The ZIMBABWE Situation
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Hungry Zimbabweans Try to Eat Giraffe

The Guardian

Saturday September 22, 2007 4:46 PM


Associated Press Writer

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Police stopped villagers from slaughtering and
eating a giraffe that strayed into the outskirts of the capital amid chronic
food shortages caused by an economic crisis, the official media reported

The adult giraffe was believed to have wandered from nearby farmland.
Wildlife authorities took the giraffe away after police kept a crowd from
killing it ``for the pot,'' the state Herald reported.

Zimbabwe is suffering shortages of meat and basic foods in an economic
meltdown that has left it with the world's highest official inflation -
nearly 7,000 percent.

Independent estimates put real inflation closer to 25,000 percent and the
International Monetary Fund forecast it reaching 100,000 percent by the end
of the year.

A government order to slash prices of all goods and services by about half
in June has left stores across the country empty of meat, cornmeal, bread
and other staples and crippled transportation services.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said this
month that it was launching a campaign to raise awareness about the moral
and ethical issues surrounding cases of pets being slaughtered for meat.

It said while it was not illegal to eat dog meat in Zimbabwe, the nation's
laws covered the humane killing of all animals.

In recent weeks, authorities also have reported one of the worst spates of
bush fires across the country in recent memory, largely blamed on people who
set fires to flush out the rodents. Roasted mice are a traditional dish in
some areas.

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It's high time that we squared up to Mugabe

The Telegraph

By Simon Heffer
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 22/09/2007Page 1 of 3

      I think we are all supposed to be impressed that our new Prime
Minister has decided to adopt an "empty chair" policy at the forthcoming
EU-Africa summit in Portugal, by refusing to attend if Comrade "Butcher Bob"
Mugabe, the tyrant of Zimbabwe, is invited. The one consolation I draw from
this is that it seems to replace what might best be termed the "empty brain"
policy pursued by the Government towards the butcher and his benighted
country: for that is precisely why we have this problem.

      There are few matters in which it is less enjoyable to say, "I told
you so", than this. For years I have written pieces arguing that if we did
not intervene in Zimbabwe the time would come when our television screens
would be full of the pitiful sight of starving children with distended
bellies that are familiar from so many other countries in Africa where the
local despots run their affairs so humanely. Now, indeed, that time has

      But it has come because the government of the former colonial power -
that's us, in case you have forgotten - has for years adopted that Pontius
Pilate approach to Zimbabwe. Run, as it is, by ex-student union Leftie
radicals, it has taken this long for its senior members to realise that
letting Africans tyrannise, starve and murder each other is not necessarily
a good idea. As veterans of the anti-apartheid movement, they have grown up
with the burden of post-imperial guilt on their weedy little shoulders. For
the white man to try to clear up the mess would be unacceptable: far better
to let the innocent die than have that on our collective conscience. And, if
they ever risked faltering in that aim, there was always the spectacle of
South Africa's leader, Thabo Mbeki, warning them to allow an "African
solution" to the Zimbabwe problem.

      Well, unless we intervene soon - and that will entail much more than
our posturing by not turning up at a summit - there will be an African
solution. One very prominent African, Mugabe, will drive the country to
complete and final ruin. There will be many more innocent people dead. Do we
really want that?
      I know our Army is overstretched, but if we can get them into
Afghanistan we can get them into Zimbabwe. It wouldn't take very many, and
the fighting would be over in hours, if not days. Mugabe's end would be like
that of Hitler's. There would be no insurgents seeking to win back power, no
Taliban or al-Qa'eda carrying on the battle. With Mugabe's end would come
the end of his barbarous system of government. And Zimbabwe, with its huge
mineral wealth and other natural resources, would once more become one of
the richest countries in Africa, able to feed its people and to sustain
their freedom and happiness.

      Foolish white liberals have to end this ridiculous taboo of not
seeking to prevent widespread death in Zimbabwe because they are the wrong
colour. This inverse racism serves nobody's purpose. If prominent black
people - notably our own Archbishop John Sentamu and the legendary Dr
Desmond Tutu - are prepared to condemn Mugabe's rule, then what is to stop
those of us with the rationale and the means to bring an end to it
fulfilling their wishes?

