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

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Zimbabwe's currency collapses

November 05 2002 at 05:54AM

By Beauregard Tromp

Harare - Zimbabwe could face economic meltdown this year unless its government acts to end the economic crisis that has seen the country's currency collapse in the last fortnight, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Just two weeks ago Zimbabweans were paying Z$750 for an American dollar on the black market. On Monday, after a fortnight of freefall, a staggering Z$1 600 was needed to buy US$1 - and it is expected that the beleagured currency will fall further.

Meanwhile, the IMF has predicted that inflation could rise to 522 percent next year. IMF country representative in Zimbabwe Gerry Johnson said on Monday: "You're moving into a situation where it could go much higher than that. Once you get to that point, it can go very fast."

With prices rising daily, businesses selling imported goods have stopped advertising prices. One computer company's adverts simply say "$ Call next to items for sale".

Beef prices rose 100 percent overnight
And in supermarkets the price of imported goods like butter last week doubled, reflecting the fall of the Zimbabwe dollar against the rand.

Zimbabweans now pay up to Z$160 for R1 as foreign currency-starved businesses clamour for anything they can get.

And it's not just imported goods that double in price. On Monday beef prices rose 100 percent overnight, anticipating a shortage caused by the slaughter of three-quarters of Zimbabwe's commercial beef herd.

The slaughter, forced by the eviction of thousands of white farmers, will turn Zimbabwe from the region's most famous beef exporter into a net importer of beef within a year, say industry insiders.

Movement for Democratic Change economic affairs spokesperson Eddie Cross said the meltdown had been "engineered by the ruling Zanu-PF party".

'In 22 years, the life expectancy of our people has declined 22 years'
"In 22 years, the life expectancy of our people has declined 22 years on average. We have gone from being a net exporter of food to being dependent on imports for 75 percent of what we need to survive." - Foreign Service

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Sunday Times (SA)

Food woes worsen in Zimbabwe

HARARE - Chronic food shortages in Zimbabwe were worsening and growing
numbers of infants were at risk of serious malnourishment, the United
Nations warns.

At least 6.7 million Zimbabweans, more than half the population, face hunger
in the 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.

Although the government had allocated local funds to emergency feeding
programmes for infants and other vulnerable groups a lack of imports meant
"food is simply not available," the UN Relief and Recovery Unit said in its
latest humanitarian situation report yesterday.

It gave no information on deaths from starvation, but the health ministry
said in September the worst effects of malnutrition were being suffered by
children, the elderly and the sick, and hunger was hastening deaths of those
with Aids-linked illnesses.

For the first time in decades, doctors have reported cases of kwashiorkor, a
chronic deficiency of calories and protein that leaves infants with swollen
stomachs caused by excess body fluids.

The UN report said increased food imports were urgently needed and called on
the government to abolish its monopoly on importing grain.

Aside from relief agencies, only the state Grain Marketing Board is allowed
to import corn, the staple food, but it does not have enough hard currency
to buy adequate food, the report said.

The World Food Programme and its private aid agency partners plan to
distribute this month about 60,000 tons in emergency food aid to about 3
million people, up from the 1.9 million people it fed in October.

The WFP has received about half the donor funds for Zimbabwe it has
requested. It indefinitely suspended hunger relief efforts in one district
last month ahead of a parliament by-election after ruling party activists
threatened aid workers and seized donated grain.

Those deliveries have yet to resume.

Aid workers have accused the government of using food as a political tool
against the members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, which
narrowly lost parliamentary elections in 2000 and a disputed presidential
poll in March.

Acute hard currency shortages since 1999 have led to shortages of essential
imports, medicines and gasoline and have pushed up the illegal black market
exchange rate to more than Z$1,500 to one US dollar, compared to the
official exchange rate of 55-1.

Some gas stations again ran dry in Harare on Monday, with long lines of cars
waiting for fuel. Food lines are common outside stores promising deliveries
and sales of corn meal, bread, sugar, cooking oil and milk.

Food stores raised the price of beef by up to 100% on Monday, citing higher
costs of production, supply and distribution.

Farm disruptions and political violence have slashed the nation's production
of tobacco, the main hard currency earner, and receipts from tourism have

The UN report said milk production had declined sharply across the country,
leading most stores to ration dairy products to customers. The national herd
of dairy cows was estimated to have dropped to about 50,000 cattle from
70,000 last year and 96,000 in 1997.

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U.S. looking at relief options in Zimbabwe

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 - The United States, charging Zimbabwean authorities with
politicizing famine relief, said on Monday it was looking at ways to ensure
food reaches Zimbabweans who need it, regardless of political affiliation.

''We're talking to others on how to make sure the grain gets to
people who need it,'' said a senior State Department official, who asked not
to be identified.
A deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs, Mark
Bellamy, was quoted on Saturday as saying the United States was considering
intrusive and interventionist measures that could challenge Zimbabwean
''The dilemmas in the next six months may bring us face to face with
Zimbabwe's sovereignty,'' said Bellamy, quoted in The Washington Times. He
gave no details of methods.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the review of food
distribution methods arose after the Zimbabwean authorities seized grain the
World Food Programme was distributing and gave it to supporters of the
''Politicalization of food distribution by the ruling party in the
face of an urgent need and real human suffering is very cynical. It's a very
self-serving response to a major humanitarian catastrophe,'' he told a
''We need to look very carefully at this situation to make sure that
we can monitor the use of the food and make sure it goes to the neediest of
people without any political consideration. So we're looking at that now,''
he added.
Once the breadbasket of southern Africa, Zimbabwe now needs food aid
because of a sharply lower maize output, which aid agencies blame partly on
President Robert Mugabe's seizure of land from minority whites for
redistribution to landless blacks.
The government says the shortage is due solely to a drought that has
hit small-scale black farmers, who account for 70 percent of Zimbabwe's
annual maize output.
An estimated 4.5 million people are expected to need aid between
September and November. The figure is expected to rise to 6.7 million
between December and March 2003.
The United States does not recognize Mugabe as the legitimate leader
of Zimbabwe, on the grounds the ruling party rigged the presidential
election in March.
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EU Grants More Humanitarian Aid to SADC

Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (Maputo)

November 5, 2002
Posted to the web November 5, 2002


The European Union has pledged a further 310 million Euros (about 310
million US dollars) to help Southern African countries face the current
drought-related humanitarian crisis, according to a statement from the EU
Maputo office received by AIM on Tuesday.

