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

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Letter of Appeal to the Executive Director, UN Habitat via Office of The Executive Director, Nairobi, Kenya:
Most Honourable Ms. Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka:
The World awaits the outcome of your talks with President Mugabe of Zimbabwe while he continues to destroy the houses of the people of Zimbabwe that he has sworn to protect. Your biography and your aims are a matter of record and we expect to see your intervention immediately start to bring food aid and rehousing for these unprotected poorest of the poor. We appeal to you to see beyond official statements  - to human life or death survival needs. 
The World asks to see a practical UN Habitat plan to supply humanitarian emergency food and housing for all Zimbabweans. Eligibility must be on humanitary needs not politically based and free to all.  It is essential that this is outside Zimbabwean government political agendas and assurances that have time and again proved empty.
We note the extract from your speech for International Womens Day 2005:
"On 12 February 2005, it was reported that two children, a girl aged four and her brother aged three were burnt to death beyond recognition when their house caught fire in Huruma, a Nairobi slum. When the children felt hungry, they lit a fire to prepare some food. Their house and several others nearby were burnt down. The neighbors said that their mother, a single woman always locked up the children while she went out in search for work. The police carried away the charred remains, while the neighbors went to look for the mother in the city.
It is possible that in this particular location the fire brigade could not save the children because there were no roads to reach their house. Yet the neighbors could not help either because they had no water to extinguish the fire. This incident presents the grim reality and hardships faced by many women and children living in slums and informal settlement around the world".
Fact: Zimbabwe Government sanctioned bulldozers have killed more children than this fire.  They have destroyed housing many were legally permitted to build. Adults have died too in the destruction and of exposure. There is no petrol for fire engines if there were a fire anyway. Fact: The people don't even have the benefit of slums for the UN Habitat upgrading program. Even any type of shelter against the cold has been taken from them suddenly in zero temperatures by their government and not replaced. Everything from solidly constructed homes to cardboard shelters has been bulldozed by the government responsible to protect them and improve their welfare. Airy government plans are being made via the Chirundu Project to contruct 600 homes - 600! What good will that do for hundreds of thousands made homeless by their president and how long will it take? The land commandeered for the purpose is in the middle of game reserve and protected natural land far from amenities or public and media attention or help in trouble, in the middle of ... nothing.
The women of W.O.Z.A. - Women of Zimbabwe Arise who march peacefully, handing our flowers and asking for fairly distributed food for their families typically spend International Women's Day jailed, and or beaten, in Zimbabwe.
All of the above are matters of record in archive and current news at Sokwanele,, Amnesty - Zimbabwe Action, and many other websites.
I greatly admire your record, Ms. Tibaijuka and respect your work and your office. I appeal to you as one who will not betray the survival needs of those Zimbabweans whose hold on life weakens daily and the sacrifice of the already dead. Ms Tibaijuka bring in the UN personnel and resources needed with a humanitarian plan to save them.
Tina Magee
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The Times

            July 02, 2005

            We must all sneer and scoff at the corrupt, cruel jackasses of
            Matthew Parris

            GOD SPARE AFRICA from mercy. God deliver Africa from The
Guardian. God protect Africa from the Synod of the Church of England. God
send Africa a little less of our charity and understanding, and a little
more of our anger and disdain.
            Pity poisons the continent when it stifles criticism. As leaders
of the G8 gather to discuss aid, they should be pitiless in their resolve to
make pariahs of black Africa's cruel and rotten governments. A ruling class
of greedy men, sheltered by a popular culture of gawping passivity in the
face of political swagger, is suffocating the people of Africa and neither
tears nor money nor rock music should be our first response. Rage, not rock,
is called for.

            This is no counsel of despair. If Africa were hopeless, why even
write about it? If the leaders in Africa were all wicked and the led all
feeble, then we might as well write off their debts, drop food on them from
aeroplanes and turn away.

            But the truth is otherwise. Everywhere on the continent there
are people making a go of things. Everywhere there is a struggle between
energetic self-improvement and an enervating corruption. There are good
people and good ideas in African politics, fighting for survival. Across
much of the continent the structures of administration are still in place
and leaderships know how to work them - too often to line their own pockets.
Chains of command and supply, the collection and exchange of information,
the imposition of order and taxation may be shaky but they exist. It is not
all like Congo where anarchy rules. Most of Africa is not anarchy; it is

            But tyranny is not a bad place to start. Tyranny can be mended.
Kleptocracy can be disinfected. The nuts and bolts of State are there and
fitfully the machine can be made to work. "Governance" does not need to be
created, but reformed, and there are men and women there capable of doing

            We should be unequivocally on their side. Yet the invading army
of spanking new, top-of-the-range, white, air-conditioned Toyota Land
Cruisers and their palefaced, safari-suited occupants sent in by aid
agencies and non-governmental organisations, are not on the reformers' side.
NGOs and relief workers' instructions are to keep out of politics and engage
constructively with the political elite.

