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

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Living in fear after Harare evictions
By Justin Pearce
BBC News website, Zimbabwe

In the first of his series following an undercover trip to Zimbabwe, Justin Pearce reports that the evictions of slum-dwellers in the capital, Harare, are continuing, despite an international outcry.

Ruins in Porta Farm
Demolitions have continued in the last few weeks

The skin on the young child's face is cracked and blistered from exposure to the wind and the cold nights.

"We stayed outside without shelter, until we started to build shelters," his mother, Beatrice explains.

They were evicted on 28 July from the Porta Farm settlement on the edge of Harare and transported to Hopley Farm on the opposite side of the capital.

Beatrice, her husband and their three children were among the estimated 10,000 people who were dumped without food, shelter or water in Hopley Farm, which was set up in the latest phase of the government's crackdown on dwellings that the authorities say are illegal.

The government says it intends to turn Hopley Farm into a permanent settlement, and has promised basic building materials.

The dwellers were moved to Hopley Farm shortly after the visit to Harare by UN envoy Anna Tibaijuka, who issued a report sharply critical of the government's Operation Murambatsvina [Drive Out Rubbish].

The government has said that evictions have been suspended but in Harare, there are signs that the authorities have no intention of stopping, despite the international outcry.

Demolitions continue

In the Epworth suburb, black crosses painted on the walls of houses mark the houses that are still awaiting demolition.

While the earlier demolitions were carried out with little or no prior notice, the painting of black crosses indicates that some of the houses have been given a temporary reprieve thanks to a court ruling that the demolitions did not follow the proper procedures.

We can't even pray. The moment we gather together we are called by the police
Joan, 48
Hopley Farm resident
"When the first demolitions were done they were challenged by some people. The law says you must give three months' notice and a reason. Now they have been given notice for 30 September," a Zimbabwean humanitarian worker told the BBC News website.

In one neighbourhood alone, 2,000 houses are said to have been condemned.

Nevertheless, demolitions continued well into the month of August, with the residents getting little or no notice.

"Houses were demolished last week. It continued after the envoy [Dr Tibaijuka] left," the aid worker added.

"All this happened the week before last," said one elderly landlady, indicating the pile of rubble in her back yard where she had previously rented rooms out to lodgers.

Evicted twice

The eviction from Porta Farm has left Beatrice and her neighbours bewildered, since they had been instructed to settle there following an earlier round of evictions in the early 1990s when the government decided to clean up Harare's townships ahead of a Commonwealth conference and a visit by Queen Elizabeth II.

A Zimbabwean woman, whose renting business in the slums was destroyed
This woman lost all her income after the evictions

"They said: 'You have been building where you are not allowed', but they were the ones who took us to Porta Farm in the first place," Beatrice said.

While at Porta Farm, Beatrice had a job at a paper-making project that had been set up by foreign donors. All that came to nothing when the bulldozers moved in.

"The project, the building and our equipment were destroyed," she said. Beatrice no longer has an income, and her husband is also unemployed.

"My oldest daughter was at school, but she has been out of school since the clean-up operation started."

Aid barred

International humanitarian staff say the government barred them access to Hopley Farm for 10 days after the settlement was established.

This meant that humanitarian assistance was late in coming, a delay that proved fatal in at least one case.

A Harare child
Some children have become ill from being exposed to the elements

"We got tanks of water from Unicef [on 12 August]," says Joan, 48.

"Previously we had been taking stagnant water from the river. Some people have been complaining of stomach problems, and there is no clinic.

"Someone died - a young woman with two children. The children are now with their grandparents, who don't have the means to look after them," Joan says.

Clean water, blankets and foodstuffs are now starting to arrive, but residents say the government is using the donor aid for its own ends.

"The government welfare department is interfering," says Miriam, 45.

"They say the food is from them but it's really from the donors."


The camp remains under constant surveillance. I was unable to gain access to the site, but interviewed residents in a safe location.

"Right now we are living in fear. We are living with guards and police in plain clothes, and all sorts of people we don't know," Joan says.

Sacks with food aid
Authorities had initially obstructed aid efforts to Hopley Farm
"Any vehicle from a church or non-governmental organisation is not allowed in. We can't even pray. The moment we gather together we are called by the police.

"Every time we go to get firewood we are rounded up. The place is almost a desert. We are cooking by burning maize stalks and leaves," Joan says.

"Right now they are putting fear in us," Miriam adds.

"They are beating people up at night. They are saying if you do anything mysterious we'll remove you or beat you up."

All names in this piece were changed to protect interviewees.

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Amnesty International

Media Advisory

AI Index: AFR 46/026/2005 (Public)
News Service No: 229
19 August 2005

Zimbabwe: Secret footage reveals desperate plight of homeless
On 20 August, Amnesty International will release secret footage recently
smuggled out of Zimbabwe. The footage graphically illustrates the plight of
the victims of the Zimbabwean government's Operation Murambatsvina -- or
Operation "Drive out the rubbish".

The footage was filmed earlier this month and includes shots of victims
currently being held in Hopley Farm -- an informal camp on the outskirts of
Harare, set up after an official transit camp was closed by the government.
The plight of the homeless people at Hopley Farm was only made public when
human rights lawyers raise grave concern about the situation and notified
humanitarian agencies. Access by the humanitarian agencies was denied until
late last week.

"Rather than confront the massive humanitarian crisis that its actions have
created, the government of Zimbabwe is compounding suffering and human
rights violations by attempting to hide the most visible signs of internal
displacement," said Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty International's researcher on

"We now know about Hopely Farm -- but how many other locations are there
that the world is not aware of? How many thousands of ordinary Zimbabweans
are now living in these horrifying conditions? We are calling on the
Government of Zimbabwe to immediately make public all the locations to which
it has transported victims of Operation Murambatsvia and to allow full and
unfettered humanitarian access to them."

Last month, the UN released a damning report on the effects of Operation
Murambatsvina. Transit camps in Harare and Bulawayo were swiftly closed down
and the inhabitants taken, mainly under cover of darkness, to be scattered
in various rural areas -- such as Hopley Farm -- or sent back to the sites
of their demolished homes. Humanitarian actors and NGOs believe the swift
closure of the camps was a response to the UN report.

Operation Murambatsvina is estimated to have affected some 700,000 people.
The Transit Camps housed perhaps 5,000 - 6,000. The vast majority of the
victims of home demolitions appear to have been absorbed into now severely
overcrowded households in urban and rural areas or are sleeping outside in
small groups scattered across the country.

For an interview on the issues raised by the footage, please contact:
Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty International, London: +44 (0)7881 787 063
Otto Saki, Zimbabwean Lawyers for Human Rights, Harare: +263 91 257 247

The material is available for downlink at the following timesfrom the
following unencrypted satellites:

0900 - 0915 GMT and 1300 - 1315 GMT

PATH 1 (covering Europe): W2 XP B6 CH H
Downlink freq: 11189.83 Y
FEC: ¾
S/R: 5.632

PATH 2 (covering Africa): AB3 MCPC XP C7 (BIT RATE: 7.785)
Downlink freq: 3727 RHCP
FEC: 7/8
S/R: 29.95

A script of the footage will be available on

Public Document
For more information please call Amnesty International's press office in
London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566
Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW. web:

For latest human rights news view

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Reporters without Borders

"I haven't lost hope". Personal account of The Daily News editor Samuel
Sipepa Nkomo

Founded in 1999, The Daily News had a circulation of 150,000 when it was
banned in September of 2003, the year it won the Reporters Without Borders /
Fondation de France prize.

After a two-year legal battle, the Media and Information Commission (MIC)
refused on 18 July 2005 to let The Daily News reappear, although the supreme
court had ruled that the ban was illegal.

Forty-five of The Daily News' journalists are to be tried on 12 October for
working without official accreditation. They face two years in prison.

Nkomo is both editor of The Daily News and executive chairman of the company
that publishes it, Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ). He has been
having the worst period in his career since The Daily News and its Sunday
edition, Daily News On Sunday, were banned.


"I haven't lost hope"

"I am not surprised that we were shut down. We were radical in our
reporting, as we were supposed to be. Those that shut us down were cowards
who could not stand constructive criticism. The bunch that shut down The
Daily News will soon come to an end and The Daily News will bounce back on
the streets again.

I have ceased to estimate a time as to when the paper will come back, but
all I am saying is I will remain here as the boss of Associated Newspapers
of Zimbabwe (ANZ) until the papers are back on the streets. It could be a
few months or a few years, but I will still be here.

I have had to endure heart-breaking years as the chief executive officer of
ANZ but if the head loses hope, then the body loses hope. I have not lost
hope. I have the responsibility to keep hopes high. I still think that The
Daily News will hit the streets again one day. As I said, that day is not
far away. Evil cannot continue to rule indefinitely.

Since the closure of both The Daily News and Daily News On Sunday on 12
September 2003, we have spent Z$10 billion (182,000 Euros) on legal fees and
costs related to the closure of the two titles. Our majority shareholder,
Strive Masiyiwa, has financed us during the last 2 years. When the papers
were shut down, he promised to continue supporting and funding us for two
years and sadly, the two years are now up, without us getting the paper back
on the streets. We have no option but to go back to him to support us in our
battle to get a license. It might be a case of him drip-feeding us, as he
has other commitments elsewhere.

