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

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Sent: Thursday, June 30, 2005 1:21 AM
Subject: BTH: War Veterans leader speaks on police raids..then confronts his victim?

Thursday evening on the internet, Friday morning on Medium Wave (1197khz), thereafter on our internet archives.
War Veteran Leader, Jabulani Sibanda is the guest on the programme this week. Will his diminishing fortunes in Zanu PF affect his grip of the association? Were the war veterans consulted before the police operation 'Murambatsvina' was implememented? Is there a back door arrangement for war veterans to be compensated for their destroyed homes? Is it true the ZNLWVA want to combine forces with the Zimbabwe Liberators Peace Initiative, a rival war veterans faction?  The programme has an interesting end. After saying war veterans were free to join any political party of their choice including the MDC we secretly recorded a conversation between Jabulani Sibanda and the man he tortured while he was in prison, Remember Moyo an MDC security official (acquitted of murdering, Cain Nkala- a war veteran leader). A dramatic last 5 minutes is in store as the tortured confronts his torturer. The war veterans leader did not know the conversation was being recorded. Unethical? Maybe, but the truth is a rare commodity in Zimbabwe.
Lance Guma
SW Radio Africa
SW Radio Africa is Zimbabwe's only independent radio station broadcasting from the United Kingdom. The station is staffed by exiled Zimbabwean journalists who because of harsh media laws cannot broadcast from home. Access broadcasts on Medium Wave -1197KHZ between 5-7am (Zimbabwean time) and 24 hours on the internet at Broadcast archives are also available on our site.
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Zim Online
Squatter camp demolished under UN envoy's nose
Thu 30 June 2005

HARARE – Armed police yesterday demolished the sprawling Porta Farm squatter camp near Harare leaving more than 1 000 families homeless as United Nations envoy Anna Tibaijuka met President Robert Mugabe in the capital just 20km away.

Tibaijuka is in Zimbabwe to assess the impact of the mass evictions of poor families under Mugabe’s controversial urban clean-up drive that has attracted a chorus of condemnation from the UN, European Union, United States, Zimbabwean and international human rights groups.

Human rights lawyers were by last night still frantically trying to file an urgent application in court to bar the police from removing residents from Porta Farm where they were dumped 15 years ago by the government after another clean-up campaign carried out around Harare ahead of the 1991 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.

"We are filing an urgent application to stop the evictions," the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights’ Rangu Nyamurundira told ZimOnline.

RESIDENTS watch in horror as police demolish their homes in Harare. The "clean up" campaign moved on to Porta Farm squatter camp yesterday.

Ten years ago, the Porta families were able to obtain a High Court order barring the government from evicting them from the place. But the families appeared to have been caught by surprise this time round when police and bulldozers suddenly descended on the camp that the government had since last month skipped as it demolished several other shanty towns around Harare.

More than 1 050 primary school children and 400 high school students who attend school at the camp will have to drop out if evicted with their families.

Earlier in the day, Tibaijuka told journalists after her meeting with Mugabe that she had had a “good discussion” with the Zimbabwean leader, who insists the clean-up campaign that has made close to a million people homeless is vital to restore the beauty of Zimbabwe’s cities and to smash an illegal black market for basic goods and foreign currency in short supply in the country.

Mugabe speaking separately to journalists, said he had told Tibaijuka that his government had exercised restraint postponing the clean-up operation until after Zimbabwe’s general election last March because the government did not want to appear to be destabilising the opposition’s urban support base.

The President said he had also told the UN envoy that his cash-strapped government would somehow find resources for a US$300 million programme to build houses for evicted families between now and 2010. Mugabe said Tibaijuka had been “quite receptive” to his explanations.

As Tibaijuka headed for Harare’s Mbare suburb straight after talks with Mugabe to go and inspect huge informal market and industry sites there razed down by the police in the past four weeks, police were burning down Porta farm and bundling families into trucks for relocation to an overcrowded holding camp at Caledonia Farm, east of the capital.

"We have been given until 6pm to move out or risk our belongings being burnt together with our houses," said a distraught Jonas Matereke, who has lived at Porta Farm since 1991.

He added: "We have been told that we will be transported to Caledonia Farm. We fear a disease outbreak at that ‘Keep’.”

Keep refers to the notorious protected villages (camps) set up by Zimbabwe’s former white supremacist rulers across the country at the height of Zimbabwe’s 1970s independence war. Villagers would be forced to stay in the camps in a bid to stop them from supplying the liberation guerrillas with food.

The evicted families, most of whom said they had no alternative homes to go to because they were third generation Zimbabweans whose parents originally came from Malawi or Zambia, said police had told them to take their basic belongings only.

"They told us when we get to Caledonia Farm we will have to leave our furniture at the gate before entering the camp. We are not allowed to take any electrical goods such as televisions into the camp. They said the television sets would be auctioned to raise money to feed us there," said Ashton Shumba a human rights activist at the settlement.

Meanwhile, the police were also frantically battling to decongest Caledonia Farm where more than 4 000 people have since May been living without clean water or toilets until non-governmental organisations (NGOs) stepped in to provide these about two weeks ago.

Initially the government had prevented the NGOs from helping the families at Caledonia saying it would take care of the situation itself.

More than 200 families had by Wednesday been moved out of Caledonia with some taken to Sally Mugabe Heights, a settlement along the highway to Domboshava rural business centre north-east of Harare. Other families were moved to Seke communal lands south-east of Harare.

Some NGO officials suggested that the removal of people from Caledonia was meant to hoodwink Tibaijuka by ensuring that when she finally visits the camp, it will not be as congested as is the case now.

But Social Welfare Minister Nicholas Goche rejected the claims saying people were being removed from the camp because it was only a transit settlement. He said: “It must be understood that it is a transit camp. We are not providing them (evicted families) with permanent homes there.” - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Doctors down tools
Thur 30 June 2005

      HARARE - Junior and middle-ranking doctors at Zimbabwe's biggest
referral Parirenyatwa hospital have gone on strike over fuel and the
national doctors' association last night said it expected the job action to
spread to other hospitals today.

      Junior and middle-ranking doctors run Zimbabwe's public hospitals with
senior doctors and other specialists only visiting state hospitals to treat
patients on specific days but spend most of their time at their more
lucrative private clinics.

      President of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association that represents
junior and middle level doctors, Takawira Chinyama, told ZimOnline last
night that the medical practitioners had downed tools to protest the
government's failure to provide them with fuel to travel to hospitals.

