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

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From The Times (UK), 17 August

The fate of a judiciary once renowned in the commonwealth for its

By Jan Raath

In the Harare Magistrates' Court it has been decided to keep the public
toilets permanently locked rather than clean them. The floors of the
courthouse are thick with dust, the walls sticky with grime and the only
cheerful aspect to the building is the sparrows that flutter in and out of
the broken windows of the courtrooms. The High Court in Zimbabwe's capital
is no better. Recently Chris Andersen, an advocate, rose in D Court to stop
a draught coming through a door. The door fell off its hinges. Judges and
magistrates have to write evidence down verbatim, in longhand, because tape
recorders rarely work. The High Court photocopy machine - used to print
judgments for distribution in the legal profession - lay idle for several
months recently because the toner had run out. However, it is not because of
lazy caretakers that ten respected judges have left Zimbabwe's superior
courts in the past four years. In 2001, Zimbabwe's judiciary was one of the
most highly regarded in the Commonwealth, particularly for its compassionate
interpretation of constitutional rights. In that year, Robert Mugabe
appointed as Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, a key figure in his "war
cabinet", to silence the growing demand for political change and greater
liberty. Since then, the judges have undergone an onslaught of unrelenting
intimidation, harassment and blatant attempts at bribery. It has worked, and
driven out nearly all the judges who maintained their independence and
entrenched a largely corrupt or pliant bench.

"The public has lost faith in the judiciary," Jacob Mafume, a board member
of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, says. "It is becoming an irrelevant
factor. The judiciary is contributing to its own sidelining. There are
certain judges trying against all odds to ensure that justice is delivered,
but their work is overshadowed by the decay in the system." Last month,
Judge Michael Majuru, in a statement issued in South Africa to where he had
fled in January, gave the first detailed public account of how Chinamasa
deals with judges. Late last year, the minister got another judge to urge
Judge Majuru to deliver a judgment to keep closed the independent Daily
News, the country's most popular newspaper; a ruling party businessman
offered the judge a state-seized farm; then Chinamasa telephoned Judge
Majuru personally to threaten and abuse him. Finally, the judge was
subjected to an outrageous smear in the State press and recused himself. The
judge who took over the case received death threats. Chinamasa is known to
have telephoned and visited several other judges to demand rulings in the
State's favour. In all the known cases he has been rebuffed. He has also
presided over the only arrests of judges - Fergus Blackie in 2002 and Ben
Paradza last year - in the country's history. Judge Blackie was acquitted
and Judge Paradza's challenge is jammed in the Supreme Court. "Nearly every
one of the resignations of the judges are forced removals, " Mafume says.
"It has created an element of fear in the judiciary."

Judges believe their telephones are tapped. Several judges' clerks have also
been arrested. About six magistrates have been assaulted by, or had to flee
from, ruling party militias. In February a magistrate and state prosecutor
were arrested because they granted bail to a suspect in a corruption case.
For those judges who do not resist the Government, life is rather different.
Most of the 21 High and Supreme Court judges occupy white-owned farms
illegally issued to them by the State. The Government is distributing 4X4
vehicles among them for use on "their" farms. Godfrey Chidyausiku, the Chief
Justice, also has a large property in Harare that an official inquiry said
he had acquired "corruptly". Soon after he succeeded Anthony Gubbay, the
former Chief Justice, who was forced out by threats of violence in 2001,
Chidyausiku made his first two appointments of High Court judges. Both were
relatives. Under him, the Supreme Court has carried out Mugabe's strategy of
silencing criticism and stamping on human rights. It has blocked the release
of an official report on the massacre of about 20,000 civilians in western
Zimbabwe, opened the way for the banning of The Daily News, confirmed the
closure of another, The Tribune, legalised the seizure of white-owned land,
banned an independent radio station from broadcasting and last year gave
Judith Todd, the Zimbabwean-born daughter of the former liberal Rhodesian
Prime Minister, Garfield Todd, 48 hours to reclaim her cancelled citizenship
when she was out of the country and unable to return in time to do it.

Where they don't rule for the Government, they don't rule at all. In 2000,
shortly after the parliamentary vote won narrowly by Mugabe's Zanu PF, the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change filed petitions against results in
38 constituencies. About two thirds have been heard in the High Court. It
appears almost certain that by the time the next parliamentary elections are
held in March next year, the Supreme Court will not have heard a single
appeal in any of the petitions in nearly five years. Delays in both courts
are "endemic", the International Bar Association said in a statement last
week: "It is no longer unusual for litigants to wait for more than six
months for a judgment that does not involve complex issues." More complex or
politically sensitive cases can take a year from set down to judgment. Ben
Hlatshwayo, a High Court judge, whose occupation of one of the country's
biggest grain-producing farms has turned it into a peasant squat, has the
most extraordinary record. According to senior legal sources, reviews of
magistrates' court rulings have been gathering dust in his office for the
past year. "He has 700 piling up there," one source said. Before
presidential elections in 2002 he was given 300 affidavits of appeals by
voters, mostly whites, who had been deprived of their citizenship and
thereby, their vote. They were meant to be heard before the poll. "They are
all still on his file," the source said. It is all on the record for when
change comes, Mafume says. "The judiciary has to be accountable. We will
call into account the judiciary to see whether justice has been applied.
Remember in Kenya after Daniel arap Moi lost elections? Nineteen judges were
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Zim Online

Second medal for Zimbabwe in Athens
Wed 18 August 2004

      Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry has done it again. This time she won bronze
in the women's 200 metres individual medley at the Athens Olympics yesterday
evening, bringing her trophy haul to two.

