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

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Zimbabwe. In its time of need.

The time has come, the Chorus said
To shout until it rings-
Throughout the halls of tyranny
And treacherous, would-be kings.
To shout with tempers boiling hot
Till sanity it brings.

But wait a while the tyrants cried
Before we think of that
We feel quite sane in every way
And all of us are fat.
So now we turn a deafened ear,
Not listen to your chat.

A loaf of bread the Chorus said
Is what we really need-
Fuel and paper cash, besides
Our bondage thus decreed.
Take heed, your time is nearly up,
The people will be freed.

A Carpenter from years gone by
Returned and laid His hand
With tender love and gentleness
Upon this tortured land.
Hold strong your faith, don't falter now,
With God, you all shall stand.


(With  acknowledgements to Lewis Carroll)
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African leaders agree to battle graft, war, AIDS

Sunday, July 13, 2003 Posted: 12:25 PM EDT (1625 GMT)
Sunday, July 13, 2003 Posted: 12:25 PM EDT (1625 GMT)

Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano speaks Saturday during the closing ceremony of the African Union Summit.
Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano speaks Saturday during the closing ceremony of the African Union Summit.

MAPUTO, Mozambique (Reuters) -- African leaders have agreed to improve economic governance and work harder to halt regional conflicts and the spread of AIDS, Mozambique's President Joaquim Chissano said on Sunday.

Chissano, current chairman of the 53-member African Union, said that Africans also wanted reforms and investment on the continent accelerated under the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) -- Africa's economic rescue plan.

"The leaders were keen to get to operationalise NEPAD, to get it to start delivering investment and improvement in infrastructure to our people," Chissano told Reuters in an interview in the capital Maputo.

Speaking at his seaside palace after his country hosted the annual African Union (AU) summit, Chissano said leaders were pleased by progress in efforts to settle some of Africa's conflicts but remained concerned about others.

"Burundi remains a huge concern and we have appealed to the international community to help us in trying to fix the problem," he said.

"Things in Liberia are on the way to the mend. Regional forces and the international community are keen to restore order and the leader there has offered to leave office to create conditions for peace," he said.

African leaders have urged U.S. President George Bush to send troops, funding and logistical support but Bush ended a five-day African tour on Saturday with no decision on Liberia.

Officials said the AU's broader drive for peace had revealed differences on how a proposed security and peace council and a rapid deployment force would operate, but some said the differences were largely procedural.

On Friday, the continent's most powerful men agreed to hold a special summit to resolve policy differences over a joint peacekeeping force. They said political stability remained a major target.

Chissano said the African Union had agreed a declaration making AIDS a top development enemy, and was working to harmonise the continent's response to tackling it. They also agreed to raise funding from internal sources and donors for the anti-AIDS war.

Critics said Africa's war on AIDS appeared undermined by leaders like Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, who told the summit that AIDS, malaria and Tsetse flies, which cause sleeping sickness, were armies ordained by God to protect Africans from imperialism.

But Chissano said Gaddafi was one of the signatories to the anti-AIDS declaration.

On the vexing political conflict in Zimbabwe, Chissano said leaders agreed to leave it to regional groups. He said Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) were also working on resolving the dispute.

"All we can do is try to help, but eventually Zimbabweans must rise to the challenge of talking to each other and resolving their problems," he said.

Chissano said the next annual AU summit would be held at its Addis Ababa headquarters next year after war-damaged Madagascar withdrew its request to host the summit.

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The Canberra Times

Ending crisis in Zimbabwe

Monday, 14 July 2003

'FOR HUNDREDS of thousands of Zimbabweans, the worst has already come.
Millions of people are desperately hungry because the country's
once-thriving agricultural sector collapsed last year after President Robert
Mugabe confiscated commercial farms, supposedly for the benefit of poor
blacks . . . As a result most of Zimbabwe's most productive land is now
occupied by loyalists of the ruling ZANU-PF party, military officers, or
their wives and girlfriends. Worse still, the entire Zimbabwean economy is
near collapse. Reckless government mismanagement and unchecked corruption
have produced annual inflation rates near 300 per cent, unemployment of more
than 70 per cent and widespread shortages of food, fuel and other basic
necessities. Is it any wonder that Zimbabweans are demanding political
change, or that President Mugabe must rely on stepped-up violence and
vote-rigging to remain in office?''.

So wrote, three weeks ago, the United States Secretary of State Colin
Powell, in an article in the New York Times. He recognised that some of
Zimbabwe's neighbours, not least South Africa, were concerned about and
active on Zimbabwe's crisis, but said bluntly, that they could and should be
doing more to play a stronger and more sustained role that fully reflected
the urgency of Zimbabwe's crisis.

Last week, however, President George W. Bush, in South Africa as part of a
five-nation tour, seemed to tone down the pressure. After meeting with South
Africa's President Thabo Mbeki, Mr Bush said that America and South Africa
were of one mind about addressing Zimbabwe's problems, that Mr Mbeki was
playing an honest broker role. He had no intention of second-guessing his
tactics, given they believed in the same outcomes. Perhaps in part he was
responding to Mr Mbeki's comment, immediately after Mr Powell's article,
that it was ''not well-advised [for the US] to give the impression of
telling South Africa what to do''.

The fact is, however, that South Africa's policy of pressing for quiet
engagement and dialogue with Mr Mugabe has yet to deliver any dividends. And
the US is not the only nation expressing frustration with the lack of
movement, not least as Zimbabwe, once a bread basket of southern Africa, is
lawless and starving. Our own Prime Minister, John Howard, was one of three
Commonwealth leaders, along with Mr Mbeki and the Nigerian President, asked
to push progress, but Commonwealth initiatives, apart from Mr Mbeki's
dialogues, seem to have largely stalled, primarily because of South African
resistance to external imposition of more direct pressure. There are Western
sanctions against Zimbabwe, but, whatever pressure these exert is mitigated
to some extent by Mr Mugabe's seizing upon them as proof that pressure on
his despotic regime is a wicked Western imperialist plot.

South Africa's own security and interests are deeply affected by Zimbabwe's
problems, and it needs as well as wants a resolution. But while there are
deep divides between many African nations, and the US and the West, it has
no desire to be seen merely to be doing the work of Western nations.

Much as Mr Mugabe and his henchman have debauched the country, Zimbabwe
cannot be considered, as say the Solomons is, as a failed state. Well
managed, and run on liberal democratic lines, there is ample wealth and
prosperity available for all. Yet reconstruction will be particularly
difficult. It is not merely a matter of prising out the thugs, restoring law
and order, and managing emergency aid until the nation is able to get back
on its feet.

South Africa, itself treading carefully in such policy dilemmas at home, is
much more capable of helping to deliver pragmatic African solutions. But it
does not have much time.
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            Powell: US will not stop pressure on Mugabe
            July 13, 2003, 21:00

           Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, has reiterated that the US
will not back down against pressurising the Zimbabwean government from
resolving the political impasse in the country. Powell says they will
continue pressing all parties in Zimbabwe to find a lasting solution to
return to democracy.

            Powell has blamed the dire situation in Zimbabwe on President
Robert Mugabe's failure to bring about democracy. However, he says the US
accepts President Thabo Mbeki's assurances about ongoing talks in Zimbabwe
between Mugabe's ruling party and the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) to bring about peace in that country. Powell said: "What we
would like to see is serious, open, full discussions between the government
and opposition and not suppressing the opposition and or detaining the
opposition leader...that's not the way one finds political solution."

            Reacting to reports of soured relations between Nelson Mandela,
the former president, and George W. Bush, the US President, Powell said the
US respects Mandela's position on the Iraqi war and America's part in it.
"We have the utmost respect for Mandela. He is more than just a great leader
in my mind. He is a friend of mine. I was here for the inauguration. He will
always be a hero in the minds of all Americans. On this issue we had
disagreement. As I would expect Madiba to do he spoke out strongly when he
had disagreement with someone," he said.

            Powell said the US felt at the time it was necessary to take
action against Saddam Hussein for the sake of the US and world security.

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Post and Courier, Charleston US

Dying days of Mugabe's tyranny

In his determination to retain power at all costs, Zimbabwe President Robert
Mugabe has shown nothing but contempt for democracy and the rule of law. But
his actions are increasingly those of a desperate man who realizes that his
time is running out. The meeting between President Bush and South African
President Thabo Mbeki last week signaled the shared belief of the two
leaders that the tyrant of Zimbabwe will fall without overt outside
On Wednesday, President Bush expressed his confidence in the strategy that
President Mbeki is employing. According to the South African Broadcasting
Corporation, he described Mr. Mbeki as the "point man" in resolving the
crisis in Zimbabwe. "I have no intention of second-guessing his tactics. We
want the same outcome," Mr. Bush said. "We are absolutely of one mind about
the urgent need to address the political and economic challenges of

Mr. Mugabe has unleashed his army and police on the political opposition,
who daily face jail, beatings and harassment, and he has run roughshod over
Parliament. He has expelled all the foreign correspondents who reported from
Zimbabwe and imposed a press law designed to intimidate and has prosecuted
journalists for the vaguely defined crime of "publishing a falsehood." His
campaign against white farmers -- he allows farms to be taken over violently
by mobs -- has brought his nation, once the main farming economy of Africa,
to the brink of starvation and economic ruin. In the past three years,
according to The Associated Press, Zimbabwe's inflow of foreign aid,
investment and loans has dried up. Unemployment is 70 percent; inflation
this year is at 269 percent.

Washington has been applying pressure for some time. In an executive order
imposed earlier this year, President Bush cited the role of Mr. Mugabe and
76 officials of his government in systematically undermining "democratic
institutions, employing violence, intimidation, and repressive means to
stifle opposition." An executive order freezes assets and bars Americans
from having any financial dealings with government officials. The order -- a
more severe measure than the visa restrictions put in place following Mr.
Mugabe's tainted re-election a year ago -- complements a similar move by the
European Union to freeze the assets of the leadership, the White House said.

Mr. Mugabe's fear of being displaced has led him to seize arbitrary power
over citizens and the press. But the shambles he has made of the economy
appears to have turned most Zimbabweans against him. "Point man" President
Mbeki appears confident that quiet diplomacy and gentle persuasion will soon
prompt President Mugabe's retirement. The 79-year-old president's
increasingly desperate actions suggest that he knows that his time is
running out, but fears giving up power.
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Zim Standard

      Not a cent for war vets congress
      By Caiphas Chimhete

      THE Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA),
which launched a public appeal to raise money for its congress set for
Mutare later this year, has failed to raise a cent and now intends to host a
casino to raise the money.

      A few months ago, the ex-freedom fighters launched their appeal for
funds from donors, private companies and individuals, but they have failed
to attract any meaningful support, it has been established.

      War veterans' secretary-general, Andrew Mhlanga, confirmed to The
Standard that they had failed to get any money from their appeal and would
next week apply for a licence to operate a casino which would, hopefully,
raise $54 million to finance the congress.

      The long-awaited congress has been postponed on several occasions
because of lack of funds.

      "As an association we have resolved to apply for a licence from the
Minister of Home Affairs. If we get the licence, we can easily raise the
money we need for the congress. I am very hopeful that we will get it," he

      Mhlanga said as soon as the ZNLWVA gets the licence, the association
would lease machines from casino companies in an effort to raise the amount
required for the congress, which he said should be held before the end of

      He added that the ZNLWVA had already approached casino companies and
that the firms have shown some interest in the project.

      The war veterans' leader said although the association had not
received any money, several companies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
and individuals had pledged to finance part of the congress.

      "What I can tell you is that several companies, including those owned
by whites, have pledged some funds for the congress. The problem is that the
companies do not want to be seen as supporting us," said Mhlanga, adding
that the government had also pledged support through the Ministry of Local
Government, Public Works and National Housing.

      The much-postponed congress has also been affected by political
in-fighting. Just before the 2002 Presidential election, the congress was
shifted because there were fears that divisions would rock the meeting
thereby compromising President Robert Mugabe's re-election. Mugabe is patron
of the association.

      Political analysts however said there were few individuals, let alone
companies, who would want to be associated with the aggressive war veterans
who are blamed for the chaos that has reigned in the rural areas and
commercial farms.

      They said the war veterans had also antagonised many companies in the
private sector and the donor community after some of their former leaders in
Harare invaded companies, forcing them to pay unreasonable retrenchments
packages to workers.

      The war veterans spearheaded a brutal campaign for Mugabe's
re-election in the 2002 presidential poll.

