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


 25 August 2004

 MDC To Suspend Participation in Elections

The Spirit of Mauritius

The MDC National Executive met today and deliberated on a number of
key issues that are affecting Zimbabwe. The Executive particularly
welcomed the spirit of the SADC summit in Mauritius last week. The
unanimous agreement on a SADC protocol on regional electoral
standards represents a significant step forward in the enhancement
of a solid democratic culture across the region. 

This development also signifies the political will that exists
within the SADC to assist the process of African Renaissance.

The Executive noted that in Zimbabwe the implementation of the SADC
standards will require major changes to the political environment
and legal electoral framework.


Although the Zimbabwe government is a signatory to the new SADC
protocol on elections, the Executive does not believe that the
government acted in good faith and consequently harbours serious
doubts as to the government's commitment to enforcing the electoral
standards contained in the Protocol. 

 The Executive also expressed deep concern at the government's
unrelenting assault on democratic rights of the people as
illustrated by the gazetting last week of a draft bill that contains
provisions that pose a severe threat to the activities of civic
organisations through which Zimbabweans organise themselves around
issues of concern.

 In the light of the continued absence of any tangible sign that the
government is prepared to enforce the SADC protocol on elections in
its broadest sense, and thereby address the MDC's own minimum
standards for elections (that are contained in our `RESTORE'
document), the Executive has decided to suspend participation in all
forms of elections in Zimbabwe.

 The MDC will not participate in elections until the political space
has been opened up and a legal, institutional and administrative
framework for elections has been established that harnesses
acceptable levels of transparency and fairness in the electoral

 For this to happen the government needs to combine a comprehensive
reform of Zimbabwe's electoral framework with significant political
reforms, in particular the ending of political violence and the
repeal of repressive statutes such as POSA and AIPPA  that place
gratuitous curbs on the independent media and citizens' democratic
rights pertaining to freedom of speech, assembly and association.  

 Harare City Council

The Executive further noted with dismay the continuous efforts of
the Zanu PF government to prevent the elected Harare Council from
carrying out their basic functions. As a result of this unrelenting
political interference with their activities, and the government's
demonstrable contempt for their roles as democratically elected
representatives of the people, the remaining MDC councillors in the
city have this morning decided to resign en masse. 

Paul Themba Nyathi

Secretary for Information and Publicity
Back to the Top
Back to Index




Analysis of the Situation of Displaced Farm Workers in Zimbabwe

Refugees International
August 13, 2004

Executive Summary

Zimbabwe's Fast Track Land Reform Program and politically-motivated
intimidation and harassment have created an internally displaced population
of more than 150,000 former farm workers and have also caused thousands of
Zimbabweans to flee their country. The Government of Zimbabwe refuses to
acknowledge that their implementation of the land redistribution program
has caused forced displacement. To further compound the issue, governmental
authorities have increasingly restricted access to farming areas for
humanitarian agencies and independent analysts making it difficult for the
displaced and other vulnerable groups to access humanitarian assistance.

During an assessment mission to Zimbabwe conducted in June 2004, Refugees
International was able to document incidents of targeted violence against
former workers, such as the destruction of homes and wells, the latter
resulting in the deaths of children due to diarrheal diseases contracted
from drinking unclean water. RI also found displaced populations
effectively abandoned due to Government of Zimabwe prevention of assistance
efforts by international agencies and local non-governmental organizations.

Many of the commercial farms that were marked for acquisition under the
Fast Track Land reform were seized violently. However, not all of the
former farm workers have been displaced due to violent eviction.
Displacement is also due to economic conditions on the former commercial

Within the former farm workers, there are five groups:
· People internally "trapped," who are unable to leave their farms;
· People displaced temporarily to forested or uncultivated areas;
· Returnees to communal areas;
· Peri-urban squatters;
· Refugees and economic migrants.

Within these groups, foreign workers are particularly at risk.
In addition, there are other vulnerable groups that are not necessarily
displaced and not specifically former farm workers, but who are also being
denied services and are in need of assistance. These include some new
settlers, orphan-headed households and households without an able-bodied

A considerable portion of the former farm worker population is in urgent
need of humanitarian assistance. Many have little or no access to food,
shelter, medical care, clean water, sanitation services, and education.
While international and national humanitarian agencies are willing and able
to provide assistance, national and local authorities are actively closing
down any avenues of access to this vulnerable population. The best way to
rebuild trust between the government of Zimbabwe and the humanitarian
community is for all actors involved to focus and adhere to humanitarian
principles such as neutrality, impartiality, and non-discrimination while
working in coordination to provide assistance on the basis of need.


Refugees International recommends that:
The Government of Zimbabwe
· Acknowledge that former farm workers are increasingly vulnerable and take
steps to meet their basic needs, including allowing humanitarian agencies
to provide direct assistance to them.
· Form mixed needs assessment teams with local NGOs to conduct visits and
ascertain the exact levels of vulnerability of groups living in the former
commercial farming areas.
· Provide access to land to those former farm workers that, due to
unemployment and increasing destitution, are unable to meet their
subsistence needs.
· Invest in skills training and education for those farm workers who have
not been retained in the commercial agriculture sector in order to allow
redeployment to other economic sectors.
· Improve living conditions in squatter camps and informal settlements that
host considerable numbers of former farm workers. When available, land
should be allocated to them and basic community services should be

The Government of Zimbabwe and the United Nations:

· Jointly undertake a comprehensive vulnerability assessment in the
commercial farming areas, rural communal lands and informal settlement. Due
to the distrust between the Government of Zimbabwe and the United Nations,
it is also recommended that a neutral party agreed upon by both should be
included in the process of forming the assessment teams.
· Devise and implement a plan of action to strengthen vital community
services, such as health clinics, water points and primary education
facilities in areas affected by incoming groups of former farm workers.

The Donor Community:

· Devote greater financial resources to the former commercial farm areas to
address humanitarian needs. These resources should be allocated based
exclusively on degree of vulnerability of beneficiaries.
 Refugees International conducted an assessment of the situation for
internally displaced former farm workers in Zimbabwe from June 9-19, 2004.

** The full context of this report is availalbe electronically on request
via email from the JAG Office.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Wed 25 August 2004

      JOHANNESBURG - Newly appointed United States Ambassador to South
Africa, Jendayi Frazer, says a "coalition of the willing" must be built to
push for change in Zimbabwe.

      Frazer said the quiet diplomacy pursued by South Africa and other
African countries in their relations with the Mugabe government needed a
re-look because there was no evidence that it was working.

      The United States would be prepared to be part of such a "coalition of
the willing" if it was welcomed by other African countries who, she said,
must take the lead on resolving the Zimbabwe crisis. The US could not act on
its own, "put the boot on the ground" and give Mugabe 48 hours to go as
requested by Zimbabweans who frequently stage anti-Mugabe demonstrations in
South Africa.

      "There is clearly a crisis in Zimbabwe and everyone needs to state
that fact," Frazer said at a breakfast meeting with foreign correspondents
in Johannesburg yesterday. "The economy is in free fall. There is a
continuing repressive environment. There needs to be a return to democracy.
Zimbabwe was really one of the stable countries in this region....It had so
much to offer to the region."

      An open admission by regional and other African leaders that there was
indeed a crisis in Zimbabwe that needed resolution was a crucial alternative
to quiet diplomacy, coupled with an open call for public talks between ZANU
PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

      Frazer said the kind of "anti-Western bashing" by some SADC leaders at
their summit in Mauritius  last week would hardly help to resolve the
Zimbabwe crisis. It also did not help in meeting the realization that there
was indeed a crisis in Zimbabwe.

      The US believed  that South Africa could  play a positive role in
returning Zimbabwe to democracy and that  President Thabo Mbeki's government
indeed had the means to do so. "It (South Africa) has the most leverage
probably of any other country in the sub-region and should therefore take a
leadership role."

      Frazer said it was particularly important to have Zimbabwe returned to
democracy because the New Partnership for Africa's Developmen talked about
Africa's responsibility for democratic governance across the continent. "The
African Union (AU) and South Africa have already accepted the responsibility
to promote democracy and they should do so specifically in the case of

      She noted that there was greater repression in Zimbabwe now and the
space left for the opposition to operate had shrunk ahead of elections next
year. "So we have got to re-look at the approach that South Africa is taking
in terms of the quiet diplomacy ....It's not evident that it's working at
this point."

      "We have always talked about building coalitions of the willing and I
for one believe that the coalitions of the willing are going to be the new
force in global affairs. If we are welcomed we will certainly be part of it
(the coalition) because we see Zimbabwe as undermining the entire
sub-region.The food crisis that we see and that we are responding to stems
largely from Zimbabwe." ZimOnline

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Voter registration continues ­ contrary to agreed SADC electoral standards
Wed 25 August 2004

      HARARE - Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede has continued registering
voters in pro-ruling ZANU PF party areas almost two months after officially
closing down the exercise.

      Investigations by ZimOnline revealed that officials from Mudede's
department have, since July, quietly scoured the three Mashonaland
provinces, moving from door to door registering new voters for next year's
crucial parliamentary election. Mudede announced in June that he had closed
voter registration carried out since March 2004.

      The three provinces of Mashonaland East, Central and West are
perceived as strongholds of President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF party.
Mudede, himself a known ZANU PF supporter, refused to take questions on the
matter when contacted.

      "Voter registration is always an ongoing process, especially before an
election. The issue of it being done in some places whilst not being done in
others has always come from the opposition and I have nothing to do with
that," he said.

      It could not immediately be established how many new voters Mudede has
registered since officially pronouncing the process closed. But a senior
official at Mudede's office, who did not want to be named for fear of
victimisation, said: "By the time we will be through we will have registered
several tens of thousands of new voters. Our instruction is to get as many
people as
      possible in Mashonaland to register as voters."

      In the March-to-June registration drive, which was publicised and
carried out all over the country, Mudede also concentrated his officials in
Mashonaland where ZANU PF has traditionally enjoyed most support.

      Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party spokesman Paul
Themba Nyathi accused Mudede of non-transparency in his handling of voter
registration. This, he said, breached the norms and standards for elections
agreed to by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) just two
weeks ago.

      "The recently adopted SADC principles on electoral standards make it
clear that the voter registration process has to be transparent. But we
continue receiving reports that Mudede is conducting the process in some
areas whilst leaving out  others. This time we will not accept such daylight
robbery," Nyathi said.

      SADC leaders, meeting in Mauritius earlier this month for their annual
summit, agreed on electoral norms which include setting up independent
commissions to run elections, ensuring transparency in electoral processes,
and upholding the rule of law as well as human and individual rights in the
run-up to and the actual conduct of elections.

      South African president Thabo Mbeki told the press after the summit
that the agreed electoral charter was based on the SADC Treaty and that any
member state who violated the treaty could face expulsion from the regional

      President Mugabe has announced his intention to make changes to
Zimbabwe's undemocratic electoral laws in line with SADC requirements. But
human rights groups and the opposition say the proposed reforms are cosmetic
only. They point out that the new Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to be set up
will lack independence as its chairman will be appointed by the president.

      Mudede's voters roll has been cited as one of the biggest hurdles to
truly democratic elections because of its immense inaccuracies. For example
the voters' register to be used in the March 2005 general election is said
to still contain more than 2.4 million ghost voters, about half of the total
five to six million registered voters in the country. ZimOnline
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

National youth service trainees recruited for food distribution
Wed 25 August 2004

      HARARE - The Grain Marketing Board has begun what looks like a
concerted effort to recruit trainees of the government's controversial
national youth service programme, ZimOnline has established.

      The state-owned GMB is the only company permitted by law to trade in
staple foods such as maize and wheat. The grain utility also distributes
food to the needy on behalf of the government in times of shortages. With
Harare insisting it has sufficient supplies and does not require assistance
from foreign agencies this year, the GMB will be solely in charge of food
aid distribution across Zimbabwe.

      Agriculture Minister Joseph Made, under whose portfolio the GMB falls,
could not  be reached for comment. Youth Development Minister, retired army
brigadier Ambrose Mutinhiri, confirmed the recruitment:  "The national youth
training certificate is one of those respectable qualifications employers
consider, although it is not government policy to make it compulsory."

      Churches, human rights groups, the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) party  and outside observers like the International
Parliamentary Union have accused the national youth service trainees of
systematically harassing and terrorizing the government's political

      Officials at the GMB's branches across the country, who did not want
to be named for fear of victimization, said they had been instructed "from
the top" to ensure all job seekers presented their national service
certificate first before they could be hired.

      An official at the GMB's depot in Chegutu town (about 100 km west of
Harare) said, "Yes we were instructed from the top to recruit a certain
percentage from National service every time we recruit personnel."  Close to
60 youths were recruited so far this month, 31 of them on Monday last week

      Another 20 youths were employed last week by the GMB's depot at
Norton, 40 km west of Harare.

      The GMB officials could not say what duties the youths were hired to
perform. But they said they expected them to help run the government
company's food distribution exercise across the country.

      The Zimbabwe government has in the past been accused of denying food
to MDC supporters as punishment for backing the opposition party. Harare
denies the charges. ZimOnline
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Businessman James Makamba out of jail
Wed 25 Aug 2004

      HARARE - High Court Judge Lawrence Kamocha yesterday ordered
businessman and top ruling ZANU PF official James Makamba freed from jail
after quashing five charges of externalising foreign currency against him.
      The businessman, who is still to be sentenced on six other charges of
illegally dealing in foreign currency that he has already pleaded guilty to,
was out of jail by last night.

      Makamba (51), who has been in jail for seven months, was arrested for
allegedly externalising several millions of pounds and about US$ 1 million,
and illegally buying properties abroad in contravention of foreign exchange

      However, the state's case gradually collapsed, with prosecutors unable
to produce evidence to sustain their allegations. Eventually Makamba was
convicted on his own plea on six charges of illegally selling US$130 000 to
his mobile phone company, Telecel.

      Top government and ZANU-PF officials as well as Makamba's relatives
and friends had privately indicated that although Makamba was guilty of some
of the charges he was facing, his ordeal in jail was because of suspicions
by President Robert Mugabe that the businessman had been having an affair
with his wife Grace.

      According to the officials, operatives from the Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO), who are seconded to guard Grace, had told Mugabe about
the "unusually frequent and suspicious meetings" between her and Makamba at
private places.

      They claimed that Makamba had also done "himself great harm" by
sending flowers and presents to Grace Mugabe through intermediaries. Some of
the flowers were reportedly received on behalf of the First Lady by the CIO
security men. Grace is said to have explained her meetings with Makamba as

      It could not be established by late last night whether the state
planned to appeal against Kamocha's ruling. ZimOnline

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Business Day

      Zvobgo the president Zimbabwe never had


      VETERAN Zimbabwean politician Eddison Zvobgo, who died on Sunday after
a long illness, left indelible footprints on the local political landscape.
A long-standing rival of President Robert Mugabe in the ruling Zanu (PF),
Zvobgo was described by some as "the president that Zimbabwe never had",
while others said he was a "brilliant political failure".

      Zvobgo had an illustrious political and academic career that allowed
him to shape the country's progression from late 1950s until his death at

      Zvobgo was educated in Zimbabwe, SA and Lesotho, and he attained his
doctorate in law at Harvard University in the US. He used to say he was more
educated than Mugabe who has seven degrees, boasting that he studied
"vertically", while Mugabe studied "horizontally".

      At a graduation ceremony a few years ago he once told students to
study hard until they became like "your teachers, lecturers, headmasters,
principals, the president (Mugabe) and then myself".

      Zvobgo was also a veteran nationalist. He was involved in the
liberation struggle against British colonial rule. While studying he also
participated in liberation movements that preceded formation of the ruling
Zanu (PF) in which he was a founder member in 1963.

      Some of the political and legal developments he initiated after
independence in 1980 consolidated democratic institutions in the country.
Zvobgo oversaw the modifications of the country's constitution and general
legislation with mixed fortunes. As minister for nearly 20 years and Zanu
(PF) MP for far longer he restructured the local government system and
greatly improved its operations.

      Zvobgo also influenced changes in the country's jurisprudence by
encouraging an incorporation of good aspects of English law into Zimbabwe's
Roman Dutch system. He was also instrumental in training of judicial
officers and government legal draftsmen.

      Zvobgo also opposed a raft of repressive laws on the media and trade
unions from being enacted when he was chairman of parliament's legal
committee. In 2002 he described a media law proposed by Information Minister
Jonathan Moyo as "the most calculated and determined assault on liberties I
have seen in years".

      In 1993 Zvobgo urged journalists to read more on different subjects,
including "basic science and economics", saying he had discovered that
interviews with them were usually a "test of endurance" due to their
"scandalous ignorance".

      Also, Zvobgo tried to make his colleagues in the executive appreciate
the concept of separation of powers, especially with regard to the
independence of parliament and the judiciary. He was at the forefront of
forcing Mugabe to accept the botched constitutional reform exercise between

      Such was his influence that at one time it was taken for granted he
would be Mugabe's successor. Friends and foes alike acknowledged his
brilliance as a politician and legal luminary, and believed he could be a
leader of substance as president.

      However, there were changes Zvobgo influenced that had negative
consequences for Zimbabwe. For instance, he was at the forefront of
introducing the executive state presidency in 1989, which firmed up Mugabe's
blossoming tyranny.

      Zvobgo stood up to Mugabe on a number of issues, but failed to
graduate from internal protest politics to present himself as an alternative
leader to Mugabe. As a result he disappointed many admirers.

      Muleya is Harare correspondent.

      Aug 25 2004 07:44:14:000AM Dumisani Muleya Business Day 1st Edition

Back to the Top
Back to Index


Mark Thatcher arrested in coup probe
Wed 25 August, 2004 08:57

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South African police have arrested the son of former
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on suspicion of involvement in a coup plot
in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea, police sources say.

A spokesman for the FBI-style Scorpions unit said on Wednesday that "the son
of a prominent former British politician" had been arrested after a search
and seizure operation at a Cape Town residence.

Police sources said the suspect was Mark Thatcher, now a businessman who
maintains a home in Cape Town. He was expected to appear in court later on

Scorpions spokesman Makhonsini Nkosi said the arrest was part of a probe
into what officials say was a plot to topple President Teodoro Obiang Nguema
Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, sub-Saharan Africa's third largest oil

"We are investigating him on charges of contravening the Regulation of
Foreign Military Assistance Act. This is in relation to the possible funding
and logistical assistance in relation to the attempted coup in Equatorial
Guinea," Nkosi said.

British High Commission (embassy) spokesman Nick Sheppard said the embassy
was checking reports of Thatcher's arrest. "If Mr. Thatcher has been
arrested we will offer him the normal consular assistance we offer to any
British national who is arrested in SA," he said.

Two groups of men, including a number of South Africans, are being tried in
courts in Equatorial Guinea and Zimbabwe on charges of acting as mercenaries
in connection with the plot.

Thatcher moved to Cape Town in 1996 from the United States, where he was
involved in several security-related businesses.

Local media have said that he is close to Simon Mann, the former British
special forces member regarded as the leader of the Zimbabwe group of
suspected mercenaries, who were arrested in March when their plane landed in
Harare on what officials said was a trip to join co-conspirators in
Equatorial Guinea.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Food-for-work programme fails
Thu 26 August 2004

HARARE - A Zimbabwe government food-for-work programme is failing to
find any takers because of the little money offered.

Under the programme,  government contracts destitute people to
perform duties and work beneficial to their own community in return
for money to buy food.

People are paid Z$5 000 a month, which is barely enough to buy two
loaves of low quality bread. A 20 kg pack of the staple maize meal
costs an average Z$20 000. A family of six needs about 40kg of maize
meal per month.

The Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) and the Rural and
District Councils Association have now asked the government to hike
payments to make the programme more attractive.  The associations
say municipalities and rural councils are being overburdened by
requests for food assistance which could be reduced if there were
enough funds for the food-for-work programme..

