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

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The madness continues.  Can anyone explain why?  Why is this country being desimated? Words can not be found to describe the anquish of so many caused by so few with such impunity.  Victims are arrested whilst perpertrators continue their criminal actions unabated with the apparent blessings of the Government  and law enforcement agencies.  And let us not forget the suffering of ordinary Zimbabweans who are continuously displaced, murdered, tortured, raped, disposessed of their life's endeavours.  All for wanting to practice their basic human rights. This retribution must stop. Does anyone out there in the world care? If you do please pass this on to as many people as possible and lobby your MP, Senator or whoever your Government representative is in whatever country you may be, to help return the rule of law to our beautiful country.
Mike Lander

Ten black Rhino arrived on Gourlays Ranch in 1987, in a Zimbabwe Government attempt to halt the extinction of the species.  The animals quickly adapted to their new home on 42 000 acres of natural habitat.  They bred at the highest rate of any rhino project on private game farms in the nation.  From 1987 to 2001, only one rhino died - this was of old age.  The herd is rated by some as the best in the country.   Zoologists from the Center of Endangered Species at the San Diego Zoo repeatedly visit the ranch to study the animals and to donate funds for their protection.
In February 2000 supposed war veterans invaded the Gourlays Ranch and many other farm properties across the country.  They built their huts where they pleased and the territorial rhino were forced to live in smaller areas.  The reduced habitat casuses fighting between the territoral bulls.  A few days ago one bull rhino died due to the stressed conditions.
Last week the war veterans invaded and barricaded the farm and demanded the eviction of the family who have owned the land for 15 years.  They threatened to kill the family and all the employees and burn the buildings unless the owners vacate the property within a week - Over the weekend they intensified their demands and the family were forced to move off on saturday.  Mr Pascal was arrested and released on Monday.
The tragedy extends far beyond the family and the hundreds of people who rely on the income generated by the ranch.  The black rhino face death by poaching.  The loss of the rhino on one property will push the world numbers closer to EXTINCTION.  The gene pool will be extinguised and as much as 10% of the black rhino in Zimbabwe will die -   Its taken 15 years to get the numbers up and we are finally seeing progress - LETS KEEP IT THAT WAY.
Pascal wrote "What started all of the nonsense is that we are a black rhino conservancy.  We have approximately 40 black rhino on the property.  Last year we had the vets come down from Harare due to the squatters snaring the animals.  A big bull died last week due to fighting as the animals are now compressed into a small area and the bulls areas are overlapping.  We did what we were supposed to do according to the law and contacted a government vet and National Parks.  The vet came out to ascertain the cause of death and National Parks collected the horn.  The was on Sunday.. On Monday, all hell broke loose as the squatters now decided that they own the rhino and they want the trophy fee for these animals and we should have consulted with them prior to calling the vet and National Parks."
The War Vets have also stopped the pumping of water for the animals.  They haven't had water since 25 March 2002.
We dare not sit by and let this happen!!  Write to every group and individual you know who have the welfare of the black rhino close to heart.  Contact your government representatives and ask for an interventiion of this pending disaster.  Together we can arouse the conscious of the world to see the depth of the horror that will happen if the events in Zimbabwe continue.
There is room for everyone in Zimbabwe, black, white and WILDLIFE.  It simply needs some committed people to take control of the situation and and re-arrange the structure to everyone's benefit and satisfaction.  Its worth a try before its too late.
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Monday, 8 April, 2002, 14:27 GMT 15:27 UK
Zimbabwe talks begin amid tension
MDC rally
Opposition supporters are standing their ground
Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Charge (MDC) have started their first face-to-face discussions since disputed presidential elections last month.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe
Mugabe says he won fair and square
The talks are led by mediators from Nigeria and Nigeria.

But correspondents say hopes for progress are dim, as both sides have dug in their heels on the issue of whether fresh elections are needed.

The MDC insists that the March poll was rigged and has called for a rerun - an idea categorically rejected by Zanu-PF.

International monitors

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai told supporters that if Zanu-PF was not willing to talk about an election rerun, "there is no need to even start negotiations."

