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

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Independent (UK)

Zimbabwe opposition leader freed on bail from 'filthy' cell
By Angus Shaw in Harare
21 June 2003

Waving to supporters, Zimbabwe's opposition leader was freed on bail
yesterday after two weeks in jail on treason charges.

Morgan Tsvangirai left a Harare prison once four cardboard boxes stuffed
with Z$10m (£7,400)bail money were delivered to court. He also had to hand
over property deeds or rights to other assets worth Z$100m.

Opposition officials said Mr Tsvangirai had been held in a filthy,
overcrowded cell. Paul Themba Nyathi, a Movement for Democratic Change
spokesman, said: "His incarceration has only served to strengthen the
people's resolve to intensify peaceful efforts to tackle the crisis of
legitimacy in Zimbabwe."

Judge Susan Mavangira said he would be violating conditions of his release
if he advocated the removal of Robert Mugabe and his government by "violent
or other unlawful means". The new round of treason allegations stems from a
week of anti- government strikes and protests earlier this month.

State prosecutors said Mr Tsvangirai called on supporters to oust President
Mugabe during the protests and had incited them to violence. Denying the
allegations, he said he called for peaceful protests to push Mr Mugabe, 79,
to the negotiating table. He is due back in court on 10 July to face the new
treason charges.

Mr Tsvangirai and two senior party officials are already on trial on treason
charges for allegedly plotting to assassinate Mr Mugabe two years ago. The
three men say they were framed. Treason carries a possible death penalty.
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UN News Centre

5.5 million people in Zimbabwe will need food aid - UN report
20 June – Some 5.5 million people in Zimbabwe will require emergency food
aid this year and next as prolonged severe shortages of maize - the staple
diet - has left many unable to cope, according to a special report by the
United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO).

"Coping mechanisms are seriously stressed or largely exhausted after the
severe shortages of last year," states the report released today based on
findings of a joint WFP/FAO mission to Zimbabwe from 21 April to 10 May.

Although national cereal production is considerably up from last year, a
combination of erratic rainfall, limited access to seed and farmers newly
settled through a land reform programme failing to utilize all the land due
to lack of capital have cut cereal production by 51 per cent compared to
2001. The large-scale commercial sector now produces only about one-tenth of
its output in the 1990s.

Cereal import requirement for 2003-2004 is estimated at 1.287 million tons,
of which maize accounts for 980,000 tons. In the continued absence of
private sector imports due to an acute shortage of foreign exchange in
Zimbabwe, this would leave a deficit of 610,000 tons of maize to be met by
emergency food aid, of which 120,000 tons are in the pipeline, the report

The Government-controlled price of maize meal was raised almost four-fold in
late May, greatly limiting access to available supplies for the most
vulnerable people. The mission estimates that 4.4 million people in rural
areas and 1.1 million in urban areas will require food assistance.
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Sunday Times (SA)

'ILO's Zimbabwe mission too early'

Friday June 20, 2003 14:33 - (SA)

South Africa Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana says it is still too early
for the International Labour Organision (ILO) to send a contact mission to

Minister Mdladlana, who is attending the 91st session of the International
Labour Conference in Geneva, told a gathering of the 176 member states that
he noted with great concern the conclusion reached by the Committee on the
Application of Standards.

It decided to send a contact group to Zimbabwe to check on freedom of
association concerns, in particular the implementation of arbitration
mechanisms in collective bargaining.

Mdladlana spokesperson Snuki Zikalala said from Switzerland that the
minister was concerned that sending the group - apparently planned to take
place in the next three months - was too soon as Zimbabwe had recently
amended its labour law.

"The minister said the ILO should be made aware that the presidents of South
Africa, Nigeria and Malawi have intervened and made certain that the
Zimbabwe government amends the labour law and this has just happened."

The South African ministry reported that the Zimbabwe Labour and Social
Affairs Minister July Moyo had placed on the committee's records a series of
steps which had been taken, including the establishment of a dispute
settlement mechanism for collective bargaining.

Mdladlana said in a statement from Geneva: "We support the view that the
committee should have taken note of these legislative changes and allowed a
committee of experts to examine these before arriving on the conclusion to
prematurely place Zimbabwe in a special paragraph," said Mdladlana.

I-Net Bridge
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      Zimbabwe pitch protester in court

A campaigner who disrupted a cricket match between England and Zimbabwe to
protest against the Mugabe regime has been given an absolute discharge.

Civil servant Anna Davies, from Crouch End, north London, ran on to the
field at Lord's during the first Test holding a placard saying: "Bowl out
killer Mugabe".

