Poisoning of Mugabe's Opponents in
Jan Lamprecht - 7/25/2005
Two years ago, when I was
involved with Zimbabwean opposition members
who had fled to South Africa, I
had many interesting conversations with
them. I was introduced to many
different people, some of whom were
particularly interesting. I was
especially fascinated when I heard stories
of poisoning. One will find that
Communist defectors from Russia, for
example, will talk of poisoning the
opposition. Poisoning is something
totalitarians of the Far Left have quite
a liking for. It is a way of
quietly getting rid of those causing trouble.
Anyone who has lived in
Zimbabwe will tell you that from the earliest days
of Robert Mugabe's rule,
there has been a lot of talk about him murdering
people, even in his own
political party. But I would now like to mention
things I heard directly
from Zimbabweans, some of whom were members of the
1) I was told prior to the June 2003 Mass Action by the MDC
were soldiers in Mugabe's army who began fearing a mass uprising
actually come about. I was told that some secretly approached people
MDC saying: "Please don't kill our families. If the uprising starts,
2) I was told that Mugabe's Military
Intelligence was constantly
monitoring the loyalty of soldiers. If they
suspected soldiers were starting
to become disloyal, and were associating
with the opposition, they would
then be killed. I was told that soldiers
would disappear suddenly, without
warning. Apparently, the Military
Intelligence had a procedure whereby they
would kidnap soldiers in their
beds at night. These soldiers would never be
seen or heard from again. It
was rumored that they were killed and their
bodies were buried in a
graveyard on the outskirts of Harare.
3) I was told that there was
somebody in the MDC who was poisoned, and
that it was quite a well known
that this person was poisoned. The man was
arrested and taken to a police
station where he was beaten. Later he began
coughing blood and was taken to
a private clinic in Harare. He was ill for
quite some time after the
beating, and then died. Apparently, one of the
Doctors at the clinic told
his wife that he had an unnatural substance in
his lungs, and the doctor was
quite sure that the man had been poisoned.
4) I was told that the
doctors in the various private clinics around
Harare were fully aware that
some of the patients in their care had been
poisoned. However, out of fear
for their jobs, they did not discuss this.
5) This is an ideal
situation for investigative journalists to meet
secretly either with doctors
inside Zimbabwe, or with those who had fled, to
see if they could get expert
testimony about poisonings and then detail this
and submit it to various
governments and humanitarian bodies around the
man told me that a friend of his was a mid-level officer in the
army. According to the officer, several army officers had recently
to Cuba for training in the art of poisoning. Apparently, the
very efficient methods in killing people by injection.
7) I was
told that the Cubans had developed poisons which would make
you die "from
natural causes". I was told that diarrhea was one of the
8) I was told that one method of killing people was
to have them
arrested and taken to a police station. Once in the police
person would be harassed and beaten. While he was distracted
in this way, a
person trained in assassination by injection would come up
behind him, and
would quickly inject him with a poison without the victim
Later, this person would die. I refer back to point 3 above
about the MDC
person who developed strange symptoms after he had been beaten
police - but which were not directly related to the beatings
9) I was told about a camp not too far from Harare,
tortured people and sometimes murdered them. I think they said it
was on the
way to Banket. Apparently the commander of this camp was known to
I often wonder how many people Mugabe
has really killed in the last
five years, and whether there were many cases
of poisoning which Mugabe's
people got away with?
was born and raised in Zimbabwe, then called Rhodesia,
during the "Bush
War", which resulted in Robert Mugabe coming to power. He
was educated in
Harare, the capital of the country, before leaving for South
he spent some time in the Navy. He wrote a book called
Deception" about African politics related to Zimbabwe and the
Mugabe's policies may have on other countries.
He publishes a
popular, highly "politically-incorrect" web site
Zimbabwe's Bustle, Business Evaporate With Fuel
Crisis Compounded By Slum-Clearing
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, July 25, 2005; Page
HARARE, Zimbabwe -- This had long been a city in motion. Corners were
crammed with men offering fruit or cigarettes, restaurants were busy and
plentiful, shops were well-stocked. And only the foolhardy would dare cross
the traffic-clogged streets without the assistance of a green
But four months into a crushing fuel shortage, and more than two
since the government began a campaign to clean up slums and informal
markets, the capital of about 1.4 million has slowed to a halt.
cars are parked in gasoline lines that stretch for blocks. Even at
hour, pedestrians can stroll across major boulevards without a glance
either direction. With tens of thousands of street vendors reportedly
arrested, the few that remain have turned shy. Grocery stores routinely run
out of cooking oil, sugar and soap. Shoppers must wait in line to buy a
single loaf of bread.
