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

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David R. Sands


The United States must apply more pressure to Zimbabwe's
southern African neighbors to force political and economic
reforms on the government of President Robert Mugabe, a
leading Zimbabwean dissident said yesterday.

"The people of Zimbabwe at this point are incapable of any
meaningful resistance by themselves," said Ephraim Tapa, a
former government workers' union leader forced into exile
after he was arrested, tortured and left temporarily blinded
by a government-backed militia group earlier this year.

"International pressure is critical and South Africa is the
key," Mr. Tapa said in an interview. "If Mugabe was totally
isolated by South Africa and its other African neighbors, he
could not resist the call for free elections, the
restoration of democracy and the upholding of human rights."

Mr. Tapa was in Washington with a delegation from the newly
formed Save Zimbabwe, which bills itself as a nonpartisan
group pressing for new democratic elections in Zimbabwe,
where Mr. Mugabe has ruled since independence in 1980.

Relations between Washington and Harare have soured since
parliamentary elections in March.

Walter H. Kansteiner III, assistant secretary of state for
African affairs, said in August that the Bush administration
did not recognize the legitimacy of the Mugabe government,
and both Britain and the United States have imposed targeted
sanctions and travel bans on Mr. Mugabe and his allies.

The Mugabe government has imposed a number of restrictions
on press freedom and political activity in the past year,
even as the economy has collapsed and Zimbabwe deals with a
regionwide drought.

Mr. Mugabe has also pursued a coercive land-redistribution
program targeting the country's small but highly productive
group of white farmers, which aid groups charge has
disrupted planting and increased the risk of famine.

U.S. and private relief officials charge that Mr. Mugabe has
exploited the food crisis for political gain, channeling
grain and other aid to supporters while cutting off areas
where the opposition is strong.

Save Zimbabwe officials agree.

Arnold Tsunga, national chairman of the democracy group Zim
Rights and a member of the Save Zimbabwe delegation, said
people are starving "because of the absence of democracy
rather than the drought."

"As long as we don't have an acceptable democratic system at
home, it's unlikely any amount of aid from the United States
and other donor nations will alleviate our suffering," he

U.N. and private relief groups estimate that as much as half
of Zimbabwe's 11 million people face severe food shortages
in the coming months.

Although Mr. Kansteiner said in August that the United
States planned to work with regional governments to
"isolate" the Mugabe regime, South Africa and neighboring
countries have resisted the effort.

South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who
met with his Zimbabwean counterpart for talks yesterday,
said in Pretoria that the focus should not be on past

"Even if people thought Zimbabwe had made a mistake, we need
to look at the future and what we do from here," she said.

"Obviously, if I go back to Zimbabwe now, that would be the
end of me," he said.

"But we are very much aware that people are suffering, that
there is unfinished business back home. Is doing nothing an
option? For me, it is not."
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ZIMBABWE: End to land grabs could normalise situation

JOHANNESBURG, 12 November (IRIN) - South Africa is optimistic that an end to land grabs in Zimbabwe, and a shift in focus to compensating farmers and farm workers affected by seizures, will lead to a normalising of Zimbabwe's foreign relations, IRIN has learnt.

The European Union (EU) and United States have slapped sanctions on Zimbabwe for the manner in which the land reform programme and recent presidential elections have been conducted.

Following a ministerial level meeting this week of the re-activated South Africa-Zimbabwe Joint Commission on Cultural, Technical and Scientific Cooperation - which last met in 1996 - it emerged that the Zimbabwe delegation gave "certain assurances" to their counterparts on the execution of the land reform programme.

The Zimbabwean delegation, led by Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge, gave the assurance that the controversial land acquisition and redistribution element of President Robert Mugabe's fast-track programme had been completed.

"They said there would be no more land acquisitions either by war veterans or anyone else," a South African official told IRIN.

The Zimbabweans said acquisition and redistribution were but one of four key elements of the land reform process.

That element would be followed by "the payment of fair compensation to white commercial farmers from whom land was acquired - in terms of this the farmers are entitled to compensation in accordance with undertakings with Britain in the Lancaster House agreement". Mudenge subsequently emphasised Britain's "obligation" in this regard.

However, the EU has reacted strongly to suggestions that Europe and Britain should compensate white farmers for their expropriated land, saying the "reforms were conducted with minimum respect for the rule of law".

The Zimbabwean delegation, meanwhile, emphasised that compensation would only be paid for improvements to land, and "in certain instances the land improvements cost more than the original value of the land", the official said.

Also, the element of compensation would not be restricted to white farmers. Farm workers who had been affected would also be compensated and assisted.

The third and fourth component of land reform sought to provide technical and other assistance to the newly resettled farmers for the effective utilisation of the land. There was concern that viable agricultural land was being wasted.

"So they will focus on the provision of technical and other assistance to farmers, and technical and transitional support to farm workers as well who've been affected," the source said.

The Zimbabwean government has said that since 1980 - under a willing seller/willing buyer land reform programme - 3.6 million hectares were acquired on which 74,000 families were resettled. In the last 24 months, it acquired 11 million hectares of land upon which 300,000 families were resettled.

"One of the things they raised, is that we have to get into a situation where relations between Zimbabwe and the international community are normalised, this is something South Africa has taken up," the official said.

South Africa has championed a "quiet diplomacy" approach to its troubled northern neighbour, which has put it at odds with some Western governments who have called for tougher action and regional condemnation of Mugabe's human rights record.


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ZIMBABWE: Long queues at fuel pumps

JOHANNESBURG, 12 November (IRIN) - Long queues formed outside Zimbabwe's petrol stations this week, a week after President Robert Mugabe announced that multinationals would have to step in to help keep the national fuel pumps supplied.

Last weekend it was reported that a deal with Libya's Tamoil to supply 70 percent of Zimbabwe's fuel needs had collapsed "for commercial reasons", widely believed to be the country's failure to keep up with payments.

However on Tuesday the Daily News quoted Libyan ambassador Mohammad Azzabi as saying: "As with any commercial transactions the world over, hiccups are bound to occur here and there, but that does not constitute a collapse of our commitment to Zimbabwe. That commitment is total and above small hiccups that may occur from time to time." 

The Indigenous Petroleum Marketers Association (IPMA) attributed the shortages to service stations stockpiling ahead of the national budget on Thursday.

"There are no shortages. It is just people stockpiling in case there is an increase in the price in this week's budget announcement," IPMA chairman Gordon Musarira told IRIN.

The IPMA consists of 16 "Zimbabwean born" oil operators who source their supplies from the parastatal National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (NOCZIM).

However, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change economic affairs spokesman Eddie Cross said Zimbabwe was running dry.

"There simply is no fuel at service stations. The majority of fuel retailers have not got stock. This is the worst the fuel crisis has been. People are trying to keep their tanks full and this is exacerbating the shortages. Public transport is affected and half the workforce is walking to work."

Cross said that the deteriorating exchange rate was seeing speculators from South Africa and Zambia buying fuel and taking it back over the border, and this was also depleting supplies."

After bilateral talks on Monday the South African government said that providing fuel aid to Zimbabwe was "something that could be discussed." The newspaper Business Day reported that could give South Africa political leverage over Zimbabwe and "bite to its policy of quiet diplomacy".

Fuel manufacturer Sasol said it was not currently supplying Zimbabwe, and Engen, which has a deal to supply
NOCZIM, was waiting for clarification on NOCZIM's future role following the opening of the import market to multinationals.

Zimbabwe is currently in the throes of a severe economic crisis with spiraling inflation and dwindling foreign exchange reserves which has complicated the fuel import market. Compounding this was a humanitarian crisis which could see up to six million people facing severe food shortages by the next harvest.

