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

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The Telegraph

White land grab policy has failed, Mugabe confesses
By David Blair in Johannesburg
(Filed: 03/03/2005)

President Robert Mugabe confessed yesterday that millions of acres of prime
land seized from Zimbabwe's white farmers are now lying empty and idle.

After years spent trumpeting the "success" of the land grab, Mr Mugabe, 81,
admitted that most of the farms transferred to black owners have never been

All but a handful of Zimbabwe's 4,000 white farmers lost their homes and
livelihoods when armed gangs of Mugabe supporters began invading their
property in 2000.

In the first 18 months of the campaign, eight white landowners and 39 of
their black workers were murdered, court orders defied and Zimbabwe's
economy plunged into crisis.

Mr Mugabe said this was the price that Zimbabwe would have to pay to redress
the wrongs of the British colonial era, which left much of the best land in
white hands. He claimed that the seizures would boost production and benefit
millions of blacks.

Yet in his home province yesterday, Mr Mugabe chided the new landowners for
growing crops on less than half of their land.

"President Mugabe expressed disappointment with the land use, saying only 44
per cent of the land distributed is being fully utilised," state television
reported. "He warned the farmers that the government will not hesitate to
redistribute land that is not being utilised."

Some 10.4 million acres were seized under a scheme designed to create a new
class of black commercial farmer. By Mr Mugabe's figures, 5.8 million acres
are lying fallow.

Last year, Mr Mugabe boasted of a bumper harvest and said that Zimbabwe no
longer needed help "foisted" on it from the United Nations World Food

His land grab had made Zimbabwe "self sufficient", Mr Mugabe repeatedly
claimed, and the national maize crop was a record 2.4 million tonnes.

The Commercial Farmers' Union said that Zimbabwe grew only 850,000 tonnes of
maize last year, not enough to meet domestic demand. In 1999, the last year
before the land grab began, Zimbabwe grew 1.5 million tonnes. Then, Zimbabwe
also earned about 263 million from tobacco exports. Last year, production
had fallen by more than 70 per cent and earnings were down to 77 million.

Critics said Mr Mugabe's admission exposed the land grab's "failure".

"It has been a phenomenal and absolute failure on every level," said Tendai
Biti, secretary for economic affairs of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change. "It has failed both in terms of production of crops and
in terms of the occupation of the land."

The new farmers are unable to raise bank loans because their properties are
formally owned by the government and they have no individual title deeds.
Without loans, they cannot buy seed, fertiliser or farming equipment and the
regime has broken a pledge to supply them with tools.

Some farmers have resorted to using horse-drawn ploughs. Many have given up
trying to produce anything at all.

Zimbabwe will hold parliamentary elections on March 31 and, for the first
time in 10 years, Mr Mugabe is no longer holding out the offer of
white-owned land as a vote-winner. Instead, his speeches are dominated by
attacks on Tony Blair, who he claims is plotting to recolonise Zimbabwe.

About 400 white farmers remain in Zimbabwe, with about one third of this
year's tobacco crop of 89,000 tonnes coming from only 250 white landowners.
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Independent (UK)

Revealed: Straw's secret bid to stop Zimbabwe cricket tour
By Guy Adams
03 March 2005

* Jack Straw copped plenty of stick last year, when he was filmed shaking
hands with Robert Mugabe in the run-up to England's controversial cricket
tour of Zimbabwe.

The Foreign Secretary is no useful idiot, though. For Pandora can reveal
that - contrary to previous reports - he made an extraordinary attempt to
prevent England's cricketers visiting the country.

Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show Straw wrote to
the England and Wales Cricket Board in January last year, urging them to
cancel the trip.

In an emotive letter, he described the "appalling human rights situation"
under Mugabe's regime.

"The situation in Zimbabwe is bleak and deteriorating," he wrote. "It is the
Government's view that the overall situation is worse today than it was
during the Cricket World Cup.

"Zimbabwe is increasingly isolated from the international community ... You
may wish to consider whether a high-profile England cricket tour at this
time is consistent with that."

