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Tsvangirai urges SADC to push Mugabe to embrace reforms

Zim Online

Sat 22 July 2006

      HARARE - Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Thursday told
Southern African Development Community (SADC) chairman and Botswana
President Festus Mogae that fresh efforts to unlock a six-year old political
crisis in Zimbabwe will not succeed until President Robert Mugabe embarked
on extensive political reforms.

      Tsvangirai, whose faction of the splintered Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) opposition party is considered the main threat to Mugabe's
government, met Mogae in Gaborone last Thursday to brief him on the
escalating crisis in Zimbabwe ahead of a meeting of SADC leaders in Maseru,
Lesotho next month.

      Mugabe is expected to use the SADC summit to unveil a fresh initiative
by former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa to mediate in what he says is a
bilateral dispute between Harare and former colonial master Britain.

      Speaking to ZimOnline yesterday, MDC spokesman, Nelson Chamisa said
Tsvangirai told Mogae that his party will press ahead with plans to stage
anti-Mugabe mass protests to force the Zimbabwean president to resolve the

      Chamisa said: "The two leaders discussed several possible alternatives
to resolve our country's deepening economic and political crisis. Mkapa's
much talked about mission was discussed as part of the alternatives.

      "But Mr Tsvangirai made it clear that Mkapa's mission was doomed as it
was premised on the wrong footing. "Zimbabwe's problems are not a result of
differences between Mugabe and Britain, but rather stem from poor
governance, lawlessness and disregard for basic democratic and economic

      Earlier this month, Mugabe told the media that Mkapa would mediate in
the conflict between Harare and Britain.

      But the MDC and major Western governments have poured scorn on the
Mkapa initiative saying the initiative was misplaced and doomed to fail.

      "We understand SADC wants to be part of the Mkapa initiative so it was
important to update the chairman on the real issues at stake so that
precious time is not wasted on futile mediation attempts," said Chamisa.

      Mugabe wants SADC to bless the Mkapa initiative after blocking an
initiative by United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan. Under the
initiative, the UN chief would have asked Mugabe to leave power in return
for substantial aid for Zimbabwe and guarantees the Zimbabwean leader would
not be prosecuted for crimes committed while in office.

      Meanwhile, reports from Botswana quote Tsvangirai as having told the
Press there that Mogae had promised him that Zimbabwe will be on the agenda
of the SADC summit in Lesotho.

      The regional grouping has in the past shied from discussing Zimbabwe
and has firmly rejected calls by Western governments and regional human
rights groups to adopt a more robust approach towards Mugabe's government. -

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Police quiz Zimbabwean businessman over citizenship

Zim Online

Sat 22 July 2006

      HARARE - Zimbabwe police were on Friday reportedly questioning one of
the country's richest men also regarded as a close associate of President
Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF party, John Bredenkamp, over allegations that
he had violated the country's Citizenship Act.

      The Act bars Zimbabweans from holding dual citizenship. Bredenkamp is
believed to hold both a Zimbabwean and a British passport.

      Other reports from Harare suggested that Bredenkamp had been arrested
and was expected to spend the weekend in police cells.

      But ZimOnline was unable to independently confirm whether Bredenkamp
was arrested or was even being questioned by the police, with the
businessman unavailable to answer queries while police spokesman Wayne
Bvudzijena said he was unable to immediately confirm or deny the matter.

      Bredenkamp, who at one time helped the white supremacist government of
Ian Smith that bust sanctions during Zimbabwe's liberation struggle but
quickly befriended the ZANU PF government at independence, was reportedly
picked up by the police from his offices in Harare's Milton Park suburb.

      The business tycoon, who has interests in mining, transport and
farming and is also regarded among the richest people in Britain, is
regarded within Zimbabwe's political circles as more closer to former
parliamentary speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa.

      Mnangagwa was for many years regarded as heir apparent to Mugabe but
was last year sidelined at the eleventh hour when the veteran leader
handpicked Joice Mujuru to the posts of second Vice President of ZANU PF and
the government.

      The positions place Mujuru, wife of powerful retired army general
Solomon Mujuru, a step ahead to succeed Mugabe when he and first
Vice-President Joseph Msika step down as expected in 2008.

      Mnangagwa and Mujuru are bitter rivals to control ZANU PF in the
post-Mugabe era and analysts believe the targeting of Bredenkamp could be
part of the power struggles between the two camps. - ZimOnline

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Mugabe targets funeral insurance firms

Zim Online

Sat 22 July 2006

      HARARE - The government has gazetted a new levy that seeks to tax the
income of insurance companies and funeral assurers.

