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Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai: who will blink first in Zimbabwe

The Times
August 14, 2008

Bronwen Maddox, Chief Foreign Commentator
The divisive deal that Robert Mugabe struck to keep himself in power was in
question yesterday as Morgan Tsvangirai, the main opposition leader, quit
talks in the hope of more concessions.

Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, which won a
parliamentary majority in March, appears to reckon that it is irrelevant
that Mugabe has split the MDC, doing a deal with a small faction to give
himself nominal control of parliament once more. Tsvangirai's calculation is
that no deal that lacks his signature is worth anything; nor will aid and
international recognition come back until he is given a real role in the

He may be overplaying his hand. Yesterday he was described by those close to
the talks as very buoyant, believing that he had put the ball in Mugabe's
court. But in a game of bluff which is far from over, he is reckoning that
the world thinks he is indispensable to Zimbabwe's future. He may be right,
but that doesn't mean that Mugabe will recognise this as pressure, and
respond in the way that Tsvangirai - and much of the world - is hoping.

Mugabe's latest manoeuvre to keep himself in power came to a climax on
Tuesday night, when he struck a deal for a coalition government with Arthur
Mutambara, leader of a faction of the MDC, in talks brokered by President
Mbeki of South Africa. On paper, this would give Mugabe's Zanu (PF) party,
together with Mutabara's MDC faction, 109 seats to Tsvangirai's 100.

But many agree with Tsvangirai that "the world will not re-engage with
Zimbabwe until the MDC is on board and really has a role," as Richard
Dowden, Director of the Royal African Society, said. "A deal stitched up by
Mugabe, Mutambara and Mbeki isn't going to stick," he added.
That is clearly the calculation that Tsvangirai has made, despite Mbeki's
attempts to present this as progress. He has been buoyed up by the blast of
international support for his demand, which, in its simplest form, is to be
made prime minister with executive power, leaving Mugabe as something of a
figurehead. Tsvangirai may travel to South Africa before this weekend's
regional summit to try to convince Mbeki of this requirement of legitimacy.

But others take a cooler view of the strengths of his position. "Neither MDC
faction is negotiating from a particularly strong position," argues Tom
Cargill, manager of the Chatham House think-tank's Africa Programme. "They
have none of the levers of power within Zimbabwe, in the military or
economic spheres."

At the moment, the Army has thrown its support behind Mugabe, in line with
the self-interest of its senior members. They want protection of their
commercial interests, as well as protection from the potential charges a new
president might bring. Although they might, in theory, be persuaded to back
someone new, at the moment they clearly do not.

The ideal, Cargill argues, is for Tsvangirai to be given the executive
powers he wants. But "the best we can probably hope for," he added, "is some
cobbled-together agreement which needs to include Tsvangirai but might not
be substantive." It would, however, have to include a promise from Mugabe to
work within parliamentary processes, something that many Zanu (PF) members
want too as they do not want the Army calling the shots. That would allow
Mugabe to retire soon by choice, and to maintain that he was not forced out,
and that his legacy was safe. "Zimbabwe needs a younger generation of
politicians from all parties to be given a chance to sort out the mess,"
Cargill said. "While Mugabe is there, it won't be."

Even that sketch remains out of reach at the moment, as Mugabe has offered
nothing like that in these talks. Any movement will probably have to wait
for next week. Not much is likely to happen before the regional summit in
South Africa this weekend, chaired by Mbeki (though Tsvangirai may try to
pitch up there first to bend the South African leader's ear). Nor is there
going to be any more talk of sanctions in the UN unless Tsvangirai says that
he can get no satisfactory concessions from these talks.

The next week will begin to show whether Tsvangirai is justified in his
confidence in using international support as a bargaining chip in wrestling
with a leader who has never attached much value to that commodity.

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Amid Gloom, South Africa's Mbeki Hopeful Of Zimbabwe Breakthrough


By Blessng Zulu, Thomas Chiripasi & Carole Gombakomba
Harare & Washington
13 August 2008

South African President Thabo Mbeki said Wednesday he remains hopeful a
power-sharing agreement between Zimbabwe's long-ruling ZANU-PF and the
Movement for Democratic Change can be reached soon despite indications the
talks are virtually deadlocked, but developments on the ground in the
country threatened the crisis resolution process.

President Robert Mugabe and MDC founder Morgan Tsvangirai have been unable
to agree on a formula for the amount of power each of them would wield in a
cooperative government and also on whether a new constitution is needed or
if amendments will suffice.

