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

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Zim Standard

      We can and will survive Mugabe
      By Chido Makunike

      DESPITE our steep downward slide under the superintendency of
President Mugabe and his ruling clique, there is no doubt that Zimbabwe will
rise again.

      A tired, disgusted populace, together with Mother Nature and Father
Time will eventually work together to ensure that those who rule us
haughtily and incompetently today, will not be able to do so forever.

      As hard as it may be to imagine today, there will again come a time
when we will be able to walk into any store and simply pick from the
shelves, as many loaves of bread as we can afford, when it will not take a
heroic effort to get a tankful of fuel and when there are more companies
being formed than are shutting down.

      Despite our decrepit political establishment, we have shown in the
last few years of accelerated decline that we are an amazingly resilient
people, so we will definitely survive Mugabe, and Zimbabwe will, once again,
begin to work towards fulfilling its great potential.

      While we will recover from the material deprivations that have
currently become the norm, something that will not be so easy to do will be
to restore the 'soul' of Zimbabwe; the ethos of basic trust and confidence
in our institutions; the sense that our leaders may be as fallible as the
rest of us and are basically motivated by regard for the greater good of the
country, rather than by greed and self interest.

      All these and many other core national values have been shattered in
the last years by the actions of a marauding government at war with its own
people, and this will be much harder to reverse than economic decline.

      Political differences are normal and healthy, and in a normal
environment it should be possible to passionately disagree with the
president, but still respect his office and person and even defend him
against attack by outsiders since he is a national symbol above and beyond
his politics.

      But how do you respect a president who is guilty of the vilest hate
speech against his fellow citizens, inciting and condoning untold suffering
in the process-turning mere political opponents into enemies, with the
shameful, dire consequences we have witnessed over the last several years of
state-sanctioned mayhem?

      When a president is generally belligerent and issues threats virtually
every time he opens his mouth, he sets a negative, violent tone for the
whole society. That is how at some hard to define point, a 'government'
becomes a 'regime'-a reflection of how a ruling dispensation has become
wayward and notorious and is doing more harm than good to the people it is
supposed to serve.

      That is also how people increasingly flippantly call you by your name,
rather than respectfully as President So and So, or Minister X, Y or Z. "But
it is against African culture to show such disrespect for the chief," some
would say, but when you have closed all doors to genuine free expression,
and your main authority emanates from your hold over the instruments of
force, people will find other ways of showing their disrespect of you. You
may be able to force them to say or do something, and you can certainly
control them by frightening them out of their wits, but one thing you cannot
do is force them to respect you.

      I feel cheated by not being in a position to say: "I disagree with my
leader on a lot of issues, but I respect him." It is a far more serious
infringement of African culture for a chief to be a source of division, hate
and impoverishment, than for his suffering subjects to find ways to show him
how unhappy they are with his incompetence and refusal to heed their pleas
for relief from their suffering.

      I hereby reject the crap that African culture requires me to
countenance or respect the kind of failed chieftainship that prevails in
Zimbabwe. There is no clause in African culture that requires me to respect
official violence and crookedness.

      Without putting them on a pedestal, one would expect politicians
bestowed with the power and privilege of influencing the lives of millions
of people, to be of a certain high moral standard and reasonably able to
reconcile their words and their actions. How do you respect a political
establishment that identifies bureaus de changes as a leading cause of the
devaluation of the currency, when many of the most prominent players in that
sector are provincial governors and cabinet ministers able to cheaply access
foreign currency by virtue of their positions and then sell it to the rest
of us at many times over what they got it for?

      How on earth am I supposed to pretend to respect people who see no
need to afford people even a basic consistency? So many people have been
hurt for their politics that there seems little doubt that some of them will
want to settle scores when change comes, even if second policy of
reconciliation is enunciated. Even if our economic fortunes are reversed,
the bitterness in us will possibly last for a long time.

      With the kind of inflation we have, it does not make sense to hang on
to money. A whole generation of young people are growing up in an
environment in which they cannot learn the value of saving up for something,
or of persevering at something. They learn that the people who thrive most
are not necessarily those who are engaged in productive pursuits, but
dealers, speculators, the well-connected, and other quick-buck artists.

      Surely, many youths who see the distortions in our society must be
very leery of the usefulness of slogging away at school, and then working
themselves up in a profession when they see how little material reward it
seems to hold?

      Along with material deprivation, a perhaps more unfortunate legacy the
present leadership is leaving us with is the loss of many fundamental values
which will take a long time to recoup.
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Zim Standard

      Zanu PF's paranoia against whites explained
      americannotes By Ken Mufuka

      I KNOW Aeneas Chigwedere is not the most popular man in Zimbabwe today
because the brother is partisan.

      I would have liked the cup of reviewing his book to have passed to
someone else, but I gave my word that I would review the book. It is
entitled: British Betrayal of the Africans and was self-published in 2001
(51 pages). There is no fixed price.

      Chigwedere's work is steeped in politics and he uses research to
support his politics. He introduces the reader to his thesis using Ricardo's
statement that "mankind is divided into wolves and sheep". Wolves can only
survive if they allow sheep to propagate so that they can assure themselves
of a good meal everyday.

      The author asserts that this was Cecil Rhodes's policy with regard to
Zimbabwe. The role to be played by Africans is obvious in this wolf story.

      According to the author, the history of Zimbabwe, from the Rudd
Concession in October 1888 to the present, was a catalogue of fraudulence
and treachery on the part of the Europeans. What is interesting is the role
played by missionaries-the Reverend CD Helms and the Reverend John
Moffat-father and son.

      Even the illiterate King Lobengula, when he caught wind of the
Concession and the extent to which it arrogated powers to the future British
South Africa Company, was alarmed by that role. We now know that Reverend CD
Helms was on the payroll of both the church and Rhodes' people.

      Lobengula even wrote to Lord Knutsford, the colonial secretary, but it
seems that his lordship was also in cahoots with Cecil Rhodes. As the story
develops, it is amazing just how almost everyone involved in the story, is
in cahoots with the devil.

      Reverend John Moffat, later prime minister wrote in 1930 that "the
solution to our labour problem (is) getting the native himself, his wife and
his family, to live on the farm as permanently as servants of the (white)
farmer." So this was to be the black man's fate in his own country.

      The author shows evidence that the so-called Mugandani affair at Ft
Victoria, which precipitated the first Matebele war in 1893 was concocted.
Captain Lendy ostensibly wanted to protect the Karanga from a Matabele impi
that had enslaved them. However, the reviewer came across evidence in Rhodes
Library at Oxford to the effect that Administrator Jameson told Rhodes that
a war with the Matebele world boost the price of shares in the BSA Company

      A vigilante militia of white looters was set up with the promise that
if they seized all the cattle from the Matabele as well as the Karanga, it
would become "war booty" which they could share among themselves. In
addition, each of Rhodes' cronies was to receive 2 000 acres and 20 gold

      The war in 1896 came about as news spread among the Shona and Ndebele
that the white man was about to occupy all their land and enslave them. The
number of cattle already seized by Rhodes' cronies by 1896 exceeded 200 000
(page 33). This loot was so huge that areas were set aside to accommodate
it, the precursor of the Cold Storage Commission.

      It is amazing that the number of Rhodes' cronies was less than 200.
The problem in 1930, as Moffat pointed out, was that with so much land and
cattle, they ran out of labour. But this was obvious even in 1893, before
the Chimurenga.

      The method of labour recruitment was simple. Nesbitt sent a message to
chief Amanda to send his men to work for him for a wage and duration that he
would decide. The chief refused. This was the outcome of that communication.
Amanda was brought for questioning. "For on three previous occasions, on
sending messengers to him to send some of his boys to work, he replied that
his men were not going to work for white men and that if police came, they
would fire on them."

      Nesbitt then became tough with Chief Amanda. "I gave the above headman
50 lashes, fined him six goats, three head of cattle and confiscated his
rifle. The lashes were administered in the presence of a good number of his
men besides people belonging to other kraals" in order to achieve maximum
humiliation. (Page 31)

      A new solution to the labour problem was the hut tax. The reader
should remember that these events were taking place even before the colonial
government was established between 1890 and 1896-that implies that there was
a preconceived plan, already hatched from South Africa as to how to enslave

      Chigwedere can be criticised on several points but I will limit myself
to a few. The book is political. He has two themes in this book-to show how
the relationships between blacks and whites was treacherous from the very
start-all the white characters in the book are painted with the treachery
brush. The events constitute a conspiracy of purpose-to do evil to black

      Chigwedere is not concerned with showing impartiality. There were
missionaries like Father Shirley Cripps in 1930's who objected to these
policies. Cripps wrote a book entitled: Africa for the Africans. Far from
making the book weak, a fair approach would have strengthened it somewhat
and made it more academic.

