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Zimbabwe opposition head says election tied to talks


Sat 29 Sep 2007, 14:33 GMT

By MacDonald Dzirutwe

MASVINGO, Zimbabwe (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's main opposition leader said on
Saturday his party's participation in national elections next year would
depend on negotiations with President Robert Mugabe's government.

In a rally marking the eighth anniversary of the establishment of the
Movemement for Democratic Change (MDC), Morgan Tsvangirai said Mugabe must
end political repression and allow millions of exiles to vote before the
joint presidential and parliamentary elections could be held.

"Those are our benchmarks for a free and fair election. We will not expect
anything less in these elections," Tsvangirai, who heads the largest of two
MDC factions, told 4,000 supporters in a stadium in Masvingo, 292 km (183
miles) south of Harare.

"We want to participate, but we do not want a pre-determined election," said
Tsvangirai, who was among several dozen anti-Mugabe activists arrested and
beaten in policy custody after an aborted protest rally in March.

That crackdown prompted international protests and renewed calls for Mugabe,
83, to introduce democratic reforms or step down.

A grouping of southern African nations later asked South African President
President Thabo Mbeki to mediate between Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party and
the MDC factions to lay the groundwork for the elections.

Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, has vowed to run
for another five-year term in 2008 despite widespread accusations that his
government has abused human rights and destroyed the once-prosperous

Zimbabweans are struggling with soaring poverty, inflation of about 6,600
percent and chronic shortages. Thousands every day cross illegally into
South Africa to look for food and work.

Mugabe's government blames sabotage by Britain and other Western nations.

The situation has worsened in the past three months since the government
launched a radical price rollback scheme to stem inflation. The measures
have led stores to stop stocking milk, bread and other basics, pushing the
economy toward collapse.

"I want to tell President Thabo Mbeki and the United Nations
Secretary-General (Ban Ki-moon) that Zimbabwe is suffering a severe
humanitarian crisis. We are no longer just a political crisis," Tsvangirai
said on Saturday.

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Opposition leader defends deal with Mugabe


     September 29 2007 at 05:14PM

Masvingo - Zimbabwe's opposition leader on Saturday defended his deal
with President Robert Mugabe's government over constitutional reforms,
saying it would help create a conducive environment for elections next year.

"The objective of talking to Zanu PF is to create a free and fair
election environment in this country," Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
leader Morgan Tsvangirai told thousands of supporters at his party's eighth
anniversary celebrations in the southern city of Masvingo.

He said only free and fair elections next year would end the southern
African country's chronic political and economic crisis.

He denied that the MDC, which has posed the stiffest challenge to
Mugabe's 27-year-rule, had betrayed its supporters by making compromises
with the ruling ZANU PF.

"I want to tell President Thabo Mbeki and UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon that Zimbabwe is facing a serious humanitarian crisis," Tsvangirai

"The crisis we have can only end next year when we have free and fair

In a surprise show of unity with their Zanu PF counterparts, MDC
lawmakers last week approved constitutional reforms which provide for joint
parliamentary and presidential polls next year and redrawing constituency

He said it was encouraging that Zanu PF had agreed to talks with the
opposition and that regional leaders now recognised that the country was
suffering from "a crisis of governance."

"For the first time in the history of this country, Zanu PF has
accepted that MDC is a home-grown party and some (regional) leaders now
accept that there is a crisis of governance," Tsvangirai told cheering

He said the MDC would "walk to victory and democracy" in joint
presidential, legislative and municipal elections next year.

"Some civic leaders and our friends outside the country think that we
have sold out but we have not. We have our eyes firmly on the ball," he

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The Total Destruction of the Economy

Mens News Daily

September 29, 2007

This past week the government rammed through long awaited legislation that
will require companies to sell 51 per cent of their equity to black
Zimbabweans nominated by the regime. The companies are required to fund this
exercise themselves through a levy that is to be introduced by the State and
which will be applied on a compulsory basis to all firms in the economy.

