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

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Business Day

Africa's recovery plan progressing

ABUJA - African leaders meeting in Abuja have claimed their ambitious plan
to get the continent back on its feet economically has made significant
progress since it kicked off a year ago.
"Substantial progress has been made in many areas as we continue to sharpen
our focus on implementation strategies of this world-acclaimed development
initiative of our continent," Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo said.

The New Partnership for African Development (Nepad), drawn up by African
leaders to eradicate poverty, boost democracy and encourage sustainable
growth in return for increased trade and aid from the developed world, was
launched just over a year ago.

"Nepad has moved beyond the level of mere rhetoric to the concrete and
pragmatic stage of implementation," Obasanjo said on Sunday.

Critics have accused Nepad of being little more than a talking shop which
will make little difference to lives of ordinary Africans, whose continent
has sunk even further into economic misery in recent years.

The leaders resolved "to ensure that this programme makes a qualitative
difference in the lives of our peoples, as compared with our experience of
past initiatives", said Obasanjo.

He listed peace efforts in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory
Coast and Sudan, and help to Zimbabwe to address its economic and political
turmoil as some of the progress made by Nepad since November.

"Our joint resolve to uphold good governance practices and democratic
principles have greatly facilitated the restoration of constitutionality and
the rule of law in some African countries, such as Madagascar," he stated.

The West sees Zimbabwe as a clear example of bad governance. Yet African
governments have refused to isolate Mugabe. Obasanjo said the so-called
"peer review mechanism" had progressed.

Some African states last year adopted the mechanism as a means for leaders
to police each others' rule to ensure sound and democratic governance.
Another criticism levelled at Nepad is that it will eventually fizzle out
having achieved little, as have previous grand plans for Africa drawn up by
international donors. But Obasanjo insisted on Sunday that "we have taken
our time to ensure that the mistakes of the past are not repeated".

The success of Nepad also largely depends on the governments of developed
countries taking it seriously. But their attention is focussed on a possible
war with Iraq, and Africa has been pushed back to the sidelines of world
affairs. The programme is also enjoying support from G8 group of
industrialised nations, the United Nations food agency FAO and the African
Development Bank (ADB).

The ADB has agreed to assist in the implementation of the Nepad short-term
infrastructure plan in addition to co-financing 17 projects to the tune of
$200-million, he said.

Eight African presidents and heads of governments, including the four main
architects of Nepad, attended the summit to review developments on the
continent since the last gathering in November.

They were Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, Nigeria's Obasanjo, Thabo
Mbeki of South Africa and Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria.

Presidents Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, Denis Sassou-Nguesso of the
Republic of Congo, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Angolan Prime
Minister Fernando da Piedade were also present. Wade left for home before
the meeting broke for lunch.

The summit was also due to prepare for the next meeting between African
leaders and the G8 group of industrialised nations in the French town of
Evian on June 1, an official statement said.

A statement is expected to be issued at the end of the summit.

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Natal Witness

 SA reconfirms quiet diplomacy

South Africa has consistently opposed the imposition of sanctions against
the government of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, and on Saturday
repeated its call for diplomacy to solve the crisis affecting its northern

Reacting to the move by U.S. President George W. Bush to freeze assets
belonging to Mugabe and 76 of his goverment officials, Foreign Affairs
spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said: "South Africa has never believed in sanctions
against Zimbabwe. We have put great emphasis on the need for the
international community to assist the people of Zimbabwe."

He said Zimbabwe's parties need to be reconciled, "therefore setting the
basis for economic reconstruction".
Publish Date: 10 March 2003
Source: SAPA AFP
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Daily News

      Squabbles rock Great Zimbabwe University

      3/10/2003 10:51:06 PM (GMT +2)

      From Energy Bara in Masvingo

      BOARDROOM squabbles have rocked the Great Zimbabwe University with the
institution now operating without a governing council, amid reports that the
church has refused to recognise a politically-appointed one.

      The university is administered by the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe
(RCZ) and Vice-President Simon Muzenda is the chancellor.

      Problems at the university erupted following the dissolution of the
Oliver Munyaradzi-led governing council at the end of January.

      Munyaradzi is a former Cabinet minister and Zanu PF supporter.
      In a surprise move, the Masvingo political leadership led by Samuel
Mumbengegwi and Governor Josaya Hungwe allegedly appointed a governing
council without consulting the church.

      The church has since refused to recognise the council, arguing that
this violated the university charter.

