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

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Zim Online

COSATU gears up for border blockade
Fri 25 February 2005
  PRETORIA - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) will on
March 16 blockade Zimbabwe's lifeline
      Beitbridge border post with South Africa to protest repression, worker
and human rights violations by President Robert Mugabe and his government.

      COSATU secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi told a South African civic
society solidarity meeting on Zimbabwe here that the union will also stage
protest marches at Beitbridge and hold an all-night vigil at the border post
on March 30 - a day before Zimbabwe's crucial general election - to
highlight the lack of democracy in that country.

      "COSATU will implement a series of protests including a march in
Pretoria (on March 9) a picket at Beitbridge (on 16 March), two marches at
the border and a night vigil (on March 30)," Vavi told the meeting.

      He added: "Is there a blockade, well what is the difference to a
march? For the duration of the march, the road will effectively be

      A blockade of Beitbridge even for a few hours will have a devastating
impact on Zimbabwe which heavily relies on South Africa, its biggest trading
partner, for essential supplies including fuel and food.

      Other countries north of Zimbabwe such as Zambia and Malawi will also
be hit hard as they route the bulk of their imports through Beitbridge,
which is Africa's busiest border post.

      South African Foreign Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who two weeks
ago warned COSATU that Pretoria would not allow disruptions at Beitbridge,
could not be reached for comment last night.

      But Vavi appeared unperturbed by Dlamini-Zuma's warnings, instead
calling on South Africans to abandon their blind loyalty to and admiration
of Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party and stand up to repression in

      He said: "Civic society in South Africa must unashamedly act in
solidarity with their counterparts in Zimbabwe. If we close our eyes to the
realities of repression, there is a danger we would ignore other future

      Mugabe has reversed the gains of Zimbabwe's bitter 1970s liberation
struggle with "massive human rights abuses" now routine in that country,
Vavi said.

      Under the current repressive environment, it would take "a miracle"
for Zimbabwe's March 31 election to be free and fair, the firebrand trade
unionist said.

      Vavi called on Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) observers
to be immediately deployed to Zimbabwe saying the regional observers would
not be able to play an effective role if sent only a few days before the

      SADC is ready to send observers to Zimbabwe but is unable to do so
because Harare is yet to formally invite the regional organisation to send
its team.

      The two-day civic society solidarity meeting which ends today was
organised by the Zimbabwe Solidarity and Consultative Forum.

      Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party leader
Morgan Tsvangirai is scheduled to address the meeting today.

      Meanwhile, COSATU president Willie Madisha told a separate Solidarity
trade union congress that there were gross violations of workers' rights in
Zimbabwe and claimed that there were incidents where some workers there had
even been castrated.

      "Workers are beaten, maimed and killed. We know of instances where
workers have been castrated," Madisha told the congress.

      The COSATU president also lamented the plight of hundreds of thousands
of former farm workers left jobless and destitute when Mugabe seized farms
from white farmers. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Political violence flares ahead of election
Fri 25 February 2005
  NORTON - Suspected ruling ZANU PF party militants yesterday waylaid and
severely beat up an opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party
campaign team in the small town of Norton, 40km west of Harare, as political
violence steadily increases across the country ahead of a key election next

      The 11 MDC activists were putting up campaign posters at Reinham
school in the town when the suspected ZANU PF militants pounced on them. The
militants also confiscated the posters and party regalia the opposition
supporters were wearing and burnt the material.

      Norton falls under the Manyame constituency in which President Robert
Mugabe's nephew Patrick Zhuwawo is standing against the MDC's Hilda Mafudze
in the March 31 poll.

      ZANU PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira could not be reached for comment
on the incident yesterday. Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena was also
unreachable on his phone when ZimOnline tried to contact him.

      But Mafudze yesterday said she had reported the attack against her
campaign team to police in Norton.

      "This cannot be a free and fair election. How can the whole process be
fair when one's campaign team is beaten up and their regalia burnt by these
thugs who belong to a party which claims it supports a free and fair poll?"
Mafudze said.

      Yesterday's incident follows a similar attack last Sunday by members
of the Zimbabwe National Army on MDC members at Wengezi rural business
centre in Manicaland province.

      The MDC members, who included three of the party's candidates in the
March poll, were beaten up by the soldiers who were in uniform, while
returning home from the official launch of the party's campaign in Masvingo.

      Increasing reports of attacks by state security agents and suspected
ZANU PF militants against MDC supporters put into serious question promises
by Mugabe and his government to ensure a violence free and democratic
election next month. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

State secret agents bankroll MDC rebels
Fri 25 February 2005
  HARARE - Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
party has accused the government's spy Central Intelligence Organisation
(CIO) of bribing some of its disgruntled members to destablise and weaken
the party ahead of next month's election.