      Chigwedere has brought in new evidence, especially on the Cold Storage
Commission and on the looting of cattle by Cecil Rhodes. However, his use of
references is weak. Again better references to sources would have
strengthened the book.

      In addition, as a self-published book, it could have been improved by
a professional layout. All of us need a third opinion before rushing to
press. But the important point is that reading this book will help the
reader understand the resentment towards whites now prevalent in Zanu PF.
Any African who is 50 years old will remember forced labour, and many forced
evictions from the tribal lands.

      My own people, the Mhofu clan of Chiweshe, were moved three times in
my short life, in order to make way for white farmers. The greatest insult
was that my grandfather was a World War II veteran. For his pension, he was
allowed to keep his Enfield rifle and a trench coat. His land was given to
Major McKay.

      I tried to get a copy of this book from the Zimbabwe embassy in
Washington but nobody knew anything about the book. The book expresses Zanu
PF's land policy and one would expect to find it in all embassies. Thus I
have given the devil his due.
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Zim Standard

      Thirsty Christmas in store this year
      By Kumbirai Mafunda

      ZIMBABWEANS are set to experience one of their worst ever festive
seasons following revelations of a soft drinks shortage.

      The Standard understands that United Bottlers, the company solely
responsible for the bottling of carbonated soft drinks lacks the sugar
supplies needed to manufacture large quantities of drinks required for a
holiday period.

      Soft drinks are traditionally in great demand during holiday periods
such as Christmas and New Year when most families get together to make

      Peter Karimatenga, the general manager in charge of the manufacture of
soft drinks at United Bottlers, confirmed in an interview with The Standard
that they had indeed been receiving insufficient deliveries of sugar and
that the problem had been exacerbated by the collapse of the Zimglass
furnace in Gweru which normally supplied his company with glass containers.

      Said Karimatenga: "It is a combination of two factors. Firstly, we
have been experiencing problems in getting sufficient sugar because the ZSR
has been having difficulties getting coal for their blast furnaces in
Harare. The other thing is that Zimglass has not been able to supply us with
glass bottles."

      He said they had made proposals to the ministry of industry and
international trade for the importation of sugar but no response had as yet
been received from that quarter.

      A visit to retail outlets in Harare and Chitungwiza last week showed
that most outlets had not received their usual supplies of soft drinks for
nearly a month. Many of their soft drink refrigerators were empty.

      Reports from other parts of the country indicate that the shortage is
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Zim Standard

      Jongwe's SA post mortem results out  12/14/02
      By our own Staff

      THE long-awaited results of an autopsy carried out on the late
Learnmore Jongwe by a South African pathologist have finally been released.

      However, the results have merely confirmed what had already been
established by government pathologist: That the young MDC MP died of
excessive chloriquine poisoning.

      Releasing the autopsy results to The Standard yesterday, a Jongwe
family spokesman said the family was demanding a full inquiry into how the
excessive amounts of chloroquine got into the former MDC spokesman's body.

      The family hired a South African pathologist to carry out an
independent autopsy into the death of Jongwe.

      "The Jongwe family has since received results of the autopsy conducted
on the body of Learnmore Jongwe by a South African pathologist. The results
are essentially similar to the findings by the government-hired pathologist
in that they state Jongwe died from chloroquine poisoning.

      The family and all the people of Zimbabwe want to know from this
regime the circumstances that led to the introduction of excessive amounts
of chloroquine into the body of Learnmore Jongwe," said the family

      Jongwe mysteriously died in his prison cell in October while awaiting
trial for the alleged murder of his wife, Rutendo. The young politician's
death sparked an uproar as his family and MDC supporters accused government
of being responsible for the death.

      Government however, insisted that Jongwe could have killed himself and
produced footnotes to prove its case.

      "It is on record that Jongwe was denied bail three times on the
grounds that the government wanted to ensure he was stopped from harming on
himself. It is also public knowledge that Jongwe was in the custody of the
state, and there are clear regulations on who has access to him and how he
could have access to medication. We therefore hold the government of
Zimbabwe responsible for the death of Jongwe," said the spokesman.
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Zim Standard

      No vuka vuka for single men  12/14/02
      By Euphraciah Mahenga

      IN a bid to reduce the alarming spread of the HIV/Aids pandemic, the
Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association (Zinatha) has decided to
stop issuing sexually enhancing herbs to young unmarried men.

      Peter Sibanda, the association's secretary-general disclosed his
association's new policy at a recent media workshop on HIV/Aids held in

      He expressed deep shock at the high rate of young people visiting
traditional leaders in search of performance enhancing herbs despite the
high incidence of the pandemic.

      He said the association had resolved to issue the herbs out only to
married men and its members had been advised to investigate their patients'
marital status and age first before attending to their sexual concerns.

      Health experts say about 2,2 million people in Zimbabwe are infected
with the HIV/Aids virus.
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Zim Standard

      Chinhoyi feasts as country suffers  12/14/02
      By Chengetai Zvauya

      CHINHOYI-The Mashonaland West capital, Chinhoyi, was an oasis of
plenty amidst countrywide shortages and poverty last week, as bemused
residents and visitors alike found the town awash with basic commodities,
including fuel, courtesy of the Zanu PF Annual National People's Conference
hosted there.

      Eager to distract delegates from the sad reality of the crippling
shortages of the most basic of commodities, the Zanu PF machinery made
certain that at least for the week of the conference, it was a rare pomp and
fanfare occasion.

      The conference, which ended yesterday, was held in Chinhoyi from

      The Standard witnessed a situation unlike of today's Zimbabwe, as
people did not have to scrounge around for basics such as bread, milk,
sugar, mealie-meal and cooking oil. As a further convenience for delegates
and residents, fuel tankers were commandeered to Chinhoyi, at the expense of
the rest of the country where thousands of motorists had to endure endless
hours in long winding queues waiting for petrol.

      Residents who spoke to The Standard could not hide their surprise and
wished the conference could be held in their town every week.

      Said Fungayi Kadiwa of Chikonohono township: "We were facing food
shortages but the Zanu PF Conference was a blessing in disguise for us, as
from last week the government ensured that we were well supplied with
basics. We are happy that at least we are going to feed ourselves for a week
or so into the new year."

      Richard Dongo, another resident of Chinhoyi, said the wise had taken
advantage of the sudden supply of basics to cater for the time when things
returned back to "normal".

      "It is a relief that food and fuel has arrived in the town after we
had suffered for a long time. Throughout the year we have been facing
starvation," he said.

      Chinhoyi mayor, Dr Peter Matarise, was equally appreciative of the
turn of events.

      "We welcome the food which has come to the town. Our wish is for other
organisations and individuals to come and assist us in the crisis which is
affecting everyone in the country," he said.

      However the glut of supplies did not come without a price.

      The prelude and duration of the conference was characterised by Zanu
PF's usual reign of terror as the party's militia descended on residents.

      A tense atmosphere gripped the town as Zanu PF youths patrolled the
town at night, forcing many of the residents to stay indoors.

      The militia were part of the Zanu PF 3 000-strong delegation from
various provinces that was attending the party's conference.

      Wearing their infamous green uniforms, a symbol of great fear for
many, they patrolled the town at night, dispensing 'justice' like law
enforcement agents. People were asked to produce identify cards and if they
were visitors, were interrogated about their presence in town.

      A visit to Chikonohono township, the biggest high density suburb in
Chinhoyi, by The Standard on Thursday night revealed many of the residents
had confined themselves to their homes for fear of falling prey to the
marauding youths who had barricaded the township.

      Only those with accreditation cards for the conference were at liberty
to move as they wished. As a result, night life was confined to Zanu PF
delegates as they patronised the town's night clubs.

      A Chinhoyi family which refused to be named for fear of victimisation
told The Standard the violence brought by the militia was unusual of their

      "Chikonohono is very peaceful, but we are now afraid of these youths
who are roaming our neighbourhood. We cannot send our children to shops in
the evenings because they might be beaten by the youths who are patrolling
the area.''