UCAZ vice president Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube said, "The programme is
very noble but people are shunning it. They are saying that it is
not worth participating in even though they have no food."

"On the other hand NGOs have been stopped from feeding people, so at
the end of the day it is the councils that are burdened by requests
for food. But we cannot cope because we are financially handicapped.
That is why we are telling the government to increase the payment
and remove the burden from us."

Social Welfare Minister Paul Mangwana, who is responsible for the
programme, could not be reached for comment. ZimOnline
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Zimbabwe illegal immigrants fill Botswana graves
Thu 26 August 2004

FRANCISTOWN, Botswana - Authorities in Botswana¹s second largest
city of Francistown say they are burying at least two Zimbabwean
immigrants as paupers every week.

Like most countries in the region Botswana gives pauper burials to
deceased people whose relatives are either unknown or cannot be

Principal Social Welfare Officer in Francistown, Neo Sekate, told
ZimOnline that the city had carried out 84 pauper burials since the
beginning of the year, with 71 of the deceased believed to have been

Many Zimbabwean refugees work as cheap labour on Botswana farms. It
is alleged that when they become seriously ill they are usually
dumped by their employers at government hospitals. ZimOnline 
Back to the Top
Back to Index

JAG CLASSIFIED: Updated 24th August 2004

Please send any classified adverts for publication in this newsletter to:
JAG Classifieds:

1.  Advert Received 18th August 2004

Skilled in general gardening, pool maintenance, plant propagation,
vegetables and fruit trees.
Single domestic accommodation available.
Telephone: 851873 or 091-343198

2.  Advert Received 18th August 2004

Urgently required by a 4 year old, any new or old
LEGO with big or small building blocks,

Please contact Joyce with a price at

3.  Advert Received 18th August 2004
PACKING MACHINE for sale - a fully automatic form, fill & seal packaging
machine suitable for packing liquids in sachets.
Tel: Ian - 781901/2 or 011218288

4.  Advert Received 19th August 2004

Thorntree Press SA Thorntree Press (Pvt) Ltd.,
P.O. Box 1594, P.O. Box 9243 Hillside,
Pinetown 3600, Bulawayo
South Africa Zimbabwe

Tel: (031) 7026932 Tel: (263) (9) 241417
E-mail: * E-mail:

First there was FOTHERGILL **..  more than a biography **. A blend of
characters and conservation history that will inform and entertain those
who appreciate Africa's wilderness and wildlife.
(Magnum Magazine)
           **.. Keith Meadows has transformed a heroic story into a
masterpiece of factual anecdote with invaluable insight into animal
behaviour *. one of the continent's most innovative writers.  (John
Michell - Out There Magazine)

Then came SAND IN THE WIND ** fascinating and evocative.  Keith
Meadows has a keen eye for drama and a great affinity with Nature.  (John
Gordon Davis)
          ** a fascinating hard-to-put-down novel. Keith Meadows has done
a marvellous job of weaving vivid descriptions of the Africa he knows so
intimately, across a time frame that saw such massive changes in that vast
continent.  I recommend his book as a superb read.  (Grits Gresham -
Shooting Editor of Sports Afield for 25 years; Executive Field Editor for
three National Rifle magazines, television host, etc.

His third book was SOMETIMES WHEN IT RAINS, subtitled White Africans
In Black Africa **.  An important contribution to the annals of
Zimbabwe/Rhodesia.  (Natal Mercury)
..........  Keith Meadows has succeeded once again in writing a stirring
elegy to a fading way of life when character, adventure and strong opinion
ruled.  He has assembled an unforgettable cast of characters, some notable,
others unsung, all of them astonishing.  For anyone who wants to understand
the allure of an African land, Sometimes When It Rains is essential
reading.  (John Heminway - author of African Journeys and No Man's Land.
Executive producer and host of the PBS series, Travels)

Few countries have felt the tumult of the winds of change more than Kenya,
Congo and Rhodesia.
And long before Harold Macmillan made those words famous in Cape Town in
February 1960 when he addressed the South African government, Gil Freeman
had already felt the full force of their violence.  On a farm at the foot
of the Aberdare Mountains in Kenya, his parents and his sister were
slaughtered by the anti-government disciples of Mau Mau in February 1953.
He was seventeen
years old.

Beginning in Kenya and finishing in Rhodesia, BETWEEN THE SUNLIGHT AND THE
THUNDER is a major novel of a fast-changing Africa that covers 25 years of
colonial history when those winds wreaked havoc on people and wildlife
alike.  In a blend of fact and fiction, of real-life, disguised and
invented characters in three countries, this historical novel is violent,
harrowing and hauntingly beautiful, written by a person whose knowledge and
love of Africa bleeds through every page.  Woven into the story is the
eternal triangle, one woman and the two men who love her.
The consequences evolve against the background of one of the most explosive
periods of African history.

If you enjoyed any of Keith Meadows' books, his new major novel, BETWEEN
THE SUNLIGHT AND THE THUNDER, due out for Christmas, may be of interest to
you.  If you would like to know more, and take advantage of the special
pre-publishing offer, e-mail him in the first instance via the above
Zimbabwe e-mail address.

5.  Advert Received 19th August 2004

Two bedroom town house with small garden to rent in Josiah Chinamano Ave,
Please contact Harington at tel. 861736 or 091 237793.  Available 1 Sept.

6.  Advert Received 20th August 2004

either for sale or lease on caretaker basis.
Beautiful, well situated, secure double storey house with cottage
overlooking Leopard Rock Hotel.
Please phone

7.  Advert Received 23rd August 2004

Please could you put the following for sale on your classifieds :

1. 5 x 20 litres Alachlor @ $500 000 each

2. Universal 500 (Mushandi) Tractor, reasonable condition, $18m

Contact Pete Kabell : 04-300129 or 091-253985

8.  Advert Received 23rd August 2004

Wanted Urgently

1 Gardner with swimming pool experience.

2 House maids (Cooking skills a plus)

The above must have connectable references, reliable, honest and good with

Accommodation supplied - Colne Valley

To start between 30th August - 6th September 2004.

Contact No 091 324381 or e.mail -


9.  Advert Received 23rd August 2004





10.  Advert Received 24th August 2004

Please advertise the following:

21 ft Tarpin cabin cruiser with blue line mercury 150HP motor includes
electric start & power trim, Kariba Veteran, asking price - 18 million.
Also a 13 ft Seymour sport with trailer, needs attention to transom 3
million, Has no motor.
Contact Graham or Jenny on 011 406 023 or 091 286 657.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Innovative Bush Camps Help Aids Orphans

 UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

August 25, 2004
Posted to the web August 25, 2004


NGOs dealing with children orphaned by HIV/AIDS have tended to
concentrate on material support, neglecting their emotional and
psychosocial needs.

But a developmental organisation in the southern region of Zimbabwe
is filling that gap by using bush camps to teach orphans how to cope
with their trauma.

Masiye Camp has been organising bush camps in the Matopos national
park, 65km south of Bulawayo, since 1998. Teaching life skills
through bush camps is an African tradition that is still alive in
some societies, but the practice has been remodelled to address the
new stress HIV/AIDS has placed on communities.

The 2004 UNAIDS global report on the epidemic has estimated that
there are about 980,000 AIDS orphans in Zimbabwe. But these figures
fail to reveal the psychological effect on the young people who have
nursed and lost their parents under traumatic circumstances, without
receiving any psychological support from their relatives or

In most cases, the fight for survival does not even give these
children time to mourn their loss.

"Many children we have worked with show psychosomatic disturbances,
depression, very low self-esteem, disturbed social behaviour,
hopelessness and low levels of life skills due to parental death,"
Riego, one of the camp's counsellors, told PlusNews. "This might
result in stunted development of emotional intelligence and life

Every school holiday, Masiye offers eight-day camps for 80 children
in four categories: under fives, six- to 11-year-olds, 12- to 16-
year-olds and children who head households.

The day is filled with outdoor activities and talks on issues
affecting children and youth, counsellor-directed education and
skills-development. Participants can choose between play activities -
 including arts and crafts, canoeing and challenge courses - as well
as team-building exercises, such as tug-of-war and treasure hunts.

According to the camp organisers, the skills children are taught can
be used in their daily lives. Canoeing, for example, is not seen as
a recreational sport but an exercise in experiencing limits,
dangers, rules and teamwork.

Arts, craft and music courses are aimed at giving children resources
to start income-generating projects after they return home. Children
who head households are also taught teenage parenting as well as
household and business management.

There are 10 youth leaders at the camp, who are trained by
psychologists and counsellors. In extreme cases, the youth leaders
require the support of a child psychologist, as the children's
mental problems can sometimes lead to aggressive behaviour, drug
taking, smoking and stealing.

The camp holiday would most likely be the first time someone was
available and willing to listen to the children's stories, Riego

"Most of these children suffer tremendous trauma and psychosomatic
disturbances due to unresolved emotions. In the camp, they gain
trust and learn that they are not alone in their situation,"
explained a Masiye Camp official who asked not to be named.

Allowing the children to grieve is one of the most important aspects
of the camp holiday.

"In their day-to-day lives, these children don't get the opportunity
to speak about their problems. Most children do not go through a
proper bereavement phase - they don't talk about their loss, and
many act as if their parents were still alive," the official noted.

Youth leaders regard it as their biggest achievement when the
participants gradually open up and admit to their feelings during
the camp.

But when the camp is over, reality sets in again. The lack of
community support and their heavy daily responsibilities often leave
the children feeling even more depressed.

 The lack of follow-up services and continuous support has been a
weak point in the Masiye programme, the youth leaders acknowledged.

"The camp must not be a stand-alone programme. We need to link
psychosocial support with community care programmes. At the moment,
the community doesn't comprehend the need for psychosocial support
and children's rights," the official said.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Propaganda chief Moyo to lose his jobs?
Thurs 26 August 2004

HARARE - A top level ZANU PF committee is considering asking
President Robert Mugabe to dismiss his propaganda chief, Jonathan
Moyo, party sources told ZimOnline.