This development comes on top of the price control operation mounted by the
Joint Operations Command and the subsequent publication of regulations that
will enable to State to take over any firm that closes its doors as a
consequence. As no company can produce and sell its products for half its
cost and expect to survive for very long we can only assume that this was
the real object of the exercise and it had little or nothing to do with
trying to curb inflation.

Just this past week we have seen further evidence that government is
recklessly printing money to pay its bills and even to buy what little
foreign exchange is available on the market. In Bulawayo we heard reports
this week of a Reserve Bank truck delivering hundreds of millions of dollars
of currency in large denominations to local dealers. The rate of exchange on
the market has slumped to record lows as a result and a pound now fetches
over a million Zimbabwe dollars.

No foreign firm is going to allow its local subsidiaries to be taken over
via either route and we face a scenario where they must either fight the
system through the Courts or abandon their assets and leave the country or
try to dispose of 100 per cent of their assets at a half decent price. It is
now clear that Mobil, Anglo American and the Heinz Corporation have
effectively dumped the equity they held here in some local companies. The
international banks have already made their views known - Barclays, Standard
Chartered, Stanbic and the MBCA have all said that they will not allow the
loss of a controlling stake in the local companies, they would not allow the
companies to use their brand names or systems and would dispose of 100 per
cent of their local assets, closing down the banks if necessary.

The Minister responsible responded to this statement by saying that "they
can go". He emphasized that the regime would not back down on this
operation. I already know of several companies in different fields who have
been approached by Zanu PF linked people with an offer to take over a major
or controlling interest in their companies. The private abattoirs that were
denied licenses to operate two months ago are being licensed but on
condition that they sell a controlling stake to a nominated shareholder and
on top of that they are being forced to buy and sell under State direction.

So what does this mean? Are they serious? What they are trying to do is
implement a strategy for the next elections that will reduce current urban
populations by a third or more in twelve months. The price control operation
was designed to achieve this and as a result of the enforcement of this
campaign, the Cities are without food or water. Hundreds of thousands of
jobs are at stake and tens of thousands are fleeing to South Africa on a
weekly basis. By my estimate they are well on their way to achieving this
objective. Every worker who loses his job or just gets fed up with the
situation and leaves is one less MDC vote in the election next year.

When this is over, they will pick up the pieces and resume normal commercial
operations funded by an endless stream of resources from the Reserve Bank.
They will then be able to go into the elections in 2008 with a sharply
reduced urban vote, the remaining voters will mainly come under the control
of Zanu PF directed entities and all basic needs will be tightly controlled
by the regime. Vote for Zanu PF or else will be the threat. I am just
waiting to see when they will attack urban property rights.

I fully expect GDP to decline sharply this year as a consequence of this
operation. This will reduce our GDP to US$4 billion or less. Exports will
also fall and money transfers rise as Zimbabweans in the Diaspora respond to
the needs of their families at home. All investment has stopped and only the
Chinese seem to have the stomach for this - probably because they know they
will be given special treatment, in fact they are participating in this
exercise and are picking up long term assets for a fraction of their true

The question is will the strategy work in terms of the elections and what
are the consequences of this situation and the deliberate destruction of a
functioning economy that it represents? The domestic answers are difficult
to give; I hope Zanu PF thinks that their strategy will work for them in the
election, as this is the only way we are going to get them to participate in
that event.

The economic consequences are catastrophic. We will now have to plan for a
stabilisation and recovery programme that embraces the whole economy and not
just agriculture and its support industries. The departure of international
firms like Heinz will not be easily reversed and securing the kind of
investment we need to kick start the recovery is going to be that much more

But it is the regional implications that I think need to be scrutinized
closely. I was told last week by a prominent South African analyst that
South Africa had "discounted" the threat to the South African economy of any
further contraction in Zimbabwe. This may be true, but it does not disguise
the fact that foreign investors, already wary of Africa from a risk point of
view, may just find this wholesale grab of assets by a greedy elite that
seems to have the support of much of Africa, is a portent of things to
come - perhaps even in South Africa itself.

