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

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New Zimbabwe land shocker

      June 09 2004 at 01:35AM

By Tony Weaver and Basildon Peta

In what has been described as "the end of the end" for Zimbabwe's wildlife,
President Robert Mugabe's government has announced it is to nationalise all
wildlife conservancies and productive farm land.

In an interview with the state-owned Herald newspaper, the Minister of
Special Affairs in the Office of the President in charge of lands, land
reform and resettlement, John Nkomo, said the government wanted to abolish
all title deed holdings.

"In the end all land will be state land and there will be no such thing
called private land."

Title deeds are to be replaced with 99-year leases for farm land.

But, in a move that has sent shockwaves through the community of
conservationists, who have been fairly immune to land grabs because of their
importance to the economy, leases on nationalised conservancies are to be
limited to 25 years.

This would open the "lucrative" game sector to "many more people", Nkomo

Eddie Cross, finance spokesperson for the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, told the Cape Times by email "this will mark the end of private
conservation in Zimbabwe".

"The majority of the conservancies are foreign-owned and therefore protected
by investment guarantee agreements with foreign governments. French, German,
American and British interests are involved, as are several South African
investors. These people have bought into these conservancies with
certificates of 'no interest' by the state (and have) made huge investments
in infrastructure and in wildlife."

At stake were hunting and ecotourism revenues of around $50-million (about
R300-million) a year, investment inflows of around $6-million (about
R36-milion) a year and the "survival of certain species that have virtually
been wiped out in other areas".

Cross alleged that "indigenous participation", as mentioned by Nkomo, did
not mean peasants participating in conservation, but "selected Zanu-PF
officials and others connected with the Mugabe regime".

Zimbabwe's government has quietly accelerated the seizure of commercial
farms, despite assurances by Mugabe that this had ended. At the weekend, the
government gazetted 259 more farms for seizure, bringing to 918 the number
listed since January for compulsory acquisition. Another 245 farms have been
acquired since January.

Of a long list of farms gazetted since April, most are in mainly game
conservancy areas.

Nkomo has advised private landowners to surrender their land immediately. He
said the process of acquiring it under the Land Acquisition Act was too
involved and no longer necessary in view of the move to nationalise all

"The state should not be made to waste time and money on acquisitions," he

The Cape Times spoke to a number of leading Zimbabwean conservationists,
several of them involved in the conservancy movement, which protects vast
wildlife areas outside the national parks. None was prepared to be named
because, as one put it, "the climate of fear here now is all-pervasive -
this is the end of the end for Zimbabwe's wildlife".

Johnny Rodrigues, outspoken chairperson of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task
Force, was the only conservationist prepared to speak on the record.

"The period of 25 years is ridiculous. It will take 15 to 25 years just to
get the wildlife to recover. The wildlife situation is terrible, it really
is disastrous."

"The army is involved in a lot of the poaching. We are getting reports of
(soldiers) using landmines to kill hippos for meat near Binga (on Lake
Kariba). There are trophy-hunters coming in with no legal quotas. Three
Americans recently shot 38 trophies without proper permits."

Rodrigues said he and others suspected wildlife areas had not been earmarked
before because of international sensitivity about conservation.

"Now the quickest way left to get rich is through wildlife - everyone's
saying that's where the money is, let's go the whole hog and take the lot.
That's the mood in Zimbabwe: get rich as fast as possible. All the wildlife
people need to get together fast, to preserve what we have left before it's
too late."

Another leading conservationist, a pioneer of the conservancy movement,
said: "I don't think I can take it any more.

"This is the end."

  .. This article was originally published on page 1 of The Cape Times on
June 09, 2004
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New Zimbabwe
Mugabe spends $200m on new fighter jets



By Clemence Manyukwe, Staff Reporter
Last updated: 06/10/2004 06:43:26 Last updated: 06/09/2004 13:42:47
ZIMBABWE has ploughed an estimated US$200m into the purchase of 12 new fighter jets and military vehicles from China, New has been told.

The government's acquisition of the military hardware is set to cause a stink with critics led by the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change. The MDC has already queried the defence budget -- the biggest in the current financial year -- which it says is unjustifiable in peace time.

Due to sanctions imposed on President Robert Mugabe's regime, Zimbabwe's current fleet of European-made fighter jets is said to be crippled by a critical shortage of spares which has forced the government to look to China and the Far East.

Although the government has refused to disclose the type of aircraft being bought in the secret deal covered by the 1989 legal provision which excludes the acquisition of key military equipment from going through a tender board or to be advertised, sources tell New the aircraft include the FC-1 (Fighter China 1), developed recently to replace the Chengdu F-7. The cost of each plane is US$20m.

The FC-1 was designed by China to replace the F-7 which has been widely criticised by military experts. Pakistan, which like Zimbabwe was using the F-7 is China's biggest customer for the FC-1.

Apart from the 12 jets, Zimbabwe has also put an order for 100 military vehicles. At least six of the jets are expected to be delivered any time this week, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Trust Maphosa told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence and Home Affairs.

It is not clear where the funding for the new aircraft is coming from as in the current budget, announced by government in November last year, the army was allocated $815, 49 billion (about US$154 million) with 69 percent expected to be chewed by salaries and the rest going to operations.

Mt Darwin MP Savior Kasukuwere queried the manner in which the purchase of military equipment had by-passed the State Procurement Board, a move he said might result in the army buying equipment which may be expensive, but having a short life span.

Maphosa told the parliamentary committee that the decision to buy the military hardware from China was a political decision after the force had encountered problems in procuring spare parts for equipment bought in Western Europe as a result of European Union sanctions imposed against President Mugabe's regime.

Zimbabwe has one of the most formidable defence forces in Africa, whose highlight after the country’s independence include assisting the Mozambican government subdue the former rebel Renamo in the 1980s and repelling invasion forces who were threatening to overrun the DRC capital, Kinshasa in 1998.

The Air Force of Zimbabwe has two bases in Manyame (near Harare) and Thornhill (Gweru) with personnel estimated at about 5 000 in 1999. Currently, the Air Force has the Chengdu F-7 fighter jet, British-made Hawker Hunters and recently demonstrated newly-acquired Russian-made MiG-23 jets and Mi-35 helicopter gunships, armed for attacking targets on the ground, especially with automatic gunfire, but often also with rockets and/or missiles.
Additional reporting Daily Mirror

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9 June 2004



1. Parliamentary Elections 2005


The focus of the MDC since our national conference in December last year is on the Parliamentary election in 2005. We are preparing for those elections. At the centre of our campaign today is the need to raise Zimbabwe’s electoral standards to those of the SADC region. Our campaign is divided into two parts: national and international.


                  The national campaign involves:

o        being part of a broad alliance of all democratic forces representing all shades of political opinion in Zimbabwe – political parties, civil society, advocacy groups, traditional structures and other stakeholders;

o        mobilizing our party structures to extend the campaign for a free and fair election – meetings with all elected officials in the party at various levels and designing specific campaign tasks for every individual party member everywhere;

o        engaging all community leaders at every level to fight violence and to allow for free political activity in their areas;

o        publicizing the five consolidated demands for a free and fair election.

