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

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Zim Standard

      Great Zimbabwe now just a pile of stones

      By Walter Marwizi

      MASVINGO-With a heavy heart, Jerina trudged along the small path that
snaked its way past a famed hill before it took her to a makeshift homestead
tucked in a forest close to the Great Zimbabwe ruins.

      That evening a week ago, the 34- year-old widow did not have anything
for her hungry children who had waited patiently for a change in their
family fortunes for over 13 months.

      "Great Zimbabwe is now just a heap of stones with no benefit for us,"
cursed the empty handed Jerina, as she arrived at home, her arms folded
behind her back.

      A few kilometres away from her hunger stricken homestead, a
disappointed fisherman folded his nets earlier than he used to. When things
were normal, this was the time for him to cast his nets at the shores of
Lake Mutirikwe in anticipation of a major catch that would meet an ever
increasing demand for fresh fish.

      "Will Great Zimbabwe ever rise and be great for us?" the fisherman
muttered to himself as took a path that led him home.

      It was not only Jerina and the fisherman who went back home empty
handed, with nothing for their families that day-nor was it the only day
they were so disappointed.

      In fact it is now the order of the day for drought wracked villagers
in Chief Mugabe's area in Masvingo who were earning a living through selling
their various wares to tourists who thronged the Great Zimbabwe monuments on
a daily basis to explore the mysteries buried at the world acclaimed
heritage site.

      The villagers who are based at Great Zimbabwe turn off, along the
Masvingo-Topora road, now sing the blues as the monuments have lost their

      Hardly two years after the Zanu PF government sanctioned invasions
into white owned farms, GZ, as it is affectionately called in Masvingo, is
no longer a friendly marketplace for them.

      International visitors who used to frequent the most acclaimed
monuments in southern Africa, snapping up their products, have stopped
coming to Zimbabwe, scared off by the violence that characterised farm
invasions that pitted the ruling Zanu PF against the opposition MDC.

      These visitors, who had "spending power", used to buy items sold by
enterprising villagers who smiled all the way to the bank.

      Among the items that were in demand were dyed clothing, stone and wood
carvings and African medicines such as vhuka vhuka, an aphrodisiac.

      "Honestly we now just sit here the whole day doing nothing. Our wares
are just gathering dust. There are no buyers anymore," said Grace
Makwarimba, who has been selling her doilies for over five years at the GZ
turn off.

      Tawanda Magara, a stone carver, said GZ now had a different meaning
altogether to him.

      "In the past when we saw the GZ monuments, we realised that we would
always make money since visitors would always come to see discover the
mystique associated with them. Now we see them just as any other heap of
stones. They don't make any difference to our lives," he said.

      An official with the Department of Museums and National Monuments who
preferred not to be named said the Great Zimbabwe ruins had witnessed a
dramatic decline in the number of visitors in the past two years.

      "I can confirm that tourist arrivals are insignificant. It would be a
waste of time for anyone to sit and try to compile the statistics of foreign
visitors you have requested. They are simply not coming here," he said.

      While in the past foreign tourists were the main visitors to the GZ,
locals were now heading the list, he said.

      "We are now seeing domestic tourists, mainly youths from Masvingo who
bring their girlfriends over the weekend to have a nice time at the ruins.
Regionally, South Africans still show some interest in the monuments here
and there, but it's nothing to write home about," he said.

      English tourists used to be main visitors when relations between
Zimbabwe and Britain were cordial, but they have since stopped coming.
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Zim Standard

      Land-grab deprives 250 000 pupils of education

      By Itai Dzamara

      MORE than 500 schools in formerly white owned farms have been shut
down, throwing the future of over 250 000 children of farm workers into
jeopardy, The Standard has learnt.

      As government continues to implement its chaotic land seizure
exercise, more and more schools which were run by white commercial farmers
are being closed as marauding Zanu PF supporters and war veterans take over
the farms.

      According to a spokesperson of the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) ,
the future of the children who were getting education at the farm schools is
gloomy as it is clear that neither the new owners nor the government has the
capability and capacity to run the schools.

      Already, the embattled Mugabe regime is grappling with a food crisis,
among a host of economic and social woes, leaving the government with no
money to support the schools.

      Government schools have not been spared either, as they reel under
lack of textbooks, teaching staff and other problems.

      "More than 500 schools were closed abruptly as invaders besieged farms
across the country. Thousands of children who attended farm schools have
nowhere to go," said the spokesperson.

      The situation is made even worse by the fact that virtually all the
farm workers' families will have no means of livelihood following the loss
of their employers.

      About 200 000 of the deprived children are still at primary school
level, which most commercial farmers provided.

      Many of the farm workers were immigrants from Sadc countries such as
Malawi and Mozambique, who left their countries decades ago in search of

      Efforts to get comment from the ministry of education failed because
officials at the head office repeatedly said that the minister was busy. The
permanent secretary, Thompson Tsodzo, was said to be on leave.
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The Worst Humanitarian Crisis on Earth: Or is it a form of Genocide?
No, I am not referring to the killing of thousands of Ndebele in the 80’s as Mugabe strove to force them into submission to Zanu PF dominance, nor am I referring to the famine conditions now spreading across Zimbabwe. No, I am referring to the HIV/Aids epidemic that has the country in its grip at present. I know we are all fed up with the subject, Barcelona and all that, but I thought it was time to set out just what is involved in this crisis and the impact that the policies of Zanu PF are having on the progress of the epidemic in our midst.
What triggered this for me was a report that Dave Coltart brought back from his recent trip to the USA. Not long, about 16 pages, but it contained an account of just what HIV/Aids means to a country like ours. We are one of the HIAC countries – a "heavily infected Aids country". This means that we are one of an exclusive club of countries who have more than 20 per cent of their total population infected with HIV all of whom will ultimately die of Aids.
To try and get a handle on the situation we took what the experts say about the epidemic in African countries – it was first identified in 1984, we assumed infection rates at that time were between 1 and 2 per cent of the population. As it takes up to 15 years for the infection to take the form of full blown Aids and for people to die, deaths at that stage were only about 11 000 a year. Since then 1,1 million Zimbabweans have died from Aids and Aids related diseases. The latter are mainly TB, some forms of Sarcoma, Malaria and Chest infections. Today in a normal year 160 000 Zimbabweans of all ages will die of the disease – including 37 000 children under 5, infected by their mothers at birth or through breast-feeding.
In fact, this year Aids related deaths for the first time will exceed "normal deaths". Total deaths from all causes in 2002 would be about 321 000. With normal births standing today at about 450 000 a year, this means that our population is barely growing. In fact, if we factor in emigration, our population must be declining quite sharply. We know for example that there are over 2 million Zimbabweans in South Africa, 400 000 in the UK and about the same number in North America. This must mean that our total population is now hovering about the 10 million mark. In the year 2000 it was generally thought we had a population of 12 million, growing at about 1,8 per cent per annum.
Weekly deaths are now running at 3 000 – 5000 a day, just from Aids. We have nearly 200 000 children under 5 infected by their mothers, 750 000 orphans – nearly 15 per cent of the total population under 18 years of age. We have a total HIV infected population today of 2,4 million. The epidemic will peak about 2010 at national infection rates of about 25 per cent – 3,6 million people with annual Aids related deaths of about 186 000 people a year. Experience elsewhere shows that it should peak at this point and, if we put appropriate policies in place, decline thereafter. Even if this happens, millions more are going to die from this disease.
Why are we so susceptible as a nation – why is Africa the Aids continent on top of all our other ills? This is the question I want to try and answer and to say that to stop this epidemic, we need to do much more that just harass the pharmaceutical industry for cheap drugs. Drugs will help people already infected, but are largely palliatives when it comes to really dealing with the problem. We must prevent infection and tackle the disease at its socio economic roots.
What are the roots of the Aids epidemic? They are lifestyles, attitude to sex outside of marriage, homelessness, migratory labour, poverty, the status of women, education (especially of the girl child), education and information about the disease, malnutrition. What amplifies the impact of the Aids epidemic in a given society are the ability to educate and provide condoms, the ability to treat other diseases that will use the HIV and Aids infection to gain a hold in a population. The quality and availability of good medical services and affordable drugs is also critical – both in prevention and providing for a better quality of life for those with the disease.
How do we as a country rate ourselves against these factors – how does the Zanu PF government, which has been in power for 22 years, rate against these factors. The evidence demonstrates that they have been an unmitigated disaster for Zimbabwe and its people. Their activities in the past three years in particular, in the context of Zimbabwe as a HIAC state, have been nothing short of a form of national genocide. If 1 million Zimbabweans have died since the infection started, one million more will die in the next 12 months – three quarters of these additional deaths would have been prevented if we had had a better government following appropriate and sensible policies.
Lets look at the record – 40 per cent of the urban population is homeless – they must lodge with others in overcrowded accommodation, several people to one room with little privacy and no dignity to speak of. Nearly 3 million live outside the country – three quarters of this migrant community are illegal immigrants – driven out of Zimbabwe by an economy that is collapsing. The massive decline in employment opportunities (20 per cent of the total population was in paid employment in 1980, now the figure is 9 per cent and falling). Those who do have jobs in the cities earn so little that they cannot maintain their families and are forced to send wives and children to live in rural villages while they remain as single workers in the cities.
Half the children of school going age are not in school – nearly two thirds of girls of school going age are not in school. We are only employing 62 per cent of the teachers we should be employing to give those children who are in school a decent education. Teachers and Head Teachers are poorly paid and motivational levels difficult to maintain. In many rural schools teachers are forced to live with three families to a house designed for one because of the shortage of accommodation. There are few books and the majority of school pupils come to school on empty stomachs. Educational standards are going downhill fast under these conditions, illiteracy is rising and the numbers of children entering the economy with a totally inadequate education, let alone job skills, is rising rapidly.
Incomes are down dramatically as wages stagnate and prices rise, absolute poverty now grips more than 75 per cent of the total population. A combination of poor educational opportunities and extreme poverty is driving many young people into prostitution and crime. Couple this to forced migration and homelessness in the urban areas and you have a vicious cocktail of social conditions that form the perfect platform for HIV/Aids.
Couple this to the complete collapse of the state medical system – hospitals without food and drugs, no gloves for personnel, a 50 per cent loss of hospital staff in the past 18 months to emigration. The complete collapse of the clinic system as central government fails to meet its obligations to local authorities with the responsibility. Clinics without even basic drugs – let alone the drugs required for the treatment of Malaria, Cholera and Tuberculosis. In an environment where half the total number of pregnant women at clinics are testing positive for HIV there are no drugs to halt transmission.
Now we have a serious shortage of food. Something I learned from the US study was that Aids victims need 50 per cent more protein in their diets. They also require a better quality of diet and if they suffer from any sort of disruption in their diet, they face the prospect of an early death. If a population of HIV/Aids sufferers experience a sudden down turn in the quantity and quality of food they get, the results can be catastrophic. We are in this position and if the US study is correct, up to 20 per cent of all currently infected people in Zimbabwe will be in this position this year. My computer model indicated to me that as many as 480 000 people could die in this way in the next 12 months, in addition to the other deaths expected under "normal circumstances" of 321 000. The food people forecast that deaths from hunger will run to many thousands, as it is now almost too late to get enough food here to feed the population.
Was this a situation beyond our control? Was this the effect of "structural adjustment" forced on us by global institutions? The answer is clearly no, whilst we are not responsible for the epidemic – the Zanu PF government is solely responsible for the terrible conditions that have created such fertile conditions for this disease of the poor and dispossessed. For me, this is clearly a form of genocide, as sure as if they had pulled the trigger.
Eddie Cross
Bulawayo, 14th July 2002

