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

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OPPORTUNISTS

Sossonye Ranch and Nyati Ranch have been run as one unit for many years, and the owner has invested heavily by game fencing the properties, building dams and extensively stocking it with wildlife. Game could be seen in abundance on this protected property.

Sossonye Ranch has been delisted by the Government some time ago, but there has been conflict between the Governor and local administration when they try to clear settlers off the property, and the local MP who seems to provoke them to stay. There have been a number of protests and demonstrations against the delisting of this property which tends to indicate the deep political division within the ruling party.

Recently the settlers have been told again to move off Sossonye and both Police and Support Unit have reinforced this. At the moment although most of the settlers have gone there is now a head-on on the waterless Nyati Ranch, where some of the settlers have moved. Once again, they are being told to move, and the situation is becoming volatile because the "new owners" are reported to have moved into the homestead.

The "new owner" is said to be none other than the MP for Zaka East, Mr. Chindanya, who is way out of his own constituency here. He is reported to be accompanied by a man who is reported to be notorious for his suspected involvement in a number of crimes in the province. He is Mr. Magwesi, and is known in the area as the butcher, although he is from Masvingo.

Reports coming in say that two giraffe and two impala were shot on the 11th July and the meat transported away. The previous weekend a kudu was also reported to have been shot and delivered to the local DA, Mr. Zindove.

As reported above the two ranches were extensively stocked with all forms of wildlife where they were carefully protected and bred. The game numbers were huge, but sadly today there is little sign of any wildlife at all as the settlers have destroyed this precious natural resource.

There is absolutely no way the wildlife can survive under the controversial "fast-track" political programme, especially under the A1 scheme where beneficiaries receive between 5 and 60ha of dry harsh and waterless land. This Region V is only suited to either wildlife or cattle production, and definitely not suited for intensive resettlement, where the flora is destroyed by the axe, the plough and fire. Hungry homeless people and their dogs wander around continuously searching for food, killing and destroying everything they may chance to find.

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BBC
Monday, 22 July, 2002, 03:19 GMT 04:19 UK
Zimbabwe's plight 'moved me to tears'
Angela Rippon in Zimbabwe
Ms Rippon distributed food baskets with the Red Cross
Broadcaster Angela Rippon has returned from a British Red Cross mission to Zimbabwe and warned of impending disaster caused by famine and Aids.

She said she was moved to tears by the appalling scenes of poverty and disease.

Two successive poor harvests have left many facing starvation.

And a quarter of the population - nearly a half of those who can work the land - are infected with HIV.

We must put humanitarian need above politics and do what we can to prevent the death of a nation

Angela Rippon

Ms Rippon said: "In rural Zvimba district, one of the poorest in Zimbabwe, the evidence of an impending humanitarian catastrophe is all too clear.

"The Red Cross tells me that three children have recently died at their school desks.

"It is part of a wider picture where the numbers of dead in just this one district have more than doubled from an average of 14 a month last year, to 36 a month now."

She said the scenes made her "angry and helpless" when she realised the scale of the humanitarian effort required to save lives.
HIV/Aids in Zimbabwe
One in four infected
2,000 die per week
More than 640,000 children orphaned by it
42% of workers crippled by it

The broadcaster, vice president of the British Red Cross, travelled to Zimbabwe earlier this month and is appealing for British donations to help the charity's work in the country.

Experts have predicted that famine could grip the nation by September.

Ms Rippon added: "Food prices are rocketing, putting the cost of even basic items such as bread, milk and sugar beyond the reach of most people."

On her trip, she met eight families, including one which she described as offering a "bleak snapshot" of the horror encompassing the country.

Begging porridge

Two children aged two and four are dying with Aids and have no energy to play.

They are being looked after by their 54-year-old grandmother - the only member of the family able to.

Their mother died from the disease and their father was diagnosed as HIV positive.
Angela Rippon
Angela Rippon is vice president of the British Red Cross

The uncle, aunt and 18-month-old cousin are believed to be infected.

Ms Rippon said no-one in the family had eaten since begging porridge from a neighbour the night before.

The field that used to provide them with maize and vegetables is parched dry.

The Red Cross is the only charity to work across Zimbabwe without interference from the Mugabe regime, a spokeswoman for the charity said.

We can't just stand by and let people die

Angela Rippon

Red Cross volunteers help with tending the sick and educating the family in health care to minimise the spread of infection. And others distribute food to families.

The cost of a London Underground single fare - £1.40 - can feed an adult for a month, said the charity.

Ms Rippon added: "If you would like to help the work of the British Red Cross in Zimbabwe please call 08705 125 125 or visit www.redcross.org.uk."

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Daily News

††††† State witnesses tell court police manipulated their statements

††††† 7/22/02 11:36:44 AM (GMT +2)


††††† By Sam Munyavi

††††† Sam Banda last Tuesday told Harare regional magistrate Leonard
Chitunhu, Norton police beat him up until he made a statement.

††††† Banda is a State witness in the trial on charges of public violence
against a Norton farmer, James Sinclair.

††††† He said the police beat him up until he made a statement implicating
workers and people from the neighbouring Mhondoro communal lands in an
attack on settlers at Sinclair's farm on 12 June 2001.

††††† Two other State witnesses alleged their statements had been
manipulated by the police.

††††† Sinclair's co-accused are Zenedias Kasekera, a security guard, and
Masimba Gwanzura, a farm worker.

††††† Banda, who is among the more than 20 State witnesses who have
testified so far, said:
††††† "I gave that statement after I had been assaulted by the police on 14
June 2001. I do not know the policemen's names.

††††† "They beat me at the farm because certain people indicated that I had
been among the attackers. They beat me on the soles of the feet with batons
and severely injured my left foot. I was beaten 15 times. That is when I
signed the statement."

††††† Cross-examining Banda, Advocate Deepak Mehta, Sinclair's attorney,
said: "These are quite serious allegations against the police and you have
to substantiate them."

††††† Banda said he was afraid of further beatings if he refused to make the
statement.

††††† The State, represented by Phildah Muzofa and Vivian Mandizvidza, is
alleging that Sinclair, Kasekera and Gwanzura, with nine others still at
large, attacked 37 settlers on Sinclair's Serui Source Farm with clubs,
axes, spears, iron bars and sticks, looting and destroying property worth $1
967 000.

††††† Banda said he did not see the three on the day of the attack.

††††† Mehta produced two statements, one hand-written and the other typed
and recorded by the CID, made by James Sauti, another State witness.

††††† Sauti said: "There are some words that I can see were added."

††††† He said he had not seen the foreman who was being implicated in the
violence in one of his statements and agreed with Mehta that his statement
had been manipulated.

††††† A third State witness, Patson Magariazi told the court that he had
seen Gwanzura using a club to beat an old man, who was seated on the ground.

††††† Mehta pointed out to him that he had not mentioned Gwanzura in his
statement to the police.

††††† Mehta: "You had never seen accused number three until you came to
court today."
††††† Magariazi: "Yes."
††††† Mehta: "So you have something against accused number three?"
††††† Magariazi: "Yes. He told us he would not sell us milk and said we
should go and get it from (President) Mugabe."

††††† Asked about the differences between his court testimony and his
statement to the police, Magariazi said: "The police did not read it to me."

††††† He said the police had omitted some of the things he said.

††††† Tarisai Jaricha, 33, was also questioned by Mehta about the
"considerable" differences in his two statements to the police on 13 and 20
June 2001, including differences in Jaricha's national identity number, time
and mention in the 20 June statement, but not in the 13 June statement, that
he was beaten.

††††† Mehta said: "Do you agree that the 13 June statement was not
acceptable to them (and they manipulated you to make the 20 June statement?"

