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

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White woman joins eviction mob


In a bizarre twist to the forced removals of Zimbabwe's farmers, a white woman, believed to be British, took part in the eviction of a farm couple this week.

The woman, Anne Matonga, in her early 30s, screamed at Monica Schultz: "We are taking back the land you stole from us!"

Matonga is married to Bright Matonga, 35, a Zimbabwean propagandist. He worked as a sports reporter in London for the BBC but was recently recalled to Zimbabwe at the behest of Information Minister Jonathan Moyo to work for the state-controlled Herald newspaper, then the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation before being put in charge of the national bus company.

Vincent Schultz had been wrongfully arrested as the seizure of his farm had been ruled invalid on a legal technicality. Nevertheless, he was still in prison, pending a bail application, and his wife was alone on the farm on Sunday when the Matongas arrived and began hurling abuse at her.

"She [Anne Matonga] was rude, saying we had stolen her land. I thought it strange as she was white, and looked and sounded British," Monica Schultz said on Thursday.

Schultz was released without charges being laid on Monday when a magistrate ruled that he had not defied an eviction order to leave his farm by August 8, as decreed by President Robert Mugabe's government.

Then on Tuesday, Bright Matonga returned to the farm - this time with members of Mugabe's militia. "He told us he was pissed-off, very pissed-off, to find us still at home," Schultz said. "He threatened to return with a battalion. The police advised us to leave."

Police had a list of wanted farmers at a roadblock on Thursday, and Schultz feared, after his eviction in the morning, that he would be picked up again. The final straw for the distraught couple came when notorious militant, Joseph Chinotimba, who together with "war veterans" invaded foreign companies in Harare last year, arrived on the farm with Matonga and told workers they no longer worked for Schultz.

Schultz, 57, and his wife fled the farm in terror and are sheltering at neighbours. They both wept as they wondered what the future held for them.

Schultz said: "We will have to leave. I want peace. Out of Africa. Somewhere where Monica and I can relax and lead a family life, without our ears being tuned for vehicles, for shouting. It's madness, it's a nightmare.

"Living on a farm today is stressful . . . You are the head of the family, the head of the farm, you have to show your face, but when there are 300 people at your gate . . . Do you know how terrifying it is to walk down to your gate?

"I want somewhere I can go with my family, and have law and order."

Monica Schultz, who was born on the farm she has been forced to leave, said: "If peace prevailed we would love to stay on the farm, to grow old and die there. And we have a lot of workers there, some lovely people who worked for my mother, have been there for 50 odd years. Now they have literally nothing."

Forced to stop growing crops nearly two years ago by Mugabe's supporters, the farming couple were restricted to growing roses in greenhouses.

The 11 million roses annually exported to Amsterdam won't be picked again.

Some of the 135 permanent workers have fled the farm.

Matonga, who has a BSc (Hons) in Media Production and Technology from London's Greenwich University, has left militia to guard his new farm.

The Matongas were not available for comment.

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25 August 2002

Dear Friends,

It's summer in the UK and there are a number of events going on that we are
involved in and supporting over the coming weeks. Below you will find
details  of Vuka! The ZimFest and the ZAWT Fun Run for Women. I know that
many of you are spread out all over the globe, but perhaps you could forward
this on to anyone that you know who would be interested in attending them,
besides I'm sure you're interested to hear what is going on anyway! For
those of you who can make it, it will be a good opportunity to come down and
meet the team, aswell!

Friday 30th August:

What: Vuka! Club Night
Where: PoNaNa, Hammersmith
Details: Due to popular demand we are restarting this popular Club-Night,
which is to act as an awareness event for ZAWT, but also it is a
community-building event, and great fun and great music. The last one that
we held as a one off in January was a wild success and thoroughly enjoyed by
everyone. We have reformed the team now, and will be bringing it to you
regularly ... the last weekend of each month.
More Details: See the website at

Saturday 31st August:

What: ZimFest 2002
Where: Barnes London
Details: ZimFest 2002 is a celebration of Zimbabwean Society and Culture;
all monies raised go toward a variety of good causes, ZAWT, Amani Trust, the
ZCDT and the Aids Orphans Trust. We will be sporting an information stall on
the day, so a good opportunity to come and meet the team! Attractions on the
day include:

A full range of sports including tennis, soccer, touch rugby, cricket, golf
chipping hole, volleyball (please see the website for sports which you need
to pre-enter for)

Two large bars selling a range of Zimbabwean beers and other drinks will
keep even the largest thirsts well quenched. We also have a number of
exciting promotions and invite you to take on the apple sours ice luge

A braai pack with Zimbabwean prime beef is included in the price of the
ticket and other food will also be on sale during the day.

A range of stalls will be operating giving information on the charities we
are supporting this year and selling produce from handcrafts to your
favourite foodstuffs from home.

We will cater to all music tastes and have a range of live music
demonstrations and DJ's operating out of two marquees set up in the
beautiful surroundings of the Barn Elms ground.

Of course this also provides the perfect opportunity to catch up with those
friends that you have not seen for far too long......... Just a reminder for
families that there is no entrance charge for children under 14 and there
will be a supervised play area with bouncy castle, face painting, balloons
and other activities.

More Details: See the website for more information and to purchase tickets,
which must be bought in advance or email

We also have other events proposed and upcoming, including a series of Black
Tie Dinners in London, an Art Exhibition and of course on Sunday the 1st of
September (the day after ZimFest!) we have the ZAWT 5 km fun run for Women
in Hyde Park for those who can drag themselves up after ZimFest! The event
is fully subscribed, but i am sure the girls could use your support! For
more details of these events please see our website at
or email me on

Please do circulate this as widely as possible to your friends and family in
the UK, we need everyone to know about these events,

Thank you for your continued support

Lao Watson-Smith

Zawt (Zimbabwe Agricultural Welfare Trust)
P.O. Box 168
IP13 8WE
United Kingdom


Registered in the UK as a Charity  No: 1091003
Patron: The Most Reverend Desmond M. Tutu O. M. S. G.
D. D.  F. K. C.
Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town

Please do not reply to this email address . mails to this address are
processed by servers and never read. If you would like to contact us please
email us at

If you feel that you have received this communication in error, and you wish
not to receive updates on our work, then please send a blank email to and you will be permanently removed from our databases.
We are unable to take responsibility for the actions of 3rd parties, who may
forward communications on
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      Mugabe at centre of summit storm

            August 24 2002 at 08:10PM

            By John Battersby

      The eyes of the world are on Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president,
as he prepares to announce his new team on Sunday after dissolving his
Zanu-PF cabinet for the first time in 22 years of rule on Friday.

      The confiscation of white farms and the arrests of some 199 white
farmers resisting the seizure of their land in recent weeks has put his
controversial land seizure programme back into the public limelight on the
eve of the opening of the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

      Mugabe, who has attended UN meetings in Rome and New York over the
past year despite US and European Union (EU) sanctions restricting foreign
travel for senior Zanu-PF officials, is expected to attend the summit with
top officials.

