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

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Zimbabwe oppo leader shackled in court

By Cris Chinaka
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has appeared
to the country's high court in shackles, pleading for freedom after five
days in detention on treason charges.

Tsvangirai, who heads the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), appeared at
the heavily-guarded Harare court house in handcuffs, leg irons and a flimsy
prison uniform as his lawyers entered a formal bail request.

Tsvangirai was arrested on Friday and accused of treason after the MDC
organised five days of protests and work boycotts last week that paralysed
the country's battered economy.

The government declared the protests an illegal attempt to topple President
Robert Mugabe. The MDC said hundreds were arrested in the subsequent
crackdown, which saw police disperse protesters with tear gas, water cannon
and rifle butts.

With Tsvangirai -- the most potent political challenger Mugabe has faced in
his 23 years in power -- in shackles, lead defence lawyer George Bizos
accused police of undermining his client's dignity by dressing him as a

"We submit that it is contrary to practice in all advanced administrations
of justice we know of that persons who have not been convicted are brought
to court in prison garb," he said.

High Court Justice Susan Mavangira ruled Tsvangirai should be allowed to
change. He later appeared in the courtroom dressed in a business suit,
looking tired but nodding to MDC supporters who packed the chamber for a
hearing which could drag on through Thursday.


Armed police patrolled around the High Court, directly opposite Mugabe's
presidential offices, and riot police in helmets and shields and armoured
police trucks were stationed behind the court building.

Tsvangirai already faces a possible death sentence in a separate treason
trial for an alleged plot to kill Mugabe in 2002. One co-accused in that
trial, MDC Secretary-General Welshman Ncube, was released on Tuesday after
prosecutors dropped fresh treason charges against him.

The state pressed its charges against Tsvangirai, however, and on Tuesday he
was ordered held for another month unless granted bail by the High Court.

The MDC launched last week's protests as a "final push" against Mugabe, whom
they accuse of political repression, economic mismanagement and rigging his
re-election in polls last year that several Western governments deemed

Zimbabwe, once a regional economic star, has tipped into disaster with
inflation riding above 260 percent, soaring unemployment and critical
shortages of food and fuel.

Mugabe blames the crisis on former colonial power Britain and the United
States, both of which have condemned him for seizing white-owned farms for
distribution to landless blacks.

In a sign the government intends to maintain its tough line, officials have
warned they may strip the licences of six companies that followed last
week's MDC boycott, turning them over to "patriotic" new owners and
expelling expatriate staff. They have not named the firms targeted.
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The Herald

Cash Crisis Inconveniencing Thousands

The Herald (Harare)

June 11, 2003
Posted to the web June 11, 2003

Tandayi Motsi

JOHN Mutizwi (45) of Harare has been spending the past four days in a bank
queue in order to withdraw about $80 000 to meet the monthly needs of his

This is because the building society, which he banks with, is offering
maximum withdrawal limits of up to $20 000 per individual per day owing to
the cash crisis.

Mr Mutizwi is not alone in facing such a predicament as thousands of other
Zimbabweans are daily enduring long hours of queuing to access their money
from the banks.

Thus, the shortage of bank notes has resulted in some Zimbabweans who are
bearing the brunt of the crisis in lambasting those who are holding onto the
money while urging the Government to investigate the issue.

Many people are wondering what has really gone wrong in the banking sector.

The crisis was first experienced in the country last December when most
banks ran out of 500-dollar bills. The banking sector attributed this
shortage to high demand and the shortage of foreign currency.

However, the shortage of bank notes re-surfaced in April following the
three-day mass stay-away organised by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
in protest against the fuel price increase.

To date the cash crisis has worsened inconveniencing thousands of people who
are spending productive time queuing in order to access banking services.

The situation has resulted in some banks limiting maximum withdrawals to $20
000 while some have temporarily suspended Zimswitch ATM services, which
allow clients from a different bank to use an ATM from another bank.

On the other hand, some bank tellers are now cashing-in on the shortage by
demanding "commission" for processing withdrawals that are above the
stipulated $20 000 per individual per day.

For instance, there are allegations that if one wants to withdraw $1 million
some bank tellers are demanding about $100 000 as "commission" to process
the payment.

Due to the scarcity of the bank notes many people end up paying the
"commission" although being aware that this is tantamount to day light

The shortage of notes is so critical that some banks have resorted to buying
them from foreign currency traders who normally have large sums of money in
local currency at hand.

Several explanations have been advanced as to why there is a shortage of
bank notes.

The shortage has largely been attributed to the high rate of inflation now
pegged at 269,2 percent, as this requires people to move around with large
amounts of money to buy basic commodities.

It is also indeed true that due to the fuel crisis thousands of motorists
have now resorted to keeping large sums of money with the view to buy fuel
on the black market, thus compounding the shortage of notes.

There have also been reports that some wholesalers, chain supermarkets and
other companies have not been banking their takings but stashing the money

Last Saturday, the police in Harare acting on a tip-off pounced on a company
and recovered $40 million stashed in trunks.

The owner of the company said he was keeping the money on behalf of a
leading group of supermarkets.

On the same day the police also recovered $50 million from motorists at a
roadblock along the road to Beitbridge as operations to crack down on people
hoarding bank notes intensified.

Furthermore, some people have blamed the cash crisis on illegal foreign
currency dealers who are allegedly stashing large amounts of cash at home
instead of circulating it into the market.

Investigations by the police have revealed that large sums of money were
being withdrawn from banks for illegal purposes like buying foreign currency
on the black market.

Illegal buying and selling of foreign currency was rampant in border towns
such as Beitbridge and Mutare.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe estimates that nearly $200 billion in cash was
not finding its way back into the country's official banking system, with
some people preferring to keep cash stashed in their homes or offices.

