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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Bangkok Post

Reform focus shifts to Mugabe

Recent comments by George W. Bush suggest the US is in no special hurry to
see the Zimbabwean president replaced, but others feel he should join
Liberia's Charles Taylor in turning over power.


The resignation of Charles Taylor from Liberia's presidency and his exile in
Nigeria is not only a welcome relief for the war-torn land he so misruled
but also perhaps a bellwether for other discredited dictators. Indeed,
Zimbabwe's elderly President Robert Mugabe, 79, must now be reckoning with
the inevitability of his own political demise.

True, no rebel troops are yet besieging Harare, no US warship with 2,000
marines hovers on the horizon, and President George W. Bush has not demanded
that Mr Mugabe step down after 23 years in office. But there are nonetheless
striking similarities in the crises that have bedevilled the two African
nations. Those similarities are providing Zimbabwe's citizens with the hope
that they may soon see the back of Mr Mugabe.

Before going into exile, Mr Taylor turned over the presidency to his
long-time ally, Vice President Moses Blah, who is to rule until a new
transitional government takes over. Similarly, Mr Mugabe is known to favour
transferring power to an interim government led by his long-time ally,
Emmerson Mnangagwa, if he decides that the time has come to step down.

Like Mr Blah, Mr Mnangagwa is widely unpopular, and he lost his
parliamentary seat in the 2001 general election. Mr Mugabe, however,
immediately appointed Mr Mnangagwa, who is much feared and often linked to
allegations of corruption, as the parliament speaker.

Moreover, like his West African counterpart, Mr Mugabe has presided over a
decaying economy and a restless population. His regime survives only through
a ruthless campaign of terror conducted by the army, of which Mr Mugabe is
commander-in-chief, the police force, whose commander publicly declares
political allegiance to Mr Mugabe, the dreaded Central Intelligence
Organisation, which Mr Mnangagwa headed for many years, and, of late, the
ill-trained and brutal youth militia, whose loyalty to the ruling party is

In Liberia, Mr Bush called for Mr Taylor's resignation as a precondition for
constructive dialogue and a more active involvement by the US in seeking a
peaceful solution to the 15 years of internecine war that ruined the
country's economy and infrastructure, as well inciting wars in most of its

In Zimbabwe, Mr Bush has not said or done anything so drastic. But US
Secretary of State Colin Powell has accused Mr Mugabe of ``violent misrule''
and called his government a ``ruthless regime''.

According to Mr Powell: ``If leaders on the continent do not do more to
convince President Robert Mugabe to respect the rule of law and enter into a
dialogue with the political opposition, he and his cronies will drag
Zimbabwe down until there is nothing left to ruin.''

Zimbabweans were surprised, therefore, when Mr Bush, during his recent tour
of Africa, expressed satisfaction with the negotiations said to be taking
place between the Zanu PF party led by Mr Mugabe and its arch-rival, the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), led by opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai. Mr Bush expressed satisfaction with the mediating role played by
South African President Thabo Mbeki, whose ineffectual ``quiet diplomacy''
has left Zimbabweans both weary and suspicious.

In an emotional address during a ceremony earlier this month to commemorate
heroes of Zimbabwe's war of liberation from white minority rule, Mr Mugabe
warned the opposition: ``Those who would go together with our enemies abroad
cannot at the same time want to march alongside us as our partners in the
nation-building efforts that are under way.''

Mr Taylor and Mr Mugabe both blame the West for their countries' woes. Mr
Mugabe routinely denounces the MDC as ``the enemy'', claiming that the party
is controlled by the British and American governments, who are allegedly
hell-bent on re-colonising Zimbabwe.

President Mbeki was one of the three heads of state present at the handover
ceremony from Mr Taylor to Mr Blah in Monrovia, Liberia's capital. He may
have had more than the departing Mr Taylor in mind when he said: ``It has
indeed been a shameful thing that, as Africans, we have killed ourselves for
such a long time.''

Mr Mbeki's own brother, Moeletsi Mbeki, who heads the South Africa Institute
for International Affairs, has a more forthright view of the political
mayhem in Zimbabwe and the tardy pace of efforts to arrest the situation.
``Here's a guy breaking all the rules of democracy,'' he said, referring to
Mr Mugabe, ``and no African government is stepping forward and saying, `It's
time for you to go.' ''

It is to be hoped that Mr Taylor's departure heralds the beginning of a new
African era, in which Africa's rulers stop protecting the continent's
dictators because they would rather incur the wrath of faceless citizens
than expel a dictator from among their ranks.

If so, leaders such as Mr Mbeki will emerge as heroes for a new Africa,
where intervention in neighbouring states will protect the millions on the
continent who remain subjugated by elderly dictators like Mr Mugabe, who
have exploited their position as anti-colonial liberation leaders, and
younger, free-booting adventurers like Mr Taylor. Only then will Africa's
tolerance for tyrants be ended.

uGeoff Nyarota, the founding editor-in-chief of The Daily News, Zimbabwe's
largest and only privately owned daily newspaper, is currently a Nieman
Fellow at Harvard University. _ Copyright: Project Syndicate.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

SADC Set to Snub Mugabe Again

Sunday Times (Johannesburg)

August 24, 2003
Posted to the web August 24, 2003

RANJENI MUNUSAMY in Dar es Salaam and Sunday Times Foreign Desk

ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe's regional peers are set to snub him by
denying him the chairmanship of the Southern African Development Community -
for the second year in a row.

Tomorrow the region's leaders will break the news to Mugabe that next year's
summit will probably be held in Mauritius - not Harare - because they don' t
want the region to be tainted by the chaos in Zimbabwe.

Instead, Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa will be elected chairman at the
SADC heads of state summit in his capital, Dar es Salaam, tomorrow.

Last year the region's leaders decided in Angola that, due to the political
instability in Zimbabwe, it would not be appropriate to hold this year's
summit in Harare.

Mugabe was so angered by the Luanda decision that he left the meeting early.

It was expected that Zimbabwe would then host next year's summit, which
would have meant Mugabe being elected Mkapa's deputy tomorrow. But SADC
officials and foreign ministers, gathered in Dar es Salaam this weekend
ahead of tomorrow's summit, said the region's leaders were still reluctant
to give Mugabe next year' s SADC chair .

