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Tonight is going to be a tense night: an update on Mount Carmel Farm

Via the Justice for Agriculture mailing list

The police promised to evict Landmine and thugs (in keeping with the High
Court order) on Tuesday 9th but the Member in Charge, Chegutu ,Chief
Inspector Manyika, was not around so the eviction did not take place. He
said that he would do it today, Thursday 11th June.

The sheriff went to police and to carry out the eviction this morning. He
was given 8 police details headed by Ass Insp Bepura . Police came out in
their own vehicle and the sheriff took Bruce Campbells pickup. When the
sheriff and police arrived at Mt Carmel the thugs all ran away. The sheriff
loaded up all the thugs belongings and hitched up the DDF tractor to Bruce's
pick up which is now being towed into Chegutu (now broken and unable to move
on its own). Police sat in their vehicle the whole time and said they
refused to help as their job was only to protect the sheriff.

Bruce soon discovered that the lock to the Mt Carmel house has been changed
by the thugs and so he was unable to get into the house. Bruce also soon
realised the thugs were still around, running around the garden.

Police have now said that they have done their job and will not return to
help Bruce enter the house or pick up the thugs. The sheriff has said he
will come out again this afternoon with Bruce to try to enter the house but
Bruce really needs a police detail and a locksmith to do this so that he is
not accused of breaking the thugs lock. Police have refused to to this.

We have asked the sheriff to phone DISPOL (district police) to tell him that
the police are refusing to carry out the full requirements of the high court

Further update 3:20pm.......

Bruce is at the sheriff's office now and Landmine has also arrived there.
Bruce is wanting the sheriff to go back with him to the farm to open the
lock on the house and to get into the house. Landmine has said that if Bruce
goes back to MT Carmel he will get hit. 35 Balclutha workers have arrived at
our house to move into the Mt Carmel yard in support of us. Ben has managed
to get Kerry Kay to come down to stay in the Mt Carmel house tonight and
hopefully some press.

Things might get nasty so please pray.

This entry was posted by Sokwanele on Thursday, June 11th, 2009

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RBZ raided PTA Bank account

by Nokuthula Sibanda Friday 12 June 2009

HARARE - The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has failed to pay back US$100
000 to the PTA Bank, part of a larger amount belonging to the regional
institution that the central bank was keeping.

Well-placed sources told ZimOnline that the outstanding money was part of
US$300 000 the PTA Bank kept in an account held with the RBZ and which was
to be used for the regional clearing house.

But the central that has used other private funds without consent from
owners used the money without permission from the PTA Bank.

The RBZ - charged with raising cash to keep President Robert Mugabe's
government afloat before the Zimbabwean leader agreed a unity government
with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai - had only managed to pay back US$200
000 a few weeks before the Common Market for Eastern and Southern African
States (COMESA) Summit that took place in Victoria Falls last week.

The PTA Bank is an institution of COMESA, whose new chairman is Mugabe.

"The PTA bank is still owed US$100 000 by the RBZ which is part of the
US$300 000," said a top RBZ official, who did not want to be named for
professional reasons.

The official added: "Former central bank chief Kombo Moyana (now with the
regional clearing house) had to write to Gono (Gideon, RBZ governor) on more
than three occasions to get the money. The PTA Bank was paid US$200 000, but
we do not know when the outstanding money will be repaid."

Gono, accused by Finance Minister Tendai Biti of running the RBZ without
regard to the law and in the process undermining and weakening the country's
banking and financial system, confirmed last month that he had raided more
than US$2 billion in funds belonging to NGOs, private firms and individuals
in order to keep the government afloat last year.

Funds seized by Gono included US$7.3 million donated by the Global Fund to
Fight AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria and meant to fund programmes to combat
HIV/Aids and other killer diseases. The RBZ eventually paid back the money.

Gono, who has been under immense pressure to quit from Tsvangirai and Biti,
has defended his actions as necessary to beat off western sanctions against
Mugabe's government.

Critics say most of the funds seized by Gono went to funding a lavish life
for Mugabe and his cronies.

Gono and Moyana were not immediately available for comment on the matter. -

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Soldiers sleeping conditions 'shameful'

11 June 2009


'I can't believe my son was lying on that desk for three months'
BULAWAYO - Zimbabwe National Army infantry battalion soldiers are using
classroom desks as beds as the army has no money to buy bunk beds. This came
to light during the recent pass out parade at the barrack where 140 military
police graduated.