Our trade with South Africa ten years ago was R2 billion a month. We were
South Africa's largest trading partner in Africa and its largest single
market for manufactured goods in the world. Two thirds of that trade has
gone and instead we export hundreds of thousands of impoverished men and
women to South Africa each month. Once in the South African system they join
criminal gangs, rob banks and stores and engage in petty crime and trading.
Cape Town last year had more murders than Britain. No State can build a
stable society on such foundations.

Time is running out on us - if Zanu PF is allowed by inertia on the part of
the SADC States to get away with this destructive and suicidal activity,
they will have to deal with a real failed State when finally the political
implosion takes place or see Zimbabwe spiral downwards into a Somalia style
situation of lawlessness and poverty.

Free and fair elections are impossible if the national crisis is not dealt
with and dealt with in a decisive and holistic manner. We all agree that
this is the only way out of this crisis - it is time to act to ensure that
we can in fact vote in a free and fair manner when the time comes. Allowing
the continued delinquency of the Zanu PF regime is simply not an option for
any of us.

Eddie Cross
Bulawayo, 29th September 2007

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What a way to live

Saturday 29th September 2007

Dear Family and Friends,
Standing outside over yet another smoky fire late one afternoon this week, a
Go-Away bird chastised me from a nearby tree. I'm sure this Grey Lourie is
as fed up of me intruding into its territory as I am of being there - trying
to get a hot meal for supper. For five of the last six days the electricity
has gone off before 5 in the morning and only come back 16 or 17 hours later
a little before midnight. "Go Away! Go Away!" the Grey Lourie called out
repeatedly as my eyes streamed from the smoke and I stirred my little pot.
My hair and clothes stink of smoke, fingers are yellow and sooty but this is
what we've all been reduced to in Zimbabwe. Our government don't talk about
the power cuts anymore and don't even try and feed us with lame excuses
about how the power is being used to irrigate non-existent crops. We all
know it's not true and the proof is there in the empty fields for all to

Something else our government aren't talking about anymore is the nationwide
non availability of bread and the empty shops in all our towns and cities.
Everywhere you go people are struggling almost beyond description to try and
survive and yet the country's MP's, both from the ruling party and the
opposition, do nothing to put an end to this time of horror. I have lost
count of how many weeks this has been going on for but it must be around
three months. None of the basics needed for daily survival are available to
buy. There is no flour to bake with, no pasta, rice, lentils, dried beans or
canned goods. People everywhere are hungry, not for luxuries like biscuits
or snack food but for the staples that fill your stomach. When you ask
people nowadays how they are coping, mostly they say that they are not, they
say they are hungry, tired and have little energy. This is a national crisis
almost beyond description and people say they are alive only because of "
the hand of God."

This week as Monks and then ordinary people in Burma took to the streets in
their thousands calling out 'Democracy, Democracy' in the face of the police
and soldiers, we can't help but wonder why something similar does not happen
here. The chant could be shorter and even simpler than in Burma and it could
just be: 'Food, food,' but without leadership it seems as elusive as ever.

I end with a story about a man who is epileptic and visited the local
government hospital for his regular check-up this week. It took four hours
before he was seen by a nurse who scribbled in his book that this was a
known case and that the hospital pharmacy should dispense his prescription
of 90 phenobarb tablets at no charge - as they usually do. This major
provincial government hospital had no phenobarb however so the man went to
the biggest and busiest pharmacy in the town. They said the phenobarb would
cost 1.2 million dollars - this is ten times more than the man's government
stipulated minimum monthly wage. I offered to help and took the prescription
to another pharmacy. The exact same tablets cost 250 thousand dollars -
nearly five times cheaper. When I gave them to the man, his eyes shone with
tears and he thanked me - 'I thought I would have to die' he said.
What a way to live, and to die.
Until next week, thanks for reading, love cathy.

