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

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The Observer

Famine becomes Mugabe weapon

In a shockingly sinister act of vengeance, Zimbabwe's dictator is
orchestrating a slow death by starvation for millions of his opponents

Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor
Sunday November 10, 2002
The Observer

The rains have come to the undulating pastures of northern Matabeleland. In
the bread basket of Zimbabwe, the seed should be in the ground by now. But
instead the rural poor are bracing themselves for a catastrophe on a scale
not seen since the Matabeleland massacres a generation ago.
Death is stalking the people of Matabeleland again. Only this time it is a
slow death by starvation - orchestrated in large part by Robert Mugabe's
Zanu-PF party as a weapon against his opponents in the Movement for
Democratic Change.

Amid warnings that more than 6.7 million Zimbabweans are facing starvation,
the Matabele have found themselves attacked by Mugabe's thugs, who are
refusing food to anyone suspected of supporting the MDC. They have been
abandoned by donor countries in the international aid community, who have
judged Zimbabwe a bad bet; and threatened by forecasts of a strong El Niño
effect on the country's weather set to bring a season of heavy rains
followed by drought.

The combination is bad enough for Zimbabwe's hungry rural communities -
where one in three adults is infected with HIV - but there is more bad news.
Thanks to drought and the Government's 'fast-track' land reform policy,
cereal production is down 57 per cent from last year and maize output by 67
per cent. The international community has raised barely half the money
needed to bridge that gap.

With inflation rampant and foreign exchange rates in dramatic decline,
shortages of bread, maize, milk and sugar are worsening. To complicate the
picture further, Western officials accuse senior Zanu officials of
profiteering from a black market in food that most cannot afford.

'Zimbabwe is facing an utter catastrophe,' said one British official last
week involved in organising the aid effort for Zimbabwe. 'Countries that
usually give in crises like this don't want to know because of Mugabe's
reputation. At present funding for food aid is running at only 40 per cent
of what is needed. If we can't persuade people to give more, then we are
looking at a disaster.

'Mugabe is playing politics with aid, but the international community must
not be drawn into doing the same, no matter how repellent Mugabe's
behaviour. It is the people of Zimbabwe themselves that matter, and we have
got to help them.'

Britain's International Development Secretary, Clare Short, has called on
fellow members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Develpoment
to pledge more. Despite deteriorating relations between Britain and the
Mugabe regime that saw Zimbabwe last week ban scores of British and European
politicians and impose visa requirements on Britons travelling to the
country, Britain remains the second largest donor behind the United States -
providing £36 million since September 2001.

'It is not that nothing is happening on the ground,' said one British
source. 'The World Food Programme and other agencies are doing good work; it
is just that no one is grasping the scale and urgency of the crisis. Unless
the international community steps up a gear - and now - there is going to be
a disaster.'

The most recent assessments suggest that the 'coping strategies' of those
most badly affected will run out early in the new year. And then people will
start to die.

But it is a message likely to be unpopular with governments from Scandinavia
to Japan - usually big donors - which sources say have been reticent about
giving aid to Mugabe's Zimbabwe.

It is a position that was outlined last week by Denmark's European Affairs
Minister, Bertel Haarder, speaking at a meeting of European and southern
African Ministers meeting in Maputo. His comments are unlikely to encourage
already cautious governments to rush to Zimbabwe's aid while Mugabe is still
in power.

'We would like to strongly react against the fact that the Zimbabwe
government is using our aid and our food to put political and economic
pressure on its own people,' said Haarder last week. 'They use our aid as a
tool in the domestic fight against the opposition to survive, and that is
not acceptable.'

Haarder's remarks followed comments by a senior US official earlier in the
week who also accused Mugabe of politicising famine relief and said
Washington was considering 'interventionist' measures that could challenge
Zimbabwe's sovereignty.

The elections may be over but, according to one human rights observer
returned from Zimbabwe, the use of starvation as a political weapon is
continuing in some of the most hard-hit areas. The human rights worker - who
asked not to be named for fear of reprisals against witnesses - described
widespread use of starvation against opposition communities.

'In Nkayi in Matabeleland North, I interviewed one witness who had been
planning to stand for the MDC in the district elections in September but was
intimidated into pulling out,' said the worker. 'He was threatened into
leaving his home. He told me that 20 families in his community had been
denied the right to buy food from the government's Grain Marketing Board
warehouses because of their support of the opposition. They have also been
denied the right to work. So they cannot eat and they cannot earn money.'

It is a story being repeated across the country. 'In one area I actually
witnessed Zanu youth militia running rural food sales with the instructions
to sell only to Zanu supporters. With the government having a monopoly on
the warehouses, it can control completely who is fed and who is not.'

At Murambinda District Hospital, according to the World Food Programme,
doctors report increasing cases of malnutrition and pellagra, associated
with starvation. Informal interviews with those queuing for food aid in
Mutasa district suggest many families are going for more than two days at a
time without a proper meal. As always, it is the children who are suffering
the worst.

A Unicef survey last May showed acute malnutrition prevalence in under-fives
at 6.4 per cent. But when broken down further, the data show prevalence of
acute malnutrition up to 18.2 per cent in some areas and alarming levels of
wasting in those aged three to five at 41.6 per cent nationally.

In Silobela, in Midlands province, the local chief, Malisa, warned last
month that thousands of schoolchildren in his area were on the verge of
starvation. 'There is no family in the area that harvested even a bucket of
grain,' he said.

Clare Short told The Observer: 'This is a very serious crisis. We can't let
the people of Zimbabwe be punished twice by Mugabe and then by food
shortages. They mustn't be abandoned. The donor community must step up their
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Sunday Times (SA)

Libya ends oil deal with Zimbabwe over debts

By Methembe Mkhize

The Libyan ambassador to Harare, Mohammad Azzabi, says the reasons for the
collapsing $360-million (about R3.5-billion) fuel deal between Zimbabwe and
his country are not political - but purely commercial.

Azzabi said in an interview this week that the deal had always been a
commercial agreement between the Zimbabwe government and Libya's oil giant,
Tamoil, and not a political arrangement between old allies - Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe and Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi - to shore up the
Zimbabwean economy.

Until the deal collapsed, Tamoil supplied 70% of Zimbabwe's oil.

Azzabi said: "It's a matter of supply and demand. It's not political but
maybe it appears semi-political in a way because we are not taking out the
money which Zimbabwe pays since we are investing it here."

Mugabe was in Libya in mid-September to try to save the faltering deal, but
Tamoil insists on a cash-on-delivery arrangement.

Under the deal, Zimbabwe pays Libya in local currency and the money is
banked locally for investment purposes.

Libyans have so far invested in various Zimbabwean economic sectors such as
banking, tourism, construction, fuel, meat processing and land.

Azzabi said Zimbabwe had been trying hard to service its debts. He said last
week the country had coughed up $10-million (about R98-million) and "not
much was outstanding". But fuel industry sources said the paid sum was a
drop in the ocean considering that Zimbabwe owed Tamoil - which supplies
about 100 000 tons of oil products a month - about $90-million (about
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Zim Standard

      Grace lures voters with food  11/10/02
      Story by By Debra Mazango

      AS Zanu PF steps up its campaign to win over the people of Kuwadzana
before the impending by-election there, basic commodities, reported to be
coming from First Lady Grace Mugabe, are being freely distributed to
residents of this high density suburb who attend ruling party campaign
meetings, The Standard has learnt.

      A group of Zanu PF female activists led by a woman who identifies
herself as Comrade Mutasa, have been holding meetings every Tuesday evening
in Kuwadzana and then distributing food and other goods to the people.

      Items distributed include mealie meal, cooking oil, cabbages and soap.
Even bags of fertiliser were distributed at one time.

      At the meetings, Mutasa, who says she comes to Kuwadzana on behalf of
the First Lady, urges people to vote for the ruling party in the
by-election, whose dates are yet to be announced, saying the party is filled
with people who care for the residents.

      At last Tuesday's meeting, held in 227 Street in Kuwadzana 2 and
attended by this reporter, Mutasa told the residents that the First Lady had
set up a feeding programme in the suburb to benefit those threatened with

      Mutasa, who moves around in a green twin cab vehicle accompanied by
youths, said: "Do you know that Amai does not sleep, thinking of the welfare
of this country, but you seem not to appreciate this. Today we have come on
her behalf to show that she has the welfare of the people of this
constituency at heart. Everyone, whether Zanu PF or MDC, should come and get
food. The First Lady does not discriminate."

      She added: "The MDC does not care about you because it only uses you
during elections and then leaves you to suffer and starve whilst they
preoccupy themselves with fighting for the interests of whites."

      After stressing the importance of giving support to a yet to be
identified Zanu PF candidate in the by-election, Mutasa later distributed a
10kg pack of mealie meal and a cabbage to everyone at the meeting. The
meetings, which started after the death of Kuwadzana MP Learnmore Jongwe,
have been attended by several residents who are having a hard time coming by
the elusive basic commodities.

      A woman present at the first meeting told The Standard that she hoped
the First Lady's generosity would continue well after the election.

      "When we attended the first meeting we each received 10kg of
mealie-meal and cooking oil. We were also promised a lot more if we
campaigned for the ruling party in the coming by-election. We had never
imagined that Grace Mugabe would think of our existence. We hope after the
election, she will still remember our plight," she said.

