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

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'Hired guns' to protect Mugabe - claim
16/07/2004 22:23  - (SA)

Ziegfried Eckron and Nicolene Louw

Cape Town - A group of "security guards" from the Western Cape apparently
was to be deployed in Zimbabwe to protect President Robert Mugabe against
one of his own cabinet ministers.

This was the latest information to surface on Friday in the mercenary
debacle that was uncovered this week.

After the exposé was published, Die Burger was inundated with calls from
"recruits" expressing their doubts about the "operation" in an undisclosed
African country.

One man said the 500 "security guards" were to be deployed in Zimbabwe to
protect Mugabe against his "second in command". He did not want to name the
person to whom he was he referring.

"There are rumours doing the rounds that he plans to put Mugabe under house
arrest and we have to go to protect him (Mugabe)," said the man.

The man's information corresponded with that from other sources.

Documents uncovered by Die Burger earlier this week indicated that the
organiser and head of International Intelligence Risk Management was in
contact with the Zimbabwean government.

Company told the SA govt

The documents stated that the company was aware in December last year
already of plans for coup attempts in Equatorial Guinea and Zimbabwe.

The company apparently told the South African government about this.

The documents explained that 70 men had been arrested in Zimbabwe and a
further 15 in Equatorial Guinea, based on this information. The authenticity
of these documents could not be verified.

The man said many of the names mentioned in connection with the recruitment
process were pseudonyms.

He also claimed the co-ordinators of the operation were using front
companies that could be linked directly to the plan.

Meanwhile, activities resumed at the recruitment agency's office in Parow on

The offices were closed on Thursday afternoon, but the company's management
said it was a temporary measure because the company had been inundated with

Armed guards accompanied members of the media inside on Friday. The offices
were sparsely furnished and a photographer from Die Burger was banned from
taking photos.

A man who introduced himself simply as "Johan" said the company could not
comment because they already had an "exclusive agreement" with other media.
He directed all queries to the company's lawyer.

However, he could not provide the lawyer's name or number.
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Friday July 16, 2004

Danville doctor detained in Zimbabwe

Staff Writer

A local urologist and his wife, a nurse, on a medical mission trip in
Zimbabwe were recently relieved of their passports for apparently dubious
reasons. Dr. Ed Montgomery, 57, of Maple Avenue, and his wife, Sara Jane,
have been in the capital city of Harare for approximately two weeks.

Details are sketchy at best, said their eldest daughter Ashley Montgomery,
of Lexington, but at one point Dr. Montgomery was apparently placed under

"There has been very little contact," said Ashley. "Everything I know is
very censored, and I have had no direct contact with them." It appears the
letters have even been cut in several spots and were undated, she said.

"Ashley has received a few e-mails, but the e-mails are censored. So some of
the sentences are incomplete. You have to guess at what they were trying to
say," said the Montgomery's former mission trip companion Dr. Chris Jackson.

What is known is not encouraging. The Montgomerys apparently left the
capitol to provide charity medical services to the people of Zimbabwe. For
unknown reasons, Dr. Montgomery was arrested and spent time in jail. While
it is thought that he has been released on bail, the couple's living
conditions in Harare are unknown, said Ashley.

"All I know is, my parents went over to do some medical work for a
population that is in dire need of medical help, and my father was arrested
or detained, and I don't know why."

At one point, a trial date of next week was said to have been set. With
assistance from the U.S. Embassy, the Montgomerys have obtained a lawyer,
and she believes that date has been postponed, their daughter said. "I think
they realize this is a very serious situation, and they are taking it very

Only speculation about why he is being held

The exact charges he faces can only be guessed, but it is widely speculated
that he is being held for improper documentation or incomplete paperwork
certifying his license to practice medicine, according to Ashley Montgomery
and Dr. Jackson.

Soon after his arrest, Dr. Montgomery contacted several local professionals
and Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center with requests for proof of
being a urologist in good standing, a United States citizen in good standing
and a copy of his medical license.

"I know that there was a law passed in Zimbabwe recently about some
certification or permit" needed to practice medicine, said Ashley
Montgomery. Her parents had completed all of the required paperwork to the
best of their ability before leaving, she said.

"I think Dad felt like it wasn't America, but it was safe, and he could
provide services that were needed ... and it was a good risk," she said.

The Zimbabwe Embassy in Washington D.C. said that it would be impossible for
them to know about one person who was arrested in that country.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Darla Jordan said she couldn't release
any information on Montgomery because neither he nor his family had signed a
privacy waiver, and then Jordan directed the newspaper to the Zimbabwe
Embassy in Washington D.C.

This morning the press office of that embassy said that if Montgomery was
arrested then he would appear before the court and be charged.

"He'll be treated fairly," the official said. "If the police are involved,
he is in good hands."

He then began to ask the newspaper, "Why are you calling me? You must have
nothing better to do - go take a nap," he said and hung up the phone.

E-mails to one of the country's newspapers, the Zimbabwe Independent, went

An article published by that newspaper on July 9 reported that the State
Department warned U.S. citizens against traveling to the country.

That warning said, "Zimbabwe continues to be in the midst of political,
economic and humanitarian crises with serious implications for the security
situation in the country."

The Zimbabwe Independent reported that the warning would have a "chilling
effect on the already depressed tourist arrivals," noting that tourists
"usually take heed of State Department security advice."

In November 2002, U.S. Embassy staff members were detained and one was
beaten by war veterans on a farm near Harare, according to the travel

Dr. Montgomery has recently retired

Dr. Montgomery had recently retired from his practice and a 27-year career
with Ephraim McDowell Health.

While with EMH, Montgomery had been chairman of the department of surgery,
president of the medical staff and various other hospital committees and is
currently a board member of Ephraim McDowell Health.

EMH spokeswoman Mary Begley said the staff had benefited from Dr.
Montgomery's services, and were sending their prayers to the couple.

"Dr. Montgomery was the first urologist to practice at Ephraim McDowell
Regional Medical Center, and he brings visionary leadership to the
committees he leads," said Begley.

He has also served as the medical director of Central Kentucky Physicians
Inc. and was a founding director of the Kentucky Trust Company.

"Since he's retired I think that he's found a nice purpose in life in
helping other people, and it's unfortunate that this had to happen," said
Ashley Montgomery. The Montgomerys had participated in similar mission
trips, without incident, in Haiti, Kenya, China and Europe and were looking
forward to their Zimbabwe mission, she said. They were to travel with
friends who had been there before, but not an organization or church.

As it stands, updates on the situation have spread throughout the local
medical community by word of mouth, and while many want to help, few know

"We're frustrated and can't figure out what to do to be helpful," said

Ashley said she and her five siblings were also waiting to help the embassy,
but they could do little else. "Right now I'm in a holding pattern, waiting
to hear from my father."