The committee comprising state and party vice-president Joseph
Msika,  party chairman John Nkomo and information secretary Nathan
Shamuyarira, was set up earlier this month to probe Moyo's conduct
in government and in the party.

Msika refused to discuss the issue when contacted for comment, only
saying: "There will be procedures to be followed over that matter
and at appropriate stages measures will be implemented."

According to the sources, Msika and his colleagues have already met
twice to deliberate on Moyo's fate and would soon be submitting a
recommendation that Moyo be dismissed as government Information
Minister and as ZANU PF's deputy
information secretary.

One top ZANU PF official, who did not want to be named,
said: "Moyo's issue was handled at cabinet level where it was agreed
that the guy has caused a lot of problems. The committee is clear on
its mandate, which is to achieve results before the (ZANU PF)
congress in December, and I think it is likely to recommend that
Moyo be stripped of his position both in the party and in
government. He has especially been using his hold on the state media
to attack senior officials and cause chaos and mayhem."

Moyo was handpicked by Mugabe as member of parliament under a clause
in the constitution allowing the president to nominate 30 people
into the 150-member house. He is widely criticised for effectively
using his position as Minister of Information to compensate for his
lack of a personal power base within ZANU PF. ZimOnline
Back to the Top
Back to Index


Letter: Who is a real African?
President Robert Mugabe has strong views on African identity
Letter comes from southern Africa, where author and journalist
Hamilton Wende has lived since childhood.
He suggests that recent events in neighbouring Zimbabwe have
reignited the debate about "African identity".

 What does it mean to be an African today?

I've asked myself that many times, both as a journalist and as
someone who came as an immigrant to the continent as a little child
with my mother and brother in the mid-1960s.

For whites, like me, and other minority groups, the situation in
Zimbabwe has raised this question yet again.

The long years of white colonial rule and the destruction of
traditional identities have distorted the notion of an African self,
but in its search for a new, 21st-Century way of belonging, the
continent cannot afford to ignore the truths of individual lives.

I was in the back of a pick-up truck driving through the green hills
of Rwanda. We were squeezed in with a Rwandan soldier.

  Whenever things go wrong, they get up and leave. They never stay
when things are bad. I don't see how they can say they belong to
Africa if they don't share our hardships.

The soldier, whose name was Jean-Paul, had spent many years in exile
in Tanzania and he spoke excellent English, unlike many Rwandans
whose only international language is French.

Jean-Paul was an intelligent, amusing man in his early 20s who, to
be honest, was undergoing something of an identity crisis.

Here he was, an African with a languorous French name that rolled
off the tongue like crisp Chardonnay, but who missed all the
Anglophile aspects of his life in Tanzania.

He was particularly sorry not to be able to listen to Bob Dylan - an
unusual choice of rock star for an African soldier, but then Jean-
Paul, at heart, was a romantic.

At one point on our long, uncomfortable journey he started singing.

I'll always cherish the memory of Jean-Paul in the back of that van
holding his AK-47 upright while he began softly chanting the lyrics
to Blowin' in the Wind.

Years of exile

There was something very touching in listening to his sad, wistful
voice singing Dylan as we wound our way past African villages dotted
on the hillsides and young boys driving herds of long-horned cattle
through the deep, shaded valleys.

Jean-Paul was a Tutsi, who are a minority in Rwanda, and he had lost
many members of his family in the genocide in 1994, in which some
700,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were murdered.

 Rwandan survivors are a constant reminder of the genocide 
Jean-Paul was deeply scarred by what had happened to his family, and
to his people, but he didn't want to talk about the genocide much.

He wanted to find some way to look forward.

Rwanda had its problems, but he had come home at last, after well
over a decade living as a refugee, to take his place in the country
and to play his role in making it better.

But his years of exile had opened his life, and Jean-Paul took a
wider view of Africa and of its place in the world.

He was fascinated by questions of identity and belonging on the

Indian question

"What do you think about these Indians who live in Africa?" he asked

"They have their place like everyone else," I told him.

"But," he replied. "Whenever things go wrong, they get up and leave.
They never stay when things are bad.

"I don't see how they can say they belong to Africa if they don't
share our hardships."

He had a point, of course, and I knew that one might level the same
accusation at many white Africans, including those from Zimbabwe.

"That's true," I told him. "But don't you think it's also up to
Africa to create societies where they feel they can belong?"

Jean-Paul was silent for a long time.

He held onto the barrel of his rifle, steadying it against the
movement of the van as it drove down the steep, winding road.

In the end, he looked at me.

"Yes," he said. "You're right. That is what we in Africa have to

Tribe or nation?

That conversation cuts right the heart of how Africa is to define
itself in the future.

The grandiose illusions of the European empires have faded so often
into a morass of shattered roads, ill-defended border posts and
armed rebels roaming its famine-struck villages at will.

The nation-state has collapsed in much of the continent, leaving
many Africans trapped between a colonial past that ruled over the
destiny of their parents and a future of dictatorships over which
they have no control.

Like elsewhere in the world, identity in Africa is no longer a
simple matter of tribe or of nation.

 Tens of thousands perished in the Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict
But, as I have learned living here and working as a journalist, all
too often, old tribal or ethnic prejudices do define the way people
see themselves and their neighbours.

A few years ago war erupted between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

It started with a border skirmish and rapidly escalated into full-
scale trench warfare with jet planes, tanks and tens of thousands of
troops launching frontal attacks from both sides.

The conflict was a terrible tragedy.

Eritrea had once been ruled by Ethiopia.


The present governments in both countries had fought side by side to
liberate both Eritreans and Ethiopians from the oppressive rule of
Mengistu Haile Mariam.

Now, only a few years after the end of their joint liberation
struggle, the two peoples had descended into open warfare.

What made it even worse is that many southern Eritreans and northern
Ethiopians are from the same ethnic group, the Tigreans.

They speak the same language, and follow the same religion as
Ethiopian Orthodox Christians.

Most of the fighting was concentrated about 100km south-east of the
capital, Asmara, around the border town of Zalambessa.

When our news team arrived at the front line we saw soldiers in
vehicles smeared with mud for camouflage.

Tanks were parked along the sides of the road. There were no
farmers. The fields lay empty.

  The people here are Tigreans - after the battle, they buried the
dead Ethiopians who were Tigreans, but those two, they come from the
south of Ethiopia

Eritrean translator 
The Eritrean forces had just taken the area.

On the road, a darkened shed had been converted into a hospital.

Wounded soldiers lay in rows on the floor.

Fresh blood seeped through their bandages.

The silence of fear and pain filled the shadows.

The town was nestled in a rocky valley.

White-washed houses stood in neat rows. The spire of a church and
the minaret of a mosque gleamed in the sunlight.

Abandoned boots, ammunition boxes, and spent cartridges were
scattered along the main street.

Behind a row of stone houses, we found a rocky outcrop where
Ethiopian troops had made a last stand.

The shattered rock gleamed white where mortar shells had exploded.
Streaks of blood were hard and dry in the baking sun.

Across a patch of waste ground lay the abandoned corpse of an
Ethiopian soldier.

In the shade of a bombed-out house across the street was another
body. It seemed strange that two bodies had been left behind to rot.

I asked our Eritrean translator about it. He shook his head angrily.

"The people here are Tigreans. After the battle, they buried the
dead Ethiopians who were Tigreans, but those two, they come from the
south of Ethiopia.

"The Tigreans call them 'blacks' - they won't touch them!"


Africa is not uniquely prone to racial or tribal hatreds: one has
only to look at the Balkans, the Middle East, Afghanistan or
Northern Ireland to know that such a view is simplistic.

  It was much worse for the black people who lived on the farm -
they lost everything

Elizabeth, white farmer 
But it is true that the collapse of much of Africa is about a lack
of vision, an inability of so many leaders to forge a new identity
out of the ruins of the colonial era.

They have failed to create societies where their citizens of all
races and tribes feel they can safely belong.

And Zimbabwe is one of the saddest examples of this. A once
prosperous, stable country is now teetering on the brink of

In South Africa where I live, some weeks ago I talked to a white
Zimbabwean whose farm had been taken away by President Robert

Her name was Elizabeth. She is in her 60s and most her life had been
spent in Zimbabwe.

In fact, she and her husband left the old Rhodesia in the 1970s and
returned to live in a black-ruled Zimbabwe in 1980 at the end of the
bitter bush war that had been fought against white rule.

Faith in Africa

It was an act of faith in Africa and Africans that many of her white
countrymen were unable to make.

Elizabeth was saddened, and deeply hurt by what had happened to her
and to Zimbabwe in the last few years; but she refused to give in to

"We had good years," she said simply. "That's what I have to
remember. And now they are over."

"But," she added. "It was much worse for the black people who lived
on the farm. They lost everything.

"We gave them what we could, but in the end they had to leave. They
have no jobs now, no way of earning a living."

 Some 3,000 white Zimbabwean farmers have lost their land

"They're the ones who are going to suffer the most. We are lucky, we
could come down to South Africa, but they've got nowhere to go."

Robert Mugabe has ruled his country like so many other African
despots, where loyalty to tribe and race or clan is synonymous with

But in the beginning ther    ewasanothervision.

When he came to power in 1980, after leading the war to end white
minority rule, he took the podium at the independence celebrations
and spoke of a new vision for Zimbabwe.

He talked of a country where black and white and Shona and Matabele
might live together in peace.

Blurred vision

Zimbabwe was to be a model for Africa, and for the world.

But within months of becoming president, he betrayed this promise.

He launched a brutal, but secretive, campaign called
the "Gukuruhundi" - or "the wind that blows away the chaff".

He loosed his predominantly Shona 5th Brigade on the people of

They swept through the villages of southern Zimbabwe, torturing,
raping and murdering.

Some 10,000 people were killed, buried in unmarked graves or thrown
down mine shafts.

