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

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A wise historian once said to me "The only thing one learns from history is that people do not learn from history". Someone has also said, "You can do anything to a people who do not know their history".

In Zimbabwe today our very survival depends upon us learning from the past. If we cannot face and understand the past, we will not be able to motivate and organise ourselves for the future and our future will be one of destruction and death. The current situation is by no means lost or hopeless but it takes a sincere heart to discern what is going on before moral courage can be directed at sorting it out.

The history I wish to start with is almost exactly 100 years ago in 1903. In this historic year Mr. Lenin, having grasped the teachings of Mr. Marx established Bolshevism with 17 supporters. In 1917 he conquered Russia with 40 000 Bolsheviks. By 1959, Lenin's party had conquered a billion people proving itself to be the most successful movement - in terms of conquest- that the world had ever seen. It was during this period of history that our present leaders of Zimbabwe went through their formative years and learnt how it was done. They spent years `over there' learning about the party and the system and the philosophy. If we do not take a bit of time to do the same we are guilty of being like the dairy farmer who went bust: he was interested in the milk but not in the cows.

How did Mr Lenin go about achieving this remarkable feat against such odds? Mr Lenin used the teachings of Mr Marx and adapted them to his own situation. He promised the people two things that he knew they wanted: peace and land. In order to achieve this, he taught `revolution'. Committees, called Soviets were formed to direct the revolution. The
philosophy of communism dictates revolution to achieve it. Mr Lenin's book "The State of Revolution" is, apart from the bible, the world's most translated book. Revolution had to happen. It was a pre-requisite to establish a system of power. Its purpose was to utterly destroy the constitution, the legislative system, the judicial system and the administrative system - to wipe out the state and build a new one.

The revolution had to be violent. Mr Lenin said that it was " the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will on the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannons - it must maintain this rule by means of the terror which its arms inspire." Again, he said, "The suppression of the bourgeois state by the Proletariat State is impossible without violent revolution." Only by violent revolution and terror could the necessary conditions be created to impose the party system. The conditions required are: chaos, unemployment, bitterness, hunger and fear.

Mr Lenin promised land and peace in order to spark the revolution. He created land committees, which were known as `peasant committees'. They were made up of poor peasants - some motivated by idealism and others by hatred. Much of the committee was drafted from the criminal element in Russian society. Their instructions were to seize the land, kill the
landlords and divide the estates among the peasants. The land invasions started, and in that first year, the peasants were able to grab the land. However, at harvest time all crops were taken over by the State. They were not allowed to be owned or stored by the peasants that produced them and the state confiscated them. Famine inevitably ensued until, in 1921 private grain trading was again allowed in an apparent reversal of policy. By 1928, however, the prosperous peasants were arrested, herded together and sent to Siberia, or simply liquidated. The poorer peasants had to contribute all their land to collectivisation. In 1931 in a very simple operation Joseph Stalin, in order to ensure complete control used massive
starvation to stop any opposition to this programme. He uplifted the entire wheat crop from the Ukraine and dumped it in Western Europe. That winter alone, 7 million people starved to death. Control was complete. The land issue was solved. Stalin remained in power until he died 22 years later.

Mr Krushchev, who succeeded Stalin, had the audacity to state, of what has to be the vilest man that ever lived - responsible for more death than any other single man in the history of the world: "Stalin was a good man". Indeed, Stalin in terms of the party, was quite truthfully, the best man that ever existed.

Chinese Chairman Mao promised the people exactly the same things as Lenin: land, and along with that the abolition of debt. Who would refuse it? Every country has land and every country has a minority of people owning it. Offer a valuable finite resource for free and you will always have takers. The land was parcelled out. Mao gained power. Mass communication mediums were controlled. The people were disarmed. Freedom of movement was stopped. Public gatherings were made illegal. And when it came to harvest time grain could only be reaped in the presence of a soldier. The people now hated the party, but they could only cower - leaderless and weaponless. Control a man's stomach and you control the man. Control the food supply and you control the population. Control the land and you control the country. South Africa, Namibia and all the other countries supporting the Zimbabwean regime - in their stubborn refusal to take any meaningful action against it, are keeping the land card up their sleeves for exactly the same reasons Mr Mugabe has.

The moves of the party are mathematically predictable. A cancer cell will always obey the laws of its lawless growth. The lawless land invasions, the Chimurenga, the resulting starvation on proportions that the world has rarely had to deal with ever before, are all part of an organised agenda that has been seen many times before, and will be seen again in other
neighbouring African states if something isn't done soon. To appease the system is to feed it. To talk to it is to become a collaborator with genocide. To practice quiet diplomacy is to procrastinate while more and more people die. Just as with cancer, the only way to deal with it is through the surgeon's knife and radical treatment.

In Zimbabwe, it has all happened before of course. The people were starved out in 1983 in Matabeleland. Over 20 000 people died or were murdered in a genocidal programme. The rule of law was suspended. The people were beaten into submission while the world stood by and diplomatic relations continued. The party retained control and the world's ambivalence only strengthened it. The opposition was bought off and life went on with the endless series of diplomatic cocktail parties and small talk. "The Party" got away with genocide with hardly an eyebrow being raised.

Nearly twenty years down the line the same party - with the same leader, continues to hoodwink the diplomats living their cosy lives in town. This time there are up to 8 million people who have had starvation engineered for them by "their government". It is important to look at how this starvation has been planned and effected now in Zimbabwe today. The number of people at risk through hunger has increased to well over half of Zimbabwe's population. Many of them will die and are already dying due to a deliberate genocidal policy aimed at complete control of the population.

· The farmers that traditionally produced 50% of the country's maize and over 90% of the country's wheat, soyabean, milk, eggs and commercial beef have been violently driven off the land along with their workers.
· The main food commodities are controlled and have to be delivered to the state- run Grain Marketing Board. Even farmers keeping back food for their workers have been criminalized.
· Police roadblocks have been set up to ensure that people cannot move food crops to areas where people are starving.
· The state offered a sub-economic price regime for food crops so that anyone who grows them will find their costs of production higher than the marketed price for that commodity.
· Seed and fertiliser has been bought up by the state-run Grain Marketing Board and is simply not available for purchase in the shops.
· The state promised free tillage on stolen properties for the invaders but only has a handful of tractors, which are all, used up by the chefs and settlers.
· Food crops have been "commandeered" just before harvest time and the police condone this by their inaction. In a number of cases, wheat and barley were simply allowed to rot in the lands.
· Aid agencies wishing to bring in food have had to get licences to do so and in some cases are prevented from bringing food in altogether.
· Individuals are not allowed to bring in more than 20kgs of maize meal each when coming through the border.
· Party militia have been stationed to ensure farmers cannot bring their workers food after having been driven off their farms
· Retailers have been forced to sell food at less than they are able to procure it for, forcing them to stop selling many basic commodities.

Those people that accept the state propaganda that drought is the cause of starvation need to think again. Just in the last decade, in 1992 and 1995, two severe droughts hit Zimbabwe. Due to irrigation and organised agriculture, famine has never been a reality except for the one engineered by the party in 1983: when the army stopped food getting in to Matabeleland during the N'Gukuruhundi. The 2002 "drought" left the dams full to irrigate from, but that water is still in them after wheat production was cut by 70%.

Mr Mugabe continues to swan down to his ANC party colleagues in South Africa, along with other communist party comrades from Cuba to China. The West, who some time ago certified communism dead, do not appear to see the same pattern re-emerging. Zimbabwe's latest genocide plans are just the start of something that could be a great deal bigger. Is the world going to continue to prevaricate in desperately trying to treat the symptoms of this deathly disease, or is it going to resolutely sort out its cause? A lot of lives depend on an answer coming very, very soon.

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Washington Post

Mugabe's 'Surreal' Policies Ravage Zimbabwe Economy
Unemployment and Inflation Soar, Food Shortage Acute
By Michael Grunwald
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, December 27, 2002; Page A10

HARARE, Zimbabwe -- In President Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe, a 7-ounce hunk of
cheddar cheese costs more than 14 ounces of the same cheddar cheese.
Motorists line up for hours outside gas stations with no gas. The government
has shut down all foreign exchange bureaus. Bakers are required to sell
regular bread for less than it costs to make it, so instead they sell raisin
bread (with a few raisins) or poppy bread (with a few seeds) or twisted
bread (with a few twists) at five times the set price.

A recent foreign diplomatic cable summarized Mugabe's new budget with one
word: surreal.

"It's Alice slipping through the hole. We're living in Wonderland now," said
Brian Raftopolous, the chairman of Zimbabwe in Crisis, a coalition of civic
groups. "It would be funny if it wasn't so sad."

Mugabe's notoriety stems mostly from his decision to seize productive land
from white farmers despite a looming famine, but land grabs are just part of
the command-and-control economic regime the longtime president is trying to
impose on Zimbabwe. And bread isn't the only part of "Mugabenomics" that
seems twisted. As the government issues an ever-expanding list of financial
dictates -- most notably price controls on everything from Palmolive soap to
T-bone steaks, and currency controls fixing the official exchange rate at
about 3 percent of the real exchange rate -- Zimbabwe's once-vibrant economy
is imploding.

Unemployment is near 70 percent. The stock market has crashed. Inflation is
officially 144 percent but really much higher, while wages are relatively
stagnant in a country where most people earn less than $1 a day. Zimbabwe's
$500 bill -- worth $9 U.S. at the official rate, or about 30 cents on the
street -- is known as the Ferrari, because it goes so fast. The economy is
shrinking 10 percent a year, even though the retail and housing sectors are
booming, people with money are racing to spend it before it loses value.
Mugabe has said the fuel crisis is giving him "stomachaches and headaches."
The latest joke here is that Zimbabweans have the world's highest IQs: I
queue for gas, I queue for bread, I queue for sugar.

The food shortage facing Zimbabwe is no joke. The United Nations estimates
that 6.7 million of the country's 12 million people are at risk of
starvation. The government has a monopoly on grain imports to Zimbabwe, but
it is desperately short of foreign currency, so it is now drastically short
of food. Its land redistribution scheme drove much of the nation's
agricultural expertise into exile and handed much of the nation's fertile
soil to Mugabe allies who have no farming experience or poor farmers who
have no access to seeds or fertilizer. This is expected to wipe out as much
as half of next year's harvest. Mugabe's price controls on maize and other
staples are making the problem worse; many farmers say that even if they
weren't facing a drought, they wouldn't want to plant crops they would have
to sell at a loss.