      The Insurance and Pensions Commission (Levy) Regulations 2006 were
published by Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa in a Government Gazette
released yesterday.

      Under the regulations, life assurers, short-term insurance firms,
pension funds and funeral assurance companies will be required to pay a levy
calculated on their annual income.

      This will include a fixed annual levy of Z$100 million per company in
each of these categories.

      This is not the first time the Zimbabwean authorities, in desperate
need for money to bankroll their programmes, have levied sectors they
perceive to be performing well.

      It has in the past levied tobacco growers and merchants through a
tobacco levy as well as workers and employers in the private sector through
an AIDS levy introduced in 1999 and 2000, respectively. - ZimOnline

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No more joking about Mugabe

Mail and Guardian

      Terry Leonard | Johannesburg, South Africa

      21 July 2006 04:34

            Times are hard and getting harder in Zimbabwe, where people too
proud to cry about their troubles could soon find it too dangerous to joke
about them.

            Zimbabweans faced with hunger, joblessness, the world's highest
inflation rate and shortages of every basic commodity ease their burden with
jokes, often spread by e-mail or SMS in a country where laughter at the
president's expense is a felony.

            Parliament next month will debate proposals to give the secret
police extraordinary powers to intercept, read or listen to the mail,
e-mail, telephone or cellphone communications of any of its citizens without
the approval of any court.

            The government denies any sinister intent, saying the goal is to
get its anti-terrorism legislation in line with international practice. But
Zimbabwe is not on the front lines of the war on terror, and government
agents could use the proposed powers to monitor the communications of the
political opposition, journalists and human rights activists who have been
critical of President Robert Mugabe.

            Secret police and intelligence agents could violate
attorney-client privilege, track financial transactions and negotiations and
eavesdrop on the private lives of anyone in the country. Any time a
Zimbabwean visits a website, makes a deal or tells a joke, Big Brother could
be listening or watching.

            "The purpose of the Bill is to monitor and block communications
for political reasons and to use information they get to persecute
opponents," said Lovemore Madhuku, the chairperson of the National
Constitutional Assembly, a civil society group very critical of repressive
laws and actions of Mugabe's government.

            "It is part and parcel of the process of controlling dissent and
stifling democratic debate," he said in a telephone interview.

            The government contends the Bill is part of a package of
measures in the global war on terrorism already enacted by other countries
with little or no opposition.

            A similar law was passed quietly in neighbouring South Africa
with the important difference that a court must approve any interception. In
Zimbabwe, that authority would rest solely with Mugabe's minister of
transport and communications.

            With a package of other security and media laws, Zimbabwe
already has done away with freedom of press and speech. People cannot
legally protest against the government, hold political rallies or meetings
without prior police approval. Clergymen have been arrested for holding
prayer vigils without prior police consent.

            Jokes about the president are no laughing matter to the
government, which has arrested people for insulting the president. It is
also illegal to say or write something that can "falsely" bring the
government into disrepute.

            "Jokes about Mugabe are a crime," Jim Holland, the chief
executive of Mango, a Zimbabwean internet service provider, said in a
telephone interview. "But people send these jokes all the time on cellphones
or e-mails."

            According to one popular such joke, a Zimbabwean police officer
stops a motorist and asks for a donation to help pay a heavy ransom demanded
by terrorists who have abducted Mugabe and threatened to douse him with
petrol and set him alight. The motorists asks what other people are giving
and the police officer replies that, on average, about two or three litres.

            In another, a man tired of waiting endlessly in line at a closed
petrol station announces he has had enough and is going to State House to
shoot the president. He returns a short time later, complaining that the
line there was even longer.

            Holland believes the proposed law will have a chilling effect on
such humour, but that the real dangers lie in the government's ability to
target its legitimate opponents and monitor sensitive business and financial

            "It is troubling in a country like this with its record on
corruption that the government could monitor financial transactions or even
internal communications ahead of a company making a tender offer," Holland

            He said that in early discussions about the proposed Bill one
man who would be involved in any government monitoring effort told a
gathering there was no cause for concern because the proposed law was only a
threat "to criminals and human rights activists".

            Holland and the chief executives of other internet service
providers have agreed that if the law is passed, they will challenge it
immediately in the courts on grounds it violates constitutional guarantees
of freedom of expression.

