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Zimbabwe police renew rally ban in capital

Earth Times

Posted : Sat, 23 Jun 2007 09:30:01GMT
Author : DPA

Harare - The Zimbabwe police Saturday
extended their ban on demonstrations and rallies in central Harare by a
month as President Robert Mugabe's government continues its clampdown on
dissent. "Disturbances in Harare Central District and the surrounding areas
in the past months have forced me to issue this temporary prohibition
order," Isaac Tayengwa, a chief superintendent in the Zimbabwean police said
in an order published in the official Herald daily.

The ban on rallies, demonstrations and political gatherings would last from
Sunday
until July 23, the order said.

A similar ban on rallies across most of Harare's suburbs, known to be
hotbeds of
support for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) expired on
Friday.
It was not clear whether the government would soon renew the ban in those
areas.

Police first began imposing bans on demonstrations and rallies in February.
A prayer
rally attended by opposition officials in Harare in March was crushed by the
police, and
dozens of opposition officials and activists were severely assaulted.

The crackdown caused a storm of  international protest. South African
President Thabo
Mbeki has since been appointed to mediate between the MDC and Mugabe's party
to quell tensions ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections due in
March.

The announcement by the police came as the country's information minister
said Saturday
that despite dire economic hardships the government continued to enjoy
popular support
and would defend itself against any attempt to overthrow it.


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Opposition says emigration hurts prospects

Reuters

Sat 23 Jun 2007, 12:58 GMT

By Christina Amann

BERLIN (Reuters) - The mass emigration from Zimbabwe could hurt the
country's opposition in next year's election where it hopes to gain some
ground on President Robert Mugabe's ruling party, a leading opposition
figure said.

Thousands of Zimbabweans have fled their country to escape the world's
fastest shrinking economy outside a war zone. Today some 2 million out of
the country's estimated 12 million people live in South Africa.

Experts say tens of thousands of others have left Zimbabwe for other African
countries and Europe, especially Britain. Many of those are professionals.

Abednico Bhebhe, deputy spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change's (MDC) parliamentary faction, said that exodus could hurt the
opposition's chances to put a dent in the ruling ZANU-PF's grip on power.

"Our active voters are going to South Africa or Europe," he told Reuters on
Friday.

Voter registration for next year's election opened this month, amid charges
from civic groups and the opposition that the process was tilted towards
ZANU-PF's rural support bases.

Many third-generation Zimbabweans, mostly farm labourers and mineworkers who
had been disqualified from voting after citizenship laws were amended in
2003, have been asked to re-apply to have their citizenship reinstated.

Mugabe's government is also currently pushing for a constitutional amendment
to, among other provisions, increase the number of seats in the lower house
of parliament from 150 to 210, with most of the existing rural
constituencies expected to be split up.

Bhebhe is part of a group of opposition activists close to MDC faction
leader Arthur Mutambara who came to Germany to meet with officials to
discuss the situation in their country. They also plan visits to Britain and
the United States.

He warned the situation in Zimbabwe was fragile and there could be more
violence.

"The anger is there and you can't rule it out," he said about the
possibility tensions could spill onto the streets.

"Whoever's sitting in the kitchen can feel the heat and the people of
Zimbabwe are sitting in kitchen," he said.

Critics blame Mugabe and his government for the country's economic crisis,
marked by inflation of more than 3,700 percent, high unemployment, rising
poverty and chronic shortages of fuel, food and foreign currency.

Mugabe says the crisis is a result of sabotage by former colonial power
Britain and other Western nations who he says are punishing his government
for seizing white farms and redistributing the land to poor blacks.

Bhebhe called for international food aid to alleviate the suffering of
hungry people in Zimbabwe. He also called for a global ban on travel for
Mugabe and other high-ranking members of his ZANU-PF party.

Most importantly, he said, the opposition needed to take control. "We have
to do everything we can to get into power," Bhebhe said.


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Zim govt scorns regime change report

Mail and Guardian

Harare, Zimbabwe

23 June 2007 10:26

      The government of the Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe still
has the support of the country's people, the information minister said on
Saturday, dismissing predictions by the United States ambassador to Harare
that regime change is imminent.

      US Ambassador Christopher Dell told the Guardian newspaper this
week that Mugabe's government is likely to inflict regime change through
mismanaging the economy.

      He predicted Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate -- already the
highest in the world at more than 4 500% -- would reach 1,5-million percent
by the end of the year.

      "Things have reached a critical point. I believe the excitement
will come in a matter of months, if not weeks. The Mugabe government is
reaching end game, it is running out of options, he said.

      "By carrying out disastrous economic policies, the Mugabe
government is committing regime change upon itself," said the ambassador,
who is due to leave Harare next month for a new posting to Afghanistan.

      Stronger position
      Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu told state radio that
Zimbabwe was in a much stronger position now politically and economically
than ever before.

      The government continues to enjoy the support of its people and
is more than ready to defend itself against any illegal attempts to
overthrow it, the radio quoted him as saying.

      He chastised what he termed gullible Western media for repeating
the US envoys comments without seeking the government's side of the story.

       The minister repeated Harare's line that Zimbabwe's hardships
have been caused by sanctions imposed by the US, Britain and other Western
countries.

