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

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Zim Online

Think-tank urges soft-landing exit strategy for Mugabe
Thu 18 August 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - South Africa should work with Nigeria to establish a
mission of former African presidents to mediate a "genuine and generous
compromise" in Zimbabwe to pave way for free and fair elections, according
to the International Crisis Group (ICG).

      The influential ICG is an international political think-tank which
tracks political trends and developments across the globe. The
Brussels-based group is widely consulted by the European Union (EU) and the
United States (US) on key global affairs.

      In a report released on Wednesday, the ICG said Harare's controversial
urban clean-up campaign that left at least 700 000 Zimbabweans homeless
after police demolished city backyard cottages and shanty towns had made it
increasingly difficult for fellow African leaders to continue ignoring the
quality of President Robert Mugabe's rule.

      The immediate requirement was to alleviate the humanitarian crisis
created by the city clean-up exercise strongly condemned by the United
Nations, US, EU, Zimbabwean and international human rights groups. But
action was also urgently required to address Zimbabwe 's governance
problems, the root cause of its political and economic crisis, the ICG said.

      "Action is urgently needed to address Zimbabwe 's larger governance
problem. This will require efforts on three parallel tracks -- the
maintenance of overt international pressure, support for building internal
political capacity and, above all, active regional diplomacy to facilitate
political transition," the report reads in part.

      To break Zimbabwe's political impasse continental powerbrokers, South
Africa and Nigeria, should rope in retired Africa presidents to persuade
especially Mugabe, his ruling ZANU PF party and the opposition to agree a
transitional mechanism that would among other things ensure a dignified exit
for the veteran Zimbabwean leader from active politics.

      The "win-win" transitional strategy should ultimately result in the
"creation of a credible government of national unity, a period for new or
revised political groupings to form and, ultimately, properly
internationally supervised elections", the ICG recommends.

      On their part ZANU PF and the main opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) parties should be receptive to attempts by Tshwane, Abuja and
other African capitals to mediate and end the political crisis gripping
Zimbabwe .

      Tshwane, which has been approached by Harare for a US$500 million
bailout loan, should help the search for a solution to Zimbabwe 's crisis by
attaching conditions to ensure its financial assistance would be used for
the intended purposes and not to merely strengthen the ZANU PF government,
adds the report.

      Attempts by Abuja and Tshwane to broker dialogue between ZANU PF and
the MDC have floundered in the past as the two political foes bickered and
sued each other.

      The US , EU and the UN Security Council should rally behind the South
African and Nigerian-led African effort to find a democratic solution to
Zimbabwe 's crisis.

      But the US and EU should widen and maintain targeted sanctions against
Mugabe and his top officials and should make it clear there would be no
developmental assistance until there has been some meaningful progress
toward political and economic reform, the ICG said. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Civic groups want SADC leaders to push Mugabe to implement UN report
Thur 18 August 2005

      GABORONE - Southern African civic society groups on Wednesday called
on regional leaders to pressure President Robert Mugabe and his government
to accept and implement findings and recommendations of a United Nations
(UN) report on its controversial urban clean-up campaign.

      In a communiqué handed to the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) at the body's ongoing heads of state summit in the Botswana capital,
the civic groups called on Harare , "to accept the findings and
recommendations of the UN Special Envoy to Zimbabwe on Operation
Murambatsvina ( Harare 's codename for its clean-up exercise), to
immediately commence scrupulous implementation of such recommendations."

      But the civic groups that had to hand their petition to the
secretariat after being barred from directly addressing the summit on the
Zimbabwe situation immediately expressed doubt SADC leaders would act on
Zimbabwe, accusing them of reluctance to confront Mugabe head on.

      "In the past, they (leaders) pretended that there was no crisis in
Zimbabwe . But now they acknowledge that there is a problem but are
reluctant to discuss it," SADC Non-governmental Organisations' spokesperson
Tor Olsen told ZimOnline.

      Zimbabwe is grappling its worst ever political and economic crisis
blamed by many on economic mismanagement and repression by Mugabe and his
government. Fuel, food, essential medical drugs, electricity and hard cash
is in short supply in Zimbabwe , now in its sixth straight year of economic

      Mugabe denies ruining Zimbabwe saying the country's economic problems
were because of sabotage by Britain and its western allies in a bid to
punish his government form seizing land from whites and giving it over to
landless blacks.