            Their talents lie far from the world of trade, commerce and
industry. They talk more to civil servants than to slaughtermen and
metal-beaters. Their thickness on the ground, I notice, is in inverse
proportion to their distance from an international airport, European-style
supermarket and decent sewage system. Heaven only knows what these well-paid
and fashionably sunglassed recruits to "a career in Development" are in
Africa for but it is not to bother the political elites. If you work in
development in Africa and are not bothering a political elite you have some
serious questions to answer about meaning and direction in your life.

            We rightly protest at the cavalcades of Mercedes for black
governments whose national debts we must now forgive. But perhaps we should
remind ourselves that hard men at Toyota, too, have done well out of war and
famine in Africa: the development industry grows fat on Africa's failure,
and peasant faces pressed to the windows of smart restaurants in Nairobi may
make little distinction between the black politicians and the white
aid-executives sipping imported Scotch.

            I was in the Afar region of Ethiopia this New Year. It was
seldom below 40C. At a godforsaken, wind-whipped, rubble-strewn village with
no water but a dirty uncovered well where women walked with buckets and
rope, I said to my Ethiopian guide: "Why not cover the well, get a windmill
and lay a pipe?" "They are waiting for Unicef or an NGO," he said. "But it
is too far, too hot for them."

            Three observations. First: if erecting a windmill in the Danakil
Depression really does require a European relief-worker, what were all those
new white Toyotas I saw in Addis Ababa doing there? Secondly: bush windmills
are mass-produced in South Africa. They are cheap. The technology is
elementary. Should we be flying development officers business class from
Europe to do this kind of thing?

            Thirdly - and this in essence was what, in a brilliant speech to
the International Policy Network in London this week, Thabo Mbeki's brother,
Moeletsi Mbeki, was saying - all the elements of a little windmill project
were in the village already. There was labour; there was money (the bar was
doing a roaring trade, and people were buying and selling livestock); and
there was knowledge: people were literate and numerate, there was a primary
school, and those who used engines had taught themselves mechanics.

            Finally there was demand. Everybody wanted access to clean
water. But someone would have to come forward and borrow money; rights of
ownership and access would have to be settled; and a framework giving the
investor confidence in a return from customers or (more likely) the regional
authority was needed too. The windmill itself was secondary to all that: the
easiest part.

            I am afraid the regional authority was more than a hundred miles
away, building itself (with aid money) a huge multistorey office in the
middle of a trackless desert.

            The Prime Minister's New Partnership for African Development
"does not address the fundamental problem", said Mr Mbeki, which is "the
enormous power imbalance between the political elite and the key
private-sector producers".

            Peasants must become freehold owners of their land, he said, and
I agree. This nascent class of producers must be empowered to make their
work worthwhile and their voices heard. But all across the continent,
traditional tribal values, Western-style collectivist ideologies and the
greed of political elites have joined in a murderous embrace to stop this.

            Of course I am not denying that our shameful barriers to trade
must come down too. Nor am I saying (and nor is Mr Mbeki) that nobody
working in development in Africa recognises any of this; or that no projects
exist to help build an entrepreneurial culture from the ground up. They do;
it is commonplace to remark that Africa needs village banks, co-operative
societies, book-keeping courses, etc. But the great thrust of development
aid - not least the debt relief the G8 are discussing - misses that target
by a mile. It is almost the only target worth hitting.
            Except this. Swaggering African tyrants stay in power because
the small people in Africa passively tolerate, even in some cases sneakingly
admire, their leader's greed and rascality. The cult of the Big Man is the
tap-root of Africa's suffering. That culture has to change. We can help it
to change.

            Africa's leaders should be the laughing stock of the world, and
ordinary Africans should know it. Where is the satire, where the anger,
where the mockery and derision, that these brutal boobies deserve? How many
f***s has Bob Geldof directed at their heads rather than ours? Only Alan
Coren of this newspaper ever dared to subject an African leader, Idi Amin,
to sustained ridicule; and progressive-minded readers in Britain didn't

            But it is patronising to think these criminals and crackpots can't
help it because they are black. They should be exposed to universal hatred,
contempt and ridicule. We should sneer, rail and scoff, as we did at the
leaders of apartheid South Africa. The populaces before whom these jackasses
puff themselves up should know - as every South African used to know - that
they are led by outcasts.

            Moeletsi Mbeki was brave this week to compare the struggle
against Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe with the struggle against apartheid. Let us
tell the people of Africa that in the eyes of all the world, their own
leaders are insulting the name and honour of their race.
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Zim: UN envoy 'was misquoted'
02/07/2005 14:04  - (SA)

Harare - A United Nations envoy met with some of the tens of thousands of
Zimbabweans left homeless in a so-called urban renewal drive that has drawn
international condemnation.

Anna Tibaijuka, who arrived on Sunday to assess the humanitarian impact of
the government's Operation Murambatsvina, or Drive Out Trash, toured the
Caledonia Transit Camp on Friday where about 4 000 people are living in
"difficult conditions" outside Harare, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric
said at United Nations headquarters in New York.

