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

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UN website

UN Envoy briefs Zimbabwean officials on using negotiations in upgrading

1 July 2005 - United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Envoy,
evaluating the humanitarian aspects of the Government of Zimbabwe's recent
evictions of some 200,000 poor people from illegal housing, has continued
her tour and has briefed officials on negotiating with slum dwellers, the UN
spokesman said today.

Today UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) Executive Director Anna
Tibaijuka visited 4,000 evictees in Caledonian camp who are waiting for
relocation, several sites between Harare and Mutare where housing has been
demolished, as well as some relocation projects suggested by the Government,
Stéphane Dujarric told the daily news briefing.

Late yesterday she met with the Government policy committee which has been
coordinating the evictions and listened to the presentation made by the
ministers. She then briefed them on UN-HABITAT's approach to upgrading
slums, which is based on negotiations with the affected residents, he said.

Earlier, she met representatives of international non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) and civil society, including a women's coalition which
brought evicted women to speak directly to her. She also visited Porta Farm,
the site of the latest government eviction operation, he said.

She wished to investigate the reports of deaths during the demolitions, Mr.
Dujarric said.

Asked about news reports that she had praised the relocation programme, the
spokesman said that she had been quoted out of context in Government-run

Her listening to the statements by Government ministers should in no way be
seen as an endorsement of their policy, he said.

With UN-HABITAT being responsible for urbanization issues, its position is
that forced evictions pose one of the main barriers to achieving the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) aimed at improving the lives of millions
of slum dwellers significantly by the year 2020, Mr. Dujarric said.
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Only a New Leader Can Save Them

Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

July 1, 2005
Posted to the web July 1, 2005

Daniel Steinmann

About four years ago, when the South African government blamed their
economic woes on everything that happened in Zimbabwe, an economist in
Harare, John Robertson, said it was nonsense. He was in Windhoek to address
the Economist Business Forum and, by chance, I happened to discuss with him
the implications for the region of Mugabe's gun barrel landgrab pogrom. It
turns out he was right. Zimbabwe is now deeper in crisis than ever before,
yet money keeps flowing into South Africa's capital markets.

The economic impact of Zimbabwe on the Southern African Development
Community may be small. It may even become less and less significant as
Mugabe continues to further destroy its already obliterated economy. Yet,
the human impact has now reached mega-proportions and more and more interest
groups - and other governments - are waking up to the reality of Mugabe's
terror reign. This week, the first civilian deaths occurred as a result of
clashes between Zimbabwean police and squatters while they were being
forcibly evicted from a smallholding just outside Harare known as Porta
Farm. Amnesty International, a very vocal US-based human rights lobby group,
has also joined the international groundswell against Mugabe.

Harare is far removed from where I live, and as I have argued above, events
in Zimbabwe hardly have any influence on conditions in my country. Yet, the
gross violation of human rights can no longer go unchallenged and I think
this is what the international community is now warming up to. This week I
spoke to a former Zimbabwean farmer who stays in Bulawayo, and he said that
for the first time in his more than half a century, his people were forced
to eat leaves. Economic conditions are that bad, and international aid
simply does not reached rural communities. On top of that, the Zanu PF
government insists on carrying out its forced removal program.

Forced removals were a trademark of the apartheid government in South
Africa. It did not go unnoticed then, and I sense that the rerun in Zimbabwe
will also not go unchallenged. I was told that a Zimbabwe government
official has made the statement that the country can do with only 6 million
people. Now that is only half the population. What do they intend to do with
the other half which they obviously regard as redundant? Making statements
like these, in or out of context, does not matter, but the message they
convey is one of a cold and calculating psychopath in charge of a process
that may well see half a country's population wiped out, some possibly by
direct conflict, but large numbers definitely by famine and disease.

The most baffling aspect of the Mugabe saga, however, is the acquiescence of
other leaders in SADC. I still have to hear our President speak out openly,
directly and harshly against what happened and what continues to happen in
Zimbabwe, the way he has spoken out against corruption in government here.
The human crisis is so acute, that keeping quiet about it is not acceptable
unless we ourselves do not care the slightest bit what happens to millions
of people in a neighbouring country. Imagine the entire world turning a cold
shoulder to the flood victims in Asia when the tsunamis struck. That is
exactly what leaders in southern Africa are now doing.

