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

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BBC
 
Sunday, 1 September, 2002, 06:03 GMT 07:03 UK
Diary of a Zimbabwean farmer
Colin Shand,  photo by Declan Walsh of the Irish Times
Colin Shand has worked on his farm for 38 years
White Zimbabwean farmer Colin Shand tells BBC News Online of developments on his farm after he decided not to comply with a deadline to leave his home at midnight on Thursday 8 August or face arrest.

Saturday 31 August, 1200 local ( 1000GMT)

Well, justice was done yesterday in the Bindura Magistrates Court.

After some anxious waiting and a lot of prayer, I'm at last recognised as free in law to return to my home and farm without danger of arrest.

Some of my staff are still there, having a hard time, and there are a lot of things that we had accumulated over the years that I couldn't move out in the 30 or so hours that I was allowed a fortnight ago.

Those things, and my animals, need my care and I will be glad to stop being homeless again.

Cows in a white-owned farmed
Farmers like Mr Shand had to leave their animals behind
The big question is whether I can make peace and stay with the settlers there.

The government has now said that it wants to split my farm into 12 small lots of 50 hectares each.

I don't know how they will share the single water source, especially since they have stolen the electric motors from the borehole.

The settlers' existence is about as difficult as mine. The government hasn't given them any legal rights except worthless letters, so they have no chance of getting the finance they need to grow the crops.

I'll let you know what happens.


Thursday 29 August, 2200 local (2000GMT)

Sorry about no news but being off my farm I don't know really what is happening.

I got a phone call from my cook this morning telling me that the settlers are trying to get the keys from him for my house. They broke in on Wednesday and I don't know what they have taken.

I phoned the police this morning and was informed that I had a court order to vacate my farm and had no right to what was left there. Nice law and order!

I am still going to fight and sue the government for payment. Tomorrow I go to court, hope everything is going to be alright.

Will speak to you after court.


Saturday 24 August, 2045 local (1845GMT)

Still lots of farmers moving off the farms to Harare, waiting in anticipation for the new cabinet, but don't hold out much hope.

Zanu-PF supporters
Zanu-PF supporters arrived at a meeting at Mr Shand's farm
We at least know that all the Section 8's were illegal, but the people on the ground don't realise that.

Just hope that we will be paid something for our farms. It's not very pleasant living with other people, but at least I have a roof over my head, not like the workers from the farms. I don't know what is going to happen to them.

I'm hoping to see my lawyer on Monday to see if I can go back to my farm to collect the rest of my belongings.


Friday 23 August, 2220 local (2020GMT)

I am trying to get permission to get back to get the rest of my belongings.

Went past my farm yesterday and the police followed me.

I think they want me to break my orders so that they can re-arrest me.

I don't know what is going to happen. But I still hope that sanity will prevail and the government will come to its senses and let the farmers who know how to farm and not the bank managers and politicians who are taking our farms!


Thursday 22 August, 2030 local (1830GMT)

With the help of neighbours and my two daughters we managed to remove a lot of the furniture but unfortunately did not have time to finish.

I am in the process of trying to get an extension (to the latest deadline for vacating my farm) so I can finish as I have still got cats and a horse and a fair amount of equipment and furniture.

At the moment I am living with friends with my household belongings stacked in a shed 80km away and my dogs in kennels in Harare.

Very dramatic and emotional.

But we will continue to fight through the courts and hope that we will be paid, even if I have to approach the British Foreign Office to pay us in the UK.


Wednesday 21 August, 1600 local time (1400GMT)

I left my home yesterday at 4pm as ordered by the courts. The police came to arrest me if I didn't.

But I left lots of my stuff behind - you can't back up 52 years in a few hours.

I refused to give the keys to my farm to the DA (district administrator), as I was instructed. As far as I'm concerned, it's my farm until I've been paid for it.

President Robert Mugabe
Mugabe wants to finish his land reform programme this month
Nobody has said anything about compensating me for my farm.

