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

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From Business Day (SA), 27 May

Demonstrations may test army's loyalty to Mugabe

Four days of prayers begin in Zimbabwe today as a prelude to a week of
demonstrations starting on Monday, called for by the main opposition party
the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), in its boldest move so far against
the rule of President Robert Mugabe. With a pledge by Mugabe and war
veterans to crush the demonstrations, which are also supported by civil
society groups and trade unions, next week could see a violent showdown that
may test the loyalty of the security forces to Mugabe's Zanu PF party. Next
week's action will also mark a significant shift in strategy for the
opposition, which up to now has confined itself to organising two stayaways
in an attempt to force Zanu PF to the negotiating table. Mugabe has said he
has instructed law enforcement agents to deal ruthlessly with
"mischief-makers". And militant war veterans, who are aligned to the
Zimbabwean government, said last week that they would not allow the mass
action to take place. "This time, using our military experience, we will
mobilise against them," Mugabe warned. "I do not want to mince my words. The
consequences for any mass action will be grave." The ex-combatants said they
would put their 55000 members on alert throughout the country to combat the
MDC mass action.

MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi said the party had, for the first time,
called for demonstrations, which the party intended to be peaceful, because
two previous stayaways had not brought about a shift in the position of the
government on negotiations. Mugabe has refused to enter into talks with the
MDC until it drops its court challenge to last year's presidential
elections. "We have to change tactics to increase pressure on the regime and
make it to stop feeling comfortable in power when it is destroying the
country," Themba Nyathi said. Police spokesman Insp Andrew Phiri declined to
comment yesterday, however, police in the past have taken action against
protesters. Themba Nyathi appealed to the security forces to disobey orders
that did not "accept that Zimbabweans have a right to demonstrate".
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Comment from ZWNEWS

Backing the wrong horse

By Michael Hartnack

Robert Mugabe broke new ground last week by declaring - at last - he would
welcome an open debate on who will succeed him. The topic was previously
taboo on the Zanu PF agenda, and it was declared that Mugabe would remain in
power until he completes his present term in 2008. This is still,
technically, the official position. "Some leaders are consulting traditional
healers and ancestral spirits in search of charms," Mugabe announced at a
rally in the remote Tsakare area near Mount Darwin, 200 km north of the
capital. He can only have been quoting reports he gets from Central
Intelligence Organisation spying on his own supposedly most trusted aides.
He repeated the remarks the next day at another rural rally, and lashed out
at young black professionals and business people who "work against the
government" although their livelihoods are at its financial mercy.

Throughout his 23-year rule Mugabe has made frequent claims to the authority
of the ancestral spirits. And new legislation reinforces the perks and
prerogatives of chiefs on a scale undreamed of by reactionary district
commissioners in the days of white-minority rule. Tribal leaders now enjoy
sweeping powers to arrest and expel "disloyal troublemakers." It all
underlines how out of touch he and his cronies are with a new generation of
Zimbabweans who listen to rap music and are fans of Cuba Gooding Jnr.
Mugabe's repeated charge today is that supporters of Morgan Tsvangirai's
Movement for Democratic Change are "totemless" aliens who have broken with
their ancestral culture. This, however, is the essence of the sociological
revolution Tsvangirai and his ilk represent. A veteran trades unionist with
no elitist ancestry pretensions, he is as far removed from Mugabe in spirit
as the Scottish socialist Kier Hardie was from Bonnie Prince Charlie. South
Africa's African National Congress is way off beam when it equates the MDC
with Mozambique's former Renamo rebels, mostly rural people who under
Portuguese rule were classified as "non-assimilado" -unassimilated into
modern legal norms.

The MDC draws its core support from a new black lower middle class who watch
television, who have relatives in the 3-million strong Zimbabwean diaspora,
but are  too poor to own businesses, which make them hostages to Mugabe's
patronage system. They are to be met every day in queues where they express
themselves forcefully, but are of course unheard by the elite, who have
another source of supply. As the economy and the Zimbabwean currency
continue to plunge - inflation in April reached 269,2 percent - we are
moving into a vicious apartheid that will cleave this society from top to
bottom, one section having a source of supply ruled by the US dollar, the
other by the Zimbabwean dollar. Special shops and filling stations, operated
on concessions by members of Mugabe's elite, are making everything from
imported lamb and butter to petrol available to a privileged few who can pay
in foreign exchange.  The US dollar last week fluctuated between one to
Zimbabwe $1 500 and Zimbabwe $2 300. Meanwhile a woman primary school
teacher, earning Zimbabwe $56 385 a month, is hard put to pay Zimbabwe $10
000 for a packet of modern "feminine requisites", which have to be imported
since the local factory closed.

