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

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Zimbabwe judge secretly grabs white-owned farm
By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
(Filed: 19/04/2003)

A senior Zimbabwean judge has secretly grabbed a prize white-owned farm in
the heart of the nation's richest land.

The discovery came as Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's president, congratulated his
people on regaining their land from white farmers in a defiant speech to
mark 23 years of independence yesterday.

Judge Paddington Garwe seized Mount Lothian farm in the Enterprise area. It
was owned by C G Tracey, one of the first white farmers to embrace
Zimbabwe's independence from Britain in 1980.

Judge Garwe is Judge President of the High Court, the second highest judge
in the country. He is presiding over the treason trial of Morgan Tsvangirai,
leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

Mr Tracey arranged the key donor conference after independence. He has been
chairman of several important agricultural groups, introduced some of the
most innovative farming methods and was highly regarded by the government in
the early days of independence. "Now he is just another white man, and they
want him to go," said a former neighbour.

The seizure, believed to have happened last month, is the latest in the
Enterprise farming area, about 20 miles east of Harare. The area is occupied
by more members of the ruling elite - a clutch of cabinet ministers, senior
members of the Zimbabwe National Army and the hierarchy of the Central
Intelligence Organisation - than any other of the former commercial farming

Of the 66 white commercial farmers in the Enterprise district before Mr
Mugabe ordered the land grab three years ago, fewer than a dozen are left.

Mr Tracey, in his 80s, is said to be "heartbroken and confused" about being
forced from his home and life's work.

Former neighbours said "CG", as he is known, had refused to discuss his
eviction, fearing reprisals. He left Zimbabwe on holiday yesterday.

"He thinks that if he says nothing the judge will one day allow him back
into his home," said a former neighbour now living in South Africa.

"He is living in a dream world where he believes that order will return to
his beloved Zimbabwe. CG is an old man and confused after the turmoil. He is
not thinking straight."

The former neighbour said Mr Tracey was forced off the farm by violent
ruling Zanu-PF party members posing as "landless" peasants.

Judge Garwe declined to comment on the claims, saying, through his
secretary, that he would respond to written questions after Easter. He was
appointed Judge President two years ago after Mr Mugabe's purge of
independent jurors who had, until then, ruled that the land grab and
eviction of white farmers were illegal.
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            Letters to The Times

            April 19, 2003

            Action on Zimbabwe
            From Mr Douglas M. Forbes

            Sir, Glenys Kinnock (letter, April 16) has her heart in the
right place. It's a pity she is so inhibited by her multilateral tendencies.
            It would take so little to dislodge Mugabe and Zanu (PF) from
power. No bombs and no maimed children would be required; only the judicious
application of some good, old-fashioned neo-imperialism. Millions of
Zimbabweans would be saved from misery and they would thank Britain for it.

            If you ask me, it would be no sin to effect a regime change in

            Yours faithfully,
            DOUGLAS M. FORBES,
            808 Whispering Trail,
            Greenfield, Indiana 46140.
            April 16.
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Independent (UK)

Strikes, starvation and state terrorism: the tragedy of Zimbabwe grows
19 April 2003

The war in Iraq, with its dramatic build-up and equally dramatic denouement,
inevitably eclipsed many otherwise important news stories. Among the most
deserving of notice was the sharply deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe. It
may even be - reprehensible though it seems - that Robert Mugabe cynically
exploited the distraction to crack down even harder on his enemies.

Speaking at a military parade to mark the 23rd anniversary of Zimbabwean
independence yesterday, Mr Mugabe warned the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change not to challenge his rule, accusing its members of being
bent on violence. Advertisements in state newspapers called on Zimbabweans
to eschew "mass violence" by "terrorists and thugs". How many more
beleaguered governments will cite "terrorism" to justify their own abuses of

Mr Mugabe's record on economic management, as on human rights, is execrable.
In evidence that the levels of deprivation may now be threatening the
stability of his regime, he was compelled yesterday to mention two
unmentionables: the dire shortages of medicine and fuel. More than half the
population in one of Africa's richest agricultural lands is short of food.

