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

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      10 Jul 2003 18:56 BST

      Zimbabwe says Blair after Mugabe's head

      By Cris Chinaka
      MAPUTO (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's foreign minister says Prime Minister
Tony Blair has asked U.S. President George W. Bush for Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe's "head" in exchange for British support in the Iraq war.

      "Salome Blair danced in Iraq and the king (Bush) asked him what he
wanted...and Salome Blair asked for Robert Gabriel Mugabe's head," Foreign
Minister Stan Mudenge told journalists on Thursday at the African Union
summit, referring to the biblical story of Salome and John the Baptist.

      "The African Union understands that Zimbabwe is the victim of a racist
campaign, and that the problems we are facing are driven by outsiders."

      Zimbabwe suffers chronic food shortages and 70 percent unemployment.
Critics blame the crisis on Mugabe.

      Over the past three years, Zimbabwe has accused former colonial master
Britain of being on a "racist" mission to destroy Mugabe over his
controversial seizures of white-owned farms.

      Zimbabwe's deepening political and economic crisis is not on the
agenda of the annual African summit which opened on Thursday with Mugabe in

      "That is in some senses a fatal mistake...for the African Union,"
analyst Ross Herbert said in Maputo.

      "(Zimbabwe) is something that Africa is going to have to deal with,"
Herbert, of the South African Institute for International Affairs, told

      The country was on the agenda, however, when Bush visited South
African President Thabo Mbeki and Botswana's President Festus Mogae on

      In South Africa, Bush disappointed Zimbabwe's opposition by failing to
take a tough anti-Mugabe stance. Instead, Bush warmly endorsed the mediation
of Mbeki who has adopted "quiet diplomacy" on Zimbabwe, at least in public.

      In Botswana, Bush had stronger words when asked about Zimbabwe.

      "We expect there to be democracy in Zimbabwe in order for the people
of that country to advance...The weakness in the economy is directly
attributable to bad governance and therefore we will continue to speak out
for democracy in Zimbabwe," he said.

      The European Union imposed travel and investment sanctions on Zimbabwe
last year after Mugabe won an election condemned by the opposition and many
Western powers as fraudulent.

      Mudenge said the AU had maintained its stance after Tuesday's
closed-door session that the continental body would hold no meetings with
the EU on development issues if it insisted on excluding Zimbabwe.

      Mugabe, 79, has been in power since independence in 1980. He maintains
he was re-elected fairly and has refused calls for a poll re-rerun.
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            Powell adamant Mugabe must step down
            July 10, 2003, 10:45

            Colin Powell, the American secretary of state, says the United
States is still calling on President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe to step down.

            This comes after President Thabo Mbeki and US President George
W. Bush met in Pretoria yesterday. They discussed the Zimbabwe situation,
saying they both agreed that change was needed.

            Bush described his South African counterpart as the "point man"
in helping to resolve the political and economic crises in Zimbabwe. Powell
was speaking before the Bush entourage left South Africa for Botswana.

            Bush expressed confidence in South Africa's efforts to resolve
the crisis in Zimbabwe. Speaking after talks with Mbeki in Pretoria, Bush
said he and his counterpart had agreed on the urgent need to address
Zimbabwe's political and economic challenges. Bush hailed Mbeki for his
efforts to end conflicts in Africa.

            Morgan Tsvangirai, the Zimbabwe opposition leader, has meanwhile
accused Mbeki of misrepresenting Zimbabwe to US President George W Bush.
Tsvangirai accused Mbeki of making "false and mischievous" statements to
Bush saying that no talks were taking place in Zimbabwe between the ruling
party and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

            Mbeki, said he informed Bush that Zimbabwe's ruling party and
the MDC have begun talks on their nation's deepening political and economic
crisis. Tsvangirai said claims on talks between Zimbabwe President Robert
Mugabe's party and the opposition were aimed at "buying time" for Mugabe and
at delaying efforts by "potential genuine brokers," such as the United
States, to help end the political and economic crisis.

