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Mbeki to discuss Zimbabwe crisis with AU chairman


Mon 14 Jul 2008, 15:09 GMT

By Paul Simao

JOHANNESBURG, July 14 (Reuters) - South African President Thabo Mbeki and
the African Union's top diplomat will meet on Friday to discuss the
political crisis in Zimbabwe, an Mbeki spokesman said on Monday.

Officials from Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF and the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change met last week for the first time since President Robert
Mugabe's June 27 re-election, which was boycotted by the opposition and
condemned by Western nations.

South Africa's government is mediating the talks in Pretoria.

"The president called the meeting in order to brief Mr (Jean) Ping on
developments in the Zimbabwe facilitation process," Mbeki spokesman Mukoni
Ratshitanga said. He added they would meet on Friday.

Ping is the most senior permanent AU official.

The MDC has downplayed the importance of talks with the ZANU-PF and demanded
that Mugabe's government halt violence against opposition supporters and
recognise MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai's victory in a March poll.

Tsvangirai won a March 29 election but failed to win the absolute majority
required to avoid a second ballot. The MDC leader withdrew from the run-off
citing a wave of attacks by pro-Mugabe militia.

The MDC said 113 of its activists have been killed in election-related

Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, has blamed the
opposition for the bloodshed.

The AU has urged both sides to negotiate a power-sharing deal that would
pave the way for a unity government, which is seen by many African leaders
as the only way to avert further violence and total economic collapse in

The once prosperous African nation has the world's highest inflation rate,
estimated to be at least 2 million percent, and unemployment hovers around
80 percent. Millions of its people have fled abroad in search of food and

Tsvangirai has come under African pressure to enter into full-blown
negotiations with Mugabe, who has branded the MDC puppets of the West and
vowed to never let them take power.

Mugabe, 84, says the opposition must recognise his landslide victory in the
election last month. (Editing by Elizabeth Piper)

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Govt tracking assets of Mugabe inner circle: PM

Yahoo News

Mon Jul 14, 7:50 AM ET

LONDON (AFP) - Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Monday he had asked the
Treasury to hunt down the assets of those close to Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe and pledged to ramp up sanctions.

Britain is seeking wider European Union sanctions against Mugabe's regime
after a bid to pass fresh United Nations sanctions against Zimbabwe's
leadership was vetoed by Russia and China.

"I have this morning asked the Treasury to work with the Financial Action
Task Force (FATF) to track the wealth and the assets that are owned by
members of the Mugabe regime... so that we are in position to take tougher
action at a later date," Brown said at a monthly news conference.

Those assets are held in Asia, Africa and Europe, he said.

The FATF is an inter-governmental body which tackles money laundering and
terrorist financing.

Brown reiterated that Britain, the former colonial power in Zimbabwe, would
return to the UN Security Council if there was no quick end to violence in
the southern African state.

"I reserve the right that we will come back to the United Nations if
mediation does not succeed and bring forward a further resolution... quickly
rather than taking months," he said.

Countries that opposed the draft UN resolution did so on the ground that
talks between Mugabe's ruling party and the opposition were underway.

But Brown said if mediation failed, those countries would then "have to face
up to that fact" when faced with a further draft sanctions resolution at the

Despite the Russian and Chinese vetoes, which he insisted could not be
justified, Brown said Britain was "not going to be deterred" from tough
action on Mugabe's regime.

"We will now ourselves step up our sanctions. We will ask the European
Union, at its meeting in a few days' time, to add a number of names to the
sanctions list, add a number of corporate entities to that sanctions list."

EU foreign ministers meet in Brussels on July 22 and 23. EU sanctions on
Zimbabwe currently target 132 individuals.

"The EU and America will continue our sanctions and continue to block the
sale and delivery of arms," Brown added.

Mugabe was re-elected in a run-off last month after his opponent Morgan
Tsvangirai pulled out, citing a campaign of intimidation and violence
against his supporters that killed dozens and injured thousands.

Brown said the Chinese veto on Zimbabwe would not deter him from attending
the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing next month.

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UK steps up tough Zimbabwe sanctions

Afrol, Norway

afrol News, 14 July - Britain will step up frantic efforts to seek more
sanctions from the European Union against officials of the Zimbabwean
government, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, told a news conference in London on

Britain and its allies were shocked last week after Russia and China vetoed
against an arms embargo, travel bans and assets freezing of Zimbabwean
officials. Russia and China blocked the motion, insisting that more time
should spared for diplomatic efforts to solve the Southern African country's
political crisis.

"I think it is difficult to justify the vetoes that were put on the
Zimbabwean resolution by both China and Russia," Mr. Brown said.

"I think it is very hard to defend taking action when we know that we have
got an illegitimate government that is holding power through violence, that
is arresting people and putting them as political prisoners, incarcerating
them, and a government that seems determined to hold onto power.

"That's why I regret what China and Russia did. Russia in particular had
supported what we were proposing at the G8." he said announcing plans to
step up "our sanctions." In that, UK will ask the EU to add a number of
names to the sanctions list.

Besides planning to widen the sanctions list, the Brown administration has
also instructed the treasury to track Mugabe's wealth in Western banks.

Mr Brown's statements were corroborated by his Foreign Secretary David
Miliband while on tour in the French capital Paris.

"We are looking at a deeper hit on the financial sector and a wider travel
ban," Miliband told reporters ahead of next week's European Foreign
Ministers in Brussels.

The European Union's current sanctions target 132 individual Zimbabweans,
but the planned meeting which takes place on 22 and 23 July is expected to
address the extension of the list.

On Sunday, the Prime Minister's Spokesperson said London would seek to add
36 individuals linked to Mugabe's regime to its blacklist. This will include
two state-owned in Zimbabwe.

"Europe has a united world view, we have a set of values that we stand up
for. This is a opportunity for Europe to speak up, and I think it should
take it," Miliband said, saying the sanctions were "not an economic boycott"
because "those members of the regime who are propping up Mugabe" would be

He criticized China and Russia for vetoing a resolution that aimed at "14
people who are directly responsible for the maintenance of the regime."
Miliband did not agree with the two super power nations that the Zimbabwean
problem is not a regional crisis.

President Robert Mugabe, 84, who had been ruling Zimbabwe since independence
in 1980, was returned to office after he had won an election run-off in
which he became the single contender. The candidate of the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change Morgan Tsvangirai withdraw from the race
barely four days before the poll, citing increasing intimidation, harassment
and killing of his supporters by the state and ruling party organs.

The party said at least 113 of its supporters have so far been killed while
200,000 others fled their homes since the 29 March elections.

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Tsvangirai to get briefing on outcome of consultative meetings

By Tichaona Sibanda
14 July 2008

MDC chief negotiator Tendai Biti is expected to brief party leader Morgan
Tsvangirai on the outcome of consultative meetings he had last week with
Zanu-PF in Pretoria, South Africa.

Party sources said Biti, who together with Elton Mangoma form the MDC
negotiating team, were forced to break off their talks about talks, last
week Friday, after Zanu-PF kept sidestepping the issue of violence.

The MDC is insisting there should be a common agreement to stop all the
political violence before negotiations can begin to form a transitional
government. Both sides are believed to have drawn up a non-binding
memorandum of understanding that can be used as basis for future talks.

The National Executive Council of the MDC is also expected to be briefed on
the latest outcome from the Pretoria meetings. The party is united in going
for talks, but only once the violence stops.

Meanwhile reports from Pretoria said the African Union Commission chief Jean
Ping will meet South African President Thabo Mbeki on Friday to discuss
Zimbabwe's political crisis.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Gokwe hospital a "torture centre" as violence continues across Zim

By Alex Bell
14 July 2008

Zimbabwe's poor, injured, defenceless and displaced continue to be targets
of Robert Mugabe's thugs, as the dictator's regime keeps up it's brutal
campaign across the country.

Patients at Gokwe's general hospital are being held as prisoners in a
"torture centre" for abducted MDC supporters, with hospital staff forced to
deny the injured medical treatment on army orders. The area, traditionally a
stronghold of Mugabe's ZanuPF, has been under siege for some weeks, with
government militia imposing illegal roadblocks around Gokwe. This has
prevented aid agencies, ambulances and even family members from reaching the
victims of the widespread violence, being held without treatment.
At least 13 MDC members are among the scores of injured people being
detained at the hospital.

nother 29 opposition supporters have been kept under lock and key but
without charge at the central police station. Meanwhile, the MDC also
reported that more than 20 badly beaten opposition activists are also being
held prisoner in similar conditions in four smaller hospitals in the area.

At the same time ZanuPF officials, backed by militia, are clamping down on
MDC officials and supporters in Chiredzi, beating and threatening those who
laid charges against Mugabe's henchman for atrocities committed before and
during both election periods in March and June.

Meanwhile in rural Manicaland, the MDC has reported many of its supporters
are still being kept at torture bases, since they were abducted following
Mugabe's inauguration last month. Fifty year old Jefter Mangezi from
Chimombe Village in Buhera South was released from the Pamuuyu torture
facility on Saturday after breaking his arm during "training". He told MDC
Manicaland officials that Mugabe's thugs forced the whole village to go and
attend a "victory meeting" at the base the day Mugabe stole back power of
the country last month.

