Return of closed Daily News lauded
Aug 23 2004 08:21:24:000AM Michael
Mhlophe Business Day 1st Edition
An article with this title
appeared on the Business Day website yesterday,
with the above byline. I then published it here. As
that news has not appeared anywhere else, and seems to be the same as what
was published in January, I think an error has
INTERNATIONAL PARLIAMENTARY UNION CONFIRMS "SYSTEMATIC
HARASSMENT OF THE
Tue 24 August 2004
HARARE - The International Parliamentary Union (IPU) says the
Zimbabwe has done little to stop youth militias linked to the
ruling ZANU PF
party from persecuting and torturing parliamentarians of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
In a preliminary report
following a three-months mission to Zimbabwe,
the Geneva-based IPU said it
had gathered enough evidence to confirm
"systematic harassment of the
political opposition" in the country.
The IPU said while there
appeared to be an official understanding of
the role of political
opposition, government institutions such as the police
and state-owned media
tended to adopt a negative view of the MDC.
(They) "tend to
disparage the MDC and its members with all the
consequences that attend such
a negative and practical perception of a
political party by the
"The MPs were either victims of fabricated charges,
detentions, ill treatment, including cases of torture as well as
victims of violent attacks generally led by youths groups linked to
ruling party without authorities taking action to identify and prosecute
attackers", the report says.
Justice, Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa,
who met the IPU in Mexico
City on April 24, could not be reached for
mission, which visited Zimbabwe from March 28 to April 2, also
Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, police authorities and
The mission was undertaken following
several reports of the harassment
and attacks on opposition MPs. The MDC says
in the last four years 24 of its
parliamentarians have been arrested or
harassed by security agents or ZANU
Zimbabwe the IPU also investigated the ill treatment of
parliamentarians in Malaysia, Burundi, Rwanda, Colombia and
NEW BISHOP OF HARARE: LET POLITICS
NOT DIVIDE US
Church/Religious Affairs, Brief
here for reconciliation. I will try to encourage people to work
every way possible," the new metropolitan archbishop of Harare,
Robert Ndlovu, has said. The prelate officiated at a Mass attended
thousands of worshippers, including President Robert Gabriel Mugabe and
consort, in the cathedral in the capital. The bishop also referred to
political crisis in the country, where the tension between the
the opposition led by MDC (Movement for Democratic Change)
has risen in
recent months. "We must not allow different political beliefs
to divide us,"
added monsignor Ndlovu in an interview with the French news
Though he has expressed criticism towards some members of the
Church whom he
considers too close to the opposition, the 80-year-old
has also said that he hopes things will be different in
the future. "I will
use the window of opportunity presented by the President
to talk to him, and
if I witness abuses I will go to talk to him directly,"
said the new bishop
of Harare, welcoming Mugabe's invitation. Named
metropolitan archbishop of
Harare by the Pope on 10 June, 48-year-old
monsignor Robert Christopher
Ndlovu, who comes from western Zimbabwe, was
formerly bishop of Hwange.
State Needs $500bn to Service Stands
August 23, 2004
Posted to the web August 23,
GOVERNMENT needs at least $500 billion to service
residential stands at the
farms acquired during the fast-track land reform
Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Cde
At least 160 farms have been acquired by the
Government to make way for
"The exercise of
servicing the stands is a mammoth and expensive task.
"It is for that
reason that the Government has decided to work jointly with
such as housing co-operatives and individuals to ensure that
all our citizens
secure affordable accommodation," the minister said over
Cde Chombo said the proposed Housing and Infrastructure Bank
loans to those intending to buy and develop the residential
The Government is also considering the plight of the poor who
the cost of building houses within the cities.
Chombo said there were plans to build houses and hostels, which will
offered for rent to low-income earners.
Locations have already been
identified and some of the hostels would be
located within the new
Cde Chombo said there were also plans to reduce the size of the
stands so as to accommodate more people.