How to Control the HIV/Aids Epidemic.

In my last weekly note I described the massive impact that Aids is having in Zimbabwe and what impact present government policies are having on the progress of the epidemic. I feel we have an obligation as members of the MDC to take the debate one step further and to clearly spell out just what we would do that would be so different and which would help halt our slide into disaster in this respect.

I was disappointed by the Barcelona conference on Aids, which seemed to be dominated by debate on possible cures and treatment and cost thereof. Once the disease is present, there is no cure – all we can do at great expense, is to prolong life and improve what quality of life an infected person can have while waiting for the inevitable. It seems to me that the debate needs to be extended to cover the broader issues, which will deny the disease the fertile ground in which it thrives. Someone wrote to me and described present HIV/Aids programs as "throwing tennis balls at an avalanche" and I must say I had to agree with that perspective.

The key to an effective war on HIV/Aids would seem to me to lie in the following programmes – many of which seem to have no connection but taken together will undermine the social and economic conditions which have made Africa the Aids continent.

We should start with education – we must target the girl child in our educational programmes while at the same time extending the period during which children in poor countries are able to go to school and the quality of education they receive whilst at school. We need global consensus on the standard of education we are going to give every child on earth as a basic human right. Poor countries should be required to pay what they can afford towards such programs and the rest of the cost – whatever that might be, should be met by the global community. There should be no debate about this – just about the modalities. Who, what where? Teachers across the globe should be considered elite, as they were a century ago, because they, as much as parents, are role models and mentors for the next generation.

Then we must ensure that our educational systems teach not just the three R’s but give our children knowledge and skills that will prepare the next generation for life in a competitive and complex world. Good education is not just about reading and writing, its about right and wrong, moral absolutes and justice in society. It’s about philosophy and social mores as well as interpersonal relations and health and hygiene. Its about religion and faith and about being in control of your own life and being responsible for the lives of others. Poorly paid, uneducated and unmotivated teachers cannot maintain such a system. Educators need to be remunerated well, decently housed and able to command respect from their community.

Secondly, we must mount a real effort to ensure that no child exits our school system ignorant of their sexuality and the threat of HIV/Aids. They must not be permitted to think that there is anything called "safe sex" outside of a monogamous relationship within marriage. They must understand that even "protected sex" is a form of Russian roulette. Family planning education must be stepped up and incorporated into all forms of community health and education services. All national leaders should be obliged to be become involved in the fight for public understanding and the media must be fully engaged in the struggle.

Our strategies for the urban areas must be fully integrated to pursue a strategy of "whole family" settlement and support. Housing programs should have as a clear objective a home for every family – irrespective of their economic or social standing. This means we must take a long hard look at urban housing. Mass transit systems must accommodate workers and others daily commuting needs. Affordable strategies for transport must be a high priority. Minimum wage regulations must be aligned to the poverty datum line for different industries – the policy of fostering employment on the basis of sub economic wages should be completely abandoned with the support of both Unions and Employers.

Both basic health and education services in urban and rural areas should be virtually free. The present situation where such services are more expensive in urban areas should be corrected to permit families to raise their children where their parents live on a "whole family" basis. All forms of migratory labour should be abandoned and every effort made to stop the flow of illegal emigrants to other countries by encouraging them to stay at home and enabling them to find gainful employment or other forms of support for them and their families.

In the health services field, every Zimbabwean should have access, within walking distance, of a primary health care clinic which is able to provide a full range of basic health care services at no cost. These clinics should be community owned and managed but financed by Central Government. They should have a full range of drugs to treat common ailments and should be able to provide a complete range of anti and post natal services to women. The clinics should be able to provide HIV/Aids screening using provincial laboratory services and infected mothers should be given appropriate medication to inhibit mother to child transmission. Public health services should be provided as an outreach programme by all primary health care clinics.

All primary health care centres should be used as referral centres with regard to district and provincial hospitals, which would only deal with cases that could not be dealt with, by the primary health care centres. All Zimbabweans in both the urban and rural areas should have access to some form of medical aid – at the lower income levels to be subsidised by the state but self-financing above certain income levels. These schemes would all be privately managed and owned by the membership of the societies themselves. Hospital services would be paid for by these medical aid schemes – all of which would be contributory.

In the rural areas, people are totally poverty stricken. Our rural population is amongst the poorest in the world, people generally living well below the threshold of US$1 per day. Unless we tackle this problem we will never be able to solve the ancillary problems that are created be these conditions of poverty in rural areas.

At the root of rural poverty is the issue of security over resources. Our rural population has land – much of it potentially productive, but without security over this asset, these resources will never yield its potential. Fundamental to this task therefore is to provide all farmers with secure, negotiable, forms of tenure. Zanu PF has abrogated international agreements and our own constitution in its drive to dispossess white farmers and in so doing has completely destroyed the security of tenure that commercial farmers used to have over their land. This security was the foundation on which a highly productive system of commercial agriculture was built over the past 100 years.

No matter what Zanu PF says today, this is untenable and a new government, respecting the rule of law and the constitutional rights of its citizens must restore tenure rights to owners who wish to continue farming. There is no debate about that in responsible circles. Any other perspective is simply untenable and there is no point in believing otherwise. What also has to happen is that these same rights have to be extended in some form to all farmers holding land rights in rural areas – resettled farmers, farmers in the communal areas and farmers in the commercial farming districts.