      Coventry, who is undoubtedly Zimbabwe¹s best athlete at the games,
narrowly missed out on silver, coming home in two minutes 12.72 seconds,
behind US American Amanda Beard, who finished in two minutes 11.70 seconds.
The race was won by Ukraine's Yana Klochkova with a time of two minutes 11.4

      On Monday,  Coventry did her country proud, sneaking up in the outer
lane on French teenager Laure Manaudou, to clinch the silver medal in the
women's 100 meters backstroke. US American Natalie Coughlin took gold.
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College Sports

Olympics from A(uburn) to Z(imbabwe): Kirsty Coventry's Diary

Auburn swimmer reports from Athens while representing her home of Zimbabwe

Aug. 13, 2004

By Kirsty Coventry
Special to
Courtesy of Auburn Athletics

Today the Opening Ceremonies mark the official opening of the Games... I am
so excited! Everyone always wonders how the torch will be lit and what type
of entertainment there will be. Normally, Zimbabwe is the last country
before the host, but this year the Greeks are following the Greek alphabet
and Z is the 6th letter. We should be about 56th in line. I am not sure yet
whether I will march or watch from the stands; it is very tiring to march
and I swim on Sunday. I marched in Sydney and it was a great experience.
Most of my Auburn teammates have elected not to go in order to save their
legs! The officials predict it will be 6-7 hours of standing, sitting and
marching! Eileen will be there though because she is the flag bearer for

All of the Auburn kids are here now and we have so much fun together at the
pool and especially at the cafeteria! We watch each other do our fast work
during training and it inspires confidence in ourselves. Mark Gangloff swims
the 100 Breaststroke tomorrow morning. I have scheduled my workout time to
get there just before he swims so I can see him blaze down the pool!

Yesterday I had to go to an asthma clinic to get my asthma "verified" to
make sure it was legal for me to take my medicine. It was quite a hard test
but I "passed" with flying colors... which means yes, I have asthma and need
my medicine. It is good that they are testing us though to make sure the
Games are fair. After my test we went and bought new pants for my Opening
Ceremonies uniform; they gave us size 36 men! It was fun to get out of the
Village and see a bit of Athens. I look forward to seeing more when I am
finished competing.

I hope you all enjoy watching the Ceremonies on TV. I will try to describe
it to you all later as best as I can!

War Eagle!!!

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Business Day

Conafex land in Zimbabwe to be expropriated


Agricultural company Conafex raised alarm bells for South African companies
with operations in Zimbabwe yesterday, when it said President Robert
Mugabe's government had given notice that authorities would immediately
seize the agricultural assets of Conafex subsidiary Zimcor.
This is the second expropriation attempt on the Zimbabwean assets of an
SA-listed company, following a notice served on Anglo American in January
for the expropriation of the company's Hippo Valley sugar estates.

There are other South African farming companies with Zimbabwean operations,
such as Tongaat-Hulett, and Conafex's predicament will raise concern their
assets could face a similar fate.

Conafex CEO Chris Jousse did not want to add to the company's terse
statement that all of Zimcor's agricultural assets "are to be compulsorily
acquired with immediate effect".

Expropriation notices had already been served on two of Zimcor's main
estates , Trelawney and Kent, but this order now extends the expropriation
to all Zimcor's agricultural assets.

Conafex, which is listed on both the JSE Securities Exchange SA and the
Luxembourg stock exchange, had made diplomatic representations through the
Luxembourg embassy in Zimbabwe to fight this compulsory annexure but it
seems these efforts have now failed.

In its announcement yesterday, Conafex said "the implications of this action
and the matter of compensation are not yet clear".

However, the expropriation clearly will hurt Conafex, which until recently
relied heavily on its Zimbabwean operations. Conafex's Zimbabwean assets
were worth $8,4m the bulk of the company's total $13m in assets, according
to last year's annual report.

The report said that "if these compulsory acquisitions of (Trelawney and
Kent) proceed without adequate compensation, land and improvements up to a
value of 4200000 could be permanently impaired".

Conafex employs 963 workers in Zimbabwe and elsewhere, and it is unclear
what effect the Zimbabwean government's action will have on Conafex's
operations. Although Conafex had been on a mission to reduce its dependence
on Zimbabwe, Zimcor made profits of Z1,1bn last year, up from Z165m .

Its efforts to diversify led to the company buying into two South African
agricultural companies in November last year. This included 17,45% of the
JSE-listed fruit specialists Intertrading, while its European associates
bought another 17,45% of that company.

Conafex bought 50% of the SA-based Coffee Team & Chocolate Company, while
selling its stake in the Zimbabwean company Barato Holdings for $1,1m.

A number of other South African giants with Zimbabwean operations will be
keeping a close eye on what happens to Conafex's annexed operations.

Anglo American received a notice of expropriation for its Hippo Valley sugar
estates in January this year, after which it lodged formal objections with
the Zimbabwean authorities.

However, sugar producer Tongaat-Hulett, which owns the Zimbabwean based
Triangle Sugar, has not announced any expropriation notices for its farms.

