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

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Straw criticised for shaking Mugabe's hand
LONDON (Reuters) - Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has been criticised
for shaking hands with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, whom he has
previously accused of human rights abuses.

Straw was caught by a BBC camera shaking hands with the Zimbabwean
leader last week at the United Nations in New York, a move which the
Conservative party described as a "scandalous betrayal" of the people of

Straw defended his actions by saying it had been too dark to recognise

"I had not expected to see President Mugabe there," he was quoted by
newspapers as saying.

"Because it was quite dark in the corner, I was being pushed towards
shaking hands with somebody just as a matter of courtesy, and then it
transpired it was President Mugabe."

London has led a campaign for Commonwealth sanctions against Mugabe
over his controversial redistribution of white-owned farms to landless
blacks and a 2002 re-election in polls international observers said were
gravely flawed.

"It is a scandalous betrayal of the men and women of Zimbabwe who are
suffering at the hands of Mugabe's blood-stained regime," the Conservative
shadow Foreign Secretary Michael Ancram was quoted in the Daily Express as

Mugabe, in power since Zimbabwe won independence from Britain 24 years
ago, has repeatedly accused London of trying to oust him.
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Straw justifies Mugabe handshake
Jack Straw and Robert Mugabe
Jack Straw says he had not recognised Mr Mugabe (sitting) at first
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has defended shaking hands with Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe and saying "nice to see you" when they met in New York.

The scene was filmed as part of a Newsnight feature following Mr Straw's trip to the United Nations.

Mr Straw said the serious disagreement between the two countries did not justify being "discourteous or rude".

But he made it clear he had not immediately recognised the much-criticised Zimbabwean president.

Good manners

Talking to BBC correspondent Martha Kearney, Mr Straw said: "I hadn't expected to see President Mugabe there," referring to a lunchtime reception hosted by South African President Tabo Mbeki.

"I was sort of being pushed towards shaking hands with somebody as a matter of courtesy, and then it transpired it was President Mugabe," he added.

"But the fact that there is serious disagreement between Zimbabwe and the UK does not mean we should be discourteous or rude."

Shortly before the reception, in an address to the UN General Assembly, the Zimbabwean president accused US President George W Bush of behaving like God, and Tony Blair of being his prophet.

He said the US and the UK were "raining bombs and hell-fire on innocent Iraqis, purportedly in the name of democracy".

"We are now being coerced to accept and believe that a new political-cum-religious doctrine has arisen, namely that there is but one political God, George W Bush, and Tony Blair is his prophet."

'A new man'

But Mr Straw was in a meeting with Russian diplomats at the time, and was not aware of Mr Mugabe's virulent speech when he met him at the reception, the Panorama report explained.

Zimbabwe last year quit the Commonwealth after the country was suspended indefinitely from the body over human rights abuses.

Mr Mugabe accuses the UK of trying to oust him because of the land redistribution programme his regime is carrying out by confiscating white-owned land and giving it to black Zimbabweans.

Before the controversial encounter with Mr Mugabe, Mr Straw was complimented on his new looks by Mr Mbeki, who noticed the foreign secretary had a new hairstyle and was no longer wearing glasses, and called him "a new man".

But Mr Straw later told the programme he had simply gone back to using contact lenses as he did when he first became a member of parliament.

Asked on whether the public should not read political ambition into his makeover, he laughed and said: "No, the ambition is there anyway."

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Toronto Star

Rhetoric exposes U.N. hypocrisy


`What we say here," President Alejandro Toledo of Peru advised at the United
Nations last week, "needs to be connected to the real world."

Spare a moment's sympathy for Toledo. He won his presidency three years ago
on a platform that promised an end to Peru's endemic corruption. Now the
corruption allegations swirling around his office - though fiercely denied -
have got some pundits calling him "Latin America's least popular president."

But he seemed oblivious to that as he joined the annual fall parade of
leaders addressing the U.N. General Assembly. On the theory that the best
defence is a good offence, he used a press conference to appeal for
international support for Peru's efforts to extradite his predecessor
Alberto Fujimori from Japan to face corruption charges at home.

And that's when he made his intriguing point that national leaders who are
given the privilege of the extraordinary U.N. podium need to set an example
to the world in their own conduct.

If only we could believe they were listening.

This year's gathering offered a stark glimpse of the real divide in the
world today. Not the ones portrayed in the headlines, such as the rifts over
terrorism policy, or between much of the world and President George Bush.

It's between those who respect laws - or value legal obligations - and those
who don't.

Bush is easy to criticize - obviously many have - for a foreign policy
doctrine that runs roughshod over the concepts of multilateralism, which
underpins the U.N. and its efforts to break new ground in international law.

We're not talking about Iraq here, but about, for instance, the
International Criminal Court or improving the Biological Weapons Convention,
both of which Washington has opposed.

