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

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Press Statement


July 9, 2003


MDC welcomes Bush and Mbeki’s commitment to the Zimbabwean crisis.


We are encouraged by the statements of Presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and George W. Bush of the United States, that there has been a meeting of minds between the two presidents on the Zimbabwe crisis.


President Thabo Mbeki is particularly encouraging when he says that the two presidents are of one mind about the urgent need to address the political crisis in Zimbabwe. Significantly, we note that President Bush said that they share the same objective to restore democracy, peace, and peoples’ freedoms to Zimbabwe.


President Mbeki stated that both presidents noted the deteriorating economic situation in Zimbabwe and that they are not happy to see people go hungry adding that the time has come for this to stop.


I reiterate the MDC position that currently there are no formal negotiations and talks between the MDC and ZANU PF. Whilst there are emissaries from various groups that include churches, civic groups and indeed the South African government, who are shuttling between MDC and ZANU PF in an attempt to get the two parties to resume formal dialogue that broke down in May 2002, so far none of these efforts has succeeded.


The crisis in Zimbabwe has been allowed to drag on for 16 months since the flawed elections of March 2002. The MDC position remains clear and consistent; it is ready to engage in unconditional dialogue anywhere, anytime. This position has remained unchanged since April last year and has been repeatedly relayed to the South African Government who should exert pressure on Zanu PF to bring them back to the negotiating table, and ensure that the talks are brought to a successful conclusion. Whilst it is indeed up to us as Zimbabweans to find a solution to the crisis facing our Nation we desperately need honest and determined brokers who will do everything in their power to ensure that the talks are not derailed.


We are heartened by the sense of urgency displayed by Presidents Mbeki and Bush and now hope that President Mbeki will ensure that formal talks commence within days rather than weeks. We also hope that a firm time frame will be established to restore democracy to Zimbabwe, which reflects the need to resolve the crisis urgently as expressed by President Mbeki.





Morgan Tsvangirai


Movement for Democratic Change


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Daily News


      Are we now putting soccer ahead of the starving millions?

        Is it not obscene that the government and some members of the
corporate world have seen fit to offer the national soccer team Z$100million
at a time of national economic crisis?

      It is disgraceful that taxpayers’ money (it is NOT the government’s
money) is being used to pay sportsmen when millions of Zimbabweans are
facing destitution and starvation.

      Perhaps Peter Ndlovu, as captain, and as someone earning perhaps £10
000 (Z$13 million) a week in England, can set an example and donate his
share of this Z$100 million to some worthy charity in Zimbabwe.

      The totally irresponsible attitude of our uncaring and unconcerned
government is not unexpected, but that does not mean that our national
sportsmen have to be similarly devoid of any social conscience.

      I speak not only as someone who has played football at international
level in Africa, and whose motivation was a love for the game, but as
someone who has a social conscience and a sense of priorities. Jonathan Moyo
’s attempts to play populist politics is nothing short of disgusting.

      I have always loved soccer, and am only no longer involved in the
sport only because of the shambles that the Zimbabwe Football Association
has reduced the game to in Zimbabwe, but no genuine patriot would put a game
of soccer before starving millions.

      R E S Cook


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Daily News


      Voters’ roll inspectors still unpaid by Registrar-General’s Office

        Allow me space to express my bitterness over the unfair treatment
meted out to inspection officers in the recent Mutare council and mayoral
voters’ roll inspections.

      On the day we were trained, we were promised that we would be paid on
the very day we returned the official stationery to the Registrar-General’s

      For a poor civil servant like myself, if you are elected for such an
exercise you thank God for that.

      Now it has been three weeks and no money or explanation has been

      Election monitors were paid on a weekly basis and I understand they
got three times more than we did and no explanation was communicated to us.

      If one tries to enquire from the respective office, one does not
receive a response.

      I would be very grateful if someone could please assist us to get our
hard-earned cash while it can still buy something useful.

      I really think it’s an insult for our pay to be so inferior when we
were doing most of the work.

      We would wake up at 5 am and walk to the inspection centres (because
there was no transport at that time), finish work at 6 pm and walk back home

      The monitors would be ferried to and from work if they so wished, but
all we got was a mere one-third of what the monitors got. Are we working for
the same government or not?

