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

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The Zimbabwean
Torture survivor tells of horrors
Zimbabwean torture survivor Holly Moyo speaks to SW Radio Africa Presenter Mandisa Mundawarara on the programme Call Back.
Mandisa: Tell us the circumstances under which you had to leave Zimbabwe.

Holly: Well, I was practically forced to resign because I was considered unsuitable. Our Officer had said they were weeding out people who were not supportive of the government. They said I was a spy, that I was spreading propaganda to make the ruling party look bad and that I was reading opposition papers and passing them on to other members of the force…let me tell you something, a large number of police officers, they are aware of what is happening in the country. They don't like it. But, they are scared. They are scared of losing their jobs. They are scared of being harassed. They are scared of many things and in Zimbabwe all policemen of senior ranks are ex war veterans, those from the 1970's liberation war and those are the ones that are Zanu (PF) diehard supporters.

Mandisa: What led to you being taken in and tortured?

Holly: I came back late at night, around 11 or 12. I saw a Land Rover Defender parked some metres away from my gate. But I was used to seeing that vehicle and I knew who it was, so I didn't mind. Just as I w as nearing my gate, six men jumped out, two of them held me by the arms and the others started beating me about the head and all over the body with baton sticks and I fell down and blood was starting to pour from my head. And after they pulled off my trousers and they skinned my private parts. You see, they said I wasn't fit even to go to jail and that I was going to die on the streets. They said even Morgan Tsvangirai could not help me, because he had been in jail himself and he was powerless even to help himself. They said even Bush or Blair could not come to my assistance; they were taunting me. And I lost consciousness after that … once in hospital my injuries became - in fact, I was stinking, and the skin fell off. And I was discharged eight days later. Given painkillers and told to go home and bath with salt. And in fact when my wife tried to go and report that matter, she was thrown into prison for eight days. They said to her 'your husband is an agitator; he's a trouble maker'.

Mandisa: What happened next.

Holly: After I was released in hospital the state agents came to see me and they would finish me off this time, because by that time I couldn't walk, I couldn't even sit. I spent nearly about two months lying on my back. The pain was unbelievable. I used to take more than 15 painkillers, or 12, but they didn't work.

Mandisa: When did you decide that, for your own safety, you had to leave the country?

Holly: In December, 2004, we sent our kids to their grandmother and on December 29 my wife left for Beitbridge, and then on the 30th I also left. I got out through the bedroom window. My friends lifted me out through the bedroom window at around 3 o'clock in the morning, so that those people who were watching my house couldn't see me escaping. When we arrived at Gwanda, I bought some spirits - Smirnoff - I drank the whole bottle, about 750 ml up to Beitbridge, to deaden the pain, just to deaden the pain. And then, when we got to the border the other guys went in to get their passports stamped. I didn't have a passport, I just walked right on top of the Limpopo Bridge to the other side and into South Africa, and I met my wife at Messina.

Manidsa: So what happened when you arrived in South Africa?

Holly: Ya, when we arrived at Messina I met my wife and then that pick up picked us at Messina and drove us to Johannesburg and we stayed for about four days at Park Station at Johannesburg, because we had no shelter you see, and I didn't know anyone as yet from there. The pain was unbelievable. We used those toilets at Park Station. And on the fourth day we met a Zimbabwean, who had a shack at a place I will not mention because we are still staying there, and that shack needed looking after so he could let us stay there for free … we went to a Roman Catholic Church, run by a certain Irish Father. He referred us to the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation. He gave us the bus fare and he phoned those people. They really helped us.
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The Zimbabwean
One-time friendship turns nasty
Mugabe and Obasanjo in happier times
Close allies for years, the presidents of Nigeria and Zimbabwe now clash furiously whenever they meet.
HARARE - The relationship between Olusegun Obasanjo and Robert Mugabe remains awash in bad blood following the Zimbabwean president’s resounding rejection of a proposal from his Nigerian counterpart to help solve the country’s political crisis.

Obasanjo, chairman of the Africa Union, recently appointed former Mozambican president Joachim Chissano to mediate between Mugabe and the Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

But Mugabe refused to talk, angrily denouncing Obasanjo, and late last month Chissano gave up, perhaps reluctant to get between the onetime allies who now clash furiously whenever they meet. Observers say Mugabe now considers Obasanjo a deadlier enemy that British prime minister Tony Blair.

It wasn’t always so.

The two were once linked closely at both political and personal levels and Obasanjo owes his life to Mugabe and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda whose intervention after the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa summit of 1994 saved him from the hangman’s noose during the murderous military dictatorship of the late Sani Abacha. Others like Nigerian author Ken Saro Wiwa were less fortunate, and Abacha sent them to the gallows.

When the international community accused Mugabe of rigging the 2000 and 2002 parliamentary and presidential elections, Obasanjo returned the favour, defending Mugabe against scathing criticism from the West. He was among the first leaders to endorse the authenticity of the controversial election victories.

Mugabe responded by openly supported Obasanjo’s own dubious win in 2003, which was also mired in controversy amid accusations of vote rigging, political violence and intimidation.

The two leaders teamed up to condemn the West and their election observers, particularly those from the European Union. Both played the Pan Africanist card and accused the EU and its allies of racism steeped in eurocentrism in their outlook towards Africa.

Mugabe attended Obasanjo’s inauguration in May 2003, playing to the international media gallery in an apparent show of solidarity and brotherhood.

But then came the falling out, when Obasanjo committed what Mugabe perceived as the greatest possible sin - calling for his resignation. Worse still, the comments were made in a powerful international newspaper, London’s Sunday Times.

“If I say I am thinking about my succession, that’s an indication that I think he [Mugabe] should think of his. In my part of the world there are many ways you can tell a man to go to hell,” he is reported to have said.

To Mugabe, who is well known for viewing anyone who suggests he step down as an eternal enemy, this was unforgivable. Tried and tested lieutenants, including the late Eddison Zvobgo, Edgar Tekere and Margaret Dongo, who’ve made similar demands have all sunk into political oblivion.

Also unforgivable was Obasanjo’s support for the white farmers of Zimbabwe, who he described as true Africans and invited to begin commercial farming in Nigeria along the banks of the Niger River.