Advocate Staff Writer Liz Maples contributed to this story.

Copyright The Advocate-Messenger 2004
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New Zimbabwe

Nkomo orders Made, Moyo, Chinamasa to hand over farms

By Basildon Peta
Last updated: 07/16/2004 20:03:16
FRESH divisions rocked Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu PF party Thursday when
President Robert Mugabe's Cabinet colleagues were served with letters
instructing them to relinquish extra farms.

And it was the regime's own tightly controlled media that broke the story
that Mugabe's closest cronies returned from a weekly cabinet meeting to find
letters on their desks telling them to hand over the farms.

The Herald newspaper,which has been central to all spats between Cabinet
ministers immediately launched a direct attack on the Special Affairs
Minister, John Nkomo, who is spearheading a drive to get back extra farms.

The order followed a weekend warning by Mugabe that multiple farm owners
should surrender extra farms and retain only one.

But those named by the Herald newspaper as having received the letters
denied owning extra farms. The Herald has long been associated with the
powerful information minister Jonathan Moyo, who also writes a Saturday
column using a pseudonym.

The letters were served on Mugabe stalwarts including Minister of Local
Government Ignatius Chombo, Minister of Agriculture Joseph Made, Minister of
Justice Patrick Chinamasa, Information Minister Jonathan Moyo and Minister
of Transport Christopher Mushohwe.

The Herald said an "excited messenger" moved from office to office in
several government ministries with a bundle of letters.

"The messenger was telling people that there was now drama because he was
dishing out letters from Minister John Nkomo to multiple farm owners," the
paper quoted an unnamed source as saying.

In the attack on Nkomo, the Herald said the manner in which the action
against extra farms was being conducted was irrational and was throwing land
reform into turmoil.

Nkomo has made no secret of his disdain for those owning extra farms, a
disdain that is shared by Mugabe. Other top party officials are fully behind

Sources said many new farm owners had registered them in the names of
relatives, a tactic white farmers were accused of during the resettlement

"You would therefore have to prove that there is a
corrupt connection between the minister and the acquisition of the farm by
the relative. It's almost impossible to do," said a source.

For instance, Mugabe's spin doctor, Jonathan Moyo, denied owning an extra
farm, but admitted the particular farm he had been ordered to surrender was
owned by a close relative.

Moyo said the farm at issue in Hwange had been withdrawn from his ownership
a long time ago and had been allocated to Jackie Mayers, his cousin.

"She is staying at the farm and she is entitled to it. She was officially
allocated the farm and if they want to withdraw it, why don't they write to
her?" said Moyo.

He did not explain why the Hwange farm was allocated to a relative.
Cape Argus

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Government denies top officials own more than one farm

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 16 Jul 2004 (IRIN) - The Zimbabwean government has denied that
any of its ministers was allocated more than one farm during the country's
controversial land reform programme.

The official newspaper, The Herald, reported on Thursday that the Ministry
of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement had written to several ministers
inquiring about their alleged ownership of more than one farm.

Speaking to IRIN on Friday, government spokesperson Steyn Berejena confirmed
that letters had been sent to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works
and National Housing, Ignatius Chombo, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural
Development, Joseph Made, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa, the Minister of Information and Publicity,
Jonathan Moyo, and the Minister of Transport and Communications, Christopher

"But none of them owned the farms. It turned out that a relative of minister
Mushowe's, who also has the same surname, owned a farm. Minister Made's
brother, Ambrose Made, who works for the United Nations Development
Programme, owns a farm. The ministry [of lands] mistakenly assumed that
these ministers owned the farms," Berejena explained.

He said the fact that these letters were sent out indicated that President
Robert Mugabe's government "was committed to redressing any anomalies that
might have taken place while the land reform process was being

Berejena reiterated that the issue of multiple ownership was a serious one,
and the government would continue to pursue it. He confirmed that the
ministry of lands had identified cases of multiple ownership and had
rectified them, but was unable to provide the numbers.

Prior to his appointment to the ministry of lands in February this year,
John Nkomo was minister of special affairs and headed a presidential enquiry
into serious irregularities in land reform. He was charged with following up
on the recommendations of a land audit commission led by Charles Utete.

The Utete commission's report, issued late last year, revealed serious
violations of the one-man one-farm policy by top government and ruling party
officials, which, in some cases, had disenfranchised the small-scale farmers
that land reform was supposed to benefit.
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Sunday Times (SA)

'Protection racket' shields Zimbabwe

Friday July 16, 2004 11:17 - (SA)

By Donwald Pressley

The African Union as a whole and not only South Africa should be taking "a
much tougher stance" on Zimbabwe but there appeared to be a kind of
protection racket going on with regard to that country, says former Truth
and Reconciliation Commission vice-chairperson Alex Boraine.

The former Methodist Church of Southern African president, however, warned
that a trigger of change was unlikely to occur while President Robert Mugabe
still controlled the political rudder in that country.

Boraine, who has been teaching law in transitional societies at New York
University for the last four years and is now chairperson of the
International Centre for Transitional Justice, said it appeared that
President Thabo Mbeki had shifted from his position of silent diplomacy in
dealing with South Africa's neighbour.

But Boraine said many other African leaders appeared reluctant to deal with
the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe - where food was being used as a
political weapon and the courts and media were under attack - because "they
are terrified that the same kind of situation may happen in their own

While he did not think that this fear underpinned the South African approach
to the Zimbabwe problem, Mbeki's diplomatic initiatives up till now had not

"I think he has underestimated (President Robert) Mugabe. He is a very
clever, very smart and very determined man."

The African continent's leadership was bogged down in "this business of a
club and protecting each other".

Mbeki needed to accept that dealing with Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF on its
own was not the answer and he has to place much more public pressure on that
governing party to encourage the country to move towards implementing a
government of national unity.

"I know the opposition (Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan
Tsvangirai) won't like it. But I think both Zanu-PF and the MDC have to come
into line now that the country is going to hell," said Boraine, who is
himself a former Member of Parliament of the now defunct liberal Progressive
Federal Party in the pre-democratic era.

There was a need for a unity government because Zanu-PF - which has ruled
Zimbabwe since the independence of Rhodesia from Britain in 1980 - was "not
going to surrender".

The Zimbabwe government was "going to continue their harassment, the attack
on the courts and on the media which makes it very powerful".

Likening the situation to the dying days of apartheid he said, the former
ruling party, the National Party, knew at the time that it would never get
rid of its opposition yet it still commanded fire power and controlled the
powerful army and the police. It also had overwhelming white electoral

At the time the African National Congress knew it could not overthrow the
National Party by military means.

"They had to find another way, a negotiated settlement to form a government
of national unity."

Nevertheless, in Zimbabwe it was unlikely that there would be significant
shifts towards a unity government "as long as Mugabe is alive".