      SADC executive secretary Prega Ramsay and Botswana President Festus
Mogae, who is the regional bloc's incoming chairman, told the Press earlier
this week that the organisation would not discuss Zimbabwe because it was
not a regional problem. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Harare fails to pay workers at derelict state farms
Thur 18 August 2005

      HARARE - The Zimbabwe government has failed to pay workers for the
last three months at more than 56 farms it seized from white farmers but now
derelict because of lack funds and poor management, ZimOnline has learnt.

      It was not possible to immediately establish the exact amount owed to
the more than 15 000 workers at the state farms which include Kondozi Farm
in Manicaland province, which before its seizure last year was one of the
biggest agro-export projects in southern Africa .

      A senior official at the government's Agricultural and Rural
Development Agency (ARDA), the state's farm management arm, said production
had plummeted at the farms since they were taken over under the government's
chaotic and often violent fast-track land reform programme in the last five

      The official, who did not want to be named for fear of victimisation,
said: "Take Kondozi for example. It used to be one of the country's prime
foreign currency earners. But today the farm only exports small quantities
of baby-corn. Most of the farms are ruined because of lack of capital
injection and professional management."

      Agriculture Minister Joseph Made confirmed state farm workers had not
been paid since last May but absolved the government of blame. "We don't
want those farms to be dependent on the government. So we are asking them to
pay for their own expenses, including labour. The farms have to be
self-sufficient," he said.

      He however would not say what steps his ministry, which runs the farms
through ARDA, would take to ensure the farms were restored to productivity.

      Narrating the chaotic situation at one of the state farms, ARDA Odzi
Farm in Eastern Zimbabwe , a worker said: "No one has explained to us why we
are not getting our money.

      "Some of the workers simply stay at home and no longer report for
duty, others have left the farm altogether to find jobs elsewhere while
others like myself still hang around simply because we have nowhere else to

      President Robert Mugabe's farm seizure programme is in part to blame
for plunging Zimbabwe into its worst economic crisis since independence 25
years ago and for causing severe food shortages because of falling farm

      An estimated four million people or about a quarter of Zimbabwe's
about 12 million people require 1.2 million tonnes of food aid this year or
they could starve.

      Mugabe denies his farm expropriation programme is behind Zimbabwe 's
economic and food problems blaming instead poor weather for food shortages
and the economic crisis on sabotage by Britain and its Western allies
opposed to his land reform policies. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Seed shortage spells deepening food crisis for Zimbabwe
Thur 18 August 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwe 's biggest crop seed producer says the country does
not have enough seed, which could mean it will face more food shortages next
year even if it received good rains in the new farming season, barely three
months away.

      Zimbabwe has for the last five years survived on food handouts from
international donors because of plummeting farm production in part due to
erratic rains but largely blamed on President Robert Mugabe's chaotic
seizure of productive land from whites which severely destabilised the key
agricultural sector.

      In its annual report to shareholders obtained by ZimOnline on
Wednesday, seed firm Seed Co, said: "Early reports indicate another shortage
(of seed) in the coming season."

      The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed firm, which grows and supplies
various crop seeds including maize, wheat, soya bean, barley and groundnut
across southern Africa, blamed the seed deficit on poor rains.

      "While the group has contracted enough hectarage across the region to
increase its production in the financial year ending February 2006, the
erratic rainfall pattern across the region points towards another
significant seed deficit," the company said.

      SeedCo will only be able to supply 16 000 tonnes of seed maize to
Zimbabwean farmers this season while other seed companies will supply about
17 000 tonnes to bring the total of seed supplies to 33 000 tonnes. This is
against a total requirement of 100 000 tonnes of seed maize which the
government says Zimbabwe requires to ensure sufficient production of the key

      The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe had promised to avail enough hard cash to
seed firms to import adequate supplies ahead of the new season. But seed
companies told the Commercial Farmers Union congress earlier this month that
they would not be able to meet the country's requirements due to foreign
currency shortages to pay for imports.

      Continued eviction of the few experienced white seed growers still
remaining on farms was another key reason why seed production continued
falling, the firms said.

      Zimbabwe was a major food exporter before Mugabe's farm seizure
programme which he says was necessary to correct an iniquitous land tenure
system under which the minority whites owned 75 percent of the best arable
land while the majority blacks where cramped on arid and sandy soils.

      But Mugabe's failure to provide black peasants resettled on former
white farms with skills training and inputs support has seen food production
dropping by about 60 percent. - ZimOnline

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      Zim inflation hits record high
      Aug 18 2005 07:59:59:107AM

      Johannesburg - Prices of goods and services in Zimbabwe rose by an
average of 47% last month, Zimbabwe's Herald Online reported on Thursday.
      It quoted that country's Statistical Office (CSO) as describing this
as the highest increase ever recorded.

