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

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Yesterday I received news that Mrs Sekai Holland (MDC Secretary for International Affairs) is likely to be arrested and her passport seized, and her husband, Jim Holland, an Australian citizen, is likely to be deported.
Three reliable sources contacted Mrs Holland on Tuesday evening to warn her that the Cabinet had made this decision earlier in the day.
While preparing for the worst, Mrs Holland has informed the Australian and other High Commissions and Embassies of the threat, and asked them to urge the Mugabe government not to implement this decision.
Mrs Holland wrote: "No one is really surprised.  We have heard for a long time that the MDC party department that most worries Mugabe's boys is the small MDC International Affairs one.  I think it is a tribute to you all in Australia in the Zimbabwe Information Centre.  It is all of the handful of supporters everywhere outside Zim who have loyally, tirelessly assisted MDC to build itself up.  I want to congratulate everyone of you because the attack on Jim and I is really an admission of your effectiveness, all of you in your work".

Mrs Holland believes that the immediate trigger for the impending move against her and her husband was Jim's impact as a witness in the outrageous case against Guardian journalist Andrew Meldrum. Jim's evidence was crucial in the surprise decision to throw out the charge, based on the new laws to curb journalists. On his acquittal, Meldrum was threatened with immediate deportation, but the government has so far failed to demonstrate to the High Court any ground for his deportation. This legal problem may also assist Jim Holland.
Mrs Holland's own role in speaking to African leaders in Durban, at the recent launching of the African Union, is another reason.
Mrs Holland believes that the decision to move against her and Jim reveals the desperation of the Mugabe government, and is an indicator that change will come soon. She reports that very poor people everywhere are now openly saying how fed up they are with what Mugabe has done to their lives, and that it must end.
She warns the international community about making any deal with Mugabe behind the backs of MDC. She fears that Mugabe will lash out at MDC with extreme violence as his regime continues to crumble, but that the people will remove him at this point, and change will come. Chinja!
I propose that ZIC launches a media release, and calls for a protest blitz to the Zimbabwe High Commission in the short time now available to us, and at the same time, call on all our institutional and political supporters to press the Australian government and the Commonwealth to protest in the strongest terms at the threat.
* * *
Choose your own words, but the message could be like this:
Ms Florence Chitauro
High Commissioner for Zimbabwe
11 Culgoa Circuit
Fax: 02 6290 1680
Protest at threat to Mrs Sekai Holland and Mr Jim Holland
Dear High Commissioner,
I protest in the strongest terms at reliable reports that the Zimbabwe government decided at its meeting on July 16 to have Mrs Sekai Holland, MDC Secretary for International Affairs, arrested and her passport seized, and to have Mr Jim Holland's permanent residency revoked and to deport him.
This repression of political opponents can only further damage and isolate the government of Zimbabwe, and make worse the terrible economic, health, social and political catastrophe now overwhelming your country.
I urge your government to cancel this decision to repress the Hollands, and instead to respond genuinely and urgently to the call of your people for democracy, peace and recovery, and the similar persistent calls of the international community, including your African neighbours.
Yours sincerely,
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      The power to stop this nonsense is in our hands

      7/18/02 8:19:27 AM (GMT +2)

      IN 24 days' time 3 000 commercial farmers are expected to be off their
land and out of their homes, when the government's deadline for them to
leave runs out.

      Along with the 3 000 farmers will go hundreds of thousands of farm
workers, their wives, children and other dependants.

      Officials estimate that almost 2 million people will be made homeless,
jobless and destitute on 10 August 2002, but this is only the tip of the

      When these farmers are forced to close their operations they will have
to sell or slaughter all their remaining livestock including chickens, beef
and dairy cattle, sheep and pigs.

      Every single Zimbabwean will be directly and immediately affected when
3 000 commercial farms are shut down on the orders of the Ministry of Lands,
Agriculture and
      Rural Resettlement.

      Shortly after the departure of 3 000 commercial farmers Zimbabweans
must expect immediate and massive shortages in eggs, milk, dairy produce,
meat and vegetables.

      All commercial enterprises in the manufacturing and industrial sectors
who use agricultural inputs will be affected within months.

      This includes food processing, canning, clothing, tanning and leather
      It includes paper and wood industries, packaging, stationery,
furniture and even the box of matches you use to light your stove.

      It includes agricultural machinery and toolage which will directly
affect all the companies which serve the farming community's needs.

      All the export crops that farmers grow will also come to an end.

      This includes roses, paprika, exotic vegetables, herbs and tobacco.

      The loss of export revenue from these crops will affect every single
one of us as there will be even less foreign currency to pay for fuel, spare
parts, vehicles and medicines.

      When 3 000 commercial farmers are forced off their land in three weeks
' time, they will take with them decades of expertise in a huge diversity of
crops and products.

      If indeed Dr Joseph Made, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural
Resettlement, has put 300 000 peasants onto commercial farms they will be
subsistence farmers who have no capital, no title deeds, no collateral and
no experience in growing the highly specialised crops which have made
Zimbabwe into what it is today.

      They will grow enough food for themselves and their families and the
rest of us face a desperate future surviving on imported goods.

      This is not a racial statement. It is a plain and simple fact because
you cannot take a penniless peasant who knows how to grow maize and expect
him to be able to produce
      export quality roses.

      Made's 300 000 resettled villagers cannot afford their own seed maize,
let alone fertiliser, pesticides and herbicides.

      They do not have the money to pay for electricity with which to run
their newly
      acquired irrigation equipment.

      They do not have the money to employ people to help cultivate the
crops and tend the livestock.

      They do not even have transport to get their crops to the market.

      By all accounts, it seems that our government is not going to change
its mind on this mass eviction and many hundreds of farmers are already
packing up their lives and belongings in preparation.

      These 3 000 farmers do not have a voice in this madness. Their union
is crumbling, its leaders divided, its members desperately hoping for

      They have no one to turn to for help.

      The courts make rulings saying their properties have been de-listed,
but on the ground the settlers and war veterans do not go away and the
police do not step in to help because they say it is political.

      It is up to the people of Zimbabwe to decide if this is what they

      It is now up to each and every one of us to decide if we can afford to
stay silent for one more day.

      It is up to every man, woman and child in Zimbabwe to demand the right
to be able to buy home-grown food.

      The power to stop this is in our hands and we have less than a month
in which to do it. No one can help us until we begin to help ourselves.

