and Northern Ireland politician David Trimble drew parallels on Thursday
between the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin in the 1930s and Zimbabwe under
President Robert Mugabe.
Addressing the Cape Town press club, Trimble
said that what was really needed to ensure sustainable development in the
developing world, was stable, responsible, government.
"There is only
so much that can be done in terms of aid, at the end of the day it really has
to be peoples themselves that address their own particular circumstances and
"There is a crying need in some areas for stable, responsible,
government. It is not a coincidence, that those areas most affected by
poverty and famine are also areas in the world where there is war, conflict
and dictatorial governments."
Just as democracies did not fight each
other, democratic leaders did not impoverish their own people, Trimble
Referring to Zimbabwe, he said: "We are seeing not to far from here
a famine developing which is not natural, but is largely man-made.
seems to borrow not a little from the tactics of Stalin in the Ukraine in the
1930s. It's getting as bad as that."
Early in Stalin's reign the Soviet
leader imposed a system of "collectivisation" whereby all privately-held land
in Ukraine was nationalised.
The system was ultimately blamed for the
deaths of millions of Ukrainians during the winter of the 1932-33. It is
widely believed that Stalin perpetrated the famine to stamp out any
aspirations of Ukrainian independence.
On the 1998 Good Friday
Agreement which resulted in a power-sharing government in Northern Ireland,
Trimble said: "We are in the middle of a transition which is not
"There had been a lot of progress, but we haven't actually
completed it. I don't think we are going to go seriously into reverse, but we
could get stuck."
If this happened things could get messy, "but I
don't think the whole thing will collapse", he said.
Trimble, who as
the Ulster Unionist Party leader, has to contend with an anti-agreement lobby
in his own party, said he did not believe these members were as much
"anti-agreement, as anti-Trimble". - Sapa
Mugabe lobbyist quits By David Rennie in
Washington (Filed: 06/09/2002)
One of Robert Mugabe's most vocal
overseas mouthpieces has abruptly severed his connections with the government
Ari Ben-Menashe refused to say why he had stopped
representing the regime.
The former Israeli secret agent from the
Canadian lobbyists Dickens and Madson is a key government witness in a
treason case against Morgan Tsvangirai, the Zimbabwean opposition
Mr Tsvangirai is accused of plotting to murder Mr Mugabe. The
Zimbabwe government says that a video, secretly shot by Mr Ben-Menashe, shows
Mr Tsvangirai agreeing with Mr Ben-Menashe's suggestions that Mr Mugabe
Mr Ben-Menashe said he stood by his accusations against Mr
Tsvangirai, saying: "The tape speaks for itself."
Farmers will have to work with
the local population
JOHANNESBURG, - Zambia on Thursday cautiously
welcomed moves by Zimbabwean commercial farmers to resettle in the country
and continue farming.
"We have an open policy toward investors,
whoever they may be. Yes, we are pleased that they [Zimbabwean farmers] have
expressed interest in our agricultural sector, but we are mindful of the
impact that this could have on the local population. We certainly don't want
to see a similar situation like that in Zimbabwe," the director of national
agriculture, Peter Masunu, told IRIN.
The number of Zimbabwean
commercial farmers seeking greener pastures in neighbouring countries has
reportedly increased as a result of the government's land-redistribution
Already, 20 Zimbabweans are working in Mozambique's
Manica Province. Angola and Botswana have also encouraged the farmers to
settle in their respective countries.
About 125 commercial
farmers have expressed interest in areas in Zambia's fertile Northern
Province. Masunu said the northern agricultural town of Mbala was conducive
to farming because of the "good rainfall and the fishing
Zambia has the potential to significantly increase
its agricultural output, analysts say. Currently, only 20 percent of its
arable land is cultivated. The agriculture sector has suffered from poor
rural infrastructure, the lack of credit for farmers, and the high price
of fertiliser and other inputs.
Some of the Zimbabwean farmers
were interested in moving to the Copperbelt region, Masunu said, which was
"particularly good for our agricultural development, since we are considering
diversifying our economy and not just relying on copper
However, the Zambian authorities would monitor the
situation closely "to avoid the land controversy in Zimbabwe".
"We have made it clear that the local population will not be displaced. Like
all investors, the farmers will have to create jobs for the local people in
those areas. Also, individual farmers will be prohibited from owning
thousands of hectares at the expense of our own people. They will not be
given more land than they can actually use," Masunu said.