The largest share of this amount is to go to Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Zambia,
described as the most needy countries in the region.

Of this sum, that covers about 40 per cent of the identified needs, the EU
will directly manage 177 million Euros, earmarked for the acquisition of
272,000 tonnes of foodstuffs and for humanitarian aid.

The EU says that the idea is to buy the food in the local regional markets
"so as not to disturb the functioning of the local markets or interfere with
local consumption habits".

In this context the European Commission is to buy 45,000 tonnes of food,
particularly maize, in the northern provinces of Mozambique, to be
distributed in Malawi. It may sound paradoxical that Mozambique is selling
maize to Malawi while it is facing food shortages itself. But because of
difficult communications between the northern and southern Mozambique, it
makes better economic sense to use maize surpluses from the north in Malawi,
than truck them to the food deficit areas in southern Mozambique.

The EU believes that the current crisis in Southern Africa is as much the
result of human action as of natural circumstances. "This crisis is not a
mere accumulation of circumstances, but a humanitarian structural crisis
that may last for some time.

The governments of the involved countries should firmly assume their
responsibilities and find solutions to questions of a structural nature
which lie behind poverty", reads the EU note
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Business Day

Aid to Zimbabwe must stop


NOW that some of our usually illinformed African National Congress (ANC) MPs
have subjected the British defence secretary to an interrogation, I hope we
will see a similar event with a Zimbabwean minister. Questions regarding the
violence and general intimidation of the population need to be answered.

Competent politicians usually see through political posturing. It is
blindingly obvious to even a layman that land acquisition is not the real
issue. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's tenure is up and he is following
the path of the usual African dictator who refuses to relinquish power (and
the numerous perks they award themselves).

Our erstwhile MPs should be concentrating on what is happening in Zimbabwe
which has nothing to do with Britain. The "illegal regime" is committing all
the atrocities. The recent "misunderstandings" in government circles
regarding Nepad (the New Partnership for Africa's Development) and political
or merely economic peer review has reinforced our "no response" to
happenings in Zimbabwe.

Britain and the US are constantly kicked in the teeth by tinpot African
dictatorships who insist on being allowed to do whatever they please. The
latter still demand that these two countries supply unlimited funds to keep
them afloat. If not, they are hauled over the coals.

The answer is blindingly obvious: western countries must stop supplying aid.
Mugabe has publicly stated leave Zimbabwe to him; he must ensure his
citizens are adequately fed and have jobs. The proof of his policies will be
seen next year when Zimbabwe again demands aid from the west.

Is the ANC prepared to bet that Zimbabwe will be self- sufficient in food

Howard Skeens Sunward Park
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Authorities Should Tackle Rampant Disorder At Uz

The Daily News (Harare)

November 4, 2002
Posted to the web November 4, 2002

The University of Zimbabwe (UZ) is a victim of corruption, maladministration
and everything associated with negative contribution to success.

Something needs to be done about the institution before it is totally
destroyed by assumed patriots of the Zanu PF variety who rule UZ instead of
administering it.

The flawed constitution used to run the institution by the administration is
actually the chief impediment against progress and development.

The Ordinance 30 section of the constitution is a typical tyrannical
representation of the manifestation of evil on earth.

Students are not allowed to hold political gatherings on campus, the defence
being that such meetings lead to destruction of property.

Surely if an institution like a university does not allow students to gather
and deliberate on national issues or any other issues that concern their
lives, then there is a bleak future for Zimbabwe.

A university is a market place of ideas where students from all political
parties should be given a forum to discuss and map a clear way forward
pertaining to the future of their country.

Can it be anyone or someone's problem that Zanu PF commands the least
affiliation among UZ students?

Furthermore, students are not allowed to consume beer on campus because they
will destroy property!

The banning of alcohol on campus is intended to frustrate students more than
the purported help. Lecturers drink alcohol from the senior common room and
even do that during the day and is it not true that a drunken lecturer is
more dangerous than a drunken student?

It is only the drunken lecturer who can mislead both the drunken student and
the larger percentage of the sober students in the lecture room.

Students drink beer in order to forget their hunger and it is their right to
decide where and how to consume alcohol unless alcohol is no longer allowed
in Zimbabwe.

Untrained and unlearned university security guards are actually a threat to
the security of students. This is a point of worry because the security
guards act according to instructions from the Vice-Chancellor who is their
immediate superior, before the Chancellor, who is the President of the

It's, therefore, an open secret that these guards are Zanu PF apologists who
are there to safeguard the interests of their bosses more than the interests
of the students.

A truck disappeared with computers from campus and is it not amusing that
all the cars of senior officials are not searched at the gate by these
ignorant security guards.

Why the university is not employing an independent security system remains
cause for much puzzlement.

The Avondale police are misled every time report implicating students are
made and because they also have interests to protect, they always arrest
students even in cases that do not warrant such arrests.

The job appointment criterion at UZ is very suspect. Posts are awarded
according to how one is loyal to Zanu PF; and, in that process, those who
identify themselves with the cause of the students are booted out or forced
to resign.

The general appearance of the buildings at the University is not only an
eyesore, but also very dangerous, as naked electrical cables are all over
the halls of residence.

The University that was once the biggest institution of academic discourse
is now more of a high school.

Politics must be sidelined in the interests of lifting up this collapsing
institution. There is nothing political about asking those responsible to
have transparent appointments to any arising posts, granting students their
rights of freedom and association, setting a professional security
department and removing all administrators with a track record of stealing
instead of promoting them and and instituting measures to deal with a lot of
other unmentioned misdemeanours at UZ.

As a former UZ student leader and as a concerned citizen of Zimbabwe, I urge
the responsible authorities to do something promptly about the disorder at
UZ and all other tertiary institutions in the same situation.

Madock Chivasa Harare

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Daily News - Leader Page

So many unanswered questions and such outrage at the death of Jongwe

11/5/02 8:51:06 AM (GMT +2)

IN July 1983, Robert Mugabe, accompanied by his mother, travelled to
All Souls Mission in Mutoko. He went to unveil a memorial plaque at the
grave of an Italian doctor, Luisa Guidotti.