Obscured first by the cricket World Cup and then by the war in Iraq, human
rights violations have escalated. A strike organised by the opposition last
month prompted a wave of arrests and evictions, with widespread and
well-founded allegations of torture and rape. Some 500 opposition officials
and activists were arrested. More than 250 were treated for injuries they
had sustained from assaults and beatings. Church leaders from Zimbabwe and
South Africa documented 80 cases of World Cup protesters being detained and
tortured or otherwise ill-treated.

The opposition is infinitely brave, but necessarily subdued. The MDC says
that last year more than 1,000 of its activists were tortured and 58 killed.
Human rights groups that have tried to document the repression have been
outlawed or silenced under the Public Order and Security Act. The judiciary
is alone in having managed to retain much of its integrity, but its
judgments are increasingly undermined by corrupt officials and police.

If ever a country's opposition needed dispassionate exposure of what is
happening and unswerving moral support by those free to give it, it is that
of Zimbabwe. This makes it all the more inexplicable that a Commonwealth
report on the progress - or lack of it - in Zimbabwe since its Commonwealth
membership was suspended last year was not given the widest possible
audience. The report documents a whole catalogue of abuses, including
selective enforcement of the law and continued chaotic, violent and unjust
implementation of land reform.

This report - released, despite its "restricted" classification, by the Tory
party, has now, regrettably, become a political football, which will allow
Mr Mugabe to dismiss it as yet more proof that the "white" Commonwealth
wants to "recolonise" his country. Unless South Africa and Zimbabwe's other
neighbours cease their tacit solidarity with Harare, however, Mr Mugabe will
be able to persist in his pretence that his country's desperate crisis is
all about colonialism, when in reality it is all about him.
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The Herald

'No to foreign rule'

By Lovemore Chikova
Zimbabwe is now being regarded a threat to powerful Western countries
because it has asserted its independence by redistributing land to the
majority of its people, President Mugabe said yesterday.

The President was addressing thousands of people who thronged the National
Sports Stadium to celebrate the country's 23rd Independence anniversary.

He said through the land reform programme, the country had now set a new
concrete basis for its independence.

"We have foregrounded the question of decolonisation, the central question
of the rights and conditions of the neo-colonially occupied and oppressed.

"Our land, our dear Zimbabwe, will never again fall into foreign hands.
Never, never, never."

President Mugabe said the land had come to the people despite obstacles
presented at every step of the way by powerful Western interests.

"The so-called unipolar world would like us to accept deprivation and,
because we have asserted the right of our sovereignty, we are regarded as a
great threat to powerful nations of the western hemisphere."

He said what was now needed was to make the land productive so that it fed
the nation and earned foreign currency that was badly needed to revive the

"Clearly, there is need for significant and purposeful financial and other
interventions if we are to succeed in transforming our land reform into
meaningful and productive agrarian revolution," said President Mugabe.

"This is why the Government has begun making vital inputs in support of the
newly resettled farmers."

President Mugabe said the Government had allocated an additional $7,5
billion to procure all necessary inputs for the winter crop this year.

A targeted 100 000 hectares would be put under winter wheat with an expected
yield of 500 000 tonnes, a quantity enough to satisfy the national
requirement, he said.

The Government put in place a 10-year mechanisation programme estimated at
$26,3 billion to transform not just agriculture, but the economy as a whole.

President Mugabe said the country had made important strides in education,
manpower development, health and child welfare, horticulture, forestry,
mining and infrastructural development.

But he said the Aids pandemic was threatening to reverse the enormous gains
made, especially in primary health care.

President Mugabe said the recently launched National Economic Revival
Programme was a grassroot revival programme calling the people to take
charge of the revival of the economy.

"The programme acknowledges and remedies certain policy deficiencies and
delays which have tended to handicap agriculture, and seeks to buttress the
growth potential of this key sector through far-reaching institutional
changes calculated to bring support to the new farmer," he said.

Cde Mugabe said a number of agricultural schemes were being revived while
new ones were being established to ensure food security.

He said the focus in the manufacturing sector should be on reviving
distressed companies.

It was gratifying, Cde Mugabe said, to note that the opening up of new
markets in the Far and Middle East was beginning to take root and bear

"Apart from big projects related to platinum and gold mining, we expect
significant investment from our long-standing allies, including the People's
Republic of China, in the areas of steel making, agricultural development,
manufacturing, road construction, communications and electronic
development," said Cde Mugabe.