      According to the university charter all university governing council
members have to be invited by the church. The members would then choose the
chairman and other office bearers.

      Reverend Enos Chomutiri, RCZ national moderator, yesterday confirmed
that there were boardroom squabbles at the university.

      He said as far as the church was concerned, there was no governing
council at the institution.

      Said Reverend Chomutiri: "We are yet to choose a governing council.
The one which was imposed on us cannot be recognised because the university
charter was violated. We just have to follow the charter."

      Sources within the church yesterday said Chomutiri was summoned to
Hungwe's office to explain why the church was refusing to accept the new
      It also emerged that the church wanted to dismiss the current
vice-chancellor Dr Hilda Matarira, since her contract with the church had

      Chomutiri confirmed yesterday that Matarira's contract had expired. He
said Matarira's contract expired in December last year and was not renewed.
      Hungwe yesterday refused to discuss the issue.

      Church officials were yesterday locked in a meeting to try and resolve
the problem.

      Sources said the church was considering legal action to bar
politicians from interfering with the composition of the governing council.

      Some of the politically-appointed governing council members included
Clever Mumbengegwi the chairman, E Manikai and P Hungwe.
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Daily News

      Mudede fiddled poll

      3/10/2003 10:43:48 PM (GMT +2)

      By Ray Matikinye Features Editor

      TOBAIWA Mudede, the Registrar-General, allegedly inflated the figures
on the voters' roll to give President Mugabe unfair advantage over his
fiercest rival Morgan Tsvangirai in the landmark March 2002 presidential

      This emerged after census results were announced in January.
      A comparison of population figures, released by the Central
Statistical Office (CSO) after the national census conducted in August last
year, and the number of registered voters, published by Mudede for the
presidential poll, indicated that half the country's population was eligible
to vote.

      Statisticians and demographers said this was mathematically
      Lazarus Machirovi, the director of the CSO responsible for the August
2002 census, announced in January that Zimbabwe's population was 11,6

      "There is no estimate to this figure. It is based on the total number
of people who were actually counted - in the streets, in resettlement areas
and so on," Machirovi said.

      But according to Mudede, the voters' roll for the presidential
election had 5,6 million names on it.

      A comparison of Mudede's number of 5,6 million registered voters and
Machirovi's census figure means 48,28 percent of Zimbabwe's population is
above 18 years of age and eligible to vote.

      It also means almost half the population comprises registered voters,
casting grave doubts on the authenticity of Mudede's voters' roll.

      Two months before the presidential election, the Zimbabwe Civic
Education Trust finally succeeded in getting hold of the voters' roll
containing 5,2 million names after four attempts to get Mudede to release
the public document.

      Thrice - on 10, 22 and 29 January - presidential notices were issued
extending the closing date for voter registration.

      By the time of the election, Mudede announced that 400 000 names had
been added to the voters' roll after a supplementary voters' roll was
compiled in clear breach of the Electoral Act.

      The supplementary voters' roll was compiled at a time when war
veterans and Zanu PF election agents had declared large parts of the
country, particularly rural areas, "no-go areas" to the opposition.

      The additional figure did not encompass those who had been
disenfranchised as non-Zimbabwean citizens and removed from the voters' roll
under the Electoral (Modification) Notice S141D.

      An estimated 200 000 Zimbabweans - mainly adults of voting age who
were disenfranchised as a result of the electoral amendment - are living in
the diaspora as economic or political refugees.

      Mudede did not endear himself with the electorate when he announced
figures that were at variance with those he broadcast live on television in
March last year.

      The MDC lost their battle to get an electronic copy of the voters'
roll on compact disc in a hearing presided over by Justice Rita Makarau last

      However, Mudede has been ordered not to destroy ballots used in the
presidential election by the High Court.

      A court hearing for the disputed presidential election is set for next

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Funds Mystery Deepens

The Herald (Harare)

March 8, 2003
Posted to the web March 9, 2003


MYSTERY surrounding the transfer of US$11 000 from Zifa into the account of
a British firm deepened yesterday amid revelations by Chemibond that the
money was used to pay for fuel procured by the company for a firm in

Chemibond, a British export trading firm based in Manchester, also said they
had no business links with the association.

The firm said they did not know why Zifa had to make the direct payment into
their account when they had not dealt, at any stage of their deal with their
local client, with the association.

