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Reasons for inaction

by Eric Beauchemin, 19 September 2003


Approaching worthless: inflation in Zimbabwe is likely to hit 1000 percent by the year?s end

asmall_invis - click to listen to Eric Beauchemin?s full report 17?

For the past three years, Zimbabwe has been in crisis. The battle between the increasingly dictatorial and repressive President Robert Mugabe and the opposition has had disastrous economic consequences, with unemployment and inflation running out of control.

While Zimbabweans suffer, all of southern Africa is feeling the repercussions. Trade with what was Africa's breadbasket has come to a standstill and hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans have fled to neighbouring countries. The question now is why South Africa ? the regional power and widely seen as the only country that can end the impasse - has so far resisted a strong intervention.

South African President Thabo Mbeki and his government have been following events in Zimbabwe closely since the crisis began in 2000, when so-called war veterans, with government support, invaded white-owned commercial farms. President Mbeki meets regularly with Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU-PF party. He also holds talks, albeit less frequently, with Zimbabwe's main opposition group, the MDC. But according to Tom Lodge, professor of political studies at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa's involvement has been largely behind the scenes.


    Tom Lodge

    "Mr Mbeki is reluctant to use straight-forward coercion ? sanctions - because he's frightened of the effect they'd have not just on the Zimbabwean economy but also indirectly on South Africa as well. Zimbabwe remains or was until recently a very important trading partner. But at the same time, he has a belief that these matters can be settled discretely, out of the public eye, through negotiations."

Money, no leverage
South Africa is the major player in the region. Its gross domestic product is twice the combined GDP of the other 13 countries of SADC, the Southern African Development Community. But that doesn't necessary translate into political leverage, according to Chris Landsberg, director of the Centre for Policy Studies in Johannesburg:

    "The outside world might think that because they see us as the hegemon and the giant, we can act like that. There's a different reality that prevails in southern Africa. Because of the destabilisation role played by the apartheid state prior to 1989, they are suspicious of South Africa . . . they typically believe we do the bidding of the West."

Robert Mugabe has adroitly exploited the region's fears about South Africa. The Zimbabwean president has also repeatedly voiced a view that many leaders in the region hold: that South Africa owes the former Frontline States for their support in the struggle to end apartheid. It's a debt many of the region's ageing leaders won't allow President Mbeki to forget, according to Dr Landsberg.

    "All these liberation movement leaders ? whether it's Dos Santos or Nujoma or Mugabe ? belong to the same generation. They are all 70 years old. They literally treat Mbeki like the upstart, the new kid on the block . . . like the young boy whom we've groomed and who spent time at Sussex while we were liberating our countries."


Canny old soldier: leaders like Robert Mugabe are fond of reminding South African president Thabo Mbeki of their freedom-fighter past

Shared problems
President Mugabe has also made skilful use of the dilemmas facing his South African counterpart. He knows that some of the most contentious issues facing Zimbabwe ? such as unequal access to land and deep social inequality ? also trouble South Africa. It's been a game of one-upmanship played out both in public and in private.

But no matter how difficult it may prove for the South African leadership, solving the Zimbabwean crisis remains crucial. Adam Habib, the Director of the Centre for Civil Society at the University of Natal in the port city of Durban, says what is happening to South Africa's northern neighbour is affecting the reputation of the entire region.

    "We can't afford it for economic reasons. We can't afford it for social reasons like the refugee crisis, etcetera, and we can't afford it for political reasons, because so long as Zimbabwe exists, NEPAD [the African development partnership] and the AU [African Union] are non-starters because nobody takes them seriously . . . we can't afford Zimbabwe to continue in the way that it is."


Chris Landsberg

President Mugabe is only prepared to go on his own terms. It's a reality, says Dr Landsberg of the Centre for Policy Studies, which South Africa and the rest of the world cannot simply ignore.

    "We're dealing with a leader who has reached the level of thinking, an attitude, that ?go ahead, make my day, push me and I'll show you how much damage I can cause'. So there's a brinkmanship game that he loves playing. He knows he's going down."

Quietly incomprehensible
Human rights organisations and many Zimbabweans are determined that the veteran leader should not walk scot-free. They are calling not only for a peace and reconciliation commission - based on the South African model - but justice as well. Many find it incomprehensible that President Mbeki is continuing his policy of "quiet diplomacy".

Many analysts suspect that President Mbeki's reluctance to act more aggressively towards the Zimbabwean president is because of his own ambivalence about the Movement for Democratic Change.

    "I think Mbeki is uncomfortable with MDC. He thinks it's an amalgamation of lefties, nationalists and right-wing Rhodesians if you like, and he's uncomfortable with that. He's uncomfortable with an element in the MDC that he says as wanting to turn the clock back."

The consequences of the failure of the political process in Zimbabwe have been disastrous for the entire region. The international community has stood by as the crisis has deepened, and according to Dr Habib, even though the big powers must take a large share of historical responsibility for the situation, it's an issue that South Africa must deal with.


    Adam Habib

    "It's something that South Africa has got to confront, no question. Whoever has been the cause of it, we might lament it. The point is that it's at South Africa's door. We are the strongest power in the region. It's our obligation, if you like, to address it and I don't believe we have. That's the second tragedy. The first is what the Europeans forced on Zimbabwe. The second is what the South Africans are refusing to do."

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ZIMBABWE: Daily News staff shut out despite court ruling
JOHANNESBURG, 19 Sep 2003 (IRIN) - Employees of Zimbabwe's Daily News were
prevented from entering their offices on Friday, despite a court ruling
allowing the newspaper to resume publishing, news reports said.

The High Court on Thursday granted an order sought by the Daily News, the
country's only independent daily newspaper, barring police from seizing
equipment and giving it permission to continue operating while its
registration was being processed.

But on Friday police reportedly prevented the newspaper's staff from
entering the building.

"Police are still denying us access. What they are doing is illegal in terms
of the court order," Associated Press (AP) quoted chief executive of the
Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) group, Sam Sipepa Nkomo, as saying.
ANZ is the publisher of The Daily News and The Daily News on Sunday.

Meanwhile, government lawyers told the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation
(ZBC) that preparations were underway to appeal Thursday's order by High
Court Judge Younis Omerjee. "We will be seeking suspension of the order,
pending appeal," acting attorney-general Bharat Patel told ZBC, Agence
France Presse (AFP) said.