Zimbabwe's controversial land-reform programme, in which 2,900 farms have
been expropriated, white commercial farmers owned the bulk of the country's
Mozambican officials have been equally vocal on the
amount of land the commercial farmers would be entitled to. Up to 15O mainly
dairy and tobacco farmers from Zimbabwe have expressed interest in relocating
"We are not giving more than 1,000 hectares to avoid
a social crisis ... There was a request for 400,000 hectares ... but it would
have represented a type of colony, and Mozambique immediately rejected
this request," Mozambican agriculture minister, Helder Muteia, told
the Portuguese newspaper, Diario de Noticias, this week.
settling them throughout [the country] to ensure they are not grouped
together and can therefore easily learn about the situation in Mozambique,"
The minimum investment required before a project was
authorised was US $50,000, and each farmer had to create at least 100 jobs.
Apart from Manica, the government had received requests for farming rights in
Zambezia, Nampula and Sofala provinces, Muteia said.
Jack Straw will risk the wrath of Robert Mugabe by likening Zimbabwe to
"failed states" such as Somalia, Congo and Afghanistan.
In a speech ahead
of the first anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US, Mr
Straw will call on the international community to act like doctors diagnosing
ill health in countries like Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.
His speech to
diplomats, MPs, academics and business leaders follows applause when Mugabe
and his allies attacked Britain at the Earth Summit in South
Mr Straw is set to say that international patience with Iraq is
not unlimited and that it would be irresponsible to say that military action
is not an option.
His speech at Birmingham University will say that
September 11 dramatically showed how the disintegration of a state like
Afghanistan can affect people's lives thousands of miles away.
approach the first anniversary of the attacks, we need to remind ourselves
that turning a blind eye to the breakdown of order in any part of the world,
however distant, invites direct threats to our national security and
The Foreign Secretary will stress the importance of
identifying states at risk of failure, establishing an "at risk" category of
countries which threaten global order.
States which fail to control
their territory and guarantee the security of their people, fail to maintain
the rule of law and promote human rights and to deliver economic growth,
education and healthcare could be said to have failed.
"Even a rough
and ready application of these indicators would have started alarm bells
ringing for states like Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo long
before they collapsed," Mr Straw will say.
"And under Robert Mugabe, it
is hard to argue that Zimbabwe doesn't fall into this category too."
Cape farmer calls on SA to try Mugabe under Rome Statute Parliamentary
CAPE TOWN A South African dispossessed in Zimbabwe's programme of
land grabs has asked for President Robert Mugabe to be charged with crimes
against humanity and tried in a SA court, under an international statute
recently adopted by Parliament.
Mugabe this week used the platform of the
World Summit on Sustainable Development to defend his land reform programme and
to insist that contrary to reports no Zimbabwean farmers were being left without
His intervention came after reports at the weekend of ruling
Zanu (PF) militias using rape to punish women in opposition party
Richard Barry, from Robertson in Western Cape, said
yesterday his farms had been confiscated by Zanu (PF) in what was a systematic
campaign targeting white farmers and their workers.
He made his actions
public at a Democratic Alliance press conference called by its justice
spokesman, Tertius Delport.
Barry said in an affidavit, faxed to national
director of public prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka that SA had passed and
promulgated the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal
Court, which gave SA's courts the jurisdiction to try genocide, crimes against
humanity and war crimes committed in other countries if the perpetrator was
apprehended on SA soil.
The statute defined crimes against humanity as
murder, deportation or forcible transfer of the population, imprisonment or
other severe deprivation, rape, sexual slavery and enforced prostitution, and
"persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political,
racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender grounds", Barry
Barry said he was calling for Mugabe to be arrested and tried not
only on behalf of white farmers, but also on behalf of all Zimbabweans and
particularly farm workers who were victims of Mugabe's
Delport, when asked if he was not trivialising crimes against
humanity by applying the concept to expropriation of white farms in Zimbabwe,
said the facts in Zimbabwe showed an extreme situation, which under no
circumstances could be seen as trivial.
He said the treatment of farmers
was "inhumane" and qualified as crimes against humanity because there had been
trauma, injuries and death.
