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

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      The government cannot win this war

      11/29/2002 1:05:32 AM (GMT +2)

      VIRTUALLY from day one of coming to power, Zanu PF set for itself one
all-important mission which it was determined to accomplish at any cost:
ruling forever by making Zimbabwe a one-party state. It didn't take long
before it became apparent that the new so-called majority rule government
was far more repressive and a lot less tolerant of criticism and political
pluralism than Ian Smith's had ever been.

      The infamous Gukurahundi, meant to wipe out all support for Joshua
Nkomo's PF-Zapu, a party that was considered regional, was the first show of
that intolerance of political pluralism. Zanu PF's preoccupation now seems
to be to wipe out the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The government
found a convenient excuse for waging Gukurahundi by making it appear it was
fighting insurrectionists which it termed dissidents.

      But, with the benefit of hindsight, it is obvious the brutal operation
was in pursuance of the ruling party's all-consuming agenda to turn Zimbabwe
into a one-party state - an agenda which has become obsession.

      However, while the brutal military operation against PF-Zapu, which in
reality was a war being waged by Zanu PF as the party in power, using State
machinery to destroy what was then the only credible opposition political
party - was confined to the two Matabeleland provinces and the Midlands -
the war against the MDC is nationwide.

      Unlike the Gukurahundi operation, the war to obliterate the MDC by all
means possible is exactly that - every possible means is being used, from
harassment and torture to the withholding of food aid to all starving
communities suspected to be anti-Zanu PF, an outrage no other government has
ever been known to resort to in the entire world.

      On Tuesday this paper reported that Zanu PF youths destroyed about 10
hectares of maize at Cashel Valley in Manicaland's Chimanimani district,
even as the maize shortage crisis is worsening, all because the growers of
that maize are suspected MDC supporters. And there was not a word of rebuke
from official circles.

      In a heart-rending letter to this newspaper, a schoolteacher in Binga
wrote: "We are appealing to all churches in South Africa and all over the
world to pray for the survival of the children in Binga. Because President
Mugabe banned any kind of food from being distributed in Binga, most
children are on the verge of dying of hunger. The musika tree fruit which
the people had turned to as a substitute for sadza is now finished, so there
is nothing to eat. The children being victimised are not MDC."

      Isn't it a crying shame that a government will resort to starving
children to force their parents not to support the opposition party?
      Perhaps the most visible example of the government's apparent
determination to do to the MDC what it did to PF-Zapu is its relentless
persecution - and prosecution - of the opposition party's top officials and
parliamentarians. The police have acted against several of them, including
party leader Morgan Tsvangirai, MPs Welshman Ncube, David Coltart, Tafadzwa
Musekiwa, Job Sikhala, Roy Bennet and Fletcher Dulini-Ncube. Embarrassingly
for the government, in many cases, charges against the opposition officials
have been thrown out by the courts.

      Even when there is no evidence of them having committed a crime, such
as in the case of at least three Matabeleland North MPs, the most recent
victim being Jealous Sansole, quite a few of them have been savagely
attacked by war veterans or by soldiers for no apparent reason.

      The vexing question in the minds of many people must obviously be: Is
it only MDC officials - more specifically MPs - who have criminal
tendencies? Conversely, they may also ask: Are all Zanu PF MPs so saintly
that none of them has ever committed an offence?

      It is not too late for the ruling party and the government to learn
that you cannot force anyone to love you. If people no longer support Zanu
PF, no amount of brutalisation will make them do so again. This is one war
the government cannot win. The government will have to find a better way of
wooing people back to Zanu PF. It could start by restoring the rule of law.
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      CIO official loots Nyamandlovu farm

      11/29/2002 12:47:05 AM (GMT +2)

      From Chris Gande in Bulawayo

      A TOP Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) member has allegedly
looted $50 million worth of vegetables from a Nyamandlovu farm and forced
the owners out of their farmhouse.

      The farm owners, Margaret and John Sankey, reported the matter to
Nyamandlovu Police Station and the Crime Report number is 0074551.

      Thandanani Farm is Bulawayo's leading vegetable producer and the
country's largest producer of sweet potatoes.

      The CIO operative, identified only as Chibaya, was allocated 100
hectares of Thandanani Farm under the government's land reform programme but
has moved to the other part where the farmhouse is located.

      He has reportedly seized farming equipment worth more than $500 000
from the farm.

      A group of about 20 people claiming to be his workers are reportedly
guarding more than $4,5 million worth of the Sankeys' farming equipment.

      Sankey's wife said before Chibaya invaded the farm on Monday, he had
been taking 100 pockets of onions a day. By Wednesday he had looted more
than 20 tonnes of onions.

      The highly productive farm is under a Section 8 notice which was due
to expire in January. Initially, the Sankeys farm measured 400 hectares,
divided into plots of 100 hectares.

      They bought the farm, located in the middle of the Nyamandlovu area,
in 1987.

      Three plots, including the one allocated to Chibaya, were taken,
leaving them with the 100-hectare plot. Sankey's wife said: "We know that
the other farms are gone but we want our one and only plot back. We are
farmers and farming is the only thing we know, so we are going back to the

      She said when they confronted Chibaya over the looting of vegetables
he pulled out a gun and threatened to shoot them.

      She said when Chibaya came to the farm on Monday he was in the company
of a police officer and another CIO operative identified only as Ngwenya.

      "They want to take crops which they did not sweat for. They have no
legal basis to take away our one and only farm," she said.
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      Call to use traditional herbs to fight Aids

      11/29/2002 12:53:02 AM (GMT +2)

      From Guthrie Munyuki in Gaborone, Botswana

      TRADITIONAL medicines can be used effectively in the fight against the
HIV/Aids pandemic, a Ugandan dentist and herbalist told the Centre for
Applied Social Studies Regional Public Programme conference here yesterday.

      Uganda's fight against the pandemic has been universally acknowledged
as one of the most successful, not only in Africa, but in the world.

      The conference is being attended by delegates from a number of
Southern Africa Development Community countries, including Zimbabwe.

      Dr Sakagya Yahaya, a dentist by profession and a herbalist by calling,
said traditional medicines played a significant role in the fight against
HIV/Aids in Uganda.

      "The Ugandan Traditional Healers' Association was formed to respond to
poor health conditions and lack of proper treatment," Nahaya said.
      He said traditional drugs had proved more effective than Western
medicine as they reversed some of the symptoms.

      Nahaya said the medicine treated diarrhoea, vomiting, herpes zoster
and the wasting away of the body.

      But he said traditional medicines were often treated with contempt by
religious groups who associated traditional healers with demons.

      Another Ugandan doctor, Dr Dickson Opul, said southern Africa had to
move away from its reliance on Western drugs only, as it sought to fight the
prevalence rates of HIV/Aids.

      "We must have an entry point to start life. Surely we should focus on
investing in traditional medicines. I would encourage you to use your
cultural vehicles to stop the pandemic," Opul said.

      Opul said risk perceptions, change of attitudes and uninterrupted,
sustained campaigns were the key elements to southern Africa's fight against
the pandemic.

      Opul said southern Africa had a fight on its hands as it grappled with
the pandemic.

