Mon 2 Jul 2007, 15:42 GMT
By Pascal Fletcher and Barry Moody
ACCRA, July 2 (Reuters) - African leaders argued fiercely on Monday over
whether to create a single state stretching from the Cape to Cairo, and
Senegal said the continent would only survive if it united now under one
Delegates said the atmosphere in an African Union summit was charged as a
group of states led by Libya's Muammar Gaddafi and Senegal's Abdoulaye Wade
argued with a more gradualist group led by South Africa's Thabo Mbeki.
"I think everybody is a little bit tense, because they know how serious this
is" said Senegalese Foreign Minister Cheikh Tidiane Gadio.
"It is getting heated between Gaddafi and the southern Africans," said one
delegate, who did not want to be identified.
While almost all the 53 member nations agree with the goal of African
integration and eventual unity, most of the summit leaders want this to be a
But passions ran high among the proponents of unity, who want a federal
government immediately as the only way to fight poverty and myriad other
challenges including globalisation.
"Some of us think that Africa's unity has become a matter of survival ... my
president is here with his pen ready to sign," Gadio told reporters.
He held out the prospect that a small group of states could forge ahead by
themselves and sign up to federation.
"If Senegal wants to build this union with two, three, four more countries,
there is not a country in this room that has enough power to tell Senegal
you cannot do it," he said.
"Some will start and the others will follow. ... Now, who is ready to start?
Senegal is ready."
Gaddafi, known for his impassioned rhetoric, was more restrained on Monday
despite a speech on the summit's eve invoking the spirit of pan-African icon
Kwame Nkrumah, who led Ghana to independence 50 years ago, to support his
vision of a United States of Africa.
Asked by a crush of journalists during a summit recess whether he was
optimistic about unity, Gaddafi, wearing dark glasses and a black cap,
declared: "I am always optimistic."
The Libyan leader, describing himself as a soldier for Africa, is impatient
with the slow pace of integration. He did not attend the summit's opening
session on Sunday and believes the decision over unity must be made by
Africa's masses and not leaders closeted in a conference hall.
Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki, a member of the gradualist camp, expressed
strong support for unity on Monday.
"The advantages of Africa's unification are enormous for our people. ... A
unified Africa will have stronger bargaining power," he said.
But reflecting the views of many of the leaders, Kibaki added that at a
recent conference on the issue in Kenya, "opinions were varied on the pace
this process should take".
Kibaki said Africa's eight regional economic communities should be the
building blocs of a united continent and their integration must be
The summit leaders have come under criticism for largely ignoring pressing
issues like Sudan, Somalia and Zimbabwe at this meeting to concentrate on
unifying the continent.
Many regard this as an unrealistic, if noble, dream. Sceptics point to
decades of wars, coups and massacres that often sprang from ethnic and
religious fault lines on a continent artificially carved up by former
2 July 2007
Posted to the web 2 July 2007
African officials and members of civil society organizations across the
continent have been debating the twin crises in Darfur, Sudan and Zimbabwe
ahead of the African Union Summit in Accra, Ghana.
While the official theme of the conference is the so-called "Grand Debate on
a United States of Africa," which would accelerate political and economic
integration within the body's 52 member states, discussions of the ongoing
violence in Darfur and the worsening political and economic situation in
Zimbabwe are largely taking place outside of the official forum.
Last Wednesday hundreds of students, religious leaders and a handful of
officials gathered for an evening of music, statements of solidarity and
images of atrocities being committed in Darfur, Sudan.
Performances by local Ghanaian Afro-Roots musician Amandzeba and South
African jazz legend Hugh Masekela called on Africans across the continent to
speak out in support of the victims of Darfur. "We have to inform our people
about what is really going on - to inspire a spirit of outrage, for Africans
to say 'no more'," Masekela said. "It is pointless to form a union at a time
when we are attacking each other. It is incumbent at this time not to stand
by until a film is made called 'Hotel Darfur'."
In a separate event, Sudan's President, Omar El-Bashir, addressed members of
the press via satellite from Khartoum, and took questions from journalists
in Accra, Ghana, as well as Washington D.C., New York and nine other
countries around the world.
El-Bashir said international coverage of the crisis in Darfur was
oversimplifying the issue, which he said is largely driven by local
conflicts over land and other resources. The Sudanese president also said
the U.S. was behind much of the false information regarding the Sudanese
government's role in Darfur and that it was supplying Darfurian rebels with
arms, in addition to slowing Sudan's development through sanctions. "They
[the Americans] want to make the same mistakes in Sudan as they did in Iraq
The Reverend Jesse Jackson, who attended the briefing in Accra, said the AU
Summit was the proper forum for debate on Sudan. "I wish that President
Bashir would come to this conference and meet with his peers to grapple
these issues," he said.
A similar public hearing on the current situation in Zimbabwe took place on
Thursday. A number of speakers - including journalists, student leaders and
human rights activists - offered personal accounts of unwarranted arrests,
mistreatment and even torture by Zimbabwean authorities.
Promise Mkwananzi, president of the Zimbabwe National Students Union,
described his detention and beating by Zimbabwean police and said he had
relocated to South Africa to avoid action against himself and his family.
Despite finding refuge in South Africa, Mkwananzi was critical of President
Thabo Mbeki for advocating greater African unity without effectively
addressing the Zimbabwe question.
"Pan-Africanism does not give a government the right to persecute its own
people," Mkwananzi said, adding that the current situation in Zimbabwe has
resulted in a massive outflow of both students and professors from the
country's once-heralded universities.
Tabitha Khumalo, vice president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and
a longtime Mugabe critic, also painted a bleak picture of the state of
affairs in Zimbabwe, noting that the current lifespan for women there has
dropped to 34 years of age. Khumalo said a united Africa must provide "room
for civil society to move quickly to raise the alarm" on issues ranging from
women's health to the United Nations Millennium Development goals, not just
in Zimbabwe but across the continent. "When Zimbabwe sneezes," she said,
"Africa will catch a cold."
A Zimbabwean official at the event was dismissive of the testimonials of
torture and other forms of government oppression. "Some of these stories
sound very touching, but there is lots of artistry going on," said Wilfred
Mumhura, a consular minister based in Addis Ababa, who said the growing
image of Zimbabwe as a "house on fire" was inaccurate. He said Zimbabwe's
main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, is an
"irresponsible group" funded by the U.S., Britain and other western powers
that wants "to create chaos and instability" in Zimbabwe. It was, he added,
incumbent on both the government and the opposition to behave responsibly
Mumhura pointed to the meeting's organizers, a consortium of civil society
organizations that included the Open Society Institute for Southern Africa,
the International Federation for Human Rights, CREDO-Africa and the Media
Foundation for West Africa, as evidence of collaboration with western
governments out to demonize the government of Robert Mugabe.
A number of Ghanaian students present for the discussion agreed with some of
the sentiments expressed by the Zimbabwean minister. "Yes, we believe there
are abuses taking place in Zimbabwe but we face much worse here in Ghana,"
said Collins Dakurah, a student leader from the University of Ghana. He said
there was a false impression that a country like Ghana was good and a
country like Zimbabwe bad. "The two sides should come together, first on the
land issue, and then deal with human rights," he said, adding that media
propaganda against Zimbabwe could be countered through Pan-African unity.
Others in attendance, including Masekela, were not enthusiastic about the
African Union's ability to deal with both Darfur and Zimbabwe. "These are
people who sit down and drink wine together, who share meals together," he
said. "They are not going to confront each other."
While neither Sudan nor Zimbabwe are part of the official agenda, some
African foreign ministers and other officials attending meetings of the AU
Executive Council offered comments to reporters. Zambian foreign minister
Mundia Sikatana said his country shares a natural border with Zimbabwe. "We
can't forsake nor can we benefit by demonizing [Robert] Mugabe or Zimbabwe,"
he said. "We believe in talking to Zimbabwe, and understanding their
problems, and showing them where we think they go wrong." Marginalizing the
regime "will not work, " he added.
The U.S. ambassador to the African Union, Dr. Cindy Courville, a former
professor who wrote her dissertation on Zimbabwe's liberation struggle, said
the AU was making significant strides towards dealing effectively with Sudan
"When you look at the AU and the stance they have taken, the AU now has a
policy of non-indifference, that is, they cannot look the other way," she
said in an interview. "The first concern in all of these situations," she
said, "is to avoid a military situation."
Rev. Jackson agreed. "The strength of the AU will be to unify the nation
states of African but ultimately must have the moral authority to grapple
with the difficult issues in Zimbabwe and Darfur," he said. "The human
rights standards must be honored, and the UN and the AU should have access
to Darfur and ultimately Zimbabwe. "
Robert Nolan is an editor at the American non-profit organization, the
Foreign Policy Association. His forthcoming Headline Series book on the
African Union will be published in early 2008. He writes for allAfrica by
Accra Daily Mail
Isaac Essel | Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2007
The African Union (AU) has been called upon to send its election observers
to a member state, at least four months before an election is held. This
will enable observers to take note of the situation on the ground to inform
their remarks after an election.
The Vice President of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), an
opposition party in Zimbabwe, Ms Thokozani Khupe, flanked by some leading
members of the party made the call at a press conference in Accra on the
fringes of the ongoing AU Summit.
She said, most of the time, election observers do not get the true
reflection of what characterizes an election because they only observe the
day of election and base their comments on it.
Using Zimbabwe as an example, she said election days are usually peaceful or
seen as fair but, the processes that lead to the election cannot be
described as such.
