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

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The Implosion Begins.

In 1997 the Zimbabwe economy was reasonably stable - showed real growth
rates on average of about 5 per cent per annum and a healthy balance of
payments situation. Exchange rates were about 12 to 1 against the US dollar
and there was only a limited parallel market for foreign exchange.

Then came the fateful decisions to enter the war in the Congo on the side of
Kabila (Senior) and his Tutsi allies and the decision to pay the veterans of
the Zimbabwe civil war some US$350 million in unbudgeted reparations.
Together these two decisions began the tumble from the heights held in 1997.

Since then the economy has shrunk by over 50 per cent, exports by two thirds
and living standards have retreated to levels last seen in the mid fifties -
half a century ago. Life expectancies have declined from a high of 59 years
on average in 1990, to less than 34 years today. No other country in recent
history has seen such a collapse in its economic fortunes in peacetime.

But despite the collapse, Zimbabwe has looked remarkably "normal". Traffic
has filled our streets, our supermarkets have been reasonably stocked and
most goods available - albeit at rather high prices. Life went on, people
tightened their belts and made do with less, rallied round to help those
less fortunate and to the outsider, things did not look so bad. In fact
visitors from war torn parts of the continent repeatedly said that we looked
much better to them after the mayhem of the Sudan, Somalia and the Congo.
Not much comfort in the comparison, but it is true - we looked better.

It is only when you get under the surface here that the real cost of the
past 7 years of economic regression really shows. And to get the facts is
not easy. Take a photo of a queue for bread, or sugar, or maize meal or fuel
and you will find yourself in detention and your equipment confiscated. Make
a statement you cannot substantiate and you will find yourself in Court and
facing a heavy fine or imprisonment. Hard facts from reliable sources are
impossible to come by and official government statistics tell you only what
they want you to know.

But the real situation - human and economic is not hard to see. Cities
surrounded by sprawling cemeteries, millions in flight from economic
depravation and moving to anywhere where life is a little bit better.
Statistics on child and maternal mortality that make the hair stand up on
the back of your neck. The aching poverty that is evident everywhere -
people in rags, the sense of despondency and the almost total absence of
hope and vision.

Three weeks ago President Mbeki of South Africa moved to prop up the
Zimbabwe regime and to try and prevent any further collapse. He warned as he
did so that if South Africa did not help, that there was a very real threat
that Zimbabwe would collapse to the detriment of the entire region. Those of
us who live here ask ourselves how much more of this punishment can we take?
We as a nation have "turned the other cheek" for so long - how much longer
can we put up with this state of affairs?

Well we may be about to find out. On Friday last week, Mugabe rejected the
South African offer of emergency funding - because it was conditional. He
knows full well that any concessions to South Africa will signal the end of
Zanu PF and the end of his own presidency and probably his own flight into
exile for the rest of his life. He never was going to give in easily or to
rational argument - he is not that sort of a character.

I told a South African journalist who was stunned by this rejection that
South Africa had to understand what they were up against and that if they
wanted to get the attention of Mr. Mugabe, they would have to hit him hard
with a big stick!

And so the threatened implosion of the Zimbabwe economy begins. You cannot
buy fuel for local currency anywhere; most basic necessities are in short
supply. Our money, already virtually worthless, has halved in value in one
month. Inflation in July was 47 per cent - month on month - over 2000 per
cent per annum. Exchange rates in parallel markets have collapsed by at
least 50 per cent in the past few weeks.

People cannot handle such conditions anymore - it is now beyond the capacity
of our hard pressed community and businesses. In a statement last week,
instead of addressing the fundamental problems in the economy, the Minister
of Finance simply made things worse. He raised tax rates dramatically - we
were already among the most highly taxed people on earth, he widened the net
of those items we can now buy and trade freely to include wheat and maize in
a desperate attempt to plug holes in the market place - this will simply
increase demand for foreign exchange on the parallel market and drive up
costs for everything else. In a vain attempt to halt inflation he placed a
ceiling on wage increments of 120 per cent per annum - an impossible limit
to maintain in our hyper inflationary environment.

At the same time the Minister continued to spout the fiction that the
Zimbabwean economy is on the mend and that there will be growth in 2005.
That is just a sick joke. By my calculations every sector of the economy is
in retreat - agriculture, mining, industry, tourism. None show any signs of
recovery, in fact conditions are now much worse than they were this time
last year and I project even worse production data for agriculture even if
we have a good or above average wet season.

Mugabe has in the past fortnight rejected offers of assistance from South
Africa, rejected the UN report on operation "Murambatsvina" which they now
euphemistically call "Operation Restore Order". He has rejected the AU
initiative to kick-start the process of national reconciliation and recovery
and he has firmly ruled out any talks with the Movement for Democratic

Quite frankly I am delighted with this hard line position. Our worst
nightmare would be Mugabe working with Mbeki instead of against him in the
resolution of our crisis. At least with the hard line position being taken b
y the Zimbabwe regime we can decide our future on the basis of principle
rather than compromise. When the time comes, we can toss out the entire
structures of Zanu PF, start afresh and purge our society of all those who
have been responsible for our sad situation. In the meantime hold onto your
life jacket - the next few months are going to be very tough.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, 19th August 2005
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Legal Communiqué 1:

Last week's Herald of 12 August listed LOT 28 (3 properties) under Section
8 Notices and LOT 30 (6 properties) under Section 8 Notices.  Today's
Herald of 19 August has repeated the 6 properties under LOT 30.

12-08-2005 Section 8 LOT 28 1 1703/05 Raymond Munro Gatooma S/D Portion
Itafa 202,3696ha
12-08-2005 Section 8 LOT 28 2 749/95 Lion Kop Farm P/L Lomagundi Lion Kop
12-08-2005 Section 8 LOT 28 3 7111/83 George Leslie Kluckow Salisbury Lot 1
of S/D A of Charfield A 101,1745ha

12-08-2005 Section 8 LOT 30 1 5523/80 Red Sands P/L Chipinga R/E of
Clearwater 428,2403ha
12-08-2005 Section 8 LOT 30 2 1422/67 Leslie Reginald De Jager Lomagundi
Friedawll of Renfield 991,7851ac
12-08-2005 Section 8 LOT 30 3 4482/86 Hanging Rock P/L Makoni Hangclip
12-08-2005 Section 8 LOT 30 4 307/82 Alistair Clotherd Davies Ndanga Lot 3
of Mkwasine Central 181,5714ha
12-08-2005 Section 8 LOT 30 5 1688/86 Valley Coffee Plantation P/L Umtali
R/E of Mazonwe 3746,2964ha
12-08-2005 Section 8 LOT 30 6 2564/75 Meidon Farm P/L Umtali Lot 2 of Burma
of Clydesdale 1236,6570ha

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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Letter 1:

The behaviour of a few Selous farmers has once again caused an outbreak of
self-righteous rage and indignation.  Only those involved can know the line
between survival and betrayal.  I am certainly not an apologist for the
creeps and toadies who enthusiastically lick the hand of ZANU-PF. Survival
is important to us all, it depends how much dignity and self respect you
are prepared to trade off.  Remember only a few years ago when Farmers
Associations were still functioning, how many of us voted to donate funds
from the F.A account to support ZANU-PF functions and ceremonies. Were we
not guilty of grovelling in front of our tormentors and persecutors, in the
hope we could remain on our farms.  The maxim " never pay a blackmailer" is
worth calling to mind.  The unpalatable truth is, nearly all of us are
guilty of compromising our principles, or what should have been our
principles.  The C.F.U. and the Z.T.A. led the way in this disgraceful
display of cowardice when they advised FA's to deal with the local land
committee's.  On that day they unfurled the white flag.  How many of us in
the ranks protested this betrayal, I suggest very few.  We elected these
weak willed and weak minded people to be our leaders.  Today our rage and
indignation has a rather hollow ring about it.  The destruction of
Commercial Agriculture was an economic atrocity and was the precursor of
what we live with today.  Nothing any of us farmers said or did could of
prevented this madness.  But we should of demonstrated greater unity and
integrity in the face of adversity.