Okay, but what about those other leaders who also used the podium to lecture
the world on righteousness, while ignoring their domestic sins?

Best example of that last week was Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's president,
whose regime is condemned around the world for harassing opposition parties,
intimidating the press and using violence to undermine democracy.

Did Mugabe bother to acknowledge that? Not a chance.

Instead, he got a smattering of unparliamentary applause for his tirade
against Washington and its allies for pursuing a "new
political-cum-religious doctrine" in which "there is but one political god,
George W. Bush, and Tony Blair is his prophet."

Great line, but no one laughed at the next one, in which he called the U.N.
Charter "the most sacred document and proponent of relations of our

That's the same document whose preamble commits member states "to reaffirm
faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human
person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan tried to bring the debate down to reality.
He was widely quoted for his apparent criticism of the U.S. venture in Iraq,
noting "every nation that proclaims the rule of law at home must respect it

Less widely noted was his second line: "And every nation that insists on it
abroad must enforce it at home."

The General Assembly debates are a yearly ritual of international diplomacy.
And the ritual requires everyone to listen politely, if they listen at all.

These speeches, after all, are largely aimed at impressing an audience at
home with the leader's ability to rub shoulders with powerful states and, if
necessary, tell them off.

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva railed against the "powerful
and all-encompassing cogwheel" that runs the world system. Venezuela's Hugo
Chavez condemned the "unjust, exploitative and unsustainable world economic

But it would be nice if leaders understood - as Toledo said - that even the
most stirring rhetoric has to be measured against actions.

South Africa's Thabo Mbeki put his finger on the problem. "Every year many
of us ... make an annual pilgrimage to this great and vibrant city to plead
the cause of the poor of the world, hopeful that this time our voices will
be heard," he said in his address.

"Every year, after a few days, we pick up our bags to return to the reality
of our societies, whose squalor stands out in sharp contrast to the
splendour of New York."

He's right, but the solution to the growing global gap between rhetoric and
"reality" doesn't always lie in concentrating on the world's dark
geopolitical forces.

It has a lot to do with setting an example of good, responsible, and honest
government at home.
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The Telegraph

Zimbabwe capital faces cholera threat as water supplies run dry
By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
(Filed: 28/09/2004)

More than half of Harare's three million residents are either chronically
short of water or without any at all just days before the start of the
hottest month of the year.

Hardest hit are the poorest residents, many of whom now also have to endure
raw sewage running past their homes in what was once one of Africa's most
orderly cities.

President Robert Mugabe's administration is facing allegations of
incompetence as dams feeding the city, although polluted by untreated
sewage, are full. The Zimbabwean capital has also run out of foreign
currency to buy chemicals to treat its water.

Psychology Chiwanga, the director of works at the Harare Municipality said
last week that water would be rationed and the government would spend 4
million to revamp the water works' infrastructure, which has crumbled away
since independence in 1980.

But people in the high density suburbs have taken the law into their own
hands. "People dug a hole in the municipality's pipe under the ground, and
we take the water from there. If we don't we will die," said Masimba
Chayemba, 17, in Mabvuku township, 12 miles south-east of Harare.

The pipe is a main artery alongside the road linking Mabvuku to richer areas
to the north of the city.

It is buried about six feet underground, and yesterday water was gushing to
the surface.

Many residents took water away by the bucketful to irrigate their vegetable

Other people, mainly women, many with infants strapped to their backs, were
digging in open fields near a dam, hoping to secure a more legal form of
water supply.

Elias Mudzuri, Harare's former opposition party mayor and the only qualified
water engineer in the capital, began to fix some of the infrastructure after
he was elected in 2002. He was then arrested, beaten up and removed by the
government after a year in office .

"Next month will be terrible because it is the hottest time of the year," he
said. "When the rains come in November, there will be cholera because much
of the sewerage system is broken."
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Zim Online

Tue 28 September 2004

BULAWAYO - The Zimbabwe Republic Police is running re-orientation
courses in which officers are taught about the ill- treatment of blacks by
whites including the killing by British settlers of Zimbabwe's 19th century
spirit medium, Nehanda, ZimOnline has established.

Sources said the courses, which are being conducted at police
Provincial Updating Centres dotted across the country, were meant to prepare
the law enforcement agency for the crucial general election scheduled for
March next year.

All officers from the rank of inspector down to constable - the lowest
rank in the police - were required to attend the one-week training course in
groups of 20 at a time. The courses have been going on for more than three
months now, according to some police officers in Bulawayo, who have already
been through the re-education programme.

"Each officer must attend for all the seven days. If you fail to
attend for whatever reason, you are charged first and then ordered to do the
course," said one constable, who did not want to be named for fear of
victimisation. He added: "Our bosses are telling us that if we do not
undergo the training we will not go for election duties."

Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena refused to discuss the matter when
contacted by phone from Johannesburg.