      Attempts to obtain comment from Grace Mugabe were fruitless and her
secretary referred this reporter to the women's affairs section of the
department of information which she said was responsible for overseeing
programmes conducted by the First Lady.

      However, no senior officials in that section were available for
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Zim Standard

      Sanctions against UK 'cheap rhetoric'  11/10/02
      Story by By Farai Mutsaka

      AS President Mugabe's desperation continues to scale new heights,
Zimbabweans have roundly criticised the embattled leader for wasting time on
peripheral issues instead of focusing on the country's economic and
political crisis.

      Typical of the grandstanding now associated with Mugabe, his regime
last week slapped British Prime minister, Tony Blair and his cabinet with
travel sanctions. Britain was also downgraded from category A to B of the
visa regime, meaning that all holders of British passports have to now
obtain visas before visiting Zimbabwe.

      The Zanu PF regime said the move is meant to protect Zimbabwe's
sovereignty, purportedly under threat from British prime minister, Tony
Blair and his colleagues.

      However, the retaliatory sanctions have not gone down well with
Zimbabweans who view them as a cheap victory for Mugabe achieved at the
expense of the real problems besetting the country.

      They say Zimbabwe needs Britain and the European Union far more than
they need Zimbabwe. They say with the tourism industry in the doldrums, the
coming in of British nationals would help boost the foreign currency
reserves which have virtually dried up.

      Britain is among the 15 European countries that have slapped Mugabe
and his cronies with travel restrictions for their role in the erosion of
democracy and good governance in Zimbabwe.

      Most of the people who talked to The Standard yesterday laughed off
Mugabe's retaliatory sanctions saying they depicted a leader desperate to
grab world attention at the expense of the starving masses.

      "Uku kuita kweashaya, kutsvaga uta mugate. Honestly, I don't see how
Zimbabwe could benefit from such an act. I doubt if Blair or his officials
will feel the pinch of being banned from travelling to Zimbabwe. What would
they want from Zimbabwe anyway?" said Wilford Muchingami of Mutare.

      With the country's economy in shambles and the majority of adult
Zimbabweans unemployed, many people say Mugabe's actions show he has nothing
to offer the country save empty rhetoric.

      Said Nelson Chamisa, MDC national youth chairman: "The unemployed
youths of this country are baffled by it all. What Mugabe should remember is
that Blair is not the fuel that people are crying for, Blair is not the food
or basic commodity that people are eagerly awaiting. Mugabe cannot tell us
that the sanctioning of Blair will result in the closed factories being
opened. What Mugabe is trying to do is save face. You cannot save a
collapsing regime through sanctions rhetoric. It doesn't work and the sooner
he realises this, the better."

      As Zimbabweans go through their worst economic nightmare in history,
Mugabe's regime has chosen to ignore the fundamental problems, while
focusing blame for the chaos on Britain, which it says is leading a campaign
to sabotage the country.

      Tendai Buzuzi of Harare says, Mugabe, now bereft of ideas, is doing
what any sane person would never do.

      Contacted for comment, Sophie Honey, a spokesperson for the British
High Commission in Harare, said the Zimbabwean authorities were free to
determine the requirements of British visitors into the country.

      Meanwhile, sources have told The Standard that about 500 000 visa
application forms which were at the FedEx offices, a special operator
handling the process on behalf of the UK government were snapped up by
people in Harare on Friday alone.

      "Indications are that thousands of Zimbabweans want to get out of the
country as soon as possible," said the sources."
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Zim Standard

      It's raining maize!
      overthetop By Brian Latham

      THERE was confusion in a central African country this week when Zany
party officials geared to defend themselves against an onslaught from the
sky. Within months, they said, the government of the United States would
invade the capital armed with food.

      Hysterical headlines in the state-controlled Horrid screamed of a US
invasion and warned that any breach of sovereignty would be treated

      Still, the same day the US government denied it had plans to invade
the troubled central African nation. The denial worked well, giving the
troubled central African county's spin-doctors the opportunity to blame
Britain. "UK behind invasion plot," screeched the following day's Horrid
newspaper. It did not say how the UK government would manage an invasion
without American permission.

      Still, analysts said the troubled central African country's reaction
to the threatened invasion spoke volumes. "If intrusive and interventionist
measures to provide food are a bad thing, then starving half the population
must be a good thing," said one analyst who pointed out that at least half
the population supported the opposition.

      Citizens of the troubled central African nation, most of whom are
extremely hungry, have complained that food is available only to Zany party
supporters. This has been denied by the Zany party which says food is freely
available at $200 for five kilograms to anyone who can produce a valid party

      Meanwhile the possibility of large American aeroplanes flying over the
troubled central African country and dropping food into remote rural areas
was welcomed by everyone outside the Zany party hierarchy. "We think this is
a splendid idea and I for one will be voting for George Bush in the next
presidential election," said one rural villager who said he was chairman of
the "Bush for president of the troubled central African country campaign".

      Meanwhile British spies and saboteurs masquerading as charity workers
were recently banned from feeding starving children in a remote and
undeveloped part of the troubled central African country, that
coincidentally just happened to have voted for a More Drink Coming council.
The heavily disguised spies and saboteurs, many of whom were women with
hairy legs and earnest expressions behind their little round spectacles,
said the banning was an outrage and denied they were spies.

      Still, their denials were dismissed by the Zany government which the
backward, lickspittle people of the region would never have voted for the
More Drink Coming party if they hadn't been told to by agents of western
imperialism. Meanwhile the unlikely looking agents, most of who looked as
though they would fail a physical entrants exam for preschool teachers, said
they were surprised by the move, but also welcomed the prospect of US planes
dropping food,

      "Just as long as they're, you know, careful and don't drop anything on
top of anyone."

      While the invasion debate raged on, citizens in the troubled central
African country's towns and cities said they were too busy to worry about
whether the Americans were coming. "We have to find queues to join," said
one hungry person. "There are maize meal queues, cooking oil queues, sugar
queues and petrol queues, just for starters. I really don't have time to
wait for the Americans."

      Despite the debate raging within the troubled central African nation,
regional leaders remained curiously silent over the food for cards issue.
This upset western imperialists who are demanding that people like "Maybe"
Mbeki take some action, but"Maybe" responded to calls for a tougher stance
by saying, "Erm."

      Analysts believe that within 12 months there could be as few as six
million people living in the troubled central African country. The other
seven million will have either starved to death or emigrated -though the
Zany party predicts confidently that its remaining citizens will all hold
party cards.
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Zim Standard

      Adding insult to injury
      sundayopinionBy Mavis Makuni

      "POWER, like vanity, is insatiable. Nothing short of omnipotence could
satisfy it completely," wrote philosopher, author and Nobel Peace Laureate,
Bertrand Russell.

      He argued that love of power, whether petty or otherwise, was
increased by the experience of power and he gave the example of well-to-do
women whose pleasure in exercising power over their domestic servants
increases steadily as they grow older.

      "Similarly, in any autocratic regime, the holders of power become
increasingly tyrannical with experience of the delights that power can
afford. Since power over human beings is shown in making them do what they
would rather not do, the man who is actuated by love of power is more apt to
inflict pain than to permit pleasure," Russell said.

      If he were alive today, the philosopher would be amazed at how spot-on
his description was with regard to the situation in Zimbabwe today.

      We have a regime which after 22 years, is so drunk with absolute power
that it believes it is not bound by the laws it expects the citizens of the
country to observe.

      Further, this government believes that the laws of logic do not apply
to it. In this way, the Zanu PF regime is able to turn on its head every
fact and argument against its bogus claims with regard to the abuses it
perpetrates against its own people.

      I read somewhere that some despots become so corrupted by absolute
power that they begin to believe in their own immortality. Not surprisingly,
the suffering and deaths of their own people, who are mere mortals, mean
absolutely nothing to them. The Zimbabwean crisis bears this out.

      It is a fact that since the political violence now rampant in
Zimbabwe, began in February 2000, our head of state has made no pretence of
losing any sleep over it or having any sympathy for the bereaved families
concerned, despite publication in the newspapers of horrific pictures
showing the brutal attacks victims are subjected to.

      The end, which is to keep the ruler in power, apparently justifies the

      This is why Mugabe can publicly boast of having degrees in violence
and then go to sleep at night without any qualms despite knowing that the
millions he is supposed to embrace as a national leader are being denied
food aid and subjected to other forms of discrimination and degradation for
refusing to acknowledge his omnipotence.

      Zanu PF's moral insensibility even in matters which bear universal
taboos was shown during the funeral wake of young MDC legislator, Learnmore
Jongwe, last week.

      Respect for the dead, as well as empathy for the bereaved,
demonstrated by a willingness to let them mourn their loved one with dignity
and in peace are universally accepted principles. They are what separate
human beings from animals.

      But, for Zanu PF, the fact that Jongwe died in such tragic
circumstances was apparently not thought to have caused enough anguish to
his family. Insult had to be added to injury when police interfered with the
sombre proceedings at Jongwe's home in Harare claiming to be looking for
murder suspects. It says a lot about the competence and professionalism of
the police force that officers regarded a funeral wake as an appropriate
place to conduct investigations.

      The police stooped even lower when they fired tear gas at the mourners
who lined the streets as Jongwe's funeral cortege made its way to the
National Sports Stadium.