      Opul said Ugandans had changed their attitude in dealing with HIV/Aids
in 1991 when their response to the problem helped reduce its prevalence from
15 percent at that time to the current 5 percent.

      "There was high political response to the pandemic. What you (southern
Africa) need is a sustained and uninterrupted campaign. With that you are
bound to change," he said.

      He said when the cases of HIV/Aids were first recorded in Uganda, the
Ugandans changed their attitude and the communities, government and
business, responded fully to the problem.

      "Uganda spearheaded the concept of Voluntary and Counselling and
Testing (VCT) before the global world came up with the idea later," Opul
said. "VCTs started in 1990 and were geared to empower communities. Post
Test Clubs were introduced for those who had tested negative so that they
would remain in the club disseminating information to those who had not
tested positive."

      He said VCTs were more than just centres for testing and counselling.
"It is more than just testing. It is what happens after testing," Opul said.
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      Beitbridge school closed after cholera outbreak

      11/29/2002 12:58:15 AM (GMT +2)

      From Oscar Nkala in Bulawayo

      The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare has ordered the closure of
Tongwe School near Beitbridge after 17 pupils contracted cholera last

      The outbreak, which has killed one person, comes less than a week
before the eclipse of the sun.

      Beitbridge is one of the areas expected to have a total solar eclipse
which is anticipated to attract thousands of tourists.

      Sixteen of the cholera victims have been admitted to hospital.

      Dr David Parirenyatwa, the Minister of Health and Child Welfare,
yesterday confirmed the outbreak, saying the ministry was making good
progress in containing the epidemic.

      He said all the affected students were still in isolation at
Beitbridge District Hospital yesterday.

      Parirenyatwa said: "We have mobilised staff from all over Matabeleland
and Masvingo to assist in containing the epidemic. We have set up centres at
Tongwe School and in major business centres like Lutumba to make sure that
we have control teams covering the affected area.
      "It is generally confined to one area, but we are in the process of
disinfecting boreholes in and around the affected area. We have also sourced
intravenous fluids to stabilise the condition of the infected."

      Parirenyatwa said his ministry had isolated all the infected pupils
until the epidemic was under control.

      Sources in the health sector said the government had made frantic
efforts to conceal the outbreak from the media for fear that widespread
publicity would scare away solar eclipse watchers who are expected to come
to Beitbridge nextweek.

      "Every member of the health team dealing with the outbreak is under
orders to make sure that no information on this outbreak reaches the media,
to avoid scaring away the eclipse enthusiasts," said one source.

      Parirenyatwa said the disease could have spread by infected food
bought from Lutumba business centre, about 25 kilometres from Beitbridge.

      But the sources said the disease had been traced to a self-employed
trader suspected to have contracted it in an affected area of Masvingo.
      The sources said the health teams had information that upon his return
from Masvingo, the man went through Tongwe, Masera and ended up at a fishing
camp at Zhovhe Dam where he fell ill.

      "We are positive that the man brought the disease from Masvingo
because soon after he fell ill, we started receiving reports from all the
areas he had passed through," said the sources.

      A cholera outbreak was reported in Masvingo last month and there were
fears that it was spilling over into Beitbridge.

      Parirenyatwa admitted that the outbreak could result in solar eclipse
enthusiasts cancelling their bookings and choose to view the eclipse from
other venues.

      "We are aware that this outbreak may affect solar eclipse business.
That is why we are working so hard to contain it. We are making good
progress and there is no reason for anyone to fear a recurrence within the
next week," he said.

      Beitbridge is expecting thousands of solar eclipse watchers from
throughout the world on 4 December when the southernmost part of the country
experiences the rare natural phenomenon.
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      No typhoid outbreak in Harare, says official

      11/29/2002 12:45:40 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      ONLY one case of typhoid fever was notified from premises in one of
Harare's high-density residential suburbs, the acting Director of City
Health Department, Dr Maureen Wellington, said on Wednesday.

      She said: "Secondly, there was an increase in incidence of watery
diarrhoea cases in the west-south-west suburbs of Budiriro, Mufakose and
Glen View, which is common during this time of the year, but the numbers are
on the decline."

      A report carried in Tuesday's issue of The Daily News incorrectly
suggested there had been an outbreak of typhoid fever in Harare.

      Wellington said: "First and foremost, there is only one case of
typhoid fever which has been notified from one residential premises in one
of the high-density residential suburbs and not 'a number of high-density
suburbs in the capital.'

      "Most importantly, what needed to be made clear is the difference
between typhoid and watery diarrhoea.

      A typhoid fever incident is different from a watery diarrhoea
incident, both from the seriousness of the case, causative agent and
treatment regime. A watery diarrhoea incident is a milder enteric infection
than that of typhoid."

      She said investigations were under way to establish the source of the
increased watery diarrhoea cases and the notified case of typhoid from Glen

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      Tsvangirai vows to continue

      11/29/2002 12:55:54 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      MORGAN Tsvangirai, the president of the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), on Wednesday assured Zimbabweans that his party remained resolute in
its endeavour to feed millions of starving Zimbabweans.

      Tsvangirai made the fresh commitment when he addressed over 50 women
demonstrating outside the MDC's Harvest House offices in Harare.

      The women implored the MDC leader to intervene as the country faced
its worst economic and political woes.

      "We have heard your cries, we shall make sure you never starve,"
Tsvangirai said amid loud cheers and applause.

      In a statement addressed to Tsvangirai, the women who said they
represented all mothers across the country, blamed the government for the
mess in Zimbabwe.

      "We are pleading with you to help us, as we are groping in hunger and
starvation because you are the true president elected by the people in March
this year," the statement read.

      "Because of Mugabe's destruction and plunder of wealth, Zimbabweans
now find themselves facing death by starvation. Our children can no longer
afford to go to school and our husbands have been forced out of work."

      Business in Harare's Nelson Mandela Avenue was yesterday brought to a
brief standstill as the sloganeering, pot and pan beating demonstrators were
joined by members of the public.

      The women accused Zanu PF of using food aid as a weapon to break the
opposition structures and ensure forced allegiances to the ruling party.

      The statement said: "In the high-density areas, maize-meal is being
sold to Zanu PF card-carrying members only. We wonder where Robert (Mugabe)
got such a heavy heart to punish his own people in such a manner.

      "Our daughters are also being raped by the infamous Border Gezi youths
and the illegitimate regime of Mugabe condones such acts as the perpetrators
are not brought to book."

      Tsvangirai yesterday urged Zimbabweans to intensify the pressure for
political change.

      "The concerns you are raising are quite legitimate and the nation is
behind you. There is no way we can accept to live in a climate where the
political scene is characterised by traumatised citizens, a polarised nation
and fractured communities hurting and hating themselves because of lack of
freedom and a systematic denial of our basic rights," he said.
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      Ex-BHP workers evicted from Norton flats

      11/29/2002 12:37:28 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      ABOUT 26 former Broken Hill Proprietary (BHP) workers, living at
Jacaranda Flats in Norton for the past four years, were on Wednesday evicted
to pave the way for the workers of Zimplats, which has taken over the
platinum mining establishment.

      An additional 10 were evicted yesterday.

      Officers at Norton Police Station confirmed the evictions but refused
to give details.

      An officer who answered the phone said: "The tenants were reportedly
not paying their rents."

