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

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Zim Standard

                  In the shadow of corruption

                  HARARE-Zimbabwe's government is at war with its people.
Specifically, it's at war with those people who are committed to democracy
and individual freedom.

                  It would have us believe there is merit in isolation-and
that the suffering brought about by that isolation will call for heroic
sacrifice from all of us.

                  There are many countries in the world where this sort of
thing happens-or has happened. Nazi Germany's evil regime constantly called
on its people for sacrifice, and then reminded them that the sacrifice was
the enemy's fault. Germany, alone with Japan, were the only nations in the
world who 'had it right.' It also happened in the Soviet Union, where the
forces of international capitalism were to blame for endless food shortages
and hardships.

                  And today, we see it in places like North Korea, Cuba and
mainland China; coincidentally, about the only countries in the world that
are still on speaking terms with Zimbabwe's errant government.

                  In order to convince people that Zimbabwe is on the right
track requires a leap of faith-and a great deal of oppression. Logic must be
turned on its head and people must be not asked, but made, to believe the
unbelievable. All that is happening today in Zimbabwe. People are being told
that food shortages are not the fault of the government's cynical and
deceitful seizure of the very farms that once fed, not just this country,
but the region as well. They are being told that landless peasants are the
sole beneficiaries of land reform, while in fact chefs and their toadying
supporters are also acquiring land at an unprecedented rate.

                  Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's free press comes under attack.
Daring to tell the truth, even the obvious truth, is now a dangerous
occupation. Just this week The Standard witnessed its editor, entertainments
editor and a reporter charged under information minister Jonathan Moyo's
ludicrous Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Not that they
were the first journalists to be hauled before the courts by this regime-and
they certainly won't be the last. Moyo has declared war on the free press
and will do whatever he can to crush it beneath his clumsy boot.

                  Fortunately he won't succeed. Jonathan Moyo will fail and
in failing he will be justly humiliated.

                  The reasons for all this oppression, for the vindictive
harassment of the opposition and the free press (which, contrary to
propaganda, are not synonymous) has nothing to do with ideology. Zanu PF has
no ideology. It might prattle on meaninglessly in its fawning state-owned
and state-controlled media, but no one listens. At Moyo's own assertion, The
Herald's circulation dropped to a risible 30,000. If people believed-or even
wanted to believe -what the state had to say, then the state's newspapers
would sell.

                  So, if the oppression, intimidation, murder and mayhem
have nothing to do with ideology, what's the point? There are many points:
greed, fear and arrogance are just a few. The Zanu PF regime is terrified of
losing control, terrified of being called to account for one of the region's
worst human rights records -and deeply concerned about its inability to live

                  Because the one thing Zimbabweans will remember Zanu PF
for is corruption. Sadly most of us laughed at it for 20 years, but recently
it stopped being funny.

                  It will also be remembered for its cynicism; for spending
millions on weapons of oppression when hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans
are threatened by starvation. That's what happened when anti-riot equipment,
sourced from Israel, landed in Zimbabwe. While queues of disenchanted,
hungry Zimbabweans snake around cities waiting sullenly for maize meal, the
country's once proud police force acquired the weaponry to ensure that even
peaceful protests become terribly, terribly dangerous events.

                  Imagine a country where it is illegal to gather to discuss
politics without getting permission, like some school child wanting to be
excused. Imagine a country where it is illegal to make jokes about the
president, as they do throughout the free world. Imagine a country where the
law insists you respect, not the office of the president, but the man

                  Of course, these are mainly laws that can't be enforced.
Very few people respect Mr Mugabe and most people would rather he went.
Indeed, what is there to respect? The country is broke, hundreds of
thousands are facing starvation, the rule of law no longer exists in any
recognisable form, the ruling party can destroy with impunity while its
press lies with unsubtle bravado.