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IMF tells Zimbabwe central bank not to print money for businesses

From AFP, 29 September

Mugabe Chinthana

Gaborone - The IMF will continue to shun Zimbabwe until its central bank
stops meddling and the government starts managing its natural resources
properly, a senior official said on Thursday. "Zimbabwe must put in place
the proper economic policies and gradually they will see the IMF coming on
board," International Monetary Fund executive director Peter Gakunu said on
a visit to Botswana. "The problem with Zimbabwe is that the central bank is
getting involved in business. It is not its duty to do so," Gakunu told
reporters. "Zimbabwe's situation is difficult. We have a government whose
macro-economic framework does not conform to reality." The IMF effectively
suspended its dealings with Zimbabwe after a delegation paid a fact-finding
visit to Harare in December last year and the southern African country only
narrowly avoided expulsion from the organisation. Zimbabwe's startling
economic decline has accelerated since then, with inflation now standing at
more than 6,500 percent. Production of everything from gold to farm produce
has plummeted in recent years with companies struggling to access foreign
currency and pay for parts. Gakunu, formerly a senior official in the Kenyan
finance ministry, said that Zimbabwe had plenty of natural resources to help
underpin its economy. "Zimbabwe has a lot of resources. It should start
managing them properly," he added. President Robert Mugabe has blamed the
former British colony's economic woes on his Western foes which imposed a
limited programme of sanctions on senior government members after he
allegedly rigged his 2002 re-election. The IMF has previously expressed
concerns about the central bank in Harare, accusing it of over-printing bank
notes in order to finance government expenditure.

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Bulawayo could shut down soon


    September 29 2007 at 11:48AM

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city and a stronghold of the political
opposition, is literally drying up. If the summer rains don't come early, it
may do so.

One million people there only have water once every three days - at

Some are going for more than a week without water for ablutions. Some
depend, even for drinking water, on the municipality's ability to send in
tankers to poor townships around the city.

The municipality is critically short of money because its major
debtors, dirt-poor residents and the Zanu-PF government, in particular the
Zimbabwe National Army, only occasionally pay their bills.

"It is disastrous. We fear a terrible disease crisis and the
government won't help us," said the mayor of Bulawayo, Ndabeni Japhet-Ncube.

Japhet-Ncube and his council are members of the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) - which is aggravating the problem, some party
members suspect.

Two dams, Inyakuni and Insiza, feed the city. Inyakuni is so low,
offtake will be switched off towards the end of October. Unless rain, due
mid-November, falls early this year, the city will have to depend entirely
on Insiza dam which will be unable to match even the hopelessly inadequate
present supply of water.

The Zimbabwe National Water Authority, Zinwa, wants to take control of
Bulawayo's water assets and distribution as it has done in Harare and in
other towns - with disastrous results.

Harare's dams have sufficient water, but about half the population in
the ghettos go for long periods without because of equipment failure and
lack of foreign currency to import water purification chemicals.

MDC MP for Bulawayo South, David Coltart, said President Robert
Mugabe's administration was "guilty of gross dereliction of duty, it's a
calamitous situation".

"We face a very real prospect of the entire city shutting down if we
don't have substantial rains this season."

He said he could not rule out the "possibility" that neglect of water
in Bulawayo had been "intentional".

Coltart said Chinese contractors had pulled out "before they even got
started" from a project to build a pipe from the Gwaai-Shangani dam to the
city, because they were not paid.

"Zanu-PF hasn't even ordered these scarce huge pumps needed to lift
the water over the Matobo Hills. Even if they had the money, and ordered
them now, it would take two years for delivery."

Bulawayo's population has swelled in recent months to between 1.5 -2
million people as food supplies have dried up around the country.

"It is so bad in the rural areas that thousands and thousands have
come in to town hoping for something, some food. The hospitals don't work.
We have 19 municipal clinics and we do try and keep essential drugs there
but it is hard to keep nurses as everyone wants to leave the country,"
Japhet-Ncube said.

"If we have early, heavy rains it will take until March to get normal
water supplies to people."

This article was originally published on page 13 of Cape Argus on
September 29, 2007


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Power Cuts Explained

The Herald (Harare)  Published by the government of Zimbabwe

29 September 2007
Posted to the web 29 September 2007


MOZAMBIQUE has reduced electricity supplies to Zimbabwe from 300 megawatts
to 195MW over a staggering debt of US$35 million, forcing Zesa Holdings to
increase load-shedding by 50 percent.