There have been also numerous reports that most of the bank notes were being
held in neighbouring countries such as Mozambique and Zambia where there
were many Zimbabweans.

The Mozambican traders pay Zimbabweans who go to Manica and Chimoio in
Mozambique to sell their goods with new crisp Zimbabwean notes since the
Mozambican currency is not convertible here.

Instead of injecting the money into the main stream market the Zimbabwean
traders in turn change their money into United States dollars as a way of
enhancing their profits and the vicious circle continues.

As a way of dealing with the cash crisis the central bank recently said it
would inject $24 billion in $500 notes into the market by mid this month.

Out-going RBZ governor Dr Leonard Tsumba said that a subsidiary of the
central bank, Fidelity Printers had already taken delivery of 500 000 sheets
of money paper that was being used to print additional notes.

He said arrangements for the introduction of the new $1 000 note at the end
of November were now at an advanced stage.

Dr Tsumba attributed the shortage of bank notes to several reasons that
included high demand, emergence of a shadow economy, speculation on the
parallel market and externalisation of local currency to neighbouring
countries as well as socio-political factors such as stayaways.

The central bank, Dr Tsumba said, had the capacity to print sufficient notes
only that it was caught unaware by the huge demand for cash that
precipitated the crisis.

However, some economists have welcomed the move by the RBZ to inject $24
billion into the market while others are skeptical that the move would fuel
the inflation rate.

Trade and economic consultant Dr Samuel Undenge applauded the move by the
RBZ to print more money, saying this would satisfy the demand for cash.

"The injection of $24 billion into the market will not fuel inflation but
this will instead satisfy the demand for cash in the market," he said.

"After satisfying the market with the cash the next move will be stimulating
production as a way of arresting the inflation."

The RBZ, Dr Undenge said should be pro-active and not resort to crisis

He said the cash crisis partly emanated from the high inflation rate
compounded by the fact that the central bank had not been printing more
money to satisfy the rising demand.

"Some people are now exploiting the situation by holding onto large sums of
money," he said.

However, another economist Mr Nyasha Chasakara said although the injection
of the $24 billion into the market would go a long way in easing the cash
crisis the move would not curb the skyrocketing inflation.

"The whole issue hinges on inflation management and not injecting more cash
into the circulation system," he said.

Mr Chakasara said the other option was to introduce high denomination bills
like the $1 000 or $2 000 notes as this would make it easier for people
dealing with large sums of money.

He commended the move by Cargill, a cotton company, that recently introduced
$10 000 denomination bearer cheques to alleviate the shortage of bank notes
being experienced.

"We need such kind of innovations in dealing with the cash crisis in these
trying times," he said.

Under the Cargill new scheme, farmers who deliver their cotton were being
issued with this cash instrument which they could use to purchase products
from outlets owned by Cargill.

The bearer cheques were a legal tender and were being accepted at many
outlets that included Standard Chartered Bank, Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe,
Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe, Farm and City Centre, Red Star, Power Sales and
many other discerning outlets.

The only risk about the Cargill scheme is that should the holder loose the
cheque, anyone can cash it.

There is no doubt that there is an urgent need for all stakeholders to deal
with the cash crisis since the longer it takes to deal with the issue the
more harm is done to the economy.
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      Zimbabwe activist's week in hiding

      Last week, as Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change
called for protests to bring down the government of Robert Mugabe, student
activist Tinashe Chimedza became convinced that the security services were
looking for him.
      Fearing he would be tortured if he was caught, he went into hiding and
has been moving from place to place.

      After a week on the run, he spoke to BBC News Online.

      "I was responsible, with other guys, for setting up MDC student action
committees at universities. The police and the [security services] knew me,"
he said.

      He addressed a rally at the University of Zimbabwe on 2 June, at the
beginning of a planned week of protests to demand Mr Mugabe's resignation.

      "The police started picking people up and interrogating them. They had
a list, and my name was at the top of it," he said.

      MDC members of parliament and student activists were arrested by the
army, Mr Chimedza said.

      "The military told them they were looking for me," he said.

      Following a similar tip from the Zimbabwe Daily News, he decided on 5
June to go into hiding.

      "This was not the first time the police have come looking for me. I
was afraid that if I am arrested, I will be tortured by the police," he

      "I had no option but to go underground."

      On the move

      He says he has been staying with various friends, moving from place to
place every night or two.

      But, he says, he has managed to continue working while on the run.

      "For the past two or three days the students' law council has been
compiling affidavits of people who have been beaten, and sending them to
human rights groups including Amnesty International," he told BBC News

      Mr Chimedza has been helping with the dossiers, which, he says,
include details of when and how students were assaulted and photographs.

      But such work is not what he specialises in, which is trying to link
activists with the MDC.

      "I am not able to work at the level I want to because I am so
restricted. When I am in hiding, I do more administrative work - more
paperwork," he said with a laugh.

      He said he was not disheartened by the failure of last week's protests
to bring down Mr Mugabe.

      "It's a process," he said, adding that the demonstrations were the
first in Zimbabwean history specifically to call for the resignation of the

      "Of course the government was able to put down some of the marches,"
he said.

      "But now people know what type of machinery the government has -
tanks, water cannons. They won't be intimidated next time," he said.

      "The MDC has broken the taboo that there is no party that can
challenge Zanu-PF," he said. "This is the beginning of the struggle."
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'Zim must sort itself out'
11/06/2003 14:56  - (SA)

Geneva - President Thabo Mbeki on Wednesday said it was up to Zimbabwe's
leadership to tackle the country's internal political strife through

No foreign countries would be able to solve Zimbabwe's problems, he told
reporters on the fringes of a meeting of the International Labour
Organisation (ILO) here.

"The solution of the problems of Zimbabwe really lies in the hands of the
Zimbabwe leadership," he said.

Mbeki and his Nigerian counterpart, Olusegun Obasanjo, had sought to revive
talks between President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwe African National
Union - Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) and the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) last month.