But now I don't have anywhere to stay and no money to pay rent.

I'm staying in a room at my daughter's place but I can't stay here for ever. She and her husband have also just left their farm.

My lawyers are today filing my appeal against my eviction with the High Court.

We're taking the legal route but there's no law and order in this country.

Now, I'm just taking my dogs to some kennels in Harare. I hope there's some room as I hear the kennels are full of farmers' dogs.


Tuesday 20 August, 1250 local time (1050GMT)

Things are not going well today. I've got just three hours left to pack everything up and leave.

Three hours in which to pack up 52 years of life.

I'm out at my farm with my family and the police have already told me I have to go in three hours.

I can't say anything else today because there's not time.

I hope I'll have a chance to say more on Wednesday if I can get to a computer.


Monday19 August, 1945 local time (1745MT)

I've had a meeting with my lawyer today. On Tuesday, I'll file a challenge to my eviction order in the High Court. I can't go back to my farm or they'll jail me for contempt.

But I'm not giving up. I want the court to declare the order null and void.

If I can get to a laptop or a personal computer on Tuesday, I can get back to writing my diary again.


Monday 19 August, 1215 local time (1015GMT)

I've just left court in Harare, where the magistrate told me to leave my farm by 4pm tomorrow, which is a physical impossibility.

It's a nightmare. There is nowhere for us to go but we can't live here any more.


If you detain me, I will die in the cells

I was remanded out of custody to 30 August on 10,000 Zimbabwe dollars ($182) bail.

I'm going back to my farm now, to see what I can save.

I finally left my farm on Saturday evening, after the police said that they had instructions to detain me.

I was not feeling well at all. The stress of the situation had worsened my diabetes. I told them: "If you detain me, I will die in the cells."

I gave my word to turn up to court on Monday morning.

I then drove to hospital in Harare, where I was put on a drip.

I checked myself out at 2am on Sunday morning and stayed with some friends.

On Sunday, I went back to hospital. They wanted to keep me there but I told them I couldn't stay as I had to appear in court.

I just wanted to get this sorted.


Friday 16 August, 1900 local time (1700GMT)

Well back at last.

The visit I was receiving from the officer in charge, Concession Police Station, was to arrest me for defying the Section 8 order (eviction order) and not leaving my farm.

When he phoned me he said he was coming about the theft of my motor, when I asked him what information he had on it he replied that he was lying and that he had come to arrest me.

I showed them my Notice of Withdrawal from the Court on the 14 August and he said I should have left on the 10 August.

I said that I was a diabetic and need four injections a day and regular food with protein and carbohydrates, and it would be very difficult in prison.

They took me to the police station at about 1400 (1200GMT) and proceeded to warn and caution me.

I refused to say anything until I contacted my lawyer.

In the meantime my daughter had spoken to them and said that she was coming with my lawyer and doctor and that I needed Insulin.

I was consequently released at 1645 (1445GMT).

Their reason for releasing me was that they eventually had to take note of my Notice from the Court.

They then tore up the Warn and Caution Statement and said they had made an error and were very apologetic towards me.

I must say that I was very impressed with the police. They treated me well and were polite at all times.

But I am very relieved to be home, I understand that a lot of farmers have been arrested on (President Robert) Mugabe's instructions and I believe he is making a statement tonight.

Speak to you later.

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HORSES IN ZIMBABWE
P O BOX WGT 503
WESTGATE
HARARE
ZIMBABWE
CELL : 263-11400754
LAND LINE (EVENINGS) 264-4-333053
E-MAIL :
tiger1@mweb.co.zw

Help for Helpless Animals


1 September 2002


Dear Sir/ Madam

My daughter is involved in horse riding in Zimbabwe and we are trying to
start a sanctuary for horses in Harare, as many horses have been displaced
by the Land Reform Program in our country.

The time has come for something to be done for all the animals effected. I
feel that if I could only help one species of animal , it's at least
something.

