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

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Dear Sirs
I write to you in urgent appeal for your help and intervention.
Dr Ignatius Chombo, Minister of Local Government and my local Member of Parliament attended a meeting of people at Katawa (a village close by) at about 5pm this evening and has given an instruction that I as owner of Erewhon farm as well as the farmers on Chinomwe Estate and Nyarugwe Farm are to be removed  from our farms this week by Zanu PF youth with the assistance of the local war vet Kangachepi. In addition, IF MY staff resist this eviction, Dr Chombo has threatened to send the Black Boots (Police paramilitary support unit) to beat up my staff. 
As you are aware, on several occasions I have been severely harrassed by Minister Chombo and his youth as well as the war vets in our area. I have been abducted, beaten, given 3 hours to get off my farm, attempted abduction again in February 2002, Police tried to arrest me for being a "Tsvangeson"  (name used by Zanu for MDC political party leader) and for being part of a Community radio support unit while fellow farmers were arrested for helping monitors during the elections. I was arrested and put in jail under false charges on 18 May 2002 and am yet to be summonsed to face these trumped up charges.
I made an urgent application to the High Court and Justice Chinhengo set aside my Notice of Preliminary Acquisition (Section 5) and the Acquisition Order  (SECTION 8 ) issued in respect of my property known as Erewhon farm on 3 July 2002. It should be noted that the Attorney- General gave instructions that this matter was not to be opposed in a letter dated 2 July 2002. Government therefor consented to setting aside the two orders.
A copy of this Order has been served on the  Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement as well as the Commissioner of Police and the Officer-in-charge Chinhoyi Police station.
 I stress that  I am therefore legally within my rights to continue farming.
On Tuesday last week four men arrived on the farm saying they were messengers for Dr Chombo. They identified themselves as Ronald Chakadenga, John Phiri, Kangachepi, and a driver, in a Toyota Land Cruiser Reg no 785 412H. THheir message was that I was to pack and leave my farm and their intention was to intimidate myself and my staff into leaving. I presented  Mr Ronald Chakadenga with a copy of my High Court Order to give to the Minister of Lands as well as the Minister of Local Government. He promised to give it to the Minister.
It is unfortunate that the Minister of Local Government, Dr Chombo, in addressing the meeting today 14 July 2002 considers himself above the law and has instructed his party cadres to disobey the High Court and proceed with an eviction which is clearly illegal.
THere are a number of critical issues here:
1    Dr Chombo has issued an instruction to his war vetS and Zanu PF youth which is clearly in contempt of the High Court of Zimbabwe.
2     Dr Chombo has warned my staff that if they try to stop the Youth from evicting me, he will send in the Black Boots to beat them UP. Dr Chombo clearly believes that he is above the law and can issue instructions to the Police Force which are unlawful. He expects the Police Force to uphold his instruction and not the letter of the Law.
3    Dr Chombo has indicated that he intends to settle the old people of the community on my farm but that my staff are not to leave until they are paid their wages and benefits. There seems to be no provisions for my staff after I have been evicted.
There are clear INJUSTICES here:
a    Both my staff and their families and my family and myself would prefer to continue farming. The families of my workforce have at their disposal a clinic, schooling and job security and they have a permanent roof over their heads. We do not wish to be illegally evicted from our homes. My staff do not  require retrenchment as we currently farm legally. 
b   It is of background interest to note that this farm, in The Sunday Mail of 2 June 2002, was allocated to Mrs B Chanetsa, National Registration Number 63-439411-F, the wife of the Mashonaland West Governor, Mr Peter Chanetsa as well as to M Mudukuti, National Registration Number 63-640588-B with address P O Box 25 Ruwa. By re-allocating the farm to a different group of people, Dr Chombo is overriding the Ministry of Lands decision to allocate the farm to the above mentioned people, albeit this has now been rendered illegal by the cancelling of acquisition orders.
c   In the event that Dr Chombo does not wish to overrule the Ministry of Lands decision, he HAS mislead his constituents into believing that he intends to help them obtain land.
I plead for your help in bringing this issue to a JUST conclusion and to help me ensure that my as possible 340 staff, myself and our families are allowed to keep our jobs, our homes and our lives intact. I also ask that this matter be publicised as widely as possible as we firmly believe that Dr Chombo cannot remain above the law for ever!
Yours sincerely
TEL: 0667-354
Cell: 091-229144
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Daily News

      Farmer, workers' trial for public violence continues

      7/15/02 8:56:19 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      The trial of Norton farmer James Sinclair and two workers, who are
facing charges of public violence, enters its fourth day today at the Harare
Magistrates' Court, with nine State witnesses having given evidence before
the court adjourned last Thursday afternoon.

      Sinclair's co-accused Zenedias Kasekera, a security guard, and Masimba
Gwanzura, a farm worker, have all pleaded not guilty before regional
magistrate Leonard Chitunhu.

      Phildah Muzofa and Vivian Mandizvidza, for the State, alleged that the
three, with nine others still at large, attacked 37 settlers on Sinclair's
Serui Source Farm with clubs, axes, spears, iron bars and sticks on 12 June

      The settlers are claiming that property worth an estimated $1 967 000
was either looted or destroyed when the alleged attackers torched their

      Sinclair has maintained, through his counsel Deepak Mehta, that he was
not present at any stage during the attack.

      In his defence outline, Sinclair said the violence was mainly between
villagers from the neighbouring Mhondoro communal land and the settlers.

      Rosaria Mashiri Musona, a State witness, told the court on Thursday
that she had identified Gwanzura and Samson, as being in a group of up to 20
people who allegedly attacked the settlers.

      She said: "They asked us why we were staying on their employer's farm.
They told us to leave and started to burn the dwellings and beat us up and I
ran away."

      Musona said she had only recognised them at an identification parade
at Norton Police Station on 15 June 2001.

      Mehta asked her: "Is it correct that you were told that these were the
accused and that is how you identified them?"

      After first agreeing, Musona then said she had first seen them when
they were destroying the settlers' structures.