He widely praised the governor of Kwara State, Bukola Saraki, for inviting them into the country, saying they have specialist farming skills and should not be allowed to go to places like Australia.

Then in late August, Obasanjo said he wanted every Nigerian state to give new homes and land to farmers expelled from their properties by Mugabe.

Some fifteen Zimbabwean farmers eventually took Obasanjo up on his offer.

Following his controversial land grab, Mugabe has become incandescent with rage at anyone who expresses sympathy with the displaced farmers who he views as white imperialists and accused his onetime friend of selling out.

Then came the Commonwealth saga.

Following Mugabe’s controversial election victory in 2002, a troika of Commonwealth heads of state – Obasanjo, Australia’s John Howard and South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki - was set up to recommend whether Zimbabwe should be suspended.

Mugabe was confident that with the help of African solidarity and by playing the race card he would convince Mbeki and Obasanjo to overrule Howard. When the trio recommended Zimbabwe’s suspension, the rift between Mugabe and Obasanjo opened even wider.

In 2003, Obasanjo faced a tricky dilemma when he had to decide whether or not to invite Mugabe to the Commonwealth Summit in Abuja, the Nigerian capital. Mugabe’s destructive and racist policies threatened to plunge Commonwealth nations into a quasi-racial divide, with African countries on one side and the white community (Britain, Australia and New Zealand) on the other.

Obasanjo was faced with a dilemma because Britain’s Tony Blair, Mugabe’s sworn enemy, threatened not to attend if Mugabe was invited. Obasanjo had earlier on baffled Mugabe by trashing an attempt by African, Caribbean and Pacific countries to lift the Commonwealth suspension against Zimbabwe.

In the end, Obasanjo did not invite Mugabe to attend, prompting a furious Mugabe to withdraw Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth. Mugabe felt deeply betrayed because he had assumed that Obasanjo was on his side.

Almost two years later, Mugabe’s government accused Obasanjo’s government of teaming up with Blair to fund the opposition MDC’s 2005 election campaign. Mugabe argued that the MDC was offered 200 million US dollars through Nigeria for its campaign activities. Mugabe has always alleged that the MDC is a front for Britain’s desire for regime change and Obasanjo therefore, in Mugabe’s view, was committing yet another unforgivable sin.

- Kamu Yananai is the pseudonym of a Zimbabwean journalist.
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The Zimbabwean
Letter from America
NEW YORK - The United States is putting finishing touches to a tougher law against Mugabe and his officials. According to the new secretary of state for African Affairs, Jendayi Frazer, relatives of Mugabe and his top officials will be included in the travel ban.
Frazer has taken a tough line against Mugabe beginning from the time she was US ambassador to South Africa. At that time she openly criticized Thabo Mbeki’s policy of quiet diplomacy, saying it had not achieved any tangible results. Her strategy at the time was to put together a coalition of the willing to work out practical strategies to deal with Mugabe.

There is reason to believe that with Frazer as assistant secretary of state for Africa the United States will continue to play a leading role in shaping targeted sanctions against Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) cronies.

Meanwhile, Mugabe has been telling the international press that Zimbabweans are “very, very happy.” He also said they were going hungry because they only want to eat sadza, which is in short supply, and not potatoes and rice, which he said were available in large quantities (but at prohibitive prices).

However, the reality of the Zimbabwean situation was brought to the doorstep of the United Nations by a group of over 50 Zimbabweans and their friends who staged an anti-Mugabe demonstration at its Headquarters in New York last Saturday to coincide with his visit to the general assembly.

The demonstration was organized by the North American Coalition for a Free Zimbabwe (NACFREEZ), who had earlier sent a fax appealing to former president Bill Clinton, who was hosting the world leaders summit,to use his international influence to bring pressure to bear on Mugabe.

Sadly the protesters never got to confront the tyrant because he was whisked away an hour before they arrived.

The protesters, chanting ‘Mugabe must go’, held posters and banners which read: ‘Hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans what Hurricane Mugabe did to Zimbabwe’; ‘Hurricane Katrina killed 500 people. Hurricane Mugabe killed over 30,000’; ‘Robert Mugabe must be brought before the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity in Zimbabwe’.

I had an interesting conversation with Sunday Mail reporter Munyaradzi Huni, who was in New York to cover Mugabe’s visit, in which he demonstrated how he and his fellow journalistic disciples of Mugabe in the state-controlled media had now swallowed hook, line and sinker the propaganda that whatever problem exists in Zimbabwe it must be blamed on anyone but Mugabe.

There appears to be a feeling among these propaganda journalists that if they publish anything about human rights violations, the killing of opposition supporters by Mugabe’s thugs and destruction of people’s property they will be labelled supporters of the MDC.

But it was not only Mugabe’s journalistic disciple who visited the protesters at the UN. Another man, who claimed to work for the local press, came to take pictures. We later learned from our sources that he was in fact a member of Mugabe’s dreaded CIO. Indeed we saw him engaged in a conversation in Shona with Huni.

The collaborative link between Mugabe’s CIO and his disciples in the journalistic community is real and active. That link includes the police, army and the militia thugs.
Mugabe must have heard from his sources that there would be an anti- Mugabe demonstration at the UN. He did not show up. Without the protection of his militia thugs he is timid, helpless and a coward.

Munyaradzi Huni and his CIO compatriot who came to take pictures and notes about the demonstration must have seen how the rule of law is respected. New York police were at the demonstration to maintain order and protect the demonstrators.

Had that protest been held in Harare the protest would have lasted a few minutes before being broken up by Mugabe’s police and militia thugs.

The anti-Mugabe protest movement in the United States is gaining momentum. With a new no-nonsense assistant secretary of state for Africa, Mugabe is in for a rough time.
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The Zimbabwean
Asylum seekers face deportation
LONDON – Three more failed Zimbabwean asylum-seekers are in detention this week awaiting deportation to countries neighbouring Zimbabwe. This is despite the moratorium in place until the final judgement by Judge Collins scheduled for October 4.
All three detainees arrived in the UK on Malawian or South African passports, although they have proof that they were born and raised in Zimbabwe. The Home Office position is that, having arrived in the country on passports other than Zimbabwean, they can safely be returned to those countries. But the detainees fear arrest and possible deportation home to Zimbabwe as soon as they arrive in South Africa or Malawi.