      It is part of the arrogance of the Left - and the present Cabinet is
as guilty of it as anyone else around the world - that they can never admit
they are wrong, especially on the tinderbox subject of race relations. That
is why, faced with an opportunity to help liberate innocent black people
(and Zimbabwe's remaining whites), they wilfully ignore it. The empty chair
won't make the blindest bit of difference to Mugabe, because diplomacy is
not a language he understands. How many more must die under his rule before
we start speaking to him in terms that he does comprehend?

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Zimbabwe Opposition Explains Constitutional Strategy To Rank And File


      By Netsai Mlilo
      Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
      22 September 2007

Now that both factions of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic
Change have joined the ruling ZANU-PF party in passing a constitutional
amendment that will significantly modify the country's electoral
dispensation, they are turning to the task of defending that strategy to
skeptical supporters and critical civil society allies.

MDC founding president Morgan Tsvangirai and rival faction chief Arthur
Mutambara are characterizing the opposition's collective support in
parliament of the amendment legislation as a strategic step towards assuring
free and fair elections next year.

Critics said the MDC should have held out for a full revision of the
constitution. Senior MDC officials insist that they will continue to seek a
new Zimbabwean constitution.

Tsvangirai explained the strategy Friday to his faction's executive
committee, calling it a "first step towards the final resolution of the
national crisis" and "a bold and correct decision the party has taken to
locate the exit points to the political logjam."

He said the negative reaction to the opposition's support of the bill among
rank and file members and elements of civil society "understandably arises
out of the people's mistrust" of the ruling party and less than complete
information on the South African-mediated crisis resolution talks from which
the constitutional compromise arose.

"We are confident that the party remains on the right track in the quest for
a lasting solution to the national crisis," the statement quoted Tsvangirai
as saying.

He added that it was "premature to judge the direction and outcome of the
dialogue process" based solely on the opposition vote for the amendment
legislation, which has cleared the house and goes to the senate next week
for passage there.

The amendment's most controversial provision leaves it to parliament to
select a new president if the incumbent dies, is incapacitated or resigns -
the last of these being a potential exit strategy for President Robert
Mugabe who seeks re-election in the presidential ballot set for March, but
has hinted he won't serve out his term.

Critics fear that if ZANU-PF retains control of parliament - it claimed a
two-thirds house majority in the 2005 general election - Mr. Mugabe could
select his successor.

One tradeoff for the opposition in the amendment as passed by the house is
that the president will no longer fill seats in the lower house by

Tsvangirai declared in conclusion that his formation is "committed to a
people-driven constitution. we are committed to a free and fair election. we
are committed to a legitimate and not a pre-determined outcome."

Meanwhile, in Bulawayo on Saturday, rival faction leader Arthur Mutambara
and other top officials of his formation delivered much the same message to
their supporters, about 350 of whom filled Pumula Hall in a morning session

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Mugabe leaves Harare for UN meeting

Yahoo News

Sat Sep 22, 8:30 AM ET

HARARE (AFP) - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has left Harare for Cairo,
Egypt, on his way to New York to attend the 62nd session of the UN General
Assembly, a state-run daily reported Saturday.

"The President who was accompanied by the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe and
senior government officials is expected to join about 80 other world leaders
and several foreign ministers at the UN headquarters," the Herald newspaper
Mugabe's departures are never announced in advance.

The annual UN session opens Tuesday and runs until October 3. Topics to be
discussed include climate change, development and counter-terrorism

The United States and European Union imposed a travel ban on Mugabe
following presidential elections in 2002 which the opposition said were
rigged to hand the veteran ruler victory. He is allowed to attend UN

His departure for the UN meeting came amid controversy over his attendance
at an EU-African summit later this year, with British Prime Minister Gordon
Brown vowing to boycott the meeting if Mugabe is there.

Brown said Mugabe's attendance would draw attention away from the main
issues at the summit. He also urged the EU to impose further measures
including targetting families of Zimbabwe's ruling elite with additional

Mugabe blames sanctions for Zimbabwe's economic crisis, characterised by
world-record inflation at 6,600 percent, shortages of basic food supplies
such as bread and at least 80-percent unemployment.

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How the jackboot of the military crushes opposition in Zimbabwe

From The Cape Argus (SA), 19 September

Militarisation underpins much of Zimbabwean security culture and directs
many of the events on the current strategic landscape. This politico
military nexus has its roots in past connections and persists in current
practices. It continues to sustain the military as a coercive backup to
stave off undesirable political change. Politics that stem from a coercive
military culture tend to change slowly and in Zimbabwe little has transpired
to break the militarist profile of its political culture. Zimbabwean
independence was forged largely from military force and the current
glorification of the defence force ensures that their role is not forgotten
not even allowed to fade. In hindsight, the role of armed coercion in
Zimbabwe emerged from a number of past practices.

