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

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      Blair pressed on Zimbabwe stance

      Tony Blair must take a harder stance against South Africa's failure to
condemn Zimbabwe, says a Labour MP.
      Kate Hoey was speaking after secretly visiting Zimbabwe to report for
BBC Newsnight on how people are being forced to demolish illegal houses.

      She said Mr Blair should stop South African President Thabo Mbeki from
attending the G8 summit unless he condemns the Zimbabwe "excesses".

      The Foreign Office says Mr Mbeki is an important partner on other

      It has not yet been confirmed that Mr Mbeki will attend July's summit
of the G8 industrialised nations in Gleneagles, Scotland, although he has
been invited.

      'Wrong diplomatic approach'

      A two-day general strike was called in Zimbabwe in protest at the
township demolitions, which the United Nations says have left 200,000 people

      But Zimbawean President Robert Mugabe has described the three-week
blitz as "a vigorous clean-up campaign to restore sanity" in Zimbabwe's

      Ms Hoey told BBC News she had seen people being forced to knock down
parts of their homes where displaced farm-workers were living.

      And she said Mr Blair must press South Africa to use its influence on

      "I'm afraid we've been hearing that he [Mr Mbeki] got a quiet
diplomacy attitude for some years," she said.

      "I think the time has come, particularly now with the prime minister
being in charge of the G8 and the European Union over the next three or four
months, that it's absolutely crucial that pressure is put on South Africa.

      "They are the key to the changes that can happen in Zimbabwe.

      "And the question of how that happens is, frankly, it's got to be
worked out before we start talking about making poverty history."


      Helping Africa is a key priority of the G8 summit and the Foreign
Office stressed South Africa was the largest economy on the continent.

      It is also a founder member of the New Plan for Africa's Development.

      A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "Mr Mbeki is an important partner
on a range of international issues.

      "As with all relationships, there will be some issues of disagreement
and of marked disagreement and they have got to be managed."

      She said Mr Mbeki had showed his determination to pursue good
governance in Africa by sacking his deputy over corruption claims.


      Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said he deplored the "horrific and
ruthless actions of the Zimbabwean Government, who have ruined the lives of
thousands of innocent families, condemning them to homelessness".

      He said the acting Zimbabwean ambassador had been summoned to the
Foreign Office this week to hear Britain's "outrage" and similar views had
been expressed to the Zimbabwean vice-president.

      Mr Straw added: "This week we and European partners froze the assets
of more members of the Mugabe regime and banned them from travelling.

      "Britain will continue to work with the International Community to
restore democratic governance, human rights and the rule of law to the
people of Zimbabwe."

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      Mutare Traders Hold Fire Sale After Police Crackdown
      By Sydney Sithole
      Mutare, Zimbabwe
      15 June 2005

Informal market traders in Zimbabwe's eastern border city of Mutare were
trying desperately Wednesday to sell what merchandise remained to them that
had not been destroyed by security forces. Police burned stands in the
so-called green market section of Mutare on Tuesday, and vendors returned to
the scene a day later hoping to salvage odds and ends of their tattered
stock. Some hoped to sell off goods to raise funds for transportation to
rural homesteads. Others needed money to eat.

Studio 7's Sydney Sithole filed a report from Mutare.
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New Zimbabwe

Federalism the best course for Zimbabwe


By Ndaba Mabhena
Last updated: 06/17/2005 03:24:32
THE events of the last three weeks were very telling in Southern Africa
especially in South Africa and Zimbabwe.The same left Southern African
citizens thinking seriously on issues of political and national governance.

The wave was not short of lessons as shown by a combination of national
leadership actions in both South Africa and Zimbabwe with a grassroots
flavor from voters in South Africa. Zimbabweans were left with no doubt that
they should explore other forms of governance where its people have channels
of expression in this diverse country as dynamics that underpin its
different people are definatley different.

The wave of events started with Operation Restore Order in South Africa and
Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe this operation condemned about 300 000 Zimbabweans to
unthinkable poverty,where people were left with neither shelter nor means to
earn a meager living. It was a sorry sight for Zimbabwean voters that were
treated in this manner by a government they helped install less than two
months prior. Some if not most of those that lost their little belongings
had been strategically 'bused' in to create or beef up constituencies which
were the ruling party strongholds.

It was a black day in the country's history since the Rhodesian government
carried out a similar operation at the turn of the last century. However, as
expected from Zimbabweans it was business as usual!

A stay away was called for two days last week by a combination of civic
organizations to protest the inhuman treatment that the government was
meeting out to a people that gave them a bogus 'two thirds majority'. As
expected it was business as usual in Zimbabwe.

However,it was not business as usual across Limpopo River in South Africa.
It was reported that uprisings were witnessed in the provinces of Western
Cape, Free State and Eastern Cape. The protests were prompted by broken
promises and lack of delivery by the African National Congress party. It is
he same party that they helped win a genuine two thirds majority.

Did I not say dynamics in South Africa and Zimbabwe are chalk and cheese?

The same period saw a tale of two deputy presidents, in South Africa and
Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe Cde Joyce Teurai Ropa Mujuru was reported to be
blocking the course of justice by persuading a girl child from pressing
charges against a mature senior government official. The government official
is said to have made pregnant a girl aged 15 who was now claiming
maintenance from the said official. The imposed Vice President is said to
have summoned the young girl into her spacious office and threatened her not
to press any charges. Is Cde Joyce Mujuru not supposed to represent the
interests of women in government or we were misled?

Are we likely to see Cde Robert Mugabe instituting a commission of inquiry
that will climax with Cde Joyce Mujuru being fired from the government of
Zimbabwe? I think not!

Across the Limpopo Western Cape ANC last weekend booted out Thabo Mbeki's
personally chosen candidate Ebrahim Rasool from the provincial chairman's
position. Observers wondered whether that emphatic defeat by ANC MP James
Ngculu was not meant to send a very strong message to Thabo Mbeki that the
people prefer to elect their own leaders.

