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

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Institute of War and Peace Reporting

Harare Descends Into Chaos

Sewage and rotting garbage litter the streets as services and infrastructure
continue to crumble.

By Dzikamai Chidyausiku in Harare (Africa Reports No 33, 10-May-05)

In Tafara, one of Harare's working class suburbs, Cynthia Mutepfa wakes
before dawn each day and walks three kilometres to fetch water from a
makeshift well alongside one of the capital city's heavily polluted streams.

Cynthia, 22, places a 20-litre plastic container on her head before
tip-toeing through her back yard to avoid stepping into the maggot-infested
raw sewage that has flooded from the local burst sewer tank.

She spends the best part of an hour jostling with other desperate residents
for a few gallons of water from the unprotected well, which is just a mud
hole dug deep to reach the water table beneath the city.

The majority of Tafara's 100,000 residents have resorted to drinking water
from local streams fed mainly by water from burst sewerage and drainage
pipes. Cynthia, like thousands of others, last had tap water a month ago.

"We have gone for months without guaranteed water. The burst sewer pipes
have not been repaired for two months," Cynthia told IWPR.

Cynthia's story has become typical of that of Harare residents - both in the
city centre and the outlying townships - as water, electricity, garbage
collection and other services have entered freefall.

Uncollected rubbish is even piling up in the central business district. Side
lanes and street alleys reek with rotting garbage that has lain untouched
for weeks as the ruling ZANU PF-appointed council fails to collect the waste
due to alleged mismanagement, which has been exacerbated by the country's
crippling fuel shortages and power station breakdowns.

"We have no choice but to dump the rubbish anywhere we can as the council
has not collected any for the past two weeks," said Tinarwo Makura, a
resident of Highfield, one of the oldest of Harare's outer suburbs.

Most city roads are riddled with potholes so big that small cars could sink
into them, while others are impassable because of huge holes dug by the
council in its bid to repair the continuously bursting water pipes.

Raw sewage has been allowed to spill into Harare's main water sources such
as Lake Chivero, to the west of the capital, posing serious health threats
to all its residents. Environmentalists and health experts warn that Harare
is sitting on a disease time bomb.

Angus Martens, of the upmarket Arcadia suburb's residents' association, told
IWPR that companies and residents alike had turned the small local Mukuvisi
river into a dumping ground.

"There are no council services to talk of," said Martens. "Homeowners and
companies have had to resort to dumping their rubbish."

Schools are turning pupils away because there is no drinking water or water
to flush toilets. So desperate is the situation that a litre of imported
water is more expensive than a litre of scarce petrol, which was heavily
subsidised before the recent parliamentary election as a tactic by the
governing ZANU PF.

Observers believe that the government is now frightened to end the subsidies
for fear of accelerated inflation, already running at an estimated 400 per
cent. One celebrated cartoon shows robbers holding up a man pushing a
wheelbarrow-load of Weimar Republic-style cash. The crooks demand that their
victim throw out the worthless banknotes and hand over the wheelbarrow.

Cars, buses and mini-bus taxis form long snaking queues at petrol stations
in the hope that a tanker load of fuel might arrive. Zimbabweans have
christened such lines of motorists "hope queues".

As the water crisis worsens, some of the emergency wells and boreholes on
which people are dependent are beginning to dry up because the water table
is receding.

Janest Museve, who lives in the suburb of Hatfield, said the water from her
emergency well had suddenly turned cloudy. "We are suffering," she said.
"The water we used to get from the well is now coming out very dirty."

Collin Gwiyo, deputy secretary general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions, ZCTU, said, "Try to imagine waking up to go to work and there is no
water for you to bathe, no electricity to warm your water up and cook food,
then there is no transport to ferry you to work? How many problems can
befall a person? That is the situation we arrived at in Zimbabwe."

The situation is a classic case of how failed governance and political
interference have led to the collapse of services right across the country.

Similar stories are reported from many smaller towns. In the mining town of
Zvishavane, 300 km southwest of Harare, the weekly Standard newspaper
reports raw sewage flowing on the streets as a result of unrepaired pipes.

In Marondera, southeast of the capital, schools are closing because of water
and electricity supply problems. "The water cuts are unexpected and
unexplained, and trying to find anyone in authority prepared to talk about
the problem, the reason or the expected duration, is a complete waste of
time," said Marondera resident Cathy Buckle.

"A casual telephone enquiry about the daily power cuts to the local
electricity offices resulted in a flustered employee giving some mumbled
excuses about insufficient maintenance, no money for spares and no foreign

Harare residents attribute their city's crumbling services to government
meddling in the running of local authorities, which has seen elected
councils being eliminated for political expediency.