Immediately after independence, a destructive and controversial deployment
of the defence force took place in Matabeleland. The North Korean trained
Fifth Brigade spearheaded much of the effort and was supported by a range of
military, police and intelligence units. Not being answerable to the normal
military hierarchy, but to individual politicians, the Fifth Brigade wreaked
havoc among civilians between 1982 and 1984. This politico military campaign
was aimed at rooting out political opponents and set the scene for how
political leadership would choose to deal with political opponents in
future. The controversy over this campaign lingers to this day.

The cauldron that was the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) of the late
1990s saw another contentious deployment of Zimbabwean soldiers. The DRC
adventure originated from an attempted "coup" within SADC to control the
regional security mechanism by President Robert Mugabe and others. Both the
DRC, as well as the struggle over the control of this organ of SADC,
reflects a hunger for power and control over the employment of military
power in the region. With Mugabe at the helm, it soon followed that SADC
armed forces would be deployed to the DRC. Some reports suggest that the
Zimbabwean army was used to protect and even provide labour for
politico-personal Zimbabwean interests and not traditional national
interests. In part, the DRC campaign reflected a convergence of personal,
party political and national interests in Zimbabwe and it remains unclear
whose interests its soldiers had to protect. In spite of rising difficulties
at home, the Zimbabwean deployment to the DRC lasted until after 2000.

The current political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe shows further signs of
the entrenched role of the armed forces. The so-called war veterans a
reconstructed relic of the liberation forces were called upon to spearhead
the controversial land reform process. Their "war veteran" tag defies all
logic since many of them were not even born when the liberation war ended in
the late-1970s. However, the central and emotional position that the war of
liberation holds in the country ensures this group's near untouchable
status. The government also created the notorious and militant Youth Brigade
at the dawn of the 21st century. Later investigations by politicians from
Zimbabwe recommended its closure due to the militant styled training, the
military profile of the instructors, the party political profile of the
whole project and its pro government violence during election times. In
effect, the Youth Brigade produced a classic style militia to further the
ruling Zanu PF interests.

In 2002, General Vitalis Zvinavashe, the Zimbabwean army chief (flanked by
other service and security chiefs) openly declared the military's opposition
to anyone but a liberation leader (read Mugabe) to lead the country. This
was a clear threat to others that the military would intervene if the
democratic process did not favour "their" preferred candidate. Effectively,
this declaration nullified the democratic imperative and militarised
politics even further. During 2007 rumours about an attempted coup emerged
and although Zimbabwean authorities continue to deny any such an attempt,
the news media slowly appears to be building a picture of what transpired.
Nonetheless, two factions one revisionist and the other favouring the status
quo are said to exist within the Zimbabwean armed forces and both have their
eyes on what happens in the political realm.

Clearly, the police no longer simply uphold the law and the military no
longer protects democracy from external threats. Some argue that the current
military leaders actually benefit from the chaos and have no interest in
returning the country to a state of normalcy. Mugabe continues to heap
praise on the defence force. While commending them for their historic
liberation role at a rally to celebrate Defence Force Day this year, Mugabe
interestingly chose to focus on their modern role in everyday life. His
praise for the role soldiers play in land issues, in industry, and in
maintaining internal stability shows a defence force increasingly used as a
support mechanism for a faltering government. Deploying soldiers and the
police to forcefully remove squatters, hawkers and so-called "dirt" or
"rubbish" from urban areas paints a gloomy picture indeed. Finally, the
security culture of Zimbabwean decision-makers was formed over time by a
close dependence on their armed forces a dependency that varied over time,
but never disappeared. By constantly reinforcing such a militant security
culture, it becomes increasingly difficult to shed it.

Dr Francois Vre˙ lectures at the faculty of military science, Stellenbosch

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More than 70 EU member countries withdraw from Zim Travel Expo Exhibition

The Zimbabwean

AT least 70 international buyers from European countries, particularly the
UK have withdrawn their participation from Zimbabwe's annual Travel Expo due
to alleged political reasons.
Addressing journalists in Harare, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive
Karikoga Kaseke said the withdrawal of European buyers from the show was a
big blow to Zimbabwe's bid to host some international teams during the 2010
World Cup to be held in South Africa.