      Musona said: "I managed to identify six people. I identified the
second accused, who had been assaulted, so I concluded that he was among the

      She alleged that Sinclair had arrived in his vehicle when their
dwellings were on fire "and he just looked at the people setting our houses
on fire and drove away".

      Asked by Mehta why she had not mentioned in her statement to the
police that Sinclair had driven up in his car, Musona said: "I had a lot of
things to mention to the police so I did not say it."

      Mehta told Musona that her evidence was exactly the same as that given
by a previous witness and accused her of manipulating her evidence.

      Another State witness, a Masinzo, admitted under cross-examination by
Mehta that Sinclair was neither at a meeting a day or two earlier that
allegedly discussed attacking the settlers nor was he present during the
actual attack.

      Mehta said: "Your attitude reflects that you have something against
the Sinclairs."

      Masinzo replied: "Yes, he robbed me. There is a certain man who left
me his house and he is in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the house was

      Masinzo admitted he was dismissed from work by Sinclair for a
work-related issue this year.
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Daily News

      Farm acquisition leaves companies facing closure

      7/15/02 9:10:39 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      FOUR companies which operated at Sunray Farm in Domboshava, just
outside Harare, were forced to close down two weeks ago following the
compulsory acquisition of the farm under the government's controversial land
redistribution programme.

      The companies, Prime Seeds (Pvt) Limited, Marktron Transport, Hardwick
Enterprises, manufacturers of farm equipment, and Dai-Ichi, manufacturers of
motor vehicle filters, are located within the 105-hectare farm.

      Sunray farm is owned by Walton Emry, who is contesting the acquisition
in the High Court.

      A Zimbabwean identified only as Hamandishe, who has reportedly lived
in England for the past 27 years, has taken over the farm and renamed it

      Euwe Leuber, one of Hardwick's co-directors, said Hamandishe came last
week and ordered them to dismantle their machinery.

      Leuber said the closure of the companies had left over 500 people

      "Hamandishe came here last Monday and evicted me and my family from of
our house, saying he was the new owner of the farm," Leuber said.

      He said Hamandishe was accompanied by about 12 militant youths, who
threw his property onto the lawn and ordered them to vacate the farm by
Wednesday, at the latest.

      Hamandishe is allegedly linked to the Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Stan Mudenge, who was reportedly allocated Plot No 10 at the farm, under the
fast-track resettlement programme.

      Mudenge was not available for comment. Hamandishe was not at the farm
when reporters visited it on Tuesday.

      Hamandishe's employees, Kachau Muza, 50, and Simbarashe Nhire, 25,
confirmed they had been on the farm since 1 July.

      Cephas Magirini, the factory manager at Prime Seeds said on Monday, 1
July, he met about five men who ordered him to go to the gate to meet the
new farm owner, Hamandishe.

      Prime Seeds is a joint venture with Advance Seeds. The company is
responsible for cleaning and treating seed, packing vegetables and
hand-picking seed.

      "Hamandishe ordered me to hand over the factory keys," Magirini said.
"He said he had taken over. He was hostile."

      He said they had been ordered not to remove any of the factory
equipment because the government would compensate the owners.

      Magirini said since Hamandishe arrived at the farm, the workers had
been harassed by his men.

      "Our names have been taken down and some workers have been ordered to
leave the farm," said Magirini.

      Leuber said the equipment and stock at Hardwick Enterprises was worth
about US$500 000 (Z$27,5 million at the official exchange rate), Dai-Ichi
had equipment valued at about US$400 000 (Z$22 million at the official
exchange rate) and the stocks and equipment at Prime Seeds was over Z$30

      Leuber said he was unsure about the total value of equipment and
vehicles at Marktron Transporters but confirmed the company had been evicted
and had already vacated the premises.

      He said to restart their operations, they would need approximately
Z$10 million
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Daily News

      Nyabira farmer flees after clash with war veteran leaders

      7/15/02 8:59:04 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      SIMON Hale, a Nyabira farmer, and his family have fled their farm
following a clash between him and war veteran leaders Endy Mhlanga and
Patrick Nyaruwata, who have taken over the property.

      Hale said the two war veteran leaders occupied his farm in December
last year under Section 5 of the government's controversial Land Acquisition

      He said his family had been co-existing with Mhlanga and Nyaruwata on
the farm until the two decided to occupy a section he had sub-divided for

      Hale said: "We went out of our way to try to co-exist with them, but
this has failed. We were forced to leave the farm because we felt our lives
were in danger. They have now occupied my son and niece's houses."

      The farmer said the war veterans visited him in the company of 14
youths and threatened to beat up his family.

      But Nyaruwata said yesterday the farmer fled after wilfully damaging
the irrigation system on the farm.

      "Simon knows we were given this farm and I don't know why he is coming
to you.

      "He ran away after sabotaging the irrigation system and destroyed
electric motors and a machine used to pump water from the dam. We are
desperately looking for him because we want him to pack his belongings and
leave the farm."

      More than 650 commercial farmers' families and at least 15 154
farm-worker families have been evicted from their homes since February 2000
when farm invasions began.

      The figure translates to a total of 76 000 people displaced since

      The invasions have seen assets valued at $7,9 billion being either
seized, impounded or looted from 632 farms.

      The Commercial Farmers' Union said that 857 single-owned farms have
been seized despite the government's policy of one farm for one owner.
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Daily News

      US blames Zimbabwe for humanitarian crisis in region

      7/15/02 9:16:20 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      RICHARD Boucher, the spokesman for the United States government, has
expressed concern over the detention last week of 15 commercial farmers in
Zimbabwe and the impending evictions of farmers.

      In a statement last week, Boucher said Zimbabwe's actions continued to
reduce the country's ability to provide food.

      "It is extraordinary that the Government of Zimbabwe is taking action
to shut down operations on productive farms when at the same time it has
declared a national emergency to deal with widespread hunger and possible
famine," Boucher said.

      He said even before the latest development, the government's policies
and actions had collapsed Zimbabwe's economy and caused widespread suffering
within Zimbabwe and the region.

