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

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From The Daily News Online Edition, 20 August

UN failing Zim immigrants - Refugees International

Johannesburg - A Washington-based humanitarian organisation, Refugees
International (RI), says United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)
must play its role in stopping and redressing the violations of human rights
of illegal Zimbabweans immigrants by the South African authorities. RI
official working on Zimbabwe Andrea Lari yesterday said his organisation was
concerned that the UNHCR "is not living up to its responsibilities" while
illegal Zimbabweans were raped, beaten and ill treated by South Africa
authorities. "We have engaged the UNHCR at Pretoria level, at Geneva level
and at Washington level but they seem to be doing nothing. We want them to
increase their presence and visibility in the areas along the South African
and Zimbabwean border because this will reduce and stop the violations in
the areas," Lari said. Comment could not be obtained from UNHCR offices in
Pretoria. Lari's comment comes amid reports of gross human rights violations
by South African authorities on illegal Zimbabwean immigrants. He said
because of the gravity of the human rights violations on the illegal
immigrants, RI would be visiting South Africa in the next few months to
explore way of redressing or stopping the violations. Thousands of
Zimbabweans running away from persecution and poverty have been raped,
beaten and humiliated by South African soldiers, police officers and
officials from the Department of Homes Affairs.

The lawyers for human rights representative, Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh said the
violations on asylum seekers were largely due to corruption by police
officers and officials from the Department of Home Affairs. "Corruption is a
serious problem in the Department of Home Affairs and needs to be addressed
by someone at the top, may be by the Scorpions," said Kaajal
Ramjathan-Keogh. She said asylum seekers had a major problem in gaining
access to offices and at times had to pay bribes of about R300 just to get
access to the relevant offices. She said while the UNHCR was doing its part,
there was a scope for it to play a bigger role by ensuring that asylum
seekers were guaranteed access to the application process. Thousands of
Zimbabweans have been deported from South Africa without being given a
chance to apply for asylum. RI said it was grateful that the South African
government had promised to investigate all reported cases of the violations
and include some of its recommendations in its turnaround strategy. The
government has announced it would launch a massive investigation into the
Department of Home Affairs, the South African police services and other
government in a move aimed at weeding out corruption in the public sector.

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From News24 (SA), 22 August

Mugabe slams clerics

Harare, Zimbabwe - The new Roman Catholic Archbishop of Harare publicly
criticized the Zimbabwean government's poor human rights record on Saturday,
drawing a scathing attack from President Robert Mugabe. Archbishop Robert
Ndlovu told a crowd of some 6 000 people, including Mugabe, who turned out
for his inauguration that free expression, association and assembly were
rights the church supported. Zimbabwe has been wracked by political violence
and economic turmoil in recent years as Mugabe's government has seized
thousands of white-owned farms for redistribution to blacks. Seeking to
crack down on dissent, the government has arrested opposition leaders, trade
unionists and independent journalists. "The role of a bishop and of the
church in general is to stand up for human dignity, and from human dignity
flow human rights," said Ndlovu, who was formerly the Bishop of Hwange, a
city in northwestern Zimbabwe where up to 20 000 suspected opposition
supporters were killed by Mugabe's security forces in the 1980s.

After Ndlovu finished speaking, Mugabe made an impromptu speech, attacking
unnamed religious leaders who "joined hands with erstwhile colonial masters
to peddle lies about the state of affairs and demonize Zimbabwe". Mugabe
often accuses critics of being league with Zimbabwe's former coloniser,
Britain, and other Western nations. Before leaving, Mugabe commended the
Catholic church for giving him his early education as a mission teacher and
took communion with his wife. Ndlovu's appointment last month drew sharp
criticism from Zimbabwe's state-controlled media, which said that one of
several known pro-Mugabe clerics from Mugabe's majority Shona tribe should
have been made Harare archbishop. Ndlovu is from the minority Ndebele tribe.
On Friday, Mugabe's government published plans for new restrictive
legislation banning foreign human rights group and making all private relief
work subject to stringent state controls. Churches will require approval to
undertake any work beyond their own registered members, if the proposed
legislation passes, as expected. Mugabe, who claimed disputed parliamentary
and presidential election victories in June 2000 and March 2002, says
foreign-inspired organisations are undermining the country's sovereignty and
promoting unrest.
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From Zim Online (SA), 22 August