Although boasting about 450 remaining buyers,a number still higher than last
year's 365,Kaseke expressed concern over the development,saying this year's
edition which had attracted over 500 buyers would be marred by the
withdrawal of the 70 top buyers whom he called the Thompsons of the world.

In their official communication, the buyers implicated the country's major
labour body,Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions among those who influenced
their decision to pull out,he said.

He said the buyers indicated they feared for their lives after ZCTU had
warned that there will be anarchy and bloodbath between union activists and
the police on the streets during the days of the expo.

"I do not know whether ZCTU are aware of the devastating damage their
warning has brought to the country,especially with regards to tourism", he

The labour body was not immediately available for comment.

Kaseke said his office was negotiating with the buyers with the hope of
re-engaging them.

"It is ironic that these buyers are the same people who had vowed that they
will never let political messages infiltrate into our business links but it
seems these have suddenly become irresistible.

"We are however negotiating with them with the hope of re-engaging them but
if they choose to buy the political product being sold to them by people
bent on demonising the government of this country, then we will not continue
bothering ourselves about them", he said.

Kaseke said of the 201 exhibitors that applied to take part in the fair, the
authority can only accommodate 118 due to venue limitations.

He said more than half of the exhibitors who were turned down were from the
international scene.

Zimbabwe's tourism industry has been hiccuping since the 2000 government
initiated land reform exercise.

In 1999, the industry generated over US$200 million contributing about 7
percent to Gross Domestic Product and employing an estimated 200 000 people
directly and indirectly.But it is estimated the employment level has since
tumbled by 50 percent to stand at 100 000.

Second to South Africa's Indaba,Zimbabwe's Travel Expo will this year be
held from 11 to 14 October-CAJ News.

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Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition intern detained in Harare

The Zimbabwean

By Bayethe Zitha

BULAWAYO - A Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition intern, Memory Kadau, was
onThursday afternoon reportedly arrested by police whilst administering the
Coalition stand at the Non Governmental Organization (NGO) Expo in the
Harare Gardens .
In a statement on Friday, the Crisis in Zimbabwe stated that Kadau, who was
reportedly arrested at around 3pm, being accused of distributing material
which denigrates President Robert Mugabe, spent a night in the cells at
Harare Central Police Station.

On Friday afternoon, she was still detained without access to food,
relatives and fellow employees.

"Kadau was arrested by three plain cloths police officers from the Harare
Central Police Station Law and Order section, alleged that she was working
for a 'bogus organization' which aims to effect regime change in the
country," said the coalition.

The police are also said to have accused the Coalition of allegedly abusing
the late national hero and Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army chief,
General Josiah Magama Tongogara by using his pre-independence speech on free
and fair elections on the organisation's banner.

In 1978, Tongogara called for free and fair elections where international
observers would oversee before the holding of the 1980 independence election
which ended colonial rule in Zimbabwe .

Police are said to have confiscated the banner and other materials of the
Coalition and taken them to Harare Central Police Station as evidence
against Kudau.

Her Lawyer, Charles Kwaramba from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human rights who
gained access on Friday revealed Kudau subjected to intensive
"They were threatening to beat her up if she failed to disclose where they
could find the Crisis Coalition's leadership. It seems police want to arrest
the Crisis leadership, but cannot find them," said Kwaramba.
Police spokesman, Chief Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka, confirmed that
Kudau was arrested and detained at Harare Central.
"Our police officers are investigating a case whereby she was found in
possession of material believed to be denigrating the President. We hope to
finalise the case and send her to court soon," said Mandipaka.

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Who Will Stop Robert Mugabe?

CBS News

Larry Miller Asks If The U.K. Can Shed Imperialist Guilt, And Rescue

LONDON, Sept. 22, 2007

(CBS) Letter from London is Larry Miller's weekly look at news from across
the pond.

The Anglican Archbishop of York, Ugandan-born John Sentamu, wants the
British government to do something, finally, about Zimbabwe and its
President Robert Mugabe.

Sentamu wants Britain to find the courage to lead a campaign of foreign

Writing in the Observer newspaper, the Archbishop says, "the time has come
for Prime Minster Gordon Brown to finally slay the ghosts of Britain's
colonial past. The time for African solutions alone is now over." Sentamu
describes Mugabe as "the worst kind of racist dictator."