      "A fundamental duty of every government is to put in place the legal
and policy framework to enable its citizens to feed themselves, a duty the
Government of Zimbabwe has wilfully scorned at great cost to the people of
Zimbabwe and the region," Boucher said.

      On the severity of the food crisis in Zimbabwe, Boucher said: "The
destruction of Zimbabwe's agricultural sector will take years to fix,
forcing Zimbabwe, once a prominent agricultural exporter, to import food and
beg for aid.

      He said the United States would continue to provide food aid to help
the most needy affected by the food crisis in Zimbabwe, but is cognisant of
the fact that the government of Zimbabwe bears much of the responsibility
for the growing humanitarian crisis in the region.

      "Although the regional drought has been a real factor in the food
shortages in Zimbabwe, the situation has been greatly exacerbated by the
policies and actions of the Government of Zimbabwe," said Boucher.
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Business Day

War veterans' move could deal Mugabe mortal blow


Deputy Editor

ZIMBABWE's restless war veterans are threatening to break their association
with President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu (PF) party, a move that if
carried through could deal a mortal blow to the 78-yearold's iron hold on

It was the former combatants who first demonstrated to Zimbabweans five
years ago that it was possible to challenge Mugabe when they marched to the
president's official residence, Dzimbahwe House, in an unprecedented show of
power that forced Harare to award them hefty state grants and pensions.

This unbudgeted-for expenditure, as well as Zimbabwe's military forays into
the Democratic Republic of Congo, precipitated Harare's economic crisis and
eventually influenced the birth of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC).

Evidently disillusioned with Harare's chaotic land reforms, which have
largely benefited top government officials, a majority of the 50000-strong
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association were reported at the
weekend to be planning to form their own political party, the New People's

The Standard, the independent weekly now edited by former government
spokesman Bornwell Chakaodza, quoted one of the association's leaders
yesterday as saying "there are a lot of counter-revolutionaries in the
(ruling) party".

"Most of them are the mafikizolos (newcomers) who are causing confusion. So
we felt it in the interest of our members to have a party to serve our

The newcomer jibe was believed to be a reference to Information and
Publicity Minister Jonathan Moyo, himself a former government critic.

The Standard's story was given credence by a report in a rival newspaper,
The Sunday Mirror owned by government sympathiser Ibbo Mandaza which
reported that some leaders of the association had lambasted Moyo for
subjecting it to bad publicity.

The association's secretary for security, Mike Moyo, accused the powerful
minister of deliberately portraying war veterans negatively in the state
media in a move the war veterans perceived to be part of a systematic ploy
to neutralise the association's political influence in the post-presidential
election period.

If the war veterans form their own party, this will deal a major blow to
Zanu (PF)'s hopes of continuing to hold on to power in the face of the
country's worsening economic and political crisis.

The veterans of Zimbabwe's war of liberation have in the past two years
waged a bloody campaign aimed at crushing growing support for the MDC and
its leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has become the bane of Mugabe.

But only three months after the presidential election, controversially won
by Mugabe, the former fighters have watched helplessly as land is grabbed by
top government officials and their cronies.
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Business Day

Mugabe has to be ejected


CAN someone please tell me why it was seen fit to prohibit the attendance of
Madagascan President Marc Ravalomanana at the forming of the African Union
(AU) in Durban, but allow the attendance of Zimbabwean President Robert

If the AU is trying to tell us that the Madagascan election was a farce, but
that Mugabe's election victory was fair, then we are entitled to conclude
that Africa's tired ways will continue and that the AU will be no different
to the Organisation of African Unity.

Until Mugabe is forced out, the New Partnership for Africa's Development is
deserving of zilch. Millions of good, honest and hard-working Zimbabweans
face poverty and starvation thanks to his ruthlessness and ruinous

R SamuelsNorwood
Jul 15 2002 12:00:00:000AM  Business Day 1st Edition
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U.S. Journalist Acquitted in Zimbabwe Media Trial

      July 15
      - HARARE (Reuters) - A U.S. journalist was found not guilty Monday of
publishing a false story in Zimbabwe, in the first test of President Robert
Mugabe's strict new media laws.

      Andrew Meldrum, the Zimbabwe correspondent of Britain's Guardian
newspaper, was the first of a dozen journalists facing charges of publishing
falsehoods to go on trial.

      "It is the court's view that the accused is found not guilty and is
therefore acquitted," said Judge Godfrey Macheyo
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Daily News

Leader page

      After AU launch, African leaders must now deliver

      7/15/02 9:26:00 AM (GMT +2)

      LAST Tuesday at the ABSA Stadium, in Durban, the African Union (AU)
was formally launched. It was a grand occasion without no triumphalism or

      The march past salutes were fantastic. Then the music, parachute
landings and speeches to several thousands of people from all walks of life
(including a record attendance of 43 heads of state) gathered to witness
this historic occasion of renewal of hope in the more than century-old
project of African Unity.

      One could not help drawing historical parallels of what it must have
felt like on 25 May 1963 when the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was
launched in Addis Ababa. What was it like then? How did the people feel?
2002 was not 1963. Then the leaders were broadly at one with the masses
about the uhuru (independence) project and the total liberation of Africa
from the vestiges of colonialism and reclaiming Africa's self-esteem and
place in the world. They spoke with the authority and legitimacy of popular
mandate. They must have felt that the whole world was theirs for the taking.
And so it must have seemed.

      At ABSA Stadium the optimism was subdued. Unlike 1963, this was not
year zero in our quest for freedom, progress and unity. The weight of the
painful zigzags, detours and various bumps of the past four decades forced
the sombre atmosphere.

      President Thabo Mbeki, known for his flowery oratory and fierce
intellect in all speeches for the three-day summit and the one at the formal
launch, in particular avoided philosophy and concentrated on the practicals.

      He gave a competent visionary, but cautious, speech. His performance
was like that of a new chief executive of an ailing giant corporate
institution who has achieved some success that promised to turn around the
company, but sure that the company is not out of the woods yet. Therefore,
he had to give shareholders the good news while at the same time sounding a
note of caution that the best is yet to come. Sobriety was what was

      Five other heads of state spoke on behalf of the five regions. The
choice of the representatives was very much old OAU style compromise of
preferring longevity in office (no matter how achieved) or formal position
as compromise.