Mugabe had evidently already left SA by the
time the moves were made. Sapa quoted foreign affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa
as saying all heads of state visiting the summit had diplomatic
The Rome Statute, however, explicitly excludes diplomatic
immunity as a protection against arrest for the crimes of genocide, crimes
against humanity, and war crimes. Legal sources said if the reports coming out
of Zimbabwe were true, they would certainly qualify as crimes against humanity
as defined in the statute. Sep 05 2002 12:00:00:000AM Wyndham Hartley Business
Day 1st Edition
Annan, Mugabe talk about human rights AFP [ WEDNESDAY,
SEPTEMBER 04, 2002 9:09:43 PM ] JOHANNESBURG: UN Secretary General Kofi
Annan on Wednesday said he spoke to President Robert Mugabe about the human
rights situation in Zimbabwe when they met on the sidelines of the UN Earth
Summit here on Monday.
"We did raise the issue of human rights and I did
raise concern at the reports in the press that the distribution of food is being
politicised," Annan told journalists shortly before the 10-day summit was due to
He was referring to accusations by aid groups that Mugabe's
government is denying food aid to regions that voted for the opposition in March
presidential elections while some six million Zimbabweans, about half the
population, face starvation in the next six months, according to UN
"The president assured me that it was not the case, that there
was no politicisation," Annan said.
He added however that he planned to
send the head of the UN World Food Progamme, Jim Morris, who is also his
personal envoy to six southern African nations facing dire food shortages, to
"He will be looking at some of these issues," Annan
Amnesty International has again denounced the human rights
situation in Zimbabwe after a senior member of the main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) was arrested on Monday and an independent radio station
blown up last week.
Annan said he believed land reform was necessary in
Zimbabwe but said he wanted to see "a credible land reform programme, phased,
funded, legal and fair to everybody."
He added that the United Nations
had tried to push for this since Mugabe began his controversial land
redistribution programme two years ago but "things moved very fast and we could
not get this done."
Annan declined to comment on Zimbabwe's bitterly
disputed presidential elections which saw Mugabe cling to power, saying the
matter was sub judice as the MDC was contesting the outcome in
Uproar as Powell backs NZ on Mugabe 05.09.2002 By KEVIN
United States Secretary of State Colin Powell caused an uproar at
the World Summit on Sustainable Development yesterday when he openly criticised
Mr Powell mounted only the second serious attack on the regime
of President Robert Mugabe - after NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark had been
unsupported for two days.
Security guards had to eject at least one man
from the auditorium, as several outraged listeners heckled Mr Powell during a
speech that echoed New Zealand criticisms.
Several times Mr Powell - in
Johannesburg for the final session as President George W. Bush would not come -
was forced to break a speech that ended amid loud booing.
Helen Clark was
in the auditorium and said she fully agreed with everything Mr Powell
Speaking of Aids, famine, economic mismanagement and wasteful land
use in Africa, Mr Powell turned his guns on Zimbabwe, going further than Helen
Clark by naming it.
"In one country in this region - Zimbabwe - the lack
of respect for human rights and the rule of law has exacerbated these factors to
push millions of people forward toward the brink of starvation."
followed by loud chanting, prevented him continuing.
It was the second
time this year Mr Powell had expressed solidarity with New Zealand. In
Washington in March, he told Helen Clark New Zealand and the US were "very,
very, very good friends".
Until yesterday, Helen Clark had been alone in
using her address to the summit to list her objections to Mr Mugabe's
On Monday, she told more than 100 world leaders that famine in
Zimbabwe had been worsened by "deliberate and cynical Government policies". New
Zealand is bitterly opposed to Mr Mugabe's policy of evicting white farmers from
their land, a process he yesterday called "agrarian reform".
was left to go solo on the issue by allies such as British Prime Minister Tony
Blair, who avoided the issue in his address, then dodged it at a press
conference as well.
While her speech was greeted with polite applause,
the address later by an aggressive Mr Mugabe was interrupted three times by loud
Mugabe warns white farmers to hand land over to
blacks or leave HARARE Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe returned home
yesterday, triumphant from a row with British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the
world summit in Johannesburg.
Mugabe again warned white farmers to hand
their land over to blacks or leave the country.
"I never thought we would
find so much support. People applauded until I had sat down and they all rushed
to congratulate me," he told hundreds of supporters who were bussed into Harare
airport to welcome him back from SA.
