Sent: Sunday, October 30, 2005 1:51 AM
Subject: Mugabe, Mbeki and the ANC with minor amendments
This article or variations of it has been sent to the following : US President George Bush, US Secretary of State - Colin Powell and successor Condoleessa Rice, former US President Bill Clinton, USA House of Representative leaders Richard Gelphard and Dick Armey, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, Australian Prime Minister John Howard, Chris Patten – Secretary of the European Commission Brussels, Commonwealth Secretary Don McKinnon, Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, former South African President Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.
MUGABE , MBEKI AND THE ANC
In order to understand President Mugabe it is necessary to know something about the early history of Zimbabwe.
The Shona tribe that Mugabe is a member of, was terrorised by the (black) settler Ndebele (Matabele) tribe that arrived in Southern Matabeleland from Kwazulu-Natal in about 1840 – a breakaway branch of the Zulu Kingdom in what was then Natal. As late as 1890, Mugabe’s grandparents would have experienced the wrath of the marauding Matabele impis.
The extremely cruel yearly raids on the Shona by the warlike Matabele, only ceased in 1890 when Rhodes’ pioneer column reached that part of the continent. The new (white) settlers put a stop to the practice. Because of the past tribal history, intense hatred still exists between the two ethnic groupings. During the war of liberation against the Rhodesians that culminated in independence in 1980, there were two distinct black liberation factions – ZANU (Shona) and ZIPRA (Matabele). On the battlefield, there were many deadly clashes between the two factions.
It is pertinent to note that in South Africa, the predominantly Xhosa ANC, was historically and still is at odds with the Zulus of Kwazulu-Natal. Deadly clashes have occurred between these to ethnic groupings. Mugabe’s hatred for the Matabele (Zulu) and the ANC’s support for Mugabe, is disturbingly synonymous.
When Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980, the various military factions including ZANU and ZIPRA, were integrated into the new national army. Some ZIPRA (Matabele) guerrillas remained in the bush because of mistrust of ZANU (Shona) and others deserted the new army because they feared that their Shona commanders were planning their demise.
There followed a period of insurrection, lawlessness and outright warfare between ZANU and ZIPRA forces. Matabele ZIPRA deserters and their colleagues remaining in the bush, were labelled ‘dissidents’ by Mugabe and were killed wherever they were found – often brutally and in cold blood. Emmerson Mnangagwa, the then Minister of State Security, announced in parliament in February 1984 that 459 ‘bandits’ as he labelled them, had been killed. There is little doubt that many more than that number were eliminated.
Mugabe had meantime called in the communist North Koreans to train the 5-Brigade (1981). He had a sinister motive for doing so. The 5-Brigade, which was directly answerable to Mugabe, was variously deployed in Matabeleland over the period 1983 to 1984 – ostensibly to locate and destroy ZIPRA ‘dissidents’. Ultimately, in February 1983, some 16000 square kilometres of Southern Matabeleland and an area of the Midlands inhabited by mainly Matabele people, was cordoned off. Soon thereafter a 24 hour curfew was imposed. No food was allowed into the curfew area and as the region was in the grips of a third drought in a row, thousands of innocent rural people starved to death.
The 5-Brigade then commenced the systematic and indiscriminate elimination of innocent Ndebele men, women and children. What supposedly started off as a war against ‘dissidents’ ended up as an attempt to crush the Matabele nation – nothing other than a classic case of genocide - more politely referred to as ‘ethnic cleansing’. This was punishment and retribution for the attacks suffered by the Shona at the hands of the Matabele during he 1840-1890 period. Mugabe’s 5-Brigade wiped out entire villages so that there were no survivors to tell tales – other villagers simply disappeared. At least 15 000 and possibly as many as 30 000 were killed in the most brutal fashion – the true number may never be known because of the vast area involved and the methods used. Ian Smith, the former Rhodesian Prime Minister in his book ‘The Great Betrayal’, puts the death toll at 30 000.
The 5-Brigade was led by Colnel Perence Shiri - currently commander of the Zimbabwe Air Force. This inhuman thug daubed ‘The Beast of Bhalagwe’, set up a torture and killing camp in Southern Matabeleland. Thousands of men, women and children – regardless of age or health – were rounded up and conveyed to this and other camps to be re-educated in typical ‘old style’ communist fashion. Thousands of innocents were murdered, raped, maimed, beaten or simply disappeared. Horrendous and sickening methods of torture were employed, including the emersion of babies in boiling water. Camp detainees were made to dig graves for their colleagues and when the killing rate accelerated, bodies were dumped down disused mine shafts.
The feared Central Intelligence Organisation under the control of Emmerson Mnangagwa (until recently - January 2005 - Mugabe’s heir apparent), then Minister of State Security in Mugabe’s office, was at the forefront of the brutal and sadistic forms of torture and killings. The ANC had a presence in Zimbabwe at the time these atrocities occurred. It would come as no surprise if the ANC’s Aziz Pahad who spent time in Zimbabwe (South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mugabe’s most ardent supporter), was in the country at the time. There has never been any condemnation by the ANC of the genocide Mugabe perpetrated on his own black population after independence in 1980.