                  History tells us that when ruling parties start
legislating to protect themselves, when they begin to punish dissent, then
their days are numbered. Zanu PF's good fortune has been the good-natured
tolerance of Zimbabweans, but that tolerance is wearing thin, and rightly
so. If they think that passing laws in a rubber-stamp parliament, or buying
powerful weapons of oppression, will lengthen their stay, then they're sadly

                  It also needs to be said that if the police or Jonathan
Moyo thinks that arresting and charging journalists will silence the press,
then they, too are in for a surprise. It won't-and the angrier they become,
the more entrenched and resolute will be the determination to carry on.

                  Utopia according to Jo Marbles

                  THE information minister in a troubled central African
country, Herr Dr Professor Jo Marbles has decreed that the troubled central
African country is far from troubled. "We have some of the happiest Africans
in Europe," he said this week. "This is a wonderful place to send money to

                  Speaking on the occasion of the arrival of a North Korean
Tour Operators delegation (Patron, The Dear Leader, His Socialist Holiness,
Comrade Kim Il Sung, deceased), Herr Dr Professor Jo Marbles said he was
pleased to welcome the delegation from North Korea, an important tourist
destination he visited many times, especially when he needed to go on a
diet. "It's not often you get to visit a place where the whole country is a
health farm," said Marbles. The diet in the glorious socialist republic of
North Korea, said Marbles, was second to none. "It's amazing the things you
people do with grass," he enthused, thanking the smiling Korean delegation
for placing Zimbabwe on its "safe socialist places to visit list."

                  Sadly, the list is pinned on a pin board in the minister
of tourism's office in Pyongyang, where it will remain until North Korea can
afford a computer.

                  Herr Dr Professor Jo Marbles assured the Korean delegation
that he would do whatever it took, using revolutionary resolve, to ensure
that every citizens of the hardly troubled central African nation visited
North Korea in an exchange of comradely vanguard socialist friendship.
Sadly, the plan was thwarted when the Koreans, speaking through an
interpreter, pointed out that a condition of issuing visas included the
provision of a 10kg food parcel per visitor.

                  "Ah," said Marbles, "well, we'll do this another time
perhaps, like when we've 10kg of food to spare. Right now, the forces of
running dog imperialism seem to have mislaid our food aid due to a
misunderstanding between ourselves and the manufacturer of low-income

                  He nevertheless assured the delegation that the
misunderstanding would soon be cleared up. "We are moving forward to arrest
everyone who says there is a misunderstanding and that should solve the
problem," he said, pointing out that if anyone understood the difficulties
of living with a reactionary press, it was the North Koreans.

                  At this point the North Koreans looked bemused and said,
no, they didn't, they'd killed all their journalists over 20 years ago, at
which news Herr Dr Professor Marbles sighed enviously and regretted that the
world had regressed somewhat and the forces of imperialism, with uncommon
arrogance, were likely to switch off the electricity supply in the troubled
central African country if he followed a similar route.

                  Still, he did promise to arrest a few more for telling
stories likely to bring the most equal of comrades into disrepute. "In time,
comrades, we shall achieve the great heights of revolutionary accomplishment
your own Dear Leader and his son have reached. We too shall know mass
hunger, the benefits of living without electricity and sewage and 1001
recipes for cooking with grass seeds.'

                  It was at this point that an embarrassed Herr Dr Professor
Jo Marbles realised that a small interpreter, tugging at his shirtsleeves,
was telling him that the North Koreans, to a man, were begging for a large
steak and the necessary forms for new arrivals wanting to defect to the
troubled central African country.