He said the Government was pursuing a number of options to stabilise the
fuel supply situation.

Cde Mugabe said there should be peace in the country if the economy was to
be revived.

"Those who reject democracy and choose the road of violence to achieve their
political goals are the evil enemies of Zimbabwe and will not be allowed to
succeed," he said.

Cde Mugabe said Zimbabwe would continue to work towards greater integration
of the region through Sadc, Comesa and the African Union.

"We abhor imperialistic machinations and iniquitous efforts by Britain and
its ally, the United States, to recolonise us and we stand ready to resist
such attempts," he said.

"Africa is for Africans and Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans. Let us believe in
our future, an African future shaped and driven by our ideals and efforts."
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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.

Letter 1: from Kerry Kay.

Re: the prayer sent out by me on Tuesday of this week, it was from "The
Flowering of the Soul - a Book of Prayers by women over the ages" - it
seems so appropriate for all those farm women who have lost their homes to
this regime. To all of you have a Happy Easter and remember "He will never
leave you, He will never forsake you" - Hebrews.

Kerry Kay


Letter 2: Ben Freeth


It appears to me that there are only two reasons why people do not confront
evil men and evil regimes:

1. They are doing very well financially out of the regime and it is in
their business interests to keep the regime in place.  (There are not a few
very influential individuals in this position).

2. They are terrified of what confronting the regime might mean.

The first factor is based on greed and the second is on fear.  Neither
greed nor fear are particularly noble attributes.

The alternative to a confrontational approach is:

1. to do nothing and look the other way and pretend that it's got nothing
to do with you (out of greed or fear), or

2. have dialogue with the evil men or the evil regime and pretend that they
are going to be lenient if they are appeased.

The people that go the second route have the most to answer for as far as
perpetuating the acts of the evil men or the evil regime.  This is because
they legitimise evil by talking to it as though it is reasonable and
legitimate.  Bad company corrupts good character.

Nearly 3½ millenniums ago God gave 10 commandments on Mount Sinai.  Roman
Dutch law and all codes of decent human behaviour are based on these.  The
first four deal with the individual's relationship with the Creator.  The
fifth and seventh deal with relationships in the family and the remaining
four commandments deal with the individual's legal code in society for the
individual and the society's own good.  These are:

· "You shall not murder" : Apart from the 20,000 murders in Matabeleland
how many have there been since then?

· "You shall not covet your neighbour's house or anything that belongs to
your neighbour" : The whole "land grab" exercise has surely been based on
jealousy and covetousness.

· "You shall not steal" : Actually going out and physically stealing
houses, irrigation systems, cattle, tractors and crops is stealing.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by it.

· "You shall not give false testimony" : Propaganda lies come into this
category and they are expressly against the will of God.

If we do not confront these issues and believe that we can save our skins
by looking the other way or having dialogue with the perpetrators of these
evil acts, we will have far worse to come.  The history of man tells us so.
In the Eastern Bloc it took up to three generations and millions of deaths
before people woke up and realised that they had to confront evil if they
wanted to end it.  To not confront it is to collaborate with it.  Are you a
collaborator?  It's not too late to change.


All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
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            Mugabe outlines economic revival plans
            April 19, 2003, 18:15

            Economic analysts are unsure what to make of yesterday's
independence speech by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

            Mugabe devoted most of his speech talking about his government's
plans to revive the country's ailing economy. The Zanu-PF government's new
economic blueprint, referred to as the National Economic Revival Programme,
is not new. It was unveiled recently.

            Yesterday, however, was the first time that embattled Mugabe
spoke about its details public. Previously Mugabe has appeared unwilling to
even acknowledge that there was an economic crisis in Zimbabwe.

            The numbers may have been smaller than in previous years, but
they still came in their thousands to listen to the one man who has run
Zimbabwe for the past 23 years.

            He announced a range of financial allocations for agrarian
reform, including spending billions of rands for a mechanisation programme
to assists resettled farmers with equipment. He said his government was
going to conduct an audit of who has benefited from the land redistribution
programme. Mugabe also unveiled a plan to begin a rural electrification
programme. However, Danny Meyer, an economist, said Mugabe lost yet another
opportunity to redeem himself.
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Four-legged victims of Zimbabwe violence

      April 18 2003 at 08:56PM

      By Zelda Venter

Batty may just be a mutt and as blind as a bat, but this little dog has
first-hand knowledge of the atrocities taking place in Zimbabwe: his eyes
were gouged out by militants invading white-owned farms.

