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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Independent, UK

Mugabe keeps a tight grip on Bulawayo
By Our Special Correspondent in Bulawayo
11 June 2005

With nothing moving on the streets, you could hear the rumble of the engines
before you could see the approaching column. At least 15 troop carriers,
topped and tailed by a police escort, were heading for the centre of

Even this naked, daytime show of force had, however, to be given some
disguise, however flimsy. Attached to the door of each of the brand new
Chinese-made trucks was a single white sheet of A4 paper with the letters
"UN" stencilled on it. But these were not peacekeepers and this was not a
foreign mission. The soldiers carrying heavy weapons in the back of the
truck were wearing Zimbabwean army uniforms.

As a nationwide two-day strike came to a close yesterday, President Robert
Mugabe's regime was taking no chances. The government, already braced for a
backlash against its campaign of mass arrests and the destruction of street
markets and shanty towns, stepped up security as anger threatened to turn
into mass protest.

A senior official in the Bulawayo mayor's office, speaking on condition of
anonymity, said the situation had reached boiling point and a single event
or gathering could lead to serious clashes. "They [the government] have
deliberately provoked the situation because they want to have an excuse to
declare a state of emergency, get rid of the rules and deploy the arms they
spent millions buying," he told The Independent.

In the townships outside Bulawayo, the atmosphere was tense. Police put up
roadblocks on all the exits of the city. Anyone seen with a camera, or
gathering in a group of three or more persons, faced arrest. On every street
corner, plainclothes police and soldiers were on the look-out for any sign
of opposition activity.

Graham Shaw, a rights activist and former Methodist pastor, said government
informants had infiltrated every sector of society, from church groups to
opposition parties. "You can feel the fear; you can feel it almost through
the pores of your skin," he said.

The paranoia is fed by a burgeoning secret police force, known as the CIO,
which has a budget equivalent to 12 per cent of the overall health spend.

On the surface the "stay away", orchestrated by a coalition of unions,
church groups, rights activists and the opposition party, failed to make
much of an impact. David Coltart, a leading member of the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change, said it was not, however, a failure. "The
shops and the factories were open, but the owners had no choice. It was
clear many of the people who worked there had heeded the call to stay away,"
he said.

With unemployment is running at over 80 per cent, most anyway rely for
survival on the informal economy, despite it being battered in the recent
"clean-up" operation.

At the fleamarket in Emgwamin township, locals made their own stand, defying
the police by setting up stalls only days after hawkers were chased away by
baton-wielding police, their produce stolen by the state. On the walls
nearby, anti-Mugabe graffiti declared what most were too scared to say: "We
need fuel, maize and sugar, let's fight now. Mugabe must go."

Every petrol station in Bulawayo told the same story of an economy in
crisis. Queues of parked cars stretched for miles. They have been there for
up to five days and the rare deliveries of petrol or diesel have sparked
clashes in some areas.

One man standing near the front of a queue in the district of Hillside said
he had had enough. "We've put up with this man's shit for years. Now we must
stand up," he said.

Municipal officials estimate that three-quarters of the city's cars are out
of fuel and parked in petrol queues. The government has told owners to
remove their cars from the queues and threatened to send in the riot police
to clear them. "They want to keep the surface image OK so that no one can
see how bad things are," a source at the mayor's office said.

Most families in Bulawayo, the capital of Matabeleland and the traditional
stronghold of opposition to Mr Mugabe, remember losing loved ones in the
Gukurahundi massacres of the 1980s. People know that the odds are stacked
against them. The last media outlets still critical of the government, the
Daily News and SW Radio Africa, have been closed down.

The army, meanwhile, has been reinforced. In the run-up to the March poll
the 81-year-old President ignored the critically depleted foreign reserves
and looming food shortages to lavish millions of pounds on Chinese jet
fighters and armoured personnel carriers.

The shipment, which sidestepped a US and EU ban on arms sales, was moved in
secret via Mozambique. It included heavy assault rifles, military vehicles,
riot equipment and tear gas.

