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

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Mark Thatcher raked in millions with Zimbabwe business: report

Sat Sep 11, 8:53 PM ET

LONDON (AFP) - Mark Thatcher, the son of former British prime minister
Margaret Thatcher now embroiled in alleged financing of a coup plot, made
millions yearly through business in Zimbabwe, a report alleged.

Thatcher earned up to six million pounds (10.8 million dollars, 8.8 million
euros) per year by selling diesel fuel from South Africa in Zimbabwe, The
Sunday Times quoted sources as saying.

He also shared ownership of a lucrative gold mine in Zimbabwe, which is now
under investigation for smuggling by Zimbabwe police, it said.

The 51-year-old Briton was arrested on August 25 at his Cape Town home and
charged with contributing 275,000 dollars to help finance a coup in
Equatorial Guinea masterminded by his friend and neighbor Simon Mann.

Mann was sentenced Friday to seven years in jail in Zimbabwe on weapons
charges.

Thatcher, who has denied any involvement in the Malabo case, was bailed by
his mother in early September after spending nine days in house arrest over
the affair.

He has been called to testify on his alleged involvement in court on
September 22.

The Sunday Times reported that Thatcher co-owned the Redwork gold mine in
central Zimbabwe which made profits of 1.2 million pounds per year, but that
it was confiscated a month ago when the government of President Robert
Mugabe began probing allegations of smuggling there.

It also quoted "sources close to Thatcher" describing his investment in a
bulk diesel depot on the border of the two southern African countries which
made between three and six million pounds annually.

A spokesman for Thatcher declined comment, telling the paper: "His business
dealings are private."

Thatcher, son of the Conservative "Iron Lady", was known primarily for some
bungled business dealings in the United States and getting lost while on a
youthful botched attempt at the 1982 Paris to Dakar car rally.

He and his wife, Texan heiress Diane Burgdorf, moved to South Africa in
1995.
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Bombers? Or food?

A startling new book explains how the West could easily save the Third
World, as this extract reveals

Noreena Hertz
Sunday September 12, 2004
The Observer

Sometimes in life one has to admit that things just aren't working. This is
one of those times. The way we deal with the debt of developing countries
has come a long way since the Latin American debt crisis of the early 1980s.
But it hasn't come far enough. And it's manifestly failing debtors and
creditors alike.
We simply have to remind ourselves of why developing countries got into debt
in the first place, and of just how destructive the consequences are, for
all of us. And then the hard work starts. We need to come up with a new way
forward.

To accomplish this we will have to accept this fundamental principle - that
there are some debts that are so clearly illegitimate or unpayable, that
countries should never be asked to honour them. It is justice, not mercy or
charity.

However, and we need to be clear on this, although a process for determining
illegitimacy and unpayability of debts will deliver in terms of truth and,
potentially, in terms of reconciliation too, it will not necessarily deliver
in meaningful material ways. A bankruptcy-type procedure to rule on matters
of justice and equity is necessary, that is clear. But it is not sufficient.

Let's get real here: many developing governments don't have a good track
record at using the resources at their disposal to address the needs of
their poor, needy and sick. Pakistan spends approximately 5 per cent of its
GDP on Defence but only 3 per cent on education and 0.8 per cent on health.
President Obasanjo of oil-rich Nigeria spent $330 million in 2000 on
building a new national stadium in Abuja, a figure that was more than that
year's combined health and education budgets.

If debts are cancelled on grounds of illegitimacy and unpayability, without
ensuring in advance that the monies freed up will be used for development,
the danger is not only that they may be squandered or won't reach those who
need them, but that the funds so released might serve to prop up undesirable
regimes. Which means that if the bankruptcy process is to provide a real
opportunity for citizens of the afflicted country to make a fresh start, we
will have to come up with a way of ensuring that new monies go to those who
most need them.
What this doesn't mean, however is that we stall the bankruptcy process and
withhold debt relief until a government is deemed to have sufficiently
stepped up to the plate. Too many millions are dying, too many being lured
to join extremist organisations, too many becoming angry and resentful, for
us to be able to wait for a country to get a perfect scorecard on governance
before providing it with debt relief.

We need to stop countries from having to repay illegitimate and unpayable
debts as soon as possible, and then make sure that the monies thereby saved
do go where they are most needed.

But how to do this? We must create legally established 'islands' of good
governance - let us call them National Regeneration Trusts. These Trusts
would effectively ring fence debt savings to meet development goals. Before
you decry me as imperialist or neo-colonialist, let me qualify my proposal.

First, the trustees must be majority nationals, with the only non-nationals
appointed from United Nations bodies such as Unicef or the World Health
Organisation, trustees whose expertise and experience on the ground will be
invaluable.

Second, the accounts of the Trust must be easily accessible to the public.

Third, putting monies into the Trust must be the only condition for a
country to be eligible to participate in the process.

The only condition for the debt to be relieved must be that the monies saved
actually do meet the needs of the sick, uneducated and poor and the
environment, and are not siphoned off into foreign bank accounts, or to fund
white elephant projects or civil wars.

Fourth, in order that a country doesn't end up having to take money out of
its budget to make payments into the Trust, the international donor
community will have to pledge to continue financing these flows to the
extent that it previously was.