                  The demands are: 

o        Restore the rule of law. All forms of political violence must end. Disband the Zanu PF youth militias. The police and security forces must be impartial in the conduct of their duties. In addition, Zimbabwe needs a special court to hear and resolve electoral disputes speedily. We challenged the election results in 37 constituencies after the 2000 Parliamentary election. Some of the petitions remain heard in our courts to this day, a few months before the end of the life of that Parliament.

o        Restore Basic Freedoms and Rights. We are asking the regime to repeal those aspects of the Public Order and Security Act and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) that curtail personal freedoms of the people.

o        Establish an Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).  Elections are very crucial to any country. They are basic right. We risk perpetuating our misery if we allow Zanu PF to play games with our electoral system. Because of our previous experience, the management and implementation of our elections muse cease to be the sole prerogative of the Registrar General’s office. That office has failed the nation on numerous occasions. We need an impartial body to run our elections.

o        Restore Public Confidence in the Electoral Process. This is a crucial matter. Zimbabweans are fast losing faith in elections because of mistrust. We need a clean and accurate voters roll. The roll must be freely available to interested persons and to all political parties. People must vote in a single day; the counting of votes must take place at the polling stations immediately after voting ends.

o        Restore the Secrecy of the Ballot. We need a set of confidence-building measures to resuscitate the sanctity of elections and the part they play in national development. Voting must take place in atmosphere that ensures total secrecy. We must change our ballot boxes. We need to use translucent plastic ballot boxes of secure, single piece construction. The practice of forcing chiefs and village heads to line up with their subjects, before voting, outside polling stations must stop.


The International campaign:

                  The international campaign involves:

n       engaging SADC governments and political parties. What we are telling them is that the Zimbabwean crisis will worsen unless the region takes a firm position on the conduct of elections in this country. What we are telling them is that our electoral standards are still very backward and we need their assistance in upgrading them.

n       engaging civil society in SADC and beyond. We are saying no-one should come to monitor Zimbabwean elections until they are conducted in accordance with the SADC norms and standards. There must never be a repeat of the experience of the last five years where Zimbabwean elections cause division among civil society and governments in Africa and beyond.

n       Apart from our regular interaction with diplomats, several missions are going into the region with this message.

v      All we are asking Mugabe and Zanu PF to do is to ensure that Zimbabwe has a cleaner electoral environment by changing the management system of our elections.

v      The people seek the electoral administrative safeguards to circumvent the violence that was unleashed since February 2000 to this day. We need a safe, free and fair election to avoid the subversion of democratic practices and procedures through unlawful political directives.

v      We realise that time is short. To put together an Independent Electoral Commission and to get to work effectively may require more time and resources.

v      We are prepared to recommend that the election be postponed to make way for such an important institution to set itself up and get on with the job.

v      The idea is to have an election process and a result that would lead to a resolution of the Zimbabwean question, once and for all.




Questions are being raised as to our views on the latest confusion in Zanu PF over the land issue.  Our standard response is that what is happening today vindicates our long-held position that Zanu PF and Mugabe were never interested in resolving the land question. Their intention was to cover up for the crisis of governance, which they created in this country. What happened was a response to our democratic challenge in the 2000 and 2002 elections?

They are now shifting their policy positions almost daily because they never had a land programme in the first place. Last year, they announced that the process was over. Zanu PF does not have the ability to deal with the land question because of the manner in which Mugabe treated that national asset. We shall ensure that there is security of tenure and respect for private property rights anywhere in this country.

We believe the first step requires the return of the rule of law onto our land. We shall bring Zimbabwe’s land crisis to an end through a democratic and participatory process.  Everybody, everywhere is moving away from nationalization of land. Nationalisation turns a viable economic asset into dead capital. No-one benefits from such an approach.

As I have always said our corrective approach will be based on need, not greed. That process will seek to achieve an equitable, transparent, just, lawful and economically efficient distribution and use of land. We want to go further than merely re-organising our land tenure and land management systems. We are committed to the transformation of the communal lands into productive economic units for the benefit of all.

We want to extend property rights and titles to the communal areas. The intellectual and creative energies of the people in the rural areas are being wasted. Our objective is to transform the communal areas and to abolish the dual agrarian structure in this country. We must have one land tenure system for Zimbabwe.

Through a Land Commission, we shall audit land tenure and distribution. On the basis of that audit, we will rationalize land allocation. We believe a comprehensive agrarian reform programme is necessary for us to embrace and integrate all types of land tenure and production systems.

Farming is a serious business. It cannot be left to chancers and speculators. Contrary to the state-sponsored propaganda, there are fewer people on the land now than at any time since independence 24 years ago.  We warned Mugabe that these desperate so-called new farmers are going to be a source of instability.

What do you expect from a people who lie dumped and abandoned in the bush: with no support, no schools, no medical care, no income, no seed, no skills, no inputs and no food. Nothing! There is a looming disaster in these farms. Hunger, disease, poverty and hopelessness are setting in fast. Many of them are already turning to the MDC for solutions.


3. Corruption and the Economy


Mugabe’s anti-corruption drive has backfired. He is failing to deal with corruption in business after realising that the net is much wider at the top of his party.

We need an independent anti-corruption commission with sufficient powers to investigate and prosecute everybody. Without such a body, Mugabe’s efforts won’t go anywhere. He is scared to investigate senior military and party officials who seized farms, stole farm machinery and scooped all the farm produce worth billions of dollars from white farmers.

When Gideon Gono took over as Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, we warned that his policies would fail to turn around the economy because the source of our problems is political.

He has devalued the currency to a level that is higher than the December black market rate. Nothing has improved. If anything the economy is in a far worse position than in December last year.

He is overseas trying to encourage those Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to send money home. That Zimbabweans are sending money home is nothing new. They have always been doing it.

Mugabe may want their money, but what about their rights? What about their vote? Without a political solution to the crisis, we find ourselves in a situation where Mugabe is sounding more and more like a clown.

Food production is down this year, our economy is still in free fall --
down this year by another 10 per cent. Industry is down 40 per cent; tourism is down 80 per cent. Nearly 80 percent of all the jobs we had are all gone.

The whole country has been reduced to a flea market. Life expectancy has fallen a year for every year that Mugabe has been in power -- from 59 years on average in 1980 to 36 years now.


I thank you.


Morgan Tsvangirai
Harare, Zimbabwe.
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From Focus (SA), June 2004

Al-Qaeda and the Zimbabwe nexus

R W Johnson ponders the existence of a political triad linking Osama bin
Laden and Muammar Qadaffi via Robert Mugabe

On 7 August 1998 al-Qaeda suicide bombers driving trucks loaded with
explosives crashed - simultaneously - into the United States Embassies in
Nairobi (Kenya) and Dar-Es-Salaam (Tanzania). Between them they killed at
least 258 people and injured over 5 000 others. These twin assaults
indicated a new level of ambition in al-Qaeda's strategy. Clinton's
response - lobbing a few Cruise missiles at suspected al-Qaeda installations
in Afghanistan and Sudan - was clearly viewed by Osama Bin Laden as a mere
slap on the wrist. What the attacks had shown was that a few suicide bombers
using everyday means of transport as a delivery mechanism could achieve
complete surprise and inflict thousands of casualties on two or more targets
at once by carefully co-ordinated action. With this al-Qaeda had found the
weapon for which it had been searching - and which it was to use again with
even greater effect on 11 September 2001. On 25 August 1998, just eighteen
days after the bombs in Kenya and Tanzania had been detonated, a pipe bomb
exploded in the Planet Hollywood restaurant on Cape Town's Waterfront,
killing one and wounding 27. The police concluded from the fact that the
target had sounded American and that a pipe bomb had been used that this was
probably the work of Pagad. But no one was ever apprehended for the atrocity
despite the fact that the ANC minister for safety and security, Sydney
Mufamadi, had announced that the police were closing in and that an arrest
was expected at any moment. Later Mufamadi changed tack, seeming almost to
blame the US for the bomb and suggested that it was a predictable reprisal
for the Cruise missile attack on Sudan.