“I have several documents proving my Zimbabwean nationality. My brother is currently in hospital in Bulawayo after being severely beaten by politically-motivated thugs,” one of the detainees told The Zimbabwean in a telephone interview from Yarlswood Detention Centre this week.

She was scheduled to be deported on Tuesday night but her lawyer managed to have the order stayed at the last minute.

One of the other detainees refused to board the Ethiopian Airways plane to Malawi on Saturday and was returned to Tinsley House where he remains, as lawyers and human rights activists battle to have his deportation order rescinded.
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The Zimbabwean
Let them eat potatoes and rice
Listening to Mugabe speak it becomes quite clear that the ostrich syndrome is more serious than we had originally thought. When it was plain for everyone to see that the majority of Zimbabweans faced with widespread hunger at the beginning of this year he continued to insist that the nation was expecting a bumper crop and did not need food aid.
Right now, with more than four million people in desperate need of food aid, he is still refusing to accept international assistance – saying they might indeed be short of maize, but Zimbabweans can eat potatoes and rice. Where in Zimbabwe can one find potatoes and rice? These are grown only in limited quantities and have always been the preserve of the wealthy. We used to have rice as a treat at Christmas time, or at weddings.

Three weeks ago, his officials themselves admitted that the country had only three weeks’ supply of maize left. Yet Mugabe insisted at the UN this week that he would not allow NGO’s to assist with famine relief efforts because “they tended to politicise humanitarian assistance”. With these proud words he condemns millions of his people to suffer the agonies of starvation.

With this public abrogation of his government’s responsibility, in no less a place than the hallowed halls of the United Nations headquarters in New York, Mugabe has once and for all forfeited the right to rule Zimbabwe.

It surely must be evident to all, beyond any shadow of doubt, that the man is a tyrant, ruling only by terror and that he must be stopped. Now. We call upon the international community to act – before it is too late. In many ways, for many people, it is already too late.

Elsewhere in this newspaper we report the leader of the opposition MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai’s call to the people of Zimbabwe to be prepared to die for their rights. “We want you to be brave, to be ready to die fighting this regime,” he says. It should never have come to this.

How has the world been so fooled by the clever manipulations of one man – whose subtle use of colonial guilt and hatred, together with eloquent anti-imperialist rhetoric, has woven a blanket of deceit – under cover of which millions have suffered unspeakable horrors?

Because these millions have not actually died – they have just had their lives ruined by rape, torture, displacement, terror, destruction, hunger, disease, and impoverishment – the world has failed to act. It seems a body count is needed before anything can happen.

Shame on the international community. Shame on the African Union. Shame on the United Nations. This is 2005 – not 1789. Marie Antoinette was the feather-headed queen of a French monarch who ruled by divine right. And the non-cake-eating French citizens soon chopped off her head. Mugabe stands before the nations of the world, masquerading as the democratically-elected leader of the Republic of Zimbabwe. But modern human rights sensitivities prevent his public execution by non-potato-eating Zimbabweans. What a crazy world.
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The Zimbabwean
Senate debate diverts attention
HARARE - The issue of the senate has come at a time when the country is facing major challenges as far as the economy is concerned. In order to divert the attention of the people from the real issues, the country is facing another decisive election before December and this has become a crucial debate everywhere one goes.
By further diverting people’s attention Mugabe has ensured that he maintains a grip on the country, as there will be no chance of discussing the real issues as people would be preoccupied with political issues of the day.

Analysts have noted that the shifting of attention and the blame game that Mugabe uses ensures that he survives on the political scene and escapes unscathed from his disastrous escapades.

“The use of propaganda by the public media, that is both the Print and electronic media, Mugabe ensures that he gets away with murder and genocide of the economy,” said a political science lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe. – Tinotenda Mabwe
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he Zimbabwean
Operation Garikai a scam
HARARE - A major humanitarian crisis is looming in Harare as thousands of victims of Operation Murambatsvina are still living rough, five months after the controversial clean up exercise ended. Mike Davies, chairman of the Combined Harare Residents’ Association, said areas that were fine before the operation now resemble typical squatter slums with plastic temporary accommodation.
The rainy season starts in October and tens of thousands of people will not have accommodation, raising more doubts about the government’s housing programme. Davies said, “Operation Garikai is a scam as very few houses have been built and large numbers of people are living in the ruins of their former houses, only protected by plastic.”

Prison officers have been unable to drive prisoners to court and thousands of buses lie idle. A serious health hazard is looming as very few areas have had refuse collection, water or electricity. Meanwhile, Davies alleged that the chairman of the Harare Commission, Sekesai Makwavarara, is awaiting a US$27,000 allocation from the Reserve Bank for an official visit to Russia. - Violet Gonda, SW Radio Africa
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The Zimbabean
Police probe Murerwa, Pasi
HARARE – Zimbabwe police are probing the country’s Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa and Commissioner of Taxes Gershom Pasi over allegations the two may have swindled the state of millions of dollars in hard cash.
Sources at police headquarters in Harare said the law enforcement agency’s special investigations desk had opened the probe after Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) workers, arrested in an anti-corruption crackdown at the revenue body, alleged their two bosses had swindled the state of huge amounts of foreign currency.

Pasi heads ZIMRA which falls under Murerwa’s portfolio.
Murerwa, one of the few Cabinet ministers until now untainted by accusations of corruption, refused to discuss the matter telling ZimOnline to “go to whoever gave you that rubbish,” before switching off his phone.

According to our sources, information voluntarily supplied to the police by ZIMRA officials indicated that there was a syndicate linked to Murerwa and Pasi that was involved in diverting foreign currency paid as carbon tax by foreign motorists entering Zimbabwe through Beitbridge border post on the country’s border with South Africa.

This is not the first time police have investigated senior members of President Robert Mugabe’s government. Among other prominent government officials the police have probed are State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa for allegedly looting billions of dollars worth of equipment from former white farms.