We have filed two cases in the Administrative Court and the High Court. It
is unbelievable. I would like to put it this way : it is not a question of
our believing or not believing in the judicial system in Zimbabwe. Even if I
did not have confidence in the judicial system, I would still go there.
There is no option. This judicial system is the only one we have. It is like
our country, Zimbabwe. It is our one and only Zimbabwe. You cannot
substitute it for another country.

I am much saddened by the fact that we have had to lay off 167 workers
including journalists as a result of this protracted legal battle. But I
believe all those who worked for both The Daily News and Daily News On
Sunday are burning in their hearts with the desire to come back and "tell it
as it is." That was our slogan at The Daily News - Telling It As It Is.
Those workers who have been laid off know it was not our desire to do this,
but the government's. Once the papers are back, they will come back. Right
now we have lost two floors of offices consisting both editorial and
marketing, as a result of the MIC decision not to give us a licence. But a
new dawn is close. When we come back we will be much stronger and more
committed. Even some of our journalists, who are now residents outside the
country, will come back and make The Daily News what it was. This is not far
from being achieved. If God is for us, then we do not see those that are
against us prevailing for long."
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MISA Zimbabwe Speaks Out On Constitutional Amendments

Media Institute of Southern Africa (Windhoek)

August 18, 2005
Posted to the web August 19, 2005

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)-Zimbabwe joins the increasing
number of voices calling for a people-driven consultative process to revamp
the Constitution of Zimbabwe as opposed to the government's piece-meal
approach on what is obviously a serious issue of national concern.

It is MISA-Zimbabwe's strong view that the public hearings being conducted
by the Parliamentary Legal Committee are at best ad hoc and will not be
representative of the wishes of the Zimbabwean masses without the inclusion
of all Zimbabweans, interest groups and civic society organisations.

The issue of Constitutional reforms is one that deserves collective
discourse through a transparent, all-encompassing and independent
Commission, which will be better placed to receive the views of Zimbabweans
without fear or favour.

This would entail revisiting the contents of the rejected Draft Constitution
of 2000 as well as concerns raised by civic society organisations during the
2000 process which resulted in the referendum rejection of the draft

By revisiting the rejected document, the government will demonstrate that it
is willing to respect and embrace the democratic aspirations of its citizens
through a people-driven and people-owned process.

This process should culminate in a justiceable Bill of Rights that will
secure and entrench our basic rights and freedoms in conformity with
international standards and deliver the killer punch against draconian laws
such as AIPPA, POSA, Broadcasting Services Act, Criminal Law (Codification
and Reform) Act and the Official Secrets Act among others.

In saying this MISA-Zimbabwe is firmly guided by the universally recognised
position that an unfettered media is the sine quo non to the enjoyment of
freedom of expression as it fosters a culture of accountability,
transparency and good governance.

MISA-Zimbabwe is cognisant of the fact that Section 20 of Zimbabwe's
Lancaster House-negotiated Constitution does not specifically guarantee
freedom of the press, a void that the Supreme Court noted in 2003 when it
upheld AIPPA to be constitutional.

We take note that because of this constitutional deficit, four newspapers
have been closed and scores of journalists arrested as they could not be
protected by the obviously flawed and outdated Lancaster House Constitution.

The right to freedom of expression and inevitably that of the press, is a
fundamental right without which all other freedoms will be illusory -
difficult to attain and express.

As a freedom of expression advocacy and lobby group, MISA-Zimbabwe,
therefore, insists that a new democratic Constitution should include a
constitutional guarantee that expressly recognises and protects freedom of
the press.

The current process is anaemic and heavily flawed as it falls far too short
of meeting the democratic aspirations and expectations of the people of

The issue of the Bill of Rights viewed against the backdrop of the
tremendous Executive powers vested in the Head of State, are key to a
democratic Constitution which respects and protects freedom of speech, media
freedom, free conscience and thought.

Short of that, MISA-Zimbabwe is of the strong view that the government is
putting the cart before the horse by embarking on a process that the people
of Zimbabwe will not be proud to be associated with especially as it comes
on the back of the rejection of the 2000 draft document.

We reiterate that constitutional reform is too important an issue to be left
to one political party simply because it commands a majority in parliament.

Constitutional reform must benefit all Zimbabweans regardless of political
or religious affiliation, economic status, colour or creed.

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New Zealand Herald

      Mugabe's touch melts tourism


      By David Fisher

      Safari park animals around Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, are going
hungry as the country joins Africa's list of places to avoid on holiday.

      While New Zealand's cricket team tours the country, its people are
suffering through Government persecution, an economic meltdown and shortages
of essential goods.

      Once considered one of Africa's safer destinations, the problems have
made travelling in Zimbabwe difficult for tourists, while the attractions
that drew them also fade.

      Hotels, their former colonial grace fading, have forsaken tourists to
chase business among the small but growing number of aid workers.

      The capital city has lost three of the top five attractions listed in
the Lonely Planet travel guide to Zimbabwe. The remaining two are
functioning, but to get to them tourists must travel through bulldozed
suburbs and ruined farms.

      At the Lion and Cheetah Park, on the outskirts of Harare, three main
features have gone in the past year. Its cheetah and elephant disappeared
after the farm where it is based was taken over in land confiscations driven
by President Robert Mugabe's Government. Its last giraffe recently died.

      The few staff remaining at the park say fuel shortages have meant a
dozen lions and a handful of cubs have gone without food for days at a time.
The animals, usually fed about 5kg of meat a day, are instead left to go

      "There is no diesel, so it is not possible to bring the food," said
one worker. "Usually it is one day, but sometimes it is longer."

      The animals are listless, and staff have developed new attractions to
make up for fewer animals and the drop in visitors. For a few American
dollars they will take tourists into the cage to touch and stroke the lions.

      Similar payments can be made to enter a separate lion cub cage, where
visitors are encouraged to play with the four-month-old animals. The
once-thriving cafe and restaurant trade is collapsing, with many menu
staples unavailable except on a thriving blackmarket.

      Street vendors and market stalls, which provided much of Harare's
fresh produce, have been banned under Mugabe's Operation Murambatsvina,
which translates as either Operation Clean Up or Operation Clear Out Trash.

      The same operation has destroyed the suburb of Mbare, described by
Lonely Planet as an authentic African shopping experience. Hundreds of
houses have been destroyed, and while most people have fled for the country,
some of the more desperate have remained, contributing to a rocketing crime

      The once-bustling suburb, centred on a large bus terminal, is now
empty of the strings of stalls selling everything from clothes and food to
carvings and home appliances.

      Tobacco industry employees, spoken to at the first test between the
Black Caps and Zimbabwe, say the once busy tobacco auctions, a popular
tourist attraction, have shrunk to inconsequence.

      The amount of tobacco produced, one of the country's most important
exports, had plummeted as farms were confiscated by the Government, leaving
agriculture in the hands of people with little or no farming experience.

      South of central Harare, on Chiremba Rd, the destruction waged on
opponents of Mugabe can be seen at the entrance to the Epworth Balancing
Rocks. Along the road to the park of uncannily balanced rock piles, which
appear on Zimbabwe bank notes, are the remains of bulldozed suburbs.

      Families huddle among the ruins of their homes, the only remnants in
some cases being flower gardens, dying for want of water.

      The rock park has suffered as much as the devalued Zimbabwean dollar.
Some towers, formed over thousands of years, have been tumbled. Large areas
of land are scorched earth, where scrub fires have broken out.

      You should go to Victoria Falls, says one tour operator.

      "The President, hey, he hasn't stopped the waterfall yet."

      * David Fisher is a Herald on Sunday reporter

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      Zimbabwe's currency plunges ahead of IMF visit
      Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:52 PM GMT

By MacDonald Dzirutwe

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's currency plunged to a record low against the
dollar at this week's controlled foreign currency auction ahead of a visit
by the International Monetary Fund, which may expel the country from its

Results published on Friday showed the Zimbabwe dollar dived 23 percent to
24,025.31 to the U.S. dollar at Thursday's central bank controlling auction,
driving the black market rate to around 43,000.

The currency fell 35 percent to 3,666 against the South African rand,
lifting the parallel rate to around 7,000.

An IMF team is expected in Harare on Monday for talks with President Robert
Mugabe's government ahead of a September 9 meeting to discuss the embattled
country's arrears and future in the institution.

"We have three people from the IMF coming on Monday as a follow-up on the
Article IV consultations we held earlier this year," Finance Minister
Herbert Murerwa told Reuters, referring to the country's talks with the fund
in June.

The IMF, which delayed a decision on Zimbabwe's future over arrears of $295
million, has repeatedly urged the government to take measures to let the
market determine exchange rates.

Zimbabwe has approached South Africa for a loan, which local media estimate
to be around $1 billion. It is believed that part of the loan, if granted,
would be used to pay the IMF arrears.

A central bank official said Thursday's sharp fall, just four weeks after
the Reserve Bank devalued the currency by 38 percent, was triggered by a
surge in the July annual inflation rate to 254.8 percent from 164.3 percent
the previous month.

