyed records relating to the challenge were posted on
the Internet at www.izak.co.za/LandReformWebPage.htm ;
www.izak.co.za/NDAStonewall.htm and www.izak.co.za/Hi%20Robert.htm

††††† 3. On 19 August a report is posted that the President has admitted the
Challenge was posted at www.izak.co.za/LandReformWebPage.htm; and at
www.izak.co.za/Admission.htm

††††† 4. Instead of reporting on these extremely serious allegations made in
the public and transmitted to most news agencies, the media concentrated on
reporting on demands by far leftist minority groups demanding that all the
land be nationalized as communal land for the whole population. See for
example the following articles
http://allafrica.com/stories/200508180348.html "Why Buy back stolen land?"
There has been an overwhelming number of reports that allege that the
Willing Buyer Willing Seller policy did not work when one of the very
serious allegations in the challenge is that the government deliberately
sabotaged that part of the program in order to justify expropriations.
Neither does any agency report that the program worked when the previous
regime bought some 40 Mil ha of land from White farmers to give tenure
security to non-white farmers under the homeland policy. Not one agency
wants to report that the Minister of Land Affairs is holding on to the title
deeds of the land she inherited from the apartheid regime in order to
manipulate the rural vote and to keep skimming profits off rigged to fail
projects deployed there so as to justify implementing a government
controlled communal land program where only their supporters will have
access to land.

††††† 5. On Wednesday the 24th of August 2005 the ANC government confirmed
the above allegations by announcing its intention not to transfer some of
the 30 million hectares of state land it inherited from the apartheid era to
a non-white community in terms of the laws governing the Land reform
Program, but to implement a state run communal system, thereby acquiescing
to the leftist demands by breaking their own laws on tenure security,
transformation, empowerment and land reform. See
www.izak.co.za/LandReformWebPage.htm and
www.izak.co.za/LandReformWebPage.htm#_Toc112679459 ; They made it clear to
the leaders of the Goodhouse community that it will be an ANC run project
and that if they did not participate they would be run off the land. There
is therefore no tenure security for non-ANC supporters, the law means
nothing, neither does the democratic will of the masses in that area
exercised under the transformation act that governs that process regionally
mean a thing.

††††† The above facts of course give rise to five simple questions: -

††††† 1. Why is it that certain media and political parties keep such
important facts about such serious allegations a secret, while promoting the
political allegations and aspirations of far leftist minority groups?

††††† 2. Do persons that make such choices share the same aspirations?

††††† 3. Is everyone satisfied that the ANC government gives its blatant,
illegal and practical support to such aspirations even if it breaks most of
the laws governing the Land reform process. ?

††††† 4. Will these developments continue to go unchecked and unreported on?

††††† 5. Will the victims, like the current multitudes in Zimbabwe also be
left homeless, destitute, starving and without any hope of real intervention
by the western democracies?

††††† It makes one wonder whether these democracies do not also share the
same aspirations.

††††† Dr. Izak Labuschagne is a well-known political and legal activist in
South Africa.

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The Mercury

††††† Lindela is a concentration camp, say Zimbabwean priests
††††† August 25, 2005

††††† By Basildon Peta

††††† Johannesburg: Officials from the Zimbabwe High Commission were allowed
to be present during interrogations of asylum seekers at the Lindela Refuge
Repatriation Centre, Zimbabwean clergymen said yesterday. This left them
traumatised and prompted other inmates to call the place "a psychological
torture chamber".

††††† Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula revealed earlier this
week that she had launched an independent commission of inquiry into deaths
at the centre.

††††† Seven priests visited South Africa under the auspices of the Zimbabwe
National Pastors' Conference, to acquaint themselves with the living
conditions of countrymen who had fled as economic and political refugees to
South Africa.

††††† They said that after paying a visit to Lindela last week they agreed
with the "torture chamber" description.

††††† Inmates awaiting deportation were terrified that they would be
identified as asylum seekers upon their return and would be persecuted.

††††† The priests said their visit had been prompted by reports of abuse by
Zimbabweans who had been deported. They had heard horrific stories of sexual
harassment of arrested female Zimbabwean illegal immigrants by members of
the South African Police Service.