Bruce Gemmill


Letter 2:

Dear JAG

So Taylor-freeme is willing sup with the very devils who have destroyed
this country!. Such a lack of principle is what got us into this mess in
the first place.  Oh how I wish for leaders who will stand up to the
murderous thugs and tell them that they are an illegitimate regime not a
government and that the only dialogue should be on the length and
conditions of their imprisonment for their crimes against the citizens of
our country.

Mike Davies


Letter 3:


Gerry Whitehead has stated that he feels "shame" for the people who have
now openly admitted that they supported Zanu and its policies to protect
their own assets - while holding positions of leadership in the CFU and
ZTA, and were trusted by their members to act in good faith on their

Rhodes is alleged to have said that "every man has his price." Let us
remember that the late Gavin Connolly confronted this situation at his very
first meeting as Matabeleland CFU leader at a Council meeting - a sort of
'baptism of fire' for Gavin - or perhaps a Herman Charles Bosman-like
"Bekkersdarl marathon" of eight hours just trying to correct the minutes of
the previous meeting. The (Zanu) CFU having grossly underestimated Gavin's
price on integrity. The Matabeleland members were in no doubt about Gavin's
price - "over my dead body will I compromise my principles." He knew better
than most of us the significance of what happened on a "low eminence
outside Jerusalem" -Calvary - some 2003 years prior to his CFU marathon.
Matabeleland then chose to leave the CFU as a result of a general meeting
that would have been minuted meticulously- those for, those against and
abstentions. Regardless of any misrepresentations Doug Taylor Freeme tried
to punt about the majority of Gavin's membership still wanting to stay in
the CFU - Gavin had been completely transparent and honest, and it has
stood the test of time.

Those who have supplied diesel to Zanu's "Bulldozer Callers" to destroy the
homes of the poor people in operation Murambatsvina - can hardly proffer
ignorance at this stage. Even when 90% of their paid up membership (along
with over a million farm residents) lost their homes and livelihoods, these
same "Diesel Mujibas" continued their line to "work with Government on the
land reform." Surely their self interested politicking has greatly assisted
the total collapse of our agrarian based economy and caused social calamity
affecting millions of Zimbabweans - except possibly themselves? Five years
ago one of my school and farming colleagues was murdered by the State in
Nyamandlovu.  Fiske's assertion that persons who feed gangsters are
gangsters themselves is hard to fault. On the 12th September, 1943 Italian
partisans captured their own gangster - one Benito Mussolini - and executed
him with his mistress.

Where will our gangsters (and their mujibas) run to when they become
skittish about their past?

Is Mr. Mbeki going to supply more diesel for the bulldozers?
Who actually called the bulldozers?

J.L. Robinson.


Letter 4:

RE: Gerry Whitehead's letter, 5/8/2005.
Well summed up ref Cloete and the others bank rolling Zanu PF.

So sad to see what these people are doing.

Clive Midlane.


Letter 5:

Dear JAG,
Sure you've seen the following story in ZW news Thursday. Do you have any
more info you could give us on who owns the farms listed at the end of the
story. It's all very well to say assets have been frozen but we want to
name names and if we could have any detail about the violence/intimidation
levels in taking the farms that would be excellent.

Washington - The United States on Wednesday froze the US assets of 26
Zimbabwean entities it said are controlled by key members of President
Robert Mugabe's government, accusing them of undercutting democracy in
Zimbabwe. Under an executive order issued by President Bush, the Treasury
Department ``designated'' 24 commercial farms and two businesses controlled
by Mugabe administration officials who the US government says are
undermining democratic processes in Zimbabwe. The move freezes their access
to the US financial system and prohibits US citizens from doing business
with them. "The Mugabe regime rules through politically motivated violence
and intimidation and has triggered the collapse of the rule of law in
Zimbabwe,'' said Robert Werner, director of the Treasury's Office of
Foreign Assets Control. By denying the Mugabe regime access to the US
financial system and US persons, we're cutting off the flow of support they
could use to further destabilize Zimbabwe,'' he said. Zimbabwe is reeling
from its worst economic crisis since independence from Britain 25 years
ago, triggered by government seizures of white-owned farms for resettlement
of landless blacks and allegations of vote rigging. The Treasury Department
said the commercial farms are among those handed to favoured members of
Mugabe's government following his chaotic land redistribution scheme. The
two businesses include Cold Comfort Farm Trust Co-operative, an
agricultural cooperative controlled by National Security Minister Didymus
Noel Mutasa, and Ndlovu Motorways, controlled by Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, an
official with Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF party. Treasury has designated Mugabe
and 76 other Zimbabwean government officials and "persons of influence''
for economic sanctions.

From The US Treasury Department: The following entities have been added to
COMFORT FARM TRUST CO-OPERATIVE, 7 Cowie Road, Tynwald, Harare, Zimbabwe;
P.O. Box 6996, Harare; CORBURN 13 FARM, Chegutu; DUIKER FLATS FARM; EIRIN
Nujoma Street/Livingston Avenue, Harare; OLDHAM FARM, Chegutu; PIMENTO
Marondera; UMGUZA BLOCK FARM, Umguza.

Letter 6:

Dear JAG

zanupf says the crops were small because we had a drought in 2004/5.

Experienced farmers stoutly stated that they were able to cope with
droughts as erratic rains are a feature of life in the tropics.  A drought
is No Excuse.

But, was there a drought last season?

I asked around and the message below refers to last year being 2004/5:

"I live in Mandara and have kept the rainfall records for the last 10 years
on my computer. We had 879mm. last year, which is above the so called
yearly average of 750mm for the country."

Another lady reported 34.14in NE Harare.  In inches 33.12in is normal.
Either way, Harare, at least, is confirmed as having more rain than normal.

All the best


Letter 7:

I am trying to find out if there is any news of my cousin Roy Ashburner and
his wife Marion.

Many thanks for your help.

Antoinette Galbraith
7 Saxe Coburg Place,
Edinburgh EH3 5BR

All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.

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The Zimbabwean

Sale - Country to the highest bidder
LONDON - The unprecedented auctioning of a country, its natural resources
and the lives of its people continues as President Robert Mugabe looks
avariciously from one bidder to another, desperate to raise the price,
careless of the cost.
The only two bidders, China and South Africa, prevaricate - knowing that
time is not on Mugabe's side, anxious to pick up a bargain in their
competition for influence in the region.

Mugabe's contemptuous dismissal of the stringent conditions imposed on its
loan by the South African government appears to have thrown a spanner into
their bid, while the Chinese watch from the sidelines, having given a paltry
US$6 million for food and fuel. It would appear the South Africans are
engaging in a bout of brinkmanship - ignoring Mugabe's posturing. They would
be wise to remain in the game.

China, as the world's fastest growing economy, is a formidable competitor.
Although relative new comers to southern Africa, they have rapidly
entrenched their influence further north - notably in Nigeria and Sudan
where their voracious oil purchases have bought them considerable power.

It is inconceivable that a finance minister as able as South Africa's Trevor
Manuel has not taken into consideration the terrifying spectre of Chinese
economic and industrial muscle taking firm root in neighbouring Zimbabwe.
The SA government, certainly, knows more than anyone else the details of
Zimbabwe's concessions to the Chinese - the platinum and coal mines, acres
of land and industrial facilities.

Despite their Marxist roots and rhetoric, Chinese businessmen are extremely
astute. And they are not squeamish about dealing with corrupt and greedy
African despots - whom the rest of the world shuns as 'unclean'. They have
successfully requisitioned a quarter of Zimbabwe's annual revenue from
exports to pay for Mugabe's recent purchases of planes, tanks and other
military hardware. However, they seem to be edgy about the recent moves in
Harare to legislate nationalization of all land - and have demanded
long-term guarantees against property and business seizures.

The South African economy is still struggling to right the wrongs of decades
of minority apartheid government. The effect, of, for example, a thriving
Chinese-controlled cotton growing, processing and manufacturing industry
next door - able to take full advantage of low tariffs into the whole of
SADC and Comesa - must surely be too ghastly to contemplate. Every South
African job in the clothing and footwear and household goods sectors could
soon be destroyed if Mugabe rejects SA demands and, in desperation, embraces
the Chinese fully.