"This is necessary so that the exchange rate does not lag behind inflation
as we have done in the past, and this will also cushion exporters," the
official told Reuters.


Analysts said the depreciation, the single biggest at one auction, could
signal that the Reserve Bank was moving towards a managed float exchange
rate system, which it abandoned in 1997.

But they said the country's long-term solution was to re-engage foreign
donors, crucial in releasing balance of payments support to stabilise the
fragile economy.

"We believe this is the start of a policy to allow the exchange rate to move
freely in line with purchasing power parity," Zimbabwe National Chamber of
Commerce president Luxon Zembe told Reuters.

"But without balance of payments support to stabilise the economy the
results will be short term. Our industry has been battered and has no
capacity to generate enough foreign currency."

Zimbabwe is in the throes of its worst economic crisis since independence 25
years ago, largely triggered by seizures of white-owned farms for the
resettlement of landless blacks.

Allegations of vote-rigging have also isolated the former British colony
with donors and institutions such as the IMF withholding funding.

Six years of recession have left the once thriving economy on the brink of
collapse, with inflation around 255 percent and unemployment at over 70

© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.

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Zim Online

IMF team to visit Zimbabwe next week
Sat 20 August 2005

      HARARE - A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is set to
visit crisis-sapped Zimbabwe next week to assess progress in meeting targets
ahead of a crucial meeting of its board in September that will determine
Zimbabwe's fate in the fund.

      Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa confirmed yesterday that the IMF team
will visit the country on Monday.

      "We are being considered at the IMF board meeting on September 9 and
these are routine consultations. We agreed on some measures and the IMF will
assess how the government is resolving certain challenges," said

      He did not specify the "challenges" the government is trying to
resolve. But when an IMF team last visited the country in June this year, it
urged Zimbabwe to speed up loan repayments and implement sound policies if
the country is to qualify for resumption of support.

      The Bretton Woods institution six years ago cut balance-of-payments
support to Harare after differences with President Robert Mugabe's
government over fiscal policy other governance issues.

      Withdrawal of IMF support triggered off Zimbabwe's economic crisis
that was worsened by Mugabe's controversial seizure of productive farms from
whites which destabilised the economic mainstay agricultural sector.

      The IMF board meets on September 9 when it will among other issues,
discuss whether or not to expel Zimbabwe from the institution for nonpayment
of outstanding debt of about US$300 million.

      The latest visit comes barely a few weeks after new figures showed a
sharp resurgence in inflation which shot up to 254.8 percent in July from
164.3 percent the previous month, in a clear illustration that government
measures to revive Zimbabwe's economy were failing. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

ZANU PF politburo member faces culpable homicide charges
Sat 20 August 2005

      BULAWAYO - Senior ruling ZANU PF official Sikhanyiso Ndlovu appeared
in court on Thursday where he is being charged with culpable homicide after
knocking down a pedestrian two years ago.

      Ndlovu, who is also the Deputy Minister of Tertiary and Higher
Education, was remanded out of custody to Monday next week.

      The state says in October 2003, Ndlovu knocked down Handina Perkhams
along Leopold Takawira Street in Bulawayo after his vehicle veered off the

      Perkhams died on the spot after sustaining serious injuries.

      The state also says Ndlovu, who was speeding, "failed to stop or act
reasonably when the accident seemed imminent." The deputy minister is said
to have driven off from the scene only returning after suspecting he had
"bumped off into something."

      If the charges of gross negligence are upheld by the court, the deputy
minister could be jailed and his driver's licence revoked. - ZimOnline

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      For First Time Zimbabwe Sells Fuel in US Dollars
      By Peta Thornycroft
      19 August 2005

For the first time in Zimbabwe's history it is legal to buy fuel in foreign
currency. Selected gas stations in Zimbabwe are accepting U.S. dollars for

Six gas stations around the country have been granted the privilege of
selling fuel for foreign currency. Fuel is selling for one U.S. dollar per
liter, for the lucky few able to afford to buy foreign currency on the black

A U.S. dollar is available on the black market for about 45,000 Zimbabwe

If fuel was available at gas stations in Zimbabwe dollars, which it is not,
it would cost a quarter of that.

There are permanent fuel lines outside gas stations all over Zimbabwe, as
most people cannot afford to buy foreign currency. There is none available
at the Central Bank.

Daniel Ndlela, an economic consultant who also works in the region, says the
use of U.S. dollars for fuel marks the collapse of the economy.

"According to Zimbabwe laws, the use of foreign currency is actually
illegal," he said. "This dollarization we are beginning to see in Zimbabwe
today is not a normal dollarization, it is actually back door dollarization,
the type we have seen in all economies which are either in conflict or
failed economies, that we saw in Mozambique in the 80s and 90s. We saw it in
Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Congo, Somalia, in West Africa in Liberia, in Sierra
Leone, when the currency is used by the powerful few at the expense of the
other economy."

Mr. Ndlela says that the gas stations chosen to sell fuel at foreign
currency belong to members of the ruling Zanu-PF elite, including a member
of parliament. He says only the elite will survive the economic meltdown.

"There was no selection process it was simply announced in the last monetary
policy review by the governor of the central bank," adds Mr. Ndlela. "Those
garages that are now having fuel available, selling the fuel at one dollar
U.S. a liter, simply means that the chosen few are now the ones who have
access to the fuel, access to the foreign currency and are going to
profiteer at the expense of public. The public is not expected to have money
to buy that fuel.

The central bank declined to answer questions about how gas stations selling
fuel in U.S. dollars were chosen.

This week the government announced that inflation had made its biggest
single jump in one month and surged 47 percent in July, bringing the annual
rate to 259 percent. Most economists predict inflation will reach between
500 and 1,000 by year's end.

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Operation Live Well struggles to take off

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

HARARE, 19 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - The painful lesson of the government's urban
cleanup campaign, launched three months ago in defiance of international
opinion, is that it is much easier to destroy shanty homes than to build the
victims proper accommodation.

A UN report estimated that Operation Murambatsvina ('Clean Out Garbage') -
which the government said was aimed at clearing slums and flushing out
criminals - left more than 700,000 people homeless or without jobs after
kicking off in mid-May.

Beginning in July, its successor, Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle (Live
Well), under which the authorities promised to provide the deserving
displaced with decent and affordable accommodation, has barely scratched the
surface of those in need.

"What we have observed so far is that the government lacks the capability to
avail accommodation to people who were affected by Operation Murambatsvina,
and one is justified in being sceptical about the whole project," said Mike
Davis, chairman of the Combined Harare Residents' Association.

"A lot of money was spent in destroying the structures - some of them not
classic shanties as government officials would want us to believe - and
these authorities now have a bigger financial and logistical burden to
honour their promise to provide acceptable housing," Davis noted.

But according to humanitarian officials, although cash-strapped, the
government is quibbling over the wording of a "flash appeal" to
international donors to help fund assistance to the homeless.

"The government reacted negatively to the language of the flash appeal -
they said it was too harsh and seems to imply Zimbabwe is facing an
emergency," said one aid worker. "They're in denial; they don't want to
acknowledge that this is a humanitarian issue, they want to present it as a
normal housing development programme."

There are three recognised reconstruction sites around the capital, Harare:
Hatcliffe Extension, from where 17,000 people were originally evicted under
the cleanup programme, and Whitecliff and Hopely farms.

Hatcliffe Extension had been a longstanding settlement, with many homeowners
paying fees to the city council. In May the police deemed the settlement
illegal and cleared the area. Residents were ordered to their rural home
areas or a holding camp at Caledonia Farm, but in July the government
relented, and people with recognised stands were allowed to return.

When IRIN visited Hatcliffe, about 18 km north of Harare, building brigades
of residents were digging foundations for two-roomed cottages, each
measuring about 70 sq metres.

A member of one brigade, who identified himself simply as Chamu, said they
had managed to dig foundations for a total of 200 houses.

"We are supposed to build houses for 4,000 people, even though I understand
that there should be a total of 15,000 housing units at Hatcliffe. Some
beneficiaries of Operation Garikai have been given four sheets of corrugated
asbestos per family for roofing, but the way I see it, that will not be
enough, meaning that residents will have to use their own money to buy extra
material," said Chamu.

Most of the residents who returned to Hatcliffe have set up makeshift
shelters next to their demolished homes, using whatever building materials
they could scrounge. There is no running water after a World Bank-funded
scheme was destroyed in the cleanup operation.

"Here and there some young mothers are sleeping in the open with their
babies, as they do not have plastic sheets to build huts. It is so tragic
that all these residents had adequate, if flimsy, shelter three months ago,
and now many cannot afford to replace even the basic shelter," wrote
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) member of parliament for the
area, Trudy Stevenson.

"What confuses us is that when we came here several years ago, the
government gave us title deeds, but said we should not build permanent
structures. Maybe the reason why they returned us here was that they knew
that we were legally entitled to our stands," said Hatcliffe resident Simon

Hopley Estate, another site earmarked for housing development, currently
shelters close to 5,000 people. Most of them originally came from Caledonia
Farm and the unauthorised settlement of Porta Farm.

