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Cabinet minister faces impeachment

Zim Online

Wednesday 08 November 2006

††††† HARARE - A parliamentary committee yesterday tabled a surprise motion
to impeach Industry and International Trade Minister Obert Mpofu on charges
that he gave false evidence before a legislative committee as the saga at
the national steel company ZISCOSTEEL deepens.

††††† According to Parliament minutes, Mpofu told the portfolio committee on
foreign affairs, industry and international trade on September 20 that some
Members of Parliament had looted the state-owned Zimbabwe Iron and Steel
Company (ZISCOSTEEL) and that the Ministry of Anti-Corruption had a report
to support the allegations.

††††† The minutes showed Mpofu saying President Robert Mugabe's government
had withheld the report from the public over fears it would jeopardise talks
between the struggling steel parastatals and a foreign investor.

††††† But a week later, Mpofu appeared before the same committee and flatly
denied having made such comments or the existence of the report, the minutes
showed.

††††† Yesterday, the committee's chairman Enoch Porusingazi, in a surprise
move against one of Mugabe's lieutenants, asked Speaker of Parliament John
Nkomo to allow contempt proceedings against Mpofu.

††††† "The committee has resolved to bring this matter before the August
House," Porusingazi told parliament.

††††† "Your committee, therefore pray the Honourable Speaker to make a
ruling that the honourable minister's conduct committed a prima facie
contempt of Parliament," he said.

††††† In response Nkomo said he would make a decision on the matter in due
course. He said: "I shall study the request that has been put to me and will
make a ruling in due course."

††††† Mpofu is a member of the inner politburo cabinet of Mugabe's ruling
ZANU PF party.

††††† Sources believe the report mentioned by Mpofu existed but that he had
backtracked after senior party and government officials leaned on him over
the widely published statements to the committee.

††††† Security Minister Didymus Mutasa, who is the ZANUPF secretary for
administration told a weekend government paper that the ruling party would
not block the impeachment process as long as it followed properly laid down
procedures.

††††† If successful this would be the first time a government minister would
have been impeached by Parliament in post-independent Zimbabwe.

††††† ZISCOSTEEL was the main foreign currency earner for the then white
Rhodesian government and sustained Ian Smith's regime during the years of
international sanctions but output at the giant steelworks has sharply
fallen to just 78 000 tonnes of steel annually because its main furnace -
which accounts for 70 percent of production - has been derelict for years.

††††† A US$400 million investment by India's Global Steel Holdings to
rehabilitate ZISCOSTEEL collapsed in September, just six months after its
signing. Sources say the Indians were miffed by bribery demands by some
government officials before the company's turnaround.

††††† In a separate issue, Mugabe's nephew, Leo, withdrew a motion demanding
the removal of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) leaders for
"unethical conduct" and "abandoning its core business of representing
workers."

††††† Leo Mugabe submitted an amended motion, which urged the ZCTU leaders
to support the government's National Economic Development Priority
Programme.

††††† He said his original motion could be in contempt of court as the ZCTU
secretary general Wellington Chibebe and two ZCTU officials have a pending
court case over charges of breaching foreign exchange controls. - ZimOnline


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An unshakeable friendship with little to show for it

Zim Online

Wednesday 08 November 2006

††††† HARARE - China's leader this week said his country's relations with
Zimbabwe were "unshakeable" but analysts see little benefits to the
embattled southern African nation arguing that the Asian giant only sought
access to markets and raw materials for its booming economy.

††††† President Hu Jintao met Zimbabwe's veteran leader Robert Mugabe in
Beijing on Monday were he affirmed China's friendship with the former
British colony, which has been isolated by Western powers over charges of
rigging elections and alleged human rights violations.

††††† "Developing friendly relations between China and Zimbabwe is an
unshakeable policy," Hu was quoted as saying after meeting Mugabe.

††††† Hu said he wanted to develop "agriculture, telecommunications and
infrastructure" ties with Zimbabwe.

††††† But analysts are sceptical over China's intentions noting that
although relations with the Asian country stretch back a long way, Zimbabwe
has nothing to show for it.

††††† "It is understandable that with frosty relations with the West,
Zimbabwe seeks alternative economic partners but the big question is what
have we benefited or what will we benefit from them," James Jowa, a
Harare-based economist said.

††††† "To date there is very little to point to, which we can really say
this is a benefit from our strong ties with China," he added.

††††† The analysts say China is seeking a foothold in Zimbabwe's key mining
sector, particularly to mine the African country's huge platinum and uranium
deposits Beijing needs to keep fuelling its rapidly expanding economy.

††††† China, which is looking increasingly to Africa for raw materials to
fuel its economic boom, has been paying particular attention to Zimbabwe,
selling Mugabe's government fighter aircraft and agreeing to a number of
business deals.

††††† China's critics say the country has cast a blind eye to Mugabe's human
rights record in its bid to gain access to raw materials.

††††† Mugabe's government, which describes Beijing as an "all-weather
†friend", has in the past signed dozens of memoranda of understanding but
very few have yielded tangible results.

††††† The only visibly successful deals are those where Zimbabwe is given
small loans to import goods from China.

††††† Analysts say Zimbabwe needs foreign direct investment as it does not
have capacity to repay foreign lenders.

††††† They pointed to the national army which recently said it had fallen
behind in its loan repayment for trainer jets supplied by China last year.

††††† "When you look around us in the region that is countries like Angola,
Mozambique and Zambia the Chinese have invested heavily there," Eldred
Masunungure, chairman of the University of Zimbabwe's political science
department said.

††††† "When one compares that with Zimbabwe, there is a feeling that China
does not see us a strategic economic partner but rather a market for its
products or a source of raw materials," Masunungure added.

††††† But Mugabe's government believes the Chinese are beginning to come
through with help and have referred to a US$200 million agro-facility deal
secured by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe recently. This was Zimbabwe's
largest foreign loan in years.

††††† Critics say President Robert Mugabe has plunged Zimbabwe into disaster
with controversial policies that have led to an eight-year economic
recession and isolated his government from former Western donors, prompting
it to scramble for aid from the East.

††††† The crisis has left Zimbabwe with severe foreign currency shortages
and the world's highest inflation rate at more than 1,000 percent, keeping
the local dollar a pariah on international markets.

††††† Mugabe has cultivated relations with Asian countries as part of a
so-called "Look-East" policy since many western countries imposed sanctions
on his government four years ago.

††††† It was not immediately clear whether Zimbabwe signed any deals during
the weekend Africa-China summit which saw China signing US$1.9-billion in
trade deals. China also promised aid and debt relief to African countries
and increased trade with the world's poorest continent in the coming
years. - ZimOnline


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Man gets three months for insulting Mugabe

Zim Online

Wednesday 08 November 2006

††††††††††† A ZIMBABWEAN man has been slapped with a three-month jail term
for insulting Mugabe
††††† GWANDA - A Zimbabwean man was last Thursday slapped with a three-month
jail sentence for insulting President Robert Mugabe.

††††† The magistrate's court in the southern Gwanda town however wholly
suspended the jail term on condition that the man, Bassanio Chikwiriri, does
not commit a similar offence for five years.

††††† Chikwiriri was arrested last year at a nightclub in Gwanda after he
allegedly called Mugabe an autocratic leader who had single-handedly
destroyed Zimbabwe.

††††† He was charged under the tough Public Order and Security Act (POSA)
which makes it an offence to denigrate Mugabe.

††††† Chikwiriri had denied insulting Mugabe saying he was being framed as
punishment for refusing to take part in a government home building exercise
for victims of last year's clean-up operation - a plea rejected by the
court.

††††† Several Zimbabweans have been arrested, beaten up and tortured by
state security agents for denigrating Mugabe, held by many in the southern
African country as directly responsible for the collapse of its once
brilliant economy.

††††† While ordinary Zimbabweans have to face the wrath of the police, army
and secret service agents if caught insulting Mugabe, journalists face up to
20 years in jail if convicted of denigrating the 82-year old President in
their articles.

††††† A grinding economic crisis that has seen inflation shooting beyond 1
000 percent and caused shortages of food, fuel, electricity, essential
medicines and just about every basic survival commodity has seen Mugabe -
once revered as founder of the nation - become an object of hate.

††††† Meanwhile, another man in the eastern town of Rusape was luckier when
a court cleared him of charges of putting Mugabe's name into "disesteem or
disrepute" after he held a one-man demonstration near the farming town
urging the President to resign.

††††† Charles Zinyembe, a known activist of the main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change party, in March this year paraded around at a shopping
centre in rural Makoni East constituency, about 200 km east of Harare,
brandishing a huge banner inscribed "Mugabe must go".

††††† He was arrested by the police and charged under a section of POSA that
makes it a criminal offence to criticise the President or put his name into
"disesteem or disrepute."

††††† But a magistrate's court on Monday agreed with submissions made by
Zinyembe's lawyer that the name Mugabe did not specifically refer to the
President.

††††† The court ruled that the banner could have referred to anyone with the
name Mugabe but who was not necessarily the Head of State. - ZimOnline


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Botswana hunts down illegal Zim immigrants

Zim Online

Wednesday 08 November 2006

††††† GABORONE - The newspapers here in Botswana simply call them aliens but
the locals call them "makwerekwere", a highly contemptuous term.