They said it was feared that there would be international outrage and
adverse repercussions for the region if Mugabe was voted chairman, as this
would suggest endorsement of the way he has flouted the rule of law and of
his dictatorial leadership style.

The SADC has until now shied away from condemning Mugabe's crackdown on the
opposition and media .

None of the pre-summit documents dealing with the challenges facing the
region refer to the spiralling economic crisis in Zimbabwe or its impact on
Southern Africa. Conflicts in other parts of the region, such as the
Democratic Republic of Congo, are raised repeatedly .

Delegates and SADC officials said that apart from an acknowledgement by the
heads of state that preliminary talks were under way between the ruling
Zanu-PF and opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Zimbabwe was unlikely
to be discussed.

Meanwhile, members of Zanu-PF's elite who have seized land from white
farmers are defying an ultimatum by Mugabe to choose one farm and give up
the others. Mugabe issued the order on July 30, giving his cronies two weeks
to comply.

His directive followed presidential, parliamentary and ministerial land
audit reports that revealed numerous farms had been stolen by ministers, top
government officials, senior Zanu-PF members, army, police and intelligence
officers, and war veterans .

Some of those named as having displaced peasants include Vice-President
Joseph Msika, Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, Defence Minister
Sydney Sekeramayi, Mines Minister Edward Chindori-Chininga, Information
Minister Jonathan Moyo and air force commander Perence Shiri. Mugabe's wife,
Grace, is also said to have grabbed at least two farms.

Despite Mugabe's order, no one, except Matabeleland North governor Obert
Mpofu, has surrendered any farms.

Mugabe has reacted by deploying a national land task force to enforce his
directive. However, government officials were evasive when contacted for

The MDC secretary for agriculture, Renson Gasela, said this week that no
farms had been surrendered .

Commercial Farmers' Union president Doug Taylor-Freeme said land reform had
been disastrous. "Agriculture infrastructure such as irrigation schemes,
tobacco facilities and greenhouses are lying idle. Crops are being abandoned
and stolen, pedigreed herds are being slaughtered, skilled labour is
rendered unproductive, farmers are still being evicted, agro-related
companies are going under, silos are empty."

Back to the Top
Back to Index


African Leaders Rally Behind Embattled Zimbabwe
Sun August 24, 2003 01:07 PM ET
By Manoah Esipisu
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (Reuters) - Southern African leaders gathering in
Tanzania Sunday for an annual summit rallied behind Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe despite pressure to tackle him on human rights abuses in his

The European Union and the United States have refused to fund projects in
which Zimbabwe is involved and have imposed sanctions to protest against
Mugabe's controversial re-election last year.

But the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) said it would reject
any attempts to divide it.

"We are 14 countries in SADC. The EU can either fund us as a group or keep
its financial aid," said Tanzanian Foreign Minister and chair of the group's
ministerial council Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, as he admitted that millions in
Zimbabwe would face famine without international food supplies.

SADC Executive Secretary Prega Ramsamy said sanctions should be lifted
because they hurt only ordinary people and halted programs intended to help
poor Zimbabweans.

Mugabe and Swaziland's King Mswati, Africa's last absolute monarch, were due
in Tanzania late Sunday for the two-day summit of the 14-member bloc, which
opens Monday.

London-based Amnesty International and regional rights group CIVICUS said
they wanted SADC leaders to express their concern publicly about the crisis
in Zimbabwe and urged them to press Mugabe's government to respect
fundamental human rights.

"State-sponsored harassment, attacks and torture directed at the opposition,
civil society and independent media workers continue unabated," Amnesty said
in a statement circulated as heads of state began arriving in Dar Es Salaam
for the summit.

Zimbabwean officials have dismissed criticism by rights groups, and
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo last week accused international media of
creating a distorted image of the country.

Swazi trade unions and human rights groups said they wanted the
deteriorating political situation in the kingdom -- where opposition parties
are banned and the rule of law has virtually vanished -- to be key agenda

Swazi officials in Tanzania offered no comment.


At the summit Monday, leaders will commit themselves to fighting AIDS and
sign a Mutual Defense Pact aimed at curbing civil wars through strong
regional peace enforcement.

"AIDS is on top of the summit is a waste of time to talk about
development if the disease, which has infected 14 million people, is not
urgently dealt with," Ramsamy said.

South Africa has 4.7 million people infected with HIV or AIDS -- the world's
biggest caseload.

The disease affects around 40 percent of adults in Swaziland and 35 percent
in Botswana. One in five adults in Zimbabwe and Zambia are infected with HIV
or have full-blown AIDS.

The leaders will also review food supplies in the region after drought led
to shortages that hit nearly 15 million people in six countries last year.

Some seven million people could face famine this year, most of them in
Zimbabwe, without international handouts.

The SADC comprises South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia,
Angola, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Seychelles, Mauritius, Tanzania, Democratic
Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Malawi.

President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo, lauded
regionally for agreeing to a comprehensive peace pact, was the first leader
to arrive, followed by the leaders of Zambia, Malawi and Lesotho.

Thirteen heads of state and government are expected after Seychelles gave
notice of its withdrawal.

Back to the Top
Back to Index





The Herald of Friday 22 August 2003 contains a new listing of Lot 105 of
farms (74 farms in total).

JAG will send this list out on Monday 25th August 2003

The Herald of Friday 22 August 2003 contains a new listing of Lots 103 (24
farms) and 104 of farms (3 farms) as detailed below:




MAKONI 13493/01 MOIRA FARM P/L LOT 2 OF MOIRA 104.2906


NEST 1266.2709












VILLE 102.6362








GREAT B 433.3160


Back to the Top
Back to Index



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


Letter 1:

Mr Robinson

All good citizens live by "the first principles of good governance is the
Rule of Law".  I suggest you direct your comments to those politicians that
are really the ones that are unprincipled and not to the converted.

At congress there were attempts to character assassinate certain
individuals.  It was obvious that what was said was baseless and the
overwhelming response from the floor indicated that the majority of farmers
don't support this petty approach.

I fear you get enormous satisfaction from creating rumours and allegations
and I take enormous comfort that the majority of farmers don't support the
games you play.  Your energies will be better spent by directing them on
the creators of this hostile environment that we are all working hard to
survive in.