      In a snap survey by The Standard, residents said apart from the food
and fuel it had brought to town, the Zanu PF Conference was of no relevance
to them.

      "It's only the delegates who are interested in this talk shop,
otherwise for the rest of us life goes on. No sane person would expect
anything spectacular to come out of this event, especially since it is for
Zanu PF, a party that has destroyed our country," said a resident who
refused to be identified.

      On the President Mugabe's key note address, Nicholas Kamusiwo of White
City, said it was the usual drivel expected of the 79-year-old man who has
ruled Zimbabwe with an iron grip since independence in 1980.

      "How could he waste our time talking about Britain and Australia? Is
that what is going to bring food on the tables of Zimbabweans? Surely it was
insulting to all Zimbabweans that their president did not even bother to
mention the crippling fuel crisis at this event," Kamusiwo said.
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Zim Standard

      Poor teacher turnout at national service
      By Parker Graham

      MASVINGO-Over 80 teachers and headmasters on Tuesday embarked on a
crash national service training programme at Mushagashe training centre,
some 30 km out of Masvingo town, The Standard has established.

      The pilot project, initiated by the Zimbabwe Teachers Union, an
affiliate of the Joseph Chinotimba led Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions
(ZFTU), is set to be spread across the country in a few months if it

      A drive to the Mushagashe Training Centre by The Standard on Wednesday
revealed that only 89 out of a possible 200 teachers and headmasters had
turned up for the training and were sporting the dreaded Zanu PF militia

      "Initially, we intended to start with 200 teachers and headmasters but
things did not go as planned. Masvingo province provided the bulk of the
teachers numbering 87, while Harare province managed only two and that's far
below our expectations," said a Zanu PF official who requested anonymity.

      He added: "We hope to have received some more teachers and headmasters
by the end of the month for this special national service training."
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Zim Standard

      Youths risk thinking like Mugabe, Tekere warns
      By Itai Dzamara

      VETERAN nationalist and former secretary-general of the ruling Zanu PF
party, Edgar Tekere, says parents should not permit their children to
undergo the discredited national youth service because they may end up
thinking like President Mugabe.

      Tekere, the pioneer of opposition politics after independence, was
unequivocal in expressing his disgust over the national youth service
programme which is being run under the ministry of youth, gender and
employment creation .

      "Although it is an accepted idea internationally, in our case one
Border Gezi (the late minister for gender and employment creation) thought
of seizing the opportunity to brainwash youths into blindly adoring and
praising Zanu PF and Mugabe. It is all meant to Mugabelise all the youths,"
said Tekere in an interview with The Standard.

      The veteran nationalist, who resides in the eastern border town of
Mutare, said the whole nation had to fearlessly reject the national youth
service, with parents taking the lead by denying their children permission
to go for the six-month training.

      Said Tekere: "The talk of youths being trained to be patriotic is
utter nonsense. What patriotism is there when the militia are going around
beating innocent old people in the villages. I will never allow my child to
be part of that obnoxious plan. I urge all parents to defy and denounce this
farcical project."

      The national youth service was made compulsory by government after the
setting up of the first Border Gezi National Youth Service Training centre
in Mount Darwin. More training centres have since been established in all
provinces, which are churning out products wrecking havoc in society.

      Clad in green camouflage uniform which has earned them the tag, 'the
Green Bombers', the Zanu PF youths are being used by the ruling party in its
terror campaigns against opposition supporters, as well as other voices of d

      The idea of the compulsory youth service has not go down well with the
majority of Zimbabweans, but the stubborn Mugabe regime has gone ahead with
it, wasting taxpayers' money on nefarious training activities at a time when
over six million people are threatened with starvation.

      Tekere, who helped Mugabe cross the Mozambican border to wage a bitter
struggle against the settler regime of Ian Smith, and formed the Zimbabwe
Unity Movement which fiercely opposed Mugabe's attempts to impose a one
party state, does not hide his disappointment at the way the president has
destroyed the once promising nation.

      "Even the rains will not fall as long as Mugabe is in charge of this
country," he said. "He is directionless and has brought numerous curses on
the nation. Even nature wouldn't be pleased by this madness. We are going
down like a whirlwind and it will continue until we reach the bottom. There
is no end in sight unless we get rid of this wayward Mugabe regime."

      Despite the hardships facing the country, Mugabe believes that he has
to hold on to the country so that "Zimbabwe will never be a colony again".
He also believes Zimbabwe's economy starts and ends with the land which has
been seized from productive white Zimbabwean commercial farmers, and given
to mostly chefs, war veterans and Zanu PF officials and supporters.
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            Mugabe promises to address crisis
            December 15, 2002, 06:45

            Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's President, admitted yesterday that his
country had problems and pledged to address calls by his party to end an
economic crisis that has left half the population facing starvation.

            But in an address to close an annual conference of his ruling
ZANU-PF party, Mugabe once again accused the country's white citizens of
working with the former colonial power Britain to topple his government over
the issue of his seizure of their farms for landless blacks.

            Zimbabwe is struggling with record high unemployment, inflation
and crippling fuel shortages in the country's worst economic crisis in two
decades, a debacle which Mugabe has blamed on his domestic and foreign
opponents. Nearly half of the 14 million people in Zimbabwe, once Africa's
bread basket, now face severe food shortages caused by drought and Mugabe's
controversial land reform policies.

            Zimbabwe's economic crisis - the worst since independence in
1980 - was at centre stage during the two-day annual conference as party
members took the government to task. Some delegates called for more
equitable distribution of food, saying the process had been hijacked by
civil servants. Others called on the government to tighten price controls.

            Mugabe urged his supporters to be vigilant against what he said
were whites still harking back to the past, when the former Rhodesia was a
white-ruled British colony. Behind closed doors, Zimbabwe's controversial
land reform programme dominated talk as some delegates accused senior party
members of grabbing farms. - Reuters

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Zimbabwe in grip of new hunger crisis

Inflation spirals as land seizures cut food supplies

Andrew Meldrum in Harare
Sunday December 15, 2002
The Observer

Zimbabwe's economy has declined precipitously in recent weeks, bringing
severe shortages of food and fuel and dramatically increasing the
desperation of the already beleaguered population.
Kilometre-long queues of cars, buses and trucks snake through Harare,
Bulawayo and other cities, often forcing traffic to a halt. Thousands queue
for maize meal, the country's staple food, and other basic items such as
bread, rice, cooking oil, sugar, beef, chicken and salt. The grim faces of
those in the queues show people who are hungry and worried about how to feed
their families.

The famine affecting more than half of Zimbabwe's 13 million people has now
spread to the cities. Nearly one million urban Zimbabweans are at risk of
starvation, according to international aid organisations. The extreme hunger
is largely a result of President Robert Mugabe's land seizures, which have
dismantled the commercial agriculture sector without replacing it with
equally productive farming.

The food and fuel shortages are harbingers of increased suffering and
economic decline, according to a report to be released tomorrow by the
authoritative Economist Intelligence Unit. 'We expect Zimbabwe's economy to
continue contracting during the next two years, resulting in increased
hardships for the population at large, industry and other productive
sectors,' states the unit. It says that since 1999 GDP has fallen 25 per

Zimbabweans are already struggling with annual inflation of 144 per cent but
the report forecasts inflation of 400-500 per cent is possible in 2003.
Inflation rates in neighbouring African countries are about 5 per cent.

The Mugabe government is taking 'a calculated gamble' that the economic
decline will not provoke a violent rebellion, says the report. 'There is a
possibility that an enraged population, particularly in the cities, will
revolt. Worsening food and fuel shortages, triple-digit inflation and rising
unemployment could all provide the spark leading to mass protests against
the government in 2003.'

However, Mugabe is expected to use the army, police, war veterans and the
party's vigilante youth militia to put down any uprising.'

The report says the government's economic policies are 'ultimately
unsustainable but they can probably be continued for several years bringing
ongoing economic decline.

'In addition, it is increasingly likely that even if comprehensive economic
reforms were to be introduced,the country's commercial farming, mining and
manufacturing sectors have now been irreparably damaged. This will hamper
future economic recovery and undermine the country's long-term economic

The pressures of this scenario can be felt throughout Harare where every
shop and marketplace is clogged with people trying to find food at
affordable prices. Last month, two children were crushed to death when a
queue for 'mealie meal' became a stampede.