While the eight-month-old pup's tale may be tragic, he is one of the lucky
ones who were rescued by Wet Nose Animal Rescue Centre and brought to
Pretoria this week.

In spite of a gruelling 17-hour journey from Harare, Wet Nose staff and
volunteers were greeted by 72 wagging tails and 18 tired cats.

As they were taken from their crates each animal was greeted with a biscuit.

"It was a sight to see. The dogs could be heard long before the truck was in
sight," Tracy Forte of Wet Nose said.

The 90 animals rescued from the farms were caged up for 22 hours as they had
to be loaded hours before the journey started.

On Friday the animals were waiting anxiously to be re-united with family.
Many had another gruelling trip ahead as they had to be flown to owners as
far away as Cape Town.

But some are not so lucky. About 45 of the dogs and two cats are sitting in
their cages waiting for a loving home.

Among them is Batty who has not given up on life and people. Although he has
no sight, he wags his tail when he smells a human near his cage.

He has formed a bond with Fiona Manuals, who went to Harare to fetch the

Among the Zimbabwean dogs desperately looking for homes, are Labradors,
ridgebacks, Staffies, boerboels and German shepherds.

To give these dogs homes call Manuals at 082 431 1333.
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Dear Family and Friends,
I am writing this letter in the evening of the 18th April 2003. Today is the 23rd anniversary of Zimbabwe's Independence. This morning I sat watching President Mugabe speaking at Independence celebrations in Harare. The stadium was decorated with impeccably printed banners which read:
"Zimbabwe will never be a colony again."
"We have 11 million hectares of reclaimed land in the bag."
"We are now on solid ground."
"Zimbabwe @ 23 : our land is finally in our hands."
President Mugabe stood at the podium, unsmiling. His wife sat behind him, she wore dark glasses throughout and seldom was there a flicker of any emotion whatsoever on her face. Mugabe spoke briefly and only from a prepared script. There was nothing surprising in his speech and no indication that he has the slightest idea or concern for the massive suffering of 11.6 million Zimbabweans. He ended his speech with the sentence: "Never, never, never again will Zimbabwe become a colony."
This evening Short Wave Radio Africa replayed President Mugabe's speech made at Independence in 1980. I sat with goose bumps listening to his words of 23 years ago. He called for tolerance and patience; said the time for retribution was over and that the wrongs of the past must stand forgotten. In 1980 President Mugabe said that racism and oppression were iniquities that must never again happen in Zimbabwe. The two speeches, made by the same person, 23 years apart have left me with only one question: My God, what has happened.
Someone wrote to me from Australia this week and commented that lately my letters are only factual and seldom have any emotional content. The reason for this is that l, and hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans are just weeping inside. This week of Independence has been particularly sad for me as I battle to banish the memories of events that occurred during the week before Independence in 2000. The gruesome murder of David Stevens, the abduction and torture of 5 Macheke farmers, the evacuation of hundreds of farmers from their homes, the gang rape of 2 young women in Harare, the brutal murder of Martin Olds and the beating of hundreds of farm workers and opposition supporters. I can hardly believe that I have met most of these people, written about their hell, described their shattered lives and struggled to understand how they have survived the pain of it all. It is all beyond belief and sometimes I think I cannot bear another day of doing this, of telling of the ongoing hell in Zimbabwe. It's also been a sad week for Zimbabwe as we heard about the death in Iraq of a young Zimbabwean who was serving in the Irish Guards. 20 year old Christopher Muzvuru from Gweru was killed by sniper fire in Basra . He died helping to set Iraq free of a dictator and just as he never saw Iraq's freedom, neither will he see his own country once it is under a new and democratic government.
Again I will end on a cold and factual note. This week President Mugabe's government gave us a 23rd birthday present. The price of petrol went up by 320%. Happy birthday Zimbabwe ! Until next week, Love cathy. Copyright cathy buckle, 18th April 2003.  "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are available from and
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SOUTH AFRICAN MAIZE MARKETING 2003/04 - 17th April 2003
The South African maize market has collapsed since it peaked in December.
The first critical influence was the long December dry spell breaking and
the South African maize crop once again heading for a bumper harvest,
between 9 million and 10 million tonnes. The second critical influence in
the crashing of the market and having a longer term effect is the
strengthening of the rand against the United States dollar. The rand
strengthen by 40% against the dollar last year, and since January this year
has strengthened a further 10% against the dollar. Economists explain that
international investors are being attracted to South African interest rates
of around 13% compared to 1.5% in the United States. Today the rand reached
7.5 to the dollar.