      Ten years ago, when Zimbabwe's respected first lady, Sally Mugabe
died, the country got a glimpse of what magnanimity and generosity of spirit
could mean when President Mugabe's arch political rival, the late Reverend
Ndabaningi Sithole, turned up to pay his last respects.

      He explained to a television reporter that in a tragedy such as death,
people had to put their personal differences aside and mourn together as
human beings. It was a memorable moment.

      Jongwe's talents, his eloquence and maturity far beyond his 28 years,
won him the admiration of Zimbabweans of all walks of life. Many were
therefore shocked when he died so unexpectedly and in such controversial

      The shameful way in which the police treated mourners wishing to pay
their last respects to Jongwe suggests that such normal human emotions as
compassion and empathy are fast being criminalized by the paranoid ruling
party and government.

      Unelected junior minister, Jonathan Moyo's shrill denouncement of the
MDC for giving Jongwe a rousing send-off was to be expected from a man who
never shows the slightest twinge of regret, even when caught in the most
outlandish of fabrications.

      The irony that he could, in the same breath, slam the MDC for
affording Jongwe a befitting funeral and then accuse the party of ignoring
the young legislator while he was in prison, was lost on Moyo.

      It does, however, underscore the fact that in Moyo's book, the
opposition can never win, no matter what it does.
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Zim Standard

      Bob, put on your running shoes

      TWO months ago, the pound was worth $1 000. Now it's worth $2 000 and
still rising. Prices here are being marked up on a weekly or daily basis-the
result of the Zimkwacha devaluation. How long can the povo afford to live?

      The fat cats with nearly 20 bedrooms in their houses, their Pajeros,
their snouts still firmly in the trough and their new farms safely tucked
away, still want for absolutely nothing.

      How long will the army, the police, even the pseudo-war vets, continue
to support and protect them? How long before the povo explode and fall upon
the fat cats-while the police, etc, standby and let them do so, or actively
join them in bringing the whole stinking edifice down? Shades of 1789, the
French Revolution, the new Day of Independence.

      Robert Mugabe, got your running shoes handy?

      PNR Silversides

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Zim Standard

      Student leaders in hiding
      By Loughty Dube

      BULAWAYO-Police harassment has forced student leaders at the National
University of Science and Technology (Nust) to go into hiding after a foiled
demonstration on Tuesday afternoon led to police laying siege to the

      Riot police, wielding baton sticks, descended on the institution and
arrested the president of the Students Representative Council (SRC), Isaac
Chimutashu, and four union members.

      Nust students and their lecturers have been on strike for the past two
weeks demanding increases of their salaries and government pay-outs.

      The lecturers want a 50% salary increment, while students want the
government to give them an advance of $20 000 to meet expenses for the
current semester.

      The vice president of the Nust SRC, Franco Makwangudze, told The
Standard that student leaders at the university went into hiding when police
intensified the hunt for organisers of the demonstration.

      "The police have camped inside our campus and have identified the
rooms of all the student leaders. They are constantly checking for us and we
are afraid to go back to campus because we are not sure of our fate if we do
go back," said Makwangudze.

      He said police had picked seven students up in the dead of night, in
the last four days.

      "We are being hunted down and most of the union leaders have gone into
hiding. We fear for our lives as most of the students are being picked up
from their rooms at night and so far, we do not know where they have been
taken," said Makwangudze.

      Nust's student welfare officer, Benjamin Nyandoro, said the students
would not return to lessons until their demands were met.

      "Even if the law enforcement agents harass us, we will not go back for
lessons and we will work in solidarity with our lecturers who are also on
strike,"said Nyandoro.

      The students are alleging that higher education minister Swithun
Mombeshora, spurned their demands for allowances after initially agreeing to

      "After Mombeshora made us travel all the way to Harare for discussions
on pay-outs, he made a sudden u-turn saying he was not aware of the need to
increase our pay outs but as students, we are saying we can not live with
that kind of hypocrisy from our leaders," said Makwangudze.

      Repeated attempts to get a comment from University authorities were
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The Herald

Anti-Zim crusade: UK persecutes businessman over 'sanctions-busting'

By David Pallister and Tania Branigan
THE British government has launched a formal investigation into the
allegation that a white Zimbabwean businessman - one of the richest men in
Britain - has broken UK and European sanctions by supplying aircraft parts
to the Zimbabwean airforce.

The allegations against the international financier John Bredenkamp were
made in a United Nations report on the "illegal exploitation of natural
resources" in the Democratic Republic of Congo, published last month.

In the past few days, both the foreign secretary, Jack Straw and the defence
secretary, Geoff Hoon, have confirmed in parliamentary answers that an
investigation has begun.

In the first answer to the Tory MP Michael Acram, Mr Straw said: "We are
aware of allegations of past arms dealing activities by Mr John Bredenkamp.

On Monday Mr Hoon told the Labour MP Paul Farrelly, who accused Mr
Bredenkamp of sanctions-busting in the Commons in March: "The government
certainly takes seriously all credible reports of misuse or diversion of
UK-exported equipment." The UN report says Mr Bredenkamp, founder of the
Ascot sporting agency Masters International, "has a history of clandestine
military procurement."

While Mr Bredenkamp admits he broke sanctions for the Rhodesian regime of
Ian Smith, he denies any sanctions violations since then.

He said in a statement to the Guardian that he took "great exception to any
allegation of wrong-doing" and described the report as "hopelessly
misleading and inaccurate."

The EU followed suit in February this year. The UN report says: "Mr
Bredenkamp's representatives claimed that his companies observed European
Union sanctions on Zimbabwe, but British Aerospace spare parts for Hawk jets
were supplied early in 2002 in breach of those sanctions."

The panel cites internal documents, which the Guardian has seen, from one of
Mr Bredenkamp's companies, Raceview Enterprises, which supplies logistics to
Zimbabwe's defence forces.

A memorandum dated May 17, 2001 details aircraft spares worth $3million
(pound sterling 1,9million)

In a lengthy explanation sent to the Guardian, Mr Bredenkamp's spokesman
agreed that ACS acted as a broker for Raceview, which reached a general
supply agreement with the airforce in August 2001.

But he said the aircraft spares were legitimately exported from European
manufacturers and not from BAE Systems or the UK.

The spokesman enclosed a letter from ACS to the airforce in April this year
saying that because of the EU embargo two suppliers (whose names have been
blanked out) had decided to suspend all shipments to Zimbabwe.

The country has aircraft from Italy, Spain and France.

Although BAE Systems acknowledge that ACS is "one of our many advisers in
Africa" it denies supplying Hawk spares in breach of sanctions.

"We did not supply any spares to Zimbabwe and we do not believe any were
delivered, because we believe Zimbabwean Hawks are not flying and have not
been for two years," Richard Coltart, BAE's head of news, said.

"We investigated these allegations and made sure we hadn't done anything
wrong even by accident."

Zimbabwe Newspapers have suggested that the Hawk spares were bought from

In reply to the report's allegations that Mr Bredenkamp's companies had
improperly exploited Congo's natural wealth, his spokesman said the
conclusions were "either false or inaccurate and in context maliciously
defamatory." - The Guardian.
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            Delegates of SA and Zimbabwe to meet
            November 10, 2002, 12:15

            Delegates from the Foreign Affairs Departments of both South
Africa and Zimbabwe will meet at the Presidential guest house in Pretoria

            The discussions will focus on addressing political and economic
issues of mutual concern. The South African government delegation will be
led by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Foreign Minister, and Stan Mudenge, the
Zimbabwean delegation by Foreign Minister.

            The delegates are meeting as part of a joint commission for
Economic, Scientific, Technical and cultural co-operation established
between the neighbouring countries in 1996.
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Zim Standard - Comment

      Blair should rethink on visas

      FOR those of us who cherish people to people ties between Zimbabwe and
Britain, current developments in the stand-off between the two countries are
particularly painful.

      The new policy requiring ordinary Zimbabweans to fork out $72 000 for
a visa on top of the prohibitively expensive airfare of more than one
million Zimkwachas is extremely harsh. Worse still is the equally
prohibitive cost of a $54 000 visa for merely passing through the United
Kingdom on the way to a third country.

      In making the policy change, British Home Secretary, David Blunkett,
said: "I have decided to bring in a visa programme for Zimbabwe to deal with
what is a very significant abuse of our immigration controls by Zimbabwean
nationals-large numbers are refused entry to the UK and returned, others are
granted short-term entry, many as visitors, but fail to return home. In
addition, the UK has experienced increasingly large numbers of unfounded
asylum claims from Zimbabwean nationals."

      Ordinary Zimbabweans are deeply grieved. It is most regrettable that
the people of Zimbabwe now have to suffer the consequences of Zanu PF's
misrule. There is no doubt in anybody's mind that President Mugabe and his
government are 100% to blame for the increasing number of economic refugees
fleeing to other countries, particularly the UK. We are witnessing the
indifference of the governing elite to the feelings of the governed. We can
plaintively ask the Zanu PF regime: What the bloody hell do you think you
are doing to your own people?

