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 arrest.
"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.
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
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 seriously."
Only speculation about why he is being
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.
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
"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
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
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
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
E-mails to one of the country's newspapers, the Zimbabwe
Independent, went unanswered.
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
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
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
Dr. Montgomery has recently
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.
has also served as the medical director of Central Kentucky Physicians Inc.
and was a founding director of the Kentucky Trust Company.
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
"We're frustrated and can't figure out what to do to be
helpful," said Jackson.
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
Advocate Staff Writer Liz Maples contributed to this
Nkomo orders Made, Moyo, Chinamasa to hand over
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
The order followed a weekend warning by Mugabe that multiple farm
owners should surrender extra farms and retain only one.
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
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
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 Nkomo.
Sources said many
new farm owners had registered them in the names of relatives, a tactic white
farmers were accused of during the resettlement exercise.
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.
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.
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
He did not explain why the Hwange farm was allocated to a
relative. Cape Argus
Government denies top officials own more than one farm
[ This report does
not necessarily reflect the views of the United
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.
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,
"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.
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
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
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
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
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 countries".
did not think that this fear underpinned the South African approach to the
Zimbabwe problem, Mbeki's diplomatic initiatives up till now had
"I think he has underestimated (President Robert) Mugabe.
He is a very clever, very smart and very determined man."
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
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".
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 support.
At the time the
African National Congress knew it could not overthrow the National Party by
"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 life".
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.
Amendments to Banking Act to be tabled in Parliament
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
Meanwhile, a Bill to govern the regulation and supervision of
asset management companies was approved by Parliament recently.
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
"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
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
"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."
Zim battling the impossible 16/07/2004 21:53 -
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
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
What's beyond dispute is that the human cost continues to
Zimbabwe once boasted one of the best education systems in
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
'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
Salaries and pensions are being left behind by galloping
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
Crippled Zimbabwe's agricultural sector
began to falter in the late 1990s and has teetered near collapse since 2000,
when political violence and often-violent farm seizures disrupted agriculture
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%.
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
Bride price, a custom in traditional African marriages, has
soared to millions of Zimbabwe dollars in cash and gifts.
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.
angry when I say today she is worth only four slices of bread," he said.
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.
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
"I'll be recommending we go for it. But I don't know
yet what they (the players) are going to say about it."
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
One member would be nominated by the ZCU, the other by
the players, and the third, the chairman, by these two people.
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.
colleague tried but failed to get Streak reinstated they went on strike in
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
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
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."
15,000 Villagers Await Proper Resettlement in Masvingo
July 16, 2004 Posted to the web July 16, 2004
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.
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
"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.
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
"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 Musanhu.
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
"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
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.
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.
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
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 exercise.
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.
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
"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
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
workshop is being attended by about 100 stakeholders from the agricultural
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
Pilsener, Zambezi and Zambezi Lite lagers now cost $3000 for a
"pint", $5 000 for a "quart" and $4 300 for a can.
corporate affairs executive Mr George Mutendadzamera said the increases have
only been effected on carbonated soft drinks and lager beer.
increases arose from the soaring cost of inputs in the manufacture of the
Mr Mutendadzamera said the overall price increment was below the
inflation levels for the period from January, given as 54 percent this
"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
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
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."
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
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
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
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
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
fees have gone up by 17,5 percent with effect from July 1.
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 co-payment.
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 centre.
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
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
The reason for this, according to some general
practitioners who spoke on condition of anonymity, was that business was
"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 Highfield.
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
"It has been difficult all along to access treatment because of
costs. This latest increase, therefore, just makes it even
"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.
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
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 yesterday.
It is projected that a total of
60 million kg would be sold at both the auction floors and through the
"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.
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
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
Prices offered for contract growers, who are disposing off
their crop on the field, is much higher at an average US$2,12 per
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
Please do one last thing and pass this on to the addresses that
you sent the first mail to.
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
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 choices..... 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
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 email@example.com 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.
regards Wendy Greaves Peter Ward Appeal co-ordinator Appeal
send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to firstname.lastname@example.org with "For Open Letter
Forum" in the subject
285 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- THOUGHT
FOR THE DAY
"Life engenders life. Energy creates energy. It is by
spending oneself that one becomes rich." --- Sarah
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
Subject: OPEN LETTERS FORUM - re HAND IN THERE - Not True
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
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
I fully agree with the rest of Albert Gumbo's
statement and especially with the thought of the day attributed to Che
Good luck to all Zimbabweans in Zimbabwe - many Zimbabweans in
other parts of the world are thinking of
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 goal.
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.
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?
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
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.
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
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.
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
Eddie Cross Bulawayo, 14th July
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
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
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.
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,
letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions of the
submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice for
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