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            Zimbabwe leaders are talking: NNP
            July 10, 2003, 15:30

            The New National Party (NNP) says it believes negotiations for
change in Zimbabwe are taking place, despite denials from the official
opposition there. President Thabo Mbeki would not publicly lie about the
situation in that country, Boy Geldenhuys, NNP's foreign affairs
spokesperson, said. Yesterday, Mbeki said talks were taking place between
the ruling Zanu-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, later accused Mbeki of making "false and
mischievous" statements to George W. Bush, the US President, and said the
two parties were not holding talks.

            Geldenhuys said pre-democracy negotiations in South Africa
between the ANC and the then National Party (NP) were at an advanced stage
before any official acknowledgement. "If you asked anyone before 1990 if the
NP was talking to the ANC, it would have been denied, even though the talks
were very much on track." He said it was a logical conclusion talks were
currently taking place between moderate factions of the MDC and Zanu-PF. "I
cannot believe that the president of South Africa would lie on this matter."
He said both Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean President, and Tsvangirai were at
risk of isolating themselves. "The negotiating process in Zimbabwe can
easily move beyond Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe, and leave
them isolated," he said.

            Geldenhuys praised Mbeki and Bush for their "statesmanship" in
handling the meeting on Zimbabwe yesterday. "Zimbabwe had the potential to
derail the important meeting between President Thabo Mbeki and President
George Bush. Statesmanship on both sides prevented this from happening."
However, he said it was now up to Mbeki to make a success of his approach to
the crisis in Zimbabwe.

            DA says Mbeki must clarify statement
            Meanwhile, Joe Seremane, the Democratic Alliance (DA) acting
leader, says Mbeki needs to clarify his statements to Bush about Zimbabwe.
"To which dialogue is President Mbeki referring, if the leader of one of the
concerned parties is not aware of it?" he asked in a statement today.
Seremane said Tsvangirai was arrested a second time last month and held in
prison for two weeks.

            "Is this the behaviour of a ruling party that seeks honest and
open dialogue, and a united solution to the crisis in Zimbabwe?" The
breakdown in talks in Zimbabwe was no fault of the MDC, as the South African
government seemed to think. "The ANC's preference has always been for
continued Zanu-PF rule in Zimbabwe," he said. The solution to the crisis in
Zimbabwe had to start with fresh elections. "This should be the primary
objective of President Mbeki's mediation and diplomacy. Once legitimacy is
restored to the political process in Zimbabwe, the reconstruction of that
country can start in earnest," Seremane said. - Sapa
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Mail and Guardian

Mugabe makes overtures to the opposition

      Harare, Gabarone

      10 July 2003 15:44

Emissaries from Zimbabwe's ruling party, and South Africa, have approached
the opposition in recent days about restarting talks to end the nation's
political and economic crisis, the opposition said on Thursday.

In the latest overture, a Roman Catholic priest linked to the ruling party
visited Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai on
Wednesday, just hours before US President George Bush and South African
President Thabo Mbeki discussed the crisis, opposition officials said.

Father Fidelis Mukonori, used as a Mugabe emissary in the past, wanted to
know the opposition's terms for restarting talks and whether any progress
could be made to bring the two sides to the negotiating table.

He met with Tsvangirai just two hours before Mbeki told Bush the two
Zimbabwe parties had begun talks to end the nation's crisis.

Tsvangirai said that claim was "patently false and mischievous".

Responding to Mbeki's claim, Tsvangirai said emissaries from churches, civic
groups and the South African government were shuttling between the parties,
but no talks were under way.

"So far, none of these efforts has succeeded," Tsvangirai said.

Previous talks broke down because of the dispute over Mugabe's narrow
victory in last year's disputed elections and demands that the opposition
drop a court challenge to the poll.

Addressing supporters in recent weeks, Mugabe has again insisted the
opposition recognise his election and drop the case before he would meet
with them.

The opposition has refused and demanded unconditional talks. Tsvangirai said
he was encouraged Bush and Mbeki mentioned 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,"
he said.

The state-controlled Herald newspaper, a government mouthpiece, said on
Thursday Bush "snubbed" the Zimbabwe opposition by saying he was "of one
mind" with Mbeki on Zimbabwe.

The opposition has described Mbeki as a "dishonest broker" who failed to use
the leverage of Zimbabwe's most powerful neighbour to pressure Mugabe to
negotiate democratic reform.

