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

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Western Advocate, Australia

Biologist challenges farmers
Monday, 9 June 2003

ALLAN Savory, acclaimed Zimbabwean wildlife biologist and environmentalist,
has challenged Australian and New Zealand farmers and land managers to "get
back to commonsense” and change the way they make decisions., More than 250
people met in Orange last week to hear Allan say it is the narrow framework
from which humans make decisions causing the massive environmental
deterioration in our world., "Around 20 civilisations have fallen throughout
history, not because of politics and wars, but because of failures in
agriculture and natural systems,” he said said., "Environmental
deterioration and increasing resource scarcity are the big issues of the
world today. Poor resource management is universal., "We are losing 24
billion tonnes of soils down the world's rivers each day - four tonnes for
every living human being.”, "The last great battle we will fight as humans
is the ability to live with each other and our environment., Mr Savory said
the terrible irony is that we are under-utilising, not over-utilising, our
land., "'Over-grazing, over-stocking and over-population are not the
problem - it is the way humans are making decisions,” he said.,
"Conventional decision-making processes used by governments, organisations
and individuals simply do not provide a framework to manage natural
 systems.”, Mr Savory said this applied to the planned spending of millions
of dollars of Federal Government funds to address salinity in Australia -
"it will simply not solve the problem”., "We need to get back to commonsense
if we are to change our environment. This must start at the grassroots level
with every farmer in the land - not from government., "If you care enough,
you will do whatever you need to do. I have been shot twice, had major
surgery, gone broke and suffered many things, but I will come back stronger
and healthier than ever. Because I want so badly to walk barefoot in
Zimbabwe again - I will.”, Allan Savory received the 2003 International
Banksia Environmental Award for his outstanding efforts to improve land
management and his contribution to conservation around the world.
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      Mon Jun 9, 4:23 AM ET   Op/Ed - New York Post !

The brutal regime in Zimbabwe followed through on its threats: It used
overwhelming force at last week's protests against President Mugabe.

The demonstrations, accompanied by a general strike, were intended as a
final push by the African country's democracy movement to drive the
kleptocratic post-colonial tyrant from office.

Mugabe's ruthless security forces arrested hundreds of foes, including eight
members of parliament and democracy movement leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Soldiers and police savagely beat peaceful protesters and fired live
ammunition into peaceful crowds in and around the capital, Harare, and in
the country's second city, Bulawayo.

Meanwhile, Tsvangirai has been charged with treason, a crime that carries
the death penalty.

If any of these things had taken place in the West Bank - or in Iraq (news -
web sites) - the liberal media would be up in arms.

But Robert Mugabe continues to be feted by knaves and fools abroad.

Even though he:

* stole an election last spring;

* fomented racist violence against white farmers;

* armed brutal militias that torture and kill his opponents; and,

* turned what was once Africa's breadbasket into a starving basket case.

And who kisses his feet?

* There's South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki, who backs Mugabe politically
and supplies his police with weapons.

* There's French President Jacques Chirac - little surprise, there - who
recently urged the world to deal with African poverty, but made Mugabe, the
author of Zimbabwe's poverty, an honored guest in Paris only in February.

* And there's New York's own City Council, whose Black and Hispanic caucus -
led by Charles Barron - rolled out the red carpet for Mugabe at City Hall in

Mugabe kills, maims and starves thousands - and not a peep from these folks.

Still, the opposition isn't finished yet. The general strike seemed to work
somewhat in Zimbabwe's two biggest cities.

And sanctions imposed by President Bush  in March could inspire the
international community to do the right thing: Support democracy and oppose
tyranny in Zimbabwe.

It's a thought, anyway.

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Press Release: June 2003
Mann Friday Productions
It always happens that way, world concern for about a day, then the media keep
turning it up until the subject.s tired and the public's seen enough,
the next big thing comes reeling in but our problems keep existing.
You see we're still the same, but we've had our 15 minutes of shame - Zimbabwe Ruins
50 miles from the nearest telephone, on the banks of an African lake, Zimbabwean
rock band Mann Friday recorded their debut album early last year. Their songs are a
stoical testament to a life in one of Africa's most dangerous and exciting countries, its
spiritual landscapes, turbulent atmosphere and hazardous present. This album gave
birth to a show...

Following an electrifying premier at the Grahamstown Arts Festival 2002, South Africa,
today the ZIMBABWE RUINS exposes the relentless intimidation and fear enveloping
Stills and footage used in the show - most seen publicly for the first time - cut through
the official propaganda, revealing the brutal truth of land invasions and intimidation
that corrupt officials use to rape the country and destroy their people while the
international community treads softly.
Mann Friday is unable to perform this show at home without fear of reprisals.
ZIMBABWE RUINS is the death of trust and belonging, of an entire community
disowned by its country.

. An awesome sight to see such spirit in action - performed with a
furious passion which only people who believe that music will change the
world will understand.

