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

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Archbishop won't give in

Toronto Globe and Mail Saturday, September 25, 2004

EDMONTON, Alberta (Scripps Howard) -- As torture victims shared horrifying stories of beatings, rape and murder during a service in Zimbabwean Archbishop Pius Ncube's cathedral, secret police agents were sitting in the back pews.

In what the archbishop is convinced was a plan to arrest and assault him, the agents came looking for him after the service. His secretary told them he had left. They couldn't see him in the pitch darkness and gave up their search.

The story was recounted by the soft-spoken Roman Catholic cleric in an interview as evidence of the lengths to which President Robert Mugabe and his followers will go in their attempts to silence him.

One of Mugabe's most outspoken critics, the Archbishop of Bulawayo has been branded a rapist, HIV-positive, gay and unholy. He says he has received death threats, his phones are tapped, he is followed by intelligence officers and he has been told his passport may be seized.

The harassment, he allows, is "inconvenient." But with his voice rising and his body stiffening, he continues: "I refuse to be afraid. If I'm afraid, then they have got me where they want me to be."

Archbishop Ncube, 58, has taken to the international stage in the past year, including briefings for Prince Charles and U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in which he has sought to raise awareness of Mugabe's regime and the desperate conditions in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe has been in power since the southern African country won independence from Britain in 1980. Zimbabweans have endured years of chronic food shortages, high unemployment rates, staggering inflation and political crisis.

Human-rights organizations and foreign governments have accused Mugabe and his ruling ZANU-PF party of a reign of terror lasting years.

Archbishop Ncube is one of several African clerics, including Desmond Tutu, the former Anglican primate of South Africa, who became loud and persistent voices of opposition under repressive regimes.

Many Zimbabwean church leaders disagree with his approach, which they say is undiplomatic.

But Pablo Idahosa, a professor of African studies at York University in Toronto, called the prelate a "very courageous person" who speaks for Zimbabweans unable or unwilling to voice dissent. "His influence has been as a catalyst," Prof. Idahosa said.

Archbishop Ncube was at the University of Alberta before traveling to Winnipeg and Ottawa to meet politicians, dignitaries and ambassadors.

Wearing a priest's collar, a large silver cross and an ill-fitting gray suit that exposed his pale yellow socks, the bespectacled archbishop said he wants Canada to continue putting pressure on Mugabe's "evil" regime.

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Zimbabwe faces problem of access to HIV/AIDS drugs: minister 2004-09-25 15:44:21

    HARARE, Sept. 25 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwe faces the challenge of ensuring that people infected with HIV/AIDS get access to anti-retroviral drugs, Health and Child Welfare Minister David Parirenyatwa has said.

    "Anti-retroviral drugs with greater potencies, improved resistance profiles, better safety indices and more convenient dosing regiments are now available in Zimbabwe," the minister saidon Friday in a speech read on his behalf at a Barclays Bank healthand safety week staff conference. "The main challenge now is accessibility to these currently expensive drugs which is why the theme for this year's 15th International AIDS conference in Bangkok, Thailand, was 'Access for All'" he said.

    An estimated 1.8 million people in Zimbabwe are living with HIV/AIDS out of a total population of around 11 million.

    Parirenyatwa emphasized the need to prevent HIV/AIDS, saying the principle of abstinence, mutual faithfulness and use of condoms for those who cannot practice the ideal two, remained the cornerstone of tackling the pandemic.

    He urged the private sector to complement government efforts infighting the pandemic which is claiming an estimated 3,000 lives each week.

    Barclays Bank became one of the few private commercial banks inthe country to contribute toward the health welfare of its workersby launching an employee assistance program, through which it willoffer direct assistance in the form of health promotion, counseling and medication to staff members.

    Parirenyatwa said by investing in the health and well being of its employees, Barclays Bank was investing in its future success.

    He urged other organizations to emulate what Barclays had done so that employees become productive for the betterment of all.

    The program will offer free HIV testing services, anti-retroviral drugs to the infected and other support services in theform of the health and welfare department to staff members. Enditem


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Timely words on terrorism in the modern world


DORIS LESSING IS rightly one of the most famous of living authors. She is so famous that publishers are willing to bring out collections of her occasional papers, essays and reviews, even very short ones. Fourth Estate publish one such collection - Time Bites - this month.