Harare's bustle is gone. Even those lucky
enough to have jobs, in an economy
with 70 percent unemployment, have
trouble getting to work because public
transport has become so scarce. It is
not uncommon, workers said, for their
daily commute to take three or four
hours each way, most of it spent waiting
in line for transportation. Many
have resorted to walking, rising hours
before dawn and returning home well
Zimbabwe's troubles have extended even to the skyscraper
headquarters for President Robert Mugabe's party, the Zimbabwe
National Union-Patriotic Front. Once, its lighted sign confidently
the letters ZANU-PF bright enough to be seen for miles.
the broken beacon reads ZA U F.
"Our government is hopeless," said Arnold
Mapfumo, 21, a welder waiting in a
line for gasoline in the suburb of
Chitungwiza. "If we don't have petrol,
everything stops. Everything stops.
What can we do?"
Mugabe's demolition campaign, called Operation
Murambatsvina or "Drive Out
the Rubbish," has generated international outcry
because of the brutal
destruction of slums, which the United Nations
estimates has made more than
700,000 people homeless. Many are sleeping amid
the rubble of their homes or
under plastic sheeting at government
resettlement camps. A U.N. report last
week called for an end to the
program, which the government said it had
is the fuel shortage that has crippled Zimbabwe, reaching across all
of society. Manufacturers can't get their goods to market. There are
of police commandeering just-delivered gasoline because their
supplies have dried up, and of Air Zimbabwe having to ground
of fuel shortages.
Major businesses have begun sending trucks across the
borders into Botswana
and South Africa to buy fuel. Even senior members of
Mugabe's ruling party
have difficulty filling their tanks, according to
Pearson Mbalekwa, a former
lawmaker who resigned from the party this month
to protest the government's
So serious are
the current problems that many party members are itching for
even if that means ending the reign of Mugabe, 81, a former
hero in the
struggle for independence. He has ruled the nation since the end
control in 1980, and for the past five years he has been
increasingly authoritarian measures, including cracking down on
dissent, closing independent newspapers and seizing land owned by
"Maybe he has been there a little too long. Maybe he has gotten
confident of what he is doing, and maybe he is no longer listening to
wishes of the people. Because if he was, I don't think we'd be in this
mess," Mbalekwa, 53, said in an interview at his home in an elegant suburb.
"It's time for him to pack his bags and allow for a new
At the root of the shortages of fuel and other commodities
is a lack of hard
currency. The Zimbabwean dollar, which a decade ago was
worth 33 U.S. cents,
has plummeted. A single U.S. dollar can now be traded
on the black market
for $20,000 in Zimbabwean currency, making payment to
suppliers nearly impossible.
Because Zimbabwe's largest
note is for $20,000, those who have money must
carry around bricks of it. A
fast-food burger and fries cost more than
$100,000, a sit-down dinner for a
family more than $1 million.
Making matters worse is the collapse of
Zimbabwe's once powerful
agricultural industry, which in the 1980s and 1990s
exported large amounts
of tobacco, fruits and vegetables, both to
neighboring African countries and
Today Zimbabwe exports
little but people. As many as 3 million residents --
about one-fourth of
the estimated population of 12 million -- have left,
mostly heading to South
Africa, where the economy is booming.
Mugabe has recently appealed to
South Africa and China for $1 billion to
relieve shortages of fuel and other
necessities, according to news reports,
but at the same time the
International Monetary Fund is considering
expelling Zimbabwe for
non-payment of debts. Major Western donors,
meanwhile, have sharply
curtailed or halted most forms of aid other than
Zimbabweans with the means to own vehicles, obtaining fuel and
scarce supplies has become an all-consuming pursuit.
Black-market prices are
up to 10 times higher than those set by government
price controls, and even
those supplies are erratic.
Opinions vary about whom to blame, with many
pointing to Mugabe but some
Zimbabweans accepting his argument that a
coalition of Western nations --
led by the country's former colonial
master, Britain -- are starving the
nation economically with sanctions. Such
claims are made nearly every day on
radio, television and in daily
newspapers -- all of which are owned and run
by the government.
is an economic war, as I see it, between the Zimbabweans and the
Lawrence Gwashure, a 53-year-old taxi driver who has spent most
of the past
three weeks in a gas line in Chitungwiza, hoping to use his
Datsun to earn a living.
