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

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Globe and Mail, Canada

Holding their breath for the inevitable

Zimbabweans know Mugabe's propaganda and threats will prevail,

Saturday, March 12, 2005 Page A13

DOMBOSHAWA, ZIMBABWE -- Branwell wanted to make something quite clear: He
supports democracy.

He is delighted to see posters for Zimbabwe's opposition parties scattered
around the countryside, and glad to hear their ads on the radio. "They
should have an equal chance," he said.
But on March 31, Branwell will vote, as he has since Zimbabwe won its
independence 25 years ago, for President Robert Mugabe's ruling party,
ZANU-PF. "They are the party of liberation," he said.

He went on to talk about the bones of his family members who died fighting
in the Rhodesian war that preceded independence -- bones that still lie in
the surrounding hills. Independence was just 25 years ago, he added, and the
country still has a "guerrilla mindset" because foreign powers are intent on
controlling Zimbabwe's politics.

Branwell shared his insights in a chat under a tree in a village outside
Harare, Zimbabwe's capital. It was the kind of conversation a foreigner is
hard pressed to have with regular Zimbabweans these days; the watching eyes
of the Central Intelligence Organization are everywhere. Foreign journalists
are not welcome, and talking posed some risk to us both.

With his thoughtful observations and his impeccable Queen's English,
Branwell helped explain two things about the political situation in Zimbabwe
today. One is why ZANU-PF stands to win the parliamentary election even
without the violence and vote-rigging many are predicting. The other is the
power of propaganda, of a message repeated night and day for five years.

There are few signs of sustained interest in the rest of the world in the
fate of Zimbabwe, where Mr. Mugabe's ill-devised land-reform scheme has led
to a steep economic decline. But Branwell, a bank employee in his 40s,
largely accepts the government's argument that foreign powers -- 
particularly Britain and the United States -- are intent on meddling in the
country's affairs.

He believes ZANU-PF must be maintained in power and says the repressive
measures the
government has taken, such as closing independent media and shutting down
civil-society organizations are all necessary to maintain the integrity of
the state.

Mr. Mugabe launched his land-reform campaign in the late 1990s, sensing a
weakening of his hold on power. At that point, 70 per cent of the country's
farmed land was in the hands of fewer than 4,000 white commercial farmers,
who had resisted almost all efforts at voluntary land redistribution.

Gangs of supposed veterans of the war for independence were sent to seize
and occupy the farms. But most of the land wound up in the hands of Mugabe
cronies. Today the country is desperately short of food. By the President's
own estimate, 56 per cent of the seized land is lying fallow. Very few
landless blacks have seen their lot improve.

Instead, the economy -- built on commercial agriculture -- has been
devastated. Tourism has been destroyed. Because of the flagrant disregard
for the rule of law inherent in the campaign, Zimbabwe has reaped
international sanction and considerable isolation.

Two subsequent elections, a parliamentary vote in 2000 and Mr. Mugabe's
re-election in 2002, did little to help. They were condemned by
international observers because of violence and vote-rigging.

With the next election three weeks away, there is a sense here of a resigned
nation holding its breath.

No one expects the results to herald major change. As Branwell made clear,
ZANU-PF has solidified its support in the countryside, using a blend of
propaganda and the threat of violence.

For good measure, the government has refused to publish the full voters
list, which is widely believed to be packed with names of long-dead ZANU-PF
supporters. It has severely curtailed the opposition's access to media and
redrawn the boundaries of constituencies won previously by the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change to include pro-ZANU-PF areas. It has
collected 90,000 votes from military and paramilitary staff, likely all for
ZANU-PF, for parcelling out during counting among constituencies that might
go MDC.

Observers say the MDC will do well to hold on to its current 57 members in
the 150-seat parliament, 30 seats of which are reserved for presidential
appointees and traditional chiefs.

Indeed, some suggest that a larger ZANU-PF win might be the start of easing
Mr. Mugabe out of a direct role in running the country. With 70 per cent of
the seats it could engineer a constitutional change. The President could
become a largely symbolic "father of the nation" and the MDC approached to
join a national-unity transitional government.

In the meantime, ZANU-PF has effectively rendered Zimbabwe a police state.
Political gatherings of more than five people are outlawed under the Public
Order and Security Act. A new bill Mr. Mugabe is expected to sign into law
soon will essentially freeze the work of almost all of the international
non-governmental organizations that remain here. The government has shut
down four independent newspapers in the past two years; three of the
remaining four international journalists in the country were chased out last

Everywhere, the shell of what was so recently a flourishing state is on
display. Schools are crumbling but teachers are still excellently trained.
The countryside is dotted with local health clinics but they lack equipment
and staff. Nearly one-quarter of the adults have HIV-AIDS. But there are
virtually no treatment programs, unlike in neighbouring nations, because
foreign-funded programs cannot operate here.