The only mistake the Chinese would seem to be making is to allow the
continued decimation of their potential Zimbabwean market from AIDS and
poverty as a direct result of Mugabe's mis-rule.

Mugabe is not only in the market for money - he is also looking for friends
and protectors at international fora. Mbeki's influence throughout Africa
and with the G8 certainly counts for something, but the Chinese veto at the
Security Council is a trump card.

Watching economists predict a climax soon. "The whole package of problems is
so unstable now that I really do expect to see significant changes soon,
especially as the government and party are themselves becoming the victims
of the chaos they've caused," said one observer.
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The Zimbabwean

Influence in Africa - Mbeki's goal?
While a loan from SA is unlikely to inspire Mugabe to reform his ways, it
might persuade him to relax his stance over South Africa's participation on
the Security Council, writes INGRID UYS.
LONDON - The leader of South Africa's opposition party, Tony Leon, has
lashed out at the ANC government, accusing it of 'enthusiastically' propping
up Zimbabwe's ruling party under President Robert Mugabe and warned that
South Africa's reputation abroad is being damaged.

In his weekly online letter, SA Today, Leon suggested the ANC government
lacked consistent principles: he recalled 1991 when Thabo Mbeki and Trevor
Manuel (the current Finance Minister) called for the isolation of South
Africa internationally and protested against IMF loans to F W de Klerk's
government. Both Mbeki and Manuel issued a 'double warning to the IMF and
the World Bank that further loans to SA would 'imperil the peace process' in
the country.

Today these two men have sacrificed those very principles as they negotiate
a financial rescue package for the government of Zimbabwe, whose track
record of human rights abuses is, according to Leon, considerably worse than
apartheid South Africa. "It took the apartheid government 16 years to
forcibly remove about 60,000 people from District Six in Cape Town. In
contrast, it took Mugabe only a few weeks to forcibly remove about ten times
as many people." said Leon.

The Democratic Alliance has from the outset objected to the use of South
African taxpayer's money to service a loan to the Zimbabwe government with
its "Stop the Mugabe loan" campaign.

Leon said that "By giving a loan to Mugabe today, without making concrete
political change an explicit and public condition of that assistance,
President Mbeki and Minister Manuel are doing exactly what they opposed in
1991 - namely, propping up a government whose rule has become an affront to
human rights and a pariah in the international community."

Leon, moreover, challenged the ANC's rationale that without the loan
Zimbabwe could face total collapse. "But Zimbabwe has already collapsed -
and it has done so partly because South Africa's policy of quiet diplomacy
over nearly six years has been such an abject failure," said Leon. It is
estimated that two million Zimbabweans are living in forced exile in South

The details of the loan have not yet been made public but there are
indications that the SA government will try to appease its critics both at
home and abroad while at the same time making the conditions flexible enough
for Mugabe to accept.

Media reports of the possible conditions include talks with the MDC, repeal
of strict security and media laws, and constitutional reform - all of which
have been rebuffed by Mugabe.

Economist Eric Bloch claims "They have not really imposed conditions, but
expect Zimbabwe to take measures to ensure economic and political

Other commentators say that by affording a loan to Zimbabwe Mbeki will have
satisfied the concerns of the World Bank, but it is unlikely he will push
for strict conditions for fear of antagonising members of the African Union
(AU). He is seeking to elevate South Africa's position on the continent and
to gain a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. For this,
he needs the support of Africa's leaders.

But Mbeki's popularity on the continent is not guaranteed. Ross Herbert,
senior analyst at the South African Institute for International Affairs,
says: "The activism, his fiscal conservatism are not necessarily hugely
popular in Africa. People assent to the vision of NEPAD (New Partnership for
Africa's Development), but they are quite suspicious that NEPAD is some kind
of undertaking by South Africa to become president of Africa or solidify its

The results of Mbeki's recent diplomatic missions on the continent appear to
confirm this view: his calls for a resumption of talks between Zimbabwe's
opposition party and Mugabe's Zanu (PF) have been rejected; Ivory Coast
rebels rejected his mediation efforts, accusing him of siding with Ivorian
President Laurent Gbagbo.

And in what is widely perceived as a major setback for Mbeki, African Union
leaders blocked a compromise deal announced by the G4 group of nations
(Japan, Germany, Brazil and India) that would give Africa at least two
non-veto-wielding seats on the Security Council. The AU however insisted it
wanted the right of veto on the Security Council.
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The Zimbabwean

Computers gather rust
HARARE - Fearful that people are going to read uncensored information, the
Zanu (PF) government is reneging on its promise to provide internet services
to schools after doling out hundreds of computers countrywide during the
March elections in their bid to woo voters.
President Robert Mugabe was at the forefront in dishing out computers from
USAID and China at his campaign rallies and promising that they would be
connected to internet soon. The computers are now gathering rust as some of
the schools which received them do not have electricity.

Addressing a rally at Chekai, Masvingo in March, Mugabe said his government
wanted to take a lead in bringing development to Africa through information
technology as it had with land reform. The government is now afraid that if
they install internet services to rural schools there will be unrestricted
information flow in their strongholds.

Sources said schools are to get permission first from Ministry of Education,
Sport and Culture if they are willing to install computers on their own.
They have been ordered not to install internet on computers donated by the

"Mugabe used computer donations as a campaign tool because the land issue
had fizzled out. He once again outwitted people, telling them he was
bringing development. He really just wants power. Most of the NGOs in the
rural areas with internet are monitored by CIO so that they do not
distribute information from internet," said one lady from Chirimanzu.

The government is now establishing rural information centers, from which
they will disseminate propaganda. "The project will remain pipe dream
because there is
no way the government can promote information technology while closing down
independent newspapers," said an education ministry official.

The Education Bill being tabled in Parliament is expected to give the
Minister of Education unlimited control over the activities of private
schools, including the use of internet.
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The Zimbabwean
No end yet to Murambatsvina
mbare report
Children play amid the ruins.
MBARE - The people of Mbare are busy now smashing up the slabs and foundations of the cottages whose walls were destroyed earlier. They have to dig deep holes to bury the rubble. People say, this is because Kofi Annan is coming, and he is not supposed to see the destruction.
Some huge holes will have to be dug to hide all the debris and rubble, at present lining the outer fringes of the township, left over from the destruction of more or less half the living quarters of the Mbare people.

People not complying with these orders from the City of Harare are fined one million dollars each.

Murambatsvina (Operation “Doing away with the filth”, or Murambavanhu, as many prefer to say, “Operation “Doing away with the people” ) is not over because there are still homeless people staying in the open. Those who asked for transport to their rural homes are being assisted by a church programme. But will they be able to survive when they get there?

Murambatsvina is not over because self-employed traders and artisans are still barred from resuming their income-generating activities. They are starving. Once the new school term starts in September many jobless, homeless parents will not be able to pay the school fees for their children which have gone up steeply recently. There will be more children out of school.

Murambatsvina will not be over for a long time because the effects will be felt for a long time.

Meanwhile, in Durban the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference last week released an urgent appeal for a relief operation in response to the food crisis in Zimbabwe.

“Deeply touched by the enormous suffering of our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe who are experiencing serious food shortages and lack of basic services, we appeal to all the Catholics in Botswana, South Africa and Swaziland to generously respond to the relief operation campaign in favour of the people of Zimbabwe,” said the Catholic Bishops at the end of their plenary assembly held in Mariannhill.

“We call on the members of the Church and the people of goodwill to donate blankets, food and medicines to the relief operation campaign. May the campaign receive the same support and spirit of self-giving which inspired so many people to give generously to the Tsunami disaster victims.

“Particularly we would like to keep in mind the hundreds of thousands of people who have been rendered homeless by “Operation Remove the Filth” and deprived of the means of livelihood by “Operation Clean Up”, who now live in appalling conditions in transit camps.

“We call upon you, our people, to pray earnestly for a more just government in Zimbabwe - a government which will be committed to the wellbeing and human rights of all its citizens.