"They went after the white people, but it's the black people who suffer,"
said farmhand Abraham Phili, who was evicted from an irrigated plantation
that lies fallow. "How will I feed my children now?"

Phili and many of his fellow villagers have begun panning for gold in the
Piriwiri River, but even that livelihood isn't beyond reach of the long arm
of the state. Mugabe's government just announced regulations barring the
sale of gold by "alluvial gold miners," among other scofflaws.

Mugabe was a rebel leader in the guerrilla war that gained Zimbabwe its
independence in 1980, and he has been the nation's head of state since. For
much of his rule, Zimbabwe was seen as an African success story, and until
recently, it was considered a breadbasket.

Mugabe tends to blame his country's current problems on drought, Western
colonialism and capitalism, peppering speeches with attacks on greedy
entrepreneurs, ruthless markets and the forces of globalization. For too
long, he says, rich nations have exploited poorer nations and dictated their
economic policies.

During a speech this month at the central committee meeting for his ruling
party, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), he
accused his country's bourgeoisie of charging "exorbitant prices."

"While many manufacturers and traders want to blame it on production costs,
it is clear the consumer is being ripped off, abused and taken advantage of
by avaricious, heartless business people, several of whom would want to
politicize production processes in sympathy with white landed interests," he

While Mugabe studied Marxism at the University of London and is commonly
referred to here as Comrade Mugabe, most economists say his policies are
driven more by authoritarianism than communism. Since voters rejected
Mugabe's bid to rewrite Zimbabwe's constitution in 2000 -- and especially
after he retained power in a disputed election marred by violence this
spring -- Mugabe and ZANU-PF have moved to consolidate their control over
the country. And that is the common element of all of Mugabe's economic

Zimbabwe now requires its pension funds to deposit nearly half their
reserves with the government at paltry interest rates, so inflation is
draining away pensions. Banks must buy government debt on the cheap as well.
And as of this month, manufacturers must trade in half their foreign
currency to the government for Zimbabwean dollars -- at the ludicrous
official rate -- and must deposit the rest of the currency in government
banks, to be withdrawn only with government permission. The nation's
industrial trade group says half its members might close their doors rather
than comply.

"It's tough," said Callisto Jokonya, the CEO of a refrigerator manufacturer.
"What you learn about business in books is not practical in this
environment. The politicians have their own agendas."

Charles Zambe, a shopkeeper in Harare, got a taste of the new economy last
month when police charged him with "profiteering." His crime: selling a
5-kilogram bag of maize for 350 Zimbabwean dollars. The official price was
supposed to be 150, but Zambe had bought the bag for 320. His profiteering
amounted to 2 or 3 American cents. Still, his maize stocks were confiscated,
and he was fined 5,000 Zimbabwean dollars.

"Every day it's getting harder to survive," Zambe said. "It's like making
money is illegal."

Mugabe's latest response to Zimbabwe's underground economy was this month's
control of goods (, a new list of price controls on yarn, window frames,
building sands and a host of other products. The price controls also tried
to address the twisted-bread problem, and the related problem of merchants
who split up price-controlled packages and sell both halves at higher
prices. It is now illegal to "manufacture, produce or provide any such good
or service under a new name or brand, or in units not previously offered for
sale, except with the written authority of the Ministry." The government
also announced a recruiting drive to find more inspectors to enforce the
price laws and has dropped hints in the state-owned Herald newspaper that
some kind of freeze on salaries could be imminent.

John Robertson, an economist in Harare, warned that this cycle of controls,
evasions and more controls cannot last long, that it's impossible and
inadvisable to try to stop entrepreneurs from providing new goods. In
mid-December, Mugabe shut down all currency exchanges, but they have moved
to back alleys. New price ceilings on furniture and refrigerators have
simply prompted merchants to demand cash up front.

Meanwhile, Mugabe's government is spending half its revenue to pay interest
on its debts. The more foreign currency it tries to squeeze out of
exporters, the less incentive they have to export -- or at least to report
their exports to the government. A recent editorial cartoon in a Harare
paper portrayed the funeral business as "the only growing industry in

"Look, there's only so long you can defy the laws of supply and demand,"
Robertson said. "It's like defying the laws of gravity. Pretty soon, you're
going to come crashing down." The deepest crisis is the fuel shortage.
Zimbabwe had a contract to import Libyan oil, but it missed payments, and
the flow has slowed to a trickle. There is hardly any gas in Harare, , which
has not stopped drivers from lining up at stations for hours upon hearing
rumors of gas. Buses are grounded; cars are left at home; lines snake around
entire city blocks, choking off all of Fourth Street and half of Robert
Mugabe Road.

"All we do is look for petrol," said taxi driver Champion Mutari. "It's all
anybody does around here."

Mugabe doesn't have that problem. He still rides in an armored Mercedes
limousine with tinted windows, surrounded by two dozen motorcycles and sport
utility vehicles with their sirens blaring. The motorcade is known as Bob
Mugabe and the Wailers. Where are they playing New Year's? And it is now a
crime in Zimbabwe to make rude gestures or comments as it passes by.

"It's all about total power," Robertson said. "The economy is just one more
way to expand control."

© 2002 The Washington Post Company
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The Telegraph

Mugabe's wife selects her farm and orders the owners to leave
By Peta Thornycroft in Nymandhlovu
(Filed: 26/12/2002)

Grace Mugabe, the wife of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, has finally
chosen the farm she wants, and ordered the owners and workers off their

Mrs Mugabe has chosen Iron Mask Estate, about 20 miles north-west of Harare,
in the Mazowe Valley. The owners John and Eva Matthews, both in their
seventies, have moved off the farm, which was their home for 25 years.

According to residents on the farm, Mrs Mugabe visited the property and
politely told those there that she was taking up residence and they should
find alternative accommodation.

In other parts of Zimbabwe there is a climate of fear and chaos, as police
hunt down white farmers. In recent days Mr Mugabe's supporters have moved on
to several farms, where the owners were in jail, and begun looting equipment
and personal possessions. Police said they had no reports of looting.

Groups of farmers appearing in rural magistrates' courts were given
differing bail conditions, even after the Attorney General's office in
Harare issued an instruction that all farmers should be freed on condition
that they did not ever return to their homesteads.

Several magistrates ignored the instructions, particularly in the vast
ranching lands of Matabeleland in southern Zimbabwe.

Thirteen farmers, several of them pensioners, were granted bail in rural
Nymandhlovu, about 40 miles north of Zimbabwe's second city, Bulawayo, last
week. But they then gathered at the local club to hear whether they could go
home until their remand late next month.

Before their court hearing, the barefoot farmers, several exercising in a
small enclosure outside their cells, were cracking jokes, and David Olds,
whose older brother and mother were murdered in the past two years by Mr
Mugabe's militia, stripped off his shirt and turned his face to the early
morning sun to warm up after a cold night.

Police in Nymandhlovu refused to let the press or wives of the 13 men attend
the hearing in the local magistrates' court within the security fence at the
police camp.

Wives of several farmers said police were anxious in case hostile people,
gathered across the road, stormed the proceedings.

A lawyer representing farmers at another rural magistrates' court said his
eight clients were granted bail and allowed to return home for a month to
wind up their ranches.

This, the lawyer said, speaking on condition of anonymity, would allow them
time to challenge the constitutionality of their evictions.

However in Bindura, about 45 miles north of Harare, lawyers said their
clients' bail conditions amounted to a conviction as they were given less
than 24 hours to return home for the last time and pack up and go.

Wayne Bvudzijena, a police spokesman, said 193 people had been apprehended
since the latest purge of white farmers began, but he could not say how many
remained in prison last night.

One of those apparently detained was Elaine Graham, daughter of the British
peer, Lord Forrester, who was allowed to breast-feed her month-old baby in
the cells. Her husband, Ian, was also arrested. The Forrester family had
large agricultural estates in Zimbabwe.

The country-wide swoop on whites has irreparably damaged Zimbabwe's
commercial agriculture at a time when half the population is on the brink of

Several hundred farmers, particularly in the provinces where Mr Mugabe's
ruling Zanu-PF party is strong, have fled their homes and businesses, most
of them for ever.

While an unknown number of white farmers have been forced to squat with
friends and family, the couple allegedly evicted by Mrs Mugabe, have been
housed temporarily in an apartment in Harare, before they leave to join
their daughter in Cape Town.

The Matthews' eviction notice expired 10 days ago. A source said that Mr
Matthews, 78, and his wife, 74, were told to appeal against their eviction
to the district administrator.

They discovered, however, that he had been part of Mrs Mugabe's entourage
when she gave orders that workers and other residents on the property should
pack their bags.

The farm, which is almost 2,500 acres, has only 400 arable acres, and has
been idle for 18 months since Mr Mugabe's militia arrived and prevented the
Matthews from growing any crops.

Mrs Mugabe is notorious for her profligate ways and a few years ago had a
house built for her which was nicknamed Graceland.

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Wither Zimbabwe?

At the end of 2002 its probably worth just looking back and reviewing what
has happened in 2002 and what might happen in 2003. These are not
hypothetical issues for us who live here but are of real concern to our very

So far the outcome of the year has been very much as predicted - we forecast
what would happen if the MDC was denied power in March and to a very large
degree it has turned out that way. We were the first to project the food
crisis - many thought we were alarmists at the time, but in retrospect we
were pretty accurate. As early as February 2001 we were calling for
contingency plans to be made for imports of food on a large scale. We were
the first to project import demand of over 2 million tonnes in 2002/03.

We forecast 200 per cent inflation and a 12 per cent decline in GDP if Zanu
PF held onto power in March 2002. We are going to be just about spot on in
both respects. We forecast export earnings falling to US$1,4 billion or
less - they are going to be about US$1,35 billion. We forecast total formal
employment declining by one third to 900 000 or less - we were optimistic -
employment levels are likely to be even lower than projected.

So what, you might ask? When a bunch of economists make predictions that
turn out about right it usually a bit of a fluke. Being right gives us no
satisfaction and does little to change our situation on the ground. Zanu PF
is still in control and still retains the support of regional governments to
a large extent despite their almost complete failure as a government. The
position for the average Zimbabwean has simple got worse by the day and is
now almost intolerable. What is going to happen in 2003?

As far as the economy is concerned there seems to be no respite - we predict
export earnings declining to below US$1 billion. The GDP will decline
again - we estimate by 15 per cent in 2003 and that this decline will be
manifest in all sectors of the economy. The food shortages will continue at
about the present level for the whole year and these shortages will run into
2004. If anything, we see acceleration in the downward spiral with the State
no longer able to fund even the most basic services. Inflation will
accelerate to between 400 and 500 per cent.