Zesa acting spokesperson Mr Shepherd Mandizvidza confirmed the debt has
resulted in the reduction of power supplies from Mozambican power utility
Hidroelctrica de Cahora Bassa.

"Zesa had engaged HCB of Mozambique with a request to access 300MW up from
150MW. In principle this was agreed but is currently being thwarted by the
increasing debt, now over US$35 million," Mr Mandizvidza said. -- HR.


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BBC World

Firstly, apologies on behalf of BBC World that they made the wrong decision not to show Sue's report last week as previously advised!

However, a groundswell of global concern, after her report that was trailed to appear last week was cancelled, has resulted in a rethink. After all, it is the global audience, not just Britain, that needs to see and understand the enormity of the ongoing crisis in Zimbabwe. The new details and timings are as follows, so please advise others:

BBC World will show Our World: Zimbabwe’s Slow Death on Wednesday 3rd October at 1930 GMT and on Thursday 4th October at 0930 GMT & 1230 GMT in Asia Pacific only and on Friday 5th October at 1530 GMT and on Saturday 6th October at 0130 GMT, 1730 GMT  & 2330 GMT and on Monday 8th October at 0730 GMT.
Our World: Zimbabwe’s Slow Death
Zimbabwe is on the point of collapse. Thousands of people are dying every week from disease and malnutrition. BBC News is not allowed to report from Zimbabwe, but Sue Lloyd-Roberts has been into the country, undercover, to witness a country in despair.
The schedule will run as follows:
Wednesday 3rd October
1900 GMT    BBC News (as billed)
1930 GMT   Our World: Zimbabwe’s Slow Death (replaces Our World: A Country Practice)
2000 GMTBBC News (as billed)
Thursday 4th October
0900 GMT    BBC News (as billed)
0930 GMT   Our World: Zimbabwe’s Slow Death (replaces Our World: A Country Practice)
1000 GMTBBC News (as billed)
1200 GMT    BBC News (as billed)
1230 GMT   Our World: Zimbabwe’s Slow Death (replaces Our World: A Country Practice)
1300 GMTBBC News (as billed)
Friday 5th October
1500 GMT    BBC News (as billed)
1530 GMT   Our World: Zimbabwe’s Slow Death (replaces Our World: A Country Practice)
1600 GMTBBC News (as billed)
Saturday 6th October
0100 GMT    BBC News (as billed)
0130 GMT   Our World: Zimbabwe’s Slow Death (replaces Our World: A Country Practice)
0200 GMTBBC News (as billed)
1700 GMT    BBC News (as billed)
1730 GMT   Our World: Zimbabwe’s Slow Death (replaces Our World: A Country Practice)
1800 GMTBBC News (as billed)
2300 GMT    BBC News (as billed)
2330 GMT   Our World: Zimbabwe’s Slow Death (replaces Our World: A Country Practice)
0000 GMTBBC News (as billed)
Monday 8th October
0700 GMT    BBC News (as billed)
0730 GMT   Our World: Zimbabwe’s Slow Death (replaces Our World: A Country Practice)
0800 GMTBBC News (as billed)

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"End game in Zimbabwe?" Public Address

Scoop. New Zealand

Saturday, 29 September 2007, 2:13 pm
Press Release: Save Zimbabwe
The Institute of Policy Studies in the School of Government, Victoria
University of Wellington and the Save Zimbabwean Campaign, Wellington
Chapter invite you to a public address
"End game in Zimbabwe?" with Sekai Holland.  Sekai Holland is a leading
figure in Zimbabwe politics, married to Australian Jim Holland whom she met
studying in Australia in 1964 and as part of the anti-apartheid movement.

After the liberation war, the family returned to Zimbabwe in 1980. Sekai
worked in women's development and education in the 1980s. She was
instrumental in forming the MDC in 1999, elected onto the National Executive
and ap-pointed as Secretary for International Affairs. Since the split in
the MDC she continues to be an interna-tional representative for Morgan
Tsvangirayi in a range of capacities. Sekai was arrested and beaten on March
12 after she had gone to a police station to inquire about her arrested
colleagues who had taken part in a prayer meeting.