Mangezi said it was at this meeting that the villagers were beaten severely
one after the other for letting "Mugabe lose the March elections". He said
that they "were all force marched to Pamuuyu base where after some
interrogations, we were made to lie down and receive severe beatings. Our
crime was for letting Tsvangirai win the March elections". Mangezi and other
defenseless villagers were beaten all day through and made to pay a goat, 4
chickens and a tin of mealie-meal each, as punishment and a sign that they
had joined ZANU PF.

Simbarashe Moyo from the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition told Newsreel on
Monday that the situation had clearly deteriorated and that Gokwe was still
"inaccessible". He said it is clear that the violence against MDC supporters
is not just retributive, but also a tool to force Morgan Tsvangerai to
accept Mugabe's "attempts at negotiating a new government".

Moyo, who is also the chairman of the Combined Harare Residents Association,
added that the situation will not stabilise until "institutions of violence
are completely dismantled and violence against the innocent ceases".

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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How can you not have a daily melt down in this time of economic melt down?


This is what life is like trying to run an medium sized business.

One company had an internet bill of Z$600 billion for the month ending mid
June.  By mid July the same company's bill went to Z$58 trillion!  That is
fairly shocking for the outsider reading this, but with the rate of
inflation, no great surprise to the local living under current conditions.

The bigger problem is the mess in the banking computer systems, which can
only handle a maximum payment of Z$999 999 999 999.00 per transaction.  So
the poor company book keeper has to divide bills into tranches of the
maximum amount.  This month she had to action no less that 59 RTGS (Real
Time Gross Settlement) payments just to cover the company internet bill

Then the next headache. the workers are paid directly into savings accounts
and in the past the worker would draw his or her money whenever needed.
Well, the cash crisis has escalated to catastrophic levels and the ATM's
have run out of cash.  So the company is experiencing massive absenteeism as
the workers are spending their days queing for cash.

And here is yet another headache (we are only half way through Monday
morning's crises, and still have to get through the week): the company
relies on imported materials from South Africa to be able to manufacture the
end product.  In the past clearing agents would submit all paper work to the
customs officials at Beit Bridge to preclear the goods and avoid unnecessary
delays at the border. In addition, payments could be made by cheque.  Zimre
was not coping with the number of cheques they had to invoice and receipt,
as once again cheques cannot exceed Z$999 999 999 999.00 each. Can you
imagine the paper work for truck loads of imported goods???

So, Zimre decided it would be easier for them to work on RTGS only. That is
fine for them, as it is now the company's headache to action the total
amount broken down into many tranches.  This is how it is being done now,
but with the back log of RTGS's in the system, there is now a 16 day delay
from time of initiating payment to Zimre receipt of payment.  By the time
Zimre receives the money, the foreign exchange rate has rocketed and the
amount due for duty has increased dramatically and the clearing agent has to
top up the funds required.

Not only are the goods now endlessly held up at the border, but the clearing
agents are unable to bill their clients (for the goods have not been
delivered) and these agents have run out of funds!

So Mr Gono, do you really think Zimbabwe is a mecca for external investors?
What are you going to do to fix our bleeding nation???

This entry was written by Still Here on Monday, July 14th, 2008 at 6:02 pm.

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Burying a friend can turn into a nightmare in modern Zimbabwe

Channel 4, UK


Last Modified: 14 Jul 2008
By: Channel 4 News

Arranging to bury someone in a country verging on total collapse is no easy matter, as our Zimbabwe blogger learns.

When a friend's husband passed away this week there was no room for sorrow or grieving as the arrangements for a dignified burial were almost impossible in a country verging on total collapse.

The only mortuary is in the town's provincial government hospital but leaving your loved one there is a nightmare. There are already far more corpses in the cold room than the establishment was designed to hold and with daily electricity cuts of between 4 and 16 hours, it doesn't bear thinking about conditions in the hospital.

Those that can, make funeral arrangements very rapidly. Cremations in gas fired ovens are no longer possible as there is no gas in the country. Wood fired cremations are undertaken in a town hundreds of kilometres away but grieving relations are required to provide money and fuel to purchase firewood and more diesel and a vehicle to move the body of their loved one.

'If someone doesn't stay here to guard the newly dug grave, you will probably find it has been taken by tomorrow morning',
Zimbabwe council employee

My friend arranged for her husband to be buried at a local cemetery. Armed with a death certificate she paid the town council for a number and a plot at the local cemetery. She arranged for the date and time of the burial and invited a few friends to attend a quiet grave-side service.

Less than an hour before the scheduled time of the funeral I received a phone call to say that the burial was going to be 24 hours later than expected.

A family member had been to the cemetery to check that everything was in order for the funeral of his brother in law only to find that the grave had not even been dug. A couple of phone calls later and the family discovered that the town council had omitted to tell them that they no longer dig the graves because of the cost of the labourers and that the family must make this arrangement themselves.

The town council had omitted to tell them that they no longer dig the graves because of the cost of the labourers and that the family must make this arrangement themselves.

Four men with picks and shovels were recruited and a wrought iron template to demarcate the length and width and the grave was provided.

Returning to collect the men who had dug the grave some hours later, a family member was met by a municipal employee who had wandered over to the site.

"Is no-one staying to watch the grave overnight?" he asked. The question was met with incredulity and blank stares. "If someone doesn't stay here to guard the newly dug grave, you will probably find it has been taken by tomorrow morning," the council employee said.

Such is the demand for graves and the massive extent of poverty that people have taken to burying their loved ones at night in graves dug for other people. The council man said that many a time the hearse and mourners arrived at the cemetery only to find the grave has been occupied by someone else.

On a cold and windy afternoon this week we stood around the graveside as our friend was laid to rest. It was a short service attended by perhaps 20 people. There were times when we strained to hear the prayers of the Anglican Priest as his words were blown away on the wind.

Half a dozen young men were holding a memorial headstone-laying ceremony at the grave of their loved one a few metres away. They sang in quiet harmony and their voices swept across our little service. Our friend's coffin was lowered into the hard red soil accompanied by our tears and memories and the soulful voices of African harmony.

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MDC Statement on the ANC National Executive Committee Position on the Crisis in Zimbabwe

Movement for Democratic Change (Harare)

14 July 2008
Posted to the web 14 July 2008

The Movement for Democratic Change is greatly encouraged and inspired by the
12th of July 2008 statement of the African National Congress (ANC).

The people of Zimbabwe appreciate the fact that the ANC, as the oldest
liberation movement in the region, continues to have "extensive discussion
on the situation in Zimbabwe." We clearly are not on our own.

Our struggle in Zimbabwe, a struggle to complete the agenda of the struggle
for national liberation, will and must get guidance from the views expressed
by the ANC and other progressive African liberation movements, as well as
other eminent Africans. The Zimbabwean problem is an African problem that
requires an African solution.

The regime's violence against our people continues unabated. The MDC and the
people of Zimbabwe appreciate the ANC's continuous condemnation of this
violence, intimidation and political intolerance.

We again appreciate the position of the ANC that "[t]he violence that
preceded the election of June 27 meant that the election was fundamentally

The MDC accepts the position of the ANC that there must be "an inclusive and
peaceful political settlement that reflects the will of the Zimbabwean
people." The MDC reiterates its position that we are committed to genuine
dialogue, which will pave way for a political settlement which is inclusive
and reflects the will of the people of Zimbabwe.

The people of Zimbabwe appreciate the concern progressive forces across the
African continent have shown. We are sure that with the help of their caring
hand, we will realize the ideals for which many of our people selflessly
sacrificed during the struggle against colonialism; the ideals of peace,
justice, equality before the law, descent jobs, universal education and
health care.

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Fourteen MDC activists acquitted

The Zimbabwean

 Monday, 14 July 2008 15:11

HARARE -Fourteen MDC activists and officials who were facing charges of
political violence were today cleared of their charges.

The court acquitted them on the grounds that the state failed to produce its
eyewitness at the scene who could tell the court what exactly transpired.
Their only key witness, a police officer died early morning today.

Among those acquitted are Luke Tamborinyoka, the MDC Director for
Information and Publicity, Kudakwashe Matibiri the Director for Human
Resources and Coordinator for Policy Implementation Fortune Gwaze.

The state has been ordered to proceed by way of summons and remove the 14
MDC supporters from remand.

More than 1000 MDC activists and officials are still under police custody on
trumped up charges of political violence. MDC insists on the release of
these political prisoners as part of clearing the course for meaningful

Department of Information and Publicity

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The state of the health system in Zimbabwe
By Staff I Harare Tribune News
Updated: July 14, 2008 11:46

Zimbabwean man drives a pushcart with his sick relative from hospital where they could not find drugs on July 02, 2008. Zimbabwe's health sector has virtually collapsed.
Photo: Harare Tribune

Zimbabwe's pharmaceutical sector continues to struggle under the weight of international sanctions and hyperinflation. We estimate the market to have been worth US$4.5mn in 2007 - down 9% on its 2006 value. Despite uncertainties surrounding the economic climate making long term drug market forecasts problematic, we expect the market to shrink further to US$3.7mn by 2012, taking into account thenegative real GDP growth widely expected for the economy as a whole.

