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

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Zim online

World Bank nudged SA to bail out Zimbabwe
Wed 27 July 2005

      HARARE - World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz last month asked South
African President Thabo Mbkei to consider financially bailing out Zimbabwe
to underpin stability in a region still recovering from years of civil war
in Angola and Mozambique, authoritative sources said on Tuesday.

      The sources in Harare and Pretoria said Wolfowitz, who visited South
Africa last month, told Mbeki on June 18 to act to save Zimbabwe because its
collapse would hurt the region, especially South Africa which is already
hosting thousands of Zimbabweans who have sought economic refuge there.

      The sources said although the international community wanted President
Robert Mugabe out of power to pave way for a solution to Zimbabwe's crisis,
they did not want the southern African nation to collapse under the weight
of food, fuel and hard cash shortages, into another Somalia.

      "When the new World Bank President Mr Wolfowitz visited South Africa
last month, he did indicate to President Mbeki that Zimbabwe's situation was
getting worse and that South Africa had to intervene because it would suffer
the consequences of a troubled neighbour," a well-placed source in Pretoria
following the issue said.

      "So it was then that South Africa started the initiative that the
media has caught up with now," he added.

      The official was referring to Press reports, later confirmed by Mbeki
last Sunday, that South Africa and Zimbabwe were in talks over a possible
US$1 billion loan to Harare.

      A top Zimbabwe government official, who declined to be named, told
ZimOnline that "the initiative did not come from our side, contrary to what
has been presented as fact by the media."

      The official said Harare had in actual fact asked for US$1.4 billion
from South Africa, more than the US$1 billion that has been reported in
recent days. Zimbabwe wants part of the money to pay off debts with the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) which stood at US$209 million by the end
of June.

      It was not possible to immediately get official comment from Pretoria
and Harare on the latest revelation on the proposed financial rescue package
for Zimbabwe.

      According to the sources, Wolfowitz told Mbeki that he was worried by
the consequences of Zimbabwe being ejected from the IMF as remaining a
member would help the country in its future economic recovery.

      Mbeki at the weekend said it was critical that Zimbabwe remained a
member of the IMF and indicated that Pretoria was also considering helping
Harare settle outstanding debts with the Fund.

      Officials in Washington yesterday said the IMF board would meet on
August 5, and would among other things discuss Zimbabwe's continued stay in
the Bretton Woods institution before making a decision on whether to expel
the country.

      The former Czechoslovakia was the only country to have been expelled
from the IMF in 1954. The board itself cannot throw out Zimbabwe as only the
board of governors, which includes finance ministers and central bankers,
can do so during its twice-a-year IMF/World Bank meetings.

      Central bank governor Gideon Gono last week said the country had
increased its quarterly payments to the IMF from US$5 million to US$9
million and has promised to increase the payments in a bid to avert

      Zimbabwe desperately needs hard cash to import food or a quarter of
its about 12 million people could starve after poor harvests last farming
season. Foreign currency is also badly needed to pay for oil supplies among
other basic commodities in short supply in the country.

      Mugabe is this week in China also seeking funding to keep Zimbabwe
afloat. - ZimOnline

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Zim online

Tsvangirai wants UN to probe Mugabe's human rights abuses
Wed 27 July 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Tuesday
called on the United Nations (UN) to send a special envoy to investigate
human rights abuses by President Robert Mugabe and his government.

      Calling Zimbabwe a "criminal state," Tsvangirai said the world body,
which in a report last Friday condemned Mugabe's urban clean-up drive as a
disastrous venture that violated international law, should follow up by
appointing a rapportuer from the UN Human Rights Commission to "undertake a
comprehensive investigation" into human rights violations by Harare.

      "We believe significant progress can be registered in the search for a
lasting solution if, arising from the report, the United Nations sends to
Harare a rapporteur from the UN Human Rights Commission to undertake a
comprehensive investigation into the (human rights) situation in our
country," Tsvangirai told journalists in Harare.

      Tsvangirai, whose opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
party has lost to Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party in three elections
that have however been condemned as flawed and undemocratic, said it was
Zimbabweans who ultimately would have to pressure Mugabe to change and
abandon his controversial policies.

      But the opposition leader said Zimbabweans required help from the
international community to rein in what he said was a "criminal' government.
"Zimbabwe has become a criminal state. Our fear is that Zimbabwe, in its
present state, lacks the capacity to rein in the perpetrators, especially
when the main culprit is Mugabe," he said.

      The MDC leader spoke as some Zimbabwean civic groups also on Tuesday
wrote to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan requesting him to ask the Security
Council to act on Zimbabwe.

      The Association of Concerned Zimbabweans, Association of Zimbabweans
Based Abroad and the Alliance for Southern African Progress also called for
Zimbabwean officials behind the urban clean-up operation to be brought
before the International Criminal Court.

      A copy of the groups' letter shown to ZimOnline read in part: "It is
not enough to call for a halt to what the Mugabe government has been doing.
The international community is urged to put the crisis in Zimbabwe on the
(UN) Security Council agenda.

      "We urge the International Criminal Court to commence without delay an
investigation into the claim that a crime against humanity has been
perpetrated and those responsible for perpetrating this egregious act must
be brought to justice."

      In her hard-hitting report, UN envoy Anna Tibaijuka, said the clean-up
drive left up to 700 000 people homeless after their city backyard cottages
and shantytown homes were demolished by the police. A further 2.4 million
people were also affected by the operation, the report said.

      Tibaijuka said the urban renewal campaign had been carried out
indiscriminately causing untold suffering to the victims and also violating
international law.

      Harare, which says the condemned clean-up drive was meant to smash
crime and restore the beauty of Zimbabwe's cities, has rejected the report
saying it was biased and hostile.

      Annan's office has indicated the UN boss may visit Zimbabwe possibly
by September after Mugabe challenged him to come and see for himself the
situation in the crisis-hit country. - ZimOnline

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Zim online

Top civic society official arrested over demo
Wed 27 July 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwe police yesterday arrested a senior official of the
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) civic society alliance in what the
group said was continuing harassment of its members who took part in a
demonstration against proposed government constitutional reforms last week.

      Nixon Nyikadzino, a field officer with the NCA, was yesterday
afternoon picked up by plain clothes police officers from the civic alliance's
Harare head office.

      The police, who were still holding Nyikadzino in custody by late last
night, did not say why they arrested him while police spokesman Wayne
Bvudzijena could not be reached last night for comment on the matter.

      NCA spokeswoman Jessie Majome said: "While the officers who picked him
did not officially specify his 'crime,' our sources at the Harare Central
police station where he is being interrogated say the arrest is in
connection with last week's demonstration."

      The civic alliance's lawyer, Alec Muchadehama, told ZimOnline last
night that he was still battling to get access to his client at Harare
Central and to establish the charges police would prefer against him

      "I am at the police station, but I have not been able to locate him
(Nyikadzino) since I arrived," said Muchadehama.

      Police used teargas last Thursday to disperse a group of NCA members
who were demonstrating in Harare against plans by the government to use its
absolute control of Parliament to amend the constitution and re-introduce
the House of Senate abolished more than 10 years ago.

      President Robert Mugabe has publicly said he wants the Senate back to
appease some disgruntled senior officials of his ruling ZANU PF party who
failed to win election to Parliament in last March's disputed election.

      The NCA, which campaigns for a new and democratic constitution for
Zimbabwe, says such a document must be the product of an all-inclusive and
people-driven process.

      Meanwhile, the police fought running battles with some families that
had returned to the Porta Farm squatter camp about 20km west of Harare.

      The camp, that originally housed up to 10 000 people, was demolished
by the police several weeks ago and the residents ordered to return to their
rural homes while some were relocated to Caledonia Farm holding camp on
Harare's eastern border. Caledonia, condemned for its rudimentary facilities
and overcrowding, was closed this week. - ZimOnline

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Sokwanele - Enough is Enough - Zimbabwe

(Please read the Sokwanele announcement at the end of this newsletter)

Reward or retribution: the politicisation of Zimbabwe's food supply
Sokwanele Report : 26 July 2005

One might have thought that following the unwelcome attention of the international media to "Operation Murambatsvina" and the publication last week of the damning report of the UN special envoy, Ms Anna Tibaijuka, on that "disastrous venture", the embattled regime of Robert Mugabe would have eased off a little on the more blatant repression of its political opposition. On the contrary, despite official denials there is abounding evidence that the forced removals (and second and third time removals) of some of the country's poorest and most vulnerable citizens are continuing.

Stories of the politicization of food also continue to pour in from around the country. Those communities who voted ZANU PF in the March 31 election are now being amply rewarded with food hand-outs; those known to have voted for the opposition are simply denied access to the scarce and tightly-controlled supplies. Reward time or retribution time, pure and simple. Here are just a few excerpts from the many reports reaching us every week.

Chiredzi South

By the beginning of July the community in Ward 15 of Chiredzi South had become so desperate for food that, through their kraal head, they made an approach to World Vision. The leaders of the community hired a truck from World Vision and drove to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) Depot at Chikombedzi to buy maize. Careful to observe all necessary protocol, they informed the Chikombedzi councillor, Kongalushi, of their intentions and obtained his approval of the purchase. The maize was duly collected from the GMB and taken to the World Vision Depot at Malapati.

It was at this point however that the desperate plan came off the wheels when Ward 15 councillor Mgwandi and "war vet" Jemitias Nsingo, became involved. These two ZANU PF heavy weights used their political influence to get the Malipati police to confiscate the maize on the pretext that the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was behind the plan (as if that would make it illegal anyway). The community leaders from Ward 15 indignantly denied that there was any such partisan motive; rather, they insisted, it was simply a case of a rural community in dire straits. The police and the ZANU PF chefs however were adamant. They refused to return the confiscated maize. They paid the community leaders out the cost of the maize, but refused to reimburse the very substantial transport costs.