This collection includes an essay on Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, the country where she grew up, and it is quite the best and wisest thing I have read on that troubled land, and on the man who has brought ruin upon it.

There is scarcely a page that doesn’t contain a sentence or a paragraph that makes you stop and ponder it. Even Lessing’s occasional pieces are writing that matters.

But the one I would like to draw attention to is called "The Wrong Way Home". Its subject is terrorism, and there is no subject today on which it is more urgent to talk sense and shed light. Some things she says are already widely recognised - the existence, for instance, of the "Young Son Syndrome" - the young man of "good family who becomes violently opposed to what has made him".

Members of the Italian Red Brigades came into this category. So did Lenin. So does Osama bin Laden. "These types of malcontent, revolutionary, or reformer are easily spotted and understood."

They attract sympathisers to whom we may choose to attach the terrorist label, but who, she suggests, "have little in common with the true terrorist, like Bin Laden’s specially trained terrorist groups". These sympathisers, of whom she takes the young Afghans who became the Taleban as an example, find no place for themselves in the modern world because they have been denied an education. Instead these young Afghans were "educated as the poor have been in Islam for centuries, by no more than a ritual chanting of the Koran. They might just as well be 14th-century people," she suggests.

How do we prevent the emergence of other similar groups. Lessing has no doubt. "You cannot legislate against terrorist groups once they come into being, but you can prevent terrorists from coming into being. A good modern education is the solution."

This will not, as she realises, rid us of terrorists of the Younger Son sort, whose alienation and desire to kill and destroy arise from their dissatisfaction with their education, from the apprehension that the world is not as it was sold to them. But it will isolate them.

To become a terrorist is to become a member of a cult, of "an invisible brotherhood". That is part of the attraction.

Second, Lessing recognises that "the enjoyment of destruction is deep in the human psyche ... My question is, how often is this deep and sick need to destroy being led under the guise of ideology?"

To understand terrorists, read Dostoevski’s great novel The Devils, sometimes translated as "The Possessed". Terrorist groups are cults: "The main plank of cultish behaviour is that the outsider, the person not on your side, is demonised."

There are two things to be done. First, to detach the sympathisers - a long task, because education takes time. Second, to catch "those highly trained ruthless groups waiting ... to murder, poison and destroy."

It will help if we "stop using the word ‘terrorist’ like a witch’s spell and restrict it to the real terrorists."

Will our leaders heed these wise words?
The Scotsman
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Kwara’s agrarian revolution and the Zimbabwean farmers