The program I am looking at putting into place is as follows :-

1) To buy large plots in Harare Urban areas.
2) Build stables and paddocks.
3) Put in a boreholes.

To do this approximately Z$ 50 000 000,00 is needed , that is only 50 000,00
pounds or
US$ 80 000,00.

Once this is set up ,we need to make sure the horses have food, and care,
this I was envisaging doing by asking people worldwide to adopt a Zimbabwean
horse, this would cost about 20 pounds per month or US$ 30 . This amount
would enable us to import food and tend to their medical needs.

The Sanctuary once set up and running then could offer riding to the
un-privileged children in Zimbabwe , which could in a few years build a
Jumping and Dressage arena , where all Zimbabweans of any race or creed
could have access to the sport, and the horses would be loved and exercised.

I am appealing to all people around the world to pledge any amount , whether
a once off donation or a monthly/yearly installment.

Please if you can help in anyway or give us any contacts please e-mail
tiger1@mweb.co.zw, and I will forward the Banking details.

Yours in horses

Jenny Stock
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News24

Blair careful on Zim issue

Maputo, Mozambique - British Prime Minister Tony Blair arrived in Maputo
Saturday for talks with his Mozambican counterpart, with land seizures in
neighbouring Zimbabwe likely to feature high on the agenda.

During his two day visit, Blair will also travel to the central city of
Beira, where he will visit a clinic and a hospital.

President Joaquim Chissano and senior members of his government met Blair
upon his arrival at the Maputo airport, and they immediately went into
meetings.

Blair is a vocal critic of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, whose programme
to seize thousands of white-owned farms has cast the country into economic
and political turmoil, and contributed to widespread food shortages.

Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since its independence in 1980, has in turn
vilified the British government, blaming the former colonial power for many
of his country's problems.

African leaders have been reluctant to criticize Mugabe, a long-standing
political ally.

Chissano backs Mugabe

During a one-day visit to Harare Friday, Chissano gave his backing to land
redistribution in Zimbabwe.

"We would like to express our solidarity to all Zimbabweans involved in the
process, which is aimed at enlarging the number of Zimbabwean citizens with
access to land," he said in an address broadcast on state radio.

Mozambican Foreign Minister Leonardo Simao said on Saturday relations
between Mozambique and Britain were excellent and that the timing of
Chissano's visit to Zimbabwe was a coincidence.

Zimbabwe's government has targeted 95% of white-owned farms for allocation
to landless blacks, which has contributed to widespread food shortages and
left half the country in danger of starvation.

Chissano, a moderate leader, has welcomed evicted white Zimbabwean
landowners to farm in his country, but said he had no ill feelings toward
Mugabe.

"Zimbabwe is not a danger to Mozambique and Mozambique is not a danger to
Zimbabwe, so it is clear there is nothing of that nature," he told the
state-run Herald newspaper.

'Gross and appalling'

Both Blair and Mugabe are to address the World Summit on sustainable
development currently under way in Johannesburg.

Britain's national news agency Press Association reported Blair as saying on
Saturday he was optimistic agreement could be reached on specific issues
such as education, clean water and decent sanitation for the world's poor at
the summit.

"The summit is important, both to set a clear direction on the two crucial
issues of the environment and sustainable development," the agency quoted
Blair as saying.

Blair insisted his visit to Mozambique and the summit should not be
overshadowed by his differences with Mugabe, and that he would not use the
summit as a platform to condemn the Zimbabwean government.

"This is a summit about the environment and sustainable development and it
shouldn't be overshadowed - but the situation in that whole part of Africa
is serious and our views on the government of Zimbabwe are clear," he said.
"It is a gross and appalling catalogue of incompetence, mismanagement and
corruption." - Sapa-AP
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News24


            01/09/2002 14:47  - (SA)

      DA to march against Mugabe

      Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance (DA) will march to Sandton on
Monday to hand over a memorandum addressed to President Thabo Mbeki calling
for South Africa to take decisive action against Zimbabwe, the party said on
Sunday.