††††† Last week, the "makwerekweres" or immigrants from Zimbabwe were at the
receiving end of a vicious campaign by the Botswana authorities to weed out
illegal immigrants from their troubled northern neighbour.

††††† The crackdown caught the huge band of Zimbabweans in Botswana by
surprise because of its sheer intensity and scope.

††††† There are thousands of Zimbabweans staying illegally in Botswana after
fleeing a debilitating seven-year old economic crisis at home, critics blame
on mismanagement by that country's President Robert Mugabe.

††††† Several Zimbabweans who spoke to ZimOnline last week had sad tales to
tell following the military-style door-to-door crackdown by heavily armed
teams of police and soldiers.

††††† "I woke up to shouts and an impatient knock on the door only to
discover a few minutes later that the whole neighbourhood was under siege,"
said Henderson Masuku.

††††† Masuku, a Zimbabwean national resident in Ledumadumane suburb in the
capital Gaborone, said the soldiers were kicking down doors and demanding
identity cards and passports from people.

††††† "Hundreds of illegal immigrants were arrested together with many
others who had their papers in order simply because the officers believed
that the stamps on their passports or permits were forged.

††††† "A lot of people could only watch as their travel documents were torn
up and trashed," said Masuku, who was still visibly in a state of shock.

††††† Another Zimbabwean illegal immigrant, Tracy Chikomo, said she was also
deported during the crackdown but was back in the country after bribing some
immigration officers at the border.

††††† "The police are now flushing out Zimbabweans wherever they can find
them. They say we are all over the country now, so not one inch of ground
should be spared in the raids," said Chikomo.

††††† The Botswana authorities have however described last week's operation
in glowing terms saying they had managed to flush out over 6 000 illegal
immigrants from Zimbabwe.

††††† "The operation was a huge success because we managed to flush out many
illegal immigrants. We know that the Zimbabweans feel bad about the raids.

††††† "But they must know that as the police, we have no problem with them
as long as they enter the country legally and have valid work permits," said
Godfrey Ditshipi, a senior police officer in Francistown.

††††† Ditshipi said they were deporting an average of 400 Zimbabweans every
week from mostly northern towns and cattle farms, known as cattle posts here
and where immigrants work as cheap labour herding cattle and goats.

††††† "We always try to do our best to prevent them from coming back, but
they still do so in larger numbers than before.

††††† "We understand there are many factors forcing these people to leave
their country, but they have to do so legally. But the clean-up operation
will continue," said Ditshipi.

††††† But not everyone in Botswana is happy over the methods used to flush
out illegal Zimbabwean immigrants.

††††† For example Kiki Raletobana, a local who lives in the second largest
city of Francistown, described the crackdown on illegal immigrants as
arrogant and high-handed.

††††† Said Raletobana: "While it is the duty of the police to weed out
illegal immigrants, we do not understand why they have to wake up the whole
country to search for people they can find in the streets at any given time.

††††† "The soldiers displayed such raw arrogance that as homeowners we were
left wondering if this country had come under military rule.

††††† "We also wonder if unarmed illegal immigrants are so dangerous that
the security forces had to brandish firearms as if they were hunting down
rogue animals."

††††† As for the immigrants themselves, they feel hard done by Botswana
President Festus Mogae and other regional leaders they accuse of only being
good at expelling them from their countries but doing little to pressure
Mugabe to end an economic meltdown behind the exodus of Zimbabweans into
neighbouring countries and beyond.

††††† "Our neighbours will not even say a single word against Mugabe but
when we flee the economic hardships caused by his policies they chase us
from their countries," said a man who would only identify himself as Joseph
and who claimed to have deserted from the Zimbabwe army to come to Botswana
to look for a better paying job as a private security guard.

††††† And to understand Joseph's point, one only needs to recall the words
of Botswana Foreign Affairs Minister General Mompati Merafhe.

††††† In a briefing to journalists weeks ago, Merafhe said although there
were problems in Zimbabwe, Gaborone was more concerned about the crisis in
far off Darfur in Sudan because there, people were dying.

††††† He said: "There is no human carnage in Zimbabwe but people are being
killed in Darfur. We must make a distinction between the two situations. In
Zimbabwe, the politics are not right, but the situation cannot be compared
to that of Sudan."

††††† Perhaps Joseph and his fellow "makwerekwere" will have to drop dead
because of hunger for Merafhe and other regional foreign policy chiefs to
hear their cries for help. - ZimOnline


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Group wants Mugabe charged with crimes against humanity

Zim Online

Wednesday 08 November 2006

††††† JOHANNESBURG - A Pretoria-based Zimbabwean civic group says it is
persuading the Canadian government to charge President Robert Mugabe with
crimes against humanity.

††††† Gabriel Shumba, who is the executive director of the Zimbabwe Exiles
Forum (ZEF), is in Canada where he is meeting MPs and senior justice
department officials to press them to act against Mugabe.

††††† The latest push to have Mugabe tried for human rights abuses comes a
few days after an Iraqi court sentenced deposed strongman Saddam Hussein to
death for crimes against humanity.

††††† Saddam is appealing against the ruling.

††††† Shumba said Mugabe was directly responsible for the murder of about 20
000 people from the minority Ndebele ethnic group in the early 1980s.

††††† "There is enough evidence to convict Mugabe on torture and other
crimes against humanity. Over 20 000 people died at the hands of an army he
(Mugabe) was the commander-in-chief in Matebeleland during the 1980s.

††††† "Right now he is on a crusade to crush through torture and violence
any dissent against him.

††††† "Canada has universal jurisdiction and international laws that can be
used towards the possible prosecution of those who are committing widespread
atrocities in Zimbabwe ," said Shumba who himself fled Zimbabwe after he was
tortured by state security agents about five years ago.

††††† In an earlier statement, Shumba said the conviction of Saddam was a
warning to Mugabe that he will be made to account for the crimes his
government had committed against political opponents.

††††† "Heads of State can now not claim immunity for crimes committed while
they are in office, and President Robert Mugabe and others should be
†warned," said Shumba.

††††† State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa, a close Mugabe ally, however
dismissed Shumba's warning saying any attempts to drag Mugabe to an
international court would fail.

††††† "We have heard about this boy going to Canada begging them to arrest
our leader. That is what donor money does to these young boys. We can only
feel pity for them because the whole world is behind Comrade Mugabe," he
said. - ZimOnline


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Court in Zimbabwe halts government plans to take control of international phone services

International Herald Tribune

The Associated PressPublished: November 7, 2006

HARARE, Zimbabwe: The High Court in Zimbabwe halted government plans to take
control of all international telephone traffic by allowing an appeal by two
private mobile phone operators, lawyers for the operators said Tuesday.

In a government decree, cell phone network providers Econet Wireless and
Telecel Zimbabwe, both Zimbabwean companies, were ordered to shut down their
own international satellite links and divert their traffic through the state
telephone company on Nov. 1.

But Judge Rita Makarau set aside the decree at a hearing in Harare to allow
the private companies to lodge an appeal to the nation's highest court, the
Supreme Court, on constitutional grounds, said attorney Beatrice Mtetwa.

The network providers were given 14 days to submit appeal papers to the
Supreme Court, she said.

Attorneys for the state and the official Posts and Telecommunications
Authority argued international call charges payable in hard currency by the
private companies needed to be regulated to deter possible illegal money
changing and "leakages" of hard currency onto the thriving black market
outside the official rate of 250 Zimbabwe dollars to US$1.
They denied it was a ploy to monitor international calls. Parliament in
Harare is still debating ruling party-proposed laws to allow authorities to
intercept Internet and e-mail traffic on security grounds.

In 1998, the Supreme Court struck down a long-established government
monopoly on phone and telecommunications services on grounds the monopoly
was in breach of constitutional rights on free enterprise and freedom of
communication. That ruling led to the licensing of the private companies to
launch services in competition to the state phone monopoly.


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Victory for WOZA again as Bulawayo activists acquitted



††††† By Violet Gonda
††††† 7 November 2006

††††† 152 members of the pressure group Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) were
acquitted by a Bulawayo magistrate on Tuesday. This is the fourth court
victory in less than two months and the eighth time that the state has
failed to convict the women since 2003. They have never been convicted.

††††† WOZA said in a statement that the activists "including 30 members of
Men of Zimbabwe Arise, walked away celebrating this morning after the State,
represented by Prosecutor Mr Manata, withdrew the charges before plea citing
lack of evidence to support the case."

††††† The members were facing charges for their participation in a
demonstration against Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono's Operation Sunrise
(the slashing of zeroes) in August. They were being charged under the
draconian Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for 'participating in a
public gathering with the intent to cause public disorder, breach of peace
or bigotry'.

††††† The WOZA leadership declared in a statement that it's a victory for
economic reforms: "By the withdrawing of charges against us, we take it that
it is a confirmation that Gono has a case to answer. We marched to demand
economic reforms not just a slashing of zeroes and we have been vindicated.
You cannot criminalize the speaking of the truth. So we say once again to
Gideon Gono - if you want to be a hero you must slash more than a zero!"

††††† SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news


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Farmers' organization skeptical about government's 99-year leases



††††† By Tererai Karimakwenda
††††† 07 November 2006

††††† The State controlled media outlets reported Saturday that the
government will begin to issue 99-year land leases to resettled black
farmers under the new fast track land reform scheme. According to The Herald
newspaper Robert Mugabe will preside over the festivities at a special
ceremony Thursday where the first of these 99-year leases will be issued.