Mr. Mbeki, mediator in the talks on behalf of the Southern African
Development Community, was in Angola on Wednesday briefing President Jose
Eduardo dos Santos, head of SADC's organ on politics and defense which has
an oversight brief in the negotiations.

Mr. Mbeki asked all concerned to give the process time, but reports from the
state-controlled Herald newspaper warned that President Mugabe has run out
of patience.

The Herald said Mr. Mugabe intended to announce a new cabinet and would call
parliament back into session "soon." Such a course of action would breach
the memorandum of understanding signed July 21 by the three parties to the
negotiating process, which include Tsvangirai and rival MDC formation leader
Arthur Mutambara.

Tsvangirai said Thursday that he is "committed to reaching an agreement that
upholds the will of the people." Tsvangirai was expected to travel to
Pretoria shortly to brief SADC leaders on the sidelines of the regional
summit which is to open there on Friday.

But Zimbabwean security sources told VOA that Tsvangirai might be prevented
from leaving the country, contributing to a rise in tension in the country.

Secretary General Tendai Biti of the Tsvangirai MDC formation told reporter
Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that all eyes are now on Mbeki
to salvage the talks.

Meanwhile, Harare correspondent Thomas Chiripasi reported that Mutambara in
a news conference disclaimed reports he had reached a power-sharing
agreement with president Robert Mugabe which did not have the accord of

Poliitical analyst Charles Mangongera said Mr. Mbeki can still pull out a
power-sharing deal, but emphasized that he must broaden the mediation

With SADC heads of state and government due in Pretoria shortly, Mr. Mbeki,
to assume the SADC rotating chairmanship during the summit, is under some
pressure to show results from the talks or at least progress pointing to a
successful near-term conclusion.

SADC Executive Secretary Tomaz Salomao said the summit agenda includes the
launch of a free trade zone and political problems in the Democratic
Republic of Congo, among other countries, as well as the xenophobic attacks
that broke out in South Africa in May.

But the Zimbabwe talks have a high profile and Mr. Mbeki is expected to
report back to the SADC leaders on the status of the talks.

Political analyst Farai Maguwu told reporter Carole Gombakomba that while
Mbeki may not have a breakthrough to report, he nonetheless has positive
elements to highlight.

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Mugabe must back down, says rival

Independent, UK

By Basildon Peta in Johannesburg and Daniel Howden
Thursday, 14 August 2008

Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe's opposition leader, has refused to be pushed
into a deal that would leave Robert Mugabe in effective control of the
country. The man regarded by many as the president-elect said Mr Mugabe
would have to cede power before any agreement on a government of national
unity would be possible.

Claims from the Mugabe camp that it had divided the opposition appeared to
be unfounded.

Mr Tsvangirai said his rival must back down or negotiations would collapse,
a source close to the talks told The Independent. Mr Tsvangirai walked out
of talks late on Tuesday night after South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki,
who is mediator, tried to push him into an agreement that would have made
him prime minister in name alone, leaving executive power in the hands of
President Mugabe.

Mr Tsvangirai, who won more votes than his rivals in a March election, is
demanding executive powers be transferred to a prime ministerial position
before he will sign up to any deal. He has come under intense pressure from
three sides, as Arthur Mutambara, the leader of a smaller opposition
faction, has joined Mr Mbeki and Mr Mugabe in pushing for the 84-year-old
President to hold on to as much power as possible. The Mugabe regime is
determined to retain control of the security services while leaving Mr
Tsvangirai to sort out the devastated economy.

There is increasing anger in the impoverished nation over the role of Mr
Mutambara, who has positioned himself closer to the Mugabe camp in a bid to
get a government role despite his lack of popular support. He failed to win
a seat at the election and his faction has only 10 MPs. While he stopped
short of saying he had signed up to the Mugabe plan, yesterday he called on
Mr Tsvangirai to make concessions for the good of the country.

A senior official in Mr Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change said
there was a major disagreement on the section of the draft agreement - drawn
up with the South Africans - dealing with the powers of the prime minister
to appoint, chair and run cabinet issues as executive head of government.
The wording of that section would have reduced the post of premier to that
of ceremonial status, preserving Mr Mugabe's enormous power.