The letter's existence contradicts Tory claims that Straw's "soft" on
Mugabe, and will further tarnish the ECB, which went ahead with the tour

Sadly, the ECB has blocked the release of several other letters because -
according to the Foreign Office - "they would view disclosure of these
communications as a breach of confidence."

There's more on this murky business and I'll return to it tomorrow.

* TONY BLAIR will face one truly formidable opponent, should he set foot in
his Sedgefield constituency during the general election campaign.

Clarissa Dickson Wright, pictured, has volunteered to canvass on behalf of
the local Tory candidate, Danny Kruger, whose mother, Prue Leith, is a
fellow celebrity chef.

"I'll be handing out leaflets and that sort of thing," she tells me. "I'd
love to bump into Blair, but of course he's hardly ever there.

"But I'll certainly visit the pub he took George Bush to. All that stuff
about those two having fish and chips was nonsense: Bush brought his own

The Fat Lady - whose opposition to Labour stems largely from its recent ban
on hunting - is adamant that the PM (majority: 17,000) can be unseated.

"The last Tory knocked 5,000 off his majority, so it's not impossible," she

* WHATEVER HAPPENS to Martin Bashir during the freakshow that is Michael
Jackson's trial, TV viewers are unlikely to get another chance to see the
film that put him there in the first place.

Although Living With Michael Jackson achieved soaraway ratings, ITV has
rejected plans to bring it back to our screens once the child abuse trial is

"As a broadcaster, we wouldn't want to be seen to be stirring things up,"
explains a spokesman. "To be honest, it's extremely unlikely ever to be
shown again. Things have moved on in the life of Michael Jackson; things
move on."

Elsewhere, Granada retains (potentially lucrative) DVD rights for the film.
They'll have to wrestle with their conscience over the rights and wrongs of
exercising them.

* THE RECENT cold snap is playing havoc with BBC news bulletins. Anna Ford
was struck down with flu at the weekend, leaving junior colleagues to step
into the breech.

It's a double blow, since Ford was also due to host Tuesday's Index on
Censorship awards in London (the journalist Jonathan Freedland deputised).
But friends insist that she's wise to stay at home.

"A couple of years ago, when Anna had a sore throat, she lost her voice half
way through the Six O'Clock News ," says a chum. "Sophie Raworth was forced
to take over midway through. It went down in the annals of TV cock-ups."

* There is further evidence of Alastair Campbell's inexorable drift towards
middle age. On Tuesday, Pandora reported that he'd bought his first pet dog;
now I gather that he's started wearing reading glasses.

It's a hot topic in Westminster. "Spectacles are the new moustaches for New
Labour," says one pundit. "They're a 'must have' accessory for people in

"Tony Blair wears his increasingly, but as soon as Jack Straw switched from
Mr Magoo specs to contact lenses, people began saying his career's on the

In the absence of anything important to do, Pandora e-mailed Campbell
yesterday to discuss the matter. But his Blackberry must be playing up: at
the time of going to print, no response had come my way.
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Zim Online

Malnutrition claims 10 more lives in Bulawayo
Thur 3 March 2005
BULAWAYO - Ten people, most of them children under the age of five, died
in Zimbabwe's second largest city of Bulawayo because of
malnutrition-related illnesses, ZimOnline has learnt.

The latest deaths bring to 214 the number of people who have died in
the last year because of hunger-related illnesses as a severe food shortage
inflicts a heavy toll on the city of one million people.

In January alone, 14 malnutrition-related deaths were recorded in
Bulawayo. Bulawayo Executive Mayor Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, in the past barred
by the government from disclosing hunger-related deaths in the city, said
more people among the marginalised groups such as children, orphans and the
elderly could die in the coming months because of illnesses induced by lack
of adequate food.

"There is a lot of suffering in this city. Many children and some
elderly people are dying as a result of malnutrition and we are very much
concerned about the death toll," Ndabeni-Ncube said.