She noted, "The electoral platform is not even.We demand to go to an
election in 2008 monitored by SADC with the help of the African Union. The
only way the existing environment of fear in Zimbabwe can be removed is if
our African brothers are on the ground in Zimbabwe four months in advance of
the election in order to guarantee their African counterparts that they have
nothing to fear and that they can freely exercise their democratic right to
Ms Khupe, who is also the Member of Parliament for Makokoba constituency
appealed to Africans to break the silence on "Mugabe's abuse of the
She said the problem in Zimbabwe is that of African and, must be solved by
Africans, because, "the reality is that our people are suffering".
She asked the government of President Mugabe and like-minded people to stop
the blame game over who caused the current crisis in the country.
Ms Khupe placed on record: "The problem in Zimbabwe is not about Tony Blair
and George Bush, the problem is not about the West, the problem is about a
dictator who will do everything necessary to cling to power".
This is how she pictured the current situation in Zimbabwe: "Inflation has
reached an unprecedented 6600%, 85% of Zimbabweans are unemployed, the
productive sector of the economy has collapsed, there is starvation in the
country with 4000 people dying of hunger and disease every single week. The
life expectancy of Zimbabweans is now at 32 as opposed to 68 in 1995".
The MP placed on record that, her party was in support of the land reform
process but, the idea that was first conceived by them, was blown out of
proportion by President Robert Mugabe and the ruling Zimbabwe African
National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) government.
"What followed was a chaotic land reform process where land was taken from
the white minority and given to a black minority in the form of ZANU PF
ministers and parliamentarians, the mass did not receive anything", she
She accused President Mugabe of abusing state resources especially the media
to create some misconceptions about the MDC to Africans.
The MDC also wants a new constitution to replace the existing one, which she
said is not democratic enough to encourage free and fair election.
She said when her party is given the nod to govern Zimbabwe in the coming
presidential election, it will ensure that rule of law works in the country,
reconstitute a better constitution through a referendum and among others
restart the country's economic status, which she said is in shambles.
Mon 2 Jul 2007, 11:34 GMT
By Orla Ryan
ACCRA, July 2 (Reuters) - The African diaspora needs a voice in the African
Union and any future African unity government to reflect the influence it
exercises across the world on the continent's behalf, civil rights leader
Rev. Jesse Jackson said.
But while he supported a push for greater African integration, Jackson said
issues like the conflict in Sudan's western Darfur region and the crisis in
Zimbabwe must be tackled if unity was to carry moral authority.
"The crisis in Darfur and Zimbabwe must be on the agenda," Jackson told
Reuters on the sidelines of an African Union summit in Ghana, which is
debating a possible United States of Africa.
"Its moral authority would be determined by its ability to resolve
conflicts, in Somalia, Darfur or Zimbabwe, they must in a meaningful way use
their strength to fight for democratic principles, human rights."
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and a small group of allies want a federal
government in Africa now, but most of the leaders at the summit believe
integration must happen gradually.
"They talk of the United States of Africa, it is inevitable, it is a
question of time," Jackson told Reuters on Sunday night.
"They need a common currency ultimately. Africa as a continent cannot be in
the global family of currencies unless they make a move that bold. It is
moving in that direction."
The strong influence of the African diaspora around the world, lobbying
their governments for fairer trade and more aid, gave it the right to a
voice within the African Union and a future federal government, Jackson
The AU has recognized the importance of the diaspora, he added.
"The Africans come to America and seek aid, they go to the (Congressional)
Black Caucus for support, they know that we in the diaspora are of value to
"It is a power that cannot be ignored ... we need to find a way to talk
about the relationship that is mutually beneficial."
The U.S. civil rights leader said Washington had made a mistake by reducing
its influence in Africa at the same time as China stepped up its presence,
sourcing raw materials on the continent and investing in infrastructure.
"While we are pushing off, China is about to build this huge structure for
the African Union," Jackson said in reference to Chinese construction of a
new headquarters for the bloc in Addis Ababa.
"While we are pushing back, China sees this raw material base," Jackson
Accra Daily Mail
GNA | Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2007
South African musician, Hugh Masekela, has declared that the attainment of
African Union government would be pointless if African leaders do not take
steps to stem the genocide and other human right violations in Darfur and
He noted that Africans needed to see themselves as one state and therefore
consider the boundaries dividing them as imaginary. With that in mind, he
said, the ongoing African Union (AU) Summit in Accra should focus on
measures to stop recalcitrant African leaders like Omar Basher and the evil
Janjaweed from perpetrating genocide in Darfur.
In addition, other African leaders should be stopped from continuing with
human rights violations in their respective countries.
Hugh Masekela was the main guest artiste at a solidarity concert, which
formed part of programmes initiated by African civil society groups and
coordinated by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in connection
with the on-going AU summit.
Masekela was invited as a goodwill ambassador for Darfur to lead the way for
African artistes to launch an onslaught against the genocide in Darfur in
particular. Other guest artistes included Ghana's Amanzeba Nat Brew, Gonje
and the Sappers Band. Professor Kofi Anyidoho of the School of Performing
Arts, University of Ghana also performed a poem and a song for Darfur.
Masekela, who spotted an all black outfit to signify he was in a state of
mourning for the many perished lives in Darfur declared that instead of
being a goodwill ambassador, he would be an angry ambassador because his
soul bled for the innocent victims of the Darfur genocide.
"My soul goes out to the people of Darfur and for the many victims of human
rights violations in Zimbabwe, Angola, Somalia, Rwanda and other places in
Africa," he said.
He said the gathering of all 52 heads of state and government of Africa in
Accra was a great opportunity for consensus to be reached on how to save
innocent children and women of Darfur, who had become victims of a conflict
they did not know anything about.
"We must not wait for Hollywood to come out with yet another movie called
'Hotel Darfur' just like they did Hotel Rwanda to make money out of the
tragedy of our African brothers," he said.
Masekela said he was sad that when a French Journalist who interviewed him
back stage asked other artistes if they knew where Darfur was located, none
of the artistes said yes. "That to me was indicative of our indifference
towards the genocide in Darfur," he said.
He pledged to champion the cause of the innocent people in Darfur by
organizing several of African artistes around the world to hold solidarity
concerts to bring the world's attention to the need to help save innocent
Mr. Salih Mahmoud Osman, MP and Human Rights Activist from Darfur said he
was sad that African politicians and civil society organizations were
largely silent about the genocide in Darfur and some religious groups as
Mr. Kwesi Adu Amankwah, Secretary-General of the Trade Unions Congress (TUC)
of Ghana condemned the mass human right violation going on in Darfur and
demanded that AU states should act in concert with the United Nations to
stop the Sudanese President and the Janjaweed from continuing in their evil
against innocent lives.
Dr. Mrs. Rosemary Mensah-Kutin, Convenor of the Network for Women's Rights
of Ghana (Netwrite) demanded that the Summit should evolve concrete measures
to rescue innocent women and children from the Darfur crisis.
Mr. Dismas Nkunda, Chairman of the Darfur Consortium, a network of African
Civil Society organization dedicated to stopping the crisis in Darfur noted
that the Darfur crisis had changed from genocide to "gendercide", where
women were targeted for human right violations such as rape and murder more
than any other group of people.
He told a sad story of a baby who was found during the Rwandan genocide,
sucking the breast of the four days old corpse of its deceased mother.
According to him the baby was found alive covered with flies.
"We can only prevent a similar situation from occurring if we act now as one
people to stop the Darfur crisis," he said.
Mon 2 Jul 2007, 13:16 GMT
By Muchena Zigomo
JOHANNESBURG, July 2 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe, once one of Africa's premier
safari destinations, has suffered severe wildlife losses on private game
ranches and conservancies due to forced farm seizures and the country's
Animal welfare group the Zimbabwe Conservation Taskforce (ZCT) said the farm
seizures ordered by President Robert Mugabe's government in 2000 triggered
an estimated 83 percent slump in wildlife on private farms and
The drop also closely followed a dramatic decline in the number of
Zimbabwe's private wildlife ranches and conservancies, which the group
blamed largely on government land policy.
"We based the estimations on the fact that we believe there were 620 private
game farms prior to the land invasions and according to our records, there
are only 14 left today," the task force said in a statement.
"According to our records, there were 14 conservancies prior to the land
reform and now, the only one left of any consequence is Save Valley
Conservancy," it added.
Zimbabwe is home to some of Africa's largest game reserves but experts say
several animal species such as impala, warthog, kudu and wildebeest are at
risk from rampant poaching by people struggling with hunger and rising
poverty and from cross-border trophy hunters.
The welfare group said it studied 62 farms, 59 of which reported wildlife
losses totalling 42,236 animals including the lion, elephant, python and
blue duiker that were already on the list of endangered animals.
Zimbabwe's state National Parks and Wildlife Authority says animals in its
larger game reserves have not been affected by massive poaching and remain
The ZCT says the story on private land is different. It chose 17 of the 62
farms that kept proper records and supplied the task force with up-to-date
statistics in order to estimate the total percentage of wildlife lost on the
It estimates that at least 15,704 animals were killed on the 17 farms
between 2000 and 2007, an average of 923 animals per farm, largely to be
sold as meat.
"Because of the land reform and the way that it was done it was just free
for all on the farms and the animals were the first to go," ZCT chairman
Johnny Rodrigues told Reuters.
"We are talking about the low rainfall areas where you can't grow crops," he
Rodrigues said a lot of the animals were poached by the war veterans who
seized the farms for food and cash amid meat shortages caused by the farm
The group said wildlife was still "fairly abundant" in Hwange National Park
and Mana Pools but that in other parks visitors were reporting far fewer
Local wildlife officials say the country's elephant population has soared to
more than 100,000 -- twice as much as the 45,000 it can sustain.