      If he goes ahead with his plans, he will arrive in Johannesburg just
as his new cabinet is settling in and amid speculation that Zimbabwean war
veterans might make an appearance at the summit and link up with likeminded
South African land activists.

            Leaders are at pains not to allow the summit agenda to be
      Amid growing international pressure to take a stronger line against
the Mugabe government, the South African government last week issued a
statement highlighting its efforts to assist South African farmers targeted
by the confiscations, and reiterated that land reforms in Zimbabwe should
respect the rule of law and due process.

      The statement followed a softening of the rand amid speculation that
concern sparked by the Zimbabwean land confiscations and South Africa's weak
response could be a major factor driving the currency down. Tito Mboweni,
the Reserve Bank governor, and Charles Nqakula, the safety and security
minister, also weighed in with statements insisting that Zimbabwean-style
land grabs could never happen in South Africa because land rights were
specifically protected in the constitution.

      President Thabo Mbeki also entered the fray by saying that he agreed
with John Howard, the Australian prime minister, that the Zimbabwean
situation called for a vigorous response from the Commonwealth. Both
leaders, together with Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria's president, serve on a
troika that suspended Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth for 12 months in March
after the flawed Zimbabwean election.

      Tony Blair, the British prime minister, is understood to be frustrated
by the lack of progress in a proposed South African and Nigerian-sponsored
dialogue between Zanu-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which
has never got off the ground.

      Blair, who is scheduled to attend the summit for only a day on
September 2, is due to have a bilateral meeting with Mbeki on that day at
which the Zimbabwean situation is expected to be discussed, despite the fact
that both leaders are at pains not to allow the summit agenda to be
diverted. Hopes in British circles for a meeting of the Commonwealth troika
during the summit appear to be in doubt due to uncertainty as to whether
Howard will attend.
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The Summit of All Fears

Ranjeni Munusamy

Radicals prompt security crackdown

WAR veterans from Zimbabwe, ultra-leftists, disgruntled former soldiers, right-wingers, international anarchists, Palestinian and Israeli campaigners and hackers are all coming to Johannesburg this week hoping to grab the international spotlight during the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

South African intelligence services have picked up plots to "shut down" the summit.

But the government security services have thrown a ring of steel around Johannesburg to ensure that potentially violent disruption and sabotage is speedily defused.

Security at all South African entry points, particularly at Johannesburg International Airport, has been strengthened. There are constant patrols of SA airspace, routes on which delegates will travel are extensively monitored and policed, and 20 hotels where heads of state will stay are to become fortresses today.

Every vehicle entering the conference precinct will be screened by bomb technicians and police dogs, even though police estimate that with motorcades, rented vehicles and 800 buses, there will be about 70 000 vehicles at any point at Sandton City and Sandton Square. Even the food will be tested by military and health experts to counter poisoning and anthrax scares.

South African security personnel will take responsibility for the safety of more than 100 heads of state who will be attending the gathering.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi will not be allowed to return to the country with weapons such as AK-47s as he did during the African Union summit in Durban in July.

Foreigners found to be in breach of South Africa's regulations on public demonstrations will be deported immediately while citizens will face arrest and imprisonment.

Fifteen organisations have made formal applications to march during the summit but only five so far have been given permission to do so - along an extensively policed route in Sandton, says Director Sean Shabalala of the SA Police Service.

Security chiefs are urging campaign groups to seek alternate means of airing their views. But organisations such as the Landless People's Organisation say they will not take instructions from intelligence and security agencies. Zimbabwean war veterans have been invited by organisations campaigning on land redistribution to be paraded as people who have successfully reclaimed their land.

A group campaigning against the official civil society summit have agreed to confine their marches to Alexandra on condition that President Thabo Mbeki and United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan personally receive their lists of demands.

The director-general of the National Intelligence Agency, Vusi Mavimbela, said the security services had become aware that people who had caused violent disruptions at other international gatherings around the world, or had links to those organisations, would be in the country during the summit.

"Some of these elements are active around the world. It was never the intention of government to stop them from coming. But we can't be blind to the reality that they may be involved in other things," Mavimbela said.

Palestinian and Israeli lobbyists have formed committees to advance their respective causes in the Middle East conflict.

"The situation could easily boil over as they will be mingling at the venues," Mavimbela said.

Disgruntled former SA soldiers, who have been campaigning to get their jobs back, have also been identified as a potential danger since they have military training. Various domestic labour disputes could also cause disruptions, particularly one involving the Airports Company of South Africa.

Mavimbela said the agency was guarding against sabotage of the conference IT system and its water and electricity supply.

He said that at past international events hosted by South Africa, there had been a number of attempts to hack into the computer system and therefore "the integrity of the system and supply lines have to be preserved".

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Mbeki Should Speak Out Against Mugabe


The South African Institute of Race Relations on Saturday said it was concerned that the government had failed to speak out against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's destruction of the rule of law, of democracy, and of his country's economy.

"SAIRR views with the utmost concern the South African government's continued unwillingness publicly to condemn the behaviour of the Mugabe government."

SAIRR in a statement said the South African government recently repeated its view that the Zimbabwe's elections in March were acceptable result, "thereby implying that it continues to condone the Mugabe government's use of fraud and violence in that election."

"No amount of supposed quiet diplomacy being pursued by President Mbeki can justify his failure to demonstrate to South Africa, to Zimbabwe, to Africa, and to the rest of the world that he condemns the Mugabe government for the path of lawlessness and brutality upon which it has embarked."

SAIRR called on Mbeki to speak out unequivocally for South Africa in the name of the values upon which the country's democracy was built.

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Here is a copy of an advert appearing in the Daily News

The Registrar General continues to refuse to give the MDC a copy of
the voters roll and has also REFUSED any one to even view the roll

The ELECTORAL ACT of Zimbabwe states :-
17    Voters rolls to be kept by constituency registrars
    (1)    Each constituency registrar shall have charge and custody
of the voters roll for his constituency

18    Voters rolls open to inspection and printing of rolls
    (1)    The voters roll for every constituency shall be open to
inspection by the public, free of charge, at the constituency
registrar during office hours.
    (2)    Any person inspecting the voters roll for a constituency
may, without payment, make copies thereof or extracts therefrom
during office hours.

The forgoing has been refused by the Registrar General
Question is
    WHAT is he trying to HIDE

from  Topper Whitehead
All that is needed for EVIL to prevail is for GOOD people to do NOTHING
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Zimbabwean president announces new cabinet

Xinhuanet 2002-08-25 16:48:02

HARARE, Aug. 25 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwean President Mugabe Saturday night announced a new cabinet, which saw one new face being introduced and two ministers dropped.

The dropped are Simba Makoni, who was the minister of Finance and Economic Development and Timothy Stamps, who was minister of Health and Child Welfare. Stamps has been ill for some time. Witness Mangwende was appointed Minister of Transport Communications.