In his first rally since he lost the election, Mr Tsvangirai also accused President Robert Mugabe of putting the country under "a military dictatorship".

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai at a rally on Sunday 7 April
Tsvangirai wants new elections
The MDC says fresh elections should be held under international supervision.

President Mugabe, for his part, has vowed that no new presidential poll will be held until his current term expires six years from now.

A member of the Zanu-PF delegation to the talks, Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, said his party was going into dialogue - not negotiations - with the MDC, and did not expect to discuss the election.

"If they [MDC] have a problem with the election, they know what to do. They should go to the courts and get serious. Otherwise they should go into oblivion gracefully," Mr Moyo said.

Banned protests

The planned talks come after a weekend of unrest across Zimbabwe.

Army patrol in Harare
The army is determined to thwart disturbances
Police broke up anti-government demonstrations in Harare and other parts of the country.

The authorities had banned the demonstrations, organised by an umbrella organisation called the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA).

Art least 21 people, including NCA leader Lovemore Madhuku, were arrested and were expected to appear in court on Monday.

The protesters say they plan to stage more protests to force a change to the constitution, which they say has given Mr Mugabe extensive powers.

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People's Daily (China)

Three White Men Arrested for Firing Demonstrators in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's Police said here on Sunday that they have arrested three white
men in Bubi district in Matebeleland North province for allegedly opening
fire at about 400 settlers who were demonstrating against Gourls farm owner
Richard Pascal following a misunderstanding.

"One of the settlers was slightly injured on the back of the head by a
pellet and was sent to a local hospital for treatment," said police
spokesman Chief Inspector Tarwireyi Tirivavi.

"The suspects are expected to appear in court soon facing attempted murder
charges," he said.

Tirivavi said the settlers were demonstrating against Pascal after they
accused him of campaigning for Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) during
last month's presidential poll, saying they could not co-exist with him.

"As they were marching, the three suspects took some short guns and fired
into the crowd," he said.

Tirivavi said the white men also opened the cage of ostriches to attack the
demonstrating settlers resulting in one of them being kicked by an ostrich
on the chest.

The three suspects, he said, were overpowered by the settlers who later
handed them to the police.

"They defended their action, saying they were firing into the air to scare
away the demonstrators," Tirivavi added.
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Business Day

Zimbabwean detainees see lawyers

Protesters called for curb of Mugabe's powers
HARARE Sixty-four people arrested during protests against disputed
presidential elections were allowed to see lawyers yesterday after about 30
hours in custody, a lawyer said.

Alec Machadehama, a lawyer for the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA),
the umbrella organisation of civic groups that organised Saturday's
protests, said he met with the group's leader, Lovemore Madhuku, and 29
others being held at the main Harare police station. Madhuku told his lawyer
he was unharmed.

"They are still being detained. The accusations against them are being
clarified," Machadehama said.

Police spokesman Tarwireyi Tirivavi said earlier that those detained were
accused of violating the Public Order and Security Act under which the
protests were forbidden.

Douglas Mwonzura, a spokesman for the NCA, said 34 other demonstrators were
being held in the provincial capitals of Bulawayo, Gweru and Mutare.

Earlier, witnesses said many of those detained were beaten by baton-wielding
police during their arrests.

"They were badly bruised, some had been bleeding from the ears and their
necks," said a witness who saw them in Harare central police station.

The demonstrators demanded the introduction of a new democratic constitution
that would restrict President Robert Mugabe's autocratic powers.

In addition to the NCA members arrested in Harare, two members of its
national task force were arrested in the central town of Gweru.

"We have no indication of when (those arrested) will be released," Mwonzora

Muchadehama said: "I have not yet seen any of them."

Muchadehama said all had been arrested under the new Public Order and
Security Act, a draconian legislation that gives police sweeping powers to
ban meetings and arrest people at will.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) spokesman Douglas Mwonzora
said 15 people were arrested in Bulawayo, 10 in Gweru and nine in Mutare.
Police had originally refused all of them access to their lawyers, in
violation of their constitutional rights, he said.