The sequel to the story is that, with the active collusion of the police from Malapti, councillor Mgwandi and "war vet" Jemitias Nsingo subsequently took the confiscated maize and gave it to the people of Chigalo. When challenged, their comment was "at least these people voted for ZANU PF".

Meanwhile the people of Ward 15 are still without their staple food and growing more desperate by the day.

Zaka East, Ward 26

There being clear evidence that those villagers from Ward 26 in Zaka East perceived to be MDC supporters were being excluded from the provision of maize, the victims of this discrimination sent a delegation to complain to the police at the local (Zaka) ZRP station. The police referred the delegation to the Zaka District Administrator, one Nyashadzashe Zindove and the Ward 26 councillor, Tendai Chiare. Both these officials acknowledged the discrimination and said quite plainly in front of many witnesses that the victims should not ever expect to receive maize again so long as they continued to support the MDC. On the other hand if they were to switch their political allegiance to the ruling party, food would be forthcoming very rapidly.

Those deliberately excluded from the maize supplies in this district have no idea how they will be able to feed their families who are already showing clear signs of malnourishment. Some have resorted to begging scraps of food off their well-provided relatives who are known ZANU PF supporters.

Zaka East, Benzi communit

The community in this constituency recently became so desperate for food that 500 of their number clubbed together and hired transport to purchase maize meal in Bulawayo. Despite the high cost of buying in the staple food in this manner, the enterprising community leaders succeeded in getting it all the way to Zaka East ready for distribution on July 5th.

At this point however ZANU PF politics again intruded. A party supporter by the name of Miss Munagi who holds a ZANU PF post at district level, reported the purchase of maize meal to the Zaka police. The following day when a ZRP vehicle arrived in Zaka East to collect the corpse of a person who had just died, the police confiscated the food at the same time. Eye witnesses say the police loaded the bags of maize meal they had seized illegally on and around the corpse. They then drove back to the police station.

The community leaders were outraged at this form of daylight robbery practised by the so-called agents of law and order, and 33 of them set off in hot pursuit of the ZRP vehicle. Arriving at the police station in Zaka they remonstrated with the police in an unsuccessful bid to recover the stolen maize meal. To date the police have refused to release the food to the owners, and latest reports reaching us indicate that they have said they will only do so when they are provided with "proof" that the food was not donated by the MDC.

Meanwhile the people of Benzi community, especially the very young and the frail elderly, are becoming ever more distressed due to food deprivation.

The clear pattern that is emerging in this region and around the country is of rewards to the ZANU PF party faithful and retribution to those who dared to vote for the opposition. It was the MDC Shadow Minister of Justice, David Coltart MP, who recently shrewdly pointed out that, following the comprehensive rigging of the March election, only ZANU PF know conclusively which communities voted for and which against the ruling party. The manner in which the fraud was perpetrated on the Zimbabwean electorate means that ZANU PF has detailed information at its disposal concerning voting patterns across the country. The signs are that they are now putting that information to good use in a follow-up "reward or retribution" campaign. Never mind that they have just been exposed for perpetrating a horrendous crime against humanity in a brutal campaign of demolition and forced removals. Those in control of the sordid and soiled ZANU PF party seem intent on adding yet one more crime against humanity to the growing tally. What they seem to forget is that, with the direct involvement of the United Nations in the Zimbabwean crisis, the clock is now ticking away towards their own accounting for their heinous crimes before an international tribunal.

And we say "Roll on judgment day !"

Sokwanele announcement: Sokwanele receives many requests from people around the world asking how they can assist in Zimbabwe's struggle for justice and democracy. Sokwanele has therefore decided to launch a new 'action' mailing list. This list will specifically focus on sharing non-violent action ideas among supporters. For example, we may send you contact details and background information and ask you to participate in an emailing campaign.

If you would like to receive these special mailings, please send us an email with the words 'SUBSCRIBE ACTION'. We will not send our action emails to people who are only subscribed to this, our Sokwanele newsletter list. If we stand together we can make a difference.

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We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!

Sokwanele does not endorse the editorial policy of any source or website except its own. It retains full copyright on its own articles, which may be reproduced or distributed but may not be materially altered in any way. Reproduced articles must clearly show the source and owner of copyright, together with any other notices originally contained therein, as well as the original date of publication. Sokwanele does not accept responsibility for any loss or damage arising in any way from receipt of this email or use thereof. This document, or any part thereof, may not be distributed for profit.

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Mail and Guardian

      Zim flattens more homes amid protests

      Harare, Zimbabwe

      26 July 2005 04:35

            Zimbabwe has resumed destroying homes and flattened the remains
of the country's biggest slum, witnesses said on Tuesday, a day after United
Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan said he plans to visit the country to
discuss the controversial demolition campaign.

            Zimbabwean anti-riot police beat up people and torched property
as they razed temporary shelters in the Porta Farm slum west of Harare,
which had been the home of about 20 000 residents, witnesses said.

            "Police started chasing away and beating up people [on Monday]
night, saying we were refusing to leave," said a former squatter at the
Porta Farm slum, requesting anonymity.

            He said police also burnt "wardrobes and other furniture" of
residents who had returned and began to rebuild after Porta Farm had been
cleared earlier.

            The destruction of Porta Farm marks a resumption of the
government's controversial demolition campaign, which authorities said last
week they had halted to give people time to obtain necessary permits for
their homes and other buildings.

            The demolitions came hours after Annan said on Monday that he
had accepted an invitation to visit Zimbabwe to discuss a damning UN report
on Harare's demolition of urban slums that has left hundreds of thousands of
people homeless.

            Call to 'organise action'
            Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on
Tuesday urged his countrymen to "organise action" and support the UN in its
denunciation of the controversial urban clean-up campaign.

            "The [UN] report presents a challenge to Zimbabweans to organise
action and a public expression of support to the UN," the leader of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) told a news conference in Harare.

            "Unless Zimbabweans, with the help of the international
community, deal with the current crisis decisively, we shall remain sucked
in the irrationality of a rogue regime," he said.

            Zimbabwean authorities launched in mid-May their double-pronged
Operation Drive Out Trash/Restore Order, razing townships and kiosks that
they said were built illegally.

            "The government said we were no longer allowed to stay here and
promised to take us in groups to our rural homes, but they failed to provide
the transport and now accuse us of refusing to go," said George Kashape,
another affected resident in Porta Farm.

            Some people were so frustrated they burned their own property
after failing to get transportation, Porta Farm residents said.

            "The same government brought us here saying they were going to
build us houses," Kashape said, adding: "They are not saying anything about
allocating us alternative places under the reconstruction programme."

            Some of the Porta Farm residents had returned to the slum after
the government closed down last week a temporary camp where people were
housed under plastic sheeting in what humanitarian groups called "appalling
and shocking" conditions.

            UN condemns campaign
            The UN estimates that at least 700 000 people have lost their
homes while 2,4-million others have been affected by the campaign.

            In a report issued last week, the UN called for an immediate end
to the demolitions and the prosecution of those responsible.

            Although no date has been set for Annan's trip, the UN chief
said during a phone conversation last week with Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe that he "stressed the need for action to be taken to help the people
affected, to stop the clearances and to ensure those affected are not only
looked after but they are given adequate housing".

            The Zimbabwean government has condemned the UN report as biased
and exaggerated.

            Mugabe -- who has been assiduously courting Asian countries
after being shunned by the West, which has imposed sanctions on the former
Commonwealth nation for allegedly holding rigged elections and trampling on
human rights -- received the support of Chinese leaders during a visit to
Beijing on Tuesday.

            SA opposition launches anti-loan campaign
            Meanwhile, South African opposition Democratic Alliance leader
Tony Leon has launched the Stop the Mugabe Loan Campaign, which includes an
e-mail war to persuade South African President Thabo Mbeki not to lend money
to Zimbabwe.

            Leon launched the campaign at Parliament on Tuesday, noting that
his party has been "inundated with letters, e-mails, phone calls and faxes"
from people expressing their outrage at the fact that South Africa is
considering giving Mugabe nearly R7-billion -- after the International
Monetary Fund called in a $900-million dollar loan.

            The DA has drafted a letter to Mbeki that can be found on the
party's website. It has also pledged to publish SMSs from the public on its
website and then compile them to send to Mbeki's office.

            Leon said his party's position on the loan "is clear. We believe
that South Africa should not extend any loans or credit to the Zimbabwean

            "Doing so would mean propping up Mugabe and his [ruling]
Zanu-PF, rewarding their corruption and endorsing their systematic human
rights abuses, including Operation Murambatsvina [Drive Out Trash], which
the UN views as a 'clear violation of international law'."

            Leon said if any aid is to be given, it should come from
international relief organisations, or else be granted in the form of
emergency humanitarian assistance, such as South Africa has given in the

            "Our government's entire humanitarian assistance budget for this
year is R13-million," he noted.

            Mugabe is asking for 500 times that amount. And if any kind of
loan is to be given, Leon said, it should be subject to strict political
conditions -- not just minimal changes in Zimbabwe's monetary policy or
currency markets, as Mbeki has suggested.

            Leon noted that the requested amount could build houses for 750
000 South Africans.

            "If the government approves this loan, it will effectively be
taking money away from poor South Africans to fund the eviction of poor

            "Time and time again, Mugabe has proven his contempt for the
African Union, for human rights, and most of all, for his own people," said
Leon. -- Sapa-AFP, I-Net Bridge

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'Stop the Mugabe Loan Campaign' launched today

July 26, 2005, 13:45

The official opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has today
launched a "Stop the Mugabe Loan Campaign" in Cape Town. This campaign,
according to the Democratic Alliance, is an attempt to stop the government
from giving Zimbabwe government the loan which is estimated at R6.5 million.