Venue: C central, venue 54, Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Dates: 1-24 August
Time: 16.45
Tickets: £8.50 / concs £7.50
Fringe box office: 0131 226 0000
Venue box office: 0870 701 5105

Further information, bookings, pictures and soundtracks available from Rob Burrell on
07966 585 985 or C venues press office 020 8452 2550 / from 20 July 0131 624 1550.

London Preview Performances
Sundays 6th and 13th July 2003
The Latchmere Theatre, Battersea.
503 Battersea Park Road, London SW11 3BW
Box Office: 020 7978 7040 . book early to avoid land invasion
Visit for directions
Contact for complimentary tickets
Further information, bookings, pictures and soundtracks available from Rob Burrell on
07966 585 985 or C venues press office 020 8452 2550 / from 20 July 0131 624 1550.
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See the DA's website:
Below is Mr Leon's statement today.  He continuously raises the Zimbabwean crisis in Parliament and is currently working on a roadmap through which the current stalemate can be resolved.
With best wishes


Prompted by the surging violence and state repression in Zimbabwe this week, I sought and held a meeting with the Acting President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, earlier this week to discuss the collapsing situation in our northern neighbour.

While the ANC and the Democratic Alliance believe that there should be a democratic dialogue in Zimbabwe, we differ fundamentally on the means to achieve that result. However, part of the problem with South Africa’s involvement, or lack of effectiveness in Zimbabwe is the continuing mischaracterisation of the situation there by our President.

President Thabo Mbeki came forward last week with a strident defense of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in an article in The Guardian (UK) entitled “Don’t blame Mugabe for everything” (29 May 2003). His words were reprinted around the world.

This brazen apology for tyranny tears to shreds any illusions the world may have had about the effectiveness of President Mbeki’s policy of “quiet diplomacy.” In reality, quiet diplomacy has meant silent—and now open—approval.

President Mbeki’s analysis of the crisis in Zimbabwe is full of evasions and half-truths. Nowhere in his article does he ever mention abuses of human rights or the destruction of democracy. He ignores President Mugabe’s virulent racism and blames London for any “racist notions” that might exist in Zimbabwe.

He is at great pains to convince the world that Zimbabwe’s crisis is economic, not political. But Zimbabwe’s economic problems are the result of its political malaise, not the other way around.

In his article, President Mbeki cites economic data from the first decade of Zimbabwe’s freedom. But he says nothing about the precipitous economic collapse in the three years since President Mugabe began his violent land seizures and brutal oppression of the political opposition and the media.

President Mbeki’s prescription is that President Mugabe and his political opponents should “sit down together to agree on a common response to the challenges their country faces.” But President Mugabe has set an unacceptable condition for dialogue—namely, that the Movement for Democratic Change recognise him as the victor of the rigged elections of 2002.

The irony here is that President Mbeki’s own party, the African National Congress, refused to accept the apartheid government’s offers of “power sharing” arrangements because these were—rightly—perceived as attempts to perpetuate minority rule.

There is a further irony in President Mbeki writing in a London newspaper that the solution to Zimbabwe’s problems must come “from the people of Zimbabwe themselves.”

The anti-apartheid movement, as President Mbeki is well aware, was vigorously active outside South Africa’s borders and received critical support from overseas. Back then, the ANC rejected the notion that South Africa should solve its problems in isolation. Yet it rushes to embrace that false premise today with regard to Zimbabwe.

In one respect, President Mbeki is right. We should not blame President Mugabe for everything. We should also blame his cronies and his sympathisers abroad.

President Mbeki falls decisively among the latter. He walked hand-in-hand with President Mugabe after last year’s faulty elections, which a Commonwealth report said were not free and fair but which the South African government declared “legitimate.”

Last December, he embraced Emmerson Mnangagwa, President Mugabe’s heir apparent, who headed the Central Intelligence Organisation during the 1982-87 Matabeleland massacres and was recently named in a United Nations report as the “architect” of the Zimbabwean army’s campaign of plunder in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

More than anyone else, President Mbeki has had the political leverage to push for democratic change in Zimbabwe. And he, as much as anyone else, must bear the blame for the mess that has resulted from his inaction.

In my meeting with Acting President Zuma, I expressed the DA’s concerns about the overwhelming force which the Zimbabwe government has used to meet the current protest and stay-away action by the opposition in Zimbabwe.

I requested that the observance of basic human rights and democratic norms by the Zimbabwe government, in accord with its obligations under NEPAD and the Constitutive Act of the African Union, be observed and communicated.

And I also presented the Deputy President with a report prepared by the Zimbabwe Research Initiative which estimates conservatively that the crisis in Zimbabwe has cost the South African economy R15-billion over the last three years, equivalent to 1,3% of our Gross Domestic Product. The report adds that the crisis has also caused job losses in the range of 20 000 to 30 000, and that 1 500 Zimbabwean refugees are crossing into South Africa every day, adding to the economic burden.

The Democratic Alliance firmly believes that considerable pressure needs to be placed on President Mugabe in order to achieve the South African government’s objective of the restoration of democracy, the rule of law and economic normalcy.