Guidotti had been killed in 1979 at the height of Zimbabwe's War for
Independence. Speaking at the memorial, Mugabe said: "The example we draw
from Luisa is love which is the only way to unity. We ourselves must be
united too, and not allow ourselves to have ethnic or tribal differences."
(Luisa by John Dove 1989)

So much has changed in the 19 years since President Mugabe said those
Perhaps Mugabe did not mean what he said about love and unity in 1983;
or perhaps that one abiding principle of togetherness and bonding has simply
been forgotten in the struggle for political survival in Zimbabwe.

When Mugabe travelled to the memorial of Guidotti in 1983, he was not
shot at with tear-gas by the riot police.

At the graveside there were no scuffles and those remembering the life
of the Italian doctor were not beaten up by State officials wielding rubber
Friends and family mourning the passing of Guidotti were not harassed
by the riot police and plainclothes security agents.

Zimbabweans have been utterly disgusted at the events surrounding the
death in prison of Learnmore Jongwe and there are many questions which
demand answers.

Why was Jongwe not given medical assistance when he apparently became
violently ill in the cells? We have been told that Jongwe was receiving
antibiotics for an illness and surely this fact alone should have been
reason to keep a more than normal watch over him. When he apparently began
to become violently ill at 2am in the morning, he was left untended for over
four hours.

Surely once a citizen is taken into the custody of the State the
officials have a responsibility and a duty to care for that person?

Was Jongwe left untended because he had admitted to killing his wife
or because he was the MDC spokesperson?

Why were members of Jongwe's family not personally informed of his
death, but left to hear the agonising news on public radio?

We regularly hear statements on radio and television that a person has
died but cannot be named until the next of kin have been informed. Were
Jongwe's family not told of his death because he had admitted he killed his
wife or because he was the MDC spokesperson?

Why did police invade the private home of mourners? Is not even death
sacred in Zimbabwe anymore? Did the police barge into the depths of grief
and mourning because Jongwe had admitted he killed his wife or because he
was the MDC spokesperson?

Why did the riot police fire tear-gas at 25 000 mourners lining the
streets of Harare? Was it because they did not want people to mourn the
death of a man who had admitted to killing his wife or because they did not
want people to grieve for the MDC spokesman?

There are so many unanswered questions and such outrage at the death
of Jongwe and yet Zimbabweans have demanded their right to grieve.

What unity the people of Harare have shown in the last two weeks as
they have mourned! What courage we have seen this past fortnight! An
estimated 25 000 people lined the streets of Kuwadzana to pay their last
respects to Jongwe. The riot police shot at them with tear-gas, but they
would not be deterred.

Professor Jonathan Moyo, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and The
Herald can say what they like about Jongwe, but they cannot deny the fact
that the people loved this man.

They loved him for his bravery, his conviction and his determination
to make Zimbabwe a better country for us all.

They also knew that he was human and had admitted to killing his wife.
They knew that Jongwe had confessed, handed himself in to the police and was
ready to accept whatever punishment would have been handed down to him by
the courts.

About 25 000 lined the streets to pay their last respects to Jongwe
because they wanted to, and not because they were paid to do so. They
followed the very doctrine that Mugabe preached in 1983 at the funeral of an
Italian doctor - they united in their love.

Zimbabweans mourn the passing of both Mr and Mrs Jongwe. May they rest
in peace.
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Daily News

National Budget certain to be a non-event

11/5/02 8:38:59 AM (GMT +2)

By Eddie Cross

IT IS that time of the year again - a small advert in the national
Press stated the other day that the Minister of Finance will present his
Budget Statement to Parliament on 14 November 2002.

In any country this is always an important occasion. In Zimbabwe it
will be less so because no one really expects very much from the present

All that we can expect this year is more of the same - no real change
in strategy or policy, no real attempt to turn the economy back from the
precipice that lies ahead.

But what concerns me more is that ordinary Zimbabweans do not
appreciate just what the government has done to them in the past decade. I
am reading a book written by an economist who worked with the World Bank for
many years.

In this book, he writes: "Things like high inflation, black market
premiums (on foreign exchange), negative real interest rates, high budget
deficits and poor public services destroy incentives for growth."

Let's look at these six elements in our society and ask what impact
have they had or are having on our country.

Inflation: Official data using controlled prices as one of the
elements in determining the level of prices in the economy, stands at about
140 percent per annum. My own figures for a basket of basic foods indicate
that food inflation has been over 200 percent since August 2001. The rate of
inflation is, in fact, accelerating and recent forecasts project it at over
500 percent per annum in 2003.

Whatever the rate of current inflation, it is destroying the
accumulated savings of this country at a frightening rate.

Our pensioners, without exception, face penury and deprivation. People
no longer save - they spend, and in the search for assets that will not lose
their value they have driven stock and property prices to ridiculous levels.

Insurance and pension policies are a complete waste of time - I have
been paying into five such policies for 45 years and when they mature, they
will not pay for one month's living expenses today.

Black Market Premiums: The informal market for foreign exchange in
this country is not legal, but it is remarkably efficient. Street children
can tell you the price of the rand, the United States dollar and the pound
within hours of a change. Billions of dollars are changing hands in this
market and today the volume traded is probably greater than the "official
trading" that is going on directed by the Reserve Bank.

Last week the US dollar traded at 1 500 to the Zimbabwe dollar. The
official rate is 55 to 1. At 1 500 to 1, a three-course meal in a hotel
would cost you about US$2 each.

The State buys from businessmen who are engaged in foreign trade,
between 40 and 100 percent of their export proceeds at fixed exchange rates.
This amounted to about US$1,3 billion last year. What the State did with
this money is anyone's guess - they are not saying, but it is known that
people connected to the government get foreign exchange allocated to them by
the Reserve Bank and this is often sold on the "market" at enormous profit
to the beneficiaries. If we assume the "real exchange rate" is about 300 to
1, the hidden tax on exporters is an astonishing Z$292 billion dollars a

The result: the productive sector is shrinking in every field of

To compound the problem, all items imported by the private sector are
priced at the parallel market cost of foreign exchange - this, in turn,
means that this becomes another hidden tax on consumers. If we again assume
a "real exchange rate" of 300 to 1, the tax on consumers at present parallel
market exchange rates in a full year will be Z$700 billion a year. Every
consumer pays a high price for these distorted economic factors and the
desperation of wage earners is now becoming more and more apparent.