      This issue is a question of survival.
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      Leaders vie for Mugabe's post

      By Sydney Masamvu Political Editor
      7/18/02 7:59:42 PM (GMT +2)

      A FIERCE power struggle is raging in the ruling ZANU PF ahead of the
party's annual conference in December where senior party officials are
expecting President Robert Mugabe to disclose plans to step down before the
conclusion of his controversial six-year term.

      Mugabe, whose re-election in the March presidential poll is being
challenged in court by chief political foe Morgan Tsvangirai, is under
immense local and international pressure to stage a fresh poll.

      ZANU PF officials said this week they expected Mugabe to use ZANU PF's
annual conference, likely to be held in his hometown of Mashonaland West
province, to spell out his retirement plans after completing his land
reforms next month.

      The government says its land reforms, under which it has seized nearly
all white- owned commercial farms since February 2000, are now being wound

      Mugabe has said he will consider retirement after the successful
conclusion of the reforms which have resettled thousands of landless blacks.

      ZANU PF sources say the annual conference might be transformed into a
special congress in which the issue of the future leadership of the party
could be top of the agenda.

      "Everyone in the party is expecting President Mugabe to make firm
indications about his future: that is his retirement at this year's annual
conference," one ZANU PF central committee member from the Midlands Province
told the Financial Gazette.

      A member of the party's powerful Politburo organ from Masvingo
confirmed this week that two distinct camps competing for power had emerged
within the party.

      These were positioning their own choice of candidates to take over
from the 78-year-old ZANU PF strongman, the sole ruler of Zimbabwe since
independence from Britain in 1980.

      Under Zimbabwe's Constitution, should Mugabe choose to step down
before the end of his term, a fresh presidential election has to be

      Party insiders say two prominent camps have emerged behind retired
army general Solomon Mujuru and Parliamentary Speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa and
both are already engaged in behind-the-scenes manoeuvres to prop up and
position potential candidates to replace Mugabe.

      While Mnangagwa has been heavily tipped to replace Mugabe and is known
to be the President's favoured successor, the powerful Mujuru is said to be
backing Finance Minister Simba Makoni to take over as head of state and
leader of ZANU PF.

      Mujuru, a known kingmaker within the party who is equalled in clout
only by Mnangagwa, has the support of many senior Politburo members and top
politicians from its 10 provinces, including Defence Minister Sydney
Sekeramayi, former Home Affairs Minister Dumiso Dabengwa and top Masvingo
strategist Eddison Zvobgo.

      Mujuru and Zvobgo, the Masvingo South legislator, are said to have
masterminded the election of Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo to the
influential position of party national chairman ahead of Mnangagwa and
Thenjiwe Lesabe.

      Mugabe, who personally wanted Mnangagwa to chair the party, then
steamrolled his appointment as Speaker of Parliament and the party's
secretary for administration.

      Mujuru had successfully lobbied within the Politburo for former
speaker Cyril Ndebele to be retained before that result was nullified after
Mugabe's passionate intervention on behalf of Mnangagwa.

      Other sources say personalities from the two camps, apart from
differing on the choice of Mugabe's successor, had on numerous occasions
clashed over each other's business interests.

      They said calls for Makoni to be booted out from his ministry for
ostensibly failing to manage the economy were part of the grand scheme to
elbow him out of the succession race that has spilled into the open.

      While Mujuru has been secretly lobbying for Makoni, Mnangagwa has been
busy consolidating his power base and grip on party structures by ensuring
that many of the provincial chairmen back him and his long-term political

      Mnangagwa's protégés include Manicaland provincial chairman Mark
Madiro, a director of finance when Mnangagwa was the party's secretary for
finance; and Ray Kaukonde, the provincial chairman for Mashonaland East who
worked under Mnangagwa when he was the State Security Minister.

      Midlands chairman July Moyo is related to Mnangagwa while Mashonaland
West provincial chairman Philip Chiyangwa and Samuel Mumbengegwi from
Masvingo are also closely linked to the Speaker.

      Frederick Shava, ZANU PF's head of administration and a close ally of
Mnangagwa, has taken over the party's daily administrative work at its
headquarters in Harare.

      It was not possible this week to get comment from either Mnangagwa or
Mujuru on the hotting up succession manoeuvres.
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      War vets threaten Moyo with protest

      Staff Reporter
      7/18/02 8:03:25 PM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWE'S militant war veterans said yesterday they were mobilising
their members to stage a demonstration in Harare today against Information
Minister Jonathan Moyo if he does not back down to allow the private Joy
Television station to be back on air.

      Endy Mhlanga, secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Liberation War
Veterans' Association, said his organisation was finalising plans to stage a
demonstration specifically targeting Moyo because of his alleged refusal to
allow Joy back on air.

      Joy, partly owned by the veterans, was switched off in May after the
government said all broadcasting stations minus the state-run services
should apply for operating licences under new legislation.

      "The demonstration which we are going to embark against Moyo in
particular will be decisive," Mhlanga told the Financial Gazette.

      "He has wronged us many times before but we were not bothered to bring
this to the attention of the public and our seniors in the hope that he
would improve but this time we have just had to act against him and we will
not give up," he said.

      He criticised Moyo for what he said was his lack of respect, being
selfish and obsessed with power.

      "He is being left to do what he wants and take decisions he likes,"
Mhlanga said. "That has to come to an end."

      Moyo, once the government's chief critic and now its leading
supporter, was not available for comment yesterday. Officials at his office
said he was busy attending meetings.

      But he was quoted by the government-owned Herald newspaper yesterday
saying that he would not succumb to pressure from any quarter to bend the
rules and give a licecnce to Joy.

      The veterans want Joy to be licensed to broadcast on the second
channel owned by state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, which Joy had
been leasing since 1997.

      Joy is chaired by James Makamba, a Harare businessman and a leading
member of the ruling ZANU PF party, who represents Kestrel Corporation which
has the majority shareholding in the station.

      The veterans, who fought in Zimbabwe's 1970s independence war, forced
President Robert Mugabe in 1997 to award them unbudgeted gratuities worth
more than $4 billion after staging violent protests against what they said
was the government's failure to recognise their war effort.
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      Crisis group blasts sanctions loopholes

      7/18/02 8:09:06 PM (GMT +2)

      PUNITIVE sanctions imposed by the United States (US) and the European
Union (EU) on President Robert Mugabe and his top officials are riddled with
loopholes which make them useless, says the co-director of the Africa
programme at the International Crisis Group, John Prendergast.

      Prendergast, speaking at an international briefing on Zimbabwe
organised by the US Institute of Peace and the Centre for Victims of Torture
recently, said the international community's rhetoric had not been matched
by the bite of its actions on Mugabe.

