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

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      State move to postpone torture case

      Date: 22-Apr, 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - The Zimbabwe government, smarting from a bruising
parliamentary election in which charges of electoral rigging have been
raised, has appealed to the African Union's Commission on Human Rights to
postpone the case in which lawyer Gabriel Shumba is suing for torture.

      Shumba, a human rights lawyer who is now based in South Africa, took
his case to AU's Human Rights Commission, where he is claiming compensation
for the torture he was subjected to during a 2003 arrest by the Zimbabwe

      The case was supposed to be heard on 26 April but the government has
asked it to be postponed to November this year.

      Shumba, together with opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
Member of Parliament Job Sikhala, and three other MDC youths were arrested
and charged under the Public Order and Security Act. All the five allege
that they were tortured while in police custody.

      Subsequent medical examinations proved Sikhala and Shumba had electric
shocks applied to their genitals, mouth and feet and that they were also
forced to drink their own urine in front of jeering policemen.

      In a sworn affidavit to the United States of America House of
Representatives, Shumba said he had been condemned to live in exile in South
Africa because of unrelenting persecution, death threats and torture at the
hands of President Robert Mugabe's regime.

      He narrated his ordeal at the hands of the Zimbabwe Republic Police
after he had gone to a local police station, representing Sikhala, who had
gone into hiding after harassment by members of the force.

      "My young brother, Bishop Shumba, accompanied me to take instructions.
I found the MP in the company of one Taurai Magaya and Charles Mutama. I
proceeded to take instructions and confer with Mr Sikhala. However, at or
about 23:00 hrs, riot police accompanied by plain-clothes policemen, the
army and personnel, who I later discovered were from the Central
Intelligence Organization (CIO), stormed the room," said Shumba, adding that
he then identified himself as a lawyer and enquired as to the nature and
purpose of the police actions.

      At that time, according to Shumba, one of the officers confiscated his
Lawyer's Practicing Certificate and informed him that there was "no place
for human rights lawyers in Zimbabwe".

      From then on Shumba claims that he was subjected to various inhuman
treatments which included beatings and blindfoldings. Although a report was
later lodged with the police over the alleged torture, up to now no action
has been taken.

      "I have instructed my lawyer to institute civil proceedings, but am
not hopeful, as the Executive has largely subverted the judicial system.
Furthermore, the police in Zimbabwe are notorious for defying court orders,"
charged Shumba.

      Shumba, worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in
Tanzania for two months, where he was allegedly threatened by Zimbabwe's
Ambassador to Tanzania after he publicly charged that the Zimbabwe
government was constantly violating human rights.

      The AU Commission is currently being run by former Zimbabwean
attorney-general, Andrew Chigovera.

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      Mugabe slams West at Asian summit

      Date: 22-Apr, 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has accused the
United States and Britain of undermining democratic processes and the
sovereignty of other nations, citing Zimbabwe as a victim of what he called
"naked interference" in its domestic affairs.

      Speaking at the on-going Asia-Africa Summit in the Indonesian capital
Jakarta, Mugabe, who is on an aggressive marketing drive to the Asian world,
said his government committed the crime of challenging white privileges in
his country, a move he alleged angered western countries.

      He called on the intended restructuring of the United Nations to give
more voice to poor countries, which he said were being bullied by the
western world, with Britain and America being the major culprits.

      Mugabe, who jetted into Jakarta a two days after he declared that
Zimbabwe had abandoned all efforts to look to the west for economic support
and embraced the east for survival, was in a no-nonsense mood at the summit,
which groups African nations with their Asian counterparts.

      He is currently walking on a knife-edge of economic survival, after
Zimbabwe's failure to garner economic support from western countries, which
have imposed targeted sanctions on him and his immediate lieutenants in
cabinet and Zanu PF.

      South Africa, a major trading partner with Zimbabwe, is also attending
the summit. Its president, Thabo Mbeki, is making an appeal to the Asian
world to consolidate their investments in his country. Unlike Zimbabwe,
South Africa boasts of an emerging economy, which is fast growing to become
one of the world's top models.

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      US planning tougher sanctions against Mugabe

      Date: 22-Apr, 2005

      WASHINGTON - The United States of America, citing the recent
parliamentary elections in Zimbabwe, which it claims were a travesty of
democracy, has resolved to tighten the screws on President Robert Mugabe, a
senior White House official has said.