Perhaps the biggest tragedy about Zimbabwe is the fact that is was a leading
country in 1980 when it became independent of Britain. At that time when
Mugabe and his Zanu PF cadres took over, the country had a vibrant economy,
its citizens had a high standard of living, they were well educated and the
country was a net exporter of meat and cereal. It was also one of the most
lucrative tobacco producers in the world. On the industrial side, it had a
huge manufacturing sector, was a major exporter of consumer goods, even made
TV sets and several aircraft manufacturers had their main southern African
service centres (AMOs) located at the airport outside Harare. Today, all of
that is in ruins. An estimated 5 million Zimbabweans are in need of food
aid, and following an extremely weak crop, Zimbabwean-based NGOs estimate at
least one million people go without the very basic daily dietary

This is the Mugabe paradise.

Where we stand, and where leaders in South Africa, Botswana and Zambia
stand, I believe, will play a crucial role in the very near future. The
outside world is reluctant to intervene directly. Nobody wants to interfere
in the internal affairs of another country that does not pose a direct
threat to their own security. That is where the region becomes important. A
clear signal has to come from us. The issue is clear: either you support
Mugabe and tyranny, or you oppose it. As long as you keep quiet, you appear
to be supporting him.
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The Times


            July 02, 2005

            Action urged on Zimbabwe
            From Baroness Park of Monmouth

            Sir, In 1986 the Commonwealth sent a group of eminent persons to
South Africa, against a background of mounting turmoil in the country and
calls for sanctions, to promote a process for a dialogue for change.
            As well as members from Canada, India, the UK, Australia and
Barbados, it included the then General, now President, Obasanjo of Nigeria.
Another of the group was John Malecela of Tanzania, who was proposed by
Kenneth Kaunda and by Robert Mugabe. The group was given free access
everywhere in the country, met the ANC and saw Mandela in prison.

            I urge the Government to propose that the G8 and the African
Union should form a similar broadly based group to do for Zimbabwe (letters,
June 27, etc) what was done for South Africa. It is not enough to rely on a
United Nations representative with a limited mandate on housing and no
political status.

            If HMG does not act now, it will be too late. By October, when
Parliament sits again, the disaster in Zimbabwe will be irretrievable.

            PARK of MONMOUTH
            House of Lords

            From Dr Max Atkinson

            Sir, The South African High Commissioner (letter, June 27) says
that it would be inappropriate for Thabo Mbeki to condemn Mugabe's
oppression of his own people because it is an internal domestic matter.

            So was apartheid in South Africa, but that didn't stop other
African politicians from speaking out against it.

            MAX ATKINSON

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      Babs Ajayi Friday, July 1, 2005
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Dear Sir Geldof,
 I have followed your crusade and humanitarian work focused on setting the
people of the Third World, Africa and the poorest nations on earth free from
"debt slavery". I also share your concern that "should we fail on the days
leading up to Gleneagles, it will not only be a shameful failure, it will be
a glorious failure". Your new project, the Live 8 concert scheduled to take
place in 9 cities around the world on July 2, 2005 and meant to challenge
the eight richest nations of the world to write off the debt of poor
nations, provide more aids and be fair in their trade dealings with African
nations is another testimony of your interest and desire to eliminate
poverty from the world. Your first Live Aid project in 1985, which was
geared towards alleviating starvation and hunger in Ethiopia, was very
successful. The current program has taken and is still taking so much of
your time, money and energy as you move from one nation to the other in
Europe and liaise with other organizers in Canada and the United States.
With Bono, that great friend of the poor and crusader working with you and
others, there is hope that change will come and poverty, hunger and disease
will be eliminated from the face of the earth. Most people around the world
are proud of you and share your determination, zeal and dedication. However,
I am sorry to say that there are some people in Africa itself and a few in
the West who are not happy and will do everything to frustrate your work and
distress Bono.

The most notorious enemies of the fight against poverty and hunger in Africa
are military dictatorships and civilian lootocracies in the continent. I
know the word lootocracy will be new to you, but it is from the word "loot",
to empty the treasury, to embezzle what belonged to the nation and to steal
all. My own homeland, Nigeria is today a lootocracy. The wealth from the
nation's oil and gas is taken away in Ghana-must-go bags and moved overseas
to the big banks, and in most cases, with the help of international banks in
Lagos, Nigeria. In eight years one wicked and greedy maximum ruler moved
over $1.3 billion to the United Kingdom. Within that same time span, the
rogue, General Sani Abacha lost $30 billion (equivalent of 4050 billion
Naira) to fraudsters in the West while trying to move Nigeria's oil dollars
to Europe. Before him there was another gap-toothed crook and dictator who
spent Nigeria's money like money was going out of fashion, and brought the
national vault from our Central Bank to his palace. During the first Gulf
War when Nigeria made a windfall of US$12.4 Billion the General Ibrahim
Babangida junta squandered the money and has been implicated in the
Christopher Okigbo panel report that reviewed the activities of the Nigerian
Central Bank during those heady days.