One leading opposition figure had a note of caution for those considering an
uprising. "Remember these towns were built by white colonialists who were
expecting insurrection and planned very effectively to counter it," she
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Guardian

Protesters Battle Zimbabwe Police

Saturday June 11, 2005 2:16 AM


Associated Press Writer

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Police fought running battles until dawn Friday with
supporters of a general strike called to protest a government campaign
against shack dwellers and street traders, the strike organizer said.

Lovemore Madhuku, the head of the group that called the strike, said
anti-riot police beat and fired tear gas at protesters and shot bullets over
their heads in the Chitungwiza township south of Harare.

The violence erupted, he said, after police set up roadblocks on all routes
in and out of Chitungwiza and other crowded southern township and searched
people after forcing them to leave their vehicles.

Madhuku said he did not know how many people had been injured or arrested.
Police could not be reached for comment.

Most businesses remained open with skeleton staffs Friday, the second day of
the two-day strike. Police have the power to seize the goods and trading
license of any business that fails to open.

State radio described the strike Friday as ``a failed attempt to sabotage
Zimbabwe's economic turnaround.''

President Robert Mugabe criticized the main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change for ``sacrificing the interests of the people of Zimbabwe
in a bid to serve their colonial masters,'' the station reported.

Economists said five years of unprecedented economic decline in Zimbabwe
have left only about 800,000 of its 12 million people with jobs in the
formal sector, making it difficult to gauge the effect of the strike.

Madhuku claimed it had received at least 50 percent support in most towns
and cities despite repeated police threats to ``deal ruthlessly'' with
anyone who supported the strike. He conceded, however, the strike failed to
achieve the economic paralysis intended.

The strike was called to protest a government crackdown in which police have
torched or demolished thousands of shacks of the urban poor and arrested at
least 30,000 street vendors.

The government said the crackdown is a cleanup campaign for cities and an
attempt to stop the activities of black market traders, which it calls
economic saboteurs who hoard and sell goods in short supply in the country.

The United Nations, which estimated at least 200,000 people have been left
homeless by the crackdown, has called the campaign a human rights violation.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Islamic Republic News Agency

Zimbabwe calls for cultural, media cooperation with Iran
Pretoria, June 11, IRNA
Zimbabwean Minister of Information and Publicity Tichaona Jokonya praised
Iran's rich culture and history in Harare on Friday calling for expansion of
bilateral cooperation in media and cultural fields.

Referring to the friendly relations between the two capitals, Jokonya said
in a meeting with Iran's Ambassador to Harare, Hamid Moayyer, that Tehran
and Harare joined "positive" cooperation in all fields.

He voiced Harare willingness to share Iran's valuable experience in various

The minister also appreciated efforts by the Islamic Republic of Iran
Broadcasting (IRIB) to develop TV networks in Zimbabwe.

Jokonya further lauded Tehran's role in introducing and promoting the
international plan for Dialogue Among Civilizations.

The Iranian ambassador, for his part, said that Tehran and Harare shared a
growing relations in political, economic and cultural fields.

Moayyer added that the Export Development Bank of Iran (EDBI) has allocated
a 15-million-euro credit for investment in different agricultural, media,
scientific and cultural projects in Zimbabwe.

He said that the IRIB would complete equipment of the Bulawayu TV Network in
the second major city of Zimbabwe after it finished an ongoing project with
the National TV Network of the country.

Tehran-Harare trade exchange volume surpassed 25 million dollars by the end
of 2004 including Iran's 20 million dollars export to Zimbabwe.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Cato Institute

Throwing Money at the Poor
by Deepak Lal

Deepak Lal is professor of international development studies at the
University of California, Los Angeles, and an adjunct scholar at the Cato

An enduring feature of the Soft Left that it is always willing to throwing
other people's money at the world's woes. In India many of the foolish
actions the current coalition government has undertaken, or is proposing,
form part of this pattern. In the United Kingdom, New Labor has opened the
public purse to throw money at unreformed nationalized health and education
services which has predictably been largely wasted.