      Addressing the US Congress yesterday, Assistant Secretary of State for
African Affairs Constance Newman said the March 31 elections for Zimbabwe's
Parliament were a travesty of democratic standards as they were not free and

      She said instead they were proof that Mugabe and the ruling party Zanu
PF continued to trample on Zimbabwe's democratic institutions and
traditions, as they persisted in ruling by fraud and coercion.

      "On election day thousands of voters were turned away from the polls.
The vote count was almost certainly rigged and credible evidence suggests
that Zanu PF stole more than a dozen seats from MDC. The elections were a
sad day for Zimbabwe and for the cause of democracy in the region," Newman
told the US lawmakers.

      In response to what had happened in Zimbabwe, Newman said the U.S.
government was "reviewing and updating our sanctions regime to ensure that
our targeted sanctions have flexibility and teeth, and are adequate to the
new situation".

      When asked by a congressman to go into detail, Newman declined, but in
her written statement said: "I can say that the election has reconfirmed the
need for targeted financial and travel sanctions on regime leaders who
undermine democracy. The individuals who abused democracy and helped to
steal this election must be held accountable."

      She promised to bring to congress more details on what action her
country would take on Zimbabwe, "within a month from now" or even sooner.
Newman was quick to add, however, that the expanded sanctions, would not be
aimed at the Zimbabwean public.

      "The United States has not and does not intend to impose general
sanctions on Zimbabwe that will hurt the people or economy. We reject any
steps that would cause ordinary Zimbabweans to suffer for the sins of the
Zanu PF leadership," she said.

      She reiterated that U.S. assistance to meet the growing food and
health crisis in Zimbabwe caused by Mugabe's flawed agricultural policies,
including forcible land seizures, would also not be affected, pointing that
the U.S. government had provided close to US $300 million in humanitarian
assistance to the Zimbabwean government since 2002.

      Commenting on Zimbabwe's wrecked economy, congressman Christopher
Smith said: "Four hundred thousand agricultural jobs have been lost. And,
while the continent of Africa is experiencing the highest economic growth in
nearly a decade, Zimbabwe's economy is contracting."

      He said Mugabe was a hero to his people and to his fellow Africans for
successfully standing up to racism and oppression, but now, more than anyone
else, he had contributed to a climate of fear and heightened even further
explosive racial tensions in Zimbabwe.

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      Gono's resignation turned down by Mugabe

      Date: 22-Apr, 2005

      HARARE - Dr Gideon Gono, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor,
last Wednesday allegedly tendered his resignation to President Robert Mugabe
but it was turned down.

      The governor was allegedly angered by the government's apparent
rejection of his monetary policies aimed at taming the country's high
inflation rate.

      Neither Gono nor anyone from the President's Office, under which some
RBZ departments fall, could be reached for comment. Mugabe is away in
Indonesia to attend an Asia-Africa summit meeting.

      According to senior RBZ officials who spoke on condition they remained
unnamed, Gono met Mugabe last Wednesday at which he allegedly expressed his
sadness at the government's reluctance to live within its limits.

      He reportedly told Mugabe that the idea of a Senate, the impending
payouts to ex-political detainees and ex-political restrictees and the
expanded Cabinet had not been budgeted for in this year's financial year, a
situation that would fuel inflation.

      Already, the RBZ has approved the devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar
in response to pressure from business and industry.

      A source said: "Before his meeting with the president, the governor
held several meetings with all departments at which he reiterated that their
fight to revive the country's faltering economy would be ineffective unless
the government matched their performance."

      Another official said President Mugabe had to at least demonstrate
that he was willing to turn around the country's fortunes by making informed
statements regarding their relationship with the West, and particularly the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

      The IMF suspended its support to Zimbabwe in 1999 after the government
failed to service its debt.

      "The situation in the country would definitely worsen once we
authorize the increase in the fuel price at the end of this month," the
official said. "We have met representatives from fuel importers and they
made their proposals which the RBZ has accepted. Most goods' prices would
increase. The President's action so far amounts to a snub of our efforts to
turn around this economy."

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      Reporter charged with publishing falsehoods

      Date: 22-Apr, 2005

      HARARE - Police in Zimbabwe have charged Savious Kwinika, a journalist
with The Standard, an independent Sunday paper, with publishing false
information in an article alleging a scandal over ballot boxes and papers
from last month's elections.

      According to Linda Cook, lawyer for Kwinika, the journalist was
summoned to Harare's main police station and charged under the draconian
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).

      The Standard's editor, Davison Maruziva, was on Wednesday also charged
with inciting public violence in connection with the same article, which
stated that a local government official had been arrested after ballot boxes
and papers had been found at his home.