      Consequently, Daniel arap Moi, Gnassinbge Eyadema and Omar Bongo spoke
as the longest-serving presidents in their regions and President Levy
Mwanawasa spoke because Zambia was the outgoing and last chair of the OAU.

      President Mohammed Aziz of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic
(Western Sahara) was probably the only odd one out speaking on behalf of the
North African countries. It was probably a show of solidarity with Western
Sahara as the only outstanding case of unresolved colonial rule by the OAU.

      It was also a demonstration to Morocco that its years in the cold are
not yet over. It was left to the unprogrammed intervention of the
predictably unpredictable brother leader, Muammar Gaddafi, to spark off some
mass enthusiasm.

      Obviously overcome by emotions he took to the microphone. He unusually
spoke very briefly and also in English. It had an electrifying impact on the
audience who were gathered to celebrate rather than be lectured to.

      The cultural aspects of the launch provided some action and points of
entry for mass jubilation. It was an inspired choice of parade elements to
include the Lions of Teranga of Senegal and, of course, Bafana Bafana in the
parade. You can imagine the ululations and ovation around the stadium as
they waved to all the four corners.

      The fact that the official atmosphere was dominated by realism and a
serious business approach did not mean that the historic moment was lost on
the leaders and other delegates. There is a lot of pressure on the leaders
to deliver and show us that they mean business this time.

      The fact that the expected cheque from the G8 bounced also created a
note of caution that should be beneficial in the long run. It helped to
clear misconceptions and renewed consensus that whether it is the New
Partnership for Africa's Partnership (Nepad) or AU, we have to do things
ourselves because they are in our interests not because somebody in Europe
or America likes them or not.

      The heated debate on Madagascar is an indication of this new
assertiveness. The United States of America and a number of European Union
countries have recognised Marc Ravalomanana and are pressuring African
countries to do the same. A number of African countries, especially the
so-called Francophone countries led by President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal,
are also in the campaign; but the majority of the AU states are insisting
that the Union keeps to its own principle of not recognising any government
that has come in by unconstitutional means.

      It is a test of how serious the new Union is and on that count they
stuck to their guns.

      There will be more tests to come, but the cynicism of the rest of the
world and caution of the vast majority of our people will put the leaders on
their toes to deliver.

      We are embracing the Union with open eyes.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      Food as a political tool a crime against humanity

      7/15/02 9:25:19 AM (GMT +2)

      THE most naked example of political callousness was the recent action
by so-called war veterans to prevent food from reaching mothers and children
in an area of Binga in Matabeleland North.

      These people acted after Ignatius Chombo railed against the Catholic
Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), who were undertaking the feeding
programme, for using "structures similar to the government's".

      For the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Housing, the
plight of the hungry mothers and children seemed to be of little
consequence. Much more worrying to him was the political mileage the CCJP
was likely to garner from the exercise.

      Such a callous disregard for human life can only be matched by that of
the so-called war veterans whose bloody campaign on behalf of President
Mugabe and Zanu PF since 2000 has cost many innocent lives.

      The violence is being used on the people largely because most of them
are no longer interested in Zanu PF as a political party. In 22 years in
power, the
      party has brought them more misery than material benefits.

      The party and its president are acutely aware of this, hence their
seeming decision to sink lower than ever before and use food as a political

      This is such a cynical disregard for the sanctity of life that people
must wonder if the party has finally lost all sense of decency and

      To use food to punish the opposition and reward their supporters must
rate as a crime against humanity. Certainly, it would be compatible with the
political tactics of a party which has boasted publicly of its leaders
having "many degrees in violence".

      The head of the World Food Programme, James Morris, said last week he
met President Mugabe in Durban and warned him not to continue this campaign
of denying food aid to opposition supporters.

      For one thing, it must have been acutely embarrassing for a head of
state to be confronted by the head of a United Nations agency which is
helping his country survive a food shortage of staggering proportions to
remind him not to use food as a political weapon.

      For another thing, this warning was issued at a summit during which
African heads of state were ostensibly reaffirming their absolute commitment
to the
      fight against poverty, hunger and disease on the continent.

      If Mugabe's spin doctors don't hoodwink him into believing that
Morris, being a Westerner, cannot be trusted to be genuinely concerned about
the six million Zimbabweans facing death from starvation, then Mugabe might
be well-advised to rethink his entire strategy to combat the looming

      For a start, he should confront the truth that the farm invasions did
disrupt productivity. Even if it were true that the communal farmers produce
more maize than the commercial farmers - which many people tend to doubt -
the fact remains that what they used to contribute to the total maize
production was not realised in the two seasons since the farm invasions.

      Then he ought to study very carefully the reports of how much progress
is being made on the resettled farms. One man whose word he ought never to
take at its face value is Joseph Made, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture
and Rural Resettlement.

      This man made the most monumental miscalculation when he insisted
Zimbabwe had enough food and would not need to import maize, for instance.

      He reiterated this assurance publicly many times until most experts
began to wonder if he was so driven by political ambition that he would lie
on such a huge scale.

      Zimbabwe is in this food shortage mess today because of Made's
miscalculations. Mugabe should learn to face reality, although this may be
too late to save his political bacon.

      But even at this late hour, he ought to act speedily to forestall any
attempts by the world to include starving his own people for political gain
among the other crimes against humanity with which some have decided he
ought to be charged already.
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Daily News


      Exit bungling OAU, in comes toothless AU

      7/15/02 9:28:07 AM (GMT +2)

      THE Organisation of African Unity (OAU) has been pensioned off and the
African Union (AU) launched in its place. I found it fitting that I should
give a valedictory remark for the OAU on the occasion of its pension.

      The OAU was created by a few independent African states in order to
foster the total liberation of all the continent's states, among other

      The few states that were independent then lobbied vociferously in
various forums for the independence of other states that remained colonised.
Moral and material support was extended to liberation movements. I remember
my days in the camps in Zambia during the liberation war. We ate kapenta
fish from Kamuzu Banda's Malawi and we fought the cold nights with blankets
from Jomo Kenyatta's Kenya. Our war of liberation benefited immensely from
the largesse of the OAU.