Since coming to power in 1979, following a London conference that ended the
civil war and ensured the peaceful transition from white-ruled Rhodesia to
black-ruled Zimbabwe, Mugabe has overseen and orchestrated the rape of a
once-bountiful country and its hopeful people.

The fields are barren, the grocery stores and market stalls nearly empty.
Life expectancy for males in Zimbabwe has fallen to 37, for women, 34.
Infant mortality is soaring. More than a third of Zimbabweans have HIV.

Free speech? Hardly. The Zimbabwe state broadcaster is a propaganda outlet
that would have made Josef Goebbels proud. The BBC and CNN are among those
banned from the country as "enemy agencies."

The political opposition? Beaten, intimidated, tortured and murdered.

The white farmers were driven off their land, along with their black
workers. Those valuable agricultural assets were awarded to Mugabe's
so-called "war veterans," under whom a potato wouldn't grow.

Mugabe bulldozed slums, leaving many of the urban poor even more destitute.
Amnesty International's list of serious human rights abuses by his regime is
a long one.

This week, a report by a Brussels-based think tank, the International Crisis
Group, warned that Zimbawe is close to complete collapse, with 80 percent of
the population living below the poverty line and inflation running at 7,500
percent. The International Monetary Fund says that could increase to a
staggering 100,000 percent by the end of this year.

The ICG contends that western sanctions are largely symbolic. Does Mugabe
really care that he is banned from European Union countries while having so
much fun at home?

Southern African countries are the only ones that can make a difference, but
the chances of that are slim, says the think-tank, pointing out that some
African leaders are Mugabe supporters and unlikely to push for anything more
than cosmetic changes.

Apparently, much hope is being placed with South African President Thabo
Mbeki to try and twist the arm of his northern neighbor, although to date,
Mbeki's influence has been minimal.

When it's suggested that Britain, due to its historical responsibility as a
former colonial leader, should take the lead, as Archbishop Sentamu desires,
the Foreign Office official with African responsibility argues that it's up
to, "Africa, Europe and the rest of the world, who together must insist on

However, clearly feeling the heat of the moral minority, Prime Minster Brown
announced he will boycott the upcoming summit of African and EU leaders in
Portugal if Mugabe attends. This is still a symbolic gesture, though it does
represent a challenge to the EU.

A compromise is being sought that would placate other African nations and
keep the summit alive. Perhaps one of Mugabe's lesser officials will get the

The international community is reluctant to take a meaningful stand against
Mugabe, and while the UN is finally sending troops to Darfur, the beaten and
hungry of Harare are somehow seen as less in need of rescue.

Perhaps it's colonial guilt. Or is it the lack of oil or a nuclear
development program that allows Robert Mugabe to lay waste to his country
and its people, knowing he will be undeterred by nations which, elsewhere,
claim the moral high ground?

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Zimbabwe's state newspaper rounds on Britain's Brown

Monsters and Critics

Sep 22, 2007, 10:51 GMT

Johannesburg/Harare - State media in Zimbabwe Saturday rounded on British
Premier Gordon Brown for threatening to boycott a gathering of European and
African leaders if President Robert Mugabe attends.

Zimbabwe's Herald daily, a government mouthpiece, claimed Brown was running
scared of a confrontation with Mugabe at the EU-Africa summit due to be held
in Lisbon in December.

'Instead of facing the prospect of losing the game at the hands of not only
a former colony but a little African country, Brown has decided to hightail
it,' the paper said in its leader article.

Writing in London's Independent newspaper this week, Brown said Mugabe was
the only African leader banned from travelling to Europe, which he said was
justified because the veteran Zimbabwean president was guilty of abusing his
own people.

'I believe that President Mugabe's presence would undermine the summit,
diverting attention from the important issues that need to be resolved,'
Brown wrote.

But the Herald editorial called on Brown to be bold and be his own man.

'Mr Brown has nothing to fear from President Mugabe but has everything to
gain by engaging in civilized dialogue that will eventually lead to an
agreement over the bilateral dispute between the two countries,' it said.

Britain, along with the US, Australia and the EU accuse Mugabe's government
of committing human rights abuses and rigging elections. The countries have
slapped arms, financial and travel embargoes on Mugabe and his inner circle.

Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba, writing in his Saturday column in the
Herald under his pseudonym Nathaniel Manheru weighed in.

