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

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Zim Online

Former MDC legislator says party hijacked by opportunists
Mon 11 July 2005
  JOHANNESBURG - Former opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
legislator Roy Bennett says the party has been hijacked by corrupt
opportunists who are driven by greed.

      Bennett was speaking during an interview with BusinessDay in South
Africa where he is seeking specialist treatment.

      Bennett who was recently released from prison after serving a 12-month
jail sentence imposed by Parliament after he shoved Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa during debate in the House said although Morgan Tsvangirai was a
good leader, he was now surrounded by a group of "opportunists who are only
interested in their own financial gain."

      He however refused to name the officials.

      The remarks are the strongest from a senior party official suggesting
all is not well within the opposition party.

      There have been reports of serious factionalism in the MDC in the past
with two competing camps led by Tsvangirai and MDC secretary general
Welshman Ncube. But the party has consistently tried to play down the rift.

      Bennett said: "I believe that they will be exposed (opportunists) and
they will be removed and the right people, who represent the grassroots,
will replace them."

      Contacted for comment, Tsvangirai's spokesman William Bango said
although they respect Bennett's views, he could be out of touch with present
realities after spending a year in prison.

      The MDC leadership has been accused of failing to do enough to step up
pressure against Mugabe to increase the democratic space in Zimbabwe. The
Belgian-based International Crisis Group think-tank recently called for
leadership renewal in the MDC to prepare for the post-Mugabe phase. -

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Zimbabwe crackdown leads to 'inhumane' conditions
Mon Jul 11, 2005 5:22 PM BST

By MacDonald Dzirutwe

HARARE (Reuters) - A South African church group said on Monday victims of a
government crackdown on illegal structures were living under cruel and
inhumane conditions and that it would urge its local counterparts to speak
more forcefully on the drive.

A U.N. envoy who studied the demolitions would present her findings to
Secretary General Kofi Annan in two weeks, giving guidance on how the world
body deals with Harare's controversial policies, her spokesman said.

A South African churches delegation on Monday toured Caledonia, a transit
camp outside Harare where thousands of people whose homes were demolished
are living, as part of an independent assessment of the government
operation, said group spokesman Matthew Esau.

"It was not a pleasant experience. What we saw today was really, as
described by the clergy here, cruel and inhumane," Esau told Reuters.

"We are now looking at how we can assist the churches here to become more
forceful as they seek to work together with the affected people and engage
the government," he added.

On Monday a spokesman for UN-HABITAT executive director Anna Tibaijuka said
she was preparing a report for Annan after a two-week trip to assess the
crackdown, which activists say has left 300,000 people homeless.

"We are now writing the report and it will be handed over to the secretary
general within one to two weeks ... The procedure (on whether it will be
made public) is up to him," spokesman Sharad Shankardass, told Reuters.

Both Annan and South African President Thabo Mbeki have said they are
waiting for Tibaijuka's report before considering a response to the Zimbabwe
campaign, which activists have called a human rights violation.


President Robert Mugabe's government has defended the operation as necessary
to clean up Zimbabwe's cities and flush out crime and illegal trading in
foreign currency and other commodities in short supply.

Police on Monday appeared to row back on earlier official statements that
the crackdown was ending, saying that demolition crews were now moving into
Harare's richer suburbs to tear down unapproved structures such as backyard
cottages and home offices built without permission.

"(Police) have gone into the low-density surburbs...but at the moment I do
not have any details," police chief spokesman Assistant Commissioner Wayne
Bvudzijena said.

The Commonwealth, European Union, Britain, the United States and rights
groups have all weighed in to condemn the mass demolitions, in which at
least five people have been killed and many more deprived of both their home
and livelihood.

The government has denied accusations that the campaign, called "Operation
Restore Order", is targeted at opposition supporters who mostly live in poor
urban areas.

Tibaijuka told reporters on Friday she had not been hampered in her mission,
but would take away with her memories of poor people struggling to find

The U.N. envoy did not directly criticise Mugabe's government, but U.N.
officials earlier confirmed that she had sharply questioned the demolition
campaign during a stop in the second city of Bulawayo, saying urbanisation
in Africa was inevitable and people should not be treated like criminals
simply because they are poor.

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Mail and Guardian

      UN report on Zim ready in two weeks

      Harare, Zimbabwe

      11 July 2005 04:58

            A United Nations envoy who investigated Zimbabwe's razing of
townships will present a report of her findings to UN Secretary General Kofi
Annan in about two weeks, a spokesperson said on Monday.

            "We are working on the report for this week," said Sharad
Shankardass, the spokesperson for the UN Habitat agency.

            "Hopefully, the report will be ready between one-and-a-half and
two weeks from now."

            UN envoy Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, who is the executive director
of UN Habitat, will personally go to New York to present the report to
Annan, who "will then make a decision accordingly", said the spokesperson.

            Tibaijuka left Harare on Saturday after a 12-day fact-finding
mission to Zimbabwe.

            The UN estimates that 200 000 people have been left homeless in
the nearly three-month campaign to demolish shacks and other unauthorised
dwellings, but the opposition has denounced the blitz as a campaign of
repression and say up to 1,5-million Zimbabweans have lost their homes.

            The Zimbabwean government began the demolitions around May 19,
razing shacks, markets and nurseries in what it has described as an urban
renewal campaign to get rid of grime and crime.

            At least two children were crushed to death during the
demolitions and residents at one settlement near Harare said four died when
their homes were razed, but police have denied that those four deaths

            Police said at the end of June that the clean-up campaign called
Operation Murambatsvina, which means Drive out Trash, and its linked
Operation Restore Order was in its final stages.

            But on Monday, the police moved into the plush suburbs of Harare
where they ordered the demolition of staff quarters, garages and other
outbuildings built without approval.

            Police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena confirmed the police were
targeting Harare's posh areas.

            "Yes, I can confirm the clean-up operation is now in the
low-density areas," he said.