A shortage of foreign currency placed severe limits on the ability of pharmacies to import drugs during the second half of 2007. According to reports in the local media, around half of drugs were out of stock in pharmacies surveyed, while those that were available had risen to prices that were multiples of local workers' salaries.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's manufacturing industry is suffering from similar constraints - with a lack of foreign currency reducing the volume of raw materials that can be imported. Problems at home have made exports a vital source of income and foreign currency. In this regard, CAPS Holdings continues to lead the way with exports to South Africa, Mozambique and Botswana. Meanwhile, Varichem Labs found another source of foreign currency - the UN Development Programme (UNDP) - which supported a US$2.1mn upgrade of its antiretroviral (ARV) manufacturing plant completed in January 2008 that is expected to ensure World Health Organisation (WHO) compliance.

In BMI's updated business environment ratings for the Middle East and Africa, Zimbabwe scored 15 out of a possible 100 putting it in last place out of 14 markets surveyed. Its poor showing takes into account factors including a small, contracting market, unfavourable regulatory environment and challenging economic and political situation.

Fees in the healthcare sector have struggled to keep pace with inflation. Insurance in particular has suffered because premiums and benefits levels set in advance have been eroded by rises in health fees. Meanwhile, the economic crisis seems to have put pay to any chance of a national health insurance scheme, meaning that out of pocket spending is likely to continue to increase as a proportion of health expenditure.

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CIO in renewed war against journalists in Zimabwe

By Marvis Murray, Tawanda Takavarasha & Tom Shumba
     Updated: July 14, 2008

Zimbabwe, Harare--Working as a journalist covering events in Zimbabwe
has always been a hazardous occupation. The state has made it a past time to
harass, and imprison media practitioners. Over the years, the state has
scored several 'wins' against the media, from the bombing and then
subsequent banning of the popular Daily News, together with the Tribune and
the Mirror.

The ZANU-PF government fought those running battles with the
independent media at the time when it was under pressure from the
international community for human right abuses and its disregard of the rule
of the law.
This year, in the wake of the March 29 election in which ZANU-PF was
defeated hands down by the MDC, followed by the June 27 election in which
Mugabe was the solitary contestant, the level of the international outcry
over the ZANU-PF government has reached fever pitch.

ZANU-PF officials interviewed for this story indicated that it was the
media, the independent media, that helped the opposition win on March 29,
that is exposing the human rights abuses by the ZANU-PF militia that the
party deployed across the country and that is whipping up international
emotions against the government.

"The independent media, has made our lives difficult," one official,
working in the ZANU-PF information department, said. "The strategic leaks
into the independent media of our plans by enemies within ZANU-PF, has meant
that the world knows everything we about to do, hours before we do it."

New war

Confidential information that the Harare Tribune has received from Lt.
Ncube, and Sgt. Chauke (not real names), both Central Intelligence
Organization (CIO) agents attached to the president's information office
indicates that a new, revamped war against journalists and perceived authors
critical of the ZANU-PF government is in the works.

The agents said the issue of the impact of the pirate radio stations
and cyber based newspapers on the operations by ZANU-FP aimed at dismantling
the MDC has been discussed extensively at a number of meetings that the
Joint Operation Command (JOC) has held since March 29.

"The JOC has been told by the CIO that radio stations, internet
newspapers, have exposed the heinous activities that the ZANU-PF militia,
ZNA (Zimbabwe National Army), ZRP (Zimbabwe Republic Police) and war vets
have carried out in order to guarantee a win by Mugabe in June 27 election,"
Chauke said.

Hard line ZANU-PF officials aligned to Emerson Mnangagwa, the man
behind the campaign of violence that has been happening across the country,
have urged the ministry of information and the press secretary in the
president's office to "do something" about these unscrupulous media

"As far as the JOC is concerned, the independent media in Zimbabwe has
denied Mugabe the legitimacy he sought after winning the June 27 election,"
an aide to General Chiwenga, who attends the JOC meetings chaired by Mugabe,

"Who forced the UN security council to discuss the Zimbabwe crisis?
Who helped in the compilation of the 14 people on the UN draft sanction
resolution? It's the independent media of course," one ZANU-PF official

Enter the CIO

It is in response to threat posed by pirate radio stations and the
prolific internet newspapers to the ZANU-PF government that the JOC
instructed the CIO to draw up a new fresh list of all journalists working
for these independent unlicensed media organizations.

The press secretary's office in the president's office, in
collaboration with attachés from the CIO, has been busy compiling the list,
of which Harare Tribune is in possession of.

  "The list is a work in progress," Sgt. Chauke said. He said the list
was nearing completion. The urgency to finish compiling increased last week
in the days leading to the UN Security Council vote on whether to impose
international sanctions against the illegitimate government of Zimbabwe.

"With the list at hand, the task of the CIO, with intelligence
officials from the military, will indentify, and eliminate all journalists
working for these pirate news organizations," officials privy to the details

When contacted for comment, George Charamba's office did not return
our calls to verify the existence of such a list or that the CIO was going
to target journalists. When we contacted Charamba, he rudely shouted "***k
off" and switched off his cell phone.

People working in General Chiwenga's office at KGIV threatened us,
being abusive and asking: "Where did you get that confidential information?
Those are state secrets, will trace your call and deal with you."

The list of journalists, writers that the CIO will target is nothing
knew in Zimbabwe. The CIO has always had a list of journalist that it
considered dangerous to the state.The only difference is that now, the JOC
has urged to the CIO to widen the net, not only to persecute journalists,
but to include their close family members.

Radio wave jamming

In order to boost its jamming operations against the UK based SW Radio
Africa and Voice of America's Studio 7, the government recently received
another shipment of the latest in radio wave jamming equipment from China.

Landing records, shown to us at the Harare International Airport by
port authorities, confirmed that the government received the equipment on
May 17. The equipment was among several other items the Chinese delivered,
including an assortment of sophisticated military surveillance hardware.

Jamming of radio waves is accomplished by transmitting a strong signal
on the same frequency as that used for broadcasting by the pirate radio

Both Studio 7 and SW Radio Africa have taken on to broadcasting on
multiple frequencies in order to beat the jamming operation carried out by
the CIO with the assistance of the Chinese attachés.

The list

This is the partial list, that we publish as it was given to us by
disgrantled CIO agentsattached to the president's office. The list is not
complete, more names are still being added, and so are newspapers considered

  CIO partial list of journalist targeted for elimination  Name of
Newspaper/Radio Station Journalists   Comments
      Zim. Independent All journalists from the editor, (contained on
sub -list)   One of only two independent papers in Zim
      Zimbabwean, The Phiri, Gift; Mbangwa, Wilf   UK based print
      Zimbabwe, Times Maingire, Raymond; Nyarota;..   internet based
      ZimOnline  Mombe, Jameson; Nzou, Cuthbert; Hove, Thomas;
Sibanda, Nokhuthula; Mpofu, Patricia; ..   SA, internet based newspaper
      SW Radio Africa Karimakwenda, Tererai; Jackson, Gerry; Gonda,
Violet; Guma, Lance; Sibanda, Tichaona; ...   UK, shortwave radio station
      VOA Studio 7 Moyo, Brenda; Nkomo; Zulu, Blessing; Mlilo, Netsai;
US, shortwave radio station
      Tribune Murray, Marvis; Shoko, Tafara; Tempo, Alice; Shumba,
Pedzisai; Magomana, Trymore; Takavarasha, Tawanda; Williams, George; Grace
Mlambo;  ..   US, internet based newspaper
      Zimbabwe Metro Mangena, Philip; Chinamano, Roy; Jacobs, Norbert;
Mhaka, Raymond; Malaba, Sakhile; Gava, Tongai; Koketso, Silas;...
Botswana, internet based newspaper
      ZimDaily Ncube, Spiwe; MacVivo, Trymore; Moyo, Tatenda; Masiwa,
Munatswa;    UK, internet based newspaper
      Standard, The All journalists, from the editor to the bottom
(contained on sub -list)   One of only two independent papers in Zim

       Individuauls Mubaiwa, Goramukoko; Chirikure, George; Mawere,
Mutumwa; Malokele, Daniel; ...   Activists, social commentators, etc.

Though the list is incomplete, the moves by the CIO against
journalists have already begun. The arrest, harassment of the Standard
editor was only a small part of the wider campaign that the CIO is launching
against "enemies" of the state, working to see regime change in Zimbabwe.

The majority of those named on the list, although they are living in
the bliss and security of the Diaspora and the anonymity of the cyberspace,
their family members of will not be so lucky.