      Doctors were now spending most of their time waiting in queues for
fuel at garages instead of being in hospitals treating patients, Chinyama

      "The fuel support system to junior doctors is not adequate," Chinyama
said. The doctors are also unhappy over a car loan scheme saying the money
they are being given under the scheme is not enough to buy a modest car.

      Health Minister David Parirenyatwa could not be reached for comment on
the matter last night.

      Zimbabwe is in the grip of an acute fuel shortage because there is no
hard cash to pay foreign suppliers of fuel.

      Chinyama said junior doctors were getting about 120 litres of fuel per
week which he said was not enough but worse still was no longer coming since
the fuel crisis worsened weeks ago.

      Some doctors at Zimbabwe's second biggest hospital, Harare Central
hospital had by last night also joined the strike but Chinyama warned there
will be no doctors at most state hospitals across the country beginning
today as the strike spreads.

      Strikes by state doctors and nurses either for better pay or working
conditions have become routine as Zimbabwe's public health sector, once the
envy of many developing nations, crumbles after years of under-funding and

      Equipment is largely derelict in the state hospitals many of which do
not have essential drugs, again because there is no hard cash to pay foreign

      A massive brain drain as doctors and nurses seek better paying jobs
abroad has only helped exacerbate the situation at state hospitals, which
remain the only source of health services for more than 80 percent of
Zimbabweans. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Inflation to surge to 200 percent
Thur 30 June 2005
  HARARE - A more than 300 percent increase in the price of fuel announced
by the Zimbabwe government this week will trigger price increases across the
board and push inflation to between 180 and 200 percent by year-end, a
prominent economic analyst told ZimOnline yesterday.

      Zimbabwe's inflation, declared enemy number one by President Robert
Mugabe, dropped from an all time high of 622.8 percent in January 2004 to
144.4 percent at present and remains one of the highest such rates in the

      Independent economic analyst Eric Bloch, who is also an adviser to
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono, said production was
already below capacity because of fuel shortages and a variety of other
problems, a situation he said was also inflationary.

      The massive fuel price hike coupled with a number of other factors
such as new wage increases coming into effect tomorrow would see inflation
surging up again, Bloch said.

      He said: "Productivity is already down because of fuel shortages which
is inflationary at the end of the day . . . inflation is bound to go up
because of a whole host of problems such as the devaluation of the local
dollar at the foreign currency auction floors, the new wages which come into
effect on July 1 and this recent increase in fuel prices will see inflation
going up to between 180 and 200 percent by year-end."

      Bloch's prediction is way above the central bank's inflation target of
between 50 and 80 percent by December 2005.

      The RBZ had at the beginning of the year predicted inflation, then on
a downward spiral, to end the year between 20 and 35 percent but later
adjusted the target saying the cost of massive food imports after poor
harvests would fuel inflation.

      An acute economic crisis gripping the country, blamed on President
Robert Mugabe's controversial economic policies and repression, has
manifested itself in hyperinflation, unemployment of 70 percent and
shortages of nearly every other basic survival commodity because there is no
hard cash to pay foreign suppliers of raw materials and industrial machine

      The International Monetary Fund, which withdrew financial assistance
to Zimbabwe six years ago, said in a statement earlier this week that Harare
must urgently restore relations with the international community in order to
get help to rescue its comatose economy. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Harare compels public to surrender their guns
Thur 30 June 2005
  HARARE - Zimbabwe police have ordered all civilians to surrender firearms
in what insiders said was a precautionary measure in a charged country after
the government demolished thousands of homes and informal businesses in a
controversial urban clean-up exercise.

      Police at the weekend said they were revoking licences for all
automatic rifles and some types of pistols and said civilians owning such
weapons had until today to surrender them. The law enforcement agency did
not give reasons for the action but warned Zimbabweans that they could be
prosecuted for failing to hand in their guns.

      A statement issued by the police read in part: "Police would like to
advise members of the public that firearm licences of the following
self-loading weapon: G3, FN 7.62mm rifles and scorpion pistols have since
been revoked in terms of Sub-Section 7 of Section 6 of the Firearms Act
(Chapter) 10: 09) . . . possession of the above-listed firearms is now

      Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, in charge of the police, could not
be reached for comment on the matter yesterday.

      But sources at police headquarters in Harare said the move was just
precautionary to ensure such weapons could not be used by civilians should
tension gripping Zimbabwe in the wake of the government's clean-up exercise
erupt into public violence.

      "The ban is targeted at all automatic weapons which the government
fears could pose a security threat in the country should the civil strife in
Zimbabwe turn violent," said a source, who did not want to be named for fear
of victimisation.

      This is not the first time that the government has cancelled firearm
licences. At the peak of its chaotic and often violent farm seizure
programme in 2000, the government issued a decree compelling civilians to
surrender their guns. The move was targeted at white commercial farmers who
at that time held a number of assault guns for self-protection.

      Zimbabwe's security forces have been on high alert since the
government launched a "clean-up" campaign last month that has left close to
a million people without shelter after their shanty homes were demolished. -

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Zim Online

Blair tells Zimbabwe's neighbours to step up pressure on Mugabe
Thur 30 June 2005
      LONDON - British Prime Minister Tony Blair yesterday stepped up the
pressure on African leaders when he called on neighbouring African countries
to help address the crisis in Zimbabwe.

      Speaking in the House of Commons, Blair said: "We will continue to
exert all the pressure we can ... But in the end the best pressure will come
from those countries surrounding Zimbabwe.

      "We have to make sure that African countries realise the deep
responsibility there is to sort this out themselves," he said.

      Last week, Blair also called on African leaders to speak out against
the human rights abuses in Zimbabwe which has seen 46 000 people arrested
and close to a million people evicted from their homes in a campaign the
government says is necessary to smash the illegal foreign currency parallel
market and restore the beauty of cities and towns.

      The United States, Britain, United Nations local and international
human rights groups have all criticised the crackdown as a violation of the
rights of the poor.

      UN envoy Anna Taijubika is already in the country probing the extent
of the crackdown.

      Blair said failure by African leaders to speak out against the crisis
in Zimbabwe might adversely affect plans to help reduce poverty on the
continent as it would be difficult to source aid for Africa with such a
prominent example of "abuses of governance and corruption" in Zimbabwe.

      "We are going to the G8 (Group of Eight) to try to make the case for
helping poverty in Africa. There is no doubt at all that it is harder to
make that case whilst abuses of governance and corruption occur in African
countries," he said.

