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

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The "Zimbabwe Connection" is a not-for-profit, voluntary, association.
Its objectives are to provide assistance to all Zimbabweans who, for
whatever reasons, have left or are intending to leave Zimbabwe to make a
new home for themselves and their families in Australia.


One of the many tragedies of Zimbabwe is that we all have friends and
relatives who have been scattered to the four corners of the earth. 

So we thought we'd try and find a way to connect everyone up again. 

Many people would love an excuse to visit Australia (especially with the
rugby world cup on tap) so we've put together 5 days of opportunity to
get all your sisters and your cousins and your aunts and your friends
and acquaintances together to meet up, to play sports, to watch sports,
to have a makulu braai and a heckuva hooley! 

Before we do anything - we need to do a survey - to find out if you are
interested, how long you might stay, whether you would be wanting to
stay on in Aus, or go round the world and what type of accommodation you
would be looking for so that we can negotiate the best possible airfares
and rates for you.  We'll also ask where you spent most of your life in
Zim, what school you went to and what was the date of your last year at
school - because when we play those sports some will be silly and some
will be amazingly serious - and boy, when they're serious, old rivalries
will be revived whether it's croquet or cricket! 

This is, hopefully, going to be a politics free week, where we get
together to make contact with wonderful friends again.  Please send this
on to anyone you might like to try and meet up with, or anyone who you
feel would like to attend and check in to our website to find out more detail and fill in
that survey.

It would be fantastic to see you all this time next year.

Jill Lambert
South Australia
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      Showdown looms as govt evicts ex-squatters

      Staff Reporter
      9/26/02 8:57:25 AM (GMT +2)

      THE government has given eviction orders to more than 2 000 families
allocated residential stands in Harare's Hatcliffe area by Local Government
Minister Ignatius Chombo in the run-up to the March presidential elections,
saying the settlement posed a health hazard.

      The eviction orders, issued by Local Government permanent secretary
Vincent Hungwe on September 16 and with a deadline of September 30, are
however being ignored by the former Churu farm squatters who have vowed to
stay put.

      In his memorandum, Hungwe said the families should vacate the stands
to allow for servicing to be completed.

      "The ministry's intention is to have a properly organised allocation
of stands where each individual would be shown their stands to avoid
occupation of wrong stands," he wrote.

      "The situation that has been created on the new stands has caused a
very serious health hazard, which may result in the outbreak of diseases
since there are no proper sanitary facilities and reticulated water."

      But the families who lived in Dzivarasekwa Extension and Hatcliffe
squatter camps before they were each allocated a stand in Hatcliffe by
Chombo on February 20 this year say they fear that the directive is a way of
getting them off the stands altogether.

      "We were only told that we would come back after the servicing of the
stands is complete, but we think this just an excuse to chase us from these
stands now that the elections are over," said one of the residents.

      "We know that they want to sell the stands to some other people and
they want to use servicing as an excuse," he added.

      When the Financial Gazette visited the area this week, it established
that water and sewerage pipes had already been laid and only roads were
still to be constructed.

      The families said they were prepared to cooperate with the contractors
when they start laying the roads by moving their makeshift houses to give
earth-moving equipment enough way but they would not go back to the squatter

      "Where do they want us to go now when the rain season is just
starting? These are the same people who put us here and now what is the
problem? If they want to put the roads, they can do it while we are here,"
vowed one woman settler.

      The residents complained that Chombo was being inconsiderate by
ordering them to go back to the filthy squatter camps despite the heavy
costs involved.

      "It costs $15 000 to hire a car for one trip back to Dzivarasekwa
Extension and some of us would need to make two or three trips to carry all
our belongings. Where do they think we would get that money? We would then
be expected to raise more money to move the things back. Does it make
sense?" another resident fumed.

      The settlers said efforts to see Chombo over the issue had been
fruitless because the minister, who parcelled out the stands as part of
President Robert Mugabe's re-election campaign, had repeatedly snubbed them.

      Chombo and Hungwe could not be contacted for comment this week because
they were said to be out in Manicaland until the end of the week.

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      World leaders seen imposing stiffer sanctions

      By Abel Mutsakani News Editor
      9/26/02 8:57:40 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWE is likely to end up being more isolated internationally than
before, with more countries, frustrated by the Commonwealth's refusal to
punish President Robert Mugabe, likely to act unilaterally in imposing
sanctions against him, analysts said this week.

