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

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      Famine stalks the beloved land

      7/17/02 8:16:23 AM (GMT +2)

      WE all remember the BBC pictures in the early 1990s of a child dying
in its mother's arms from hunger in Ethiopia. The images flashed across the
world and money and aid poured into agencies that suddenly had to scramble
to catch up.

      I was a part-owner of a ranch in Zimbabwe in that era and in 1992, the
rains here simply did not fall across vast swathes of the country. The
sugar-cane crop died in the field as water dams dried up and the summer
cropping programme was almost a complete failure.

      I can vividly remember that year for 150km in every direction from our
home in the Lowveld, you could not have found a blade of grass alive. I
think we had something like two inches of rain in a period of 15 months. Yet
not one person died of hunger, we never ran out of food. It was a remarkable
      I can remember the community effort at the time, communities with
resources, helping out those who had nothing; convoys of farmers with their
trucks loaded with grass and food, driving to areas where the hippos that
were still alive were being kept alive in farm reservoirs and swimming
pools. All they asked for was a beer, a braai and a bed before they drove
back to their farms in the north.

      I can remember the wildlife normally afraid of man, standing next to
the road we used to feed the cattle, waiting for the tractor so that they
might also live. I remember the trains snaking up from the ports of East
London, Port Elizabeth and Durban, Maputo and Beira with desperately needed
food for the people.
      The orderly distribution systems, use of both commercial and
government resources. The regional co-operation between the countries of
southern Africa, making possible the movement of massive quantities of
produce, in time to avoid disaster. Everyone played their part. We tried to
do something in our own backyard with a scheme to sell pulpwood to Sappi in
South Africa and were able to put about 2 000 people to work. Many of these
had to be fed before they could be employed as they were simply too weak to
undertake any kind of work. We lost millions on the exercise, got no thanks
but I think if we were faced with the same situation today, we would
probably do the same.

      Behind the scenes there were many remarkable performances - the
general manager of the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) Renson Gasela, now the
shadow Minister of Agriculture for the MDC, and his chairman, Cephas Msipa,
now the Governor of the Midlands Province, saw the problem coming. They
persuaded government to act early and started to import well before local
stocks ran out. The general manager of the National Railways of Zimbabwe set
up a crisis group which co-ordinated the arrival of ships in harbours and
marshalled wagons and locomotive power so that the product could be unloaded
and moved inland.
      The private sector took in these vast quantities of raw materials and
converted them into packaged food products for consumption. The donors
picked up some of the cost, but the country carried the bulk of the burden
of financing the food situation.

      Hey, this is Zimbabwe I am talking about 10 years ago! What has
happened? How can things go so wrong? You might well ask and the story is a
sad one for all concerned. Where do we start? Corruption in the GMB has
meant that all experienced and competent managers have left or are on
suspension. New management has not got the background or the experience to
deal with these massive problems. The Board has collapsed. It's the same for
the Railways. Government has ignored all the warnings and even the advice of
that wise old sage Msipa was ignored in favour of the views of a rather
misguided Minister of Agriculture who is completely out of his depth in any
skills except those of praise singer.

      Zimbabwe has allowed itself to run out of food stocks completely. The
supply situation has deteriorated to levels where it is no longer physically
possible to get enough food into the country to feed the people. The private
sector, which played such an important role in 1992, is very much weakened
by price controls, rampant inflation and demotivated management that it is
not in any position to help significantly. The government itself has a
national debt that now exceeds twice that of the Gross Domestic Product, is
struggling to cope with existing obligations and certainly does not have the
resources to pay for what is needed in any serious way.

      Foreign exchange receipts have fallen by 40 percent and there are no
resources available for imports on the scale required. We have insulted our
friends and supporters abroad so that even the Scandinavians have given up
on us and said we are beyond redemption. We have violated every rule of good
governance in the book and are a pariah state by any measure on the word. In
the past two years we have destroyed a commercial farming system that was
the pride of Africa 20 years ago and the huge resources of these thousands
of farms lie idle and destroyed. I expect that this will be the trigger of
massive, nationwide food shortages on a scale we have never seen before.
Before you blame the weather for this, or accept President Mugabe's facile
explanations in Rome, we have full dams, no water shortages, plenty of grass
in most areas, rivers are still running and if our farms were working, the
capacity to feed ourselves from irrigated land alone, if this was

      In fact, all the crops that were grown under normal conditions -
tobacco, soybeans and cotton - are all yielding between 70 and 90 percent of
their potential. This is not a repeat of 1992 in any way and attempts to
draw parallels do not do justice to the situation. What does bear thinking
about is the future for Mugabe. In the Ethiopian drought it was Mengistu
Haile Mariam's attempt to use the food situation to cow his people that led
to his overthrow and subsequent flight to Harare, where he has lived in
exile and comfort ever since. In Romania it was a collapse of the domestic
economy to the point where life simply became unbearable for the majority
that led to Nicolae Ceausescu's overthrow and death at the hands of his own
people. Even in Madagascar, it appears Didier Ratsiraka, who had been in
power for over two decades, has now fled to Paris.

      When our people wake up to the full extent of the failure of the
Mugabe regime in the next few weeks, the sense of national anger and outrage
will become overwhelming. We see it in every MDC rally: the people are very
angry and are tired of being treated as some kind of Zanu PF supporters'
club. When urban workers find their entire family from the rural areas at
their doorstep because "there is no food at home", all hell is going to
break loose. Mugabe and his close colleagues and family will bear the brunt
of that anger and I am afraid there will be casualties. This situation has
simply gone too far to be stopped. As for us, we are trying to do what we
can through our Church and our own network so are others. But this time it
will not be enough.

      Mengistu recognises the signs.
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      Political expediency sacrifices national progress in communications

      7/17/02 8:08:33 AM (GMT +2)

      By Ray Matikinye Features Editor

      A TECHNOLOGICAL revolution that could alleviate a widespread
unsettling national foreign currency shortage has been lingering on the
horizon for Zimbabwe were it not for a combination of petty bureaucracy and
a political system that thrives on expediency.

      Given impetus, that revolution would give credence to government's
sincerity in its much-flaunted indigenisation thrust. Yet just recently, the
government threw out private applications for satellite broadcasting from
five applicants which it advertised for in December last year. The decision
to annul bids for private broadcasting licence from Transnet, Skynet,
Munhumutapa Broadcasting Corporation and Econet has created a situation of
deja vu. For Econet's application for narrow casting, the company has been
through an identical setback when it initially tried to establish a mobile
phone network in competition with a State-run corporation. Another
indigenous company, TeleAcess is battling to establish a fixed telephone
network which would compete, yet again, with a State-managed institution.

      The State has stipulated a licence fee of US$320 million ($22 billion)
for individual applicants. Up to 200 000 Zimbabweans need phones urgently, a
backlog which the State corporation has failed to alleviate. The Postal and
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has insisted on
not reducing the licence fee for private operators. The Business Tribune
quotes TeleAcess boss, Daniel Shumba, as writing to the minister responsible
complaining: "We would respectively submit that the licence fee fixed by
POTRAZ at US$320 million plus other fees gazetted is tantamount to denying
TeleAcess a licence to operate and entrenching the monopoly of TelOne, which
has been ruled as unconstitutional by the courts."

      In the other case, awarding a satellite broadcasting licence would
have offered Zimbabwe a plum opportunity to ameliorate chronic foreign
currency shortages which have sent State agents scampering to haunt
privately owned bureaux de change. It has brought back memories of a
perfunctory denial by the then Ministry of Information Post and
Telecommunications to issue a licence to a satellite broadcaster who later
set up shop in neighbouring South Africa. The opportunities lost
      by that decision are immeasurable, be it in financial or other terms.