      Their property was removed from the company houses and they slept in
the open following their court-ordered eviction by Zimplats.

      The workers were in the flats as part of their employment benefits
with BHP, before the sudden closure of the mine in June 1999.

      Yesterday, several of the tenants milled around the flats. Private
security guards guarding the premises denied them access to drinking water
and toilets.

      Andrew Malunga, 43, a former boilermaker with BHP, claimed his letter
of appointment stated they would occupy the houses for about 25 years, and
would eventually buy them.

      He said: "The mine closed and we were left in the cold. They paid us
our severance packages and assured us no one would remove us from our
houses. That's why we were living here."

      The workers said they paid their monthly rent to an unidentified BHP
housing officer, now working for Zimplats, until January 2000 when they
stopped paying at the instigation of the officer.

      Rosewitta Murombo, 32, one of the tenants, said they paid between $350
to $2 500 every month in rent until they stopped in 2000.

      "They came yesterday and ordered us out. Aston Musunga, the Zimplats
lawyer, came with police officers and evicted us," she said. "We were
unprepared for this. They should have told us where to pay the rent."
      Angela Mutundura, 33, said their children could not attend school due
to their eviction.

      "We entered into an agreement with BHP to buy these flats through a
rent-to-buy arrangement, but surprisingly when Zimplats took over
operations, they never consulted the workers on the status of the houses,"
she said. But Musunga said the former BHP workers were evicted because they
had not paid their rent for the past two years.

      "I was instructed by Zimplats to evict them," he said. "There was a
lease agreement between BHP and the former workers. Zimplats evicted them
because they no longer paid their rents. I issued summons on that basis."

      Jonathan Samkange of Byron Venturas and Partners, representing the 55
tenants, said he was unaware of their eviction.

      He said: "I thought there were negotiations between Zimplats and the
tenants. "I cannot comment on the whole issue now."

      Zimplats owns 70 percent of Makwiro Platinum (Pvt) Limited, while
South Africa's Impala owns the remaining 30 percent.

      In April, Annah Moyo, Zimplats public relations consultant, said the
tenants were buying time because they did not have any legal grounds to
argue their case.

      Zimplats reportedly consulted the government on the matter and donated
315 houses to Zebakwe Housing Trust which was scheduled to be for the
benefit of the affected workers.The Trust is scheduled to be officially
launched on 2 December.
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      Barwe fires shots at war vet over land row

      11/29/2002 12:43:47 AM (GMT +2)

      By Precious Shumba

      Reuben Barwe, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation chief
correspondent embroiled in a land ownership dispute with war veterans, on
Wednesday allegedly fired three shots at one of the plotholders, an
ex-freedom fighter.

      Relations between Barwe and the war veterans at a farm in Norton
reached boiling point on Wednesday when Barwe, 49, allegedly pulled out his
pistol and fired at Isaac Chidhakwa, 46, one of seven plotholders at
Sunnyside Extension Farm.

      Police in Norton confirmed the incident while Barwe could not be
reached for comment yesterday.

      An officer at Norton Police Station said an Inspector Sithole, the
police district intelligence officer with the Police Internal Security
Intelligence, recorded Barwe's statement of the reported incident between 12
noon and 1pm yesterday.

      "Barwe has been officially charged with the offence of discharging his
firearm and attempting to kill the war veteran," he said.

      In March this year, Barwe allegedly fired two shots into the air at
Budiriro Flats in Harare to scare off people who were jeering at him for his
pro-government news reporting.

      Earlier that day on 9 March, the first polling day of the presidential
election, Barwe was involved in an altercation with voters at Glen View
      3 shopping centre polling station.

      In an interview yesterday, Chidhakwa confirmed he had reported the
incident to the police.

      He said the incident happened at about 5pm on Wednesday as he returned
from his plot. He said he was in the company of another plotholder, Abisha

      "Before we reached the gate, we met Barwe who stopped his vehicle. He
ordered me to talk to him about their problems, but l refused to stop,"
      Chidhakwa said. "He became hostile. l walked away because he looked
very dangerous. I turned around and the next thing I saw was Barwe aiming a
gun at me.

      "I took to my heels and he fired a shot which went wide."
      Barwe reportedly then proceeded to Chidhakwa's plot where the war
veteran's workers were planting maize seed and threatened to shoot

      Barwe allegedly came back and chased Chidhakwa in his vehicle, firing
two shots in the process, which again went wide. Chidhakwa said he sought
shelter at the adjacent Hunyani Forest Farm.

      War veterans allocated land at Sunnyside have previously attempted to
evict Barwe from the farm.

      Last Wednesday, Barwe denied they were trying to evict him. He
maintained he still retained the 240 hectares allocated to him and had
already tilled about 50 hectares and planted maize and soya beans.

      Sunnyside was designated by the government under the chaotic land
distribution programme and the Department of Agricultural Extension Services
pegged 12 plots.

      Barwe was allocated one of the plots, 66 hectares in size, but has
reportedly insisted he owns all the 240 hectares.

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      UN acts on Tongogara

      11/29/2002 12:36:02 AM (GMT +2)

      From Brian Mangwende in Mutare

      THE United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has tightened
security at Tongogara refugee camp in Chipinge amid allegations of rampant
sexual abuse of vulnerable refugees by humanitarian workers and senior
officials earlier this year.

      Tongogara refugee camp is home to at least 800 displaced people from
countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi,
Sudan and Mozambique.

      Speaking at a workshop in Mutare on sexual and gender-based violence,
David Mlambo, the UNHCR's administrator, said the police would now be
deployed round the clock at the camp, while male advisors would be replaced
with female ones as they were suspected to be the perpetrators of sexual

      "Because of reports of sexual harassment at Tongogara camp, it is only
prudent to tighten security there," he said.

      "Women are now going to assume the roles of counsellors or advisors
because men are alleged to be at the root of the problem. Policemen are
going to be permanently stationed on the premises. The security is going to
be tightened to avoid embarrassment."

      In July, two senior officials, Ernest Maigurira, the International
Catholic Migration Commission's programme director in Zimbabwe, and Mavuvo
Pambai, the commission's community service officer at Tongogara camp, were
investigated over allegations of sexual harassment.

      They were alleged to have demanded sexual favours from single women
and female minors in return for scholarships and provisions such as food and
blankets, to which the refugees were entitled in any case.

      John Adu, the UNHCR's director in Zimbabwe, said yesterday: "There
have been many allegations of humanitarian workers being themselves the
abusers in refugee camps. This is a great concern for the High Commissioner
for Refugees. You heard about the highly-publicised scandal in West Africa
as well as our own in Tongogara camp. It tarnishes all of us in the eyes of
those we are here to protect, as well as to the outside world."

      He said the High Commissioner has put in place a Zero Tolerance of
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence policy to be carried out by
      approved humanitarian workers.

      "To further enforce the policy, a strict code of conduct has been
developed and all the staff of UNHCR have signed their commitment to abide
by its provisions," Adu said.