'Communicating with fellow Europeans through the British press (Brown)
clearly indicated British diplomacy had come unstuck. Clearly British
diplomacy has foundered in its backyard, with Brown adopting for the rest of
Europe Blair's odious megaphone diplomacy against Zimbabwe,' Manheru wrote.

'Mugabe stands very tall and black. Brown stands white and colonial. It is
anyone's guess who carries world opinion,' he added.

© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur

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Zimbabwe's nurses in exodus to Britain

Daily Mail, UK

Last updated at 01:25am on 22nd September 2007

One fifth of Zimbabwe's trained nurses were recruited to work in Britain
last year - despite rules supposedly banning hospitals from poaching staff
from the world's poorest countries.

More than 5,200 doctors and nurses were hired from African nations which
appear on the Government's list of states "that should not be recruited

The World Health Organisation estimates Zimbabwe to have fewer than 9,000
nurses left - just one for every 1,400 people, compared with one for every
156 in the UK.

The country's health service is close to collapse, faced with high levels of
HIV and infant mortality and an exodus of trained medics.

Yet last year the Home Office granted work permits to 1,610 Zimbabwean
nurses - far more than the numbers being trained there each year.

Ministers acknowledged the problem by issuing new guidelines three years ago
and NHS trusts are no longer allowed to "target" developing countries such
as Zimbabwe when recruiting.

But they are not actually banned from hiring staff from those countries Tory
MP James Clappison, who uncovered the latest figures, said: "The Labour
Government is clearly failing to meet its own commitment.

"We have to consider the long-term effect."

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Press TV's Coverage of Mugabe's Zimbabwe


Roberto Carlos Alvarez-galloso
22 September 2007, Saturday

      TAKING INTO account that the US mainstream media has decided to attack
Press TV in its ongoing psychological war against Iran, I was reminded of
one of Press TV's programmes.  I remember watching a special programme on
Zimbabwe by Press TV on my Windows Media Player. It is time I shared it with
the world.

      Press TV journalist Yvonne Ridley dedicated a section of the programme
The Agenda to Zimbabwe and Mugabe. Among the people interviewed was a
representative of MDC [Movement for Democratic Change] for Great Britain and
Ireland, Julius Sal Mutyambiza-Dewa, Stephan Chen, Professor, School of
Oriental and African Studies and Wilf Mbanga, editor of The Zimbabwean.

      Ridley stated that an official from the Embassy of the Republic of
Zimbabwe had declined an invitation to participate in the programme to
explain the position of Mugabe.  The subject was whether Mugabe was a
liberal or a tyrant. The response from Dr. Chen was that he was both. The
independent journalist and the MDC Representative for the UK and Ireland
stated that Mugabe was a tyrant.  There were statements on how Mugabe had
created conditions for either a violent revolution or a civil war. The three
interviewees agreed that South Africa enjoyed the leverage to force a change
but did not want to, since the South African President Mbeki supported

      The interviewees also agreed that Mugabe was using the nationalist
card for his own ends and that there was a general dismay at the situation
in Zimbabwe. Press TV also interviewed a group of demonstrators at the
Zimbabwean Embassy in London.  Ms. Ridley added that investors were lining
up to invest in Zimbabwe; the response of Mbanga was that opportunists could
make money even in unstable times. Mbanga struck a chord since we have the
same situation in the American continent in terms of opportunists and

      Ridley also asked what would happen if MDC was accused of a "sell
out". The response of Mr. Sal Mutyambuza-Dewa was that there was a need for
global trade, term limits and transparency in the government, with
separation of powers.  Another invitee was a human rights activist who
talked of radio and TV, with sanctions against the ruling class. I disagreed
with him on this point since there were blogs like and shortwave
radio stations like SW Africa FM.

      After watching The Agenda on Press TV, one could draw many
conclusions:  Press TV and Ms. Yvonne Ridley had done their homework
concerning Zimbabwe. Press TV had covered Zimbabwe as effectively as the
BBC, RNW [Radio Netherlands], CBC/RCI [Canada] and CRI [China]. This type of
in-depth coverage does not obtain in the "mainstream media" of USA except in
the case of PBS [Public Broadcasting Service]. Press TV deserves hundred
percent for its unbiased report on Zimbabwe and Mugabe.

      Mugabe is nothing more than a tyrant with a desire to cling to power
at any cost. He is willing to sacrifice Zimbabwe for his personal gain and
could care less about hyperinflation and lack of basic necessities. He is
creating a replica of North Korea as Ark-888 said.