The police have also probed former parliamentary speaker and now Rural Housing Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa for illegally dealing in gold. But in all these cases, investigations have been abandoned midstream reportedly after Mugabe intervened. - ZimOnline
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The Zimbabwean
Getting Zimbabwe back to work
There is a great deal of nonsense being talked about the issue of economic recovery in Zimbabwe. We are now into our 7th consecutive year of decline in our GDP. At the start of this collapse our GDP was about US$8,4 billion – it is now down to just over US$4 billion. Exports were about US$3,4 billion and are now down to US$1 billion. Formal sector employment was 1,4 million in 1997 and now stands at about 800 000. Life expectancy has collapsed from nearly 60 years in 1990 to less than 34 years today. All social and human welfare indices are negative.
At the end of 2004, the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Reserve Bank in Zimbabwe both claimed that the decline in our economic fortunes had been halted and that there would be some recovery of lost ground in 2005. They both predicted lower inflation and 5 per cent growth in real terms. The reality has been somewhat different, GDP will decline by 7 to 10 per cent this year and inflation is set to rise to record levels. Far from the predicted 28 per cent growth in agricultural output, it is now clear that the past season was a disaster from every perspective.

So how do we turn this economy around and start to see some recovery of the ground we have lost in the past seven years?

It is clear that the State is unable to discipline itself to set exchange rates at a level that would balance both exporters and importers interests. Exchange rates are one of the most important prices in any economy and in a country like Zimbabwe where the economy is export driven, they are critical. Although we have a so-called “auction” system in the Reserve Bank, the reality is that the Bank actually sets the exchange rates and that there is no transparency or accountability in the system. You cannot tax exporters, as we do, to the extent of over half their gross income and expect the export sector to grow. It is therefore vital that exchange rates be unified within one market driven system and that these reflect in full, the supply and demand situation for foreign exchange in the country.

Floating the dollar would therefore be one of the most important initial steps required to kick start recovery. At the same time exchange control, which puts too much power in the hands of the staff of the Reserve Bank and which is impossible to administer in any economy so that it can address all needs, should be relaxed. Perhaps exchange control on the capital account should be retained, but even this should go as soon as stability returns. Such radical steps have been taken by all our neighbors except South Africa, which continues to delude itself that it can manage the South African system in the old way. Zambia, Mozambique and Botswana all now run economies where exchange controls and managed exchange rates are a thing of the past.

The next step would be to unify the interest rate regime being administered by the Reserve Bank. It would be impossible to raise rates to the level that is required to give investors a positive return on their investments and savings, but rates should be raised and the current policy of multiple and sub economic rates should be abandoned.

This will have an immediate and serious impact on the banking sector and those firms who have been surviving on the patronage of the State and abusing the interest rates that the Reserve Bank has made available to the private and the public sector, will find themselves in great difficulty. But it is vital that all those responsible for economic activity recognise that borrowing has a cost and that returns to the investor and to those who save, must be protected.

To bring inflation back under control, interest rate policy must move in tandem with fiscal discipline and tight budgetary controls. Zimbabwe simply cannot go on printing money and ignoring the consequences. All budgets should be reviewed against current and projected income and adjusted where required. Strict limits should be imposed on the budget deficit and all parties to the process must observe these.

Such a review will throw up the need to undertake a massive reduction in State expenditure in many areas and these must be carefully targeted and implemented. Priorities in terms of State activity should be debated and established and firm agreed guidelines for revenue allocations set. For example, 20 per cent of total government revenues for education and 8 to 10 per cent for health services and so on.

It is clear that because the economy has shrunk by over 50 per cent that these budget cuts will make many government activities impossible to maintain. Foreign aid will be required to meet essential social service targets in health and education. It might also be necessary to seek assistance with the cost of down sizing other government departments.

Finally it would be essential to start to get to grips with the national debt. This now stands at over US$7 billion or nearly two years GDP and seven years of gross export receipts. During the early recovery phase this problem will have to be encapsulated and dealt with on the basis of what resources the State has to service the debt. We might, for example, say that we are prepared to assign 18 per cent of national government income to debt servicing – no more.

This would then be worked back into a debt service ratio and creditors informed that for the time being this is all we can afford. At a later stage the issue of odious debt and debt relief will be taken up and hopefully this would reduce the debt burden to manageable proportions.

- Eddie Cross is an economist and Member of the National Executive of the MDC
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The Sunday Mail
Eight Zimbabwean players 'missing'
From correspondents in London
EIGHT Zimbabwean football players and two officials have failed to return to Zimbabwe after a trip to Britain, the state-run Herald newspaper reported today.

Football insiders believe the men may have stayed behind to flee economical and political hardships in their own country.
Six players from the Harare-based CAPS United club and two from Highlanders, based in Bulawayo, failed to catch a flight from London's Heathrow airport while two officials also remained behind.
"Zimbabwean football is counting the cost after eight players deserted ... and remained behind in England in one of the biggest crises to hit the country's battered national sporting discipline," the paper said.
The Herald named the missing CAPS United players as vice-captain Artwell Mabhiza, Silent Katumba, David Sengu, Raymond Undi, Elton Chimedza and Tichaona Nyenda.

Highlander players, reserve goalkeeper Luckson Mutanga and defender Dalisizwe Dhlamini have also disappeared, the paper said, adding that CAPS official Valentine Gwaze "is believed to have deserted the club."
"Gwaze did not even turn up at Heathrow Airport for the team's flight back home on Thursday night while a second official, CAPS United general manager Joe Makuvire joined the queue but then disappeared into the massive airport complex," it said.
The two Highlander players, Mutanga and Dhlamini, "only checked in their luggage but disappeared into the crowd," the Herald said.
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CBZ to Build Plush New Home

Financial Gazette (Harare)
September 22, 2005
Posted to the web September 23, 2005
Audrey Chitsika

RICH CBZ Holdings Limited is planning to construct a new headquarters in the leafy Borrowdale area at an estimated cost of $70 billion, The Property Gazette can reveal.
The retail bank, now rated number two in terms of share of deposits and balance sheet size, requires a new home to accommodate its fast-expanding portfolio that now includes the country's second largest asset management business - Datvest, acquired this year.