Some of the police officers, who spoke to our news team described the
re-orientation courses as highly political and apparently meant to drive a
wedge between the police and anyone who did not support the ruling ZANU PF
party and government.

They said senior police officers who are running the courses were
emphasising the need for "all police personnel to have nothing to do with
enemies of Zimbabwe who include among them all members of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party and former white commercial

Other topics include the colonisation of Zimbabwe by Cecil John Rhodes
on behalf of the British monarchy in the late 19th century and the seizure
of black-owned land by the colonists.

The trainees are also taught about the government's land reforms meant
to restore land to blacks and "economic sabotage by Britain and her Western
allies opposed to the government's land redistribution programme."

Besides the killing of Nehanda, who was hanged by the colonial
administration after leading the country's first armed uprising against
foreign rule, the police officers are also taught about the hanging of
Kaguvi, who worked together with Nehanda.

"The killing of blacks by whites included the hanging of Kaguvi and
Nehanda. We are also taught about the deaths in 2002 of (ZANU PF activists)
Limukani Luphahla in Lupane district and Cain Nkala in Bulawayo," said one
police officer.

The government blamed the kidnapping and subsequent murder of Nkala
and Lupahla on the MDC. The High Court has since acquitted six MDC activists
accused of murdering Nkala because there was no evidence linking them to the
crime. Lupahla's murder is still unresolved.

Another police officer, who has had his stint at one of the training
centres, described how the trainees began each morning with rigorous
physical exercises carried out while singing Chimurenga (revolutionary)

He said: "In the mornings we would start with physical exercises which
we did while singing revolutionary songs such as Nora, (a song written by
ZANU PF political commissar, Elliot Manyika) before doing foot and arms

The opposition MDC, human rights groups and churches have in the past
accused the police of applying state security laws selectively to punish
perceived opponents of the government.

They have also accused the police and other state security agents of
committing human rights abuses against perceived opposition supporters. The
government and its security forces deny the charges. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Police caught napping as protesters take to the streets against draft law
Tue 28 September 2004

HARARE - About 100 members of the National Constitutional Assembly
(NCA) yesterday demonstrated outside Parliament against a government draft
law that will restrict Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the country.

The assembly is a coalition of churches, labour, opposition political
parties, students, human rights and civic bodies campaigning for a new and
democratic constitution for Zimbabwe.

Three weeks ago the police thwarted demonstrations by the assembly
against the proposed NGO law, which the government is expected to enact when
Parliament resumes next month.

But yesterday assembly demonstrators appeared to have caught the
police by surprise, pitching up at Parliament without first notifying the
police as is required under state security laws.

Under the government's Public Order and Security Act, Zimbabweans must
first seek permission from the police before gathering to discuss politics
or carrying out public demonstrations.

Yesterday, the police only arrived at the Parliament building more
than 30 minutes after the demonstrators had dispersed.

Assembly spokeswoman Jessie Majome said: "We have been notifying them
(the police) but we end up getting a raw deal. Instead of the police taking
note of the notice we would have given them, they interpret the notice as an
application and then deny us our right to demonstrate."

Attempts to get clarification from the police on whether they were
going to charge the assembly for not notifying the authorities as required
by law were not successful yesterday.

Meanwhile, a group of women walking from Bulawayo to Harare - a
distance of 440 kilometres - in protest against the NGO Bill had by
yesterday afternoon arrived in Chegutu town, less than 100 kilometres from
the capital.

The women all of them members of the Women of Zimbabwe Arise group
started marching on Sunday last week.

They plan to stage a demonstration at Parliament urging legislators to
block the controversial Bill.

Leader of the women's group, Jenny Williams, said: "We are saying
Zimbabweans must ensure that the Bill does not sail through in Parliament.
The Bill is meant to bite the hand that feeds (the country). NGOs have done
a marvelous job for the community in the field of humanitarian aid, human
rights, HIV/AIDS and others."

The proposed new law will see the setting up of a NGO council to
register civic bodies in the country. NGOs will be banned from providing
voter education while those wishing to undertake human rights work will be
barred from receiving foreign funding. - ZimOnline
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Hussain: we felt betrayed

Tuesday September 28, 2004
The Guardian

England's cricketers were subjected to "emotional blackmail" by the ECB and
its chief executive Tim Lamb to persuade them to play in Zimbabwe during the
2003 World Cup, despite the squad's "overwhelmingly moral" objections, the
then captain Nasser Hussain claims.
Hussain says he felt abandoned by the British government and the ICC as well
as the ECB as he grappled with life-and-death political issues which he felt
ill-equipped to deal with as a professional sportsman. In an extract from
his autobiography, Playing With Fire, he adds: "It was without doubt the
most traumatic time of my life."