At least 184 762
housing stands have already been allocated in towns and
cities under various
Servicing the residential stands, provision of roads,
water and sewerage
mains is the most expensive part that is hampering
However, it is envisaged that the Housing and Infrastructure
Bank would enhance development in the new areas.
for accommodation in Harare is high with a yearly target of 100 000,
Bulawayo has 36 000, Mashonaland Central 9 730, Midlands 21 360,
East 12 820, Mashonaland West 24 000, Matabeleland North 6 220,
South 8 320 and Manicaland 16 250.
Bata Operations Hit By Serious Shortage of Raw Materials
August 23, 2004
Posted to the web August 23,
Operations at Zimbabwe's biggest shoe manufacturer,
Bata, have been hit by a
serious shortage of raw materials.
Eyelets, used in the production of canvas shoes, could be running out in
next few weeks and Bata will fail meet the demand for canvas shoes.
have been unable to secure raw materials for the past couple of
because of foreign currency limitations.
We will reach a stage
when some strategic materials will be exhausted and we
will either have to
close sections of the factory or work short time", said
the managing director
Mr. Edwin Duthie.
Bata has twice been suspended from the auction system
for non-acquittal of
the required CD1 forms by the Reserve Bank.
has resulted in the company failing to pay its suppliers on time and
materials are held in abeyance up until the time of payment.
appear that we are being penalised for exporting because bad debts
we are dealing with customers and I believe we have been harshly
these instances", said Mr Duthie.
However, Mr Duthie refuted claims that
the organisation has suspended
production and was working at a reduced
The statement said Bata is doing everything in its capacity to
production at sustainable levels within the constraints being
them owing to the lack of foreign currency.
currently container-loads of footwear from China finding their
Zimbabwe and being paid for in foreign currency. Bata questioned
rationale behind encouraging import of finished goods at the expense of
local manufacturer employing close to 4 000 people.
Bata said this was
tantamount to wishing to become a country of traders
rather than a country of
manufacturers supplying employment to the populace.
No greener pastures on Botswana farms
Tue 24 August
GHANTSI, BOTSWANA - The clear silhouette of distant
stretches behind the crumbling hut, situated somewhat forlornly in
of a Botswana farm.
Hundreds of miles from their homes
in neighbouring Zimbabwe four
workers sit in front of the dwelling, gazing
into a fire. They are satisfied
the isolated position of their current home,
in a sparsely populated region
known as Ghantsi, is temporarily protecting
them from the searching eyes of
local law enforcers.
to see why the area, part of Botswana's farming belt, is a
drawing card for
thousands of labourers who used to work on Zimbabwe¹s
Some, like these four, have left their homeland
to avoid repercussions
of the government's controversial land reform
Refugees International says economic disruption in
with political intimidation and harassment, has led to the
at least 150,000 farm workers.
The men talk
about their shared past at Greendale Farm in Nyamandlovu,
second largest city of Bulawayo. The workers left the
property when it
changed hands. "The new owner is a war veteran. He arrived
one day, with all
his relatives. We were called sell-outs because we were
working for a white
man," says Dumisani Magwe (not his real name).
The four say they
cannot remember where the white farmer, whom they
only identify as Mr. Jones,
went when his farm was seized. They think he
must have sought refuge in
neighbouring South Africa.
Magwe says he has not had a steady job
since that incident in early
2001. The others all worked at various farms in
the Nyamandlovu area but
each time ended up being sent off for the same
reason: because they had
worked for white farmers before.
of hopping from one job to another, the four joined the trek
west to Botswana
which, they now admit, has not altogether been the greener
pasture they had
expected to find.
Foreign labourers do not get paid a lot to begin
with. "We have to
accept the low salaries because we have no alternative,"
Thulani Nleya, one
of the four farm hands says. But he is quick to add: "One
cannot think of
going home under the present circumstances."
P200 (about ZD 250 000 about half the average worker's pay in
which they earn a month is carefully tucked under the mattress.
The four say
the only time they can think of going home is in December,
While the pay is not much it enables the four to survive
and save a
little. "We keep our money because the farm owner brings us
and accommodation are provided, so we do not have to spend
much of what we
earn," explains Nleya.