The Daily News was shut down last week after the Supreme Court dismissed an
application by the ANZ, challenging the constitutionality of the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA). The Court ruled that the
ANZ had to register under the act before its petition could be heard. The
newspaper group argued that the law infringed its constitutional right to
freedom of expression and filed an urgent application to resume operations
on grounds that the closure was illegal.

The decision to close the newspaper has been met with widespread disapproval
by media rights groups. Amnesty International this week condemned the
action, saying the move "sends a strong and clear signal to regional and
international leaders that human rights are under siege in Zimbabwe".

Since its opening in 1999 the Daily News has on several occasions received a
tongue-lashing from authorities for its perceived support for the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change.

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From Business Day, 19 September

Zimbabwe can attend summit, says Mbeki

Cape Town - There was no additional sanction barring Zimbabwe from attending
the Commonwealth summit to be held in Nigeria in December, President Thabo
Mbeki said yesterday. Mbeki reminded the National Assembly that Zimbabwe's
suspension from the Commonwealth had been for a period of a year, which had
passed in March. He said the decision to suspend Zimbabwe for a year was
taken within a very specific mandate. "The troika decided to impose a
maximum sentence of suspension for a year and that has been served. I am not
aware of any additional sanctions." Mbeki and Nigerian President Olusegun
Obasanjo sit on a troika chaired by Australian Prime Minister John Howard
and charged with overseeing the Commonwealth's response to alleged human
rights violations in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth
in March last year over its poor human rights record and President Robert
Mugabe's re-election in a vote that was condemned as rigged. When the
initial 12-month suspension ended in March this year, the Commonwealth
announced that Zimbabwe's suspension would remain in place until December.
Nigeria has indicated that it may issue an invitation to Zimbabwe. Mbeki
said a country's attendance at the summit was based on an invitation from
the host country. "The invitation will come from Obasanjo. This is a matter
he will deal with. So I think we will await a decision from the host on
whether certain recommendations will be accepted." French news agency AFP
quoted a spokesman for the Commonwealth saying that Zimbabwe would not
attend the summit even if other African nations wanted it to attend.

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Sydney Morning Herald

Zimbabwe says Howard has 'lost his senses'September 20, 2003

The Zimbabwe government has hit out at Australian Prime Minister John
Howard, accusing him of having lost his senses by trying to bar Zimbabwe
from taking part in Commonwealth activities, state media said yesterday.

This week Howard told Australian radio that Zimbabwe was a "human disaster"
and that the southern African country should be barred from participating in
Commonwealth activities until President Robert Mugabe left power.

"Mr Howard has been abandoned by his senses. It is not for Mr Howard to
decide who governs Zimbabwe. It is for the people of Zimbabwe," Zimbabwe's
foreign minister, Stan Mudenge, told state television.

Zimbabwe was suspended from the 54-member group of mainly former British
colonies in March 2002 following presidential elections won by Mugabe but
widely viewed as fraudulent.

The ban was extended in March this year, and Howard said that this meant
Mugabe would be barred from attending a Commonwealth summit meeting in
Nigeria in December.

Mudenge said that Howard should focus on resolving racial disharmony in
Australia, which he claimed was "worse than apartheid", instead of telling
African countries "which government may or may not be under the

"That would have been okay at the time of the British Commonwealth. This is
not the British Commonwealth," Mudenge said.

This week South Africa said it would fight the move by Howard and
Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon to bar Mugabe from the December
summit, setting the stage for a dispute between Australia and African states
over the issue.

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PR COMMUNIQUE - September 19, 2003



Letter 1

Justice for Agriculture (JAG), a signatory of the CRISIS Coalition's
Freedom Charter, joins Zimbabwe's Civil Society in condemning the banning
of the Daily News and the raiding of the newspaper's offices by Police and
Militia.  JAG encourages all Zimbabweans to press for the repeal of AIPPA
and POSA with immediate effect.  The use of selective justice and
repressive legislation can no longer be tolerated.


Letter 2

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition is dismayed but not surprised by the
forced closure of the Daily News on Friday September 12, 2003.

On Thursday September 11, the Supreme Court ruled that Associated
Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), publishers of the Daily News and the Daily
News on Sunday was operating illegally, and required the organisation to
register as a mass media house in accordance with the provisions of the
widely contested Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
(AIPPA) before ANZ's case on the constitutionality of AIPPA would be heard.

In statements published in both the Daily News and the state-controlled
newspaper The Herald, ANZ officials were quoted as intending to respect the
judgement by registering the paper.  However, it was noted that the process
of registration itself can be time consuming, and might take several

Despite these intentions, armed members of the Zimbabwe National Army and
the Zimbabwe Republic Police arrived at the offices of the Daily News on
the afternoon of Friday September 12 and evacuated the staff from the
offices. They did not present a court order, but instead declared that the
paper would not be publishing, in either print or electronic form, for the
following day.

The police have since sealed off the building both for office and
production work, effectively incapacitating even ANZ staff members from
preparing the paper work necessary for registration.  However, officials of
the Daily News report that they have not even been given access to the
Supreme Court ruling, further comprising their ability to comply with the

The Crisis Coalition is concerned by the above-described events for several

1. The swiftness of the Supreme Court's ruling is surprising.  In November
2002 the case of the Independent Journalists Association of Zimbabwe (IJAZ)
challenging AIPPA was heard, but judgement still has to be handed down. In
contrast, the Supreme Court hastened to make a ruling on the ANZ
application. Typically, if the constitutionality of a law is being
questioned from several quarters, it is standard practice to stay all
judgements until each aspect of the law has been heard, and the judgements
can be made concurrently.

2. The forced closure of ANZ by the army and police demonstrates an
excessive use of force by the state machinery.  Moreover, it is
unprocedural for the police to enter a building, detain several officials
for questioning and close down a business without producing a Court Order
or explaining the legal foundation for their actions.

3. If the Daily News is not allowed to operate or publish, Zimbabweans will
be deprived of an alternative source of information.  Free media access is
a cornerstone of a democratic society.  The silencing of the independent
press is a blatant attempt by the ruling party to further consolidate its
stranglehold on people's access to information.  Also, if only one paper is
in circulation, this will further contribute to the polarised and
dichotomous reporting of the news - both about the ANZ story and more
general issues - to the Zimbabwean people.