The DA says one of the ways of getting the campaign off the ground was
distributing the president's e mail address to all tax payers, since their
money will be used if South Africa gives Zimbabwe the R6.5 billion loan. An
sms facility is also in place as part of the campaign, users of this
facility are requested to send the word "stop" to 34568.

"The DA vows to prevent any suggestions in parliament for an unconditional
loan to Zimbabwe because it will be used to continue the suppression of the
people of Zimbabwe as saw in the latest operation which is condemned by the
whole world," said Leon.

The DA leader says he disagrees with Mbeki's statement that South Africa
would inherit the ills of Zimbabwe if there is no financial boost to the
neighbouring country. He says the president has been using the same argument
for the past five years in a bid to avoid the situation which is now taking

It is understood that South African international humanitarian budget is R13
million, which is five times the amount requested by Zimbawean governement
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China and Zimbabwe ink new economic deal
          July 26 2005 at 03:47PM

      Beijing - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and Chinese leader Hu
Jintao signed an agreement on economic co-operation on Tuesday, building on
ties at a time the debt-laden, isolated African state is seeking new sources
of aid.

      Neither side gave details of the economic and technical co-operation
agreement and other pacts on the provision of computer equipment and
co-operation between the two countries' justice departments.

      Mugabe's spokesperson has said the government was exploring lines of
credit with countries such as China as it grapples with triple-digit
inflation, an unemployment rate above 70 percent and about $4,5-billion
(about R30-billion) in foreign debt.

      "You have made major contributions to the friendly relations between
our two countries ... I stand ready to have an in-depth exchange of views
with your excellency on our bilateral relations," Hu said at the start of
their meeting.

      The Zimbabwean delegation includes the central bank governor, finance
minister and Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, who met his Chinese
counterpart, Li Zhaoxing, on Tuesday.

      Li called the visit "a symbol of the deepening of bilateral
traditional friendship", the official Xinhua news agency said. Mumbengegwi
expressed gratitude for the aid China has offered since Zimbabwe's
independence in 1980.

      Mugabe's visit to China comes at a time he is increasingly isolated
from the West over policy differences including his government's forcible
redistribution of white-owned commercial farms to blacks.

      New Zealand, which is leading a drive to isolate Zimbabwe in sport
because of concerns over human rights abuses, said last week it wants China
to ensure any aid it gives to the troubled country does not directly benefit

      The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have withheld fresh
support for Zimbabwe since 1999, aggravating the country's economic crisis.

      Mugabe, who has held power since his country's independence from
Britain, denies critics' accusations that his policies have destroyed
Zimbabwe's economy.

      Mugabe arrived in Beijing on Saturday and toured the northeastern
province of Jilin, visiting the headquarters of First Automotive Works
Group, China's top vehicle maker.

      On Wednesday he is to meet Premier Wen Jiabao, and Wu Bangguo, the
number two in the Communist Party hierarchy.
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In wake of Zimbabwe demolitions, UNICEF calls for global support to alleviate crisis facing children

NEW YORK (July 26, 2005) — In the wake of a recent report by the United Nations Special Envoy regarding home demolitions and evictions in Zimbabwe, UNICEF today repeated calls for an immediate end to the operation and for full humanitarian access to more than 700,000 people who have been made homeless.

UNICEF said it was horrified by reports of children dying of easily treatable respiratory infections and of women being forced to give birth in the open.

Two months ago the Zimbabwe Government embarked on a nationwide “clean up” of its cities. The result has been the mass destruction of tens of thousands of homes, loss of livelihoods, and a particularly devastating impact on children.

“There is understandable outrage about what is happening to children in Zimbabwe,” said UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman. “More than 220,000 children are homeless, without access to food, water, health care or schools.”

The Secretary-General's Special Envoy, who spent two weeks assessing the situation in Zimbabwe, released a report Friday stating that Zimbabweans “are today deeper in poverty, deprivation and destitution,” adding that many sick women and children, and hundreds of people living with HIV, no longer have access to health care services.

In response to the emergency, UNICEF is:

  • Distributing 90,000 liters of water each day;
  • Setting-up sanitation facilities in three camps across the country;
  • Distributing tens of thousands of blankets;
  • Distributing plastic sheeting;
  • Providing support to mobile health clinics;
  • Distributing play equipment (balls, crayons, paper) to children under five;
  • Establishing temporary outposts with key staff in other urban areas to begin interventions in government "transit camps";
  • Offering psychosocial support and reunification services to affected children.

UNICEF expressed concern that it remains virtually impossible to reach all those affected, noting that large numbers of children are now out of school.

The agency said the crisis deepens a humanitarian nightmare that includes the world's fourth-highest rate of HIV infection, fuel shortages, a growing food emergency, declining economic performance, and the sharpest rises in child mortality in the world.

UNICEF's emergency operations in Zimbabwe continue to be expanded, and the organization is helping organize additional mobile medical clinics and planning the further distribution of blankets and shelter materials for children and their families.

Founded in 1946, UNICEF helps save, protect and improve the lives of children in 157 countries through immunization, education, health care, nutrition, clean water and sanitation. UNICEF is non-partisan and its cooperation is free of discrimination. In everything it does, the most disadvantaged children and the countries in greatest need have priority. For more information, call 1.800.4UNICEF.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Kiní Schoop, U.S. Fund for UNICEF Media, 212.880.9132

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International Red Cross Launches $1.9 Million Appeal For Zimbabwe Relief

GENEVA (AP)--The international Red Cross asked Tuesday for CHF2.48 million
to provide emergency relief to victims of Zimbabwe's devastating
government-led cleanup of urban slums.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said
the money is needed to provide tents, blankets, soap, mosquito nets, water
purifying tablets, condoms and planting kits to 15,000 people made homeless
by the operation.

Some 700,000 lost their homes or jobs, and a further 2.4 million people have
been affected by the countrywide campaign, which began with little warning
on May 19, according to a U.N. report released last week.

"This operation has had a big impact on the livelihoods of thousands of
people, with a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable: the elderly,
the chronically ill, people living with HIV and AIDS, orphans and other
vulnerable children," Edmore Shamu, head of the Zimbabwe Red Cross, said in
a statement.

"We will continue fulfilling our mandate to help the most vulnerable members
of our society," Shamu said.

The IFRC said the money also would help to build 120 permanent, two-roomed
homes for orphans.

Zimbabwe's government argues the demolition campaign is necessary to reduce
crime and restore order in overcrowded slums and illegal markets.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires


  Copyright (c) 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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South Africa's Mbeki Under Fire Over Harare Loan Proposal By Bernard
      25 July 2005

Pressure is mounting on South African President Thabo Mbeki to refuse
Zimbabwe's request for a massive loan unless Harare agrees to sweeping

Critics of the Mbeki government are slamming plans to financially bail out
Harare after Mr. Mbeki said Sunday that it would be necessary to prevent an
economic collapse in Zimbabwe that would leave South Africa with a much
larger problem.

Mr. Mbeki confirmed on Sunday that his cabinet is contemplating a loan to
ZImbabwe to allow Harare to catch up on its arrears to the International
Monetary Fund, and to purchase fuel and food, increasingly scarce
commodities in the country. Unofficial reports have set the amount of the
loan sought by Harare at $1 billion.

Reporter Bernard Mandizvidza in Johannesburg filed on the controversy in
South Africa with VOA's Studio 7 for ZImbabwe.
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Police inspection in ZimRights premises

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint
programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), requests your urgent
intervention in the following situation in Zimbabwe.

Unlawful entry / Intimidations

Brief description:

The Observatory has been informed by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Organisation
(ZimRights) about acts of intimidation and forced entry of three police
officers in its premises in Harare.

According to the information received, at 11.45 pm on July 19, 2005, three
members of the police forces demanded to be allowed inside ZimRights
premises without giving any legal motive for their visit. Reluctant to
oppose police forces, the security guard was forced to open the gate. The
three police officers inspected the premises, indicating that they had been
"assigned to work at ZimRights premises for some times", without specifying
who would have given them such an order. They also went to the International
Socialist Organisation (ISO), sheltered by ZimRights, where they found Mr.
Briggs Bomba, ISO Officer, working alone in the office.

Police forces did not specify the purpose of their visit to Mr. Briggs Bomba
but they insisted on staying overnight to "protect" people. Meanwhile, they
were ushering intimidating messages over the radio such as "we are now
inside, we are ready". They took turns to maintain a vigil. Frightened, Mr.
Bomba did not dare to leave his office. He only managed to send an SMS
message to three of his colleagues. At 5.00 am on July 20, 2005, police
forces left the premises indicating to ZimRights security guards that
another police team was coming to replace them. But nobody actually came. It
seems that police acted without any court order. On July 25, 2005, lawyers,
on behalf of ZimRights, went to the Harare police station to lodge a

The Observatory recalls that this is not the first time that ZimRights is
victim of such acts of intimidation. Thus, in April 2004, several members of
ZimRights were arrested before being released (See Observatory Annual Report
2004). In April 2005, police officers, purporting to be from the Ministry of
Social Welfare, demanded to examine ZimRights books of accounts and audit
its activities without providing any court order.

The Observatory considers that these acts of intimidations, aiming at
limiting ZimRights' activities in favour of human rights, contravene the
Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted by the UN General Assembly on
December 9, 1998, in particular its article 12 (1) and (2) that states "1.
Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to
participate in peaceful activities against violations of human rights and
fundamental freedoms. 2. The State shall take all necessary measures to
ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually
and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation,
de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary
action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights
referred to in the present Declaration".

Actions requested:

Please write to the Zimbabwean authorities and ask them to:

i. adopt immediate measures to put an end to all acts of intimidation
against ZimRights and more generally against all human rights defenders;

ii. conduct a fair, impartial and independent investigation into these
events, in order to identify those responsible, bring them to justice;

iii. conform with the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights
Defenders notably article 1 which states that "everyone has the right,
individually or in association with others, to promote the protection and
realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and
international levels" and more specifically the above-mentioned article
12(1) and (2);

iv. ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental
freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and
international instruments ratified by Zimbabwe.