      Targeted sanctions, including a travel ban, an arms embargo and
asset freezes have been imposed on Mugabe and his inner circle, but the
government says critical financial aid and donor funds have also dried up.

      "The US envoy can celebrate the misery and suffering of
Zimbabweans brought about by his government through the imposition of
self-serving illegal economic sanctions against the government but that does
not translate into the failure of the government," said Ndlovu.

      The ministers comments come amid reports that a few businesses
in Zimbabwe have temporarily closed shop to avoid selling stock for
fast-devaluing Zimbabwe dollars that would not be able to buy replacements.

      The Zimbabwe dollar, which officially trades at 15 000 to the
greenback is reported to have slumped to around 400 000 to the dollar for
large transactions on the black market.

      Firms to cede 51% equity
      Meanwhile, the Zimbabwean government on Friday published a Bill
designed to ensure that a majority stake in all public-owned companies ends
up in the hands of the indigenous black population.

      The draft Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Bill provides
for the establishment of an empowerment fund which will offer assistance to
the "financing of share acquisitions" from the public-owned firms or assist
in "management buy-ins and buy-outs".

       "The government shall, through this act ... endeavour to secure
that at least 51% of the shares of every public-owned company and any other
business shall be owned by indigenous Zimbabweans," reads the Bill.

       Some of the firms dually listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange
and London Securities Exchange firms include Old Mutual, NMB bank and
Hwange.

      Multinational firms that may be affected by the new policy
include Barclays Bank, Bindura Nickel Corporation and mining giant Rio Zim.

      The Bill defines indigenous Zimbabweans as any person who,
before independence in 1980 was "disadvantaged by unfair discrimination on
the grounds of his or her race, and any descendant of such person, and
includes any company, association, syndicate or partnership of which
indigenous Zimbabweans form the majority of the members or hold the
controlling interest".

      The Bill also states that no projected or proposed investment,
shall be approved unless a controlling interest is reserved for indigenous
Zimbabweans.

      All government departments, statutory bodies will also be asked
to procure 51% of their goods and services from businesses in which
controlling interest is held by indigenous Zimbabweans.

      Last year, many of Zimbabwe's platinum, diamond and other
mineral mines warned that they would be forced to close if Mugabe's
government takes a majority stake in the companies.

      The Chamber of Mines, representing 200 mining houses in
Zimbabwe, said proposed amendments to the Minerals and Mines Act would
effectively kill off investment needed to keep the mines open. - Sapa-AFP,
Sapa-DPA


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Influx From Zimbabwe to South Africa Tests Both

New York Times

By MICHAEL WINES

Published: June 23, 2007
JOHANNESBURG, June 22 - As Zimbabwe's disintegration gathers potentially
unstoppable momentum, a swelling tide of migrants is moving into neighboring
South Africa, driven into exile by oppression, unemployment and inflation so
relentless that many goods now double in price weekly.

South Africa is deporting an average of 3,900 illegal Zimbabwean migrants
every week, the International Organization for Migration says. That is up
more than 40 percent from the second half of 2006, and six times the number
South African officials said they were expelling in late 2003.

And that reflects only those who are captured. Many more Zimbabweans slip
into the country undetected, although estimates vary wildly. In a nation of
46 million, most experts say, undocumented Zimbabweans could number several
hundred thousand to two million.

Social tensions are ratcheting up in both nations, as Zimbabwe's adult
population dwindles and South Africans, already burdened by high
unemployment, face new competition for jobs and housing. The migrants also
pose a diplomatic problem, because South Africa is trying to broker an end
to Zimbabwe's long political crisis without criticizing its government or
appearing to have a major stake in the outcome.

The situation is inflicting ever more misery on the Zimbabweans. The vast
majority flee their country's penury to find a way to support their families
back home. But in South Africa they often find xenophobia, exploitation and
a government unwilling and ill-equipped to help them.

"There's a lot of competition" with South Africans "for other resources like
housing in informal settlements, access to limited primary health care and
education," said Chris Maroleng, an expert on Zimbabwe at the Institute for
Security Studies, a research organization in Pretoria.

South Africa's government already struggles to provide free housing, medical
care and employment for its own poorest, including the millions living in
shantytowns. Here, where joblessness runs from 25 to 40 percent of adult
workers, the Zimbabweans - now the nation's largest migrant group - are
increasingly seen as intruders, not victims, and clashes between the groups
are not uncommon.

Unquestionably, the Zimbabweans are victims first. A rising number claim to
be refugees from persecution by President Robert G. Mugabe's police and by
supporters of his ruling party, the Zimbabwe African National
Union-Patriotic Front. Just six Zimbabweans sought political asylum in South
Africa in 2001; last year, the total was nearly 19,000, more than a third of
all asylum applications in South Africa.

But most are fleeing privation, not persecution. Zimbabwe's annual inflation
rate was officially 4,530 percent in May; economists say it is at least
twice that. Industries are operating at barely 30 percent of capacity,
unemployment exceeds 80 percent and a disastrous harvest is likely to leave
up to four million in need of food aid this year.

A memorandum prepared by 34 international aid agencies, including the United
Nations and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
Societies, predicted this month that the country's economy would cease to
function by the end of this year.