But there is no disagreement on the severity of
Zimbabwe's problems: people
here say life has never been
Caleb Choto, 30, another cabbie, said he had spent the past month
in a line
waiting for fuel. Each day, he leaves his wife and 7-year-old
walk more than two miles to the gas line in Chitungwiza. At the
end of the
day, after eating nothing for nine hours straight, he walks home
worry that thieves will ravage his car in the night.
ready, he said, for a better economy, a new government and enough
return to work.
"If it doesn't come today, I have to come back home and
Choto said. "I'm sick and tired of waiting."
Zimbabwe opposition turns on its own
By Peta Thornycroft
After devoting his life to opposing
Zimbabwe's regime, Frank Chamunorwa was
beaten up on a street corner. Yet he
was not attacked by thugs loyal to
President Robert Mugabe.
his assailants were drawn from his own party, the opposition
Democratic Change, which is paralysed by violent factional
"I have never been so dejected in my life because my own
atrocities on me," said Mr Chamunorwa, 55. "I was not only
beaten but forced
to bend down, lie on the ground by youths, most of them
younger than my
The gang of about six abducted him
from his home in the capital, Harare,
last month. They deliberately
humiliated Mr Chamunorwa, throwing him to the
ground, kicking and beating
He was close to tears as he described his experience. What makes him
especially bitter is that he helped found the MDC six years ago and was
almost murdered by thugs from the ruling Zanu-PF party.
happened because Mr Chamunorwa was suspected of plotting against
Tsvangirai, the MDC leader. Senior party figures have accused
Ncube, the secretary general, of planning to oust his leader and
control of the party - a charge he has denied.
Mr Chamunorwa said there
was no plot.
"Morgan has our mandate, more than half the population want
him to rule but
his ineptitude and indecision may cost him and Zimbabwe
dearly," he said.
If the 2002 presidential election had been free and
fair, it is widely
assumed that Mr Tsvangirai would be Zimbabwe's
Discontent with Mr Tsvangirai's leadership is coming
increasingly to the
surface as the MDC fails to make any headway against the
When Mr Mugabe carried out his assault on the townships,
homes or livelihoods of 700,000 people, the opposition failed
to offer any
coherent response. The MDC was paralysed by factional warfare
of opposing Mr Mugabe.
The assault on Mr Chamunorwa was
only one of many. Other MDC thugs tried to
murder Peter Guhu, a party
official, who was forced to flee to South Africa
after suffering serious
Another member, Diamond Karanda, 31, was beaten up inside the
headquarters in Harare on June 16. He was dragged into the boardroom
assaulted so badly that he still cannot walk properly.
many scars from Zanu-PF. They knocked out four teeth, but it is not
right when I am beaten up in the MDC boardroom," he said.
responded by expelling 20 members. His allies point out that
responsible for the great bulk of Zimbabwe's political violence,
confirmed by every human rights report.
But the violence within the MDC
has dismayed its most senior figures.
An internal report obtained by The
Daily Telegraph, written by David
Coltart, the MDC's legal secretary, said
the party "appears to be intent on
tearing up everything we have worked so
hard to build up over the last few,
very difficult years". He added that Mr
Tsvangirai's expulsion of 20 junior
members was an inadequate
"I cannot believe that the youths involved in these despicable
independently. It is common cause that they were unemployed and
equally clear that they had access to substantial funding," said Mr
"The instructions to act must have come from people within the
party as no
one else would have the detailed knowledge the youths had access
"In expelling the youths and relatively low-ranking members of the
team we have only dealt with the symptoms of the problem, not its
Mr Coltart claimed that Mr Tsvangirai had conducted an
investigation" into the violence and breached the MDC's rule
book by failing
to establish a formal disciplinary committee.
do not send out a clear and unequivocal message to Zimbabweans in
and in particular to our own members and staff that violence will
tolerated, then we will simply reduce the standing of the MDC to that
opposition, Zanu-PF," said Mr Coltart.
Observers believe that infighting
threatens the MDC's very survival as a
Raftopoulos, a Harare commentator, said: "The MDC is paralysed and if
is not dealt with, it will lead to its demise."
Inflation target achievable: Gono
RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr Gideon Gono remains optimistic that
80 percent annual inflation target by December is still achievable
rising inflationary pressures.
"The recent resurgence in
inflationary pressures reflects a combination of a
variety of factors," the
governor said last week. "The unfavourable trend
is, however, expected to
reverse during the last quarter of the year. We
believe the year-end
inflation targets are still attainable."
inflation has been progressively declining from a
record 623 per- cent in
January 2004 to 124 percent by March this year.
negative economic fundamentals have forced the rate to
creep up to 164
percent last month. Subsequent to this the RBZ was forced to
make a second
revision of its inflation projections for 2005 (this time in
in the face of rising inflationary pressures in May.