            The campaign has been criticised by the United States and
Britain, but the African Union has refrained from blasting Harare, with
South Africa in particular saying that it will await Tibaijuka's report
before deciding on what action to take. -- Sapa-AFP

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Church leaders disturbed by suffering of homeless
11 Jul 2005 16:36:53 GMT

Source: IRIN
JOHANNESBURG, 11 July (IRIN) - A delegation from the South African Council
of Churches (SACC), visiting Zimbabwe to assess the impact of the ongoing
urban cleanup campaign, are "disturbed" by what they've witnessed.

Thousands of informal settlements and markets have been demolished in the
cleanup campaign, launched in May, and at least 375,000 people left
homeless; the authorities have claimed it was part of an urban renewal
strategy that will eventually build 10,000 homes at a cost of US $300

The government wants people evicted from illegal settlements to either move
directly to their place of birth in rural areas, or to one of two temporary
transit centres outside the capital, Harare, and the eastern city of Mutare.
A third facility was to be completed in Bulawayo in the south of the

Spokesman Eddie Makue said the SACC delegation, together with the All Africa
Conference of Churches (AACC), had toured the Caledonia transit camp outside
Harare, which was set up to temporarily shelter those rendered homeless by
the cleanup campaign, and met with civil society and church leaders in

The delegation, led by Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ngundane and SACC
president Professor Russell Botman, was also scheduled to tour Mbare
township, which was severely affected by the cleanup.

The group aimed to meet with both the ruling party and the opposition before
returning to Johannesburg.

"We will make a statement tomorrow, as it's going to be important for us to
share our observations, after the delegation briefs the SACC central
committee [on Tuesday morning]," Makue said. The AACC representative in the
delegation is also to report back to the pan-African body's central

He noted that "what we are observing [in Zimbabwe] is very close to the
statement released by the World Council of Churches".

In its statement on 24 June, the World Council of Churches condemned the
mass forced evictions taking place in Zimbabwe and called on the government
to end the "rapid, ruthless and arbitrary manner" in which the cleanup
operation was being conducted.

The council observed that the campaign was being prosecuted during winter,
and at "a time when the rural areas are particularly unable to absorb those
expelled from the urban areas because of the effects of drought".

Makue added that "for now ... what we can say is that the church leadership
is very disturbed by what we have seen: the suffering of the people in the
Caledonia camp is quite profound".

The SACC was discussing with local clergy what assistance it could provide
to those in need. "[But] we recognise our own limitations as well, and we
are very appreciative of the fact that the main caregivers in the Caledonia
camp are UNICEF [UN Children's Fund] and Christian Care, the service arm of
the Zimbabwe Council of Churches."

Meanwhile, rights group Amnesty International has urged the "African Union
(AU) to challenge attempts by the government of Zimbabwe to frustrate the
AU's investigation of the current human rights crisis in Zimbabwe".

This followed reports that the AU envoy sent to Zimbabwe to evaluate the
impact of the controversial demolition of informal settlements and shops had
left the country last week without completing his mission.

AU spokesman Adam Thiam confirmed to IRIN that Bahame Tom Nyanduga, a member
of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, Special Rapporteur
Responsible for Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Internally Displaced Persons in
Africa, had left Zimbabwe last Thursday.

Amnesty said the government of Zimbabwe had reportedly claimed there were
"procedural irregularities" regarding Nyanduga's visit.

"By trying to block the work of an African Union representative through the
use of blatantly obstructionist procedural excuses, the government of
Zimbabwe is showing its real fear: that African Union criticism will force
other African governments to finally tackle the human rights and
humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe publicly and effectively," said Kolawole
Olaniyan, Director of Amnesty International's Africa Programme.

"It is deplorable that the government of Zimbabwe has treated the African
Union and a respected member of its Commission in this way," Olaniyan
commented. "We urge African Union member states to uphold the African
Union's credibility and integrity, and reaffirm their commitment to human
rights and accountability by refusing to allow governments to deflect
attention from human rights violations by resorting to the flimsy excuse of
'procedural irregularities'."

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Sunday Times SA

Asylum seekers end hunger strike

Monday July 11, 2005 15:01 - (SA)

LONDON -Fifty-five Zimbabweans have suspended a hunger strike they began to
resist deportation from Britain and are awaiting a High Court decision on
their case next month, human rights activists said.

They had begun refusing food 18 days earlier or even before that, after
their political asylum request was turned down and the British government
threatened them with expulsion, but they have suspended the strike since the
High Court is due to consider the issue on August 4.

Nine of them remained in jail on Sunday, according to the government.

On July 6, a judge urged the government to suspend deportations until the
court ruling on the case made for the 55 people from the southern African
country by the Refugee Legal Council, an organisation that helps asylum

One man, 28-year-old teacher Mqhubel Timbha, was rushed to hospital on
Friday. He had begun his own hunger strike on June 2 in protest against the
lifting of a ban on deportations to Zimbabwe, to be followed by scores of
his compatriots.

He was taken to an east London hospital where he had reportedly started
taking food under medical supervision.

"He was sufficiently ill that, on the strength of my report, the  Home
Office accepted that he needed to be taken to hospital by ambulance," said
the doctor, Frank Arnold.

A second hunger striker, who has not been named, was also taken to hospital
on Saturday, the man's solicitor said.

The British government confirmed the pair were in hospital but said there
were no concerns over their health. "Two of the hunger strikers are
currently receiving care in hospital. This is purely a  precaution and there
are no concerns over their health at all," a Home Office spokesman said.

The hunger strikers argue that they would be killed if they returned home
after Britain in November 2004 lifted the ban that prevented asylum seekers
from being deported to Zimbabwe.

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New Zimbabwe

MDC slams 'out of touch' Bennett over rift claims

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 07/12/2005 03:54:01
ZIMBABWE'S main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has been
hijacked by corrupt opportunists driven mainly by personal greed, a former
MP has said.

Roy Bennett made the comments in South Africa after his recent release from
prison for contempt of parliament after shoving Patrick Chinamasa, the
justice minister.

South Africa's Business Day newspaper paper reported that there were reports
of an intense political rivalry between two factions in the MDC - one said
to be led by party leader Morgan Tsvangirai and the other by
secretary-general Welshman Ncube.

An MDC spokesman immediately dismissed Bennett as "out of touch" following
his prison stint.