      But having placed the problem where it rightly belongs, the key point
to be made is that the United Kingdom cannot escape responsibility for poor
Zimbabweans. Whilst the reasons given by the British authorities to
institute a visa regime on Zimbabwe may appear outwardly reasonable in that
Britain is trying to protect its national interests, the inescapable point
is that the British have a responsibility to come to the aid of the ordinary
people of Zimbabwe who have become victims of a regime whose policies have
resulted in the destruction of a once fairly strong, vibrant and promising

      The people of Zimbabwe should be aware that the imposition of a strict
entry visa regime is not new. They will recall that the South African
government has imposed similar strict requirements to stem the tide of
economic refugees as the economy of Zimbabwe continues to decline. It is
likely that other countries affected by the potential influx of Zimbabweans
seeking economic and political asylum may follow suit.

      But we have a special relationship with Britain.

      We say Britain has a responsibility towards Zimbabwe because there has
always been people to people communication between Zimbabwe and the UK for
historical, educational and cultural reasons. This is the bottom line. Never
mind the intense hostility between Robert Mugabe and Tony Blair,
particularly the overheated rhetoric of the former towards the latter. "Tony
Blair, keep your England and I will keep my Zimbabwe" which has absolutely
no place in the people to people ties that have been going on between
Zimbabwe and Britain since time immemorial. In any event, countries are
never the private properties of individuals, of mere mortals.

      It is not for the sake of it that Zimbabweans try to seek refuge in
Britain. Zimbabweans feel much more comfortable seeking refuge in Britain
because of their language and education which is modelled on the British
system. Most of the things here have their roots in Britain. Zimbabweans and
the British have and always will be joined together-for good or ill-by
history and culture.

      Smart sanctions by the EU, the USA and other countries have been
targeted at the Zanu PF leadership in the hope that the regime may change
course for the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe. It is not right that
ordinary Zimbabweans are made to pay for the sins of their leaders. In our
present predicament, we need the goodwill and understanding of our friends
worldwide, particularly Britain.

      Zimbabwe needs the international community much more than the world
needs Zimbabwe. It is therefore laughable for the Mugabe regime to try to
impose retaliatory sanctions on Britain. Even more daft is the requirement
for the British passport holders to apply for visas to enter Zimbabwe. What
this will do to our tourism industry is too ghastly to contemplate.

      The lesson must not be lost that British Airways is the only remaining
foreign airline flying into Zimbabwe and introducing a visa regime will
definitely have a negative impact on tourist arrivals into the country, with
terrible implications on forex inflows. The government's move to retaliate
is bound to hurt ordinary Zimbabweans much more than the fat cats in

      The point must also be made that members of the British government do
not have as much need to come to Zimbabwe as Zanu PF leaders have. The
frequency with which President Mugabe and cabinet ministers used to visit
and transit UK is quite legendary-for meetings, shopping and simply relaxing
'in the mother country'. The evidence is clearly there.

      No useful purpose will be served by meaningless tit-for tat to and the
feeling that 'we have also done something'.Only diseased regimes feel this

      Not to mention the madness of declaring war on your own citizens just
because they happen to work for foreign-based radio stations you disagree

      In closing, we would want to reiterate that the visa regime which has
been introduced by the British government is rather insensitive. We would
therefore like to appeal through the good offices of the British High
Commissioner, Brian Donnelly, for a rethink on the part of the British
authorities either to reverse or relax the conditions of the visa programme.

      In making this appeal, we are fully cognisant of the fact that it is
incumbent on the present government to come up with a clear economic and
political blueprint to reverse the ruinous course that it has set the
country on.

      In our view, such a blueprint would only work in a socio-economic
environment characterised by good governance, democracy, observance of the
rule of law, correct macro-economic fundamentals which will lead to the
country's acceptance by the international community and confidence in
Zimbabwe as an investment destination.
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Zim Standard

      Q&A with Tsvangirai

      FOLLOWING the defeats of the opposition MDC in all parliamentary
by-elections held so far, losses which have seen the party's representation
in parliament slide, questions have been raised as to the wisdom of the
party's continued participation in elections in the current environment.
Losses in Insiza and Bikita West and the death of Kuwadzana MP, Learnmore
Jongwe late last month, resulted in the MDC's representation in parliament
declining from 57 to 54.

      Apart from this, the party is also reeling from reports of intra-party
squabbling. To seek insight into what is really happening behind the scenes
of the opposition party, Standard News Editor, Walter Marwizi, sought an
interview with MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai. Below is a transcript of the

      Q: Mr President, your party has over the past three years fought a
difficult battle to transform a political landscape dominated by the ruling
party since 1980. Are you satisfied with the way things have gone so far?

      A: When the party was launched three years ago, it sought among other
things to foster a democratic environment that would enable the people of
Zimbabwe to express themselves in various forms. Unfortunately, Zanu PF's
response to the advent of the MDC has been to close down what little
democratic space existed prior to the MDC's formation. We have witnessed a
relentless attack on the pillars of freedom such as the judiciary, the
press, civic organisations and, of course, political opposition parties,
particularly the MDC. We have seen the deliberate subversion of the
electoral process and a headlong plunge into fascism. Be that as it may, the
MDC has held its own in this uneven playing field. As you know, we are in
charge of five municipalities and one town council. Our rural and urban
councillors, working with MDC parliamentarians, have demonstrated that given
a chance, democracy can work. The resilience of ordinary Zimbabweans never
ceases to amaze. Who would have expected people to risk standing as MDC
councillors in such hotbeds of Zanu PF thuggery as UMP and Muzarabani?

      Q: After the defeat in the March presidential election, an election
largely regarded as flawed, you took a back seat and allowed President
Mugabe to consolidate his power at a time when some of your supporters felt
that something had to be done, such as mass action, to reject the result.
What was the logic behind your decision?

      A: There was no "defeat" in the March 2002 presidential election.
Mugabe brazenly stole the election, and in the process, betrayed the
aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe who yearn for changed circumstances in
their lives. Contrary to your assertion, I did not take a back seat after
the announcement of the results. I toured the country, learning more and
more about the intricacies of the rigged election from our members, and
drumming up support for the need for a rerun of the presidential poll.
Judging from the responses of the thousands who turned up at these rallies,
the message was received with enthusiasm.

      I appreciate that there is a feeling among some political activists
that the party should have led the people into the streets in protest as
soon as the theft became evident. However, given the volatility of the
situation and the tensions that were prevalent, it would not have been a
wise move. Be that as it may, mass action is not frozen in any time frame.
It remains an active consideration as one of many options open to the
freedom-starved people of Zimbabwe.

      Q: The recent by election in Insiza was yet another contest which Zanu
PF won after a violent campaign orchestrated against hapless victims by the
war veterans and Zanu PF militia. After this election, it emerges that some
within the MDC are now thinking twice about the party's participation in
future elections saying they only serve to legitimise Zanu PF's continued
grip on power. What is the way forward for your party?

      A: The choice of words is important in describing events properly.
Contrary to your assertion, Zanu PF did not "win" in Insiza. It was yet
another affront to decency, a humiliation of the people of Insiza and an
assault on all institutions of democracy. The electoral law that Zanu PF
itself enacted was violated with impunity. People's hunger was used to
coerce them into voting against their consciences. Violence was escalated to
levels that nullified the whole contest. I understand those who urge the MDC
to stop dignifying Zanu PF's fraud by participating in the flawed electoral
process. This is, however, a decision that should not be taken lightly.
Intensive and extensive consultations are taking place so that the party's
position is informed by a through process of consultation.

      Q: In any given political party, especially Zanu PF, youths play a
crucial role in mobilising supporters and coordinating party programmes. A
week ago, in your Daily News column, 'MDC On Monday', you pointed out that
youths in your party had let you down. Can you explain what you meant by
this and what role the youth do in fact play in your organisation?

      A: You missed the statement about the MDC youth in 'MDC On Monday'.
There is nowhere in the article that reference is made to the MDC youth
letting me down. The article refers to incidents of indiscipline which
betray the youth of the party. This means that because of the party's
"newness", incidents of indiscipline have occurred.

      We have a vibrant youth leadership that has done a lot to mobilise the
youth into playing an active in the programmes of the party. Unfortunately,
the youth in our party-like youth all over Zimbabwe-have borne the brunt of
the economic mismanagement which has been the hallmark of Zanu PF's misrule
in the past 23 years.

      The youth suffer joblessness more acutely because they see their
future shattered as a result of the government's visionless policies. Unlike
Zanu PF, we in the MDC do not believe in mindless mobilisation of the youth
which-in the case of Zanu PF-always culminates in violence.

      Q: There have been claims that your party abandoned Learnmore Jongwe-a
favourite among the youths-in his hour of greatest need and later
capitalised on his death to whip up anti- Mugabe sentiments. We have learnt
that you did not visit Jongwe in the three months that he was in prison,
leading him to feel abandoned by the party he loved so much. What is your
response to this?

      A: I find Zanu PF's harping on the Jongwe tragedy as tasteless as it
is callous. Prison records will show that Jongwe received numerous visitors
from the party, almost on a daily basis. The party sent those visitors with
food parcels. The party is footing his legal bills and funeral costs. It is
not true that the party abandoned Jongwe. We are distressed by the untimely
loss of two promising young lives and hope this matter will come to a speedy
close so that affected families can cope with their grief.

      Q: Turning to the Kuwadzana seat, left vacant by Jongwe, press reports
indicate that you are trying to impose your colleague from Masvingo at the
expense of a candidate acceptable to the party. Is this true and if not,
where do you stand with regard to the selection of a party candidate?