  President of Zimbabwe, Mr. Robert G. Mugabe, Office of the President,
Private Bag 7700, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe, Fax : +263 4 708 211

  Mr. Khembo Mohadi, Minister of Home Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs,
11th Floor Mukwati Building, Private Bag 7703, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe,
Fax : +263 4 726 716

  Mr. Augustine Chihuri, Police Prefect, Police Headquarters, P.O. Box 8807,
Causeway, Harare,

Zimbabwe, Fax : +263 4 253 212

  Ambassador Mr. Chitsaka Chipaziwa, Permanent Mission of Zimbabwe to the
United Nations in Geneva, Chemin William Barbey 27, 1292 Chambésy,
Switzerland, Fax: + 41 22 758 30 44, Email:

Please also write to the embassies of Zimbabwe in your respective country.


Paris - Geneva, July 26, 2005

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in
your reply.

The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of
Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time
of need.

The Observatory was the winner of the 1998 Human Rights Prize of the French

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:


Tel and fax FIDH 33 (0) 1 43 55 20 11 / 01 43 55 18 80

Tel and fax OMCT + 4122 809 49 39 / 41 22 809 49 29

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Global Politician

      UN envoy Flattered Mugabe To Deceive Him
      Benhilda Chanetsa - 7/26/2005
      HARARE, ZIMBABWE. UN envoy, Anna Tibaijuka, visiting Zimbabwe from
June 28 to July 8 2005 to assess the impact of the widely condemned slum
clearance operation, appeared a willing tool in the Zimbabwean government's
unending quest to improve its vastly tattered image. She made all the right
statements during sanitized government tours of affected areas and proposed
new housing sites. The government's rebuilding program following the
demolitions was "commendable", a sign of "seriousness and clear vision" she
gushed. She was rewarded with a trip to the fabulous Victoria Falls. But she
was only flattering to deceive. Underneath the smiles and demure exterior
was a technocrat, an expert in her field, seeking serious answers and
getting inadequate responses from a government which believed it had her in
the palm of its hand. She would play ball as others before her had done.
Being allowed unlimited access, she sought the answers she needed from the
victims, civil society groups and non-governmental organizations. The
picture was not a pretty one. She was clearly appalled, but kept her cards
close to her chest.

      Government was stunned then when Tibaijuka slammed the slum clearance
exercise as a "disastrous venture" carried out in "an indiscriminate and
unjustified manner" with little or no warning and involving the "wanton
destruction of homes, business premises and vending sites" and affecting 700
000 people. "This humanitarian disaster" she said, would take several years
to overcome and then only with the assistance of the international
community. She called for an immediate halt to the demolitions.

      The Zimbabwean government had been had. It had been exposed and
cornered. By agreeing to a UN investigation, it bound itself to acceptance
of its findings and to abiding by its recommendations. The lack of planning
the report outlined seemed to confirm opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) claims that the sole purpose of the clean up was to wipe out
its support in its urban stronghold. Government had thus far successfully
dismissed the MDC as a puppet party but now the MDC's concerns were being
aired by a respected independent UN analyst. She saw no systematic plan on
the ground for devastation of this scale and by implication, no logic to it
and was even drawn into urging government to embark on a practicable plan
and implementation programme and in to promising UN assistance. In an
attempt at damage control, government first dismissed the report as a biased
British plot and then President Mugabe, seeing the implicit criticism of his
leadership in the report, wangled a promise from UN Secretary General Kofi
Annan that he would visit Zimbabwe to assess the situation for himself.

      But the damage has already been done. In interview with Voice of
America (VOA)'s Studio Seven, after the release of the report, Tibaijuka
said "I met with the victims, the people affected, the mayors.and others
dealing with them. The report reflected the general feelings on the ground."
Everywhere she went, she was met by disaffected people calling on her to
rescue them from their misery. At Caledonia holding camp, a transit point
for displaced people waiting to be allocated building stands or reloction to
their rural homes, there was a clear lack of sanitation, drinking water and
tent shelter. This mirrored the plight of many others living in the open or
in churches to avoid forced repatriation to their barren and congested rural
homes. She felt compelled to tell government officials: "Rural repatriation
does not work and has never worked anywhere."

      Local and international statutes requiring some notice to victims and
provision of alternative housing before eviction, had clearly been flouted.

      At Porta Farm squatter camp, she witnessed first hand, police defiance
of two high court orders barring them from demolishing structures without
availing alternative accommodation. Even structures set up with Council
approval or sanction of government officials were razed to the ground.

      Government's avowed aim of availing Z$3 trillion for its vast
rebuilding programme following the demolitions was always suspect given
government's urgent debt to the IMF of US$209 million and lack of money for
the importation of 1,2 million tones of maize, fuel, power, drugs and
spares. It also made the far-fetched claim that it would build 1,5 million
houses over the next four years to deal with the general backlog and 20 000
for the displaced by the end of August. This would mean the government
building thousands of houses every day! Tibaijuka will have witnessed many
being granted housing stands but little serious building on the ground. In
the second city, Bulawayo, she was drawn to ask: "The houses you are talking
about, have they been built? Because you have only 40 days to build 1003
(the stated number for that city) houses and I feel timewise it is not f
easible." It's no wonder her report dismissed government submissions as
"allegations" and "rhetoric".

      The unplanned and confused nature of the clean up was mirrored within
the ruling Zanu PF party itself which was clearly split on the issue with
Vice President Joice Mujuru reportedly opposed. The responsible ministers of
Urban Planning and Home Affairs reportedly clashed on which structures were
to be demolished. Mugabe claimed it to have been "well-thought" out
operation which had been put on hold till after the March election to stop
it being deemed an attempt to disenfranchise opposition MDC supporters in
the urban areas. But his pronouncements seemed to contradict those of
finance minister Herbert Murerwa's in the press that the clean up had been
unbudgeted for and that a supplementary budget was being conceived to cater
for the unplanned expense. There was also no evidence of Mugabe campaigning
on the basis of a clean up after the election. Tibaijuka was aware of the
confusion. "Evidence suggests that it was based on improper advice by a few
architects of the operation" and she urged prosecution of "all those who had
orchestrated this catastrophe. But it was likely to have been a Mugabe
initiative and no prosecutions are likely. He is given to knee jerk
reactions when he feels threatened. The urban electorate had rejected him
twice in a row. Some kind of measure was likely but the chosen architects
disagreed on procedure.

      Benhilda Chanetsa is a freelance journalist in Harare, Zimbabwe. She
worked for five years as sub editor and then chief subeditor with a local
weekly The Standard.

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European Union

Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union concerning the
recent events in Zimbabwe
Brussels, 26 July 2005 - The European Union welcomes the report of the UN
Secretary General's Special Envoy, Anna Tibaijuka, on the Government of
Zimbabwe's Operation Restore Order.

The European Union notes the Special Envoy's findings that Operation Restore
Order was indiscriminate and unjustified; conducted with indifference to
human suffering; illegal under domestic and international law; and has
caused a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented proportions. In this respect,
the EU encourages the international community to provide unconditional
humanitarian assistance to the population in need.

The European Union joins the Special Envoy in calling on the Government of
Zimbabwe to halt immediately all further demolitions; facilitate
unrestricted access for international humanitarian assistance; and to bring
those directly responsible to justice.

The European Union also joins the Special Envoy in calling the Government of
Zimbabwe to undertake corrective policy reforms in macro-economic management
and governance issues. The European Union shares the view of the Special
Envoy that the Government of Zimbabwe should promote real internal dialogue
with the Zimbabwean civil society and with the international community.

The European Union calls upon the African Union and the Southern African
Development Community to raise the human rights situation with the
Government of Zimbabwe and urge it to address the profoundly distressing
effects of the Operation Restore Order.

The European Union recalls that Zimbabwe's compliance with its benchmarks
would constitute positive steps leading towards the normalisation of
relations. The European Union also recalls the Conclusions of the 18 July
General Affairs and External Relations Council, which underlined the
European Union's profound concern and reaffirmed that the European Union
will keep its policy towards Zimbabwe under constant review, including on
restrictive measures.
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New Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe death toll rises from slum blitz

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 07/27/2005 04:11:31
THE death toll in Zimbabwe's slum blitz rose this week when a man died at a
transit camp in Tsholotsho, the area's Member of Parliament said Tuesday.

Police say only five people have died during the operation code-named
Operation Murambatsvina, but human rights groups say the death toll is much

The destruction of urban houses deemed illegal by the government was
recently condemned by the United Nations as a "disastrous venture".

UN secretary general Kofi Annan is expected in Zimbabwe sometime next month
for discussions with President Robert Mugabe on helping the displaced.

Tsholotsho MP Professor Jonathan Moyo identified the dead man as Lucas
Luphahla. His age was not given.

"He died on Sunday night and his family is working on the funeral
arrangements," Moyo said.

The United Nations estimates that some 700 000 people had lost either their
homes or their livelihoods in the operation which the Zimbabwe government
insists was targeting illegality in urban housing.

"The government forced these people out of Bulawayo and they were just
dumped in Tsholotsho and told to go and stay with their relatives, or
establish their own rural homes.

"But when many went to their villages they found they were either not
welcome, their relatives had relocated or were dead. Others just found
relatives unwilling to take them back, as you know the social conditions in
Zimbabwe are very difficult at the moment," Moyo said.

No comment was immediately available from police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena
on Tuesday afternoon.

Although the Zimbabwe government has declared a halt to the demolitions, the
UN said Monday that the displacements were continuing, citing the case of
Porter Farm, just outside Harare.