      "He has been charged under sections of the Public Order and Security
Act and Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act relating to
making false statements prejudicial to the state and publishing falsehoods,"
said Cook.

      She also said Kwinika was denying the charges although he had admitted
that there were inaccuracies in the story. "It is now up to the police to
proceed with their investigations and hand over the dockets to the attorney
general's office," she said.

      In a lead story headlined "DA held in elections scandal", Kwinika
claimed the police arrested Nyashadzashe Zindove, the District Administrator
for Zaka in southern Zimbabwe, after he was found with ballot boxes and
ballot papers after the March 31 elections.

      The Standard claimed the police also arrested a schoolteacher who was
a presiding officer during the polls, after she lost a ballot box in unclear

      Police have dismissed the story as false and are demanding a
retraction. Publishing a false story intentionally is an offence under
Zimbabwe's tough media and security laws, attracting a two-year jail term or
a fine.

      The opposition Movement for Democratic Change has repeatedly slammed
the elections as a "massive fraud", alleging ballot stuffing on polling day
and intimidation leading up to the vote.

      President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF won enough seats to secure a
two-thirds majority in parliament that will enable the veteran leader to
make changes to the constitution.

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      With so much going wrong why party?

      Date: 22-Apr, 2005

      THE official government media seems to be miffed that the corporate
world, among others, did not participate in the Independence celebrations as
raucously as Zanu PF and the government did. This is very strange. Not many
people in the urban areas felt inclined to celebrate with the same gusto as
they did years ago.

      Then, they had good reason to "twist and shout" because their lives
were more or less on an even keel - disposable incomes and food prices were
both reasonable. School fees were affordable and many people had jobs and
could sustain medical fees at government hospitals which could provide
reasonable services.

      Today, all that has changed. There has been a steep decline in living
standards. Only a few people could afford to celebrate independence on the
lavish scale of the last 10 or 15 years. Most were grateful if they could
afford one meal a day during the celebrations. This is the reality.

      The corporate world has not been spared. Money is so tight most of
them are hanging on by the skin of their teeth. There have been many company
closures, with a few relocating to Botswana, Mozambique or Zambia. If the
government media is deliberately ignoring this reality, then they are
helping to maintain the dangerous fiction that the economy is rattling along
at a fantastic pace.

      There are few businesses which they claim not to have been adversely
affected by the economic downturn. The parastatals which spent millions on
TV advertisements congratulating the government on the Silver Jubilee of
Independence can always afford to throw money away because they know the
government will bail them out when it comes to the crunch.

      No hard-nosed corporate chief executive officer would ask his board of
directors to pour the same millions into advertisements congratulating the
government for bringing commerce and industry to such a pathetic state. Most
would rather hang on to their millions to buy scarce capital goods or pay
off huge debts.

      Or perhaps even raise the wages of their workers, which have been so
debilitated by inflation they can hardly buy three meals a day.

      Nobody is being subversive by not shouting from the rooftops that
Zimbabwe has achieved 25 years of independence and democracy. It is not
realistic to celebrate, particularly the "democracy" part. After an election
where democracy was manifestly abused, such a celebration would be almost

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      Zimbabwe Labor Unions Under Increasing Pressure
      By  Peta Thornycroft
      22 April 2005

Zimbabwe's trade unions say they are under increased threat following the
appointment of Zimbabwe's former intelligence chief as the new minister of
labor. On Thursday, police arrived at the home of a leading union member
saying they wanted to search her house for what they said was "subversive

Recent meetings of the general council of The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions, ZCTU, have been disrupted by demonstrations calling on the elected
leadership to resign.

The most recent disruption was on April 6. Police say they had to intervene
when the demonstration became violent.

On Thursday, the home of Thabitha Khumalo, a member of the ZCTU council was
raided. She said uniformed members of the police, without a warrant, said
they had come to search her home for subversive material.

ZCTU secretary-general Wellington Chibebe said the recent crackdown is
likely related to the ruling party Zanu-PF's anger over the influential
South African labor federation, the Congress of South African Trades Union's
solidarity with organized labor in Zimbabwe.

South African unionists belonging to Cosatu as it is widely known in Africa,
were deported or refused entry on the two occasions it recently tried to
send fact finding missions to Zimbabwe.

Mr. Chibebe said many of his colleagues were concerned that there would be a
more serious crackdown on the labor movement because of the appointment last
week of former security minister Nicholas Goche to the post of minister of

Mr. Goche recently headed Zimbabwe's Central Intelligence Organization, a
government agency heavily criticized for human rights abuses by local and
international monitors.