      But South Africa, which has pursued a policy of "quiet diplomacy"
towards Harare, last week expressed "irritation" at Britain's attempt to
nudge African leaders to step up pressure on Mugabe saying the approach
smacked of scare tactics by Britain ahead of the G8 meeting next month.

      Meanwhile, the chairman of the New Partnership for Africa's
Development (Nepad) Business Foundation, Reul Khoza has accused the African
Union (AU) of "shirking its responsibility" by refusing to intervene in
Zimbabwe following the eviction of at least a million people in the country.

      "The AU and Nepad should be the ones leading pronouncements on
anything such as this that causes pain and tribulations to African people,
rather than shirk this responsibility," he said.

      Last week, AU spokesman Desmond Orjiako said it was not proper to
intervene in Zimbabwe as the evictions were an "internal matter," remarks
which were swiftly criticised by most Western governments and human rights
groups. - ZimOnline

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The Times

            June 30, 2005

            Hunger strikers 'bullied' by centre staff
            By Daniel McGrory

            IMMIGRATION officials were accused last night of bullying
Zimbabwean detainees in an attempt to break their hunger strike. Alleged
ringleaders of the protest have apparently been moved into solitary
            Detainees told The Times that they were threatened by staff at
several detention centres and told that they would be the first to be
deported once the Government lifts the present, unofficial freeze on forced

            The Home Office has told immigration chiefs to halt all removals
until after the G8 summit.

            Human rights groups and MPs condemned the threats being made
against hunger strikers. The Labour MP Kate Hoey said: "This just shows how
desperate the Government is to end the hunger strike before they host the G8

            "This is shocking behaviour and not what you expect of our
Government. I'm sure the British public will be shocked by this sort of
bullying tactic."

            She will visit detainees today at the Harmondsworth removal
centre near Heathrow, where two men are said to have been moved into an
isolation unit. They are not allowed any contact with the other Zimbabweans,
who are now on the ninth day of their fast.

            One 26-year-old man, who did not want his name published, said
that in a late-night visit staff at the centre accused him of being a
protest organiser: "They told me 'Make your group give up the hunger strike'.
They were looking for a scapegoat. I am not the ringleader.

            "We are all keeping up the fast as a show of solidarity and we
will continue to do so. Staff have told us the deportations have stopped,
but for how long?"

            The detainee, who is a qualified nurse and trained at a UK
university, said: "I know it is difficult for Tony Blair to have us refusing
food but he must know why we are harming ourselves. If we are sent home, we
will be in much greater danger."

            Zimbabwe refugee groups say similar threats have been made at
other removal centres.

            Mafungasei Maikokera, 24, who has been held at the Yarlswood
womens' detention centre for the past six months, said that staff there
demanded that she reveal the name of the protest leader among the hunger
strikers there.

            "They threatened to put me in solitary confinement unless I stop
the protest. Stopping now because deportations are halted until G8 is over
is not a good enough reason. The authorities are just trying to cover their
backs until after the summit. What will the Government say if one of us

            A group of Zimbabwean doctors working in Britain asked yesterday
to make an urgent visit to check on the hunger strikers.

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Stuff, New Zealand

Black Caps should not tour - Zimbabwean archbishop
30 June 2005

Catholic Archbishop of Zimbabwe Pius Ncube says the New Zealand cricket team
should stay away from Zimbabwe amid growing concern over human rights abuses
under the Robert Mugabe-led regime.

The Black Caps are scheduled to tour Zimbabwe in July and New Zealand
Cricket appears determined to go ahead, citing contractual obligations.

But Archbishop Ncube said the Black Caps should not be sent to Zimbabwe
given the human rights abuses in the country.

"Where a man is clearly out to thieve and kill to maintain himself, then all
sanctions should be applied against the man and also against his government.

"So, such a trip is ill-advised," he told National Radio from Rome where he
is meeting with the Pope.

"The New Zealand team, if they have any respect for human life, for the
Zimbabweans who are suffering...the New Zealand team would do well and
honourably not to go to Zimbabwe."

Archbishop Ncube likened the Mugabe regime's move to drive people out of the
cities and into the country by bulldozing their homes to the "killing
fields" in Cambodia under Pol Pot.

"It's a very vicious operation meant to punish people in towns for voting
against Mugabe."
He said that under Mugabe, Zimbabwe had slid into desperation after once
being one of the richest countries in Africa and now faced starvation.

"In the next four, five months, people might die in camps - thousands if not
hundreds of thousands."

Archbishop Ncube has himself been the target of the Mugabe regime.

In March, the information secretary of Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, Nathan
Shamuyarira, attacked the archbishop's calls for "a non-violent popular

"He is a mad, inveterate liar. He has been lying for the past two years,"
Shamuyarira said of the archbishop.
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The Times

            June 30, 2005

            The Times interview with President Bush: transcript
            Roland Watson, Washington Correspondent, and Gerard Baker, US
Editor, interview President Bush at The White House, June 29, 2005

            PRESIDENT BUSH: Shall we skip straight to the questions, or you
want to -- okay.

            Looking forward to the G8. First of all, I enjoy the experience
of working with leaders. Can imagine, respect and Tony Blair, I'm fond of
Tony Blair, I appreciate -- I like being around him. It's an enjoyable
experience. I like to be with all the leaders. I find it to be a heady
experience and it energises me.

            Secondly, I'm looking forward to the topics. There will be
discussions other than the well-known topics. Hopefully discuss the
Palestinian peace, the Middle Eastern peace in a Palestinian state.
Hopefully we'll talk the freedom agenda. I think we will. I know we'll talk
about Africa. I look  forward to talking about Africa. We got a great record
in Africa, and the reason we got a great record in Africa is that I believe
that, in the admonition, "To whom much has been given, much is required."
And I can't wait to share ideas about what we can do going forward.

            I'm looking forward to the discussion on climate. This is an
opportunity to take the world, the dialogue that the world watches, beyond

            I fully recognise my decision in Kyoto was unpopular. I had a
reason for doing so. I've explained it for now three or four years, as to
why. But there's a lot we can do together. And we got a good record, and we
got some important things to share. We're spending a lot of money on
research and development. We got a, you know, we got a strategy to move
forward. And at this moment, it is important to bring developing countries
into the dialogue. And Tony Blair did a smart thing by inviting developing

            It'll be a great opportunity to be able to discuss not only how
we can be good stewards of the environment, but how we can develop
strategies to become less dependent on hydrocarbons and fossil fuels. And so
I'm looking forward to it, I really am, I'm looking forward to getting back
to Scotland. Which is going to be a neat experience for me. So let's go
around the horn a couple of times here.