Fifth and finally, at such a time that a country is recognised as democratic
and reaches a predetermined level of human development, the Trust should be
wound up, international donors no longer be asked to finance debt repayment
flows, and any remaining debt stock still to be cancelled should simply be
written off. The eventual aim of the National Regeneration Trusts should be
their disappearance.

Why will these Trusts be more likely to deliver than governments in places
of low human development and weak governance structures? Three reasons: they
will be run predominately by civil society and civil society is
significantly less likely to be beholden to domestic elites than ruling
politicians; any concern over the motivation or independence of the civil
society trustees, or over the government meeting its obligation to transfer
funds into the Trust, would be addressed by the fact that debt would be
effectively cancelled in instalments; and an international body of
arbitration, separate from the Trust itself, would judge the spending of the
money and seek to legally hold both the Trust and the country to account.

There are, of course, some countries such as Mugabe's Zimbabwe or Myanmar
where the level of confidence in government is so low that the conditions
for the Trust are likely to be absent. And others, where finding suitable
trustees from civil society will present a formidable challenge. However, in
the majority of cases this is not the case.

But even if this great step is taken and the past resolved, we will still
need to plan for the future. To avoid the debt threat reappearing in another
few years, and developing countries ending up back in despair, new
principles for borrowers and lenders will have to be adopted, on top of the
bankruptcy procedure and the National Regeneration Trusts. Let me suggest
just five.

First, instead of borrowing so much, those developing world governments that
can, need to make improved efforts to mobilise domestic resources.

Second, all classes of lenders need to be mandated to make transparency of
borrowing a condition of the issuing of loans.

Third, developing countries that borrow in the international capital markets
must be allowed to control capital in and out flows.

Fourth, there must be a complete overhaul of the West's export credit
agencies so as to ensure that rich countries stop lending so carelessly,
stop providing loans to developing world governments to buy arms, and stop
financing environmentally unsound and over-priced projects. And the rich
world also needs to consider its own borrowing. The United States'
increasing debt burden, for example, has all the ingredients of a future
debt crisis in the making.

Fifth, the immunity of the IMF and World Bank needs to be waived. Where
professional negligence or lack of due diligence in lending can be proven, a
claimant, whether a village, an individual or a nation, must be able to hold
the institutions liable in the same way that a bank can be held liable by
law.

We need to do more than just lend better and more wisely, do more than just
cancel illegitimate and unpayable debts. To breach the gap between need and
resources in those countries which, even with all their debts cancelled,
would still not have enough money for health or education or to meet the
needs of their poor, the rich world will need, given the urgency of the
situation, to reach deep into its pockets and give much more - in the form
of grants.

Not in the way it has in the past: grants were, of course, as susceptible to
political hijack as loans. But either through the Trust mechanism, in those
cases in which it is deemed necessary to ring fence aid flows. Or,
otherwise, in a way that is closely aligned to the spirit of the Trust. The
rich world will also need to curb its desire to protect its own industries.
For, for the developing world to regenerate, it is debt relief, aid and
trade that are the Holy Trinity.

The challenge will be how to ensure that those in the rich world who find
their own lives tough - the elderly, the poor, the unemployed, the sick,
those struggling to keep their mortgage payments going and send their kids
to school - do not bear the financial brunt. So rather than diverting
resources for aid or paying for debt relief from government budgets that
could instead be spent on social expenditure or domestic welfare needs, or
raising funds in the form of new across-the-board income taxes, the money
will need to be found elsewhere.

Cuts in military expenditure (for the price of four Stealth bombers, 155
million children can be sent to school for a year), windfall taxes on the
debt vultures' extraordinary profits, active measures to help expedite the
repatriation of corrupt dictators' stolen funds (billions of pillaged
dollars are just sitting in offshore accounts), made more possible today
than ever before given the post-9/11 trend towards repealing bank secrecy
laws and rolling back banker-customer confidentiality, the making secure of
migrant workers' income taxes so as create a 'development bond', and global
pollution taxes on energy companies (with monies collected earmarked for
environmental purposes) are measures that would raise billions of dollars
and would not fall on everyone's shoulders alike.

There are also innovative financing schemes that Gordon Brown, George Soros
and Joseph Stiglitz have all recently come up with. Gordon Brown's
International Financing Facility, for example, which makes secure rich
countries' future aid pledges, could raise an extra $50 billion a year at no
additional cost to taxpayers.

And, in order that the cessation of subsidies on Western products, so
critical for the developing world's success, does not destroy communities
and heartlands in the West, measures must be taken to create new jobs and
provide new opportunities for those there who in the short term could, as a
result, lose out. Free trade must also be fair. Hardly beyond the wit of
human ingenuity.

Extracted from IOU: The Debt Threat and Why We Must Defuse It by Noreena
Hertz, published by Fourth Estate at 16.99. To order a copy for 14.99 plus
UK p&p, call the Observer Book Service on 0870 836 0885. For details of
Blackwell's promotional tour of the book, call 020 7292 5100 or email
events.london@blackwell.co.uk Nick Cohen is away

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News24

More food deaths in Zim
12/09/2004 16:37 - (SA)

Harare - Another nine people have died of hunger in the western city of
Bulawayo, despite President Robert Mugabe's assertion that there is no
famine in Zimbabwe, local media reported on Sunday.