In an interview with the VOA, Mr. Chibebe spoke about the labor movements
fears over Mr. Goche's appointment. "You may have realized in the cabinet
reshuffle we have been given a new minister of labor, the former minister of
state security," he said. "A lot of people are not reading into the
strategy....Intelligence would reveal that there is a grand plan, saying by
the end of June we must have a new leadership at ZCTU. Unfortunately these
people were careless to the extent of announcing the grand plans in
newspapers, that by the end of June there must be a new leadership."

Mr. Chibebe said Zanu-PF wanted to ensure that the Zimbabwe government would
not be sanctioned at the next International Labor Organization's annual
meeting in Geneva in June for violating human rights. To make sure that does
not happen, he said, the government is gearing up to justify replacing ZCTU
management so they can install a new pro Zanu-PF leadership that they can
send to the meeting in Geneva this June.

"They have not been able to address the issue of violation of human and
trade union rights, which means it is an issue at the ILO, more so with the
deportation of the Cosatu delegation, that's going to be very vital at the
ILO," he said.

Minister Goche was not available for comment.

Mr. Chibebe said Zanu-PF has made it clear it believes that it has crushed
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change at the March 31 election when
the ruling Zanu-PF won a landslide victory.

The MDC emerged out of the trade unions and pro democracy organizations
five-and-a-half years ago and draws its strongest support from people living
in cities and organized workers.
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Zimbabwe in the dark
22/04/2005 20:46  - (SA)

Harare - Failures in generators at power stations and a fault in a line
connecting Zimbabwe with a power grid in Congo are responsible for two days
of nationwide electrical blackouts, officials told state radio on Friday.

The power cuts caused lifts in buildings to stop working, traffic lights to
go out, cafes and restaurants to close and cinemas to send patrons away.

A spokesperson for the state electrical authority told state radio that the
blackouts were caused by generator failures at the Hwange coal fired power
station west of Harare and at the Kariba hydro-electric power scheme on the
Zambezi River. He said there was also a fault in the connection to the grid
in Congo.

Many areas of the capital were without power for 12 hours on Friday,
bringing work to a standstill in offices that depend on computer equipment.

The electric authority spokespersonn said further "load shedding" must be
expected, as the country is going into its coldest season.

"The region has run out of power to export to countries such as Zimbabwe,"
the spokesperson told state radio.

President Robert Mugabe 10 years ago vetoed Western companies' competing
plans for massive upgrading of Hwange power station in favour of his own
scheme to give the project to a Malaysian consortium. The scheme was never
followed through.
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Zimbabwe: More Foreign Doctors Needed, Says Govt

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

April 22, 2005
Posted to the web April 22, 2005


The government of Zimbabwe is in the process of recruiting doctors and
medical specialists from Cuba and Egypt to alleviate the shortage of health
workers in the country.

Health and Child Welfare Minister David Parirenyatwa told IRIN that teams
from Zimbabwe were already in Havana, Cuba, with orders to recruit as many
doctors as they could. He said government was also negotiating with Egypt to
pave the way for the recruitment of medical personnel from that country.

"We want to get as many as we can get - there is a need to fill up all
vacant positions to improve health service delivery, particularly in the
rural areas. We are looking for general medical practitioners, specialists,
technicians, engineers and nursing school tutors," Parirenyatwa told IRIN.

He said the country was still losing trained medical personnel to its
neighbours and overseas job markets, which offered better opportunities and
conditions of service.

"We are still losing personnel, but I am sure the new Health Services
Commission, which will soon take over the responsibility of recruiting
medical personnel, will strive to improve working conditions and
remuneration, so that we can retain and even attract more skilled staff,"
Parirenyatwa added.

He also expressed concern that student nurses were abandoning their courses
midway to escape the three-year 'bonding' period they are required to serve
before they can receive their certificates. The bonding arrangement was
imposed last year as a way of reducing the exodus of staff, including newly
trained personnel, to countries offering better pay and working conditions.

The latest batch of foreign doctors is expected to arrive within the next
two months to join the 204 expatriates already working in Zimbabwe.

At present there are 127 Cuban doctors in the country - the largest
contingent - and 77 from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The shortage of medical personnel has badly affected rural health
institutions, which also face chronic shortages of basic medicines.

Despite the establishment of several commissions and boards to spearhead the
revival of the health sector over the past two years, the shortage of human
and financial resources has stalled these efforts.

