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In Zimbabwe, a white farmer digs in

Los Angeles Times
Staying put
Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi / For The Times
STAYING PUT: Mike Campbell’s wife, Angela, and son Bruce are joined by the dogs and Ginger, the ancient horse, at Mount Carmel, the family farm west of Zimbabwe’s capital. One of a few hundred white farmers left in the country, Campbell is fighting the government’s final push to evict the last of them. The farmers were told to clear out by the end of September, but he has no intention of budging.
In a country where land is bitterly contested and racial fury is rooted deep, Mike Campbell is one of the last resisting attempts to seize his property.
By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 3, 2007
CHEGUTU, ZIMBABWE -- The copper telephone lines have been stolen. The giraffes, zebra and other game have been trapped, killed and eaten. The birds have been poisoned and the thatched safari lodge burned down.

But Mike Campbell clings to the remains of Mount Carmel farm, his anger leavened only by the company of his wife, Angela, his three children and six grandchildren, his dither of excitable dogs and the ancient horse, Ginger, who lives on the veranda.
One of a few hundred white farmers left in Zimbabwe, Campbell is resisting the government's final push to evict the last of them. A sunburned, feisty fellow of 73 who glares out at the world from under the wide brim of an old felt hat, he believes that ownership is defended by never giving up.

Every last mango, every orange and every potato on his 3,000-acre farm must be fiercely guarded, with guns if need be -- 12 guards patrol the farm. Whenever a radio call from his security outfit comes in at night, he grabs his pistol and drives out into the dark.

He sleeps with his front door wide open, as if to show he's afraid of no one, the dogs scampering in and out of the night at a whim. But he's enough of a realist to hide the one thing he cannot bear to lose if the government does take away his farm: his photographs.

Nothing in Zimbabwe is as bitterly contested as land. It arouses the tangled resentments and prejudices going back to colonization, a bitterness that has only hardened after nearly 30 years of independence from the British. There are blacks who see whites as foreigners who have no right to the land. There are whites who think blacks don't make good farmers or that they have no feelings for animals or trees.

The regime of President Robert Mugabe has gone further than most African governments in systematically unraveling the colonial pattern of land ownership.

But the cost to the country has been enormous. It transformed Zimbabwe from a modern agricultural economy that exported food across southern Africa into a country of subsistence farming, leaving millions on the brink of starvation.

"If you are going back to small-scale pre-colonial traditional farming, you are subjecting yourself to the same constraints that those people suffered from, that kept the population of this country at a few hundred thousand for thousands of years. The country has become poorer because of what's happened, much, much poorer," said John Robertson, an independent economist in Harare, the capital.

Zimbabwe's land reform began after independence on a willing-seller, willing-buyer basis. Britain initially helped its former colony with the program. But in 1992, the Zimbabwean government enacted legislation enabling it to seize land in return for compensation. Britain stopped its funding in 1997, demanding greater transparency and proof that land reform would benefit the poor and not hinder investment.

In 2000 Mugabe, blaming the British for reneging on the funding deal, encouraged war veterans and others to invade white farmers' land, and farms were seized without payment.

Mugabe has handed out the land to cronies in a system of patronage reminiscent of a traditional chief, Robertson said.

"The government was dispossessing people of land rights so that they could allocate land and restore what was essentially a patronage system, distributing the best land to the most loyal supporters," he said. "Individuals have no ownership rights and can be dispossessed at the first sign of disloyalty."

The man planning to move into Campbell's stately farm homestead is one of the country's big men, Nathan Shamuyarira, official spokesman for the ruling ZANU-PF party.

On the brink of losing everything, Campbell is unafraid of giving offense. He is quick to anger and is not exactly politically correct. He relates with some satisfaction that, though he opposed apartheid in his youth as a military officer in South Africa, where he was born, he soon changed his mind.

If someone in Hollywood stumbled upon Campbell's story and decided to script him as a rough diamond making a heroic last stand, it would be tough going to find that sentimental silver lining. He's like an ancient tortoise who determinedly keeps his soft side hidden.

In rural Zimbabwe, with black farmers living beside white landowners such as Campbell, tension is ever-present.

Driving in his pickup past the cotton crop planted by black farmers, Campbell gives a contemptuous bark of laughter.

"Pathetic!" he snorts at the straggly plants on what used to be Carskey Farm, owned by his son Bruce until it was invaded in 2002 by ZANU-PF youths. The farm was divided among more than 50 black families. "They're producing nothing," Campbell said. "With that many people on the land, it doesn't work."

The bitterness runs both ways: Many white farmers lost everything, the toil of a lifetime, without compensation. Even the white social networks are frayed, with whispered gossip about those seen as "yes men" and collaborators who pay off local ZANU-PF officials, to keep trouble away.

The black newcomers struggling to succeed doing one of Africa's toughest jobs believe they haven't gotten enough support from the government.

Sometimes the new farmers drive their cattle into Campbell's front garden. Trees are chopped down. The Campbells see the moves as belligerence, a way to wear them down.

Last year in the rainy season, old Ginger went missing. Campbell's son and son-in-law rescued him from one of the new farmers. Campbell said the animal was knee-deep in mud, unable to move, tethered overnight with barbed wire, a wire bit in his mouth running tightly over his ears. There was a scuffle as the Campbell side tried to free Ginger, who whinnied and charged away the moment he was set loose.

"It was just to get at us," said Bruce Campbell, whose pregnant wife and 6-month-old son and daughter died of malaria four years ago.

"He doesn't like men very much, any more," Angela Campbell said of the old horse, offering him a lump of bread. When she wanders around the farm, Ginger follows her like a lumbering, oversized Great Dane.

The government gave most of the remaining white farmers until the end of September to harvest their crops and leave. Dozens have been evicted by the army and police in recent months.

But everything on Campbell's farm outside Chegutu, about 60 miles southwest of Harare, trumpets his determination to stay: the golden orbs hanging like extravagant Christmas decorations from his mango trees, the fruit on his citrus trees, the corn and the potatoes.

With the ax likely to fall and the possibility of eviction any day, Campbell is still pruning, irrigating, fertilizing and planning to plant new trees for harvest in 2013. His survival tactic is to keep moving.