††††† The government says the idea is to give security of tenure to the
so-called A2 farmers. But Justice for Agriculture (JAG), which represents
evicted white farmers, say this appears to be a scheme to raise much needed
funds for agriculture, and it may only benefit those who are politically
correct and political chefs. John Worsley Worswick of JAG said it is
unlikely that white farmers who have been encouraged to apply will receive
any offer letters.

††††† Worswick said the latest information they have is that the government
cannot issue a legal document on property that has been downsized. This
means only those who are still occupying entire farms that were not
sub-divided are eligible, "..and we all know the only people who still have
their whole farms are those who are politically correct and political
†chefs," said Worswick.

††††† Commercial farmers in Zimbabwe have been finding it extremely
difficult to raise capital for their operations because there was no
guarantee that they would still be on their land come harvest time or the
following season. The remaining white farmers are also still under pressure
to vacate their properties. Worswick believes the new security of tenure
scheme is simply a government ploy to open up channels of financing and
attract investors. He said a new tenure system "cannot be born out of a huge
illegality." The government evicted white farmers on shaky legal foundations
and a very small number of them have been compensated for their loss.

††††† The way Worswick sees it, the government's intention is to drive off
the remaining farmers and pass new, pending legislation, which will remove
all loopholes for white farmers.

††††† SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news


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SA to go Zim style on land issue-analysts



††††† November 7, 2006

††††† By Savious Kwinika (CAJ)

††††† SOUTH Africa is on an open war path with land owners as it has emerged
that the government is most likely to resolve the land issue the "Zim
Style". Many South African officials have been in the past making public
statements that the government may broaden land seizures in order to boost
black land ownership .

††††† Vast tracts of land in South Africa are in the hands of white owners
and the government has always made it known that historical land imbalances
need to be corrected. But the official diplomatic stance by the government
of South Africa is of denial that the government is considering any
Zimbabwe-style land grabs. "Where circumstances require the state to
expropriate for land redistribution it will do so," the Land Affairs
department said in a statement. Thus far expropriation has only been used in
cases of land restitution -- where the government seeks to buy back
white-owned land that was taken from blacks under apartheid, and where
landowners and officials fail to agree on a price for the government to
purchase it.

††††† The Land Department has always indicated that land reform apart from
restitution also included redistribution and tenure. " ... Expropriation
cannot be confined to land restitution which is but one element of land
reform," said a statement from the Land Department that cites the SA
constitution. The broadening expropriations to cover land redistribution
could put many more white-owned farms at risk of seizure.

††††† Critics say South Africa has been far too slow in restoring property
rights taken from blacks under white rule, which has been one of the central
policies of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) since it swept to
power in 1994. South Africa has always used the market-driven approach to
land reform and the various media articles have indicated that

††††† SA would like to abandon this approach, something that has not been
well-received by the government officials.† A South Africa farming magazine
cited leaked documents that mooted a "Zimbabwean model" to speed up the
process. This would mean farmers have to offer the government right of first
refusal before they can sell their land.† Should farmers turn down an offer
from authorities, they forfeit the right to sell on the open market. The
department disputed the contents of the article but said "internal
discussion documents" had been aired at a recent meeting.

††††† The Land Department also said the leaked document was "outdated". "
... There is no mention of the term 'Zimbabwean model' in any of the draft
internal discussion documents on the issues mentioned in the article," said
a Land Department statement. South Africa has vowed to put a third of all
arable land in black hands by 2014 but more than 90 percent of it is still
owned by the white minority. Officials have in the past said that a review
of the willing buyer, willing seller policy was on the cards given the
sluggish pace of reform.

††††† South Africa has vowed to correct the land situation in their
country,but is keen to stress that whatever direction its policy takes, it
will avoid the confusion and turmoil that ensued in neighboring Zimbabwe.
Because of the haphazard nature of the land resettlement programme in
Zimbabwe, many white farmers fled the country after violent land grabs.

††††† -CAJ News.


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Africa Forum's lofty ideals evaporate into thin air at the mention of Zimbabwe

Comment from The Cape Times (SA), 6 November

Peter Fabricius

In principle, it's a good idea to set up a forum of former African leaders
to advance the cause of democracy and good governance in Africa. So the
establishment of the Africa Forum earlier this year should, provisionally,
be welcomed. The forum held its first substantive meeting in Johannesburg
last week. Nineteen of the 30-odd surviving former heads of state or
government attended, as well as five former heads of relevant international
organisations such as the OAU (now the African Union). The forum concluded
with the issue of a communique filled with plans for the ex-leaders to get
involved in places like Darfur, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of
Congo, to which they immediately dispatched a mission. A good idea, since
the country is balancing on a knife edge waiting for the results of the
presidential elections. The forum also expressed some very encouraging
sentiments, starting off with a commitment "to help in any way possible to
ensure the consolidation of democratic institutions in Africa". The
ex-presidents and prime ministers also promised to help all African
governments, the AU and other international organisations to promote good
governance, the rule of law, and eradication of poverty in Africa. More
assertively and critically, they promised "to condemn, in unequivocal terms,
emerging tendencies towards the suppression of opposition within African
states, the deprivation of human rights, neglect of the rule of law,
mistreatment and/or arresting of journalists, suppression and muzzling of
the media, partiality of the judiciary, security forces and electoral
commissions in any part of Africa". And, after commending some governments
for fighting corruption, they resolved "to denigrate ¬. visible instances of
the resurgence of this cankerworm in some African states."

Most encouragingly, they resolved "to solemnly hold ourselves out to provide
a high moral ground where elder statesmen in Africa can stand up and be
counted for condemning serious economic and social perversions plaguing our
continent". The perceptive reader may have been a little concerned about
this last-mentioned commitment, because of the absence of the word
"political" among the "perversions" which the ex-heads promised to condemn.
Nevertheless, they had already made clear that they would condemn the
"suppression of opposition", "deprivation of human rights", "muzzling of the
media", "partiality of the judiciary". These phrases seemed to describe
pretty accurately what's going on in Zimbabwe, and so it was not surprising
that a television journalist asked at a press conference after their
meeting, whether, apart from the DRC etc, they had also perhaps discussed
Zimbabwe. This prompted a flurry of prevarications from which one could
extract only one definite conclusion - Zimbabwe had not been discussed.
Former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano, the forum's chairman, muttered
something about Zimbabwe being a very complex issue. Former Commonwealth
secretary-general Emeka Anyaoku said that the Southern African Development
Community had concluded there were no human rights violations in Zimbabwe.
So at that moment, in a single puff, all those fine and encouraging
sentiments in the communique just evaporated into that place in the
stratosphere where so many of the commitments of Africa's leaders to
democracy and human rights reside.

At the start of the Africa Forum's meeting, President Thabo Mbeki had
addressed the leaders and praised their intentions of applying their
"reservoir of expertise and experience" - as Chissano had put it - to help
solve Africa's problems. He even promised to persuade the African Union to
assemble a committee of serving heads of government to help raise funds for
the forum, which is apparently a bit short of cash. But, judging by the
revelation about Zimbabwe, the ex-leaders are simply going to be an AU
old-boys club, no more courageous about tackling Africa's real problems than
the current leaders are. If I were a potential donor, I would say, before I
give you a cent, prove to me that you are not just a bunch of leaders
suffering from summit-withdrawal symptoms now that you are no longer in
power.


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Doctors protest condition of health system



[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

BULAWAYO, 7 Nov 2006 (IRIN/PLUSNEWS) - Doctors in Zimbabwe's second city,
Bulawayo, have gone on strike to protest against deteriorating health
services characterised by widespread shortages of drugs, food and equipment.

The stayaway, which started on Monday, is expected to spread to other parts
of the country during the course of the week.

"It has become very difficult to work with basically nothing to use in all
departments; it is disappointing to watch patients deteriorating in a
hospital, as no help can be given to them," medical practitioners at the
city's two main referral centres, Mpilo Central Hospital and United Bulawayo
Hospitals, said in a statement.

"Doctors took an oath to save lives, and do not want to continue lying to
patients that they can do something for them when they know very well there
is nothing they can do, as the hospitals can no longer function."

The striking doctors said there was virtually nothing to administer to
patients at the two hospitals, and the situation was the same in
government-owned health institutions across the country.

Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights, an NGO, indicated in a
recent statement that the country's health facilities had "in fact become
death traps, as patients continue to die unnecessarily due to drug
shortages." In some instances hospitals had no running water.

Officials have acknowledged shortages of key drugs in the recent past.

The health delivery system has virtually collapsed in the last seven years
due to lack of foreign exchange to purchase medical requirements and a
shortage of qualified personnel, who have fled low pay and poor working
conditions for greener pastures in other countries.

Zimbabwe is going through a severe economic crisis, with serious fuel and
food shortages brought on by recurring droughts and the government's
fast-track land redistribution programme, which have disrupted agricultural
production and slashed export earnings.

Doctors in the Bulawayo hospitals were also concerned about the quality and
quantity of food being given to patients, and claimed that malnutrition was
rampant in government health institutions. At least five patients at the
Ingutsheni Hospital for the mentally challenged in Bulawayo died last month
after allegedly being diagnosed with malnutrition.