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations ]

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Catholic rights group says Zimbabwean polls not free and fair
HARARE, April 22 (AFP) - A prominent Roman Catholic rights group in Zimbabwe
said in a report released Friday that last month's parliamentary elections
won by President Robert Mugabe's ruling party were not free and fair.

"What is certain is that these elections were played out on a grossly uneven
playing field," the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) said in
a 114-page report released in Harare.

The group cited biased media coverage favouring the ruling Zimbabwe African
National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) in the run-up to the March 31
elections, repressive laws and poll bodies whose neutrality was in doubt.

"Polling day was remarkably peaceful in comparison to previous elections,"
the report said. "But beneath the calm, however, lurked the spectre of
intimidation and fear of reprisal."

The report listed 25 polling stations which were located in "non-neutral
areas" including chiefs' homesteads and an army camp.

Mugabe's ZANU-PF, in power since Zimbabwe's independence from Britain in
1980, won an overwhelming majority in the elections that were endorsed by
observer missions from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and
South Africa as a "reflecting the will of the people."

But the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change condemned the polls
as "a massive fraud" and has filed petitions asking the electoral court to
have results from 13 constituencies nullified.

"We are saying in the report we cannot judge the elections to be free and
fair because of the various concerns raised," said the commission's director
Alouis Chaumba told AFP.

"To say the conditions were conducive for free polls based on improvements
observed a few weeks before the polls would be missing the point," said

South African President Thabo Mbeki said last week that his government would
study reports from the opposition and various civic and church groups before
making a final judgment on whether the vote was credible.

The report from the Catholic church group said that ZANU-PF threatened to
deny food aid to voters in rural areas unless they voted for its candidates.

The CCJP also noted that Zimbabwe's Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede "a
contentious figure and an open supporter of ZANU PF," was still in charge of
the voters roll.

"A particular concern focusses on the role in rural areas of traditional
leaders who are paid by the state to bolster the support of the ruling
party," the report said.

"Not only were voters obliged to vote, often shepherded by local leaders,
but were told who to vote for."

Zimbabwe's parliamentary polls were closely watched to gauge Zimbabwe's
commitment to adhere to SADC principles on the conduct of free and fair


Copyright (c) 2005 Agence France-Presse

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      Zimbabwe suffers power cuts as utility struggles

      Fri April 22, 2005 2:58 PM GMT+02:00
      HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's state power utility ZESA said on Friday
it was unable to access its electricity imports from the Democratic Republic
of Congo (DRC) due to a transmission failure, and that lack of spares for
maintenance of some of its generators had also hit supplies.

      Cash-strapped ZESA has struggled to import enough power from its
neighbours in past years, leading to frequent power cuts that have disrupted
industrial production as the southern African country battles its worst
economic crisis in decades.

      "Due to a transmission failure in the Democratic Republic of Congo, on
the line through which we import electricity into Zimbabwe, ZESA is unable
to access its 100 mw power import from SNEL of the DRC," the utility said in
a statement.

      "At the same time, we have lost generators at Kariba Power station ...
due to the critical shortage of spares for maintenance and overhauls," ZESA
added, saying the resultant loss of 470 megawatts of electricity had
interrupted supplies throughout the country.

      ZESA warned that the southern African region had run out of excess
power to export to net importers like Zimbabwe, a situation likely to worsen
in the coming winter peak period when demand would increase.

      Zimbabwe imports 35 percent of its electricity from South Africa,
Mozambique, Zambia and DRC but has battled to pay for imports as a result of
biting foreign currency shortages.

      As a result ZESA has been forced to import 30 percent of its
electricity on a strenuous prepayment scheme.

      But on Friday state media reported that ZESA had managed to clear
outstanding debts to Mozambique and DRC after sourcing foreign currency from
the Reserve Bank and might now be able to negotiate new supply contracts.

      In January, Iran said it would help Zimbabwe to upgrade one of its
Kariba power station at a cost of $250 million to increase electricity
output under a drive by Mugabe's government -- estranged from the West main
over his controversial land re forms --to bolster ties with Muslim and Asian

      ZESA says it has secured loans from China under a US$2.4 billion
investment deal signed last year to upgrade the country's power plants.

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      Mbeki attacks "unfairness" of globalisation

      Fri April 22, 2005 12:12 PM GMT+02:00
      By Dan Eaton and Tomi Soetjipto

      JAKARTA (Reuters) - Leaders of three-quarters of the world's people
met in Indonesia on Friday in search of common ground for Africa and Asia on
issues from terrorism to poverty, but old rivalries quickly took centre

      From staunch allies of the United States to fierce critics of Western
dominance of world affairs, presidents, kings and ministers from 100
countries, many of them among the world's poorest, arrived to a red-carpet
welcome amid tight security.