Keith Hulton, the Chemibond manager, told The Herald in a statement
yesterday that they did not buy foreign currency from Zifa but only got what
belonged to them for a fuel deal involving a local firm.

"The money that was transferred to us was a payment for fuel purchased
through an authorised fuel company for use by a company in Zimbabwe.

"Why the funds came from Zifa is not known to us as payment in Zimbabwe
dollars was made to Oberon Trading (Pvt) Ltd trading as Fuel Supplies.

"Chemibond is an export trading house based in the UK supplying raw
materials etc to numerous companies across Africa and around the world,"
said Hulton.

He said his company had no business dealings with Zifa.

"There are no business links whatsoever and never been with either Zifa or
their executives, therefore, no previous business has taken place and there
has never been any amounts owed by Chemibond to Zifa," said Hutton.

Zifa chief executive Edgar Rogers, who signed for the transfer of the funds
on the instructions of acting chairman Vincent Pamire, said yesterday he
would rather let the executive members do the talking.

"I think the executive sought guidance from the banking community on the
best way we could maximise the forex that we had received from Fifa.

"But at the moment I would rather say as employees we just carry out
instructions. I think that is all I should say now," said Rogers.

Sources within the Zifa board said yesterday the stunning revelations
surrounding the funds forced the board to shift a scheduled morning meeting
into the evening as the leaders searched for answers.

The same sources said the Zifa board had not met since former chairman Leo
Mugabe was ousted and claims that a board meeting gave the members clearance
to buy money on the parallel market were unfounded.

"It is interesting that we are now getting these stories about fuel but the
truth is that the whole deal was to try and change the forex at the black

"Even right up to now $7 million from the same deal has yet to be forwarded
to the Zifa coffers and it raises eyebrows why the association would be
happy to settle fuel bills in England when they have not received their
share from the black market rates.

"In any case how much fuel does US$11 000 bring into this country? There has
been a flurry of activities since the revelations of the transfer of the
money and that is why the board meeting had to be delayed," said the same

They pointed out that the tone of the meeting set for last night was likely
to be heated and even hinted that some heads could roll.

The foreign currency issue has been Zifa's Achilles Heel and former chairman
Leo Mugabe and finance director James Mtisi lost their jobs after their
names were dragged into the forex dealings.

Mugabe and Mtisi maintained that they never misappropriated any funds.

Last month Zifa transferred US$11 000 into a British bank - Natwest Bank -
which handles the US dollar transactions of Chemibond.

Pamire himself authorised Rogers to transfer US$11 000 into the Chemibond
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The Star, Malaysia

Three locals, Zimbabwean held for fake money scam

KUALA LUMPUR: Four men, including a Zimbabwean claiming to be a delegate at
the recent Non-Aligned Movement meeting, were arrested several days ago for
trying to cheat a senator into believing that they can "manufacture" US

Items such as cutters and bags of paper cut to the size of US dollar bills
were seized from the men, aged between 32 and 56, when they were arrested at
the senator's office in Jalan Ipoh.

The scam started when the senator was introduced to the four, three of them
local businessmen, at his office.

The Zimbabwean then showed how he could "turn blank paper into as much as
RM3mil worth of US notes" and later produced a manual on the process to
convince the senator.

The senator became suspicious and called the police who arrived immediately
at the office. All the suspects have been remanded for 10 days.

Police investigations showed that the Zimbabwean had entered the country as
a tourist.

City deputy CID chief Asst Comm Syed Ismail Syed Azizan, who confirmed the
arrest, urged the public not be fooled by such a scam.
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Comment from ZWNEWS, 9 March

Signs Mugabe regime is relaxing Catch-22 citizenship law

Zimbabwe-born Judith Todd, civil rights campaigner and daughter of a former Southern Rhodesian prime minister, fought a tough, expensive and nail-biting court battle on behalf of some two million Zimbabweans with foreign-born ancestors to retain her Zimbabwean citizenship. Some of them are still stateless and mired in Robert Mugabe’s draconian 2001 legislation designed mainly to strip 40 000 whites of citizenship, and thus their votes. Now there are signs the regime plans to relax this law. Three Supreme Court judges, including Mugabe’s handpicked chief justice Godfrey Chidyausikyu, handed down a speedily delivered judgement on 27 February, as Ms. Todd ended a four-week visit to Britain. They gave her two days to renounce citizenship of New Zealand where her father, Sir Garfield Todd, was born in 1908. It was a citizenship she had never held, never sought, and to which, according to the New Zealand High Commission in Pretoria, she has no automatic right – but she could apply.