She also stopped off at demolition sites and places where the government is
proposing to relocate people along the road to the eastern city of Mutare,
he said.

Police have torched and bulldozed tens of thousands of homes in the campaign
to "clean up" shantytowns, markets and other structures they deem illegal.

Reported out of context

Humanitarian workers estimate as many as 1.5 million people may have been
left homeless in the operation that began May 19 - many of them forced to
destroy their own houses at gunpoint. Several people have also been killed
by falling rubble or in accidents involving vehicles used in the operation.

Tibaijuka told CNN on Friday that she was here to talk with those affected
and to "assess how we can work together with local authorities, with
government to assist them."

The state-run Herald newspaper quoted Tibaijuka on Friday as praising
President Robert Mugabe's government for supplying building plots to some of
the homeless.

"Allocation of stands for housing is a reflection of the seriousness of
government," she was quoted as saying at a meeting with government ministers
on Thursday.

But the United Nations said its envoy's comments were reported out of

"Her listening to the statements made by the ministers should in no way be
seen as her endorsing the government's policy," Dujarric said. "UN Habitat,
the agency that she heads ..., has clearly stated that forced eviction is
one of the main barriers to the significant improvement of slum dwellers."

Stepped up efforts by state media to paint Murambatsvina in a better light
coincided with the announcement of Tibaijuka's visit.

Shortly before she arrived, Mugabe launched a reconstruction campaign to
accommodate "deserving" people who lost their homes and livelihoods. He
promised to build two million homes by 2010, a commitment economists doubt
he can afford to keep at a time of economic free-fall.

The Herald did not report if Tibaijuka commented on the evictions, but it
quoted her as saying the reconstruction programme "is good. The vision is

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change says the campaign is
aimed at breaking up its strongholds among the urban poor and forcing its
supporters into rural areas, where Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National
Union-Patriotic Front party dominates.

The government insists it helped reduce crime and restore order to
overcrowded cities.
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Posted on Sat, Jul. 02, 2005

      Leaders ponder how to save Africa


      Associated Press

      JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - Agnes Makhubela shakes her head slowly
and says she has never heard of Tony Blair and his ambitious G-8 aid
proposals for poor countries. Nor, for that matter, has she heard of George

      Too poor to afford a radio or a newspaper, too overwhelmed by
immediate concerns of survival to worry about far away events, she admits to
little understanding of the world beyond the gold mine on the horizon or
past the cheese factory a half-mile down a dusty road where she trudges each
day to bring water to her family and a meager, thirsty patch of spinach and

      On a continent that has redefined poverty, misery and despair,
Makhubela is among the poorest of the poor.

      She looked confused when an aid worker tells her that Blair is the
prime minister of Britain and that he is trying to sign American President
Bush and other world leaders onto an ambitious plan to help her and more
than 300 million other Africans living on less than $1 a day.

      "Can I talk to them? Can I meet them and tell them about my problems?
I think maybe they can help."

      Blair has pushed for the other leaders of the major industrialized
nations to adopt a plan at next week's G-8 summit in Scotland that would
forgive Africa's staggering debt, double foreign aid to $50 billion a year
and drop barriers that have kept Africa from trading its way out of poverty.

      The plan's blueprint is a 400-page report by a panel of experts Blair
appointed to study ways to save the continent beset by poverty, war,
persistent famine, pestilence, massive corruption and bad governance.

      "It will be the same as any other report if we don't find the will to
put it in practice," said Chris Kurubi, chairman of South African-based Haco
Industries and one of the business leaders attending the World Economic
Forum meeting on Africa in Cape Town.

      "It's time for a partnership between foreign investors, government and
civil society," he said. "I believe we can turn around Africa."

      However, key parts of the plan already are in trouble.

      At a meeting in Washington, Bush and Blair could not agree to forgive
Africa's more than $300 billion in foreign debt. G-8 foreign ministers did
agree to erase debt for 18 of the world's poorest countries, 14 of them in
Africa. All had already qualified for debt relief under the World Bank's
Heavily Indebted Poor Countries program.

      As he prepared to leave for the summit, Bush made three proposals for
Africa: spending $1.2 billion to cut malaria deaths in half by 2010;
doubling U.S. spending to $400 million to promote the education of girls and
spending $55 million over three years to improve legal protections for women
in against violence and sexual abuse. But Washington has resisted large
increases along the lines Blair has suggested.

      It is ultimately the scale, the breadth and depth of African poverty
that condemns even the grandest schemes to save it.

      "I only need a job," Makhubela said plainly. Then, looking up across a
field of dry, yellow, knee-high grass toward a group of ragged people
milling aimlessly around nearby shacks, she whispers, "We all need jobs."

      From a nearby hill, the gleaming glass and steel towers of
Johannesburg and the rich green of its posh northern suburbs are visible.
South Africa is by far Africa's most prosperous country. Its economy is
nearly three times larger than that of Nigeria, the second largest.