The independent weekly Standard newspaper quoted figures from the Bulawayo
city council's health department saying that the new deaths in August
brought to 161 the number who have died this year of malnutrition in the
city.

The figures contradict repeated assertions by Mugabe that the country is
reaping a bumper harvest of 2.4 million tons of grain.

In May he ordered the world food programme, the UN famine relief arm, to
wind up a food distribution programme that rescued up to 5 million people
from famine in the last two years.

Critics have warned that Mugabe plans to use starvation as a political
weapon in parliamentary elections due in March next year by issuing famine
relief supplies only to those who vote for his ruling Zanu-PF.

Grain production has slumped after the government's seizure of almost the
entire white commercial farming sector's land since 2000.

Food 'running out'

In contrast with Mugabe's claim of a harvest of 2.4 million tons,
independent assessments have forecast production of about 1 million tons,
not enough to meet national consumption of 1.8 million tons a year.

This weekend, the Food Security Network (Fosenet), an independent grouping
of local aid agencies, said that food was running out in a growing number of
areas.

The situation is not good at all, Fosenet programme manager Jonathan Kafesu
was quoted as saying by Irin, the UN news agency.

"Our assessment has revealed that most grain marketing board (the state
grain monopoly) depots are empty.

"It is a fact that people are starving, and something certainly needs to be
done about it," he said.

UN officials, asking not to be named, said the WFP had 50 000 tons stored in
Zimbabwe, but had been ordered by the government not to distribute it. -
Sapa-dpa

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News24

Chiluba backs Zim land policy
12/09/2004 21:20 - (SA)

Lusaka - Former Zambian president Frederick Chiluba has backed Zimbabwean
leader Robert Mugabe's controversial land claims policy, news reports said
Sunday.

Chiluba was quoted by the state-run Sunday Mail as saying the policy of
grabbing land from whites and giving it to indigenous black Zimbabweans was
the fulfilment of that country's independence from colonial rule.

"What Mugabe has done to grab land and give it to the local people is very
much okay because he is exercising independence and I condemn those who
blame him," Chiluba said.

Four years ago Zimbabwe embarked on a controversial land reform program that
saw the seizure of thousands of white-owned farms that were handed over to
landless blacks.

The land reform scheme drove close to 4,000 white large scale commercial
farmers from their land which was parcelled and given to landless blacks.

Scores of former Zimbabwean farmers have re-located to other African
countries such as Mozambique, Zambia, Nigeria and Uganda where they are
leasing farmland.

"You know Mugabe is like one called by God. In the Biblical days, God used
to tell Israel to conquer nations and later possess the land. This is what
Mugabe is doing," Chiluba said in an address to members of the United Church
of Zambia, according to the privately owned Post newspaper.

"I love him so much although some people condemn what he does," the
ex-president added in a rare public speech since leaving office under a
corruption cloud in 2001.

Chiluba has confined himself to his house after his successor Levy Mwanawasa
accused him of corruption, abuse of office and theft of millions of dollars
of state funds.

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Birmingham Alabama News

Ugly truth about Zimbabwe:

The story by News correspondent Susan Storey concerning Kirsty Coventry's
Olympic victory was only a half-truth. She forgot to ask if Ms. Coventry had
any plans to return to her native land after graduation. Highly unlikely,
since the writer and swim coach David Marsh fail to mention that Zimbabwe's
major sport is robbing white farmers of their property, so Dictator Robert
Mugabe can turn it over to his fiends and relatives.

The country is in ruins due to this black dictator's confiscation without
remuneration, but we should not mention that in the sports pages of The
Birmingham News - never, ever. Just sugarcoat the truth for some reason that
only a journalist would understand. Jim Kelly, -- Birmingham --
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Indiana Gazette

State Hunters Bag Trophy Animals on Safaris

By:ERICA ERWIN, Erie Times-News September 12, 2004

ERIE, Pa. - Funny, it was the snake that scared him the most.
Dave Parker was living the dream of any serious hunter: A two-week
safari in Zimbabwe to stalk leopards, wildebeests and impalas on the
southern African plains.
Several days into the hunt, an unmistakable hissing sound awakened
Parker from his tent. With visions of cobra venom coursing through his
veins, he ran the other way.

Parker had all but forgotten the snake incident when, on the last
night of his big-game hunt, he squared off against a 7-foot-8-inch,
185-pound leopard.

He aimed his antique .264 Winchester Magnum, and one shot later he
took home what he believes is one of the largest trophy leopards ever shot
in Zimbabwe.

"Snakes bother me, but I had a chance against the leopard," Parker
said, deadpan. Snake phobia aside, Parker is part of a growing number of
hunters who are leaving the deer stands of northwestern Pennsylvania for the
thrill of big-game hunting in the brush and plains of Africa.

"Big-game hunting is getting more and more popular here," said Parker,
59, a lifelong Erie resident and a state parole agent. "It's like a little
fraternity."

Most of those fraternity brothers will walk through Steve Skrypzak's
doors.

With trophies covering nearly every inch of wall space, Skrypzak's
Erie shop, Heads and Sheds Taxidermy, is a testament to the popularity
hunting has always enjoyed here.

But ever since Skrypzak took his own big-game trip to South Africa in
1996, his shop also has served as safari H.Q. for local hunters. He fields
questions about which reputable tour operator to choose, the best time of
year to travel and where to go if you're looking to hunt particular game.