The dialogue later appeared to break down.

Mbeki did not mention MDC leader Morgan Tsangvirai, who appeared in court in
Harare on Wednesday on treason charges resulting from anti-government
protests last week, and said he had no idea what impact the protests would

"I don't think that making particular statements in public is going to find
a solution to this problem," Mbeki commented.

President Mugabe rules over a country of about 13 million people plagued by
political instability, a land crisis and a devastated economy. The
opposition blames him for the state's woes, while Mugabe blames an
international conspiracy led by former colonial power Britain.
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SOUTHERN AFRICA: Impact of humanitarian crisis on children

      ©  IRIN

JOHANNESBURG, 11 Jun 2003 (IRIN) - The outlook for children caught up in
Southern Africa's humanitarian crisis is especially bleak.

In addition to continued worries about their food security, at least four
million children have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS, with child-headed
households bearing the brunt of the crisis.

The latest UNICEF report on the southern African crisis said that in the
absence of adult caregivers, these children are particularly vulnerable to
exploitation, abuse and HIV infection. The crisis was also reflected in the
deterioration of a previous improvement in child malnutrition rates.

Zambia has registered the highest number of orphans in the world, while in
Swaziland the numbers of orphans are estimated to have doubled between 2000
and 2002. In Zimbabwe, girls, especially those from child-headed households,
have been forced into commercial sex, early marriage or child labour, as a
means of survival, the report said.

A recent UNICEF nutrition review showed that nutritional status was worse
among children who are orphaned, and the current HIV/AIDS pandemic would
directly and indirectly increase child malnutrition.

In addition to concern about the impact of HIV/AIDS, UNICEF was also working
to prevent children from dropping out of school due to food shortages. It
was supporting school feeding programmes, providing school materials and
rehabilitating water and sanitation facilities throughout the region.

A survey conducted in Zambia in October last year found drop-out rates as
high as 40 percent in the drought-affected Southern province. To counter
this, UNICEF and its partners, including the World Food Programme and the
Ministry of Education, are starting a pilot project combining school
feeding, water and sanitation rehabilitation, HIV/AIDS education and
life-skills training.

In Mozambique, considered one of the worst-off countries, educational kits
have been provided for 240,000 children and 6,200 teachers in
drought-affected districts. Up to 60 water points will be installed in
Sofala, Manica, Tete and Zambezia provinces in the centre of the country.

These measures are in addition to supplementary and therapeutic feeding
programmes reaching 80,000 women and children under the age of five, and a
new partnership agreement which will expand the programme to nursing mothers
and almost 200,000 children aged under five, UNICEF said.

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World Economic Forum On Africa Opens
Delia Robertson
11 Jun 2003, 16:22 UTC

A study into economic competitiveness in Africa has found that Botswana has
the best prospects for economic growth on the continent. The results of the
study were released at the annual Africa meeting of the World Economic Forum
in South Africa's eastern port city, Durban.

The study found that Botswana was the least corrupt and the best in abiding
by contracts and the rule of law on the continent. Also rated highly were
Tunisia and Gambia.

Africa's richest country, South Africa, slid into fourth place in this
year's study, its rating brought down by perceived costs of organized crime
in the country.

The ratings are based on a survey conducted among business leaders who
respond to questions about the quality of the environment in which they
conduct their enterprises.

Fiona Power, an economist with the World Economic Forum, told South African
national radio the business leaders are questioned on their impressions of
corruption, adherence to contractual obligations and the rule of law.

She says, "We basically looked at two dimensions, contracts and law and
corruption. Under contracts and law we look at four variables: the
independence of the judiciary, the neutrality of the government when making
decision, the costs of organized crime, and financial property and assets
are clearly delineated and protected in law. Under the area of corruption,
we look at the pervasiveness of irregular payments in three areas: one is
export and import permits, and irregular payments in terms of tax payments,
and then irregular payments for connection to public utilities."

Zimbabwe was rated 16th out of 21 African countries surveyed, with its
judiciary seen as the least independent. Nigeria and Chad were at the bottom
of the list. The public institutions in both countries were rated the worst
in Africa
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      Judges to be used as witnesses in Judge Blackie trial

      11/06/03 By Naomi Rovnick

      Fergie Blackie, the retired judge arrested in Zimbabwe last year for
allegedly attempting to ‘defeat the course of justice’, is facing trial at
the end of this month.

      Judge Blackie’s trial is set for 30 June in the Harare Magistrates’

      The state is likely to call three other judges as witnesses. The UN
has already condemned the Mugabe regime for stating that it would call
judges as witnesses in the similar case of Mr Justice Paradza, a Zimbabwean
judge arrested for allegedly breaching the Prevention of Corruption Act in
January this year.

      The International Bar Association has expressed outrage at the
Zimbabwean practice of arresting disfavoured judges, which it sees as an
attempt by Mugabe to destroy the independence of the judiciary.

      “We maintain that there is very little substance to these charges and
that the trial has been brought as an attempt to embarrass Justice Blackie,”
said Judge Blackie’s advocate Firoz Girach.

      Last June, the Mugabe regime arrested Sternford Moyo and Wilbert
Mapombere, respectively the president and executive secretary of the
Zimbabwe Law Society, for allegedly possessing subversive documents.

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Zimbabweans flock to Moz for fuel
Posted Wed, 11 Jun 2003

Scores of Zimbabweans facing serious commodity shortages at home have been
streaming into neighbouring Mozambique to buy fuel and other provisions, a
provincial governor said on Wednesday.

Zimbabwe, a landlocked southern African country, has been experiencing
severe economic hardships and political tensions. There are shortages of
fuel and basic commodities, as well as foreign currency.

"We have seen many Zimbabweans coming to buy fuel and other supplies in our
province in recent weeks given the deteriorating situation in that
neighbouring state," the governor of Mozambique's Manica province, Soares
Nhaca told AFP.