      "Travel bans and other sanctions imposed on the Mugabe government by
the EU and the US have been plagued by loopholes rendering them virtually
meaningless," he said.

      Tony Reeler, clinical director of Harare-based Amani Trust which
treats torture victims, told the same meeting that Mugabe and his ZANU PF
party had been systematically using torture since the disputed March
presidential poll to exert political control.

      "Torture is the mechanism of oppression (in Zimbabwe), death tolls are
low, but torture is at epidemic proportions," he said.

      More than 100 Zimbabweans, most of them supporters of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change, were reported killed and several hundreds
more tortured in the violence ahead of the March vote.

      The violence is largely blamed on pro-Mugabe militants who parade
themselves as veterans of Zimbabwe's 1970s independence war.

      The US, EU, Canada, New Zealand and Switzerland responded by refusing
to recognise Mugabe's poll win and banning him and 20 lieutenants from
travelling to their territories. They also said they would seize the
Zimbabweans' assets or investments found abroad.

      While a report from Britain last week said some ZANU PF properties
worth more than $7 million had been seized by London, Mugabe and his
officials have been able to travel to Italy and New York under the cover of
the United Nations.

      Prendergast and other panelists, including Zimbabwean reporter Ray
Choto who survived torture at the hands of the military three years ago,
urged the international community to tighten the sanctions.

      They said assets owned by Mugabe and his officials must not only be
frozen but exposed publicly. Mugabe has always denied owning any property

      The panelists said more aid should be given to strengthen Zimbabwean
trade unions, civic bodies and non-governmental bodies, the opposition and
the independent media, including short wave radio transmissions to broadcast
to the country's rural population. - Staff Reporter
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      Politicians run foreign currency bureaux

      By Joseph Ngwawi Business News Editor
      7/18/02 8:09:48 PM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWE'S bankers, accused of fuelling the hard cash shortages facing
the country, say the crisis runs deeper than appears on the surface and
point to a stronger invisible political hand in a thriving parallel market
that has deprived the official market of funds.

      The bankers this week dug in their heels and insisted they were not to
blame for the foreign currency shortage that has beset Zimbabwe since 1999
and now threatens to split the country's political leadership.

      They said most of their proposals on resolving Zimbabwe's foreign
currency crisis since last year have largely gone unnoticed, noting that the
government had no one else to blame but itself for pursuing unsound economic

      One senior banker, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of
victimisation, said some of the proposals now being suggested by government
officials and ruling ZANU PF party supporters were submitted by the Bankers
Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) and other private sector bodies late last year
but were then ignored by the authorities.

      These included the liquidation of foreign currency accounts (FCAs),
imposing tighter monitoring of bureaux de change, introducing a dual
exchange rate and making an upward adjustment of the exchange rate.

      "At some point, we even suggested that they (the government) should
take all the foreign currency available in FCAs but we argued that such an
action would only work under conditions of credible economic policies," the
banker told the Financial Gazette.

      Some radical elements in ZANU PF have suggested the liquidation of
individual and corporate FCAs, as well as the closure of bureaux de change,
as measures to destroy the parallel market where most of the hard cash in
Zimbabwe is traded.

      Unofficial estimates say bureaux de change and the parallel market
handle at least 80 percent of the available foreign currency.

      Bankers however said President Robert Mugabe himself knew that the
proposals by the radical elements in his party and government would only
worsen the already untenable foreign currency crisis and hasten his exit
from power.

      Closing the foreign currency bureaux, which have also been accused of
hoarding hard cash and feeding the parallel market, would worsen the illegal
trade in hard cash and force the government to spend more on policing the
activities of unofficial money changers who operate from the streets.

      "We have told them that what is needed is a carrot and stick approach
which is based on building confidence and mutual understanding among all the
players," another banker said.

      The bankers spoke as it emerged this week that some prominent
politicians operated the bureaux de change blamed for feeding the parallel
market and are benefiting from the chaos on the foreign exchange market.

      Some ZANU PF stalwarts in western Matabeleland region are believed to
run several bureaux de change in Bulawayo, Beitbridge and Victoria Falls.

      Others in Harare are also reported to be owning some of the foreign
currency bureaux.

      Although names were mentioned, this newspaper could however not
establish from the politicians themselves or the Registrar of Banks in the
Ministry of Finance if they indeed owned these companies.

      It is understood that the politicians are raking in millions of
dollars from the confusion on the foreign exchange market and therefore
stand to lose out if stability returns to the market.
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      Black marketeers rip millions from Byo streets

      From Njabulo Ncube Bureau Chief
      7/18/02 8:10:32 PM (GMT +2)

      BULAWAYO - Angelina Dube has lost count of the number of times she has
been arrested and fined for peddling foreign currency in the open streets of
Bulawayo in the past few months.

      Angie, as she is known by many, says she does not regret abandoning a
menial job at a textile firm in the city's Belmont industrial area to ply
her trade on the streets of Bulawayo, where she illegally buys and sells
foreign currency in a scam blamed by the government for fuelling Zimbabwe's

      Welcome to Bulawayo's Fort Street - the area which Finance Minister
Simba Makoni once called the "World Bank of Bulawayo".

      Every working day Angie and hundreds of other women, many of them from
the white-robed Vapostori religious sect, depart from their homes just like
any other worker to arrive in the central business district of Bulawayo,
Zimbabwe's second largest city, at 8 am to start work.

      "It's better to pay the fines or bribes than to just sit at home and
pray that God will provide the food," Angie, 45, told the Financial Gazette
in her hunting ground this week.

      "The money I was earning at the textile firm was not enough to feed my
four children and pay rent. We make huge profits here," she added, casting a
suspicious glance at two men coming our way.

      The two men, clad in black suits and dark sunglasses, zoomed past
Angie's "shop" without a glance.

      I could see that she and her colleagues, who were by now hiding inside
the side shop, were relieved.

      "I thought it was them, you know the police. They know most of us even
in disguise," she said, pointing at the direction of the two men who seemed
to be minding their own business on a bright and sunny Monday morning.

      Prior to using her own savings to ply the foreign currency black
market, Angie - just like other newcomers in the trade - used to buy and
sell the hard cash they obtained from well-known businesspeople here for

      Every morning, she said, they would flock to the offices of these
business people to get their individual "float".

      At the end of the trading day, they would go back to the businessmen
to balance the books before receiving a commission out of the money they
would have traded on the streets.

      Most of the women who spoke to this newspaper this week said they were
now self-employed.

      They use their personal savings to buy the South African rand, the
Botswana pula, the British pound sterling and the United States dollar - the
most popular currencies - which they sell to individuals, banks and
companies in need of the scarce commodity.