The hut, home to the four
while they are in Botswana, speaks volumes
about their situation. The
single-room structure is their kitchen, bedroom
and lounge all in
Their day begins at 5 a.m, when they feed ostriches, followed
array of tasks in the fields including irrigation and digging furrows.
seldom return to the fire, in front of the hut, before 7pm.
Magwe and his co-workers have no protection or legal recourse, partly
Botswana authorities say government will not review farm workers'
of employment. Also, the country's Employment Act does not
minimum working hours or wages in the agricultural sector.
says he feels, in his words, "left at the mercy" of employers.
Botswana's minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Thebe Mogami, told
in early August that the sector¹s working hours and wages are
individual parties discussing, and then agreeing to, specific
Police investigate examination fraud
Tue 24 August
HARARE - Police are investigating at least 44 high school
allegedly bribed corrupt Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council
officials to obtain certificates for courses they either failed or
studied at all.
Some of the students are said to be
already taking degree courses at
various universities in the country after
fraudulently obtaining the
pre-requisite Advanced level certificate of
education. Others are doing
their Advanced level studies after fraudulently
obtaining their Ordinary
In an interview
with ZimOnline yesterday, police spokesman Wayne
Bvudzijena confirmed that
the law enforcement agency was probing "about 44"
cases of corruption at
ZIMSEC, which took over the running of public examinations
in 2001, has been bedeviled by corruption and gross mismanagement.
cases corrupt council officials and school teachers have been caught
examination papers to candidates on the streets.
Officials at the council have also been accused of printing
relatives and friends who never passed or even sat the
The mixing up of results, with candidates failing to
get results from ZIMSEC
or being awarded pass grades for subjects they never
studied, has become a
yearly ritual in Zimbabwe's public schools.
Prior to 2001 the O and
A level examinations in Zimbabwe's schools
were administered by Britain's
Cambridge University. The government then set
up ZIMSEC to run public
examinations, also in a bid to save scarce foreign
government has threatened to de-register private schools that
Cambridge's general certificate of education examinations
Britons 'Led and Financed Coup Plot'
A trial in
Africa's biggest mercenary case in decades opened today in
with soldiers of fortune from Europe, Africa and Asia
accused in an alleged
plot to take control of oil-rich country.
Soldiers with automatic
weapons ringed the makeshift courtroom in a
government-run convention centre
as the trial got under way in the capital
Malabo, amid allegations the
suspects were tortured into confessing and had
little chance of getting a
Equatorial Guinea accuses a total of 89 alleged mercenaries
of signing up to
a five million dollar plot to oust President Teodoro Obiang,
who has ruled
the isolated nation with an iron first since executing the
former dictator -
his uncle - in 1979.
Seventy of the alleged plotters
are on trial separately in Zimbabwe, where
they were arrested March 6 hours
before they reportedly were to depart in a
leased plane for Equatorial
A 90th defendant, a German, died in prison after what Amnesty
said was suspected torture.
At stake in any takeover
plot was hundreds of millions of dollars in annual
Obiang's regime - accused by the US State Department and others
torture and other abuses - is at the centre of an oil boom in the
Guinea. The region is estimated to hold 10% of the world's oil
and some of its most corrupt governments.
development of Equatorial Guinea's oil industry begin in the
nation of just 500,000 has had one of the fastest economic
growth rates in
the world, at up to 70% a year.
Prosecutors told the courtroom today that
a British and South African
financier and oil broker, Eli Calil, financed the
plot, along with an
unidentified Lebanese businessmen - allegations denied by
The plot's leader, Briton Simon Mann, an old Etonian
turned leading African
mercenary, is being held in
Prosecutors say the plan was to violently oust Obiang and
replace him with
Severo Moto, an opposition figure who lives in exile in
"I was told he would land in an aircraft 30 minutes after the main
landed," said Nick du Toit, a South African
Mann, the top planner, "told me that the Spanish government
the Moto government, and that it had the blessing of some
politicians," testified du Toit, who is the main defendant
in the part of
the trial in Equatorial Guinea.
"Whether it's true or
not, I don't know," he added, his legs and arms bound
Mann and du Toit both appear to be giving crucial testimony
dozens of other defendants in the trials.