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Zimbabwe's land policy yields a bitter harvest
Jon Jeter The Washington Post - Tuesday, November 12, 2002
Farm seizures - Reform or cronyism?
MAZOWE, Zimbabwe The motorcade arrived shortly after noon, and it was an army commander who curtly told Eva Matthews that she and her husband had only hours to leave their farm. While he spoke, Matthews later recalled, she noticed a provincial government official giving Zimbabwe's first lady a tour of her 1,000-hectare wooded estate.
When a group of farm workers gathered around President Robert Mugabe's wife, Grace, she announced, "I am taking over this farm."
The seizure of Iron Mask Estates here two months ago illustrates what many Zimbabweans say is the most cynical element of the government's two-year-old effort to seize land from the country's white farmers.
Mugabe has repeatedly characterized his government's land policy as the long overdue remedy for a colonial injustice, redistributing what is perhaps the country's most precious resource - its rich, fertile land - from a prosperous minority to poor, landless peasants.
Grace Mugabe is, of course, neither poor nor landless. Yet she and hundreds of the president's relatives and supporters, as well as senior government officials and their families, have been given commercial farms seized from white owners, according to civic groups and government records.
Of the first 600 farms seized after voters rejected constitutional proposals to strengthen Mugabe's authority in February 2000, nearly 200 went to Zimbabweans with connections to his ruling party, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF). The list, according to Justice for Agriculture, a farmers advocacy group here, includes Vice President Joseph Msika, government ministers, their siblings and adult children.
"This is not land reform," said John Worvick, a spokesman for Justice for Agriculture. "This is cronyism, pure and simple. The process is completely corrupt, and it's only transferring the ownership of the land from one group of elites to another."
Mugabe's government accelerated land distribution efforts in August, and government officials say that within a few weeks, they will have evicted nearly 2,900 of the country's 3,500 white farmers. Relief agencies, foreign diplomats and supporters of the country's main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, say the campaign is a ploy by Mugabe, 78, to fend off the first real threat to his autocratic rule since he took office following Zimbabwe's independence from Britain in 1980.
Few dispute the need for land reform. Though whites accounted for less than 1 percent of Zimbabwe's population, they owned 70 percent of its arable farmland before government-sanctioned mobs led by veterans of the country's independence war began chasing them from their land more than two years ago. More than a dozen white farmers have been killed during the campaign, and an estimated 150,000 black farm workers have lost their jobs and homes. Government spokesmen deny allegations of cronyism and say that their efforts are partly designed to build a black commercial farming class to replace the whites who dominated the sector. Edward Matutse, a government spokesman, said that could be done only by providing farms to black Zimbabweans with the resources to run large estates and support the black peasants who work on them.
"The one thing all black Zimbabweans have in common is that we are all landless," Matutse said. "The whites and the Western media want to say that it is only the president's relatives who are benefiting from the land reform program, and this is a lie. How many relatives do you think our president has?"
The evictions have come as southern Africa grapples with its worst food shortage in decades, and critics say Mugabe's land grab has combined with drought to worsen the situation by replacing Zimbabwe's most productive farmers with inexperienced ones.
Nearly half of the 11.4 million Zimbabweans are at risk of starvation, and critics contend that Mugabe is using international food aid the same way he is using the land: as a blunt political instrument to punish supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change, which in March nearly unseated Mugabe in presidential elections that were preceded by heavy repression of the opposition.
Food donations are being funneled to ZANU-PF strongholds and away from the capital, Harare, and other urban centers, which overwhelmingly supported the Movement for Democratic Change and its presidential candidate, the trade-union leader Morgan Tsvangirai, according to many Zimbabweans.
"It is clear to everyone in the city that Mugabe is trying to starve dissent - literally," said Moses Bangwayo, 26, a university student and opposition supporter. "There is no food in Harare. Why? The man wants to punish us, and he uses food and land to do it. This has nothing to do with the liberation of black Zimbabweans. It has everything to do with one old man who has run out of ideas, run out of support and run out of time, trying to hold on to power at any cost to his country."
The seizure by Grace Mugabe of the Matthewses' farm about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Harare underscores the government's cynicism to many here. Known for her shopping sprees at upscale shops in London, she is a former secretary to Mugabe who married the president following the death of his first wife in 1990. She campaigned with her husband this year and often led rallies in deriding Tsvangirai as a puppet of the British and whites who want to see a return of the colonial arrangement. "Morgan Tsvangirai," she repeated mockingly in campaign speeches, "is a tea boy."
In seizing the Matthewses' Iron Mask Estates, Grace Mugabe got one of the most coveted farms in Zimbabwe, a lush and hilly property with majestic vistas and an elegant, colonial-era house with 29 rooms.
"It is a beautiful place," Eva Matthews said of the wheat farm she owned for nearly 35 years and where she raised three children.
For many white Zimbabweans, the evictions signal the end of an era that began when this country was the white-ruled British colony of Rhodesia. Whites who remained here after independence are packing up and moving away - to South Africa, Australia, Britain and elsewhere.
"The Rhodies are disappearing," said one of the Matthewses' neighbors, who did not want his name used because he feared retribution from the government. "Part of it is due to our own arrogance, I suppose. We should have cooperated more with the government and with the blacks who did not have as much. But I think we contributed something to this country."
Matthews said, "It's all very sad." Then she paused. "But it's more than that, really. It's wrong."
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Daily News

      Libyan envoy denies collapse of fuel deal

      11/12/02 12:22:07 PM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE Libyan Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mohammad Azzabi, said yesterday
despite some problems in the fuel deal with the government in Harare, his
country was still committed to supporting Zimbabwe's fuel needs.

      He dismissed reports that the oil deal with Libya had collapsed,
saying relations between the two countries were good.

      "As with any commercial transaction the world over, hiccups are bound
to occur here and there, but that does not constitute a collapse of our
commitment to Zimbabwe. That commitment is total and above small hiccups
that may occur from time to time," he said.

      Azzabi was responding to a story in yesterday's issue of The Daily
News, quoting a story in the Sunday Times of South Africa which said the oil
deal with Libya had collapsed. The newspaper quoted Azzabi as saying the
reasons for the collapse of the US$360 million (Z$19,8 billion) supply deal
between Zimbabwe and Libya were commercial and not political.

      Yesterday, Azzabi also denied the Sunday Times story and another one
in the Sunday Mirror, which said Britain had persuaded Libya to cancel
supplies to Zimbabwe.

      He said nothing had changed between the relations and bilateral
arrangements between Zimbabwe and Libya, adding that the commercial
arrangements confirmed the historical and political ties between the two

      "When we committed ourselves to support Zimbabwe's fuel needs, we were
fully aware of the negative forces working against Zimbabwe and its present
difficult economic situation, especially as it relates to foreign exchange,
hence the arrangements made to reinvest proceeds of our oil supplies back to
Zimbabwe," Azzabi said.

      Queues have resurfaced country-wide as the government grapples to find
enough foreign currency to procure adequate quantities of fuel.

      In a rare admission of failure, President Mugabe last week said he was
having "headaches and stomach-aches" to maintain constant fuel supplies into
the country.

      In a major policy U-turn, Mugabe said oil companies should procure
fuel themselves since they had the foreign currency.
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Wednesday, 13 November, 2002, 14:10 GMT
Tortured Zimbabwe journalist dies
Ray Choto (c) and Mark Chavunduka (r)
Chavunduka (in sunglasses) is survived by a wife and three children
Mark Chavunduka, 37, a journalist who was tortured by Zimbabwe's army for writing about an alleged coup plot, has died in Harare.

The cause of death has not been made public but it is not thought to have been caused by the torture.

He will be remembered for standing up to this regime

Trevor Ncube Zimbabwe Standard
Mr Chavunduka and his colleague, Ray Choto, were both held captive by the army for several days in 1999 despite court orders for their release.

Mr Chavunduka was editor of the Zimbabwe Standard newspaper, which published a story written by Mr Choto, that sections of the army had plotted to oust President Robert Mugabe.

Following his release, he received treatment for post traumatic stress disorder in both Britain and the United States.

He often complained of nightmares following the beatings and electric shocks he received during his detention by the military.


Trevor Ncube, publisher of the Standard, praised Mr Chavunduka as a champion of press freedom against Mr Mugabe's government.

"He will be remembered for standing up to this regime," he said.

President Robert Mugabe
Mugabe warned journalists to leave the army alone

Correspondents say they were the first victims of a campaign against independent journalists by the Zimbabwe authorities.