The CIO has been ordered to go on witch hunt expeditions to hit at the
core of these enemies of the state right where it hurts most, their

"OF course, if those people on the list who are based outside the
country come back to Zimbabwe, the CIO will deal with them," the officials

The CIO, in addition to being on the defensive by using equipment
blocking the access of Zimbabweans to the internet and to pirate radio
stations, plans to go on the offensive also.

The main part of the offensive against journalist involves targeting
those little known journalists, whom, when they are abducted and murdered,
the world would not know about.

"They will tread cautiously when it comes to well known journalists,
but for the little fish, they will come down hard on them," Lt. Ncube, a
former military analyst now working for the CIO, explained.

The ZANU-PF government has always been averse to independent media.
Gift Phiri of the Zimbabwean was abducted and tortured, Marck Chavunduka &
Ray Choto were tortured by the military. -.-Harare Tribune News.

**part two of the ZANU-PF government war against journalist coming

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US Reviews Visa Restrictions for Zimbabweans

14/07/2008 by Bryan Palmer

With immigration reform a major discussion subject amidst the current
presidential election campaign, the US has plans to tighten visa
restrictions for Zimbabweans wishing to live and enter America.

Reports from US government authorities' have revealed plans to reduce the
number of ordinary visas being issued to Zimbabweans by more than 100 per

The reports follow the UK's recent announcement concerning a proposed plan
of extending its visa net in order to curb crime and tighten security for
citizens. These plans have already come under criticism by many African
countries that were hoping for more favourable restrictions to be reformed,
instead of ones which will make it harder to get visas.

Many analysts have already expressed their concerns that Britain's latest
immigration move could prompt other countries to impose visas on foreign
visitors. The latest news from the US may merely be coincidental in
accordance to the UK's announcement.

That aside the the Staes has already tightened its US visa application
requirements for those nationals whose governments are hostile to the
American government.

With a large number of Zimbabweans living in the United States already, the
potential restrictions would result in many relocating to Canada,
particularly as officials are said to be more accommodative of Zimbabweans

Zimbabweans have for many years being seeking opportunities in strong
economic countries. Some would say that they have become some of the most
itinerant nationals in the world, following the meltdown of the Zimbabwean

Statistics from the US Embassy in Harare show a recorded refusal rate of
32.3 percent in 2007 alone. Should the plans become passed Zimbabwe will
surpass Laos, which has the world's highest visa refusal rate of 72.9

Aside from those Zimbabweans hoping to obtain entry via a US visa, the plans
would also mean that even those who have been legally staying in America may
find it difficult to renew their visas upon expiry.

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EU backs Mbeki's mediation on Zim - with certain conditions

From The Star (SA), 14 July

Hans Pienaar

The European Union supports President Thabo Mbeki's mediation in the
Zimbabwean crisis but will not recognise a new government unless it is a
transitional arrangement leading to fresh elections. This was made clear by
French ambassador to South Africa Denis Pietton at a meeting of the SA
Association for International Affairs in Pretoria on Friday. On July 1,
France assumed the chair of the European Union until December 30. Pietton
said France hoped that the mediation would bear fruit, and said "maybe" a
government of national unity could work. But the European Union had several
conditions before endorsing a new arrangement. According to sources, the EU
and other international groupings are ready with huge amounts of cash to
help resuscitate the Zimbabwean economy, which began collapsing after
President Robert Mugabe launched a violent land resettlement campaign.
Thousands of EU citizens, mostly Britons, were affected. Chief among the EU
conditions, said Pietton, was that a mediated government would lead to fresh
free and fair elections. In addition, the transitional government should be
based on the March 29 results, in which the opposition won a combined 57% of
the vote.

Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change won 109 of the 210
parliamentary seats. Tsvangirai won the majority of the vote but failed to
secure the 50%-plus-one needed to win the presidential poll. Mugabe was
re-elected on June 27 in a one-man second round poll that Pietton called
"distorted". France believes that a tight timeframe should be set for a
transitional authority to be formed - the mediation "can't go on forever".
When elections happened they would have to be endorsed by impartial observer
missions from the international community. Since 2002 the EU, along with the
US, had been barred from observing Zimbabwean elections, after they had
declared the 2000 parliamentary elections not free and fair. In that
election the MDC came within a few seats of beating Zanu PF for the first
time. Last week, reports Sapa-AFP, EU lawmakers called for tougher EU
sanctions against Zimbabwe, including putting businessmen who finance
Mugabe's regime on a visa ban list. Pietton rejected claims that the crisis
in Zimbabwe had been caused by current bilateral sanctions against Mugabe's
cronies. Mugabe and his spokespersons have used the sanctions to portray
Zimbabwe as a victim of an international plot to take over the country.

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Mugabe's Animal Farm

Arusha Times (Arusha)

12 July 2008
Posted to the web 14 July 2008

Nafata Bamaguje

For those not familiar with that Orwellian classic, Animal Farm is about a
group of farm animals who rebelled and freed themselves from their human
farm owner, only for the farm animals to suffer more heinous oppression by a
cabal of murderous tyrannical pigs. This George Orwell novel is classically
interpreted as satire of the 1917 Russian revolution that supposedly
worsened the plight of Russian people; but it also aptly applies to Mugabe's
Zimbabwe and to some extent much of post-colonial Africa.

Although it is politically incorrect to say so in a public medium such as
this, many concerned Africans (particularly among the older generation)
sometimes lament that we were better-off under colonial rule. Mugabe's
Zimbabwe gruesomely epitomizes this sordid disturbing ignominy of
post-colonial Africa - in the murderous league of Idi Amin's Uganda,
Bokassa's Central African Republic, Macias Nguema's Equatorial Guinea and
Mobutu's Zaire. Less vicious, sit-tight African oppressors also abound viz;
Cameroun's Paul Biya, Gabon's Omar Bongo and of course Nigeria's despotic
kleptocrats - Abacha, Babangida and Obasanjo. Not to forget the Omar
el-Bashir led, genocidal quasi-Arab, Islamo-Nazis in Khartoum, who are
intent on exterminating our Black African brothers & sisters from Darfur.

The tepid response of other African leaders to the Zimbabwe crisis and their
reluctance to condemn Mugabe is therefore not surprising as there is
something of a Mugabe in many of them. Little wonder Morgan Tsvangirai, the
Zimbabwean opposition leader recently sought refuge in the Dutch embassy,
not in an African embassy - a sad indictment of failed African leadership in
the Zimbabwean catastrophe.

Nigeria's President Yar Adua, who as leader of the largest black nation and
frontline state during Zimbabwe's independence struggle should be at the
forefront of resolving the Zimbabwe crisis, has been conspicuously reticent
as he lacks the electoral legitimacy and moral authority to call Mugabe to
order. Conversely, it is noteworthy that Botswana, which has been an
exemplary bastion of multi-party African democracy, had no difficulty
condemning Mugabe's recent "re-election" as illegitimate.

The Western world is also complicit in the Zimbabwe calamity. By failing to
robustly denounce despotism and electoral robbery in other African nations
(Nigeria, Cameroun, Kenya) as vehemently as they do in Zimbabwe, they not
only embolden Mugabe, but play right into his hands feeding his racist
propaganda - from which he derives modicum of credibility - that he is being
picked on because of landless White Zimbabwean farmers.

A few years ago, a flurry of Western condemnation trailed Mugabe's
demolition of houses in Harare that rendered thousands of Zimbabweans
homeless. At about the same time Nigerian president Obasanjo, in
contravention of court orders demolished numerous houses in Abuja that
rendered thousands of Nigerians homeless, but not a word of protest from the
West. Cameroun also witnessed such demolitions and the West said nothing.
Such double standards by the West suggest ulterior motives that partly
explains the reluctance some of Africans to join the West in publicly
denouncing Mugabe in spite of his unspeakable brutality.

In the 1970s, black people all over the world resolutely supported the
struggle of black Zimbabweans to emancipate themselves from the White
minority rule of Ian Smith's Rhodesia. In Nigeria the Murtala - Obasanjo
junta nationalized British assets to pressurize UK on the issue; University
student unions were fully mobilized almost to a point of dispatching
volunteer soldiers to help emancipate out oppressed black brothers and
sisters in Rhodesia, Namibia and Apartheid South Africa; the late Bob Marley
and our own Ozzidi king, Sonny Okosun sang about it.

Consequently our expectations about the nascent Black nation were high when
at independence in 1980, ZANU's Robert Mugabe who had come to personify the
independence struggle became Zimbabwe's leader; particularly as the White
colonialists left Rhodesia (as Zimbabwe was then called) a prosperous
breadbasket even with the disruptive guerilla liberation war.

Mugabe was to however disappoint us, as over the succeeding 28 years of
independence, he gradually ran aground her once prosperous economy with
ruinous policies that culminated in the worst hyperinflationary economic
meltdown in contemporary world. Not even war-torn Somalia that has been
without national government for almost two decades witnessed such economic
disaster. Robert Gabriel Mugabe has become a disgrace and an embarrassment
to Black people the world over - White colonialists left Zimbabwe a
prosperous bread basket and our "Black Nationalist" ruined it a la Orwellian
Animal farm.