      A: The party is not even thinking about who will represent the
Kuwadzana constituency in parliament. What is at issue is whether the party
should participate in a flawed electoral process. Turning to my perceived
role in the choice of a candidate, I play no role in the choice of
candidates for whatever constituency. In the MDC, persons seeking nomination
as candidates submit their CVs to the district and the province, which then
oversee the nomination process. The national executive is then presented
with the name of the successful candidate.

      Q: Some members of your party claim that there is a 'Top Six' group in
your party which is charged with running the affairs of the party and that
this group is increasingly adopting dictatorial tendencies which are not
befitting a party determined to remove a dictatorial regime from power. Can
you comment on these claims?

      A: At the MDC National Congress, the delegates choose six officers who
were to be given specific tasks to perform on behalf of the national
executive. The team oversees the implementation of the party programme
between congresses. It is not a policy making entity as policy is the
preserve of the national executive. In other words, this is a management
committee accountable to the national executive. It would be useful if your
informants were to stipulate incidents of dictatorial tendencies so that
such specifics could be dealt with adequately. Otherwise these remain
speculative claims without substance.
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Zim Standard

      Starvation threatens boarding schools
      By Debra Mazango

      AS food shortages continue to worsen, pupils from most boarding
schools around the country are facing starvation as school authorities fail
to secure basic commodities which are in short supply, The Standard has

      The situation is quite serious especially at those schools tucked away
in remote parts of the country, where pupils are having to skip some meals
due to the acute shortage of bread and mealie meal.

      This state of affairs has prompted several schools to cut down on the
quantity and quality of meals offered to their pupils.

      "The situation here is worrying. I must admit that we have been unable
to provide proper breakfast and at worst we have been forced to skip lunch.
Supper is what we now consider essential," said one headmaster who requested
for anonymity for fear of raising alarm to parents.

      Maize meal is mainly obtained on the black market at exorbitant
prices, which at times cannot be afforded by the schools. Due to the ever
rising cost of goods, schools have not managed to come up with fees that
match these increases.

      The Standard is informed Bernard Mizeki college in Marondera is one of
the educational institutions which have been hard hit by the food shortages.

      Students at the school claimed this problem had, at some point this
term, affected their lessons and examinations as authorities failed to
secure the hard-to-find mealie meal.

      "On that particular day, we did not eat anything from morning up to
about 3pm when we were given two slices of bread each and fruits," said some
form four students at the college.

      This problem occurred at a time when students were writing their
examinations. "How can we read and sit for our exams on empty stomachs?"
asked the students.

      Lawrence Karadzandima, the director of education for the Harare
Anglican Diocese, which is the responsible authority for the college,
however disputed the assertions of the students saying they were not

      "The reports made to you by the students are false and maybe they hold
a grudge against the school authorities. Their aim is to tarnish the image
of the school in anyway. Their headmaster told me they had enough food and
hunger is out of the question," he added

      Church-run schools are not the only ones threatened with starvation.
Investigations reveal that most government schools including tertiary
institutions, especially polytechnic and teachers' colleges, are finding it
difficult to feed students.

      Over seven million Zimbabweans are facing starvation , particularly in
rural areas where some are reported to be surviving on wild fruits because
of the severe shortage of maize, the country's staple food.

      It is estimated that the country needs over 40 000 tonnes of maize per
week to see it through to the next harvest in April 2003.
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Zim Standard

      Sikhala, Musekiwa arrested  11/10/02
      Story by By Farai Mutsaka

      POLICE in Harare yesterday arrested two MDC legislators, Tafadzwa
Musekiwa, MP for Zengeza and Job Sikhala, MP for St Mary's, on allegations
that they abused the parliamentary vehicle scheme.

      Police spokesman, Inspector Andrew Phiri, confirmed to The Standard
yesterday that the two had been arrested in the early hours of yesterday and
were being held at Borrowdale and Marlborough police stations respectively.

      Phiri said the duo had allegedly manipulated the parliamentary vehicle
scheme in order to import two cars for third parties. He said the two had
made misrepresentations to the Reserve Bank that the cars were for use in
their respective constituencies.

      According to the scheme, MPs intending to purchase vehicles for use in
their constituencies are exempt from the duty imposed on imported cars. The
scheme can, however, not be extended to third parties.

      "I can confirm that the two were arrested yesterday morning," said

      The two legislators were still in police custody at the time of going
to press and are expected to appear in court tomorrow.

      Sikhala's lawyer, Mande Baera, said he had been denied access to his
client and therefore was not able to get full details of the case.

      "I have been here since 8:00 am but have failed to see Sikhala. I
understand the investigating officer gave instructions that my client shall
not receive visitors. Judging from the information, this is a civil matter
and detaining him is purely a case of harassment. After all, he has been
denied food," he said yesterday morning.

      Meanwhile MDC President, Morgan Tsvangirai, says he is not afraid to
confront the Zanu PF regime which is widely accused of practising violence
against its political opponents.

      Addressing over 10 000 supporters who thronged the Zimbabwe grounds in
Highfield yesterday to commemorate the third anniversary of the formation of
the party, Tsvangirai said:

      "I don't know why people are saying we are afraid when we have come
all this way in the struggle to be where we are today. You youths must be
leading the action not to say us the elders should lead the way."
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Zim Standard

      Nkomo family in farm dispute  11/10/02
      Story by By Chengetai Zvauya

      THE family of Dr Joshua Nkomo, the late vice president and veteran
nationalist leader, is locked in a bitter wrangle with landless villagers
over the ownership of a prime ranch in Matabeleland South, The Standard has

      According to information reaching The Standard, the family has already
engaged the services of a lawyer to help them obtain confirmation orders in
the administrative court for the contested Sipuma Farm.

      Sipuma Farm, which measures 1 877 hectares, is part of the much larger
Sondelami Game Lodge and Safari-one of the biggest farms in Gwanda measuring
23 719,53 hectares. Sondelani Game Lodge and Safari is owned by Basil Roy
Steyn who specialised in ranching and wildlife conservation before he was
served with eviction orders by the government.

      At a meeting in October last year, attended by Matabeleland South
governor Stephen Nkomo, the younger brother of Joshua, as well as Chombo and
the Gwanda land committee, it was agreed that Sondelani Game Lodge and
Safaris should continue to operate as a farm and that Thandiwe be given
Sipuma Farm.

      This agreement said nothing about the settlers who had occupied the
farm at the height of the invasions and these settlers now contend that the
farm is theirs by virtue of the fact that they were the first people to
express interest in it two years ago.

      The villagers, who have set up their own structures, also claim that
the Nkomo family owns vast tracks of land in Nuanetsi ranch.

      Contacted for comment, Thandiwe Nkomo, the daughter of the veteran
nationalist, refused to discuss the issue with the press.

      "I am not aware of that issue, so I have no comment," said Thandiwe.
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SATURDAY 09/11/2002
Zimbabwe protest in London
Ulster TV
Copyright © 2002 UTV Internet and the UTV plc Group. All rights reserved.
Hundreds of people gathered outside Zimbabwe's High Commission today to protest against the Mugabe government's prosecution of opposition leaders. 

Organisers said the demonstrators, who included exiles and torture victims of the Mugabe regime, numbered around 400 and had come to London from all over England. Police could not confirm that number.

The group were voicing their opposition to treason charges Mugabe has laid against opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and other senior members of his Movement for Democratic Change, who are due in court on Monday.

The demonstration began at midday and lasted around two hours, although the weekly vigil that began a month ago was continuing late this afternoon with around 50 people remaining.

Police said the protest was peaceful with no arrests or violence.

The protest came a day after Zimbabwe banned British Prime Minister Tony Blair and scores of his ministers from entering the country and imposed visa requirements on Britons in retaliation for European sanctions.

That move in turn was made a day after the British government announced that most Zimbabweans will need a visa to enter Britain.

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The New Australian

coming to an end
by Eddie Cross
TNA News with Commentary
No. 450 November 2002

Mugabe came to power in Zimbabwe in 1980 after an 8-year civil war during
which thousands of people from all walks of life lost their lives. It was a
no holds barred, "low intensity guerrilla war" to use the US parlance. The
civil war ended 90 years of white settler government, which had denied the
black majority their legal and political rights for many years.

Initially the new Government met expectations - improvements to health and
education systems enabled the majority of Zimbabweans to secure an education
and health care was widely acknowledged as being the best in Africa. But
early in his administration, Mugabe showed no tolerance for any form of
opposition. The first to feel the weight of his ire were the Ndebele people
in the south of the country who between 1983 and 1987 suffered constant
harassment and worse from the State. Eventually after 20 000 Ndebele had
lost their lives and several years of intense hardship with the widespread
denial of food and government investment in all forms of services in Ndebele
areas, the leadership of Zapu, representing the Ndebele gave in and signed a
"Unity Accord" effectively giving Mugabe a single party state.

In the early 90's, a short-lived political revolt led by a veteran
nationalist Edgar Tekere, was crushed by a combined exercise using a
publicly controlled monopoly over the media and the armed forces. The Forum
Party followed and this challenge led by Enoch Dumbutshena was similarly
dismissed by Zanu PF using the combined weight of both Zanu (Mugabe's Party)
and Zapu and the full resources of the State.