Confirming the latest development, Nyasha Makuvise, the managing director and chief executive officer of CBZ, said the bank had already started considering architectural designs for the project.
"This has been necessitated by the lack of space in our current headquarters. The growth of our business into a holding company and the current location has not been convenient when one considers constraints associated with the central business district as a prime location," he said.
Makuvise could not say how much the building would cost on completion, citing the regular changes in the prices of building materials and other construction costs due to inflation.
"The cost of this project has not been determined at this stage. The design and the prevailing market rates of construction at the time will have major influence on the costs," said the CBZ boss.
The Property Gazette is reliably informed, however, that the project could cost at least $70 billion at current costs and should be completed within the next two years.
"We are looking at a time frame of about 18 to 24 months from the completion and approval of the design aspects," Makuvise said, adding that the banking group would fund the project using its own cash resources.
"We plan on funding this project mainly from internally generated reserves. This project has been in our plans for some time and savings to this effect had been considered," said Makuvise.
CBZ, which has remained stable despite a sector-wide liquidity crisis that saw the collapse of several locally owned banks, acquired leading fund manager Datvest Asset Management earlier this year, and plans further acquisitions.

Daniel Mandishona, president of the Institute of Architects of Zimbabwe, revealed that CBZ has instituted a design competition for the headquarters.
"The design competition instituted by CBZH with architects is meant to come up with the best design. The closing date for the competition is September 28 2005 and so far 20 competitors have registered to participate," said Mandishona.
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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 24th September 2005


Many supporters had difficulty getting to the Vigil today because of the latest ant-Iraq war demo.  Roads were closed, helicopters hovered overhead.  But it turned out to be a subdued event.  As Vigil people arrived they remarked that our drumming and singing could be heard way above the musicians from Trafalgar Square.  Among the loudest singers was Ben Evans whose theatrical production “Qabuka” is being staged at the Soho Theatre in London from 6th – 8th October.  It is based on the experiences of Zimbabweans in exile described as “a postcard from the edge which tells their compelling stories with song, dance, humour and mischief.”  Among those taking part is Patson from Leicester, who was with us today on the drums during a break from rehearsals.


The plight of asylum seekers from Zimbabwe is to be taken up by the Vigil next week – ahead of the court decision on sending back to Zimbabwe failed asylum seekers.  The Refugee Council is supporting us in making known to the general public here that Zimbabwe as it is presently ruled is not a safe place to send anyone back to (except Zanu-PF supporters of course).  


A meeting of Vigil supporters was held before the Vigil to approve plans for the way forward.  We decided that, on the Vigil’s third anniversary on 12th October, we would present to 10 Downing Street our current petition “NO SHAKING HANDS WITH MUGABE – The latest elections in Zimbabwe were once again stolen by the Mugabe regime with the connivance of its neighbours.  Retaliation is now being meted out to people who supported the opposition.   We urge the British government to end Mugabe’s reign of terror and halt his drive for legitimacy:  1) Bring the matter to the UN Security Council, 2) Make it a priority during term as President of the EU and G8 (group of leading industrial nations), 3) Put pressure on South Africa to allow democracy in Zimbabwe, 4. Extend targeted sanctions against Mugabe’s cronies.”  


We expect the Mugabe regime will come tumbling down immediately (hopefully) but, if not, we will just continue with our next plan – a petition calling upon the UN Security Council to send a representative to Zimbabwe to investigate human rights abuses.  This basically rephrases the Vigil’s first petition which now has the support of several countries including Australia and New Zealand, who have asked the UN Secretary General to send in a special rapporteur to report on allegations of human rights abuse in Zimbabwe.


We were thrilled this week to receive a letter from the Human Rights Office of the United Nations in response to this petition about human rights abuse in Zimbabwe.  It appears that our petition has been discussed on several occasions and we have now been invited to present detailed evidence.  We have no problem with that and some of our supporters can give personal testimonies.  It appears that Zimbabwe is moving up the United Nations agenda. The Vigil is encouraged to know that its efforts are reaching its targets and making a difference – an answer to all those who ask what we think we are achieving. 


FOR THE RECORD: about 50 supporters (including the Vigil dog) came today.



Vigil co-ordinator

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IMF says will verify sources of Zimbabwe payment 

published:Fri 23-Sep-2005

"The board has asked us to get back to them to verify the source of the funds. It is something we need to talk to the authorities about"

Washington - The International Monetary Fund said on Friday it plans to verify the source of a $120 million payment by Zimbabwe to the global lender last month in a bid by the country to pay down its IMF arrears. Our understanding right now is that this was a voluntary submission of proceeds (from export receipts)," Siddharth Tiwari, deputy director in the IMF's Africa Department, told a news conference. "The (IMF) board has asked us to get back to them to verify the source of the funds. It is something we need to talk to the authorities about," he added.
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The Zimbabwean
We will prevail - soon
HARARE - We are all sick and tired of the endless reams published here about the so-called economic turn around, the agric revolution, the GDP. Ministers waffle on, papers report, commentators spill forth, never ending views, promises and predictions. I saw a classic yesterday, Sanyati are going to produce 45 tons of mushrooms per month, really!
But still nothing changes. Mbeki has his own agenda, the mobsters are fighting for their very lives, the people of Zimbabwe continue to suffer, the country has been raped, but still they won't relent. Why won't they allow that the country is in ruins? Their policies have been rendered useless, but still they persevere, grabbing farms, ruining, looting and stealing. And we read about it, SABC Africa reports timidly, the Deputy in Johannesburg urges that lessons can be learnt from Zim. Damn right! What not to do, to produce another basket case! And so we go into the next stage, rehashing the constitution. I, being of the land, don't know much about denying passports or creating senates etc, but what I do know is, about the land, the farms.

When the then CFU chairmen was forced to meet our President's grass-hatted, bearded thug, who personally destroyed this country with his very own hands, it was to lambaste the white farmers and to tell them that, seeing as they had stolen all the land in the first place, Mr. Warvet wasn't stealing the land, only reclaiming what was rightfully his. Our President not only allowed this to happen, but orchestrated it from the beginning.

Don't let us for one moment think that "unfortunate emotive factors" got in the way of the jambanja, and now they want to fix it. Or that it got out of control or that new farmers were to be made into farmers, it was about destroying perceived enemies, political and personal survival. Now they want to nationalize the land. What difference does this make on the ground? What difference will this make to us that have lost everything? What difference will this make to those people displaced and made homeless across the country, fighting for their children, struggling for a meal?

I wonder how many people actually know where the word jambanja comes from? It’s a corruption of the word jamboree. Do they think it was all a game, a joke? A game for kids attending a jamboree? Four million needing food aid is one hell of a joke! Do all the replicates of new farms think it’s a jamboree, run in and grab what you can? Even now farms are still are being closed, dairy farms in Enterprise, tobacco farms in Mash East.