Remittances keep the economy afloat: half of all households get most of
their money from distant friends and relatives, a Global Poverty Research
survey concluded last June. More than one in five of those who sent money
lived in South Africa, the most of any nation except Britain.

Magugu Nyathi arrived in Johannesburg two and a half years ago and found
work as a journalist for a Zimbabwe news organization. Her aunt, an office
worker in Bulawayo, earns 400,000 Zimbabwe dollars a month - about $9, until
the Zimbabwe dollar plummeted this week.

Now the aunt's monthly salary is worth about $2. She survives in part on a
stipend from Ms. Nyathi.

"There are families who don't have a kid outside the country," said Ms.
Nyathi, who lives in Cape Town. "How are they surviving? Just think of it."

Ms. Nyathi is lucky as migrants go: she has a skill and has obtained a
temporary permit that allows her to remain legally in South Africa while her
application for asylum is processed. Because Zimbabwe was long one of the
best-educated nations in Africa, a share of migrants - particularly
teachers, who have often been targets of harassment by Mr. Mugabe's
supporters - stand a good chance of finding work in South Africa, legally or
not.

Johannesburg's government said this week that 8 in 10 people who had visited
a new office for migrant assistance were Zimbabwean, and that the visitors
included mathematicians, geologists, engineers and experts in computers and
aviation.

But skills are no guarantee of employment. At the Central Methodist Church
in downtown Johannesburg, hundreds of Zimbabwean refugees gather every
evening, waiting for the doors to open so they can spend the night. They
occupy several floors of the building, from the foyer to stairwells and
meeting rooms.

"Some of the people we have in this building are amazing," said the Rev.
Paul Verryn, the Methodist bishop of Johannesburg. "We have a doctor, two
accountants, teachers, a health inspector - all sleeping on the floor."

Even qualified migrants find it hard to get jobs without work permits or
temporary permits that allow migrants to stay while they apply for asylum.

The permits are issued only in a handful of offices, and only at limited
times. The Home Affairs Ministry, which regulates immigration, is frequently
accused by Zimbabweans and advocacy groups of deliberately withholding
permits, perhaps to force them to return home. More likely, it is simply
overwhelmed: in Pretoria, for example, refugees often sleep on the streets
outside the office to be the first of hundreds and even thousands who line
up to apply for asylum.

Those who apply for asylum wait years for a decision, as officials tackle a
vast backlog. Last year, as nearly 19,000 Zimbabwean applications for asylum
flooded in, Home Affairs processed fewer than 2,000 requests from past years
and granted asylum to a mere 103 people.

The growing crush of applicants presents the government with a delicate
problem. During his seven years in office, President Thabo Mbeki has
studiously avoided criticizing Mr. Mugabe's authoritarian rule, and is
trying to present himself as an impartial broker in negotiations between Mr.
Mugabe and opposition politicians to lay the groundwork for a presidential
election next year.

When a leading opposition politician, Roy Bennett, fled Zimbabwe last year
under threat of arrest, his application for political asylum was denied
because the South African government decided that his claims of persecution
were not founded. Mr. Bennett's farm had been seized by the government, he
had been imprisoned for a year for shoving a member of Parliament and he had
been accused by the Zimbabwe police of plotting to murder Mr. Mugabe.

Mr. Bennett eventually won asylum, but only after going to court.

"The problem in giving someone asylum is that you have to make a statement
about the country that individual is fleeing," said Mr. Maroleng, at the
Pretoria institute. "Politically, it raises questions, and it undermines the
government's policy on Zimbabwe, which is not to engage the government of
Zimbabwe" on questions of repression and misrule.

So migrants wait for a chance at legal residence that may never arrive. On
Thursday, a schoolteacher and union official from Harare used his Zimbabwe
civil-service passport to walk across the border in Beitbridge and make his
way to Johannesburg.

The teacher, who insisted on anonymity, said he had left his wife and two
children behind because he was living in fear. He had been arrested and
beaten after joining a union march in September, he said. "As we go forward
toward elections in 2008," he said, "we are again targets of violence. Every
morning, my life was very much in danger."

But he might have stayed, he said, had his monthly salary not been the
equivalent of $15.

Another teacher, a friend, had fled Zimbabwe last year after government
spies mistook a wake in her parlor for a meeting of opposition members, and
set fire to her house, she said.

"You don't feel the pain on somebody when it's not happening to you," she
said in a Johannesburg clinic for migrants seeking legal advice. "I never
expected such a life. But I think there's a reason why God wants this."

But for the moment, she said: "I just want a job. I can do dishes. I don't
mind that I was a teacher."


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Rather die of hunger?

http://www.cathybuckle.com/thisweek.shtml

Saturday 23rd June 2007

Dear Family and Friends,
I am writing this letter late at night when the electricity is on because
supplies during the day, both in the week and at weekends, are now very
sporadic. At any time, without warning the power goes off, sometimes for
just an hour or two but more often it is for solid chunks of 8 or even 10
hours at a time. When all these power cuts began we were told that it was
because all the electricity we had was going to go to the wheat farmers who
needed to irrigate the crop for the nation's daily bread. Some people sort
of half heartedly believed that story but not for long. As it was last year
and the two previous years - the growing wheat crop is just not there for us
to see.

