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

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Cape Times

      Mugabe clones await
      December 8, 2004

      Yasmin Alibhai-Brown makes some valid points in her article about
attitudes to Zimbabwe (Cape Times, November 30), from FJ Horwill,

      I was introduced to most of Zimbabwe's ministers in 1984 and watched
Mugabe referee a football match inside the police barracks in Harare, the
pitch surrounded by armed guards.

      I was, at the time, a strong Mugabe supporter. His immediate action of
setting a national minimum wage was long overdue.

      In a speech shortly after his election, he stated that some white
farmers' land must be given back to the people.

      All white farmers expected this and the consensus of opinion was that
each farmer would surrender 10% of their land.

      However, Mugabe did nothing to honour his pledge for 16 years; not a
scrap of land was allotted to the people from white-owned farms.

      Then, suddenly, he announced that the people could take over
white-owned farms in their entirety and if force was used it would go

      However, if force was used to resist this anarchy, the defenders would
be prosecuted.

      We have to ask why Mugabe waited 16 years to act? It appears that he
couldn't care less about the majority of his people growing crops and
rearing livestock to sustain themselves.

      He acted because the Zimbabwe economy had become so rundown due to
inefficiency that it faced bankruptcy and he would be ousted from power.

      To create a major diversion from this, what better way than to incite
the people into smash-and-grab raids on farms?

      The story does not end there. Recently, high-powered officials who
have taken a liking to prosperous farms, have ordered out the new occupants
and taken possession.

      The biter bit. This is a strange sort of socialism on which Mugabe
came to power.

      But, do not think that when Mugabe eventually goes all will be well;
he is surrounded by scores of clones who have filled their pockets at other
people's expense and are not likely to give this up willingly.

      FJ Horwill, Stellenbosch

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Zim Online

Wed 8 December 2004
  HARARE - African human rights and civic society groups have urged the
African Commission on Human and People's Rights to pressure Harare to accept
a special rapporteur from the commission and from United Nations secretary
general, Koffi Annan, to probe abuse of human rights defenders in Zimbabwe.

      In a submission at the commission's 36th session, which ended in Dakar
yesterday, the groups also asked the continental human rights watchdog to
mobilise African pressure on President Robert Mugabe to restore judicial
independence in Zimbabwe.

      They said the commission should also call for an inquiry into the
harassment and intimidation of lawyers and other human rights defenders
allegedly by government and ruling ZANU PF supporters.

      The groups said: "The NGO forum resolves to recommend the commission
to recommend to the government of Zimbabwe to invite the special rapporteur
on the African Commission on Human Rights Defenders and the special
representative of the United Nations secretary general on human rights
defenders to visit Zimbabwe and assess the situation of human rights
defenders in Zimbabwe."

      It is up to the commission to accept the request by the
non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and forward it to African Union's next
heads of government summit in February 2005.

      Mugabe and his government have waged a vicious campaign against
independent judges which saw nearly all members of the old and respected
bench headed by former Chief Justice, Anthony Gubbay, forced to step down.

      The government has on several occasions also arrested human rights
activists for exposing human rights violations while Zimbabwe's biggest
daily paper, the Daily News, was shut down after continuously highlighting
political violence and human rights abuses by state security agents and
government supporters. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

MDC begs IMF to spare axe on Zimbabwe
Wed 8 December 2004
  HARARE - Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
party has called on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) not to expel
Zimbabwe from the multilateral institution.

      MDC shadow foreign affairs minister, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga,
told ZimOnline that the IMF's executive board, which discussed action
against Zimbabwe at its headquarters in Washington last night, should
instead continue withholding support to Harare until it paid all arrears to
the Bretton Woods institution.

      Details of the IMF's decision on Zimbabwe were not immediately
available last night.

      "Zimbabwe should not be expelled from the International Monetary Fund
but should not get balance of payments until (it pays) all arrears and
capital," Misihairabwi-Mushonga said.

      But the opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman said her party would
continue mobilising the international community to isolate the Zimbabwe
government until the country reformed its electoral laws and processes to
ensure a free and fair election next year.

      "We have recommended to the international community against
normalising relations with Zimbabwe and to view the government as
illegitimate until it delivers a free and fair election," she said.

      The IMF cut balance-of-payments support to Zimbabwe in 1999 and shut
down its office in Harare last month after disagreeing with President Robert
Mugabe and his government over fiscal policy, land reform, human rights and
other governance issues.