The recent arrests follow arrests made on Thursday, when police jailed more
than 350 NCA activists (all women) as they organised protests against
Mugabe's election victory.

They were freed on bail on Saturday.

Edwina Spicer, a television journalist, was also arrested and detained
briefly on Saturday with her husband, evidently after filming truckloads of
police being deployed in the capital.

Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo, whose ministry controls the police, warned
on Friday that any demonstrations held would be considered illegal and
stopped. "The law will be applied in full force," he said.

The MDC has rejected Mugabe's victory over its leader Morgan Tsvangirai and
called for a revote in an election they said was tainted by political
violence and vote rigging.

Several independent observer groups said the election was deeply flawed and
clearly engineered toward ensuring a Mugabe victory.

The US condemned the vote, and the Commonwealth and its former colonies
suspended Zimbabwe for a year, while most of the world declared Mugabe's
victory illegitimate for the same reasons cited by the MDC.

Mugabe has rejected the MDC's call for another election. "The next poll will
be held six years hence. Let that sink in to Britain and its surrogates in
the MDC," Mugabe told party members on Friday.

Mugabe has painted the opposition as lackeys of Britain, Zimbabwe's former
colonial power.

He said there would "never, never, never" be a rerun of the ballot, and that
the result of the election was "the people's mandate that we, Zanu (PF)
alone, have the right to rule and no one else".

This latest spate of arrests is the second time since the disputed
presidential election held last month that authorities have squashed
attempts by national prodemocracy organisations to protest against the

A three-day national protest strike called two weeks ago by the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions, the national labour movement, foundered on the
second day in the wake of threats of forcible state action.

The new law also prevented labour officials from moving freely and holding
meetings at factories and businesses to promote the event.

Observers say that the repressive state response in both cases, as well as a
campaign of violent retribution against supporters of the MDC, has dealt a
critical blow to organised opposition to the 78-year-old Mugabe, who has
ruled for the past 22 years. Sapa-AFP

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ZIMBABWE: Children driven from school food queues: reports

JOHANNESBURG, 8 April (IRIN) - Allegations of food aid being politicised have resurfaced in Zimbabwe with a report that opposition supporters' children are being driven away from school supplementary feeding schemes in rural areas.

Shari Eppel of rights group Amani Trust said that in the course of helping torture victims, she had been told that children of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters were being denied access to school food queues in Mberengwa East, in the far south of the country.

In her office on Friday was Sam Mlilo, district chairman of Mburengwa East, who told IRIN he had seen children driven out of the queue for the supplementary meal at the Chamakudo Primary School, near Mataga, because of their parents' political beliefs.

"Children with parents sympathetic to the MDC are denied access to food. In each village there are some MDC supporters and the villagers know MDC supporters by name and drive their children away," Mlilo claimed. He said people had tried in vain to complain.

He added that ZANU-PF structures were being used to distribute food and that traditional leaders were also distributing food along party lines.

Aid groups contacted by IRIN, however, said they were not aware of children being denied access to the school feeding schemes. Dennis O'Brien, country director of Care International, said field staff at school feeding points regularly checked the schemes registers, which was an opportunity for people to raise concerns. We would immediately raise it with authorities and work to resolve it," he said.

Bhekimpilo Khanye, World Vision operations manager for the southern region, said his organisation hadn't started supplementary feeding yet, but was preparing to do so. "People on the ground will have to get an understanding of the political nature of food distribution," he said, adding that so far there had been "nothing to scare us off".

Edward Watkiss of Christian Aid said many complaints stemmed from agencies not being able to "blanket feed" all schools in an area. "If a school three kilometres away is not fed, there are grumbles of political favours either towards government or the opposition. We find that when we get down to district level, people are down to earth, they are not political like at provincial level," he said.

Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) Director Munyaradzi Bidi said he had not heard of children being victimised in this way, but said that during the March elections many schools closed down, denying children access to the nutritional supplements they would have received there.

Further afield in Gokwe, Bidi said, ZANU-PF youths were trying to control oil and maize prices in shops and the prices the items were sold at could vary according to political affiliation.