"You've got to keep investing in the farm. The moment you stop, they'll take it away from you," he said. "Make no mistake -- a very large part of what has been going on is, the person who is on the land owns it. The moment you move off, you're finished."

At one point, he moved his valuables away for safekeeping, but that seemed too much like surrender.

"When the servants see you bringing stuff back and buying some new stuff, that sends out a message," he said.

On the dusty road that leads to Campbell's farm, brightly hued birds called bee-eaters sit on the electricity wires, and a flash of green in the undergrowth betrays a snake.

The thatched family homestead seems snipped from the pages of Country Life magazine, its sitting room stuffed with trophies of another age. There is a pride of delicate bone china, a couple of enormous tusks, a silver pheasant statuette on the mantelpiece. High on the wall, a huge stuffed kudu trophy, a type of antelope, blindly surveys the room.

Campbell's three pointers dash around at dizzying speed, outraced only by a small grandson. The gruff farmer's face is wreathed in smiles as he trots off with the boy to find the candy jar.

He says one of his ancestors was a German sea captain in the Dutch East India Company who took up farming in 1713 in the cape of what is now South Africa, and had the largest herd of white-tailed wildebeest in the world.

"We're not British or Scottish or anything. We're African," said Campbell, who grew up on the family farm in South Africa and served in the South African army for 13 years under the apartheid regime. In 1974, he sold his timber business and dairy farm and moved to Zimbabwe, then Ian Smith's Rhodesia, which was facing an indigenous rebellion.

"It was a very bad time. I was given a rifle and told to go out into the bush," he said, settling into a long, nostalgic reminiscence about the war.

When he wasn't fighting for Smith's regime, he ran his farm, which at the time was "like an armory."

After independence in 1980, he built up his game farm to sustain a safari business. Campbell remembers the day his first four giraffes arrived by truck in 1982. "I had a dream as a young man. I wanted to have a farm with as many wild animals as possible," he said. "Two years ago, we had 45 giraffe, 50 eland, 150 wildebeest, 300 impala. We had zebra, wart hogs. We had all manner of game here.

"I achieved my dream. We had people coming from all over the world. We had a magnificent setup," he said. "It's been unraveled over the years, and last year it was all burned down."

He also raised game birds for hunting, until he came out one morning to find them all poisoned.

"It was heartbreaking. They poach the game, and the game gets less and less. You grow accustomed to that and you harden your heart. You just block it out," he said, the same way he blocked out the grief of his mother's death, when he was 21.

The safari operation is dead, but Campbell's citrus and mango farm is still one of the most successful in the area: His mangoes are flown to Europe and sold packaged, peeled and sliced by the British chain Marks & Spencer.

With the collapse of labor-intensive tobacco farms and a government crackdown on illegal gold panners, there are many unemployed men in the district.

"These guys have got no means of earning a living," Campbell said. "Their families are starving if they don't steal."

Sometimes there is a confrontation. In March, Campbell's guard shot the front tires of a getaway car stuffed with stolen mangoes. When Campbell turned up to retrieve the fruit, he faced about 20 angry men. "I was abused for five or 10 minutes while we loaded the mangoes. It was political. It was: 'Zimbabwe belongs to us now. You whites go home to Britain.' "

Campbell bluntly rebuffs visits by ruling party officials. In 2005, he rejected an offer by Shamuyarira to let him stay on after he moved in -- as manager. Earlier this year, Shamuyarira's brother arrived. "They brought 12 guys and wanted to move into the house here with us. I said, 'You move into the shed.' They said no." Campbell said he then called the police, who moved the visitors on.

Shamuyarira was not available for comment, his office said.

Several months ago, three local ZANU-PF officials dropped in seeking a donation to sponsor Independence Day celebrations.

"I said, 'What are you going to celebrate? There's nothing to celebrate. The country's flat broke. We have no diesel, no electricity, no tea, no sugar. I'm not giving you any donation.' "

In September 2005, to speed land redistribution, the parliament passed a controversial amendment to the constitution: Farms listed for acquisition were declared state land, with no compensation to be paid. Farmers were denied the right to a hearing in court to challenge farm seizures.

Campbell and his son-in-law, Ben Freeth, took legal action, arguing that the amendment was contrary to the spirit of the constitution.

They are still awaiting judgment. Freeth and Campbell also plan to take their case to the Southern African Development Community tribunal, a regional judicial body. They are determined to exhaust every legal avenue.

In Campbell's garage, there is a curio on one wall: the skull of a giraffe that caught a poacher's copper snare on its head when it was young. As it grew, the snare cut into its brain and eventually killed the animal. To Campbell, it symbolizes the fate of his own farm.

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Army Intensifies Attacks On Remaining White Farmers As Zanu-Pf Prepares for Elections

SW Radio Africa (London)

3 October 2007
Posted to the web 3 October 2007

Tererai Karimakwenda

From the original 4000, an estimated 350 to 400 white farmers who remain on
the ground in Zimbabwe are dealing with an escalating and violent campaign
by the army, Central Intelligence Officials and the Youth Brigade as the
ruling party gears up for elections due next year. Top military and
government officials are also after the best of the remaining commercial
farms as the country's economy continues to deteriorate, and some are
ignoring court orders to stop interfering. Among them is Brigadier-General
Itayi Mujaji, a war veteran and senior official in the Zimbabwe Army, and
the ZANU-PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira.

John Worsley Worswick of Justice for Agriculture (JAG) said the tactics
being used have changed in the last 9 months. The war veterans and settlers
that were used to intimidate white farmers for the last 7 years have been
replaced by military police, intelligence agents and members of the
so-called Youth Brigades. Harassment has been so intense that several
farmers have packed up and left in the last few weeks. Worswick described it
as "Jambanja", or violent takeovers, because there has been an open display
and use of weapons.

White farmers are being arrested and then detained over the weekend in rural
cells, for ignoring the September 30 deadline to vacate their properties.
But Worswick sees it as a ploy to intimidate them into leaving. This way
they will not bear witness to the brutality of ZANU-PF's election tactics in
the rural areas. Many have been summoned to appear at magistrate's courts to
be charged, and their cases are often postponed to a later date. At least 5
from Harare South are reported to have packed up and left in September

Worswick confirmed that Brigadier-General Itayi Mujaji had used armed
soldiers to evict farmer Charles Lock from his Karoi farm in Manicaland just
2 weeks ago, despite the fact that he has 5 court orders allowing him to
stay. There is also an order for the arrest of General Mujaji and his wife
Pauline for contempt of court. But all that was being ignored.