      University of Zimbabwe lecturer, Heneri Dzinotyiwei, said generally
the donor community would be reluctant to support the government and related
institutions such as the war veterans because of human rights violations.
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Zim Standard

      Bulawayo city councillors reject new rates hike
      By our own Staff

      BULAWAYO-City councillors here have rejected a 259 percent hike in
municipal charges proposed to raise money for the holding of forthcoming
ward council elections and for new salaries of municipal workers.

      Bulawayo City Council's finance and development committee, chaired by
opposition Movement for Democratic Change councillor, Charles Mpofu, had
proposed that rates be increased by 259 percent.

      This was turned down during a heated debate which later degenerated
into political mudslinging. Councillors unanimously voted against the
drastic hiking of the rates and settled for a lesser 85 percent increment

      The rejection of the proposal comes amidst reports by council that the
forthcoming elections alone would gobble about $100 million from its

      The ward elections are due in August and urban councils are expected
to foot the bill for holding them.

      Harare City Council last week increased tariffs by 500 percent to meet
the ever rising expenses of providing essential services to residents.

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Zim Standard

      Hardships saddle children's homes
      By Caiphas Chimhete

      CHILDEN'S homes in Zimbabwe are failing to cope with the increasing
number of children that require care as the current economic meltdown and
the Aids pandemic continue to cause social disintegration and

      An investigation by The Standard has established that most children's
homes in Harare are overwhelmed by the number of children that need shelter,
food and education as the political, social and economic crisis worsens.

      Social workers said the number of children who end up in children's
homes, has shot up in the past two years because of current economic
problems that have left over 65% of Zimbabwe's population living below the
poverty datum line.

      The majority of those who end up in the homes have been neglected by
parents, abandoned or physically or sexually abused.

      Jea Christophides, the director of Childline Zimbabwe, an organisation
which helps children in difficult circumstances, said because of the
economic hardships, families faced a lot of financial pressure, which
sometimes forced them to abandon children.

      "Because of economic hardships parents are failing to take care of
their children and sometimes send them to live with relatives where life
would be more difficult for the kids and they end up in the streets, or in
children's homes," she said.

      Christophides said Childline Zimbabwe refers at least two cases to
children's homes a day. The organisation also receives scores of telephone
calls and letters from abused children who need assistance, or from
sympathetic neighbours.

      However, most of the children's homes are facing serious financial
problems because the grants they receive from the cash-strapped government
are grossly inadequate.

      The corporate world, which used to offer huge financial support to
most of the institutions, can no longer afford this as it is also going
through a difficult period.

      A senior official at Chinyaradzo Children's Home, one of the oldest
homes in the country, confirmed that all was not well at the institution.

      She said the number of children referred to their institution by the
Department of Social Welfare had drastically increased although the
government had not hiked its annual grants to children's homes.

      As a result, Chinyaradzo has since stopped taking in new children.

      "We no longer take any more children because we are full and we do not
have the money for their daily upkeep. We are actually referring them back
to the Department of Social Welfare these days," said the official who
requested anonymity.

      The institution currently looks after 58 children, the majority of
them abandoned by parents in hospitals, clinics and other health
institutions, as well as at public places such as bus terminuses.

      Moosa Kasimonje, the executive director of The Just Children
Foundation, a drop-in-centre for needy children, also confirmed the upsurge
of children seeking accommodation and food, attributing the increase to both
poverty and Aids which kills 3 800 people a week in Zimbabwe.

      Located in Harare's Kopje area, Kasimonje's centre takes in children
from the streets and rehabilitates them before reuniting them with their
parents or relatives.

      "Some stay here for three or four days before we reunite them with
their families. This year alone we have assisted 72 children to reunite with
their families and only four have gone back onto the streets," said
Kasimonje, adding that his organisation is run from donations from

      The foundation currently holds an average of 60 children a day, most
of whom are between two and 16 years of age, although it has a capacity for
20 children only.

      The situation is almost as desperate at other children's homes such as
Harare Children's Home, Jairos Jiri Waterfalls and Matthew Rusike Children's
Home in Epworth.

      Workers said the government grant for each child was now too little in
the face of the increasing cost of living.

      As of last year, said one worker, they were receiving about $500 per
child a month from government, an amount that is not enough to buy even a
bar of washing soap which now costs about $2 300.

      The director of the Department of Social Welfare, Sydney Mhishi, could
not be reached for comment. However, official sources said it is
increasingly becoming difficult to get any assistance from the department
because it is also heavily under-funded and can no longer cope with the
number of people who need help.

      Ian Kluckow, the director of SOS in Zimbabwe, said because of the
increasing number of children who need assistance, the home had stopped
institutionalising children, opting to assist them while they are with their

      He said the majority of the children the institution assisted were
orphaned by the deadly Aids disease, which has left about 782 000 children
without parents.

      "We identify the orphans, pay for their school fees and food, and it
costs about $30 000 to take care of a single child per month," said Kluckow.

      The organisation has embarked on the new approach, the SOS Village
schemes, in Harare's Glen Norah suburb, Chipadze in Bindura and Makokoba in
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Zim Standard

      Fuel coupons worsen transport blues
      By Valentine Maponga

      THE introduction of fuel coupons for commuter omnibus operators has
worsened the plight of commuters who now find it increasingly difficult to
get transport to and from work because many of the minibuses have withdrawn
services. They cannot obtain road worthiness certificates - a compulsory
requirement before a vehicle is issued with fuel coupons, it has been

      The new system, designed to stamp out the thriving fuel black market
by unscrupulous operators who got fuel from designated petrol stations only
to resell it at exorbitant prices on the black market, saw a significant
reduction of buses and minibuses plying the city roads.

      Due to the general unavailability of spares because of foreign
exchange shortages, many of the commuter buses have become dilapidated and
fail to pass the mandatory government road worthiness test.

      Some commuter bus operators, who have managed to stay on the road,
have now resorted to pirating only during peak hours and charging fares well
above government stipulated rates as desperate commuters have no other means
of travelling to and from work.

      Some of the operators now shun long distances.

      For example, commuters from areas such as Kuwadzana, in many cases,
now have to wait for hours for transport to get home after work because
buses that used to ply their route now opt for Warren Park, a shorter
destination from the city centre.

      Bus operators told The Standard that the introduction of the fuel
coupons had forced them to opt for shorter distances because of the
restrictions in the amount of fuel they received per day.

      "We can only get 50 litres a day from Monday to Saturday. This
allocation is inadequate because many omnibuses need at least 75 litres to
fill up. What this generally means is that we now have to go for short
distances," said Amos Mlambo, a commuter bus operator.

      Some operators who have failed to acquire the coupons and buy fuel on
the black market, now charge fares of up to a $1 000 per single journey,
especially during the night.

      "When I came to Harare five years ago life was much better and I do
not think that I will be here for long," said Mike Chabvira, who said that
his monthly pay was now equivalent to his monthly bus fare.
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Zim Standard

      State inflating land beneficiaries - MDC
      By our own Staff

      ONLY 129 000 farmers have been resettled under the chaotic A1 model
fast track land reform exercise since 2000 and not 300 000 as claimed by the
State, official government documents leaked to the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) have revealed.

      MDC shadow minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Gweru
rural legislator, Renson Gasela, told journalists in Harare yesterday that
reports from 10 provincial governors indicated that government had misled
the nation about the number of people who have benefited from its
controversial land redistribution exercise.

      After the historic 2000 referendum that saw thousands of Zimbabweans
rejecting the government-sponsored draft Constitution, President Mugabe
embarked on the fast track land reform exercise that resulted in the
disruption of agricultural activities and the deaths of several commercial
farmers and farm workers.

      The reforms, according to Mugabe, were meant to redress land hunger
among the country's majority black peasants who were living on marginal

      The government has claimed that it has so far resettled 300 000 people
on the A1 model scheme, for villagers and small scale farmers, even though
it was apparent that the rural areas remained heavily congested.

      "We have discovered that the (Zanu PF) regime lied that they had
resettled 300 000 farmers on A1 farms," said Gasela.

      "Only 129 000 have actually been given land ... the majority of whom
have been a dismal failure on their new pieces of land and failed to produce
any significant harvest in the last season," Gasela said.

      The former Grain Marketing Board general manager warned that Zimbabwe
faced a lengthened spell of famine that might spill into next year because
of the haphazard land reforms.

      He said according to a study the MDC had carried out, the country's
current stock of wheat will run out in the next two months while the GMB's
maize stocks have a shortfall of 1,1million tonnes.

      Gasela said: "There is no current stock of wheat in the country to
talk about. Production this year will be down from 145 000 tonnes last year
to a mere 60 000 tonnes.

      Zimbabwe is in the throes of crippling food shortages which threaten
over six million of the country's 11.6 million people.

      The shortages have largely been blamed on Mugabe's controversial land
reforms which resulted in white-owned commercial farms being grabbed without
any contingent plans to cater for the disrupted food production processes.

      Gasela added: "The import requirement of wheat is 340 000 tonnes
costing over US$85 million while that of maize is US$64 million. Again, this
kind of money is not there.

      "Even if the next crop has sufficient rainfall, we will not, as a
country, produce enough food next year. The reasons include shortage of
seed, fertilisers and fuel."

      He urged government to heed to last week's advice by the United
Nations to urgently launch an appeal for food aid after a survey by the Food
and Agriculture Organisation and World Food Programme showed that the
country was in dire need of cereal replenishment.

      "It takes three months between request (of food aid from donors) and
arrival of food. The government is aware of this crisis but has chosen to do
nothing," said Gasela.
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Zim Standard

      Moyo uses soccer to market Zanu PF
      newsfocus By Henry Makiwa

      THE soccer craze that has gripped Zimbabwe after "The Warriors"
successfully booked a maiden appearance at the African Cup of Nations
tournament has presented junior Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo, with
yet another golden opportunity to preach State propaganda.

      Moyo, ever quick to capitalise on any situation that might prop up the
waning fortunes of the embattled ruling Zanu PF party, was on the ball and
read the national mood correctly.

      Zimbabwe was in the grip of national euphoria after finally qualifying
for the prestigious continental soccer tournament.

      Moyo, never one to lose an opportunity to sell the unpopular Zanu PF
to the people, demonstrated a considerable flair for uninhibited opportunism
by penning his Go Warriors Go song that was written ostensibly to cheer on
the national football team.

      The song was repeatedly played on both TV and radio to psyche up the
nation for the big game that would either make or break Zimbabwe's fortunes.

      A few days later, Moyo announced a whopping $100 million government
pledge to the national team if they beat Eritrea by five clear goals, a feat
that was to prove beyond the perennially underachieving Warriors.

      On the day of the match, however, Moyo crowned it all: he showed up at
the National Sports Stadium sporting the popular Number 12 jersey that is
worn by Warriors' captain, Peter Ndlovu.

      To a casual observer, Moyo was doing his best to help Zimbabwe
qualify. But to neutral observers and his opponents, the junior minister was
once again at his best in his role as the government's chief propagandist.
Welshman Ncube, Moyo's former colleague during his days at the University of
Zimbabwe, said he was "taken aback" by the minister's sudden fascination
with sport.

      "At college, Moyo was never anywhere near the sporting activities that
took place at the campus.

      "Moyo was well known however for his love for Congolese rhumba music
and Brenda Fassie. It is compelling therefore to conclude that Moyo's sudden
interest in sport is a recent invention and points to Zanu PF's propaganda
attempts to divert the people from the crisis that the ruling party has
created for them," said Ncube, the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change's secretary general.

      Paddington Japajapa, the president of the Zimbabwe Indigenous Economic
Empowerment Organisation and a well-known soccer enthusiast, questioned the
government's sudden interest in "The Warriors" when it failed to support
Zimbabwe's bid to host the 2000 African Cup Of Nations finals.

      "Why did Mugabe refuse to support his own nephew's bid to host the
2000 finals if the government has so much love for the sport?" asked

      Mugabe's nephew, Leo, was head of Zifa when it failed to host the
finals because of lack of funds despite winning the bid.

      Said Japajapa: "Moyo simply wants to buy votes for his party through
support for sport and everyone who knows the man can tell the sinister
motives he broods in his head."

      Legal practitioner and former soccer star, Arnold Tsunga, said while
financial support by the government into sport had been long overdue, its
recent flirtation with soccer was suspect and insincere.

      "Suspicions over why the government has suddenly dug its head into
sport as an attempt to manipulate the success of the national team are
therefore well-founded," said Tsunga.

      "The funding can be used unwittingly as a tool of influencing the
public," Tsunga, who played for the now defunct Tanganda Football Club, told
The Standard.