Doug Taylor-Freeme
President, Commercial Farmers Union


Letter 2: Transparency

The President,

Dear Mr. Taylor-Freeme,

Civic Society indicates the imperative nature of transparency for good
governance in the following manner:

"Transparency in government requires that decisions by government officials
are made openly and that reasons for the decisions are fully and clearly
explained and justified. Secrecy in decision-making leads to corruption and

To make sure that members of government act in a transparent manner:

*Every person who stands for election to Parliament should make a full and
accurate declaration of his or her assets or income, before they are

*Once elected, all members of government should make full and accurate
declaration of their assets and income at regular intervals.

*An independent anti-corruption commission should be established with the
power to check that this financial information is correct and to ensure
action when corruption is discovered."

Technically, Council is the governing body of commercial agriculture (what
is left of it that is.) Quite a pertinent question in terms of 'reasons for
the decisions are fully and clearly explained and justified' would be to
ask you and your Council why you supported the Government land reform
programme as stated on 29.8.03?

Unconfirmed reports indicate that your Vice President has actually expanded
his farming operations on to another property at a time when many farmers
have lost their home, farm or farms. Is this correct?

Should this information happen to be correct, could Council look into how
this unique situation has come about, and brief members how it may be done,
in the interests of producing more food for our country.

J.M. Crawford Esq. has indicated that nearly 90% of the original
membership, of three years ago are no longer farming.

Is your Council truly representative of this situation - where 90% of your
Council are also not farming?

Could you (transparently) state to membership how the remaining 10% have
managed to carry on farming when 90% have failed?

In the interests of Transparency for all farmers - active and displaced -
could you reply to

I am sure that some will join me in looking forward to your informative

Yours faithfully,
J.L. Robinson.


Letter 3: Vehicle Licences

RE vehicle licences due at the end of September '03.

I phoned Borrowdale Municipality Ph.882632 to enquire if Vehicle licences
can be paid by cheque, due to the shortage of Cash.

I was informed that instructions from Superiors was that payment was to be
in Cash only, but to phone Copper Copper at Rowan Martin Ph.752579, who
suggested that I phone the District Officer at Borrowdale, who maybe able
to waive this ruling of Cash to Cheque payment.

Well, this Dist. Officer at Borrowdale said, that only Copper Copper at
Rowan Martin is able to do the Vehicle Licences by cheque, which will have
to be a Bank Certified cheque. He declined to accept my word for payment by
cheque, as he is unable to authenticate my information from Copper

Yours sincerely,
Owen Connor.


Letter 4: So-Called Land Reform

Seldom in history can there have been such mindless destruction of
outstanding resources as has been orchestrated by Doctor (?) Joseph Made,
the so-called "technocrat" but more appropriately "idiocrat".

His first qualification was the destruction of ARDA, a once progressive
institution.  Having "qualified" he was then appointed to destroy the
fabric of the agricultural industry.

Small-scale agriculture has been proven to be unsustainable, particularly
in the brittle environment which covers most of Africa.  His A1 and A2
resettlement schemes are something out of cloud-cuckoo land and can only
lead to reliance on the West for food aid in perpetuity.  Shortages will be
attributed to drought as they always are however abundant the rainfall, and
never to the total incompetence which now pervades governance.

The pall of smoke from negligent and rampant veldt fires over three years
is an immediate legacy left by Made.  The long-term ecological consequences
from A1 and A2 settlement are immeasurable and inevitable as long as there
are men of this calibre in positions of authority.  One can only view this
literally as a scorched earth policy, with what end in mind no one can say.

Over 22 years the President has gone the full course in holding out the
begging bowl for aid for Zimbabwe.  It is now frequently heard from the
West that Africa is on the "back burner".  They have other priorities such
as world terrorism and in the case of the USA, South America.

"We do not inherit the land from our parents, we hold it in trust for our
children".  How does Made intend to bring potable water, power and roads to
A1 and A2 settlers?  The idea is to say the least stupid and mindless.
Underground water is difficult enough to find.  The economics are something
out of "Walter Mitty Land".

The commercial cattle herd and wonderful genetic base which Zimbabwe had
built up over a century, and which served the region from Kenya to Cape
Town has been slaughtered.  It can never be replaced.  As for A1 and A2
farmers there cannot be any form of genetic improvement.  There will be
insufficient beef to feed 10% of Zimbabwe's population.  The price at the
time of writing has risen by 100% in three weeks reflecting the shortage.
It is going to become critical and beef will have to be imported while the
wonderful grazing resource which Zimbabwe has goes to waste.

The Zimbabwe commercial cattle herd on which beef supplies depend has been
decimated from 2,5 million head to less than 200 000.  The country requires
800 000 head a year to feed the nation.  Hundreds of thousands of fertile,
in calf cows with young calves at foot have been tragically slaughtered in
the past two years.  It takes five years to produce a marketable product.
We are therefore well below the point of recovery - not in a thousand
years, by which time desertification will have occurred.  No doubt there
will be a statue of Made somewhere to commemorate this tragic, stupid and
mindless initiative.

Grazing rotations learnt in feudal Europe cannot be applied.  Without
animal impact in a controlled manner, and rest of grazing, desertification
will accelerate.  There will be a break in the water cycle which means the
collapse of commerce and industry and even the banking sector, affluent as
it might be now, will collapse.

Agriculture has been the engine of Zimbabwe's economy.  Now that it has
ceased working altogether, how can the economy move forward?  The concrete
monoliths in the low-density suburbs will have no value in due course,
other than to house extended families forced off the land because of total
inability to manage land.

Commercial farmers on the ground in 1998 were the result of a 100-year
selection process, whereby in a given generation, of those who attempted to
farm, roughly 10% succeeded and 90% failed, until those left on the land
were the cream.  They were the result of compounding effect over 100 years.
These farmers are now readily accepted and highly successful in many
developed and undeveloped states.

Made proposes replacing these farmers with thousands of people who have no
aptitude, no experience, no academic qualifications, no training and no
feel for land, crops and livestock.  How many centuries will the selection
process take to ensure that 40 000 or 400 000 farmers are productive and do
not destroy the land.  Much is said about lack of finance, lack of
machinery, lack of seed and fertilizer.  Nothing is said about lack of
experience and the particular aptitudes required to farm successfully.
Very few people understand just how exacting running a good farming
operation is.  Bankers and business executives as well as the fat cats
haven't a hope of running farms properly on a part time basis, over the odd
weekend.  They have no comprehension of the fundamentals.  They seem to
believe they can rely on managers.  Managers as a general rule would be
farming their own properties if they were good farmers.  They require very
tight direction and control.  Part time farmers fail without exception.