Sunday, September 26, 2004
Vanguard Online
BEYOND paying lip service to fighting poverty and ensuring food sufficiency, Kwara State government is pioneering an agrarian revolution in Nigeria. Tuesday, 27 July, Governor Bukola Saraki signed a business agreement with 15 commercial farmers, members of the Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe.
 By embracing commercial agriculture, Saraki said his administration was truly maximizing its comparative advantage and tapping natural opportunities; a move which, he said, would put Kwara State on the map of the world. His words: “We are convinced that Africa can only achieve sustainable development by first achieving food security. We are also convinced that it is only in the agriculture and agro-allied economy that Africa can begin to claim its space in the global market arena”.
The governor assured the Zimbabwean farmers of their safety and the security of their investment. He also charged the expatriate farmers to give their best to the project. The major pivot of the agreement was the allocation of 1,000 hectares of land to each of the 15 pioneer farmers on a 25-year leasehold renewable for another 25-year term. The state government will provide basic infrastructure such as road, borehole and electricity to the farms and also ensure adequate security at the farm-house. The white farmers are required to incorporate a company and commence operations not later than the first week of October, this year, and speed up significant development of their allotted portions over a period of three years. The commercial farmers will source 90 per cent of local manpower from indigenes of Kwara State and obey the nation’s labour laws. They will patronize local suppliers for agricultural and agro-allied inputs and raw materials.
The agreement provides for the establishment of a community trust fund, jointly by all stakeholders, for the creation of social facilities and infrastructure for the welfare of members of the host communities. The fund will be financed by a special levy fixed at one per cent of the gross turn over of the farmers. In addition, the government will establish a school, managed by the union, to transfer skills and technology to local entrepreneurs.
While justifying government’s bold attempt at making Kwara the food basket of the nation, Saraki described the investment as a wise, inevitable option since it was becoming unrealistic to depend largely on oil revenue.
 In his estimation, commercial agriculture would provide an alternative economic base for Nigeria as the international oil economy becomes increasingly volatile and unpredictable. The governor  assured the people that the government would protect their interests and urged them to make friends with the white farmers and learn from their expertise. The governor showered encomiums on President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Federal Government for initiating and supporting policies that favoured the bilateral cooperation.
Responding on behalf of his colleagues, the project co-ordinator of the Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe, Alan Jack, expressed satisfaction with the negotiations started in March, this year, which culminated in the July Agreement. Jack said the Zimbabwean farmers were highly optimistic because of the warm reception and cooperation from the host government. He promised that his union will work with local farmers and share experience on dairy, poultry, rice and vegetable cultivation and general mixed farming.
Kwara State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Alhaji Mohammed Boriya, blamed the reduction in the population of peasant farmers in Nigeria on urbanization but emphasized the need to modernize the local system of farming. An elated Boriya disclosed that nine states initiated the invitation of commercial farmers into the country to invest in agriculture, adding that Kwara state served on the technical committee which produced the working document for the Federal Government. He described the gains and expected benefits from the scheme as “unending” in the short and long run.
The commissioner allayed the fears of host communities by assuring them that the commercial farming programme was not designed to supplant small scale farming. Rather it will explore the vast resources available in the state to boost agricultural production. Alhaji Boriya, therefore, charged the commercial farmers and their host communities to work in partnership to ensure the success of the project. The initiative of Kwara State Government can be described as historic and a bold attempt at attaining food security and fighting rural poverty.
Agriculture is the mainstay of the state’s economy as over 70 per cent of the population are peasant farmers. The agricultural sector does not only produce food for the populace, it also provides the essential raw materials for the state’s agro-allied industries. With a total land area of 34,600 square kilometers and an annual rainfall of 1,500mm, Kwara State is naturally blessed to produce large quantity of arable crops.
Unfortunately, agriculture had suffered serious neglect before  Saraki became governor. In order to redress the anomaly and remove the stagnation in agricultural development in the state, the governor initiated various programmes to increase food production and ensure food security for the citizenry.
In July, last year, he started a pilot project which he called Back-to-Farm scheme. It was designed to provide gainful employment for the army of unemployed youths who had hitherto been engaged in anti-social activities and to ensure food sufficiency in the state. Within a short period of one year, the pilot project has become a full blown programme with the acquisition of 5,000 hectares of land spread across the state where about 5,000 youths are now gainfully employed. To assist the young farmers, the government bought 28 new tractors and repaired three old bulldozers, two low loaders and one Hyab crane. It also hired additional bulldozers and low loaders to complement those refurbished.
The government has also substantially solved the perennial problem of inadequate supply of farm inputs to farmers at the right time and at affordable prices by promptly releasing money for procurement of such farm inputs. The money was used to purchase 18.5 metric tones of Soya beans seed, 1,000 bundles on improved variety of cassava and 40,000 bundles of the local variety which were distributed to farmers at highly subsidized prices.
At the beginning of the 2004 planting season, the government committed about 25 million naira to land clearing and preparation, so as to make land available to farmers. The government procured farm inputs and agro-allied chemicals worth 30 million naira for distribution to farmers to enhance their production capacity and save them from insect menace and pest infestation.
Extension agents
In the last one year, the Saraki government had given approval for the recruitment of 50 additional extension agents to complement the existing ones who had been assisting farmers in their efforts to attain good yield; a major goal of the Back-to-farm programme.
Kwara State has also attained high level of success in rice production despite late commencement of the scheme. In order to improve upon the achievement recorded so far, 2,500 hectares of rice have been cultivated with the repair of the earth dam and rehabilitation of the strategic Duku Lade Irrigation scheme at a cost of 65 million naira. The Patigi Rice Mill which had been grounded for years has been revived with the purchase of 10 de-stoning machines, five cottage rice mills and storage chemicals.
It is worthy of note that just as Governor Saraki has been making waves at home with his agricultural policy, recognition has come from abroad. In appreciation of his immense contributions to the growth of agriculture in Kwara State, Dr Bukola Saraki was honoured by the European Marketing Research Centre, Brussels, Belgium, in April during the 2004 Agric Business Forum. And with the signing of a business between Kwara State and the Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe and the adoption of modern agricultural technology, sustained government support and stable developmental policies, it is certain that agriculture will revolutionize and improve the living standard of the people of Kwara State.
Omotosho, a public commentator, resides in Ibadan
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1.From The Associated Press, 22 September