Negative Real Interest Rates: With inflation soaring into the
stratosphere, interest rates have been grounded for some considerable time
now. The reason: "to help the productive sector"! In fact, the real reason
was to help the State to try and reduce a budget deficit which otherwise
would be in excess of 40 percent this year, that is 40 percent of gross
domestic product (GDP), not State expenditure! The government, acting
through the Reserve Bank, has flooded the market with money and is borrowing
this money back from the market at rates which are at least 100 percent
below the real rate of return required to maintain the value of savings. To
rub salt into the wound, they are insisting that 45 percent of all funds
held by insurance companies and pension funds be invested in "prescribed
assets" or State borrowings.

With government debt now standing at Z$350 billion and arrears on
foreign debt at US$1,2 billion and parastatal debt at Z$100 billion (at
least), we now have a domestic debt of close to Z$500 billion and foreign
debts of US$4,7 billion. If you take the domestic debt at Z$500 billion, the
hidden tax on the interest rates being paid on this massive borrowing is
over Z$500 billion a year. If we add to this the negative effects of low
interest rates on private sector debt, we arrive at figures which rival the
hidden tax on consumers through the parallel market.

The Budget Deficit: For the first 15 years after independence the
government ran a deficit of about 8 percent of GDP per annum. This was
manageable in an environment where the economy was expanding and there were
substantial inflows of foreign aid and soft loans. Since 1995 the Budget
deficit has risen steadily, almost in juxtaposition to the equally steady
decline in GDP and foreign earnings and foreign aid inflows. The deficit
peaked in 2000 at over 35 percent of GDP and
is now being held down only by the harsh interest rate regime being
pursued by the State.

As a consequence of the deficits in the Budget, the national debt has
risen from about Z$700 million in 1980, when we were one of the most
under-borrowed countries in the world, to the present position where the
debt stands at (depending on your exchange rate) US$15 billion.

This is equal to Z$825 billion - one thousand times the debt in 1980.
The fiscal and debt crisis in Argentina is over a national debt which
is equal to 47 percent of GDP; in the case of Zimbabwe our debt by the end
of this year will be three times our GDP! The arrears on the foreign debt
alone will exceed a year's export proceeds.

Poor State Services: With teachers being paid a pittance and our
hospitals short of everything from drugs to soap, our social services are
not in a poor state - they are in crisis. With 7 000 teachers a year dying
or leaving the service for greener pastures, we are going backwards after
many years of progress in this vital area. Two-thirds of all school age
girls are not in school and with HIV infection rates now estimated at 35
percent of the adult population, this is a catastrophe in the making.

This state of affairs must make us one of the really sick economies of
the world. The evidence is not hard to find - life expectancy has declined
22 years since independence - most of it in the past decade.

Living standards are collapsing and the middle class is being
destroyed by the factors outlined above. Under these circumstances there is
absolutely no prospects of any recovery ^ rather we will see still further
decline in 2003.

The budget? Given the huge numbers outlined above, this is a side
show - just for our entertainment before we go back to trying to survive
until this bunch of jokers is tossed out of office, then, and only then, we
can get down to business.

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Daily News

No Zanu PF card, no maize-meal in Mufakose

11/5/02 8:33:38 AM (GMT +2)

Thousands of residents yesterday thronged the Zanu PF offices at the
Mufakose shopping centre in Harare to buy maize-meal.

When the news spread throughout the suburb that there was maize-meal
for sale at the Zanu PF offices, the residents descended on the offices in

But the vast majority of them returned home empty-handed and
disappointed because the yellow maize-meal, selling for $500 for a 20kg bag,
was not for sale to just anybody - a Zanu PF card was more valuable than

"No Zanu PF card, no maize-meal," one party official told this
Asked why they were demanding party cards from people who were clearly
desperate for food, the man, who curtly refused to identify himself, said:
"Who are you yourself? If you are not a member of Zanu PF, uchadya izvozvo
(you will get your comeuppance)."

People were ordered to line up into party districts, before being
slowly admitted into the walled yard by half a dozen baton-wielding police
officers guarding the gate.

The police fell just short of being overwhelmed by the desperate
The maize-meal was from the Murehwa Milling Company.

Some of the residents, mostly women, said their families had not had a
decent meal in weeks because of the scarcity of maize-meal in the country.
Most said alternatives such as rice and potatoes, let alone the
equally scarce bread, were beyond their means.

Jenny Chikotoko, 56, said: "There is no hope for me because I don't
belong to their party."

Asked for comment, Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Zanu PF secretary for
administration, said: "What? Selling maize-meal at our party offices? We don
't allow that. Go and ask them why they are doing that. They should tell you
why they are doing it."

Nathan Shamuyarira, the Zanu PF spokesman, could not be reached for

On Sunday morning, Zanu PF officials sold maize-meal at the Budiriro 1
community centre, while there have been reports of the same trade going on
in Chitungwiza and Kambuzuma.
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Daily News

Beef price rise blamed on Libyans

11/5/02 8:31:00 AM (GMT +2)

By Margaret Chinowaita

THE chairman of the Livestock and Meat Advisory Council, Les Mallett,
has attributed last week's massive 100 percent increase in the price of beef
to the
Libyan market and the destructive nationwide farm invasions.

Mallet said yesterday: "Beef prices have gone up because the local
market is now competing with the Libyan market. It's good competition, but
it is having negative effects on the local market."

Exports to Libya would be 5 000 tonnes of deboned beef valued at
US$6,5 million (Z$357,5 million) a year.

Efforts to contact the Libyan Embassy to confirm reports that the
Libyans intend to take over the financially-troubled Cold Storage Company,
the biggest meat processor in the country, were fruitless yesterday.

Last week a group of Libyans visited the Mount Hampden cattle auction
pens. Workers at the pens said the group took pictures, but it was not
immediately established what exactly the Libyans were after.

Mallet said the increase in the price of beef had also been caused by
the depletion of the commercial cattle herd which used to supply between 70
and 80 percent of the cattle for slaughter.