Often times, although aimed at helping some perceived disadvantaged group,
the remedies proposed will only make things worse. Right now the world's
bleeding hearts are proposing a massive increase in foreign aid to "solve"
Africa's enduring poverty. But the basic flaw in these proposal is that they
fail to take account of the nature of the instruments that are to be used to
promote their would-be utopias.

The basic outcome of such measures is to extend the reach of the state. But
the state and its agents -- no matter how much actions are cloaked in the
rhetoric of the public good -- is predatory in most countries. This is
certainly true in India, despite the "dream team" of reformers purportedly
at its helm.

Take, for example, the proposed act going through the Indian parliament to
provide labor in the unorganized sector "rights" similar to those enjoyed by
workers in the organized sector. The greatest damage to the interests of
India's laboring millions has been done by the colonial labor laws which
provide "rights" for labor in the organized sector. They have been the
equivalent of a tax on the use of labor in the large-scale industrial
sector. That has led to growing capital intensity of Indian industry in a
country awash with labor.

The jobless growth in the industrial sector since liberalization is the
result of the failure by successive governments to rescind those colonial
labor laws. The reasons are well known. Each major political party has its
own client trade unions that prevent such necessary reform in order to
protect the incomes and perquisites of their members. That labor aristocracy
of course receives its "rents" at the expense of those millions unable to
enter the aristocracy because the "tax" on labor they impose reduces its

But now the Congress Party's coalition government is proposing to
artificially raise the price of labor in the unorganized sector. As any
shopper knows, if you raise the price of anything, the amount demanded
falls. That is the predictable outcome of the proposed bill to "protect"
labor in the unorganized sector. The hope of labor intensive
industrialization in India, which as China has shown can lead to spectacular
gains in the employment and incomes of the laboring poor, will thereafter be
permanently dashed.

Those intellectuals of the Soft Left in India who have pushed such measures
in the name of the poor should hang their heads in shame. They are the
surest means of damaging the interests of the poor by both reducing the
overall demand for their labor whilst at the same time feathering the nests
of the myriad intermediaries (both private and public) who will be inducted
to administer, or to capture the rents, from these new laws.

Or take the increased social expenditures which the coalition government has
committed itself to and which the Finance Minister has in his budget partly
delivered at the cost of a standstill in meeting the targets of the bill
imposing fiscal responsibility. Lip service is paid to looking at the
outcomes of these increased social expenditures on health, education and
employment guarantees. But, as innumerable studies have shown, public
provision of health and education has failed massively, so much so that even
the poorest of the poor are relying on private providers for these basic
services. The leakage from public employment and poverty programs is known
to be massive. The late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi declared that only 25
per cent of those transfers reach their intended beneficiaries.

Moreover, as a large number of studies in many developing countries has
shown, public transfers to alleviate poverty most often crowd out private
transfers -- which are large in the developing world. There are well known
alternatives. For health and education it is to publicly finance them for
the poor but to allow the poor to choose private providers through some form
of voucher scheme, which would probably be best administered through the
panchayats, or village councils. For poverty alleviation, India's own recent
experience and that of China show that rapid labor intensive growth is the
only sustainable route. Increased social expenditure will only crowd out the
investment needed to finance the infrastructure India desperately needs to
accelerate growth and alleviate poverty.

Or take the showering of largesse on the unreformed National Health Service
by New Labor in the United Kingdom. The predictable outcome of failing to
privatize one of the largest remaining nationalized industries in the world
is that much of the extra money is spent on administrators rather than on
doctors and nurses, so that the NHS provides one of the worst standards of
health care for one of the most advanced countries in the world.

Finally, take the recent outburst of calls for action from the world's great
and the good to save Africa: the UN's new millennium agenda fathered by
economist-turned-saint-cum-pop-star Jeffrey Sachs, and the recent Africa
Commission report fathered by British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Their
purpose is to argue for massive increases in foreign aid to Africa.