Bennett said he and a growing number of MDC supporters were frustrated by
the party's lack of aggression towards the government of President Robert

Business Day reported Bennett saying that although Tsvangirai was a good
leader, he had surrounded himself with a group of "opportunists who ended up
in senior positions within the ... party and who are only interested in the
own financial gain". He continued saying, "I believe they will be exposed
and they will be removed and the right people, who represent the grassroots,
will replace them."

Bennett said that the MDC leadership should stand up for its followers, and
put itself at risk rather than follow Mugabe's agenda, the paper reported.
It further reported that Bennett's comments came amid criticism that the MDC
failed to capitalise on Mugabe's "Operation Restore Order" to rally

It reported William Bango, Tsvangirai's spokesman, saying that although
Bennett's views were welcome he might be out of touch after eight months in
prison. Bennett spoke to Business Day while in South Africa en route to
visit friends in Britain. - Sapa

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Scoop, New Zealand

      Zimbabwe Tour - Judith Todd to Tour NZ
      Monday, 11 July 2005, 12:14 pm
      Press Release: Global Peace And Justice Auckland

Zimbabwe Tour - Judith Todd to Tour NZ

- The campaign gathers momentum -

Judith Todd - daughter of Sir Garfield Todd and campaigner for human rights
in Zimbabwe is arriving in New Zealand later this week to join the campaign
to stop the New Zealand Cricket Tour to Zimbabwe - scheduled for August. She
is being brought to New Zealand by Global Peace and Justice Auckland.

Sir Garfield Todd was the New Zealander who was Prime Minister of Rhodesia
and leading the country towards independence before he was ousted by the Ian
Smith regime in 1965 which declared UDI (Unilateral Declaration of
Independence) and cemented in place white minority rule.

As a young woman Judith toured New Zealand and around the world in the late
1960's and spoke with passion and eloquence in opposition to white minority
rule in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) and South Africa. On her visit here she
helped campaign against the All Black tour to South Africa in 1970.

Like her father she became an outspoken opponent of Mugabe and was stripped
of her Zimbabwean citizenship in 2001.

One aspect of her trip is to thank the people of New Zealand for providing
her with a New Zealand passport through her father's connection with New
Zealand - otherwise she would now be a stateless citizen!

Now living in South Africa, Judith remains a passionate opponent of Mugabe's
policies and an eloquent advocate for human rights in Zimbabwe.

Her visit will include -

  Media Conference on Friday morning - details to be advised
  Public meeting this Friday Night - 15th July - speaking alongside
Zimbabwean Cricketer Henry Olongo at the Aotea Chapel - 370 Queen Street
(Opposite the Town Hall) at 8pm. This meeting is jointly organised by the
Green Party and Global Peace and Justice Auckland.

  Protest March - Saturday 16th July from 12 noon - Corner Queen and Customs

She will also be having a range of meetings with politicians and sports
officials - details to be advised - and will be pressing the government to
take meaningful steps to stop this tour rather than say they are opposed to
it and then make excuses for New Zealand's national cricket team to go to
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After seeing an SATV documentary on Roy  Bennett on Sun eve (released from
the cess-pits they  call jails in Zim) I feel I just have to do SOMETHING.
I sent 98 e-mails yesterday to 14 countries. This spread  should not be
wasted. Please will you all copy this to  as many people of colour as you

When colonial whites were perceived to be misbehaving in Africa, the entire
"western" predominantly white, world  climbed on the bandwagon and used evey
tool in the book  to bring about change, and achieved it. The UK
successfully cut this country off from the rest of the world except SA.
 Kissinger then turned the screws on SA's Vorster who  agreed to strangle
the Smith Regime if it didn't come to heel.

Not too long after, the world threw its arms open to welcome
the hero Mugabe. The "welcome mats" were still being frenziedly thrown out
for him, while he quietly orchestrated  the massacre of the Ndebele. But
just as subsequently in Iraq, Ethiopia, Sudan, uttered  a peep. It was fine because
'they' were doing it to each other.

Well, it is NOT okay. It wasn't when Germans did it to Jews,
Pol Pot did it to Cambodians, Milosovic did it in Kosovo,
Hussein in Iraq.........and so on ad nauseam.

Just as Vorster held the key to the Rhodesian problem, Mbeki
holds the key to stopping this nightmare in Zimbabwe.

Step outside this country, and EVERYONE said to me "but surely it can't be
that bad. IF it is, then there'd be an uprising!!"
Those of you who know this country, are aware that the majority
of people live in easily patrollable townships (a few men, vehicles
 and AK rifles is all it takes). Distances are great, there is no fuel
other than blackmarket, all roads have armed police roadblocks,
city and town centres have riot police and plainclothes Border Gezi
Youth (vicious young bored unemployed thugs). Most people in the
rural areas are either starving, or on the verge of. You try standing
around, never mind marching when you are that hungry. Fear feeds
upon itself and quickly grows. E-mails and phone calls are monitored.

Countries who've had successful revolutions did not have neighbours
who openly condoned corruption and brutality, such as South Africa

Geldof and Bono's hearts may be in the right place, but I somehow
cannot bring myself to believe that rock stars with over 20 yrs in the
limelight, are motivated by altruism rather than egos. "Make Poverty
History", how arse about face is that??? "Make Corrupt Dictatorships
History", and you've solved the problem EVERYWHERE including
North Korea and Myanmar (Burma). South Korea, on the same sliver
of land, is booming. Zimbabwe used to be "the bread basket of sub-
Saharan Africa".

Archbishops Tutu (in SA) and Ncube (here) are lone black voices.
Whites must help where and when they can, quietly and effectively.
However its the time for blacks to prove they are worth more than
being chanters of racist slogans. Watch Mbeki shout 'imperialism',
'bigotry', etc (yawn) every time he's asked to stand-up for a few
million POOR blacks being brutalised.

PLEASE forward this to EVERY black person, group, church, newspaper,  you
know or can reach. It is their time now to stop the criminal activities of
their fellow blacks, just as whites did to Smith and de Klerk.

ANY black person you know in Zimbabwe, who is not in  government, needs help
NOW, I GUARANTEE you. ALL are in some form of danger.
The vast majority are among the nicest, gentlest people on earth.