      They said Mugabe's respite after the Commonwealth troika of Australia,
South Africa and Nigeria this week could not agree on imposing stiffer
sanctions against Zimbabwe would be short lived because the international
community's grievances against Mugabe remained unchanged while a political
and economic crisis at home was deepening.
      University of Zimbabwe (UZ) political scientist Masipula Sithole told
the Financial Gazette: "We are likely to see more and more countries acting
alone in imposing sanctions against the government."
      The European Union (EU), the United States, Canada, New Zealand and
Switzerland have already imposed travel and financial sanctions on Mugabe
and his top officials over a presidential vote earlier this year judged by
most of the world to have been fraudulent.
      The international community is also unhappy about Mugabe's
controversial drive to seize land from white farmers for redistribution to
blacks and his government's crackdown on political foes, the judiciary and
Zimbabwe's small independent media.
      In March the Australian-led Commonwealth troika suspended Zimbabwe for
12 months from the councils of the club which groups Britain and its former
      This week's meeting of the troika in Nigeria's capital Abuja was to
review progress made by Harare in fulfilling conditions set by the 54-nation
group: to uphold democracy, the rule of law and implement a just,
transparent and legal land reform plan.
      South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki and his Nigerian counterpart
Olusegun Obasanjo opposed immediate expulsion of Zimbabwe from the
Commonwealth, saying Harare should be monitored for another six months after
which stiffer measures could be taken.
      But signposting the way the international community might react to the
hesitancy of the Commonwealth panel to punish Mugabe, Australian Prime
Minister John Howard said after the Abuja summit:
      "The question of any treatment of Zimbabwe separately from full
suspension is a matter collectively for the Commonwealth. And the question
of any measures against Zimbabwe are decisions for individual members of the
Commonwealth and other countries."
      Howard himself had already indicated before travelling to Abuja that
Australia could follow the EU, the US and others in imposing sanctions
against Mugabe and his backers.
      Several Western diplomats in Harare said the Abuja decision not to act
against Harare could actually open the floodgates for tougher action against
the Zimbabwean leader by individual governments.
      Sithole said Mbeki and Obasanjo were only buying time and delaying the
inevitable by pleading for Mugabe to be given more time to change his
policies, blamed for triggering the country's worst economic crisis that is
shown out by record high inflation, unemployment, hunger and poverty.
      Without a solution to the economic crisis that has estranged Mugabe
from the electorate, the former socialist guerrilla leader would
increasingly resort to more repression -the same reason why the
international community is angry with him in the first place - in order to
keep the lead on swelling public discontent against him, Sithole noted.
      Consultant economist John Robertson concurred, saying that Zimbabwe's
economic problems could only worsen.
      "There is absolutely no sign there will be a let-up. The food crisis
can only get worse and so will poverty and unemployment," Robertson said.
      "It is clear that at some point the patience of the people will be
pushed to the limit."
      Sithole said the next six months could be critical for Mugabe's
government, with the political and economic problems deepening inside
Zimbabwe while the international community steps up its campaign against
      The six-month grace period the two African leaders had given Mugabe to
change or face tougher measures could turn out to be the proverbial long
rope that could decide the political fate of the 78-year-old leader, Sithole
      "Those in the government who are euphoric about Mbeki and Obasanjo's
stance in Abuja are better advised to watch the events of the next six
months," he warned.
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Missing e-mails raise eyebrows

Staff Reporter
9/26/02 8:58:31 AM (GMT +2)

SOME members of Zimbabwe's civil society fear that their electronic mail
(e-mail) is being regularly intercepted but Internet and e-mail service
providers yesterday said the country did not have the infrastructure to
allow this despite enabling legislation.

Officials from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and some media workers
say they have had several experiences that have led them to conclude that
their e-mail is being intercepted.

These include messages they have sent or they are supposed to receive that
do not reach their destinations, even though the e-mail network would be
working normally, or e-mail delivered a week or two later than it is
supposed to.

"These are not isolated incidents," an official at a Harare-based civil
society organisation told the Financial Gazette.

"You send a message and it's not received even though the address is correct
and it's re-sent three or four times. When you check with the service
provider, they are not experiencing any problems and there is no logical
explanation for it."

Affected individuals said this usually happened with Zimbabwe-controlled
e-mail networks and not international ones like yahoo or hotmail.

Financial Gazette arts and lifestyle editor Grace Mutandwa said: "I used to
get e-mail from a lawyer friend and the e-mail would get here, but the text
would be missing. But when she sent it to my yahoo address, it would be

Andrew Nongogo, a spokesman for NGO coalition Crisis in Zimbabwe, said:
"We've heard from time to time about e-mails taking two to three days to
arrive or not arriving at all. When a check is made with the service
provider, they say as far as they are concerned, they haven't been
experiencing any problems. This has led to the general feeling that there is
some interception going on.