At the same time the governance record of the Mugabe government was slowly
deteriorating - corruption became more widespread and the use of the media
to inhibit opposition in any form was intensified. The economy, after
performing well in the first 5 years of independence lost momentum and with
state expenditures rising to fund the demands of the government and a
growing tide of corruption, eventually led to macro economic distortions in
the economy and the State budget. Living standards fell and the HIV/Aids
epidemic started to seriously erode life expectancies.

The Trade Unions which represented about half the working population,
started to agitate for reforms in 1995, pointing to the excessive power
accumulated by Mugabe as a result of 17 different constitutional amendments
over the previous 15 years. They began to demand changes to the
constitution, which would have challenged the ZANU PF monopoly over power,
and they also demanded a form of power sharing to influence the course of
economic and social policy. After an extended period of conflict marked by
strikes and food riots, the Labour Unions decided in late 1998 to form a
political party and the Movement for Democratic Change was born in November

The MDC was immediately faced with a referendum on a new constitution which
would have entrenched Mugabe's monopoly on power and when this was held
barely three months after the MDC was launched, the government lost the
referendum by a vote of 55 to 45 per cent. It was Zanu PF's first electoral
defeat in 20 years. Mugabe's reaction was to launch a savage campaign of
terror and violence against those who he saw as being responsible.
Opposition leaders were killed (150 to date) and imprisoned. A total ban on
any forms of publicity for the opposition in the state-controlled media was
imposed. The white farming community and their staff - perceived as being
opposed to Zanu PF hegemony and holding the balance of power between the
rural and the urban voters, was specifically targeted.

In the June 2000 elections this mixture of violence and intimidation and the
use of the state media was successful in maintaining a small majority for
the ruling party. They won 62 out of 120 seats. Mugabe was able to
strengthen this narrow victory by appointing 30 non-elected members of
Parliament from the ranks of his own supporters.

In March 2002 Mugabe was again able to defend his position when he won the
election for President running against Morgan Tsvangirai - the leader of the
MDC. However the tactics used (widespread vote rigging, violence,
intimidation and the use of the state media) led the international community
to reject the election result and to refuse to recognise Mugabe as a
legitimate, democratically elected leader.

The MDC rejected the election result and is challenging the result in the
courts. It remains committed to a democratic, non violent solution but its
options are being narrowed all the time by the failure of regional leaders
to act on Mugabe's delinquency and to force him back to the ballot box or
the negotiating table. The economy is in deep trouble - GDP is down a
quarter in four years, life expectancy is down 22 years since independence,
the social services are in a shambles and food shortages now threaten the
lives of over 7 million people.

Exports have fallen by two thirds and the shortages of foreign exchange now
threaten the continued supply of liquid fuels and electricity. The chaotic
land reform programme designed to basically eliminate the white commercial
farmer as a factor in the Zimbabwe political and economic scene, has led to
the near collapse of the industry with serious knock on effects - the full
extent of which will only be apparent in 2003.

Most recently Zanu PF was able, by use of the same potent mix of violence,
vote rigging, voter manipulation, the control of food distribution and the
use of the public media, to defend its control of all Rural District
Councils. However their total monopoly over the membership of these councils
was eroded by MDC victories in many areas. Most Zimbabweans rather than face
the problem of choosing to vote for the MDC and loose their right to food
deliveries, simply stayed away from the polls and the actual voter turnout
was the lowest in our history - at well below 10 per cent of registered

Isolated internationally (both the EU and the US have now stated officially
that they will not deal with the Zimbabwe government in its present form)
and prevented from travelling to most countries in the West, the Mugabe
regime is unable to muster the resources it urgently needs to deal with this
crisis. The National debt is now over 3 times the GDP, foreign earnings are
less than US$1,3 billion a year and falling and they are totally reliant on
donors for food aid to feed the country and overcome serious food and raw
material shortages.

At home, despite the victories in 2000 and 2002, he has lost his much
vaunted "one party state" and his domestic power base has shrunk to a small
minority of those privileged to subsist on Mugabe's good favour. MDC has
revived a once dormant democracy and despite the violence and intimidation
remains overwhelmingly popular in urban areas. 7 Towns and Cities now have
Councils controlled by the MDC and 35 per cent of the total population go to
bed each night under a form of MDC administration. Parliament has become a
nightmare for Zanu PF as the opposition front bench contains a number of
very capable and well-trained opponents. Debate has become a daily hazard
for Zanu PF MP's who are used to a rubber stamp House without any challenge
to what was decided behind closed doors in earlier days.

On top of this they are staring down the barrel of a legal challenge to the
recent Mugabe victory which is supported by an overwhelming dossier of
deceit and electoral fraud. The MDC has gathered an outstanding legal team
to fight this and the Chief Justice is reported to have warned Mugabe that
he must not think that he can win the case - even with a loaded Bench.

Whatever happens in the next few months, we are witnessing the end of the
Mugabe era. There is no way that he can survive the tread of time and
circumstances. He is sitting in a leaky boat, with a motley crew and every
time he has to defend his position in the boat, it sinks lower in the water.
Any time now we will start to see the crew bailing out and it is only a
matter of time before the Zanu PF ship of state sinks below the waves. If
the remaining crew had any sense, they would dump the captain and head for
the nearest shore, fix the boat and relaunch to again enter the waters of
real national political competition and pluralism.
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Times of India

      9 arrested in Zimbabwe demonstrations

      AFP  [ SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 09, 2002 11:41:25 PM ]

      HARARE: Police in Zimbabwe arrested nine people on Saturday for taking
part in protest marches in several cities, a civil rights leader said.

      Lovemore Madhuku, the chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly
(NCA), which called the protests, said that nine people had been arrested
and that teargas had been used to disperse demonstrators in at least one
Harare suburb.

      Police could not confirm the exact number of arrests.

      Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said that the demonstrations were
"illegal" and that police permission had not been obtained, as Zimbabwe's
strict new security laws require.

      The NCA, which wants to see Zimbabwe adopt a new constitution, has
called several demonstrations in recent months and most have been dispersed
by police.

      Hundreds of people participated in Saturday's demonstrations which
took place in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru and Mutare, said Madhuku.

      The NCA wants to hold "a mass demonstration" in the future, he said.
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Food and the Fist

What is quite clear now is that Zanu PF has finally resorted to two main strategies for winning elections in Zimbabwe. These are the use of food and violence in all its different forms as its primary means of campaigning. First we had the February 2000 constitutional referendum. In this event the only tool used by Zanu was hidden manipulation of the vote. They had used this in every election since 1980 and were confident that by these means they could safely distort the outcome by about 15 per cent and felt that this was enough to win the day for the new constitution. It was not enough and they lost the vote 55 to 45 per cent.

Then we had the June 2000 Parliamentary elections. Mugabe was shocked at the referendum result and this triggered a response within 14 days of the result being announced. The "graduates of violence" went into action and in the subsequent electoral campaign, violence was the order of the day against the MDC and its structures. They also used their tried and tested methods of manipulating the vote itself and with this element and the use of violence they thought they would be home and dry. It was not to be and right up to the last minute, Zanu thought they had lost the vote they were saved by the narrowest of margins and in fact, overall, the opposition gained more votes than Zanu PF. Gerrymandering the constituencies and using the constitutional right of the President to appoint 30 Members of Parliament saved Zanu PF from a humiliating defeat.

In the March 2002 election campaign for a new President, they were not going to allow any opportunity for a similar narrow escape. Electoral fraud was more widespread than ever and then had to be suddenly expanded to dangerous levels in the middle of the election itself. They threw everything they had at the MDC, political violence reached new heights and a clamp down on all MDC activities was ordered. This time they made no mistake they ended up with a result that gave Mugabe a 400 000 vote victory over Tsvangirai. But they overdid things behind closed doors and the extent of the vote rigging became known. At the same time the level of violence that had to be used was unacceptable to independent observers. In the end they ended up with the MDC rejecting the result, taking them to court and the western world rejecting Mugabe as the democratically elected leader of the country. It was half a victory, which might yet be upset by that court case.

Today they know full well that they have lost the democratic right to govern. They lost that in 2000 when they had to manipulate the vote to win and then only by the narrowest of margins. They know that since then their support base has been further eroded, so what to do? The answer was to turn a disaster into a new opportunity. This was to be the use of food as a new weapon for political manipulation.

It must be noted that the food crisis has its genesis in three main events. The failure by the State to hold sufficient strategic stocks of basic foods, the collapse of commercial production due to the displacement of large scale commercial farmers and a mid season dry spell that damaged small scale production, even though overall rainfall was about average. Whatever the reasons, we only have about 25 per cent of the food needed to feed our people until the next harvest due in June/July 2003. Mugabe has now done what he needs to do to turn this disaster into a useful tool to retain power. To this end he has: -

  • declared that the food shortage was due to "drought";
  • gambled on the international community doing enough to prevent real starvation;
  • established a statutory monopoly on all supplies of maize and wheat and their derivatives, in the hands of the state controlled Grain Marketing Board;
  • used a nationwide system of road blocks to prevent the free movement of food from one area to another;
  • extended state control over basic foods down to family level throughout the communal areas of the country using militia, the army and the police as well as Zanu PF structures at community level in rural areas and finally;
  • as far as is possible, denied MDC support structures in rural and urban areas access to basic foods.