"More and more people are getting into it," said Skrypzak, the only
local taxidermist licensed to import and handle big game. "I've sent 15
people over, and I'm working on six other trips right now. Big-game hunting
is big business, big time."

The globe-trotting hobby is not an inexpensive one. Safaris start at
around $3,000 and can run upward of $50,000, depending on destination,
length of stay and "trophy fees," which hunters must pay the host government
for bagging certain animals. But local hunters say the adrenaline rush that
big-game hunting brings is priceless.

"Africa is like Mecca for a lot of hunters," said Dennis Leone, owner
of Hunter's Inn in Erie. "Every hunter wants to go to Africa. It's just such
an adventure."

Leone, a longtime hunter, arranged his first trip to Zambia through
Skrypzak.

"At first I was taken aback, just because of the number of species
there," said Leone, 52. "In Erie, you maybe see a deer or a bear, if you go
to the mountains."

One of Leone's prize trophies, an enormous stuffed lion, is on display
at Hunter's Inn.

"Hunting that one really got my adrenaline pumping," Leone said. "I
thought, 'Wow, am I ready for this?'

"You're not in some cabin, you're out in the bush, right there," he
said. "You always have a loaded gun with you ... There's always an element
of danger, and I guess you have to have a little adventurous streak in you."

Greg Braine, a 50-year-old metal finisher at GE Transportation,
started hunting with his father and grandfather at age 13. In April, he took
"the trip of a lifetime" - a 21-hour flight to South Africa, where he hunted
wildebeest, impala and other native species.

The three-week trip cost him about $7,500, including trophy fees.

"This is hard-core stuff," Braine said. "It's an experience that's
hard to describe. It's a very intense, heart-pounding hunt. You go up in the
mountains and through the brush. It's very fast-paced."

Braine expects his trophies to arrive in the United States within the
month, after their long quarantine period in South Africa. Once the trophies
are here, he'll take them to Skrypzak's shop, then mount them in his newly
remodeled recreation-trophy room.

"Everybody should have the chance to do this," Braine said. "It's
incredible. I'm definitely going again."

Local big-game hunters defend their sport of choice by saying it's
about more than sport, that it supports the economies of the developing
countries in which they hunt.

"It's their cash crop," Skrypzak said. "Big-game hunting is the
biggest industry in South Africa besides diamonds. It helps them survive."

That argument is flawed, said Christine Wolf, director of government
and international affairs for Fund for Animals, a nonprofit international
animal-advocacy organization.

"We are definitely opposed to trophy hunting," Wolf said. "We think
it's inhumane, unethical and unsustainable ... Eco-tourism is much more
economically viable and sustainable because the animals are being shot with
cameras instead of guns.

"Trophy hunters often say that they are helping the local communities,
but it could be argued the trophy hunter who drops $40,000 to bag an
elephant is not contributing to the local economy as strongly as two dozen
visitors who drop between $5,000 and $15,000 to photograph the same animal
with their camera," Wolf said.

Dave Hanlon, 68, sees a middle ground.

Hanlon, a world-class hunter and conservationist from Erie, has been
on more than two dozen hunting safaris. Since his first trip, in 1972 to
Mozambique, he has visited every continent except Antarctica.

"It's our heritage, hunting, and it's an enjoyable pastime," said
Hanlon, co-owner of Miombo Safaris in Tanzania. "But 'Thou shalt not hunt
the animal' is not the answer. There's a middle ground where you've got to
be a steward of the animal and the environment."

Hanlon agrees with the arguments of many hunters, that hunting helps
control an animal population that would otherwise reach damaging numbers,
and that the sport contributes to local economies. But he also stresses the
importance of conservation and responsible hunting.

"Once man puts his hands on it and starts upsetting the natural
balance, it's in his hands to control it, to steward it," Hanlon said.

To that end, Hanlon has worked with a nonprofit organization to
provide safe drinking water to people in hunting regions and gives away all
the meat from his trophies to natives. He also donates many of his trophies
to children's museums.

"I figure it's better than having them sit around my house," he said
with a laugh.

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Zimbabwe Mirror

Policeman threatened to shoot me: Mutasa
Brian Mangwende News Editor

IN AN extra twist of events to the Makoni District saga, Anti Corruption and
Anti Monopolies Minister Didymus Mutasa has claimed that a member of the
Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) in Rusape threatened to shoot him following
clashes that erupted in that constituency ahead of primary elections whose
date is yet to be announced.

The former parliamentary speaker who many within political circles thought
was in the twilight zone of his political career identified the policeman as
Inspector Tomukai.

Mutasa made the revelations in a personal report as he prepared his defence
ahead of possible disciplinary action by the ruling party disciplinary
committee led by ZANU PF national chairman, John Nkomo on allegations of
fanning violence in Makoni District.

"I drove women who came to see me at home and on the way back met with a
policeman at the entrance, shouting he wanted to deal with us," Mutasa
claimed. "I went up to him, but he continued shouting. I told him that he
was standing in the way of my property, but he continued shouting and one of
the youths clapped him. The man got out of his car, rushed to the gate and
pulled out the gun from his subordinate, corked it and pointed it at me."
Police chief spokesperson, Wayne Bvudzijena, declined to comment on the
latest development, merely saying: "For now I cannot comment." Mutasa is
said to have reported the case not only to the police, but to the Ministers
of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Patrick Chinamasa, and the
Minister of State Security, Nicholas Goche who have since visited Rusape to
establish the facts on the ground.