"Given the fact that Internet service providers (ISPs) have an obligation to
allow the government to interfere with e-mail and that they are not allowed
to tell the user, this is not as far fetched as it seems.

"A lot of NGOs are trying to manage this situation through various means
like using international (e-mail) platforms or limiting the kind of
information that they pass through e-mail."

Section 98 of the Postal and Telecommunications Act of 2000 allows President
Robert Mugabe, if he considers it necessary in the interests of national
security or the maintenance of law and order, to direct that any
communication transmitted by "means of cellular telecommunication or
telecommunications service" be intercepted or monitored.

Section 103 allows the President to direct companies licenced under the Act
to perform certain tasks deemed to be in the interests of national security.

Such directives should be published in the Government Gazette unless it is
deemed to be against the interests of national security to do so.

Service providers required to perform the tasks are not obliged to disclose
that they have received a directive and will be found guilty of an offence
if they refuse to comply with the directive.

Zimbabwe Internet Service Providers' Association chairman Shadreck Nkala
said: "Under the present Telecommunications Act, it is possible for the
government to do that, but I don't think there is infrastructure that allows

"I'm not aware that there is any interception of e-mail of any kind. I know
the issue has been raised from time to time of e-mail being intercepted, but
that kind of infrastructure is not available."

Internet industry sources said there was speculation that attempts by the
government to purchase such equipment had fallen through because of lack of

Jim Holland, the head of e-mail service provider Mango, said: "As far as I
know no major ISPs are doing anything of that sort unless they get a
specific request from the police in connection with criminal cases, but I
haven't heard of it happening for political reasons.

"The equipment needed is fairly sophisticated and expensive, although
interception further up the line is possible. There are two or three
(Internet) links and the major link is the PTC (Posts and Telecommunications
Corporation). If the PTC installed equipment it would be possible for them
to have a look at e-mail."

Service providers said many of the problems being experienced could be
blamed on technical difficulties associated with routing e-mails, which
could result in delays, or filtering by ISPs for viruses that could lead to
mail "bouncing" and not reaching its destination.

"Some of the ISPs have filters to catch such things as viruses and they may
use common lines (appearing in e-mail messages) associated with viruses and
that might bounce mail," Holland said.

Nkala added: "There are

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various routes on which e-mails travel into the country and there could be
problems resulting in some servers keeping mail for a long time. If a server
to which mail is supposed to be delivered is not available, it will be held
until it can be delivered."

Cyberplex Africa update supervisor Farai Manyarara said e-mail users could
obtain "secure certificates" enabling them to determine if their mail is
being tampered with and by who.

"People can look for secure certificates and is one of the main
providers of these certificates," he said.

"Every time your account is tampered with, you will be informed and it can
also detect the source of the tampering.

"They should also ask their service provider if anyone is allowed to filter
the mail. For some ISPs, it's part of their conditions of service that they
can filter your mail, people should check their contracts. Firewalls will
also go a long way in protecting you because no one can access the network
without proper verification."
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Save Zimbabwe News Release


September 26, 2002

Another prominent Zimbabwe human rights organisation has thrown its weight behind
the international "Save Zimbabwe" campaign with the announcement today that the
Campaign has won the backing of the influential Zimbabwe Human Rights Association

ZIMRIGHTS is a grassroots-based indigenous Zimbabwean NGO, set up in 1992 "to
promote, protect and defend" human rights in Zimbabwe. The organisation's growth
has been very rapid, with membership rising to more than 15,000 within six years
of its launch.

The ZIMRIGHTS statement said that it "supports and is proud to be associated
with the "Save Zimbabwe" Campaign".  It cited as "highly commendable" the campaign's
efforts to keep Zimbabwe in the limelight internationally, "to bring to the attention
of the world the real suffering that ordinary Zimbabweans are going through".
ZIMRIGHTS added that that the Campaign's activities "should enable people who
matter to distinguish the frequent political rhetoric uttered by the Government's
officials, from the real bread and butter issues that affect the silent majority".