Hungry youth programme trainees steal cattle and fish, villagers claim

Bulawayo - Hungry trainees at a government National Youth Service Training
Centre in Matabeleland North province have allegedly resorted to cattle
rustling and stealing food from surrounding villages to survive, ZimOnline
has learnt. In one case the youths at the Kamativi Centre, which is
understood to have run out of food, are said to have stolen 15 head of
cattle from a nearby village. The youths are said to have slaughtered one of
the beasts and roasted some of the meat, before ferrying the rest to their
centre. A villager, whose cattle were among those stolen and who identified
himself only as Moyo, said "Like most of the villagers I reported the theft
at Kamativi police station but up to now nothing has been done. They
(youths) are just doing as they wish because the police are not responding
to our pleas. We do not know what to do anymore."

Some fishermen, who earn a living by selling fish from a dam nearby, said
they had also fallen victim to the youths who they said regularly robbed
them of their catch. The fishermen also said police have not acted on
reports against the youths. Provincial police spokesman Casper Nhepera
denied claims by villagers that police were ignoring such reports: "It is
true that we received such reports and as police we have done our part and
taken the docket to court. It is now the court's duty to bring them to book
and I understand they would be appearing in court soon." Youth Minister
Ambrose Mutinhiri could not be reached for comment. Mutinhiri has in the
past rejected claims that the national youth service trainees commit crimes
including political violence. He said the youth programme trains youths to
be patriotic, well behaved and law-abiding citizens. Human rights groups and
churches accuse the youths of political violence and human rights abuses
against the governmentıs political opponents.
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Zim Online

Sunday 22 Aug 2004

      HARARE -  Firebrand ZANU PF politician Edison Mudadirwa Zvobgo has
died. Zvobgo (68) died at Harare's St Annes Hospital today (Sunday) after a
long illness.

      ZANU PF secretary for Information and Publicity Nathan Shamuyarira
confirmed Zvobgo's death.

      "Yes, we sadly confirm that Dr Zvobgo has passed away. We are very
saddened by his death, more so as it comes after the passing away of his
wife, Julia, a few months back," said Shamuyarira.

      "It is a double tragedy for the Zvobgo family, for ZANU PF, for
government and for Zimbabwe as a whole."

      Shamuyarira said Zvobgo had been ill for some time.

      "We have only received the information about his death a short while
ago and so we have not made a statement. I therefore cannot give any
detailed statement or answer about burial arrangements," said Shamuyarira.

      He described Zvobgo as an illustrious and gallant fighter of
Zimbabwe's 1970s liberation war.

      Zvobgo, a highly regarded Harvard trained lawyer, was ZANU PF
secretary for information and publicity at the 1979 Lanchaster House
Conference which culminated in  Zimbabwe's independence.

      He remained in that position during the 1980 election which swept ZANU
PF to power with a majority of 57 parliamentary seats. Zvobgo later took
over the legal portfolio in the ZANU PF decision making Politburo.

      He served as a cabinet minister for two decades since 1980 and in
various portfolios including the important Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs ministry.

      Zvobgo was minister without portfolio when he was dropped from cabinet
after the 2000 parliamentary elections when his health began to deteriorate.

      "He is a founding member of our party and has always been a key figure
in ZANU PF.....His passing away is thus a great loss to us as a party and to
Zimbabwe as a whole," said Shamuyarira.

      Zvobgo's admirers will remember him as the only senior member of
Mugabe's cabinet who dared publicly differ with the president and other
senior party colleagues on many governance issues.

      In various eloquent speeches at public gatherings, Zvobgo expressed
views which were at variance with his party's thinking and positions. He
defended and actively agitated for an independent judiciary and a free press
in Zimbabwe. For a long time, Zvobgo was considered the man best placed to
succeed Mugabe.