      DA deputy chairperson Dan Maluleke said Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe was expected to address the Earth Summit on on Monday afternoon.

      "Before he has this opportunity, the DA will assert that the South
African government has a moral obligation to speak out and act decisively in
the interests of the people of Zimbabwe in their hour of desperate need," he
said in a statement.

      The government should also take action in the interests of the success
of the Nepad and the African Union.

      The march will start at noon from the corner of Sandton Drive and
Marie Street, Parkmore along Sandton Drive into Grayston Road. Protesters
will then assemble at the Sandton Convention Centre on corner of 5th Street
and Alice Street.
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IOL

Blair and Mugabe must talk now - Holomisa

      August 31 2002 at 06:55PM



By John Matisonn

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa has appealed to British
Prime Minister Tony Blair and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to use the
Johannesburg Summit to meet in the interests of the whole of southern
Africa.

Holomisa made his appeal because the Zimbabwean crisis is affecting the
economies of the whole of southern Africa, and he argues that it is
pointless calling for President Thabo Mbeki to act when the dispute is
between Britain and Zimbabwe.

Blair and Mugabe are expected to be in the same building on Monday when the
heads of state and government attend the World Summit on Sustainable
Development in Sandton.

      'The rand is affected'
In letters to both men, sent through their high commissioners in Pretoria,
Holomisa said he was making this appeal "in the spirit of non-interference,
reconciliation and solution-seeking".

In an interview on Saturday, Holomisa said it was time to talk.

"I am appealing to their consciences. Once they are under one roof, they
should shake hands and go and have coffee together. A ten-minute meeting.
Then instruct their ministers to talk. We are appealing to them because our
economy in southern Africa is being affected by this uncertainty.

"The rand is affected. And when people in Zimbabwe are not employed, their
next destination is South Africa."

His letters said the two men should use the Johannesburg event "to return to
the negotiating table to discuss the real bone of contention: Land. Promises
and commitments were made by both your countries at the Lancaster House
talks, and it is time to return to that agenda to resolve the conflict."

The UDM leader said it was wrong for the world to expect South Africa, as a
third party, to find the solution.

"That approach is misdirected, since nowhere has conflict been resolved if
the conflicting parties themselves were not willing to choose the path of
dialogue."

He said South Africa's settlement showed what could be achieved because of
the goodwill of the two opposition leaders, particularly former President
Nelson Mandela and former State President FW de Klerk.

While outside parties played a role, they were secondary. The parties agreed
on a constitution and land tenure system, which works because all the
stakeholders agreed to it.

Holomisa said his letters to British High Commissioner, Anne Grant, and
Zimbabwean High Commissioner SK Moyo, were inspired by the imminent famine
in Zimbabwe, the recent bombing of a radio station, and the possible
deployment of British troops in South Africa, speculated to be necessary to
retrieve British citizens from Zimbabwe.
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The Sunday Times (SA), 1 September

'Think before refusing GM food'

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation has urged Southern African countries to think carefully before rejecting donations of genetically modified food. "We should make sure before we reject it that there are scientifically valid arguments on which to base that decision," FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf said at the World Summit in Johannesburg. He was speaking against the backdrop of a major international effort to bring food aid to the region, where about 13 million people are facing starvation. Zimbabwe, where famine has been exacerbated by economic mismanagement and a controversial land-reform programme, has refused GM maize from the US unless it is milled first, to prevent the exchange of genetic material. Diouf said though there were no international agreements yet in place on trade and aid involving GM food, it was a requirement that donated food met the safety standards of the donor.

The FAO and the World Food Programme believed, on the basis of current scientific knowledge and "information from a variety of sources", that the food being offered to Southern Africa was not likely to present a human health risk. "The United Nations therefore believes that in the current crisis, governments in Southern Africa must consider carefully the severe and immediate consequences of limiting food aid available for millions of people so desperately in need," he said. "Their plight must weigh heavily in government decision-making." The risk of unintentional introduction to local fields of GM maize should be "judged and managed by individual countries on a case by case basis".