Under the 2001 citizenship legislation, Zimbabweans with foreign-born ancestors were told to prove they had renounced all claims to citizenship of the countries in which their ancestors were born, in terms of the laws of those countries, or be deemed to have forfeited the right to Zimbabwean citizenship. Ms. Todd, 59, went to court saying she could not renounce a citizenship she didn’t have. A High Court judge agreed with her, ruled she was Zimbabwean by birth, and ordered registrar-general Tobaiwa Mudede to issue her a passport. When the Supreme Court overturned this ruling, Ms. Todd had no alternative but to rush to the New Zealand High Commission in London to pick up renunciation forms. She then flew home before the deadline and her lawyers lodged the papers with the Citizenship Office in Harare, which accepted them – provisionally. Had she delayed a day, she faced arrest and imprisonment for unlawfully using a Zimbabwean passport while a citizen of another country.

In the Todd case, the Supreme Court judges outdid Mugabe in their enthusiasm for the 2001 Act, which has thrown up so many insoluble problems that even the regime is having second thoughts. The Cabinet, in a statement in September – which the Supreme Court judges rejected as irrelevant – said that people with a mere potential right to foreign citizenship need not renounce it. Now a Citizenship Amendment Bill has been introduced - but not yet passed - in Parliament saying that children of people who came to Rhodesia before independence as Zimbabwe in 1980, particularly from neighbouring southern African countries, would not lose Zimbabwe citizenship if they failed to get papers saying they had renounced any right to foreign citizenship. Most of the people affected are of Malawian, Mozambique or Zambian descent, many of them former workers on commercial farms who are destitute since being driven off land seized from white owners. Spare a thought for them, and others, too. There are Zimbabweans of Indian descent. The Indian government said it does not provide consular services to non-citizens, so it was impossible for them to get any kind of proof from the Indian government that they had been disowned.

And then there’s the man in the real life Catch-22. Lesley Leventhe Petho, a self-employed businessman in Harare, was born in Zimbabwe in 1960, the son of parents who fled Hungary after the 1956 uprising against the Communists. The Hungarian embassy in Pretoria told him he would have to obtain Hungarian citizenship before he could renounce it – and diplomats said he would almost certainly be refused citizenship anyway (his parents were Hungarian residents, not citizens). But, under the Zimbabwean law, the simple act of applying would constitute irrevocable renunciation of Zimbabwean citizenship. So Petho would be stateless – and still is – whatever he did or did not do. So Petho is making his weary way through Zimbabwe’s courts. Last year a judge refused him permission to fight a class action on the ground he wasn’t typical of people with a mere potential right to foreign citizenship because he was stateless. The Supreme Court reversed this, and said Petho could fight a class action providing he advertised in national newspapers and on radio to let others in the same plight know he was doing this. And then – guess what? The state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation refused to accept his ads. Petho’s next step is back to court, seeking an order to force the ZBC to run the ads. On the other hand, if the law is amended, or if the registrar-general changed tack and agreed Petho is not Hungarian, and if …. Well, anyway, the whole thing may fall away.

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From The Sunday Independent (SA), 9 March

'I was ordered to kill my father'

By Charlene Smith

Hundreds of Zimbabwe's notorious youth militia, nicknamed the "green bombers", are fleeing to South Africa because they say they too are being beaten and starved, and are tired of "killing for nothing". This week The Sunday Independent interviewed 14 green bombers aged from 15 to 28, giving the first insight into the terror organisation. One youth said he fled Zimbabwe after being forced to take part in the murder of his uncle, a supporter of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Another said he was involved in the murder of an MDC party chairperson and claimed that within hours of that death, Jonathan Moyo, the Zanu PF minister of information, visited the area, followed by President Robert Mugabe. A large consignment of food was moved in while green bombers exhorted villagers to chant Zanu PF slogans. Yet another said he fled to South Africa after being instructed to murder his father, an MDC supporter. Hundreds of youths have fled to South Africa, according to human rights organisations, churches and law offices. The stories of the youths interviewed - who come from different areas of Zimbabwe and who did not previously know each other - provide chilling details of the green bombers, their training and methods. They come from the hundreds of youth militia training camps which have sprung up in Zimbabwe, many at secondary schools where pupils are forced to take part in activities or risk death. Most of those interviewed fled in December and January, some swimming the Limpopo and risking crocodiles to get to South Africa. Their real names are being withheld to protect them and their families in Zimbabwe. Camps that the boys were trained at include the infamous Border Gezi in the north of the country and Tsholotsho training centre (a former training centre for nurses and police officers). At Tsholotsho, the green bombers claim, there are 2 000 trainees. Camps are sometimes much smaller, however, with only 100 trainees.