I don't wish to spoonfeed you lot, but you've not had to live with this
version of Krystal Nacht (?) 24/7.  Americans--- forward this to
Condoleesa Rice, Oprah, Colin Powell, Jesse Jackson et al. South Africans -
give it to your colleagues, business associates, drivers and maids.
Catholics everywhere, let your priests redeem themselves to a small degree
of the  scandals of paedophilia, by standing up for the poorest of the poor,
the scardest of the scared, the starving, the sick. Face it, you can no
longer achieve sainthood by being eaten by pagan cannibals. I'm  just asking
you to hit the forward button or give a printout to some  black person with
integrity. No more or less than some white people did to help Africa towards
'independence'.This may be seem pathetically amateurish to the
intelligentsia, but I know how few Intelligentsia there

If I am arrested, or have a car accident, don't get your g-strings in a
knot,  someone has become scared shitless.

With love from a white African grandmother.

PS Paying off your credit card will give you momentary peace of mind.
Making Brutality History will give you a high for which you will NOT need


Follow up:

Hi there!
I have been crapped on by some people overseas  who've felt that my e-mail
was grossly innaccurate  but they weren't specific about which aspect.

So I'm going to put this another way. In the struggles for dependence in
Africa, Russians, Americans, Brits, eastern and western Europeans, and
Chinese provided arms, ammunition, money and moral support for the Freedom
Movements. It was not forseen that this would
basically lead to a continent full of power-hungry vicious
dictators such as Selassie, Mariam, Amin, Sese Seko, Taylor, Kaunda, Banda,
Doe, Rawlings, Bokassa etc etc.
Fortunately for Africa, most have passed away or been  booted out in coups.
But by now most of these countries are destitute, and still corrupt.

In Zimbabwe's case, the only countries who've spoken out against what's
happening here is the UK, US, Europe, New  Zealand and Australia. The
African Union states, especially  SA, and SADCC have done zilch. RM and
company refer to the Brits as 'Blair and His Gay Gangsters' and are equally
derogative of the rest. The aforementioned countries do not  do anything
more than dish out the odd lecture. They want  Africa to sort out this
problem. All Mbeki does is say he's  using 'quiet diplomacy'. Surely after 5
years he can see this  hasn't changed a thing............its just got worse.
My heart breaks for the people affected by the bombs in  London. No-one
needs to explain to me what its like to lose  family and friends. But in
between, please spare a thought  for more than 50 people a day needlessly
dying here from  lack of medication, housing and food.
 Instead of just criticising, send helpful advice and suggestions.
A white African Grandmother
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Red tape proves the best contraceptive in Zimbabwe
By Kate Chambers
(Filed: 11/07/2005)

Wearing a fuchsia pink top and high heels, Rose was waiting for us at the
bottom of the Fidelity Life towers in central Harare. She was our very last

Being pregnant in Zimbabwe wasn't too bad. I ate copious amounts of local
Charhons chocolate and read outside in the sun. It was after our baby was
born that the problems began. No-one wanted to give us a birth certificate.

Don't try Harare, friends with babies suggested. The registration offices in
Harare are too big and there are zillions of people. Go to Goromonzi, they

Goromonzi is a small town 18 miles east of Harare. Birth certificates are
still done long-hand there, the rumour goes, so you don't get the computer

So we got up early and tried an out-of-town office. First snag: Madam needs
a Zimbabwean identity card. Being British and only temporarily resident in
Zimbabwe, Madam protested. The official was obstinate. No Zimbabwean ID, no
birth certificate for baby.

A couple of hours later, I had inky fingertips from the fingerprinting and a
flimsy sheet of paper with a black and white photograph stapled to it: a
Zimbabwean identity card, or what passes for one here these days. Real
identity cards are credit-card sized metal discs but you have to wait for
years to get one of those.

That green and white scrap of paper cost us a negligible amount of Zimbabwe
dollars and a sack of potatoes. We weren't asked outright for the potatoes,
just made to understand that the identity papers might come quicker if said
spuds were provided.

Somehow it's easier to hand over mud-caked vegetables than a brown bag (no
briefcases here) full of cash. Especially if you've got a tiny baby you're
eager to show off to relatives back in Britain and the British embassy in
Harare says it won't issue a passport until it sees a local birth

Clutching my new identity, things looked brighter. Or so I thought. We
handed over the cardboard "notice of birth" provided by the private clinic
in Harare where I'd had my baby.

The certificate would be ready for collection in one month or "maybe a bit
more," our official assured us. The "bit more" should have warned me. Two
months passed, then three and there was still no sign of that precious piece
of paper.

We headed back to face officialdom, this time in Harare. The Makombe Complex
is a shabby low cluster of building at the end of Herbert Chitepo Avenue.
Behind the wire fence, there are always scores of people standing patiently
in a long snaking queue for passports, birth certificates and whatever other
bits of paper you need for life inside - or outside - Zimbabwe. I waited my
turn on the bench outside Room 100, hot and sweaty.

"The mother has to resign her Zimbabwean citizenship," the official said as
an ancient phone rang and rang unanswered on the desk. "But. . . but I was
told I had to get Zimbabwean citizenship," I tried to protest. "Next

I fled to the car. Sometimes Zimbabwe is all you need for a good dose of the
baby blues. "You need a facilitator," my mother-in-law's neighbour said. The
story of our birth certificate-less baby was spreading beyond Harare's
northern surburbs. Facilitators are smartly-dressed characters who hang
around the Makombe Complex, offering "help".

For a hefty fee, they will stand (or sleep) in the queue for you, summoning
you by cellphone when it's your turn.

Some claim to have special contacts inside the offices, people who will okay
your papers - also for a handsome fee - and speed up the issuing process.

Facilitators are not popular with President Robert Mugabe's government. We'd
heard too many tales of facilitators disappearing with their fees before
handing over the goods to trust one with our baby's future.

But then someone suggested Rose. A runner for a city firm, Rose said she
might be able to "help". The "help" Rose was offering looked hopeful: she
would ask the officials - in the local Shona language - what the problem
was. We would pay Rose's employers for taking her away from the office for a
few hours and in return she'd get a bonus.