Reserve Bank had predicted annual inflation figures would
come down to
between 50 percent and 60 percent by close of 2005.
However, buoyed by
the successes achieved in remedying other pressing
economic issues, the
central bank earlier this year revised its projections
to between 20 percent
and 35 percent.
Dr Gono said there was a greater need now for all
economic agents to have
unity of purpose in fighting inflation, which he has
number one enemy.
"As we elevate our bitter fight
against the inflation scourge, it is
imperative that labour, Government,
business and civil society earnestly
recommit to a progressive social
contract which anchors a balanced incomes
and pricing framework as part of
measures to stabilise the macro-economic
environment," he said.
Zimbabwe's inflation has been trekking southwards since February 2004,
unwarranted prices hikes, shortages of foreign currency and current food
shortages have exerted a lot of pressure on the country's inflation
Dr Gono cited price increases in power, fuel, telecommunication,
fees, rent and rates, unacceptably high levels of monetary expansion,
cost-push effects of wages and salary pressures, imported raw materials as
some of the factors militating against the RBZ's anti-inflation
The key to reining in CPI inflation lies in prudent exchange rate
and putting a lid on speculative demand, analysts
There has been inevitable pressure on inflation, particularly from
currency costs, due to the widening gap between the fair exchange
auction rate. However, this gap should become narrower after
devaluation. The US$ now changes hands at Z$17
Monetary control has also remained below desired levels with
policies still arising from the need to fund the country's
This is despite new targets set by the central
bank to slow down the rate of
money supply growth to levels in line with
Some economists have urged the monetary
authorities to adopt stricter
policies to guard against further increases in
"Faced with an international investment and financial
community that is
reluctant to do business with us for political reasons,
authorities should use the interest rate and fiscal discipline
as their main
demand-side policy," said a Harare
"Concessional finance facilities and incentives on the
also be engaged while efforts to market Zimbabwe as a
destination and re-engage the international community should
continue to be
pursued," he added.
SA to Act On UN Report, Include MDC in Engagements On
July 24, 2005
Posted to the
web July 24, 2005
President Thabo Mbeki says
South Africa will be acting on the
recommendations of a United Nations
special envoy report on Zimbabwe's
"clean up campaign".
Head of UN
Habitat Anna Tibaijuka released the report last week, condemning
Restore Order", that has left thousands of Zimbabweans homeless.
approach of the UN, which argues for increasing its involvement in
is correct, President Mbeki said.
The UN did not merely condemn the
situation there, President Mbeki said, but
had opted to engage Zimbabweans
to help them deal with the situation they
face, including a growing number
of human rights abuses.
President Mbeki said South Africa was to also
increasingly engage the
Zimbabwe opposition party, the Movement for
Democratic Change, in assisting
its northern neighbour with its
The President said he had met several times with MDC leader
Tsvangirai, who had asked the South African government to engage with
issues that are confronting Zimbabwe, whose economy is near to
President Mbeki said he had agreed to work with the MDC in
Zimbabwe's problems, saying it was important to work with the
of Zimbabwe to produce an outcome that addressed the concerns
Without having made a final decision on
extending a loan to Zimbabwe to
enable it to meet its financial obligations
to the International Monetary
Fund (IMF), President Mbeki said a solution
might be that South Africa
offers to settle a portion of Zimbabwe's debt to
President Mbeki told the media in a post-cabinet Lekgotla
briefing at the
Union Buildings with a video link-up to Cape Town that it
preferable for the IMF to continue to work with the crisis-stricken
"It would be counter-productive to have Zimbabwe's
membership of the IMF
terminated because of these arrears," the President
said, while not
mentioning any exact figures.
Zimbabwe has requested
a loan facility to help it to address a litany of
"We don't want Zimbabwe collapsing here next door," President
"South Africa would inherit all of the consequences."
also outlined some of South Africa's commitments regarding the rest of
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mr Mbeki said there was a
challenge" to the country's stability from the rebel Rwandan
grouped in the eastern part of the DRC largely under the banner of
Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR).
The FDLR have also
been blamed for involvement in the 1994 Rwanda genocide.
said South Africa was considering military intervention to
put an end to
these armed groups "roaming around" in the troubled eastern
said South Africa was looking at constituting an "African force" that
work with MONUC, which is the UN force there, and the DRC to put an
the violence arising from the continued existence of the FDLR.