The events climaxed Tuesday when Thabo Mbeki took a very painful decision to
fire his personally chosen deputy Jacob 'Mtsholozi' Zuma from his government
and cabinet. Jacob Zuma was dismissed for having been sighted by Judge
Hillary Squires as having had a 'generally corrupt relationship' with his
financial advisor. It was a black day for South Africa and ANC as 'JZ' was
very popular and very likable.

Indeed dynamics in South Africa and Zimbabwe are totally different. It is
unthinkable for people in Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe to rise against Zanu PF in
protest against broken promises and lack of delivery. It is unthinkable for
people from Zvimba to rise in protest against Zanu PF 's broken promises and
lack of delivery. It is very unthinkable that the ANC government will go
around destroying shacks in Soweto and Alex , without providing alternative
accommodation, and all the tuck shops and enjoy peace in South Africa.

Although dynamics in both South Africa and Zimbabwe are totally different,
we can learn from each other. South Africans may learn from the Zimbabwean
situation on how not to govern. And Zimbabweans may learn or see a federal
form of government that works side by side with a central government.

In all seriousness people of Zimbabwe must begin to seriously look at a
federated country with five semi autonomous provinces. These provinces being
Midlands, Mashonaland, Manicaland, Masvingo and Matabeleland. These
provinces will be headed by an executive premier or governor, elected by
people from the province, with a full time cabinet. The province will be run
mainly on a local budget.

A federal system of governance will assist in taking into account different
cultures and values of different people living in different provinces. For
example corruption might be acceptable in Mashonaland West and not in
Manicaland. The add on being that locals are passionate about dealing
decisively with corrupt officials that live and work with them. It also
becomes easy for leaders of provinces carrying their federal provinces'
mandates to make a strong on national leadership make up.

In order for Zimbabweans to put forward people that truly represent their
interest at provincial and national level we need to think seriously about a
federal system of governance.
Ndaba Mabhena is a regular contributor and is based in Harare

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Stuff, New Zealand

Goff protests to Zimbabwe about jailed MP
17 June 2005

Foreign Minister Phil Goff has written to Zimbabwe's Parliamentary Speaker,
John Nkomo, protesting about the prison conditions in which opposition MP
Roy Bennett is being held.

Mr Goff said Mr Bennett was jailed with hard labour last year for pushing a
government minister during a heated debate on land reform.

"I am disturbed to hear that Mr Bennett's condition has deteriorated
significantly since his transfer to Chikurubi Farm prison," Mr Goff said in
a statement yesterday.

"There are reliable reports that his ill-treatment, including beatings by
guards, is threatening his life."

Mr Goff said the situation was "an affront to every sense of decency and
fair play".
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Zim Online

MDC seeks leadership renewal
Fri 17 June 2005
  HARARE - Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
party says it has begun re-organising its structures after losing yet
another disputed election to President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF
party last March.

      Party secretary general Welshman Ncube told ZimOnline that the
re-organisation exercise that will see elections in all party provincial
structures to renew and revitalise leadership will culminate in a national
congress pencilled in for next January or February.

      "The national congress will be held next year between January and
February depending on how quickly the provincial elections and
re-organisation are concluded," Ncube said.

      The reorganisation of the MDC comes amid increasing calls from within
the opposition party and its civic allies as well as from political analysts
on the party - which has now lost three albeit controversial elections - to
come up with an alternative and clear strategy to exert pressure on Mugabe
and his government to speed up political transition in Zimbabwe.

      In the last election, the MDC won 41 parliamentary seats down from the
57 it won in 2000. ZANU PF which won 62 seats in 2000 grabbed 78 seats in
March. MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai also lost by 400 000 votes to Mugabe in
a presidential election in 2002.

      On all occasions, neutral observers have unanimously declared the
elections unfair and not free, accusing Mugabe and ZANU PF of using violence
to intimidate the electorate to vote for them and downright fraud to win.

      But the observers - many of whom say the MDC could beat the government
hands down in a free and fair contest - say the opposition party must do
more to push the government to open up political space and increase the
possibility of democratic elections in Zimbabwe in future. - ZimOnline

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Excerpt from The Guardian

Yesterday in parliament

Press Association
Thursday June 16, 2005

Zimbabwe crisis
The government came under renewed pressure to get the UN to act on Zimbabwe.
Lord Howell, for the Tories, said: "With more than 20,000 people now burned
or bulldozed out of their homes in Zimbabwe, with inflation running in that
poor country of 144% and with mass starvation on all sides, the time has
come to revive the aim of bringing this to a UN resolution."

Government spokeswoman Lady Royall said: "Our response to the current crisis
has been robust and swift and we have raised our concerns directly with the
government of Zimbabwe." She added: "Our position on a security council
resolution has not for the moment changed because it is believed that such a
resolution would not be passed and that this would give comfort to Mugabe."
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      Zimdollar set for fresh devaluation?

      Rangarirai Mberi
      6/16/2005 8:51:15 AM (GMT +2)

      THE central bank's surprise decision to let the Zimbabwe dollar slip
over six percent below the diaspora rate stoked speculation that the bank
could be preparing a further move on the currency to add to May's 45 percent