Inflation is running at about 300 per cent. The price of corn, the dietary
staple, averages 22 cents a kilo, yet the average daily wage is 15 cents.
Unemployment is nearly 80 per cent.

Last year, Mr. Mugabe insisted there was a record corn harvest, but the crop
was estimated by international aid agencies at only 800,000 tonnes -- far
below the 1.8 million Zimbabwe needs to feed itself.

This year, an even smaller harvest is predicted. The annual rains came late,
there was a shortage of fertilizer and seeds, and little draft power was
available. Few farmers put in a crop, and most of what was planted in the
east and west has died because of lack of rain.

Local reports indicate people in many areas are eating only one meal a day
or are living on wild fruit, said a senior staff member for a major
international aid organization -- who would not speak on the record because
his agency fears being driven out. The World Food Program, a United Nations
agency, currently feeds one million people every month.

Nonetheless, Mr. Mugabe has been throwing money around. Despite the
government's huge foreign-currency crunch, the stores are full of imports
and the gas stations have fuel to sell.

Despite a crippling deficit, the President has announced a series of lavish
payouts and pensions to groups whose loyalty is perceived as negotiable.
Chiefs and headmen are getting a 150-per-cent increase in their allowances,
and an extra $15-million has been found for those who were political
prisoners or detainees under colonial rule.

Mr. Mugabe insists the election will be open to international scrutiny, but
the government is hand-picking the electoral observers it allows in. No
international media correspondents have been given permission to report on
the voting.

Only South Africa has much leverage over ZANU-PF. But last week its
president, Thabo Mbeki, said he had no reason to believe the election would
not be free and fair -- provoking howls of outrage from democracy activists
and the Zimbabwean opposition. (Mr. Mbeki knows that there is huge sympathy
in South Africa for Mr. Mugabe's fight against white rule and for land
redistribution. He also dreads a flood of refugees over his border from a
destabilized Zimbabwe.)

Far from the obsessive interest Mr. Mugabe would have his citizens believe
major Western powers take in Zimbabwe's affairs, the election has barely
registered internationally.

The United States sees Mr. Mbeki as the world's point man on Zimbabwe. Days
after taking office as U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice
characterized the country as an "outpost of tyranny." Yet this year the
United States cut its funding for pro-democracy activities here by more than
half, down to less than $3-million (U.S.).

In the run-up to the vote, the dreaded Green Bombers militia -- who carried
out the farm takeovers -- have been deployed around the country. But so far
there has been little violence.

"They don't have to beat people up any more -- just send them to stand
around and people know what it means," said Brian Kogoro, chair of the
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition. "There will be this veneer of non-violence,
and it's been set up so [sympathetic observers] can come in here and say
there was no violence."
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Saudi Press Agency

      Thousands protest against Mugabe on Zimbabwe's borders

           Johannesburg, Mar. 12, SPA-- Thousands of persons in South Africa
and Zambia gathered at border crossings into neighbouring Zimbabwe to
protest against the policies of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on
      In the South African border town of Musina alone, several thousand
persons marched in protest against Mugabe's rule, according to activist
umbrella organization the South African National Non- Governmental
Organisation, Coalition (Sangoco).
      "Black people in southern Africa are taking a stand against people who
are against liberation," said Sangoco spokesman Hassen Lorgat, speaking to
the South African news agency Sapa.
      "It is essentially a positive vibe for democracy, against violence and
intimidation. We hope that this vibe will spread throughout the subregion,"
Lorgat said. --SPA 2103 Local Time 1803 GMT
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Zimbabwe voters present woes to campaigning Mugabe

March 12, 2005, 21:15

Zimbabwean voters told Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president, about their
problems with deteriorating public services at the start of his campaign
drive into the opposition's urban stronghold today.

Mugabe's ruling Zanu(PF) party lost most parliamentary seats in the
country's major towns to the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) in general elections five years ago, but has vowed to win them back in
a poll set for March 31.

At a rally at the start of his campaign in urban areas on Saturday, Zanu(PF)
officials presented Mugabe with a list of pressing problems they said voters
in the town of Chitungwiza south of Harare, and elsewhere, wanted the
government to solve.