      Zimbabwe's expulsion from the IMF would be a final symbolic gesture
signalling other multilateral institutions and donor groups to completely
cut ties with Harare. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Tourists continue to shun Zimbabwe
Wed 8 December 2004
  HARARE - International tourists continued to shun Zimbabwe because of the
country's negative image with 29 percent less arrivals between January and
September this year compared to the same period last year, according to the
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.

      In its latest report released this week, the ZTA said efforts by the
government to shift focus from traditional markets in the West to China and
the Far East did not pay off with 1 271 904 people visiting Zimbabwe in the
first nine months of the year compared to 1 793 128 visitors between January
and September 2003.

      The ZTA is a quasi-government institution and is regarded as the voice
of the country's ailing tourism sector.

      The authority said: "Causes of the decline (include) continued
negative publicity (and the) lack of resources to counter negative publicity
in source markets."

      A drop in the number of major airlines landing at Harare international
airport as well as the impact of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in
the United States were also cited as some of the reasons for the decline.

      Only British Airways and South African Airways still land at Harare
international airport after more than a dozen international airlines that
used to land there stopped owing to fuel shortages gripping Zimbabwe for the
last four years.

      Tourism was the country's fastest growing economic sector four years
ago but is crumbling - just like everything else in Zimbabwe - as visitors
shun the country because of lawlessness, political violence and its poor
human rights record.

      The ZTA said major source markets that experienced decline over the
period under review include the United Kingdom and Ireland which recorded a
33 percent drop from 47 667 visitors in 2003 to 31 710 in 2004.

      Visitors from Germany dropped by 64 percent from 8 087 during the
first nine months of the year compared to the same period last year. There
were 2 916 visitors from Switzerland between January to September 2004
compared to 7 906 arrivals from Zurich during the same period last year.

      Australian visitors plummeted by 38 percent from 23 478 to 14 437 and
South Africa had a 33 percent decline from 713 866 visitors last year to 369
066. - ZimOnline
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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to: with subject line "For Open Letter Forum".

Letter 1: received 5 December 2004

Dear Jag

So many of us have been incarcerated or pulled into police stations for
supposedly contravening the Public Order and Security Act. We stared in
amazement at the government or other officials who hauled us before the
courts and into police stations on trumped up charges which were supposed
to be trying to overthrow the current regime. So many of us were just
trying desperately to maintain a way of life and a home and business for
our families and found ourselves on the wrong side of the law...whatever
law that was, or was not! It was therefore fascinating to find that very
architect of the dreaded POSA sitting on the wrong side of the Tsholotsho
fence last week. So amazing to find the very man who designed and
implemented the act which so terribly over rules our basic human rights,
facing the very law that he designed and built.

And it makes us realise, once again.....always be nice to people on the way
up, cause you sure as hell going to meet them on the way down!!!!!

It also helps to remember that there is no point in selling our souls for
power and always kicks back in the end.

Perhaps we will be lucky enough to find that this awful piece of
legislation might catch the very people who use it so effectively at the
moment. There will be an accountability for all these human rights abuses.
We just need to be patient!

Simple Simon

2.  JAG Rebuke to ZTA, received 7 December 2004

In the Sunday Standard, Business Section, dated 5th December 2004, it was
reported that Mr James de-la-Fargue was excited about this year's tobacco
crop. Based on seed sales he forecasts a crop in the region of 85million
kg. Mr Duncan Miller is also in a positive mood about this year's crop.

These two gentlemen need to be reminded that much of what they are getting
is excited and positive about is being grown on land and equipment stolen
from previous members of the ZTA. Their sycophancy is nauseating.

Bruce Gemmill.


3. Letter Christmas Cheer, received 4 December 2004

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very special Christmas,
and a prosperous, safe and Happy 2005.

Lisa Nislev


4. Letter No Prizes, received 4 December 2004

Dear Family and Friends,

This week our schools limped to the last day and shuddered to a stop at the
end of what has been an impossibly difficult school year. It was my son's
last day at junior school and I sat with other parents at the final
assembly. Since nursery school I have never missed a gala, sports day, play
or concert and I knew that Richard's last day at junior school was going to
be emotional. It was also prize giving day and one by one children came up
grade by grade to receive awards for their excellence. There were the usual
English, Maths and Arts prizes but also awards for achievement, consistent
effort and Christian conduct.