      The Zimdollar weakened to test new lows of $9 500 before the Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) moved to replace the peg, but the intervention could
not end speculation that authorities could be looking to relax the auction
rate further.
      The local currency is now trading slightly below $9 500 against the
benchmark United States dollar, a six percent premium on the $9 000 diaspora
rate set by the central bank at the monetary policy review only last month.
The US dollar had traded below $6 000 prior to the policy review, falling to
around $7 000 just after the statement, before it slid below the diaspora
      On May 30, the US dollar traded at $9 204.42 and then slipped to $9
496.51 at the first auction in June. Last Thursday, the dollar had a measure
of relief after its recent knocks, gaining a fractional 0.04 percent against
the greenback to $9 495.33, with bids standing at US$162 million from the
previous auction's US$169 million. However, bankers say there are in no
doubt that the local unit will remain under strong pressure, as bids
continue to run well ahead of supply.
      Any fresh devaluation, economists say, would be yet another boon to
exporters, already buoyed by virtually free credit of five percent from the
      RBZ governor Gideon Gono last month refused to yield to pressure to
effect a broad devaluation, preferring what he called "a measured and
responsible" approach to protect an increasingly vulnerable currency.
Instead of a big devaluation, he effected a moderate 45 percent downward
adjustment on the diaspora rate - introduced to coax exiled Zimbabweans to
send foreign exchange home through the formal market. He backed that move
with a slew of incentives and concessions to exporters.
      According to the RBZ chief, outright devaluation or freeing the dollar
would open the currency to damage from speculators while also stoking up
      Ahead of Gono's statement, economists had been sharply divided on
devaluation, with many pushing the bank to float the currency while others
said such a move would knock the economy heavily as Zimbabwe did not have
support from international finance, key to backing a free currency system.
      The RBZ introduced the controlled foreign currency auction system in
January 2004 in an attempt to choke foreign exchange supply to the parallel
market and stabilise the exchange rate. However, allocations have
consistently been dwarfed by demand, resulting in increased pressure on the
local unit.
      The central bank last month increased its monthly allocation to US$100
million - or US$12 500 per auction - from the previous US$88 million, or
US$11 million for each auction.

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Zim Online

Vendors drag police commissioner to court over crackdown
Fri 17 June 2005
  BULAWAYO - Informal traders in Bulawayo have dragged Police Commissioner
Augustine Chihuri to court seeking an order barring the police from
continuing with a controversial "clean up" exercise which began three weeks

      A lawyer representing the Bulawayo Upcoming Traders Association,
Robert Ndlovu, filed the urgent application with the High Court earlier this
week arguing that the evictions were illegal as the traders were licensed
under municipal by-laws.

      Ndlovu is also arguing that the forced seizure of their wares "was
also at variance with the law" as the officers failed to follow proper

      "We verily believe that the confiscation of the traders' merchandise
is a direct violation of the law and contravenes Part 6 of the Criminal
Procedure and Evidence Act.

      "The traders have suffered and are still suffering irreparable harm as
a result of the police actions. We therefore, feel there is no other remedy
available to the traders except seeking a restraint order against the
police," read the application.

      Commissioner Chihuri, officer commanding Bulawayo province, Mpumelelo
Sunduza and the Bulawayo City Council are cited as first, second and third
respondents, respectively.

      The case is set for hearing next week. The government says the
crackdown, which has seen the arrest of 22 000 people in the last three
weeks, is meant to ensure cleanlinenss in cities and halt the illegal
foreign currency parallel market blamed for Zimbabwe's economic ills.

      The United Nations, Amnesty International, European Union and church
and human rights groups have all condemned the crackdown saying the
evictions were a violation of the poor families' human rights. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Editor hauled to court over 'false' suicide story
Fri 17 June 2005
  GWERU - Willie Mponda, an editor with a weekly community newspaper in
Gweru, about 260 km south-west of the capital Harare, is expected to appear
in court today facing charges of publishing falsehoods.
      Mponda, who edits The Sun newspaper, published a story alleging that a
Gweru woman had committed suicide after her phone-shop had been destroyed by
the police in the ongoing crackdown against informal traders and illegal
structures in urban areas.

      The police say the story, which appeared on 10 June, was false as the
woman had left a suicide note indicating that she was experiencing personal
problems. He faces charges under the draconian Public Order and Security Act
which makes it an offence to publish falsehoods.

      The government crackdown against shanty dwellers and informal traders
has seen over 22 000 people arrested for allegedly stoking the illegal
parallel market and 200 000 people rendered homeless in urban areas.

      More than one hundred journalists have been arrested in Zimbabwe for
flouting the country's tough media laws in the last three years.

      Last week, the Zimbabwean authorities postponed to October the trial
of 21 journalists from the banned Daily News who were charged for practising
without licence from the state Media and Information Commission.

      World press rights watchdog, the Committee to Protect Journalists
rates Zimbabwe among the three worst countries for journalists to operate.
The other two are Iran and the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan. -

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Children Not Spared in Zimbabwe Crackdown

16 June 2005

Zimbabwe Thursday joins other countries in observing the Day of the African Child. The day is commemorated to honor the memory of black school children who were shot by South African police on June 16, 1976 when they marched in Soweto to protest the quality of education provided by the apartheid government. But authorities in Zimbabwe have shown little restraint in their treatment of children during an ongoing crackdown on informal settlements and traders.

Catherine Harande carries pieces of wood she recoverd from the families destroyed home in Mabvuku, Zimbabwe
Catherine Harande carries pieces of wood she recovered from  destroyed home in Mabvuku, Zimbabwe
Estimates of the number of people who have been rendered homeless during the government's Operation Restore Order now run as high as one million. The number includes children who are sleeping in the open with their parents and whose schooling has been disrupted by the forced evictions.

As part of their mission to bring glamour back to the country's cities, the authorities have descended on children living in the streets arresting and taking them to holding centers. But conditions at the centers are such that some of the children escape and are soon back on the streets.

Some described their experiences to VOA on condition they are not identified. One 17-year-old never made it to a holding center. He claims when he was picked up by police he was assaulted and detained for five days without food. On the fifth day he claims he fainted and was dumped at a hospital by police.

Speaking in Shona he described what happened at the hospital. "They gave me some glucose and said I must eat and after some hours I felt stronger. I also got an injection which they said would give me strength. When I felt better I left," he said.

He showed VOA his treatment card on which he said he gave the hospital a false name for fear of being tracked down. It did not say what treatment he received.

A second child who is 13 said he was twice put in holding centers and twice he escaped. He said children were held with people whose homes were demolished and are now being accommodated in tents. He said they did get some food but the treatment was more than he could take. "It is the beatings I could not stand, the treatment is rough, it is just not right," he said.