The central government took control of Harare after voters elected Elias
Mudzuri, of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, MDC, as mayor in
2002. All efforts by Mudzuri to run the city efficiently were blocked by the
central government, which last year dismissed him and appointed its own
commissioners, handpicked by Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, to
run the capital.

Since then services have been in freefall and nearly all the municipality's
engineers have resigned and left the country. Combined Harare Residents
Association, CHRA, an umbrella body for the capital's residents
associations, blamed government's interference for the crisis in the city,
saying politics have taken precedence over good governance in most local

"Since the appointment of the government commission, service delivery has
reached its lowest ebb," a CHRA spokesman told IWPR. "Burst water pipes go
unrepaired for weeks and the problem of street lights has not been attended
to, plunging streets into darkness."

The commission's excuse for its failure to collect rubbish is the shortage
of fuel and the expiry of contracts signed with private refuse collectors.

"The council has not collected refuse here for two months," Israel Mabhou,
chairman of the Mbare suburb residents' association, said angrily. "Our last
option would be to carry these bins and the rotting rubbish and dump them at
[its headquarters]. We are sick and tired of their excuses."

The situation is even worse in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city, which has
an MDC mayor. The central ZANU PF government has refused him and his city
council all borrowing powers, making it virtually impossible to maintain
minimal services.

Meanwhile, the government has lambasted the Bulawayo council for "peddling
falsehoods" about mass starvation in the city. The latter issued a report
last year claiming that several residents have died of starvation, as local
grain production has collapsed and President Robert Mugabe has banned
international agencies from distributing food aid.

Few people see an end to what is now a multiple crisis resulting from
collapsed industries, non-functioning infrastructure and international
isolation and sanctions.

An increasing number are as despairing, as 36-year-old Harare resident
Constance Goredema who, with her nine-month-old baby on her back, told IWPR,
"We won't live. We won't see next year. We are going to die."

Dzikamai Chidyausiku is the pseudonym of an IWPR journalist in Zimbabwe.
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Zim Online

Tsvangirai in Mauritius
Wed 11 May 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is in
Mauritius today for talks with Prime Minister Paul Berenger in a new effort
to enlist the region to help end Zimbabwe's crisis, deepening after a
disputed election last March.

      A top official of Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
party told ZimOnline last night that his meeting with Berenger was at the
invitation of the Mauritian leader, who is chairman of the Southern
Development Community (SADC).

      "The meeting is at the invitation of Prime Minister Berenger who
requested to meet the MDC leadership to discuss the continuing crisis in
Zimbabwe," said MDC secretary general Welshman Ncube. MDC vice-president
Gibson Sibanda and party deputy secretary general, Gift Chimanikire, are
travelling with Tsvangirai, according to Ncube.

      Today's meeting with Berenger is the first between the Zimbabwean
opposition leader and any SADC head of state or government since he pulled
his MDC party from a South African-driven mediation process aimed at finding
a solution to Zimbabwe's political crisis.

      Tsvangirai and the MDC accuse South African President Thabo Mbeki and
his government of taking sides in the Zimbabwe dispute after they endorsed
ZANU PF's election victory despite what the opposition says is clear
evidence of rigging by Mugabe and his government.

      ZANU PF won 78 of the 120 contested seats with the MDC winning 41
seats and an independent candidate taking the remaining seat. With Mugabe
appointing another 30 unelected Members of Parliament, the ruling party now
controls two-thirds of Parliament enabling it to unilaterally rewrite
Zimbabwe's constitution.

      But Zimbabwe's food and economic crisis rapidly deteriorated just days
after ZANU PF's landslide election victory.

      Basic commodities vanished from most shops, while in the few shops
that still had a few essential commodities in stock, prices more than

      A five-year fuel shortage worsened with most garages across the
country without petrol and diesel while Harare was plunged into darkness as
the generators at the old Kariba hydro power plant packed up due to shortage
of spares while power supplies from the Democratic Republic of the Congo
were disrupted because of a breakdown there.

      Water tapes also dried up in most suburbs of Harare because of a
shortage of spare parts for water pumps and water treatment chemicals.

      The staple maize is also fast running out and international food
relief agencies are warning of a humanitarian disaster in Zimbabwe in the
coming months unless up to 1.2 million tonnes of the staple grain are
urgently shipped to the country. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Tax collectors raid firms in bid to raise cash for food imports
Wed 11 May 2005
  BULAWAYO - Government tax collectors have in the last three weeks raided
businesses demanding on the spot inspection of their books to see if they
were paying tax as the government battles to raise cash for critically
needed food imports.

      A senior official with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA), the
state's tax collection arm, said the revenue organ was under pressure from
the government and from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to probe all
revenue paying businesses to ensure they were paying tax.