      The government itself, is cobbling up a plan to set up a satellite
television station, Transmedia Private Limited, formerly the State
television station's technical
      department and a signal carrier company. Ironically the rejection has
come at a time when President Mugabe has promised indigenous innovators
incentives to encourage them to lift Zimbabwe from hi-tech backwardness and
change the mindset that does not take services as tradeable commodities. At
a function held at the Harare Institute of Technology, Mugabe promised
companies which came up with technological innovation a $10 million tax
rebate for their work. Mugabe said he realised that there was a need to
centralise research and promote invention and improvement of technology. "I
must say I have been astounded and shocked out of my negative attitude into
a more positive one. We must adapt ourselves to the world environment and
the technology of today," he said. How right he was.

      But his enthusiasm must have been shattered by the decision to throw
out broadcasting applications for licences by junior minister Jonathan Moyo,
who seems to have an innate fear of individual initiative. Lovemore Mukono,
the Transnet boss, confirmed his application had been thrown out. Tucked
away in Harare's Graniteside industrial complex is an electronics firm that
could somewhat improve Zimbabwe's foreign currency shortage. The electronics
firm pales into insignificance in terms of production capacity compared to
the East Asian trendsetters such as Hong Kong and Japan.

      Mukono is the founder of Mukonitronics, a modest technology
manufacturing company in a global context. He envisioned starting satellite
broadcasting with locally manufactured decoders and television sets unique
to Zimbabwe and capturing a market that was set to become a panacea to
Zimbabwe's foreign currency woes from revenues generated. Quoting the
success of M-Net and the revenue it is generating, Mukono said: "Our
motivation was what we lost had we not spurned M-Net's initial offer. The
revenue generated by M-Net is money that could have been coming to Zimbabwe
in hard currency." The satellite service provider made a profit of US$1,4
billion (Z$77 billion), part of which was from Zimbabwean subscribers to its

      Mukono says for years, his firm has wanted to establish a company like
that and had the prototype of satellite broadcast fully developed since
1999. All was set until the advent of the Broadcasting Services Act.
According to available statistics , M-Net, with a staff complement of 690 in
South Africa alone raked in US$5,7 billion (about Z$319,2 billion) in
revenue in 2001 from a subscriber base of 1,25 million. Zimbabwe's gross
domestic product is estimated at US$16,9 billion (Z$929,5 billion) according
to the 2002 budget presented in November last year.

      Mukonitronics had an investment partner waiting in the wings ready to
inject $600 million in investment in the venture to provide competition to
      The satellite blueprint had a dual purpose of taking advantage of
indigenous craftsmanship and generating hard currency. "Within five years we
would have exported products and services no less that US$3 billion (Z$165
billion) from Zimbabwe in the form of decoders and television sets. "This is
where we would have beaten MultiChoice because all they do is provide a
service without the back-up equipment that goes with satellite
 broadcasting," Mukono says. The modest firm had a
      comparative advantage.

      Besides, the agreement with the strategic partner included a
provisional online agreement with Africa News and broadcasters in the United
States, China and Asia to buy programmes and disseminate them to clients of
their own. An estimated 63 million Africans in the Diaspora would have had
the opportunity to enjoy cultural programmes. And Zimbabwe appears to spurn
opportunities which could enhance its technological script, remaining wedded
to mere rhetoric on indigenisation of the economy, at a time when it is
thrashing its hands about looking for a solution to the foreign currency

      According to the updated regional estimates released by the United
Nations Conference on Trade and Development, foreign Direct Investment flows
to Africa increased from US$6 billion (Z$330 billion) in 2000 to US$11
billion (Z$605 billion) in 2001 with rising investments in Nigeria, South
Africa and Morocco - destinations where one of the applicants, Econet, has
set up mobile networks in partnership with other investors. For Zimbabwe, it
is another excellent opportunity sacrificed for expediency.
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      War vets threaten to beat up Moyo

      7/17/02 8:11:55 AM (GMT +2)

      By Guthrie Munyuki

      WAR veterans yesterday threatened to beat up Jonathan Moyo, the
Minister of State for Information and Publicity in the President's Office,
and forcibly remove him from office if he does not switch on Joy TV by the
end of today.

      The veterans accused Moyo of being bent on destroying Zanu PF from
within. At a Press conference in Harare yesterday, Endy Mhlanga, the
secretary-general of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans'
Association (ZNLWVA), said Moyo had acted against their will by switching
off Joy TV, which leased ZBC-TV's second channel. The war veterans are
shareholders in the company that owns Joy TV.

      Mhlanga said: "Moyo should switch on that button like last week. We
are going to go further and fight him. We think he is an agent working to
destroy the party from within. We will show him our true colours because the
battle lines have been drawn already. Why does he go against the will of the
people? "He is creating stories to discredit Joy TV. He shut us out from ZBC
because he saw that we were making money. He wanted his friends to use the
airspace that was ours."

      Mhlanga said if Moyo failed to heed their call to return Joy TV to the
airwaves, they would beat him up in his office.

      "We are giving him tomorrow as the deadline. We don't negotiate - we
act. Moyo is not a war veteran, but a sell-out. He is fighting against 50
000 war veterans," said Mhlanga. The ZNLWVA, through the late Chenjerai
Hunzvi, bought 11 percent of Joy TV through Empowerment Creation, a block of
indigenous investors. Mhlanga accused Moyo of using ZBC, The Herald and
other newspapers in the government-controlled Zimbabwe Newspapers stable
like "tuckshops to further his interests".

      Mhlanga said: "The Herald does not belong to Moyo. The ZBC and Radio
Zimbabwe belong to Zimbabweans. We choose what we want broadcast." He
accused Moyo of deliberately lying in a story published in The Herald on
Monday - which said that James Makamba, the chairman of Joy TV, had
misinformed the public about Leo Mugabe's company, Resources Services'
shareholding status in Joy TV - to support his hate campaign. Mhlanga said
Joy TV should not have been switched off because it was owned by "loyal
cadres of Zanu PF and its closure flew in the face of black empowerment".

      He argued that the Broadcasting Services Act, enacted in April 2001,
came at a time when Joy TV was operational and should not have been used
against it.

      Mhlanga attacked Moyo for pushing himself close to President Mugabe,
the ZNLWVA patron, and subsequently blocking the war veterans' requests to
meet him.

      He said: "Things have gone out of hand and we are not happy with the
way Moyo is conducting crucial State affairs. He is giving the President
wrong advice, telling him war veterans are useless."

      Mhlanga said war veterans were best-placed to detect infiltrators with
malicious intentions and hidden agendas. He said they would deal with Moyo
as they dealt with Rhodesian rebel leader Ian Smith. "We took the land
without a law and we will do the same to Moyo,'' said Mhlanga. He said Moyo,
during his campaign in the Constitutional Commission in 2000, was against
free occupation of land but was now benefiting from their efforts. "Anwa
ropa redu (he has sucked our blood). Yet he refused the clause in Section 57
of the Draft Constitution, which should have given us land freely," Mhlanga

      Mhlanga threatened to beat up The Herald reporter covering the
conference if he failed to write what he had said. "You go and write exactly
what I have said. If that does not come out in you paper, I will beat you up
as well."