The atrocities committed by the 5-Brigade are well documented especially by the Zimbabwe Catholic Commission of Justice and Peace, in books, articles and reports by several investigative journalists. Following an international outcry, Mugabe in September 1983, set up a commission of inquiry headed by a lawyer Mr Chihambakwe to investigate the allegations. Although fearful of the repercussions, hundreds of eye witnesses to the atrocities turned up to give evidence. Mugabe undertook to make the report of the commission public, but it was suppressed. When taken to court (December 1999) in an effort to force the release of the report he, through his legal representative, claimed that it was lost!
Mugabe, over a twenty five year period, has employed terror tactics against all those he regards as a threat. He planned, instigated, committed or otherwise aided and abetted a campaign of violence directed against the civilian population of Zimbabwe. He has to stay in power because he knows that as soon as he loses the protection of his office, he and others of his regime will, if justice is to prevail, have to stand trial at The Hague for genocide and crimes against humanity.
The land question is important, but the way Mugabe has gone about it was and is a desperate attempt to stay in power – his trump and last card in order to secure victory at the 2002 elections. These land seizures led to the deaths of many and the displacement of some four thousand mainly white commercial farmers and an estimated 1.5 million black farm workers and their families. Mugabe does not give a jot about the illegality or consequences of his actions. He has brought economic ruin on his country to save his own skin and to remain in power – and not for the ideological reasons he claims.
Mugabe stands accused of lying to the world about the anticipated 2003/4 maize harvest in order to cover up for massive food shortage – the result of dispossessing white commercial farmers of their farmland. He refuses food aid whilst secretly importing maize to use as a political weapon. One of the more despicable aspects of Mugabe’s quest to remain in power, confirmed by the United Nations World Food Programme (August 2004) and the Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo (January 2005) - is that Mugabe is using food to force his opponents to support the ruling party in preparation for the March 2005 parliamentary elections. Once again, it is mainly the Matabele in the South of the country who are suffering and dying from starvation – food aid is only available on production of the ruling party membership card. Mbeki and the ANC, in the face of facts that amount to genocide, maintain a silence which can only be read as support for Mugabe’s human rights abuses.
Mbeki’s statement to the American press (June 2005) that the famine in Zimbabwe is due to the drought, is an outrageous distortion of the truth – but yet another indication of his support for his despotic and tyrannical friend.
So why is it that President Mbeki, the ANC and other black African leaders are tolerant of this despot – described by Archbishop Emertitus Desmond Tutu as “the archetypal African dictator”? Why is the killing of black people by a black tyrant (the label given to Mugabe by non other than former President Nelson Mandela), seemingly acceptable to them and most of black Africa?
It is a historical fact that the ANC and both Zimbabwean liberation movements were instructed in Marxist/Leninist ideology either in Moscow or in China. Mbeki, a loyal member of the Communist party when in exile (as was his father), received instruction at the Lenin School in Moscow. Mugabe has put into practice what the Red Chinese taught him at the Nanking Military Academy. Mugabe even produced his version of the “Thoughts Of Mao” – containing typical Marxist rhetoric - and his ‘Youth Militia’ – the ‘Green Bombers’ trained to kill terrorise and disrupt those who oppose him - are reminiscent of Mao’s youthful ‘Red Guard’ that terrorised the Chinese population during the Cultural Revolution.
Mugabe and Mbeki have, according to international political commentators, both put into practice the Lenin doctrine of ‘Democratic Centralism’ learnt from their respective Communist masters – a Marxist/Socialist system whereby all important policy decisions are taken by an ‘inner circle’ or ‘politburo’ rendering the parliamentary process sterile – the antithesis of any truly democratic system of government. In order to carry out his policies, Mbeki surrounds himself with individuals such as Essop Pahad - an ardent communist - who broadcast Soviet propaganda from Prague during Moscow’s hey day.
It is no secret that not many more than eleven odd years ago the ANC would have encouraged Mugabe to dispossess and kill white farmers – which was after all one of the objectives of the ANC in South Africa. Other of Mugabe’s actions would also have received the ANC’s enthusiastic support, and I suspect that many of his actions and utterances still do – like Foreign Affair’s consistent and public support for his land grab policy, and Mbeki’s mischievous blaming (December 2003) of Britain for the Zimbabwe land crises – in support of lies put about by Mugabe.
Most importantly Mugabe, also just little more than eleven odd years ago, actively supported the ANC’s war effort in South Africa – ANC cadres were trained in Zimbabwe and supplied with ammunition, weapons and explosives, with which to carry out their work in South Africa. Mugabe often reminds the ANC of the part he played in their struggle – no doubt the ANC’S “hour of need” Mbeki so often refers to.
Mbeki’s lack of firm action against Mugabe can only be due to the historical and ideological backgrounds they share – which is a bad omen for South Africa. Mbeki could have and still can bring Mugabe to heel by simply threatening to close the border, and if necessary, restrict trade and the flow of essentials supplies to Zimbabwe – a successful ploy John Vorster and Henry Kissinger used to force the Rhodesians to end their war and accept the principle of majority rule.