      The official, who spoke on condition he was not named said: "ZIMRA is
under fire from the government and the RBZ. The RBZ is under pressure to
raise money to import food and fuel. Hopes that tobacco sales would boost
our foreign currency coffers have left the country facing a crisis with
ZIMRA as the only source of revenue, hence this pressure."

      As well as inspect tax books, ZIMRA officials were also examining
financial records to ensure businesses were not earning money through
black-market deals and thus prejudicing the state of revenue, according to
the official.

      An accountant with one of the largest firms in Bulawayo narrated how
ZIMRA officials barged into the firm's offices demanding all audited
statements of accounts, proof of previous tax remittances and all receipts
showing current and previous business transactions.

      "We were not prepared for them (ZIMRA) at all. It is normal practice
for them to make appointments before they visit," the accountant said. He
added: "The two tax inspectors simply told me they would be working from my
office and that I was required to be present throughout the audit."

      But Industry and International Trade Minister Obert Mpofu denied ZIMRA
was under pressure to raise money for food and fuel saying the ongoing
inspection by the revenue body was a routine exercise meant to ensure good
corporate practice and accountability in the business sector.

      Mpofu said: "I can confirm that (the) tax inspections are routine,
regular exercises. It surprises me that when Zimbabwe government carries out
its duties diligently, it faces accusations of (having) foul intentions, yet
it is derided as a failure when it does not enforce national regulations."

      The company raids by ZIMRA comes as the RBZ last week launched a
similar raid of hotel and tour operators inspecting their books to ensure
they were declaring all foreign currency earnings to the central bank.

      Zimbabwe, grappling its worst ever foreign currency crisis, must
import 1.2 million tonnes of the staple maize after poor harvests this year.
Fuel, electricity and essential medical drugs are already in critical short
supply in the country because there is no forex to pay foreign suppliers.

      The government last month diverted Z$5 trillion meant for capital
projects to pay for food with ruling ZANU PF party spokesman, Nathan
Shamuyarira, declaring at the time that the state was going to do whatever
was necessary to raise money to pay for food. - ZimOnline
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Foreign donors giving much less aid to Zimbabwe: UN
Wed May 11, 2005 1:11 AM BST

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Foreign donors are so discouraged with Zimbabwe
that it attracted just $4 (2.12 pounds) in outside aid for every person with
AIDS in 2004 compared to $74 on average in the South African region as a
whole, U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland said on Tuesday.

Zimbabwe is one of a number of African countries suffering from the triple
threat of soaring AIDS cases, drought and "weak or bad governance," Egeland
said after briefing the U.N. Security Council on the humanitarian situation
in Africa.

But a lack of dialogue between the government of Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe and potential donors was also to blame for the country's poor showing
in AIDS funding as well as persistent food shortages, he said.

Danish Ambassador Ellen Loj proposed that council members approve an
informal statement expressing concern about the situation in Zimbabwe but
that was blocked when China and Algeria objected, diplomats said.

The two countries argued that Zimbabwe's problem was a humanitarian crisis
that did not belong on the agenda of the Security Council, which deals with
international peace and security, said the diplomats, who spoke on condition
of anonymity.

Zimbabwe was once a breadbasket for Africa but its economy has virtually
collapsed during the last six years and it now depends heavily on outside
aid to feed its people.

Critics blame Mugabe, who encouraged the seizure of white-owned commercial
farms, severely disrupting Zimbabwe's agricultural sector and scaring off
foreign investors.

The 81-year-old leader, who has been in power since independence from
Britain in 1980, accuses his domestic and foreign foes of trying to sabotage
the economy.

Egeland urged Zimbabwe's government to cooperate with aid groups and better
communicate with potential donors to help address the country's food
shortages. The government is not doing enough to facilitate the work of
teams sent to assess food needs and humanitarian aid groups, he told
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The Scotsman

Zimbabwe fails to free 62 mercenaries involved in coup plot


PRISON authorities in Zimbabwe have failed to release 62 imprisoned
mercenaries whose jail sentences ended yesterday, a lawyer for the men said.

The mercenaries, all South African, were arrested in March 2004 for their
alleged involvement in a planned coup in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea.

Jonathan Samkange, a lawyer for the 62, said all of their names appeared on
a High Court schedule of prisoners who completed their sentences yesterday.

"According to the record they should be released today," said Mr Samkange.

There was no explanation from the Zimbabwean government as to why the men
were not freed.

The government blocked their earlier release by appealing against a court
ruling that would have suspended part of their sentences.

Mr Samkange said he went to Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison outside Harare
early yesterday, when the men were due to be handed over to immigration
officers and South African diplomats, and deported.