He said the extra demand for fuel by Zimbabweans had caused a shortage
locally in Manica province, but the problem would be resolved.

Mozambique, which is a coastal country, imports its fuel supplies from the
Middle East. Unlike Zimbabwe it has the hard cash to pay its bills.

Mozambique's state daily Noticias last week quoted a local government
official as saying Zimbabweans were looting fuel in Manica province, but
this was dismissed by Nhaca.

"The Zimbabweans have made normal purchases that any driver would make and
there has not been anything extraordinary," he said.

The economic situation in Zimbabwe has worsened in recent months, with the
annual rate of inflation now officially reported to be at 269 percent.
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Due to changes that have been forced upon farmers and their families, there
has been a shift in the role and responsibilities of the ladies "farmers
wives". In order to help identify and address these issues we invite you
all to attend the following meeting to be held at Art farm.



Wednesday 18th June 9.00a.m.


Kevin Ricquebourg

Ingrid Landman

Debbie Jeans.


Beatrice Bwerudzai.

Wikus Botha

Kerry Kay.

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Office of the Spokesman
June 5, 2003


Zimbabwe: Crackdown on Opposition

The United States strongly condemns the Zimbabwean government's suppression
of its citizens' efforts to protest peacefully their country's economic
collapse and human rights abuses.  As it did in March, the Government of
Zimbabwe has responded to peaceful attempts at public protest this week
with an ongoing wave of intolerance and brutality. While the opposition's
calls for a work stoppage succeeded in closing most shops and businesses,
its efforts to organize peaceful marches were broken up with tear gas and

Throughout the week, once-apolitical police and army services have arrested
hundreds of opposition supporters, often detaining them in squalid
conditions without charge.  Among those arrested have been several members
of parliament and the mayor of Zimbabwe's second-largest city, Bulawayo.
Many of those detained are being denied access to lawyers, families,
medical care, and even food.  The leader of the opposition was also briefly
detained on June 2.

Dozens of Zimbabweans have sought medical treatment for injuries suffered
from beatings by security agents, including war veterans and youth brigades
integrated into police and army forces.  One opposition supporter was
seized from a private home along with an elected Harare Councilor, and was
beaten to death.  Security forces raided a private clinic where 30 to 40
opposition supporters were seeking treatment.  Numerous patients were
interrogated in the clinic.  Two people were abducted from near the clinic,
and their condition and whereabouts remain unknown.

The United States calls on the Government of Zimbabwe to allow peaceful
protest, cease human rights abuses, reverse its disastrous economic
policies, and restore the rule of law.

We strongly urge political forces, including the ruling ZANU-PF party and
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, to enter into unconditional
dialogue on an urgent basis to address the political and economic crisis
afflicting the nation.

The international community must continue to defend human rights and
political reform in Zimbabwe.  Concerted and sustained action by African
states, in particular, is vital to achieving political change and economic
recovery in Zimbabwe.

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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: Kerry Kay

It has been brought to our attention that a number of recent immigrants to
Zimbabwe were "duped by Emigration Consultants".  Anyone using EC's be
advised to get references!


Letter 2:

Dear Sirs,

In response to your very pertinent questions, I have the following to
comment on.

1. It is clear that the current regime are simply using the whole question
about" land reform " as political gimmick to retain political power at any
cost and to confuse the overseas liberal press. It does not suit them to
engage in any form of meaningful dialogue, they want chaos to continue to
smoke screen their real intent, power at any cost.

2. There is role for commercial agriculture in Zimbabwe (economically it
makes sense to have economy of scale in production) The principle of
reverting everything to small-scale farming is against the entire world
trend. There is no future for peoples whose aim is retrogressing back to
the principles of shifting cultivation. There is NOT enough land to follow
this practice, just look at the population pressures of 1910 and today.

3. The C.F.U are guilty of "short term" thinking (clouded brains) in
believing that they can negotiate with a nine headed snake, look at their
failed efforts with Made and company a short while ago.

4. The ZTA are interested in trying to maintain some presence with the
world's international Tobacco buyers, thru small-scale production. But with
small time farmers under huge inflationary economic pressures and the
financial planning required, they really need large-scale commercial

5. Farmers who remain in production right now need to be carefully sorted
out, between those who survive by "collaboration" (who have been simply
"allowed" to escape the net) Financially there are many motivated by sheer
greed, who have benefited enormously by feeding on those poor unfortunate
farmers who had no choice but abandon their cattle/assets.

Many Nazi collaborators in France were simply executed by the common folk,
after Hitler's Third Reich collapsed.

6. Any future Zimbabwe constitution must contain a multitude of safeguards
to security of Tenure. All land must be brought before an elected
independent " Land commission" to ensure that those who intend to farm it
correctly, are given the opportunity to hold title over that land. This
must include ALL land currently held under the auspices of "Tribal Trust
land". The Chiefs/Headmen have shown very little responsibility towards
their subjects in recent times, they have easily swayed by political
bribery to follow this illegal regime (to the ultimate detriment of their
peoples/and the land/environment).

Land must be taken care of and farmed for our children's future.


Letter 3: Kevin

We endorse Jean Simons view.

I sometimes think that the CFU and especially the ZTA have lost their
marbles.  Who cares (not Africa or the world?) if there are no farmers
left.  Its time they woke up to the fact its history.  Let's claim what we
can.  Did you watch S.A. Africa last night??  True opinion "Zim is the
only country who has had the guts to do what Africans would like to do",
(very rough quote interpretation!) Tobacco industry buying tobacco from
thieves who have not paid for their farms equipment etc.  Never a word from
ZTA who have in their dubious hands all the farmers money. Who will inherit
this?? Few guesses??

