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

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The Zimbabwean

Land grab to go to arbitration
BY WILF MBANGA

LONDON - About 1 500 commercial farmers who have had their land forcibly and
sometimes violently seized by Robert Mugabe's government have taken their
case to international arbitration.
The court case will bring to the world's attention the stark facts of the
tragedy of Zimbabwe's land 'reform' programme - without the hype and
emotionalism that has clouded the issue for the past five years.

The action is also likely to damage NEPAD severely. The expropriation of
over US$4 billion in assets in Zimbabwe, without any action being taken by
the international community - and without any condemnation from other
African governments - is not going to encourage investment in Africa.

The farmers, most of whom are not settlers (as claimed by the current
regime) but who acquired their properties after Zimbabwe's independence, are
seeking compensation or a return of their expropriated properties.

They fall into three different categories: Zimbabwean nationals; foreign
nationals whose countries signed bi-lateral investment treaties ratified by
Zimbabwe - such as the Dutch- and foreign nationals who countries did not
have such agreements.

Under the terms of the treaties signed, Zimbabwe agreed to submit to binding
international arbitration. In the bilateral investment treaty (BIT) signed
with the Netherlands, Zimbabwe promised to pay compensation to Dutch
nationals in the event that their property was expropriated.

Fifteen Dutch farmers have been notified that their requests for arbitration
were registered on April 15 by the International Centre for the Settlement
of Investment Disputes (ICSID) - a World Bank dispute resolution forum.
Their assets have been valued at US$15 million.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the farmers in the UK, Bishop and Sewell, told
The Zimbabwean that they had plans to persuade other governments that had
not signed or ratified bilateral investment treaties with Zimbabwe to
espouse claims on behalf of their nationals who have had their property
expropriated.

"Under international law, harm caused by one state to the nationals of
another state is a harm to the state itself," explained a spokesman for the
legal firm.

"Our approach is initially to pursue those actions which offer the greatest
chance of success - that is those people who can benefit from bilateral
investment treaties.

"By achieving success in those claims we hope to raise the issue of what has
happened in Zimbabwe and to get a clear ruling from an international
tribunal that there has been a breach of treaty and customary international
law in Zimbabwe," he said.

The legal action is intended to send a clear message to anyone who thinks
they can go to Zimbabwe and buy expropriated assets for a bargain. The title
to expropriated property in customary international law is unclear.

Therefore people who buy expropriated assets in Zimbabwe could face legal
actions in their home jurisdictions by the true owners of that property. The
problem is that many domestic courts (as opposed to international tribunals)
will not entertain what they deem to be acts of sovereign states.

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The Zimbabwean

Gwisai takes a stab at MDC
BY LANCE GUMA
LONDON - Former MDC MP for Highfields, Munyaradzi Gwisai has accused the
ruling party of rigging the recent parliamentary poll and blamed the MDC for
complicity in the process.
On SW Radio Africa's, Behind the Headlines programme last week Gwisai said
he has been booted out of the party for urging it to be more militant in
fighting Mugabe's regime.

"The MDC lacks the guts to confront Mugabe. They knew that the elections
would be rigged, but still went on to participate," he said. "They further
lost the chance to redeem themselves by deciding to participate in
parliament with a mere 41 seats.

"They can do nothing with 41 seats - they only want to secure their pensions
for life and buy new 4 X 4's and so forth," he said - resulting in
disillusionment among the ordinary people.

Gwisai said the MDC should concentrate on mobilizing students in the
colleges and workers in the factories instead of posturing in parliament and
crying for international support. Those two constituencies, he said, were
the roots of the party and it should go back to them.

Gwisai maintained it was wrong to say the MDC had been formed as a broad
coalition of various interest groups. "The party was formed after the
working peoples' convention of 28-29 February 1999. We did not say, 'peoples'
convention but 'workers' convention and hence it was marked with the workers'
stamp."

He accused business interests of hijacking the party after February 2000,
when the realized it was a formidable force. He admitted, though, that a
coalition was a good idea. The trouble was that "others in the party were
sitting at the head of the table and determining how much the others should
eat, especially those who formed the party, like me".

Pressed to defend his belief in socialism when the rest of the world was
shunning it, he said socialism is now a growing movement. "Workers continue
to fight against rising poverty, low wages, and unemployment. The Stop the
War Coalition in the UK is also heavily influenced by socialist ideals,
while peasants in Bolivia are putting pressure on their government to share
the mineral wealth with its people."

He said socialism meant the equitable distribution of wealth.

Turning to student activism in Zimbabwe, Gwisai said he believed students
were falling victim to western donor money instead of fighting because of
conviction.

"Students of the late 80's fought on a clear ideology of socialism and were
on the side of workers, peasants and the unemployed," he said.

So why is Gwisai keeping a low profile, politically? He said his ISO group
was very active in rebuilding the trade union movement and the students
unions in Zimbabwe, and was preparing to hold a Southern Africa Social Forum
in Zimbabwe in October.

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The Zimbabwean

Harassment of Coltart catalogued
Here we continue with the REDRESS report on human rights abuses experienced
by opposition MPs and election candidates. This is what happened to David
Coltart, Bulawayo South MP, and MDC Shadow Minister and Secretary for Legal
Affairs.
Harassment of Coltart began early on. In May 2000 when he attempted to
register his candidacy for the Movement for Democratic Change, the Registrar
General tried to bar his nomination, forcing Coltart to prove he was a
Zimbabwean and not a British citizen.

In June 2000, about a week before the election, Coltart was warned that his
home would be burned. At the same time, 10 of his polling agents were
detained illegally for 24 hours by self-styled war veterans, lectured and
threatened.

One agent, Patrick Nabanyama, was abducted on June 19 in the presence of his
wife and children. He has never been seen again and is feared dead. Eight
war veterans were subsequently arrested, but later pardoned under the
October 2000 amnesty. They faced trial for murder but with no body, they
were found not guilty.

In August 2000, after Coltart filed legal papers in the trial of MDC
president Morgan Tsvangirai, Robert Mugabe declared on television there was
no place for him in Zimbabwe.

Some 14 armed police and CIO agents raided Coltart's home on October 4 that
year, threatening his sons, aged 8 and 10, who were alone. Coltart's wife
returned and managed to keep the police and CIO outside until her husband
arrived. The officers then produced an illegally obtained warrant to search
for 'broadcasting equipment, aircraft, boats and safes'. They found nothing.

On November 5, 2001 Cain Nkala, the Chairman of the War Veterans
Association, was abducted. When Coltart returned from a visit to New York a
week later, police publicly accused Coltart and threatened retribution.

Days later, on November 12, Coltart's close friend and former campaign
manager, Simon Spooner, was arrested and accused of being involved with
Nkala's disappearance. He was held in solitary confinement for five weeks in
deplorable conditions. Eventually, prosecutors dropped the charges.

Then, on November 15, the private light aircraft in which Coltart was
returning to Bulawayo from a parliamentary session was ordered by the CIO to
turn back. As it landed in Harare, three truckloads of police and CIO agents
surrounded the plane, told Coltart he was under investigation - refusing to
say what for - and held him for two hours.

Heading back to Bulawayo by car, he received a tip off that hundreds of
police, armed with petrol, were on their way to his home. He telephoned his
wife who gathered up their children and fled.

During Cain Nkala's burial three days later, Robert Mugabe in a nationally
televised address referred to Coltart and other MDC members as 'terrorists'.

And so it continued the following year. On the afternoon of February 16,
2002, when Coltart and his family set out to collect their eldest daughter
from a friend's birthday party, he saw some 60 members of the feared Youth
Brigade roaming the neighbourhood.

The family took an alternate route to pick up the child, and returned to
find 100 youths barricading both roads leading to their home. Coltart turned
around and reported this to this to police - something he later regretted.

That evening, a truckload of police turned up saying they were responding to
a report, and then left. Soon afterward, at 8:15 p.m., three truckloads of
armed police and CIO agents returned. This time, they were menacing and
claimed Coltart had shot a youth. Coltart denied the allegation and refused
to let them search his house without a warrant. The officers left,
threatening to return to 'get' him. The family fled into hiding.

The following Monday, Coltart - who does not own a gun - reported to the
police and was charged with discharging a firearm. As a public humiliation,
police drove him in the back of an open truck through the centre of Bulawayo
and through his constituency while other officers raided his house - and
found nothing.

For more than a year the case dragged on with numerous court appearances
until prosecutors withdrew the charge in June 2003 after a magistrate
ordered the trial to proceed forthwith.

In April 2002, the MDC received credible information of a plan to
assassinate Coltart. Four months later, Robert Mugabe in a television
broadcast said, "the likes of the Bennetts and Coltarts don't belong here
and if they choose to remain they can remain in prison". And the harassment
grew.

In November that year, his car's brake linings were cut, and on March 3,
2003, a rear tyre was sabotaged. On the morning of March 15, the weekend
before the MDC mass stay away, Coltart noticed a vehicle with three men and
what appeared to be a weapon inside as he left home with his 9-year-old son
and 18-month-old daughter to drive to a children's sports day. With the car
following him at speed, Coltart's security team intercepted, and the
trailing car gave up and left. Coltart went into hiding for two weeks.

March 2005: Despite widespread poll-rigging and intimidation, Coltart wins a
resounding re-election victory.

Next week: an account from Renson Gasela, MDC Shadow Minister and Secretary
for Agriculture.