      Economists, however, say real unemployment here exceeds 40 percent,
well above the official figure of 28 percent.

      If it was an American city, South Africa would rank 11th in gross
domestic product, slightly behind Detroit.

      The GDP for the whole of sub-Saharan Africa is roughly equivalent to
the figure for Pennsylvania, the sixth richest U.S. state.

      More than half of Africa's 900 million people survive on $2 a day.
About 320 million live in extreme poverty on less than $1 a day. That figure
is expected to rise to 345 million in 10 years, making Africa the only
continent that will not make the Millennium Development Goal of cutting
extreme poverty in half by 2015.

      According to the United Nations and the World Bank, 184 million
Africans are malnourished. Only 57 percent of Africa's children are enrolled
in primary schools, only one and three finishes high school. Less than one
out of five people has electricity at home. More than 70 percent of all the
people in the world infected with the HIV virus live in sub-Saharan Africa.

      Foreign investment is scant. Wages are low, but so is productivity.
The domestic market is puny, transportation an expensive nightmare and
government interference and corruption are rife.

      Despite billions of dollars in aid, Africa falls farther behind the
rest of the world every year. The United Nations said per capita income in
Africa in 2000 was 10 percent lower than in 1980 and still falling.

      Here, in the city of gold, Makhubela and three of her seven children
live in an abandoned heavy equipment garage with no electricity, no running
water, no windows and no heat. It does have a leaky roof of corroded,
corrugated aluminum and a pervasive and overpowering smell of old oil and

      She pays a rent of $12 a month to a man the aid worker says has only a
dubious claim to ownership and who wants to evict her because she has
trouble making the payments.

      Children scurry to hide the food, clothes and blankets lest the sight
of the bounty attracts thieves. Some months ago, gunmen robbed Makhubela,
taking what little she had, including a box that contained all their
identity documents.

      Without them, she can't get a government subsidy to feed and clothe
her three youngest children. She can't get new documents because she can't
afford the petty bribes demanded by bureaucrats.

      The African Union estimated corruption costs the continent $148
billion a year, an amount equal to about half of its debt and a quarter of
its GDP.

      Corruption and bad governance are the single largest obstacles to an
African renaissance. The tyrants who repress, starve and impoverish their
own nations are still coddled and protected by the governments and leaders
of Africa's best run democracies.

      In Zimbabwe, the most oft-cited but not only example, a 5-year orgy of
megalomania and greed has impoverished a relatively prosperous country once
seen as one the great hopes of Africa.

      Makhubela pauses to comfort her friend and neighbor, a 29-year-old
mother of five slowly dying of AIDS. Makhubela gives the tearful neighbor
one of her prized new blankets. Here, help is what you give each other. Hope
is just another word for prayer.

      "Every night," she says, " I pray to God that we could just be like
normal people."

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Sent: Saturday, July 02, 2005 3:44 PM
Subject: Under a bush

Dear Family and Friends,
Three afternoons in a row I could hear what I thought was a kitten crying
and stopped what I was doing to concentrate on listening and try and work
out where the sound was coming from. On the fourth day, the mewling was
loud and persistent and as the sun sunk into the horizon my son and I went
out onto the road to see if we could find the kitten. We looked in the
long dry grass for movement, in the sand for footprints and up in the
trees in case the kitten was stranded. We called and listened, checked the
drain under the road and culverts near gates but the plaintive crying had
stopped and we could find nothing.  It was almost completely dark when we
got home and I stood looking out in the direction the noise had come from.
The temperature was dropping dramatically, the first stars were coming out
and then suddenly I saw people emerging from the bush. A woman in the
background and then three young children whose clothes were very tattered,
big holes in their T shirts.  They were collecting something on the
ground, in the dust where I had just been. I couldn't see what it was but
when I moved they saw me and ran away, disappearing back into the bush.

The next afternoon I did not hear the kitten crying and have not heard it
again since . The woman and three children have disappeared too and I am
haunted by the sound wondering if it was in fact a baby crying and not a
kitten mewling. Everywhere you go, the only topic is the ongoing
demolition of informal housing and we all wonder where all these hundreds
of thousands of people who have been made homeless are going to go. This
week thousands more were made homeless when houses on Porta Farm were
demolished and four people died in that process. There are only questions
and no answers. How are these multitudes of people going to survive this
winter, what are they going to eat and what hope is there of any of the
children going to school.

As I sit here on a very cold winter morning in Zimbabwe writing this
letter the first Live 8 music concerts are underway. I do not have any
hope whatsoever that even one dollar of the money raised there will go to
a woman and three children who are living under a bush in a freezing
Marondera winter. This woman and her babies are on the move, on the run
from their own government. Who will give this woman her Live 8 dollar,
which corrupt official?