The green bomber operatives have alleged that:

  • They were taught how to kill people in "ways that would be quick and silent and leave no evidence".

  • Before a killing mission they were given alcohol and dagga to smoke by their instructors and Zanu PF political commissars, because then "you feel nothing for anyone".

  • At Border Gezi, they claim, they were taught how to kill. "Maybe two of us would approach you like we were lost, one would grab you on the front of the neck and others would push you down and hold you so that you don't have a chance to scream before you die."

  • At camps they would have rigorous programmes of running from 5am to 8am, often after a night of toyi-toying and singing party slogans.

Instructors at Border Gezi allegedly gave instructions that led to the death of a man in his 30s near Bulawayo. The man was walking along the road and when asked what political party he belonged to, he said that he did not believe in politics. And so the militia killed him. Instructors at a camp near Khami prison, Bulawayo, allegedly gave instructions for youth militia to kill Michael Sibanda, 41, secretary for the MDC Nkulumani branch. They gave a group of 10 young men dagga and alcohol before they sent them on the mission. In March last year, one 22-year-old green bomber claims, a woman instructor at Border Gezi and a Zanu PF political commissar instructed 13 youth militia that the MDC chairperson of the Siphepa branch, a Mr Sibindi, was to be killed. "She said it would need a strong person to kill him. We went to his house at 1am. His wife and seven children ran away. We beat him and broke his neck. It was so bad. They told us to burn him. We refused. We laid him next to the railway line. Later that morning we made a rally at Siphepa for Jonathan Moyo - everyone had to come, if we found someone in their house, we beat them. The Tsholotsho police tried to investigate but no one told them the truth."

A trainer at Tsholotsho allegedly told green bombers they must "beat white people because the MDC wants to give the country to the whites". A 19-year-old former operative said: "We were not paid. They gave us pap only. We sold mealiemeal in the shops to those with Zanu-PF cards. If MDC people came we chased them away. We were very rough." Some joined after being told they would get jobs. MN, 22, who was taken to Tsholotsho training camp, said he became tired of singing chimurenga songs all night so he went home to sleep. As punishment they "stripped me and made me roll over and over while they sprayed water on to me while I was beaten." BN, 18, said he was forced to burn the houses of opposition supporters. "I was in form four, all I wanted was education. One day we were told to beat an old man coming from a shebeen. He was MDC. We used broomsticks and donkey pills [truncheons]. I think he died."

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From The National Post (Canada), 8 March

Canada's international 'man of infamy'

Ari Ben-Menashe: Star witness in Zimbabwe treason trial called 'delusional'

He may be the most controversial Canadian on the planet. He is involved in court cases at home and abroad. His life reads like a political thriller. His enemies are legion. Who is Ari Ben-Menashe? Brian Hutchinson reports from Montreal.

"I had been to Canada many times in the past," recalls Ben-Menashe, talking over his cellphone, somewhere in Montreal. "I liked it. I had lots of friends there." One of them was a woman named Haya Chetrit, whom he says he had met on the Canadian leg of his book tour. They married in June, 1993, and settled into a large apartment in downtown Montreal. He then applied for permanent resident status, one step on the road to full citizenship. When that didn't immediately materialize, he complained. "I'm married to a Canadian citizen," he told a reporter. "I have no convictions. I fit the criteria." Ben-Menashe hired a local immigration lawyer named Richard Kurland, who succeeded in getting him permanent residency. "I used to do a lot of wacko files," Kurland told me this week. "I worked cheap and I kept my mouth shut." He did Ben-Menashe a second favour, putting him in touch with another client, Alex Legault. "My thinking was, maybe they could work together," Kurland says. "Here were two intelligent guys. They both had interesting histories." Interesting, indeed.