Eppel said a report on the victimisation of the children would be compiled with information from various regions, and would be presented to the donor agencies.

The latest allegations come after last week's  release by the International Crisis Group (ICG) of a report saying maize imports were directed to areas of greatest support for the ruling party, ZANU-PF. At the time Edward Mamutse, a government spokesman in Zimbabwe's Department of Information and Publicity said: "There's nothing of the sort."

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's ailing economy received a boost on Monday with the announcement of an agreement to export beef to Libya, with whom the country has close links and a fuel supply agreement.

Also on Monday, post-election talks facilitated by South Africa and Nigeria between the MDC and ZANU-PF finally started.
The MDC, which narrowly lost the presidential elections, is demanding a fresh poll, calling Mugabe's government a junta.

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Harare Needs $16,5b to Avert Starvation Banks

The Daily News (Harare)

April 8, 2002
Posted to the web April 8, 2002

Ngoni Chanakira Business Editor

At a time when Zimbabwe is facing its worst foreign currency crisis ever,
bankers say the country needs a staggering US$300 million (Z$16,5 billion)
this year alone, to feed a total of 7,8 million starving people countrywide.

This comes amid reports that the government has decided to introduce a new
and ambitious economic programme focussing on increased agricultural

Under the proposed economic recovery programme, the government says about
100 000 hectares of land would be put under irrigation for maize production
to yield approximately 400 000 tonnes of maize that is expected to be
harvested in August, this year, to meet the maize deficit caused by the

The programme also boasts creating more than one million jobs. However,
bankers said all these statistics were very "optimistic but highly
unreliable" because the country was facing a very serious drought.

Besides, they said, Zimbabwe's huge domestic debt of more than $227 billion
and foreign debt of US$700 million made it extremely difficult for the
government to pay for various schemes, including food imports from
neighbouring countries.

Stanbic Bank of Zimbabwe Limited (Stanbic), in its Monthly Economic Pointer
released last week, said there were radical policy changes needed to arrest
the economic melt-down.

The bank said as Zimbabwe puts behind the first quarter of the year,
prospects of economic recovery over the remainder of 2002 remained bleak,
aggravated by a plethora of challenges.

Stanbic said: "It is inescapable that Zimbabwe will, over the next 12
months, face an acute cereal deficit, closure of which requires at least
US$300 million. This calamity has come at a time when the country is facing
its worst foreign currency crisis."

The bank said other factors that needed tight monitoring and solving
included the foreign exchange shortages, the burgeoning inflation, the
country risk factor, as well as the "curse of past fiscal slippages".

Joseph Made, the Minister of lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, in
his ambitious land scheme, said the government had revised upwards the
programme and agrarian reform budget from US$1,9 billion (Z$104,5 billion)
to US$3 billion (Z$165 billion), with the bulk of the money expected to go
towards infrastructure and farmer credit support over a five-year period.

Last week, however, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Simba
Makoni, said the government would only be able to deal with the food crisis
if a supplementary budget was passed by parliament because the coffers had
run dry.