4. The Supreme Court judgement represents a worrying endorsement of AIPPA,
a law whose constitutionality has been questioned by journalists and civil
society actors both within Zimbabwe and across the region.

5. The objectivity of a government run Media and Information Commission
(MIC) in debating the operations of the press in Zimbabwe contains both
regulatory and financial biases.  The government has clear political
interests in ensuring a monopoly on the print media^×to complement its
control on the broadcast sector - in order to narrow public awareness of
current issues.  In addition, the state has a financial conflict of
interest, which prevents it from being an impartial referee in the question
of newspaper publication.  There is no doubt that the growing popularity of
the Daily News - and its expanding market share - have had financial
implications on the viability of state-owned ZimPapers.

The Crisis Coalition is stunned by the irregularity with which this case
has been handled, and the perverted sense of justice demonstrated by the
Supreme Court in this instance.  In a democracy, citizens should be allowed
to challenge the constitutionality of a law before having to comply with
it, without being accused of subverting the legal process.

The Coalition demands that ANZ immediately be permitted to resume
operations.  It calls for the repeal of AIPPA, and the return to
non-partisan application of the rule of law in a way that is consistent,
fair and procedural.

14 September 2003

Information Department
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
Box CY 434 Causeway, Harare
+263 4 747 817


Letter 3

Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum
16 September 2003


The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum joins its peers in Civil Society in
condemning, unreservedly, the banning of the Daily News following a Supreme
Court ruling on 11 September 2003 that the paper was operating illegally
and in defiance of the draconian Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act (AIPPA).

This diabolical piece of legislation was clearly promulgated to constrain
freedom of expression, a right protected, if only on paper, under Section
20 of the Constitution.

The Daily News had declined to register with the Media and Information
Commission alleging that the legislation, under which this requirement
existed, was in itself unconstitutional.  The Supreme Court ruled

The Daily News is the only independent daily newspaper in the country and
as such has provided differing viewpoints from these of state- owned
newspapers.  In perceived reprisal, it has been subjected to three
bombings, none of which has been resolved, arrests of editors and staff and
destruction of newspapers by ruling party militias, none of whom were

Despite lip service being given to the possible repeal of this draconian
and repressive press law by the President himself to the Commonwealth
Troika, it remains in place in defiance of domestic and international law
and continues to contribute to the undemocratic environment in Zimbabwe.


Letter 4:

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights


Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) is gravely concerned at the impact
on the right to freedom of expression of the forced closure of the
privately owned Daily News following the recent Supreme Court ruling in the
matter involving the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) and the
Minister of Information & Publicity and the Media and Information
Commission. The ANZ are the publishers of the Daily News, which is the only
independent daily newspaper in Zimbabwe. This is not the first time that
the employees and the newspaper itself have come under attack for their
efforts to disseminate information to the public about affairs affecting
their day-to-day lives.

ZLHR has always maintained that the Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act (AIPPA) is a repressive piece of legislation that was enacted
primarily to undermine the right to freedom of expression and stifle the
exchange of ideas and information by the people of Zimbabwe. AIPPA,
together with the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), the Broadcasting
Services Act, the Miscellaneous Offences Act (MOA) and the Labour Relations
Act (LRA), amongst others, form an axis of repression in Zimbabwe,
assaulting the epicentre of the freedom of expression. The latest attempt
to utilise AIPPA to effectively shut down the private media should leave no
person in doubt as to the intentions of those who crafted the legislation
and their desire to suppress freedom of expression in the country. The
Supreme Court Ruling

Whilst reservations have been previously expressed about the independence
of the Judiciary in Zimbabwe, ZLHR has remained fairly confident for some
time that the bench would remain the final protector of universally
recognised human rights and fundamental freedoms. In addition to the
Constitution, Zimbabwe is bound by a number of international instruments
that oblige it to conform with minimum standards in terms of promoting and
protecting the right to freedom of expression which includes the right to
impart and receive information. We have no doubt that the Supreme Court is
aware of the obligations that Zimbabwe has in terms of such international
instruments as The African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which guarantee the
right to freedom of expression.

Even though ZLHR has not yet been able to obtain a copy of the Supreme
Court's judgement in the ANZ matter in order to express a technical
opinion, we are able to comment on the impact of the ruling on the right to
freedom of expression as a fundamental human rights issue.

ZLHR notes with grave concern that the Supreme Court ruling effectively
resulted in the biggest assault on the right of freedom of expression in
the history of our Independence. It is indeed regrettable that the
ambitious thrust by the Minister of Information and Publicity to enact, by
any means, unconstitutional legislation designed to arrest expression, has
now been given judicial approval by a court entrusted with the protection
of fundamental freedoms and universally recognised human rights to ensure
justice and freedom in Zimbabwe. Repression may therefore have sadly found
itself an ally against human rights defenders, in the form of the

The forced closure of the Daily News

It came as no surprise to ZLHR that the police acted with apparent haste
and enthusiasm to close down the Daily News on 12 September 2003 once the
Supreme Court had made its pronouncements. This effectively put the final
nail in the coffin of the right to expression. ZLHR is also deeply
concerned about the impact of the police conduct consequent to the Supreme
Court ruling on the investment climate in Zimbabwe at a time when our
economy is in serious disarray.

It is time for the Ministry of Information and Publicity to cease utilising
repressive and unconstitutional pieces of legislation to stem the free-flow
of information and ideas in Zimbabwe. We continue to call for the immediate
repeal of AIPPA and POSA and the drafting of appropriate and lawful
legislation after considered debate and input from all stakeholders.
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SECURITY UPDATE - September 19, 2003




"Operation Clean Sweep", code name for the illegal taking over and looting
of the last vestiges of commercial farming in Zimbabwe is in progress. Top
ruling party officials, loyalists, and their wives who evicted farmers and
their employees at the beginning of last season, have reaped the profits of
their stolen crops and are now moving onto farms whose lands are fully
prepared and planted.  There is definitely method in their madness! One
wonders what they intend to do next season when there will be literally
nothing left?  The country's wild life is being decimated, in many
instances by the very people employed to protect their heritage.