"Save Zimbabwe" Chief spokesman Ephraim Tapa said: "There is a growing tide running
against the Mugabe regime now, both inside and outside Zimbabwe. The support
from ZIMRIGHTS is particularly important because it reflects the feelings of
indigenous, ordinary Zimbabweans.  The tragedy being played out in Zimbabwe today
is not about the fate of 4,000 white farmers. It is about millions of Zimbabweans
who are facing death, starvation, violence and intimidation at the hands of a
brutal dictatorship, which has denied them human rights and undermined their
democracy.  ZIMRIGHTS has been a beacon of hope for Zimbabweans over the past
decade, and their backing for "Save Zimbabwe"is a very welcome boost for the

The "Save Zimbabwe" campaign is a non-partisan international initiative, with
broad-based support drawn from both political parties and community groups. It
was launched during the recent African Union meeting in Durban and is designed
to restore democracy, human rights and legitimate government to Zimbabwe. The
holding of early, free and fair elections, under full and proper international
supervision, is a key objective of the campaign.
For more information, please contact:
Terence Fane-Saunders on: +44 20 7939 7939 or +44 7768 283 144, or
Helen Campbell on: +44 20 7939 7939 or +44 7768 283 145.

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Dear All
We extend a warm invitation to you to join us for the first Farmers for Jesus Convocation to be held in Bulawayo. It will be at the Ascot Racecourse, Bulawayo on Saturday 28th September 2002 starting around 10am with Praise and Worship, and finishing around 4.30pm. Registration 9.30am for 10am. (no registration fee but an offering will be taken up during the day).
Pastor Phillip Ligthart of the Tabernacles of David Church, Chinhoyi will be speaking. We are also privileged to have Angus Buchan of Shalom Ministries in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa to speak to us. During the day we will have times of prayer and ministry so it promises to be a day of inspiration, hope and encouragement for each one of us.
We look forward to seeing you there. Please feel free to bring along friends, workers and anybody else who might be interested and spread the word that this event is on shortly.
Please note that everyone needs to bring their own lunch, although we hope to have a stall selling burger-type refreshments and we will serve tea and cooldrinks.
Please could I ask if you would print the poster attached and put it up wherever you feel you can.
 There is also a men's breakfast at Top-of-the-sun room at Rainbow Hotel on Saturday 8am 28th September 2002. Tickets are $1200 and need to be booked with Helen Palmgren on 09-241509 as soon as possible. Angus will be the guest speaker.
Thank you so much . Stay safe and God bless you.
Peter and Nan Goosen

       Let us meet and be a joy to one another

DATE : Saturday 28th September 2002  VENUE : Ascot Racecourse  TIME : 10am
We extend a warm invitation to you to join us for a time of praise and worship, prayer and ministry. It promises to be a day of inspiration, hope and encouragement. Come and be blessed.

                   Tabernacles of David Church, Chinhoyi

                      : ANGUS BUCHAN  Shalom

                         Ministries- Kwazulu Natal

 please note that everyone needs to bring their own lunch, although we hope to have a stall selling burger-type refreshments and we will serve tea and cooldrinks.
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      Party fights Mugabe ban

      ZIMBABWE'S opposition party is to defy security laws and hold rallies
and meetings without police clearance, opening the way for the arrest of its

      Under strict public order and security laws passed by President Robert
Mugabe's ruling party, public meetings of more than three people require
police approval, often denied.

      Morgan Tsvangirai, head of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, said his party's leadership had decided to launch a defiance
campaign at a meeting in the capital Harare yesterday.
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Informal Sector Takes Over Border Town

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

September 26, 2002
Posted to the web September 26, 2002


Livingstone, overlooking the Victoria Falls on Zambia's southern border with
Zimbabwe used to be a thriving industrial town, but times have changed.

The factories that provided jobs and a sense of pride have collapsed -
undermined by Zambia's economic failure in the 1980s, and closures under a
privatisation programme in the 1990s. The Livingstone Motor Assemblers,
which employed 200 people to assemble Fiat cars from Italy, has shut its
gates. A once vibrant textile industry has been retrenching under new

But the lack of formal sector employment has not stopped the likes of Coster
Nyimba from earning a living. Nyimba, from Malota compound, Livingtone's
poorest shanty area, has taken matters into his own hands and turned his
bicycle into a money making machine.

Decked out as a rickshaw, he peddles travellers between the Zambian and
Zimbabwean border posts for 3,500 kwacha (US 70 cents) a trip. He is
representative of the new entrepreneurial spirit in the town.

"On a good day I do up to five round trips and that way I can make money for
mealie meal (staple maize) for my family," Nyimba told IRIN proudly, as he
took a breather before battling uphill. "That way I can feed my wife and do
not have to beg from anyone. It's tough, but it's the only alternative I

Across Zambia, a decade of freemarket reforms designed to pull the economy
into shape after 20 years of a welfare state, have seen the rollback of
social services and deepening poverty. But with its tourist potential,
Livingstone's decline has been much less precipitous than other Zambian
towns. It has an additional advantage of being next door to Zimbabwe, with
its larger and more developed economy.