      From the days of its formation, the OAU seemed to lack a credible code
of belonging as it embraced all independent countries with a stunning
diversity in leadership styles. Membership to the OAU was not reserved as
states with varying degrees of roguery could belong to the OAU as long as
they were independent.

      As a result of the lack of proper ethical standards, good leaders, bad
leaders, dictators, pragmatists, thieving leaders and honest leaders graced
the stages of the OAU.

      Is it not an insult that well-known dictators such as Mobutu Sese Seko
of Zaire, Saidi Barre of Somalia, Kamuzu Banda of Malawi and the Central
African Emperor Jean Bedel Bokassa graced the stages of the OAU?

      There were king-killers also, who got their fair share of the action
in the OAU.

      Mengistu Haile Marriam, hands dripping with the blood of Haile
Selassie who was an original signatory to the OAU Charter, found himself
chairing many OAU meetings, thanks to the OAU Headquarters being located in
Addis Ababa.

      During the reign of the OAU, Africa was dogged by so many conflicts.
Most of the conflicts saw some OAU member states waging war against other
member states. The OAU remained inactive whilst member states destroyed each

      The OAU seemed to lack the will to act against its own member states
as the states could go to war against each other at short notice with little
restraint from the OAU.

      One such war that comes to mind is the invasion of Tanzania by Idi
Amin of Uganda that eventually led to Amin's deposition. When apartheid
South Africa terrorised Frontline States, the OAU reacted by tagging its
tail between its legs.

      Indeed the OAU was a paper tiger that provided African leaders an
opportunity to showcase their limousines to their peers during annual

      The OAU could not rein in recalcitrant leaders. There were no human
rights guidelines to be followed by leaders. Human rights could be broken at
will with nothing done or said to bring back the erring leaders into line.
Individual leaders could break all human rights possible and still enjoy
hugs from their peers during those meetings of mutual admiration. Probably
that is why terms such as "Gukurahundi" and '"5 Brigade" are unknown in OAU

      If the OAU had been concerned about human rights, then there would
have been something on those ghastly murders committed by a member of the
OAU family.

      All the same, the OAU lobbied hard for the total liberation of Africa.
South Africa, the last vestige of minority rule, was eventually granted
majority rule in 1994. Without the incessant pressure and lobbying of the
OAU, who knows may be today South Africa would still be an apartheid state?

      On a more frightening note, were it not for the courage of some OAU
member states such as Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Botswana and Angola, may
be Zimbabwe would still be under the tight grip of Ian Smith!

      Having achieved that great goal to liberate the whole of Africa, the
OAU deserves a fitting farewell. I extend a grateful farewell to the body
that gave freedom to all of us. I bow my head to the OAU for putting up a
good fight even if its membership consisted of people with so many different
views on freedom. I salute those few men and women who stood up for the
freedom of all of Africa.

      Farewell to the OAU.

      We now welcome the AU. It is unfortunate that the AU has been launched
without reservation on membership. It is a pity that the new body did not
discriminate the good stuff from the chaff. In its inception, the AU has
transferred all the good and bad eggs from the OAU to the AU. This is a
monumental blunder that will scandalise the new body. As Senegal's President
Abdoulaye Wade said, the old trade union of African leaders has just been
given a new name.

      If the AU was serious, membership would have been reserved with strict
standards to be observed by its members. Membership to the AU should not be
automatic. Aspirants to AU membership should undergo rigorous tests before
being accepted.

      For a start, the AU could use democracy and economic management as a
criterion for membership. Those countries that have made strides in
democracy and sound economic management should be made the voting members of
the AU.

      The other countries showing positive change towards democracy and
economic reform could be honoured as candidate members. Candidate member
states would be rewarded with full membership when they meet the requisite
standards. Rouge states such as "Sabhuku's" serfdom would be accorded
observer status at the AU. Such countries would be encouraged to learn from
member countries on how to run their political and economic affairs

      These countries would be assigned a mentor each from the member
countries to oversee their progress toward falling in line with the
requirements of the AU.

      It is a pity though that the AU will have nothing to do with screening
its members. There is no one willing to tell some of those stern-faced
dictators and economic failures that they are what they are.

      The African leaders fear to discuss their own failures during their
time. They would rather discuss historical failures as opposed to their
current failures.

      There is no boldness from the up-right nations to censure the erring

      That is why the OAU/AU chose to discuss Madagascar. Madagascar could
be discussed because the upstart known as Marc Ravalomanana is not
personally known to Afro-centrics like Muammar Gaddafi.

      The OAU/AU will not discuss Zimbabwe because our leadership shares a
special relationship with the flamboyant Arab-African.

      The AU will claim that it is not necessary to discuss Zimbabwe because
the situation does not warrant alarm bells outside Zimbabwean borders.

      The AU deems that it has no business discussing the internal affairs
of its member states. That is hogwash.

      If the formation of the AU is based on member states following
democracy, then the internal affairs of member states becomes a concern of
the AU.

      It is irresponsible for the AU to want to discuss only fires without
discussing fire-raising issues.

      Exit OAU and enter AU
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Daily News

      Marange MDC supporters flee homes after Zanu PF torture

      7/15/02 9:15:05 AM (GMT +2)

      From Brian Mangwenden in Mutare

      ABOUT 210 MDC members in Marange, Mutare West, have reportedly fled
their homes after being tortured by Zanu PF youths camped at Bazel Bridge in
the run-up to rural district council by-elections.

      On Wednesday, Edmund Maingire, the Manicaland provincial police
spokesman refused to comment.

      The by-elections, originally due at the end of this month, have been
postponed to September.

      Villagers who claimed they were beaten up related their ordeals to
reporters this week, saying the situation was unbelievable.

      Apart from assaulting the villagers, the youths allegedly imposed an
unofficial curfew from 5am to 5pm in Marange.