She was set upon by 16 men and a woman. The woman reportedly jumped on her,
breaking three ribs. She also suffered a broken arm, a broken leg, a
fractured knee and multiple bruises and lacerations. She was evacuated to a
South African hospital and then to Australia.
This lecture will summarise the economic and political crisis and discuss
how the 'end game' might be played. It will also deal the politicisation of
food and aid, the ongoing SADC mediation and the massive requirements for
post-collapse reform.

Tuesday 9 October 5.15pm - 7.15pm Lecture Theatre 3 (ground floor) Old
Government Buildings (Law School) 15 Lambton Quayends

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Lotterman: Misunderstanding of inflation fuels demagogues' power

 - Idaho Statesman
Edition Date: 09/29/07

The theory of spontaneous generation - that living beings spring
spontaneously from inanimate matter - died out in biology by the mid-1800s.
It apparently remains alive and well in journalism.
Just look at media stories about the ongoing economic tragedy in Zimbabwe.

That nation recently announced that August's price levels were only 6,593
percent above year-earlier figures, a drop from July increase of 7,635
percent. One recent U.S. TV news story noted that this showed "some success
in the Mugabe government's fight against inflation." A wire service story
said the "battle against inflation remains a challenge for Zimbabwe's

These assertions are silly. The government of Robert Mugabe is not fighting
inflation. It is rather the direct cause of inflation. To say that this
tyrant is fighting inflation is like saying that the Cali drug cartel is
fighting cocaine use or that 1970s serial killer Son of Sam struggled to
reduce New York City's murder rate.

That anyone writes such claptrap testifies to continuing misunderstanding of
what causes inflation. Some journalists apparently believe that inflation
springs out of nothing.

Louis Pasteur ended the spontaneous generation debate for biology in the
1850s. Milton Friedman similarly ended any debate about the causes of
inflation in the 1950s. Too-rapid growth of the money supply causes
inflation. That news apparently has not reached everyone.

Why does it matter? Because media and public misunderstanding of why
inflation occurs abets demagogues like Robert Mugabe, Nestor Kirchner and
Hugo Chavez in duping their countrymen. The resulting policies foment
poverty and privation.

The average Argentine is rich compared to citizens of Zimbabwe, or China for
that matter. The tragedy of Argentina is not its extreme poverty, but the
fact that its citizens remain much poorer than those of Australia or Canada,
two other nations with immense natural resources relative to their

Kirchner's wife, Christina, is the Peronist party's candidate in
presidential elections to be held on Oct. 28. At his behest, the Argentine
central bank is pumping up the money supply to goose the economy prior to
the elections. And every day he lambastes farmers, banks grocers and other
retailers for raising prices.

Many economists think inflation is about 15 percent, but since Argentina has
sold bonds with interest rates tied to its own inflation, Kirchner
intervened in the government statistical office, forcing it to cook the
books and announce an official rate of under 10 percent. Superficially,
Argentina's economy is doing well because world prices for its agricultural
exports are high. But once again, short-run economic gimmickry is dooming
the country's long-term growth.

Central banks cause inflation. Period. When a country experiences inflation
and its central bank is subject to political control, the blame lies
squarely on the person or party in power.

Economist Edward Lotterman teaches and writes in St. Paul, Minn. Write him


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Mugabe succession - Kasukuwere and Chigudu clash

 29th Sep 2007 00:05 GMT

By David Baxter

MUTARE - A row has erupted between Youth Development Deputy Minister,
Saviour Kasukuwere and Manicaland Governor Tinaye Chigudu over the
dissolution of the Zanu PF youth provincial executive in Manicaland

Kasukuwere, a Zanu PF politburo member representing the ruling party's
youths, attracted the ire of Chigudu, chairman of the party in Manicaland
province, after he dissolved the ruling party's provincial youth wing
accusing them of corruption and incompetence.