Such people care nothing for mumbo-jumbo about charms and spirits. Most are,
in any case, members of the main line Christian churches. Mugabe and Zanu PF
will be unable to eliminate them unless (God and the ANC forbid) they adopt
the Killing Fields genocidal tactics of the Khmer Rouge. The issue is not,
therefore, about Tsvangirai's individual character, the influence of the
dwindling number of whites or the British and American governments.  Which
is why those South Africans who back Zanu PF are putting their money on a
foundering horse. By telling us how his lieutenants still dabble with charms
and spirits, Mugabe reveals not only the atmosphere of paranoia he has
created around himself, but how his elite has failed to modernise its
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Mugabe: A 'dear old uncle'
27/05/2003 16:48  - (SA)

Cape Town - The tide of democracy is turning and the new Africa is to be
seen in Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, Democratic Alliance spokesperson on
Africa Graham McIntosh said on Tuesday.

Speaking during a special debate in the National Assembly to mark Africa
Day, he said: "It is that tide that we must encourage and support and be
part of."

"The real and sustainable future is being carved by the people of Africa, as
we strive for the right to democratically choose our governments.

"In Nigeria, we have had a great victory for democracy. Kenya is a shining
example of what the new Africa wants.

"There, a people made angry by an old corrupt crony regime, threw out a
government that represented the old OAU with its style of arrogant and
unprincipled leadership," he said.

Turning to Zimbabwe, McIntosh criticised President Thabo Mbeki and the
government for its stance on that country, saying the old Africa and the new
were struggling next door to South Africa in Zimbabwe.

"Mr Mbeki is elected as our president, to look after South Africa's

While Zimababwean President Robert Mugabe caused huge and direct human and
economic, damage to South Africa as he destroyed his country and oppressed
his people, "our president treats him like a dear old uncle".

"What kind of leadership is this and how can the world have confidence in
the African Union when its very first chairman does not effectively address
the Zimbabwe issue?

"On Zimbabwe, president Mbeki's politically immoral stance has also done
damage to the Commonwealth," McIntosh said.
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Zimbabwe Prepares for Political Showdown

Associated Press Writer

May 27, 2003, 11:24 AM EDT

HARARE, Zimbabwe -- Zimbabwe's main opposition leader drew new political
battle lines Tuesday in a showdown to oust embattled President Robert
Mugabe, announcing he would not be part of any power-sharing government with
the ruling party.

Morgan Tsvangirai, hardening the stand of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change, said if Mugabe was to leave office, the ruling party
should be left to run the country for 90 days before new democratic
presidential elections were held.

The proposal for a power-sharing agreement had been raised over the last few
months by various intermediaries.

Mugabe, 79, has been under pressure to retire as the nation faces its worst
economic crisis since he became its first black leader after the southern
African country won independence in 1980.

The proposal for a power-sharing government was mooted earlier this year by
intermediaries reportedly acting for senior officials of the ruling party
and the military. It gained currency as Mugabe invited his supporters to
discuss the succession for leadership of the ruling Zanu-PF party openly for
the first time.

Discussion of a possible successor to Mugabe had in the past, been
repeatedly postponed.

Mugabe has not commented publicly on the proposal, but has repeatedly said
that he would not leave office without assurances that the Zanu-PF would
remain in control.

Tsvangirai said the nation's constitution clearly provided for an acting
president, most likely from the ruling party, to take over for three months
ahead of fresh elections once the incumbent vacated office.

Tsvangirai told a meeting of diplomats representing the Group of Eight
countries Tuesday, that his party wanted dialogue with Mugabe but "will not
be part of any negotiation process which simply seeks to incorporate us as
junior partners into the structures of illegitimate power dominated by
Mugabe and his cronies."

Such a power-sharing arrangement, he said, "will only serve to expand that
illegitimacy and ultimately sanitize the Mugabe regime."

Tsvangirai has called on people nationwide to hold demonstrations on Sunday
to "prepare for the final push" against Mugabe. Such protests are illegal in

Britain, Zimbabwe's former colonial power, the European Union, the United
States and independent observer groups rejected the results Mugabe's
re-election last year as fraudulent and swayed by political intimidation and
vote rigging.
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Mail and Guardian

Zimbabwe govt vows to 'crush' protests


      27 May 2003 11:09

The government of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has warned that it will
crush anti-government street demonstrations being organised by the

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change is planning "a week of
democracy marches" starting June 2.

"We are ready to crush any demonstrations which will lead to the destruction
of property or is a threat to national security," Home Affairs Minister
Kembo Mohadi told the state-run daily Chronicle.

"If the demonstrations are peaceful, then they can go ahead. But if they are
violent, we will not stand by and watch," he was quoted as saying.

Pro-government veterans of the country's war of liberation last week warned
that they would clamp-down on any opposition demostrations using "military

War veterans leader Patrick Nyaruwata said the former guerrillas will be
"using our own miltary experience" against the MDC organised protests, in a
way that has "never been seen before in Zimbabwe."