      Trade unionist and former Dynamos secretary-general, Raymond Majongwe,
accused the government of trying to exploit the nation's love for soccer to
further its political agenda.

      Ndumiso Gumede, Zifa's director of development, alluded that the
government might have admitted to "some form of guilt" over its failure to
sponsor sport in the past.

      "I am sure they understand that sport has an impact of galvanising the
people ... for much of last week, Zimbabweans forgot about the fuel and food
shortages as the euphoria of soccer gripped the entire nation," Gumede

      That must be music to Moyo, who has suddenly also become one of
Zimbabwe's new hitmakers.

      But one soccer enthusiast summed it up "All this Moyo stuff is
temporary. We are in fact back to the reality of hunger and shortages of
everything including cash."

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Zim Standard

      Standard Letters

      I read in Tuesday's Herald (July 8) New Ziana chairman, Munacho Mutezo
trying, in vain, to dismiss your story last week that all is not well at the
agency. I am an employee of New Ziana Your story was 100% correct. Well done
for exposing the misuse of public funds by Jonathan Moyo and his board.

      New Ziana is broke just like the government. It now has only $100
million left out of $500 million it got from treasury in the last budget.
Yet on the ground there is nothing to show how the money was used.

      Instead of concentrating on their work, the agency, with Jonathan
Moyo's blessing, has been busy firing staff or frustrating them out of their
jobs, by victimising them on the pretext that they are supporters of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

      In the last eight months that the new chief executive officer,
Munyaradzi Matanyaire, has been at Ziana, at least six senior staffers have
either been fired or frustrated out for standing up to the mismanagement at
the company.

      First, they kicked out the agency's editor-in-chief, Shepherd Mutamba
for talking and seeing too much, then bookkeeper, Forbie Kahari left in a
huff followed by chief photographer, William Nyamuchengwa, followed by chief
sub-editor, Chemist Mafuba. Following his departure was IT manager, Damian
Muswere. Only last Friday, the CEO's secretary, Ms Pilime gave 24 hours
notice before leaving. This is in addition to several junior staffers in the
provinces who have also left.

      Is this what Munacho Mutezo calls normal? I know of at least four
other senior staffers, including myself, who are leaving soon.

      There are only two reporters left at the news agency. The electronic
unit has failed to take off one year after it was established and the
community newspapers are failing to sell because of excessive lies from Zanu

      A financial institution hired to raise money on the market for Ziana
failed to get anything after potential investors refused partnership
pointing out that propaganda does not have financial returns.

      In a nutshell, problems at New Ziana centre on mismanagement. Unless
the management problem is sorted out, there is no way this organisation will
turn around. Never !

      New Ziana Employee

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      What on earth is an African problem?

      The letter by Simbi Mubako who happens to Mugabe's racist
representative in Washington cannot pass unchallenged. In fact Mubako must
be taken to task for daring, from the safe haven of the American democracy,
where he can buy a loaf of bread at 90 cents, any time he wants to, be
defending the Mugabe regime here at home.

      Yes, he is very free to criticize Powell and Bush himself without fear
of attracting harebrained CIO and the muddleheaded police, not to mention
the mentally deranged millitia. It is true that the Zimbabwean people must
vote for the person they like to be their president. Didn't they do so in
March 2002 only to have that bespectacled rabblerouser in the name of the
registrar general (isn't it a misuse of the English language to call him a
registrar general when he does the opposite, this is real big brother
situation, remember 1984 by George Orwell) imposing on us a sabretoothed,
sanguinary ogre with a barbed-wire tail?

      It is by no sheer coincidence that like all the patients of
jonaparapletospirosis in the party you also think you can convince the whole
by malreasoning like that.

      What on earth does Mubako call an African problem? Has he ever heard
of an American, European or Asian problem when it comes to human rights

      Isn't it common sense minus nonsense that all individual rights must
be respected regardless (freedom of and after speech, freedom of affiliation
and association, rights to shelter, education, medicare, free trial, and
innocence before any court of law unless proven guilty not vice versa,etc)
before you respect my right to land? If the land is your number one human
right as you erroneoulsy and foolishly pointed out , why then did your
government take so long to distribute the land?

      Why also is it that some people like Ibbo Mandaza owns more than one
farm when 85 percent or more of the total population do not own a single
square metre of that same number one human right?

      Mugabe and his followers childishly think they can convince us with
such pre-kindergarten flawed "logic".

      It is high time people should know that God is for us all.Comrade
Jonah almost drowned in Kariba when he was refreshing after a week long of
tiresome and lies. I am sorry but I, for one do not sympathise with him. In
fact I would have been very mollified had he drowned .

      Sound callous - not more than he anyway. Another Comrade was involved
in an accident and was badly injured-Charamba. Again I cannot sympathise
with him, God will do him justice.

      Nikolai Sanyika


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      ZBC has gone bonkers

      The so-called Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation is now completely
beyond redemption and should be interred.

      Everything that could go wrong at the crumbling corporation has come
full-circle from poor staff remuneration, lack of corporate support and a
dearth in everything that a serious broadcast centre should have, all
consist of the catalogue of failures at the corporation.

      Why on earth they continue to bombard us with fictitious stories
disguised as news on their so called newshour makes me question the mental
capacity of whoever is responsible at the top of the hill. Maybe they have
lost touch with the people at the bottom of the hill seeing how they're
perched up there.

      The fictitious stories they churn out daily are atrocious and a
typical example of poor and uninspired reporting. If one is not careful
during newshour, one can easily fall asleep owing to the languid

      Saturday evening movie slot should just be termed 'Nigerian movie of
the week' because it seems it's the only country donating products of its
arts industry here. Nigerian movies are shown in monotonous regularity and I
think someone at the corporation has yet to know that Africa does not start
and end with Nigeria. And in any case, the films are re-screened barely
after two weeks of being shown "due to public demand". Public demand, my

      Everything else on Dead BC is about farming. Prime time viewing is
littered with a bunch of such programmes sometimes I even wonder if the
mandarins at Dead BC care-a-hoot what comes before the viewers. A snap
survey of some of their homes would show that most of them have satellite
television. Now that's what I call hypocrisy of the highest order.

      Even the cartoons they show nowadays are the same ones I watched as a
kid, a good ten-plus years ago. Dead BC is broke and on its death bed. Woe
betide Dead BC.

      Radio is equally hopeless. The current crop of so-called DJ's at 3FM
is noisy and plays the same type of music for the 24 hours the station is on
air. Radio Zimbabwe is a flicker of hope but Sport FM and National FM, save
for a few average ones, need a complete overhaul. With the poor and
amateurish DJs on radio, compounded by the nonsensical staff on TV, one is
left with only one thing to do-unplug the TV and radio- at least it serves
you power.

      Me thinks the airwaves must be opened wide, but that will take me
another mountain of writing to convince the powers that be.

      Kumbirai Dunduru

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Zim Standard

      2004 destined to be a non-event
      By Our Own Correspondent

      THE business community, fast losing its patience over the skewed
manner in which President Robert Mugabe is running the economy, says the
2004 National Budget won't do much on its own because major issues were not
tackled in last year's budget.

      Outstanding issues have spilled over, resulting in a backlog that
needs to be solved first before new ideas are tossed around.

      The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) policy and advocacy
manager, James Jowa, in an exclusive interview with Standard Business, last
week said: "Like other budgets before it, the 2003 National Budget has not
been handled by the government as a budget at all. We have gone through 22
budgets but we seem to continue making the same mistake of living beyond our
means. We love to spend what we do not have."

      The ZNCC is the country's second most powerful business grouping whose
membership-mainly indigenous entrepreneurs -stands at more than 1 000

      Government has a domestic debt that continues to skyrocket weekly.

      The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) last week said domestic debt stood
at $446,1bn as at May 16 2003, up from $337,3 bn on April 4.

      Weekly RBZ advances to the cash-strapped government also increased
from $10,6bn on April 4 to average at $50,3bn by May 16.

      Analysts said the recent salary hikes given to the civil service,
government ministers, medical practitioners and the armed forces would
worsen the situation.

      The country's domestic debt, which stood at $205bn in December 2001,
rose dramatically to $346bn by the end of December last year.

      Bankers said with 96% ($331bn) of the debt being Treasury Bills,
interest costs would continue to pose a significant fiscal challenge.

      They said the domestic debt was expected to rise further this year,
fuelled by the need to fund grain imports and financial support for new
farmers under the current controversial land reform programme.

      Jowa said chronic fiscal deficits and supplementary budgets had been
the chief architects of the hyperinflationary environment prevailing in

      "Of particular concern have been excessive budget overruns and the
ministry of finance and economic development is said to be working on a
supplementary budget almost equal to the original budget expenditure," Jowa

      He said the economy was fast shrinking and so had been the tax base.

      "Without increasing the tax rates there is no other source of revenue
except for the government to print the required amounts," Jowa said. "The
result of this will be hyperinflation-the case of too much money chasing too
few goods."

      He said increasing the tax rates was almost impossible given that
individuals and companies were already overtaxed.

      "Inflation is already way off target," Jowa said in the interview. "It
is unfortunate the minister of finance and economic development has not yet
come out in the open on this and probably give the nation his new estimate.
He seems to be surprised at the way things have gone or is it that he did
not believe his own inflation assumptions in the first place?"

      Herbert Murerwa, in his 2003 National Budget, predicted that inflation
would stand at 96%.

      However, the figure is far off the mark as inflation has continued to
soar unabated to stand at a staggering and record 300,1% for May.

      Economists predict inflation will be between 500% and 1000% mark by

      "As such gross domestic product is set to decline by more than 12% in
2003," Jowa said.
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      Poking a stick in the ear of a lion
      Sundaytalk with Pius Wakatama

      PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe, according to The Sunday Mail of last week
addressed "thousands of people" near the much talked about but never built
Tokwe Mukosi Dam in Masvingo.

      He told the people of this half-starved province that his government
was working towards ending the relentless price hikes and the prevailing
acute shortage of local bank notes and foreign currency by recouping
"billions of dollars stashed away by individuals and institutions who were
responsible for the cash shortage." Ho! Hum. Here we go again.

      He then for the umpteenth time said the government would ensure that
those who benefited from the land reform programme produce enough maize and
wheat for the country to eliminate the need to import grains. Didn't we hear
this last year and the previous year? What a pipe dream.

      If wishes were horses beggars would be riding. Of course, he blamed
the depletion of the grain reserves on the drought. Did you expect him to
blame it on the violent and chaotic government land reform programme?

      On US President Bush's visit to South Africa, President Mugabe was in
top form.

      He was his usual cocky belligerent self. In a threatening voice he
told the President of the United States of America: "If Mr Bush is coming to
seek co-operation, then he is welcome but, if he is coming to dictate what
we should do, then we say go back home Yankee."

      I felt sorry for the old man's hollow bravado. Indeed, if the United
States would decide to directly interfere in Zimbabwe's internal affairs,
what would Mugabe do?

      The United Nations including our so called friend, France, were
totally helpless against the invasion of Iraq. The United States, rightly or
wrongly, ignored them and attacked anyway. What did the United Nations and
France do about it? Nothing. They are instead working together with the
United States and her allies to rebuild that country into an acceptable

      In the light of such events, isn't it rather childish for Mugabe to
even try to threaten President Bush.?He will only succeed in strengthening
the man's resolve to help put an end to our suffering. Go on Mr Mugabe of
Zimbabwe, threaten and insult the American President some more. It may
hasten our emancipation from your tyrannical rule!

      The same kind of childishness is now found in our government
controlled Press. I pride myself in being a fair minded person. I,
therefore, buy as many newspapers of the day as I can afford, including the
government ones, in order to comment objectively in this column. However
after reading the drivel in The Sunday Mail last week I gave up the habit.

      I had decided to comment on the weird views of Tafataona Mahoso, Udo
Froese, Munyaradzi Huni and Tonderai Nyamayevhu. After some thought I said
to myself, "Pius, you are now also getting mad. Don't you know that if you
argue with a fool no one will know which one is the fool?" I, there and
then, decided to divert my newspaper money to bread which is now a whooping
thousand dollars a loaf. So, good-bye Sunday Mail. I definitely will not
miss you. I warn all those who may be inclined to continue reading such
nonsense that they are in danger of ending up in the nuthouse.

      Just imagine. Udo Froese quite seriously wrote: "As much as US
President George Bush wants to reward Britain's Tony Blair for his zealous
support in Afghanistan and Iraq and the rest of the world by returning
Zimbabwe to the British crown, such brutal action would create chaos, and
terrorism would take advantage of us.