"The situation is bad, when we came here three months ago we were told that
the desks were a temporary measure but we have been sleeping on those desks
this whole time,' said a soldier who graduated at the Military Police

The soldier said that he had difficulties sleeping when the course commenced
but got used to the desks after realising that there were no beds coming
their way after all.

"We were hopeful in the beginning but we lost hope when a month passed and
there was no word from the superiors," he said.

HQ1 brigade is in charge of training Military Police from all the wings in
the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

A parent who had come all the way from Harare to witness her son's
graduation almost broke down in tears at the sight of what her son used as a
bed in the duration of the course.

"This is very shocking, I can't believe my son was lying on that desk for
three months. It is so disappointing that a national army is living in such
squalid conditions, she said.

The woman said that it was disappointing considering how the Army had come
out in strong defence for Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono, threatening to
go to war after MDC called for his dismissal yet they lived in pathetic

The reviewing officer, Major General Trust Mugoba declined to comment saying
that it was not his duty to speak on behalf of the military.

"My job has nothing to do with commenting on army business," he said.

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Mining sector hamstrung by power cuts, forex and skills shortages

By: Oscar Nkala
12th June 2009

US-based Business Monitor International (BMI) has warned that despite the
establishment of a unity government, Zimbabwe still has a long way to go
before it recovers fully economically, with the main short-term challenges
facing the economy, in general, and the mining sector, in particular, being
a persistent shortage of foreign currency, a dearth of skilled workers and
frequent power cuts.

This warning, contained in a new report, follows a revelation by the Chamber
of Mines of Zimbabwe (CoMZ) that gold production in 2008 declined by 49%
from the 2007 figure.
"It should also be reiterated that Zimbabwe still suffers from
hyperinflation and frequent power shortages. The Zimbabwean dollar is no
longer widely accepted as a valid source of any real value and the economy
now only deals in the South African rand or the US dollar," says BMI.
However, BMI argues this gloomy picture can be changed for the better if the
country creates an enabling environment for investors to revamp the mining
"The geology of Zimbabwe is very richly endowed. Of the 40 known metals and
minerals that it is home to, gold, platinum, and chrome form the principal
endowments. The country's gold reserves are among the largest in the African
region, while it hosts the second-largest platinum reserves in the world.
Another segment that has caught the attention of miners in Zimbabwe is
diamonds, after the discovery of a number of significant kimberlites," reads
the BMI report.
Owing to several negative forces still at play in Zimbabwe, BMI says it
remains pessimistic and predicts a further decline in production across the
mining sector this year.
"The slump in global metal prices is forcing mines to cut back production.
Under these conditions, it is no surprise that BMI is pessi- mistic about
the prospects of Zimbabwe's mining sector in the short term. Indeed, in
2008, we estimated that the sector fell by almost 6% in real terms, while
2009 should see a further decline."
The report identifies gold- and nickel-mining as two particularly vulnerable
segments of the industry, noting the liquidity crisis that is still hobbling
gold producers and the sharp decline in international nickel prices which
saw the country's largest nickel producer close down in November last year.
"However, the nation has abundant mineral resources and a well-developed,
albeit deterio- rating, infrastructure network. In this sense, there is hope
that the country's mining sector can begin to recover, especially when the
global economy returns to growth." It concludes: "The future of the industry
lies in the hands of the new unity government.
"It must be remembered that many problems are self-inflicted . . . Until the
political situation resolves itself, it is hard to hold anything but a
negative prognosis. In 2013, we expect the industry to be worth around
US$0,18-billion, although this will depend on how the currency will fare
over the next five years."
Meanwhile, CoMZ president David Murangari describes the performance of
Zimbabwe's mining industry in 2008 as "dismal and gloomy".
"Most mines operated under extremely difficult macroeconomic conditions for
the first nine months of the year. There is a dire need for the
recapitalisation of the industry."

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President Obama Meets Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Tsvangirai Friday


      By Peter Clottey
      Washington, D.C
      12 June 2009

U.S. President Barack Obama will meet Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai Friday in Washington. The two leaders are expected to discuss
what has been described as Harare's difficult road ahead.

Washington has said it wants to see reforms to the rule of law and human
rights in Zimbabwe before it resumes financial aid.

Early this year, Tsvangirai, a former opposition leader, joined embattled
President Robert Mugabe in a unity government in a bid to resolve the
country's political and economic crisis.