But he noted that Mugabe was 80 years old and "he must be nearing the end of
his active

He said Zanu-PF had "nil support" in urban areas and among the youth,
although some support in rural areas.

Referring to the stroke suffered by former President PW Botha - leader at
the height of apartheid in the 1980s - he said this had created the opening
for his successor, FW de Klerk, to "do some things that were necessary and
deserve huge credit".

"There must be someone in Zimbabwe that will recognise that they have a
transitional role. Then I think you will find huge assistance for Zimbabwe
pouring in from the United States, the United Kingdom, South Africa and non-
government organisations," said Boraine.

I-Net Bridge
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The Herald

Amendments to Banking Act to be tabled in Parliament soon

Business Reporter
AMENDMENTS to the Banking Act will soon be presented to Parliament, the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Dr Gideon Gono, said last week.

The amendments would be made to further improve the operating landscape in
the financial services sector.

"In drafting the amendments, particular attention is being made to ensure
that the banking legislation conforms to international best practices," he
said. The views of other banks and stakeholders will be sought and
incorporated in the proposed amendments.

Meanwhile, a Bill to govern the regulation and supervision of asset
management companies was approved by Parliament recently.

"In view of the well publicised events in the asset management sector, the
Bill is aimed at ensuring that asset management business is conducted in a
safe and sound manner, conducive to the orderly operation and growth of the
financial sector," Dr Gono added.

The central bank is also crafting the supervisory and regulatory framework
for micro-finance and money lending institutions.

"The Reserve Bank's enhanced capacity for supervision and closer prudential
regulation is already bearing fruit, through greater public confidence in
banks and non-bank financial institutions.

Dr Gono, however, expressed hope that despite the challenges faced by the
financial sector at the end of last year, the sector is destined for
recovery with immense signs for growth into the future.

"Financial institutions, therefore, play the critical role of marrying the
requirements of borrowers and servers in an economy, and in the process
provide the necessary fuel to propel investment, employment creation and
growth in economic production.

He also reiterated that the financial services sector also serves as the
main tentacle through which a country's fiscal and monetary policy impulses
are transmitted to the real sectors of the economy.

"It is also important to note that in the increasingly globalising world we
now live in, the financial sector is the gateway for foreign direct and
portfolio investment, among many other forms and dimensions of financial
flows typical in today's era."
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Zim battling the impossible
16/07/2004 21:53  - (SA)

Harare - Pensioners buy a single egg when they shop. School numbers are
falling because parents can't afford to feed their children, let alone
educate them.

One desperate man who couldn't make ends meet chose to pay with his life.

Runaway prices are changing, perhaps for generations, the way people live
and die in Zimbabwe, a once relatively prosperous nation now ravaged by the
world's highest inflation rate.

Economists and international donors say mismanagement by President Robert
Mugabe's authoritarian regime - especially economic disruption related to
his controversial policy of seizing white-owned farms - is behind an annual
inflation rate now close to 400%.

The government points the finger elsewhere, at culprits including falling
commodity prices.

What's beyond dispute is that the human cost continues to rise.

Zimbabwe once boasted one of the best education systems in Africa.

But enrolment is down 30% since 2000, according to the United Nations
Children's Fund, because parents are struggling just to feed their children,
increasing numbers of whom are forced to work, beg or turn to prostitution.

'Zero, zero, one diet'

Mildred Chizema, a secretary, said she and her two children live on what she
calls the "zero, zero, one diet" - no breakfast, no lunch, just one evening
meal. She dreads staying home on weekends.

She earns the equivalent of about R445 a month. The consumer council of
Zimbabwe estimates an average family of four needs at least double that to
provide for an adequate diet, basic shelter, clothing and food.

Salaries and pensions are being left behind by galloping prices.

Zimbabwe's official inflation rate was 394.6% in June. That's down from a
peak of 600% earlier this year, but remains the highest in the world, with
Turkey a distant second at 60%, said Harare economist John Robertson.

Crippled Zimbabwe's agricultural sector

The economy began to falter in the late 1990s and has teetered near collapse
since 2000, when political violence and often-violent farm seizures
disrupted agriculture and tourism.

The land seizures, coupled with erratic rains, have crippled Zimbabwe's
agricultural sector, which once accounted for a third of its
foreign-currency earnings. Unemployment is estimated at 70%.

The government blames declines in commodity prices, corruption in the
private sector and negative reporting by the international media, which, it
says, has led to the destruction of tourism.

But analysts predict things will get worse unless the government can reduce
spending and reassure spooked investors.

Bride price, a custom in traditional African marriages, has soared to
millions of Zimbabwe dollars in cash and gifts.

A driver with a Harare legal firm paid Zim$1 000 to his bride's parents soon
after independence from Britain in 1980 - a considerable sum then.

"She gets angry when I say today she is worth only four slices of bread," he
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Deadline for Zim rebels
16/07/2004 19:57  - (SA)

London - Zimbabwe's rebel cricketers have until Wednesday to agree to the
International Cricket Council's (ICC) plan for arbitration in their dispute
with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU), Chris Venturas, the players' legal
representative told AFP here on Friday.

Following a meeting earlier on Friday in London with ICC chief executive
Malcolm Speed, Venturas told AFP: "We've been given until Wednesday 17:00 to
make a decision about arbitration.

"I'll be recommending we go for it. But I don't know yet what they (the
players) are going to say about it."

On Wednesday the ZCU agreed to the ICC's offer to set up a three-man
tribunal, sitting in Zimbabwe, in a bid to end the crisis that has plagued
Zimbabwe cricket for several months.

One member would be nominated by the ZCU, the other by the players, and the
third, the chairman, by these two people.

In April the ZCU sacked then Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak after the fast
bowler, now at English county Warwickshire, accused the board of making some
team selections based on race rather than merit.

When his colleague tried but failed to get Streak reinstated they went on
strike in protest.

Small pool of cricketers

That led the ZCU to sack a total of 15 senior players, all white, a massive
loss for a country with an already small pool of cricketers to choose from.

During ICC's executive board meeting, at its Lord's headquarters, on June 30
the governing body told both the ZCU and the players they had 14 days to
agree to their three-man arbitration system.

The bulk of the rebels are currently in England for a six-game charity tour
designed to raise money for the Zimbabwean Cricketers Fund and the Zimbabwe
Pensioners Fund.

Venturas insisted arbitration was what the players had wanted all along.

"As I explained to Malcolm (Speed), this is what we had been asking for but
we were stonewalled by the ZCU. For arbitration to work, it needs the
consent of both parties.

And while he remained hopeful the players would agree to the ICC's offer,
Venturas added: "A lot of things have happened in the last two months and
the players have moved on.