He said he was told prison commanders had gone to their downtown
headquarters "on the same issue".

"We are not getting any co-operation at all," said Mr Samkange.

"Prisoners are normally released very early in the morning so they can make
arrangements to go home."

The men were arrested when their chartered Boeing 727 landed at Harare,
allegedly to collect weaponry from a Zimbabwean government arms company en
route to Equatorial Guinea.

However, the 62 were acquitted of weapons charges.

Only their leader, the former British Special Air Services soldier Simon
Mann, was convicted on those charges.

He has another four years to serve.

Sir Mark Thatcher, the son of the former British prime minister Margaret
Thatcher and formerly a resident in Cape Town, pleaded guilty in January to
violating South Africa's anti-mercenary laws by unwittingly helping bankroll
the coup plot in Equatorial Guinea.

The men due for release in Harare are reportedly in poor health, two having
contracted tuberculosis while in overcrowded and unsanitary cells.
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New Zimbabwe

The economy will take Mugabe down

By Brighton Musonza
Last updated: 05/11/2005 08:31:45
WITH a few weeks after a disputed national poll returned President Robert
Mugabe to power, Zimbabwe is fast falling further into an economic meltdown
amid a crippling shortage of foreign currency, almost making a mockery of
the swagger that followed a fake two-thirds majority.

Fuel as well as the nation's staple food, maize meal, and other basic
commodities like cooking oil, sugar, margarine and even toothpaste have run
out of stock across the country.

Just a glance at the quality of the recently appointed so-called
'Development Cabinet' Ministers clearly shows there is no sign of hope for
solutions to the country's economic ills.

What is rather more intriguing is the behaviour of the state propaganda
machinery going all out to portray a normal situation when all things are
falling apart. In most instances, the name of Reserve Bank governor Gideon
Gono is thrown around as a Messiah to hoodwink the victims of his bush
economic management.

President Robert Mugabe appears jittery. He has no solutions, and hence he
has barricaded himself with loads of brainwashed retired soldiers and
nephews dressed as Cabinet Ministers and MPs to quell the voices of dissent.
The armed forces have been put on alert despite "a resounding two-thirds
majority" . "Look East" nonsense is now his last trump card as if that will
retrieve us out of this catastrophic mess. Why 'Look East' when we have all
the compass points?

Zimbabweans have been subjected to so many of these tricks before. During
ESAP and many of the failed so-called economic reform programmes, we were
told to tighten our belts and the same happed with the "Land is the economy,
the economy is land" when the massive disruption of the agro industry took
place in a kamikaze land reform.

What is all this 'Look East' nonsense, anyway? Even Western countries are
also Looking East, and so is Latin America, obviously East Asia is the
region with the fastest growing economies, with China and India at the
fore-front and hence there is what the West now calls outsourcing meant for
the these regions. So in this respect, Mugabe should not use that as the
trump card for economic revival. He should come up with a clear economic
revival plan and not some spin or those "Gonometrics".

In Africa, Chinese are only looking for raw materials, like scrap iron and
cement to build fast expanding factory shells which in turn are used by
Western companies penetrating into its industrial sector and then use it as
the launching pad for global marketing of Western products in Chinese names
to hoodwink the likes of Mugabes who live in the past. So in other words,
one could forgive Mugabe for his failure to understand the Globalisation
process for which China and India have become the major beneficiaries as a
result of their massive populations and cheap labour.

In fact China is boosting its industrial base, moving its people from rural
agro industry into urban employment, while Mugabe is pushing for the
opposite vintage peasantry life in spite of a relatively dry climate. Last
time we where rallied to take up business opportunities in DRC, which was a
lie, like the spin before when we lost a fortune defending the Beira
Corridor, for the Feruka Oil pipe line which is still to realise its
so-called strategic importance as the country goes through massive current
fuel shortages. Now Zimbabwean soldiers are going to Sudan's Dafur peace
mission and we could be told to "Look for investment opportunities in Sudan.

Mugabe's answer to our problems is to appoint retired Army Major Mike
Nyambuya to be the Minister of Energy in the so-called development cabinet.
Certainly this is not to circumvent the current energy shortages but just
paranoia and scare-mongering in the energy industry, hence we now have
reports of soldiers patrolling fuel service stations. Nyambuya's appointment
follows that of another retired Army Colonel Chris Katsande, who was
Permanent Secretary in that Ministry and is now manning price controls in
the Ministry of Trade and Industry and obviously not to improve anything.
They are just control freaks playing sentry duties for the President.