The farm seizures are partly credited with setting off the country's
economic meltdown, which has resulted in widespread food shortages and
massive commodity price hikes that have pushed inflation over 3,700 percent.
Monday, July 02, 2007
There is nothing like the indifference and powerlessness with which the
world has regarded the destruction of Zimbabwe by its own leadership,
particularly its president, Robert G. Mugabe.
Zimbabwe, which gained independence in 1980, started out with a successful
mixed economy, including agriculture, minerals, industry and strong
infrastructure. It inherited a lot of international good will, given the
military struggle that preceded its freedom and the fact that it emerged
from rule by a white minority to government by an economically disadvantaged
Mr. Mugabe, now 83, looked good then and said the right things about racial
peace and inclusiveness. But in no time he sponsored a war by his majority
Shona tribe against an Ndebele minority, supported by North Korean military
aid. The world should have seen the way things were going and put the brakes
on, but it did not.
Now Zimbabwe is a large importer of food -- rather than an exporter, as it
used to be -- to keep large parts of its population from starving. Its
economy is in a shambles. Inflation is guessed to run at 4,500 percent. Mr.
Mugabe says he wants to give black Zimbabweans total control over all parts
of the economy, following the same path he did with agriculture, virtually
guaranteeing ruin, not to mention entailing injustice.
South Africa, the one country that could put the squeeze on landlocked
Zimbabwe, has been reluctant to do so, although in March it accepted a
charge from other African states to try to foster dialogue between Mr.
Mugabe's party and Zimbabwe's tormented opposition. There may be hope that
the economic impact of numerous Zimbabwean refugees on South Africa may
drive the Pretoria government to play a hands-on role with its neighbor,
although there is no certainty of that.
No one would argue that someone should pull a Saddam Hussein in Zimbabwe. At
the same time there must be some middle ground, short of an interventionist
regime change, to improve its awful situation. For South Africa it's a
little like being obliged to put out a fire in the row house next door.
· Portugal sees EU-African Union meeting as priority
· Britain and most members fiercely opposed to move
Ian Traynor in Lisbon
Monday July 2, 2007
Portugal is prepared to invite President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe to a
summit of European and African leaders in Lisbon this year despite an EU
travel ban and sanctions against the 83-year-old dictator and figures in his
Senior officials in Portugal, which took over the six-month presidency of
the EU yesterday, said they were not keen to welcome Mr Mugabe to the
December summit, but would do so if that was the price of salvaging a
meeting they see as their policy priority while in charge of the EU.
"This is a summit for all African countries at the highest level, heads of
government or heads of state. All African countries must be invited," a
senior Portuguese official told the Guardian.
Another senior official said the government could try to defuse the issue by
having the African Union, rather than Portugal or the EU, invite Mr Mugabe
to Europe for the meeting on December 8 and 9.
Britain, the leading voice in the EU supporting five years of sanctions
against Mr Mugabe, and a travel ban on his entourage, is fiercely opposed to
having Mr Mugabe at a European summit.
Officials in Brussels say most EU members, including the Portuguese, do not
want Mr Mugabe in Lisbon, but that the African Union of 53 countries,
chaired by Ghana, is demanding that Zimbabwe be treated the same as everyone
The last EU-Africa summit took place in 2000. Plans for a similar meeting in
2003 collapsed because of the Mugabe dispute. The Portuguese are determined
their planned summit will not fail. "We defined a summit with Africa as a
priority for our [EU] presidency. We want to leave our mark on European
foreign policy," said Jose Socrates, the Portuguese prime minister.
Mr Socrates has strong support from the German chancellor, Angela Merkel,
who recently accused Mr Mugabe of "unspeakable acts" but said the summit
should go ahead whether or not the Zimbabwean leader attends.
Government officials in Lisbon said they have not yet invited Mr Mugabe.
"There are other creative options," said a third senior official, amid
Since he stood down as prime minister, Tony Blair has intervened with the
South African president, Thabo Mbeki, on the issue, European officials said.
Mr Mbeki is trying to mediate a settlement of the Zimbabwe crisis.
Tonight, said the officials, Mr Socrates and Jose Manuel Barroso, the
Portuguese head of the European commission, are expected to fly to Ghana to
talk to leaders at an African Union summit which opened yesterday in Accra.
Mr Mugabe is attending that summit.
Preparations for the Lisbon gathering of more than 80 African and European
leaders are advanced, indicating that Portugal has accepted the AU's terms
for treating Zimbabwe and Mr Mugabe like everyone else.
The hope among Portuguese and European officials is that the Zimbabwe crisis
can be defused before December. "We have to face the political conditions
for such a summit. The AU insists that every member state needs to be
treated the same," said Luis Amado, the Portuguese foreign minister.
The Portuguese government argues that so much is at stake in Europe's
relations with Africa that the issue of Zimbabwe should not be allowed to
derail the summit. "We don't want to mix the two," said Mr Amado.
But officials in Brussels and Lisbon are worried that if Mr Mugabe comes to
Europe he will hijack the summit, turn it into a public relations triumph,
and exact revenge on the British, who have headed the campaign to isolate
his regime. "We don't want a Mugabe summit, a photo-opportunity summit,"
said a Portuguese official.
Opposition to Mr Mugabe taking part in the summit would melt away if he
renounced plans to be re-elected president next year, predicted another
official in Lisbon.
"Most people on the European side and privately on the African side would
prefer Mugabe is not there [in Lisbon]," said a European official. "The real
question is whether there is a way of finding a satisfactory outcome."
Mon, 02 Jul 2007
Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates on Monday side-stepped the delicate
issue of whether Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe could attend an upcoming
EU-Africa summit in Lisbon.
Socrates' government, which took over the European Union's rotating
presidency for six months on Sunday, is organising the 8-9 December summit,
but has not said if Mugabe, who is banned from the EU, will be invited.
"What is important for the summit to be a success is to be able to separate
the bilateral relations (EU-Zimbabwe) from the relations between the two
continents," Socrates told reporters in response to a question about Mugabe
"I'm sure that we will find appropriate diplomatic formulae so that the
EU-Africa summit and dialogue can take place for the benefit of Europeans
and Africans," he added.
The European Union imposed a travel ban on Mugabe and more than 100 people
closely linked to his regime after the Zimbabwean leader won elections in
2002 that international observers said were rigged and marred by
The octogenarian president has also been slammed for leading the once-model
economy into ruin and trampling on democracy and human rights. The southern
African nation currently has the world's highest inflation rate.
On Friday, Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado hinted that Lisbon could
invite Mugabe while hoping that he would not take up the offer.
"We are going to work out a substantial agenda so that it's not all pretty
pictures in the newspapers," he said. "And then, we'll see who comes."
"I don't expect to see all the (African) heads of state to be there in
Lisbon," he added.
Published: Monday, 2 July, 2007,
02:13 AM Doha Time
By John Lichfield
PARIS: The Portuguese government faces a storm of protest over its decision
to invite Zimbawean President Robert Mugabe to a Europe-Africa summit in
A poisonous thicket of other problems awaits Portugal which yesterday took
over the presidency of European Union governments until the end of the year.
The unpredictable twins running Poland have challenged a compromise
agreement on voting rights reached at an EU summit only 10 days ago. French
President Nicolas Sarkozy is threatening to de-rail long-term negotiations
on Turkish membership.
However, the most contentious immediate issue is likely to be Lisbon's
decision to set aside an EU travel ban and invite President Mugabe to an
Africa-Europe summit in early December. Portugal argues that EU sanctions on
Zimbabwe allow Mugabe to be invited to any meeting where his trampling of
democracy and human rights will be challenged.
Nonetheless, the invitation will be disputed by Zimbabwean opposition
groups and by some EU governments, including Britain. Lisbon's decision
creates an awkward diplomatic conundrum for British Prime Minister Gordon
Brown. Brown has pledged to make special efforts for development in Africa
but will not welcome rubbing shoulders with Mugabe at an EU-Africa
Under EU rules, any country can veto the invitation to the Zimbabwean
leader. However, several other African leaders are threatening to boycott
the meeting if Mugabe is excluded.
Portuguese officials insisted yesterday that the invitation did not
infringe EU sanctions. A travel ban on senior figures in Harare provides for
exemptions for meetings to discuss human rights, they said. "He will be
hearing things he does not want to hear," one senior Portuguese official
Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates, who took over the rotating EU
council presidency from Germany yesterday, is a keen long-distance runner.
He will need all his stamina - and the wisdom of his ancient Greek
namesake - if he is to make a success of his six months in office.
The main objective of the Portuguese government is to finalise the small
print of a new EU 'reform' package to allow a formal signing of a Treaty of
Lisbon at a summit in October.
However, part of the outline agreement reached in Brussels last month is
already beginning to unravel. Several European capitals traditionally close
down for the month of August, reducing negotiating time. The most immediate
problem is a threat by the Polish government to ditch a complex agreement on
member states' voting rights reached in the early hours in Brussels 10 days
ago. Polish President Lech Kaczynski and the prime minister, his twin
brother, Jaroslaw, had opposed a proposal that decisions by EU governments
in the Council of Ministers should be taken by a majority of member states,
representing 65 per cent of EU population.
At the Brussels summit, President Kaczynski, in telephone contact with his
brother in Warsaw, agreed that the new system should enter into force in
2014 instead of 2009. Poland could ask for the old system to be used until
2017. Beyond that date, decisions that only just reaching the "population"
majority could be delayed at the request of one member state. - The
July 3, 2007
David Charter in Brussels
Robert Mugabe will be invited to a European summit this year in the hope
that he does not show up.
