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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index


      Mugabe threatens UK ambassador

      Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has threatened to expel Britain's
ambassador in Harare, accusing him of helping opposition protests.
      "We know that the British have been behind it. They are giving them
money, we know that. That's why I warn Donnelly, if he continues doing it,
we will kick him out of this country," Mr Mugabe told supporters, naming
Britain's envoy, High Commissioner Brian Donnelly.

      His comments made at a public rally in the south-east of the country
follow last week's demonstrations and strikes organised by the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC).

      In London, officials have denied any suggestion that the government is
supporting illegal activity in Zimbabwe and said Britain supported the
principle of democracy and the right to peaceful protest.

      This latest threat against Britain is all part of Mr Mugabe's message
that he will not tolerate mass demonstrations in Zimbabwe aimed at
pressurising him to stand down, says the BBC's Hilary Andersson in

      Blaming Britain

      Relations between Britain and Zimbabwe have plummeted over the last

      Mr Mugabe now rarely makes a public speech without blaming Zimbabwe's
troubles on its former colonial master.

      He has accused Britain of having a colonial and racist agenda to back
Zimbabwe's white farmers, many of whom have lost their land due to the
government's controversial land redistribution programme.

      Zimbabwe is deeply divided between supporters of Mr Mugabe and
supporters of the opposition, but the anti-British message has great appeal
in the country, where for years most of the land has been in white hands.

      MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, is currently in detention on charges of
treason following the rallies.

      Lawyers for Mr Tsvangirai urged a judge on Thursday to free him on
bail, saying treason charges were being used to silence him.


      The government was playing "fast and loose" with the law, said his
lawyer George Bizos.

      "By keeping political opponents silent, the difficulties with which
the country is faced are not solved," he added.

      Mr Tsvangirai, a 51-year-old former trade union leader, has emerged as
the biggest threat to President Mugabe's 23 years in power.

      The opposition described last week's protests as a "final push"
against the president.

      The government used police and army units against the demonstrators in
a crackdown the MDC said included hundreds of arrests.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Hunting is Bringing in Big Bucks for Limpopo

Business Day (Johannesburg)

June 12, 2003
Posted to the web June 12, 2003

Sharda Naidoo

The province is determined to keep hunters who have switched from Zimbabwe
because of turmoil

LIMPOPO is making a killing from the hunting industry, which is contributing
about 70% to its total annual tourism revenue.

Hunting is now a multimilliondollar industry in SA's poorest province, with
thousands of foreign tourists the majority of whom are Americans paying up
to R350000 apiece to hunt the country's most prized big five animals.

Peak season is between April and September, when foreigners spend between 14
and 21 days in the province to hunt any of the big five animals or on
average seven plains game.

Prices range from R4000 for one male kudu or impala, and between R2000 and
R3000 for female kudu and bushbuck. A roan antelope costs about R80000,
while an elephant or rhino is hunted at a minimum cost of R250000, depending
on the tusk size.

Between January and December last year, 2061 foreigners from 42 countries
visited Limpopo and killed more than 14000 animals, making it the largest
hunting ground in SA.

Comparatively, just 9780 animals were hunted by foreigners in Eastern Cape,
which has the second-biggest hunting industry in SA. In the same period 9000
foreigners hunted 34000 animals countrywide, turning SA's booming hunting
industry into an R800m-a-year foreign exchange earner.

Fred Mulders, chairman of the Bosveld Hunters' Association, attributes the
growth to political turmoil in neighbouring Zimbabwe, which has scared
regular hunters away from the region's favoured hunting destination.

"Zimbabwe remains a popular hunting destination but more and more hunters
are coming to SA instead. And, once here, they are hooked by the variety of
hunts and other tourism products and are seldom lured back to Zimbabwe or
other destinations," Mulders says.

Limpopo has more than 1800 commercial hunting farms listed with the
provincial authorities.

The Professional Hunters Association of SA believes that twice that number
of game farms exist in the Limpopo province.