Business Day

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JAG CLASSIFIED: Updated 17th August 2004

Please send any classified adverts for publication in this newsletter to:
JAG Job Opportunities

1.  Advert Received 12th august 2004

JAG CLASSIFIED: Updated 12th August 2004

Please send any classified adverts for publication in this newsletter to:
JAG Job Opportunities

2.  Advert Received 13th August 2004

KZN South Coast.
2 x Luxury beachfront units & a Holiday cottage in Shelly Beach available at
out of season rates for the August/September school holidays. For bookings
and more details contact Frank Urquhart at or
0027 8367109612

3.  Advert Received 13th August 2004

Urgently required by retired, recently widowed farmer's wife and daughter,
a secure garden cottage in Harare - partly furnished.  The accomodation is
required for about 2 1/2 months.

Please contact Shirley Turpin at 073-2896.

4.  Advert Received 15th August 2004


If you have a treasured piece of furniture which needs restoring, it can be
done beautifully and to perfection. This includes anything wooden, ie
coffee tables, sideboards, dressing tables,etc.

Please contact Dan Roeloffze

home 04-747137
mobile 091 336194

5.  Advert Received 16th August 2004

I have the following South African Law Books for sale:

South Africa Law of Evidence
Casebook on Law of Delict
Insolvency Law
Constitutional Law
Criminal Procedure
Law of Partnerships, Company Law and Insolvency
South African Persons and Family Law
Casebook of Law of Succession
Contract Law Casebook
Statutory Interpretation
The Juvenile Delinquent in Society
Administration of Insolvent Estates
Estates Planning and Administration
Accounting - An Introduction
Criminal Law
Wille's Principles of South African Law
Workplace Law.

I can be contacted me at

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Are you looking for Pastel Accounting Partner, Xpress, Premier and
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We at Pastel Management Consultants are able to offer our clients the
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· Managerial advice in the use of the Pastel range of software.
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· Development (Originators of Pastel Farmer) of Reports for Farmers,
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7.  Advert Received 16th august 2004

Please put this into Classifieds

Warrior cylindrical petrol motor mower, cuts beautifully.  $4,5m negotable

Robin two stroke Bush Cutter (Japan)

Both the above can be viewed at Avon Mica DIY Hardware Shop in Borrowdale

8.  Advert Received 16th August 2004

Please put this into Classifieds

30ft GRP Sail Boat, Sandawana, moored at Lake Safaris, Kariba.  Ketch
rigged, sleeps five, low hours 10hp Yamaha Diesel motor, SL400 toilet, GPS,
Echo Sounder, Auto helm, own trailer, moulds and much more.  Would cost
$75mil to build today but I am looking for offers. Please contact John
Hensman Harare 883461 or

9.  Advert Received 16th August 2004

3 Brand new digital cameras (2 Cannon and 1 Olympus).
All with zoom lenses and software. Please contact Brett
on Byo 244491

10.  Advert Received 17th August 2004


I am looking for a good scientific calculator for use at O' level exams.
I will pay and if in Harare will collect.

Please contact Yasmin Mohamed on

663774 or 663798 office hours and cell 091 -907 -383

11.  Advert Received 17th August 2004

4WD or 2WD 80HP Massey, Ford or Fiat Tractors Plus 10 tonne Dumpers.
Will consider 5 tonne Dumper.\

Contact 091 233 415

12.  Advert Received 17th August 2004

WANTED urgently is a working / non-working colour TV , VCR , DVD , Hi-FI,
DECODER and/or DISH. Kindly phone Joel on 023 288454 email

13.  Advert Received 17th August 2004

Grazing Urgently Needed
Do you have any grass for cutting or hay bails?
Please urgently contact Nigel on 091 249 218
or Jackie on 860985

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Business Day

Expect usual sounds of silence on Zimbabwe at SADC summit

OBSERVERS, both informed and casual, have for years been completely confused
by the situation in Zimbabwe and the responses of leadership in southern
Africa to the depredations of President Robert Mugabe.
This confusion can only have increased after the opening day of this year's
Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in Mauritius.

It is worth remembering that the heart and soul of the SADC are the former
"frontline states". These frontline states Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and
Angola were at the forefront of the fight against apartheid SA.

Those mentioned gave succour to the African National Congress (ANC) and the
South West African People's Organisation (Swapo) in the form of camps and
often material support. In return they suffered raids from the apartheid war
machine, either in the form of bombing raids or commando- style attacks.

The bottom line here is that somewhere in the depths of their subconscious
they believe SA owes them something. Now let us try translate that into an
economic development region and some of the reasons for the moribund nature
of the SADC begin to emerge. In addition to believing that there is a debt
owing there is fear of SA's economic muscle overpowering them. But I

Topping the agenda for this summit are two issues. Free and fair elections
in Africa, and the situation in Zimbabwe. Clearly the two are not
unconnected particularly with a parliamentary election scheduled for next
year in Zimbabwe.

Palpably Mugabe stole the last presidential election and has rigged the
courts in his country to defend the result against any legal challenges. Not
especially good advertising to the world about how the region respects
democratic fundamentals.

Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa on Monday gave a chilling speech to the
opening ceremony of the SADC summit. He railed shrilly against the enemies
of Africans, against those who had imposed colonialism on African countries.
Then the clincher he suggested that the region should develop electoral laws
that were in line with its political, social and cultural background.

All of us, European, Asian or African, somewhere, come from a dictatorial
system originally. Alexander the Great and the great Egyptian pharaohs were
not great exponents of the democratic state. Neither were Genghis Khan and
other Asian leaders. Democracy is a relatively modern idea, Mkapa should be

It is also considered critical all over the world to giving ordinary poor
people a shot at influencing the way their lives are run. It is not a
creation of the Americans or the British.