 The opposition complain of widespread intimidation 

It was a campaign that people like the Rwandan Tutsi soldier Jean-
Paul would recognise.

At the heart of the killing lay a twisted notion of identity.

Matabeles were considered to be "dissidents" - an alleged danger to
the unity of the nation, and hence impure Zimbabweans.

Their existence jeopardised the power base of Robert Mugabe, so
thousands were killed.

Today, anyone - Matabele, white or Shona - who threatens him risks
imprisonment, torture, even death.

I asked Elizabeth something that Jean-Paul might have asked: Would
she go back one day?

"It's too late for us," she told me. "We'll be too old to go back.
There's no future for us there anymore."

Progress of change

Despite everything, though, she had refused to give up her faith in

"You must understand," she said. "How much good is happening in

"Good?" I asked, more than a little surprised.

"Everywhere you go in Zimbabwe people will come up to you and say
quietly 'We don't agree with the government. We don't think it's
whites who are destroying the country.'

"When you consider the history of Zimbabwe, that means a lot.

"Something new is happening there.

"People are learning for the first time to really look beyond race,
and to see themselves as Zimbabweans instead."

Black Zimbabweans have suffered far more under Robert Mugabe than
whites, but, despite everything, the vast majority of them have
refused to give in to the rage that follows in the wake of despair.


In the trips I have made to Zimbabwe in recent years, I have found
that this sense of wanting to create a new nation and a new identity
has been a powerful unifying force among ordinary people - black and

The road ahead is not easy.

Things will get worse in Zimbabwe; there is no solution in sight. It
would be naive to say there were.

But there can be no doubt that a new vision for Zimbabwe is growing
in the silence that his police and army impose on its citizens.

Life there is filled with hardships, but somehow it still goes on.

Slowly power and its illusions are slipping away from Robert Mugabe.

The country may yet fulfil the promise that was betrayed after

All across Africa, people like Elizabeth, Jean-Paul and myself are
watching, and hoping.

Hamilton Wende is a freelance writer and television producer. He is
a regular contributor to From Our Own Correspondent on Radio 4 on
the BBC.

His articles have appeared in many international and South African
newspapers and magazines.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

New Zimbabwe

MDC Harare councillors resign, threat of poll boycott

ZIMBABWEANS vote in parliamentary elections in March next year

 By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 08/25/2004 23:52:46
THE main opposition Movement for Democratic Change said Wednesday
that it was resigning ALL its Harare councillors with immediate
effect and will boycott all future elections until Zimbabwe's
government reforms unfair electoral laws, ends political violence
and repeals repressive media and security laws.

The decision by the party's national executive committee comes ahead
of key parliamentary elections in March.

President Robert Mugabe, who has lead the troubled southern African
country since independence from Britain in 1980, is seeking to
consolidate his hold on power after narrowly winning re-election in
a 2002 vote that independent observers said was marred by
intimidation and vote rigging.

The government promised a number of electoral reforms in June which
it said would bring Zimbabwe in line with regional standards, but
the opposition dismissed them as "cosmetic.''

The opposition wants the government to observe electoral guidelines
established by the 14-member Southern African Development Community.

"Until there are tangible signs the government is prepared to
enforce the SADC protocols on elections, the national executive has
today decided to suspend participation in all forms of elections in
Zimbabwe,'' opposition spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi said in a

The MDC also said it was withdrawing ALL its Harare councillors
following "continuous efforts of the Zanu PF government to prevent
the elected Harare Council from carrying out its basic functions."

"As a result of this unrelenting political interference with their
activities, and the government's demonstrable contempt for their
roles as democratically elected representatives of the people, the
remaining MDC councillors in the city have this morning decided to
resign en marse," Nyathi said.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

New Zimbabwe

Mbedzi acquitted, set to challenge Mohadi

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 08/25/2004 19:16:41
IN what could be a manifestation of the back-stabbing taking place
within party officials ahead of the Zanu PF primary elections, a
Bulawayo magistrate has acquitted Bulawayo's acting provincial
Administrator, Edson Mbedzi of several corruption charges.

Mbedzi was arrested last month and detained for 14 days at Bulawayo
Central Police station on allegations that he improperly and
corruptly allocated himself land without following laid down
government procedures when he was still the District Administrator
for Beitbridge.

However Mbedzi's defence dismissed the allegations saying its client
was a victim of trumped up charges and the political machinations of
Home Affairs Minister, Kembo Mohadi.

The defence team said Mohadi wanted to eliminate Mbedzi from
standing against him in the Zanu PF primary elections in Beitbridge.

Mbedzi has made his intentions to contest the Beitbridge primaries
elections open and has challenged incumbent MP Mohadi for the sole
ticket to represent the border town constituency.

Further allegations against Mbedzi were that he stole 30 head of
cattle valued at $ 30 million belonging to former white commercial
farmer, Stephen Martin Grobler, when he was still the DA for

However last Friday Bulawayo provincial magistrate, Caesar Rukobo,
dismissed the charges. He said the evidence presented in the case
was inconclusive and further said there was no prima facie case
against Mbedzi.

The court also noted that there was suspiciously no complainant in
the case
as the matter was referred to Bulawayo from police headquaters in

Under cross examination the investigating officer, Detective
Inspector Elphias Nhire confirmed that the investigation and the
subsequent arrest of Mbedzi was done following an 'order from the

The state in its outline alleged that Mbedzi using his position as
the DA for Beitbridge and chairman of the Land Committee for
Beitbridge allocated himself Bar G Ranch in Beitbridge in 2002 and
forced the eviction of 22 beneficiaries in the farm.

Further allegations by the state are that Mbedzi looted and stole
property on the farm that included three water pumps, workshop tools
and 24 rolls of barbed wire all worth $ 24 million.

However during the court hearing on Friday documentary evidence was
produced and indicated that Mbedzi had followed procedures when he
relocated to Bar G Ranch while property he is alleged to have stolen
is safely locked up at the farm storeroom.

The documents signed by the Provincial Chief Lands Officer, a U
Gwate, and
dated 10 October 2002 also confirmed that Mbedzi was officially
allocated the farm in question.

On allegations that Mbedzi stole 30 head of cattle, it was proved in
court that the said cattle were still on the farm and were not moved

The court was also told that the investigating officer in the case
Nhire never went to the farm to conduct investigations but was
basing his facts on 'hear say'.

Nhire confirmed in court that he never visited the scene but was
merely told of the allegations.

As the race to the Zanu PF primaries hots up, politicians in the
party have
embarked on a massive smear campaign to discredit opponents.

Mohadi is alleged to have used his position as the Minister of Home
Affairs, the ministry under whose jurisdiction the police fall, to
settle a score with Mbedzi.

New this week established that the police have
Detective Inspector Nhire to Beitbridge to gather new facts against
Back to the Top
Back to Index

New Zimbabwe

Coventry arrives home to hero's welcome

By Sports Reporter
Last updated: 08/26/2004 03:11:05
AROUND 2 000 ecstatic Zimbabweans rolled out a red carpet welcome to
swimmer Kirsty Coventry, the country's first-ever triple Olympic
medal winner.

Coventry won gold, silver and bronze in swimming at the Olympics in
Athens, and has been hailed at home as a heroine and inspiration to
this southern African nation's 12 million people.

Hundreds of people waved flags or held placards, one of which
read: "Welcome home our princess of sport".

"This is awesome!" the 20-year-old Coventry said to the crowd
through a public address system after her arrival home from
Greece. "I want to thank you all so much for your support."

'Welcome home our princess of sport'
The turn out of fans, mostly black Zimbabweans, temporarily
dispelled racial overtones inherent in Zimbabwe today, where whites
get a bad press in the state media for their perceived support of
opponents to president Robert Mugabe's government.

Shortly after her arrival, Coventry addressed a press conference
flanked by the chairman of the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee, Paul
Chingoka, and education minister Aeneas Chigwedere, who said the
young white woman was an ambassador of the country and would be
given a diplomatic passport.

"I am here to welcome back home one of the greatest ambassadors of
Zimbabwe," said Chigwedere.

He said the swimmer would meet the 80-year-old head of state at a
reception at his official residence in Harare later Wednesday.

Coventry, who wore her three medals, said she was proud to have
represented her country at the Olympic Games. She said there were
still more goals to achieve, and she was looking ahead to 2008.

"My race strategies I need to improve on, so I can go faster; I have
the medals, but I don't have the world records yet," she said.

Read all your shouts about Coventry's STUNNING success: CLICK HERE
"Hopefully in the next couple of years to come that'll be my goal,
to get much faster, and compete against the best people in the
sport, stay humble and keep loving the sport."

Coventry won a gold medal for the women's 200m backstroke, a silver
for 100m backstroke and the 200m individual medley bronze medal.

Her victories have pushed swimming to the forefront of national
attention here after it had long been considered an elitist, and
mainly white, sport.

Among the many people who were at the airport to welcome her home
were children from Coventry's former preparatory school dressed in
their red school blazers.

"I just wanted to get a glimpse of her, she really made us proud,"
said one man outside the airport terminal as he hoisted his twin
daughters alternately on to his shoulders to see above the crowds
that pressed around the young swimmer.

Coventry, who leaves the country again Saturday for the United
States, where she is studying at Auburn University, Atlanta, left
the airport in a top-of-the-range Mercedes Benz provided for her use
while in the country.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

New Zimbabwe

Your shouts in praise of Kirsty!

By Sports Reporter
Last updated: 08/25/2004 09:53:36
WE asked our readers what they thought would be the most fitting
honour for Kirsty after her dazzling Olympics performance where she
scooped broze, silver and a gold medal.....and most of you said she
should be given a FARM! The irony was not lost, scores of white
commercial farmers have been displaced by President Robert Mugabe
under a controversial land resettlement scheme.