      MDC secretary general Welshman Ncube yesterday told ZimOnline that the
dreaded CIO was bankrolling party members who lost an internal election to
choose candidates to stand as independents in a two-pronged attempt to
weaken the party from within as well as split its vote in the March 31 poll.

      Ncube said: "The CIO has been fully operational in trying to
infiltrate and weaken the MDC by buying and sponsoring losing candidates to
discredit the party. For example, we know of people who could not afford to
print a single T-shirt and had to appeal for party resources when they were
sitting MDC MPs.

      "Now that they are standing as independents, they are awash with money
and are using it to weaken our structures before the elections."

      State security minister Nicholas Goche, who is in charge of the CIO,
denied the allegation. He said: "Those are lies. They are running out of
excuses to the electorate."

      But intelligence sources, who spoke anonymously, confirmed to
ZimOnline that the secret service agency was running a "national project" to
infiltrate the MDC and destablise it ahead of the March 31 election.

      One senior CIO operative said: "Infiltration of the MDC is not a new
thing but with the elections approaching, a slush fund has been set up to
buy and sponsor discontent within the MDC.

      "This will split the vote and benefit ZANU PF. This is a separate
project meant for the elections"

      Critics accuse President Robert Mugabe of using the feared spy agency
to destabilise opposition parties and crush dissenting voices. He denies the
charge. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Research foundation takes on Jonathan Moyo
Fri 25 February 2005
  HARARE - The United States Ford Foundation has filed a court application
challenging a bid by dismissed information minister Jonathan Moyo to have a
civil suit against him for embezzling donor funds dismissed.

      The former information minister filed an appeal in Kenya's Court of
Appeal arguing that the High Court of Kenya did not have the jurisdiction to
hear the case.

      But in its application, the foundation has urged the Court of Appeal
to throw out Moyo's appeal because it does not comply with court rules.

      "The Ford Foundation has filed an application to dismiss Mr Moyo's
appeal for lack of compliance under the Court of Appeal rules," the
foundation's lawyers told ZimOnline.

      The lawyers refused to divulge further details on the matter, which is
still to be set down for hearing, saying it would be improper to do so when
the matter was still before the courts.

      The foundation accuses Moyo, who it employed as a programme officer
between 1993 and 1997, of embezzling US$108 000 which he allegedly secretly
transferred into a South African-based trust called Talunoza, named after
his four children.

      Moyo is alleged to have used part of the funds to buy a mansion in
Johannesburg which was later sold after he failed to pay R1 million in rate

      Moyo, a brilliant political science professor who swopped the
university chair for politics, was fired from the government last week after
he sought to stand as an independent candidate in the March general

      This is not the first time Moyo has been dragged to the courts over
the alleged abuse of donor funds.

      In 2000, South Africa's Witwatersrand University instituted legal
proceedings against Moyo over breach of contract after running off with
thousands of rands in research money. The university later dropped its claim
against Moyo. - ZimOnline
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Business Day

SADC inaction on Zimbabwe places aid at risk - US
Jonathan Katzenellenbogen

International Affairs Editor

US AMBASSADOR to SA Jendayi Frazer last night said inaction of Southern
African Development Community (SADC) members over Zimbabwe - compared with
efforts by Togo's neighbours - was putting future aid increases from the
world's only superpower at risk.

In an address at the South African Institute of International Affairs Frazer
said that because "Zimbabwe clearly stands out" it was difficult to those in
the US government who favoured more aid to Africa to argue the case in

US statements on Zimbabwe have become more strident since US Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice grouped the country among six that she categorised as
"outposts of tyranny".

Earlier this week Frazer said the SADC should see to it that pressure was
brought on Zimbabwe to ensure that it adhered to the regions guidelines on
democratic elections.

Frazer last night said there was "a marked difference" in how the Economic
Community of West African States (Ecowas) had dealt with the situation in
Togo and how SADC members were responding to Zimbabwe.

Last week other members of the west African regional grouping imposed
sanctions on Togo, which included the country's suspension from membership
of Ecowas, the recall of ambassadors, a travel ban on Togolese leaders and
an arms embargo.

The imposition of sanctions came after Ecowas said that the change in Togo's
constitution to appoint Faure Gnassingbe was akin to a coup d'etat.

Frazer said the US had committed to make available half its doubled aid
programme to Africa.

At the time the US made this commitment at the 2001 United Nations Financing
for Development Conference in Mexico, some African governments had argued
that they were unable to deal with the Zimbabwe issue because the
mechanisms, particularly the Nepad peer review mechanism, were not in place.
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Business Day

                  Join in protest, Cosatu urges whites
                  Hopewell Radebe

                  Deputy Political Editor

                  THE Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) called
on white union members yesterday to join its campaign against Zimbabwe's
human and workers' rights violations, saying there was evidence that members
of Cosatu's Zimbabwean counterparts were being "beaten, maimed and killed".