      Help us with our plight, please. We just want to be paid what’s due to

      Raw Deal


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Daily News

      Church sends envoys to Mbeki, Bush

        THE Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ) has sent a three-member
delegation to South Africa to meet representatives of South African
President Thabo Mbeki and United States President George Bush as part of
intensified efforts to help resolve Zimbabwe’s crisis, it was learnt

      However, EFZ president Trevor Manhanga would neither confirm nor deny
that his organisation had sent the delegation.

      He said: “There are a few things that we need to do as a church to
assist in the resolution of this problem that is engulfing the nation.
Together with the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, the Zimbabwe Catholic
Bishops’ Conference and ourselves, we have a set programme to bring an
immediate resolution to the Zimbabwe crisis.

      “As individual church groups, some of us have made informal moves to
Presidents George Bush of America and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa. There is
nothing as yet that is substantial that we can reveal, but a solution will
be found as a matter of urgency.”

      However, sources close to the matter told the Daily News that the
group had sent three representatives to meet American and South African
officials in Pretoria, where Bush arrives today. The delegation is said to
have left for Pretoria last week. Manhanga said he hoped Bush’s visit to
South Africa would push the Zimbabwe crisis to a mediated solution because
the nation could not continue under “unending hardships”.

      However, Zimbabwe Council of Churches president Sebastian Bakare said
local churches had not yet come up with one position on how the Zimbabwean
crisis should be resolved.

      Bakare said: “We have met and discussed our desperate situation. We
have not yet found the best way to resolve it, but we are all agreed that it
requires an immediate negotiated settlement. As churches, we are saying, the
people are suffering and we understand their feelings.

      Staff Reporter

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Daily News

      ZCTU seeks dismissal of stayaway lawsuits

        THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) is seeking the
dismissal of lawsuits by the State-owned Zimbabwe United Passenger Company
(ZUPCO), a Harare businessman and a ruling ZANU PF supporter who are
demanding $142 million in damages for losses they allegedly incurred during
mass stayaways held earlier this year.

      In answering affidavits filed in the High Court last week, ZCTU
lawyers said the lawsuits were vague and did not indicate why Zimbabwe’s
umbrella labour union and its secretary-general, Wellington Chibhebhe, were
being sued.

      “The summons and declaration is vague and embarrassing. ZCTU and
Chibhebhe as third and fourth defendants respectively pray that the
exception be upheld and that plaintiff’s claim against them be dismissed
with costs on a higher scale,” the ZCTU said in its papers.

      Alec Muchadehama, the labour union’s lawyer, is expected to file other
papers this week for the case to be heard.

      “All that plaintiff is averring is that ZCTU and Chibhebhe encouraged
and supported an illegal demonstration,” he said in papers filed in the

      ZUPCO, Harare businessman David Bello and Clarisa Muchengeti, a
Kwekwe-based ruling party supporter, say the ZCTU encouraged and supported
work stayaways undertaken earlier this year.

      ZUPCO, Bello and Muchengeti are claiming $142 million in damages in
suits that were separately filed in the High Court by Harare lawyers
Muzangaza, Mandaza and Tomana. The public transport company is claiming $119
million for a bus burnt during mass action by unidentified youths in
Epworth, while Bello wants $17 million for the loss of a minibus in
Chitungwiza in April.

      Muchengeti is demanding $5.5 million for a car she says was
petrol-bombed in the Midlands city of Kwekwe.

      Court Reporter

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Daily News

      Mugabe presents test case for African Union

        Johannesburg – Robert Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe, will attend
the second summit of the African Union in Maputo this week, but he is seen
by many in his own country and others as an encumbrance who needs to leave
the political stage.

      Officially, Zimbabwe is not on the agenda, despite declarations by the
union that it will insist on good governance in Africa through its New
Partnership for Africa’s Development, which seeks increased aid and trade
opportunities in return for monitoring.

      Zimbabwe is seen by many donors as a test case, following presidential
elections in March last year which were widely condemned as rigged, and
which followed the confiscation of commercial farms run by whites, and
widespread political violence.

      Repression of government opponents is increasing, United States
President George W Bush – touring Africa as the heads of state meet – is
calling for fresh elections, and the economy is plunging down the plug-hole.