Many of the State institutions from the Attorney General, the Head of
Electoral Commission, GMB General Manager to Governors are now filled by
retired soldiers. Some of these guys went to war as Youths in either ZANLA
or ZIPRA and came back to join the Army, Airforce or CIO and have been
exposed to one way command structures and now find themselves as Ministers
of Trade or running corporate entities answerable to the only Commander in
Chief they have known for years. I don't think that augurs very well for the
development of the country.

During the run-up to the last rigged election, there was extravagant waste
of the precious foreign currency on beauty pageant contests, massive
computer hardware imports handed out to the unsuspecting public by the
Emperor himself during the campaign. The Chinese support has not been coming
cheap either, with forced arms and aircraft purchases in recent months.

All the local government infrastructure is falling apart, and most of
Zimbabwe's residential properties are depreciating in value due to
inadequate maintenance because of escalating costs of building materials.
Refuse collection has been abandoned, threatening the health of many City

The country is going through one of the major de-industrialisation processes
of modern times the few companies operating have been pushed into the
thriving black-market, which the regime and its lack of sophistication find
difficult to kill. The retail industry is slowly dying and anyone could sell
anything anywhere, a situation that could compromise health and safety of
the people who elect governments to protect them.

The first quarter of the year has been historically the period in which the
country pays most of its bills through tobacco proceeds, but the yield has
been a joke as a result of a kamikaze land reform. Those few courageous
black tobacco farmers who had pumped in their energy into this industry
might think twice next year as a result of auction prices which are more of
a swindle.

The bill for electricity imports has just spiralled in recent years when the
so-called rural electrification programme took off. This has created a
massive surge in the demand for electricity and hence so many black-outs
which have hit hard on both the retail and industrial sectors.

What is more fascinating is that while the global oil prices have hit record
levels of over US$55 per barrel resulting in every country responding in
raising the pump price, Zimbabwe has remained stuck in the old price levels.
South Africa has increased the pump price twice in the last ten months, but
the Zimbabwean regime would rather suppress inflation by paying heavy
subsidies, to win an election.

Most Zimbabweans in the Diaspora are in a state of despondency and plans to
go back home soon have stalled following the "two thirds majority". The
swagger in a fake landslide victory has just turned out to be a
smockescreen! Lets wait and see as the Undertaker digs his own grave.
Brighton Musonza is a student in England

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Yahoo News

Kofi Annan's Nemesis
Duncan Currie Tue May 10,10:00 AM ET

Washington (The Weekly Standard) Vol. 010, Issue 33 - 5/16/2005 - IF THE
UNITED NATIONS Oil-for-Food scandal brings down   Kofi Annan, historians
might fix the start of his fall at December 1, 2004. That's when Minnesota
senator Norm Coleman published a blistering Wall Street Journal op-ed
calling for the secretary general's exit. "As long as Mr. Annan remains in
charge," Coleman wrote, "the world will never be able to learn the full
extent of the bribes, kickbacks, and under-the-table payments that took
place under the U.N.'s collective nose."

Reaction to Coleman's piece was swift. Within days, former U.N. ambassador
Richard Holbrooke summoned Annan and a coterie of liberal foreign policy
types to his Manhattan home for crisis control. Meanwhile,   President Bush
affirmed his confidence in the U.N. boss. More recently, on March 29, Annan,
asked whether he would resign, ostentatiously said, "Hell, no."

But Coleman hasn't relented. The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on
Investigations, which he chairs, has completed two hearings on Oil-for-Food.
A third hearing--scheduled to begin May 17--will focus on Saddam's use of
Oil-for-Food cash to bribe U.N. member states and bankroll terrorism.
According to Coleman, Oil-for-Food highlights the world body's twin
deficiencies: a lack of transparency and a lack of accountability. He stands
by his call for Annan's resignation.

Coleman may seem an unlikely scourge of U.N. corruption. He's an erstwhile
Democrat--he joined the Republican party just nine years ago--who co-chaired

Bill Clinton's 1996 campaign in the Gopher State and is married to a
Hollywood actress. But he's now the bane of Annan and other U.N.-philes, and
not just over Oil-for-Food. On the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,
Coleman has become the most full-throated proponent of John Bolton's
confirmation as U.N. ambassador.

"Let's be blunt," Coleman says of the Bolton spat. "This is about ideology."
Republicans expected to get Bolton's nomination out of committee weeks ago.
But Sen. George Voinovich (news, bio, voting record)'s unexpected
soul-searching scuttled those plans. And it gave anti-Bolton Democrats a
chance to broaden their case against the nominee. The thrust of that
case--that Bolton can be abrasive with underlings and allegedly bullied U.S.
intelligence gatherers--has dominated the airwaves and editorial pages ever

Coleman has endeared himself to Bolton supporters as he's made the
cable-news rounds of late, dueling with Democratic senators Joe Biden, Chris
Dodd, Bill Nelson, and others. "I see John Bolton as a tremendous potential
ally," Coleman says. "You need a tough advocate if you're going to change
the bureaucracy of the U.N." He touts Bolton's multilateral work to secure
the repeal of the U.N.'s Zionism-is-racism plank and to cement the 2002
Moscow Treaty on nuclear weapons.