I have suggested to the Deputy President that a ‘road map’ approach be considered in respect of Zimbabwe, whereby both the government and the opposition in that country would commit themselves to a series of clear, parallel goals. These would include the formation of an interim government, the approval of a new constitution and the holding of new democratic elections within a reasonably short time frame.

In the coming days, the Democratic Alliance will develop this proposal further. We are convinced that the ANC government’s vacuous calls for “dialogue” are not enough. South Africa must put forth a concrete plan for restoring democracy in Zimbabwe and must pursue it firmly. The DA’s “road map to democracy in Zimbabwe” may be the answer.

Best wishes,

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From The Daily Telegraph (UK), 10 June

Judge rejects attempt to gag Tsvangirai

Harare/London - Zimbabwe's regime yesterday failed in its attempt to gag
Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader, after his lawyer compared the
struggle against President Robert Mugabe to the fight against apartheid in
South Africa. But Mr Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), was charged with a second count of treason when he was brought
before the High Court in Harare after a weekend spent behind bars. In the
wake of the nationwide strikes and protests last week, the regime has made a
renewed effort to paralyse the opposition. Not content with decapitating the
MDC by placing Mr Tsvangirai behind bars, state prosecutors have also sought
to silence him by toughening his bail conditions. They asked Mr Justice
Paddington Garwe, the presiding judge, to ban him from making "inflammatory
statements" that would "incite public disorder". But George Bizos, acting
for Mr Tsvangirai, countered this by invoking the spirit of resistance to
apartheid-era South Africa.

Mr Bizos, 74, defended Nelson Mandela during the Rivonia trial 40 years ago
and is widely credited with saving the future South African president from
the death penalty. He told Mr Justice Garwe that judges should remain "aloof
from politics", especially in a "divided" society. "This is not the first
time, my lord, where courts have been approached by a political party in
order to gain an advantage on its political opponents," Mr Bizos said. He
pointed out that the South African apartheid regime had sought to gag a
student activist, Geoffrey Budlender, 30 years ago. "A full bench in Cape
Town in troubled times in South Africa decided that an alteration to the
student's bail conditions, to prevent him from attending or inciting
political unrest, would be a curtailment of his freedom and of his rights as
a citizen," said Mr Bizos. Mr Justice Garwe appeared to respond to this
defence and duly threw out the attempt to gag Mr Tsvangirai. "I do not
believe that the procedure followed is the correct one, and I am, and only
on that basis, dismissing the application," the judge said. But Mr Justice
Garwe rejected a bail application and ensured that Mr Tsvangirai was
consigned to the cells once more.

Police chose to arrest one of Mr Tsvangirai's chief aides during the court's
lunch break. Prof Welshman Ncube, the MDC's secretary general, was charged
with treason for a second time. Mr Tsvangirai and Prof Ncube were already on
trial for treason, which carries the death penalty, following an alleged
plot to assassinate Mr Mugabe in 2001. When the court reassembled, Mr Bizos
called Mr Tsvangirai's second treason charge "spurious" and said it was
designed to keep him in custody. "The charges are to prevent him from
exercising his rights as a politician and leader of the opposition," he
said. "We will show this was not an arrest made in good faith, that there
was no surreptitious conduct by the accused and that an attempt was made to
silence him." Yet Mr Tsvangirai is not being treated like an ordinary
prisoner during his nights in jail. There are persistent reports that two
cabinet ministers paid him a visit at Borrowdale police station in Harare
over the weekend. Sydney Sekeramayi, the defence minister, and Nicholas
Goche, the security minister, are reported to have met Mr Tsvangirai and
asked him to soften his stance against the regime. Both ministers are among
senior figures in the ruling Zanu PF Party who favour Simba Makoni, a former
finance minister, as Mr Mugabe's successor. Mr Tsvangirai yesterday declined
to confirm or deny whether this meeting had taken place.
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MDC activist killed by axe-wielding Zanu-Pf youth in Kadoma

An MDC activist by the name of Peter Machoba, also known as Peter Matsvara,
 was killed by a gang of axe-wielding Zanu-Pf youth on Tuesday the 3rd
of June in Ingezi township in Kadoma.  He was 23 years old.

Whilst Peter was in Kadoma visiting his brother, they were approached
by a guy who wanted to visit them and took them for a walk. On the walk
in Ingezi township,
 This 'false friend' suddenly whistled out a code, and received a whistle
back from a number of people. Then the first individual ran away, and
Peter and his brother were approached by some 20 youth. They identified
Peter, saying he is the one, he's a member of MDC security.

These youth attacked Peter and his brother with axes, targeting Peter
in particular. In the course of the attack, Peter received two deep axe
wounds to the head. Peter's brother managed to escape, and looked for
help and transport to take his brother to hospital. Finally he was able
to hire a taxi and take him to Kadoma General Hospital.

When Peter was brought the Kadoma hospital, his brother was told that
by the nurse in charge that there was no doctor and that they couldn't
help his brother. Peter died there in the Kadoma General Hospital waiting
room. Peter's relatives have been informed that two youth who are known
Zanu-Pf youths have been arrested in connection with Peter's murder.