UN agencies provide water and food rations, and although the land is being
cleared, only an estimated quarter of all households have received asbestos
roofing sheets from the government to build their own homes. The rest, as in
Hatcliffe, are making do with what ever they have been able to salvage.

At Whitecliff Farm, about 17 km west of the capital, the government's plan
for close to 10,000 new houses seems woefully off target.

When IRIN visited, there were only 97 units at roof level. The housing,
however, is reportedly earmarked for soldiers and civil servants rather than
the displaced. It will also not be for free - throwing into question its
affordability for Zimbabweans facing the country's worst economic crisis
since independence in 1980.

Timothy Mucheneripi (not his real name), a worker at the site, told IRIN
that the irregular supply of cement was hampering construction. "Given the
rate at which we are going, the rains might come without much progress, even
though we have been told to speed up the construction of the first phase of
houses because they should be occupied by civil servants."

Davis pointed out that even if the promised construction of new houses in
Harare were to be completed, the municipality lacked the capacity to provide
adequate sewerage systems, as the existing network was already seriously

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Zim stock exchange freezes
19/08/2005 18:54  - (SA)

Harare - The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange on Friday went for a third consecutive
day without trading as buyers shunned the bourse over the introduction of a
new tax on profits.

Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa this week announced a 10% withholding tax
on shares sold on the stock market beginning next month.

Stock broker Witness Chinyama said: "The withholding tax will wipe away the
investors' interest that is why people are boycotting the stock market."

The stock exchange's directors were locked in a meeting on Friday to try to
break the gridlock.

Zimbabwe has 79 companies including the cellular phone service provider
Econet, British American Tobacco and mining company Rio Tinto listed on the
stock exchange but five have been suspended.

Zimbabwe's economy is racked by hyperinflation, a plummeting dollar and a
foreign currency crunch that is compounding a severe shortage of food and
other basic necessities.

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Permits closer for Zim aid trucks

August 19, 2005, 20:30

The clearance certificates for emergency relief aid to Zimbabwe should be
ready by Monday, the South African Council of Churches (SACC) has said. Ron
Steele, a spokesperson for SACC, said the non-governmental organisation
distributing the aid, Christian Care, informed them today that its
application for a maize import permit had been accepted.

According to the NGO, the next step was to get a document from the Zimbabwe
Grain Marketing Board, in order to get the duty free permit, from the
Zimbabwean ministry of agriculture. "The 37 tons of white maize, sugar beans
and cooking oil have been stranded in Johannesburg for nearly three weeks
awaiting a duty-free permit," said Steele.

He said the 5 000 blankets were off-loaded in a bonded warehouse in Harare
this morning. "A Christian Care official says that the Zimbabwean Collector
of Taxes has accepted an application for a rebate letter on the blankets.
According to Christian Care this should be granted on Monday." - Sapa

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Will Mugabe Ever Get Along With Mbeki?

Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

August 19, 2005
Posted to the web August 19, 2005

Patrick van Rensburg

Robert Mugabe's resentment of the ANC has a long history. It probably began
with the ANC's support for the Afro-Asian Cairo Declaration that recognised
Joshua Nkomo's ZAPU, not ZANU, as the authentic Zimbabwe Liberation

It was made worse by the ANC's collaboration with ZAPU in its guerilla war
against Rhodesia. ZANU supported the South African-based Pan-Africanist

As is well known, ZANU prosecuted the Liberation War more effectively than
ZAPU in the 1970s, forcing the Rhodesians into a negotiated settlement, in

Since 1990, the ANC led the negotiation process in South Africa, with
Mandela at its head. Mugabe seemed better able to relate to the ANC with
Mandela leading it than he was able to relate to it under Tambo and Mbeki,
then the head of ANC's Information and Foreign Affairs.

Mbeki has, by and large, gone out of his way to get on with the ZANU leader
and President of Zimbabwe. At the same time, though, Mbeki has played a
decisive role in establishing the New Partnership for Africa's Development
(NEPAD) and attempting to revitalise the African Union under a new name. His
efforts to promote an African social and economic renaissance have not met
with the support he had hoped for, from everyone.

Of the 54 Presidents of African States - incidentally with a large potential
bloc vote in the UN, many have, like Mugabe himself, been in power for 25
years or more.

Mugabe has made allies of several other African leaders over the years of
his rule, more especially with Libya's Gadaffi, who supported Zimbabwe with
cut-price, and even free, petroleum, in large quantities.

Gadaffi has a number of African States in his pocket having given them loans
and paid their membership fees of the African Union.

Not very realistically, perhaps, Gadaffi, has seen himself as a potential
leader of the African union, or at least as a king-maker, and as a rival to
Mbeki and South Africa.

Mbeki sees his role, furthermore, within NEPAD and the African Union, as
making South Africa a bridge, as one commentator calls it, between the
developing and the developed world.

A lot of African Heads of State have been in power for a long time, and feel
more at home with Mugabe than Mbeki, having more in common with the older
man as President for life -.a future they aspire to!. Whenever Mugabe
appears in South Africa, he gets applause from a section of the crowd..

For a very long time, President Mbeki has adopted a soft line towards
Mugabe, and incurred a great deal of criticism in South Africa, for this,
without however gaining any appreciation by Mugabe.

Given that his country's economy has been weakened by his political and
economic mismanagement, Mugabe sought help from China, and more recently
South Africa, having been put on hold by Libya.

China received him well in a state-visit but has reportedly offered little
new financial assistance. South Africa agreed to a substantial loan but
insisted on some tough conditions.

This is said to account for Mugabe's decision to get back at Mbeki and South
Africa. This takes the form of revoking an earlier decision of the African
Union to support a South African-sponsored resolution about African
participation in the

UN Security Council.The African Union had earlier agreed with the G4,
Germany, Japan, Brazil and India all candidates for Permanent Seats on the
Security council, willing to drop their demands for veto rights that the AU
abandons its own demands for veto rights for the two Permanent Seats it was
demanding. Since then, the African Union met again and rejected its
Agreement with the G4, again demanding veto rights for two Permanent Council
Seats. Mugabe is reported to have played a major role in rejecting the

Even though the African bloc has nearly one-third of the votes on the
General Assembly, it is unlikely to win support for two seats with veto
rights on the Security Council. Many African Countries are small and poor.
Many can't pay their membership fees and seek help from others.

The General Assembly would want to know why an African member state on the
Security Council would exercise a veto against a decision approved by the
World's most powerful countries.

Would the African holders of a veto exercise it to defend Zimbabwe against
possible sanctions?

However, the decision to demand the veto rights for two seats that Zimbabwe
backed, is unlikely to pass muster anyway. It would have left Africa with
only one seat. Zimbabwe and its allies made known they would vote against
South Africa for that seat, its allies including Libya and Egypt; Egypt
itself is a rival for the African seat. Africa is not serving itself well by
this kind of politicking.

Many of the continent's countries are undeveloped, with large populations
among which are widespread poverty. Solutions to their problems are not in
political one-upmanship, but in serious and urgent economic development and

Zimbabwe has, for all its problems, been a leading developing country with
which South Africa and Botswana, have done good trade.

Mbeki has been right to point out that the collapse of its economy would
have serious implications for its neighbours in

SADC, especially its two closest neighbours to the South in his own country
and ours. One would have hoped that the current meeting of SADC would have
addressed the problems of Zimbabwe in a constructive way, given the negative
impact of a possible economic collapse.

Zimbabwe is apparently not on the agenda, but hopefully, there will be
exchanges between the leaders outside of formal discussions that they may
help ease the tensions but for how long?
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ZIMBABWE: Regional bodies lack clout to end crisis, say analysts
19 Aug 2005 17:26:12 GMT

JOHANNESBURG, 19 August (IRIN) - The Southern African Development Community
(SADC) and the African Union (AU) lack the leverage to resolve the crisis in
Zimbabwe, leaving South Africa as the only 'player' with enough clout to
force a resolution, say analysts.

President Robert Mugabe this week rejected an offer by Joaquim Chissano, the
AU envoy and former Mozambican president, to mediate talks with the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in a bid to resolve the
country's political deadlock.

Despite calls by civil society groups, the SADC avoided making any
pronouncements on Zimbabwe during its annual summit in Gaborone this week.

John Stremlau, head of the department of international relations at South
Africa's University of the Witwatersrand, said both the SADC and the AU
lacked the capacity to deal with Zimbabwe's crises.

He believed only South Africa could make any real progress on Zimbabwe,
where the opposition has charged that the government has been rigging key
elections since 2000, and the authorities have been accused of human rights

South Africa was currently negotiating the terms of a loan to bail out
Zimbabwe, which faced expulsion from the International Monetary Fund; among
the conditions reportedly attached to the loan were talks with the MDC.

"What we are seeing play out now - regarding conditionalities around the
bail-out loan - has to happen quietly and confidentially, but it would be
very good if the AU and SADC would follow the lead of [US President] George
Bush on this: defer to the neighbour [South Africa] to try to work with the
Zimbabwean government and people to resolve this issue," Stremlau said.

"Because the situation in Zimbabwe is getting quite desperate ... it's now
time to rally around South Africa, which has the real leverage - it's the
only player in this mix that has substantial and real influence - and how
South Africa has played it is very delicate and complex. I think [South
African President Thabo] Mbeki is trying his best," he commented.