Earlier, protesters had criticised cricket chiefs for allowing the tour to
go ahead despite human rights abuses by the Zimbabwean regime.

Both Ms Davies and another man were led off the field by stewards amid boos
from spectators, Horseferry Road magistrates were told. Her fellow
protester, a Zimbabwean exile, was also arrested and later cautioned.

Ms Davies pleaded guilty to public order offences at the ground on May 22.

Her barrister Sam Parhan read out to magistrates a statement which his
client gave to police upon her arrest.

"The reason I went on to the pitch at Lord's was to bring the brutalities of
Robert Mugabe's regime to the forefront of press attention," she said.

Ms Davies, a former teacher at Holloway Prison, smiled as magistrate Carolyn
Jayler gave her an absolute discharge due to the "exceptional circumstances
of the case" and ordered her to pay £35 costs.

She said that she would be careful about breaking the law again but vowed to
continue to campaign for human rights in Zimbabwe.

Story filed: 12:48 Friday 20th June 2003
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20 June 2003
MDC President Released on $Zim 10 million Bail

The High Court in Zimbabwe has ordered that MDC President, Morgan Tsvangirai, be released on $Zim 10 million bail and Z$100 million surety.

The High Court also imposed a condition barring President Tsvangirai from calling for violent and unconstitutional removal of Robert Mugabe and his government from office.

Since being arrested and detained on 6 June 2003, following the successful week of mass action, President Tsvangirai has been held in filthy prison conditions in an overcrowded cell at Harare Remand Prison. The authorities deliberately set out to try and dehumanise and humiliate President Tsvangirai in the eyes of the people. They failed.

The insidious behaviour of the Mugabe regime has simply strengthened President Tsvangirai’s standing amongst the people of Zimbabwe. He is the father of our struggle for freedom and a true hero of Zimbabwe. His incarceration has only served to strengthen the people’s resolve to intensify peaceful efforts to tackle the crisis of legitimacy in Zimbabwe.

Paul Themba Nyathi
MDC Secretary for Information and Publicity

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The Herald of Friday the 20 June 2003 contained Lot 94 of farms (56)
listed. The following farms have been listed:

2541/80 CONCO P/L BULALIMAMANGWE 8218.5976
LUPANE 9682.2722
2567/92 CHANEL FARMS P/L MAR/WEDZA 279.9317
933/90 CHIRANDU FARMS P/L MREWA 1308.0936
2477/72 EMOBENI ESTATE P/L NDANGA 193.0106
1914/73 DENARII P/L NDANGA 179.4908
6448/85 JERRY'S FARM P/L NDANGA 154.9187
2092/86 BON ESPOIR P/L NDANGA 137.1074
7243/72 BON ESPOIR P/L NDANGA 144.7382
555/76 FRANCE FARM P/L WANKIE 12106.1734
5301/84 LILIE FARM P/L WEDZA 1990.8475



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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: Ben Freeth

"The Final Push" - and the hopes and the dangers.

The final push comes closer.  The systems have been set in place.  The
tyranny is grasping at everybody now - like a wild creature it sinks its
teeth into anything it can, seemingly unconcerned of the consequences.

The culmination of the revolution could be close.  It is achieving what it
set out to achieve:

· The people are now hungry; but the days when hunger really hit the towns
are over now thanks to humanitarian relief efforts.  The French Revolution
happened before all that.  The tyranny knows that those it continues to
lambaste will continue to feed for poor.  The poor will remain getting
poorer; the hungry will keep people guessing, but not, I dare say "on the
brink."  The economy teeters perilously.  "Last ditch" efforts to "save it"
are not sincere.  The tyranny needs business to close.  It needs the
educated classes to move on; private enterprise to shut down; the
independent people to become dependent on the monster because people with
independence are a threat.  So the old adage "keep them poor and keep them
hungry and they will eat out of the palm of your hand" has been achieved;
and the monster is doing what it needs to do to survive.

· The whites in the rural areas are now fewer and fewer.  The "programme"
continues to evict them despite the lies that are churned out to satisfy
big brother in the south.  The pressure is relentless, building the farmers
up, and then crashing them down until a state of shell-shocked fear is
achieved and they comply and leave or feed the monster.  It is most
important that they leave.  The monster cannot devour properly while they
are still around.  In the DRC 4 million people have reportedly died mutely,
anonymously, horribly, to a monster linked to this one.  Peaceful,
democratic, organised opposition cannot exist.  The tyranny survives.