Non-governmental organizations that look after the welfare of children have so far been denied access to the children in the holding centers. A spokesperson for one of the organizations, who also requested anonymity, expressed the collective frustration felt by the aid groups.

"So far what we have heard is that they are being taken to a place called Caledonia Farm but we have not obtained access or been allowed to get there such that we don't really know the position and the state of the children themselves how they are being fed, if they are getting enough basic needs and all that," she said.

Attempts to get a comment from the government department of social welfare were unsuccessful.

A UNICEF official who visited one of the centers described conditions as appalling. The U.N. agency is providing cooking utensils, water, blankets and crayons and paper for the children.

As part of its week-long commemoration of the Day of the African Child, Zimbabwe television broadcast the graduation of members of its National Youth Service. Critics of the government have condemned the youth service saying the graduates are used by the ruling ZANU-PF as its militias who go about terrorizing ordinary Zimbabweans. The government denies the charge saying the program is meant to instill patriotism in the youths.

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Zim Online

Mayor accuses government of falsifying hunger-related deaths record
Fri 17 June 2005
  BULAWAYO - The executive mayor of Zimbabwe's second largest city of
Bulawayo, Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, has accused the government's registry
department of falsifying death records in order to play down the increasing
number of deaths caused by malnutrition-related illnesses.
      Ndabeni-Ncube, whose council reported 12 malnutrition related deaths
in January alone this year, said he suspected the registry office was
working with the government's spy Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) to
supply the council with false figures on the number of residents dying
because of hunger-related illnesses.

      His council has since January stopped publishing the number of
malnutrition-related deaths after suspecting the figures were not correct
said Ndabeni-Ncube, who was last year threatened with disciplinary action by
the government after he announced that people were dying of malnutrition
caused diseases in his city.

      "We suspect that there is interference from elsewhere, especially
CIOs," Ndabeni-Ncube said. He added: "The death figures we are currently
getting from the registry office do not tally with the actual burials at the
cemeteries. Remember we are the local authority, owners of the graves and
when we bury these people we take note of the number of burials and cause of
their deaths."

      Bulawayo registrar Willard Saenda could not be reached for comment on
the matter. His deputy, a Mr. S. Zvimba, would not deny or confirm whether
the office was tampering with death figures only insisting that the council
should not have been publicising malnutrition death statistics in the first

      Zvimba said: "The Bulawayo city council was not supposed to be giving
you those malnutrition death statistics or publishing them in minutes (of
council meetings) because they are not for public consumption."

      Bulawayo and Zimbabwe's dry southern region form the epicentre of a
severe food shortage threatening an estimated four million people or about a
quarter of the country's population.

      Since October 2003 up to January 2004, Bulawayo city had recorded
about 215 deaths of mostly children and elderly people because of
malnutrition-related illnesses.

      Once the breadbasket of the region, Zimbabwe has avoided mass
starvation since 2001 only because international food agencies have chipped
in with food handouts. Food production has fell by about 60 percent since
President Robert Mugabe began seizing white-owned farms and parcelling them
out to black peasants.

      But he did not give the peasants skills training, financial or inputs
support to maintain production on the farms most of which now lie fallow. -

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The Zimbabwean
Hatcliffe residents take eviction case to Supreme Court
The African Union decreed Monday this week as the Day of the African Child. This picture of Yolanda Kakaira, aged 3 of Hatcliffe Extension, who stumbled over destroyed building material and fell into the cooking fire on Tuesday epitomises the life of a child in Zimbabwe today - pain and suffering are their due. The local clinic had no medication, but well-wishers provided some.
HARARE - Residents of a squatter settlement established by the government in the 90s have taken their fight to stop the police from demolishing their makeshift houses to the Supreme Court in a test case that could limit or advance the rights of homeless people in Zimbabwe.
The 54 residents, part of a group of several hundred families settled by the government at Hatcliffe Extension on Harare’s northern boundary, want Zimbabwe’s highest court to overturn a High Court ruling last week that the Harare city and government authorities were justified in ordering police to destroy the camp.

Heavily armed police about two weeks ago used bulldozers and fire to destroy Hatcliffe as part of an ongoing blitz against informal traders and homeless people which President Robert Mugabe says is necessary to restore the beauty of Zimbabwe’s cities and towns.

At least 22 000 people have been arrested during the campaign for selling goods without licences while hundreds of thousands of poor families have been left without shelter after their makeshift homes were razed down by the police.

Although the Hatcliffe residents were settled at the camp by the government which also publicly told them they could build houses at the site, the High Court ruled against the families saying they had breached council by-laws after they failed to submit plans to and seeking formal approval from Town House.

In throwing out the residents’ application, the court also said that public policy considerations were far more important than the interests of a few individuals.

In their application lodged with the Supreme Court, the Hatcliffe group, represented by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), argues: “The High Court erred in finding that the public policy considerations far outweighed the interests of a few individuals.

“In this regard it desisted from taking into consideration the submissions of counsel with regard to the principles of proportionality, suitability and necessity of the conduct of respondents.”

They also argue that the High Court, which is the upper guardian of all minors at law, erred when it did not use its discretion to protect the rights of hundreds of children at the camp who no longer have shelter, health facilities and are unable to go to school since the squatter camp was destroyed.

The court should have taken into account whether alternative accommodation was provided before upholding the government and city council’s decision to destroy the camp, the appellants argue.

No date has been set yet for the hearing of the matter. ZimOnline
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The Zimbabwean

Peace in our time
LONDON - The appeasers are back. For almost 70 years, British "liberal"
journalists and academics have mauled Neville Chamberlain and Lord
Londonderry for wanting to do a deal in the 1930s with Adolf Hitler.
Today, men and women cast in the same liberal, academic, Christian Socialist
mould as the much-maligned Appeasers are saying (for the first time in
public) that Blair's Government has no alternative but to eat humble pie and
deal with the tyrant Mugabe.