Why is ZTA not put into mothballs and the new farmers start their own
association. New broom sweeps clean but not with "our Money"!!!!

We might have left but the hurt and anger and frustration never leaves as
our hearts are still in our beloved country and with the people who have
some integrity trying to survive.


Letter 4:

Dear JAG

A word of advice.  If you want to keep me quiet, NEVER send out a
questionnaire. I always answer.

Dialogue with Government - which Government?

Dialogue with the Present Government - do they attend meetings, and do they
ever keep their word?

ZTA being for small scale producers - will ZTA become a small-scale
organisation run by ARDA?

Small-scale tobacco production - no knowledge, no comment.  But if tobacco
was the backbone of the export economy, I believe that the small-scale
sector cannot pull the economy out of the doldrums - especially if they do
not have a free source of seedlings next season.

Farmers still in production the only ones eligible for the rebuilding of
Commercial Agriculture - isn't that a bit of a tall order?  I heard there
are only 443 of us. Shucks are the "freeloaders" (not my term) going to
carry on sitting in town?

As a producing farmer with no connections, it is apparent that we are
totally incapable of:

a) supplying the country's needs
b) keeping the farm based retail sector alive (and I do not think the
small scale sector can either)
c) maintaining the Union body, whichever,
d) its flipping lonely.

Role of commercial agriculture - its the only way to rebuild a stable
economy, with guaranteed food supplies, and maybe (just maybe) the
businesses will realise this time that we are quite useful (ugly, but
useful).  Maybe we can clean up our image also.

A policy of security through good political connections - don't have any,
can't tell, but if the AIDS statistics are true could be a bit dodgy, as
your connections are only as good as his health.

Should security of tenure be enshrined in the constitution?  Well do we
want to stay out here with North Korea, Burma and Cuba?

The Land programme was not an attack on property ownership.  It was a
racist political attack on a perceived political power base of opposition.

JAG should have an AGM, in a low class venue, no cocktail party to prove a
point - and "freeloaders" welcome.  They are the most valuable and
experienced members of our community.

See you there!


Letter 5:

Happy Birthday Dear JAG
Happy Birthday To You.

Herewith some answers to your questions:

(1) Dialogue....who do you talk to? It has been proven that you can't talk
to Made. The Governors all have different ideas. The w/v's all do their own
thing. Jonathan Moyo will never give you a straight answer and the other
Ministers haven't a clue anyway. The only person who can resolve the
problem is Mugabe himself. He started the ball rolling and the rest are
just kicking it about. There are no rules just make them up as you
go along and change them when you need to score again. That is what it's
all about ....Mugabe was trying to "score" with the electorate by playing
his two age old trump cards: Race and Land.

He didn't realise that twenty years down the line the people as a whole no
longer subscribed to liberationist politics. If, ever, you manage to
"dialogue" with Mugabe are you going to relinquish the moral high-ground
and make compromises? You cannot get him to the negotiating table without
concessions and that would be morally reprehensible. Nobody must be allowed
to profit by criminal actions. This would create a precedent and justify
the culture of criminal violence that is ZANU PF.

I believe that we must brave this thing out. We don't have to be totally
intransigent, we can listen and we can talk but we must never compromise
honesty and integrity. Future generations of Zimbabweans depend on this. I
don't believe dialogue is the answer. We must use all our initiative and
ingenuity to keep going and sit this out. We can do it. The reality of the
situation and the pressures produced will sooner rather than later bring
THEM to us.

(2) Continued dialogue.....? This sounds as though there is already
dialogue. As I have said, pressures and reason will eventually prevail, and
farmers will be asked to farm again. Any meaningful dialogue will probably
not be with Mugabe or his cronies. In which case Govt. would be prepared to
write guarantees into the Constitution. Don't look to Mugabe or ZANU PF for
solutions. The only way they can play a part is by liquidating their vast
assets to compensate Zimbabweans for their losses.

(3) I am not a tobacco producer but I would have thought that in a free
enterprise situation market forces would determine the optimum production

(4) Ditto to the above.

Haven't we just seen what damage can be done to a country/industry if you
try to control things instead of letting economic factors/market forces
determine what is best.

(5) This is RUBBISH. Everyone who can play a part must play a part. Why
deprive yourself of quality/options.

(6) Future role of Commercial Agriculture...? If we are to feed ourselves
and if the country is to develop as a whole Commercial Agriculture is a
must. Remember "No Farmers No Future". Everything depends on a viable
agricultural industry. We were once the envy of the rest of Africa and we
can do it again.

(7) Political connections.....? NO ! This is patronage and part of the
Communist/ZANU PF culture. It makes for corruption and instability and
suppresses progress.

(8)Land tenure must be provided for/enshrined in the constitution. We have
witnessed what can happen if it is not.

(9) Statement ref. "land problem"......The "exercise" was carried out to
win votes/elections. Mugabe was resorting to the tactics that won him the
"war" and brought him to power.......he hoped to gain mileage by being seen
to be whipping the white man. Willing buyer-willing seller deals are too
civilized. To impress the povo you have to make a show of power. Every time
there was a Party Congress or election threats were made about land and the
whites were accused of spurning reconciliation and being confrontational.
The old land Act was fine for over 10 years, but in 1992 amid much fanfare
it was replaced by new legislation. In 1998 the Govt. made a big thing of
the "Donors' Conference". When things got tough again Mugabe made land a
major issue in the new constitution. There was no real reason to change
except to stir up the old animosity. Unfortunately this time by involving
the w/v's Mugabe opened Pandora's Box. In the past he could control things
but this time he hasn't been able to get the lid back on.( I guess you know
that in mythology when Pandora's Box was opened all the ills of mankind
were released with only Hope remaining.) Two years ago at a Shangani
Farmers' Association meeting I stated that even if we asked the Govt. to
give us the ten, twenty or even hundred points that we had to meet to make
the problem go away and we actually managed to comply nothing would change.
The only event that would have defused the situation was for the people to
support Mugabe. Then he would have closed the lid on the box and put it
away for another time. The problem would in effect still be hanging over
us. In a sense we are better off today in that the problem has run its
course and when we emerge at the end the nation will be stronger for it. In
the evolution of the country we have to shed that culture of patronage,
violence and corruption nurtured by Mugabe and ZANU PF.