· The corruption of society is being completed.  All the pawns must know
it; must feed on it; must devour corruption so that they are complicit and
can be controlled by the monster.  The pawns must feel that they will be
lost if justice comes; that they're corrupt gains will be no more.  The
youth, particularly the youth, must be brain washed with ideology, broken
down and built up again corruptly as faithful dogs to the monster.

· Fawning patronage through the arms of the monster is a reality amongst
"those left" that are not part of the monster.  Terror must reign in the
hearts of men, women and children.  The mention of the name of the monster
needs to bring this fear.  The efficient harnessing of this fear is the
principle tool by which the monster can exist.  It must never relax.  Its
arms must always be vigilant and disciplined otherwise they too will be
chopped off.

· The three pillars of government are merging.  The executive, the
parliament and the judiciary are forming under one head, one power source,
one control.  When this programme is completed the revolution will be

So where's the hope?

The hope lies in the individual taking control of his own destiny - a hope
only possible from a higher calling where self-preservation is left behind
and the individual forges forward to a greater good.  The hope lies in
people caring for those that are shell shocked, lost, in despair; standing
up for them by all just means in whatever country these people might now be
in and not counting the cost.  The hope lies in the individual standing
against what is wrong with what is right; standing against evil with what
is good; standing against injustice with justice.  The hope lies in the
individual taking personal responsibility to be a part of the hope, a part
of the light, a part of the shunning of the dark forces that want to kill,
to steal and to destroy.  The hope needs courage, strength, single-
mindedness and most of all, God.

And the dangers?

The dangers lie in complacency, complicity and collaboration due to
self-preservation and for self-gain.  The establishment - big business, the
commercialised Unions, the multinationals, big brother to the south, parts
of the church and all the rest have fallen into this trap believing that
they can woo the monster and save themselves or further their own
interests.  By so doing, the monster is fed, strengthened and given a new
lease of life - more time to complete the revolution to establish total
tyrannical control and power.  The establishment has rarely, in history,
been a potent force for what is right.  The establishment, traditionally,
does not stand against the establishment because there are too many links,
too many similarities, too many people used to living controlled lives
dependent on the establishment and the system.  Big business, the
commercialised Unions and the rest do not breed independent minded
individuals that take control of their own destiny for the greater good. To
spend time in thinking they can be changed is, in the most part, wasted
time.  They need to be seen as one with the monster.  There are too many
large and powerful players working as agents of influence within the
establishment to move it into bold, courageous decisions.

And Now?

The now is up to each of us as individuals to decide.  You cannot
prevaricate on the fence and waft with the wind like so many continue to
do.  The monster's grip is very real.  Are you with it?  Or are you against
it?  If you're in the in-between, coasting through, I'm afraid that you're
part of the problem, hard as it might sound.  Create a hope!  Create a
future!  Do your bit to: bring accountability, increase national and
international awareness; fund and be involved in local and international
court cases; carefully document injustices; support groups and individuals
that are standing against the monster.  If you don't, you will more than
likely to be gobbled up.


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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Daily News

      ZUPCO cheques bounce

      6/20/2003 8:31:19 AM (GMT +2)

      Farai Mutsaka

      LOCAL banks have rejected cheques worth at least $300 million issued
to workers retrenched by the government-controlled Zimbabwe United Passenger
Company (ZUPCO), it was learnt this week.

      The cheques were issued on 30 May to workers who were retrenched from
the parastatal’s Willowvale and Belvedere depots in Harare, and last Friday
to former employees retrenched from ZUPCO branches around the country.

      Affected retrenchees told The Daily News that the cheques were
dishonoured by banks because of insufficient funds in the state-owned
company’s account.

      The financially-troubled ZUPCO is supposed to pay 688 workers it laid
off in December last year a total of $1.6 billion in retrenchment packages.

      The retrenchees this week said the cheques that had so far been issued
to them covered only half of the total retrenchment package they are
entitled to.

      ZUPCO is said to have offered each of the retrenchees – some of whom
volunteered to go on early retirement – packages of as much as $2 million,
depending on their grades and years of service to the company.

      Since the agreement was reached, the transport operator has been
embroiled in a wrangle with the retrenchees over the non-payment of the

      The company finally agreed to pay the retrenchees part of the packages
in cheque form at the end of last month, with a second batch of cheques
being issued last Friday.

      A source told The Daily News that the cheques issued amounted to about
$770 million.

      Willard Tsuro, the chairman of the retrenchment committee that is
representing the retrenched workers, confirmed that the cheques had been
dishonoured and said the former employees would meet next week to take a
position on the matter.