Why? Because it's there. On May 16, most Zimbabweans in exile were stunned
to read a persuasive article in The Times by the respected Africanist
Richard Dowden.

"We've got to talk to Mugabe" yelled a headline over an article which
contained the stunning suggestion that the time to strike a deal with Mugabe
is now: "There is a chance of an internal deal that may involve immunity for
past crimes. Zimbabwe may be one of the places where justice has to be
delayed - perhaps until the next world - for the sake of peace."

Another well-informed Establishment journalist, John Simpson, said on the
BBC (Radio Four) last week that some of the people around Mugabe are decent
folk who must be persuaded that by distancing themselves now from the
power-besotted tyrant they could save themselves an unpleasant visit to The
Hague in days to come.

Earlier this year, very informal talks opened in Harare between members of
the British foreign Office and Dr Nathan Shamuyarira, the veteran Mugabeite
who "disgraced " himself in the 1970's by leaving Zanu and joining James
Chikerema's FROLIZI.

Zimbabwe must come in from the cold, wrote Dowden. "We want to come,"
Shamuyarira told me, "but not on our knees."

Senior British journalists with long-standing African track records are
helping push open the dialogue/appeasement door. Highly informed sources say
that when the world's rich meet at Gleneagles next month, Tanzania's Ben
Mkapa and South Africa's Thabo Mbeki will demand that Mugabe's Zimbabwe is
brought in from the cold.

Kisses all round, a bit of public wrist slapping for the "naughty boy" who
killed 30,000 civilians in the 1980s and who made 250,000 people homeless
last week.

Britain's 21st century appeasers should, just for a moment, return to the
books they read at Oxford and Cambridge in the 1970s. Look up 'Munich.' Less
than a year before the outbreak of the Second World War, Adolf Hitler
welcomed a fresh round of talks with the British Government.

The return of "German" Sudetenland was to be his last territorial claim in
Europe. Chamberlain dispatched a well-meaning innocent called Lord Runciman
to Prague to research and report back to London.

While Hitler (in Germany) amused the masses with Jew baiting and the
eradication of German slums, Lord Runciman flirted with Hitler sympathizers
in Prague.

"I am sure that some day the Czechs will see that what we did was to save
them for a happier future," Chamberlain wrote to the Archbishop of
Canterbury on October 2, 1938.

Today, doves quietly fly to Harare. The message they hold in their beaks is
the same as the one Chamberlain held in his hand after Munich - Peace in Our

Then, as now, the messengers of goodwill failed to realize they were dealing
with a madman.
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The Zimbabwean

More suffering needed - Makumbe
LONDON - Commenting on the outcome of last week's two-day stayaway,
outspoken political commentator Dr John Makumbe, says the Mugabe regime has
been very smart. It has repressed, but not entirely destroyed. He believes
the only way to bring about change is if pain is intensified. Makumbe says
the regime has to cause so much pain that Zimbabweans say we have nothing
else to lose but our pain. According to the analyst, the price for freedom
is a face-to-face confrontation with the regime.

"The people's anger is very individual - it has to be organised and
channeled in a positive directions to force the regime to stop its evil
practices. The Broad Alliance is underground - in hiding. Whereas the regime
is out there in the streets, destroying people's livelihoods. The Broad
Alliance, like everybody else, is not willing to pay the price," he said.

Makumbe also blamed the opposition MDC for participating in the dubious
election of 31 March 2005, saying: "You do not participate in an election
and then refuse to go to parliament. It's ridiculous. They agreed to be in
Parliament, they stood for election, they got their 40 seats and so they
have to be in parliament now, they can't be in the streets. You can't be in
two places at one time."
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The Zimbabwean

"I did not take land from Whaley"
LONDON - In a story headlined ZESA swaps tobacco for forex, carried in The
Zimbabwean in the issue of May 13, 2005, we mentioned Chester Mhende as
having been given Joe Whaley's tobacco farm. The article indicated that
Mhende had reaped and sold the standing tobacco crop.

Mr Mhende has exercised his right of reply as follows:
"I, like some 500,000 individuals applied for land under the government of
Zimbabwe's A2 (commercial) resettlement programme. We were allocated land on
the basis of province only. We had no choice in which land we were given.
Many responded enthusiastically to the offer for land. In my case I felt it
a duty to respond and support my government, the first for which I could
vote hence the ownership and belonging.

"The farm I was given had been previously occupied Mr J Whaley, representing
Egham Investments (Pvt) Ltd. Yes I lease a farm he previously occupied but I
am one of 500,000 who were innocently allocated these by our Government, for
which I make no apology. He should in fact apologize and be remorseful
towards me as a Pioneer by descent, for which he is the proud holder of a
certificate and guilty of invading foreign land and holding its nationals
hostage as was done by those he so proudly represents, thus making him a
direct Respondent

"It is at best a clear fabrication what he reported in your paper. I
received no favours. He will know and Norton Police and Norton Magistrate's
court will show how I have spent many hours and many dollars wasted
traveling there to clear myself after he made false reports, for which he
should have been arrested but never was.

"Records will show that he has reported no less than 21 false charges
against me, most of which have not been pursued as they were blatant lies
and those pursued I have been acquitted by the court in Norton

"He went on to claim that I stole his tobacco. I could not steal tobacco
that was grown on a farm that was no longer his. Once the state took back
the farm from him or his company and gave it to me, he had nothing to do
with the farm. On the issue of ZLT buying my tobacco, I cannot answer.
Perhaps Whaley can. I am not yet privy to the goings on of the auction
system. As you know, being Zimbabweans yourself, Zimbabwe tobacco is sold by
farmers through the auction system that is conducted at Boka Auction Floors

"I know that there are buyers from many tobacco merchants but I am not sure
how one can trace the buyers as we receive cheques from the auction floors
as agents of the buyers. But Whaley may know better."
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The Zimbabwean

Zim's role to be forged in diaspora
OXFORD - Once the Chinese have achieved the greater prize of establishing
the economic foothold that they want in South Africa, they may lose interest
in Zimbabwe and move on.
"Like any capitalist state, they are looking for a pay-off," Professor
Stephen Chan told the Britain Zimbabwe Society research day in Oxford last
Saturday. "They are unlikely to sink money into non-capitalist causes in
Africa - even those towards whom they have residual loyalties - unless they
calculate that this is the means to a strategic goal."