      But Pishai Muchauraya, the MDC spokesman in Manicaland, claimed the
curfew only applied to MDC members.

      Shingi Murapa, a resident in Marange said: "It seems we have gone back
to the liberation struggle. The tactics being adopted by these youths are
similar to those used by Zanu PF guerrillas during the struggle for

      He said so-called war veterans and local Zanu PF youths were at the
forefront of identifying people for
      corporal punishment.

      "Before they beat or torture anyone, they unsettle that person and
force him or her to sing liberation war songs, denounce the MDC and its
leadership and vow not to vote for the MDC in the forthcoming rural district
elections," said Murapa. "Zanu PF won the elections in Mutare West so I don'
t see any reason why they are beating up the people."

      Charles Pemhenai, Zanu PF's Manicaland spokesman, said: "That's a
smokescreen. People are making a mountain out of a molehill. There is no
such thing. They are liars. It's an act of thuggery. If people have been
out-manoeuvred in a campaign they should not allege a curfew. If they are
failing to penetrate Marange that does not mean there is a curfew."

      A Zanu PF youth who declined to be named, said he was stopped on his
way from a beerhall and accused of supporting the MDC.

      George Mushaira, an MDC youth, said he was ordered to climb up a tree
and allow himself to fall to the ground.

      Chris Mushowe of Zanu PF is the MP for Mutare West under which Marange
and Bocha fall.

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Daily News

      Police bar MP from holding meeting

      7/15/02 9:11:44 AM (GMT +2)

      From Brian Mangwende in Mutare

      INNOCENT Gonese, the MP for Mutare Central, on Wednesday fumed over a
decision by the police to stop him from holding a report-back meeting for
his constituency at Beit Hall, Sakubva, citing its unconstitutionality.

      "I am the MP for Mutare Central and need to speak to the people,"
Gonese, a lawyer, said. "Although I am of the MDC, I represent everyone in
my constituency, be they Zanu PF, MDC, Zanu Ndonga or NAGG. We are now
living in a police state and this is unacceptable in a democratic society."

      All MDC activities, including indoor meetings, have been effectively
banned by the police throughout the province, said Gonese.

      Over the past two months the police have disrupted MDC gatherings in
the province and over 300 opposition members have been arrested for
allegedly contravening the draconian Public
      Order and Security Act (POSA).

      Gonese said despite making it clear to the police the meeting was to
report back to his constituents and not an MDC gathering, they still barred
it, citing what they called a hostile political environment.

      In a letter to Gonese, the MDC's chief's whip, a senior policeman
signing himself as J Chituku wrote: "The present and threatening political
environment is not permissive to holding of political meetings of any
nature. It is against this background that the holding of this meeting has
not been sanctioned in terms of Sections 25 and 26 of POSA, Chapter 11:17.''

      On Wednesday, an angry Gonese said: "This is unconstitutional. Now MPs
are no longer allowed to interact with their constituents. What does this
mean? How do we know the needs of our people if we are not allowed to talk
to them?"

      Pishai Muchauraya, the MDC spokesman in Manicaland, said MDC officials
had been summoned to Chipinge Police Station by a policeman identified only
as Mabunda to be officially informed to stop any opposition meetings in the
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Daily News

      Disbanded Zanu PF youth brigade leaves trail of destruction at school

      7/15/02 8:57:00 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo

      Residents of Sausertown suburb in Bulawayo are bitter at the trail of
destruction left two weeks ago at Jesse Lovemore Infant School by the Zanu
PF youth brigade camped there.

      The community has been using the school premises for church and social
meetings since 1999 until the youth brigade moved in at the beginning of the
year, as part of the programme to drum up support for President Mugabe, Zanu
PF's presidential candidate, in the 9 - 11 March poll.

      According to the chairman of the residents' association, Amen Mpofu,
the youths numbering between 30 and 40, were staying at the school, where
they destroyed windows and doors, caused toilets to become blocked and
ripped off electrical connections during their five-month stay.

      There were pieces of clothing items scattered on the floors in the
rooms, while others were left hanging in the toilets, when The Daily News
crew visited the school. Part of the wooden ceiling had been removed and the
walls were filthy.

      "We are afraid that we could have a cholera outbreak in the area if
the place is not cleared up because there is a lot of dirt and stagnant
water here," Mpofu said.

      He said the residents would meet soon to decide on how to clean up the
      Mpofu said: "This school is part of our community and we are
disappointed to see it so dilapidated because it was very useful to the
community. We are going to try to make it habitable so that we can continue
to use it."

      Youth brigade members who have been camped at various places in the
city, including the infamous "yellow house", have disbanded, with some
returning to their homes while others joined youth training centres
elsewhere in the country.
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Daily News

      MDC challenges Mugabe to embrace all AU's objectives

      7/15/02 8:55:38 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE opposition MDC has demanded that President Mugabe implement
measures that ensure a return to democracy and the rule of law in Zimbabwe
following his ratification of the African Union (AU) which advocates good
governance, peace and security.

      In a statement, the MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, said if Zimbabweans
were to believe the sincerity of Mugabe's support for the objectives of the
AU, he should begin to behave consistently in line with the tenets of the AU
Constitutive Act.

      Tsvangirai said: "To achieve this goal, Mugabe will need to rescind
the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), rescind the
Public Order and Security Act (POSA), rescind the General Laws Amendment
Act, end State-sponsored violence and introduce measures conducive to a free
and fair rerun of the March 2002 presidential election held under the
auspices of international observers.

      "These elections must be held without any further delay."

      Under the repressive POSA and AIPPA, journalists and opposition
supporters have been brutalised and arrested by police for exercising their
rights as enshrined in the Constitution.

      Tsvangirai said Mugabe's ratification of the African Union, which
replaced the 39-year-old Organisation of African Unity, should be supported
by action to redress the current crisis in Zimbabwe.
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Daily News
      Trade unions urge State to act on economic crisis

      7/15/02 8:54:46 AM (GMT +2)

      By Ray Matikinye

      TRADE unions have challenged government to stop apportioning blame to
others for its own failures in the light of the economic crisis gripping the

      Labour movement leaders say government should restore relations with
development partners and rejoin the international community to lift the
nation out of the current economic morass.