Residents faced a collapsed sewerage and transport system, water and
electricity shortages and unrepaired roads, Zanu(PF)'s Harare provincial
chairman Amos Midzi said. There were also shortages of books in public
schools and medicines in state-owned hospitals. Mugabe nodded in agreement.

Mugabe (81) and Zimbabwe's sole ruler since the southern African country
gained independence from Britain in 1980, denies his government is
responsible for the problems in Chitungwiza, blaming the town's
MDC-controlled municipal council instead.

The labour-backed MDC says urban councils that it controls have been starved
of money by Mugabe's government and denied rights to borrow funds or raise
taxes to run efficient operations.

Political analysts say the MDC remains strong in urban areas where residents
have borne the brunt of a severe political and economic crisis blamed by
many critics on state mismanagement. They are expected to retain most of the
urban parliamentary seats in the March 31 vote, which many analysts say is
likely to be won overall by Zanu(PF). - Reuters
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      Former ally accuses Mugabe party of intimidation

      Sat March 12, 2005 10:14 AM GMT+02:00
      By Stella Mapenzauswa

      TSHOLOTSHO, Zimbabwe (Reuters) - A controversial former minister
sacked by President Robert Mugabe after opting to stand as an independent in
this month's general election has accused the ruling party of using threats
to garner votes.

      Former information minister Jonathan Moyo has become the most visible
symbol of cracks within Mugabe's ZANU-PF -- which have taken on ethnic
overtones. Analysts say these cracks leave the party weaker against the main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change at the March 31 poll.

      Moyo said late on Friday ZANU-PF officials were intimidating people in
his rural constituency of Tsholotsho by suggesting that failing to vote for
the party could evoke a reprisal similar to a 1980s government crackdown
that rights groups say left 20,000 civilians dead.

      That crackdown in the minority Ndebele-speaking Matabeleland region,
which includes Tsholotsho, fuelled ethnic tensions with Mugabe's majority
Shona group which only ended with a 1987 pact which saw the two regions'
political parties merge into ZANU-PF.

      "What is of concern is what is being said by some of the campaign
groups representing ZANU-PF. (They) have been threatening the people, that
... if you don't vote for the party you will not be given drought relief,"
Moyo told reporters during a campaign tour in drought-prone Tsholotsho, 110
km (70 miles) northeast of Bulawayo.

      "(The officials are saying) if you don't vote for the party you may
even provoke ... Gukurahundi days," Moyo added in reference to the 1980s

      ZANU-PF officials were not immediately available for comment.

      Moyo, who as information minister spearheaded ZANU-PF's propaganda
campaign in a diplomatic war of words with the West, lost favour with Mugabe
after convening a secret meeting the party says plotted to push a favoured
candidate to the post of ZANU-PF and government co-vice president.

      The post, which eventually went to Joyce Mujuru, is seen as a step to
succeeding Mugabe, 81, who is widely expected to retire when his present
term ends in 2008.


      The succession furore saw Moyo lead several other rebels in
registering as independents in the March 31 election, leading to their
expulsion from ZANU-PF.

      Analysts say the fall-out could cost ZANU-PF votes in Matabeleland,
where resentment lingers over the crackdown and a perception that the
government has neglected the region.

      "Unity is something very good, something that we cherish, but we do
not cherish it as just an idea that is there to benefit a few individuals,"
Moyo said on Friday.

      "We cherish if it is an agenda for development, if it means by having
unity we will see our roads being repaired, tarred so that our people can
move ... and in the case of Tsholotsho that the perennial water problem will
be addressed."

      The MDC enjoyed a near-clean sweep of Matabeleland both in the last
parliamentary election in 2000 and presidential elections in 2002. ZANU-PF
won both amid opposition and Western charges of rigging.

      Mugabe insists his party won fairly, and says his political opponents
are puppets of Western powers who want to end his 25-year grip on power
mainly over his controversial seizure of white-owned commercial farms for
landless blacks.

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Sent: Saturday, March 12, 2005 6:27 PM
Subject: Worried about food

Dear Family and Friends,

This week two little things happened which paint the most vivid picture of
life in Zimbabwe at the moment. Three weeks before elections and after
having tolerated foul and filthy water in Marondera for at least two
years, the local authorities switched off the supply altogether to clean
the reservoirs. Some people in the business areas knew that the town was
about to go dry for at least a day but most in the residential areas
didn't and were totally unprepared. When we still didn't have water after
24 hours, people were getting desperate and there was quite a crowd
filling up buckets from a seasonal stream that runs in the vlei near my
house. A group of women who had just walked a kilometre to get drinking
water from a friend's borehole and had then carried the heavy bottles all
the way back, stopped to chat on the road. They asked me if I had any
water and I said no but that I thought it would be back soon as the higher
parts of town had water and it would take time for all the pipes to fill.
"May I give you one of my bottles" one of the women graciously offered.
THIS is the real Zimbabwe I thought, these few words gave me hope.