Hopeless? Definitely not!  No situation is ever permanent.  The
overwhelming majority of Zimbabweans want an end to the current chaos, they
want employment, food, shelter, access to reasonable health services,
freedom of association and speech, they want a return to the rule of law
and they want peace.  They want to know that when they seek the protection
of the Police they will not be beaten and tortured or handed over to the
militia.  The women of Zimbabwe want their children back from the militia
camps.  They want them returned to them, not as trained torturers and
rapists, but as the children they brought up to respect their parents and

The people of Zimbabwe want justice.  Their country has been looted and
their friends and families beaten, murdered, raped, displaced and
dispossessed.  The perpetrators of these crimes will be held accountable.
That time is not far off.

Despite all this Zimbabweans have remained remarkably peaceful and resolute
under extreme circumstances.

In the words of Mahatma Gandhi " The force generated by non-violence is
infinitely greater than the force of all the arms invented by man's

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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Letter 1: Old Lady


I believe that it is my duty to report the following shocking incident if
we are ever to stand up and take note of the appalling incidents taking
part in our once beloved country, Zimbabwe.

It was Sunday the 7th September 2003. That morning, a few friends and
myself were travelling along the Bulawayo Road towards Lake Chivero when we
heard the familiar sound of Mugabe's entourage approaching us from behind.
As always, we immediately slowed down and pulled of the road allowing them
to pass. Police cars and motorbikes flanking the black Mercedes, sirens
blaring, rushed by and all but one continued their journey. As we watched,
from over the rise ahead the last police car appeared, reversing towards us
again at high speed. It stopped a few metres from us and a man got out and
approached another car parked in front of us. At the window, he reached in
and started punching the driver. After a minute or so, he left to catch up
with his fellow policemen so naturally we got out of our car to see if the
other person was all right. As we got to the car, we looked inside only to
see an old white woman (about 70) sitting alone in the driver's seat. We
were horrified!!!!! We had seen her car pull over when the sirens were
heard; she had done nothing wrong. This was clearly an act of pure hatred
on the part of the policeman towards a woman who was obviously defenceless.
These are the people we look up to protect us; there are no rules or
justice in this country anymore. Shaken up, and clearly upset the old lady
turned and headed home to Harare.

No matter what colour you are or what political standing you choose, nobody
has the right to beat up an old woman in any circumstance.  Fellow
citizens, I leave this horrifying truth in your hands.

K & C


Letter 2: Re Open Letter Forum No. 145 dated 16 September 2003

Dear Sir,

With reference to the JAG Open Letter No 145 of the 16th September 2003

I would like to challenge John Kinnaird's bald insinuation that a great
deal of the problems the Country is facing have been exacerbated by the
farming community as a whole, due to their failure to stand up to the
intimidation and violence perpetrated against themselves and their labour

Not knowing John Kinnaird, I wonder if he resides in the secure confines of
Borrowdale Brooke, or some other similar residential area.

He very obviously has never experienced the blood chilling fear of having
250 crazed and fired up locals who casually invade the environs of one's
home and garden, construct fires on the front lawn, destroy outdoor
furniture, defecate in the garden and swimming pool, urinate against house
walls, copulate openly in the shrubbery, raid fruit and vegetable patches,
and carry out any other debasing action they can think of, all the while
beating drums and singing wildly to keep up extreme noise levels calculated
to further intimidate the two people, and their children, in the isolated
farmhouse, having first felled several trees across access roads to ensure
no-one could either enter to assist, or escape to safety.

I would suggest he has also not had the opportunity to face, totally alone,
a gang of thirty to fifty labourers who have been worked up by a political
commissar to threaten, rant and rave, resisting all reason, against the
very person, himself, who has employed and housed, educated and helped
these same workers and their families for the past thirty odd years, and
who now show not one jot of loyalty to him, the farmer.

He has not experienced his family being attacked in his house - the
terrified children screaming for help whilst he and his wife were being
physically beaten, or even shot at.

Or was ever forced to stand helplessly by and watch whilst exultant gangs
stole his equipment, burnt tractors, trashed buildings, shot his dogs,
drove his cattle into dams to drown - and then have the arriving police
force accuse him of inciting violence and breaking the law!

Or, to know the anguish of being completely unable to assist whilst all
these terrible things were happening to close neighbours and long standing
dear friends, for fear of arrest and persecution by the armed forces
guarding the perpetrators.

Or to know the trauma of being forced to hastily pack and load household
goods, personal belongings, valuable heirlooms, years of carefully
accumulated farm equipment, whilst being subjected to threats, insults,
taunts and disgusting behaviour from supposed loyal employees.

Or to know that these same employees will now suffer hardship, hunger,
disease and death, and that, despite their recent actions, this suffering
will weigh heavily against the heart of the farmer they have betrayed.
Or to know the ultimate despair and heartbreak of being forced to leave the
beloved home that has taken thirty years of blood, sweat and tears to build
into a viable, successful and beautiful unit, and thus to know the
desperate, soul crushing sadness of leaving the Country of one's birth and
ancestors in order to salvage what is left of one's health and sanity.

Yes, we all know that one day things will change.
Yes, we all know that Mugabe and his henchmen have a dreadful list of
crimes against their own people to answer for.
Yes, we hope that retribution will occur in time.

But for now, John Kinnaird, never, ever, presume to judge your fellow
Countryman's actions in a severe and extreme situation not of his making,
unless you have truly walked in his shoes.

Jean Bonsor
formerly Mvurwi District


Letter 3:

Dear All,

I am chuffed that some people actually read my letter to the forum.

I had 3 positive responses and 2 negative, in a democracy that would mean
that most people agree with me!!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mrs Bonsor & Mrs Doggrell
for their replies and acknowledge their criticisms.

Please allow me to reply to both of them.

First Mrs Bonsor.

It is a pity that she did not actually read the letter before going off
half-cocked. Through her whole letter there is not one constructive point.

She has missed the gist of my letter completely. I am a big boy and can
take criticism of my point of view. What is irrelevant is for her to attack
me personally.

To make it simple for her

If all the farmers had acted decisively and unanimously after David Stevens
was murdered, she and the rest of the farmers who were brutalised would not
have had to be subjected to savagery that she was subjected to!! The people
who murdered David Stevens are still terrorising people.