Zimbabwe denies reports of food shortage - Angus Shaw

Harare - Zimbabwe's government on Wednesday dismissed reports of dozens of
deaths linked to malnutrition as lies peddled by detractors and insisted
the nation has more food than it needs. Health officials in Bulawayo, the
nation's second largest city, have reported at least 162 deaths related to
malnutrition this year. Information Minister Jonathan Moyo accused the
regional council's health director, Dr. Zanele Hwalima, of "doctoring lies"
meant to cause alarm and despondency. The Bulawayo council, which is
controlled by the opposition, is the only local council in Zimbabwe that
routinely compiles data on food shortages and malnutrition. Zimbabwe, once
a regional breadbasket, was plunged into political and economic turmoil
when President Robert Mugabe's government began seizing thousands of white
owned farms for redistribution to blacks in 2000. Inflation is running at
314 percent, the highest rate in the world. The often-violent land reform
program, combined with erratic rains, have crippled the nation's
agriculture-based economy. The government argues redistribution is needed
to correct colonial-era injustices and has not affected food production.
The United Nations estimates the expected total harvest this year to reach
1 million tons of grain, about half the country's needs. Last year, nearly
half of Zimbabwe's 12.5 million people needed food aid. A U.N.-led
assessment group estimates that as many as 5 million Zimbabweans will need
help again before the next harvest in March. Moyo suggested in an interview
with the state Herald newspaper that even if there was malnutrition in
Zimbabwe it wouldn't amount to a serious health problem. "Malnutrition is
just ... a case of not having a balanced diet. ... People in the USA are
fat because they eat too many burgers. That's malnutrition," Moyo said. He
disputed the low U.N. harvest forecast and said the country will produce a
record 2.4 million tons of grain this year, well in excess of the annual
consumption of at least 1.8 million tons, mostly of the corn staple. "There
is no food crisis in Zimbabwe," Moyo said. But Samuel Mavuti, the head of
the state Grain Marketing Board told a panel of lawmakers this month that
Zimbabwe had just 298,000 tons of the main corn staple. He said the board,
which is the sole legal distributor of grain, expected total deliveries to
its depots of only 750,000 tons by March next year. On Monday, the
U.S.-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network, a food security
monitoring group, warned the grain delivered so far to the state marketing
board already fell short of basic needs. "The quantity of grain collected
by the GMB as of mid-August is insufficient to meet the needs in urban
centers and rural areas with deficit production," it said. While the corn
meal staple was still generally available in stores, many poor households
could no longer afford it, the group said. "Hyperinflation, high rates of
unemployment and low wages contribute to food insecurity in urban areas,"
its report said.