The new cabinet also saw three former deputy ministers being elevated to full ministers.

These are former deputy minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Kembo Mohadi, who now heads the Home Affairs Ministry, and the former deputy minister of Justice, Legaland Parliamentary Affairs Paul Mangwana, who has been promoted to Minister of State, State Enterprises and Parastatals. The third one is the former deputy minister of Health and Child Welfare David Parirenyatwa, who takes over from Stamps as the minister.

The only new face is former diplomat and chief executive of theZimbabwe Tourism Authority, Ambassador Amos Midzi, who becomes theminister of Energy and Power Development.

It appears the new cabinet puts emphasis on infrastructure, human resources, technology and economic development.

This is shown by the creation of the ministries of Energy and Power Development, Small and Medium Enterprises Development and the retention of the ministries of Rural Resources and Water Development and Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation.Sithembiso Nyoni heads the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises Development.

President Mugabe also appointed three ministers of state to reflect the government's new thrust of rejuvenating the economy after the land reform program.

Former minister of state in Vice-President Musika's Office Olivia Muchena is now the Minister of State, Science and Technology Development. Former minister of state in Vice-presidentMuzenda'a Office Flora Bhuka is the Minister of State for the LandReform Program.

President Mugabe also moved four ministers from their former ministries to head new ones.

Former minister of Home Affairs and chairman of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front John Nkomo becomesMinister for Special Affairs in the President's Office. Former minister of Higher Education and Technology Samuel Mumbengegwi becomes minister of Industry and International Trade, replacing Herbert Murerwa, who has bounced back to his old Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

Former minister of Transport and Communications Swithun Mombeshora is now minister of Higher and Tertiary Education.

Minister of State for Information and Publicity Jonathan Moyo, Defense Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, Minister of Education, Sport and Culture Aeneas Chigwedere, Minister of Environment and TourismFrancis Nheema, Minister of Foreign Affairs Stan Mudenge, Ministerof Justice, legal and Parliamentary Affairs Patrick Chinamasa, Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Joseph Made,Minister of Local Government, public Works and National Housing Ignatius Chombo, Minister of Mines and Mining Development Edward Chindori-Chininga, Minister of Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare July Moyo, Minister of Rural resources and Water Development Joyce Mujuru and Minister of Youth Development, Genderand Employment Creation Elliot Manyika as well as Minister of State for National Security Nicholas Goche remained in their ministries.

President Mugabe also appointed six new deputy ministers, whilesix others retained their posts in a reshuffle which saw the totalnumber of deputy ministers increasing from nine to 12. Enditem

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Zimbabwe turns away Norwegian politicans,Red Cross

JOHANNESBURG, Aug. 25 Four Norwegian politicans and a Norwegian Red Cross representative were turned away from Zimbabwe after arriving on a pre-arranged fact-finding mission on Sunday, a member of the group said. 
       Dag Seierstad, a political advisor for the Norwegian parliament, told Reuters the group was ''outraged'' at its treatment after being forced to board a flight to Johannesburg, which was held up for two hours for the group to board.
       ''As soon as they realised we were politicians they refused us entry. They gave us the simple choice of taking the next plane back to Johannesburg or going to jail,'' Seierstad said.
       Seierstad said the group had intended to get information about the famine threatening southern Africa and the spreading HIV-AIDS pandemic. The trip had been arranged by the Red Cross and had received approval from Zimbabwe's foreign ministry.
       Zimbabwe has come under heavy international fire for its seizures of white-owned farmland, which aid experts say are exacerbating a worsening food shortage caused by draught.
       Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe dissolved his cabinet on Friday in a move official sources said was linked to the controversial land reform programme, retaining his most loyal ministers.
       ''They tried to break us up as a group, they said they would call security and force us to get on the was quite intimidating and unpleasant and we were quite shocked frankly,'' Seierstad said.
       The other four members of the group -- all women -- included Labour MP Gunhild Oeyangen, Socialist LeftParty MP Ingvild Malvik, Centre party MP Inger Enger and Norway's South Africa-based Red Cross representative Greta Oesgtern, he said.
       The group had flown in from Norway via Johannesburg. They arrived on a British Airways flight at 1030 GMT and were forced to board the same flight on its return journey, he said.
       Seierstad said the group had not decided what it would do next and was waiting for reaction from Norway's Foreign Ministry.
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Mugabe packs new cabinet with loyalists

Straw lashes out at 'ruinous' president

Andrew Meldrum in Harare and Nicholas Watt
Monday August 26, 2002
The Guardian

Robert Mugabe strengthened his hold on the Zimbabwean government yesterday by retaining the most combative hardliner ministers in a cabinet shuffle which offered little hope of a moderation of the land seizures and other policies that have kept Zimbabwe in crisis and brought international condemnation.

He sacked the only moderate in his old cabinet, the finance minister Simba Makoni who, according to insiders, had urged him to follow more realistic economic policies and advised against his more divisive and antagonistic actions, including the often-violent land seizures.

The changes were announced as Britain intensified its rhetoric against Mr Mugabe. In response to a Tory claim that the government was turning a blind eye to the crisis in Zimbabwe, the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, accused Mr Mugabe of leading his country to "ruin".

Abandoning his softly, softly approach, he rejected Mr Mugabe's claim that Britain was behaving in a neo-colonial manner.

"It [Zimbabwe] is a self-made pariah, not a colonial victim," he said.

"Robert Mugabe is leading his country to ruin. The decline in Zimbabwe's fortunes has been swift and devastating. In the name of land reform policies he is reducing his people to starvation.

"A fraudulent election earlier this year was characterised by murder and intimidation. His continuing use of state-organised violence since then underlines his determination to hold on to power at all costs."

In yesterday's reshuffle Mr Mugabe kept his "three musketeers": the agriculture minister Joseph Made, the information minister Jonathan Moyo, and the justice minister Patrick Chinamasa, who are jointly responsible for the confrontational land redistribution policy, clampdown on the press and breakdown in the rule of law.

Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly, a coalition of civic groups, said: "Mugabe has said he wants fighters, and in Made, Moyo and Chinamasa he has found his kind of fighters: aggressive and unrelenting.

"This means that there is no change, both in style and substance. It has been fairly clear over the last two years that Mugabe is happy with their performance, never mind what anybody else thinks ... and that now he is not in the mood to work with anybody who is not prepared to join him in the trenches."

The new head of finance was named as Herbert Murerwa, a former finance minister known to be loyal to Mr Mugabe. The only white cabinet member, the health minister Timothy Stamps, was dropped - he is reported to have suffered a stroke - and replaced by his deputy, David Parirenyatwa.

Mr Mugabe dissolved his cabinet on Friday. Official sources said the action was linked to the government drive to seize white-owned farms.

The government has ordered 2,900 of the remaining 4,500 white commercial farmers to quit their land without compensation. It says it will not allow them to occupy 70% of the country's best farmland while indigenous blacks have no land.