      Inflation is running at 300 percent according to official figures –
even more according to unofficial ones – 70 percent of the workforce are
unemployed as businesses continue to close, people fill back-packs with
devalued notes to pay for minor purchases, staple foods are short,
starvation is rampant, and fuel is hard to find.

      The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), whose leader,
Morgan Tsvangirai, spent the first half of June in prison for having called
demonstrations against the government, intends to make its voice heard in

      Tsvangirai cannot go there, because he is facing high treason charges,
with a potential death penalty, and is forbidden to leave the country, but
he is sending a delegation to the Mozambican capital to put the MDC’s point
of view to the heads of state, observers, and international Press.

      The MDC’s position is clear: the 79-year-old Mugabe, who has led
Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, and was formerly widely
regarded as a hero of African liberation, “must quit” as head of state, with
a transition mechanism set up ahead of another presidential vote.

      The MDC’s rejection of the presidential poll in March 2002 as rigged
is shared by Britain, the United States and the Commonwealth, which has
suspended Zimbabwe from its councils as the United States and the European
Union have banned travel to their territories by Mugabe and his aides.

      In an interview in Washington with South African state television on
Friday, Bush said he would like to see South African President Thabo Mbeki
“insist that there be elections” in Zimbabwe, “ . . . insist that democracy
rule. Insist that the conditions necessary for that country to become
prosperous again are in place”.

      Bush said he agreed with US Secretary of State Colin Powell, who
called last month for Zimbabwe’s neighbours to play a “stronger and more
sustained role” to resolve the crisis and said the time “has come and gone”
for Mugabe and his cronies.

      Mbeki, fearing violent implosion in Zimbabwe, which has a leaky border
with South Africa, has pursued a policy of “quiet diplomacy” in a bid to
reconcile Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

      That policy – contrasting with what South African leaders have decried
as “megaphone diplomacy” by Britain – has not yet brought any noticeable
results, and Mugabe continues to sneer at British and US pressure.

      He has, however, allowed a debate to get under way on his succession
after declaring in April that he had reached a stage – after righting
colonial misattribution of land – of envisaging retirement.

      That policy saw confiscated farmland going to so-called liberation war
veterans and political heavyweights, while thousands of black farmworkers
lost their jobs and agricultural exports plummeted as farms became fallow.

      Jonathan Moyo, Mugabe’s information minister and “spin doctor”, issued
a “clarification” of Mugabe’s pondering of retirement a few days after the
presidential statement.

      The president, he said, had no intention of retiring before 2008, when
his current term expires.

      – News24

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Kerry Kay is a trained Family Therapy Counsellor (CONNECT, Zimbabwe) and
Traumatized Child Counsellor (UNISA, South Africa).  Kerry is available at
the JAG office during the week, but if preferred will visit you at your
home (fuel permitting!?).  This service is provided free of charge as a JAG
commitment to the many displaced and dispossessed farming families.
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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Letter 1: Ben Freeth

Mbeki, Zimbabwe and the Party

Is Mbeki's approach to the Zimbabwe situation merely irresponsible or is
there something more sinister to it than that?

The oft repeated and communistic catch phrase of "Zimbabwe sovereignty"
with Mbeki saying again recently "the future of Zimbabwe needs to be
decided by Zimbabweans" is beginning to sound rather hollow amid the
continuous abuse of power taking place : the state sponsored human rights
violations steady increase and the closely associated hunger, joblessness,
poverty, fear and totalitarian control are not conducive to the democratic
process of self determination.  The once prosperous, well organised,
functioning country of Zimbabwe is rapidly being systematically destroyed;
and with it so are its people.