The price of maize has plummeted from a peak of nearly R2000 per tonne to
R800 per tonne in just 3 months since December 2002.

The only relief that could take the maize market out of the doldrums are
export markets, and right now South African maize traders are struggling to
find a market anywhere in the region, Kenya and Zimbabwe seemed the likely
maize trading areas, but since the announcement of Zimbabwe's official maize
harvest estimate of 1.25 million tonnes compared to forecasted 800,000
tonnes, Zimbabwe may well be self-sufficient. Even with aggressive marketing
South African port facilities would still put a cap on export potential.

So with an estimated 1.8 million tonne surplus of maize in South Africa
(1.45 million tonne white and 0.34 million tonnes yellow), the maize prices
in the region of between R800 and R900 per tonnes is not likely to lift in
the next 6 months, it may even drop further.

Vanessa Mckay COPA/ZCPA/ZGPA

Unless specifically stated that this message is a Commercial Farmers' Union
communiqué, or that it is being issued or forwarded to you by the sender in
an official CFU capacity, the opinions contained therein are private.
Private messages also include those sent on behalf of any organisation not
directly affiliated to the Union. The CFU does not accept any legal
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transmitted over its local area network to other CFU network users and/or to
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letter to Zim Gateway

The truth that cuts to the bone: Mugabe worse than Smith

When I was a young boy during the 1980s, I used to attend these Independence
Day celebrations with my grandmother. The names Robert Mugabe and Ian Smith
to me did not mean anything because life was the same, but most probably
because of my age.

I had never suffered under Smith and I had not yet suffered under Mugabe.
But now I have come to know from my own experience that there is this thing
called suffering because of what Mugabe has done to this once beautiful

What my grandmother used to tell me about Smith are the only things I know
about him since I really never knew him, being only a toddler when he was
pushed out of power. My grandmother talked of the bad things he used to do.

However, the things she told me about Smith make him look like he was a very
good man compared to Mugabe.

I mean Mugabe is far worse than Smith. This man has cheated us out of our
independence. Being only a little child during the early 80s, I used to like
Independence Day most probably because of the sadza and cooked beef they
used to serve. I have come to realise that it is not sadza and beef served
at these functions that give substance to independence - there is no
existence of it in anyway. Rather, it is freedom and prosperity for the
people which should be celebrated.

However, there is no freedom but poverty all over the country.

Is that independence?

If Smith's jails were full of the Mugabes, Sitholes, Takawiras, Kangais,
Nkomos and many other comrades fighting for the liberation of Zimbabwe,
today Mugabe has unleashed terror on the comrades who are fighting for our
new independence from his violent and oppressive rule in what can only be
described as a sad case of history repeating itself.

Just as Smith vowed that there would never be black majority rule, "not in
thousand years", so Mugabe now also vows that Tsvangirai (meaning the
majority in the country opposed to Mugabe's tyranny) will never rule
Zimbabwe. Shame on him.

Can't he learn from Smith's experience since he is his mentor? I mean you
should remember how he fell from power.

Is this what other comrades fought for? I do not think any of those people
who died fighting to liberate this country are happy to see you make life
even more miserable than Smith ever did to our parents. If they had known
that your desire was only to replace a bad white ruler with a black one who
is actually worse than the white one, they would never have chosen you to
lead them.

Actually, you have everything in common with Smith except that your venom is
worse. In Shona we say: "Muroyi royera kure" (Practise your witchcraft far).
Now what kind of a witch are you who unleashes witchcraft on his own people?

Mugabe is a weapon of mass destruction on his own which George W Bush and
Tony Blair should do something to neutralise it.

Now I hear the government is preparing to celebrate independence. I cannot
see anyone among us, the suffering masses, celebrating this year. We can not
be happy when there is no food, no fuel, no rule of law, universities are
closed, students and opposition MPs are languishing in jails, innocent
people are being arrested and tortured daily and MDC activists murdered.