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ABC News
 
Canada's Chretien Urges Zimbabwe Unity Government


Sept. 1

By Darren Schuettler

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien said on Sunday he would like to see a government of national unity in Zimbabwe to resolve the southern African country's worsening political crisis.

Chretien said he had discussed Zimbabwe with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan earlier on Sunday planned to address the issue with other heads of government attending the U.N. Earth Summit in Johannesburg.

Canadian officials said Chretien would not seek a meeting with Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe who will address the summit on Monday.

"I think that they should sit down with the opposition and make a government of national unity that will bring back more stability and more prosperity in the country," Chretien told reporters.

The Commonwealth of mainly former British colonies suspended Zimbabwe in March after Mugabe was declared winner of presidential elections that were condemned by the opposition and some Western governments as fraudulent.

Reconciliation talks between Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party, which insists the election was fair, and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) have failed to reach a settlement.

Canada is among several Western nations -- including Britain, the United States and Australia -- that have expressed dismay at events in Zimbabwe.

The former British colony has been gripped by a deepening political and economic crisis since pro-government militias invaded white-owned farms in 2000 in support of Mugabe's campaign to redistribute their land to landless blacks.

CONTROVERSIAL PLANS

Mugabe has vowed recently to press ahead with plans to evict 2,900 of the country's 4,500 remaining white commercial farmers.

The veteran African leader says the actions are necessary to redress pass colonial injustices which left 70 percent of the country's best farmland in the hands of white farmers.

Chretien said he was in contact with the leaders of the three Commonwealth countries -- South Africa, Nigeria and Australia -- which will decide what further action the group should take.

"We are going to have to take decisions regarding the suspension and to see if that's going to continue because it's already been in place for some time and there hasn't been much movement (by the Mugabe government) so far," Chretien said.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Saturday he would raise Zimbabwe's "appalling catalog of mismanagement and corruption" with southern African leaders during a three-day visit to the region.

Chretien and Blair are attending the United Nations summit on poverty and the environment in South Africa, where officials are determined to keep the Zimbabwe issue from overshadowing the event.

Zimbabwe Information Minister Jonathan Moyo said on Saturday Mugabe would defend policies that have brought sanctions against him to fellow world leaders at the Earth Summit.

Moyo also rejected accusations that the land drive was partly responsible along with drought for a looming famine threatening six million of Zimbabwe's 13 million people.

"They will hear the president's voice...We hope Britain will be there to listen," Moyo said. Mugabe and Blair are both due to address the U.N. gathering on Monday.


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Independent (UK)

British PM rejects Mugabe meeting
By Basildon Peta in Johannesburg
02 September 2002

British officials have dismissed a plea from South African politicians for
Tony Blair to hold talks with the Zimbabwe President, Robert Mugabe, "in the
interest of southern Africa".

Mr Blair and Mr Mugabe are due to address the Earth Summit this morning
within an hour of each other. Bantu Holomisa, leader of one of the main
South African opposition parties, the United Democratic Front, led calls for
them to meet to resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe caused by the government's
seizure of white farms. Mr Holomisa said: "I am appealing to their
consciences. Once they are under one roof, they should shake hands and go
and have coffee together. They can then instruct their ministers to talk."

Mr Blair said on Saturday that he would raise Zimbabwe's "appalling
catalogue of mismanagement and corruption" with southern African leaders
during his three-day visit to the region.

Mr Mugabe is expected to defend the land seizures when he addresses the
summit. Representatives of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change and
farmers' leaders are in Johannesburg to counter what they described as Mr
Mugabe's propaganda.
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theherald.co.uk


      Mugabe used starvation to win votes
      IAN BRUCE

      ZIMBABWE'S government is using selective starvation to punish
political opponents and guarantee victory in local elections next month, a
Belgian charity claims.