He said the price of beef had remained suppressed in the last few
months as a result of massive destocking on the farms, resulting in the
flooding of the market.
Most ranchers in the country, who were among 2 900 farmers served with
Section 8 eviction orders which expired in August, had been forced to
destock. The farmers had disposed of their cattle, their movable assets.

Reports of cattle rustling and snaring by war veterans and resettled
people in the farms have been rife, prompting the farmers to destock.

The country's national commercial beef herd has been depleted to an
estimated 400 000, down from the one million as of March last year.

Paul d'Hotman, the chairman of the Cattle Producers' Association, had
not responded to questions put to him in writing, at his request, at the
time of going to Press.

By last night, there had been no official government comment on the
beef price increase.

The MDC spokesman, Paul Themba Nyathi, and Renson Gasela, the party's
shadow agriculture minister, in a joint Press statement said yesterday: "The
recent increase of the price of beef by 100 percent is the result of the
Mugabe regime's chaotic land reform whose negative effects are beginning to
have a toll on the economy. The disorganised land chaos has managed to
extinct most basic foodstuffs.

"Although Mugabe's propaganda machinery would have the nation believe
that the hikes are the fault of private abattoir owners, it is apparent that
rogue war veterans and the so-called 'new farmer' were slaughtering cattle
on the farms leading to a shortage of beef."

In the statement, Themba Nyathi and Gasela said basic food prices have
risen by over 200 percent in the past 12 months.

"The regime has attempted to hoodwink the masses by controlling prices
only to buy their votes, yet reneged on tackling the root cause of price
increases in the country," reads the statement.
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Daily News

Bulawayo faces sewer 'time bomb'

11/5/02 8:44:23 AM (GMT +2)

From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo

BULAWAYO residents are threatened by a serious 400km-long sewer time
bomb which can explode at any time.

The city's sewer pipeline is long overdue for replacement, and each
year that passes an additional 10km stretch becomes due for replacement. The
Bulawayo City Council is finding it difficult to clear blockages because of
lack of suitable equipment.

A study conducted recently by the city council revealed that
approximately 400kms of the city's sewer pipeline has to be replaced because
it is now worn out.

Most of the pipes cannot handle the large volumes of effluent and
frequently eject it into residents' yards. In addition, teams sent out to
deal with difficult blockages are often ill-equipped and consequently spend
many hours
attending to one blockage.

The Bulawayo City Council's director of engineering, Peter Sibanda,
said the system has not been replaced since it was laid out in 1914, but
that it would be problematic for the council to replace the pipes due to
financial constraints.

"It will be very difficult to replace the pipes every year because of
budgetary constraints. The alternative is for the city council to borrow
money from the open market," he said.

Sibanda added that even if the city council decided to borrow from the
open market, it would take a long time to effect the replacements because of
delays caused by government bureaucracy in approving the council's
There has been a gradual increase in the number of sewers collapsing
in many residential areas in Bulawayo. In some parts of Makokoba and
Sizinda, residents have been exposed to the effluent in their yards for very
long periods.
Part of the sewer pipeline was last replaced last year when the city
council, with the assistance of the Norwegian non-governmental organisation,
NORAD, replaced 12kms of the system.

NORAD donated the long-lasting GRP type of pipeline worth 23 million
kroners (approximately Z$184 million).

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Daily News

Fuel talks on this week

11/5/02 8:37:01 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

Masimba Kambarami, the chairman of the Petroleum Marketers'
Association of Zimbabwe yesterday said multinational oil companies had
started consultations among themselves ahead of a planned meeting with the
government this week.

This follows President Mugabe's announcement last Thursday that the
oil companies would be required to buy their own fuel supplies instead of
getting them from the government-owned National Oil Company of Zimbabwe
In a veiled admission that the government was failing to procure fuel
because it does not have the foreign currency, Mugabe accused the
multinationals of profiting from fuel bought by the government.

But more than a year ago, the association repeated a proposal to the
government that the multinational companies be allowed to import fuel as a

The government has, ever since the fuel crisis started in around 1999,
refused to let them do so, saying fuel was a strategic commodity. The
government instead licenced indigenous companies to do so. By yesterday, the
quantity of fuel in the country and how long it would last could not be

Kambarami said: "Noczim can give you that answer."But efforts to
contact Webster Muriritirwa, the Noczim managing director, failed throughout
the day yesterday.

Saviour Kasukuwere, the MP for Mt Darwin South, who owns Comoil,
yesterday asked: "Why should the President look for foreign currency for
foreign companies who will then sell the fuel and make profits which they
will convert into foreign currency and remit to their countries?"

He said the indigenous companies had been importing some of their
supplies all along. "So it is nothing new to us. Most of the indigenous
companies started off importing fuel. We have the commitment and are willing
to sacrifice," he said.

Mugabe's accusations against the multinational oil firms came amid
media reports that the government was having problems paying Libya, which
was supplying about 70 percent of the country's fuel requirements.
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Daily News

Students, riot police clash

11/5/02 8:35:20 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

THERE were running battles between University of Zimbabwe (UZ)
students and the riot police after the security agents and the college's
security guards foiled a meeting to discuss problems arising from the
on-going strike by lecturers.

Lecturers went on strike last month over a pay rise, but the
government is yet to address their grievances.

Danford Damba, the president of the Students Executive Council (SEC)
said yesterday his leadership called a general meeting in the afternoon for
the students to discuss their problems because there have been no lectures
since 10 September.

"Time is running out for us because there is only a week before our
examination. What worries us is that most students did not receive
lectures," Damba said.
He said when the students gathered to be addressed by their executive
members, a number of UZ security guards started pulling them away from the

This enraged the students who started attacking the guards. "The riot
police, who had watched the situation from a distance, started throwing
tear-gas at the gathering and some students fought back," Damba said.

In the ensuing melee, some student leaders, among them, Lovemore
Muzana, the secretary for information and publicity for the SEC, and Tatenda
Mungura, the treasurer, were injured.

Elizabeth Karonga, the UZ spokesperson yesterday confirmed the
disturbances but said she was not aware who provoked the riots because she
was not on the ground at the time.

She said the disturbances could have been caused by the students'
expectation of the resumption of lectures yesterday. But this did not happen
because the lecturers continued their strike.