But if foreign aid were the answer to Africa's problems, the continent
should now be rich. Measured in today's dollars Africa has received $2.3
trillion over the last 50 years. Yet it has stagnated. The reasons for the
failure are evident and increasingly acknowledged even by many bleeding
hearts. It is politely called the problem of governance, which in ordinary
language means much of Africa has been ruled by predatory elites who have
been more interested in feathering their own nests than advancing the public

Compared with most Asian countries, Africa is immensely rich in natural
resources. But Africa has been systematically looted by its predatory elites
who have ruined hitherto thriving economies. Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe is
only the most recent in a long line of tropical gangsters. Why does anyone
believe that throwing foreign aid money at him and his ilk will help the
African poor?

The Soft Left has always claimed the moral high ground and tugged at our
heartstrings by claiming to speak in the name of the poor and the oppressed.
But that is mere rhetoric. The policies advocated by many on the Left make
them the enemies of the poor. Alleviating poverty has become a world-wide
business from which those Lords of Poverty derive a profitable living. In
the interests of the world's poor it is time we said "Boo" to them and
pensioned them off.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Dandala Statement of Zimbabwe Situation
From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Fri, 10 Jun 2005 16:48:28 -0700


RE: Clean-up Campaign in Zimbabwe

The General Secretary of the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), Rev.
Dr. Mvume Dandala has expressed concerns over the current events taking
place in Zimbabwe. He said that information from member Churches,
International Media and the Civil Society groups indicates that more than
20,000 families in Hatcliff and other areas in Zimbabwe have been made
homeless. Furthermore, police report indicates that over 30 thousand road
side vendors have so far been arrested. Their business premises have been
destroyed under the clean-up operation ordered by the Government of

The cost of these actions runs into millions of Zimbabwe dollars.
Furthermore, a number of families are now exposed to untold harsh winter
conditions, they also lack water, shelter and food. Besides, many of these
people particularly women and children are now threatened with possibilities
of an out-break of diseases.

Dr. Dandala therefore, urges the Churches in Zimbabwe, the Civil Society
Groups, the Citizens and the Government to once again accept to reason
together and solve these problems through dialogue and peacefully. At times
like this, he said, where the air is filled with cries and desperation from
citizens of Zimbabwe, it is imperative that both the Opposition, the
Government and the Citizens give Peace and Dialogue a chance.

The AACC, he said, wish to categorically affirm her commitment to the
support of peace and dialogue as the best option in dealing with the
problems of Zimbabwe. Dr. Dandala went on to add, that the AACC and her
entire membership across the continent of Africa stands in solidarity with
the Church in Zimbabwe and the citizens of Zimbabwe as children of God who
have a right for a better life in their motherland. We trust that the
Government of Zimbabwe will ensure that her citizens are protected fully and
the rule of law is upheld fully in every action taken.

Dr. Dandala appealed therefore, to the African Governments, the
International Donor Community, Specialized aid agencies i.e. ACT
International, World Food Programme, International Red Cross and others to
urgently respond to the basic needs of the hundreds of people now displaced
in various towns of Zimbabwe under the clean-up campaign. These people
desperately need supplies of food, water, shelter, medicines and security
for their lives. The world he said, has the moral obligations to come to the
assistance of the Zimbabwean people, particularly at this hour of need.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Burning out everyone
Saturday 11th June 2005