      Acting CSO director Moffat Nyonithe said the latest figures meant the
prices of goods and services were by last month about three-and-a-half times
more expensive than in July last year.

      The latest figure pushed Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate to 254.8% by
the end of last month, from 164.3% in June.

      The newspaper said these numbers made it virtually impossible for
central bank governor Gideon Gono to achieve his year-end target of an
annual inflation rate of 80%.

      The latest increase was partly ascribed to the resetting of exchange
rates by the Reserve Bank.

      "If the exchange rate had been allowed to fall in line with inflation,
monthly figures would have been higher over the last year but last month's
figure would have been lower," reported Herald Online.

      The annual inflation rate for food and non-alcoholic beverages was
226%, while that for non-food items was 273.9%.

      "The highest increases in monthly inflation were recorded for postal
services at 206.2%, rent 171.4% and college and tertiary education fees at
71.1%," said acting CSO director Moffat Nyoni.

      " This means the prices of goods and services were by last month about
three-and-a-half times more expensive than in July last year."

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Business Day

Putting a new face on unity in Africa
Tim Murithi and Angela Ndinga-Muvumba


AFRICAN policy makers, including senior officials of the African Union (AU),

Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) and SA, as well as civil
society activists and scholars, meet in Cape Town this week to discuss ways
of building an effective AU for this century.

In March, the AU issued a document - the Ezulwini Consensus - demanding the
allocation to Africa of two permanent seats on the United Nations Security
Council with all the privileges including the right of veto and five
nonpermanent seats.

However, national self-interest continues to be a dominant factor in Africa's
international relations. Security council reform has unmasked an intense
competition between the AU's key players in their drive to obtain permanent
seats next month.

SA, Nigeria and Egypt are considered to be the front-runners for the
"prestige of permanence" on the security council. A coalition of spoilers
has emerged with Algeria, Egypt, Libya and Zimbabwe accusing Nigeria and SA
of trying to put their interests before those of the AU. Seventy percent of
the conflicts that the security council has addressed are based in Africa,
so it is important for the AU to have more influential representation on the
body. Africa's governments have failed to bargain collectively for this

Yet the AU is the most eloquent expression of pan-Africanism and represents
a desire for greater solidarity to address Africa's domestic and global
challenges. The true expression of pan-Africanism, however, will be achieved
only when African governments and citizens regard the security and wellbeing
of their neighbours as fundamentally related to theirs.

The AU's 15-member peace and security council was launched last year. This
body has the power to sanction military and diplomatic intervention in the
affairs of African countries. In order to be able to keep peace effectively,
the AU is in the process of establishing an African Standby Force by 2010,
which will be composed of five brigades from each of Africa's five
geographic regions.

But the new face of African unity aims to do more than just stop wars. The
AU also hopes to build peace by increasing the participation of people in
governance, economic development and integration. The Pan-African
Parliament, Economic, Social and Cultural Council and African Court of Human
and Peoples' Rights are functioning. Moreover, the AU has launched a series
of strategies on human security issues such as HIV/AIDS.

Nepad, inspired by President Thabo Mbeki and with a secretariat based in SA,
has launched an African peer review mechanism to monitor and assess the
compliance of African governments with norms of governance and human rights.
This innovative mechanism of voluntary, self-imposed assessment seeks to
raise the standards of governance in Africa so as to improve the livelihood
of African people by promoting a climate that will encourage investment and

Twenty-three countries have signed up to the peer reviews. The first four to
volunteer were Ghana, Mauritius, Rwanda and Kenya. Kenya's audit, which was
concluded last month, will be an acid test of the effectiveness of Nepad and
the commitment of the AU to police its own members as the century unfolds.

All of these issues will be the subject of great debate this week among some
of Africa's leading policy makers, academics and civil society activists.

?Dr Murithi is a senior researcher and Ndinga-Muvumba a programme manager at
the Centre for Conflict Resolution, University of Cape Town.

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U.S. Official Deplores Crisis in Zimbabwe

PRESS RELEASE -  Washington, D.C., Aug. 17, 2005 - Tony Hall, the U.S.
Ambassador to the UN World Food Program, told the Voice of America (VOA)
today that Zimbabwean people are suffering because of the food crisis there,
but that "a lot of the suffering is caused by the government themselves."
Hall, who recently returned from a trip to Zimbabwe, added that "it's easy
to write off the [Zimbabwean] government, but you can't write off the

He said a number of factors, including Zimbabwe's 380 percent inflation
rate, HIV/AIDS epidemic, 80 percent inflation rate, failed harvest, and
harsh political crackdown by the government, all make it "very, very
difficult for the people, their own people, to eat."