Africa was assisting the DRC with the registration of voters for
referendum there and an election scheduled for next year, as
well as helping
the country to further integrate the different armed forces
that make up its
He said South Africa was also looking at a "heightened engagement"
particularly with regard to assistance in post-conflict
In Côte d'Ivoire - also known as Ivory Coast - President
Mbeki said South
Africa was deploying more people into the country,
including members of the
military and police, as well as officials who would
work in the office of
the prime minister.
South Africa is acting not
only as a mediator in the conflict there but is
assisting also with the
implementation of the peace process as a member of
the troika that includes
the Prime Minister of the Ivory Coast's government
of national unity and a
representative of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Following the outcome
of the G8 meeting in Scotland earlier this month,
President Mbeki said more
support needed to be given to Nepad structures to
address questions arising
from the meeting, such as "How does Africa use the
additional resources that
are going to be made available?" from the doubling
of development aid
assistance over the next five years.
Practical programmes are needed to
access and use these promised resources,
President Mbeki said.
added that several countries in Africa also needed assistance to become
eligible for the status rendered under the Highly-Indebted Poor Countries
initiative (HIPC), which would qualify them for debt cancellation already
given to 14 HIPC African countries.
Christian Science Monitor
Africans turn up heat on Mugabe
leader is in China this week seeking loans because South Africa
strings to aid.
By Abraham McLaughlin
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
After standing by their man for years, a
growing number of Africans are
pushing Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to
change his ways.
shift in attitude, if it lasts, could mark a new period in Zimbabwe's
ongoing crisis - one that tilts the situation toward resolution, thus
removing a big blot on Africa's global reputation and helping free
Zimbabweans from authoritarianism, soaring inflation, increasing poverty,
" Zimbabwe has asked regional powerhouse South Africa
for a loan of up to $1
billion for fuel, food, and other scarce essentials,
and to help prevent it
from losing backing from international lenders. South
Africa is reportedly
considering the loan, but with significant conditions
that would require
Zimbabwe to embark on economic and political reforms. The
is seen as a small but significant shift away from South
diplomacy" approach to its northern neighbor.
" A new
United Nations report, written by an African, blasts Mr. Mugabe's
Restore Order, which Mugabe says was designed to clean up urban
opposition parties say was simply strong-arm politics. The UN
recent demolition of thousands of homes and shops a "disastrous
that has left 700,000 homeless.
" Prominent voices are speaking out.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari
Maathai of Kenya said last week of Mugabe:
"This is only about power - and
using what issues you think will keep
yourself in power."
Such developments signal a shift in Africans' view of
Mugabe, says Chris
Maroleng of the Institute for Security Studies in
Pretoria, South Africa. No
more is there a continental debate over "the
nature of the crisis" - about
whether Mugabe is a hero who freed his nation
from white colonial rule or
the prime example of bad governance in Africa.
Rather, he says, "We are
beginning to actually address the crisis itself -
to figure out a way
forward." That, he adds, "is the most heartening thing
about the period
The African view of the issue is crucial,
observers say. Africans - not
outside powers - are most likely to be the
ones who defuse the Zimbabwe
Mr. Mbeki is one of the
issue's biggest players. In recent years, his
back-room diplomacy has
apparently done little to move the octogenarian
Mugabe to reverse course.
But the loan is a new opportunity to influence the
man who has led Zimbabwe
since independence in 1980 and who, in 2000,
initiated mass seizure of white
farms, which began the economic decline of
what had been the breadbasket of
Southern Africa. Zimbabwe now risks being
expelled from the International
Monetary Fund because of its delinquency on
nearly $300 million in
Now Mbeki can use the loan "as a lever to force Mugabe to engage
negotiations" with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, says
One reason Mbeki may want to attach conditions:
decline is impeding Mbeki's efforts to clean up
Africa's image through
things like the New Partnership for Africa's
Development and its focus on
good governance. South Africa's conditions may
be why Mugabe was expected to
ask Chinese President Hu Jintao for a
similarly large loan on his current
trip to Beijing.
The UN report,
released last week, was authored by Anna Tibaijuka, the head
of the world
body's Habitat agency, who is from Tanzania. The fact that it
comes from an
African - and was endorsed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan,
who is from
Ghana - may give it added weight on the continent.