Damba urged the government to address the lecturers' grievances so
that the students could prepare for the examinations.
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Attached and below is the press release for a Zimbabwe human rights demonstration on 9 November. As you will note it is timed to draw attention to the trial of the opposition leader. It promises to be a big occasion with bands and people bussed in from the provinces.
Rose Benton
for Zimbabwe Vigil Coalition


Zimbabwe Human Rights Demonstration

Hundreds of human rights campaigners and Zimbabwean exiles are to stage a demonstration outside the Zimbabwe High Commission in London 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 the opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangarai, and other leaders of the Movement for Democratic Change who are due in court on 11 November to answer allegations of treason against the illegitimate Mugabe regime allegations which they strongly reject.

The MDC sees the trial 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.

A petition will be available for signature expressing outrage at the increasing human rights abuses and urging the UN Security Council to send a team to Zimbabwe to investigate.

The demonstration will supplement the regular protest vigil held outside the High Commission every Saturday from 12.00 to 18.00 organised by the Zimbabwe Vigil Coalition. This vigil has been gaining growing support since it was launched a month ago and has become a focal point for Zimbabwean exiles. Many of them spent 6 hours singing and dancing in the non-stop rain last Saturday to protest against what is happening in their country.

PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES: Zimbabwean bands. Dancing demonstrators with posters, flags and drums.

INTERVIEWS: arranged with demonstrators and torture victims.

CONTACT: Dennis Benton, email:,tel: 020 7272 1015

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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to:
Open Letter Forum <>

Letter No. 1: Author: Anonymous
The CFU Council, and Director,
CFU Harare.

Dear Sirs and Madam,

I have recently received an outline of your "ABC Plan and back to basics."

I commend highly your candidness in some areas. I am deeply concerned
about the CFU having such a lot of fanfare, including a launch with
presentations and a popular MC, when there are at least two huge gaps in
the whole cabaret show, which not even good drinks, snacks and lucky
draw prizes will cover up.

1. "Agriculture is the backbone of Zimbabwe's economy."

2. "Farmers = FoodSecurity."

3. "Farmers = Forex generation."

4 "CFU and its members are formulating a plan for the future."
REALLY? - let us see the plan after some thirty two months of chaos
and poor direction, it will be most welcome; how many members? and
lastly will gentlemen of Mr. Freeth's calibre and integrity be

5. "There is a future for all farmers and farm workers."
REALLY? You know something that I do not know because this will be a
180 degree turn on recent Government Procedure, and the question that
springs to mind - with or without the rule of law?

6. "Together we should strive to build food reserves in Southern Africa."
OKAY. Together with whom?

7. "No one should ever starve in Zimbabwe."
YES! International acceptance will be quicker than any other method
I can think of, which would prevent starvation - NOW.

8. "Create conducive climates to farm."
YES! Please do just that and keep us posted, but hopefully this will
be within the framework of the law.

9. "Deal with Compensation issues."
YES! So long as farmers that require compensation are willing
sellers and it is Constitutional.

10. "Concentrate on Commodities - our core business - boosting
production and feeding the nation."
YES! - but bear in mind that many of your farmers right now are

11. "Develop consultancy options through networking."
YES! With the proviso that this is not a displacement activity
resulting from losing a farm illegally, or failure to secure the right
legal environment to farm as a business again.

12. "CFU is embarking on a back to basics ABC programme in which it
will concentrate on - Farming - and how it can best serve all fellow
YES! However this is an admission of guilt that CFU has lost the
way, and needs to go back to basics. The basics of farming and the CFU
is its members, and their rights to farm without hindrance, on property
that they have now been illegally, and violently dispossessed of. Our
leadership is complicit with a Dialogue process that is outside the
Courts. The farmers (members) are now facing legal repercussions because
the Union has failed to take cognizance of Constitutional Rights, and
the Courts of Zimbabwe, and is in itself also guilty of undermining the
Courts and the Rule of Law - the very core of this whole debacle. For
the director to now say that the UK has failed to accept responsibility
for land and compensation, when the UK has paid some 40 million pounds
and then pledged another 36 million pounds in 1998, is indicative of
some degree of ambivalence. (this means: to have either or both of two
contrary values; entering contradictory emotions, such as love and hate,
towards the same person or thing.) This ambivalence is only surpassed by
the Leaderships's very friends purporting to preach Dialogue, who
ambivalently wag their tail at the Union Leadership, and then bite the
very men and women that feed them (farmers and their workforce totally
nearly two million Zimbabweans.) With all due respect to the members of
the Council, how many of them have been bitten, and how many of them are
blissfully cajoling away, hoping not to get bitten? Further, let us
remember the old saying that "you cannot teach an old dog new tricks."
Ambivalence is a very difficult trait for people to become comfortable
with - unlike ignorance which can have a degree of innocence attached.
If ambivalence has become endemic in Council or leadership, I believe
that any Gimmicky or Catchy ABC type plan has limited chance of
surviving the ultimate test - that of time.

13. "It is vitally important that we stand united in these testing
YES! - But, only for the GOOD of ZIMBABWE, and the RULE of LAW.
- not for EVIL or ANARCHY.

14. "You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not smashing it. Farming
is very like a wheelbarrow - nothing ever happens until you start
pushing it."

YES! - But.

Two thousand farmers have had their nurtured eggs smashed, and now the
CFU acknowledges this fact after thirty two months. The CFU was a big
wheel barrow for all members to share, and it seems that the leadership
has pawned it, whilst about two thousand of its members were duped to
believe that those pushing it were doing so in the interests of all the
farmers. Added to which, with CFU "nothing happens until you start
pushing it," as well. Is CFU perhaps a little nervous that JAG easily
have the Moral Worth and Fibre, great enough to push a `huge family
wheel barrow,' collecting the poor, landless, and ticketless, and rich
alike, for a ride on what is at this moment a very bumpy road to

The barrow pushed by passion is effortless, compared to the barrow
pushed for status.

With due respect, a five R's programme may be considered.

`READING' Read some of the articles in external publications about
ourselves, and give some thought to responsibility and accountability.

`RITING.' Write down what has happened in this country over the
last thirty two months.

`RITHMATIC.' Calculate the damage to the country, and the farmers,
and our image abroad.