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The Zimbabwean

Zimbabwe Update
BY CED
HARARE - Fuel is again very short. One can buy it sometimes on the black
market at Z$17,000 per liter. Now and again it is available at some service
stations, for Z$3,600 per liter. Rumour is that it will soon go up to
anything between Z$8,000 - Z$15, 000 per liter at the pumps.
Cooking oil, margarine, and mealie meal are again missing from the shelves,
but obtainable on the black market at loaded prices. Steel prices increased
100 % last week.

Nice meat is now around the $90,000 per kg mark, but can be bought from
outside butcheries for anything from$35,000 per kg. Chicken is now $40,000
per kg.

Welding rods vary from $31,000 per kg to $100,000 per kg. Red oxide paint is
now $440,000 for five liters.

Cigarettes went up twice in 10 days - my brand from $7,500 to $ 9,500, and
then yesterday to $11,500 for 20. One box of matches is now $500 - when
available.

At this point in time there are NO Coca Colas anywhere in Zimbabwe. This
applies to 90% of mineral cool drinks, the result I am told, of a gross
sugar shortage. And they tell us that the inflation rate is dropping! US$1
now equals Z$28 000 on the parallel market.
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The Zimbabwean

City Life: The Pol Pot Solution
Michael Laban is a former councillor for Harare's Ward 7, which includes
Avondale, Alexandra Park, Strathaven and KG6 Barracks. He attended a
Combined Harare Residents Association on May 4. We quote below from his
e.mail newsletter:
It seems we simply cannot afford to live in cities any more. What Pol Pot
and the Khmer Rouge tried to do in Cambodia (Year Zero and the forced
migration of everyone to the rural areas), is being achieved here.
Unemployment, rising costs, inflation, and the economy in general, mean that
people can no longer afford essentials of city life: water, sewerage, refuse
collection, decent roads, not to mention health care, clinics and housing.

One basic problem is we need politicians with a mandate from the people. The
government has failed us, what now can we do to help ourselves? The state is
collapsing around us, we need to find local solutions.

We debated community self-help, including fixing the pot holes. But this has
limitations. We should not simply try to opt out from the rest of the city.
Another awkward question was whether a self-help approach would mean joining
a boycott on paying local taxes. Personally, I believe we could start small
with, for example, litter collection along the roadside.

CHRA's suggested action plan was to present objections to the city; to
mobilise communities and 'acts of civil disobedience', without creating a
culture of non-payment.

On Thursday, May 5, Elizabeth Marunda (Ward 9), Mike Davies and myself
attempted to deliver the objections at Town House. The Town Clerk would not
see us, so we left the objections with the Chamber Secretary.

The next day the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe reported that it had
been recommended to the Cabinet that the process of hearing objections to
the city budget be removed from the Urban Council's Act because it delays
things and means that new levies will be needed by the time the old are
implemented.

This is simply dictatorial. How can anyone expect to raise money or charge
people for things and yet deny them any input into the process? Secondly, it
is approval by the Minister that always causes the delays. I guess democracy
just gets in the way. And we will probably allow them to get away with this
too.

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The Zimbabwean

Kariba tsunami 'absolute rubbish'
We received this response to last week's Word on the street that vital
maintenance on the Kariba Dam wall had not been done, and that if the dam
broke it could cause a tsunami:
What absolute rubbish! Where on earth did you get it? Someone outside wants
to spread alarm and despondency.

When I was in Kariba in November last year, I stayed in MOTHS, and walked up
to the Club next door, the old Kariba Yacht Club, to have a drink with the
lads. They were better dressed and better behaved than we were!

Maintenance of the dam wall is the joint responsibility of Zambian and
Zimbabwean Engineers, and neither side interfered with the maintenance work,
even when there was a war going on.

It was inconvenient when the engineers wanted to talk to each other, as they
had to travel to Lusaka, Blantyre, Salisbury and back to Kariba, to talk to
somebody who lived just a mile away, but the work went on.

When Kariba was designed, it was built right at the mouth of the gorge, so
that further dam walls could be built downstream, as required, every 100
years or so. It was known that concrete does slowly deteriorate under such
an immense head of water.

This deterioration is slowed down by a process called cementation, where
divers are continuously down there, drilling holes in the concrete, and
pumping in under high pressure a liquid cement slurry.

Yes, if Kariba wall were to blow, but it would take a bomb from the Dam
Busters to blow it, it would kill a lot of people, mostly in Mozambique,
where several million people live and farm on the banks of the Zambesi.

It was once estimated that the wave would still be about 5 feet high when it
hit Madagascar. How on earth do your "scientists" believe it could go around
Madagascar and endanger Perth?

The combined water from Kariba and Cabora Basa would not be like a tsunami
at all. It would be a large moving body of water, while a tsunami is an up
and down wave motion, which only becomes moving when it hits shallow water.
Boats only a mile off shore were quite safe from the tsunamis.

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The Zimbabwean

UN - 'shameful loss of focus'
HARARE - The call by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to reform the United
Nations for "larger freedom" in order to promote development, security and
human rights is long overdue, and cries out for immediate action, rather
than words alone, says the MDC.
"The recent re-election of Zimbabwe to the UN Commission for Human Rights as
Africa's representative is a glaring and shameful example of the loss of
focus, if not downright hypocrisy, of the various organs of the United
Nations, brought about in part by the voting system. The UN Commission for
Human Rights as currently established should be abolished altogether, as it
is a betrayal of the aspirations of the people," it said in a statement last
week.

"There have been numerous reports of human rights abuses perpetrated or
ignored by the government of Zimbabwe, from organisations ranging from local
human rights watchdogs to Amnesty International and the African Union
Commission for Human Rights. There has been a systematic closing down of
democratic space, disregard for the rule of law and subversion of both the
judiciary and the legislature in our country over the last five years.

"We in the Movement for Democratic Change feel betrayed by the UN Commission
for Human Rights, and indeed by the United Nations in general. We do not
believe there are different standards, depending on where you happen to be
born or live in this world.

"Zimbabweans have a right to be free from want, free from fear and to live
in dignity. We have a right to food, health, education, clean water, a safe
environment, etc. We have the right to elect the government of our choice
and for our elected officials to work without interference.

"We believe it is high time the UN underwent a total overhaul, to make it
relevant to this Third Millennium and to avoid betraying the trust of the
people in future. Let the United Nations not only listen to governments, but
also to the voices of the PEOPLE those governments are supposed to
represent - and let the United Nations be in a position to take ACTION when
action needs to be taken.

"A nation's sovereignty should be the sovereignty of its people, not of its
government - because, as we know from bitter experience both in Zimbabwe and
elsewhere, governments do not always truly reflect the will of their
citizens."

MDC Secretary for Policy and Research

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The Zimbabwean

Trade Fair - 'worst ever'
BY NQOBILE BANDA
BULAWAYO - THE hype normally associated with the country's premier trade
exhibition in Bulawayo, the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, (ZITF), was
non-existent this year owing to the socio-economic problems in the country.
Most people interviewed in street surveys told The Zimbabwean that their
attention had been diverted by their daily suffering, especially the high
cost of living and the shortage of basic commodities. Added to that,
commuter omnibuses fares have been increased due to the fuel scarcity.

Mrs Tracy Mabhena, a mother of two, said this year was the worst-ever Trade
Fair as most people were only worried about where they would get food.

"People are struggling in life and are more worried by where they will buy
the scarce basic commodities and nothing else. The Trade Fair used to be the
day to look forward to but now, it was just one of those says," she said.

Supporting her was Mr P. Maphosa, who said he was only after getting money
to pay school fees for his children.

"You are talking of the fair my friend - personally I have no reason to
gothere as I have other pressing commitments. I have to pay the school fees
and also buy books. There is no Trade Fair for us," Maphosa said.

A student at a local College, Fadzai Nyatanga, said the fair to him did not
mean anything.

Bulawayo based lawyer, Nicholas Mathonsi, said the exhibition was a
non-event and should have been abandoned a long time ago.

"There is no meaningful business taking place. It's a sheer waste of time.
You cannot expect people to be excited when they are hungry and disappointed
by the recent disputed polls," he said.

"I don't think any businessmen was bothered to come to Zimbabwe to make
business -What kind of business can you transact with Zimbabwe? The locals
do not have the foreign currency to buy the goods - so you come to the
exhibition at your own expense and get zero business."

The organizers claimed that 516 companies had registered, down from 636 last
year. But this number turned out to be a fallacy as most halls were empty -
with subdivided compartments having no exhibitors.

Another lawyer, Josephat Tshuma, said the 2005 Trade Fair was symptomatic of
the state of the economy and the state of the people in terms of their
confidence towards the future.

"People are thinking in terms of survival, bread and butter issues and not
in terms of development. The Trade Fair showed this," he said.

The Movement for Democratic Change information and publicity secretary Paul
Themba Nyathi, echoed this view: "How can there be a Trade Fair when
unemployment is high, there is nothing on the shelves, no fuel and so forth.
Zimbabweans have never suffered so much in the last 25 years," he said.

Most young people who usually flock to the fair on the last Saturday were at
Gifford High School, where an Aids concert was held.