"The consequences of any mass action will be grave. We will co-ordinate with
the state agents to fight you (MDC) off," he warned according to press

But MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said he and his supporters must be prepared
to be arrestd and to make a mark. The MDC organised in March a two-day
national strike that was largely followed. Last month, the labour movement
which gave birth to the MDC advised people to stock up on food ahead of the
mass action, but many have been unable to withdraw the money from their
accounts to do so because banks have run out of cash. - Sapa-AFP
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            Africa at threshold of new era: Parties
            May 27, 2003, 18:45

            Following Sunday's Africa Day celebrations in Johannesburg and
elsewhere on the continent, a special debate marking the event was held in
the National Assembly today. Pallo Jordan, the portfolio foreign affairs
committee chairperson of the ANC said Africa stood at the threshold of a new

            All Africans, regardless of nationality and colour, needed to
rise to the challenges, including, in some areas, tribalism and cronyism,
and disease. African countries needed to gain more control over their own
resources, rather than seeing them shipped abroad to industries in other
nations. "We must start to exert greater control over our resources
through...agreements between countries and with other regions of developing
countries," he said.

            Jordan also paid tribute to Sibusiso Vilane, who became the
first black African to reach the summit of Everest, the world's highest
peak, yesterday. "With people like Sibusiso among us we have no need to fear
for the future of Africa," he said.

            Graham McIntosh, of the Democratic Alliance, said the tide of
democracy was turning and the new Africa was to be seen in Kenya, Nigeria
and Zimbabwe. "It is that tide that we must encourage and support and be
part of. The real and sustainable future is being carved by the people of
Africa, as we strive for the right to democratically choose our governments.
"In Nigeria, we have had a great victory for democracy. Kenya is a shining
example of what the new Africa wants."

            Mbeki criticised on Zimbabwe
            However, on Zimbabwe, McIntosh criticised President Thabo Mbeki
and the government for its stance on that country saying the old Africa and
the new were struggling next door to South Africa in Zimbabwe. "What kind of
leadership is this and how can the world have confidence in the African
Union when its very first chairman does not effectively address the Zimbabwe
issue?" he said.

            Anna van Wyk of the New National Party said the ideals of
democracy, social justice, and prosperity were not incompatible with the
distinctiveness of African values. Covering up injustice, cowardly backing
up despots, sentimentalising mediocrity, idolising tyrants and the like were
not part of African values. Each time African tradition and culture was used
as an excuse for disregarding the human rights of, for example women and
children or ethnic minorities, it was "false" and undermined the ideal of
uplifting Africa. This had to stop, and thus required leadership, she said.

            Zwelethu Madasa of the African Christian Democratic Party said
tribalism or religion were often cited as the major causes of conflicts on
the continent. "While this may be true, there is ample evidence indicating
that the root cause of the so-called tribal wars is a scramble for power and
access to resources. Why is it that most of the so-called tribal wars are in
mineral rich areas of Africa? Are tribal conflicts not a convenient means
for those who are corrupt and greedy of keeping the masses at bay while they
continue to loot unabated?"

            Africa needed a new breed of public representatives who were
truly servants of the people, who would be vigilant against party
authoritarianism, which had been one of the means by which dictatorships
arose on the continent, Madasa said. Pieter Mulder, the Freedom Front
leader, said Zimbabwe was bound to be the test for the new AU. Not because
President Robert Mugabe was internationally criticised, but because he
"represents what is wrong in Africa", he said. - Sapa
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Zimbabwe's Gold Mines Face Closure
Peta Thornycroft
27 May 2003, 14:53 UTC

With the collapse of Zimbabwe's agricultural sector, gold mines are now the
country's largest foreign currency earner.

Falcoln Gold Mine, near Zimbabwe's second city Bulawayo, is the first of the
gold mines to go public and say it faces closure.

The managing director of the mine, Andrew Bittie, said the mine has not been
paid foreign currency earnings by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe since April

Most mines in Zimbabwe are privately owned, but under current practice, the
government pays 50 percent of their earnings in the local currency, at a
trading rate of 800 Zimbabwe dollars to one U.S. dollar. The other 50
percent is supposed to be paid out in U.S. dollars so the mines have money
to import materials for their operations.

But the payments in U.S. dollars have not been coming. Zimbabwe is using the
little foreign currency it does have to buy fuel and pay arrears on
electricity bills to neighboring states.

In addition to the shortage of foreign currency, Mr. Beattie said the Falcon
Gold Mine is also suffering because the state's electricity supplier has
increased its tariffs in the last month by more than 1,000 percent. Also,
electricity cuts are costing the company four operating hours a day.

Mr. Beattie said the Falcon Gold mine would close in September if the
situation did not improve.

On Tuesday, the chief executive of Zimbabwe's chamber of mines, David
Murangari, said gold made up more than half of Zimbabwe's mineral exports.
It is now the country's highest foreign currency earner since the collapse
of the tobacco industry following the land reform program, which saw 90
percent of tobacco farmers evicted from their properties.

Mr. Murangari said gold production is declining dramatically. Three years
ago, Zimbabwe produced 29 tons of gold. Last year it produced half that, and
2003 is going to be worse.
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Morgan Tsvangirai.

Last Sunday a leading South African newspaper printed a disparaging account of what they called "the ability of the MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, to lead Zimbabwe". In addition to using a stringer who also writes for the State controlled Sunday Mail in Zimbabwe they quoted Moyo, the Minister of Information in the Mugabe regime and another Mugabe sycophant, Ibbo Mandaza who were quoted as dismissing the MDC leadership as being incapable of effective national leadership. There was only one candidate who gained their approval and that was a particularly nasty Zanu PF thug, called Mnangagwa - currently Speaker of the House of Parliament.