In most parts of the world one has to be extremely wealthy to have the
privilege of living in cities and owning a farm.  One has to have good
managers, for environmentalists will not tolerate abuse of the land.  Yet
in Zimbabwe it is taken as a right to abuse the land by part time operators
whose only boast is "I have a farm".  So much for the legacy we leave our

About a year ago it was said that Made flew over Zimbabwe to assess the
maize yield.  He is said to have stated that he was given a false
impression, as his pilot had flown so high that he could not distinguish
between cultivated and uncultivated land!  Unbelievable, but in the light
of what else he has done, his A1 and A1 phantasia included, this statement
is probably correct.

Thanks to the Made's of this world we can now say "Africa adieu".  If a
population cannot succeed on the most bio diverse and productive continent
in the World it will not survive where tough economic conditions prevail.
One can only wonder with incredulity at those who allow Made to continue
his rampant, mindless destruction.  It is an indictment of those in
authority.  If this sort if ineptitude is allowed to prevail Africa will
indeed remain a tragic continent.

G R Sanderson - OXFORD

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.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Scotland on Sunday

Zimbabwe's deserters tell of terror and gang rape

YOUNG deserters from a Zimbabwe militia who brutally attacked white farmers
and opposition supporters are now themselves the targets of Robert Mugabe’s

An estimated 10,000 young men signed up to the National Youth Service formed
three years ago to terrorise Mugabe’s opponents, although the president
claimed it was created to alleviate poverty among the country’s youth.

Former militia member Themba Ndlovu is one of those now on the run from
Zimbabwe’s secret police. The 22-year-old admits to taking part in the gang
rape of a 12-year-old girl and the savage beatings of hundreds of people,
but this is not the reason he fears arrest.

His crime was to desert from the militia group set up to carry out such
attacks on supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

He has admitted a catalogue of attacks while he was a member of the
notorious Green Bombers, as the militia is known.

He said: "I beat people with crowbars, sticks and whips. I didn’t mind if
they screamed because the police were on our side. Afterwards we had many
beers and we make a party.

"[Our leaders] brought a young lady, a white person, and we raped her. We
were four raping her. We kept her hostage in our camp."

The girl he raped was the 12-year-old daughter of a member of the
opposition. After the rape, Ndlovu told his uncle he was scared about
possible retaliation by the girl’s father.

But, he said: "My uncle told me: ‘Don’t be scared. This is Zanu. We’re still
in power. It is us who are ruling.’"

About six months ago, Ndlovu’s uncle, a veteran of the struggle for
independence in Zimbabwe and a member of Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party, took him to
join up.

"My uncle said you must join so that you get nice food and you don’t get
hungry. He was a captain in the Green Bombers. [At the camp] I felt I was
happy because I was having a bath, soap freely, and had a tent in the camp,"
said Ndlovu. "I would beat opposition members, or farmers or owners of shops
who were white. Our orders came from President Mugabe."

Nkosilathi Sibanda, 17, joined the Green Bombers in November last year.
During his three months as a member, he estimates that he beat nearly 500
people and vandalised more than 20 farms.

Before being deployed on killing missions the troops were given marijuana
and alcohol to numb their consciences. Sibanda said that he saw many in his
section raping very young girls. The drugs and alcohol, he said, were given
so that "you never mind, you just fight".

Themba Skhosana, 19, was studying in Bulawayo when he was taken to a
training camp.

"I didn’t like Mugabe. I was forced to join the Bombers. They came at night
and took me to the training camp," he said.

If they escaped, the leaders in the camp told them they would be tracked
down and killed. "I was scared of them because they were very cruel," said

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

      Corpses pile-up Cremation backlog as petroleum gas runs out
      By Caiphas Chimhete

      MORE than a hundred bodies are lying in private and State mortuaries
awaiting cremation throughout the country because Zimbabwe has run out of
liquefied petroleum gas, which is used to burn the bodies, The Standard has

      Official sources said some bodies were decomposing in mortuaries after
waiting for more than a month to get cremated as funeral houses fail to get
the gas, also known as Handgas, from oil importers due to the crippling
shortage of foreign currency Zimbabwe is experiencing.

      Most of the deceased persons awaiting cremation are of Asian and
European origin that have a tradition of burning bodies as a way of
disposing of them.

      Black Africans normally do not cremate their loved ones as it is
against their culture.

      The sources said Doves-Morgan Funeral Services, one of the largest
funeral houses in the country, had 65 bodies awaiting cremation, Mashfords
Funeral Services has 15, while Riverside Funeral Parlour has two bodies.

      "It's a big problem; bodies are just lying there because we cannot
cremate them since we do not have the gas. The situation is worsened by the
fact that we have very small mortuaries," said an official with Doves-Morgan
Funeral Services, who added that smaller funeral parlours were actually
buying space in public health institutions to keep the bodies.

      Doves-Morgan managing director, Richard Biegel, said he was "working
flat out on the matter" but refused to give details.

      "I am in no position to comment at the moment because I am driving.
Keep your story for next week, probably I might assist you," said Biegel.

      However, a senior funeral consultant with Mashfords, Greame Michael
Horne, confirmed that there was a serious shortage of liquefied petroleum
gas in the country, a situation that has badly affected the company's

      "People are becoming agitated by the situation now because some of
them want to take the ashes outside the country. We have been talking to the
city authorities but nothing has come out," said Horne, who however said he
had only seven bodies awaiting cremation.

      However, as the bodies continued to pile-up in cold rooms, some
smaller funeral parlours have resorted to renting mortuary space in larger
public health institutions to accommodate bodies.

      In Harare, cremation of bodies of people of Hindu origin is mainly
done at Pioneer Cemetery in Mbare and while those of other races is
conducted at Warren Hills Cemetery in Warren Park high-density suburb.

      "Here at Pioneer we do not have that problem because Hindus use fire
wood instead of gas. It is their culture. However, I understand there is a
problem at Warren Hills Cemetery," said an official at Pioneer Cemetery in
Mbare, who requested anonymity.