What have you done to the superb education system you found in place when
you took over power? And what have you done to the media and the health
system? Are you proud of having turned the police and the army into enemies
of the people so that, instead of protecting the people as they are employed
to do, they are now protecting you against the people's anger? Shame on you!

Owen Chari - Harare
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COSATU: Zanu(PF) party is a clear example of a liberation movement gone

JOHANNESBURG -- Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu(PF) party was a clear example of a
liberation movement gone astray, and it was worth asking whether the
country's independence needed to be celebrated, the Congress of SA Trade
Unions said yesterday.

"We are absolutely disgusted at the level at which human rights are abused
in that country," Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said a day before
Zimbabwe celebrates its independence.

Vavi said the beating, torture and dehumanisation of President Robert
Mugabe's political opponents was an embarrassment to what Zimbabweans fought

He asked how the African Union (AU) planned to morally deal with the
situation in Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile a South African government proposal that succeeded in blocking an
examination of the human rights situation in Zimbabwe by the United Nations
Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) has been criticised at home and abroad.

Zimbabwe escaped international scrutiny on Wednesday after 28 mainly African
and Asian countries in the 53-member UNHRC supported a South African "no
action" motion on a European Union resolution calling for debate on the

The draft resolution had expressed deep concern over continuing abuse by the
Zimbabwean government, including assaults, torture, cases of rape, arbitrary
arrests and attempts to clamp down on the country's judiciary.

Yesterday, the Democratic Alliance said it was "deeply disturbed and
shocked" to learn South Africa had led such a proposal.

"Why... would the South African government propose that the UNHRC not take a
firmer stand on Zimbabwe? It boggles the mind," veteran DA MP and party
foreign affairs spokesman Colin Eglin said.

"The breakdown in law and order, the botched land reform programme and the
disregard shown for human rights in Zimbabwe will not only have a
destructive impact on that country, it will also drag down the entire
Southern African region.

A task force of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is
expected in the country soon to look into issues in the country, including
claims of human rights abuses against the opposition.

But Zimbabwean Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge reiterated to reporters that
the visit by the task force was "not an inquisition... it is an act of

However, he said neither would the task force be coming for "a white-washing
exercise" but would be allowed to determine its own agenda and meet with a
wide section of Zimbabweans, including the opposition.

Meanwhile, European Parliament MP Michael Gahler, who was head of the
European Parliament's observer delegation to the 2000 parliamentary
elections in Zimbabwe said the South African government had turned its back
on Zimbabwe's people, who were suffering under a "despotic leader".

"The more the situation in Zimbabwe deteriorates, the more the Mugabe regime
apparently can count on the unconditional support from the 'old boys
network' existing between the ANC and Zanu(PF)," he said. -- Sapa
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letter to Zim Gateway

I declare my 23 year marriage to Zanu PF to be over

My problem started 23 years ago when I got married to Zanu PF. At the time
of marriage, I was very young and confused and Zanu PF was very charming and
came to me with a thousand promises. I fell for the promises such as that he
would provide for me and that he had allegedly delivered me from the evil
clutches of a colonial enemy.

I was faithful to my husband, but I was repaid with negligence and he also
took me for granted. The sweet promises turned out to be empty, the
negligence matured into violence.

When I tried to complain, l was accused of being unfaithful. When I tried to
seek help from neighbours, he went mad and said I was a sellout. Life has
become unbearable; our marriage has irretrievably broken down and there are
no prospects for reconciliation.

My husband knows that all love is lost between us, but he keeps reminding me
that it was him who had saved me from the colonial enemy and, therefore, I
had to show some gratitude.

Some friends advised me that I should stand up to him and declare openly
that the marriage is over and that I must be free to choose someone who
really cares and who delivers what he promises. Others are saying perhaps I
should stay for the sake of my children and that I should be patient with
him and talk to him nicely for him to see reason.

I don't believe that my husband, who has become such a beast, is capable of
changing. What must I do?

No he is forcing me to celebrate our 23rd anniversary in this hell of a

But there is nothing for me to celebrate, my children are running away to
stay with foreigners, I can't take the pain any more.

