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

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Washington Dispatch
 Evil Endures

Exclusive commentary by Martin Kelly

Apr 22, 2003

While we celebrate the Iraqi people being free, we ignore the actions of
Africa's most brutal fascist, Robert Gabriel Mugabe. A product of Karl Marx
and the Society of Jesus, Mugabe's people starve in the streets for want of
food that their country could grow in abundance, in the pursuit of his
racist and political pogroms. He must be tackled, for although he does not
directly threaten the security of his neighbours his actions are a
humanitarian affront, and the Western elites are too frightened to tackle
him, as he has an unbeatable weapon on his side - the colour of his skin.

The fiasco of modern Zimbabwe can be traced back to the semi-apartheid
regime of Iain Smith. Smith, a one-eyed former Battle of Britain fighter
ace, was Prime Minister of Rhodesia in 1965. The British Government was
remarkably reluctant to let what Harold Macmillan called 'the winds of
change' to touch Rhodesia, and in his frustration Smith made a unilateral
declaration of independence. From 1965 until 1980, Smith maintained power
with an iron grip, leading the country through a bloody and vicious bush war
where his principal opponents were Mugabe's Zanu -PF (The Patriotic Front)
and Joshua Nkomo's ZIPRA.

Under Smith, blacks did not have full enfranchisement. They did not have the
same civil rights, although the degree of their social exclusion was
markedly more favourable than in South Africa. However, under Iain Smith
nobody, absolutely nobody, starved.

Even though Mugabe engaged him in a conflict that took tens of thousands of
lives and in which the Soviet Union had a degree of influence, Smith always
made food available for all Rhodesians. Food management was a critical part
of his administration. The Rhodesian staple food of 'mealy-meal', a maize
product, was always available. Smith did not ever see fit to use hunger as a
weapon, even when his country was undergoing extremely rigorous UN

In 1979, Margaret Thatcher came to power in Britain, and the Lancaster House
Agreement was born. Lancaster House guaranteed the independence of Rhodesia,
changing its name to Zimbabwe, and passing over power to black majority
rule. The black terrorist opposition, Zanu and ZIPRA, were formed on tribal
lines, Zanu being Shona and ZIPRA Matabele. The first elections were held in
1980, with Mugabe's Shona majority voting him into the office he has held

The political situation deteriorated almost immediately. Within two years,
Mugabe made clear his intention to dismantle Lancaster House and re-mould
Zimbabwe as a one party state. One of the first steps along this path was
the elimination of his tribal opponents, the Matabele.

Between 1980 and 1984, the Mugabe-controlled, Shona majority Zimbabwean Army
murdered 30,000 Matabele tribespeople in a genocide which is one of the
least discussed, least mentioned continuous massacres in African history.
Mugabe made it his business to wipe the Matabele off the map, and to this
end he brought in North Korean military advisers. The disciples of Kim
Il-Jung fell to this bloody work with a dreadful relish.

By now, of course, politically the gloves were off. Lancaster House had
preserved the rights of the white minority, many of whom were second and
third generation farmers who were also able to claim British citizenship.
From the mid-'80's onwards, Mugabe has scapegoated the whites as being the
cause of Zimbabwe's woes, which has peaked in the disgusting campaign of
harassment, beatings, rapes and murders which now are synonymous with a
country whose citizens are the most educated in Africa, and whose land is
some of the most productive anywhere on the planet. He has stated that it
his aim to re-distribute Zimbabwe's land to the Zimbabweans, and if you're
white you're not a Zimbabwean.

Mugabe's hatred doe not apply solely to issues of race or politics. His is
the most brutally homophobic regime in the world after Saudi Arabia. Gay men
are frequently described as 'pigs' and being responsible for the spread of
AIDS. Gays are regularly tortured and mutilated for no reason other than
their orientation.

Zimbabwe's white farmers have fled, been dispossessed or murdered. This has
collapsed the whole of the economy. Zimbabwe has no industry other than food
exports. It does not have the mineral advantages of its neighbours South
Africa, Zambia, The Congo and Botswana. Although a small proportion of the
whole population, white farmers were far and away the country's largest
employers. Their evictions, usually by drunken teenage Zanu thugs pretending
to be 'war veterans', have put tens of thousands of black Zimbabwean farm
workers out of work.

Most of these farmers have tried to invoke their British citizenship and
come to Britain. They have found the politically correct government of Tony
Blair, terrified of criticising a black man, most unwelcoming and
obstructive of their efforts to resettle. Many of them, who have vast
experience in working large estates, are in a red-tape tangle over work
permits, while Taliban are claiming asylum.

From his neighbours there is silence. Not one word of criticism of Robert
Mugabe has ever come from the mouth of Nelson Mandela. Not one word of
criticism ever came from the mouths of Zambian Presidents Kenneth Kaunda and
Frederick Chiluba, himself a rapist of his Treasury. Only recently, Thabo
Mbeki has recently issued a qualified and guarded criticism of Mugabe,
something like ' You really could do better, old chap'. It shows that, like
Slobodan Milosevic and the Russians, ethnic instincts will always come to
the fore over issues of common decency and humanity in some places.

The USA has placed sanctions on Zimbabwe. A travel ban throughout the EU has
been imposed on members of the government, which was suspended for a week
earlier this year in order for Robert Mugabe to be a delegate at a
conference on Africa being held by -Jacques Chirac! The Western world
appears to have no political will to deal with this fascist who is intent on
killing his own people. One of the great novels of Southern Africa is Alan
Paton's 'Cry, The Beloved Country', which told the story of a clergyman who
went to Johannesburg to find his son, only to discover that he had fallen
into wicked ways. The whole of Zimbabwe is being held in the wicked way of a
vicious tyrant, whose evil endures well beyond its span. The whole country
cries - will anyone hear them?
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Financial Times

      Opponents of Mugabe dismiss resignation hint
      By Tony Hawkins in Harare
      Published: April 22 2003 18:48 | Last Updated: April 22 2003 18:48

      Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has hinted that he might step down
"now that the land is back to its rightful owners", reviving speculation
about a South African-brokered deal to install a transitional government in

      However, opposition politicians shrugged off the president's remarks,
made on state television on Monday, as "meaningless", because he has made
several such vague predictions in the past and because his ruling Zanu-PF
party cannot agree on a successor. "The government has never been more
unpopular," said a spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC).

      "Even if it could agree on a candidate, Zanu-PF cannot risk an
election while the economy is in free fall," said a political analyst.

      If Mr Mugabe were to retire, presidential elections would have to be
called within three months. That would play into the hands of the MDC, which
has been calling for a rerun of last year's disputed presidential poll.

      That was again ruled out by Mr Mugabe during the hour-long interview
on Monday, in which he insisted that he had been legally elected, while US
President George W. Bush had not.

      Mr Mugabe also ridiculed reports suggesting that he was negotiating an
exit package and preparing to hand over power to a transitional government.