The Limpopo industry employs 2025 professional hunters and hunting
outfitters and thousands of jobs have been created to cater for tourists'
other needs, such as adventure and safari excursions.

With an already established US market and an aggressive marketing drive
under way in Europe, the province foresees unsurpassed growth in this

Hunting could become one of Limpopo's principal economic drivers, says Dr
Feltus Brandt of Limpopo's finance and economic development department.

"Limpopo has the biggest hunting industry due to the total number of game
farms available and game stocks. The total swing away from cattle farming to
game ranching is proving highly profitable," he says. Brandt says there are
regulations in place that compel all professional hunters and hunting
outfitters to be registered with the provincial government. In addition,
they have to comply with strict licensing requirements and conditions.

"Though the industry is well regulated, we cannot guarantee that the actual
hunt will come off 100% legally," he says.

Two types of hunting licences are issued: one for the domestic open season,
which runs from May 1 to July 31, and the other is an exemption permit,
allowing game hunting throughout the year.

Exempted farms are not subject to open season regulations and a permit is
granted based on property size, fencing specifications, suitability of
habitat for each specie type, an ecology evaluation and a stringent
management plan.

For example, a 50ha farm is restricted to keeping one species of duiker and
steenbok, while a 400ha plot can hold sable, roan antelope and giraffe.

Farms that keep the big five animals are allowed only three roaming lions
during the year.

In the Waterberg region, where 70% of the land is utilised for hunting
purposes, 150 open season permits have been issued this year, generating an
income of R158000.

There are no figures available for private farms in that area.

Reinhardt Holtzhausen, a chief nature conservator in Waterberg, says the
most popular game hunted in the Nylstroom and Bela-Bela area are impala,
kudu, wildebeest, blesbok, common duiker, springbok, blue wildebeest, hares,
bushbuck, rock pigeon, guinea fowl, Natal francolin and redwing francolin.

Gary Davies, CEO of Professional Hunters Association of SA, says foreigners
provide high revenue and low impact.

The 14- to 21-day Big Five packages which are customised for foreigners cost
between R315000 and R345000 (about R4500 a night for accommodation and
meals, and minimum R250000 for one kill). This amount excludes monies for
trophy work.

Local packages for plains game range between R3000 to R4000 a day, inclusive
of vehicles, food and pick-up and drop-off at airport. It excludes payment
for the carcass and trophy work.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Editor charged under Public Order and Security Act

International Freedom of Expression Exchange Clearing House (Toronto)

12 Juin 2003
Publié sur le web le 12 Juin 2003

Source: Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), Windhoek

On 11 June 2003, Francis Mdlongwa, editor-in-chief of the Associated
Newspapers of Zimbabwe Group (ANZ), was charged with publishing a false
advertisement when he was still in the employment of the "Financial Gazette"
newspaper in 2002.

The police allege that on 31 October 2002 Mdlongwa published an
advertisement by a group of Zimbabweans who were carrying out a mock trial
of President Robert Mugabe. Mdlongwa says he did not see nor approve the
advertisement because that is done by another department, as is the practice
in the newspaper industry.

Mdlongwa was editor-in-chief of the "Financial Gazette" at the time. He left
the paper in November. He was charged under Section 15 (1a) or,
alternatively, Section 16 (2a) of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

Section 15 (a) makes it an offence for anyone to " publish or communicate to
any other person a statement which is wholly or materially false with the
intention or realising that there is risk or possibility of inciting or
promoting public disorder or public violence or endangering public safety".

The charge carries a fine of Z$100,000 (approx. US$125) or five years'
imprisonment or both.

Section 16 makes it an offence to " publicly and intentionally make any
false statement about or concerning the President or an acting President,
knowing or realising that there is risk or possibility of engendering
feelings of hostility towards; or causing hatred, contempt or ridicule of
the President or an acting President, whether in person or in respect of his
office". The charge carries a fine of Z$20,000 (approx. US$25) or up to one
year in prison or both.

Mdlongwa has denied the charge. He spent one and a half hours at the Harare
Central police station, where a warned and cautioned statement was recorded.