      Zimbabwe has been ostracised by the international donor community and
financiers for abetting lawlessness, the lack of good governance that has
accompanied the violent land occupation, and pre-election violence leading
to the disputed March 9-11 presidential election.

      A meeting of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) general
council members, general secretaries and presidents of affiliate unions held
in Harare last week challenged government to take the responsibility for the
economic crisis and address the issue of macro-economic stability by
reigning in its expenditure and curtail its spending spree as a way of
arresting inflation.

      In a statement issued after a leadership policy workshop on collective
bargaining, trade unionists said workers were no longer benefiting from the
collective bargaining agreements reached in the face of rising inflation.

      "In the context of the debilitating economic crisis, especially rising
inflation, collective bargaining is circumscribed and rendered futile.
Zimbabwe's economic crisis has continued unabated and government is showing
no desire to address the fundamental issues of governance that underlie the
crisis," the statement said.

      The shortage of basic commodities had undermined food security and
impinged on the workers' right to basic necessities, the statement said.

      Widespread shortages of basic commodities such as sugar, mealie-meal,
cooking oil and salt have prompted government to send in police to raid
street vendors selling scarce commodities on the black market.

      Last week, government blamed an imminent salt shortage on National
Foods prompting President Mugabe to threaten seizure of private firms. The
      dismissed the charges.

      The ZCTU says the inflationary spiral fuelled by the depreciation of
the exchange rate on the parallel market and extensive government borrowing
has whittled all the gains achieved through collective bargaining over the

      A number of sectors still negotiate for only the minimum wage and not
actuals, resulting in trade union members not benefiting from the collective
bargaining agreements reached.

      The meeting demanded the privatisation and commercialisation
programmes under way be put on hold to allow for the involvement of the
labour movement and all other stakeholders, saying the programme was now of
concern to the labour movement.

      It called on the government to abide by last year's Tripartite
Negotiation Forum agreement that workers earning below the Poverty Datum
Line be exempted from paying tax.
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Daily News

      ICG pressure for party talks to resume

      7/15/02 8:54:07 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE International Crisis Group (ICG) has called for more pressure to
be exerted on President Mugabe in order to persuade him restart the
inter-party dialogue with the opposition MDC.

      The talks were shelved at the behest of the ruling Zanu PF party.

      In its latest report, the ICG says although South Africa and Nigeria,
who made possible Zimbabwe's suspension from the Commonwealth in the
aftermath of the 9 - 11 March presidential election, have attempted to
facilitate party-to-party talks between Zanu PF and the MDC, many African
governments have given embarrassed approval to Mugabe's disputed

      The ICG says South Africa and Nigeria should adopt a more assertive
stance, such as ending diplomatic support for Mugabe if Zanu PF does not
cease violence, and isolating whichever side fails to negotiate in good

      Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo said he had been encouraged by a
meeting he held with Mugabe to discuss the faltering political
reconciliation talks.

      "We are making progress. Maybe not as much as we would like," Obasanjo
said about his hour-long meeting with Mugabe which took place on the fringes
of the summit of the new African Union launched last Tuesday..

      The ICG recommends that Libya and other states should be engaged to
end material support that reinforces Mugabe's intransigence.

      It recommended that the international community focus efforts on
getting Zanu PF back to the negotiating table and urge both parties to
negotiate a solution that will lead, in a fixed and reasonable period, to a
rerun of the presidential election.

      The election has to be re-run within a reformed political system and
under appropriate supervision and safeguards.

      Mugabe has taken every available opportunity to rule out a re-run.

      Talks between Zanu PF and MDC broke off amid accusations from both
sides that the negotiating teams were not doing so in good faith.

      The ICG report says the international response has been mixed and

      Most Western countries, it says, have done little except repeat
rhetorical condemnations that appear, counter-productively, to have
persuaded Mugabe that their policies are "all bark, no bite" and to have
increased sympathy for him in much of Africa.

      "The European Union (EU) and the United States (US) have meaningfully
expanded neither the target list of affected individuals nor the scope for
the sanctions (primarily travel restrictions) they imposed on senior Zanu PF
figures before the election," the report says.

      The talks initially made progress. However, they collapsed in May when
Zanu PF withdrew, demanding that the MDC drop its court challenge to the
election result.

      The ICG made several recommendations to help Zimbabwe step back from
the precipice of an economic crisis.

      It called for the immediate reconvening of the Abuja Ministerial
Conference to review implementation of the September 2001 agreements
concerning Zimbabwe's commitment to respect rule of law and Britain's
support to land reform.

      The group said Western countries should also offer assistance that
strengthens civil society and provides unemployed young people with economic
alternatives to joining the ruling party's youth brigade.

      In the aftermath of the deeply flawed March 2002 presidential
election, the ICG says Zanu PF party and the government are systematically
using violence to intimidate the opposition MDC and civil society.

      This is in order to punish and compel them to accept the election
results, while the economy is further deteriorating as foreign investment
and food both become scarce commodities.
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Daily Telegraph

You're on your own, Straw tells white farmers in Zimbabwe
By Colin Brown and Christina Lamb
(Filed: 14/07/2002)

White farmers being forced off their land in Zimbabwe were warned last night
by Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, that Britain has "no magic wand" to
protect them.

More than 2,000 farmers have been given a deadline of August 10 by President
Robert Mugabe to leave their farms, and although work has come to a halt on
most of their properties, few show any signs of leaving, raising fresh fears
for their safety. Twelve white farmers have been murdered since the violent
land occupations began almost two and a half years ago.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Mr Straw said: "It would be a deceit to
pretend that there is some magic wand that could immediately resolve the
despair and injustice meted out against white and black alike in Zimbabwe."

The Land Acquisition Act, announced by Mugabe's government in late June,
made it illegal to sow crops, plough fields or feed animals on the listed
farms and gave the farmers 45 days to move out with their families. Their
departure will leave more than 100,000 black farmers out of work.