Below are some of your comments which New will be
forwarding to Kirsty:

"Make her minister of sports or simply give her a farm," Michael
Chirawu, Nottingham, UK

"Kirsty, you have done our country proud!!! The only way to honour
this young, patriotic lady is by naming a Swimming Academy after
her. Keep the spirit," Tivy, Harare

"Let them show by action that they are really proud of her. I
believe the farms are still there if they are not greedy!! Thanks to
Kirsty," McDee, Cape Town

"That was awesome, now run for the President of Zimbabwe and see how
much we love you.You can rewrite another piece of History gal,"
Munya Maumbe, Lansing, MI, USA

"First I am so proud to be Zimbabwean at this moment after Kirsty's
triumph at the Olympics. That girl is a treasure and of course a
blessing to us Zimbabweans, who are continuously regarded in bad
light these days," Proud Zimuto

"Bob we need people who are capable of producing results like KIRSTY
not War Vets who destroy with the help of your ministers, e.g Moyo,
Chigwedere," Thomas Dube

"Name a street after her in Harare and Bulawayo," Nkosana Mkandla,
Michigan, USA

What will be the most fitting honour Zimbabwe can give to Coventry?
Send your comments to (Please state your full
name and where you are writing from)
"Like any other Zimbabwean she is "proud " to be Zimbabwean. Only
misguided few think of farms and other material earthly things. If
she is Zimbabwean she will soon be blessed in a different way like
being invited to play in the first Zimbabwean film or any other
befiting positions. She is not a farmer, she is an athlete. She can
be given freedom to all swimming pools thats befitting of her medal.
You have done us great honour! You are a champion. You are
blessed!," Eunice

"I am so moved and happy because of Kirsty's achievement and the way
she has proudly represented Zimbabwe despite the challenges the
country is currently going through. I believe that she is was not
representing politics but true patriotism, so please lets not spoil
this glorious moment for anybody who is Zimbabwean at heart, whether
at home or abroad by insisting on mentioning the names and
activities of persons raping and killing the country. Thank you
Kirsty this moment is yours and Congratulations girl," Florence
Msipa, UK

"Munda kuna Kirsty," Selina Ruguva

"I believe there is no better way of honouring Kirsty than for the
stubborn government to acknowledge that white or black, Zimbabweans
have a lot to learn from each other. I am talking of uncle Bob
calling for a press conference and maybe even invite the BBC and CNN
and declare an end of hostilities against the minority whites. Just
as we (the black majority) had a lot to learn from the white farmers
if we had distributed the properly, there is also a lot to learn
from such rare talent like Kirsty. However, as we all know our
leaders, it's just a matter of time before Kirsty is labelled
another rebel, mark my words. Just take a look at the ongoing
cricket saga. These guys who are today calling the players all sorts
of names are the very same guys who were once singing and dancing on
the cricket team's success during the good days. This is why I don't
think giving her a farm will work. It will be just a matter of time
before they violently take it back. I doubt very much that Kirsty
will even be for that idea. Well done girl," Walter P, Auckland, New

"Riyavhonga mudzimu. Nahasi navhorine rivhathu ngazoitiwa ngaKirsty.
Ndinne dukaduka lajakuvhosi malila malimandonga mkhwebu," Tribe,
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK

"Why not reward Kirsty for her three Olympic medals by giving her a
farm?," Stefan Dyk, British Columbia, Canada

"Well done Kirsty.That's a talent that God gave you and i trully
appreciate what you did for yourself and secondly to the nation.
Zimbabwe shines today because you polished. Nevertheles, swimming is
a professional sport that should never be taken or abused by meagre
sensed individuals posing on a political forum. WELL DONE Kirsty,"
Kudzanai K, Texas, USA

"You are our Zimbabwean gem Kirsty.The best honour for you and the
people of Zimbabwe would be for the Mugabe regime to withdraw the
two draconian legislations infringing on the operations of the press
so that the Daily News can write true facts about your performance
at the Olympics and one on NGOs so that you can assist one
charitable organization with your well deserved foreign currency,"
Geoffrey Ndibali, Montreal, Canada

"Land," Fortunate Bango

"Mugabe should just shut up because he has nothing to cheer about!
Coventry's victory is for Zimbabwe and as far as l know, Mugabe does
not like Zimbabwe. To honour this gallant daughter of Zimbabwe, all
roads named after Robert Mugabe should be changed to Kirsty about that?," Costa Mavhima, Bulawayo

"Good job girl. Let's name the Chitungwiza Swimming pool after her.
Apa ndopanorohwa maoka. Keep the flag flying," Isaac Nyamanza, USA

"I am happy and ashamed at the same time coz one day we are
castigating the white person and the next day we applaud as the same
white person does us proud" 
Ken Ruwona, Mt Pleasant, Harare
"I watched the heroica of Kirsty Coventry from start to finish and I
must say that I was greatly moved. The most fitting honour for
Kirsty, I got it right, is for her country to turn around again,
that is: for Mugabe to recognize the wishes of the people and free
them from bondage. As a black Zimbabwean living abroad, at times I
must admit, have almost renounced my Zimbabwean citizenship in
embarassment, but after seeing Kirsty, I am happy again to be
Zimbambwean. I therefore appeal to Mugabe to issue Kirsty with a
diplomatic passport and give back her parents' farm," Canaan Ncube,

"She deserves to be put in the sports hall of fame," JS

"True Zimbabwean spirit showing no colour.....Good for you and
Nation. Give her a farm in Mazoe," Mbiri Cardozo, Harare

"I think two farms and a new public swimming pool named in her
honour would be a fitting tribute. She chose to represent Zimbabwe
when she could have easily moved to any other country like most
Kenyans and Ethiopians on feeble grounds of not being supported at
home," The Chatimbas, UK

"Hope sees the invincible, feels the intangible and achieves the
impossible, well done girl. At least we all felt like Zimbabweans
for the first time in years," Raymond Chari

"Ini ndiri pano paNewZealand ndinoti mwanasikana uyu ngaapuhwe
PURAZI risina intafiyerensi from ovets," Criss Zimuto, New Zealand

"Coventry ngaapuwe munda," L Mangwanda, UK

"Can somebody please help me answer these questions: a) So a white
Zimbabwean is only accepted as Zimbabwean when he/she excels in
sport, or does something extra ordinary?
b) So there really exist WHITE Zimbabweans? I have heard a lot of
talk from our beloved politicians saying that there were no white
Zimbabweans, the reason why white Zimbabwean farmers have been and
are still being chased away. I will be grateful if I could receive
an answer to these questions," Albert Zamu
Maputo, Mozambique

"Here back home we are very proud of you Kirsty. She should get the
freedom of the two cities , street named after her or even
kutomurongera the KIRSTY GALA .Everywhere here at our usual social
places naya yegold yanetsa vanhu vari kufara," B.M , Zimbabwe

"In moments like this when all seems to be dark, we need heroes to
rise. Rise Kirsty rise, and keep on rising like a star that you are.
What a conqueror you are. What a conqueror. Zimbabwe honours you
child. No honour in Zimbabwe is fitting for this warrrior princess.
We are forever greatful," Edson Mukundwi, Sheffield, England

"Let me join every other Zimbabwean in congratulating you, girl. We
all watched with our hearts and prayers with you. Every stride you
made was cheered as though we were right by the pool side and you
could hear our shouts. At the end of the day you have chosen to
ignore the troubles in our land and done what you do best. You
displayed a maturity beyond your age against opponents with the
facilities and stability in their nations that you know are non-
existent back home. I think it is not for people to say who has the
right to praise you or what you should get in return but it is up to
you to say why you did it, how you did it, what you want in exchange
or who you dedicate it to. I know now that whatever you say about
all this will be said with the wisdom and maturity far beyond your
age. If ever there was a selfless person in our country, you have
outshone them. My shining star," Ashley Millin, UNITED KINGDOM

"I am happy and ashamed at the same time coz one day we are
castigating the white person and the next day we applaud as the same
white person does us proud as a an apology and vote of
thanks to her the least we can do for her is to redistribute land to
her-it`s the least we can do,and give back herparents` farm to them
too!!!!land is all we have," Ken Ruwona, Mt Pleasant, Harare

"You go girl !!! Kirsty Conventry you have made us so proud and you
have shown people that zimbabwe is for all races. Streets or
buldings should be named after you girl because you deserve it.
Thanks," Ruth Tedd and family, UK

"If we all stop criticising each other for a moment, we will or
should realise that there is not a single Zimbawean who is not proud
of Kirsty. For the first time since haven knows when, we all agree
on something. And maybe we should take a leaf from her book. Because
inspite of all the problems, be they racial, political or what ever
one chooses to brand them, with her talent and skill she could have
changed her citizenship because I'm sure even from past performances
in for example the Commonwealth Games plenty of western nations were
and are willing to snatch her up, but no!!!!!!!! she's chosen to
represent her beloved Zimbabwe. How many us can proudly stand up and
say we are Zimbabwean today especially those of us in the UK????Very
few. So Kirsty has not only excelled as a sports person but she is
one of the few true Zimbabweans left, an endangered species or a
Pangolin remember how we used to celebrate when one was found
wondering around. Give her a Diplomatic Passport, name the Aquatic
complex after her and if she wants put her in charge of sports! Well
done Kirsty!!!," Talent N, UK

"Congratulations Coventry you made us proud .You are special.May GOD
BLESS YOU.Thank you," Oladayo Akinniyi

"Well done young lady you have something wonderful. Zvinonyadzisa
Mugabe kusimudzirwa flag ne murungu waarikudzinga. KIRSTY YOU MUST
GET A FARM," M Cheuka, London, UK

"A1, A2 and A3 (not the writing pads) but farms, by the way is there
A4!?," Cloudios Takawira, UK

"I was filled with partriotism to see one of our country girls
against all odds do us proud . The biased commentator
qoute "Zimbabwe my goodness of all the countries -swimming pool!"
the implication was we do not have swimming pools for practice -
what of the gold on the Queen`s crown ? Give her Kintyre farm,"
Fellex Maurayi, Liberton, Edinburgh, Scotland

"Well done girl. Let us unite and call the the swimming pool in
Chitungwiza Kirsty Coventry swimming Pool," Shane White, New Zealand