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The Zimbabwean

Resettlement and the threat to wildlife
BY EDMORE TOBAIWA
MANCHESTER - Zimbabwe's economic dislocation caused by a haphazard land
redistribution programme over the past four years, which has seen real gross
domestic product growth rate plummet from 5 per cent in 2001 to an abysmal
negative 4 per cent last year, has put untold pressure on wildlife and the
environment.
"While much of Zimbabwe's wildlife is still in grave danger, there are a few
bright spots," said the Wildlife & Environment Zimbabwe (WEZ), a voluntary
organisation, referring to the Presidential Herd - a world heritage - about
500 elephants given special protection by President Robert Mugabe in 1991,
from poachers and game hunters, including some rogue government officials.

WEZ was founded in the late 1920s and has been at the forefront of
conservation and protection of Zimbabwe's environment through a
multi-pronged approach, namely; lobbying for the establishment of National
Parks and protected areas, assisting in the management of these, and
spreading knowledge on conservation and environmental issues via
publications and environmental education projects.

Following the emotional, yet economically suicidal, seizure of commercial
white farms by land hungry black Zimbabweans, with the blessing of President
Mugabe's government, the country's adjacent farms and estates to National
Parks where also occupied by the new settlers, severely threatening wildlife
and environment as well as existing infrastructure on National Parks.

Sharon Pincott, WEZ leading elephant research scientist said, "In January of
this year the Presidential Elephants won a reprieve. The settlers on the
Hwange Estate (close to the Hwange National Park) were finally evicted, and
the land and lodges handed back to Zimsun Limited (owners of Hwange Safari
Lodge)."

The 2004/5 drought which swept through southern Africa worsened the water
situation at most pans in Zimbabwe's National Parks, whose water
infrastructure was either stolen and/or destroyed during the settler
occupations.
Zimbabwe's Parks and Wildlife Authority, a government body, feeling the
sustained pressure on infrastructure, wildlife and environment, last week
invited tenders for local purchase of thousands of live elephants.
Advertisements were published in the government-controlled daily, The
Herald. The animals were not for export.

Currently, Zimbabwe is sitting on 90 000 to 100 000 elephants in reserve,
with a carrying capacity of 45 000. Through the tender, the Authority
expects the 5 000 resettled black commercial farmers to come forward and
venture into wildlife production, and the tender forms have a US$164
price-tag.

Meanwhile, Ms Pincott, who is a specialist on the Presidential Elephants,
said much needed to be done at the Hwange Estate to return the conditions
for the Presidential Herd to the pre-land-grab era.

"There is a lot to be done to get the Estate back to its former glory. Many
of the pans were left to dry up, and the roads and lodges have not been
maintained," she said.

"This area (Hwange Estate) was always a lush one, with the key tourism
operator (Zimsun Limited) supplying water to the six major pans. It was an
area which took pressure off Hwange National Park, with many park elephants,
as well as the Presidential Elephants, seeking water and space here.

"While now we can get the anti-poaching/snare collection teams back in (they
were finally deployed first quarter 2005), getting the tourists back will
take some time. And in the meantime, the tourist operators cannot afford to
reconnect all the water supplies," noted Ms Pincott, who is now overseeing
the re-pumping of water to the Hwange Estate's two most-used pans - Mpofu
and Kanondo - with funding from WEZ.

If only President Mugabe could realise in this 11th hour of socio-economic
decline and decay in Zimbabwe, that - just like in the olden days - if a
young boy is sent with a message by his father to an uncle living across the
distant mountains, if the boy gets lost and its night-time the best action
for the boy is to go back to where he last saw a flame, for where there is a
flame there are people, and where there are people there is always advice!

Dedicated Zimbabweans are now picking up the zillion pieces from all sectors
of this once robust economy, on the back of a national empowerment
enterprise that was doomed to fail from the start - but since President
Mugabe et al now also knows it, will he be courageous enough to seek advice
as he maps the way forward for this basket-case of an economy called
Zimbabwe, once upon a time the bread basket of Africa?

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The Zimbabwean

Vigil activist faces deportation
An application for judicial review has been made to prevent the deportation
from Britain of a Zimbabwean political activist, Dumi Tutani.
35 year old Dumi, a musician from Harare, is being been held with several
other Zimbabweans at Dover Removal Centre. He was locked up on 22nd January
despite his public opposition to the Mugabe regime.

Dumi came to Britain four years ago and has been a regular supporter of the
MDC's Central London Branch, of which he is now an executive member. He was
a founder member of the Zimbabwe Vigil in 2002 and is a member of the Vigil's
co-ordinating team, which makes sure the Vigil runs effectively, and Dumi
has regularly taken part in Vigils outside Zimbabwe House.

Among the campaigning activities he has been involved in were the protest at
Lords' Cricket Ground in 2003 against sporting contacts with Zimbabwe. He
was among a group of protesters who were approached by a CIO agent from
Zimbabwe and told to stop protesting and come and work for the Embassy.

Dumi was prominent at a demonstration outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in
protest at the visit by the Zimbabwe Reserve Bank Governor, Gideon Gono, who
was attempting to raise funds from the Zimbabwean diaspora. The
demonstrators were filmed by Supa Mandiwanzira of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation (ZBC). This film was widely broadcast in Zimbabwe, South Africa
and the UK. It was seen by Robert Mugabe who warned the protesters to stay
in the UK and said that they would be in trouble if they returned to
Zimbabwe.

Dumi's mother and sisters are in the UK and he has no close family left in
Zimbabwe. "Dumi could be at risk if he is sent back", said a Vigil
spokesperson, "he has a high profile as a Vigil activist, apart from his MDC
work".

"It is ironic that the authorities have chosen to deport someone like Dumi
when the Vigil has warned the government that many Zanu-PF supporters have
been allowed into this country after helping to destroy Zimbabwe."

The Vigil is running a petition asking the government to give Dumi leave to
remain in the UK. Many people passing by in the Strand have signed the
petition and the Vigil hopes that the British government will recognise that
Dumi would be in jeopardy if he was sent back because of his high profile
activism in the UK.

Asked about his plight, Dumi is not downcast. "I have my guitar and I am
writing more songs," he said - "protest songs, of course!"

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The Zimbabwean

No stone unturned in forex hunt
In a desperate bid to lay its hands on almost priceless foreign currency,
the Zimbabwe government has been raiding anybody who might have access to
the precious commodity.
First were the hapless NGOs - whom government wants to account for every
widow's mite garnered from the generosity of individuals and donors abroad.

Banks and other financial institutions have not been spared. Officials from
the Reserve Bank, together with members of the police and CIO, reportedly
descend unannounced at any time of the day or night and demand to look at
the books.

The latest victims are hoteliers and innkeepers at the country's tourist
destinations who are being asked to account for their earnings during the
recent elections.

The government has said that 7000 observers and journalists entered the
country for the election - but it has not seen any marked increase in the
amount of foreign currency remitted to the Reserve Bank during that period.
It wants to know why.

In its heyday, 7000 visitors would have been simply one weekend's crowd at
Vic Falls. Now it would appear the entire economy is dependent upon this
income to put an end to the desperate shortages of fuel, food, energy,
medicines, spare parts and countless other commodities.

But that's not all. Even the poor street vendor, who is trying to make a
living by exchanging his few pounds or US dollars at a street corner, is now
the target of the government heavies. Last weekend, 400 street vendors were
arrested in Harare alone. Their crime? Dealing in forex.

Instead of wasting its limited resources chasing after such people, surely
the government should be putting more effort into tackling the root causes
of which the roaring trade in foreign currency is but a symptom?

Government claims it needs the money primarily to buy food. Why not simply
swallow its misplaced pride and ask the international community for help? Of
course, this will also involve a reassignment of priorities - weapons and
fighter planes will have to go to the back of the queue. Is that the
stumbling block perhaps?

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The Zimbabwean

Letters

Final Irony of land reform policy
EDITOR - I see today that the "new" farmers are pleading with government to
allow them to get food aid from the NGO's who are supplying food to the
ex-commercial farm workers. This is the final irony in the government's land
reform policy.
It is only when there is:

1 a return of law and order
2 security of tenure
3 respect for property rights
4 finance to rebuild the industry
5 free markets to which we can sell our products;

that farmers, old and new, will be able to start producing food to feed the
people of this country.

While we have an unsettled political arena there is no possibility that we
can have a secure economic environment where any investor: farming,
industry, services, can be prepared to invest their money, time and effort
into reconstructing our impoverished economic sector.

In the meantime, food aid might feed the people short term but only a
political settlement will feed our nation long term.

JEAN SIMON, Harare

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The Zimbabwean

Letters

My brother was beaten to death
EDITOR - With reference to the "Maverick's" letter regarding the murder of
his son (22nd April, 2005) I can relate oh so well.
In the late 80's my twin brother was brutally beaten at Beit Bridge Police
Station by the then Officer in Charge, BZ, and a member of the Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO), MZ (real names supplied). My brother died 4
days later. All his internal organs ruptured, his neck broken.

At the time our President sent me a message to say that he, personally,
would see that they "would be brought to justice". The two officers were
arrested and charged with my brother's murder.

However, the case was never tried, the two were released on bail, with the
then Attorney General telling me that "you cannot keep people in prison
indefinitely"! The Prosecution spent two years on the case, but the
perpetrators of this heinous crime were finally pardoned by the President.
They in fact 'got away with murder'.

A Truth and Reconciliation Commission would go a long way to healing the
hurt. I am still hoping for Justice.

MERYL HARRISON, Zimbabwe

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The Zimbabwean

Letters

China is colonizing us
EDITOR - It surprised me a lot that even the highest of Zimbabwe's officers
took the MA60 planes issue with such pomp and fanfare. It only tells one
thing - the ruin wrought on our systems and policies of management and
governance.
In normal operations, it is expected of an airline to upgrade its fleet from
time to time - not to boast about around having purchased two machines! Yes
it is good for the ailing tourism industry but does it deserve such
attention - as if it is something very incredible?