††††† Jaricha blamed "the typist" for the differences.

††††† The trial entered its seventh day yesterday, with Mehta mainly
challenging the differences in the statements made by State witnesses to the
police and those they made in court.
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Zimbabwe sanctions expected to be extended to business leaders

European Union Foreign Ministers are meeting in Brussels today and are expected to extend sanctions on the leadership of Zimbabwe in response to the worsening situation there.

A travel ban and asset freeze were imposed before the Zimbabwean elections in March.

Political violence is increasing and aid agencies are warning that the seizure of commercial farms could lead to famine.

At the moment President Mugabe and 19 senior government and military officials are banned from travelling to the EU and have assets held in the EU frozen, the BBC reports.

Ministers are expected to extend that blacklist to include senior business figures.

But many here believe that the EU sanctions just are not working.

President Mugabe himself broke the travel ban last month, visiting Rome for a UN- sponsored food conference.

EU diplomats argue that wider economic sanctions just are not an option, because suspending aid would hurt exactly the people they are trying to protect.

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Ananova

††††† Zimbabwe's children 'dying at their desks'

Children are said to be dying at their school desks in Zimbabwe as a "fatal
cocktail" of Aids and food shortages sweeps the country.

Angela Rippon says she was moved to tears by what she has seen and heard.

Ms Rippon has recently returned from a fact-finding mission to the country
for the British Red Cross.

She commented: "Three children have recently died at their school desks.

"We've been hearing for months that the country, indeed the whole of
southern Africa, is on the verge of a catastrophic famine."

She added: "But second-hand stories from 6,000 miles away can't compare with
first-hand experience.

"And that's exactly what I was given in situations which left me at times
feeling both angry and helpless when faced with a crisis which now needs
major humanitarian aid to save at least some of the population."

The British Red Cross estimates that up to a quarter of Zimbabweans have HIV
or Aids - some 1.5 million people.

More than 640,000 children have already been orphaned by the disease, and
the problem has been compounded by two years of poor harvests which have
left many facing starvation, the charity says

Experts have predicted that famine could grip the country by September and
food prices are rocketing.

Story filed: 00:05 Monday 22nd July 2002
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Monday, 22 July, 2002, 06:44 GMT 07:44 UK
EU to tighten Zimbabwe sanctions
Zimbabwe supermarket
Land seizures could lead to famine aid agencies warn
Zimbabwe's senior business leaders and their spouses are expected to be banned from Europe under new sanctions.


We do not need to go shopping in Europe. Zimbabwe has many shops and people can go shopping in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe Interior Affairs Minister John Nkomo
The European Union (EU) imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on a number of the country's leaders before the Zimbabwean elections in March.

But there has been criticism that the sanctions are not working.

The EU took the measures after the head of its elections observer team was expelled from the country in a row over election violence.

Ban broken

At the moment, President Robert Mugabe and 19 senior government and military officials are banned from travelling to the EU, and have had assets held in the EU frozen.

EU foreign ministers on Monday will consider extending the ban.

Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe: UN flight
Socialist Euro MP Glenys Kinnock told the BBC World Service's World Today programme: "The situation in Zimbabwe has gone from bad to worse and now is the time to strengthen our position.

"We need to target the elite, to make it difficult for them to come to Europe for shopping trips and meetings.

"We need to include the whole cabinet and their spouses - as many of them as we can identify."

President Mugabe himself broke the travel ban last month, visiting Rome for a United Nations-sponsored food conference.

'Period of transition'

But EU diplomats argue that wider economic sanctions just are not an option - suspending aid, they say, would hurt exactly the people they are trying to protect.

Zimbabwe's Home Affairs Minister, John Nkomo, told the World Today, that political violence was not increasing in Zimbabwe.

"As a sovereign state we must be allowed to govern ourselves.

"There are human rights in Zimbabwe - we are going through a period of transition from when there were no human rights for black people in Zimbabwe."

He added: "We do not need to go shopping in Europe. Zimbabwe has many shops and people can go shopping in Zimbabwe.

"What is Europe anyway? There are other parts of the world."


ZIMBABWE: EU broadens sanctions

JOHANNESBURG, 22 July (IRIN) - The European Union (EU) on Monday broadened sanctions against Zimbabwe's ruling elite, but analysts were sceptical the new moves would have any discernable impact on the country's leadership.

The EU Council meeting in Brussels, Belgium, added 52 names of political, business and military figures to the list of 20 members of the ruling party and government subject to a travel ban and the freezing of assets held in Europe.

News agencies reported that among the 52 names added to the list was Grace Mugabe, President Robert Mugabe's wife. "All the members of his cabinet and leading members of the ruling ZANU-PF party are now on the blacklist," Reuters quoted an EU diplomat as saying.

But in high-profile trips abroad, Mugabe has managed to duck the travel ban imposed by the EU and later the United States, attending United Nations conferences in New York and Rome recently. This, among other issues, has called into question the effectiveness of targeted sanctions.

"Every little bit helps, however, I don't see them [sanctions] having any discernable impact," John Stremlau, head of the department of international affairs at South Africa's University of the Witwatersrand, told IRIN.

But he added that the EU's new measures could serve to remind Africa that it could not ignore the crisis in Zimbabwe.

"Smart sanctions are good [but they] need to be stiffened. [They] do not hurt the majority of Zimbabweans, who are being ravaged by bad policy and mother nature in a real witches brew. Taking this action now is a reminder to Africa, post Durban summit, that if it wants to have a viable partnership under the frameworks of NEPAD [the New Partnership for Africa's Development] and the African Union ... it cannot ignore the worst cases of bad governance."

In February, the EU imposed targeted sanctions on Mugabe and 19 associates following the expulsion of the EU's top election observer. The March presidential election, which returned Mugabe to power, were marred by violence and intimidation. The EU, Commonwealth and the United States declared that the election was not a true reflection of the will of the electorate.

Stremlau predicted that broadening sanctions was "unlikely to have much of an impact on the behaviour of Zimbabwe's elite".

The ruling ZANU-PF's response to the news from Brussels served to underscore Stremlau's analysis. Senior party official Emerson Manangagwa told IRIN: "We as ZANU-PF know that sanctions have been imposed on us for a long time, it's nothing new. They [the EU] can do what they want, it does not affect us at all."

In addition to the travel ban, the freezing of assets and military assistance, the EU sanctions include an end to US $128 million in development aid.

[ENDS]

MSNBC

EU extends Zimbabwe blacklist,UK says sanctions work



BRUSSELS, July 22 - European Union foreign ministers extended on Monday a
blacklist of Zimbabwe officials subjected to a visa ban and assets freeze,
and Britain said the bloc's ''targeted sanctions'' were working.
†††††† The move by the 15-nation bloc was widely expected and reflects EU
concern at a continued deterioration in Zimbabwe's economic and human rights
situation since President Robert Mugabe's re-election in March.
†††††† ''They have extended the list by 52. The new names include people
like deputy ministers and assistant secretaries,'' an EU diplomat told
Reuters during the ministers' monthly meeting in Brussels.
†††††† ''All the members of his cabinet and leading members of the ruling
ZANU-PF party are now on the blacklist,'' said the EU diplomat.
†††††† There was no immediate response from Mugabe's government in Harare,
but the southern African country's main opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) welcomed the EU measures.
†††††† Diplomats said the list included Grace Mugabe, wife of the veteran
leader who has led the southern African country since it won independence
from Britain 22 years ago.
†††††† MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube said: ''We are happy with the EU
move and heartened by the fact that the international community is keeping
up the pressure on those people responsible for the suffering that Zimbabwe
is going through right now.
†††††† ''It shows the international community has not forgotten the
long-suffering people of Zimbabwe, and that Zimbabwe is not off the world
radar,'' he told Reuters.
†††††† ''What should happen is that the international community must
continue reviewing its measures for greater impact until we get a democratic
dispensation here,'' he added.
†††††† ''SMART SANCTIONS''
†††††† The EU imposed so-called ''smart sanctions'' against Mugabe's
government in February ahead of a March presidential poll he went on to win
amid widespread allegations of election malpractice.
†††††† Zimbabwe has been suspended from the Commonwealth group of mostly
former British colonies for its conduct of the elections.
†††††† The EU sanctions included a ban on the sale and supply of arms and
equipment that could be used for internal repression.
†††††† An earlier EU list approved in February comprised 20 names, including
Mugabe himself.
†††††† Britain, the former colonial power, has led the push within the EU to
impose the sanctions aimed at hurting the elite but not ordinary
Zimbabweans.
†††††† ''We are in no doubt that the sanctions which were imposed in the
middle of February have put pressure on the Zimbabwe government and led
further to their political isolation,'' British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
told reporters as he arrived for the EU meeting.