Mdlongwa was photographed and fingerprinted. Commenting on his arrest, he
said the police went about their work in a business-like and professional
manner. Lawyers Kay Ncube and Gugulethu Moyo, the ANZ legal advisor,
accompanied Mdlongwa.

BACKGROUND: Since POSA was enacted on 22 January 2002, 10 journalists have
been arrested and charged under its provisions, including five in 2003
Back to the Top
Back to Index

ZIMBABWE: Feature on survival tactics during food crisis
      IRINnews Africa, Thu 12 Jun 2003
      [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United

      ©  IRIN

      Relief food played an important part in survival

      JOHANNESBURG, - Eating floor sweepings bought from maize millers and
keeping a death watch over family members who consumed poisonous wild foods
is what some families in a remote area of Zimbabwe have had to do to survive
the country's food crisis.

      As food security experts gathered this week in South Africa to discuss
the regional crisis, a Save the Children report focusing on the remote
communities of Binga and Nyaminyami in the northwest of Zimbabwe, documented
the harrowing measures some families took to pull through.

      Binga and Nyaminyami in the western Zambezi valley, where the majority
of the population were resettled during the construction of the Kariba Dam,
are two of the least developed districts in Zimbabwe.

      The area has low rainfall, which hampers agricultural production, and
is far from major markets. With high transport costs, the community pays
more for limited supplies and receives less for goods they try to sell
outside the area.

      The report said that April 2002 to March 2003 was one of the worst
periods in recent memory for the communities, due to the countrywide drought
and the national shortage of maize. At times they faced inflation of 800
percent and food aid became vital for their survival.

      A study in one area of Binga found that everybody fell short of their
minimum food needs, with only two deliveries of maize by the Grain Marketing
Board (GMB) in the whole year. A "disturbingly large" amount of money was
spent on maize husks and floor sweepings from local millers. To buy food,
expenditure was switched from other necessities like school fees and health

      Wild foods played an important role in a diet that already had very
little diversity. However, in addition to "normal" wild foods, soup made
from a root with sedative powers was also eaten. Because of these sedative
properties, families reported having a dedicated person to wake other family
members every half an hour to ensure they had not died, the report said.

      The report observed that if grain had been available from the GMB at
the government-controlled price, everybody could have met their minimum food
requirements. As it was, even the better-off had to cut back on buying seeds
and fertiliser and could no longer pay school fees.

      Declining school income was cited by two headmasters as contributing
to the falling quality of education because they could not afford the
necessary supplies and stationery.
      The availability of livestock played a crucial part in food security
for some families. They sold cattle, albeit at low prices, to raise cash
when they were deprived of the usual income from agricultural labour due to
the bad agricultural year. Otherwise they thatched huts and did other work
for cash.

      Survival tactics in other areas included using grain purchases to brew
beer to raise money. Researchers were told that beer was seen as more of a
nutrition source than a luxury, and was often the only "food" for heads of
households who said that being drunk took their hunger pangs away.

      Families also resorted to borrowing maize from neighbours who could
spare food and then reimbursing them when they received their relief food.

      Households coping with the effects of HIV/AIDS had even lower crop
yields. Crop production was particularly badly affected when the household
head was ill during the planting season.

      Crafts like basketry, or trading small items and bartering kept some
households going.

      In households where parents were too ill, children did all the work
with no adult to help them. Neighbours kept a check on the children but
could only provide financial support when the household head was very sick -
but even this was treated as a loan and had to be paid back.

      The report said the situation only started improving by late March,
when food aid flows reached a peak and people began consuming green maize
and vegetables from their fields.

      For children in particular, it meant less time looking for wild food
in the bush or herding animals for cash, and they did not have to skip as
many school lessons.

      However, Save the Children warned that while malnutrition rates were
kept below standard emergency thresholds, in the coming year the situation
again looks likely to be bad.

      "Although national crop production has increased this year compared to
last year, it remains below the poor level of two years ago," the report
said. "This does not bode well for grain availability and affordability in
remote districts, such as Binga and Nyaminyami."