In effect, Mkapa was saying nothing would be done about the situation in
Zimbabwe and Mugabe would not be stopped from stealing yet another election.
His tirade came after Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili said
democracy was thriving.

Mauritian Prime Minister Paul Berenger issued a stern warning earlier that
free and fair elections needed an independent electoral commission, access
to state media, unfettered press and credible observation, all denied in
Zimbabwe by Mugabe.

So Mkapa praises Mugabe, Berenger appears to be criticising him and telling
him what is required. But it is all being done in a sort of code that
precludes anyone in the region taking the Zimbabwe issue by the scruff of
the neck.

Perhaps they want to sell food to the starving millions in Zimbabwe after
the collapse of agriculture in that country. Berenger spoke as if a free and
fair election in Zimbabwe was a foregone conclusion.

There is no question that the US, UK and European Union (EU) are not
convinced. There is also no question that to get development going in Africa
they need to be convinced. It might be unfair but that is the truth.

So why does Mugabe get a standing ovation from the crowds gathered at the
Union Buildings for President Thabo Mbeki's inauguration? Why are other SADC
leaders, whose countries are obviously being harmed by the situation in
Zimbabwe, so reluctant to criticise him? Why does Mbeki practise silent
diplomacy with Mugabe but foghorn diplomacy with Israel?

Ordinary South Africans consider Mugabe to be a hero of the struggle against
racism and the colonial legacy. Many of the leaders in Africa would also
share this view. Indeed I think white South Africans would be surprised at
how many supported the idea of Zimbabwe-style land grabs.

Politically it is not a good idea for a black leader to be going about
slagging Mugabe off. The people who are going to vote for him or her next
time round are not going to like it.

And because Mugabe is a hero of Africa, standing bravely against the evil of
the UK, US and EU opposition, criticism from the Movement for Democratic
Change and the Democratic Alliance will be to no avail.

Zimbabweans themselves will have to find a way to depose Mugabe and replace
Zanu (PF).

Hartley is parliamentary editor.
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Zimbabwe: World Bank Had 'Negligible' Impact On Development

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

August 18, 2004
Posted to the web August 18, 2004


The World Bank's assistance programmes in Zimbabwe have been largely
"unsatisfactory" over the past two decades, a new independent assessment has

According to a Country Assistance Evaluation (CAE) report released in May
this year, the impact of the Bank's programmes on the country's overall
development between 1980 and 2001 had been "negligible".

The CAE is an official assessment meachanism that appraises the relevancy,
efficacy, and institutional development of the Bank's assistance programmes.

Although the Bank had contributed to liberalising trade and reforming
agricultural markets over the past 20 years, the evaluation alleged that its
support packages had failed to bolster macroeconomic stability or reduce
overall poverty, and despite efforts to reform the civil service, no
improvement in fiscal discipline had been achieved.

However, the WB's poor performance was linked to the failure by Zimbabwean
authorities to commit to macroeconomic stability and poverty alleviation,
the report said.

At the end of the 1980s economic growth in Zimbabwe had declined to just one
percent per annum and unemployment stood at more than 20 percent.
Recognising the need for more rapid growth, the government embarked on the
Economic and Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP) from 1991 to 1995, and
although substantial progress in liberalising trade and deregulating
agricultural marketing was achieved, macroeconomic stability remained shaky.

Deregulation of the labour market and a reduction in public expenditure led
to sharp declines in employment in manufacturing and public administration,
and agricultural growth was not broad based enough to reduce rural poverty.
Extreme poverty increased from 26 percent to 35 percent between 1991 and

The failure to undertake a public expenditure review (PER) prior to 1995 was
viewed as a key error by CAE. "Given the necessity of macroeconomic
stability, especially achieving fiscal sustainability, the Bank should have
undertaken the PER prior to 1995 ... and should have formed a judgement not
only about the macroeconomic/fiscal targets, but also about the likelihood
of their implementation," the report suggested.

Although the Bank's management accepted that a PER should have been
conducted prior to 1995, it disagreed with the CAE claim that no substantive
analytical work on poverty had been completed and insufficient attention had
been given to social safety nets. The Bank pointed to a wide range of
analytical studies conducted on poverty in 1995/96, but agreed that land
reform and HIV/AIDS interventions could have started earlier.

The report pointed out that AIDS now affects one-third of the adult
population and life expectancy fell from 56 years in 1990 to 40 years in

With regard to the controversial land redistribution issue, the assessment
said although the Bank's strategy was "appropriate" in responding to the
difficulties the country faced in the 1980s, it did not provide clear
direction to land reform.

"Lending was concentrated on investment loans for infrastructure. While
analytical work appropriately focused on improving economic management, all
five major Bank reports made no recommendations on land reform," the
evaluation said.

It was suggested that despite financial constraints, which hampered the
Bank's ability to finance land acquisition, the financial institution could
have taken "alternative approaches".

"The Bank should have analysed options and consequences of land reform, and
should have signalled to the government earlier in the 1990s that it was
willing to support a sensible land reform programme with available
instruments," the report commented.

It recommended that the Bank stay engaged in the country, but observed that
the current political situation meant "the Bank can do little to move
forward the economic and social agenda".

Instead, there should be increased attention paid to understanding the
current levels of poverty and inequality, and the impact of economic
policies on these issues. The Bank should also analyse the political and
economic factors which had impeded reforms in the past.

"A resumption of normal Bank lending should be conditional on credible
measures to achieve macroeconomic stability, fundamental governance reforms
... parastatal reforms and the formulation of credible initial steps in the
implementation of an action plan on land issues," the report recommended.