He said Zimbabwean government officials "weren't very cooperative" during
his visits to camps that had been affected by "Operation Restore Order," the
government's initiative to rid the capital of urban slums and illegal
vendors, and even blocked his attempt to visit one camp where homes had been
destroyed. The United Nations has estimated that 700,000 people have been
left homeless and jobless due to "Operation Restore Order." The U.S.
recently donated nearly 74,000 metric tons of food to Zimbabwe and five
other countries in southern Africa facing drought.

Excerpts of Hall's interview were aired worldwide during VOA's News Now
broadcasts and repeated during today's Daybreak Africa show, VOA's half-hour
weekday breakfast show for listeners in Africa.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia
international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the
Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of
news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an
estimated worldwide audience of more than 100 million people. Programs are
produced in 44 languages.

For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 401-7000,
or E-Mail

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Boston Globe

The end of tyranny in Zimbabwe
By Robert I. Rotberg  |  August 18, 2005

TYRANNY OFTEN ends in a whimper, not a conflagration. So it seems in today's
Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe's immensely corrupt regime has
destroyed a once prosperous African country, leaving behind only the stench
of decay. No velvet revolution has been possible, but political and
financial bankruptcy has finally pushed the dictator's back to the wall.

This week in Zimbabwe, inflation was over 300 percent. Gasoline continued to
be obtainable only rarely, and on the black market. Corn, the staple food on
which everyone relies, is scarce, and so is wheat, so long lines form
whenever there are rumors of bread. Everything else, from margarine to
matches, is outrageously expensive or unobtainable. Store shelves are bare,
and hunger is common despite supplies of emergency relief packs from the UN
World Food Program.
In addition to this misery, a result of Mugabe's misguided attempt to alter
land ownership from white to black without providing seeds, fertilizer, and
knowledge, 700,000 shantytown presumed opponents were driven out of their
houses and sent to rural areas without any means of support or shelter.
Condemned by the UN as pernicious and cruel, this exercise in ''cleansing"
urban areas had no real purpose except as a flexing of power. It represented
a final straw of contempt for his own people, and a finger in the eye of
South Africa and the African Union.

Mugabe, 81, has finally run out of options. Zimbabwe's treasury is bare. The
scraps of foreign exchange on which the tattered country has been relying
for derisory amounts of imported fuel, power, and essential goods are now
gone. No nation -- not even China, Malaysia, and Libya, Mugabe's usual
patrons of last resort -- will lend the required $1 billion or so for which
Zimbabwe has recently been begging. In Malaysia, Mugabe and his entourage
were turned away, In China, Mugabe was feted royally, but all he obtained
from his smiling hosts was a promise of a personal visiting professorship in
a prestigious university.

Given a permanent cold shoulder by the World Bank and the IMF, Mugabe has
had nowhere else to turn but to South Africa, his indulgent neighbor. South
Africa has watched with horror as Mugabe systematically cultivated internal
chaos. Thabo Mbeki, South Africa's president, nevertheless perversely
refused to condemn Mugabe's outrages, persistently promising President Bush
and Prime Minister Tony Blair that ''quiet diplomacy" would turn Mugabe

It never did. But finally, earlier this month, Mugabe had to go hat in hand
to Mbeki, asking for hundreds of millions, if not the full $1 billion. In
exchange for such a cash infusion, South Africa has demanded that Mugabe
must negotiate in good faith with Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change, a political party that European,
American, and some African observers believe actually won the three rigged
elections of 2000, 2002, and 2005.

''Never!" was Mugabe's initial petulant reaction. South Africa threatened to
withhold its bailout. It also unleashed a regional diplomatic firestorm.
President Olusegun Obsasanjo, president of Nigeria and chairman of the
African Union, told Mugabe that he had to think again -- that his time of
tyranny was at an end. Obasanjo dispatched Joaquim Chissano, former
president of Mozambique, to make sure Mugabe understood what he had to do.
Chissano was instructed to moderate discussions between Tsvangirai and
Mugabe that would lead to Zimbabwe's political and economic reconstruction,
and possibly to properly supervised new elections.