      His critics, however, hold him responsible for legislative changes
which ushered in the institution of the executive presidency in 1987 during
his tenure as Justice Minister. The positions of prime minister and
president were merged and as executive president Mugabe was virtually put
above the law.

      His critics also single out Zvobgo's reluctance to come forward and
challenge Mugabe for the presidency, despite never making a secret of his
presidential ambitions. ZimOnline

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Zimbabwe Mirror

SADC will expel disobedient members-Mbeki

President Thabo Mbeki says southern African countries that don't abide by
the newly adopted guidelines and principles on democratic elections might be
kicked out of the regional body.

Speaking after the conclusion of the Southern African Development Community
(Sadc) Heads of States and Government Summit at Grand Baie, President Mbeki
said the guidelines related to the Sadc treaty that "allows member states to
be excluded from the organisation." "The Sadc Treaty gives the possibility
for member states of the community to be excluded from the regional body if
they are found to be in violation of the treaty," said Mbeki who is also
chairing Sadc's Politics, Defence and Security organ.

He said the organ would be used as an instrument for consultation involving
member states to first engage those in violation of election rules.

The Guidelines and Principles Governing Democratic Elections adopted
yesterday states that there should be equal access by political parties to
state media, political tolerance, full citizens participation and no
intimidation of political opponents before polls could be declared free and

President Mbeki as head of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security that
comprise South Africa, Lesotho and Mozambique is tasked to ensure the region
does away with civil wars, political intolerance, coups and instability.

As the Guidelines come in force, President Mbeki is to ensure that
forthcoming elections in the region such as those in Botswana (October),
Namibia (November and December 2004), Mozambique (December), Democratic
Republic of Congo next year, Burundi next year and Zimbabwe next March,
comply to the guidelines.

Sadc leaders have expressed optimism about the prospect of free and fair
elections in the region and noted in one of the Summit's newsletters that
Zimbabwe had already "drafted electoral legislation consistent with the
newly adopted" guidelines.

Zimbabwe has been shunned by the international community for putting
"restrictive legislations" that have resulted in opposition parties
declaring the previous parliamentary elections as unfree and unfair.

The summit also noted the minimal move towards constitutional changes in
Swaziland where Africa's last absolute Monarch, King Mswati III, has banned
political parties, exiled some of their leaders and is at loggerheads with
about movements and some non-governmental organisations that call for
constitutional reforms.

Closing the Summit, Paul Berenger, Mauritius Prime Minister who has been
elected the new Chairperson of Sadc said the guidelines were an expression
of the region's commitment to democracy and freedom.

"We have observed the holding of successful elections in Malawi and South
Africa early this year. Later this year Botswana, Mozambique and Namibia
will be going to the polls. The United Republic of Tanzania and Zimbabwe are
expected to hold elections next year. This is indeed, a clear expression of
the region's commitment to democracy," he said. BuaNews
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Churchman to 'unite' Zimbabwe
22/08/2004 12:07  - (SA)

Harare - The new head of the Roman Catholic church in Harare has vowed to
unite the politically divided Zimbabwean capital, after President Robert
Mugabe at the weekend accused church leaders of working against the

Archbishop Robert Ndlovu, 48, was installed on Saturday as the Archbishop of
Harare at a colourful ceremony in the city centre attended by thousands of
Roman Catholics, including Mugabe and his wife Grace.

"My role is to be a reconciler. I will try by all means to bring people
together," Ndlovu told AFP shortly after his ordination. "Different
political persuasions should not divide us," he said.

Zimbabwe, and the church, are deeply politically divided between Mugabe's
ruling Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) and the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Morgan Tsvangirai.

At Ndlovu's ordination Mugabe lashed out at some church leaders whom he
accused of colluding with his opponents, namely British premier Tony Blair
and US President George W Bush.

In an apparent reference to Archbishop Pius Ncube of the second city of
Bulawayo, a staunch government critic, Mugabe said: "You're going to those
who yesterday denied us rights here, the Blairs and the Bushes, the liars of
the international community.