Nigeria is under a lootocracy as civilian leaders in the legislative,
executive and judiciary share the loot and impoverish over 100 million
fellow Nigerians. The ruling Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) of President
Olusegun Obasanjo condone looting and reward party officials and members who
have been caught with stolen money. What is the point of working so hard to
fight the G8 nations to write off debts while some yam heads are building
new debt burdens? At our National Assembly, in fact I call it National
A-shame-bly, only one thing can get your bill passed and that is cash. They
know how many Ghana-must-go bags of N500 make N5 million and nothing more,
nothing more is important to them. If you do not speak the Ghana-must-go
language, then you are not welcome. It does not matter what and who the bill
is meant to serve, help and deliver, the Ghana-must-go bags must be complete
and be delivered on time. Failure to deliver the bags of naira in good time
may attract interest payments form our legislooters. We are unfortunately
held down and impoverished by legislooters, but are hopeful and patiently
wait the day Nigeria will be lucky enough to have devoted, selfless and
committed representatives. We are tired of legislooters and rodents and
crooks that eat right before the very eyes of the owners, the helpless
citizens of Nigeria.

The United Nations and the World Bank were absolutely right not to group
Nigeria among poor nations because we are not poor; our poverty are made in
greedland by the selfish illiterates among us who think only money makes a
man, and consider money the only solution to their problems. Even as we move
closer to election coming up in 2007, the gap-toothed and gifted looter is
anxious to return and to bring back the untold hardship he put our people
through for eight years, hardship that are still fresh in our memory. Let me
warn you not to move near Nigeria's capital, Abuja. The place stinks to high
heavens with the smell of new mint dirty deals, corruption and embezzlement.
The powers that be there live in over decorated and over furnished
glasshouse with the best home improvement materials Europe can offer, but
across the nation poverty spread its wing like and overwhelm the land and
the people. Most Nigerians are jobless, hopeless, hapless and hurting badly
while the rigmarole of legislative and executive robbery goes unabated and
with perfect impunity.

I wonder if it will not be important for you and Bono to also support the
effort to locate and expose the accounts of corrupt African leaders,
particularly members of Nigeria's legislootive council, the state governors,
federal ministers, state commissioners and those take-all directors at our
federal ministries, and the long train of special assistants, senior special
assistants, and presidential advisors. We are a nation of highly corrupt
leaders and you don't want to fight to get our debt forgiven only to have to
start another debt forgiveness fight in a few years from now.

Mr. Geldof, our state governors are moving state treasuries overseas and
running the state accounts like their domestic purses, and the expenditure
voted for governor's office or even our presidency are higher than what goes
to hospitals and schools. There is the need to work relentlessly to prevent
banks in Switzerland, the Cayman Island, the United Kingdom, the United
States and Bangkok from accepting stolen money from African leaders. It is
not possible for any single individual in Africa to claim that he owned and
worked for $10 million. He is either stealing from government or his
employers, or he is a giant in the advanced fees fraud/drug rings.

In essence, I am saying that as much as we need debt forgiveness, we also
need to make sure that all loopholes are blocked to prevent African leaders
from pilling up new debt burdens on their people. You may not be aware but
it is true that African leaders including Nigeria's self-appointed leaders
borrow money for gargantuan projects from the World Bank and other
international financial Institutions only to steal most of it and send the
money back to some Swiss and European Banks. For years the late Mobutu Sese
Seko ruled Zaire and loaned the state money to pay staff salaries! Mobutu
stole so much and was ranked among the richest rulers in the world, yet
Mobutu never owned a factory or any business other than managing the
business of state. Emperor Jean Bakasa of the Central African Republic sat
on a gold throne during his royal days, and today President Omar Bongo of
Gabon is still running Gabon and its people into poverty while his family
live in splendour and wealth. Some years back the Bongos had a birthday
party and flew in Michael Jackson from the United States to play for the
rogue first family.

Poverty in Liberia, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone have been worsened
by warlords struggling for power, determined to control the mineral
resources of those nations, war, and greed. Genocide and anarchy have been
fostered on many nations and millions of people have been rendered useless,
homeless, jobless and helpless, and such made poor. Ibrahim Babangida nearly
ruined Nigeria and destroyed the civil society while eliminating the middle
class. Robert Mugabe has recently introduced a scorch earth policy in
Zimbabwe in an effort to get rid of the opposition and their supporters.
Since April 1980 when Zimbabwe attained nationhood, the people have known no
other leader but Mugabe. The senile old man has nothing more to offer and
should step down now.