Once this is achieved, these new farmers must be given the kind of operating environment that will enable them to exploit their resources productively and to their own benefit. The potential is huge. We have a million hectares of potential irrigated land, if this was settled in small holder fashion, centered on development nodes, with packing sheds, cotton gins and sugar factories, we could have up to 100 000 farmers – all earning in excess of Z$1 million per annum. We could grow 500 000 tonnes of cotton a year, 250 000 tonnes of tobacco, 100 000 tonnes of coffee and a similar quantity of tea. We could put 250 000 hectares under small scale forestry and supply forest products to the world on a sustainable basis. Feeding ourselves is not difficult – Zimbabwean farmers have held the world record for maize production several times. In fact our main problem under these circumstances would be markets in a global system dominated by subsidised food from Europe and the USA.

All of this would be self sustaining and viable. It would create prosperity in rural areas and with the rural population receiving the good quality social services outlined above; their quality of life would improve out of all recognition. The need to move to a shantytown in South Africa and make a living by crime and other means would be eliminated. We would then have the reverse problem – of people coming into Zimbabwe, because conditions here are so much better.

A pipe dream? Not at all. We have been working with teams of specialists in all these areas for two years and the MDC has detailed and credible policies in all these areas. What we lack as a country is leaders of vision and the opportunity to turn the disastrous policies of Zanu PF on their head so that the people of this country can be liberated to exhibit their potential. Everything I have outlined above is achievable in a relatively short time, if we have the vision, the opportunity and the will to do it. Nepad may be a vehicle for drawing in the resources that will be required, but the main effort is ours – foreigners, no matter how well motivated cannot do for us what we are not prepared to do for ourselves.

We can beat the HIV/Aids epidemic – Uganda and Senegal have shown the way. But we cannot while we have a government that is hell bent on impoverishing and destroying any sense of security of its people. We need new leaders, new policies – we need CHANGE.

Eddie Cross

20th July 2002

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Dear Family and Friends,
In less than 3 weeks time 3000 commercial farmers will be forced to leave their properties on the orders of the Zimbabwe government. 3000 men and women who are still willing and able to grow food for the nation will no longer be able to do so. In a desperate attempt to prevent this disaster, the leaders of the Commercial Farmers Union held a Press Briefing a few days ago. Farming President Colin Cloete said: "We appeal to our State President for an audience." This urgent plea for dialogue where Cloete hoped to beg the government to allow farmers to continue growing food was categorically turned down. The Minister of Agriculture said that he was not prepared to talk to the farmers and that he would not go back on the programme of mass farm seizures. A couple of days later, speaking from Cuba, President Mugabe also refused to speak to our farmers saying they should talk to the Vice President instead. Clearly both the President and Agriculture Minister do not take seriously the cold and ugly reality that 6 million Zimbabweans are starving. It would seem they would rather accept handouts from the west than allow our own farmers to grow food and help get us out of this disastrous situation. Management, governance and advance planning in Zimbabwe today appears to be completely non existent. When all these farmers and their workers are thrown off their land, the ripple effects to the whole country are going to be enormous. The first and obvious effect will be the immediate loss of daily, perishable produce - eggs, milk, cheese and vegetables. Within a month there will be huge losses to the economy in the form of income tax, drought levy's and Aids levies. Farmers are huge users of electricity - to run water pumps, cool fresh produce and use irrigation equipment - the loss of revenue to the electricity authority will be enormous. All farmers pay rates to the country's rural councils - rates which build clinics and dams, maintain roads and sink boreholes. The loss of revenue to all of Zimbabwe's rural councils will bring these authorities to an immediate and grinding halt. The human price of Zimbabwe's land reform programme is almost too staggering to comprehend, not only for the farmers and their workers but also for 13 million Zimbabweans. 
These are desperate days in Zimbabwe and looking out for each other is the only way to survive. I have an 84 year old man living two doors away from me and he stood at my gate again this week. He calls me his Guardian Angel and begged that I give him $60 for a loaf of bread. He is white and his need is as great as the 14 year old black boy who runs alongside my car when I turn in at the supermarket. He too begs for money to buy a loaf of bread. If only the men and women in our government would stop their motorcades, get out of their chauffeur driven limousines and see this immense tragedy, see the huge suffering of all black, white and brown Zimbabweans. If only. Until next week, with love, cathy.
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Zimbabwe opposition figure sought after stabbing

HARARE, July 20 - Zimbabwe police said on Saturday they were looking for a
senior opposition official after the stabbing at his house of a woman
believed to be his wife, reported to be in critical condition.

       Police chief spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) information secretary and legislator Learnmore Jongwe
disappeared from his Harare home following the Friday evening incident.
       Jongwe is the MDC's leading public voice.
       ''The position is that a woman called Rutendo Muusha, whom we
understand is Jongwe's wife, was stabbed last night and the latest
information we have is that she is in a critical condition,'' Bvudzijena
told Reuters.
       ''We are still looking for Jongwe to interview him in connection with
the stabbing,'' he added.
       There was no reply from Jongwe's mobile phone and MDC officials were
not immediately available to comment.
       The MDC, formed in 1999, emerged as the strongest opposition to
President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party in 2000 general elections
when it won nearly half of the contested parliamentary seats despite a
violent campaign largely blamed on ruling party supporters.
       MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who is legally challenging Mugabe's
victory at presidential elections held in March, faces charges of plotting
to kill the president last year.

20 July 2002

MDC grieves with Muusha and Jongwe families.

The MDC has learnt with deep sadness of the death of  MDC MP  and
Spokesperson Learnmore Jongwe's wife Rutendo Jongwe (nee Muusha) at the
Avenues Clinic early this morning. We grieve with the two families.

The MDC sympathises with the Jongwe family for the tragic circumstances
under which they find themselves.

Contrary to widespread reports and fears that Learnmore Jongwe may have
committed suicide, it has been established that he is alive and well. He is
currently consulting with his lawyers who shall issue a full statement on
his behalf in due course.

May the families know that all Zimbabweans are grieving with them and share
the sadness and sorrow that they feel.

In these difficult circumstances we call upon the Almighty to give us
guidance and heal the pain that we all feel. We also pray for forgiveness
and unity of purpose.

Welshman Ncube,
MDC Secretary General.

Zim Standard

      'Jongwe caught wife with friend'

      By Chengetai Zvauya

      AS the story over the alleged stabbing of Rutendo Jongwe, by her
husband and MDC spokesman Learnmore, unfolded yesterday, The Standard is
informed that the dispute leading to the tragic incident occurred after the
young MP had allegedly caught his wife in bed with his friend and lawyer

      Jongwe's lawyer, Jonathan Samkange of Byron & Venturas and Partners
told The Standard yesterday that the incident so infuriated the MP that he
immediately attacked his wife.

      Rutendo died of stab wounds to the chest and face at the Avenues
Clinic early yesterday morning.

      "Learnmore caught his wife in bed with another man, a friend and
colleague from a Harare law firm. He was so provoked that he immediately
began assaulting the wife which resulted in the eventual death of the wife.
He did not attack the man, who quickly disappeared from the scene.

      "We are in the process of talks with the police for the surrender of
Jongwe. I am in the process of handing him over to Chief Superintendent
Musemwa of CID homicide so they can record a warned and cautioned statement
from him," said Samkange.

      The colleague who is alleged to have been caught with Rutendo is a
practising lawyer with Muskwe and Associates law firm.

      At the time of going to press, Jongwe was still not in police custody.

      However Rutendo's family has dismissed the version of Jongwe's lawyer
as pure fabrication meant to build up his defence.

      Nyarai Levita, a maid who was in the house when the incident occurred
told The Standard that there was no boyfriend in the house as was being

      "I went to take a bath and I left Rutendo playing with the baby.
Learnmore was also in the house. I had to rush out of bathroom after hearing
screams from the dinning room. I saw Rutendo close to the gate when she
collapsed. Learnmore had just driven off at high speed. I then screamed for
help to alert neighbours," she said.

      Rutendo's father Chino Muusha said: "Why did he choose to lie like
that? It's hard to believe how a man can cook up such a story to cover up
his murderous acts," said the emotional father.

      When the story first broke on Friday night, there were fears that
Jongwe, who fled from his Belvedere home after the incident, had committed
suicide. However, this was dispelled yesterday morning by MDC
secretary-general, Welshman Ncube, through a statement to the press.