††††† The priests said 20 blind Zimbabweans had been deported last week.
Zimbabwe's blind people were going to Johannesburg to beg as the money they
got on Zimbabwe's streets is worthless.

††††† The Rev Nicholas Mukaronda said it was tragic that blind people should
be treated this way even though they were more economic than political
refugees.

††††† During the tour of Lindela, they met a group of Zimbabweans who were
due to be deported that day.

††††† "They were tormented souls," said Brother Jonah Gokovah.

††††† Brutalised

††††† The said they had been brutalised after having been picked up by the
police and thrown into the back of a vehicle. At Lindela, they were
interviewed by officials from the Zimbabwean High Commission in Pretoria.

††††† "How can the people who work for the government that caused these
people to flee be invited to come to the interview and help assess their
stories?" asked Gokovah.

††††† The lack of any appeal process at Lindela only worsened matters. With
no money to contact lawyers to aid them, they were left to the whims of the
officials at the camp, he said.

††††† "This is why we concluded that Lindela resembles a concentration
camp," said Gokovah.

††††† He said the outcome was a matter of chance. "You either survive the
process or fail and die, particularly upon being returned to Zimbabwe."

††††† The "no war in Zimbabwe attitude" of South African authorities had
given officials the green light to abuse Zimbabweans at Lindela.

††††† Police Commissioner Perumal Naidoo had confirmed to the priests that
complaints had been received, but said these were not detailed enough to
identify the culprits.

††††† Apart from ill-treatment at Lindela, Zimbabwean refugees found they
had jumped from the "frying pan into fire", according to testimonies the
priests had received during a week of ministry to Zimbabweans in communities
around Johannesburg.

††††† "Zimbabweans in South Africa are living in more terror and misery than
they fled from," said Methodist minister Vimbai Mugwidi.
††††† Many had no shelter or food and were living in virtual squalor.

††††† Mugwidi thanked those South African churches and other institutions
that were trying to help Zimbabweans.

††††† She encouraged Zimbabwean exiles to file detailed complaints at police
stations. She said Naidoo had promised them that he would ensure that all
people were treated as human beings regardless of their status.

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Press Gazette

"Daily News will return to the streets of Harare"

Published: Thursday, August 25, 2005

By Jon Slattery

The editor of Zimbabwe's banned Daily News has vowed that the independent
newspaper will be back on the streets.

Sam Nkomo was speaking after last month's setback when Zimbabwe's Media and
Information Commission refused to grant The Daily News a licence.

Nkomo, who is also executive chairman of Daily News publisher Associated
Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), said: "The bunch that shut down The Daily News
will soon come to an end and The Daily News will bounce back on the streets
again.

"I have ceased to estimate a time as to when the paper will come back, but
all I am saying is I will remain here as the boss of ANZ until the papers
are back on the streets. It could be a few months or a few years, but I will
still be here."

The Daily News was Zimbabwe's largest independent paper with a circulation
of 150,000 when it was banned in 2003 and armed police shut down its offices
in Harare.

Forty-five of The Daily News' journalists are to be tried on 12 October for
working without official accreditation. They face two years in prison.

In an interview with press freedom group Reporters Without Frontiers, Nkomo
said: "I have had to endure heartbreaking years as the chief executive
officer of ANZ, but if the head loses hope, then the body loses hope. I have
not lost hope. I have the responsibility to keep hopes high. I still think
that The Daily News will hit the streets again one day. As I said, that day
is not far away. Evil cannot continue to rule indefinitely."

Nkomo estimates that since the closure of both The Daily News and The Daily
News On Sunday on 12 September 2003, he has spent Z$10 billion (£124,000) on
legal fees and costs related to the closure of the two titles.

He added: "We have had to lay off 167 workers, including journalists, as a
result of this protracted legal battle. But I believe all those who worked
for both The Daily News and The Daily News On Sunday are burning in their
hearts with the desire to come back and 'tell it as it is'. That was our
slogan.

"A new dawn is close. When we come back we will be much stronger and more
committed. Even some of our journalists, who are now residents outside the
country, will come back and make The Daily News what it was."
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BBC
In pictures: Zimbabwe artists face the crisis
Censored

Zimbabwean artist Muzhuzha Zenda Chiweshe and photographer Matambudzo live in Chitungwiza, near Harare - a town devastated by the crackdown on so-called illegal buildings and traders.