Mr Mugabe refused to condemn the journalists' torture, instead warning writers not to antagonise the army.

In January 2001, the printing press of the privately-owned Daily News was bombed after being criticised by cabinet ministers and government allies.

A new media law was introduced after Mr Mugabe's controversial re-election earlier this year, which independent journalists say is designed to stop them from publishing stories which the government does not approve of.

The authorities have refused to prosecute those identified by Mr Chavunduka as responsible for the torture.

Both Mr Chavunduka and Mr Choto received several journalism awards.

He is survived by his wife and three children.

Daily news
Zimbabwe's Chavunduka dies

HARARE - Zimbabwean journalist and publisher Mark Chavunduka, whose arrest and subsequent torture helped expose his government's increasing repression of dissent, has died after a prolonged illness, his family said today.

The cause of his death was not announced, but was believed to be unrelated to the effects of his weeklong detention and torture in 1999.

Dexter Chavunduka, his father, said his son complained of pains in his side before his death at a Harare clinic late on Monday.

"It was a long-standing health problem and something he used to complain of now and again," he said.

But Chavunduka, 37, had also often complained to friends and colleagues of recurring nightmares of the beatings and electric shocks he received at a military intelligence facility outside Harare.

Chavunduka and a colleague, Ray Choto, were detained after reporting in the independent Zimbabwe Standard newspaper on disaffection in the military and a possible coup plot against President Robert Mugabe's government.

The government denied the report and ignored court orders to either free Chavunduka or press charges against him.

After the men were released, authorities refused to prosecute torturers Chavunduka identified.

Both men later received lengthy treatment for post-traumatic stress in Britain and the US.

Trevor Ncube, publisher of the newspaper, in a tribute on Wednesday, described Chavunduka as "a young man with a passion for journalism" who stood up for press freedom under Mugabe's increasingly repressive government.

"He will be remembered for standing up to this regime," he said. His torture brought the world's attention to the government's human rights violations and its efforts to suppress criticism.

Charges against Chavunduka and Choto for allegedly publishing a false report liable to create alarm and despondency were later dropped.

Chavunduka received several international awards for courageous reporting. In April, he took over a controlling share in an independent magazine publishing business.

He is survived by his wife and three children. Burial arrangements were not announced.

From ZWNEWS, 13 November

Mark Chavunduka

Zimbabwe editor Mark Chavunduka, who was instrumental in focusing international attention on the ruthless human rights records of Robert Mugabe’s regime, died in Harare on Tuesday. He was 37. The cause of death was not announced, but it was not believed to be connected to the torture inflicted on Chavunduka in 1999 after the newspaper he edited, The Zimbabwe Standard, published a report about unrest in the army. "As the founding editor of The Zimbabwe Standard he was a young man with a passion for journalism, a young man who will be remembered for standing up to this regime, and a young man who by being tortured brought to the attention of the world the kind of thing Robert Mugabe does to try and silence people," said Trevor Ncube, publisher of the Sunday Standard and its sister newspaper The Independent.

Chavunduka came to international attention in January 1999 when his newspaper reported widespread unrest in the Zimbabwean army over deployment of up to 14 000 troops in the civil war then raging in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Casualties incurred while underpinning the regimes of Joseph Kabila and his late father Laurent have still not been disclosed. Standard reporter Ray Choto was first abducted and tortured by security police, then Chavunduka himself , after he agreed to be questioned by police in return for Choto's freedom. Both men subsequently required extensive therapy in Britain and the United States. Police spurned lawyers' efforts to force prosecution of the known torturers, but in May 2000 Zimbabwe's Supreme Court, then under the widely respected Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay – subsequently forced into retirement by the regime – quashed Mugabe's attempt to have the two journalists arraigned for "publishing a false report liable to create alarm and despondency."

Chavunduka, and Choto, who is now in the United States, testified that torturers said they had Mugabe's "death warrant" to kill them. And Mugabe himself defended use of "extraordinary measures" against the pair, who he described as "black white men". "My family all said I should have stayed in the United States, but I am so angry about the way we were treated … and I won’t give the government the satisfaction of knowing I’ve run away," Chavunduka told Amnesty International after he returned home. Chavunduka said he could never sleep without having nightmares about the beatings and electric shocks to which he was subjected – while human rights organisations and churches demanded his release, and trade unions threatened to strike.

Chavunduka, who received many international awards for courageous journalism, was a member of a distinguished Zimbabwean family. His father, Dr. Dexter Chavunduka, was the first black veterinary surgeon in former Rhodesia and a member of Parliament nominated by Mugabe for his expert knowledge of animal husbandry. His uncle, Professor Gordon Chavunduka, a veteran African nationalist politician, was Vice Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe and conferred an honorary degree on Mugabe. His aunt, Sarah Kachingwe, was once the top civil servant in Mugabe's information ministry. Chavunduka, who is survived by his wife and three children, joined the Sunday Standard from Parade Magazine. Earlier this year he returned to Thomson Publications, owners of Parade, after buying a controlling interest. Zimbabwe, said publisher Ncube, has been robbed of a young man with a huge potential contribution to make

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From News24 (SA), 11 November

Democracy award for Tsvangirai

Washington - The leader of Zimbabwe's embattled opposition, Morgan Tsvangirai, is to be honoured this month for his pro-democracy struggle by an international group of political consultants, the organisation said on Monday. Tsvangirai, head of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change is to receive the 2002 Democracy Medal from the International Association of Political Consultants at its annual meeting on November 19 in Rio de Janeiro, the group said. He is to be honoured for "courageously fostering, promoting and sustaining the democratic process", the association said in a statement. The announcement comes amid a spate of arrests of opposition figures in Zimbabwe as authoritarian President Robert Mugabe continues a harsh crackdown on dissent. And it follows a decision last week by Zimbabwe's High Court to delay until February the trial of Tsvangirai and two other party officials on treason charges stemming from an alleged plot to assassinate Mugabe. They deny the charges, which carry the death penalty on conviction. They say they were set up by government agents bent on sidelining Tsvangirai ahead of a March presidential election, which he lost to Mugabe. That election was widely denounced by the West as fundamentally flawed.

Tsvangirai, who will not be able to accept the award in person because his passport has been confiscated pending the outcome of the trial, said in a letter to the IAPC that he would continue his fight for the "oppressed people of Zimbabwe (who) yearn for change". "State fascism and state-sponsored election violence and fraud have not abated," he said. "Instead, the Harare regime appears determined to destroy the opposition and, indeed, any other alternative voice in the country through targeted persecutions, selective application of the law and a compromised judiciary," Tsvangirai wrote. Tsvangirai was chosen from a list of nominees that included US Secretary of State Colin Powell, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, former US president Ronald Reagan and outgoing Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso, the IAPC said. Members of the IAPC, founded in 1968, include political campaign specialists, career politicians, political party executives, polling consultants, political academics and lobbyists. Previous winners of its Democracy Medal include former South African president Nelson Mandela, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and former US president Jimmy Carter.