This week the propaganda peddlers began preparing the way for yet another
disaster. As always they treat us like complete idiots! Ignoring the fact
that we are all sitting in the cold and dark because they'd told us all the
electricity was irrigating wheat, this week they told us that the projected
crop is going to be far less than anticipated. This is apparently because
the wheat farmers can't irrigate because of the electricity cuts.

Even this ludicrous irony doesn't ring true because for most of us the last
report we saw on the winter wheat crop was in the government sponsored
Herald newspaper and that took the Emperors clothes off for all to see.
Written just ten days before the last date for planting wheat in late May,
the report said that Secretary for Agriculture Dr Shadreck Mlambo had
addressed a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee. The report stated, and I
quote: "of the projected 76 000 hectares, only 8 000 hectares have so far
been put under wheat."

It's hard to believe that a massive 68 thousand hectares of wheat were
planted in those last few days of May - before it was too late - but now,
another new spin is emerging.

Government agricultural voices have begun warning that quelea birds are
preparing to decimate the country's winter wheat crop - the crop that either
wasn't planted in the first place or hasn't been watered because there's
been no electricity for the irrigation pumps.

We are told that there is only one aeroplane in the country that can be used
to spray the birds and apparently four are needed to "cover the whole crop".
Its not being said if the whole crop consists of 8 thousand hectares spread
out in lots of little squares or if its actually 76 thousand hectares.

Keeping up with both the facts and the propaganda about events in Zimbabwe
has become almost impossible as electricity cuts silence all but the most
determined and innovative lines of communication. It took a message from
outside of Zimbabwe to tell me what our Minister of Lands said this week and
for millions of cold, tired and hungry Zimbabweans, they are sickening
words. Lands Minister Didymus Mutasa said: "The position is that food
shortages or no food shortages, we are going ahead to remove the remaining
whites. We would all rather die of hunger but knowing full well that the
land is in the hands of black people."
Until next week, thanks for reading, love cathy.


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A letter from the diaspora

http://www.cathybuckle.com/indexph.shtml

Friday 22nd June 2007

Dear Friends.
This is a true story of an incident that happened this week. A Zimbabwean
who had just arrived in the UK was passing a cheap clothing shop somewhere
in London (Chinese-made goods, probably, the Brits have their zhing zhong
too!) where he saw a dress marked £5.00. The Zimbabwean turned to his
companion in absolute astonishment and exclaimed, 'You mean they still have
items costing single digits here in the UK?' The man who, remember, had just
come from a country where even the price of one single sweet for a child
runs into four digits simply could not get his head round the idea things of
being priced in single digits!
That little anecdote illustrates in reverse the reaction that Zims here in
the diaspora have when we look at what's happening to the prices back home.
There are just too many digits! I know that I spend half my days with a
calculator trying to work out how much so and so will get in Zim dollars if
I send £10 or £20 and whether it will be enough to pay the school fees or
medical expenses or even just buy a few basic groceries. But - as
Zimbabweans know only too well - even that calculation is bound to fail
because in Zimbabwe prices never stay the same. They have only one
direction - and that's up. If you are an ordinary Zimbabwean and not a
Cabinet Minister or someone on the gravy train of corruption, you may manage
to afford food today but you can't be sure you will eat again tomorrow.
So it was doubly shocking to read the comments of Didymus Mutasa, the
Minister of Lands this week. He's still droning on about getting rid of all
the remaining white farmers, most of whom are Zimbabwean citizens, by the
way, and not Brits as the Zimbabwean government claims. Commenting on a UN
Report that Zimbabwe will face even more food shortages in the coming
months, Minister Mutasa said, 'The position is that food shortages or no
food shortages, we are going ahead to remove the remaining whites' and he
added, ' we would all rather die of hunger but knowing full well that that
the land is in the hands of black people.'
You have to wonder who the Minister is speaking for. On behalf of millions
of his fellow countrymen and women, Didymus Mutasa volunteers death rather
than the 'dishonour' of eating food grown by whites. 'We would all rather
die of hunger 'he says. But then that's easy for him to say isn't it? He and
his fellow Ministers will not be the ones to pay with their lives the price
of this government's criminal and racist policies. I don't suppose for one
moment that my friends back home give a damn who grows the food as long as
they and their children and relatives get to eat even one decent meal a day.
But then logic and plain common sense isn't in Zanu PF's vocabulary - and
neither, it seems, is common humanity.