But this incensed Chigudu who has spoken out loudly against Kasukuwere's

The youthful Kasukuwere sacked the executive led by Mutare-South MP Fred
Kanzama and put in place a three-member interim committee comprising Zanu PF
national secretary for administration, Tapiwa Zengeya, ruling party central
committee member, Jessica Chidza and youth activist, Elias Chamisa.

The dispute over the dissolution of the youth league is seen as a wider
campaign aimed at disempowering a Zanu PF faction led by General Solomon
Mujuru ahead of a crucial indaba expected to discuss Mugabe's future.

Kasukuwere is one of the MPs being used to decampaign the powerful Mujuru
camp either in support of the Emmerson Mnangagwa camp or mainly for Mugabe
to continue holding office. Similar purges are being done in other provinces
to rid them of Mujuru supporters so they do not once again embarrass Mugabe
at the forthcoming congress after refusing to endorse Mugabe's candidature
twice since the Goromonzi congress.

The sacked youth league was populated by individuals believed to be
favouring the Mujuru camp which now wants Mugabe to cede power ahead of
next year's harmonised elections.

Another Zanu PF faction is clamouring for Mugabe to cling on to power
despite his advanced age and clear signs that he can no longer offer
solutions to problems facing Zimbabwe.

Chigudu is believed to be rallying behind Mujuru while Kasukuwere is openly
supporting a group of Zanu PF geriatrics urging Mugabe to continue holding
on to power. Most of those wanting Mugabe to continue have and continue to
benefit immensely from the Zanu PF patronage system and the current chaotic
situation in the country.

Some of the old horses clamouring for Mugabe to rule forever are Didymus
Mutasa, Nicholas Goche, Eliot Manyika, Oppah Muchinguri, Nathan Shamuyarira
and Dzikamai Mavhaire. Some within this group are even not trusted by Mugabe
himself. One or two are even suspected of working as spies for the
international community.

A section of war veterans led by Joseph Chinotimba also wants the 83-year
old former guerilla leader to stay on as the country's president.

"We have noted with great concern that the provincial youth wing was facing
a serious leadership crisis, and we have decided to deal with this problem
once and for all," Kasukuwere said after dissolving the youth wing.

There were also allegations that senior members of the Zanu PF youth league
were abusing a maize-meal facility at the Grain Marketing Board - accessing
the commodity at very low prices and then reselling at high prices in the
city's high density suburbs and at times across the border in Mozambique.

Kasukuwere said the interim committee has been tasked with revamping the
structures of the Zanu PF youth wing in the province within the next 30

But the dissolution of the youth wing has angered Chigudu who has vowed not
to recognise such a move.

As the ruling party provincial chairman in Manicaland, Chigudu is arguing
that he should have been made aware of such decisions.

"I am not aware of the dissolution of the provincial youth executive,"
Chigudu said. "I have not received any correspondences pertaining to the

"I thought they could have also consulted me in my capacity as the
provincial chairman but that was not done. That is the Zanu PF we know.
Moreso, I was not even formally informed of the decision to dissolve the
youth provincial executive."

Added Chigudu: "I have heard about the issue through rumours and up to now I
am still waiting for the formal communiqué."

But an unmoved Kasukuwere declared there was need to inject new blood into
the Zanu PF youth structures in preparation for next year's crucial poll.
"As the youth, we are geared to see the ruling party winning next year's
harmonised elections," Kasukuwere said. "We are definitely going to lead the
way in campaigning for the party."

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African disgrace

Israelis assisting tyrannical African regimes should be pressed to stop

Yaron London Published:  09.29.07, 15:58

Once I dreamt I was in Africa, hunting wild elephants, lions, rhinoceroses
and parrots. I awoke with my heart pounding: I could actually go there! Why
shouldn't I do exactly that? These are the opening lines of a children's
book entitled "Lobengula, King of Zulu" written

and illustrated by Nachum Gutman. The book was written in 1939 and was a
bestseller for several generations.