After all, we know what China is doing to Zimbabwe, colonising it by dumping
its Zhing Zhong rubbish here! We are now a Chinese colony, albeit the
slogan, "Zimbabwe will never be a colony again".

We now have Zhing buses, Zhong aeroplanes, Zhingas radios/TVs, Zhung stoves
and even Zhong shoes littering Zimbabwe. It is of great concern, looking at
the fact that the Zhing everythings are irreparable and survive for only
'six miles' yet we have them coming in loads and barrels.

Already some of the latest Zhing buses are grounded at ZUPCO workshops -
barely two months since departing Zhing City for Sunshine city. Everything
is short-life-span. Soon enough, for sure, the MA60s will be hanging about
idle in the hangers - despite the funfare launch.

Meanwhile, China is a world super power itself, seeking to domineer
developing countries and sap them of their depleting resources. Mugabe
always cries foul whenever the US and UK offer aid. He thinks he is running
away from colonisation - when in fact he is only shifting the master from
west to east without any foresight.

China is using the same techniques Mugabe perceives of US and UK, only the
Chinese are using Mugabe's favourite flavour to woo him to their table of
seafood and rubbish!

The east has beaten its western contenders in the race for the developing
world cake and Uncle Bob smiles! China, please trade with us, do not dump on
us!

PRAYER WARRIOR, Harare

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The Zimbabwean

Letters

Is reconciliation possible?
EDITOR - Is reconciliation between blacks and whites possible in Zimbabwe?
Well ,it's 25 years after we attained independence and what we are exposed
to on state-owned media leaves no room for forgiveness.
As a nation we are constantly reminded of the injustices to which blacks
were subjected during the colonial era. We are aware of the colonial past
experiences - how blacks were made to feel inferior, humiliated,
discriminated against and so on.

That's a fact that we can't deny - but being reminded constantly of one's
painful past will not solve anything. It will only sow seeds of hatred in us
against those who wronged our forefathers.

To me, the present government seems to be obsessed about the past,
especially His Excellency, R.G.Mugabe. I remember soon after independence.
He was preaching the gospel of reconciliation between us blacks and whites.

But how can that be achieved when you can't forget about the past? How can
there be unity amongst different races when we are constantly shown video
clips of the liberation struggle and the ugly side of the war?

If Mugabe can't forget and forgive our colonizers then how does he expect
the Ndebeles to quickly forget about the Gukurahundi where most lost
families and relatives. I don't think the Ndebeles would like to be reminded
of that painful experience, so what makes Mugabe think that we enjoy seeing
whatever happened during the war of liberation.

If the truth be told, we all lost our beloved ones during the struggle -
hence it's something we need to get over, because it hurts us to keep on
talking or being told about it.

Mugabe must stop this obsession about the past because that won't bring food
to our tables. Instead he must realise that we are a nation with a future.
It's time now for the government to get serious about how it runs the
country and stop this madness about Tony Blair and the west.

Focus on real issues that will make our country a better place to be.
Zimbabwe can't go it alone and through Mugabe's madness we have lost real
friends who are capable of real investment in our country.

Now the government has the "look East policy" whereas the East is looking
west. Zimbabwe has become nothing but a dumping area for products from the
East.

GARI HARI, Norton

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The Zimbabwean

Suggestions for Diaspora action
BY JOHN MAKUMBE

The Zimbabwe crisis has been raging since the early 1990s, and has, inter
alia, resulted in the migration of millions of Zimbabweans to such countries
as South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, the UK, USA, the EU,
Australia, New Zealand and Canada, to mention a few.
The departure of so many Zimbabweans has resulted in a serious problem of
brain drain from the Zimbabwean economy. In a government commissioned study,
Professor C J Chetsanga, the chief executive of the SIRDC observes:

"Since the early 1990s, a small number of Zimbabwe's valuable human
resources have been leaving the country in search of 'greener pastures' in
the region and the world over. During the last four years, this brain drain
has escalated in magnitude to levels that have serious implications for the
country's capacity to deliver on the sustainable development front."

For the majority of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, their absence from their
motherland seems to have also weakened their resolve to contribute to and
participate in the resolution of the crisis back in their homeland.

Perhaps some of them take rather seriously the adage "out of sight, out of
mind", which would be very unfortunate. It is my sincere hope that this is
not the case. Allow me to give you Diasporans, the benefit of the doubt, and
to believe that at heart you would appreciate and utilise opportunities to
contribute to the numerous efforts that are being made to return our beloved
country to the status of the Great Zimbabwe that it once was.

The purpose of this contribution is to outline, albeit crudely, some of the
steps that Zimbabweans in the diaspora can pursue as Zimbabweans committed
to the normalisation of the abnormality in Zimbabwe.

The Association of Zimbabweans Based Abroad (AZBA), USA has made a
commendable first step in the right direction:

"Our association has been in existence since 2002 and.as a non-partisan
entity, we are in the formative stages of a think tank organization, devoted
to [the] nation building of Zimbabwe through research, analysis, and public
education. This can be achieved in part by ensuring a vibrant civic society
that fully participates in the political life of its country."

What is also needed is the dissemination of some of the outputs of this
association. This could be done through lobbying key policy actors and
participants in the Zimbabwe body politic.

Lobbying such key participants can be done on a regular basis through
e-mails, through the association's website, through direct approaches to the
relevant structures and organisations both inside and outside of Zimbabwe.

It is obvious that to be successful, AZBA will need considerable amounts of
resources of all kinds. While approaches can be made to several
philanthropic, democratic and human rights focused groups and individuals,
the need for the Zimbabweans' own contributions to this effort cannot be
over-emphasized.

I am aware that MDC supporters staged demonstrations in Washington DC
recently. Such action needs to be intensified and focused on both US-based
Zimbabwean officials and the relevant US officials so that they increase
their pressure against the despotic regime in Zimbabwe.

But while timely demonstrations may serve to highlight the plight of
Zimbabweans, there is need for strenuous face-to-face discussions with such
bodies as the Congressional Black Caucus, the senior officials in the US
State Department and coalitions of civic groups in the US and further
a-field.

Some of these groups and individuals have the capacity to apply pressure
against the dictatorial regime in Zimbabwe and intensify the regime's
isolation from the international community.

Efforts also need to be made to lobby such African regional groupings as the
SADC and the AU so that they become better informed about the deteriorating
situation in Zimbabwe.

There is considerable ignorance about the truth regarding the Zimbabwe
crisis, and it is our responsibility to erode such ignorance by providing
accurate information and analysis of the situation, as well as provide sound
recommendations for the resolution of the crisis. There is no shortage of
well-meaning well-wishers for Zimbabwe in the countries to where Zimbabweans
in the Diaspora have emigrated. (To be continued next week)

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The Zimbabwean

MDC quietly raises the temperature
BY A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
BULAWAYO - Seven months ago the MDC leadership decided to suspend
participation in local elections. (It's only been 7 months!!) This was just
after the Mugabe regime had announced that they would hold elections in
March 2005 and then celebrate 25 years of independence in April.
At that stage they were quite confident that they could win a two-thirds
majority and gain acceptance from the international community for a new Zanu
(PF)-led government.

The consensus among the diplomatic community was not very different - they
were saying to MDC leaders that if they were not careful, Zanu (PF) would
regain the initiative in international and regional affairs.

On the down side we lost a number of parliamentary and local government
seats during the five months when Zanu basically had the field to
themselves. But while this was going on we secured a number of major
achievements.

We focused attention on the conditions under which the next general
elections were to be held. This exposed all the shortcomings in the Zanu
(PF) platform for acceptance and ensured that this issue remained center
stage the whole time.

On the domestic front we quietly set about rebuilding our Party structures
in all those areas where Zanu (PF) had tried over the previous four years to
exclude the MDC. We also set about preparing for the March elections - we
drafted a manifesto and got it accepted by the Party. We started candidates
election and developed a campaign strategy and campaign materials.

We overcame the restrictions imposed on the printing industry, which
effectively denied us access to printing capacity in the commercial sphere,
by installing our own equipment. We built up our finances in preparation for
the campaign.

The suspension also had the added benefit in that it intensified the
struggle for power inside Zanu (PF). This eventually emerged in the form of
a clear schism in their ranks between the new generation of Zanu (PF)
leaders and the old guard. This culminated in the Tsholotsho meeting and the
subsequent split in the party and the expulsion of a number of leaders.

The chaos in Zanu (PF) and the consequential bickering led to a delay in the
election by two weeks and even then when the date was finally fixed, Zanu
still had to select a large number of candidates and was poorly prepared for
the bruising political struggle ahead.

To my mind there is little doubt that the MDC won this campaign hands down.
It was better prepared, its campaign was slick and professional and I
thought it was the best yet. We well knew that the election would not be won
or lost in the campaign but in the manner in which the actual vote was taken
and counted and then announced.

None of this was under the control of the MDC in any way. From start to
finish the election was run by Zanu (PF) loyalists and the military or
security services.

Our own forecast was that we had 33 safe seats and 17 possible wins. An
estimate that proved all too accurate. It was based purely on our own
estimate of which constituencies Zanu (PF) would abandon to their own
devices and where the MDC was overwhelmingly strong.