Without naming names,
the report says Zimbabwean officials broke
international law in carrying out
the operation. It urges prosecution of the
"architects of the operation,"
which "caused large sections of [the]
population serious suffering" and
virtually "wiped out" the country's
informal economy, which accounted for 40
percent of the nation's economic
minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, retorted that it's
"definitely false" that
the government broke laws, further complaining about
the report's "vastly
judgmental language, which clearly demonstrates its
inbuilt bias against the
While criticism of Mugabe may be growing among Africans, it's
relatively tame. In dealing with such issues, there's an inherent
that emanates from the African cultural imperative to maintain
unity among all members of a community - somewhat similar to the
desire to "save face."
"The one bad thing [Mbeki] could do is
to close the doors" to dialogue and
cooperation with Mugabe, Ms. Maathai
said at a meeting with foreign
reporters last week, in a statement that
jibes with the African ethos.
There's no doubt Mugabe is still seen as a
revolutionary hero who ejected a
brutal white colonial regime. Unlike most
African leaders, he has also
aggressively tackled the race-charged issue of
land reform and continued
white dominance over his economy.
may have gone too far. Besides the troubles caused by Operation
Order, unemployment now hovers at about 70 percent. Inflation hit
percent in June, one of the highest rates in the world. The UN says 4
million of the country's 12 million people are verging on starvation. Fuel
is so scarce that few cars reportedly ply the streets of Harare, the
normally bustling capital. Even Air Zimbabwe, the national airline, recently
had to cancel many flights because of lack of fuel.
" Wire services
were used in this report.
Key points from UN report
must immediately halt any further demolitions of homes and
" The government must develop humanitarian efforts for the
provides security for "income-generating activities in a regulated
" It must hold those accountable who
carried out the destruction.
" It must pay compensation to those whose
property was unlawfully destroyed.
" The International community should
immediately mobilize with
reconstruction efforts to help avert further
Source: United Nations
Posted to the web on: 25 July 2005
'Economic chaos in
Zimbabwe not in SA's interests'
Vukani Mde and Karima
Thabo Mbeki says SA is willing to throw its troubled neighbour
lifeline, but urged the international community to play a more
in resolving Zimbabwe's problems.
Mbeki's stance appeared to be a direct
challenge to calls for SA to take a
tougher line against Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe.
It is also indicative of a growing confidence in
government that Zimbabwe's
economic meltdown has created an opportunity for
SA to use its leverage to
secure a settlement there.
This follows a
dramatic week for Mugabe. The International Monetary Fund
(IMF) last week
called in the country's $900m debt, prompting fears that
Zimbabwe is on the
verge of being expelled as a member of the international
Mugabe's government has appealed to SA for a $1bn
Anna Tubaijuka, the United Nations (UN) envoy dispatched to
assess its government's controversial forced removals campaign,
released a damning report last Friday.
Despite the tough stances
of the IMF and UN, Mbeki said it would not further
the cause of change in
Zimbabwe to have the country isolated. "SA's view -
shared by members of the
executive of the IMF - is that it would be
(Zimbabwe's) membership to be severed.
"This creates bigger problems. So
it becomes important to address the issue
of the arrears."
also argue for a greater UN role in finding a solution to Zimbabwe's
political and economic impasse, he said.
This was the first time that
Mbeki spoke publicly about Mugabe's loan plea
since it was made last
He said "intense" talks could see SA taking some financial
for Zimbabwe's IMF debt. "We don't want Zimbabwe collapsing
next door. SA
would inherit all the consequences of that
But Mbeki gave indications that SA would impose strict
conditions on any
He said Zimbabwe's problems extended
beyond the IMF debt, and also included
its monetary management.
pointedly referred to the role played by the country's reserve bank in
funding parts of forced removals campaign. "This is beyond the normal
function of a reserve bank," he said.
Mbeki said any bale-out would
be conditional on Zimbabwe committing to a
stable monetary system.
Zimbabwe's dual currency market would have to be
Mbeki also reiterated that a solution would only follow after
between Mugabe and the opposition Movement for Democratic
He said he would soon meet the South African Council of Churches
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe is committed to
retaining its membership of the IMF,
which it regards as an "invaluable
financial partner," and is continuing
negotiations with the lender,
Zimbabwean central bank governor Gideon Gono
was cited by the Harare-based
Sunday Mail newspaper as saying yesterday.