What they failed to report was that it was Mnangagwa who had led the effort in the 80's to crush Ndebele opposition to the one Party state with over 20 000 deaths. They also failed to note that he was on the UN list of those accused of pillaging Congo resources during the four years that the Zimbabwe army spent in the DRC protecting Zanu interests. They also failed to note that he could not even win the Kwe Kwe constituency in 2000 against a virtually unknown MDC candidate who was unable to canvass in his constituency for even one day during the run up to the June 2000 elections because of state sponsored violence and attempts to kill him.

But what about the ability of Morgan Tsvangirai to lead Zimbabwe after any transition? On Sunday I sat in the tent at a MDC rally in Bulawayo where Morgan with others spoke to a crowd I estimated at 25 000 people. Again I was struck by his ability to communicate with a crowd of this size - he had them laughing and cheering. He insisted that a member of the leadership close the rally with prayer. It is always refreshing and encouraging to attend such events - if the media bothered to do so they too might learn something about the man. What a contrast to the sour ranting of Mugabe.

My own initial contact with Morgan came in 1997 when I was elected Chairman of the Industrial Associations that made up the Confederation of Industry in Zimbabwe. We employed 300 000 workers in 38 sectoral employers organisations and had to work with the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, of which Morgan was the Secretary General at the time. I can clearly remember my first meeting with Morgan - I did not know him from a bar of soap when I attended a "Labour Summit" to consider the general conditions under which wage and working conditions would be negotiated by the Unions that year.

I was very impressed - he came into the meeting, one of the younger men in the room, but was dominant from the start. It was my first contact with the ZCTU as an employer and I was impressed by three things - they were organised and well briefed, they saw our (the employers) point of view and they recognised that we were working under very adverse circumstances. I can recall how surprised I was when Morgan made the statement at the meeting that 'if nothing is done about the macro economic fundamentals, we (the Unions and the Employers) were wasting our time talking about wages in isolation. Everything we might achieve will be swept away by the collapse of the economic fundamentals". There were few employers there who understood this at the time, how right he was.

I worked with Morgan in his capacity as Secretary General of the ZCTU for three years and my respect for him grew each year. I did not know he only had a limited school education, I did not know he had never been to University, it did not matter, he was very bright, well educated and erudite, an excellent negotiator. He was also clearly in charge of the ZCTU - his personal authority was unchallenged and if we struck a deal with him or with his help, it stuck. Not easy in a Union with hundreds of thousands of members and deeply conflicting interests.

No man or woman in this country has made a bigger impact on this country in the past decade than Morgan Tsvangirai. Lets look at his personal achievements: - He left school early because his family could not afford the school fees, is largely self taught, reads widely and has an excellent mind and understanding of national issues.

He joined the Mineworkers Union when he worked in that industry, rising rapidly through the ranks to become Secretary General of the ZCTU, a post he held for 11 years. Under his leadership the union movement was transformed from a small, badly run organisation with barely 3 per cent of the labor force in its membership, to an organization with over 50 Unions and 50 per cent of the workforce in its membership. He also transformed its leadership from one which was essentially a part of government as an extension of the Zanu PF Party to a genuinely independent, democratic labour movement.

He ran a tight ship and in his last year he administered a budget of over US$10 million. Reporting each year audited accounts that were clean and listed no major problems. This is no mean achievement and at the end of his era at the helm of this very large civic organisation he drove a battered B1600 pick up and lived in a tiny home in a middle class suburb in Harare. This speaks volumes for his personal integrity - something scarce and valuable in any society.

He is married to a superb and beautiful woman - Susan and has five children. Is a devoted family man and lives a very private life despite his position. He does not encourage public exposure of his family and spends as much time as he can with them. He clearly has a personal faith - reads his bible on a regular basis and encourages prayer at all MDC meetings. But he is not what you would call a religious man.

He started the movement to debate the need for a new constitution for the country at a time when the majority of the people had no understanding of its importance. "The problem", he would state at meetings "is that the present constitution gives the President (Mugabe) too much power". He started and chaired the National Constitutional Assembly for its first 5 years. Raised the money and ran a national education program that increased national understanding of the issues to the point where a referendum called by Zanu PF in an attempt to entrench the powers of the President was defeated in early 2000.

He led a campaign to force the government of the day to consult with other stakeholders in the formulation of national policy in the economic field. He demanded that the State put its house in order to ensure that living standards were protected and growth in the economy ensured. When the State repudiated these overtures, he led the decision making process to launch a new political Party which would challenge Zanu PF for power. He put together a gathering in 1999, which brought together in a "Working Peoples Convention" over 350 organisations with the view to bringing together a coalition, which could challenge Zanu PF hegemony effectively. This was successful and led to the formation in late 1999 of the Movement for Democratic Change.