With so much attention focused on the election - both by the media and the
international community, it was always a reality that any rigging would be
exposed and the results of the election rejected by serious observers. This
proved to be the case and no sooner had the sound of Zanu "victory"
celebrations died down (after 30 minutes or so - they were so muted) the
major western States rejected the outcome as being rigged in favor of Zanu
(PF).

The media also, by and large, said that this election was not free or fair
and that the playing field had been tilted in favor of Zanu from day one.
Even Mr. Mbeki was forced to hold back his endorsement of the outcome when
it finally came to that point in the SA Parliamentary debate.

The question now arises as to what to do after the election. I said in the
days that followed March 31 that Mugabe was in the same position as a rugby
fullback who finds himself on the field with the ball in his hands and the
entire front line bearing down on him with the intention of doing him real
harm if they catch him with the ball!

I said that these forwards included tighter sanctions by the international
community, increased regional isolation and the domestic problems of fuel,
food and the collapse of the economy. The one element in Zimbabwe that he
cannot intimidate or cower, is the economy.

This has proved to be the case - made worse by the fact that the Mugabe
regime has foolishly spent up to half a billion US dollars on arms and
aircraft in recent months. It now has little in reserve to fight off these
domestic nightmares.

So now, having gained their goal of a two thirds majority in the House - at
great cost to themselves, they must deal with an angry international
community which is planning more sanctions and isolation and is threatening
aid flows to the continent in retaliation for what they see as complicity
with the electoral fraud in Zimbabwe. The international community also
recognizes this as a real threat to democratic principles throughout the
world.

They must also now deal with the crisis created by Mugabe's own
intransigence on the issue of food aid and the near collapse of the
Zimbabwean economy. Zanu (PF) is not made up of idiots - there are a few of
those, but most are well-educated and experienced people.

They know that if they move towards extending Mugabe's term to 2010 or
tightening the grip on power of the aging oligarchy in the Politburo that
this would ignite an already
explosive situation in the country.

The army is on full alert and armed roadblocks have been erected across the
country and are operating for 24hours a day. They are nervous and know full
well that the ice under their feet is very thin and the water below,
extremely cold.

As for us in the MDC - we are just quietly raising the temperature.

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The Zimbabwean
The best thing I did was to be there
vigil
LONDON - I thought I would write a quick follow-up regarding the great Zimbabwean demo, which took place in central London on Saturday April 30. I went along, not expecting great crowds, and I was not disappointed - perhaps a hundred people attended, tops.
But what people!

The woman who keeps the vigil going was there and, I am glad to say, among other helpers were a young couple from Harare who arrived in the UK a few years ago and have put themselves to work - knowing you can emigrate from Zimbabwe but you can never leave.

Washington Ali, the MDC man, was there. I heard him say the MDC has never lost an election and it made me sorry in some ways for all the cynicism and scorn I occasionally heap on that organisation.

Its grassroots supporters in rural Matebeleland and the high density areas of Harare and other cities are freedom fighters as worthy of dignity and praise as the Chinese kids who jumped on tanks in Tianamen Square or the South African children who ran at apartheid's guns on June 16, 1976.

In Zimbabwe, not for the first time, ordinary people are fighting for their freedom and a terrible beauty has been born. At the vigil you will see some of those ordinary extraordinary heroes who have paid a terrible price for their beliefs.

The activist who was forced into exile several years ago was there - as she is always there. In the past I have felt her sadness like a veil. She is still very serious, but this time I noticed that sometimes when she smiled the smile reached her eyes. She said she remembered a song I had taught her. It was quite a rude song, I think, about a certain elderly politician.

The woman who was a witness to some horrible incidents during a high profile farm invasion was also there. She has been treated in the UK for post-traumatic stress disorder.

She is still very anxious and troubled but she is a very brave person and she loves laughing and she loves chatting, and clearly the opportunity to spend time among compatriots is very important to her.

The man who leads the demo and who makes me come and dance my funny white man's version of Ndebele dancing pulled me into the circle of dancers this time again and I tried to stamp and toyi-toyi, whistling and joining in where I could follow the words of a song.

People in the singing, dancing circle remember my exhibitions from the past and they smile. Most speak Shona, although they like to hear me say my few words of SiNdebele.

I copy a move I saw during the anti-apartheid struggle of township youth in South Africa, where you stick out your forefingers, holding your arms rigid from your torso, as if you are carrying a gun. The leader grins and does the same and later he thumps a drum and makes it sound like the crump of light artillery.

The farmer's son from Mashonaland was there, a tall genial man working for a charity that sends thousands of pounds back to Zimbabwe each year in support of grassroots good causes.

He says in five years democracy will be entrenched in Zimbabwe. I tell him, "from your mouth to God's ear". He talks of the long-suffering masses of our people with such respect and compassion.

It's palpably decent and compassionate men like him who make me feel sorry that to so many people a white Zimbabwean farmer is still somehow a mythic figure like Simon Legree. If people like him had to pay a price to be recognized as Zimbabweans then they have paid, full measure, and cup brimming over.

The woman who is heavily involved with campaigning work for refugees was there. We talked of the problems ordinary Zimbabwean people in the UK are facing, sometimes caused by people themselves.

But often their problems are compounded by officialdom in the UK which bullies and lies and treats people as problems and deals with them according to quotas. She mentioned a case of a Zimbabwean man sent to another country in Africa by the UK. They put him on a plane promising his documents were in his luggage.

They lied. She has to fight officialdom in a slow glacial war, inch-by-inch, case by case, and when officialdom wins then she has to field the phone calls from distant places from people in despair and she does it for love, not money.

So many people were there. The Kalanga guy. Wilf Mbanga's look alike. The ZNA soldier. The Bulawayo Jehovah's Witness who knows it is up to each of us to do the right thing, to make a difference.

And a fat, balding man with a hangover stands in the centre of London listening to drums and realising how much he misses his home and feeling lost - but somehow also feeling found.

Another fat, balding fellow, an English man, decides to pick on me and wanders up to tell me how good things used to be in Rhodesia. I told him a lot of people at the vigil were the children of the people who fought to end Rhodesia.

He told me I should have - if you will pardon his language - my arse kicked.

I told him - if you will pardon my language - to f*** off.

I don't want to remember Rhodesia. I am a Zimbabwean.

I joined an organisation and paid ten quid.

I bought a vigil T Shirt for five quid.

I bought some "Free Zimbabwe" buttons for a quid.

I bought some copies of The Zimbabwean for a couple of quid and took away subscription forms and back issues to spread the word. It is an excellent newspaper and the proprietors are people who deserve support from the diaspora.

But the best thing I did was to be there.

I went along for a couple of hours to show support, to show the demonstrators that they are not alone.

But I came away feeling supported, feeling I was the one who was no longer alone.

Until freedom comes the vigil continues. Go.
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Global Politician

INTERVIEW: Jan Lamprecht Explains Crisis In Africa
Ryan Mauro - 5/13/2005
Events in Africa, like in Latin America, are often ignored. The only
fact most Americans know about Africa is that it is in a sorry state, not
that dictators and anti-American forces have taken hold of the vital mineral
resources of the continent. I knew more about Africa than the average
person, but I'll admit I did not know enough. To enlighten myself and my
readers, I decided to have Mr. Jan Lamprecht conduct an interview for this
website. For understanding the situation in Africa, no interview could be
more important. His website, www.AfricanCrisis.org contains headlines you'll
never see in most Western papers. It is one of the most enlightening and
disturbing websites I have seen on the subject.

To help introduce him, I asked him for a brief biography. This is what
he wrote: "I was born in Zimbabwe and grew up on a farm during the bush war,
which resulted in Robert Mugabe coming to power. I was educated at Churchill
High School in Harare. Upon leaving school I moved to South Africa where I
spent a short time in the South African Navy. Thereafter I went into
computers where I have spent the rest of my life. I had a natural aptitude
for programming and software development. At an early age I began doing
consulting and other independent work. I have been in computers for 22
years. My particular strength is systems analysis and design. The severe
political problems in Zimbabwe to the north of South Africa in 2000, and its
possible effects on South Africa caused me to write a political book called
'Government by Deception'."

WRM: What do you feel causes Africa's problems?

JL: This is a very broad question. Let's start with what does NOT
cause Africa's problems. When I was in Europe earlier this year, I saw that
Europeans believe the reason Africa has problems is because Africa is not
getting enough money from the West. The sentiments of us whites in Africa
can be summed up as follows: We do not believe money alone can solve
Africa's problems. And most of Africa's problems are not caused by a lack of
money. Nor will more money necessarily help - though the black governments
keep asking for more and more. We feel (and I speak for myself too - but
this is a broad sentiment), that the real issue is skills, incompetence,
honesty, etc. The real problem in Africa is HUMAN and not material. Money
alone cannot solve Africa's problems. But most of Africa's problems could be
solved if people had the necessarily skills and ethics to go with it. You
will see this when you compare colonialism and post-colonial Africa. You
will see, in Rhodesia and South Africa for example, that sanctions and a ban
on material goods did not cause much damage to each country. But hand it
over to unskilled people and even with lots of monetary assistance,
free-trade, etc and the results are disappointing. Time and again, you'll
see Africa's problems do not stem from poverty alone. Many parts of Africa
are extremely rich. How did Japan, with no natural resources get the 2nd
biggest economy in the world? It's all due to PEOPLE. In Africa, it's the
people who are the problem. And forget about the so-called "legacy of
colonialism". That's junk. The legacy of colonialism was, in each case, a
functioning country. But the countries went downhill AFTER they were handed
over in a functioning state. That has been the legacy of virtually each
black nation in Africa. It was due to many things - due to incompetence,
power hunger, socialism, chasing whites and Indians out, etc. In each case,
they took a functioning country and it slowly started falling apart. The
same can be seen even in South Africa in less than 10 years of black rule. I
must point out, most black countries are largely Socialist/Marxist in their
outlook - they do not encourage business or proper investment and are
control freaks. This plays a big role in countries ending up on the rubbish
heap.