      On Friday last week, Warren Hills Cemetery returned at least five
bodies, which were meant for cremation, to Doves-Morgan because of the
scarcity of the gas.

      "We only received a small allocation of the gas from Mobil but we had
already returned the bodies to Doves. Even though, it will not help much
because the gas was not going to last a day," said an official who works at
the cemetery.

      Some funeral parlours in Harare have begun to transport bodies to
Bulawayo where the crematorium uses diesel and not liquefied gas.

      An official with Doves in Bulawayo confirmed that they have been
receiving bodies from Harare for cremation at West Park Cemetery, the only
place where cremation is conducted in the city.

      "Here the machine uses diesel unlike the one in Harare which uses gas
so we do not have that problem here," said the official.

      Sources said the shortage of liquefied gas worsened after the National
Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim), which used to import the gas, stopped
following the deregulation of the oil industry recently.

      BOC Gases managing director, Max Deda, confirmed that there was a
shortage of the gas but added that the situation had generally improved as
some private oil companies had started importing it.

      As the Aids pandemic wreaks havoc, killing at least 3 800 people every
week in Zimbabwe, the country's mortuaries are failing to cope with the
increasing number of bodies that need cremation or burial.

      In some public mortuaries several bodies are put in one tray, one on
top of the other, while others are heaped all over the floors.

      To make room for new bodies, Harare Central Hospital recently donated
41 corpses unclaimed since 2000 to the University of Zimbabwe to be used in
biological studies.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

      Fuel coupons sold on the black market
      By Caiphas Chimhete

      FUEL coupons which were introduced by the government in June to curb
the illegal buying and selling of fuel by unscrupulous commuter omnibus
operators, have found their way on the black market where they are being
sold at inflated prices as the shortage of fuel persists, The Standard has

      An investigation by this paper shows that omnibus operators whose
vehicles failed road fitness tests, were buying fuel coupons on the black
market for $10 000 to enable them to buy diesel and $15 000 to buy petrol at
designated service stations. A recent government decree stipulates that only
vehicles that pass road fitness tests qualify for the fuel coupons.

      According to sources, the price of the coupons fluctuates depending on
the availability of both the coupons and the fuel on that particular day.

      "The coupon system is not working because the coupons are almost
everywhere now. If we are buying bank notes on the black market, why not
coupons, fuel and everything else. It just goes to show that black market
rules in Zimbabwe," said John Manyika, who plies the City/Kamfinsa route in

      Apart from buying the fuel coupons, the operators are also reportedly
paying bribes of up to $10 000 to petrol attendants at service stations to
circumvent the coupon system.

      When all calculations are effected, an operator pays about $47 500 for
50 litres of petrol and about $30 000 for the same quantity of diesel.

      But operators with coupons and government certified road worthiness
certificates pay $22 500 for 50 litres of petrol and about half that amount
for the same quantity of diesel.

      "Buying coupons on the black market is much cheaper than buying the
fuel on the black market. At $2 000 a litre of petrol on the black market
you would need $100 000 for 50 litres, which is almost half if you buy a
coupon on the black market," said another omnibus operator, Tapiwa Dzingeni.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

      $1000 note hits snag Government does not have 6m euros needed for
      By Kumbirai Mafunda

      THE introduction of the $1 000 note planned for October could be
jeorpadised following revelations that government is failing to raise six
million Euros to pay the German printing firm that will produce the notes.

      According to government sources, the German firm Giesecke & Devrient
has asked for the six million Euro as downpayment to print the notes. The
total printing cost is estimated to cost about 30 million Euros.

      The Zimbabwean government was last month reported to have engaged
Giesecke & Devrient to print the new $1 000 note, the highest denomination,
as a measure to deal with the current biting cash crisis.

      The government says it also intends to phase out of circulation the
current $500 note, which is too expensive to print, and replace it with a
new one.

      The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has already introduced travelers'
cheques as it battles to deal with the shortage of bank notes that has
crippled operations in commerce and industry.

      Official sources told Standard Business that commercial banks enlisted
by the RBZ to hunt for the foreign currency in United States dollars to pay
the German firm had only so far raised US$4 million.

      "They have failed to raise that money. They have only raised US$4
million against US$6 million," said a source.

      Giesecke & Devrient are a respected money printer and also a leading
supplier of banknote paper and banknote ink.

      Finance and Economic Development Minister Herbert Murerwa referred
Standard Business to his permanent secretary and the acting Reserve Bank
governor when reached for comment.

      Analysts said the government continued to face difficulties to raise
hard currency. The foreign currency market has remained tight, with inflows
for July amounting to a meagre US$25,3 million compared to outflows of
US$27,7 million.

      The analysts said most of the foreign currency proceeds were going
towards meeting Zimbabwe's huge import bill that includes fuel, electricity,
salaries for embassy staff and food imports to mitigate starvation affecting
up to six million people.

      "Energy needs have not been satisfied yet and this continues to have a
bearing on the limited currency circulating in the official market," said
one analyst.

      Money market sources said government's raid on the parallel market for
the American greenback to pay the German firm was behind the firming of the
US dollar against the local currency, which last week hit $6 000.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

      Zanu PF delaying talks: Tsvangirai
      By Richard Musazulwa

      SHURUGWI - Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader
Morgan Tsvangirai says in fighting within the ruling Zanu PF is delaying
inter-party talks to solve Zimbabwe's economic and political crisis.

      Tsvangirai said the MDC was ready for the talks and that the dialogue
should be expanded to allow other Zimbabwean stakeholders to participate.

      It is Zanu PF who are dragging their feet on the way forward. They are
busy fighting over who will take over Mugabe's post instead of solving the
issues affecting the country," said Tsvangirai at a heavily guarded rally
held yesterday at Makusha Hall in the small mining town of Shurugwi.

      He said by engaging in the talks with Zanu PF, MDC was not working for
a unity agreement with the ruling party, but was trying to address national
issues that affect Zimbabweans.

      Tsvangirai also called for the dissolution of the national youth
service because the youths were used by Zanu PF to intimidate people into
voting for the party.

      "During the talks we will fight for the scrapping of the militias as
they are blatantly used by the ruling party to intimidate Zimbabweans into
voting for Zanu PF," he said.

      Tsvangirai also took a swipe at President Robert Mugabe whom he said
was too old and should vacate office and let new elections take place.