The source said Mr Tsvangirai raised serious objections but his rival would
not concede and denied that the talks had collapsed, saying the opposition
leader would return to the negotiations when the Mugabe camp changed its

"They have only collapsed in the sense that there won't be a deal before
Mbeki leaves as originally planned," said the source.

"They have only collapsed in the sense that the deadline for a deal has not
been met. But they have not collapsed forever because there is still room
for more dialogue and a consensus can still be reached if Mugabe reconsiders
his stance. The ball is in his court. There is no way we can budge on this
fundamental issue [configuration of powers]."

Attempts by Mr Mbeki yesterday to spin the MDC leader's departure as a
period of consultation with his party was denied. The MDC maintains that Mr
Mugabe can remain as head of state only if he concedes actual power.

Any deal is supposed to be endorsed by all three parties but this does not
preclude Mr Mugabe and Mr Mutambara from doing their a separate deal outside
the current mediation. Mr Mutambara is understood to be pushing for a
position of deputy prime minister in a new government, but if he abandons
the main opposition leader to land the job he is likely to be reviled by
much of the country.

Any such agreement would also hand a slim parliamentary majority to Mr
Mugabe and his ruling Zanu-PF party but it would do nothing to deliver the
massive external aid needed to refloat the economy. Mr Tsvangirai's main
strength is his clear backing from the international donor community.

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Hopes of end to Zimbabwe's crisis fade as talks stall

The Scotsman

Published Date: 14 August 2008
By Jane Fields
in Zimbabwe
HOPES for a speedy settlement to Zimbabwe's crisis faded yesterday when
South Africa's president Thabo Mbeki left Harare with no sign of a deal
between Robert Mugabe and the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Mr Mbeki said Zimbabwe's rivals needed "space," according to
state-controlled ZBC radio.

The South African president had mediated three days of talks between Mr
Mugabe, Mr Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, the leader of a faction of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Mr Mbeki said he remained "confident" that all three parties would find a

"We have dealt with all the critical elements on which president Mugabe and
Mr Mutambara agree, but there's disagreement with one element over which
Morgan Tsvangirai has asked for more time to reflect," Mr Mbeki said.

Unconfirmed reports say the talks stalled late on Tuesday after the
84-year-old Mr Mugabe refused to grant Mr Tsvangirai the position of prime
minister with executive powers.

The Zimbabwean leader is adamant his controversial victory in a sham 27 June
poll must be recognised.

However, Mr Tsvangirai wants his victory in the first round of presidential
elections on 29 March to be the starting point for a future government. He
pulled out of the June second round, claiming more than 100 of his
supporters had been killed.

Mr Mutambara's faction has denied claims by state-run media it signed a deal
with Mr Mugabe that sidelined Mr Tsvangirai. However, an official from Mr
Mutambara's faction said if the talks collapse, one option "might include a
bilateral agreement with either of the other two parties".

A deal involving Mr Mugabe and Mr Mutambara is likely to be viewed as yet
another betrayal by the majority of opposition supporters.

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Zimbabwean Civil Society To Press For Role In Power-Sharing Talks


By Patience Rusere
13 August 2008

Zimbabwean civil society leaders unhappy with the direction of ongoing
power-sharing talks are threatening demonstrations to express displeasure
with what they say is an undue focus on politics and insufficient attention
to a deepening economic and social crisis.

National Constitutional Assembly Chairman Lovemore Madhuku said his group
and other non-governmental organizations plan to stage demonstrations on
occasions such as the Southern African Development Community summit opening
Friday in Pretoria.
Also on the cards are petitions to the principals in the talks and a
grassroots campaign to push for an expanded mediation process bringing in
civil society representatives.

Madhuku told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that
the NCA and other non-governmental organizations believe civic groups could
play a balancing role in ensuring that the interests of ordinary Zimbabweans
are addressed.

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Zimbabwe Talks Mirror a Hard Road Ahead


The process must reflect the hopes and aspirations of the people

Masimba Biriwasha

     Published 2008-08-14 04:34 (KST)

For the past few weeks, the streets of Harare, Zimbabwe's capital city, have
been awash with talk about ongoing talks between incumbent President Robert
Mugabe's ZANU-PF party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) aimed at breaking the country's political stalemate.

With neither the ballot nor the bullet being a solution to the stalemate,
much hope has been staked on the talks.

The talks, which are being brokered by South African President Thabo Mbeki
are seen as the last trump card in halting Zimbabwe's downward spiral.