`RIGHTS.' Do an inventory on Members' Rights and how many have been
deprived there of.

`RULE OF LAW.' Do a count up of how many cases where the Rule of Law
has been ignored, deliberately, at the expense of Members.

I trust that this reply is accepted in good faith, as per your request
on the "Feedback Slip." I have paid my licence fee. I think that the ABC
Plan should encompass the Law, and I am not willing to participate until
such time as it does and the CFU have shown a real plan. Until such time
that CFU finds a BIG BARROW, big enough to go down the Road of Justice,
carrying everybody, CFU will remain "pushing a barrow without a wheel."


Letter Number 2: Author: Bruce Stobart

Dear JAG Team,

As Chairman of the Mazowe/Concession FA we have given our members the
opportunity to listen to both the JAG and the CFU sides of the
litigation/dialogue approach, we have remained open to both sides of
the argument, however, we are now feeling a bit concerned about JAG and
the position you are trying to jostle for, and here are a few thoughts
as to why.

Your most recent email requesting estimates on numbers of farmers
farming etc dated 2nd November reflects our concerns. Through the CFU
structure we have already given this information in the comprehensive
questionnaires that they have put out and we have completed. Why can
you not obtain this from the CFU and work with them? We are one and the
same farmers.

It is apparent and distressing that a huge wedge has been driven between
the farmers and is dividing our strengths. The concept of JAG in the
beginning was excellent, but we have become increasingly disillusioned
by some of the information that you have been disseminating through the
means of email which has become petty, personal and destructive in
several instances. This has done nothing for your reputation and has
caused us to question our support for JAG. Yes, you won our vote on
emotive issues, but on thought afterwards we feel somewhat duped into
thinking that JAG will succeed on a confrontational level with
Government. We know that you do not have a chance. They have won.
Pure and simple. However, the compensation route is something that you
made sense of and we fully support your efforts in pursuing this issue
as a joint body.

This wedge has also resulted in the resignation of the President of the
CFU which has further weakened the position of commercial farmers in
this country. United we are not standing and divided we are falling.

As farmers who are still managing to farm we urge you to re-build
bridges between the CFU and yourselves as the current impasse is
completely unsustainable. The mere fact that you are having to gather
information already gathered, and that you are using the very structure
that the CFU created to collect this information suggests that you are
in direct confliction with them.

We are all farmers, please do not split us futher and ask us to divide
allegiance in these dying days of commercial agriculture.

These sentiments are reflected by all members of our Association and we
hope that you can use them positively, as we know that most of you have
the best interests of a future in agriculture in this country.

With regards,

Bruce Stobart

Letter no: 3 - Author: Andrew Louw-Evans

God bless you John Robertson. I've just read your open letter -

I - for one am not planning any immigration from my country of birth -
and will remain in the fire as long as it takes to come out on the other
side - hopefully wiser.

Best regards - Andrew Louw-Evans

Justice for Agriculture mailing list
To subscribe/unsubscribe: Please write to

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Press Release
Issued on behalf of Commercial Farmers Union in Zimbabwe

The Commercial Farmers Union today launched, to an audience of 200 members
and key stakeholders, the much-awaited ABC plan. The plan is a broad-based,
strategic document that promotes unity in diversity and encompasses the
needs of all CFU members regardless of whether they are farming or not. It
also takes into account the needs of Government, the new farmers and other
farmers' unions in Zimbabwe.

CFU Water, Environment and Legal Affairs Executive, Gerry Davison gave an
overview of the ABC plan, which had already been presented and approved in
principle by the CFU council.

Vice President, Doug Taylor-Freeme said that the CFU now awaits feedback
from their members who were asked to fill in feedback slips after the
presentation with their opinions and contributions.' Their responses will be
tabulated and analysed and included in the ABC plan'.

The ABC plan covers:
Agriculture - The Bigger Picture
Building - People, infrastructure, food resources and networks
Choices - Commodities/Consultancies, Creating Conducive Climates to farm and

The CFU leadership has received indications that the ABC plan will also meet
the approval of all stakeholders who have long expressed the need for a
Zimbabwean solution to be formulated so that the country can turn around
from the current impasse, break the deadlocks and progress towards a more
conducive climate for farming.

Giving the vote of thanks at the event, Zimbabwean economist Mr. John
Robertson endorsed the CFU's ABC plan and called on all farmers, black and
white, new and old to unite in this plan and face the common enemy - mass
starvation and displacement.

'Millions of Zimbabweans at home and abroad and indeed the whole world need
you to now turn your energies from infighting into working together for the
good of all citizens'.


5th November 2002

For further information contact:
ProComm Public Relations (Pvt) Ltd
Jacqueline Papenfus
7 Bath Rd
Harare Zimbabwe
Fax: 263 (4) 703829
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Government Can Be Resisted If It Fails to Fulfil Part of the Bargain

The Daily News (Harare)

November 5, 2002
Posted to the web November 5, 2002

Locke's political philosophy is the solution to African leaders who believe
rebellion against illegitimate governments is not only treason, but impiety.

Locke's ideas, if applied to Africa, will free Africans economically,
socially, politically and intellectually.

In Locke's political doctrine, the government is a party to the contract and
can be justly resisted if it fails to fulfil its part of the bargain.

This view will bring democracy if applied in Africa. If Africans are to go
by Locke's principles, then dictatorship and trampling of the heads of the
poor into the ground will end.

Civil societies, which involve the rule of majority, will also be

Locke formulated that the legislative and executive must be separate to
prevent abuse of power.

When Locke speaks of the legislative he means parliament and the courts;
when he speak of the executive he refers to the president.

Locke says the legislative must be supreme, except that it must be removable
by the community.

He also states that the legislative is to be elected from time to time by
popular vote.

If the above principles are to be applied to Africa, then the rule of law
would have been established because manipulation of the courts is one of the
tell-tale signs of dictatorship in Africa in general, but Zimbabwe in

In Africa, there is no recognition of human rights, there is wholesale
manipulation of the courts.

There is no free opposition political space and economies are driven by
politics, resulting in mismanagement, while economic crises always affect
the inhabitants of the continent.