“The donations and humanitarian aid for the relief operation campaign will be distributed to the needy people through the network of the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe, in collaboration with the South African Council of Churches (SACC).”
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The Zimbabwean

Church members lured
GABORONE - Zimbabwe's ambassador to Botswana, Bekezela Mphoko, pleaded with
members of Johane Masowe Wechishanu to help welcome the president on his
visit to Botswana for the SADC heads of state meeting this week, according
to members of the sect.
Godwin Dube (not his real name), a Zimbabwean now residing in Botswana who
attends the Johane Masowe Wechishanu church at the famous Metro branch,
narrated how representatives from the ambassador's office pleaded with the
sector. Metro branch is where most Zimbabwean economic refuges attend Sunday
sessions for spiritual help.

"Two gentleman smartly dressed in suits visited our church on the last
Sunday of July. Their presence drew a lot of attention since most people who
attend our church are either in church robes or shorts and plain white
t-shirts. The men presented their request to the elders and promised
transport to and from the airport and food at the welcoming ceremony," said
the source.

Other members of the sector who spoke to our reporter indicated that they
would not be lured by food to welcome the president. Others expressed
delight because it could be a chance to make close contacts with the
government and thus benefit later on.
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The Zimbabwean

Prayers for Zim

CHRISTCHURCH - Zimbabweans in exile around the world are increasingly
turning to prayer in a desperate search for an end to their country's woes.
A number of New Zealanders joined exiles in a prayer vigil from 7.30 pm last
Saturday evening through to 11.30am Sunday morning in Cathedral Square,
Christchurch. Among those who attended, in temperatures of zero degrees,
were MPs from the Green Party, well-known former ZBC presenter Noreen Welch
and her grand-daughter Khayla, Shupayi Mpunga and many other supporters.
Many of them expressed disappointment that NZ cricketers, by going to play
in Zimbabwe, gave legitimacy to Mugabe's reign of terror.
* In Australia a special time of prayer was held at the Coromandel Valley
Uniting Church in Adelaide, which has a number of Zimbabwean families among
the congregation. Hundreds of United Churches throughout Australia also
prayed for Zimbabwe that morning.

Zimbabweans around the UK have also been participating in organized prayer
vigils for their country. Reports from Bulawayo tell of a 'giant column of
prayer' being raised last Sunday as Christians across the country gathered
in their thousands. "At Christ the King in Hillside Bulawayo we knelt and
prayed in Adoration of Our Lord and Redeemer. We meditated personally and
prayed quietly in communion with those around us. We read and allowed the
Voice of God to speak to us individually in one of the last few free spaces
left in this country," said the report.

Meanwhile, the South African Council of Churches SACC will organise a mass
prayer service in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe at the Central
Methodist Church in Johannesburg on Saturday. The purpose of the service is
to highlight the plight of people from Zimbabwe and pledge solidarity
through prayer and action. Reverend Molefe Tsele, the SACC General
Secretary, will lead the mass service which is going to be attended by
church leaders from Zimbabwe.
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The Zimbabwean

They can't buy change
HARARE - Demolition continues. Jobless people continue being barred form
self-employment. Heavy fines are imposed on anyone not complying. Traders if
caught are arrested. Houses built hastily as part of 'Operation Garikayi'
will go to army personnel. Soldiers' loyalty to government is being bought
with the promises of land. More weapons will be bought from China. As long
as the economic assets of Zimbabwe are used to prop up the regime the
decline will continue.
They do not regret what they have done and are still doing. Anything goes as
long as it keeps them in power. Those who want to buy change with big money
should think again. The regime is not going to give up those repressive
measures which it uses to stay in power.

A few concessions on paper will not bring about "recovery". Fundamental
change is needed, a complete change of heart, a new set of priorities: the
people and their welfare must come first, the 'common good' of all the
people of Zimbabwe. Even the people who have lost confidence in their
present leaders have a right to life.

A mere change of tactics towards Zimbabwe will not make a difference. There
will only be a new start after they have repented of their old crimes. -
Jesuit Communications, In Touch.
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The Zimbabwean

Information is vital
LONDON - After all the excitement of the recent High Court case and the
accompanying press interest and clamour, it's quite a change to find
ourselves surrounded by an eerie calm. Having caught our breaths it's time
to start working on what will be needed for the Country Guidance Case to be
heard at the Tribunal in early October. Information is vital. We need to
know what has happened to returnees. Do you know anyone who has been
returned within the last six months? If so, please contact us for a
confidential chat.
Besides collecting information, we need to focus on the Zimbabweans still in
detention who need assistance and support. A few more people got out on bail
and temporary admission this week, but there are still around 20 in
detention. We need to get them out.

BE WARNED: In the last fortnight we've heard of three cases of people who
have gone to Croydon to claim asylum (after having been in the UK for some
time), and have found themselves being sent to Oakington Reception Centre
for fast-tracking through the asylum process. If you are intending to claim
asylum, you should have organised a decent solicitor to represent you, and
collected as much evidence as possible to support your claim, plus reasons
for why you didn't claim asylum on arrival, BEFORE going anywhere near

Reports have been coming in about Home Office officials doing house-to-house
searches and detaining people. This may be part of the security crackdown
after the recent bombings. Failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers should not be
being detained at this time; please contact us if anyone you know has been
caught up in this way. (If people are detained because they are overstayers,
have broken the law or have expired visas, that's a different matter.)

BAD NEWS: We were shocked to hear that a failed asylum seeker has been
detained when reporting and given Removal Directions to South Africa. We are
hopeful of a successful legal challenge to this Removal but urge all
Zimbabweans in a similar position to be very careful ... If you are
reporting make sure you have spoken to your solicitor beforehand, or told
friends and family where you are going.

GOOD NEWS: We were delighted to hear this week that four people were granted
Indefinite Leave to Remain, after long, hard battles which took a number of
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The Zimbabwean

Zim activist detained
LONDON - One of the stalwart supporters of the Zimbabwe Vigil, Trywell
Ncube, was taken into detention when he went to report last Friday.
He was initially taken to Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre for two
nights, before being transferred Haslar Detention Centre in Portsmouth.

Ncube arrived in the UK via South Africa two years ago, having escaped
persecution by the authorities in Zimbabwe. Like so many other fleeing
Zimbabweans, he managed to obtain a fake SA passport.

"At first the Home Office insisted he was from SA and would be returned
there, but after a series of tribunals, judicial reviews and appeals the
Secretary of State accepted his nationality as Zimbabwean," said a friend of
Ncube's recently. "So on what possible basis could the Home Office now think
that they have the right to detain Trywell pending removal to South Africa?
One can only believe that they have made a grave error and not read the
evidence properly.

"Because of his activism in this country, Trywell would be a prime target
for the Zimbabwean authorities, who operate both in Zimbabwe and South
Africa. One should also point out the policy of South Africa towards
Zimbabwean asylum seekers, who are often kept in v poor conditions and then
herded onto overcrowded rail trucks and returned back to Zimbabwe. His
former SA passport is clearly illegal and would be recognised as such by
South Africa," she added.

When contacted by phone Ncube said he was not aware that any other
Zimbabweans had been picked up since the landmark court case on August 4 in
which Justice Collins ordered that no Zimbabweans be returned until a final
ruling was made in October. Ncube's lawyer is currently trying to have him
released on bail.
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The Zimbabwean

The Coloured question
ARCADIA - The mixed race Coloured minority is still an unknown entity, and
specific attention has never been given to the perspectives and sense of
nationhood and patriotism that reside within the Coloured community of
The policies of Government with respect to black empowerment and affirmative
action are premised on advancing the 'indigenous' element within the racial
fabric of Zimbabwean society -thus effectively excluding and marginalising
the mixed race population from participating fully in the economy.

The citizenship Act, before it was amended, caused upheaval and trauma
throughout the mixed race minority as the effect of this legislation severed
citizenship rights between these people and their country rendering them
stateless, fearful and insecure.