      His comments came on the eve of a three-day national strike starting
on Wednesday, called by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions. The unions
initiated the action to protest against last week's 210 per cent increase in
petrol prices, and have threatened that if they are not reduced, the
stoppage will become "indefinite".

      The strike call coincides with growing anger on the streets at the
government's failure to tackle inflation of 228 per cent, serious fuel and
food shortages and widespread disruption of industry.

      Should the fresh industrial action be as well supported as last
month's successful two-day national strike, it will underline the
implausibility of voluntary political change at this juncture.
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Rival Rejects Mugabe's Offer to Meet
Tue April 22, 2003 02:49 PM ET
By Cris Chinaka
HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has said he
is ready to meet with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai over the country's
deepening crisis if the opposition recognizes his disputed re-election in
March last year.

But Tsvangirai, who is on trial on charges of plotting to assassinate Mugabe
before the election, Tuesday rejected any deal and said his Movement for
Democratic Change would press on with its challenge to the legality of
Mugabe's re-election.

Zimbabwe has plunged deeper into crisis in the past year, its widening
political rift accompanied by soaring unemployment and severe shortages of
food, fuel and foreign exchange which many blame on Mugabe's policies.

Mugabe's remarks, in an interview with state television aired Monday night,
included a rare hint at retirement when the 79-year-old president said he
wanted an open debate on the choice of his successor as head of the ruling
ZANU-PF party.

Asked whether he would meet with Tsvangirai to discuss Zimbabwe's mounting
problems, Mugabe said ZANU-PF had held talks with the opposition last year
but withdrew after it insisted Mugabe's re-election was not legitimate.

"Is Mr. Tsvangirai prepared to recognize me before I can get to meet with
him? He doesn't accept I am president of the country ... and you have to
accept the reality that Mugabe is not only the president of the party
(ZANU-PF) but of the country," he said.

"I was elected constitutionally and the election results were declared valid
by countless observer teams," he added.

Observers from South Africa, Namibia and Nigeria said the poll was
legitimate, but Commonwealth observers and a group of southern African
parliamentarians said the vote was flawed and the Commonwealth suspended
Zimbabwe as a result.

Tsvangirai, replying to Mugabe's remarks, told reporters "We have not
changed our position. We remain committed to pressing our legal challenge
which is our legal right." The Movement for Democratic Change has said in
the past it would meet with Mugabe only to discuss fresh polls.


Amid deepening economic problems, Zimbabwe's main labor movement has called
a three-day national strike starting Wednesday to protest a sharp increase
in fuel prices.

Labor officials said Tuesday that three provincial officials of the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions had been detained for several hours for
distributing flyers promoting Wednesday's strike, but were later released.

The police have declared the strike illegal, but police officials were not
available to comment on the arrests.

Last month the Movement for Democratic Change staged a two-day strike that
shut down about 80 percent of businesses and industries in one of the
biggest protests against Mugabe's rule. Hundreds of opposition members were
arrested in the security crackdown that followed.

Mugabe, in power ever since the former Rhodesia gained independence in 1980,
says the economy has been sabotaged by domestic and Western opponents of his
campaign to seize white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks.

Asked about retirement, Mugabe said he had always wanted to sort out the
land issue before "getting to a stage where you say -- fine, we have settled
this matter and people can retire."

On a successor, he said, "We would encourage open debate (within ZANU-PF)
rather than meetings endowed in secrecy."

The government has said the land campaign is largely over, but it has
launched an audit of how it was carried out after reports that some
ministers had grabbed most of the best land for themselves.

Mugabe said he was ready to meet with British Prime Minister Tony Blair,
whom he has accused of sponsoring the Movement for Democratic Change and who
is one of his severest critics.

"The problems don't go away unless you discuss them but Blair is a man who
thinks everything he says is right. He is a little bully," he said. "I am
ready to discuss if he is ready to discuss our situation with him."
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Strike Over Fuel Price Hike to Go Ahead

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

April 22, 2003
Posted to the web April 22, 2003


A workers' strike to protest fuel price hikes is set to go ahead from
Wednesday to Friday this week, with the tacit support of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has called for a three-day
national strike to protest the latest increase in the price of petrol. (For
an IRIN report on the impact of the fuel rise go to:

ZCTU general-secretary Wellington Chibebe told IRIN on Tuesday that the ZCTU
had written to government to express concern over the fuel hikes but had
received no reply. Industrial action would therefore go ahead as planned.

He said the labour movement was hopeful that the strike would succeed,
despite an anticipated police crackdown. "Already they have arrested our
regional chairperson in the west and our media officer, and we gather that
they are trying to get to the leadership now," Chibebe said.

The MDC's Eddie Cross told IRIN that preparations appeared to be well
underway for the stayaway in Zimbabwe's second city, Bulawayo.

"From appearances today, I would say it would be effective - that there'll
be a very high level of observance of the strike. We're getting a positive
reaction both from employers and employees, certainly in Bulawayo."

Cross added that "what distinguishes this stayaway from the one the MDC had
three weeks ago is that this one really is a more direct challenge of the
powers of the state".

MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi said in a statement that the ZCTU strike
was "completely justified and deserves the support of every progressive

Last week the government hiked fuel prices by 200 percent, on top of news
that inflation topped 228 percent in March. The ZCTU has argued that workers
can no longer afford the transport fares to get to work.

President Robert Mugabe, however, has said Zimbabweans "must endure the
hardships of this period, because tomorrow is going to be better than
yesterday and today". Mugabe was speaking during a special independence
interview on state television.

News reports quoted Minister of State for Information Jonathan Moyo as
saying that the government was working on measures to cushion workers from
the effects of the ful price hike.
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Raw Tobacco Being Smuggled: Zimra

The Herald (Harare)

April 22, 2003
Posted to the web April 22, 2003

Leonard Makombe

Millions of dollars worth of raw tobacco is reportedly being smuggled out of
the country and sold in neighbouring countries where the crop is priced in
harder currencies.

Zimbabwe Revenue Authority officials said the bulk of the crop was finding
its way to Mozambique, where the local currency is fully convertible on
demand into US dollars, thanks to the huge aid flows into that country.

The Zimra officials, who declined to be named, told Business Herald last
week that most of the tobacco was smuggled through the south-eastern parts
of the border.

"Most of the smugglers are crossing into Mozambique through Chipinge area
and very few of them have been brought to book.

"We have, however, deployed security officers who will now monitor the
situation along the border," one of the officials said.

The farmers are taking advantage of the absence of a regulation that compels
farmers to take all their crop to the three auction floors which are
authorised to conduct sales.

In any given season, farmers can choose to withhold their crop on the
pretext of low prices at the floors and no follow-up is made by the relevant

Tobacco is still considered Zimbabwe's largest foreign currency earner
although platinum is catching up.