      "If President Mugabe's government would be destroyed, thousands of
highly trained Zanu PF guerrillas would retreat to the bush in order to
again pick up the war for their country. It would be inevitable to happen,
as they would otherwise become targets. This would cause havoc in the

      If the poor English is not enough to make you go bananas, the twisted
thinking in the article will do the trick.

      In one of the editorials The Sunday Mail called upon African leaders
not to "buckle"under US pressure to accept US blood dollars which would be
offered in return for the pro-Western reforms in Africa, for the benefit of
corporate interests and to win African support in the fight against

      I wonder which African leaders are meant here. Are they not the same
ones who are pleading with the United States to send a peace-keeping force
to Liberia in order to bring stability to that war torn country? Who caused
the war in Liberia? Was it caused by Western imperialists or by the very
same African leaders who shout the loudest about anti imperialism? Give us a

      I just don't know what some people have for brains. On one hand they
are asking African leaders to spurn the United States and its "blood" money.
On the other hand, they are at this very minute asking the World Food
Programme (largely funded by the United States) for food to feed starving
Zimbabweans. Even South Africa itself is asking the United States for aid.
The coming of the American President to the region should have made our
President to sit down and seriously take stock. The people have suffered

      The words from the powerful American delegation calling for fresh
elections in Zimbabwe should have signalled to him that the time of playing
games is over. This is his last chance to call for serious negotiations to
end the impasse which is threatening to destroy our beautiful country and
its people. However, the fact that he stood there in Masvingo and, with
clenched fists, belligerently challenged the President of the United States
of America, proves beyond doubt that the man is not aware of the dire
situation the country is in.

      I watched the President, on television as he spoke in Masvingo. His
audience was certainly not with him. Some did not comprehend what he was
talking about when he went on about Bush and Blair and the International
Court of Justice. The chiefs looked tired and uninterested. Some were
interested in clowning for the camera more than in what the President was
saying. He would have awoken his audience if he told them when the next
shipment of food donated by the United States was coming to the area.

      A few days ago I asked a man from the rural areas why they continue to
go to the boring and tiring Zanu PF rallies to hear the same tired lies over
and over again.

      "Shamwari, we have to go, he answered. "If we don't go the boys and
girls in green uniform will come to beat us up and burn down our homes. Some
have even been killed."

      He who has ears to hear, let them hear.
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      Survival in today's tough Zimbabwe
      Sundayopinion with Thandi Chiweshe

      My son is not coming home for his vacation. The Major told him so. All
leave was cancelled so that the army could, "quell the riots". I am upset.
So is my son. This is the third time in as many months this has happened. I
regret sending my young son into the army. But what other options are there
for a young man without any "connections" in the right places? It was either
the army or adding to my list of dependants.

      I have watched my son's "growth" in the army with trepidation at
first, but now with anger, sadness, amusement and sometimes guilt. His first
assignment was to the Congo. He was very excited about this. Lots of United
States dollars, (lots in his young mind).

      After a year, he had saved enough to buy a little two-roomed house in
the townships. His loyalty to Mugabe grew. We quarrelled many times. He
didn't understand why so many of my friends and I are active in civil
society, (which he was told is the same as the opposition), or why I didn't
read the state-controlled Herald.

      A mother's role

      The foray into the DRC, is over. My son is back to earning peanuts.
Just like all other ordinary Zimbabweans. The ambitious little house
extension project has been stalled. At roof level.

      He has been to his army superiors' farms to do all sorts of menial
jobs - dipping the cattle, slaughtering the pigs, and repairing fences. He
has seen their wealth and comforts. The majors and the colonels' houses are
growing in size and in numbers. My son's eyes have been opened. Thanks to
own goals by the regime. He now reads The Daily News and The Standard! I am
actively aiding and abetting this transformation. I have taken over the
house extension.

      Development practitioner-cum-dealer

      I am an NGO worker for most of the day, and the other part, a foreign
currency dealer. On occasion I deal in petrol too. That is where the
proceeds to extend my son's house will come from. Like a privileged few, I
earn my salary in British pounds.

      "What is the rate this week?", seems to be the main concern of my
peers in the international NGO community.

      We are occasionally worried about the price of food, or the scarcity
of bank notes. We are irritated by the amount of time we spend in the queue
at our "diplomatic garage". But it's only an irritation because we know we
will get it before the day is over. Many of us with access to forex can
afford to buy our own fuel from the many garages that import fuel on our

      It's over priced, but at least it's better than the stuff mixed with
water that you buy at the back of some ruling party functionary's rented
council house, or what the police "liberate" from illegal traders and resell
at road-blocks. Some with forex resell what they buy from garages. After
paying US$1 per litre, you can resell at US$2!

      Mother bountiful

      None of this makes me a millionaire. It only makes me a one-woman
donor agency. Mother Bountiful. An aunt across town needs $5 000 to go to a
doctor. A sister in another town needs Anti-Retrovirals. And the one I have
been supporting for a while is out of immune boosting vitamins. The reality
of HIV/AIDS is still part of the national crisis. But these days it has been
forgotten, as every one's focus is now only on the politics.

      Saying hello to a doctor now costs Z$5 000. If she or he gives you a
prescription, you can expect to pay nothing less than $8 000 for basic
painkillers. I have postponed seeing her for the skin rash I have. My health
seems to be a small concern compared to what others have to deal with.

      I shell out school fees, bus fares and rent for nieces, nephews,
distant cousins and lord knows who else's relatives. I have paid for
complete strangers' groceries, paid visa fees for a desperate friend of a
friend's cousin who needs to flee, and listened to everyone's tales of woe I
am exhausted. I go round with a wad of cash. Just in case I bump into yet
another long sad story. I keep more wads in the linen cupboard.

      By the end of the week I can't account for Z$300 000.

      Our rarefied world

      Standing in a supermarket queue in Mount Pleasant just before the
MDC's "final push", I was struck by the differences in shopping baskets. In
front of me was a gardener's small family. Huddled around a basket with
three items in it; the smallest tube of toothpaste, the smallest bar of
soap, and the smallest bottle of cooking oil. They argued whether to buy
sugar beans or dry kapenta. In the end they could not afford both.

      Behind me, two funkily dressed young women and their over-dressed but
well heeled male partners. You can always smell them from a mile off, these
noveau riche. They have too many mobile phones each, make deals loudly on
them so that we can all hear what millions they are making, and their
clothing definitely shows they have failed to buy class.

      These four had among them, five trolleys carrying; imported wines,
crates of beer, tonnes of meats of all kinds, cakes to die for, and enough
Italian bread rolls to feed a small regiment. They argued over chicken or

      "We need more foam bath. Take some of those apples they look
delish...Oh in case this stay-away lasts longer, shouldn't we get more

      Blessed are they who live in this rarefied stratosphere. It is easy to
stay cocooned in this stratosphere. I tried to tell an office colleague
about some of the things I have seen in my outside working hours role. His
eyes glazed over.

      Disbelief? Fear? Nonchalance?

      This side of Samora Machel Avenue, the horror stories of our national
crisis are best left in the newspaper pages.

      However Zanu PF's madness now knows no bounds. Ugly reality has begun
to penetrate every strata of Zimbabwean society. An international aid worker
was butted on the head with a rifle for smiling "cheekily" at a police
officer at a road-block in the leafy suburb of Borrowdale.

      A business executive relative was made to sit on the ground and sing
"I will never go round without my national ID again". And of course good old
Jonathan Moyo assaults our eyes and ears on the national airwaves each day.
Dreadful as it sounds I am glad the smell has now hit suburbia.

      Fear is the thief of dreams

      Keeping one' s head down is the worst thing to do in Zimbabwe. Either
you run out of the country, or you stay and fight. Even if you don't go
looking for trouble, it will come looking for you.

      I have been heartened by my son's transformation. He hasn't led a
mutiny yet, but I know he is not following orders blindly anymore either. I
have been encouraged by the young women I saw lying in hospital - raped,

      "We are just waiting for this to heal so we can get out and organise
some more actions. We won't rest until Mugabe has gone", they told me. I
have been inspired by the erstwhile "non-political" mothers' union in my
church, praying to God to, "remove this Pharaoh from our land. Help us to be
strong like David as he faced Goliath".

      As I dance to the very meaningless but melodious, "Rambai Makashinga"
(Stay strong - a ruling party sponsored jingle played every 30 minutes on
all radio stations!), I am energized and glad to be part of the rewriting of
Zimbabwe's history.
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      Read our lips: Change is around the corner

      ALL the signs both at home and on the diplomatic front indicate that
change is around the corner. Because it is at the corner, most Zimbabweans
could be failing to see it but the feeling in the air that change is coming
is very strong. About this we are cocksure.

      Never mind the uncouth and laughable antics of the unelected junior
minister Jonathan Moyo ,and the ungentlemanly attacks on President George W
Bush by President Mugabe - this is a manifestation of symptoms of a regime
under siege and one that knows that its days are numbered.

      Jonathan Moyo must be an extremely frightened little man. He knows
very well that President Mugabe's demise is his own demise - hence the
singing for his supper day in and day out.

      From day one, when he was appointed junior minister of Information and
Publicity, Moyo began working within the framework of myths and lies,
employing a battery of rhetorical devices and merely philosophising - all to
our cost. He has had his time and the day of reckoning is coming - and fall
he will, with his master. About that, there can be no doubt.

      Over the past week, Moyo and the government propagandists that he so
ably leads, were gloating that President Bush had been forced to eat humble
pie by accepting that President Thabo Mbeki's approach to the Zimbabwean
crisis is the best.

      This view, once again demonstrates the naivety of the Zanu PF
propaganda machinery. They believe President Bush had suddenly been made to
see the wisdom of treating Mugabe as the hero who must be treated with
respect rather than the villain driving his country to destruction. Anyone
who is taken in by such warped thinking will believe anything.

      What is closer to the truth is that Bush was told that Mugabe is now
behaving like a cornered animal, and any inflammatory statements from Bush
or anyone else were likely to drive him to even greater levels of repression
against his people. He was told it is better to engage Mugabe rather than
antagonise him, if a solution to the crisis is to be found with minimal
damage to the country's tottering economy and life and limb.

      Given the level to which Zimbabwe has sunk, it makes sense to choose a
route that will avoid further damage. That, in our opinion was the rationale
behind President Bush putting his weight behind President Mbeki's hitherto
ineffective diplomatic overtures.

      It is clear that Bush and his advisers such as Colin Powell, feel that
Mbeki's 'soft' approach to Mugabe is bearing fruit, albeit after such a long
and laborious process.

      While we might not be privy to what exactly transpired when the two
leaders met, it is quite evident that Mbeki must have convinced Bush that
indeed change was on the way in Zimbabwe. And, as everyone knows, that
change inevitably means the premature departure from office of Mugabe and
his team of bungling ministers such as Moyo.

      Politicians, even of the questionable Zanu PF variety, cannot destroy
a country as they have done and hope that they can literally walk away
without retribution. There are always consequences for such terrible

      Zimbabwe is a country soaked in blood of the innocent, devastated by
sheer terror and sheer repression and its people are starving to death. The
collapsed economy is silently killing and devastating its own children. The
majority of Zimbabweans are heavily sedated and stress is taking a heavy

      In the face of death and hunger, such things as sovereignty mean
nothing to a tormented people. You don't have time to stop and say 'Hey, I
am a Zimbabwean and free,' because such utterances mean virtually nothing in
the face of acute shortages of almost everything.

      God has no wish to see Zimbabweans suffer like this endlessly. That is
why we feel that our optimism about the near end of the Mugabe regime as we
know it now, is not misplaced. A corrupt and dictatorial regime will not
last forever. All point to the fact that the Zanu PF rule as presently
constituted has had its day.

      It is pertinent to remind ourselves that we have weathered both big
storms and little storms but, as they say, in every dark cloud , there is a
silver lining.

      President Mugabe, Jonathan Moyo, Joseph Made, Patrick Chinamasa, Stan
Mudenge and other Mugabe cronies must come to grips with the reality of
being out of power in the not too distant future. We realise that it is a
big adjustment for anybody but we also happen to know that everything must
come to end one day and that day is not very far off for this regime despite
its apparent inability to see it coming. We doubt whether the grim nature of
their predicament has really sunk among most Mugabe cronies.

      It is important to restate that Zanu PF stole the Presidential
election in 2002 and then failed utterly to deliver the goods. The problem
is that democracy is a hurrah word and everyone including even Jonathan Moyo
claims to be a democrat. More dangerous is the belief that people can walk
hand-in-hand with you when you have become both a thief and a plunderer.