"It is very important that America supports Mr. Tsvangirai," says political
analyst Rejoice Mbwenya. "So there is a lot of expectation that perhaps for
the first time he might come up with a plan that can support his call for
aid to Zimbabwe."

Mbwenya adds that some Zimbabweans want international financial institutions
to look more favorably on the unity government's effort to revive the
country's ailing economy.

"Usually the idea behind the expectation is based on that the IMF
[International Monetary Fund] and the World Bank are likely to be more
amenable to looking at the Zimbabwe case," he said.

Mbwenya says some people are hopeful Tsvangirai will make a convincing case
to the U.S. president about the need for financial assistance. "They just
hope that Mr. Tsvangirai might be able to persuade President Obama to
consider lifting the sanctions that is imposed on Zimbabwe," Mbwenya said.

Mbwenya adds that the prime minister's recent remarks about the progress of
the unity government have been contradictory.

"Mr. Tsvangirai unfortunately. sends conflicting signals because in one
minute he will be talking about how difficult it has been working with
Mugabe.and in the next sentence he will be talking about things looking up,"
he said.

Meanwhile, in an interview with VOA's Zimbabwe Service, Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai acknowledged the shortcomings of the unity government. He
also expressed hope that Harare's re-engagement with the West will yield
positive results.

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Mugabe's Legacy

11 Jun 2009 09:23 pm

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is scheduled to meet with Obama tomorrow. The Economist reports on the state of the country:

For ordinary Zimbabweans, life has begun to get a bit better ...Thanks to the government’s decision to give an allowance of $100 a month to all civil servants (including government ministers), schools and hospitals have started to reopen. Food is back on supermarket shelves—for those who can afford it. Potholes in Zimbabwe’s bumpy roads have begun to be filled in.

But otherwise things are much as they were.

Electricity still often cuts out, sometimes for days on end. An estimated 95% of the population is still without formal jobs. A cholera epidemic, which has killed more than 4,300 people, may have abated but the water and sanitation systems are as decrepit as ever. Meanwhile, HIV-AIDS continues to claim some 3,000 lives a week.

Yet, against all the odds, there is a new feeling of hope. Mr Mugabe’s secret police are still everywhere, but the fear has gone. People are willing to speak out more freely. Demonstrations and MDC rallies are no longer met with the same violence. Foreign investors are sniffing around. But neither they nor international donors will put big money back into Zimbabwe until they can be sure that property rights and the rule of law are being respected. That, plainly, could still take some time.

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Money the key to Tsvangirai mission

By Tony Hawkins and Richard Lapper

Published: June 11 2009 23:36 | Last updated: June 11 2009 23:36

When Morgan Tsvangirai meets US President Barack Obama on Friday he will be
at pains to dispel the notion that he is on a "begging bowl mission".

The Zimbabwe prime minister talks in terms of "international re-engagement".
One of his deputies, Arthur Mutambara, told a meeting of the World Economic
Forum in Cape Town this week that the simple fact of the meeting with Mr
Obama itself constitutes a "victory".

But whether Mr Tsvangirai and his supporters in the Movement for Democratic
Change like it or not the prime minister's three week tour of western
capitals will be judged at home by his success in raising money.
Although Zimbabwe's economy has stabilised since the local currency was
effectively replaced late last year by the South African rand and the US
dollar, the coalition government between the MDC and President Robert Mugabe's
Zanu PF - which took office four months ago - is in urgent need of very much
greater economic assistance.

Manufacturing and mining output is recovering; banks have greater liquidity
and the government has secured some $1bn in trade finance - mainly from the
Cairo-based African Export Import Bank in Cairo and the PTA Bank (part of
the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa). At the same time
Botswana and South Africa have also come forward with credit lines.

But the the economic advance is extremely sluggish and the government is
desperately short of cash. It needs $250m a month just to be able to meet
the current civil service "allowance" of $100 a month, let alone pay the "proper
salaries" that it has promised to introduce into the public service from

According to an April report by the International Monetary Fund, it was
already on course to register a $200m shortfall in terms of its $1bn revenue
target in 2009. Donors are set to disburse more humanitarian assistance than
last year's $600m. In the first quarter of this year $300m was promised.

But without much bigger sums - specifically for budgetary and balance of
payments support - the government will be unable to pay its bills and the
economy will remain in intensive care.

Donors though are unlikely to make significant payments unless they see more
evidence that the rule of law is being restored. Government ministers from
both sides of the country's political divide continue to insist that they
are working well together.