      The dealers position themselves in street corners to conduct their
illegal transactions but say business has been hit by a crackdown by police
on illegal money changing in the past few weeks.

      Many now engage sentries at various points of the city to look out for
the police.

      The foreign currency dealers quickly disappear each time the sentries
alert them of suspicious people who might be plainclothes policemen.

      Making handsome profits through the illegal trade however seems quite
easy for most of them. They buy the foreign currency at a cheaper rate and
sell it at exorbitant rates to foreign currency starved-banks and companies.

      "Apart from employing sentries, most of us now dress like shoppers in
town to evade the police," Angie said. "But it is back-firing because they
now know the trick."

      If caught, the illegal foreign currency peddlers such as Angie are
fined $500 on the spot but could face much stiffer sentences under the
Exchange Control Act.

      Police in Bulawayo deny that any of their officers could be taking
bribes, as alleged by some of the money changers, to allow the illegal
transactions of foreign currency.

      "Any member of the public who has paid anything to the police is free
to report," said a police spokesman. "It is a crime for a police officer to
take a bribe. Those who have done so in the past have been dealt with
according to the laws."

      Due to the booming black market, police have resorted to charging
offenders under the Exchange Control Act which stipulates stiffer penalties,
unlike the previous Miscellaneous Act whose maximum fine was $500.

      Thembi Ndlovu, another dealer along the bustling Fort Street, said
some of her colleagues had become instant millionaires because of the
flourishing foreign currency exchange market.

      "When the rates went mad about three weeks ago, most of the women made
millions," she said, barely concealing her smile.

      "The business is so lucrative that we don't mind being harassed by the
police," said Thembie, one of the energetic women who sprints up and down to
every car with foreign number plates driving along Fort Street.

      Earlier this week, the dealers were buying the rand for $55 and
selling it for as much as $70. They bought the Botswana pula for $85 and
sold it for $110, the British pound was being bought at $780 and sold for $1
000 and the American greenback changed hands at $800 after being bought for
just $590.

      "This is good business. Why should the government want to make us
poor?," protested Thembie, who said she studied commerce at high school.

      "We are not stealing from anyone; we are merely taking advantage of
their poor economic policies."

      She said most dealers were in business because of large amounts of
hard cash that was being sent into the country by Zimbabweans working abroad
in countries such as Botswana, the United Kingdom, South Africa and the
United States.

      "This week, for instance, was a good one for some of us because of
public holidays in Botswana," Thembie noted.

      Asked how the dealers arrived at a particular exchange rate each day,
she explained: "We liaise with some bureaux de changes that we sell the
foreign currency to. We also have friends at the banks.

      "We work hand in hand with the financial institutions of this country.
The government should understand this and make sound economic policies."

      While the dealers might laugh all the way to the bank, it is not
always smooth sailing because there are robbers who also ply the same street
and lurk at every point waiting to pounce.

      Many of the dealers have lost fortunes in both local and foreign
currency to these armed robbers.

      Last year a dealer was allegedly kidnapped and her mutilated body was
later found in the outskirts of the city, minus her newly found fortune.

      "We are very concerned about our security. We trade cautiously with
any foreigner who might ask us to come into their car," Thembie said.

      She said she did not take any foreign currency out of Zimbabwe but
traded it locally at higher rates before depositing the earnings into her
savings account.

      She has bought a house with some of the money and intends to "invest
some of it in shares" on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.
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      Only 106 farmers get partial compensation

      Staff Reporter
      7/18/02 5:41:56 PM (GMT +2)

      THE government has partially compensated about 100 farmers since
launching its fast-track land reforms in 2000 under which it has confiscated
95 percent of white-owned commercial farms, a Commercial Farmers' Union
(CFU) official said this week.

      CFU president Colin Cloete said out of 4 500 white commercial farmers
whose properties were taken since 2000, only 106 had received partial

      Cloete could however not provide the actual amount the government had
paid for the partial compensation or when the remainder of the compensation
would be paid.

      In its budget proposals for next year, the Ministry of Lands,
Agriculture and Rural Resettlement has reduced sharply the money it is
seeking to pay compensation for seized commercial farms to only $1.3
billion, down from $4.2 billion this year.

      Figures released by the CFU this week show that the government has
identified 6 037 commercial farms (10.597 million hectares) for compulsory
acquisition and delisted 466 farms measuring 865 667.8 hectares.

      The figures also show that government has however relisted 388 of the
properties (769 671.1 hectares) previously delisted, thereby leaving 5 909
properties now earmarked for the resettlement of landless blacks.

      President Robert Mugabe's government has maintained that the British
government should pay for the farms being taken for resettlement as part of
its obligations under the 1979 Lancaster House agreement in London which led
to Zimbabwe's independence.

      Mugabe insists that his administration will only pay compensation for
improvements made on the farms and not for the land.

      A Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement report says
the government paid $381 million in the first quarter of this year as
compensation for the acquired commercial farms but does not list the number
of farmers who were compensated.

      Cloete said the CFU was frantically trying to meet Mugabe to clarify
the future of white commercial farmers in Zimbabwe before the expiry of a
government deadline for them to vacate their farms on August 9.

      "It is still not too late and we appeal to our state President for an
audience," the CFU chief told a news conference earlier this week.

      "The reality is that the lack of trust has prevented a platform for
dialogue (but) as farmers we have always stated that an internal solution is
the way forward," he said.

      White farmers are uncertain about their future as the August deadline
set by an amendment to the Land Acquisition Act in May this year fast

      Nearly 3 000 farmers will have to leave their properties on August 9
after the end of the 90-day window during which they are to wind up their
farm operations.

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      Subsidies, war veterans' pensions chew up $20 bln

      By Joseph Ngwawi Business News Editor
      7/18/02 5:49:57 PM (GMT +2)

      THE government forked out about $20 billion last year in subsidies and
transfers to loss-making parastatals and pensions to former civil servants
and independence war veterans, authoritative Treasury sources said this

      The sources said the bulk of the money was for subsidies to
loss-making parastatals and pensions paid to an estimated 50 000 veterans of
Zimbabwe's 1970s independence war, each of whom gets about $7 900 a month.

      "About $10 billion of that figure was paid to retrenched or retiring
civil servants and monthly pensions for war veterans," a senior Ministry of
Finance official told the Financial Gazette.

      Government figures show that subsidies and transfers chewed up about
$18.5 billion in taxpayers' money during the first nine months of 2001.