Chris Maroleng, senior researcher in the African Security Analysis programme
of the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, South Africa, said
although Zimbabwe was not on the formal agenda of the SADC summit, this
"does not mean that there are no initiatives going on within the

"I believe the fact that Botswana's President, Festus Mogae, is taking over
as chair of the subregional body will add impetus to ongoing attempts to
broker some kind of resolution, as Mogae is seen to be in alliance with
South Africa and Mozambique in their attempts to resolve the crisis,"
Maroleng noted.

South Africa, the SADC and the AU had "faced several difficulties in their
attempts to resolve the crisis", but he believed a significant shift had
been signalled by the AU's engagement with Zimbabwe.

"The AU has indicated a political will, at the highest level, to engage the
question of Zimbabwe, [as evidenced by] the appointment of Chissano; it
indicates that there's a possibility of greater initiatives being pushed by
him [Chissano] as special envoy of the AU. The recent setback [Mugabe
refusing to talk to the MDC] does not indicate an end to Chissano's attempts
to broker an inter-party dialogue," Maroleng added.

Brian Raftopoulous, professor of development studies at the University of
Zimbabwe, told IRIN the AU and SADC policy "of outwardly showing solidarity
with Mugabe, while putting pressure on him behind closed doors, has failed".

"Mugabe feels there's no reason for him to engage with the opposition, as he
feels they've become less relevant as a force, and my sense is he will hold
on and try and get the terms he wants from those trying to bring a
resolution to the Zimbabwe crisis. Mugabe will not go into dialogue if he
feels he's going to give up substantive power," Raftopoulous reasoned.

He said the AU and SADC had failed to put "sufficient pressure on Mugabe to
recognise the deepening crisis that's taking place in Zimbabwe, and that
he's a central part of that problem - they have all along given him a
certain succour".

But Maroleng believed that Mugabe's steadfast refusal to engage the MDC had
seen him "paint himself into a corner" in his dealings with South Africa,
SADC and the AU.

He said it was time for "the leadership of our continent to urge Mugabe to
reconsider his position, given the impending humanitarian crisis in that
country - which will be on an unprecedented level, given that there is
already a serious food security situation in Zimbabwe".

However, Raftopoulous noted that, should Mugabe reject the terms of the
South African loan, Mbeki would "do what he usually does: step back and wait
until a new crisis develops that presents a new opportunity for him to
intervene, while maintaining this image of solidarity" with Mugabe.

In his weekly letter on the African National Congress party's website on
Friday, Mbeki referred to the "protracted controversies that have engulfed
Zimbabwe over the last few years", and said a "stable and prosperous
Zimbabwe is critical to the integration of the SADC region", in view of the
country's economic potential.

"As members of SADC we must be ready and willing to work closely together,
understanding that we share a common destiny," Mbeki observed. "It means
that all of us must understand that what we do in any one of our countries
has an impact on the rest; it means that, as countries, we will sink or swim

IRIN news
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Zimbabwe: Food Insecurity Was Predicted Earlier

Catholic Information Service for Africa (Nairobi)

August 19, 2005
Posted to the web August 19, 2005


The current food deficit facing Zimbabwe was foreseen early enough in 2003,
according to a network that issues emergency alerts of significant looming
food security crisis.

In a March 4, 2005 update, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS)
said the delayed onset of the green harvest, caused by late planting, was
going to prolong the peak hunger season in most rural areas.

The other factor that resulted in the 2004/05 crisis was shortage of
agricultural inputs and poor rainfall.

"Due to shortages of draft power, the late onset of the rains, and shortages
of seeds in the early part of the 2004/05 agricultural season, major crops
were planted late," read a FEWS report.

Still, production prospects for the 2005/06 consumption year were dampened
by late planting of major cereal crops, a critical shortage of top dressing
fertilizers and long dry spells that caught the promising cereal crop at
critical growth stages.

About 3.3 million rural people have been unable to obtain all the food they
needed at the peak of the hunger period -December 2004 to March 2005.

The Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVac) said this is
attributed to maize grain prices reaching Z$750/kg (US $ 0.04) and if income
levels remain unchanged.

FEWS issues periodic emergency alerts when a significant food security
crisis is occurring, where portions of the population are now, or will soon
become, extremely food insecure and face imminent famine.

For details, please visit
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Zim child orphaned every 20min
19/08/2005 12:25  - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwe is struggling to cope with one of the world's highest
numbers of Aids orphans amid an economic crisis that is pushing children
deeper into poverty and hardship.

About one in five children in Zimbabwe has been orphaned by Aids, a pandemic
that is hitting the southern African country hard as anti-retroviral drugs
are not widely available and the economy is collapsing.

"There was a time when we wanted to hide," says Nellie Dhlembeu, the
co-ordinator for the national plan of action for orphans at the social
welfare ministry.

"But now there are very few families who have not been affected by
HIV/Aids," she says.

"It is so difficult, because of our economy, for some families when the
mother and father are there, imagine when it is now the child who is head of
the family."

The statistics

Between 1.1 and 1.3 million children have lost one or both parents to Aids
in a child population of 5.8 million, according to the social welfare
ministry, which gives Zimbabwe one of the world's highest proportion of
orphaned children.

High mortality from Aids means that "a Zimbabwean child is orphaned every 20
minutes," says Dhlembeu.

Only 20nbsp;000 Zimbabweans out of an estimated 1.8 million living with Aids
are receiving life-prolonging drugs under the government's anti-retroviral
rollout programme.

A government survey carried out in 2002 identified about 50nbsp;000
households headed by a child under 15.

Since then, food shortages have worsened, while inflation is wiping out
savings, unemployment hovers at 70% and economists say there is little
chance of a turnaround in the near future.

The government's national action plan seeks to increase school enrolment by
25% by December and work to limit the number of drop-outs.

It also hopes to register by December hundreds of thousands of children who
have no birth certificates, a key ingredient in the effort to keep Aids
orphans in mainstream society.

"If you don't have an identity card, you can't get formally employed, you
can't open a bank account, you can't write school exams," says Rubin Musara,
an advocacy officer at Child Protection Society.

"We want to amend the legislation"

Musara estimates that 30% of Aids orphans have no birth certificates because
Zimbabwe's laws state that the mother must apply for the documents.

"We want to amend the legislation to allow another child to register a
sibling or at least have more flexibility," says Musara.

To try to come to grips with the problems from its large Aids orphans
population, the government has teamed up with the UN children's agency
UNICEF to seek $55m (about R359m) to fund more community outreach projects.
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It gives us great pleasure to report that the new warden of Hwange National Park is doing an excellent job and we would like to thank him for his efforts.
We have received reports that most of the pans around the Main Camp tourist routes are full of water for the first time in years. People have reported that they have never seen so much water being pumped.
The new warden is apparently also grading the roads, burning fire breaks and organizing anti-poaching patrols. What a pleasure to have such a conscientious person in charge! This is very good news for Zimbabwe's tourism industry and we hope the international community will take advantage of it and visit Hwange National Park.
Our heartfelt appreciation also goes to the Hwange Conservation Society UK who have been donating engines for the pumps and clothing for the pump attendants. Without their assistance, the pans would still be dry.
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Phone       263 4 336710
Fax           263 4 339065
Mobile       263 11 603 213
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A slightly abridged version of this piece was published in today’s M&G.






The dimensions and origins of
Zimbabwe’s protracted crisis continue to be the subject of misinterpretation and misunderstanding. This often results in skewed analysis and inappropriate prescriptions to remedy the situation. President Robert Mugabe can take much of the credit for this confusion Over the past five years he has constructed a distorted narrative to obscure the policy failings of his government and has disingenuously positioned the Zimbabwe crisis within the broader context of the challenges facing other developing countries.
The deliberate destruction of the homes and livelihoods of over 700,000 impoverished people in the middle of winter confirmed that Mugabe, at the moment, is anything but the champion of the poor and the oppressed.
In order to find a peaceful and democratic solution to Zimbabwe’s problems the African Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) need to develop an informed, honest and objective consensus as to its origins and avoid public pronouncements that unwittingly distort the facts.  
This particularly applies to
South Africa. On occasion the government’s pronouncements on Zimbabwe’s various ills appear to be guided by a revisionist narrative of developments in post-independent Zimbabwe. President Thabo Mbeki appears to be of the view that graft and economic mismanagement are not the principal causes of Zimbabwe’s debt. Instead he points to the massive spending programme on education and health that took place in the 1980s to address the legacy of inequality inherited from the colonial era. This noble and impressive programme however was mainly paid for by external donors and not from money allocated from the public purse.
Moreover, Mugabe’s commitment to social justice was transient. The little public money that he invested in this programme essentially stopped in 1990. At this point Zimbabwe’s debt was US$3,24 billion, 25% of GDP, and therefore manageable. Contrary to the South African view, it was events after 1990 that account for today’s chronic debt crisis.
The adoption of the poorly thought-out Economic Structural Adjustment Program, the military adventure in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the massive, un-budgeted, hand outs to war veterans in 1997, and the endemic corruption that took root across all levels of government precipitated spiralling debts that by 1998 had reached US$4.716 billion and which today stand at an estimated US$7 billion.