Chiweshe recently returned after six months abroad: "Coming back I feel I have been away 10 years. I want to be part of a struggle but itís difficult. I did the exhibition in England because it was censored here.

Chiweshe's recent work confronts censorship in Zimbabwe.

Click below for more images
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New Zimbabwe

††††† LETTER FROM KUTAMA: MTHULISI MATHUTHU

††††† Bludgeoning an idea

††††† 24/08/05
††††† (READ MTHULISI'S PREVIOUS ARTICLES)
††††† TO THE open minded, nothing heals a society like debates and decisions
made out of full consideration of views from all angles, which is why we
should welcome the debate on the "Third Way".

††††† Be that as it may, we should be wary of all those who enter the fray
in borrowed robes pretending to be the champions of debate, while seeking to
scare others, those who shout "peace!" while stocking up on machetes. We
will never know when they will not only burst out like a boiling drum of
petrol, but also when they will disembowel us.

††††† They have already started bludgeoning an idea! If an idea can bleed so
profusely, what about a mortal human being? Nothing has been worrying as the
language of most of those who question the idea of another way out of the
hole we dug for ourselves in 1980.

††††† To them, the idea of the "Third Way" is scary because it seeks to help
us step out of the fallacy we have been made to believe in and to step out
of the gigantic shadow of our amended story. Those who refuse to discuss it,
or those who approach it with a touch of prejudice do so as unconscious
victims handcuffed to a cancerous past. To them we are supposed to sit
before an evident crisis characterised by Zanu PF and MDC failures like
stones at the bottom of a well.

††††† Our voyage under the captaincy of President Robert Mugabe has gotten
us to where we should have begun in the first place. That is to where we
should have opened our minds, conscious of our mutual vulnerability at the
mercy of people pushed to the top on a wave of emotions.

††††† Just like Zanu PF, the MDC found itself being pushed forward to claim
the space it hardly helped to create with everyone singing praises without
scrutinising what it really meant to have an alternative to Zanu PF. If an
idea is proposed, its dismissal should not be based on the discriminatory
language such as has been employed by colleagues in their newsrooms and
offices.

††††† While it may sound logical to argue that Jonathan Moyo and some of his
supporters are "discredited" and are "few" or are "disgruntled" fellows, it
is also possible that those who oppose him today are doing so to secure and
fortify their comfort zones or to hide their own prejudices.

††††† It is possible that they are scared of a future under which we will be
able to appoint people to the positions of influence on the basis of
competence and proven commitment.

††††† Showing so much antipathy towards the idea of the "Third Way" could be
an indicator of how scared they are of its advent because it will render
them irrelevant and unmask them as an incompetent bunch.

††††† To tar others as disgruntled is to portray them as peripheral people
whose feelings should not be part of the main collective feeling. It is the
language of the false prophets of the Old Testament and medieval tyrants who
portrayed others as "dissidents", usurpers and so on. Never mind that today
the supposed champions of democracy use it. The spirit is the same as it is
intended to stigmatise and isolate those whose ideas will upset a false
arrangement.

††††† The tragedy of Zimbabwe has been that we believe things to be what
they are not. For example, we have been forced to believe that those who are
in the glittering offices are the real heroes and not thieves, rapists and
murderers. We are also not supposed to criticise the incompetence in MDC. We
are supposed to take the MDC opportunists as heroes.

††††† If Jonathan Moyo deserves so much lampoonery for the role he played in
narrowing the democratic space, what about the whole lot in the MDC who were
in the Zanu PF youth league in the 1980's?. People whose activities then are
not worth mentioning again here?

††††† To isolate Professor Moyo from the whole crew of Lucifers is nothing
but an illogical gesture feeding directly from emotions. It is an act that
defines the central plank of the upside logic around which our false
nationhood was built. How can a leper hate just his finger and not the whole
arm?