Meanwhile, people like Kenneth Kaunda the former President of Zambia and
others of the Pan-Africanist persuasion continue to defend Mugabe and his
policies. Writing in the current issue of Focus on Africa, the BBC magazine,
Kaunda says that Mugabe should not be 'demonised' by the west because ' they
do not understand what Robert Gabriel Mugabe and his fellow freedom fighters
have gone through'. Kaunda traces the history of Zimbabwe's struggle for
freedom and Mugabe's part in that struggle including his imprisonment by the
Smith regime. Like all Pan-Africanists, Kaunda goes back into the distant
past for justification of present actions. He describes how the land was
stolen from the African people, how they were pushed onto the infertile land
while the whites kept the best for themselves. Those are facts that no one
disputes. Colonialism by its very nature is racist and chauvinistic and Ian
Smith's Rhodesia was simply apartheid without the label. Thousands died in
the war to end the Smith regime. There was immense suffering on all sides,
not least by the villagers who risked their lives daily, caught in the
middle between Freedom Fighters and Rhodesian troops. That war, Kaunda
claims was about land. True, but he omits to tell his readers that it was
also a war to bring democracy to the African people. The slogan of 'One man
one vote' was central to the struggle for freedom. That is an inconvenient
truth which Kaunda prefers to ignore, concentrating instead on the land
issue, or Mugabe's version of it.
Bringing his argument right up to the present day, Kaunda says, 'There have
been allegations of corruption in relation to land allocation. Well, the
corruption should have been dealt with by all. Stopping the land programme
and doing nothing, was not the solution.'
It's hard to see how the corruption could have been dealt with when the
people who were administering the programme and making the laws were
themselves corrupt! Kaunda goes on to admit that 'There are some things
which President Mugabe has done which I totally disagree with' He cites the
police beating of Morgan Tsvangirai as one example but adds, 'On the other
hand, given their experience, I can understand the fury that goes through
President Mugabe and his colleagues.'
Am I missing something here? I cannot for the life of me see the logic of
this argument. Kenneth Kaunda seems not to have understood that the 'fury'
Mugabe and his colleagues allegedly feel is being unleashed against his own
people, against black Zimbabweans. Now why should President Mugabe be
'furious' with his own people.unless of course he feels they will no longer
vote to keep him in power.

To attempt to justify the President's furious onslaught against his own
people, as Kaunda does, on the grounds of Mugabe's past suffering is bad
logic and bad psychology. Africa's colonial past needs to be acknowledged
for the harm that it did; understanding the past, however painful that may
be certainly helps us to understand ourselves but constantly blaming the
past for everything we do is simply an easy way out of taking responsibility
for our own behaviour. It's called emotional immaturity, a common
characteristic of dictators.
Ndini shamwari yenyu. PH.


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China's mixed role in Africa

Boston Globe

By Robert I. Rotberg  |  June 23, 2007

CHINA IS transforming Africa, for good and ill. The United States and other
traditional trading and aid partners of Africa need to help Africans craft
policies that welcome Chinese investment and trade but condemn the taking of
African jobs and the destruction of African industries. Africa and the West
also need to dissuade China from supporting Africa's most reviled
dictatorships.

China has become the largest new investor, trader, buyer, and aid donor in a
raft of African countries and a major new economic force in sub-Saharan
Africa . Chinese trade with Africa is growing at 50 percent a year. Already,
that trade has jumped in value from $10 billion in 2000 to $25 billion last
year. (US trade with sub-Saharan Africa in 2005 totaled nearly $61 billion.)
China is building roads, railways, harbors, petrochemical installations, and
military barracks; it is pumping oil, farming, taking trees, supplying
laborers, and offering physicians. A number of African nations now depend
critically on Chinese cash and initiative.
Growing rapidly and bursting out of its long underdeveloped cocoon to become
a major world power and global economic source, China needs sources of
energy and the raw materials -- including copper, cobalt, cadmium,
magnesium, platinum, nickel, lead, zinc, coltan, titanium -- that African
nations can supply. China competes with the United States for Angola's oil,
controls most of the Sudan's oil, and is exploring for oil onshore and
offshore in five other African countries. It is a major purchaser of timber
from West Africa.

President Hu Jintao of China has visited Africa three times since 2003.
China has embassies in more African countries than does the United States.

China is a force for GDP growth in Africa, but it also is a modern colonial
colossus intent on stripping Africa of its wealth without leaving
sustainable structures behind. A flood of cheap goods, especially textiles
and apparel, has already begun to undermine and bankrupt local industry,
forcing hundreds of thousands of Africans out of work.

The use of imported Chinese rather than local labor to build roads, mines,
and factories -- a common phenomenon -- deprives Africans of employment
opportunities.

In many cases, China has also buttressed the harsh rule of indigenous
authoritarian governments. China implicitly backs odious regimes, propping
some of them up, supplying corrupt rents to many, and always reinforcing a
regime's least participatory instincts. In the Sudan, Zimbabwe, and
elsewhere, China is supporting regimes condemned by the United Nations and
world leaders. It supplies small arms and other weapons -- sometimes
aircraft -- indiscriminately, and in defiance of UN strictures.

China respects local sovereignty. But given the genocide in Darfur, isn't
influencing the Khartoum government to end mayhem a potentially better
strategy than the one of laissez-faire complicity? By leaning on the Sudan
over Darfur, China could win friends and partners in Africa and around the
world without losing a source of oil.

The same logic holds true with regard to Zimbabwe, where China is the main
buttress of the cruel and corrupt government of President Robert Mugabe.
Good deeds now would unlock the potential of Africa for China. They would
raise China's moral stature and emphasize its self-professed break with
earlier colonial endeavors. Doing so would also lessen threats of a
potential boycott of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Africans have so far been uncertain how best to respond to China. Neither
the African Union nor sub regional organizations like the Southern African
Development Community have an articulated policy regarding China and Chinese
influence. Each of the 48 sub-Saharan countries goes its own way, responding
to China and Chinese entreaties (or Taiwanese in five cases)
idiosyncratically.