"They need to think about it. I hope they do agree because I think it
(arbitration) is in the best interests of Zimbabwe cricket."
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15,000 Villagers Await Proper Resettlement in Masvingo

The Herald (Harare)

July 16, 2004
Posted to the web July 16, 2004

George Mapong

THERE are renewed moves to complete the resettlement of landless people in
Masvingo amid revelations that over 15 000 villagers in the province are
still waiting to be properly resettled.

The chief lands officer for Masvingo, Mr Aube Musanhu, told a Masvingo
Provincial Development Council meeting last week that 15 705 villagers were
either staying on de-listed farms or on State land.

He said some of the villagers would be settled on 3 312 plots that had not
been taken up under both the Model A1 (small-scale) and Model A2
(commercial) schemes in the whole province.

"We have some plots that were not taken up under both Model A1 and Model A2,
especially in Chiredzi and Mwenezi districts, and they will be reallocated
to those who do not have land.

"There are also some plots that were repossessed after the land inspectorate
said the owners had multiple farms and a total of 1 715 Model A1 plots were
taken and will be repossessed," said Mr Musanhu.

He, however, said the province would still remain with over 12 000 villagers
in need of land after the reallocation of vacant plots and those recovered
from multiple owners.

"There are people who are illegally staying at farms which they occupied at
the height of farm invasions and we have to look for some land to settle

"Over 6 000 villagers are staying on State land in Chiredzi alone, over 3
000 villagers are staying on de-listed properties in Gutu, Mwenezi and
Masvingo and there is another big number staying on conservancies," added Mr

Masvingo Governor Cde Josaya Hungwe said Government was not going to evict
those people illegally staying on farms, saying it would have to look for
alternative land to resettle them.

"We will not send the people away but we will have to look for alternative
areas to resettle them because some of the farms are protected under
government-to-government agreements, or are black-owned or conservancies,"
said Cde Hungwe.

He also said chiefs were going to be the principal players in the
resettlement of landless villagers, adding that Government had agreed that
chiefs should have a say in the distribution of land.

Cde Hungwe said the acquisition of land in the province was going to be
expedited by the relocation of a judge from the Administrative Court to the
province who will deal with matters relating to land.

The provincial development council meeting adopted a resolution suggested by
Chief Chitanga of Mwenezi that villagers staying on farms illegally should
submit their names to chiefs in their areas of origin.

This, the meeting agreed, would keep chiefs informed about their people in
need of land as they had been empowered to decide on such matters.

It was also agreed at the meeting that all those on plots to be repossessed
would have to appeal to the provincial governor as the chairman of the
provincial lands committee.

The Minister of Special Affairs responsible for Lands, Land Reform and
Resettlement, Cde John Nkomo, is expected to soon tour all the provinces in
the country to monitor progress and rectify anomalies in the land reform

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Dialogue On Land Opens in City

The Herald (Harare)

July 16, 2004
Posted to the web July 16, 2004


A TWO-DAY national stakeholders' dialogue on land and agrarian reforms aimed
at improving public information on the status of land reform and to
transform the programme into economic recovery opened in Harare yesterday.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of Special Affairs in the
President's Office Responsible for Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement Cde
John Nkomo said the land reform programme had taken significant strides in
addressing the imbalances that existed as a result of colonialism.

Cde Nkomo said for a long time whites who constituted the minority of the
country's population had been occupying about 51 percent of fertile land
while blacks who were the majority took the remainder of the land that was

"This has been one of the justifications for the Government to acquire land
from the whites for resettlement to the landless blacks," said Cde Nkomo.

He said the Government and the nation at large had to consolidate the gains
of the land reform and increase food production.

Cde Nkomo said the agricultural sector has always been an important sector
of the country's economy because it now accounted for about 17 percent of
Zimbabwe's Gross Domestic Product.

"There is no doubt that the turnaround of the country's economy depends on a
vibrant agricultural sector," said Cde Nkomo.

Speaking at the same occasion, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural
Development Cde Joseph Made said the land reform programme was a process
which was still going on.

He said it was important that the country returns to its former status as
the breadbasket of Southern Africa by fully utilising land that was
allocated to the people during the land reform programme.

"We want to make sure that we don't import food because we now have the
land," said Cde Made

The workshop is being attended by about 100 stakeholders from the
agricultural sector.
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Beer, Soft Drink Prices Go Up

The Herald (Harare)

July 16, 2004
Posted to the web July 16, 2004


Prices of beer rose 35 percent yesterday and soft drinks went up 20 percent,
main manufacturer Delta Corporation announced yesterday.

A 300 millilitre "king-size" bottle of soft drink manufactured by Delta
Beverages now costs $1 200, up from $1 000, a 500ml plastic container now
costs $2 600, a 240ml can has been pegged at $2 600 and a litre now goes for
$3 000.

A 350ml bottle of Castle, Lion, Black Label and Castle Milk Stout lagers now
costs $2 800, up from $2 000, while a 750ml bottle of the same brands has
been pegged at $4 500, up from $2 800.

Cans for the same brands now cost $4 000.

Pilsener, Zambezi and Zambezi Lite lagers now cost $3000 for a "pint", $5
000 for a "quart" and $4 300 for a can.

Delta Corporation corporate affairs executive Mr George Mutendadzamera said
the increases have only been effected on carbonated soft drinks and lager

The increases arose from the soaring cost of inputs in the manufacture of
the drinks.

Mr Mutendadzamera said the overall price increment was below the inflation
levels for the period from January, given as 54 percent this week.

"The increases are modest and are designed to keep our beverages affordable
to the ordinary consumer," he said.

He dismissed as untrue allegations that the company had been withholding its
deliveries in anticipation of the price increases.

Mr Mutendadzamera said the company had continued with normal deliveries to
all its customers nationwide.

There had been claims from some outlets in Budiriro, Waterfalls, Glen View
and Glen Norah that the company had not been delivering their orders in
anticipation of the increases.

Mr Mutendadzamera urged all outlets to adhere to the recommended retail
prices so that consumers would continue to "enjoy the benefits of the stable
and affordable prices".
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From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 16 July

M&G is Zim government's latest target

Mail & Guardian reporter

The Zimbabwean government this week stepped up efforts to crack down on the
Mail & Guardian. The police served a subpoena on the security manager of
Century Bank in Harare summonsing information about the newspaper's bank
account, including records of cheque transactions, since the beginning of
the year. The subpoena was obtained from a magistrate's court on the basis
that there is reasonable grounds to suspect the M&G was violating the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Act by externalising foreign currency. The
Reserve Bank, in a statement on Wednesday, said it was not aware of any
investigation and had no reason to suspect the M&G was in breach of the RBZ
Act. "From our records and pending cases, the RBZ has not had any reason or
cause to investigate the M&G for the alleged misdemeanours. Maybe the police
can shed more light on this issue," said the bank. M&G CE Trevor Ncube
slated the latest move on the paper as "a fishing expedition and an invasion
of privacy under the pretext of investigating externalisation of foreign
currency. As a law-abiding corporate citizen in the countries where we
operate we welcome any scrutiny from the authorities."