      Robert Mugabe, the president, has ordered officials to distribute food
supplies only to districts in the drought and famine-stricken country that
will vote for his regime.

      John Prendergast, who heads the International Crisis Group's Africa
programme, claims food is being used as a political weapon.

      "Local officials were told that if they didn't deliver the vote, they
wouldn't get food for their districts. That's a pretty frightening message
in a region that's already facing a major food shortage," he said on his
return from a week in the affected areas.

      Both foreign aid supplies and internal distribution networks for grain
and other staples were being used by Mugabe for his own political ends, he
added.

      "Because government suppliers have a monopoly of the distribution
networks, cutting back supplies sends prices through the roof. It is just
one more way to for the Mugabe government to steer money to its friends at
the expense of the ordinary people."

      The UN estimates that up to six million of Zimbabwe's 12 million
citizens face imminent starvation as a result of Mugabe's eviction of up to
4500 white farmers and more than 1.5 million of their black workers in a
land-grab billed as "redistribution of resources".

      Most of those at risk live in areas which voted against him at the
last general election, which independent monitors say was rigged in Mugabe's
favour. There was also evidence of large-scale intimidation of voters by
police, army and militiamen.

      The white farmers, now decried as an unwanted legacy of colonial rule,
provided Zimbabwe with most of its food requirements.

      When the seizure of their land began last year, the farms were
parcelled out to "veterans" of the Rhodesian civil war. Most of the
recipients practise subsistence farming, leaving nothing for distribution or
sale. Andrew Natsios, head of the US agency for international development,
said yesterday: "We are very, very alarmed by what is happening in Zimbabwe.

      "The wrong policies are in place and things are sliding very rapidly
there."

      British special forces have carried out a detailed reconnaissance of
the South Africa-Zimbabwe border to map out collection points and convoy
evacuation routes for British passport-holders if the situation
deteriorates.

      - Sept 2nd
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Guardian

Gov't Accused In Zimbabwe Aid Delay

Sunday September 1, 2002 11:00 PM


HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Zimbabwe's main opposition party accused the
government Sunday of stalling the delivery of badly needed food aid.

More than half Zimbabwe's 12.5 million people face severe food shortages,
blamed on drought and the government's program to seize thousands of
white-owned farms.

A 10,000 ton delivery of aid acquired from neighboring South Africa had
crossed the Limpopo river late Saturday, but a day later Zimbabwean customs
officials had still not released it, said Renson Gasela, the senior
agricultural official in the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

Customs officials had demanded an import permit for the grain, some of which
was acquired by the opposition for distribution in eastern Zimbabwe.

``People are dying of starvation and they just want to be bureaucratic,''
Gasela said.

The government's trade department was not available for comment Sunday.

Zimbabwe has been gripped by more than two years of political and economic
turmoil, widely blamed on the ruling party. The government's decision to
earmark 95 percent of white-owned land for seizure has brought commercial
farming to a standstill.

The opposition, churches and independent charities have accused the
government of denying suspected opposition supporters food.

Catholic relief agencies say 27 children have already died of
malnutrition-related diseases in remote rural areas of northern Zimbabwe,
where the ruling party has prevented the independent distribution of g
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The Times

Leading article

            Zimbabwe expects

            The emergency that Blair must at all costs address


            In his speech today at the Johannesburg summit, Tony Blair has
been advised to "focus on the official agenda". This innocuous bureaucratic
phrase has a meaning that is anything but innocuous; it is a coded way to
justify, in advance, a decision to confine discussion of the scandalous,
man-made tragedy in Zimbabwe to quiet diplomacy offstage. To do otherwise,
the normally outspoken Clare Short has suggested, would be to allow Robert
Mugabe to "hijack" the summit.
            Nothing could be less realistic than such "realism". How can Mr
Blair talk about targets, most of them set far in the future, for
sustainable development without reference to the immediate humanitarian
emergency shaping just across the Limpopo River or the way that, in Jack
Straw's words, Mr Mugabe is "leading his country to ruin"? Given, as it will
be, in Mr Mugabe's presence, a speech that underplayed, let alone passed
over in silence, the wilful destruction of one of Africa's most rounded and
relatively prosperous societies would destroy British credibility as an
agent for good in Africa.