      “Banks are refusing to honour those cheques and we are meeting with
all the retrenched workers next week to get a mandate from them on the next
course of action after what has happened,” he said.

      He added: “The company doesn’t seem interested in paying what is due
to us. They have been promising us our full packages since December but to
no avail. And now when they pay half of what they actually owe us, we
experience problems with their cheques. We feel cheated, but we can only
take a common position next week.”

      ZUPCO public relations manager Richard Mlambo yesterday however said
the matter had been resolved amicably.

      He said: “All employees who had queries and approached the correct
offices for remedy had their problems dealt with expeditiously and are quite
happy now, except for those who chose the Press to handle their queries.”

      Metropolitan Bank, ZUPCO’s bankers, also confirmed that banks had
rejected cheques issued to the retrenched workers.

      Company secretary Tendai Matambanadzo however denied that the
dishonoured cheques amounted to $770 million, putting the figure at $300

      He said: “While for reasons of confidentiality we cannot as a bank
comment on the financial status of a client, we are, however, prepared to
confirm to you that ZUPCO is not broke.

      “The issue of dishonoured cheques was discussed with ZUPCO’s officials
and it should be noted that it was merely an issue of the timing of
presentation of the cheques before certain relevant transactions were

      The retrenchees said after local banks refused to accept the cheques,
the company had advised the retrenchees to open savings accounts with
Metropolitan Bank so that their retrenchment packages could be processed.

      “The bank refused to honour the cheque but while the company
acknowledged the problem, they want us to do as they please,” one of the
retrenchees told The Daily News.

      “When I raised this issue with the personnel manager, I was told that
everyone had to open an account with Metropolitan Bank to get the money. Why
should I open an account with a bank of their choice just to get my money?”

      Matambanadzo said the retrenchees had been requested to open accounts
with Metropolitan because of the large number of people involved.

      He said: “It was felt that the process would be easier to manage if
the retrenchees were to open accounts with the bank.

      “However, this was not mandatory. Furthermore, due to the large
amounts required by the individuals and the current cash shortages, it would
have been preferable if the retrenchees operated accounts with the bank.”

      Meanwhile, Tsuro said apart from issuing cheques that were dishonoured
by banks, ZUPCO had also stopped paying salaries to retrenchees even though
it had said it would continue to pay the salaries as part of the
retrenchment agreement.

      He said: “Most people who were retrenched are now destitute and are
angry that a company that they served so loyally for many years is now
cheating them. We agreed that the company would continue paying our salaries
until we were paid our full packages, but the company stopped paying us in

      “People had hoped that at least they would make ends meet after they
were paid part of the packages last month and last week, but we are
receiving complaints that banks are refusing to honour the cheques.”

      He added: “We have been pressing these people (ZUPCO management) for a
long time and they have been giving us false promises.”
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Daily News

      MDC activists acquitted of public violence

      6/20/2003 11:17:54 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      OPPOSITION Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party chairman for
Mashonaland West province Silas Matamisa and 11 other activists of the party
facing allegations of public violence were last week cleared by the
magistrates’ court in Chinhoyi.

      Harare lawyer Alec Muchadehama, who represented the 12 MDC members,
yesterday told the Daily News: “Matamisa and 11 others were acquitted by the
court over the allegations last week.’’

      The opposition supporters had been on remand over the public violence
charge for close to two years.

      The state had alleged that in October 2001 Matamisa led a group of 11
MDC supporters to Kuwadzana business centre in Banket, a farming town about
20 km north-east of Chinhoyi.

      According to the state, the 12 marched in the streets at Kuwadzana
blowing whistles, singing and chanting their party’s slogans.

      It was alleged that they entered the shop of one Trymore Phiri and
demanded an MDC T–shirt from him they suspected he had confiscated from one
of their supporters.

      Matamisa and his group allegedly assaulted Phiri and threatened to
kill him if he did not hand over the T–shirt.

      The opposition supporters were later taken by the police to Banket
Police Station where on arrival they allegedly became unruly, banging doors,
counters, blowing whistles and chanting their party’s slogans.