Chinamasa confirmed he went to Makoni seeking clarification on the matter
from Mutasa.

"I come from Makoni, so naturally I would have an interest in what takes
place there," Chinamasa said.

"Mutasa gave me his side of the story, but I am not at liberty to disclose
that information." In his report, Mutasa, the legislator for Makoni North
who has publicly declared his interest in the race for vice presidency, said
President Robert Mugabe had already been briefed on further intricate
details of the skirmishes that have so far tarnished the party's calls for a
violence free electoral environment.

The Sunday Mirror has it on good authority that President Mugabe had been
given an undisclosed alternative version of the intra-party squabbles which
led to ruling party youths believed to be linked to Mutasa assaulting
so-called war veterans led by retired major James Kaunye and one Mhiripiri.

Mutasa who was once tipped for the vice presidency during the build up to
the ruling party's 2001 national conference, drew first blood when he
primary elections.

Kaunye and Mhiripiri then reacted and clashed with the youths in the
violence-torn Makoni District where independent newspapers were banned after
exposing serious electoral violations including human rights abuses there.

Efforts to obtain a comment from Tomukai were fruitless.

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Zimbabwe Mirror

Mawere saga thickens
Masimba Rushwaya

Recent machinations to take over businessman Mutumwa Mawere's Shabanie
Mashava Mines (SMM) and to virtually strip him of all his assets appear to
be out of the realms of Zimbabwean law and reveal the abuse of public
office.

These "goings-on" also took place in what appears to be a well-calculated
and intricate plan to repossess the mines from Mawere by a clique of
powerful politicians and businessmen whose names have been given to this
paper.

In the same scheme of things, questions have been raised as to what the
whole saga entails for the private sector where the central bank seems to
have virtual control over the productive sector through the maintenance of
an unrealistic exchange rate that punishes the exporter, whose input costs
are not controlled while output prices are capped by the controlled foreign
currency auction rate.

As a result, most companies, including SMM, have faced operational and
viability problems.

These companies are given a concessionary "soft landing" through the
Productive Sector Fund (PSF) facility, which offers cheap funds.

This facility has been seen as a political weapon as the central bank
decides who to give credit.

The mines are said to have run into a precarious financial position because
most of the foreign currency receipts of SMM were converted at the rate of
US$1:Z$824, leaving the mines starved of foreign currency. From December 18
2003 to April 1 2004, the mines received a total of US$9 million but only
US$1 million was made available for the purchase of imports.

Apparently the mines applied to banks with no positive feedback, amid
reports that the central bank had refused to provide SMM with the cheap
productive sector funding.

Consequently given SMM's cash flow problems, South African suppliers of
inputs were breathing down the necks of the company and local suppliers
applied for court orders against SMM. This led to SMM being declared to be
on the verge of collapse due to alleged externalisation of foreign currency,
with eyebrows being raised in relation to this, amid speculation of a
deliberate political move to bring the establishment to its knees so as to
provide an excuse for a take-over.

"At an unrealistic exchange rate, the central bank has now become the lender
of first, rather than last resort. In terms of investment, one also has to
question the implications to foreign investors who have been given
productive sector fund loans, given what has taken place at SMM," said an
economist who spoke on condition of anonymity.

It has been revealed that there has been massive politicisation of the PSF
loans; while they were given out to other companies as such, in the case of
SMM, they were said to be State loans.

These "State loans" are reportedly now in the region of $100 billion.

With the specification of SMM and Mawere, the Sunday Mirror is reliably
informed that those pulling the strings discovered that the appointment of
an investigator was not adequate to control the company.

A statutory instrument was then passed that would, in effect, lead to the
nationalisation of SMM and other companies linked to Mawere.

Although Mawere had been specified, the shareholding was still in the hands
of Turner and Newell-the original owners of the mines.

This led to the peddling of the line that Mawere did not pay anything for
the mines, but simply exercised a good piece of financial engineering, where
Mawere benefited from a State guarantee to buy SMM.

Mawere argues that he approached Turner and Newell (T&N) - then shareholders
of the mines - on the 6th and 17th of September in 1995, by way of letters
with respect to the purchase of the mines.

Apparently, the approach to T&N was unsolicited and had nothing to do with
the government.

Contrary to the general conception, the purchase was not financed by the
government, through the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe's (MMCZ)
guarantee.

MMCZ is a government statutory body. MMCZ only approved the guarantee on May
5 1998, two years after the acquisition. The loan for which the guarantee
was sought had nothing to do with the purchase, but was meant for working
capital purposes.

The guarantee was the norm and was not restricted to Mawere's SMM as MMCZ
had done the same in the gold mining industry.

The government of Zimbabwe, through the Ministry of Finance and Economic
Development, was to later approve a loan of US$60 million, through MMCZ, in
order to ensure that the mines could restructure their short term debt and
provide working capital.

The loan was acquired from KBC Bank NV based in Primrose Street, London,
England.