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New York Times

An Academic Retreat for African Ex-Presidents

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov. 12 - Africa is not an easy place to be a former
president. One's likeness is rubbed right off the currency as soon as one
moves out of the presidential mansion. The cars and the houses and the
thousands of minions disappear into thin air as well. Schools and streets
and airports are renamed for the new guy. Then there is the pesky question
of paying for one's presidential misdeeds.
But there is now a new opportunity for African ex-presidents with too much
time on their hands: a fellowship at Boston University that comes with fancy
accommodations, a healthy stipend, plenty of security and the opportunity to
return to the lectern. Delta Airlines is even providing domestic airfare,
the fellowship's version of a presidential jet.
The first fellow, who began in September, is Kenneth Kaunda, who ruled
Zambia from independence in 1964 until he stepped down 27 years later. It is
not hard to see how Mr. Kaunda found the offer of a fellowship attractive.
After leaving office, Mr. Kaunda and top members of his party were arrested
repeatedly, usually on treason charges that were later dropped. When Mr.
Kaunda tried to come out of retirement in 1996, he suddenly found himself in
court again, facing accusations that he was not even a Zambian citizen.
Since arriving in Boston, Mr. Kaunda has been busy both on and off campus.
He recently gave the opening lecture at a conference at Boston University on
integrating Africa into the global economy, and he has also spoken at
Harvard and at People's Baptist Church in Boston. The university is
preparing an archive of African presidents, and Mr. Kaunda has sat for a
lengthy interview, recalling his days in office.
"He is a living embodiment of Africa's past struggle against colonialism,
and his commitment to democracy and free-market reform makes him a symbol of
Africa's present and future challenge to live with globalization," said
Charles R. Stith, a former American ambassador to Tanzania who now runs
Boston University's African Presidential Archives and Research Center.
The fellowship is part of a broader effort by American universities to
establish direct links with Africa. Already, Boston has a study-abroad
program with the University of Abdou Moumouni in Niger and a faculty
exchange program with a university in Ethiopia. Now the university has a
former head of state from Africa hanging around the campus as well.
"I'd definitely recommend this program to other African presidents," Mr.
Kaunda said in a telephone interview from Florida, where he was on a
speaking tour. "It helps Americans understand Africa and the other way
Mr. Kaunda said he had not found Americans lacking when it came to their
knowledge of Africa. "I had lunch a couple of days ago with three professors
in Boston, and I was amazed, and pleasantly so, to see the depth of their
knowledge of Africa's problems," he said.
The freewheeling fellowship could not have come at a better time for African
ex-presidents, some of whom are going through a particularly rough patch.
There is the former president of the Central African Republic who was
sentenced to death in absentia recently for plotting to overthrow the
current government, and the ex-president of Zambia whose house was searched
in a drug investigation. A former Nigerian dictator was recently linked to
the killing of a journalist 15 years ago.
No ex-president is an angel - here in Africa or anywhere else - and the
Boston University fellowship, called the Lloyd G. Balfour African Presidents
in Residence Program, takes that into consideration. But there are limits,
and Boston University, which has one of oldest African studies programs in
the country, intends to steer clear of presidents who completely trampled
democracy while in office.
When it comes to deciding who is a potential fellow and who is damaged
goods, Mr. Stith has been working with the Bush administration to ensure
that Boston University's selections do not collide with foreign policy
interests. State Department officials say they back the program as a way of
showing African leaders that there are tangible rewards for stepping down.
Mr. Kaunda, the current fellow, will hold the position for a year. Then, Mr.
Stith will choose from the many other presidents he says fit the bill,
including Ketumile Masire of Botswana, Nicéphore Soglo of Benin, Antônio
Mascarenhas Monteiro of Cape Verde and Jerry Rawlings of Ghana.
Nelson Mandela of South Africa is high on the list of contenders, but
university officials are also willing to consider his predecessor, F. W. de
Klerk, who presided over the end of white rule.
"It's an interesting pool of people," said Mr. Stith, who plans a trip
through Africa in January to begin searching for the second fellow. "There
are more possibilities than most people imagine, and it's a group that is
growing by the year."
In the coming months and years, Daniel arap Moi of Kenya, Robert Mugabe of
Zimbabwe and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda could all be ex-presidents. Mr. Stith
refused to rule in, or rule out, Mr. Moi or Mr. Mugabe, saying that doing so
before their terms end would amount to speculation. Mr. Museveni's name,
however, does appear on Mr. Stith's short list. "The determination of
eligibility can only really be made when one is a former president," Mr.
Stith said. "You can only make an assessment of leaders' contribution to
democracy after they are out of office."
Mr. Kaunda, for instance, would not have been eligible if the fellowship had
been around 30 years ago, around the time he banned multiparty politics.
Over the years, however, he became a democrat, and he stepped down
peacefully after calling multiparty elections and losing to Frederick
"Most of the democracies in Africa are relatively young compared to ours,"
Mr. Stith said. "The role ex-presidents play is still very much a work in
Mr. Stith would not say the amount of the stipend the African fellows
receive. He did say that they would live less stately lives than they did
during their presidencies, but "a little better than a junior professor."
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Stigma Prevents Pwas From Receiving Care And Treatment

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

November 12, 2002
Posted to the web November 12, 2002


Zimbabwean households already affected by HIV/AIDS and those headed by
women, children or the elderly may have difficulty accessing food aid
because of stigma, according to a recently released AIDS country profile.

The current food crisis threatens six million Zimbabwean, but people living
with HIV/AIDS "may have difficulty accessing food aid because of impaired
mobility, ostracism, or stigma. Within households, the distribution of food
may favor those perceived to be more healthy and productive; those who are
HIV-positive may be given low priority," the AIDS Profile Project,
undertaken by the University of California San Francisco's AIDS Policy
Research Centre, said.

It found that despite high levels of awareness of HIV/AIDS, high levels of
stigma remained. Consequently, there was tremendous fear around being tested
for HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe. Over 90 percent of those infected were unaware of
their HIV status, the country brief said.

Traditionally, sickness and disease was considered punishment by one's
ancestors for immorality and unfaithfulness and people with HIV/AIDS were
still perceived as having done something wrong.

"Zimbabwe's Tsungirirai AIDS Service Organisation reports that 'HIV/AIDS is
a disease of shame. People with HIV are shunned and treated with contempt
and described as immoral' Even in recent years, when a sizable number of
people living with HIV/AIDS (PWAs) are open about their condition, stigma
remains and tends to prevent PWAs from receiving adequate care and
treatment," it added.

According to the profile, reports of AIDS-related stigma and discrimination
in communal farming communities found that community leaders at times made
discriminatory statements during graveside funeral orations.

In their responses to the epidemic, many faith-based organisations still
found it difficult to address stigma and discrimination towards PWAs, as
they could not openly discuss sexual behaviour and sexuality.

The profile also outlined the effects of political violence and the
humanitarian crisis on the epidemic.

The country's fast-track land reform programme has been accompanied by large
movements of people, regroupings of family units and exposure to new sexual
networks. "This population mobility can increase vulnerability to acquiring
HIV," the report noted.

HIV/AIDS, drought, fast-track land reform, and the deteriorating economic
situation have made most coping strategies "irrelevant".

The extended family safety net and local support networks were now
increasingly under pressure, the profile said.

At the end of 2001, UNAIDS estimated that 2.3 million Zimbabweans were
living with HIV/AIDS. Of infected adults, 1.2 million (60 percent) were
women. Zimbabwe's adult HIV prevalence was 33.7 percent, the third-highest
in the world.

However, preliminary findings from ante-natal clinics in 2001 noted declines
in the HIV status of the youngest women. Those positive signs were now
threatened by the current humanitarian crisis. Young women in particular -
who resorted to exchanging sex for food or cash - were at risk of increased
HIV exposure, the study said.

For more information on Zimbabwe's AIDS Profile:

The AIDS Profile Project has also developed updated profiles of HIV/AIDS in
Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia,
and Zimbabwe.

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Tsvangirai's Court Records Disappear

The Herald (Harare)

November 12, 2002
Posted to the web November 12, 2002


Records of the election petition case in which MDC leader Mr Morgan
Tsvangirai challenged his defeat by Cde Kenneth Manyonda in Buhera North
have gone missing at the High Court.

Even the notes of former High Court judge Justice James Devitte, who heard
the case last year, can also not be located.

In his judgment delivered in April last year, Justice Devitte nullified Cde
Manyonda's victory, which meant an election re-run was supposed to be held
in Buhera North.

However, Cde Manyonda who defeated Mr Tsvangirai in the 2000 parliamentary
elections appealed against the judgment to the Supreme Court in May 2001.

The appeal meant the office of the Registrar of the High Court had to
prepare an appeal record, which was to be forwarded to the Supreme Court.

But the appeal now hangs in balance following the disappearance of the

The Registrar of the High Court, Mr Jacob Manzunzu, confirmed yesterday that
his office was facing difficulties preparing the appeal record as the
necessary information was missing.

He said the problem was discovered when 23 cassettes on which the
proceedings of the petition were recorded were sent to the senior legal
process transcriber for transcription.