      "Contrary to widespread reports and fears that Learnmore Jongwe may
have committed suicide, it has been established that he is alive and well.
He is currently consulting with his lawyers who shall issue a full statement
on his behalf in due course," said Ncube.

      The party however lamented the death of Jongwe's wife. "The MDC has
learnt with deep sadness of the death of MDC MP and spokesman Learnmore
Jongwe's wife, Rutendo Jongwe (nee Muusha) at the Avenue Clinic early
yesterday morning. We grieve with the two families," said Ncube.

      Relatives of Rutendo who spoke to the press over the issue said the
couple had always had stormy relationship.

      "There were always some arguments in the family over Learnmore's
promiscuous affairs. Rutendo filed for divorce and threatened to expose his
activities to the press," said a relative

      By the time of going to the press, the families had not met. The
Rutendo family were mourning their daughter in Cranborne while the Jongwes
were gathered at the latter's Belvedere home.

      Rutendo, a lawyer, first met Jongwe in 1998 at the University of
Zimbabwe and their relationship culminated in their wedding last year. She
gave birth to a son, Tawananyasha, in January.


Sunday, 21 July, 2002, 15:40 GMT 16:40 UK
Zimbabwe MP charged over wife's death

Police in Zimbabwe have charged a senior official of the main opposition
party with murdering his wife.

A police spokesman said Learnmore Jongwe - a member of parliament and main
spokesman for the Movement for Democratic Change - was being held in custody
and was due to appear in court on Monday.

Reports say Mr Jongwe's lawyer Jonathan Samkange did not deny that his
client had stabbed his wife, but said he had not intended to kill her.

Mr Jongwe was arrested on Sunday following a police search.

His wife, Rutendo Muusha, died from stab wounds on Saturday.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service
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Kufuor's Opportunity in Harare

Accra Mail (Accra)

July 22, 2002
Posted to the web July 21, 2002

Jonathan Temin

When I left Ghana almost one year ago, after spending a year in the country
and closely observing the December 2000 elections, I was convinced that it
had emerged as one of the democratic leaders in Africa. Furthermore, I
anticipated Ghana playing an increasingly important role in defending and
promoting democracy across the continent.

To some extent Ghana has lived up to this expectation. But there is one
notable case in which Ghana, and almost all of her African neighbours, has
been painfully silent: Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe rigged the
March elections, torture and political assassinations are regular
occurrences and government policy has induced a severe food shortage.

It is not only what has occurred inside Zimbabwe in the past six months,
which can largely be chalked up to the whims of an aging autocrat bent on
retaining power at any cost, that is so tragic. The most distressing and
disappointing aspect of the entire episode is what has occurred outside
Zimbabwe - the response, or lack thereof, from the rest of Africa. Almost
across the board, African leaders have either condoned Mugabe's actions or
done so in a de facto manner through their silence and acceptance of the
election results. They did virtually nothing to influence the critically
flawed election process. Some of the reactions to the election have been
almost comical; Kenya's President Moi told Mugabe it was "testimony of the
confidence and high esteem the people of Zimbabwe hold in you" and the
Namibian observer delegation inexplicably declared the polling "water tight,
without room for rigging".

In Ghana's defence, there has been some criticism of Mugabe by Foreign
Minister Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, and the government deployed three election
observers and supported the Commonwealth's decision to suspend Zimbabwe. But
President Kufuor has remained notably silent on the issue. In fact there is
only one African leader who has been outspoken in his disdain for Mugabe,
Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade, who declared "Mr. Mugabe did not respect
the rules "We can't call that an election" (in response, Zimbabwean Foreign
Affairs Minister Stan Mudenge accused Wade of conspiring with the West to
discredit the election).

Both Wade and Kufuor came to power through impressive, transparent elections
that saw the entrenched party replaced by the opposition in a peaceful and
mature manner. These elections, in conjunction with Mali's recent elections,
represent an important step in the consolidation of democracy in West

But for these pioneering states being democratic domestically is no longer
enough. They have a responsibility to use their achievements as a
stepping-stone for promoting democracy across the continent, and in the
Zimbabwean case Ghana has failed to do so. These newly elected leaders have
a responsibility to endeavour to ensure that opposition candidates, as they
were not long ago, are afforded the same opportunity they enjoyed.

It is not too late to take action. Zimbabwe has faded from the headlines in
recent weeks, a victim of the international community's chronically short
attention span, but the situation has only deteriorated further. A recent
Amnesty International report on impunity in Zimbabwe includes evidence of
political killings, torture and rape after polls closed on March 15.
Clearly, Mugabe is not finished terrorizing the people of Zimbabwe.

While he does, Presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and Olesegun Obasanjo
of Nigeria have been traveling the world promoting the New Partnership for
African Development (NEPAD), an admirable attempt to spur growth in Africa
that includes an important peer review component calling upon African states
to police each other's behaviour. As the situation in Zimbabwe attests this
has yet to occur and as long as the status quo persists there is regrettably
little reason to believe that it will.

President Kufuor has an opportunity to take the lead in instigating change
in the status quo. He can break away from the club of Mugabe defenders and
join Wade in condemning Mugabe and his destructive behaviour. Furthermore,
his government can seriously consider severing diplomatic ties with
Zimbabwe, a measure that would add substance to the critique. Not only will
such action further isolate Mugabe, it will also lend credibility to NEPAD,
serving as evidence that African leaders can criticize one another when
appropriate. Most important, it will clearly identify Ghana as a democracy
that will not tolerate anti-democratic behaviour in Africa. From a
geopolitical perspective Kufuor is in an ideal position to speak out against
Mugabe. There has been sustained pressure on President Mbeki to do so, but
there are strong ties, particularly of the economic variety, between South
Africa and Zimbabwe, and the effects on South Africa of Mbeki meddling in
Zimbabwean affairs could be substantial, including significant refugee flows
into the country. President Kufuor faces no such dilemma, as relations
between Ghana and Zimbabwe are distant to begin with and there are no
significant economic relations between the two.

In his rebuke of Mugabe President Wade said "I refuse to belong to this
trade union of [African] presidents." There is no doubt that such a union
exists, and by remaining silent on Mugabe's actions President Kufuor has
done nothing to distance himself from it. There is also no doubt that unity
among African leaders is critical to the continent's prospects, but leaders
must be careful in choosing their bedfellows. More important than unity is
the unequivocal repudiation of violations of basic human rights, including
the right to vote for one's leaders. By speaking out against Mugabe
President Kufuor can join a much more respectable union: that of African
leaders who refuse to tolerate such inexcusable behaviour.

Jonathan Temin is a graduate student at The Johns Hopkins University School
of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. He was a 2000-2001
Fulbright Fellow in Ghana.
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Zimbabwe to try second journalist under media law

HARARE, July 21 - A reporter with Zimbabwe's sole privately owned daily
newspaper goes to trial on Monday, becoming the second journalist to face
charges of publishing a false story under the country's tough new media
       ''I spoke to my lawyer Lawrence Chibwe this weekend and he says we
will be going to court on Monday for trial,'' Daily News reporter Lloyd
Mudiwa told Reuters on Sunday.
       A Harare magistrate acquitted the American correspondent of a British
newspaper of similar charges last week, and the country's High Court
suspended a government deportation order issued against him immediately
after the judgement.
       Mudiwa declined further comment and could not confirm whether his
editor Geoff Nyarota, who faces the same charges, would also go on trial.
Nyarota and Chibwe were not reachable for comment.
       Mudiwa's charges stem from a story the Daily News published on April
23, alleging President Robert Mugabe's supporters beheaded a woman in a
rural district last year. The paper has since said the beheading story was
false and apologised to Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party.
       Last week a magistrate found Andrew Meldrum, the Zimbabwe
correspondent for Britain's Guardian newspaper, not guilty after his paper
carried the beheading story, saying he had not originated the story and had
tried to verify it.
       Meldrum, a 50-year-old from Ohio who has lived in Zimbabwe for 22
years, was the first journalist to go on trial under the media law.
       Mudiwa faces a fine of up to 100,000 Zimbabwe dollars ($1,818) or a
maximum two years in jail if convicted.
       Critics say the new media laws passed by Mugabe's government this
year severely curtail press freedom but the government says they aimed to
introduce ''ethical behaviour'' in the media.
       Under the law, police have arrested 12 journalists for alleged
''abuse of journalistic privilege.''
       Zimbabwe's private media has extensively reported a political and
economic crisis that has left the southern African country increasingly
isolated since Mugabe's controversial re-election in March.
       The opposition and Western powers accuse Mugabe of cheating and using
violence to win the poll, which the government denies.
       Zimbabwe's crisis has been compounded by a severe food shortage
blamed on drought and the invasion of white-owned farms since February 2000
by militants loyal to Mugabe.
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Zim Standard

      Zanu PF chefs in $40m scam

      By Farai Mutsaka

      THE ruling Zanu PF party has unearthed a serious financial scandal
involving the sacked Amos Midzi led Harare provincial executive, The
Standard has established.