MEDIA LAW UNDER SPOTLIGHT
†††††† Zimbabwe's controversial new media law, criticised by the West,
briefly came under the spotlight again on Monday with the trial of the
editor and a reporter at Zimbabwe's only privately owned daily newspaper.
†††††† Daily News reporter Lloyd Mudiwa and his editor Geoff Nyarota face
charges of publishing a false story.
†††††† The hearing was adjourned to Wednesday after their lawyers applied to
have the case referred to the Supreme Court.
†††††† Magistrate Sandra Nhau said she needed time to consider the
application and would rule on Wednesday whether the case should be heard in
the lower Magistrates Court or should be referred to the Supreme Court.
†††††† The charges against Mudiwa and Nyarota stem from a story the Daily
News published in April, alleging that Mugabe's supporters beheaded a woman
in a rural district last year. The paper has since said the beheading story
was false and apologised to Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party.
†††††† Their case follows the acquittal last week of the American
correspondent of Britain's Guardian newspaper on similar charges.

FOOD CRISIS
†††††† Zimbabwe's political and economic crisis has been compounded by a
severe food shortage blamed on drought and the invasion of white-owned farms
since February 2000 by militants loyal to Mugabe.
†††††† The Red Cross on Monday issued an appeal for over $60 million to help
feed the hungry in southern Africa.
†††††† Meanwhile, police said on Monday they were still investigating the
case of MDC spokesman Learnmore Jongwe who is accused of stabbing his wife
to death.
†††††† Jongwe turned himself in to police on Sunday in the company of his
lawyer Jonathan Samkange, who said his client ha d stabbed his wife of nearly
a year in anger during a domestic dispute.

Mugabe sanctions working, EU told

July 22, 2002 Posted: 1117 GMT

Mugabe: Sanctions were imposed in a row over election observers

BRUSSELS, France -- Sanctions against Zimbabwe's leaders are working, European Union foreign ministers have been told.

UK Foreign Minister Jack Straw said the EU measures had helped isolate President Robert Mugabe and his senior aides on the world stage.

The EU sanctions could be extended to further members of the Zimbabwe government by the foreign ministers at a meeting in Brussels on Monday.

Sanctions already imposed include a ban on arms sales, refusing visas for named figures and freezing their assets.

Straw told reporters: "We are in no doubt that the sanctions which were imposed in the middle of February have put pressure on the Zimbabwe government and led further to their political isolation.

"I am not going to anticipate any decisions, but there is no doubt about the intensity of concern across the European Union over the desperate plight into which Mr. Mugabe has plunged his country and is contributing to the deteriorating situation elsewhere in Southern Africa."

The so-called "smart sanctions" are intended to hit leading members of the government and some of their relatives while allowing ordinary Zimbabweans to be unaffected.

They were imposed ahead of Zimbabwe's presidential election after a row over the role of EU election observers.

Mugabe went on to win the vote despite widespread allegations of vote-rigging, although some African nations said that while there were flaws the result should stand.

After the poll Zimbabwe was also suspended for 12 months from the Commonwealth on the strength of a report compiled by observers from South Africa, Nigeria and Australia.

"Over the past year there has been an increasing discontent by neighbouring countries against the Mugabe government. A year ago that wasn't there.

"Let's remember it was Commonwealth election observers led by some of the main African countries who themselves blew the whistle on Mr Mugabe's election malpractices."

Britain, Zimbabwe's former colonial master, has led the push within the 15-nation EU to impose the targeted sanctions.


BBC
Monday, 22 July, 2002, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
Mugabe's wife on EU sanctions list
President Mugabe and Grace Mugabe
No more trips to Europe for Zimbabwe's first family
European Union foreign ministers have agreed to extend sanctions on the leadership of Zimbabwe to include an extra 52 people.

This is in addition to the 20, including President Robert Mugabe, already covered by the first wave of EU sanctions agreed in February.


[Sanctions] will stop Grace Mugabe going on her shopping trips in the face of catastrophic poverty blighting the people of Zimbabwe

Glenys Kinnock European MP
Those on the new list include family members, such as Grace Mugabe, and other political and business leaders.

They will also be banned from travelling to EU countries and any assets they hold there will be frozen.

The EU's action was welcomed by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe.

The MDC's foreign affairs spokesman Tendai Biti said that it underlined that "the eyes of the international community are still firmly fixed on Mugabe and his illegitimate regime".

Unanimous

"All the members of his cabinet and leading members of the ruling Zanu-PF party are now on the blacklist, according to an EU diplomat, quoted by Reuters news agency.

The sanctions list now includes deputy minister and assistant secretaries in government departments.

Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe: UN flight

The vote on the new sanctions was unanimous and "underlines the EU's political will on this issue," the diplomat said.

The British Labour Party member of the European Parliament, Glenys Kinnock, said that the sanctions, "will stop Grace Mugabe going on her shopping trips in the face of catastrophic poverty blighting the people of Zimbabwe".

The European Union (EU) imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on a number of the country's leaders before the Zimbabwean elections in March.

'Man-made disaster

The EU took the measures after the head of its elections observer team was expelled from the country in a row over election violence, but there has been criticism that the sanctions are not working.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said the new sanctions applied to "the whole ruling elite".


Zimbabwe has many shops and people can go shopping in Zimbabwe

Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo

"Our quarrel has never been with the people of Zimbabwe but with those who have created the mounting food crisis and what is mainly a man-made disaster".

He said the ban on travel was increasing the Zimbabwean leadership's sense of isolation and was "extremely inconvenient and humiliating" for the political leadership.

Mr Mugabe got round the travel ban last month, visiting Rome for a United Nations-sponsored food conference.

'Period of transition'

But EU diplomats argue that wider economic sanctions just are not an option - suspending aid, they say, would hurt exactly the people they are trying to protect.

Food aid in Zimbabwe
EU does not want sanctions to hurt the poor

In its announcement welcoming the sanctions, the MDC called on the EU to expand the sanctions again if the "illegitimate Mugabe regime fails to take steps to end the political violence in Zimbabwe".

The movement also appealed for more humanitarian aid for southern Africa to cope with the widespread threat of famine.

Zimbabwe's Home Affairs Minister, John Nkomo, told the World Today, that political violence was not increasing in Zimbabwe.

"As a sovereign state we must be allowed to govern ourselves.

"There are human rights in Zimbabwe - we are going through a period of transition from when there were no human rights for black people in Zimbabwe."

He added: "We do not need to go shopping in Europe. Zimbabwe has many shops and people can go shopping in Zimbabwe.

"What is Europe anyway? There are other parts of the world."