In 2000 from a standing start, the MDC defeated the Government in the February 2000 referendum despite rigging of the national vote to the extent of 15 per cent. Four months later the opposition took 52 per cent of the national vote and 48 per cent of the seats in the Parliament again under conditions of widespread rigging and electoral violence. In 2002 Morgan challenged Mugabe for the presidency and was denied an almost certain victory by desperate rigging and electoral violence and intimidation.

In the three years that he has led the MDC, he has welded together a coherent, united organisation that now has offices in all urban centers, a national structure that embraces all districts in the country and a national leadership which has withstood every attempt by Zanu PF and State agencies to subvert its activities. That is no mean achievement. I can tell you he is a tough disciplinarian, has a wicked sense of humor and is the undisputed leader of the MDC.

But back to the rally on Sunday - many who read this note will not appreciate that Morgan is a Shona speaking member of the Karanga clan, the crowd was largely Ndebele speaking. The Ndebele have a long history of animosity towards the Shona people and after the genocide of the 80's, many reasons for not wanting to be governed by the Shona majority. But there is no doubt about his standing here, a 15-year-old Ndebele girl sang a song of praise to Morgan - all around me women had tears in their eyes. When he stood up to speak the crowd went quiet. In minutes they were laughing.

The MDC is a Party of the poor and disadvantaged - the new rich, fear us, the old rich are distrustful of a social democratic movement. At the rally there were about 20 cars, the rest of the crowd walked or came by bicycle. When Morgan had to find millions of dollars for his bail - all we did was to put 200 litre drums outside our offices on the street and in 2 days we raised more than was needed - in dollars and cents. One drum in Harare contained Z$800 000. Morgan inspires loyalty - his secretary Edeth, saved his life when a group of men tried to throw Morgan out of his 10th floor office window at the ZCTU - she is still his secretary and is fiercely protective.

You cannot buy integrity, or humility, or wisdom. Morgan has all these characteristics. He has survived several assassination attempts, has a brutal work schedule and has worked under intense pressure for years - yet he remains a pillar of strength to those who work with and for him. The best farmers are usually accountants - they know that farming is a business and treat it as such and they also know they must rely on technical advice and support. Mugabe has six University degrees, his Cabinet has had the services of 17 men and women with doctorates in various things - they have been an unmitigated disaster as a government. There is not a single measure of human welfare that is not now negative in relation to the conditions that existed under Smith 23 years ago. There is no doubt in my mind - having worked under Smith and Mugabe for 40 odd years, that Morgan has all the attributes to be an effective national leader - charisma, intellectual grasp and sound personal values. He has also gathered around him men and women who constitute the brightest and the best in Zimbabwe - the best economic brains, key academics, and substantial businesspersons. He takes advice and acts on it but is also his own man and is deeply trusted by the people he has led for more than 15 years - the ordinary working men and women in Zimbabwe.

In my book - he gets my vote.

Eddie Cross
Bulawayo, May 14th 2003.

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MDC 'won't play Mugabe games'
27/05/2003 14:58  - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwe's main opposition party would not take part in a
transitional government if President Robert Mugabe gave up power, said its
leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Tuesday.

Any interim arrangement after Mugabe had to follow constitutional

Tsvangirai, who heads the Movement for Democratic Change, told Harare-based
diplomats from the G8 industrialised countries that an acting president
would have to be appointed and elections held within three months,

Speculation that the 79-year-old Mugabe might leave office before his term
expires in 2008 was fanned last week when he urged party supporters to
openly debate his succession.

He also hinted in an interview last month that he was "getting to a stage"
where retirement might be possible.

Tsvangirai - whose party has refused to accept the outcome of last year's
presidential polls which kept Mugabe in office - said if the MDC aligned
itself to the governing Zanu-PF government, it would legitimise Mugabe's

Elections must be held - Tsvangirai

"We will neither be part of a dubious process that seeks to expand and
sanitise Zanu-PF's illegitimate rule, nor will we accept a secondary role in
any so-called transitional arrangement," said Tsvangirai.

He said that if a president left office in Zimbabwe, the constitution
provides for an acting president "logically from the ruling party" to take
over and for elections to held within 90 days to choose a substantive

"We have not sought and never will seek to be accomodated by anybody outside
our democratic entitlement, the rule of law and, indeed, the constitution,"
he said.

"The issue of constituional amendment to enable the formation of a so-called
transitional government therefore does not arise," he said.

Tsvangirai, who has called for street anti-government protests next week,
repeated in his statement that "serious and sincere dialogue" was the only
way to end Zimbabwe's political and economic crises.

"The only way to resolve the crisis and salvage what remains of the nation
is through a process of serious and sincere dialogue between the MDC and
Zanu-PF," he said. >
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Will G-8 Move to Heal Scar On Global Conscience?

Business Day (Johannesburg)

May 27, 2003
Posted to the web May 27, 2003

Kuseni Dlamini

Leaders of world's richest nations face challenge of helping Africa, when
they gather for the summit at Evian

IN A few days' time members of the world's seven richest countries plus
Russia (the Group of Eight) will be having their annual gathering in Evian,

This meeting is crucial. It is the first G-8 meeting after the end of the
Iraqi war, and is at a time when transatlantic relations (between the EU,
the US and Britain) are at their lowest level since the end of the Cold War.