2.  From VOA News, 22 September

Zimbabwe says it needs no international food aid

Harare - The Zimbabwe Government has now officially informed Western donors
that it has had a bumper harvest and will need no food aid for the
foreseeable future. A letter from the welfare ministry has been delivered
to donor agencies telling them that Zimbabwe grew 2.4 million tons of maize
last summer. A letter addressed to donor organizations, dated August 26 and
signed by welfare minister Paul Mangwana, has now sealed the doors to any
intervention by non-governmental organizations in addressing the shortage
of food in many parts of Zimbabwe. In its latest monthly report, The Famine
Early Warning Systems Network, a long-trusted food security monitoring
group across the region, said scarcity of food is emerging in a growing
number of rural areas in Zimbabwe and more and more urban people can not
afford to buy food from the shops. It says it is not sure how much grain is
in storage at the Grain Marketing Board because those statistics are no
longer freely available. The figure of 2.4 million tons of maize for last
summer's harvest can not be accurate, according to crop analysts referring
to data collected over the last 30 years, as well as estimates of the
harvest by the United Nations and other groups. The government's figure
indicates a larger harvest than in any previous season, even when the
agricultural sector was in its best shape. Now about 80 percent of
Zimbabwe's best land is unused, following the resettlement of new farmers
onto former commercial farms over the past four years. Most of them have
neither the financing nor the farming skills to grow more than a few bags
of maize. Information minister Jonathan Moyo is reported in the Wednesday
edition of the government-controlled Herald newspaper, as saying that no
food imports are necessary, or planned, because Zimbabwe has produced 2.4
million tons. But according to information released to the state media
recently, the government's Grain Marketing Board, the only legal grain
trader in Zimbabwe, has less than 300 000 tons in stock. Mr. Moyo says
farmers are keeping grain at home this year. Statistics from previous years
indicate grain farmers have traditionally held on to some stocks for home
consumption, but sold the rest to generate cash for items like school fees
and essential items. The United Nations World Food Program announced
recently it had reduced its staff in Zimbabwe by nearly half. Its
operations were geared to feed more than five million people, or nearly
half the population, at the peak of food shortages during the last three
years. The government says if people do need food aid, it will do the job
itself, from its own homegrown stocks. But well-placed sources close to
food distribution agencies say the government does not have the resources
or infrastructure to deliver food if another food crisis happens, which
they say could be in December. Additionally, non-governmental organizations
say it will take several months for the World Food Program to raise donor
funds and become fully operational again, if the food runs out.

THE JAG TEAM JAG Hotlines: (011) 261 862 If you are in trouble or need
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Vesting of land, taking of materials and exercise of rights over land

NOTICE is hereby given, in terms of paragraph (iii) of subsection (1) of
section 8 of the Land Acquisition Act (Chapter 20:120), that the President
has acquired compulsorily the land described in the Schedule for urban

Minister of Special Affairs in the
Office of the
President and Cabinet Responsible
for Lands, Land Refore and Resettlement.


1.  3975/87. Mashonaland Holding Limited: Salisbury: The Remaining Extent
of Chizororo of Eyrecount: 197,5488 ha
 2.  1723/76. Retreat Farm P/L: Salisbury: Retreat: 624,50 ha
 3.  4801/89. Turner Properties (Private) Limited: Salisbury: Remainder of
Mount Hampden: 305,5417 ha