            Mr Blair cannot, without courting contempt, in Africa and
beyond, speak of the African renaissance in which he passionately believes
without challenging Zimbabwe's neighbours to confront the human consequences
of this tyranny in their midst. At the very least, he must persuade them,
hardpressed as they are by drought at home, to mitigate the disastrous human
consequences of Mr Mugabe's misrule by opening their hearts, and their
borders, to its victims.

            That has become essential because the Mugabe regime is openly
exploiting hunger to crush every last remnant of dissent, even to the point
of deploying his "war veterans" to block food deliveries to hungry children.
The International Crisis Group is not exaggerating when it denounces this as
the deliberate creation of "selective famine". Mr Mugabe has demanded, and
is getting, international food aid - 32 million worth from Britain alone
and more from the US. Yet all the evidence is that politics, not drought, is
the problem. Similar conditions have not prevented South Africa from
producing a 1.8 million tonne surplus of maize. Zimbabwe's reservoirs have
not run dry. A regime that arrests evicted white farmers who stay to tend
crops declares its criminal priorities.

            It may well be true that if Mr Blair does speak out, Mr Mugabe's
only response will be yet more virulent anti-colonial diatribes, and yet
more violent oppression of Zimbabwean opposition. But that is, by now,
beside the point. It is cruelly evident that years of British restraint have
merely convinced him that he has only to play the anti-colonial card and
external pressure will evaporate. Far from listening to Commonwealth
injunctions to make peace with the Zimbabwean Opposition, he has intensified
his persecution of its supporters since he beat, tortured and intimidated
his way to a fraudulent victory in the elections last March. Pointedly, a
week before setting out for Johannesburg, he sacked every last remaining
moderate in his Cabinet, including the Finance Minister, Simba Makoni, and
for good measure had his thugs bomb an opposition radio station last
Thursday.

            The strategy of persuading this unpersuadable dictator is
bankrupt and Zimbabweans are paying in fear and misery for the failure to
admit that grim truth. The urgent priority now, before the famine that Mr
Mugabe's policies have done so much to induce takes hold, must be to assist
the six million people - half Zimbabwe's population - who are estimated to
be at risk. Relief centres around Zimbabwe's borders need to be set up,
heavily supported by British aid, before the pre-famine conditions already
present develop into a disaster. It is always better to reach people where
they live, but the regime's outrageous strategy of starving out its
opponents makes that impossible. Mr Blair can play the Pharisee today, or
the Good Samaritan. So grave is Zimbabwe's danger that it is barely even a
choice.
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New Zealand Herald

Zimbabwe politician calls on NZ to sever sporting ties

02.09.2002
11.45am

JOHANNESBURG - New Zealand has been urged to cut sporting ties with Zimbabwe
to bolster international opposition to the regime of President Robert
Mugabe.

Countries had to do more to voice their distaste for Mr Mugabe, Zimbabwe
opposition foreign affairs spokesman Tendai Biti told NZPA on the eve of a
meeting of world leaders today.

"More has to be done, not just by New Zealand, Australia, and the United
States, but by the international community as well."

He intended to meet Prime Minister Helen Clark, a fierce critic of Mr
Mugabe, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg,
which has been underway since last Monday.

He said he would ask her to cut sporting ties with Zimbabwe even if it hurt
his own country.

"We have to suffer. If something is rotten, something is rotten.

"We as the people will understand that, as much as I love rugby, as much as
I love cricket, that must happen."