'How many households can afford the traditional chicken-and-rice Christmas
luncheon when a chicken costs a quarter of the monthly salary of the
majority of the workforce?' asks commentator Pius Wakatama. 'Maybe such
meals will be enjoyed in the homes of the politically well-connected but
definitely not in the majority of homes in the sprawling townships.'

Mugabe avoided specific reference to the country's battered economy and fuel
shortage when he opened the annual congress of his ruling Zimbabwe African
National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) on Friday. Instead, he made
scapegoats of the British Government and Zimbabwe's dwindling white
minority, estimated at about 50,000. He warned of retaliation against whites
if the Blair Government and the European Union continued their campaigns of
sanctions against his regime.

'The more they work against us, the more they express their hostility
against us, the more negative we shall become to their kith and kin.'

Little heed was taken of Mugabe's speech in the food queues. 'What does
Mugabe know of our daily struggle for survival?,' said a shopper who did not
want to give her name for fear of retribution. 'He wants us to think our
sufferings are because of the whites. But we know he and his cronies are
getting rich and we are the ones suffering.'
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Zimbabwe's biggest export floods SA

      December 14 2002 at 06:47PM

      By Hans Pienaar

An increase in the flow of refugees from Zimbabwe is having a destabilising
effect on Limpopo province: policing services are under such pressure that
farmers are starting to train their own security guards.

Violent types of crime are on the rise in towns that had never experienced
them before.

Government sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that increasing
numbers of both legal and illegal Zimbabweans were entering South Africa.

Taxi drivers in Musina and shopkeepers in Thohoyandou agreed, but the
official sources were loath to blame increasing crime figures on Zimbabwean
refugees. Ronel Otto, the police spokesperson, said there were no real
statistics available to suggest Zimbabweans were responsible for crimes. She
said crime was actually on the decline in Limpopo, but was unable to supply

In Louis Trichardt, the first large town on the road from Zimbabwe, sources
said hijackings occurred this year for the first time: seven in the past
three months. In the past month 21 vehicles had been stolen.

The sources said the increasing refugee flows were sapping police resources
to such an extent that South African crime syndicates had greater "freedom
of movement" in Limpopo towns. Whereas theft was limited in the past to as
many items as an individual could carry away on foot, the new trend was for
houses to be "cleaned out" by syndicates.

While the sources said they had no evidence local syndicates were employing
Zimbabweans to do the dirty work, shopkeepers in Thohoyandou claimed they
were being used in this way because they could not easily be traced in the

The sources said 84 percent of people caught without legal documents at
roadblocks in November were Zimbabweans. In one week up to 1 000 illegal
aliens could be caught at such roadblocks in Limpopo.

When asked what percentage of Zimbabweans in South Africa were illegal, Otto
said she could not comment.

The Zimbabweans use connections with local clansmen and the infrequently
travelled back-roads of the Venda region to find their way to the cities of
the Witwatersrand. Near the larger towns such as Polokwane they sleep in
bushes from 10pm to 4am, or hide on unoccupied farms.

The sources said the trend was for increasing numbers of Zimbabwean youths,
even children, to enter South Africa illegally. Most were "born frees", with
birthdates from after independence in 1980. They had little respect for
authority because of misrule in their home country, and were "just the right
generation" for crime.

Whereas in the past farmers could cope with the odd theft of products from
fields and barns, the volume has got out of hand in the past year. A new,
severely damaging trend is to steal any aluminium equipment - including
expensive irrigation pipes and wheels - to sell to smelters where they are
turned into pots and kitchen utensils.

In the villages around Thohoyandou the traditional cast-iron three-legged
pot has been replaced by a shiny, lightweight aluminium version. Aluminium
kitchenware is found everywhere.

So threatened do farmers feel that agricultural associations have begun
their own programmes to train security guards. The programmes have a "home
and hearth" focus because patrols covering fields as well would be too
expensive. The farmers, say the sources, have given up on the idea of
minimising theft of produce in order to protect their profit margins, and
are now concerned mainly with personal security.

Asked about the use of the army, the sources said the commando system, in
which local volunteers of all races and sexes are used, was the last bulwark
against a total collapse of policing services. But new regulations exposing
individual members to legal action had severely curtailed the system's
effectiveness, and defence force budgets for "regional protection" had
declined sharply.

Otto said the defence force "does not really have the manpower anymore to
assist the police". But the air force was still being used in police

The sources said farmers were confused over the government's stand on
Zimbabwe, and saw it as supporting the violent transfer of land to black

In this context they were not willing to stay on as farm managers for new
black owners acquiring their land in accordance with the land reform

The refugee flows are also affecting the game industry. Because so many farm
animals are smuggled in from Zimbabwe, certificates for infectious diseases
are required before game farmers are allowed to sell animals. Because of
this, conservation experts say, animals are dying of thirst and hunger
because they are not being bought by buyers, who go elsewhere where there is
less red tape. - Independent Foreign Service

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Zimbabwe today: story of an African alarm

      December 13 2002 at 07:51PM

By Charlene Smith

The earth begins bleeding over Limpopo. Viewed from an aircraft it is red,
raw, sunburnt. As the plane proceeds over Zimbabwe blackened shrubs cluster,
large tracts of earth carry the greyness of death, parts are as bleached as
bone, depleted by the sun, overgrazing and poor agricultural policies.

On a Harare street outside a fancy shopping centre a man steps forward and
whispers, "You want maize, sugar, flour?"

Contraband food.

      'How can the South African government keep telling us things are good'
Driving through the lush Bvumba mountains, a Zimbabwean passenger sees a
pedestrian walking with a maize bag on her head.

The passenger shouts for the car to stop. She interrogates the woman: "Is
that maize meal?"

"It is maize."

"Where did you get it?"

"From a local farm."

      'This business is impossible now'
"How much?"

It was Z$2 000, around R20 at parallel market rates, but also a fifth of an
average monthly salary and Z$800 cheaper than store rates - on the rare
occasions that maize or maize meal finds its way to shop shelves.

The passenger is on a mission for food - a little later she stops a woman
outside a country store.

"Is there bread?"

There is. She emerges triumphantly, after a little haggling, with four

In the same area close to the Mozambique border, late afternoon is marked by
endless rows of people walking. Petrol shortages are biting deep and
increased police and army patrols, trying to prevent Mozambicans coming to
Zimbabwe to buy cheap food and petrol, harass taxi owners.

Few taxi operators are willing to work in the area. This is a mixed blessing
because unaffordable car repair rates - Z$60 000 for a lubrication service
is six months' salary for a teacher or three months' salary for the average
worker, which means that many cars are not roadworthy.

One taxi operator who could not afford repair costs would drive in reverse
down winding Bvumba roads because his brakes had failed. His taxi finally
went off a cliff.

Food and petrol prices are kept artificially low by government price
controls, which in part have led to food shortages because it has become
more expensive to produce food than the returns manufacturers get. Land
invasions have seen the beef herd cut by 60 percent, leading to meat
shortages. Shrunken dairy herds see Zimbabwe producing only a third of its
milk requirements. Manufacturers and stores are increasingly ignoring price
controls and food prices have soared 100 percent in the past month.

A branch of South Africa's Spar in Harare looks well-stocked - until one
notes that goods are pushed to the front of shelves and spread thinly. There
are just four litres of milk - a shopper looks around, then crams all four
into his trolley. There is baking powder but no flour, tea but no sugar.

At OK Bazaars in another town, 250g of South African butter costs R28 at
parallel market rates of Z$100 to the rand - the official rate is Z$6 to the
rand. The same amount of butter costs R7 in South Africa.

Hiring a car is a nightmare. At the first company, Rocksands, a small firm
in Harare, the consultant asks for an R80 000 deposit for an aged Mazda 323,
the cheapest car available. At Europcar in downtown Harare, an offshoot of
Imperial car hire, a US$1 500 deposit is requested. Too tired to argue,
someone produces a credit card that can provide that sort of deposit for a
VW Chico.

At 7 one evening, a Mutare petrol store owner watches a petrol queue quickly
assemble as word spreads that a tanker is filling some of his fuel tanks.

"This business is impossible now," he says.

"I make Z$4,70 a litre on fuel - 4,7 cents - we can't make more because of
price restrictions."

A formerly wealthy Zimbabwean businessman - many people are now "formerly
wealthy" - takes out a bag of crushed wheat that he gives to his workers,
when it is available, as a substitute for maize.

On roadsides people sell tiny, dark-brown potatoes, which are replacing
maize wherever sufficient water can be accessed to irrigate them.