A native of Maine, Alexander Henri Legault moved to Canada with his wife in 1982, and had obtained a ministerial permit to remain in the country. Four years later, however, he was indicted in the United States on fraud charges, stemming from a botched deal to export 5,000 tonnes of frozen chickens from Louisiana to Egypt. An arrest warrant was issued in the United States, and in 1988, when his ministerial permit expired, Legault was told he would have to leave Canada. He ignored the order. Five years later, he claimed refugee status, "on the basis of a fear of prosecution by virtue of having allegedly provided confidential information and damaging evidence against the CIA." The story he would tell immigration officials went as follows: Legault's mother-in-law, Frances Langleben, was among the victims of a secret mind-control experiment conducted in Montreal in the 1950s. The experiment was funded by the Central Intelligence Agency. Legault says he tried to help his mother-in-law receive compensation for her role in the experiment by approaching a lawyer, who, he claims, divulged his name to the CIA. The spy agency, Legault continued, decided to persecute him for talking to a lawyer about the experiment.

After he filed his client's unusual refugee claim, Kurland introduced Legault to Ben-Menashe. Apparently, the two men hit it off; in December, 1994, they formed Carlington Sales Canada Corporation and opened an office in Montreal. Carlington's business, states its charter, was the sale of commodities. What the two partners actually knew about selling food is an open question. Ben-Menashe was a wanna-be arms dealer and conspiracy peddler. Fraud charges seem to follow Legault wherever he went. Their inexperience - or, perhaps, their disregard for the law - soon landed them in hot water with clients. In February, 1997, new criminal charges were brought against Legault in the United States, this time by the State of Florida. Legault was accused of participating in a large "Ponzi" scheme from 1993 to 1996, in which some 300 victims, most of them retired folk in Florida, were defrauded of US$8-million. The alleged scam offered investors huge profits from the "food brokering business," when, in fact, "very little" food was bought or sold, and profits were nonexistent, according to state prosecutors. Legault's chief accomplice was captured and has pleaded guilty to his role. He is serving a 22-year jail sentence in Florida.

The Florida trouble did not exactly help Legault's lingering claim before Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board. He had an explanation, however: The charges were "trumped-up," and "fabricated by the CIA." The board was not impressed; it found Legault's claim "incoherent and illogical," and dismissed it. Legault then launched a series of appeals that continue to drag their way through Canada's immigration and justice systems. With Legault unable to leave Canada, for fear that American justice officials might pick him up and prosecute him, it fell to his partner, Ari Ben-Menashe, to hustle up new business. He didn't operate alone, however; in June, 1998, he hired his immigration lawyer, Richard Kurland. "It was exciting," recalls Kurland. "I'd never travelled like that before." The money was good, too. Kurland made US$8,000 a month, plus expenses. "I paid off my credit card debt," he says. Kurland's task had nothing to do with his area of expertise, immigration law. Unlikely as it sounds, he was to help Carlington negotiate the privatization of some copper mines in Zambia.

He thinks Carlington, and Ben-Menashe, did an awful lot of good in the developing world, despite warnings circulating around Ottawa that the company was to be approached with "caution." Canada benefited, Kurland says. Each time Ben-Menashe returned from overseas, he hopped into a car and drove to Ottawa, where he was debriefed by officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Kurland accompanied Ben-Menashe on a number of these trips. "The government received a lot of information," says Kurland. "Once, Ari came back from a trip to Eritrea, months before the country went to war with Ethiopia. Ari told Ottawa what was going to happen. Canada was the only country to predict that the conflict would occur. It made the country look good." What did Ben-Menashe receive in return? Kurland isn't sure. "I can say that Ari doesn't do nothing for nothing. Let's face it, the government can open doors for you abroad. It can help you avoid [trouble]." Kurland quit Carlington after just nine months. He was uneasy working with Alex Legault, he explains. And he hated the idea of doing business in Myanmar, the brutally repressed southeast Asian country. Ben-Menashe was travelling there all the time. "I decided that I didn't want to raise my family on the proceeds from Carlington Sales," he says. Still, Kurland swears he didn't see any "hanky-panky," during his time at Carlington. "All of the commercial transactions I saw were in accord with Quebec law."