      For details on the regional crisis:
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Lawyers of Zimbabwe's Opposition Leader Demand His Release
Peta Thornycroft
12 Jun 2003, 19:02 UTC

AP Photo
Morgan Tsvangirai is led from the High Court in Harare, after bail hearing
Lawyers representing Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai concluded the bulk of their case Thursday demanding his release on bail.

Defense lawyer George Bizos said state prosecutors provided no evidence that Mr. Tsvangirai had called for the overthrow of President Robert Mugabe.

Mr. Bizos said the state's case consisted of vague allegations and that the real reason Mr. Tsvangirai is being detained is that the government wants "to remove from society an important player" in Zimbabwe.

He said, "It is too convenient a tool against political opponents to keep them in jail on unproved allegations."

Mr. Bizos, a member of the legal team that defended former South African President Nelson Mandela 40 years ago, said the MDC leader's continued imprisonment revived memories of detention without trial in the apartheid era in southern Africa.

Treason charges carry a possible death sentence. On Friday the state will present details of its allegations to try and keep Mr. Tsvangirai in prison until July 12.

Meanwhile, an opposition spokesman said Thursday scores of activists and ordinary supporters remain in police cells following last week's protests.

The police refused to take telephone calls to confirm the numbers still being held.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Mbeki Gets It Right, And Wrong Too

Business Day (Johannesburg)

June 12, 2003
Posted to the web June 12, 2003

Linda Ensor, Political Correspondent

PRESIDENT Thabo Mbeki is very right, yet paradoxically very wrong in his

Holding dear the vision of an Africa and a continent of Africans standing
tall and free of the stranglehold of a racial stereotype that sees Africans
as a debased, inferior form of humanity, the president is right to be
suspicious of any negative aspersions cast on it.

The suspicion is justifiably rooted in centuries of colonialism, slavery and
racism which have embedded a particular view of Africans in the heart of
western culture and enslaved the minds of its victims in a self-hating
denial of themselves. One understands the need for a rejection of all this
as the start of psychic reconstruction. Perhaps it does not matter that the
rejection is indiscriminate at first.

From his very first moments as president, Mbeki proclaimed himself an
African and has dedicated a large part of his presidency to kickstarting the
economic and political revival of the continent.

This rebirth took place within a politically hostile environment,
domestically at least, where relics of apartheid were on standby, waiting to
protect their vested interests by resisting transformation.

There have been numerous signposts indicating Mbeki's defensive, highly
sensitive mind-set. We have his rejection of theories of the origin of
HIV/AIDS however scientifically valid which to him at least imply black
Africans are sexually promiscuous, immoral, diseased and unclean.

Then again, without being reductionist, we have Mbeki's refusal to
countenance opposition criticism of members of his government, and his
immediate defence of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe against the attacks
of the western world.

The latest example of the president's world view was his diatribe in a
recent African National Congress Today letter in which he railed against
"the role of the intensely negative, highly offensive and deeply entrenched
stereotype of Africans among some in our country, which makes it inevitable
that much reporting in our country would be racist".

Mbeki was dealing with allegations about irregularities in the finalisation
of the arms deal report. "We should not, and will not, abandon the offensive
to defeat the insulting campaigns further to entrench a stereotype that has,
for centuries, sought to portray Africans as a people that is corrupt, given
to telling lies, prone to theft and self-enrichment by immoral means, a
people that is otherwise contemptible in the eyes of the civilised'," Mbeki

Well, one can understand where he is coming from, but what does this mental
framework imply for democratic opposition and valid criticism of government
failings? The converse of the view that all criticism is part of a racist
onslaught, is that whatever government does is right and must not be
questioned. Alternatively, even if he might privately concede the criticism,
to publicly acknowledge it would be to admit defeat to the forces of racism.

It does not matter that the opposition comes from within black society
because then it is just Uncle Toms, people with black skins and white masks
who are acting out a self-defeating racist agenda. One need only to refer to
Mugabe's assertion that opposition forces in Zimbabwe were acting on the
instruction of British imperialist forces.