"We have worked so well as an inclusive government," Patrick Chinamasa, a
Zanu PF minister told the WEF in Cape Town. But there is continuing deadlock
in a number of areas. So far, Mr Tsvangirai has been unable to dislodge two
key Zanu PF ministers and allies of Mr Mugabe whose presence in government
it opposes.

Gideon Gono, the governor of the central bank judged responsible for much of
Zimbabwe's economic chaos in recent years and a bete noir among donors,
remains governor of the Central Bank. Johannes Tomana, who is accused of
ordering illegal land takeovers, is still attorney general.

Mr Tsvangirai has not made much progress either in lifting repressive media
and law and order legislation. Indeed, to the fury of the country's
remaining 300 white farmers Mr Tsvangirai recently described the farm
invasions as "so-called attacks" and "isolated incidents" that had been
"blown out of proportion" by the media.

The Commercial Farmers Union says that since the government of national
unity took office in mid-February more than 100 farmers have been charged in
the courts with being on their farms "illegally" while some 80 farms have
been occupied by Mugabe loyalists costing thousands of farm worker jobs.

In Cape Town, both Mr Mutambara and finance minister, Tendai Biti, insist
progress is being made. But according to donors in many parts of the country
the government is simply not in control of events. Even when the politicians
agree a course of action, demoralised civil servants are simply unable to
put it into effect.

"It is not just that the right hand does  not know what the left is doing,
but the left-hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing," said one
exasperated donor. In addition, they argue that the inexperienced and
under-resourced administration is not handling its relationship with
development agencies effectively. "They keep coming to us wanting a few
million for this or that but what we need is a coherent medium-term
framework," he added.

All this suggests that Mr Tsvangirai will return from his trip with good
wishes ringing in his ears but little else.

Last week the Dutch government made clear that it wanted to see more reform
in Harare before it opened its cheque book. So did Johnnie Carson, assistant
secretary of State for African Affairs in the Obama administration and, as a
former US ambassador to Harare, a man who knows President Mugabe well.

"There is no indication that the US government is prepared to lift
[targeted] economic sanctions against those in Zimbabwe who have been most
responsible for undermining the country's democracy and destroying its
economy," Mr Carson said. More political, social and economic reforms were
needed first, he added.

That is likely to leave the Zimbabwe government limping along. One western
diplomat said that there is a strong case to provide "enough oxygen" to keep
the fragile coalition on the rails.

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Nkomo challenges eviction from farm


            by Lizwe Sebatha Friday 12 June 2009

BULAWAYO -A top official of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF
party, John Nkomo, has filed an urgent chamber application seeking an order
to stop his eviction from a lucrative safari farm, following last week's
High Court ruling against him.

Justice Francis Bere sitting in the Bulawayo High Court ordered the deputy
sheriff to evict Nkomo - who is also a minister of state in Zimbabwe's unity
government - from Jijima Lodge in the wildlife-rich Gwayi River Conservancy
to pave way for businessman Langton Masunda, with whom he has been engaged
in a land dispute.

But Nkomo, through his lawyer, Christopher Dube-Banda, of Dube-Banda,
Nzarayapenga and Partners, says last week's ruling against him is "suspect"
and, if carried out, will prejudice him since he had obtained hunting quotas
for 2009.

"If 1st respondent is allowed to execute the Writ issued against me on 2
June 2009 I will suffer irreparable harm. The land allocated to me is in the
Gwayi Conservancy area with its main activity being tourism.

"I was given my hunting quota by the Department of Parks and Wildlife
Authority for the 2009 hunting season. It is clear from the foregoing that
1st respondent is desperately in need of the occupation of the lodge to
launch his illegal hunts," Nkomo wrote.

Masunda and the Deputy Sheriff are cited as the first and second respondents
respectively. The matter has not been set down for a hearing.

Jijima - on a farm seized from a white farmer during the height of Mugabe's
chaotic land redistribution programme - had been subject of an ownership
wrangle after Nkomo, then land reform minister, allocated the farm to
Masunda about five years ago only to try to grab the property allegedly
after discovery at a later stage that the farm had a successful safari lodge
on it.

Nkomo who has lost numerous court challenges against Masunda, argues that
the Lodge is his, saying it is within his Lugo Ranch which he allocated
himself in 2003.

Masunda however claims the lodge is his, saying it is within the boundary of
his Volunteer farms 47, 48 and 49.