      Information obtained by The Standard last week showed that Midzi's
executive had been dismissed for allegedly failing to account for $40
million given to the province by the party ahead of the March presidential

      An audit team commissioned by the party to investigate the province's
accounts after the election unearthed serious irregularities in the manner
in which the funds were handled, leading to the dismissal of the entire
provincial executive last month.

      Party secretary for information and publicity, Nathan Shamuyarira,
confirmed to The Standard last week that the party had unearthed financial
irregularities in the manner the campaign funds were used.

      "There is an audit team that has been going around the provinces
checking books. We gave money to the provinces before the election and we
want to know whether the money has been put to the right use. The team has
already been to Manicaland, Mashonaland East and in Harare where it found
some irregularities. It is normal business practice in any organisation to
carry out audits," said Shamuyarira.

      Other members of the executive were notorious war veterans leader,
Joseph Chinotimba, businessman Chris Pasipamire, Mike Moyo, Omega Hungwe,
Douglas Mahiya and Stalin Mau Mau.

      The Standard could not get a comment from Midzi who was said to be out
of town.

      However, other members of the fired executive were last week pointing
fingers at each other as they refused to take blame.

      In an interview with The Standard, Pasimire, who was the executive's
vice-chiarman, distanced himself from the scam saying Midzi, Chinotimba and
Hungwe were the ones responsible for handling the money.

      "To tell you the truth, we were never made aware of any money coming
to our executive. Financial matters were never discussed with us. The people
who should be answerable are Midzi, Hungwe and Chinotimba. They are ones who
knew what was happening," said Pasimire.

      Moyo, who was responsible for security in the executive, said he could
not be linked to the scandal as his deprtment only received $160 000.

      Moyo accused Shamuyarira of using the financial irregulaties to
victimise some members of the old executive and prop up his allies.

      "We only received $160 000 to pay for services and to pay about 20
guys who were brought in from the President's Office. They should ask the
youth wing if any money is missing because they are the ones who received
$38 million for training programmes. Every province was supposed to train 38
000 youths for the election campaign and this is where the money went

      "As far as I see it, this is a clear case of victimisation. They just
want to plant their own people into the executive," said Moyo.

      Yesterday, Chinotimba said he was not involved in the scandal: "I
don't know anything about that. I was not handling finances. I was secretary
for the commissariat. My job was to go to the people and plan on how to
destroy the MDC. So even now I am working on that. Zvemari kwete, bvunza

      The same allegations were recently levelled against the ruling party's
Bulawayo provincial executive who are accused of having embezzled $35

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Zim Standard

      MDC to boycott Mugabe

      By Farai Mutsaka

      THE MDC has resolved not to attend the official opening of parliament
on Tuesday, to be presided over by President Mugabe, but is yet to make a
decision on whether to boycott parliamentary sessions.

      The Standard established last week that the party's legislators were
divided over the issue.

      The MDC is disputing the government's legitimacy and accuse the
78-year-old Mugabe of rigging the March presidential poll in his favour.

      Party sources who talked to The Standard last week said the majority
of the MPs wanted to confine the boycott to Mugabe's official opening.

      The MPs are due to meet with party president, Morgan Tsvangirai,
tomorrow and come up with a common position on the issue.

      "The position I know of as of now is that Mugabe is going to be
boycotted. But we are also meeting on Monday to see whether it is really
necessary to sit in Parliament at all. There are those who believe that
Parliament is an essential component of government so by supporting it we
are indirectly supporting the government. But we are going to look at these
scenarios and see the best way forward," said one MP.

      Other MDC officials remained tight lipped on the issue.

      Parliamentary chief whip, Innocent Gonese, refused to shed light on
the matter."I am sorry I can't comment on that meeting," he said.

      Some of the party's MPs stirred a honest's nest recently when they
announced intentions to boycott Parliamentary sessions.

      The MPs cited the continuous passing of repressive legislation by
Mugabe's regime as their reason for boycotting the legislature.

      Since the legislative polls in 2000, the ruling party has been able to
pass a string of repressive laws with impunity due to its majority in the

      Despite this, irate party supporters lambasted the party saying
boycotting the sessions was tantamount to betraying the cause of the people
who voted them into Parliament.

      Said a party official: "Some of us were actually surprised by that
kind of response. People should not be worried about the position we are
taking. We are very clear on our position and there is no lack of
seriousness in it. It will actually be a lack of seriousness on our part if
we were to attend Mugabe's opening."

      Party national youth chairman, Nelson Chamisa, said his constituency
was against the idea of MPs attending Mugabe's opening ceremony.

      Chamisa said the party's youth wing, which was at the forefront of the
party's presidential campaign, was advocating for a total boycott of
functions officiated by Mugabe.

      "Mugabe has not democratically renewed his mandate. He is an
illegitimate president and that is why we cannot be seen to be gracing and
blessing his theft of an election. It will be a betrayal of the struggle we
went through before March. Youths were instrumental in electing MPs into
Parliament and as a movement will feel let down to see our MPs wining and
dining with Mugabe. We also worked hard during the presidential campaign. We
have to make a statement that stealing is not profitable. Mugabe should be
boycotted wherever he is. We cannot treat as a guest someone who came
through the window," said Chamisa.
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Zim Standard

      Zanu PF willing to let Ndebeles starve

      By Grey Moyo

      BULAWAYO-A senior government official has warned Matabeleland
residents that Zanu PF is willing to let thousands of people in that region
starve, unless they stop supporting the opposition MDC.

      This stark warning was delivered by deputy foreign affairs minister,
Abednico Ncube, when he addressed villagers last Saturday at Nkashe growth
point in the arid Gwanda North district.

      The villagers had thronged to the growth point to buy maize from the
Grain Marketing Board (GMB). Zimbabwe is currently facing an acute shortage
of maize, the country's staple diet, following government-inspired
disruptions to commercial farming since February 2000. As a result, hundreds
of thousands of impoverished villagers are now relying on food handouts from
the donor community which are being channelled through government sources
but Ncube, the MP for Gwanda South, warned them that government was
considering a freeze on food aid to people opposed to Zanu PF.

      "As long as you value the government of the day you will not starve,
but we do not want people who vote for colonialists and then come to us when
they want food. You cannot vote for the MDC and expect Zanu PF to help you,"
Ncube told a hungry crowd.

      He added: "Maize is in abundance but very soon it will be available
only to those who dump the opposition and work with Zanu PF. The party will
start feeding its children before turning to those of MDC."

      Launching a blistering attack on Gwanda North MP, Paul Themba Nyathi,
Ncube said the MDC legislator had nothing to offer his constituents.

      "What has he done for you since you voted for him? How can you say you
have an MP who stays in Harare? I am the MP for Gwanda South but I realised
that you people are desperate for help. That is why I came here with these
trucks to feed you. This shows I still forgive you despite your persistent
support for the MDC," said Ncube.

      Turning to council elections scheduled for September, the deputy
minister stressed: "You have to vote for Zanu PF candidates in the next
council elections before government starts rethinking your entitlement to
this food aid. One can only get help from where he or she deserves to get
it," he said.

      Shortly after his address, Ncube went into a fit of rage when he
realised that The Standard was part of the crowd he was addressing.

      "What are you doing here? I don't talk to the independent press. If
you write anything negative about this address I will deal with you
personally," he said.

      However, villagers who talked to The Standard expressed disapproval of
Ncube's behaviour.

      "He is a fool. He cannot remember that we saw more than just threats
for supporting Zapu in the early 80s. Our political loyalty is our business
and if he thinks he is more menacing than the Fifth Brigade he will have to
reread the history of this place. He should try to consult Enos Nkala and
Mark Dube if he is to learn what kind of suffering we went through," said an
irate villager.

      Nkala, the Gukurahundi era defence minister, roamed the villages
threatening people who opposed Zanu PF and ordering a few live public
demonstrations of what the ruling party did to 'traitors'.

      Dube, the former provincial governor Matabeleland South, made similar
rounds and would order the beating and arrest of anyone who did not appear
to be singing the Zanu PF one party song which almost became the anthem
during that time.