      Moyo could not be contacted for comment yesterday as he was said to be
attending a Cabinet meeting.
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      Journalists, lawyers slam order to deport Meldrum

      7/17/02 8:24:09 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      The Zimbabwe National Editors' Forum has joined others in strongly
condemning the government deportation order served on Monday on Andrew
      In a statement, Geoff Nyarota, the forum's chairman, said: "We regard
this as a vindictive and spiteful measure against a journalist who has been
cleared by the courts."

      Meldrum, the Harare correspondent for The Guardian, was acquitted on a
charge of publishing a falsehood under the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act. But immigration officers ordered him to leave the
country within 24 hours. The forum noted that the deportation order was
signed on 3 and 5 July, 2002, up to 12 days before the court acquitted
Meldrum. "We feel the government has, by this action, refused to accept its
defeat with dignity and has instead been vindictive and vengeful. While
Meldrum was acquitted by a court of law, which is commendable considering
the flimsy charges against him, he was instantly punished by the Ministry of
Home Affairs.

      "It is a matter of great concern that while, on the one hand, the
judiciary has pronounced on the matter, the executive arm of government has
proceeded to usurp the power of the courts both to judge and to mete out
punishment," the editors said. The Independent Association of Journalists in
Zimbabwe president, Abel Mutsakani said: "The fact that the court found the
journalist not guilty and we have government officials moving in to
victimise him confirms what we have said before that it's not about Jonathan
Moyo accusing the Press of writing falsehoods and fabricating stories but it
's about the government wanting to silence or crush the independent Press
and all other voices on the other side." Sydney Masamvu, an executive member
of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists, said Meldrum's was a clear case of

      The Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontiers said they had written a
letter to Information Minister Moyo, saying the verdict in this first trial
of a journalist under the new Press law was a victory for Press freedom, but
described the deportation as an act of vengeance bent on targeting foreign
journalists. The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), said the
government's bid to deport Meldrum was a blow to the independent Press.
Reyhana Masters-Smith the MISA spokesperson said: "It comes as a blow to us.
We have been happy with the court's decision to acquit him but the fact that
they have issued him a 24-hour notice to leave the country is depressing."

      The MDC said it was shocked by the government's threat to deport
Meldrum within the next 24 hours. MDC spokesman Learnmore Jongwe said: "It
is brave and committed journalists like Meldrum who have helped keep the
world informed of the brutality and systematic breakdown of the rule of law
that has happened in Zimbabwe under Mugabe's rule." The Legal Resources
Foundation said Meldrum's acquittal had vindicated him of any wrongdoing so
there could be no justification for expelling him from the country.
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PVO 38/69

SPCA Member Centres:
Bulawayo - Chegutu - Chinhoyi - Chiredzi - Gweru - Harare - Hwange - Kadoma - Kwekwe - Marondera - Mashava - Masvingo - Mutare - Zvishavane

12 JULY 2002
Since 25 June this year, when nearly 3000 farmers, who had been issued with 'Section 8' Notices, were under orders to cease farming activities, the Rescue Team have been spending most of their time on the farms.  Calls for assistance with relocating animals or finding new homes for them are increasing as the 10 August deadline looms, by which time farmers have been ordered to leave their homes.
We have launched a nationwide appeal to all parties concerned to do nothing to compromise the welfare of any animals remaining on the farms. 
Commendably, despite the threat of prosecution, farmers continue to tend to their livestock.  Many have declared that they will not be leaving.  Although arrests have been made of crop farmers who have been harvesting their crops, we have not received any reports of livestock farmers being arrested.
Although farmers have been able to keep most of their pets, horses are the biggest concern, as they will be unable to keep them when they move into the cities and towns, or emigrate.
Families have been heartbroken at having to give up the horses and ponies which they have grown up with.  Every effort is being made to find good homes for as many as possible but regrettably several horses have already had to be euthanaised.
After many trips and meetings with ZRP, the Marondera SPCA were given permission to remove 5 polocrosse horses from a farm in Wedza.  The horses had been left on their own for 2 months after the farmer had been forced off the property, so were a bit wild.  A kind farmer provided his truck and grooms, who managed to get all of them loaded.  Sadly one horse was found to have been blinded by an 'unknown assailant'.
A farmer from the Bromley area was issued with a Section 8 Notice on Tuesday last week and on the Thursday, this family of dog lovers found that their 27 St Bernards, Boerboels and Jack Russells had been poisoned with meat laced with Temik, a lethal pesticide which causes a most painful death to animals.  One St Bernard was still alive but could not be saved. 
7 arrests have been made.
In Bindura 2 Jersey cows were found hacked to pieces.  One was heavily pregnant and about to deliver.  The calf was found a short distance from the carnage, still in its amniotic sack.
In the same area, Meryl returned to the home of the Bayleys, where the elderly couple had been under siege for 37 days, until Thomas Bayley (89) fell and broke his femur.  He passed away shortly after his ordeal.  One of their cats was not rescued on earlier visits by the team and as the family have been told that they will no longer be allowed to return to the farm, with the assistance of neighbours, they packed up all their possessions last week. 
The team searched everywhere for the missing cat and finally decided to check the empty house, although the family were sure it was not there.
After calling for some time, Meryl heard a faint meow and the animal was discovered hiding behind the bricked in bath tub.  It had managed to squeeze through a small opening and despite being offered food and being coaxed by the Bayley's son, the frightened animal would not budge.
Meryl reported that when young Thomas Bayley was lying on the floor with his arm through the crack, just able to touch the fur of the cat and with tears streaming down his face, she went and met with the war vets and gained their approval to break down the brickwork.  
The traumatised animal was finally rescued and reunited with the family.  In order to gain the war vets' consent Meryl promised to return the following day and treat their animals, which she did.  The war vet in control of this area told Meryl that he now knew that she could be trusted.
In another incident a farmer's 700 head of cattle were held for ransom until he supplied the 'new settlers' with irrigation equipment.
Helpless cattle continue to be slashed and axed during the chaos and confusion on farms.  Wildlife is being decimated throughout the country.
We were all moved to learn from Merritt Clifton, the editor of Animal People in USA, that 'Squeak', the 14 year old Jack Russell who was the late Terry Ford's faithful companion, has been awarded 'The Elisabeth Lewyt Award for Humane or Compassionate Animals' by the North Shore Animal League in America.  His son, Mark, is absolutely thrilled by the news.  The ZNSPCA continues to care for the Ford's horses and sheep.
We are also very pleased to report that due to kind donations from our supporters and a grant from WSPA, we have employed another 'rescuer', Senior Inspector Mark Manhuwa.  He has already been on his first rescue and Meryl reports that he displayed the necessary courage and authority in dealing with the war vets.
It is hoped that the vehicle which is being purchased in South Africa with the US$10,000 grant from IFAW, and the kind assistance of the NSPCA - SA, will arrive before 10 August.  We have been compelled to seek a waiver of the duty from the Revenue Authority as the duty on vehicles is currently more than the cost of the vehicle.
Happily, we gained a wonderful respite from the hard-working ladies of the Zim Pet Rescue Project in Cape Town who procured a good second-hand pick-up and a double horse box which has facilitated the rescue of horses and injured livestock.  When the new vehicle arrives, this vehicle will be used by Mark, when he is able to 'go it alone' on the farms, providing us with a vital second rescue team.
After a great deal of 'red tape', a much needed donation of drugs, vet supplies and pet food arrived from the hard-working 'Pet Rescue' ladies in South Africa.  This has already been distributed to all SPCA centres.
Our thoughts and prayers go daily with Meryl, Addmore, Mark and Justin as they bravely battle the odds to rescue all animals in peril, and our heartfelt gratitude goes to all those, so far away, who have made it possible for them to do so.
Kind regards
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From The Natal Witness, 16 July

Mercedes Sayagues

A free press is the best famine early-warning system

"A free press is the best famine early-warning system," I argued at an international conference on media and development in Geneva in 1991. My paper followed Nobel laureate Amartya Sen's theory: democratic countries with a free press do not have famines. A free press warns about the threat and puts pressure on leaders to act quickly while there is time to avert starvation. Elected governments may be callous or sluggish but they will act on the famine or risk losing the next election. The following year, on July 13, 1992, I arrived in Zimbabwe as spokeswoman for the regional humanitarian operation of the World Food Programme. Southern Africa was in the grip of the worst drought in living memory. Eighteen million people needed 5,9 million tons of food. The region rose to meet the challenge. The SADC was at its best. The Harare-based relief operation was a carefully planned, brilliant example of regional co-operation. At the Grain Operations Control Centre in Johannesburg, white officials from the apartheid regime co-ordinated cross-border rail, road and port traffic with black counterparts from frontline states.