Smuggling along the eastern border is rife and it is hoped the recently
signed memorandum of understanding between Zimbabwe and Mozambique would
help curb the practice.

Some farmers, particularly in Manicaland, are said to be taking advantage of
their proximity to the border to slip their produce into the country's
eastern neighbour.

Players in the tobacco industry have pointed out that some of the smuggling
may go unnoticed because of an absence of legislation on the sale of the

It was suggested that Government could come up with legislation such as that
for gold trade that ensures the metal is sold in a more transparent manner.

Some players have also blamed the whole situation on the failure by
organisations to come up with comprehensive statistics on tobacco estimates
for any season.

So far, the representative organisations have failed to agree on the total
amount of the crop that is likely to pass through the three auction floors.

The Zimbabwe Tobacco Association has put the figure at a mere 85 million
kilograms while the Farmers Development Trust has forecast that 200 million
kg will be sold.

Zimbabwe Association of Tobacco Growers has projected around 130 million kg.

Last year the Government intervened midway through the selling season to
give a special exchange rate of US$1 to $159 for the tobacco industry, after
small scale farmers had protested against the low prices prevailing then.

A total of 165,8 million kilograms passed through the country's three
auction floors last year.
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zvakwana - sokwanele - enough is enough

SUPPORT the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and stayaway from 23rd
April - 25th April 2003

Zvakwana congratulates the ZCTU for rallying its members and the people of
Zimbabwe, to show the mugabe regime that enough is enough by calling for a
national stayaway. It is very apparent that a broad cross section of our
society has had their fill of abuse.

It is clear to all but a select few that runaway inflation, "poverty datum
line" wages and massive unemployment are due to the political crisis in
Zimbabwe. Nothing can move forward without the critical issue of governance
being addressed. Messing with parts of the economy, such as the panic
stricken increase of fuel prices, will go nowhere in the absence of
investors' confidence.

The regime should make way for a competent government that has the people
of Zimbabwe at heart and that understands the socio-economic dynamics of a
developing and democratic country.

Zvakwana, who draws much of is membership from the working class, ask the
employers to show support for this call to action by closing their doors.
It will be assumed that those that remain open can afford to meet the
burgeoning costs of running a business, including paying wages that stay
ahead of inflation.

It is likely that those that remain open will be the first to be lobbied to
meet a significant wage increase.
As with the previous actions Zvakwana will have activists monitoring the
situation on the ground.

We are in this together.

Justice for Agriculture mailing list
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JOB OPPORTUNITIES: Updated April 22, 2003

Please send any job opportunities for publication in this newsletter to:
JAG Job Opportunities <>



I have 2 jobs available which might be of interest to some displaced

Job # 1
Salesman, selling automotive chemicals. Training will be provided,
applicant must have own car, remuneration will be on commission. Hours will
be flexitime, and the opportunity to earn significantly is there provided
the person has energy and is reliable. Start immediately. Job#1 Applicants
should contact Mark Wilson @ 498745 or 011218006.

Job # 2
Security manager is required at Borrowdale Brooke Estate. We have our own
security team but it needs management.Hours will be flexible to a degree
and further details can be obtained from Brian Moorse, the estate manager @
860370 Harare.


(ad inserted 13th Feb 03)
We have clients looking for a bookkeeper to assist in running the business.
Must be computer literate and able to use Pastel.  Will be required to keep
the books up to date as well as assist in producing management
A competitive package will be offered for the right person.
Contact Norman 369877 or

we need a retired semi retired mechanic to assist in the daily running of
our vehicle workshop behind Jaggers Harare.
Mornings only is preferred but we can offer flexibility of time.
Job description: to assist and advise workers on the floor. Undertake some
of the more complex work. Offer general expertise.
Vehicles maintained are general light goods. Work covers all aspects of
repair and maintenance.
Package subject to discussion.
Please contact Kevin or Chris on
Sincerely, Kevin Smeda
(ad inserted 1 April 2003)
WANTED: FARM TRIAL BALANCE BOOKKEEPER, computer literate, based Harare.
Pleasant environment at Fife Ave/10th Street - hassle free on site car
parking. Full time preferably, but part-time/flexi-time will be considered.
Negotiable salary based on experience.

Contact Norma Gordon Tel. 04-704949/email


(ad inserted 13th Feb 03)
We are looking for a book keeper type person for two months till the end of
March - needs computer experience (pastel is used but easy to pick up if
computer literate) to work from a house close to Highlands School - may be
able to take some work away - part time or full time is OK - salary to be
neg depending on time and experience.
Contact Lynda Scott 091 201 324 or 498705


(ad inserted 13th Feb 03)
WANTED: FARM TRIAL BALANCE BOOKKEEPER, Needs to be computer literate and
based in Harare.
Pleasant environment at Fife Ave/10th Street - hassle free on site car
parking. Full time preferably, but part-time/flexi-time will be considered.
Negotiable salary based on experience.
Contact Norma Gordon
Tel. 04-704949/email


(ad inserted 17 April 2003)

"Personal Assistant/Secretary to Consulting Legal Practitioner: Mornings Only.
Lovely working environment in a family home in Avondale West.  Work
consists mainly of typing (which must be accurate).  Consultant dictates
all work and a dictaphone playback machine is used to transcribe work;
answering the telephone, taking messages and attending to assist clients;
maintaining Consultant's diary - as Consultant travels away from the office
from time to time the Applicant will sometimes be required to work on her
own initiative; attending to monthly payments of PAYE/NSSA etc for one
employee (the Applicant). Some accounts experience is necessary, as
Applicant will need to assist with Consultancy accounts, income tax and
liaising with the Consultancy's Accountants and Bookkeeper.

Applicants should contact Alannah or Gayle on (04) 335866 (strictly
mornings only) or Alannah on 091 367 197 (strictly 08.00 to 16.30 hours)"


Positions Vacant

Highly capable farmers required to join a progressive team.
Qualifiers will be men who have the ability to grow
within themselves and to generate growth within a team.
Experience and competence in one or many facets of
agriculture will be of interest, in particular irrigation, horticulture,
tobacco and cattle.

Please respond to Carswell Group
                            Fax: 304415


(ad inserted 10 April 2003)

Carswell Group is looking for experienced Cattleman to run
a ranch 60 km from Harare.


Cattleman required who is capable of progressing to a high level in a large
vertically integrated little/operation.

Please send invoice by return email to


(ad inserted 09 April 2003)

Farm Manager wanted on a Dairy Farm in Kwe Kwe.  Please Phone 011 407097 or



Senior Accounts Person

Either male or female, Balance Sheet Bookkeeper also involving foreign
payments. Experienced person preferred.  Very good package.  Ruwa area,
export company.

Please contact Annalize at 073-2847/50 or 091 406 934.

Trucks required for hire

Seven (7) tonne trucks with or without trailers required for agricultural

Please contact 091 213 989 for further details.