Mr Mugabe failed to re-appoint the cabinet after his disputed re-election in March, leading legal experts to say that it was no longer legal, citing a clause in the constitution which says that a newly elected president must appoint a cabinet in 30 days.

White farmers and the opposition argued in court cases that the cabinet was illegal and that any orders it made were invalid.

The Harare Sunday Mail said yesterday that Mr Mugabe, who is subject to EU and US sanctions fort human rights abuses, was ready to confront Tony Blair and other western critics at the earth summit in Johannesburg this week, which Mr Mugabe will attend.

During a brief visit to Johannesburg on September 2 Mr Blair is expected to ask the South African president, Thabo Mbeki, to take tougher action against Mr Mugabe.

Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth earlier this year, and South Africa is part of a troika, along with Nigeria and Australia, which is working to achieve agreement between Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

There is frustration in London that South Africa, which wields enormous influence in Zimbabwe, has not done enough to criticise Mr Mugabe, particularly in the light of state-sponsored violence.

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Independent (UK)
Mugabe is the author of his own misery Straw
By Andrew Grice
26 August 2002
Zimbabwe is "a self-made pariah, not a colonial victim", Jack Straw said yesterday when Britain launched an unprecedented attack on President Robert Mugabe.

The Foreign Secretary's criticism came as Tony Blair prepared to urge South Africa to take a much tougher line against the Mugabe regime when he meets Thabo Mbeki, the South African President, during the Johannesburg summit.

Britain is frustrated that South Africa has not been strong in its public criticism of Mr Mugabe and fears that the New Partnership for Africa's Development, which promotes democracy in return for aid, is being undermined by the turmoil in Zimbabwe.

Writing in The Observer, Mr Straw accused Mr Mugabe of causing the starvation of millions of people, saying: "The suffering inflicted on Zimbabwe's black population is especially shocking.

"A fraudulent election earlier this year was characterised by murder and intimidation. His continuing use of state-organised violence since then underlines his determination to hold on to power at all costs."

Despite Mr Blair's planned appeal to South Africa, he will seek to avoid a public confrontation with Mr Mugabe in Johannesburg.

Margaret Beckett, the Secretary of State for the Environment, said yesterday that the Earth Summit would not be a success if it were dominated by the Zimbabwe issue. "There is nothing President Mugabe would like better than to think that a whole world summit had been hijacked by his behaviour and his concerns. The summit is too important for that."

Iain Duncan Smith, the Tory leader, called for tougher action by the Government against Zimbabwe, saying Mr Blair should galvanise the international community.
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Daily Telegraph


Re: Zanu PF stop aid reaching Zimbabwe
Date: 26 August 2002

Sir - In 1995-96, members of Rotary clubs in Shropshire, Staffordshire and the West Midlands raised funds to lay a pipeline from a borehole to a primary school in the remote Mudzi district of Zimbabwe.

My wife and I were guests at the official opening and, as I turned on the taps of this clean, life-enhancing water, there was much joy from the thousand or so people present.

The head teacher of another school nearby, who was at the opening ceremony, pleaded with us to bring running water to his school. A scheme was prepared, money was raised by those same Rotarians, and a grant applied for with a view to laying the pipes. In the summer of 2000, four of us went to Zimbabwe with the intention of making a final assessment.

We were prevented from making the three-hour journey to the school because of the violence and thuggery of Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF "war veterans". The scheme was never completed. The needy children and their families do not have clean, fresh water, so far as I know; furthermore, there can be no visit to the original school, because of the fear for their lives by those seeking to bring aid.

Those wondering why the West cannot do more to help Zimbabwe need look no further than its head of state.

Ronald Lucas, Betton, Shropshire
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Zim Standard

Makoni kicked out
By our own Staff

PRESIDENT Mugabe last night booted finance minister Simba Makoni from his
government in a cabinet reshuffle that offered no prospects of pulling
Zimbabwe out of its economic quagmire.

In a long-awaited cabinet reshuffle that remained a secret to The Standard
up to late last night, Mugabe off loaded Makoni from his cabinet, two months
after labelling him a saboteur.
Mugabe, who is pushing ahead with his controversial land grab exercise,
recalled Herbert Murerwa to the finance ministry he left some years ago.
Makoni, a reformist who had tried to steer the country away from Zanu PF's
suicidal economic policies that have turned the country into a basket case,
incurred the wrath of Mugabe when he called for the devaluation of the
Zimbabwe dollar a few months ago.
Officially opening the fifth parliament last month, Mugabe said anyone
calling for the devaluation of the worthless dollar was a saboteur and an
enemy of his government.
The embattled leader who is facing increasing opposition from many
countries, however, retained faith in the three musketeers: information
minister Jonathan Moyo, agriculture minister Joseph Made and justice
minister Patrick Chinamasa, hand-picked for his cabinet after the June 2000
parliamentary elections.
The three have been staunch Zanu PF apologists.
Made, blamed for the food crisis, will be aided by Flora Bhuka who has been
appointed minister of state for the land reform programme, a new portfolio
that places emphasis on Mugabe's agrarian reform programme.
Elliot Manyika, whose youth brigades have caused mayhem across the country
also retained his post as minister of Youth Development, Gender and
Employment Creation and will be deputised by Shuvai Mahofa.
However, against all predictions, Mugabe demoted Zanu PF national chairman
and home affairs minister, John Nkomo who with Mnangagwa had been tipped as
his possible successor.
Nkomo, a key figure in Mugabe's party, was relegated to junior minister in a
new obscure ministry entitled Special Affairs in the president's office.
He had been regarded by analysts as one of the few level-headed politicians
among the praise singers and sycophants that surrounded the aging leader.
Nkomo, observers said, had become a victim of the power game within the
ruling party.
Seen as a reasonable successor to Mugabe, Nkomo ruffled the feathers of
other presidential hopefuls including vice-president Msika and parliamentary
speaker, Emmerson Mnangagwa when he successfully worked out a south-south
cooperation agreement with former Zanu PF supremo Eddison Zvobgo. This
alliance made it easy for him to win the support of the majority in the
ruling party.
Observers noted that Nkomo's growing popularity within the party had alarmed
Msika and Mnangagwa who might have worked to sideline him.
Nkomo's position has been taken by Kembo Mohadi, former local government
deputy minister.
Muzenda, on the other hand also consolidated his power base with the
inclusion of a number of his allies who include Chief Fortune Charumbira, a
vocal member of the Hungwe faction who is now the deputy minister of Local
Government, Public Works and National Housing.
The ailing minister of Health and Child Welfare, Timothy Stamps has also
been dropped and replaced by his former deputy, David Parirenyatwa who has
been effectively running the ministry of late.
Those who remain in their ministries are: Sydney Sekeremayi, Aeneas
Chigwedere, Francis Nhema, Stan Mudenge, Ignatius Chombo, July Moyo, Joyce
Mujuru, and Nicholas Goche. Sam Mumbengegwi is now the minister of Industry
and International Trade while Edward Chindori Chininga is now the minister
of Mines and Mining Development.
Amos Midzi, who lost the Harare mayoral election is now the minister of
Energy and Power Development.
Mugabe also appointed six new deputy ministers who include Kenneth Manyonda,
the MP for Buhera North who was appointed to a new post of deputy minister
of Industry and International Trade.
Reuben Marumahoko, the MP for Hurungwe East was appointed deputy minister of
Energy and Power Development. The MP for Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe Kenneth
Mutiwekuziva is now the deputy minister of the superfluous ministry of Small
and Medium Enterprises Development headed by Paul Mangwana. Mutiwekuziva's
constituency supposedly garnered the highest votes in the presidential
elections for Mugabe.
The booting out of Makoni and the demotion of Nkomo, two men seen as
somewhat level-headed and reformist in the old cabinet and their replacement
with tired horses reinforces Mugabe's hard line stance.
The long-awaited reshuffle has been described by commentators as a non-event
which came as a big yawn to Zimbabweans who had hoped for a progressive and
forward-looking cabinet.
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Zim Standard