There has been no rain since October and even then it has been a mere
sprinkling. Each day dawns with the sort of deep turquoise skies beloved by
tourists - not that there are many in Zimbabwe - and regarded with
apprehension by farmers.

A seamstress explains how villagers in an area close to the mountains that
separate Zimbabwe and Mozambique brewed beer and took it up a local mountain
as an offering to the mountain gods to plead for rain. The gods on this
mountain are believed to be powerful. A white farmer who went up the
mountain with a gun got lost for hours and almost died - the gods don't like
guns. No one takes dogs up with them because dogs disappear or are stoned by
the monkeys that are the lookouts for the gods.

About three kilometres from where an American visitor was shot dead at a
roadblock a month ago, three policemen in blue threadbare uniforms step
across a small country road and flag down our vehicle. One has an automatic
rifle. A young officer with a smiling face greets us, courteously answers a
question then waves us on. Later that afternoon when we pass again they are
sitting around a fire. They wave cheerfully and shout hello.

Sometimes fear in Zimbabwe is more a feeling in your heart than a daily
reality. Black and white Zimbabweans report increased racism, whites are
sometimes insulted by passers-by on the streets.

What is greater than fear, however, is economic deprivation - 80 percent
unemployment and 145 percent inflation that the World Bank predicts will
reach 550 percent next year. It shows in people's dusty skin because soap is
hard to come by and expensive. Poverty is seen in broken shoes and torn,
dirty clothes. Hardship shows in faces.

And yet there are areas where grandeur gives a glimpse of aspirational
Zimbabwe. The old and stately Leopard Rock hotel looks out onto one of the
finest golf courses in Africa. Leather armchairs sit empty in a stately pub.
There are two cars in the parking lot. No one in the casino. Staff stand and

Beautiful huge, black wattle baskets and intricately embroidered tablecloths
flank the roadside to Tony's, the best cake shop in Africa, a Hansel and
Gretel house which owner Tony Robinson refers to as his villa.

Down a path flanked by huge King proteas and tumbling masses of pink roses
is a small restaurant where tea is served in eggshell china and silver
teapots. The cakes are unbelievable, a voluptuous orange and carrot cake
slathered in cream; tiny meringues; a flourless whisky-and-chocolate cake
decorated with lavender, nasturtiums and chocolate lace.

Robinson's blue eyes glow with happiness: "I love this place. I lived in
Cape Town before, but I had a dream I needed to follow and I found this -
nowhere in the world is better."

A few kilometres away at the Vumba club - a favourite of Doris Lessing and a
short drive from Ardroy, the farm she abandoned to pursue her writing career
in London - no one has arrived for Sunday lunch. A so-called Thai curry of
mince and packaged Indian curry sauce is reheated. There is a corner in
memory of Lessing's son, Peter Wisdom, who hated his mother. A huge old
billiard table sits under canvas.

A woman with a homemade bamboo fishing rod stands at a lake below the Vumba
club with ragged children at her feet. There are no fish, she complains,
because the weather is cold. Everywhere there are signs of hunger and an
economy rapidly sliding into ruin despite the best efforts of the Tony
Robinsons of Zimbabwe.

The new budget, announced last month, will also destroy the export market,
businessmen believe, with provisions that insist exports have to be paid at
the unrealistic government-set currency rate and not the market-related
parallel rate.
The owner of a large company that has relied on exports has a face etched
with sadness.

"I'm liquidating everything. New labour provisions say I have to pay workers
two months' wages for every year of employment.

"The new budget provisions will ruin us. I have to lay off workers. We have
had people working for us for 30 years - I'll have to sell everything I own
to pay them. With luck someone will buy the business, otherwise we'll have
to close the company my father began more than 50 years ago."

In Harare three young men, Tonderai Ndira, 26, Reuben Tichareva, 25, and
Barnabas Ndira, 22, sit on a porch chewing matchsticks. Among them, the
three Movement for Democratic Change youth leaders have been charged 25
times in the past two years. They have yet to be convicted of any crime.
Charges range from public violence under the wide provisions of the Public
Order and Safety Act to inciting violence.

Tonderai, the son of a Shona chief, says he has been on the run since 16 war
veterans came to his home a year ago. "They were armed with AKs and
handcuffs, claimed they were police and had come to arrest me. They were not
in uniform. I asked for IDs, but they had none. They fired two shots and I
ran - I haven't stopped running."

He smiles and rubs a scar on his arm, a memento of a police beating.

He saw starvation across the country. "I was in Mrewa (about 90km northeast
of Harare) and people eating wild fruits called mazhanje and the root of a
flower called elephant. Zanu-PF said they would give the people food, but
they are selling it at Z$500 for a 20kg bucket. No one has money."

Mavuku is a township that has grown rapidly over the past two years as
farmworkers from farms that have been taken over have had to move to this
parched scrubland.

No one appears to have employment, few houses have electricity or water
because of unpaid bills and cutoffs.

Everyone is hungry.

The last time Tonderai worked was in 1998. Reuben lost his job in 1997 when
the company he worked for closed down. Barnabas has not found work since he
completed school four years ago.

They operate an informal food distribution scheme in Mavuku with donations
from wellwishers in Harare. They conduct township cleanups to try to
"encourage a sense of dignity among people", Reuben says. "People get
depressed when they have no work."

They say HIV-positive people are succumbing to Aids quickly as inadequate
food sees immune systems collapse faster and opportunistic infections take
hold. Across Zimbabwe those who work with HIV/Aids report that clinics have
no medications, "not even paracetamol".

Zimbabwe has the capacity to produce generic medications for HIV, given free
by Thailand which helped it set up production lines. Production was to have
begun in February. Nothing has happened.

"We don't understand how the South African government can keep telling us
things are good in Zimbabwe," Barnabas says.

"Where do they go when they come here? Whom do they speak to? South Africans
must see people are tumbling into SA because the situation in Zimbabwe is

Barnabas adjusts his hat.

"The person who says he doesn't need the British, that he doesn't want the
whites, he has everything. He can say, 'We don't need them', and go to a
hotel afterwards. We go to the bush and dig for roots."

  a.. This article was originally published in The Cape Times on 09 December
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Zim Standard

      Middle class hunter-gatherers
      overthetop By Brian Latham

      A NEW class of hunter-gatherers has been discovered in a troubled
central African nation, eminent anthropologists have announced. The new age
hunter-gatherers come mainly from the middle classes, a phenomenon not
thought possible outside certain troubled Balkan and eastern European

      In the past, 21st century hunter-gatherers were thought to be limited
largely to the deepest regions of various South American and Central African

      Still, the new-age troubled central African country's hunter-gatherers
are, almost uniquely, urban dwellers with large motor cars and dwindling
bank balances. But while their rural hunting and gathering counterparts in
the rain forest hunt for bush meat and gather fruit, the urban sub-species
has a much wider list of necessities to gather and hunt for.

      Top of the list is petrol, now a sought-after luxury prized more
highly than beluga caviar or Havana cigars. Without petrol, say the troubled
hunter-gatherers, no other hunting or gathering can take place.

      Once found, any price will be paid for the luxury commodity, thus
allowing the troubled central African nation's hunter-gatherers to hunt for
other desirable luxuries like maize meal, bread and milk.

      One of the troubled central African country's two tourists (who
mysteriously became one of 20 000 in the state-controlled Horrid newspaper)
said it was indeed a curious situation for milk to be considered a luxury,
let alone bread and sugar. He said it had been several hundred years since
these items were considered luxuries in the imperialist west, but there was
no accounting for politics or taste.

      Meanwhile, the most equal of all comrades said it was quite obvious
that commodity shortages were the work of avaricious businessmen, dispelling
colonialist-inspired rumours that the economy had somehow been mismanaged by
his government. Just as it was untrue to say that the shortage of food was
due to the fact that all the farmers had been chased away with extreme
prejudice, it was untrue to say that the lack of bread in the shops had
anything to do with forcing bakers to sell their bread at a loss.

      "These are rumours spread by the running dogs of imperialism and other
enemies of the state," said a government spin-doctor who then asked Over The
Top for a loaf of bread, saying he hadn't eaten in a week. When OTT said
that he himself had no bread (or sugar, cooking oil, mealie meal, butter,
beef, milk or petrol) the government spokesman looked troubled and said that
he had heard such items were available to economic saboteurs and the party
elite. He then added, hastily, that economic saboteurs and the party elite
were two separate entities and should not be confused, which OTT said was
arguably the biggest lie he had uttered all day.