The FBI was more successful, quickly arresting three suspects for the
African bombings, Mohamed Saddeck Odeh, Rashed Daoud Al-'Ouhali and Wali
al-Hage, the latter having earlier served as personal secretary to Bin Laden
himself. All three were flown to the US where they confessed that the
kingpin of the operation, Haroun Fazil (26), had rented a villa outside
Nairobi where the bomb had been constructed. Fazil had driven a white
pick-up truck and guided the lorry laden with explosives, driven by his
operatives, to the US Embassy. Straight after the bombing he had taken a
flight to his native Comoros Islands. The FBI, finding a record of a phone
call made from a Nairobi hotel to the Comoros, asked the help of the Comoros
government in tracing the call but clearly Fazil was tipped off for on 22
August he fled to Dubai just as the FBI arrived in the Comoros - where they
found incriminating CDs in his family home. What this event drew attention
to was the existence of a Muslim network running all the way down the East
coast of Africa from the Persian Gulf to Cape Town. South Africa itself has
many attractions for Muslim terrorists. Durban, after all, is home to
Africa's richest Muslim community and its International Islamic Centre was
built thanks to a personal donation by Bin Laden. Moreover, large sums of
money can move easily through the Durban Indian community to Mauritius,
Nairobi or Cape Town - and, indeed, to its overseas branches in London,
Toronto and Sydney. One could be sure of finding, within southern Africa,
enough al-Qaeda sympathizers, enough money and enough ways of making sure
the two connected to make this region a major front in the terrorist war.
Moreover, the region boasts not one but two failed states - the DRC and
Zimbabwe - ideal breeding grounds for terrorism. An ironic advantage of this
situation, I discovered as I started to delve into the question of terrorist
links, was that some members of Mugabe's secret police, the Central
Intelligence Organization (CIO), were feeling sufficiently disaffected to
talk frankly, though of course anonymously, about the subject.

Mugabe's relationship with radical Islam goes back to 1978 when Libya's
president Muammar Qadaffi provided arms and training for his Zanla
guerrillas in Mozambique and, after Zimbabwean independence, trained 700
policemen for the new government. Mugabe was, however, well aware that
Libyan sponsorship of various terrorist groups made friendship with Qadaffi
extremely unwise and he kept relations formal and distant. This remained the
case even after the Reagan administration's air strike on Tripoli in 1986 in
retaliation for several terrorist outrages traceable to Libya. Qadaffi, who
had a son killed in the raid and narrowly escaped with his own life, was
badly shaken and arrived at the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Harare a few
months later thirsting for revenge and tried to enlist Mugabe and the NAM in
an anti-US crusade. Mugabe, hosting the summit, was carefully unreceptive
and Qadaffi stormed out in a huff. Relations between the two men remained
cool until 1999. One CIO officer, a man I shall call John, who had followed
the relationship from his desk in Harare, told me that what had really
changed things was Mugabe's resounding defeat by the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) in the February 2000 constitutional referendum.
Mugabe quickly approached Qadaffi: with his regime now under threat and
isolated on the world stage Mugabe had far less to lose diplomatically than
before. Qadaffi responded positively and the relationship between the two
leaders became extremely close. Mugabe became increasingly sensitive to the
currents and wishes of the Muslim world, particularly since the Mahathir
regime in Malaysia was one of his few other friends. Through John I managed
to make contact with 'Walter', a high-ranking CIO officer who had served
much of his career in Islamic countries, including Libya. My own presence in
Harare was a somewhat delicate matter - I had watched the minister of
information, Jonathan Moyo, denounce me on TV and say that I was not welcome
in the country - so Walter could hardly be seen talking to me. Accordingly
one night I was guided through the Harare suburbs by a car whose driver I
never saw to a place where a second car was parked and which in turn led me
to the house where I found Walter.

Walter told me that he had not been long in the Middle East before he had
realized that Qadaffi's links with terrorism had not ceased after 1986 but
had, perforce, merely become more discreet. Qadaffi, still animated by a
desire for revenge against America, maintained contact with and sometimes
funded a variety of Islamic terrorist groups but tried simultaneously to
ensure that the US would have no excuse to repeat the 1986 raid. "I was
surprised," Walter said. "Libya was still far more active in training and
assistance to terrorist groups than was commonly realized. They sometimes
trained such organizations in third countries such as Egypt and Yemen in
order not to attract further US attention towards Libya itself. Most of the
core Taliban fighters were Libyan-trained, you know. Libya also gave a lot
of support and training to the fundamentalist FIS (the Islamic Salvation
Front) in Algeria, and Algeria was sometimes used as an external training
ground by Libyan instructors, for example in the training of Hamas, most of
whose operatives are Libyan-trained. Hamas has very close links to Libya."
Lebanese and Iraqi groups had also benefited from Libyan training, as had
the PLO, he said. "From what I've seen the Libyans are the best in the world
at terrorist techniques". Naturally Qadaffi maintained links with al-Qaeda
as well, Walter averred, but he had never come close to exercising the
quasi-control over it that he did over some terrorist groups simply through
the weight of his patronage. But any Middle East terrorist group which
needed help would be likely to beat a path to Qadaffi's door. This was how
it came about in September 2000 that Qadaffi asked Mugabe to receive an
al-Qaeda contact, Zawahiri, Osama Bin Laden's Egyptian deputy. "In a way
there'd been a dry run," Walter said. "Mugabe already had close relations
with Yasser Arafat and when Arafat visited Mugabe in 1998 he brought with
him six Lebanese members of Islamic Djihad, one of the most fanatical
anti-Zionist groups. These guys were all men wanted by the Israelis but they
stayed on in Harare for two weeks after Arafat left before exiting via
Zambia to Libya (a fact later confirmed to me by another ex-CIO operative).
Qadaffi learnt all about this from Arafat - the two men are close - and
clearly realized that Mugabe might be willing to host wanted Arab

Ayman Mohammed Rabie al-Zawahiri is one of the world's most wanted men. A
former paediatrician, he is regarded as the brains of al-Qaeda - besides his
nine aliases the FBI also records that he is known as The Doctor and The
Teacher, as befits a man who has been a fundamentalist militant since 1966.
Fully one third of al-Qaeda's fighters come from his Al-Djihad movement,
including Mohammed Atta, the man who flew the first airliner into the twin
towers. But why should Qadaffi want to introduce Zawahiri to Mugabe? "We
surmised that what had happened was that Osama had sent Zawahiri to Qadaffi
to ask for his help," said Walter. "At the time, of course, we were in the
dark but after the September 11 attack everything suddenly made sense. You
see, this was exactly a year before 9/11 and al-Qaeda must have been
planning that event well over a year ahead. They must have known that one of
the things they needed most were safe bases far from the action. Qadaffi
could hardly provide anyone with that - he would be an immediate suspect and
anyway was eager to keep the Americans off his back. But Zimbabwe would have
occurred to him right away - by then he was very close to Mugabe - and
because we're not a Muslim country no one would suspect us." The logic was
indeed obvious. From al-Qaeda's point of view Zimbabwe would have had many
advantages. Once an atrocity on the scale of September 11 took place the US
would clearly scan the Muslim world for possible al-Qaeda hideouts. Sudan
and Afghanistan were clearly already potential targets, as were African
countries with large Muslim populations. But Zimbabwe was not in that
category - and it also had, as most African countries don't, the modern
communications and banking facilities al-Qaeda needed. It was also
conveniently close to Nairobi, Durban and Cape Town - the three centres
where Bin Laden already had links. In addition, Walter said, there were
small Afghan communities in both Cape Town and Port Elizabeth - they had
come there originally as seamen - and there was a lively trade between them
and a small number of Bolivians in both places: hashish from the Khyber Pass
was brought through Cape Town and traded for cocaine from the Bolivians.
These networks were also useful for smuggling personnel or equipment, or
laundering money.