      "Asia-Africa is the missing link in the worldwide structure of
inter-regional relations," Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
said in opening remarks to the conference.

      "It took 50 long years for this conference to happen, but Asia and
Africa has finally assembled here again. Today, the sons and daughters of
Asia and Africa stand together in this hall as equals. We stand tall, proud
and free," he said.

      The meeting marks the 50th anniversary of the 1955 Asia-Africa
Conference, where the Third World sought to assert itself for the first
time, inspiring the Non-Aligned Movement.

      The conference will issue a declaration calling for a strategic
partnership, pledges to boost trade and investment and stressing the
importance of multilateral approaches to solving conflicts.

      But diplomatic rows and old rivalries within Asia are set to dominate
the meeting, including the spat between economic giants China and Japan over
Tokyo's World War II aggression, which has sent jitters through the region.


      Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan, which is seeking a broader
leadership role in world affairs including a permanent seat on the U.N.
Security Council, apologised for his nation's wartime past and pledged to
double aid to Africa.

      He said a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao had been arranged
for Saturday on the sidelines of the summit.

      However, in his speech Hu made no mention of Japan and pledged China
would be a champion of the Third World.

      "China will always be a member of the developing world," he said.
"Let's stand shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand."

      The number-two leaders of North and South Korea met briefly, their
highest-level contacts in five years, but they did not discuss Pyongyang's
nuclear programme or a resumption of stalled bilateral dialogue, South
Korea's Yonhap news agency said.

      Military-ruled Myanmar's top general was also present, refusing to
discuss democratic reform despite growing pressure from other Southeast
Asian nations.

      Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe used his time at the podium to
ridicule the United States as a "fascist international dictatorship",
prompting nervous laughter from gathered leaders, many of whom are close
allies of Washington.

      "The unilateralism that looms over the world today is as dangerous as
the threat of war," said Mugabe.

      "We now know that the greater threat comes from the United States' and
Britain's weapons of mass deception," he said, referring to claims before
the invasion of Iraq that Baghdad had stockpiled chemical and biological

      Others, including Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, were critical of the international
focus on terrorism.

      "The current preoccupation of the rich countries with
counter-terrorism has diverted much valuable resources from the development
process," said Badawi, who currently chairs the Non-Aligned Movement.

      South African President Thabo Mbeki slammed what he called the
unfairness of globalisation.

      "Every day the process of globalisation emphasises the gross imbalance
in the global distribution of power," he said, calling for reform of the
world's multilateral institutions.

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Mail and Guardian

      Mugabe 'will not groom a successor'

      Harare, Zimbabwe

      22 April 2005 11:42

            Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, in power since his country's
independence from Britain in 1980, has reaffirmed he will retire in 2008 and
stressed that he is not grooming an heir, a state-owned daily reported on

            "I have said it before that when my term ends I will retire,"
The Herald quoted Mugabe as saying in an interview to Indonesia's Jakarta
Post newspaper.

            "I still have to do three years ... but it is my intention to
retire," said Mugabe, who is in Indonesia attending the Asia-Africa Summit.

            The octogenarian leader said he will let Zimbabweans choose
their next leader.

            "I will never groom a successor," he said. "We will never do
that. We will never make that mistake."

            Mugabe said his successor should come from the ruling Zanu-PF
party, arguing that the country's main opposition Movement for Democratic
Movement (MDC) is a stooge of Britain, which he accuses of trying to topple
his regime.

            "Of course the leader will come from Zanu-PF," Mugabe said. "We
are the party that defeated colonialism and the people realise that. The
other party is [British Prime Minister Tony] Blair's, and if you followed
our election, the objective was to bury Mr Blair."

            Zanu-PF won an overwhelming majority in parliamentary elections
on March 31, dubbed "the anti-Blair election", which gave it a two-third
majority to allow it to make constitutional changes on its own.

            Relations between Zimbabwe and Britain soured when Zimbabwe
embarked on its controversial land seizures five years ago.

            Mugabe accused the Labour Party of reneging on an undertaking by
Britain in 1979 to compensate white farmers for properties taken from them
for reallocation to landless blacks. -- Sapa-AFP

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The resurrection of the one-party manifesto in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Youth Democracy Trust (ZYDT)
April 21, 2005

The youths of Zimbabwe organised under ZYDT seriously condemn the political project of ZANU PF to re-institute the 1989 one party manifesto in Zimbabwe through unorthodox means hidden behind the fiction of "elections".