            But lawyers here note the government has intimidated and driven
off independent jurists and packed the courts with judges friendly to the
government. It also has pointedly ignored court rulings it dislikes. -- 

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Report: Only 40% of Zim's seized farms are used

Mail and Guardian

      Michael Hartnack | Harare, Zimbabwe

      21 July 2006 03:55

            Only 40% of the 11-million hectares of land seized from whites
since February 2000 have been taken over by black farmers, President Robert
Mugabe was quoted as saying on Friday.

            Mugabe told an annual gathering of 100 traditional tribal
leaders in the northern resort town of Kariba that the government had
resumed allocating land after a temporary halt to allow an audit into
alleged corruption, according to state radio and the official Herald

            He urged new applicants to come forward.

            "There is a lot of land that was not taken," he was reported as

            Mugabe said that in the past, some people were given land on the
basis of their ambition, but this was no longer enough.

            "You need capability, money and labour. Not everyone can be a
farmer," he was quoted as saying.

            The confiscation of 5 000 white-owned farms in the past six
years is widely blamed for causing a crash in agricultural production,
exports and the value of Zimbabwe's currency.

            However, official spokespeople have dismissed repeated reports
that many of the farms have become derelict, with irrigation equipment
looted for scrap, trees felled for firewood and buildings vandalised for
bricks, roofing materials, windows and door frames.

            Farming experts have disputed Agriculture Minister Joseph Made's
claims that 230 000 formerly landless black families have been successfully

            Mugabe ordered the seizures after losing a referendum on a new
Constitution that would have entrenched his rule indefinitely. He blamed
whites for orchestrating opposition to his government, in power since 1980
independence. Western observers alleged widespread rigging and intimidation
in recent presidential and parliamentary elections in which he claimed

            Black Zimbabweans were invited in 2000 to apply for subdivided
farms, and state-controlled newspapers published names of hundreds of
thousands of "lottery winners" under headlines such as "Oooh la la."

            In another sign of the woes facing farmers, the government said
that winter wheat yields would likely be affected by power cuts that had
disrupted irrigation.

            "The crop is suffering badly from these power cuts. That is
likely to have an adverse effect on the yield," a senior agricultural
official, Shadreck Mlambo was quoted as saying in the Herald.

            The newspaper said that only 53% of the targeted area had been
planted. It cited the shortage of critical inputs such as fertiliser, the
erratic supply of fuel and delayed payment for grain. -- Sapa-AP

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Zimbabwean Civil Society Groups Step Up Pressure on Mugabe Government


By Ndimyake Mwakalyele & Patience Rusere
      Washington DC
      21 July 2006

Top officials of seven Zimbabwean opposition parties were scheduled to
converge in Bulawayo on Saturday to exchange ideas and present themselves to

The Bulawayo Agenda advocacy group invited the presidents of both factions
of the Movement for Democratic Change, the Zimbabwe African People's
Union-Federal Party, the United People's Party, the Democratic Party, the
United People's Movement, and the Patriotic Union of Matabeleland.

However, MDC founding President Morgan Tsvangirai told the group that a
confllicting political engagement would prevent him from attending. Bulawayo
Agenda Program Director Xolani Zitha said one of Tsvangirai's lieutenants
was expected. He added that the Bulawayo Agenda is not affailiated with any
particular political party.

Senior political science lecturer John Makumbe of the University of Zimbabwe
said the exclusion of other opposition parties such as Zanu-Ndonga, the
United Party and the National Alliance of Good Governance, among others,
would not diminish the significance of the gathering, as the main parties
would be represented.

Separately, members of the Crisis Coalition In Zimbabwe, an umbrella
organization for hundreds of civic groups, passed a vote of no confidence in
the diplomatic talks which President Robert Mugabe has proposed between
Harare and London, with former president Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania serving
as his mediator.

Civil society groups say mediation by Mkapa and talks with London will not
address critical issues of poor governance at home.

The Crisis Coalition said its members will gather next week to seek
alternatives to the Mkapa process. The Crisis Coalition and the Christian
Alliance of religious leaders will meet in a one-day convention July 29 to
discuss how to press Harare for a redraft of the constitution as an
essential preparatory step to a fresh round of elections.

The organizers of this so-called ''Save-Zimbabwe'' convention have invited
ZANU-PF Information and Publicity Secretary Nathan Shamuyarira, also a
member of the party's Politburo, according to Crisis Coalition spokesman
Itayi Zimunya.

He said in an interview with reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for
Zimbabwe that civil society groups meanwhile will pursue resistance to the
authorities at lower levels - for instance mobilizing Harare residents
against the city commission that the central government appointed to replace
an opposition-dominated city council.