Chan, of the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University, and
Professor Hasu Patel of the University of Zimbabwe, launched the day's focus
on 'Zimbabwe, Africa and the World' with a powerful debate on Zanu (PF)'s
foreign policy. The ideological principles on which it is founded, in Chan's
view, are now outdated. Zanu (PF) has failed to grapple with the new world
that has emerged since the end of the 1980s and in consequence has sabotaged
the economic and political progress of the region as a whole.

The ideological heart of the Zimbabwean state and nation is a theme that ran
through a programme that spanned Zimbabwean literature and the HIV-AIDS
pandemic. The struggle to move from an elitist authoritarian culture of
nationalism and 'patriotic history' to one reflecting the principles of
equity and human rights involves all Zimbabweans, including the diaspora.

Zimbabwean literary critic Maurice Vambe suggested that the complex nuances
of Zimbabwean writing, in exploring themes of identity and difference,
contribute to a fuller understanding of human rights. Zimbabwe seems to have
produced a disproportionate share of great writers, perhaps reflecting the
profound ideological struggles at the heart of the nation.

Sundanda Ray, of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights,
argued that campaigning for equal access to anti-retroviral treatment for
asylum seekers in the UK is an affirmation of a culture of equal access and
entitlement which challenges the present Zimbabwean regime's political
exclusion of the diaspora

"The diaspora is where the new principles of Zimbabwe's role in the world
are going to be forged - if they are going to be forged anywhere", BZS chair
Diana Jeater suggested in her summing-up of the day's presentations. "We are
not just talking about 'Zimbabwe and the world', but 'Zimbabwe in the
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The Zimbabwean

Yet another hare-brained scheme
At a time when the government is causing untold suffering for Zimbabweans it
has come up with yet another hare-brained plan to recruit - forcibly - young
Zimbabweans into the service of the controversial green bomber brigade.
We understand that the plans to conscript all street kids into the Zanu (PF)
youth militia are now at an advanced stage - another unbudgeted conscription
programme. Typically, no thought has been given to the cost involved. Home
affairs minister, Kembo Mohadi has said: "Yes there is a plan to ensure that
we rid our streets of these kids, some of whom are now adults. They have to
be rehabilitated and the resources will be found."

These children have been neglected by the government for years. The whole
situation has been left to NGOs - government has done absolutely nothing
about them. Now the minister of small and medium enterprises Sithembiso
Nyoni has said they will be given assistance to set up self-help projects
and small businesses once they have completed their service.

Most of them have had no education at all. Many are addicted to a variety of
harmful substances. All of them are traumatized. They need basic education,
counseling and vocational training - not to mention loving homes, clean
clothes and warm beds. How can they be expected to run their own businesses?

This is nothing more than a thinly-disguised attempt to exploit these
children - who have already had such a raw deal in life. They are being
conscripted for authorized thuggery There is documented evidence that the
national youth service, under which the green bombers are trained, is
nothing more than a cover for the training of Zanu (PF) storm troops who
have been accused of disrupting the activities of the opposition throughout
the country - beating, torturing and raping in the name of Zanu (PF).

It also seems a strange way of thinking for a government that has just
destroyed the small and medium-sized enterprises of tens of thousands of
people. Now they're going to set former street kids up in business? Having
destroyed those who had already exhibited an entrepreneurial spirit and
successfully established and run their own businesses for years? It beggars
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The Zimbabwean

Please give us back our voice
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 headscarves 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, he defended the countrywide destruction of squatter camps,
informal housing and street vending stalls and markets, saying it 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 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. 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, ndini shamwari yenyu.
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The Zimbabwean

Diasporans prop up system
EDITOR - It has been stirring stuff to read John Makumbe's exhortations for
mass action, politicking, lobbying, etc, etc. It's all rather convoluted and
my head does spin somewhat.
John, how about this proposal?... the only reason the Zimbabwean government
can continue with its nonsense is because of the money people in the
diaspora are sending back to Zimbabwe. The economy should have collapsed
long ago.

They are the ones fuelling the little bit of business activity that is going
on. The buying of this plot, the building of this mansion. in that way, the
trickles of foreign currency that are sustaining Zimbabwe get into
government pockets.

To my mind, John, it is a contradictory stance to be forced into exile, to
seek political asylum elsewhere, and then to support the very people whose
policies have forced you out.

The real issue is one of gigantic Zimbabwean selfishness; I care only about
myself, my interests, my family, and I will support all my relatives even if
it's helping an illegal government.

Isn't it ironic that sanctions are called for but the Zimbabweans themselves
are in no way applying sanctions? 'Let someone else fight that battle' is a
typical Zimbabwean attitude.

John, you've got some clever ideas, but until there is some consistency,
altruism and sacrifice from Zimbabweans, it's all futile.

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The Zimbabwean
Playing with Fire part 16
Heather Bennett
Credit: IWPR
This week the Zimbabwe Institute report on human rights abuses experienced by opposition MPs continues with the account of Roy Bennett, who has the highest number of violations against him of any MP - 24 categories of human rights violation out of a possible 30.
Bennett, Roy: Chimanimani
Treasurer of Manicaland Province

In May 2000, prior to the Parliamentary elections 15 Zanu (PF) activists invaded Bennett’s farm. His wife, 4-months pregnant at the time, and all the farm employees (a total of 350) were rounded up in the front yard where Zanu (PF) supporters organized a political rally.