Zimbabwe has been in arrears to the Bank since May 2000.

More details:
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Zim election group welcomes SADC guidelines

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

GRANDE BAIE, 18 Aug 2004 (IRIN) - The Zimbabwe Elections Support Network
(ZESN) has welcomed the adoption of guidelines for holding democratic
elections at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in
Mauritius this week.

ZESN national chairperson Reginald Machaba-Hove told IRIN on Wednesday that
although the guidelines - if adhered to by member states - would improve
election conditions, there was a lack of clarity on the role of
international observer groups.

One of the key stipulations of the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing
Democratic Elections is the presence of an SADC election observer team ahead
of, during, and after the ballot.

ZESN, a non-partisan network of 38 civic organisations in Zimbabwe, has been
lobbying for electoral reform in Zimbabwe.

Machaba-Hove said the guidelines appeared not to take into consideration the
important role external observer teams could play in ensuring a free and
fair poll, and said he had raised these issues with the new chairman of
SADC, Mauritian Prime Minister Paul Berenger, during a meeting following the
close of the Grande Baie conference.

"As ZESN, we are delighted that the summit unanimously agreed on the SADC
[election guidelines] - however, our concern so far is that the text refers
principally to SADC election observation missions and is somewhat silent on
the need for other international observer missions," he commented.

"Nevertheless, we welcome the fact that all SADC heads of state and
government agreed to the principles and guidelines on elections ... as civil
society, we will be following up the question of implementation of the
principles and guidelines into domestic legislation and practice," said
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From The Sunday Mirror, 15 August

Dabengwa snubbed

Mirror Reporter

Confusion is reigning supreme in the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) council
following the last minute snubbing of politburo member and former cabinet
minister, Dumiso Dabengwa, who was supposed to be conferred with an honorary
degree at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) graduation ceremony held on
Friday. The UZ council is the body that makes decisions to confer honorary
awards to listed individuals, but in Dabengwa's case the council has cited
that it was unaware that Dabengwa had been omitted from graduation ceremony
programme, only discovering the anomaly at the last minute. According to UZ
council chairman and Awards Committee chairperson, Ambassador Buzwani
Mothobi, they were as baffled as Dabengwa's relatives who had attended the
graduation ceremony when they realised that Dabengwa would not be receive
the honorary degree. "The Executive Committee of the council had made a
decision to award Dabengwa an honorary doctorate and up until the graduation
ceremony itself on Friday morning, no information had been relayed to us
concerning the erasure of Dabengwa from the graduation ceremony's
programme," said Mothobi. Dabengwa, who was absent from the graduation
ceremony, told the Sunday Mirror that he had been satisfied by explanations
furnished to him saying: "I was given an explanation that it had been
decided to postpone it and that we will have a separate ceremony later. I
tried as much as possible to reach out to as many of my relatives as
possible to explain the postponement, but some still made it to the UZ. I am
satisfied with the explanation I got."

However, impeccable sources close to Dabengwa, say that he was extremely
incensed by the sudden postponement, after Higher Education minister,
Herbert Murerwa, is alleged to have phoned him explaining the postponement.
Higher Education secretary, Washington Mbizo tried to bar the Sunday Mirror
from following up on the farce concerning Dabengwa, but confirmed that
Murerwa had indeed informed Dabengwa of the postponement. "What I suggest is
that you don't write this story because these things go through procedures
involving the Chancellor (President Robert Mugabe). It is a very sensitive
issue and I advise you not to write about it. Minister Murerwa phoned
Dabengwa to explain the postponement to him." UZ Vice Chancellor, Levy
Nyagura refused to comment on Mothobi's statements, citing university
protocol. "How can I comment on what Ambassador Mothobi has said? Remember
he is my boss, and regulations clearly spell out that I cannot give comments
contrary to what my boss has said," said Nyagura. Pressed for clarification
as to who gave the directive that Dabengwa's name be omitted from the
graduation ceremony programme without the UZ council's knowledge, Nyagura
feigned ignorance of what actually took place. Nyagura said: "It's not a
policy matter. I am only an officer of the institution tasked with enforcing
what the both the UZ council and the ministry (of Higher Education) decide
on. What I will tell you is that we have a procedure on honorary degrees,
and when the process is complete, that is when I, as an officer of the UZ,
can proceed to put a candidate's name on the list. That's all I can say."
This is not the first time a senior ranking politician has been snubbed at
the last minute, and thus denied the opportunity to be conferred an honorary
degree. In May this year, Speaker of Parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa was
treated in similar fashion at the graduation ceremony of the Midlands State
University (MSU) with university staff hurriedly erasing Mnangagwa's name
from the graduation programme in a last minute move. Sources said that MSU
vice-chancellor, Ngwabi Bhebhe had held an urgent meeting with the
university chancellor, President Mugabe, whereupon it was decided the
President had indicated that "the timing was not right" for Mnangagwa to be
conferred with an honorary degree.
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Suspected mercenaries deny Zimbabwe weapon charges

August 18, 2004, 19:19

Most of a group of 70 suspected mercenaries accused in Zimbabwe of plotting
to topple the government of Equatorial Guinea pleaded not guilty today to
fresh charges of conspiring to possess dangerous weapons. Zimbabwean
authorities have held the men since March 7 when their plane landed in
Harare en route for what Zimbabwe officials said was a mission to oust
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the president of Equatorial Guinea.