The 78-year-old leader gave a resumé
in the local language Shona of his speech to the summit on Monday, during which
he accused former colonial power Britain of interfering in Zimbabwe's
"Keep your England and let me keep my Zimbabwe," Mugabe told
Blair to enthusiastic applause from a number of the delegations.
had earlier told the summit: "Zimbabwe is potentially one of the richest grain
nations in the world and yet because of the way he (Mugabe) has ruined the
country it is having to import grain for its people."
The British leader
said: "It's a terrible, terrible tragedy."
Britain has spearheaded
European Union and Commonwealth sanctions aimed at isolating Mugabe's government
over allegations of massive voting fraud and human rights abuses during the
presidential election in March.
Mugabe is also under fire from the west
for his decision to hand 2900 white-owned farm to landless blacks at a time when
6-million people about half the population are facing the threat of
Opponents say his land policy, which recently saw more than
300 white farmers arrested for refusing to leave their land, is undermining
agriculture and contributing to the food crisis.
Mugabe hit out again
yesterday at the white farmers. "Amongst them are those who have been going to
Britain and asking Britain to impose sanctions on us, asking Britain to send
troops to Zimbabwe," he told his supporters.
"These do not deserve to be
in Zimbabwe and we shall take steps to ensure that they are not entitled to land
Mugabe also made specific reference to two white
parliamentarians from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Roy Bennett
and David Coltart. He said that they were "not part of our
"They belong to Britain and let them go there. If they want to
stay here, we will say: Stay here, but your place is in jail'," Mugabe said.
Sapa-AFP Sep 05 2002 08:11:50:000AM Business Day 2nd Edition Thursday 05
Time for appeasement of Mugabe is long past THE
United Nations (UN) invited Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to address the
World Summit on Sustainable Development. It is said that this was an act of
hospitality to a head of state.
The world body appears to have forgotten
that no credible observer mission was prepared to declare the Zimbabwean
presidential elections free and fair.
Every time Mugabe is invited onto
the world stage, his illegitimate election becomes that much more entrenched and
takes on the veneer of respectability.
It is necessary to secure by acts,
not words, that Mugabe is brought to account for charges of torture, of tyranny
and the methodical destruction of a society.
Our own country speaks of
moral regeneration. We are signatories to an international convention against
torture. We sign with one hand a document that obliges us to legislate into
place domestic laws to arrest and try those accused of institutionalised
torture, but then we embrace him with both arms in an act of seeming
It is necessary to address those who wish to call Mugabe
brother, to those who believe keeping the door open to discussion will somehow
assist the people of Zimbabwe and our region and to those who wish to see him
only as a leader who once brought freedom to a country and aided others in their
There comes a time when expediency and sentimentality
has to submit to moral integrity.
Half a century ago, Albert Camus wrote:
"If you keep on excusing, you eventually give your blessing to the slave camp,
to cowardly force, to organised executioners, to the cynicism of great political
monsters; you finally hand over your brothers."
No democratic society
should pardon Mugabe's destruction of the structures of Zimbabwean society. He
has made law-abiding citizens fear the apparatus of state. He does not apply the
law but acts in contempt of it. Those who gave Mugabe an ovation should consider
that the systematic violation of basic rights by a tyrant brooks of no
Those who may still wish to engage him in debate should be
reminded of the well documented massacres in Matabeleland.
Those who felt
obliged to share a podium with him may not be adequately informed of the
undermining of the judicial process and the rule of law by Mugabe and his
Mugabe proclaimed more than 10 years ago "the government
cannot allow the technicalities of the law to fetter its hands .... We shall,
therefore, proceed as government ... and some of the measures we shall take are
measures which will be extralegal."
Also, Mugabe has a history of giving
amnesty to criminals convicted of acts of violence and arson in the 1990 and
2000 elections. These were crimes mainly committed by ruling party supporters
against supporters or supposed supporters of political parties in
Land reform in Zimbabwe is necessary, provided it is effected
in accordance with a constitution whose core civil rights values have not been
bastardised. Leaving aside the issue of expropriation without compensation,
there is an entire population of farm workers who have lived on the land and
have been dependent on it for sustenance.
They were legitimate occupiers
with a prior claim to remain where they have been for generations. If a law is
to be introduced to protect them, then it is too late. They have been kicked off
the land by the new land barons.