The Farmers Leadership should have and still should lay down the gauntlet
to the Ruling party by demanding that the perpetrators of all these crimes
should be arrested and punished.

The farmers representatives should demand that their members rights are
upheld by the ZRP and the courts. Instead they are like Nero who fiddled
while Rome was burning around him.

There must have been a decision made by her and her husband to stay put on
the farm thereby putting themselves in a position where they were subjected
to that brutality.

The intention of the mob was to get the white farmer off the farm for
political reasons so that the farm workers could be terrorised.

The fact that you educated, fed & employed your workers was why you were
attacked. This was to show your workforce that ZANU-PF is more powerful and
influential than you are.

I did not make assumptions on your character Mrs Bonsor, as you did on
mine!!! I merely expressed an opinion on why you were terrorised and why
your whole world has been destroyed.

Do I have to be terrorised in order that I may express an opinion?? What
you are saying is that the people who were not personally in the Aushwitz
death camps should not comment on them?? The world would be a sad place if
that were the case.

60 years after the fact, the German people are still trying to come to
terms with the fact that many of their Fathers and Grandfathers turned a
blind eye and stood idly by whilst the Nazi Party killed 6 million Jews,
Gypsies and anyone who didn't agree with them.

The farmers' leadership took the option that they would go the dialogue

I am saying that this is the wrong option.
Brave people need to stand up and say that this brutality will not be
tolerated. You will say that it is easy for me to say this because I am not
in a position of vulnerability.

Am I really in a position of security?? Am I not putting myself and my
family in danger merely by expressing my views?? Do you think for a moment
that Mugabe and his Thugs do not tap my telephone and monitor my emails??
Does this mean that I must say nothing and watch from the sidelines???

The hundreds of other farmers who were terrorised and are being terrorised
put themselves at risk by staying on the farms.

By the way I live in a small rural town. Everyone in the town knows my
political views including the CIO and the ZANU-PF thugs. I drive a stuffed
out 1984 Land cruiser. I have just bought my first and probably only house
after 30 years of work. I really do not even know how to get to Borrowdale
Brook as Mr Mugabe lives close by and I do not want to go anywhere near

I have not made the assumptions that you live in your Mediterranean Villa
bear Port Shepstone with your New Merc parked outside.

I don't assume that you use your Pajero to go to Durban once a wek to do
the shopping, living off the money that you made when you were tobacco
farming in Mvurwi, so do not make assumptions about someone you do not

I will make my views known to whoever wants to listen and will accept any
criticism on my views, and I will be prepared to argue my views with anyone
who feels that they have a better point of view..

Angela, your letter is more constructive, but once again what is your
point?? You are still in a position of vulnerability. I hope that if one of
my friends or neighbours is attacked I will have the courage to come
forward and assist them.

I hope that this madness will end soon.

I hope that when the local war Vet comes to bum a donation off you or asks
you to plough his field that you have the courage to tell him to push off.

What kind of life do you have when you are surrounded by people who have
been told that you are the enemy?

These poor people will only know who the real enemy is after once he has
been removed from the scene.

I hope that when the next election comes around that you are not anywhere
near your property because if you are the militia will be back to show your
workers how powerful they are and how they are able to beat up white
farmers with impunity.

I hope that you are not there because your workers will be forced to kill
your thoroughbred horses. If they do not they will be branded sellouts and
they themselves will be brutalised.

We live in towns because it is our choice. You live on a farm because it is
your choice.

I hope & pray that you are still around when this madness ends.

John Kinnaird.

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
for Agriculture.

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JOB OPPORTUNITIES: Updated September 19, 2003

Please send any job opportunities for publication in this newsletter to:
JAG Job Opportunities <>


(ad inserted 16 September 2003)

We have a vacancy for a receptionist.
Applicant must be MS Word/ Excel/ e-mail literate and of a cheerful manner.
Salary on application.
Phone Carol Livingston 305613/4 Harare


HARARE (Glen Lorne)
(ad inserted 04 September 2003)

Position for a 5-day week mornings only handyman at Imba Matombo Hotel will
be available from 14 September 2003. Please contact Julie Webb 499013.


(ad inserted 03 September 2003)

Wanted: Trial Balance Bookkeeper to join a dynamic team.  We are looking
for someone who is computer literate, familiar with Excel and Word.
Knowledge of Quickbooks would be an advantage.  The person will handle all
accounting functions for the company.  Duties would include the
following: -

- Cash Book
- Daily Banking
- Creditors
- Debtors
- Monthly Profit & Loss
- Salaries
- Personnel Records
- Produce Sales and Finance reports
- Sales Tax, Nssa, PAYE and other
- Stock reconciliation
- Update price lists
- Miscellaneous typing and filing

If you are interested please contact Trish on 703903/704008 or email  Package negotiable.


(ad inserted 21 August 2003)




(ad inserted 21 August 2003)

Do you love children and have a passion for teaching?

Highlands School SDA is looking for mature Junior and Infant School
Teachers either full or part time for 2004.

We have a reputation for providing a high standard of education in a
relaxed, fun and lively atmosphere.  We strive to maintain this excellence
and will pay top salaries for the right people.

Please email your cv with contactable references to with
a brief description about yourself and why you would like to work at

Alternatively post your application to
Highlands SDA,
Highlands School,
P O Box HG 691,

We regret that we can only contact applicants who fulfill our criteria.

Help us to educate our precious children.


(ad inserted 06 August 2003)

A post for a trial balance bookkeeper has become vacant and we are
currently looking. If you know of anyone interested, I'd be grateful if
you'd ask them to contact me on my landlines 481822/873/894/918 or by
email to discuss. Details of the position outlined

We are looking for a Pastel Bookkeeper to run the accounts department for
our small but busy group of companies based in Msasa. The position would
include the following:-

* Cash books
* Trial balance
* Profit & Loss
* Salaries monthly (Belina)
* Wages weekly (Belina)
* Personnel records
* Sales Tax recon. and payment
* PAYE recon. and payment
* Pension
* Creditors recon. and payment
* Debtors (overseeing)
* Filing
* Preparing books for year end

Details of package to be disclosed on application.