      Council elections for Gwanda district are due in September and Zanu PF
which has been whitewashed by MDC in Matabeleland elections is seeking a
change in political fortunes this time around.
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Zim Standard

      Masvingo GMB offers jobs to terror militia

      By Parker Graham

      MASVINGO-Zanu PF is employing its militia as casual workers at the
local Grain Marketing Board (GMB), in order to pacify increasingly restless
graduates of the Border Gezi terror camp.

      Investigations by The Standard have revealed that youths who underwent
training before the presidential election have failed to secure meaningful
employment and are now accusing Zanu PF officials of betrayal.

      Zanu PF's District Coordinating Committee chairman for Masvingo,
Absolom Mudavanhu, confirmed to The Standard last week that most of the
casual workers at the local GMB were graduates of the youth brigade centre.

      "There is nothing sinister about Zanu PF selecting casual workers for
GMB. We are doing it to speed up food aid distribution to the needy.

      "It is happening everywhere-in the police and army. Those who did not
go through national service will not get employment. Here in Masvingo, we
choose casual workers from the ruling party on the basis that we know their
background, and we don't like to employ workers who will give us a
headache," said Mudavanhu.

      He said the casual workers could be engaged for two to three week
periods to give others a chance.

      But MDC national executive member for Masvingo province, Joubert
Mudzumwe, said his party condemned the Zanu PF action of manipulating the
recruitment policy at the GMB in order to sideline MDC supporters who wanted

      "Food aid should not be used as a weapon to attack members of the
opposition. Food aid should be distributed equally without consideration
being given to one's political affiliation, creed, colour or race," said

      He called on the international community to stop distributing food aid
through the government saying it would be abused.

      "We received numerous reports that Zanu PF is starving thousands of
villagers in the countryside for voting for MDC during the presidential
election. I wonder why the ruling party is using such dirty tactics and yet
when it comes to tax, both Zanu PF and MDC supporters are affected," said

      A visit to the GMB by this reporter last week revealed that the
majority of the GMB casual workers were relatives of top Zanu PF officials
and war veterans.

      The workers were packing maize into bags without following the
recommended measurements.
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Zim Standard

      Hail to the chief


      FARMERS in a troubled central African country were dismayed to learn
this week that their leaders went on bended knees to congratulate the most
equal of all comrades on an electoral victory a few months ago.

      Until now, the farming leaders had kept their congratulatory visit a

      Still, farmers who have endured years of terror and tyranny at the
hands of the most equal of all comrades' deadly Talibob Brigades said they
were shocked, horrified, appalled, disgusted, outraged and sickened by the
move. (Thesauruses are much in use in the troubled central African nation as
people run out of words to describe their government's despicable,
grotesque, sinister and cynical abuse of power.)

      One apoplectic farmer told Over The Top that farming leaders needed
their heads read. How the hell can they have congratulated him? he fumed.
It's like thanking him for destroying our businesses, murdering our fellow
farmers and making our workers homeless.

      Meanwhile, a prominent farmer and enthusiastic member of the More
Drink Coming party said that he had heard that farmers in the troubled
central African state were soon to rename their organisation the Confused
Farmers Union in recognition of the fact that they seem not to have noticed
who has been killing their members, burning their workers' houses down and
raping women on the farms.

      Either that or they are stoned, he said, in which case perhaps we
should call them the Cannabis Farmers Union.

      In a related development, a former political leader from the days when
the troubled, central African country was just as troubled but not quite as
broke, phoned and said that farming leaders were running around like
headless chickens, indicating that perhaps their organisation should be
called the Chicken Farmers Union.

      Still, another farmer, now working for the minimum wage as a petrol
pump attendant in Perth, Australia, pointed out in a reverse charges call
that there was no point in renaming the farmers' organisation when there
were no farmers left.

      But farming leaders seemed surprised by the furore they had caused by
admitting they had offered earnest congratulations to the most equal of all
comrades. It seemed the right thing to do at the time, said one insider.
After all, there was a chance it would have some indefinable beneficial
effect at some stage in the future.

      The move has also upset farmers' allies in untroubled European and
North American countries where ministers have said farmers in the troubled
central African country are on their own, blaming their inability to stand
up and fight for themselves for the withdrawal of future support.

      Meanwhile, a spokesman for the troubled central African country's
opposition, which has fought a longer and harder battle than the farmers'
organisation, said it was disgusted but not surprised by the move.

      In a state of confused surprise, farming leaders asked what all the
fuss was about, saying that it was all a matter of perspective and that they
were doing their best under difficult conditions.

      They said it seemed wise to offer congratulations to the most equal of
all comrades at a time when the rest of the world, and most people in the
troubled central African country, were roundly condemning him for staging a
violent and rigged election. They said that all the criticism of the most
equal of all comrades must have left him feeling a bit lonely and isolated,
which was something they could empathise with given that so many of their
members were feeling lonely and isolated in dole queues around the world.
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Zim Standard

      Air Zim raises fares again

      By Kumbirai Mafunda

      IN a shocking move, the financially crippled national airline, Air
Zimbabwe, has once again increased its air fares to international
destinations by more than 50 %.

      This is the second time in a month the airline has raised its fares.
Information made available to The Standard reveals that the airline had
upped its air fares to international destinations such as London, Mauritius,
Johannesburg and Nairobi with effect from Friday.

      A trip to London which last month cost $234 852 has gone up to $391
420. A traveller to neighbouring Johannesburg now has to fork out $167 423,
up from the previous $100 453.

      The airfare from Harare to Mauritius now cost $239 525, up from $143

      David Mwenga, the airline's spokesperson, confirmed that the airline
had increased its return airfares as a result of the enormous foreign
currency payments the airline has to make.

      "Our fares went up by 40% because our costs, particularly the foreign
currency component, is very high. Eighty percent of our operations require
foreign currency. We have huge payments such as landing fees, fuel and
insurance, which are required and paid in foreign currency," said Mwenga.

      The country is currently entangled in a foreign currency crisis and
Air Zimbabwe has recently been accused of sourcing the hard currency on the
vibrant black market, where the greenback is fetching as much as Z$800.

      The fare increases come at a time when there is a drop in
international tourist arrivals and a slump in tourism earnings.
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Zim Standard

      Desperate times for tobacco

      By Kumbirai Mafunda

      AS Zimbabweans stare helplessly at the demise of agricultural
activity, it emerged this week that the country will lose at least 45
million kilograms of the golden leaf, its prime export crop, due to the
reduced seed sales.

      Seed sales figures for the irrigated crop made available to Standard
Business show that in May only 45 kg of flue-cured tobacco seed was sold
against 130 kg over the same period last year. In June the sales picked to
70 kg but could not surpass the 95 kg sold last year.

      Duncan Millar, the newly elected president of the Zimbabwe Tobacco
Association, told Standard Business last week that going by the seed sales
made so far the hectarage for the irrigated crop had declined by 15 000

      "Last year we had 25 000 hectares of irrigated crop but this year we
are down to 10 000 hectares. So the 15 000 loss will result in the loss in
output of 45 million kg," Millar said.

      The ZTA president ruled out any recovery from this initial loss.

      "That can't be caught up with. It is not recoverable. We could make
some of the lost ground but certainly not all of it. So we must maximise the
July-August seed sales so as to maximise the dry land crop. We need the
confidence to maximise the July plantings so we can limit the losses just to
the irrigated crop. There is a sense of urgency by all tobacco growing
associations and the tobacco industry council to try and maximise the dry
land preparations," said Millar.

      However , he decried the lack of clarity over the continued production
of the country's single largest foreign currency earner. "There is no seed
pattern. We need to have clarity about the August 10 deadline because time
is of essence. So the sooner we get this clarity the better for us."

      The ZTA president said as of 12 July the seed sales for the dry land
crop stood at a paltry 30 kg against 70 kg at the same time last year. He
attributed the depressed seed sales to the section 8 notices compelling most
commercial farmers to vacate their homesteads as the government "winds up"
its controversial land-grab exercise.

      The ZTA president added that half of this year's tobacco was still
being graded on farms and said farmers will lose out if they were impeded
from completing their activities.

      "We need clarity because farmers will have graded 50% only of their
tobacco by August. So by 10 August we would have sold 70 million kg and we
would be left with 100 million kg to grade and sell. It is vital to reassure
our markets that tobacco is coming," said Millar.

      News of Zimbabwe's projected loss comes amid reports that Brazil's
forecast output for next season will soar to 600 million kg, leaving
Zimbabwe straggling as a minor player and toppling from its prime position
in the world market.