After the England players had voted 15-0 against playing a pool match in
Zimbabwe, Hussain claims Lamb "tried every trick - at one point he broke
down and cried in front of me" in an attempt to change minds.
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27th September 2004






1. Attendance

2. Apologies

3. Notice Convening the Meeting

4. Acceptance of a Mediator for the Meeting

5. Chairman's Report

6. Vice-Chairman's Report

7. Presentation of Financial Statements

8. Adoption of the Reports and Financial Statements

9. Presentation of the JAG Trust Deed of Trust Document

10. Amendments to the JAG Trust Deed of Trust Document

11. Presentation of the JAG Membership Association Constitution

12. Adoption of the JAG Deed of Trust and JAG Membership Constitution

13. Election of the JAG Membership Association Committee and Office Bearers

14. Election of JAG Trustees and Office Bearers

15. Appointment of Auditor

16. Any Other Business

27 September 2004


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!
263 4 799 410 Office Lines
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JAG OPEN LETTER FORUM 27th September 2004

Email: ;

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


"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind."

Rudyard Kipling


Letter 1. Subject: Stamped


Postage rates up again from the 1st! Well someone obviously taught the Men
in Mercs that when revenues go down, the answer is to double the prices.
Now lets have some sense of reality. If a USDollar is 5620, then a stamp
at zwd 4600 is almost 80usc. This does not compute! Can someone let us
know what posting a local letter will cost in the States.

Some years ago the Chinese built us a lovely new post office. Fifteen
tills, and round the corner a parcel section, always busy, and wads of
letters in my postbox every time I called. Well my staff no longer write
home, nor does home write back. I used to buy stamps by the sheet, and
post my payments. I no longer have accounts, because nobody trusts anybody
anymore, the utilities hand deliver their bills, and the few magazines I do
still get must be collected from the depot.

The theory that more expensive stamps will cover the costs just will not
wash. Those chaps that used to strike and bring the country to a halt will
strike for higher wages, and nobody will even know. At the Fair yesterday
the ladies selling Christmas cards had a very quiet day.

Oh, and the brave new post office has leased out most of the building, and
they have one quiet little corner, with two little men sitting in two
little tills, and the people who sort the post live in their dungeon in
blissful peace.


Letter 2. Subject: Open Letter Forum

Dear Jag,

The comments of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and
Tourism, Margaret Sanganwe, regarding Air Zimbabwe's safety in the air
which was published today, 25th Sept, cannot go unnoticed as safety of
passengers is paramount and this is a priority to be resolved - but to say
that Zimbabweans are not a 'holidaying' culture baffles me, because
everyone knows the reason why average Zimbabweans cannot go to Vic Falls
and addendum and spend a night or two at the A'Zambezi Lodge and similar -
because they cannot afford it (we certainly could not when we lived in Zim,
and that was already going back to the early 90's). Now we live abroad for
obvious reasons, have been here for less than a year and have already
managed to go to Europe - I wonder why?! - surprise, surprise - because
money in this part of the world has some value and goes a long way. It's
about time government officials start treating the general Zimbabwean
public with some respect, after all we are not that dense to see what is
going on.

Johanna Schermuly

Letter 3. Subject: AGM

Best wishes to JAG and its members, and congratulations on doing a good and
necessary job

Simon Dakin

Letter 4. Subject: Trying to find Keith Kirkman


My daughter who is now an Industrial Organisation Psychologist in
Wellington New Zealand, has met up with the Kirkman family and they are
trying to trace Keith Kirkman who originally was of Donnington Farms P O
Box 27 Norton.

The Kirkman family in New Zealand have asked my daughter to try to locate
this side of the family and I thought maybe you could help or put me in the
right direction, please.

Perhaps the best address to reply to would be to my daughter Miss Celine
Carlisle at as I fly out to NZ this Sunday and will
meet up with the Kirkmans on their farm over there during the course of the
next five weeks.

I would be most grateful for your help in this matter.

Sincerely, Elspeth Domoney

Letter 4. Subject: Telephone Petition


* NB - in view of announced increase in local postage on 1 October to $4
600, if you fill this by 30 Sept you can save money on postage!

We, the undersigned wish to voice our concern at the unjustified and
astronomical telephone charge increases introduced by Tel-One. The unit
charges have been increased overnight from $120 to $585, a five-fold
increase. This is justified neither by the current rate of inflation nor an
improvement in the quality of service provided. It would appear that these
increases are the result of either pure greed or incompetence. It is likely
that several businesses will not be able to sustain such unrealistic
increases and will have to close down. At a time when the Governor of the
Reserve Bank is trying, quite successfully, to control inflation in
Zimbabwe, the latest measure is tantamount to economic sabotage. These
telephone charge increases will doubtlessly have a 'domino' effect on all
businesses, like fuel price increases do, and you can expect other
charges/fees/rates and subscriptions to increase in order to off-set these!

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.


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!
263 4 799 410 Office Lines
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