Today, TV and newspapers carry pictures from Zimbabwe similar to those I took. Unloading maize bags from trucks. School kids seated in a circle eating nourishing porridge. Women queuing for food aid. But wait. There is a difference in the pictures. People are noticeably thinner and poorer. Their clothes are ragged. A lot more children are barefoot. Faces express fear, weariness and desperation. They look like Mozambican peasants when their civil war ended in 1992. Zimbabweans are much poorer now. Incomes have halved since independence in 1980. Unbudgeted payments to the war veterans and joining the war in the DRC ruined the economy in 1998. Then came land invasions and the destruction of commercial agriculture. The Zimbabwean dollar was eight to one U.S. dollar in 1992. Now it is a whopping 800 to one. Unemployment stands at 60%. Annual inflation is 122%. Worse, Zimbabwe is a fractured society. When Robert Mugabe unleashed his brutal militia to beat up, rape and torture the opposition, the social cohesion that makes countries work was shattered. As the culture of violence and impunity extends, the fractures grows deeper. This is how ethnic war and bloody uprisings start - if only the people were less hungry, poor and fearful. What else is different now?

Infrastructure. Can hold. There has been adequate maintenance but no investment on expanding the road and rail networks. Wagons are old, turnaround is slow, and feeder roads will be impassable in the rainy season, but overall it is not too bad.

Human resources. Deteriorating. Due to corruption, political persecution and low salaries, many experienced staff at the Grain Marketing Board and other key parastatals have left. However, some experienced people remain.

NGOs. Overstretched. By late 2001, says a recent report by Oxfam, more than half of Zimbabwe's 1 500 NGOs were no longer operating due to funding problems and the political crisis.

People. Pushed to the limit. One reason is HIV/Aids: one in four adults is infected. Another is poverty: six out of 10 Zimbabweans are poor. One-third of jobs have been lost since 2000, says the finance minister. One million farm workers and their families have been displaced by farm invasions. Shantytowns are mushrooming. A health system that used to be decent is now comparable to Angola's, only the hospitals are cleaner.

Government. Goes from blunder to blunder. In 1992, it reacted early, had surplus maize from previous years, forex to import food and goodwill from donors. Since 1999, cereal production has fallen by two-thirds, yet agriculture minister Joseph Made denied the shortages until last month. Zimbabwe needs 850 000 tons of food to feed half of its 13 million population. It cannot import it for lack of forex and will not allow the private sector to import either or the white commercial farmers to farm. The winter wheat may die. Towards the end of his political life, Mugabe succeeds in implementing his Maoist economic and political vision. (In China, under Mao Zedong, 23-30 million people died during the massive famine of 1958-61.)

Food distribution. Problematic. Requires what World Food Programme regional director Judith Lewis calls "an army of food monitors" to ensure that all the needy get food, not those with a ruling party card. Earlier this year, several NGOs had to stop food distribution because of interference by militia.

My old conference paper lies in a box at a friend's garage in Harare, left behind when I was expelled in 2001 - a minor casualty of the increasingly repressive regime. The real losers are black Zimbabweans. They have less health, less education, less income, fewer jobs and less food than 10 years ago. Their dreams of a better future for their children are shattered. Sadly, Zimbabwe is proving Amartya Sen right.

Mercedes Sayagues is a freelance journalist.

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      What is it that has brought an entire continent to its knees?

      7/17/02 8:20:05 AM (GMT +2)

      There was such resonance for me in one of your recent comment on
Africa with your statement: "The situation has developed pretty much as we
thought it would, though we hoped it would not."

      This begs the question: Is Africa doomed somehow?

      I find myself looking at South Africa and saying: "Your turn is
coming." Sure there is the African Union - and all the excitement (and
blinkers) - but in Zimbabwe we had the Commonwealth Heads of Government
Meeting and the Harare Declaration. What is it that has brought not just
Zimbabwe, but an entire continent with the capacity to feed the world, to
its knees? I am not going to do the guilt trip on colonialism - I understand
that various chiefs up and down the continent had been engaged in more
diabolical activities than colonialists were with their paternalism.

      It is a tragic puzzle for me, as a white African, that black
Africans - who in general are more inventive, socially caring, intelligent
than their average counterparts in most countries - have adapted to
democracy so badly. I grew up in Africa with an understanding that in Africa
historically "the strongest win". The context for strong was generally
brutal. Well, this was borne out in the independence elections. I well
remember learning (from the streets) in November 1979 that people were being
warned that if they did not vote Mugabe, the war would not only continue,
their children would be killed.

      The strongest in brute terms won, and I wept. Well, in Africa, after
brute strength wins, corruption grows epidemically and thereafter it's all
downhill - everyone is on the bandwagon for survival - and in the end the
nation is morally corrupt. Even where new leaders are elected, the disease
of corruption is endemic, and no one has a cure, so after a few months all
the pigs are in the diseased trough. Tragic. There was the resonance for me
in your leader. I hate feeling hopeless about Africa, but there are few
choices. Africa still has the resources in its people to lead lives that
would be utopian for many people in the world. But it has patterns of
behaviour to break. Who has the courage, not just to lead and win elections,
but to break those patterns?

      Rosaleen Appelhans
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Daily News

      Consumers slam Zesa's new tariffs

      7/17/02 8:03:53 AM (GMT +2)

      Business Reporter

      CONSUMERS yesterday lashed out at the cash-strapped power utility, the
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) for hiking electricity tariffs
when they are struggling to eke a living.

      The State-owned newspaper, The Herald, yesterday reported that Zesa
had hiked electricity tariffs with effect from 1 July by 40 percent while
the Rural Electrification Levy goes up by five percent. Edward
Chindori-Chininga, the Minister of Mines and Energy said the increases were
meant to keep the beleaguered power utility afloat. But The Daily News was
inundated with calls from irate consumers who said the increase had been
necessitated by the loss-making Rural Electrification project and to make up
for its foreign debt to power utilities in the region.

      Zesa imports more than 40 percent of the country's electricity from
South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique. Last year the
country experienced power cuts and load shedding after Zesa had defaulted to
pay Eskom of South Africa. Unconfirmed reports say Eskom only resumed
supplying power after it had been promised part of Zesa's equity as part of
paying up the money Zimbabwe owed it. The latest increases are the second
since January. Under the new increases a high-density household purchasing
400kWh of electricity per month will pay $1 326,68 up from $1 055,77. Those
in the low-density for using 750 kWh they will fork out $3 426,58 from $2
726,86 a month.