"A perfect example of a competent and patriotic Zimbabwean.We got so
many of such Zimbabweans, even in Agriculture Mr President,"
Gorejena C Kupenya, UK

What will be the most fitting honour Zimbabwe can give to Coventry?
Send your comments to (Please state your full
name and where you are writing from)
"Kirsty, we are all proud of you. You go girl! I salute you with all
humility. God bless you, and keep your inner spirit motivated the
way you are from the outside! You have made every Zimbabwean proud,
black or white. Be blessed, and it is a joy to send you my
congratulatory message Kristy! You are positive, you are a jewel,
and I admire your talent! Keep up the good work. You have shown that
the Woman of Zimbabwe can do it, the daughter of Zimbabwe can do it,
and the Child of God can do it, whether born in the North Pole or
South Pole. Kristy, good job. You make all of us want to come back
home today, not tomorrow! We love you Kristy, and congratulations to
your dad, and congratulations to your mum, congratulations to your
sisters and brothers, congratulations to your coach, congratulations
to your religious leader, and hey, congratualtions to ALL
Zimbabweans. ngazana/chimhandara/senorita Kristy/madame' Kristy/girl
friend "We Love You, We Love You!" Congratulations to thy dearself
Kristie. Tatenda/Thanks," Mercy Tsiwo-Chigubu in Georgia, USA

"Give her a farm," Edward Dembezeko

"The young girl deserves a farm to herself and family. This is the
only other tool that Mugabe can use to prove that he is not the
racist we see him to be. I know of no better way to thank her,"
Mduduzi KaTauzen Gumbo, Alberta

"LAND -PURAZI," - Simba Masara

"Redistribute land for Coventry," Wilberforce Majaji

"She deserves to be given the freedom of the city of Harare and the
road to the National Sports Stadium should be named after her.
Chitungwiza Aquatic Centre should also be named after her. Mugabe
must not get milage out of her achievement. Well done Coventry,"
Takudzwa Mutepfa

"Kirsty we love You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, we have been hearing
about the golden girls of Hockey at the year which i was Born 1980,
but now we will be talking about a Golden Girl 24 years after those
girls. All I can say to Kirsty is 'girl you have done us PROUD
regardless of what we are facing today, you are aware of what Imean.
We have got somthing to smile aboout. KIRSTY, KIRSTY, YOU HAVE HAVE

"Give her the freedom of the cities of Harare and Bulawayo. Or have
street names on her behalf in these two cities," Godwill Mangayi

"Hi Kirsty, well done gorgeous we all love you as a people and a
nation. You are a pure hero and a warrior. Tears of joy ran down my
cheeks when i watched you clinch that medal..oh what a
talent..Zimbabwe loves you and will always do.," Madzibaba Tyrage,
Canterbury UK

"Well done girlfriend . May the good Lord bless you," Sharon Mukombwe

"You made us proud girl, go Zim go!!. from all of us here in Canada.
Lowly rated Zim, is for awhile ahead of Canada in medals collection.
Thank you Zim girl. Hey, we still on the map," Stanley Chivizhe

"I hope her parents havana kutorerwa farm. Nick Price once did this
only to find back home his farm had been taken away.Otherwise well
done girl," Njuma, USA

"Well done little girl. Zvinonyadzisa seyi Bob kusimudzirwa mureza
ne murungu waari kudzinga munyika," Tsitsi, UK

"Well God has shown to Mugabe that the promotion of the country does
not lie in the black skin. Sure murungu osimudza here mureza. I
think she deserves a place in the Ministry of Sport, she deserves to
be the ambassador for sport," Denford Muzanenhamo, CANADA

"Kirsty has done the nation proud and she deserves all the praise
she is getting and this feat has fittingly come after 24yrs this is
the best thing that has happened to Zim ever since 1980 and i think
she deserves a special medal or token of honour to be presented to
her on behalf of the whole country and even a diplomatic passport
like Mutola has recieved from her country.whatever she gets this is
a true HEROINE in every sense of the word.Well done kirsty thank-you
and we love you" Ernest Jackson, HARARE

"Mugabe and Made should Give her Munda wekurima with farm inputs
(SEED, Fertilizers, Tractors etc plus a hefty loan from The Land
Bank (Agribank) (interest
free) also Mugabe should remove one guy from the list for an
honorary doctorate from the University of Zimbabwe and give it to
Kirsty (immediately). Well done Kirsty, you did our country proud,"
Taurai M. Mutanda, South Africa

"I think Zimbabwe MUST do the following for our dear Kirsty
Coventry: Give her a handsome amount in $ US, Re-name the Aquatic
complex in Chitungwiza after her, Undertake to foot the bill for ALL
of her study and boarding expenses wherever she may be. Well done
girl," Chenjerai Mutumbi, Hungary

"Kirsty should be treated like any other Zimbabwean and as such no
special treatment should be prefered to her.She has shown patriotism
in her national duty and will always be remembered for her excellent
contribution.Zimbabwe inyika yemunhu wese ane mvumo yekugaramo
muchena kana mupfumbu naizvozvo uyu mwana igamba redu mukutuwina,"
Andrew Koundo, Botswana

"Whats the highest possible honour zimbawe has to offer ?? I guess
if she was British then she will be a dame . Well done Kirsty, you
are such a star," Desmond Maruziva, UK

"No doubt about it, she deserves honor, praise and support for such
a sterling job. We are a proud nation because of her stunning
heroics, what more can you ask for! Come on Zimbabwe lets be real!!
All 3 medals Zimbabwe has so far are from her alone, come on
Zimbabwe give praise were its due!! Name some streets in Harare and
Bulawayo in her honor, and give her the freedom of these cities, and
most importantly if Mugabe and Zimbabweans are real -GIVE HER A
FARM!!," Sherlock Sipho Mafu, North Carolina, USA

"Well.............the girl has done us proud....she is the
greatest.........the best gift we can give her is a
farm.........mupei minda for farming and
another wokuzadza nemaswimming pool chete chete ........swimming
academy ka!!!!!!!!!!," Murehwa Mangere

"Kirsty deserves to be awarded the keys to the city of Harare and
the city of Bulawayo. She has won the right to be free in all of
Zimbabwe and there is no better way to show our appreciation than to
give her freedom in our major cities. Naming a couple of streets and
major buildings after her wouldn't hurt. Of cause establishing an
Olympic drive to get lots of Zimbabweans to future Olympics with her
as the major driver would be very noble. What an amazing achievement
for her and the country. Congtratulations!!!," Cato D

Amhlophe ntombi emhlophe. You are a true star and a pillar of
strength kithi sonke abosendo lwe ZIMBABWE. Uliqhawekazi njalo
uyisibonelo kubontanga.

"I wish to suggest that Kirsty Coventry be given a Benz Kompressor
in honour of her clinching 3 medals at the Olympics.her performance
just deserves it. Pleased," Tongai Chagwenha

"She deserves to lead the nation in sports.... POWERFULL!!!!!!!!,"
Bernard Chiduku, Botswana

"I am a Zimbabwean living abroad and was really touched by the
performance of this sensational girl Kirsty Coventry. I am rather
buffled by Mugabe's comments that she is a real ambassador for the
country given his skewed belief that whites are not Zimbabweans. The
most fitting gift for Kirsty Coventry is the kicking out of Robert
Mugabe and his geriatricks and chalatans from office in the next
elections, so that Kirsty and all other sportspersons compete in
such tournaments in honour," Black Zimbabwean

"I'm proud to be Zimbabwean,thanks Kristy u put Zimbabwe in the
spotlight for something good for a change! woo! what a feat! we r
truly proud of u,u should get a farm for that surely,where you can
come and unwind whenever you go to Zim," Masimba Murisa, Toronto

"Iyi ndiyo spirit ye Zimbabwe. We are fighters whether we are black
or white . My tears are nearly dropping because of the love I have
for you Kirsty. This girl MUST be given a farm , Ivhu
chairo.Congratulations, She deserves it," Exaviour Samuriwo, Sydney,

"Usiphakamisile dadewethu. Siyabonga kakhulu. Sonke siyaziqhenya
ngawe. Ingathi iNkosi ingakubusisa okuphindwe kanenginengi. Well we
should give her Inhlonipho lamasimu," Fundisani Mangena

"Well done mwana wevhu.You are white and still proud to be
Zimbabwean and in fact you have made all the Zimbabweans
proud.Thanks a lot, dedicate your GOLD MEDAL to Mugabe and tell him
to bring peace into the country," Bob C Bingepinge, Montreal, Canada

"I am surprised that the government is so happy that this white girl
has done our country proud whilst at the same time the ruling party
is in the process of chasing away whites and closing down private
schools saying that they symbolize colonialism. Why play double
standards ? Coventry is a product of the Dominican Convent. I wonder
why we dont have the patriotic products form the Border Gezi
training institute competing in Athens. Food for thought," Chenharo

"VaChigwedere mainyarira pai kudai makaenda. VaMugabe hamusi kunyara
here kuona Zimbabwe ichisimudzirwa mureza nehama yaTony Blair....ko
Jonathan Moyo......zvakaoma...Kirsty you are a star...well well
done.. Chipi, Pittsburgh, USA

"Well done a patriot zimbabwean with a true and heroic heart of
Zimbabwe at heart. Our hearts are with you in this moment of joy and
pride," Ryan Mutsvene

"Well Kirsty, you have shown the President that Zimbabwe is full of
talent. Hope the President won't meddle with the swimming team like
what they did with cricket," Arfan Salim

"The young girl must get a farm. Designate one from Aka Prof
Mafikizolo Nyamhanza and resistribute to the young girl," Rodger Muza

"Change chitungwiza aquatic centre,name it to kirsty coventry
aquatic centre," Robert Martin, Mufakose

"Munda ku mhandara anoshandika naye. Ngaachishanda naVaChigwedere
mukusimudzira sport munyika," Martin Dube