      According to the sources, the Treasury forked out at least $900
million monthly in 2001 for pensions of former civil servants and the war

      Payments to the veterans are likely to increase this year following a
request by the former freedom fighters to have their pensions raised from $7
900 to $20 000 as well as an increase in school fees allowances from $20 000
a child per term to $35 000.

      The veterans, who have demanded a meeting with President Robert Mugabe
to complain about the allocation of farms under the government's land
reforms, also want the introduction of a special state-subsidised medical
aid scheme covering themselves and their dependants.

      At least six public enterprises were in the red during the first six
months of last year, which resulted in a combined loss of more than $7

      The Grain Marketing Board, TelOne and the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel
Company incurred the largest combined loss of $6 billion. They were followed
by the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), the Zimbabwe Postal Services
(ZIMPOST) and the Cold Storage Company (CSC).

      The NRZ, ZIMPOST and CSC incurred losses of $529 million, $401 million
and $82 million respectively between January and June last year.

      The continued payment of subsidies to loss-making public enterprises
has placed a severe strain on the fiscus at a time the government is trying
to rein in its spending.

      In a separate interview with the Financial Gazette this week, Finance
Minister Simba Makoni said the government had in the past two years tried to
contain expenditure by ensuring ministries and public enterprises operated
within their means.

      The government has introduced the Public Finance Management System
under which heads of ministries are supposed to strictly adhere to
expenditure controls.

      It has also appointed finance directors for all ministries to
strengthen the government's overall financial management.

      The amount paid in subsidies last year accounted for about 11 percent
of total state expenditure of $181.4 billion.
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Daily News

      Terror hits Zaka

      7/18/02 8:34:59 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Masvingo

      Political violence has hit Zaka district and 15 schools have lost
teachers as
      suspected Zanu PF youths unleashed a reign of terror, beating up
teachers they accuse of supporting the MDC, ahead of rural district council
elections scheduled for September.

      Obert Mujuru, the Masvingo regional director of education on Tuesday
confirmed the incidents, saying he was worried about the escalating
harassment of teachers in the province.

      Mujuru said: "Parents and teachers should know that education is above
politics. Students should be allowed to learn and one has no right to harass
civil servants for political reasons."

      Police in Zaka on Tuesday said they had received reports of harassment
of teachers in the district and were still investigating them. About 20
teachers in the district have fled their schools and sought refuge in urban
areas. A police officer in Zaka said they were "investigating 15 cases of
harassment of teachers but so far, no one had been arrested".

      The schools include St Joseph, Tongoona, Munjanja, Mutonhori,
Muchechetere, Mapanje, Chinorumba, Mutamba, Gunguwo, Madondo, Manjeru,
Museki, Nhema and St Anthony's.

      Some teachers had their salary payments stopped while others have been
summoned to Zanu PF offices at Jerera to explain alleged MDC ties.
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Daily News

      Company at acquired farm forced to sell cattle

      7/18/02 8:54:49 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      EUWE Leuber, the co-director of Hardwick Enterprises, one of the
companies operating from Sunray Farm in Domboshawa was last week forced to
sell 70 of his cattle worth about $4,2 million.

      Leuber said he had no alternative under the circumstances because he
had nowhere to take the cattle.

      Sunray Farm, measuring 105 hectares and owned by Walton Emry, was
designated for compulsory acquisition by the government under the
controversial land reform programme. Emry is contesting the acquisition in
the High Court.

      Leuber said he kept his cattle at Killaney Farm, which he owned.

      The farm borders Sunray Farm, where he rented premises for his

      Killaney Farm was designated for compulsory acquisition, leading to
the sale of his cattle.

      Leuber said he sold the cattle through CC Cattle Sales at Mount

      He said in the past six years he bought several game animals,
including antelopes, for his game park.

      Hardwick Enterprises is one of four companies closed by the listing
for compulsory acquisition of Sunray farm.

      A Zimbabwean identified only as Hamandishe, who has reportedly lived
in England for the past 27 years, took over part of the farm covering the
four companies and renamed it Mashiripiti.

      Cephas Magirini, the factory manager at Prime Seeds said Hamandishe
ordered him to surrender the factory keys on Monday 1 July, saying he had
taken over the farm.

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

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Daily News

      $7m account linked to Mugabe frozen

      7/18/02 8:53:45 AM (GMT +2)

      By Sandra Nyaira Political Editor

      THE Swiss government on Monday announced it had frozen US$10 000 ( Z$7
million on the parallel market) in a bank account linked to President Mugabe
's government.

      This follows revelations by the British government last week that they
had frozen £76 000 (about Z$6 million at official exchange rate and $76
million on the parallel market) in assets belonging to Zanu PF. The assets
are being seized following targeted sanctions imposed by the European Union
(EU) on Mugabe and his close lieutenants following his controversial
re-election last March.

      The international community, outraged over allegations Mugabe had
rigged the poll, said his disputed re-election was illegitimate. They
slapped him with a travel ban in EU countries and the United States of

      Opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, rejected the outcome of the
election and the case is still is to be heard in the High Court.

      In Switzerland, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs refused to
identify the account holders or provide other details, but said the money
had been blocked following notification from the bank.

      This move follows a Swiss decision in March to impose economic and
diplomatic sanctions on Zimbabwe, including the freezing of assets and a ban
on travel by senior government officials.

      Switzerland is not a member of the EU but decided to join the action
against Mugabe and his colleagues.

      Mugabe and his colleagues have maintained they have no overseas
assets, with Mugabe declaring if the EU found any of his, they should donate
them, "or even a needle", to British charity.

      George Charamba, the Permanent Secretary in the Department of
Information and Publicity in the President's Office, could not be reached
for comment as he was said to be with Mugabe on his trip to Cuba and
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Daily News

      NGO urges more aid for internally displaced people

      7/18/02 8:36:39 AM (GMT +2)

      JOHANNESBURG - A Western human rights group on Tuesday called on the
Zimbabwean government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to step up
assistance to the growing number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in
the country, saying that although information was lacking on exactly how
many people were on the move, aid to IDPs should not be delayed.

      The Norwegian Refugee Council suggested that IDPs should immediately
be targeted with food aid, especially displaced orphans and female-headed

      The United Nations' World Food Programme and Food and Agriculture
Organisation estimate that about six million Zimbabweans require food aid as
a result of drought and the government's land reform.

      UN Development Programme (UNDP) officer, George Olesh, said: "The
current lack of accurate figures on the number of IDPs in need of aid has
definitely complicated a co-ordinated humanitarian response."

      An assessment in May by the IDP Unit of the UN Office for the
Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs called attention to the urgent need to
fill "important information gaps".