The Zimbabwean deputy health minister, Edwin Muguti, confirmed the five
deaths at the hospital, but said the authorities had yet to establish the
cause.

"There is basically no food to feed the sick, yet it is only natural that
patients need to eat for their conditions to improve. This is worrying us so
much, and we demand that government sets its priorities right and starts
working towards rebuilding the health sector," the doctors said.

There was no comment from the Zimbabwe Doctors Association, which officially
represents the country's medical practitioners.


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INTERVIEW-China "handouts" no route to success-World Bank

Reuters

Tue 7 Nov 2006 17:39:57 GMT
By Gordon Bell

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 7 (Reuters) - "Handouts" to developing countries -- such
as those China has recently pledged to Africa -- did not guarantee success
and should be viewed with concern, the World Bank's deputy head said on
Tuesday.

China, hungry for Africa's vast mineral and oil resources to fuel a
flourishing economy, boosted its presence in the world's poorest continent
this week with deals worth $1.9 billion.

China's government also offered $5 billion in loans and credit and a pledge
to double aid to Africa by 2009 in a heads-of-state summit that follows a
series of agreements this year to support poor African governments.

But Juan Jose Daboub, the World Bank's managing director, said the loans to
Africa would not necessarily bring success with history showing that
countries that did not reform, did not necessarily grow.

"Our approach is one where there is a partnership rather than handouts," he
told Reuters in an interview at the end of a seven-nation Africa tour.

"The previous 30 or 40 years show that if you play the role of just
providing handouts and not working closer with the countries in terms of
other reforms, success has a big question mark," Daboub said.

His remarks came amid growing criticism that the Chinese loans, which
seemingly come with few obligations, do little to lift poor nations out of
poverty or create long-term progress.

HUMAN RIGHTS, CORRUPTION

China, the world's fourth biggest economy and second-largest energy user,
has been signing deals and loans with Africa governments to secure oil, gas
and minerals to feed its rapidly expanding industries.

But it has come under fire from those who say it does business with
countries without regard for governance and human rights, including Zimbabwe
and Angola, which have been blasted for corruption, poor governance and a
lack of transparency.

China has replied by stating that it, unlike some countries in the West,
will not dictate to African nations on issues such as human rights.

Asked about the influence of China on the continent, Daboub said handouts
did not empower people to make their own decisions and secure long term
growth. "It should concern the countries that are accepting help that way
(without being asked a lot of questions)," he said, adding, however, that
they were sovereign states free to choose what was best for their people.

Daboub said the World Bank would press ahead with its policy of working with
poorer nations to set in place programmes and institutions to attract
investment and lift growth.

"Our approach is one where we work next to the country, we share our
experiences, we try to show by virtue of example of other countries that
certain things work," he said.

Many African countries were realising that macroeconomic and social reforms
were crucial to attract investment and alleviate poverty.

"They are realising that they need to have their house in order, that means
they need to have a good level of macroeconomic stability which can indeed
create the environment for investment to take place," he said.

But in others serious obstacles remain, including weak judiciaries,
continuing conflicts, and government intervention that sent the wrong signal
to a private sector that would otherwise be eager to invest, he said.


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Govt replaces Mugabe road plaque

The Nation, Malawi

††††† by Olivia Kumwenda, 07 November 2006 - 05:11:37
††††† Government on Saturday replaced the plaque for the Robert Mugabe
Highway after the one unveiled by the Zimbabwean President was vandalised
six months ago.
††††† This follows a government order some months ago that the plaque be
replaced.
††††† The old plaque was removed by about 30 unidentified people armed with
weapons such as pangas. They attacked two police officers who were
"patrolling" the area before they took the plaque away.
††††† Government officials could not be reached yesterday to explain what
measures they have put in place to ensure the safety of the new plaque,
which has a Malawian flag on it.
††††† But Southern Region Police public relations officer Rhoda Manjolo said
the plaque is being guarded by civilian police who are patrolling the area.
††††† "There are civilian police officers around the area, they are on their
usual patrols and looking after the plaque is just one of their duties,"
said Manjolo when further asked if the officers are there for just the
plaque.
††††† Deputy Information Minister John Bande had said in June that
government would embark on a campaign to educate the public not to vandalise
road signs.
††††† Government ordered two plaques from South Africa to replace the
vandalised one.
††††† Transport and Public Works Minister Henry Mussa said in July that
while one plaque will be put on the pillar, the other one is for the future
in case the vandalism happens again.
††††† President Bingu wa Mutharika named the road after Mugabe in May,
describing him as "a true son of Africa and hero" who deserves honour
"because of his relentless war against colonial domination, not only in
Zimbabwe but also throughout Africa and the entire world."
††††† The honour came amid resistance from the civil society organisations
which protested against the naming of the road after Mugabe because of his
bad human rights record in his country.
††††† The Zimbabwean leader officially opened the road.


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Its leadership, stupid!


††††† By Terence M Mashingaidze

††††† Introduction

††††† I think what Zimbabweans want now is not a sound economy but a
committed and well meaning leadership. Presently the country is in a
leadership deficiency mode. Everything that happens in any society is a
function of leadership. A country could be well endowed in natural resources
and human capital but with rascals at the helm people will still suffer.
Leadership paucity is Africa's bane and Zimbabwe now best exemplifies this
sorrowful phenomenon.

††††† I derive my provocative title from the wonder kid of contemporary
American politics, Bill Clinton. His famous remark, "Its the economy
†stupid!" catapulted him in 1992 to the presidency of the world's sole super
power. True to his clarion call he did not disappoint Americans. He was a
consummate politician, capable economic manager, gifted fund raiser, and an
efficient administrator, whose government had some of the best brains
America could offer. In spite of a checkered private life many Americans are
nostalgic about the Clinton days and if the constitution permitted he would
have wanted to stay, with the consent of the people of course, a bit longer
in the White House.

††††† Nearer home, though controversial to Zimbabweans in some respects,
President Thabo Mbeki is representative of this brainy leadership. He is
intellectually suave, a visionary thinker, and has assembled a capable team
of lieutenants in the form of Deputy President Pumuzile Mlambo-Ngcuka,
Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel and Central Bank Governor Tito Mboweni.
Although the historically marginalized black majority still have to benefit
from the democracy dividend the economy has been growing by at least 3, 5 %
per annum for a couple of years now. Ultimately they will benefit if the
rate of growth continues and the government remains committed in taking
those operating on the margins on board. These South African leaders engage
with and define themselves to the people. Unlike the
Fist-Shaking-Shady-Harare-Comrades they articulate also a vision for the
nation beyond their political tenure and even life times. That is
leadership.

††††† "Our Little Zimbabwe": State Management by Hypocrites.

††††† In our "little Zimbabwe" many compatriots would want to echo and put
into practice the Clintonite notion, "Its the economy stupid!" This is
understandable considering the hunger and poverty that continues to envelope
an ever increasing majority of us. United Nations agencies approximate that
at least one million four hundred Zimbabweans are in need of emergency food
aid. Unemployment is above seventy percent and we continue singing the
blues. However, the most urgent Zimbabwean preoccupation should be
leadership renewal. There could be no rain in a particular year but if there
is good leadership people will not die of hunger. Many would concur with the
view that draught is caused by unstable environmental conditions but
famine/starvation, like in Zimbabwe, is simply a case of administrative
turpitude.

††††† Those in the "governance crusade" might argue for the good governance
imperative. A fair and transparent operating environment for all our
pursuits is the prerequisite for national progress, so the argument goes.
Further, in any community bad people can not be wished away so it is better
to have some bad people in a good system than to have some good people in
bad system. I agree with this. However, you may have a fine constitution,
which is one of the indicators of good governance/system, but with a self
serving leadership the affairs of a country or organization will still be
bungled up. The recent National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) twisting of
their constitution is a strong case in point. Some thought the incumbent
chair, Dr Madhuku, was indispensable to the organization and decided to
tamper with the Assembly's constitution to achieve that perspective. At
national level the country's constitution mandates the holding of our next
Presidential election by the ides of 2008 but some ruling party
functionaries have already hinted that the election could be deferred to
2010 through constitutional manipulations. Whether that is good for
Zimbabweans or not I can not answer, the court of public opinion can best
decide.

††††† The fellows who wax indignant about territorial integrity and national
sovereignty purporting to be our leadership are simply shameless hypocrites.
Our education system is collapsing due to poor administration by ZIMSEC and
the under funding of local universities. Ironically, the ministers send
their kids to elite schools where they sit for internationally recognized
examinations. Once a certain Honourable minister threatened to withdraw his
child from a Marondera based elitist school because its authorities had
indicated that they were canceling the Cambridge University based Ordinary
Level Examinations in favour our local ZIMSEC ones. They also enroll their
children abroad into the world's most expensive universities because they
are not happy with standards in the local universities that they control. In
short in Zimbabwe we have a two-tier policy system, one for the political
elite and the other for the masses. Good policies about the leadership's kid's
education are made by their capable counterparts in the West while they
mishandle the education of our sons and daughters who live in squalor in
Senga and Nehosho ( Midlands State University), Dzivarasekwa and Highfield
( University of Zimbabwe), and Rujeko and Mucheke ( Masvingo State
University).