Posted to the web on: 25 July 2005
The Thick End of the
I write, I hear that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is flying to
to ask it to help bale out his dying economy. He leaves behind a
request to SA which, it appears, might succeed. But for China, as
Pretoria, presentation of Mugabe's begging bowl marks a defining moment
its presence in Africa, and as a policy maker for the wider world.
world power to bale out a leader behaving as badly as Mugabe would be
travesty. Beijing doesn't need anything Zimbabwe has to offer, and it
gain far more in the longer term in this region if it turned him
whatever the request. They will know by now that Mugabe is a liar. He
ask for humanitarian assistance, but the money won't help suffering
SA, too, knows he is a liar, but seems to be preparing to
lend him the $1bn
he has asked for anyway. There may or may not be good
reasons for that -
including merely trying to protect earlier loans - but no
would lend Zimbabwe money now without attaching severe
conditions to any
Zimbabwe isn't in trouble because of
the weather or low commodity prices. It
is in trouble because its economy
has been run into the ground by absurd and
destructive policies dictated by
Mugabe and designed to keep himself in
power at the expense of anything
You can't get away with that forever and time, surely, is up for
Any loans and conditions now should be done in a co-ordinated way
the lenders. And first on the conditions list has to be political
starting with a speeded-up programme for Mugabe's departure from
For the moment, though, President Thabo Mbeki
seems to be trying to correct
political misbehaviour by insisting only on
reforms in economic management
in Harare - trying to make it mechanically or
institutionally more difficult
for Mugabe to distort the economy to his
personal benefit. This may have an
effect, but if you respond to Mugabe's
tyranny and the clear condemnation of
his recent removals programme by the
United Nations envoy by ignoring the
sheer amount of poison and greed at the
top, you are going to be quickly
disappointed. You cannot reason with
No amount of money, nor any number of economic conditions, can
while Mugabe is in office.
Lend money only if Mugabe quits: FF+
July 25, 2005,
South Africa should only lend money to Zimbabwe on condition that
Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president, steps down, says Pieter Mulder, the
Freedom Front Plus (FF+) leader.
"Financial help from South Africa
would then be justified in that it would
go towards rebuilding Zimbabwe,"
Mulder said in a statement.
Earlier in the day, President Thabo Mbeki
said South Africa had to consider
providing financial assistance to
cash-strapped Zimbabwe or face the
consequences of its neighbour's economic
Stressing the importance of Zimbabweans solving their own political
economic problems, he added: "But we engage them because we don't want
Zimbabwe collapsing next door. South Africa would inherit all the
consequences of Zimbabwe collapsing."
Joe Seremane, a Democratic
Alliance spokesperson, said the party welcomed
the fact that the government
had not yet agreed to extend a loan to
Zimbabwe. - Sapa
Visions for Zim future
Your pages are filled with advice on and criticism of Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe and Zanu-PF, and indeed President Thabo
Much of this is justified but there is a paucity of
information on how
to correct the situation.
Firstly, what can
resurrect Zimbabwe? Zimbabwe has enormous natural
mineral wealth and has an
ability to feed much of Southern Africa and export
Secondly, it has enormous expertise which can resurrect
all the crop
products and, via our mining houses, the extraction of minerals
Thirdly, it would still enjoy considerable goodwill in
whose corporations would invest and install parallel
conditions were appropriate.
World corporations, recognising the potential, would
invest in fixed capital
for their subsidiary operations.
Fifthly, and most important, the
capital needed would be put up by the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) if
conditions were back to normal.
Zimbabwe is like an ailing business
company. It will either go
bankrupt or will be refinanced and new management
installed. A brand name,
once fallen on bad times, can seldom be
resurrected. In this respect, Mbeki
has the power now to bring about new
management, namely a new government.
Much as Mbeki may dislike
the idea, a resurrection can only be
achieved with the help of First World
Accordingly, the legacy of the Zanu-PF is too
antagonistic. The MDC
should be given a chance to prove its worth, expanded
by democratic elements
MDC is supported by many
in South Africa, including trade unions, the
SA Council of Churches, as well
as other countries that wish to see a
re-emergence of the Zimbabwean
Mbeki, assisted by the Western economies, must instruct
leave Zimbabwe. An election should be overseen by First World and
Once the new government is installed,
a plan drawn up by government,
business and mining stakeholders should be
presented. This would include a
financial plan, projected production and
mining targets, expected revenues
and taxation targets.
under these circumstances will Zimbabwe be offered debt
Rise and fall of the MDC
By David Blair
Founded in 1999, the Movement for Democratic Change swiftly
became the most
significant opposition party in Zimbabwe's
Morgan Tsvangirai, 53, the head of a trade union, was chosen as
leader. In June 2000, it defied murderous intimidation to win 57 of
contested parliamentary seats.