Cross-border trade, the most common way of earning a living in Livingstone,
has boomed since the collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar on the black market,
following the Harare government's fast-track land reform programme.

At the official rate, US $1 is worth Zim $55. On the parallel market the
rate is one to 600. Traders change US dollars for Zimbabwe dollars at the
black market rate, which they then use to buy low-priced Zimbabwe goods such
as sugar, cooking oil and cement which are resold in Zambia at an easy

Zambian manufacturers unable to compete have complained, and the government
responded in April by banning trade in Zimbabwean goods for two years. But
the ban has had little effect, and instead has created a flourishing
smuggling industry. That includes using canoes to cross the Zambezi, and
shinning up cliffs to avoid the customs posts.

"If you say, 'stop buying and selling goods from Zimbabwe', you are passing
a death sentence on lots of people who survive on cross-border trade unless
you find them an alternative, such as real employment creation," said David
Moyowambuyu, a trader.

Moyowambuyu has both a high school and college education, but cannot find a
job in the official economy.

On the Zimbabwean side of the border, the largest supermarket is filled with
Zambian women, queuing up for the banned products which they intended to
smuggle across.

"Most of these are Zambians you are seeing," a Zimbabwean taxi driver
explained. "They buy all the groceries, but thank God we have lots of

What he is less happy about is that Zimbabwean fuel is also being smuggled
into Zambia. "They buy all our fuel leaving us with nothing, that's just the
only thing I don't like. You see petrol here is Zim $74 per litre (US $1.30
at the official rate) while in Zambia I understand it is much more than
that. So the Zambians come and fill sometimes three-times a day and go and
resell, that is bad."

Petrol in Zimbabwe costs the equivalent of 518 kwacha per litre at the
official exchange rate, but sells for 3,800 kwacha in Livingstone.

Local legislator Sakwiba Sikota is resigned to the fact that Livingstone's
smuggling rackets will continue.

"It could be a child wanting to go to school or an adult looking at ways of
earning a living [that is behind the smuggling], but whichever way we look
at it jobs, and we mean meaningful well earning jobs, ought to be created in
this city to reverse the situation," he said.
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What signal does the world get if it views 20,000 Zimbabweans basking in the sun, watching cricket, drinking beer and generally appearing to be having a good and peaceful time? - Boycott the Pakistan cricket tour to Zimbabwe
Let me start by saying I love cricket, it's my favourite spectator sport. The Zimbabwean team has achieved some memorable wins from a limited selection of players.
I have been saying for some time that Zimbabweans should be engaging in civil disobedience and passive protests. Lets face it, how can you go on a non-violent peace march when Zanu PF thugs with assistance with the Army and Police can attack those demonstrators with impunity. All confrontational protests will be quickly disrupted with people being beaten, killed or arrested. Strikes and work stoppages will not work as a lot of workers can not afford to lose any of their meager earnings. Prices are escalating, a black market in basic commodities is thriving and mostly wages are remaining static. Strikes will lead to more companies closing down and therefore more unemployment.
That the Pakistani cricket squad is currently still intent in going ahead with the Zimbabwe tour is quite correct. It is not up to professional cricketers to get involved with world politics, this is also true of our Zimbabwean squad.
The world has focused on Zimbabwe in the last 2 years and more so during and after the last elections. There is a strong belief that the political climate over the past two years, the election process and the state manipulation of the ballot all pointed to an illegitimate election whose result does not reflect the views of many Zimbabweans. There have however been conflicting reports from some observers and heads of state who claim that the election was free and fair. If we do not have a consensus of opinion on the last elections, this allows Zanu PF to use this confusion to divide world opinion. How do we show that we still do not accept the result and demand a new election run by the UN, commonwealth or both? As much has been done by other countries, and as Zimbabweans we have to make a strong statement NOW.
What signal does the world get if it views 20,000 Zimbabweans basking in the sun, watching cricket, drinking beer and generally appearing to be having a good and peaceful time? Jonathon Moyo, the Herald and ZBC will use this event to 'prove' to the world at large that everything is OK and that the vast amounts of reports of widespread "wholesale" violence are unfounded.
All Zimbabweans should boycott the Pakistani tour by not buying tickets or attending any of the matches. This is not directed at the Pakistan team or their government, instead it would demonstrate to the world that the electorate do not accept the result of the fraudulent election or the current state condoned violent instability that all Zimbabweans are suffering under. Imagine that in the first ODI the players outnumber the spectators. What a coup that would be for democracy! A clear signal would be sent to the world regarding the true situation in Zimbabwe and the feelings of the people. What message will the Pakistan squad take with them to the rest of the world?
The result of this mass protest will be seen worldwide via sport channels on satellite and terrestrial television. No one would lose earnings (In fact you would save money by not buying tickets), and no one could be targeted for retribution, unless Mugabe decides to arrest the whole population of Zimbabwe for non-attendance of a cricket match!
In the short term, the sport would lose earnings and Zimbabwean cricket would suffer. Without a change in this country, will there be a future for Zimbabwean test cricket anyway? With the exodus of talent, skill and investment, will we be able to field a competitive test side anyway? It as not inconceivable that we will lose test status or nobody will be willing to play us if we can't give them a competitive game.
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Howard slams Zimbabwe meeting