The issue of what is likely to happen in Zimbabwe is an important question
for three main leadership groups in the region - Zanu PF as the governing
Party in Zimbabwe, the MDC as the only significant opposition and potential
future government and the leadership of the ANC in South Africa. The latter
have been exhibiting considerable fragility in recent weeks and a major
collapse in Zimbabwe would be a serious development for the ANC's current
leadership which has now abandoned any pretense at neutrality on the
Zimbabwe issue and is backing Zanu PF as a "sister" organisation and fellow
"liberation movement".

There are three main possible scenarios for the evolution of events in
Zimbabwe in 2003.

1.. Zanu PF is forced (they will not do it voluntarily) to allow a rerun of
the March 2002 presidential elections. This could come about through the
loss of the court case challenging the outcome or thorough external pressure
of some kind. If held under reasonable conditions and on a level playing
field (again not possible without external pressure) then I would expect
Morgan Tsvangirai to win by a wide margin and the MDC to form the next
government. The failure of the present regime is so comprehensive in every
field that any other outcome is inconceivable.
2.. The Zanu PF regime collapses under the pressure generated by their
complete failure as a government and rising internal discontent and
violence. The two main parties agree on an interim transitional
administration of some kind with a limited mandate to caretaker the country
until we can write a new constitution and hold fresh elections under
international supervision. The outcome will be the complete elimination of
Zanu PF from power and their relegation to a minor status in the countries
political system.
3.. The economy collapses and in the absence of any initiatives by the
political parties the army steps in as the only institution which can force
change in the domestic situation and they set up a civilian administration
to run the country leading eventually to a new constitution and fresh
elections. Zanu PF elements would clearly control the latter process and the
MDC would be marginalised or even banned. I can think of a dozen variations
of the above but the basic process in each remains the same. If the option
one is carried out but elections held under the same system as in March
2002, then I expect the same degree of rigging and violence with an
unsatisfactory outcome and no change. But the one thing that people in Zanu
PF must appreciate of this option is that at the end of the process Zanu PF
would still control over half of the elected seats in the House of
Parliament and a blocking one third of the total membership. Their front
bench would be unaffected and they have several people who could provide
effective leadership of Zanu PF in opposition. On the negative front, if
Zanu PF refused to work co-operatively with the MDC during this phase under
option one, then Morgan (as President) could dissolve Parliament and hold
fresh elections under the present constitution and in so doing wipe out Zanu
PF as a significant opposition. This would clearly not be in the interests
of Zanu PF and would create a unique opportunity for collaboration on a
programme of economic stabilisation and a resumption of growth.

Morgan Tsvangirai would have to implement any recovery strategy and it could
be two years before fresh elections are held - either under the existing or
any new constitution. Two years in which they could rebuild their image and
put their own house in order. Two years of democratic activity in the House
and outside. At the end of that process unless the MDC has done an
outstanding job of the recovery, which will barely be under way at that
time, Zanu PF would at least have a chance of holding onto their status as a
major effective opposition. They would also be able to influence intervening
events including any new constitution, which would have to get a two-thirds
majority to pass.

If the leadership of Zanu PF (excluding Mugabe) were to ignore this strategy
then we are left with options two and three. Under option two we have a less
than satisfactory outcome - implementation of turn around strategies are
delayed, political control over the transition arrangements and the writing
of a new constitution are less satisfactory and at the end of it all MDC
sweeps the board. Under this scenario it would be years before we have a
functioning democracy again with all the threats that this entails.

Option three would be a catastrophe for the country and the region. The new
administration would not be recognised, South Africa would have to carry the
burden of maintaining stability and starting recovery on its own and the
people who have perpetrated the present collapse and crisis would remain in
power behind the scenes. I know this is attractive to the military and to
certain Zanu PF leaders, but for Africa and Nepad this would be the final
straw that broke the camel's back. African leaders would be obliged to back
the new regime and a formal break in ties with major forces in the developed
countries would become inevitable. Do not think that this scenario is
unthinkable - the recent approaches to the MDC leadership have all the
hallmarks of the military. One additional disturbing resonance of option
three, is that under certain conditions it might be acceptable to Pretoria.

I think it is now dawning on Zanu PF that their present position is
untenable. They no longer command the resources to maintain their activities
and the position for them is weakening rapidly. There is also no way out of
the political impasse they have got themselves into. Mugabe is not going to
be able to recover his position in the global community, no matter what he
does. They must start to work on life after Mugabe - and they must do it
now, before they lose control altogether.

By entering into negotiations with the MDC on the way forward they will be
using what strength they have remaining to secure the best possible outcome
for themselves. This could include a secure retirement arrangement for
Mugabe and a select few of his close associates. It could also include
either a transition mechanism to a new constitution and fresh elections or
arrangements for fresh presidential elections that would open the door to a
democratic and lawful transition to a new government.

As far as the MDC is concerned it has stated its position very clearly, and
any road out of this impasse must include the retirement of Mugabe, a return
to legitimacy in national government and the full restoration of the rule of
law. Once these conditions are met, Zimbabweans can start the long task of
putting their lives back together again and getting the economy back onto a
growth track. For this to happen both Zanu PF and the ANC must accept that
the MDC holds the key to gate on any new initiative except the one that
leads to disaster. The ANC must see to it that Mugabe and his military
cohorts do not use that other key in a desperate attempt to escape reality.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, December 28th 2002.
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The Fuel Crisis

Despite all the promises made by the Minister of Energy, Amos Midzi, Zimbabweans were unable to obtain even the most minimal amounts of liquid fuel over the Christmas season. For most people and the media this was the most graphic illustration of the collapse of the economy and the inability of the government under Robert Mugabe to provide any solutions – even after 3 years of staggering from one crisis to another. When the deal with Libya was struck about a year ago, the country experienced a long period of reasonable supplies – most were able to obtain their needs and the frustration of periodic "stock outs" at fuel stations were really just an irritation. This was to some extent compensated by the fact that even though prices were rising, the price of fuel somehow remained the same over this time, in real terms, getting cheaper all the time and giving rise to speculation that price rises were imminent.

So what is the real situation, why this most immediate crisis and is there a solution? The real position is complex and simple – complex in the sense that it is multifaceted and simple in that it really is just a question of supply and demand. In this briefing I will try to open the position up for those that are interested and postulate the only solution.

When the economy was functioning normally (say 5 years ago), consumption was about 5 million litres of liquid fuels a day. Two thirds came into the country via Beira and up to Harare by the pipeline. The other one third came in by road and rail from South Africa. The sole importer was Noczim, a corrupt and bankrupt parastatal that has been one of the main sources of state driven corruption since independence in 1980. The price was fixed by the Ministry of Energy and margins for both bulk buyers and retailers were set by the State. Noczim sold the fuel to the major distributors for cash and the bulk users then looked after the retail trade and other bulk customers. Peak demands were driven mainly by the farming industry at planting and reaping times. Two thirds of all consumption was diesel and the balance other fuels.

Today consumption is down to about 3,5 million litres of liquid fuels a day. This demand is inflated by cross border demand as in real terms; liquid fuels in Zimbabwe are the cheapest in the region. The local price in market terms is about US$4,5 cents per litre compared to over a dollar (US) in Zambia and roughly US$50 cents in South Africa. Even with this lower level of demand, Noczim’s ability to meet demand has been deteriorating rapidly. The reasons lie in two areas – the deteriorating credit worthiness of the State and Noczim and the shrinking flow of foreign exchange into the coffers of the Zimbabwe government.

In the first instance, every deal that the Zimbabwe government has struck with friendly governments – often after direct intervention by Mugabe personally, has become unstuck because of poor performance against promises made. The deal with Malaysia, Libya, Kuwait and South Africa and even little Botswana, have all come unstuck leaving Noczim with huge debts in hard currency. The Libyans are holding tens of billions of Zimbabwe dollars that are deteriorating in value by 1 per cent a day and those governments who put up the guarantees to make the deals possible (SA, Botswana and Malaysia) are faced with hard questions from their own people.

In the second instance, 5 years ago foreign exchange inflows peaked in this country at about US$3,4 billion. This was almost US$10 million a day. At that time the price of liquid fuels was about US$14 cents a litre in international markets and the primary cost of our total import demand was about US$1 million a day, including port and inland transport charges. A very comfortable position. Today we estimate that total foreign exchange inflows in 2002 will have been a third of the level achieved in 1997 at about US$1,35 billion or US$3,5 million a day. Because the poor track record of Noczim and the State itself, we pay a premium for our liquid fuels over and above the world market price. This is exacerbated by corruption in procurement and transport arrangements and this drives up our procurement costs to about US$35 cents per litre – a daily demand of US$1,25 million in hard currency. Recently rising world oil prices and the hardening Rand exchange rate have further exacerbated this situation.

Until November 2002, the state had operated within a system where it took 40 per cent of all foreign earnings outside of the tobacco and gold industries at official exchange rates. The foreign exchange of the tobacco and gold sectors all went to the State at controlled exchange rates except for an allowance to the industry for use to import essential inputs. This flow of foreign exchange was then used to meet essential imports like fuel and under normal circumstances left them with a comfortable surplus to play with. They sold some of the surplus on the market at a premium, used some for food imports and essential drugs and the rest for military hardware and travel.

With the rapid fall in the inflows of foreign exchange (the withdrawal of aid and credit plus the fall in exports and income from services) this system was no longer able to supply government with its needs. In November 2002 they reinstated exchange control and took over all corporate foreign exchange accounts. They also took steps to close down the thriving parallel market for foreign exchange. Under the new system 50 per cent of all inflows of foreign exchange is now automatically converted at the official exchange rate by the banks and the balance is transferred to the control of the Reserve Bank with the proviso that the exporter can use it if they get permission within 60 days. Any foreign exchange not used by that date is forfeit to the State.

In reaction, private business cleaned out their FCA’s before the new measures were implemented – denying the State of about US$30 million in immediate foreign exchange inflows and then decided to withhold from their own Banks any expected further inflows. This action has been reinforced by early indications that the State has not been true to its word and has in fact taken 100 per cent of all foreign exchange inflows to date at official exchange rates. The temptation to do this was simply too great given the huge crisis over fuel. As a consequence, instead of yielding an immediate increase in the availability of foreign exchange at controlled exchange rates to the State, the inflows have dropped to a trickle. With the final collapse of all the fuel deals on which they had been relying, having to put up hard cash and even to settle some of the outstanding debt before any fuel could be obtained, meant that fuel supplies simply dried up and the Christmas nightmare began.