      Meanwhile, it was reported that corpulent gentlemen from the ruling
Zany Party met in a central stronghold to discuss the food crisis and ways
to resolve the country's economic decline. It was resolved that the best way
to resolve the troubled central African country's economic problems was to
blame white people, British people, the inherent weaknesses of capitalism,
the Asian community, multinational companies, colonial history, farmers,
businesses with no connection to the Zany party and anyone else who came to
mind. Above all, it was decided blame should be spread wide while
responsibility for the economic meltdown should not be laid at the feet of
the Zany Party which was, as always, in full control of
everything-especially the police who would deal harshly with anyone who
suggested poor economic planning and corruption had anything to do with the
fact that cigarettes are unavailable in a country that was just last year
the world's second largest tobacco producer.
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Zim Standard

      For how long can Mugabe continue defying fate?

      THE question that Zimbabweans are perennially asking each other in
fuel, maize meal, bread and many other, queues, is just how long this can
continue? For how long can such a conglomeration of lies go on?

      First, it was the work of multinational companies and British
imperialists, then technical and transport problems were being experienced
in the procurement of fuel, now the finger is being pointed at the National
Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim), the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the
ministry of finance and economic development. It goes on and on.

      It must, however, be pointed out to Zanu PF and the government that
sometimes silence is golden. The conscious use of silence is, in many
respects, the most extreme form of ambiguity. It can reflect, and be
perceived to reflect divided councils, indecision, the ominous quiet before
the storm, and either opposition, indifference or support. It minimises
commitments and maximises options. It even lends credence to words when they
are uttered.

      But Zanu PF's propensity to foolishly rush in with explanations at
every turn has transformed the party into a lying machine. Nobody believes
anything that is uttered by the ruling party any more. Why they bother to
explain anything boggles the mind. No one trusts them anymore. Zanu PF has
been telling fibs for so long that this has become second nature to it.

      The fact that the ruling party feels compelled to make instant public
utterances on just about everything that bears no resemblance to reality on
the ground, reminds us of well-known sayings: 'Empty vessels make the
loudest noise', 'Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread'. The fuel and
food situations in the country are cases in point. Our sincere advice to
Zanu PF is to continue their looting in silence.

      Looting and struggle for spoils-yes-that's what Zanu PF has been doing
for the past two-and-a-half years. Despite the empty rhetoric this weekend
from the National 'People's' Conference in Chinhoyi, the truth of the matter
is that the so-called land redistribution exercise has been little more than
a struggle for spoils. Let us not pretend otherwise. The evidence on the
ground is there for all to see.

      This reality makes Zanu PF's sixth annual National 'People's'
conference a non-event. Nothing concrete or tangible will come out of that
conference. It will be more of the same-rhetoric about British imperialism,
Tony Blair etc, whilst the country continues to be devastated by hunger,
starvation, exorbitant prices and acute shortages of fuel, food and other
basic commodities.

      Despite its centrality to the economy, no mention was made by
President Mugabe in his keynote address in Chinhoyi about fuel problems that
have paralyzed the country in recent times. Can anybody therefore be blamed
for thinking that the government is not serious about addressing the
economic problems facing Zimbabwe.

      The same leaders who have caused the current crises are the same
leaders who are in Chinhoyi. The 3 000 or so delegates from all the
provinces of the country are there just to rubber stamp the threadbare
rhetoric of the leadership and to sing and dance to Elliot Manyika's Nora.
Chefism and party bossism is rife in Zanu PF and the delegates will bear the
degradation in silence.

      The fact that these past two weeks have been very trying ones in terms
of fuel and food shortages, is of no consequence to them. The tide of
feeling that is running very high in the country about shortages and
skyrocketing prices will equally be of no consequence to them.

      How Zimbabweans are managing their lives in these very difficult times
is indeed a mystery. Life in this country has become impossible. We
genuinely ask: How are ordinary people managing? With a monthly pension that
cannot even buy six toilet rolls, how are retired senior Zimbabweans
expected to keep their heads above water? With a monthly salary of rarely
more than 5 000 Zimkwachas, how are maids and gardeners managing to make
ends meet?

      No joy will emanate from the Chinhoyi meeting. Chinhoyi or no
Chinhoyi, the economy will continue its downward spiral. In fact, with no
end in sight for the fuel blues, the economy is slowly but surely grinding
to a halt.

      The depression both in the economy and people will not lift until Zanu
PF is peacefully booted out of power. We might seem brutal in our
factuality, but if the truth be told, this is what has to be done. And we
are saying this not for the hell of it but with honest intentions. We are
also saying it more in sorrow than in anger. For it must not be forgotten
that this was once a beautiful country.

      But now the beauty has gone. The country is blazing. The circumstances
are cruel enough. Crueller still, is the absence of any strategy on the part
of Zanu PF, to lift us out of this economic quagmire.

      There can no longer be any doubt that Zanu PF and President Mugabe, in
particular, are Zimbabwe's albatross. The President is oblivious to the
reality that his actions are wounding the nation and that the victims of
Zanu PF's policies are ordinary Zimbabweans who are paying a terrible price.

      President Mugabe has become divorced from the realities of the people
that he purports to represent.

      Zimbabweans are a depressed lot. Because of their daily struggles,
stress has become the order of the day. Companies are closing shop and for
those still limping on, there is very low morale as a result of government's
unclear and confused policies.

      That so many companies are still operating and a few commercial
farmers are still putting in a crop this season, is testimony to the
commitment, entrepreneurial spirit and extreme resilience of Zimbabweans.
Had it been any other country, we have no doubt that both companies and many
more farmers would have simply closed shop or relocated elsewhere.

      Perhaps the extent of the present economic crisis is a blessing in
disguise. The country has passed the tragic point of no return. There is a
feeling in the air that change must come!

      Zimbabweans have been a patient and docile lot. They have been bearing
their suffering and degradation in silence. It might not be that long before
they smash this image forever.

      For how long can President Mugabe continue defying his fate?
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Zim Standard

      Export companies hit by supply fears
      By Kumbirai Mafunda

      ZIMBABWEAN companies are on the verge of losing their export market
share because of customer concern over reliability of supplies following the
imposition of a new government policy on foreign currency retention.

      Companies involved in the export business told Standard Business that
some markets had already raised concern about Zimbabwe's ability to continue
availing products and services to meet demand.

      In his budget statement, finance and economic development minister,
Herbert Murerwa, increased the foreign currency component that exporting
companies must remit to the central bank, to 50% from 40%, with the
remaining 50% being also surrendered and held by the central bank to the
order of the exporter.

      Shane Moran, a commercial director with Murray and Roberts Zimbabwe, a
company involved in the construction industry, told Standard Business that
customers had begun questioning their sustainability in light of the new

      "We are equally concerned about our market. Our customers consider
Zimbabwe an unsuitable place to get products from. They don't know if we are
going to be in business for very much longer," said Moran.

      One exporter who requested anonymity, said the processing of import
applications was very slow and that his application for a US$800 facility to
purchase spare parts had been turned down.

      Border Timbers Limited (BTL), another export-oriented concern whose
export markets are South Africa, United States of America, United Kingdom,
Germany and Japan amongst others, also risks losing its markets to its main
competitors from Chile and Brazil.

      In one of its trading updates, BTL, which recently lost millions of
dollars after its timber plantations in Chimanimani were razed, allegedly by
war veterans, said production and order levels were pathetic.

      "The order position from BTL's customers has been falling off
significantly following the mayhem on our properties," said BTL.

      Insiders say management's efforts to reassure the customer base of
continuity of supplies had come to nought.

      Analysts say the 100% retention rate was a government ploy to pay for
fuel imports and foreign commitments in the form of foreign debts and salary
for embassy staff.

      Danny Meyer, former president of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of
Commerce and chief executive of Surgimed Trading, rapped the new
requirements saying they had caused a lot of uncertainty in the market.

      "There is so much confusion around because of the lack of clarity.
There is generally low morale among companies and chief executives as a
result of unclear policies. This doesn't augur well for us when we start the
year in 2003," said Meyer.

      The industrialist said companies had to work eminently hard at
maintaining constant contacts with suppliers and customers who were very
concerned about Zimbabwe.

      "We have to do a lot of damage control. We also urge government to
reconsider the policies they are implementing and address fundamental issues
to restore stability in industry and commerce," added Meyer.