Prime Minister John Howard has described his weekend meeting with the
Commonwealth troika on Zimbabwe as a profoundly disappointing experience.

Mr Howard could not convince his fellow Commonwealth leaders - South African
president Thabo Mbeki and Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo - to suspend Zimbabwe
from the Commonwealth for President Robert Mugabe's repeated abuses of human

"(It) was for me a profoundly disappointing meeting," Mr Howard said after a
meeting with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw in London.

"The unwillingness of South Africa and Nigeria to support what I regarded as
an entirely appropriate response to Zimbabwe's indifference to the
Marlborough House statement ... was a disappointment.

"We'll continue to try to engage Zimbabwe but the reality is there was a
rorted election earlier this year, that was the finding not of Australia and
Britain but a Commonwealth observer group led by a former Nigerian

Mr Howard, Mr Mbeki and Mr Obasanjo were appointed to deal with the Zimbabwe
issue following a meeting of Commonwealth leaders.

Mr Straw said he and British Prime Minister Tony Blair were deeply grateful
to Mr Howard for his work in making sure that the abuses of the Mugabe
regime were brought to world attention.

"Prime Minister Howard's trip to Abuja will rank in history as one well
beyond the call of duty," Mr Straw said.

"The Commonwealth is able to see that the current leader of the Commonwealth
is taking a firm stand on this and I'm as disappointed as Prime Minister
Howard has been in the response by the presidents of Nigeria and South

"The greatest sadness is that the greatest harm from Zimbabwe, aside from
that caused to Zimbabweans, is to Africans and to Africa."
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Sunday Times (SA)

SADC won't discuss Zimbabwe

By Donwald Pressly

The Southern African development Community (SADC) heads of state and
government meeting in Luanda next week is not scheduled to discuss the
ongoing crisis in Zimbabwe, South African Foreign Affairs deputy minister
Aziz Pahad said today.

Pahad was speaking at a press briefing on the summit of southern African
leaders - which will be preceded by a foreign affairs ministers' meeting,
including SA Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, which is being held
from September 30 to October 1.

"Zimbabwe is not on the agenda. I suppose the president (South African
President Thabo Mbeki) might have to give a report on the meeting in Abuja
if he is requested to. Most of the SADC members are also members of the
Commonwealth, but it is not on the agenda," Pahad said.

Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, Mbeki and Australian Prime Minister
John Howard met in Abuja, Nigeria, on Monday six months after the
Commonwealth partially suspended Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth over
elections viewed as flawed, which continued President Robert Mugabe's
22-years in power.

On Monday Howard backed the immediate suspension while Mbeki and Obasanjo
backed the monitoring of the country for a further six months.

The SADC heads of state and government meeting will review political and
socio-economic developments within the region over the past year and be
briefed on food shortages "and the consequent humanitarian crisis," said
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Mail and Guardian

Zim journalist sentenced to three months jail


      26 September 2002 12:42

A Zimbabwe journalist who wrote an article this month claiming the country's
police chief was unwell, has been sentenced to three months in jail under
the Police Act, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Reporter Tawanda Majoni, a former policeman, was employed by the private
Daily Mirror newspaper before retiring from the police, which is technically
an offence, said his lawyer.

"He was convicted by a disciplinary court in terms of the Police Act," the
lawyer Johannes Tomana said. The reporter was also fined 500 Zimbabwe
dollars ($9).

On September 9 Majoni wrote an article in the Daily Mirror's first edition
alleging that Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri was unhealthy and unfit
for duty.