As each child came up there were the usual claps, cheers and ululation's
from parents bursting with pride and I found tears in my eyes on more than
one occasion. I clapped and cried for myself as a parent, ex farmer and
outspoken writer. I was not actually sure how I had survived these 57
months of turmoil, fear and penury and made it to this day. I clapped and
cried for Richard who had changed schools, worked through learning
problems, lived through horrors on an invaded farm and fought his fears and
nightmares. I was not sure how Richard had made it to this day either or
how either of us would cope with the phenomenal changes which lie ahead. I
clapped and cried for the school too and moreso after listening to the
annual reports by the Headmistress and the Chairman of the Board of
Governors. Even though I had been in and out of the school all year and had
attended almost all of the meetings, listening to the litany of horrors in
one speech really bought home to me what an enormous achievement it was
that this little school had managed to stay open at all.  The year had
begun with inflation of over 600% and yet the government had pegged the
school fees at a rate which did not take economics into consideration. In
May, first the headmistress and then the Chairman of the Board had been
detained in police cells. The Police closed the school down and patrolled
the premises preventing our children and their teachers from entering.

As the year went on, the finances of the school became more and more
precarious. All parents had agreed to make donations to the school to keep
the standards up, but when it came to it, many did not do so. The feelings
at parents meetings got tenser and angrier as those parents who had made
large donations to the school knew that their money was supporting the
children of other parents who had promised to, but who had paid nothing
extra. Three weeks before the end of the term and in the heat of mid
summer, the school was forced to close the swimming pool down as they could
no longer afford to keep it operating. And now, on prize giving day, not a
single child actually received a prize because the school simply could not
afford to buy the usual book prizes. The children got certificates and
applause, huge applause, from parents and teachers who knew what an
achievement it was and what sacrifices had been made again and again for
and by the school to get to this day.

As I sit here on Saturday morning writing about our little prize-less prize
giving day at a small Marondera school, I found myself drawn to switch on
local TV just for a minute. There is live coverage of the Zanu PF annual
congress and its 9000 delegates in Harare. The speakers seem to be falling
over each other to pour praise on the party and its leaders. They are no
doubt as shocked as we are at the events of the last week which saw seven
top Zanu PF officials being suspended from the party for daring to differ
in the choice of vice presidency. Heads have rolled, more will undoubtedly
follow and no doubt there will be no prizes at that ceremony either. 
Until next week, love Cathy Copyright Cathy buckle

All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters,
and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice for Agriculture.
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The Herald

      Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 December 2004
      RBZ deadline choking, say analysts

      By Jeffrey Gogo
      SOME companies which accessed cheap Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)
funds might not have the capacity to repay ahead of the extended June 2005
deadline, economic commentators have said.

      Many of the firms which released their financial results for the
period to September 2004 indicated that they were heavily indebted - some
outside the Productive Sector Facility, and economists say the RBZ deadline
for repayment could choke the companies' tight cash base.

      The central bank said in October this year that concessionary lending
under PSF would be phased out next year, and all companies that benefited
from these funds were expected to have repaid their loans in full by June

      The programme was initially set to end this December. The initiative
is targeted at controlling the abuse of the PSF by companies, as well as
reducing the companies' dependence on the facility.

      While acknowledging the need to do away with cheap funds, economists
say it might lead to a severe liquidity crunch among some companies if they
were put under pressure to repay by June 2005.

      "Companies with excessive PSF amounts such as PGI, Pioneer Corporation
Africa and Cottco, to mention but only a few, might struggle to pay back
given their precarious debt position," said a local economic commentator.

      "The companies might have to come back to shareholders and ask them to
retire their debt.

      "There are two ways this could be done. Either the company trades out
of the debt (trading normally and profitably and then settle their
borrowings) or additional capital injection.

      "I do not see some of the heavily borrowed companies being in a
position to repay their debt to the RBZ by the deadline.

      "If they manage to, then that must leave the productive firms in a
serious financial hole," he added.

      Earlier in October, economic commentator Mr Jonathan Kadzura also
raised concerns that the withdrawal of the PSF could be too early for some
companies that might not be in a sound financial position to repay by the

      He proposed the June 2005 deadline be moved to a later date.

      "It will be good to have rolled over the facility as it has greatly
assisted the productive sector," Kadzura said. But cheap money is not
favourable though."

      However, of the $2 trillion that was disbursed in the period January
to September 2004, total repayments to date amount to $478 billion.