It takes place at a time when the world is more insecure than ever before,
as a result of increasing terrorist activities. It also takes place at a
time when famine and war continue unabated in parts of Africa without making
headlines on CNN, BBC, Sky News and the world's top newspapers.

What is making headlines are the bombings in Riyadh and Casablanca which
signal the re-emergence of the Al-Qaeda threat. Britain, the US and other
mainly western countries have been forced to close their embassies in Saudi
Arabia. They are all in a state of "high alert" at home and abroad.

The colour-coded homeland security terror alert in the US was raised a notch
to orange, the second from the highest ranking. It was last changed on the
eve of the Iraqi war. British intelligence agencies are concerned about the
UK being targeted. Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament have all
been secured with concrete barriers. Heathrow Airport security has been

On the economic front, US Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan has voiced
concerns about the threat of deflation. The jostling for lucrative contracts
to rebuild Iraq and exploit its massive oil wealth continues between the
world's richest nations. The French and the Russians had to compromise and
vote for United Nations (UN) resolution 1483, which legitimises the
occupation and reconstruction of Iraq by the coalition.

All these are pressing global issues which require global solutions and
should therefore be discussed at the Evian summit.

However, there is a glaring omission which is as vital if the world is to
become a better and safer place for all. That is Africa. Solutions to the
world's woes would be incomplete unless the plight of Africa is taken into

In the build-up to the prior G-8 summit in Kananaskis, Canada, there was
widespread expectation that the G-8 countries were due to make significant
contributions to help Africa raise the $64bn needed to implement the New
Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad). Those hopes were dashed when
only $1bn was announced by the G-8 to help Nepad.

According to Fortune Magazine, the US spent about 10% of its gross domestic
product (GDP) on the Marshall Plan. However, its overall aid contribution
now is less than 0,2%, according to the Economist. Indeed, most G-8
countries contribute less than the UN's target of 0,7% of GDP. A European
cow gets $2 a day as a subsidy from the EU compared with more than
300-million Africans who live on less than $1 a day. The G-8 summit provides
the leaders of the world's richest nations with an historic opportunity to
reinvent their approaches to global problems new solutions to the old
problems of insecurity caused by the spectre of global terror, poverty and
disease are long overdue.

This requires the articulation of inclusive norms and values that unite
rather than divide the world's people.

The increased state of insecurity, especially in the UK, the US and the
Middle East, threatens to create fortress societies and roll back the gains
of globalisation.

What must the G-8 leaders do to contribute to peace, stability, security and
prosperity for all? First, they must take steps to open up their markets to
products from the developing world.

The next round of World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks is due to take place
in Mexico in September. Evian should be used to build consensus on the
removal of subsidies and protectionist policies and practices that limit
market access for African and developing country products.

More than $300bn is spent on subsidies to western farmers, and the
developing countries lose more than 100bn a year as a result of
protectionist policies. Rich countries need to practise what they preach.
Free and fair trade.

More trade and less aid should underpin Africa's future socioeconomic
prosperity. Africa currently accounts for less than 3% of world trade.
Africans are poorer today than they were 30 years ago.

Second, the G-8 countries need to show the political will and commitment to
find global solutions to global and regional security problems. The notion
of African solutions to African problems has a lot of emotional appeal but
results in western countries abdicating their responsibility when it comes
to conflict resolution in Africa.

Global solutions to African problems underpinned by universal norms and
values are what is required. Peace and security are global public goods. The
G-8 and UN must ensure such basic public goods are available to all.

If the war in Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom) was about "liberating" the
people of Iraq from a tyrant, the people of Zimbabwe also need to be
liberated from their "tyrant". The people of Ituri in northeast Democratic
Republic of Congo need to be liberated from the tribal warfare that
threatens a repeat of genocide on the Rwandan scale. So do the people of
Ethiopia, who are dying from famine.

The G-8 countries and the UN can and must act to solve African problems.
They can and must disarm warlords anywhere in Africa. Some have even argued
for benign regime change in some failed African states. They also can and
must give more to starving Ethiopians than their fat cows.

Third, more tangible support for Nepad needs to be offered by the G-8. When
Nepad was launched it was hailed by the west as Africa's Marshall Plan. For
Nepad to succeed, the G-8 needs to give the same level of financial
assistance given to the Marshall Plan (10% of US GDP). It is easy to find
excuses such as Zimbabwe not to support Nepad as it is to find excuses to
support it Botswana, SA and many others.

Africa's economic prosperity and development are inextricably intertwined
with global peace and security. Democracy costs money. Africa cannot have
enduring democracies so long as it is poor. Most of the world's democracies
are rich. Conversely, most of the undemocratic, corrupt and tyrannical
regimes are poor.

Investing in the growth of Africa through meaningful financial support for
Nepad will ensure enduring de- mocracy, peace, stability, human rights, good
governance and law and order in Africa and the world. It remains to be seen
if the G-8 will rise to the challenge in Evian.