                  Cosatu has used the Solidarity union's congress to forge
links with the predominantly white trade union in the move to solicit
national support and participation in its planned blockades at the Beit
Bridge, between SA and Zimbabwe.

                  Cosatu president Willie Madisha said: "We know of
instances where workers have been castrated." Addressing the congress
yesterday, Madisha called for unity among workers, saying workers were "an
endangered species" no matter what their race or place in the world.

                  He said the only way to survive and protect themselves was
through unity and co-operation, which could not be "dependent on political

                  "Whether black of white, or whether they belong to Cosatu
or Solidarity, workers belong to the same class."

                  He said Zanu (PF) in Zimbabwe had lost its status as a
revolutionary party by resorting to killings and harassment as tools of

                  Madisha emphasised that Cosatu supported land
redistribution in Zimbabwe but was opposed to the way it was being carried

                  He stressed that Cosatu did not support the Movement for
Democratic Change, Zanu (PF) or any other party.

                  "What we support are the working class and the poor,"

                  He said workers needed to make sure that Zanu (PF) leaders
visiting SA were not comfortable in their beds. "Otherwise history will not
forgive us." With Sapa
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SACC to support protests against Zimbabwean elections

February 25, 2005, 06:15

The South African Council of Churches (SACC) is to support protests against
next month's elections in Zimbabwe.

Initiated by Cosatu, the protests will run from the March 09 until March 30
and will be held in Pretoria and the border town of Musina, as well as at
the Beitbridge border post.

This announcement was made by Rubin Phillip, the Anglican bishop of
KwaZulu-Natal, at a Zimbabwe solidarity and consultative forum in Pretoria.
Also present at the forum were representatives of Cosatu, the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions, the SACP, SA Students Congress, the SA
Non-governmental Organisations Coalition and the Crisis Zimbabwe Coalition.
The forum is to apply for accreditation to attend the election as observers
on March 31.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's government has confirmed that it is considering the
de-registration of some 30 non-governmental organisations. The organisations
are accused of allegedly misusing millions received from foreign donors.
Paul Mangwana, the Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister says
some R500 million is unaccounted for.

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The Herald

Water woes affect sugar production

THE Zimbabwe Sugar Refineries Corporation (ZSR) said this week that water
problems at its Harare refinery are affecting production.

ZSR group chief executive Mr Patison Sithole told reporters that production
levels had declined from 730 tonnes of refined sugar per day to about 600
tonnes due to water problems.

"We currently have got a constraint of water supplies from the Harare City

"On a daily basis, the city council reduces the volume of water that comes
through to us and that affects our production. We rarely have a normal day
at our refinery because we either have the problem of water, poor quality
raw sugar and power cuts," Mr Sithole said.

Mr Sithole indicated that production at the refinery was also severely
affected by power outages effected by Zesa Holdings last month and the
company incurred losses as a result of the power cuts, which also damaged
some of the refinery's equipment "We lost quite a bit of production and
money, and some of our equipment was also damaged as a result of power cuts.
It's an issue that we have taken up with Zesa," he said.

Mr Sithole declined to divulge the financial losses incurred by the company,
only conceding that they had already replaced the damaged equipment.

He said production at this time of the year was also affected by the low
quality of raw sugar due to the fact that the sugar cane used was from last

The company hoped to have exhausted the old crop by the start of the new
season at the beginning of April, he said.

Mr Sithole said there was not much potential for sugar exports into the
region for ZSR because most regional countries were now producing surplus

Currently, ZSR exports a total of 32 000 tonnes of sugar per annum to
Namibia and Botswana.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Sugar Sales said there were sufficient stocks of raw
sugar in the country to meet local and export demand.

ZSS general manager Mr Steve Frampton said Zimbabwe was meeting its annual
sugar export quota to the European Union without any problems.

"We have sufficient sugar for the local market and for our export
requirements," he said. - New Ziana.
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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to: with subject line "For: Open Letter Forum".


Thought of the Day:

"I have no personal views on lies."

N Goche.


- Voting from Outside Zimbabwe - ZIMBOZ




Dear JAG

Hi there. I am replying to the letter from s&s regarding the voting from
outside of Zimbabwe.

As a former Zimbabwean now residing in australia I think I should inform
you that the only zimbabwean consulate here in australia is situated in
Canberra where if ones passport should expire, one has to visit the
consulate in person to do this.  This also applies to Zimbabweans living in
new zealand too.

Today I took the time to phone the Zimbabwe consulate to see if there's
even such a voters role available and was told that there was none and we
would have to go back to Zimbabwe to vote.

Should anyone else wish to contact the consulate for further details they
can do so on: Canberra, australia ph: ( +61 )
2 6286 2700

Best of luck .