Tshabezi Safaris - West Nicholson
Garage manager required for country workshop. Toyota Landcruiser experience
would be an added advantage. This position would suit a husband and wife
team - wife could help out either in safaris office or accounts department.
She must be computer literate.
Please reply with current CVs to:
Rogers Brothers & Son P/L (Garage Manager)
P O West Nicholson



The post of Warden at Borradaile Trust Marondera has become vacant.
This is a retirement complex with about 70 cottages for independent
residents. Two large establishments house about 60 semi-independent
residents and there is a small hospital called Borradaile House, for
dependent residents.  In the grounds is the separately administered
Borradaile Hospital. The Warden is provided with a house in Marondera.
Applications with C.V.s and two references should reach the Administrator,
Borradaile Trust, Pvt. Bag 3795, Marondera as soon as possible.  In view of
the high cost of postage, the Administrator only undertakes to reply to
those short-listed.  Acknowledgements will be made to those providing
e-mail addresses.

Thank you very much, from the Administrator.


(ad inserted 6th Feb 03),
Bright Steel (Zimbabwe) Ltd requires a Credit Controller with a strong
accounting background to manage a large debtors portfolio.  Strong computer
 skills in Microsoft packages essential and the ability to communicate
across the board.  Main accounting package is Sage but knowledge of at
least one accounting package is essential.  Main duties will include the
1. All credit control functions
2. Product costing of imports.
3. Salaries for junior staff using Belina Computer System.
4. Computation of sales tax
5. Checking & capturing Goods Received Vouchers.
6. Preparing audit schedules.
7. Spreadsheets - excel.
8. Sage Computer System would be an advantage.
The above person to report to the Financial Controller and will have a
debtors clerk reporting directly to him/her from Bulawayo and a trainee.
1.  Competitive salary
2.  Pension scheme
3.  Profit Incentive Bonus Scheme (P.I.B.S.)
4.  Medical Aid paid in full
5.  Lunch provided
6.  Travel allowance
7.  Cell phone time paid.
Contact Brian Wilson
Phone: 754324. 091 400 588.


(ad inserted 30th Jan 03)
Retired Farming couple required to live and work on a farm 60 km from
Harare. Husband to carry out Sourcing and Procurement of farm supplies as
well as run Stores and Arrange movements of farm Transport fleet. Wife to
run Farm Store and Tuck shop. Usual farm perks are offered. Contact 011 403
558 or 091 218 822 or email


(Ad inserted 24th February 03)
Part time Manager for small farm 7 km on tar from Westgate Shopping Centre,
Harare. Wide range of crops- herbs, spices, etc with cleaning plant and
essential oils distillery, grown under EU organic certification.
Accommodation available- cottage with 3 bedrooms. Might suit someone with
farming experience who could combine this work with a job in Harare. Please
email details to


(ad inserted 10 April 2003)

Drummond area of Natal....roughly 30 km from Durban on the way to
Organic Veg farm manager required.  General farm management and tractor
skills, knowledge of organic veg growing and Zulu.
We are looking for someone who is prepared to run the farm as their own
business, what you put in you get out.  Salary linked to profit share and
Phone/fax 031-783 4995 or e mail


(ad inserted 09 April 2003)

My brother has asked me to put ads in the local papers for a tractor
mechanic with Ford/New Holland , Massey experience.

Contact details in RSA are: Dennis on email address



Opportunity in Polokwane South Africa.

Mature person required as maintenance and farm manager including wildlife
for a very reputable hotel and game farm, (conservancy) outside Polokwane
(Pietersburg) Limpopo Province.

Duties include.
Organizational ability, vehicle maintenance, boreholes, electrical
maintenance at hotel and farm, good labour relations etc.

Only hard working and sober persons need apply.

Please contact, e-mail, Phone 0027836565729


I felt that there might be someone in your network that may be interested.
The post could suit a person that is currently underemployed, and it falls
vacant because the present incumbent has been employed by the World Bank.

ICC is looking for an agricultural consultant to service our market in
Manica and Tete provinces of Mozambique. The responsibilities include
selling to donor agenicies, helping to write proposals, and helping to
manage the resultant consulting projects. The ideal person will have
extensive agriculture experience, both commercial and small scale, will be
fluent in Portuguese and English, will be familiar with the customs of
Mozambique, and preferably live close to Mutare.  We can teach them the
consulting skills.

ICC is a Southern African consulting company with offices in Harare, Maputo
and Lusaka. In Mozambique we are active in consultancy work in Micro
finance, commercial and small holder agricultural projects. Recent projects
Strategic plan for a Mozambiquan manufacturer of oils, fats and soaps,
Market analysis and feasibility study for a new horticultural project,
Asssisting a major regional tea and coffee producer to prepare for further
regional expansion,
Business plans and facilitated negotiations for a major Zimbabwean agri
business to start a joint venture in Mozambique,
Feasibility and business plans for greenfields tea project in Espungabera.
Tel: + 263 4 731555/7
Fax: + 263 4 731558
Cell: + 263 (0) 91 272 767


(ad inserted 03 April 2003)

We have received this letter from a friend in Nairobi - if anyone is
interested in an interview they can contact Dr Georges Hess directly at his
e-mail address - :-

We run a 4500 ha Sisal Estate in Tanzania. For the past 3 years we have
had a Swiss manager on the Estate running the whole show quite
satisfactorily. However various indications are that after many decades in
Africa our man may want to retire.
With the problems that have ravaged the European farming community in
Zimbabwe many farmers seem to be stranded or have already left the country.
A lot of them have moved to neighbouring countries like South Africa,
Mozambique and of course to Tanzania too.
Our Estate is near Tanga (right on the seafront). It is a remote place by
any standard but very good facilities are there. The only disadvantage is
the lack of schooling facilities nearby. Hence it would be advantageous if
a candidate is either having only very small children or then be of an age,
where the schooling of children is a problem of the past.

We of course know that we will not get a manager with "Sisal experience".
Rather we would envisage a man with a good mechanical background. We have a
series of tractors, heavy production machines and a DH6 Caterpillar.
Sufficient commercial common sense would of course also be expected.
A crucial role would also have to be played by the wife of any potential
candidate. We employ 290 permanent workers and another 300 casuals which
all live in company owned staff houses. Hence we have a population of well
over 1000 people that depend directly on us.  We would expect our General
Manager's wife to take an active lead position in pinpointing programs and
schemes to better the livelihoods of our workforce on an ongoing basis. It
would certainly be a job that would reward a suitable couple in many
different ways.