Century Bank officials declined to disclose details of the police visit,
citing "confidentiality agreements with clients". Sources at the bank,
however, told our sister paper, the Zimbabwe Independent, that two officers
from the Commercial Intelligence Unit "took bank statements dating back to
January and a document advising the addition of Raphael Khumalo [Zimbabwe
Independent group GM] as a signatory to the account". Ncube believes the
latest incident "is a pretext for action against the M&G in Zimbabwe. It has
become obvious over the past few weeks that certain people in government
have become uncomfortable with our coverage. Since they are unable to find
fault with the paper's reporting the intention now is to find something,
anything in fact, to give them reason to stop the Zimbabwean public from
reading the M&G." Last month the state-controlled The Sunday Mail - usually
a mirror of the government's views - published a story accusing the M&G of
using "unaccredited journalists" and questioned why the paper was being
circulated in Zimbabwe. This attack was backed by the chairperson of
Zimbabwe's Media and Information Commission - a quasi-judicial body -
Tafataona Mahoso, who claimed the M&G was violating the Access to
information and Protection of Privacy Act. Under the Act it is an offence
for a journalist to practise in Zimbabwe without a licence. These attacks
come in the wake of visits to the M&G's couriers and distributors by the
Zimbabwean authorities. Ncube is, however, "confident the moves will fail to
uncover any evidence of impropriety. This episode represents yet another
attempt by the Zimbabwean authorities to curtail press freedom. As the
regime feels increasingly cornered by its critics we can expect it to clamp
down on the country's remaining sources of independent information. The M&G
is clearly the latest target."

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From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 16 July

Zuma tantrum hints at tougher Zim stand

Jean-Jacques Cornish

The angry response of Minister of Foreign Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to
the Mail & Guardian's report on the African Union summit last week gave a
signal that the South African government is hardening its stance on
Zimbabwe. Zuma denied supporting Zimbabwe's move to stifle a report by the
African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights critical of that country's
human rights record. However, sources who attended the meeting of foreign
ministers insisted that Dlamini-Zuma had supported Zimbabwe's call for the
report not to be tabled at the AU's heads of state summit on "technical
grounds". These were that the report had not been seen by the Zimbabwean
government. The fact that she now denies supporting Zimbabwe amounts to
unprecedented public censure of President Robert Mugabe's government. Her
statement emphasises her uncompromising stance in bold letters.

Zimbabwe's Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge said at the meeting that his
government needed seven days to respond to the report, which was compiled by
South African academic Barney Pityana and Gambian Jainab Johm, who visited
his country after the controversial 2000 parliamentary and 2002 presidential
elections. That deadline has come and gone without a word from Zimbabwe.
This means they evaded discussion of the matter at the AU summit. The
statement by South Africa's Department of Foreign Affairs said Dlamini-Zuma
"did not speak when the report was tabled, as suggested by the M&G, but to
her credit, towards the conclusion of the discussion she insisted on the
report being forwarded to the heads of state and government for discussions.
When a suggestion was made that the executive council should not forward the
report on procedural grounds to the heads of state and government for
discussion, Minister Dlamini-Zuma objected and insisted the executive
council could not pretend that it did not receive nor discuss the report. In
this regard, Minister Dlamini-Zuma insisted the executive council forward
the report to the heads of state and government with recommendations from
the council."

However, reliable sources present at the meeting of African foreign
ministers gave a different account, saying Dlamini-Zuma had stepped up to
the plate for Mudenge. Senior officials close to Dlamini-Zuma told the M&G
"we are sick and tired of the Zimbabwe government embarrassing our president
by leading him to believe they are engaged in talks with the opposition when
in fact there is no movement. The Zimbabweans lie when it suits them. In
forums like the AU executive council Minister Dlamini-Zuma is one of their
toughest critics. In Addis she was the strongest critic of Zimbabwe. She
received a note from one of her African counterparts thanking her for this
and saying few other African countries would dare do it. I have sat in
another meeting when she told Stan Mudenge that if his government is
planning to execute the suspected South African mercenaries being held in
Zimbabwe, the South African government will have something to say about it."

If Dlamini-Zuma has been criticising Zimbabwe behind closed doors, not a
scintilla of this has emerged in public. The statement attacking the M&G
report is the first suggestion that all is not well. In Addis Ababa South
African officials briefed reporters about why Zimbabwe's technical
opposition to circulating the human rights report deserved support. It was
this technical point that led the foreign ministers simply to note the
report and suspend its publication pending Zimbabwe's reaction, rather than
adopting it. Dlamini-Zuma was available to reporters at Addis Ababa. When
the M&G asked her about the treatment of the report by the foreign ministers
she said it was being treated as a technical matter. She gave no hint of the
tough line she claims to have taken towards Mudenge or that she had insisted
that the report be put before the heads of state. None of the South African
journalists at the summit was given any indication of a change in South
Africa's approach. In addition, sources inside the foreign ministers'
executive council said Dlamini-Zuma had gone in to bat for Mudenge.

Back home, the South African government continues to draw flak for appearing
to support Mugabe. The African National Congress denied a weekend report
that it was lending expertise and technical support to Zimbabwe's ruling
party, Zanu PF, ahead of next year's general election campaign. Catholic
Bishops' Conference chairperson Cardinal Wilfred Napier this week called for
intelligently applied sanctions against Zimbabwe, saying this measure had
been effective when used against the apartheid system. In Harare on Sunday
Mugabe urged Zanu PF youth to wage a "vigorous campaign" in next year's
general election and warned that he would hold them answerable for any
defeat. The youth wing of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change said
there was no doubt the rhetoric implied a campaign of violence by a
government prepared "to use the youth as an instrument of oppression against
its opponents". In addition, participants in a Zimbabwe television panel
discussion on HIV/Aids were instructed to remove their red Aids campaign
ribbons, as red was the colour of the MDC. The government has denied the
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Private Doctors' Fees Go Up

The Herald (Harare)

July 16, 2004
Posted to the web July 16, 2004


PRIVATE doctors' fees have gone up by 17,5 percent with effect from July 1.

The minimum consultation fees for a general practitioner is now pegged at
$56 400, up from $48 000.

While the amounts will vary from one practitioner to the other, patients on
medical aid will now be expected to fork out between $10 000 and $25 000 as

Cash patients, however, would pay whatever the doctor charged.

Surveys showed that doctors operating in high-density areas were charging
less than their colleagues in low-density suburbs and those in the city

They were, in some cases, charging around $70 000 for both consultation and
treatment, while those in town and low-density suburbs were charging more,
in some cases $125 000.