To be continued...
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The incredible and utter stupidity of Zimbabwe's rulers
Posted by McQ

Just when you think a situation can't get worse, some dunderhead and his government step forward to disuade you of that notion:

Zimbabwe's land minister said Tuesday that the government intended to nationalize all farmland that it had not already confiscated under a contentious program of land seizures begun four years ago.

The minister, John Nkomo, said the government planned to take control of remaining farmland, abolishing all deeds, and turn it back to farmers under 99-year leases. Leases on wildlife conservancies would be limited to 25 years, he said, because that land is considered more valuable than farmland.

"Ultimately, all land shall be resettled as state property,'' Mr. Nkomo was quoted as saying Tuesday in the government-controlled newspaper The Herald. "It will now be the state which will enable the utilization of the land for national prosperity."

Obviously Mr. Nkomo missed the last century completely as we saw the utter and complete failure of states "utilization of the land for national prosperity" in the guise of the eastern bloc nations.

He's also going to have difficulty blaming the impending failure on whites:

Very little white-owned farmland remains in the nation. The government has already confiscated more than 42,000 square miles of formerly white commercial farmland and game reserves, and only about 500 of the original 5,000 or so white farmers are believed to still hold property.

The result of previous confiscations has been economic havoc:

Zimbabwe's economy has been in free fall since 2000, when President Robert G. Mugabe's government began taking over white-owned commercial farms and redistributing the land, mostly to supporters of his ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, or ZANU-PF.

The confiscations wrecked commercial farm exports as well as the chemical and machine industries, which supported agriculture. Foreign investors also fled, and the resulting shortages of goods and foreign exchange have halted economic growth and pushed inflation as high as 620 percent a year.

So the answer? Why confiscate more farms, of course.

And as to the current economic crisis ... well its just not Zimbabwe's fault:

Zimbabwe's government says its economic problems have nothing to do with the land seizures and can be laid to drought and a Western plot to restore colonial rule.

But since title has yet to be given on the redistributed land previously confiscated, is it any wonder that banks and other financial institutions won't lend money to their "owners".

Nkomo claims that a 99 year lease is tantamount to ownership. Well try running that one by the financial institutions which would be stuck with the default and see how far you get you ditz. They're going to tell you nothing short of a deed will suffice for appropriate collateral.

And Africa wonders why it suffers so ...

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S. African Judge Denies Extradition from Zimbabwe of Suspected Mercenaries
VOA News
09 Jun 2004, 17:26 UTC

A South African court has denied a request to bring home for trial 70 men
held by Zimbabwe as suspected mercenaries.
Pretoria High Court judge Bernard Ngoepe said Wednesday there was not enough
evidence to force the South African government to seek their extradition.

The suspects were traveling on South African passports in March when they
were arrested in Harare on suspicion of plotting a coup in Equatorial

The judge said it is up to the South African government to decide on an
extradition request. He said there is no evidence the government has refused
to take action to resolve the situation.

Attorneys for the suspects filed the petition last month out of fears the
men might be extradited to Equatorial Guinea, where they could face the
death penalty.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters
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Zimbabwean media bosses in court once more

      June 09 2004 at 06:45PM

By Susan Njanji

Harare - The publisher and three news directors at Zimbabwe's banned
independent newspaper, the Daily News, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to
charges of publishing without a licence.

The four are facing charges under Zimbabwe's tough media laws, which oblige
all news organisations and journalists to be registered by a state

Daily News publisher Samuel Nkomo and directors Rachel Kupara, Michael
Mattinson and Brian Mutsau appeared relaxed during the court appearance in

The charges stem from the decision by the newspaper bosses to resume
publication of the Daily News in October, six weeks after it was shut down.

The comeback edition was published a day after a court ruled that the state
media commission had erred by denying the paper a licence when it applied
for one in September.

But the head of the media commission testified on Wednesday that the
newspaper editors misinterpreted the court ruling and should have waited
before restarting publication of the newspaper, which is fiercely critical
of President Robert Mugabe.

The court had ordered that the Daily News be granted a licence by November

Resuming publication immediately was "the accused's interpretation" of the
judgment, said Tafataona Mahoso, chairman of the media commission.

"Following the judgment of the 24th of October 2003, it (the paper) should
have waited until after the 30th of November," he contended.

"In my understanding, the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe was publishing
outside the law," said Mahoso.

If convicted, the Daily News bosses could each be fined ZIM$300 000 or be
sentenced to two years in prison.

The Daily News was founded in 1999 as an alternative to its main rivals -
the state-run Herald and Chronicle dailies, which toe the official line. In
February, the Daily News laid off 250 of its 300 full-time staff.

The outspoken newspaper's woes started in September 2003 when the Supreme
Court ruled that it was operating illegally and should register.

The following day, armed police raided the paper's offices and printing
presses and shut down the paper that had provided an alternative voice to
the government-owned daily papers.

Several court rulings have ordered that the paper be allowed to publish
again, but it has only sporadically appeared on newsstands.

The last edition came out on February 5, the day the Supreme Court upheld
the law stipulating that all journalists in the country should be accredited
with the media commission.

The trial of the four newspaper directors is to continue on Thursday.

The Supreme Court has yet to hand down a ruling on a constitutional
challenge brought in March by the daily - accused by the government of being
a front for Western and opposition interests - against the media laws.

Zimbabwe has the worst record on media freedom among the 10 countries of
southern Africa, according to the Windhoek-based Media Institute of Southern

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Various opinions posted on an internet site.........

June 09, 2004

The Mugabe Diet

When hamfisted land reform threw the security of Zimbabweans' property tenure into turmoil, food production dropped through the floor. So now the country's trying to fix that by nationalizing all the land.

Posted by Jesse Walker at June 9, 2004 10:03 AM

Is Mugabe trying eradicate the entire population? Genocide via famine? If he is, he's doing a pretty good job.

Posted by: grizzly on June 9, 2004 10:38 AM

Looks like Comrade President ran out of whites to steal from.

This leaves South Africa as the only black African country with private land ownership.

Comrade President insists that everything's OK and the bumper crop is coming. If he's lying and the people don't take his head come harvest time, perhaps they deserve him.

Posted by: John Hensley on June 9, 2004 11:03 AM

I blame the Imperialism of the patriarchal machano-capitalist global system for the problems of Zimbabwe, a system that exploits gays, lesbians, the transgendered, women, the poor, and people of colour.

Confronted with global hegemons, what else was Mugabe to do, BUT nationalize the land, to prevent its exploitation by the alien compradors intent on expropriating the surplus value of the people's resource for the benefit of their patrons in the 1st world?