Lock cannot be accused of refusing to cooperate with government. He gave up
his own 2 500-hectare farm, moved to his father-in-law's farm and gave
two-thirds of that farm away as well. He has said he will continue to fight
in the courts.

Worswick also confirmed reports that the ZANU-PF spokesman Nathan
Shamuyarira has been after Mount Carmel farm in Chegutu. The property is
owned by Mike Campbell, a 73 year old commercial farmer who believes that
leaving is giving up. Campbell has vowed to stay.

The harassment of white farmers is bound to escalate as we get closer to the
elections in 2008. Worswick said some farmers are considering bringing their
cases to the regional court of the Southern Africa Development Community
(SADC), in Windhoek, Namibia.

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Food Shortages Bite As Teachers Strike for More Pay

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

3 October 2007
Posted to the web 3 October 2007


Shortages of basic commodities like bread and maizemeal, brought on by the
world's highest inflation rate prompted Zimbabwean teachers unable to cope
with escalating prices to go on strike this week, demanding a salary hike.

There is virtually no bread for sale, and the government's Agricultural
Extension Services Department revealed in a recent report that the winter
wheat harvest had only reached 144,870 metric tonnes (mt), against a
national requirement of 400,000mt.

A combination of drought, lack of irrigation, seeds and other inputs, fuel
and spare parts for machinery, resulted in a poor harvest from the main
2006/07 agricultural season, according to a recent report by the
USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET).

In its Food Security Outlook, October 2007 to March 2008, FEWS NET said the
harvest would only provide 45 percent of Zimbabwe's cereal needs, leaving an
import requirement of over 610,000mt. The wheat crisis has forced millers
and bakers to close down or downsize their operations.

John Madzimure, manager of a baking company in the capital, Harare, said
dwindling flour supplies had forced his employer to cease operating in
September. "Most of the time, workers would report for work but spend the
day doing nothing. We started by retrenching but, again, losses kept on
mounting, until it was decided we should close down."

Coping with the strike

Teachers, unable to keep up with inflation of around 6,500 percent on
salaries that start from about US$6 a month, went on strike this week to
demand that they be paid at least US$30 a month. According the independent
Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, the cost of living for a family of six is
about US$33 a month.

Final exams start next week, and the striking teachers have drawn the ire of
students, who have been forced to run their own classes. "We feel that we
are being sacrificed," commented a pupil. "Why didn't the teachers embark on
their protest earlier?"

A 12-year-old student, taking a break from giving a mathematics "lecture",
said, "As a prefect, I mobilised my classmates so that we could do what you
see us doing right now [learning]." He said his parents had tried to
dissuade him attending school because the teachers were on strike, but he
had managed to convince them that "we are so close [to writing exams], and
life should not stop because the teachers are away".

Food is scarce

Hopeful consumers queue for bread every morning, "but in the last seven
days, the delivery has not been coming", said Jane Mutema, a Harare
resident. She said rumours that bread would be delivered often tended to
create stampedes, and a pregnant woman had been trampled on one occasion.

While basic goods can still be found on the parallel market at substantially
higher cost, the FEWS NET report pointed out that these informal
marketplaces are constantly disrupted by more frequent police raids. "Not
only is the food crisis in urban areas one of access, it has now become an
availability crisis as well." The exchange rate is currently Z$500,000 to
US$1 on the parallel market.

Not only is the food crisis in urban areas one of access, it has now become
an availability crisis as well

Unlike Harare, which is close to surplus supply areas, the urban populations
of Bulawayo, Hwange and Tsholotsho, in Matabeleland North Province, and
Kariba in Mashonaland West Province have been worst affected. Open market
maize prices in these cities rose dramatically between June and August 2007,
escalating by between 20 and 33 times, compared to a national average
increase of just eight percent, according to FEWS NET.

Shortages of basic commodities are having the biggest impact on the poor,
whose limited buying power forces them to make frequent purchases of smaller
amounts of food and prevents them from buying in bulk when commodities
become available, said FEWS NET.

People in need

FEWS NET expects about 4.1 million in urban and rural areas to be in need of
food assistance between October 2007 and March 2008. The country's eight
provinces are all expected to face a cereal deficit this year, with the
traditionally grain-deficit Matabeleland and Masvingo - both hard hit by
drought - being worst affected.

The government has managed to import 29 percent of its maize order from
Malawi by August 2007, while humanitarian organisations have procured six
percent of their order of 352,000mt of cereals. "With these food delivery
mechanisms the country still faces a cereal gap of 111,135mt," which the
FEWS NET report said was likely to filled, "especially since there are
elections in early 2008."

The agriculture department and farmers have blamed constant power cuts,
which affected irrigation, for the low wheat yields. Farmers complained that
erratic power supplies had also damaged their electrical equipment.

"As new farmers, most of us are not insured ... besides, we had borrowed
money from the banks to finance our activities, but now that our yields were
poor, we are at a loss as to how we are going to repay the loans," said
Tamutsa Chinhundu, who farms in Mazowe, about 40km northeast of Harare.

Other items have also been affected by the economic recession. Zimbabwe was
once the second-largest tobacco exporter in the world after Brazil, but
cigarettes have now disappeared from shops, and cost at least 10 times the
government's fixed price on the thriving black market, the official daily
newspaper, The Herald, reported this week.

Newspapers were also in short supply on Sunday, said The Herald, whose
parent company has cut its print run as a result of paper shortages, while
advertising revenue has shrunk because consumer goods are no longer
available in stores.

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations ]

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Zimbabwe "on the edge of a precipice" says Archbishop

By staff writers
3 Oct 2007
The Archbishop of Harare has issued an urgent appeal for help as Zimbabwe
faces a spiralling food crisis. It is estimated that one in three people
will soon be in need of food aid following a disastrous harvest.

Catholic aid agency CAFOD is launching a £4 million appeal this Friday (5th
October) for Zimbabwe. It will run an emergency response programme providing
over 120,000 people in some of the worst affected areas with food supplies
and seeds and tools.