The decision to offer him a seat at the EU/Africa summit in Lisbon is part
of a diplomatic attempt to exclude the Zimbabwean leader while not upsetting
African rulers and relations between them and the EU.
The Portuguese hosts are hoping that Mr Mugabe will be talked out of
attending by senior members of the African Union, on the grounds that his
presence will overshadow the meeting. Mr Mugabe is subject to a European
travel ban but an official invitation would allow him to visit, just as he
travelled to Paris in 2003 at the invitation of President Chirac of France
for a meeting in 2003, infuriating many EU leaders.
Opponents of the Mugabe regime attacked the strategy, which they said could
backfire and hand the 83-year-old leader a publicity coup. But Portuguese
officials are confident that even if he does appear, he will be made to
listen to criticism of the catastrophic policies that have brought the
Zimbabwean economy to its knees.
July 3, 2007
Jan Raath in Harare
Bread and other essentials all but vanished from shops and supermarkets in
Harare yesterday after President Mugabe ordered a 50 per cent cut in prices.
Price inspectors and police, sometimes armed, descended on supermarkets in
the Zimbabwean capital to enforce price controls. Their intervention
followed the order issued by Mr Mugabe last week in an attempt to get to
grips with rampant inflation.
The result was chaos. Bags of sugar burst open in struggles between shoppers
who had streamed into supermarkets. Computerised checkouts jammed, unable to
cope with the rapid price changes. There was further confusion when
officials forced their way into storerooms and declared stock items to be
"illegal hoarding," and ordered all goods to be moved on to supermarket
At one store where the manager tried to restrict sales to two of each item,
one worker was seriously injured in the mayhem. Annual inflation reached
4,500 per cent in May, the result of nearly three decades of economic
policies devoid of prudence or forethought.
a.. An offer EU hopes he will refuse
Economists estimate that the real figure is closer to 10,000 per cent.
Prices are more than doubling every month as suppliers and retailers
struggle to keep up with the decline of the currency, which at lunchtime
yesterday traded at Z$260,000 to £1.
With hard currency earnings now almost negligible, the central bank buys
foreign currency at black market prices from finance houses and prints
mountains of increasingly worthless currency to pay them.
Mr Mugabe, however, asserts that inflation is the fault of "profiteering" by
retailers in league with the British Government to oust him.
Last Tuesday the Government published an edict cutting the price of 26
essential items by up to 70 per cent. Two days later another edict imposed
price controls on a much wider range of goods. "Reports are that some
businesses are resisting this order," said Obert Mpofu, the Industry
Minister. "We will arrest them."
Mr Mugabe's attempt to crush inflation reflects a growing sense that
economic collapse will bring about the end of his 27-year rule.
The Government has been enraged by remarks by Chris Dell, the outgoing
American Ambassador, who predicted that Mr Mugabe would be out of office
within six months. No regime "has survived five-digit inflation", said Mr
Dell. The Government was "affecting regime change on itself," he added.
Mr Mugabe issued a warning that violation of price controls would be dealt
with forcefully. "This nonsense of price escalation must come to an end," he
said. "We will never admit to defeat by British tactics."
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
2 July 2007
Posted to the web 2 July 2007
Zimbabwe's seven-year economic crisis has made the elderly, who make up 10
percent of the country's 12 million people, even more vulnerable.
"The situation for older persons, who, by definition, are people over the
age of 60, and because of their mental, physical and poor financial status
are considered vulnerable, is sad, owing to the hyperinflationary
environment that is affecting the country," Priscilla Gavi, director of Help
Age, a national voluntary organisation promoting the welfare of the aged,
The decline is evident in institutions for the elderly, which are mainly
funded by independent donors, but whose contributions were "too little and a
token considering what is required on the ground", Gavi said.
Most homes have been hit hard by an annual inflation rate of around 4,000
percent, and unable to cope with the steep increase in the cost of essential
services such as health, water and electricity.
Daily living in Zimbabwe has been characterised by widespread shortages of
basic commodities and foreign currency. Since the start of the crisis in
2000, donors have either scaled down operations, citing a harsh operating
environment, or pulled out.
Unaffordable cost of living
But even when donors were willing to help, Gavi said they tended to insist
on income-generating projects for the old, a requirement that "took a lot of
convincing" because the process of drawing up proposals was long and took
Irene Gwindi, a who has worked since the late 1990s as caregiver at
Chinyaradzo, an old-age home in the populous southwestern suburb of
Highfields in Harare, the capital, recalled the days when looking after the
elderly was easy because funds and donations were never a problem.
"The speed at which things have deteriorated is unbelievable," Gwindi told
IRIN. "In the winter season, like now, our inmates would be guaranteed of at
least five blankets each from donors, the business community and other
well-wishers, but now we have to struggle to keep the old people warm
because donations are not forthcoming."
Chinyaradzo's occupants include people abandoned by their families or thrown
out of their houses after ownership wrangles; others were picked up off the
streets and there are even some of foreign origin, with no known relatives
to look after them in Zimbabwe.
Although the Harare municipality subsidises the city's old age homes by
meeting a percentage of their water and power expenses, the institutions are
struggling to foot their bills.
"Old people's homes use a lot of water because there is much washing that
takes place, while the consumption of electricity is high, and on many
occasions the authorities have threatened to cut us off due to non-payment,"
Elderly often face higher risks
Water cuts are frequent, exposing the occupants to greater risk of
communicable diseases, while power cuts often force them to spend cold
nights in the dark. A severe shortage of foreign currency means service
providers cannot maintain or replace the ageing water purification and
distribution equipment, or import enough power from neighbouring countries.
In the old days there used to be enough food to guarantee a balanced diet,
now the old people at the home where Gwindi works survive on plain tea and
two slices of bread in the morning, and thick maizemeal porridge and beans
or dried kapenta [dried fish] for lunch and supper.
"That means they easily fall sick because of poor nutritional standards;
worse still, we have to struggle to meet their medical expenses, considering
the high cost of ensuring treatment for them, that is if there is any help
available at health centres," said Gwindi.
Like all other sectors, the health-delivery system has been affected by the
plummeting economy: drugs are in short supply in hospitals and clinics,
thousands of doctors and nurses have fled to other countries in search of
better working conditions, strikes are frequent, medication costs and
consultation fees have shot through the roof.
Bumhudzo Old People's Home, in the dormitory city of Chitungwiza, about 35km
south of Harare, is in a state of disrepair: the roof leaks when it rains
and the broken windows cannot keep the cold winds out.
The institution's 40 residents sleep on dilapidated beds and despite
repeated calls for well-wishers to replace the old furniture, no help has
been forthcoming for the last three years, said a caregiver, who added that
their work had been made more strenuous by the flight of assistants to other
countries in search of better jobs.
"Our wages are poor because of the poor financial position of the
institution and, as a result, caregivers are shunning the home, choosing
instead to become cross-border traders or migrate to other countries, where
they get better salaries as housemaids or nurse aides," she said.
It has also been difficult to obtain wheelchairs for residents who needed
them, and there were often no ambulances available to ferry the sick to
hospital, even in emergency cases, which forced the home to hire expensive
Life outside the homes
Life can be even harder for the elderly living outside of institutions.
"Older persons' institutions are limited and only cater for a fraction of
this needy section of the population. Many of them are either living by
themselves or are looked after by relatives, and their plight is more
disturbing in cases where, because of the AIDS pandemic, they are forced to
provide care for children left behind by their parents," Gavi said.
Most of those who lived outside institutions would have been informally
employed and therefore had no pensions to fall back on, she said, but even
those who had retired from formal employment barely scraped by because their
pensions were too small.
Maharagwe Munongwa, 70, a retired driver in Harare, received only Z$10,000
(about US0.83 at the parallel market exchange rate of about Z$120,000 to
US$1) as a monthly pension. He never collects it because it would cost him
more than that to fetch it from the payout point.
Last year his only son, who is divorced, moved to Canada to take up menial
jobs, leaving him to look after three schoolgoing grandchildren, the eldest
of which is 14 years old.
Zimbabwe closed all legal money transfer agencies last year, so even though
his son regularly remits money to the family via an informal cash-transfer
service, Munongwa is often at the mercy of the agent who runs it.
"Sometimes we go for two months without receiving anything from that young
man [the agent] who misinforms my son that he is giving us the money. I am
diabetic, and when the money is delayed I suffer a lot, while my
grandchildren sometimes go hungry," he told IRIN.
"While I appreciate that things are tough in this country, and my son is
toiling to make ends meet abroad, I now burden my children because I
frequently fall ill, while, given my advanced age, I cannot give them enough
Little state support
The government's social welfare fund provides little financial support to
the elderly, disbursing a paltry US$2 annually to each identified
For years Help Age had advocated the enactment of legislation that would
link pensions to the cost of living, Gavi said. The bill has remained at
draft stage, even though President Robert Mugabe had pledged full support,
but there were fears that it could take a long time to be passed because the
government was now broke.
At Dandaro, a retirement home for the wealthy elderly in the northern suburb
of Borrowdale, Harare, the picture is very different.
Tim Staunton, 73, a former commercial white farmer, lives a comfortable
life, thanks to money he had saved before his farm was taken over by the
government during the compulsory acquisition of farmland that began in 2000,
in which around 4,000 farmers were displaced to make way for land-hungry
The wheelchair-bound Staunton owns a garden flat and is looked after by an
experienced nurse, while his children, now living in South Africa and
Australia, send him enough money to ensure his welfare; they visit him at
least twice a year and take him on holiday.