"What are we expected to do, and how are we expected to judge you when you
act behind our backs and go and report outside?" he asked.

Ncube has accused the government of committing human rights abuses and
concealing the extent of food shortages in the southern African country,
which aid agencies say are likely to affect more than two million of
Zimbabwe's 11.6 million people this year.

Ncube's fiery sermons at the pulpit and no holds barred interviews outside
the country have proved a thorn in the flesh of Mugabe's government.

Won't keep silent

The 80-year-old Mugabe urged a different approach. "Come to us and discuss
these (issues) with us. We may agree, we may not agree," he said.

Ndlovu said he would not turn down the offer to meet with Mugabe, nor keep
silent if human rights abuses are brought to his attention.

"I will use that window of opportunity to talk to the president," said the
softly spoken priest. "If there are very serious abuses I will go to him

Ndlovu's appointment to replace the late Patrick Chakaipa, who was
reportedly close to Mugabe, has not been short of controversy.

A recent report in the state-run Herald, which closely reflects government
thinking, said Ndlovu's appointment by the Pope had caused a rift in the
church because, like Ncube, he is from the minority Ndebele ethnic group of
western Zimbabwe.

The report suggested that candidates from the majority Shona ethnic group
had been sidelined, something Ndlovu dismissed.

"My appointment was not done on ethnic grounds," he told AFP.

"I take it that it was because the Holy Father thought at this juncture I
was the right person to be here."
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      Zimbabwe govt. defends proposed ban on foreign NGOs 2004-08-23 02:26:23

           HARARE, Aug. 22 (Xinhuanet) -- The Zimbabwean government on
Sunday defended its proposed bill to ban foreign human rights groups, by
issuing a statement saying the draft bill is meant to regulate the
operations of NGOs in Zimbabwe for national security.

          In a statement, the Ministry of Public Service, Labor and Social
Welfare said that the bill seeks to provide for registration of NGOs, an
enabling environment for their operations and monitoring and regulation of
the organizations, among other things.

          This comes in the wake of the National Association of Non
Governmental Organizations (NANGO) sharp criticism of the proposed bill.

          The bill is expected to be approved by parliament after it
reconvenes on Oct. 5 this year.

          According to the Bill, NGOs will register with a state-dominated
regulatory council and disclose details of their programs and funding.

          The bill said no foreign NGOs would be registered if its sole or
principal objects involve or include issues of governance.

          The bill would also set up a council whose members would be
appointed by Zimbabwe's social welfare minister to oversee the activities of
foreign and local aid groups.

          NANGO has said that the bill will have a negative impact on the
ordinary citizens who are the beneficiaries of NGOs' work in the country.

          The ministry has, however, dismissed the criticism of the bill as
misdirected and anarchist and has urged NGOs to comply with the law and
register their organizations before the bill is passed into law.

          "Those unregistered, but operating organizations do not have
towait for the bill to be passed into law. They have to stop and put their
houses in order," the ministry said in a statement.

          The ministry said that banning of foreign funding for NGOs dealing
in human rights work is meant to "get rid of the mischief of foreign donors
employing locals to champion foreign values, to the detriment of national

          Speaking at the official opening of the fifth session of the fifth
parliament of Zimbabwe last month, President Robert Mugabe announced the
intention of the government to repeal the Private Voluntary Organizations
Act and replacing it with a law that governs the operations on NGOs in the

          "Non-Governmental Organizations must work for the betterment ofthe
country and not against it. We cannot allow them to be conduits or
instruments of foreign interference in our national affairs," he said.

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Australian farmer willing to sponsor immigrant from Zimbabwe :
Farmworker required in Esperance Western Australia
14000 acres wheat, canola, barley.
4000 cattle, 3000 sheep.
Join a team of 8 (including 1 ex-Zimbo).
80km east of Esperance.
Junior school 10km away, High school and two other Junior schools in Esperance, serviced by bus.
Position is available +/- February 2005.
email CV
c/o Karen

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