This week I close with the wonderful news that former Chimanimani MP Roy
Bennett has been released from prison after serving 8 months of the
sentence. I know that many people have signed petitions, written letters
and prayed for the safe release of Mr Bennett and it has done our souls
good to know that this man of the people who is so admired and respected,
is safe again with his family. Until next week, with love, cathy Copyright
cathy buckle 2nd July 2005
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Daily Post, New Zealand

Go ahead with tour, pleads scarred Zimbabwean ex-pat

      As pressure mounts on the New Zealand Black Caps to cancel their tour
of Zimbabwe because of human rights abuses there,

      Daily Post reporter SHIRLEY WHITWELL finds support for the tour from
an unlikely quarter.

      Zimbabwean Gerald Smith's scars bear witness to the brutality he's
suffered at the hands of the remorseless Mugabe regime.

      He's one of the lucky ones, he got out.

      But not before suffering beatings and interrogations at the hands of
Mugabe's henchmen and being evicted from his land.

      Despite his own terrible experiences and the suffering that continues
in Zimbabwe, Mr Smith believes the New Zealand Black Caps cricket tour to
his former homeland should go ahead.

Now enjoying life as a hydroponic farmer on the outskirts of Whakatane, he
says a boycott will serve no purpose.

"People have to look at the overall picture. It [a boycott] will achieve
absolutely nothing except to stop cricketers playing cricket and ordinary
people in Zimbabwe seeing the game.

"If they [cricketers] don't go, he [Mugabe] will be delighted at the
attention he is receiving around the world."

Mr Smith is well acquainted with Mugabe. He's a former opposition leader to
the regime which has changed the face of the once prosperous country.

He formed the Zimbabwe Unity Movement in 1989 as an ally of Ian Smith, the
former leader of the then Rhodesia. At the time, Mr Smith farmed 400 acres
with tobacco, cotton and cattle. He had plans to add ti tree but events took
over and he was forced off his land three years ago.

"When Mugabe came to power, he was the blue-eyed boy of the international
world. But he is determined to keep his power at any cost. He invaded
Mozambique and Congo at a cost the country could ill afford. We had a
permanent army of 80,000 in the early 90s. It was a huge cost to the

Mr Smith says the danger escalated in 1997/8 when Mugabe wanted changes to
the constitution to increase his powers.

"To try and get the 75 per cent required in a referendum, he promised to
turn white farmers off their land. This created a situation where he was at
the point of no return."

In August 2002, after months of harassment by the forces, most of whom were
young men, Mr Smith was given hours to leave the land he had farmed all his

"My wife [Paula] and I were told at 4pm to be gone by 9am the next day. We
left to go to my brother's farm, fearing for our safety."

The couple had already spent four days with furniture against their windows
barricading themselves in to escape the attention of the youth gangs
congregated at their gate.

For months leading up to the couple's eviction Mr Smith had been randomly
arrested, locked up for three to four days at a time and interrogated.

"This would usually happen on a Friday - I learnt to go away on Friday
evenings and return home on Sunday nights.

"There were no lawyers available at weekends, so that is when they would
come and get me."

The night after he and his wife left their farm, Mr Smith says he tried to
return to collect personal possessions as they'd left with just one suitcase
and a briefcase between them.

"We were blocked from entering our own property. They had felled trees
across the gates."

He stayed with his brother for about three months until they could see he
was the next targeted farmer and then fled to New Zealand.

"Our son was over here and we did not want to go to South Africa which many
Zimbabwean are doing. South Africa has the highest crime rate in the world.

"Their government is doing exactly the same thing - turning white farmers
off their land.

"No one is saying to stop the Springbok matches are they?

"So why put the onus on the cricketers when it will achieve nothing?"

Mr Smith has no desire to return to Zimbabwe.

"I won't go back. I don't want to see my house and land today."

He's received reports that the sheds have been knocked down and the roof
torn off the house.

"There is no electricity and the acres are now barren - not producing food
for a country which has the begging bowl out to the United Nations."

Before Mugabe came to power Zimbabwe was a wealthy country, able to feed its
population and help other poorer African nations, Mr Smith says.

"Now Mugabe is at a point of no return. He has lost his popularity, which he
always feared. Now he is turning against his own people.

"There is little fuel, electric only runs for a few days a week.
Unemployment runs at 80 per cent. Inflation is at 300 per cent.

"This is leaving him at the mercy of the Chinese who are communists, a
regime he has always tried to follow."

Already, Mr Smith says, the Chinese own the railways, power boards and
telephone systems.

"Now he is planning to bring the Chinese in to the country to restart the

"His spin is to look east to lift the country. No one believes it. Zimbabwe
will become China's dumping ground."

Mr Smith doesn't believe the New Zealand Government will officially ban the
Kiwi cricketers from touring Zimbabwe.

"They will not be in any danger. There is no point in getting emotional
about a cricket match. It hurts the people of the country more than Mugabe,"
he says. "I can remember when in 1972 the Rhodesians were thrown out of the
Olympics because of apartheid. The athletes and the public were the ones who
were hurt - we as a people resented that."