However, the talks which are coming in the wake of a negotiated political
setup in Kenya are seen as setting a precedent in Africa in which the
people's voting power plays second fiddle to political expediency in the
democratic process.

And with Mugabe clinging to executive powers won on the back of political
mayhem, intimidation, and murder of opposition activists, there is but
little headway in the talks achieving a credible solution.

Already, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), which played a key
role in the formation of the MDC in 1999, has dismissed the power sharing
talks as inconsequential.

Although the street talk is filled with a lot of optimism that this time the
talks will usher a resolution to the country's longstanding political
problems, the road to be traversed ahead is still filled with major

There is no doubt that a political resolution is the first key step to the
country's recovery for a myriad of misplaced policies pursued by Mugabe's
government for the past 7 to 10 years.

With the ballot box having failed to resolve the country's political
problems, dialogue appears to be the only way to find a peaceful and
democratic solution to avert the country's Humpty Dumpty-like fall.

Failure of the ongoing dialogue process will propel the country toward the
brink of collapse, further plunging the citizens of Zimbabwe into a state of
unprecedented suffering.

The gravity of the economic situation is indeed forcing the major political
actors to avoid playing hardball. But within both the ZANU-PF and MDC
political camps there are fears that each is compromising too much.

Whatever the case, Zimbabwe's economy has suffered terribly over the past
decade and rebuilding it will require numerous sacrifices, and the road
ahead will not necessarily be a rosy one for ordinary Zimbabweans.

While political reconciliation is a key first step, there are legal,
constitutional, social and land appropriation issues that have to be put on
the table to give the country a firm foundation to progress into the future.

The rule of law is perhaps what has suffered the most in the past 10 years
with there being no clear separation of powers between the executive,
judiciary and the legislature.

Furthermore, the role of civil society in the ongoing negotiations is very
obscure, which means that a significant sector of the Zimbabwean populace is
already excluded from the process.

The fact of the matter is that the ongoing political problems in Zimbabwe
are more than just a battle between ZANU-PF and the MDC. So once the sticky
issues between the major political players are resolved, the dialogue
process will need to involve a greater part of the population in the

In addition, a mere paper-based political deal will do little to resolve the
country's fundamental problems. Put simply, the ongoing talks are dominated
more by political characters than by national interests or the common good.

By focusing only on the political characters, the talks are forestalling
productive political dialogue aimed at addressing several outstanding issues
responsible for the country's current ossification, including land tenure,
human rights abuses, separation of powers and constitutional reform.

To be successful, the process of political dialogue and deal making must
reflect the hopes and aspirations of the people as well as receive the
blessings of the international community.

There is danger that the ongoing talks will only result in a superficial
deal that does little to change the destiny of Zimbabwe.

In the absence of a broad based political settlement, the nation of Zimbabwe
will continue down the road of further disintegration and decline. The
decline will adversely affect all sectors of society. There will be an
increase in lawlessness, brain drain, corruption, poverty and disease.

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Zim politician loses bid


13/08/2008 21:11  - (SA)

Pretoria - A Zimbabwean politician has failed in a Pretoria High Court bid
to become part of his country's settlement negotiations taking place in
South Africa.

Judge Ephraim Makgoba dismissed with costs an urgent application by Justine
Chiota, founder and leader of the Zimbabwe People's Party, on Tuesday

Chiota sought an order to either allow him to participate in the talks or to
stop the talks from continuing, pending the outcome of his Zimbabwe High
Court application to quash the results of the presidential elections held in
March in that country.

He cited President Thabo Mbeki and President Robert Mugabe as respondents.

In court papers, Chiota claimed he was entitled to take part in the
political settlement negotiations following a ruling by a Zimbabwean court
earlier this month.

Chiota contended he was wrongly excluded from participating in the
Zimbabwean elections after his country's electoral commission refused to
accept his nomination papers on the basis that they were "dirty".

He said a Zimbabwean court ruled in his favour, and ordered the electoral
commission to declare that he had been duly nominated for the elections.

Mbeki opposed the application, saying the Pretoria High Court did not have
the jurisdiction to pronounce on a matter outside the territorial
jurisdiction of the court.

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Image and ambition driving Arthur Mutambara - Zimbabwe's third man

The Times
August 14, 2008

Stephen Bevan: Behind the Story
Professor Arthur Mutambara - the minor opposition leader who is said to hold
the balance of power in talks on a government of national unity in
Zimbabwe - has never been reticent about his achievements or ambition.