            INTERVIEWER: Billions of dollars flow out of the US every year
in trade and aid to the developing world. And that figure, as you mentioned,
has risen significantly on your watch. But having said that, the US
Government still gives only .16 per cent of its GDP to overseas aid. Is that
enough? And have you got anything else to offer?

            PRESIDENT BUSH: We will have -- we'll make some more
commitments. First of all, the way I like to describe our relationship with
Africa is one of partnership. That's different than a relationship of
cheque-writer. In other words, partnership means that we've got obligations
and so do the people we're trying to help. Sense of working together. We
have a partnership when it comes to African growth and opportunity, GOAL it
is. It's an aggressive trade pact that President Clinton started and I, with
Congress, and then I signed extensions to it. It's working. Truth of the
matter is, when you really think about how to get wealth distributed, aid is
one way but it doesn't compare to trade and commerce. And we've opened up
markets and we're beginning to see a payoff, you know, more commerce, but as
well the effects of commerce - entrepreneurship, small  businesses.

            My Millennium Challenge Account initiative is a new way of
approaching how we work together in partnership to alleviate poverty and
hunger -- listen, Americans want to deal with poverty and hunger. Disease.
But they don't want their money being spent on governments that do not focus
attention on health, education, markets, anti-corruption devices. I can't,
in good faith, say, let's continue to be generous -- after all, you did
mention tripling the money -- but I can't guarantee the money is being spent
properly. It's just not good stewardship of our own money, nor is it
effective in helping the people.

            And so the Millennium Challenge Account is an approach that I
sponsored and strongly back. We got to do a better job at getting the money
out the door, so Congress will continue to embrace the Millennium Challenge.
We've got programs going, but they're slower than I want. And as a result,
Congress is saying, well, this is such an important program, how come you're
not getting the money out the door. And I'm convinced, once we get money
going out the door and we can show tangible results, we'll be able to fund a
lot more programmes.

            Thirdly. Our approach, as well, has been when we see disaster,
let's move in to help people. Recently, I announced a $674 million food
package. I could proudly proclaim at the G8 that the United States feeds
more of the hungry than any nation in the world. And you know, fourthly, it
is important for people to understand that the contribution of the citizens
of the United States is made not only through taxpayers' money but through
private contributions.

            Our tax system  encourages people to do this. And so, you know,
the calculation of whatever you said, point oh something GDP, is one way to
look at it. My point to our friends in the G8 and to the African nations is
that each country differs as to how we structure our taxes and how we
contribute to help. And our contribution has been significant and there will
be some more.

            INTERVIEWER: Mr President, one country there's a little concern
about, as you know, in Britain, particularly, is Zimbabwe.

            PRESIDENT BUSH: Yeah.

            INTERVIEWER: Which is headed by a brutal tyrant --

            PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes he is. I think I've called him that.

            INTERVIEWER: Right.

            PRESIDENT BUSH: Yeah, make sure - when the South African press
was here with Mbeki, they quoted back my words. I think I might have used
those words, but go ahead.

            SCOTT MCCLELLAN (WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN): I'm not sure the exact
words, but it's similar.

            INTERVIEWER: Okay. Well, he is a tyrant as you say -

            PRESIDENT BUSH: He's a tyrant. He's ruined a wonderful country,
a country that used to not only feed Africa, in other words, an exporter of
food, and now an importer of food, because of the decisions that he has
made. Go ahead.

            INTERVIEWER: Should it be the responsibility of other African
countries to do more to isolate that country, and should you make what they
do a condition of rich countries giving them aid? And they don't seem to
take this seriously.

            PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes. See, I think programmes that -- I forgot to
mention HIV-Aids, by the way. Significant commitment. Now, and the reason I
have just thought of HIV-Aids, our programs are really designed to help
people. For example, I've always said we should never use food as a
diplomatic weapon. And therefore, I think we ought to use the fact that
we're working in partnership with countries as an opportunity to convince
him to -- convince Mugabe to make different decisions. On the other hand, I
don't think we ought to make -- or allow his tyranny to cause others to
suffer on the continent of Africa.

            I'm convinced the closer our ties grow as a result of
collaborative efforts -- again, the aid programme that I think about is one
that requires governments to work closely together in partnership. I keep
emphasising that, but that's a different approach to development.
Partnership when it comes to trade, partnership when it comes to taking
direct taxpayers' money  -- or taxpayers' money directly and spending it in
such a way that with a government that is committed to people.

            But those kinds of programmes enable us to be more influential
on the other foreign policy concerns of the particular countries, so no, I
don't think we ought to, you know, punish the people of Africa because of
the man in Zimbabwe. He's already done that. But I do think we ought to
continue to speak clearly about, you know, the decisions he has made. And I
do. As does the Prime Minister of Britain, Great Britain.

            INTERVIEWER: On the other main G8 topic, climate change, do you
believe the Earth is in fact getting warmer, and if so do you believe that
it is man who is making it warmer?

            PRESIDENT BUSH: I believe that greenhouse gases are creating a
problem, a long-term problem that we got to deal with. And we are -- step
one of dealing with it is to fully understand the nature of the problem so
that the solutions that follow make sense.

            And I think one of the interesting points that I made earlier
that I'll continue to make, is that there's an interesting confluence now
between dependency upon fossil fuels from a national economic security
perspective, as well as the consequences of burning fossil fuels for
greenhouse gases.

            And that's why it's important for our country to do two things.

            One is to diversify away from fossil fuels, which we're trying
to do. We're leading the -- I think we're spending more money than any
collection of nations when it comes to not only research and development of
new technologies, but of the science of global warming. You know, laid out
an initiative for hydrogen fuel cells. We've got a lot -- we're doing a lot
of work on carbon sequestration. We hope to have a zero emissions coal-fired
electricity plants available for the United States as well as neighbours and
friends and developing nations.

            I'm a big believer that nuclear power, the newest generation of
nuclear power, ought to be a source of energy and we ought to be sharing
these technologies with developing countries. I'm going to talk to the Prime
Minister of India about that when he comes to see me.

            One of these days, I'm actually convinced that bio-diesel will
become an economic form of energy here in America. We're going to need more
diesel engines to begin with, but I put regulations in place, by the way,
that cuts the emissions from diesel engines by about 95 per cent. It's a
collaborative effort between manufacturers, government, regulators that is a
substantial change in the -- will cause a substantial change in the amount
of emissions from diesel engines.