One would hope that someone with our president's cosmopolitan sophistication
would be able to rise above an embattled sense of his government and his
African project and have the statesmanship to distinguish valid criticism
from racist-inspired gobbledygook. Otherwise, one is left with the
impression the perspective is employed in a drive towards total hegemony.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

International Information Programs
Washington File

Washington File
12 June 2003

HIV/AIDS is "As Much a Crisis as Iraq" Says Powell

(Powell, Senate leaders highlight Global Business Coalition dinner)
By Susan Ellis
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington, DC -- The war on HIV/AIDS is "not just a health care
issue. It's a foreign policy issue ... every bit as much a crisis as
Iraq or any other crisis," Secretary of State Colin Powell told an
audience of global "movers and shakers" meeting at Washington's
Kennedy Center the evening of June 11.
Addressing an overflow audience of top-flight business, civic and
government leaders from the United States and abroad meeting to
celebrate burgeoning programs funded by big business to combat the
disease, Powell shook his finger playfully at members of Congress
present, telling them "you who have already authorized this program
(President Bush's new $15 billion emergency plan for AIDS relief) are
going to get out of here and go back up on the hill (Capitol Hill) and
appropriate the money!" His remark was met with loud applause, since
congressional observers know that legislation is sometimes proposed
for effect but never funded.

Powell said the U.S. commitment was forged in the Oval Office of the
White House between himself and President Bush and others "a few days
before the State of the Union Address." [In his State of the Union
speech January 28, President Bush announced his intention to ask the
U.S. Congress to devote $15 billion over the next five years to turn
the tide against AIDS in the Caribbean and Africa, the two regions
most affected by the pandemic].

Powell, who made the stop at the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS
dinner midway in his shuttle between South America the day before, and
his next day's visit to Cambodia, said he had spent part of the
workday on Iraq and Zimbabwe and other issues, adding "a good part of
my day was spent on this issue as I looked into how I would go about,
as secretary of state, putting in place the organization that's going
to be responsible for dispersing this amount of money." There is an
office within the Department of State, he said, responsible for
managing the HIV/AIDS relief account.

HIV/AIDS "is a foreign policy issue as important to me and my
colleagues in the department as any other foreign policy issues we
work on," he said, citing the devastating statistics. "You can take
all the lives lost to weapons of mass destruction over the past
century -- and I had my staff do it -- through (the world wars),
Hiroshima, Nagasaki -- take all those numbers, multiply it by ten, and
you don't reach the number of people who will die from HIV/AIDS in the
next 12 months."

The two Senate leaders of the congressional drive to get the HIV/AIDS
relief legislation funded, Senators Bill Frist, Republican of
Tennessee, and John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, spoke briefly
but with passion. Frist, a surgeon, is Senate majority leader and
Kerry is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for U.S. president
in the next election.

In his capacity as a medical doctor, Frist has traveled to many
countries and encountered AIDS victims firsthand. He said that during
his medical missions he has seen how this "most daunting moral and
humanitarian crisis" destroys families, economies, guts societies,
wipes out "entire generations of civil structure, policemen, teachers,
mentors for young children and orphans ... not just in Africa but
other countries as well."

Frist said the United States "has pledged over seven times more than
any other country in the world to the Global Fund on AIDS. Last year,
we provided more than 50 percent of all international bilateral aid to
combat global HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis, Malaria." He cited statistics
of his own: 3 million a year die of HIV/AIDS; 2 million of
tuberculosis,, and 1 million of malaria. The pending legislation
addresses these diseases, but "the funding is only one part of the
equation," he added. "The leverage of that funding is even more
powerful. For the first time in a comprehensive policy we link
prevention, care and treatment."

Senator Kerry asked rhetorically: "How can Africa or others torn apart
by AIDS be expected to resist the call to violence, to terror and even
trade in weapons of mass destruction if they live in chaos? It's time
for all of us to treat AIDS in Africa for what it is -- a profound
threat to the security of America and the world, because it destroys
human infrastructure and leaves a vacuum for terror to fill."