Mbeki must know that unless Africans practice and apply genuine democratic principles, NEPAD is but an illusion. Mbeki’s volte face concerning support for NEPAD’S system of “peer review” under which African countries are to monitor each others standards of governance – and his embarrassing re-acceptance of the principle a week later at the 2/3 November 2002 NEPAD meeting in Abuja, is a measure of his credibility.
Mbeki’s initial refusal to support further Commonwealth action against Zimbabwe (March 2003), his unfounded but persistent and groundless claims that the Mugabe government and the opposition Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) were and are holding talks, his glib acceptance of lies propagated by Mugabe concerning the land grab and his June 2003 prediction that by June 2004 the Zimbabwe crises would be resolved - sold to the British and Americans as the objective of his “quiet diplomacy” - are but further examples of the lengths to which Mbeki is prepared to go to support his tyrannical friend and dictator. Mbeki should be aware that knowingly repeating lies put out by Mugabe will ultimately question his credibility.
And what of the broken agreement Mugabe made with Mbeki, Chisano and Nujoma at the Victoria Falls in 2000 when he undertook to remove the war veterans from occupied white commercial farms within a month. There was no comment from the tripartite when Mugabe, within the same month, reneged on his undertakings – just a supportive silence.
One wonders just what Mbeki’s real agenda is because the world might well conclude that Mbeki’s indifference to Mugabe’s human rights violations will be seen as laying the groundwork for future human rights violations in South Africa – an observation (December 2003), made by the Anglican Archbishop Emeritus, Desmond Tutu.
Helen Suzman, a former staunch supporter of the ANC and anti-apartheid activist, concludes (Weekly Telegraph May 2004) that “Mbeki and other black African leaders support Mugabe’s actions in effectively kicking the white man out of Zimbabwe”. She accuses Mbeki of supporting the Mugabe’s anti - white stance “Mugabe has done that to the whites, and I think that is exactly what Mbeki admires about him”. And further “Do not think for a moment that Mbeki is not anti-white – he is, most definitely”. Mbeki and other black African leaders who applaud Mugabe for kicking out the whites, have clearly not stopped to think that the ultimate victims are the black citizens of Zimbabwe.
African history tells us that in every instance where the white man has been forcibly kicked out leading up to or after Uhuru (freedom) - starting in the early Sixties with the Belgian Congo now the Democratic Republic Of Congo - the result has been bankruptcy, corruption and rule by despots. The DRC to this very day still suffers from these maladies. Mbeki’s brother Moeletsi Mbeki – Chairman of the South African Institute of International Affairs - observes (September 2004) that the end of Colonialism and the advent of Uhuru, has resulted in the “plundering of Africa’s resources and grand theft by the black political elite”. On Zimbabwe Mbeki’s brother states “Our intervention should be to support democracy and not tolerate the use of violence, torture and rigging of elections and if necessary we should support the opposition”. Once again a deafening silence from President Mbeki.
South Africa and the region will, I fear, in the final analysis, pay the price for protecting a despicable and cruel tyrant who only remains in power through cheating, lying, killing, torturing, gagging, starving and intimidating opponents, formulating laws controlling the media which are regularly tightened, and prohibiting opposition meetings and demonstrations – the political practises of communist Eastern Europe of the 1960’s. Mugabe’s current (June 2005) cruel eviction of some 250 000 black citizens from informal housing by destroying shanty homes and businesses is, according to a United Nations representative Miloon Kathari “a clear violation of human rights”. Mbeki and the ANC maintain their silence.
Mugabe’s uncivilised methods are indulgently referred to as ‘African Style Democracy’ by the ANC and most other black African leaders. In December 2004 at the ZANU-PF conference held in Harare, the Secretary General of the ANC Henry Magothi praised Mugabe and his policies and said that the ANC and people of South Africa are confident that ZANU-PF “as a party of revolution, will continue to play a leading role in the political and economic independence of Zimbabwe”. It is this unqualified acceptance of Mugabe’s draconian policies which concerns the free democratic world and which Archbishop Emeritus, Desmond Tutu, warns might be regarded by the free world as “laying the groundwork for future human rights violations in South Africa”.
This watering down of genuine democratic principles was again applied to the 2005 Zimbabwen elections which could not be ruled free and fair even by the South African observer mission which could only described them as “reflecting the will of the people”. When asked (April 2005) why he chose not to declare the elections ‘free and fair’ the delegation head Minister Membathisi Mdladlana retorted - “We see no reason to follow anybody else’s culture”.
The civilized world by contrast sees Mugabe as an illegitimate leader of an illegitimate government, and unlike the ANC, the international community is insisting on a new round of internationally supervised elections in Zimbabwe. United States Secretary of Sate, Colin Powell, is on record as saying (September 2002) that there must be regime change in Zimbabwe and his successor Condoleezza Rice, regards Zimbabwe as an “outpost of tyranny” (January 2005) - an observation which Mbeki, in unqualified support of his tyrannical friend, objects to.