The article was immediately dismissed as untrue. Majoni was arrested and
questioned a few days later by police before being charged under the Police
Act and ordered to appear before a police hearing.

"The sentence is harsh under the circumstances," said Tomana, adding that
his client had appealed against both the conviction and sentence.

He said the state also alleged Majoni gathered information for the article
before he had been properly retired from the police on September 4 and this
was said to be "in conflict with his being an officer."

"We think they have erred," added Tomana.

President Robert Mugabe's government has been criticised both in Zimbabwe
and abroad for its alleged harassment of journalists who are critical of the

Under tough press laws introduced this year, publishing false information is
punishable by a stiff fine, a prison sentence, or both. - Sapa-AFP
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Zimbabwe court bars destruction of ballot papers

HARARE, Sept. 26 - A Zimbabwe court ordered a top government official not to
destroy ballot papers from disputed presidential elections in a ruling in
favour of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, his lawyer said on Thursday.
       Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede, whose office runs Zimbabwe's
elections, had applied to the High Court to destroy ballot papers from the
March election to use the ballot boxes in urban and rural council elections
this weekend.
       Tsvangirai, leader of the main opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), argued that the ballot papers were crucial evidence in a legal
challenge against President Robert Mugabe's victory in the presidential
       Several Western countries observers condemned the poll as fraudulent.
       ''Justice Anele Matika ruled that Mudede was not to destroy any
ballot papers from the presidential elections, but that Mudede could, if he
wanted, use ballot boxes from the presidential elections this weekend,''
Tsvangirai's lawyer Adrian deBourbon told Reuters.
       There is no indication yet when Tsvangirai's election challenge will
come to court.
       Mugabe, in power since independence in 1980, insists he won fairly in
the March poll, and accuses Western countries led by former colonial ruler
Britain of seeking his removal in retaliation for his seizure of white-owned
farms for redistribution among landless blacks.
       The High Court is expected to hear an MDC application on Friday to
postpone the weekend council elections. The opposition says most of its
candidates had been barred from registering or faced intimidation from
Mugabe supporters.
       ''Our view is that this election is a non-election if you have people
being victimised out of the race,'' Tsvangirai told reporters on Wednesday.
''It is part of the intimidation that has been going on for months.''
       The MDC accuses Mugabe of mismanaging the country since assuming
power, and that his land policies have contributed to a severe food shortage
which is affecting nearly seven million people, or half the population.
       Mugabe's government insists the shortages are solely the result of
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The Washing of Hands

When Jesus was tried before a howling mob in Jerusalem, the Roman Judge knew full well that he was innocent of the charges made by the Jewish leaders. Yet, when faced with the choice of pleasing the mob or following his training and the facts of the case, he bowed to the mob and gave them what they wanted. Afterwards he washed his hands, as if that would assuage his guilt. I hope Mbeki did the same on Monday when he blocked efforts to intensify the pressure on Mugabe to adhere to the principles on which the Commonwealth is founded and to which Mugabe committed this country 22 years ago.

Six months is a long time anywhere. In Zimbabwe it will encompass the failure to get a new crop into the ground for the third year in a row, it will see all Zimbabweans lose another 15 per cent of their income per capita. It will see exports decline by another 30 per cent, the loss of our markets for flue cured tobacco and the closure of many mines and factories. It will see 300 000 Zimbabweans die from hunger and malnutrition and Aids related causes of death. It will see life expectancies drop another two years. At least 250 000 Zimbabweans will leave the country for other lands, two-thirds for the crowded slums of South Africa where many will turn to crime for a living. If recent activity is anything to go by, 15 000 Zimbabweans will go to jail for politically related "crimes", some 100 000 people will experience political violence of one kind or another, 70 people will be murdered in politically motivated activities.

Yes, Mr Mbeki, six months is a long time.

Today I heard Mr Blair say in the British Parliament "dictators do not respond to diplomacy that is not backed by some form of force". He then went on to say that the international community could not stand by and watch Saddam Hussein brutalize his people, cripple his country’s economy and threaten the stability of the whole region. He could have been talking about Mugabe, the man who in the past three weeks has been allowed to speak to the world at conferences in Johannesburg and New York and who was entertained by some members of the New York establishment as an honored guest last week.

When will the world say enough is enough, this man must go? Two million Zimbabweans are forced out of their homes with no where to go and no work to be found. Not by a natural calamity but by a government that has deliberately targeted them and with force backed by all the instruments of the State, forced them into refugee status in their own country. I am sick to death of hearing the UN say that it’s a pity that commercial agriculture is being dismantled when Zimbabwe has a food shortage, as if it was only their capacity to grow food that justified their existence and their activities. No mention of their rights or the violation of the constitution and the rule of law, no reference to the fundamental principles of governance and security of tenure that are being violated every day.