Unfortunately, certain sections of the media tend to portray the mixed race
Coloured minority as one which tends to belittle and demean our black
ancestral heritage to satisfy those principals bent on perpetuating racial

The majority should accept diversity and note that racial discrimination,
xenophobia and racial intolerance belong to the dustbin of the 20th century.

As explained by the NACC delegation to who attended the World Conference
Against Racism in Durban South Africa a few years ago, the core concerns of
Identity, Repatriation, Compensation and Atonement from those responsible
for crimes committed against this mixed race minority, for the first time in
the history of the Coloured people, were presented before the United Nations
Human Rights Commission. The delegation included myself Angus Martens, Danny
Bismark-Petit Jnr and Doreen Nelson.

In the 1940s, Britain, through it's Colonial Foreign Office at the time had
mixed race Coloured children removed from villages and given up to the
Colonial State in league with the Church to be placed in mission schools and
orphanages throughout the then Southern Rhodesia.

The ramifications of this crime perpetrated against those children are still
being felt by their offspring in modern day Zimbabwe. There could well be a
case for Britain to look into repatriation or compensation of the offspring
of that generation back to the United Kingdom as a moral issue of righting a
terrible wrong given the fact that most of these children's fathers were

The Australians called such children the 'Stolen Generation'. I liken those
children born out of the act of miscegenation within the Zimbabwean context
to the "Lost Tribe"

In the words of the Honorable Minister Patrick Chinamasa, "There is no more
heinous crime than that of taking away a child from it's mother" - a crime
against humanity which to this day remains unatoned for, a crime which
should be brought before the International Court for Human Rights and before
the Church for justice to be served.

The mixed race Coloured question cannot be resolved through retrogressive
and stereotypical racial concepts and outdated language of our former
oppressors. New forms of democratic and liberal thought which does away with
racial classification of citizens would be the antidote to this disease of
racial classification of Zimbabweans by the state. The disposal of the OO
status of the mixed race minority could be a starting point of racial

Open and frank discussion in the public arena, to dispel the host of
misguided and dangerous insinuations and allegations founded on the racist
bedrock of Rhodesian racial segregation, could be the genesis for healing
and mending the hurt and torment experienced by all parties involved in this

This festering sore, this hidden national disgrace embedded in the history
of our beloved country can be cleansed if we are only courageous enough to
acknowledge the great wrongs and injustice perpetrated against the children
born out of the evil that was Colonialism.

We the mixed race minority, children of black mothers of Africa, embrace our
common heritage in the extended African family.
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The Zimbabwean

Welcome to Assoc. CIO Newspapers
So, the super spooks are Zimbabwe's newest newspaper publishers! Now we
understand why they refuse to have their budget scrutinized by the Auditor
General or the parliamentary accounts committee. It is interesting that the
Media and Information Commission chairman, Tafataona Mahoso, who was quick
to accuse us of using slush funds to set up The Zimbabwean, has been so
Meanwhile, under his very nose the CIO has been setting up a media empire.
We wonder whether the new group of Association CIO Newspapers has notified
him of a change of ownership as is required under AIPPA.

We welcome our fellow publishers from 'Red Bricks' to the newspaper
industry. May the best wo(man) win! We hope they will respect fundamental
journalistic ethics to tell the story as it is, and not to use public funds,
which they spent on acquiring the titles, to promote sectarian interests.
Let's have a level playing field now and compete fairly for the reader's

In the past, the government clearly has shown that it has no scruples about
using public funds to promote Zanu (PF) interests. It is in this light that
we are opposed to the latest constitutional amendments that seek to empower
the government to cancel or suspend individual passports. This is yet
another infringement of people's basic rights.

The ruling party seems incapable of distinguishing between Zanu (PF) and
national interests. It follows, therefore, that this legislation - when it
becomes law - will be used to silence opponents of Zanu (PF).

Just as the party continues to use food to punish its opponents, it will now
add passports to its arsenal in order to keep the populace under tight
control. Freedom of association, speech, and the press are all proscribed in
Zimbabwe today - hardly surprising that freedom of movement is being added
to the list.

It is a well-established fact that more than half the population is in need
of food aid, thanks to the disastrous land reform and economic policies of
the Mugabe regime - further compounded by Operation Murambatsvina. Yet the
government continues to prevaricate - while 10,000 tons of maize is sitting
in Durban waiting to be cleared and 15,000 tons sit in warehouses inside
Zimbabwe waiting for official permission to be distributed to the hungry.
Trucks loaded with food and other aid, dispatched by the South African
Council of Churches, wait for clearance at Beit Bridge, despite producing
South African government certificates stating that the maize is not
genetically modified.

It is noteworthy that the government itself brought in genetically modified
maize for its food-for-votes programme prior to the 2005 general elections.

The people will not be fooled. They know who is responsible for their
misery. Mugabe might be able to fool the rest of the world but, as the
recent election result in Bulawayo demonstrates, the people of Zimbabwe have
rejected Zanu (PF) - for its insensitivity, its cruelty and for the way it
has reduced our once-prosperous country to a nation of beggars. We firmly
believe that people in the rural areas - given a chance to vote freely and
fairly, without intimidation or fear -unequivocally would reject Zanu (PF)
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The Zimbabwean


Is this Customs corruption?
EDITOR - I travelled to Zimbabwe to see my family, and I thought they were
going to be very happy if I imported a car for their use.
I went to Beit Bridge to collect the vehicle. To my surprise, when I
approached a Zimra official about clearing the vehicle, he told me that I
could not do it on my own - I needed an agent.

I told him I had all the papers: Bill of lading, freight invoice, clearance
costs at Durban and invoice of purchase, but he insisted that I needed an

I asked where I could get an agent, and he took me to the corridor next to
the Valuation Office for Zimra - he said they would be waiting there. I
asked how I would know that they were bona fide, and he said they were all
licensed by Zimra.

I managed to find one. He added all my invoices and applied 15%, and told me
the amount to be paid. But that was not all - he wanted $2.5-million for
adding up my invoices.

And then the Zimra gentleman said he wanted $3-million for inspecting the
vehicle. Without these payments, the vehicle was never going to be released.

Why do I need an agent to tot up my invoices; why do Zimra offices take
three days to inspect a vehicle; and why are they demanding bribes to do
their job?

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The Zimbabwean


White African weeps for home
EDITOR - I am not too sure why I am writing this but I feel that I have to
say something before it all explodes! I am a 20 year old white Zimbabwean
living in London. I left Zimbabwe in February 2003, when my parents decided
that it was the best for their three children to leave Zim and move to an
economy where they could work and study, in the peace of the UK.
Dad's Irish so we were fortunate to get Irish passports - when I now go for
job interviews or have to state my nationality I have to say I'm Irish cause
Zimbabwe did not want me anymore. Well at least that's the way that I feel.

The country that gave me the best education the best up bringing, a people
who smiled when you walked past them and united like a huge family when
there was a crisis.

It's been over a year since I've been home and will I ever again? I plan
trips to South Africa and Europe - anywhere but home, under the guise of
cost and who will be left to see there when in actual fact I want my memory
to outlive the truth - that there is still a Matopo Hills and Vic Falls and
the beautiful Gwayi valley. I think of you every day...

We are afraid... we are afraid to go home, to struggle, to have to cut back
and not have fuel to take our produce to market - to take sick relatives to
the hospital only to be told that all the doctors on strike! Why do we miss
it so much? Why is it the only thing that ever makes sense when you think
that there is no way that you can continue - you think of home. It's our
home too, and all we want is to share our right to live in the country that
we were born in. But why should we go home to battle? To be sniggered at!
Why should we have to apologise for the actions of our ancestors?

Mugabe doesn't want us there! He made it impossible to live in a country
that we love and miss and yearn for! We are Africans. We might be white but
we are still Africans! I am fourth generation white African and I am so
proud of that and now the government takes my birth right away from me! I'm
outraged, disgusted but most of all heart broken that we will never stand
united on the soil that has cost millions their lives.