In his appeal the Archbishop of Harare, Robert Ndlovu, said: "The people of
Zimbabwe are suffering. Our once bountiful nation is unable to feed its
people and the coming months will bring yet deeper hunger and desperation
for many.

"We have already lost too many of our children, friends, brothers and
sisters to hunger and disease. Many more have fled the country, fleeing from
lives that have become unbearable through poverty and hunger.

"Now the Zimbabwean people stand at the edge of a precipice. Our country is
in deep crisis. Our harvest has failed, through a combination of severe
drought, HIV and AIDS and the consequences of economic decline.

"By March one in three people in Zimbabwe will have no food. Many will run
out very soon. Our brothers and sisters face a struggle for survival at a
time when many have nothing left, their possessions sold and their health

"On behalf of my Zimbabwean brothers and sisters living in hunger, I appeal
to their fellow Christian brothers and sisters to walk alongside them during
this difficult time in faith and Christian charity.

"Our message of hope remains: 'God is always on the side of the Oppressed.'"

CAFOD will run a joint emergency response with its Zimbabwean Church partner
CADEC. For the first time ever, the annual Harvest Fast Day appeal will go
to the emergency fund.

CAFOD director Chris Bain said: "CAFOD is one of the few aid agencies that
is still able to reach people directly in Zimbabwe. The country is facing an
immense crisis but unless we act quickly, the situation will spiral
downwards and we will start to see loss of life on a large scale.

"CAFOD is asking its supporters to respond generously to the Archbishop's

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Teachers Threaten Vow to Continue Strike As Examinations Loom

SW Radio Africa (London)

3 October 2007
Posted to the web 3 October 2007

Henry Makiwa

Leaders from Zimbabwe's two teachers' unions have urged their members to
continue with their on-going strike despite the approaching annual final
examination season that begins on Monday.

The unions say the teachers' job action, now approaching its fourth week,
must continue at the expense of students' examinations as they argue the
teachers' welfare is more important. They insist that if government does not
give in to their demands, no examinations will be taken. Already, millions
of students have lost out on preparations of their end of year tests.
Zimbabwean examinations kick off on Monday starting with the grade seven
pupils sitting down for their tests before Ordinary level students tackle
the vernacular language question papers.

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) national co-ordinator,
Oswald Madziva, insisted that teachers would not show up for work unless
government met their demands.

Madziva said: "We have been around long enough to note that government has a
pattern of not increasing the teachers' salary in the third term. This time
around we have resolved to be utterly unyielding, and to that end we
appreciate the contribution of the Zimbabwe Teachers Association who have
now joined the job industrial action."

Teachers spurned a 100 percent salary increment from government last month,
demanding instead a Z$15 million basic salary plus a Z$5, 2 million housing
allowance and Z$4 million transport recompense.

Some teachers in Zimbabwe are earning as little as Z$2 million, less than 2
pounds sterling on the black market.

A teacher who refused to be named on Wednesday said the government's
negligence towards teachers was tantamount to "madness".

He said: "The minister of education obviously reads all these stories of how
some people in Harare are having to fork out as much as Z$15 million for
water bills alone, how then does he expect teachers to survive earning a
paltry Z$2 million? Its madness!"

He added: "Recently, boarding schools sent students back home to get some
top up fees that would cater for the rampaging inflation. These ranged from
Z12 million to Z$40 million. If teachers have children at boarding, how then
are they to educate them?"

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Mugabe Hints On Launching Suspicious Economic Policy

SW Radio Africa (London)

3 October 2007
Posted to the web 3 October 2007

Henry Makiwa

Robert Mugabe's government on Wednesday, amid much scepticism presented to
governors, legislators and journalists in Harare its latest scheme to arrest
the world's highest inflation.

Mugabe announced last November that he would be introducing the Zimbabwe
Economic Development Strategy (ZEDS). The plan aimed to run between 2008 and
2010 sets out to "create wealth and reduce poverty among the indigenous
people." In what many dismissed as the ageing despot's attempt to buy in
favours, Mugabe said the strategy would have the backing of SADC and the
civil and business society in Zimbabwe.

On Wednesday, Judith Kateera, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of
Finance, expressed much optimism that Mugabe's latest economic plan will end
the country's economic crisis, despite already having sanctioned more than
half a dozen previous blueprints that all failed.

Of much interest, observers note, is how the government is willing to run
the reform plan only once next year's elections are out of the way. This
suggests that the planned programme includes reforms that could be painful
for ordinary Zimbabweans.

Analysts are however sceptical that the plan will deliver the goods where
it's other predecessors have faltered.

Journalist Kumbirai Mafunda said: "The strategy is unlikely to achieve much.
At least it will further compound the evident differences between Reserve
bank head Gideon Gono and Finance minister Samuel Mumbengegwi. At most, it
will go down as another high-sounding nothing as none of the government's
plans have ever been followed through to the end."

Zimbabwe's annual inflation tops an estimated 7000 percent, the highest in
the world. The country's economy has shrunk by almost a third since 2000.
And there are regular shortages of everything from fuel to basic food

Mugabe however lays blame on the western sanctions and trans-national
businesses for sabotaging the economy. He has recently been on the warpath
against the business sector, which he accuses of supporting a regime change
agenda allegedly being pursued by the main opposition party and its allies.

Business leaders have denied the charge.

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Zimbabwe "has a new effective exchange rate"

Monsters and Critics

Oct 3, 2007, 14:49 GMT

Johannesburg/Harare - Zimbabwe's exchange rate is now effectively 240,000:1
US, it emerged Wednesday.

While the official rate remains fixed at 30,000 Zimbabwe dollars to 1 US,
exporters and holders of foreign currency will now be allowed to invest
their receipts at a once-off overnight rate of 800 per cent, the official
Herald daily reported.

This gives an effective rate of 240,000:1, said the paper.

On the thriving black market for foreign currency this week, the US fetches
nearly double that amount, at around 450,000 Zimbabwe dollars.

The new effective exchange rate was part of a package of measures announced
by Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono on Monday.

It is meant to encourage Zimbabweans to earn and keep foreign currency
within the country. The governor did not say he was devaluing the dollar.

© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur

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Western sanctions hurt the poor, Zimbabwe central bank report argues

International Herald Tribune

The Associated PressPublished: October 3, 2007

HARARE, Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe set out Wednesday to demonstrate that Western
economic sanctions were hurting ordinary people, the poor and even the

In its first detailed policy statement on sanctions, the central bank
disputed claims from Britain and the United States that their "targeted
sanctions" - like travel bans on top officials - did not hurt most
Zimbabweans. The bank said that the country suffered from a broad range of
"declared and undeclared" embargoes that hit Zimbabwe's weakest the hardest.

The drying up of development project finance and hard currency loans from
international institutions has had "far reaching effects on the majority of
the people since 2000," the report said.

"Far from the claim that sanctions are ... targeted on a few individuals,
the reality on the ground is the tight grip of sanctions is being felt
throughout the economy," it said.

Western officials argue loan support, development aid and investment
disappeared not because of sanctions but because of fears about levels of
risk - worsened by corruption, mismanagement and threats of property
seizures - and concern over Zimbabwe's human rights record.

Pregnant women were unable to obtain medication when necessary and lives
were lost through the absence of hard currency needed for medical equipment,
drugs and food, the central bank said. "Three quarters of the equipment in
hospitals in the city of Harare are not functional and this has had serious
repercussions on the ordinary people," it said.
The landlocked nation's transport system was grinding to halt, children were
unable to get to school and workers walked to their jobs because of gasoline

It noted that U.S. computer companies refused to sell equipment to a main
university in eastern Zimbabwe, and "the sanctions have thus spilled over"
to technology critical for the learning of future generations.

Britain, the former colonial power, the United States and other Western
countries insist the sanctions they have applied to protest violations of
human and democratic rights are travel bans on President Robert Mugabe and
his inner circle and restrictions on their foreign-held bank accounts -
measures designed not to affect the poor.

The report listed among the sanctions the withdrawal of foreign lines of
credit that sharply reduced export competitiveness and forced exporters to
hunt for high risk offshore financing for imported raw materials. It said
the withdrawal of development aid programs left only humanitarian aid, which
had no long term benefit to the economy.

It said Western governments and taxpayers, the ultimate source of donor
funds, were influenced to stop providing funding by biased Western media
reporting on political and economic turmoil in the country since the chaotic
and often-violent seizures of thousands of white-owned farms began in 2000,
disrupting the agriculture-based economy of the former regional breadbasket.

Many charities and aid agencies closed down in Zimbabwe and even the World
Health Organization moved its regional headquarters out of Zimbabwe, the
central bank said. Loans from the International Monetary Fund, the World
Bank and the African Development Bank that kept the economy afloat stopped
after 2000 in disputes over economic policy and loan repayment arrears.

The report said that donor grants fell from about US$140 million a year in
the 1990s to about US$40 million (?30 million) last year. Foreign direct
investment went down from about US$100 million (?72 million) a year in the
1990s to about US$20 million (?14.5 million) year since 2000.

Central Bank Governor Gideon Gono, in a fiscal policy review on Monday,
alleged Zimbabwe was being singled out for punitive measures by the West and
said half the developing countries supported by the IMF would be
disqualified if they were "judged in the same manner as Zimbabwe."

The report said Zimbabwe's growing budget deficit was financed from
inflationary domestic bank sources and the central bank was forced to
increase currency in circulation by about 1,000-fold since January 2006.
Currency in circulation went up from a factor of 11,000 in 2006 to a factor
of 12 million in July this year, the report showed.

The central bank has acknowledged printing extra local money to keep the
economy running.

Zimbabwe suffer the world's highest official inflation, at nearly 7,000
percent. Independent estimates put real inflation closer to 25,000 percent
and the IMF has forecast it reaching 100,000 percent by the end of the year.

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Merkel heads for Africa, may see Mugabe in December

Monsters and Critics

Oct 3, 2007, 14:25 GMT

Berlin - German Chancellor Angela Merkel left Berlin Wednesday on a
three-nation tour of Africa, calling for bigger efforts on both sides to
solve Africa's problems.

Her aid minister, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, confirmed in an interview that
Merkel would attend a December conference in Lisbon on Africa, regardless of
whether Zimbabwe's autocratic President Robert Mugabe was present.

Germany is helping Portugal host the EU-Africa summit. British Prime
Minister Gordon Brown has threatened to boycott the gathering if Mugabe
attends. Berlin officials who asked not to be identified had said Tuesday
Merkel was certain to go.

In remarks just before her jet took off, Merkel appealed for a 'common
spirit' between Africa and the developed world to reduce poverty, ensure
respect for human rights, fight disease and improve education.

Merkel's first stop on the five-day trip is Ethiopia, to be followed by
South Africa and Liberia.

© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur

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Promise of Full Shop Shelves Met With Scepticism

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

3 October 2007
Posted to the web 3 October 2007


Predictions by Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank Governor, Gideon Gono, that empty
supermarket shelves will soon be packed with goods are being received
somewhat sceptically by Zimbabweans.

Gono's upbeat assessment of the country's prospects in his mid-year monetary
policy statement on Monday coincided with an absence of bread on shop
shelves because of a poor winter wheat harvest, adding to the list of
widespread shortages of basic items that includes fuel, water, electricity
and medicines. Donor agencies estimate that more than a third of Zimbabweans
are on the cusp of severe food shortages.

The belief by Gono that supermarket shelves will soon fill up is based on
the government's introduction of price controls in June, which forced the
supply chain to slash commodity prices by 50 percent and led to empty shop
shelves, staff being laid off and the closure of businesses.

"It is against this background that I can say without fear of retraction or
of being misquoted that it will not be very long before we see visible
supply improvements on the ground," Gono said in his mid-term policy review.

"We should, by the end of this month [October], see the return of mazoe
[orange syrup], soft drinks, cooking oil, soap, milk, bread, sugar and
animal feeds on the shelves at affordable [cost to consumers], but
economically viable prices to the suppliers," he said.