The group say they were headed to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to
guard mining operations. Earlier today, 66 of the men, excluding group
leader Simon Mann and three others, denied state charges that they
unlawfully attempted to "possess or acquire" a slew of weapons including
assault rifles, hand grenades, anti-tank missile launchers and mortar bombs
from state arms firm Zimbabwe Defence Industries.

"The accused persons will deny the allegations. Up to today they have not
even seen the weapons they are being accused of. How can they possess
something that they didn't even know existed," Jonathan Samkange, their
lawyer, told a makeshift court at the maximum security prison where the men
are being held. A senior police official, who led investigations in the
case, told the court army officers who searched the plane found a map of
Equatorial Guinea's capital Malabo together with an encoded military
document, uniforms and what appeared to be military equipment.

"Some of the goods, the uniforms and also the equipment which resembled
military (equipment) among other items, were specifically for a mission. My
comment is that it should be investigated," Clemence Madzingo told the court
after the state prosecutor asked him to make an assessment of the items

A further 15 men are being held by Equatorial Guinea, awaiting trial on
charges of involvement in the coup plot. Last month, 67 of the 70 suspects
detained in Harare pleaded guilty on lesser charges of contravening
Zimbabwe's immigration and aviation laws.

Also in July, Mann, a former member of Britain's special forces, also
pleaded guilty to attempting to possess dangerous weapons, but rejected a
second charge of purchasing weapons, saying the deal never went through. -
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      S.Africa "disappointed" by stalled Zimbabwe talks
      18 Aug 2004 16:30:46 GMT

By Gordon Bell

CAPE TOWN, Aug 18 (Reuters) - South Africa is disappointed talks have
stalled between the government and opposition in Zimbabwe, but will continue
to work for a negotiated solution to the crisis, a top official said on

"We are extremely disappointed at what appears now to be a stalemate in the
talks that were happening," Deputy Foreign Minister Sue van der Merwe told
reporters in Cape Town.

But she rejected suggestions that South Africa was failing to take strong
enough action against human rights abuses in neighbouring Zimbabwe.

President Thabo Mbeki and his government have come under criticism from
Zimbabwe's opposition and sympathisers in South Africa for not taking a
harder line with his Zimbabwean counterpart Robert Mugabe over reports of
human rights abuses.

Mbeki has repeatedly dismissed any need for intervention, saying talks were
going on between Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party and the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC). But in July Mbeki's spokesman admitted his
self-imposed deadline to end the impasse in Zimbabwe by June 30 had passed
with no results.

Southern African leaders meeting in Mauritius for the annual conference of
the Southern African Development Community (SADC) this week rallied around
embattled Mugabe, who is accused of a political crackdown following a
disputed re-election in 2002.

Zimbabwe is suffering serious economic turmoil widely blamed on government

Van der Merwe said South Africa still believed negotiation was the only
option to resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe.

"The government has thought about alternatives, but we honestly believe
there is no alternative to the Zimbabweans sitting down and talking about it
until they reach a resolution," she said.

She said the South African government believed Mugabe's Zanu-PF had been
encouraged about their prospects in parliamentary elections due next year by
victories in recent by-elections, reducing their need to negotiate with the
MDC before those polls.

Zimbabwe this week signed up for SADC electoral guidelines that aim to
ensure free and fair elections, but without the need for Western observers.
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International Journalists' Network

MISA: Lack of press freedom may hinder electoral process

Aug 18, 2004

With less than a year before the next general election in Zimbabwe, a
three-person team of media experts sponsored by the Media Institute of
Southern Africa (MISA) has found that curbs on press freedom make a free and
fair election highly unlikely for March 2005.

Pamela Dube, editor of Mokogsi Newspaper in Botswana, Fernando Gonçalves,
editor of Savana Newspaper in Mozambique, and Zambian media law expert,
Patrick Matibini, found that while the Zimbabwean constitution guarantees
freedom of expression, pieces of legislation designed to protect the privacy
of public officials have "effectively closed the media space in Zimbabwe."

The 22-page report found that independent journalists were often locked out
of events and faced harassment from police and government officials.
State-run media outlets, while granted access, do not give equal time to all
political parties and ideologies.

Since the report's publication, MISA has renewed its call for the Zimbabwean
government to comply with the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights,
which it ratified in May 1986. Article 9 of the charter states that "every
individual shall have the right to receive information" and "every
individual shall have the right to express and disseminate opinions within
the law."

Additionally, MISA is encouraging members of the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) to demand that Zimbabwe adhere to SADC
regulations for elections.

The team's report was presented to a group of southern African journalists
and editors in Johannesburg, South Africa on August 4.

For more information, visit MISA at
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Food scarce in Zimbabwe
18/08/2004 16:44  - (SA)

Helmo Preuss

Johannesburg - Four in five Zimbabweans report that they went without food
at least once in the previous year (up from 65% who did so in 1999).

Rates of persistent hunger are higher than in any of the other 15 countries
surveyed by Afrobarometer.

The other African countries surveyed earlier in 2004 were Botswana, Cape
Verde, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria,
Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

The Afrobarometer is an independent, non-partisan survey research project
conducted by the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa), the Centre
for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), and Michigan State University (MSU).

Implemented through a network of national research partners, Afrobarometer
surveys measure the social, economic and political atmosphere in societies
in transition in West, East and Southern Africa.

Afrobarometer's latest findings are based on over 1 104 interviews conducted
in May 2004 in local languages with a randomly selected, nationally
representative area probability sample of the adult population in Zimbabwe.
Afrobarometer also conducted a survey of 1 200 Zimbabweans in 1999.