The guarantee was necessary because KBC Bank wanted an assurance that SMM
would use its foreign currency earnings to service the loan.

The loan was repaid in 2002 and the guarantee was never called.

Sources revealed that in order to punish Mawere, there was need to do this
by either extradition or nationalisation of his assets. Mawere apparently
courted the ire of one businessman of Portuguese origin closely connected to
a top politician with whom he had business arrangements, when he blew the
whistle on the underhand dealings of the two, in relation to the running of
controversial Zanu PF companies.

For a long time, the ruling party's companies did not have audited accounts,
despite repeated calls from members of Zanu PF. The top politician (name
supplied) was riled by Mawere's attempts to expose him, subsequently mapping
out a plan to bring the shrewd businessman to his knees.

It is alleged that the government decided to pursue means to change the
company's ownership to the State, and appear to be the aggrieved party as it
had provided SMM with State loans. Mawere would then be charged with
corruption, a position that would then stick in a court of law. Once
arrested, Mawere would then be "fodder" as he could stay in prison for an
indefinite period while vindictive strategies to rid him of his business
concerns were being worked out. On the other hand, the public would be led
to believe that the former champion of indigenisation was a criminal. Legal
sources said corruption in a private company and where Mawere was a
shareholder would be near-impossible to prove.

They said the procedure that followed was also unlawful, where barely a week
after appointing an investigator, an administrator was appointed. Events
witnessed show that after a government gazette issued on Friday September 3
2004, the following Monday, an administrator was already in place, raising
questions of why the State was in such a big hurry. The company's board of
directors was also dissolved without being notified of the pending action.

"In a normal due process, it would have been the court's duty to declare a
company distressed. Only when the courts have declared the company unfit to
continue in business would the State move in. Also it would be normal for
the board to exercise its mind and make its determination that liquidation
was the only solution. However , this was a State-induced distress. A number
of individuals naturally are using the State for their own selfish
interests," said another source.

Questions have been raised as to the conversion of loan to equity without
the valuation of a company, and as to who takes liability for a company that
has been unilaterally placed under the control of an administrator and if
governmentcan be sued for such in the event of prejudice. Lovemore Madhuku,
a constitutional lawyer said the very fact that the government used the
Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Regulations 2004 showed that there
was no law to enable them to do what they did. Madhuku said the powers were
in effect an infringement of Section 16 of the Constitution, which protects
private property.

"There was no urgency in what government did and the acquisition of private
property without compensation amounts to the violation of the Constitution.
We have always said that there should be a new Constitution because of these
loopholes, but many people, especially those in the private sector, thought
this was just political. Maybe businessmen will now realise what we meant.
Government may have been right when it said there is a need to protect
workers, but this must be done legally. In any case, so many workers have
been retrenched over the years but what has it (government) done for them
and what is so special about SMM workers?" Madhuku added that after the
expiry of the Temporary Measures after six months, government would probably
push for an Act of Parliament that would legalise the compulsory acquisition
of private business - which would again be in violation of the Constitution.

Some people have viewed the latest developments as the commencement of a
"Fourth Chimurenga" in the private sector.

Madhuku added that if Mawere had a case to answer Government should continue
to pursue him and allow the company to run since it was a separate legal
entity, anyway.

"Do you think the likes of Patrick Chinamasa (part of the ministerial
committee appointed to oversee the mines) have better management skills than
those that were there. In any case, company law has adequate cover for
situations when a company has financial problems as there are directors and
shareholders who can make plans as to how to save the company," Madhuku
said.

However another lawyer, Johannes Tomana disagreed, saying what the
government had done was right.

"The take-over of the mines is similar to the take-over of distressed banks
by the central bank. This is done in the interest of continuity and
protection of depositors funds and other interests," he said.

Efforts to obtain a comment from the central bank or the Ministry of Mines
proved fruitless at the time of going to print.

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Zim Online

GOVERNMENT ACCUSED OF INFLATING ELEPHANT POPULATION
Mon 13 September 2004

HARARE - Wildlife conservationists in Zimbabwe have accused the
government of inflating the country's elephant population to dupe a
Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES) meeting next
month to allow Harare to continue trading in the animal.

The Zimbabwe Conservation Taskforce said corrupt government officials
benefiting from illegal trade in ivory were inflating the number of
elephants in the country so that Zimbabwe would be allowed to continue
controlled sales of ivory and other elephant products.

The taskforce brings together independent wildlife conservationists
and groups in the country. The group says Zimbabwe has about 50 000 to 60
000 elephants while the government has put the elephant population at 100
000.

Taskforce chairman Johnny Rodrigues, said: "The (government) figures
are wrong. This kind of exaggeration is meant to hoodwink CITES into
allowing Zimbabwe to cull elephants.

"Zimbabwe should not be allowed to trade in ivory and other elephant
products because we don't have enough of the animals. It is corrupt
government officials who want to benefit from illegal trade."

Rodrigues said there had been no scientific census for the last three
years to determine the number of elephants in the country.

Poaching of elephants and other animals has been at its worst in
Zimbabwe in the last three years because of the government's chaotic land
reforms that have seen landless black peasants sometimes being resettled on
game conservancies.

The newly resettled peasants also turned to hunting because of food
shortages that have gripped the country in the last three years.