For more information as it comes to hand, please call the office of Roy
Bennett MP on 04748240 or 04748241.
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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Letter 1: Dear Justice for Agriculture,

Justice Smith stated to Judge Ginger Garret in the California Court on June
2nd (this week) at 1.30 PM that matters in Zimbabwe were really fine and
the country was quite safe. He stated that the press "highly exaggerated
the situation" there. He stated that the farms "just near him" in the
Enterprise district were "just fine". He stated that my farm bordering the
Chiwenga's new acquisition from my dear friend and neighbour Roger Staunton
was absolutely fine even though it was acquired by the government in March
2002. He further stated that it was quite safe in the country and his
children and grandchildren were safe and happy living normal lives like
everybody else there. I am quite happy to forward you a transcript of what
a Zimbabwe High court judge stated to the international community about the
situation there just this week. I have to believe that a high court judge
would only offer this sort of statement to the USA because he is frightened
by the law that makes it an offence to state anything against the country.
Is it possible for you to forward me a copy of this law for the courts
here?  It is extraordinarily sad that this is the sort of statements
offered to the International community by our very own Judges! Please would
you forward me that law on the offence to state anything against Zimbabwe
so that I can try and put this right.

Yours sincerely,
Jacaranda Summerfield


Letter 2

Kerry Kay.
Quotations from Nelson Mandela.
"Mass action is a peaceful form of channeling the anger of the people".
"To deny any person their human rights is to challenge their very humanity"


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 Agriculture.
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Zimbabwe Opposition Leader Ordered Held for a Month
Tue June 10, 2003 10:08 AM ET

By Cris Chinaka and Stella Mapenzauswa
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's main opposition leader was ordered held in
custody for another month Tuesday when he appeared in a heavily guarded
court to face charges he incited protests aimed at toppling President Robert

Lawyers for Morgan Tsvangirai, head of the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), said they would ask for bail -- but were forced to wait until
Wednesday to formally request his release from police custody.

"The state indicated that it wanted more time to prepare its case so the
hearing is postponed to tomorrow," lawyer Innocent Chagonda told reporters

But prosecutors freed detained MDC Secretary-General Welshman Ncube and
appeared to have dropped treason charges against him, Chagonda said.

"I have just been informed by the Attorney General's office that Welshman
Ncube has been released," he said. "The state appears to have dropped the

Armed police clamped tight security around the Harare Magistrate's Court as
Tsvangirai heard the formal reading of charges and was remanded back into
police custody until July 10.

Tsvangirai and Ncube were being held on charges they instigated five days of
protests and work boycotts last week against Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe
since independence from Britain in 1980.

The protests -- described by Mugabe as an attempt to spark a coup d'etat --
faltered in the face of a tough response by police, who dispersed protesters
with tear gas, water cannon and rifle butts. The MDC says hundreds of people
were arrested.

Police were out in force again Tuesday as officers armed with AK-47 rifles,
shotguns and batons patrolled streets around the courthouse. Tsvangirai was
whisked into the building in a police motorcade, preventing him from making
contact with dozens of MDC supporters outside.

Tsvangirai appeared in court wearing a black tracksuit and stood quietly as
charges were read before being led away by police. He was not asked to enter
a plea.


State prosecutor Stephen Musona said Tsvangirai had been charged with
treason, inciting public violence and contravening Zimbabwe's strict
internal security laws. The treason charge carries a possible death penalty.

Both men are already on trial for treason over an earlier alleged plot to
kill Mugabe, who was re-elected last year in polls that both the opposition
and several Western governments condemned as fraudulent.

The MDC has threatened new protests if Tsvangirai, a former trade union
leader who has mounted the strongest challenge Mugabe has seen in his 23
years in power, is not released soon.

The MDC called last week's demonstrations as a "final push" against Mugabe,
who they say has stepped up political repression and ruined the economy of
Zimbabwe, which is grappling with food and fuel shortages, soaring inflation
and rising unemployment.

Mugabe has said he will not buckle in the face of the opposition challenge,
which he says is organized by his enemies in London and Washington.

Britain and the United States have led condemnation of Mugabe's government,
and particularly its policy of seizing white-owned farms for distribution to
landless blacks.
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            Labour's "shameful betrayal" of Zimbabwe's people

            Shadow Foreign Secretary Michael Ancram has accused the Blair
government of "shameful" betrayal of the beleagured people of Zimbabwe.

            And in a stinging attack on Jack Straw in the House of Commons,
he warned that the Foreign Secretary's policy of "quiet diplomacy" in the
face of the outrages committed by President Robert Mugabe's tyrannical
regime amounted to "nothing more than a cover for appeasement".