(10) facilitate information.....? We would be very ill-informed
if information and ideas had to wait for an AGM to make themselves public.
This is not to say that an AGM would be a waste of time. It is good to get
together from time to time even if it's only to meet the people at the end
of these e-mails.

In closing....I enjoy your communications and I enjoy the stand you are
making. Keep up the spirit - it keeps our spirits up.


Letter 6: Ben Norton

Here with the prompt reply from the C.F.U regarding my queries about the
Farming Oscar, Will this reply satisfy the concern of those who have been
writing to the open letter forum? If not, let nobody be shy about telling
the world why not. Perhaps we should nominate one of our fellow farmer
heroes who died trying to remain on his own property to continue farming
and producing food for the benefit of ALL Zimbabweans, and my nomination
goes to my old friend Martin Olds.

Yours Ben Norton

----- Original Message -----
From: CFU VP & DD
Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2003 8:20 AM
Subject: RE: Farming Oscar

Dear Mr. Norton

In response to your query about the Farming Oscar, please note that anyone
is eligible - the Oscar is recognition of an individual's service to
agriculture in the country and that is the main criterion for nominees.

I have forwarded your email to Paul d'Hotman.



Mel Barnes
Vice Presidents' PA
Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe
P O Box WGT 390
Tel: 04-309800
Fax: 04-309873


Letter 7: Frank Urquhart

Unlike Jean Simon I am in complete agreement with Sally with regards to the
Farming Oscars.  When will Zimbabwean Farmers stop acting like Ostriches
and burying their heads in the ground?

You guys are an endangered species and are under attack. Stop pretending or
hoping its not going to happen, just because it has not stopped you yet. To
hold the Oscars under prevailing conditions is perverse and totally
insensitive to those farmers driven from their land. It also gives Mugabe
and his bunch of dribbling sycophants much pleasure to see up to what point
Farmers can be toyed with. Enough is Enough! If you can farm, and are
prepared to gamble with loosing all your inputs and labour, well and good.
Do it, but do it for yourselves and not for any nobler cause. You are under
attack and survival instincts must prevail.

Zimbabwean Farmers have borne the brunt of ZANU-PF's Mad correction of past
injustice whilst Commerce and Industry kept a low profile hoping it would
pass by. Only recently has this section of the community and Zimbabweans in
general shown resistance to Mugabe's insanity. Could it be because they are
now feeling the direct effects of incompetent policies? If you wish to
celebrate your tenacity please do so. But do it in a way that does not
pretend nothing has happened. A person who is raped can and must put it
behind them, and continue with their life, but don't let anyone trivialise
the invasion of ones body. In the same way I believe holding the Oscars
under prevailing conditions makes triviality of those who have lost so

STOP THE OSCAR'S and any other celebration which would take place under
normal circumstances, like Agricultural shows and open days. When things
return to normal there will be plenty of time to have them. In the meantime
concentrate on survival, and take enjoyment from the important pleasures of
life like family and friends.


Letter 8: H & R Laurie

Congratulations, JAG, on your First Birthday!  Many happy returns of your
day - for all of us - who are indebted to your courage, pro-active strategy
and rapid, vigorous tactics especially with regard to finding an avenue to

Very best regards to all staff and helpers


Letter 9:

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. SA TODAY

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


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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      What Next After The Mass Stay Away?

      by Hopewell Gumbo
      June 11, 2003

       On June 4th Zimbabwe was brought to a standstill as the Movement For
Democratic Change (MDC) called for a stay away: a mass general strike. On
that day the MDC's president Tsvangarai was arrested, one person was killed
and many were beaten by pro-Mugabe forces. Below is a report from Zimbabwean
writer and activist Hopewell Gumbo.

        For a report of June 4th's activities read Zimbabwe brought to a
standstill by Basildon Peta, and for a good introduction to the issue read
Zimbabwe Lurches Towards A Paupers Burial By Patrick Bond

        The MDC called stay away and marches is almost over and many
questions are being asked on what to do next after the short intercourse
with the wrath of the state. Stay aways have been there before and this one,
the “final push” as it was dubbed by the MDC leadership, was called for, at
least to the general public, a week or few days before the action.

        This was done mainly through the opposition newspapers, the
Independent papers, and through the MDC middle structures. On the first day,
the 2nd of June, masses were supposed to march from designated areas in
major towns and in the capital; and end at the state house. The MDC leader
had been on a nationwide tour of the country in the last few weeks garnering
support for the action, but had not been open enough to try and empower the
general citizenry in the process through the civic groups and residents
associations as done in other successful mass struggles before. Civic
society came only in the form of press statements. Students were involved
but in a terribly unorganized form. Virtually no campus except some
incidences at the University of Zimbabwe, joined on the first day.

        In the mean time the state machinery was being mobilized to get
ready for the march, which was viewed as one to topple a “legitimate”
government. The ruling party activists with the war veterans and the trained
youth from a national service program being the chief party defenders
assembled from all over the country. The police force was put on high alert
and the army put on standby with a few soldiers manning the high population
locations and town sections. Battle lines had been drawn for the “final
 push” coming a few weeks after two “successful” stay aways organized by the
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and the MDC and the bosses section
of the MDC.