Hopefully, world leaders will soon come to realise that Mbeki’s “quiet diplomacy” is a charade – described by those opposing Mugabe in Zimbabwe as “an act of blatant deception”. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe sinks further and further into the abyss while the concerned world looks on, and Mbeki, with measured arrogance born of absolute power, looks the other way.
Telephone Cape Town (021) 434 0348 Facsimile (021) 439 7500
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
I was a judicial officer in Zimbabwe until 1983. After independence inquest dockets were passed to me in 1982 which revealed that the National Army or other government forces were murdering ZIPRA ‘dissidents’. I was threatened with detention if I, as was my judicial duty to do, held public inquests into the deaths. I still have these dockets in my possession.
After 22 years in the Department of Justice, I resigned and left Zimbabwe in 1983 because I could not work for a government that after independence, engaged in the cold blooded murder of its own citizens.
It is remarkable how few people know the real story about Mugabe and just how murderous, tyrannical, cruel and evil he is. It is mainly the black people of that country who have suffered because Mugabe has to retain the reigns of power in order to survive politically. The whites were pawns in the game and the Matabele killed in their thousands because of ethnicity and their political opposition to him. Mugabe has brought shame on the African continent and his country to its economic knees - all to save his own political skin and to avoid justice at The Hague.
The liberators of Sub-Saharan Africa have shown themselves to be incapable of democratic governance – because democracy would have seen them voted out of office. Governments have turned corrupt and rely on brute force to remain in power and to retain the spoils. Commentators have expressed surprise at how quickly corruption has, within ten short years, spread to the upper echelons of the ANC government “… it is alarming that official corruption, that constant scourge of post-colonial Africa, has seemingly taken root so soon after democratic elections, and may have reached into the very highest levels of government” (Editorial – British Weekly Telegraph - June 2005)
The truth about Mugabe, Mbeki and the ANC, is a story which must be told and spread far and wide.
Sent: Saturday, October 29, 2005 4:30 PM
Subject: Heart sore with shame
Dear Family and Friends,
A friend of mine recently had occasion to visit a commercial farm that had
been seized by the government for re-distribution. Just five years ago
every acre of the farm had been involved in intensive agricultural
production. Eggs, tobacco, beef, maize and mutton had come off this land
every year. Over 50 men had been employed on this farm less than five
years ago and these men, with their wives, children and extended families
had lived and thrived on this property. And now, my friend who visited
this farm recently, said that what he had seen was so painful that it made
his "heart sore with shame." My heart is also sore to have to relate this
story as I too knew this farm, this piece of land, the owners and many of
the farm workers and their families who had made such a good life and
living on this land.
The boundary fences surrounding the property are mostly non existent, the
wire stolen, the poles long since taken for firewood. The chicken houses
have been stripped, wire mesh gone, tin roofing sheets removed and all
that remains is the concrete floors - cracked, chipped and with grass
crawling through in tough runners. The farm house, my friend says, is
"finished". The ceilings have gone. There is no longer electricity in the
house; electrical wires and their conduits have literally been dug out of
the walls, along with the wall plug sockets, light fittings and
connections. Windows are just holes in walls as window frames and burglar
bars have gone, chiseled out of the walls. There is no longer water in the
house; the bathroom and kitchen geysers have gone, the stainless steel
kitchen sinks have been removed and in the bathroom the taps have been
Outside, on the land, there is little activity. Aside from a few little
scratches where rape and tomatoes are being tended near the dam, there is
not much else going on. Big fields are unploughed, seed does not wait
stacked in the sheds, fertilizer and chemicals are not piled in workshops.
In less than two weeks Zimbabwe's rainy season will begin and tragically
what my friend saw is not an isolated incident. The Governor of the
Reserve Bank is repeatedly pleading for massive increases in production on
seized farms. Vice President Joseph Msika keeps on threatening to remove
farmers who are not using the land they were given but hints that this is
a delicate process. Barely a month ago Vice President Joyce Mujuru said:
"If you are not farming properly, this is sabotage at its highest level....
We want farmers who work the land for maximum production, not incompetents
and idlers who just sit and do nothing."
Zimbabwe's main growing season is right now. Little is happening. In the
supermarket this week piles of seed maize sits on the shelves. People
cannot afford to buy it and have no no fuel to transport it. People talk
of how new farmers are becoming multi billionaires this October - they
queue for their government fuel allocation which they buy at 30 000 a
litre and then sell for 100 000 a litre on the black market. You certainly
can't make that much money farming so why even bother. Until next week,
love cathy. Copyright cathy buckle, 29 October 2005.
Sokwanele Report : 29 October 2005
We apologise to readers for the disturbing picture which accompanies this short news piece. The fact is that this is the ugly reality that Mugabe has created in our beautiful Zimbabwe, once a land of peace and harmony in which innocent citizens like the one in the picture were protected from violent and lawless thugs. Now the thugs roam our streets freely, inflicting terrible suffering on a defenceless civilian population, confident in the knowledge that, provided they have the right political connections to the ruling ZANU PF elite or to the politicized law-enforcement agents, they will never be held to account for their dastardly acts.