Mr Smith is urging the international community to look at the broader

"I do not want to do Mugabe any favours, but nothing will come of [a
boycott] so it is unfair to the cricketers to ask them not to go."
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Islamic Republic News Agency

Iran, Zimbabwe discuss mutual issues
Tehran, July 2, IRNA
Iranian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Hamid Mo'ayyer met and conferred with
Zimbabwean Minister of Foreign Affairs Simbarashe Mumbengegwi in the city of
Harare on matters of mutual concerns, Iran's Foreign Ministry announced

During the meeting, Mumbengegwi expressed his gratitude to Iran for
dispatching a high-ranking delegation to supervise Zimbabwe's parliamentary
election held on March 31.

The ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) won the

The minister said the election shed light on Zimbabwe's stances toward
democracy, implementation of laws, and human rights against the US and

He referred to his country's pressing needs for agricultural machinery and
land reform policies, calling for expansion of bilateral ties.

The Iranian envoy, for his part, felicitated Mumbengegwi on the 25th
anniversary of Zimbabwean revolution.

He also praised successful organization of Zimbabwe's
parliamentary election.

Mo'ayyer said the Iran-Zimbabwe Joint Commission would meet in August,
calling for cooperation in new fields.

He urged Zimbabwe to make further efforts to accelerate the implementation
of Zimbabwean projects Iranian companies are carrying out.

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Explicit objection to the proposed "Chirundu Project"

This communiqué serves as the First Phase of bringing to your attention, that the Zimbabwe Conservation Development Foundation (ZCDF), is privileged to have received substantiated information, that a structured group made up of farmers, business persons, companies and other independent stakeholders, have moved comprehensively towards launching Stage 1 of a 120,000 hectare agricultural development in the proclaimed Urungwe, Chewore and Sapi Safari Areas and the Mana Pools National Park bordering the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe.

The immense proposed development, which is due to be launched on the 1st November 2005, purportedly with the approval of a senior government executive, whilst being treated with intense confidentiality, is profoundly distressing, in that the full extent of the project is destined to invade not only the natural and pristine Urungwe Safari Area, but a vast tract of land from Urungwe’s western boundary, across Mana Pools National Park, the Sapi Safari Area, to the Chewore Safari Areas’ eastern boundary, and ostensibly measuring plus 100 kilometres long and ten kilometres wide, with the Zambezi River as its northern boundary. This equates to 1,000 square kilometres, or 100,000 hectares.

The central component to the objection being registered, is that Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas were ratified as a World Heritage Site in 1984, Reference : 302, by the Convention concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritages.

The summary prepared by the IUCN (March 1984) based on the original nomination submitted by Zimbabwe, states that the area in question is under public ownership and protected by the Parks and Wildlife Act of 1975, and is managed by the Department of National Parks and Wild Life Management, and took into account, the contiguous status of Urungwe in the east and Dande in the west being proclaimed Safari Areas that afforded Mana Pools National Park and adjacent areas an auxiliary field of protection.

The areas under threat by the proposed Chirundu Project, constitute a total of 6,766 square kilometres and embrace the Miombo woodland/savannah bio-geographical provinces, all fronted on the lower Zambezi River and contains the last remaining natural stretch of the Middle Zambezi.

In the First Phase of information presented to the ZCDF, it is revealed that in excess of US$30 million worth of agricultural equipment in the form of extensive irrigation equipment, earthmoving machinery and heavy duty transport is in the final stages of being ordered. The contract for the construction of 600 low-cost houses in the area has already been awarded. Each phase of the Chirundu Project will be fenced-off from surrounding areas, effectively dissecting proclaimed natural areas.

The proposed Project, which includes the commercial growing of four main crops, cannot be permitted in any of these projected areas. The increased human and vehicular traffic, air, soil, water and waste pollution effects will be catastrophic to this highly sensitive region, which is already under severe threat by extensive poaching of fauna and flora, as well as by poor covenants of wildlife and habitat management practices.

The consequences of commercial agriculture in the region will be dire for well-developed communities of a diversity of trees and woodlands. Threat levels to a vast array of fauna will accelerate in the short term. Seasonal occurrences of larger mammals within the valley are of great inter and intra-species ecological value. The balances of these sensitivities will most certainly be disturbed in the immediate term.

A unique collection of Avifauna of over 380 species will come under severe threat, as will all common Zambezi River fish as an accessible protein and trading food through netting and other forms of illegal fishing. Valuable tourism will undoubtedly be negatively affected, as currently, these areas are internationally renowned and popular for their isolation and lack of commercial development, but mainly for its natural wildlife, habitat and environmental attractions. The exceptional natural magnificence of animals in the diverse woodlands parallel with the broader Zambezi River banks and flood plains, constitutes one of Africa's most outstanding wildlife spectacles, second only to perhaps the Ngorongoro National Park, but will be severely disturbed and preyed upon by poaching.

The geology of the entire region ranges from the recent river alluvia of the extensive valley floor to the ancient gneiss and para-gneiss overlaid by lithosols of the basement complex. Intermittent protrusions of basalt rock beds, accompanied by dominant overburdens of Kalahari Sand complexes, clearly make the area unsuitable for commercial agriculture.