WRM: And what does the incompetence of the leaders come from? Lack of
education? Technology? What needs to be changed so that a stable society is
built, what is needed?

JL: It's really a complex question. You can attribute it to many
things, but many of those answers result in a lot of beating about the bush.
Let me try to provide a broad answer like this: Half of the problems of
Africa lie in the fact that many of the leaders believe in
socialism/Marxism. The other half of the problem lies in the black people
themselves. People will of course hate this answer and say I'm being racist
for saying this - but this is the undeniable truth - and if it's racist -
then so be it.

The Socialist/Marxist aspect doesn't need much discussion - it's
simple really. Socialism and the control freak attitude ALWAYS will destroy
personal initiative - it kills business, it stifles and holds back those
individuals who would do great things for society. It kills off business
ideas, entrepreneurs, etc who could bring many benefits.

With regard to problems in the blacks themselves - it is hard to
generalize - but there are many aspects to it. Some can be solved - and
others will be truly difficult to overcome. For example, there are certain
norms and standards which are taken for granted in much of the West which
are not part of the African mindset. There are many values such as:
efficiency, frugality, duty to a higher cause, etc which do not exist in
African culture in the same was as in the Western mind. Most of these things
can indeed be solved through education and Westernization. But many of these
Marxist leaders actually REJECT this filtering in of too much Western
culture and they fight it. They call for "Africanization" as the way
forward. From my experience, Africanization is a definite path to
destruction. Africanization is a step backwards. Blacks in Africa never
created a great society in the past - and a large part of the reason for
this lay in their culture and attitude to life. So it is insane to call for
Africanization because it brings about the glorification of old values which
never led to greatness.

I do believe black Africans have a serious problem in their makeup
which sets them apart from much of the rest of the world, and it will
inhibit their future development. One could call it IQ - but it may be
better described as 'aptitude'. It is a general fact of biology that people
who are good at mathematics and science are weak in the arts and vice versa.
You will note that the black race - I'm talking pure blacks as in Africa -
not "colored blacks" as in the USA - is particularly disadvantaged in this
way. You'll note they are exceptionally artistic - but in school - they do
very badly in mathematics and science. Now it is a fact of life that to
built a technological nation and to make use of the advantages of science -
one needs people with strong mathematical and logical skills. I am in the
computer world, and I can tell you many stories about how blacks in Africa
battle and struggle tremendously to gain the technical skills needed to
build complex computer systems. The same is true for engineering. It so
happens that Whites and Asians are particularly well talented in this area.
And in Colonial Africa, whites provided these skills.
Driving whites out of Africa also means driving out most of the
scientists, engineers, computer programmers, etc who build the hardware and
software which drives a nation forward. Like it or lump it, but black people
in Africa actually derive many benefits from having a multiracial society
and it is actually the key in driving their own development forward.
Colonialism, for all its moral wrongs, supplied the most crucial element
which African needs: Technical, logical and mathematical skills. This is how
Africa was built.

If blacks want to follow the trend set by Mugabe then they are truly
slitting their own throats. Watch Zimbabwe... wait and see the price they
will pay for their delusions... it will be a terrible price indeed. In a few
years they have gone back 50 years, and it may take them a very, very long
time before they ever can back to where they were. It could take many
decades.

WRM: Can you explain who these corrupt leaders are in Africa and what
countries they rule? I know that takes a lot of explaining, but few
Americans know anything about what really is going on in Africa.

JL: You will find corruption and Marxism in many countries - mostly in
the Southern part of Africa where the Russians and Chinese were determined
to have their way. These pro-Communist countries are: - South Africa,
Namibia, Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic
of Congo. These countries cover a land area about 1/2 the size of the USA!!
And most are very mineral rich.

WRM: What is the geopolitical situation like in Africa, and how does
it affect the West?

JL: It appears to me, the socialist mindsets in Africa are becoming
more dominant, and Africa, especially now with the African Union happening
and being led by South Africa will move further and further away from the
Western sphere of influence. One way it affects the Western world is in the
demand for more money to uplift Africa and continued calls trying to lay the
blame on the West for Africa's failures. The raw materials Africa was so
well known for will still be available - though supplies, etc may become
more erratic. Africa is sliding backwards. If the West were to completely
ignore Africa, then it wouldn't affect the West too much. Although there is
one effect of Africa's implosion which the West cannot ignore: The continual
fleeing of millions of people to Europe especially and America from Africa.
This will continue and will get much worse. I suspect, since the West is
trying to help Africa that this implosion of Africa will be a concern
because it is the West who ultimately has to help foot the bill. As can be
seen, civil wars between blacks are becoming more common. And the West is
playing a role in sending in peace keeping forces into parts of Africa. So
the implosion of Africa will continue to require the attention of America
because Africa can't look after itself. The African Union which is a model
of Europe - is going to cost about US$100 million per annum - a cost which
most of Africa can't afford. So yet another delusion of Grandeur of the
Africans may yet have to be paid for by the Western world.

WRM: Explain more about the Africa Union, we hear little of it. Is
this an attempt at integration? And do countries like China and Russia see
this valuable to their geopolitical strategy, as they do with regards to the
European Union?

JL: Russia and China are not overtly involved in the African Union.
But it is driven by the local black Marxists. The African Union is basically
a similar idea to the European Union. However, keep in mind that Africa in
its current state is struggling with itself, never mind building something
so complex. I doubt the AU will actually be anything more than another white
horse and another bottomless pit of corruption and a huge waste of money
which can be ill afforded.

The theory is to bind Africa as a continent together, and to then to
have the Left dominate it. But as it is Africa is breaking down and there
are more wars and problems than before. So I think the AU won't succeed. I
think the AU will be just a huge waste of money. It is also said that most
African countries can't even afford the meager $100 million to run it
annually. Africans are asking the USA and the West to fund the AU. I
certainly hope the West does not pour money into another bottomless pit.

WRM: What do you see in the future for the Africa Union? Will it
become a quasi-superstate? Who will it ally with? Things like that.

JL: The theory is to turn it into a Super State. But it appears to me
blacks are becoming more divided among themselves all the time. Whereas the
EU is more or less succeeding, I don't see the AU existing in anything more
than just a name. I believe whites through colonialism and domination became
a common enemy and it united blacks. But now that white power is broken and
gone, I think blacks will return to fighting each other. The War in the
Congo involved almost a dozen black nations fighting each other and millions
died. There seem to be many wars in Africa which will continue for a long
time. I think we will see more war in the future.

WRM: What is the importance of Africa to American security?

JL: I think the main effect is with regard to strategic materials -
e.g. uranium and chrome (a product of Zimbabwe) - and also the Cape sea
route. The other thing to remember is that if the USA does not have a
presence here then someone else will. The Russians have played in Africa
quite a bit and play many games behind the scenes. But China is very keen on
moving into Africa. I believe this would be a very bad thing for not only
Africa but the world. I think we need US influence here rather than Chinese
or Russian influence. For that reason I hope the USA retains an interest in
things here.

WRM: How do you feel about Marxist-Leninism and Communism in Africa?

JL: Southern Africa, the richest portion of Africa, is controlled by
rulers with a 100% pedigree originating from Russia and China. These people
have caused countries to collapse to an unbelievable degree. Angola,
Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe are basket cases and could take many
decades to recover - if ever. South Africa has not yet collapsed - but it
will. Rest assured, our current government is not solving any problems - in
fact - things will just get worse and worse. 65% of our taxes in South
Africa are paid by less than 400,000 people - the entire population is 44
million. That is how socialist we have become and we are going backwards.
Crime, corruption, AIDS, etc are just spiraling out of control. The
government's policies are making all of the above worse. If they had a more
Western outlook, then we wouldn't be in such a mess - we should be BOOMING.
But we aren't. The socialism/Marxism is slowly sucking the lifeblood out of
this country.

WRM: You mention Russia and China assisting Marxist-Leninist
leadership favorable to them in power in Africa. Do you see this as a move
against America, or to simply secure resources?

JL: Both. It is to try to get resources for themselves - but mainly to
try to remove these resources from the Western sphere of influence. Africa
south of the Equator is exceptionally rich in minerals of all kinds. The
idea is to cut off supplies of raw materials to US industry in the event of
a future war.

WRM: Russia is now supposedly democratic and has Western freedoms. Why
would Russia today still support anti-freedom leaders of Communist nature,
if it is a "strategic partner", and a free country? What is their motive?

JL: I don't think Russia is democratic at all. The Communist Party is
still the only true national party in Russia, and Putin is just another
product of the KGB. So what has changed? Nothing really... just some window
dressing. Russia is still armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons all
pointed at you people in the USA. If I must be frank, I think some of your
leaders, like Condi Rice, really need a wakeup call.

Look at China - it is still openly communist. And Russia and China
help each other constantly and in the UN they stand together. I think
nothing has changed except the PERCEPTION in the minds of American leaders.
And I think that perception is false. I think the Russians are striking
deals with the West in order to get money out of you people. They're
pretending to be friendly - but only so as to use you. One day they will
stab you in the back.