Of course I know that many more details would have to be spelled out. The
purpose of this mail is just to find out whether, in your opinion, such
candidates would be around in your country.  I will be in Zimbabwe in early
May. That would give me the opportunity to interview any potential

Many Thanks
Pam Stead


(ad inserted 6th Feb. 03)
The JAG Office received an enquiry from Mr George Mashinkila who owns some
farmland in Zambia. He wants to lease out his farm. If anyone is
interested, they can get hold of him directly at e-mail



"Dynamic agriculturally based trading company looks for energetic person to
take over there Lusaka operations.  Looking for
reliability-honesty-integrity.  Please interested applicants email"


(ad inserted 22 April 2003)

Mr Johan Boshoff - Pontdrif, RSA is looking urgently for a dynamic reliable
middle age couple to manage a farm in the north western part of Botswana,
close to the Caprivi strip. Preferable no young children still in the
house, due to the distance from schools.
Experience: Farm management & general farm equipment maintenance
crops: Vegetables under irrigation - drip & Pivot irrigation
Contact # Johan Boshoff
Tel (+27) 15-5751425
Fax (+27) 15-5751580
Cell (+27) 82 822 6310
e-mail Minds,



Cattle farming business in Ghanzi District, North-West Botswana for sale.
(The owners moving for kids schooling.) Comprises 2 well-developed freehold
farms, measuring 10 112,06 Morg (8 660 Ha) in total, 1050 head of cattle
(cross Santa-Sussex), all necessary farming equipment, lighting-plants,
gensets, inverter equipment managers residence, main farm residence, staff
accommodation, workshops and storerooms etc, etc Walk-in / walk-out deal
BWP4 500 000-00 (Approx US$ 775 000-00). All serious offers will be
Contact Mike on (267) 72290622 or e-mail


Tobacco managers wanted in Malawi: 2003/4 seasons
100ha Flue cured 100ha Maize African tobacco managers of Malawian
extraction wanting to relocate with costs paid and paper work facilities.
Malawian Passport Holders will obviously be given preference. Respond to
JAG's email address and we will forward.


(ad inserted 17 April 2003)

We are looking for an ex farmer, with tobacco experience, to oversee the
building of tobacco curing systems in Malawi.  This position will be for a
period of ten months, with the possibility of extending the contract to two
years, either in Zimbabwe or elsewhere.  Accommodation and vehicle will be
provided.  Contact or send your application to
Debbie Graham at Brown Engineering, Box ST 311, Southerton, Harare.


ANGOLA (Ad inserted 22nd Feb 03)

A farming opportunity exists in Menongie , Cuando Cubango Province in
Angola for a person experienced in the cultivation of maize. Land will be
made available and various options exist with regards to the funding of
the operation. Interested parties can e-mail their information and a
summary of their experience to


(ad inserted 08 April 2003)
Farm Manager wanted for a coffee/tea estate in Kenya.  Please phone 091 233
852 for further information.


KENYA (ad inserted 24th Feb 03)
I came across your website when searching for information on Zimbabwean
Farmers. We are looking for a General Manager for a large horticulture and
floriculture company based in Nanyuki, Kenya. I wanted to know if you could
pass on the attached brief to farmers that might be interested in looking
at this opportunity?
Many thanks and Kind Regards,
Zia Manji
Recruitment Manager
P.O. BOX 25118, 00603 NAIROBI, KENYA.
TEL: +254-2-3752400 / 1 FAX: +254-2-3752401
MOBILE: 0733 994469 OR 0722 516043
Position Specification & Candidate Profile

Our client, one of Kenya's most established horticultural and floricultural
companies, is a major exporter to the large retailers in the United Kingdom
and Europe. The group encompasses 3 large vegetable and flower farms,
packing facilities, a clearing and forwarding company, and a propagation
business. Exporting Two Million stems of cut flowers and 120 MT of
vegetables monthly, the Company is managed by a dynamic multicultural team
employing over 3,000 staff countrywide.

Our client's biggest challenge is to remain the market leader by
maintaining a strong customer focus coupled with a continuous expansion and
improvement strategy to deliver the highest possible quality products in
line with the requirements of this fast paced industry.

Nanyuki, Kenya.

THE POSITION The General Manager will be responsible for independent
co-ordination and management of all aspects of the business unit
incorporating 15 hectares of flower greenhouses, a fully automated rose
propagation unit and 25 hectares of vegetables. Within the framework of the
company's objectives and action plans, the manager's key focus will
include: Day to day growing, packing and propagation of required product
within the specified quality, cost and time. Overseeing the packing of
flowers onsite to meet international standards. Overseeing the cutting and
bulk packing of vegetables to the centralized pack house in Nairobi.
Managing the financial and administrative functions on the farm, providing
frequent and accurate reports to the head office. Ensuring optimum
processing and workers performance as well as maintaining safety and
developmental requirements.
Supervising the maintenance of all processing equipment. Ensuring the
compliance of the farm, packing operations, workers welfare and environment
within Company's and client requirements. Responsibility for the manpower
organisation of 600 employees including maintaining cordial and efficient
industrial relations. Managing and co-ordinating the audits by client
supermarkets throughout the year.
Responsible for the preparation of operating plans and programmes and
ensuring proper implementation.
Providing strategic advice and co-ordination of agreed development and
expansion projects. The General Manager reports to the Board of Directors.

These include:
Respecting production commitments in terms of volume, deadlines, costs, and
product compliance.
Correct team performance. Creating and encouraging a cordial working
environment in the farming and processing team.
Guaranteeing the compliance of the Company and its Clients standards in all
areas of farming, processing, staff welfare and environment.
Proper management of the farm's budget.

Key responsibilities include:
Help define the long-term plan, the improvement and expansion plans for the
entire farm.
Proposing annual production programmes and making adjustments as required
in line with group requirements and good agricultural practice.
Preparation and submission of annual budgets. Identify adjustments and
modification required in the farming and processing to optimise the
performance and the quality of the products.
Co-ordination of the program of inspections, visits, and audits with the
Board of Directors.
Planning and organisation of manpower to best suit the delivery programme.
Identifying and resolving problems relating to farm and processing
management on a daily basis.
Maintaining of equipment in good working condition by ensuring compliance
with correct usage practices, and regular inspection and liaison with the
maintenance team.
Implementation and management of approved expansion and improvement
projects in line with Company objectives.
Monitoring labour performance, setting work targets, implementing viable
bonus schemes to boost labour productivity and motivation.

A graduate in agriculture/horticulture/floriculture or any other relevant
5 to 8 years experience at a senior management level in a large
horticulture or floriculture concern.
Relevant experience in rose growing is an advantage.
Good knowledge of product quality parameters and compliance regulations.
In-depth knowledge and a proven track record in of growing, packing and
Computer literate and proficient in the use of MS Office.
An understanding of management concepts, agricultural practices and quality
management methods e.g. ISO 9000, HACCP and EUREPGAP.

The candidate must also be:
Able to manage and work with a culturally and educationally diverse team.
A good planner and organiser.
Must have good analytical skills, and a decision-maker.
Proactive in their work and take the initiative to propose and implement
new approaches.
Out-going, articulate with high verbal abilities.
Results oriented.
A team player willing to work in a very competitive and fast-paced

A highly competitive package will be offered to the right candidate.