What will happen when companies start to reopen in January is anyone’s guess, most exporters, faced with the complete collapse of local revenues as a consequence of their actual exchange rates falling from a mid rate between the official rate and the parallel market rate, will simply not be able to operate. They will start by withholding earnings and perhaps selling some of those earnings illegally on local markets to fund local costs, but if forced by the exchange control authorities to remit through the new system, they will simply close down. Either way, foreign exchange inflows are likely to be negligible for some time. No foreign exchange, no fuel, unless South Africa puts its neck on the collective block and supplies fuel on credit. No fuel, no economic activity.

In agriculture the State overestimated its ability to run the system without the help of the existing management and owners and we now have a near total collapse of the existing industry and exports. In industry they might have been speculating that if existing private owners of industry were driven out of their companies by these new regulations, new Zanu PF linked owners could do deals and reopen the enterprises with the minimum of disruption. We see under the counter deals being struck every day by Zanu PF linked business, however, to assume that this mechanism can be used across the board in a short period of time without disruption would be another serious mistake. The consequence would be to spread the economic chaos to industry and commerce and even the services sector, the total collapse of the economy under those circumstances cannot be ruled out.

There are signs that some business enterprises are "doing deals" with the State to maintain their activity. The mining houses are talking deals similar to that struck by Zimplats, some industrial firms have permission from the Reserve Bank to keep a higher ratio of foreign exchange for their own use – I know of one which is allowed to hold 100 per cent of its earnings off shore.

These deals will not be enough to hold the system together and judged by its own track record we have to say that at this point in time its is impossible to see Zanu PF finding a solution – they have run out of time and space for maneuver.

So what is the solution – well there is none so long as existing management is in control of this particular ship of State. The only solution is a complete change of government and then sweeping policy changes which will unlock the proven ability of this country to meet its own needs and prosper. Sound a bit trite? MDC had a complete fuel programme ready to be implemented after the March 2002 presidential election. We had even drafted the necessary regulations to make the new system possible and had held negotiations with those in a position to resolve the fuel crisis within a fortnight of the swearing in of the new government, with no subsequent repetition of shortages and stock outs. In April this could have been achieved without even a significant price rise.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, 26th December 2002.

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Natal Witness

Road to Zanufication

Thabo Mbeki's power base has assumed imperial dimensions

Five days of wall-to-wall media coverage of the ANC's 51st national
conference has confirmed the view previously expressed in this column that
the likelihood of liberated thinking emerging from the ruling party is slim.

The only encouraging development was the commitment to a policy of sustained
economic growth (albeit hamstrung by SACP/Cosatu anti-privatisation
strategies) and the fact that Finance Minister Trevor Manuel received the
highest number of votes of all those elected to the ANC's national executive
committee (NEC). At least some sanity ought to prevail on the financial
front as a result. For the rest, however, the outlook ranges from bleak to

Overall, the conference confirmed that South Africa is once again firmly
under the control of a political leviathan and that the president's men
prevail at all levels. Just as the John Vorsters and the P. W. Bothas once
ruled the party roost, so Thabo Mbeki's power base has assumed imperial
dimensions. Such a situation is not healthy for democracy, as our history
since 1948 shows.

In fact, it contains all the elements of "Zanufication" about which,
ironically, Jeremy Cronin of the SACP has warned. Mugabe's strength stems
from the fact that he is unassailable within Zanu-PF. As Albert Speer wrote
of another dictator: "Servility becomes endemic among his entourage who
compete among themselves in their show of devotion. This, in turn, exercises
a sway upon the ruler who becomes corrupted in his turn." South Africa's
Constitution, of course, limits a president to two terms in office. But
similar safeguards have not been effective elsewhere in Africa.

In any event, obsession with control is a feature of all power structures.
Although black empowerment is a key aspect of its policy, the essentially
socialist character of the ANC is concerned with the latitude the "emergent,
black, capitalist class" enjoys. According to a draft document, "this class
needs to be organised and mobilised to serve the interests of reconstruction
and development". (Mercury, December 19). Obviously uncomfortable with the
bloating black elite, the socialist instinct to prescribe and to control
flies in the face of the basic freedoms capitalism needs to flourish.

Exposed here is the faultline that runs through the ANC and its alliance
partners. It embraces the idea of a balanced, internationally competitive
economy with a sustained growth rate. But in the same breath, it describes
itself as a social democratic party, rejects what it calls neo-liberal
ideologies and admits to being a member of Socialist International. As a
permutation, that's unworkable because of the conflicting ideologies
involved. And that's the ANC's dilemma: it boasts about transformation but
cannot transform itself into a modern political party.

Instead, it is ruled by its past. Urging the continuation of the decades-old
partnership with the SACP, Mandela himself stated that to end that alliance
would be "an indictment" on history. That is Cold War thinking and has no
place in what is supposed to be a liberated country. Likewise, for Mandela
to claim that the ANC/SACP/Cosatu alliance is "the hope of South Africa"
(Mercury, December 18) is disappointing.

South Africa certainly would be much better off without the anachronistic
socialistic thinking and militant trade unionism of the SACP and Cosatu.
Freed from those balls and chains, the economy would realise the necessary
growth rate levels needed to reduce unemployment and poverty. And whatever
support the ANC lost to the Neanderthals and the Luddites would be made up
from new quarters by those who embrace the changes that the agenda of the
global village demands.

And so South Africa is condemned to being ruled by a party that refuses to
cure itself of ideological schizophrenia. As was the case under the NP, the
country's prospects are once again being hobbled by the prioritisation of
party interests ahead of the national interest. In this respect, the
scraping and bowing of the Independent Newspapers group and the Sunday Times
to Mbeki and the ANC should be of great concern. Of course, Mathatha Tsedu,
the new editor of the Sunday Times, as an ANC supporter, was no doubt
instrumental in ensuring that readers received a special ANC souvenir
supplement ahead of the conference. Can we expect a similar handout when the
DA's national conference comes around ?

The most disconcerting aspect of the conference concerned the ANC's support
for Robert Mugabe's so-called land reform programme and its claim that the
famine and economic crisis in Zimbabwe is the result of "problems with
implementation". Zanu-PF was also described as a "progressive" organisation
and a "sister" to the ANC. Besides being chilling in what they imply, such
statements make nonsense of the ANC's support in principle for human rights
and democracy.

As 2003 dawns, such thinking and Mbeki's strong attack on the DA during his
opening address epitomises not only the character of the ANC but also the
nature of South Africa's political climate. It scorns attempts at
collaboration and demands tough opposition in the interests of a democratic

a.. Duncan du Bois is a DA Durban Metro ward councillor. He writes in his
personal capacity.

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The Herald

State ordering further 15 000 tonnes of maize seed

Herald Reporter
THE Government is placing orders of an additional 15 000 tonnes of
short-season maize seed from South Africa for late planting.

This is part of efforts to alleviate the current seed maize shortage, which
has seen many farmers still waiting to plant almost half way into the
farming season.

The Department of Agricultural Research and Extension Services (Arex) this
week said that the country was experiencing an acute shortage of seed and
fertiliser, which has resulted in the area put under the maize crop falling
below normal.

The Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Minister, Cde
Joseph Made, yesterday said the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development
was working on the funds that should be released to procure the seed.

He expected that the seed would be in the country early next month.

"Local seed houses have also been authorised to purchase the seed using
their own resources in order to complement Government's efforts," said Cde

He said there was another 1 500 tonnes of seed harvested in the Middle Sabi
during winter which was ready for treatment and distribution.

Cde Made criticised Arex officials, saying they could have done a good
service to the nation if they had advised farmers of what to do and not just
waiting to "celebrate that there will be drought" in the country.

"It is not fair for these officials to just produce a report saying that the
area put under maize would be below normal yet their duty is also to advise
the farmers on what they should do," he said.

President Mugabe recently said that the resettlement programme had enlarged
the area of farming and the area of cropping.

He said there were more people wanting to go into farming than in the
previous years and this has increased the demand for maize seed.

The President said it was unfortunate that the those who were supposed to
supply the farmers with maize seed took for granted that the seed they had
produced would be adequate as their usual annual production used to be 45
000 tonnes, and this was never exhausted.

In fact, seed companies used to export excess seed to Zambia, Malawi and

The planting season in Zimbabwe usually starts from October to mid January.

Farmers have, therefore, been advised to continue planting until the middle
of January next year.
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The Herald

War vets at loggerheads with city council

Herald Reporter
A showdown looms between the Harare City Council and members of the Zimbabwe
National Liberation War Veterans Association over a decision by the city
fathers to reverse an earlier resolution that gave preferential treatment to
the former fighters in the allocation of residential stands.

The decision, which was passed by council at its last general meeting, will
affect war veterans and landless people who were allocated 100 stands in
Crowborough North.

City spokesman Mr Cuthbert Rwazemba declined to comment on the issue
yesterday, but a council official said the department of housing and
community services had been instructed to demolish the structures.

"The council is sticking with its earlier decision and wants those people at
Crowborough North to leave. The area has been reserved for residential
purposes and is meant for people on the housing waiting list,'' said the
official who declined to be named.

However, a member of the war veterans at Crowborough North said no one was
going to move.

"We have not received any communication from the city fathers regarding the
latest development and, therefore, we will not move.

"In fact, moving out of the area is completely out of question because we
are busy constructing our dwellings,'' he said.

At their last meeting, councillors resolved to suspend all policies which
accorded preferential treatment in the provisions of goods and services to
the public pending confirmation of such policies or adoption of new ones.

It also resolved that relevant heads of departments affected by such policy
report to an appropriate committee of council for confirmation or review.

The director of housing and community services, Mr Numero Mubaiwa, had
reported that the Crowborough houses were now ready for allocation and was
seeking ways from council of treating the 100 stands which had been reserved
for war veterans.

The Education, Health, Housing and Community Services Committee expressed
the need to abide by the resolution which reversed the decision to allocate
land to war veterans.

The decision was then adopted by the general council meeting.