And who says a Liberal Arts degree is worthless?

Posted by: Joe L. on June 9, 2004 11:09 AM

Hah! I hope they starve.

Posted by: rst on June 9, 2004 11:26 AM

Well rst, "they" are going to be the people of Zibabwe, not the Mugabes of Zimbabwe. That's the tragedy, "they" are about to be in a train wreck, NOT of their own making. So this is a tragedy, not justice.

Posted by: Joe L. on June 9, 2004 11:28 AM

What's so different about that than what goes on here in the US? You can lose your land/building to someone with a bigger checkbook than you so that a hotel or stadium can be built. You only own your property until the government decides they want to do something else with it.

(Here in San Diego, Gran Havana Cigar Factory is losing their building and $3M investment so that Marriott can build a hotel. And don't forget everyone that got ousted to build the new stadium downtown).

Posted by: Andy on June 9, 2004 11:44 AM

Exactly so Andy, and the elections are rigged too! And the camps are just waiting to be opened!

Really, your post is over the top! US does NOT equal Zimbabwe, OK. What is happening with eminent domain is a far cry from what is transpiring in Zimbabwe.

One is bad and one is HORRIBLE. Let's try to keep the two in perspective, one yields money to Nordstroms, property owners, and politicians, one yields corruption, starvation, and misery, there IS a difference.

To a purist there may be no difference,but in reality there is.

Posted by: Joe L. on June 9, 2004 11:49 AM

"This leaves South Africa as the only black African country with private land ownership."

Ahhh, no. See Kenya.

Posted by: Gary Gunnels on June 9, 2004 12:02 PM

A few weeks ago, U2 lead singer and whiney activist, Bono, gave a commencment speech to the graduating class at the University of Pennsylivania. Since Africa is one of his pet causes, he implored the grads to use their knowledge to save the desperate starving people who are unfortunete enough to live their.

While I'm not arguing with sentiment, I call his tactics into question. One of the main causes of the problems in Africa are tin pot scumbags like Mugabe. No amount of good intentions are going to stop the years of petty tribal violence. Western doctors may find the cure to AIDS, but it doesn't help if the local leaders attribute the disease to evil spirits rather than a virus.

I doubt a wide-eyed, upper-middle class kid was a sociology degree is going to help much. A .45 ACP hollow point, placed between the eyes of Mugabe and other tin-pot slimeballs like him would be a much greater service to the people of Africa. Get the people causing the problem out of the way, then we'll talk about sending in the "experts" to clean up the mess.

Posted by: Mark S. on June 9, 2004 12:56 PM

So this is a tragedy, not justice.

I never said it was just. But they brought it upon themselves anyway. The people played right along, without even considering the effect of confiscating that land. It seemed like a good idea on its face to take from the white devil who took from them. On the whole the situation is no more or less just than say, revenge.

Posted by: rst on June 9, 2004 01:05 PM

rst, As Gandalf said, "I have pity even for Sauron's slaves..." Not everyone in Zimbabwe supports(ed) this. It's not like the opposition in Zimbabwe got to participate in fair and free elections.

So, I don't see this as something that can be blamed on the "people". You might want to move on from gloating about the darkies gettin' their comeuppance...

This is going to have dire consequences for Zimbabwe, and IF the government were popularly elected I'd be saddened, but would have to agree with you that "they" are gettting the government they deserve. As "they" really didn't get much say in this government I feel a great deal of sorrow for what is about to happen.

I am astonished that Mugabe is taking this route, it's not like it hasn't been tried in Tanzania and Mozambique before and things went so well THERE. It's not like there isn't some evidence for what works and doesn't work in nation and economy-building.

Posted by: Joe L. on June 9, 2004 01:30 PM

So, when do we liberate Zimbabwe? I mean, isn't the purpose of our military to bring peace and plenty to oppressed peoples the world over?

Posted by: Sir Real on June 9, 2004 01:33 PM

You might want to move on from gloating about the darkies gettin' their comeuppance...


Like the government being popularly elected would make any difference? You have been conditioned to react to such attitudes as to one happy that some "darkies" are "gettin' their comeuppance." Quaint, and ignorant. "Democratically elected" and "popularly supported" have no autocorrelation except for those with raging hard-ons for democracy.

Posted by: rst on June 9, 2004 01:43 PM

Mark S.,
I cannot believe that I am defending Bono, but when I read his rationale for forgiving third world debt, I was sympathetic. If I remember his argument (at least one of them) correctly, he said that the money was loaned to dictators like Mugabe and Mobutu, who used it to live lavish lives and oppress their people. The money is gone and the people left to pay it back received no benefit from the money.

Also relying on memory, I think that Mises advocated defaulting on all government debt for similar reasons, as well as discouraging people from ever making a loan to a government again.

Posted by: KentInDC on June 9, 2004 01:47 PM

Darn rst, the last bit of your post made no sense to me at all... daggone but I never understood statistics... autocorrelated... doesn't that have something to do with variables being cross-correllated in a Chi square or BLUE regression test?

Whatcha say'n? Whether Mugabe got elected fair'n square makes no difference? The people of Zimbabwe "deserve" what's about to happen to them because they have him as President (apparently for Life?)

And lest there be any misunderstanding, I accused YOU of "gloatin' bout the darkies". that seeemed to be the thrust of part of your comment.

Yepper, those of us with raging hard-ons for democracy do think it makes a difference in how to feel, think, and deal with a situation if the government in question was freely elected.

IF Mugabe had been freely elected and had a majority in his Parliament, I'd say that Zimbabwe was in a cleft stick of its own making. Just as when I regret the actions of Tony Blair and HIS government in Britain, but then I think that Blair ran for the position of Prime Minister and that his party has a majority in Parliament, so Britons are receiving the effects of their votes for good or ill. Sweden does lots of socialist things that appall and amaze me, France's 35 hour work week amazes me, BUT I see that the voters of those nations are getting the government they said they wanted AND if the results stink they can throw that government out of office without resorting to a civil war.

The same can not be said of Zimbabwe. So as Zimbabwe has slid into some kind of Leftist Twilight nightmare, I have sadness for the people of Zimbabwe, being ruled, not governed by a man and a party that is poised to bring great misery upon them.

Posted by: Joe L. on June 9, 2004 01:56 PM

Stupidity, followed by formalized stupidity.

In what way was the land not nationalized before? The government had demonstrated their willingness to seize land on a whim. This is just another in a long list of African kleptocracies that will doom their people to starvation for generations.

Posted by: Jason Ligon on June 9, 2004 01:59 PM

Joe L.:

I have to say that Mugabe aside, the populist seizing of land by occupation and terror in Zimbabwe gives an element of accountability to the folks who participated. In some sense the people of Zimbabwe are being lorded over by a theif who will destroy their lives, but in another, the populace was perfectly willing to loot from others given half a chance.

More than anywhere else in the modern world, Africa gives credence to Hobbes. What passes for a horror movie in the western world actually happens there. The stories from the Hutuu massacres vs. Six Days Later - which one is scarier? I try very hard not to think about it, because I don't believe there is a solution for the misery in Africa.

Posted by: Jason Ligon on June 9, 2004 02:14 PM

I don't absolve the people of Zimbabwe, just like I don't absolve Germans for Hitler, but I do think that this a great tragedy in the making and I see the citizens more like the steerage class passengers on the Titanic than as culpable oppressors.