      What this story means: That so many Zimbabwean companies are still
operating is testament to the commitment and entrepreneural capacity of
Zimbabweans. Government has now resorted to stealing the rest of their
export earnings and this places all exporting companies in a difficult
position. Government has no respect for business and, had it been in any
other country, companies would have simply closed shop or relocated.
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Zim Standard

      War vets beat up Zanu PF official
      By our own Staff

      A SENIOR Zanu PF official, Agrippa Mdlalo Ndlukula, was assaulted last
week by war veterans inside the chambers of the Insiza Rural District
Council after he insisted that landless youths rather than a government
minister, should take over a rich farm in Matabeleland South.

      Ndlukula, who is the district treasurer for Filabusi, was beaten up at
a meeting called to resolve a wrangle over a section of the prime ranch,
Goddard Farm.

      The farm, which stretches from the Fort Rixon commercial farming area
down into the Filabusi communal area, is suitable for cattle and animal
ranching. The part of the ranch which is up for grabs was surrendered to the
government a few months ago by its owner identified only as Goddard.

      The Standard understands that this section of the farm has caused
serious squabbles within the leadership circles of the Zanu PF Matabeleland
branch because, on the one hand, a group of landless youths occupying the
land, are insisting that they are the rightful owners of the land while on
the other, Sithembiso Nyoni, the minister of small and medium enterprises
development, has also laid claim to the farm.

      The wrangle saw the Insiza District Coordinating Committee calling a
meeting at the chambers of the Insiza Rural District Council to decide on
the ownership of the farm.

      Sources at the meeting told The Standard that tempers flared when Zanu
PF district treasurer for Filabusi, Ndlukula, insisted that the farm went to
its youthful occupiers.

      "Ndlukula was steadfast in his insistence that the farm should go to
the youths of the district. But the war veterans who supported Sithembiso
Nyoni handcuffed him and beat him thoroughly using fists and booted feet.
Ndlukula suffered head injuries and was treated at Filabusi district
hospital," said the source.

      The war veterans are reported to have resisted police attempts to
arrest them, charging that since they were the patriotic liberators of this
country, the police were merely their servants and had no powers of arrest
over them, said the source.

      The Standard has established that the war veterans were arrested after
the incident.

      A nurse at Filabusi hospital, who declined to be named, confirmed that
Ndlukula had been treated for head injuries and back pains on Wednesday.

      He said a scan had also been recommended for Ndlukula after he had
complained of backache.

      Police in Filabusi refused to confirm or deny that they had opened a
docket on the case or had arrested suspects in connection with the matter.

      "The officer in charge is on leave and I cannot give you that
information," was all that the anonymous officer could say after a long wait
while he consulted with other officers in the background.
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Zim Standard

      Health time bomb ticking on farms
      By Chengetai Zvauya

      A HEALTH time bomb is ticking on the former commercial farms where
villagers have been dumped on virgin land without adequate water and
sanitation facilities, The Standard has established.

      The situation is reportedly so bad in remote areas that the
parliamentary portfolio committee on lands and agriculture is to embark on a
national tour to assess the situation.

      "We are concerned with the situation on the farms and hope that after
touring several of them, we will have a clear picture of what exactly is
happening,'' said MP Daniel Mackenzie Ncube who is the chairman of the

      In a fast track resettlement exercise, government resettled over 300
000 families without first putting in place vital infrastructure such as
hospitals, classrooms and toilets. Government was hoping to earn political
mileage prior to a tough March presidential election which pitted President
Robert Mugabe against opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.

      However, fears abound that some of the people who have ventured deep
into the forests previously meant for wildlife habitation could succumb to
diseases such as cholera, malaria and dysentery this rainy season if health
personnel are not urgently deployed to these areas.

      In the absence of boreholes, desperate villagers are having to drink
dirty water sourced from rivers and dams and find themselves at the mercy of
mosquitoes and wild animals which infest their land.

      The nearest clinics are sometimes 40 kilometres away.

      Two weeks ago, a cholera outbreak at Angus Farm, Dewure Extension and
Village 26 in Bikita, resulted in the death of seven people because of lack
of health care facilities.

      The situation is worse for the former farm workers who have been
forced off their properties.

      The departure of the white Zimbabwean farmers has also meant the end
of service provision at most of the farms taken over by war veterans and
militant Zanu PF supporters. The farms no longer have fresh water as most of
the pipes have been vandalised, forcing the occupants to drink untreated
water from dams and rivers.

      The bush toilet, abandoned some years ago when donors provided
assistance to rural communities to build Blair toilets, have made a strong
come back.

      The director of the Farm Community Trust of Zimbabwe, Godfrey
Magaramombe, told The Standard that his organisation was concerned at the
lack of sanitation on the farms.

      "Generally, the situation on the farms is bad. People are drinking
surface water from dams and this water needs to be treated or boiled to
reduce the risk of infection. Since farm occupants are failing to pay their
electricity bills they are not able to get the power needed to pump their

      "The situation differs from farm to farm and is being made worse by
the fact that there are no Blair toilets on the new farms,'' said

      Farm Community Trust assists displaced farm workers.

      Since the start of the farm invasions in 2000, over 3 000 white
Zimbabwean commercial farmers have been forced off their properties.

      About 900 000 farm workers and their families have been displaced over
the same period.

      Investigations by The Standard have also revealed that generally, all
the infrastructure left behind by commercial farmers was under threat as the
new farmers lacked the capacity and skills to maintain it.

      For example, many of the schools that used to operate on the farms
have now been closed due to lack of money and other resources.
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The Sierra Times

The United Nations: It's Time to End the Farce
By Tom DeWeese
Published 12. 14. 02 at 21:01 Sierra Time
      The world is in chaos and, quite frankly, it's the United Nations'
fault. It gives validity to zealots and petty bigots. It helps to keep
tyrannical dictators in power. It provides money and aid to international
terrorists. And it sets itself up as the international economic and
environmental standard which all nations are to mirror. The United Nations
is the root cause of international trouble, not the answer.
      Saddam Hussein is in power, able to threaten world peace today,
because the United States allowed the United Nations to dictate the terms
for the finish to the Gulf War after an American-organized coalition all but
annihilated Iraq as a war machine. In the intervening decade, Iraq has time
and again broken the terms of that treaty. The UN's response has been to
pass 17 toothless resolutions to demand that Iraq behave itself. Delay.
Negotiate. Recommend. Study. Reconsider. Do nothing. This is the game the UN
has played in nearly every international crisis.

      It is the reason North Korea remains a threat and its violent
dictator's son remains in power. It's the reason why Zimbabwe's murderous
dictator, Robert Mugabe, is able to steal his election and then steal the
land of white property owners and still have a voice at the UN's Sustainable
Development Conference. It's the reason why the Communist Chinese are able
to ignore any UN rules not to their liking while growing as an international
military and economic threat. It's the reason why a terrorist nation like
Syria can be given a seat on the UN's Human Rights Council. The United
States must share some of the blame for this situation because we allow this
circus on the East River to exist. The only credibility the UN possesses
comes from recognition by the United States. The only financial security the
UN enjoys comes from funds provided by U.S. taxpayers. The only military
punch the UN has comes from American military power. The United Nations is a
house of cards, but it's a very dangerous house of cards.

      The UN is dangerous because its most vocal membership stands in
opposition of the American values of representative government, justice,
free enterprise, privacy of individuals and private property rights. Most of
the UN's members are nations controlled either by communist regimes,
kingdoms or mad dictators where American values are either unknown or viewed
as a threat.

      Those same UN members are busy working to implement plans for UN
global governance. Already, the UN's International Criminal Court is in
place. The UN has held an international meeting to discuss the possibilities
and methods of implementing global taxes. More plans are under consideration
to establish a UN global army or police force.

      Most member states participating in these planning sessions are from
brutal dictatorships like China and Cuba and brutal fundamental Islamic
states like Syria and Iran. Can any clear thinking American honestly believe
that the ideas coming out of this group would have a possibility of favoring
ideals readily accepted as rights in the United States? Or expressed in the
UN's Charter?

      Many Americans simply do not believe that the United States would
voluntarily give up its sovereignty to the United Nations. They say our
people would never stand for it. It is happening incrementally with
innocent-sounding policies, treaties and protocols.