(Ad inserted 30 July 2003)



(Ad inserted 21 July 2003)

Personal Assistant to Managing Director of an Accounting Company.

Very busy position.  Min 5 years experience in similar position, must be
organised and computer literate.  Friendly atmosphere and conveniently
situated offices in Mount Pleasant.  Competitive salary.  Contact Bill
Ferris on 335252.


(Ad inserted 16 July 2003)

ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER with some knowledge of photographic and hunting
tourism wanted for Associations.  Varied, interesting work.  Basic computer
skills and common sense main requirements.

Contact Mrs. S. Bown, ZATSO, Box 7241, Harare, with CV, or e-mail to


(ad inserted 13 August 2003)

Farm to lease or sell:

478ha (1180 acres) 55 km from Harare. Listed in Herald 9th May 2003. No
sections, invaders or settlers.

2 spacious homes, 1 with self-contained cottage, pool and granny flat.

Store, workshops, storerooms and facilities for tobacco / paprika / maize /
seed maize.

Tractors, trailers, ploughs, harrows, water carts etc. included.

No equipment for sale individually. No chancers.

Replies by e-mail only please, to


ad inserted 05 June 2003

I own a 40 Ha smallholding with 1.6 Ha roses (new Meilland varieties) and
some field crops.

The project has an EPZ Licence and is in the process of being developed to
4 Ha of rose production.

The existing manger is, sadly, migrating to South Africa and I am therefore
looking for a suitable replacement within the next 4-6 weeks. Rose growing
experience is strongly preferred but not necessarily a pre-requisite.

A partnership with the right manager would be considered in the medium

Could interested applicants please contact me on 091 61 62 63.


(ad inserted 26 July 2003)

Caretaker - Manager required for Bulawayo Power Boat Club based at Lower
Incema Dam approx 65km's from Bulawayo on the Johannesburg Road. Position
requires a person who can supervise labour, attend to maintenance of water
reticulation and electrical supply, run and man the club bar primarily over
weekends.  The position comes with accommodation and services. Interested
parties to contact the following numbers for further details: -

R Jardin on 09880181
R Robinson on 023460817


(ad inserted 02 September 2003)

Farm sitter urgently required from 16-30th September 2003.  Duties to
include looking after tobacco grading shed and possible ridging to be done.
Please contact 091 321 406.


(ad inserted 19 August 2003)

Position Vacant.
Estate Manager for large company, Eastern Districts, to control fields,
office and factory. Duties entail learning and enforcing all present
practices, maintain and improve standards of production and quality. Good
prospects for the right person seeking long-term commitment.

Qualifications: BSc Agriculture / Horticulture; plus 8 years experience at
senior level; may consider Diploma plus track record.

o Normal farm perks;
o Double-cab with free fuel; may qualify car purchase scheme.
o Company share scheme.
o Annual Commission on performance.
o Competitive Salary.
o Assistance with school fees.
o Company pays 75% of CIMAS.
o Generous Leave.

Appointment on probation for 4 months.
Submit CV to "The Director"


(ad inserted 06 August 2003)

Position Vacant
A large company in the eastern districts seeks to fill the post of Estate
Manager on the following general terms. Appointment may be subject to a
satisfactory report from an Industrial Psychologist.

Duties: To take control of the estate, reporting to the overall
agricultural manager, being responsible for field supervision, for office
control and planning, and for factory production. These duties will entail
learning and enforcing all present practices to maintain and improve
standards of production and quality. Later, we would expect initiatives to
lead this enterprise to even greater heights.

This post has good promotion prospects for the right person, as the
incumbent gains experience and responsibilities. These duties require a
high level of commitment and long hours of work at busy times. The Company
works a 6-day week.

Qualifications: A BSc in Agriculture or Horticulture; plus at least 8 years
of relevant experience, recently at a senior management level; Capable of
commanding a large workforce through the department managers and with
assistance from the service departments; Aged between 32 and 45 years. A
Diploma plus excellent track record may be considered, but demonstrable
technical and managerial expertise is essential.

o Subsidised housing with lights and water, and 2 gardeners;
o A double-cab vehicle with free fuel within reason; may qualify for the
car purchase scheme after the probation period.
o Company share schemes allow participation in the company's fortunes.
o Annual Commission on performance against targets of production, quality,
profitability, and tasks.
o Competitive Salary, commensurate with qualifications and experience.
o Pension Scheme. Employee contribution is 8%. Must meet medical standards
in this respect.
o Schooling: assistance with school fees for up to four children.
o Company pays 75% of CIMAS monthly rates on any scheme level.
o Leave: 36 calendar days; plus 1 day per month `occasional' leave.

Appointment would be on probation for 4 months, during which one month's
notice applies. The company is looking for a long-term commitment by a
professional seeking a career.
Suitable candidates should submit CVs marked for attention "The Director",


(ad inserted 12 July 2003)

A vacancy exists for 2 teachers - preferably a couple at Mvurachena Primary
School in Chipinge from next term. This is a delightful little school with
a great track record in the education and sporting field. On campus
accommodation would be available.

For more information please contact the headmistress on


(ad inserted 04 July 2003)

scheme and there are further plans to produce cash crops.  Knowledge of
coffee would be an advantage.  Good Salary with normal farm perks to the
right person, to start as soon as possible.  Please reply to "The
Advertiser", 31 Pendennis Road, Mount Pleasant, Harare or or phone 011402607


(ad inserted 18 September 2003)


A very exciting and challenging opportunity for a financial controller /
accountant in the tourism industry

IDEALLY: We require: A couple who can both become involved in the
business and who do not still have children at school.

Either the husband or wife should have extensive accounting experience and
be able to manage the accounting staff.

The company is also involved in Christian mission and overseas student
tours throughout Africa, conducting hunting safaris and has an export
orientated weavery business.

The company offices, homesteads, extensive workshops and very busy Safari
lodge/camp are based on a game park 10 kms out of Gweru.

Enthusiastic and committed couples interested in joining us should please
forward details to or phone me directly on 091-205956

The position is available immediately and really is an exiting one.