I like to HOPE that Africa can improve. If we wash our hands of it, it will take longer for it to improve. If we enable the kleptocrats and simply act as if that's the way things are supposed to be. Akin to Brandt's "Ost Politic" which seemd to assume and grant a legitimacy and permanence to the DDR that wasn't merited.

So if you and others want to criticize USAID feel free, or if you want to point out the bad behavior of US clients go ahead. If we give money to small groups and companies, not Mobutu or his ilk, things will get better. If we expect the US to not support non-democrats then slowly things may get better.

Africa is just joining modernity. Think what was going on in Europe from 1618 until 1715 and ask yourself are Africans "backward" or just progressing thru an equivalent period in their history?

Posted by: Joe L. on June 9, 2004 02:24 PM

Lets put this in perspective. What is happening in Zimbabwe is NOT a black vs white thing; the majority of black Zimbabweans did not support the land invasions. Shortly before the land invasions began in 2000, a referendum was held to solicit voter approval for a constitution giving the government greater powers to seize land. This was rejected by the majority of voters. It was this result which frightened Mugabe and his henchmen into their desperate attempt to hang on to power at all cost, as they saw the voters turning away from their corrupt regime.

The land invasions and subsequent violence were carried out by Mugabe's paid thugs, and had no other purpose than to attempt to keep this psychopathic dictator in power.

Posted by: Jill on June 9, 2004 02:48 PM

"This leaves South Africa as the only black African country with private land ownership."

What about Senegal, Ghana and Ivory Coast, in W. Africa? I know that for a long time they had more economic freedom in parts of W.Africa, relative to the rest of Black Africa.

Posted by: Rick Barton on June 9, 2004 03:17 PM

Sir Real said:
"So, when do we liberate Zimbabwe? I mean, isn't the purpose of our military to bring peace and plenty to oppressed peoples the world over?"

I know he's being sarcastic, but to make this simple for Dubya, does a shoe-repair person make house calls? (And the US military making house calls is a far cry from the shoe-repair person doing so.)
If shoes need fixing, they get brought to the shop. The US is the shop.
But, before we are overwhelmed by shoes, Dubya could get started by simply making all Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands into our 51st state.
That would make it clear nearby "shoes" are welcome on the mainland, if they choose.

Is shoe phobia greater than war phobia? My plan would find out.

Posted by: Ruthless on June 9, 2004 03:21 PM

Greed reigns power to the few and oppression to the masses.(Africa 2004)

Posted by: Hydroman on June 9, 2004 03:29 PM

"See Kenya." Noted. That's what I get for trying to find information in the Zimbabwe Daily Herald/Liar.

I note that the system of 99-year leases that the government proposes to adopt is similar to how privatization is done in China. Also that China is a major development partner of Zimbabwe since the latter ruined its credit.

The background to this decision is that while the government was inflating the currency to cover its loss of revenue from the commercial farms, (around 400% last I heard) there was a huge run on real estate. Naturally the government concluded that real estate ownership was to blame.

Posted by: John Hensley on June 9, 2004 03:34 PM

I accused YOU of "gloatin' bout the darkies".

"as to one...", i.e., I was informing you that your accusation was ignorant.

An autocorrelation is the degree to which the conditions mutually imply each other. Whether a leader is democratically elected, and the degree of popular support his every action enjoys, have nothing to do with each other.

That having been said, Mugabe didn't just appear out of nowhere, the man was a black nationalist guerilla *elected* to power in 1980. That you give no credence to ZANU's questionable electoral practices is of no consequence.

Posted by: rst on June 9, 2004 03:44 PM
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Parliamentary Committee to Investigate Zimbabwe 'Bumper Harvest' Claims
Tendai Maphosa
09 Jun 2004, 11:28 UTC

The Agriculture Committee in the Zimbabwean Parliament is to look at food
stocks in the country in a bid to verify or disprove the government's claims
that the country will harvest enough grain this year and won't need any help
in feeding the population.
The committee, made up of members of the ruling ZANU-PF party and the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change, will among other things look at
the quantities of seed and fertilizer sold at the beginning of the growing
season last year, weather conditions and the physical stocks held by the
government Grain Marketing Board.

The investigation is the result of a motion introduced in parliament by
opposition lawmaker Renson Gasela, who is a member of the Agriculture

"We will obviously go out in the field, in the depots to see physically
whether grain is coming in and check on the stock sheets of GMB to see
whether the quantities they say have been reporting are actually being
received, and what they are actually holding in stock at the moment," he

The parliament approved the investigation on a day that the opposition party
had a majority of members in the house.

For the past three years, millions of Zimbabweans have relied on food aid
from international donors because of successive droughts and land reform
that put most of the country's commercial farms out of production.

This year, the government announced that it will not need food aid because
enough grain is going to be harvested.

United Nations relief agency teams who were in the country to assess this
year's harvest were forced to withdraw after the government recalled its
officials who were in the field with them. But the U.N. officials said they
had finished most of their work, and they told VOA last week that Zimbabwe's
current harvest will be lower than last year's, which was the worst in a
decade. The U.N. investigators estimated Zimbabwe will need more than a
million tons of grain donated this year.

The Grain Marketing Board has since admitted that it is now importing maize,
which Mr. Gasela says raises questions about whether Zimbabwe is going to
have a record harvest, as the government claims. The opposition party is
accusing the government of fudging the figures for political reasons.

"The government is fudging the figures because they want to prove that land
reform has been successful when it has been quite a disaster," said Renson
Gasela. "Secondly and most importantly is that there is an election. During
the past three years, government lost control completely as far as the
feeding of the people is concerned. NGOs feed people impartially. Whoever
needs food is the person who is fed. Under the circumstances of an election
if government is not in control of food, they will lose."

Mr. Gasela is charging that the government is trying to end food
distribution in Zimbabwe by impartial non-governmental organizations, so
that the ruling party can use food as a weapon during next year's
parliamentary election campaign.

Mr. Gasela says the results of his committee's investigation should be ready
around September.
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Zimbabwe step up lobbying to hold Test status

HARARE: Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) Chairman Peter Chingoka is stepping up
his campaign for the country to retain Test and international status through
continued full membership of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

He left Harare for Dubai on Tuesday with ZCU directors Charles Barnes and
Macsood Ebrahim for discussions with ICC President Ehsan Mani and the
cricket board chairmen of Australia, India and South Africa. Barnes is on
the development committee and Ebrahim is a national selector.

Just before going, Chingoka told AFP that it was to be a 'liaison' meeting
and would be concerned with "mapping our way forward to try to get greater
experience in competition (for the new young Zimbabwe team) and finding a
formula for that."

However he is unlikely to miss such a good opportunity to lobby for Zimbabwe
's retention of Test and international status as one of the 10 full members
of the ICC, a position it has held since election in 1992.

The Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) has already accepted in principal that its
new young team might not actually play any more Test cricket for a year, or
even two, following two huge defeats by Sri Lanka in May. They would not
object to a moratorium on Test cricket.

But Chingoka will be working hard in Dubai, and again in London at the ICC
executive meeting later this month, to keep Zimbabwe in cricket's top
echelon. Australia and South Africa are known to be offering Zimbabwe
assistance in developing their effectively second string of mostly black
players. And India were the initial supporters of the country's introduction
to Test cricket and the first team to tour Zimbabwe -they are likely to give
additional help.