The soft landing that is being forged would send Mugabe to comfortable
exile, possibly in Namibia. Some kind of transitional coalition between the
opposition and Mugabe's henchmen would begin the long, hard process of
restoring sanity to the country's economy. It would also dismantle the
baleful apparatus of tyranny, and create a political climate conducive to
wholesale reform.

Fortunately, Zimbabwe has the human resource base on which to rebuild upon
an eroded foundation. But ousting odious levels of corruption will be
difficult. Dealing with the thievery of Mugabe's gang will be complicated. A
truth commission-like process will be necessary, and so will selective

Zimbabwe is exhausted. Now that Mbeki and Obasanjo have at last acted, after
years of smugly accepting unnecessary suffering in Zimbabwe, there is a fair
chance that the battered nation's vital signs can be resuscitated.

Robert I. Rotberg is director of the Kennedy School's Program on Intrastate
Conflict and president of the World Peace Foundation.

© Copyright 2005 Globe Newspaper Company.
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Mail and Guardian

      Zimbabwe's Cayeux takes his shot at the big time

      Akron, Ohio, United States

      18 August 2005 08:32

            The World Golf Championships often include players from areas
where golf isn't widely followed, and are little recognised beyond home.
Marc Cayeux is among them.

            "I've never heard of him," Tiger Woods said.

            "No offence or disrespect at all. I just didn't know who he

            Woods only noticed his name because they are playing together
the first two rounds of the NEC Invitational, which starts on Thursday on
the South course at Firestone.

            To Woods, it will be just another face at another tournament.

            It will be anything but that for Cayeux.

            He has spent the last two years trying to support his parents,
who both lost their jobs because of the political and economic turmoil in
Zimbabwe. His mother returned to Britain to find work as a caretaker, then
had to return home last autumn when his father suffered a heart attack from
the stress of unemployment.

            "It sounds weird, but I can't wait to go back," Cayeux said.

            "Home is home, no matter how bad it is."

            Cayeux was in Austria last week when he burned the inside of his
left hand while lighting a barbecue grill, leaving an open wound the size of
a coin in the spot where he grips the club. He shouldn't be playing, but how
many more chances will he get to play a World Golf Championship with its
$7,5-million purse?

            He was excited about making his first trip to the United States.

            Then he learned he was playing with the world's number one

            "I couldn't believe it at first," said Cayeux, a burly
27-year-old with an easy smile.

            "It's the biggest honour and the scariest thing at the same
time. It's good in a way. But it's a pity my hand is the way it is. If I
can't play my best, at least I want to enjoy the moment."

            Even at a tournament featuring 72 players from 22 countries -- 
from Jyoti Randhawa of India to Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand to Stephen
Dodds of Wales -- Cayeux felt like an outsider in the locker room. He knows
some of the South Africans, like Trevor Immelman. He met Adam Scott and Mark
Hensby while paired with them at the Scandinavian Masters last month.


            He is someone Cayeux has only seen on television, draped in a
green jacket or holding a claret jug.

            "I don't know what he's like," Cayeux said. "Is he the type that
you can walk up to in the fairway and have a chat, or does he like to be
left alone? I admire him a lot. He's the youngest legend playing the game."

            Asked the most nervous he has ever been, Cayeux smiled and said,

            "It's my debut in the United States, and I'm playing the world
number one," he said.

            "It's going to be tough to play with an injured hand, but all I
can do is try."

            Cayeux says ball-striking is the strength of his game. He
describes his power as better than average, and his putting can be streaky,
which might explain the 61 he shot in Johannesburg to win the Vodacom Tour
Championship in South Africa to qualify for the NEC Invitational.

            But it has taken some time to adjust to golf outside South

            He missed 11 consecutive cuts in 2002 while playing Europe's
Challenge Tour, then returned to the developmental circuit two years later
and won twice to earn his European tour card.

            "I was more prepared the second time around," he said.

            His dream is to make it to the PGA Tour, which he believes has
the best courses, the best players, the most world ranking points, the
greatest chance to succeed.

            And success matters to someone when a paycheck affects his

            "It's pretty messed up," he said. "I'm trying to look after my
mom and dad."

            It doesn't help that he can barely grip a golf club and swing it

            Hensby took one look and cringed.

            "Man, you can't play with that," he said.

            Cayeux shrugged.

            He probably wouldn't play if it were any other week than a World
Golf Championship, where last-place money is $30 000, and where he will
spend the next two days with Woods.

            "This is the biggest tournament of my life," Cayeux said. "I've
never played in a major championship before. This is like a major to me." -

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