The consequence of Zimbabwe's economic collapse has been massive influx of
Zimbabweans into neighbouring African countries especially South Africa,
where the massive migration that compounded South Africa's Black
unemployment and precipitated the recent xenophobic attacks on other black
Africans. In order words Mugabe was indirectly responsible for the
xenophobic attacks on blacks in South Africa.

Consequently, the conspiratorial silence of Thabo Mbeki, South Africa's
President on Mugabe's ruinous tyranny is baffling even as the adverse
consequences of the Zimbawean disaster spill over into South Africa. This
AIDS-denying caricature of a leader, who deludes himself that the xenophobic
attacks were just about criminals, is obviously out of touch with reality.

Whatever debt of gratitude South Africa's ANC owes Zimbabwe for her help
during the anti-apartheid struggle is to the Zimbabwean people not Mugabe as
an individual. Thus black South Africans are morally obliged to repay
Zimbabweans by helping to kick out Mugabe, whose tyranny is much worse than
Apartheid South Africa ever was. This would be the more responsible course
of action rather than xenophobic violence against fellow Black Africans.

With the benefit of hindsight, it is obvious that Mugabe was never the
glorious Black Nationalist in the mould of Kwame Nkrumah, Mwalimu Nyerere,
Nelson Mandela or Sam Nujoma; which he was erroneously touted to be.
Post-independence Zimbabwe has revealed him to be a self-serving, narcisstic
opportunistic tyrant who hijacked Zimbabwe's independence struggle for his
megalomaniac self-glorification.

Mugabe inordinate ambition to indefinitely perpetuate himself in power knows
no bounds. He has killed, maimed, massacred, tortured and starved his
compatriots just to remain in power and continue glorifying himself as a
heroic, anti-colonial African liberator. Such is the psychopathic narcissism
of our so-called "black nationalist".

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Zimbabwean farm test case - hearing


14 July 2008

SADC Tribunal, Windhoek - Zimbabwean farm test case
Mike Campbell and 77 Zimbabwean Commercial Farmers

Forthcoming hearing:  Wednesday 16 July 2008

The application led by Mike Campbell (Pvt) Ltd (first applicant), William
Michael Campbell (second applicant) and 77 Zimbabwean commercial farmers
(the interveners) who face eviction from their farms will be heard by the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal in Windhoek on
Wednesday July 16.

The application is also brought on behalf of the thousands of farm workers
and their families living on the farms.

The applicants and interveners are also seeking an urgent order declaring
the Government of Zimbabwe in breach of the interim protection order granted
in December by the Tribunal in favour of the applicants, and referring this
breach to the SADC secretariat for measures to be taken.

To this application the legal team has attached factual proof of the
evictions carried out with the sanction of the domestic courts in Zimbabwe.

It has also attached photographs of Mike Campbell (73), his wife Angela (66)
and their son-in-law, Ben Freeth (38), in respect of their recent abduction
and the violent assaults on their persons which resulted in substantial

A further option is for the SADC Secretariat to refer the case to the
General Assembly and or to the Security Council of the United Nations.

Once the Tribunal has considered and finalised the above case, it will
immediately proceed to determine the main case.

The main case

This challenges the "land reform" programme of the Government of Zimbabwe as
being in violation of the applicants' rights as provided for in the SADC
Treaty and Protocol.

Campbell's application contends that the land acquisition process is racist
and illegal under a number of legal instruments, notably the SADC treaty and
the African Union Charter.

Article 6 of the SADC treaty states that "member states shall not
discriminate against any person on the grounds of gender, religion,
political views, race, ethnic origin, culture, ill-health or disability or
such other grounds."

The main case hearing was scheduled to take place on May 28 but it was
postponed after the Zimbabwean government's legal team missed the deadline,
citing a "lack of manpower, financial and material constraints" as the

Background information to the case

The first hearing of the Campbell case took place on December 11, 2007. This
launched the application for interim relief until such time as the Tribunal
was able to hear the merits of the case.

On December 12, the SADC Tribunal granted an interim order in favour of Mike
Campbell pending a final ruling on his application in 2008.

In response, Zimbabwe's Land Reform Minister Didymus Mutasa said the Mugabe
government would abide by the ruling.

However, on January 22, 2008 - after a delay of eight months - Zimbabwe's
Supreme Court dismissed the application by Campbell challenging the seizure
of his farm.

The following day, Mutasa said the government was going ahead with plans to
seize the farm, despite the Tribunal ruling which blocked confiscation of
the property.

In his response, Registrar Justice Charles Mkandawiri of the SADC Tribunal
said that if the Harare government did not comply with the ruling the
Tribunal handed down, it would refer the matter to the highest level of the
regional organisation.

The 77 interveners

The main hearing was due to start during the last week of January but was
postponed to hear the joint application of a further 77 white commercial

They were permitted to join the case in March because they were suffering
similar harassment and also faced eviction without compensation.

Furthermore, the farmers could not legally challenge the Government of
Zimbabwe because Zimbabwean courts had been prohibited from hearing such

The dates of March 25-28 were agreed for the main hearing.  However, on
March 5, Zimbabwe's Deputy Attorney-General, Prince Machaya, requested a
postponement for various reasons, including the upcoming March 29 elections
and the government's wish to file further papers.

This was agreed to by the Tribunal and only the intervention applications
were heard on March 25.

Judge Luis Mondlane, President of the SADC Tribunal, ordered the Zimbabwean
government to halt the eviction of 73 of the farmers and granted them and
four others who had already been evicted from their properties the right to
have their cases heard along with Campbell.

 The judge said the cases would be held on May 28.

 Mr Machaya said they were not satisfied with the ruling but would comply
with the order.

As indicated earlier, the main case hearing scheduled for May 28 was again
postponed after the Zimbabwean government's legal team missed the deadline,
citing a "lack of manpower, financial and material constraints" as the

A landmark test case

This is the first case to be brought before the Tribunal since it was set up
in 2000, and is described as a test case for the rule of law in the SADC

The Tribunal was established through a protocol attached to the SADC treaty
and is empowered to adjudicate disputes between member states as well as
between individuals and member states.

Zimbabwe is a signatory to both the SADC treaty and the Tribunal - the
documents were signed by Robert Gabriel Mugabe.

The food crisis escalates

On January 17, 2008 the UN's Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS Net)
reported that widespread food insecurity would continue to affect 4.1
million Zimbabweans through the first harvests in March.

However, five months later the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and
World Food Programme (WFP) reported an even more serious situation.

In their crop assessment forecast released on June 18, the organisations
said more than five million Zimbabweans would suffer food insecurity in the
next nine months

Independent analysts currently estimate the population to be as low as seven
to eight million, which means that more than half of the population will
face severe food shortages.  Cases of kwashiorkor, a malnutrition-related
disease, are rising significantly.

Prior to the farm invasions in 2000, Zimbabwe's population was estimated at
12,5 million and the country was not only food secure but a significant
exporter of top quality agricultural produce.

As a result of the collapse of healthcare in Zimbabwe, food shortages,
poverty and economic chaos  - unemployment is in excess of 85 percent - more
than 3 500 people are conservatively estimated to die each week, a
staggering 14 000 every month.

Since the March 29 election, and in the face of vicious retribution by
agents of the Mugabe regime against those deemed to have worked for, or
voted for the opposition, the death toll continues to rise.

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UN veto gives Mugabe and Mbeki respite

By Violet Gonda
14 July 2008

China and Russia dealt Zimbabweans a huge blow when they blocked a United
Nations Security Council resolution to impose smart sanctions on the 14
members of the Mugabe regime.

Mis-governance and rampant corruption has resulted in Zimbabwe suffering its
worst economic crisis in history, with an inflation rate of more than 9
million % per annum. A volatile political environment has also resulted in
Zimbabwe becoming a non-functioning country at every level. Politically
motivated attacks have led to at least 113 deaths, tens of thousands of
torture victims and hundred of thousands displaced.

Zimbabwe had finally been put on the agenda of the UN Security Council but
both China and Russia claimed the 'sanctions' were an attempt to meddle in
the affairs of a member state, saying the situation posed no threat to
international peace and security. Russia and China said they prefer to see
the outcome of 'talks' between the country's political rivals.

But on Monday British Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned the proposals for
punitive action would be brought back to the Security Council if the
dialogue between ZANU PF and MDC failed.

Political analyst Brian Raftopoulos said China and Russia's veto was not a
surprise as they both have their own issues with the European Union and the
United States.

China and Russia were joined by Libya, Vietnam and South Africa in voting
against the UN resolution calling for an arms embargo, a travel ban for 14
ZANU PF heavyweights including Mugabe, plus the appointment of a UN envoy to
assist South African President Thabo Mbeki's mediation efforts, which have
failed dismally so far.

South Africa had campaigned heavily against the UN resolution. Mbeki had
warned sanctions would trigger a civil war in Zimbabwe, and interfere with
attempts to form a national unity government. This was the same excuse that
was used by the Zimbabwean government.