            In summary, technology with the right government focus and help
is going to change how we live and will make us more economically secure in
doing so, and we're leading the way. And I want to talk with my friends in
the G8 about how we can work together in such a way to do so.

            There are interesting -- I think the people, your readers would
be interested to know, the market also is working. The hybrid automobiles,
mainly manufactured by the Japanese or only manufactured by the Japanese, at
least in our country, are now taking off. I think there's only a market
penetration of a couple of hundred thousand, demand is huge now for them.

            We've got, in the energy bill, which I think I'll be signing
here before the August break, there's a pretty good size tax credit for
those who purchase a hybrid automobile, and truth of the matter is for us to
fully deal with the, you know, greenhouse gases as well as our dependency
upon  fossil fuels. We're going to have to figure out how to drive, you
know, drive better. Going to have to figure out better engines for our cars
and different fuel sources for cars.

            INTERVIEWER: Mr President, last night you talked about, you
mentioned [] becoming a haven for Jihadists, there's been a CIA report which
says that Iraq is in danger of -- are you at risk of creating kind of more
of the problems that actually led directly to --?

            PRESIDENT BUSH: No. Quite the contrary. We're going to -- this
is where you win the war on terror is go to the battlefield and you take
them off. And that's what they've done. They've said, "Look, let's go fight.
This is the place." And that was my point. My point is, is that there is an
ideology of hatred, an ideology that's got a vision of a world where the
extremists dictate the lives, dictate to millions of Muslims. They do want
to topple government in the Middle East. They do want us to withdraw.
They're interested in exporting violence. After all, look at what happened
after September 11.

            One way for your readers to understand what their vision is to
think about what life was like under the Taleban in Afghanistan. So we made
a decision to protect ourselves and remove Saddam Hussein. The Jihadists
made a decision to come into Iraq to fight us. For a reason. They know that
if we're successful Afghanistan -- in Iraq, like we were in Afghanistan,
that it'll be a serious blow to their ideology.

            And the interesting thing about this debate is you've got to
first understand, or believe, that we are dealing with people that have got
an ideology and a kind of world vision. That was part of the 2004 campaign,
as you might remember, the debate was, is this a law enforcement measure or
is  this a War on Terror. And so my speech last night was reminding people
about what I believe.

            General Abizaid told me something very early in this campaign I
thought was very interesting, very capable man, he's a Arab-American who I
find to be a man of great depth and understanding. When we win in
Afghanistan and Iraq, it's a beginning of the end. Talking about  the War on
Terror. If we don't win here, it's the beginning of the beginning. And
that's how I view it. And that's what that speech said last night.

            And the context of September 11 was this. We learned firsthand
the nature of the War on Terror on September 11. When the war first came
here, is what I said. And last time I went to Europe I said something which
is true, I said -- and many in Europe viewed September 11 as a tragic
moment, but a moment. I viewed it, view September the 11 as an attack as a
result of a larger war that changed how I view the world and how many other
Americans view the world. It was one of the moments in history that changed
outlook. So as long as I'm sitting here in this Oval Office, I will never
forget the lessons of September 11, and that is that we are in a  global war
against cold-blooded killers.

            And you're seeing that now being played out in Iraq, and we're
going to win in Iraq and we're going to win because, one, we're going to
find him and bring him to justice, and two, we're going to train Iraqis so
they can do the fighting. Iraqis don't want foreign fighters in their
country, stopping the progress toward freedom. And the notion that people
want to be free was validated by the over 8 million people who voted. Which
happened not all that long ago, although it appears -- it seems to be a long
time ago. It wasn't all that long ago the people were saying, these people
don't really want to be free. And in fact, 8 million of them showed up, or
over eight.

            And now we're back to a period where we're, you know, moving
along the road forward, we're on a dual track between a security process and
a political process, and the political process is about to have a key
moment, which is writing the constitution, and I think it will be written on

            In a document that will embolden others in the Middle East.

            And the other point I made last night was just very important
for people to understand, is that there is a freedom movement taking place
around the world. You've seen it in Europe, with the Ukraine, and Georgia,
and we're seeing it in the Middle East. And again, the debate was whether or
not certain people can, you know, can be free or not. If you would review my
Whitehall speech, I made that point.

            And frankly, I rejected the kind of intellectual elitism of some
around  the world who say, "Well, maybe certain people can't be free." I
don't believe that. Of course was labeled a, you know, blatant idealist. But
I am. Because I do believe people want to be free, regardless of their
religion or where they're from. I do believe women should be empowered in
the Middle East. I don't believe we ought to accept forms of government that
ultimately create a hopelessness that then can be translated into Jihadist
violence. And I believe strongly that the ultimate way you defeat an
ideology is with a better ideology. And history has proven that. Anyway, you
got me going. Starting to give the whole speech again.

            INTERVIEWER: Let me just -

            PRESIDENT BUSH: That was an important moment. However, it's not
the first time I've talked to the nation about the way forward, and it won't
be the last time I talk to the nation about the way forward.

            My job is to occasionally, you know, go out above the filter and
speak directly to the  people. I did so at the Inaugural Address, I've done
so at the State of the Unions, I do so here, and I must continually remind
people, make the connection between the -- two things.

            I think I've probably given you more than you need, but two
things that are very important for people to understand is, one, I firmly
know that we got to defeat them there, face them there, or we'll face them
again. Here or in Great Britain or anywhere else where somebody's bold
enough to say, "We want to be free."

            And the other point is, is that we're laying a foundation for
peace that free societies ultimately yield peace. And I like to remind
people that one of my close collaborators and friends, somebody I'll see in
Scotland, is Prime Minister Koizumi of Japan, and it wasn't all that long
ago in the march of history that Japan was our mortal enemy. And I'm
convinced that they're not a mortal enemy because we helped rebuild the
country and at the same time, helped them develop a democracy.

            INTERVIEWER: Iran, quickly. About the new Iranian President, he
was a ringleader of the students who took Americans hostage in 1979. He said
today, the wave of the Islamic revolution will soon reach the entire world.
Is this the kind of guy you can -- the US and its European allies can really
do business with?

            PRESIDENT BUSH: Time will tell. The first interface, serious
interface with the west will be on the EU-3 discussions about the nuclear
ambitions of Iran. And our position is very clear. And that is, is that they
should not be able to develop the technologies that will enable the
enrichment of  uranium which will ultimately yield a nuclear weapon. I say
that because they tried to do that clandestinely before, which obviously
shows that there's a conspiratorial nature in their thinking.