The African petroleum producers, the African hard mineral producers, and the
African vulnerable industrial cases would each benefit by developing
specific policies toward China and by bargaining with China on the basis of
such new functional groupings. Africa surely needs policies regarding the
importation of Chinese laborers, special taxation privileges or not for
Chinese firms (many are state owned), and protection or not for domestically
produced goods. That complaint drove Zambian and Nigerian protesters earlier
this year.

Africans welcome Chinese aid -- a promised $20 billion -- because it comes
without immediately obvious strings (the Taiwanese question aside). For that
reason, and because the Chinese espouse fundamentally different approaches
to governance questions than the West does, the West (and Africa) should now
encourage China to embrace positive principles for Africa's growth. China is
a possible force for good in Africa; the West should help harness that
potential.

Robert I. Rotberg is director of the Kennedy School of Government's Program
on Intrastate Conflict and president of the World Peace Foundation.


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Mugabe flees his state house

The Zimbabwean

(22-06-07)
By Peter Kadiki
HARARE
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is fearing for his safety in Harare and is now
sleeping in Zvimba because of a letter he received,  purportedly signed by
members of the army threatening to get him soon.

CAJ News is in possession of a copy of the letter, with the address of army
KGV1 headquarters in Harare sent to "Robert Mugabe of Number 7 Chancellor
Avenue in Harare", which is the address for the State House, Mugabe's
official residence.

The letter is signed off at the bottom by "1000 soldiers fed up with you"
and sources say it was
submitted to Mugabe last week after revelations of a suspected coup plot
emerged to dominate the Zimbabwean political scene.

"We are fed up and we will get you soon," the first sentence reads. "We are
after you and you better pack and go because we can't continue suffering
because of you Robert."

The short letter only has one paragraph and is on a letterhead of the
Zimbabwe National Army.

CAJ News got a copy of the letter through senior army sources, who also
revealed that Mugabe has resorted to sleeping at his rural home in Zvimba,
some 120 kilometres west of Harare.

This news agency has also established that Mugabe has been spending less
time in Harare since his return from a visit to Libya and Egypt on Sunday.

In addition to the State House, Mugabe also has in Harare his recently
finished mansion in the expensive suburb of Borrowdale and to which his
family has been confined of late.

Army sources say that attempts at toppling Mugabe have also seen some
members of the
army "visiting" his Borrowdale mansion.

Mugabe's spokesman, George Charamba dismissed the letter and these reports
as rubbish.

"That is rubbish and I shouldn't even explain further regarding this
nonsense about coup," he said.

Although Charamba arrogantly tried to brush aside the coup plot, six men are
in custody at Chikurubi Remand Prison and were denied bail on Friday on
charges of terrorism based on allegations that they planned to oust Mugabe.

It has also been established that more senior army officials have been put
on house arrest as
the state spreads its net investigating the coup plans.

Part of the coup saga have been executions of unconfirmed numbers of members
of the army feared to have tried a go at either arresting or assassinating
Mugabe.

Mugabe summoned his ministers of State Security, Defence and Home Affairs
upon arrival on Sunday over the coup plot and is said to have put them to
task over the matter-CAJ News.


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Shutdown Planned



The Herald (Harare)  Published by the government of Zimbabwe

23 June 2007
Posted to the web 23 June 2007

Harare

THE Zimbabwe National Water Authority has announced that it would today
partially shut down the Morton Jaffray Water Treatment Plant to facilitate
maintenance work on the major supply pipe to Lochinvar water reservoirs.

The shutdown would affect Norton and Harare's western suburbs of Highfield,
Glen View, Glen Norah, Budiriro, Mufakose and Kuwadzana.

"The partial shutdown, which will last from 0300hrs to 2000hrs on the day,
will be effected to enable maintenance work to be carried out on the major
water supply line from Morton Jaffray to Lonchinvar reservoirs," read a
statement from Zinwa.

Zinwa said pumping to the affected areas would resume as soon as the repair
work was complete.

"A near normal water supply situation is expected in all areas by around
2000hrs on Sunday," Zinwa said.


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RBZ agricultural scheme self-serving scandal

The Zimbabwean

(22-06-07)
 By Peter Kadiki
 HARARE:
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) scheme on agricultural equipment has
emerged to be yet another self-serving scandal by the beleaguered Zanu (PF)
regime following revelations that beneficiaries will only start paying for
the equipment after a year and have the option to even go beyond whilst also
paying in local currency.

RBZ governor Gideon Gono confirmed to CAJ News that the scheme launched a
fortnight ago amidst controversy by President Mugabe is a means by the
regime to try and appease a restless nation ahead of vital elections set for
next year as well as a desperate attempt at saving the agricultural sector
from the doldrums.

Gono confirmed that "beneficiaries have an opportunity to negotiate with us
on how they will pay for the equipment and although we are saying the least
time should be after one year, one can negotiate for even two or more years.

The thrust is to empower our farmers and the agricultural productivity of
the country."