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The Zimbabwean

CHRA position on property threats
EDITOR - The state has been occupied by a ruthless clique through electoral
fraud, subversion of the constitution and the use of violence. The regime
viciously denigrates your property rights. The City of Harare is run by an
illegitimate Commission that has no mandate from the residents. CHRA filed
an urgent chamber application before the High Court on 10 June 2005; up to
now, no redress has been provided. Within this context, we offer residents
the following advice:
1. The Municipality should have plans for property structures and it is
their duty, and not that of the property owner, to prove the illegality of a
property structure.

2. No law requires you to possess plans, or produce them to any one.

3. If the Municipality decides that any structure is illegal, it must
provide written notice addressed to the owner (not newspaper publications)
to desist from the illegal activities and specifying the illegality, the
action it proposes to take and the relevant legislation under which such
action will be effected, as well as avenues open to the affected person to
seek relief or challenge the notice.

4. When a property owner is served with notice, within 28 days after the
date of service of the notice, one can appeal to the Administrative Court
for relief.

5. The Municipality thereafter shall take no action until the Administrative
Court has determined the appeal or the appeal has been withdrawn or

6. Thereafter the ruling of the Administrative Court shall prevail unless
either party is granted leave to appeal to a Higher Court.

7. Failing observation of the above procedures by the Municipality, we
suggest that property owners do nothing and await the arrival of building
inspectors. Domestic workers should be informed of this position also.

8. If the building inspectors demand to inspect your property, do not give
them access until they provide positive identification, which we urge you to
record; and preferably in the presence of a witness.

9. Breaking and entering without a search warrant or proof of identification
and authorisation is a crime that should be reported to the Police and if
necessary a lawyer.

10. In the event of the property owner being clearly in contravention of by-
laws or any other legislation, we suggest that you take steps to correct the
illegality by removing the building, ceasing the operation or applying for

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The Zimbabwean


Gono's topsy-turvy 'turnaround'
EDITOR - Our most celebrated technocrat at the helm of the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe is at it again.
He has finally 'dollarised' the economy, as fuel can now be bought
officially with the US Dollar. (Smiles for George and Condy at the White
House, outpost of tyranny).

Despite the usual sound and fury that Zim 'will never be a colony again', we
have finally succumbed.

Gono is also making frantic efforts to pay the IMF, to avoid being offloaded
from that imperialist financial organisation. Talk about 'sovereignty'!

I knew Mr Gideon Gono during my student days at the University of Zimbabwe.
The man embarked on one of the most disastrous 'privatisation' programmes
after closing down the UZ for half of 1998.

Almost all assets where stripped during auctions which followed. Very soon,
the pro-poor student policies of Professors Kamba/Chavunduka's reigns were
shelved, and privatisation spread to food and accommodation services.

Rich students from the northern suburbs went to expensive dining halls with
good-quality food whilst us the poor students from the South Western
Townships (Soweto) went to cheap ones cooking barely edible meals - varombo
kuvarombo, vapfumi kuvapfumi.

Student hostels crumbled and raw sewage erupted from pipes while the heftily
paid maintenance companies, contracted through the tender processes of the
privatisation, were nowhere to be seen.

Hard-hit, poor students looked for alternatives - hence antisocial
activities like prostitution thrived.

On the academic front, the much-acclaimed academic freedom of both the
teaching staff and students quickly evaporated. Elected faculty deans were
replaced with handpicked blue-eyed boys.

Gono said they would be heading 'business entities' to generate funds for
the UZ. Instead, previously unheard-of packages including vehicles became
part of the job, thereby rigidly sealing the once-respected Deanship to the
political establishment).

Sadly, some once-objective academics joined in, parroting state propaganda
in the hope of being noticed by ruling-party politicians. They are still
doing it.

Surprisingly, during all this human-made chaos at the UZ, some sectors of
the media still reported on a 'turnaround' at UZ - despite the disaster
apparent whenever one dared to visit the UZ.

I was glad to finally graduate from the UZ. Things further deteriorated as
ZRP/ CIO finally became the de facto security establishment at the UZ.

The last time I heard of Gono's UZ stint was when I read that he was
stepping down as the UZ Council chairman. but only after the council (which
he himself chaired) had decided to give him an Honorary PhD.

Sadly for us poor UZ students, some of the 'achievements' quoted in the
citation were for his disastrous policies at the helm of the UZ Council.

Now Dr Gono has teamed up with politicians again and supported the infamous
Murambatsvina operation. Flea markets, tuck shops and cross border-trading
enterprises of the high-density 'Sowetos' were targeted with, to quote a
former minister, 'the ferocity of a tsunami'.

The meagre amount of foreign currency found (the substantial part of it in
Rands) for cross-border trade, was paraded as evidence of economic sabotage.
With this much-publicised raid of poor people's foreign currency still fresh
in our minds, our government gave permission for some service stations to
trade in foreign currency for fuel.

Sadly and predictably, there was no apology to the demonised people whose
foreign currency had been raided - only for them to hear within weeks that
the same government has dollarised the economy.

History is repeating itself... some sections of the media still view this as
a strategy for economic 'turnaround'.

During the Murambatsvina process, I had sincerely thought that, in the name
of fairness, the police where going to do two things: First, to ransack and
destroy all the illegal settlements (together with those with bathroom and
kitchen tiles imported by US$ from Italy and elsewhere) and, second, to camp
at Harare International Airport, lie in wait, and ferociously pounce on the
northern-suburbs dwellers who board the daily flights of British Airways,
South African Airways and others now accepting fares in only foreign

If the booty from the northern areas was to be paraded in the media like
that of the 'Sowetos', then we might have had a clear picture of who are the
real economic saboteurs.

The ferocious Murambatsvina suddenly became tender as it transformed itself
into a mere 'regularisation' panic. Forex in the hands of wealthy people was
'regularised' as the economy was dollarised.

This is my own fitting true analysis Dr Gono, and I hope that the Zim people
will eventually see (as some private newspapers are already seeing) the true
picture of Gono's 'turnaround' projects. Long live the sweet-talking

DENFORD MOYO, by email
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The Zimbabwean


Make country ungovernable
EDITOR - I am tired of reading and talking about problems in Zimbabwe. The
time has come to stand up against Mugabe more vigorously than ever. This
madness has gone on for far too long.
I think Zimbabweans must now make every effort to bring down the regime -
the sooner we do it, the better.

Mugabe is a corrupt, power-hungry dictator who will do whatever it takes to
retain power - and until we rid ourselves of such a despotic man, Zimbabwe
will sink deeper and deeper into chaos and poverty.

If the masses went berserk and made the country ungovernable, Mugabe will be
gone overnight. The combined resources of the Zimbabwean government could
never cope with public acts of disorder staged simultaneously in the country's
major four cities.

The MDC must take advantage of the existing groundswell of restlessness
among the broad masses of the people.

I fail to understand why South African President Thabo Mbeki insists that a
dialogue between Zanu (PF) and the MDC will solve Zimbabwe's problems. I don't
think it's the way to go.

What we need is elections held under free and fair conditions - and that
will never be achieved without mass popular uprising against the regime.

F TSHUMA, Harare
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The Zimbabwean


We've had enough, Mr. Mugabe!
Sir, You have now been in charge in Zimbabwe for more than 20 years. At
first your name promised hope, but nowadays it stands for a terror regime. A
land reform was inevitable - although the way in which it was carried out
was very questionable.
What is happening in your country these days, under your responsibility and
your command, under the name Operation Murambatsvina, is entirely beyond

You are more than eighty years old, Mr. Mugabe. You have been raised as a
Christian. If you still believe in God, you know that you will soon meet
your maker and then you must account for your atrocities. If you no longer
believe, you will at least have to answer your own bad conscience.

Why are you doing these things? Why have you made more than two million
people homeless - children, women and men? Acting under your orders, their
homes and livelihoods have been destroyed with the help of bulldozers.

This is no activity against "British colonists" for it is only your own
countrymen who live in those townships! Your justification, that all this
was a kind of city planning and an anti-corruption campaign is absurd. Set
your own house in order first before knocking down other people's!
Your actions can be compared to those of some insane Roman emperor like
Nero, who burnt his own city before biting the dust. We are outraged that
you, Mr Mugabe behave in this inhuman way to people who perhaps did not vote
for you!