Just to test this on Friday I personally investigated the system being used to control maize meal supplies in a small urban center. I found the following arrangements in place: -

  1. Maize was being allocated by GMB in Bulawayo to this center.
  2. The District Administrator (DA) was then allocating the maize to three approved millers all of which are under Zanu PF control.
  3. The millers milled and packed the maize meal, which was then sold at a wholesale price to the elected councilors in each ward.
  4. The councilors organised a distribution point in each ward (usually a school) and employed a few people to sell the maize meal at the retail price. The councilors retained the 20 per cent mark up on these sales.
  5. Only people who came from each ward and had written approval of the councilor or the DA were allowed to buy the maize meal.
  6. The two elected MDC councilors in the district were not included in the arrangements and all known MDC supporters were being denied food.

Simple, self-financing, with built in incentives and almost totally effective. The message going out every day to every person in the area support Zanu PF or you starve. Even the local NGO (World Vision) operating on WFP supplied foodstuffs was only "allowed to operate" with the approval of the DA who is a known Zanu PF supporter. The NGO can only supply food to people who are on lists provided by the DA and his staff - all of who are seen as being Zanu PF in the eyes of the local people.

This system is being extended to larger urban centres even Harare, where basic foodstuffs are being confiscated from traders and then concentrated at distribution centers where the food is sold to Zanu PF supporters. This has the effect of driving up market prices and denying food at lower prices to MDC people. Nobody is being allowed to bring in food, which might compete with this system. The MDC has had its direct imports impounded at the border for the past 6 weeks; the Catholic Church has had its direct imports blocked as has Oxfam and the UNDP, which proposed funding direct private sector imports. Even travelers are not allowed to bring in more than a few kilos of food per person. Larger quantities are confiscated. Police roadblocks do the same to prevent surplus stocks from one area going to another where there is a deficit.

To round it off you deny access to rural areas where there are problems and you expel all foreign journalists. No external TV units are allowed to operate so that no one will see the suffering that is being caused by this denial of food. For the people on the ground, the message is quite clear and simple support Zanu or else! From the state of the preparations for the new crop it would appear as if the government does not care if the present shortage persists into 2003. In fact, with that pesky court case in mind, they are thinking that they might have to face yet another test of their democratic credentials sooner rather than later. They are not taking any chances. For Zanu PF, food and violence are the keys to future success.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, 10th November 2002.

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We thought it would be tough as winter draws on. Six hours outside the Zimbabwe High Commission in London every Saturday is some commitment.  After a buoyant launch on October 12, the next two vigils drew a good attendance but the weather was fair (for the time of year in England!). November 2 was a different matter: steady drizzle.  Would anyone get out of bed for this?  But that vigil was the best ever.  If it rains, you have to sing and dance to keep your spirits up.  And much to the surprise of passers-by, a party was going on in the rain outside the High Commission.

The vigil has come of age. Make the most of it it's only going on for a limited period: until there's agreement on free and fair elections in Zimbabwe. And that can't be far off. All signs are that Mugabe is finished, despite his pay rise!  In one week the Zimbabwe dollar plunged from 950 to the US dollar to 1800.  Oil supplies are again precarious as bills go unpaid. Let's hope the death rattle is short.

In the meantime we will party every Saturday from 12.00 to 18.00, singing and sharing food and getting the latest news from home from the unending stream of refugees --- some the estimated two-and-half million people who have fled Zimbabwe.  Zim House is once again the place to go not just for the joy of meeting friends but also because we are making an impact. Thousands of passers-by have signed our petition asking the UN Security Council to send a team to investigate human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. We reprint the text below. (Page 3)

We all know the situation in Zimbabwe is catastrophic. It is up to us to raise awareness in Britain so that the government here and the European Union in general will be forced to make it a priority. Why should they lag behind the United States?  Initially, our campaign against Mugabe was hampered by his propaganda over the land issue: that the opposition was working for white farmers and that Britain was responsible for all Zimbabwe's troubles.  (See page 3 for MDC land policy)

The famine changed the perspective a bit. Surely it was obscene to destroy commercial farming when people were starving? No, came the answer from Zanu-PF, this was just Blairite propaganda…But the murders, the torture, the rapes, the brutal suppression of any dissent?  Despite Mugabe's desperate attempt to muzzle the press, the truth still gets out.  Let's make sure everyone knows of the horrors being perpetrated in Zimbabwe. And that the MDC is about having a government that respects the constitution and human rights.



Hundreds of human rights campaigners and Zimbabwean exiles are supplementing the vigil and staging a demonstration outside the Zimbabwe High Commission from 12.00 14.00 on Saturday, 9 November 2002.  Buses will bring supporters from as far afield as Manchester. 

The demonstration is in support of MDC leaders who are to begin appearing in court on 11 November to answer allegations of treason against the illegitimate Mugabe regime allegations which they strongly reject.  (The party leader, Morgan Tsvangarai, is himself not expected to face trial until February.)

The MDC sees the trials as a further attempt to stifle dissent in Zimbabwe amid growing opposition to the brutal and corrupt regime. The threat of starvation in Zimbabwe has now become a reality especially for opposition supporters and their families, who have been denied international food aid by Mugabe.  People are dying of malnutrition and others are being killed, tortured and raped by thugs of the ruling Zanu-PF.

One of the latest victims was Learnmore Jongwe, former MDC Secretary for Information and Publicity, who was murdered by the authorities last month while being held in custody.  Demonstrators will pay tribute to his memory.

We know that many of our supporters can't keep up to date with events at home.

 Here is a snapshot of some of the latest news.

To mark African Day on Human and Peoples' Rights on 21 October, Amnesty International's Secretary General, Irene Khan, wrote to President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa expressing the organisation's concern regarding the deteriorating human rights situation in Zimbabwe. Over 13,500 people from 126 countries signed an Amnesty International petition in support of the call for action from President Mbeki, the current chairman of the African Union.  Here are some extracts from the letter:

Amnesty International believes that African leaders, including your government, need to intensify efforts to publicly signal to the Zimbabwean government that human rights violations, including those perpetrated by "militia" linked to the state, are unacceptable and to remind them that these acts are in clear violation of the human rights principles enshrined in the African Charter. 

According to the latest figures released by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, approximately 58 politically-motivated killings and over 1,050 cases of torture have been reported in 2002 alone. Furthermore, the conduct of the country-wide local council elections recently held in late September 2002 indicates that the pattern observed in other elections of state-sponsored threats, intimidation and attacks on opposition supporters in the run-up to and during elections continues. According to the MDC, approximately half of the MDC candidates who intended to contest the elections were allegedly unable to, largely in response to threats, intimidation and violence perpetrated by government authorities and state-sponsored 'militia'. These events confirm that conditions for elections free from violence and intimidation do not exist in Zimbabwe, and that grave human rights violations continue to occur.

      In an attempt to escape accountability for human rights violations, the Zimbabwean government uses its "militias" to abduct and torture individuals who are known or suspected supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, including people who acted as polling agents or stood as MDC candidates in recent elections. The evidence in cases documented by Amnesty International as well as local human rights organisations shows a clear link between the "militia", the government and the ruling party.

      (For more information call Amnesty International's press office in London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566 Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW.)

Tony Hall, the special US Ambassador to the World Food Programme said that he had asked July Moyo, the Minister responsible for the food aid program in Zimbabwe. "Why do I get the impression, that I have to beg you to feed your people?"

Amos Mundawarara, a street kid, said the chaos at the Registrar-General's Office was a financial windfall. "We sleep in the queue every night and sell our positions for $1,500 to those not keen to spend the whole night waiting," said Mundawarara. Ordinary passports for adults and children under 12 years now cost $1,500 and $700 respectively, up from $600 and $300. The executive passport processed within 24 hours now costs $30 000 for adults and $15 000 for children.

In the rape camps of Zimbabwe, young girls are horrifically abused - often to punish Mugabe's political opponents. Foreign Correspondent of the Year Christina Lamb meets the victims and reveals their anguish.  'The game we are about to play needs music," the Zimbabwean police constable said to the 12-year old girl. But as he tossed a mattress on to the ground it was clear that it was no game that he was planning. For the next four hours the girl's mother and younger sisters, aged nine and seven, were forced to chant praises to Robert Mugabe and watch Dora being gang-raped by five "war veterans" and the policeman.

In new legislation being put before Parliament, Mugabe's regime plans to make it a crime, punishable by up to six months' imprisonment, for anyone to undertake any act of organised charity - even on an entirely informal basis

A petition to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur for Torture

about human rights abuses in Zimbabwe


We are deeply disturbed at growing human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. There are daily reports of torture by the authorities in Zimbabwe, involving the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and Zanu-PF militia. Now the police themselves are increasingly involved, reflecting a growing breakdown of law and order.

Independent observers in Zimbabwe (the Amani Trust) have recorded thousands of cases of political abuse, including beatings on the soles of the feet and suspected dissidents being burnt or given electric shocks by electrodes attached to genitalia and inserted in the ear.  Many cases of ruptured eardrums have been seen as well as evidence of sexual torture, including the rape of young children.

Please will you draw this to the attention of the UN Security Council and urge it to send a team to Zimbabwe to investigate these gross violations of human rights.