The Dr gave these guys one trillion dollars last year to grow tobacco, so far they have sold 150 billion dollars worth at 25,000 to one US$! Yet they got their trillion dollars at 6200 to one! I, being of the land, can tell you now, that the tobacco is finished, a few more weeks maybe and that's it. So now the new farmers bleat, "money, fertilizer, tractors, quelea birds" etc.

Why was the irrigation infrastructure destroyed in the first place if this was real land reform? Why not ask the new farmers where all the pumps and piping has gone. The Dr has another 7 trillion dollars for them! Please, oh God, tell these people it's over! Our nation is poised to burst forth into its rightful place, and the true Zimbabweans will rise, phoenix like, to re-grow and prosper. So go ahead, nationalize the land so you can get your 99 year lease, that's not going to feed four million people, that's not going to buy our medicines, our fuel, pay our teachers or run our hospitals!

I read, some months ago, that our good Dr had started to print the new currency so that the bearer cheques can be recalled, I only hope he's printed million dollar notes, because surly as the sun will rise tomorrow he will need to give the new farmers 70 trillion, to do nothing next year!

Zimbabwe, such an amazing country! So small, land locked, has no oil (but does have platimium), so proud and resilient! There is not a drop of fuel to be found at any garage in the whole country, yet we suffer traffic jams. How could anyone understand us?

Not the British, not the Americans, and most certainly not the South Africans. Westerners call for a velvet revolution, its not going to happen here I'm afraid, things work differently here. We will prevail in our own fashion, the ordinary Zimbabwean, the man on the street, we will win our war our own way. The ministers are fighting for their very own survival but they forget we are the people, the heart of our nation, and, as Smith forgot, you can't wage war on yourself, on your own people! You can suppress them, knock down their houses, displace them to remote areas you can beat them and murder them but time will always catch up with you. Tyrants and their gangsters create and nurture their own enemies, they craft their own demise, they fall by their own swords... Soon. (Mwana Wevhu is on leave)
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The Zimbabwean
Desperate Zimbabweans flood SA
JOHANNESBURG – The South African media reports that hundreds of desperate Zimbabweans are flooding into rural areas of Limpopo province every day looking for food and work.
The growing crisis has prompted the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) to commission an audit to establish the extent of the problem. NIA chief, Billy Masetla, was reported as saying he hoped political intervention “would give rise to the possibility of halting the economic meltdown”.

The crisis is concentrated around Musina and Thohoyandou, but other areas of Limpopo are also affected. Police spokesman Superintendent Ailwei Mushavhanamadi was reported as saying the uncontrolled influx was “a very serious problem”. Illegal immigrants were deported 48 hours after being arrested, he added.

The Department of Home Affairs said moves were under way to scrap visa requirements with Zimbabwe.
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The Zimbabwean
Former farmers call for food aid
HARARE – The former white farmer Justice for Agriculture Trust (JAG) has called on President Robert Mugabe and his government to immediately appeal for food aid, dismissing as “fictitious and scurrilous” government claims that Zimbabwe had enough food stocks.
JAG chairman John Worswick, said: “The government should make an immediate formal appeal for food assistance with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), and deviate from its stance of restricting food relief, which has seen the likes of South African Council of Churches (SACC) being frustrated by the state’s red tape.”

Mugabe, whose controversial seizure of white farms is largely blamed for food shortages in Zimbabwe over the past five years, refuses to make a formal appeal for aid although he last June personally assured WFP boss James Morris that his government would accept help from the UN food organ and other relief agencies.

Intelligence minister Didymus Mutasa, who oversees food aid procurement and distribution, was quoted by state media as saying the government was importing about 15 000 tonnes per week from South Africa.

But food security experts were quick to dismiss Mutasa’s assurances saying that even quantities the government minister claimed were coming into the country fell far short of the more than 37 000 tonnes the country requires per week. - ZimOnline
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The Zimbabwean
Mugabe ally firms grip on Zim
Nicholas van Hoogstraten
HARARE — British-based property baron Nicholas van Hoogstraten continues to increase his stranglehold on the tottering Zimbabwean economy amid revelations that he now controls a large chunk of shares in one of the country’s biggest agro-industrial firms, CFI Limited.
A close ally of President Robert Mugabe, van Hoogstraten now owns about seven percent of the export-oriented CFI Limited through his United Kingdom-based Messina Investments. That makes him the second largest shareholder after SMM Holdings, which controls almost 40 percent of the Harare-based CFI.

According to stockbrokers, the British businessman controls more than 34 million shares or 6.97 percent of CFI. The shares have been acquired during the past few months as van Hoogstraten tries to wrestle control of key economic sectors.

“It looks like he is using his links to the political establishment and the economic crisis in the country to establish himself as a dominant business force here,” a stockbroker said.

Van Hoogstraten was in the news a few months ago after he again snapped huge chunks of shares to become the single largest shareholder in NMB Bank Limited and Hwange Colliery. He controls 32 percent of coal producer Hwange and about 20 percent of the up-market NMB.

A businessman who once described Mugabe as “100 percent decent and incorruptible”, van Hoogstraten has courted controversy in the past due to his open support for the Harare authorities.

For his support of the Mugabe regime, his farm has been spared from the land grab that affected thousands of other white landowners. - ZimOnline
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Tsvangirai shows worker solidarity
tsvangirai walks
Morgan Tsvangirai walks to work as fuel shortages bite
HARARE – Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai now walks to work at his city centre offices, about five kilometres from his home, in solidarity with thousands of workers forced to walk as much as 20km daily because of worsening fuel shortages in the country.
The spokesman of the former trade union leader-turned-opposition politician, William Bango, said Tsvangirai was himself struggling to get fuel and had resorted to walking to highlight the plight of ordinary Zimbabweans now walking across the country to conduct their business.

A severe fuel crisis, itself the result of acute foreign currency shortages, has virtually brought crisis-sapped Zimbabwe to a halt.

For example, Harare town clerk Nomutsa Chideya last Wednesday told Parliament’s portfolio committee on local government that the fuel crisis had crippled service delivery in the capital.