                  Realising this could be a dangerous situation that might
destabilise the revolution, Marbles changed the Koreans' names to Smith, Nos
1 to 53, and welcomed them to their new home at a squatter camp on the edge
of the city. Surprisingly, for Marbles at least, the Koreans were
overwhelmed by his generosity, saying they'd never seen such salubrious
luxury in their lives and immediately set about slaughtering the goats that
grazed peacefully in the village. Of course, these weren't collectively
owned goats, but the Koreans weren't to know that collective goats only
exist in the imagination of a few deluded socialist lunatics in Asia.
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Zim Standard

      Ndlovu accuses Mugabe of betrayal

      By Farai Mutsaka

      ARRESTED war veteran leader, Andrew Ndlovu, has accused Zanu PF of
selling him out to gain international sympathy after smart sanctions were
slapped on a beleaguered President Robert Mugabe and his associates.

      In an interview with The Standard at the Harare Central Police Station
where he was being held, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans
Association secretary for projects expressed bitterness at how he and his
colleagues had been used by Mugabe's party.

      Ndlovu, who was arrested on Thursday for allegedly threatening to
evict Asian businesses, said the Zanu PF government was using the war
veterans as a bargaining chip in his quest for international acceptance.

      Mugabe's government has yet to gain full international recognition,
following the president's contested win in the March polls.

      "I'm being sacrificed by the chefs so that they can be seen by the
international community to be observing the rule of law. They're selling me
out so that smart sanctions can be lifted to enable them to travel all over
the world," said Ndhlovu.

      "It all started when they were allowed to travel to the United States
and other countries. Some went via London. They have experienced how sweet
travelling to those colonial countries is and now they want the sanctions
lifted. I am a revolutionary and I will not allow anyone to sell me out for
the love of travelling."

      He added that state sanctioned lawlessness and human rights abuses
have resulted in the international community's isolation of Zimbabwe.

      The European Union and the United States of America have slapped
travel restrictions on Mugabe, his henchmen and business associates and
their families.

      However, in past weeks, a number of government officials have managed
to travel to countries which have endorsed sanctions placed on Zimbabwe's

      In a statement regarding Ndlovu's arrest, home affairs minister, John
Nkomo, announced a sudden policy shift saying it was government's intention
to ensure that there was peace and order.

      In a surprising turn of events, government has begun evicting
thousands of land invaders to whom it had initially given a free reign.

      Zanu PF has in the past endorsed and sponsored the mayhem by its
supporters and the war veterans.

      Said a visibly bitter Ndlovu: "When Phillip Chiyangwa invaded
companies and threatened businesses in the presence of ZBC, he was not
arrested. They praised him, so why are they arresting me? This government
has never appreciated the war veterans. When we invaded farms, people like
Dumiso Dabengwa (former home affairs minister) labelled us criminals, yet
when the election came, they were all at the the forefront claiming that
they favoured land reform. We called for price controls, and they hijacked
the programme, yet today, they label us criminals."

      Ndlovu accused Mugabe's regime of double dealing and of exploiting war
veterans for its own "selfish" ends.

      "Why do they (government) want us to campaign for them and then dump
us after the campaign? I never attacked Zanu PF, my whole family voted for
Zanu PF so there is no way I can allow a cabinet minister or a commissioner
of police to off load me from the struggle. Vadhara ava vanoda kutishandisa
vapedza votirasa. Those Border Gezi youths who helped the party to win the
elections are crying out in the bush. They are not being catered for. If we
don't put pressure on the government those ministers will feed themselves
and sleep in cabinet," said Ndlovu.

      "The masses want land, not the ministers. They have been grabbing
farms since 1980. Can you point out to me one minister who does not own a
farm? If the ministers don't deserve respect then we won't respect them.

      "The reason why this country's economy is going down and the MDC is
getting more powerful is because our ministers are fighting personal wars
instead of managing the economy. They don't listen to advice. They must
learn to take advice so that things will improve," said Ndlovu.

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Business Day

Zimbabwe takes white farmer's crop


A $15-million soya bean crop owned by a white farmer 15 kilometers west of
Harare was being harvested by combine harvesters owned by the Zimbabwe
government, the Commercial Farmers Union claimed on Sunday.

The owner's brother and spokesman, Rob Dawson, said his brother had not
authorised the harvesting of the crop.