According to minutes of council meetings held last month, of the 10
people who died of food shortage-related illnesses, seven were children aged
five and below all from the low-income suburbs of Cowdray Park, Entumbane,
Emganwini, Eminyela,
Nkulumane and Braeside.

The three deceased people were all adults from Emganwini suburb.

Ndabeni-Ncube said his council was planning a campaign to mobilise
resources from non-governmental organisations, churches, business community
and individuals for a feeding scheme to target mostly children and the
elderly residents. He did not say when exactly the scheme was scheduled to

Bulawayo lies in the Matabeleland region, the epicentre of a food
crisis gripping Zimbabwe although denied by President Robert Mugabe and his

The Famine Early Warning System Network warned in a report released
three weeks ago that 4.8 million Zimbabweans mostly in Matabeleland and
Masvingo provinces require urgent food aid or they could starve.

Mugabe last year told international donor groups to take their help
elsewhere saying Zimbabwe had harvested enough to feed itself.

But a subsequent inquiry by Parliament revealed that claims by Mugabe
and his Agriculture Minister, Joseph Made, that the country harvested 2.4
million tonnes of maize last year were incorrect and that huge quantities
needed to be imported to augment the paltry stocks harvested in the
2003/2004 season. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Moyo hits back at Mugabe
Thur 3 March 2005
HARARE - Former government information minister and propaganda chief,
Jonathan Moyo, hit back at President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF
party saying they had resorted to attacking him because they had no message
to take to the people ahead of a key election at the end of the month.

"This is craziness," Moyo told ZimOnline in an interview yesterday.
"They now use me to campaign for the elections. They have nothing to
campaign about hence the use of my name," he added.

The former government t spinner spoke after Mugabe launched yet
another tirade against him during the burial of late top ZANU PF official
Witness Mangwende in Harare yesterday.

Mugabe, who has a strange liking for turning funerals into political
meetings, appeared to regret ever appointing Moyo to the information job
telling mourners that he did not know the former propaganda tsar well when
he brought him into his government.

The President accused Moyo of being an opportunist and vowed that his
ZANU PF party would defeat Moyo in Tsholotsho constituency where the former
information minister is standing as an independent.

"Tsholotsho does not know this man (Moyo). Even the chiefs have said
to us they don't know this man. They said we brought him from Harare to
represent them in Tsholotsho. People say I brought him, yes I brought him to
government but I did not know him well," said Mugabe.

Moyo was dismissed by Mugabe from the government after he chose to
contest the March 31 election on an independent ticket.

Relations between the two first soured after Moyo attempted to block
the appointment of Joyce Mujuru as ZANU PF and state second vice-president
late last year. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

NCA to resist Mugabe's attempt to rewrite constitution
Thur 3 March 2005
HARARE - Zimbabwe's National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) has vowed to
resist attempts by President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party to
rewrite Zimbabwe's constitution if they win this month's election by a two
thirds majority.

The NCA, which in 2000 successfully campaigned against a
government-drawn draft constitution that further entrenched Mugabe's power,
is an alliance of Zimbabwe's major human rights and pro-democracy groups,
opposition parties, churches, the student and labour movements.

In a statement yesterday, NCA chairman, Lovemore Madhuku warned Mugabe
and his party to brace up for stiff resistance by his group against any
attempts to re-write the country's Constitution without consulting

"The NCA wishes to make it clear to President Mugabe and his ruling
ZANU PF that: his wishes on the constitution are unacceptable and will be
resisted with all the vigour and determination at our disposal," Madhuku's
statement reads in part.

"It is not acceptable and will be rejected, for ZANU PF to write a
constitution to preserve its interests and claim to be doing so in the name
of the people. The so-called 'two-thirds majority' is irrelevant to the
issue of a new constitution in Zimbabwe."

Mugabe last weekend told ZANU PF officials in Manicaland province that
his government will single-handedly rewrite Zimbabwe's Constitution to bring
back a bi-cameral Parliament among other changes, if it won a general
election at the end of
this month.