Also this week I had the chance to spend half an hour with a friend who
has no access to email or anything other than state propaganda. She is a
single Mum of three, can't afford newspapers, doesn't have her own phone
or transport and survives on a government stipulated minumum wage of less
than three thousand dollars a day which isn't even enough to buy a single
loaf of bread. My friend asked me if I thought we would have any chance at
all of being able to vote and it didn't take me long to realise that she
had no idea of how the coming election was going to work because there has
been almost no voter education. Everyone knows that voting has been cut
down to one day but thinks that instead of queuing for half a day, like we
did last time, this time we'll queue all day and not get to the front in
time. She didn't know that there are going to be an increased number of
polling stations or that there will apparently be 3 lines to queue in
according to our surnames.

My friend knew that we would be having see through ballot boxes this time
but didn't know why. She didn't understand that ballot boxes would not be
moved to counting centres but that votes would be tallied where they were
cast. My friend was not at all convinced that this was a good idea. She
thought it might stop box stuffing but it would increase retribution
afterwards. People are scared, rumours and rife and threats and innuendos
are widespread. For the past three weeks there wasn't any sugar or maize
meal on the shelves and now suddenly there is and that is what ordinary
people are worried about - food. It's as simple as that. Everyone is
borrowing money to buy food because the rumours are that as soon as the
elections are over the prices will soar.

As Zimbabwe staggers towards elections I would like to thank all the
people outside the country who are doing so much to help raise awareness
of our situation at this crucial time. I would also like to thank everyone
who has helped me to help other people who are in desperate need. Phase
One of the Christopher Campaign to help people with HIV and Aids in
Marondera has now come to an end and I would like to thank everyone who
responded to my appeal, spread the word, sent parcels and donated so
generously to the project. Thanks to all of you, the lives of many
hundreds of people have been improved and dignity has been restored. In
these very difficult and uncertain times, I am no longer able to give the
Christopher Campaign the attention that it needs and have stepped back but
The Rotary Club will embark upon the next stage as a community project.
Until next week, with love, cathy.

Copyright cathy buckle 12th March 2005
My books on the Zimbabwean crisis, "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are
available from: ; ;  in Australia and New Zealand: ;  Africa:

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Sunday Times (SA)

'SADC forum not going to Zimbabwe'

Saturday March 12, 2005 09:48 - (SA)

By Donwald Pressly

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) parliamentary forum would
no longer be going to Zimbabwe to monitor its March 31 elections, the South
African National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete officially has told
parliamentary parties.

She said in a faxed message to the chief wips of the African National
Congress (ANC), the official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) and the
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) that: "This notice serves to inform that the
SADC-PF will no longer be part of the election observer missions in

Her office noted that the message was urgent.

In response, DA chairperson Joe Seremane - who recently attempted to carry
out a fact-finding mission to the country but was turned back at the Harare
airport - said: "In response to queries from the DA, Speaker Baleka Mbete's
office has now finally confirmed that the SADC Parliamentary Forum Observer
mission will not be going to Zimbabwe for the elections.

"The Zimbabwe government has disingenuously pretended that the SADC
Parliamentary Forum mission forms part of the overall SADC mission.
(President Robert) Mugabe's government knows that the SADC mission was made
up and confirmed some time ago.

"The truth is that the Mugabe government failed to extend an invitation to
the SADC parliamentary forum as they were requested to do," said Seremane.

"The SADC Parliamentary Forum has monitored nine elections since it was
formed, including the previous elections in Zimbabwe. Is the exclusion of
this and other delegations because they were critical of the previous
election in Zimbabwe?

"This constitutes a slap in the face for the SADC Parliamentary Forum,
consisting of representatives of all the countries in the SADC region. What
is unclear to me is why South Africa tolerates being treated in this

"Does Mugabe have some sort of hold over President (Thabo) Mbeki? What other
explanation is there for the patience and endless tolerance shown by the ANC
towards Mugabe?" Seremane asked.

A 20 person multi-party delegation from the South African Parliament -
including 12 Members of Parliament from the ANC and two from the DA and six
from other parliamentary parties - was announced on Thursday by the ANC
chief whip Mbulelo Goniwe.