Mugabe's land policy has been disastrous for Zimbabwe but the idea of redistributing land to the poor has, naturally, considerable appeal and so it has been difficult to counter the propaganda impact.  The MDC has a thought-out land policy which can be accessed on their website:  It includes this brief summary which will enable you to counter misconceptions:

An MDC government will implement an equitable and economically sound land reform programme carried out within Zimbabwe's legal framework. This process will resettle landless Zimbabweans on seven million hectares of land in a peaceful, orderly and open manner.

An MDC land reform programme is based on 3 key pillars:

1. Independent Land Commission

An MDC government will set up an independent Land Commission, which will plan, manage and implement land reform. The Land Commission will be independent and will include all the key stakeholders involved in the land reform process. These include government, the landless Zimbabweans, farmers, farm workers, civil society and land experts. This commission will carry out an audit of the current land resettlement exercise. It will also oversee all future land reforms in this country. Those Zimbabweans who have been properly allocated land will remain settled on their pieces of land and will receive government assistance to ensure that their resettlement is commercially productive.

2. Comprehensive agrarian reforms

An MDC government will carry out agrarian reforms that will go beyond the current Fast Track land reform exercise. MDC's agrarian reforms will give land title to resettled farmers in order to empower them and to ensure the land allocated to them is commercially productive. Viable infrastructure including roads, dams, schools and clinics will be put in place to support the resettled farmers. Agricultural inputs, tillage programmes, training and financial support will be extended to the resettled farmers to enable them to become self-sufficient in the long run. The MDC will also embark on a long-term agro-industrial transformation programme aimed at massively urbanising the communal lands.

3. Adequate funding, responsibly administered

An MDC government will adequately fund the agrarian reforms so that every settler adds value to land.  One of the main reasons why government's Fast Track land reform exercise has failed is because the exercise has been poorly planned and inadequately funded. Although the government claims that hundreds of thousands of families have been resettled under the Fast Track policy, we have only found evidence of 30 000 families having been resettled in conditions of heightened poverty. An MDC government will make sufficient resources available through the budget to support the agrarian reforms. Our domestic efforts will be complemented by support from the international community.



South Bedfordshire Branch held their first forum on 26 October 2002 at the University of Luton Students Union Complex.

Wales Branch has started to hold regular Branch meetings again.  The last meeting was held on Tuesday, 5th November at the Flora, Cathays Terrace, Cardiff.  For full details of future meetings, regularity of meetings and so on as well as directions to get there, please contact Ade Williams on email: ""

Central London Branch has run the first 4 vigils (see page 1 for details.)


USA MDC Caretaking Committee: Professor Solomon Nkiwane,, is the Chairman for the whole USA.  He was appointed by Harare.  The current chairs of US branches all automatically become members

Dallas, Texas has a very large Zimbabwean community.  A new branch has been started. Interim chair: Walter Sithole (

Chicago also has a branch.  Interim chair: Janice Munangatire (

Dublin - Contact: Luke Bukharin,, 00 3538 6315 2597.


The MDC (UK) is encouraging branches to set up forums.  Having a regular weekly time and venue means it is easy for people to dip in and out as commitments permit.  They are a good base for forming friendships and disseminating information about Zimbabwe events and issues.  Positive action is a likely result from these meetings.  The following forums have already been set up:

South Bedfordshire : First forum was held on 26 October 2002

Central London: Mondays at 7.30 pm at the George opposite the Law Courts, Strand, London

East London and Becontree: Tuesdays at 7.30 pm at the Princess Alice pub, Romford Road, Forest Gate, London

Southend: Fortnightly from the second Wednesday of each month, 7.30pm for 8pm start at the Railway Hotel, Clifton Road, two minutes walk from Southend Central Train Station, opposite the Train Station Parking. 

For further information on forums or for help in setting one up, contact Paradzai Munangatire: 07870 945 487, email:


Zimbabwe Association a support network for Zimbabwean asylum seekers and refugees, particularly those in detention.  Important: For general issues please contact Sidliso Dube; for Asylum and Immigration issues please contact: Brighton Chireka, Sarah Harland (020 8691 3197), Katrina Phillips or Alan Wilkinson.  ZA is contactable for information or membership forms at email: "", 151 Bancroft Road, London E1 4ET, fax: 020 7702 7617. 

Bank Accounts: Did you know that it is possible for asylum seekers to open a bank account? Apparently the Co-operative Bank are opening accounts if you provide a bill and a signed document (letter from a solicitor also works).

ARE YOU IN LIMBO? Has your asylum case ground to a halt? You don't know what's happening with it? Are you getting frustrated at not being able to work? Is there still no answer from Immigration? Are you a teacher, or a nurse?  If so, try ringing Mark Scott of Bhatt Murphy (020 7253 7766, ""

Helpline: The MDC (UK) Southend branch has set up a new hotline (07940 509499) for Zimbabwe asylum seekers in the Southend and wider area.

WEBSITES official MDC website for a free daily update of Zimbabwe news emailed to you

Websites of Zimbabwe newspapers financial gazette website.


ALSO website of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign website of Freedom for Zimbabwe Campaign  - umbrella organisation for Zimbabwe NGO human rights organisations.

"" International Federation for Human Rights covering 115 human rights organisations from 90 countries.

"" Cathy Buckle's website Zimbabwe networking website of WeZimbabwe website of the Zimbabwe Agricultural Trust.

"" to find your MP.

"" educational funding for disadvantaged students from SADC countries Christian aid organisation running an appeal for famine in Southern Africa

""  - the Royal Africa Society Action for Southern Africa successor to Anti-apartheid movement. free online learning

"" (JAG) - You can download ZANU-PF land beneficiaries from this site.  - website for the Zimbabwe Students Union UK.

The newsletter of MDC (UK) is simply to provide information about what we are doing and of course contacts.  We don't know how long it will take to get rid of the Mugabe regime.  It could be gone in months or it may take years.  But the MDC must be ready to pick up the pieces.  And MDC members in the UK have a vital role in supporting the struggle.  The newsletter hopes to provide information which will show you how you can help.   We would like to hear from you.  If you have any news of events, forums, fundraisers etc please email us.  The opinions of the editor do not necessarily represent MDC policy.  If there are omissions or inaccuracies in the information, please let us know so we can update for our next edition.



Executive Editor:  Paradzai Munangatire

Editors: Dennis and Rose Benton



Chair:       Brian Bako, "", 01543 361 779/07759 649 242

Deputy Chair:       Jennings Rukani,, 01612 269 683/07890 293   088

Secretary:       Onismus Manungo,, 01189 670 040/07787 536

Deputy Secretary:       Post vacant

Treasurer/Economic Development:       Moses Sithole, "", 020 7525 5354, 020 7277 5253,      07947 581 049

Information & Publicity Secretary:       Paradzai Munangatire,, 07870 945 487

Deputy Info & Publicity Secretary:       Gidion Mutyiri, "", 07796 791 557

Organising Secretary:       John Huruva, "" 020 8279 2223/07958 409924

Deputy Organising Secretary:       Post vacant

Women's Affairs:       Flora Todlana, "", 020 8932 2224/07712 855 068

Deputy Women's Affairs:       Rudo Madlayora, , 020 8566 1642/07957 263 179

Security:       Taurayi Chamboko "" 07759 248 742

Youth:       Post vacant

Deputy Youth:       Post vacant

Member:       Harold Ndlovu, "" 020 8539 4736/07932 459 142    





Bedford           Chairman: Aberdinigo Tapona, 01234 317 299/07867 726 606

                  Info and Publicity: Pepukayi Chitakunye,

South Bedfordshire      Secretary: Oswald Tavengwa, 07986 378320

                  Information & Publicity: Paul Ruwona,, 01582 896 318

Edinburgh         Chair: Brian Chiwara,;;

Essex, Becontree       Chair: Paradzai Munangatire,, 07870 945 487

Essex, Southend      Chair: Albert Mutungi,

                  Secretary: Washington Ali, 07967 182 532 ""

Hertfordshire           Secretary: Taurayi Chamboko "" 07759 248 742

                  "" 01707 390 677

Central London            Chair: Ephraim Tapa,, 07901 980 831

                  Vice-Chair: Mike Bennett, "" 07721 420 730

East London              Chair: Harold Ndlovu, 020 8539 4736/07932 459 142,    ""

                  Info & Publicity: Simon Manonga, ""

North London              Chair: Flora Todlana,

                  Secretary: Leo Lungah,

South London             Chair: Mandla Nyathi,, 020 7277 1635/07949 495 149

                  Treasurer: Ralph Mguni, "", 020 8298 7234

West London       Chair: Mispah Mvubu, ""

Manchester        Chair: Green Nyoni, 07949 811 137, ""

                  Women's Vice-chair: Gloria Taruvinga,

Reading                 Chair: Onismus Manungo, 07787 536 064

Wales             Chair: Ade Williams, "", 01443 206 333




Dublin                  Contact: Luke Bukharin,, 00 3538 6315 2597



Caretaking Committee      Chairman: Professor Solomon Nkiwane,

Dallas, Texas       InterimChair:  Walter Sithole, ""

Chicago                 InterimChair: Janice Munangatire,



The Newsletter of the UK Arm of the Movement for Democratic Change

Issue Number 6, 8 November 2002




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