BBC
Monday, 22 July, 2002, 19:54 GMT 20:54 UK
Zimbabwe sanctions: Are they justified?
Zimbabwe's senior business leaders and their spouses have been banned from Europe, under extended sanctions from the European Union (EU).

President Robert Mugabe and 19 senior government and military officials are already banned from travelling to the EU. They also had their European assets frozen before the Zimbabwean elections in March.

The EU imposed the ban after the head of its elections observer team was expelled from the country in a row over election violence.

Critics say, however, that the sanctions are not working.

Do you think the sanctions are justified? Should Zimbabwe's political and business leaders be banned from travelling to Europe?

HAVE YOUR SAY

Innocent people suffer more from the consequences

Igonikon Jack, USA
The EU could draw some lessons about blanket sanctions from the UN's sanctions against Libya and Iraq. The poor, innocent people suffer more from the consequences. Patience is required in resolving the Zimbabwean problem. Time is running out against the Mugabe regime. The Zimbabwean people will someday get the democratically elected government they deserve, which will bolster foreign investors' confidence and free the country from economic strangulation.
Igonikon Jack, USA

Being banned from Europe means less to Africans than the EU can hope for. Europe is not our Mecca. These petulant actions designed to punish Mugabe for his independence can only strengthen and unite us.
George Dash, Canada

These drastic measures could have been avoided if Mr Mugabe had worked with the white farmers years ago. Together they could have come to an arrangement where poor people received land and were given the opportunity to learn farming skills. Mr Mugabe had the opportunity to be seen as a respected African statesman such as Nelson Mandela. Instead he will condemn his own people to a slow death. These are not the actions of a sound mind.
Andrew Carnegie, UK

Most of these guys rarely stay in Zimbabwe. They should also be banned from travelling to Zimbabwe from their numerous foreign trips.
Tinashe, Zimbabwe


We must be careful with the backlash

Learnmore Moyo , USA/Zimbabwe
The sanctions already in place were good enough. I think we must be careful with the backlash. The more we insist on attacking Mugabe, the higher the number of people keen to listen to his argument.
Learnmore Moyo , USA/Zimbabwe

Corruption, mass starvation, rigged elections, torture and terror are everyday phenomenon all over the world. In some places even with sanction of the UK, USA, etc, of course as long as the effects are not visited on Britons or Americans. The Zimbabwean situation is nothing new. The only constant is the supposed victim - WHITE PEOPLE.
Sydney, Zimbabwe

EU sanctions are no more than an irritation to Mugabe and his cronies. I would like to see sanctions on the African leaders who continue to support him. In the end the world is watching another tragedy that could be avoided if South Africa really put pressure on Mugabe.
Graham H Crouch, Zimbabwean exile, UK

The EU seems very concerned about Zimbabwe. But situations like Zimbabwe are widespread all over Africa especially in the Horn. Why doesn't the EU apply the same policy all over? Do not single out Zimbabwe.
Tullu Oromo, Minneapolis, USA


The current sanctions are at best symbolic, and at worst make the EU a laughing stock

David, UK
As a native Zimbabwean, I have been appalled by the inaction of the international community while conditions for the average Zimbabwean deteriorate immeasurably. The current sanctions are at best symbolic, and at worst make the EU a laughing stock. Any sanctions imposed against despots are better than nothing. Sanctions should be widened to cover all key political and business figures that have played a direct or implicit role in the violation of human rights.
David, UK

Sanctions are already in existence with shortages of everything from foreign currency to food and even soft drinks. But they are not justified. Opposition parties in Zimbabwe should not ask the West to impose sanctions on the country in order to influence public opinion - they should simply offer better solutions. We cannot depend on aid forever and if we ask others to destroy our economy who will rebuild it for us?
Tendyai, Zimbabwe


It is self-inflicted

Jeff, UK
The sanctions are completely justified. It is self-inflicted as Zimbabwe's leaders are part of one of the most corrupt political regimes in the world. These men and women fill their own pockets before passing on world aid to the rest of their beleaguered citizens. We should not be giving these so-called leaders any monetary aid.
Jeff, UK

I believe these sanctions are simply put in place to stamp out or discourage any move that colonised countries might try to put in place to reverse the deeds of British colonialism. It's all about economic power.
Tchacho, USA

These sanctions are not working, and they never will. Zimbabweans will survive any British machinations to reverse our sovereignty. I thought by now that they would have seen that all their tricks have failed. Zimbabweans will carry on with the land reform programme.
Charles Mutama, Zimbabwe

I take it Mr Mutama is fairly well off, unlike many of his countrymen who are suffering from starvation because of the half baked plans of Mugabe and his cronies. To undertake radical land reform when there is not only a drought but also when it is midway through the planting cycle is criminal, and shows no regard for the people. The other factor is that the farmland is going to be given to subsistence farmers so the productivity of the country will also fall. If Mugabe leaves Zimbabwe for any reason he should be arrested for crimes against humanity.
Charles, UK


This regime must be stopped before the world wakes up to another African humanitarian disaster

Dan, UK
Charles: Are the Zimbabweans that are carrying the "land reform programme" the same ones that are on the brink of starvation and famine? I think not, which is why this corrupt regime must be stopped in its tracks before the world wakes up to yet another African humanitarian disaster.
Dan, UK

Mr Mutama, the question is not one of British machinations to reverse Zimbabwean sovereignty, rather an international effort to stop a dictator from running a once prosperous country into the ground.
D Walton, UK

Sadly, as long as people like Charles Mutama swallow the rubbish being put out by the Mugabe regime, there is little hope of any sanctions working. Perhaps Mr Mutama should realise that the actions of the international community are concerned with ridding his country of its self-serving leader, and all his corrupt hangers-on, as opposed to attempting to reassert some form of 19th century colonialism. Mind you, once most of the population of Zimbabwe is starving I am sure the good comrades will more than welcome all the 'foreign aid' to be had from their old 'oppressors'.
Noel Whitman, UK


Enough is enough for the poor people of that country

Jennifer, UK/Zimbabwe
Yes, they should be banned from entering Europe. The strictest sanctions should be put on Zimbabwe- enough is enough for the poor people of that country. How much longer are the EU and others going to allow Mugabe to continue to treat people, black and white, the way he is.
Jennifer, UK/Zimbabwe

If we had sanctions against South Africa over the evils of apartheid, why shouldn't we have them against Zimbabwe for corruption, mass starvation, rigged elections, torture and terror?
KT, UK

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From VOA News, 21 July

Zimbabwe politician confesses to killing his wife

Harare - Learnmore Jongwe, a member of Zimbabwe's parliament and a key spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, handed himself over to police Sunday and confessed to the fatal stabbing of his wife. Morgan Tsvangirai, president of the Movement for Democratic Change, the MDC, has expressed sorrow at the death of Mr. Jongwe's wife, Rutendo. Mr. Tsvangirai said the party condemned all forms of violence, whether domestic or public. He said he hoped the police would take appropriate action to ensure justice was done. Mr. Jongwe, a lawyer by training, left Harare on Friday after stabbing his wife of a few months, and went to the rural areas where his family lives. He told his lawyer by telephone that he would turn himself in to the police. He arrived with his lawyer at Harare's central police station, and made a statement admitting he stabbed his wife, whom he accused of being unfaithful. Mr. Jongwe's lawyer said police were surprised when they arrived at the police station, and added that his client was both remorseful and disturbed. He said Mr. Jongwe would spend the night in prison and would be taken to court to face charges on Monday. He said that since Mr. Jongwe had surrendered voluntarily to the police he hoped his client would be granted bail. Learnmore Jongwe, 25, became the best known face of the Movement for Democratic Change during the run-up to Zimbabwe's presidential elections in March. In front of the media he was a forceful critic of ruling party violence against his own party.


