|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
|Morgan Tsvangirai is led from the High Court in Harare, after bail hearing|
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.
|12 June 2003
HIV/AIDS is "As Much a Crisis as Iraq" Says Powell
(Powell, Senate leaders highlight Global Business Coalition dinner) (1070) 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 found." 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: http://usinfo.state.gov)