The man with the terrible head injuries was a game scout employed on a ranch in the Lowveld, just outside Chiredzi. Earlier in the month he was out on light patrol duties on the ranch when he came across three AI settlers from the area. They obviously objected to the work in which he was engaged protecting game from poachers, and did not want to have him around, so they attacked him there and then, viciously, with an axe. They very nearly killed the scout who was rushed to Chiredzi hospital for treatment. The horrific injuries shown in the picture speak for themselves of a barbaric attack.
The incident was immediately reported to the local police. The victim is able to identify his assailants who deserve to face the full force of the law. To date however no arrests have been made. Indeed there is no indication that the police intend to investigate the matter any further. All of which prompts the simple question - on whose side are the police now acting? On the side of innocent civilians or violent criminals? On the side of the people of Zimbabwe or the lawless clique that now rules the country?
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By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 10/29/2005 05:59:58
SOME 19 victims of the Zimbabwe government's urban "clean up operation" are
sleeping in the open in the yard of a Good Samaritan's house in Harare's
The Combined Residents Association (CHRA) said Friday that the 19 people
included breast-feeding mothers and children.
The Zimbabwe government has been criticised for pulling down houses in urban
centres under an operation code named 'Operation Murambatsvina'.
The government says the operation was necessary to return order to the urban
centres and prevent the spread of illegal building structures.
The United Nations said in a report that at least 700 000 people were left
homless, and recent information suggests the operation was directed by
Zimbabwe's intelligence services keen to disrupt an urban uprising by
supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
The CHRA said in a statement: "When rains fell a few days ago, these victims
slept in various toilets of neighbours after their plastic shelters were
overwhelmed with pouring rains.
"They have nowhere to go. The single ladies among the victims have resorted
to prostitution and other illicit activities to earn a living."
According to the CHRA, many of the victims used to operate flea markets
which were also razed to the ground by police.
The Zimbabwe government has promised to build houses under a new operation
called 'Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kahle', but victims complain of the slow
pace of the exercise.
Some of the victims who were on the HIV/Aids ARV programme are said to have
been taken off the drugs by politicians loyal to President Robert Mugabe.
Hubert Nyanhongo, the Harare South Member of Parliament (MP), was named as
having diverted food baskets and blankets intended for HIV positive
sufferers to his supporters. New Zimbabwe.com was unable to independently
verify the residents' claims.
Gertrude Ukomba, the chairperson of one of the HIV/Aids groups confirmed
witnessing the diversion of the blankets and food.
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to
email@example.com with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.
Many of us know and respect Roy Bennett. Many of you have asked and
wondered on how you could possibly assist him without seeming to be
Well, there is a way - send any panel beating jobs you might have, or have
been putting off for some time, to B & P Panel Beaters in Workington.
Let us support those businesses that charge fairly.
Yesterday I was given a medical subscription at the West End Clinic, 13
Baines Avenue, and requested to purchase it from the pharmacy in that
When told that the prescription would cost me $ 1,570,000 (one point five
seven million dollars) for four pills and 500 ml suspension, my feet did
the talking..... (This charge was subsequently confirmed by a friend who
purchased the same drugs for that amount - so this was not a mistake by the
Shamrock Pharmacy (Avenues) did not have the suspension in stock, but their
price for a unit of 10 of the pills was $ 43,000. So I knew I did the
right thing at West End Pharmacy.
Shamrock Pharmacy referred me to the hospital pharmacies of St Anne's and
At St Anne's pharmacy they supplied me with the prescribed drugs for the
price of $ 168,213-69 (one hundred and sixty eight thousand two hundred and
thirteen dollars and sixty nine cents)............
Where and how can one report such piracy?
Wanted to share some good news!
My wife needed to take a sick kid to the doctor today. While we are on
CIMAS pvt. hosp. we still need to make the appointment and pay 700k.
Accordingly she tried the new clinic in Marlborough.
After having sat in reception for 15 mins they were called through - with
apologies for the long wait! NO consult fee was asked for once the medical
aid had been checked. When the antibiotics were being ordered - from the
same venue - my wife was asked if she wanted the 300k suspension or the
All in all - good service for a good price. The pharmacy is apparently open
till 10pm 7 days a week.
The letter entitled 'Silent Spring' by Eddie Cross is too beautiful to
ignore. I read it over and over again - and sent it abroad as well.
Thanks Eddie, for reminding us how beautiful Africa's nature is.
Jo Schermuly (UK)
The great civil rights phenom, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, "When
evil men/women plot, good men/women must plan. When evil men/women bomb,
good men/women build and bind. When evil men/women shout ugly words of
hatred, good men/women commit themselves to the glories of love".
There is enough happening in Zimbabwe today to generate tension and anger
among citizens. The socio economic and political temperature is claiming a
high toll of casualties across the board. One of them, certainly, is higher
education, the development lubricant of every nation on earth. It is no
secrete that a large number of high school graduates in Zimbabwe cannot go
to college because they have no 'hook ups' among the chefs, they cannot
afford the lofty tuition/fees or/and there are no vacancies.