He added: "We are also saying to the farmer who doesn't earn foreign
currency, they could pay in the local currency."

The RBZ spent a massive US$25 million to purchase the equipment in a
situation of serious foreign currency shortages causing the lack of fuel,
vital drugs, water treatment chemicals and power.

Government sources said the money was raised from the sell of tobacco and
ivory recently.

Given the culture of corruption and impunity that is part of the hallmark of
the Mugabe regime style of management it is highly likely that the majority
of the beneficiaries of the equipment could abscond paying.

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) secretary general Tendai Biti described
this as "part of the misplacement of priorities by the regime which is a
culture and has led the economy to these unprecedented levels of decline.

The main motive is to campaign for elections and appear to be addressing the
agricultural
disaster we are having".

With an unbridled high rate of inflation currently stalking Zimbabwe will
ensure that the mark-up price of the equipment now would be almost
negligible by the time the beneficiaries start paying next year or later.

The year-on-year rate of inflation is approaching 6000%. Mugabe's regime
tried to entice opposition leaders into accepting the agricultural equipment
in one of its worst boobs of late as it turned out that the MDC officials
had neither applied nor were interested whilst some of them are not even
engaged in farming.

Some political observers said Mugabe tried to use the agricultural equipment
to bribe the opposition and the same time create a semblance of normalcy in
the agricultural sector, still on its knees since the destructive violent
farm invasions of 2000- CAJ News.


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ZESN calls for longer voter registration period

The Zimbabwean

By Trust Matsilele

HARARE:Following voter registration announcements made by the Registrar
General Tobaiwa Mudede's office last week, the Zimbabwe Election Support
Network (ZESN) has called for a longer voter registration period describing
the time allocated as being too short.

ZESN director Rindai Chipfunde-Vava yesterday said the organisation was also
deeply concerned that the exercise had not been adequately advertised.

"The Network believes that this time is inadequate and proposes that it be
extended to at least four months. The Network is also deeply concerned that
the exercise has not been adequately publicised which might result in most
of prospective voters being unable to register," said Chipfunde-Vava in a
press statement.

Mobile registration of voters started on Monday 18th June and will continue
up to the 17th of August 2007.

"ZESN believes that advertisements in the print media are not an appropriate
and sufficient medium of communication of this strategic component of the
electoral process. This is especially so when considering that the targeted
audience is usually the impoverished peasants who live in remote areas where
they have little, if any, access to newspapers or are too poor to afford
them," she added.

 The Registrar General has set up a number of registration centres
throughout the country. However, according to ZESN, the amount of time spent
at some of the centers is so ridiculously short as to render the whole
exercise a sham.

"For instance, the Registrar General˘s team will be at Kawondera Primary
School and Dzikamidzi Primary School in Zvimba District, for only a day,
which makes a mockery of what should be a noble exercise," said Rindai.

She added that the majority of the teams will spend an average of three days
at most of the centres.

 The SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections recognise
the importance of full participation of citizens in the political process.

Chipfunde- Vava also said that the current situation where a department of
the Ministry of Home Affairs conducts voter registration, albeit under the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), wass undesirable and a potential source
of electoral disputes.

Mudede was not immediately available for comment yesterday.


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Lions Kill 10 Cattle



The Herald (Harare)  Published by the government of Zimbabwe

23 June 2007
Posted to the web 23 June 2007

Harare

LIONS are wreaking havoc in Chikwarakwara, Beitbridge, where they have
killed 10 cattle in the past week.

Villagers are now living in constant fear of being attacked by the cats.

Councillor for Ward 1 Mr Enock Ndou said residents in areas such as
Chikwarakwara, Chasvingo and Chitulipasi on a daily basis faced a double
threat from lions and elephants.

Children in those areas were now staying away from school in fear of attack
from the lions.

"Our children are now finding it hard and very dangerous to walk to school
because of the danger posed by the lions.

"Most of the time, we live in fear of attack from wild animals like
elephants and lions which are making our lives difficult," said a villager,
Mr Thabang Ndou.


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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary - 23rd June 2007



An hour into the Vigil there were only 3 people there, including Vigil
co-ordinators Dumi and Rose. It was testimony to Morgan Tsvangirai's pulling
power.  The MDC leader (together with Lovemore Madhuku of the National
Constitutional Assembly) was addressing a meeting in Luton some 35 miles
north of London and Vigil supporters understandably absented themselves.
They were keen to hear what Mr Tsvangirai had to say about this crucial time
in Zimbabwe, with the economy in freefall and talks underway aimed at
breaking the political impasse.

Although we knew support would be thin on the ground we couldn't scrap the
Vigil and break our record for consistency built up over four and a half
years. We were joined by three other supporters as the afternoon wore on and
were kept busy fielding questions from interested passers-by, including a
number of South Africans, who expressed strong support. "Why don't you hold
your demonstration outside the Zimbabwe Embasssy?" one asked, not noticing
the building next to us.  Surprisingly another person asked the same
question only moments later!  With less than half an hour of the Vigil to go
we were joined by two carloads of supporters from the Luton meeting. Among
them was Patson from Leicester and we are so pleased he and his friends went
out of their way to join us even for such a short time.  Patson said that Mr
Tsvangirai had told the Luton gathering that people must come to the Vigil
if they want to help liberate Zimbabwe. He said the meeting was packed and
some couldn't get in.