The Minnesota senator also regards Bush's tapping of Bolton as a personal
vindication of sorts. "The Bolton nomination is a very loud statement," he
says. "Clearly, Kofi has not been exonerated." Nor was Coleman swayed by the
second report of the U.N.-authorized Volcker committee, which Annan
brandished as an acquittal. Instead, Coleman expressed concern over the
Volcker team's "credibility and independence." He has issued two subpoenas
to a senior U.N. investigator, Robert Parton, who claims he quit the probe
because of its pro-Annan bias.

Such crusading has boosted Coleman's image with GOP conservatives. Some
liberals have even likened him to former Republican senator Jesse Helms--who
blocked payment of American dues until the U.N. overhauled its bulky
apparatus. Helms eventually got his way. But Annan has thus far managed to
parry Coleman's blows and keep his job, partly because outrage over
Oil-for-Food has yet to reach a fever pitch.

Still, Coleman threw the floodlights on Annan's mismanagement. He "put
[Oil-for-Food] on the front burner," says Rep. Mark Kennedy (news, bio,
voting record), a fellow Minnesota Republican. "He did the most to put it in
America's public consciousness." Rep. Chris Shays, leader of the House's
Oil-for-Food inquiry, concurs. "Senator Coleman is a terrific senator,"
Shays says. "He's very articulate and he's very aggressive--and I think he's
playing an important role."

But not everyone judges Coleman's motives as pure. Critics paint him as a
savvy opportunist. "Norm Coleman is a politician's politician," says Mike
Erlandson, chairman of Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) party.
"This guy's driven by ambition." Though he entered the Senate only in
January 2003, Coleman has climbed the GOP ladder with notable speed. Late
last year, he narrowly lost to Sen.

Elizabeth Dole in a bid to run the party's Senate campaign committee. No
doubt he aspires to a prime leadership position, and maybe more.

But the Brooklyn native insists he's always been a reformer--even when he
was a Democrat. He cut his political teeth as a state prosecutor and then as
a reform-minded mayor of St. Paul. Elected to the latter office in 1993,
Coleman set out to cut crime, cap property taxes, revamp city services, and
shepherd a pilot school-voucher project. Yet at nearly every turn, he says,
his own DFL party stood against change.

Coleman's efforts--combined with his pro-life views and refusal to promote
gay rights--made him a pariah among DFL liberals. He was greeted with boos
and jeers at various DFL events, including the party's June 1996 state
convention. The coup de grâce that convinced him to defect, Coleman has
said, was Democrats' opposition to welfare reform that same year. Following
the '96 election, he left the DFL. Or, as he puts it, "the Democratic party
left me."

Coleman, 55, says he brings the same zeal to cleaning up the U.N. that he
once brought to revitalizing St. Paul. So much about the world body, he
sighs, is risible. Zimbabwe, for instance--Robert Mugabe's starving police
state--just retained its seat on the U.N. Human Rights Commission. Complains
Coleman, "It's absurd."

What else--besides

Iraq--looms large on his foreign policy radar? Chiefly, Latin America.
Coleman, who heads the Senate's Western Hemisphere panel, points to
"continuing instability," which he worries U.S. lawmakers often ignore. He
ticks off the Sandinistas' creeping return in Nicaragua, the ousting of
Ecuador's pro-American president, Lucio Gutiérrez, and the fraying of
democracy in Bolivia. Then there's pesky Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chávez,

Fidel Castro's new best friend, with whom Coleman met in Caracas for two
hours in March. One of the region's few enduring bright lights, he observes,
is Colombian president lvaro Uribe, who has waged a tireless war against
narcoterrorists. "I'm a huge fan of Uribe," Coleman says. "He is a great
hope for the future of Colombia."

Might Coleman be a "great hope" for the Republicans' future? "I'm not
convinced that Norm Coleman's ever faced a very difficult election," says
Erlandson. But Ron Eibensteiner, chair of the Minnesota GOP, likens his
restoration of St. Paul to Rudy Giuliani's transformation of New York. "I
didn't really think St. Paul had a chance to be revitalized," he explains.
"Well, Norm Coleman proved me wrong."

Coleman has ruled out a White House bid in 2008--he'll be busy stumping for
reelection to the Senate--but left the door open for 2012 and beyond. "He
definitely has the talent," says Eibensteiner. "And would I encourage it?