      Zanu PF and its media must stop trying to deceive the world that the
country is well on course to consolidating the land reforms and economic
recovery. We do not know when we ever saw and heard such a conglomeration of
lies. It is most unfortunate for our country that Zimbabwe is now being led
by people whose only skill is that of studying and perfecting their own

      But be that as it may, one thing is for sure: Things will change. make
no mistake about that.

      It can happen. It will happen.

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            Liars, cheats and diplomacy
            overthetop By Brian Latham

            That all politicians are lying, venal hypocrites is probably
true, but the leader of a confused southern African nation surely takes the
biscuit. Last week he rose on his hind legs and told the strangest of lies
about his troubled central African neighbour. More remarkable still, he told
these particular lies to the entire world.

            This dissipated leader said, with a straight face, that talks
between the ruining Zany Party and the More Drink Coming Party were
underway. He said this while standing next to the leader of the free world,
liberator of oil producing nations and all-round good guy, George Bush Jnr.

            It was an extraordinary statement and it left George looking a
little puzzled, which, if you believe trendy, de-caf coffee society
liberals, isn't difficult. Personally I make it a rule never to believe
liberals because they're inherently stupid, but that's another matter. On
George Jnr they're wrong, just as they're wrong on everything else.

            Still, few events in the troubled central African country's
recent history were as strange as Comrade Barking's crude and easily
disproved lie about talks. Both the ruining Zany Party and the More Drink
Coming Party dispelled the claim, which should have left Comrade Barking
cringing with embarrassment - but didn't.

            As those of us who spend considerable time supping intoxicants
know, it is difficult to embarrass people who view the world through a haze,
and so it appears to be with Comrade Barking.

            Still, troubled central Africans should take heart. Contrary to
the claim made by whining liberals, Glorious George Jnr isn't stupid. And if
he said that he and Comrade Barking were "of one mind" when it comes to the
troubled central African dictatorship, you can be certain he was lying - for
all the right reasons, of course.

            Democrats, you see, lie for all the wrong reasons. Like Clinton
and the patron saint of liars, JFK, they lie about women and whether they
inhaled or not. Republicans don't bother with such trivia, preferring to lie
instead about big, meaty issues like whether they're going to bomb you back
into the Stone Age.

            So... we can take it for granted that Generous George Jnr was
lying about his unity accord with Comrade Barking. OTT predicts that strange
things could soon start happening, not just in the troubled central African
banana republic, but also in the confused southern African one.

            This won't be too difficult to endure. Both countries, devoid of
responsible government in living memory, are ... let's say adaptable and
innovative when coming to grips with the eccentricities of their peculiar

            But what, I hear people gasp, will happen that's so strange?
Well, Comrade Barking, having uttered his daft lie, is now beholden to make
it happen. In Africa we are adept at backdating things, so he'll just
pretend the talks began earlier. And if he doesn't, George W will
undoubtedly do things to Comrade Barking's currency - things that aren't
necessarily good for the confused southern African nation.

            It seems more than likely that Generous George Jnr is feeling a
bit peeved by Comrade Barking's outrageous lie. Not having great experience
with confused southern Africans, the leader of the free world didn't realise
quite how shameless and devious the Barkings of this world can be. Well, now
he knows. And I doubt he'll need to be taught the same lesson again - unless
he's a stupid as the daft liberals claim.

            Anyway, it's all over now and troubled central Africans have
nothing better to do than sit back and wait for the next amusing bit of
history to unfold before their eyes. That, as they already know, will
involve much more talks about talks - and, of course, more shortages, more
hunger and more ways of dealing with the black market.

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      13 Jul 2003 17:30:58 GMT
      ANALYSIS-Bush visit puts Africa on Washington's new map


By Alistair Thomson

JOHANNESBURG, July 13 (Reuters) - He didn't hand out dollars for economic
relief, give a quick answer to calls to send peacekeepers to Liberia or end
trade barriers that African farmers say stop them making a decent living.

But President George W. Bush's whirlwind first trip to black Africa that
ended on Saturday reflected a major policy shift toward a continent he
dismissed as outside U.S. security interests during his 2000 election

"With these kind of visits, if you look for them to have any dramatic kind
of signing or announcement, you are going to be disappointed," Ross Herbert,
senior researcher at the South African Institute of International Affairs,
told Reuters.

"But there seems to be a strategic reawakening to the view that Africa
matters," Herbert said.

Bush has reassessed Africa's strategic importance due to growing U.S.
reliance on its oil and intelligence that its porous borders and swathes of
lawless territory could be attractive to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda. He
wants to lessen dependence on a volatile Middle East for oil.

Ending Liberia's civil war became the burning issue on the tour, but despite
being pressed by one African leader after another he said no decision would
be made on sending U.S. troops until military experts in the West African
state reported back.

Between talks on Liberia, the political and and economic crisis in Zimbabwe,
the fight against Africa's AIDS scourge, the U.S.-led war on terror and
trade were high on the agenda as Bush swept through five countries in five

Bush pressed very little flesh among ordinary Africans and amid the rhetoric
and back-slapping with the leaders he met, it was hard for many on the
continent to see what was achieved.

"They arrived in Hollywood style on the envied Air Force One, stirred up
controversy and then flew off, leaving many South Africans bewildered about
what exactly they came to do," said South Africa's mass-circulation Sowetan
Sunday World paper.

Bush did reaffirm a commitment to get the U.S. Congress to approve a $15
billion programme to fight AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean. He also
promoted a new $100 million plan to help East African states fight al Qaeda
and other militant groups.


The Bush roadshow overshadowed the African Union's annual summit in
Mozambique last week, drawing attention away from efforts to create an
African peacekeeping force and taking the leaders of Nigeria and Uganda away
at crucial times.

Jakkie Cilliers, executive director of the Institute of Security Studies in
Pretoria, said the timing was unfortunate.

But Cilliers said: "A U.S. president coming to Africa is important. It did
allow Africa to push the United States on Liberia...(but) the United States
will try to avoid military involvement in Africa."

Leaders across Africa urged Bush to send troops and provide funds to help
secure a fragile ceasefire to end nearly 14 years of almost non-stop civil
war in Liberia, founded in the 19th century by freed black slaves from

Bush's cautious stance on sending troops to join a planned mainly African
peacekeeping mission may owe much to heavy U.S. commitments in Iraq and
Washington's bloody exit when it made its last African foray in Somalia 10
years ago.

African Union leaders were unable to agree on plans for an African peace
force for the continent, and the body's chairman, Mozambican President
Joaquim Chissano, said the West's failure to honour funding pledges was
prolonging war in Burundi.

"The United States and Britain promised funding for peacekeepers from
Mozambique and Ethiopia but we have not seen this money. The result is that
the presence of peacekeepers on the ground is very thin," he told Reuters on
Sunday, as rebels renewed bloody attacks on Burundi's capital Bujumbura.

A major issue on Bush's tour that failed to produce a clear picture was
Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe's opponents accuse him of electoral
fraud, violence and mismanagement that has caused chronic food shortages and
70 percent unemployment.

Mugabe says the economic problems are due to sabotage by opponents and
Western states angry over his seizure of white-owned farms for
redistribution to landless blacks.

Before the trip, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell had urged Zimbabwe's
neighbours to increase pressure on Mugabe to respect the rule of law and
talk to his opponents.

But in Pretoria, Bush said he would not interfere in South African President
Thabo Mbeki's "quiet diplomacy" on Zimbabwe.

Bush welcomed Mbeki's statement that Mugabe was talking to Zimbabwe's main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), but the MDC said there were
no such talks.

Zimbabwe was considered too divisive for the continent's most powerful men
to discuss at the African Union summit. Far from appearing as an agenda
item, Mugabe took the chair for a while as the vice-president for southern

Bush's trip took him to Senegal, South Africa, Botswana, Uganda and Nigeria.
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Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
Monday June 30th – Sunday July 6th 2003
Weekly update 2003-26  



1. General comment 

MMPZ notes with concern the manner in which journalists controlling Zimbabwe’s media have apparently normalized the grinding socio-economic hardships in the country to the extent that they no longer consider these stories of great news value. As a result, investigative news about the real effects of inflation on the public; transport problems; the alarming collapse of the health delivery system; and rampant corruption in all sectors of Zimbabwean society have either been given scant attention or ignored altogether.
For example, besides The Financial Gazette and The Daily News (3/7) no other media reported that 43 people had died in Bulawayo between April and May this year because of malnutrition. Even then, the two papers merely reported the Bulawayo City Council’s health report revealing this disturbing piece of news and to make matters worse treated it as a minor incident on their inside pages. If this sort of thing is happening in Zimbabwe’s second city, what is happening in the rest of the country – and even in the capital itself? Why have we not heard about the hard facts of starvation nationwide? What is the real inflation rate for the average family? And why has the media made no apparent effort to seek, independently, these indices of decline and collapse? Where is the human perspective of the crisis afflicting this country? In such a tragic economic and social climate, it is extraordinary that the media wait for official statements on such calamities as deaths from starvation; in this case mostly children. It seems the details will not emerge regarding the scale of suffering by the Zimbabwean nation unless it is delivered into the hands of the media – the private Press included.

The media’s preoccupation with political stories at the expense of investigative reports on the socio-economic crisis during the week under review was well illustrated by the placement by The Daily News of a speculative political feature article, Is Mbeki buying time for Mugabe’s embattled regimeon its prime news page, page three, while the hard news story of starvation in Binga was buried on page seven.

But if the Press’ coverage of the socio-economic crises afflicting Zimbabweans was questionable, ZBC’s reporting of these issues was deplorable. Its coverage demonstrated a woeful failure to fulfill its duty of providing news, giving incisive commentary and analysis of the extent in the decline of the living standards of the public. For example, amidst fuel, cash and commodity shortages in an environment characterized by hyperinflation officially pegged at over 300 percent, ZTV preferred allocating one hour 34 minutes and 50 seconds or 44 percent of the total time (excluding business, weather and sport segments) allocated to its 8pm main news bulletins to the national soccer team’s campaign for a slot in the Africa Cup of Nations tournament scheduled for Tunisia next year. In addition, ZTV’s 30-minute long Behind the Camera and its one-hour long Face the nation programmes were devoted to soccer. A song composed by Information Minister Jonathan Moyo for the team was also allocated time within ZTV’s 8pm bulletins before and a day after the match. In fact, the song, Go Warriors, was incessantly played on all ZBC stations, and even eclipsed the saturation airing of the government’s land reform programme jingle, Rambai Makashinga.
While some newspapers described this as putting politics aside to follow something the public could cheer about, MMPZ would say this government-led campaign for the national football team was more a case of politicians interfering in the sports arena in order to distract the public from the hardships inflicted by a government bereft of ideas about restoring the economic prosperity of the country.  

2. Crisis overwhelms media 

THE media’s obsession with political rivalry between ZANU-PF and the MDC appears to have resulted in other fundamental issues, such as the country’s deteriorating socio-economic crisis receiving superficial attention. Nowhere was this more evident than in coverage of the current transport problems and cash shortages. The private media were the main culprits. For example, they lacked clear information on how the recently introduced fuel coupon system for commuter transport, ostensibly to stop leakages of fuel to the black market, would be implemented. Neither did they discuss the practicability of such a move by government.

Although the government-controlled media faired better, with regard to information on where to access the coupons and the necessary documents required for one to get coupons (The Herald and ZTV 2/7, 7am), they generally reported the socio-economic problems in isolation of the country’s general economic collapse, and indeed, how Zimbabweans are coping with it.
For example, ZTV (1/07, 7am) merely announced that the Rural Passenger Transport Organization had hiked its fares for “rural and long distance” journeys “by at least 33% with effect from today” due to viability problems. ZTV provided no analysis of the effects of the fare increases on the public nor explain whether such a move would help alleviate transport shortages. Instead, the station (2/07, 6pm) trivialized the commuter transport problem and presented it as if it was an issue confined to three Harare suburbs. It reported that residents of Budiriro, Glen View and Mufakose had called on government “to introduce a weekend commuter train service to ease transport problems being experienced in the areas”. Although the report noted that the transport situation had worsened “due to the continued fuel shortage” and that some operators had been “forced to withdraw vehicles from the roads after failing to secure foreign currency to import spare parts”, ZBC failed to go beyond such simplistic statements to explain the gravity of the situation in the country in general.
The Herald (2/7 & 3/7) however, gave a different explanation to the transport blues. It pointed out that most commuter transport operators had pulled out because about three-quarters of them did not have the requisite papers needed to acquire fuel coupons.
The Daily News (3/7) put the figure at 60 percent but attributed the reduction in the number of commuter transport vehicles to high operational costs and exorbitant fuel prices on the black market. It further reported that the few operators who remained on the road had taken advantage of the situation and had increased their fares by 150 percent in Harare and Bulawayo. The Herald (3/7) concurred saying commuter fares had been increased to between $500 and $1000.
However, both papers failed to translate their percentages of vehicles now out of commission in actual figures. Nor has any section of the media attempted to establish how commuter operators arrive at the fares they set and compare them with an independent assessment of running costs.
The Manica Post (4/7) revealed that the problem was not only confined to the two major cities but – not surprisingly – to Mutare as well.  It reported that a new fuel arrangement where buses are required to queue for fuel at designated service stations during peak hours had left commuters stranded in that city. Reportedly, the problem was compounded by a blitz on the omnibuses by the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID), which was impounding and penalizing “unroadworthy” vehicles. The paper noted that 75 percent of public vehicles in Mutare do not have certificates of fitness or route permits. Like the two dailies, the paper did not explain what 75 percent represented in figures.