        There were high expectations from all sections of the pro MDC
society with the president of the party having called for mass action, an
option that the middle class and bourgeoisie section of the party had for a
long time refused to take. The president of the party was under attack at
the first anniversary of the party when he said that “ the president must go
peacefully. If he does not want we will remove him violently”

        But, much to the disillusionment of many, the president of the party
was arrested early morning on the day of the intended march. He was released
later, but the signs of the crashed action were visible for everybody to
see. Soldiers and police in uniform and plain clothes were all over the
cities and residential suburbs. There was considerable action recorded from
Harare with the MDC claiming one death at the hands of the police and the
army. More reports are coming in from other parts of the country where there
is not much to write home about where a combination of a large police
presence and poor strategizing on the part of the organizers has lead to low
activity. In Bulawayo the second largest city, most shops in the CBD were
open. The army has also threatened to punish those who closed shops. The
minister of Industry and International Trade has also threatened the same.
One hopes this is not the beginning of the killing of the uprising. The MDC
issued a demoralizing statement immediately after his release when asked by
the Dailynews “Q: If the State is saying it is not going to stop at anything
to crush popular discontent, so what next? How are you going to be able to
force Mugabe either to retire or to agree to negotiations?

        A: Let me tell you one thing, I think people are being
over-simplistic. People are looking at just one action and they expect it to
produce change immediately. In other words, people are looking at events
that are taking place as part of the whole struggle as events that should,
on their own, deliver change. But I want to caution people with such a
simplistic view of the situation in this country that what we are engaged in
is a long struggle.

        It is going to be protracted. What is happening now are just events
aimed at building the necessary confidence. There are so many events that
are going to take place in building a successful struggle. Any struggle or
process of democratic resistance is a very protracted process and along the
way there are going to be disappointments.

        This was contrary to the call for the final push that the masses
were calling for and the party had taken as the way forward as well. Earlier
the president, Tsvangirai had said the mass action would be to make Mugabe
see sense in the negotiations. Zimbabweans who stayed away from work this
week to demonstrate their anger at the government’s mismanagement of the
country, will wake up the next Monday to face exactly the same problems,
which have killed their nation.

        This recent crash of the mass action has disoriented the MDC and
given it a rude awakening. There is need for it to go into the drawing room
to reorganize. There is therefore a need for the civic society to be
involved. The ball is in the MDC’s court now to immediately call in the
civic society and work together in strategizing. Previously Tsvangirai had
snubbed them accusing some sections of being power hungry and seeking to pip
him as the legitimate leader of the dawning Zimbabwe. Only a united front
can take the MDC from this current dilemma and organize massive civic unrest
that involves the whole nation of progressive society.

        Banking on the international community may not deliver much for now
and the collapse of this action call may signal grave consequences for the
future of the MDC and the Zimbabwean Masses. The army who may have started
to feel the changing tide will regain confidence and the task will be
harder. ZANU-PF and the state may find themselves gaining confidence and
embark on a massive reprisal as they have already started with youth and
other organizers either in hiding or in police cells. Only the high
leadership may be spared of detentions for now. It may just signal a move by
the MDC towards the talks. It will place the opposition in a dreadful
bargaining position. What Zimbabwe needs now is not a bargaining process
with the regime, but a total attack and removal of the current government.
If the MDC does not rise now in rebuilding the united front option, it will
open chances for a third force, which will be based on bread and butter
issues as the economic crisis deepens. The government has opened up the
price controls with fuel having gone up further in less than two months.
Mass struggles are therefore going to be inevitable in that situation. The
labour movement will have to remain relevant by fighting for wages while
ordinary citizens demand cheaper transport and services. Students are yet to
reorganize and put their issues back on the agenda. For how long can the
masses bear the brunt of retribution without a clear way forward? As the
opposition Dailynews said in its 5 June editorial “In deed, many MDC
supporters in vulnerable rural areas and high-density suburbs in cities can
testify that they have only reaped bitter retribution from government
supporters after each stay away called by the MDC or its Zimbabwe Congress
of Trade Unions ally.”

        The bosses will be in a difficult position, much as the exhausted
Venezuela way. We wait for the next move for the MDC, as the left ponder on
the implications of a protracted struggle against the regime. Is it the time
for revisiting the debate on the abandoned people’s struggles into
neoliberalism by the MDC? The foremost proponent of the opposition
propaganda, the Dailynews wrote in its editorial of the 5th of June: “…. the
opposition must rapidly get its act together and focused plan that can save
Zimbabwe now and not to prolong the crisis….clearly Tsvangirai and his
advisers in the MDC must know that time is not on their side.”
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From ZWNEWS, 10 June

A milestone?

By Michael Hartnack

The detention of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on fresh charges of
treason on Friday was an act of sheer cock-a-hoop bravado by Robert Mugabe's
regime. By arresting Tsvangirai - for inciting peaceful protest marches
which were, in any case, violently dispersed before groups of more than a
few hundred could gather - Mugabe has dared the international community,
particularly the West, to show what it can do to stop him doing whatever he
likes. Not much, he no doubt believes, while he has the sympathy and support
of South Africa.

During last week’s 5-day stayaway called by Tsvangirai’s Movement for
Democratic Change, the state and the ruling Zanu PF party spared no effort
to intimidate and repress. Self styled "war veterans" and youth militia,
grouped on every street corner and in every shopping centre, summoned
truckloads of uniformed reinforcements whenever they saw three or four
people together. One man was beaten up on the steps of Meikles Hotel in
Harare where the militants arrived declaring: " We've come to get the
British." Security guards managed to slam the doors in their faces.
Passers-by in Harare city centre were made to lie on the pavement and then
whipped, as were University of Zimbabwe students on campus. Scores were
seriously injured, and it is amazing that only two people were confirmed
killed. More than 800 people were abducted or detained. In Bulawayo, women
taking food to those in cells were themselves seized and held incommunicado.
"If you are supporting these people then you must go inside with them," a
drunken CIO agent shouted at lawyers seeking access. "Don't you know I have
power to make you disappear?" The Association of Doctors for Human Rights
expressed outrage when riot police invaded a private clinic and took away
several of the 70 injured people receiving treatment.