Although the government has a majority in Parliament, at the moment it
is unable to amend the Constitution because it has less than the two-thirds
majority required for such amendments. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Lawyers' challenge of money laundering law put on hold
Thur 3 March 2005
HARARE - A constitutional application by lawyers challenging requirements
under new legislation that they report clients suspected of money laundering
has been put on hold while the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ), the Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe(RBZ) and the Attorney General (AG)'s office jointly review
the new law.

Court documents availed to ZimOnline show that the case was suspended
with agreement of the three parties to allow them to work out a compromise
arrangement that would ensure trust accounts held by lawyers are not used
for money laundering while also upholding legal ethics and confidentiality
between lawyers and their clients.

The LSZ earlier this year appealed to the Supreme Court challenging
provisions of the new Bank Use Promotion and Suppression of Money Laundering
Act requiring lawyers to act as whistleblowers on their clients by
recording, disclosing and reporting information about clients suspected of
money laundering.

The LSZ argued in its application that it was not "necessary to turn
lawyers into whistleblowers in order to prevent them from engaging in or
assisting in money laundering.

"Lawyer loyalty to clients and independence of the legal profession,
two fundamental principles supportive of the rights to privacy, the right to
a fair trial and the right to freedom of expression as between lawyers and
their clients, are at the root of
the success of the adversarial type of litigation that takes place in
the country."

The LSZ cited the RBZ and AG as second and third respondents
respectively with Zimbabwe's Minister of Finance cited as first
respondent. - ZimOnline.

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Zim Online

Supreme Court blocks bank merger
Thur 3 March 2005
HARARE - The Supreme Court yesterday ordered the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
not to merge Royal Bank into its Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG) until
a court appeal by the commercial bank against the forced merger was

In a ruling throwing into further confusion moves by RBZ governor
Gideon Gono to bring order to Zimbabwe's unstable financial sector by
merging all troubled banks into the ZABG, Supreme Court Justice Wilson
Sandura ordered the RBZ, ZABG and curator Robert McIndoe not to dispose or
alienate Royal Bank's assets.

Royal Bank and two other troubled banks, Trust Bank and Barbican Bank,
closed by RBZ last year were this year ordered to merge into the ZABG in a
move the central bank said was aimed at bringing back stability in the
financial sector following the collapse of several banks due to

The government is the majority shareholder in the ZAGB after
converting money owed to the state by the three banks into equity.

The ZABG opened its doors last month and is currently working on
transferring assets and clients of the three banks onto its register, a move
that must now be suspended in the case of Royal Bank's assets and clients
after Sandura's ruling.

Royal Bank appealed to the Supreme Court after High Court Judge Yunus
Omerjee last month upheld the forced acquisition of the commercial bank.

The appeal will be heard next Monday.

Meanwhile, ZANU PF security director Kenny Karidza who is facing
charges of selling state secrets to South African agents appeared in court
yesterday. There were no immediate details of what transpired in court as
the proceedings were held in camera. - ZimOnline

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The Mercury

SA 'mercenaries' to be released
March 3, 2005

By Bruce Venter

Pretoria: The Zimbabwean High Court ruled yesterday that 64 suspected
South African mercenaries be immediately released.

In the wake of an appeal by South African lawyers against the
sentences imposed on the men by a Zimbabwean magistrate's court last year,
the high court ruled that the alleged mercenaries be released into the
custody of Zimbabwe's Immigration Department, pending their deportation back
to South Africa.

Suspected of planning a coup in Equatorial Guinea, the men, all former
members of the apartheid security forces, were arrested in Harare in early
March last year when their Boeing 727 landed in Zimbabwe to collect a
weapons consignment, allegedly bought from Zimbabwe Defence Industries.

At the time of their arrest, the men claimed they were en route to
guard mining installations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Zimbabwean arrests, alleged to have come after a tip-off from the
South African government, preceded the arrests of former apartheid soldiers
in Equatorial Guinea.

They were also accused of plotting to overthrow the government of
President Obiang Nguema.

Denying the charges, the men were sentenced last year to between
12-month and seven-year prison terms for contravening Zimbabwe's aviation,
immigration and firearms laws.