We note with concern the implementation of a multi faceted approach pointing to the declaration of ZANUPF as the only party in Zimbabwe.

Criminalisation of alternative views
We have learnt that Zanu PF has a history of labeling and fighting alternative views, both within the party or emerging from elsewhere irregardless of them being progressive and for the good of the people of Zimbabwe.

Cases to note include,

ZYDT is deeply perturbed by such 20th century political tactics whilst much of Africa is embracing multi party democracy where political tolerance and respect for the rights reigns supreme.

Zanunisation of state institutions:
It is our view that the one party state agenda is being constructed on the basis of a militarized state. The training of the youth militia, the appointment of senior army members in parastatals, electoral institutions and the use of apartheid laws such as the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and the proposed NGO law combine to shrink the democratic space to the zone of "yes-Boss-yes".

The state media has been Zanunised to an extend that, despite being funded by taxpayers, the state radio, television and newspapers have emerged as the most vicious tools used to create and propagate a fiction of Zanu PFs holiness in the eyes of the suffering people.

The media is used to create horrible scenes of Rhodesia and slowly prepare people to believe that labeled elements (the opposition and young ZanuPF cadres) are responsible for their suffering whilst the real looting people hide behind the heroes acre.

Border Gezi Youth Militia:
We are baffled by the evil act of baiting unsuspecting and desperate youths with job tags on condition of joining the Border Gezi militia training service. Whilst we fully support the idea of a non partisan and non class national service, the non participation of Zanu PF chefs children is worrying to us. We are determined to expose this hypocrisy by demanding Europe, South Africa, America and Asia to deport all children of these political elite to join the job race, fuel race, food race and Border Gezi which we, the children of poor taxpayers are forced to endure.

Our Zimbabwe - we will defend:
As an attempt to make themselves the gods of Zimbabwe, we have noted a series of self–praising programs and statements by the Zanu PF leadership, and in a selfish manner dismissing the importance of peasants in the liberation struggle. Chiefly, the privatization of the liberation struggle is a clear case where known freedom fighters claim to have solely brought "peace and democracy" to Zimbabwe thus the right to do as they wish with the people of Zimbabwe.

We wish to make it known that we are Zimbabweans, born of real freedom fighters that fought for freedom and not native imperialism hidden under anti-Blair wars. The war of liberation was not to remove the white person, but to dismiss the injustices of apartheid. Our motivation today is to remove the very same injustices being perpetrated by a black government. It is therefore our declaration that oppression remains unjust no-matter the colour or history of the person presiding over such.

Our vow and vision:
We will remain stubbornly resistant to all machinations aimed at making certain tribes, certain people and certain parties the life long "spirit mediums" of Zimbabwe.

The demands of the liberation struggle:

Zanu PF has no morale standing to call opposition political parties to stop getting funding from the West whilst they are, despite injuring the local industry, sponsored by China and have unfettered access to our national tax coffers. In the same manner that we will not allow Zimbabwe to be sold to Britain, we vow to reverse all economically senseless agreements with China.

We envisage a Zimbabwe where all political parties respect each other and debate issues for the good of the nation, with state institutions such as the parliament, the judiciary and electoral bodies running independent of the executive.

Itai Masothsa Zimunya
Spokesperson (+263 91 907 235)

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Zim Online

New information boss shields Mugabe from criticism
Sat 23 April 2005

      HARARE - Newly appointed Information and Publicity Minister Tichaona
Jokonya yesterday promised a less restrictive environment for journalists
but on condition they did not "malign" President Robert Mugabe.

      Jokonya, a former envoy of Zimbabwe to the United Nations promised
during a meeting with senior editors from both the government and
non-government owned media firms to move away from his predecessor, Jonathan
Moyo's hostile approach towards the Press.

      He said he will try to foster better relations with both the local and
foreign Press and said journalists were free to criticise the government
when it errs but warned they should tamper their criticism when it came to
Mugabe, whose policies are blamed by many for running down Zimbabwe to the

      "We no longer want to see journalists arrested over stories they
write. But we should not malign the President. We should allow foreign
journalists to operate without fear or harassment because we have nothing to
hide," he said.