††††† Once again the debate on the "Third Force" has proved that we are
still hostages to a hollow cause that we embarked on since 1980. Here we
are, with some among us bludgeoning a simple idea instead of discussing it
only because it is proposed by a person they not only passionately hate but
also despise for who he is and not what he has done.

††††† Clearly our captains whom we criticise and laugh at when they claim
support are with their comrades who pretend to be walking along with us in
our grand march to the free end.

††††† They have succeeded in fostering unparalleled antipathy for diversity.
Zimbabwe's diversity should not be celebrated freely but should be hammered
and chiselled to fit the official straight line thinking to deny others the
space to celebrate and exercise their talents. The fear being that the Big
Cold Lie that has been running since independence will naturally collapse if
people are allowed tell their own versions of our Heritage and History.

††††† A host of cohorts, some claiming to be on our side, line up to render
blind and uncritical support riding on the crest of a wave of
pseudo-patriotism and false confidence. The danger with this atmosphere is
that a whole lot of supposedly learned and intelligent colleagues are
unconsciously sucked in. Their language seeks a total absence of that space
of liberty in which different opinions and ideas will freely compete for
patronage.

††††† If there is anything that the debate has proved, it is that we are
still handcuffed to a politics whose cornerstone is sheer denial.
††††† Mthulisi is a Zimbabwean journalist and writes from Harare. CONTACT
MTHULISI AT: thuthuma@yahoo.com

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New Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe tomorrow, the questions

By Tony Namate
Last updated: 08/25/2005 08:18:48
ALMOST everyone, me included, is united on one thing: that we must see the
back of Robert Mugabe at the earliest opportunity. That's a unity of
purpose.

Even his diehard supporters know that the old man is going one day, whether
naturally or due to old age, illness, or dignified exit (whatever that
means). When the future finally arrives, will we still have this unity of
purpose, or will it be every man for himself as we start the Scramble For
Zimbabwe?

We tell each other we're suffering; that is a unity of purpose. What we lack
though, is a unity of action. And this unity of purpose seems one-sided.
Those who yesterday came out in full force to donate to the tsunami victims
of Asia have been silent when it comes to the victims of our own "tsunami".

Of course, they're bound to say the circumstances are different, that the
situation is delicate, etc. But damn, they must be seen to be trying. Will
we ever look out for each other like Americans do, where an entire nation
won't hesitate to send the marines to rescue a fellow American from enemy
territory? Will we ever wake up each morning and feel proud to be
Zimbabwean? Will our extended family unit ever come back? Or has our will to
live simply evaporated?

But once the old man is gone, as he surely will, will we still have that
unity of purpose? Or will we be too busy trying to rebuild our lives, enrich
ourselves, hunting down our own Nazis and/or setting up tribunals? Do we
even know what to do once the future has arrived, as it surely will? Will we
enter a period of mourning, from which we will emerge stronger, or weaker?
Do we even care? Will we prioritise the needs of orphans, the homeless,
jobless, and hopeless? Will we see a new breed of superrich citizens who
shut themselves off from the rest of us mere mortals, two nations in one
country?

Will yesterday's racism that was replaced by today's Zanuism, be replaced by
tomorrow's classism? Will it be 1980 all over again where the new leader
declares reconciliation but then proceeds to outdo his predecessor in
brutality? Will we ever have a government, which genuinely uplifts its own
people? Will the next government answer to the people? Will everyone have a
free copy of the Constitution? Will Jonathan Moyo be part of the next
government? Will we continue to be the most sanctioned country in Southern
African history?

Do we have mechanisms in place to ensure that we never go through what we
are going through? Is there a reconstruction programme? If so, are we united
in our support of it? Do we have countries or international organizations on
standby to support this programme?

What is the first sector that will be given priority? Tourism? Health?
Education? Housing? Jobs? Land? Youths? Agriculture? Manufacturing? Chinese
imports? The Constitution? The media? Police? Army? Judiciary? Is there a
plan to harness the economic power of returning residents, or the
entrepreneurial spirit of today's youths?