Raftopoulos said for the moment the veto works in Mugabe's favour but
although it gives Mugabe and Mbeki some respite the issue is still not off
the agenda. "What's interesting is that even the ANC in its recent statement
has said this issue of the United Nations is not off the agenda with regards
to Zimbabwe and I think the fact that it got to the Security Council vote is
in itself an enormously important development."

Although Raftopoulos believes the UN resolution should be on the
international agenda, but he believes the timing is wrong. He said since the
MDC has committed itself to "talks" it is now clear they have to go through
with these discussions with ZANU PF, because strategically there are few
other options at the moment. He said what is important now is for the
opposition to make the right kind of demands.

But as usual the talks between the political parties are shrouded in
secrecy. Raftopoulos said: "I think the secrecy will not be helpful. I think
more than ever there needs to be greater information given out about the
various stages, what kind of issues are agreed upon, for some kind of
transparency and accountability. I think it works really in the favour of
the authoritarian regime to keep it as secret as it has been done. There is
a huge need now to give more information to the Zimbabwean people."

Meanwhile the United Nations issued a press release on Monday condemning
statements made by the Zimbabwean Ambassador to the UN which accused the
Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, of bias. The statement said: "We strongly
regret the highly inappropriate and unacceptable comments by the Permanent
Representative of Zimbabwe questioning the Secretary-General's impartiality
toward events in Zimbabwe. There is nothing one-sided about defending the
right of the people of Zimbabwe to choose a legitimate government in a free
and fair election."

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Zim used as gateway into SA - report


    July 14 2008 at 09:27AM

Illegal immigrants from the Great Lakes region are using Zimbabwe as a
gateway into South Africa, the Herald Online reported on Monday.

Chief immigration officer Clemence Masango told the Harare-based
newspaper that a syndicate in Zimbabwe was helping illegal immigrants from
Nigeria, Ethiopia, Burundi, Somalia, Eritrea, Rwanda and the Democratic
Republic of Congo enter the country.

"We are aware of this scam and strongly suspect that it is a
well-organised human trafficking syndicate," said Masango.

"There is also reason to suspect that our own people, especially at
the entry points, are involved in this collusion."

Two weeks ago, some 60 Somalis entered Zimbabwe illegally but later
handed themselves over to the police.

  Masango said most of the immigrants stayed in Zimbabwe or proceed to
South Africa.

He said the suspected syndicate leader ran a shop selling electrical
goods in Harare. He allegedly facilitated the entry at a cost of US$-5 000
(about R38 000) in return for false identity documents and a hideout place.

The suspect was also allegedly involved in a syndicate with court
officials to facilitate marriages with Zimbabweans, which would secure
resident permits for the foreigners.

If the illegal immigrants decided to stay Zimbabwe, he also allegedly
demanded a monthly fee for their safety. - Sapa

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ANC still seeks 'meaningful dialogue' to resolve Zimbabwean impasse


THE ANC's national executive committee says "a meaningful substantive
dialogue" is the most effective means to address the "untenable situation"
in Zimbabwe.

It has reiterated support for the mediation efforts of President Thabo Mbeki
under the auspices of the Southern African Development Community and the
position taken on the issue by the African Union.

The national executive said that following an "extensive discussion" on the
situation in Zimbabwe it had been agreed that "the immediate task is to
focus all efforts, both within Zimbabwe and internationally, on the
achievement of an inclusive and peaceful political settlement that reflects
the will of the Zimbabwean people".

It confirmed its existing positions on the situation in Zimbabwe that:

It "unequivocally condemns the violence, intimidation and political
intolerance to which the Zimbabwean people have been subjected".

The violence that preceded the presidential run-off election of 27 June
meant that the election was "fundamentally flawed".

An inclusive political settlement achieved through "meaningful substantive
dialogue remains the most effective means to address this untenable

The executive said that in the interest of progress in the mediation
process, it expressed deep reservations about the motion before the UN
Security Council since, as it stood, it "would not advance the process
towards a lasting and peaceful outcome in Zimbabwe".

Rather, the executive committee said, the AU-mandated dialogue should be
given an opportunity to succeed. It agreed that South Africa should vote
against the motion.

This did not preclude the possibility of revisiting the option of a Security
Council resolution at a later stage "should circumstances require it".

On Saturday the Zimbabwean government thanked countries that blocked UN
sanctions against its regime, Mbeki in particular.

"We thank countries that supported us at the United Nations. We will address
our problems ourselves," said Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu.

"We thank President Thabo Mbeki as he has not yielded to international

China and Russia vetoed targeted UN sanctions on president Robert Mugabe.
South Africa voted against the US draft that received the support of nine of
the UN Security Council's 15 members.

A disappointed British Prime Minster Gordon Brown said on Saturday he would
press the European Union to take harsher action against Zimbabwe.

He planned to discuss EU action when he met French President Nicolas Sarkozy
and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana at the current summit in Paris.

Additional reporting by Sapa, AFP

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Mandela applauds rebuke of Mugabe


    July 14 2008 at 11:47AM

Johannesburg - All Africans must speak out about injustices in places
such as Zimbabwe, according to Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

Johnson-Sirleaf, delivering the sixth annual Nelson Mandela Lecture in
Soweto at the weekend, was optimistic about Africa's future.

But she said she could not ignore current troubles, and it was her
duty to "express my solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe as they search
for solutions to the crisis in their country".

The remark earned applause from Mandela and a crowd of several hundred
gathered in a community hall for the lecture.

Johnson-Sirleaf offered her own country as a cautionary example.

"In 1985, Liberia held a sham election that was endorsed by Africa and
the world," she said.

 "Years of civil war and devastation followed, with thousands dead and
millions displaced. It need not have happened."

Johnson-Sirleaf was among the few voices at a recent African Union
summit denouncing Robert Mugabe's June 27 presidential victory.

She also came out in support of a UN sanctions resolution proposed by
the US.

Mandela, who addressed the crowd only briefly, called Johnson-Sirleaf
"an inspiring example to Africa and the world".

He also joked that the annual lecture, in the past given by Nobel
peace laureates Kofi Annan, Wangari Maathai and Desmond Tutu, as well as
former US president Bill Clinton and President Thabo Mbeki, drew luminaries
"principally to see what an old man looks like".

Johnson-Sirleaf titled her speech "Behold the New Africa", and said
despite setbacks in Zimbabwe and elsewhere, she believed the continent was
overcoming dictatorship and poverty.

She cited economic growth averaging five percent in recent years, the
relief of the foreign debt burden many countries had faced and political

"It is hard to predict the future and the change will not be easy or
smooth in every country," she said.

"But never before in world history have so many low-income countries
become democracies in so short a period."

She put the burden for continued reform on Africans themselves, saying
fighting corruption and mismanagement was key.

"It is our firm conviction that Africa is not poor.

"Rather, it has been poorly managed," she said.

"Corruption, exploitation and the misuse of Africa's resources are
central to the inability of African governments to respond to the need of
the African people."

The modern community hall where Johnson-Sirleaf and Mandela spoke was
built on the site where white and black South Africans gathered in 1955 and,
before apartheid police broke up the meeting, adopted the Freedom Charter,
pledging to fight for multiracial democracy.

Four decades later, post-apartheid South Africa borrowed the Freedom
Charter's declaration that the country "belongs to all who live in it" for
the preamble to its new constitution.

Johnson-Sirleaf called the Freedom Charter "a bold development
manifesto", and said she and others across the continent intent on reform
had been inspired by Mandela and other South Africans.

Turning to Mandela, she said: "If someday I am remembered as one of
the many dreamers who came in your wake, who, unable to fill your shoes,
walked in your shadow to build a new Africa, then I can think of no better
place to be in history."

This article was originally published on page 3 of Pretoria News on
July 14, 2008

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Mixed messages from Moscow

Medvedev may be a reformer, but Russia's shameful veto on Zimbabwe sanctions
is a depressing sign of 'business as usual'

Irina Filatova,
Monday July 14, 2008

The Russians are no strangers to reading signs and signals coming from the
top. The public space, which in freer countries is filled with
straightforward information and public debate, in Russia is filled with
rumour and attempts to guess the meaning of such signals. Signals that have
been coming from Russia's new presidency in a quick succession were met with
raised eyebrows on the one hand and scepticism on the other.

One such signal was the fact that the scandal with Manana Aslamazian, head
of the Educated Media Foundation, the last NGO in Russia to help independent
journalists, came to an abrupt end. Aslamazian had been accused of illegally
smuggling funds into Russia, and the activities of her foundation were
stopped. But shortly after President Medvedev's inauguration Russia's
constitutional court decided that the basis for the accusation was wrong and
decreed to requalify the case - which in practice means closing it

Then Medvedev sent a special message to the leadership of the United Russia
party, which is headed by the prime minister, Vladimir Putin, and has an
overwhelming majority in the Duma, cautioning it against any hasty
amendments to the media laws. This put an effective end to the earlier
proposal coming from the party to amend the media law in such a way that
would enable closure of any media outlet virtually at the authorities' whim.