††††† Worse still, the ministers Look East and mastermind Zhing Zhong/Dragon
Deals only for the forsaken citizens. They buy their agricultural equipment
from the United States, a country they claim to be in an ideological war
against us. When vigilant US authorities forestall their deals the ministers
disgustingly claim that the "US is wrong because they wanted to import those
Ferguson Tractors to produce more in order to feed a starving nation." Now
who is patriotic in Zimbabwe, the workers who toil day in day out for
uneconomic wages and the economic refugees who go abroad in order to send
remittances back home or the ministers who export capital to the west? Is it
still hypothetical that ordinary folks could be more patriotic than their
leaders? Has it ever crossed your mind that bad individuals in a country
could be its leaders? We all love Zimbabwe and have the best of intentions,
I presume.

††††† It is hard to exonerate the current state leadership for causing the
general adversities that the people are going through such as food
shortages, transport blues, inflation and a collapsing health system. They
seem to believe in governance as an incessant volley of blunders. They
equate administration of national resources and assets with plunder as
evidenced by the abuse of the War Veterans Fund, the Civil Servants Housing
Scheme, the indigenization and affirmative action funds and the ongoing Land
Reform Scheme. The country is being led by elite with a scotched earth
agenda against the people, they destroy everything in their wake like a
retreating army. They have no desire whatsoever to bequeath a positive
legacy to the nation, they seem to be 'effective' surrogates of the Mobutus
of the yester era. I have always wondered if a country, organization or even
a family can be led by a people who have no desire to be remembered for good
deeds long after death.

††††† The fact that none of the major policies and "operations" in the
immediate past has been a success in terms of improving people's livelihoods
further affirms this standpoint. Though we still wallow in deprivation maybe
only Operation Sunrise/Zuvarabuda was a success because we no longer move
around with heavy wads of valueless notes. We now have powerful easier to
handle notes for buying nothing.

††††† Again, if one were to analyze the police's recent brutal treatment of
unarmed and peaceful ZCTU demonstrators the conclusion that the authorities
are increasingly turning agents of maintaining law and order into
instruments of coercion is unavoidable. The video that circulated on the
cyberspace relating to the beatings showed our police behaving like a rag
tag rebel army. The only difference was that they had uniforms and button
sticks in stead of guns.

††††† Beyond the State: What is the Leadership like?

††††† Is it only those in the highest political offices in the land who
shoulder the responsibility for national depression? I do not think so. It
is not only state controlled institutions that are suffering from the
leadership inadequacy syndrome. In analyzing the crisis many commentators
offer state centric analyses of the Zimbabwean saga. In this framework the
culprits are the government which is constituted largely of incompetent and
rapacious ZANU PF politicians. This approach has the effect of
underestimating the opposition political parties, the business community,
corporate citizens, universities and civil society's monkeyshines. To a
large extent its not the best citizens who are making it in both the
political and economic realms.

††††† In the political opposition there is a cacophony of dispute about the
way forward. Some say lets participate and others say lets withdraw from the
electoral process and all forms of engagement with ZANU PF. Frenzied
analysts eager for action argue that Morgan Tsvangirai should ratchet up the
struggle, he is not brave enough, he should mobilise the people, get into
the streets and tackle ZANU PF head on. If the MDC does not get into the
streets then, Tsvangirai has failed, is that so? Can Tsvangirai lead a
people who are too cowed to get into the streets, who are most likely to
forget him when he gets locked up? What happened when ZANU PF arrested him
soon after the "Final Push" debacle? People literally forgot him and ZANU PF
treated him like a common criminal, arraigned him to the courts unkempt, in
dirty prison garb. It was a rueful spectacle of cruelty unbefitting for
someone accused for 'political misdeeds'. Further, do you think if
Tsvangirai is arrested today he will come out of jail with the multitude of
degrees like what the ZANU leadership did in the 1960s and 70s. In as much
as I subscribe to the notion that the Zimbabwean political opposition is too
cultured I also consider it sadistic to argue that opposition figures should
get into power through prison. Why should it be so in a civilised
post-colonial nation?

††††† However, what is troubling among the opposition leadership is that
some of them appear reluctant to dislodge the ruling party from power which
should be the mandate any self respecting and serious opposition. During the
2002 Presidential election campaigns NAGG and ZAPU 2000 acted and appeared
as if they were an opposition to the apposition, the Movement for Democratic
Change. Now in the MDC events leading to the October 12 2005 fall out,
especially the Kitchen Cabinet Crisis, have an apparent regional-cum-tribal
tinge and origin. Can a nation be led by regionalists and tribalists who can
not manage and contain diversity and difference in a party?

††††† In civil society organizations some of the leadership leaves a lot to
be desired. Generally civil society as a concept entails devolution,
decentralization, accountability, collective and consensus based leadership
and policy formulation and programme implementation. Is that the case? What
does it mean when there is no transparency in an anticorruption NGO, when
there is no civility in a civic education NGO, when there is no dialogue in
a NGO that seeks to promote citizen conversations and engagements? At times
some of the NGOs behave like the government they purport to be challenging
in terms of administrative incompetence.

††††† Recently the Reserve Bank Governor, Gideon Gono, claimed that "many
economic gurus and very rich individuals" wanted him dead because of his
economic policies. Most likely these are corporate-leaders-cum-racketeers in
the black market. Yes, Gono has generated controversy through, for example,
Operation Sunrise/Zuvarabuda whose "success" was achieved at the expense
citizens' privacy and dignity. It was an offensively intrusive process
whereby ill-disciplined youth service cadres would pry and poke into cars,
bags and wallets all in the pursuit of valueless Zimbabwean dollars. The
recent Pinnacle Properties debacle adds on the Governors' repertoire of
possible shenanigans. In spite of all this I still think the Governor means
well for the greater majority. Unfortunately he is a man operating in a
political and economic framework where the political leadership seems to
believe that "effective" monetary policies are substitutes for production
and clear-headed economic management in achieving the turnaround of the
country's fortunes.

††††† Ideally one expects good leadership in universities because they are
centres of excellence by virtue of having the highest concentration of
intellectual capital in any community at any time. University education in
our country is still good but we face insurmountable challenges. Quality
delivery is being compromised due to staff shortages. Experienced staff,
PhDs and professors are leaving en mass to earn higher salaries and enjoy a
better life abroad. Foreign academics can no longer be attracted into the
country and it is a fact of life that inbreeding leads both to biological
and intellectual decline.

††††† The country's university system is too bureaucratized. We have the
Minister, the Permanent Secretary, the Council for Higher education, the
Vice Chancellors` Association and the "useless Councils" all overseeing
university operations. Therefore, are our universities being managed well?
Are the problems they are facing a result of a depressed macroeconomic
management culture or their own poor leadership? Do they follow their
strategic plans? Do they have any student-lecturer ratios? Does enrollment
tally with facilities and staff expertise? Are state university councils
still necessary, considering that staff conditions are mostly similar in all
universities? Don't we need to streamline these councils in terms of size,
mandate and expertise? Are they simply not bureaucratic burdens and rather
too big? Can a council with more than twenty-five "non experts" manage a
university effectively? I know of American universities with more than 45
000 students and annual operational budgets of over $US100 million whose
Boards of Regents are composed of twelve members. Well, there is no clear
answer to the questions I have raised but the few answers one might stumble
upon could not be so pleasing.

††††† Conclusion.

††††† There is no doubt that Zimbabwe is now a country that frustrates
honest living and promotes outright pilfers and thugs. Business wise
everyone tries to supply something without producing anything, an economy of
middlemen and speculators. The authorities seem not to be serious about
fighting the corruption scourge. Currently the so-called factions in ZANU PF
have been preparing dossiers on each other's corrupt deals. What this shows
is that each of these two camps are not prepared to weed out corruption but
rather to use the "anti-corruption crusade" to achieve favorable political
outcomes. By the way our state leadership does not have a serious record of
fighting corruption. They just establish commissions to investigate alleged
and apparent corruption cases but lack the wherewithal to prosecute and
neither do they reveal to the public the findings of those commissions. This
is what happened with the Grain Saga in the 1980s, the Sandura Commission in
the late 1980s, the NOCZIM debacle, the War Victims Compensation Fund and
now the so-called land audit crusade.

††††† Legally, let us have rule of law not rule by law, rule by might and by
individuals as is the case now. In terms of security the police, the army
and the Intelligence Services should protect the majority and not the
powerful but insecure few. Our conceptualization of security needs urgent
redefinition because it is state centric, militaristic, antiquated and
bigoted. When we grapple with the security complex we have to ask: Are the
citizens free from hunger, deprivation, want, ignorance, disease and even
domestic violence? Therefore in way Honourable Mubhawu's recent petulant
utterances in Parliament in favour of the continued marginalization of women
are in this general sense a threat to security. Whose or what security
becomes the question.

††††† Finally, this point in our history has been "the best of times for the
worst citizens" in the political, social and economic realms. In other words
life has never been so good for reprobates, even those operating outside
ZANU PF patronage. Manipulative and corrupt individuals in the upper
echelons of national governance, political parties, business and even civil
society are calling the shots. Of course I must concede that there are well
intentioned leaders in ZANU PF, the Movements for Democratic Change (MsDC)
and Civil Society but a considerable lot are simply scalawags. Citizens must
call for more accountability from their leadership in all spheres of life.