The loudest applause was generated by Kerry's remark that the debate
over "abstinence versus safe sex ... cannot be permitted to distract
from the real issue of beating AIDS. The pandemic of AIDS must not be
worsened by the plague of self righteousness. People are sick now,
dying now, and the truest morality is to save them now."

The Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, to which
part of the funds in the administration HIV/AIDS bill would be
dedicated, requires "more than a bilateral response," Kerry said. "It
requires an all-out commitment of conscience and resources and
multilateral efforts." The Fund, he said, "is critically important
both in its capacity to attack AIDS both in those countries where it
is rampant, but also in those countries such as India, the Bahamas and
Russia and in Asia, where the epidemic threatens to spread."

He said the Fund represents "a shared determination to wage a peaceful
world war on AIDS bringing prevention and treatment and all the other
aspects of a coordinated, comprehensive response to all in need,
wherever they are. And to succeed, the Fund depends on substantial and
sustained support from governments and the private sector. Today,
regrettably, the next round of proposals is largely unfunded and
future rounds cannot even be scheduled because pledges cannot be

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, who met with President Bush in the
White House June 10, told the business leaders that if they support
his economy and keep his citizens working, they are helping to fight
AIDS because people who are working are less likely to get the disease
than those who are idle.

The Global Coalition honored two companies for their work in educating
workers and communities about the threat of AIDS -- Tata Steel, an
Indian company, and Standard Chartered Bank, an international
commercial bank that focuses on emerging markets.

(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International
Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:
Back to the Top
Back to Index




Pius and Power

Archbishop Pius Ncube is emerging as the most important and convincing
opponent of President Mugabe's government.  Ncube, the Roman Catholic
prelate for Bulawayo, criticises corruption by the government and it's
failure to provide food aid to hungry Zimbabweans - especially to those
areas which voted for the opposition in his archdiocese.  With other church
groups, Ncube ran a food distribution network although it contravened
government efforts to control food aid.

Representing a third force outside party politics, Ncube has been critical
of the failures of the opposition politicians: `I am not a supporter of the
opposition and I will never campaign for a particular opposition party.'
Government securocrats see things differently and Ncube is under constant
surveillance.  Central Intelligence Organisation operatives have been
implanted in the Catholic organisations.

Born and raised in Gweru in the Midlands, between Mashonaland and
Matebeleland, Ncube (54) was ordained in 1973 and studied advanced theology
at the Vatican in 1983-85.  His activism on social issues has earned him
respect in Rome.  Catholics have been strongly critical of human rights
abuses in Zimbabwe.  The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace compiled
a detailed record of the political killings in Matebeleland in the early
1980's which the government tried to suppress.

The Jesuit-educated Mugabe finds Ncube's criticism embarrassing and the
state-controlled media lambast the Archbishop as a national traitor.
Harare's Financial Gazette recounted last month how Joshua Nkomo's family
had invited Ncube to officiate at the late Vice-President's memorial mass
in 2000.  Mugabe refused to attend unless another priest was found.

Ncube has received so many death threats that the Vatican has asked Mugabe
to ensure the Archbishop's safety.  Although Ncube is given security on
foreign trips, friends are concerned about arrangements back home in
Matebeleland, where he is most at risk.

After a whirlwind tour of Europe and the United States in mid-May, Ncube's
international status has grown sharply.  In meetings with British, European
Union and US officials, such as Secretary of State Colin Powell, Ncube
stressed the gravity of the food and health crises, and the need to resolve
the political crisis peacefully.

As political negotiations get underway, Archbishop Ncube may be a key
representative for civil society.  Church groups are to have a bigger role
as South African officials try to bring a wider range of civic groups and
trades unions into the talks, which have so far been limited to the ruling
Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front and the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change.


Editorial from "Observer" of Jamaica
It's time for Mr Mugabe to go

Thursday, June 05, 2003

PEOPLE who actively supported the southern African struggles against
institutionalised racism and white minority rule are likely to be deeply
hurt, ashamed even, by the antics of Mr Robert Mugabe, the president of

Jamaicans, and West Indians in general, would be counted among these
people. Race and history would have made people of this region empathetic
with the peoples not only of Zimbabwe but all of southern Africa, including
South Africa, Namibia, Angola and Mozambique.