Mr Straw said that Britain was "very concerned" about what might happen on
the expiry of the deadline next month, but refused to offer advice to the
farmers. He played down earlier reports of contingency plans to airlift
thousands of British passport-holders out of Zimbabwe.

"We have contingency plans for a hundred countries and these are kept under
review," he said. "It's not for me to tell people what to do. People have
got to make their own decisions."

So far, around 400 of Zimbabwe's 4,500 white farmers have left the country,
moving to neighbouring African countries or to Britain, but with the
collapse of the currency and inflation of 110 per cent, few can afford to

Mr Straw's remarks came amid warnings from the World Food Programme and
other international organisations that Zimbabwe is on the brink of famine,
with more than half of the country's population of 12 million facing
starvation - largely because of the policy of seizing white-owned commercial
farms. Until a few years ago, Zimbabwe was a net exporter of food.

Aid agencies complain that food deliveries are being seized by workers from
the ruling Zanu-PF, preventing them from being delivered to areas that voted
against Mr Mugabe in the March presidential elections. The WFP has made
three official complaints in the past month.

Mr Straw said: "We are seeking to ensure humanitarian relief goes in as
quickly as possible for everybody regardless of skin colour, and that
pressure is maintained on the government of Zimbabwe. We do not recognise
the elections. What we would like to see is a re-run."

He held out little hope of change, though. "There are limits to what the
international community can do in the short term," he said. "I am afraid
that is just a reality. I understand the anger and despair but it would be
playing a trick if we pretended there was some magic wand to resolve this in
the short term."

He defended the Government against charges that not enough has been done to
try to end Mr Mugabe's reign of terror in Zimbabwe. "The consequence of
British-led diplomacy, notwithstanding the efforts of Mugabe to blackmail
the African states, is that the EU took sanctions, the US weighed in and
that Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth," he said.

The Foreign Secretary insisted that the travel sanctions, imposed by the
European Union in February, were having a more significant effect than
realised, despite the fact that Mr Mugabe has already breached them.

The sanctions on Mr Mugabe and 19 top government and military officials
freeze their European assets and ban them from travelling to Europe, a
favourite destination for shopping and the education of their children.
However, opposition members are lobbying for sanctions to be extended to
another 30 individuals including businessmen backers of Mr Mugabe. An EU
meeting to discuss this is set for July 22.
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Sunday Times (SA)

Hope stirs for Zimbabwe breakthrough

Commonwealth leaders upbeat after meeting Mugabe and minister for first time
since suspension


There was renewed hope in diplomatic circles of a breakthrough in Zimbabwe's
political stalemate this week as Robert Mugabe's government reopened talks
with mediators.

Mugabe met Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, while his foreign minister,
Stan Mudenge, held discussions with Commonwealth secretary-general Don
McKinnon, when leaders gathered in Durban for the launch of the African
Union this week.

Obasanjo, President Thabo Mbeki and Australian Prime Minister John Howard
had suspended Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth for one year after its March
presidential elections were deemed to have been rigged.

McKinnon told the Sunday Times that relations between himself and the
Zimbabwean government had been icy since the suspension and there had been
no real contact between them.

"The relationship has not been a good one since the decision. Every time a
country has been suspended, you go into a sort of frozen relationship for a
while," McKinnon said.

He was given the task of engaging the Zimbabwean government, particularly on
the land redistribution issue, while Obasanjo and Mbeki were given the
responsibility of facilitating reconciliation talks between Zimbabwe's
ruling Zanu-PF and opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

The peace talks broke down when Zanu-PF withdrew on the basis of the MDC's
court challenge to the elections. Mbeki and Obasanjo have so far failed to
get the talks back on track.

But McKinnon said his talks with Mudenge this week were a "positive

"I had about an hour with Stan Mudenge. We put a few cards on the table and
are trying to normalise dialogue between us, which, as I say, has been
virtually zero since the suspension. I haven't asked for a meeting with
President Mugabe.

"I asked him [Mudenge] to give me an update of where they were and they
believe that a lot of the land issues will be settled before the end of the
year," he said.

McKinnon also held talks with about a dozen African leaders who were feeling
the spillover effect of the Zimbabwean crisis.

" They all said the same thing - that it is time to normalise things and
that they believe that there is a desire for that in Zimbabwe as well,"
McKinnon said.

Obasanjo described his talks with Mugabe as constructive.

"I met with Mugabe for almost an hour. We had the meeting in an atmosphere
we hadn't had since London [where the decision to suspend Zimbabwe was
taken]. It was something very good," Obasanjo said.

"We are making progress. It may not be as fast as we like, but we are making

Obasanjo has also briefed United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan on his
meeting with Mugabe.

"He was so heartened that he wanted to meet Mugabe," said Obasanjo.

Mbeki did not discuss the crisis with Mugabe this week. There has been a
cooling of relations between the two leaders since a confidential letter
Mbeki sent to Mugabe urging him back to the negotiating table was leaked to
Zimbabwe's state-owned press.

McKinnon said it was not clear what steps Obasanjo and Mbeki would take

"They want to keep that very much to themselves but they want to keep up the
dialogue with President Mugabe, obviously, and try and normalise things."

The Commonwealth troika would have to assess the situation after at least 11
months before deciding whether to readmit Zimbabwe to the Commonwealth or to
take further action, said McKinnon.
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Times of India

      Zimbabwe's President Mugabe to visit Cuba

      AFP [ SUNDAY, JULY 14, 2002  4:46:17 AM ]

      HAVANA: Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is to arrive here Monday
for an official visit to include a private meeting with his Cuban
counterpart Fidel Castro, the daily Granma reported Saturday.

      The four-day visit will also include meetings with other Cuban
officials, Granma, the official mouthpiece of the Cuban Communist party,

      Mugabe will likely visit ongoing economic, social and cultural
projects in the Caribbean nation, the only Communist-ruled state in the

      The two countries have had diplomatic relations since April 20, 1980.
Cuba has sent more than 100 doctors to work in the African nation, currently
in turmoil over Mugabe's Land Acquisition Act, which has forced white
Zimbabweans from their property and contributed to the country's decline
into starvation.
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