Hardlife Mudzingwa Buhera
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Zimbabwe bus, truck collision kills 16-radio

HARARE, Nov. 5 - Sixteen people died in a collision between a bus and a
truck ferrying maize and wheat in central Zimbabwe on Tuesday, state radio
The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) said 11 people died at
the scene while five others died later in hospital. ZBC said the head-on
crash took place in the central city of Kwekwe.

Zimbabwe has had several major accidents this year.
In June, 11 cross-border traders returning from South Africa died
when a commuter bus overturned in the southern province of Masvingo, two
days after another bus accident killed 37 mostly student teachers in the
same area.
Last month at least 22 people were injured when a passenger train
derailed after hitting an elephant while on its way to Zimbabwe's prime
resort town of Victoria falls.
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Natal Witness

Getting the outsiders in

Some on the margins don't want to be part of the mainstream


The harsh realities of power relations, even in democracies, means that
there will always be a mainstream with a bevy of interests, values and
communities jostling around its margins. For some, being in the margins - of
an institution, a community, a discourse, or society more broadly - is a
choice. They have no desire to be in the mainstream. For most, however,
being in the margins is the result of exclusion. They have been

I was reminded of these harsh realities in September when I attended a
gathering convened by the Pietermaritzburg Heritage Forum, a loose grouping
of heritage structures with a presence in greater Pietermaritzburg. Despite
the intentions and efforts of the convenors, there was little or no
participation by community-based organisations. To put it crudely,
representation from the townships was a little thin. More crudely still, the
gathering was very white.

Much of the forum's deliberation was focused on how to rectify this
imbalance. To its credit, the forum eschewed quick-fix options for bringing
in community-based organisations. There was keen awareness that such options
do not address the danger of the margins being further marginalised by the
power of mainstream resources, cultures and competencies.

Also to its credit, the forum found space to consider what is arguably the
fundamental question - why is it imperative for every mainstream to engage
its margins? Why not simply run with what are systemic processes of
privileging and exclusion? Of course, a strong argument based purely on
survival could be mounted. Let these processes go too far unhindered,
however, and the whole system might collapse. It is a lesson that the whites
of Zimbabwe failed to learn.

Beyond concerns for survival, there is a profounder - a deeper and more
enduring - imperative. It is what I would call justice. Of course, as with
all those key terms around which we frame value systems, the meaning of
"justice" is hotly contested. But whatever it means, I would argue, it must
hinge on hospitality to "the other". I am speaking of a call to respect
every "other", a call to invite every "other" in.

For heritage practitioners (and the forum is keenly aware of this) the call
intrudes into all they do. It is not something that sounds only when formal
gatherings and processes are being organised. In all professional work, from
collecting materials to mounting displays, from staff appointments to public
education, the call of justice importunes them to listen intently for the
voices of those who are marginalised or excluded entirely by prevailing
relations of power.

What the forum did not consider is the broader context within which the
challenges outlined above are playing out. Local heritage cannot be
dislocated from societal processes, or indeed from global dynamics.
Superficial analysis might suggest that participative democracy has never
been easier for South Africans. Apartheid is being dismantled, a formal
constitutional democracy is in place and, in so many ways, resistance to
marginalisation is being encouraged. And yet, as the forum is discovering,
while things might be easier, they are far from easy. Legacies from our past
are clearly a factor. But equally challenging are the tough new realities
presented by globalisation and corporatisation.

Increasingly, power is being aggregated by corporations, many of them
multinationals with resources beyond those of smaller states. Unlike states,
these corporations escape in large measure the demands of accountability and
transparency. Not only do they promote the concentration of wealth in the
hands of a small elite, but they exert significant leverage on public
representatives and increasingly determine national public policy agendas.
The role and the influence of both governments and civil society are

As worrying, is the extent to which these corporations are promoting the
commodification of knowledge, information and services. All commodities have
a price and, in a context of widening disparities between the haves and the
have-nots, fewer and fewer people can afford them. It is no accident, for
example, that heritage, unquestioningly a public resource, is being turned
into an industry. And the logic of industry, as opposed to that of public
service, is the exclusion of those too poor to afford its products. It is no
accident, to quote another example, that, at the very moment when South
Africa is given freedom of information (by the Constitution and by
legislation), the processes I am speaking of turn information into a
commodity that only the wealthy can afford.

The Pietermaritzburg Heritage Forum, in short, is confronting huge systemic
barriers to participative democracy. And this is only the beginning of its
problems. In resisting the forces of marginalisation, it is confronted by a
range of intractable questions. Committed as it might be to finding those
marginalised voices, those "other" voices, how does it begin to invite in
what is always beyond the limits of understanding? How to avoid the danger
of speaking for these other voices? How to avoid reinforcing marginalisation
by naming "the marginalised"? I remember being alerted forcefully to these
issues during a conference presentation in Canada last year. My presentation
on marginalisation was interrupted by a tall woman who said: "I'm a radical
feminist lesbian and I resent your arrogance in assuming that I would have
any desire to be represented in or by mainstream institutions."

Another complexity is that out in the margins are a myriad voices we might
have no desire to invite in. In fact, we might want to erase them
altogether - the voices, for instance, of white supremacists or of hard drug
dealers, paedophiles, rapists, pimps and so on. And yet they are part of our
reality, part of our heritage.

It is imperative, I would argue, to avoid romanticising "otherness". In the
memorable words of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak: "Let us, then, arrest the
understandable need to fix and diagnose the identity of the most deserving
marginal. Let us also suspend the mood of self-congratulation as saviours of
marginality." We should fear "otherness" even as we respect it. We must know
that as much as it is "outside", it is also "inside". We should know only
that justice calls us to engage it, without blueprint, without solution,
without answers.

a.. Verne Harris is the director of the South African History Archive.

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Sri Lanka Daily News

CID to probe three arms deals
by Ranil Wijayapala in Trincomalee

The Defence Ministry has handed over the investigation on three suspicious
arms deals to the CID, Defence Minister Tilak Marapana said.

Marapana said investigations into the three arms deals probed by the three
member committee appointed by the Ministry has been handed over to the CID
for further investigation. The three arms deals are the group purchase of 32
AOO 81mm mortar bombs from Zimbabwe, two C130 transport aircraft from UK and
two MI 24 Helicopters from Ukraine.

The three member Committee headed by Dulinda Weerasooriya, handed over the
inquiry report to the Defence Minister.
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