--Duncan Currie is a reporter at The Weekly Standard.
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4718 Ne 14th Place
Portland , Oregon
Tel: 503 528 0151

Dear All,

My take on a nightmare called  Zimbabwe.  At wit's end....

Blackmailed By The Past

Zimbabwe is replete with tragic ironies studiously overlooked. April
18th marked 25 years of "independence" for Zimbabwe. It's President for this
quarter century has been Robert Mugabe who blames "colonialism" for all of
his country's ills including his own premeditated destruction of a once
vibrant economy. Once productive farms were seized and some of the worlds
best farmers tossed off their land via a murderous terror campaign
orchestrated personally by Mugabe.  Almost overnight these rich farms went
fallow and millions of farm workers left unemployed and at starvation's
door. Yet the BBC reports ".a national park was instructed last week to
slaughter elephants in order to feed villagers at last week's Independence
Day celebrations." Ironic enough? The same article reports that Zimbabwe is
importing 1.2 million tons of corn.

Violence peaked in Zimbabwe two and half years ago, at the moment former
Pres. Jimmy Carter was receiving his Nobel Peace Prize- Dec. 10,
2002. Why ironic? Because Pres. Carter launched a CIA war against Rhodesia
in the late 1970s and championed the candidacy of lifelong Marxist Robert
Mugabe. In a recent handwritten note to me Pres. Carter bemoaned the fact
that his protégé-Mugabe-recently called him and The Carter
Center-"terrorists." All because The Carter Center had asked Pres. Mugabe
for permission to monitor Zimbabwe's Mar. 31 election and was promptly
ejected from Harare well in advance of this latest stolen vote joke. Talk
about "biting the hand." Hit movie THE INTERPRETER portrays a highly
educated, once good-gone bad-African dictator who can only be Robert Mugabe.
In the movie this murderous dictator gets his comeuppance in the UN. But the
real world United Nations just last week RE-ELECTED Zimbabwe to the
Commission on Human rights despite the fact Zimbabwe has been kicked out of
the British Commonwealth for human rights violations and sanctioned by the
European Union for human rights violations. Europe and the USA slapped
travel restrictions on Mugabe and all of his henchmen more than a year ago.
And Yet the US, Italy, Europe, and The Vatican fell silent last month when
good Catholic Robert Mugabe flew into Rome (busting sanctions) for The
Pope's funeral. To rub salt in Mugabe even shook the hand of Prince Charles
during a high mass. Late last year  US Secretary of State designee
Condoleeza Rice, at her confirmation hearing, named six countries as
"outposts of tyranny" and added "America stands with oppressed people on
every continent." She named Zimbabwe as one of the evil six. In her weekly
column out of Zimbabwe two weeks ago Cathy Buckle said, " .as we hurtle
backwards into the dark ages." Yet the greatest irony is that The West,
blackmailed into stasis by a slaver or colonial past, empowers Zimbabwe's
Robert Mugabe to enslave millions -Today!

Columbus Smith

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


"Start by doing what is necessary, then what's possible then you find
yourself doing the impossible."

St Francis of Assissi


Letter 1:
Dear Jag,

Details of your web forum were forwarded to me by friends living in South
Africa.  I am a South African living in the Scottish Highlands.

I was very dismayed to read about the further demise of Zimbabwe.  It
really sounds as if things have gone from bad to worse over there.  I have
been in the United Kingdom for two years and other than keeping touch with
friends and family really do not know much about the political situation in
either South Africa or Zimbabwe.  We do not much international news over
here.  What concerns me about the letter written by Eddie Cross is the fact
that he states that South Africa "will have to step in and pick up the
pieces" and that South Africa is "largely responsible for the situation".
Have I missed something?  How has it come about that South Africa is

Surely the time has come to stop pointing fingers and just get on with it.

Yours sincerely

Alida Achermann


Letter 2
Dear Jag,

I would appreciate it if you could put out a request for me. I am a former
resident of the Mount Darwin farming area and am putting together a
collection of stories about the Mount Darwin/Centenary East farming
areas-people, places, events, memories. This is a private venture and not a
commercial undertaking. We are looking for stories from those who lived in
these two areas-how they came to be in these farming areas, what they
remember of their lives there, any anecdotes etc. I can be contacted at . All those who have stories included in the
publication will receive a free copy of the final production.


Chris Whitehead
Editor-Rhodesians Worldwide magazine


Letter 3

During the course of making 8 moves in two years, we have mislaid three
very precious pictures - they are large Bella Forsythe portraits of our
three sons.  Does anyone have them for safekeeping?  We just cannot think
where they might be? Many thanks,

Kerry Kay

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

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Please send any adverts for publication in the JAG Job Opportunities
newsletter to: with subject line "Job Opportunities".