Soon after this Medvedev dismissed Yury Baluyevsky, chief of general staff,
who made his name by opposing the reform of the army spearheaded by Putin
appointees, and by particularly staunch opposition to the American plans of
unfolding a nuclear shield over Europe.

Medvedev announced that the priorities of his home policy would be an
anti-corruption drive, the strengthening of the independence of the
judiciary and the tackling of Russia's enormous environmental problems. All
of these are popular causes among the intelligentsia. And an influential
liberal political thinktank, the Institute for Modern Development, has
engaged itself in writing a report on the condition of Russia's democracy,
which it will present to Medvedev some time in the autumn. The report is
critical of Putin's legacy in this sphere. Clearly, Medvedev has raised
their hopes.

Is this for real? Could there really be a political thaw? Some analysts
dismiss these signals as a publicity stunt, citing the president's lack of
interest in any movement in the Khodorkovsky affair and in some other less
prominent but no less political cases, as well as the selectivity of his
anti-corruption campaign.

But while the jury is still out on Medvedev's democratic credentials at
home, his foreign policy has been a direct and straightforward continuation
of his predecessor's line: no change in relations with Georgia and
practically none with Ukraine, no change in relations with Britain or the
US. The latest development is the shameful veto of UN sanctions against
Mugabe's illegitimate and murderous regime.

What amazes one most is the excuse given for this - that such sanctions
would contradict the UN constitution because they would mean intervention in
the internal affairs of a member country. Yet it was the USSR that
spearheaded the UN sanctions against racist South Africa, and the number of
Mugabe's victims has by far exceeded the number of those killed by the
apartheid regime. The difference between the two cases then could only be
that Soviet leaders were not worried that the UN might at some stage
intervene in the USSR's own internal affairs. Russia's leaders obviously do
worry about this.

This was a very powerful signal to send both to the Russians and to the
international community - a litmus test of the attitude of Russia's leaders
both to democracy and to human life.

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Russia denies U-turn on Zimbabwe sanctions


Mon 14 Jul 2008, 13:44 GMT

By Yelena Fabrichnaya

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia made no commitment at last week's Group of Eight
summit to back U.N. sanctions against Zimbabwe so it cannot be accused of a
U-turn, a senior Russian diplomat said on Monday.

However, Moscow signalled it was concerned about the political crisis in
Zimbabwe, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urging authorities there to
prosecute those responsible for violence against opposition activists.

Russia and China last week vetoed a Western-backed U.N. Security Council
resolution to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe. The United States said Moscow
had gone back on an agreement days earlier at the G8 summit in Japan to
support punitive measures.

"There was indeed a discussion on Zimbabwe at the (G8) summit," Russian
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak told a news conference.

"During the discussion ideas were put forward that the U.N. Security Council
should adopt a resolution on sanctions. The sanctions were not named. There
were such ideas. We listened to them and explained why that is not right.

"This does not mean that we do not have concerns about the situation in
Zimbabwe. We have different methods for addressing it."

He rejected a comment by the top U.S. diplomat at the United Nations that
Russia's performance on Zimbabwe "raises doubts about its reliability as a
G8 partner".

Kislyak said: "Accusations against Russia that it is not a reliable partner
are, we believe, not only unfounded but also irresponsible."


Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Lavrov had spoken by telephone
to Zimbabwean Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi.

"We underlined the need for all participants in the internal Zimbabwean
dialogue to show the most constructive approach possible in the interests of
ensuring stability and national accord," the statement said.

"It is also important to prosecute the culprits in the violence in June and
to take measures to prevent a repeat of this in the future."

A group of states led by the United States and Britain wanted to impose
sanctions on Zimbabwe for violence during its presidential run-off election
last month.

The vote was boycotted by the opposition challenger and gave President
Robert Mugabe a landslide victory.

The proposed sanctions would have imposed an arms embargo on Zimbabwe as
well as financial and travel restrictions on Mugabe and 13 other officials.

Russia said it blocked the U.N. resolution because it did not believe the
crisis was a threat to international security.

It said sanctions could undermine talks, mediated by South Africa's
President Thabo Mbeki, between Mugabe's administration and the opposition.

(Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Andrew Dobbie)

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Russia urges Zimbabwe leadership to negotiate peacefully

NOVOSTI, Russian News and Information Agency

            19:15 | 14/ 07/ 2008

MOSCOW, July 14 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Foreign Minister told his
Zimbabwean counterpart on Monday that the African country's leadership and
opposition must show restraint to bring an end to the conflict.

Russia has come under harsh criticism from Western nations for its refusal
to back UN Security Council sanctions against the regime in Zimbabwe, which
has become a focus of international concern since recent election-related

The ministry quoted Sergei Lavrov as telling Simbarashe Mumbengegwi in a
phone conversation that "all parties to the internal conflict in Zimbabwe
must demonstrate a constructive approach to ensure stability and national

"It is also important to bring those responsible for cases of violence in
June to justice, and to take measures to ensure that such incidents to not
occur in the future," the ministry said.

Lavrov told the Zimbabwean diplomat that Russia supports steps being taken
by the African Union and the Southern African Development Community to
resolve the crisis.

On Friday, Russia and China used their UN Security Council vetoes to block
sanctions against Zimbabwe's leadership, which under Washington's proposals
would have included an arms embargo and travel bans for President Robert
Mugabe and his closest allies. The United States and Britain then accused
Moscow of reneging on a pledge made at last week's Group of Eight summit.

However, a senior Russian diplomat told reporters on Monday that while the
idea of sanctions was discussed at the G8 in Japan, no specific measures
were agreed on.

The Russian side told other G8 members that the situation should be tackled
through mediation of other countries, and that sanctions could not be
employed, as the situation in the country was not a threat to international
security, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak told a news

In the lead-up to the June presidential election runoff in Zimbabwe,
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai dropped out of the race, citing death
threats and beatings of supporters, and took refuge in the Dutch Embassy in

Tsvangirai had won the first election round in March, but without a
sufficiently large majority to secure victory. Mugabe campaigned in the
re-run as the sole candidate. The opposition said a total of 113 of its
activists were killed in election violence that began in March.

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Starvation, AIDS and violence wreak havoc in Zimbabwe

By Lance Guma
14 July 2008

Four members from the same family died and were buried within 4 days of each
other in the Nzvenga Village of Marange in the Manicaland province this past
week. On Tuesday Farai died as he sat on a large rock near their family
homestead. Although his health status remained unknown relatives said he had
not eaten in days and might have starved to death. On Thursday his brother's
wife (Mai Maki) died from complications linked to HIV. With the family
trying to come to terms with the double tragedy, Friday was to claim the
lives of two more members. This time Farai's brother died a day after his
wife, while their aunty, living 100 metres away from the homestead, also
died. At least 12 orphans now have to fend for themselves following the
deaths of their parents and guardians.

The village elders, always superstitious, have blamed evil spirits for the
deaths but to others it highlights the tragedy of Zimbabwe's economic,
political and health crisis. A combination of starvation, AIDS and in many
cases, political violence, are wreaking havoc on local communities. Last
month government banned NGO's from distributing critical food aid, alleging
they were campaigning for the opposition. The tragic consequences of that
decision are now being felt by the many desperately poor villagers who
relied on this food. Marange falls under Mutare West constituency, formerly
a parliamentary seat held by Zanu PF but won by the MDC during the March 29
election. It is no coincidence that villagers here have been left to starve,
by a regime that has adopted a scorched earth policy with communities they
feel did not vote for them.

Government's endless printing of money which funded repressive structures
like the youth militia, has created a hyper-inflationary environment that
has made food prices beyond the reach of almost everyone. Most salaries are
between Z$20 and Z$50 billion yet its hard to find any basic commodity
within that range. A bucket of maize at Mbare Musika is being sold at Z$260
billion, 2kgs of plain flour Z$150 billion, tomatoes Z$44 billion per kg, a
chicken Z$207 billion and milk is Z$30 billion per litre. The dairy farmers
are complaining that the price of stock feed for their cows far outstrips
payment for the milk coming from Dairiboard. They have no choice but to
slaughter their livestock, and this is true for all farmers now.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Alert: Chombo threatens to fire councilors

14 July 2008
The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) is alarmed and concerned with the recent pronouncements by the Minister of Local government that he will fire councilors if “they deviate from government policy”. Chombo spoke to the Herald after an induction meeting for councilors organized by the city of Harare. Councilors have already been appointed into various working committees that spearhead the work of the municipality. This process helps conscientise the councilors of their roles, powers and functions of the council. The appointment of the councilors; which we trust was done on the basis of the individual councilors’ capabilities, will help the councilors effectively serve the city of Harare.
Meanwhile we urge Dr. Ignatius Chombo not to interfere with the business of the council but let them discharge their duties as effective as they can. His recent remarks that the Ministry of Local Government will not hesitate to expel the council are unfortunate, sad and irresponsible. The residents remind Mr Chombo that his dismissal of the Mudzuri led Council on frivolous grounds, did not improve but rather severely crippled the city’s service delivery system. The operations of the successive commissions he appointed were characterized by rampant corruption and the eventual total collapse of the service delivery system.
As the residents, we expect Mr Chombo to stop his heartless and politically motivated threats of expulsion and let our council work. We warn Mr. Chombo that we are already suffering and certainly we will not brook any interference with the operations of our local democracy. Chombo must allow the will of the people and democracy to prevail by stopping his undue interference of the work done by the elected representatives of the people. CHRA urges councilors to push for the reform of the Urban Councils Act Chapter (29:15) which gives too much power to the Minister of local government.  
Farai Barnabas Mangodza
Chief Executive Officer
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
145 Robert Mugabe Way
Exploration House, Third Floor
 Landline: 00263- 4- 705114
Contacts: Mobile: 011 563 141, 0912638401, 011862012 or email, and