There is an organization of good will in New York City that is trying to
raise funds to assist qualified Zimbabwean students in this predicament. We
need someone who can share statistical information on the amount of need
out there. I am disappointed by the paucity of information on the status of
Zimbabwean higher education in the media.Is it all Paradise in academia?
Please, respond per JAG Letters or/and per this email address. Thank you
Dear Good People,
Our son, who lives in The Grange, Harare, had to go to RSA for a week, and
asked his parents [us] to look after his male G.S.D., called "BOY" as he
was not well and required regular medication. We are Rodney and Prue
Brooker at 19 Carrington Avenue in MARONDERA. [Telephone: (079) 24165].
On Sunday morning, 9th October, Boy ran away while we were at church. He
was seen by the guard at the bottom of our Avenue at 09.15 and has not been
heard of since.
You used to run "Classified Advertisements". We hope you still do and would
be prepared to advertise Boy's loss on our behalf.
Prue and Rodney BROOKER.
At present there is a drive for civil society and police to be working
together which is the reason for this email.
There is a great need for ACTIVE Neighbourhood Watches to be formed. I am
currently involved with our "Hawkshead Residents Association". In
Borrowdale we are the only zone of 7 zones which has in the past months
been a crime free area. In consultation with the Member in Charge of
Borrowdale Police Station, we would like to create other neighbourhood
watch associations to combat the level of crime in the Borrowdale area. The
zones are: Helensvale, Borrowdale, Greystone Park, Vainona and Hatcliffe.
If anyone is interested in forming/being part of such a group please will
they contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or 091-334991.
We in turn are part of the Harare Suburban District Crime Consultative
Committee and if anyone from another area would like to become involved
please contact me and I can put them in touch with other representatives.
All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
October 28, 2005
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
I did a google search on the internet and found this .....
The Worst Episode of Hyperinflation in History: Yugoslavia 1993-94 Under
Tito Yugoslavia ran a budget deficit that was financed by printing money.
This led to rate of inflation of 15 to 25 percent inflation per year. After
Tito the Communist Party pursued progressively more irrational economic
policies. These irrational policies and the breakup of Yugoslavia
(Yugoslavia now consists of only Serbia and Montenegro) led to heavier
reliance upon printing or otherwise creating money to finance the operation
of the government and the socialist economy. This created the
hyperinflation. By the early 1990s the government used up all of its own
hard currency reserves and proceeded to loot the hard currency savings of
private citizens. It did this by imposing more and more difficult
restrictions on private citizens access to their hard currency savings in
government banks. The government operated a network of stores at which
goods were supposed to be available at artificially low prices. In practice
these store seldom had anything to sell and goods were only available at
free markets where the prices were far above the official prices that goods
were supposed to sell at in government stores. All of the government
gasoline stations eventually were closed and gasoline was available only
from roadside dealers whose operation consisted of a car parked with a
plastic can of gasoline sitting on the hood. The market price was the
equivalent of $8 per gallon. Most car owners gave up driving and relied
upon public transportation. But the Belgrade transit authority (GSP) did
not have the funds necessary for keeping its fleet of 1200 buses operating.
Instead it ran fewer than 500 buses. These buses were overcrowded and the
ticket collectors could not get aboard to collect fares. Thus GSP could not
collect fares even though it was desperately short of funds. Delivery
trucks, ambulances, fire trucks and garbage trucks were also short of fuel.
The government announced that gasoline would not be sold to farmers for
fall harvests and planting. Despite the government desperate printing of
money it still did not have the funds to keep the infrastructure in
operation. Pot holes developed in the streets, elevators stopped
functioning, and construction projects were closed down. The unemployment
rate exceeded 30 percent. The government tried to counter the inflation by
imposing price controls. But when inflation continued the government price
controls made the price producers were getting ridiculous low they stopped
producing. In October of 1993 the bakers stopped making bread and Belgrade
was without bread for a week. The slaughter houses refused to sell meat to
the state stores and this meant meat became unavailable for many sectors of
the population. Other stores closed down for inventory rather than sell
their goods at the government mandated prices. When farmers refused to sell
to the government at the artificially low prices the government dictated,
government irrationally used hard currency to buy food from foreign sources
rather than remove the price controls. The Ministry of Agriculture also
risked creating a famine by selling farmers only 30 percent of the fuel
they needed for planting and harvesting. Later the government tried to curb
inflation by requiring stores to file paper work every time they raised a
price. This meant that many of the stores employees had to devote their
time to filling out these government forms. Instead of curbing inflation
this policy actually increased inflation because the stores tended increase
prices by a bigger jump so that they would not have file forms for another
price increase so soon. In October of 1993 the created a new currency unit.