According to the National Association of Medical Aid Societies, surgery fees
had increased by 80 percent, physiotherapy and nursing fees had risen by
17,6 percent while there was a 22,5 percent increase in anaesthetic drugs
and gases.

However, checks showed that only a few doctors had effected the new fees,
with some even charging $40 000 for consultation.

The reason for this, according to some general practitioners who spoke on
condition of anonymity, was that business was low.

"I cannot afford to just increase fees because business is not that good
these days.

"People are not coming in for treatment and if you charge too much, you will
suffer," said one doctor who has surgery at Machipisa Shopping Centre in

A medical aid official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said specialist
fees posed the biggest problem because there was no agreed payment system.

The official said some specialists continued to demand cash before providing
services to patients on medical aid.

He said an anaesthetic now costs around $1,2 million while a surgeon's fees
could be as much as $2,2 million in some instances, which only a few people
could afford.

Some patients said the latest increases would see them battling to keep up
with medical costs.

"It has been difficult all along to access treatment because of costs. This
latest increase, therefore, just makes it even worse.

"Anyway, we will keep on doing what we have been doing, which is avoiding
the doctors unless the ailment is serious or go to the municipal clinics,"
said Ms Freda Mahachi of Harare.
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US$90 Million Tobacco Sold

The Herald (Harare)

July 16, 2004
Posted to the web July 16, 2004


AT least 44 million kilogrammes of tobacco valued at more than US$90 million
have so far been sold at the country's auction floors, as the season passes
the projected two-thirds mark.

Figures released by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board this week
showed that the auction system has accounted for 36 903 793 kg of the total
crop sold.

The contract system, which is in its maiden season, has accounted for 7 906
997 kg, representing slightly more than a fifth of the total crop sold.

The 2004 tobacco selling season had gone 74 days by close of business

It is projected that a total of 60 million kg would be sold at both the
auction floors and through the contract system.

"The market closed much firmer than in week 13 with the majority of
offerings faring well.

"The average price for the week at auction floors increased to US$2,04 per
kg from US$2 per kg in the previous week whilst at contract sales it
remained the same at US$2,16 per kg," said TIMB in its report for the week
ending July 7.

Seasonal average price is still shy of the US$2 mark as a kg of the gold
leaf has fetched a mean of US$1,98 since the selling season kicked off on
April 26.

Average prices for the auction leaf at the three floors is also varied with
Burley Marketing Zimbabwe offering a mean of US$2,04 for a kg of the crop.

Tobacco Sales Floor has an average of US$2,02 for a kg while the Zimbabwe
Industry Tobacco Auction Centre is offering a kg of tobacco for an average
of US$1,77.

This average price for 2004 is more than five percent weaker than the price
a kilogramme was fetching at the auction floor last season.

Prices offered for contract growers, who are disposing off their crop on the
field, is much higher at an average US$2,12 per kg.

The combined average for the contract and auction floor sales currently
stands at US$2,05 per kg.

Projections are that less than 20 million kg of the crop are yet to be
marketed as estimates have put the annual yield at 60 million kg.

"The market recovered significantly following a slump in prices in the
previous two weeks. Demand for high maturity tobacco (smoking leaf) was
strong, resulting in the highest gain of 25 US cents over that recorded in
the previous week," said TIMB last week.

Zimbabwe has seen a significant drop in the amount of the golden leaf
produced in recent years.

It is, however, hoped that given enough funding, crop yields would treble to
more than 200 million kg as was the case four seasons ago.
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Maize Seed Price Goes Up

The Herald (Harare)

July 16, 2004
Posted to the web July 16, 2004


THE price of maize seed has risen about six-fold, with a 10kg bag now being
sold at a maximum price of $130 000, up from about $21 000 last season.

The rise is roughly in line with the increase in the consumer price index
over the same period.

Yesterday some shops were selling a bag of 10kg seed at between $87 000 and
$130 000 depending on the variety.

Most only had limited quantities of 10kg bags in stock.

A sales representative at one of the leading shops said there was nothing
they could do as they had procured the seed from suppliers at much higher

"Yes the maize seed price has gone up because we are buying the seed at high
price from our suppliers and we have no choice but to increase the retail
price," he said.

The sales representative did not rule out a further increase in the price of
the maize seed just before the start of the farming season.

However, he said although the seed price was high, business was brisk as
farmers were busy preparing for the next season that was only a few months

Some of the farmers who were interviewed while buying the seed at the retail
outlets appealed to the Government to intervene to ensure that the price was

"Surely such an increase is not justified because if I want to buy 50kg that
means I have to pay a fortune," said Mr Thomas Chitiru from Murehwa.

Another farmer, Mr Tichaona Chireka from Goromonzi, said it appeared the
retail outlets wanted to profiteer by selling the maize seed at exorbitant

Efforts to get a comment yesterday from seed houses on the issue were

Preparations for the 2003/2004 farming season were adversely affected by the
shortage of maize seed and fertiliser, especially after more land was opened
up by land reform.

Only about 32 000 tonnes of seed were available against a national demand of
more than 80 000 tonnes.

This resulted in the seed being sold at exorbitant prices on the black
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Zimbabwe Drafting New Election Laws
Peta Thornycroft
16 Jul 2004

Early next week, election officials from the Southern African Development
Community will meet in Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls to put final touches on new
principles for elections in the region. The principles are expected to be
adopted at a regional summit in Mauritius next month. The meeting comes as
Zimbabwe is preparing for parliamentary elections next year, amid pressure
for reform.
Zimbabwe's legal draftsmen are crafting new laws to be presented to
parliament when it resumes later this month, in its final session before
general elections next March.

The new laws emerge from decisions made by the ruling Zanu PF party's
highest decision making body, the politburo, last month.

President Robert Mugabe is under pressure from neighboring countries to
reform Zimbabwe's electoral laws to bring them into line with the principles
expected to be approved at next month's summit in Mauritius.

The Southern African Development Community's principles on elections, to be
discussed in Victoria Falls ahead of the summit, are similar to those that
have been demanded by Zimbabwe's civil rights organization and the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

They call for political tolerance, freedom of association, the independence
of the judiciary and the impartiality of electoral institutions.

Most foreign observer groups that monitored Zimbabwe's disputed presidential
election in 2002 said none of those conditions prevailed at that time.

Recently, the African Union broke with tradition and compiled a report
criticizing Zimbabwe's recent human rights record. Although the report was
not adopted by the AU summit this month, it was given wide pubicity in the
region. The Zimbabwe government has reacted angrily to the criticism from
other African countries.

Some countries in the region have begun to pressure President Mugabe to
reform electoral laws, which at present he can and does change himself
without parliamentary approval.