Qld- Australia


JAG Hotlines:
+263 (011) 205 374 If you are in trouble or need advice,
                                  please don't hesitate to contact us -
                                  we're here to help!
+263 (04) 799 410 Office Lines
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ANNOUNCEMENT - 24rd February 2005





In the light of the benchmark nature and importance of this meeting -
dealing in effect with the democratisation of the JAG Trust :- if you as a
farming member are unable to attend in person, it is essential that you
exercise your voting rights by proxy.

This will entail you granting in writing your proxy to a member who you
know will be attending. In the particular case of externalised and out of
Harare members using email, please could you copy the email to the JAG
office (; or as part of the
verification process.

The JAG office Facsimile (+263 (04) 799 410) is also available to receive
faxed proxies. If you are in Harare but unable to attend on the day, your
written proxy can be dropped in at the JAG office 17 Phillips Avenue,



At 2.00 pm
On Tuesday, 1st March 2005
In ALEXANDRA CLUB (Alex Sports Club)

The JAG Trust has had a comprehensive legal opinion on how to go forward
with a membership-driven association.

This is an extremely important meeting to deal with the domocratisation of
JAG. It is imperative that as many farmer members as possible attend this
meeting (no Associate members please).

DIRECTIONS: To Alex Sports Club

Travel West on Josiah Tongogara Avenue (old North Avenue), entrance on
north-western corner Blakeston Street/Josiah Tongogara Avenue.



JAG Hotlines:
+263 (011) 205 374 If you are in trouble or need advice,
                                  please don't hesitate to contact us -
                                  we're here to help!
+263 (04) 799 410 Office Lines

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Please send any adverts for publication in the JAG Job Opportunities
newsletter to: with subject line "Job Opportunities".


- Employment OFFERED
- Employment SOUGHT



1.1 VACANCY: MAID to Cook/Bake, received 18.2.2005

Maid who can cook and bake with contactable references.

Please contact:
Penny on 04-861490 or 091 362333.


1.2 VACANCY: ZAMBIA FARM MANAGER, received 17.2.2005

Manager Required for mixed farming enterprise in Mkushi, Zambia growing 550
ha grain crops and 150 ha tobacco in summer and 400 ha wheat in winter.
Mechanical knowledge would be an advantage as would experience in all of
the above crops.  Good basic salary and bonus, dependent on experience. The
incumbent would be required to commence duties in April 2005.

Please reply in the first instance with CV's to:

P O Box 810052
Kapiri Mposhi
Ph: +260 5 362233


1.3 VACANCY: GARDENER, received 17.2.2005

We wish to recruit an experienced, self - motivated and honest gardener
able to maintain a swimming pool in Avondale area.  Competitive salary
offered together with single on site accommodation.

091-253996 or 091 363918


1.4 VACANCY: UGANDA: GM LIVESTOCK RANCH, received 11.2.2005

An excitingopportunity has arrisen in Uganda 100km West of Kampala.

THE POSITION; General Manager Livestock Ranch

THE RANCH ; 2000 hectares,600 head beef cattle,180 headgoats,100 head of
dorper sheep.Ample water and grazing.

THE JOB ; The project is in its inception stage and will be backed by
Danida(Danish Organisation).Duties will involve bush clearing for paddocks
and pastures,fencing,water procurement from source,record keeping of all
stock,control of finance,introduction of A.I program to improve the quality
of existing stock,the day to day management of the ranch and monthly
progress reports and budgets to the MD..

RENUMERATION; US$ 2500-00 neg
                            Fully expensed company vehicle
                            2 x domestic staff

The position offers the opportunity of a shareholding should the recipient
be interested. Persons applying should have the relevant experience in
livestock management and sound administration skills.The company will pay
expenses to view the property on behalf of the successful candidate.

All application can be sent via email with attached c.v to DR.B MBONYE on

Kind regards
Colin Hurlbatt


1.5 VACANCY: BOOKKEEPER, received 10.2.2005

Bookkeeper required to look after four sets of books. Lovely offices, good
parking in avondale. Salary negotiable depending on experience. Top salary
for the right person.

Brian Moorse


1.6 VACANCY: RECEPTIONIST, received 10.2.2005

Receptionist for conquest tours to take bookings for tiger bay & organise
orders, etc. To have bookkeeping experience would be a huge advantage. We
are based in avondale, nice offices & good parking free.

Brian Moorse
Tel 04-308960
Tel 04-332450


1.7 VACANCY: ALEX SPORTS CLUB MANAGER, received 24.2.2005

Applications invited from suitably qualified candidates within or outside
the Alexandrea Sports Club.

Key performance areas:
- Food and beverage
- grounds and property maintenance
- security
- functions management
- preparation of reports to the Executive committee
- Attend Executive committee meetings
- Personnel management
- Membership relations management
- Custodian of Club by laws and Council Act
- Monitoring Club lease agreements
- Accounting and Information Technology appreciation
- House club systems

Please submit your CV at Alex Sports club office under confidential cover
for the attention of the club Selection Committee.