One new dinar was worth one million of the old dinars. In effect, the
government simply removed six zeroes from the paper money. This of course
did not stop the inflation and between October 1, 1993 and January 24, 1995
prices increased by 5 quadrillion percent. This number is a 5 with 15
zeroes after it. In November of 1993 the government postponed turning on
the heat in the state apartment buildings in which most of the population
lived. The residents reacted to this withholding of heat by using
electrical space heaters which were inefficient and overloaded the
electrical system. The government power company then had to order blackouts
to conserve electricity. The social structure began to collapse. Thieves
robbed hospitals and clinics of scarce pharmaceuticals and then sold them
in front of the same places they robbed. The railway workers went on strike
and closed down Yugoslavia's rail system. In a large psychiatric hospital
87 patients died in November of 1994. The hospital had no heat, there was
no food or medicine and the patients were wandering around naked. The
government set the level of pensions. The pensions were to be paid at the
post office but the government did not give the post offices enough funds
to pay these pensions. The pensioners lined up in long lines outside the
post office. When the post office ran out of state funds to pay the
pensions the employees would pay the next pensioner in line whatever money
they received when someone came in to mail a letter or package. With
inflation being what it was the value of the pension would decrease
drastically if the pensioners went home and came back the next day. So they
waited in line knowing that the value of their pension payment was
decreasing with each minute they had to wait in line. Many Yugoslavian
businesses refused to take the Yugoslavian currency at all and the German
Deutsche Mark effectively became the currency of Yugoslavia. But government
organizations, government employees and pensioners still got paid in
Yugoslavian dinars so there was still an active exchange in dinars. On
November 12, 1993 the exchange rate was 1 DM = 1 million new dinars. By
November 23 the exchange rate was 1 DM = 6.5 million new dinars and at the
end of November it was 1 DM = 37 million new dinars. At the beginning of
December the bus workers went on strike because their pay for two weeks was
equivalent to only 4 DM when it cost a family of four 230 DM per month to
live. By December 11th the exchange rate was 1 DM = 800 million and on
December 15th it was 1 DM = 3.7 billion new dinars. The average daily rate
of inflation was nearly 100 percent. When farmers selling in the free
markets refused to sell food for Yugoslavian dinars the government closed
down the free markets. On December 29 the exchange rate was 1 DM = 950
billion new dinars. About this time there occurred a tragic incident. As
usual pensioners were waiting in line. Someone passed by their line
carrying bags of groceries from the free market. Two pensioners got so
upset at their situation and the sight of someone else with groceries that
they had heart attacks and died right there. At the end of December the
exchange rate was 1 DM = 3 trillion dinars and on January 4, 1994 it was 1
DM = 6 trillion dinars. On January 6th the government declared that the
German Deutsche was an official currency of Yugoslavia. About this time the
government announced a new new Dinar which was equal to 1 billion of the
old new dinars. This meant that the exchange rate was 1 DM = 6,000 new new
Dinars. By January 11 the exchange rate had reached a level of 1 DM =
80,000 new new Dinars. On January 13th the rate was 1 DM = 700,000 new new
Dinars and six days later it was 1 DM = 10 million new new Dinars. The
telephone bills for the government operated phone system were collected by
the postmen. People postponed paying these bills as much as possible and
inflation reduced there real value to next to nothing. One postman found
that after trying to collect on 780 phone bills he got nothing so the next
day he stayed home and paid all of the phone bills himself for the
equivalent of a few American pennies. Here is another illustration of the
irrationality of the government's policies. James Lyon, a journalist, made
twenty hours of international telephone calls from Belgrade in December of
1993. The bill for these calls was 1000 new new dinars and it arrived on
January 11th. At the exchange rate for January 11th of 1 DM = 150,000
dinars it would have cost less than one German pfennig to pay the bill. But
the bill was not due until January 17th and by that time the exchange rate
reached 1 DM = 30 million dinars. Yet the free market value of those twenty
hours of international telephone calls was about $5,000. So the government
despite being strapped for hard currency gave James Lyon $5,000 worth of
phone calls essentially for nothing. It was against the law to refuse to
accept personal checks. Some people wrote personal checks knowing that in
the few days it took for the checks to clear inflation would wipe out as
much as 90 percent of the cost of covering those checks. On January 24,
1994 the government introduced the super Dinar equal to 10 million of the
new new Dinars. The Yugoslav government's official position was that the
hyperinflation occurred "because of the unjustly implemented sanctions
against the Serbian people and state." Source: James Lyon, "Yugoslavia's
Hyperinflation,1993-1994: A Social History," East European Politics and
By Carole Gombakomba
28 October 2005
Report by Carole Gombakomba
Listen to Report by Carole Gombakomba
After opening reconciliation talks with fellow opposition officials who
disagree with him on whether Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic
Change should contest November senate elections, party president Morgan
Tsvangirai relaunched a series of rallies intended to persuade party members
to follow his election boycott call.
On Friday afternoon Mr. Tsvangirai was speaking to MDC supporters in
Silobela, a town in Midlands North province where three politicians defied
him by registering to contest the Nov. 26 elections in which 50 of 66 upper
house seats will be filled.