It would have been impossible to write such a story in our times for several
reasons: Firstly, no contemporary writer would dare write about his passion
for hunting wild animals. Secondly, Lobengula was not the king of Zulu, but
rather, the king of a people currently living in Zimbabwe. Thirdly,
traveling to Zimbabwe, where a rule of terror reigns, is not recommended.

At the time Gutman wrote his book, Zimbabwe was called Southern Rhodesia and
it was a British colony. In 1980 it gained independence and has since been
ruled by Robert Mugabe, who led one of the underground organizations that
ousted the British. Similar to many other leaders in Africa who were
liberated from the yoke of colonialism, the liberator turned into the

In the first decade of his rule, his army, which was trained by North Korean
officers, murdered hundreds of thousands of civilians. Later the massive
estates owned by a few thousand Brits were nationalized. This act, had it
been carried out honestly and wisely, could have been viewed as a reasonable
land reform, but it was accompanied by wild rioting, murder, expulsion of
civilians of non-African origin, and transfer of the land to supporters of
the regime.

Nationalization led to terrible starvation because the agricultural
industry, which was a key export industry, completely collapsed. The
regime's corruption and violence also undermined the other two important
economic industries: Tourism and mining. Hence, one of the most prosperous
countries in Africa was turned into one of the poorest.

Due to the starvation and ethnic and political persecution 3.5 million
people fled (a quarter of the population) to neighboring countries. Zimbabwe
suffers six-digit inflation. Life expectancy has dropped from 60 to half of
that. AIDS has infected a third of the population. Sixty percent of the wild
animals have been destroyed. Elections were distorted, leaders of the
opposition were beaten and murdered, the media was repressed, and foreign
media agencies expelled.

Making money in Zimbabwe

The aging Mugabe is set to amend the constitution, so that it would permit
him to rule for many more years. Based on the number of afflicted people,
what is happening in Zimbabwe is the most severe humanitarian tragedy in
Africa, perhaps even greater than the one in Darfur, the Horn of Africa and
East Congo.

And yet the world continues to turn on its axis: Slowly. Zimbabwe is
boycotted and isolated; however, Mugabe's regime can only be ousted by brute
force. And since no superpower wishes to get its forces involved in what's
going on there, we can surmise that millions more will die until this
beautiful country goes back to normal.

What do we have to do with the tragedy of a far-off and distant people? An
Israeli journalist born in Zimbabwe called me and directed my attention to
an article that appeared in an opposition newspaper published in London. It
said that Israelis are assisting Mugabe's regime with intelligence and
policing services.

I was unable to obtain confirmation of this article, and sources at the
Defense Ministry informed me that although water hoses for dispersing crowds
were sold to Zimbabwe a few years ago, export licenses to this country have
not been issued since. This doesn't rule out the possibility that Israelis
are doing business with the Mugabe government, selling it equipment
purchased here and there, and providing consultation on security related

Based on former incidences, we can guess that someone is making money on the
back of this bleeding country.

Albeit it being difficult to prevent money-hungry Israelis from offering
their services to such horrific countries - unless they are declared enemy
states - they should be tracked down and pressured to refrain from doing so
as much as the law permits.

Israeli passports have been profusely tainted; they shouldn't be allowed to
be tainted further.

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Blitz Nets 3 944 Vendors

The Herald (Harare)  Published by the government of Zimbabwe

29 September 2007
Posted to the web 29 September 2007


AT least 3 944 people have been arrested since the Harare City Council
launched its four-month blitz to rid the central business district of
illegal vendors, chamber secretary Mrs Josephine Ncube has said.

In a statement yesterday, Mrs Ncube said tonnes of perishables were also
impounded and handed over to the police.

"About seven tonnes of perishables, mostly fruits and vegetables, were
confiscated and surrendered to the police for disposal," she said.

She said following the intensification of the operation, there had been a
significant reduction in the number of illegal vendors in and around the

Mrs Ncube, however, bemoaned that the fines for illegal vending were not
deterrent enough.

"All those arrested are taken to the Zimbabwe Republic Police where they
deposit a $40 000 fine. These current deposit fines are too low and,
therefore, not a deterrent," she said. -- HR.

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