††††† Terence M Mashingaidze is an historian and academic. He can be
contacted at Mashingaidze2000@yahoo.co.uk

†††††† SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news


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Politicians in need of religion


††††† Jesuits respond to church document and the Dalai Lama adds his wisdom

††††† News: The Zimbabwe We Want: Towards a National Vision For Zimbabwe
"Christian Responses to the Crisis in Zimbabwe "

††††† Comment
††††† IS THIS THE ZIMBABWE WE WANT?
††††† Remarkably, the Catholic Bishops' Conference, the Council of Churches
and the Evangelical Fellowship produced the discussion document "The
Zimbabwe We Want" jointly. The 42-page document gives us its "vision for
Zimbabwe" in Biblical terms and in terms of Christian Social Teaching, it
speaks about democracy and human rights, about having our own constitution
and the need for consensus, the separation of powers and the rule of law,
participation and tolerance, about the value of human life and the
stewardship of creation, about the preferential option for the poor and the
care for the marginalised.
††††† But the devil is in the detail. The general principles have to be
applied to our concrete situation. The authors demand justice for the poor,
but let government get away with its fraudulent claim that it is making
"efforts to build decent houses for those who had been displaced by
Murambatsvina in an operation called Garikayi/Hlalani Kuhle" (7.2.4).
††††† They say "the separation of powers and checks and balances" (4.3.3) is
fundamental for our constitution, but fail to state openly that the
excessive powers of the executive president are the root cause of our
political and economic crisis.
††††† The document sings the praises of democracy, but fails to spell out
that the Electoral Commission must be a body independent of government and
ruling party.
††††† The prime evil of Zimbabwe is the concentration of too much power in
the hands of very few. There is no "impartiality" as long as the power to
set up this crucial commission is in the hands of one man.
††††† Zimbabwe is defined as "unity-in-diversity". Diversity includes
"political differences" (3.2.2). Fine. But there is no mention anywhere that
this country came off to a false start when it functioned for a long time as
a 'one-party-state' and is still doing so in the mind of the ruling party.
††††† The document goes along with government in calling the Land Question
"the single most emotive subject in our nation" (6.1). A whole section of
eight pages is devoted to it, plus references elsewhere. It adopts the
government phrase "the restoration of the land to its rightful owners". This
implies that whites are not 'rightful owners' whereas blacks are. "The
agrarian structure before independence was highly inequitable, largely along
racial lines" (6.1). True. And now after land redistribution? Are we not
still trapped in thinking and acting "along racial lines"?
††††† Most European farmers bought the land. They cannot be held responsible
for the sins of their forefathers. They have contributed to the common good
by productivity, by paying taxes and providing employment. There should be a
set of rules on how land should be used which bind both white and black, for
the common good. Just taking it away from whites and giving it to blacks -
any blacks - does not solve anything.
††††† But this does not make land reform impossible. Quite to the contrary.
In Christian thinking, as the document rightly points out, "land is a gift
from God"(6.1). It is given to all of us, not just to individuals. Ownership
of land is not absolute. It entails social obligations which includes
sharing it with the landless.
††††† The preoccupation both of government and this document with land is
somewhat lopsided. There is no mention of mining and industrial
manufacturing, little is said about urban unemployment, informal trade, the
brain drain and the exodus of so many, nothing about the urban housing
crisis.
††††† This document, like government, sounds as if we wanted to remain just
agriculturalists for ever. What about industrialization?
††††† Was government really driven by the 'hunger and thirst' for justice
when it unleashed the violent occupation of farms as the church leaders seem
to assume? Was it not all part of the patronage system which buys the ruling
party popular support by granting favours to the voters, in this case giving
them pieces of land?
††††† When the churches talk to government about land reform are they
talking about the same thing? There cannot be dialogue unless they make sure
they do.
††††† "In redistributing land the government was at last doing the right
thing which was long overdue, but regrettably it was done in a haphazard
manner" (1.2.7). Why give praise to government for doing the right thing in
the wrong way? Doing the right thing in the wrong way is not half right and
half wrong. It is simply wrong. Government, of course, is craving the
approval of the churches for its disastrous land policy. The Church has
spoken out on the land issue many times (see Fr Walter Nyatsanza, The
Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops on the Land Issue, 1959 - 2002). "Productive
agricultural land ..is a most precious asset which should be put to the best
possible use for the benefit of one's family, nation and even the
neighbouring countries" (no. 7, Solidarity and Service, ZCBC 1989).
Unfortunately, land became a political football.
††††† The central issue is not land, but governance and respect for the rule
of law. Once you have good governance and respect for the law questions like
land, and others like it, will be resolved. We need to overcome corruption,
have a proper legal system and strive for the common good, not the advantage
of merely one party.

††††† The section on National Reconciliation says about the Media in only
one sentence, "Our media is polarized and is not always helping our national
unity" (7.2.5). POSA and AIPPA are called "contested legislation" (4.3.4),
but are not clearly denounced as bad law. The fact is that most of the print
media and all electronic media (radio, TV) are government controlled. You
cannot put the blame for "polarization"on the small and harassed independent
media as much as on the huge and powerful government media. Unless there is
a truly free media we will not be able to have the national debate the
churches are calling for in this document.
††††† We need a free debate on a constitution that cuts power down to size,
we need to prepare for our second liberation and lay the foundation for a
new Zimbabwe .

††††† Can you think logically?
††††† When you employ a plumber and he does a good job you keep him.
††††† When he makes a mess of it you fire him.
††††† So what do you do when government makes a mess of things?

††††† Dalai Lama Quote from Snow Lion Publications

††††† I consider it very important for religion to have an influence on
politicians. Politicians need religion much more than pious people who have
withdrawn from the world need it. There is a constant increase in the
scandals in politics and business that can be traced back to the lack of
self-discipline on the part of the responsible parties. In India, the
minister-president of West Bengal once said to me with what he considered a
humble attitude that he was a politician and not a religious person. I
responded to him: politicians need religion more than anyone else.

††††† When hermits in solitude are bad persons, the result is that they harm
themselves alone and no one else. But when such influential people as
politicians are full of bad intentions, they can bring misfortune to many.
This is why religion, as continuous work on our inner maturity, is important
for political rulers.

††††† A politician must have moral principles. I am convinced of this. Seen
in this light, politics and religion belong together. In the United States,
church and state may be separate, but when the president takes office, he
makes a vow in the name of God with his hand on the Bible. This means that
God should be the witness that the president will conscientiously fulfill
his official duties.

††††† --from "Path of Wisdom, Path of Peace: A Personal Conversation" by His
Holiness the Dalai Lama, with Felizitas Von Schonborn, Foreword by Wei
Jingsheng

†††††† SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news


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2006 Corruption Perceptions Index reinforces link between poverty and corruption

Transparency International

Shows the machinery of corruption remains well-oiled, despite improved
legislation
Berlin, 06 November 2006
The 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), launched today by Transparency
International (TI), points to a strong correlation between corruption and
poverty, with a concentration of impoverished states at the bottom of the
ranking.

"Corruption traps millions in poverty," said Transparency International
Chair Huguette Labelle. "Despite a decade of progress in establishing
anti-corruption laws and regulations, today's results indicate that much
remains to be done before we see meaningful improvements in the lives of the
world's poorest citizens."

The 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index is a composite index that draws on
multiple expert opinion surveys that poll perceptions of public sector
corruption in 163 countries around the world, the greatest scope of any CPI
to date. It scores countries on a scale from zero to ten, with zero
indicating high levels of perceived corruption and ten indicating low levels
of perceived corruption.

A strong correlation between corruption and poverty is evident in the
results of the CPI 2006. Almost three-quarters of the countries in the CPI
score below five (including all low-income countries and all but two African
states) indicating that most countries in the world face serious perceived
levels of domestic corruption. Seventy-one countries - nearly half - score
below three, indicating that corruption is perceived as rampant. Haiti has
the lowest score at 1.8; Guinea, Iraq and Myanmar share the penultimate
slot, each with a score of 1.9. Finland, Iceland and New Zealand share the
top score of 9.6.

--------------------------------------

Countries with a significant worsening in perceived levels of corruption
include: Brazil, Cuba, Israel, Jordan, Laos, Seychelles, Trinidad and
Tobago, Tunisia and the United States. Countries with a significant
improvement in perceived levels of corruption include: Algeria, Czech
Republic, India, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Mauritius, Paraguay, Slovenia,
Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uruguay.

A concentration of so-called 'failed states' is apparent at the bottom of
the ranking. Iraq has sunk to second-to-last place, with pre-war survey data
no longer included in this year's CPI. Intermediaries who began operating
during the United Nations Oil-for-food programme continue to play a central
role in driving corruption. The Volcker Commission reported that 2,392
companies paid kickbacks or made other illicit payments to the Saddam
Hussein regime in the context of the programme, often through
intermediaries.

While the industrialised countries score relatively high on the CPI 2006, we
continue to see major corruption scandals in many of these countries.
Although corruption in this context may have less of an impact on poverty
and development than in developing countries, these scandals demonstrate
that there is no room for complacency.

The Facilitators

The weak performance of many countries indicates that the facilitators of
corruption continue to assist political elites to launder, store and
otherwise profit from unjustly acquired wealth, which often includes looted
state assets. The presence of willing intermediaries - who are often trained
in or who operate from leading economies -- encourages corruption; it means
the corrupt know there will be a banker, accountant, lawyer or other
specialist ready to help them generate, move or store their illicit income.