      Criticising Mugabe in a way that might be construed as malignant or
denigrating is already a crime punishable by up to two years in jail under
the government's Public Order and Security Act. Jokonya's statement
yesterday ironically comes as police this week charged the editor of the
independent Standard newspaper Davison Maruziva and his reporter, Savious
Kwinika, over a story claming that ballot boxes and papers were found hidden
at the house of a government district administration official days after
last month's disputed election.

      The state official accused of having illegally kept voting material at
his home has since appeared in court over the matter and the police do not
question the substance of Maruziva and Kwinika's article. But the police
accuse the two journalists of having published the story with the intention
of inciting public violence.

      More significantly, Jokonya said the draconian Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) under which more than 100 journalists
have been arrested and charged since 2002 will not be repealed. But those
who attended the meeting said the former diplomat said he was open to debate
over the harsh law with a view to changing some of its most offending

      The press Act requires journalists and media firms to be registered
with a government appointed Media and Information Commission (MIC) before
they can practise or operate in Zimbabwe. Journalists found practising
without being registered face up to two years in jail while newspapers will
be forcibly closed and their equipment seized for operating without

      Four newspapers, including the country's largest circulating and
non-government owned daily paper, the Daily News, were shut down in the last
two years for breaching some clauses of the Act.

      Jokonya did not say whether or when the Daily News will be allowed
back onto the streets after the Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that
the (MIC) reviews its 2003 decision not to grant the newspaper an operating

      An editor of one of Zimbabwe's privately-owned newspapers said Jokonya's
statements were encouraging after years of tension and open hostility
between the government and the media. But he added that the fact that AIPPA
still remains in place meant "little will change in the way things are done
on the ground." - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Mugabe launches another tirade at Britain
Sat 23 April 2005
  JOHANNESBURG - President Robert Mugabe yesterday used the ongoing
Asia-Africa summit to launch yet another tirade against Britain and the West
accusing them of sabotaging his government as punishment for seizing
white-owned farmland for redistribution to landless blacks.

      Zimbabwe committed the "crime" of challenging white privilege when it
expropriated land from about 4 000 mainly British descended white farmers
who owned more than 75 percent of the country's best arable land, Mugabe

      He claimed London was sponsoring Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement
for Democratic Change party in a bid to unseat his government. Mugabe, whom
many hold directly responsible for running down Zimbabwe's economy, instead
said his country's five-year economic crisis is because of "naked
interference" by its former colonial master Britain.

      Mugabe also attacked the United States and Britain for using false
excuses to attack Iraq in a bid to control the Middle East country's
resources as he clearly attempted to draw parallels between Iraq and
Zimbabwe which he insists is being victimised for exercising sovereignty
over its land.

      Banned from Washington and all key European capitals because of his
appalling human rights record, Mugabe has resorted to using international
fora such as the summit in Jakarta to take potshots at the West.

      The only ruler Zimbabweans have ever known since independence from
Britain, Mugabe has driven his country to the ground through chaotic and
violent land reforms that destabilised the mainstay agricultural sector and
his refusal to embrace fiscal discipline which forced the International
Monetary Fund to cut vital balance-of-payments support to Zimbabwe.

      Unchecked corruption by Mugabe's cronies in the ruling ZANU PF party
and powerful military generals has also taken a heavy toll to reduce
Zimbabwe's once brilliant economy into the caricature African basket case. -

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From SW Radio Africa, 21 April

Lindela screening

Lindela Detention Centre in South Africa holds a large number of Zimbabwean
refugees. In a disturbing development, the South African government has
appointed a Zimbabwean government official to interview refugees who are
seeking asylum. The appointment lends support to claims that Thabo Mbeki is
collaborating in human rights abuses against Zimbabweans who oppose the
regime of Zanu PF. Lindela The Zimbabwean government official is to decide
who deserves to be allowed to stay and who gets deported and sent back to
Zimbabwe. Civic groups and human rights organizations are already up in arms
over the appointment. They fear the Zimbabwean official will discriminate
against opposition supporters and give confidential information about them
to state agents. The MDC announced that they severed ties with the South
African government this week, and the Lindela situation may actually prove
their decision was a good one. South Africa has from the very beginning not
crafted any policies that help Zimbabwean refugees who cross the border
looking for help. The success rate of asylum cases is very low, and the
suffering of Zimbabweans living in South Africa is well-documented.

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From: "Justice for Agriculture" <>
To: "Justice for Agriculture" <>
Sent: Friday, April 22, 2005 9:54 PM
Subject: JAG Mailing List

Due to circumstances beyond our control, JAG is unable to send the usual
newsletters this week.  We apologise sincerely.  We apologise to those
advertisers who expected their messages to be publicised.

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