Opposition officials say the government has also been sending some of the
displaced people back to their rubble after the situation in the transit
camps became a "health disaster".

The government has told those returning to their former "structures" to
apply for council permission to construct houses within the next 12 months.

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NCA official arrested as harassment over demo continues

      By Tererai Karimakwenda
      26 July 2005

      The National Constitutional Assembly's Harare region field officer
Nixon Nyikadzino was arrested by 6 plain-clothes policemen from the Law and
Order Section Tuesday afternoon on unspecified charges. He is being
interrogated at the Harare Central Police Station. The NCA say the arrest is
in connection with last week's demonstration against the Constitution of
Zimbabwe Amendment Bill that was gazetted earlier this month.

      The group released a statement saying that all drivers of the vehicles
used in the demonstrations have been subjected to various ways of harassment
such as physical assaults and threats by suspected members of the police
force. Nyikadzino was arrested at the NCA offices where it is said the NCA
chairperson Dr Lovemore Madhuku offered to be arrested instead. But the
officers refused, insisting they wanted to interview Nyikadzino. The NCA
statement referred to the arrest as horrendous behaviour by the regime as a
way of trying to intimidate Zimbabweans from participating in issues that
affect them.

      After Nyikadzino's arrest, Dr. Madhuku explained why the NCA opposes
the gazetted Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill. He said people are
failing to realise that this bill also seeks to give government the power to
limit the movement of Zimbabweans. People could be denied a passport simply
because the government simply says it is in the national interest. Madhuku
said this must not be allowed and the NCA will continue to demonstrate.

      Amending the constitution is not a process meant only for the
government of the day because a constitution governs beyond that. Dr Madhuku
said the bill's proposed senate is designed to accommodate ZANU-PF officials
who lost in the last elections and is a waste of money with no practical

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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Zimbabwean activists to target Chinese embassy in London

      By Tichaona Sibanda

      26 July 2005

      Activists based in the UK will this Friday hand over a petition signed
by thousands of Zimbabweans calling on the Chinese government not to do
business with Robert Mugabe. The activists will demonstrate outside the
Chinese embassy in the British capital, London between 12 noon and 2pm.

      Makusha Mugabe, spokesman for the planned demonstration said the
Chinese government should desist from entering into any agreement with the
Zimbabwe government which involve land and mineral rights. There is no
guarantee the agreements would be respected by any future government.

      Makusha said it should be highlighted that Western democratic
countries have imposed an embargo on the country's leaders and on selling
arms to a government that has declared war on its own people. He added that
"a few countries, like China and Iran continue to sell arms and armaments to
Zimbabwe, thus nullifying the effects of these sanctions." Robert Mugabe is
currently in China seeking financial assistance from that government to
offset an economic crisis that he instigated by his desire to stay in power
at the expense of the Zimbabwean people. What emerges from the Chinese trip
for Mugabe, according to Makusha, is an indication that China will become an
accomplice in assisting the regime to beat not only the sanctions, but to
circumvent the international pressure mounting on it to change its
undemocratic ways.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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Zanu PF keeps lost seat

      By Lance Guma
      26 July 2005

      Zimbabwe's justice system has once again been exposed as a complete
mockery with the Supreme Court finally passing judgment on a 2000 general
election petition by the opposition, long after the 2005 elections made it
irrelevant. The court ruled that Zanu PF Gokwe South MP, Jaison Machaya, was
not duly elected in the 2000 polls because of a violent election campaign in
which his team beat up MDC supporters. The ruling became academic since the
same individual was elected via another controversial parliamentary election
four months ago.

      MDC candidate Lameck Muyambi had contested the election of Machaya on
account of the violence perpetrated on his supporters and won the High Court
battle. The Zanu PF candidate then appealed to the Supreme Court resulting
in the matter gathering dust on the shelves there. To further highlight how
the courts are conniving with Mugabe's regime, the Supreme Court judgment
was made in February this year, but only released recently to avoid
derailing the March elections.

      Scores of opposition supporters were killed while many others were
tortured in the run up to the 2000 parliamentary elections. At the time a
visibly angry Mugabe was fresh from a humiliating referendum loss over
constitutional reform and he spared no punches in lashing back. Open support
of the MDC invited death or torture and many tens of thousands shied away
from voting.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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CRISIS PROFILE: Zimbabwe's humanitarian situation
26 Jul 2005 00:00:00 GMT

Source: AlertNet
By Alex Whiting

 Zimbabwe is in the grip of its worst humanitarian crisis since
independence. Twenty years ago the country was hailed as an African success
story and dubbed the "breadbasket" of southern Africa. Now its economy is in
tatters and the World Food Programme (WFP) estimates a third of the
population faces food shortages.
Farming is the backbone of Zimbabwe's economy, but agriculture has been
crippled by the combined effects of controversial government land reforms,
severe drought and the HIV/AIDS pandemic sweeping sub-Saharan Africa.
Zimbabwe is struggling to cope with a growing number of internally displaced
people. The government's widely condemned demolition of swathes of urban
settlements in a mid-2005 crackdown on illegal shantytowns has left at least
300,000 homeless and without income, aid agencies say.
Meanwhile, the ranks of Zimbabwe's displaced are swelling as farm workers
move about the country in search of work. Refugees International said about
150,000 labourers were uprooted in 2004.
According to the United Nations, Zimbabwe now has one of the lowest life
expectancies in the world and one of the highest HIV/AIDS rates. Just under
25 percent of people aged 15-49 are HIV-positive, according to the Joint
United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
And with the economy in shreds, unemployment is running at an estimated 70
percent. Inflation is also rampant, standing at 164.3 percent in the year to
June 2005.
How bad is Zimbabwe's food crisis?
Although the situation is better than it was in 2003 when more than half the
population needed food aid, relief and development agencies say food
security in Zimbabwe is precarious.
The WFP says it aims to supply food for at least 3 million people in 2005,
and WFP chief James Morris has said Zimbabwe is one of the countries he is
most worried about in the world.
In July 2005, the government devalued the Zimbabwe dollar by 38 percent in a
bid to boost Zimbabwe's exports and help the country earn enough to import
more food. But that also raised the price of imports, making it harder for
people to afford even the basics.
How did Zimbabwe get into this situation?
The causes of Zimbabwe's economic and food crises are hotly contested. While
the government blames the region's drought - which has caused crop failures
across Southern Africa - opposition parties and aid agencies say land
reforms, government price controls and the HIV/AIDS epidemic are also to
The most contentious of these is the government's land reform policies.
In 2000, President Robert Mugabe rushed through a series of reforms aimed at
giving poor black farmers access to good quality land.
Under British colonial rule and a subsequent white minority government that
came to power in 1965, white farmers had taken most of the best agricultural
land, forcing black farmers onto poor quality land.
Land was an important issue in the ensuing war for independence from white
rule. After a British-brokered peace deal in 1979, the new black government
led by Mugabe began a long-term land redistribution programme.
But by 1999, some 11 million hectares (27 million acres) of the best land
were still in the hands of about 4,500 white commercial farmers, according
to Human Rights Watch.
In 2000, Mugabe introduced new laws that gave the government greater powers
to compulsorily acquire land without compensating former owners. The land
reform programme accelerated and by 2003 the government said about 200,000
black farmers had been given new land.
But critics of the reforms say the process was poorly managed and
underfunded. They say the new owners lacked the necessary capital,
infrastructure, equipment, seeds and fertilisers, and as a result were
unable to farm effectively or at all.
Meanwhile, most of the wealthy white farmers, who had produced the bulk of
Zimbabwe's farm exports, have left Zimbabwe, taking with them knowledge and
In just a few years the production of the country's main food and export
crops plummeted. Zimbabwe's gross domestic product shrank by 30 percent
between 2000 and 2004.
According to Refugees International, many of the new settlers cannot or will
not pay farm workers a minimum wage. The group cites reports of workers
receiving as little as $3 a month. RI also says some of the new settlers
have been forced to turn to fishing, gold panning and sex work to feed
Despite Zimbabwe's chronic food shortages, aid agencies say it is difficult
to reach all those in need.
Why doesn't food aid reach everyone?
The government's food aid programme is managed by the Grain Marketing Board,
which sells food at subsidized prices. The government says everyone has
access to GMB maize. But Human Rights Watch says some vulnerable groups are
The U.S.-based rights group says farm labourers who worked for white farmers
have been barred from buying from the Grain Marketing Board. The main
opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, says its supporters
are also barred from the distribution programme.
In the lead-up to elections in March 2005, Human Rights Watch said the
government had tried to buy votes with food and had threatened to cut off
aid to people who voted for the opposition.
The international response is managed by the WFP and to a lesser extent a
group of non-governmental organisations called the Consortium for Southern
Africa Food Emergency (C-SAFE).
But the agencies say they have to operate under tight government controls.
They say it is difficult for them to assess actual needs because the
government rarely reveals the size of the country's food stocks.
And according to Human Rights Watch, the government bars foreign agencies
from supplying certain vulnerable groups, including those living in
resettled areas.
Crisis Group, a Belgian-based think tank, says the situation is likely to
get worse for international agencies because the government has appointed
the head of the Central Intelligence Organisation and State Security
Minister to oversee food security.
AIDS takes a deadly toll
Zimbabwe has one of the highest HIV/AIDS rates in the world.
According to UNAIDS, in 2003 an estimated 3,300 people died of AIDS every
week in Zimbabwe. As with neighbouring South Africa, the epidemic has had a
devastating effect. In 2003, there were an estimated 980,000 AIDS orphans,
according to UNICEF.
Tuberculosis has increased by 500 per cent in the last decade -- the
majority of TB patients are living with AIDS.
The virus has spread despite Zimbabwe being one of the first countries to
take the epidemic seriously. In 1987 the government set up the National AIDS
Coordination Programme to lead the national response.
In 1999, Zimbabwe became the first country in the world to introduce a three
percent levy on all taxable income to finance HIV/AIDS activities. By
December 2003, it had raised approximately $2 million, says UNAIDS.
The government set aside $2.5 million in 2004 to buy antiretroviral drugs.
Even so, only 5,000 people - less than 1 percent of those eligible - are
currently on AIDS drugs in Zimbabwe.
External donor funding for drugs has been very limited. But Zimbabwe is due
to receive some help under the World Health Organisation's "3 by 5
Initiative", which aims to give AIDS drugs to three million people by the
end of 2005.
The general health of Zimbabwe's people has also plummeted along with the
economy. The United Nations says Zimbabwe now has one of the lowest life
expectancies in Africa - just 33 years. In 1970, it was 56 years.
Zimbabwe's health care system was once considered a model for the region,
but has come under severe strain because of under-funding and lack of
foreign exchange for importing drugs. The sheer weight of the AIDS crisis
has also taken its toll.
There is an average of one doctor per 16,800 people, according to the World
Health Organization. Zimbabwe is believed to have lost two-thirds of its
workforce in the last five years, including many doctors, because of the
economic and political crisis.
According to the United Nations Children's Fund, the number of child deaths
has risen faster in Zimbabwe than anywhere else in the world. In 1990, the
child mortality rate was 80 deaths per 1,000 live births. By 2003 it had
risen to 123.
Zimbabweans on the move
More than three million Zimbabweans now live overseas. Among the 11.7
million who are left, a growing number have been forced to leave their
In June 2005, at least 300,000 people were made homeless in a government
crackdown on illegal traders and shantytowns. According to the United
Nations, another 2.4 million people have been affected one way or another by
the operation.
Police bulldozed homes and market stalls in cities across the country in
what the government calls an attempt to flush out black market traders and
clean up cities.
That same month, the head of police reported that crime figures had fallen
since the start of the crackdown.
Mugabe has said the operation was part of a plan to build up to 1.2 million
new housing units by 2008 and help small and medium-sized businesses "grow
and expand in an environment that is supportive, clean and decent".
But the United Nations, Britain and the United States have expressed concern
for the welfare of the thousands who lost their homes and have criticised
the way the crackdown was handled. A U.N. report out in July 2005 called the
demolitions a disastrous venture "carried out in an indiscriminate and
unjustified manner, with indifference to human suffering".
In September 2004, Refugees International said 150,000 former farm workers
had become internally displaced. Some of the workers had been violently
evicted by war veterans who seized some of the white-owned farms. Others
have been unable to farm their new land and been forced to find work
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Human waste flies at ZCTU meeting