      The MDC leader's was drumming up support for the party's 11 candidates
who are contesting council elections in Shurugwi.

      He told his supporters that it was high time the MDC ran all cities
and towns in Zimbabwe because Zanu PF had failed to improve the situation in
the country.

      "Look, Zanu PF has offered nothing to the voters both in cities and
towns except hijacking projects. I urge you all to vote out Zanu PF here in
Shurugwi," he said amid applause from the more than 4 000-strong crowd.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

      Desperate Zimbabweans turn to TCs
      By our own Staff

      ZIMBABWEANS are slowly coming to grips with the travellers' cheques
(TCs) recently introduced by the Reserve Bank to alleviate the biting
shortage of bank notes, a survey by The Standard has revealed.

      Commercial banks last week began to sell lower denominated TCs, from
as low as $1000, after customers complained that the huge denominations on
offer - of between $50 000 and $100 000 - were cumbersome and impractical to
use because many retailers and service providers rejected them and in any
case, most low income earners did not have such amounts in their bank

      Zimbabwe, with galloping inflation that has reached 400 %, is failing
to meet the sudden demand of bank notes caused by lack of hard currency and
inputs to print new money.

      The RBZ on Friday called for assistance from commercial banks and
other financial institutions to come up with innovative ideas to deal with
the cash crisis.

      "The RBZ is supportive of any initiatives that are aimed at reforming
the payment system in Zimbabwe," Alice Zanza, the central bank's
spokesperson, said at a seminar in Harare.

      Representatives of commercial banks at the seminar encouraged the
wider use of "plastic money", as opposed to hard cash, as one way of
addressing the bank notes' shortages.

      Chester Nziradzemhuka of NMB Bank said retailers and merchants should
not put extra charges on electronic transactions since the charges for
offering the service of Visa, MasterCard and other plastic cards have
recently been reviewed to 0,5% per transaction value across the board.

      The meeting also heard that business through point of sale
transactions involving plastic money - had increased substantially.

      Before the cash crisis, there were about 5 000 point-of-sale
transactions on average per day valued at $20 million. The figure has since
shot up to 7 000 transactions a day with a value of $110 million.

      Despite the introduction of the TCs, and the promotion of plastic
money, queues were still appearing at banks and building societies
throughout the country.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

      Strange logic from US Negroes

      I am fascinated by the response of negro people in North America and
Dr Simbi Mubako's speech at Zimbabwe House on July 29.

      In a country where the negroes are the minority and feel that their
rights are being suppressed, they are suggesting that the rights of
Zimbabweans be suppressed too.

      Over the past week, more than 300 properties have been designated for
take over by government despite President Mugabe's assurance that the Land
Reform Programme is now complete. We continue to see marauding gangs of
"Green Bombers" roaming the countryside beating up people indiscriminately
because their colour is not black or because they are perceived to be
supporting the wrong party.

      We continue to see the army being used to go onto people's property
and take it away from the owners because their colour is not black or they
are perceived to be against the government. Despite comments to the
contrary, Mugabe said in his speech at Heroes' Acre recently that the people
had to "repent" and acknowledge that he is President before he would talk to

      Our economic crisis as a result of mismanagement by our government
continues. We are unable to get cash from our banks and pay a premium of
over 20% to "buy" cash on the black market. Our interest rates from the bank
are controlled by government at between 80 and 100% when our rate of
inflation is well in excess of 400%.

      Our exchange rate to the us$ is officially 55:1 for government
purchases and 824:1 for "normal" trade. The parallel rate varies from 3
800:1 to 6 000:1 depending on where you are sourcing your money. Government
had pledged to set aside billions of dollars for the purchase of
agricultural inputs for the "new" farmers when they are unable to pay for
the ink to print more cash to put into our economy and they are unable to
buy food to feed our starving people.

      In the mean time, thousands of real commercial farmers, of all
colours, sit on the sidelines waiting for a conducive environment to go back
to their farms, approach their banks for the finance to grow crops, set up
infrastructure to increase food production, restore the social structures
like schools, clinics, roads, under five's feeding schemes, aids orphanages,
and become involved in the social structure of our society.

      At the moment anybody who lifts his head above the parapet without
direct patronage finds his feet removed from under him and his time spent in
a government hotel where he is not fed by the prison services. Quite often
he finds that the measures employed by the police are a little rough in
their handling of prisoners.

      In the meantime we ask the people of America ... do you believe the
information given to you by the political powers or do you believe the
people of Zimbabwe who are suffering severe human rights abuses?

      Concerned Zimbabwean


Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

      $500 note and the platinum connection

      There is talk that the Zimbabwe $500 note is being sold for more than
7 rands in South Africa for its wide metal band. This band is said to be
platinum and the people who buy it just clip off the paper ends and smelt
the white band and sell the stuff as platinum.

      Now if this is true, some people are making a killing with our money
because platinum is twice as expensive as gold. So the new measures will not
help to bring back the notes if this is true.

      Again if this is true and the new 500 and 1000 notes have the same
wide band on them the problem of money shartages will not end. I hope this
platinum thing is not true.

      You could do some quick research for your readers sir.

      D. Itai


Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

      Sanctions not ideal: ABR president
      By our own Staff

      ALHAJI Bamanga Tukur, the president of the African Business Roundtable
(ABR) who was in Zimbabwe for a brief visit last week, said he was on a
mission to get the West to lift international sanctions against Zimbabwe.

      Tukur, a leading Nigerian businessman and former governor who is also
head of the Nepad Business Group, said Western sanctions were hurting
Zimbabwean businesses and the ordinary man more than the intended target:
President Robert Mugabe and close members of his ruling Zanu PF party.

      "We just have to stop this nonsense. This collective punishment of
Zimbabweans does not work," said the Nigerian businessmen who runs maritime
businesses in a number of West African countries.

      Mugabe and close colleagues were slapped with Western sanctions after
the controversial 2000 general election won by Zanu PF. The West accuses the
Zimbabwean leader of stealing the vote, a charge he denies.

      The Johannesburg-based African Business Roundtable's objectives are to
use the private sector "as the driving force in the development of Africa's
potential". It promotes private ownership, free enterprise and the free
movement of people, capital, goods and services.

      The ABR was set up by the African Development Bank in 1990 to
strengthen the private sector on the continent.