Two and a half years ago when he granted me a rare interview in Johannesburg
he refused to get up from his desk to pose for the photographer because his
jacket did not match his trousers. "I'm very concerned about my image," he
said while buttoning it up.

There is certainly nothing humble about an academic with no political
following who decided to announce his availability for a leading role in
Zimbabwean politics after 15 years overseas by sending out a press release
setting out his conditions for doing so and inviting anyone who accepted to
contact him. In the end it was Welshman Ncube, general secretary of the then
newly formed breakaway MDC and the real power in the party, who took the

Mr Mugabe's Security Minister Didymus Mutasa, Mr Mugabe's Security Minister,
dismissed him as a stooge of the Americans while others claimed that he was
a Zanu (PF) plant to further divide and weaken the opposition.

An intense, restless and articulate 42-year-old, Dr Mutambara has gained a
reputation for intemperate language and posturing. In March 2007, after he
was arrested by police, he called for a declaration of war on the
Government. More recently, the man regarded by many as a shameless
opportunist has appeared to be currying favour with his former enemies by
parroting Mr Mugabe's anti-Western rhetoric.
Asked if he was concerned about the physical danger he faced being in
Zimbabwe, he said: "I'm a revolutionary, my life is meaningless. A
revolutionary by definition has no life. What's important to me is Zimbabwe.
Fifty years from now what will be the Mutambara legacy?"

Professor Arthur G.O. Mutambara has a doctorate in robotics from Oxford
University. He spent a year as a research scientist at Nasa, taught at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked at the management
consultancy McKinsey & Company. His pursuit of excellence seems to have
applied even to his choice of marriage partner. He proudly concluded a list
of his family's academic qualifications by saying with the fact that his
wife also has a Phd - in Strategic Marketing from Cardiff University.

After attending Hartzell High School in Mutare, Mr Mutambara went to the
University of Zimbabwe in Harare to study engineering. He and was by all
accounts a brilliant student, who won every scholarship he applied for. It
was here, in 1988, that he first became politicised. As the secretary
general of the Student Representative Council he was among the leaders of
the first post-independence student demonstration against Government
corruption which was violently suppressed by the police.

After his brief taste of student politics, Mr Mutambara appears to have put
all his energies into his academic career. He qualified from university and
won a prestigious Rhodes scholarship to do a Masters in electrical
Engineering/Computer Engineering at Oxford University, and went on to do a
Phd in Robotics and Mechatronics.

Typically, Mr Mutambara said that he loved Oxford because it was so
competitive "academically and socially".

Did he come across any racism while was there? "Those things are there but
I'm a fighter and those things I just brush them off ... I didn't suffer
because I'm a soldier, soldiers don't suffer those things."

After Oxford he got a job teaching at an engineering college in Florida and
then worked at the US space agency Nasa where he did research on unmanned
robots for the Mars Rover project. Although he has been dubbed the "rocket
scientist", his time at Nasa was brief. Indeed, From his CV, a pattern
emerges of a man who flitted from job to job, rarely staying more than a
year in each.

So why did he spend 15 years away from Zimbabwe? "We all fight in different
ways," he said. "I felt I needed to go to school, to get experience and
exposure and that will mean I can make a better contribution to Zimbabwe.
Now the time has come for me to jump from the pan into fire."

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MDC pledge to review mines deal

Financial Times

By Tom Burgis in Johannesburg

Published: August 13 2008 23:31 | Last updated: August 13 2008 23:31

Mining group Anglo American has held secret talks with Zimbabwe’s
opposition, that could see Anglo Platinum, its majority-owned subsidiary,
regain lucrative concessions recently ceded to the regime of Robert Mugabe,
the president.

In a sign of how the convulsions in Zimbabwe could affect some of the world’s
most coveted resources, two senior figures in the Movement for Democratic
Change told the Financial Times that the party had held discussions with the
mining company, which has a 76 per cent stake in Anglo Platinum.

Asked whether the talks could lead to Anglo Platinum winning back its claims
in Great Dyke, the world’s second richest platinum vein should the MDC win
power, one party insider said: “Definitely.” Anglo American declined to
comment but did not deny having discussions with the MDC.
The MDC is engaged in ­faltering power-sharing negotiations with the
autocratic president after widely denounced elections, which Mr Mugabe
claimed to have won.