But as we have explained before, there developed a qualitative difference
in our perception of Jamaica's involvement in the Zimbabwean struggle and
the country's final move to independence.

At the 1979 Commonwealth Summit, Michael Manley, then the Jamaican prime
minister, was one of those who pressed Britain's Margaret Thatcher into
accepting a Zimbabwean independence, leading to the end of the 'bush war'
and Mr Mugabe's eventual ascension to power. Bob Marley, the Jamaican
reggae singer, whose revolutionary music was inspirational in resisting
white rule, was specially invited to perform at Zimbabwe's independence
celebrations. It was to be among Marley's last major performances before
his death, and served to further cement the Jamaica/Zimbabwe relationship
beyond what happens at the formal state level.

Zimbabwe began its independence with much promise, not withstanding a few
lop-sided arrangements to appease the old order. But we had all assumed
that Robert Mugabe stood on a higher moral plane. History and circumstance
had ordained it so.

As it has turned out Mr Mugabe, the bush war hero, has feet of clay. But
worse, he has become that much-caricatured leader in the post-colonial
period. He represents a political process encased in venality, while the
society crumbles around him.

Mr Mugabe has attempted to mask his final, and absolute, corruption by
playing to the legitimate issue of landlessness among the country's black
majority population. It is a fact that a handful of white farmers controls
over 90 per cent of the country's best land, the spoils of colonial
conquest. It is beyond debate that reform is necessary.

But in Mr Mugabe's hands the land issue is chimera. It is not a genuine
attempt of a modern, tolerant and democratic society to come to grips with
a real problem. Rather, Robert Mugabe has found a theme, which he can milk
linguistically for the perpetuation of his own power.

He in the process, declared a willingness to trample the rights of his
people and undermine institutions, most of which survive as mere facades.

Mr Mugabe does more. He marches on his people's future and on our own
dreams. He diminishes Zimbabwe as well as those who also felt that the
struggle was also theirs. He weakens the Diaspora.

Mr Patterson, our own prime minister, should rally his Caribbean Community
counterparts for our region to publicly tell Mr Mugabe that he has become
not only a liability to his own people, but a public embarrassment. They
must advise him that it is time to go.

Except for the views expressed in the columns above, the articles published
on this page do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the
Jamaica Observer.

Back to the Top
Back to Index



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


Letter 1: Alan George

I would like to nominate JAG for this year's Oscar

I can't think of anyone that has done more for farmers' morale than

thank you


Letter 2

Well said Jean Simon about having a farming Oscar.

Let those who are trying to be positive go forward and stop being so
destructive.  How about helping and be useful and not so critical.

Bruce Newman.

 Open Letters Forum No. 99 dated 12 June 2003

Letter 1:

Dear John,

To say I was both shocked and disappointed at JAG's attack on the CFU
Position Statement is an understatement. Initially I wasn't going to
respond but on reflection I believed I had to even if to set the record
straight and to clear my own name.

My reaction was due to David Conolly's and I believe the JAG executives'
agreement to what I had managed to get Council to agree to in November
2002. Those points are now in writing and published as you guys wanted and
David said he didn't think would happen. So when you attack what I believe
you had previously agreed to I felt betrayed by all of you. At least Willie
was man enough to compliment the CFU on the statement and I admire him for
that. I acknowledge as I always have that there is a problem in CFU
standing up for what we believe is right. However, if we are always only
going to find fault and criticize in everything there is no hope for unity
in the farming communities. For example the CFU Information Brochure is, in
my opinion, an informative an enlightening document - regrettably no word
or comment from JAG. Do you only slam the CFU and never compliment? If my
understanding of the acceptance of the points in November/December is wrong
please tell me how. If, however my understanding in correct please tell me
how what was accepted and agreed to is different to what has now been
published by CFU. Should there be no differences then I expect JAG to
retract their attack and apologize in the open letter forum where you saw
fit to launch your attack. I write to you personally because there is
already enough division and suspicion so don't want to go public. I trust
you will respect this attitude. However, if you agree with my understanding
of the situation then because you went public then it has to be corrected

I look forward to your response.
Best Regards,


Letter 2:

Dear Gavin,

I refer to your letter to JAG regarding your disappointment over the JAG
Legal and PR Communiqué of 3.6.2003, which criticized the CFU for demanding
adherence to the Constitution, and application of the Rule of Law without
fear or favour.