Scores of supporters were murdered
and thousands assaulted, tortured, raped
or abducted. Mr Tsvangirai stood
for the presidency against Mr Mugabe in
2002. Despite violence and ballot
rigging, he took 42 per cent of the vote,
though Mr Mugabe won with 56 per
Election observers said the contest was neither free nor fair but
Tsvangirai called no demonstrations after Mr Mugabe was declared the
Infighting began when Mr Tsvangirai lost 16 seats in March's
Since then, the infighting has rocked the
Mr Tsvangirai has failed to oppose the demolition of
townships and his
critics say he has become weak, indecisive and paranoid
about being ousted
by other MDC figures.
New Zealand leave for controversial Zimbabwe tour
Mon Jul 25, 2005 3:25 AM BST
By Greg Stutchbury
25 (Reuters) - New Zealand's cricket team left for a
controversial tour of
Zimbabwe on Monday, amid political pressure on the New
Zealand government to
consider legislation to cancel the tour.
The Black Caps' tour of the
southern-African country has come under intense
political scrutiny, with New
Zealand's government leading an international
push to have Zimbabwe banned
from the tour schedule due to concerns over
human rights abuses under
President Robert Mugabe.
However, the government has said it would not
introduce urgent legislation
proposed by the New Zealand Green Party to
prevent national sports teams
touring countries that violate human
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive Martin Snedden told
country had to honour its obligations under the International
Council's (ICC) touring programme.
The ICC said the only
reason the tour could be cancelled would be because of
security or if the
New Zealand government passed legislation preventing the
NZC would be hit by a minimum ICC fine of $2 million if they
tour for any other reason.
Snedden said NZC was
monitoring the security situation in Zimbabwe. "We have
a pretty careful
safety protocol we go through on every tour overseas,"
Snedden told Radio
New Zealand. "We have security people on the ground in
"They have been there for a while and we are getting
information back there
is nothing at the moment to indicate that the tour
should not proceed from a
Donald the co-leader of the Greens, who proposed the legislation seeking
halt the tour, urged the government again on Monday to reconsider its
"The Government is refusing to pass legislation to stop the
Black Caps' tour
of Zimbabwe, saying that it is unwilling to undermine New
right to be free from government interference," Greens
co-leader Rod Donald
said in a statement.
"It has already been quite
willing to interfere in New Zealand Cricket's
business by preventing
Zimbabwe's tour to New Zealand in December.
"Why is it that our
cricketers' right to play in Zimbabwe is inalienable yet
their right to play
cricket with the Zimbabwe team in New Zealand is not?,"
Donald who proposed
the legislation said.
The New Zealand government has already said it
would not grant visas to the
Zimbabwe team for their December
Several members of the squad, including captain Stephen Fleming,
cricket in Britain and will join the team in Namibia for a
New Zealand Cricket Players Association chief
executive Heath Mills had said
previously the team would discuss possible
protest action against Mugabe's
regime, though Radio New Zealand said
Snedden urged them not to do so while
The tour includes
two test matches and a triangular one-day tournament with
first test in Harare begins on August 7.
'So Far and No Further!' Rhodesia's Bid for Independence during the Retreat from Empire 1959-1965A cataloguing record
for this book is available from the Library and Archives Canada at
At last, after proof copies being lost in the post between here
and Canada, I have the new book published.
It is the product of 20
years of research using the papers of Ian Smith, the British papers in the
Public Record Office, numerous private collections, newspapers, Hansards etc. It
complements my “Welensky Papers: A History of the Federation of Rhodesia and
Nyasaland”. It called “So far and no further!”, it covers the history of UDI
from 1959 (when Whitehead sought Dominion Status) to 11 November 1965.
is a full description on my website – http://www.jrtwood.com
and a link to Trafford
concluded an agreement with Chris Cocks for the publication by his firm, Down
South, of a southern African version which should be on sale in a couple of
reference giving the price etc is below
(t) +27 31 564 7504
Here is the full
reference card for this book...
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order by talking to one of our cheerful order desk clerks, please call
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'So Far and No Further!' Rhodesia's Bid for
Independence during the Retreat from Empire 1959-1965
by J.R.T. Wood
533 pages; quality trade paperback (softcover);
catalogue #04-2760; ISBN 1-4120-4952-0; US$38.95, C$50.00, EUR32.00,
This definitive account traces Rhodesia's attempt to secure
independence during the retreat from Empire after 1959. Based on unique
research, it reveals why Rhodesia defied the world from 1965.
(t) +27 31 564