      "There are serious disciplinary measures for any transgression. It is
a form of self-policing as an organisation to eliminate the possibility of
such gross misconduct such as selling humanitarian assistance in exchange
for sex as is alleged to have happened in the incidents aforementioned."
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Leader Page

      Youth - cannon fodder in Africa's conflicts

      11/29/2002 1:08:17 AM (GMT +2)

      THE African youth, to say the least, is a sorely challenged social
category, visible yet not heard and when heard at all, it is too often in
discordant notes of war, rebellion, riots and other disturbances.

      It would be stretching the definition too far to claim that I am still
a youth though I will continue to defend the notion of youth as a state of
the mind.

      Just two generations ago across this continent, it was divine to be
young. We had hopes, nurtured grand ambitions, and believed that even the
sky was not a limit, just an obstacle to be surmounted. There were also
great battles and struggles to inspire our youthful innocence.

      There was the epic battle against settler colonialism in southern
Africa and the apartheid regime in South Africa. The context of the Cold War
also simplified the world into the good guys against the bad guys. We used
to chant Amilcar Cabral's dictum: "Every spectator is either a coward or a
traitor," in a world where there were only two roads: progress or reaction.

      Outside of Africa there was Vietnam for earlier generations, and for
ours there was Nicaragua and Cambodia. Even in international multilateral
organisations there were issues like the New Information
      Order, New International Economic Order, the Non-Aligned Movement and

      There were a lot of issues to help politicise the youths and students
both locally and internationally.

      We used to very confidently say: "We can beat them, therefore we won't
join them." As we grew older, many of our erstwhile revolutionaries
      became realists or just plain opportunists and started chanting: "If
you can't beat them, join them."

      But what are the choices available for the African youth of today?
Even those who wish to join the system - and things are just so desperate
that they would join any system anywhere - soon find out that they cannot
really join them.

      What has the African youth got to look forward to now?

      As the active labour force, the majority of them cannot look forward
to a future with employment, gainful or otherwise. For the few who have
higher qualifications or degrees, many are being certified without
      being educated. For the many who are not fortunate enough to go to any
school, the collapsing economies around them mean blighted futures.

      We were forced to confront these issues at a recent conference titled:
Learning for Change - Youths and Conflict Avoidance in West Africa, held at
the Africa Leadership Forum's Conference Centre, Temperance Guest House,
Otta, Ogun State, Nigeria. It is a wonderful retreat environment, if you can
survive the notorious Lagos traffic and get there.

      The Conference was co-organised by Community Development and Advocacy
Centre, Centre for Democracy and Development and the Pan-African Development
Education and Advocacy Programme. It brought together youth from a number of
West African countries namely, Ghana, Benin, Sierra Leone, Liberia, the
Gambia, as well as West African youth from the United Kingdom and the host
country, Nigeria.

      It was a great opportunity to hear youth from different backgrounds
and organisations and those working with them, comparing experiences and
      discussing ways and means of enhancing the interest of the youth in
the political, social and economic livelihoods of their countries.

      The youths are marginalised within the marginalised and
disproportionately victims and perpetrators of the many senseless wars and
armed conflicts across the African continent.

      They are the bulk of the regular army and rebel groups, party thugs,
vigilantes, militias, and other armed groups. The Otta Conference document
noted: "In places that have suffered prolonged civil wars like Sierra Leone
or Liberia, the acquisition of small arms and the knowledge of unleashing
violence with impunity have perverted the sense of worth and self-esteem of
many youths. Holding an AK47 has become both a prestige and power status for
young people with no other prospects."

      Any society that promotes desperate poverty on one hand, and fabulous
wealth on the other, with little in-between, as do many African countries,
cannot be a viable society.

      Indeed it is a society to be replaced by concrete proactive policies
and attitudes that turn the majority of the people into active stakeholders.
In order to make war, violence, political and religious extremism less
attractive to Africans as a whole, but in particular to the youth who are
used as storm troopers, we must create an enabling environment that gives
them hope, guarantees their security and puts a premium on peaceful
progress, sustainable growth and development.

      It is a cliché to say the youth are the leaders of tomorrow. How can
the youth believe this when the same men (and mostly men) but also women, of
yesteryear are still firmly dominating the socio-economic and political
structures without any predictable renewal efforts or successor generational
training. How can the youth be patient when there are no clear road maps as
to when the system could confidently let them assume responsibility?

      We often concentrate too much on formal politics and political
positions when we talk about empowerment. This is too narrow because having
young people in specific offices is not necessarily empowering the youth.

      Almost every ruling party or opposition movement has its own youthful
apologists who may care more for their bosses than the youth. As with the
struggle to correct the unequal gender relations, empowering the youth must
mean mainstreaming their concerns in all the facets of our public and
private lives. Let them be heard if you want them to listen to you, trust
them with responsibilities and journey with them as they develop into
responsible citizens, contributing to general peace and development.

      - Dr Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem is the secretary-general of the Pan-African
Movement, Kampala, Uganda.
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Daily News

      MDC volunteer denies tempering with voters' roll

      11/29/2002 12:57:00 AM (GMT +2)

      By Luke Tamborinyoka Political Editor

      TOPPER Whitehead, an MDC volunteer worker whose affidavit is part of
the presidential election petition filed in the High Court, alleges the
Registrar-General barred him from collecting evidence from the voters' roll
because he had started unravelling serious irregularities.

      Whitehead was responding to allegations against him published in The
Herald of 20 November 2002, that the Registrar-General's Office had barred
him after he had allegedly tempered with the voters' roll during inspection.

      The newspaper, quoting a letter from the RG's Office to the MDC
Director of Elections, Remus Makuwaza, alleged that Whitehead was seen
changing identification numbers of certain voters on voters' roll and then
photocopying the roll.

      It alleged that he wanted to strengthen his party's petition in
challenging the results of the presidential election with false evidence.

      Whitehead said the limited information available had conclusive and
unequivocal evidence proving sworn statements by the RG, Tobaiwa Mudede, to
be false.

      He said he had found out that some deceased people were still on the
voters' roll.
      "In an effort to prevent any comprehensive analysis of the voters'
roll used in the March election, the RG is withholding the bulk of the
evidence from the MDC and the public.

      "The RG has on several occasions boasted that the voters' roll is
world class, yet he is going to extraordinary lengths to frustrate the
right, as allowed in any democratic system, of open access to the roll by
the public."

      Whitehead said because the copy of the voters roll was not immediately
available, the MDC was being forced to make an analysis of the roll based on
sampling methods.

      He said he was in the process of doing that in the presence of
officers from the RG's Office when he was said to have tampered with the

      "The only conclusion a reasonable person can make is that the office
of the RG and Tobaiwa Mudede himself are so nervous about the substantial
flaws in the 'world class' voters roll that are positively being identified
and recorded that they have manufactured these absurdly ridiculous
allegations in an attempt to hide the truth," he said.

      "The fact that the letter banning me from the RG's Office was
delivered to The Herald before it was even received by the person to whom it
was addressed at the MDC is further endorsement of the political bias of the
Office of the Registrar-General.

      "It also highlights the nervousness that Tobaiwa Mudede feels that he
might be exposed as a liar in his sworn affidavits to the High Court."

      Whitehead denied he was a United States national, as alleged by The
Herald, but a Zimbabwean.
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Zim Independent


Milk price must rise or we run out of dairy cows

THE dairy cows of Zimbabwe are eating each other - the cannibal cows. No,
don't panic, you aren't all going to get BSE.