      The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was sold as simply a
way for American producers to broaden their markets to the international
level. Instead, many have found that details of the treaty dictate rules and
regulations, particularly of the environmental kind, that tilt the playing
field to other nations. As a result, American markets are flooded with
foreign goods as American businesses and jobs head out of the country. As a
result of NAFTA, the American sheep industry has all but disappeared. Other
industries may soon follow as the United States continues to cling to this
discredited policy.

      The European Union was originally sold as another NAFTA through which
nations could join together to compete with the United States in the
international market. Now, once-proud nations have given up their national
sovereignty, ancient currencies like the Italian Lira and the French Franc
have disappeared in place of the Euro. Would the citizens of France, Italy
or Greece ever have agreed to such a move had the whole plan been put on a
ballot? Now there is discussion of an African Union, a South American Union
and a North American Union in which the United States would meld its borders
with Canada and Mexico. The move will be easy since NAFTA has already set
the precedent.

      How long will it be after the establishment of all of these
geographical unions before the world moves towards one international union?
Imagine a world run by the justice of China, with the economics of Cuba and
the military might of the United States. Such is the world of the future
under the United Nations. The United States holds all of the cards, but it
has only one vote in this cesspool of Socialism.

      The United States can end it all now if it wishes. The carefully
calculated idea that the UN is a benevolent institution must be changed.
President Bush has proven that we don't need the United Nations to grant us
permission to protect our national interests. The United States can and will
fight its own war on terrorism. It can and will organize its own coalition
of allies, use its own money, its own weapons, and its own troops to defeat
an enemy who threatens us. When the 108th Congress opens in January,
Congressman Ron Paul will once again introduce H.R. 1146, the American
Sovereignty Restoration Act. His bill calls for the United States to
withdraw from the United Nations. It also calls for the United Nations to
remove its headquarters from our shores. H.R. 1146 would relieve the United
States from participating in UNESCO and UN environmental policies that
endanger our economy and property rights. It would end U.S. participation in
UN peacekeeping missions, meaning we would no longer be helping to prop up
criminal governments and enemies who seek our demise.

      As the UN's irrelevance becomes clearer to Americans; as it drags its
feet, delays and passes yet anther meaningless resolution, the time has
never been better to change the national mindset to say, "Get us out of the
UN." That time is now.

      Tom DeWeese is the publisher/editor of The DeWeese Report and
president of the American Policy Center, a grassroots activist think tank
headquartered in Warrenton, VA.
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Mugabe threatens to nationalise oil companies

December 15 2002 at 11:45AM

Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe wound up his governing party's annual conference on Saturday threatening to nationalise oil distribution firms, many of them foreign, to end a crippling fuel shortage in the country.

He said his government had been "foolish" for too long by importing fuel and giving it to the distribution firms to sell and make profits while the government gets nothing out of the exercise.

"The government can acquire these (distribution) points and compensate them... and distribute the fuel," he said.

"There has to be quick action to assure the holiday spirit is not spoiled," he told the closing session of the two-day annual conference of his Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF).

'I am going into this matter in a more serious way'
"I am going into this matter in a more serious way," Mugabe said.

Zimbabwe is facing an acute fuel shortage and pumps ran dry this week amid allegations that officials at the corruption-ridden state oil-procuring firm want to cancel a fuel supply deal made two years ago between Mugabe and his Libyan ally Moamer Kadhafi.

Mugabe also used the speech to attack the country's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

"MDC is now the chaff, they are the chaff, the chaff in our midst, look at their actions," he said.

"They are on their way out, whatever (British Prime Minister Tony) Blair says about it, or does about it, it's out and out and out," Mugabe said, referring to the British government which he says bankrolls the MDC.

"But don't forget that when there are dying horses like that, they may just have a fatal kick, used to killing as they are. They are planning killings and killings." - Sapa-AFP

Zimbabwe will not accept conditional aid: Mugabe
Chirundu, December 12
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, whose government faces a deepening economic crisis, said on Thursday he would not accept foreign aid that comes "wrapped up in political strings".
Speaking at the opening of a $25 million Japanese-financed bridge between Zimbabwe and Zambia, Mugabe said he would only accept foreign help expressly aimed at improving Zimbabwe's economy.
"Japan has given us clean grant aid packages....not those wrapped up in political strings," Mugabe said.
"Cooperating partners should learn from Japan that when aid is given objectively, given with a purpose of improving economic capacity, that aid is better appreciated," he added.
Mugabe said Japanese aid was usually appreciated as it was given to poor countries without "political objectives".
"We wish to state that we will never accept aid with political objectives even if it is given indirectly," he said.
Zimbabwe is struggling with record high unemployment, inflation and crippling fuel shortages in the country's worst economic crisis in two decades, a debacle which Mugabe has blamed on his domestic and foreign opponents.
Nearly half of the 14 million people in Zimbabwe, once Africa's bread basket, now face severe food shortages caused by drought and Mugabe's controversial land reform policies.
Mugabe was speaking at Chirundu border post, 150 km south of the Zambian capital Lusaka, where he joined Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa in opening the new bridge over the Zambezi river.
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Mugabe's plans seen worsening economic crisis

By Cris Chinaka

HARARE, Dec. 15 — A pledge by President Robert Mugabe to end an economic crisis that has left Zimbabwe suffering severe food and fuel shortages ran into withering criticism on Sunday.
 Mugabe admitted on Saturday that his country had problems and promised to address them, but critics said his strategy was based on increasing state control of the economy and would only make matters worse.
       In an address to the annual conference of his ruling ZANU-PF party in Chinhoyi, northwest Zimbabwe, Mugabe again accused the minority white community of working with former colonial power Britain to topple his government over his seizure of their farms for landless blacks.
       The 78-year-old Mugabe also accused white-owned businesses of sabotaging the economy, and agreed with suggestions by ZANU-PF delegates that the government must increase its role in economic management.
       John Robertson, a leading private economic consultant, commented: ''Chinhoyi is a disaster because Mugabe basically said he is going to do more of the same.
       ''We are deep in this hole because of the very policies that Mugabe is pledging his allegiance to, policies which pretend that the government is a good manager and must occupy a central role in the economy,'' he told Reuters.
       ''Mugabe's policies have not worked even when the economy has been in a good shape, and I think they are going to make the situation worse in the shape the economy now is,'' Robertson added.
       Zimbabwe is struggling with record unemployment, inflation and crippling fuel shortages in its worst economic crisis since independence in 1980.
       Nearly half the 14 million people of a country that was once Africa's bread basket now face severe food shortages caused by drought and Mugabe's controversial land reform policies.
       The private Sunday Standard newspaper said the country was doomed to a worsening economic crisis because Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party had not grasped the fact that change required a change in policy.
       ''There can no longer be any doubt that ZANU-PF and President Mugabe, in particular, are Zimbabwe's albatross.''
       The economic crisis dominated the two-day annual conference as party members took the government to task.
       Delegates quizzed ministers on food aid distribution troubles and proposals for price and wage freezes to help bring down inflation, now at a record 144 percent.
       Mugabe said the government would tighten price controls on basic consumer goods to protect consumers from profiteering companies and could also consider getting involved in the retail sector of the oil industry.
       Mugabe accused foreign oil companies with retail outlets of sitting on their own resources and of profiteering at the expense of the state by not taking up the government's challenge to import their own fuel stocks.
       ''If this does not stop, the government can acquire, buy the distribution points from these companies and distribute fuel on its own,'' he said.
       Fuel has been in short supply since 1999 due to a foreign currency squeeze that has also left the country short of other basic items such as bread, cooking oil, sugar and salt.
       Motorists have been battling for scarce petrol supplies around the country as the fuel crisis brought the country to a near halt.
       Witnesses say many fuel stations have run dry and riot police had been called in to those which still had petrol to stop motorists fighting.
       On Saturday, Mugabe said the fuel crisis was particularly bothersome to him as he had worked out a special deal with Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi.
       He blamed the crisis on government officials who he said had failed to take advantage of the arrangement with Libya where Zimbabwe buys oil in local currency in exchange for joint ventures in tourism and exports of beef and soya beans.
       But Mugabe said nothing about how he intended to tackle a foreign exchange policy partly blamed for Zimbabwe's worsening economic crisis.
       Zimbabwe has kept its local dollar pegged at 55 to the U.S. dollar over the last two years despite a black market exchange rate of some 1,700 to $1.
       In general terms, however, Mugabe said he would follow the instructions of the party conference, which praised almost all his government's policies but called for tighter controls and the deployment of trusted officials in key state sectors.
 Copyright 2002 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.
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