Meanwhile, the Information Ministry described Bush's statement on Zimbabwe
after his meeting with Mbeki as "a loud climb down" after both Bush and US
Secretary of State Colin Powell had called for regime change here.

In a statement, the ministry said Bush had been misled on conditions in
Zimbabwe and "now leaves the region better enlightened on the issues at

Bush retaliated later on Thursday, slamming Zimbabwe's "bad governance”.

Bush said, after meeting Botswana's President Festus Mogae, that he would
continue to speak out for democracy in Zimbabwe

"We expect there to be democracy in Zimbabwe, in order for the people of
that country to advance," Bush said in the capital of Botswana, a country
viewed by Washington as a rare African example of good governance.

"It's a shame that the (Zimbabwean) economy has gotten so weak and soft. It
is a shame for Botswana, it's a shame for southern Africa, and that the
weakness in the economy is directly attributable to bad governance.

"Therefore we will continue to speak out for democracy in Zimbabwe," Bush
added, on the third leg of a five-nation African tour.

The opposition blames Mugabe for plunging the economy into its worst crisis,
with 70% unemployment and acute shortages of food, gasoline and medicine.
Official inflation has soared to more than 300%, but a thriving black market
in food and fuel has led to inflation estimates of about 600%.

The official currency exchange rate is Z$824 to the $1, but the black market
exchange is as much as Z$2 700-$1.

A state programme to seize thousands of white-owned farms for
redistribution to black farmers has crippled the agriculture-based economy
in the past three years. Investment and foreign aid has dried up in protest
of human rights abuses and last year's tainted presidential elections. -
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Yahoo News

      Zimbabwe treason case postponed

      HARARE (Reuters) - A Zimbabwe court has postponed the trial of
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai until October as government lawyers work
to prove that he sought to overthrow President Robert Mugabe, his lawyer

      Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
appeared for a routine hearing a day after U.S. President George W. Bush
said he had reached agreement with South Africa's Thabo Mbeki on how to
handle Zimbabwe's crisis, in an apparent diplomatic defeat for the

      "It was just a remand hearing. He was remanded to 6 October,"
Tsvangirai's lawyer Innocent Chagonda told Reuters after Thursday's court
appearance. The decision means Tsvangirai stays out of prison on his bail

      Zimbabwe's High Court freed Tsvangirai on 10 million Zimbabwe dollars
(7,500 pounds) bail last month after he was held for two weeks following a
week of mass street protests led by the MDC that the government described as
an attempted coup d'etat.

      The court also ordered Tsvangirai not to make any statements which
could be construed as advocating the violent or unconstitutional removal of
Mugabe or his government.

      Tsvangirai's lawyers have asked for the discharge of an earlier
treason charge against Tsvangirai and two senior MDC colleagues, accused of
plotting to assassinate Mugabe ahead of March 2002 elections which the
veteran leader went on to win.

      The MDC has criticised South Africa's Mbeki over his policy of "quiet
diplomacy" toward Mugabe which it says is both insincere and ineffectual.
But Bush, who the MDC had hoped would publicly press South Africa to take a
tougher line, said on Wednesday he would not "second guess" Mbeki's

      On Thursday Zimbabwe's official Herald newspaper crowed at what it
called the diplomatic snub of the MDC.

      "Tsvangirai has sought to...demean African heads of state at every
turn while pandering to European and American leaders like a poodle," the
paper said in an editorial.

      Mugabe dismisses the MDC as a stooge of Western governments opposed to
his land reform programme, and says Zimbabwe is being undermined by both
domestic and foreign enemies.

      The MDC and several Western countries argue that Mugabe rigged the
2002 polls and the opposition charges he has misruled the country since
independence from Britain in 1980, leading to chronic food and fuel
shortages and one of the highest rates of inflation in the world at 300

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Interest Rates On the Surge - Again

The Herald (Harare)

July 10, 2003
Posted to the web July 10, 2003

Brian Benza

INTEREST rates have once again begun to surge on the back of shortages in
the money market largely attributed to withdrawals in the form of corporate
tax payments.

The rates have been on the decline in the past weeks with the Negotiable
Certificates of Deposits (NCD) rates tumbling to around 62 percent level
causing a massive investor exodus from the money market as the inflation
rate continues to spiral.