Tsvangirai speaks on Jongwe tragedy

July 21, 2002

The tragic events around the Jongwe family have left the nation and us all
in the party with a sense of shock. On behalf of the party, I want to
express deep sorrow and sadness at the loss of Rutendo, the wife of the
party's spokesman, Mr. Learnmore Jongwe. We wish to let the families of
Rutendo and Jongwe know that we share their pain and that they will be in
our minds throughout their moment of bereavement.

We in the party unreservedly condemn all forms of violence whether domestic
or public. It is our hope that the police and the other arms of the law
will, in a professional manner, take appropriate action to ensure that
justice is done in this case. In deed, we pray that justice be done.

I urge the two families to accept the reality of the tragedy and recognise
the need for finding an amicable accommodation between them and therefore
allow an atmosphere to lay Rutendo to rest in peace.

Morgan Tsvangirai
MDC President


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ABC Australia

Court adjourns second trial under Zimbabwe media law
The trial of the editor and a reporter at Zimbabwe's only privately owned
daily newspaper was adjourned for two days on Monday after their lawyers
applied to have the case referred to the Supreme Court.

Daily News reporter Lloyd Mudiwa and his editor Geoff Nyarota face charges
of publishing a false story under the country's harsh new media laws.

Their case follows the acquittal last week of the American correspondent of
a British newspaper on similar charges.

Magistrate Sandra Nhau said on Monday she needed time to consider the
application and would rule on Wednesday whether the case should be heard in
the lower Magistrates Court or should be referred to the Supreme Court.

The charges against Mudiwa and Nyarota stem from a story the Daily News
published in April, alleging that President Robert Mugabe's supporters
beheaded a woman in a rural district last year.

The paper has since said the beheading story was false and apologised to
Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party.

Mudiwa and Nyarota face a fine of up to $US1,818 each or up to two years in
jail if convicted.

Mudiwa and Nyarota's lawyer Chris Andersen argued on Monday that the trial
should be heard in the Supreme Court as it dealt with constitutional matters
such as freedom of expression and protection of the law.

Mr Andersen says a section in the new media laws penalising the publication
of "falsehoods" under a crime called "abuse of journalistic privilege" was
more stringent than an old law which was struck off the books by the Supreme
Court for interfering with freedom of expression.

State prosecutor Never Katiyo opposed the defence application to refer the
case to the Supreme Court, saying the lower courts were competent to deal
with the matter.

Mr Katiyo said freedom of expression was not absolute and the Daily News
case was one of "reckless journalism" which warranted criminal prosecution.

Last week a magistrate found Andrew Meldrum, the Zimbabwe correspondent for
Britain's Guardian newspaper, not guilty after his paper carried the
beheading story, saying he had not originated the story and had tried to
verify it.

The Government issued a deportation order against Mr Meldrum immediately
after the judgment, but the country's High Court then suspended his
expulsion.

Critics say the new media laws passed by Mugabe's government this year
severely curtail press freedom but the government says they aim to introduce
"ethical behaviour".
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Daily News

††††† Benefits of Mugabe's visit to Cuba not clear

††††† 7/22/02 11:35:25 AM (GMT +2)


††††† Staff Reporter

††††† PRESIDENT Mugabe returned home yesterday morning from a four-day visit
to the communist state of Cuba but it was not immediately clear what
benefits the trip had for thousands of Zimbabweans on the brink of
starvation.

††††† In Cuba, Mugabe, 78, held meetings with President, Fidel Castro, 77.
††††† During the visit, he toured the world famous Varandero Beach Resort,
met African diplomats accredited to Havana and spoke to Zimbabwean students
studying on the island state.

††††† Mugabe was accompanied by a low key delegation of deputy minister of
Health and Child Welfare, David Parirenyatwa and deputy Foreign Affairs
Minister, Abednico Ncube.

††††† The President was met by government officials at the Harare
International Airport yesterday.

††††† Mugabe, during his stay in Havana, discussed the prospect of Cuba
supplying Zimbabwe with the much-needed anti-retrovirals, used to suppress
the HIV/Aids virus.
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Daily News

††††† Journalists say Moyo should be charged for inciting hatred

††††† 7/22/02 11:34:57 AM (GMT +2)


††††† By Lloyd Mudiwa recently in South Africa

††††† JONATHAN Moyo, the Minister of State for Information and Publicity,
should be prosecuted by an international court for inciting racial hatred in
his country, journalists from six different African countries said last week
at a workshop on conflict resolution in Grahamstown, South Africa.

††††† "Moyo belongs before an international tribunal for inciting reverse
racism," Peter Kariithi, a veteran Kenyan journalist, said. "Journalists in
Rwanda are being tried for doing that."

††††† Attacking the Moyo-sponsored Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act, he said: "Although journalists are required to be responsible,
you don't want a government censoring them, especially when it is led by the
likes of Moyo."

††††† Kariithi, a former reporter, editor and publisher and now a university
lecturer in the United States of America, was commenting on Moyo's attack on
High Court judge, Justice Fergus Backie, for sentencing his colleague,
Patrick Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs,
to three months in jail for contempt of court.

††††† Fourteen journalists, including three from Zimbabwe representing both
the public and independent media, attended the Reuters Foundation War
Reporting Workshop. Other participants were from Kenya, Rwanda, South
Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.

††††† Kariithi, who visited Kenya and Zimbabwe before the workshop, said
Zimbabwe's journalism was today similar to that of Kenya in the 1980s when
that country's government clamped down on the Press, jailing him alone eight
times.

††††† He said the industry was so polarised with journalists personally
attacking each other instead of the issues.

††††† "Journalists don't do themselves a favour when they are divided and at
the same time ask for freedom of expression," Kariithi said.

††††† He said journalists in Kenya, overwhelmed by a proliferation of
unethical colleagues, had asked their government to censor them.

††††† The government, however, imposed laws that also curbed the responsible
reporters, Kariithi said, adding the journalists should have let the
market-place of ideas decide which media organisation survived.

††††† Mary Kimani, a reporter with Internews Network covering the genocide
tribunal in Rwanda, said the only other place with an acrimonious media like
Zimbabwe's was Rwanda during the genocide.

††††† "There is a KiSwahili saying which goes, when grasshoppers fight the
crow is going to be very happy," said Robert Ndwiga, of Kenya's East African
newspaper.

††††† Kariithi said: "Zimbabwe's Press is acrimonious to a level I have not
seen anywhere else in the world. It is amazing. The media is so acrimonious
it is self-destructing."

††††† The workshop also covered reporting on demonstrations, riots,
abductions and wars.

††††† Course facilitators Paul Iredale, a veteran journalist, and Mike
Blinkhorn, a former captain in the British Special Forces, also taught the
participants basic first aid, the effects of weapons and how to be
self-sufficient in hostile situations.

††††† The South African army's Sixth Infantry Light Battalion conducted an
impressive mock battle at the Strelitzia Training Centre just outside
Grahamstown using live ammunition and weaponry ranging from the 9mm pistols
to mortars.

††††† The battalion's acting commander, Major John Thys, said there was no
need for armies to be secretive except when involved in a war as most of the
information they were hiding could easily be accessed on the Internet.
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Daily News

††††† Zanu PF hijacks MDC rally venue

††††† 7/22/02 11:32:40 AM (GMT +2)


††††† By Luke Tamborinyoka

††††† ZANU PF yesterday hi-jacked an MDC rally scheduled for Kadoma, where
the police gave the ruling party access to Rimuka's Number 4 ground, despite
initial clearance for the opposition party to use the venue.

††††† The rally was scheduled to be addressed by the MDC leader, Morgan
Tsvangirai, who was on his way to Kadoma but was later told by his officials
to return to Harare following the hijacking of the venue by Zanu PF
supporters.