Families say du
Toit and others were tortured into confessing. "They were
with clubs, beaten with fists," his wife Belinda has
repeated much of the same confessions in court today, saying he was
been paid one million dollars for supplying co-ordinates of the
other coup targets. He was also to have arranged for vehicles
He and the other defendants - a motley collection of mostly
balding men who served in Europe's Cold War armies and South
apartheid military - appeared in court with unkempt beards. They
dressed casually in T-shirts, shorts and jeans.
monitoring the trial cited its obvious shortcomings: the criminal
were read out to the largely English-speaking defendants only in
after an electronic translation system failed, and defendants had
lawyers for only three hours shortly before the trial.
The formal charges
against the men were also only revealed for the first
time today. The 19
defendants were charged with attempting to assassinate a
head of state,
illegal possession of arms and explosives, terrorism, treason
Obiang had told an African news magazine that Equatorial
Guinea would not
seek the death penalty. But prosecutors announced today they
wanted du Toit
executed. It was not immediately clear whether the sentence
request would be
lessened given his aid to the prosecution.
defendants, including six Armenians, several South Africans and
Africans, face up to 86 years in prison if convicted. Authorities have
the trial will end on Friday.
Prosecutors silenced du Toit when he
mentioned his own business deals with
Obiang's family, after Obiang himself
ruled out the idea that some within
his circle may have been involved in the
London-based Global Witness says Obiang, his family and
stashed the majority of proceeds from the country's oil
wealth into personal
EQUATORIAL GUINEA: No translator for 14 suspected mercenaries as trial
[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the
LIBREVILLE, 23 Aug 2004 (IRIN) - Fourteen foreigners
went on trial in the
tiny oil-rich state of Equatorial Guinea on Monday,
charged with plotting a
mercenary invasion to overthrow President Teodoro
Obiang Nguema, a
government official in the capital Malabo said.
eight South Africans and six Armenians were arrested in Malabo on 6
They were charged with conniving with 70 South African mercenaries
arrested 24 hours later in Zimbabwe as they were allegedly on their
Equatorial Guinea to mount an invasion.
An Amnesty International observer
at the trial reported that all 14 were
charged with conspiracy to overthrow
Obiang, who has ruled the former
Spanish colony since he ousted his uncle,
Macias Nguema, in a coup 25 years
In addition, Nick du Toit, a
South African accused of leading the advance
group inside Equatorial Guinea,
was accused of treason, the observer said,
according to Amnesty International
spokesman George Ngwa in London.
Ngwa noted that treason carried a
mandatory death penalty in Equatorial
Guinea. However, President Obiang
Nguema said in a radio broadcast on Sunday
that none of the accused would
Ngwa told IRIN that at Monday's opening session of the
trial, the charges
were read out to the accused in Spanish. There were no
facilities available and the accused were not invited to plead.
proceedings were then suspended until later this week when the
was due to cross-examine the accused, he added.
was expected to provide translators at that stage, the Amnesty
A senior official at the Ministry of Information in Malabo,
telephone from Libreville in neighbouring Gabon, told IRIN: "The
Minister of Equatorial Guinea has said that the presumed mercenaries
planning to kill the entire family of President Teodoro Obiang
"The mercenaries on trial in Malabo are mainly accused of
planning a coup
d'etat against the head of state and of the illegal
possession of arms and
ammunition. They risk a prison term of five to 15
years if convicted," he
Ngwa said the Equatorial Guinean
government had invited Amnesty to send an
observer to the trial, indicating
at the time that it expected the trial
proceedings to take about two
One suspect dead
The authorities originally arrested 15
foreigners in connection with the
alleged mercenary invasion plot, but one of
them, a German called Gerhard
Eugen Nershz, died a few days later.
government said he died from an attack of cerebral malaria.
International quoted eye witnesses who had seen the German's corpse
saying he was tortured to death.