He told union officials that combine harvesters had arrived on the farm on
Thursday under instructions from the Ministry of Lands and Agriculture.

"The Director of Lands in the Ministry, Mr Zishiri, told me that he was
doing me a favour by harvesting my crop but hung up on me when I asked for
detail as to how I would get payment or compensation for it."

Dawson said the farm was under a preliminary notice of acquisition -- the
owners were evicted in March 2002.

The crop of 130 hectare of soya beans was to have been harvested some weeks
back but permission to return to the farm to undertake this task was denied
by so-called war veterans.

Dawson said about a third of the bean crop could already have split due to
over maturing.
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Zim Standard

      Government's tobacco policy slammed

      By our own Staff

      GOVERNMENT'S decision to offer a special support price of 80% for
every dollar paid to tobacco farmers by merchants will fuel inflation and
worsen its poor financial state, analysts have warned.

      Economic analysts interviewed by Standard Business said the move,
designed to placate angry new farmers who were encouraged by Zanu PF to
venture into tobacco farming, would worsen the already precarious budget
deficit and create a multiple exchange rate policy.

      "That is additional expenditure on the part of government. The deficit
was projected at 19,6% this year after taking into cognizance the $44
billion meant for drought relief food and this tobacco subsidy will further
push it above 20%," said Witness Chinyama, an economist with Kingdom Bank.

      He said government's move will also worsen money supply growth and
lead to a shift into other financial markets by investors.

      "The financing of the deficit will be done from the domestic money
market and this will fuel inflation and lead to excessive money growth.
People will try to hedge against the erosion of their savings by entering
into either stock and property markets," he said.

      Another economic consultant who refused to be identified said finance
minister Simba Makoni's sectoral devaluation was an admission by government
of the need for devaluation.

      "We now have a multiple exchange rate, with the official at 55 to one
US dollar, the parallel rate at 380, the gold miners' rate and the tobacco
farmers'. It is not good for economic development. We would need a single
exchange rate which appease both importers and exporters," he said.

      Oliver Davidson, an economic analyst, said the monitoring of a
multiple exchange rate is expensive.

      "This sectoral devaluation where someone has to cry first to get a
devaluation is expensive. Why can't we have a blanket devaluation which
applies to everyone? This now needs a holistic approach between economists
and politicians," said Davidson.

      Danny Meyer, an industrialist and entrepreneur, questioned
government's source of funds.

      "It will be interesting to hear where the money will be coming from
since we are already a heavily taxed nation. This approach of trying to
solve crisis on a piece meal basis is unhealthy and won't last long. We
can't work like this. There has to be a long solution" said Meyer.

      At Tuesday's opening of the tobacco auction season, business was
disrupted following protests by farmers over low Zimbabwe dollar prices

      Whilst it was generally agreed that the US dollar average selling
price of US$2 was good, it was the exchange rate of one US dollar for 55
Zimdollars that irked both large scale and small scale growers.

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Zim Standard

      Mass action to topple Mugabe imminent

      By Farai Mutsaka

      ZIMBABWEANS should brace for mass action within the next three weeks
following the collapse of the inter-party talks between the MDC and Zanu PF,
MDC president, Morgan Tsvangirai has said.

      In an exclusive interview with The Standard yesterday, Tsvangirai said
mass action was inevitable as pressure continued to mount on the opposition
party to act against theZanu PF leader who won the March presidential
election under controversial circumstances.

      "We have come to a stage where non-violent action has to be taken. It
is evident that mass action is unavoidable. It is now inevitable," said

      Pressed to give a specific date, the former trade unionist said: It
will be soon. Even three weeks or a month is too long. We have reached a
point where all the consultations have been made."

      Tsvangirai, who has been holding rallies countrywide, told The
Standard:"I have been going around the country and I tell you the mood is
combative and defiant.