Hereby we call on the South African government to stop supporting the Mugabe
government with loans worth billions of Rands. The people of Zimbabe would
not benefit from this money which would only serve to maintain Mugabe's gang
in power. As we see it, it is irresponsible to squander the money,
considering all the problems the people of South Africa still have. In the
aftermath of Mugabe's rule, both the people of Zimbabwe and of South Africa
would have to pay for this.

We are calling on all the governments of Africa to criticise the Mugabe
government openly, and stop acting on the maxim " There is honour among
thieves ". In connection with this we approve the resolution of the European
Parliament of July 2005.

In addition, we shall continue:

. helping the people in our sister city Harare to survive.

. supporting all efforts towards establishing a fair and free community in
Zimbabwe to give the people a better perspective.

We are sending this open email worldwide, in order to show people all over
the world what cruel and incomprehensible activities are going on in

From now on everyone will be informed: We've had enough, Mr Mugabe!

HEINZ SCHULZE, (Chairman), Harare Munich Partnership, Germany
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The Zimbabwean

Armed Forces Day - What for?
What are we celebrating Armed Forces Day for? What does it mean to you the
civilian and to you in the military?
It is my patriotic duty to highlight some of the burning issues that need to
be brought into the public domain for debate. I know that due to the
official secrets act, members of the armed forces cannot indulge in debate
over these issues. However, now that Zimbabwe is no longer at war, it is
imperative that I share with you current issues which never seem to surface
for debate due to their sensitivity.

I owe it to the officers and men who lost their lives obeying their
commander-in-chief's orders in the DRC to bring to the attention of the
people of Zimbabwe the injustices and neglect suffered by their families.
"Wars are started by politicians and fought by soldiers"

Can the Commander-in-Chief please explain what happened to the brave ZDF
officers and men who perished in a futile war in the DRC - a personal war
conducted by Mugabe and his cronies for their self enrichment. Robert Mugabe
sent these men to their death for his personal glory. These men where sent
2000 miles away to fight a private war with inadequate resources. The DRC
war was fought so that Robert Mugabe could loot the DRC with his cronies.

At last count this is the casualty list for Operation Sovereign Legitimacy
(OSLEG- DRC war):2 Brigadier Generals , 5 Colonels, 2 Group Captains,4 Lt
Colonels,3 Squadron Leaders, 8 Majors, 9 Flight Lieutenants,5 Captains, 6
Lieutenants, 356 Non Commissioned Officers (NCO) and other Ranks.

We all salute the true heroes of Kabalo, Manono, Mbandaka, Kamina, Kinshasa,
Kisingani, Mbuji Mayi, Ilebo, Kikwit, Ikela and Kindu.

Zimbabwe salutes you all.

When does the Government of Zimbabwe intend to release the list of al KIA's
and MIA's? The widows and children of these men need closure. Compensation
for the deaths of our men needs to be immediate and disbursed to the widows
of these fallen DRC war heroes, what happened to the monies paid by Laurent
Let us demand from the DRC an amount of $200 000.00 for each officer who
died on operations in the DRC and $100 000.00 for other ranks. That's worth
fighting for isn't it?

Why did we loose these brave, professional men? What has become of their

The DRC war was declared by greedy politicians and fought by brave soldiers
who performed exceptionally well under severe circumstances. I am proud of
those who fought in the DRC, your professionalism and ability repulse
countless well coordinated rebel attacks is embedded in the annals of modern
African combat. You indeed separated men from boys.

The military achieved its objectives but the politicians failed. They
plundered the resources DRC under the guidance of Mugabe who had the help of
other seasoned looters in the likes of Mnangagwa , Zvinavashe, Chiwenga,
Rautenbach, Sekeramayi, Whabira and others as mentioned in the UN report(UN
Report on the Plunder of DRC Resources).

The war in the DRC was therefore created to prop up an unelected dictator
who ended up being killed by his own people and then succeeded by his
unelected son.
The ministry of defence admits that Zimbabwe had lost equipment alone worth
approximately US$ 1, 2 billion at today's replacement value. If the DRC paid
us for the equipment we would be able to revive our economy today.

What ever happened to the US$10 000 gratuity per solider promised by Laurent
Kabila and delivered to Zimbabwe in the form of uncut diamonds? The ZDF men
who liberated Kinshasa from the clutches of the rebels were to receive hefty
gratuities once they had accomplished their mission, did this materialize?

What is amazing though is how some ZDF senior commanders in the DRC at the
time seemed to die under unexplained circumstances? What really happened to
Brigadier Gumbo, Brigadier Kachana, and Colonel Alfonso Kufa and others, how
did they die? The gesture of according Brigadier Gumbo a national hero's
status was a ploy to appease discontent junior officers and men within the
ranks. Isn't it time we have a commission of inquiry for the plunder,
pillage and deaths during the DRC war?

Loyal as you all are, ZDF officers and men, you're being used for personal
and political expediency. Look around you and see who is really enjoying the
fruits of your sweat and blood.

All ex-ZIPRA officers demoted during the Gukurahundi era, did you get
reinstated to your rightful ranks after the cessation of hostilities? Why is
it that you now take orders from officers who were once your juniors? Most
of them were promoted under a fast track programme because of their ethnic
and political background?

Nepotism is rife in the ZDF and the senior command structure does not
reflect the ethnic demographics of the armed forces as a whole. Most of
those promoted to Lt Colonel and above have to be politically correct and
the majority do not possess leadership qualities needed for command. This
became evident in the DRC when an entire company abandoned its position,
loosing valuable military hardware and supplies because the commanding
officer was inept. In another incident a company major had to take over
command from a Lt Colonel who had failed to execute the battle plan. Have
these officers been court marshaled yet? On the other hand NCOs and others
have been court marshaled for being AWOL.

Harare Central Remand is full of ZDF soldiers (NCOs and other ranks) who
were accused of deserting the army in the DRC. Some are languishing in cells
having been accused of belonging to the opposition. They are denied access
to legal representation, their relatives and families. The military justice
system has failed these NCOs and other ranks, corrupt ZDF officers literally
get away with murder.

Just look around at your ZDF officers especially the ones that were in the
DRC , before the war they lived normal lives within their means, now between
the farm, double storey house in the northern suburbs and a Congolese small
house somewhere in the avenues they don't have time for the welfare of their
men anymore.

The ZDF "chave churu chapindanyoka", well trained men in a badly organized

The ZDF is now an accomplice to the politics of Zanu (PF). Whenever Zanu
(PF)'s policies fail and the citizens of Zimbabwe show their displeasure,
the army is brought in under the guise of aiding civil government. The army
has become the Zanu (PF) government's department for extending violence to
the civilian population of Zimbabwe.

Remember there is no one in the ZDF who is immune to the day to day
hardships that afflict Zimbabweans. All soldiers have a relative who is
suffering, a relative who is hungry, and a relative who is unemployed. Think
about what you're defending. Are you proud of your duties today? Your
Commander in Chief and his relatives do not go hungry.

Are you willing to shoot and kill a fellow Zimbabwean on behalf of Robert
Mugabe? He will be dead soon (naturally), it's inevitable he's 82 years old.
What about you? You'll answer for your actions alone. Politicians think they
are clever and will not hesitate to sacrifice you for their survival. It's
not worth it, stand up and be counted amongst the good men of this beautiful

When your commander tells the civilian population that he will not salute
anyone who did not fight in the liberation struggle, do you agree with that
statement? Is the Zimbabwe we have today the Zimbabwe you fought for?

Look at those who are inventing themselves as political leaders, your very
commanders who make you believe that they have a God-given right to rule.
The people who suffer the most under a military or quasi military government
are the very soldiers themselves.