The gaps in
South Africa’s analysis of the situation raise concerns about the policy objectives behind the proposed loan. If South Africa is firmly of the view that Zimbabwe’s debts are an unavoidable consequence of post-independence obligations then this indicates a disturbing belief that a lasting solution can be found primarily through bi-lateral economic support. The Movement for Democratic Change therefore suspects that South Africa is going to provide a loan with or without conditions. The absence of any conditions would be a grave error for three main reasons.
Firstly, paying off
Zimbabwe’s debts without addressing the conditions that have made Zimbabwe’s need to borrow inevitable, would prove to be a profligate exercise. Secondly, giving money directly to the Zimbabwean government, without any safeguards, increases the potential that the money will be abused for the purposes of political manipulation or profiteering by government officials.  
Thirdly, and most importantly, the crisis in
Zimbabwe is essentially a political one and therefore it requires a sustainable political solution. Any extension of credit therefore must be conditional upon irreversible steps being taken to secure a sustainable political settlement. If not, our collective fear of Zimbabwe becoming a failed state risks becoming a reality; a reality that will have huge socio-economic consequences for South Africa and the broader SADC region.   
A further concern is that as the bulk of the money on offer appears to be directed towards paying off arrears it will have little impact on the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans suffering on the ground. Given the scale of our humanitarian crisis it would be a tragedy if the loan did not include a tranche for the purposes of immediate humanitarian relief.
Time is not on our side. Mugabe needs to be persuaded that his obstinacy towards a process of national dialogue is driving the country he fought so hard to create towards the brink of collapse and plunging the people he helped to liberate into a state of unprecedented suffering and destitution. SADC leaders need to be cognisant of this. If the region is to meet its development objectives it cannot afford to maintain the collective deafening silence that has accompanied the United Nations report.
Tendai Biti MP
MDC Secretary for Finance and Economics


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      Symposium: Africa: Nightmare Continent
By Jamie Glazov | August 19, 2005

Beset by poverty, tribalism, war, disease, genocide and dictatorship, Africa
is a tragic and failed continent. What went wrong? Why have so many
"solutions" failed? Is there any hope? To discuss these questions with us
today, Frontpage Symposium has assembled a distinguished panel. Our guests
today are:

Theodore Dalrymple, who worked as a doctor in Zimbabwe, South Africa,
Tanzania and Nigeria. He travelled across Africa by public transport and
published a book called Zanzibar to Timbuktu as a result;

Ralph Peters, the author of New Glory: Expanding America's Global Supremacy
as well as of 19 other books and hundreds of columns.  A retired military
officer with experience in more than 60 countries, he has conducted
extensive research in Africa over the past three years;.

John Eibner, the head of  the Sudan program of the human rights organization
Christian Solidarity International (CSI). He is one of the pre-eminent
anti-slavery campaigners of modern times. Dr. Eibner has traveled deep into
Sudan over 50 times since 1995 to document the revival of jihadism and
slavery, and to support local initiatives to free Christian and
traditionalist slaves;

Paul Marshall, a Senior Fellow at Freedom House's Center for Religious
Freedom. The author and editor of twenty books, he has written extensively
on Islam in Africa and has been an advisor to the South African government.
His latest books are Islam at the Crossroads (2002) and God and the
Constitution: Christianity and American Politics (2002);


Michael Radu, a senior Fellow and Chairman of the Center on Terrorism at the
Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. He has a degree in
African Studies from Columbia University, has taught African politics at the
University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and is the author/editor of
three books on African affairs.

FP: Theodore Dalrymple, Michael Radu, Ralph Peters, Paul Marshal and John
Eibner, welcome to Frontpage Symposium.

Dr. Dalrymple, let's begin with you. You have had much experience in Africa.
Let's start with a general question: what went wrong?

Dalrymple: I think perhaps the first thing to say is what is NOT responsible
for what went, or has gone, wrong, but which is nevertheless often blamed
for it.

I do not believe, for example, that the arbitrary borders drawn up in Berlin
in the 1880s are responsible for the continent's travails. This is because
no conceivable borders could be geographically or ethnically 'rational.'
Moreover, those few states that correspond to 'rational' borders - Somalia
and Rwanda and Burundi, for example - are not exactly models for the rest of
the continent to imitate.

Trade barriers, while reprehensible, are not the problem either. Those
countries that have experienced no difficulty in selling their products -
oil etc - have not been models of progress.

As far as I can see, the fundamental problem of Africa is its imperative and
inescapable need for modern polities imposed upon societies that are
uniquely unsuited to them.

The colonial regimes did actually do a lot of harm, but in a different sense
or direction from the one that they are usually accused of. Firstly, they
were, or became, profoundly dirigiste; secondly, they raised up a successor
class to themselves, of philosopher kings who were infused with dirigisme,
but had the propensity for deep corruption in addition to all the other
problems of dirigisme.

This made political advancement the only sort of advancement that there was.
'Seek ye first the political Kingdom,' said Nkrumah. What developed was a
kind of cargo cult with a struggle for control of its priesthood.

Corruption, incidentally, in Africa is not seen as such by the people who
practise it and suffer from it: any man in a position to help his family,
his village, his kinsman etc, and who fails to do so is both a fool and
probably a knave.

It was a profound mistake - a consequence of a shall view of Man - to
suppose that if you trained a man from a completely different culture to be
like yourself, he would be more or less a carbon-copy of yourself, and
behave in the same way.

This helps to explain why those countries with large numbers of educated
people, and with large natural resources, do no better, and sometimes worse,
than the other countries without such 'advantages'.

FP: Thanks Dr. Dalrymple. We did a symposium on the catastrophe of Aids in
Africa a little while ago. Why do you think AIDS has so ravaged the

Dalrymple: I'm not sure I'm the person to ask. It is a purely technical
question, one for epidemiologists, and I don't know the answer.

I have one small point however to make with regard to the hypothesis that it
has been spread by needles more than by normal sexual intercourse.

The fact is that in much of Africa, medicine given by injection is regarded
as very much more powerful than medicine taken in any other fashion. This
encourages the use of injection where tablets would do.

But I am not saying this is the answer, which I don't know.

FP: Dr. Dalrymple, do you have an insight about sexual relations and sexual
activity, attitudes etc., in Africa that might take on different dynamics
than in other societies and cultures that might be involved in this

Dalrymple: I don't, really. I think in this context it might be a mistake to
deal with Africa as if it were a unitary phenomenon. There are areas where
the sexual mores are quite strict and puritanical, and others where they are
not. Whether these differences are reflected in different rates of HIV
infection I cannot say. Although AIDS has clearly added to Africa's
political and economic difficulties, it is important to remember that they
far preceded the epidemic.

FP: Fair enough, just asking about AIDS because of its mass spread on the

Mr. Eibner?

Eibner: Dr. Dalrymple is right to point to Africa's structural resistance to
modernity as a prime cause for the general failure of government, and,
indeed, many of the man-made catastrophes that afflict the continent.
Corruption, massive debt, racism, imperialism, trade imbalances  - themes
than dominate public discourse in the West - are symptoms, not the
fundamental causes of Africa's chronic inability to adapt itself
successfully to the  modern world.

Africa is still largely rooted in ancient tradition. In Sub-Sahara, the
dominant cultural traditions have been shaped by tribal religions and
archaic economic and social conditions. In North Africa, Arab/Islamic
culture has been at least partially absorbed by most tribes and clans. In
both parts of the continent there are fundamental incompatibilities with the
modern global economy, the modern international state system, and modern
human rights norms. These aspects of modernity are largely the products of
western civilization. They have been imposed on Africa from the outside, and
therefore do not have deep roots in society.

Most of my African travels take me far away from neo-imperial, frontier
outposts of globalization, like Khartoum, Nairobi, Addis Ababa and Kampala,
to vast regions where the outside world has had marginal influence.  One
finds in such places large communities whose indigenous technology does not
include the wheel, whose family life is based on polygamy, whose local
economy is characterized by primeval methods of husbandry and agriculture,
and whose communal laws do not encompass the private ownership of land.  Yet
another important characteristic of such communities is the powerful
influence of anti-modern religious forces such as the occult and, in
northern Africa, Islamic law.

Communities where these conditions prevail are not capable of defending
their interests against the encroachments of unrepresentative ruling elites
which inherited from the colonial powers both modern armed forces and direct
access to the global economy.  Under these circumstances, it is not
surprising that Africa is littered with failed states that serve as a
breeding ground for genocidal conflict, grinding poverty, mass starvation,
terrorism and slavery.

If the destabilizing gulf between ancient and modern is to be bridged, it
will be the work of centuries - not of utopian quick fixes, such as the
imposition of socialism, market economies, Islamism, debt relief or massive
Western investment.

One interesting sign of hope is the continuing functionality of government
in post-Apartheid South Africa. I am not intimate with conditions there, but
it seems to me that this is one part of Africa where western colonialism
succeeded in giving relatively solid foundations for modern development.
Only time will tell whether this experiment will break with the pattern of
failed African states.