      The report is the most recent attempt to locate and quantify the
number of people who have left their homes because of political violence or
left because of economic hardship.

      While the May assessment identified only two categories of displaced
persons - farm workers and victims of violence - UNDP now says that it needs
to include miners and skilled labourers who have had to move around the
country in search of employment.

      A third category, the survey suggested, were those who were encouraged
to invade farms in the early stages of the land reform programme but who are
now being evicted from these farms as the newly designated owners take

      The Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) estimated that at the end of 2001
as many as 70 000 farm workers had been affected by land occupations.

      Amani Trust, a human rights NGO in Zimbabwe, is quoted in the report
as saying: "Because such displacees fear repression and further violence,
they seek to remain 'underground', which makes their enumeration and
location very tenuous."
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Daily News

      Herald workers go on strike

      7/18/02 8:34:26 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      WORKERS at The Herald, the flagship of the troubled
government-controlled Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980) Limited (Zimpapers), went
on an indefinite sit-in yesterday demanding a 90 percent cost of living

      Zimpapers, which publishes five other titles in addition to The
Herald, claims it is broke and cannot afford any salary increase whatsoever.
The workers want the increment effected at the end of this month.

      "We are not going back to work until our demands are met," one
striking worker said. "Considering the propaganda we churned out to ensure
President Mugabe won the election, we definitely deserve something."

      The workers, who began their sit-in at 2pm in the staff canteen at
Herald House, said they were angered by Zimpapers chairman Enock Kamushinda'
s threats to fire them if they did not return to work immediately.

      Bramwell Kamudyariwa, the Zimpapers chief executive, confirmed the
workers had staged a sit-in, which he described as unlawful. "We are still
in the process of negotiating, but the workers have resorted to an illegal
labour practice. They have decided to stage a sit-in even though at this
moment I believe it is still an in-house thing which we will resolve
amicably," he said.

      But the workers were adamant the negotiations had collapsed after the
management insisted they had nothing to offer them. "How do you negotiate
with a team that is offering nothing and is sticking to nothing? They said
all workers stand to get a zero percent increment and nothing else," said
another worker.

      Zimpapers' fortunes tumbled following the launch of The Daily News in
1999. The 108-year-old Herald's sales have plunged from over 160 000 to 30
000, while sales of The Daily News rose to 110 000 before its printing press
was bombed last year in January.

      The gap has since increased considerably in favour of The Daily News.

      Other papers in the Zimpapers group - The Sunday Mail, The Chronicle,
The Sunday News, The Manica Post and Kwayedza - have suffered a huge drop in
sales too.

      This is due to public revulsion at the papers being reduced to nothing
more than Zanu PF and government propaganda mouthpieces, especially after
the appointment of Jonathan Moyo as Minister of State for Information and
Publicity in the President's Office.

      Moyo is also blamed for bringing the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation
to its knees through his policies, which have chased away both advertisers
and audiences.
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      Can Tsvangirai lead the revolution?

      by Taungana Ndoro
      7/18/02 5:16:13 PM (GMT +2)

      THE people are waiting. The charismatic Morgan Tsvangirai was bestowed
with the mandate to lead the only meaningful opposition party in the country
since 1987 but it seems he has withdrawn into his shell raising fears that
Zimbabwe will forever remain a colony of the decadent ZANU PF.

      The people have done their part, but it is apparent Tsvangirai is
breaking their hearts by the disturbingly low-profile disposition he has
assumed, marking a stark and glaring contrast from the vibrant and energetic
ZCTU secretary general of 1998/1999.

      The revolutionary leader cannot keep procrastinating because the
masses are running out of sanity, patience and tolerance made worse by a
plethora of ridiculous shortages of basic commodities such as cooking oil,
maize meal, sugar and salt, of all things.

      Tsvangirai is too diplomatic. His advisers are failing to perceive
that it is futile to depend on the courts in a country where lawlessness is
as rampant as a fire dilapidatorily out of control.

      Robert Mugabe declared, with a straight face, that his obscure land
reform would proceed unabated with or without the intervention of the
courts, so too should Tsvangirai leave the courts out of the revolution.

      A revolution is not a two-day event but an on-going process and
therefore, Tsvangirai should not be disheartened by the infamous election
pilferage of March 9/10 2002. It becomes lamentable if an opposition becomes
moribund so soon after an election. The electorate begins to doubt whether
what the opposition stands for is genuine.

      The people need action, political action, revolutionary action,
economic action and indeed mass action.

      Mugabe has suspended the rule of law and only action, not rhetoric is
our opportunity for redemption.

      These courts that the MDC is relying on are nothing but a façade of
justice. Monsters such as the draconian Public Order and Security Act and
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act are 'legal' because
Mugabe 'wishes it'.

      This is why the MDC will never get a copy of the 2002 presidential
election voters roll, neither will they win the election petition. What is
worse Tsvangirai might be found guilty of plotting to assassinate an almost
dead man.

      The greatest folly committed by the MDC in the post-election era was
the mere speculation of bargaining and negotiating with ZANU PF. The
inevitable failure of these 'talks' dampened the spirit of opposition
supporters who had raised hopes that an election re-run was possible. The
stillbirth of these ill-conceived talks finally blew out the flame of hope
and deliverance, which was struggling to stay kindled, following the
greatest election fraud of all time.

      This crooked antic by ZANU PF to throw the notion of "President Morgan
Tsvangirai" into the incinerator seems to be paying handsomely for the fraud
masters since that notion is gradually fading amongst MDC supporters.

      If the truth be told, MDC is running out of ideas to replace or
displace the ruling (if not rotting) party. The people are waiting for
change for the better. Change that will stabilise every facet of this
sinking country such as stabilising the economy, reducing inflation,
stabilising the dollar should be the fundamental goal of any stable
political party.

      More than half of this country belongs to MDC and this half is
experiencing untold misery in the urban areas. The other half, which is in
the rural areas, belongs to ZANU PF and although they are suffering, perhaps
more than town dwellers, they at least have the consolation of land and
handouts of this and that.

      Tsvangirai should simply introduce widespread mechanisms, which will
ensure that he will eventually preside over state affairs from Harvest
House. All the mayors of major cities are MDC, almost all urban MP's are
MDC, so there is therefore, no convincing reason why wretched unemployment
stinks in the cities. Every loafer who voted for the MDC dreamed of a job
regardless of the election outcome. The reality today is that all loafers
are disappointed and disillusioned. The pain of shattered hopes and
resigning to a cruel fate is gradually dawning on them as they wait
patiently for their leaders to organise some constructive occupation for

      Tsvangirai being the brave and spellbinding leader he is known to be
should save the nation. He should not bother about a cowardly African Union
that refuses to see the treason Mugabe is committing by clinging onto power
because Zimbabwe is not Africa and Africa is not Zimbabwe.