"Things could have been better had it not been for the economic crisis in
this country," he told IRIN, "but I would not say I am suffering that much."
[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations ]
Tuesday 03 July 2007
By Edith Kaseke
HARARE - South African leader Thabo Mbeki should prioritise human rights
issues in his mediation between Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and the
main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, human rights
groups have said.
Mbeki was in March this year tasked by the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) to bring Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF party and the MDC to the
negotiating table after an international outcry over Mugabe's violent
crackdown on opponents.
Pictures of main MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and several opposition and
civic group leaders entering court with visible wounds and broken limbs drew
a chorus of condemnation of Mugabe's leadership and forced SADC to call for
an emergency summit in Tanzania to discuss ways to end Zimbabwe's
deteriorating political and economic crisis.
More than 100 leading human rights and civic society groups, led by Amnesty
International said SADC should pressure Mugabe to end rights violations in
the country and mostly blamed on state security agents and militant
supporters of the government.
"We call on President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, in his capacity as the
SADC-appointed mediator, to ensure that human rights issues are prioritised
in any settlement to be agreed by the government of Zimbabwe and the
political opposition party, the MDC," the groups said in a statement made
available to ZimOnline yesterday.
"We are concerned that since the SADC meeting, arbitrary arrest and
detention, torture and organized violence have been on the increase in
Zimbabwe," the rights groups said, chronicling cases of abuse against the
opposition, civic groups and lawyers since the SADC meeting in Tanzania.
Mugabe's critics say the veteran Zimbabwe leader, who is bidding for another
five-year term in office in elections next year and that will extend his
rule in the southern African nation to 33 years, has used strong-arm tactics
such as deploying armed riot squads to stifle dissent and protests against
The 83-year-old leader in turn accuses Western powers, especially former
colonial master Britain of leading a sabotage campaign against his
government and sponsoring the opposition to dislodge him from power.
The ruling ZANU-PF and MDC have already held the first round of preliminary
talks in a bid to set the agenda for more talks but political analysts have
warned that the latest negotiation efforts are likely to fail as both sides
accuse each other of negotiating in bad faith.
Mugabe has vowed that he will survive the campaign to force him out even as
internal squabbles over his rule grow in his own ZANU PF party.
The rights groups said it was critical that any settlement agreed by
Zimbabwe's main political parties should also ensure that "perpetrators of
human rights violations are held accountable and that the victims have
access to justice. Any attempt to circumvent the needs of victims will not
bring a lasting solution."
The European Union and the United States have slapped travel and financial
sanctions against Mugabe and his ruling elite mainly as a result of
accusations of trampling on people's rights and rigging past elections.
Zimbabwe has suffered a deep economic crisis that has seen inflation spiral
above 4 500 percent leaving workers in poverty as they battle against
shortages of basic commodities, including fuel, food and hard cash.
The rights groups also said Mbeki and SADC leaders should ensure that all
parties in the mediation process agree to clear timelines and benchmarks,
including the respect and protection of human rights for all, an end to
organised violence, and fulfillment of Zimbabwe's obligations under the
African Union and UN human rights frameworks.
They also urged Harare to cease its campaign of intimidation and harassment
of human rights activists, civil society leaders, members of the political
opposition parties and other critics of government policies.
Mugabe's government should also "take immediate steps to end torture, other
ill-treatment and serious human rights violations by the police and other
security forces (and) relevant authorities in Zimbabwe should investigate
and hold the perpetrators of violations of human rights accountable." -
Tuesday 03 July 2007
By Hendricks Chizhanje
HARARE - Zimbabwean police have since last week arrested 194 people, among
them shop owners and street side traders, they accuse of defying a
government ban on price increases and flouting foreign exchange regulations.
Deputy police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka yesterday said the people arrested
under the crackdown codenamed "Operation Dzikamai" and who are in police
custody were expected to be brought to court for trial but he did not say
when exactly that would be.
"We have arrested 194 people since the start of the operation. The people
will be charged for various offences ranging from hoarding, overcharging and
failure to display prices on goods on shop shelves," said Mandipaka.
The Harare administration last week imposed a blanket freeze on price
increases it says are unjustified and meant to incite popular revolt against
President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party.
Police and soldiers drafted in to enforce the price ban have since last week
raided shops, street vendors and illegal foreign currency dealers, forcing
some factories to stop production and some shops to shut down, while scores
of informal traders have fled the streets fearing arrest.
But the crackdown has also seen most basic commodities vanish from shop
shelves partly as consumers took advantage of halved prices to stockpile and
also because some factories have stopped producing saying they could not do
so at a loss.
A tour by ZimOnline reporters of some of the major retail outlets showed
that most had run out of beef, chicken, bread and confectionery products
among several other key products.
However, the government yesterday stepped up pressure on factories to resume
production with Vice President Joseph Msika promising the state would seize
all factories that have stopped production.
Addressing mourners at the burial of retired army major general Taurai
Gideon Lifa, Msika said the state would hand over seized firms to loyal
blacks he said were willing to roll back prices to June 18 levels as
directed by the government.
Mugabe last week also threatened to nationalise businesses that defy the
price freeze imposed following a spate of price hikes that saw prices of
basic commodities rising by more than 500 percent in the space of just three
Analysts say government efforts to keep a lid on prices were meant to pacify
angry workers ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections next year
but would come at a heavy cost as this could force some companies to shut
down and force more workers to join the growing jobless list. - ZimOnline
Tuesday 03 July 2007
By Hendricks Chizhanje
HARARE - Zimbabwe's Acting President Joseph Msika on Monday attacked Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono for putting a lid on maximum
cash withdrawals in light of the country's runaway inflation.
Msika made the remarks during the burial of retired army major general
Taurai Gideon Lifa at the National Heroes Acre shrine in the capital Harare
on Monday. Lifa died in Harare last Tuesday.
In candid remarks highlighting disagreements at the top echelons of the
government over how to revive the comatose economy, Msika said it was wrong
for the RBZ to impose a maximum withdrawal limit of just Z$3 million per day
in a country that is battling hyperinflation.
"You bankers, I wonder what kind of people you are. If I bank my money with
you, you then restrict me to $3 million. How then do you expect me to
"Why should I put my money in the bank and yet be prevented from withdrawing
it? Look for answers to this and give us a feedback," said Msika in the
vernacular Shona language.
Inflation - pegged at more than 4 500 percent and the highest in the world -
is the most visible sign of Zimbabwe's deep recession that has left more
than 80 percent of workers without jobs and spawned severe shortages of
food, fuel, hard cash and just about every basic survival commodity
Critics blame the economic crisis on repression and wrong policies by
President Robert Mugabe in power since the country's independence from
Britain 27 years ago.
The RBZ imposed cash withdrawal limits for individuals and the corporate
sector last year in an attempt to curb hyperinflation.
Individuals can only withdraw Z$1.5 million a day while corporate
institutions can withdraw a maximum of Z$3 million a day, money that is not
enough to cover running costs.
Gono introduced the cash withdrawal limits in what he said was an attempt to
curb speculative tendencies on the illegal parallel market where the bulk of
Zimbabwe's foreign currency is sold. - ZimOnline
By Jonga Kandemiiri and Carole Gombakomba
02 July 2007
Both factions of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change say
that the nationwide mobile registration exercise kicked off last month has
been manipulated in favor of the ruling Zimbabwe African National
Union-Patriotic Front party.
Opposition activist Renson Gasela, spokesman on agriculture for the MDC
faction headed by Arthur Mutambara, said he observed attempted voter
registrations in lower Gweru this weekend and found the exercise to be
He said many young people seeking identity cards to register to vote could
not do so because officials sent by the Office of the Registrar General were
out of photo film. He charged that the lack of film was deliberate on the
part of authorities and intended to prevent supporters of the opposition
from registering to vote.
Harare recently launched a two-month mobile registration drive that is
supposed to provide identity cards to those 18 years and over so they can
register to vote.
Gasela, a former member of parliament, told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of
VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the registration drive was not properly
Elections Secretary Ian Makoni of the MDC faction of Morgan Tsvangirai said
that his formation is similarly concerned and will tell Registrar General
Tobaiwa Mudede in an upcoming meeting that the mobile registration units
must return to many districts.
With preparations for January and March 2008 elections picking up momentum,
local observers and monitors are reporting mixed feelings on forthcoming
A constitutional amendment sent to parliament by the government proposing
major electoral changes has yet to be passed and signed into law, leading
critics to say that official planning at this stage looks hazy. But other
opponents of the ruling party say they mean to see elections held on
schedule whatever the state of preparations.
Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe reported.
Despite repeated calls to Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Chairman George
Chiweshe, ZEC Spokesman Sly Gwana, and Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede, no
official response to complaints by opposition members and civil society
groups, or comment on preparations for elections, could be obtained.
SW Radio Africa (London)
2 July 2007
Posted to the web 2 July 2007
Students at the University of Zimbabwe face eviction from their halls of
residence following demands by the institution that they pay Z$1 million in
top up fees for the remaining month of July. Students reacted angrily
arguing the semester was extended by 7 weeks because of a strike by
lecturers and yet government was making them meet the financial consequences
of its own incompetence. To make matters worse students say the announcement
was made on the 27th June while the deadline was set for the 29th,
effectively giving them only 2 days to raise the money. Those who fail to
pay have been told they will be evicted.
UZ student's representative council president Lovemore Chinoputsa accused
the regime of trying to thwart the 'robust and vibrant students movement' by
deliberately forcing students out of residence. Students from the Arts,
Social Sciences, Veterinary Science, Commerce and Science faculties are
mainly affected. Lecturers went on strike in February this year leading to a
serious disruption of lessons for the students. Students at the time urged
government to resolve the demands of their lecturers but met with the usual
stubbornness from the regime.