FP: Thank you Mr. Eibner. Mr. Radu, let us move on to you. What is your
perspective and reaction to what has been said thus far on the panel? Also,
can you shed some light on Mr. Eibner's reference to how the way of life in
some African communities is shaped by the occult? What are the dynamics of
these cultures where the occult prevails? This is quite something in the
year 2005.

Radu:  I would start with the basic issue: there is no Africa. There are
some forty-five sub-Saharan states, with huge differences between them: in
size, viability and performance.

South Africa is not Sierra Leone, and Nigeria is not Botswana. The main
problems facing most, but not all of these states, are that they seldom
learn from the others' success or failure, and the fact that, more than
anywhere else in the world, the overlapping between state and nation is
either nonexistent or very partial.

Then there are the attitudes of African leaders toward each other -- 
basically a persistent attempt to cover up each other's incompetence or even
crimes, out of a misplaced sense of solidarity. This is the main explication
of South Africa's unwillingness to intervene decisively in Zimbabwe,
although Mugabe's criminal incompetence threatens it directly.

The persistence of what I would call superstition rather than occult, is
mostly due to the weak education systems and the associated illiteracy, all
combined with the weak presence of the state in extensive areas of the
national territory. Which brings us to the paradoxical aspect of most of
Africa's politics: weak and inefficient states, with minimal bureaucratic
and administrative capabilities, trying hard to interfere in all aspects of
the citizens' life and the economy.

FP: Dr. Marshall?

Marshall: I would dispute one of our discussion's opening premises. Jamie
asked: "Why does no known system of government work there?" This is
incorrect: basic constitutional, rule of law, free market regimes do work in
Africa, Botswana is one example. Muslim Mali is a struggling attempt at
another. Elsewhere, it is not that they "do not work" but that they are not
being done. Good government can work in Africa; the question is why there is
little good government.

This is in fact what our discussion has focussed on so far, and I would like
to pick up on some of the excellent comments already made. First, we can no
longer blame colonialism.  It's been a half century since European powers
left. In that period countries such as South Korea, which was at least as
destitute, and in many cases more so, than African countries, has got its
act together well. I'm in Malaysia right now: it has many problems, but,
compared to Africa, it is doing fine.

The major problem is not colonialism but post-colonialism. This has two
dimensions. First, post-colonial regimes in theory adopted some form of
socialism, since they regarded this as the antithesis of colonialism.
Socialism, of course, does not work. This error was further compounded by
the fact that in much of Africa tribal identities are still paramount.
Hence, what was pushed as socialism---treating "society" as an "it" that the
state could plan and program--became in fact the use of the state to defend
the predominant tribe, which became in practice the defense of the dominant
tribal elite.

The second component is using colonialism, or current complaints of
neo-colonialism, as the scapegoat for current problems. This produces, when
occasionally sincere, a mindset that says that if only someone else,
somewhere else, did something different then we would be OK: in short a
mindset that refuses to accept responsibility. (There are, of course,
external impediments to African development, including American
protectionism of its textile industries and, notably, the European Union's
'Common Agricultural Policy" [AKA the French Farmers' Protection Act], but
these are not the core problem).

I would like to return to the good government question. Take South Africa,
the most important country in sub-Saharan Africa. It too has problems
enough. I spent much time there in the 1990's, some of it consulting for the
post-apartheid government, and could tear my hair out at some of the
decisions made and policies adopted. Nevertheless, in our politically
relative world, I think it is doing quite well. If, in 1990, you had asked
most observers, including me, where SA was likely headed, the answer would
likely have been "long and bloody race war." That, because of people like
Mandela and De Klerk, did not happen. The country now stumbles through its
post-apartheid policies but, given the difficulty of what it faces, it
compares well with America in similar phases of our own history.

Hence, to repeat, good, or moderately good, government can work in Africa,
the question is why there is little good government.

FP: Ok then, let me try this. Mr. Peters, why is there is little good
government in Africa?

Peters: The reasons are complex and various, as other panelists already
pointed out.  In some regions, such as the Swahili Coast, Islam is
indisputably a retardant to development--and the situation is worsening, not
improving, thanks to the influx of Saudi and Gulf-Arab funding for mosques
and madrassahs (but not for clinics, sanitation systems or universities).

Allow me to focus initially on eastern Africa:  One killing factor is, as
stated, Islam and its cultural paraphernalia--not just behavioral
strictures, but the legacy of both Swahili and Middle-Eastern Islam as
trading, middleman cultures, rather than as producers.  The economic model
no longer works even in the modern, let alone the postmodern world.  At
present, the general civilizational failure of the Middle East is being
exported to eastern Africa, worsening an already-bad situation.

I come at this from a more globalist perspective, having seen Wahabi
subversion at work from Turkey through Central Asia to Pakistan and
Indonesia (where it makes fewer inroads than one might expect, due to the
tenacity and vigor of the local cultures).  Universally--even in the United
States--no Saudi-funded madrassah or mosque encourages integration into
society, sponsoring, instead, an elective religious apartheid.  In a society
such as our own, the transformative genius of the culture can overcome such
shenanigans, but in fissured states such as Tanzania and Kenya, Islamic
self-isolation does tremendous harm.

For example, along the Indian Ocean littoral, I've spoken with countless
Muslims who complain that Christians from the interior arrive to take the
best jobs; yet, those same Muslims left the state education system as
swiftly as they could to study in Koranic schools--which left them utterly
unequipped for bureaucratic or business positions of any serious nature.
From Somaliland, where returned émigrés from the West are in competition
with fundamentalists from the Arabian Peninsula, down to northern
Mozambique, where remote populations are Muslim by day, nativist by night,
there's an attempt at "slow jihad" that threatens even states--such as Kenya
and Tanzania--that have scraped by many (not all) of Africa's devastating

To remain with eastern Africa, I believe that Dr. Dalrymple is right on
target when he faults tribal mindsets and inherited behavior patterns.
Given that the French and Dutch just voted along tribal lines in a set of
referenda on the proposed European constitution, perhaps we shouldn't be too
surprised at the persistence of tribal loyalties in history-shocked
societies in Africa.  The tribe remains the bedrock of security.  In
up-country Kenya, economics traditionally have been viewed as a zero-sum
game.  What one tribe gains, another loses--a reasonable proposition in a
cattle-raiding culture or where fertile land is scarce and water precious.
Corruption--the greatest plague of all upon the developing world--comes
naturally to these paternalistic societies and, as pointed out by other
participants, is not viewed as corrupt in our sense.  On the contrary, it is
our behavior that seems unfathomable and terribly risky.

So you have these ferocious, persistent cultural inheritances that are very
hard to change--there's no formula--and natural blood loyalties that, viewed
objectively, make more rational sense than the interfaith, interethnic,
interracial trust acquired so painfully in North America (still far from
universal even in Europe).  And, around the world, I've seen the proof of
the maxim that any society in which blood ties remain the basic principle of
social and economic organization simply cannot compete in the 21st century
(even in American society, those groups and regions in which blood ties
remain tenacious are the least economically successful).

All this sounds awfully discouraging.  Yet, I, too, view South Africa as a
potentially great success story, if for somewhat different reasons than
those offered above.  First, South Africa had a perverse stroke of luck:
While I'm no apologist for apartheid, the fact that that vile system
persisted into the early 1990s saved South Africa from the pathetic
socialist experimentation that wrecked so many other nascent states.
Serendipitous timing for the new state to emerge just when Marxism and
East-bloc socialism had been utterly discredited.  Certainly, generations of
black South Africans (and brown) paid a terrible price--but my time in South
Africa impressed me very much with the manner in which key black, brown and
white figures in business and politics figured out very quickly that, by
working together, they could all grow rich.

The test for South Africa will be who the voters next select as president.
If it's a demagogue, the great chances may be squandered, after all.  If
it's a technocrat, I fully expect South Africa to become sub-Sahara's first
indigenous great power--the giant that Nigeria was to have been.

Two last points on South Africa.  First, it reminds me of the current
dynamism in India.  The key players are perfectly willing to write off the
fate of millions (in India, of hundreds of millions) as long as an operative
core succeeds.  We're seeing, before our eyes, new statehood and economic
models developing.

Second, South Africa's long reluctance to criticize Robert Mugabe isn't
merely a matter of black leadership solidarity or freedom-struggle loyalty.
Quite the contrary.  Seeing the wreckage of Zimbabwe wasn't enough--I had to
go to Mozambique to "get it."

In Mozambique, the long succession of wars destroyed the infrastructure.
The emergent state needed-and needs--everything.  South Africans leapt in as
the providers.  South African businessmen and state-tied organizations are
already close to owning Mozambique--its key infrastructure components--and
controlling access to the interior of Africa's southern cone (which is why
they don't worry about the Chinese or Libyans in Zimbabwe).  The lesson the
South Africans took from Mozambique is this:  The greater the neighborhood
destruction, the greater the post-conflict opportunities for South Africa.
South Africa has allowed Mugabe to run up hopeless debts for energy,
transport, goods and services.  After Mugabe, Zimbabwe will have to be
rebuilt.  And South Africans will rebuild it.  And own it.  From vast tracts
of farmland to the Zambezi River hydroelectric works.