      Some consumers felt the government was insensitive by increasing the
tariffs when they were finding it difficult to have two meals in a day.
"When this Rural Electrification Project was started we could tell that it
was not viable and that it was a mere election gimmick," said Thompson
Peters, a Norton farmer. "No one is against the idea of electrifying the
rural areas but there should be funds for that first instead of putting a
burden on an already over burdened tax payer." Sekai Marufu of Highfields
said: "I call upon the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) to liase with the
government so that the increases could be deferred until the economy

      Contacted for comment the CCZ said it was still analysing the
increases and would issue a statement today. Insiders within Zesa said under
the Rural Electrification Programme, the power utility was losing a lot of
money investing in a project with low returns. They said the returns from
the project were far much less than the revenue collected from their major
customers, the commercial farming sector, where the government has wreaked
havoc and designated 95 percent of the country's commercial farmland.

      Zesa, said the sources had already started to feel the pinch. "There
are a number of companies which Zesa has already failed to pay for the
services rendered to them. And the situation is actually getting out of hand
hence the 40 percent increase," said one source. Repeated efforts to get a
comment from Sydney Gata, the Zesa executive chairman were fruitless.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      Scorecard: Freedom of the Press 1, Its enemies 0

      7/17/02 8:15:25 AM (GMT +2)

      SOME would say it would be premature for the independent media to
declare, on the basis of the verdict on Monday in favour of Andrew Meldrum,
that justice was still alive and kicking in Zimbabwe.

      Others would say since the events of 2000, when President Mugabe, with
breath-taking impunity, told the Supreme Court to go to hell over the farm
      nothing can be taken for granted any more as far as the law is
concerned. Nonetheless, this hopeful assessment of justice would be tempered
with extreme alarm at the government's vindictiveness in ordering the almost
immediate deportation of the journalist. The pettiness of this response is
an indication of the real intention of the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) - to muzzle the independent media.

      But after the hullabaloo that preceded the verdict it would not be too
optimistic to say, in this first round between the Freedom of the Press and
Its Enemies, the scorecard must read 1-0 in favour of the former. In
introducing the obnoxious AIPPA, the government spoke self-righteously of
trying to bring "ethics" into journalism. In a country whose government
rigidly controls the editorial content of six daily and weekly newspapers,
this sounded farcical to even the mildest critics of Zanu PF's obsession
with the one-party system. In Parliament, where the legal committee
chairman, Eddison Zvobgo, tried his utmost to persuade the prime movers of
the Bill to shelve it, there were reportedly gasps of amazement when the
Bill, seemingly against all rational expectations, became law.

      Needless to say, there was shock and disgust among most journalists,
including some in the State media. Others gnashed their teeth in frustrated
anguish, muttering about an attempt by some officials to "settle old
personal scores" through the new law. Zvobgo suggested, before it was
amended, the only possible reason for the Bill was an attempt by the
government to control mass media owners and their products. Like many other
people, he did not associate the Bill with any attempt by the government to
introduce "ethics" into journalism. The crux of Meldrum's acquittal is the
absence of what the magistrate called mens rea, the absence of criminal
intention or knowledge that an act is wrong. This reference is bound to be
repeated in many similar cases under this shockingly anti-freedom of the
Press law.

      Most journalism is absolutely mens rea, being concerned only with the
admittedly onerous task of recording and reporting events as they occur,
adding and subtracting nothing. Where a reporter has to rely on information
supplied to him by an eyewitness to the event, their task is to assess the
information judiciously and, wherever possible, seek confirmation from a
second or even a third source. The credo of the good journalist is steeped
in balance, an attempt to tell both sides of the story as fairly as humanly
possible. No journalist is trained to deliberately slant stories in favour
of one or the other combatants in a dispute. Today, only the government
media are given such strict instructions - tell only the government's story.
Their intention may not be criminal, but it certainly is designed to mislead
the reader and listener, which is why the accusation has been made that the
Act is applied selectively.

      There is obviously still a long way to go before the government can be
convinced that AIPPA is a law that victimises a section of society without
defining what crime they have committed and who their victims are. The
charge that AIPPA criminalises the practice of journalism is patently valid.
In the Meldrum case, if the journalist's inquiries with the police had been
responded to positively, there would then have been the balance that all
good editors insist on. If, after last Monday's verdict, the government
insists that AIPPA is truly in the public interest, then it may be time for
the public to accuse the government of acting mala fide - in bad faith.
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Daily News

      Chombo allegedly orders farmer's eviction in defiance of court order

      7/17/02 8:26:12 AM (GMT +2)

      By Pedzisai Ruhanya Chief Reporter

      IGNATIUS Chombo, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and
National Housing, allegedly organised ruling Zanu PF party supporters in
Zvimba North to violently evict Jean Simon from her Raffingora farm contrary
to a High Court order.

      Chombo, the MP for Zvimba North (Zanu PF), is the chairman of the
government's land committee. Simon alleged yesterday that last Sunday,
Chombo addressed a meeting of villagers at nearby Katawa and "gave an
instruction that I, as owner of Erewhom Farm, as well as the farmers on
Chinomwe Estate and Nyarugwe Farm were to be removed from our farms this
week by Zanu PF youths with the assistance of the local war veteran,

      "In addition, if my staff resisted this eviction, Chombo threatened to
send the Black Boots - the paramilitary Police Support Unit - to beat them
up." Yesterday, Chombo could not be reached for comment, but his secretary
said: "The minister has not yet come to the office. Maybe he has gone to the
Cabinet meeting. I have taken note of the issues that you raised. I will
inform him when he comes and come back to you." Simon won a court ruling two
weeks ago when Justice Moses Chinhengo allowed her to continue farming.

      She said copies of the court order were served on Joseph Made, the
Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Augustine Chihuri,
the Commissioner of Police, and the officer-in-charge of Chinhoyi Police
Station. "I stress that I am, therefore, legally within my rights to
continue farming," Simon said. Following Chombo's alleged meeting and
threats, Simon wrote to the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU), asking for
assistance and directions over Chombo's behaviour.
      Jenni Williams, the CFU spokesperson, yesterday confirmed she had
received Simon's complaints.

      "As you are aware, on several occasions I have been severely harassed
by Minister Chombo and his youths as well as the war vets in our area. I
have been abducted, beaten, given three hours to get off my farm, subjected
to attempted abduction again in February 2002," she said. She alleged that
on Tuesday last week four men arrived on the farm saying they were Chombo's
messengers. They identified themselves as Ronald Chakadenga, John Phiri,
Kangachepe and a driver, in a Toyota Land Cruiser Registration No 785 412H.
"Their message was that I was to pack and leave my farm and their intention
was to intimidate myself and my staff into leaving."

      Simon said according to the government-run Sunday Mail newspaper of 2
June, 2002, the farm was allocated to Beatrice Chanetsa, ID No 63-4393411-F,
      the wife of Peter Chanetsa, the governor of Mashonaland West, as well
as to M Mudukuti ID No 63-640588-B of Ruwa. She said by re-allocating the
farm to
      a different group of people, Chombo was overriding Made's ministry.
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Daily News

      Ndlovu, Paradza still behind bars

      7/17/02 8:25:18 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      WAR veteran leaders Andrew Ndlovu and Anna Paradza will remain behind
bars following Monday's refusal by the High Court to grant them leave to
appeal to the Supreme Court against both conviction and sentence.