Here' s what is happening. The price of milk production meal is some $30 000
more than the price of milk. That means the dairy farmers are not covering
the cost of production.

Now, if you do not pay your stock feed bill, you do not get any more feed,
so to pay the bills, we are selling off about five to 10 cows each month.

In effect, the cows are eating each other. This creates an interesting
situation. We have run out of the fat, the mastitis, the old, the cross-eyed
and knock-kneed animals.

It is a race to see which happens first. Either the price of milk rises to
cover the cost of production (tut-tut, there's a price freeze), or we run
out of cows, with the inevitable result of no more milk (sorry chaps) or we
just run out of feed.

Roll up, place your bets, the race is half over.

Old Macdonald,



Who said crime does not pay?

IN the Zimbabwe of today crime certainly pays, from the godfatherhood of RGM

The government of Zimbabwe of current times has long-ago evolved into a
fully-fledged state-monopolised, sponsored and controlled criminal
syndicate. There is no-one outside Zimbabwe who believes otherwise.

Born and educated in Harare, I started work in Customs and Excise in 1966.
In those days, "civil servants served the government of the day" and this
was rightly drilled into me, I believe.

Active participation in politics was out, I was told, although party
membership (but only that) was okay.

Fair dos - for in a real democracy, the government of the day might change
but its servants should not (certainly not on political whim alone).

So I was always safe, I believed, provided I just did my job honestly,
effectively, and without fear or favour.

Indeed, when Neil Harper and I were first detained, the slogan "without fear
or favour" was slogan of the month.

And so, I carved a successful career in Customs and Excise. I served and
survived various "governments of the day" from 1966 to 1988. The politics of
some I agreed with, the politics of others I did not and, in the process, my
very own political persuasions changed, grew and evolved markedly.

Through it all, I remained a loyal Zimbabwean and an "effective" customs

Indeed, our effectiveness against Mandrax smuggling into South Africa (via
Harare) in industrial quantities, the smuggling of luxury cars north of the
Limpopo (Mercedes and BMWs) on a commercial scale and other South African
international commercial sanctions-busting scams, involving the connivance
and profit of CIO and Zanu Pf in Harare, were certainly less than helpful to
the criminal minds of the new order.

Historical cases record clearly that we (Zimbabwean customs officers, Harper
and Austin) were too effective for the likes of Zanu PF, the CIO and the PAC
at that time.

And so it was that a cabinet decision (which included the then Prime
Minister Robert Mugabe) was taken to neutralise "for good" myself and Neil
Harper (a colleague of equal, if not greater, ability and loyalty). The
rest, as they say, is history.

We were labelled "South African spies" and detained without trial for two
years - mostly in Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, Greendale, Harare

However, to this day, I continue to invite Emmerson Mnangagwa to reveal to
the media the so-called "secret document" which he hid to cause our
detention without trial for two years.

For if Mnangagwa is now a serious pretender to the throne in Zimbabwe,
surely the nation should now know about such stuff.

I and Harper know that we were never spies for South Africa or anyone else.
So, come on Emmerson, let's hear the truth!

From one perspective, I am able to regard this as "water under the bridge"
now but only because I have been able to re-establish my family again
elsewhere and mostly, but not completely, recover from the indescribable
damage that the current Zanu PF regime has deliberately and criminally
visited upon me and my family. Nevertheless, what is going on in Zimbabwe is
not only wrong - it is insane and evil, even though I have been fortunate
enough to have escaped the worst of it.

I and Neil Harper were clearly "forced" into early retirement (grudgingly
granted by President Mugabe himself to us some eight months after we were
released from Chikurubi).

Not an index-linked "abolition" pension (which was clearly appropriate - and
not awarded), but a belated and presidentially back-dated voluntary early
retirement Lancaster House pension.

Neil and I retired as assistant controllers in customs and excise. I think
that they now call them directors. Anyway, the equivalent civil service open
field grade is under secretary.

Given the background, and in my case 22 years service (the last two in
Chikurubi) and in Neil Harper's case about 28 years service, why do I still
"benefit?" from a Zimbabwe pension "fixed" shortly after my time of release
from Chikurubi in 1988 at $489,70?

I have watched this "fixed" pension shrink from around £160 in 1988 to
around £6 when I last received a very belated cheque for my June 2002
pension three months ago.

And yet, I watch amazed as I read reports of the rank-and-file of the "war
vets" and "green bombers" and others receive Zim dollar salaries and
allowances that, if I were to have my pension re-assessed thereon, would
greatly enhance my own pension.

I was a senior, effective and productive former civil servant of Zimbabwe -
bludgeoned out of office.

No nation can keep on rewarding evil forever and get away with it. Things
have got to change, whether Zanu PF likes it or not. I do believe that
sooner, rather than later, the scales will bounce.

Meanwhile, I suspect my £6 odd pension arrears from July 2002 onwards are

Indeed, when the real exchange rate is one-day applied to my pension
entitlement arrears, I suspect that the envelope and postage will be worth
more than the cheque within.

Not bad for twenty two years of loyal, honest, effective and non-partisan
service? A career that started at age 17 and was deliberately curtailed by
criminals in the highest offices of Zimbabwe 22 years later when I was 39.

A process which dragged my wife Joleeb and my three young children (Sally in
nappies) through the corridors of Harare Central cells, Hatfield cells, St
Mary's cells, Goromonzi CIO interrogation centre, Rotten Row holding cells,
Harare Central Remand and Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison. Not bad for a
dedicated Zimbo who always and loyally served his country well, and still
does so.

Looking forward to a decent and proper pension, one day perhaps after long
and loyal and unblemished service? Perhaps not, but I will always look
forward to the day when pensions are at least curtailed for all of those who
have pillaged and raped our nation with impunity.

Meanwhile, I watch with interest the current civil/military class of owners
of 4x4 twin-cabs and/or Kompressors. One day, soon I hope, real and
transparent justice will prevail in Zimbabwe.

I hope they are extending the halls of Chikurubi Maximum in readiness for
that day.

Pamberi . but until that day, aluta continua!

John Vincent Austin

Former head: Harare

Customs and Excise.


The end is nigh for Zanu PF

THE president and the Zimbabwean people should check out what happens when a
country suffers economic bankruptcy and implosion. Look no further than
Argentina. It is not very pretty, and it makes the present misery of 95% of
Zimbabweans and the inconvenience of another four percent look like small
beer in comparison.

Does the president really think he can get out of the corner he is in by
toughing it out and bringing all the ZNA troops in Zimbabwe and the DRC into
Harare or by banning gestures and swear words directed at his fine

It is all only a question of time. The end will come when the international
bankers close down all credit lines (and even all cash lines).

It might still come when the people, in desperation, riot or take part in
peaceful demonstrations (which are banned in this phoney democracy).

Will the troops pull the trigger on their kith and kin or will they down
tools in protest?

Despite idiocies (like 150%) put out by home-grown economists, inflation is
at 1 000% per year or more and forex rates are tumbling like stones.

And although the concept of freezing all prices seems like a great idea, if
it worked it would have been used in Brazil in 1989, Turkey in 2001 and in
Argentina more recently.

The end is on its way - it can be postponed or hastened, but it cannot be
avoided. The mills of God grind slowly.