WRM: What affects does Communism in Africa have on geopolitics?

JL: It is responsible for the anti-Western rhetoric which keeps coming
out of the mouths of African leaders. It is the Communist influence which is
causing them to blame everything on "the legacy of colonialism" or the
"legacy of Apartheid". None of this is true - but the blame game is a lovely
game they like to play. They first lay the blame at the door of the West.
Then they come with their begging bowls and they ask for money, money and
more money. And the West will NEVER be able to give them enough money to
satisfy their greed. Of course, a small portion of that money will ever
reach the poor people at whom it is aimed. It will mostly line the pockets
of the black elite.

WRM: How are the world's major countries affecting African
geopolitics?

JL: Japan wants close links with Africa - probably for the purpose of
buying raw materials here. But the communist Chinese are developing a big
interest in Africa - as do the Indians.
The West is too prostrate - the West is too guilt-ridden to
effectively exert much of a presence in Africa any more. The West needs to
give up on this guilt-trip. It's not helping anyone and the current black
leaders are milking it for all its worth. This needs to stop and sanity
needs to be applied to dealings with Africa. The bleeding heart attitude is
not helping Africa - but common sense and "tough love" could do the trick.

WRM: I've heard speculation that southern Africa could become a future
geopolitical battleground between the West and China, perhaps alongside
Russia. When a civil war breaks out in a strategic country such as South
Africa, can we expect any type of foreign military intervention?

JL: I believe if a World War were to be fought tomorrow, then South
Africa would side with the enemies of the USA. You could see it during the
Iraq war. If the USA wanted South Africa on its side per se, it has its work
cut out for it. It's not going to be easy without a change of regime. The
ANC and SA Communist Party would have to be crushed.

I don't foresee a civil war in South Africa at this stage. I think the
pro-Western elements are too weak. Also, the West can't tell their friends
from their enemies. Most in the USA and West believe the ANC are their
friends. One day they will see how completely wrong they are.
Many Americans were stunned when Nelson Mandela criticized the USA
during the Iraq war. Americans will be stunned later when they see what
Mandela, Mugabe, Mbeki and others really stand for. People will be shocked.

WRM: What do you feel is the most under-reported but dangerous reality
in Africa, that the media must concentrate more on?

JL: I think the decay of Zimbabwe and South Africa need more
attention - especially the out of control crime here in SA - and the AIDS
situation (which our President totally denies exists) - yet, 600,000 people
died of AIDS in South Africa in 2002 and probably 8-9 million are infected.
I think if the Western media reported on what is actually happening here -
like Farm Murders, our support of Zimbabwe, etc it would help to wake the
world up. We are heading for very dire times in the next 10 years.

WRM: What will occur in the next decade or so in Africa in your
opinion? What level of international involvement do you see coming?

JL: think the international community will tire more and more of
Africa. I see investment in Africa decreasing. I see more poverty, more
wars, and more chaos in Africa. I think Africa as a whole will move backward
in the next decade - not to mention the impact of AIDS - which will cause
extreme problems. There will be AIDS-induced poverty and AIDS-induced
famines. I see a very bleak outlook for Africa in the next 10 years. I see
no progress at all. I see the continent falling deeper into problems, and
the Western world looking on aghast and unbelieving that all the billions
they poured into Africa came to naught.
Some of us believe that the only way to turn things around is through
a new type of colonialism or injection of foreigners. Exactly what form this
could take is a big question by itself. What we need in Africa are more
skilled people from elsewhere in the world. And if the West does not control
Africa then one day, China will.

WRM: What is the first problem that must be tackled to improve the
situation in Africa?

JL: I think the main issue is government. Everything starts at the
top. The top must be cleaned up. Africa is run by socialists, despots, etc.
The basic idea I think is that the carrot and stick should be used. Cut off
ALL AID to black countries if they do not conform to certain standards. Then
offer them aid, but only if they adhere to certain standards. In some
countries, the governments actually need to be overthrown (e.g. Zimbabwe).
In such cases, the West should arm the opposition and let them start taking
care of things.

WRM: How do you view the Bush Administration's approach to Africa,
specifically the AIDS initiative, and Powell's call for regime change in
Zimbabwe?

JL: I believe that Bush's AIDS initiative was actually an old promise
and apparently (so we heard), it was something the USA was intending to
deliver on for a long time. Personally, I doubt anyone can do much about
AIDS. If you wanted to "cure" AIDS, you would need to put millions into
quarantine - but that can and never will happen. So instead, the disease
will get worse and tens of millions will die. AIDS is expected to peak in
South Africa in 2015. In 2004 they are expecting 700,000 to die from it. By
2015, the death toll will be horrendous. I have read that they expect AIDS
in South Africa to kill over 12 million people - in the next decade or less.
While I doubt Bush's AIDS initiative will change anything in a noticeable
way, I should say it is more than the South African government is doing.

I welcome Powell's call for regime change in Zimbabwe. Sadly, it will
never happen if left to Africa since South Africa really supports Mugabe. I
believe it could only ever happen if the USA or Britain were to finance it.
But since nobody seems intent on doing this - I figure Mugabe will stay in
power and things will just get worse. I was pleased to hear Powell's words
but unless somebody actually acts on it - I doubt anything will come of it -
sadly.

WRM: Let's pretend you are in charge of policy towards Africa. What
should the US and its allies do to help, and what does the West get out of
it? Let's be realistic, no country will help a country, let alone a
continent, without something to gain.

JL: Well, I think it is in the US and Western interest to extend their
sphere of influence into Africa - that would be the self-gain. The gain
would be in business partnerships, access to strategic materials, etc.

If it were up to me; I would push for the overthrow of dictatorships
and Marxist regimes and for the setting up of nations based on proper
Western principles (and not Marxists masquerading as liberals). I would push
for it diplomatically. And if need be, I would secretly create and fund
oppositions which are truly democratic. And if need be, secretly arm them to
overthrow the Marxists. I would fight to win.

There have been many wars in Southern Africa which could have been won
by the West, namely: Angola, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. These three countries
could easily have been 100% under Western influence. But in each case, the
West never had the will to truly fund the opposition and to make them win.

I suspect though, that the USA sent the CIA to stop the Marxist from
taking the DRC (formerly Zaire) in total. I think they funded the Ugandans
and Rwandans - and it was a very successful exercise. They nearly won. At
least it brought about a stalemate. More of that sort of thing could be
done - but it must be done until total victory is achieved. These
half-hearted wars are a waste of time.

WRM: I have heard that Africa is the most pro-American continent on
earth. Is this true and what is the attitude like on the streets towards the
anti-American forces plaguing the continent?

JL: This is a strange one to me. I would suspect this is true of the
people - the common people. Common people in Africa do indeed look up to the
USA. The USA is liked by most people - including many black people. But the
anti-US stance comes from the LEADERS in many of the African countries -
especially the dominant ones. It is from the top that one has the
anti-American stance - and they are the ones making the rules. If the USA
were to support many grass roots movements in Africa they would find
countless millions ready to take up arms against the existing
socialist/Marxist order. Sadly, the ones in power, who have the money and
who make the rules, have the dominant say. So unless the USA actually starts
supporting grass roots movements (or helps cultivate potential ones), then
this sentiment will be wasted. I know most Zimbabweans would absolutely love
to work with Americans. I know in South Africa most young Zulus also feel a
strong solidarity and admiration for the USA and I know many would be
extremely delighted if the USA would help support them. This is probably
true for much of Africa. But sadly, the "liberation" was done my Marxists
and socialists and they do not view the USA in a positive light, except to
come with begging bowls to try and scam as much money out of you folks as
possible. Their real loyalties will never lie with you.

WRM: Can you describe the fight for freedom in the heart of the
African people? Is there a struggle going on at all for freedom? Or is it
mainly a struggle between two corrupt sides?

JL: There are so many struggles for freedom in Africa. Sadly, the left
dominates most of these struggles - so it is unlikely that these will lead
anywhere.
Sadly, a lot of the true pro-Western pro-USA forces were only
half-heartedly supported by the West and most are now ineffective - like
UNITA in Angola or RENAMO in Mozambique or the MDC in Zimbabwe (thought the
MDC is mildly socialist) or the Zulus in South Africa.

The problem is that the left controls so much of Africa and there are
far too few black conservatives in Africa. There are too few blacks in
Africa who even believe in capitalism. Most blacks believe in some form of
socialism. The West has to win their hearts and minds over. Sadly, the left
dominates Africa to such a degree - and that is one of the reasons why
Africa is the complete mess it is in today.

If there is any example and proof that the left has nothing to
contribute in this world, then Africa is it. Africa is the proof that the
left brings with it nothing but destruction.

Ryan Mauro is a geopolitical analyst.