Environment and Tourism Minister Francis Nhema said Harare will ask
CITES, which meets in the Thai capital, Bangkok next month, to keep the
Zimbabwean elephant on Appendix Two, which permits controlled trade in ivory
and other elephant products.

The taskforce wants Zimbabwe's elephants put under Appendix One which
would bar any form of trade in the animals.

Nhema said: "I know that he (Rodrigues) has teamed up with some people
from outside this country to campaign for elephants to be classified in
Appendix 1.

"But we will fight against that because what use will be the elephants
to us if they don't bring money to help the communities? We have more than
enough elephants."

Nhema said it was difficult to conduct a conclusive survey of
elephants in Zimbabwe because the animals often crossed to neighbouring
Botswana and Zambia. He said because of that the figures being given by both
the government and the independent conservationists' could all be wrong.

Besides Zimbabwe, three other countries, South Africa, Botswana and
Namibia are at the moment permitted by CITES to engage in limited and
controlled trade in ivory and other elephant products. ZimOnline
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Zim Online

SADC must push Mugabe to honour word on polls, says Tsvangirai
Mon 13 September 2004

HARARE - Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Saturday
called on Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders to pressure
President Robert Mugabe to uphold electoral norms and standards adopted by
the regional bloc last month.

Zimbabwe has become the biggest test of SADC's commitment to
democracy, Tsvangirai told about 15 000 supporters of his Movement for
Democratic Change party here on Saturday.

He said: "The challenge facing SADC rests on the implementation of the
latest protocol on elections. SADC must prove that it has teeth. SADC must
push Mugabe to honour his word."

SADC leaders, including Mugabe, agreed new norms and standards to
ensure elections in the region were free and fair. Under the elections'
protocol, independent commissions must run elections. The electoral process
must be transparent while the rule of law, human and individual rights must
be upheld during elections.

The government will next month table a new bill in Parliament that
proposes the setting up of a new Zimbabwe Electoral Commission which it says
will be independent and shall run elections in the country.

A closer look at the proposed new commission shows that it will
neither be independent nor will it change the way elections have been run in
Zimbabwe.

The Registrar-General's office, in the past accused by opposition
parties and local and international election observers of tilting the scales
in favour of the ruling ZANU PF party, will still register voters and
conduct elections. The new commission will play a
supervisory role.

The commission will be answerable to Mugabe through its chairman, who
will be appointed by the President. Other members of the commission will be
appointed by Mugabe from a list of nominees prepared by Parliament's
Standing Orders and Rules committee. The committee is dominated by ZANU PF.

South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki last month said that countries
that did not uphold the regional norms and standards for elections would be
expelled from SADC. ZimOnline

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Zim Online

State-owned fuel company fails to repay US$171 debt
Mon 13 September 2004

HARARE - The state-owned National Oil Company of Zimbabwe is unable to
repay US$171 million owed to international oil firms some of whom have now
cut fuel supplies to Zimbabwe, ZimOnline has established.

The Ministry of Energy and Power Development, under whom the oil
company falls, refused to reveal the amount of money the firm owes foreign
suppliers.

But the ministry's financial director, Pedzisai Tapera Mlambo,
confirmed that the oil company was struggling under a huge foreign debt
which it will not be able to repay by the end of the year as had been
initially planned.

Mlambo said the debt had been worsened by the continued slide of the
Zimbabwe dollar against major currencies.

A list of the oil company's foreign debtors independently obtained by
ZimOnline showed that it owed LAFB of Libya US$58 million, BP South Africa
US$14 million, Kuwait IPG US$58 million, Engen US$10 million, Caltex US$8
million, Exxor/Sanstorm US$8 million, Nordea Bank US$10 million, and PTA
US$5 million.

Until the beginning of this year, the government oil company was the
only one permitted to import fuel into the country.

The fuel industry has since been deregulated because the government
company did not have enough cash to buy fuel for the nation.

The state oil company however still buys fuel for key sectors such as
agriculture, health and government institutions.

Fuel queues resurfaced across Zimbabwe three weeks ago because both
private companies and the government's oil firm do not have hard cash to pay
for fuel imports. ZimOnline

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Zim Online

UN envoy calls for fresh look at AIDS funds application Mon 13 September
2004

HARARE - The United Nations (UN)'s humanitarian co-ordinator in
Zimbabwe, Victor Angelo, has called on the Global Fund to Fight Aids,
Tuberculosis and Malaria to reconsider its decision to turn down an
application for funding by Harare.

Angelo said the Global Fund, which said it rejected Harare's appeal
for technical reasons, should consider the suffering wrecked by HIV/AIDS in
Zimbabwe where the disease is killing at least 2 000 people every week.

In a statement to the Press last Friday, Angelo said: "We must be
guided by the needs of those living with HIV and AIDS who desperately call
for our support.

"Considering international humanitarian principles, and the mandate of
the United Nations, it is only right that their needs be our overriding
concern."

Government officials in Harare have accused the Global Fund of
rejecting Zimbabwe's application on political grounds.

Zimbabwe's relations with the international community are strained
over President Robert Mugabe's controversial land policies and his failure
to uphold the rule of law and democracy in the country. ZimOnline
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Telegraph

Campaign begins to 'buy' Mann out of prison

By Jane Flanagan in Johannesburg and Philip Sherwell, Chief Foreign
Correspondent
(Filed: 12/09/2004)

A campaign to "buy" Simon Mann out of his Zimbabwean prison cell has been
launched by wealthy friends who fear for the life of the Old Etonian former
SAS officer if he has to serve the seven-year term handed out in Harare on
Friday.