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'Power Cuts Could Reduce Wheat Yield'

The Herald (Harare)

July 21, 2006
Posted to the web July 21, 2006


POWER cuts currently being experienced in the country might reduce the
expected winter wheat yield, the Department of Agricultural Research and
Extension Services (Arex) has warned.

Arex director Dr Shadreck Mlambo yesterday said the winter crop had been
badly affected by the power cuts and hinted that this might significantly
result in reduced yield.

Dr Mlambo said the power cuts were disturbing irrigation operations on the
farms, hence affecting crop growth.

"The crop is suffering badly from these power cuts. That is likely to have
an adverse effect on the yield," Dr Mlambo said.

The revelations come as a major setback to the winter wheat programme after
farmers failed to meet the targeted 110 000 hectares.

A validation exercise report of the 2006 winter wheat programme revealed
that of the targeted hectarage, only 53 percent was planted in the country's
eight provinces, translating into 57 835,8 hectares.

The report cited the shortage of critical inputs such as fertilizer, load
shedding, erratic supply of fuel and delayed payment for grain delivered to
the Grain Marketing Board as some of the factors leading to the missing of
the targeted hectarage.

This means the estimated production will be about 218 046 tonnes and implies
a deficit of 168 954 tonnes. Zimbabwe consumes about 400 000 tonnes of wheat

Dr Mlambo said that apart from the problem of the power cuts, the general
condition of the crop around the country was satisfactory.

He said in some areas, the wheat had reached milk stage.

This is the stage when the wheat was likely to be attacked by the quelea
birds and Dr Mlambo advised farmers to report the presence of the birds as
soon as they discover them.

He said his department and the National Parks and Wildlife Management
Authority were already on the ground fighting the birds, which are wrecking
havoc in Chisumbanje and Matabeleland South where they are threatening
sorghum yields.

He said his department had received a major boost in the fight against the
migratory birds after it received Queletox, a chemical used in the fight
against quelea birds from a local non-governmental organisation.

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Hospital Mortuary Fails To Cope With Bodies

The Herald (Harare)

July 21, 2006
Posted to the web July 21, 2006


MASVINGO Provincial Hospital yesterday stopped accepting corpses from
outside the hospital following the closure of one of the two mortuaries at
the hospital and the failure of the existing one to accommodate more bodies.

In the past three weeks, the existing mortuary has constantly been carrying
between 40 and 80 corpses, far more than its carrying capacity of six

As if that was not enough, the morgue has been experiencing intermittent
refrigeration breakdowns.

The other one, which was built before independence and also had a carrying
capacity of six bodies, was closed down after the refrigeration system

When The Herald visited the morgue yesterday in the company of officials
from the Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Association (Murra), a
strong stench wafted from the mortuary and swarms of flies hovered at the
mortuary entrance.

There were 39 bodies crammed in the mortuary yesterday.

Hospital Superintendent Dr Ammadeuof Shamu conceded that the mortuary was
always overcrowded adding that some of the bodies were actually decomposing
owing to lack of space and the recurrent breakdown of the refrigeration

"At the moment there are 39 bodies in the mortuary and over the past few
weeks the number of corpses has been rising to 79 per day and some of the
bodies were decomposing owing to the frequent breaking down of the morgue

"We have since stopped taking bodies from outside the hospital due to the
limited capacity of our morgue which has a capacity to carry only six
bodies," said Dr Shamu.

He revealed that the high deaths of people owing principally to the HIV and
Aids pandemic had further exacerbated the situation adding that there was
need to build a completely new and bigger mortuary.

He also appealed to relatives to make quick arrangements of collecting their
deceased relatives as a way of mitigating the effects of overcrowding at the

Murra Chairman Cde Eddison Zvobgo (Jnr) said it was crucial that the private
sector and the Masvingo community at large take urgent action to avert
further deterioration at the provincial hospital mortuary.

Cde Zvobgo said it was imperative that people do not just wait for the
Government to provide social services like health but also take an active
role and assume some responsibility.

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Visiting Red Cross Officials Tour Projects In Zvimba

The Herald (Harare)

July 21, 2006
Posted to the web July 21, 2006

Walter Nyamukondiwa

VISITING Danish Red Cross Society representative, United Nations and
Japanese Red Cross Society officials yesterday toured humanitarian
assistance projects in Zvimba Communal Lands.