Rev Sokwanele Dewa - Gweru
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letter to Zim Gateway

Mugabe must dismiss Chiwenga

The Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defense Forces, Robert Mugabe should
dismiss the Commander of the Zimbabwe National Army Constantine Chiwenga for
dragging the army into disrepute through his wife Joycelyn.

Joycelyn Chiwenga reduced the president, Zvinavashe, Zimbabweans and the
whole army into shame when she assaulted Philemon Bulawayo and Gugu Moyo at
a Glen View police Station recently. The army commander's wife is not a
soldier or police officer qualified to give instructions to security
personnel as she wished. Only Constantine is the commander of the army not
all the Chiwengas including their donkeys or their so called small houses.

The officer in charge of Glen View police station must either be transferred
or dismissed for failing to arrest Mrs. Chiwenga. It is so sad to note that
army commander's bedroom partner can easily get away with acts of
hooliganism and thuggery in a country we claim to have rule of law.

Jocelyn behaved like a Shebeen Queen not a general's wife who deserved great
respect at all levels. She was a disgrace to the head of state, Zanu PF,
army commanders and all peace loving Zimbabweans.

I have great respect for Constantine Chiwenga for his profession and
cherished approach to national issues but what Jocelyn did reduced him to

Kurauone Chihwayi

Let this be a lesson for all weak men who allow themselves to be suduced by
"gold diggers". This ex-bar girl is such an example as is the ex-secretary
who seduced her old fool of a boss. .Ed.
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Letter to Zim Gateway

Wishful thinking to believe Mbeki would naturally support good over evil

I don't agree with a friend who suggested that Edmund Burke, the renowned
Irish writer and politician, meant the likes of Thabo Mbeki when he said:
"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do

I don't believe Mbeki can be said to be either a good or evil man. He is in
a grey area, ready to develop either way. Something in President Mugabe
seems to intrigue Mbeki. What is it? I hope it is not his style of

Mbeki isn't such a bad chap (so we try to believe). He's maintained
reasonable economic stability and growth in South Africa.

His governance has been conventional and unambitious. It's only his foreign
policy on Zimbabwe that is suspect. He's carved himself a niche as an
avante-garde African leader through his Nepad project, African Renaissance
and relative democracy. A free press flourishes unhindered. Opposition
parties are not just tolerated, they are respected.

Mbongeni Ngema's single Amandiya, a song deemed racist and xenophobic by the
Asian community, was banned by his administration. He seems a good, honest

So why is he quiet on Mugabe who does not just have henchmen who sing
xenophobic songs, but also denies the starving masses food (because they
don't like him), and trains militia to terrorise the opposition? Above all,
Mugabe has created and encouraged a semi-anarchic state in Zimbabwe.

No one is immune to the reach of his power from the rural poor to the urban
sophisticated. So why does Mbeki condone all this? Did Mugabe promise him a
farm? No.

The bottom line is that Mugabe has got some firm hold on Mbeki and our only
hope is that it's not something personal. Noone believes all the African
solidarity nonsense. The other junior Sadc presidents are willing to isolate
Mugabe if Mbeki leads the way. I really hate him now he is insensitive to
our feelings and suffering.

This man is just another African loser caught in the wrong system. He seems
to envy Mugabe's extra- constitutional liberties. He hates Nelson Mandela
for setting such a difficult precedence for him to match.

Mbeki to me is a Mugabe in the 80s. Remember Steve Tshwete's claims about
Cyril Ramaphosa and Tokyo Sexwale!

The bottom line is that Mbeki sees his own political instincts being
actually exercised by Mugabe. He, on the other hand, doesn't have enough
power or room to do the same.

Will James, an African American scholar once said: "Genius...means little
more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way."

Maybe Mbeki in his own eccentric way sees a genius in Mugabe. God forbid for
South African's sake.

Vinncent Mushonga - Budiriro

The point made here is very good. There is no evidence from any actions of
the Mbeki regime that they value human rights above the personal needs of
the ANC elite and the liberation "debt" they believe they owe to Mugabe. It
is absolutely vital that the new Zimbabwe develop communication links
through Mozambique to become less susseptable to the internal upheval that
is sure to come as the ANC use all the same Mugabe tactics to cling to power
when the liberation euphoria dies and the people demand results. .Ed.
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Mugabe regime denies soldier a grave at home
By Jane Flanagan in Johannesburg and Thair Shaikh
(Filed: 20/04/2003)

A Zimbabwean soldier killed in Iraq who had signed up to serve in the
British Army has been denounced as a "traitor" by Robert Mugabe's regime.