      In Zimbabwe we have our urgent long-term needs such as good
governance, democracy, human rights, the rule of law, national development,
employment creation and vital short-term needs like foreign currency, maize
meal, sugar, cooking oil and yes unbelievably - salt!

      The people are waiting.. The people want to eat but for how long must
they be patient? The time for a revolution is at hand. The leaders must
prepare hard and fast. It is to be remembered that there is great risk in a
revolution, which is why it is always the last option. According to history,
it is however, the best option - it has always worked.

      My special prayer is that the MDC carries out the plans it had put in
place in the event of being robbed the election victory, which unfortunatley
came to pass.

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      Gaddafi turns down Mozambique appeal for debt writeoff

      7/18/02 5:50:39 PM (GMT +2)

      MAPUTO - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has rejected a Mozambican
request to cancel US$140 million of debt owed by the impoverished southern
African state, but said the two countries could find an "African solution".

      President Joaquim Chissano told reporters at the weekend that
Mozambique would appeal to Gaddafi to cancel the debt, which he said was
built up when Libya provided his country with oil on favourable terms nearly
two decades ago.

      But the flamboyant Libyan leader, on a whirlwind regional tour to
build influence within the newly created African Union, flatly refused.

      "Mozambique should repay the US$100 million," he told dismayed guests
at a dinner banquet after the news conference.

      It was not clear why Gaddafi, who was speaking through an interpreter,
did not cite the whole amount. His comments were picked up by a local radio
station and news agency AIM this week.

      In a rambling 45-minute address, Gaddafi cited verses from the Koran
which said that people must pay their debts but that usury was sinful. He
said this meant that Mozambique did not have to pay interest on the debt.

      There was no immediate reaction from Chissano, who had told reporters
that the money was badly needed for social projects.

      Gaddafi, who has ruled Libya with an iron grip since taking power in a
1969 coup, went on to say Libya could give Mozambique more money - provided
it was in exchange for raw materials.

      "If Mozambique needs capital, we have capital," he said.

      "We can find an African solution. There are raw materials in
Mozambique, and we need them. Libya needs Mozambique. Libya has the money.
We need each other."

      During the launch of the African Union in South Africa's port city of
Durban last week, Gaddafi pushed widely ridiculed proposals to create a
single African state and a single army.
     The Libyan leader arrived in Mozambique for the first time on Sunday after visiting the tiny kingdom of Swaziland.
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Zimbabwe minister accuses white judge of racism

HARARE, July 18 — Zimbabwe's information minister called a white judge a racist for holding the country's justice minister in contempt of court and sentencing him to three months in jail, the state Herald newspaper said on Thursday.
   Information Minister Jonathan Moyo slammed veteran Judge Fergus Blackie for the ruling against Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa in his absence.
       ''Rhodesian racists are very crude, uncouth and uncivilised and the manner in which this judgement has been done serves to remind us how crude they are,'' the Herald quoted him as saying.
       Rhodesia was Zimbabwe's colonial name under white minority rule before independence from Britain in 1980.
       The High Court found Chinamasa in contempt on Wednesday for his public condemnation of a court sentence passed by a judge three years ago, when he was the attorney general.
       Blackie found Chinamasa guilty of two counts of contempt after he failed to show up in court to answer the charges. He also fined him 50,000 Zimbabwe dollars ($910).
       ''What makes this case stink, and it stinks all the way to heaven, is that this judgement is made today by a judge who is retiring tomorrow (Thursday),'' the Herald quoted Moyo as saying.
       State media reported last month that Blackie, one of Zimbabwe's two remaining white judges, would take early retirement this month. The announcement came just days after Blackie issued an arrest warrant for Chinamasa.
       In 1999 Chinamasa slammed as too lenient sentences passed by a judge on three Americans convicted of illegal arms possession and trying to load dangerous weapons onto an plane. They were sentenced to 27 months each, nine months of which was suspended.
       Last month Blackie issued an arrest warrant for Chinamasa over his failure to show up in court. Chinamasa was travelling abroad when the case came up, and the government said the court had not even informed his lawyers.
       Chinamasa's lawyer told state television he would appeal against both the conviction and the sentence.
       Blackie's departure will make him the sixth judge to leave the bench since President Robert Mugabe clashed with a number of judges over judicial independence 15 months ago.
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Daily News

      EU MPs demand action over worsening crisis in Zimbabwe

      7/18/02 8:54:20 AM (GMT +2)

      By Sandra Nyaira recently in France

      EUROPEAN Union (EU) Members of Parliament are demanding that joint
action be taken by the EU and the United Nations Security Council to tackle
the worsening crisis in Zimbabwe as millions face hunger and starvation
after two years of political strife and violence.

      Most EU countries have already started working on a programme to
ensure enough food is available for the starving masses in Zimbabwe with
humanitarian appeals for other Southern African countries like Angola
topping the list in France and other EU countries.

      Sebastian Minot and Catherine Boivineau, both on the African desk in
the French government's Foreign Affairs Ministry, told The Daily News during
a recent visit to France that the famine in Zimbabwe was a major concern to
Europe mainly because it was borne out of President Mugabe's chaotic land
reform programme and his policies.

      "It concerns us so much that the food crisis in Zimbabwe has not only
been as a direct result of the drought but also because of Mugabe's
policies," Minot said.

      "But we will continue to respond generously to the appeal launched by
the UN and we will contribute substantially to the drought relief programme
in the whole region that is facing serious food shortages."

      Posters on the humanitarian situation in Angola and other countries in
the region already have become a norm in Europe and French shops, bus and
train stations now bear posters and papers on these humanitarian appeals
except Zimbabwe.

      The honourary president of the 92-nation African, Caribbean and
Pacific - EU joint parliamentary Assembly, John Corrie said the new EU
presidency, Denmark, should ensure that EU Foreign Ministers act decisively
on Zimbabwe at their meeting next week in Brussels.

      The meeting, to be held on 22 and 23 July, will also discuss the
political situation in Zimbabwe with the aim of tightening the noose around
Mugabe and his close allies in Zanu PF and the government.

      "All fifteen EU Member States must impose tougher targeted sanctions
on Mugabe's regime and deliver a strong statement to the UN Security
Council," said Corrie.

      "Mugabe's coup by the ballot-box has led to a worsening tragedy as
Zimbabwe's economy gets sicker by the day and millions face hunger and
starvation. We must not sit by and watch Zimbabwe - once a beacon of hope
for Southern Africa - decay before our eyes."