Dlamini is with Templeton College at Oxford University in the UK.
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Survival and Support Network

"It is what you choose not to observe in your life that controls your life"

If you are honest you will admit that you are part of the establishment and
the establishment is ZanuPF.  By doing nothing you are supporting the
monster.  Get off the fence and play a small (or big) role in the change.

If you do not, then you are simply hoping someone else will solve the

In Zimbabwe we are in the fortunate position of having a clear case of good
and evil in our daily life.  Which do you choose?  A few people are doing a
lot and most people are not doing anything.  This initiative is a practical
attempt to help you be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Involve yourself and give yourself (and others) hope.

You can either give cash/kind or time.

If you want to do or give something phone 091 357088 now.

Please forward selectively.
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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.


Letter 1: Charles Frizell


In a just society the laws reflect the course of natural justice; they are
in a word just laws. What then gives a law legitimacy, what makes a law
"legal"? This is not just a rhetorical question for students of law, in our
present circumstances it is of vital importance to every person in the

A law needs traceable authority; it must be issued on behalf of some person
whose authority is recognised by the people to whom that law applies. In
modern society all laws derive their authority and legitimacy from the
majority of the people through their representation in parliament. A law
can only be legitimate if the body making the law is in itself recognised
as being legitimate.

As well as traceable authority, a law must be in accordance with natural
justice for it to be legitimate and just. That is to say, a law passed by a
genuine majority may be illegitimate if it discriminates against any
minority, or unjustly deprives citizens of their property or freedom.

Axiomatically, an unjust law cannot be considered legal under any

Because of the contentious nature of the last general election in Zimbabwe,
no law passed by parliament since that time has any legitimacy. Similarly,
no presidential edicts or appointments can be considered to be legitimate
or to have legal force since the most recent presidential election.

Within Zimbabwe we have to accede to these "illegal laws" because of force
of arms, though naturally these illegal laws can be challenged in court. A
problem here is that the legal standing and impartiality of these very
courts is under serious question.

We know very well that we do not live under the rule of law in Zimbabwe,
but what is the situation where contracts and commitments are made by the
present government? In any nation, governments undertake obligations "in
the name of the people". When legitimate governments change after an
election, the incoming administration is bound to honour obligations and
contracts entered into by the previous administration. If this were not so,
there would international chaos.

Zimbabwe's problems become serious when we consider the international
acceptance or otherwise of the legitimacy of parliament and the president.
We know that the USA, EU, Britain and most of the Commonwealth do not
recognise the administration as legitimate. By direct inference then, an
illegitimate administration cannot promulgate legitimate laws and cannot
enter into binding contracts "on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe."

This poses a very serious problem for countries presently trading with
Zimbabwe. An incoming administration that is legitimately elected and
internationally accepted will in no way be bound to honour commitments made
by the present illegitimate regime. These present commitments are in the
nature of purchases made using a stolen chequebook and as such are not
legally binding obligations. Most especially so as the theft of the
chequebook has been made widely known.

Caveat emptor (buyer beware!) is the name of the game, and countries such
as Libya and South Africa should be aware of this. In my opinion a
legitimate incoming government should repudiate these commitments because
the nation will need every penny for reconstruction after the devastation
and looting of national assets that has taken place. It is also my opinion
that the debts incurrent by the present administration since the general
election should be regarded as personal liabilities for which the
individual members of the administration are jointly and severally liable.


Letter 2:

Many thanks and congratulations on a marvellous job of work for poor out of
pocket farmers, I still feel that there is a way forward by using the
farmers that are still on the land, the legit ones or the ones who have
been served a section 8 but are still hanging on, who I have warned, that
is some of them, to put you fully into the picture as to what they are
doing before they get branded as collaborators, I have said if they are
helping settlers on their own farms it is a different matter to doing land
prep on other farms and that they may be open to prosecution at a later
stage but I feel that these chaps could be used to farm the irrigation
sections on other farms with a lease from the title holder. This could
give the title holder something to live on as well as help feed the nation,
something along these lines I feel sure could help our cause.

Once again keep up the good work and my grateful congratulations,

Regards Ben Norton


Letter 3: Charles Frizell


What lends legitimacy to a law? Firstly that the body promulgating the law
is itself considered legitimate. I am sure that the primary reason for the
desire to officially lift sanctions on Iraq and recognise the occupying
force as the interim government is to give international legal legitimacy
to contracts, purchases and sales in the name of the people of Iraq.

It would be a "good thing" if the United Nations would issue a statement
that no contracts with the illegitimate government in Zimbabwe would be
considered legally binding. If the UN cannot do that, then a firm statement
by the EU, Britain and USA to that effect would have almost equal effect.

The seizure of private property under the guise of clearly illegal laws
amounts to theft. The fact that these laws have been bruited about as
purely racist (even though people of all races have suffered) adds to their
illegitimacy. Any produce sold by people not owning the title deeds to
property is clearly stolen property, and the buying of known stolen
property is illegal everywhere in the world. Under law, it is usually
accepted that the true owner of stolen goods can reclaim them, and the
buyer forfeits any money paid. Also, the legal owners have the right to
reclaim their property when circumstances make this possible.