††††† Insiders said Tsvangirai was at Turnpike Service Station near Norton
when he was told to return following disturbances at the venue by Zanu PF
supporters, where an MDC supporter was assaulted and injured in the presence
of the police.

††††† A clearance letter signed by a Mr T Mutoza shows that the opposition
party was allowed to hold the rally before the police made an arrangement
for both parties to hold their rally at the same venue.

††††† Austin Mupandawana, the MP for Kadoma, said yesterday they were
surprised when the police accommodated Zanu PF when they had initially
allowed the opposition party to hold their rally.

††††† "We were surprised when we were told that Zanu PF wanted to use the
same venue. The police told us that the ruling party was to use the ground
from 1pm to 2:30 pm, while the MDC was to use the venue from 2:30 to 3:30
pm," Mupandawana said.

††††† Seventeen-year-old Godfrey Pasipamire was assaulted by Zanu PF
supporters even before the meeting with the police to allow Zanu PF to use
the venue was held.

††††† The rally was scheduled to be held in Rimuka, Kadoma where the MDC
intended to drum-up supoort for its mayoral candidate.

††††† The mayoral polls for the small mining town are billed for this
weekend.

††††† Despite the arrangement with the police for the MDC to use the ground
after 2:30pm, Zanu PF was still holding its rally at the venue as late as
4pm.

††††† The police at Kadoma Central Police Station referred questions to
police spokesman, Wayne Bvudzijena, who could not be contacted last night.

††††† Several Zanu PF officials had besieged the town to drum up support
ahead of the polls, among them Dr Ignatius Chombo, the Minister of Local
Government, Public Works and National Housing; Dr Joseph Made, the Minister
of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement; Zanu PF's political commissar
Elliot Manyika; and Phillip Chiyangwa, the Mashonaland West provincial
chairman and MP for Chinhoyi.

††††† The Zanu PF officials were said to have been booked at the Kadoma
Hotel and Conference Centre since last week, where they are said to have
accumulated a bill of more than $1 million.

††††† Kadoma police refused to comment. Mupandawana said even at the meeting
held yesterday afternoon, the police seemed to be under pressure to allow
the Zanu PF rally to go ahead.

††††† Several executive mayors were scheduled to attend the aborted MDC
rally ahead of the poll, where the party's first woman candidate for mayor,
Edita Matamisa, will fight it out with Fani Phiri of Zanu PF. The mayors
included the Bulawayo executive mayor Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, the Chegutu
mayor Francis Dhlakama and Chitungwiza mayor Misheck Shoko.

††††† Ndabeni-Ncube said: "We had come a long way to make sure democracy
prevails in Kadoma, but the police have once again connived with these Zanu
PF hooligans to block our rally. But this will not deter the will of the
people to prevail at the polls."

††††† Matamisa, said she was confident of winning despite the "unholy
alliance" between the police and the Zanu PF officials.
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Daily News

††††† War veterans turn against Chinotimba

††††† 7/22/02 11:40:16 AM (GMT +2)


††††† By Pedzisai Ruhanya Chief Reporter

††††† MIKE Moyo, the national secretary for security of the Zimbabwe
National Liberation War Veterans' Association (ZNLWVA), has described Joseph
Chinotimba, the organisation's chairman for Harare province, as having no
direction and prone to be used against his leadership for financial gain.

††††† Moyo accused Chinotimba of being used by government officials to cause
divisions among war veterans, allegations Chinotimba flatly denied as false.

††††† Moyo's accusations followed Chinotimba's remarks that the war veterans
would not demonstrate against Professor Jonathan Moyo, the junior minister
appointed by President Mugabe.

††††† Endy Mhlanga, the ZNLWVA secretary-general, had threatened to beat up
Professor Moyo, the Minister of State for Information and Publicity, if he
failed to reinstate Joy TV which was switched off air by the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation at the end of May.

††††† The war veterans' organisation has 11 percent shares in Joy TV.

††††† Moyo said: "Chinotimba has shown that he can be bought to betray his
superiors. Who is Chinotimba to order war veterans to defy decisions given
by members of the national executive?"

††††† "The fact that he was given a platform by The Herald to state his
mischievous position showed that Minister Moyo only wants people who dance
to his music. The man is simply a sell-out just like the minister," Moyo
said.

††††† He said the war veterans' leadership would meet to see what action to
take in order to "tame Chinotimba so that he cannot be used for a few
dollars by people who are busy destroying our party and denying war veterans
a chance to meet their patron, President Mugabe".

††††† Chinotimba denied he was being used by anyone when he commented
against the proposed demonstration after junior minister Moyo's refusal to
switch on Joy TV.

††††† He said: "I am a leader and as such I am not supposed to mobilise war
veterans to fight personal wars. The truth is that the majority of war
veterans do not know that they have shares in Joy TV.

††††† "Where is the money from that project and who is using it? We must be
clear on that fact first before we do anything. Those leaders should explain
that issue to all war veterans so that they do not feel that they are being
used," he said.

††††† Moyo further alleged that Chinotimba was using a party vehicle, a
facility not enjoyed by his seniors in the ZNLWVA.

††††† "This is another way to show that he is being bought to cause
confusion," he said.
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Monday, 22 July, 2002, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK
An 'emissary of Beelzebub'
Hamilton Palace
Hoogstraten based his mansion on Buckingham Palace
As millionaire property developer Nicholas van Hoogstraten is found guilty of the manslaughter of a business associate, BBC News Online looks at his business practices and private life.

Nicholas van Hoogstraten has been branded a "bully" and an "emissary of Beelzebub" by judges in the past.

His list of previous convictions includes ordering a grenade attack on the home of a business associate, a Jewish clergyman who he claimed owed him money.

For that he spent four years in Wormwood Scrubs in the 1960s, but he happily admits his business practices have not always been strictly within the law.

He says he has done "all sorts of things one shouldn't strictly do".

'Nasty shock'

"I exact retribution - I try to make the punishment fit the crime," he once said.

To demonstrate, he tells the story of how he dealt with a business associate in Africa he had fallen out with.

He said the man would "get a nasty shock" involving a gun.

Van Hoogstraten hit the headlines most recently during an ugly spat with ramblers.

The argument was over a public footpath through the grounds of the enormous mansion he is building near Uckfield in East Sussex.

Called Hamilton Palace, after Bermuda's capital, it is vainglorious, neo-classical, with a copper-dome.


The whole purpose of having money is to put yourself on a pedestal

Nicholas van Hoogstraten

It is estimated to have cost £40m so far and is reportedly the most expensive private house built in Britain for a century.

It is bigger than Buckingham Palace and has Louis XV furniture, a Holbein painting, a 600ft art gallery and a mausoleum designed to hold van Hoogstraten's body for 5,000 years.

The walls are three feet thick because he said he wanted to "make the building last forever".

Van Hoogstraten deliberately blocked the footpath on his estate to the anger of the Ramblers Association, whose members he dubbed "riffraff", "perverts", "flashers", "the dirty mac brigade" and "the great unwashed".

An official at the local council, which was supposed to enforce the right of way, said his officers were "scared to death" of the businessman.

Young millionaire

Never afraid of a fight, he has described taking on a nun at school.

She "tried to whack me with a chair-leg once - I grabbed it and hit her and she never tried again".

He was born in 1946 in Shoreham, East Sussex, as plain Nicholas Marcel Hoogstraten - the "van" was added later.

He no longer speaks to his own mother who he describes as "a miserable cow".

He is, however, a fan of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who he once described as "100% decent and incorruptible".

He holds vast fortunes in the African country and once said: "I don't believe in democracy, I believe in rule by the fittest."

Hoogstraten
Hoogstraten was UK's youngest millionaire
He began his business empire by buying property in the Bahamas.