Takunda Maodza
issue date :2005-Jul-27

SQUABBLES within the country's main labour body, the Zimbabwe Congress of
Trade Unions (ZCTU), literally turned messy last Wednesday when delegates
and guests at a pension fund workshop in Harare had human waste thrown at
them by some disgruntled affiliate members.

Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena confirmed the disgraceful incident,
saying the police had arrested one person in connection with the skirmishes.
"The incident took place at a local hotel," Bvudzijena said. "We are
charging one person with assault."
Bvudzijena also added that one person was seriously injured during  the
mayhem  and received treatment at Parirenyatwa Hospital.
The "ammunition" was contained in a bucket, ZCTU officials said.
 The shameful incident resulted in an urgent meeting of the ZCTU leadership.
The workshop  - held at a city hotel (name supplied) - had been organised
for general secretaries and presidents of ZCTU affiliates.
ZCTU secretary general Wellington Chibebe told The Daily Mirror: "The
meeting was necessitated by the sordid attacks that occurred whereby human
waste was thrown onto participants, including invited guests who are
specialists in the pensions field.
"These incidents are causing irreparable damage to the image of the
organisation as sometimes hotel property and innocent people are attacked."
Chibebe said because of the commotion, affiliate presidents and general
secretaries present at the meeting made a number of recommendations as "a
step to putting a stop to such callous acts".
A letter from Chibebe addressed to affiliates on July 15 2005 reads: "The
leadership felt there was an urgent need to put a stop to the unwarranted
attacks on the ZCTU leadership and disruptions to any event organised by the
He added: "Those present resolved that: - The so-called 17 disgruntled
unions identify themselves, if they exist. That

 declarations in the form of writing from affiliate unions dissociating
themselves from the disgruntled unions are forwarded to the centre and that
press advertisements of the declarations be published."
 "It is in this spirit that we are making a follow-up asking for written
confirmations/declarations on where your respective union stands. It is our
hope that this will be done within the next seven days."
Yesterday, Mlamleli Sibanda the ZCTU spokesperson said all hell broke loose
when two members from the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU)
bulldozed their way into the hotel conference room, venue of the seminar.
"One of them only identified as the son of the general secretary for
Transport and General Workers Union - a (Mr) Matanda. We do not really know
where he got the human waste from. When we asked them to introduce
themselves they refused. Matanda, then moved towards the leadership (high
table) of the ZCTU and it was then that we saw he was hiding something in
his blazer. He retrieved a two-litre container that was full of urine and
human waste and started shaking to mix the substance charging towards the
leadership," Sibanda narrated.
"The two were later manhandled by plain-clothes police officers who were in
the conference. But they also assaulted the officers leading to their
arrest," added Sibanda.
The hotel flatly refused to comment on the incident saying they do not speak
to the press.
Relations between the ZCTU and its affiliates have been sour for the better
part of this year.
Only recently, two senior ZCTU officials Phoebe Vhareta and Thabitha
Khumalo-members of the Union's Women Advisory Council (WAC) were assaulted
in Harare at a meeting by suspected officials from affiliates challenging
the leadership of Lovemore Matombo.
The attack came only a few days after affiliates, calling themselves
Aggrieved Affiliates Workers' Union (AAWU), demonstrated at the ZCTU
headquarters in Harare pressing for the ouster of the Matombo-led executive.
They accused the umbrella body of meddling in politics at the expense of
workers' welfare.
In May this year, the battle between the labour body and its affiliates
spilled into the courts and the ZCTU obtained a peace order against the
rebels after Chibebe, Khumalo and Matibenga were allegedly assaulted during
meetings in Harare and Bulawayo. The affiliates have vowed to press ahead
with their demands until Matombo's executive drop out.
On July 11 2005, Nicholas Mazarura, leader of one of the unions challenging
the current ZCTU leadership vowed: "We will not rest until Matombo, Chibebe,
Matibenga and Khumalo are booted out."

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Zimdollar falls at auction floors

Masimba Rushwaya
issue date :2005-Jul-27

AS widely expected, the Zimbabwean dollar heavily depreciated by 62 percent
at the auction floors on Monday from a rate of US$1: Z$10 800 to US$1: Z$17
600.03, in sympathy with the revised enhanced exchange rate of US$1: Z$17
500 announced by the central bank last week.
Presenting the mid-term monetary policy statement last Thursday, central
bank governor, Gideon Gono adjusted the diaspora rate and export floor price
to US$1: Z$17 500 in an attempt to generate foreign currency inflows through
the official market.
Gono said the gist of the latest monetary policy would focus more on foreign
currency generation amid reports that the country was under pressure from
the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to pursue more market determined
While maintaining that the foreign currency auction system would continue to
operate as per current arrangements, Gono said all sellers of free funds and
diasporans would, with immediate effect, sell their foreign currency at the
upper support threshold of US$1: Z$17 500.
All foreign currency accountholders (FCAs) - namely exporters, individuals
and institutions currently holding foreign currency will be able to
liquidate it at the enhanced support rate.
Although the auction rate was last week at the rate of about US$: Z$10 800,
history has shown that the auction rate tends to follow the diaspora rate at
the very next auction day
Zimbabwe has experienced acute foreign currency shortages that have seen
demand for foreign currency on the auction floors far outstripping supply,
with complaints that the auction rate on offer was not attractive enough to
see increased inflows.
Two weeks ago, total bids totalled US$748 million, while the amount on offer
was a mere US$12.5 million.
The shortage of hard currency has seen the country struggle to procure fuel
and pay for power imports.
Gono admitted that the widening gap between cumulative demand for foreign
exchange and the amount on offer at each auction remained a major challenge
for the foreign currency auction system.
This was more so given that on average the central bank processes between 6
000 and 10 000 bids per auction, with values ranging from US$150 million to
US$200 million, with only US$12.5 million on offer.
He, however said cumulative demand for foreign currency at the auction was
inflated "by resubmissions, splitting of pro-forma invoices, use of
different suppliers of same invoices, use of different variations of company
names and the use of subsidiary companies and middle dealers."
The central bank boss revealed that resubmissions, which used to account for
less than 50 percent of the value of bids during the first nine months of
2004, had risen to about 85 to 90 percent since the beginning of 2005.
"On average, therefore, new demand for foreign currency amounts to about
US$20 million per auction, implying that the US$12.5 million on offer is
sufficient to cater for 62.5 to 70 percent of new demand for foreign
currency-which also mirrors the estimated capacity utilisation levels in the
economy," Gono said.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Zinatha unhappy with definition of witchcraft

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jul-27

THE Zimbabwe National Association of Traditional Healers has said it is not
happy with the definition of witchcraft in the Criminal Law (Codification
and Reform) Act of 2004, and wants it amended.