Political analysts say that the ruling Zanu PF is fully confident it can win
the next general election, but that it needs to get the international
community, particularly African countries, to endorse the voting as free and
fair. Next week's meeting in Victoria Falls will begin to provide a
framework for that.
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Dear Friends

In December last year we sent out an appeal for Kay Connolly who had been
taken ill and had been flown to Joburg for emergency medical attention.
Miraculously she survived and is now at home. Below is a letter from Kay.
In all over R350 000,00 was raised, which went a long way to covering the
costs of the operations and recovery. There is still one operation to go;
we think that there is sufficient left in the account at the hospital to
cover this.

I was amazed by the response from people all over the world. Most was
positive - help given freely as personal situations allowed, some from
people who did not know Kay and had no contact with Zimbabwe. Some
considered that it was a scam, especially when our local internet played up
and we wern't getting mails, or the bank transfer system didn't perform.
Then there were those bastards that tried to use the situation to make
money for themselves.

Thank you all for helping.

Please do one last thing and pass this on to the addresses that you sent
the first mail to.

Kay's letter:

This e-mail is long overdue - forgive me - but at last I am geting down to
updating all the wonderful folk that helped and supported us through the
last few months.

We returned to Jo'burg in April full of high hopes that the Colostomy would
be reversed and things would be back to "normal". Unfortunately things were
not that simple, and it seems that a simple reversal is out of the
question. The damage done to the rectum is extensive and the Doctors are
not too keen to link it back up to my system. There are now two
1) to remain as I am for the rest of my life
2) to undergo MAJOR surgery which will in effect re-construct the rectum
and then we will be back to "normal"

While it would seem obvious to go for option 2, the choice is not quite so
easy. No:2 would involve HUGE surgery, and basically I would have to be in
Jo'burg for 9months to a year. Also it is a very new procedure and no-one
can assure me that it will be long term solution. At this stage I am opting
for No: 1 but we will see what happens when we return to the Doctors in the
new year. I am still convinced that should God wish to, the rectum will
heal and the reversal will be possible. However, whatever God has planned
for me is fine with me. He has been so faithful up to now...I know He will
not make a mistake with the next step.

I am doing really well, and am able to do all the things a Mum and
Homemaker should be doing. My stamina levels are not that great and I am
having to learn to pace myself very strictly - even on the good days-
something I am not yet very good at. When I feel strong I tend to go
'gung-ho' ,and then regret it for the rest of the week. Still, I am very
grateful to be an active part of my family's lives and be here to watch
their hockey matches and help them with their homework, yes, and even pack
their lunch boxes ! What an honour !!!!

Thank you all again for your remarkable support, and the love that we have
experienced. I am still overwhelmed when I encounter relative strangers who
know all about my saga and are so concerned. As I said in my first letter,
I thank God for you all regularly and pray that God will bless you in a
wonderful way. He knows your every need and is watching and waiting should
you decide to turn to Him. Having had a brief glimpse of what it is like on
"the other side" (not the "good side" either) I would implore you to
consider where you are at spiritually and consider making your lives right
with your God. Believe me, you don't want to spend eternity in the "other
place". I certainly would not like to think of anyone I know going there !

Sermon over. If any of you would like to chat to me at any stage I would
love to do that. My home e-mail is Please feel free.
God bless you all - as you blessed us,
Dave and Kay Conolly
Emma, Mark and Paul
Please forward to friends and colleagues.

Kind regards
Wendy Greaves Peter Ward
Appeal co-ordinator Appeal administrator



JAG Hotlines:
(011) 612 595 If you are in trouble or need advice,
(011) 205 374
(011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us -
(011) 431 068
                                we're here to help!
263 4 799 410 Office Lines

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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


"Life engenders life.
Energy creates energy.
It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich."
                   --- Sarah Bernhardt


Letter 1.  Subject: Forex and The Law

Dear JAG,
You recently published details of the law as it applies to ID documents.
Thank you, this was most useful information to have at hand for road-blocks
etc. etc.
Please could you now let us have a definitive statement on the law as it
pertains to the carrying/possession of foreign currency. I know that one is
allowed to have some forex in one's possession, but how much?
Recent events involving police arrests/harassment have clouded the issue
and no-one seems to know the true position.
Thanks. Keep up the good work.
ARB Walker.


Letter 2.  Subject: OPEN LETTERS FORUM - re HAND IN THERE - Not True

Hi There

This is just a quick note regarding the note from Albert Gumbo regarding a
robbery and his statement that "this could have happened anywhere, New
York, Australia or South Africa"

I have been living outside of Zimbabwe for a few years now and I would like
to say that I do not agree with that statement at all. I have lived in the
UK in London, in Australia in both Perth and Sydney which is where I
currently reside. When a home invasion occurs here there is major media
coverage - in fact it amazes me sometimes how much attention the media here
will pay to a minor event when there are so many other more international
events that occur that would affect many more people. The event that struck
me the most was the occasion that a news channel devoted 5 minutes to a
kitten being rescued from a drainpipe by the local emergency crew!
Therefore the reaction to a home invasion is even greater and most
certainly nobody is philosophical about them!

I am not saying that home invasions do not happen elsewhere in the world -
far from it - however there is a far greater reaction to the event and the
community's attempt to influence the local politicians pays off

I fully agree with the rest of Albert Gumbo's statement and especially with
the thought of the day attributed to Che Guevera.

Good luck to all Zimbabweans in Zimbabwe - many Zimbabweans in other parts
of the world are thinking of you


Letter 3.  Subject: Democracy

Democracy and Determination.

The shape of things to come is clearly forming in Zimbabwe. The past few
weeks have been instructive - to say the least.

The first development on the democracy front was a meeting in Pretoria
called by the South African President and attended by a small high-powered
delegation from the MDC. They were asked to spell out what we wanted in
order to participate in the March 2005 elections and what we thought was
required to allow these elections to be validated by the world community.
We have been working on this subject for months and had no problems in
spelling out for the South Africans what needed to be done to achieve this

The South Africans are clearly concerned that the forthcoming elections are
held under reasonable conditions and are then accepted by the global
community, as a "free and fair" demonstration of the peoples will in
Zimbabwe. Right now the indications are that the UN and the EU and the USA
will not accept any result that comes out of an election held under present
conditions. That, Mbeki knows full well, would be a disaster for the region
and for Zimbabwe.

Mbeki agreed to talk to Zanu PF and although we have no direct information
on this meeting we do know it was held and that the Zanu delegation was
headed by the Chairman, John Nkomo - one of the more reasonable characters
in Zanu PF. The South Africans were represented by all the heavies - so
some tough talking went on. The South African press reported that one of
the things they discussed was how the ANC could help Zanu PF win an
election that was "free and fair". But I think the tough bits were not
leaked or reported.