It could be argued that sustained agriculture in this specific instance, might be defined to mean a farming practice that has a site-specific application, that apart from anticipated food production, should in the immediate term, a) enhance environmental quality and the natural resources upon which this project’s agricultural success will depend and b) make the most efficient use of integrated natural biological cycles and control resources. However, it is common fact that under current holistically unsuccessful farming processes in Zimbabwe, neither the environment nor the natural resources of the area will be enhanced, and efficient use of natural biological cycles and necessary controls will certainly be compromised by known ambiguous management techniques.

Due to the low sandy soil values over much of the area, the Chirundu Project will inevitably have to apply vast amounts of fertilisers to enhance yields to viable levels, as well as administer subterranean and open-air dispersed pest control chemicals, both of which would inescapably contaminate surrounding areas, and hence, negatively impact on neighbouring natural biodiversities.

The proposed project by virtue of irrigated lands, would require massive areas (up to 120,000 hectares) to be cleared, tilled and cultivated, together with an extensive network of basic service roads. Owing to the soil structures and composition, comprehensive sheet and gully erosion is certain to occur during the rainfall seasons, compounded by storm-water run-off carrying insecticides and other obnoxious agricultural chemicals and heavy machinery fuels, oils and greases spillage directly into small streams, secondary rivers and ultimately into the Zambezi River. The harmful consequences of this in the medium and longer term will undoubtedly be catastrophic.

It is highly improbable that the proposed 600 low-cost housing units will be electrified, indicating that heating for cooking purposes will be derived from wood-burning, which in turn will be generated from wood collected in surrounding areas and external to the confines of the project. It furthermore suggests that trees will be injudiciously hacked down for this purpose when supplies of close-proximity dry wood are depleted. Smoke generation from 600 wood-burning facilities will extensively pollute the air of the Zambezi Valley. This cannot be permitted to happen.

Through the inevitable process of wood collecting, local inhabitants will resort to poaching of various callous means to supplement diets, if not to take advantage of commercial poaching prospects along the potentially lucrative main Zimbabwe/Zambia highway. These barbaric practices are already and completely out of control in Zimbabwe and the proposed development will merely augment large scale poaching. Again, this predictable threat cannot be ignored.

The area forms a large conservation unit for most spontaneously functioning ecological processes and are protected by natural barriers from encroachment and alternative land-use. This pertains to the Zambezi River in the north, the mountainous escarpment in the south, with the strong prevalence of tropical diseases such as tripanosomosiasis (sleeping sickness), malaria and bilharzia. These occurrences result in the area being unsuitable for human habitation and domestic livestock, which will undeniably arise out of commercialising the area. Thus the reasons to prevent development, go well beyond that of just the threat to the natural bio-diversities of the region.

According to documents submitted to the ZCDF, the specifications on pumping requirements for the Chirundu Project’s irrigation needs, clearly indicates pumping of massive volumes of water from the Zambezi River over extensive distances. It is highly unlikely that permission has been secured from the tri-lateral accord on the Zambezi River water usage that exists between Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. It is furthermore unlikely, that any agreement between the projects developer’s and Zimbabwe’s water-management authorities has been conducted transparently, as this forms an integral component of the non-existent Environmental Impact Assessment, which the Department of Natural Resources has not received nor has it invited a proposal for one.

The Second Phase of this communiqué will reveal to the ZCDF in the very near future, further detailed information pertaining to the Chirundu Project’s exact surveyed areas of proposed development, as well as the identities of the principle developers and an array of suppliers.

As a result of substantiated information provided to date, and given that no known key stakeholders nor interested persons or groups have been consulted on the matter, the ZCDF is hereby lodging a rigorous objection to the pending Chirundu Project, and issues an urgent appeal to all local, regional and international role players active in defending natural heritages, in this case, a World Heritage Site and contiguous protected areas, to earnestly call upon the Government of Zimbabwe and the projects developers, to cease with the project or any portion thereof, forthwith.

The ZCDF extends an invitation to all concerned individuals, organisations, institutions, foundations, trusts, regional authorities and international governments to endorse this appeal by responding in writing to the ZCDF to the undermentioned addresses, stating support for the organisation’s position on the proposed Chirundu Project.

Thank you,

Johnny Rodrigues

Chief Executive Officer

Zimbabwe Conservation and Development Foundation

Dr John Fulton


Zimbabwe Conservation and Development Foundation

P O Box MP

Mount Pleasant

Harare Zimbabwe

Fax : 263 4 339065
Mobile : 263 11 603 213 or 091 234 349

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CBC News

Australia, New Zealand pressure UN on Zimbabwe
Last Updated Sat, 02 Jul 2005 13:14:48 EDT
CBC News
The Australian and New Zealand governments will urge the United Nations
Security Council to refer the actions of the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe to
the International Criminal Court.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Zimbabwe have been made homeless and at
least five have been killed as a result of the government's township
demolition campaign that began in May, say humantarian workers.