Zinatha president, Gordon Chavhunduka said that his association would soon
be lobbying the government to amend the definition.
"While we applaud the government for accepting the existence of witchcraft,
we are not happy with the definition of witchcraft in the Act as is not
adequate," he said.
Chavhunduka said in terms of the Act, a witch is someone who uses
non-natural means to cause death or injury to or disease or disability in
any person.
He said this was not correct, as there were people that could use natural
powers to do the same things the Act said could only be done using
non-natural means.
Parliament last year passed the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act
to re-enact, amend, modify or repeal the non-statutory Roman-Dutch criminal
law in force and as modified in Zimbabwe since 1891.
In addition, the Code incorporated several existing statutory crimes through
either amending or repealing the statutes containing them.
A few crimes were also created to bring the criminal law up to date with
modern developments, such as those concerned with computer crime.
Clauses 97 to 102 of the Act superceded the Witchcraft Suppression Act and
reformed the criminal law on this subject.
When the Europeans colonised Zimbabwe in the 1890s, they sought to suppress
belief in witchcraft by making it a criminal offence for someone to accuse
another of practising it.
The Europeans viewed the belief as a barbaric one, which could not be
supported by scientific fact.
Following the attainment of independence, there has been relentless pressure
on the black government to accept the existence of the practice, culminating
in the amendment to the law.
While the new law discourages the act of witch hunting, it does not punish
the mere profession of witch finding. It also does not make a person
criminally liable for simply accusing another of engaging in witchcraft
practices, if the accuser has reasonable grounds to suspect the other of
engaging in such practices.
Clause 101 restates the common law rule that a genuine belief in witchcraft
does not excuse, but may mitigate, a criminal charge of murdering or
assaulting someone believed to be a witch.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Govt to fund rural projects: Minister

From Our Correspondent in Mutare
issue date :2005-Jul-27

MINISTER of Rural Housing and Social Amenities, Emmerson Mnangagwa said his
newly formed ministry is yet to get resources to spearhead rural projects
and was pinning hopes on next month's supplementary budget.
Answering questions from traditional leaders attending the chiefs' national
conference in Mutare at the weekend, Mnangagwa said the ministry expected to
be allocated funds by Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa when he tables a
supplementary budget in Parliament on August 4 to undertake rural projects.
 "Despite this scenario (current lack of resources), there is going to be
enough funds in the forthcoming supplementary budget," Mnangagwa said.
"We assure you that government is committed to improving the living
conditions of chiefs and the rural folk.  That's why government has
established this ministry."
He said the government was determined to enhance socio-economic development
in rural areas to thank the people for re-electing Zanu PF in last March's
general election.
"Money will be made available.  It is now time to plough back to the rural
folk for their unwavering support for Zanu PF as evidenced by their
overwhelming voting for the party in the March 31 general elections," the
minister said.
areas at the expense of rural areas.  We now want to support rural areas to
consolidate our support base."
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From journalist to farmer, meet a black African farmer in England
By Brenda Smith

He was born Wilfred Mwanaka in Nyanga.  Wilfred's dream was to be a
journalist. One day as kids were assembled for morning inspection, his
teacher came around and pulled a piece of paper from Wilfred's pocket. That
was Wilfred's first year in school at Manyau Primary School in Nyanga.

"Is this a letter to your girlfriend?" asked the teacher, Mr Nyagwande. All
the kids burst into laughter. The teacher read the two words on the letter
aloud, 'Habakuk Chikuse'. The teacher knew who Habakuk Chikuse was and he
knew Wilfred was not related to him. He then asked Wilfred if he wanted to
be like Mr Habakuk Chikuse. Grinning, Wilfred said that was what he wanted
to be when he grew up. Most of the children had no idea who Herbert Chikuse
was. Like most kids, they were not in the habit of listening to the news.
Habakuk Chikuse was a news presenter and Wilfred had laid his ears to the
suave journalist's voice through his father's radio. He had fallen in love
with his voice hence he wanted to be like him, a journalist when he grew up.

From an early age Wilfred grew up in the footsteps of his father, an avid
farmer who raised his family through sale of farm produce - maize meal,
cabbages, potatoes to the local community. Wilfred would help his father in
the garden; to prepare the soil and plant crops. Apart from garden crops,
Wilfred also helped his father to plant peach and pine trees in their
thriving orchard.

            At the age of thirteen Wilfred moved to be with his brother,
Nicholas who was a manager at a Bata Shoe Store in Chipinge. Unfortunately
Wilfred could not get a place for the next grade at Gaza Primary School in
Chipinge so he was forced to repeat the same grade. That came with a price
in Rhodesia those days. By repeating the same grade meant Wilfred became one
year older for that grade. That was not allowed. The only way round the
problem was for Wilfred to change his birth certificate and name. The new
birth certificate would have to be a year younger. Wilfred got the
opportunity most children rarely get. He was asked to choose a new name for

Wilfred was his grandfather's name and he did not really like it. Vaguely
Wilfred remembered a Biblical story of two kings. One was Solomon and the
other David. Wilfred's father's name was Solomon, so he thought is he were
to call himself David it then would be like in the Bible. Unfortunately
Wilfred had very little knowledge of the Bible. He did not know that in the
Bible David is the father of Solomon. Wilfred wasted no time. He told his
mother he wanted to be called David. That was the birth of his new name
David Mwanaka in 1978, thirteen years after the birth of Wilfred Mwanaka.

            Years latter David's dream came to pass. After school he started
working as a journalist. Apart from being a journalist, he is known to have
been one of the youngest person to win a first prize in a national
playwriting competition sponsored by National Theatre Organisation. He went
on to be the youngest writer to win another regional playwriting competition
hoisted by a German radio station. Apart from that he has also won first
prizes in short story and poetry writing competitions. He has also been a
stage, screen and radio actor. Besides, David has poems published in several
poetry anthologies, including Dandaro which was once a set book for the 'O'
Levels. Apparently David's talents seem endless. He has written a historical
feature film about Zimbabwe. He is also into music and plays bass guitar at
his church.

David left the country for the United Kingdom to join one of his brothers in
1991. While in London, David enrolled at the London School of Journalism to
further his studies in journalism. He also studied and obtained degrees in
political science and sociology. However, after completion of his education
David would discover that getting a job as a journalist in Britain was not
easy. He ended up taking up odd jobs that had nothing with his employment
background and training.

In Britain, David says there was only one thing he missed. Although he says
he never used to eat so much white maize in Zimbabwe, when came to Britain
he missed eating white maize so much. Unfortunately David discovered that
white maize is not grown in Britain and very few people know it. His next
task was how to grow the crop. All agricultural experts advised him that
white maize cannot be grown to maturity in Britain as white maize takes a
very long time to mature. One agricultural expert told him he was trying to
cheat nature and in the end nature always win. David says after all the
discouragements he then set himself a challenge. That was to grow white

A bit of his farming background, desire to venture where others dared not to
propelled him into his new dream.  After several years of experimenting in
his back garden he got the skills and knowledge that he needed to grow his
crop commercially. He says the first years of his experiments, his crop grew
so tall that he would have needed a ladder to harvest the maize. Fortunately
the maize never matured to he was saved from using a ladder. His back garden
was his trial ground and it was always green in summer. One day, he
remembers a neighbour's child kicked his ball into his garden. The little
boy asked David's wife if he could be allowed to go into the forest to look
for his ball and if there were no wild beast that could attack him.

After six years of experiments David decided he had the confidence to grow
white maize commercially. He certainly needed land and enough seeds. He
started driving around asking farmers if they had land to let. Most of them
could not trust what a Blackman wanted the land for so he got nowhere. After
placing some adverts in some newspapers looking for land, the only person
who phoned David was not a farmer with land. It was a Mr. William Shaw, a
journalist who works for one of the national newspapers. He had spotted his
advert and also wondered what a Mr. Mwanaka wanted agricultural land for. He
then went on to write an article about David and it was published in the
newspaper. Weeks latter David was offered about twenty acres of land to let
just outside London.  His new dream was set alight. He then started growing
his white maize and pumpkins.

In his third year of farming, David says he is not looking back. His next
step is buying a farm. Apart from growing a crop farmers in Britain failed
to grow, David is in a field where nobody has heard of a Blackman and is
enjoying his success.

You can contact David at
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Please find attached The Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 17) Bill.
It was gazetted on Friday 15th July 2005 and according to the Constitution
[Section 52 (2)] a Bill amending the Constitution cannot be tabled in
Parliament until 30 days after it has been gazetted.  It is likely to be
tabled on Tuesday 16th August.  There should be public hearings on this
Bill and we will be sending round notices of these when they are announced.

Note that there are some errors in the printed Bill [for example in the
memorandum the figures for the proposed House of Assembly do not add up to
the required total, etc.], and these have not been corrected in the
electronic version.

The Bill contains twenty two clauses amending the Constitution.

Some of the key amendments proposed are as follows: To make provisions for
the confirmation of the acquisition of land for resettlement which gave
effect to the Land Reform Programme which started in 2000.  It will provide
that these acquisitions cannot be challenged in court and for the transfer
of title of acquired land to the State.  It will also provide for the
acquisition in the future of agricultural land for resettlement and other

To reconstitute Parliament as a bicameral legislature consisting of a House
of Assembly and a Senate.  It specifies the numbers for each house and how
they will be elected or appointed.  It provides for the necessary changes
to the way that legislation will be enacted.

To include non-discrimination on the grounds of physical disability and to
include provisions for affirmative action.

To increase the list of grounds on which freedom of movement can be

To include the institution and functions of the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission within the Constitution and abolish the Electoral Supervisory

To change voter qualifications so that non-citizens who are permanent
residents will no longer have the right to vote.


Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take
legal responsibility for information supplied.

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JOB OPPORTUNITIES: Updated July 26, 2005
Please send any job opportunities for publication in this newsletter to:
JAG Job Opportunities
EMAIL address /



1.1 Farm Manager (Advert 5/7/2005)




1.2 SECURITY FORMAN(Advert 5/7/2005)

We are looking for a mature, dynamic gentleman with a strong character to
be our all rounder security man. This position would suit an ex farmer.
Please email your c.v. to
 Menty Boby 754138 / 091 410187
1.3 Manager/bookkeeper (Advert 19/7/2005)

 WORKSHOP MANAGER needed for small transport company.  Must be a qualified
diesel mechanic and have knowledge of Renault, ERF and Mercedes engines.
Must be able to control the stores.  Suitable candidates with traceable
references should email their CV to .
All information received and dealt with in confidence.