Mbeki knows this:

· He knows of the gukuruhundi genocide in the 1980's.
· He knows of the ethnic cleansing of the farms at the present time.
· He knows of the control of the people through hunger.
· He knows of some of the most draconian laws in the world being passed.
· He knows of the ruthless campaign against anyone with a dissenting voice.
· He knows that around 20% of Zimbabwe's population have run away from
· He knows that the Commonwealth, the E.U., the U.S. and SADC observers
failed to recognise the last election as legitimate or democratic

And yet Mbeki recognised that election and by so doing condones everything
that "he knows".  By recognising that electic he emphatically states "the
future of Zimbabwe needs to be decided by the party."  (the party, of
course - in communist speak - being the people - Zimbabweans!).  "The ZANU
PF party" was invited to the ANC Party Congress amongst party members from
Cuba, China and the other few outposts where the party hangs on.  And the
ANC through Mbeki's foreign affairs spokesman says the U.S. should "stop
interfering in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe" (the affairs of the

This duplicity of Mbeki is surely evident for all to see.  Before South
Africa gained independence the ANC went all out to ensure that the U.S. and
the rest of the International Community put the strongest possible pressure
on the Apartheid regime to capitulate and make way for majority rule.
This they duly did.  Now with the boot on the other foot Mbeki refuses to
use it.

So what's changed?  The party in S.A. are facing an election.  The race
card, the land card and apartheid in reverse are starting to be played.
It would be madness for a party student to turn the screws on a party
teacher. The revolution that started all those years ago in 1917 goes on.
I only hope the South African people don't wake up too late.


Letter 2: Cathy Buckle

Dear Family and Friends,

All Zimbabwe's eyes, hearts and hopes will be directed towards South Africa
in the coming week as US President George Bush meets with President Thabo
Mbeki. Everyone here is talking about the visit, wondering what the
American President can possibly say to Mbeki to persuade him to abandon his
so called "quiet diplomacy" over the horrific state of everything in

For nearly three and half years Zimbabweans have felt so utterly betrayed
by the South African president. Mbeki has not once condemned the seizure of
land which resulted in over half a million destitute farm workers and 70%
of the country's population dependant on World Food Aid. When it became
common knowledge that the main beneficiaries of land grabs were Zimbabwean
ministers, politicians and army, police and security personnel, Mbeki said
nothing. While over 200 people have been murdered for their involvement in
opposition politics (only 12 of whom were white people) Mbeki has said
nothing. When evidence was given that people were beaten and tortured by
police and state officials, when members of the opposition were prevented
from holding rallies or even openly wearing MDC T shirts, Mbeki said
nothing. When presidential elections were condemned by the international
community as being flawed last year, Mbeki said nothing. When legislation
was introduced which severely restricts Zimbabweans' freedom of speech,
movement, association and even worship, Mbeki did nothing. As Zimbabwe has
slowly sold or given our farm land, hotels, hunting concessions and fuel
stations to Libya, whose own President has been in power for a staggering
33 years, Thabo Mbeki has sat back and watched, saying that Zimbabweans
must resolve their own problems.

Thabo Mbeki has clearly forgotten who helped him get to power. He has
forgotten that apartheid was not only broken by South Africa but by massive
help from almost every country in the world. President George Bush and his
team have an awesome task ahead of them and there are 11 million
Zimbabweans who will be hanging on his every word and move. We feel like
Bush is our last hope to talk sense to Africa's leaders. At the very least
we want Mbeki to be openly honest about our horrors and admit that his
black brothers over the border are dying and being tortured while he does
and says nothing.

Ordinary Zimbabweans are not the only ones who will be watching President
George Bush this coming week. Our government are already bracing themselves
for what may be about to happen. Addressing his closest support group in
the form of members of his politburo this week, President Mugabe said:
"When Bush visits it shouldn't send tremors to your spines. I understand
there are shivers in some of our circles. Would he dare do to us what he
did in Iraq? Of course not, he knows that the situations are different. And
anyway we don't have the oil that Iraq does, nor do we have the weapons of
mass destruction... ."

How I wish that Presidents Mbeki and Bush could have been with me this
afternoon as I went to visit Jane, the woman who was tortured with a hot
steel bar when she worked on our farm in 2000. Jane was burned across her
upper lip because she could not produce a membership card for the ruling
party. The scars from her horror will be with Jane forever and it is always
very humbling to visit her, witness her mental healing and perhaps give her
something to ease her burdens. After reading about Jane in "African Tears"
a woman in South Africa sent me a small wrist watch to give to her. Jane's
hand shook as she opened the parcel, her smile split her face and she
danced, ululated, sang and wrapped her arms around me saying again and
again that she hadn't been so happy for 3 years, since that dreadful day.