      This "below-par" performance by some of the companies has been
attributed to the PSF, which has seen increases in capacity utilisation and
"job preservations" in distinct firms.

      It is on this basis that other commentators argue companies would be
in a position to settle their debts by the deadline.

      Other analysts maintained the RBZ was right in withdrawing the
facility next year given the present economic and inflation forecasts.

      "By June 2005, guided by current RBZ inflation targets, year-on-year
inflation would be around 70 or so percent. So really, also given that the
RBZ does not want to see a situation whereby market rates would grow ahead
of inflation, this means rates are likely to be in the region of 50 percent.

      "As such, it makes sense to withdraw the fund - currently at 50
percent - as companies would be in a position to borrow at similar rates on
the market."

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Business Report

      Harare splutters to a halt as state opens fuel tender
      December 8, 2004

      By Sapa and Bloomberg

      Harare - Zimbabwe's Petroleum Marketers' Association (PMA) has opened
tenders for the supply of petrol and diesel.

      The latest move comes as fuel queues snake through Harare's streets
while motorists wait patiently for fuel.

      The PMA said yesterday that it was tendering for the monthly supply of
24 million litres of petrol and 26 million litres of diesel, with supplies
expected to flow from January. The tender would close on December 16.

      An official in the PMA, who declined to be named, said: "The situation
is such that come next year, there should be no periodic stock-outs as we
are experiencing at the moment."

      Taxi driver John Takawira said: "We are tired of this nonsense. This
week there is diesel but no petrol. Last week there was petrol but no

      "It is impossible to plan and impossible to make money."

      Retired office worker Mishek Mubaya said: "It's ridiculous and all the
government does is tell us lies, promising that fuel supplies will return to

      "We know now that when they return to normal it will be for a week -
no more - then it will run out again. Thousands of us will be trying to go
home to our villages for Christmas. How are we going to get there if there
is no fuel?"

      Mubaya, who was waiting for a lift to a city bank, said a trip that
normally took him 20 minutes now took most of the morning because of the
fuel shortage. "There are too few taxis. They're all in petrol queues. Thank
you [President Robert] Mugabe."

      Zimbabwe's national fuel bill has fallen to about $30 million (R173
million) a month, from a monthly $40 million before the 2000 economic and
political crisis.

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MDC warns of 'inferno'
07/12/2004 21:39  - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwe's main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai warned on
Tuesday that any "carelessness" by the government ahead of the March
elections could lead to an "inferno" in the southern African country.

Tsvangirai, in a weekly newsletter, called for "sensitive political
management" especially in the run-up to the parliamentary elections in the
politically divided and crisis-ridden nation.

"We remain deeply concerned that the grass is now so dry that any form of
carelessness, in particular in the next two to three months, could lead to
an inferno," he said, but added that he was still extending an "olive
branch" to the country's leadership.

President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF at the weekend re-elected the
octogenarian head of state, Vice president Joseph Msika and elected a
co-vice president Joyce Mujuru to head the party for the next five years.

"To the new Zanu-PF leadership, I welcome you with the same old message: I
am still holding out that olive branch," Tsvangirai said.

"An opportunity for a rapid turnaround of our fortunes is still possible.

"Zimbabwe requires a soft landing," he said, appealing for "a political
solution before it is too late."

Tsvangirai, who has just returned from a month-long tour of Africa and
Europe to drum up support for his party, said "election management,
humanitarian emergency and a looming constitutional disaster" required
"sensitive political management".

The need of the hour was also "insightful leadership beyond political
parties and individuals", he said.

Mugabe has dismissed the Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
as a stooge of former colonial ruler Britain and has effectively ruled out
the resumption of any talks with the opposition whom he labels puppets.
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New Zimbabwe

Our persistence will drag Zimbabwe out of mire

By Msekiwa Makwanya
Last updated: 12/08/2004 08:44:26
WE MAY bemoan the futility of our quest and complain about our wounds and
battle scars; yet, we endure the pain and cling to the tiny thread of hope
as fragile as our breath. Yes, one day all our dreams will come true. But if
you pursue selfish dreams like the disgraced Junior Minister Professor
Jonathan Moyo your night mares will come true.