Mugabe challenged to undergo HIV test
By Euphraciah Mahenga

PRESIDENT Mugabe, whose country has been hard hit by the Aids scourge and
whose close associates have succumbed to the disease, should undergo an HIV
test to help destigmatise the disease, groups and individuals involved in
the fight against the pandemic have said.

In separate interviews with The Standard it emerged that most people
battling to stop the spread of the killer disease felt that the time had
come for Mugabe to put himself forward for a public HIV test in order to
convince Zimbabweans that there was nothing sinister in such an act.
Mugabe leads a country whose infection rate ranks second only to Botswana in
the world with 25% of the adult population believed to be carrying the
deadly virus that causes Aids.
A staunch Catholic, Mugabe did not allow his beliefs to stop him from having
two children out of wedlock with his secretary, Grace, while his popular
first wife, Sally who was of Ghanaian origin, was battling a nagging renal
ailment, a few years ago.
Sally eventually died in 1992, giving Mugabe and Grace the freedom to make
official their once illicit affair which was controversially blessed by
Patrick Chakaipa, the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic church.
Speaking on the sidelines of a five-day Unifem workshop on human rights,
gender and HIV/Aids held in Harare last week, participants said given the
magnitude of the problem in the country, the President had to send a bold
message to all Zimbabweans about the need to undergo an HIV test as a means
of combating the dreaded Aids scourge.
"Our president is quite influential and we know that if he openly visits a
New Start Centre for testing and then speaks out against the stigma levelled
against those suffering from Aids-related diseases, there will be a
remarkable change because the people will then see that there is no harm in
visiting such centres.
Ordinary people are saying: 'Why should we go for tests when the leaders are
not going themselves," said a participant from Harare.
MDC shadow minister of health, Blessing Chebundo, said Mugabe should lead
his ministers and parliamentarians in the long overdue queue for an HIV test
which could prompt a behavioural change in a country in which every week an
estimated 5 000 people are dying from the disease.
"My own assertion is that in the past years, political leaders did not play
a significant role in combating Aids. They did not act with their bodies,
and I say it is now time for Mugabe, his cabinet and parliamentarians to act
with both body and soul," said Chebundo.
"New Start Centres should use politicians in their advertisements to send a
message out to the people like what is happening in Uganda, where the
leadership speaks openly about the pandemic," he added.
The Southern Africa Aids Dissemination Service (SAFAids) noted that the urge
for Zimbabweans to have themselves tested could be boosted if top political
leaders themselves embraced the idea.
"Although we can't say that the first family should go for testing, we feel
they should compliment what everyone else is doing," said Tariro Makanga, a
media officer with SAFAids.
A participant identified only as Chinyere said: "Our leadership,
particularly the presidency, should be in the forefront of the fight against
the stigma associated with an HIV test. It's surprising that they are taking
a back seat. We would appreciate it if leaders went first. It has happened
in South Africa and Uganda, so why can't it occur in Zimbabwe?"
However, war veterans leader Joseph Chinotimba insisted that it was not
right for Mugabe to go for testing.
"Aids haifoseredzwi kutestwa. Hazviite pamutemo kuti mambo atestwe Aids.
Akabuda ari positive mozoti kudii?" (You can't force anyone to undergo an
Aids test. It is not proper for the King to be tested because what would we
do if he were found to be HIV positive?) he told The Standard.
He added: "And for what reason kuenda kuNew Start Centre? Vanoenda kutest
vanenge vachifamba famba. Iwe naEditor wako makamboenda here? Seni
mupositori ndinoenda kunodii?" (It's only the promiscuous who go for Aids
A few years ago, the late vice president Joshua Nkomo set a precedent, which
was sadly not embraced by the Zanu PF political leadership, when he declared
that his eldest son, Tutani, had died of Aids.
Last year, Frank Guni, the then leader of the Zimbabwe Network for People
Living with HIV/Aids, disclosed that six of Mugabe's cabinet ministers were
infected with Aids.
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Zim Standard

Shiri backs down in farm stand off
By Itai Dzamara

LAND hungry settlers at Irene farm in Marondera claim to have recently
thwarted efforts by Air Marshall Perence Shiri to grab the farm from them
with the help of armed soldiers.

Settlers at the farm, the second to be invaded in February 2000 by the
Svosve people, told The Standard that Shiri had for three days tried to
coerce them into surrendering a farm which was the envy of many politicians.
Said Samuel Mangwende, a settler: "Three weeks ago, Shiri arrived at this
farm in a white Land Cruiser 4x4 with four men who were brandishing AK 47
rifles. Although the four men were in civilian clothes, we later established
that they were indeed members of the armed forces," said Mangwende.
Shiri is reported to have stated that he had been sent by government
officials to take over the farm because it had been allocated to him under
the A2 model.
The farm had, however, been demarcated for villagers under the A1 Model.
Mangwende said: "At that juncture, Headman Dennias Machingura boldly
questioned Shiri and criticised his use of armed soldiers to implement
whatever he claimed government officials had sent him to do."
The Standard is informed that the villagers vowed to defend themselves from
any attempts by the armed soldiers to snatch their farm and this prompted
Shiri to back down.
"The soldiers surprised us as soon as Shiri had left when they barred us
from entering our wheat fields. We wanted to water the fields as well as
spray insecticides. The soldiers said that they had been instructed by Shiri
to bar us from doing anything. This angered everyone and we vowed to fight
tooth and nail to defend the farm from Shiri, whom we suspected wanted to
grab the wheat which is almost mature," said Mangwende.
Contacted for comment, Shiri denied ever having visited the farm: "I have a
very good farm, Matepatepa in Mashonaland Central, and there is no need for
me to grab a farm," he said.
Asked whether he had ever visited the farm in the company of soldiers, he
replied: "If you have ever met me in town or paid a visit to my home, you
should know that wherever I go, I am guarded by soldiers. I am free to move
wherever I want," said Shiri.
There are four dams at Irene farm, where its former white owner, identified
only as Hemish, used to specialise in tobacco and wheat farming.
Efforts to establish its size were not successful.