To strengthen that view, Mbeki issued a statement after the meeting with
Zanu PF simply stating two things. First, the Zimbabwe leadership was not
moving fast enough in its efforts to resolve the crisis, secondly, this was
more a problem for the AU than South Africa on a bilateral basis.

Then on the following Saturday, the AU gave Mugabe and Zanu PF a slap in
the face. Leaking a damaging report on human and political rights abuse in
Zimbabwe and refusing to back down. Even in the plenary session, with
Mugabe present, the AU agreed to publish the report - and gave Zimbabwe 7
days to respond before they did so.

This very public rebuke, the first in AU history, was preceded by a
powerful statement from the Secretary General of the UN who condemned
leaders who held onto power after their "retirement date" and States that
were blatantly undemocratic and abused universally held political and human
rights. There was no doubt as to who was his prime audience - he was
sitting in front of him trying to look bored.

To accentuate the statements from the Secretary General, his senior staff
have been attacking the Zimbabwe government on every possible occasion over
the food situation. Some very strong statements have been made and it seems
clear that Mugabe is not going to be allowed to get away with "we have a
bumper harvest".

Out of the blue Zanu PF has committed itself to some reforms - they do not
go far enough, but they are a start and they also serve to demonstrate the
pressure the Party in under to conform to internationally accepted
electoral standards. Next month, SADC meets in Mauritius and there the
Heads of State will agree to standard SADC norms for elections in the
region. Mugabe knows well that at that meeting he will be required to
commit himself to adopting those same standards for the Zimbabwe elections.
I sense that the mood in the region has hardened against Mugabe and he can
expect little compromise.

So perhaps - just perhaps, we may have elections in March 2005 that are
held under reasonable conditions. They still have a long way to go and will
delay the pain as long as possible but the reforms will have to be in place
by January or they will be too late to be credible. Obviously they will
continue with their secret preparations - but Zanu PF is like a leaky boat
right now - people are so fed up that they are talking about what is going
on in the Party and in government and their security is very poor.

The challenge for the MDC is huge - our structures have been all but
destroyed in vast swathes of country, we have very little money and few
other resources. There are likely to be widespread gerrymandering of
electoral boundaries and the voters roll will be a mess - over 2,5 million
ghost voters and perhaps a million who will not be allowed to vote on one
pretext or another. Then the big issue - what about the postal vote for the
millions who live outside the country?

But even so, if the elections are conducted fairly and the vote rigging and
the ballot stuffing that took place in 2002 is restricted - then Zanu PF
could be in for a thrashing. It is important that they think they have a
chance of winning - but the people are really fed up with all the nonsense
that is still going on.

Now comes the determination part - how do we hang on until we get to the
elections and just how are we going to find the resources - intestinal and
other, to manage the electoral process next March. This is going to be a
massive exercise with over 10 000 polling stations to cover and supervise.

Two other white Zimbabweans - Roy Bennett and Eric Harrison, demonstrated
determination of the highest order this week. Roy, as is well known, is the
MP for Chimanimani - a mountainous constituency in the Eastern Highlands.
No other MP has been so vilified and attacked as Roy. He and his family
have suffered at the hands of Zanu PF thugs as no other MDC MP in the past
year. His constituency and his workers have suffered beatings, killings,
and rape and yet they remain committed and supportive.

This past week Roy was re-elected the MDC candidate by his constituency -
unanimously. Then over the weekend, in complete defiance of an order given
out by the Zanu and military leadership in Manicaland, he held rallies
throughout the District accompanied by Party leadership. At one point a
crowd of 10 000 watched as a group of about 50 elderly women came up to Roy
and awarded him a "totem", Tsoko. This is a clear statement by the
community that he is really accepted as one of their own. Roy was visibly
moved by the gesture as was the President, Morgan Tsvangirai.

Down in the Lowveld, Eric Harrison (we went to school together) fought a
running battle against a group of Zanu PF thugs to protect his small
irrigation farm. Eric grows sugar and citrus and exports all over the
world. He was busy reaping 2000 tonnes of citrus for export when he was
targeted. He has all the legal protection - Court decisions in his favour,
but it made no difference. The local community came to help and five men
have been barricaded in the farmhouse for three weeks resisting all
attempts to illegally evict Eric and take his property.

At one stage one of Eric's staff, a women, came up to him and hugged him to
encourage him to fight on. He is determined to see this through - because
of his staff who have nowhere else to go and many of which have been with
him for 35 years. The price these men are paying for their courage and
determination is high. Roy's wife Heather had a miscarriage in the early
days of the struggle. Eric's wife, Joan has been sent to a safer place
while the battle rages on the farm.

Have we got what it takes to run the final lap after a four-year marathon?
I think so, we do not have long to wait to discover the reality, but for
sure we fight on, we will win in the end.

Eddie Cross
Bulawayo, 14th July 2004

Letter 4.  Subject: Marsh Special Needs Class

For those of you who haven't heard of the Marsh Special Needs Class, it is
a small class of 6 children with various disabilities ranging from Autism
and Cerebral Palsy to Downs Syndrome taught by Molly Bolton, a dedicated
and very experienced lady who taught at St Catherines for 30 years.

All the children have progressed tremendously since we opened in September
2003. They all love school and long for school during the holidays which
tells you how much fun they have as well as how much they learn. They all
love each other and help each other out and some very special friendships
have formed.

We have employed another dedicated teacher for the third term this year and
thereafter and would like to have two classes of 5 which means that we have
space for 4 more children. I know that they are out there but may not have
heard that we exist.

We have an equipped sickroom/TV and video room and two classrooms. From
next term we will have a speech therapist who will visit once a week and
give therapy to those who require it. We hope to get parents involved in
transport so that we can take the children to swimming and horse riding
lessons. Gateway Special Needs Unit has expressed an interest in combining
our classes with theirs for disabled sporting activities once a week too.

So all in all a full and varied day for these special children who
otherwise would be stuck at home! We stick to all the school term dates and
operate from a secure cottage in Mandara where there is a lovely garden for
the children to play in at break time.

Please be kind enough to forward this email to everyone in your Zim address
book so that this much needed facility can be more widely known. For anyone
out there who feels that their child (aged anywhere between 4 and 14) could
benefit from our "school" please feel free to contact me anytime on 011
402924 or at home on 746012. Molly will assess your child and if we feel we
can help a trial period will be arranged which, if successful (and they
almost always are!), will result in permanent enrollment.

Best regards
Nicky Franco


Letter 5.

telephone: 27 72 378 8235

message: Hello, I'm trying to locate an old friend and neighbour. Clive
McMurdon was a cotton farmer 70 km east of Masvingo when I used to live in
Zim. It's been years since I've heard from him and I'd like to renew
contact and find out if he and his family are ok. I used to live at the
Bikita Minerals lithium mine.

Thanks for your help,

David Smith


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