BOOKKEEPER urgently needed for the accounts department of a small transport
company.  Relevant experience necessary.  Full time position
Please email CV to .
All information received and dealt with in confidence.

1.4 Agronomist (Advert 5/7/2005)

paprika company in Chimoio is looking for a energetic and highly motivated
agronomist or ex farmer who has
had experience in paprika growing, to supervise paprika crops in the
Chimoio area, Mozambique.

Due to our workload we are anxious to find the right person as soon as
possible. If you are interested please can you contact Pat on the following

Cell 091 237760 or Office 020 62971.



Looking to employ middle aged diesel (mainly) mechanic with experience on
trucks, Internationals, land cruisers, generators etc. Must have lots of
energy and vip and be able to handle plenty pressure. Must be able to also
handle stock control/applicable paperwork and have good organizational
skills. Will be required to work over weekends when necessary.  CV
required.  KAROI.
Phone: 011 208 835 or

1.6 VACANCY - HOTEL (advert 26/7/2005)





 P.O. BOX 4723

1.7 Tobacco Manager (Advert 26/7/2005)



2.1 Positions Sought (Advert 5/7/2005)

Man, aged 41, experience in Production,Engineering, Security, and
Furniture, Seeks Position

Please contact Rob Hardy on 091949625 or 305440(phone/fax). Available

Lady,aged 30 experience in sales reping, is computer literate, is looking
for a receptionist, girl friday job

Please contact Fern on 011732084


2.2 SECURITY (Advert 15/7/2005)

Electrical Contracting and Consultancy

Electronic Design Engineer

Alarms Security

Requires Contract Work

Contact 091320090/ 011406504
(04)339582 Evening


2.3 Position Sought: S.R.N./Receptionist(Advert 5/7/2005)

Mature lady, ex S.R.N., experienced in sales (28 years), seeking varied
employment. Flexible, versatile willing to learn and try anything.
Tel 04-333450

2.4 Seeking (Advert 5/7/2005)

Im a mature 33year old lady currently looking for any
suitable employment, Im computer literate, executive
secretary. I have been working in Lagos Nigeria as a
PA for the whole of 2004 and returned in January 2005

Available immediately
Contact Tel. 302510 (h)
              091 394 571 (c)
Email Add

2.5 (Advert 26/7/2005)

Man aged 38, looking for a most challenging position within the Agric.
Industry. 8 years all rounder Administration Clerk. Holds Dip. in
Agriculture & Dip. in Business Management and an ICDL cert.
Contact Gift on 0698 - 391 or e-mail
2.6 Mechanic (Advert 26/7/2005)

Due to closure of company a petrol/diesel mechanic with 40 years experience
on heavy and light vehicles is seeking a position.  I have worked in the
Agricultural. Manufacturing and Construction industries.
In my 16 years at TPZ I was in charge of the maintenance and repair of a
fleet of 200 vehicles, and later specialised in forklifts.
Please contact;
Mr J Logan at 486421-5
or his sister on 091 356 960
 e mail
2.7 (Advert 26/7/2005)

I am married male with two children aged 5 and 1.5 looking for placement as
a Balance Sheet Bookeeper and/or Salaries Administrator:

I have 20 years experience and am proficient in the following packages:
Pastel Versions 4 to 7,Solution 6 Accounting,Fincon Accounting,Belina
Payroll,Paywell Payroll,Payplus Payroll,Microsoft Excel and,Microsoft Word.

I am very experienced in PAYE and General Salaries Administartion,Staff
Pension Funds, Vat,Income Tax Computations, NSSA returns,
Reconciliations,Company Secretarial Work, Balance Sheets, Administarion of
Deceased Estates,Trust Accounts.

Should any employer be interested please contact Peter Tapiwa on Harare
851304,883009 or 870738, CAN START SOONEST.

To subscribe/unsubscribe to the JAG mailing list,
please email; with subject line
For the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact (updated 26 July 2005)

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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to; with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Letter Number 1

A Coordinated Strategy.

Last week I wrote about Mugabe being under siege. Looking back at
subsequent events I am beginning to wonder if we are not now seeing a
carefully coordinated attack on the regime.

As I write this President Mugabe is in China with his begging bowl out in
force. George Charamba - the Presidents spokesperson at home says they have
approached several countries including India for urgent financial
assistance. This is despite the fact that it would appear from reports that
South Africa has already made an offer of a comprehensive "rescue package"
to the Zimbabwe government.

If it is true that South Africa broached the subject when the Vice
President visited Mugabe on the 12th July and that this was subsequently
followed by detailed negotiations in Pretoria in the week that followed,
then I can see little real sense in this sudden rush overseas to try and
raise additional (or alternative) funding? In fact the actions of the
Mugabe regime suggest real panic.

It would appear that the South Africans have made an offer with stringent
conditions attached to it - negotiate with the MDC, restore the rule of law
and press freedom and stop Murambatsvina. In addition a range of equally
tough economic reforms could be listed as conditions for any funding - I
can imagine what they are as well - exchange rate and interest rate
alignment with the market, stringent controls over government borrowing and
a lifting of price controls and a reduction in State subsidies to key

When the Americans sorted out Ian Smith in September 1976, the exercise was
preceded by a carefully managed series of consultations and consensus
building by the major powers. On this occasion Henry Kissenger was "point
man". When the South African government was brought to the negotiating
table by the UK government in 1989, it followed a similar exercise and
careful planning with Mrs. Thatcher as the "point man". On this occasion it
looks increasingly as if the major powers are working with South Africa on
the issue and with Mbeki as "point man'.

What we have seen over the period leading up to the G8 summit and its
aftermath has been a coordinated attempt to ensure that Mugabe has nowhere
to go but to Pretoria for the help he needs to avoid a total internal
collapse of his regime. If this is true he will come away from China with
little to show for his efforts except some flowery promises and token
assistance in financial terms - probably tied. Their approach to India will
receive little publicity or attention. Mugabe will be forced to come home
and face Mbeki with nowhere else to go.

Charamba bravely or foolishly claims they will not accept aid that is tied
to any conditions. He may be right, in which case we are in for a very
rough time. But I do not think that this regime has the residual strength
left to resist any serious offer of help - no matter what the conditions
are, beggars cannot be choosers.

So we look forward, as we have so often in the past, to a week when our
fortunes and futures will again be on the line and in other people's hands.
That is what happens when you fail to manage your own affairs properly.

If we are in the midst of the skilful execution of a coordinated strategy
by the major powers what might the outcome be? It looks pretty grim from a
Zanu PF perspective. They are deeply divided with two main factions - both
led by strong men who have little chance of ever winning a national
election. Munangagwa who could not even win in his own backyard against a
virtual unknown candidate from the MDC against whom he has now lost twice.
Retired General Mujuru who has never run for public office and has a very
small regional base and is now getting on in years.

Mugabe himself is clearly now identified as being the main obstacle to
progress and with his declining authority in the Party and in the country,
will be in no position to really defend his own position. His vice
President could never hope to replace him and was probably appointed to
block Munangagwa more than anything else.

South Africa found its own way back from the wilderness via a national all
parties' constitutional process and Zanu PF would find it almost impossible
to avoid such an outcome here. They are already committed to constitutional
reform and can hardly oppose any agreement that simply puts this exercise
into a national context rather than a parochial one based on Zanu PF's own

If they have to agree to restore the rule of law and the freedoms of the
press and association - they are dead anyway. The former will sweep away
much of what they have been trying to do in the past 6 years and the latter
would open the flood gates of public opposition and pressure.

They are trying desperately to split the MDC and to try and weaken its
position in the country and the region, but with little success. I have
seen some of the latest swipes at the MDC and quite frankly they are so
absurd as to be funny. The charade taking place in the High Court in Harare
where Mudede is still trying to hide the evidence of poll rigging in the
2002 Presidential elections is yet another symptom of panic.

The reforms required by the international community to our economic
policies will derail the gravy train and the passengers thereon will
abandon Zanu PF and then stand alongside the wreck with the rest of us and
pretend they never supported that collection of sorry rogues!

The toughest question will be who can run the country while we work out a
new constitution and try to get things here back to normal? To do the
latter we would have to finance and source up to 2 million tonnes of food,
stabilize domestic markets for everything else from liquid fuels to
medicines, get the public media under some sort of non partisan and
professional management and control. We would also have to replace much of
the Bench in the Court system, the majority of senior Police Officers, the
leadership of the army and the air force and bring the CIO out into the
open and under control.

We would also have to rebuild the managements and leadership of all the
major public institutions and parastatals and make efforts to stop the
looting of State assets and the flight of capital. Restoring public
confidence in the government and in the private sector would be essential
to any sort of turn around. That is a tall order and it is certain that our
present collection of failed Ministers and geriatrics are simply not up to
it so we will need some sort of transitional authority - that may be the
biggest hurdle.

Zanu may recognize that they have nowhere else to go and the end of their
world is in sight and we may yet be surprised. But I would not bet on it,
there will be a fight; hopefully they cannot win this one because at last
the region may be on the "good guys side" for once.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, 24th July 2005

Letter 2

Dear Jag,

I am not sure that Eddie Cross is correct in saying that Ian Smith and the
Rhodesian Government opted for a hard line on the transition to democratic

Ian Smith agreed a transitional gradualist constitution with the British
Government, but when this was put to the country in a referendum by the
Pearce Commission, it was rejected. I would like to know what further
options were available which would have avoided the present mess.

Philip Mackie
Letter 3

Is there any one who can tell us what became of Jean and Cliff Wilcox ex
Karoi? And at this time, also wish Jean a VERY happy birthday for the 24th
from us?

Many thanks.  Ron and Antoinette

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

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