The dispute between Nkomo and Masunda over the lodge nearly turned fatal a
month ago when the young brother to Masunda was shot five times by security
officers employed by Nkomo.

The security officer, Eddie Sigoge, was charged with attempted murder and
unlawful possession of a firearm and was granted bail when he appeared in
court in Bulawayo last month.

The wrangle over Jijima Lodge only helps to highlight the chaos, violence
and thuggery that have characterised Mugabe's land reforms he started in

On paper, the land reforms were to benefit poor black peasant farmers
deprived of arable land by former colonial governments but most of the best
farms seized from whites ended up in the hands of Mugabe's officials, their
relatives and friends.

Land reform has led to hunger after Mugabe's government failed to provide
blacks resettled on former white farms with inputs and skills training to
maintain production.

Poor performance in the mainstay agricultural sector has also had far
reaching consequences as hundreds of thousands of people have lost jobs
while the manufacturing sector, starved of inputs from the sector, is
operating below 15 percent of capacity. - ZimOnline

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The Corporate Council on Africa Hosts Zimbabwe Prime Minister

Corporate Council on Africa
(Washington, DC)

11 June 2009

The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) today hosted Zimbabwe Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai and a delegation of Zimbabwean government ministers and
other senior government officials.  CCA used the occasion to emphasize that
before investing in Zimbabwe most American companies will need to see a
combination of political and economic reforms to create a sustainable
investment climate in the Southern African country.

The lunchtime event in Washington was attended by more than 120 business and
government leaders. It came on the same day that CCA President and CEO
Stephen Hayes, who is visiting Zimbabwe at the invitation of the United
States Embassy there, addressed a large gathering of Zimbabwean business
leaders in Harare.  In his remarks, Hayes advised the Zimbabwean business
community not to expect any significant new American private sector
investments in the near-term until reforms are made, but added that the
American business community looks forward to the day when Zimbabwe is a
"beacon of investment and a leader in addressing Africa's economic
development needs".

At the Washington luncheon, Mr. Tsvangirai, saying that "Zimbabwe cannot do
it alone", called on the American business community to support his
country's reconstruction.  He enumerated efforts taken in the past three
months that have reduced inflation rates from 500 million percent to minus
three percent, increased government accountability and addressed corruption.
He reassured the American audience that his government is working to
establish stability and rule of law necessary to protect private
investments.  He said that the recently established Multi-Donor Trust Fund,
which is administered by international donors, will help support Zimbabwe's
economic recovery as it meets donor criteria for accountability.

Accompanying the prime minister were Zimbabwe's minister of economic
planning & investment promotion; the minister of regional integration &
international cooperation; and the country's minister of tourism &
hospitality industry.

In addition to having fertile agricultural lands and some of the world's
largest reserves of strategic minerals, Zimbabwe has traditionally been one
of Africa's leading tourist destinations.  The country's economy collapsed
following controversial economic reforms that were coupled with harsh
crackdowns on the country's political opposition, including Mr. Tsvangirai.

Mr. Tsvangirai, who heads a unity government with longtime Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe, is scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama on
Friday to discuss how the United States can support reforms to bring about
the rule of law, respect for human rights, and free and fair elections in

About The Corporate Council on Africa

Established in 1993, The Corporate Council on Africa is a nonpartisan 501
(c) (3) membership organization of nearly 180 U.S. companies dedicated to
strengthening the commercial relationship between the U.S. and Africa. CCA
members represent nearly 85 percent of total U.S. private sector investments
in Africa.  The organization is dedicated to bringing together potential
business partners and to showcase business opportunities on the continent.
From September 29-October 1, 2009, CCA convenes the U.S.-Africa Business
Summit, the premier private sector trade and investment forum between the
U.S. and the nations of Africa. For more information, visit

CONTACT: Andrea Todd, (202) 263-3538,

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French aid group sets up in Zimbabwe


            by Cuthbert Nzou Friday 12 June 2009

HARARE - A French-based humanitarian aid group is set to open a new mission
in Zimbabwe next month in a further sign of improved relations between
Harare and charities.

Solidarites, which provides aid to victims of war and natural disasters
around the globe, is to start a food security programme from July 1 onwards.

Constance Decorde, the group's communications officer, said about six
million Zimbabweans - two fifths of the country's population - faced food

"This programme will target those living in urban and urban-fringe areas
with no access to land and therefore no revenue,'' said Decorde in a

Solidarites is currently present in 13 countries and has previously provided
humanitarian aid in Iraq, Albania, Serbia and Kosovo, Macedonia, Bosnia,
Romania, Rwanda, Angola, Pakistan and Lebanon.