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Zim Standard

Teachers' strike looms

ZIMBABWEAN teachers have resolved to go on strike when schools reopen on 8
September, thus increasing the likelihood that government will face a
crippling strike from the entire civil service sector, The Standard has
established. According to information reaching The Standard, the awarding of
a salary hike to junior doctors and the latest industrial action in the
health sector had given impetus to a showdown between the government and the
traditionally underpaid civil service sector.

Sources in the sector said the response by government to the doctors' plight
had given the impression that the only way to force government to act on
grievances was to strike.
Health professionals other than doctors and nurses went on strike last week
to push for a rational salary structure after government had awarded junior
and middle level doctors a 53% salary hike among other benefits after they
had participated in a protracted strike.
Leading the agenda for indefinite industrial action to push for better
working conditions in the civil service sector is the Zimbabwe Teachers
Union, which has in the past made little headway with government in its
calls for better working conditions and renumeration for its members.
Zimbabwe Teachers Union (Zimta) secretary-general, Peter Mabhande, confirmed
on Friday that teachers were advocating for industrial action.
Said Mahbande: "I can confirm that teachers are planning to go on strike
when the third term resumes. It's coming and cannot be stopped unless
something is done to improve their situation. Teachers believe they are
getting a raw deal. There is also a realisation that government reacts more
promptly to strikes than to negotiations. They are sending the wrong signals
and teachers have decided to take the bull by the horns. said Mabhande.
Mabhande said although his association was aware that the strike might
affect students preparing for their Ordinary and Advanced Level examination,
government's attitude had left the 55 000-strong Zimta with no other option.
Apart from rationalising salaries in the health sector, government recently
awarded uniformed forces a 155% increment, leaving teachers stranded.
Although he failed to be definitive about any industrial action by civil
servants, the executive secretary of the Public Service Association, Charles
Chiviru, confirmed that there was unrest in the sector.
"Government's approach to problems in the civil sector is a contributory
factor. When they review salaries, they do it piecemeal. They don't do it
across the board and the message they are sending out is that they only
react to industrial action," he said.
There are so many professionals other than doctors who are also underpaid
and common sense dictates that the review should be across the board. They
have to change their approach if they want to avoid imminent trouble with
civil servants," he said.
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Zim Standard

By Ken Mufuka

White farmers-the sacrificial lambs

WHEN countries are ruled by gods, human lives are often sacrificed without
so much as a whimper. But is it not the duty of any good government to
alleviate suffering-even among those one may disagree with?
I recently spent two weeks travelling the Zimbabwean countryside, putting
questions to weary residents in the former white-held farmlands. In the
first of two articles, I report the suffering, from the white farmer's point
of view. The names or nicknames are real as is the suffering and pathos.
Esigodini (formerly Essexvale) lies on the Bulawayo escarpment where
artesian wells can be drilled into the geographical fault with relative
ease. Four white families made use of this advantage by turning their
properties into some kind of green haven for gardeners and tourists. Within
one year, they were expelled. A South African named Jervey bought the
Country Inn. It was popular with American tourists because it was designed
as an African village, with round grass- thatched huts complete with piped
hot water and television sets.
War veterans invaded the neighbouring farm of Komani (nickname meaning
hurry-up). Jervey thought their drunken behaviour bad for his paying
customers and was subsequently given his marching orders. With those orders,
his $5 million investment went up in smoke. Ten black families lost their
jobs and a sign which reads: 'Ngozi-Danger' now braces the gate. Behind the
sign is an overgrown compound that once was the pride of Esigodini beer
drinkers and travellers.
Komani himself was locked out of his farm and house. He was a specialist in
horticulture and had a herd of Brahmin bulls and heifers. Arguing that his
specialist knowledge was beneficial to Zimbabwe and fearing that his animals
would soon die of maltreatment, he appealed to the governor for a stay
without success.
Six months later, Komani's farm looks overgrown and careworn. It is
suspected that some of his prize bulls went into the stomachs of the war
veterans. His vast investment is practically no more and only a few of the
50 black families who worked there are hanging around waiting for land
allocations from the veterans.
Tatamanzi (fetch water) had developed the best-known orange grove and tomato
garden at Esigodini. Tomato and cabbage harvests were so plentiful that
African women gleaners who followed the official harvesters often filled
their own baskets with vegetables and sold them at the public beer-hall.
The war veterans placed Tatamanzi under martial law-suspended all human
rights, harvested the oranges themselves and have now taken over his tomato
acreage. For fun, they have cut down some orange trees for firewood and
allocated themselves 100 trees each. They, however, accuse Tatamanzi of
throwing some cement into one of his wells. The orange trees are dry and
scruffy, the plush grass between the trees, which served as fodder for
cattle has been reduced to virtually nothing. Tatamanzi and his family have
been banished from the land they called home.
The veterans on the other hand, are jubilating. Esigodini Hotel is rotting
from lack of visitors. Four front street shops have been closed. The huge
missionary-run centre for African women's clubs has also closed. Esigodini
looks like a dead frontier town.
The biggest story of all is that of Rotarian Guy Cartwright of Marondera.
The Cartwrights came with Cecil Rhodes. Their land was a vast agro-company,
producing varieties of crops, dairy and beef animals, trees and flowers-the
Cartwright's had it all.
Significantly, the Cartwrights had a conscience. With Don Williams, chairman
of the Constitutional Association, they worked to provide bursaries for
black kids wanting to attend private colleges. As early as 1961, the
Cartwright farm was a haven of liberal gatherings. Students from Waddilove
were often invited into their home for tea and scones. A white man who
allowed blacks to share the same cups and dishes with him was at that time
considered a communist. The political tide was turning slowly towards the
Dominion Party. Guy Cartwright served as governor of the Rotary Club, built
a school for blacks on his farm and is highly spoken of and revered by black
The morality of land redistribution is unquestionable. The point here is
that not all white people are wicked oppressors, drinking the blood of
innocent blacks before they go to bed. Any superficial inquiry would have
established that the Cartwrights are virtuous citizens-unless one says
virtue in a white man counts for nothing.
The US secretary of state, General Colin Powell, has entertained their case.
The Rotary International and other human rights organisations are using this
case as a cause celebre. The London Daily Telegraph says in its editorial of
9 August that these events mark the end of Cecil Rhodes' dream.
Because of Zimbabwe's moderate climate, Rhodes hoped it would accommodate
the millions of unemployed Londoners. To make way for them, he hoped to
chase the Matabele into Barotseland while the Shona would serve the British
settlers as labourers.
Rhodes was a God. He ignored black suffering to achieve a dream. Ian Smith
was also a god. He too ignored human suffering in his quest for white
supremacy. Mukuru considers himself to be a god. He too has ignored white
and black suffering in his quest for black Zanu PF supremacy.
Zimbabwe has a double curse, its propensity to elect gods as rulers and the
gods' desire to establish racial supremacy forever. At the alter of racial
supremacy, human suffering is of no consequence whatsoever.
*Next week: Land Reform-The Black Perspective.
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Zim Standard

Last chance to wipe the slate clean

Perhaps by the time this paper hits the streets, President Mugabe might have
already announced his long-awaited new cabinet. As a responsible newspaper
what we can do at the moment is to make a last minute appeal to the
President, in case he decides to announce the new cabinet at the eleventh
hour, before it is sworn in tomorrow.

