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

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UN envoy 'satisfied' after Zim visit
          July 09 2005 at 09:51AM

      A United Nations special representative has ended her fact-finding
mission to Zimbabwe saying she would carry with her memories of people
struggling to find shelter after a government blitz destroyed their homes.

      On Friday Anna Tibaijuka, who had earlier criticised the official
crackdown, avoided outright condemnation of President Robert Mugabe's drive
to flatten illegal shantytowns around the country.

      "I am leaving this trip satisfied that I was able to do my work
without hindrance," said Tibaijuka, executive director of agency UN Habitat,
who is due to leave Zimbabwe today.

      Rights groups, the Commonwealth, the European Union, Britain and the
United States have condemned the mass demolitions, which Zimbabwe's
opposition says has left as many as 1,5 million homeless in the depth of

      Minister of Local Government Ignatius Chombo said the government
welcomed any assistance to people whose properties were demolished and was
ready to discuss this with the UN. - Reuters

      This article was originally published on page 13 of Saturday Argus on
July 09, 2005
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ZNSPCA July 2005 Update


We were elated to receive the lovely award from Humane Society International for Extraordinary Achievement and Commitment at the Animal Care Expo in April.  This recognition has kept our Inspectors buoyed during the period since, which has been a very difficult time for us all.  Most of you will have read or heard about recent developments which have left over a million Zimbabweans homeless in the middle of winter with night time temperatures plummeting to nearly freezing point.


Obviously animals are once again caught up in the mayhem following government’s ‘Operation Murambatsvina’ (Shona for “clean out the filth”) and Operation Restore Order and SPCA centres are ‘baby-sitting’ a variety of different animals as their owners try to relocate and rebuild their lives but many are now living on the streets or in the ruins that remain.  Another sad but inevitable result, exacerbated by the dire state of the economy, is the surrendering of many animals to SPCA centres and Inspectors.


The situation on farms has settled down somewhat and the focus still remains on the location and recovery of the hundreds of horses which were left behind.  However, as political tensions mount, there have been a few further incidents on farms.  Belinda, the Chinhoyi Inspector carried out a rescue in the Lions Den area on 21 June after the owners of Friedavill Farm had been forced to flee and left nine dogs behind, mostly Healers, including two of Kanya’s puppies which were originally rescued in 2001 when Two Trees was attacked and Nhandi (Kanya’s mother) was found in ruins. 


One of the farm employees is to be commended for his bravery as he found some of the dogs which fled at the time and took them to the owners who had sought refuge on a neighbouring farm.  When Belinda arrived at the farm she found three Healers who had remained during the attack and tried to defend the property – ‘Casper’, ‘Heidi’ and ‘Maisie’.  Although all were alive they had paid a price for their bravery.  Belinda reports that they could not follow her as all were limping so badly. Another employee at the farmhouse reported that the dogs had been locked in the house and beaten.  Belinda carried the injured dogs out to her vehicle but she said they were obviously in pain as they all winced and tried to snap at her.


Belinda reports that there was furniture and belongings scattered everywhere and despite there being a lot of people present, she was not prevented from removing the dogs, however the brave employee who recovered the dogs which had fled was chased and threatened whilst he recovered the remaining dogs.


Our small band of Inspectors are still stretched to the limit and we do desperately need to increase the number of Inspectors we have in the field in order to get to all animals in need as well as coping with the increasing demands for assistance being placed on our Regional Inspectors from the urban areas.


An abattoir near Harare was found to be slaughtering animals using a knife and several security companies are being monitored following either impounds or warnings being issued regarding the underweight condition of their working dogs.


Following negotiations, crocodiles on an occupied ranch were released by the war vets and relocated to Kariba.


Ostriches were found to be dying of starvation on a farm in Marondera which had also been taken over.  Simon consulted with the previous owner and permission has been obtained for him to feed the birds.


The Inspectors are also spending a great deal of time attending to donkeys and draught oxen in the rural areas who are being heavily relied upon by rural communities who are struggling to make a living or grow crops.


Most of you will have learned that former MP, Roy Bennet whose farm featured regularly in our previous reports, has been released.  Unfortunately, another farmer, Phillip Mennie, was attacked in Chipinge on Sunday and received serious head injuries.  He was dragged from his vehicle by six men when he stopped at the farm gate and was head-butted, punched, beaten and kicked.  The farmer who suffers from glaucoma was unable to see after a sever blow to the back of the head. Two other farmers who tried to rescue him were also head-butted and beaten with sticks.  He has been hospitalized in Harare and his condition is reported as being stable.