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The Telegraph

Streak ends exile in style
By Charles Randall
(Filed: 03/03/2005)

South Africa (207-5) beat Zimbabwe (206-8) by five wickets

Heath Streak returned to international cricket with Zimbabwe yesterday and
hit a defiant 68 at Port Elizabeth in the third and final match of their
one-day series against South Africa.

Zimbabwe, their team in tatters a week ago, were inspired by his presence,
recovering from 35 for five to a respectable 50-over total of 206 for eight.
South Africa, having won the first two games by a mile, were made to battle
this time against much more competitive opponents before cruising home by
five wickets.

Streak, the former captain, left international cricket 10 months ago with 15
other white players while a row over the selection process with the national
cricket authorities simmered.

Tatenda Taibu won the toss yesterday, and the loss of five wickets inside
the first 15 overs set the stage for Streak as he calmly rebuilt the innings
at No 7, firstly with Brendan Taylor in a 67-run stand and then with Gavin

The destructive partnership of 88 with Ewing was the key to the Zimbabwe
revival. Ewing was bowled by Albie Morkel for 46 off 53 balls, and Streak
was run out attempting a risky second with a competitive total already on
the board.

Streak's renewed commitment will affect his county career, as Warwickshire
are likely to lose him for their last six Championship matches this summer.
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SA delegation member dies in Zimbabwe accident

March 02, 2005, 23:15

A member of a South African delegation in Zimbabwe to observe that country's
land reform programme died in a road accident today.

South Africa's foreign affairs department says another two South Africans,
who were all members of a delegation of the House of Traditional Leaders,
have been injured in the accident outside Masvingo.

Zimbabwe police say the delegation was travelling from Bulawayo to Masvingo
when the driver apparently lost control over the vehicle.
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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to: with subject line "For: Open Letter Forum".


Thought of the Day:

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided
missiles and misguided men."

Thomas Jefferson.


- On JAG, LCD's, and Compensation - Peter Dobson
- Mike Clarke - "I'm not the one - blame it on your neighbour" - Mrefu
- ZIMBOZ: - Demand right to Vote - Simply Simon
- RE: MF - Wright's Statement - Diana Clubb
- Beware - Con Men - C Taylor


LETTER 1: Of JAG, Loss Claim Doc's (LCD's), and Compensation, received

by Peter Dobson

Dear JAG

Two years ago when we left Zimbabwe after all the traumas that dis-posessed
farmers go through - there was one cloud of anxiety hanging over us along
with several other clouds as we approached our new life in SA. That cloud
was to fill in the JAG Loss documents!! I cannot remember ever having met a
farmer who drooled at the thought of any amount of administration and the
JAG Loss documents were and are quite seriously complicated. Or so I
thought or imagined. End result was that the inevitable got put off for at
least 12 months (same reason we put off filling our tax returns I guess).

JAG were extremley helpful - and I started to tackle it and after probably
two months of trying to get the information and collate this into something
along the lines that JAG wanted - I arrived at the day when all I had to do
was press "PRINT". The result was satisfactory and elligible. I proudly
took it into JAG's offices and was issued a receipt. Sadly they didn't look
at my months of work and tell me what a good boy I had been - much like
what some school teachers did when you handed in your project for the

But that didn't matter. What did matter was that I felt an enormous sense
of relief on the one hand and accomplishment on the other. Relief, that the
job was finally done and accomplishment because I believe it extremely
important to all farm owners to document what they had because once it is
done - it is there for life and can be handed on to the next generation if
needs be, for them to follow up. One thing is definite, and that is, that
there must be just and fair compensation to all owners one day. If there
are others out there yet to tackle this very important but onerous task -
take my advice and get it done. You won't regret it. Remember to keep a
copy for yourselves as well!!

Sincerely yours

Peter Dobson


LETTER 2: MIKE CLARKE - "I'm not the one - blame it on your neighbour",
received 1.3.2005

by Mrefu

Dear JAG

Thank you for your open letters forum - possibly one of the last vestiges
of free journalism in Zimbabwe!