A tempered optimism

However, the Reserve Bank governor tempered his optimism with a warning to
government against immediate implementation of the recently passed
Indigenisation and Empowerment Bill, which allows government to take a
controlling stake of 51 percent in all foreign-owned businesses, including
the British-owned Barclays and Standard Chartered banks, and South African
banking institution Stanbic, owned by Standard Bank.

Our well -considered advice to legislators and government is that a fine
balance should be struck between the objectives of indigenisation and the
need to attract foreign investment

"Our well-considered advice to legislators and government is that a fine
balance should be struck between the objectives of indigenisation and the
need to attract foreign investment necessary to grow our economy, so that
the same economy starts registering growth, which will enable the majority
of our people to start experiencing real, as opposed to the window-dressing,
freelance type of participation we have seen in some of our so-called
indigenised companies," he said.

Gono advised against what he termed "excitable but impractical overnight
conversion events", which could create a perception that the indigenisation
programme was aimed at instant gratification through "grab, take and run"

Gono's delivery of his monetary policy statement coincided with the return
of President Robert Mugabe from the 62nd session of the United Nations
General Assembly in New York, who arrived at the airport in the capital,
Harare, to a tumultuous welcome from veterans of the country's war of

In an address to his supporters Mugabe said companies unhappy with the
indigenisation bill were free to leave. "The minerals are ours, we are
offering good partners - friendly partners - a share of 49 percent. If they
won't take it, hard luck; we will give it to our people."

In another broadside against business, which is labouring under the world's
highest inflation rate of more than 6,000 percent, Mugabe warned against any
price increases. "We will have to seize those companies if they do not abide
by laid down pricing schedules. I am warning you," Mugabe said.

Mixed messages

John Robertson, an economic consultant, said the mixed messages emanating
from Mugabe and Gono made it unlikely that shop shelves would fill up any
time soon.

The President and the governor gave different statements on major policies,
with the Head of State believing that threats would bring discipline to
business, while the governor was critical of price controls

"The President and the governor gave different statements on major policies,
with the Head of State believing that threats would bring discipline to
business, while the governor was critical of price controls. This scenario
is not likely to result in shelves filling up quickly," he told IRIN.

He said the country was facing a hangover from the price controls. "Goods do
not just appear on supermarket shelves; they have to be manufactured by
producers and, in this case, many no longer have the capacity to resume

A government economist, who declined to be identified, was doubtful about
any recovery in the short term. "Over the last eight years, industries have
collapsed, relocated or reduced capacity. The few that were barely surviving
before the price cuts were dealt severe blows and are not likely to
recover," he commented.

"A visit to most supermarkets now reveals that goods on the shelves are not
locally manufactured but imported from South Africa. If the shelves are to
fill up, it will be with imported goods, as private players capitalise on
the absence of a viable manufacturing sector," the government economist

Eric Bloch, an economist and Reserve Bank consultant who has no doubt that
Mugabe will sign the indigenisation bill into law, allowing it to be
gazetted, told IRIN the governor's prediction that the shelves would start
filling up was a realistic scenario.

"The goods are slowly trickling back on the shelves, because today I asked
my messenger to do some shopping and out of the 16 items on the shopping
list, he managed to find 11 items, including milk, candles and laundry soap.
All the commodities bought were manufactured locally."

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations ]

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Price increases greet Gono's monetary policy statement

New Zimbabwe

By Torby Chimhashu
Last updated: 10/03/2007 20:15:22
THE stage is set for fresh confrontation between the Zimbabwe government and
businesses following a wave of price increases effected Tuesday, just hours
after the central bank unveiled its Monetary Policy Statement (MPS).

President Robert Mugabe has warned that his government will seize firms
found charging prices outside "what was agreed on".

Arriving from the just ended United Nations summit in New York held last
week, a bubbly Mugabe told supporters at the Harare International Airport
that he won't compromise on prices.

"We are warning companies to examine themselves and charge the prices we
have set. If they do not comply with our set prices we will take them over,"
Mugabe told supporters at the airport.

"We will seize the companies and take over their operations."

But companies and parastatals reeling from government imposed price controls
moved ahead with a fresh round of upward adjustments.

First to introduce steep water tariffs was the bungling Zimbabwe National
Water Authority (ZINWA) which pushed upwards the rates from $3 596, 20 per
cubic metre to $23 765,63 backdated to August .

The water utility also announced that residents in low-density suburbs pay
530,63 per cubic metre, which is the full cost of treating the cubic metre.

The increases came a day after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon
Gono set aside $14,5 trillion for water and sewer reticulation following
widespread outbreaks of cholera and massive diarrhoea reported in high
density suburbs plagued by water cuts.

Gono said: "We cannot sit and watch while our people die from diseases such
as cholera and dysentery which have been reported in the high density areas.
Your Governor can not and will not allow the suffering of people. Water is
life and everything depends on it.

"The problem that has been created, I don't know for what reasons, requires
the Governor and his team at the central bank to respond with speed. This
money is our response to this crisis which is now an emergency."

Zinwa has been roundly blamed for the water crisis gripping most urban areas
especially Harare and Bulawayo. Bulawayo is worst hit.

Since taking over the water management and other works related assignments
from the local authorities, Zinwa has been plunged the country into a
serious water crisis.

Prices of basic commodities also shot through the roof as supplies trickled
in at major supermarkets around the country.

A 2 litres bottle of Mazowe which Gono promised would be on the shelves
before the end of the month now costs $1 million dollars from $420 000 while
powdered washing detergents are pegged at $800 000 for 500g. The price of
washing soap jumped from $450 000 per bar to $1 million.

A kilogramme of beef has skyrocketed to $1, 2 million in the high density
suburbs while the same weight is costing $1 million for pork.

Analysts said the heavy increases in the prices of basic commodities is
hardly surprising given the government crackdown on business and other
related problems such as foreign currency shortages and intermittent power

Also on Tuesday, the thriving foreign currency parallel market recorded high
rates for the elusive United States dollar and other currencies.

The local unit opened the day pegged between 500 000 and 520 000 against the
greenback on the black market, depending on volumes pushed.

Dealers said it was in stark contrast to last week where the US Dollar was
stabilised at 420 000.

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has also pushed tariffs
upwards in a bid to raise US$41 million to retire its ballooning debt.

Analysts have warned that Gono's efforts to introduce a new currency could
be further scuttled by new levels of inflation expected from the price
increases and the foreign currency crisis.