Despite their tenacity in pin-pointing some of the causes of the transport crisis, the government-controlled media in general, failed to question government’s stop-gap measures to solve the fuel shortages and the resultant transport crisis. Rather, The Herald (3/7) tried to blame the multinational oil companies for the fuel shortage, saying they had yet to import fuel in response to government’s deregulation of the fuel procurement sector. Also, the paper (2/7) attempted to give Zimbabweans some false sense of hope saying fuel supplies would resume in the “near future following the reviving of a trade deal between Zimbabwe and Libya,” without clarifying when exactly supplies would arrive and how long they would last. This sense of hope evaporated when The Daily News (6/7) revealed that President Robert Mugabe had only managed to secure US$30 million worth of fuel from Libya, an amount that would last the country a mere three weeks.

The long fuel queues were by no means the only queues that dotted the country as Zimbabwe’s fast dwindling workforce continued to struggle at the banks to convert a portion of the salaries into cash. All the media reported the issue and for once agreed that the Reserve Bank’s decision to print $4billion dollars worth of bank notes was not the solution. The Chronicle and The Herald  (1/7) observed that although the injection was welcome, they urged the central bank to guarantee a steady money supply by printing more notes of higher denominations. However, they remained blind to the underlying implications of such a move on the country’s inflation. 
Studio 7 (30/06) quoted economic analyst, Tony Hawkins, as saying more efforts were needed to alleviate the shortages and “not just printing bank notes” adding that the move, among other issues, would fuel inflation to “500% by December”.
Similarly, The Financial Gazette (3/7) columnist, Witness Chinyama, pointed out that Zimbabwe was already at the “stagflation” stage and warned that the cash injections without other measures to resuscitate the economy would only fan inflation. The Sunday News (6/7) made similar observations and called on the central bank to “tackle inflation first…to satisfy the demand for cash”.  

3. Bush safari enrages government media 

Regional and international efforts to resolve Zimbabwe’s worsening economic and political crises assumed greater prominence in the media as the scheduled visit to Africa by US President George Bush, particularly to South Africa, drew closer.
In a typical replay of the previous week, the government-controlled media dismissed the trip as insignificant and narrowly interpreted the US’s calls for the restoration of democracy and the formation of a transitional government in Zimbabwe to mean that Bush’s visit was a neo-colonial expedition to oust President Mugabe from power.
The private media was less emotional in their coverage. Although they welcomed and apparently celebrated Bush’s stance on Zimbabwe, they also tried to analyze whether he would be able to successfully sell his approach to his South African counterpart Thabo Mbeki.

At the beginning of the week, ZBC (1/07,8pm) reported that, “Some of Zimbabwe’s neighbours have refused to be used as launch pads for the US and Britain’s plans to effect regime change in Zimbabwe”. Zambia and Botswana were named as the two neighbours that had refused to cooperate with the US but there was no official comment from the two countries. In the same report, the government-controlled broadcaster echoed Mugabe’s earlier unsubstantiated allegations that the US and Britain had helped to fund the MDC mass stayaways and that they were lobbying “Zimbabwe’s neighbours, especially South Africa, SADC member states and the African continent … to isolate Zimbabwe on the international scene and put pressure on the government for the removal of President Robert Mugabe …”.
This myopic view of Bush’s visit resulted in the government-controlled media delivering vitriolic and racist attacks against the US leadership. The Herald (1 & 2/7) is a case in point. The paper carried two opinion pieces attacking the US State Secretary, Colin Powell, for his call to restore democracy in Zimbabwe with fresh internationally supervised elections via a transitional government. In its article on July 2nd, the paper castigated Powell for allegedly having chosen money and conservative political thinking over his black history” and wanting Zimbabweans to do the same.  The paper’s relentless racial slurs were also repeated in its article (5/7), Zimbabwe does not need a transitional government. Not to be outdone, The Sunday Mail’s Munyaradzi Huni (6/7) described Bush as a “Texan gunslinger” who “stole” the American presidential election, and accused him of “dangling the carrot in billions of American dollars to buy out the African leaders so that they can allow him to spread his stinking imperialistic wings”.  Huni then observed - without a shred of evidence - that Bush had cancelled his trip early this year and rescheduled it so that it coincided with the African Union summit in Mozambique in order “to whip them (African leaders) into line using one stick.” 

Besides introducing a racist angle to Bush’s trip, the government-controlled media tried to downplay the significance of his visit following Mugabe’s address during the 54th Session of the ZANU-PF Central Committee. ZBC (3/07, 8pm) quoted him as saying, “When Bush visits here, it shouldn’t send tremors to your spines [because] Africa is united with us in opposing them”.  There was no effort to investigate why Mugabe had to calm the nerves of his colleagues if Bush’s visit was indeed a non-event. Neither did The Herald or Chronicle (4/7) explore this in their report of the same event. As if taking a cue from Mugabe’s speech, The Sunday News (6/7), Bush’s Africa tour bound to fail - analysts, quoted government-controlled media’s favourite analysts dismissing Bush’s tour.

The private media avoided personal attacks on either government or US authorities and instead examined the US and South African approaches to the Zimbabwean crisis. For example, while The Standard (6/7) comment, Bush visit: What’s in it for Zimbabwe?, agreed with the Bush Administration that Zimbabwe needed a return to democracy but was opposed to the US calls for ‘regime change’ wherever it desired. “Our advice to the US is that acting in this high-handed manner can only alienate people and needlessly lose the goodwill of its friends in Africa. Powell’s dramatic language ran the risk of being interpreted as war-mongering and parallels being drawn with the Iraq war,” it stated. The Daily News (3/7) pointed out that despite the US’s call to Thabo Mbeki to take a more proactive role on Zimbabwe, the South African President was unlikely to change his approach. It quoted Mbeki as saying, “It’s incorrect really to be saying that we should stand outside the borders of Zimbabwe and decide what the Zimbabweans should do about their own country.” 

In fact, ZBC (3/07, 7am) conveniently used Mbeki’s statements to buttress the impression that Mbeki and African leaders were behind Zimbabwe. However, while ZBC viewed Mbeki’s comments as a positive development, The Daily News (4/7) did not. In its article, Is Mbeki buying time for Mugabe’s embattled regime? the paper charged that Mbeki had become an obstacle in efforts to force Mugabe to relinquish power. MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube also criticized South Africa’s stance on Zimbabwe saying it reflected that country’s diplomatic immaturity, Sunday Mirror (6/7).

While the government-controlled media generally gave the impression that South Africa would not relent in its apparently sympathetic stance on Zimbabwe, The Daily News (1/7) and Studio 7 (2/7) revealed that it was willing to discuss with the US and reach common ground on how to deal with Zimbabwe. They both quoted a South African official, Aziz Pahad, as having said South Africa wanted more clarity on American plans to bankroll the economic revival of Zimbabwe once Mugabe stepped down.

Meanwhile, Studio 7 (2/7), The Zimbabwe Independent (4/7), The Standard (6/7), The Daily News on Sunday (6/7) and Sunday Mirror (6/7) reported that the MDC would send delegations to South Africa and Mozambique to lobby Bush and African leaders respectively, to pressure ZANU PF to engage the opposition in dialogue. The government-controlled media ignored the news, although that did not stop the Sunday News (6/7) maligning the MDC as “stooges” and “puppets of imperialism,” for wanting to meet Bush.

The MEDIA UPDATE was produced and circulated by the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe, 15 Duthie Avenue, Alexandra Park, Harare, Tel/fax: 263 4 703702, E-mail:; 

Feel free to write to MMPZ. We may not able to respond to everything but we will look at each message. For previous MMPZ reports, and more information about the Project, please visit our website at
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The Age

How the world failed the people of Zimbabwe
July 14 2003

Mugabe's wickedness has been allowed to destroy a country that promised
much, explains Graham Barrett.

While the world's attention is focused on the Middle East, Africa continues
to slip quietly into darkness.

Many sub-Saharan countries are in serious decline, from the forces pulling
Nigeria apart and the appalling conflicts of Sierra Leone, Liberia and,
above all, Congo, to the impending failure of Zimbabwe.

When the collapse comes, as it surely will in one way or another, the
Zimbabwe that should have been an example to many other post-independence
states will have to start all over again.

The quarter-century since independence has been wasted in the wickedness of
Robert Mugabe's retreat into corruption, paranoia and ruthlessness.

Yet no one will have derived greater pleasure from the brief glare of George
Bush's visit to Africa than Mugabe, who has now been told, in effect, that
the United States is busy elsewhere, does not regard Zimbabwe as
strategically or economically significant, and is therefore sub-contracting
to South Africa's Thabo Mbeki the task of achieving change.

In doing so, Bush has flattered Mbeki as the "point man" and eased a period
of strain in bilateral relations with Pretoria.

But he has sent a regrettable diplomatic signal that humanitarian principles
are negotiable.

He has also undercut his key allies Tony Blair and John Howard, both of whom
have been active in seeking tougher action against Mugabe only to run into
difficulties with Mbeki and other African leaders.

This suggests that Africa resents outside interference on issues such as
Zimbabwe yet is unable or unwilling to assume the responsibility itself.

Mugabe blames his country's problems on Blair and white Zimbabweans and the
political figure he cheated out of office, Morgan Tsvangirai; everyone, that
is, except himself.

Zimbabwe's neighbours know this is nonsense, yet they say and do little to
correct it.

This is tragic for Zimbabweans, but sad and damaging for the biggest and
strongest regional power, South Africa, which one day will endure the
embarrassment of explaining to a post-Mugabe Zimbabwe why so little was

Mbeki has plenty of his own problems, to which must now be added an influx
of several hundred thousand refugees from Zimbabwe and declining confidence
of international investors in southern Africa as a whole.

A recent study concluded that Zimbabwe's economic failure has cost South
Africa billions of rands. More is to come.

Mbeki - unlike his predecessor, Nelson Mandela, who is publicly upset about
the situation - practises what he describes as "quiet diplomacy", when it is
apparent that over the years its sole outcome has been to give Mugabe more
time to destroy his country.

If Mbeki has a plan to ease Mugabe out, he has left it dangerously late to

In the earlier years of what the Zimbabwean-born novelist Doris Lessing has
called "this frightened little man", Mugabe's party headquarters in Harare
occupied a commanding position on a street called Rotten Row. Perhaps it has
been renamed by now. Or maybe the name is intact in a sign that the party
just doesn't get it.

Australians feel a special sense of concern for Zimbabwe, for which much was
done during Malcolm Fraser's day and because it was once home to several
hundred thousand people of British background.

Few remain. Most of the professionals of all races have gone, some now
quietly contributing their farming and other skills to Australia.

Back in Zimbabwe, their former compatriots face 300 per cent inflation, 70
per cent unemployment, permanent shortages of key commodities such as food,
medicine and fuel, an HIV-AIDS epidemic, random brutality and the air of a
gangster state that began in the early 1980s with the dispatch of a borrowed
North Korean brigade to bludgeon the Matabele south into submission.

Much international attention is focused on farms being confiscated from
whites and given to black cronies of the regime. Little attention has been
paid to the hundreds of thousands of black farm workers who as a consequence
are now without a living, not to mention the beatings many have suffered at
the hands of "war veterans" who in a lot of cases were unborn when the
conflict took place.

This was once, despite the racism of white rule, a bountiful and prosperous
land, voted the one most likely to succeed in the lottery of African
independence. But that was before the plundering. It began in relatively
innocent ways. It was not uncommon, in one example, for an Air Zimbabwe
flight to or from Europe to be cancelled at short notice so that Mugabe
family members and their cronies could use the 767 for a private shopping
trip to London or Paris.