Mrs Birgit Wichmann toured home-based care (HBC) projects that were
assisting people affected by HIV/Aids in Zvimba. The projects were being
coordinated and funded by the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society through assistance
from international organisations such as the various arms of the United
Nations and Red Cross Societies from Japan and Denmark.

Mrs Wichmann said she was here to assess some of the projects the local
chapter of the Red Cross was involved in.

"I can't say much but I am here to see the projects on the ground," she

The team visited child-headed families, which were being assisted by the Red
Cross through provision of shelter and inputs to assist them to be

Most of the children lost parents to the Aids pandemic.

The team also toured Kumboyedza Support Group, which is made up of 13
members who are living positively with the HIV virus.

Zimbabwe Red Cross Society HIV and Aids co-ordinator Mrs Janet Muteiwa said
the projects were designed to support ailing people through provision of
psychological social support and food among others.

This support, she said, would be extended to children by paying school fees
should their parents die.

The Red Cross is supporting four projects in the province. Zvimba has a
population of about 209 000 people with about 20 200 home-based people
getting support owing to the HIV and Aids scourge.

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Govt abandons electric fence

Mmegi, Botswana

      Staff Writer
      7/21/2006 3:47:46 PM (GMT +2)

      Government has decided to abandon electrifying the fence along the
Botswana-Zimbabwe border and instead diverted the funds - P8 million to put
more security personnel along the border, Assistant Minister of Agriculture
Peter Siele told parliament yesterday.

      He was responding to a question from MP for Bobirwa Shaw Kgathi who
enquired if there is a change of plan regarding the construction of the
fence and what circumstances led to the sudden decision to renege on initial
plans and commitments to put up the fence. He further wanted the minister to
state whether he does not find it necessary to explain to the people along
the border the reasons and rationale for his decision to withdraw the plan.
Siele said that he and Vice President Lt Gen Ian Khama visited the area and
addressed a total of 12 kgotla meetings. "I also intend to brief the
Parliamentary Caucus on a number of issues under my portfolio including the
Foot and Mouth disease outbreak and its control, which will touch on the
Botswana/Zimbabwe border situation," he said.

      Meanwhile Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) engaged a
consultant in April this year to develop integrated organisational and pay
structures and is expected to report back by end of next month. Assistant
Minister of Finance and Development Planning Duncan Mlazie was responding to
a question by MP for Lobatse Nehemiah Modubule who wanted him to explain why
BURS salary structure for junior officers has not been put in place.

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Airzim Needs Z$600 Billion To Revive Cargo

The Herald (Harare)

July 21, 2006
Posted to the web July 21, 2006


AIR ZIMBABWE requires more than $600 billion to revive its cargo operations,
it has been established.

A cargo firm is one of the five strategic units formed as part of the
national airline's unbundling exercise. The others are Air Zimbabwe
(Private) Limited, Air Zimbabwe Technical, National Handling Services and
the National Distribution Company.

Board chairman Mr Mike Bimha refused to confirm the figure, but said on
Tuesday that the airline was in talks with the Ministries of Transport and
Communications, and Finance and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) on
possible funding to resume cargo operations.

Zimbabwe has been without a dedicated cargo airline since Affretair was
liquidated in the 1990s.

"The revival of the cargo business is still in the pipeline and the issue of
funding and other key factors is being sorted out," said Mr Bimha.

Altogether, Air Zimbabwe requires a total of US$44 million ($4,4 trillion)
for its recapitalisation programme and to settle its foreign debts.

Mr Bimha said the resumption of the cargo airline was crucial to economic
recovery and will benefit the export sector, mainly the horticultural

"The revival of the cargo industry is strategic to the economy as it will
also benefit exporters, especially those who are into perishables," said Mr

The perishables include flowers, fresh fruit and vegetables mainly to the
European market. In the short to medium term, Zimbabwe anticipates an
upsurge in the volume of exports to Asia.

Despite a virtual monopoly in the domestic market, Air Zimbabwe has been
struggling financially in recent years and often come under attack in recent
years as a hotbed of corruption and mismanagement.

The board of directors led by Mr Bimha, which assumed office a year ago, was
mandated to turn around the fortunes of the airline but faces daunting
challenges including ageing equipment, breakdowns, and perennial shortages
of foreign currency, fuel and spare parts.

To compound its woes, Air Zimbabwe has been barred from landing in Algeria
and an unnamed West African country over unpaid debts of US$8 million and
faces the additional humiliation of having its aircraft attached.