Alex Weir,

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Zim Independent

Expat forex: is it merely a trickle?
HOW much forex is coming into this country per month? A plugged-in banker
told Sandawana that the money coming in from the UK did not amount to more
than £50 million a year against earlier estimates of £20 million a month.
Let's do some simple mathematics: £20 million times $2 500 equals $50
billion a month.

House buying is a major activity of our brothers and sisters overseas, but
that is only half of it.

If it is also supposed to be going into house building and consumptive
activities such as beer drinking, it should in some way show up on PG's and
Delta's figures, which must account for at least 10% of the overall spend.

PG turned over $6,6 billion in the six months just past, while Delta did $34
billion. Average that out to a month and it's $7 billion, and then take 10%
of that and we are down to $700 million, which is only £280 000 at the
market rate. If similar amounts were externalised in the UK and US without
even coming into the country (ie UK bank account to UK bank account), we
might have a few million pounds or US dollars a month.

Therefore, Sandawana thinks the banker is closer to the truth. Sandawana was
also told this week that banks are converting 50% of proceeds at $55:US$1
and the balance at the black market rate. This is going to quickly drive the
whole trade onto the streets. The buy/sell spread may now widen between the
source of the currency and the final beneficiary, but the end rate is
unlikely to come down significantly.

If nothing else, the government can happily take comfort in the fact that
the black market has created more job opportunities as people struggle on in
this Maoist existence (ie you force the povo to keep busy enough sustaining
their basic living so that they have no time to think about anything
reactionary). With anything from bread to forex, there are so many middlemen
along the way taking their hyperinflationary cut, that the chain may now
accommodate five or six people as opposed to one or two previously.

Negotiating the bendz

DRIVING around in that Mercedes Benz for the business chefs is not as much
of a delight as it was two weeks ago before the budget. Business executives
have sighed as they have commented to Sandawana about the market's fall and
how much of an overreaction it all is.

Of course, business will find a way around the new restrictions, the FCA
will be manifested in some other form, price freezes will last two weeks,
under-invoicing and transfer payments will rise further - prejudicing no one
but the short-sighted government - so what's the big deal?

Yes, volumes have been light. And perhaps the market was overvalued,
although this argument totally falls away if you consider the real pace of
inflation and look at average real earnings growth among those companies
that are not basketcases on the ZSE. Last week's raft of results produced
some interesting outcomes but it did not matter how they compared with
analysts' forecasts.

Meikles Africa was quick to point out how its regional exposure made it a
good bet, Delta said there was little for them to worry about apart from the
shortage of sugar, but OK Zimbabwe's earnest Willard Zireva was more frank
and said the outlook was "bleak".

He looked exasperated as he spoke about the effect of recent government
policy, particularly the price freeze. And so while volumes have been light
on the ZSE, it is perhaps this micro-trading that hints at a greater worry -
the market reads these new restrictions as a sign that the end is nigh. No
money for fuel, maize or wheat ... so what will happen? Will we come to the
long-predicted grinding halt?

Rightly priced?

THE Kingdom, and now the Zimre rights issues could hardly have come to the
market at a worse time. Kingdom has rightly argued that the dip in the
market is temporary (inflation will lift stocks when the market gets an idea
of what tricks business has up its sleeves) and that they should not offer a
greater dilution because of the long-term value of equity.

The arguments about Kingdom's value and performance against its peers are
sound. However, the market remains nervous - however misplaced these worries
may be - about future earnings from forex and the effect of interest rates.

What will ultimately determine whether these two issues are correctly priced
in the current market is if shareholders can pick up shares in the market
cheaper than if they follow their rights. Kingdom is at $29 while NMB more
accurately reflects sentiment and has fallen to $24.

Shareholders don't want to take up stock and find that buying support lapses
once the issue has been complete, which will depend on whether there will be
a sustained period of weakness over the next few weeks or months.

The Astra case

PREDICTABLY - and rightly so for us taxpayers - the government is
challenging the Astra court judgement. But it's pretty difficult to see what
legal grounds they have for a case to succeed - there are several people to
blame for this whole botched privatisation episode but most lies with PAZ

The government has few options to win this one: a presidential decree to
nullify the process or dismissing the entire PAZ executive for incompetence
and claiming that as the basis for disallowing the sale.

Chave Chimurenga!

IS the tourism revival set to take place next week with the eclipse and the
expected go-ahead by the ICC for the World Cup Cricket matches? On the
former, airlines have told Sandawana that capacity is nothing special and
there is no petrol anyway, while there will be a proviso issued on the
latter ("cautious yes, but we'll cancel if there is a whiff of trouble").

Sandawana has always had a taste for going to shunned destinations since you
usually get the place to yourself and competition for your tourist dollar is
fierce. But while Sandawana has probably brought more tourists into the
country in the past two months than the ZTA has managed in the whole of the
past year, they are not of the middle-class variety that are the engine of

Sandawana's visitors have all expressed wonderment at our beautiful country
and how peaceful things are (God, wouldn't ZBC have died to get their hands
on them?). However, tourism players have told Sandawana that the dreaded
"moral" issue (as seen in Myanmar) is increasingly cited as the reason for
not coming. This is a tad more worrying because those enlightened
Scandinavians, Dutch and Germans are the market that was looking to plug the
tourist earnings gap left by the Briteesh.

The EU's hardline stance at the ACP meeting is a case in point. When will
this all change? When will our hostility to the West subside? According to
that same banker, it will be when you wake up one morning and find the hondo
yeminda tracks are no longer being played on radio and TV.

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Zim Independent

Stock market rout continues
Staff Writer
THE ZSE Industrials index plunged another 14,7% over the past week, taking
the market's cumulative losses in the 10 trading days since the budget to

The market lost the key 100 000 level last Friday and continued to slide
throughout the rest of the week. On Wednesday, the Industrials index dropped
another 2 996.73 points to close at 89 165.29. Volumes remained relatively

Brokers said gloom still pervaded the market, which was no closer to
understanding the government's policy on forex and interest rates.

There were a mere 14 risers in the week - the best gain came from Barbican
(52%), the recently reverse listed financial group. After its recent strong
run, Truworths dropped 50%, Old Mutual was off 34,2%, and NMB plummeted

Analysts noted that those companies that recently had a change of
shareholding were also big losers. Zimsun plunged $4 to $7 on Tuesday as it
went ex-dividend of a mere 40 cents, although the stock recovered to close
at $10, but still significantly below the $18 at which the buyout was
conducted. SeedCo was $37 (the shareholding changed hands at $65) while
Interfresh was at $8,99. The buyout took place at $17.

"Alot of the companies have been taken over with funds that are neither
deemed to be 'export' or 'productive' ... and this is a worry. We fear there
are some financial institutions that are in big trouble," one broker said.

Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa, who officiated at the THZ demerger on
Monday, said government was "aware of the anomalies in the export sector",
but he was not forthcoming on any corrective action that the government
would be taking. Analysts have speculated that the government will either
reverse its decision on the FCAs to prop up the ailing market, or introduce
another exchange rate - the exporters' rate at a blended fixed/parallel
market level.