            And secondly, that their stated objective is the destruction of
Israel, for example. In diplomacy, it's important to establish common goals.
Once you establish a common goal and common objective, it then makes it much
easier to work together to achieve diplomatic ends. Our common goal is that
Iran should not have a nuclear weapon. That is, people universally recognise
that as a valid goal. We're hooked together on that.

            Our position, and I think the position of the EU-3 is that you
shouldn't -- if that's the case, you shouldn't have the means to develop the
nuclear  weapon. And so the first test as to, as you said, whether or not he
can relate to the West will be on this issue, it seems like to me. And I
want to thank the foreign ministers of Great Britain, German and France for
working in that collaborative way to send that constant, persistent message
to the Iranians.

            INTERVIEWER: Tony Blair has taken great risks and shown great
loyalty to you over the last four years, and at occasion at great cost to
himself domestically. What have you done for him, and is it enough?

            PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, the decisions we have made have laid the
foundation of peace for generations. His decision-making was based upon what
he thought was best for the free world, for Great Britain and the free
world. What doesn't happen in our relationship is we sit down here and
calculate how best we can help each other personally. That's not our -- our
job is to represent something greater than that.

            And you know, we've had several press avails together and one of
the undercurrents has always been, you know, quid pro quo. Leaders think
about visions that are positive, hopeful and optimistic, and you work toward
them. And that's what's led my decision-making process, it's what led --
that's why we are a great alliance. Allies work together for the common
good. And  that's what we have a chance to do in the G8, work together for
the common good. In a smart way.

            I admire Tony Blair, admire Tony Blair because he's a man of his
word. I admire Tony Blair because he's a leader with a vision, a vision that
I happen to agree with. A vision that freedom is universal and freedom will
lead to peace. I admire him because in the midst of political heat, he
showed backbone. And you know, and so he's been a good ally for America. And
guess what, Americans admire him too.

            INTERVIEWER: Very quick question on Europe. Europe is in turmoil
at the moment politically. Tony Blair takes over the presidency of the EU on
Friday. He wants to push -- he has a vision of an EU which is open, which is
open to trade, which is liberalises its markets, which is conomically  free
and dynamic. And he's got a struggle on his hands.

            PRESIDENT BUSH: Yeah.

            INTERVIEWER: You said you want a strong Europe.

            PRESIDENT BUSH: Right.

            INTERVIEWER: A strong and integrated Europe. What's your vision
of a strong and integrated Europe?

            PRESIDENT BUSH: My vision is one that is economically strong,
where the entrepreneurial spirit is vibrant. And the reason I say that is
because Europe's our largest trading partner. We trade a trillion a year.
And it's really helpful for our own economy to have a strong, vibrant
Europe, economic Europe.

            Secondly, a strong Europe is one where we can work in common
cause to spread freedom and democracy. A viable EU is very important for
sending messages to places like the Ukraine, Georgia, Kosovo, that with the
right decision-making by their governments that they're a part of the
greater Europe, which is I think a really important role for the EU. In
terms of helping people who hurt, the EU can be a great partner with the
United States.

            Can do a lot when we collaborate. And obviously we're watching
with interest what is taking place during the recent EU debate, when Josi
Peroso and Prime Minister Yuncker from Luxembourg came, Jean-Claude. And my
message was, was that we want you to succeed, we want you to be a partner,
we want to have a partner that is viable and strong. If you have a friend,
you want your friend to be strong. Strong friends make it easier to get
things done.

            So it's going to be -- it'll be of great interest to me to watch
how the, how the European Union deals with its current problems. But I
believe they will, over time.

            INTERVIEWER: Can I just ask quickly about Scotland. You're
actually arriving in Scotland on your birthday.

            PRESIDENT BUSH: I am.

            INTERVIEWER: And I wondered if you had any plans for a
celebration, that may or may not include haggis.

            PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes, haggis. I was briefed on haggis. No.
(Laughter) Generally, on your birthday you -- my mother used to say, "What
do you want to eat?" and I don't ever remember saying "Haggis, Mom."

            But I'm looking forward to going back to Scotland, I've got fond
memories of Scotland. When -- there's a fellow named James Campbell, who was
a well-known Scottish investment banker from Ivory & Stein, and he had a lot
of friends in Texas, and one of them was my dad. And he had a son, he had a
son my age, and we did an exchange programme, and my year to go to visit

            Scotland was, I think the year we actually moved from Midland,
Texas, to Houston, Texas, quite a dramatic year for me. Anyway, I went there
and spent a month or so on their seed farm, it's a fantastic experience.
First of all, it's a fabulous family. And their farm is beautiful. They
still have the farm, it's still in the family, I'm told by another son,
Jamie is the older son who was my age, and Billy was the person that I then
reconnected with. He was an oil and gas guy, became an oil and gas guy, and
used to come out to Midland, Texas, and we did some deals together. And I
take it he's taken his little entity and built it into a big entity. Very
successful entrepreneur.

            I see Billy on occasion. Actually, Billy and his wife,
Geraldine, and their two kids came to visit Laura and me, I want to say last
year we went to Camp David, and so we're in touch, and then I saw the Queen
gave a beautiful dinner for us at Buckingham Palace, and Gammell showed up
in his kilt. And I said, "Look, buddy, you can wear your kilt, but I'm not
going to wear one." That's all right.

            INTERVIEWER: Gleneagles is the most famous golf course in the
world. Are you going to have some time for -

            PRESIDENT BUSH: I'm afraid Blair has got us over-scheduled. And
he didn't -- he wants us to work, as opposed to get a lot of recreation. I'm
looking forward to walking the links, if possible. If I can get a -- I'm an
exercise person, and I'd like to get some exercise. Laura's going over
there, so she and I can walk around together, holding hands in the Scottish

            Listen, thanks, guys, for coming. I appreciate it.

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It's just not cricket!

Hi to all fellow people who care about Zimbabwe:

As we all know,
New Zealand is scheduled to play cricket with Zimbabwe in September. If they do not go ahead with the tour, New Zealand Cricket will face a NZ$2.5 million fine, most of which will go to the very government in Zimbabwe perpetrating atrocities every day.

We feel that because of the dire state of affairs in Zimbabwe, because of the forced eviction of 300 000 innocent people from their homes - people who will probably perish because of a lack of the basic necessities of life like food, shelter and safety, this is n o time to play cricket.