The senior transcriber, a Mrs Fambi, discovered that six of the 23 cassettes
were missing from her office and when an attempt was made to transcribe the
remaining 17 cassettes, it was further found out that all of them were
inaudible and could not be transcribed.

"The judges' clerks who did the recording both say that the recording
machine was developing a mechanical problem by producing a squeaking sound,"
said Mr Manzunzu.

He said the problem was brought to the attention of Justice Devitte and the
trial was moved to Court C where the recording machines had a similar

"Mr Justice Devitte went as far as driving one of the recorders to Harare
Magistrates Court to look for a replacement of the recording machine," said
Mr Manzunzu.

This necessitated the adjournment of the trial.

Eventually a Mr Dahwa who repairs the recording machines indicated that the
problem had been rectified and the case resumed on the understanding that
all was in order.

"With the benefit of hindsight, it now turns out that the confidence that
the recording machine had been satisfactorily repaired, was misplaced," said
Mr Manzunzu.

He said it became necessary to explore other methods of reconstructing the
record with the only remaining option being to use Justice Devitte's
handwritten notes.

"Unfortunately, the judge's notebooks too could not be located."

Justice Devitte resigned last year and cannot be located as he is now in the
United Kingdom.

"It is against this background that the record of appeal has not been

Mr Manzunzu said an urgent meeting to decide the way forward was called and
resolved that a committee of inquiry be appointed to investigate the
circumstances of the disappearance of the six tapes and why there was no
monitoring of the condition of the recording machine to ensure proceedings
were being properly recorded.

He said security measures have since been tightened to curb any recurrence
of similar events or interference with records.

The two clerks who did the recording a G Mutakiwa and a Mr Chimanga both
confirmed in their reports that the machines had problems.

"When the matter resumed in February 2002, I was the one who recorded the
first tapes. After recording the first ones I discovered that the machine
was developing a mechanical problem by producing unusual sound.

"I reported the matter to the judge who then instructed me to report to Mr
Dahwa. I reported to Mr Dahwa at the same time looking for another court.

"When I failed to find another court that is when we proceeded using the
court. In the middle of the matter I was asked to go to Mutare High Court
circuit with Justice Chatikobo since Mr Chimanga was not yet familiar with
official opening. I also highlighted to him about the problem of the
machine," said G Mutakiwa in a report.

In his report, Mr Chimanga also confirmed that the recording machines were
faulty. He said he informed Justice Devitte who at one time personally drove
Mr Dahwa to the Rotten Row Magistrates' Court to look for a replacement.

After failing to secure another machine, Mr Chimanga said Mr Dahwa fixed the
machine in Court F in his presence and it started recording.

He said the trial resumed the following day and he tested the machine and
found that it was working.

In her report, Mrs Fambi said since the trial was long with many tapes she
distributed them to all the transcribers since one could not manage to
transcribe them.

She said she discovered that some tapes were missing when she was
distributing the tapes and notified her superior, a Mr Musango.

Mrs Fambi said she kept the tapes on the floor in her office since she did
not have a cabinet with a lock.

"Every morning when I came for work I found my door locked as I had left it
and there was no sign of break in.

"We tried to transcribe the remaining 17 tapes since the missing were only
six and thought a record could be produced but to our surprise there was
nothing recorded on the remaining 17 tapes which then means the whole case
was not recorded including the missing tapes," said Mrs Fambi.

It has also emerged that the matter was only brought to the attention of the
Judge President, Justice Paddington Garwe on September 13 2002 after which
an inquiry was instituted.

It was not also unclear what happened to the report made to the Chief
Magistrates Office about the matter while the former acting Registrar of the
High Court a Mr Machakaire, who is said to have handled the initial inquiry,
has since retired on medical grounds.

Legal experts who spoke to The Herald yesterday said the only remedy in
matters like this was for the appellant, Cde Manyonda, to petition the
Supreme Court for a retrial.

However, they said a retrial would have complications because the original
trial judge has since resigned and if a new one hears the matter he or she
might reach a different verdict which might itself be controversial.

The lawyers said another problem was that the credibility of the witnesses
would be in doubt because some might have lapses in memory while others
might have their recollections contaminated by the post trial publicity.

This is the not the first time that records of cases involving Mr Tsvangirai
have gone missing.

Last year, a docket in a case in which he was being charged for calling for
the violent removal of President Mugabe from office went missing from the
Attorney General's Office in unclear circumstances.

The opposition leader has since been freed on the charges.

The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Cde Patrick
Chinamasa could not be reached for comment last night.
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U.S. Man Killed in Africa Aided Kids

Tuesday November 12, 2002 7:30 PM

TORRINGTON, Conn. (AP) - While his brother worked in a school in Zimbabwe,
Dick Gilman quietly collected money, books and clothes in Connecticut to
send to needy students in Africa.

Gilman, 58, was in Zimbabwe to help out at the school when he was shot and
killed Monday by border police. The shooting is under investigation.

Gilman was a former middle school teacher who left that job in the 1970s to
run his own computer consulting business.

He left for Africa last month to help at his brother's school and arrange to
get food to the children, he wife, Mary Gilman, said in Tuesday's Waterbury
Republican-American. He was supposed to be back in Connecticut by

Longtime friend Art Perret said Tuesday that Gilman did not like to talk
about the humanitarian work he did. ``He did this all on his own, without
any fanfare, without anyone knowing about it,'' Perret said.

Gilman and Perret were ``hiking buddies'' and had discussed Gilman's trip on
a hike last month. Perret said he asked Gilman if he was concerned about the
recent violence and uprisings in Zimbabwe.

``He said, `No, people are very kind down there,''' Perret said.

Zimbabwe police told the newspaper Gilman was shot while trying to flee
after arguing with border officers about his passport and travel papers.

Mary Gilman said she found it difficult to believe he argued with an
authority figure in a foreign country he loved and had visited before.

Perret said he also found the police account suspicious.

Gilman had traveled by car from South Africa to Zimbabwe before, Perret
said, and was accustomed to going through border crossings.

``It would be very uncharacteristic of Dick to run through a blockade,''
Perret said. ``He was a guy with a lot of confidence, no fear, but he wasn't

Gilman was an avid traveler and outdoorsman who hiked, kayaked and biked. He
once rode a bicycle in New York from Albany to Buffalo, and biked from
Torrington to Washington, Perret said. Last summer, he bicycled through
Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.


U.S. officials investigate shooting of American in Zimbabwe


HARARE, Zimbabwe, Nov. 12 - Border police in Zimbabwe shot and killed a
Connecticut man who was on a humanitarian mission in Africa, the U.S.
Embassy said Tuesday.
       Richard Gilman, 58, a computer consultant and former teacher from
Torrington, Conn., was shot near the border with Mozambique on Monday after
allegedly speeding from a police roadblock, police and state media said.
       ''The circumstances of the death remain unclear,'' a statement from
the U.S. Embassy said. ''We have sent people there to talk to anyone who can
help us understand what happened.''
       Gilman had been visiting his brother in the border town of Mutare,
about 160 miles east of Zimbabwe's capital, Harare. He donated supplies and
helped with nutritional programs at a local school where his brother was a
       The state-run Herald newspaper reported Tuesday that an American
driving a Toyota Corolla with South African license plates was stopped at a
roadblock. The man's visa was valid until January, but the car's temporary
import permit had expired Oct. 28.
       According to the newspaper, the American became uncooperative and
drove off at high speeds, forcing officers in front of him to jump out of
his path. One officer fired at the car's left rear wheel.
       A second bullet went through the car's rear license plate, ricocheted
and struck Gilman in the shoulder, The Herald said.
       He was taken to a medical facility, where he died three hours later
under police guard.
       Police headquarters in Harare said the shooting was being
investigated. No further information was immediately available from police
on Tuesday.
       On Monday, Zimbabwe police told the Waterbury Republican-American, a
Connecticut newspaper, that Gilman argued with border officers about his
passport and travel papers.
       ''He tried to run away and that's when he was shot,'' officer John
Nahanda was quoted as telling the newspaper.
       Gilman's wife, Mary, said from her Torrington home Monday that her
husband was returning from a round of golf. She said she found it difficult
to believe he had argued with an authority figure in a foreign country he
loved and had visited before.
       Gilman had been in Mutare almost three weeks, and was to return to
Connecticut in 10 days, the newspaper reported.
       ''He went there to help children and get food,'' his wife said.
       Even before his trip, Gilman had sent food and supplies, including
books and clothing, to the school at his own expense, his longtime friend
Art Perret said.
       ''I went hiking with him just a few weeks ago,'' Perret said. ''We
talked about his planned trip. I asked him about the volatile situation. He
described the people in the area as friendly. He wasn't worried about his
safety at all.''
       Zimbabwe, wracked by political violence and economic turmoil for 2½
years, is suffering its worst economic crisis independence from Britain in
       At least half the country's 12.5 million people face hunger in coming
months because of a sharp drop in agricultural production blamed on a
drought and the government's seizure of thousands of white-owned commercial