The scene is grimly familiar to the many millions of people around the world
who live and die at the mercy of dictators: it is one in which gangster
governments come to regard their countries as personal property.

Doris Lessing thinks that blame for him came late. "Nothing is more
astonishing than the silence about him for so many years among liberals and
well-wishers - the politically correct," she puts it.

Just as astonishing, perhaps, is that South Africa is in the unique position
of being able to cut Mugabe's supply line, and has chosen not to. Without
South Africa on side, there is little more the West can do.

Zimbabwe's failure is Africa's failure, too.

Graham Barrett is a former foreign correspondent and foreign editor of The
Age and was an external affairs adviser at the World Bank from 1995 to 2003.
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Colourful meeting of African heads

By Peter Biles
BBC World Affairs correspondent in Maputo

Conflict resolution was high on the agenda at this year's African Union summit.

It was fitting that African heads of state chose to meet in Mozambique at a time when they were committing themselves to peace and stability in Africa.

Liberian President Charles Taylor
Liberia's Charles Taylor was a noticeable absentee
This former Portuguese colony, which came through one of the darkest periods of post-colonial history in the 1970s and 1980s, successfully turned its back on war more than a decade ago.

Today, Mozambique is one of Africa's few success stories and an example to those countries still beset by conflict.

African leaders know that unless they bring an end to Africa's wars, their much-heralded recovery plan, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) will never get off the ground.

The annual meeting of African heads of state is always a highly colourful occasion.

English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Arabic voices float on the breeze, as dark-suited dignitaries from east and southern Africa mingle with their flamboyantly-dressed counterparts from west Africa.

Colourful speech

There is however, one man who always steals the limelight - Colonel Muammar Gaddafi of Libya.

With his expansive motorcade, the Gaddafi circus never failed to cause a stir among the waiting journalists as he swept in and out of the Maputo conference centre each day.

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe kept a low profile
The Libyan leader favours a bullet-proof dark green stretch-limousine, but he is closely followed by a car with an array of radio aerials and security equipment to block all mobile phone signals as Gaddafi drives past.

While his fellow African leaders walk up the red carpet into the main hall, Mr Gaddafi goes to extremes, with his car driving over the carpet to bring him even closer to the door. His Herculean female bodyguard, in her red beret, keeps the press photographers at bay.

When invited to express a vote of thanks during the closing session of the summit, Mr Gaddafi, dressed in a flowing orange gown, took the floor and delivered a ranting speech that lasted about half an hour.

The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, was one leader who chose not to stay and listen.

Leadership gossip

A constant talking point among observers at these annual meetings is which African presidents have decided to attend and which have stayed away.

The most noticeable absentee this year was the Liberian President, Charles Taylor, now an indicted war criminal, but still holding on to power in Monrovia. He is refusing to accept an offer of asylum in Nigeria until international peacekeepers arrive in Liberia.

Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi
Colonel Gaddafi made an impromptu speech
President John Kufuor of Ghana said he hoped a force of more than 1,000 west African peacekeeping troops would be sent to Liberia within the next week or two in order to facilitate the removal of Mr Taylor.

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe was in Maputo, but kept an unusually low profile. With steely determination, he lowered his head and refused to be drawn by reporters' questions as he entered the building.

The crisis in Zimbabwe was not on the AU summit agenda, but diplomats confirmed that behind the scenes, there was much quiet diplomacy, with some African leaders preferring to voice their concerns about Zimbabwe privately.

Madagascar was welcomed back into the fold of the African Union this year, having been excluded from last year's summit in Durban because of the violent power struggle going on in Madagascar at that time.

It was even hoped that Madagascar, now led by President Marc Ravalomanana, would host next year's event, but President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique announced that following the troubles in Madagascar, the country was not yet ready to stage an AU summit.

The leaders will therefore gather at the African Union's headquarters in Addis Ababa in 2004.

While the presidents were at work, drafting declarations on armed conflict, the fight against HIV/Aids and poverty, Africa's first ladies were clearly enjoying the Maputo experience.

They brought added elegance to the famous Polana Hotel, as they admired the views of the Indian Ocean from the terraced lawns.

Back in the heat of the conference centre, President Chissano was asked by the BBC to summarise in 30 seconds what the African Union had achieved this year.

"I don't need 30 seconds", he replied. "Quite simply, we have more cohesion and more solidarity."

In the gardens outside however, the former Zambian President, Kenneth Kaunda, clutching his familiar white handkerchief, spoke of the dangers of failing to meet the complex challenges facing Africa in the 21st Century.

"We have to succeed, otherwise, we'll perish", he warned.

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The Day

An Epidemic Of Tyranny
Symbolism Won't Rid Africa Of Its Worst Scourge: Its Leaders
Published on 7/13/2003

President Bush is no Africa novice. Before he became president, he made two
trips to Africa. But on those trips there was no sense of obligation on his
part to say and do anything about Africa's colossal problems.

Now, it's different. Africa is in big trouble. And it will take much more to
fix than a speech, however eloquent, that President Bush made on the evils
of slavery at Goree Island, the slave-holding compound off Africa's west

According to a United Nations report, “Africa's Development, 1983-2008,” 25
of the world's 34 poorest nations are in Africa. They have a 50 percent
unemployment rate and the world's highest annual population rate. Also,
nearly a dozen countries have a negative economic growth rate, and three out
of four Africans have no access to minimum health services.

Much of the blame for the famine, disease, poverty and corruption that wrack
many African countries can be dumped squarely on the backs of the long
parade of dictators, despots and demagogues that rule or have ruled these
countries. While the five nations that Bush chose to visit have stable,
functioning democracies, and with the exception of Nigeria, have relatively
good human rights records, they are the aberrations.

Africa's dictators have killed, maimed and terrorized their citizens, rigged
or rejected free elections, and systematically looted their countries'
treasuries while living in palatial splendor. Their greed and dictatorial
rule has locked their nations into the destructive and near-permanent cycle
of poverty, war and disease, and dependency that has become Africa's

Meanwhile, Africa's military rulers have squandered millions of their
countries meager funds on sophisticated weapons mostly to keep themselves in
power. They have turned the Congo, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and now Liberia into
the world's perennial killing fields.

Then there's the AIDS epidemic that hammers African countries. Nearly 70
percent of the estimated 36 million people worldwide afflicted with AIDS/HIV
are in sub-Sahara Africa. In South Africa, more than 10 percent of the
population has AIDS/HIV. Only a tiny fraction of those with the disease have
any hope of getting the potential life-sustaining antiretroviral drugs. As
the crisis mounted, Africa's former European colonial rulers did virtually
nothing to pressure the drug companies to reduce the prices of their drugs
or to restructure or eliminate the colossal debt that staggers African
countries. This would have permitted Africa to purchase drugs and to
bankroll treatment and prevention programs.

Bush's pledge of $15 billion to fight AIDS and other diseases in Africa and
the Caribbean is much needed, and was roundly hailed, even by Bush's most
bitter critics. But Congress has yet to cough up the money. The first
dollars would not flow until the start of the next fiscal year, Oct. 1. By
then, thousands more Africans could be dead from the disease.

Also, Bush is asking for $5 billion to fund his proposed Millennium
Challenge Account to spur development in poor nations. The hitch, though, is
that Congress must approve the funds and, even if it does, the money is not
exclusively earmarked for African nations.

Still, Bush can and should do much more to aid Africa, not to mute the loud
criticism of AIDS activists and black leaders, or because the U.S. is the
richest nation in the world, but because it's in the United State's national
interest to help pull the continent out of its quagmire. The spiraling
increase in sickness and death, poverty and disease in many African
countries will continue to consign them to pauperism. This would drain labor
resources and the potential for greater trade and commerce, and make
Africa's vast mineral resources inaccessible to U.S. industries.

This penury also could ignite even greater political unrest and violence.
That political turmoil already has forced the U.S. to do what it has been
loathe to do since the disastrous mission in Somalia: to consider direct
military intervention in an African country, in this case Liberia. United
Nations leaders and Liberians, and some Africans, implore Bush to intervene
to stop the bloodletting. But this carries the risk of involving the U.S. in
another costly and disastrous peacekeeping operation in a country torn by
civil war. And then have to shell out money to aid its recovery. This almost
always brings finger pointing at the U.S. as an arrogant bully.

Bush's weeklong visit to a carefully selected handful of African nations
won't do much to end the poverty and war nightmare in much of Africa. He
must take the lead in urging developed nations to radically increase and
sustain investment in African agriculture, transportation, manufacturing and
technology, support debt restructuring, demand military disarmament, promote
greater regional integration and cooperation, and most important, challenge
African nations to establish real democratic rule. This approach can bring
lasting peace and stability to the world's most troubled continent. That's
Bush's Africa challenge.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is a political analyst and the author of "The Crisis
in Black and Black."
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      The continent is flush with causes for hope

      First published: Sunday, July 13, 2003

      Whenever I come back from an assignment that involves living in
Africa, relatives and friends always ask, "But isn't Africa just one, big,
hopeless place? I mean, is there any hope at all? Isn't it just a mess?"
      Well, it is big, I reply -- 55 countries and three times the size of
the United States. But Africa is not one place, I add (leaving the
"hopeless" and "mess" parts for later). It is a thousand places, a million.

      It is a multitude of climates. Mild, Highveld days with soft air, but
also sere heat that dries your sweat in a flash, and desert chills and snowy
mountain peaks right on the equator. Humid islands, and rain forests
constantly dripping leeches.

      It's black and white people, Lebanese and Southeast Asians,
expatriates and African albinos and Chinese aid workers. Tall Maasai and
short Hottentots.

      It's the weak and sick, but it's also the hearty and healthy.

      We know it is poor -- the media does its job informing us of that --
but then again, it is rich. Terrifically rich -- in petroleum, potassium,
copper, soils, offshore fishing reserves, diamonds, human capital, time and
place and story and legend and history.

      Across its breadth, the countries have more colors than a child's
watercolor box -- in the women's cloth wraps, in the sunsets especially over
the Sahara, in the ocean's navy greens off Mauritius, in the wild and woolly
Johannesburg markets selling 35 different orange and

      red and green vegetables, and 25 varieties of pink and tangerine and
yellow fruits. On the other hand, the monochromatic sub-Saharan dullness in
the rural areas -- the one drab color of tan, and more tan (with shades
maybe of coffee, rust, walnut, henna, khaki) -- can be oppressive.

      Now for the mess. Yes, it's a mess. A mess, and messy. Travel writer
Paul Theroux calls it "higgledy-piggeldy." The mess of Africa for me is
epitomized in Cape Verde (which is neither), a part-Portuguese,
part-Brazilian-African, part-mestizo potpourri of all types. The continent
is a mess of countries, whose guide books tell you 100 languages and
dialects are spoken there, as in Tanzania. Diversity was invented here, I
think. It's chaotic.

      It's a clutter of all the sensationalized stories: famines and killer
bees, and coups d'etat and despots and tin-pot dictators meting out their
tyranny. A confusion of anarchic teenage rebels with AK47s, and other
teenagers living as orphaned heads of household in shacks and on side
streets. A stew of almost impossible corruption, blood di@@hyphen@@amonds,
national debts, malaria, Ebola, failed land reforms, genocide in Rwanda. A
muddle of fouled-up policies by "Big Men" (the "M's" -- Mugabe of Zimbabwe,
Mengistu of Ethiopia, Moi of Kenya and Mubarak of Egypt) in harsh and
unforgiving places. A mess of setbacks coupled by a few precious success
stories that we must always find and highlight.

      Is it hopeless, people ask me?

      Maybe the one hopeless thing about the continent is our understanding
of it. What is hopeless? Is it the people themselves or is it only their

      I saw grandmothers -- ambuyas they are called in Zimbabwe -- taking
care of 13 grandchildren, all orphaned by AIDS, in a two-room hovel in the
shanty towns of Harare. They were growing a few backyard tomatoes to sell as
their livelihood.

      I heard of Cosmos, who was dying of HIV/AIDS and whose last hope was
to sweep floors for four days -- and earn enough money to pay for his own
coffin and funeral. He did it, then died.

      Can you listen to the music of Miriam Makeba and Dot Masuka and Oliver
Mtukudzi (who is coming to Schenectady's Central Park on July 27) without
hoping as Africans do for order and peace, cold beers in a cool place,
brotherly love, smiling kids on laps?

      Ever hopeful, Shona peasants in Zimbabwe name their newborn children
Lovemore, Happimore, Everjoy, Perfect.