They demanded that the group chant Zanu (PF) party slogans and denounce the MDC party. One of Bennett’s employees refused to co-operate and was severely beaten with clubs and steel bars. Bennett, in Harare at the time, was notified of what was transpiring on his farm. He immediately telephoned his local police station and was told they had instructions not to intervene.

A meeting was arranged that day with Bennett and the Zanu (PF) leadership. At the meeting Zanu (PF) agreed to return the farm to Bennett if he withdrew his MDC candidacy. If he didn’t, he was told he and his family would be killed. Bennett refused and as a result, Zanu (PF) supporters moved into the farm and settled. They used his fuel and food for their own purposes and killed eight cattle and terrorized the entire constituency in an effort to quell Bennett’s support.

Bennett and his family went into hiding and moved out of the constituency but after winning the election, Bennett and his family moved back to the farm. The war veterans were arrested but released two weeks later after President Robert Mugabe declared an amnesty. Bennett suffered tremendous financial losses as a result of these actions. His employees suffered Zanu (PF) indoctrination, beatings, and torture and Bennett’s wife miscarried during the disturbances.

After Bennett’s political victory, the local police were replaced with hard-line Zanu (PF) militia. They attempted to organize locals to move on to the Bennett’s farm. The locals refused, and in defiance of the Zanu (PF) continued to stand-by and support Bennett.

Bennett was served with notice to vacate his farm under the government’s Land Redistribution Program but he was successful in setting this notice aside in Court, in addition to be granted restraining orders against the police, the CIO, and Army to vacate his land and not to interfere with the farming operations.

While attending a polling station in the August 2002 rural district council elections, the CIO directed the police to arrest Bennett after he raised concern over voting irregularities. Bennett resisted the arrest, resulting in the police physically removing him at gunpoint. He was taken to a local police station where he was accused of being a British “puppet”. He was interrogated and stripped of his shoes and socks and beaten on his feet for 45 minutes.

Bennett was unable to walk or stand and told his interrogators that they might as well kill him because they were not going to change his mind regarding his political affiliation. He was forced from his cell and was driven two and a half hours to another police station where he was interrogated and beaten again. He was detained for three days and subsequently charged as acting as an unlicensed journalist for taking photographs of the polling station. The matter proceeded to trial and Bennett was found not guilty.

At a Zanu (PF) political rally in March 2003, Robert Mugabe stated that the Bennett’s were not welcome in Zimbabwe. Three days later 150 Zanu (PF) youth militia members raided and looted Bennett’s farm, beat every employee, and killed several animals.

Murder, arson and rape, February 2004: Sheni Chimbarara, a farm worker on Charleswood Estate in Chimanimani, was shot dead by Zimbabwe National Army soldiers on February 10, 2004. A second farm headman by the name of John Kaitano was shot and injured.

On Friday February 6, 2004, three ladies called Viola Ngwenya (18), Spiwe Chivhuro (15) and Melody where abducted and taken to a war veteran’s base. Viola Ngwenya was allegedly raped twice by Muusha during one night. The other two were sexually abused by Nasho, Kareyi and Mabumba who took turns to fondle their breasts and private parts. The girls were abducted when they were passing by the base where the farm workers from the farm were being tortured.

Also on Friday February, 6 2004, Nasho, Kareyi and Mabumba tortured young farm workers, accusing them of stealing maize. The young farm workers allege that the war veterans used hot iron rods to beat them. One of the victims sustained a deep cut on his right eye after having been axed by a war veteran during the torture.

When the victims of rape were taken to Mutare for medical examinations, the war veterans descended the house of Amos Makaza, the Charleswood security manager, with the intention of killing him. This was on Sunday February 8 at 8pm. They accused Makaza of spying on them and “selling out”.

The war veterans damaged window panes and doors during the raid. Farm workers who heard of the attack at Makaza’s house came out in large numbers so that they could rescue him. A commotion ensued resulting in the war veterans seeking refuge at the soldiers’ base.

The farm workers responded to the rape and the attack on Mr Makaza by burning down the war veterans’ houses. Nasho and Muusha had their shacks burnt down during the commotion. At this time, soldiers opened fire on the farm workers with bursts of automatic weapon fire, killing Sheni Chimbarara and wounding John Kaitano.

After farm workers had fled the war veterans in the company of the armed soldiers pelted 10 petrol bombs at Mr Amos Makaza’s house. Mr Makaza house and car were completely destroyed. It is estimated that Makaza could have lost household property worth at least $10 million in that fire.

The day after he had been murdered, Chimbarara’s body was still on the road as farm workers were waiting for the police. Although the police were informed of the latest incident at Charleswood Estate, they did not respond.

Soldiers and settlers also took advantage of the chaos on the farm to butcher and steal cattle belonging to Bennett. Two heifers and two steers were shot dead. One heifer had its tail cut off and the other two had their hind legs axed.

This murder and arson attacks are the latest in a series of rapes, beatings and other acts of violence that have occurred since Lieutenant General Mike Nyambuya, the Governor of Manicaland, threatened to evict Roy Bennett from Charleswood Estates on Thursday 22 of January 2004. The Governor incited violence against MDC and NGO officials in a meeting with local councillors held at Chimanimani Hotel.

Next week – the report continues with the human rights abuses of Abednico Bhebhe.
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The Zimbabwean

Mugabe stripped of degree
MICHIGAN - The student government of Michigan State University recently
voted unanimously to denounce President Robert Mugabe and ask the Board of
Trustees to strip him of the honorary degree awarded him by that institution
15 years ago.
The headline of a small newspaper called The Spartan Sword reads, "The
Dictator and 'U'" and the front page of that issue depicts Mugabe raising
his fist, the symbol of violence as perpetrated by his party, Zanu (PF). The
'U' stands for Michigan State University (MSU), which awarded our very own
dictator an honourary Doctor of Laws in 1990.

The article decries the fact that MSU awarded such an honour to an
individual who has now turned out to be a vicious despot, citing Mugabe
saying, "Zimbabwe is for black people not white people. Our party must
continue to strike fear in the heart of the white man, our real enemy."
Mugabe uttered these words in 2000 during the disastrous farm invasions.