US man dies after Zimbabwe roadblock shooting
            November 12, 2002, 13:45

            An American died in hospital in Zimbabwe after being shot by
police while he tried to flee from a checkpoint in a vehicle without a valid
permit, police said today. A spokesperson confirmed a report in the
state-controlled Herald newspaper that the 54-year-old lecturer, who was
visiting from neighbouring South Africa, was shot after he tried to over-run
a security roadblock in Zimbabwe's eastern town of Mutare yesterday and died
three hours later.

            The spokesperson declined to give the dead man's name and other
personal details, saying they would only do so once his relatives had been
informed and a police probe was completed. Officials at the US embassy in
Harare confirmed they had heard about the death but were waiting for a
report from the Zimbabwean authorities on the circumstances of the shooting.

            Police said the man, whose US passport had a temporary residence
permit for South Africa, was driving a car with South African registration
whose temporary import licence for Zimbabwe had expired in October. The
police said officers shot at his car twice, and one of the bullets went
through and hit him in the shoulder. - Reuters
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Daily News

      Villagers on violence charges remanded to January

      11/12/02 12:23:20 PM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent

      TWENTY-FIVE villagers in Sizeze communal lands in the Gwanda District
who are facing charges of public violence have been further remanded to 21
January 2003 for trial.

      They appeared before Gwanda magistrate Owen Tagu.Prosecutor Peter
Dzipe told the court that the 25 were part of a group of 38 villagers who
last month went to a neighbouring resettlement farm and destroyed crops and
property worth $48 000 in a feud over grazing lands.

      The other 13 are already serving five-year jail terms each.

      Advocate Tim Cherry argued that he needed to consult widely with his
clients in order for him to prepare their defence case.

      The court did not have their warned-and-cautioned statements and it
was agreed with the consent of both parties that the case be postponed to a
later date to allow the police to bring the statements.
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Daily News

      Police thwart MISA road show

      11/12/02 11:04:40 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent

      POLICE in Bulawayo on Friday thwarted efforts by the Media Institute
of Southern Africa (MISA) to mobilise the masses to lobby the government to
allow the licensing of private broadcasters.

      Zenzele Ndebele, a MISA member said the police had initially given
them the greenlight.

      The Bulawayo MISA advocacy committee had organised a road show,
featuring two Bulawayo groups, Bongo Love and IYASA. It was to be held at
Nkulumane Shopping Mall.

      Ndebele said: "We had been given permission to hold the road show by
Superintendent Muzeza on Friday morning. Later that day another police
officer, David Gwenzi, said we could not hold the show."

      According to a letter written to MISA, the police could not sanction
the road show because they did not have enough manpower.

      According to the Public Order and Security Act, it is a criminal
offence to hold a public gathering without notifying the police.
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Daily News - Feature

      A message of hope Jongwe never saw

      11/12/02 11:51:28 AM (GMT +2)

      By Tawanda wa Magaisa

      ON THE morning of 23 October 2002, I received a telephone call
informing me of the sad news of the death of Learnmore Jongwe. It was news
that shocked me beyond belief but when I went onto the Internet, several
messages from our mutual friends confirmed the reality of the tragic event.

      About three weeks before on the 3 October, I had written a letter to
Jongwe which was to be delivered to him by a mutual friend. Sadly, that
letter may never have reached him. It was meant to be a letter of hope.

      It is a letter that I believe my brother would have been happy to
receive - for we had become as close as brothers.

      Today I send the letter to Zimbabwe for the same theme in that letter
is one that applies equally to our present scenario. When you read it, I
will be satisfied that Jongwe will have read it too - for he was one who had
Zimbabwe at heart and would have wanted the same message delivered to all as
it was to him. We are all mere mortals and though our bodies may lose life,
the spirit remains in us all. This is what I said to my friend, and this is
what I am saying to Zimbabwe too:

      My brother Jongwe,
      I have been meaning to communicate with you ever since the tragic news
reached these shores. I am grateful that our mutual brother Terry has
provided this opportunity. I hope this one finds you well and I hope you
will be happy to read these few words from me. I would have loved to make
them hand-written, but time and technology only allow me to type. But they
remain my words - true and well meant.

      I do not know where to start. I can only say, my brother, sad as it
is, we must never lose hope. The enormous walls that they have erected
around you are not the ones that restrict your freedom, for freedom lies in
your heart. Some day the walls can break down but if your heart is not free,
you will forever commit yourself to oppression.

      As they say in that epic film Shawshank Redemption, fear can hold you
prisoner but only hope can set you free, so we must all have hope and look
to the future. If ever I thought that there was no hope, I would not think
about you and I would not be sitting here, writing to you.

      Break down the shackles of fear and despair and bring yourself into
the embracing arms of hope.

      At a time when things are difficult, it should not be surprising that
there will not be many friends. Indeed, some might even shun association.
When we are in such hard situations we feel let down, betrayed and
forgotten. Sometimes we gnaw at our hearts and get depressed at the
loneliness of our world. But I must say to you that regardless of the
circumstances, there are still some people who will never forget you and who
will try to be there whenever possible. I can assure you that I am one of
those. If there is anything I could do to assist, please let me know. Some
people from that (I cannot name our old place of employment) law firm and
who are now in these isles call me from time to time to enquire about your
welfare and they too send their warmest regards.

      The most important thing, my brother, is acceptance. That is an
entirely personal thing because you communicate with your heart. When you do
that you set yourself free. You let your mind wander and enjoy all that life
has to offer. Shakespeare may have said "life is but a walking shadow, a
poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and is heard no
more," and that "life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
signifying nothing". Indeed, it would seem thus.

      But I believe it is more than that - life is an enriching experience.

      The crests of waves that we ride and the troughs and swamps through
which we wade, are all important episodes in our lives. We have to pay
attention to the road as we move along because when we do that we not only
learn, but the road also teaches us how to move forward. And that road is
not always smooth - but then, the hardships that we encounter should make us
more resolute, strong and capable of withstanding other problems that we
might encounter in future. That is why this experience should not be
disheartening as such - and why, far from causing you to feel low, it should
spur you on. For the future holds many challenges, and if you can go through
this, and I am hopeful you will, then you should be better able to handle
whatever comes.

      We have known each other for a long time now. I remember the
enthusiastic boy who followed me all the way to the law school that day in
1995, the boy who always wanted to succeed and was ever willing to learn. I
remember too, the humble boy who sought advice when he was running for
office at university. I cannot forget the young man who followed me all the
way to that law firm after doing so well at varsity. Those were the days -
but we cannot think that similar days will not come again. Jongwe, we have
to hope - it's important to stay positive.

      If we all knew what would happen to us in future, life would not be
worth living. It is the expectation of the unexpected that makes life such
an adventure - an interesting epoch. Life, the greatest teacher, counsels us
that we can learn and that we can change even when the impossible seems to
be the only possibility. In life there are many things that could have
happened but did not and others still that might not have happened but did.
Such, as they say, is life. As to the future, Time, the magician, will tell.

      My main word to you, as I have repeated in this letter, is hope. It is
that which keeps us going. You are a versatile man and I am sure you are
doing your best to cope and survive under difficult conditions.