The latest development comes barely a month after a number of council
workers were injured by landless people in Budiriro while trying to demolish
illegal structures in the area.
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Daily Telegraph

Sport and politics must unite against the Mugabe regime
By Kate Hoey  (Filed: 28/12/2002)

I have always thought the maxim that sport and politics should not mix is a
nonsense. Unfortunately, it is because too many sportspeople have believed
this myth that governments have been able to get away with putting sport at
the bottom of the league when setting their funding priorities. Sport has
never been able to influence with the same success as the Arts. This is
rather ironic because when I was minister I found sport was riven with
back-stabbing and constant infighting - much more so than in the House of

Nevertheless, the maxim has been used by politicians when considered
expedient. As a result, when it comes to difficult decisions in sport,
particularly those with a moral dimension, government can avoid the issue by
proclaiming the mantra, 'nothing to do with us'. So far that is what they
have done over the Cricket World Cup in Zimbabwe. The current Minister for
Sport, Richard Caborn, has resolutely stuck to the line that it is up to the
International Cricket Council to make the decision over whether Zimbabwe
should host the early stages of the tournament.

Tim Lamb, chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board, has added
his words of wisdom: "The ECB are not a political organisation and do not
take decisions on that basis."

Malcolm Speed, the chief executive of the ICC, was keen to ensure we had no
illusions about his organisation. He answered all questions by insisting
that the ICC "simply did not make political judgements - they are for
politicians." So politicians do not interfere with sports administrators'
decisions and sports chiefs do not meddle with politics.

To me, that cop out is not good enough when dealing with the ECB's decision
to support the ICC's decree that the six matches in Harare and Bulawayo
should go ahead in February.

I was part of the student generation who sat down to protest against the
South African cricketers playing against England in the 1970s. We felt
strongly that the system of apartheid in that country was repugnant. We
wanted a boycott of everything to do with the regime. Boycotts can work,
especially if they are part of other international sanctions.

So far Zimbabwe's suspension from the Commonwealth and the European Union
sanctions have been fairly patchy. To allow a Zimbabwean team to take part
in the Commonwealth Games in July was wrong and sent out a signal that
condemnation of President Mugabe's regime was half-hearted.

The message which will be sent out worldwide if England play their World Cup
match in Harare is that Zimbabwe is a normal functioning country. This is
patently untrue. It is a country where nothing is normal. The shortage of
basic food stuffs is acute in both rural and urban areas. Half the
population - more than six million people - are starving or on the verge of
starvation. The country is grinding to a halt with everything in short
supply except violence, disease and death.

International pressure is needed to make Mugabe account for his despotic
misrule and sport can help make that happen. A boycott of the Cricket World
Cup has happened before - Australia refused to play in Sri Lanka in 1996 and
still reached the finals.

At the ICC press conference announcing the decision to stick with Zimbabwe,
Speed expressed his hope that the country would reap benefits from the
tournament. Can someone in his position really be so naive? Of course there
will be financial rewards - that seems to be the reason for holding World
Cups - but does anyone other than the apologists for Mugabe think that the
money will go anywhere but the pockets of the dictator?

So what about other countries with undemocratic governments, is the cry when
a sports boycott is suggested. Yes, there are many terrible regimes in the
world, but that does not mean we should do nothing. As the former colonial
power Britain has a particular responsibility for Zimbabwe. For the English
team to refuse to go would be a huge morale boost for all the brave men and
women who are struggling for freedom.

I understand the pressures on the cricketers. They are professionals and it
is a World Cup. However, I cannot believe that if they really think about
what playing in Zimbabwe would mean that they would choose to go. Any
decision not to play would be made much easier if a lead was given by the
Prime Minister. I would urge him to leave the war room and the maps of Iraq
for a short while and concentrate on the tragedy of Zimbabwe. Not a penny
need be spent.

All he needs to do is make a statement that it is not possible for sport to
be played where human rights have been so violated. He could refer to the
thousands of white farmers who have been forced off their farms, now sadly
left barren and neglected.

He could remind us of the 900,000 black farm workers who have lost
everything and have been reduced to foraging for food. Then he could tell us
that he would not play cricket in a country where tyranny rules and ethnic
cleansing is the norm.

It is not too late for the ECB to understand that sometimes even they have
to face up to their wider responsibilities. Sport and politics should unite
and tell the evil Mugabe that the English cricket team will not be a
propaganda weapon for his odious regime. They should not go.
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Ban On Foreign Media in Zimbabwe Naive

Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)

December 20, 2002
Posted to the web December 27, 2002

Lance Guma

THE banning of foreign media organisations from operating in Zimbabwe by
denying their foreign crews and reporters leave to enter the country or
refusing to renew the work permits of those already here is a miscalculation
that draws strength from naivety and a deep sense of wanting to be seen to
be doing something by the minister responsible. The new policy typifies a
government not normally associated with the truth and eager to drum up a
"patriotic" excuse for a blatant blockade of news in the country.

While the official line is that foregn media houses in the mould of CNN,
BBC, AFP etc must employ local journalists to cover news for them,
government is aware this is not always possible for a myriad of reasons,
especially with regard to the electronic media. Common sense dictates it is
not always necessary to have a reporter for every country in the world. One
reporter in most organisations can cover as many as 10 countries on their
own. Basildon Peta who works for the Independent newspaper group is a good
example. He is currently covering 14 countries in the Southern African
region alone. In a country like Zimbabwe which rewards laziness, corruption
and over-staffed institutions, maybe such myopic thinking from "Rocket
Scientists" is acceptable.

There is also the skill factor, especially in broadcasting, that has to be
considered. I had the good fortune of working with CNN journalists Jeff
Koinange and Charlayne Hunter-Gault during the March 2002 presidential

Going through the CVs of the two is like going through a hall of fame. They
personify talent. Jeff Koinange was with Reuters Television from 1995-2001.
From 1999 he was its Chief Producer covering 15 African countries and
overseeing the coverage of 24 nations. In 1999 he was a finalist in the Prix
Bayeaux for the coverage of the war in Sierra Leone. He holds a Bachelor of
Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism from New York University. He has covered
notable events like the hijacking of an Ethiopian Airlines plane, the
overthrow of Mobutu Sese Seko, the assassination of President Kabila, the
election of Thabo Mbeki and the war in Sierra Leone.

Charlayne Hunter Gault joined CNN from National Public Radio where she was
Chief Correspondent in Africa. She worked 20 years for PBS. She began her
career as a reporter for the New Yorker, then became anchor for WRC-TV in
Washington. She worked for the New York Times for 10 years. She has won two
Emmy awards, two Peabody Awards and Amnesty International's Media Spotlight
Award. In 1986 she was awarded the Journalist of the year award from the
National Association of Black Journalists. These are two journalists who
have covered real news and have the experience in reputable news
organisations that enabled them to knock on the CNN door and be accepted.

Try to imagine CNN or BBC making a decision on which journalist from ZBC to
employ to replace the two. Looking at the options, we have the inaudible
Freedom Moyo, pompous Reuben Barwe, mistake-laden Supa Mandiwanzira,
over-zealous Makhosini Hlongwane or the ever-shallow Happison Muchechetere.
Better still, why not employ Mr Mass Communication himself, Dr Tafataona
Mahoso? You can clearly see the propositions would be in order if we were
recruiting characters for a circus.

The ZBC in its new bastardised mandate is no longer a viable breeding ground
for broadcast journalists to build international reputations simply because
it is innocent of any professionalism. Zimbabwe's Alice Chavunduka is an
anchor for CNN because a professional establishment, the SABC, honed her raw
skills to international standards. There are a lot of Zimbabwean journalists
who have the talent to emulate Alice but will never get that exposure and
experience because of the ZBC's sterile productions resulting from a naked
monopoly and bootlicking station managers who can't even lie convincingly.

Reporting on the commissioning of boreholes, tomato prices at Mbare Musika
market, fictitious crises in the opposition, and speech and function
reporting is hardly the stuff that will ignite international interest in our

Jonathan Moyo's handling of the media shows he is green behind the ears on
how it works. People plucked from classroom situations, ie teachers and
lecturers like Moyo and Mugabe, usually exhibit a patronising attitude as
they tend to think everyone around them is a student needing guidance at
every turn. Most journalists who have met Moyo will testify that he loves to
lecture on how the media should work. Teachers make good dictators, I always
joke, they simply turn the whole country into a classroom, the chalk becomes
a gun and the blackboard a burial ground.

Whoever told Mugabe that "political scientists" like Moyo necessarily make
good politicians might as well have told him donkeys have horns. Inevitably
the print media in Zimbabwe has assumed the mantle of torch bearer and has
helped put our journalists in the limelight.

That I chose to major in broadcast journalism given our prevailing
environment is a choice I have to stomach for the rest of my life. The
misfortune though has moulded me into a better person. At college I used to
fantasise about being a television celebrity like Reuben Barwe (ZBC's Chief
Reporter) but now realise I would need to be moving around with a gun to
protect myself from dissatisfied viewers nauseated by Zanu PF's propaganda.

It is quite obvious, Jonathan Moyo, the unelected Junior Minister realising
the incompetence of his department to counter international coverage of his
party's evils, merely sought to shoot the messenger and the message in one
fell swoop. The ban however has merely fuelled demand for news on Zimbabwe
(they love creating black markets), and government via Moyo's naivety has
denied itself an equal platform to respond. Nobody outside a zoo believes
anything the ZBC, the Herald and the other motley crew of pseudo-independent
papers broadcast or publish.

- Lance Guma is a Zimbabwe-based freelance journalist and former
secretary-general, Harare Polytechnic SRC.
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Less fuel, fewer road deaths

Angus Shaw

Harare, Zimbabwe - There's a silver lining to the cloud of fuel shortages in
Zimbabwe: The holiday death toll on the nation's roads has dropped by half.

Since the weekend, 42 people had died in vehicle accidents, down from 80
during the same period last year, police and the state media said on Friday.

Police attributed the reduction to fuel shortages that left cars waiting in
long lines outside petrol stations instead of on the roads. It also kept
buses from their traditional routes ferrying tens of thousands of urban
workers to their rural families for the holidays.

Hard currency shortages have caused sporadic fuel shortages for nearly three
years. Supplies dried up almost completely last week, causing the worst
transportn disruptions since 1999.

The ministry of energy admitted it had failed to deliver fuel to meet
holiday demand after promising to speed up imports.

Ambulances and emergency services were running, but main electricity crews
couldn't do repair operations.

Twenty of the reported road fatalities were on Christmas Eve and Christmas
Day. Four people died in the worst crash when a truck rammed into a
stationary vehicle and caught fire near the central town of Gweru on

Many motorists spent much of the holiday in fuel lines or lines for buses
that didn't show up. Only a few petrol stations in Harare sold fuel on
Friday to long lines of motorists.

Meanwhile, many automatic teller machines ran out of money.