Du Toit, the alleged leader of the
mercenary group inside Equatorial Guinea,
is a former South African military
officer who was once closely connected to
the now defunct South African
security company Executive Outcomes. The
company supplied private guards to
multinational oil and mining companies
and mercenary combatants to several
governments, including Angola and Sierra
The six Armenians on
trial are the flight crew of an Antonov 12 cargo plane
belonging to the small
company Tiga Air, which operated in several countries
The group of suspected mercenaries arrested in Zimbabwe was
their Boeing 727 jet landed in Harare on the night of 7 March
to take on
arms and ammunition purchased from the Zimbabwe state arms
The group, all of whom held South African passports, were led
British army officer Simon Mann, who co-founded Executive Outcomes
Africa in the late 1980s.
Executive Outcomes was officially
dissolved at the end of 1998 after South
Africa passed a law banning
mercenaries from operating from its soil, but
the company's former staff have
resurfaced in several other private military
companies such as Sandline and
All those arrested in Harare said they were on
their way to protect a mine
in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Zimbabwean government, which has announced plans to try them locally,
accused the group of preparing to invade Equatorial Guinea to
Obiang. The president of Equatorial Guinea said in an interview
magazine Jeune Afrique Intelligent earlier this month that he would
The government of Equatorial Guinea, has
accused Severo Moto, an opposition
leader who heads a government-in-exile
based in Madrid, of being behind the
mercenary invasion plan.
claims that the plot was financed by Greg Wales, a London-based
with previous links to Executive Outcomes, and Elie Khalil, an
oil dealer of Lebanese origin, who has close links with Denis
of Congo-Brazzaville and who has been implicated in a bribes
involving the French oil company Elf.
Oil puts country on
Equatorial Guinea consists of a square of jungle covered territory
between Cameroon and Gabon on the African mainland, plus the volcanic
of Bioko, 200 km to the northwest in the Gulf of Guinea, where the
Malabo is situated.
The country has been ruled by Obiang's
family since independence from Spain
in 1968, but until oil was discovered
offshore in the early 1990s it was a
largely forgotten backwater.
however, Equatorial Guinea produces 350,000 barrels of oil per day and
gearing up to become a major exporter of liquefied natural gas. It
Africa's third largest oil exporter after Nigeria and Angola and is
as strategically important by the United States, which has
of the investment in the local oil industry.
the country now boasts one of the highest per capita incomes in
Africa as a
result of its new-found oil wealth, very little of this money
has been spent
on improving the living standards of its people.
Despite a per capita
income of more than US$6,000 per year, which puts the
country in the same
league as Malaysia or the Czech Republic , Equatorial
Guinea ranks 109th out
of 177 on the United Nations Human Development Index,
behind Algeria and Cape
Verde, which have a per capita income of less than
government has been widely criticised by western governments and
organisations for rampant corruption and human rights abuse.
government opponents are frequently arrested and held without
trial and there
have been numerous allegations of torture and
Last month, the US Senate published an
investigation into Riggs Bank, a
Washington-based bank into which most of
Equatorial Guinea's oil revenues
were paid until recently. This showed that
at least $35 million were
siphoned off by Obiang, his family and senior
officials of his regime. The
president has denied any
Agric Show Opens Today
The Herald (Harare)
Posted to the web August 23, 2004
premier farming display, the Harare Agricultural Show, begins
today with high
expectations that more people will visit the exhibition this
year as compared
to past years.
A visit by The Herald to the Exhibition Park yesterday
revealed that most
participants were busy putting finishing touches to their
This year sees the return of livestock.
have always been a big draw to the show but had cut back
over the past years
due to the highly-contagious foot-and-mouth disease and
the changes in the
Exhibitors in this year include bankers, miners,
engineers and players in
the agricultural sector.
Others include the
army, police and prison services.
There has also been an overwhelming
response from those involved in cotton
and maize production, while the
participation from other sectors has been
Entry fees are $5 000
and $10 000 respectively for children and adults,
while the charges will go
up to $20 000 all-round on Saturday, the final
Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has announced that it will
deploy a large
contingent inside and outside the showgrounds to deter and
Assistant Inspector Memory Pamire said: "We are ready to deal
with all those
who come with their own agendas of disturbing the normal flow
"We can assure show-goers that everything is under control.