      "It is also necessary for Zimbabweans to know that freedom is not
free. Freedom does not come from outside, but from within and I am glad
there is consensus between the rural and urban divide about the illegitimacy
of the government. The people are refusing to accept Mugabe as their
president and as a responsible leadership we are going to channel their
emotions in a positive way that will resolve the crisis this country is in,"
he said.

      "Zimbabweans are not a docile lot. Victory is the underlying word,"
said Tsvangirai.

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What the Irishman of Kutama taught Mugabe
By Paul Taylor

I WAS surprised to learn, according to a book titled Mugabe by David Smith and Colin Simpson, that when Robert Mugabe was a pupil at Kutama Mission, a foundation of the Society of Jesus, he was the protégé of a white man, an Irish Jesuit called O'Hea, who recognised his special qualities - "an exceptional mind and an exceptional heart" and so "rushed Mugabe ahead, far quicker than almost any other pupil".

From funds at his disposal, this white man later provided Mugabe with a bursary to pursue his own training as a teacher.

O'Hea believed children should learn about the wider world as well as examination syllabuses. He taught Mugabe and other youngsters about political, social and moral issues. The priest detested the immoral racism of the colonial state and was not afraid to say so.

He encouraged the reading of newspapers and outside his office each evening pupils would congregate to listen to the news on his wireless, about the course of the Second World War and other matters.

He would "explain patiently to (his pupils) what was going on, never leaving them in any doubt about what he thought of Hitler and Mussolini. The smallest boy in the group (Mugabe himself) would stand at the back and say little, except that he didn't like Hitler."

Imagine that! A time when Mugabe did not like Hitler! Corruptio optima pessimi.

O'Hea should be judged by the life progress of his pupil Mugabe. What a bad influence the Irishman must have been! He lavished attention on the man who has reduced Zimbabwe to the status of an unlovable pariah. He taught religion to the man who has flouted the teachings of the church.

He discussed the politics of freedom and self-determination with the man who has stolen the sovereignty of the people of Zimbabwe. He condemned racism before the man who has become the face of racism on the African continent. He showed generosity and kindness to the man who would respond with hatred sharper than a serpent's tooth.

We must learn from the tragedy of Mugabe to be suspicious of those who teach our children. I am not surprised that Brendan Tiernan, the Rector of St George's, the Jesuit school in Harare, has landed in hot water because of the comments he made in a school circular - a private communication - which for days has been featured in the pages of the Herald.

Apparently Tiernan said "even a caveman" would be aware that the presidential election was not free or fair. Well, the theft of the presidential election is not exactly a secret in any part of the world.

The head-hunters of Borneo, the pygmies of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the hermits of the snowy Himalayas, the rainforest dwellers of the Amazon, the barbarous sheep farmers of the Australian outback, the football hooligans of London and yes, most certainly, the fabled cavemen of the Galtee Mountains of Ireland, have all heard of the shedding of innocent blood for which Mugabe has been responsible and I am sure too that they have shuddered and prayed to God at the things they have heard.

But truth is so precious in Zimbabwe today that it must be accompanied by a bodyguard of lies. Charges have now been laid against Tiernan. In addition, Father Fidelis Mukonori, provincial of the Jesuits and chairman of the governors of St George's, has announced that Tiernan will be summoned before a disciplinary hearing for his comments.

This was to be expected. "Fidelis" after all means "faithful" and Father Fidelis is a faithful friend to Mugabe. Heart-warmingly, the Catholic Church is colluding in the suppression of truth for the sake of faithful friendship.

I have never met or communicated with Tiernan. Nor would I wish to. I can only think the worst of him. Like O'Hea and Donal Lamont, who notoriously called racism a "pernicious heresy", Tiernan is of Irish blood. The Irish are trouble.

Born with a thirst for, among other things, freedom in their hearts, they won their independence from the greatest empire the world has known when Mugabe was not yet a twinkle in his father's eye.