The fact that MSU awarded this evil man an honourary doctorate is now a
serious embarrassment to the famous institution, one of the Big Ten in the
USA. A small group of students and staff at MSU are lobbying the relevant
authorities at MSU to strip Mugabe of the doctorate, but the authorities are
reluctant to do so arguing that such action is likely to embarrass the
institution even further.

It is better to hope that most people have now forgotten all about it, they
argue. It is obvious that the MSU awarded the honour on our dear dictator
well before he had shown his true colours. MSU was not aware that deep down
in his heart of hearts, if he still has one, Mugabe is a die-hard racist and
tribalist. A cursory examination of the composition of his cabinet clearly
demonstrates the dictator's desperate moves to ensure that he is surrounded
by people only from his own Zezuru tribal grouping.

How can the despotic Mugabe be awarded an honourary Doctor of Laws degree,
given the manner that he has messed up Zimbabwe? Granted, the honour was
bestowed on him long before the promulgation of such sinful laws as POSA and
AIPPA. But the evil ruler had already signed into law the notorious
Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act and Constitutional (Amendment)
Number 7, which effectively created the executive presidency. He had also
maintained and implemented the colonial Law and Order Maintenance Act and
several other bad laws.

The Spartan Sword rightly observes, "Who controls the stolen land? Not the
majority of the country or the poor. Mugabe's supporters, family members and
government officials control the land." The paper could have added that as a
result Zimbabwe is facing yet another serious famine as food production on
the stolen farms has collapsed.

"There is a direct link between the shortage of food and its distribution in
a partisan way and the starvation that is already occurring. There will
indeed be starvation in Zimbabwe. People are going to die," says the paper,
unaware that the dictator is already distributing imported food only to
those who produce Zanu (PF) party cards or the ridiculous badges that
indicate a hungry person has attended a Zanu (PF) election campaign rally.

It is unfortunate to allow the dictator to continue to hold the honour that
was awarded to him in 1990. He does not deserve it anymore. The Spartan
Sword acknowledges that there is no media freedom in Zimbabwe. "Journalists
have suffered for writing in opposition of the government. They have been
beaten [up], jailed and is persecution of the media."

A web site [] has been created for the campaign to strip
Mugabe of his MSU honourary degree. Those involved expect the MSU
authorities to respond to the demands of the academic staff and students who
wish to see the dictator humiliated in this manner for the numerous sins he
is committing against his own people.

The ultimate responsibility of stripping Mugabe of his despotic powers
obviously rests with the people of Zimbabwe themselves. They created a
monster now they are forced to worship him. Courageous people will have to
stand up and be counted. Yes, there is a price to be paid for the
demonstration of such courage, but it will be well worth it in the long run.
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The Zimbabwean
The ultimate betrayal
Removing the trash Zanu (PF) style?
BULAWAYO - On the eastern outskirts of the City of Bulawayo, on a derelict piece of land not far off the main Bulawayo-Harare Road, there stands a small squatter camp. The area is called Killarney. Homeless, unemployed destitutes started coming to this deserted patch of scrub, beyond the farthest reaches of the residential suburbs, some years ago.
They came with virtually nothing apart from the ragged clothes they stood up in, yet within a few months, and out of a few scraps of timber, corrugated iron and assorted junk, they managed to erect a number of makeshift structures. A typical African shanty-town arising apparently out of nothing on the bare veldt. This was no picture postcard scene, but at least the residents had a roof over their heads, walls to keep some of the cold out, and a place to call home - and importantly, within walking distance of an urban centre where the able-bodied could look for work.

Quite a community was established under these austere circumstances. The 350 or so families shared one thing in common - abject poverty - which in the last resort is quite a powerful bonding agent. They regulate life together so as to maintain order and decency with a measure of dignity. A few have made desperate efforts to cultivate some vegetables, though in the poor, stony ground and with no water on hand, their efforts are largely futile.

The Killarney residents received no help from the authorities. No water, electricity or other facilities were available to them. Bulawayo City Council was aware of their presence and for obvious reasons the city fathers were not too happy at the informal settlement.
Nevertheless, not having any other housing available to which they could move these poor people, and out of compassion for their plight they refrained from moving them on forcibly.

Residents of Bulawayo who were aware of the acute needs of these desperate people, assisted them in small ways and a local pastor played a superb role in ministering to both their physical and spiritual needs. Food from a network of caring support groups was distributed to the people through the pastor, and he also organised regular Sunday worship.

But now Zanu (PF) politics intrudes on this hitherto peaceful scene. The nation-wide so-called Murambatsvina campaign (meaning, clear away the trash) comes to town. Armed, baton-wielding riot police descend on one informal settlement after another across the city - many operating legally with all the required permits to show for it - and in their wake there is left a trail of destruction, burning and looting (the looting carried out by none other than the police themselves).

The people of Killarney wait with bated breath. Will they be next in line for the bulldozers and sledge hammers or is it just possible that they will escape the attention of Mugabe's marauding thugs?

On Tuesday (June 7th) word comes to the community - the police are on their way. Expect them within the next 24 hours. In the meantime the people can mitigate their misery by removing from their makeshift shelters any items of value.

So they set to work stripping down from these structures such items as the broken sheets of asbestos and plastic which provided some cover from the elements, and removing their few pathetic belongings. Now they have no shelter, and it is cold these winter nights on the bare plain. Ironically they have rendered themselves homeless all over again - out of fear for an even worse fate at the hands of Mugabe's baton-wielding storm troopers.

At the time of writing the police had still not arrived at Killarney. They are expected at any time (and Sokwanele will try to keep readers appraised of developments). In the meantime however, and as perhaps the ultimate betrayal of the poor, Mugabe and his ZANU-PF lieutenants have used the weapon of fear to persuade them to destroy their own poor shacks.
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