Dear Family and Friends,
On a clear and bright winter day this week, President Mugabe and his wife
Grace emerged from a spotless and sparkling open topped black Rolls Royce
outside Parliament buildings in Harare. Crowded at the fencing nearby were
scores of women who ululated fanatically whenever they caught a glimpse of
the President. They were all wearing skirts, dresses or head scarves which
have President Mugabe's face printed on the fabric and so wherever we looked
the President's face looked back. In his speech to mark the opening of
Parliament, the President defended the countrywide destruction of squatter
camps, informal housing and street vending stalls and markets. The President
said this was a "vigorous clean up campaign to restore order" in urban
areas. Half an hour later the President and his wife left in their
convertible Rolls preceded and proceeded by shiny limousines containing men
wearing dark glasses, ear pieces and black suits, and trucks filled with
soldiers in yellow berets. The large chested women in their portrait
decorated clothes left and that was the end of that view of Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, in the same week, same country and same town, a very different
picture was being seen. I quote from the report by opposition MP Trudy
Stevenson: "This afternoon police set fire to furniture and other belongings
of those Hatcliffe Extension residents who had not yet managed to leave -
despite the fact that there were not enough police lorries to ferry all the
people away to Caledonia Farm by the time they started burning. My suspicion
is that they simply got tired, and decided to finish quickly by burning out
everyone remaining - babies, sick, elderly, crippled, etc. included. As I
write, I have no idea how many people have lost everything they possessed,
nor do I know what has happened to those people. It was reported that they
were told by the police that they had taken too long to leave, and now they
would have to go in the lorries simply in the clothes they were wearing,
nothing else - no food, no clothes, no furniture."

In another report, the chairman of the Harare Residents Association writes:
"If you take a drive to the north tonight you will see on the side of the
roads out towards Domboshawa, as many as 10 000 people just camping in the

For three weeks now we have been surrounded by horror in Zimbabwe. Ordinary
people have become helpless pawns, at the mercy of state officials who
bundle them into lorries and take them away. It is happening in towns all
over the country. Since the closure of Short Wave Radio Africa 11 days ago,
there has been no way for ordinary people to tell the world of the hell that
is overtaking them. Night after night we despairingly search along the short
wave frequencies hoping to hear what was our only voice but it is gone. We
can find only religious channels or Chinese ones but our Zimbabwean voices
are lost and we despair. If you are an exiled Zimbabwean or simply someone
who cares please help give us back our voice. Until next week, the website
With love, cathy
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Telegraph

Chelsy's dad speaks out
By David Blair, Africa Correspondent
(Filed: 11/06/2005)

Charles Davy, the father of Prince Harry's girlfriend, Chelsy, defended
himself in public for the first time yesterday against allegations that his
business partnership with one of President Robert Mugabe's ministers helps
sustain the Zimbabwean regime.

Mr Davy, a wealthy safari operator in Zimbabwe, owns a stake in one of
Africa's largest private game reserves.

His business links with a minister have aroused suspicion in Zimbabwe, where
all but a handful of white landowners have been dispossessed, and prompted
calls for him to be punished with sanctions.

Mr Davy, 53, broke his silence to respond to questions from The Daily
Telegraph about his business relationship with Webster Shamu, the minister
in the president's office responsible for policy implementation.

Mr Shamu, an MP from the ruling Zanu-PF party, features on a list of 95
prominent Zimbabweans banned from entering the European Union.

"I am in business with Mr Shamu and have been for five years," said Mr Davy.
"We have an excellent and honest business partnership. Why should this
change? I am in business not politics."

He claimed that he was not spared the Mugabe campaign of dispossessing white
farmers, saying that he gave up 140,000 acres to the government.

Following Mr Mugabe's campaign of bulldozing townships across the country,
which has left 200,000 people homeless and caused at least two deaths, the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change said yesterday that Mr Davy's
links with the Zanu-PF politician meant he was "sustaining" the regime and
would justify his inclusion on the EU's list.

"The MDC has called for all people directly or indirectly involved in
repression to be placed on the targeted sanctions list," said Welshman
Ncube, the MDC's secretary-general.

"People who sustain the regime directly or indirectly through their
businesses should also be included.

"If people like Charles Davy are indirectly involved in businesses with the
regime they fall under the second category and should be included on the

The EU's list is reviewed every 12 months and comes up for debate next

Mr Mugabe's bulldozers will help ensure the renewal of the EU's "targeted
sanctions" for another year.

The measures include a freeze on any assets that listed individuals hold in
European banks. Mr Davy rejected the MDC's criticism, saying: "I am in
partnership with a person who I personally like and get along with.

"I am not involved in politics in any way but I reserve my right of
association, as any person should, and I really do not see that the leaders
of any political party have the right to choose my friends or my business

Mr Shamu, a former editor of The People's Voice, Zanu-PF's propaganda
newsletter, combines his government post with running Famba Safari Company.