Rose was fun. She and I sat in the Nando's fast-food chicken outlet outside
another set of offices, this time in downtown Harare's Market Square. We
munched peri-peri chicken as Rose attempted to persuade a black-leather
jacketed official to tell us why no-one wanted to give my baby a birth

A week later, parked outside the Goodness Electronics store, we clapped our
thanks in true Shona style when Rose emerged from Market Square triumphantly
brandishing the bit of paper we thought we'd never see.

The certificate looked like a university degree scroll and needed far more
dedication to obtain. And next? There won't be a next. The terrifying
prospect of procuring a birth certificate in Zimbabwe has to be as good a
contraceptive as any you can get at a clinic, my husband says. It's birth
control at its Zimbabwean best.
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Media urged to fight for press freedom in Africa

July 11, 2005, 08:45

John Kambanga, the former editor of Zimbabwe's Daily News, has appealed to
media organisations on the continent to come together to fight for press
freedom. He was speaking at the annual Nat Nakasa press freedom award
banquet in Cape Town.

Kambanga says journalists in his country are struggling in the face of great
adversity. During the past three years, journalists trying to tell the true
story of Zimbabwe have been subject to intimidation, arrest, censorship,
torture and oppressive media laws, he says.

Zimbabwe's Daily News was shut down by the Zimbabwean government in December
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Zimbabwe razing garages, cottages, chicken coops

Monday, July 11, 2005; Posted: 1:03 p.m. EDT (17:03 GMT) Monday, July 11, 2005; Posted: 1:03 p.m. EDT (17:03 GMT)

Jessie Kalembwe, 78, sits in her destroyed home in Harare on July 5.

The announcement on state-run radio came as a dozen church leaders from neighboring South Africa met with some of the tens of thousands of Zimbabweans who have lost homes and livelihoods in Operation Murambatsvina -- Drive Out Trash, in the local Shona language.

The government defends the drive, launched on May 19, as an urban renewal campaign and says it will provide new homes to "deserving" Zimbabweans.

Opposition leaders say it is aimed at breaking up their strongholds among the urban poor and diverting attention from Zimbabwe's economic crisis. The demolitions and evictions come at a time when inflation has topped 144 percent, unemployment is around 70 percent and an estimated 4 million people need food aid.

So far, police have mostly targeted shantytowns, informal markets and other structures in impoverished urban and rural areas.

But police Inspector Loveless Rupere told state radio that officers also would go after unauthorized structures in Harare's wealthier, "low density" suburbs.

Michael Davies, chairman of the Combined Harare Residents Association, representing nearly 3 million people, said authorities were legally required to prove outbuildings were illegal and give 30 days notice of any planned demolitions.

"But you are basically in a war situation where the police don't respect due process," he said. "The police just ignore court orders. We have criminals in charge of the state, and criminals don't respect the law. If you order them off your property, you are asking for a truncheon across the head."

The demolitions, which have left many in the open at the height of the southern African winter, have caused international outrage.

The South African church delegation, which arrived late Sunday, toured Caledonia transit camp, where some 4,000 people are living in tents outside the capital after their homes were destroyed.

The Zimbabwe Council of Churches is host of the delegation, which includes Roman Catholic Cardinal Wilfrid Napier and Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane.

They hope to meet with President Robert Mugabe, opposition leaders and civil society representatives to help assess the humanitarian impact of the campaign. They are to return to South Africa on Tuesday.

Their visit follows a 12-day assessment mission by a United Nations envoy, who will be making recommendations to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

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Norway donates NOK 2 million in humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe

Published in M2 PressWIRE on Monday, 11 July 2005 at 14:40 GMT
Copyright (C) 2005, M2 Communications Ltd.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has allocated NOK 2 million to be used by
Save the Children Norway to alleviate the critical situation of children in
Zimbabwe that has arisen since the government began its campaign against its
own people.

"Norway condemns the campaign the Zimbabwean Government is waging against
its own people. It has brutally destroyed the homes and livelihoods of
hundreds of thousands of the poorest and weakest segments of the population.
The operations have further aggravated the precarious human rights situation
in Zimbabwe," said Foreign Minister Jan Petersen.

"Norway is following the situation closely. In our view, this is a situation
that the neighbouring countries in particular should raise with the
authorities in Zimbabwe. In co-operation with the EU and the international
community in general, Norway is seeking to persuade the Zimbabwean
Government to cease these operations immediately and respect the people's
rights by following the country's own laws and fulfilling its international
obligations," said the Foreign Minister.

This most recent allocation brings the total amount of Norwegian
humanitarian assistance in 2005 up to NOK 15 million.

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Judge too busy to judge

      By Lance Guma
      11 July 2005

      In a clear sign of how Robert Mugabe has bullied the country's
judiciary, High Court Judge Maphios Cheda withdrew from a court challenge by
the informal traders in Bulawayo challenging the 'clean up' operation. The
Bulawayo Upcoming Traders Association (BUTA), representing 9000 informal
traders is challenging the ban on hawking by their members and wants the
police to return the goods which were confiscated. Justice Cheda however had
other ideas. He withdrew from the case citing pressure of work.

      Legal experts predict the latest move will cause a delay in the
hearing of the case. In an interview with Zimonline, Edward Manning the
Regional President of the Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations,
accused the country's judiciary of taking a reluctant approach to the
matter. He warned that traders might resort to street demonstrations to
force the courts to deal with the matter urgently. Most of the traders under
their council were registered and paying rates to council and so there was
no justification for their being hounded out of business.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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The Conservative Voice

The Futility of Throwing Money at Africa
Monday, July 11, 2005 11:05:34 AM

By Samuel L. Blumenfeld

Tony Blair's new crusade to eliminate poverty in Africa makes as much sense
as trying to eliminate poverty in the U.K. Even in America we still have
poverty, despite the famous War Against Poverty launched by the Johnson
administration and fought by an army of bureaucrats. After throwing billions
of dollars at "poverty," the result has been the creation of an entrenched
and well-fattened bureaucracy dedicated to the preservation of its own perks
and the perpetuity of the war.
Why does poverty exist even in the richest nations? It has something to do
with human nature and character. There are those people in all societies who
do not have the desire, the capability, or ambition to raise themselves out
of poverty. In Africa, despite all of the advances in agricultural
technology made in the last two hundred years, you find rural Africans using
the most primitive methods of farming used for thousands of years to eke out
a subsistence living.