With the profits he moved on to the British housing market, buying six properties in Notting Hill, London, before moving on to Brighton.

By the time he was 22, he was reputed to have had 350 properties in Sussex alone and to have become Britain's youngest millionaire.

But he also gained a sinister reputation and was accused of using strong-arm tactics against tenants of slum properties which he bought cheaply for redevelopment.

In the 1980s, as the housing market boomed, he prospered, acquiring more than 2,000 properties.

By the 1990s he had sold 90% of them, making massive profits and investing in other areas, including global mining.

Ten years ago, when a fire broke out at one of his properties in Brighton, he described the five people who died in the blaze as "lowlife, drug dealers, drug takers and queers - scum".

'Filthy tenants'

His outspoken and frequently bizarre views include that American President John F Kennedy was "on an ego trip" when he was assassinated and Diana, Princess of Wales, had "made a mockery of the Royal family".

To van Hoogstraten his tenants are "filth", while people who live in council houses are "worthless and lazy".

His misanthropy is legendary and he once said: "The only purpose in creating great wealth like mine is to separate oneself from the riffraff."

He has also said he believes that "the whole purpose of having money is to put yourself on a pedestal".

He has five children - four sons and a daughter - by three different mothers.

But they should not expect total financial security from their father, who has said he does not believe in inherited wealth.

"I will leave my children a few million so they won't starve. But I have seen people who think the world owes them a living. I believe everyone should do something useful," he said.

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Daily News

Letters

††††† Insolent Chinamasa not above the law, unelected Moyo!

††††† 7/22/02 1:02:13 PM (GMT +2)



††††† If he is not commenting about this, he is busy commenting about that.

††††† If he is not insulting you, then he is busy insulting me. If he is not
pointing near, then rest assured the man is pointing far away.

††††† If the war veterans are not threatening to beat up the farmers, then
they are threatening to blow the lights out of him.

††††† If he is not saying something stupid, then the man is busy saying
something unintelligent.

††††† I am, of course, referring to the man whom, about two years ago, The
Mole fittingly nick-named Motor Mouth.

††††† Why is he insulting the judge for sentencing the insolent Patrick
Chinamasa to prison? If the judge is sitting there on his last day at work,
who said that he is not allowed to work?

††††† No wonder things have gone from bad to worse ever since this man burst
onto the scene.

††††† Justice Fergus Blackie should be applauded for following the rule of
law to the letter against people who think they are above the law.

††††† Who is Chinamasa anyway? If Morgan Tsvangirai can be summoned to
appear in court when he is the de jure President of Harare and indeed
Zimbabwe, it begs the question: Where does that leave Chinamasa and of
course himself - he of that famous head made even more famous by some
cartoonists - considering that millions voted for Tsvangirai and none voted
for those two?

††††† God help us if we have people of such calibre talking nonsense which
they pass off as directing affairs of the state!

††††† Cut the crap, Jonah!

††††† If it's not broken, then don't fix it, Mafikizolo! If there is one
racist in our midst then it's Jonah.

††††† Leave judges alone! They did not craft your infamous Bill.

††††† Western Tsogorani
††††† Netherlands
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'Time is running out to save starving Africa'

July 20 2002 at 07:32PM


By Basildon Peta

Mbabane - With 13 million people facing starvation in southern Africa, time is running out for relief efforts.

The inflow of donor aid has been very slow, yet the number of those needing food aid grows by the day.

Spearheading efforts to stave off the crisis is Judith Lewis, the regional director of the World Food Programme (WFP), the main body co-ordinating food relief efforts in the six southern African countries affected.

'The situation is very grim'
"The situation is very grim," Lewis said this week. Every day, she said, she recorded horror stories of people who had run out of options resorting to "extreme coping mechanisms" to survive.

Out of the $500-million (about R5-billion) she needs to avert starvation, she has managed to raise $125-million.

In Zambia and Malawi, starving people are eating soil to fill their stomachs.

Others eat tree roots and leaves, while many grind corn husks into a powder to make porridge.

Some women walk up to 50km to fetch water from the Zambezi River to sell for money for food.

'They sold all the stocks and created a huge imbalance'
While she battles to contain this immediate desperation, Lewis has to contend with another headache - finding a permanent way to avoid food crises in the future.

If the region experienced another drought this year, the food crisis would "create its own genocide" in the area, she warned.

The immediate and long-term solution lay in regional governments developing effective national food security plans, Lewis said.

Poor planning and the failure by all Southern African Development Community (SADC) governments to devise national food security policies were the key factors behind the food crisis. Natural disasters like drought and floods had exacerbated the situation.

"Governments must have policy blueprints for feeding their people. This must be the top priority for any government," Lewis emphasised.

A strict national food policy could have forced the Malawian government not to sell its strategic grain reserves just more than a year ago. Although some economists may have argued that disposal of the grain was necessary to raise money for use elsewhere in the Malawian economy at the time, Lewis said the sale was a bad decision.

"They sold all the stocks and created a huge imbalance. That is when the downward spiral began."

Zimbabwe was another glaring example of poor planning. President Robert Mugabe's controversial land seizures had caused agriculture to diminish by 59 percent.

"The question is not about the politics of land.

"It is not about whether it is wrong or right to redistribute land, but that farmers were simply unable to produce food, resulting in shortages," Lewis said.

The Zimbabwean government's monopoly on importing maize was unhelpful and counterproductive.

While the shortages in Zambia, Swaziland and Lesotho could be linked to natural disasters, poor planning and lack of effective policy blueprints in those countries were also key contributory factors. The civil war in Angola played a major part in the food crisis there.

Lewis said SADC governments had to reduce their over-reliance on maize and diversify into other drought-resistant crops like millet, sorghum and wheat. Dependence on maize was a problem in times of drought.

Above everything else, "governments must take responsibility for feeding their people", Lewis said. That meant the formulation of effective food security policies.

"It takes a great deal of political will to achieve that," she said.

Many people were dying each day because of the food shortages in the region.

It was difficult, however, to provide specific death tolls as many of the deceased might have been suffering from diseases such as Aids, cholera and malaria. The lack of food only precipitated their deaths.

Although Zimbabwe had the largest number of people in need of food aid, Lewis said, the situation in Zambia and Malawi was particularly bad with people resorting to "extreme coping mechanisms".

"If you see women leaving their homes to resort to these extreme measures, it tells you the situation has become very bad," she said.

She rejected suggestions that the WFP and other donors might be exaggerating the suffering in the affected areas in a bid to boost their ability to attract funding.

"Let anyone who thinks we are exaggerating call me and I will take them to these places so they can see for themselves.

"Why would we want to exaggerate human suffering?" she asked.

"The situation is very grim and the clock is ticking - we need help and contributions either in terms of cash or food, urgently," she said.

The starvation in southern Africa was the largest humanitarian crisis in the world today.

Assessments made by various groups had failed to predict that the people in the region's countries would need food aid sooner than was expected.

This had made the situation more desperate as the food at hand was not enough to feed those affected.

"Assessments made earlier gave us the magnitude of the problem. What the assessments did not tell us was the periods within which the food would be needed.

"We thus have a situation wherein people need food earlier than was predicted."

The number of people starving in Zimbabwe will reach seven million in a few months' time.

Zambia and Malawi respectively have about four and three million people needing food aid.

Lesotho and Swaziland have a combined population of about 700 000 in need of emergency feeding. †- †Independent Foreign Service
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Letters

††††† So-called regulating bodies are impeding indigenisation

††††† 7/22/02 1:03:43 PM (GMT +2)



††††† It is disheartening to observe the current situation in Zimbabwe where
misgovernance has caused the collapse of a once promising economy.