That is not an impression shared by Olivier Damiron, another former Carlington employee. In November, 1998, Damiron left his Montreal computer shop to work for Ben-Menashe. His tasks included conducting Internet research on various African nations, to find out what sort of foreign commodities they were in the habit of purchasing. In short order, Damiron was accompanying Ben-Menashe on his foreign trips, acting as a kind of personal secretary while the boss attempted to broker deals. Typically, says Damiron, meetings would be held in Europe, between Ben-Menashe and foreign food brokers working on behalf of developing nations. Damiron was on hand to print up a sales contract, stating that Carlington would locate the commodity in question, such as wheat or rice, and arrange its shipment. In each case, Carlington demanded a 10% deposit, to be held in trust by an independent party back in Canada until the deal was completed. Ben-Menashe signed a lot of contracts. "I was really impressed," Damiron says. "He seemed really well-connected." Money started pouring in. Ben-Menashe bought fancy cars. Damiron used one to drive Ben-Menashe to Ottawa, for his debriefing sessions with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. The meetings were usually held in a room at the Château Laurier, an expensive hotel next to Parliament Hill. A department officer named Herbert Fraser was usually there to conduct the sessions. Fraser seemed impressed by Ben-Menashe, and in early 1999, he quit his senior post with the department, and went to work for Carlington in Montreal as a "political advisor." He didn't last long. Something provoked him to quit a few months later.

to be continued...

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PVO 38/69

SPCA Member Centres:
Bulawayo - Chegutu - Chinhoyi - Chiredzi - Gweru - Harare - Hwange - Kadoma - Kwekwe - Marondera - Mashava - Masvingo - Mutare - Zvishavane