On Monday Benjamin Nyandoro a Programmes Officer with the UZ SRC confirmed
plans by the union to file a High Court application challenging the top up
fees. He also expressed frustration with the judiciary saying students now
have a lot of applications pending in the courts. Several of their leaders
were barred from writing exams while others were expelled or suspended. He
warned they might target judges in future protests if they continued helping
the regime. Meanwhile the National University of Science and Technology has
not made any demands for its students to pay top up fees despite being
affected by the strikes. Other institutions like the Midlands State
University did not extend their semester.
In another story highlighting challenges being faced in the education sector
some private schools have begun charging fees in foreign currency. The
Zimbabwe dollar has been in free fall and made it hard for most schools to
budget expenditure. This has necessitated top-up fees, which sometimes are
higher than the original fees charged. Others have implemented new systems
to ensure parents pay fees on a monthly basis rather than every term. One
school is reported to have sent out a circular pegging fees at US$110 (Z$18
480 000) per month.
July 2, 2007
Harare - Most of Zimbabwe's gold producers are operating at a fifth of
capacity because the central bank is delaying paying them for their output.
The bank owed mining companies about $17 million (R119 million) for gold
already delivered, the Chamber of Mines, which represents most of the
country's top mining companies, said at the weekend.
The bank is the sole buyer of Zimbabwean gold. The inflation rate has pushed
many mining firms close to collapse as they struggle to contain costs. -
July 02, 2007, 09:30
Pius Ncube, the Archbishop of Bulawayo, says that President Thabo Mbeki is
facing an uphill battle in his attempt to mediate in Zimbabwe. Mbeki is in
Accra, Ghana, where the AU summit is taking place.
Mbeki is expected to brief SADC delegates on South Africa's mediation role
between ZANU-PF, the ruling party, and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
Ncube earlier said that he believed Britain would be justified in invading
its former colony in order to rid it of Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean
president. The Roman Catholic archbishop is one of the most outspoken
critics of Mugabe.
"But we know Mugabe, we have been with the man for 27 years. We know how
arrogant he is and transparent and how he can sacrifice lives for power. So
I know that Mbeki has goodwill, but you are dealing here with a man who is
absolutely stubborn and insensitive," said the clergyman.
Monday, 2 July 2007, 09:20 GMT
Foreign governments should intervene to remove President Robert Mugabe, says
a Zimbabwean Roman Catholic Archbishop.
"We have to choose between two evils," Archbishop Pius Ncube told the BBC.
"A government which is ready to sacrifice the lives of its own people, or
bringing it down at the risk of being called imperialistic."
The archbishop has previously said he would be ready to die leading street
protests, but he says Zimbabweans are too afraid to try to oust Mr Mugabe.
Zimbabwe's opposition says its activists are often arrested for no reason,
tortured and even killed, while elections are rigged by Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF
"You can't mobilise when one out of every 10 Zimbabweans is a spy for
Mugabe," Archbishop Ncube told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.
During the Gukurahundi campaign, Pius Ncube witnessed the suffering
and was desperate to speak out
Profile: Turbulent archbishop
He was quoted in the UK's Sunday Times as saying former colonial power
Britain should intervene to remove Zimbabwe but he told the BBC that any
"strong" country should do so.
In May, Mr Mugabe warned Roman Catholic bishops they were on a "dangerous
path" if they become too political.
He was responding to an open letter published over Easter, in which they
warned of a mass uprising unless free elections are held.
"Many people in Zimbabwe are angry, and their anger is now erupting into
open revolt," the letter said.
Mr Mugabe is a Catholic - the largest single religious group in the country.
Zimbabwe has the world highest rate of inflation - 3,700% - and just one
adult in five has a regular job.
Mr Mugabe blames the worsening economic crisis on a Western plot to remove
him from power.
The Portuguese government should send the Zimbabwean president an arrest
warrant, not a summit invitation.
July 2, 2007 7:00 PM
One of the first acts of the new Portuguese presidency of the EU is announce
plans to roll out the red carpet for the Zimbabwean dictator, President
Robert Mugabe. It is planning to invite him to December's European
Union-African Union summit in Lisbon, despite a prohibition on the
blood-stained tyrant entering the EU.
While Zimbabwe burns and millions starve, Mugabe will be wined and dined by
the Portuguese president, Aníbal António Cavaco Silva, and received by other
African and European heads of state.
What is the point in having an EU travel ban if it is not enforced? Nearly
every time Mugabe wants to come to Europe, the EU caves in and agrees to
waive its ban.
Portugal's invitation is an insult to the many victims of his murderous
regime, especially to black Zimbabweans who once looked to Mugabe as a
liberator but who are now the main victims of his slaughterhouse. They don't
want him feted. They want him arrested and put on trial.
Only a few months ago the EU strengthened its travel restrictions against
Zimbabwean leaders. Now Portugal wants to weaken them. What is going on?
Where is the consistency?
At December's EU-AU summit, Mugabe's sole aim will be to grandstand, play
the world statesman and capture the headlines. He has run rings around the
EU before, and now the Portuguese are willing to hand him another PR coup.
Where is the sense or morality in that?
It is time to stop playing diplomatic games and cease treating Mugabe as a
legitimate head of state. No recent Zimbabwean election has been free and
fair. There can be no business as usual with any regime that is guilty of
disappearing, jailing, torturing, raping, starving and murdering its own
Instead of sending the Zimbabwean dictator an invitation to the summit, the
Portuguese government should send him an arrest warrant under international
human rights law, on charges of torture and other crimes against humanity
(the same goes for other murderous heads of state, they should get arrest
Mugabe is killing black Africans on a scale that is even greater than the
killings by the evil apartheid regime of PW Botha. Yet there is no global
campaign to boycott and sanction his regime. Nor is there any international
solidarity movement to support the democratic, trade union, church and
student opposition inside Zimbabwe. This is betrayal on a monumental scale.
It is also de facto racism. If Mugabe was white (like PW Botha) there would
be a worldwide campaign against him. But a black tyrant killing black people
somehow merits less concern and outrage. Why?
We have a precedent for legal action against human rights abusers, and it is
a precedent here in Europe. In response to the killing fields of Bosnia and
Kosovo, the international community said these vile crimes were a violation
of humanitarian law. President Milosevic was indicted and eventually
arrested and put on trial in The Hague.
Given this precedent, why are Portugal, Britain, the EU and the UN, refusing
to prosecute Mugabe? How many Zimbabweans have to die before the world's
governments start enforcing the human rights laws they have signed and
pledged to uphold? One million? Five million? What will it take to finally
provoke the international community to put Mugabe in the dock?
The latest outrage is Mugabe's use of food as a political weapon. He is
withholding food aid from drought-stricken regions that voted for the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Six million Zimbabweans,
out of a population of 12 million, face starvation and death.
Didymus Mutasa is Mugabe's right-hand man and minister of national security
and land. I knew him in the 1970s, when I was a supporter of Mugabe's war of
liberation against Ian Smith's illegal white minority regime. We went to
China together in 1975. This once kind, gentle Christian man has, like his
mentor Mugabe, turned into a monster. Mutasa now says it doesn't matter if a
few million people die because most of the dead will be MDC supporters. "We
would be better off with only six million people, with our own people who
support the liberation struggle ... We don't want all these extra people,"
he boasted. This policy of genocide-by-starvation is unprecedented since the
mass hunger inflicted on Cambodia by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.
President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa has argued against a get-tough policy
with Mugabe. He says "quiet diplomacy" is the way forward. But Mbeki has
nothing to show for six years of behind-the-scenes negotiations. On the
contrary, the human rights situation in Zimbabwe has worsened dramatically.
Mbeki's quiet diplomacy has been a spectacular failure, yet he is still
flogging the dead horse of dialogue, and most African and EU leaders are
still falling for this dead-in-the-water policy.
For the Portuguese, human rights in Zimbabwe don't seem a priority. Despite
signing international human rights conventions against genocide and torture,
Portugal is doing nothing to enforce them. The British government has been
no better. Tony Blair talked hard against the Mugabe regime, but bottled out
of any effective action. He pushed through Zimbabwe's suspension from the
Commonwealth. This was a weak, futile gesture. It did nothing to undermine
Instead of empty gestures, why doesn't the world community do something
effective to challenge Mugabe's tyranny? International human rights laws
could be used to put him on trial, just like Slobodan Milosevic. The laws
against torture are the strongest and easiest to enforce.
The UN convention against torture 1984 has been ratified and incorporated
into domestic law by Portugal, Britain, other EU member states and by most
of Africa. It requires the arrest and prosecution of any person (especially
a high state official) who commits, authorises or condones torture anywhere
in the world.
In Zimbabwe, the use of torture by the police, army and the intelligence
services is routine and systemic. It is inconceivable that Mugabe is unaware
of what is going on. He has not condemned or stopped it. That makes him
guilty of complicity under Portuguese, European and international law.
Reports from the Zimbabwean human rights groups - the Amani Trust and the
Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace - confirm that torture is endemic.
What more evidence does Portugal want? The legal and moral case for Mugabe's
arrest is overwhelming.
Unlike the EU's current feeble, slap-on-the-wrist sanctions, the issuing of
an international arrest warrant would be effective and dramatic. It is
something many nations could do - not just Portugal. Britain and the rest of
the EU could give a lead. If a warrant was issued, it would create real
anxiety for Mugabe; haunting him with the nightmare of ending up behind
bars, just like Milosevic did. This might make him think twice before
ordering more torture and killings. It could help ameliorate his worst
excesses; saving at least some lives.