It is planning a review of all mining concessions if, as Europe and the US
insist, it heads the next government. It would hold an investment conference
two months after the signing of a power- sharing deal.

“We are saying: ‘You have to come clean. We don’t want your money for the
MDC, we want you to invest in the country.’ Because if we say, ‘you have to
give money to the party’, we are just perpetuating Zanu-PF structures,” the
insider said, referring to Mr Mugabe’s party.

Central African Mining and Exploration, run by Phil Edmonds, the former
England cricketer, in April announced it had bought a 60 per cent interest
in the holding company that owns a pair of platinum claims that Anglo
Platinum had handed over to Zimbabwe’s state-owned mining company the same

Camec paid $5m plus new shares, at the time worth about $240m, and made the
cash-strapped government a $100m loan. The London-listed miner declined to
comment on the MDC talks.

It forecast it could be producing between 120,000 and 150,000 ounces of
platinum annually from the concessions within eight months.

If Anglo Platinum recovered its interests, that level of output would be
equivalent to about 5 per cent of the South African group’s global
production last year.

At a price of $1,500 an ounce, the total reserves at the two sites,
estimated at about 7.5m ounces of platinum, would be worth more than $11bn
(€8.8bn, £5.9bn).

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ZCTF Report - August 2008

13th August 2008
In the past week, we have received numerous very disturbing reports from tourists and locals alike regarding the wholesale killing of wildlife, in particular, elephants.
According to sources, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management has embarked on an "Elephant Population Management Programme" and this year, around 1800 elephants have already been shot in Hwange National Park alone. Furthermore, they plan on shooting another 1000. National Parks have allegedly contracted South African hunters to shoot the elephants.
It is of great concern that not only are elephant bulls being shot, but cows as well, leaving orphaned calves behind. We have also been informed that they intend to capture the orphans to be domesticated for elephant rides. Elephants with big tusks are being especially targeted.  
According to our sources, the tusks and skins have not been sent to Central Stores so many people are wondering what has happened to them. We have the names of some of the unscrupulous hunters and Safari Companies who are assisting in the decimation of the wildlife we have left here.
National Parks have apparently been issuing permits to clients to shoot other animals for rations as well - not only in Hwange National Park, but also in other National Park areas around the country. In addition to elephants, the ration animals include buffalo, lion, kudu and impala.
A hunt was conducted in Chizarira last month where 2 buffalo were shot. Chizarira is not a designated hunting area. The hunt was conducted by war veterans and 2 South African hunters, with the approval of a National Parks official. On another occasion, an elephant with 90 pound tusks was shot by a South African hunter in the same park but first prize goes to a hunter known as "The London Hunter" who has shot 47 elephants in Chizarira alone.
Before the March elections, numerous animals were shot for meat to encourage the hungry people to attend the ZANU PF political rallies and before the June run-off elections, more animals were shot for the same reason. Since the June election, the ruling party has held countless victory celebrations country-wide and animals have been shot for these celebrations as well. We have now just had our Heroes Day commemorations and National Parks donated 7 elephants and 7 buffalo to Mashonaland Central Province for food at the celebrations.
Gun shots are heard regularly in Kariba and last Saturday, a fresh elephant carcass was found about 800 metres from the crocodile farm. The meat, tusks and skin had been removed.
                                                      ELEPHANT REMAINS FOUND IN KARIBA
Reports have been received of wire snares hanging neatly from hooks on the trees around the National Parks living quarters at Nyanyana Camp in Kariba and a seemingly constant supply of fresh meat hanging from wires. A couple of years ago, Kariba was teeming with impala, wart hog, waterbuck etc. but now, it is very rare to see any of the smaller plains game there. Impala, which has always been abundant all over Zimbabwe is almost non-existent in Kariba today.
It is heartbreaking that the wildlife is paying the biggest price of all in the economic collapse of this country. The wild animals are the best tourist attraction Zimbabwe has to offer and we sincerely hope the authorities will come to their senses and realize that before it is all gone.
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:  263 4 336710
Landline/Fax: 263 4 339065
Mobile:     263 11 603 213

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Fears of violent flare up as SA refugee camps dismantled Friday

By Alex Bell
13 August 2008

Fears are mounting in South Africa that there will be another flare up of
xenophobic violence, as thousands of refugees are set to return to the
communities they were forced to flee earlier this year.