We caught up with supporters Alex and Angie Guinness this week.  They were
responsible for designing and ordering the first batch of Vigil t-shirts and
put a lot of effort into updating and producing the new "Mugabe wanted for
murder" poster.  They are now living and working in Budapest with
five-year-old Callum (who attended the Vigil on several occasions) and
one-year-old Elin. They subscribe to the Zimbabwean to keep up-to-date with
what is going on at home. They are longing to go back to Zimbabwe like so
many other Zimbabweans scattered around the world.

For this week's Vigil pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/

FOR THE RECORD: 16 signed the register.

FOR YOUR DIARY:
-         Monday, 25th June 2007, 7.30 pm. Central London Zimbabwe Forum.
Upstairs at the Theodore Bullfrog pub, 28 John Adam Street, London WC2
(cross the Strand from the Zimbabwe Embassy, go down a passageway to John
Adam Street, turn right and you will see the pub).
-         Tuesday, 26th June, 6 - 7.30 pm. SERVICE OF SOLIDARITY WITH
TORTURE SURVIVORS OF ZIMBABWE on UN International Day in Support of Victims
of Torture organised by Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Redress,
International Bar Association, International Rehabilitation Council for
Victims of Torture, Zimbabwe Association and of course the Zimbabwe Vigil.
Venue: St Paul's Church, Bedford Street, Covent Garden WC2E 9ED.  Main
speakers: Chenjerai Hove, John Makumbe. All welcome to join the service and
post-service procession to lay flowers on the steps of the Zimbabwe Embassy.
The service will mirror similar services in Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Between January and March this year the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum
documented 254 cases of torture in Zimbabwe.

Vigil co-ordinator

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


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Cabinet row as Zimbabwe cricket chief gets UK visa

Daily Mail, UK

By SIMON WALTERS -  Last updated at 21:03pm on 23rd June 2007
A decision to ban one of Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe's henchmen from
visiting Britain has been overturned after a Cabinet row.

Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Tessa Jowell clashed with Foreign
Secretary Margaret Beckett after the Foreign Office barred Zimbabwean
cricket chief Peter Chingoka from the UK for this week's meeting of the
sport's ruling body.

The ban on Mr Chingoka, at the centre of fraud claims that have forced the
African country to withdraw from Test cricket, was overruled after Sports
Minister Dick Caborn argued that visa restrictions on Mugabe's political
supporters should not apply to sports officials. But the move has prompted
claims that the Government has given in to political blackmail by Zimbabwe
amid a cricket power struggle.

Labour MP Kate Hoey, a former Sports Minister, last night condemned the
U-turn, saying: "Zimbabwe's cricket officials are at the heart of the
dictatorship's web of corruption and political oppression.

"This sort of unprincipled manoeuvring looks very bad when we are asking
other countries to stand firm in isolating those at the heart of Mugabe's
regime."

Mr Chingoka is to attend a vital meeting of the International Cricket
Council at Lords where a new ICC president will be chosen. The council is
split between David Morgan, current chairman of the England And Wales
Cricket Board, and Sharad Pawar, his Indian counterpart.

However, ICC sources say South Africa, whose government has refused to
disown Mugabe, had vowed to back India's candidate if Britain banned Mr
Chingoka.

South Africa and Zimbabwe cast a single vote in the election for president.
They initially backed Mr Morgan but changed sides recently, prompting
reports they had switched after India hinted it might be ready to accept
Zimbabwe back into Test cricket.

Zimbabwe has not fielded a Test side since 2005, partly as a result of a
players' revolt. There were widespread claims of corruption, including
allegations that Mr Chingoka had siphoned off £10million of funds to finance
his lavish lifestyle, while the players went unpaid.

Mr Chingoka has been told he can enter Britain for the ICC meeting but must
leave by Saturday.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "We do not comment on individual visa
applications."

Mr Caborn was unavailable for comment.


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Tsvangirai Talks Of Hopes For Zimbabwe

Sky News

Updated: 20:53, Saturday June 23, 2007

Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has said he is still hopeful
of a peaceful resolution of the crisis in his country.
He has been addressing supporters in Luton amid growing concern about
Zimbabwe's economic collapse.

Unemployment is estimated at 80%, and the US ambassador in Harare has
predicted 1.5m% inflation by the end of the year.

Mr Tsvangirai confirmed plans for South Africa's President Mbeki to oversee
talks between his Movement For Democratic Change and President Mugabe's
ZANU.

He told Sky News this was "a very important opportunity to try to resolve
the national crisis we face".

Warning that economic collapse would not necessarily entail a collapse of
the regime, he said he thought the "only satisfactory" solution was a
negotiated settlement.
"That is the only way in which a peaceful transition can be obtained," he
said.

"Any other route will lead to a violent demise and a violent rupture where
there is a political vacuum."

Asked about Mr Mugabe's future, Mr Tsvangirai said that although the
president was part of the problem - and responsible for "so many heinous
crimes" - he was also "part of the solution".

And this in turn had a bearing on whether he should be considered for
immunity "in return for a final solution and a final resolution of the
crisis".

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