Like O'Hea, Tiernan obviously believes that the education of a child must take into account that child's right to know about the social and political issues of our day. Perhaps that was acceptable in Ian Smith's Rhodesia, but in Mugabe's Zimbabwe it is dangerous to teach our children to think.

Father Fidelis's faithfulness should be rewarded. Tiernan must be punished. God knows it is not a head teacher's job to communicate with parents, let alone educate pupils; and God knows, Zimbabwe does not want another misguided Irishman to foist on a new generation a new Robert Mugabe.

One has been quite enough.

Taylor is a London-based freelance writer.

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Mugabe press secretary accused

The press secretary to President Robert Mugabe has been ordered to appear
before the High Court to face a contempt of court charge, reports say.

The state-run Sunday Mail newspaper said the contempt of court charge
stemmed from criticism made by the official, George Charamba, against a
judge who had barred police from meetings of the main trade union

Mr Charamba is alleged to have said the judge's ruling would promote
lawlessness by the opposition-aligned unions.

The report said Mr Charamba, who is also the permanent secretary in the
Department of Information and Publicity, had refused to comment on the
contempt charge, but had confirmed that he had been summoned to appear in
court on 27 May.

Last year, the government compelled Zimbabwe's highest judge to take early
retirement after a row over court rulings which found against Mr Mugabe's
controversial policy to seize white-owned land.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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Opinion & Zim IndpFriday, 17 May 2002 Comment

Bad leaders, not lack of aid, cause African poverty
By Graham Boynton

IT is Christian Aid Week and the cry has once again gone out for the West to send more aid to Africa.

On this occasion the appeal has come from two of our most politically engaged pop stars - Bono and Bob Geldof - who visited 10 Downing Street on Monday in an attempt to persuade the Prime Minister to exert his influence at the forthcoming G8 summit in Canada and increase the West's spending on the beleaguered continent.

Their motives are without doubt noble: they clearly expect an infusion of Western capital and further debt relief to reduce the suffering and economic misery in which most of sub-Saharan Africa's citizens find themselves mired.

No doubt they will have received a sympathetic hearing from Tony Blair, for only last week his Chancellor, Gordon Brown, criticised the world's economic leaders for wasting aid budgets on countries in the Middle East and North Africa instead of increasing spending on those with desperately impoverished people in sub-Saharan Africa.

At what point will it dawn on these well-intentioned aid activists that throwing vast sums of Western capital at Africa has failed dismally over the past 40 years and will continue to fail? The cause of poverty in Africa is not insufficient aid but the way in which almost all of these countries have been mismanaged since their supposed liberation from the colonial yoke.

An example was reported in last weekend's Daily Telegraph: Sierra Leone receives £1 billion of international aid annually - more per capita than any other country in the world - and still it is bogged down by economic, political and social calamity. Most important, there is no end in sight, however much money is spent.

Among the most articulate critics of never-ending aid as a solution to Third World poverty was Lord Bauer, the economics professor who died earlier this month. He held that it was the character of a country's institutions and the aptitude of its populace that determined its success. "Where people's abilities, motivations and political institutions are favourable," he wrote, "material progress will occur. Where these basic determinants are unfavourable, development will not occur, even with aid."

In Africa, political mismanagement, corruption and disregard by the authorities for the bulk of the people have prevailed, indeed flourished, in the half century that has followed the first withdrawal of colonial rulers. What African leaders such as Idi Amin, Mobutu Sese Seko, Mengistu Haile Mariam, Daniel arap Moi and most recently Robert Mugabe have created in their countries are conditions that are distinctly unfavourable for the development of people's abilities, motivations and political institutions.

They have ruled their countries like medieval fiefdoms, looting their faltering economies and through shocking mismanagement creating hardships and famines for people who do not get the opportunity to vote them out.

And yet the West has continued to pour in the aid, which has almost unerringly found its way into Swiss bank accounts. Today, there is not a single example of an African country in recovery from post-colonial chaos. (Some argue that Mozambique and Angola are on the road to recovery after devastating civil wars, but that is really stretching the point.)