      The two were last week on Tuesday jailed for four years each for
contravening the Prevention of Corruption Act in 1998. Ndlovu, the secretary
for projects of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association,
and Paradza, the administration secretary for Sankorp (Pvt) Limited, a
company formed by war veterans, were denied bail pending appeal in the
Supreme Court against both conviction and sentence. The war veterans' lawyer
Aston Musunga said: "The application was refused and dismissed by the High
Court. What that means is that we cannot appeal on factual grounds, but we
may appeal against questions of law." But he said they were taking
instructions from Ndlovu and Paradza to decide on the next course of action.

      Adam convicted Ndlovu of theft by conversion, but dropped that
conviction on the side of caution and ordered that the two vehicles worth
$594 000 Ndlovu and Paradza received as presents, be forfeited to the State.
The two were convicted of corruptly receiving gifts from Zhao Fun Yin alias
Zhao Williams, now deceased, as an inducement or reward for facilitating
business between the deceased and Magamba eChimurenga Housing Trust.

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Daily News

      Mugabe's family faces EU ban

      7/17/02 8:20:46 AM (GMT +2)

      By Sandra Nyaira recently in Paris

      PRESIDENT Mugabe's wife, Grace, and all their children, are soon to be
included in the European Union travel ban to all EU countries. Previously
only Mugabe and his closest associates were targeted. But a spokesman for
the French government said in Paris last week the families of all those on
the blacklist would soon be included as well.

      The spokesman said Mugabe should step down because he was "an obstacle
to democracy in Zimbabwe". The EU's general affairs council of foreign
ministers is scheduled to meet in Brussels at the end of the month to
tighten the screws around the Zimbabwean government whose presidential
election last March they refused to endorse. In an interview, Sebastien
Minot, the counsellor in charge of the African desk in the Foreign Affairs
Ministry, said the EU had realised that so far its targeted sanctions on
Mugabe and his lieutenants had not been effective, hence the need to
increase the pressure.

      Mugabe and 20 of his allies were slapped with the EU travel ban after
his controversial re-election. The EU immediately ruled the election as not
free and fair and his re-election illegitimate. An assets freeze was
imposed, but Minot said the EU had so far not been able to identify any
assets belonging to Mugabe in their countries. "So far the EU list covers
only 20 people at the top of the regime and Britain, one of our major
allies, wants the sanctions to be extended to cover more people," he said.

      "Targeted sanctions have proved they can work in Burma and they can
also work in Zimbabwe by exerting pressure on Mugabe and his government."
The EU list does not include Grace Mugabe, her children and even the other
20 specified people's spouses and families. The American government's list
includes the spouses of the targeted people. Grace Mugabe is expected to be
put on the EU's banned list soon, said Minot, a member of the Common Foreign
and Security Policy in the French government. But he said his government's
stance was not in favour of sanctions since "sanctions alone cannot help
very much. We would rather enhance dialogue with Zimbabwe's neighbours, such
as South Africa, to ensure they help put pressure on Mugabe so that he
changes his way of doing things that worsen the lives of the Zimbabweans".

      "For the time being, we think that the neighbouring heads of state
seem to be respecting Mugabe and they do not want to put more pressure on
him," said Minot.

      "That is our impression and we want the situation to improve whichever
way, that is influencing Mugabe to change his policies or his departure from
office because we believe he is an obstacle to democracy in Zimbabwe as
evidenced by the elections of 9-10 March." Asked to comment on Mugabe's
allegations that the EU was basically supporting the white commercial
farmers and the British government at the expense of the land reform
programme, Minot said the land reform programme should be implemented along
the lines recommended by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) -
an equitable and lawful programme.

      "Land reforms are not our only incentive to act in Zimbabwe. We think
that the situation in Zimbabwe jeopardises the whole region. That matters to
us. That is why we think pressure from Sadc counts much more than pressure
from elsewhere."

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Daily News

      The AU-Nepad, beggars, braggarts and gadflies

      7/17/02 8:04:21 AM (GMT +2)

      MUAMMAR Gaddafi was 21 years old when the Organisation of African
Unity (OAU) was formed in 1963. There is no irrefutable evidence anywhere in
his biography to confirm this, but some people seem to believe that he too,
like Martin Luther King Jnr in that same year, had a memorable dream.

      "I have a dream," they allege he thundered from a small tent in the
desert just outside Tripoli, "that three score and nine years from now, I
too will have an OAU of my own!" Well, said the cynics last week, Gaddafi's
dream came true, as they watched, some in horror, others in stoic
indifference, in glorious colour on their TV sets, the launch of the African
Union (AU) in Durban, once famous for its rickshaws, but henceforth to be
known as The City In Which Africa Buried Itself.

      Gaddafi, The Ultimate Gadfly to his legion of critics, is not the
chairman of the AU, but as its Godfather. His shadow is indubitably present
whenever that organisation is mentioned. This could be in Durban, Tripoli or
Riyadh, where the Saudi princes must be giving their worry beads overtime as
they hope the former colonel has discarded, for all eternity, his other
dream of leading all the Arabs in a Jihad against Washington, Tel Aviv,
London, Berlin, Rome (his former colonial masters) and Paris.

      It's not being cynical or a wet blanket or a spoilsport or a maverick
to say the AU is Gaddafi's dream come true. Neither is it defamatory of the
Libyan leader to say a majority of Arabs resisted his strenuous efforts to
turn them so much against the West over Israel every copy of the Koran
written in English, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Basque and French would
have been incinerated in a bonfire reminiscent of the Nazi book-burning, on
the outskirts of Mecca after the annual pilgrimage.

      Gaddafi was behind the lukewarm reception of the New Partnership for
Africa's Development (Nepad) at the summit. Nepad's proposed coziness
between Africa and the West must have grated on the former colonel who, at
27, overthrew King Idris in 1969 and has been in power since. But watching
the proceedings on TV, you had the distinct impression that Gaddafi did not
get his way entirely. Speaker after speaker seemed keen to remind the summit
that Africa was not an island, or a recalcitrant Arab nation in the middle
of the desert, like Libya, sworn to avenge its humiliation by the United

      The US bombed Tripoli and Benghazi on 14 April 1986, in response to
the bombing, allegedly by Libyan agents, of a discotheque in Berlin which
killed three people, one of them a US serviceman. In January of the same
year, Libya and the US had fired at each other, the Americans sinking two
Libyan ships in the Gulf of Sidra, retaliating against Libya's attack on US
ships in the Gulf. Then came the bomb which blew up Pan American flight 103
over Lockerbie in Scotland in 1988. It blew out of existence one of the
oldest and finest international airlines in the world. Two Libyan agents
were arrested and after much diplomatic activity, Gaddafi eventually handed
them over to be tried in a Scottish court set up in the Netherlands. To say
there is no love lost between the US and Libya would be as naive an
understatement as saying Osama bin Laden is an average Muslim who just hates
American skyscrapers.

      Thabo Mbeki, Olusegun Obasanjo, Algeria's Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and
Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, the indefatigable promoters of Nepad, did not
lose out entirely to Gaddafi. Many of the leaders - but not President
Mugabe, for obvious reasons - did acknowledge that the AU would have to
recognise the
      existence of the Global Village. But for me it was Dingiswayo Banda,
Zambia's High Commissioner to Zimbabwe, who put it as succinctly as anybody
else not terrorised by Gaddafi's dubious Afrocentric obsession would have
put it. In an interview on ZBC-TV's troubled NewsHour programme, Supa
Mandiwanzira, whose Zanu PF apologist stance is becoming more and more
difficult to swallow, tried to get Banda to trash Nepad because of its
emphasis on an alliance with the West.