This year has been incredibly hectic without any sign of letting up.  Despite reports to the contrary, farm occupations and designations continue.  Whilst in the area, Meryl established that 44 more Karoi and Tengwe farmers are being evicted,  just at the point when their crops are reaching maturity.  One family were forced off without their belongings and despite assurances by authorities that they could return to collect their possessions, were refused entrance by the invaders who said that they would set fire to their home if they returned.
The team rescued ' Bart' the Boerboel from Beatrice, for the second time.  They had rescued him previously and the family had later returned to their farm but have once again been evicted.  He had lost weight, not having had food or water for 3 days, but was otherwise unharmed.  All cattle have been uplifted but the new occupants would not permit the removal of the Simmental bull which is injured and his condition is reported to be deteriorating.  Meryl will negotiate for his release on Monday. 
In Harare South area a family was physically forced off their farm despite the fact that the time period on their Section 8 notice had not expired.  The farm owner's elderly wife was still in her pajamas - she was refused permission to dress and had to leave the farm as she was.  Of their 4 dogs, 3 have been PTS by request.  Their horses were walked off the farm without incident.
As reported earlier this year, there is an increased level of militancy accompanying the occupations.  Meryl reports the presence of 'green bombers' in all areas.  For the most part they have not interfered with the work of the rescue team.  Meryl advises that many of them are very young (+-16) and all sporting new uniforms, which comprise of a bottle green uniform with the Zim flag on the pocket, peak cap, red epaulettes and black boots.
We are saddened to have to report that 38 head of Sable mentioned in earlier reports were sent to Saudi Arabia without our knowledge, despite assurances that this would not occur.  It is believed that they will be used for game hunts.  We have also received information that the Zimbabwe Wildlife Advisory Council are planning to send a further 60 of the Sable to South Africa.  We have been unable to establish the destination.  The Zimbabwe Wildlife Advisory Council, despite this misleading title, is a private company owned by Ed Kadzombe who has very lofty connections which places Parks and Wildlife officials in an invidious position.  They have refused permission for this translocation but all indications are that it will go ahead. 
Our wildlife concerns remain very high.  The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force reports that a further white rhino was found shot and dehorned in Matusadona on 11 February. 
In the Chiredzi Conservancy 3 tame elephants have been shot by a National Parks employee on instructions from the DA, despite the fact that there had been no reports of problem animals.  These animals are from a herd of 25, including 7 babies.  All had been darted, captured, kept in boma's and released, forming a herd in the Conservancy.  Initially 2 animals were shot, tragically with body shots, so that both animals fled.  The remains of one animal has been found - with ivory and meat stripped.  The second animal has not been found and despite strenuous objections, a third animal has been shot.  The Parks officer claims that it was the wounded animal but this is yet to be confirmed as witnesses have given conflicting information.  There is great concern as there is a newborn calf in the herd and it has not yet been established whether any of the animals shot were its mother.
We have also finally received feed-back on the consignment of animals which were sent to Abuja in September 2001 - of the pair of giraffes sent, the male died within a few weeks of arrival - the young buffalo are reported to have run out of their crates and straight into the surrounding fence, killing themselves.  The most tragic report related to the wild caught female Leopard.  She is reported to have still been in her travel crate in April 2002 because there were no suitable enclosures for carnivores.  She was being kept at 'Aso Rock', the President's compound as there was no place at the zoo.  It was reportedly said that "people are afraid to feed it because it is too wild". She is believed to have died of thirst and starvation.  Her suffering and torment must have been unimaginable.
Despite being assured otherwise, we have been advised that a further consignment is being collected and Meryl has received information that a second Leopard was to be sent to Abuja - this time a captive bred male - but we have been informed by National Parks that he died before being sent - cause of death as yet unknown.  According to the records Meryl managed to obtain sight of, under the entry for the Leopard, the death has been recorded along with 'to be replaced'.
In a separate incident, Meryl was asked to arrange for the removal of 20 Zebra by a war vet on Dambury Park Farm (formerly owned by the Baileys - mentioned in last year's reports), but when she arrived it was to find that the Zebra had been sold to Ed Kadzombe for export - destination unknown.
Another tragic situation which has been uncovered was the smuggling of donkeys from Zimbabwe to Zambia.  The ZRP from Kezi are to be commended for uncovering the racket.  This occurred when a civilian reported to the police that he had just seen some of his missing donkeys on a truck leaving town.  The Police managed to catch up with the truck which was carrying approximately 50 animals.  Due to the manner in which they had been loaded and were being carried, several animals and gone down and been trampled  Six were already dead.  It is believed that the animals were intended to for use as live bait.  This was a smuggling operation as it is illegal to export donkeys from Zimbabwe.  The case involves a government vet who compounded the matter by having all the animals 'branded' after they had been impounded in an attempt to cover up the origins of the animals.
On a rescue in the Concession area at probably the biggest dairy farm in the country, Meryl had been asked to recover 2 dogs and 2 cats.  When Meryl and Jimmy arrived at the property, the war vet, 'Ngwenya', who occupied the farmhouse came to the gate and warmly greeted Meryl and Jimmy and the policeman who accompanied them and then putting his face inches away from Meryl said 'get out'.  Meryl stood her ground and advised that they were there to uplift the pets and check on the condition of the cattle.  Ngwenya became abusive and ranted at Jimmy "why did you bring 'the white'?  I told you not to bring 'the white' ".  He then took a stick from a worker and threatened Meryl 'I'll show you how rough I can be - you're going to get beaten just now".  Meryl said he proceeded on a barrage of racial abuse and said the only worthwhile 'whites' were Lenin and Marx.  He ended by stating that they could not take the dogs.  In a complete turnabout he then invited Meryl to a nearby store for a cooldrink.  She agreed hoping to persuade him to release the pets.  He told her that his earlier conduct was just 'intimidatory tactics'.  He agreed that the pets could go and the cattle could be checked.  When Meryl advised that she would return with the government vet and animal health inspector, Ngwenya again lost his temper and said that Meryl was an 'MDC spy and was white scum working for the farmer'. 
Meryl gained approval from Dispol for the area and returned with a police sergeant and constable.  Again Meryl was denied entry but Mark and Jimmy gained access.  However, the situation rapidly deteriorated without Meryl to stand up to his threats and they again left without the pets but were able to establish that some of the heifers were ill from suspected Lantana poisoning (a noxious weed), a calf was suffering from Tetanus and the sheep were suffering from footrot.  No silage was seen.  Meryl will persevere, hopefully with the co-operation of other war vets, to secure the release of the pets.  It is gratifying to report that many of the war vets and settlers who were previously hostile towards the team are now co-operating and in some instances assisting them.  Meryl has also received requests to return and carry out educational activities and to treat domestic animals.
Following our reports of the added safety risk Meryl and team have been facing this year, IFAW are most generously providing high frequency radio equipment in order that the team's movements can be monitored and they can keep in touch with each other at all times.  We greatly appreciate this support for the vital work of the ZNSPCA.
We are also indebted to the NSPCA - SA (Zimhelp Fund) for procuring the human rabies vaccine with which to vaccinate SPCA Inspectors and the National team following an upsurge of rabies in Zimbabwe - 3 Inspectors have been exposed to animals confirmed to have rabies.
And finally we must thank the Zimbabwe Pet Rescue Project for the 6 tons of dry dog and cat foot, as well as euthanaise and vaccines which have arrived and is being distributed to all of our centres who are struggling to get supplies.  We will be appealing to them for assistance with the procurement of animal rabies vaccine as government vets report that their supplies are now at critically low levels.
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