Until so much is done to ensure that good governance and democracy is
enshrined in Africa, the efforts being put into debt forgiveness will yield
very little. The next battle after the G8 debt forgiveness fight should be
how to block the steady flow of stolen cash from Africa from finding its way
into the West and the Middle East. A major offensive against state-sponsored
corruption and graft must also be high on the agenda. There are also
multinational companies in Africa who are aiding and abetting corruption by
the unethical way in which they do business. The big oil and gas
multinationals from France, Italy, Holland and the United States have so
much power and influence in deciding who rule most African nations. These
companies corrupt the civil service and the armed forces of these nations
and they use money to buy their way, to buy oil blocks, buy the rights to
explore and exploit crude, diamond, copper, and gold mines. The
multinationals encourage coup plots and fund it in Congo, Zaire and other
parts of the Cooper Belt. However, with good governance and
responsible/accountable democratic institutions most of the poor nations
will be better positioned to build lasting and decent societies where people
can build their lives and improve on their lots. The endless cycle of
instability must be nipped in the bud if we do not want poverty to continue
and the little funds available to African countries to go into weapons
procurements and guerrilla wars

On a final note, it is important to thank you, Bono and the other generous
artistes and musicians who are giving of their time, money and energy to
help direct attention to the sufferings of millions of people around the
world. Bono has been particularly great in his relentless work and effort.
He has been here in Canada to put pressure on Prime Minister Paul Martin to
do more for poor nations apart from visiting many other nations, the
European Union and international bodies, and has been actively and
physically involved; rolling up his sleeves at road and farm projects in
several African nations. You both have been great examples for humanity and
your efforts are appreciated. Selflessness builds a better society and good
yield more fruits than wealth. Thank you.
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Japan Times

What about the billions given?


LONDON -- The popular pressure being mobilized and brought to bear on the
Group of Eight countries, including both Britain and Japan, to increase aid
substantially to Africa and cancel poorer countries' debt, is certainly
having an impact. But it is not quite the one at which the campaigners were
Armies of celebrities and pop stars have been mobilized by energetic Irish
rocker Bob Geldof to besiege national leaders when they meet outside
Edinburgh for the G-8 summit in a few days' time. This has certainly aroused
public interest and awareness to a high pitch. More can certainly be done to
end world poverty. But the more reflective elements in public opinion are
focusing on a different aspect of Africa's plight.

It is being increasingly argued that before more aid money is sent in
Africa's direction, or more debts forgiven, some tough questions need to be
asked about what has happened to the billions of dollars already spent
there. Why has most of it disappeared? Why are living standards in many
African countries -- although not all -- lower now than 30 years ago? What
happened to the hundreds of millions earned from Nigeria's oil, for example,
when Nigeria's citizens remain as poor and oppressed as ever?

The new mood of questioning does not stop there. It is being widely asked
just why so many of the continent's leaders, the so-called Big Men of
Africa, equip themselves with fleets of Mercedes-Benz automobiles; why these
impoverished nations have money to burn on expensive jet aircraft and on
sophisticated weapons -- some of them supplied by China and North Korea; and
why, in short, corruption persists on such a massive scale.

Should not these questions be answered more thoroughly, it is suggested,
further cash is disbursed?

So it is not so much the lack of aid as the effectiveness and destination of
aid that is coming under the microscope. And what the public are seeing they
do not like at all.

It needs to be said first of all that talking of "Africa" as a single entity
and receptacle for development aid is deeply misleading. There are good
stories in some Africa countries and there are very bad stories in others.

The worst story of all at the present moment is in Zimbabwe, where a crazed
and vicious tyrant, Robert Mugabe, has reduced a once rich nation to
starvation and misery, using weapons of torture and intimidation, smashing
down the homes of political enemies and preaching extreme antiwhite racism
to justify his actions.

Although on a smaller scale, this begins to put him in the league of
Chairman Mao Zedong, whose bloodstained whims led to suffering and death for
tens of millions of Chinese men and women.

Immediate humanitarian food aid is obviously vital to prevent half of
Zimbabwe's population dying of hunger. But any other aid programs merely
bolster Mugabe and directly increase human suffering.

This raises an even bigger doubt about aid programs. Do they in fact
contribute to development? Do they touch the mainsprings of wealth creation
and enterprise, without which no economic progress takes place and without
which grinding poverty persists alongside glittering wealth for the lucky
few? The more these issues are examined in the light of day the more it is
being realized that advance in the poorest countries is a far more complex
process than anything that outside aid can touch.