Reports indicate Mugabe's wife is the
recipient of prime land as are cabinet members and high ranking military and
police officers. Although land is supposed to be a scarce resource, it is
reported that more than 1,5-million workers and their families could end up
being displaced. Mugabe's failure to protect farm workers' rights to occupy land
demonstrates his true colours.
There are those who may be tempted to
trust what he says. It is well to remember the time Mugabe was putting the final
touches to his speech at the summit, independent radio station, Voice of the
People, was bombed at the weekend in what was an efficient military-type
operation. It is the third bombing of offices belonging to the independent
It is no good to say crimes against a people can be ignored while
Mugabe and his associates remain beyond the reach of international justice.
Mugabe's acts are rendered no less abhorrent because there is not yet a tribunal
to which he is accountable.
The invitation given by the UN to Mugabe, the
applause he received and the laughter he elicited demonstrates the world
community will not of its own accord bring Mugabe to justice.
necessary for concerned organisations to pool skills and other resources and
find effective ways of bringing Mugabe, and those who have gained through him,
to justice, to have them disgorge what they have plundered, and to compensate
the victims of their tyranny.
Spilg is a senior advocate and the convener
of the Human Rights Committee of the General Council of the Bar of SA. He writes
in his personal capacity. There comes a time when expediency, sentimentality
has to submit to moral integrity Sep 05 2002 12:00:00:000AM Brian Spilg Business
Day 1st Edition
Zimbabwe Problems Unchanged by Mugabe
Speech JOHANNESBURG -- Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is not only one of the
world's longer serving presidents, after 22 years in power and nearly six to go.
He is also one of the most highly educated.
Those assets were on display
when he addressed the Earth Summit in Johannesburg with a blend of passion and
oratory that was a contrast with the monotone efforts of his peers.
wish no harm to anyone, we are Zimbabweans, we are Africans, we are not English,
we are not Europeans. We love Africa, we love Zimbabwe, we love our
independence," he said.
There was applause in the hall, from more than a
few heads of state as well as journalists and observers, after the 78-year-old
former guerrilla slammed Britain, the European Union, the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) and the United Nations, official host of the 200-nation summit,
A day later, Mugabe's political opponents were still
baffled by the enthusiastic reaction.
"It just hit me that people were
clapping. It shocked me, after the infantile demeanor that he presented in his
speech," said Tendai Biti, foreign affairs spokesman for the movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), on Tuesday.
"Yes, a few of those leaders clapped
but not one of them would ever consider copying his policies," Biti said during
a brief stay in Johannesburg. He came to the summit to try to put the case
against Mugabe, five months after presidential elections that were condemned as
rigged by observers from Southern African Parliaments and the
As the butt of most of Mugabe's invective, British Prime
Minister Tony Blair did not mince his words on Tuesday.
"... this rubbish
about neo-colonialism, that is just a cloak, a cover, for what is a corrupt and
ruinous regime," Blair said on his return home from the summit.
senior African diplomat involved in moves to mediate in Zimbabwe, Mugabe's fiery
speech was a disappointment.
"It looks like nothing has changed. One had
hoped there might be some reconciliation but this shows the administration in
Harare is digging in, hardening its positions," he said.
Chavez, Mugabe --- In the absence of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, Mugabe was
probably the most senior left-wing president in town, closely followed by
Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.
Invoking nationalist and socialist principles,
Mugabe has refused to consider a devaluation of Zimbabwe's dollar, even though
it trades on the black market at one-twelfth of its official rate of 55 to the
The distortion is so huge that analysts reckon 80 percent of
basic foods are now bought and sold at the black market rate.
is expected to reach 150 percent by December.
Southern Africa's former
breadbasket is empty, and the government says six million of its 14 million
people are facing famine.
An estimated two million Zimbabweans are
economic refugees in South Africa and other neighboring states. Many of the
young waiters and waitresses serving summit delegates at restaurants in the
plush Sandton suburb were Zimbabwean illegal aliens.
For the European
Union and the United States, both of which have clamped personal sanctions on
Mugabe and his inner circle, Zimbabwe is in crisis because its policies are
But for Mugabe and his ruling Zanu-PF, Zimbabwe is a
battlefield between good and evil, the poor and the rich, the Black and the
They say their country is paying the price for daring to take on
the White world through a sweeping program of land redistribution. Mugabe has
vowed to press ahead with the eviction of 2,900 of Zimbabwe's 4,500 White
commercial farmers, a majority of whom are of British extraction.
does the land issue touch raw nerves more painfully than in Africa, which was
carved up by European colonizers.