The Zimbabwe team that has replaced the mostly white experienced
professional team average only 20 years old and five of them are teenagers.
In normal circumstances they would need three or four years to develop into
international class players.

There is next to no prospect of a return by the 15 dissenting whites, who
went on strike two months ago after former captain Heath Streak was sacked.
All player contracts are up for renewal or initiation in August. But most of
the dissenting whites have found other cricket work in Australia, South
Africa or England. Streak has just begun a three-month contract with

The inexperienced Zimbabwe side, thrown into the deep end and recently
suffering a succession of heavy defeats, is therefore all Zimbabwe can offer
up for competition at the moment.

Chingoka can only try to buy as much time as possible for them. By the end
of the month Zimbabwe should know whether this is an option acceptable to
the ICC and the nine other Test countries.
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Africa Cannot Afford Regression to 'Big Man' Leaders

Business Day (Johannesburg)

June 9, 2004
Posted to the web June 9, 2004

Roger Bate

AFRICA's despots are sabre rattling again. Last week Namibian President Sam
Nujoma called white people "snakes", and then Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's
disgraceful dictator, called the almost saintly Archbishop Desmond Tutu an
"evil and embittered little bishop".

Zimbabwe under Mugabe has been a lost cause for years, and Tutu's complaints
about Mugabe's disregard for the law were likely to fall on deaf ears.

But that the disease is spreading to Namibia is a rather worrying
development. Collapsing or genocidal regimes, including that in the Sudan,
are rife for providing cover for, if not directly encouraging, terrorism.

Africa has always been home to the "big man" phenomenon, with its roots in
tribal leadership being tough and standing up to outside pressures has
always been a vote winner. Mobuto Sese Seko, former head of Zaire (now
Democratic Republic of Congo), once infamously said "democracy was not for

However, more African states are heading towards democracy in the 1970s
there were no peaceful handovers from first black African rule to a
democratically elected government. But by the 1990s there were several,
notably Zambia and SA.

It is worrying, though, that some nation states are heading in the other
direction, back to big man tribal leadership.

Nujoma has followed Mugabe's lead of late in several distasteful ways. He
cryptically said he did not want a fourth term, but would stand "if it was
requested by the people". Namibia's constitution was amended to allow Nujoma
to serve a third term in 1999.

Nujoma, who has headed the South West African People's Organisation since
1962 and led its armed struggle against South African rule, was elected
president at independence in 1990, and was re-elected in 1994 and 1999 with
more than 75% of the vote.

Like its peaceful and democratic neighbour, Botswana, Namibia is reliant on
diamonds and farming. But unlike Botswana, the poor do not see the real
benefit of diamond sales. Allegations of illegal sales and Swiss bank
accounts are rife. Some insiders even think Nujoma dislikes white westerners
enough to tolerate terrorism in his country.

The mines continue to pump out the diamonds, but Nujoma's violent threats
and obvious desire to emulate Mugabe's land grabs are more worrying as they
would destabilise the country and prevent inward investment.

The threats deflect attention from his failed socialist policies to a racist
battle few Europeans or Americans are comfortable debating. Nujoma, shouting
from a Lutheran Church pulpit, announced last month he would expropriate
land to punish white farm owners who "dumped" their workers by the roadside.

Speaking at May Day celebrations at Karibib, Nujoma issued an unequivocal
declaration that expropriation of farms would not only target underused land
but would serve as a punitive step.

"My government will not tolerate insults in that way," he said after
singling out "some white farmers" who had legitimately dismissed some farm

Nujoma later called these white farmers "snakes". He denied he was a racist,
claiming the whites were the racists, and would be removed from the land.

And the process has begun. Two weeks ago Namibian Land Minister Hifikepunye
Pohamba sent letters to about 10 white farm owners, who were urged to "make
an offer to sell their property to the state and to enter further
negotiations in that regard". They got 14 days to respond.

The farmers' representative I spoke with said they did not know what they
would do. But do something they must as Nujoma will take silence as
weakness. He says his "government will expropriate this land as an answer to
the insult to my government. We want peace in this country."

Mugabe also claims he wants peace. But as Zimbabweans now realise, his brand
of peace is not worth the price he expects. With the west largely impotent
to act , it is time SA's leaders criticised Mugabe and Nujoma.

Without condemnation we could see a revival of the big man syndrome. That
would be a disaster for Africa, now slowly escaping its debilitating
influence, and would be a threat to those fighting terrorism by potentially
providing a safe haven for evildoers.

Bate is a visiting fellow of the American Enterprise Institute and director
of health advocacy group Africa Fighting Malaria.
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Business Day

End silence over Zimbabwe: DA

Government should end the silence of silent diplomacy as there is an urgent
need for both words and action on Zimbabwe's latest economic anarchy, says
opposition leader Tony Leon.
Leon said in a statement on Wednesday that the signaling by the Zimbabwean
government that it would nationalise all farmland by canceling titles to all
productive land and replacing them with 99-year-leases "represents an
appalling step backwards for that country and for our region".

"Our continued failure to speak out on an issue in our immediate sphere of
influence - right in our own back yard - stands in sharp contrast to the
megaphone diplomacy the South African government has been broadcasting on
Haiti, Palestine and the reform of the United Nations."

Land Minister Thoko Didiza did not respond to a call from Democratic
Alliance agriculture spokesman Kraai van Niekerk - during her budget debate
on Tuesday - that she seek a retraction of the comments by Zimbabwe land
minister John Nkomo.

Leon said it was his hope that developments in Zimbabwe would be placed on
the agenda at the G-8 summit currently taking place in Sea Island Georgia,
"if not by President Thabo Mbeki, then by other world leaders. Like South
Africa, the world cannot standby and simply allow the crippling assault on
economic rights in Zimbabwe go unchecked."

I-Net Bridge

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State Moves to Take Over ZBC's Debt

Media Institute of Southern Africa (Windhoek)

June 9, 2004
Posted to the web June 9, 2004

On June 6 2004, the government gazetted the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation (Debt Assumption) Bill which seeks to pave the way for the state
to take over the state broadcaster's debt which runs into billions of
Zimbabwe dollars.

Under the Bill, the government will assume all obligations arising from the
corporation's agreements and instruments of debt owed to the various
institutions to the tune of US1, 9million.

The Act in part reads,

Section 3(1) Subject to this Act the Minister responsible for Finance shall,
on behalf of the state, assume responsibility for the discharge of-

(a) The outstanding obligations of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation
under the agreement and instruments of debt specified in the schedule; and

(b) Such other obligation as he may consider expedient in relation to any
such assumption specified in the schedule;

And may give written authority to any person to sign and execute as his
representative any undertaking, agreement or document pursuant to any such
assumption or responsibility.

(2) The terms and conditions under which the minister assumes responsibility
in terms of section (1) for the discharge of any obligation under or in
relation to any agreement or instrument specified in the Schedule shall be
fixed by the minister with the consent of the creditor concerned.


The Corporation embarked on a major restructuring exercise in 2001 which
culminated in the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (Commercialization) Act
passed in 2001. The act split the ZBC into two companies, i.e the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH) and Transmedia, a signal transmission service
provider. ZBH has since been split into business units which are financially
independent and are expected to sustain their operations from revenue
generated. The corporation has however continued to face serious financial
problems as evidenced by failure to pay service providers and also delays in
paying salaries to employees.
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Museveni Raps West Over Polls

New Vision (Kampala)

June 9, 2004
Posted to the web June 9, 2004

Felix Osike

President Yoweri Museveni has told Western countries to stop lecturing
Africa on how to hold elections.