In a joint statement Saturday, foreign ministers Alexander Downer and Phil
Goff said their countries will push a range of measures to increase pressure
President Robert Mugabe to stop the demolitions.

They said his regime should be made to cease the "abhorrent and egregious
destruction of people's homes, livelihoods and basic human rights."
Downer, Australia's foreign minister, told the Sunday Age newspaper that
international efforts to stop abuses in Zimbabwe have been too weak.
Australia and New Zealand had "decided to take a lead," he said.

He said Mugabe claims he is cleaning up slums and squatter settlements, "but
he is clearing away the homes of many supporters of the main opposition
party, the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change)."

Australia and New Zealand will also seek a sporting ban on all Zimbabwean
representative teams as a way of exerting pressure over that country's gross
human rights abuses.
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      Judge halts Zimbabwe deportation

A High Court judge intervened at the eleventh-hour to halt the deportation
of a Zimbabwean woman on hunger strike.

The 26-year-old woman, who does not want to be named, was told she would be
put on a flight to Harare.

She is one of at least 50 Zimbabweans on the 11th day of a hunger strike in
protest at the lifting of a ban preventing people being returned to that
country against their will.

In a day of drama at Yarl's Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire, where she
is being held, other detainees joined her in her room as she refused to
accompany immigration officers.

A team of lawyers during the evening successfully applied at the High Court
for an injunction stopping the removal.

It had been reported this week that deportations had been put on hold until
after the G8 summit.

Kate Hoey MP said: "This attempt to deport this woman to Zimbabwe was a
shameful act by a Labour Government. To do it on the same day they support
something like the Live 8 concert shows outrageous hypocrisy."

The failed asylum seeker herself said: "I am so weak I can hardly walk. I am
so confused. One minute you are told the deportations have been stopped. I
can't believe they want to send me back to the lion's den."

The 26-year-old claims her father, a manager for a white farmer, was killed
by Zanu PF supporters of Robert Mugabe during a farm invasion in 2000. She
claims she has since heard that her two brothers have been killed.

A Home Office spokesman said: "The policy hasn't changed. The minister told
the House this week that we will continue to look at each case on a
case-by-case basis."
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England Show Brings Out African Voices

Associated Press Writer

July 2, 2005, 1:22 PM EDT

ST. AUSTELL, England -- Top African musicians who have spent their lives
fighting for change in Africa brought their music to the worldwide Live 8
audience on Saturday.

Senegalese superstar Youssou N'Dour was headlining the bill, which featured
more than 18 acts from 14 countries, including Beninoise diva Angelique
Kidjo, a three-time Grammy nominee.

Host and co-organizer Peter Gabriel said it was possibly the best African
lineup to perform outside the continent.

"You can see how civilized people are by where they put the boundary between
'them' and 'us'. Hopefully today we can push that line back so that 'us'
becomes a much bigger category," Gabriel told reporters before the concert.

Thousands danced to African rhythms outside the world's largest greenhouse
on the floor of a lush green crater in St. Austell in the southwestern
region of Cornwall. Organizers expected the concert to draw about 5,000.

The "Africa Calling" concert near the Eden Project and the Live 8 concert in
Johannesburg, South Africa, were organized after criticism that African
artists had been largely excluded from global music marathon aimed at
raising awareness of Africa's poverty.

The other concerts being held Saturday were in London and in the other
countries that make up the Group of Eight major industrial nations -- the
United States, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan and Russia.

Thomas Mapfumo, whose songs became anthems for Zimbabwe's independence
movement in 1980 but who has been banned by state radio and forced into
exile in the United States, provided an early highlight. He celebrated his
60th birthday swinging his hips to bongo beats and shimmering guitars.

"We have to do away with dictatorships. Help to do away with dictatorships,"
he said after criticizing Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's latest
so-called urban renewal drive for leaving tens of thousands homeless.

He closed his set with a song rejoicing at the death of a dictator.

Angelina Jolie, accompanied by her son Maddox, was among the movie stars at
the concert.

"With all that we have in the world, we can fix what is happening in Africa,
we can save lives, we can turn it around," Jolie told reporters.

But concerts are only a step in addressing Africa's problems, said performer
Emmanuel Jal, who was a former child soldier in his native Sudan before he
escaped to Kenya at age 11.

"We make a big concert, we entertain people, but what's next?" Jal said.
"Because they'll be entertained, but after a while then they'll forget. We
need something to follow-up raising that consciousness so that that pressure
can be put on the leaders of the G8."

Live 8 organizer Bob Geldof rejected criticism that top African artists had
been excluded from the main concert venues Saturday, including London and
Philadelphia, arguing that only the biggest-selling names could ensure a
global television audience would stay tuned.

N'Dour, who helped organize the "Africa Calling" bill, was set to be Live
8's main African face on Saturday. He was scheduled to perform at three of
Saturday's 10 concerts -- traveling from London to St. Austell, then to
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