When you look at the refugees in Darfur, you see an entire society that has
lived in huts, surviving at the edge of starvation, in which little of the
modern world has had much of an influence. The Sudanese government has done
nothing to lift its people into the modern age, mainly because of its
thirteenth-century Islamic mindset. If it wasn't for oil, Saudi Arabia would
be as poor as Darfur.

And, of course, African leaders blame all of their problems on the West.
They were all liberated from their colonial overlords in the 1960s, and
forty-five years later they are worse off than they were under colonial
rule. If the colonial powers must share the blame, it is because they
educated the future African leaders to adopt socialism as their economic
system. The London School of Economics taught the Africans the glories of
Fabian Socialism. The Fabians used the gradual method to take over England,
but the Africans didn't have to use the gradual method. They could impose
socialism immediately. According to Dr. George Ayittey, a native of Ghana,
who advocates free markets and the rule of law for Africa:

[The] socialist transformation required the institution of excessive
legislative regulations and controls. All unoccupied land was appropriated
by the government. Many foreign companies were nationalized, and numerous
state-owned enterprises were established..Bewildering arrays of restrictions
were imposed on imports, capital transfers, industry, wages, trade unions,
prices, rents, interest rates and the like.

Thus, the mechanisms of wealth-creation were thwarted in favor of
governmental and bureaucratic aggrandizement. Thus, if you wanted to get
somewhere in that kind of society, you got a job as a bureaucrat so that you
could partake of the benevolence of the Western powers. If you wanted to
become an entrepreneur, a capitalist, you had to leave the country and go to
Europe or America. Thus, the most intelligent, ambitious, and creative
Africans have gone West. That represents a brain-drain the continent could
hardly afford.

Africa is also plagued by a population of very limited education who have no
understanding of the Western concept of individual aspiration. The social
norm is the tribe or clan. Individual ambition as we know it cannot grow in
that kind of anti-individualist soil. But without it, you cannot create
wealth and are condemned to live in a society totally dependent on the
largesse of the governing class. The result is that poverty has become the
permanent quagmire of human existence in Africa. The only thing that Western
charity might do is simply provide the poorest Africans with free meals for
a period of time. But it will not give them the mindset that they can create
wealth by their own efforts.

One of the reasons why so many immigrants to America became producers of
wealth is because they left their clans and tribes behind and came here as
individuals eager to seek their fortunes. America's freedom permitted them
to exercise their ambitions, their ingenuity, their drive to achieve
success. No one goes to Africa to do what immigrants to America do.

Then there is the problem of government corruption, which is endemic to
Africa. For example, according to Dr. Ayittey, in Nigeria between 1970 and
2000 more than $35 billion in oil revenues disappeared into the Nigerian
government's coffers. Nobody knows what happened to the money. In Zaire,
Mobutu Sese Seko accumulated a fortune of $10 billion. He could have written
a personal check to pay off his country's foreign debt of $7 billion.

In Zimbabwe we have the spectacle of Mugabe's government systematically
destroying the homes of the very poor, creating thousands of homeless poor.
What's to become of them? Nobody knows. Mugabe also expropriated the farms
of his white citizens, which were probably the most productive on the whole
continent. Now there is a severe food shortage, which will result in the
starvation of thousands of the poorest in Zimbabwe.

Dr. Ayittey contends that African leaders are not interested in reform. "All
they are willing to do under international pressure is what I call the
'Babangida Boogie': one step forward, three steps back, a flip and a side
kick to land in a fat Swiss bank account."

We would hope that Tony Blair, George Bush, and all of those anxious to
throw huge amounts of taxpayer cash at Africa would sit down with Dr.
Avittey and seek his counsel. He is Distinguished Economist at American
University in Washington, not far from the White House, and President of the
Free Africa Foundation. Hopefully, those politicians who really want to
achieve some permanent good in Africa will listen to what he has to say and
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Ballot inspection fails to kick off

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jul-12

THE inspection and verification of the disputed 2002 presidential election
ballots failed to kick off at the High Court yesterday. Lawyers representing
President Robert Mugabe and Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede on the one
hand, and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai on the other, differed on which
constituency's votes to inspect first.
Tsvangirai is challenging President Mugabe's victory claiming that the
election was stolen. President Mugabe won by over 400 000 votes.
Progress in the verification exercise was stalled after MDC lawyer, Advocate
Adrian de Bourbon insisted on having ballot boxes for Rushinga constituency
inspected first, as had previously been agreed by the three parties.
However, voting materials for Nyanga constituency were made available in the
morning, prompting Tsvangirai's lawyer to object to the proceedings going
ahead.  The impasse had not been broken by the end of the day.
Apart from the issue of the ballot boxes, no other reasons were given for
the setback or why the correct ones were not brought forward as
representatives of the three parties were tight-lipped on the matter.
Tempers flared as legal practitioners representing the parties shouted at
each other in the courtroom where the inspection was supposed to have been
done, with De Bourbon accusing the other parties of employing delaying
The lawyer also ordered Roland Topper Whitehead, whom the opposition says is
an electoral fraud expert, not to surrender his camera and photos of the
voting materials to police officers who had demanded them.
There also appeared to be few people carrying the boxes, forcing De Bourbon
to appeal for either the police or some prisoners to assist.  That was
turned down by a court official on the grounds that the court order for the
inspection did not specify so.
Whitehead was reported  to have engaged the people who were carrying the
Prior to the setting of the inspection date, Tsvangirai's petition had moved
at a snail's pace due to failure by Mudede to bring
ballot papers for inspection since 2002.
The inspection included the opening of boxes, enumeration of counted and
rejected ballot papers, together with counterfoils and voters' rolls used in
all polling stations
during the presidential poll.
Despite the High Court issuing seven orders for Mudede to surrender the
ballots, the RG only capitulated at the end of May, a few days before the
court found him in contempt of court and fined him $5 million.
The first order against Mudede was issued in September 2002.
De Bourbon yesterday was not forthcoming with information when contacted by
this newspaper for a comment.
"It is better we do not say anything until tomorrow. Certain things need to
be worked out," De Bourbon said.
The head of the Civil Division in the Attorney-General's Office, Loyce
Matanda-Moyo said the inspection had been postponed to today over the
Rushinga constituency ballots, but could not give reasons as to why they had
not been made available in the first place.
"It  has been postponed to tomorrow. They wanted to start with Rushinga, but
at the moment I do not have all the information," said Matanda-Moyo.
On the use of Whitehead, she said there was no formal objection yet as the
matter had not been taken to court.
Pressed on whether the matter would go to court, Matanda -Moyo said it would
"go either way".
Terrence Hussein of Hussein Ranchhod and Company represented President
Mugabe while the AG's Office represented Mudede.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Clean-up victims to get low-cost houses