In our dogged efforts to carry out our duties and pursue our life goals, we
dare not pause less we may be overwhelmed by pains and doubts. We just keep
on going, believing that sooner or later we will find the real thing, even
though we cannot fully grasp what we really want. So, as we endure and
persevere, the saga of survival continues. While individual politicians find
it very important to get into power our hope is that they will take the
nation's aspirations into account. We can only get a taste of how aspiring
politicians will perform when we look at their track record. You do not need
to be a rocket scientist to imagine what Jonathan Moyo will do if he was to
get more power. Many have drawn unwarranted attention on Morgan Tsvangirai's
educational qualifications but we now know that even with their doctorates
and professorships Dr Made and Dr Chombo have failed to deliver while
Professor Moyo has destroyed democracy in Zimbabwe.

Even the helpless victim of a hopeless situation, facing a fate he cannot
change, may rise above himself, may grow beyond himself, and, by doing so,
change himself. He may turn personal tragedy into triumph and turn his
predicament into human achievement. We must not under-estimate our capacity
as Zimbabweans to solve our own problems. It is however mortifying to
realize that there are Zimbabweans who believe that President Thabo Mbeki
should switch Zimbabwe's electricity off in order to influence the political
situation in Zimbabwe. I do not see any government stepping down because
electricity has been cut off. In fact Zimbabwe has more electricity than
some countries in Africa where load shedding is a common problem. It is
important for those in politics to be very careful with their strategies.

I defend the MDC President, Morgan Tsvangirai's tour of duty to the 22
countries both in Africa and Europe last month. It opened his mind to
political realities that he was never exposed to. What he learns from the
visits is a matter personal ability and it is this learning which is more
important than degrees from university.

Our quest should continue as long as the Promised Land beacons us. It is
this hope for future meaning to fulfill that sustains us in trying
circumstances. We should stay the course and run the race, we need to
remember those who have overcome the obstacles and turned tragedies into
triumphs. The most glorious pages of human achievements are not about great
scientists, artists, athletes, or war heroes, but about ordinary individuals
who have endured unimaginable suffering and beat incredible odds. You do not
find them in the halls of fame, but in the corridors of life. Our fallen
heroes Gen Josiah Magama Tongogara, Leopold Takawira and Jason Ziyapapa Moyo
were not rocket scientists or professors.

However, endurance entails more than persistence until success. The greatest
challenge is to endure all kinds of pressures and resist endless temptations
in order to remain true to one's convictions and moral principles. The issue
of principles is very important and there is no harm to state your
principles and values. In the American elections George Bush and John Kerry
took a stand on homosexuality for instance. In Zimbabwe Mugabe has always
taken a stand on homosexuality what is Tsvangirai position? Do we avoid
issues because they are controversial and we do not want to offend a
particular group of people?

Persistence without moral courage can be dangerous. Single-minded and
tenacious pursuit of success without any regard for moral and spiritual laws
can lead to disastrous results which brings us to the issue of character. We
wish to see strength of character in the political leadership if our country
is to recover from the present mess.

Character is the sum total of your decisions, actions and habits, especially
in difficult circumstances. Like a rare and precious diamond, a sterling
character is the product of years of enduring opposition for doing what is
right. In the final analysis, integrity is the only guarantee you can offer
to both your friends and enemies.

The endurance test does not seem worth it, if at the end all we receive is a
corruptible crown, which we cannot take with us when we leave this world.
There has to be something more. It is the nation's hope that the parties
participating in the next elections will field candidates who have shown
endurance, strength of character and sound record of performance in their
own careers other than adumbrating at political gatherings. It is the
quality of people rather than mere numbers of Members of Parliament which
will improve Zimbabwe.
Makwanya is a social commentator based in London

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Elephant Tusks Now More Marketable Than Before

The East African Standard (Nairobi)

December 7, 2004
Posted to the web December 7, 2004

Isaac Ongiri

Who is killing Africa's elephants and encouraging the trade on ivory?

With the global ban on ivory trade still in place, the precious elephant
tusks are increasingly becoming marketable worldwide, further endangering
the lives of the African elephant, mostly targeted for elimination by

And with ready and secret markets in some Asian and European countries, the
population of the African elephant is endangered today as it was when the
ban was put in place in 1991.

"More and more elephants are being killed every other day. The fate and
survival of the African elephant is doomed," says Dr Noah Sitati, a Kenyan
researcher on human wildlife conflict.

Retired president Daniel arap Moi destroyed huge stocks of ivory in 1989 in
a campaign to wipe out the trade on ivory. The ban in 1991 was a blessing.