- Employment OFFERED

- Employment SOUGHT



1.1 OFFERED: OFFICE/ADMIN MANAGER, received 13.4.2005

Specifications for this job:

Good typing skills, good computer literacy, compiling correspondence, good
liaison skills with customers and staff, assertive and firm personality,
able to negotiate between suppliers and clients, self motivation and work
unsupervised, versatile, working calmly under pressure, good social skills,
knowledge of general office procedures, strong sense of responsibility and
loyalty in the working environment.

Please contact Vanessa on 04-492 666 or 04-492 445 (office hours).


1.2 Ad inserted 10 May

Two tobacco Managers positions to fill in Malawi

· Within 2 hours of Lilongwe on good roads
· Estate manager position growing 200ha of tobacco on four sections with
  good Malawi understudies
· Competitive salaries with school fees and medical
· Bonus on performance
· 2/3 year contracts subject to work permits
· Start immediately

Applicants will be short listed, and interviewed by the 20th May
e mail CV to Attention Dave
Hard copies drop at 2 Dorset Road east, Mt Pleasant before 12 noon


1.3 Ad inserted 10 May

We have a vacancy for a senior bookkeeper to start a.s.a.p.. Female
environment, person should have a strong personality, and able to work with
no supervision. Please apply to


Ad insereted 10 May

A Sailing Club at Lake Chivero is looking for a caretaker/ handyman. This
job would ideally suit a retired farming couple who may be lusting after
the simple life. The Club is situated in a park like setting with wonderful
bird life.

The incumbent would be responsible for the day to day running of the club
and the supervision of a small staff of 4 gardeners.Ideally his wife could
look after the kitchen and provide meals to an ever appreciative sailing

The incumbent would obviously need to have there own car and as the
telephone does not work a cell phone would be an advantage.

Please contact

Charlie Brooke-Mee
phone 263-4-44492/3 485734
fax 263-4-485735
mobile 263-11 602 736





Ad inserted 10 May
I am a divorced woman, ex farmer, aged 49 and am looking for a position in
Harare, will consider other areas and outside country, as an Assistant
Accountant/Bookkeeper or PA.  Am available immediately.

Contact: cell 023 408 647


2.2 Ad inserted 10 May
Man, aged 41, experienced in Production,Engineering, Security, and
Furniture, Seeks Position
Please contact Rob Hardy on 091949625 or 305440(phone/fax). Available

Lady,aged 30 experience in sales repping, is computer literate, is looking
for a receptionist, girl Friday job
Please contact Fern on 011732084


2.3 Ad inserted 10 May
We are looking for somebody to start as soon as possible in the
following position:-

Title: General Manager

Job: To be responsible for all administration including the accounting (if
possible), personnel, marketing and sales, and maintenance of the vessel
"Southern Belle" based at Kariba. This vessel has 22 cabins of which 5 are
executive suites and can take up to 44 paying passengers on cruises on the
Matusadona game reserve shoreline. Guests are currently local, regional and
international but sales should be significantly expanded upon.

Experience: Experience in the hotel or catering industry with mechanical
understanding is essential. Previous experience in running a product in the
local and international tourism sector essential.

Age: Would suit a single male 30 - 40 or a married couple 45 - 55 who would
be based in Kariba.

Salary: To be negotiated with annual bonus.

Company vehicle: To be provided.

CV's would be appreciated.

Please contact company at our Harare office (11 Clarence Drive, Newlands,
Harare - tel. 776250 - Mrs Stephen or email for
further enquiries. Please direct any CV's to myself personally if by email.

Thank you.

Peter Dobson
Zambesi Paddle Steamer (Pvt) Ltd


2.4 Ad inserted 10 May

We have had the above couple working for us for approximately 2 years but
with the new wages are having to cut down on staff. We cannot release one
without the other losing. Regrettably they will go together.

Solomon is hard working and very capable in both the house and garden -
very honest and worked for the previous owner for many years.  Great with
pets too.

His wife, Sarah, is extremely hard working, willing to please.  She does
anything from cleaning the house, washing, ironing and is not shy to work
in the garden too.

If anyone is able to offer this couple employment I would be very grateful.
They are available immediately.

Please contact Paulette on 011 606 671 or work 728098.


2.5 Ad inserted 10 May

I have been working as a Receptionist, PA and as a Secretary.  I have had
experience in several other fields, I am a hard working, self motivated
young lady, who would love to be given the chance to be a Manager, as I
know I have the potential for such a position.  I am a fast learner and I
feel that I would be able to grasp any new concepts quickly.  Given the
chance to work within your Company, I would be diligent and loyal.

Please contact Carmen on Tel:- (04)499549

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