Decorde said the programme involved setting up "family vegetable plots,
together with distribution of tools, technical support and horticultural
training to enable people to gain access to a means of subsistence".?

"In parallel, by building irrigation wells to serve the family vegetable
plots, these vulnerable populations will receive a minimum level of revenue
through a food for work scheme so that they may be able to meet their basic
food needs," she added.

Zimbabwe, a net exporter of agricultural produce before the turn of the
millennium, has faced food shortages following the land reform programme
that saw agricultural production plummeting to low levels.

About a quarter of the population has survived on food aid since the land
reform programme in 2000, in a country where life expectancy is one of the
lowest in the world, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Humanitarian agencies last week issued a revised appeal requesting US$718
million, an increase of US$168 million from the original appeal launched in
November 2008, to meet the food requirements of six million starving
Zimbabweans. - ZimOnline

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In praise of ... Zimbabwe's children

The Guardian, Friday 12 June 2009

Yesterday morning Radio 4's Today programme broadcast a heart-rending report
from Zimbabwe. It put the concerns of British political life, which usually
dominate the show, into moving human context. The third in a series of
pieces recorded undercover in the country by the BBC's correspondent, Mike
Thomson, it described the life of a 14-year old boy, Patrick. His father is
dead and his mother is dying with Aids. He cares for her and his 10-year-old
sister - trying, he said, to be both a mother and a father to her. His story
was bleak and simple, and it is being repeated all over Zimbabwe, a country,
Thomson reported this week, where there are 1.5 million orphans among only
11 million people. "I no longer go to school - that dream is over," said
Patrick, who has cared for his family since he was 12. Each day, he said, he
cleaned clothes, fetched water and firewood, and looked for food, begging
from neighbours. "Sometimes I am lucky and sometimes I am not," he said
sadly. When his mother is very ill, he carries her to hospital. He takes her
to the toilet. "Only when I die will he have his freedom," said his mother -
but Patrick insisted he would never abandon his sister. It is hard to see
much hope for him: Aids and Zimbabwe's economic collapse are crushing lives,
and the country's new unity government has not yet made much of a
difference. Thomson's reports - still available online - are a reminder of
how much people can suffer in their lives, and how nobly and calmly they can

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ZCTF Report - May 2009

7th June 2009 
In our last report, we appealed for assistance for funds to bring Karen Trendler to Zimbabwe to inspect the 10 wild elephants captured by Basil Steyn and we are very happy to say that Karen was able to come and do the inspection. We will announce the results of her inspection in due course. We would like to thank the following people who donated money to make her visit possible:
Helen & John Buckle
Lawrence & Sandy King
Charlie Thompson
K G Hundley
Mary Ann Boyd
Steven Zeluck
Linda Mira-Bateman
Donald Miller
Kirsten Mecklenburg
Elizabeth Garber
Dorian Richardson
Balaji Rangasamy
Jennifer Fitch
Vic de Valdorf
Bev Horton
Lorene Jordain
Ani Hart.
A very big thank you to David Francklow and his late wife Rowan Christie for donating 15 heavy duty feeding bottles and a stock pile of teats for baby rhinos. 6 bottles and several teats have already been despatched to the Bubye River Conservancy where there are 3 orphaned rhinos, Sassi, Millie and Blondie. The others will be distributed where needed.   
It has been reported to us that last month, illegal hunts were carried out in Chizarira National Park. We would like to congratulate the local National Parks staff who tracked down and arrested the hunting party which included a warden from another parks station. The hunters, including the warden were handed over to the local police who confiscated the trophies. Unfortunately, the offenders were released after 2 days and apparently the warden has now disappeared.
It is encouraging to hear that the Chizarira National Parks staff are making such an effort to conserve our natural resources, preserve our national parks and stamp out corruption even in a case like this where a national parks warden was involved in the hunting. We hope that staff in other national parks around the country will follow their example. 
We have had several reports from distraught Kariba residents in the past couple of months regarding the alarming decimation of the wildlife there. The crocodile farm near Charara, owned jointly by National Parks and Lake Harvest Fisheries has 23 000 hungry crocodiles that require 9 tons of meat per month. Due to the fact that the number of elephants has subsequently declined to a critical level, they have decided to stop shooting the elephants and target the hippos instead. We are now receiving reports that it is becoming quite rare to see a hippo in the area - in fact, it's quite rare to see any animals at all.
We have heard that the crocodile farm is not quite as lucrative as expected because people are not as keen to buy crocodile products as they once were. It would appear that nobody is benefiting from the senseless slaughter of our wildlife except the crocodiles.

Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 336710
Landline/Fax: 263 4 339065
Mobile:           263 11 603 213


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JAG open letter forum - No. 641 - Dated 11th  June 2009


Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to
jag@mango JAG OPEN LETTER FORUM - with "For Open Letter
Forum" in the subject line.


1. Dear JAG,

Sanctions, Sanctions and more Sanctions Please

So much has been said about sanctions by the West on Zimbabwe and I am
also reading that the Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai , is on a mission
to persuade the US, Britain and Europe to remove the sanctions against
Zimbabwe. As a concerned Zimbabwean citizen I wanted to know two things
about these sanctions:

1.  What these sanctions are and

2.  What the demands are by those who imposed the sanctions.

On point "1" my research revealed that the sanctions are:

ˇ An arms embargo on Zimbabwe

ˇ A travel ban on individuals in ZANU PF who are believed to be behind
the violence against Zimbabwean citizens, those who act above the laws of
the country and those who violet conventional human rights such as
freedom from torture which is an absolute human right.

ˇ A freeze on financial accounts (held in the western banks and financial

institutions) of all the banned people.

On point "2", what I found was that those imposing the sanctions are
saying is that:

ˇ Stop killing Zimbabweans for voting the way they want. In other words
the demand is, "stop beating and killing Zimbabweans for choosing the
president of their country".

ˇ Stop picking up citizens from their homes in the dead of the night for
it is against the laws of your country to do so.

ˇ Stop torturing Zimbabweans that you "arrest" or kidnap whether in the
dead of the night or in broad daylight. People deserve respect.

ˇ Don't starve people of Zimbabwe especially when we (the West) give you
food to feed the nation and you should stop evicting/killing the farmers
who produce the food that feeds the nation.

I trust my research is in line with the general perception and given that
this is the true scenario, surely Zimbabwe does not need more arms as it
is surrounded by friendly nations that are all part of a friendly bloc,
SADC. So any embargo on arms is ineffectual. Zimbabwe is now twenty nine
years into self rule and under the same leader. So we cannot say or that
leader spoiled it for us. It is just the same one.

I fail to fathom the impact of a travel ban on an individual would have
on the socio -political economy of a country. I need help on this.

Similarly, what economic impact is created by freezing a ZANU PF
politburo member's USA $6m account? Absolutely nothing if I was to answer

I have heard some ill-considered arguments that the MFI and the World
Bank have sanctions on Zimbabwe.  Rubbish! I would say. These two
institutions represent the first order of capitalism in its true sense.
They are there to make money. If Zimbabwe can pay its debts, these
institutions would continue to lend to Zimbabwe irrespective of who is in
power in that country.

As a Zimbabwean I am wondering why it should take sanctions by foreigners
against the powers that be in Zimbabwe to ensure that Zimbabweans realise
their sovereignty and are treated with dignity by their own fellow
citizens. If the sanctions are an attempt to ensure that Zimbabweans are
given back their dignity, respect, autonomy and freedoms then I can hear
clamours of Sanctions, Sanctions and more Sanctions! - from all corners
of Zimbabwe.

On reflection - if indeed the Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai is
touring America and Europe advocating for the dropping of sanctions,
whose corner is he fighting in? The truth is: Morgan Tsvangirai did not
impose the smart sanctions and as such he hasn't got the power to have
them lifted. Only those in Nkayi, Gwanda, Masvingo, Chimanimani, Mudzi,
Zvimba, Mtoko, Silobela, Chipinga, Chirundu and the rest of Zimbabwe have
the power to say Free at last! Free at last! Only then will the world
will listen. The future of Zimbabwe is not going to be determined by
those who are dying off but by those who are living.

My message to those in power is that you should never take people for

Is there someone out there who can tell the people of Zimbabwe the truth
about the sanctions? My own perspective is as given above.

John Huruva



2. Dear Jag,

I have been reading, with disbelief, the saga about Tsvangirais' 'niece'.

Dr Arikana Chihombori, born in Zimbabwe but has been living in America
for 30 years - CEO of two Medical Centres - thinks she has the right to a
piece of land in Zimbabwe.