In any reshuffle, there is no point in changing a winning team, but in the
case of Zimbabwe, the team has not been winning. If anything, the cabinet
has been in a self-destruct mode. And the failure of the old always makes
people search for the new.
This is the time for the president to ponder whether he wants to continue
with the hardliners, the diehards who have contributed much to the
destruction of Zimbabwe, or whether he wants to usher in a new era of
reconciliation with reformist ministers in the interest of the country.
Very few Zimbabweans will bemoan the passing of the old guard that saw
Zimbabweans achieve its independence from Britain. Roses, however sweet,
need to be pruned. Knowing when to get out of the way is the most difficult
thing for any leader to recognise. But when an opportunity presents itself
it must be grabbed with open arms.
Since 1980, there has been a recycling of the old political elites and it
will be interesting to see if the President and the two Vice-Presidents who,
in any event, have been in the "departure lounge", will actually depart.
Then there are these visitors in Zanu PF, the mafikizolos. The
Johny-come-latelies have been playing the role of hardliners and have been
on a rampage, wreaking havoc in the country. These include the Johnos, the
Chinamasas and the Mades of this world. These guys have been an
embarrassment to the information, justice and agriculture portfolios in
Zimbabwe respectively. They have been purveyors of evil-period!
Clearly, such comedians (for that's what they are) must be put out to grass
for the good of the country. The need for ruthlessness at times cannot be
over emphasised. It is hard to think of a God-sent opportunity in which the
disposal of brain-dead ministers can take place than a cabinet reshuffle.
In a reshuffle, the President's driving passion must be to change things for
the better. It must not be seen as more of the same or mere window dressing.
The national interest should always be at the centre of government thinking
and action. For years, politicians in Zimbabwe have been preoccupied with
managerial politics, meaning that one climbs the ladder, occupies high
office and becomes arrogant-with no accountability whatsoever to the people
who put them there in the first place.
Take the land issue for example. How many times have people said that land
is a finite resource that must be redistributed in a transparent and
accountable manner for the sustainable development of the country, taking
into consideration that the same land will be needed by future generations.
But has the government listened? No.
Talking of land reform, an issue that has dominated local politics for the
past three years, the tragedy of Zimbabwe at he moment is that we have a
political leadership which is deaf to the pleas of its own people. It is as
if the country is their own private property. The ruling party is ignoring
the fact that every Zimbabwean regardless of colour is a shareholder in this
country and as such has a stake in its future and right to expect respect,
and not contempt, from its elected government.
For some time now, men and women of goodwill have been warning Zanu PF
against the folly and consequences of a chaotic land reform and the violence
and hatred unleashed by the ruling party on fellow Zimbabweans. But they
have been bashing their heads against a brick wall.
In the light of all this, we believe that whatever the composition of the
new cabinet, the time has come for Sadc, the African Union and the
Commonwealth to do much more to pressurise the government of Zimbabwe to
restore the rule of law and put a stop to the confusion and anarchy on the
commercial farms and the country as a whole.
South Africa holds the key. As it was with Rhodesia, so it is with Zimbabwe.
South Africa can never be secure politically and economically as long as the
Zimbabwean tragedy continues to unfold. South Africa, in particular, and the
Commonwealth, in general, must seize the bull by the horns and say to the
Zimbabwean government: Enough is enough. That there is a high price to pay
for plunging the region into instability and economic mess. That the region
cannot develop and realise its full potential in a situation of civil strife
and instability.
Every time the ruling party leaders open their mouths, you know that what
they are going to say bears no relation to what is happening on the ground.
The confusion surrounding the one-farmer-one-farm policy and the recent
different magistrates' rulings on farm evictions testify to this fact. We
are therefore entitled to ask the government: What is the policy and
practice regarding these on-going evictions?
Is your policy anything but the truth?
Despite all the violence, the stubbornness on the part of Zanu PF and the
economic hardships, Zimbabweans have proved to themselves they they are a
resilient, decent and peace-loving people. In truth, we are at a
disadvantage and require assistance from without the country.
Not, of course, to topple President Mugabe as is being sensationalised by
the state-controlled media, but to pressurise the Zimbabwean authorities to
move in the direction of universal democracy, respect for human rights and
the rule of law.
In fact, not enough is being done to show the world how the Johnos of this
world have been using the government-controlled media to distort the
situation in Zimbabwe. We have state-controlled media in Zimbabwe who lie,
deceive and spin with impunity. They are above the government's own laws and
cannot and will not be prosecuted and enjoy the freedom to sow their devious
propaganda at will.
As long as the world continues to see the Zimbabwe crisis in racial terms,
we have little hope of making progress. Political leaders of African states
in the Commonwealth must develop the backbone to admit that what is
important at this stage is the restoration of the rule of law, political
stability and an end to persecution of Zimbabweans and not issues of race or
True, we would not be facing many of our present pathologies in the land
question if it were not for the legacy of colonialism. But we must realise
that today much of the responsibility lies at our feet.
In alerting the government to the folly of its ways and urging it to correct
them, we believe we are practising the highest form of patriotism. Zimbabwe
cannot withstand the tide of world opinion against it.
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Zim Standard

  Hello, hello, peep, peep, peep overthetop
By Brian Latham

IT has been established that it takes an average of 45 attempts, and even
more minutes, to make a telephone call on a cell phone in a certain troubled
central African country. It is understood that, with the rules of economics
turned on their head, the main competing service providers are neck and neck
in a race to see who can provide the worst service.