We urge you to put pressure on the International Cricket Council (ICC) to have
Zimbabwe suspended from the organisation by emailing the ICC or calling them daily – there is an email template on their website Click through and fill in genuine and personal emails expressing concern for the people of Zimbabwe and call to have Zimbabwe suspended from playing international sport. If you know the personal emails of specific ICC management staff, even better. Let's flood their website demanding that Zimbabwe be excluded from international cricket and that relations with that country cannot be normalised until drastic changes are made.

Also please go to and sign the petition to be submitted to the New Zealand Government. The “What you can do” page on that site has suggested actions you can take today to voice your opposition to the cricketers representing New Zealand in Zimbabwe.

Here are some facts you may want to consider when writing your email to the ICC - as of
28 June 2005:


  • New Zealand's cricketers remain certain they will be touring trouble-plagued Zimbabwe in August...

·         Mugabe is the patron of Zimbabwean cricket.

·         Since the May 19, “Operation Murambatsvina” police have torched and bulldozed tens of thousands [of houses], street stalls and -- amid acute food shortages -- vegetable gardens planted by the urban [people].

·         As many as 4,000 Zimbabweans are dying every week from starvation and AIDS.

·         The country requires 1.2 million tonnes in food aid or four million people out of a population of about 12 million will starve.

·         Life expectancy is 33 years.

·         Food supplies for some towns have been stolen by army soldiers.

·         Food production has fallen by about 60 percent since the farm seizures five years ago.

·         The World Health Organisation (WHO) has received an urgent call for help to fight a cholera outbreak ravaging its eastern Nyanga district.

·         The Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) is alleging rampant physical and verbal abuse of prisoners by prison wardens and fellow inmates in Zimbabwe's prisons.

·         200 international human rights organisations made a public statement stating that African leaders should address the increasing spate of human rights abuses, infringements and violations urgently and promptly at the forthcoming AU Assembly in Libya.

·         Independent estimates of the number affected [by this forced demolition of houses and removal of people from their homes] range from 300,000 to 1.5 million. Police acknowledge 120,000.

·         Zimbabwe government made an announcement of a "national housing scheme" in which an unbudgeted three trillion Zimbabwean dollars (£170 million) would be allocated to build two million houses in the next five years!!

·         The ICC had their annual meeting yesterday 28 June 2005 and did not discuss the situations in Zimbabwe.

Please don’t allow
Zimbabwe to become another statistic. Respect those who have died on Zimbabwean soil.  Help those who struggle daily to live a life in Africa.  Help save the people of Zimbabwe – stop the tour.

  Your participation will make a difference

  Please send this email onto any others who can support this cause.

Thank you for caring.

References / cited in:!OpenDocument

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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Prelude text


Letter 1:

The Future of Agriculture.

When Zimbabwe gained its independence from Britain in 1980 we inherited an
agricultural system which was not only capable of feeding the country but
was also able to do so at prices that were significantly below those of all
our neighboring States. The system generated half our exports, 25 per cent
of GDP and a third of all employment.

The system was then made up of 6 000 large scale farmers - 1200 of them
companies, some with multinational connections, some 800 000 peasant
farmers and 23 000 small scale commercial farmers. The peasant farming
sector generated about half the basic food needs of the country and 70 per
cent of the cotton. The small-scale farmers had the highest average incomes
per capita in the rural sector and the large-scale farmers had a well
deserved reputation for conservation, productivity and quality.

At that time the country was the largest producer and exporter of tobacco,
cotton, beef and white maize in Africa. We also exported sugar, coffee,
timber, tea and a number of other products. Protected initially by the
Lancaster House constitution, the farming industry boomed for the first
decade after independence. Average growth per annum over this time was over
10 per cent per annum and it made a significant contribution to national
growth and output. By 1985 the tobacco industry had recovered from the
years of sanctions and was number three in the world behind the USA and

The land redistribution programme also made steady progress during this
time - some 3,6 million hectares of land was purchased under willing seller
willing buyer arrangements and settled by a significant number of otherwise
landless people. By 1995 commercial farmers occupied 12 million hectares of
land, of which only 8 million was actually owned and occupied by white
farmers. 1200 black large-scale commercial farmers had entered the industry

Today the whole system lies in ruins - some 600 large-scale commercial
farmers remain, but their possession is tenuous and insecure. A number of
foreign owned farming enterprises - some of them very large - continue to
function. But by and large the whole system has collapsed. Food prices are
now well above regional averages and the system can barely produce a third
to half of what the country needs to feed itself.

The network of research stations, manufacturing and distribution companies
that provided inputs and services to the industry have almost all gone.
Fertilizer, seed and chemicals are difficult to find and even more
expensive to buy. Fuel is a constant nightmare and the electricity grid in
rural areas is in a very poor state.

A feature of this collapse that is often overlooked is that the peasant
sector has shown a similar pattern of collapse to that of the large-scale
commercial farming sector. This is despite the fact that it has not been
affected by the same dislocation as the latter. The reasons for this are
many - HIV/Aids, the migration of adults to the cities and neighboring
States and the affect of the deterioration in input supply and other
services. The dislocation of marketing systems and the rise of corruption
in all dealings with farmers has exacerbated the situation. So Zimbabwe now
faces a situation where not only it cannot feed its cities, the peasant
sector is also now a net imported of food.

What is the outlook? I am afraid the outlook is very gloomy. I am told that
when the State President was given the first estimate of winter cropping he
was extremely angry, as plantings are so small. But it is not just that -
much of the winter crop has been planted late - I saw one farmer trying to
plant wheat last week, a full month too late. In addition, shortages of
herbicides and fertilizers will reduce yields. I am also told that tobacco
seed sales - the first indication of next years crop, are half what they
were at this time last year.

Agriculture is not kind to those who abuse her cycles. Tobacco land
preparation should be completed in April, seedbeds in May, other dry land
cropping areas should be prepared no later than July. Early tobacco goes in
shortly - irrigated and reaping can start as early as November. Wheat must
be planted by the 20th of May. Maize must go in before the 15th of

Any disruption of these cycles means lower yields and production and
reaping problems. To achieve them a complex and wide array of resources
must be made available and on time - financing, fertilizer, chemicals,
fuel, seed and equipment must be maintained in the off season so that it is
available during the season. The managers who made all this possible are
gone - driven out of the country by the land invasions, political and
economic uncertainty or just concern about the future of families. It is
not something you can put together again in a short period of time. Some
might say it can never be put back together again.

One thing is absolutely sure, without a stable political and economic
environment, without security of tenure and security of assets, no recovery
is likely. On the contrary, under present conditions the situation can only
get worse. The State continues to dispossess farmers - tobacco farmers are
being forced off their properties with cured crops in their barns. Dairy
farmers are still being harassed and the tiny pockets of remaining
expertise and genetic stocks are being threatened or wiped out by illegal
invasions on the part of politically connected thugs.