      South Africa enjoys leverage but does not want to use it. Maybe South
Africa will use the leverage if there are a lot of cancellations for the
World Cup 2010. I myself contemplated taking my wife and daughter to South
Africa (to celebrate my daughter's 15th birth anniversary) to watch the
World Cup. I cancelled my trip pending improvement in the situation there.
Many people have done the same thing and are contemplating Brazil 2014.
Others are thinking about petitioning FIFA to transfer the World Cup to the
USA or Europe.  The thoughts and prayers of this writer are with the people
of Zimbabwe whose sufferings could have been straight out of a Hollywood
film if they were not real.

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A bad deal?

Saturday 22nd September 2007

Dear Family and Friends,
The eyes of the world have been on Zimbabwe for the past week and it is
heartening to know that we are not alone and humbling to think that people
care about our plight. In fact, everything about life in Zimbabwe is pretty
humbling these days. As the weeks pass and conditions deteriorate ever
further, it is hard to understand how people are surviving and beyond belief
that we have not erupted into food riots and violence. When you see schools
still desperately struggling to maintain standards and continuing to educate
our children and institutions scavenging for food for their residents, it is
truly humbling.

After three months of price controls the food situation in the country is
perilous and even those who were able to stock their pantries and cupboards
are now in trouble. In a main supermarket in my home town this week there
was air freshener, window cleaner, some vegetables, Indonesian toothpaste
and imported cornflakes from South Africa - one single packet costing more
than half of a teachers monthly salary. There was also milk being sold from
a bulk tank to people who bring their own bottles and the queue went through
the empty shop, out the door and along the pavement. The line broke up
suddenly before 10am when the milk ran out and the huge shop was suddenly
completely empty - nothing left to sell, no more customers. This situation
was a mirror image of conditions at three other major supermarkets in the
town and so we look desperately into another week of struggle, praying for

The voices of ruling party MP's have finally begun to be raised and although
its taken far too long for them to speak out, perhaps their criticisms will
lead to desperately needed change. An un-named Zanu PF MP was blunt in
stating the obvious this week: "We are likely to lose next year's elections
if they don't revise their policies," he said. "There is nothing on the
shelves; people are going for days without bread, cooking oil, even sugar
and soft drinks," he fumed. Other ruling party MPs who broke the silence
over this government imposed starvation said: "they should go back to the
drawing board; companies are closing down and people are losing jobs. This
nonsense should stop and we are listening to what the people are saying."

While the nightmare of finding food, carrying water and cooking outside on
open fires continues, there have been major political developments as the
opposition and ruling parties voted together this week to amend our
Constitution for the 18th time. The move has been met by many with
scepticism, disbelief and suspicion. People are saying the opposition have
betrayed their supporters and sold out. Others are waiting to see what this
really means; hoping against hope that whatever concessions have been made
now will have been in exchange for longer term gains.

Two things have stood out for me this week. One is the words of South
African Archbishop Desmond Tutu who said: "Africans must hang their heads in
shame for having allowed such a desperate situation to continue almost
without anybody doing anything to try and stop it." The second is a small
quote I heard during the bombing of Lebanon last year, it seems particularly
apt now: "A bad deal is better than war." Perhaps that is where we are now?
Until next week, thanks for reading, love cathy.

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Why not stop Mugabe rule?

Sep 22 2007

      by Our Correspondent, South Wales Echo

      I AM sure a lot of readers like myself have watched the horrific film
footage smuggled out of Zimbabwe by an ITV crew.

      Words cannot express the awful suffering being heaped on the innocent
people of the country.

      Now even clean water is at a premium because of Mugabe's regeneration
plans, sewers have been fractured and sewage is polluting the water system.
Nobody can argue that Saddam Hussein was a ruthless dictator and that many
Iraqis were killed through his ruthless regime, but the majority of Iraqis
were able to live a fairly normal life, until Bush and the poltroon Blair
decided to invade the country and wreak havoc.

      Why has Mugabe been allowed to decimate his country and nobody has
lifted a finger to help?

      Not a word has been heard from leaders of other countries and all that
appears to come from the UK Government is that they are monitoring the

Why invade Iraq and let Mugabe wreak far more terror in Zimbabwe?

Is it a case of oil v minerals?Mary Walker

Ynysddu, Pontyclun, Rhondda Cynon Taf

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