Will the Future arrive so suddenly we won't know what to do with it? Will
you be there when it does? Does it scare you? Will we see today's die hard
Zanu PF supporters becoming tomorrow's diehard defenders of democracy, just
as some diehard supporters of Zanu PF were once diehard Muzorewa supporters?
Will the Zimbabwean tragedy ever come to an end? Can we learn from history?
Can time ever heal the wounds of the past twenty-five years? Do we need to
have a Truth and Healing Commission in place before, or after Mugabe is
gone? Is there any hope?

Or will we be too busy trying to fill the vacuum by looking for an
alterative bogeyman? So many questions to ask, so little time for answers.
It's a delicate, uncertain Future; so near, yet so far away.
Tony Namate is an award-winning Zimbabwean cartoonist whose works have
appeared in The Daily News, The Independent and The Standard

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http://www.terra.net.lb/wp/Articles/DesktopArticle.aspx?ArticleID=241291&ChannelId=6

††††† Talks on South Africa's loan still on, but Zimbabwe snubs offer
††††† August 25, 2005

††††† Talks on South Africa's loan offer to cash-strapped Zimbabwe to
prevent its expulsion from the International Monetary Fund are ongoing, the
central bank's chief said, but Zimbabwe indicated it would snub the offer.

††††† Hours after Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni said bail-out meetings
were still being held, a senior Zimbabwean minister in Harare retorted that
the loan was made at the behest of the IMF and that Zimbabwe would "never"
accept it.

††††† Mboweni said in Pretoria that discussions between himself, Finance
Minister Trevor Manuel and their Zimbabwean counterparts have not yet been
concluded.

††††† "The discussion really has centered around what policies need to be
undertaken in Zimbabwe to help boost economic performance, control
inflation, bring about a more stable exchange rate and improve the
production sector of the economy," Mboweni told reporters.

††††† "But more importantly, (it is) a discussion about what to do to avoid
the possible expulsion of Zimbabwe from the International Monetary Fund,"
the local SAPA news agency quoted Mboweni as saying.

††††† "The discussions are nowhere near a billion dollar facility," he
added, referring to recent media reports which bandied the figure.

††††† Mboweni's comments come as Zimbabwean and IMF officials are locked in
crunch talks on whether the southern African nation should be expelled from
IMF ranks.

††††† In Harare, Zimbabwe's Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told
parliament that the country would "never" agree to the conditions for the
loan, which is said to be between 200 to 500 million dollars.

††††† "The IMF came to South Africa and requested South Africa if it can
give a loan to Zimbabwe," Chinamasa said in response to a question from an
opposition lawmaker.

††††† "We have never asked for financial assistance. We are being offered
loans and we know some of the loans are being offered at the instigation of
the International Monetary Fund."

††††† The loan talks are taking place before the September 9 meeting of the
IMF board that is to decide whether to strip Zimbabwe of its membership in
the lending club because of failing to meet its obligations.

††††† Zimbabwe has fallen behind on repayment of IMF loans totalling 300
million dollars and has failed to meet IMF demands on public spending.

††††† South Africa earlier this month agreed to step in with a loan to
ensure that its neighbour retains its IMF membership.

††††† Talks held in Pretoria three weeks ago reportedly yielded a tentative
agreement on a loan of between 200 to 500 million dollars including about
100 million dollars to be paid to the IMF.

††††† South Africa is pressing Zimbabwe to enact reforms to prevent the
economy from sliding further into disarray and recession.

††††† Copyright AFP
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Mail and Guardian

††††† Mugabe takes another step towards tyranny

††††† Michael Hartnack | Harare, Zimbabwe

††††† 25 August 2005 08:07

††††††††††† A slate of amendments that critics warn will seriously reduce
constitutional protections and freedoms in Zimbabwe cleared a first vote in
Parliament on Wednesday.

††††††††††† After a stormy debate, lawmakers voted 61 to 28 to approve the
Constitutional Amendment Bill.

††††††††††† The 22-clause Bill provides for a new 40-seat Senate, abolishes
freehold property titles, strips landowners of their right to appeal against
expropriation and allows the government to deny passports to its critics.

††††††††††† The document now goes back for further debate before a final
vote expected next week.

††††††††††† Jonathan Moyo, Mugabe's former propaganda chief and now
Parliament's lone independent, caused an uproar when he accused his former
party of creating the second chamber to give it the political patronage it
needs to ensure the 81-year-old leader can decide for himself when and how
he retires.