The city council was unable to respond to emergencies such as water or sewerage pipe bursts and only one fire engine had a quarter tank of diesel, Chideya said.

The fuel and foreign currency shortages have combined to bring down production in Zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector, already weakened by six years of economic recession, to about 40 percent.

President Robert Mugabe’s government last month allowed fuel stations to sell diesel and petrol in hard cash in a desperate bid to raise foreign currency for oil imports. But even the garages that have had constant supplies of fuel since they began charging hard cash for the commodity have been without petrol or diesel for the last week.

This, apparently because the government used all the money raised by the private garages to repay outstanding debt with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in order to avoid expulsion from the Fund.

Zimbabwe in August made a surprise US$120 million payment to the IMF, which it said was raised from “internal resources”. The IMF responded by giving the southern African nation another six months to raise more money to clear the remaining US$175 million debt.

Fuel industry players on Thursday told ZimOnline the long-running fuel crisis had further deteriorated also because major oil companies with resources to import the commodity were holding back because they wanted pump prices increased in line with the new US/Zimbabwe dollar exchange rate.

The local currency slipped from $24 000 to $26 000 against the greenback on Tuesday in line with movement in annual inflation from 254.8 percent in July to 265.1 percent in August.

"The major fuel merchants have said that the price is not viable as they are forced to buy foreign currency at $26 000 to the US dollar when they would have sold the fuel at $22 300 per litre at most," said an official at the Petroleum Marketers Association (PMZ), representing oil firms in Zimbabwe.

The PMZ official, who did not want to be named, said the oil firms were planning to meet Energy Minister Mike Nyambuya in “a few days time” to request to be allowed to increase pump prices.

Both PMZ chief executive Muzi Bukwele and Nyambuya could not be immediately reached for comment on the pricing issue.

Apart from fuel, food, electricity, essential medical drugs and nearly every other basic survival commodity is in short supply in Zimbabwe as the country grapples its worst ever economic crisis, which critics blame on mismanagement and repression by Mugabe. The veteran leader denies the charge. - ZimOnline
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The Zimbabwean
Catholic students meet
BULAWAYO - Oh, Lord, why are you sleeping? (cf. Mk 8, 38) Like the disciples in the boat surrounded by threatening waves Catholic students from all regions of the country gathered at Bulawayo Polytechnic College for their national conference NMCS (National Movement of Catholic Students) last month.
The various presentations and discussions highlighted the challenges which the present situation in the country poses to our Christian faith. It was deeply felt that we needed the powerful intervention of God, like Jesus who calmed the storm, and a courageous witness of justice and truth.

The conference itself was up against all kinds of odds. No salt, no bread, no cups and a shortages of petrol, sugar and upfu (mealie meal). The presence of fellow Jesuits in Bulawayo was our rescue. Fr Nigel Johnson SJ provided transport and company to the chaplain, Fr Andrews Thekkekara SJ and Fr George Croft SJ chipped in with cups from the Seminary and helped to get us salt. 121 people attended the conference, including five from Zambia, three from Malawi and one from South Africa.

A highlight of the meeting was the presentation of two visitors from Zambia, Sharon and Belinda, both HIV positive. Their witness touched all participants and strengthened in them the resolve to live positively without AIDS. Meanwhile, the University of Zimbabwe has opened again. The orientation week had a great impact and many new faces can now be seen at Mass. More than 90 part-one students have registered and will hopefully participate in activities of the Catholic Students Association. We believe that in the storms to come the Lord is with us.
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Sent: Friday, September 23, 2005 9:36 PM
Subject: JAG Open Letters Forum No. 383 dated 23 September 2005


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


Letter 1:

Dear Jag

Paramedics will turn to a victim's cell phone for clues to that person's
identity. You can make their job much easier with a simple idea that they
are trying to get everyone to adopt: ICE. ICE stands for In Case of
Emergency. If you add an entry in the contacts list in your cell phone
under ICE, with the name and phone no. of the person that the emergency
services should call on your behalf, you can save them a lot of time and
have your loved ones contacted quickly. It only takes a few moments of your
time to do.

Paramedics know what ICE means and they look for it immediately.

ICE your cell phone NOW!

Please pass this one along!


Letter 2:

Dear JAG,

REFERENCE: ZANU PF CHEFS EXPOSED. (White farmers ''forced'' to bankroll
poll campaign. THE INDEPENDENT 29TH JULY 2005.

Having been born on Wicklow Farm, Selous, 61 years ago and being a member
of the Selous farming community for 40 years as a farmer, I was absolutely
disgusted when this article appeared in the Independent on the 29th of July
2005, but I was not surprised. We have known that the remaining members of
the once proud Selous farming community have bankrolled Chegutu West MP,
Webster Shamu and ZANU PF for a long time. It is a pity the other 14 people
involved, were not also exposed but one does not have to be a rocket
scientist to know who they are.

How these people can support a man and the party who were responsible for
the many evictions that took place and for basically destroying the Selous
farming area as we knew it. Or were they perhaps in cohorts with this man
so they could hang on to their land at our expense. These very same people
gave Mr. Shamu a dinner party at the Selous club to congratulate him when
he was made Policy Implementation Minister, or was this to stamp out
rampant extortion by bogus people as Mr. Cloete claims!

I would like to challenge Mr. Kobus Joubert who when he retired as Z.T.A.
President said in his farewell speech to congress that he had warned
''his'' farmers not to get involved in African politics and also that they
should have sub divided their farms for redistribution. Is he not totally
involved in African politics by bankrolling the ZANU PF election campaign
and to the best of my knowledge he has not give one square inch of land to
the shambolic land redistribution programme. He also told us at a meeting
at the Selous club that ''some of us would go and some of us would stay'' -
did he have access to the master plan. Last year some remaining members of
this same community came on to my farms and other farms in the area that
are currently occupied by A1 & A 2 settlers, paid the occupiers up front to
cut and bale grass for resale for their own pockets. Fortunately I had a
tip off and found out about it and was able to confront the culprits
involved on my properties. One of them is still using one of my dip tanks
and handling facilities and before each dip day the settlers are paid in
kind for the use of my facilities. Some of them are now also employing the
''green bombers'' to protect them and their properties. By these peoples
actions all they are actually doing is condoning what has happened to us
and our farms and used the window of opportunity to get involved with the
regime and to support the people that have been illegally settled on the
farms to their own advantage. Where have the morals of our once friends and
neighbours gone? We must feel sorry for them I suppose as they have allowed
greed to overtake their moral standards. These people will spend the rest
of their farming days looking over their shoulders to see who is trailing
them and to be slaves to their masters for all time as they now find
themselves locked into this corrupt system. R.D.A. Lilford.