Submissions Closing Date:
Friday 17th March 2005




I am seeking employment and can forward my CV for further information.

My field is in the Personnel/Salaries/Administration line, I also do
accounts, but am not an accountant - although I am studying CIS and have
started Part C.

S. Skilton


2.1 SEEKING POSITION, received 21.2.2005

Man, aged 41, experience in Production,Engineering, Security, and
Furniture, Seeks Position. Available Immediately.

Please contact:
Rob Hardy on 091949625 or 305440(phone/fax).
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The Mercury

      Unions in joint fight against Zim
      February 25, 2005

      By Mziwakhe Hlangani

      Johannesburg: Cosatu and the Solidarity union are to form an alliance
to intensify strike actions against the Zimbabwean government.

      The decision by the two federations to join forces in the fight
against the abuse of workers' rights in Zimbabwe was announced at
Solidarity's special congress yesterday.

      Speaking at the congress in Muldersdrift, west of Johannesburg, Cosatu
President Willy Madisha painted a bleak picture of Zimbabwe and that
country's elections scheduled for next month.

      Madisha urged the Afrikaner-dominated union to support Cosatu in order
to save workers and the poor communities who were "beaten and maimed in

      Both organisations would then co-operate and fight against, among
other things, the privatisation of state-owned enterprises in South Africa,
Madisha said.

      Flip Buys, General-Secretary of Solidarity, expressed support for the
role played by Cosatu in Swaziland and Zimbabwe in "its promotion of
democracy and human rights".

      He further emphasised the need for both organisations to work
together, saying globalisation of companies negatively affected job

      Madisha said the planned protest demonstrations would target the
office of the Zimbabwean High Commission in Pretoria and that Zimbabwe's
Beit Bridge border post would be blockaded.

      "Even Zimbabwean government officials on visits to South Africa would
be targeted at airports and hotels in the country. Workers were mobilised to
refuse to touch their luggage and not to provide them with food," he said.

      The Southern African Trade Union Co-ordination Council would mobilise
workers to refuse to serve Zanu-PF and government leaders in the
neighbouring states, he said.

      Zimbabwean Congress of Trade Unions' General-Secretary Mlamleli
Sibanda said trade unions were under attack and it was difficult to carry
out their activities freely.
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Cape Times

      Zimbabwe's election needs 'a miracle', says Cosatu

      Plan Pickets
      February 25, 2005

      By Eleanor Momberg

      Pretoria: It would take a miracle to save the credibility of the
general election to be held in Zimbabwe next month, Cosatu secretary-general
Zwelinzima Vavi said yesterday.

      "I honestly don't see how you can hold free and fair elections under
these conditions in Zimbabwe," he told delegates attending the third
Zimbabwe Solidarity Conference here.

      Vavi said to level the playing field between the ruling Zanu-PF and
the opposition, draconian legislation such as the Public Order and Security
Act and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act needed to be
amended or scrapped.

      It was of concern that there was no talk five weeks before the
election about this, he said, questioning how free and fair elections could
be held when these laws, which gave the police and military such extensive
powers, still existed.

      What was needed, he said, was the appointment of a proper Electoral
Commission that abided by the Southern African Development Community's
protocols, and not the "cosmetic steps" taken by the Zimbabwe government to
"pull the wool over SADC's eyes".

      In addition, the chaotic voter's roll needed to be sorted out and all
interested parties should be given free access to it.

      Cosatu, he pointed out, had earlier said SADC observers should visit
Zimbabwe at least three months before the ballot to ensure the conditions on
the ground were conducive to free and fair elections. With only five weeks
to go before Zimbabweans go to the polls, no SADC observers had visited
Zimbabwe and were still waiting for an invitation to do so.

      Vavi also questioned how the populace could be expected to vote when
37 constituencies were still under dispute following the 2000 general

      Because of the present situation under the existing legislation Vavi
said he knew "exactly who" was going to win the vote.

      There had to be an acceptance and recognition that the crisis would
still exist after the elections.

      Beyond March 31 Zimbabweans would either leave the country in droves
or resort to violence.

      "We all have a responsibility to realise that possibility. We must get
more voices to say Zimbabwe must be saved before the elections and after
March 31."

      The Zimbabwe government, he said, needed to abide by the rule of law,
take responsibility for its action, resume dialogue and end all actions and
prohibitions against trade unionists.