Online registration only. Log onto the following web-site, register and
upload your CV:
For more information, please email:
Zia Manji
Recruitment Manager
DEADLINE: 28/02/03

(Ad inserted 24th Feb 03)
Employment available as part of a Team, thinning and harvesting summer
fruit, apples and kiwifruit in the Hawkes Bay area of New Zealand, (North
Island, East coast).  The company, Labour Force, NZ, is expanding to fill
contracts.  Dormitory/Single/Married Accommodation is available within easy
commuting distance. For more information, please email in the first instance with personal details, and a
summary of recent work experience. Advice, assistance and support with
settling in, will be given by local branch of the Zimcare Trust, NZ,


(ad inserted 19 April 2003)

Foreign teachers for NT jobs 'better late than never': CLP
The Northern Territory Opposition is welcoming a move to recruit teachers
from overseas, but says this should have been implemented months ago.

The Government has announced it will try to attract teachers from regional
areas, as well as from countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe and Canada.

The Government says there are 25 permanent teaching vacancies in the

Shadow Education Minister Terry Mills says the Country Liberal Party (CLP)
has been calling for this to happen since late last year.

"To implement them now is an indication that they are in panic mode, the
teacher shortage is in excess of what the Government currently claims," Mr
Mills said.

"These initiatives will take an extended period of time to actually bed in
and to produce the results, which is teachers in the classroom for students


AUSTRALIA (ad inserted 24th Feb. 03)

Received this from a friend in WA, anyone looking for a
horticulture/research job please ask to contact us.
"They have been looking for a new horticultural technician for the research
station here for some time.  Haven't been able to locate anyone in this
country, so are now looking overseas - particularly Zim and South Africa
(to help someone who would like to escape).  Do you know of anyone who
would like to move to Western Australia for a position in horticulture?  I
don't know all the details as yet, other than they would need a relevant
degree and research experience. The main crops grown here are mangoes,
bananas, with smaller amounts of citrus, grapes, paw paws etc.  The main
vegetable crops are tomatoes and capsicums, beans, melons, pumpkins etc etc

(ad inserted 18 April 2003)

HELP ON FARM needed for approx. 3 days per week.  The farm consists of 400
acres of marginal pasture and woodland overlooking the Severn Estuary. The
grazing is let on an annual basis, and some of the woodland is of special
scientific interest.

Work would comprise farm and estate maintenance, including driving of
Unimog, use of chainsaw, fertiliser spreading, weed-wiping, fencing.
Mechanical ability an advantage.  Might suit someone with an interest in
wildlife and conservation.  Preferred age 24-45.  Suit couple.  Ability to
caretake occasionally would be an advantage.

East Wing Annexe is available as part of a deal to be negotiated.  It
comprises separate front door, lobby, kitchen and small living or
dining-room downstairs, and bathroom and two good-sized rooms upstairs.
Partial central heating included.  Extra storage space available.

For further details please ring 01633.400213, or contact us by `e'-mail :



I am wondering if you might be able to assist me. I am a partner in a farm
in UK and we currently have a vacancy for a Farm Manager and I thought this
might be of interest to some of the unfortunate farmers
recently displaced from Zimbabwe by Mugabe. Would you have any idea where
it might be best to advertise the vacancy in order to attract any
interested parties' attention? I am contactable at


We are a Farming partnership in North Essex. We have a 600 acre mixed farm
and are currently seeking a Farm Manager. This position may well suit a
displaced Zimbabwean farmer and his family. Accommodation is likely to be
available and the position should become vacant in the Autumn.

Please forward this message to any who may be interested or please let us
know the best way of contacting such dispossessed farmers who are arriving
here or planning to move here in the near future.  Our email address is:

Many thanks

Tom Richardson


For the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact (updated 22 April 2003)

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


Letter 1: Ken Whitson (Long Haul Transport)

2 x 500 KVA generators
1 x 50 KVA generator

Please phone: 757180/011 430 530
fax: 754118


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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Monitors report Nigeria poll fraud
Tuesday, April 22, 2003 Posted: 11:55 AM EDT (1555 GMT)

ABUJA, Nigeria (CNN) -- Unofficial but virtually complete vote totals show
Nigeria's incumbent president Olusegun Obasanjo won re-election by a
landslide margin in a vote marred by charges of massive fraud.
The results showed Obasanjo leading with 60 percent of the vote compared
with 20 percent for his nearest opponent. The country's Independent National
Electoral Commission is expected to announce official results Tuesday
But the European Union's chief election observer, Max Van den Berg, speaking
at a news conference Tuesday, said there were huge irregularities in six
states, mostly in the south and the east of Nigeria, including ballot
stuffing in the face of EU observers.
He laid the blame on Obasanjo's People's Democratic Party. There was less
irregularity in six other states, he said, and in Lagos, Nigeria's largest
state, the election went relatively well.
Van den Berg said the only way for elections to be free and fair was for
Nigerians to question ballot stuffings and incidents of rigging. He noted
that the EU's role was not to police the country, but rather to observe and
give advice, leaving to Nigerians the responsibility to question the vote.
His comments came less than 24 hours after the International Republican
Institute came out with its own report of largescale irregularity in
Nigeria's election. The opposition party, the All Nigerian People's Party,
also called the election a mockery of democracy and is refusing to accept
the results as they stand.
On the other hand, the Commonwealth, a 54-nation group of mostly former
British colonial states, said the election largely went well, citing very
few incidents of violence.
"From the reports of our team, we know that in most of Nigeria a genuine and
largely successful effort was made to enable the people to vote freely," the
22-strong Commonwealth observer team said in a positive assessment.
"But in certain states the election did not go well...In parts of Enugu and
in Rivers state proper electoral processes appear to have broken down and
there was intimidation," said the statement, signed by mission head Salim
Ahmed Salim.
Diplomats said the statement appeared aimed at steering away from further
controversy after arguments over Zimbabwe caused a damaging split in the
-- CNN Lagos Bureau Chief Jeff Koinange contributed to this report
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Hospital mortuaries no longer accepting bodies from outside

Herald Reporter
Hospital mortuaries are failing to cope with the large number of people
dying in hospitals and are no longer accepting bodies of those who die at
home, which are normally brought in by police.

A mortician at Harare Central Hospital, Mr Tonderai Chabata, said the
situation was serious and the hospital was now only accommodating patients
who die in its wards and not accepting bodies of people who died at home.

The hospital mortuary was still keeping bodies brought in January this year
and there was no space for more bodies.

"The Department of Social Welfare conducts paupers' burials after some time
but this is also failing to improve the situation," he said.

Harare Hospital has a holding capacity of 146 bodies, but it has about 500
bodies squeezed in the cold rooms.