The 500 Zimbabwe dollar bill, the largest denomination, has been in short
supply, blamed on hard currency shortages that cut imports of special paper
used to print the bills.

New queues

New queues for corn meal, the staple food, bread, sugar and milk formed as
food stores reopened on Friday.

The sugar shortage has forced bottlers of soft drinks to shut down some
production facilities.

Zimbabwe is suffering its worst economic crisis since independence in 1980.

At least 6.7 million Zimbabweans, more than half the population, face
starvation in coming months because of a sharp drop in agricultural
production blamed on drought and the government's seizure of thousands of
white-owned commercial farms.

The state central statistical office estimated inflation rose this month to
a record 175%, up from 144% in November. But analysts say real inflation is
much higher, fed by a brisk black market in essential commodities that
sometimes sell for more than 10 times their fixed government prices.

The unofficial hard currency exchange rate is about 1 500 Zimbabwe dollars
to the US dollar, while the official rate is 55-1. - Sapa-AP
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  Financial Times

      Cricket's critics on sticky Zim wicket

      By Michael Thompson-Noel
      Published: December 27 2002 15:17 | Last Updated: December 27 2002

      For such a hapless sport, English cricket hogs a lot of headlines. On
February 13 the England team are due to play Zimbabwe in Harare in cricket's
World Cup, following the refusal of the International Cricket Council (ICC)
to rearrange the competition's schedule in protest at the policies of
Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe.

      England's cricketers - famed for on-pitch incompetence and almost
nothing else - are not the only ones due to play World Cup matches in
Zimbabwe. Also going are teams from India, Australia, Pakistan, Namibia and

      However, Michael Ancram, the Conservative Party's shadow foreign
secretary, said he would write to the English cricket authorities urging
them, even at this late stage, to consider a unilateral English boycott. "I
find the ICC's decision a denial of human values in the light of the
atrocities in Zimbabwe," fumed Ancram. "I believe the decision risks
debasing the great game of cricket by associating it with an evil, murderous
dictator like Mugabe."

      At first glance, the ICC's reason for not kowtowing to cricket's
liberal critics seems threadbare. Yet if one ponders things carefully,
playing cricket in Zimbabwe is a lot like fox-hunting: not a cut and dried
issue but a matter of taste.

      The ICC's chief executive, Malcolm Speed, insists that, following a
fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe earlier this year, his organisation is
satisfied that the safety and security of players and officials visiting
Mugabe's blighted land will be guaranteed.

      In spite of calls from politicians and others for the ICC to consider
the humanitarian context of playing in Zimbabwe, the safety issue is _
allegedly _ the sole criterion on which cricket's ruling body based its

      "The ICC is a cricket organisation, not a political institution," said
Speed. "It makes decisions based on what is in the best interests of
cricket. Zimbabwe is one of the 10 full members of the ICC, and has earned
the right to host matches."

      Speed's critics believe that any club which tolerates Zimbabwe as a
member is not a club worth belonging to. What, they wonder, would be the
ICC's attitude if Iraq, North Korea and one or two others happened to be

      Those who aspire to fairness, however, ought not to condemn the ICC
without acknowledging that deciding whether to boycott a pariah state such
as Zimbabwe is more complex that it can appear.

      A spokeswoman for Amnesty International, for example, says her
organisation does not "ask for boycotts as such, but we do ask those people
who go to these places to make themselves aware of the situation and make
their feelings known".

      Speed himself observes that 300 British businesses, some of them
blue-chip names, operate in Zimbabwe; that there is no general sporting
boycott of Mugabe's regime; and that the EU has only limited sanctions
against Zimbabwe in place.

      Zimbabwe's main opposition group, the Movement for Democratic Change,
agrees _ naturally _ with those calling for a boycott. Paul Themba Nyathi, a
spokesman, said: "By [staging part of] the World Cup in Zimbabwe, despite
the humanitarian crisis and unprecedented levels of institutionalised
violence, the ICC is sending a callous message to the people of Zimbabwe. We
urge all cricketers . . . to follow their consciences and refuse to play. If
the ICC is unable to protect the image of cricket, it is up to the players
to do so."

      Unfortunately for Mugabe's opponents, the truth is that cricket does
not have an image left to protect.
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Queues Get Shorter As Petrol Supplies Improve

The Herald (Harare)

December 27, 2002
Posted to the web December 27, 2002


There was an improvement of petrol supplies in and around Harare yesterday,
with more service stations selling and queues becoming shorter and more

Although Noczim is releasing daily normal or above normal quantities, it
will take time for all those who need fuel to receive it.

There are probably between 300 000 and 400 000 vehicles in the country and
to give each of these 50 litres will require up to 20 million litres.

Following a fortnight of sharply reduced supplies and then a fortnight of
almost nothing the vast amount of fuel normally stored in vehicle tanks was
almost exhausted. The economy was basically kept going by what was already
in the tanks.

Most motorists are now looking for a full tank.

However, yesterday almost all those who queued were at least assured of
getting something.

Some of the service stations that had fuel included Total and Caltex in
Msasa, BP Southerton, Mobil Samora Machel, Mobil Hatfield and Mobil

At some service stations diesel was available without queuing. Diesel was in
plentiful supply until the last week of the recent severe petrol shortage.

At some service stations, tankers could be seen offloading petrol, while
tankers continued to pound the road between Msasa and the city.

The petrol crisis had dampened the Christmas mood as many people scrapped
plans to travel and spend most of their time in queues.

Many had hoped that the fuel shortage, which resurfaced about three weeks
ago, would end at least by Christmas to enable them to make travel
arrangements in time.

But with so many tanks dry, and so many needing fuel simultaneously, many
people found themselves celebrating Christmas Day on Wednesday in fuel

But it appeared yesterday that some would, after all, be able to travel if
the improvement in the supply continued.

There were no longer incidents of motorists fighting in queues as they
jostled for fuel.

Queues that stretched for several kilometres in the last few days were
reduced drastically as some service stations were pumping petrol.

The country started experiencing fuel shortages at the end of 1999.

Meanwhile, some people in Harare said they had fairly enjoyed this Christmas
despite the hardships the country is facing.

Most of the people spent the day in church, while others said they chose to
relax at home with their families.

"The day was alright to us and we thanked God for the rains and it was good
that it rained on Christmas Day," said Mrs Margret Chikobvu of Mabvuku.

"We spent the day at home where we held a small party for the children and
we enjoyed ourselves."

Mr Henry Kolosa of Mufakose said he spent the day worshipping at a local
church cathedral with other christians.

"Christmas Day is church day for some of us," said Mr Kolosa. "It's a day of
giving thanks to the Lord and thanking him for all he has done for us
throughout the year."

Mr Zivani Mauchaza of Borrowdale said to him Christmas Day was just like any
other holiday.

"To me, there is nothing special," said Mr Mauchaza. "I take it like any
other holiday and I am happy that it gives me time off work and enables me
to enjoy drinking with my friends."

The Christmas Day was characterised by a shortage of soft drinks in many
shops as United Bottlers indicated it was not going to manufacture any
during Christmas.

The company said in a statement that the continuing shortage of key
production inputs was responsible for the shortages. Sugar shortages are
reported to be the most critical factor.

It said it was expected to resume normal production and deliveries on
December 30.
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The Times

            December 27, 2002

            Questions of sport
            Cricket in Zimbabwe...

            SHOULD England, or indeed any team, play cricket World Cup
matches in Zimbabwe? Absolutely not. As Simon Barnes says (Sport, December
20), sport and politics are inextricably linked and Mugabe will see the ICC
decision as a victory for his racist policies.
            It was right to boycott Rhodesia then, it is right to boycott
Zimbabwe now. Having lived and worked in the old Rhodesia, I remember how
hard it was to be segregated from the sporting world; there is no doubt that
this helped to hasten the change that led to majority rule. Isolating
Zimbabwe in every way will help to bring down this dreadful regime.

            Stephen Young, Milton Keynes

            Humanity must come first

            AS A member of the McC I naturally support the furtherance of
cricket worldwide. However, I draw the line when the game I love is used as
a tool to support the aims of a corrupt dictatorship. To use players'
security as the yardstick of the country's acceptability to host the World
Cup is, to my mind, abhorrent.

            Surely members of the ICC and ECB read newspapers? Why not send
them to the Matabele areas where thousands were slaughtered by the present
regime and where aid is withheld as they do not support Mugabe. Let the
inspectors visit the bakeries that have no bread and speak to the people
without hope.

            Cricket has an important place in my life, but humanity must
come first. The Zimbabwe Government will cynically use the tournament to
mask the poverty of its policies.

            Sydney Livesey, Stanmore, Middlesex

            Come, look, and learn

            AS A resident of Zimbabwe I would like to insist that the team
come, and that while they are here they are made to stand in a bread line,
join a petrol queue and listen to the comments of the people. Then they must
take the knowledge gained and spread the news far and wide.

            Betty Ashton, Harare, Zimbabwe

            Zimbabwe's record

            NOT so many years ago we did not play South Africa because white
men had disenfranchised the black population and treated them as
second-class citizens. Now we have a black dictator who stole an election;
practises apartheid-like policies on his fellow countrymen, black and white;
starves those who voted against him and robs indigenous white farmers of
their land, in some cases bought from his own Government. The British
Government has applied travel restrictions to Mugabe and many in his
Government - and we are going to go there to play cricket matches?

            Tom Jefferson, Egglescliffe, Cleveland

            Leave politics out of sport

            THE ICC's decision not to let politics get in the way of sport
is to be applauded. Sporting boycotts, like political boycotts, do not work.
Take Iraq, for example.

            Sport is a wonderful way of engaging with a country like
Zimbabwe, whose politics and practices do not conform to accepted
international norms. It also fosters international relationships.

            Playing cricket in Zimbabwe does not mean approval of the
regime; neither does holding the Olympics in Beijing in 2008.

            Ian Blackshaw, International Centre for Sports Studies,
Neuchatel, Switzerland

            Mugabe will rejoice

            MUGABE, as patron of the Zimbabwe Cricket Board, will rejoice.
What a chance to humiliate Britain. What a PR coup. What a snub for those
Zimbabweans, black and white, who have suffered unspeakably.

            R. G. Forrest, Ilminster, Somerset

            Players' dilemma

            WHEN Robert Mugabe decides that he wants to introduce himself to
the players before England's World Cup game in February, will some or all of
them refuse to shake his hand? Will they be forced to do so for fear of an
international incident? The ICC, of course, will not understand the players'
dilemma. This, after all, is sport and not politics.