Hundreds of refugee camps were set up following a spate of violent attacks
on foreigners across the country, that left more than 60 people dead and saw
thousands of foreign nationals seeking temporary shelter at police stations.

The attacks saw an exodus of refugees leaving South Africa to return to
their own homelands. But with the political, economic and humanitarian
crises worsening in Zimbabwe, the majority of exiled Zimbabweans had no
choice but to join other refugees in the camps.

But Friday will see the situation dramatically change, with the Gauteng
local government saying it will close all its camps - leaving the estimated
4 000 foreigners with the choice of returning to the townships where they
were originally targeted, or returning to the countries they fled.

Gabriel Shumba from the Zimbabwe exiles forum in South Africa told Newsreel
on Wednesday that thousands of Zimbabweans are facing a desperate situation,
as returning home is not a possibility for them. He said intimidation by
South African citizens in the areas has already started, with many saying
they are "ready to kill" if foreigners return to their communities.

Shumba added that Zimbabweans believe their only choices are to "either die
in South Africa or die in Zimbabwe" and many have told the Exiles forum they
would rather "sleep on the streets than return to the communities or to
Zimbabwe". He added that Zimbabweans, like many other foreign nationals,
"have nothing to return to" if they go back to the communities, as many of
their homes and possessions were destroyed, and there is no infrastructure
to support them.

The violent attacks earlier this year saw the South African government
scramble to make amends, but Shumba said since then the government has not
done enough to ensure foreigners are protected, and added that the "basis
for the feelings of xenophobia have not been removed".

On Wednesday, lawyers from The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South
Africa and the Wits Law Clinic, filed an urgent application at the
Constitutional court to keep the temporary camps open. The move came after a
Pretoria High Court dismissed the same application on Tuesday, saying the
South African government was not violating the rights of the refugees. The
judge added that the government was under no obligation to come up with a
re-integration plan, and it had "done enough" to manage the disaster.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Comments from Correspondents


Unity must be the campus which should guide the two MDC formations. What is
at stake here is the welfare of the people at large. It is important that
the Mutambara MDC formation must play ball with the MDC T formation as we
all know that their strategic intent is the same despite the minor
differences they have.




We Zimbabweans in Diaspora are so much disappointed by the actions of
Athur Mtambara and his deputy Welshman Ncube.If there is an element of truth
in that they signed the deal with Mugabe, which means they are the new
double headed creatures ,political prostitutes and current judases wo are
prepared to sell zimbabwe for a few pieces of silver from Zanu Pf and its
ageing leader.The current problem in Zimbabwe is not about signatures,its
not sanctions and its not foreign currency,not even the junta no!The biggest
problem in Zimbabwe is the man they call CDE ROBERT GABRIEL MUGABE.Very soon
the herald will start addressing his 'marriage partners' as comrade mtambara
and cde ncube!

We are asking those who can list and impose sanctions to include
Mtambara,Ncube and all who are willing to join Zanu Pf in the list with
effect from the time itrs rumoured author signed.They are not democratic
forces but Zanu Pf planted gangs with the agenda to bring down a true
democratic party with the people,s mandate-MDC.We want Zanu Pf to carry on
without the opposition,let them rule the country untill they are tired and
we see how its going to end.We know everything that has momentum is subject
to friction,lets see how the zanu pf wheel will overcome friction without
international help.This country is going to the dogs and its all MUgbe's
fault,he is so disappointed because he lost the people,28yrs in office and
he cant say its enough,then his CIO spreads rumours that mugabe is good,just
the junta and those close to him.Mugabe is the one who is wrong,he can stop
every one in Zanu Pf because they ave appointed him  a god.Zanu Pf has
become a religious sect with mugabe being allowed to behave like a
worshipped creature,we are saying zvakwana!NOTHING WILL MOVE,NOTHING WILL

You rejected muzorewa's goverment because you new it was a pro smith
government,now how can morgan join you.You know for sure with the ground
even tilting in your favour you cant even match morgan,what more with the
ground even!Morgan can wait,in his late fifties we can be patient even for
another 20yrs and he will be in office,you will be 104yrs and one of the
world"s oldest person shitting yourself and half blind!If you had wisdom you
could make things ok now,there is an olive branch from the one people
appointed,leave office and retire so when you hit a century tinokuisaiwo
kuma old people's homes muchigezeswa nekupishikwa sezvatinoita chembere
dzechirungu kuno kudiaspora!

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