Kenya's Anglo-Leasing and related scandals presents a case in point, where
the misappropriation of public funds was enabled through fraudulent
contracts using sophisticated shell companies and bank accounts in European
and off-shore jurisdictions, according to John Githongo, Kenya's former
anti-corruption tsar. And according to TI Kenya's Kenya Bribery Index,
bribery costs Kenyans about US $1 billion each year, yet more than half live
on less than US $2 per day.

Acts of corruption involve a giver (the supply side) and a taker (the demand
side). TI advocates strong measures to curb bribery's supply side, including
the criminalisation of overseas bribery under the OECD Anti-Bribery
Convention, as well as its demand side, including disclosure of assets for
public officials and adoption of codes of conduct.

But the transaction is often enabled by professionals from many fields.
Corrupt intermediaries link givers and takers, creating an atmosphere of
mutual trust and reciprocity; they attempt to provide a legal appearance to
corrupt transactions, producing legally enforceable contracts; and they help
to ensure that scapegoats are blamed in case of detection.

"Firms and professional associations for lawyers, accountants and bankers
have a special responsibility to take stronger action against corruption,"
said Transparency International Chief Executive David Nussbaum. "Led by
prosecuting attorneys, forensic auditors and compliance officers, they can
be the stalwarts of a successful fight against corruption."

††††† Transparency International recommends:

††††† Promotion and, where necessary, adoption of corruption-specific codes
of conduct by professional associations for their members, for instance the
International Bar Association, International Compliance Association, and
professional associations for accountants,

††††† Public education to ensure that honest intermediaries better
understand their role;

††††† Legal or professional sanctions for legal, financial and accounting
professionals that enable corruption;

††††† Greater scrutiny of the role of insufficiently transparent financial
centres in facilitating corrupt transactions.

###

Transparency International is the global civil society organisation leading
the fight against corruption.


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Zimbabwean farmer wins prestigious award

SABC

November 07, 2006, 06:45

Zephaniah Maseko (79), a Zimbabwean farmer and water conservationist, has
won the prestigious 2006 National Geographic Society Buffet Award in
Washington last night for his leadership in African conservation.

Jaime Incer, a leading Nicaraguan environmentalist, is also a recipient of
the award for leadership in Latin American conservation for his work.

Maseko is the first African to be awarded this prize. Maseko is being
recognised for his innovative approaches to water conservation and soil
nutrition.

In a country that faces food shortages, Maseko's schemes have allowed
farmers in arid areas to produce abundant harvests of grain, vegetables and
fruits. He is now teaching others to follow his example. Maseko's prize
money of $25 000 makes him an instant multi-billionaire in Zimbabwe and he
says he will spend it wisely.


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Letter to Nelson Mandela

To: Nelson R. Mandela, former president of South Africa

From: Zimbabweans in New Zealand, leader4nz@paradise.net.nz , 0064-211099560

Delivered through Mac Maharaj on 7 November 2006, Auckland, New Zealand

Dear Sir,

Ref: Zimbabwe Crisis

We would like to take this rare opportunity to further impress on the South
African government the need to get more actively involved in finding a
lasting solution to the Zimbabwean crisis.

Over the past six years, Zimbabwe has degenerated socially, politically and
economically to unprecedented levels. What's most worrying is the fact that
the South African government has literally turned a blind eye on its burning
neighbour under the pretext of the infamous quiet diplomacy. Zimbabweans in
the Diaspora, just like those back home, view the South African stance as
nothing but complicity in this prodigious iniquity.

We hereby call upon and pray for your intervention as one of the great sons
of Africa, if not the greatest. We have faith and hope in the "Madiba magic".
Comments like "Zimbabwe is not South Africa's tenth province" are most
unfortunate especially as they come from some of the top leadership within
the ANC and the South African government. South Africa, as both our regional
and continental giant, cannot afford to ignore the Zimbabwean crisis. We
call upon the South African government to explicitly condemn the human
rights abuses in Zimbabwe. We challenge the South African political
leadership to start seeing the evils perpetrated by Mr. Mugabe's government
against innocent Zimbabweans and act accordingly. Thousands of Zimbabweans
are dying from starvation and curable disease whilst Mugabe clings on to
power. Some are devoured by crocodiles as they attempt to illegally cross
into South Africa!

The values of the liberation must not reside in persons but in our culture,
hope and aspirations. The disastrous and perfidious romance between the ANC
and ZANU PF has become a formidable retrogressive force within the entire
SADC region. We sincerely believe that South Africa needs an economically
strong Zimbabwe and a strong SADC rather than one gutted by civil strife and
disembowelled of its skilled people.

Once more, through you, the great son of Africa, we implore Mr. Mbeki's
government to become more practical with the situation in Zimbabwe. Those
who think they cannot do anything until Zimbabwe became a tenth province of
South Africa need to be reminded of the long journey towards the
dismantlement of apartheid. Many nations from within and without our
continent spoke and acted openly against apartheid. These are the values
your successor shouldn't be reminded of.

Without pre-empting the role of the Mandela Foundation, we would like to
believe and suggest that it be a vehicle of peace, humility, forgiveness,
democracy, human rights and candid talk, the values that made Mandela the
great man that he is.

Lastly, we wish you good health and long life so that you can continue to be
our living source of inspiration, hope, guidance and peace as we seek to
establish true democratic values in Zimbabwe and beyond.

for and on behalf of concerned Zimbabweans in New Zealand


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UNESCO censures Zambia, Zimbabwe over Victoria Falls management

Xinhua

††††† www.chinaview.cn 2006-11-07 07:53:14

††††††††† LIVINGSTONE, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is concerned that Zambia and
Zimbabwe have allegedly failed to follow laid down recommendations on the
management of the Victoria Falls as a world heritage site.

††††††††† UNESCO Commissioner Felistus Chiyanda said Monday in Livingstone,
the capital of Southern province of Zambia, that the two countries have
failed to effectively implement agreed protocols relating to the management
of the 30 km radius of the Victoria Falls, which located in Livingstone.

††††††††† Chiyanda said the two countries have particularly, failed to
control the new tourism developments around the 30 km radius.

††††††††† Speaking at a stakeholders meeting on the management of the world
heritage site she warned the two countries to reverse the trend by ensuring
that no more developments are put up in the restricted world heritage site
radius or risk having the status given to the falls withdrawn by the UN
agency.

††††††††† She said in the event of withdrawing the status, Zambia risks
losing the improved tourism inflow, hence the need to institute and
implement measures that would ensure effective management of the site.

††††††††† Chiyanda reminded the government departments involved in managing
the world heritage site of the obligation to safeguard the site against
encroachment and that they should be mindful of the repercussions for
allowing any more developments around the agreed world heritage boundaries.

††††††††† ''We have a lot of encroachers, noise pollution, and poachers
involved in contravening the guidelines on how best to manage the world
heritage site, this should come to an end,'' she said.

††††††††† She said that UNESCO was prepared to mount a vigorous campaign
internationally against Zambia or Zimbabwe as no-go areas for tourists, if
they fail to maintain the Victoria Falls site.

††††††††† '' It means there will be serious campaigns to discourage foreign
tourists from visiting Zambia as a tourism destination because the one site
that the world body thought could attract more people was mismanaged, there
is no ways after failing with one site will UNESCO consider other areas we
have applied as world sites to be approved,'' she said.

††††††††† UNESCO chairperson for cultural sub-Committee Mulenga Kapwepwe
emphasized the need for the two countries to regard the Victoria Falls as a
significant site for the global community.

††††††††† At the meeting she said at the moment, Zambia and Zimbabwe are
merely managing the site on behalf of the world and any form of violations
would be taken into account to the disadvantage of the two countries.

††††††††† ''We are currently in the intensive care unit as Zambia on this
subject, since 2002, we have failed to implement, let alone come up with
what UNESCO a world body that funds a lot of our programs wants on Victoria
Falls, we stand to lose our status and in the process the income that we so
badly want,'' Kapwepwe said.

††††††††† Meanwhile despite the overwhelming rejection of Zambian residents
from all walks of life in the area of the world famous Victoria Falls the
construction of two hotels and a golf course in Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park,
part of which is the falls is still going on.

††††††††† Citizens for a better Environment (CBE) Executive Director Peter
Sinkamba said recently that erecting the two hotels and golf course in the
park will not only affect passage of elephants from Botswana and Zimbabwe,
but also other animals in the game park.

††††††††† "There is a danger that these animals would find another corridor,
which may not be Zambia and this could ruin Zambian tourism," he said.

††††††††† Tourism in Livingstone with entire infrastructure, would be dead
without animals and that this should be everyone's concern, he said.

††††††††† Sinkamba urged the government to find another area to allow for
the building of the hotels.

††††††††† This is the second time UNESCO warned the two countries over the
falls this year. In April UNESCO warned that the falls may be downgraded and
lose its world heritage status due to environmental pollution.

††††† Editor: Gao Ying


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Civic Observer Group Cites Irregularities In Zimbabwe Rural Balloting

VOA

By Carole Gombakomba
††††† Washington
††††† 07 November 2006

A final report on Zimbabwe's recent rural council elections from the
Zimbabwe Election Support Network cites irregularities including a flawed
nomination process, unsealed ballot boxes, the exclusion of observers from
polling stations and counting rooms and a "disturbing" number of voters
turned away on arbitrary grounds.