A Ugandan delegate at the summit,
Ndawula Kaweesi, agreed that Mugabe's speech on Monday lacked diplomacy. But he
added: "African countries really are supporting him, he is trying to identify
the grassroots problems. Unlike in Europe, politicians in Africa deal with
grassroots because the problems we have are very basic."
Offers Mbeki Advice --- Mugabe and his main ally, 73-year-old President Sam
Nujoma of Namibia, chose the sensitive venue of South Africa to make their
highly publicized attacks on Europe.
At home, South African President
Thabo Mbeki is often decried by his white minority for being soft on Mugabe and
for perversely portraying the March elections as legitimate.
Yet a vocal
Black minority in South Africa accuses Mbeki of selling out to rich Whites and
failing to push through a radical land program of his own.
Justice Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, stirred things up on South Africa's leading
radio phone-in on Tuesday.
"My advice to South Africa is start now on
Don't wait until the pressures are too overwhelming," he
"If you think that in South Africa you will be freed from what is
happening in Zimbabwe and you don't anticipate those changes, I feel sorry for
you because as things are South African Blacks are in a worse situation than
Zimbabweans," Chinamasa added.
The speeches by Mugabe and Nujoma were
diametrically at odds with what Mbeki has been selling to the West -- a vision
of an investor-friendly continent ready to do business in the New Partnership
for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
"The two old guys enjoyed snubbing
their noses at Mbeki. But as Mbeki says, the entire population of Namibia is
less than half the size of Soweto, so why worry?" One South African analyst
"President Bush and the American
people have an enduring commitment to sustainable development" - US Secretary of
State Colin Powell Powell heckled at Earth Summit http://www.itv.com/news/World329850.html
4 Sep 2002.
US Secretary of State Colin Powell was heckled and booed
during his speech at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg. Environmentalists
whistled, jeered and shouted throughout the address, forcing Mr Powell to pause
several times to wait for the noise to die down.Security guards hustled a number
of demonstrators out of the conference hall. Two protesters held a banner
reading: "Betrayed by governments". South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana
Dlamini-Zuma, who was chairing the session, called for the hecklers to stop and
described the outbursts as "totally unacceptable."
initially angered when Mr Powell criticised President Robert Mugabe for
exacerbating the food crisis in Zimbabwe and pushing "millions of people to the
brink of starvation."
Heckling continued when he went on to condemn
Zambia, which is also facing a hunger crisis, for rejecting genetically
engineered corn that Americans "eat every day".
registered their dissent when Mr Powell defended his administration's
environmental record and its efforts to help the poor in the developing
A wave of noise erupted when he said: "The United States is taking
action to meet environmental challenges, including global climate
The US has been hammered for refusing to ratify the Kyoto
Protocol on climate change, which many countries view as crucial for reversing a
The Earth Summit is set to draw to a close later, after
ten days of wrangling over environmental safeguards and strategies to minimise
Delegates have reached a compromise deal and UN officials are
preparing the agreed proposals for final adoption by the full summit.
World Relief President Clive
Calver Heads to Zimbabwe
World Relief President Clive Calver will land in
Zimbabwe on Sept. 4 to oversee the organization's response to the famine
facing Zimbabwe and other Southern African nations. World Relief is the
humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals. Its mission is
to alleviate human suffering around the world. The World Relief
disaster response team is tackling the food crisis throughout Southern
Africa by forming alliances with various churches such as the Free
Methodist Church to conduct targeted food distribution.
denominations throughout Southern Africa are compiling lists of the neediest
food aid recipients including the sick, orphans, pregnant or nursing women
and deliver food to them with support from World Relief. In Zimbabwe alone,
World Relief and the Free Methodist Church hope to assist more than 150,000
people over the next seven months.
During a U.S. Department of State
briefing on the food crisis in Southern Africa, Andrew S. Natsios,
administrator of USAID, outlined the importance of funneling the necessary
aid through "NGOs and church groups" to insure proper distribution among the
needy. Calver explained that churches are vital in the response to the
growing food crisis in Southern Africa because they [churches] understand the
needs of their communities better than outsiders do and can distribute
aid more effectively.