One broker told businessdigest that there had been lots of enquiries for
corporate work before the stock market plunge, but this had "all but dried

However, some analysts said the market was oversold and there were many
bargains around at current prices.
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All Evicted from Kamativi Mine

The Daily News (Harare)

November 28, 2002
Posted to the web November 30, 2002

Ntungamili Nkomo in Bulawayo

THE eviction of suspected MDC supporters from the Kamativi mining compound
to make way for members of the Zanu PF youth militia has taken a new twist,
with everyone ordered to vacate the premises by this Saturday.

Initially, about 350 families perceived to be aligned to the opposition MDC
had been ordered out of their homes.

They were to make way for the Zanu PF youth brigade members derisively known
as the "Green Bombers", who are undergoing so-called national youth service
training at the mining compound.

Disgruntled residents said the move was unacceptable as they had nowhere to
relocate. They said it was an unconscionable decision taken by a ruling
government which had an obligation to protect all its people.

John Dube said: "We have been given five days' notice to vacate the area,
but any sane person would wonder how people are going to move out in five
days. Besides, where are we going to relocate to?"

Dube said there were people of Malawian origin and some were too old to be
moving from one place to another.

Some of the people of foreign origin said they were worried about where they
would go as they did not have relatives in the country.

Another villager, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals,
said about 100 Green Bombers had already occupied some of the the houses.

"This is just not fair to some of us who have been developing the area for
years. Where does the government really want us to go?" he said.

He accused the government of promoting lawlessness in the country by
allowing the youths to brutalise innocent people with impunity.

Siphiwe Mapfuwa, the Hwange Rural District Council chairperson, denied that
all people were affected. She said that the affected people were those on
land on which the council intended to establish a Zanu PF youth training

"Those affected are those in the areas where we want to establish the
training base," Mapfuwa said.

Asked what type of training the youth would undergo, she said she was not
quite sure but insisted that those displaced were going to be offered
alternative land.

She could not say when they would be offered alternative accommodation when
the deadline expires on Saturday.

Last month violence broke out in Kamativi following the victory of Matthew
Ngwenya, the MDC candidate in the rural district council election.

Ngwenya, his wife and several other villagers were attacked by suspected
Zanu PF supporters and left for dead following his victory.

Kamativi is a former mining compound owned by the Zimbabwe Mining
Development Corporation. Mining operations in the Kamativi Tin Mine ceased
in 1994.

About three weeks ago members of the Zanu PF youth militia allegedly went
around the compound telling the tenants they should get ready to move out of
the houses by 20 November. The deadline was later extended to this weekend.
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            Zimbabwe offers World Cup assurance to ICC: Speed
            November 30, 2002, 16:15

            The Zimbabwe government has assured the International Cricket
Council (ICC) that it will allow all accredited journalists into the country
for the 2003 cricket World Cup, the ICC said today.

            Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive, said he had been given a
written assurance during a trip to Zimbabwe to assess safety issues before
the tournament. The issue came to a head after two British journalists
hoping to cover the ICC trip were refused entry.

            "Widespread coverage of the ICC cricket World Cup 2003 is a
vital element of the tournament," Speed said in a statement after a meeting
with Aeneas Chigwedere, Zimbabwe's minister for education, sport and

            "The minister has acted quickly to assure us that all ICC
accredited cricket journalists will be able to cover the matches in Zimbabwe
and I appreciate his prompt action in addressing this issue. The visit to
Zimbabwe has been very beneficial," said Speed. Zimbabwe are due to host six
World Cup games in February.

            President Robert Mugabe's political stand-off with the
international community and the violence which has accompanied his
controversial land reform programme have drawn calls for the matches to be
moved to South Africa.

            Speed is heading an ICC delegation including the heads of the
cricket boards from the countries due to play in Zimbabwe in meetings with
diplomats and government officials.

            The delegation is due to write a report before the ICC executive
board makes a decision over Zimbabwe in December.

            Australia and England have expressed most concern about playing
in Zimbabwe. India, Pakistan, Namibia and the Netherlands are also due to
play there.

            Zimbabwe, at loggerheads with former colonial ruler Britain
mainly over the seizure of white-owned farms, imposed visa requirements on
Britons in apparent retaliation from similar measures by the British
government. - Reuters
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Zim recalls commissioner after Mugabe attack

      November 30 2002 at 12:36PM

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has recalled his high commissioner to
Botswana as relations between the two southern African neighbours soured
following comments by President Festus Mogae, a news report said on

The Johannesburg-based Saturday Star reported that although there was no
immediate suggestion nor confirmation that High Commissioner Zenso Nsimbi
had been recalled because of Mogae's recent criticism of Mugabe's policies,
"this would seem likely," it said.

Mogae has emerged as the only African leader to publicly attack Mugabe over
his political and economic policies, which the Botswanan leader said were
hurting the entire southern African region.

About 6,7 million people, or half of Zimbabwe's population were threatened
with famine due to food shortages.

Aid agencies blame the shortages on a drought and disturbances to commercial
agriculture due to an extremely controversial land reform programme.

Mogae recently told the London-based African Business magazine that
Zimbabwe's woes were the result of a "drought of good governance".

He also told the BBC's HardTalk programme that tourism had been negatively
affected by events in Zimbabwe and that Botswana had been suffering as a

The Botswana Guardian newspaper reported that Nsimbi had been recalled after
complaints about his inaction regarding the plight of Zimbabweans allegedly
being ill-treated by Botswana authorities.

Zimbabweans, who say are escaping economic hardships from their country,
have been travelling into Botswana through the Plumtree border post or
illegally sneaking past dry river beds that separate the two countries, the
paper said.

However, Nsimbi said the claims were difficult to prove: "We receive these
allegations from Zimbabweans but they do not bring concrete evidence. We
have also established that their allegations were false." - Sapa-AFP
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Mugabe pours scorn on charges of plunder in Congo

HARARE, Nov. 30 - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe poured scorn on
Saturday on allegations that his country had plundered the mineral wealth of
Congo during a four-year military intervention.