      That's the spirit my man - just keep going. I am not sure if they
allow you to read - but if at all there is a book that I would like to send
for, it is a book that will give you the power to look to the future. Pass
the message to the bearers of this letter and I will send it soon.

      It is the book with the message that when you really want something,
the whole universe will conspire to make it happen for you.

      So after all that has happened could Shakespeare have been right after
all? That "life is but a walking shadow and a poor player, a tale told by an
idiot"? Perhaps. But I insist that it is far more than that and that we
still have cause to look to the future. I did not write this letter as an
obituary - it is what I felt about this man in real life.
      Today, it is just a tribute to my friend. It was meant for him but I
am sure he would have been pleased too, if the message that I intended to
deliver to him could be delivered to Zimbabwe.

      It is a message of hope. It is why I have sent it to you. The walls of
poverty, terror, and desperation are not the ones that should keep us
prisoners - it is the fear and despair in our hearts that can hold us down.
Once we overcome that we can achieve our goal - not to destroy, but to build
on what we have and become better again. And I am sure Jongwe will be happy
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Black Money Market Dogs Zimbabwe
      The Associated Press, Tue 12 Nov 2002

      HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Restaurant customers in Zimbabwe pay with
thick wads of local currency bulging in their bags. Real estate buyers hand
over deposits of millions of Zimbabwean dollars stuffed into suitcases and
car trunks.

      Newspaper advertisements have begun offering currency counting
machines for sale.

      With inflation out of control and a massive shortage of hard currency,
the value of the Zimbabwe dollar has collapsed - the latest sign of this
nation's economic collapse.

      ``We are looking at total meltdown. It could in the next few months
push the country into absolute collapse,'' said Harare political analyst
Brian Raftopoulos.

      On the black market, the value of the Zimbabwe dollar fluctuated
wildly Monday. By the afternoon, $1 bought 1,800 Zimbabwe dollars compared
to Friday's 1,500.

      ``The rate is changing by the hour,'' said one black market dealer on
condition of anonymity.

      The official rate stands firm at 55 to 1.

      Meanwhile, exasperated officials at the central bank are running out
of local currency as black marketeers and money launderers withdraw massive
amounts of bank notes to buy hard currency.

      Central bank officials said they would monitor large cash withdrawals
from banks of more than 500,000 Zimbabwe dollars in a bid to trap them.

      The government has repeatedly refused to devalue the currency.
Unofficial trading has been spurred by a severe hard currency shortage
stemming from political instability that has disrupted the main hard
currency earning industries: tobacco, tourism and gold mining.

      Independent economists say the black market exchange rate has been
pushed up by desperate state enterprises seeking hard currency at unofficial
rates to pay debts for oil, imported electricity and external fees and debts
owed by the state airline. Many of those debts face foreclosure and the
termination of supplies and services.

      The central bank said last week it deferred a decision on issuing a
1,000 Zimbabwe dollar bank note until after the retirement at the end of the
year of Leonard Tsumba, the bank's governor.

      The highest existing bill is 500 Zimbabwe dollars. With official
inflation at a record 140 percent and forecast to rise to at least 500
percent early next year, the biggest Zimbabwe note, red in color, has become
known as a Ferrari, after the red Italian sports car that goes very fast.

      Thousands of cars were not going anywhere in Harare on Monday.
Travelers reported no gas at stations along the 160 mile main route from the
eastern border town of Mutare to Harare.

      Oil industry executives say the shortages have been caused by the
dearth of hard currency to pay for state-controlled imports and the
near-collapse of a deal with Libya that would supply 70 percent of the
country's monthly gasoline requirements.

      The state National Oil Company holds a monopoly on imports and has
pegged gas prices in a bid to stem inflation.

      Gasoline in Zimbabwe is the cheapest in the region at about 68 US
cents a gallon, half the price of locally produced milk or beer.

      Gas imports are being heavily subsidized by the state. Private oil
industry executives say on the open market gas would be bought and shipped
into the landlocked country for up to about $4 a gallon, raising the
consumer price by 600 percent.

      Without a heavy price increase, shortages will continue, analysts say.

      At least 6.7 million Zimbabweans, more than half the population, face
hunger in coming months because of a sharp drop in agricultural production
blamed on a drought and the government's seizure of thousands of white-owned
commercial farms.
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Daily News

      Pensioners demand benefits overhaul

      11/12/02 12:18:02 PM (GMT +2)

      Business Reporter

      impoverished pensioners want the government to completely overhaul
pension benefits for the calender year starting January 2003.

      In a letter dated 27 September 2002 addressed to July Moyo, the
Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Dr Herbert Murerwa,
the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, and the director of
pensions, the pensioners called upon the government to review their monthly
benefits and allowances.

      "We hereby kindly request your highest authority and co-operation for
a complete review and overhaul of our pensions benefits," read the letter.
      The pensioners said the high cost of living, reflected in a galloping
inflation currently pegged at 139 percent, demands that the benefits be

      According to a letter in the possession of The Daily News, the pension
benefits were way below the inflation rate.

      One pensioner said most pensioners were now living in abject poverty.

      He said: "Remember that on average most pensioners are between 40 and
55 years of age and still had children attending school."
      Unlike their colleagues in government, the former civil servants said
they were not getting salary adjustments regularly.

      The retired civil servant demanded that government award them
increases every time their colleagues received salary increments.
      "We would like a situation where if civil servants get a rise we also
get one," said the pensioner.

      The pensioners accused government of deliberately and systematically
downplaying their problems.

      They demanded that the former employer pay outstanding pension
increments of 78 percent backdated to 1998. They further demanded that they
be paid a 20 percent cost of living adjustment awarded to civil servants in
August last year.

      Among other grievances, the pensioners want to be paid an annual bonus
equivalent to their monthly salaries.

      "We also request that all State pensioners' wives and children receive
free treatment in government hospitals as is the case with the war
 veterans," read the last part of the letter.

      Although Moyo and Murerwa could not be reached for comment by the time
of going to press, some economic analysts said the government was unlikely
to meet the pensioners' demands considering the appalling state of the

      The analysts cited mass starvation in the country, a collapsing health
delivery system, poor remuneration for teachers among other critical areas
as posing the greatest challenge.
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Daily News

      Chanakira blames insanity for economic woes

      11/12/02 12:19:38 PM (GMT +2)

      By Chris Mhike

      INSANITY, not Tony Blair, nor the British, nor the white race, is the
cause of Zimbabwe's economic woes, says Nigel Chanakira, the deputy chairman
of Kingdom Financial Holdings Limited.

      Addressing delegates attending the Zimbabwe National Chamber of
Commerce (ZNCC) conference in Nyanga last week, Chanakira said Zimbabwean
authorities had repeatedly failed to take corrective action for the
rectification of failed economic policies. Such repeated failure, said the
international businessman, was tantamount to insanity.

      Chanakira said: "Insanity prevails where you do things the same way
every time, with disastrous consequences and yet each time expect different
results. In Zimbabwe there has been a heavy cost to our own policies. The
paradigm shift we need so much has not been forthcoming."

      The Zimbabwean economy has been rapidly contracting in the past five
years as a direct result of government's warped economic policies.

      The chaotic land "reform" programme, price controls, the continued
expansion of Cabinet, coupled with high government expenditure and isolation
by the international community, are high on the list of the catalogue of
government's retrogressive political moves in the last five years.

      During the last half of the decade aggregate output from the country's
productive sector declined by 25,8 percentage points in cumulative terms.
      Export levels have progressively declined from US$3,1 billion (Z$170,5
billion) in 1996 to US$1,4 billion (Z$77 billion) this year. Inflation
reached a peak of 139,9 percent at the end of September this year, up from
31,7 percent in 1998. Output and productivity in the agricultural sector
fell drastically since the year 2000, when the so-called "Third Chimurenga"
land invasions commenced.

      But the government has strong-headedly continued to pursue these
ruinous policies. Government officials, especially President Mugabe, have
sought to divorce the nation's economic crisis from the flawed policies.