We will have
patrols in uniforms and in civilian clothing," said Asst Insp
Over the years, juveniles and other older people under the
alcohol have been a nuisance at the show through their
The most common crimes at the show are pick-pocketing and
The ZRP has also mounted its stand at the show grounds
which is running
under the theme: "ZRP Committed to Excellent Crime
Adequately Managed Foot and Cycle Patrols, Targeting
Individuals, Gangs and
Syndicated Hardcore Criminals."
The Combined Harare Residents
Association (CHRA) would like to thank publicly those residents who responded so
generously to our recent appeal for donations to assist the association in its
battle for accountable local government. The funds were used primarily to oppose
the dismissal of the democratically-elected Executive Mayor of Harare, Elias
Mudzuri as well as bringing an urgent application to suspend the 2004 city
budget . Unfortunately these efforts were unsuccessful but CHRA remains
committed to securing genuine democracy at Town House and is engaged in a number
of initiatives to this end.
We reject the fraudulent actions of the
regime that have negated the gains we made in 2002 when the illegal Chanakira
Commission was ejected. The incessant meddling by Chombo (including the
subversion of Makwavarara and other weak councillors) makes a mockery of our
democratic rights. Those councillors who are unhappy with membership of a
particular party should resign from council and renew their mandate with the
people who elected them.
The charade at Town House must cease. CHRA calls
upon all remaining councillors who continue to participate in this sorry circus
to resign en masse to send a clear message to the regime that they will no
longer tolerate the farcical situation.
We further call upon ratepayers
and residents to consider withholding payment of rates and other charges until
the situation is rectified through free and fair elections and the end of the
We have recently filed papers to obtain a court
order to compel the regime to hold elections for the post of Executive Mayor.
The Urban Councils Act is very clear on the requirement to hold elections within
two months of the dismissal of the Mayor. We are alarmed by the statement from
Chombo that elections will not be held until 2006 as if our constitutional
rights are bestowed at the pleasure of the minister. Such statements are
indicative of the contempt that this regime has for basic civil rights, a
contempt that forced us to go to the courts in 2001 on the very same issue. The
respondents in this case include the Registrar-General Mudede, Ministers Chombo
and Chinamasa, as well as Sekesai Makwavarara. Yet again the regime fails to
observe its own laws.
CHRA believes that we cannot achieve our goals
without substantive changes at the national level. The constant interference by
the regime in the affairs of local councils is unacceptable. Residents have a
constitutional right to elect local government representatives who, contrary to
Chombo's delusions, are neither an extension of central government nor obliged
to follow to his partisan interventions. Local councillors should represent the
interests of their local community and of the city as a whole. The Urban
Councils Act is fatally flawed and should be changed to reflect the needs of
residents rather than the hegemonic interests of any party ruling at the
national level. CHRA has been working with residents throughout the country to
seek inputs on the changes needed and has submitted its recommendations to the
Ministry. It remains to be seen whether or not the Minister will embrace our
recommendations or not.
We appeal for further donations for the difficult
period ahead of us. The threats from the regime are substantial and
imminent. If residents value the work CHRA has done, then it
is up to you to support CHRA.. Donations in cash or kind can be sent to our
offices at 11 Armagh Rd Eastlea.
Combined Harare Residents Association
JAG OPEN LETTER FORUM 23rd August 2004
Email: email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org
send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to
email@example.com with "For Open Letter
Forum" in the subject
FOR THE DAY
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Letter 1. Subject: Open Letter Forum
This seems very
pertinent to us in Zimbabwe at the moment, particularly
white farmers. Let's
hope we end up super refined and not just burnt up
ashes and that just by
resisting this evil we may be able to improve the
situation in this
Malachi 3:3 - "He will sit as a refiner and
purifier of silver."
This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they
wondered what this
statement meant about the character and nature of God. One
of the women
offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back
group at their next Bible study.