He said this after commissioning Apparels Tri-Star (U) Ltd's second factory
in Bugolobi on Monday.

Presidents Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Mwai Kibaki of Kenya accompanied

"We must tell Europeans and Americans to give us what we do not have; that
is access to their markets. They should stop lecturing to us about small
things like elections," Museveni said.

"We don't need aid for elections and women emancipation. What we need is
what we don't have," he added.

Museveni urged African countries to demand for access to markets, negotiate
as a block and stop exporting raw materials.

Museveni received samples of the Tri-star products from the managing
director, Villepillai Kananathan.

He said Tri-star had linked Uganda to the US market, imparted skills to more
than 3,000 people and created jobs for over 2,000 girls.

Kananathan said the company contributed to the Government's poverty
reduction strategy and foreign exchange inflow.
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The Age

Nationalisation plan intensifies food fears
June 10, 2004

Zimbabwe, facing food shortages after controversial land reforms sent
agricultural production plummeting, plans to nationalise land, according to
a senior Government minister.
After Land Reform Minister John Nkomo announced that all land would be
nationalised, some analysts said they feared the move could further
destabilise the country's agricultural system and create more food
shortages. "Ultimately all land shall be resettled as state property. We
want a situation where this very important resource becomes a national
asset," Mr Nkomo said.

"In the end there shall be no such thing called private land," he said,
calling on all land owners to come forward to be approved for 99-year

The announcement comes after the United Nations last week estimated Zimbabwe
would produce only about half its 2 million-tonne grain requirements this

The Government insists it will produce 2.3 million tonnes this year.

The Zimbabwe Government is sensitive to questions on grain production
because of accusations by critics that the land-reform policy introduced
four years ago has led to a catastrophic drop in food production.

Under the policy, white-owned farms were seized and given to black
Zimbabweans, but critics say the land went to Government allies and insiders
and is often unused or under used, undermining the agricultural output that
once accounted for 40 per cent of the country's foreign earnings.
The Government has listed 918 farms for compulsory acquisition since
January, and it has acquired 245 others.

Despite reports of looming food shortages, President Robert Mugabe scoffed
at suggestions that his country needed food aid: "Why foist this on us? We
don't want to be choked. We have enough," he said, insisting that Zimbabwe
would "definitely not" import grain this year.

But reports suggest Zimbabwe has been quietly importing thousands of tonnes
of grain.

Mr Mugabe's Government also recently asked teams from the UN Food and
Agriculture Organisation and World Food Program to leave the country, midway
through their reports on the harvest.

- Los Angeles Times
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Whites claim discrimination
09/06/2004 15:50  - (SA)

Harare, Zimbabwe - Fifteen white players fired from Zimbabwe's cricket squad
accused the nation's cricket authorities on Wednesday of discrimination in
team selection and in the hiring professional players.

In a statement addressed to fans and sponsors, the players said they first
went on strike after the captain Heath Streak was "unlawfully dismissed"
ahead of an April tour of Zimbabwe by Sri Lanka.

The action was also to protest "the unfair and discriminatory employment
practices against all players of all races by individuals of the Zimbabwe
Cricket Union," the sport's governing body, the statement said.

Streak had complained the union's cricket selectors were not fielding the
strongest Zimbabwe team by omitting experienced white players from the Sri
Lanka series and an upcoming Australian tour.

The players were fired by the ZCU and lengthy talks to resolve the dispute
ended in deadlock.

"Our actions have never been racially or politically motivated. In fact,
through our years of service and dedication we feel we have been an example
of a successful and multiracial team," the players said.

Last month, five striking players were set to rejoin the national team but
were fired again when a two-Test series against Australia was cancelled
because of the controversy.

Australia easily won three one day cricket internationals in Harare.

The International Cricket Council is scheduled to meet with officials of the
Zimbabwe union in Dubai on Thursday to discuss the player dispute.
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New Zimbabwe

Mugabe's banker beats sanctions with UK trip

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 06/10/2004 06:36:26
THE head of Zimbabwe's central bank Gideon Gono has quietly slipped into
London, beating targeted sanctions preventing President Robert Mugabe's
cronies from entering Britain.

Members of Gono's advance travelling party refused to confirm or deny that
Gono had arrived in the UK, but New confirmed this with
witnesses who saw the Reserve Bank governor.

"I saw him....I am 120 percent certain it was him," said one witness.

Gono is eager to avoid protesters planning to disrupt his meetings. Private
invitations are being issued. As news filtered in about his arrival, a
scramble of journalists began a man-hunt to land an interview with the man
tasked with rescuing Zimbabwe's faltering economy.

New has not obtained Gono's itinerary but opposition groups
have sprung into action, with one of Gono's scheduled visits to a church in
Vauxhaull being scrapped after the MP for the area Kate Hoey protested.

It is understood that Gono will address a group of Zimbabweans in Birmingham
on Thursday to encourage them to send money home to their families through
government channels, according to Zimbabweans invited to the meeting.

He plans other meetings in Luton, London and Glasgow.

EU sanctions prevent President Robert Mugabe and 98 named officials
travelling to or holding financial assets in any EU country, but Mr Gono is
not among those barred.

An advance party on Gono's UK tour met with protests at the Zimbabwe Embassy
in London last Saturday. Protesters accused them of fundraising on behalf of
President Mugabe ahead of the March parliamentary elections next year.

Since taking over the reserve bank in January he has introduced several
schemes that credited with slowing down the collapse of Zimbabwe's economy.

But he is not free of scandal. The South African Sunday Times claimed that
he had carried out hundreds of illegal currency deals, including several
which had paid for lavish shopping sprees by Mrs Grace Mugabe.

He admitted that before going to the reserve bank he had acted as Mr
Mugabe's personal banker.

In Britain he will try to persuade the estimated 400,000 Zimbabweans to send
money home through official channels rather than the private channels they
prefer because the official exchange rate has been unrealistically low.

Mr Gono has introduced a system which offers a competitive exchange rate. If
he succeeds in tapping into the remittances it will bring a hefty amount of
urgently needed foreign currency to the state reserves. He has already urged
Zimbabweans in the US to do the same, in a speech in Dallas.

Lady Amos, leader of the House of Lords, said recently that Mr Gono was free
to travel to Britain because he was not regarded as a key member of Mr
Mugabe's government.

"As I understand it, the governor of the reserve bank is not on the
exclusion list because he is not playing a leading role in the Zanu-PF
politburo or in the government," she told the House of Lords on May 25.

Analysts in Zimbabwe said that Lady Amos was mistaken in suggesting that Mr
Gono was not a key policy maker for the regime.

"Gideon Gono is the most significant maker of financial policies in Zimbabwe
today," said a Harare economist who would not be named.

"His decisions have become more influential than the minister of finance.

"It is outrageous that Gono is being allowed into Britain on what is
essentially a fund-raising trip for the Mugabe regime. We thought that was
what the EU sanctions were supposed to prevent."

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change said it was dismayed by the

"These are the same Zimbabweans who have been disenfranchised by the Mugabe
government, which has prevented them from voting.

"We fear the government will use the funds gathered through this campaign to
fund Zanu-PF's election campaign in March next year."
Additional reporting Guardian (UK)
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