Speaking at a state funeral on Saturday, Mugabe threatened to expel British
and American diplomats. Having spurned innumerable court orders in the past
23 years, particularly those relating to vote rigging, state sponsored
terror, release of abductees, and most recently the expulsion of American
journalist Andrew Meldrum, Mugabe went into a fit of self-righteous rage
over the "illegality" of the June 2 - 6 campaign for his resignation.
Illegal, he maintains, because a recently appointed judge and recipient of a
seized white-owned farm had granted an injunction against the MDC. "This
week we have witnessed the MDC pandering to foreign interests, repeatedly
trying to create scenes here in the interests of the West through so called
'Mass Action'," Mugabe said at Heroes' Acre. "… I hope the British and
United States embassies realise that, as they sponsor the MDC to instigate
it, they are doing it in order to achieve an illegal objective, they are
acting illegally on our soil. And I warn (that) their instigation cannot be
tolerated forever by my government." Britain and America, he did not
mention, are by far the largest source of famine relief funds. There was
also, of course, no mention of the up to eight million people facing

Most observers believe the five-day protest was a victory "on points" for
the MDC although in the face of armed troops, tanks, helicopter gunships,
and thugs who are simply above the law, the party was never able to get mass
street protests. However, the accompanying work stayaway succeeded in
bringing what is left of the economy to a standstill. Emmerson Mnangagwa,
parliamentary speaker, administrative head of Zanu PF, and would-be heir to
Mugabe, cancelled a briefing session with European Union ambassadors last
week in an apparent fit of political nerves. The regime was clearly scared,
said one EU ambassador, although the MDC has failed to muster the necessary
10 000 - 15 000 "critical mass" in marches that might have intimidated the
security forces into standing aside. Economist Anthony Hawkins said that
while there was no sign of any solution "the government is worse off, the
momentum is with the opposition." Mugabe’s lieutenants "must be beginning to
ask 'where is this guy leading us?’ … From an economic viewpoint one cannot
see it lasting more than six months, maximum a year," he added.

Shortly before his arrest, Tsvangirai told a press conference the stayaway
had "sapped the morale and confidence of the Mugabe dictatorship.’’ The mass
action had succeeded in showing that Mugabe was "not in charge of the
country but marshalling the forces of repression. His power now lies
completely with a coterie of his bootlickers," said the veteran trade
unionist. During the strike more stories appeared in South African newspaper
on the lines of those planted over the past three years by Mnangagwa's
business associate Matumwa Mawere. The reports said the "incorrigible" and
"politically immature" Tsvangirai had  blundered by refusing to join a
coalition with Zanu PF as the junior partner, or to identify himself with
Zanu PF "on the land issue which runs so deep among Zimbabweans". Tsvangirai
is aware this is all double speak for accepting and endorsing the criminally
corrupt pattern of patronage built up over the 23 years since independence,
and condoning the long legacy human rights abuses as the price for co-option
into Mugabe's privileged elite. He knows power gained through that route
would be valueless, since it can never lead to political or economic reform.
South African newspapers suggest that President Thabo Mbeki fears the MDC
because of the precedent it would set if a union-based opposition ousted a
"liberation movement". But Zimbabweans, Western embassies and, supremely,
South Africa's rulers, need to reflect that Zimbabwe is approaching a point
when people will despair of peaceful change. The five-day protest may have
been a milestone on the journey to a civil war that will pit bootlicker
against bootlicker as civil society collapses and, its leaders flee abroad,
and only Mugabe's warlords remain to dispute the wreckage.
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From The Star (SA), 11 June

Hunger strikers urge Mbeki to use his clout

By Basildon Peta and Benjamin Thompson

A group of exiled Zimbabweans, including women and children, have gone on a
hunger strike near President Thabo Mbeki's offices at the Union Buildings in
Pretoria. They have sworn to remain there until he uses his leverage on
President Robert Mugabe to have opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai released
from jail. Tsvangirai is in custody on treason charges. A bail application
was due to be heard in the High Court on Wednesday. The demonstrators, who
have delivered a petition to Mbeki's office, said they feared for
Tsvangirai's life. "Several opponents of the Zimbabwean government were
killed in jail and others died shortly after leaving prison," said Zanele
Bhebhe. A spokesperson for the protesters said an official from Mbeki's
office had asked them to discontinue the strike. "We will not leave until
Mbeki helps to secure Tsvangirai's release," he vowed.
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From ZWNEWS, 11 June

I've moved...

Every year, the Sunday Times publishes a list of the wealthiest people
living in Britain. Each year, we have watched the steady climb up the ranks
of John Bredenkamp, the controversial Zimbabwean businessman. In 2001, he
was 48th. The following year, 33rd. This year, we went straight to the
Sunday Times colour supplement and worked our way down from the top -
guessing that that would be quickest. 1000 names later, his name still
escaped us. So we went to the Sunday Times website, but the search facility
yielded the result "Nothing Found". What could have happened? Had he moved
to healthier climes? Had he lost his fortune? Had his lawyers been at work
to keep him out of the limelight?

Mr Bredenkamp has generously sent us an explanation:

"I notice that in your website comment dated 27th April 2003 you speculate
on the reasons for my disappearance from the list of Britain's wealthiest
people. You should be aware that the reason for my not appearing on that
list is somewhat self evident i.e. my present residence is no longer in the
UK and I am not a UK citizen. The focus of my business activities at the
present time is primarily Southern Africa. The fact that I travel to the UK
from time to time does not qualify me as a British citizen, nor does it
render me British-based, and accordingly I do not qualify for inclusion in
the British Rich List. I trust this explanation will assist."

John Arnold Bredenkamp
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