Letter 3:

Dear Jag,

My personal credentials include serving as a Federal MP representing
Luanshya in the Copperbelt of Northern Rhodesia where I had a legal
practice with branches in Kitwe and Broken Hill. Upon Independence of
Zambia I returned the UK with minimal capital after 11 years of practice.

Since then I have remained intensely concerned about the sad and often
awful developments in Central Africa. With infrequent visits but with daily
reception of reports and material I consider that I am adequately informed
about that part of Africa in the development of which I made a small

I remain anxious to play some role in restoring the Mandela like Rainbow
State, which was so successful in driving world class development and
prosperity for all races.

I have recently noted the reference to the introduction of leasehold
instead of freehold land ownership, which seems to have been condemned out
of hand and I suggest that this may be a mistake.

During my years of practice in Northern Rhodesia I dealt regularly with
land transactions which involved a few freehold titles originally granted
by the BSA company and predominantly the 99 year leasehold titles covering
mining, industry, farming, trading and residential sites.

The 99 year leasehold system had been introduced for example by the
Victorian freeholders to develop the vast residential areas of London and
recent legislation has been introduced to deal with the expiring leases to
ensure their continuation or facilitate purchase of the freehold with
modest compensation for the freeholders.

The Colonial Office governing those territories where settlers had become a
significant feature of permanent development and long term involvement
adopted the leasehold system in order to retain the freehold for the
benefit of the general population.

Thus the system was established in 1911in Northern Rhodesia and about the
same time in Tanganyika, Uganda and Kenya.  As legal practitioners we
anticipated that in the long run at the end of the 99 year terms the leases
there would be extensions on UK lines or otherwise on reasonable terms to
continue the then current economic regime which would otherwise collapse.

This assessment was shared for instance by the mass of leaseholders and the
banks and building societies that lent freely on the security of the
leases. In valuing a particular plot the cost of improvements and the
continuity of enterprises and businesses predominated and the role of the
land was insignificant subject to market forces.

Although there was a need to obtain a licence from the Crown to sell the
lease this was a formality and had it been otherwise the whole economic
regime would have been put in jeopardy.

The leasehold system survived Independence in Zambia thanks to its
reasonable administration by the government and no doubt legislation will
be required soon for extensions which will probably follow the UK

The ex Zimbabwe farmers who have established themselves in Zambia
presumably have leasehold titles.

I have followed in great detail the decimation of the freehold system in
Zimbabwe in relation to the commercial farms by the fanatical racist
government and I have no illusions about such a government abusing the
administration of the current proposals regarding the leasehold system.

The current compliant judiciary would provide little protection against
such abuse.

However despite all those misgivings I consider that the proposal merits
further careful consideration and negotiation.

Regarding the significant terms of the leases if might be appropriate for
minimal improvements to be required within a limited period and more
significantly the meeting of commercial production targets subject to
reasonable contingencies.

In default of such conditions the lease would be forfeited.

If the leasehold regime were universal such terms would eliminate many of
the party hacks that have received farms without payment. Presumably such
persons would on receiving a lease have to purchase the improvements either
by instalments or by raising a loan and would be subject to the obligation
to farm productively.

Kenya serves as a dire precedent for such an artificial and corrupt
redistribution of the settler commercial farms after £50m had been provided
by the UK and others to buy out such farmers on Independence. After initial
sales to the party faithful most of the prices were never paid and after
further attempts to redistribute the original holdings they have eventually
been reduced to 10 acre plots with no significant commercial production.

The commercial farmer's forebears in Zimbabwe took considerable risks to
occupy the farmland a century ago when there were no guarantees of survival
or success.

I am suggesting that some of the abused and disillusioned farmers should
serve as latter-day pioneers and take another substantial risk by
participating in the leasehold system and looking forward to the inevitable
downfall of the current government and its replacement with a reasonable
and democratic regime, which would administer the leasehold system

I also understand that there must still be hope that some compensation may
be funded eventually by the abundantly sympathetic external governments and
institutions but surely the failure of those sympathisers to intervene when
the dispossession process took its illegal and bloodthirsty course must
cast some doubt on this eventuality.

I suggest that it might be preferable to have something of reasonable value
in hand rather than live in hope of unpredictable compensation in the
proverbial bush.

I am assuming that the proposal involves the exchange of the freehold title
(already converted into State land) for a 99 year lease including all
permanent improvements including the homestead. I cannot imagine how the
machinery and equipment would be restored or how depreciation of all such
assets would be accounted for. Significantly the farm labourers would be
able to return to their homes and facilities.

I suggest therefore that the leasehold proposal should not be rejected out
of hand but rather be studied both internally and by the currently
ineffective external governments and institutions such as the World Bank
and IMF.

This could serve as a substantial opportunity for those governments who
have been interested in the land reform and its funding to contribute to
the study and formulation of a countrywide leasehold scheme covering the
land and all ancillary features.

Such involvement would require consultation with the existing government
departments and the institutions representing all types of farmers, lending
banks and other sources of funding, the secondary industrial
representatives and all others who would be involved in making the new
overall solution work.

I think that I am aware of the characteristics of the settler community
exemplified by my knowledge of a surviving commercial farmer who
voluntarily provides advice and other essential support for neighbouring
new farmers. I believe that despite the destructive tensions fermented over
the last few years the former racial goodwill can be revived enabling a
rainbow agricultural landscape to be created as a backdrop to the
restoration of the former world standard agricultural industry in Zimbabwe.

Derek Sparrow 1/9/05

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.





Steve is still in Millpark Clinic, Randburg SA having been operated on
yesterday.  One round removed from his shoulder, the round in his back
still there to be removed later and his hand will require plastic surgery
at a later stage.




URGENT NOTICE - Saturday 24th September, 2005 :  The memorial service for the
late Moira Seward will be held at a date to be advised.
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