I refer with disgust to the following passage from The Mail & Guardian
(SA), 28.2.2005 as reported by ZWNEWS in an article titled "Last-ditch
battle for white Zim farmers" dated the same day. In his interview Mike
Clarke, as CFU spokesperson, is also meant to have said:

"We have done nothing wrong but we are all being punished for the actions
of a few individuals who got involved in politics."

If this quote can be attributed to Mike Clarke as reported by the M & G
(SA), then my comments are:-
1. What courage this leader displays!
2. What dedication to the common cause of his farming fraternity whom he
claims to represent!
3. What understanding for justice and democracy on behalf of all
Zimbabweans he portrays!
4. So exercising one's democratic rights in accordance with our
constitution is a crime?...

I hope Mike Clarke may refute this sentence publically, if he has been
misrepresented by the media, and we can all breathe a sigh of relief that
there is another principled leader amongst us.

yours in expectation



LETTER 3: ZIMBOZ: - Demand right to Vote, received 28.2.2005

by Simply Simon


If you remember, I said in my last letter

"It also means that you may well find that you have very little time to
prepare for this event and will possibly just give up if the process is too

It needs each one of you to please contact the Embassy asking for the
voters role. Each one of you to politely ask the member of staff on duty
when you can inspect the role and what procedure you need to know to be
able to vote from Canberra. Each one of you to persevere with your demand
to vote in your country's general election on 31 March.

Claim your constitutional right. Demand to vote in your country's election.
It is your right as a citisen of Zimbabwe, wherever you reside, to vote in
any general election held in Zimbabwe.

Many people were jailed in Zimbabwe in 2000 and in 2002 for claiming their
right to vote and watch the election procedures. You are away from the
regime that would do this to you. Claim your right to vote at our embassies
throughout the world. Every vote will count.

If you damand your right, you might even get it!!

So go brave and claim it!!

Simply Simon


LETTER 4: RE: MF - WRIGHT'S STATEMENT, received 26.2.2005

Dear Cameron

I think your Massey Ferguson dealers need a new Sales director and a vastly
improved PR department. "Damage control" is putting it mildly - Farmer's
Weekly article to be published later this week.

To say that Nick was quoted out of context is bullshit. Why can't they just
be honest and say that he just made a mistake.

Best regards


--------original article -------

MF drama

Credits: Lloyd Phillips

Heading: Massey Ferguson HQ defends Zim comments

Body: Respected international agricultural machinery and implement
manufacturers, Massey Ferguson, has defended comments made by its Regional
Director for Africa, Nick Wright, during a meeting held with Zimbabwe's
Agriculture and Rural Development Minister, Dr Joseph Made, regarding plans
to supply the country's new farmers with much needed tractors and planters.

"We can safely say that Zimbabwe's agriculture is in safe hands," was the
comment made by Wright that has now angered many white farmers who have
been forcefully evicted from their farms under President Robert Mugabe's
land reform programme. The anger has also spread to many farmers in
neighbouring countries who sympathise with the evicted farmers.

In a letter to Farmer's Weekly, Zambian/South African commercial farmer,
Keith Clubb, responded to Wright's comments saying, "I cannot describe to
you how offensive, insulting and just plain wrong Mr Wright's
description.has been to those of us who have witnessed the creation of the
disaster that is now Zimbabwe."

Clubb added that while he appreciates that MF produces equipment to feed
people, he argued that it should not "lend moral public support to racist
dictators, murderers and thieves who have created famine in their own
country, just because these people might buy a few tractors."

The South African MF Dealers Association distanced itself from Wright's

"We as dealers are in total disagreement with the statement made and we
sincerely hope that it is rectified," said Dealer's Association Chairman,
Punch Chapman. "When we see what's happened to agriculture in Zimbabwe we
cannot say that it's in good hands."

AGCO Limited, UK-based manufacturers of MF equipment, has responded to
anger over Wright's comments by saying that they were "misinterpreted and
placed in an incorrect context".