Corporates have begun paying taxes to the Government and this has seen the
market moving into the negative ranges as companies' demand more funds to
finance their operations.

Reflecting the market shortages, overnight rates have firmed to levels
around 85 percent from 70 percent in the previous week, while 90- day
deposit rates were indicated in the 70 percent to 80 percent range
representing a 30 percent increase from the 50 percent to 60 percent range.

The 91- day effective yield also firmed to 58,30 percent as of the week
ending July 4 from 54,53 percent recorded on 26 June.

Petrolfin bill tenders also fuelled the interest rates upwards and the first
tender saw total bids surpassing the allotment figure by over 600 percent at
an effective yield of 84,59 percent.

Syfrets Corporate and Merchant bank tasked to raise a total of $60 billion
for the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe for fuel procurement went on to the
market and raised $5 billion in the fist tender and held a second tender to
raise $10 billion.

The Repo rate also firmed to 64,58 percent on Monday 7 July from 61,54
percent recorded on Friday July 4 as the Reserve Bank invited tenders for
overnight accommodation on the Repo system.

Borrowing by the private sector will thus be tightened as the banks
consequently uphold their high lending rates there by transferring the
burden to the public.

Economic pundits welcomed the increases in the lending rates arguing that
this would reduce credit creation by banks and thus inflation.

"Zimbabwe is facing a very high inflation rate emanating from high money
supply in the economy, high interest rates would directly crowd out
prospects of demand pull inflation arising from increasing borrowing by
individuals and private sector," said an economist with a leading financial

He emphasised that it is not always the case that higher interest rates are
detrimental to the level of economic activity, but they could also help to
squash the dreadful inflation.

However, the higher interest rates have not been an incentive for those
seeking new investment options judging by the continuous bull pattern on the
stock market and the high activity on properties market.

The high inflation rate coupled with a looming interest rate cut by the
central bank has fuelled the equities to extremely high levels of activity
that has seen only a few risk averse and liquidity seeking investors left on
the money market.
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Ruling MPLA And Zimbabwean Zanu-PF Assess Cooperation

Angola Press Agency (Luanda)

July 10, 2003
Posted to the web July 10, 2003


The delegations of Angola's ruling MPLA and Zimbabwe's ZANU-PF meet
Thursday, in Luanda to assess the existing cooperation between the two

Prior to the talks, there will be a meeting between MPLA's
Secretary-general, João Lourenço, and his ZANU-PF's counterpart, Emmerson
Mnangangwa, who arrived in Angola on Wednesday for a two-day visit.

According to the programme, the Zimbabwean delegation will be audienced by
the Speaker of the National Assembly (Parliament), Mr Roberto de Almeida,
and will hold a meeting with Angola's Industry minister, Joaquim David.

The strengthening of friendship and cooperation between the two parties, is
the mean reason that brought ZANU-PF's secretary-general to Angola, thus
giving in return the visit his counterpart, João Lourenço fulfiled in
Zimbabwe, recently.
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From: CFU - Matabeleland Branch



 A party of twelve South African hunters belonging to a Christian organisation were arrested in Zimbabwe on Friday last week for illegal hunting on listed properties in West Nicholson, Matabeleland South.  The eight adult men and four teenagers were stopped at a police roadblock outside Beit Bridge town on their way to the close by South African border.  They had in their possession a quantity of meat allegedly meant for exportation from Zimbabwe, a country that is currently riddled with one of the worst foot and mouth disease outbreaks in its history. 

 The teenagers were released, but seven of the eight men spent a night in police holding cells in West Nicholson, and the eighth was kept for two nights while police investigated his connection to the slaughter of a black rhino and two elephants four weeks earlier in the same area.  He was released on Sunday after a lawyer was brought in from South Africa.  Pressure to release the men and drop charges was laid on the investigating police officers by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Abednigo Ncube, a politician from Gwanda, and himself a beneficiary of a farm in the district.  The South African High Commissioner in Harare was informed of the situation.

 Police were alerted to the activities of the hunters on Chipizi Farm by a neighbouring farmer who, after hearing shots from a heavy-calibre weapon in the area, found the carcass of a freshly killed eland with only its hind legs removed.  Subsequent police investigations revealed that the South Africans had been hunting on Chipizi Farm, whose owner has been evicted.  The hunt took place with authority from the local Rural District Council, under the auspices of the resident settlers and so-called professional hunter, Ronnie Sparrow. 