      In Madagascar, farmers slash and burn their fields after the long dry
season. New shoots of young grass come up green -- a vivid viridescent I
have seen nowhere in America or Europe.

      Perhaps we should concentrate on that green. Zero in on the next
generation -- Africa's youthful mass -- and help them know new behaviors,
new skills, new attitudes: responsibility for their actions, the culture of
democracy, what life can look like without graft, and abstinence or marital
fidelity to combat HIV/AIDS.

      Care for the dying adults, yes; but turn our attention and resources
now to the kids. In textbooks, in community centers, in churches.

      These are not my ideas; they come from a frazzled Zambian AIDS worker.

      There's plenty of hope: Consider that two-thirds of all Malawians do
not have AIDS (we only hear of the one-third who do). Senegal's incidence of
HIV/AIDS last year was only 0.5 percent. Uganda's is down to 5 percent from
16 percent a few years ago. Last month, a well-known Mozambican journalist,
in a huge feat of courage, publicly admitted he has AIDS. A Ugandan athlete
did so, too.

      South Africans shook off the shackles of decades of apartheid in a
long, painful struggle that ended pretty peacefully at the ballot box. The
civil war in Mozambique has ended; Angola's just might, Sudan's can.

      Madagascar, through unrelenting people power, kicked out its cranky
old dictator Ratsiraka a few months ago. So did Kenya, at the ballot box, in
December; Big Man Moi is finally gone and members of parliament have
introduced three new anti-corruption bills.

      In Nigeria, a woman named Sarah Jubil ran for the presidency. Benin
passed a law banning female circumcision. Angola is making public all its
oil payments, under a new push to stamp out corruption and attract aid and

      The International Monetary Fund is happy with Mozambique's work to
combat poverty, making it eligible for more favorable financial assistance;
it has one of the world's fastest-growing economies right now. Tanzania is
taking in Somali Bantu refugees and agreeing to grant them citizenship. This
is all good news.

      Somehow, Africans themselves are maintaining optimism in the face of
the odds against them; we must be optimistic, too.

      Our job half a world away is above all to work hard at staying
informed, to be generous, to encourage direct investment, to support their
home-grown initiatives, to help African girls get into, and stay in, school.
To feel compassion, not pity.

      Our job is to help Africa regain its relevancy even as international
donors run to Iraq with suitcases of funds and dossiers of projects.

      Let the place be a mess -- a pluralistic, diverse, rich, disorganized
cacophony of peoples and voices and languages -- but let us also help it to
stay hopeful.

      Peg Clement of Delmar recently returned from her sixth two-year
residency in Africa. She is a senior associate at the State University of
New York's Center for International Development, working on democracy
projects in Africa. Parts of this article previously appeared in different
form in the Altamont Enterprise.

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Business Report

      Beneath the surface, the AU summit reflects the turbulence of African
      July 13, 2003

      By Quentin Wray

      Maputo - And all of a sudden, nothing happened! This seemed to be the
main story coming out of the second African Union (AU) summit, held here
over the past few days.

      But this impression, created by an overpowering lack of access to
politicians and hard news, is misleading.

      Scratch below the surface and the summit, like most political
gatherings where people assemble to advance their own agendas, becomes a
fascinating insight into the political turbulence that is modern Africa.

      There were several key debates: the New Partnership for Africa's
Development (Nepad) and its integration into the AU, the
internationalisation of Africa's economy, HIV/Aids, the election of
councillors to take the AU forward, gender representation on the AU's
decision-making body, conflict in Liberia and other places, and Zimbabwe.

      No doubt other topics were discussed in the corridors of the brand new
conference centre built on the sands of a dilapidated campsite, which, for a
few days, became the most influential set of rooms on the continent.

      Nepad was declared to be making satisfactory progress by one of its
guardians, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

      But, behind the scenes, there was a lot of manoeuvring by Obasanjo and
South African President Thabo Mbeki to ensure it did not lose momentum as it
moved into the AU fold.

      Sources said Mbeki rushed to Maputo, cutting short time spent with US
President George W Bush, to ensure no decisions were taken at the 20-country
implementation committee that would damage the programme, which has just
started building up a head of steam.

      Much was said about Africa developing a common position for its
dealings with the rest of the world.

      This is especially important with the upcoming World Trade
Organisation meeting set for Cancun in September where decisions are made by
consensus and the huge bloc of votes that Africa represents can be used to
extract the concessions on agricultural subsidies and pharmaceutical
manufacture the continent needs.

      But, on a continent made up of 54 countries, each with its own
peculiar set of needs, getting agreement on anything becomes a negotiators'
nightmare. What is good for South Africa, for example, will probably not
suit the tiny and poor Sao Tome and Principe.

      There was a lot of drama around the election of the chairman of the
council even though there was only one candidate.

      The rules are that candidates need at least two-thirds of the vote to
be confirmed. The second candidate Amara Essy, the former Ivorian foreign
minister dropped out after his president withdrew his support after coming
under pressure from South Africa, Nigeria and Libya.

      There were fears - which proved groundless - that because the new
chairman Alpha Konare, the former president of Mali, was seen as South
Africa's man, it would be impossible to get the needed majority and that the
process would have to start over again

      Obasanjo said the Economic Community of West African States would send
in 1 000 to 1 500 troops into Liberia, the war-torn country, and that the US
would be sending troops into the country, although details were still vague.

      Peacekeeping in general, especially if there is US involvement, is
always tricky but there is a clear understanding that something has to be
done urgently to stop conflict spreading.

      As with many issues, agreeing that something needs to be done is a
doddle - it is agreeing on what has to be done that is the problem. Wars in
many other countries - including the Central African Republic, the
Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola and Somalia - were discussed in some
detail but the situation in Zimbabwe was off the official agenda.

      Unofficially, however, sources say a lot of time was spent on how to
remedy the problems wracking this economically and politically troubled

      Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's expression was thunderous
whenever the cameras panned over him in the sessions.

      This could be explained by the fact that if Mbeki was right at the
World Economic Forum in Durban last month when he said a political solution
would be found to the Zimbabwean crisis within a year. This could be
Mugabe's last summit.

      On top of all these issues, the AU was battling to fulfil an ambitious
promise that half of the commission's councillors had to be women. The
shortlist was drawn up, but because some of the men who scored higher than
their female counterparts were bumped off the list in the name of
representivity, there was a lot of complaining, sources say.

      Despite efforts to bring women on board, the chair and deputy chair
are both men and it is likely that only the minor committees will be headed
up by women.

      There is wrangling around the establishment of an AU Peace and
Security Council, which is seen as vital to resolving conflict on the
continent, but sources say the political leaders remain confident this could
be ratified soon.

      And then there are issues such as where to host the pan-African

      Clearly, the AU's work is cut out. In the UN development programme
country rankings, 30 out of the bottom 34 countries are from sub-Saharan

      HIV/Aids is eroding progress made by countries and, despite efforts to
deal with conflict, war is still pandemic.

      And these problems are not going away anytime soon. As a result, the
agendas of future AU summits are unlikely to look significantly different
from this one.

      But, we hope, future meetings will be structured around allowing
journalists to do their job of informing the public about the progress that
has been made and the substance of the debates being engaged in on their
behalf by their elected officials.

      And then, we will at least be able to say: Look, at last something has

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Toronto Star

Zimbabwe question tops agenda
Bush urges South Africa to help U.S. pressure Mugabe Opinions differ

on how to solve deepening crisis


HARARE—President George W. Bush's visit to Africa has inspired mixed
feelings among Zimbabweans hoping for a solution to the country's deepening
political and economic crisis.

Some hope the Bush administration would flex its military muscle, as it has
in Afghanistan, Iraq and now the embattled West African state of Liberia, in
order to end a brutal and corrupt regime.

Others, including the country's opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, say
Zimbabweans must bring about peaceful change themselves.

"Some people have misconceptions about what can be done," warns a white
Zimbabwean human-rights activist who asked not to be identified.

"They saw a dictator taken out in Iraq, but the world has already lost
interest in the void that has been created there.

"I would not want to see American GIs on the streets of Harare."

But a taxi drive who also asked not to be identified takes a more strident

"Bush must do what he did in Iraq and bomb the State House — many people
here think that," says the cabbie. "Even if there are civilian casualties,
if you survive you can live in freedom the rest of your life."

Bush's five-nation African tour through Senegal, Nigeria, Uganda, Botswana
and South Africa symbolizes an increased American role in Africa, with
Washington promising billions of dollars in the fight against AIDS.

The Bush administration also called for changes of government in Liberia,
where decades of warmongering by dictator Charles Taylor have destabilized
the region.

The United States last week sent an advance military team into Liberia's
capital Monrovia as a possible precursor to a larger peacekeeping force.

But the Zimbabwe question topped the agenda between Bush and South African
President Thabo Mbeki.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled the former British colony
since independence in 1980, has been accused of stealing last year's
election and driving the country's once-thriving economy into the ground.

His disastrous land-reform plan — under which productive, white-owned farms
were seized without compensation and handed over to untrained, landless
blacks — is blamed for causing severe food shortages in the country.

Mugabe's violent repression and stifling laws against press freedom have
also come under attack from the international community.

The United States has called on Mugabe to step down and allow a transitional
government to organize free and fair elections, promising a hefty aid
package in return.

Bush also urged his South African counterpart to pressure the 79-year-old
Mugabe, but Mbeki's ties to Mugabe reach back to when they fought together
to end white rule.

Bush played down the differences between his stance and Mbeki's softer
approach to ending Mugabe's rule.

"I don't have any intention of second-guessing his tactics," Bush said
during a news conference with Mbeki in Pretoria, the South African capital.
"We share the same outcome."

Mugabe dismissed American attempts to remove him from office, telling a
roaring crowd in a rural town outside Harare last weekend: "If Mr. Bush is
coming to seek co-operation, then he is welcome, but if he is coming to
dictate what we should do, then we will say, `Go back, Yankee.'"

Zimbabwe was once the breadbasket of the region, supplying much of southern
Africa with food and other goods. Now, many citizens live on the verge of
famine, with some surviving on one meal per day.

Crime has risen dramatically, with gunshots often echoing through
residential neighbourhoods at night.

Many of Harare's street signs are missing because Zimbabweans tear them down
to recycle the metal.

Foreign exchange rates fluctuate wildly and currency and fuel shortages
create days-long queues at gas stations and banks.

The official minimum wage for domestic workers such as gardeners or maids is
 about $2.70 per month — almost equal to the price of a bag of onions.
Zimbabwe's biggest bank note — worth about 25 cents — won't even buy a loaf
of bread.

Many complain that the government has created an economy of shortages that
allows the ruling elite to profit enormously by selling goods on the black
market while the population suffers.

Says the angry cabbie: "There's lots of fuel, but it's controlled by the
government (officials) who are getting rich from this situation."

The state-owned Herald newspaper last week reported that crematoriums lacked
sufficient gas to cremate bodies, leaving corpses piling up at funeral

Meanwhile, severe fuel shortages mean many residents in the capital must
walk hours to work or swarm the few minibus taxis and pickup trucks offering
rides to and from the city centre during rush hour.

Opposition leader Tsvangirai, meanwhile, is on trial for treason after
organizing mass protests last month in an effort to force Mugabe to

But the government has refused to hold talks with Tsvangirai's Movement for
Democratic Change until the party drops its legal challenge against last
year's disputed presidential vote.

"The international community should continue to exert pressure in order to
bring Mugabe to the negotiating table, but Zimbabweans must know that all
the efforts to resolve the crisis in the country will only bear fruits
(from) internal forces," Tsvangirai told the Daily News, a pro-opposition
newspaper, prior to the Bush visit.

But opposition supporters and human-rights activists working within the
country are often arrested, illegally detained and beaten by police,
soldiers and thugs supporting the ruling ZANU-PF party.

"Mugabe's strategy is working — just beating up anyone whatsoever," says the
Harare taxi driver. . "People are afraid."

The national broadcast media are controlled by the state and, although
independent newspapers often criticize the government, they are constantly
harassed, often violently.

In some areas, people have been beaten for owning a copy of the Daily News
and there are reports — impossible to confirm — of Daily News vendors being
forced by ZANU-PF supporters to eat entire copies of the newspaper.

Foreign journalists have effectively been banned from the country, though
some still enter as tourists.

Echoing a common view, the Harare taxi driver says Mugabe is clinging to
power to avoid being thrown into jail by his successor or by international

"He has killed so many and stolen so much that he is very afraid of what
will happen to him afterward."

Finbarr O'Reilly is a Canadian journalist who writes extensively from