The nongovernmental organization said polling was mostly peaceful and calm
in the eight provinces where it was able to deploy approximately 500
observers.

But ZESN noted that at least 454 candidates of the ruling ZANU-PF party took
seats unopposed because candidates of opposition parties, in particular the
Movement for Democratic Change in its two factions, were disqualified on
arbitrary grounds - for instance, presenting a passport instead of a
national identification card.

"ZESN is deeply concerned at the numerous bottlenecks that make
participation in elections either as a candidate or a voter extremely
difficult," the report said, calling on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to
standardize and simplify requirements.

Reached for comment, Electoral Commission Chairman George Chiweshe said he
had not yet seen the report thus could not comment. He said his commission
is working on its own report, which will remain confidential until it is
tabled in parliament.

ZESN Chairman Reginald Matchaba-Hove told reporter Carole Gombakomba of
VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that while his organization fielded only 500
observers - it put thousands in the field during the 2005 general election -
the group's observations indicate that more needs to be done to ensure
elections are free and fair.


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Zimbabwe's Fractured Opposition Moves To Open Unity Discussions

VOA

By Blessing Zulu
††††† Washington
††††† 07 November 2006

The two rival factions of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic
Change are expected to open reunification talks next week, MDC sources said.
Executive councils of the two factions met separately on Saturday and
approved reconciliation efforts.

But opposition sources said discussions inside both factions were heated
with some officials arguing that it would not be possible to patch up
intra-party differences after a year spent staking out political turf,
poaching members and exchanging barbs.

Nonetheless, the two factions have designated negotiators to pursue the
talks.

Representing the faction of MDC founding president Morgan Tsvangirai are
Samuel Sipepa Nkomo - a top official for both Matabeleland provinces -
policy chief Eddie Cross, women's chair Lucia Matibenga and legal secretary
Innocent Gonese.

The Arthur Mutambara faction will be represented by Welshman Ncube, the
faction's secretary general, deputy secretary general Priscilla
Misihairambwi Mushonga and elections director Paul Themba-Nyathi, sources in
the faction said.

Insiders said the leaderships of both factions had realized that a divided
opposition would stand no chance against the ruling ZANU-PF party in the
presidential election due to be held in 2008 when President Robert Mugabe's
term expires. Also, the financial resources of both factions were strained
by recent rural elections.

The cleavage in the Movement for Democratic Change dates to October 2005
when a contentious vote was held on whether to contest November 2005 senate
elections. Its outcome was disputed and the two factions went their own
ways. The Tsvangirai faction boycotted the elections while Mutambara's
faction took several seats.

The episode also brought long-simmering personal rivalries to the surface.

Mutambara faction spokesman Gabriel Chaibva told reporter Blessing Zulu of
VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that it is time the opposition pulled itself
together. Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the Tsvangirai faction said unity has
always been a goal.

Senior analyst Sydney Masamvu of the International Crisis Group in Pretoria,
South Africa, said a divided MDC stands no chance against the ruling ZANU-PF
party.


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JAG Open Letter Forum No.454


Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to
jag@mango.zw with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Letter 1 - Prudence

Dear JAG

One of the saddest things that have happened in Zimbabwe over the last few
years is how far we have driven ourselves apart.

The Herley letter exposes one division - those who live here and those who
don't.† We also have urban against rural, farmers who 'dealt with the enemy'
and those who didn't, black against white, those with access to forex and
those without.† The list is endless.

But hokoyo!† It's called divide and rule and it's how the British were able
to rule the world for so long.

Yours,
Prudence

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Letter 2 - Mrs S Bown

Dear JAG

How easy for Mr. Herley sitting in the regulated society of New Zealand
where water comes out of taps, light appears when you flick the wall switch
and fuel is bought out of a pump at a filling station, to criticise and
advise those people left behind in Zim.

Has he ever wondered WHY they are still in Zim?† MAYBE they can't get out or
be accepted by places like New Zealand, which have specific requirements for
people they let into their country.† Maybe they are too old, have the wrong
qualifications, the wrong passport, or insufficient funds.

It's very easy to organise someone else's life from the safety of a
well-regulated country - but those here actually have to live it day by day.

So what is to happen to the rest of the Zimbos in the category of "Left
Behind"?† You want us to stop paying rates and taxes - how will we manage
when they turn off ALL the water and electricity supplies?† What will we
eat?† How will we pay for food and education of our Zimbo born children?
It's fine to urge people on to demonstrations but Mr. Herley isn't the one
going to be shot, beaten-up, jailed and maybe even killed.† Mr. Herley's
family are safe and cared for - what about the family of the jailed or
killed Zimbo?

What we need, Mr Herley, is a substantial fund donated by all those
like-minded people as yourself, from which the "Left Behinds" can be
supported if their breadwinner is put away for a period of time, or dies.
Perhaps then some people might become a little braver. I would recommend you
start up just such a fund and donate generously to it every month. There
are plenty of people already in need of such a fund.† That would be much
more practical than giving spurious advice from a safe haven where the
consequences of your advice will not affect you or your family.

These are REAL considerations.

Mrs. S. Bown

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Letter 3

Dear JAG

I know how little the situation of Zimbabwe figures in the world forum. Even
to my own family, including members born and brought up here, I am
castigated for sending reports of the good things that I and others still
enjoy here.† When I tell of the atrocities, am I ignored?† Without doubt, we
all
have the same or better lives than the people who live in other African
countries, so those countries think we are mad to complain, and envy us?
Envy is the biggest evil which
bedevils Zimbabwe by:

a) The people outside who live in tiny houses or flats and work or travel
for most of their day.
b) The people here who have seen, or do see, others having more than they
have and use the breakdown of proper law and order to get what they want.
c) The people who have left or are leaving.
d) The countries surrounding us, whose background makes them unable to
register that our situation now is the one they perceived it was before -
but now the government is black not white.
e) The residents of the world, who have no comprehension of the evil, which
changes our beautiful country.

Zimbabwe is a beautiful country.† Zimbabwe has beautiful people.

>From a resident of Africa.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Letter 4 - Cathy Buckle

Dear Family and Friends

The first week of November 2006 has been the hottest that many people can
remember. As I make notes for this letter it is 35 degrees Celsius at midday
in Marondera - normally a cooler part of the country.†† The forecast is for
temperatures to top 38*C in Kwekwe today and 43*C in Kariba. When it is hot
like this it is hard to pay attention to anything but some things do manage
to cause a slight stir of interest.† Headline business news in the South
African media one day this week was: "Zimbabwe is holding back the whole
continent and is an island of decline." A sentence like that is cause for
great embarrassment to us but it also brings slight relief. It means
that our fanatically diplomatic neighbours are finally starting to be
publicly outspoken about us - it really is about time.

Also causing a stir of air in the scorching heat this week has been the
launch of a vision document by a group of Church leaders. Called "The
Zimbabwe We Want", the Church leaders say that the nation is "sliding into a
sense of national despair and loss of hope."† They say that principles of
peace, justice, forgiveness and honesty have degenerated and that even some
Church leaders have "become accomplices in some of the evils that have
brought our nation to this." The document apparently calls for a new
constitution, for the repeal of repressive media and security laws (POSA and
AIPPA) and for an independent land commission to bring sense and
productivity back to agriculture in Zimbabwe.

The voices of local church leaders, along with the voices of our neighbours,
raised the temperature a little more although I don't think either said
anything about last weekend's rural council elections.

At the beginning of the week I met a man with a bright purple stain on his
little finger. "I've been to vote" he said, his voice filled with pride but
his face creased with despair. I asked him how it had been out there at the
rural polling stations in the dusty villages. The man shook his head slowly,
exhaled loudly. "At least now we will get the seed," he said. He told me
that two weeks before the elections donors had come with seed maize to the
village. The seed had not been given out though; the village heads were
waiting till 'after the elections.' Similar findings were made by the ZESN,
an electoral monitoring body, who said: "residents were told that if the
election outcome was not favourable to ZANU-PF the price [of the
state-subsidised maize] would be increased." Official figures of voter
turnout had not been released by the end of the week but in the Kadoma
mayoral elections, held concurrently with rural district elections, the
voter turnout was diabolical - just 9% (NINE PERCENT!) of registered voters
had bothered.

Also, completely un-noticed by the state media in the sweltering heat this
week was a protest held by members of the National Constitutional Assembly
in Harare. 250 people were rounded up and arrested by baton wielding police.
There were many reports of people being beaten up. Chairman
Lovemore Madhuku and two others were still being held days later.

It is hard to see light in such dark news from Zimbabwe but small things
give relief - the voices of a million crickets that fill the night air; the
calling of the cicadas clinging to Msasa trees during the hot days and the
glimpses of a gorgeous plum coloured starling in the new canopies shading
our gardens. Such beauty in such harshness.† Because of this, and for this,
we still have hope.

Until next week, love cathy. Copyright cathy buckle
4th November 2006. http:/africantears.netfirms.com
My books: "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are available from:
orders@africabookcentre.com

†--------------------------------------------------------------------------
All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions of
the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice for
Agriculture.

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