       A U.N. probe said in October that senior Zimbabwean military and
political officials had been involved in looting Congo's vast mineral
resources after Zimbabwe sent troops to help Kinshasa fight rebels backed by
foreign armies .
       Mugabe told a military parade, organised to honour soldiers who
returned from Congo, that his government had intervened to defend Congo's
territorial integrity.
       ''At no time was our motive anywhere near the malicious, puerile or
even libellous allegations that have been made against us by our
detractors,'' Mugabe said.
       ''At no time did the plunder of that country's resources or
the unfair exploitation of a war situation to steal from a sister country.''
       The war in the Democratic Republic of Congo erupted in August 1998.
Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia sent troops to back the government in Kinshasa
against rebels supported by Uganda and Rwanda, which were also accused of
plunder by the U.N.
       Foreign troops have now withdrawn under peace deals. Zimbabwe pulled
out in October. At the height of the war it had about 11,000 troops, or a
third of its army, in Congo.
       Mugabe said Zimbabwe had suffered only minimal casualties and
material losses during the war but he gave no figures.
       He said Zimbabwe had helped to restore peace in Congo and hoped the
international community would help maintain the country's fragile balance of
       Mugabe has vowed to give veterans of the Congo war preferential
treatment in a controversial government programme to redistribute land
seized from the white farmers among the landless black majority.
       On Saturday he again held out the promise of land.
       ''I wish to assure you that you enjoy the same facility of being
resettled under the current phase of the resettlement programme,'' Mugabe
       ''You have come back to the reclaimed and restored land of your
forefathers. You will therefore certainly get your rightful share of that
       The land seizures have drawn fire from the West but Mugabe says he is
only trying to redress an injustice of British colonial rule which left 70
percent of the country's best land in the hands of whites who make up less
than one percent of the population.
       ''We cannot have little England or little Europe. This is our land
and it shall remain our land forever,'' Mugabe said.
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Beyond Tears
Dear Family and Friends,
I apologise in advance for a longer than normal letter and hope you read to the end.
I sat on a hard bench in the Harare High Court one morning this week with two of the five farmers who were abducted at gun point from a Zimbabwean police station and tortured in April 2000 just two months after our government lost a constitutional referendum and the political madness began here. There were not many people in the room aside from prison and court officials, an interpreter, 4 witnesses, one of the accused and a couple of journalists who had all come to hear of the circumstances which led to the horrific murder of commercial farmer David Stevens. I could not help but look back into my childhood memories as we waited for the judge to come in. My father had worked in this High Court, had been called to the Bar here and somewhere there is a photograph of him, gowned and wigged, standing proudly in the courtyard of these same buildings. I could not stop myself from thinking that my Dad would be turning in his grave if he could see the place now. Everywhere there is unbelievable filth. The white walls are covered with the grimy tide marks of people's heads and hands, there is nowhere for people to sit before they go into court, except on the floor. The windows, doors and ledges are coated in thick, brown dust. The tar which covers the upper walkways is melting and bubbling up in great shiny blobs. Finding a toilet was nearly impossible and the longed for mouthful of water was never realised.
The red robed and grey wigged Judge arrived and sat with 2 Judge Assesors and he, like the rest of us, struggled to hear the proceedings as for some reason the microphones had not been switched on. In a little over an hour it was all over. Neither the Prosecutor nor the Defence were ready to proceed with the case even though David Stevens was murdered 31 months ago. The Judge released the accused man on Z$5000 bail and postponed the case for another 5 months. There are now two trials involving this murder that have been started and postponed and we wonder if justice will ever be done and why, nearly 3 years later, there is this apparent attempt to show that law and order does still exist in Zimbabwe. David Stevens is just one of well over 200 people who have been murdered in political violence in Zimbabwe in the last 33 months and this is the only case which has got to court so far . 
While justice for 200 political murders may never be seen in Zimbabwe under the present government I am humbled to know that I've had a part in exposing some of the horrors of the last 3 years. I am delighted to be able to tell you that my new book is now in print. It is called "Beyond Tears" and has this week been released in South Africa. The true story of what really happened to David Stevens and the farmers who tried to save him is told in Beyond Tears. Also dozens of other eye witness accounts of gang rape, beating, torture and the obscenities that have become a part of every day life for us all here. It's not a political science book and doesn't try and give an insight into anyone's minds, it is simply the story of living in a country which is falling apart. "Beyond Tears" and a reprint of "African Tears" (with a new cover) were launched without me as I know that it is a very dangerous road that I travel in exposing the cold  but truthful fact that the crisis here is neither about land nor race but about a political party determined to stay in power. I am worried about repercussions but just do what I always do when I'm scared which is to clean windows and take one day at a time !
As I did 18 months ago, I would humbly ask all the people who read this letter and have followed our horrors to help me spread the word about my two books. Now, perhaps more than ever before, we need the world to hear just exactly what has been happening here. If you know of people who may be interested in reading the books please let me know. If you have email addresses of book shops who may be prepared to stock my books please contact me. I can't go on book tours and signing ceremonies, am keeping a low profile and praying for my safety and that of a very brave Zimbabwean journalist Bill Saidi who has written the most powerful Foreword for "Beyond Tears". Bill and I both believe these stories must be told - particularly to politicians, journalists and diplomats and particularly in African countries where this could so easily happen when leaders just won't relinquish power. Both books can be ordered right now from my website (detailed below), also from and hopefully within the next week from too. If you would like to help in spreading the word about my new book please email me at . I asked this same thing 18 months ago and received over 4000 emails in the first week so I know you can help me to get this message far and wide and perhaps this time round, with a reputable publisher behind me, we can get the world to listen to our desperate calls for help. With thanks and love, cathy. 
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Policy switch to cut asylum 'abuse'

Michael White, political editor
Saturday November 30, 2002
The Guardian

The government moved yesterday to stem the increasing flow of asylum seekers
by announcing reform of the practice that gives up to 20,000 people
"exceptional leave to remain" in Britain each year.
To the dismay of refugee support groups, who suspect that Tony Blair is
dancing to tabloid tunes, ministers plan to replace what is known as ELR
status with a more tightly drawn category to be called "humanitarian

They expect it to cut the number of people not granted full refugee status
under the 1951 refugee convention but allowed to stay, from 25% of initial
cases decided to 10%, a target cut of around 12,000 on current flow rates.

"ELR has encouraged abuse and acted as a pull factor," said the immigration
minister, Beverley Hughes.

The Home Office unveiled its policy tightening as it was forced to admit
that applications had risen by what officials called an "unacceptable" 11%
in the quarter from July to September - to 22,560. Most of the increases
were from three political hotspots, Zimbabwe (56%), Somalia (44%) and Iraq

Downing Street and the Home Office stressed that, on top of the new change
to ELR status, other measures now in place should curtail the "pull factor",
including speedier processing of cases under the new Immigration Act and the
new arrangements with France to close the Sangatte refugee camp outside
Calais and improve security around ports and the Channel tunnel.

With the Daily Mail campaigning harder than ever against asylum and other
immigration-related abuses Number 10 sounded highly defensive in explaining
the latest rise. It overshadowed a faster rate of decisions on applications
and a record number of deportations of failed applicants - 3,565 last month.

Humanitarian protection is said to be "tighter and easier to work" than ELR,
which officials said had seen a six-fold increase since 1997, up from 10% of
applicants to 25%.

"These figures are not satisfactory and demonstrate that we continue to take
more than our fair share of claimants with an unfounded asylum claim," Ms
Hughes said in a statement. Promising further "robust" measures she added:
"We are determined that protection should only be granted to those who
really need it - our asylum system is not a shortcut to work or settlement
in the UK."

According to Home Office officials, what has been happening is that people
just starting a degree in Britain, or who have joined family - or made
family ties while applying for refugee status - have been getting ELR status
when they are not at risk of death or other unacceptable treatment in their
own country.

In the last quarter 4,540 people won ELR, slightly down on the previous two
quarters when 5,205 and 6,060 respectively were allowed to stay. In future
the new HP status will go to those who really need it, ministers promise. It
will remain flexible.

But the Refugee Council said the real criterion is people in danger. "What
concerns us most is that the government says this will lead to a cut in
accepted applicants. You simply cannot have targets for protection - someone
either needs protecting or they do not."

Ministers cite their responsiveness to the crisis in Zimbabwe by imposing a
visa regime to prevent abuse of the asylum system as proof of a new
determination which they have coupled with an expansion of opportunities for
legitimate economic migration.
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