"I think this is an eye opener to you all that it is wrong chasing
our born and
bred lovely white Zimbabweans from our country, be they racist or
not we still love them because in this world there is no place where
racism does not exist but we all have to maintain love and at the
end we all will get there. If Coventry was racist she wouldnt have
represented Zimbabwe but she is a daughter of the soil that's
why she is ours. Bob you better change your way of doing things. We
love you
Kirsty putting us on the mark and we will give your name to
Chitungiza Aquatic Center for sure," Nhopiyataidza, Canada

"You go girl, congratulations. You have given us memories to wash
away our miseries and sorrows and have hope in life. Thank you,"
Thabiso Gama, Toronto, Canada

"Well done Kirsty for not only winning those medals but for having
the courage to represent your country espeacially during this very
diificult time of political tension. The last gold medal was won
1980 when Mugabe came into power and now 24 years later Kirsty has
won another one as Mugabe is about to leave, how ironic," Fadziso
Maenzanise, UK

"Well done Kirsty we are really proud of you, you must get a farm
from Mugabe, keep it up," Tadiwa Cheuka, London, UK


"How else could you award her? My familly came up with the farm idea
when she grabbed the second medal. So that is what she should get.
If her parents had a farm of theirs seized it should be returned
without fail," Thoko, Bolton, England

"Makorokoto.You go Girl,You made us proud to be zimbabweans.
VaMugabe you must: Give mwana uyu a red carpet welcome upon her
return home.(hero's welcome ine madzimai enyu emusangano), rename
the Chitungwiza swimming complex in her honour, rename a few streets
after her, give her a farm (PURAZI) rake risina ma war vets.
Hamunyare kusimudzirwa mureza wenyika nemurungu wamurikudzinga
muniyika," J Ndlovu, Ohio, USA


"Let us stand up to the champion. Komwana waani iyeye? Whose
daughter is she? Uyu ngatimupei Zim 1," Method Matete, Africa

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Miami Herald

Zimbabwe puts aside racial tensions to give hero's welcome


Associated Press

HARARE, Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe put aside an official hate campaign
against the nation's tiny white community Wednesday and hailed its
triple-medal-winning Olympic swimmer Kirsty Coventry as "a national

Coventry, who is white and trains at Auburn University, won gold,
silver and bronze medals in swimming events at the Athens Games.

Tribal dancers, beating drums and gyrating in mesh skirts and animal
skins, greeted the swimmer at the main Harare Airport, along with
hundreds of chanting fans waving banners describing her as "Our
Golden Girl, Our Heroine."

"We never expected this," said Coventry's coach, Peter Dalzell. "The
welcome has been somewhat overwhelming."

Paul Chingoka, head of the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee, spoke
of "tears of joy" when the Zimbabwe anthem was played and the
national flag was raised three times.

"Never before has Zimbabwe been in such a situation," he
said. "Kirsty is our national treasure. I don't have enough words to
say about her. We just went berserk - we went ballistic."

Coventry, 20, who has been studying in the United States for three
years, spoke in a distinctive American accent.

"I am so full of pride and feel honored so many people have come out
to see me," she said. "I am very excited to be given a chance to
come home and share it with everyone here."

The Zimbabwe Olympic Committee said Coventry had been scheduled to
fly directly to the United States from Athens but quickly agreed to
a stopover in Harare.

The country's diminishing 30,000-strong white community has been the
target of vitriolic political attacks by President Robert Mugabe and
ruling party officials.

Whites are repeatedly accused of supporting and bankrolling
opposition to Mugabe and have been threatened with arrest and

Coventry herself, speaking in Athens, referred only briefly to her
homeland's political and economic turmoil, saying she hoped
conditions would soon improve.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Oil Pipeline Now Fully Operational: Industry
The Herald (Harare)

August 25, 2004
Posted to the web August 25, 2004


THE Beira-Mutare-Harare oil pipeline is now fully operational after
being under-utilised for two years, a development that is expected
to result in the reduction of import costs, the oil industry said

The pipeline has been under-utilised because of financial constrains
although it is a far cheaper way of transporting fuel compared to
road transportation.

The Petrol Marketers' Association of Zimbabwe, the oil dealers'
representative body, said it was now close to achieving its intended
target, the acquisition of foreign currency from the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe auction system to import bulk fuel on behalf of the oil

"The industry should soon be in a position to utilise the pipeline
fully. This will ultimately be of great benefit not only to the oil
industry, but also to the man in the street," the industry said.

"Due to a variety of reasons, insufficient fuel was being piped and
road transport became the only alternative."

The pipeline, it said, had in the past proved viable when large
volumes of fuel were transported.

Fuel supplies have remained steady during the past week with no
shortages of leaded petrol, unleaded petrol or diesel being reported.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

RDCs Ordered to Stop Destruction of Forests

The Herald (Harare)

August 25, 2004
Posted to the web August 25, 2004


RURAL district councils (RDCs) have been ordered to put a stop to
the wanton destruction of forests by newly resettled farmers and to
take planning as a serious instrument that should inform the
development agenda.

The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing,
Cde Ignatius Chombo, made the remarks when he officially closed the
first biennial conference of the Association of Rural District
Councils of Zimbabwe in Nyanga on Friday.

His comments come in the wake of serious depletion of forests and
indiscriminate burning of velds by new farmers, most of whom do so
as a quick and easy way to earn a living.

The farmers, it has been discovered, lack an appreciation of the
importance of forests and the wildlife that is subsequently
destroyed by the veld fires.

"Government is worried by the uncontrolled felling of trees and veld
fires. This situation cannot be allowed to go on unchecked as it
would appear the land reform programme has brought in its wake a
serious deforestation predicament," he said.

Cde Chombo said neatly stacked lots of firewood being sold by new
farmers are now a common sight along the country's highways.

He said it was disturbing that rural district councils were ignoring
the destruction of the forests.

"In this regard, colleagues, I am directing all rural district
councils in no uncertain terms to ensure that this nefarious
practice stops forthwith.

"I also request esteemed provincial Governors and Resident Ministers
to assist in putting paid to this aberration," he said.

Cde Chombo said RDCs should reposition themselves to play a more
pivotal and robust role in land administration and at the same time
ensuring that sound natural resource management practices are
totally ingrained in sub-council development structures and the

He said because of the huge constraints affecting service delivery,
Government was actively considering that land tax should accrue to
RDCs as a way of boosting the revenue base of local authorities.

Cde Chombo said RDCs, as sub-structures of central Government,
should work to achieve Government policies.

"Decentralised governance does not imply absolute autonomy, but load-
sharing between spheres of governance, for our perception of
decentralised governance is informed by our conviction that spheres,
and not tiers, of governance that are closest to the communities,
are in a better position to decode and encode signals arising from
desires and aspirations of our communities," he said.

He urged RDCs to ensure that communal areas are decongested through
proper planning.

Several senior Government officials, including Vice-President Joseph
Msika, attended the meeting.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Mugabe abandoned Zvobgo, say relatives
Daily News Online Edition
Wed 25-Aug-2004
"Some of us knew that the real reason he did not attend the burial
was because he had fallen out of favour with Zvobgo and the hatred
extended to the wife, even in death" 
The Politburo of the ruling Zanu PF has declared that veteran
nationalist Eddison Zvobgo, who died over the weekend be buried at
the National Heroes Acre. President Robert Mugabe delivered a moving
condolence message on Monday when he visited the late nationalist's
home in Harare to pay his last respects. However, some relatives of
the late legal expert said that Mugabe had not forgiven the late
firebrand politician for publicly criticising some of his policies
and challenging his continued rule. The relatives said yesterday
that Zvobgo had become isolated from Mugabe because of the critical
comments he made about government policies. The relationship between
the two former wartime allies worsened when Zvobgo openly declared
his presidential ambitions, sources said. Mugabe, the sources said,
also believed that Zvobgo was behind the call made in parliament by
Dzikamai Mavhaire calling on him to step down. Mavhaire and Zvobgo
were close allies.

"Mugabe's feelings towards Zvobgo were a mixture of fear and hatred.
He feared that Zvobgo was scheming against him and he never forgave
him for that. The President did not even visit Zvobgo during all his
illness, even when it became clear that Zvobgo's sickness was
worsening. But Zvobgo was not surprised because he knew Mugabe's
feelings towards him. Mugabe is the kind of person who doesn't
forgive or forget easily," said a senior ruling party official who
did not want to be named. Zvobgo, a Harvard-trained lawyer and
founder member of Zanu PF died on Sunday in Harare after a long
illness. Mugabe and Zvobgo were close allies during and after
Zimbabwe's liberation war. Zvobgo played a prominent role during the
liberation struggle and was a crucial player at the Lancaster House
constitutional talks in London in 1979. After independence, he
masterminded the executive presidency that Mugabe enjoys now. But
the two erstwhile allies later fell out of favour after Zvobgo
became increasingly critical of Mugabe's rule. This resulted in
Mugabe dropping Zvobgo from his cabinet and the politburo, Zanu PF's
supreme policy implementation organ.

At the time of his death, Zvobgo was facing a party disciplinary
hearing for allegedly campaigning for the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) and de-campaigning Mugabe ahead of the 2002
presidential elections. Zvobgo openly criticised the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and the Public
Order and Security Act (POSA) as draconian. The laws, which have
been used to close down newspapers and ban opposition meetings
during the last three years, have formed the backbone of Mugabe's
grip on power. It was not possible to get a comment from the
President's office yesterday. But sources said Mugabe's hatred of
Zvobgo was also underlined by the 80-year-old leader's failure to
attend the burial of Zvobgo's wife, Julia in February. Julia was the
third heroine after Sally Mugabe and Joanna Nkomo to be buried at
the national shrine. Mugabe failed to attend the burial claiming
that he was suffering from minor chest pains. Yet he had attended
his birthday bash only a day before Julia Zvobgo's burial. "Some of
us knew that the real reason he did not attend the burial was
because he had fallen out of favour with Zvobgo and the hatred
extended to the wife, even in death. He has attended all burials at
Heroes Acre if he is in the country but Amai Zvobgo's became an
exception," said the ruling party official.
Back to the Top
Back to Index