Earlier the ruling ANC said on its website that the South African
right-wing - which it said was the DA and the largely white trade union
Solidarity - was not a newcomer to demonising the Zimbabwean president.

"The fact is that the right-wing in our country is not a newcomer to the
struggle against the government of Zimbabwe," it said in a column edited by
secretary general Kgalema Motlanthe.

I-Net Bridge
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New York Newsday

Report challenges nations to help Africa


March 12, 2005

In Zimbabwe, where coffin-makers can't keep pace with AIDS deaths, thieves
rip metal from irrigation pumps to mold handles for caskets.

On major trade routes in West Africa, checkpoints manned by dubious
tax-collecting officials add hundreds of dollars to the cost of trucking

They are but two examples cited in a report released Friday that challenges
developed nations to help Africa by upping annual aid by $25 billion and
forgiving most of its foreign debt.

The 453-page report was the result of a year's work by the 17-member
Commission for Africa, which was created by British Prime Minister Tony
Blair in hopes of swaying G-8 nations at a July summit, where Africa's
future tops the agenda. The commission and its report are noteworthy for
several reasons. Most commission members are Africans with first-hand
experience in the continent's problems. The report offers detailed
illustrations of the corruption, health problems and social ills plaguing
Africa. It blames Africans as much as colonial rule and unfulfilled promises
from rich countries for the continent's woes.

"The rich world is falling behind on its pledges to the poor," commission
members said, adding: "But what is clear is that if Africa does not create
the right conditions for development ... any amount of outside support will

Among other things, it says African leaders must relinquish the heavy-handed
control most still exercise and allow parliaments, the media, labor unions
and civic groups to thrive. It calls for eliminating petty obstacles to
trade and investment, such as the checkpoints that litter the continent's
highways, and customs regulations that strand goods at African ports for

Wealthy nations must do their share by creating a sort of Marshall Plan for
Africa, it said. "The Marshall Plan worked. We should remember that,"
commissioners said, noting the recommendation that nations ultimately commit
0.7 percent of their national income to Africa is less than the 1 percent
committed by the United States to rebuild Europe.

The report says developed countries can stem African corruption by returning
stolen money to African countries; requiring foreign banks to monitor
suspiciously large deposits, and cracking down on foreign companies that
bribe African officials.

The report also focuses on AIDS, noting tangential problems posed by the
disease, such as the Zimbabwean farmers whose crops suffered due to broken
irrigation pumps. Funding for AIDS programs must increase by $10 billion a
year, the commission said, and donor nations must ensure that differences
over such things as abstinence versus condom-usage do not slow the delivery
of aid.
Copyright © 2005, Newsday, Inc.
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Commission for Africa stresses shared responsibilities

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 12 Mar 2005 (IRIN) - Even before British Prime Minister Tony
Blair officially unveiled on Friday the findings of his Commission for
Africa, a leaked version of the development plan was stirring up debate.

Some commentators were touting the report as a bold and ambitious attempt to
lift Africa out of crippling poverty. Africa Confidential, the newsletter
that leaked the report, described it as offering "little new thinking on
African development".

The harshest critics dismissed the whole endeavour as an election-year PR
exercise for Blair and just one more in a series of plans to save Africa
that have emerged in recent years only to sink into obscurity.

But even the sceptics seem to agree that while there is nothing particularly
groundbreaking in the 400-page report's recommendations for increased aid,
debt elimination, the lifting of trade barriers, and the stamping out of
corruption, its emphasis on shared responsibility between African leaders
and their western counterparts does represent a new approach.

Given that nine of the 17 commissioners are African, the move away from the
paternalistic tone of earlier plans is not surprising.

Commenting on the shift towards joint accountability, executive secretary of
the Economic Commission for Africa and one of the commissioners who helped
author the report, Kingsley Y. Amoako told IRIN: "All previous reports talk
about Africa's responsibility in terms of good governance, and ending
conflict and corruption, and this report agrees with that 100 percent, but
it goes further by also saying, wait a minute, the developed world also has
a huge responsibility and they are part of the problem."

Director of the Royal Africa Society, Richard Dowden applauded the report's
call for an end to harmful practices by the West such as money laundering
and bribe-giving. He doubted, however, whether the report's recommendation
for the doubling of aid flows to Africa to $25 billion over the next five
years was part of the answer.