Our own courts may be severely compromised, but to me it is very clear that
all the so-called laws promulgated by the current regime have no legal
standing and will be declared invalid as soon as a legitimate government is

No wonder Mugabe and ZPF are so desperate to be recognised as legitimate,
and why they are so worried! Without free and fair elections accepted by
all, there is no hope of that occurring, and they know full well that they
don't stand a snowball's hope in hell of winning a fair election.


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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Speculation Surfaces Again Over Possible Mugabe Retirement
Tendai Maphosa
27 May 2003, 17:49 UTC

There is much speculation in Zimbabwe about whether and when President
Robert Mugabe might retire. The president has said his party should begin to
discuss who might be the its next leader.

President Mugabe began the speculation by announcing on the country's 23rd
independence anniversary in April that he was ready to consider leaving
office someday. Then last week, he encouraged open debate on his successor
within the ruling ZANU PF party.

But Mr. Mugabe has not said when he might retire. He is 79 years old, and
has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980. His Ministry of Information
says he will stay in office until the end of his current term in 2008.

But if Mr. Mugabe wants to leave office sooner, the Zimbabwe constitution is
very clear on the procedure.

"Under the constitution, if the president steps down, immediately one of the
vice presidents must take over as acting president for a maximum of three
months," explained Lovemore Madhuku, University of Zimbabwe law lecturer and
constitutional expert. "Within that three-month period there must be
arrangements for fresh elections to elect a new president. So you must have
a new president within 90 days of the president resigning or retiring."

Mr. Madhuku said the only way the ruling party can avoid elections is by
changing the constitution. But the party does not have the required
two-thirds majority in parliament to do so.

"I think we should stress here that most of the discussions taking place
around the succession issue are not taking into account what the
constitution of the country says," said Mr. Madhuku. "I think the argument
by the current president is that he was legally elected and he has to serve
until 2008. And should he decide to step down before 2008 then you must
follow the constitution which would require that a new president be elected,
not that there be a transitional government."

Mr. Madhuku added that Mr. Mugabe is not likely to leave office and force an
early election with the opposition apparently very popular among the people,
and severe economic problems and food shortages further eroding support for
his party. The opposition and most foreign governments already accuse Mr.
Mugabe of winning last year's election only through fraud and intimidation.
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Mugabe Bows to Pressure to Hold Talks With Opposition

African Church Information Service

May 26, 2003
Posted to the web May 27, 2003

Kholwani Nyathi

President Robert Mugabe's government has bowed to international and national
pressure to hold dialogue with Zimbabwe's opposition, in an effort to
contain the country's dilapidating political and economic crisis.

Mugabe, who in the past refused to engage in talks with leader of
opposition, Morgan Tsvangirai, on claims that Tsvangira's Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) was fronting British and American neo-colonial
interests, admitted that there was an urgent need to initiate dialogue to
solve the country's problems. This, he did after meeting three visiting
African heads of State.

Nigeria's President, Olusegun Obasanjo, South Africa's Thabo Mbeki and
Bakili Muluzi of Malawi, met Mugabe and Tsvangirai for separate talks in
Harare on May 7, in efforts to bring the two sides to the negotiating table.

"A more stable political dialogue is possible. We should never get to a
point where we feel incapacitated to deal with our problems. Our problems
are better resolved through dialogue," said the Minister of Justice, Legal
and Parliamentary Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa, when briefing parliamentarians
on the visit by the three presidents.

The minister, an ardent Mugabe loyalist, said lack of dialogue between the
ruling ZANU-PF and MDC was the cause of most problems affecting the country.

The MDC, civil society and the international community is demanding that
Mugabe hands over power to a transitional government, which will facilitate
the holding of fresh elections.

But Mugabe, who analyst say is now feeling the effects of British and US
pressure for him to resign, insists that he can only engage the opposition
if it recognises him as the legitimate leader of the country.

However, last month, Mugabe approached the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most
Reverend Njongonkulu Ndungane to mediate between the two sides.

Archbishop Ndungane said after the meeting: "He has said quite openly that
he is open to diversity of political participation in this and I think the
fact that he has invited mediation shows he appreciates the problems
affecting Zimbabwe."

The country is facing its worst economic depression since independence from
Britain in 1980, after being plunged into turmoil in 2000 when the
government embarked on an agrarian reform programme aimed at transferring
land from the minority white commercial farmers to landless blacks.

Subsequent general elections won by Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwe African
National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), were dismissed by the
international community as fraudulent, further pushing the once prosperous
southern African country into political and economic turmoil characterised
by a shortage of foreign currency and alarming job losses.

On these problems, Archbishop said: "From my initial meeting with President
Mugabe, his indication is that both internal and external problems flow from
the unfinished business of Lancaster House (where independent Zimbabwe's
Constitution was drafted)."

Mugabe claims the British agreed to fund the phased transfer of land from
the minority white population, who owned 75 percent of the productive land,
to landless blacks.
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