            Tim Walker, Richmond, Surrey

            , London W12
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Christian Science Monitor

from the December 27, 2002 edition

      TRANSITION: Friday's election will end the 24-year reign of Kenya's
Daniel arap Moi.

      Days wane for African 'big men'

      Kenyans pick the successor to Daniel arap Moi, president for 24 years.

      By Danna Harman | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

      NAIROBI, KENYA - On a continent where leaders often leave office only
when overthrown or killed, Friday's election to choose the successor to
Kenya's President Daniel arap Moi is being billed as a watershed event.
      Kenyans are headed to the polls in an election where opposition leader
Mwai Kibaki is expected to claim victory over Moi's handpicked successor,
Uhuru Kenyatta.

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            Cost of corruption rises for donor-dependent Kenya


            Discuss the news from Africa in our Global Issues forum.

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      Prohibited by Kenya's Constitution from running again, President Moi,
one of Africa's "big men" - independence-era leaders who soon began
confusing themselves with the countries they ruled over - will be packing up
and going home after 24 years of absolute rule. And there is general
expectation that with Moi's departure, the prospects for this tired, poor
nation of 31 million - once thought of as the gem of East Africa - are about
to improve.

      "There are so few examples of a change in power [from one elected
party to a different party] in Africa that it is important to nurture it to
success - to make it work," says Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, director of the
Ghana Center for Democratic Development. "There is much room for hope."

      Only a handful of big men are still holding onto their posts after two
decades or more. Robert Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe for 22 years; Jose Eduardo
Dos Santos in Angola for 23 years; and Gnassingbe Eyadema in Togo for 35

      Some Kenyans admit they will miss their iron-fisted leader. Moi's face
is everywhere - on banknotes, coins, and posters looking down from nearly
every office-building wall. There are hospitals, streets, and an
international airport named after him. And at last count, there were 23
"Moi" public schools. Newsreels of the president's daily activities precede
the main feature at the flicks, and Oct. 10 is "Moi Day," a national public

      "He's a father to us," says Margaret Mwachia, a high school student
found hanging out on Moi Avenue. She has, of course, never known any other
leader. "It will be too weird without him," she says solemnly.

      Achievements hard to find

      But the state of affairs in Kenya today speaks louder than such
sentiment. Moi likes to point out that under his leadership Kenya - as
opposed to most of the neighboring countries - has remained peaceful.

      But other achievements are hard to find. Under his watch, Kenya's
once-flourishing economy has ground to a virtual standstill: The average
Kenyan survives on less than a dollar a day; slums have sprouted up around
every city; street children roam the downtown areas sniffing glue and
begging; HIV/AIDS rates have soared; violent crime is growing; most roads
have collapsed into disrepair with barely any streetlights; and policemen
routinely stop cars only to extract bribes.

      Meanwhile, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
have withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in aid over the past 10 years,
citing widespread official corruption. According to Transparency
International, a watchdog organization, Kenya is one of the world's most
corrupt countries, and according to the South Africa Institute of
International Affairs, Kenya has the world's second greatest income
disparity between rich and poor.

      And so it comes as no surprise that both candidates in this year's
election have been campaigning on a similar platform - one of change. Both
promise better healthcare, infrastructure, education, and security. Both say
they will woo international aid, boost the economy, and create jobs. And
both vow to stamp out corruption. "All will be better without Moi," goes one
of the popular opposition songs.

      But, some warn, the tide of enthusiasm for the post-Moi era should be
tempered with realism. While new leadership in Kenya will be a good thing,
says Robert Rotberg, director of the Program on Intrastate Conflict at
Harvard's Kennedy School of government in Cambridge, Mass., there is much
work to be done before ordinary people's lives improve.

      "The elections are critical because Moi has stunted Kenya's
development and curtailed growth.... Kenya has the human potential to be an
African success and with him out of the way, it might be," says Mr. Rotberg.
"But can Kibaki do it? That is the critical question."

      Rotberg says he is unsure of the abilities of Kibaki's National
Rainbow Coalition (NARC) - an alliance of opposition parties and former
ruling-party malcontents that came together just two months ago. "I fear
that the alliance will crack after his victory," says Rotberg. "And I wonder
if Kibaki has the leadership qualities equal to the enormous challenge. Can
Kenya move from despotism and corruption to sustainable development?"

      Who exactly is the fresh blood?

      While Mr. Kenyatta, to his detriment, is closely associated with Moi,
Kibaki, as well as many of his party's main lieutenants, are also tied into
the old regime, many of them having served under Moi for years. "The country
needs a breed of fresh and energetic leaders - not recycled politicians who
are out to find scapegoats for their past mistakes," Kenyatta told crowds at
a rally last Sunday. "Some of my most vocal critics and detractors were in
the government when the economy collapsed and I wondered what they now had
to offer the country."

      New laws instituting term limits in Africa have been critical to
ensuring new blood at the top. In the past two years, such limits have
forced out Zambia's Fredrick Chiluba, Ghana's Jerry Rawlings and now,
Kenya's Moi.

      But experts say that term limits are not enough for real change.
Governments must also institute constitutional reviews, says Mr.
Gyimah-Boadi. Term limits can be ignored - as was the case recently in
Namibia where long term President Sam Nujoma decided to stick around for
another, illegal term - but constitutional laws are usually much harder to
bypass, he argues.

      "Kenya's elections will highlight the pitfalls associated with
democratic transitions that are not accompanied with significant
constitutional change," he says, adding that he looks forward to seeing the
next government take up the constitutional review process, begun and halted
under Moi.

      Kibaki has already committed himself to the constitutional review
process. "We have a new draft constitution, and we intend to oversee a major
change in structure of government," he told reporters, adding that he
intended to bring in the role of prime minister as well as strengthen
Parliament. "As a long-term opposition parliamentarian, I look forward to
strengthening that institution and setting up more checks and balances for
our government," he said.

      "Nobody wants any individual to have the concentration of power that
Moi has used, and some say abused," says Yash Pal Ghai, the legal expert
appointed by Moi to oversee the constitutional process. Mr. Ghai fell out
with the president when he made his recommendations, which included serious
decentralization of power.

      Following in the footsteps of others

      Moi has, in the past few weeks, asked for forgiveness for his
wrongdoings, asked that he be remembered for his good deeds, and announced
that intends to take up a regional peacemaking role following in the
footsteps of some better respected big men before him like Tanzania's
founding President Julius Nyerere or South Africa's Nelson Mandela.

      "I will be handing over the reins of office to my successor, your new
president. This will be done smoothly. This is my desire and pledge," Moi
told the public on Kenya's Independence Day last month. "Some believe that
nobody in Africa can relinquish power," he added. "But why should I cling
onto power? I am done here."

      Put out to pasture

      But it's not always easy for African leaders to go quietly into that
good night. Just ask Ghana's ex-President Rawlings.

      "I cannot recommend it," says Mr. Rawlings about stepping down as
president of Ghana two years ago after close to 20 years in power. "The
people forget all you have done for them," he moans, "and so quickly."

      Rawlings can relate to what Moi is going through. The fear of
criticizing Moi, which has diminished over the years, has in the weeks
running up to the elections almost totally disappeared. Crowds have booed
him, the cartoonists have lampooned him, and his closest political friends
have deserted him to join the opposition.

      "When I used to travel it would take hours for my motorcade to pass
through the throngs of well-wishers," remembers Ghana's Rawlings, who left
office amid fanfare for restoring the democratic process, but also amid
charges of theft and even allegations of extra-judicial killings committed
by his government.

      "Today, they yell out 'thief.' I am ignored. I am humiliated. I gave
my life to this country and now I am being maligned," he continues. "If this
is what happens when you leave office, well, no one will agree to leave."
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Security takes on new meaning for youth

Thursday, December 26, 2002
OTTAWA -- At a time when a war with Iraq seems to be just around the corner,
the concept of human security has acquired a whole new meaning for many. But
for a high school student, a filmmaker and a teacher, it has hit
particularly close to home.

Ottawa student Liz Toller, 18, became interested in human security issues
after Samantha Nutt, the executive director for War Child Canada, came to
speak at her high school. Toller applied to help organize a project for the
relief organization and ended up attending a conference in March with 50
other youth from across Canada.

She says the conference _ whose main focus was on educating youth about the
International Criminal Court and human rights _ was a ``huge eye-opener''
for her and many of the other participants. She's now a member of War
Child's youth advisory board.

"I left that weekend feeling like I wanted to change the world, basically,''
she says. "I just really got inspired.''

Toller had already applied to a number of university science programs before
attending the conference. When she returned, she decided to reapply to
Dalhousie University, this time for an arts program.

She says she'll be heading off to Halifax in the fall to attend Dalhousie as
an international studies and political science student.

"It actually had a huge impact on my decision (to reapply),'' she says of
the conference. "I'm really glad I did that.''

For Regina filmmaker David Belluz, 30, capturing issues of human security
became a life-threatening line of work. Having dropped out of journalism
school, he first travelled to the African country of Uganda two years ago to
freelance a story about child soldiers, but ended up wanting to shoot a
documentary instead.

He returned to Canada and applied for a youth internship with the Canadian
Television Production Association, a project funded by the federal
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. He also started a
film production company, Alethia Productions, in Regina.

But when he arrived in Uganda in October 2001, an Ebola outbreak had spread
in the displacement camps where he had filmed the daily lives of some of the
child soldiers. He decided to start a second film documenting the work of
the nurses and doctors who faced ostracism from family and friends for
treating those stricken by the deadly virus.

"The first shoot was the worst, because you don't know what you're going to
see. You don't know what you're going to hear. You've prepared yourself, but
there's nothing like the real thing,'' he says.

"You're in the wards, and people are bleeding, people are vomiting, people
are in various stages of death, and it's a painful disease.''

Filming the nurses' work was dangerous. Even simple chores, such as removing
protective gloves to change a tape in his camera, opened up a window of
potentially deadly contamination.

"You're thinking, 'Oh my God,' but you have to do it or you don't get the
story,'' he says.

Since returning from Uganda, Belluz has completed Ebola Wars, his
documentary on the work of the nurses, as well as a another documentary
about the violent oppression of those people opposing Zimbabwean ruler
Robert Mugabe during the 2002 presidential elections. While secretly filming
the ``rigged elections,'' he says he was thrown in jail by the Zimbabwean

"Pretty much what I have learned is that, there are a lot of people who talk
about human security, but really don't care to act upon it _ particularly
our Canadian government,'' he says, noting that little has been done to stop
the torture and famine in Zimbabwe.