As the famous Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto has shown, basing his
conclusions on practical research, assured property rights and investment
rights in poorer societies -- protected by the rule of law -- can do far
more to encourage economic prosperity than any amount of outside aid.

A further question being posed is whether it is other policies in the rich
countries, rather than aid, that might do rather more for development and
for poverty reduction.

For example the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy, whose financing
is currently the subject of furious debate between Britain and France,
undoubtedly does more to impoverish African farmers -- by actually
subsidizing European farm exports -- than can be compensated for by any
amount of aid giving.

It might be far better, and a far quicker way to end dreadful human
suffering, to curtail this practice than to hand over more aid funds, or
even to cancel debts in some cases.

Focusing heavily on Africa may be a bad mistake in any case. Hideous poverty
exists on a vast scale in Asia, where well-placed assistance with
educational and medical services might yield huge benefits.

Finally there is the question of whether aid dispensing agencies are
anywhere near adequate to their task. Some nongovernment agencies are
inspired and dedicated. Others simply undermine development by constant
anti-capitalist bias.

Meanwhile it appears that many of the millions promised so generously for
victims of the Southeast Asian tsunami disaster last December have failed to
reach the poorest victims, going instead to businesses and the better off.

There can be no suggestion that vital humanitarian assistance, or worthwhile
local projects that pump-prime enterprise and teach new skills, should be
reduced. But blind enthusiasm for "more aid," or arguments that poverty can
be conquered by this route, could turn out to be hurting the weakest even
harder and taking human progress backward, not forward. This is bad.

The public have rightly had their conscience stirred and their hearts
touched by the appalling suffering in the poorest round the world. But their
heads are telling them that the development recipes of recent years are
dangerously wrong and need changing, not enlarging.

This is not just an example of well-meaning but woolly-minded pop stars
being on the wrong track. They can be forgiven for not understanding. But it
is also yet another example of supposed policy experts and politicians being
out of touch with reality and with the common sense of their ordinary,
compassionate but down-to-earth citizens. When will they ever learn?

David Howell, a former British Cabinet minister and chairman of the Commons
Foreign Affairs Committee, is now a member of the House of Lords.

The Japan Times: July 2, 2005

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The Telegraph, India

      NZC: Tour of Zimbabwe on
      Wellington: New Zealand cricket's governing body said on Friday the
planned tour to Zimbabwe in August will go ahead despite strong public and
political opposition amid human rights abuses by president Robert Mugabe's

      New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive Martin Snedden said it was
impossible for New Zealand to withdraw from the tour without being hit with
a fine of at least $ 2m, as well as compensation for lost revenue.

      "It's a fact of life we have no choice, we have to proceed with this
tour. The fact is we have a contractual commitment to Zimbabwe cricket and
to the other eight Test playing countries," Snedden told a news conference
in Christchurch.

      He said he had discussed the tour with other members of the
International Cricket Council (ICC) at the annual meeting earlier this week
but it was clear its policy would not change.

      But New Zealand foreign minister Phil Goff said he accepted NZC's
position. "As I've said on many occasions, they are between a rock and a
hard place," Goff said.

      The government has indicated it is likely to refuse visas to Zimbabwe
for a return tour to New Zealand scheduled in December. (Afp)

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NZ and Aust agree to pressure Zimb

Jul 2, 2005

New Zealand and Australia have made the decision to increase international
pressure on Zimbabwe in a bid to stop the Black Caps cricket tour from
goping ahead.

The national squad plans to tour to Zimbabwe next month, despite growing
criticism of human rights abuses by Robert Mugabe's government.

The Foreign Affairs Minister, Phil Goff, has met with his Australian
counterpart, Alexander Downer, today and agreed on a range of measures.

These include urging the International Cricket Council to let teams forfeit
tours to countries where serious human rights abuses are occurring.

And Goff and Downer agreed to explore with other countries a total sporting
ban on all teams representing Zimbabwe.
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Jurist Paperchase
Friday, July 01, 2005

International brief ~ Security Council reluctant to intervene in Zimbabwe evictions
D. Wes Rist at 2:44 PM ET

[JURIST] Leading Friday's international brief, the UN Security Council [official website] discussed the worsening housing crisis in Zimbabwe during Thursday's session, with several members expressing their reluctance to consider the issue. The British and acting US ambassadors to the UN both expressed concern with the fallout from "Operation Restore Order", which has resulted in over 46,000 arrests of illegal merchants and others and somewhere between 330,000 and one million individuals left homeless. While several members of the Council expressed concern about the circumstances, others said they considered the actions of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [Wikipedia profile] to be internal matters and outside the purview of international peace and security granted the Security Council. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive]. ZimOnline has local coverage.
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