The people like Jane are the ones who have lost so much in Zimbabwe's hell,
they are the real people, the ones whom these world Presidents need to meet
if they are ever to understand what's been going on here. If only they
could, they would see it has not been about land or race, just political

We are hanging on to a thread of hope. We are praying for guidance for
George Bush, Colin Powell and Thabo Mbeki. Whatever they do and say will
determine our future. All eyes are upon you President Bush. Until next
week, with love, cathy.

Copyright cathy buckle, 5th July 2003. "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are
available in Africa through Exclusive Books or and
www.kalahari,net ; in Europe and Canada from
and in New Zealand and Australia from


All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.

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EU Says Ready to Fund African Peacekeeping Force
Wed July 9, 2003 03:57 PM ET
By Manoah Esipisu
MAPUTO (Reuters) - The EU is ready to contribute funds to an African standby
peacekeeping force to help quell conflicts on the continent, a senior EU
official said on Wednesday as African leaders gathered to discuss such a

Cross-border conflicts and civil wars that have killed millions from Liberia
to Congo and Somalia will dominate a summit of the African Union opening on

Poul Nielson, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid,
told Reuters the EU was awaiting a formal adoption of the force by African
Union (AU) leaders.

"There have been initial discussions and we are ready to help finance it,"
Nielson said in an interview on the eve of the AU's second summit in Maputo,
the capital of Mozambique. "But the African Union needs to work out details
for such a force and what they want us to do so we can examine what we can

AU military commanders have virtually agreed a framework for the force which
South African President Thabo Mbeki says has the full backing of the Group
of Eight industrialized nations.

South Africa has promised logistical funding to support setting up the
force, but South African officials have said they are looking to the EU and
the United States to provide the bulk of the financing. It was not
immediately clear how much money would be needed to create such a force.

Africans say having their own force would prevent some conflicts from
escalating and might also deter wayward rebels.

Nielson said conflicts had prevented the disbursement of millions of dollars
(euros) to countries such as Somalia, Liberia, Ivory Coast and the
Democratic Republic of Congo and undermined their development potential.

West Africa's ECOWAS bloc said on Wednesday it planned to send 1,000
peacekeepers to Liberia within two weeks, the first batch of some 3,000
regional troops which will keep the peace and form the backbone of what
African states hope will become a multinational force including U.S. troops.


Nielson also said the EU was keen to resume high-level political dialogue
with the AU and the regional Southern African Development Community (SADC)
after an EU-SADC summit this year collapsed over the crisis in Zimbabwe.

"The summit was not held and the situation with Zimbabwe has not changed,"
he said.

A senior regional official said SADC had rejected EU attempts to handpick
who would represent Zimbabwe at a summit of the two organizations and the
matter remained unresolved.

Nielson said the EU backed SADC efforts to resolve the problems in Zimbabwe,
where President Robert Mugabe's government faces opposition charges of
political repression and disastrous economic mismanagement.

"We support the regional initiatives to help resolve the issues in Zimbabwe
and promote democracy and good governance there," Nielson said.
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Africa not for sale - Zanu-PF
09/07/2003 15:16  - (SA)

Johannesburg - Zimbabwe's ruling party warned US President George Bush on
Wednesday that his tour of Africa should serve as a lesson to the American
leadership that Africa was "not for sale".

"No one should ever take the continent for granted. We are not for sale.
America's hegemony has neither space nor place in Africa," Zanu-PF's South
African chair Bigvai Gumede said in statement released in Johannesburg.

"Africa has come of age," he said.

Gumede's was commenting on Bush's brief official visit to South Africa which
is part of a five-nation tour.

He said Africa did not need a lecture from western leadership on how to run
its affairs.

"The destiny of Africa lies with ourselves. The African Union and New
Partnership for Africa's Development are our institutions.

"These institutions were designed by Africans to serve their needs," he

Gumede hailed President Thabo Mbeki, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo
and other leaders for their "exemplary leadership" in assisting the
Zimbabweans in solving their country's problems.

Mbeki has consistently pursued a policy of "quiet diplomacy" in his dealings
with Zimbabwe while the US government has urged him to use stronger measures
to force political change there.

"As far as SA and Zimbabwe are concerned Bush and his entourage should know
we are one people. We share a common border, history, culture and destiny,"
Gumede said.

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