"It's never been more profoundly important for us to start acting on human
security. And we're not.''

Lloyd Axworthy, a former foreign affairs minister and now director of the
University of British Columbia's Liu Centre for the Study of Global Issues,
has defined human security as a concept that includes meeting people's basic
needs, respecting human rights and freedoms and promoting the rule of law,
good government and equality.

For Halifax teacher Judith Lavery, teaching children to care about the
plight of people in war-torn countries starts in the classroom. As a Grade 3
teacher at Fairview Heights school, a number of her students are refugees
from the Middle East and the former Yugoslavia.

To help educate her students about preventing conflict, she helped start a
peace club four years ago. About 80 children have joined the club, which
encourages children to learn about different cultures and talk about their
own experiences with conflict.

But it's not always easy. Some of her students are Kurds from northern Iraq
and talk openly about their support for a possible U.S. invasion of their
former country. She says it's often hard to explain the repercussions of

"You can see the children trying to understand this _ the Kurdish children _
but yet they go home to a family who hates Saddam with such violent
intensity that they can't see anything except the good in attacking Iraq,''
she says. "They can't seem to be able to understand that there might be
another way.''

Having children in the club who have first-hand experience in war-torn
countries has helped the others realize some of the consequences of
conflict, she says. It also helps them understand how fortunate they are to
live in a peaceful country.

"When we talk about war and we talk about the possibility of war, we talk
about how lucky we are to be where we are.''

© Copyright 2002 The Canadian Press
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Cops assaulted: Farmer held

Bloemfontein - A farmer, believed to be from Zimbabwe, and nine of his
security guards are to appear in the Clocolan magistrate's court on Friday
after being arrested for assaulting police officers investigating a

Eastern Free State police spokesperson Captain Motarafi Ntepe on Thursday
said two officers from Clocolan were summoned to the Omega farm outside the
town at 19:25 on Christmas Eve to intervene in a fight at a home on the

While the two were still inside the house, the farm owner accompanied by his
security guards stormed into the house.

"It is alleged that the farmer assaulted one of the police officials and
when the other tried to intervene the security guards took out firearms,"
Ntepe said.

The two policemen ran out of the house towards their police van. "Allegedly
the farm security guards started firing shots at them. Fortunately, they

Ntepe said the policeman assaulted suffered injuries to his face.

The two policemen summoned help and more police officers came to their
rescue. Nine farm security guards and the farm owner were arrested.

Two pistols, a Norinco and a Browning, with three magazines and thirteen
rounds of ammunition were confiscated.

Cases of attempted murder, assault and hindering police officials in
executing official duties were being investigated, Ntepe said.

It was established that of those arrested, two were from Namibia, six from
Zimbabwe and three from Kimberley.

It is believed the farmer is a citizen of Zimbabwe.

"This will be verified with the assistance of department of home affairs on
Friday," Ntepe said.
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Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Editorial: Out in Africa / Amid troubles and strife, some hope emerges

Thursday, December 26, 2002

First in a series of editorials about the state of the world as the year
ends. Future editorials will focus on East Asia, South Asia, Central and
South America, Europe and the Middle East.

The year 2002 for sub-Saharan Africa was a year of important promises, but
not a lot of promise. The new Africa Union replaced the flawed Organization
of African Unity. Also launched was the New Partnership for Africa's

The war in Sierra Leone was brought to an end and elections held in that
fragile state. Accords were reached in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,
Sudan, Angola, Madagascar, Burundi and even Somalia that could eventually
lead to peace and stability.

On the other side of the ledger, a rebellion in the Ivory Coast, long a
model of economic success and good government, has burned out of control to
the point that it may result in the overthrow of the government by
insurgents. Worse, the north-south, Muslim-Christian nature of the Ivory
Coast conflict could be the harbinger of conflicts in several African
countries with the same divisions. Nigeria's world image got hammered in
November when the Miss World contest had to be moved to London in the face
of rioting, set off by Muslim outrage at criticism of the application of
Islamic law in some of the country's northern states.

Successful elections were held in Senegal as well as Sierra Leone in 2002
and are scheduled for Kenya tomorrow. Considerable negotiations and some
fighting took place before the results of the 2001 Madagascar elections were
accepted across the island and a sitting government put in place, but reason
and regional mediation finally prevailed.

Zimbabwe's elections in March made that country a negative poster child for
Africa's problems. President Robert Mugabe, 78, the country's leader since
independence in 1980, decided he had to have another six-year term. His
supporters and he made it happen, using every dirty trick they could think
of, including trying to reserve badly needed international food aid for his
own party's supporters. Mugabe won the elections, but Zimbabwe -- and
Africa -- lost.

The new Africa Union and the New Partnership for Africa's Development offer
hope for focusing Africa-wide opinion on problems in member countries. The
economic agreement has African countries conceding that the rest of the
world is under no obligation to provide them development assistance unless
they take steps to eliminate corruption and put their economic and financial
houses in order.

Taken seriously and put into effect, this approach can constitute the
necessary first steps out of the shadows and into a brighter future for
African countries. The year closed with President Bush canceling his
first-ever scheduled visit to the continent. Nonetheless, seeds were planted
this year that could begin to flower in a better 2003.
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New York Times

A Land Reform Plan Falters in Zimbabwe

ADOMA, Zimbabwe - The ragged farmers shout and whistle as the oxen trudge
through the drizzle, dragging a rusty plow through sodden fields. Most
passing motorists splash by without a second glance.

The withered men look like ordinary peasant farmers. But they have no
fertilizer, no irrigation, few seeds and little hope that their crops will
flourish in this season of erratic rains.

They are the beneficiaries of President Robert Mugabe's agricultural

Over the past two years, the government has redistributed nearly all of the
country's white-owned farmland to about 300,000 poor black families and
50,000 aspiring black commercial farmers. Of the 4,500 white commercial
farmers who once powered the economy by producing tobacco and wheat, about
600 are still trying to farm, mostly on smaller holdings.

Mr. Mugabe, who has led this country since white rule ended in 1980, has
hailed the sweeping change as the fulfillment of the black struggle for
liberation in Zimbabwe. Many Africans praise him for undoing the legacy of
British colonialism, which left a tiny white minority - less than 1 percent
of the population - with more than half of the country's fertile land.

But the government's chaotic and violent seizure of white-owned farms has
come at a price. The economy is collapsing. The land program, coupled with
severe drought, has left half the population in need of emergency food. And
so far, Mr. Mugabe has failed to transform the agricultural sector into a
viable system that can feed the nation and drive the economy.

Vast stretches of previously productive farmland are no longer in use
because about half of the aspiring black commercial farmers have failed to
take up their allotted farms since August, when most white farmers were told
to leave.

The government, which seized the farms without compensation, still lacks
title to most of the land. Many prospective black farmers are reluctant to
occupy farms without title deeds because it is nearly impossible to get
loans without them.

Meanwhile, thousands of impoverished, resettled farmers are struggling to
survive without seed, fertilizer, irrigation and plowing assistance, basic
services that the government has promised. The United Nations says that more
than half of the government's tractor fleet - which was meant to plow fields
for the poor - is out of service because of shortages of spare parts and

Officials are so short of seed and fertilizer that many small farmers are
sitting idle on plots of land they cannot plant. In Manicaland Province,
only about 10 percent of resettled farmers have seed and 17 percent have
fertilizer. When seeds are available, the government often provides
unsuitable varieties.

"In most cases, the maize seed supplied is not suitable for the areas in
which they have been distributed," the United Nations said in a recent
report. Some newly resettled farmers are also going hungry as the country's
food shortages worsen. Aid agencies report that farmers in the district of
Gwanda have gone without food assistance from the government for three
months. Zimbabwe, once one of Africa's most prosperous nations, is now a
country of hungry people.

Much of the trouble stems from the haste in which the government tried to
distribute land. In a bid to woo disillusioned black voters, officials
scrambled to parcel out land to as many people as possible before the
presidential election this year. They did so without much planning or

Government officials say problems are inevitable in any large land
redistribution program, particularly at a time of severe drought, and they
promise to set things right. They are already warning would-be black
commercial farmers that they will lose their land if they do not occupy
their farms.

Officials say they are also stepping up efforts to find inexpensive seed and
fertilizer for new farmers.

"We took it for granted that the supplies would be adequate," Mr. Mugabe
said this month in an interview with the state-controlled newspaper, The
Herald. "It then proved that we were mistaken," he said. "Seed is short,
fertilizer is short and tillage is inadequate. We are working on that."

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From The Zimbabwe Independent, 20 December

$2b set aside for militia centres

Loughty Dube

Government is setting up more national youth service training centres across the country as it steps up measures to institutionalise its militias, the Zimbabwe Independent has established. The move is part of a programme by government to establish training centres in each district of every province during the first half of the year. Sources within the Ministry of Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation told the Independent that half of the ministry's 2003 $4 billion budget had been set aside for the establishment of the national youth service training scheme. The sources said a large chunk of the funds would go towards the upgrading of Kamativi Training Centre in Matabeleland North, which is expected to be the largest national youth training camp in the country. "At least half of the ministry's budget will go towards the setting up of national youth training centres throughout the country," said the source. "The $2 billion allocated in this year's budget is not enough to set up enough centres as we anticipate an increased enrolment of youths for the national service programme."

Currently there are five youth training centres in the country: Guyu in Matabeleland South, Border Gezi in Mashonaland Central, Kamativi in Matabeleland North, and Mushagashi and Dadaya in Midlands province. Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation minister Elliot Manyika confirmed the drive for more centres saying there was nothing sinister in this as government announced the move a "long time ago". "We are setting up national youth training centres in places where there are none and places like Harare, Bulawayo and Mashonaland West are our top priority," Manyika said. He said there were people bent on disrupting the programme but vowed it would go ahead despite public criticism. "Even if you people criticise the programme, we will go ahead with it and come January everything will be in place," Manyika said. Graduates from the Border Gezi National Youth Training Centre have been used by Zanu PF to harass opposition party supporters during election campaigns. So far over 9 000 youths have graduated from the programme and the majority have been absorbed into different ministries as reward for their support during election campaigns. The setting up of the new training centres, according to sources, will work in tandem with government's policy announced two months ago which stipulates that "O" Level certificate holders cannot proceed to "A" Level and government institutions without a national youth service certificate. The government has in the past defended the youth training programme as essential for instilling a sense of patriotism among youths.

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