September 5, 2002 Posted to the web
September 5, 2002
The South African Chamber of
Business deplored the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe and considered the
actions of the Zimbabwe government to be challenging the founding principles
of the New Partnership for Africa's Development, Kevin Wakeford, chief
executive of Sacob, said in Johannesburg on Thursday.
"We believe that
the African Union in conjunction with the Southern African Development
Community should urgently assess the Zimbabwean situation and come up with a
pragmatic and sustainable plan to deal with the situation there," Wakeford
He said since Sacob toured Zimbabwe in April 2000, human rights
abuse had reached an all time high and that despite ongoing attempts by the
South African government, more clarity and a decisive plan of action to
rectify the situation were urgently required.
"Added to the human
rights violations is the worsening food crisis in the region with millions
facing imminent starvation.
"We believe that the international community
should urgently formulate a strategy to address this situation before it
becomes a humanitarian catastrophe," he said.
"God alone knows what
will happen around this time next year," he said.
If it's war on Saddam, why not on Mugabe? By Boris Johnson (Filed:
You may think there is something a little bit preposterous
about Big Tone's swagger on Tuesday, tucking his thumbs into his belt as he told
that pesky varmint Saddam Hussein to quit the corral. And, OK, there is
something comical about this gifted actor-prime minister. Whatever happens,
Britain will not make any decisive military contribution in Iraq. But that is
not why they lurve him in the Pentagon. They need him, because he is just so
charming and persuasive on the international stage. He has that special British
cachet. He is the Hugh Grant of diplomacy.
When they set out to bomb
Kosovo, Clinton was slick, but Blair was sincere. When they bombed Afghanistan
with B52s, Bush was bumbling, while Blair was a fluent and hot-gospelling
evangelist for war. And while Bush seems to have difficulty convincing his own
pop of the need to topple Saddam, Blair can now be relied upon to woo those
tricky and discerning European audiences.
Once again, Tony takes the role
in which history has already twice triumphantly cast him - the informal
porte-parole of the American war machine.
We should be proud of him,
grateful to those drama tutors at Fettes, because they have given him, and us, a
voice on the world stage. We should not mock the Prime Minister, just because he
is essentially the front man for someone else's war. His task is difficult, and
his stance, in its way, is brave. The grim reality, a year after September 11,
is that America is even less popular around the world than it was before that
massacre. Listen to the hideous booing of Colin Powell in Johannesburg. Look at
the cretinous anti-American slogans daubed on the walls of Italian towns. Drink
in the moronic, ignorant sermonising of students in every campus bar in the
land. It is the settled view of the audience of Rupert Murdoch's Sky News, by a
majority of two to one, that George Bush is more of a threat to world peace than
In arguing for military action in Iraq, Blair must now
overcome the deep scepticism of his backbenches, a simmering revolt in his
cabinet, the dismay of his European counterparts, and the mistrust of a huge
proportion of the British public. In fact, I hope readers will not be too
shocked if I say I have a few questions of my own, which it would be nice to
answer before giving wholehearted support to this venture.
Most of us are
perfectly willing to be convinced that Saddam is a threat to the region,
possesses weapons of mass destruction, and must be taken out. But we have not so
far been convinced, and it would be nice to feel that someone was making an
effort to do that. More important, most of us need to be filled in on how this
"regime change" is to be accomplished, without a revolting and unjustifiable
loss of life in Iraq.
And some of us, finally, would like a clearer
articulation from Mr Blair about the priorities in British foreign policy. It is
an irony, to say the least, that we are about to make war on Saddam Hussein, who
directly threatens no British citizen, when we are doing nothing to stop Robert
Mugabe, who has purged or murdered thousands of farmers, many of whom still
carry British passports.
Let me ask a simpleton's question: why Saddam,
and not Mugabe? It can't be the military difficulties. If the US Air Force can
fly stealth bombers from Missouri in transatlantic round trips, and spend three
months and $3 billion bombing Serbia and Kosovo on behalf of the Albanian
farmers, why can it do nothing to help the 800,000 blacks and 12,000 whites
being persecuted by Mugabe? If regime change is possible in Baghdad, which has
one of the most fearsome armies in the world, why not in Harare, which is
guarded by two men and a hyena?
It's not as though the geopolitical
consequences are unthinkable. Any ferment in southern Africa would be nothing to
the reaction in the Arab world, if and when an attack on Saddam is launched.