 4.  9051/87. Mashonaland Holding Limited: Goromonzi: Acorn Estates:
57,1244 ha

 5.  4035/86. Crest Breeders International (Private) Limited: Salisbury:
Remaining Extent of Cerney Township of Saturday Retreat: 46,2332 ha
 6.  4035/86. Crest Breeders International (Private) Limited: Salisbury:
Lot 2 of Saturday Retreat: 22,0776 ha
 7.  4035/86. Crest Breeders International (Private) Limited: Salisbury:
Remaining Extent of Satruday Retreat Estate: 1 057,3810 ha
 8.  4039/92. Bellapaise Estates P/L: Salisbury: Lot 9 Block S of Hatfield
Estate: 140,3805 ha
 9.  7640/91. Portland Holdings Limited: Salisbury: Remainder of
Subdivision E of Arlington Estate: 530,2555 ha
 10.  11351/2000. Alexander Stuart Ross: Salisbury: Stand 1 Gletwyn
Township of Gletwyn: 255,9145 ha
 11.  11352/2000. James Ian Ross: Salisbury: Remaining Extent of Gletwyn:
511,5844 ha
 12.  1126/87. Isable Mary Speight, Roger William Newmarch,Judith Eileen,
   Andrew Antony Herbert Newmarch, Thelma Joan Newmarch: Salisbury:
Remaining Extent of Carrick Creagh of Section 4 of Borrowdale Estate:
284,8492 ha
 13.  1289/91. Mount Hampden Investments (Private) Limited: Salisbury:
Remainder of Haydon: 744,5567 ha
 14.  5428/2001. Sensene Investments (Private) Limited: Salisbury: The
Remainder of Stoneridge: 586,7149 ha
 15.  5022/82. Basil Jack Rowlands: Salisbury: Subdivision 14 of Welston:
40,5866 ha
 16.  1190/86. George Kileff & Sons (Private) Limited: Salisbury:
Remaining Extent of Eyerston of Arlington Estate: 1 086,9361 ha
 17.  7640/91. Portland Holdings Limited: Salisbury: Remainder of
Subdivision E of Arlington Estates: 530,2555 ha
 18.  4011/91. Colin Malcom Small: Salisbury: Lot 11 of The Glen of Glen
Forest of Borrowdale: 13,6320 ha
 19.  632/90. Sensene Investments (Private) Limited: Salisbury: Remainder
of Nyarungu Subdivision of subdivision A of Stoneridge: 113,8046 ha
 20.  4039/92. Bellapaise Estates P/L: Salisbury: Lot 9 of Hatfield
Estate: 140,3805 ha
 21.  642/66. Pangoula Farms P/L: Salisbury: Pangoula of Sternblick:
299,9976 acres
 22.  5382/68. Kaola Farm Estates (Private) Limited: Salisbury: Kaola
Park: 259,3302 acres
 23.  5988/83. Amalinda Estates (Private) Limited: Salisbury: Amalinda
Estates: 1 101,8288 ha
 24.  4035/86. Crest Breeders International (Private) Limited: Salisbury:
New Cennety Township 2 of Saturday Retreat Estate: 63,8951 ha
 25.  4606/84. Rothmans International Enterprises Limited: Salisbury:
Stand 48 Aspindale Township of Subdivision A and B of Lochinvar: 100,3134
 26.  506/79. Meadowlea (Private) Limited: Salisbury: Lot 18 of the Glen
of Glen Fores of Borrowdale Estate: 12,3681 ha
 27.  13945/2001. Magic Lyn Bake, Rosalind Elizabeth Tyler, James Alfred
   and Collen Cannon Salisbury: Remainder of Gurlyn Barton: 71,7928 ha
 28.  5428/2001. Sensene Investments (Private) Limited: Salisbury:
Subdivision A of Subdivision A of Stoneridge: 13,4188 ha
 29.  2242/69. P B Arnott and Son (Private) Limited: Salisbury: Remaining
Extent of Good Hope: 1 460,6822 acres
 30.  2332/68. Clive Alfred Chester: Salisbury: Lot 15B The Glen 38,6796
 31.  1193/74. Craighall Estate (Private) Limited: Salisbury: Buckland
Estate: 280,2765ha
 32.  799/84. Anthony Stephen Turner: Salisbury: Remaining Extent of Glen
Forest of Borrowdale Estate: 149,0329 ha
 33.  6406/88. Logaflor (Private) Limited: Salisbury: Lot 3 of the Glen of
Glen Forest of Borrowdale Estate: 10,1170 ha
 34.  1289/91. Mount Hampden Investments (Private) Limited: Salisbury:
Remainder of Haydon: 744,5567 hs
 35.  5816/65. Zimbabwe Tobacco Association: Salisbury: The Remainder of
the Farm Odar: 605,8092 ha
 36.  1012/56. Valarie Pape Laing: Salisbury: Caledonia: 3 060 morgen
 37.  2806/93. J Toole Trust: Salisbury: Marydown: 50,38 ha
 38.  632/90. Funden Hall (Private) Limited: Salisbury: Remainder of
Nyarungu Subdivision of subdivision A of Stoneridge: 113,8046 ha
 39.  1044/92. Nyamanza Farm (Private) Limited: Salisbury: The Remaining
Extent of the New Retreat: 529,1713 ha
 40.  6516/69. B A Dankwerts (Private) Limited: Salisbury: Eyecourt:
863,24 acres



JAG Hotlines:
(091) 261 862 If you are in trouble or need advice,
(011) 205 374
(011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us -
(011) 431 068
                                we're here to help!
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This is a reminder of the AGM to be held on Friday 1st October 2004.



NOTICE is hereby given of the Annual General Meeting of the Justice for
Agriculture Trust, to be held at Northside Community Church Hall on Friday
1st October 2004, at 9.00 a.m.