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jul-12

PEOPLE allocated housing stands under Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle stand
to benefit from low-cost houses being developed by different research
institutes and organisations, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works
and Urban Development, Ignatius Chombo, has said.
The houses are in addition to the four models government has already built
at Whitecliff Farm for beneficiaries of the national housing scheme.
"Scientific Information Research and Development Centre (SIRDC) are working
on one model house based on rammed earth, while Intermediate Technology
Development Group (ITDG) is working on one based on stabilised soil blocks,"
the minister said.
The Forestry Commission had also weighed in with a timber-framed model
house, Chombo said, while Red-River (Pvt) Limited produced a steel-framed
"The choice will be upon the individuals to choose the type of house they
want.  But the above are low- cost houses they can choose from," he said.
Government has allowed victims of Operations Murambatsvina/Restore Order,
who got stands after being issued with temporary certificates of occupation
under the new re-settlement programme, to build temporary structures while
constructing proper houses.
"Those beneficiaries wishing to move on site and build on their own shall be
permitted to stay on temporary structures for a maximum of 12 months whilst
building their houses.
"If there is no significant progress on site within six months, the
provisional allocation will be cancelled and the stand repossessed," he
Each province has so far received $1 billion for use under the Works
Authority Orders (WAO) from
 the $50 billion treasury released
for the re-construction
Government has since disbursed $1 trillion for the first phase of the
programme that will see 5 000 housing units being built.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Zesa in search of US$16m

Business Reporter
issue date :2005-Jul-12

ZESA Holdings needs close to US$16 million to resuscitate the dilapidated
Hwange thermal power station as it gears itself for the impeding power
shortages expected in the southern Africa region in 2007.
The power utility's chairman, Sydney Gata revealed this to the governor of
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Gideon Gono in Hwange last Friday.
Gono who was accompanied by some officials from the central bank toured the
thermal plant and met the power utility's senior management.
During briefings, Gata said although Zesa was facing some liquidity
problems, it was working hard to ensure that all challenges it faced were
overcome. He added that should the utility get the required funds, it is
confident of pulling through.
"We have a lot of challenges that need to be overcome as an institution,"
said Gata.
"The problems require serious financial backup if we are to overcome them.
One of the issues is the Hwange Thermal Power Station that needs about
US$16,9 million to be revived.
"This is a station that has the capability of assisting us alleviate the
looming power shortage that is faced by the region in 2007," Gata said
adding that the US$16,9 million was urgently required to finance the work
currently in progress within the utility.
A further US$600 million was required for other expansion programmes to be
undertaken in the near future. Gata bemoaned that the revenue currently
being collected from clients under the current tariff structure was not
enough to meet operational and overhead costs that had besieged the power
utility. "Our revenue base does not meet the costs we are incurring in terms
of operational costs under the current tariff set up. We are hoping that
things will change for the better in the near future.
"We also want to highlight that some of our customers have been owing the
utility a lot of money and the debts they have incurred are just too much."
Earlier on, Gono had toured the Hwange Colliery Mine where he was briefed on
challenges the mine was facing. The company's managing director, Godfrey
Dzinomwa said the company had been adversely affected by foreign currency
shortages currently bedevilling the country.
"We have a lot of programmes we want to undertake as part of the expansion
drive and most of these problems have to do with the shortages of foreign
currency the country is facing. "We have the Three Main Mines we are looking
at expanding and that requires US$25 million while other projects are also
in the pipeline with the foreign currency component being the only drawback
at the moment," said Dzinomwa
The plant, Dzinomwa said, had coal deposits that could produce 46 million
tonnes of coal that could be mined for the next 23 years at a rate of 2
million tonnes a year.
Gono, in response to the progress that was taking place, said he was
satisfied with the manner the money both Zesa and Hwange Colliery had
borrowed had been used.
"I am very pleased with what I saw today at both Zesa and Hwange.
 This is a clear testimony of what we mean when we say that companies should
not divert the funds they would have borrowed from the central bank to
non-core business.
"Surely the central bank will continue to assist these companies, should
they approach us with the programmes they have for funding," Gono said.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Govt restructure Central Statistical Office: Minister

issue date :2005-Jul-12

THE Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Samuel Undenge, at the weekend
said the government was in the process of restructuring the Central
Statistical Office (CSO) to enhance the country's statistical delivery
Addressing participants attending a half-day CSO workshop on statistical
data, Undenge said the public entity would be transformed into an executive
agency that
would be independent of government.
"Having pointed out the criticism directed at the out-datedness of some of
the CSO data, let me take this opportunity to inform stakeholders that
Government is in the process of restructuring the CSO into an executive
agency, and we hope that this transformation is going to enhance statistical
delivery system in Zimbabwe," he said.
The CSO, which previously fell under the Ministry of Finance, is a public
entity now under the Ministry of Economic Development.
Undenge said Zimbabwe required a robust statistical information system to
map out its development programmes effectively.
He said this included bi-annual and quarterly reviews of the fiscal and
monetary policies and the agrarian reform programme.
He underscored the importance of timely and quality statistical information
for socio-economic development of the country.
"It is therefore imperative that we improve and strengthen our capability to
gather and analyse timely and quality statistical information that is
critical to sound political and socio-economic development planning," he
He added that the production of reliable, relevant, timely and good quality
data would facilitate effective planning which would ensure sustainable
economic growth and improve the quality of life of people.
The emphasis by the deputy minister on the need for timely and quality
statistical data comes in the wake of failure by the CSO in recent years to
reliable statistical service to
both government and other
CSO acting director Moffat Nyoni attributed the poor service to lack of
adequate human and capital resources as well as lack of cooperation from
The workshop was aimed at fostering a culture of appreciation of up-to-date
and quality statistical data between providers, producers and users.
Officials from the government, private sector and labour attended the
- New Ziana
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Police officers arrested