Better still, the Portuguese government could lure Mugabe into a trap. It
could invite him to December's European-African summit and, when he arrives
in Lisbon, arrest him on charges of torture. There is no point in Portugal
having human rights laws if it is not prepared to enforce them.
Legal precedent is on Portugal's side. The 1946 Nuremberg tribunal on Nazi
war crimes established the principle that in cases of crimes against
humanity, such as torture, nobody is above the law - not even heads of
This was reiterated in the case of Slobodan Milosevic. He was indicted for
crimes against humanity in 1999, while he was head of state of Yugoslavia.
The international tribunal in The Hague ruled that a head of state does not
have immunity from prosecution for grave human rights abuses.
The indictment of Milosevic sets a contemporary precedent for the arrest of
the Zimbabwean president in Lisbon in December. If Slobodan Milosevic can be
put on trial, why can't Robert Mugabe?
Two old Mugabe themes at the Vigil -
gays and cricket. Despite the
attempted mass murders in London on Friday, life went on more or less as
normal today. Some roads were closed in the search for more bombs, but the
annual Gay Pride march went ahead as planned, although somewhat dampened by
the edges of a weather front which has flooded people to the North. We are
always pleased that so many of the people on the march sign our petitions
and express such concern for Zimbabwe.
Vigil supporters were also pleased at the outcome of the cricket meeting in
London. The International Cricket Council has launched an investigation into
the finances of cricket in Zimbabwe because of the looting by the current
bosses. We were going to hold a protest at the meeting at the request of
Free-Zim Youth, but they suddenly made an about-turn and called for everyone
to accept the Zanu PF case (see
http://www.zimdaily.com/news/117/ARTICLE/1797/2007-06-27.html#). We are
puzzled as to why Free-Zim Youth feel that giving the Zimbabwean cricket
authorities more money will help cricket on the ground in Zimbabwe. Surely
they know it will just go into the pockets of Zanu-PF cronies?
Vigil supporters were happy that our Caribbean brothers have called off
their cricket tour to Zimbabwe. We are encouraged by their support, which
shows that, despite their sympathy for Zimbabwe's freedom struggle, they are
no longer taken in by the Mugabe propaganda.
Now that Free-Zim Youth are safely in the UK they have identified "the real
enemy ". They say, in the above mentioned article in Zimdaily, " We have a
crisis here of Zimbabweans in diaspora who have to face hard life with no
legal status, no accommodation, no access to health, young Zimbabweans
subjected to all forms of abuse and cannot obvious reasons yet we have a
host nation that says its so much concerned about the humanitarian crisis in
Zimbabwe, well charity begins at home" (sic) . . . . sounds like they would
be better off there.
You may be wondering what happens to all the videos people take at the
Vigil. Doubt and Patson have posted some of theirs on the youtube website.
Check: http://www.youtube.com/46664dehwa to see if you feature. You might
catch pictures of the Ancilla dancing and singing with some of the many
people who stopped to join us. Ancilla has started raising money for the
women's wing of MDC Central London Branch by selling peanuts and has already
For this week's Vigil pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/
FOR THE RECORD: 53 signed the register.
FOR YOUR DIARY:
- Monday, 2nd July 2007, 7.30 pm. Central London Zimbabwe Forum.
The speaker will be leading political analyst and senior lecturer in UZ's
Faculty of Political Science Dr John Makumbe. Dr Makumbe will talk about the
prospects of the two MDC factions uniting to fight the 2008 elections
together. There is varied speculation in the media on the chances of unity
between the MDCs. This only confirms how crucial this subject is in Zimbabwe
today. Being a member of the steering committees of both the Save Zimbabwe
Campaign and Christian Alliance, which first brought Morgan Tsvangirai and
Arthur Mutambara together, Dr Makumbe is well-placed to address this
subject. This week's forum presents a chance you should not miss. Come and
enjoy Dr Makumbe's sharp humour and critical analysis. He will also answer
your questions from the floor after his speech. Upstairs at the Theodore
Bullfrog pub, 28 John Adam Street, London WC2 (cross the Strand from the
Zimbabwe Embassy, go down a passageway to John Adam Street, turn right and
you will see the pub)
- Friday, 17th August 2007, 12:00 - 14:30. The Zimbabwe Solidarity
Campaign in Belfast plans to hold a Vigil outside City Hall, Belfast. All
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place
every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of
human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in
October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair
elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk
July 02 2007 at 06:46PM
By Nelson Banya
Zimbabwe on Monday threatened to close businesses defying its order to
halve prices, accusing them of working to topple President Robert Mugabe.
Panicky buyers rushed to stock up on household essentials that were
increasingly hard to find as Zimbabwe's deepening economic crisis sparked a
fresh wave of desperation.
Mugabe's government last week ordered a 50 percent cut in the prices
of basic goods and services after prices shot up by as much as 300 percent
in a week.
However, some retailers who say they cannot afford to operate if they
cut prices, have resisted the order while some products have disappeared
from shop shelves.
The government - which has deployed a special unit to ensure
compliance with the order - has arrested more than 20 business executives,
including a senator belonging to the ruling party, for not implementing the
Acting President Joseph Msika told a gathering at the burial of a
former top military officer on Monday that shops and businesses not obeying
the decree were "sell-outs" working with outside forces to destabilise the
economy and topple Mugabe.
"We will not brook any attempts to thwart our efforts to correct this
undesirable state of affairs. Some unscrupulous manufacturers have remained
defiant and are creating artificial shortages of goods," Msika said.
Supermarkets in Harare were flooded by panicky buyers rushing to stock
up on basic consumer goods including soap, powdered milk and flour that were
fast disappearing from shop shelves and emerging on black market stalls.
Bread, cooking oil and salt have become increasingly scarce since the
government ordered the price cut last week and some shoppers fear worse
shortages in the weeks ahead, while others were hoping to cash in on their
"I have no option but to buy whatever we can while it's still
available. I do not normally buy this powdered milk, but look at its
price... I can resell it once the fresh milk vanishes," said Ernest Tembo, a
shopper from the Dzivaresekwa township, west of the capital.
Supermarket attendants at one of the country's largest retail chains
told Reuters the fear of arrest by state price monitors had forced
management to slash prices on several product lines, triggering a stampede
for the goods.
"The worry, though, is how we will restock because the manufacturers
tell us they have run out and cannot supply, certainly at the recommended
price," said one supermarket official who requested anonymity.
Mugabe, in Ghana this week for a summit of the African Union, is
facing the worst economic crisis since Zimbabwe's independence in 1980 with
inflation at an annual 4 000 percent and dire shortages of food, fuel and
"We will not allow sell-outs, renegades and money mongers to interfere
with our good way of life. You are warned to stop what you are doing... do
not distort our prices. Stop it or we will force you to close shop, or we
take over your factory," Msika added.
Last Wednesday Mugabe threatened to seize and nationalise foreign
companies, including mines, that have raised prices and cut output in what
he says is a campaign to oust him from power.
Analysts say Mugabe's tough response to the worsening economic
situation was aimed at pacifying an increasingly restive population, but
could further hurt the economy.
A defiant Mugabe, 83 and in power since independence from Britain,
blames Western sanctions for the economic crisis and has said he will seek
re-election in 2008.
By Lindie Whiz
Last updated: 07/02/2007 20:12:07
A SUPERMARKET manager in the small town of Ruwa, near the capital Harare,
escaped death Friday after suffering a brutal attack by
government-controlled price freeze enforcement squads.
The shock developments came as a House of Assembly senator Siriro Majuru
(Zanu PF) was arrested for alleged over-pricing and hoarding.
The Zimbabwe government ordered a 50 percent cut in prices of all essential
goods last week, before imposing a price freeze on all goods on Thursday
Retailers and manufacturers have been jacking up prices, sometimes more than
once a day, as they grapple with the impact of the world's highest inflation
rate, which economists believe has surpassed 5 000 percent.
Many retailers have been reluctant to lower their prices, arguing that their
suppliers had not lowered their prices.
A manager with leading supermarket chain, TM supermarket, was seriously
injured in an attack by a gang of youth militias after failing to comply
with the government's order to slash prices.
The manager, identified by workers as a Mr Chimhini, was attacked at the
supermarket's Ruwa branch in Goromonzi district.
Workers said the government-hired squads, who doorstep shops to check
compliance with the government order, travelled in two trucks, and
identified themselves as officers from the government's Anti-Corruption
Said one worker: "The men arrived in Ruwa in a white Isuzu and a grey Nissan
Hardbody pick up truck and discovered that the supermarket was in defiance
of the government's order as prices of most goods were still very high.
"They demanded to see the manager and ordered an immediate lowering of
prices before they proceeded to Ruwa supermarket owned by some white
"While harassing the white businessmen at the supermarket, the gang received
information that TM had hiked the prices again soon after their departure.
"Part of the gang drove back to the supermarket to pick up Mr Chimhini. The
manager was beaten up and bundled into the back of the truck despite his
attempts to proffer justification of the increases to the men."
He was driven to Ruwa Supermarket where he was further beaten up. The men
left him slumped to the ground in agony, witnesses said.
Chimhini was taken to a local hospital, but he could not be attended to, as
nurses required a police report confirming that he had been assaulted.
Meanwhile, prominent Goromonzi businessman and Zanu PF senator Siriro Majuru
has been arrested on allegations of over-pricing and hoarding of controlled
commodities after police and the price control teams recovered various goods
hidden at his residence.