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From ZWNEWS, 11 May

Bennett moved to maximum security prison

Harare - The Zimbabwean authorities have moved Roy Bennett once again,
without notice or justification, this time to the country's maximum security
jail, Chikurubi. In the 24 hours since Roy was moved to Chikurubi, his
lawyers have been denied access to their client on three separate occasions.
His family has no idea why he has been moved or what conditions he is now
being kept in. Roy has spent the past six and a half months in prison after
being sentenced by the Zanu PF members of parliament to one year in jail
after he pushed the Minister of Parliament, Patrick Chinamasa during a
parliamentary debate. Although Chinamasa was not hurt, had insulted Roy and
his forebears and had dismissed the numerous court orders that Roy had
obtained regarding his forcible expulsion from his house and land, the Zanu
PF MPs voted for his incarceration. The severity of the sentence in relation
to the minor nature of the offence is unprecedented in parliamentary
jurisdictions throughout the world and has been condemned by local and
international legal associations and human rights organisations. Roy spent
his first month in Harare Central Prison before being moved to Mutoko
resulting in a five hour round trip for his family when they were allowed to
visit him for 30 minutes once every two weeks. Although conditions in Mutoko
Prison are far from adequate, Chikurubi is notorious amongst Zimbabwean
jails for the harsh treatment of prisoners and the appalling health and
sanitary conditions. Diseases such as tuberculosis are rife, the water
supply is often contaminated and severe overcrowding assist the spread of
infection.

Read more about the man at: http://www.freeroybennett.com
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Judge summons MDC, Zanu PF

Clemence Manyukwe
issue date :2005-May-13

WITH the disgruntled main opposition MDC leadership in Mauritius to protest
the outcome of the March general elections among other concerns, the Judge
President, Paddington Garwe, is today expected to meet at the Harare High
Court with Zanu PF legislators and losing MDC candidates in the March 31
polls over petitions lodged with the Electoral Court.

Lawyers representing the plaintiffs and respondents are also expected at the
high profile indaba.
The meeting is aimed at finding ways to resolve elections petitions speedily
and within the confines of Electoral Act.
In an interview with The Daily Mirror yesterday, the Registrar of the
Electoral Court, Charles Nyatanga, said: "The meeting is there tomorrow
(today). All the stakeholders in the petitions, as well as their legal
representatives, are expected to attend. The Judge President, Paddington
Garwe, would be chairing. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the
modalities of setting down the elections petitions within the prescribed
period."
Nyatanga said the meeting would be attended only by those who have
petitioned the Harare Electoral Court, while a similar conference would be
held in Bulawayo soon.
The MDC is challenging the outcome of the polls saying there was a
discrepancy in results announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
ZEC defended itself, saying the MDC mistook updates for final figures.
Of the 16 cases lodged by the MDC against Zanu PF, 11 are before the
Electoral Court in Harare and the remainder in Bulawayo.
According to the Electoral Act, the elections court should dispose of all
matters before it within six months.
"Every election petition shall be determined within six months from the date
of its presentation," reads Section 182 of the Electoral Act.
The Electoral Court has five judges, three of whom are based in the capital.
In related litigious cases, the MDC in 2000 lodged 38 petitions with the
High Court, arguing the process was not only fraught with irregularities,
but characterised by intimidation, rape, murder and untold politically
motivated violence.
Till today, the cases are still hanging. Those that were heard and judgment
handed down by the High Court in favour of the MDC have since been appealed
against in the Supreme Court.
The MDC is challenging the outcome of the general elections, arguing that
Zanu PF which garnered 78 seats against its 41 to score a landslide victory
out of the 150 contested constituencies, saying that the poll was stolen.
Tsholotsho was the only seat that went to an independent, the former junior
information minister and fierce critic of the private press during his
flirtation with the government, Jonathan Moyo,
In general, the MDC, which is said to be slowly losing friends in the region
because of its failure to accept defeat but instead calls for sanctions
against Zimbabwe, claims in its various petitions that the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (ZEC), which is responsible for running elections in
the country, failed to demonstrate its independence in the March polls.
It also claimed that the administrative processes of the polls were
manipulated to give political advantage to the ruling party and that the
voters' roll was a shambles.
Further, the opposition alleged the elections were held in a hostile
atmosphere. The MDC also claimed unaccountable gaps in certain
constituencies between the turnout figures ZEC announced and the final
results.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Residents demonstrate over water shortage

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-May-13

IRRITATED Mabvuku and Tafara residents on Wednesday demonstrated against the
Sekesai Makwavarara-led Commission running Harare City Council over
perpetual water shortages.
According to the constituency's new Member of Parliament Timothy Mubhawu, 11
protesters were arrested and still detained at Mabvuku Police Station.
"A total of 11 demonstrators were arrested and are in detention at Mabvuku
Police Station as I speak now.
"It is immoral to arrest people who are genuinely venting out their anger,
people with genuine grievances," Mabhuwu said on Wednesday.
He said the demonstrations started in New Tafara and then spilled over into
New Mabvuku when riot police, moving in six vehicles, pounced on protesters.
Harare police spokesperson Whisper Bondayi yesterday professed ignorance
over the protests and the subsequent arrests.
The two suburbs have been dry since last Sunday, barely a week after full
water supplies were restored.
Mubhawu told The Daily Mirror the residents took to the streets of their own
free will.
"The people, on their own volition, just decided to march in the streets.
"They were overwhelmed by the hardships they were facing - the shortage of
water.
"They were angry and were demonstrating against the lack of the precious
liquid and the Harare Commission," he said.
The MP went on: "As the MP for that constituency - I feel that the
commission is betraying both Tafara-Mabvuku residents and the Minister of
Local Government, Ignatius Chombo.
"Makwavarara was accorded the title of a councillor by the people of
Mabvuku. Naturally, she is supposed to plough back into the community under
the concept of social responsibility; instead she is punitive to the people
who voted her into office."
Mubhawu attributed Mabvuku's water woes to lack of seriousness and
efficiency on the part of the commission running the affairs of the capital.
"To exact my allegations, I have this morning toured the water pipes from
Letombo Substation to Donnybrook water tank.
"I saw eight points of burst pipes. Any meaningful administration cannot
fail just to repair a burst pipe timeously," the MP said.
Commenting on the reported takeover of water supplies to Harare by the
Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa), Mubhawu saw no redemption. He
said, "A kettle cannot call a pot black - they are just the same."
The legislator, who suggested that drilling boreholes and having the elected
MDC-led council running the show as a solution to the water crisis, said
empty coffers allegedly looted by previous city fathers, had compounded the
current state of affairs.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Mutasa to oversee agrarian reforms

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-May-13

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has given the Minister of State Security Didymus
Mutasa added responsibilities of overseeing issues relating to the agrarian
reforms.
In a statement last night the ministry of information and publicity said the
adjustments were part of streamlining government operations to enhance rapid
development.
The Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda announced
the changes.
Sibanda said: "Cde Mutasa, the Minister in charge of
State Security has been given additional responsibilities
of overseeing Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement.
The adjustment requires that Cde Mutasa works
closely with the Presidency in overseeing all matters
relating to, and arising from acquisition, distribution and settlement of
land under the National Land reform Programme.
He will be assisted by Honourable Flora Buka, the Minister of State for
Special Affairs for Lands and Resettlement, whose emphasis has been adjusted
to stress field-based monitoring of land reform related settlements for both
A1 and A2 models."-Mirror Reporter
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Reuters

Freedom delayed for South Africans in Zimbabwe
Thu May 12, 2005 06:47 PM BST

By Stella Mapenzauswa
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe on Thursday officially released 62 foreigners
jailed for a year in connection with an alleged coup plot in Equatorial
Guinea but they will spend another night in custody, their lawyer said.

The group, all with South African passports, were arrested in March 2004
after their plane was impounded during a stopover at Harare international
airport. They were jailed on immigration and firearms charges and their
sentences expired on Wednesday.

But they will stay at Harare's Chikurubi high security prison until Friday
morning because of delays in organising their deportation to South Africa,
their Zimbabwean lawyer Jonathan Samkange said.

"All the accused persons have now been released ... into the custody of
immigration and the chief immigration officer has just informed me that they
will be deported tomorrow morning," Samkange told reporters.

"They are considered to be of security high risk ... obviously they
(immigration officials) have to liase with their South African counterparts
to make sure that the South Africans are ready to accept them," he said.

Immigration officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

UNCERTAIN FUTURE

The group would travel by bus to Zimbabwe's southern town of Beitbridge on
the border with South Africa in the company of immigration officials and
South African embassy officials.

The men could face an uncertain future once back in South Africa, which has
strict laws against mercenary activity.

"We are investigating if they have contravened the South African Regulation
of Foreign Military Assistance Act. But at the moment there is no need to
arrest them and they are not going to be arrested at all on their return
home," National Prosecution Authority spokesman Makhosini Nkosi told
Reuters.

Mark Thatcher, the son of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher,
pleaded guilty in South Africa in January to a role in the plot under a deal
with prosecutors to avoid jail under South Africa's anti-mercenary laws.

The leader of the group arrested in Zimbabwe, Briton Simon Mann, was
convicted of seeking to possess dangerous weapons and jailed for seven
years, which were later reduced to four.

Two South African pilots also still have to complete another two months in
Zimbabwe.

"Today was a very sad day for him (Mann) because the others are leaving and
he's remaining behind," Samkange said.

Initially 70 men were arrested in Harare, but one died in prison and others
were found not guilty or released on medical grounds after spending months
behind bars.

The men, who said they were headed to Democratic Republic of Congo to
provide mine security services, were convicted of contravening Zimbabwe's
weapons and immigration charges in a trial which lasted some five months.

In March a court granted an order for their early release, but their hopes
were dashed by Zimbabwe's Supreme Court which approved a government bid to
block the move.

Equatorial Guinea sentenced 11 foreigners in November to between 14 and 34
years on charges of trying to overthrow the tiny oil exporting country's
president that prosecutors linked to the Zimbabwe case.

Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.

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