That week, the woman
called a silversmith and made an appointment to
watch him at work. She didn't
mention anything about the reason for her
interest beyond her curiosity about
the process of refining silver. As she
watched the silversmith, he held a
piece of silver over the fire and let it
heat up. He explained that in
refining silver, one needed to hold the
silver in the middle of the fire
where the flames were hottest as to burn
away all the impurities.
woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot then she thought
about the verse that says:
"He sits as a refiner and purifier of
She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit
there in front
of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The
that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but
he had to
keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If
silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.
woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do
know when the silver is fully refined?"
He smiled at her and
answered, "Oh, that's easy - when I see my image in
it." If today you are
feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has
His eye on you and will
keep watching you until He sees His image in you.
Pass this on because this
very moment, someone might need to know that God
is watching over them. And,
whatever they're going through, they'll be a
better person in the end
Subject: Light Headed
Dear Family and Friends,
I have lost count of
the number of meetings, workshops, summits,
conferences and gatherings of
African leaders that have taken place in the
last 54 months. As each one has
come, and gone, our hopes have been
raised, and then dashed, that just one
leader would publicly speak out
about events in Zimbabwe. Each time I have
watched TV coverage of the
gatherings and tried to make sense of it from the
perspective of an
ordinary person. I have watched the shiny limousines pull
up and the
impeccably dressed people emerge. I have looked at Africa's
even though I know they are Big Men, I also know that they are
people who have to do exactly the same things as me every day in
survive. I have watched the body language as handshakes, kisses
embraces have passed between leaders. I have listened to the
looked at the audience reaction and tried to read between the
wondering what really went on behind closed doors.
the TV coverage, there was something different about the SADC
has just ended in Mauritius. There was the predictable rant
at the West and
the predictable silence about the crisis in Zimbabwe but
there was also the
distinct impression that things had gone on behind
closed doors, the distinct
feeling of democracy being born. The faces of
Africa's leaders who sat at the
top table spoke volumes. Most of the faces
showed pride, dignity and
achievement but one or two did not. It was a
delight to watch gifts being
presented to, and accepted by, the two
African leaders who are at the end of
their terms of presidency and will
be handing the governance of their
countries on to new blood.
Zimbabwe was one of the 13 African countries
representing 212 million
people in the SADC region who unanimously ratified
principles and guidelines at the Summit in Mauritius. Among
guidelines are freedom of the press, equal access to the media,
independence, upholding civil and political liberties and
Zimbabwe has parliamentary elections
due in just 6 months time and if we
are to come remotely near to achieving
even one of the SADC electoral
principles our government have got a huge
amount of changes to make. It
makes me feel giddy to think that I could
actually wear an opposition T
shirt without being stoned. Or to believe that
one of these days I will
switch on my TV or radio and hear a member of the
about the state of affairs in Zimbabwe. I can hardly
believe that police
permission will not be needed to hold a meeting at which
discussed. I cannot imagine how it will feel to be able to buy,
write for a daily independent newspaper again. I find feelings of
rising within me to think that a judge might uphold my
rights and that the Zimbabwean police would then enforce the
rulings. I think I'll stop here because it all leaves me feeling
light headed. Until next week, love cathy. Copyright cathy buckle
Subject: Contact Address
I am trying to locate David Wheeler [Calgary
Please could anyone with knowledge of his contact details please
know them - preferably an email address. I have been told he is
South Africa? Val Ingham-Thorpe
Tel / Fax : (263 4)
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(091) 261 862 If you are in trouble or need
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JAG PRESS STATEMENT 23RD AUGUST 2004
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published results from the Afrobarometer poll threw up some
Apparently only 4% of the people interviewed considered land
This figure does a great deal of damage to
Mr Mugabe's claim that the third
chimurenga was a battle for
"Meanwhile 76% of Zimbabweans think that the land acquisitions
done by legal means, with compensation for owners."
for the people" was never more than a war-cry in Mr Mugabe's vendetta
white commercial farmers and farm workers. He has won a pyrrhic
Hundreds of lives and hundreds of thousands of livelihoods have
destroyed. To what end?.
Justice for Agriculture
(091) 261 862 If you are in trouble or need
(011) 205 374
(011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us
(011) 431 068
we're here to help!
4 799 410 Office Lines