The 2004 results indicate that Zimbabweans are keenly aware that their
personal and national economic conditions have deteriorated in the last two

They are losing faith in democracy, are increasingly disillusioned with the
opposition, but at the same time, appear to be more trusting of the

The 2004 survey found that Zimbabweans feel economically deprived: more than
half of all adults (54%) think that current living conditions are bad; and
present generations think they are materially worse off than their parents

More than other Africans, Zimbabweans are prone to hold government
accountable for individual welfare, (68% feel that government should be
responsible for their well being). The most important popular priorities for
government action are the management of the economy (40%), unemployment
(31%), and food security (27%).

In contrast to the claims of the government, ordinary Zimbabweans rarely
mention land reform as a priority national problem (4%). Moreover, three
quarters (76%) think that land acquisition should only be done by legal
means and with compensation to owners.

Zimbabweans give the government higher marks for combating Aids (65%) than
for creating jobs (22%), keeping prices stable (31%), or closing the gap
between rich and poor (24%). But the proportion is rising of those reporting
they know someone who has died from Aids (78%, up from 68% in 1999).

Afrobarometer's research, capacity-building and outreach activities are
sponsored by amongst others, the Swedish International Development
Cooperation Agency, the Netherlands ministry of foreign affairs, and the US
Agency for International Development (USAid).
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Zim Opposition MP Scoffs At Electoral Reform

New Era (Windhoek)

August 18, 2004
Posted to the web August 18, 2004

Catherine Sasman

VISITING shadow Minister of Finance of Zimbabwe and opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) MP, David Coltart, said the ZANU-PF government in
Zimbabwe had "no real intention" to reform its electoral process, and that
it instead "revealed cynical" intentions when dealing with the opposition.

This scathing remark by Coltart in Windhoek yesterday evening juxtaposed
with a visit of a seven-member delegation of the Zimbabwean Public Service
Commission and Electoral Directorate, as well as calls from southern African
leaders for support at the SADC summit currently in progress in Mauritius of
President Mugabe's newly proposed electoral laws.

Coltart said although the Zimbabwean government has to some extent
capitulated under increased pressure from other countries in the region, the
reforms in the electoral system as proposed by the ruling party was merely a
distortion of 15 conditions proposed by the MDC for a conducive electoral

According to the head of the delegation to Namibia, Dr Mariyawanda Nzuwah,
President Robert Mugabe had at the opening of Parliament recently announced
a constitutional amendment to create "an independent electoral commission",
where its members would be appointed at the recommen-dation of parliament.
Hence, said Nzuwah, the visit to Namibia, Botswana and South Africa, and "if
time permits" other countries in the region, is to look at different
electoral systems to "hopefully learn from them".

Parliamentary elections are expected to take place in March next year, with
the presidential elections only expected in 2008 after Mugabe has served his
full six-year term following the last presidential elections in 2002.

Nzuwah said that the proposed bill on elections made provision for the
envisaged electoral commission to have "full powers to compile the voters'
roll and to register voters and not the government or anyone else".

"As a member of the opposition he [Coltart] would have it differently," went
on Nzuwah. He added that he [Nzuwah] was not a "politician and can only talk
about the processes" currently underway.

Coltart, however, maintained that the proposed electoral commission would
not be independent, and that it would not have "any power" over the voters'
roll compilation. "The voters' roll will still be compiled by Robert
Mugabe," contended Coltart, adding that the voters' roll had historically
been the "primary means" of "rigging elections".

Equally, said Coltart, the idea of the introduction of translucent voters'
boxes to be introduced in Zimbabwe, could "exacerbate violence against
voters, particularly in rural areas", as it would then be more obvious how
people have voted.

Coltart, who was hosted by the Congress of Democrats (CoD) in Namibia, made
these remarks, making claims that the Zimbabwean political scenario was not
conducive for free and fair elections.

He commented that the Zimbabwean government over the last four years has
"embarked on a remarkably comprehensive campaign to undermine the
opposition". "The best illustration is given when one considers the
treatment of opposition MPs," said Coltart.

He submitted that 90 percent of the opposition MPs have been "subjected to
some form of human rights abuses, 24 percent have survived assassination
attempts, 42 percent were assaulted, and 16 percent have been tortured."

He further claimed that five MDC MPs have died, one while in prison, and the
remaining four after having been released from detention, where they
purportedly have been "assaulted and tortured". Coltart also reported on
more wide-ranging cases of human rights violations, including a virtual
clampdown on the independent media in Zimbabwe.

In the same vein he lamented the media in the West for what he called their
"deep rooted racism", claiming that the Western media widely reported on
human rights abuses against white farmers, and are not interested in those
perpetrated against black Zimbabweans. "Human rights abuses continue to
deteriorate inside the country, and is worse than it is portrayed by the
international media," Coltart suggested.

Remarking on Coltart's attack on the Zimbabwean government, Nzuwah said: "He
[Coltart] ought to say that to Zimbabweans who know the truth and not say it
to Namibians," suggesting that Coltart was "playing to the international
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The Star

      MDC fears 'implementation devil' in SA DC election rule
      August 18, 2004

      By Beauregard Tromp and Basildon Peta

      Grand Baie, Mauritius - Leaders of the Southern African Development
Community, at their annual summit, have adopted a far-reaching set of
guidelines for elections.

      These include elements demanded by the Zimbabwe opposition, which will
contest crucial legislative elections next year, such as equal access for
all political parties to the state media and impartiality of electoral

      Yesterday, Welshman Ncube, of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, welcomed the guidelines, but was worried that "they don't clearly
stipulate the enforcement mechanism".