      He said the first challenge facing the new-look African Union,
launched in Durban last week, was how it would restore human rights, the
rule of law and democracy in Zimbabwe.

      "The European Parliament will be watching closely how Africa's leaders
respond to this clear crisis that threatens the future plans for Africa's
democracy and prosperity," said Corrie.

      Last week the EU Parliament passed a tough resolution against Zimbabwe
after an emergency debate in Strasbourg.

      The resolution demands the proper enforcement of the EU's smart
sanctions and their extension to include all those in positions of power in
Mugabe government.

      "Mugabe's mishandling of affairs inside the country threatens not only
the people of Zimbabwe but also poses an increasing danger to the stability
of the whole of the southern African region, especially countries already
facing chronic food shortages, such as Malawi and Zambia, with the prospect
of a breakdown in the regional economy and a possible refugee crisis," said
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      Mugabe softening, say African leaders

      By David Masunda Deputy Editor-in-Chief
      7/18/02 8:11:15 PM (GMT +2)

      NIGERIAN President Olusegun Obasanjo started it: he said he was so
"heartened" by the atmosphere when he met President Robert Mugabe on the
sidelines of the African Union's launch in South Africa last week that he is
optimistic a solution on Zimbabwe's economic and political crisis could be
in the horizon.

      He said when he conveyed the change of mood he detected in Mugabe to
United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan, Annan rushed to meet the
embattled Zimbabwean leader.

      According to Obasanjo, there was an immediate flurry of activity as
international diplomats at the AU launch, including Commonwealth
secretary-general Don McKinnon, and heads of state jostled to meet the
veteran ZANU PF leader whose land policies are under attack for scaring away
investors from southern Africa.

      As it turned out, McKinnon - who has been on a collision course with
Harare after his election observers concluded that Zimbabwe's presidential
poll in March was a sham - only managed to meet Mugabe's right hand man,
Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge.

      McKinnon told South African newspapers over the weekend that his
hour-long meeting with Mudenge was a "positive development", and that he had
put a "few cards on the table" to try to normalise dialogue between Harare
and the club of former British colonies.

      The Commonwealth has suspended Zimbabwe for a year from participating
in any of its council meetings after the controversial March election that
was endorsed by African countries but blasted as a fraud by the West.

      The European Union, the United States, Canada, New Zealand and
Switzerland have already slapped Mugabe and his ruling elite with smart
sanctions that range from travel bans to the freezing of their overseas

      So is Mugabe finally succumbing to international pressure or is he
just realising that Zimbabwe needs world support for its discredited land
reforms to succeed?

      Are attitudes in Harare and within the ZANU PF party softening?

      James Morris, the executive director of the United Nations World Food
Programme who also met Mugabe on the fringes of the AU summit, said he
detected some enthusiasm from the Zimbabwean leader to work closely with the
UN to distribute food relief to six million starving people, half the
country's population.

      Morris told the Financial Gazette in Durban that he had warned Mugabe
not to politicise food distribution and to allow private companies to
participate in the food relief effort.

      He said the Zimbabwean leader had agreed to lift the ban on private
individuals and companies from getting contracts to distribute the food.

      The state's Grain Marketing Board was previously the only one
sanctioned to distribute drought relief but there have been accusations that
the state's monopoly on relief handouts had resulted in some opposition
party supporters being denied food.

      Ibbo Mandaza, a newspaper publisher and noted analyst close to the
ruling party, said it was clear that the only way forward was for Zimbabwe
to open dialogue with the West and that it could start the process by making
use of its friends in Europe.

      "If the West is prepared to speak, I think Mugabe will be prepared to
speak," Mandaza said, adding that it was the Western countries which had
started the standoff by boycotting the Zimbabwean leader after the March

      He said Mugabe's recent forays into Rome, Paris and now Madrid - this
week on his way to Cuba - "were interesting" and could be attempts by
Zimbabwean authorities to break the ice.

      Mandaza was however doubtful whether the governing party was still
interested in resuscitating the inter-party talks with the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) that were abandoned in May.

      University of Zimbabwe lecturer Elphas Mukonoweshuro says it is likely
that ZANU PF has finally realised that the only way out of the current
impasse is to engage the West.

      " The situation in which we are in is such that every reasonable
person within the government ought to be realising that we are heading for a
cul de sac," said Mukonoweshuro, who is also an adviser to MDC president
Morgan Tsvangirai.

      "In spite of this sabre-rattling, there is all the evidence that the
fundamental imperatives on the ground will drag ZANU PF kicking and
screaming into doing what is proper for the management of this country,"
Mukonoweshuro told the Financial Gazette.

      Obasanjo, however, had the last word: he told a news conference in
Durban that although there was "something good" coming out of Harare, a
solution to the Zimbabwean crisis "might not be as fast as many people would
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      Some might die in action, warns MDC

      Staff Reporter
      7/18/02 8:08:36 PM (GMT +2)

      THE opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has finished
consulting all its branches in Zimbabwe on the need for a massive national
stayaway and is waiting for its executive to give the go-ahead for the
strike, party chairman Isaac Matongo has said.

      Matongo said he had been tasked by the party to travel to all of its
organs in Zimbabwe to consult with the rank and file and had presented his
report to MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai about three weeks ago.

      He said it was the intention of the party that the mass action be led
by the people rather than by the opposition party's political leaders.

      Matongo and the MDC's head for foreign relations Sekai Holland were
addressing journalists on the sidelines of the African Union (AU) in Durban
last week.

      "We have not developed cold feet. We are going ahead for the mass
action but we are only waiting for the day to be announced," Matongo said.

      "We understand very well that some of us are going to die because of
this mass action and that some will go into prison but that is how it is
going to be," said the bearded former senior official of the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions.

      Holland said the MDC had not rested since losing the disputed March
presidential election and was busy with in-house programmes such as a
leadership capacity building scheme and improving its communication

      Chelgate, a British-based Public Relations Company, also announced in
Durban that it was launching a "Save Zimbabwe" campaign that was aimed at
keeping the international spotlight on President Robert Mugabe's regime.

      A spokesman for the company said the campaign was endorsed by the MDC
and the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, a grouping of about 131 local civic
groups. It was being financed by individuals and companies based mostly in

      Chelgate chairman Terence Fane-Saunders said the campaign would target
a broad range of audiences, including the AU, the United Nations, the
European Union, the American government and leading global aid agencies and
international human rights organisations.

      It has already set up an online Press room on Zimbabwe on the Internet
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