            During angry question time exchanges, Mr Ancram protested at the
lack of vigorous action by the British Government in response to the recent
ruthless and violent suppression of opposition in Zimbabwe, and the
destruction of the country's economy. "In the last week alone more than 800
people have been arrested, 400 treated for injuries, 10 hospitalised, three
on the critical list, two murdered, and the Leader of the Opposition and his
deputy arrested and charged with treason," the Conservative Deputy Leader

            And he told Mr Straw: "All we have from you is more gestures and
more platitudes. When will you finally accept that quiet diplomacy and
dialogue are nothing more than a cover for appeasement, which encourages
Mugabe to ratchet up his opposition and is a shameful betrayal of the
suffering people of Zimbabwe."

            Earlier, Mr Ancram fired off a letter to Trade and Industry
Secretary Patricia Hewitt demanding an assurance that British ministers will
have nothing to do with one of Mugabe's cronies when they attend a
Commonwealth Science Council meeting in Johannesburg.

            With Zimbabwe's Science and Technology Development Minister
Olivia Muchena due to attend the meeting, despite Zimbabwe's suspension from
the Commonwealth, Mr Ancram wrote: "I seek a guarantee that no British
minister or official will attend any part of the Commonwealth meetings if
Mrs Muchena attends.

            "After Robert Mugabe's defiant and unrepentant words this
weekend and the brave opposition to his autocratic and violent rule by the
people of Zimbabwe, we owe it to them to maintain the internal sanctions. I
hope for their sake you can provide me with the guarantee I seek."

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Mail and Guardian

Mugabe targets 'unpatriotic' firms


      10 June 2003 13:47

The Zimbabwean government is to take over six firms which closed their doors
in support of last week's five day "mass action" by the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), industry Minister Francis Nhema told state
radio on Tuesday.

Nhema said the firm's operating licences will be cancelled. In addition,
expatriate staff employed by the firms would have their work permits revoked
and face deportation.

He said eight other firms investigated by security police and government
inspectors during the stayaway associated with the MDC protest had managed
to give "reasonable excuse" for not doing business as normal.

Nhema did not give details of the firms, or the nationality of their owners,
but he threatened to give them to "loyal, patriotic" new owners.

Legal and business sources were unaware which firms were being targeted but
expected appeals to the courts if the authorities went ahead with seizures.

The MDC, led by veteran trades unionist Morgan Tsvangirai, hoped a "final
push" would force the exit of President Robert Mugabe (79) after 23 years in

However, the opposition were prevented from "bringing millions onto the
streets" by the massive deployment of troops, tanks and helicopter gunships
alongside ruling party militants.

The authorities allege the MDC are behind a dire shortage of banknotes which
most economists associate with the 269% runaway inflation here.

Police assistant commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said police roadblocks were
seizing large sums of notes. State radio said over Zim$15-million (US$188
000) had been confiscated, allegedly intended to bribe youths to take part
in anti-Mugabe protests.

Pro-government militants were on Tuesday reported to have forced the closure
of a private boarding school at Lilfordia, 50km west of Harare.

The self-styled "ex-guerilla war veterans" invaded the grounds, claiming
that by temporarily closing during last week's protests, the school had
taken a political position, reported the independently- owned Daily News. It
said the 165 children had to be sent home.

Tsvangirai was due to appear in the High Court late on Monday to apply for
bail on fresh charges of high treason arising from his incitement of the
mass protests. He is already the defendant in a long running trial arising
from allegations he conspired to kill Mugabe in 2001. - Sapa-DPA
Message just received:

Companies should note that business operating licences are issued by local authorities, not central government, and that they DO NOT COMPEL COMPANIES TO OPERATE at all!  They CONTROL operations by RESTRICTING OPERATIONS so that businesses do not operate on Sundays, late at night, etc... THEY NOT STATE THAT YOU MUST BE OPERATIONAL AT ANY SPECIFIC TIME OR FOR ANY SPECIFIC DURATION.
The statements and threats by central government therefore have NO FORCE OF LAW to back them up, and are merely there to intimidate you and encourage rogue elements to target you on the assumption that you are ignorant of the law. 
While we are all too sadly aware that the rule of law does not prevail in our country at present, DO NOT GIVE IN TO ILLEGAL THREATS.  Report any incident, network with your colleagues, and TAKE LEGAL ADVICE AND ACTION ... there are several legal rights groups which can advise and assist - Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Legal Resources Foundation, Zimrights, etc...Encourage your colleagues to resist this attack on your rights.
Together, we will complete the change to a better life for all Zimbabweans.
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Africa's Quest for Democracy Under Threat

Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra)

June 10, 2003
Posted to the web June 10, 2003

YESTERDAY THE British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) quoted 82-year-old
Robert Mugabe as saying he was growing younger by the day. That was Mr.
Mugabe's justification for hanging on to power after leading his country,
Zimbabwe, to political independence 23 years ago. He ruled out calls for his
retirement as "nonsensical."