Some bodies were lying on the floor while others were bundled up together
and shoved in a single holder.

The hospital was resorting to spraying in and around the area.

Mr Chabata said the hospital was getting a minimum of 20 bodies a day.

"We are telling relatives of the deceased to seek assistance from private
funeral parlours."

He said economic hardships largely contributed to the reason why bodies are
not claimed by their relatives.

Parirenyatwa Hospital is also not accepting some bodies brought in by the
police as they also have run out of space to accommodate them.

The hospital's chief executive officer, Mr Thomas Zigora, said most bodies
are brought in by the police and the Zimbabwe Prisons Services.

"The mortuary is overflowing and we had a tough time during the holidays as
we were accepting all bodies not from our hospitals.

"This is a very difficult situation and we have met with senior police and
prisons services officers to see how best we can handle the issue," Mr
Zigora said.

He said some bodies brought from the prisons stayed for a long time as the
people would have used wrong addresses for the hospital and social welfare
to make follow ups.

"We are not accepting any bodies, where will we put them?

"We understand the situation of those that will have died in accidents," he

Parirenyatwa Hospital has a holding capacity of 54 bodies and during the
holidays 150 were squeezed in.

Some were lying on the floor.

During the deep cleansing of the mortuary on Easter Monday, most passages
were impassable because of the strong stench of decomposing bodies.

"The mortuary is located in the wrong place and if there is a disaster most
offices are affected."

Mr Zigora said they were advising relatives who will have brought bodies of
their beloved ones to consider facilities of private mortuaries.

"I think the local authorities should also be persuaded to build private
morgues that will look after those who will have died of natural causes in
the community."

Last week Harare and Parirenyatwa hospital mortuaries could not accept the
body of Simbarashe Sibanda who committed suicide in Warren Park.

It is believed that Sibanda's relatives, who lodge in Glen View (7), had to
plead with the police to keep the body for a while at Warren Park police
station as they made burial arrangements.

Police spokesperson for Harare Province Inspector Cecilia Churu yesterday
said she had met with Mr Zigora over the issue but indicated she was not
able to make a comment on such a national issue.

Prisons services spokesperson Mr Frank Meki could not be reached for

Some private funeral parlours said they were benefiting from the desperate
situation as many clients were frequenting their offices.

They said while nothing is paid at Government hospitals, some private
morgues charged up to $30 000 to keep a body for a day.

People are required to report the death of those who would have died at home
to the police before they apply for a burial order which only takes less
than an hour to be processed.

According to police spokesman Inspector Andrew Phiri, the police intervene
only when foul play is suspected and are required to take the body to police
mortuaries where investigations would be carried out.

In the rural areas, most people do not take their dead relatives to

They lie in State for a day or two in the house before burial.
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Trade unionists arrested ahead of the three days strike

International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (Brussels)

April 22, 2003
Posted to the web April 22, 2003


The ICFTU has just learnt that a number of officials have already been
arrested by the Zimbabwe Republic Police leading up to the proposed job
stayaway which is to begin tommorrow, Wednesday 23 April to Friday 25 April

The arrested officials are;

Peter Munyukwi the ZCTU Central Region Chairperson was arrested on Monday at
8:00 and later released at 10:00 pm for allegly distributing flyers urging
workers to go for the stayaway.

Percy Mcijo, Mandlenkosi Sibanda and Reason Ngwenya all officials of the
ZCTU western Region which is based in Bulawayo were also picked up by the
police today in the morning for allegedly distributing flyers which is a
crime according to the Public Order and Security Act (POSA). Sibanda was
later realesed but the fate of Mcijo and Ngwenya is still unknown at the

More arrests are expected as the Police are in possession of a list with
names of the Executive and District members of the ZCTU Western Region in

The ZCTU would like to urge the international community to condemn this
brutal action by the Police and urge the government to recognise and respect
Human and Trade Union Rights.

The ICFTU has given the strike its full support.

The ICFTU represents 158 million workers in 231 affiliated organisations in
150 countries and territories. ICFTU is also a member of Global Unions:

For more information, please contact the ICFTU Press Department on +32 2 224
0232 or +32 475 67 08 33.

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Mail and Guardian

Zimbabwe tobacco up in smoke


      22 April 2003 22:57

The annual trading season of Zimbabwe's lucrative tobacco crop opens on
Wednesday with an anticipated drop in production of about a third from last

Njodzi Machirori, the chairman of the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board
(TIMB) estimated that between 100 and 120 million kilograms (220 -265
million pounds) of the leaf will be sold over the next six months.

The lower forecast figure is 65 million kilogram's less than last year's
total, when 165 million kilogram's were sold, and almost half of the
production figure for 2001 which stood at 201,7 million kilos.

Machirori attributed the slump in production of the country's top foreign
exchange earner to a drought and delays by the government of President
Robert Mugabe in giving agricultural inputs to black farmers who have been
resettled on land seized from white farmers, many of them tobacco growers.

"Inputs, rains were late in coming," said Machirori, dismissing the notion
that the new black tobacco farmers did not know how to grow tobacco.

"It's a fallacy that only whites know how to grow tobacco," he said.

Of Zimbabwe's 18 000 tobacco farmers, 1 300 are large-scale commercial
growers -- most of them white farmers. They produced about 70% of this
year's crop, according to Stanley Mutepfa, general manager of the TIMB.

Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa admitted at a news conference that there
would be a drop in foreign exchange earnings that tobacco normally rakes in,
but said it was because the agricultural sector was going through a
"transitional" period due to the land reforms.

"There will certainly be less foreign exchange coming through from the
tobacco sector, but surely there will be room for improvement (next year),"
he said.

Zimbabwe desperately needs foreign exchange revenue to import basic
necessities like petroleum-based fuel, electricity and food.

"The forex will have to be earned by other sectors of the economy such as
mining and tourism," Murerwa told the news conference.

Although producing only about five percent of the total world flue-cured
Virginia tobacco, Zimbabwe is traditionally the second largest exporter of
the leaf after Brazil on the international market.

It accounts for about 19% of total world exports. Brazil exports about 29%
of total global tobacco.

Tobacco usually earns 31% of the country's foreign currency. - Sapa-AFP
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Trade unionists arrested ahead of the three days strike


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International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (Brussels)

April 22, 2003
Posted to the web April 22, 2003


The ICFTU has just learnt that a number of officials have already been arrested by the Zimbabwe Republic Police leading up to the proposed job stayaway which is to begin tommorrow, Wednesday 23 April to Friday 25 April 2003.

The arrested officials are;

Peter Munyukwi the ZCTU Central Region Chairperson was arrested on Monday at 8:00 and later released at 10:00 pm for allegly distributing flyers urging workers to go for the stayaway.