††††††††††† Claiming knowledge of secret briefings by the governing Zimbabwe
African National Union-Patriotic Front, (Zanu-PF) Moyo said the government
party only planned to keep the Senate for five years.

††††††††††† Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the changes were needed
to complete Mugabe's "fast track" redistribution of 5 000 white-owned
commercial farms to black Zimbabweans.

††††††††††† He argued the land was acquired fraudulently, and white farmers
were frustrating its return to its rightful owners with court appeals.

††††††††††† Prominent lawyers have described the amendments as "the greatest
challenge yet" to Zimbabweans' liberties.

††††††††††† Nicholas Howen, head of the International Commission of Jurists,
said the limits on freedom of movement were "unwarranted, ill-defined and
also dangerous".

††††††††††† "Moving the legality of these expropriations beyond the
protective reach of the courts, and removing the right to fair compensation
are yet another step in undermining the rule of law in Zimbabwe," he said in
a statement issued on Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland.

††††††††††† "It violates Zimbabwe's obligations under international law and
is an attempt to reduce the authority of an independent judiciary as a check
on government actions."

††††††††††† The amendments need at least 100 votes to clear the final stage
before Mugabe signs them into law.

††††††††††† "To only have 61 for the second reading is quite serious for
him," said Trudy Stevenson of the main opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, which opposes the Bill.

††††††††††† Zanu-PF has 108 seats, compared to 41 for the opposition. But
there have been hints some disgruntled ruling party legislators might
boycott the final vote.

††††††††††† Mugabe will 'never' accept SA loan
††††††††††† Meanwhile, talks on South Africa's loan offer to cash-strapped
Zimbabwe to prevent its expulsion from the International Monetary Fund are
ongoing, the central bank's chief said Wednesday, but Zimbabwe indicated it
would snub the offer.

††††††††††† Hours after Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni said bail-out
meetings were still being held, a senior Zimbabwean minister in Harare
retorted that the loan was made at the behest of the IMF and that Zimbabwe
would "never" accept it.

††††††††††† Mboweni said in Pretoria that discussions between himself,
Finance Minister Trevor Manuel and their Zimbabwean counterparts have not
yet been concluded.

††††††††††† "The discussion really has centered around what policies need to
be undertaken in Zimbabwe to help boost economic performance, control
inflation, bring about a more stable exchange rate and improve the
production sector of the economy," Mboweni told reporters.

††††††††††† "But more importantly, [it is] a discussion about what to do to
avoid the possible expulsion of Zimbabwe from the International Monetary
Fund," the local South African Press Association news agency quoted Mboweni
as saying.

††††††††††† "The discussions are nowhere near a billion dollar facility," he
added, referring to recent media reports which bandied the figure.

††††††††††† Mboweni's comments come as Zimbabwean and IMF officials are
locked in crunch talks on whether the southern African nation should be
expelled from IMF ranks.
††††††††††† In Harare, Zimbabwe's Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told
Parliament that the country would "never" agree to the conditions for the
loan, which is said to be between $200-million and $500-million.

††††††††††† "The IMF came to South Africa and requested South Africa if it
can give a loan to Zimbabwe," Chinamasa said in response to a question from
an opposition lawmaker.

††††††††††† "We have never asked for financial assistance. We are being
offered loans and we know some of the loans are being offered at the
instigation of the International Monetary Fund."

††††††††††† The loan talks are taking place before the September 9 meeting
of the IMF board that is to decide whether to strip Zimbabwe of its
membership in the lending club because of failing to meet its obligations.

††††††††††† Zimbabwe has fallen behind on repayment of IMF loans totaling
$300-million and has failed to meet IMF demands on public spending.

††††††††††† South Africa earlier this month agreed to step in with a loan to
ensure that its neighbour retains its IMF membership.

††††††††††† Talks held in Pretoria three weeks ago reportedly yielded a
tentative agreement on a loan of between $200-million to $500-million
including about $100-million to be paid to the IMF.

††††††††††† South Africa is pressing Zimbabwe to enact reforms to prevent
the economy from sliding further into disarray and recession. - Sapa-AP,
Sapa-AFP

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