Saddam may be an evil dictator; but then Mugabe patently stole his election, and
has no democratic legitimacy.
Saddam may be a menace, but Mugabe is
already causing the starvation of his own people, most of whom would rejoice to
be rid of him. Why, then, is military action against Mugabe not on the agenda?
Why is it so little discussed that it seems somehow bizarre even to raise the
question? There are several answers. The first is that America has no interest
in the area, or certainly no interest comparable to Britain's. Zimbabwe is not a
notable hotbed of al-Qa'eda; it is not part of the Axis of Evil.
supports Bush over Iraq, because he rightly sees that the war against terror
enlists us all. There is no question, however, of America making any kind of
reciprocal gesture when British interests are at stake. Nor, frankly, would
Britain ever dream of asking.
The idea of a neo-colonial escapade makes
New Labour shudder. It was not for this that they spent their years in the
anti-apartheid movement. They know there is something deeply unfashionable about
sticking up for the Zimbabwe farmers, who are about as popular, in their
personal pantheons, as the Ulster Unionists or the Serbs. In fact, they think,
there is something faintly racist about the whole protest. That strikes me as
shameful, as shameful as Mugabe's assertion that Africa is a continent
exclusively for the black man. But never mind.
Straw labels Zimbabwe a "failed state" British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has
further incurred the wrath of Robert Mugabe by likening Zimbabwe to other
''failed states'' such as Somalia, Congo and Afghanistan. In a speech ahead
of the first anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US, Mr
Straw called on the international community to act like doctors, diagnosing
ill-health in countries such as Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. He told an
audience of diplomats, MPs, academics and business leaders that international
patience with Iraq is not unlimited and that it would be irresponsible to say
that military action is not an option. Mr Straw, in a speech at Birmingham
University, said that September 11 dramatically showed how the disintegration of
a state such as Afghanistan can affect people`s lives thousands of miles
away. ``As we approach the first anniversary of the attacks, we need to
remind ourselves that turning a blind eye to the breakdown of order in any part
of the world, however distant, invites direct threats to our national security
and well-being. ``The shocking events of that day were planned, plotted and
directed by a group which exploited domestic chaos to commit the most heinous
international crime.`` The British Foreign Secretary was stressing the
importance of identifying states at risk of failure, establishing an ``at risk``
category of countries which threaten global order. Giving the example of a
doctor using indicators to spot medical conditions in patients, he said the
international community should use a set of criteria to assess states which
could become the next Afghanistan. States which fail to control their
territory and guarantee the security of their people, fail to maintain the rule
of law and promote human rights and to deliver economic growth, education and
healthcare could be said to have failed, Mr Straw said. ``Even a rough and
ready application of these indicators would have started alarm bells ringing for
states like Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo long before they
collapsed,`` Mr Straw said. ``And under Robert Mugabe, it is hard to argue
that Zimbabwe doesn`t fall into this category too.`` He added: ``In the case
of Zimbabwe, Commonwealth, EU and US sanctions have left Robert Mugabe under no
illusions about the strength of international opposition to the Zanu-PF
regime. ``These multilateral measures have had far greater impact than any
unilateral action by the UK could have done, though they cannot in the short
term alleviate the pain and suffering of the Zimbabwean people.`` Mr Straw
cited African countries such as Somalia, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of
Congo where central government has collapsed and law and order are
non-existent. But Iraq, he said, is an example not of a failed state but of a
country where the central authority is ``all too powerful``. He added: ``In
his single-minded pursuit of an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, Saddam
Hussein has undermined global security - and flouted international law - for
over a decade. ``No other country but Iraq has so persistently undermined the
UN Charter and the authority of the Security Council. ``No other country but
Iraq has annexed a fellow UN member state. No other country but Iraq poses the
same unique threat to the integrity of international law. ``No other country
but Iraq has the same appetite both for developing and using weapons of mass
destruction. ``Until Iraq meets its UN obligations in full, there can be no
guarantee that it will not use chemical, biological or even nuclear weapons, the
burden of proof is on Saddam. ``It would be widely irresponsible to argue
that patience with Iraq should be unlimited, or that military action should not
be an option. ``Unless the international community faces up to the threat
represented by Iraq`s weapons of mass destruction, we place at risk the lives of
civilians in the region and beyond.``