      Cosatu would be picketing outside the Zimbabwe High Commission in
Pretoria on March 9. This picket would be preceded by a march to present a
memorandum of demands. On March 16 Cosatu would march to Beit Bridge border
post, and hold a candlelight vigil on the night of March 30 and 31, he said.
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Cape Times

      Mbeki's miscalculation at Abuja was a wake-up call on global
      February 25, 2005

      By Peter Fabricius

      One of the main aims of any ambassador is to broaden what is usually a
stereotypical idea of his country among the people of his host nation.

      Even above-average people suffer from this complaint. It seems that
President Thabo Mbeki did so just over a year ago, before the last
Commonwealth summit in Abuja.

      He was then locked in an intense fight with then Commonwealth
chairman, Australian Prime Minister John Howard, and the secretary-general,
the New Zealander Don McKinnon, over Zimbabwe.

      Zimbabwe had been suspended from the Commonwealth since March 2002.
The two Australasians were determined to keep Zimbabwe out at Abuja, while
Mbeki was equally determined to re-admit it.

      So determined, that South Africa secretly put up a Sri Lankan
candidate to replace McKinnon.

      Mbeki calculated that the Zimbabwe issue would divide the Commonwealth
on racial lines and that with only five "white" nations out of 54 total
members, the large "black" majority would easily carry the day.

      Instead, he was badly defeated; Zimbabwe was kept in the cold and
McKinnon easily won re-election.

      MkKinnon got 44 votes, which meant that not even all of the 19 African
members backed Mbeki. But it was also painfully evident that the two other
big blocs - the Pacific and the Caribbean - had not either.

      One senses that Abuja was something of a wake-up call for Mbeki and
South Africa. One could perhaps date South Africa's charm offensive into the
Caribbean - including the exceptional support for Haitian ex-President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide, now living in Pretoria - back to Abuja.

      Mbeki also seems to have misread the Pacific, because he was looking
at it through black-and-white tinted spectacles. He seems to have seen two
"white" nations - Australia and New Zealand - sticking out like sore thumbs
among nine hostile "black" nations.

      That may once have been true. But the relationship of the two
Australasians with the Pacific - and with the wider Asian region - has
changed considerably, as both integrate themselves more and more into their
part of the world, economically, politically and even culturally.

      Australia, in particular, is deeply involved in trying to stabilise
the many wobbly South Pacific states around it, especially Papua New Guinea
and the Solomon Islands.

      In July 2003 an Australian-led force of over 2 000 people, drawn from
the Pacific Island Forum states, landed in the Solomon Islands to sort out
what was rapidly becoming a lawless, failed state. The force - called the
Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (Ramsi) - quickly restored
law and order.

      But, having done that, the Aussies, typically, have stuck around to
complete the job, by rehabilitating and reconstructing the corrupt,
incompetent and basically thoroughly rotten Solomon Islands government
administration from top to toe.

      They did this, knowing that the problem with most interventions is
that once the peacekeepers have gone in, restored order and left, the
underlying causes of the instability reassert themselves and violence

      At a recent meeting of the Africa-Asia Society in Johannesburg,
Australia's high commissioner to South Africa, Philip Green, was asked the
inevitable question: It's all very well to take over the government and stay
until you have done the job of training the locals to fly solo, but have you
not been inevitably been accused of neo-colonialism - of recolonising what
was until 1975 a colony, of Britain?

      Green insisted that that charge had not been levelled at Australia and
New Zealand because they had only intervened at the express invitation of
the Pacific Island Forum - the political organisation representing all the
states in the region.

      No doubt the corrupt powers that have been displaced are squealing
"neo-colonialism!" But most of the half a million or so Solomon Islanders
are delighted to be able to live normal lives again.

      It seems Mbeki did not fully grasp this relationship when he hatched
his plot against Howard and McKinnon at the Commonwealth summit and so was
surprised that the South Pacific did not rise up against the Australasians
as he seemed to have expected it to.
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New Zimbabwe

'Half Zimbabwe's voters in foreign countries'

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 02/25/2005 08:07:38
HALF of Zimbabwe's eight million potential voters are outside the country
and will not be voting in next month's parliamentary elections, a Zimbabwean
political group claimed in Pretoria on Thursday.

Daniel Molokele of the Crisis Zimbabwe Coalition told a news conference:
"More than 2 million, up to 3 million, are in South Africa alone."

Molokele's Johannesburg-based organisation includes members of the
Zimbabwean diaspora.

He said these people were away from home "out of the sheer force and
brutality that is the legacy of the displacement of refugees".

"The South African government, I am sad to say, is living in denial (about

"The sad part of it is that these elections in Zimbabwe are not to shape our
destiny, but an opportunity for rape, killings... to create more graves.

"Whichever government is elected on March 31 it will be a minority regime,"
Molokele said.