"I'm opposed to the idea of outsiders coming in and throwing lots of money
at Africa thinking that it will solve its problems," he told IRIN. "It's
raising expectations that can't be met and the last thing Africa needs is to
be drenched in money that it can't absorb."

The report does address the issue of how to make aid more effective. Again
the responsibility is divided. The Commission calls for "a radical change in
the way donors behave and deliver assistance" while African countries are
urged to focus on improved governance.

African critics of the report, like Professor Sam Moyo of the University of
Zimbabwe, were not convinced by the Commission's calls for aid to be
"untied, predictable, harmonised, and linked to the decision-making and
budget processes of the country receiving it".

"It's still largely an external strategy of development whereas we need
internal, sustainable strategies," Moyo said.

International aid agency, ActionAid, supported the proposed aid increases
but wondered how and when the targets would be met, questions that the
report does not attempt to answer. Pushing Britain in particular, to put its
money where its mouth is, ActionAid launched its own report last month
called 'The African Commission for Britain'.

The ActionAid report calls on Britain to demonstrate genuine leadership
among its fellow G8 and EU countries by ending policies that negatively
impact African development and by setting an example with increased aid

ActionAid policy coordinator Wole Olaleye, argues that whether or not Blair
convinces other world leaders to agree to the report's recommendations,
there is nothing to stop Britain from acting alone, for example in donating
0.7 percent of its annual income in aid, a target it agreed to in 1970 and
has yet to honour. Olaleye also emphasised Britain's allegedly poor record
on corporate governance and its dumping of agricultural exports in Africa.

Tony Blair has made no secret of his hope that the report will help him
capitalise on his presidency of both the G8 and the European Union this year
to place Africa on the global agenda. But the United States gave an early
indication that it would not support several of the Commission's

It will not budge, for example, on its refusal to endorse British Chancellor
Gordon Brown's International Finance Facility (IFF) as a mechanism for
dealing with debt relief in Africa. The IFF seeks an additional $50 billion
a year in development assistance between now and 2015 for the world's
poorest countries to meet the internationally agreed Millennium Development

State Department spokesperson, Lou Fintor, described the IFF as too costly
and not in keeping with the United States government's budget rules. Fintor
declined to comment on whether Washington supported the report's
recommendations on the removal of trade barriers and subsidies on goods like
sugar and cotton. He did suggest that the United States has no intention of
meeting the Commission's aid targets.

"We disagree with global quantitative targets," he told IRIN. "These bare no
relationships to recipient countries ability to use these resources
effectively. They incorrectly imply that foreign aid alone can eradicate
poverty. Foreign aid is a small part of a large pool of resources from
varying sources that must be tapped for development."

Fintor emphasised President George Bush's own initiatives for poverty
eradication in Africa, such as the US $15 billion President's Emergency Fund
for AIDS Relief and the Millennium Challenge Account.

Several commentators and aid agencies viewed the report's recommendations as
a positive step in the right direction but were sceptical about the West's
commitment to implementing them.

"Most recommendations go far beyond what's currently being done by rich
countries," Olaleye said. "But the real test will be the extent to which
they're followed."

Speaking on the issue of implementation, Amoako emphasised that the report
is just the first step in a process of debate and consultation that will
continue at the G8 summit in Scotland in July, at the Millennium Summit in
New York in September and at the World Trade Organisation meeting in Hong
Kong in December.

He added that discussions had begun as to what mechanisms would be used to
monitor implementation and ensure accountability.

"We're very aware of the failed promises of the past," he said.

To view the report visit:

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

No laughing matter for Chiyangwa

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Mar-12

BUSINESSMAN Phillip Chiyangwa's three companies falling under Midiron
Enterprises, wholly owned by his Native Investments Africa Group (NIAG),
have been placed under liquidation. According to the latest issue of the
Government Gazette, dated March 11 2005, the three companies facing the
hammer are: G and D Shoes (Private) Limited, Belmont Leather (Private)
Limited and Zimbabwe Tanning (Private Limited), all based in Bulawayo.
A company may go into liquidation when it is seen to be unable to continue
to be in business, mainly due to a precarious financial position.
In some cases, the companies' assets exceed liabilities on the balance
sheet, leading to the shareholder or shareholders having negative equity.
Such a position forces the company to liquidate.
In the case of voluntary liquidation, the company may decide on its own to
take the said course when its stakeholders do not see it to be profitable to
continue to be in business.
City chartered accountant Robert McIndoe of Ernst and Young has been
appointed liquidator of the embattled businessman's unquoted concerns.
The development leaves only one company, Castilian Leather, operating out of
the troubled Midiron Enterprises. Castilian Leather manufactures leather
Belmont Leather is a key player in the manufacture of upper leathers for
shoes and clothing from bovine skins, while Zimbabwe Tanning manufactures
finished leather from game, exotic hides for export and also produces
vegetable sole leather.
In the notice gazetted yesterday, the government said: "The liquidation
accounts and plans of distribution and/ or contribution in the liquidations
mentioned below having been confirmed on the dates as stated, notice is
hereby given that a dividend is in course of payment and/or is in course of
collection in the said liquidations, and that every creditor liable to
contribute is required to pay forthwith to the liquidator, at the address
mentioned, the amount for which he is liable."
Apart from companies owned by the former ruling Zanu PF provincial chairman
for Mashonaland West, three other companies whose ownership could not be
immediately established were also listed in the government gazette as being
under liquidation.
These are PB Shoes (Private) Limited, Fifth Avenue Clothing (Private)
Limited and Tirzah Investments (Private) Limited.
Chiyangwa could not be reached late last night, but his lawyer, Lloyd Mhishi
of Dube, Manikai and Hwacha legal firm said: "I was with Chiyangwa in the
morning and he did not mention anything. Didn't they make a mistake (in the
McIndoe's mobile phone went off before he could answer questions from The
Daily Mirror, and subsequent efforts to get in touch with him were futile.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Govt steps up food aid programme

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Mar-12

THE government plans to step up its food aid programme to vulnerable groups
and areas stricken by drought this year, a top official said on Thursday.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister, Paul Mangwana told New
Ziana, the government was only waiting for the results of a crop assessment
survey being done jointly by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Central
Statistical Office (CSO) to roll out the programme.
The government currently provides food aid worth $12 billion a month
countrywide to vulnerable groups such as the elderly and orphans. There were
growing indications that demand for assistance would increase in coming
months due to a likely drought in many parts of the country this year. Many
regions of the country have been struck by a mid-season drought from last
month, prompting fears harvests would be poor in a number of areas.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

NCA defends expulsion of parties

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Mar-12

NATIONAL Constitutional Assembly's Political Parties Liaison Committee
chairperson, Wurayayi Zembe, yesterday defended the expulsion of three of
the five parties from the NCA on Tuesday.
Zembe said the decision to dismiss the affected parties was based on the
argument that by taking part in the nomination exercise the parties had
actually declared support for this month end's general elections despite
fielding no candidates at all.
The NCA sub-committee expelled the MDC, National Alliance for Good
Governance (NAGG), ZAPU-FP, Zanu and the Multiracial Open Party-Christian
Democrats (MOP-CD) for agreeing to participate in the eagerly awaited polls
slated for March 31 2005.
The NCA has made its position regarding the forthcoming elections very
clear. The civic rights body has publicly    opposed having elections
conducted under the current constitution they complain is undemocratic and
heavily tilted in favour of the ruling Zanu PF.
Zembe was responding to accusations by NAGG, Zapu-FP and MOP-CD, that their
dismissal was illegal since they had fielded no candidates for the elections
on February 18, which was the final day of nomination.
NAGG president Lloyd Chihambakwe has since dismissed their expulsion as
illegal for they did not field a candidate at all.
"If he had his homework he should have known that Nagg has no candidates
standing in the March elections. His actions are therefore illegal,"
Chihambakwe said.
MOP-CD president Gerald Mubayira also echoed Chihambakwe's concerns, and
warned that Zembe's actions would negatively affect the fight for
constitutional reform in Zimbabwe.
"The parties participated in the process of nomination which we had refused
to accept in the first place. The parties had also been consistent publicly
in pronouncing their participation in the elections.
Chihambakwe (Nagg President) was quoted on several occasions stating they
will only contest in urban areas due to violence by the ruling Zanu PF
supporters," Zembe said.
He added that Zapu-FP even went to the High Court seeking an order to
postpone the nomination exercise arguing that the nomination fee was
The fee was pegged at $2million this year up from the $100 000 charged
Zembe denied that the constitutional fight would be affected by the
dismissal of the parties saying their actions had proved that they did not
abide by their principles.
"They failed to field candidates because of failing to raise the required
money or not having enough people to second their nomination. This means
they lost the polls on the nomination stage of elections.
The matter was not just on those who fielded candidates but those who took
part in the election process. It shows that they are opportunists and not
capable of standing to the principles."
The NCA taskforce is yet to seat to determine the continued membership of
the defiant political parties in the civic group.
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The Zimbabwe Independent

2005 03 11

Opinion & Analysis

Friday, 11 March 2005

Thabo Mbeki playing a dangerous game
By Walter Hurley

A FEW derivatives will arise as a consequence of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)’s courageously choosing to participate in the forthcoming election. While the MDC may well be sending themselves to a pre-rigged political slaughterhouse, the fact that they are participating will actually have significant benefits later.