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CHRA on world population day

The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) is pleased to join the nation, the United Nations Population Fund and indeed the rest of the progressive world in commemorating world population day, 11th of July. The world population day is celebrated to highlight the importance of addressing and finding solutions to population issues. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) partners with governments and non-governmental organizations in 140 countries to promote reproductive health. These programs help to save lives, slow the spread of HIV and encourage equal rights for men and women. This, in turn, helps to reduce poverty and stabilize population growth, creating more healthy and prosperous families, communities and a better world. Better (2008)
The residents of Harare commemorate this day in deep sorrow yet with great resilience. We are a population that has been condemned into abject poverty by the Government of Zimbabwe through reckless and ill-advised political and economic policies. On this day, we remember how the notorious Operation Restore order left many of us homeless and without food. Operation Murambatsvina/Restore order was a state sanctioned and executed exercise that saw the demolition of homes, informal industries and market stalls which the Government considered illegally established. In Harare alone, 700 families were left without food and shelter as a result of this exercise. The effects of this program are still being felt to date with hundreds of residents in Harare facing starvation and death.
For the last decade, we have experienced a serious economic meltdown, so much that many of us survive on informal jobs and we cannot afford to build or access the so called formal houses. Indeed we were utterly shocked by the Government when it sought to destroy the informal industries which had formed the backbone of the economy. Without these informal industries and shelter, many residents are now living in abject poverty, a status where they cannot afford a descent meal, shelter and we cannot access even the most basic health and social services; including HIV and AIDS treatment. The scourge of AIDS threatens to wipe the entire population as it is exacerbated by absolute poverty. The government of Zimbabwe is not keen on addressing the emerging challenges of hunger and poverty. The economic collapse and hyper inflationary environment has made sanitary wear beyond the reach of many forcing them to use dangerous birth control pills which pose several threats to their health.
On this day, we also reflect on the deepening socio-political crisis obtaining in our country; which has further condemned us into deep poverty, squashing every little hope of survival we cling on. Between March 29 and June 27 2008, 43 of our members experienced human rights violations which range from abductions, beatings, threats and many other kinds of torture, at the hands of either ZANU PF militias or the state security operatives. Three of our members had their homes petrol bombed and property destroyed. Two CHRA activists were abducted, tortured, murdered and their bodies left to decompose. May their dear souls rest in peace. It is so sad that no arrests let alone meaningful investigations have been made in connection with these atrocities. Other civic society movements have experienced worse atrocities than this. Such a political environment continues to hurt our economy as no one can ever have confidence to invest in Harare. On June 27, ZANU PF went ahead to hold the presidential run off elections, despite calls by the civic society and the International community to postpone the elections given the amount of violence visited upon the opposition and civic society across the nation. Against this background, we have an illegitimate Government which; despite its failure to address the current economic meltdown, remains arrogant and impervious to progressive ideas and ideology. The economy is characterized by a run away inflation rate of over ten million percent. As this crisis deepens, more and more of us are sinking deeper and deeper into poverty; and every hope of survival is fading away. Thus on this world population day, we continue to suffer in poverty at the hands of a Government we did not elect; a regime that has turned against its own people.
The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) takes the world population day as yet another opportunity to remind the illegitimate regime that it has failed to make any meaningful progress towards achieving any of the goals associated with the world population day. Rather the regime continues to inflict more suffering upon us. The world population day is also an opportunity for us to remind SADC, the African Union and indeed the United Nations that we are a population that is in need of you. Meanwhile the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) reaffirms its continued fight for enhanced civic participation in local governance. The Association is exploring creative ways of responding to the social welfare and reproductive crisis faced by residents in Harare.
Farai Barnabas Mangodza
Chief Executive Officer
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
145 Robert Mugabe Way
Exploration House, Third Floor
 Landline: 00263- 4- 705114
Contacts: Mobile: 011 563 141, 0912638401, 011862012 or email, and

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Blog Believers/ Email Forwarders/ Gossip Mongers Beware

We all know it's not easy to be a Zimbabwean at the moment: whether you live far away;
just across the border; or still in the country.

It's depressing having the rest of the world feeling sorry for you, especially when you
know what life used to be like.

No one is excused from being responsible for what is going on there. We all played a part
in enjoying the country at its best, and we should all be playing a part trying to get the
country out of its worst.

That is why our course and cause must not be swayed or diverted by malicious gossip/
rumors/ hearsay. We are all in this together. We are all in this together. We are all in this
together. I can't say it enough.

We need to remember that and back each other up, because once cracks are revealed, the
opportunists will jump at the chance to make them wider and deeper.

Propaganda is Everywhere

It has long been a well-known fact that the people in charge in Zimbabwe have
professional, full-time "spin-doctors" or "propaganda distributors," whose only purpose is
to manipulate the population.

Now, it is not only those in rural areas who find themselves influenced in
some way.

These spin doctors pour over contents on the web, on news sites, garnering any
information they can to use against the general population of the country who don't know
any better.

The majority of the population doesn't have google to source-check and fact-check
whatever information is handed to them. Heck, often times google lies. It
just picks up key words, it doesn't discriminate the truth from the lies.

Our folk in the rural areas don't have access to the New York Times, BBC, Sky, the Mail and
Guardian etc. Independent news organizations whose job it is to report the truth and
nothing but.

Experts Make Mistakes

Even the most prestigious newspapers and news networks mentioned above make
mistakes. Usually they are held accountable, if not by themselves, then by the other
network or newspapers in competition to them.

A friend of mine who works in the news in South Africa was recently invited
to a human
rights organization's "report" on Zimbabwe.

It's a legitimate, well-respected organization, who has been involved in Zimbabwe and
other African regions in conflict for many years.

Turns out the writers of this report, well respected sociologists with doctorate degrees in
crisis management and the like, had been taken for a ride by the propaganda machine that
is the Zimbabwean state-controlled media.

These experts had inadvertently become mouth pieces for the ruling party, and they didn't
even know it. They had taken what an official linked to the upper echelons said to be true,
as the truth, and used nothing other than a state-controlled Sunday paper to fact-check
their source.

Perhaps in South Africa that would work fine, but here in Zimbabwe, we know better than
to believe what is in the local news.

What they were saying was dangerous. It could have caused a lot of harm to a lot of
innocent people if taken to be true. The experts had no idea.

Luckily, the journalists at the event knew better. After questioning the sociologists, they
quickly that there were no hard facts or evidence to back up what they were saying.

But imagine if they didn't do that, if they ran with the story? It was a sensational story,
would have been an absolute scoop if it was true, but it wasn't, and if used irresponsibly it
could have cost lives.

It looks like News.

Not everything you read on the internet is true.

Many of us, and I admit that I have been fooled many times, accept whatever is in front of
us as the truth because it is in print. That's no longer the case today. Just because it looks
like news: with sources; quotation marks and bylines; doesn't necessarily make it news
and certainly it does not make it the truth...

Just because an email was forwarded to you by a friend of yours that you respect and
admire doesn't make it true.

Guess what- for U.S $50 a month, someone can start a web site, and publish absolutely
anything they want? It is called freedom of speech, something we as Zimbabweans know
little about. You can say just about anything. It is useful, because now anyone, anywhere,
can put their ideas in the public domain.

It is also dangerous. Now any crazy whacko can write anything they want, starting
damaging rumors.

Next thing you know it's being quoted as true by experts, then it's on the legitimate news.
Suddenly we have a full-blown crisis on our hands and some mischievous, skinny 16-
year-old in Nasville, Tennesee, is clapping his hands in glee at the havoc
he has created.

In Zimbabwe, there are people whose job it is to lie. To write lies and publish them in the
public domain for someone respected to copy and paste into an email and forward to all of
his friends. Suddenly-it might be true, because my friend so and so knows what he is
talking about.

Unless a person can be held responsible through a libel or malicious intent law-suit, the
writings of that person should be regarded as hearsay or opinion and nothing more.

Fact-check. Ask questions. Don't allow yourselves to fall into the trap. Believe in your
fellow man. If you don't have time to do it yourself, forward it to Sky News and see if they
run with it. They have professionals whose full-time job it is to figure out if this is real or
made-up lies.

We are all in this together. We have to remember that. Because right now it
is all we have.

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