Molokele spoke as Zimbabwe's Supreme Court reserved judgement in a case
brought by exiled Zimbabweans seeking to vote in the March 31 parliamentary

The Zimbabwe government opposes the application, fearing the move could lead
to more ballots for the opposition.
Visit the Diaspora Vote Action Group Website:
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New Straits Times, Malaysia

COVER STORY: Born to be wild
Shannon Teoh

Feb 25:

S. Jothiratnam is helping lions in a programme in Zimbabwe to become wild
again. This includes teaching them to stalk and hide, says this academician,
who's been involved in animal conservation since he was 19. SHANNON TEOH

S. JOTHIRATNAM loves animals. No, seriously, he loves them. Like how Tarzan
loves Jane. No, more like how Tarzan loved Cheeta (his chimp). OK, perhaps
nothing as unholy as that, but he loves them enough to play "momma" to
several lions and train them. To hunt.Now that you've picked yourself up
from the floor, let's give you some background then, shall we? Andrew and
Wendy Connolly bought Antelope Park back in 1987 and are developing a lion
breeding-cum-reintroduction programme in the 3,000-hectare park in Zimbabwe's

OK, but why do these noble beasts need us to teach them to hunt?

"Lions in the wild, typically, have a litter every two years. They conceive,
gestate, give birth, raise them. While all this is going on, a lioness does
not have another litter.

"If we take the cubs away after a month, the lioness will then have another
litter and so on and so forth. That way, we increase the rate of
reproduction by up to six times," explains the affable Jothi, a 46-year-old

Coupled with the fact that only 30 per cent of cubs survive in the wild,
this seems to be a necessary move to help the endangered species.

The lion population in Africa has dwindled 30 years ago from 250,000 to
one-tenth that number today. With diseases such as feline distemper and
immunodeficiency syndrome plus the passing on of bovine tuberculosis through
their diet, only about 12,000 healthy lions are left in the wild.

But back to the "training" programme. So people like Jothi - who volunteered
there for about 10 months last year - will take young cubs for walks and,
after a camaraderie is built, for runs-cum-hunts.

Yes, running with lions. Must be unnerving to have such powerful carnivores
bounding along so close to you.

"The cubs don't really have a concept that you're not a lion. You're a
spastic sort of adult lion perhaps. They're the only social cats and are
quite playful, although once they're over two years old, they're big enough
to accidentally kill you in play.

"So you take them out for hunts where you stalk game and hide in the grass.
Then when the time is right, you mount a charge. Of course, at the end of
the day, you're just doing a token run and it's the cubs who're really doing
all the chasing and hunting."

So when are they ready to be released into the wild? The truth is, they
never will be. By now, the lions are so human-imprinted that they will never
survive among the aboriginal tribes of Africa.

"They're so friendly that if they see touring or hunting vehicles, they'll
just bound up to make friends and in the process probably get shot."

So it is that the programme has developed a third stage. These hand-raised
lions are then allowed to form or join prides of their own within the
Antelope Park enclosure and raise their own young au naturale. These, the
third generation in the whole process will then be released into the wild,
where their uncertainty of humans will help them survive.

However, there has been no "graduating" batch yet.

So far, it's been experimental but like any other experiment, steps are
being taken to achieve the best results.

To ensure that the lions in this pioneering programme are well-equipped with
the mechanics of natural selection, mating throughout the programme takes
place naturally but the combination of couples is carefully chosen so as to
avoid in-breeding.

Lions from different bloodlines are borrowed from other programmes.

But how did Jothi get involved in all this? Like I said, the man loves

"Ever since I was young I just loved animals. In fact, I prefer them to
people. When I was 19, I went to Africa to work as a research assistant and
basically collected elephant dung every day. A few years later, I was in the
Antarctic doing work on penguins."

Surprisingly, this intrepid animal lover worked as a professor at Universiti
Malaya in the 1990s. Even more surprisingly, none of his nine degrees -
ranging from philosophy to physics and psychology - is animal-related. And
he continues to work with animals; in recent years, he has been working with
rhinos and elephants in other parts of Africa.

"I'd be lying if I said I do all this because I'm a conservationist. I mean,
of course I see the value of conservation but this is all really because I
love them," says Jothi, who is now based in France and comes back to
Malaysia annually to see his parents and family.

One wishes though that there were more Jothis out in the field. As he
himself relates, conservation work may seem like a united front to help
endangered species but there is an extreme culture of lobbying and
politicking involved.

"You know, people talk about 'my cheetahs' or 'my rhinos' in such a
possessive way as if conservation didn't involve other species. There's a
lot of bad blood between different parties and so the objective of
conservation is sometimes lost."

But the programme gives hope. Who knows? We may be able to revive the nearly
extinct tiger right here in Malaysia.
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Mail and Guardian

      Campaign finance a hot topic in Zimbabwe

      Wilson Johwa | Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

      24 February 2005 11:59

            The topic of campaign finance is rarely far from the minds of
politicians or pundits in the run-up to elections -- and Zimbabwe is no
exception to this rule. With the country in the midst of a political and
economic crisis, it may even be a hotter topic of discussion here than

            Parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place in Zimbabwe
in six weeks' time.