Our next door big brother, Gnassingbe Eyadema, who has been a leader of his
country for 36 years, has recently changed his Constitution over 50 times
and electoral code 102 times just to remain in power till he dies or

There are still quite a few of the relics of the Emperor Boukassas, Field
Marshall Dada Idi Amins and Kenneth Kaundas who plunged the African
continent into dictatorship in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. What is more
disturbing about these despots is that they have metamorphosed their
oligarchies and dictatorships into pseudo-democracies, going to the polls
periodically to give themselves legitimacy and a culture of

But the trademarks remain basically the same: amassing filthy wealth in the
midst of abject poverty of their people. The undemocratic leaders invariably
slap treason, sabotage, inciting violence and dozens of such charges on
their opponents and get them detained. And there are also some of the
features of the dictatorships and one-party states that the clamour for
socialism in the early post-independence era plunged Africa into.

The result of the autocracies, massive corruption and clampdown on
opposition was invariably one thing: coup d'etat. Illegal, violent changes
of government swept through all but a handful of Africa's many countries,
with some countries experiencing the military-effected changes more than
five times!

Today, the coups d'etat seem to be rearing their ugly heads. Just this past
weekend, a coup attempt was reported from Mauritania just about the same
time as the Lurd faction of Liberia was putting the capital, Monrovia, under
heavy artillery in a bid to finish a coup that has been prolonged into a
civil war.

Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Angola and many other countries are still
dissipating their energies and resources in fighting and killing defenceless
civilians, including children. The underlying cause is bad governance or
undemocratic culture.

In view of the fact that should Africa fail her second attempt at democracy
it will be left behind forever in the global race for development and
survival, Chronicle today implores all the continent's despotic and
undemocratic governments to give way to good governance.

Parliaments, advisers and technocrats who dishonestly pass laws, employ
propaganda or engage in any other tricks to prop up their idols in power,
even when they should retire, should also take a cue from the reviving coups
and act properly.

The African Union's (AU) creation of an Eminent Persons role in Africa's
democratic development is laudable. It is regrettable, however, that only
about 10 nations on the continent have, so far, committed themselves to the
use of the new model to assess governance in their countries.

Whatever it takes the AU and the sub-regional organizations such as the
ECOWAS should be done to ensure that governance on the continent could be
monitored and helped to be improved.

Education of the masses on pluralistic government and the rights and roles
of every citizen is also imperative, if this system of government, in which
all people can vote to elect their representatives and are treated equally
and fairly, is to survive and flourish.

In an environment of mass illiteracy, strong tribal affiliations, poverty
and dependence on government for survival, democracy faces serious
challenges and we must make frantic efforts to save it.
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First Peer Review Planned Before Year-End

Business Day (Johannesburg)

June 10, 2003
Posted to the web June 10, 2003

Jonathan Katzenellenbogen, International Affairs Editor

AS A signal that the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) is
taking on a tangible form, there is a small start towards setting up a peer
review mechanism.

With its emphasis on better governance and accountability, peer review goes
to the heart of Nepad.

As described in an African Union (AU) document, agreed on by heads of state
and government in July last year, the aim of peer review is to ensure that
countries conform with political, economic, corporate and financial
governance standards set out in an AU declaration last year.

The document says that peer review is mostly about selfmonitoring,
emphasising peerlearning rather than peer pressure. The purpose is to ensure
the "sharing of experiences and reinforcement of successful best practices,
including identifying deficiencies and assessing the need for capacity

The structures and procedures for peer review are complicated and much
remains unclear, so there is a risk, say AU watchers, that it could be used
to delay rather than push for action.

However, it could be an important means for business, trade unions and civil
society to have a voice, as these groups will be consulted on country

The big question hanging over peer review is that had there been such a
mechanism in place, would it have made any difference in Zimbabwe?

Peer review has received a warm welcome from the G-8, although it is not
clear when the first report will come out.

The head of the Nepad implementation committee, Nigerian President Olusegun
Obasanjo, said the first reviews would be conducted in the second half of
this year. It had initially been expected at the end of last year.

Peer review is voluntary, and with the number of volunteers at 15 of the
possible 53 AU members, this shows a limited enthusiasm for what could be
the core of the Nepad concept.

Not all the countries on the 20-member Nepad implementation committee have
signed up for peer review. Botswana, a country generally respected for its
governance and high growth, has not signed up and neither have Angola or

There are advantages to signing, as countries are given greater moral
authority when it comes to speaking about Nepad-related and continent-wide

Jakkie Cilliers, executive director of the Institute for Security Studies,
says that, ultimately, participation in peer review will be a requirement
for membership of bodies directly related to overseeing Nepad, such as the
implementation committee.

Cilliers believes there is a possibility that peer reviewed countries could
in time dominate the AU's peace and security council, a body similar to the
United Nations Security Council for the continent.

The AU document on the mechanism says that if "the necessary political will
is not forthcoming" from a government participating, a peer review should at
first try "constructive dialogue". If this does not work members may wish to
put a government "on notice of their collective intention to proceed with
appropriate measures".

To oversee and ensure the integrity of reviews, governments that have signed
up have nominated a panel of "persons of high moral stature", who will each
serve a four-year term.