      It is now part of the Nepad Business Group (NBG) that was launched by
UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, during a United Nations conference in
financing for development in Mexico last year.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

      Govt urged to set up economic body
      By our own Staff

      THE government has been urged to set up an independent multi-sectoral
National Executive Economic Council (NEEC) that would immediately draw an
economic rescue plan for Zimbabwe.

      In a motion to Parliament, Tendai Biti, the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC)'s secretary for economic affairs said the problems
bedevilling the economy were now too huge for government alone to try to

      He said only an independent transitional authority, made up of all the
major players in the economy can rescue Zimbabwe, which recently announced
that inflation had surpassed 399 % and is galloping towards the dreaded
1000% mark.

      Biti said the establishment of the new economic council was necessary
because the government and Zanu PF had run out of ideas to pull Zimbabwe out
of its current economic and political crisis.

      "The whole essence of this motion is government has failed. It must
surrender its power to govern on matters of the economy to an independent
transitional authority," said Biti.

      "We are saying Zanu PF has failed and somebody must take over to stop
this economic haemorrhage. We cannot allow these guys to continue damaging
our economy," he added.

      Biti said the economic council would also enhance public
accountability and embrace the participation of non-state actors in public
policy making.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

      Zimbabwe's exports to COMESA hit rock bottom
      By our own Staff

      ZIMBABWE'S trade with fellow regional COMESA members continues to
tumble with exports to Kenya collapsing by a staggering 83%,
StandardBusiness has gathered. Statistics released by the Ministry of
Industry and International Trade indicate a precipitous degeneration of
Zimbabwe's exports to the east African market. Exports to Kenya in 1997
totaled US$19,5 million before dropping by 83% to a paltry US$3,3 million.
On the other hand, imports also dropped by 87% to US$2 million from US$15
million over the same period.

      This is despite Zimbabwe being one of Kenya's major trading partners
in the southern African region. Zimbabwe holds the second position after
South Africa as a source of imports for Kenya.

      "This is really disappointing to say the least," said Kenneth
Manyonda, the Deputy Minister of Industry and International Trade while
addressing a Kenyan investment delegation that visited Harare last week.

      "This scenario could be partly explained by the low level of contact
between our two countries' business communities. This situation is likely to
be reversed by seminars like this," Manyonda added

      In June, StandardBusiness reported that exports to Zambia, Harare's
second largest market, had also plummeted by about 80,4% to a pathetic
US$1,8 million in the first quarter of 2002, signalling no end to the
current chronic foreign currency squeeze.

      Zimbabwe has been suffering from lack of foreign currency since the
pullout of international lenders in 1999 citing Harare's failure to live
within its means.

      The racially inspired disruption of commercial farming is also blamed
for compounding the political and economic crisis in the country.

      ZimTrade, the country's premier trade promotion body, however
attributes the fall in the value of exports to the skewed exchange rate.

      "The decline in exports is spread because of the fixed exchange rate w
hich prevailed for a long time until the introduction of the export support
scheme," said chief executive, Freddy Chawasarira.

      Only two Zimbabwean companies, namely Zimre Holdings and Econet
Wireless, have made in roads into the Kenyan market through tenders, while
diversified conglomerate, Innscor Africa, has already established itself in
the fast growing market with its popular fast food brands.

      Kenyan companies, Africa Online and the Gweru-based Steelmakers, have
invested in Zimbabwe.

      "The volume of trade however needs to be increased as the range of
tradable products is still comparatively low. The balance of trade is in
favour of Zimbabwe and is attributed to the nature of products traded in,"
said Petkay Miriti, the Kenyan Assistant Minister of Industry and
International Trade who was visiting Harare as part of the investment

      Economic consultant, Peter Robinson said as long as distortions exist
in the macroeconomic framework, the regional market would remain elusive to
Zimbabwean companies.

      "There is no environment to encourage people to export. Look at
problems in the fuel sector, transport sector and the breakdown in energy.
We have macro-economic policies which discourage people to export," said
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

      Of ample women, hypocrites and dictators
      Sundaytalk with Pius Wakatama

      I failed to make the deadline last week because I had taken a
seven-day jaunt to the Rainbow Nation and to Swaziland to be the go-between
(munyai) for my nephew who fell in love with a Swazi girl he had met while
studying at the University of Pretoria. Despite the tiredness from two days
of driving from Zimbabwe to Swaziland, I thoroughly enjoyed the lobola

      Unlike the Shona, the Swazis do not have complicated requirements and
all manner of petty observances during the lobola proceedings. Their lobola
requirements are simple and straightforward. The bride price is 15 head of
cattle, full stop. Gifts are not demanded or specified from the groom, but
may be given to the older aunts on both sides of the family.

      My nephew had bought six cows which were delivered to the prospective
in-laws' homestead. The negotiations where therefore solely about the cash
price to be paid for the remaining nine head of cattle. This was settled
without much ado and we managed to pay cash for two. The in-laws were
agreeable and consented to the marriage to go ahead. One cow was slaughtered
there and then for the celebrations to be held the next day.

      The Swazis are a good natured and fun loving people. We fell in love
with the people and their hilly kingdom so much that my wife said if things
became really bad in Zimbabwe and we were forced into exile, Swaziland would
be our first choice for refuge.

      The celebrations were fabulous. The tables were literally groaning
beneath dishes overflowing with food. I don't remember eating so much meat
since the price of meat shot up to unaffordable levels in poverty stricken

      The Swazis love their food and it shows on their bodies, especially
the women. I am not saying this in a negative or derogatory way at all. To
me the Swazi women portray the real beauty of African womanhood, not the
skinny scarecrows foisted upon us as models and beauty queens by hypocrites
who are mentally colonised by the West. The judges of our beauty pageants,
who are mostly men reflect more the values of our former colonisers whom
they profess to hate so much. I say they are hypocrites because most of
their own wives, if not all, are plump mamas with extra accessories. If they
regard women with hardly any flesh on their bones as beautiful, why then did
they marry full bodied women? They are hypocrites, I say!

      After the celebrations we left for South Africa to visit some friends
in Pretoria and Johannesburg. We were lucky to leave Swaziland when we did.
The very next day nobody could leave or enter Swaziland by road. All border
entries were blockaded by pro-democracy movements and the South African
labour movement, COSATU. They were demonstrating against the lack of
democracy in Swaziland.