Family and supporters of the British leader of an alleged coup plot in
Equatorial Guinea believe that the appalling conditions in Chikurubi prison
will take a heavy toll on his health.

"We're also taking as deadly serious the threats against his life that some
of the other defendants have been making," said a close friend. The 66 South
Africans jailed with him for between 12 and 16 months months blame the
51-year-old scion of the Watney's brewing empire for their incarceration.

Friends have told Mann's heavily-pregnant wife Amanda that they will try to
get him back to the family estate in Hampshire within a year. His lawyers
are not appealing against the sentence for illegally trying to buy weapons
for 100,000 in Harare in March.

Instead, they will approach businessmen and lawyers with access to President
Robert Mugabe to find out how they can secure Mann's early return to
Britain. "We are determined to get him out of there," said the friend.

Although he did not go into details, it is believed that this could involve
business deals with leaders of the near-bankrupt state and political
pressure exerted through influential friends. Mr Mugabe's regime has already
benefited materially from the arrest of Mann with the seizure of his Boeing
727, worth about 1.5 million, and $180,000 (100,000) in cash found on
board.

Mann's sentence was far more severe than his family and friends had
anticipated - even with time off for good behaviour, he is expected to serve
at least four years.

The arrest of his friend and former Cape Town neighbour, Sir Mark Thatcher,
in South Africa last month delivered a big setback to sensitive
behind-the-scenes efforts to secure a deal minimising his likely sentence.

Sir Mark has denied any link to the plot to overthow President Teodoro
Obiang, the dictator of the small oil-rich west African state.

At his own request, Mann has been held in solitary confinement in a fetid
cell measuring 13ft by 4.5ft since his arrest at Harare airport on March 7.

Prison guards have broken up a number of scuffles during previous court
appearances when the men had access to Mann. Their conviction on aviation
and immigration charges is likely to make them even more hostile, as most
had expected to be freed at Friday's hearing.

Conditions inside the prison are squalid in the extreme. The buckets that
double as latrines often remain unemptied for weeks; the cells lack light or
ventilation and are freezing in winter and boil in summer; lice and
mosquitos thrive, feasting on the bodies of prisoners who sleep on concrete
floors without blankets or mattresses.

Inmates normally receive just one meal a day, usually gruel and vegetables,
while the most basic human comforts such as toothpaste, soap and toilet
paper are only available to those who can bribe prison guards. Beatings are
frequent.

These are now the living conditions of a man who should have been sitting on
his 20-acre estate on the Beaulieu river awaiting the birth of his seventh
child this weekend. The pictures of a gaunt wild-haired Mann arriving for
sentencing on Friday showed the impact that six months inside Chikurubi have
already had.

The campaign to free him will be expensive, but Mrs Mann wishes to avoid
selling Inchmery, the family home. Instead, she is understood to hope that
after his release, his memoirs would repay the debts.

Meanwhile, the Telegraph has learnt fresh details of how the ill-fated plot
fell apart in early March. Mann and some of his men were on standby to fly
to Equatorial Guinea to provide a "guard force" for Severo Moto, the
country's Spanish-based opposition leader, after what was supposed to be a
domestic coup against President Obiang, according to another Western
businessman involved in the plans.

At the time, Dr Moto was waiting at a hotel in the Canary islands with a
group of fellow exiles and a handful of British and South African business
advisers. They were expecting the arrival of two government ministers from
Equatorial Guinea with news that there had been a rebellion against the
Obiang dictatorship. Meanwhile, in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea,
several leading members of Obiang's regime, including close members of his
family, were making their own plans to flee.

However, shortly before the Moto party learnt that Mann had been arrested,
they were also told, without explanation, that the two ministers could not
make it as far as the Canaries. So the Moto party instead flew to Mali to
meet them.

They arrived at the airfield at Bamako, the Malian capital, but again there
was no sign of the ministers, so the group reluctantly returned to the
Canaries.

There they heard even worse news. Not only were Mann and the other alleged
mercenaries in prison in Harare, but a party of 15 South Africans and
Armenians had been arrested in Malabo and accused of planning the coup. "We
realised the plans were still-born," said a member of the group. Dr Moto's
King Air jet was flown by Crause Steyl, a South African pilot and
businessmen who has been questioned by police in Cape Town about Sir Mark
Thatcher.

Mr Steyl has said that his company, Air Ambulance Africa, or Triple A
Aviation, received 140,000 from Sir Mark which was then passed to Logo
Logistics, a firm owned by Mann. Sir Mark has said that he believed that the
deal only covered the supply of an air ambulance.

Friends of Mann insist that his first destination after picking up weapons
and his men in Harare was eastern Congo, as he has stated. But only some of
them were to be dropped off there, to guard a mine, while Mann and the rest
would await the expected call to fly to Malabo to provide security for Dr
Moto after a coup.

Indeed, after years of talking about buying his own aircraft to make just
this sort of logistical "bus run" across Africa, he had only just bought the
Boeing 727 that was seized in Harare.
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