A current major challenge is a crippling fuel shortage which has grounded many SPCA vehicles and is bringing remaining industry to a halt and will no doubt worsen the current food shortage.  Many shelves are bare and mealie-meal (national staple), bread, sugar, oil and of course pet food are all in short supply.  Our usual suppliers of vet meds and drugs report that they are unable to import even essential drugs such as euthanaise, vaccines, anesthetics and dewormer as they cannot secure forex from the government.


With ongoing kind support from those who continue to stand by us at this very challenging time, we will keep going and do everything in our power to continue to safeguard the extremely vulnerable animals of Zimbabwe.


I will end off with an extract from a report by the ZNSPCA Regional Inspector for Matabeleland, Glynis, on the situation following Operation Murambatsvina:


“We heard from the public that Killarney and Ngozi squatter camps had been destroyed and we proceeded to load our truck with the necessary equipment - cages, meat and ropes, etc.  On arrival in the area we were saddened by the sight of the people sitting amongst the ruins of their homes, holding their pets.  Initially, on approaching the people, there was resistance because they did not trust us and didn't want to give us the only belongings they had left that had any worth.  After much persuasion and discussion they realised that we were there to help and we documented all the animals and their respective owners. 


In two days our team of four collected 155 chickens, 7 cats, 18 dogs, 2 rabbits, 26 guinea pigs and 3 ducks.  By the afternoon of the fist day the word had spread and people were running to meet us and set up designated points for pick ups.  The squatters became so trusting, handing us there pets not knowing if they will ever see them again.  We were all deeply affected by the sight of the owners hugging their dogs and cats and begging us to look after them.  One old man brought me his black hen "madam - take care of Peggy for me, please" he said. I assured him that Peggy would be well looked after.  The Bulawayo SPCA kennels are now full and we are struggling to feed all the animals.  We do not know when the people will reclaim their pets.  We can only carry on taking care of them and carry on rescues in other areas”.




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London Abounds With Tales of Victims

By CATHERINE McALOON, Associated Press WriterFri Jul 8, 5:15 PM ET

Jamie Gordon's co-workers have found his cell phone but not him. George Psaradakis survived to tell of his horrific last journey driving the No. 30 bus before a bomb tore the roof off — but others weren't as lucky.

The last time Gordon was heard from was when he called his asset management firm in central London on Thursday to say he was on his way to work aboard a bus.

He's not been heard from since, although his cell phone was found in the debris of the No. 30 double-decker bus that was ripped apart by a bomb in Tavistock.

Police said the bodies of 49 people had been recovered but warned the death toll would rise from Thursday's explosions at three subway stations and the bus.

On Friday, his co-workers posted color photos of the 30-year-old Zimbabwean on trees and walls on the streets around the blast area.

"Please help us find our friend who is missing following yesterday's bombings," the posters read in a scene reminiscent of the desperate search for victims in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks in the United States.

"The worst case scenario is that he is dead," said Gordon's partner Yvonne Nash, who used her position with a cell phone network to trace the last call made on Gordon's phone back to the scene of the blast.

"We just have to find him. If he is hurt and on his own in hospital, we need to be with him," she said.

Others set out Friday bearing photographs of loved ones to scour London hospitals treating scores of injured.

A mound of floral tributes, many bearing cards with touching sentiments, grew outside the entrance to King's Cross station, near the site of the worst of the subway bombings. Other bouquets were clipped to metal fencing around the Tube station.

David Webb, 38, was searching for his sister Laura, 29, who hadn't been seen since she left home Thursday.

"We are very upset about her disappearance, and all the options go through your mind ... she may be being cared for somewhere, or maybe she is still underground," Webb said.

Friends of Monika Suchocka were looking for the 23-year-old Polish woman who has been out of contact since calling her accounting office to say her train had been delayed and that she planned to take a bus.

"We just don't know what happened after that," said Magdalena Dondelewska, 24, who was looking at University College Hospital.

Nazmul Hasan was desperate for news of his 20-year-old niece, Shahera Akther Islam, who was on one of the targeted subway lines on her way to her job at a bank and never showed up or returned home.

Calls to her cell phone were answered only by voice mail," Hasan said.

"I am trying to stay as calm as I possibly can, but you only have to see her mother and father to see the pain this has caused."

Others were more fortunate.

Psaradakis, the driver of the bus that was blown up, killing 13, said he was grateful to be alive and with his family.

"I am just relieved to be here," the 49-year-old said. "Many other people have not been so fortunate. I feel for the people who have perished and for their families."