      The young man failed dismally and Banda, a fiery nationalist in the
struggle against colonialism in Northern Rhodesia, was equally emphatic on
Nepad's recognition of the Global Village. Sullen-faced, Mandiwanzira gave
up the fight, withdrawing from the fray completely shattered, it seemed to
me. The AU will go the way of the OAU - a toothless, harmless, gutless and
aging poodle manipulated by power-hungry dictators whose least concern is
the welfare of their poor people - unless it makes poverty alleviation its
raison de'tre. Gaddafi speaks with grandiloquence of "Africa for the
Africans" but forgets his recent brutal treatment of black African migrant
workers in Libya. So far, his preoccupation with things African or African
goals seems to be predicated on a desire for self-glorification - witness
his unbelievably pompous road trip back to Tripoli from Durban.

      If the AU does not curb his ambition soon, it may fare even worse than
the OAU, which at least helped the countries of southern Africa to achieve
full nationhood, although some of them, such as Zimbabwe, are materially
worse off under an indigenous government than they were then. For some
reason, I nicknamed the four pro-Nepad presidents as The Four Horsemen of
the Apocalypse, mentioned in John's terrifying Revelations in the New
Testament. I am not sure why, but I think that if their bold, pragmatic
approach to end poverty, hunger and disease in Africa is dumped by the AU,
only death, famine and pestilence await this continent.

      Without outside help, the likelihood of the AU fighting a successful
war against poverty and the HIV/Aids pandemic is doubtful. There may have
been a contagious joy of sorts all across Africa at the inauguration of the
AU, but many must have remembered with sadness the propensity for autocracy
among its leaders. The record shows that in 1965, when the OAU summit was
held in Accra, "eight presidents of French-speaking states boycotted the
conference because of Kwame Nkrumah's support for subversive elements within
these states".

      Although Accra had been proposed as the first headquarters of the OAU,
a final decision favoured Addis Ababa, clearly because, among the majority,
Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was a far more stable leader than the volatile
Osagyefo. But for journalists all over Africa, the prospect of a dynamic
thrust towards a truly pluralistic media under the AU is problematic. Again,
the final equation has to take account of the Gaddafi factor. Libya has no
recorded history of a free Press. The man himself has made no memorable
declarations equating freedom of the people of Africa with the freedom of
their media. Like Mugabe, he seems to believe the independent media is an
anti-African nuisance because it won't agree with him that he is truly God's
gift to his people.

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Daily News

      Sadc body blames State for food shortages

      7/17/02 8:04:53 AM (GMT +2)

      By Takaitei Bote Farming Editor

      THE Southern African Development Community Development (Sadc) Regional
Early Warning Unit says it blames President Mugabe's controversial land
reform programme and the drought in the past season for causing current food

      Lands Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Minister, Dr Joseph Made, in
May brushed aside the torrent of criticism which has been levelled against
him for misleading the nation over the food situation by blaming drought for
the food shortages currently gripping the country. The Sadc food security
monthly report up to 28 June says: "A cereal deficit of 2,28 million tonnes
is assessed for the 2002/2003 marketing year due to drought as well as
ongoing land reforms, which resulted in a 60 percent decline in cereal

      Some commercial farmers who have irrigation facilities failed to plant
in the past two farming seasons due to disturbances caused by invasions
spearheaded by war veterans and uncertainties caused by the listing of farms
owned by single owners. The Commercial Farmer' Union (CFU) said this week
that the government had designated more than 1 000 commercial farms
belonging to single owners in the past two years, despite promises made by
President Mugabe that farms in this category would not be compulsorily
acquired. The Sadc report says maize alone projects a deficit of 1,99
million tonnes in the 2002/2003 marketing season.
      More than six million people, which is about half the population
require emergency food aid.

      The report says: "The maize shortfall stems from a 66 percent drop in
the 2001/2002 harvest to 499 000 tonnes compared with last year's below
average output of
      1,48 million tonnes." The CFU said this week that total commercial
maize production from the sector has over the past three years dwindled from
810 000 tonnes in 2000 to 384 800 in 2001 and to 185 000 tonnes this year
due to uncertainties caused by the land issue. Under normal circumstances,
commercial farmers produce between 45 and 50 percent of the staple maize.

      The report says: "Increased maize imports are thus necessary to avert
famine. A wheat deficit of 233 000 tonnes is in prospect, which also calls
for further imports; deficits of 140 000 tonnes and 11 000 tonnes are also
assessed for sorghum/millet and rice respectively." Made has also ruled out
the possibility of importing wheat claiming that the country has enough
stocks despite calls by industry officials to import. Faced with foreign
currency shortages and an inability to afford significant amounts of
commercial imports, the government declared a state of disaster and appealed
for food aid.

      The report says the government has only ordered about 400 000 tonnes
of maize of which close to 300 000 tonnes have been delivered. Responses to
appeals for assistance have been low because of Zimbabwe's international
isolation after the disputed 9-11 March presidential election and human
rights violations. Meanwhile, other Sadc countries are facing serious food
shortages because of drought and they include Lesotho where a food crisis is
threatening 500 000 people, Malawi which has to feed about 545 132 people in
urgent need of assistance, and Mozambique where 515 000 people are faced
with starvation.

      Other countries are Zambia, where 2,33 million people are in need of
food assistance and Swaziland, which needs to feed close to 150 000 starving
people. Zimbabwe is however the worst hit in the region and out of the total
regional food aid appeal of US$507 million (Z$27,8 billion at the official
exchange rate), 45 percent of that amount would be channelled to Zimbabwe.
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The Age

Downer says Zimbabwe sanctions 'more inevitable'
CANBERRA|Published: Wednesday July 17, 2:05 PM

Sanctions against Zimbabwe were "becoming more inevitable" but would not be
enough to force change, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said.

The opposition yesterday urged the government to implement sanctions against
the African nation.

Prime Minister John Howard is to talk in the next week to the presidents of
South Africa and Nigeria, his partners in the Commonwealth troika on
Zimbabwe, to find out their views.

The group decided in March to suspend Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth for a
year, after a damning report on election violence and intimidation.

Since then the situation in the country has deteriorated, with President
Robert Mugabe forcing white farmers off their land in order to hand the
farms over to war veterans and the introduction of harsh laws restricting
the media.

Mr Downer said sanctions were looming.

"They're becoming more inevitable, I don't think there's any doubt about
that," Mr Downer told ABC radio.

He said President Mugabe was continuing his "gross abuses of human rights"
and was refusing to enter into negotiations with opposition group, the
Movement for Democratic Change.

"Inevitably, if all else fails, then no doubt we will fall back on
introducing some smart sanctions," he said.

"But frankly that won't be sufficient, it'll be much more symbolic than
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Business Report

Zimbabwe's crisis set to worsen
July 17 2002 at 06:57AM
Addis Ababa - The forcible occupation of white-owned farms in Zimbabwe had
contributed to the deepest economic crisis in the country's history, one
that was set to worsen, the UN warned yesterday in a damning report.

"Zimbabwe is currently a crumbling economy facing a grave economic crisis,"
the UN Economic Commission for Africa said in its annual overview of the
economic health of states across the continent.

"The land issue is at the heart of Zimbabwe's national economic crisis," the
report said, adding that President Robert Mugabe's government showed
a "tendency for inconsistency".

"Land redistribution should go hand in hand with good governance to protect
output and jobs," it added.

"The economy has been contracting since 2000 and the outlook for 2002 shows
an increasing incidence of food insecurity, poverty, inflation and worsening
balance of payments."