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jul-12

TWO policemen based at Mabvuku Police Station in Harare have been arrested
for allegedly robbing and assaulting civilians while executing Operations
Murambatsvina and Restore Order.
The charges arose after a recent raid conducted against suspected aliens and
houseowners who allegedly harboured foreigners.
Desmond Mutondoro and Justice Musowoyo were arrested on June 18 for
allegedly ransacking House No 117 - 3rd Avenue in Mbare. They reportedly
stole more than $15 million, two cellphones, and a wristwatch after severely
assaulting the residents with baton sticks.
The cops, who also live in Mabvuku, were arrested together with two
civilians - Wilbert Makomba and Cosmas Masusu.
Makomba and Masusu allegedly tipped the two officers, who were attached to
the clean-up exercise, about "criminal activities" at the house.
 According to the State, Makomba and Masusu informed the two officers about
some illegal foreigners staying in the suburb.
At the house, they found six men having breakfast. They were asked to go
indoors and ordered to lie on the floor on their bellies.
They then allegedly assaulted the complainants, before confiscating their
cash and belongings and force-marching them to the police station. The
complainants then reported the matter to the duty officers.
The two policemen also allegedly assaulted a woman houseowner where the six
complainants were staying, accusing her of harbouring illegal foreigners.
Regarding the assault on the woman, the State said: "They took her to a room
at the house and made her to lie on her stomach on the floor before taking
turns to assault her all over her body. She was also force-marched to the
police post and dumped there. She also made a report to the police."
The policemen first appeared before a Harare magistrate on June 22 and were
denied bail. They then appealled to the High Court last Thursday.
Granting Mutondoro and Musowoyo bail,  Justice Annie-Marie Gowora, said the
two cops were facing a serious charge.
"The appellants are members of the police in this country and the charges
they are facing are clearly of a serious nature. The police are there to
uphold the law and where they are charged with a serious offence, their
conduct is viewed with a measure of gravity.  As police officers they have
knowledge of the system on the administration of justice and the tendency
would therefore be to expect them to behave in an exemplary manner," said
She, however, said there was need to balance the interests of the State and
those of the accused people in line with principles governing the granting
of bail under the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.
The judge said since investigations had been concluded and statements
recorded, it was unlikely that the policemen would abscond, interfere with
witnesses or commit further offences.
Gowora also noted that the lower court had not given the pair reasons
compelling enough to deny them bail, even when the State had not opposed it.
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Yahoo News

By Cynthia Tucker Mon Jul 11,12:01 PM ET
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
shanty 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 seems to care. Apparently, the cruel oppression
of black Africans is acceptable when black rulers do the oppressing.

Cynthia Tucker is editorial page editor for The Atlanta
Journal-Constitution. She can be reached by e-mail:
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Southern Africa: Transboundary Cattle Trafficking Spreads Disease

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

July 11, 2005
Posted to the web July 11, 2005


About half of Southern Africa's 47 million cattle are under threat from
transboundary livestock diseases, despite improvements in regional
surveillance and management, a new study warns.

'Livestock, Food and Agricultural Statistics' was launched by the Southern
Africa Development Community (SADC) secretariat in Botswana last month.

The report examined regional livestock disease trends and found that the
major threats to livestock in the region were foot-and-mouth disease (FMD)
and Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP); four countries were hit by
severe flare-ups of CBPP in 2003.

Tanzania experienced 20 CBPP outbreaks, resulting 125 cattle deaths, while
Zambia recorded 17 eruptions affecting 1,165 cattle. Angola and Namibia also
suffered outbreaks of the disease in areas outside CBPP quarantine

Foot-and-mouth disease was much more widespread in 2003/2004, reaching
Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa.

The report stressed that recurrences as well as new outbreaks of diseases
were still taking place, mainly as a result of uncontrolled transboundary
cattle movement.

According to Parks and Wildlife disease surveillance officers in Botswana,
there was a brisk trade in live cattle, goats and donkeys between
communities living along the common border with Zimbabwe. Illegal
cross-border cattle trafficking had slowed down after completion of an
electric fence, which the authorities in Gaborone said was aimed at reducing
the entry and spread of animal diseases from Zimbabwe's Hwange National

But Zimbabwe's agriculture minister, Joseph Made, told IRIN that although
the country was experiencing serious outbreaks of FMD, anthrax and rabies,
he was not aware that it was acting as a conduit for animal diseases to
other countries. He said they were making great efforts to contain the
problem, but faced a shortage of funds for buying the necessary vaccines.

"Zimbabwe treats only those diseases within its boundaries. I do not know
where the diseases go from here, but we are still doing all we can to
control what we have in our territory," Made noted.

However, the problem does not only lie with Zimbabwe and its inability to
contain eruptions of animal diseases.

"People from Botswana buy cheap domestic stock from Zambia and Zimbabwe and
drive them across the border without considering quarantine boundaries. In
that way CBPP, anthrax and FMD have been brought into northern Botswana,"
said one surveillance officer.

"From Chobe National Park in Botswana it is much easier for big game like
buffalo to cross into Linyanti National Park in Northern Namibia. A disease
can be passed down from Zambia to Botswana and Namibia via Zimbabwe - that's
how porous and vulnerable SADC boundaries are," he commented.

Transboundary stock theft between communities in northern Zimbabwe and their
counterparts in southern Zambia also continued to fuel the spread of animal

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations ]
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