The government later said it was finalising a $95 billion programme for
maize imports, food aid, child supplementary feeding schemes and winter crop
inputs to "fight the drought".
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Zimbabwe rulers talk to foes, rule out new poll
HARARE, April 8 — Zimbabwe's ruling party began closed-door talks with its opposition rivals on Monday, but flatly ruled out a re-run of last month's presidential poll.
       President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF says the poll, which gave him a fresh term in office, was fair.
 The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says it was not -- an opinion shared by many Western states -- and its leader and defeated candidate Morgan Tsvangirai says he will discuss nothing but a re-run under external supervision.
       Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, heading ZANU-PF's talks team, said the election was ''free and fair'' and its outcome ''non-reversible and non-negotiable,'' according to a copy of his opening statement distributed to reporters.
       ''My party has no time for some in our midst who think we must go back in history to pre-independence when we needed transitional arrangements...or international supervision...or some such talk reflecting minds caught in a time warp and badly needing a reality check,'' he said.
       ''We therefore decline the sinister invitation to go back in time in search of re-colonisation.''
       In his opening remarks MDC secretary-general and team leader Welshman Ncube said Zimbabwe's crisis could only be resolved through a fresh poll.
       ''There is no other way. There can be no other way. What we in the MDC are seeking immediate restoration of law and order and...unconditional return to legitimacy through a fresh presidential poll,'' he said.
       Ncube said human rights groups had recorded over 500,000 politically related rights violations in the year to March 2002.
       ''Over 120 of our supporters have been murdered in cold blood and the death toll is rising. The Zimbabwe Republic Police stands by while innocent citizens are killed, tortured or their homes destroyed,'' he said.
       Ncube, along with Tsvangirai, is on bail on charges of plotting to kill Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980. They deny the charges.
       Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth for a year on March 19 after the 54-nation group's election observers, and Western governments, accused Mugabe of electoral fraud.
       The government has dismissed the charges, saying they are being pushed by Western powers keen to see Mugabe ousted over his seizure of white-owned farms for landless blacks.
       The talks are being chaired by mediators from South Africa and Nigeria which have led efforts to launch dialogue between the former British colony's bitterly divided parties and urged a government of national unity.
       But the MDC held out little hope of progress.
       ''Attempts to get ZANU-PF and MDC to dialogue is like attempting to move the north pole to the south pole,'' it said in a statement commenting on the opening statements.
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'Conserve Scarce Foreign Exchange Resources'

The Herald (Harare) (govt paper)

April 8, 2002
Posted to the web April 8, 2002

Business Reporter

THE business community, which is now accustomed to accusing the Government for all its failures, has been urged to conserve scarce foreign exchange resources available by complying with the exchange control regulations.

Billions of dollars that could have been used to sustain the local economy have been lost in the past through violation of exchange control regulations within the business community.

More resources continue to be lost despite a number of measures put in place by the Government.

Mining, tourism and bureaux de change operators have been cited as some of the worst culprits.

Violation of exchange control regulations also include transactions that are being conducted on the parallel market.

In its monthly economic pointer, Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe Limited reminded business leaders that economic turnaround would not be achieved by the Government alone.

"Government alone can not steer the economy out of the current crisis. There is also a role for business to play," Stanbic said.

The commercial bank said compliance with exchange control regulations would ensure that the little foreign exchange resources available reduce the long-standing national backlog on foreign payment obligations.

"It should be noted, however, that compliance and virtues thereof can be enhanced by allowance for some flexibility of the exchange rate to restore exporter viability," the bank said.

Companies can also mitigate collapse by adopting cost effective production methods and introducing value-management systems and costs saving technologies to reduce input costs.


The private sector can also play a critical role in the provision of infrastructure and other social programmes. It can also play an important role in rebuilding the country's international image.

Stanbic said labour organisation could also slowdown the rate of inflation by making reasonable demands during collective bargaining.

"A key input that labour can play - within the framework of a social contract - is effective communication of merits of wage restraint, particularly given the wage-cost-inflation-wage spiral that now characterise the economy.

"Without this commitment from labour, efforts to stem inflationary pressures will make a painfully long time to bear fruit," it said.

On the other hand the civil society should avoid destabilising the nation.

But in all these efforts, the Government will play a complementary role of providing a conducive environment in which the business community operates.

This includes managing the budget deficit, promoting domestic and foreign investments, speeding up the privatisation process and arresting the excessive money supply growth which is contributing to high inflation.

There is now renewed vigour in the management of the economy following the re-election of President Mugabe.

Stanbic urged the Government to expedite the land reform.

"A shorter transition phase of the on-going land reform programme would enhance the credit worthiness of agriculture.

"This would enable the financial system to continue to fully support this critically important sector."

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Air Zimbabwe suspends flights to DRC
Pana has reported that Air Zimbabwe has suspended their flights to the DRC as a result of a debt problem. The airline's Congolese joint venture partner owes them $4 million. Their failure to pay up has forced Air Zimbabwe to stop flights to the DRC according to company spokesmen. The airline has sent representatives to the DRC in efforts to rectify the situation.
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