      Last season Brazil produced 520 million kg against Zimbabwe's 170
million kg with early forecasts pointing to a yield below the 150 million kg
threshold in the next season. Tobacco farmers have previously said if output
drops below 150m kg, the country could as well kiss good-bye the money
spinning industry.
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Zim Standard

      Beitbridge gears for eclipse

      By Grey Moyo

      BEITBRIDGE-Tourism in the southern gateway town of Beitbridge is set
for a boom as players in the sector are busy working out packages for
thousands of tourists expected to throng the border town on 4 December to
witness the second solar eclipse to occur in Zimbabwe in less that two

      A survey by Standard Business revealed that business organisations and
local authorities were busy working out tourist packages in preparation for
the rare phenomenon.

      Leading the way is the Beitbridge Business Association (BBA) which
considers the eclipse as an opportunity to market the tourism potential of
the district.

      In its 2001 annual report, the local authority noted that it had
already conducted a research into the tourism and business potential of the
district and had identified tourism sites in the commercial farms in Western
Beitbridge that could greatly benefit from the eclipse.

      "A lot of potential was found in the commercial farms on the western
side of Beitbridge where sites rich in archaeology were identified. The
tourism potential of the district has been documented and will be marketed
to the international community during the December 2002 eclipse," said the

      Some of the sites identified include Mapungubwe, a historically rich
site, and Maramani cultural village.

      Nottingham and Sentinel Estates are also said to have a huge potential
for game viewing and hunting.

      The report also noted that BBA planned to step up marketing of the
Trans-Limpopo Spatial Development Initiative, an inter-governmental plan
which is aimed at creating a development corridor from the Limpopo Province
in South Africa to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

      One of the major TL-SDI projects which the BBA hopes to open up to the
world during the eclipse period is the Gonarezhou-Kruger-Gazaland national
park which cuts across Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa.

      "The BBA intends to exchange views and information about the
Trans-Limpopo initiative among all stakeholders in South Africa and Zimbabwe
and market the SDI to the private sector and other stakeholders in the
corridor," said the report.

      In other parts of Matabeleland which will lie in the path of the
eclipse, organisations and institutions also intend to seize the opportunity
to offer a number of services to viewers.

      The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, a major player in marketing the
eclipse, estimates that this year's net earnings from the eclipse will go
beyond the $55 million generated by the same event last year in the northern
parts of the country.

      The location of the total eclipse site in Beitbridge has led to stiff
competition between the Zimbabwean side and South African tour operators who
are also reported to have mounted a high profile marketing drive to lure
tourists to view the eclipse from across the Limpopo.
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From The Sunday Times (SA), 21 July

Donors' anger at Zimbabwe puts starving people at risk

New York - Food aid for an estimated 12.8 million people in Southern Africa facing starvation is in jeopardy after international donors, angered by the political crisis in Zimbabwe, raised concerns about giving money to countries seen as undemocratic. UN leaders this week called on international donors to give $611-million (about R6.1-billion) to help aid agencies provide food to people affected by chronic shortages in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zambia. Zimbabwe, with its rapidly declining economy, will be at the centre of the crisis with more than six million people facing starvation in the next 12 months. The UN said $285-million would be needed to feed those in danger of starvation in Zimbabwe alone. UN under-secretary for humanitarian affairs Kenzo Oshima said more than half the people facing starvation were children. Last October, Zimbabwe asked donors for $83.6-million in food aid, but received only $41.7-million.

"A number of donor representatives have raised concerns about governance issues, including in Zimbabwe. I think a dialogue has started to resolve those governance issues [in Zimbabwe]," Oshima said. Only four donor countries - Sweden, Canada, Germany and the US - pledged to assist the effort on Thursday, but did not disclose how much they would give. Richard Lee, a spokesman for the World Food Programme who had been visiting the region, said people were on the "very edge". He said some people had for months been eating banana roots, wild fruits and maize husks, which had no nutritional value but filled them up. In his report, Oshima lambasted Zimbabwe's land resettlement programme, saying it was a leading cause of the economic chaos. In a speech at the UN this week, however, July Moyo, Zimbabwe's Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, lauded the programme and said it would continue.

Cornia Pretorius reports that the president of the South African Democratic Teachers' Union has called on children, parents and teachers to help the millions of people facing starvation. "We know what is happening in Zimbabwe - that children can't go to school because they fear hunger," Sadtu president Willy Madisha said. He said those who could afford it would be asked to contribute food. "We will ask our 232 000 members to coordinate the effort at school level and to encourage children, parents and the community to contribute and let people [in the region] live."

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From ZWNEWS, 20 July

Internal contradictions

By Michael Hartnack

Daily, contradictions mount between the statements and actions of Robert Mugabe’s regime on every major issue, from salvaging the crumbling economy, to food shortages and the seizure of white-owned farms. And the growing political schizophrenia reaches into the ranks of Mugabe’s cabinet, politburo and the central committee of his Zanu PF party. Commercial Farmers' Union president Colin Cloete this week pleaded with Mugabe to end confusion, particularly over public pledges – flagrantly disregarded in practice – that each farmer would be left with at least one property to sustain production. Meanwhile, Mugabe's self-styled "war veterans" threatened violence against independent journalists who reported factionalism within their militant ranks – and Zimbabwe’s contrastingly staid bankers despaired of making sense of policy over exchange rates, interest rates, and state control of the economy. "It is still not too late and we appeal to our state president for an audience," Cloete said, as the United Nations warned of a potential catastrophe worse than the Ethiopian famine in the 1980s. His public appeal was promptly scorned by Mugabe’s propaganda machine and the agriculture ministry.

In one breath officials tell white farmers to grow all the wheat they can, regardless of the looming August 9 eviction deadlines, in the next to get off their 5 000 "former" properties immediately to make way for 354 000 black Zimbabweans. Finance Minister Simba Makoni talks of rebuilding relationships with international financial institutions, while Mugabe and other hardliners say the country has washed its hands of them forever. A year has passed since Makoni's "technocrat" colleague, former banker Nkosana Moyo, quit the Cabinet and fled with is family - prudently faxing his resignation from outside the country.  Mugabe on Sunday flew to Cuba, reportedly to plead for financial assistance from President Fidel Castro, while the government mouthpiece, the Herald, continued a spate of attacks on the policies of the Finance Ministry and Reserve Bank.

To many commentators in Zimbabwe, all this reflects growing conflict between the "hawks" who have Mugabe's ear and the pragmatists looking, unblinkered, at the prospect of 7.8 million Zimbabweans (on their own figures) starving to death. Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, Agriculture Minister Joseph Made and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa are leaders of the "hawks" while Makoni, known to have the sympathy of the South African government, is seen as the principal pragmatist. Farmers report similar divergences in official policy at a lower level, in the provinces, with wide differences between application in areas such as Chinhoyi - where hard-line governor Peter Chanetsa holds sway - and in Gweru - where the notably amenable Cephas Msipha has power - for the moment - to ameliorate decrees. Diplomatic sources say President Thabo Mbeki still hopes Makoni, one time executive secretary of the South African Development Community, will succeed Mugabe, 78, and a build a "new Zanu" -- thereby proving African liberation movements have the capacity for internal reform and a long- term career in power. Moyo, however, is using the state-controlled media to build an image of himself as a likely new vice president when, as expected, Simon Muzenda and Joseph Msika retire.

The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, funded and given impunity by Mugabe over the past two years to ensure his victory in parliamentary and presidential elections, has furiously denied reports it may found a new breakaway party. The militants are reportedly angry over the prosecution of ex-guerrillas for corruption and the alleged failure of Information Minister Moyo to give preferential treatment to a TV company in which they have invested. Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change warned of the incipient menace to the nation from explosive factional violence within ex-guerrilla ranks. The opposition party also cited the growing threat from militia units raised under the aegis of Mugabe's "Youth National Service". Unpaid and unfed, and open to exploitation by local war lords, the units could became another dangerous force for national instability as economic conditions deteriorate in coming months.