      "The devil is always in the implementation and we have no doubt that
(President Robert) Mugabe hasn't got the slightest intention to enforce the
new protocol."
      At a briefing, President Thabo Mbeki addressed the enforcement issue,
saying it would fall to SADC's Organ on Politics, Defence and Security to
engage a member state which was constantly in violation of the rules.

      "It (the SADC treaty) allows for people to be excluded from the
organisation if they are found to be constantly in violation," he said.

      The Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections include
10 basic ideals.

      These are full participation of citizens in the political process;
freedom of association; political tolerance; regular intervals for
elections; equal opportunity for all political parties to access state
media; equal opportunity to exercise the right to vote and be voted for;
independence of the judiciary and impartiality of the electoral
institutions; the right to voter education; the respect of election results
proclaimed to be free and fair by the competent national electoral
authority; and the right to challenge election results as provided for in
the law.

      The guidelines also stipulate that SADC members invited to observe
elections should ensure conditions are conducive for free, fair and peaceful
elections, should make sure there is an updated and accessible voters' roll,
a timeous announcement of the election date, that polling stations are
located in neutral places and that the votes are counted at the polling

      The member state holding the elections is expected to ensure "the
scrupulous implementation".

      New SADC chairperson and Mauritian Prime Minister Paul Berenger said
the decisions made at this year's summit, which ended yesterday, would
hopefully shift the focus from the continually highlighted negative aspects
of SADC to the more positive aspects. - Independent Foreign Service

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Cape Argus

      A history of errors
      August 18, 2004

      By the Editor

      African leaders could, perhaps, be forgiven for glazing over at the
mention of Zimbabwe and its despotic President Robert Mugabe.

      They must feel rather like Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan often
did in the 1980s when protesters waved placards saying "Down with Botha" or
"Apartheid is a crime against humanity".

      There's eventually something tedious about a problem that won't go
away. But just as Thatcher and Reagan could never be entirely trusted when
they spoke of democracy and freedom, so Africa's leaders - those who mince
their words about the continent's post-independence failures, and decline to
confront the challenges - sound hollow when they speak of liberation and
human rights.

      Zimbabwe's plight is, no doubt, the consequence of a history of
errors, for which the post-liberation government presided over by an ageing
one-time "freedom fighter" is only partly responsible.

      There's no reasonable defence for the flawed and rapacious colonialism
that gave birth to Rhodesia. But there's no reasonable defence, either, for
the flawed and rapacious rule that has succeeded it.

      African leaders have, it seems, yet to digest the truth that it's less
British and American opinion that matters than the sentiments of a steadily
modernising, aspirational, vocal and informed African populace that sees no
reason why it should get a shoddier deal than the residents of Middlesex or
North Carolina.

      Southern African Development Community leaders may pride themselves on
their cosy solidarity with Mugabe. It is not so certain that Africans
themselves will always have so generous a view.

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New Zimbabwe

Judge to hand down judgements in mercenary case

By Susan Njanji
Last updated: 08/18/2004 20:53:22
A ZIMBABWE judge was expected on Wednesday to begin handing down sentences
as the trial of 70 suspected mercenaries accused of plotting a coup in
oil-rich Equatorial Guinea was to resume.

"Today we are expecting judgment, sentencing and trial," said defence lawyer
Jonathan Samkange.

The men were arrested on March 7 at Harare airport when their plane stopped
off to pick up weapons that they claim were to be used to guard a diamond
mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Zimbabwe authorities, however, charge that the men were getting ready to
join 15 other suspected mercenaries in Malabo to topple long-time
Equato-Guinean leader President Teodoro Obiang Nguema.

Magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe is expected to hand down sentences to 67 men
who pleaded guilty last month to minor charges of violating aviation and
immigration laws, but they must still be tried for breaking security and
firearms laws.

The alleged leader of the group, Briton Simon Mann, and two others did not
face the aviation and immigration charges because they were not on the plane
that stopped over in Harare on March 7 to collect firearms.

Firearms and security charges against pilot Jaap Steyl and two other crew
members were dropped last month by the prosecution.

A small fine or short jail term could be handed down to the 67 for violating
aviation and immigration charges.

But a conviction on the security charges could lead to a jail term of up to
10 years.

The trial opened on July 27 at a makeshift court in the Chikurubi maximum
security prison where the men have been held since their arrest almost six
months ago.

Early this month South Africa's constitutional court turned down an appeal
by the suspected mercenaries to force President Thabo Mbeki's government to
seek their extradition from Harare.

The alleged coup plotters are from Angola, Namibia, South Africa, the
Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe, but were all travelling on South
African passports.

Zimbabwe claims the group was headed for Malabo to join 15 other suspected
mercenaries sent as an advance force to carry out a coup.

Fourteen men held in Malabo are due to go on trial on Monday including eight
South Africans and six Armenians. A German national died in custody in
Equatorial Guinea.

Mann has pleaded guilty to attempting to obtain dangerous weapons in Harare.

He was in Harare days before his arrest and had gone to the airport to pick
up the firearms he allegedly bought from a Zimbabwean state-owned arms
manufacturer, Zimbabwe Defence Industries.

He was with two other accomplices, who also face charges of conspiring to
obtain dangerous weapons.

The families of the men fear that Zimbabwe will extradite the "Harare 70" to
Malabo to face trial there and a possible death sentence.
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