All Commercial Farmers are encouraged to attend and will be welcome.
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Alarm over Zim deaths

    September 25 2004 at 10:48AM

By Peta Thornycroft

Harare - Medical personnel in Zimbabwe have confirmed an Amnesty International report issued from London on Wednesday which said 10 people had died after they were teargassed at an informal settlement on the outskirts of Harare earlier this month.

Up to about 10 000 people were forcibly evicted from their homes on Porta Farm, about 15 km from Harare, because the government says it needs that land.

Amnesty International has called for a full and independent inquiry into the evictions.
'This excessive use of force by Zimbabwe Republic Police is appalling'

The deaths, which were confirmed on Thursday by human rights monitor, and medical personnel in Harare, said teargas had been fired into confined spaces during a raid on the informal settlement on September 2.

The Amnesty report, as well as former residents from the settlement, said that riot police, people describing themselves as veterans of Zimbabwe's liberation war, and youth members of the ruling Zanu PF party, had gone to evict 10 000 people from Porta Farm.

At the time of the evictions the police confirmed they had used teargas against some of the residents of the settlement because municipal workers had been attacked.

Since then, doctors in both public and private sectors have treated some of the former residents.

One doctor, who asked not to be named, confirmed that 10 people examined by him and his colleagues had died from illnesses caused by teargas.

Among those who died were a mother and her five-year-old child, as well as another infant. Residents told human rights monitors that teargas was fired directly into some homes.

Doctors said that among those who had died were people who were already unwell, and exposure to teargas had proved fatal.

So far, the doctors say, they have recorded 10 deaths, but do not rule out that more may die as some former residents, already in poor health, remain unwell.

"This excessive use of force by Zimbabwe Republic Police is appalling. Firing teargas into a confined space is completely contrary to international human rights standards on the use of force by law enforcement officials, because of the danger posed to those exposed," the Amnesty statement said.

"Hundreds of residents have complained of chest and stomach pains, nose bleeding and other ill-effects since the teargas incident. Doctors who examined some of the Porta Farm residents after the events of September 2, believe that those most seriously affected by the teargas were particularly vulnerable because of pre-existing illnesses such as tuberculosis."

Earlier this month the Harare High Court ordered that the evictions of the Porta Farm residents cease, because an earlier court ruling allowing them to remain there was still in effect.

From the road, the sprawling settlement appears to have been all but destroyed. Most of the roofs on homes and the school are missing.

Amnesty International, which sent investigators into Porta Farm, says Zimbabwe has broken international human rights treaties it has signed to desist from forced evictions without due process of law.

So far neither the police nor welfare officials have responded to Amnesty International's report. - Independent Foreign Service.

IOL from The Indepemdent
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Tour party may be hit hard
By Huw Turbervill 
(Filed: 26/09/2004)


England's party for the controversial tour to Zimbabwe will be announced on Tuesday, with speculation mounting that Andrew Flintoff is poised to follow his best friend Stephen Harmison and boycott the trip.

Flintoff, England's leading all-rounder, is expected to use his newspaper column as Harmison did to announce his withdrawal from the tour of five one-day matches, starting on Nov 26. Like Harmison, Flintoff has a young family - his first child Holly was born earlier this month.

Harmison said last Sunday: "In all honesty, my decision was made in Cape Town 18 months ago. England's World Cup squad spent a horrendous four days before finally deciding not to go to Harare. Nothing has changed for me."

In July the same Sunday newspaper claimed as many as seven players were considering boycotting the trip.

The series is expected to be a mismatch, with Zimbabwe severely weakened after the boycott of the players who toured England this summer under the Red Lions banner. Even if Flintoff makes himself available, it could be a prudent move to rest him ahead of the Tests in South Africa and next summer's Ashes series.

England have promised players will not be discriminated against if they withdraw, although the England and Wales Cricket Board have felt compelled to proceed with the tour because of the threat of severe financial penalties.

The squad will also cover the one-day games in South Africa, presumably with a replacement for Harmison in Zimbabwe only, and will be announced on the ECB's website at 2.30pm.

Another player who could conceivably be rested, Marcus Trescothick, demonstrated once again yesterday why he has been a key player in England's limited-overs resurgence.

After hitting 104, he admitted England were not happy. "It wasn't our best performance, to be honest," he said. "It was hard-fought and we had to grind it out. The wicket was wet and helped the ball skid on."

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