            The previous two polls, parliamentary and presidential elections
held in 2000 and 2002 respectively, were marred by violence that was mostly
directed against the opposition. Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party was also
accused of monopolising the state media and rigging the voters' roll to
ensure victory over its main competitor -- the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC).

            After initially declaring that it would boycott the upcoming
vote, the MDC reversed its position earlier this month.

            Concerns about a repeat of electoral violence aside, the party
now faces the challenge of mounting a campaign at a time when the world's
highest inflation rate and widespread unemployment are said to have dealt a
blow to MDC finances -- and even as the financial situation in Zanu-PF is
probably somewhat different.

            MDC spokesperson Paul Themba Nyathi says local donations have
dwindled under the weight of these economic difficulties.

            But, "The position has always been that those in the state have
access to resources they can abuse which the opposition, no matter how much
you can raise from your friends, cannot match," adds political analyst
Lovemore Madhuku.

            After winning almost half of the contested seats in the last
parliamentary election, the MDC does qualify for state funding. However,
party officials say this money does not go very far.

            According to secretary general Welshman Ncube, about R319 000
were allocated to the MDC last year -- while the party's monthly salary bill
alone came to about R104 000.

            In a move that surprised many, the government announced that it
would also disburse just more than R3,2-million to the MDC this year (and
almost R3,4-million to Zanu-PF) as part of the annual party grant.

            Eddie Cross, the MDC's economic adviser, welcomes this
development. But, he adds: "To deploy and help our election agents to all
the thousands of polling stations will cost us more than the total grant
from the state -- in one day."

            Airtime on state radio and television, the only broadcasters
permitted in Zimbabwe, will cost parties R4 060 a minute for prime-time
slots. There has also been a twentyfold increase in the deposit payable by
candidates in each of the 120 parliamentary constituencies -- and a 1 000%
rise in the cost of the voters' register. It now costs an astonishing R7 540
for a copy of the register.

            For its part, the government accuses the MDC of getting money
from British Prime Minister Tony Blair and United States President George
Bush. These two leaders became the principal targets of Harare's ire after
they condemned Zimbabwe's controversial land-reform programme, allegedly
instituted to correct racial imbalances in land ownership, and human rights
abuse in the country.

            Claims that the opposition group is benefiting from foreign
funding may grow louder with the launch of an appeal this month by
self-described "concerned individuals" who say they are seeking to raise
funds, in- and outside Zimbabwe, for what they term "support of the
democratic process".

            Distributed via a selective mailing list, the appeal gives an
account number in neighbouring South Africa where people outside Zimbabwe
can deposit donations. For those in Zimbabwe, the correspondence gives a
mailing address where cheques and money orders are to be sent in the name of

            Aside from money, the organisers of this appeal are also asking
for 2 400 vehicles and drivers to be made available for election day, to
transport monitors to polling stations, among other duties.

            "$30 [R174] will fill the tank of a vehicle; a gift of R50 000
will fund the campaign in a single constituency," the appeal notes.

            Fiery opposition politician Margaret Dongo, founder of the
Zimbabwe Union of Democrats, alleges that both Zanu-PF and the MDC are
tapping into foreign funds.

            In another electoral development, four journalists who work for
foreign news organisations have fled Zimbabwe in recent days, this after the
secret police reportedly accused them of spying and producing reports that
slandered the state.

            This incident appears to fly in the face of electoral guidelines
adopted by the Southern African Development Community during a summit held
in Mauritius in August 2004: under these rules, member states are obliged to
ensure press freedom in order to provide an environment conducive for a fair
campaign. -- IPS

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Zim might deregister NGOs
24/02/2005 22:22  - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwe is considering the deregistration of about 30
non-governmental organisations which it said allegedly misused millions of
dollars received from foreign donors last year, a cabinet minister said on

"We have written to them several times to give us the information on how the
money was spent... without success and we are in the process of drafting a
final letter before we take action," Paul Mangwana told the New Ziana news

He said about $87m were unaccounted for.

"We may take drastic steps against them and this includes suspending their
registration if they fail to account for the money they received," the
minister said.

Mangwana said the money was part of $210m the government requested from
foreign aid agencies for community projects and food aid.

But the unnamed foreign donors chose to disburse the aid money through
non-governmental organisations.

"We were surprised to be told by donors when we asked them about their
response to our request, that $87 was made available through NGOs," Mangwana

Zimbabwe's parliament last year passed a controversial bill now awaiting
President Robert Mugabe's assent, which compels NGOs to register and subject
themselves to scrutiny by the government.

The bill also prohibits Zimbabwean NGOs from receiving donations from abroad
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