Inevitably, South African President Thabo Mbeki’s true colours will be re-confirmed. Another benefit being that the polarisation of the already divided community will be exposed.

The voting populace can be apportioned into the following generalised categories:

* the desperadoes of self-serving evil demeanour as supported by the protected, and the looters, abetters, patronised benefactors together with their many state enabled party hacks;

* the cowardly disposed who under sufferance would benignly hope that divine or civilised intervention will become their saviours;

* the naïve and malleable who are more concerned about day to day survival than to realise that they have a responsible part to play in improving the national destiny; and

* those of intelligence, sanity, courage, moral fibre and integrity who want a better and more secure life for themselves.

Clearly the present establishment will ensure, by whatever means that is at their disposal, that they will not forfeit power because of the many consequences that such a loss would accrue to themselves.

The election outcome will likely initiate revised Western foreign policies towards certain African states.

While the latest clutch of patently indifferent Western diplomats have apparently got an advanced form of vocal paralysis, the certainty is that a future Zanu PF government will be further isolated internationally, and the economic nose-dive will continue unabated should the present regime secure power by foul means.

The economic implosion will naturally continue unabated. The assets of locals and internationals have been looted and scavenged to the bone to sustain the regime. Despite hallucinations to the contrary, the economy is now showing signs of serious morbid tremor. The time of a real reckoning is therefore fast approaching.

The nation is in desperate need of a meaningful political solution to again qualify to join and engage the international community.

A significant derivative before and after the election will be that Mbeki will increasingly be under the international spotlight.

Based on past performance, Mbeki will likely further expose the growing fissures between his extra-terrestrial misinterpretations of truth, democracy, reality, standards, international charters, human rights, media freedom, and good governance versus those similarly defined, understood and properly in effect in the civilised global community.

To be remembered is the fact that Mbeki’s general mission statement with respect to Zimbabwe is to gain acceptance by the international community for the Zanu PF regime. He has already been prised out of the closet to almost declare in advance that the election will be free and fair.

Many remember the shameless, but now obscure South African comrades who gave purported credibility to the 2000 parliamentary and 2002 presidential elections.

As a matter of political posthumous record, some of the then South African ANC prime architects who then enabled the longevity of Zanu PF have possibly attained their due desserts.

Tony Yengeni, former ANC chief whip, is now a convicted fraudster. He unreservedly endorsed the 2000 parliamentary election in Zimbabwe.

Businessman Sam Motsuenyane has perhaps understandably disappeared from public view. Few can forget the event in March 2002 when he had the international media collapsing in howls of derisive laughter when he pronounced that the election was “legitimate”.

South Africa’s Safety and Security minister Steve Tshwete, who was Mbeki’s representative during Zimbabwe’s presidential poll, died in April 2002.

In hindsight, it is clear that high-ranking members of the ANC government, starting with Mbeki, had earlier laid down guidelines to the Motsuenyane mission.The latest ANC “expendables” are the nominated head of the Sadc observer mission, Home Affairs minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. She will purportedly ascertain whether the Zimbabwean electoral process is in keeping with the Sadc electoral guidelines. Labour minister Membathisi Mdladlana is to lead the parliamentary national observer mission.

One could almost suggest that they are already busy fabricating an election report with imaginative wording.

There can be no debate regarding Mbeki’s attitude and blind sponsorship of the Zanu PF regime. Historical records speak for themselves.

His conspicuous support of global retrogression and evil can be seen from his “best-friends” list. The schedule of the “outposts of tyrannical states” has been published. What has yet to be formally recognised are the inter-meshed supporter nations that facilitate retroversion and despotism. Via their umbilical connections to evil regimes, these countries provide succor, moral and material support to pariah states.

Based on his conduct in Zimbabwe alone, Mbeki stands to lose support for Nepad and debt relief. He will also have to contend with escalated investment risk analysis ranking, and the cancellation or reduction of further aid programmes to retrogressive nations in Africa.

Beyond that, his aspirations to become a permanent member of the Security Council will certainly be vetoed. Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo is by far better qualified to play a more important role in African affairs.

*Walter Hurley is a South African-based writer.

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