We offer:

· Company vehicle
· Company house on the game park
· Competitive salary
· Lots of perks
P O Box 1218, Gweru, Zimbabwe
Phone/Fax: +(263 54) 52172, 50919


(ad inserted 16 September 2003)

Lake Fresh Fisheries in Kariba has a vacancy for the position of General
Manager with the core business being Kapenta Fishing. Ideal for successful
farmer - minimum age 30 years. The company offers a very attractive Salary,
free vehicle for company use, plus free house, lights and water, with 21
working days leave p/a. Genuine applications only please
Phone 011 608 782 or 308960, or email


(ad inserted 09 September 2003)

A General Manager is wanted in Chalala, Kariba to start work immediately.
Skills to include:

1. diesel mechanic,
2. must be a hard worker,
3. is familiar with boats and equipment,
4. good at labour relations,
5. preferably married as social life is limited.

A 3-bedroomed cottage is offered for accommodation.

Salary is substantial but negotiable.

Please contact 061 2523 or 011 715 425 for further information.



(ad inserted 16 September 2003)


A farm manager / assistant for a horticultural project situated 25 km from
Please contact Mr. P. Buchan on



(ad inserted 13 August 2003)


Barwick School is situated in the peaceful countryside of Mutoroshanga
about 100km north of Harare. The school itself faces the beautiful hills of
the Great Dyke and surrounded by the Caeser mining village and Barwick
farming community.

We require the services of a matron, as of the Third Term preferably
someone who has nursing experience and who has a lot of drive, to look
after the Grade 5----7 and maintain law and order in the top hostels.
Please contact the Headmaster on phone no:066-8-285/091345352 or


(ad inserted 02 July 2003)

We have an immediate opening for a Citrus Farm Manager in the Nkwaline
Valley, Natal (Empangeni area) RSA.

We seek to recruit a dynamic person for our Citrus Production including
general Estate matters.

The position will report to the Managing Director of the Company and will
be part of the senior management team.

The ideal candidate should be a team player with good interpersonal
relationship skills who is able to make decisions and get on with the
day-to-day business of farming. The candidate should also have the ability
to be allowed to reside and work in RSA.

The varieties of citrus produced on the farm are Marsh and Texas Star Ruby
Grapefruit and Valencia oranges. It would be preferable to have citrus
experience but not absolutely necessary, however a minimum of five years
farm management essential.

Interested parties please contact Shaun Dearlove so that we can discuss in
depth the position, the responsibilities and the package being advertised
(supply a contact telephone number please).

Kindly send your CV and a list of references, to
the following email address;
Marked for the attention of Shaun Dearlove.



Cattle farming business in Ghanzi District, Northwest Botswana for sale.
(The owners moving for kids schooling.) Comprises 2 well-developed freehold
farms, measuring 10 112,06 Morg (8 660 Ha) in total, 1050 head of cattle
(cross Santa-Sussex), all necessary farming equipment, lighting-plants,
gensets, inverter equipment managers residence, main farm residence, staff
accommodation, workshops and storerooms etc, etc Walk-in / walk-out deal
BWP4 500 000-00 (Approx US$ 775 000-00). All serious offers will be
Contact Mike on (267) 72290622 or e-mail


(ad inserted 03 July 2003)

A commercial Enterprise in Malawi is looking for the services of General
Manager with the aim of establishing and developing large scale plantation,
including cotton, seed maize, burley tobacco, and wheat.

A successful applicant must have:
1) Extensive agricultural and technical skills and experience in the
2) Experience in greenfields establishment and development, irrigation,
3) Strong organizational and administration skills.
4) Individual must possess leadership and negotiating skills in line with
the running of a large-scale agricultural business.
5) Formal qualifications essential.

Please contact the managing director on



Tobacco managers wanted in Malawi: 2003/4 seasons 100ha Flue cured 100ha
Maize African tobacco managers of Malawian extraction wanting to relocate
with costs paid and paper work facilities. Malawian Passport Holders will
obviously be given preference. Respond to JAG's email address and we will


(ad inserted 06 July 2003)

Shareholder/s sought for farming venture. Export fresh produce production
and potential for other cropping activities.
· 500ha, 180ha cleared.
· Excellent water supply
· Uniform Class 1 soils throughout
· Existing house and buildings
· Equipment Included
Tel: 091 602815



(ad inserted 19 August 2003)

A cellular company is looking for a Manager for their operations in
Nigeria.  This post would suit a single male with no children between the
ages of 30-40.  This is a hostile business environment so it requires
someone of tough character and with good business acumen as well as the
ability to manage himself.

The salary is payable is USD with two home return trips per year.
Accommodation is provided as well as the use of a company car and driver.
Further details provided on application to the candidates who fit the
company's criteria.

Applicants to email their most current cv and a brief description of one's
capabilities to Barbara Taylor at this address:  Or
apply in writing to Box MP 1270, Mount Pleasant, Harare.


(ad inserted 08 September 2003)

I have been in Uganda for the last six weeks. Whilst there, I met a Ugandan
who is a lawyer by profession, who owns three pieces of land and who is
looking for someone to run farming operations for him. He has 800 acres
between Entebbe and Kampala, where he is doing maize and cattle and two
other properties of 10 square miles and two square miles respectively, both
with potential for irrigation if necessary.

Should you know of anyone who might be interested, I would ask that they
send responses to the Ugandan email address for more information:


(ad inserted 09 September 2003)

Mechanical Engineer required for a large engineering firm in Lusaka.  All
enquiries contact Diego Casilli in Lusaka on or


(ad inserted 05 July 2003)

Assistant Manager required for an 80-hectare tobacco project 70 km north of
Lusaka. Position available immediately.
Please contact Mr Mike Goodwin on +260 95 702 718 (cell) or +260 1 611 222
or Agricultural Advisors International on this mail address or phone +260 1
290 235


(ad inserted 08 August 2003)

For Attn of Mr Richard Tigner

Dear Mr Tigner,

I am contacting you in response to information given to me, and subsequent
to a conversation with Mr John Hanley of the University of Exeter.

We understand that you have a dairy scheme for which you are looking for
farmers who may wish to participate, and that there have been various trips
to Europe to recruit farmers to become engaged in the project.

I understand also that you have been looking for people with the funds to
invest in the opportunity as well.