Blair said after his recent whistle-stop tour of the continent that we can't afford to walk away from Africa. Equally we cannot afford to continue ignoring the problem that is central to Africa's collapse: corrupt leadership. There is no better example during Christian Aid Week than Zimbabwe, a country where all the basic tenets of Christian decency have been abandoned for the benefit of one megalomaniac and a handful of cronies.

Zimbabwe has become the recipient of United Nations food aid and, as its agricultural crisis deepens, so the famine will harden and the need for food aid will intensify. As was the case with the Ethiopian famine of the 1980s in which Bob Geldof so famously intervened, the Zimbabwean crisis has been created by a political leader who had jumped the rails.

For Mengistu (now, strangely enough, residing in Harare) read Robert Mugabe. The collapse of the country's agriculture can be traced directly to Mugabe's desperation to hang on to power. A country that once had a strategic grain reserve of a million tons now finds itself without maize or the foreign currency to buy it.

While farm invasions by so-called war veterans have gathered momentum in the post-election period when the world turned its attention to other international crises, maize supplies are pouring in, but are, according to most observers, failing to reach ordinary Zimbabweans, who are starving.

According to Paul Themba Nyathi, a leading Zimbabwean opposition parliamentarian who is visiting London this week, most of the food aid is being distributed to government officials, "which means it is either being sold for profit or it is going to Mugabe's supporters. I know that it is not reaching supporters of the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) in the rural areas.

"There seems to be confusion [in the West] about what to do about Zimbabwe," he says. "The MDC's position is that until there is an agreed upon distribution network which brings in independent bodies like the Church, food aid should be withheld. If food aid is being used to legitimise Mugabe's party, it serves no useful purpose to Zimbabwe."

The fact that Mugabe was able to attend the UN General Assembly Special Session on Children in New York last week and that his government was recently elected to the 15-member UN Commission on Human Rights suggests that a deaf ear will be turned to the pleas of Themba Nyathi.

As long as we continue to bestow legitimacy on the destructive dictators who have for so long been at the centre of Africa's ruination, and then bail them out with tranches of aid when their countries collapse, so the downward cycle will continue. As Lord Bauer said, aid goes no way towards righting past colonial wrongs. Only the overthrow of the despots will do that. - The Telegraph.

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Comesa Declares Zim Polls Free And Fair

The Times of Zambia (Ndola)
May 18, 2002
Posted to the web May 19, 2002
Times Reporter

THE Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) observer team has
said the 2002 Zimbabwe elections were conducted credibly, freely and fairly.
Leader of the Comesa observer mission, Siteke Mwale said in a statement the
shortcomings in the electoral exercise were not of the magnitude to have
produced a different verdict.
"On the basis of our own observation, we strongly believe that the elections
were credible and peaceful and that all those who wished to vote had the
opportunity to do so without hindrance," he said.
Mr Mwale observed that although there were some long queues at most polling
stations, that was due to reasons beyond the control of polling officers.
He said the delays were particularly in Harare and Chitungwiza where the
voters had to cast presidential, mayoral and council votes.
"The Comesa observer team has determined that none of these shortcomings in
an electoral exercise of this magnitude was at a scale or character to have
produced a different verdict," he said.
He said the Comesa observer team was greatly impressed by teams of presiding
officers, monitors and security police who managed and conducted an
efficient set up at every polling station visited.
The Comesa observer team went to Zimbabwe at the invitation of the
government and was extensively briefed by election supervisory commission,
mass media and some non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Mr Mwale said his team also benefited immensely from a series of meetings
with co-operating partners like the United Nations (UN), the Commonwealth
and Organisation of African Unity (OAU).

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The e-mail address for Interpol public relations is
Let them hear your opinion of their vice president - Augustine
Chihuri (Compol, Zim Police).
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