      However, I must say that even though King Mswati is an absolute
monarch, he is not a dictator in the same mould as our own self-proclaimed
monarch, King Robert Mugabe I. One hopes that the young Swazi King will soon
realise that times are changing and allow for democratic reform. Let us hope
that his admiration and close association with our president will not fool
him into emulating him.

      In South Africa we were struck by the people's ignorance of what is
happening across the border. Many of them are so ill-informed that they
think that President Mugabe is some kind of hero who has put the hated
whites into their place and restored stolen land back to the people. The
fact that his regime is perpetrating human rights abuses on fellow blacks is
not known to them.

      They are also ignorant of the extent to which the Zanu PF government
has ruined the economy and destroyed agriculture. They, therefore, blindly
support President Mbeki's softly, softly approach to the Zimbabwe crisis.
They believe that our problems will be short lived and things will be back
to normal soon. They point to the impending talks between Zanu PF and the
MDC and Mbeki's plans to ask the Commonwealth to lift Zimbabwe's suspension
from that body as positive developments.

      They were, therefore, shocked when I told them that in Zimbabwe the
majority of people regard Mbeki as a traitor who has sold us out to a
tyrannical dictator.

      They were dumbfounded when I stated that we regarded COSATU, the
Communist Party and the opposition led by Tony Leon as more of our friends
than the ANC.

      In fact, we literally had such a shouting match with our hosts that
had we not known each other for so long and had our relationship not been so
strong, they would have asked us to leave their house. They are both very
active ANC leaders and they hero-warship their President Thabo Mbeki. To
them it was unthinkable that his policy on Zimbabwe could be so way off the

      After a long discussion, our friends conceded and said: "We have known
you for so long and we respect your judgement. But, you people must do more
to let South Africans know the truth about what is going on in Zimbabwe."

      Yes, Zimbabwean journalists and pro-democracy movements must target
South Africa with the truth. President Mbeki needs pressure from his own
people to make him change his stance on Zimbabwe just like he had to change
his stance on making HIV/Aids treatment available to all those affected in
South Africa. As long as South Africa continues to prop up the Zanu PF
regime diplomatically and with unpaid for fuel and electricity, our
suffering under the tyranny will be prolonged so much more.

      I must say I was encouraged by the activities of the Crisis in
Zimbabwe Coalition. Their sponsorship of talks, meetings and media exposure
and television appearances have done much to conscientise South Africans to
the realities of life in Zimbabwe today.

      While I was there, Eleanor Sisulu, speaking on behalf of Crisis in
Zimbabwe Coalition, openly criticised statements by some South African
ministers which give the impression that the South African government is
taking sides in support of the Zanu PF government. Sisulu, who was born in
Zimbabwe, is married to Max, son of the late ANC stalwarts, Walter and
Albertina Sisulu.

      Our independent newspapers are full of articles and commentaries which
clearly show the violence, corruption and deceptiveness of the Zanu PF
regime. These are, however, now preaching to the converted. Zimbabweans know
the situation under which they live from their own day to day painful

      Efforts must now be directed at informing our brothers and sisters in
the rest of Africa. Most of them are ignorant at about the truth in Zimbabwe
for they are being led astray by their presidents who themselves are as
undemocratic and cruel as our own.

      He who has ears to hear, let them hear.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

      Playing the blame game overthetop
      By Brian Latham

      The government of a troubled central African nation last week decided
someone had to be blamed for the shortage of cash.

      It could not, of course, blame itself, because that would be to go
against the grain of vanguard socialism by admitting failure.

      Instead, officials in the misinformation ministry decided to blame the
central bank. No one was convinced by this hilarious move, knowing that the
problem lay elsewhere and could be explained by a daft adherence to Zany

      Troubled central Africans pointed out that after 23 years of economic
mismanagement, it was hardly surprising the Zany Party had made world
history by running out of cash.

      Still, the Zany Party found itself caught in a trap of its own making.
While solving the cash crisis is a simple matter, it would also be admitting

      And as we've already noted, failure isn't permissible.

      The printing of a 100 000 note would rectify the problem over night,
but clearly delusional leaders in the troubled central African basket case
have decided that inflation doesn't exist. Instead they prefer to think
their currency remains strong, robust and hugely desirable.

      That means the troubled central African nation's biggest denomination
of currency is worth about 10 US cents - on a good day. One economist told
Over The Top that even the mighty USA would run out of money overnight if
everyone went out with their stash of 10c pieces to buy beer, food and

      Not that simple solutions were helping tens of thousands of bitterly
angry central Africans last week. Queues outside banks and building
societies grew longer and tempers shorter as the heat of the day increased.

      Meanwhile cretins in the finance ministry decided that the hoarding of
cash had caused the shortage. Sweeping draconian powers were introduced to
put an end to hoarding in what many said would have been laughable if it
wasn't yet another glaring example of the country's descent into fascism.

      "Who in their right minds is going to hoard cash if it halves in value
every couple of days?" One angry woman asked OTT.

      Cross boarder traders were also blamed for "externalising" the
troubled central African nation's worthless money. They rightly pointed out
that even bankrupt neighbouring states wouldn't touch the troubled central
African country's money if their lives depended on it.

      Still, that didn't stop foolish finance officials from giving the Zany
police the power to stop and strip search citizens suspected of hoarding

      Quite where that cash was going to be hidden was not explained,
because anyone who thinks he can stick a couple of shoe boxes into his
Y-fronts and pass unnoticed in the street is obviously as daft as the Zany
politicians who dreamt the law up in the first place.

      Never mind, troubled (and increasingly angry) central Africans need to
know that the Zany police now have this power. You can be walking down the
street contemplating the things troubled central Africans contemplate - fuel
queues, cash queues, bread queues, emigration - and a passing cop can remove
your clothes on a warrant and a whim. And troubled central Africans know the
value of a warrant in their delightful country. It's on par with their own
currency, which doesn't make it worth anything at all.

      The solution, of course, is staring everyone in the face. Rather than
put the Zany police to any more trouble (many are, after all, exhausted by
gruelling head bashing sessions) everyone should simply discard their
clothes. Now that winter is behind us, this shouldn't prove too
uncomfortable and it would, if nothing else, prove the staggering silliness
of vain and ridiculous officials who think anyone would try and save their
worthless money.

Back to the Top
Back to Index