Zimbabwe is in its straight ninth year of economic recession which is
punctuated by poverty levels of more than 70%, collapsed currency, shrinking
production and inflation sitting at 6592%.

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Clothing outlets feel pinch of Zim price clampdown


October 03, 2007, 18:45

Zimbabwe's top clothing outlets are feeling the pinch of the government's
crackdown on price controls. Edgars, partly owned by Edcon of South Africa,
and Truworths are scaling down operations.

Edgars, the country's second largest clothing retail outlet, has run out of
stock in Harare's central business district, with reports that some workers
have been sent home. But this was before central bank governor Gideon Gono
weighed in this week with incentives for manufacturers to produce and help
efforts by retailers to restock.

Truworths has not announced any intention to close or scale down but is
changing its way of doing business. It has stopped selling merchandise on
credit. In its financial results for the fiscal year ending in July, it said
the severe dislocation of the supply chain meant volumes were low and would
remain as such until June next year if decisions to restore viability were
not met.

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Party Congress to Determine Mugabe's Fate

Institute for War & Peace Reporting (London)

3 October 2007
Posted to the web 3 October 2007

Thomas Dzvetero

ZANU-PF's extraordinary congress in December ahead of the 2008 elections
should answer the question on everyone's lips: will President Robert Mugabe
lead the party in elections next year?

The ruling party is split on whom should take the party into the 2008
presidential and parliamentary elections, which will also be held with local

Mugabe will either announce his retirement at the December 10 congress or
face the humiliation of being challenged for the top post for the first time
in his almost three-decade leadership of the party. If he is challenged, he
is likely to lose the subsequent poll, say observers, because many party
members are said to be opposed to his candidature.

To ascertain which direction the party is likely to take in the two months
before the congress and what is likely to happen at the congress, IWPR spoke
to top ZANU-PF officials from the different factions in the party, who spoke
on condition of anonymity.

According to the ZANU-PF constitution, it is only at a congress that new
leadership can be elected. The party's constitution stipulates that an
extraordinary congress can meet to discuss one item on the agenda - in this
case who will lead ZANU-PF into the elections?

Top ZANU-PF sources say the only agenda at the forthcoming congress will be
to either endorse Mugabe as the party's candidate or hold elections to
choose a successor to the man who has ruled the country for 27 years.

The party has only called for extraordinary congresses twice since
independence in 1980. The first was to discuss the Unity Accord with the
late Joshua Nkomo's ZAPU-PF party and the second was to appoint politburo
members in 2000.

Whether Mugabe will accept being challenged at the congress and allow
elections or resign to avoid a showdown is the subject of intense debate.

Members in retired army commander General Solomon Mujuru's camp have vowed
to contest his nomination but up until now no-one has ever dared challenge
Mugabe in public.

Mujuru's faction, which is pushing for the nomination of the retired
general's wife, Vice President Joice Mujuru's, believes that Mugabe will not
countenance a showdown if there is a chance he will lose.

A top official in the Mujuru camp said Mugabe was most likely to announce
his resignation at the congress to pave the way for Mujuru's ascendancy. He
said that eight of the 10 party provinces so far were vying for Mujuru and
would vote against Mugabe if he agreed to leadership elections. Only the
Midlands and Manicaland provinces are split over the issue but could be
swayed to vote for Mujuru, says the official.

He believes that Mugabe is going to first seek support from all politburo
members to ensure that he emerges as the sole presidential candidate for the
elections. But he will fail in this bid, predicts the official, because most
politburo members want him to resign in December.

"Mugabe is not as foolish as to wish to be humiliated at the congress. He
will not allow a situation where he is contested. He will have to resign
because he is not going to get the support from within the party. I think
what he is doing at the moment is testing the waters to see if he still has
the support of the party.

"I strongly believe that Mugabe wants to retire but wants to do so on a high
note, after he is sure that the party is still strong and that his security
is assured. I also believe all these people [in the ZANU-PF Youth and
Women's League and the war veterans] campaigning for him are just
overzealous and don't understand what the man wants."

But those in Mugabe's camp say that he is not likely to resign at the
congress and will be endorsed by the party.

A senior army official who has no doubts about Mugabe's nomination as the
party candidate for 2008 elections said, "If you understand how ZANU-PF
works, then you will know that all that is being written by the media is
nothing but fiction.

"In ZANU-PF, President Mugabe is our candidate and he has the support of the
people - I am talking about ordinary ZANU-PF supporters. When the day comes,
one person will stand up and nominate him and I can swear on my mother's
grave, there will be no other nominations.

"Who will be that daring to stand up and tell the congress that he or she no
longer wants Mugabe as the party leader? As long as he does not announce his
retirement or resignation, Mugabe is going to emerge as the sole party

The officer said whoever wanted to oppose Mugabe needed to be reminded of
the downfall of others such as Dzikamai Mavhaire, who was fired from the
party in 1997 for calling for Mugabe to be ousted. Only years later was he
allowed to return.

However, the Mujuru faction says even the country's Central Intelligence
Organisation is split over the issue and it will not be that easy this time
round to stop members from choosing their candidate. "If he insists and
forces his candidature, the party is likely to split at the congress," said
the Mujuru supporter.

But the army officer points out that such a split would be unlikely because
it would herald the end of the political careers of those who broke away.

The question in most people's minds is where rural housing minister and
presidential aspirant Emmerson Mnangagwa now fits in the succession debate.

He almost won the vice presidency in 2004 after having secured the support
of six of the ten voting provinces. But Mugabe instead backed Mujuru and
fired the six provincial chairpersons who supported Mnangagwa, accusing them
of plotting a palace coup.

But Mugabe and Mujuru's alliance has since become strained after her camp
showed some impatience by pushing for his retirement.

Most thought Mnangagwa was down after he was demoted from the number five
position of party secretary for administration to secretary for legal
affairs, position number 11 according to the party hierarchy. However, a new
alliance has since been forged with Mugabe.

Mugabe seems to be favouring Mnanagwa and has openly pledged his support at
government and party meetings. A key member in the Mnangagwa faction says
the former speaker and security boss is on the rise.