Still, angry consumers say that it would be bearable if the service
providers could provide a little more variety. Instead of an immediate
"beep, beep, beep" whenever the dial button is pressed, why not a little
tune to ease the stress? And instead of that boring "network busy" text
message on the cell phone, why not something more imaginative? Perhaps:
"Keep trying, you'll get through eventually."
Then there are the times when you are diverted to someone's voice mail, even
though you know their phone is on, working and available. Perhaps a little
sign saying, "Got you, fool, and did you know you're actually paying for
And why, when driving past the most equal of all comrades' palace, do the
things insist on making painfully loud whirring noises before inexplicably
cutting off?
Citizens of the troubled central African country complain that the whole
thing is more than a little irritating, especially as it is often quicker to
drive across town to deliver a message than it is to phone. And cheaper too,
because each of those 15- second calls that suddenly die in a series of
nauseating beeps is charged as a normal call.
Sometimes it can take a day and several hundred phone calls just to say,
"Hi, how about dinner on Friday night?" Hit redial and arrange a venue. Hit
redial and arrange a time. Hit redial and ask whom else to inviteS And in
between each of those redials, there are scores and scores of "network busy"
messages and hundreds of stupid beep, beep, beeps.
It has even been suggested that fashion conscious residents of the troubled
central African nation are going back to those old mobile phones that looked
and felt like bricks, saying that at least you can use them to brain muggers
on the head because frankly, who the hell uses a cell phone to make a call
these days? Maybe the old ones did look like bricks, but the new ones, given
the state of the networks, make you sound like you've swallowed a brick.
Worse still, everything you say is repeated back at you, making even a
simple chat sound like an unruly conference call conducted by excitable
Chinese gentlemen busy organising World War Three.
It has been decided that the solution lies in appropriate technology and
Over The Top has learnt that at least one service provider is working on a
cell phone with a chigayo handle attached to the side, much like old party
line phones once had. That way all you do is crank away at the handle until
some somnambulant operator asks what number you want and connects you,
making all those beeping noises the operator's problem, rather than yours.
It seems a good and stress relieving situation, though it would probably be
a good idea to do the gaya-gaya movements out in the open. Attempting to get
a connection with your hand and your cellular in your pocket could give the
wrong idea entirely and may even lead to your arrest.
On the other hand, users of these now largely worthless contraptions in the
troubled central African country have suggested that simply not paying one's
bill for a couple of months might provide the necessary wake up call to the
service providers.
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The Australian

Hundreds 'raped' in Zimbabwe

August 26, 2002
HUNDREDS of women and girls were being raped in rural Zimbabwe by President
Robert Mugabe's youth brigades, a British newspaper said today.

Girls as young as 12 were being raped, tortured and forcibly kept as
concubines in camps in what human rights lawyers had branded "systematic
political cleansing" of the population, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

A former militia member interviewed by the newspaper claimed he and others
received orders to attack the wives and daughters of opposition
sympathisers, the report said.

Human rights activists say the use of rape is part of a drive to terrify all
opposition into submission.
"They are raping on a mass scale," Frances Lovemore, member of the
Harare-based Amani Trust which monitors torture, told the paper.

Lovemore claimed girls were being systematically taken and used and abused
by because of their families' political views.

"We're seeing an enormous prevalence of rape and enough cases to say it's
being used by the state as a political tool," said Tony Reeler, a director
of the Amani Trust.

The Sunday Telegraph said the Amani Trust was compiling video evidence of
rape camps set up for youth brigades and riot police in rural areas and
hoped to bring Mugabe to trial at the international court of human rights.

Victims living in hiding told the newspaper how they had been gang-raped by
police and war veterans and had their genitals burnt with iron rods.

They said the abuse was punishment for their parents not supporting Mugabe
in the March presidential poll which returned him to power amid widespread
allegations of fraud and voter intimidation.
In a country where about 40 per cent of the population was HIV positive,
rape could amount to a death sentence, the report said.

The report told of one 12-year-old girl, in the Vumba mountains in eastern
Zimbabwe, who was gang-raped by war veterans and policemen while her mother
and younger sisters were forced to chant Mugabe's praises and watch the

She was raped because her father supported the country's main opposition
group, the Movement for Democratic Change.

Other victims were severely beaten, and some claimed brigade members
urinated on their food supplies - a terrible indignity in a land where
millions were close to starvation, the report said.

"We found a population living in terror, some towns completely "cleansed" of
all opposition," a Sunday Telegraph reporter said.

Zimbabwean officials were speaking in chilling terms about the need to take
the country back to zero, the report said.

Last week, Didymus Mutasa, the organisation secretary of Mugabe's ruling
Zanu-PF Party said: "We would be better off with only six million people
(out of a total 12 million), with our own people who support the liberation

The report emerged as world attention focuses on Mugabe's efforts to evict
white farmers while famine threatens the country.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw today attacked Mugabe's Zimbabwe as a
"pariah state" amid reports that Britain is to step up pressure on the
president's regime at the UN Earth Summit in Johannesburg that starts

According to UN figures, six million people, making up half the country's
population, are facing starvation.

Police and Zanu-PF supporters have arrested about 200 white farmers for
ignoring eviction notices to quit their land, served on about 2900 white

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The Scotsman

Mugabe plays musical chairs with cabinet

Jane Fields In Harare

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, who is expected to address the Earth
summit today, yesterday announced a tough cabinet which offers little little
hope to white farmers desperate for some respite from the current land grab.

Defying international disapproval, President Mugabe kept almost all of his
hardline supporters, including Joseph Made, the lands minister.

Mr Made has presided over the controversial and violent programme to take
land from white landowners to give to new black farmers, which could see
more than 3,000 white farmers losing their homes.

The only cabinet minister who had managed to retain a degree of
international respect - Simba Makoni, the finance minister - was dropped. He
had roused the president's ire by calling for the devaluation of Zimbabwe's
frail currency, and was replaced by the former trade minister, a staunch
Mugabe supporter.

The lone white member of cabinet, Timothy Stamps, the health minister, was
also dropped. His health has been poor since he reportedly suffered a stroke
last year.

Mr Mugabe, who has faced a barrage of international criticism this month
over the attempted eviction of hundreds of white farmers, unexpectedly
announced on Friday that he had dissolved his cabinet. Hopes had been high
that the 78-year-old war veteran might tone down a new government in a bid
to court favour - and desperately-needed food aid - from abroad.

But those hopes were quashed with news of the reshuffle. It was a "non-event
which came as a big yawn to Zimbabweans who had hoped for a progressive and
forward-looking cabinet", the independent Standard newspaper commented

Professor Eliphas Mukonoweshoro, a political analyst, told The Scotsman that
"what we have here is just a game of musical chairs". He said the members of
the cabinet were "people who have buried their heads in the sand, who
believe that Zimbabwe has no connection to the rest of the world, people
with no understanding of modern government. There is absolutely nothing new

White farmers hoping for a softened approach to land seizures are meant to
understand that Mr Mugabe is determined to push his land reform programme to
its bitter end.

Meanwhile, the siege on white farmers continues. The police have now
arrested more than 277 farmers this month for refusing to leave their farms,
in a clampdown that has been described as tantamount to "ethnic cleansing".
Most of the farmers say that they want payment for their houses before they
leave, while others have argued that their eviction orders are invalid.

Australia announced yesterday that it is close to following the European
Union and the United States' lead in imposing sanctions on the southern
African nation.

The beleaguered Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) reported this weekend that
farmers countrywide were being visited, and in some cases threatened, by
police and the new "owners" of their homes. And in a sign of growing fears
over safety, the mainly white body has stopped publishing the names of
individual farmers who report cases of violence and intimidation.

At least 11 white farmers have been killed over the past 29 months, as state
media and the government stir up resentment against those it calls "greedy"

Despite the food crisis which threatens half of Zimbabwe's population, there
is no sign that the government might be considering letting experienced
white farmers stay on to produce food crops.
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