The Murambatsvina campaign may be partly designed to force people out of
the towns and into the rural areas to "grow food" but this is unlikely to
happen. Conditions in rural areas are desperate and it is much more likely
that the economically active adults will simply seek greener pastures
across the Limpopo or chose to sit it out in even more squalid camps and
other informal settlements.

Even after the coming political transition, the reconstruction of the rural
economy is going to take many years and will require very careful planning
and implementation. It is unlikely that subsistence peasant style
agriculture will ever be able to feed the nation or replace lost exports.
More than likely Zimbabwe will have to painfully reconstruct its
large-scale commercial farming industry piece by piece. That will require,
contrary to present wisdom, security of tenure underwritten by a new
constitution and a firm undertaking by new leaders that the madness of the
recent past will never be allowed to happen again.

Another factor that must be borne in mind is that any future development in
terms of global warming will make both South Africa and Zimbabwe drier and
the weather unstable. This will make it even more important to re-establish
a sophisticated and well-managed large scale farming industry than before.
This could then be used to foster small-scale commercial agriculture and a
transformation of the peasant sector so that Zimbabwe can regain its
position as a leader on the continent in all things to do with farming.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, 27th June 2005

Letter Number 2

Dear Mr Policeman


Over the past 5 year you have watched

- the commercial farmers and their staff removed from the land. You
said "Nothing I can do. This is political"
- you watched the teachers, doctors, lawyers, judges and others
suppressed by the political powers and when they came to you for help
you said "Nothing I can do. This is political"
- you were instructed to clean up the filth in the towns and the rural
areas. You obeyed your master's instructions and have removed millions of
people from their homes and employment. You say "Nothing I can do. This is
political" I AM JUST DOING MY JOB.

But each and every one of you now has at least one member of your family
who has been displaced by this government's actions. Every one of you has a
member of your family who is starving, has HIV, has left school because
there is no money or no teacher to teach. Every one of you knows somebody
who has died of starvation, disease, cold, over the past year.

And so you are just doing your jobs..obeying your political masters. When
are you going to realise that you have a moral obligation to the people of



Letter number 3

Dear JAG,

Re The End of the Mugabe Era, by Eddie Cross

This masterly account by Eddie Cross moves me to write in hope that he will
see my response.  For months now it has been a privilege to read Eddie's
epistles, they grow in stature from day to day.  Along with Cathy Buckle,
these two are the greatest observers of today's Zimbabwe scene by far.  I
have been away from our country since early 2002, but through their
writings I feel I am still as close as ever, and through them appreciate
what is going on.  May God give them the courage to carry on with this
indispensable work.

In the meantime, the work of Bill Saidi and Pius Wakatama is being sorely

One comment re 'Operation Murambatsvina' - the attaché at the Zimbabwean
Embassy in London was invited on to Radio 5 Live to answer charges about
the tsunami.  Unfortunately for him, he does not know Shona very well, as
he said that it did not mean 'Drive out the trash' (or filth).  Tsvina is
correct Shona for bodily dirt, so what else could it mean?  Nothing
daunted, our man said the procedure was 'Operation Restore Order', blithely
unaware that by all accounts these are two operations going on

If this is the brain-power evident in the Embassy in London, no wonder
things are so messed up by the illegal regime back home!




Lowveld News 24th June 2005

Police details stealing from the people.

On the 20th police details chased and caught a woman on Hippo Valley
Estates who had 4 loaves of bread, she was fined $15,000 and all the bread
was taken away from her, When representatives of the Estate went to the
police station to investigate, they found that there was no report of this
case, obviously those police details robbed this poor woman who was
absolutely petrified of them.

Mkwasine police have visited farms in this area and taken away from the
farmers groceries and other goods that they were storing for their workers
until pay day. The Mkwasine police are saying that the farmers were



Gerry Whitehead

Dear Family and Friends,
There has been a nation wide shortage of petrol and diesel in the country
ever since the March elections which has now got so bad that it has bought
almost everything to a complete standstill.  Petrol stations are either
completely dry and deserted or they are places where rumours of deliveries
are rife and unmoving queues of driverless vehicles snake away into the
distance. There may not be fuel for the everyday things like commuter
buses and delivery trucks but there is still diesel for destruction.
Countrywide the bulldozers continue to growl and roar as they push down
walls, flatten homes and reduce lives to rubble in the fourth week of the
government's Operation Restore Order.

One day this week I met a man who is in his early eighties and was
desperate for just 10 litres of petrol so that he could get his wife to a
specialist for medical treatment. The man has worked all his life in
Zimbabwe and had prepared well for his old age. He hadn't banked on hyper
inflation and economic collapse though and now his entire monthly pension
isn't enough to buy even one litre of petrol. The man sat, counting filthy
hundred dollar notes into piles, trying to work out just how much money he
had and how many notes he would need. It was almost irrelevant that there
was no petrol to buy because the fact was that 10 litres of petrol
represented a years worth of pension cheques.

Later that same day I met another elderly man who stood waiting for me
near my car and greeted me politely as I arrived. "Can you help me,
please. I have nothing to sell and am just an old man." Once a farm worker
until the government seized all the farms, the man had then got a job
working in a garden in the town. Four months ago the government increased
the minimum wage for garden workers by one thousand percent and this
elderly man lost his job. He has become just another helpless, hopeless
victim in Zimbabwe. I did not ask the man where he was living or if his
home had been reduced to a pile of rubble as everywhere there are police,
many police, watching and waiting to "restore order". I pressed a note
into his hand and felt ashamed that an old man who has lost everything,
has been reduced to this.

While the western world watches, condemns, appeals and urges intervention,
the African Union say they will not criticise events in Zimbabwe. An AU
representative speaking on BBC radio said the organisation had other far
more important things to worry about than Zimbabwe. What shame on these
leaders of Africa who will not even appeal for mercy for women and
children, old men and the sick and dying. Will the AU also refuse the
west's cancellation of debt? Will the AU refuse to accept western money
raised by Bob Geldof and the worlds pop stars? What shame on Africa.
With love, cathy. Copyright cathy buckle
25 June 2005
My books "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are available from: ; ; www. amazon .co .uk
in Australia and New Zealand: ; Africa:

Cathy Buckle

Thought for the Day

The Oak trees of Insurrection grow from

the acorns of Tyranny.



All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.

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