Zambia, the only southern African state to have come out strongly against
ivory trade, also ordered the destruction of huge piles of the commodity
without a second thought for the poverty levels that like any African state
bedevils its citizens and the millions of dollars worth of ivory it was

But a renewed demand for the legalisation of trade on ivory by some South
African states like Zimbabwe and South Africa could be dangerous if

Once again the Kenyan elephant is endangered, as poachers have returned in
big numbers to do their illegal business. In the last three years, rangers
from Trans Mara County Council running part of the Maasai Mara game reserve
have arrested 360 poachers in a bid to stamp out poaching activities in the
region and guarantee safety for the threatened wildlife.

"We are intensifying the war on poaching every minute. We are introducing
more fancied tactics to ensure we manage the war against poachers. This way
we have been able to harass poachers away from the boundaries of our park,"
said Brian Heath, the chief executive officer of the Mara conservancy.

Brian said most of the suspected poachers who have been arrested are
foreigners from a neighbouring country.

And Sitati, who works for the Durel Institute of Conservation and Ecology
(DICE), has been able to help recover about 240 pieces of ivory from the
local community in only two years.

A recent survey conducted by the International Union of Conservation and
Nature (IUCN), shows that at one time, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania had the
largest number of elephants in Africa. But recent statistics show a
diminishing population of the herbivore in the region compared to other
parts of sub Saharan Africa.

The survey indicates that in 1977 about 450,000 elephants roamed freely in
East Africa, but in 2002 the region had recorded a 70.2 per cent decline,
with the elephant population dropping to 140,000.

At that time other regions like the Central African states comparably had
200,000 elephants, dropping 49,000 in 2002. West African countries, mostly
ravaged by war, have seen a decline in the population of the herbivore to
6,200 in 2002, as compared 14,000 in 1977.

And Kenya, which had a record 50,000 elephants in 1961 spread all over its
sanctuaries in Amboseli, Maasai Mara, Shimba hills, Aberdares, Samburu and
Mau forest, among others, has slightly above 8,000 at the moment. Prominent
merchants trading in ivory who are living in Kenya are propelling the trade
and "inciting" poachers into our parks once more.

Research conducted by Sitati has also shown that business people whose
warehouses are situated in towns like Migori, Isebania, Namanga and Busia
are smuggling Kenyan ivory out through a neighbouring country. Increased
deaths of elephants around our parks have exposed the risk under which the
jumbos live.

In the last 24 years and ever since the world launched campaigns against
this black trade, Kenya has lost a total of 1,521 elephants to poachers,
according to a survey conducted by the Wild Wide Fund for nature (WWF).

A recent meeting held in Bangkok on elephants exposed two countries as being
most notoriously involved in the illegal ivory trade.

"Japan and the United Kingdom are among the countries named at the Bangkok
forum as leading in the provision of markets for ivory," Sitati said.

And according to the researcher, who has been studying the increased
conflict between human and wildlife near the Maasai Mara game reserves, the
unending conflict is worsening the situation.

"People are getting annoyed because elephants are destroying crops, killing
and injuring people and there is no compensation from the state," says

As a result the community expected to protect elephants from poachers is
itself recruited into poaching and harming the herbivores, which they
consider enemies.

Sitati is appealing to the government to hasten the compensation process as
some of the people around the parks have been widowed and orphaned by
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Zim Online

Botswana denies signing media pact with Zimbabwe
Wed 8 December 2004
  GABORONE - New Botswana Communications Minister Pelonomi Venson this week
told ZimOnline that there was no information pact between her country and
Zimbabwe committing the two countries to help defend each other against
negative coverage by the international press.

      Venson said her predecessor at the Communications Ministry, Boyce
Sebetela, had discussed media co-operation with Zimbabwe's Information
Minister Jonathan Moyo during a visit to Harare last June but no pact was

      She said: "No information pact has been developed between Botswana and
Zimbabwe. Former Minister, Sebetela's visit to Zimbabwe in June this year
was supposed to be followed by a reciprocal visit by Minister Jonathan Moyo
to discuss possible co-operation between the two countries on media issues.

      "This matter has not developed beyond this and no discussion has taken
place since that visit. The intention of the former minister was to involve
media practitioners in any discussion concerning this matter."

      At the time of Sebetela's visit, Harare claimed that the Botswana
official had agreed to a pact under which Gaborone would help rebut reports
by the international media about political violence, lawlessness and human
rights abuses in Zimbabwe. - ZimOnline
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