Eaman Spelman counted his blessings, too.

"We were two minutes out of King's Cross (station) and there was a huge explosion with big red flashing lights and the train seemed to sort of dip and come to a halt," he said of his commute to work at the upscale Harrods department store.

Emergency workers who helped 350 injured to hospitals on Thursday, reported that many spoke with accents or in languages other than English and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Ian Blair said people injured in the attacks were not only Londoners, included some from Sierra Leone, Australia, Portugal, Poland, China, the United States and Denmark.

Central London swarms with international tourists during summer months and the cosmopolitan capital is home to many who have moved from abroad.

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Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Zimbabwe's bankruptcy one of leadership

Published on: 07/10/05
God bless Bono.

He has done more to put Africa back on the map than all the usual
advocates - African heads of state, the Congressional Black Caucus and
international aid organizations - combined. The Irish pop star did much of
the heavy lifting that catapulted HIV/AIDs relief and debt forgiveness to
the top of the G-8's agenda in Scotland.

But there's one African disaster that even Bono can't fix - the ruined
nation of Zimbabwe. It's an entirely man-made catastrophe, the legacy of one
abusive, egomaniacal tyrant, president-for-life Robert Mugabe. And the
nation is now so far gone it's not clear that it can be salvaged.

Right now, Mugabe is conducting a vicious relocation campaign in which his
storm troopers forcibly remove the desperately poor from urban shantytowns
back to rural areas, where they face nothing but hunger. Among other
outrages, Dominican nuns were forced to tear down a day care center in a
shantytown outside Harare, the capital. Charitable groups estimate that as
many as 1 million people will be uprooted before Mugabe is done.

While the 81-year-old dictator claims that he is merely cleaning up disease-
and crime-infested slums, the vast majority of the shantytown inhabitants
just happen to support his political opponents. The relocation campaign is
eerily reminiscent of the forcible removal of black South Africans to
separate "homelands" during apartheid.

Indeed, if Mugabe were a white colonial oppressor, black African heads of
state would be demanding international intervention, and American civil
rights activists would be burning him in effigy.

Instead, Mugabe's most ardent defenders are African heads of state. When G-8
leaders - joined by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, a native of Ghana -
asked African leaders to condemn Mugabe's relocations, they refused.

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, chairman of the African Union, said he
would "not be part" of any public condemnation, according to the Financial
Times. And a spokesman for South African President Thabo Mbeki told The New
York Times he is "really irritated by this kgokgo approach." ("Kgokgo" is a
Sotho word that implies scaring a child into submission, the Times
explains.) Spokesman Bheki Khumalo said, "South Africa refuses to accept the
notion that because suddenly we're going to a G-8 summit, we must . . . look
good and appease the G-8 leaders."

Unemployment nearing 80 percent. Triple-digit inflation. Gasoline shortages.
Agricultural and industrial sectors in collapse. What a tragedy. What an
entirely preventable waste.

In 1983, I spent two months in Zimbabwe, then a relatively prosperous and
mostly stable country excited about the prospects of independence. After a
decades-long guerrilla war against an oppressive all-white government,
Zimbabwe's rebels had won a peace settlement that guaranteed black rule.

With a small but committed black middle class and a group of white
businessmen and farmers comfortable with the new order, Zimbabwe was primed
to become a leader of Africa. Mugabe even encouraged those white farmers and
entrepreneurs to stay - the country needed them, he said.

That didn't last long. By the end of his first decade in power, Mugabe, a
Shona, had presided over the slaughter of an estimated 20,000 ethnic
Ndebeles, whom he characterized as armed insurrectionists. (Perhaps if
Mugabe had had nuclear ambitions and oil reserves, the United States would
have invaded.) Slowly but surely, he began using the same tools the racist
white government had used to crack down on dissent - imprisoning critics,
shutting down newspapers, intimidating judges. He rigged elections.

As his nation foundered and opposition increased, Mugabe became more
tyrannical. About five years ago, he started blaming white farmers for the
nation's problems and began seizing their land for his supporters. When the
collapse of those major farming enterprises combined with a drought,
widespread hunger followed.

Not that Mbeki or Obasanjo seem to care. Apparently, the cruel oppression of
black Africans is acceptable when black rulers do the oppressing.

- Cynthia Tucker is the editorial page editor. Her column appears Sundays
and Wednesdays.