Among those on the "panel of eminent persons" are Chris Stals, former
governor of the Reserve Bank, and Graça Machel, the wife of former president
Nelson Mandela. There is a possibility that the chair of the panel, who will
serve a maximum term of five years, will be decided upon at next month's AU
meeting in Maputo.

The Nepad secretariat recently advertised in the Economist for highly
qualified and multilingual individuals to take on the role of support
officer for the review mechanism and facilitators who would be responsible
for guidelines, criteria indicators, and benchmarks.

Conducting the reviews will be what the AU calls "partner institutions". The
UN Economic Commission for Africa will be responsible for economic and
corporate governance reviews, and the African Development Bank will review
financial governance.

Political and human rights reviews will be carried out by AU institutions
with responsibility in these areas. These include the Commission on Human
and People's Rights based in the Gambia, and the African Committee of
Experts of Welfare of the Child.

The AU elections committee, the African Parliament, the Economic, Social,
and Cultural Council, and a Court of Justice must still be established.

While economic and financial reviews will rely on clear objective criteria,
political reviews may not be that clear cut.

"It hardly appears politically possible in Africa to expect structures that
form part of the AU to criticise and comment on the actions of heads of
state that govern the union," says Cilliers.

He says that in order to be credible, the AU should return to the original
concept advanced by President Thabo Mbeki that peer review is done by an
independent and credible agency such as the UN Economic Commission for

It will be on its first report on a troubled country that the true test of
the mechanism will come.
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Media crackdown gets worse

Reporters sans frontières (Paris)

June 10, 2003
Posted to the web June 10, 2003


Reporters Without Borders today deplored the arrest and beating by
government supporters of radio journalists Shorai Katiwa and Martin Chimenya
and called on the government to ensure the media could operate freely in

The two reporters, of the pirate radio station Voice of the People (VOP),
were seized on 2 June by war veterans and young supporters of President
Robert Mugabe's African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) who
interrogated them, took away their mobile phones and tape-recorders and beat
them after accusing them of belonging to the main opposition party, the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

They were then taken to a police station, where they admitted that they sent
their reports from a computer at the home of VOP coordinator John Masuku.
Police then went there and confiscated the computer and the station's office
records. They found nothing suspicious, so returned the items and freed the

Police on 3 June harassed two other journalists, Luke Tamborinyoka and
Precious Shumba, both of The Daily News, the country's only independent
daily paper, and made them crawl on a hard surface.

Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard denounced the
climate of repression and lawlessness in which independent journalists were
obliged to work and called on Mugabe to investigate the attacks on the
reporters and punish those responsible. "Journalists must be able to work in
complete freedom and security," he said.

Zimbabwe is the most repressive country in Southern Africa towards the
media. VOP is one of the only two radio stations to have got round the ban
of privately-owned stations, by broadcasting on short-wave from the
Netherlands. It is also one of the few independent media to reach the rural
population since it broadcasts in the country's two main languages, Shona
and Ndebele. Its offices in Harare were attacked last August.

Reporters Without Borders also condemned last week's destruction by
government supporters of several thousand copies of The Daily News and three
other independent papers, The Financial Gazette, The Standard and The
Zimbabwe Independent. The Associated Newspapers Group (ANZ), which publishes
The Daily News, said more than 2,500 copies of the paper had been destroyed
on 2 June alone.

The organisation also deplored physical attacks on Daily News readers by
ZANU-PF supporters and noted that section 20 of the Zimbabwean constitution
guaranteed freedom of opinion and expression.

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      U.N. should move to Paris and get into Chirac’s bed

      President Bush is trying his best to let the French know that he leads
a magnanimous nation — one that’s willing, to an extent at least, to let
bygones be bygones. After all, we managed to win the war in Iraq even
without Jacques Chirac’s assistance and are used to the fact that the French
are prone to act as they do.

      But it’s tough. Bush might have to be nice to the man, but the rest of
us don’t. The French president didn’t just oppose the United States on Iraq
in the United Nations; he was an accessory before, during and after the fact
in Iraq. France had good reason to oppose our policies out of pure
self-interest. The billions of dollars in lucrative contracts held before
the war by French concerns were directly traceable to the goodwill of Saddam
Hussein. Chirac had no incentive to try to be part of the solution to the
crisis in Iraq for the very simple reason that he and his buddies were part
of the problem.

      His concern for peace, justice and the European Union’s (EU) way has
been demonstrated time and time again over the last few years. As if
defending Saddam Hussein were not enough, in the midst of all this, he
welcomed Robert Mugabe, the dictator-cum-thug who rules or tries to rule
Zimbabwe, to France in a desperate attempt to curry favor with the man by
legitimizing him when most world leaders were suggesting that he is no
longer fit company for anyone who claims to be civilized. Zimbabwe, once an
exporter of food to the rest of Africa is today a nation whose people are
starving and dying thanks to the policies and tender mercies of this
 “friend” of Chirac’s.

      Mugabe may be a racist and he may send thugs out to beat up his
opposition while denying Zimbabweans who aren’t able to prove their loyalty
to him and his party access to the humanitarian aid we send to his country,
but he is also a friend of France and the political correctness for which
Chirac is fighting.