I hereby make a public apology on the Open Letters Forum. The statement
pointed out that there are some fundamental flaws in some of the Laws, and
some aspects of the Constitution, which infringe on Basic Human Rights and
Property Rights. Justice for Agriculture understands that CFU is fully
aware that the Quinnell Case is an attempt to seek legal recourse on these

Your letter has pointed out to everybody, that all parties seeking complete
justice will need to support the Freedom Charter put out by the Crisis
Coalition. Also, that CFU's statement about the Rule of Law and adherence
to the Constitution is made in good faith with the Freedom Charter in mind,
rather than the points brought up in the Quinnell Case which infringe on
basic human rights.

I trust that this apology is accepted in good faith.

Yours faithfully,
David Conolly.

Chairman, Justice for Agriculture.


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.
Back to the Top
Back to Index




ad inserted 25 May 2003


Range Rover station wagon
4-litre petrol motor.

Range Rover customised to cross country pick up, 4-litre petrol motor.

Lister Diesel Engine 6 horsepower
Lister Diesel Engine 3 horsepower.

Motorolla Radios:
1 main base set,
16 channels, with scanner, 1 handset with charger, 4 short-wave vehicle
base sets.

1 Nissan Sunny sedan, 1988, good condition, radio and tape deck.

tel: 079-24969


ad inserted 03 June 2003

Looking for a second hand radio base set and one hand-held radio. Please
contact Thierry Labat 091-321442 or e-mail Odile on


ad inserted 05 June 2003

We are looking for a 40kva please contact


ad inserted 07 June 2003

I am looking for a second-hand tractor part, namely a 248 piston for a
Perkins engine, please contact email:


ad inserted 09 June 2003

If anyone has citrus trailers available please contact email:


We are looking for generator sets of various KVA capacities and would like
you to check availability with your farming members.

1 x 60 KVA, 2 x 500 KVA, small gensets (+-25 KVA) suitable for houses.
Sizes to be advised.  Please contact email:


Can anyone help? Needed, up to 12 tonnes AN (or AN blend) on farm Mvurwi.

Offers? Contact Roy MacIlwaine, Tel: 011 610 163 or


(ad inserted 12 May 2003)
We have a 150 KVA generator for sale, including the change over switch &
fuel tank.

All reasonable offers in U. S. will be considered.  Please contact JAG
offices for contact details.


ad inserted 23 May 2003

Looking to Buy: Used Radio Base Sets.  Please contact Paul at:


Ad inserted 23 May 2003

I have a 100 kva Kohler generator for sale. It has done 500 hours and is
complete with change over switch and control boxes, tank and silencer. If
interested please ring Pat Johnson on 04 332798 or 011 862 857.


Ad inserted 23 May 2003

Carol Johnson (ex Chinhoyi) is now working in Harare as a Sales
Representative for Lomagundi Travel, Harare. Please contact her if you need
any travel arrangements done either locally or internationally. There are
some very good specials on at the moment, which may be of interest to you.
Her contact telephone numbers are: 04 332798 or Cell 011231541.


Ad inserted 16 May 2003

1) I am looking for a 150KVA generator (100KVA would do if necessary).
Contact: Anthony Humphreys 091 272 148 or (04) 741060 or

2) I am also looking for a qualified electrician, between 30 and 45 years
old. Must be in a position to possibly travel between Harare and Kariba on
a fortnightly basis.
Contact: Anthony Humphreys 091 272 148 or (04) 741060 or

Back to the Top
Back to Index