If for some reason war breaks out today, remember it's a possibility (your
commander in chief has a propensity for declaring war in his sleep) how are
you going to fare?
Just look at the military equipment at your disposal, its antiquated and no
longer compares to regional armed forces. Our Armoured Car Regiment should
be renamed the "African Armoured Car History Museum Regiment". How many
troop carrying vehicles (TCV's) does the ZDF have? How many serviceable
aircraft does the Airforce have? Have you ever asked yourself if 40 000
fighting men will fit into the current fleet of 20 TCV's? You're now cannon
fodder and the very politicians you're protecting are going to sacrifice
your lives for their own survival.

We need to restore the pride our army once had. The welfare of the armed
forces is safeguarded and assured by civilians only if they feel safe .The
military budget is funded by taxes paid by the civilian population of
Zimbabwe. The more our economy shrinks the less money the military gets.

Why is there a militia force in Zimbabwe? Well this is Zanu (PF)'s
counterweight to military authority. The youth militia was created so that
when the ZDF refuses to obey unlawful instructions (e.g. firing on unarmed
civilians) then the militias fill the void. The militia have usurped ZDF's
constitutional authority and undermined its professional integrity. History
is repeating itself again, every fallen African dictator has had a militia
force towards the end e.g. Young Pioneers - Malawi, amongst others. The
outcome however is always the same, good triumphs over evil. Be on the right
side of history.

Mengistu Haile Miriam of Ethiopia, once had the largest army in Africa in
the 80's, Idi Amin of Uganda, Said Barre of Somalia, Sani Abacha of Nigeria,
Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo, Charles Taylor of Liberia, Jean Bedel Bokassa of
Central Africa Republic and Hissene Habre of Chad. All these men were army
officers at some point. Could you proudly admit to attending the same staff
college as any of these men?

- Phil Matibe is a Zimbabwean freedom fighter, entrepreneur and farmer
living in exile in the United States of America. He can be contacted via
email at
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The Zimbabwean

Nyanga - a living treasure map
NYANGA - Holiday accommodation is plentiful in the Nyanga area. In addition
to camping sites, private houses and hotels, National Parks offer fully
furnished chalets for rental. Attractively designed to blend into a natural
setting, they are situated in some of the most beautiful areas of the park,
particularly near dams, rivers and spectacular waterfalls. Sometimes
situated in remote areas, yes, but always along roads that are mostly
navigable by private motor vehicles.
There are several small dam sites in the park, all of which were built as
tourist facilities and in particular for trout fishing. However, as trout do
not breed naturally under local conditions, the dams are stocked on a yearly
basis with fingerlings provided by the nearby Trout Research tanks.

The first dam to be constructed in 1955 was a masonry weir called Mare Dam
after the river that provides it with all-year-round water. It is set in a
most beautiful forest valley and offers chalet accommodation. Purdon, an
earth-fill dam, is found higher up on the Mare River with Rhodes Dam lower
down the same River with chalets available for rental. Both dams were built
in the l970s and funded by the State Lotteries Trust. W.J Gullivers, a
Zimbabwean construction company, built Loch Gulliver on the upper headwaters
of the Mare River as a gift to the Nation.

Udu Dam is the largest of the Nyanga dams with a capacity of 640 000 cubic
metres and the earth-fill embankment stands 19metres high and there are
chalets available. There is also an unusual spillway that carries the water
downstream to a popular natural swimming pool.

On the high plateau to the west of Troutbeck and not far from World's View
you can enjoy, from various vantage points on the ring road, the three
gracious Connemara Lakes which are privately owned and not accessible to the

Mother Nature made some dramatic 'statements' in the region long before
human footprints marked the living treasure map.

Mount Inyangani, at 2 592 metres, lords it over the whole area. Sacred,
mystical and the site of many inexplicable happenings, the mountain guards
at its roots the birthplace of the Pungwe River, which eventually thunders
down some 240 metres into the awesome Pungwe Gorge. A few kilometres south
of the gorge, the Mtarazi Falls, Zimbabwe's highest waterfall, drops
762metres into the Honde River valley, which lies outside the park
boundaries. In fact the Honde river is a vital source of water to this major
but very hot, dry, commercial tea-growing area.

The area is also home to diverse species of game, including several
different kinds of antelope, from kudu and sable to reedbuck and
klipspringer. Sometimes lion and buffalo stray into the park and
conservationists come to the Nyanga National Park just to see the rare blue
duiker and samango monkeys as neither animals are found outside the Eastern
Highlands. Baboons live in fairly large families in the forests near the
Research Station and of course birds of all kinds populate the diverse

There is a wide variety of flora, some entirely endemic to the area and the
Nyanga aloe 'aloe inyangensis' is found on high ground with woodlands of
dwarf msasa on western slopes.

There is evidence of Stone Age and Iron Age archaeological remains in the
area but the strongest evidence lies in the later Iron Age. Three Stone Age
sites were excavated in the 1950s. A gentle 30 km journey on a good dirt
road leads to the Ziwa Museum. This attractive heritage site provides a
fascinating insight into the lifestyle of the early Stone Age people with
Wilton and Bambata artefacts on display. The most important site to be
excavated was Chitura Rocks on the south bank of the Nyangombe River below
Chitura Hill where an excavated human skeleton demonstrated features that
pointed to the Late Stone Age period.

Also at Ziwa you can visit the areas opened up by Late Iron Age farmers who
practiced agricultural methods akin to the recently revised ancient art of
permaculture. Like many ancient farmers throughout the world, they used
stones to strengthen hillside terraces carefully laid out to ensure maximum
sunlight on their crops.

Another little known feature of ancient Nyanga is the network of what are
believed to be irrigation canals. Although some of them appear to be
strangely positioned, they certainly give an insight into the versatility of
those early farmers.

The community also mined and processed iron ore, crushing and smelting it in
a very efficient furnace in order to fashion spears and household and
farming tools. You can see these tools and a furnace, shaped as a female
form, on display at the museum together with some fine examples of the
highly decorative Ziwa pottery.

In around the same era, another community set down family-roots high on a
safe hill above Ziwa. It is well worth the stiff climb up to Nyahokwe
village to examine the large number of community grain grinding holes and
stones, as well as a well-preserved meeting place, where the chief and
elders used to gather and discuss community affairs.

Perhaps the most visited sites are the pit structures of which there are
thousands and the forts, which are situated on high hills giving a clear
360degree view over the surrounding land below. It is said that the forts
have been placed in order to open up a chain of communication through the
lighting of fires. This method was often used to warn each fort of the
approach of enemy warriors.

The forts were surrounded by a series of well-built dry stone enclosing
walls revealing the remains of huts and grain stores. The outer wall usually
held a few low, narrow entrances allowing just one person to enter at a
time. Some of the fort walls have strange square holes, possibly for some
kind of defence and some show evidence of a ledge running round the inner
side of the main wall. Forts are less common than other ancient buildings
and are thought to date from the 16th century. Nyangwe Fort near the Mare
Dam is probably the best-preserved fort in Nyanga but a drive around the
area will reveal a number of historical sites.
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The Zimbabwean

Who gives the orders?
The current Zimbabwe constitution is clear on who is responsible for the
ultimate orders carried out by the military and defines that command as
The supreme command of the Defence Forces shall vest in the President as
Commander-in-Chief and, in the exercise of his functions as such the
President shall have power to determine the operational use of the Defence

Indeed Robert Mugabe has determined when and whom to kill using the Zimbabwe
Defence Forces. Below is the list of military operations carried out by the
ZDF on behalf of Robert Mugabe for his own political expediency:

1. Gukurahundi

2. Osleg (DRC war)

3. Farm evections

4. Murambatsvina

The only constant in our armed conflicts are civilian casualties.

There was no threat to Zimbabwe's territorial integrity in any of the above
operations. None of these operations was even debated in Parliament before
the deployment of the ZDF, neither were they budgeted for.

I'm tired of the rhetoric of an old man who is always dreaming up wars for
the young and poor Zimbabweans to die in while the wealthy pillage.

Please note that the US$ 1 billion Zimbabwe spent in the DRC is now
appearing as a deficit. Our economy is in ruins and there is no solution in
sight besides removing the cause. Zimbabwe now has to borrow from every
willing lender, monies that can be collected from the various politicians'
overseas accounts, accumulated from the looting of DRC resources and other
illegal financial transactions.
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