      Thus, Mugabe has turned down more than 10,000 tons of American grain
in the past year to show solidarity with France and the EU’s “moratorium” on
importing genetically modified food products. Other nations have also banned
importation of grains from the United States because they fear that if they
accept or purchase such products from us, the EU will retaliate by banning
their products from Europe.

      Mugabe doesn’t have to worry about being shut out of Europe, of
course, because his nation can no longer feed itself, but he does crave the
prestige of being counted a buddy of Chirac.

      Now, it turns out Chirac has another new idea that has the advantages
of being targeted against the United States and might produce monies that
could be used to purchase French products for transshipment to starving
Africans and others. It will be cheered by the politically correct and is at
heart no sillier than some of his other suggestions.

      Consider this one: Chirac is suggesting an international tax on the
sale of guns to individual citizens to create what a Brazilian supporter of
the scheme describes as a “global fund capable of giving food to those who
are hungry and for creating conditions to end the causes of hunger.” Reports
coming out of the G8 Summit say Chirac favors the tax on individual
purchases because he doesn’t want to tax firearms manufacturers (some of
which are French) and because the bulk of the money thus raised would come
from “wealthy” U.S. citizens who are, after all, about the only individuals
around who have a legal right to buy guns. It would, of course, be
administered by the United Nations.

      This new scheme seems very attractive to Chirac and would allow the
U.N. to further both its desire to ban the purchase and ownership of arms
and find a way to impose an international tax that would allow member
nations to get directly into the pockets of the people of this country. What
an idea.

      I dug my old “get the U.S. out of the U.N.” bumper strips out of a box
in the garage some time ago and I’m ready to put one on my car. This is an
organization that should meet in Paris, where its friends reside and where
the heads of member states not welcome here can go to sip chardonnay with
Chirac while their people starve.

      David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, is a
managing associate with the Carmen Group, a D.C.-based governmental affairs
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Hoyte: Protect things of nature - Tuesday 10, June-2003

      Harold Hoyte

by Patience Ejimofor
“OUR BEACHES CAN DISAPPEAR. Our coral reef can disappear. All aspects of
life that we take for granted can disappear if we neglect the very essential

Barbados celebrated International Oceans Day yesterday, with this warning
from chairman of Greening Barbados, Harold Hoyte.

Speaking during the Celebrity Water World Day ceremonies held at Browne’s
Beach to commemorate the day Hoyte, also president of the Nation Publishing
Company, said democracy, good governance and poverty alleviation were the
essential things Barbadians must watch, if efforts being made to preserve
the environment would be effective.

Using Zimbabwe, a country acclaimed for its natural beauty, as an example
and reading from a letter he received from a friend in that country, he said
that poor leadership could affect the overall beauty of a nation.

“This letter is from a friend of mine who lives just outside Harare. She
wrote: ‘I took the children with us to the park yesterday to see the ducks
but it is not as nice and clean as it used to be anymore.’ Having gone there
ten years ago in the first instance, Harare was indeed a beautiful country.
It had lots of greenery and flamboyance. The jacaranda trees were dominant,
presenting Harare as a very beautiful and enticing city,” he said.


“Having gone back more recently and seeing how the place has been denuded,
it hurts one to see what a bad political system can do to an environment. A
lot of the trees have been destroyed; a lot of the wood is used for
firewood, to prepare meals and burnt at night because of the scarcity of
fuel. “So what we are seeing is a complete transformation of Harare.”

Referring to the last general election, Hoyte advised Bajans to take their
democracy seriously to avoid social and economic decay, including
environmental deterioration.

“We have gone through a political season and we tend to take that process
for granted. But that process is bound up in so many things that we do.
because of the political system, we are seeing such deterioration in the
economic and social life of Zimbabweans, that today the environment is
suffering as much as the people.”

Dr Lorna Inniss, acting director of the Coastal Zone Management Unit,
however, assured that the unit would do its best to maintain a healthy
marine environment.

Inniss, who read the speech of Minister of Housing, Lands and the
Environment Liz Thompson, said the unit had earmarked many beaches and bays
on the West, South and East coasts for a face-lift, to include the design
and construction of offshore breakwaters, groynes, revetments, coastal
boardwalks, jetties as well as activities for beach recharge and sand dune

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Zimbabwe frees opposition official -lawyer

HARARE, June 10 — Zimbabwe prosecutors have freed Welshman Ncube, the
secretary-general of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
and appear to have dropped treason charges against him, a defence lawyer
said on Tuesday.
       ''I have just been informed by the Attorney General's office that
Welshman Ncube has been released,'' lawyer Innocent Chagonda told Reuters.
''The state appears to have dropped the charges against Welshman Ncube.''
       Ncube and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai were arrested on treason
charges after MDC protests last week that the government said were aimed at
illegally toppling President Robert Mugabe. Tsvangirai has been formally
charged with treason on Tuesday and remains in police custody.
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