Sure she is, but one would think that she would be in a position to buy

She has made a statement (this is what has prompted me to comment),
giving reasons why she feels she is entitled to land.  She says that Mr
Cremer verbally abused her sister.  Well, anyone who knows Mr and Mrs
Cremer would know that these gentle folk who only want to continue living
and farming in the country of their birth, with their family, would never
in a million years, do that.

Doesn't she understand that basically the white Zimbabweans who are still
in this country are not racist - if they were they wouldn't be living
here, thats for sure.

We now have reverse racism - hatred from an American Citizen against a
white Zimbabwean.

Dr Chihombori is also quoted as saying (to a journalist no less) that the
reason she also feels she is entitled to illegally take the Cremers
entire livlihood away from them is that "My fathers' hut was burnt down
by a white."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I always thought that doctors were highly
intelligent people.

I wonder what her patients will think about having a doctor who feels she
has the right to steal land from genuine citizens of Zimbabwe, but - as
the Zimbabwe Government says - we are redressing the wrongs of the past
and giving land TO LANDLESS PEASANTS!

Maybe Dr Arikana Chihombori should add this to her list of degrees - it
would look good in Tennessee:

DR ARIKANA CHIHOMBORI, Landless Peasant!!!

What is it about black Zimbabweans who have been in America for
sometime?  They seem to be descending on Chegutu.

Edna Madzongwe, lived and worked in the USA - her daughter Farai, is an
American citizen who has been working and living in Germany for 8 years.
They also feel they are entitled to take an entire generations work and
investment away from them - i.e. Stockdale Citrus Estate.

Please, enough already, just leave us to live our lives in peace.



3. Dear JAG,

Thank you, Jill Baker, for your comments.

I wholeheartedly agree with every word you write. Then let's call it a
day and get on with our lives.........

Yes, we ARE the most resilient nation I can think of. Yes, we do carry on
against all odds, yes, there ARE a lot of us, both black and white, who
DO pull together, with a common objective, to make this most fantastic
country work again. But we cannot ignore those who are pulling in the
opposite direction all the time and putting the proverbial spokes in the
wheels of change.......

When I think of the UDI years, the Rhodesian war years and international
sanctions, yes, I DO think 'wow, how fantastic this country was, how
marvellous the people were, to come through against all odds'

But really, look at us now..........??? Yes, we ARE soldiering on and
there ARE some truly fantastic, remarkable people, black and white,
trying their best to 'fix it'.......and yet, for all the 'positives',
there are still so many 'negatives' which ARE affecting a lot of us in
all manner of cannot deny this and it's all very well
for people who no longer live in Zimbabwe to write when they are NOT
physically EXPERIENCING what the people 'on the ground' in Zimbabwe ARE
living daily.

What WOULD be fantastic, would be for all those who have left Zimbabwe,
to return - take up where they left off, rebuild their lives here and
return this wonderful land to its former glory............

I return to Zimbabwe within a fortnight, I cannot wait to walk around my
garden again, barefoot, with the dogs at my heels and feed my ducks and
bantams again...I cannot wait to see the brilliant vibrant colours of the
new msasa leaves in a couple of months time....pick mulberries from the
tree,........and enjoy the sunrises and sunsets that seem to be the most
beautiful only in Zimbabwe........I might not be able to text any of my
family to let them know I am home safely, I might not be able to pick up
the phone to call a near neighbour to let them know I am home, I might
not be able to email anyone for a while.......but I guess, at the end of
the day, what the hell, I have my health, I have my family, and I will
sure as hell make sure I have a good bottle of wine on ice to make it all
feel much better! So, feeling all fired up now, having had masses of
'help' (recommended by one reader, and believe you me, I get, and take,
all the help I need and am doing just fine, thanks) bring on the



4. Dear Jag

I was so pleased to read  Jill Baker's  letter, summing up the situation
here with such wisdom and maturity.  What she said about the "sad and
unthinking letters  that that have flowed recently"  many of us will be
in agreement with.  Some years ago I read Cathy Hull's story of her life
here and the portrayal of the many tragedies she has had in her life.
What impressed me about her was her honesty in expressing her true
feelings, her sense of humour  and the love she had for this wonderful

As Jill has so rightly said let us support and let us respect each
other's views at a time like this.  May we start each day with a spirit
of anticipation, expectation and awareness.   Yesterday, whilst eating
our lunch on the veranda we viewed 7 Red-billed Wood Hoopoes darting
around our palm tree.  What a sight to behold.

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