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Subject: Of blue buses and Zimbarbie

Dear Family and Friends,
Zimbabwe acquired 69 new buses this week. The arrival of the buses made
headline news on Zimbabwe's radio and television stations on Thursday 7th
July 2005. For the first twenty six minutes of the main hour long news
bulletin on Thursday evening, the only story was the 69 buses. Video
footage showed a line of parked shiny blue and yellow buses stretching as
far as the eye could see. This was followed by a string of interviews with
prospective passengers either standing next to or seated in a stationary
bus. At one point the glories of the shiny, blue and yellow buses were
contrasted with a parking lot full of stranded, dusty country buses -
stranded because of the now dire shortage of fuel across the country. The
absurdity of reporting on new buses arriving when almost the entire
country has come to a standstill this week, was striking. Thirty seven
minutes into the same evening news bulletin, Zimbabwe television reported
on the 4 bombs that had devastated London on Thursday morning. In less
than two minutes ZBC TV told the entire story of the London horror. They
then moved on to explain, yet again, why our government was still breaking
down peoples homes in mid winter in their drive to restore order. Millions
of Zimbabweans, literally, have experienced terror at first hand in our
country in the last five years, and we offer our love, support and prayers
to the victims and families of the horrific bombs in London.

Watching some of the film footage of thousands of people walking out of
London on Thursday was strikingly similar to scenes in Zimbabwe this week.
An eerie silence has descended across Zimbabwe as we are now a country
completely crippled without fuel. We wake up to silence as people walk to
work, rush hours are non existent and literally hundreds of people line
the roads desperate for lifts. Stocks in shops are dwindling and
businesses are barely ticking over as there are fewer and fewer customers
able to travel. One friend told me this week that sales in their normally
busy business had dropped by 40 percent in the last five days. The reality
of a country coming to a dry and grinding halt does make the story of the
69 buses rather ludicrous doesn't it?

I will end this week on the latest absurdity to come out of Zimbabwe and I
quote from the government owned press:
"Harare City Council has rescinded all land sale agreements made between
1998 and this year and is now reselling the land at market rates to the
same buyers, where necessary," the official Herald newspaper reported,
citing Harare Town Clerk Nomutsa Chideya.

When things can't get much worse, the silliest things cause great
hilarity. How about this gem doing the rounds: "The new Barbie on the
market comes with: no shoes, no clothes, no make up, no car, no food, no
house and no farm. Its called... Zimbarbie!" Until next week, with love,
cathy.Copyright cathy buckle 9th July 2005.

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Zim farmers find refuge
09/07/2005 19:42  - (SA)

Shonga - A group of white farmers whose land was seized by the government in
Zimbabwe sowed their first crops on new land leased to them thousands of
miles to the north in Nigeria.

Governor Bukola Saraki of the west-central state of Kwara flagged off the
first phase of the programme on Friday at Shonga, some 110 kilometres north
of the state capital Ilorin, expressing high admiration for the Zimbabweans.

"This is a dream come true. I must thank our farmer friends from Zimbabwe
for the commitment and the faith they have demonstrated on this project,
which I must say have surpassed even our own expectations," he said.

The 13 displaced farmers, who relocated to Kwara at the invitation of the
government, have said they will train local youths and make Nigeria into a
net food exporter.

On Friday they sowed maize and soyabeans on 1 510 of the 15 000 hectares
leased to them by the government, while expressing regret at difficulties
they were having in obtaining bank loans.

'Make Nigeria self-sufficient'

They left Zimbabwe after the government of President Robert Mugabe embarked
on its controversial land redistribution programme in February 2000, seizing
prime farmland owned by some 4 500 white farmers and handing it over to the
landless black majority.

Governor Saraki said the aim of the programme was to generate substantial
marketable surplus in food and cash crops that would encourage development
and expansion of local agri-processing and agricultural exports in the

He said farm extension activities would also be provided to transfer
knowledge and techniques into the small scale subsistence farming sector.

"The objective is to turn Kwara into the food basket of the country and to
subsequently make Nigeria self-sufficient in food production," he said.

"We project that investment in dairy production alone will yield five
million litres of milk per annum and will take care of domestic needs which
is currently characterised by shortfalls, high prevailing prices, and the
importation of up to 98% of domestic consumption," the governor said.

He said production of broiler chicken was projected to yield 125 000 hens
per annum, dry land rice at 15 000 metric tonnes and irrigated rice at 8 500
metric tonnes.

"With all these, projected growth in dairy output in Kwara State alone,
excluding growth in other sectors (rice, maize and poultry) will generate a
potential $21m saving in foreign exchange," he added.

The governor said under a deal with the farmers, the government has leased
the 15 000 hectares to them for 25 years and has also granted each farmer a
$25 000 interest-free loan.
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