Patrick Esea, the director of the commission's economic, social and
political division, said: "Zimbabwe is facing the worst crisis in its

The report said the occupation of white-owned farms, couple with poor
weather conditions, had led to "the lowest agricultural performance in
recent years".

In May Zimbabwe's finance minister, Simba Makoni, announced that the
country's overall economy shrank by 7.3 percent in 2002, while the
agricultural sector, the historical pillar of the economy, suffered a
decline of more than 12 percent.

The commission's report projected that the economy would shrink 5 percent
this year.

The report noted that 75 percent of the country now lived in poverty. It
explained that a sharp decline in exports and surging inflation had
undermined financial stability and prompted dramatic capital flight.
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The Times

     World News

                        July 17, 2002

                        Mugabe begs for aid from Castro
                        By Daniel McGrory

                        PRESIDENT MUGABE of Zuimbabwe was forced to beg for
help yesterday from one of his last remaining political allies - President
Castro of Cuba.
                        Cuba is in no position to bail out anybody, but it
shows the desperation of Mr Mugabe that he has to turn to Havana to stave
off Zimbabwe's economic collapse.

                        He needs funds urgently to pay off mounting debts to
his chief benefactor, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, who is
tiring of Zimbabwe's failure to honour their deal. Zimbabwe is trying to
renegotiate the $360 million (£230 million) deal, which expires at the end
of the month, in which Libya lends Zimbabwe money for fuel in return for a
sizeable stake in farms, hotels and oil installations owned by the Harare

                        The Libyans complain that they have seen no return
and have sent three high-powered delegations to Harare in the past month to
thrash out better terms.

                        Mr Mugabe and his wife have been fêted on a visit to
Cuba, where yesterday they met Señor Castro at the Palace of the Revolution.

                        Cuba is promising to send more doctors to Zimbabwe,
where the health service is disintegrating and where most of its own doctors
have fled abroad. Zimbabwe's diplomats are said not to have been paid for
three months and food supplies are so short that Ethiopia has offered to
send grain. But Mr Mugabe is running out of friends to help him.

                        Some senior figures from the Chinese Communist Party
were in Harare last month and agreed to buy 25,000 tonnes of tobacco,
although drought and chaos on Zimbabwe's best farms may put this deal in
jeopardy. The Chinese also agreed to provide interest-free loans, tractors
and other equipment to war veterans who have taken over white-owned farms.

                        A report yesterday by the United Nations' Economic
Commission for Africa blamed the seizure of white-owned farms for
contributing to what it called "the deepest economic crisis in Zimbabwe's
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Deportation Case Referred to To Zimbabwe's Supreme Court
VOA News
17 Jul 2002 15:10 UTC

Zimbabwe's High Court has suspended government orders to deport American
journalist, Andrew Meldrum. In announcing his ruling, Justice Anele Matika
referred the case to Zimbabwe's Supreme Court.

Mr. Meldrum appeared in court Wednesday to appeal his deportation on grounds
it violated his constitutional rights.

On Monday, the Zimbabwe-based correspondent of Britain's Guardian newspaper,
was acquitted of publishing a false story, a crime that carries a two-year
sentence under strict media laws enacted in March.

The government reacted to the acquittal by immediately ordering Mr. Meldrum
to leave the country within 24 hours. But the expulsion was postponed for 24
hours by the nation's high court.

Andrew Meldrum has lived in Zimbabwe for 22 years, five of them as a
permanent resident. He is the first of a dozen journalists arrested on
charges of violating the nation's strict media laws to go on trial.

The government had charged him with publishing a false story that first
appeared in Zimbabwe's privately-owned Daily News. The story said President
Robert Mugabe's militant supporters had beheaded a woman earlier this year.
Both The Daily News and The Guardian issues retractions after learning the
story was untrue.

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France Blasts Continued Seizure of Farms Legally Bought By Its Nationals

The Daily News (Harare)
July 17, 2002
Posted to the web July 17, 2002
Sandra Nyaira, Political Editor

The relationship between France and Zimbabwe had not realised its full
potential because of outstanding political and economic issues in the
latter, the French ambassador said in Harare on Monday. Didier Ferrand spoke
at a reception to mark Bastille Day, his country's national day, attended by
a number of Zimbabwean government officials, for the first time in months.
The government stopped attending European Union embassy functions officially
in the run-up to the 2000 June parliamentary election. This was in apparent
protest at what it alleged was their bias towards the opposition MDC.
Present at Monday's function were Education, Sport and Culture Minister,
Aeneas Chigwedere, the Midlands provincial governor, Cephas Msipa and Ngoni
Chideya, representing Stan Mudenge, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Ferrand said: "It is unfortunate that, due to a number of outstanding
political and economic issues, it has not been possible to realise the full
potential of the co-operation between our two countries. "It is also most
regrettable that, in spite of all the demarche that were made here and in
Paris, properties and productive farms belonging to French nationals are
still listed for compulsory acquisition and in some cases have received
Section 8 orders, although they were legally acquired and do not meet the
criteria for the official land redistribution programme."
Ferrand said France fully supported the United Nations Development Programme
initiatives aimed at finding a lasting solution to an equitable,
sustainable, transparent and comprehensive land reform and resettlement
programme. "We have nevertheless endeavoured to maintain a political
dialogue with the government of Zimbabwe and a relationship based on
solidarity with the people of this country," said Ferrand. He said France
supported the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) initiatives,
principles of democracy, human rights, the rule of law and political and
economic good governance as well as conflict prevention as cornerstones for
the creation of a conducive environment for peace, stability and development
in Africa.
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Zim, SA May Jointly Bid to Host 2010 World Cup Finals

The Daily News (Harare)

July 17, 2002
Posted to the web July 17, 2002

Simba Rushwaya

ZIMBABWE and South Africa are reportedly interested in submitting a bid to
jointly host the 2010 World Cup soccer finals. Leo Mugabe, the Zimbabwe
Football Association (Zifa) chairman, is due to meet his South African
counterpart, Ivan Khoza, during the Council of Southern African Football
Associations (Cosafa) meeting in Johannesburg this weekend. Mugabe said:
"I'm going to South Africa for the Cosafa business. Zifa is interested, but
we need government assistance because this has to be a national project . .
. we will discuss it.

At the moment there is nothing concrete." Khoza said: "We have not heard
anything about the co-hosting issue but there is a meeting on Saturday here.
"The other point is that co-hosting doesn't depend on us but on the
Federation of International Football Associations. If there is a positive
report back about South Korea and Japan World Cup then so be it, we will
look at ways of co-hosting with another country."

Khoza said his country was following up on their failed bid for the 2006
World Cup, which eventually went to Germany. Apart from Zimbabwe and South
Africa, Nigeria and Ghana, Tunisia and Morocco are reportedly trying their
luck to bring the world's greatest soccer showcase to the African continent
for the first time. But Zimbabwe's chances of co-hosting with South Africa
might be blighted by the current upheavals brought about by the land reform
programme. The results of the chaotic situation have spilled over into the
sporting arena. Australia, one of the world's leading Test cricket nations,
cancelled their tour to Zimbabwe in January over security considerations.

Zimbabwe will take part in the Commonwealth Games in Manchester from 25 July
to 4 August but there were earlier calls from countries like New Zealand and
Australia for her to be left out of the Games. Furthermore, Zimbabwe's
pedigree to host the more prestigious World Cup would come under scrutiny
after the Confederation of African Football twice denied the country the
chance to host the African Cup of Nations finals.
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