What we're seeing in southern Africa is African imperialism--but of an
innovative form, focusing on economics and culture, rather than physical
conquest.  In fact, South Africa's approach to empire rather resembles that
of the United States.

Small consolation for those South Africans suffering from AIDS,
unemployment, lack of education, abysmal health care, dreadful housing, etc.
As in India, the burgeoning middle and upper classes could not care less.
Like it or not, this is a very powerful developmental model--concentrating
on wealth formation, rather than on human development (which will come

FP: Dr. Dalrymple?

Dalrymple: First, I would like to pick up on the characterization of Mr.
Mugabe as corrupt and incompetent. Corrupt, most certainly, but incompetent?
A man who maintains himself in power for 25 years is not incompetent, if we
regard power (and of course wealth) as his personal primary goal. The same
might be said of Nyerere, for example, and no doubt many other first
generation post-colonial African leaders.

Second, I would like to object mildly to the use of middle-man as a term of
abuse as far as economic activity is concerned. Middle-men are absolutely
vital to producers - otherwise, the producers produce in a vacuum, and
before long give up.That is what happened in Tanzania. Nyerere and all other
African socialists objected to middle-men, allegedly in favour of producers,
though actually to become monopolistic middle-men themselves, while
pandering to racial antagonism, since middle-men are often of different

Third, I would like to say that the downfall of the Soviet Union was
absolutely crucial in the peaceful transformation of South Africa. Many of
the leaders of the ANC, including Mandela, were Soviet sympathisers or
actual communists, for example Joe Slovo. Had the Soviet Union not fallen,
had the ANC maintained the hope of communist support a la Mozambique or
Anglola, the Afrikaner nationalists would have gone down fighting.

I agree wholeheartedly that there is no formula - or if there is, I do not
know what it is. And I agree, too, that we ought to consider carefully
differences between the performances in African countries to try to find out
which factors conduce to relative success.

Radu: I am less convinced about South Africa's interest or ability to
manipulate the situation in Zimbabwe. In fact, I am less than certain that
it could continue to successfully maintain the present (relative) balance
between economic common sense and the pressures from bellow and the Left for
a repetition of the Zimbabwe disaster. We see that already in Nambia, with
"land redistribution" a la Mugabe in the cards, and similar pressures in
South Africa itself - leading, inevitably, to the collapse of agriculture.
The quality of economic management there is already lower and corruption a
growing concern, at the very top.

The spectacle of the South African Health Minister praising the virtues of
garlic over modern medicine in combating AIDS - this in the country of the
first heart transplant - is certainly not encouraging for Africa. Because,
ultimately the continent south of the Sahara will go the way South Africa

Marshall: I'd like to pick up on Peters' and Dalrymple's points about
behavior, such as corruption, that seems bad to us but makes sense to people
in its context. Corruption is complex. It includes leaders siphoning off
millions, sometimes much more, for themselves and their cronies, a practice
devastating many African countries.

But some of the roots of petty corruption lie in pre-modern taxation
systems. Without a bureaucracy capable of raising taxes directly, revenues
were raised by franchise. The ruler sold off tax rights to certain areas,
those who bought them sold off subdivisions and so forth. People bought the
right to tax and then lived off the taxes. Similar patterns were followed in
other government posts: you bought them and lived off 'government' revenue.
This practice lives on. Even if they have not bought their posts, many
government employees civil cannot live off meager or nonexistent salaries
and are more or less expected to charge for their services.

Many complaints I have heard in Africa and Asia are not about bribes per se,
but price gouging bribes: "He charged three pounds to sign the form-everyone
knows it's only one pound." The upshot of this is attempting to combat
corruption by laws will not make much difference unless civil servants earn
something they can live on and are actually paid.

As Peters has also noted, radical Islam is an increasingly important factor.
Saudi Arabia and Sudan (and, idiosyncratically, Gaddafi) among others have
declared their goal to export their ideology in black Africa, and they are
doing so in the West, East and South (South Africa is a favored destination
for those moving out of Pakistan's madrassas). Their political systems are a
disaster at home, even buttressed by oil revenues: they will be a double
disaster wherever else they take hold, both in creating repressive political
systems and ensuring economic stagnation. It is also provoking widespread
large scale violence and war. Along the Sahel from Sudan to Sierra Leone
there is conflict between a largely Muslim north and a largely Christian and
animist south that has torn several states apart and may do so in others,
such as Nigeria.

This also brings up the question of the explosive growth of Christianity in
Africa, which will soon have more Christians than any other continent, and
where the faith, even in the Catholic and 'mainline' churches, is of a type
that in America would be called evangelical or fundamentalist. So far, apart
from a soft landing from apartheid, it does not appear to have helped Africa
much. However, that may change. Oxford UP is publishing a four volume study
of "Evangelical Protestantism and Democracy in the Global South" that finds
that, in general, evangelicalism helps promote democracy and free markets.

Peters: If four people visit Manhattan, they can easily come away with four
radically different concepts of the city--contrasting and even startlingly
contradictory.  In approaching a continent, the chances of forming radically
differing impressions is an order of magnitude greater, of course.  Yet,
what strikes me here is that, despite some minor differences, there's
remarkable agreement among the panelists on the most important points.  So
perhaps we're inching closer to an accurate, de-romanticized picture of
Africa, with all its problems and potential.

To expand upon Marshall's remarks about African Christianity vs. Islam as a
developmental factor, I simply don't see how anyone could pretend there
isn't a vast difference.  Apart from the fact that the ebullience and
vivacity of Evangelical and Pentecostal Christianity strikes a richer chord
in Africans than stern Islam, it's really a matter of values and priorities.
Muslims, egged on by the Saudis and their ilk, stress societal segregation
and theological study--in its current form (and terrorism notwithstanding)
it's a very low-energy, introverted, impoverishing approach to public life.
On the other hand, one need only attend a few Christian services, whether in
a megachurch in Mombassa or under a tree in rural Zimbabwe, to feel the
great pulses of energy.  In spots such as Kenya, applied Christianity may be
a bit too televangelist/materialist for my tastes, but it certainly seems to
work:  Serve God and grow rich.  Get out there and make it happen.  God
helps those who help themselves...  There's a remarkable vigor to much of
African Christianity that's redolent of a new religion in its most dynamic
stage--and, of course, in historical terms Christianity is new to most of
Africa.  Witness a service and it's hard not to be caught up in the ardor.

Of course, Islam is complex and various--very different in Senegal than in
Sudan.  And one aspect of Islam that does appeal to Africans is the
simplicity of the faith and the clarity of its rules, while Christianity is
far more nebulous and mystical (do try explaining to a potential convert why
the Trinity doesn't contradict the principle of monotheism...).  Yet,
Christianity is on the march openly and successfully, while Islam must
behave subversively.  Certainly, the Gospels resonate with suffering
Africans in ways that the profoundly Arab Koran cannot.  At the risk of
carrying judgment a step too far, I sense that Africans simply see Islam--at
least in the east--as a losing proposition, as a faith of fading practical
use.  They compare the educational attainments, status and living conditions
of Muslims and Christians, and the Christians generally are doing far
better.  (It's almost a marriage of American fundamentalist faith and
Calvinist economic behavior).

Interestingly, I found that, while Christians looked down on Muslims as
uneducated and lazy, their real antipathy was directed toward successful
merchants from the subcontinent, Hindu or Muslim, who Christians struggling
toward the middle class saw as obstacles to their progress.

To return to Radu's skepticism regarding South Africa's future, only time
will tell which of us has judged correctly, but I'll stick to my conviction
that the choice of South Africa's next president will tell the tale:  If
he's a technocrat, South Africa will be regionally unstoppable; if a
demagogue, all bets are off.

But the one belief on which I'd bet the farm is that the Saudi- and Gulf
Arab-funded attempt to revive, purify and expand Islam in Africa--by all
means available--is going to create plenty of difficulties for struggling
states.  And some bloodshed.

Still, I remain hopeful for various parts of the continent.  So let me close
with an anecdote.  A couple of years ago, I was sailing off Capetown and a
youngish, non-white South African woman struck up a conversation.  She
worked in the oil services industry as a mid-level manager and traveled a
great deal.  We spoke about Angola, Guinea Bissau and other points of
interest, then came, inevitably, to Nigeria.

"I hate going to Lagos," the woman said.  "The Nigerians are so corrupt..."

She was a new-generation Africa, with new standards.  She understood that
corruption wasn't the way forward.  As the liberation-struggle generation
and its acolytes die off, taking their destructive socialist nonsense with
them, I believe that key parts of Africa, at least, have a chance to make
the progress so long denied them.  Enormous problems loom.  No question
about it.  But once Africans in key states grasp that more money can be made
through ethical business practices and the rule of law than through
corruption, southern and parts of eastern Africa--perhaps even some West
African states--may hit the critical mass necessary to begin their
socio-economic maturation.

In the interim, I certainly wish we'd pay more attention to the destructive
influence of Muslim fundamentalists, funded by every American who insists on
driving a super-sized SUV.

FP: Theodore Dalrymple, Ralph Peters, Michael Radu, Paul Marshal and John
Eibner, thank you for joining Frontpage Symposium. We'll see you again soon.
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