Police recovered tones of sugar, rice, cooking oil and soap stashed in
various rooms including the toilet. He is expected to appear in court this
By Mutumwa D. Mawere
Last updated: 07/02/2007 09:51:50
AS THE African Union (AU) deliberates the future of the continent's
political and economic architecture, there is no doubt that Zimbabweans are
more confused by the fate of one man than what the country has to do to move
Anyone talking about the resolution of the Zimbabwean crisis cannot avoid
discussing the fate of President Robert Mugabe. While the opposition has
laid out a road map for Zimbabwe, it is clear that behind the camouflage of
constitutional and electoral changes, the real agenda is to remove Mugabe
through whatever means. Mugabe and his party appear not to be blind to the
underlying regime change agenda.
The outgoing US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Christopher Dell, and Dr Ibbo
Mandaza, seem to share the view that Mugabe will bow out of the political
scene by the end of the year. While Mandaza's prediction is based on his
understanding of the internal dynamics in Zanu PF, Ambassador Dell's
prediction is based on the unsustainable economic situation that now
characterises contemporary Zimbabwe.
Notwithstanding what Mandaza and Dell think, there is nothing on the ground
in Zimbabwe to suggest that Mugabe has any intention of quitting let alone
that Zanu PF has any alternative candidate than Mugabe. When one looks at
the political scene, Zanu PF and Mugabe have not been persuaded that
Zimbabwe needs a new constitution as suggested by the MDC-led opposition. On
the contrary, they believe that there is no constitutional crisis and the
current government is not only capable of conducting free and fair elections
but is competent to do so more than many other African states.
What is clear is that Zanu PF has not missed any election since independence
and there is no reason to believe that next year's election will not be
With respect to constitutional amendments, Zanu PF believes that parliament
is competent to pass any amendment and there is nothing undemocratic about
this. On the other hand, the opposition believes that the current government
is illegitimate and has no mandate to amend the constitution let alone to
govern. While the same opposition has no problem being part of the state
through its members being representatives in the Parliament, they do believe
that issues concerning the constitution should be handled outside the
framework of the state.
On constitutional issues, there is no consensus on the way forward and it is
unlikely that Zanu PF will be persuaded even through the Thabo Mbeki
mediation effort to commit political suicide and agree on any changes that
will weaken the party by removing its most potent weapon, Mugabe, from the
scene. Even within Zanu PF, the much talked about factions appear to be
leaderless and when subjected to even a small test are never there to defend
their interests. If there was any lesson from the Tsholotsho debacle, it is
that there is no constituency within Zanu PF (with the exception of Jonathan
Moyo who may never have understood the psyche than informs the party) to
change the great leader.
This brings us to the issue of the economy. While many may argue that Zanu
PF policies are the cause of the economic collapse of the country, Mugabe
and his followers are convinced that Zimbabwe is a victim of a well
orchestrated campaign by imperialists whose real motive is regime change and
not the interests of Zimbabwe. They link the economic crisis to the land
issue in a manner that is digestible by any rank and file member of the
party. While many argue that there is no causal link between the economic
crisis and the land issue, no one has been able to explain why the
international community would be so angry with Zimbabwe and not with
Nigeria, Pakistan or Ivory Coast if democracy was the real concern.
The emergence of Chavez and the redefinition of the post-colonial state as a
developmental state by many former colonial countries clearly show that Dell
and Mandaza may be misinformed about what is going on in Zimbabwe. If Mugabe's
thinking about the role of the state in post colonial state and the nature
of a national democratic revolution and the tactics and strategies required
to sustain the gains of the revolution is spreading throughout the
developing world, why then should he bow out? It may not be inconceivable
that Mugabe received the buy-in from the SADC Heads of State about his
understanding of the broader context of the Zimbabwean crisis to the extent
that they may all have agreed about the need to defend his legacy.
It is ironic that even at the just ended ANC policy conference, a key
consensus among delegates was the need for South Africa to advance as a
developmental state, with increased state intervention to drive growth and
create employment. The policy thrust of ANC may not be any different from
that of Zanu PF. In as much as ANC is not happy with the monopolisation of
the economy and the role of the unions, Zanu PF is one party that feels that
it has borne the brunt of counter-revolutionary and reactionary onslaught
targeted at undermining the role of the state in the transformation of the
It is not surprising that Mugabe remains convinced that the state must lead
the defence of the nation against any attempt to reverse the gains of the
revolution. In this regard, even selling a car above the state determined
price (like the Willowgate scandal); selling foreign exchange above an
arbitrarily determined exchange rate, and selling goods and services above
prices the state thinks are justified is seen as a sign of treason or as
part of some regime change agenda.
Mugabe remains in control of Zanu PF's agenda and it would be naïve to
suggest that he has lost the control of the party. Any right thinking member
of Zanu PF knows what Mugabe wants to hear in terms of the party's ideology
and the role of business in transformation. Mugabe still believes that the
state can manage businesses better than the private sector and no market
system can address the developmental challenges of a post colonial state. I
am convinced that within Zanu PF there are many who share his approach to
development although in practice they may not subscribe to socialist
Last week, Mugabe did not mince his words when he said: "We will seize the
mines ... we will nationalise them if they continue with the dirty tricks.
All companies, we will take them over if they continue with their dirty
game. Take note, we will be equal to the challenge. We are capable of
playing that game too."
It falls to reason that he is surely planning to go nowhere.
The nationalisation threat by Mugabe is not new but is shared by many
African governments. In such an environment, any profitable enterprise is
easily seen as a negation of the struggle.
On Tuesday last week, Industry and Trade Minister Obert Mpofu said Zimbabwe
will transfer control of all companies, including foreign banks and some
mining operations, to locals if a planned black empowerment bill is passed
by the country's ruling-party dominated parliament. The domestication of
enterprises using the state is not unique to Zimbabwe and, therefore, it
would be unlikely that Mugabe would choose to resign now when the fun has
just begun given the extent of the asset ownership architecture in Zimbabwe
after 27 years of independence.
In light of the above, it would be wrong to think that Mugabe is concerned
about the status of the Zimbabwean economy and shares the view that he is
the problem. In the circumstances, the starting point for people who want to
remove him would be to convince Zanu PF that its ideology will not move
Zimbabwe forward rather than merely replacing its leader.
Mutumwa Mawere's weekly column appears on New Zimbabwe.com every Monday. You
can contact him at: email@example.com
2 July 2007
The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) has today asked its lawyers
to explore the possibility of applying to the High Court for an interdict
stopping the illegal commission running the City of Harare from implementing
the proposed Supplementary Budget.
The Supplementary Budget, totalling $1, 44 trillion, was advertised in the
Herald of 8 and 15 June 29007. Residents are expected to have made their
objections to the proposed budget by 8 July, while the budget has already
been implemented, making a mockery of the objections-making process.
This clearly violates sections of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15)
which stipulate that residents must be given thirty days to lodge their
objections from the day of the first advertisement in the media.
CHRA believes that the supplementary budget is illegal. Justice Lawrence
Kamocha ruled on 2 March 2007 that the Harare Commission is illegal and has
no mandate to act on behalf of the City of Harare.
The Association is particularly concerned with the attitude of the
commission on issues of procedure. The illegal commission disregarded the
residents' objections to the 2007 City Budget in January and proceed to
implement the 2007 it.
Residents need to also take note of the directive on all rents' increases
issued by the Cabinet Taskforce on Price Monitoring and Stabilisation
(herald 29 June 2007). The taskforce said all rentals must return to the
levels of 18 June, meaning the City of Harare cannot therefore introduce new
rates for residents of Harare. The Commission is not exempt from Cabinet
The lawyers' response to the Association's queries will determine how it
responds to the crisis of the supplementary budget.
"CHRA for Enhanced Civic Participation in Local Governance"
For further details please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org, and on mobile 0912
924 151, 011 862 012, 011 443 578 and 011 612 860 or visit us at Exploration
House, Third Floor, Corner Robert Mugabe Way and Fifth Street
Combined Harare Residents' Association
Mobile: 011 612 860 or 0912 869 294
"Stand Firm. Be of Good Courage"
Tuesday 03 July 2007
JOHANNESBURG - Four South African farmers who are facing charges of
attempted murder after they severely assaulted two Zimbabwean illegal
immigrants last weekend were on Monday granted bail of R1 000 each.
The four, Kobus Janse van Vuuren, 41, Jaco Janse van Vuuren, 19, Barend
Troskie, 21 and Liandre Botes, 20, appeared in the Thabazimbi Magistrate's
Court in the northern Limpopo province.
The farmers accused the illegal Zimbabwean immigrants, who work on one of
the farms in the area, of stealing their clothes.
One of the Zimbabweans told the police that he was severely assaulted with a
rubber hammer while the other one was tied up with a chain during the
assault that happened last Saturday.
The police arrested the four after the illegal immigrants escaped and later
reported the matter to the police.
Cases of ill-treatment and harassment of illegal Zimbabwean immigrants are
common in South Africa. Human rights groups have in the past accused South
African farmers of abusing Zimbabweans who work on their farms.
There are millions of Zimbabweans living in South Africa, the majority of
them illegally, after fleeing home because of economic hardship and
political persecution at home. - ZimOnline
By Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye
02 July 2007
Zimbabwe Cricket, under intense scrutiny following the leak of a damning
financial report presented at an International Cricket Council meeting in
London last week, has agreed to allow auditors engaged by the ICC inspect
The report, alleging financial abuses, was the latest blow to an
organization that has seen tours canceled by Australia, India and the West
Indies in recent months.
Sports commentator Michael Kariati told Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye that an
audit could shed light on some of the problems that have plagued Zimbabwe