      British Premier Tony Blair, the International Monetary Fund, the World
Bank and the white race have been invariably blamed. Blair's name features
in almost every speech made at home or abroad by Mugabe and Jonathan Moyo,
the Minister of State for Information and Publicity in the President's

      Chanakira said: "People naturally want to blame others, or something
else, for their own problems.

      "If Tony Blair is really the problem, why do we not organise ourselves
and go to 10 Downing Street and find solutions for the nation's problems at
the point of the origin of the problem?"

      10 Downing Street in the official residence of the British Prime
Minister, in London, United Kingdom. Chanakira appealed to the business
community to rise above partisan politics and make a more positive
contribution to the healing of Zimbabwe's economy.

      Chanakira said: "This talk of Blair is ducking and diving. The time
for politics is over. The elections are over - I hope. So as the politicians
tear each other business leaders should be doing business, coming up with
solutions to Zimbabwe's economic problems."

      He said the successes of business people at the domestic and
international levels would in the long run, force political leaders to
respect the role
      of the business community in the running of the economy, in terms of
policy formulation.

      The ZNCC, a body comprised of business leaders from all the provinces
of Zimbabwe drawn from all sectors of the economy, undertook to enhance its
participation in the revival of the economy.
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Leader Page

      How about donating fat pay cheques to the poor?

      11/12/02 11:44:51 AM (GMT +2)

      By Cathy Buckle

      I WISH I was an Ethiopian.

      If I was I would be filled with pride at the recent announcement made
by that country's leaders.

      Last week the entire Ethiopian government announced that they would
each donate one month's salary to help people starving to death in their

      If I was an Ethiopian I might be hungry, thin and tired but I think my
heart and soul would feel good because at least I would know that the
leaders of the country do care about my suffering and are trying their best
to help me.

      What shame upon shame for Zimbabwe's leaders yet again, with the
announcement of pay rises for our leader, Cabinet ministers and other top
government officials.

      Last week, President Mugabe's salary and those of his deputies,
government ministers and Members of Parliament were increased by an
      average 20 percent with immediate effect.

      The salary increments were the second since February this year and are
backdated to 1 July 2002.

      The latest pay rises come against a backdrop of numerous strikes by
government and parastatal workers over pay increases and better working

      Two weeks ago health workers in government hospitals went on strike,
crippling the public health sector.

      They claim the government misled them when it said their salaries
would be increased in October.

      The Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe called a strike, now four
weeks old, over pay. In reprisal more than 600 of their members have since
been sacked.

      On the other hand, the strike by Air Zimbabwe engineers over pay
increases and improved working conditions is into its second month.

      More than six million Zimbabweans are surviving by trapping mice in
barren fields, putting plastic bags over flying ants' nests and eating wild
leaves and berries.

      Their votes are vital but their hunger and suffering apparently means

      I could not stop myself from switching on a calculator and doing a few
sums to see just exactly what I could do with my monthly salary, if I was
one of the gallant men leading Zimbabwe in November 2002.

      Not allowing for the four months' back pay on my recently increased
salary and just going by the published figures in the Presidential Salary
and Allowances Notice, this is what I could put in my shopping trolley at
today's prices - assuming of course that I could actually buy these
commodities and would only have to pay the controlled prices:
      Ten trays of eggs; 50 loaves of bread; 100 litres of milk; 100kg of
sugar; 100 cobs of green maize; four jars of coffee; six boxes of teabags;
100kg of maize-meal; two pockets of potatoes; 20kg of beef; 10 packets of
local biscuits and assorted fruits and vegetables.

      Still having well over half my salary left and knowing that I don't
have to pay my domestic staff or school fees, I might then treat myself to
one watermelon, which now only costs $850. Maybe I'd even buy all my
children one apple. They are only $80 each, after all.

      I might then put $50 000 into my savings account and donate one
hundred thousand dollars to the six million starving people I serve.

      It is they, after all, who pay my wage, school fees and all those
other allowances I regularly receive.

      If I was just an ordinary teacher in Zimbabwe, by the time I'd paid
the transport charges to work and back every day, my domestic staff's wages,
school fees and rent, I could only just afford to buy the two pockets of
potatoes and 50 loaves of bread on the shopping list - everything else would
be in my dreams.

      I wouldn't be able to donate anything to the six million starving
people in the country or put anything at all into my savings book, but with
a bit of luck I might find some watermelon seeds at the roadside which I
could collect and plant.

      At least I would have the empty raffia sacks from the potatoes to use
as blankets and the used plastic bags from the bread to trap flying ants
with, so perhaps my life wouldn't be so bad after all.

      The gap between the rich and the poor in Zimbabwe is now wider than
the Grand Canyon.

      Last week, as 100 or more cars sat in queues at the few filling
stations which had fuel outside Harare, an official convoy of armoured
vehicles went past.

      At the head of the convoy were two police motorcycles. Behind them
were a Mercedes and a BMW and behind them, 14 armoured vehicles.

      Armed and aggressive-looking soldiers glared out at the world which
they had ordered to stop.

      They guarded their precious cargo of deadly cannons but did not seem
to realise that the faces looking back at them are those of people near
death already.

      What is wrong with you, the men and women who lead Zimbabwe?

      How about donating one month's salary to the more than six-and-a-half
million starving people who supposedly voted you back into power.

      Even one week's salary would do.
      I wish I was an Ethiopian.
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      Beitbridge needs $10m for solar eclipse face-lift

      11/12/02 12:19:19 PM (GMT +2)

      From Oscar Nkala

      THE Beitbridge District Solar Eclipse Committee has appealed for $10
million for preparations for the 4 December event.

      Sifelani Modeme, the committee chairman, made the call after players
in the tourism industry failed to respond to an earlier appeal.

      The appeal was made after the committee realised that the Beitbridge
Rural District Council would not be able to finance and carry out the work
required to clean up the town and give it a face-lift.

      "We have not yet received any response to the appeal, but we expect
players in the tourism industry to respond positively. There is so much work
to be done and we do not expect council alone to provide the resources to
give the town a face-lift. We have less than a month to go before the great
event. That is why we are once again appealing for urgent support."

      The $10 million is meant to cover the purchase of new refuse bins and
to tar access roads around the town, among other things.

      The rural district council has applied to the Ministry of Local
Government for financial assistance to improve service delivery in the town.

      Meanwhile, Beitridge has just experienced a week-long water crisis.

      The council has advertised its intention to borrow $300 million from
government under the Public Sector Investment Programme to upgrade its sewer

      Originally designed to serve a population of 10 000, the sewer system
is now failing to cope with 30 000 people now living in Beitbridge.

      The border town also serves a huge transit population moving to and
from South Africa on a daily basis.

      Meanwhile, the National Board of Casinos has donated $10 million to
Linkfest to host a five-day entertainment gala from 1 to 5 November.

      Modeme said the committee was working with the Linkfest organisers to
hire drama, poetry and dance groups to entertain the expected tourists.

      Centres competing for the solar eclipse clientele are Plumtree, the
Matopos National Park, Gwanda and the Victoria Falls.
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      MDC to challenge grain seizure

      11/12/02 12:14:31 PM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent

      THE MDC will soon go to court to force the government to release 132
tonnes of maize grain held by the State at Beitbridge border post.

      MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, last Friday travelled to Beitbridge for
meetings with Customs officials over the consignment being held in a
warehouse at the border post.

      William Bango, Tsvangirai's spokesman said: "The president held a
meeting with the Customs and clearing agents."

      Bango said people were in desperate need of the staple food and the
MDC had no option but to take the matter to court.

      While Tsvangirai was locked in a meeting with Customs and clearing
officials, hundreds of people waited desperately at Lutumba Grain Marketing
Board depot to buy the maize, even though they had no idea when delivery
would be made.

      The MDC national chairman, Isaac Matongo, said the government should
speedily process the release of the seized consignment for the benefit of
the starving people.

      Matongo said: "The maize will benefit all the people irrespective of
their political affiliation. We are facing starvation as a nation and we
need a combined effort from both Zanu PF and MDC to feed the people."
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