You may also be aware that there is a particularly difficult situation in
Zimbabwe (Southern Africa) where the Govt of the day has forced 85% of the
former farmers off their land and as a result has all but destroyed the
farming industry.

As a charity, the Zimbabwe Agricultural Welfare Trust is well connected
with many of those deposed farmers, and it may well be that some may be
interested in opportunities you may offer. Some may have funds they could
invest, but others would be looking for any kind of opportunity.

Please would you get back to me with any details you may have that could be
of some interest to these farmers.

I am copying this email to the Justice for Agriculture Team in Zimbabwe and
I would ask that when you reply to me, you copy your reply to them.

Thank you for your help.
Yours aye,

James Maberly
Chairman, Zimbabwe Agricultural Welfare Trust
Dear Mr Maberly,

I am a farm management specialist with Iowa State University, a land grant
university established in the mid-1800's.  Iowa is an important part of the
US dairy industry, producing just under 3% of the total US milk, number 9
in total milk processed and number 12 in milk produced per cow.

New dairy farmers would find available feed and dairy production
facilities.  Some local crop farmers have also indicated they are ready to
sell land for construction of a dairy facility, sell the dairy producer
feed and use the manure produced on the dairy for crop production.  We have
begun working with some Dutch farmers in moving to the US since they have
limited opportunities there, but for different reasons.

The most difficult part of the process of developing a dairy here is the
immigration process; at this time an exemption has been applied for to the
US government's immigration service that may make immigration easier.
There are some financial investment requirements for one visa type that may
be eased.  There is another visa type that does not put the immigrant on a
citizenship track.  An application for citizenship could take place at some
other time however.

It is possible that we may assist the farmers you are in contact with, but
additional information about there needs, financial resources, skills and
goals than I currently have.  Please respond to this email at your
convenience.  Thank you.


(ad inserted 28 July 2003)

Nurse Relocation and Recruitment Services of Australia is wishing to
discuss nursing opportunites in Regional Australia. Regional communities
are welcoming and supportive of overseas nurses. We have several hospital
that are willing to offer sponsorship/contracts to nurses. There are also
retraining/upgrading opportunites available if you have not nursed for a
while. Please contact the Director, Margaret Gaussen at or phone/fax +61 3 55 743 234

For the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact (updated 19 September 2003)

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Sent: 19 September 2003 10:58
Subject: Why YOU should boycott the Herald and the Sunday Mail

According to a recent BBC report, Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change has called on all readers of and advertisers in daily newspapers in Zimbabwe to boycott State-owned broadsheets such as The Herald and The Sunday Mail.


Regardless of one's political affiliation in today's Zimbabwe, and in whatever light one views the Government's economic policies and its land redistribution exercise, one has to come to terms with the stark realities facing us in this country - namely that there is corruption and graft on a grand scale. Poverty and economic ruin are staring most households in the face, unemployment is at record levels, the education and health services are virtually non-existent in most quarters - and becoming unaffordable to even those fortunate enough to have access to private schools and hospitals. In short, life is becoming untenable for the vast majority of Zimbabwe's citizens.


Bearing in mind the above, and regardless of where one chooses to apportion blame for the miserable situation in which we find ourselves - be it the recent drought, EU and American sanctions against targeted individuals in the Government of Zimbabwe, Western imperialism and neo-colonialism, sabotage of the land reform exercise by racist Rhodesian farmers, stooges and puppets of the West, all on the one hand; or downright economic mismanagement through still-born and reactionary policies by a ruling clique bent on maintaining power come hell or high water, we - as ordinary Zimbabweans - have to ask ourselves just one question:


Are the best interests of the country served by muzzling a newspaper that offers an alternative viewpoint to that peddled by the Government - regardless of whether The Daily News is right or wrong in its presentation and interpretation of the prevailing situation?


Will the closure of The Daily News and The Daily News on Sunday be a favourable reflection of this country in the eyes of the international community? Can we "go it alone" indefinitely, with our so-called nationalistic fervour as our sole "raison d'ętre" and can we determine and chart our destinies with scant regard to the laws of economics and prevailing world opinion?  There are those in Zimbabwe today who think that we are extremely naive or misguided to believe that we can forge ahead with policies that take little cognisance of fundamental economic laws, or the concerns of our main benefactors.


It is precisely for this reason that it is absolutely imperative to have a vibrant and robust independent Press. No Government in the world has ever been best-served by a sycophantic and adulatory group of journalists. Recent global events have borne testimony to this assertion. Even the most dedicated, selfless and committed of world leaders are merely human and prone to errors of judgement, which the annals of history will recount.


In whichever country we live, and no matter how much we respect and admire our leaders, it is incumbent upon each and every one of us to ensure that alternative points of view are heard. It is the articulation and dissemination of divergent points of view that help weave the fabric of a dynamic society. After all, freedom of expression is enshrined in our nation's constitution. We must guard that freedom and do our utmost to ensure its entrenchment.


It is for the reasons outlined above, and not for the sake of advocating the MDC's political agenda that I would encourage a total boycott of all State owned and run media - by readers and advertisers alike - until such time as alternative voices such as The Daily News and The Daily News On Sunday are once again allowed to publish unhindered.



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Hurt Zim elephant waiting for red tape
Posted Fri, 19 Sep 2003

A young elephant in Zimbabwe will have to continue enduring a wire snare on
its front leg as the red tape holding up a rescue mission is being

The Wildcare Africa Trust, an organisation which is based outside Pretoria
and which specialises in rescuing and rehabilitating animals, has offered to
go and help the elephant.

A reporter on a boat trip on the Kariba dam first spotted the animal and
wrote about its plight. A photograph showed an open wound caused by the

The trust's director, Karen Trendler, told Sapa earlier this week that her
organisation needed the permission of the authorities before a rescue
mission could be undertaken.

Dr Morris Mtsambiwa, director-general of the Zimbabwean Parks and Wildlife
Authority, told Chris Piears, the trust's head of business development, that
he was very keen on its offer.

Mtsambiwa, who had been attending the World Parks Congress in Durban, said
he would follow up the matter once he was back in his office.

Piears told Sapa he could not reach Mtsambiwa on Friday, and was asked to
phone him again on Monday.

"We are trying to get everything ready on our side so that when we do get
permission to go, we do not have to wait any longer," he said.


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