Miss Clark told NZPA that severing sporting ties would have little effect,
as the two countries were not due to meet one-on-one in the near future.

"New Zealand wrote to every other country, asking for support to have
Zimbabwe expelled from the Commonwealth Games, and we didn't get any
support," she said.

"I would like to see them booted out of the International Cricket Cup, but
that's not something we can achieve unilaterally -- everyone else would have
to buy into it."

She was unsure whether she would have time to meet Mr Biti amid a busy
summit schedule and intended bilateral meetings over the next three days.

An unstated New Zealand objective is to bring more pressure to bear on
Zimbabwe on the fringes of the summit.

New Zealand is bitterly opposed to Mr Mugabe's policy of evicting white
farmers from their land.

Miss Clark will not strongly attack Mr Mugabe, who is staying in the same
hotel as her, in her speech to the summit, tomorrow afternoon.

Out to alleviate world poverty and protect the environment, the summit is
predicted to end in proposed development initiatives and a political
declaration that could mean very little.

New Zealand is likely to accentuate the need for good governance in
countries such as Zimbabwe, which has six million inhabitants suffering from
famine.

New Zealand delegates tonight remained locked in talks over the final form
of the summit declaration, after some worked until 2am today.

Miss Clark said reaching agreement was not easy.

"The issues before the summit a really quite simple ones, like can people
have clean water? Can they have clean sanitation?

"Can we have clean energy? Can we stop over fishing? Can we stop cutting
down the forests to where they endanger biodiversity?

"They're simple issues, but they seem to be the hardest ones for the world
to move on."

New Zealand had shown leadership by opting to ratify the Kyoto Protocol,
which aimed to control greenhouse gas emissions.

Miss Clark arrived in South Africa with the stated objective of positioning
New Zealand as a champion of sustainable development.

New Zealand has a central role at what will be the biggest gathering of
world leaders since the September 11 attacks -- it is one of 25 summit vice
presidents.

- NZPA
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ABC Australia

PM says sanctions against Zimbabwe are still being considered

Prime Minister John Howard says he expects the Government to be looking at
some form of sanctions against Zimbabwe very soon.

Zimbabwe has been suspended from the Commonwealth over concerns about the
conduct of an election that returned the Mugabe regime to power.

The Opposition has accused the Government of taking too long to establish
targeted sanctions.

But Mr Howard has told Sydney radio 2GB the matter has to be carefully
considered to have the right effect.

"You have to look at targeted sanctions which don't impose more burdens on
the poor devils at the bottom of the socioeconomic structure in that
country, such as black farm labourers who are losing their jobs and they've
not got savings to draw on," he said.

"You can't do that, but you can impose some sanctions on people at the top
and we'll certainly be willing to do that."
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Times of India

      Zimbabwe opposition launches emergency food appeal


      AFP [ SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 01, 2002  8:59:33 PM ]

      HARARE: Zimbabwe's main opposition party has launched an appeal for
emergency food aid, citing inadequacies in the government's ability to feed
six million people facing starvation.


      In a statement released on Saturday, Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) President, Morgan Tsvangirai, said donations would be administered by
the Feed Zimbabwe Trust "for the purpose of procuring maize grain from
outside of the country for the starving masses."


      According to aid agencies, Zimbabwe faces a shortfall of 1.8 million
tonnes of maize, a national staple, required to feed people until the next
harvest in March.


      The United Nations estimates that six million Zimbabweans, about half
the population, are threatened by starvation in the next six months.


      The Zimbabwe government reportedly plans to import 500,000 tonnes of
maize from South Africa to supplement international food aid. However,
Tsvangirai claimed the government had failed to do this "on a regular and
sustainable basis."


      A senior MDC official at the southern border post of Beitbridge, 560
km south of Harare, said the first consignment of 30 tonnes of maize the
trust procured from South Africa was waiting to be cleared by Zimbabwe
customs officials.


      Last month the UN warned that Zimbabwe had imported enough grain to
last the country only two months.
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