As late as February, Made's officials were claiming it would be unnecessary to import food if "hoarded" stocks were seized from white commercial farmers. But five months earlier had Makoni admitted the extent of the problem when he appealed to international donors to fund relief. Current estimates say 1,5m tonnes of grain are needed - with little hope, now, of overcoming the logistical problems of bringing it in time, even if finance is forthcoming. The latitude Mugabe gives Moyo appals potential donors. This week the Information Minister took it upon himself to pre-empt Makoni's functions and demand a ban on all private dealing in foreign currency and an overhaul of Reserve Bank policy. Mugabe, aligned with the "hawks," appeared to have Makoni in mind when on July 25 last year he chided ministers: "If some of you are getting weak-kneed...if you do not have a spine, please tell us and we will say goodbye in a friendly way." That same day, Makoni told the BBC: "It would be foolish to deny what is evident to everybody in broad daylight - our economy is in crisis." To many, Makoni resembles a neglected son waiting by the deathbed of an irascible parent in the desperate hope he will inherit sufficient of the family estate to salvage it. Moyo, however, believes he is the legatee.

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From ZWNEWS, 19 July

Gwanda food aid corruption

Evidence has surfaced of political interference in the delivery of food aid in Matabeleland. Sources allege that a Zanu PF MP, Kembo Mohadi, bullied and threatened NGOs who have been involved in the distribution of food aid in the area. The meeting of the "Gwanda drought relief and food distribution committee" took place on 12 July, and was attended by Mohadi, the local Zanu PF and war veterans chairman, representatives from the GMB, the Gwanda Rural District Council, the Gwanda Municipality, and World Vision and Organisation Help – two NGOs. Gwanda is in the Gwanda North constituency, represented by MDC MP Paul Themba Nyathi, but neither he or any other MDC representative were made aware of the meeting. Mohadi is the MP for the neighbouring Beitbridge constituency. The sources say that Mohadi told the NGOs that they were there "at the government’s invitation" and that the government, and not them, was doing the feeding. They were only there because of an agreement between the WFP and UNDP and the "lawfully elected government", and would therefore have to follow government directives. He warned them that they would have to provide a full list of equipment they were using, as the government would be taking it over in due course. He also said that he was a member of a cabinet committee on social services action, and that similar meeting were taking place country-wide. The sources provided a copy of the agenda of the meeting which supported their assertions.
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From ZWNEWS, 19 July
Nkala charges dropped, blocked
Charges against one of those accused by the government of the murder of Cain Nkala, a Matabeleland war veterans leader, have been dropped, and the High Court has temporarily blocked the indictment of three others. The Attorney General dropped charges against Simon Spooner on 16 July, and the High Court has also handed down an interim relief order in favour of Sony Masera, Army Zulu, and Fletcher Dulini-Ncube. All four were accused of the abduction and murder of Nkala in November 2001, and were arrested at the time along with around a dozen others. Spooner spent a month in detention, and Dulini-Ncube, an MDC MP, was denied medical treatment for his diabetes while in custody. Dulini is currently in hospital. The High Court granted the interim relief order in favour of Masera, Zulu and Dulini-Ncube because the prosecution’s papers filed with the Court did not in any way link the three with the murder. In murder cases, preliminary prosecution papers would in normal practice lay out how the State intends to prove its case, with outlines of the evidence to be produced and of how prosecution witnesses will support that evidence. In the trial itself, this evidence would then be tested by examination and cross-examination. However, the papers presented to the Court in this case did not even try to lay out how the prosecution intended to prove its case, and was accordingly rejected by the Court.
The only evidence so far brought has been the testimony of Khatani Sibanda and Sazani Mpofu, two co-accused, who are still in jail. The two were paraded on state-owned TV when Nkala’s body was "discovered" and confessed they had had played a part in his murder. Days later they retracted their confessions, saying they had been forced to make them under police torture. There have been four court orders for their release, the latest one from the Chief Justice, Godfrey Chidyausiku, but all have been ignored. Joyce Mabida, in charge of prisons in Matabeleland, and Michael Nyamukondiwa, the officer-in-charge at Khami Prison, said in court recently that they would ignore court orders for the release of the two until their superiors decided to release them. Nkala’s family, and other Matabeleland war veterans, have also cast doubt on the government’s case. Nkala, they say, was the victim of a power struggle within the war veterans’ organisation, and was killed by his opponents. There were also suggestions that Nkala may have threatened to reveal the involvement of senior Zanu PF functionaries in the abduction and murder of MDC activist Patrick Nabanyama days before the June 2000 parliamentary elections.
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Sunday, 21 July, 2002, 14:56 GMT 15:56 UK
Ancram warns of Zimbabwe famine
Robert Mugabe and Fidel Castro
Mr Mugabe is visiting Cuban leader Fidel Castro
The UK must push for tougher sanctions against Robert Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe, the Conservatives have urged.

There is a real crisis impending and it's all politically made by Mugabe

Michael Ancram
Existing "targeted sanctions" are regarded as a "mockery", shadow foreign secretary Michael Ancram has claimed.

And unless more is done to loosen Mr Mugabe's "iron grip" on agriculture, the country will slide into famine.

Mr Ancram, who has just returned from a covert visit to Zimbabwe, urged Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to push for tighter sanctions when he meets his EU counterparts on Monday.

Extending sanctions

At the moment, Mr Mugabe and 19 government and military officials have had their European assets frozen and are prevented from travelling to Europe.

Michael Ancram
Ancram: "World cannot turn its back"
But Mr Ancram said the measures were not working, and Mr Mugabe was able to attend a world hunger summit in Rome earlier this year because it was under the auspices of the United Nations.

The Zimbabwean leader is currently visiting Cuba.

Zimbabwe's opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), wants sanctions to be extended to other individuals, including Mugabe's business backers.


Mr Ancram, who during his visit last week met MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, said the food situation in Zimbabwe was at crisis point.

We do see a case for extending the sanctions

Foreign Office spokesman
"I saw fields which are not prepared to be sown, I saw wheat fields with no wheat in them, and on the other side I saw all the early signs of famine," he told BBC One's Breakfast with Frost programme.

"I saw 100 of the 85,000 black farm workers who have been thrown off the farms without food without possessions, without homes.

"There is a real crisis impending and it's all politically made by Mugabe.

"What is important is to try and ensure that the pressure is brought to bear on Robert Mugabe and his henchmen.

"I hope that the European ministers meeting tomorrow (Monday) in Brussels will look again at the targeted sanctions which have been imposed which are simply not working and which are regarded as a sort of mockery in Zimbabwe to tighten them up."


Mr Mugabe and his officials must be made to understand that "the international community is not going to stand by and watch this horrific crisis unfold".

Mr Ancram added: "This famine is going to be made worse in South Africa, in Botswana, in Malawi and other countries because of what Robert Mugabe's doing in Zimbabwe.

"This is a political crisis for all the black people in Zimbabwe and around Zimbabwe as well. The world cannot turn its back on it."

A Foreign Office spokesman said Zimbabwe would be on the agenda at the General Affairs Council (GAC) meeting in Brussels.

"We do see a case for extending the sanctions but such a step and its timing will have to be discussed by all EU partners possibly at this GAC, possibly at a future one," he added.

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      Straw 'must urge stronger eu sanctions on mugabe'

The Foreign Secretary must argue the case for extending European Union
sanctions against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's regime, the Tory
opposition are saying.

Michael Ancram, the shadow foreign secretary, who has just returned from a
covert visit to the country, warned of impending famine because of President
Mugabe's iron grip on farming.

Jack Straw will discuss the possibility of extending targeted sanctions,
imposed on President Mugabe and his closest henchmen in February, with his
European Union counterparts in Brussels.

At the moment Robert Mugabe and 19 government and military officials have
had their European assets frozen and are prevented from travelling to

The Zimbabwean opposition Movement for Democratic Change wants the sanctions
to be extended to other individuals, including Robert Mugabe's business

The Conservatives criticised the Europe travel ban as a "mockery" when
President Mugabe was able to attend a world hunger summit in Rome earlier
this year because it was under the auspices of the United Nations.

Mr Ancram, who during his visit last week met MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai,
said the food situation in Zimbabwe was at crisis-point. He told the BBC: "I
saw fields which are not prepared to be sown, I saw wheat fields with no
wheat in them, and on the other side I saw all the early signs of famine."

"I saw 100 of the 85,000 black farm workers who have been thrown off the
farms without food without possessions, without homes. There is a real
crisis impending and it's all politically made by Mugabe. What is important
is to try and ensure that the pressure is brought to bear on Robert Mugabe
and his henchmen."

Mr Ancram added: "This famine is going to be made worse in South Africa, in
Botswana, in Malawi and other countries because of what Robert Mugabe's
doing in Zimbabwe."

A Foreign Office spokesman said Zimbabwe would be on the agenda at the
General Affairs Council (GAC) meeting in Brussels.

Story filed: 11:49 Sunday 21st July 2002

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