Mr. Tsvangirai told a cheering crowd that the MDC will not abandon its
commitment to improving life for the mass of Zimbabweans, especially the
He said the debate on the senate was not the real issue in the intra-party
dispute, because a truly united party would never have come to the brink of
a schism over the question of whether to participate in the elections or
Reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe heard Mr.
Tsvangirai's speech in Shona over a cell phone from Washington, and filed a
PRESS RELEASE - Washington, D.C., Oct. 28, 2005 - Beginning October 31, the
Voice of America (VOA) will expand radio broadcasts to Western and Southern
Africa in response to listener requests for increased programming to the
VOA's Hausa Language Service will expand its popular breakfast program to a
full hour. The new hour-long program, airing from 0430-0530 UTC (5:30-6:30
AM local) will offer listeners a comprehensive and timely broadcast of news
about Nigeria, Ghana, Niger and Cameroon from a network of stringers in West
Africa. The program will also offer more international news, special
reports, political discussion and interviews, as well as features on health,
agriculture, religion, youth, lifestyle, and traditional Hausa music.
Studio 7, VOA's news program for Zimbabwe, is set to feature a new evening
lineup in response to listener requests for increased broadcasts in the
Shona and Ndebele languages. From Monday through Friday, Studio 7 will
provide daily 30-minute reports in those languages and in English, expanding
the broadcast from 60 to 90 minutes. Zimbabweans will hear Shona at 7:00
p.m. local time, followed by English at 7:30, then Ndebele at 8:00 p.m.
VOA Hausa, which currently airs 10.5 hours of programming a week, has nearly
20 million listeners in Africa who receive its programs on shortwave, medium
wave (AM) and FM, and the Internet. VOA's popularity is reflected in a
recent letter from a listener in Kaduna, Nigeria, who wrote: "I am writing
this mail to commend you for telling the truth no matter how bitter it is
regarding the happenings around the world. It is true that VOA is second to
none in giving the recent news update and other programmes." For more
information on programs, frequencies and scheduling for VOA Hausa, please
visit the web site at www.VOAHausa.com.
Studio 7 is funded through a grant from the U.S. Agency for International
Development (USAID), and is produced and managed by VOA's Africa Division.
Recent survey data show that Studio 7 has doubled its audience in the
southern African country since late 2003. Audience response also confirms
listener loyalty, reinforced by Studio 7 coverage of Harare's May-July urban
"cleanup" which left thousands homeless. "I would like to express my
gratitude for the heroic work that you are doing for us all here back home,"
wrote one listener. "You tell us the truth of what exactly is taking place
in Zimbabwe," said another. For more information please visit the web site
The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia
international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the
Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of
news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an
estimated worldwide audience of more than 100 million people. Programs are
produced in 44 languages.
Comment from BBC News, 28 Ocober
Exiled Zimbabwean writer Chenjerai Hove explains why he thinks Africa's
reading habits are in decline. A critic of the Mugabe government, he
currently lives in Norway, and his published work includes poetry, novels,
essays and reflections.
"I signed books until I developed blisters on my fingers once at the
Zimbabwe International Book Fair. But that was not only my experience. Other
writers and poets such as Yvonne Vera, Chirikure Chirikure, Charles Mungoshi
and Shimmer Chinodya (Ben Chirasha) were also busy signing dozens of books.
It was in the early 1990s and the public, thirsting for new books, had
flooded the National Gallery Gardens to meet the writers and see the books.
Not so today. A few years ago, I was busy signing autographs on newspapers
and pieces of paper. No-one could afford the books anymore. African
governments have not put in place well-planned book development policies.
Books are subject to the same sales and duty taxes as other commodities.
Materials for producing books, like inks, newsprint, printing plates, and
the essential technology, are all taxed on the same rate as bolts and spare
parts for cars."
"During colonial days when I was a teacher, books used to have an especially
low postal rate, almost free. So students could order books from the
National Free Library in the country's second city of Bulawayo. But now
books have the same postal rates as any other article in the mail. As a
result, only those who are within walking distance of the National Free
Library can go to borrow a book. The absurdity of taxes on books is in that
governments in Africa are the biggest buyers of school textbooks. Ministries
of Education give money to schools or the responsible authorities as an
annual book allocation. The Ministry of Finance then taxes the books bought
by the Ministry of Education in order to give schools grants for the
following year. Sadly, most education systems in Africa are also
examination-oriented. Students are never taught to read books as a
pleasurable experience in itself without thinking of exams. Universities and
colleges are producing what I call the "new illiterates". They have their
degrees and diplomas, but hardly take time to sit and enjoy reading good
"In some countries, literacy campaigns have been put in place, but it does
not help because soon the new literates have nothing more to read. They
decline back to illiteracy. The campaign becomes a futile exercise.
Effective book development policies mean affordable books will be available
on a continuous basis in order to make reading a habit in the heart and soul
of every reader in every country. It is sad when I realise that African
books are read more outside the continent than inside. African governments
only view development in terms of bridges, school buildings, clinics,
hospitals and roads. The African mind is the least of their priorities."