Together with another partner, Mr Davy said that he owned 50 per cent of
Famba. His own company provides marketing services for Famba and his
brother, Vincent, works with Mr Shamu as a director of Famba.

Mr Davy's relationship with a Zimbabwean minister has aroused suspicions
that it is only because of links to Mr Shamu that he has managed to stay in
business while white commercial farmers have been dispossessed.

But he said: "I have never received and do not receive any benefits outside
my business relationship with Mr Shamu."

Mr Davy's children, Sean, 21, and Chelsy, 19, are students at Cape Town

His daughter's relationship with Prince Harry had caused a "spate of
rubbish" to appear about him in the press, he said.

"I have decided to put the facts on the table in the hope that you will
either leave me alone or at least write the truth and limit the adverse
impact of all these untruths on my children."

Mr Davy owns a five per cent stake in Lemco Safari Area, a private game
reserve covering 1,300 square miles in southern Zimbabwe.

He runs hunting safaris for clients who typically pay £660 a day to shoot
big game, including lion, elephant, leopard and buffalo.

He divides his time between homes in the Burnside suburb of Bulawayo, the
Chisipite area of Harare and a spacious homestead in the rugged bush of
Lemco Safari Area.

When Mr Mugabe began seizing white-owned land five years ago, Mr Davy made a
"strategic decision" to sacrifice four other farms, covering 140,000 acres,
to the government for resettlement.

"I have given up a rather large part of my life to end up with the bit I
have left," he said. "A lot of farmers in Zimbabwe have lost their farms and
I am no different."

Mr Davy's hunting business provides homes and livelihoods for 600 black

He called on the MDC to "concentrate on repairing the situation here in
Zimbabwe rather than trying to disrupt" his work.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Toronto Star
Jun. 11, 2005. 01:00 AM
Violence casts harsh light on Africa

As British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Chancellor Gordon Brown highlight Africa's need for greatly increased assistance in advance of the Group of Eight summit, events have been conspiring to show some of Africa's leaders in the worst possible light.

For three weeks now, the authorities in Zimbabwe have conducted a ruthless eviction of informal settlements across the country. Those forcibly removed have been left not only without shelter but without any means of sustenance or making a living. In an exercise that has echoes of Pol Pot's pitiless back-to-the-land campaign, they are being forced back to the ill-used and barren land from which they had fled.

At Thursday's state opening of parliament, President Robert Mugabe defended the action as "a vigorous clean-up campaign to restore sanity to Zimbabwe's cities," But this is topsy-turvy logic indeed: The vast majority of those now forced to live rough and exposed to the elements came to the cities in desperation to eke out a living. In many places, their unofficial trade was the only part of the country's ravaged economy that almost worked.

These shanty towns, though, were fertile recruitment territory for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. Yet again, Mugabe is using an argument about order and the economy to disguise a policy intended to debilitate what remains of the opposition.

A different scenario is playing out in Ethiopia. Here is another impoverished country which, like Zimbabwe, should be rich and thriving. Elections three weeks ago — for which the results have ominously not yet been announced — have been followed by street protests, clashes and deaths. The prime minister, Meles Zenawi, appeared to lean to the West, but has failed to deliver either democracy or a stable and growing economy. The government's panicked response to opposition protests in the wake of the election is reminiscent of recent developments in Central Asia. Elections that Zenawi apparently had hoped would validate his claim to power appear to have had the opposite effect.

Neither Zimbabwe nor Ethiopia offers an edifying model for Africa's future. Unwise, dogmatic or profligate leaders have squandered outside assistance and goodwill, and inflicted poverty and discord on their peoples. But neither country is typical of Africa — each has its own history and specifics — and probably there is no such thing as typical. What each in its own way does demonstrate, however, is the desperate need of people in countries that have for so long been poorly or corruptly ruled, and the obligation of richer countries to set rigorous conditions on the assistance they give.

This is an edited version of an editorial from the Independent, London.
Back to the Top
Back to Index