In one breath Mbeki and Obasanjo say to the global community, African poverty can only be addressed if the continent can grow its economy by 7 per cent a year. To achieve this they ask the rest of the world to invest US$64 billion every year in economic ventures in the continent. They ask for a huge increase in foreign aid and for leaders in the rest of the world to persuade their business communities to commit their funds to the task that lies ahead. Then when one of their number strips 4000 businesses of US$6 billion in assets, runs up national debts of US$12 billion in 20 years with nothing to show for it except the odd monument to vanity. Scraps the rule of law, denies its citizens the right to vote, or meet, or speak with any sort of freedom – they simply wash their hands and say they will wait to see if this man will mend his ways.

How did Mbeki and Mugabe get into the Presidency of their countries? They will tell you it was by means of a protracted political struggle, backed by armed force. In fact this is not so – sure these things did contribute, but in the end it was global pressure, backed by the threat of force, that turned the tide and brought freedom to South Africa and Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe it was the US acting through the Secretary of State who gathered a global consortium and then persuaded the South African government to finally end Ian Smiths adventure. It was all over in a few weeks once the decision had been taken. In South Africa it was Mrs. Thatcher acting on behalf of another global coalition which brought down the Nationalist government and ushered South Africa into an era of democracy. The force used in both cases was not military, but it was force in every sense of the word. In the case of Rhodesia, it was the threat to end all forms of support from South Africa. In the case of South Africa it was the threat to make the Rand a prisoner of the boundaries of South Africa.

But it takes political will to do these things. The will to stand by your principles. The will to stand against the unthinking mob. The will to do what is right – even if it costs you popular opinion. Is the rest of the world going to do these things for African leaders, as they did in the past during the liberation struggles? No I think not, they want Africa to stand on its own two feet and to start doing these things for themselves. That is what NEPAD is supposed to be all about. The rest of the world is watching Mbeki and Obasanjo and asking can they deliver real change? The answer this week was no they cannot, or worse, they will not because they do not have the courage to do what is right and use the power in their own hands to force a ruthless dictator to adhere to the basic rules that govern progress everywhere.

No, they chose to wash their hands and history will record the outcome and it will be to their shame.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, 25th September 2002

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MP FEEDBACK MEETING (Spread the word)

WHERE : Church of Ascension, Hillside
WHEN:  Monday 30th September, 2002
TIME: 5.30 PM (17.30 hrs) Prompt

SPEAKER: The Hon. David Coltart MP
Be inspired and updated
There is light at the end of the tunnel
The International Stage?
Find out more and hear the truth!!

Be there, and please bring others who have not attended before.
"We are the winners - Together we WILL complete the change for a better life
for all"

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ZIMBABWE: Government allows seed price increase

JOHANNESBURG, 26 September (IRIN) - The Zimbabwean government has announced that seed producers can raise their retail price by between 120 and 375 percent to encourage them to release seeds for the coming planting season.

The controlled seed prices for maize will go up by 120 percent, groundnuts and sunflower seeds by 150 percent, sugar beans by 300 percent and soya beans by 375 percent.

At the same time, local media reports said the government would inject Zim $37 million (US $689,925 at the official rate) into the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) to enable it to buy wheat from local farmers, with part of the money covering loans of seed to newly resettled farmers. It would also reportedly scrap import duties on wheat to help alleviate shortages.

Since this year's failed maize harvest, Zimbweans have been increasingly turning to wheat as an alternative, depleting already lower than usual stocks.

"Seed producers argued that the previous prices were not commercially viable and so there were shortages on the market. It was an artificial shortage and the companies' arguments were valid," explained Steyn Berejena, a Department of Information press officer.

Commenting on the seed price increase, George Hutchison, general manager for commodities at the Grain Producer's Association, said: "It came just in time. Farmers were beginning to panic about the availability of seeds."

But, the price increase would have to be built into next year's consumer prices. "In April we will know the effect on the consumer," Hutchison told IRIN.

However, a seed company spokesman was less optimistic. "The seed price increase makes sensational headlines, but it's not what we asked for," said Brien Deworonin, marketing manager for Seed Co.

He noted the increase was based on a 15-month-old price, overtaken by a 135 percent inflation rate.

"But at least [the increase] enables us to carry on," Deworonin said. "If they hadn't done it we would have to close down."
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