††††† To make matters worse, the few committed citizens who still wish to
invest in the country are being snubbed by some individuals in government
and institutions who believe their authority is founded on the same
uncontrollable power which has destroyed this country.

††††† I refer to TeleAccess, which we read has over the past year failed to
be granted a licence by the Posts and Telecommunications Regulating
Authority of Zimbabwe although they wish to invest in communications
infrastructure critical for the development of Zimbabwe and the sub-region.
Certainly, a lot of behind-the-scenes power-broking and deal-making has been
taking place.

††††† However, I still find it ironic that a regulator set up to foster
competition, given the reduced entry barriers in the industry, now ups the
stake for prospective operators. To the regulator I say, what is so
consequential about a licence as long as the technical and social
obligations are spelt out?

††††† Instead of waxing lyrical about liberalisation and indigenisation, let
these private ventures take their own risk and competition will sort out the
contenders from the pretenders. Why won't applicants be allowed to pay the
exorbitant licence fees in instalments if that is the sore point? I thought
we as a nation had learned from the Econet debacle.

††††† We are also told that Joy TV and a number of other Zimbabwean
companies have been denied operating licences by the shadowy body called the
Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe. So besides single-handedly destroying
the economy, this government and its vainglorious "authorities" are also
bent on making sure that those committed to reviving the little from the
smouldering embers of a dead economy should never be given a chance.

††††† These moves meant to control unduly and do not facilitate the
development of this nation.

††††† I know Jonathan Moyo's denial of this will be eloquent to the point of
ecstasy.

††††† What we Zimbabweans want, as MDC and Zanu-PF consumers variously, is
simply more choice and value for money. Why should we continue to be
burdened by inefficient monopolies?

††††† This is patent economic and social sabotage and I demand that
Parliament investigate.

††††† Erick MM
††††† Harare
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Letters

††††† This beautiful, great nation is being driven to the abyss

††††† 7/22/02 1:03:05 PM (GMT +2)



††††† This may sound completely stupid and without reason as I am a frequent
visitor to wonderful Zimbabwe:
††††† Is it true that famine is forecast?

††††† It appears from the newspaper that it has not occurred, yet here there
are aid agencies looking for donations to ease the deepening crisis in
Zimbabwe.

††††† As my wife and I were only there in April, it was apparent then that
food shortages abounded and the cost of living was astronomical even
compared to Ireland, the second most expensive country in Europe.

††††† It would appear that the reality of food and its procurement is no
longer an issue.

††††† Or has it become more obvious that it is no longer newsworthy that
more and more people are starving?

††††† Indications are that greater numbers than in 1992, the first year I
went to Zimbabwe, where the crisis was due to natural and not man-made
causes, are going to suffer this time around. It upsets me.

††††† A beautiful nation with so much going for it is having its peoples
being deprived and driven to the abyss.

††††† As a constant tourist, all I can do is observe, and become
disillusioned.

††††† I appreciate the great racial divide, being Irish and having been
under British rule for aeons my support to fair and equitable land
distribution is unequivocal, but the manner in which it appears to be done
at present is unfair and racist!

††††† However, I hope for hope itself, as in the past three years on my
visits all I have heard is this one and that one is gone, black, white - it'
s really the same.

††††† But there are those who are there to stay and persevere and I hope it
is worth the sacrifice for them and the constant fear that they live with.

††††† It must be appreciated that in Zimbabwe there are white and black
Africans.

††††† Dr Denis O'Driscol
††††† Ireland
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††††† US launches $1,5bn food aid drive for Matabeleland

††††† 7/22/02 11:36:00 AM (GMT +2)


††††† From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo

††††† THE United States government in partnership with World Vision
Zimbabwe, has launched a US$27,5 million (Z$1,5 billion) food aid programme
to assist more than 100 000 people in drought-ravaged Matabeleland South.

††††† The donation comes despite the lukewarm relations between Washington
and Harare which plunged to new depths after the disputed March presidential
election controversially won by President Mugabe.

††††† The US has enforced a travel ban on Mugabe and his closest aides.

††††† Joseph Sullivan, the US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, was in Plumtree on
Wednesday to hand over the first consignment of food to nearly 2 000
beneficiaries.

††††† The donation came barely three days after Brian Donnelly, the British
High Commissioner to Zimbabwe, visited the same district and pledged $8
billion in food aid.

††††† Sullivan, in an interview after the distribution, said he was touched
by the plight of the villagers, some of whom had gone for three days without
a meal.
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††††† UZ medical students boycott classes over fees increase

††††† 7/22/02 12:15:18 PM (GMT +2)


††††† Staff Reporter

††††† ABOUT 350 University of Zimbabwe medical students are boycotting
lectures protesting against an increase in their fees and the late
disbursement of their loans.

††††† The students started boycotting lectures on Wednesday. The Ministry of
Higher Education and Technology hiked the medical students' tuition fees
from $1 800 to $35 000 per year with effect from 1 August. For those staying
on campus, residence fees has been raised from $13,75 to $90 a day. The
students complain that they are now required to pay $10 000 for hepatitis B
vaccination which used to be free.

††††† Representatives of the medical students who refused to be named said
they are now required to pay a total of $93 600 per annum in tuition fees.

††††† Said one representative: "We are expected to pay $93 600 per annum,
but with the current funding system of $73 706, we are left with a deficit
of $19 894."

††††† The students said they needed $194 400 to cater for their food and
fees for a year.

††††† The students have not yet received loans from Jewel Bank. Earlier this
year students were informed that they should apply for educational loans
from the bank.

††††† The students' representatives said most students have applied for
loans from the bank but to no avail.

††††† The students were informed by Jewel Bank that the bank was not
supplying the loans but it was disbursing loans on behalf of the government.

††††† Said a student: "We are starving. We need the university to give us
help by arranging that we have a provision which would afford us at least
two meals each day."
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††††† MDC supporters accuse ESC of bias in Kadoma

††††† 7/22/02 12:09:50 PM (GMT +2)


††††† Municipal Reporter

††††† SOME prospective voters in the Kadoma mayoral polls scheduled for next
week have accused the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) of bias towards
Zanu PF in their voter education campaign.

††††† Members of the ESC are hand-picked by President Mugabe, which has
previously strengthened opposition parties' claims that they are biased in
favour of the ruling party, and, therefore not objective.

††††† Since last week The Daily News has been inundated with calls from
irate potential voters who allege the ESC was favouring Zanu PF in the
run-up to the polls.

††††† The accusations stem from advertisements running in the newspapers in
which an X is placed on the candidate for Pasichigare party, which the
prospective voters allege is biased in favour of Zanu PF.

††††† "This is not a neutral advertisement as Pasichigare seems to imply
that the voters should vote for a long-established party, and the party is
Zanu PF which was formed in 1963," one voter said.

††††† The Zanu PF candidate, Fani Phiri, will stand against Edita Matamisa
of the MDC, which was formed in 1999.

††††† The names of other parties in the ESC advertisements are given as
TransTropical Party and Environmental Party and there is an X on
Pasichigare, which means "a long time ago".

††††† The ESC on Friday denied the allegations, saying they were a result of
"a fantastic stretch of the imagination".

††††† Thomas Bvuma, the ESC spokesman, said his organisation had not
received any complaints of bias from any candidate, political party or any
member of the public.

††††† "The ESC welcomes the complaints you raised as necessary feedback
which will help improve the construction of civic and voter education
messages," Bvuma said in response to written questions.

††††† He said the objective of the ESC was to equip Zimbabweans with the
knowledge and skills that will enable them to actively participate in the
electoral process.

††††† "The ESC conducts its civic and voter education in a non-partisan and
impartial manner that does not favour or harm any political party or
candidate," he said.
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