"It seems Mnangagwa is the one rising and will emerge as Mugabe's successor.
I also believe that the constitutional amendment was made for a reason.
Mugabe will stand and retire and I believe Mnangagwa will be the person who
is chosen by parliament.

"Mnangagwa knows that with the president's endorsement, he will get the
support from the party."

The official in Mujuru's camp said there was no way that Mugabe, whom he
describes as a tribalist, will hand over power to a Karanga, like Mnangagwa,
or a Manyika, such as his powerful security minister, Didymus Mutasa.
Zimbabwe has two main tribal groupings: the Shona make up 80 per cent of the
population and the Ndebele the remainder. But the Shona are divided into
three subgroups: the Zezuru (to which Mugabe belongs), the Karanga and the

"What people don't know is that Mugabe will not hand over power to a
Karanga. He is a tribalist. I believe Mnangagwa is being used by Mugabe. How
does Mnangagwa jump from number 11 in the party to number one? It is not
possible. I also think he is making a mistake aligning himself with Mugabe,"
he said.

The official said Mujuru, a Zezuru herself, would be elected and her
deputies were likely to be Speaker of Parliament John Nkomo, an Ndebele, and
maybe Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, another Zezuru.

Mutasa was a likely candidate to be one of the vice presidents, but he
tarnished his image when he consulted a witchdoctor about his presidential
prospects. He would have represented the Manyika group, which has been
agitating for the top ZANU-PF post.

Thomas Dzvetero is the pseudonym of an IWPR journalist in Zimbabwe.

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Student leader remanded in custody

The Zimbabwean

There was a shocking miscarriage of justice today as Masvingo magistrate
remanded in custody the secretary general of Great Zimbabwe University (
GZU) Edison Hlatshwayo on allegations of malicious injury to property and
assault. The magistrate refused bail due to the fact that the state is still
hunting for more students following disturbances that rocked the University
two weeks ago. He is to appear in court again tomorrow. Other students on
the wanted list includes Zwelithini Viki, Gideon Chitanga who is the ZINASU
Vice President and Mehluli Dube who is also facing treason charges after he
was arrested by Gwanda Police on Saturday.
Hlatshwayo was arrested on Thursday last week while attending a public
meeting organized by the Youth Forum at Charles Austin theatre hall in
Masvingo. Zanu PF youth disrupted the meeting leading to the arrest of 11
participants. The coordinator of Youth Forum Wellington Zindove and the
spokesperson of the National Constitutional Assembly Madock Chivasa were
also arrested and appeared in court on allegations of undermining police
authority were released after paying ZW$10 million bail each. They are to
report at Avondale police station twice a week.
Hlatswayo becomes the seventeenth student to be remanded in custody since
2006 after Beloved Chiweshe, the ZINASU Secretary General, Marvellous
Kumalo, the ZINASU programmes Officer and 14 other students from Bindura
University of Science Education were remanded in custody on 13 May 2006
following a mass protest by students over the continued fee hike in the
country. Most of them had to spent two weeks at the notorious Chikurubi
Maximum Prison in Harare. Hlatswayo is being represented by a legal defence
team from the Zimbabwe Lawyers of Human Rights (ZLHR). Meanwhile, Beloved
Chiweshe said that ZINASU will launch a massive Free Edson Campaign if he is
not released by tommorrow 12.00pm.
'Justice delayed is justice denied'

Zimbabwe National Students Union
53 Hebert Chitepo Ave,
Harare, Zimbabwe,
+263912471673/ +26311861104
zinasu@gmail. com

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The $5 million African leadership award

Business Day, Nigeria

03 October, 2007

 In 2006, Mo Ibrahim launched the world's biggest prize to reward good
governance in Africa. Those ligible for the award are past executive heads
of state or government who demonstrated, while in office, excellence in
African leadership. The five million US dollar award is distributed over ten
years at $200, 000 annually for life thereafter. In addition, the award
stipulates a further $200, 000 per year for good causes of the winner's
choice to be granted by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, the sponsor of the award.
To select the first winner, which will be announced on October 22, 2007, the
foundation selected five eminent personalities to conduct the exercise.
Those on the 2007 prize committee include the former United Nations
Secretary General, Kofi Annan; former United Nations Special Representative
for Namibia and former President of Finland, Martti Ahtisaari; former
Minister of Education in Guinea and Special Adviser to the Director-General
of UNESCO, Aicha Bah Diallo; our own former Minister of Finance and Foreign
Affairs during the Obasanjo administration, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala others are
the former President of Ireland and one time United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson; and former prime Minister of
Tanzania and former Secretary-General of the Organisation of African Unity,
Salim Ahmed Salim.

The prize aims to encourage leaders who fully dedicate their constitutional
tenure of office to surmount the development challenges of their countries,
improving the welfare of their people and consolidating the foundation for
sustainable development.

It is now recognised all over the continent that bad leadership equates bad
governance and vice versa. We only need to look at Zimbabwe for an excellent
example. This award hopes to cement this by promoting good governance by
promoting good leadership. By promoting this initiative, it is expected that
it will lead to visionary and purposeful leadership in Africa.

The idea is to encourage and support good governance in Africa. We believe
the significance of this award is not lost on those that believe that the
main problem of Africa over the decades has been the failure of leadership
to provide good governance. Africa has been unfortunate to have leaders that
were interested only in stealing billions and causing wars, ethnic
cleansing, and impoverishing their people. In a continent that is often
associated only with wars, famine, disease, bad leadership, misery, etc, the
prize must be commended because it goes to the root of the whole matter,
rather than seek to treat the symptoms.

The award has been regarded in some quarters as the equivalent of the Nobel
Prize, this time for honest leaders. Eligible candidates are former
executive heads of state or government in any Sub Sahara African (SSA) state
who have taken office through democratic elections and who have left office
in the previous three years. In addition to this, the criteria include
measures of governance on sustainable economic development; impact on health
and education; transparency and empowerment of civil society, democracy and
human rights; and the rule of law and security.

While we wait for the announcement of the first winner or no winner on the
October 22, 2007, we cannot but imagine which African leaders in the past
three years meet such an all encompassing test of national leadership. In
the same vein we applaud this remarkable initiative and hope that African
leaders will be spurred on by this prospective reward.

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