Percy Mcijo, Mandlenkosi Sibanda and Reason Ngwenya all officials of the ZCTU western Region which is based in Bulawayo were also picked up by the police today in the morning for allegedly distributing flyers which is a crime according to the Public Order and Security Act (POSA). Sibanda was later realesed but the fate of Mcijo and Ngwenya is still unknown at the moment.

More arrests are expected as the Police are in possession of a list with names of the Executive and District members of the ZCTU Western Region in Bulawayo.

The ZCTU would like to urge the international community to condemn this brutal action by the Police and urge the government to recognise and respect Human and Trade Union Rights.

The ICFTU has given the strike its full support.

The ICFTU represents 158 million workers in 231 affiliated organisations in 150 countries and territories. ICFTU is also a member of Global Unions:

For more information, please contact the ICFTU Press Department on +32 2 224 0232 or +32 475 67 08 33.

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Until all mankind, without exception, undergoes a great change, wars will be waged, everything that has been built up, cultivated, and grown will be cut down and disfigured, to begin all over again after that.
     -- Anne Frank (age 14), diary entry for May 3, 1944

Be the change that you want to see in the world.
     -- Gandhi

A little over seven years ago, on a crisp and crystal-clear summer night here in the mountains of southern New Mexico, my life changed forever. While passing time during a break from my normal astronomical observing program, I happened upon a dim patch of light crawling slowly through the stars of the constellation Sagittarius. A year and a half later, that object, Comet Hale-Bopp, blazed in the nighttime skies of Earth, becoming one of the brightest comets of the 20th Century. More people viewed Comet Hale-Bopp than any other comet in history, and for a little while at least, mine was a household name around the world.

At that time I challenged myself, and my fellow residents of planet Earth, to use the power within ourselves to build a world for the 21st Century that is free of war; that is free of hatred; that is free of ignorance and superstition; and that can confront, and overcome, the many challenges we face. In my book, in my published statements, and in my various talks, I urged everyone to enjoy and appreciate the spectacle that nature was then providing to us, and then asked them to imagine building that world I have just described. In my concluding words of my book Everybody's Comet, I pointed out that that world "begins with us, here, today."

Over five years have elapsed since Comet Hale-Bopp was shining in our nighttime skies, and it has now receded into the dark outer depths of the solar system. Life here on Earth, meanwhile, continues on, and we are now in that 21st Century of which I so often spoke. But we haven't quite built that peaceful world yet, and in fact we seem to have fallen much farther from it than we were when I first issued my challenge. New wars seem to sprout up on almost a continuous basis, and we appear to be drowning in a deluge of hatred, of ignorance, of destruction. At times it seems that any hope for a peaceful future is drowning alongside us in that same flood.
But I believe we are better than that.

In 1961 then-U.S. President John F. Kennedy challenged us to commit ourselves to the goal of landing humans on the moon and returning them to Earth before the end of that decade. Despite enormous scientific and engineering challenges, and seemingly overwhelming odds against us, in July 1969 humanity accomplished this goal. We did this -- because we believed we could do it.

A quarter-century ago humans launched two spacecraft called Voyager towards the outer planets of the solar system. Despite a never-ending stream of difficulties, a dedicated team of thousands -- of which I was privileged to be a part for a couple of years during the mid-1980s -- nursed these two spacecraft on an incredible journey by the outer planets, in the process returning to us photographs and knowledge beyond our imagination. The two Voyagers are now leaving the solar system, as humanity's emissaries to the stars. We accomplished all this -- because we believed we could do it.

During my lifetime we have made enormous progress against many diseases and physical ailments that were once thought incurable, and we have made great strides in unlocking the mysteries of life itself. We have built a transportation system that can deliver any one of us to any location on the planet within a day. We have developed a system of communications that can put us into contact with almost anyone, almost anywhere on this Earth, almost instantaneously. All these things, along with many other incredible achievements, we have accomplished -- because we believed we could do them.

We still have a long way to go. But:
We can build a world that is free, once and for all, of the wars, and of the hatred, and of the ignorance, that have overshadowed us ever since our barbaric past. We can build a world where our disputes and grievances are resolved peacefully, without resorting to violence. We can build a world where everyone, regardless of race, or of nationality, or of skin color, or of religious beliefs, or of sexual orientation, is treated with dignity and respect, because they are human beings. We can do this -- if we believe that we can.

We can develop a society where every individual, and especially every child, regardless of where they live on this planet, is fed, is clothed, is housed, is protected from disease, is educated, and is given the opportunity to live happily and to make his/her own contributions to humanity. We can eliminate poverty, and restore dignity to every human community. We can do all this -- if we believe that we can.

We can create a world where the air we breathe is clean, and where the water we drink is pure. We can develop the means to create the energy we need to run our society, without destroying the environment in which we live. We can preserve the beauty and sanctity of our Earth, not only for ourselves, but also for all the other living things with which we share our planet. We can do all these things -- if we believe that we can.

We can leave our Earthly cradle, and expand out into the limitless universe that surrounds us. We can understand, and learn to mitigate, the natural disasters that sometimes befall us here on Earth. We can succeed in our quest to understand the hidden mysteries of life, and how it operates, and in the process eradicate the diseases that still continue to afflict us. These, and many other things, we can do -- if we believe that we can.

Writing the above paragraphs was easy. Accomplishing those things described within them will be enormously difficult; the technological, and sociological, challenges are many, immense, and complex. Some, of course, will say that I'm being idealistic, and perhaps they're right. But what is the alternative? Do we strive to create the best world we possibly can? Do we utilize the power within ourselves to build a just and honorable society for all of us? Do we reach for the very stars themselves, and someday reach them? Or do we allow ourselves to sink and drown in a hopeless flood of hatred and ignorance and destruction?

That choice is ours. And no one is going to do the hard work for us; that's our job.
Hale-Bopp is gone, but meanwhile, a new light approaches. A little over a year ago the Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) program, based in California, discovered a comet out beyond the orbit of the planet Saturn. Right now Comet NEAT is almost exactly the same distance from the sun and Earth as Hale-Bopp was when I discovered it, and it can be seen as a dim patch of light crawling slowly through the stars of the constellation Fornax. In April, May, and June of 2004, however, Comet NEAT will be near the sun and Earth, and should be shining brightly in our nighttime skies.

Like I did with Comet Hale-Bopp, I would like to challenge my fellow residents of planet Earth to go out at that time and gaze up at Comet NEAT, and resolve to use the power within us to create the world I have described. Unfortunately, though, we just don't know how bright Comet NEAT might become. It might rival, perhaps even surpass, the spectacle presented to us by Hale-Bopp, or it might be much dimmer, to the point of not being visible at all, or it might be anything in between. We will just have to wait and see what nature presents to us this time, as we have no control over the brightness of Comet NEAT, or Hale-Bopp, or any other comet.
But we do have control over the brightness of our own future. Let us seize this moment; and build that world for ourselves, and for all the generations that will follow us.

Cloudcroft, New Mexico
September 11, 2002
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