The country's state-controlled media has called for the body of "mercenary"
Piper Christopher Muzvuru, of the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, to be buried
in Britain and not returned to Zimbabwe.

Piper Muzvuru, 21, who said shortly before his death that his dearest
ambition was to play the bagpipes before the Queen, was killed by a sniper
in Basra.

Last night his brother, Munqondfi, said from the family's home in Gweru,
near Bulawayo: "We don't know what is going to happen about bringing his
body back. My mother is very distressed."

Family and friends of Piper Muzvuru in Britain - of whom more than 40 were
at Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, last week when his body was returned - have
refused to speak out because they are scared of the Mugabe regime.

Piper Muzvuru enlisted into the British Army in February 2001. He joined the
Irish Guards in October 2001 and soon completed a course at the Piping
School in Edinburgh. He was the first black piper in the regiment's 103-year

Up to 200 Zimbabweans are serving in the British Army. Citizens of
Commonwealth countries are entitled to apply to join Britain's Armed Forces.

On the day of his death Piper Muzvuru was interviewed by a reporter from an
American news agency. "I always wanted to learn the bagpipes," he told
Martin Walker of UPI.

At dawn on April 6, as his regiment prepared to launch an attack on Basra,
Piper Muzvuru played two Irish tunes on his chanter, a small pipe usually
kept for practice. He was killed by sniper fire later that afternoon. The
next day his colleague L/Cpl Ian Malone, 28, from Dublin, was also killed.

Last week, the Daily Mirror in Zimbabwe, which is owned by a former member
of Mr Mugabe's cabinet, said that Piper Muzvuru's body must "be buried in
Britain - the country that he chose to die for".

The paper's owner and editor-in-chief, Dr Ibbo Mandaza, a former cabinet
minister under Mr Mugabe, said: "Throughout history Africans have fought on
behalf of Britain in return for cash and I regret that that tradition
continues today."

The pro-government Daily Herald published a cartoon of Piper Muzvuru headed
"Buffalo Soldier", a reference to the nickname of an American post-Civil War
cavalry regiment made up of black men used to fight Native American Indians.
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Nominees for Burns award announced

By Jenifer Johnston

The nominees for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award, which will be given
next month as part of the Ayrshire Burns Festival, have been announced.
The shortlisted nominees are Simon P?nek, founder of the Czech-based People
In Need Foundation, Gareth Pierce, one of the UK's best-known civil rights
lawyers, Independent journalist Robert Fisk, Yitzhak Frankenthal, a Middle
Eastern peace activist, and Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Zimbabwean
opposition party Movement For Democratic Change.

American political commentator and recent Oscar winner Michael Moore
narrowly missed a nomination for the award.

The judging panel, chaired by broadcaster Kirsty Wark, also includes Magnus
Linklater, former chair of the Scottish Arts Council, Sunday Herald
journalist Ian Bell and ethics Dr Sheila McLean.

The winner, who will collect their award on May 9 at a gala concert at
Culzean Castle, will collect 1759 guineas, a sum which signifies the year of
the bard's birth, and a specially commissioned work by local artist Marion

Morgan Tsvangirai has told organisers that he may not be able to attend
should he win because of Robert Mugabe's regime in place in Zimbabwe.

He said: 'It all depends on whether the Mugabe regime relaxes my travel
restrictions imposed after I was charged with treason in March last year.
The treason trial is still in progress. May I thank you for the nomination
which is a great honour to me personally and the people of Zimbabwe.'

Pete Irvine of Unique Events, organisers of the festival, said the prize
gave the festival an important international focus.

'It's important because it demonstrates that we are truly an international
festival -- this is not just an event for Ayrshire or even the UK,' he said.

'This is the only truly international award that we have in Scotland. The
winner will be accepting an award that shows they are above criticism of
personal aspiration.'

James Robertson of the World Burns Federation, who is also on the judging
panel said: 'We are hoping that this year even more people will come and
enjoy Burns, whether for the first time or as a regular part of their
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