 Officials from the Hunting Licence Section of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management in Harare confirmed that Mr Sparrow is not licensed with them as a professional hunter in this country.  Nor is he a member of the Zimbabwe Association of Tour and Safari Operators (ZATSO), an organisation to which most Zimbabwean professional hunters belong. 


Investigating officers in West Nicholson said that South African professional hunter Dwayne van Zyl was authorised by Mr Sparrow (as the “licensed hunter” in charge) to conduct the hunt on his behalf, against National Parks regulations.  Mr van Zyl is wanted for questioning by the Zimbabwean police regarding the slaughter of a black rhino and two elephants in the Bubiyana Conservancy last month, as he is thought to have been in the area at the time of the killings.

 Chipizi Farm, like its neighbour, is listed for compulsory acquisition as part of Zimbabwe’s controversial and notorious Land Acquisition exercise.  The Zimbabwean government has taken over hundreds of farms illegally by fast-tracking the process, evicting bona fide owners and ordering thousands of communal people to settle on properties listed for acquisition without due regard to the law. 

 The Land Acquisition Act provides that owners may object to the acquisition of their properties in the Administrative Court, and the court must confirm the acquisition of the property before it is handed over for resettlement.  Until such confirmation is made, the appropriate authority over the wildlife rests with the title deed holder of the land on which the animals reside. 

 However, throughout the country settlers and local District Councils have claimed the wildlife resources on listed properties for themselves, and are selling it off to the first unscrupulous buyer that comes along.  Numerous South African hunters have been fingered in the past few months for taking advantage of the confusion over land and wildlife ownership and contributing to the uncontrolled depletion of the wildlife resources on listed properties in Zimbabwe.

 Some of the carcasses of the animals shot on Chipizi Farm - an eland, two kudu, a wildebeest and fourteen impala - were taken to a butchery in the nearby town of West Nicholson for processing.  The butcher, who wishes to remain anonymous, says the hunters provided their own biltong spices, and took away over 400kg of wet biltong and raw meat in two plastic crates and ten large waste-disposal bags. 

 Police in Beit Bridge recovered two crates of meat, but the bags were missing when the men were arrested.  It is not known what actually happened to the remainder of the meat that was taken from the butchery, but it is suspected that it was taken to South Africa by Mr van Zyl who left before the weekend.  South African authorities are investigating.

 In a radio interview about the incident, one of the South African hunters, Mr Brummer, claimed that most of the meat from the trophy hunt was given to farm workers “and the farm owner”, while the balance was to be used in exchange for curios before leaving for the border.  Asked why it was processed into biltong first, he replied that they had not realised that the meat had to be brittle-dry before it could be imported into South Africa.  Signs on both sides of the South African border clearly indicate that the South African Veterinary Services have put a moratorium on the importation of animal products from Zimbabwe because of the severity and extent of the FMD outbreak in that country.   

 Besides antelope, the South Africans also killed a hippo and a crocodile in the Chipizi dam but did not “have time” to retrieve them. War Veterans on the farm, who are believed to have been paid R7 500 for the hunt (well below National Park values), have offered Z$1 million to anyone who will retrieve the carcass of the hippo from the dam for them. 

 Zimbabwe is recognised worldwide as having one of the most professional and highly-regulated hunting industries in the world, and property owners and safari operators must complete a battery of National Parks approved hunting quotas, pre-hunt and post-hunt forms before hunts can be conducted for gain and trophies exported from the country. A CITES permit is required to hunt crocodile in Zimbabwe.  

 Proof of payment in foreign exchange is also required, and moneys paid to operators must be deposited in a Zimbabwean bank, in forex, within 14 days of the cessation of the hunt.  Foreign client hunts may only be conducted in the presence of a Zimbabwean-licensed professional hunter who is responsible for ensuring that all regulations are complied with and that animals are killed in an ethical and humane manner.  Furthermore, 2% levies on daily rates are payable to the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority in forex. 

 It has been ascertained that the South African group complied with none of the relevant statutory instruments though they claim that their permits were in order.  Police are still investigating.


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