However, on Monday this week, the airline launched a code-sharing
partnership with Air Malawi, with a successful debut flight between Harare
and Dubai via Lilongwe, Malawi.

It is also exploring strategic alliances with Zambia Skyways, Mozambican
Airlines, Angolan Airlines and South African Airways to help reduce
operating costs while providing a wider route network and passenger

In March this year, it started quoting fares in US dollars but using the
interbank exchange rate for passengers paying in local currency.

Last week, it increased airfares by up to 150 percent citing high
operational costs.

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JAG Open Letter Forum No 432

Sent: Saturday, July 22, 2006 7:00 AM
Subject: JAG Open Letter Forum No 432 dated 21 July 2006


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


Letter 1

Dear Family and Friends,

It is estimated that well over three million Zimbabweans have left the
country for political and economic reasons in the last six years. This
represents almost a quarter of our population. For the people who have
stayed in Zimbabwe, either by choice or because they have no choice, it is
hard to understand what it must be like to live in exile. From here, we wish
we were somewhere with single, double or even triple figure inflation.  We
dream of being able to afford the most basic things again -everyday things
once taken for granted and now just permanently off the shopping list
because they are simply too expensive. We long for an end to fear and
oppression and ache for the time when we will again be able to afford to
travel to the beautiful places in our own country. We long to be able to
speak freely again, to stop whispering and looking over our shoulders
wondering who is listening, who is a spy, who we can trust. Mostly though,
we long for our families and friends who have gone, we miss the community
life, the gatherings and the laughter.

And for the people who have left, the aches and longings of being strangers
in strange lands are probably even harder. The longings are for familiarity,
for friends and family left behind, for the climate and countryside, and for
the laughter in the wind of the country that will always be home. Recently
someone living in exile said how much they missed the colours of Zimbabwe
and it made me realise how we take the richness and beauty of Zimbabwe for

 Winter is almost over now although we are still waking to blankets of frost
sprinkled on the ground in the early mornings. The days are mostly clear,
bright and sunny and the skies are a brilliant blue. The grass is golden and
yellow in the fields and in the vleis and stream beds the red hot pokers
have almost finished flowering. In the bush the lucky bean trees are just
opening their clusters of red flowers and in our towns the
poinsettias are covered in scarlet. In the highveld the Msasa trees have
begun shedding their load and the ground is covered with hard, curly, deep
brown pods, their shiny dark brown seeds lying in the sand waiting for the
rain when they can start the cycle all over again. And to end our days are
the sunsets which are filled with spectacular colour: pink and then lilac,
and at last orange and polished copper.

These are the true and permanent colours of Zimbabwe, refreshed and replaced
every day. They are the colours of home and frankly, for many of us, it is
the simple things like this that somedays prevent total and utter despair at
the horrific situation we are living in. The other colours that are
temporarily Zimbabwean - brown, purple and green - they
are just imposters. They are the colours of our bank notes which aren't
really bank notes and which have expiry dates. They are the colours of
inflation, oppression and despair and hard as it is to believe, we know they
will be gone - we pray it will be soon. Until next week, thanks for reading,
love cathy Copyright cathy buckle 15 July 2006
My books "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are available  from:


Letter 2

Dear Jag,

Please could anyone who knows the current address for Tokkie Van Der Merwe
who used to farm Threeways in the Lowveld.

Many thanks,

Ken Worsley.

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

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Harare Looks to Mozambique For Guidance On Currency Overhaul


By Blessing Zulu
      21 July 2006

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is considering lopping three zeros off the
nominal value of the Zimbabwean dollar and eventually issuing a new currency
to ease some of the calculation and accoujnting problems created by

A source at the central bank, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a
team of bank and Finance Ministry officials will soon travel to Mozambique
to speak with their peers there about their experience in overhauling the
Mozambican metical.

Lengthy strings of zeros are clogging software, hand-held calculators, cash
registers and gas pump meters as Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate nears
1,200%. Businesses must routinely deal with sums in the hundreds of millions
or billions, while corporate investments and national budgetary accounts are
measured in the trillions.

The central bank source said legislation could be presented to Zimbabwe's
parliament soon to authorize redenomination of the currency. Such operations
were carried out in recent years in Argentina and Brazil in their successful
battles against inflation.

But Harare economist James Jowa warned that eliminating zeros would not
eliminate underlying issues that drive Zimbabwe's inflation, like massive
budget overruns.

For another view on the possible redenomination strategy, VOA reporter
Blessing Zulu turned to economist Eric Bloch, who has been an advisor to the
Reserve Bank.

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