"Mr Wright's comments were delivered within the context of Massey Ferguson
being proud of its relationship with its distributor, Farmec, and with the
farmers that are our customers in Zimbabwe, "AGCO's statement read. "When
Mr Wright made his 'in safe hands' comment he was referring to Massey
Ferguson's relationship with Farmec, who have over 50 years of experience
in Zimbabwean agriculture on behalf of MF."

AGCO also claimed that MF has a long heritage of working closely with
farmers and agricultural professionals within Zimbabwe and that together
with its Farmec, would continue to provide support to its Zimbabwean

A request for comment on the issue from Zimbabwean agricultural watchdog,
Justice for Agriculture, had not received response at the time of going to

-------- end original article --------


JAG Certainly have not received any request for comment. Had we, our
response would have been very clear and forthright.


LETTER 5: BEWARE - CON MEN, received 28.2.2005

by C Taylor

Dear JAG

There is a guy, or a group of people calling themselves the Anti-Corruption
Group going around offering to sort out anomalies and get your farms back.

The one I met was called Ronald MARUFU, tall, clean shaven, with a very
short haircut and riding a Harley-Davidson style Yamaha bike. He is
extremely plausible, tells you all sorts of amazing stories of how your
whole farm takeover was illegal and how he is getting it vacated for you.

He also likes to borrow cars, cell phones etc and charges you expenses for
ficticious people he has helping him.


sincerely yours
C Taylor


JAG Hotlines:
+263 (011) 205 374 If you are in trouble or need advice,
please don't hesitate to contact us -
we're here to help!
+263 (04) 799 410 Office Lines

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Business Report

Bridgestone Firestone closes down Zimbabwe operation
March 3, 2005

By Roy Cokayne

Pretoria - Bridgestone Firestone Maxiprest, the listed tyre company,
has closed its Zimbabwean operation, primarily due to the political and
economic instability in that country.

Chief executive Hiroshi Takenaka, who was reporting yesterday on the
group's results for the year to December, said the operation had been closed
on January 21. It held deposits of R5.2 million in CFX Bank, which was
placed under curatorship in December last year.

The closure had resulted in retrenchment costs of R1.7 million, which
were funded partially by the use of an overdraft facility.

"The group is currently in the process of realising the remaining
assets of the Zimbabwean operation to minimise any further losses," he said.

Takenaka said the investment in the Zimbabwean operation had been
written off at year-end. This had an impact of R3.7 million on the annual

He expressed confidence in the company's ability to return to
profitability despite reporting a headline loss a share of 28.9c compared
with a profit of 1.4c in the previous year.

Although the results "are looking grim at this stage", management was
confident it could turn the group around in the 2005 financial year.

Revenue for the year declined by more than 10 percent to R1.3 billion
while operating margins deteriorated to 24.6 percent from 26.9 percent.

The headline loss of R44.5 million compared with a profit of R2.1
million in the previous year.

The loss was attributed to charges amounting to R30 million, of which
R14.6 million related to the impairment of investments in the group's
African operations; R3.4 million to retrenchments in these territories; and
R7.4 million for the payment for loss of office of previous directors.

The stronger rand also had a negative impact of R4.9 million.

The shares dipped 3c to 77c yesterday, while the automobiles and parts
sector fell 1.27 percent.

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Message to the Congress of the United States


Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides
for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, prior to the
anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal
Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency
is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with
this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the
enclosed notice stating that the national emergency blocking the property of
persons undermining democratic processes or institutions in Zimbabwe is to
continue in effect beyond March 6, 2005. The most recent notice continuing
this emergency was published in the Federal Register on March 5, 2004 (69 FR

The crisis constituted by the actions and policies of certain members of the
Government of Zimbabwe and other persons to undermine Zimbabwe's democratic
processes or institutions has not been resolved. These actions and policies
pose a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of
the United States. For these reasons, I have determined that it is necessary
to continue the national emergency blocking the property of persons
undermining democratic processes or institutions in Zimbabwe and to maintain
in force the sanctions to respond to this threat.



March 2, 2005.
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