      The state further alleged that the 12 MDC members again assaulted a
police officer at the
      police station before a unit of the police’s anti-terror support unit
group re-arrested them. Matamisa’s alleged accomplices were Gift Konjana,
Charles Mashonganyika, Farisai Hondoyemoto, Mashupiko Mutizo, Calisto
Mukusha, Coleen Masawu, Martin Chidembo, Nominate White and Persuade

      However, Konjana, who is administrator of the MDC’s Mashonaland West
provincial executive, remains on remand.
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Daily News

      Chasm between MDC and ZANU PF widens

      6/20/2003 11:18:45 AM (GMT +2)

      Nyasha Nyakunu

      To say evil thrives when good men fail to act, would perhaps be a
misnomer where it concerns the bitter rivalry between the MDC and Zanu PF .

      Several good men cannot be blamed for not having tried to nudge the
powerful political parties towards seeking a lasting solution to the country
’s ills.

      But all their efforts have counted for nothing because of the
intransigent position adopted by the two protagonists, resulting in the
present impasse as the country continues on its decline to certain doom.

      Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Olusegun Obasanjo of South Africa and
Nigeria, came to Harare twice, only to return to their respective countries
empty-handed after failing to bring the two groups together.

      In March this year, Njongonkulu Ndungane, the Anglican Archbishop of
Cape Town travelled a similar route and met President Robert Mugabe and
Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader. All he got were assurances on the
intractable importance of resuming dialogue.

      Only recently, Heads of Christian Denominations in the country, were
reportedly engaged in muted talks with representatives of the two parties,
stressing the importance
      of returning to the negotiating forum.

      While Mbeki maintains that only meaningful and unconditional dialogue
will take Zimbabwe out of a crisis that threatens to tear its soul apart,
the chasm between Zanu PF and the MDC continues to widen.

      His now-oft-repeated pronouncements that only Zimbabweans themselves
can be their own liberators, has the disturbing ring of a man who might soon
wash his hands of the unfolding crisis.

      Tsvangirai’s arrest on fresh treason charges at the end of the
five-day anti-government strikes and protests, does not augur well for an
immediate resumption of dialogue.

      This also comes in the wake of boisterous declarations by Mugabe that
his legitimacy as head of state is not subject to negotiation and that he
will serve his full term which ends in 2008.

      If Mugabe, 79, says he will sweat it out until his tenure comes to an
end, that deals a blow to the much-touted need for a transitional government
before a rerun of the disputed 2002 presidential elections, as demanded by
the MDC.

      Given that scenario, its back to ground zero, as Mugabe digs in his
heels. What then will it take to break the impasse?

      Herbert Ross, an Africa Research Fellow with the South African
Institute for International Affairs, says that can only happen when one of
the parties or sides “loses their nerve” and capitulate to the demands of
the other.

      Ross said Tsvangirai’s arrest could be part of the game plan to
tighten the screws on the

      He said by insisting on seeing out his full term Mugabe was not acting
in good faith. “Mugabe is offering zero solution by taking that position,
which makes the situation worse,” says Ross.

      “There is nothing positive in that formula as the country’s currency
will continue to haemorrhage while inflation and mass starvation will
continue to rise.”

      He said pressure could only be brought to bear on Mugabe from within
his own party. “Members of the ruling party should have the courage to
express their conviction that they are unhappy with what is happening,” says

      “If there is broad disaffection within the party that they are not
happy with what is happening, that may change his attitude to negotiations.”

      The question, is who in Zanu PF, has the courage and backbone to stare
Mugabe in the eye and tell him to play ball. Veteran politicians, Edgar
Tekere, Eddison Zvobgo and Dzikamai Mavhaire fell by the wayside after
standing up to the grand old man of Zimbabwean politics.

      Although Mugabe has said the issue of his succession should be debated
openly, he himself is not helping the situation through his double-speak or
read-my-lips style of leadership by saying he is not vacating State House
before his term is up.

      Brian Kagoro, a prominent human rights lawyer, however, says all hope
has not been lost.

      “The deadlock can be broken if Zimbabweans through mass-based popular
pressure demand that the parties talk. “External interlocutors like Mbeki
and Obasanjo should also continue to put pressure for dialogue,” says

      “Zimbabweans should demand that they cannot continue to live under
this parlous state of the economy and demand that a solution be found in an
amicable manner.”

      In the same breath, efforts should be made to identify internal
mediators. “Internal interlocutors should be seen as men of goodwill, men
seen by both Zanu PF and MDC and Zimbabweans at large as sufficiently
neutral and credible. These eminent persons should have the capacity to
intervene as mediators or facilitators to the talks.

      “The only institutions that would have that capacity would be the
church-based organisations.”

      Both Kagoro and Ross could not commit themselves as to whether the
internal situation was building towards that eventuality or as to when the
talks which collapsed mid-last year, were likely to resume.
      “I cannot predict the future.

      It all depends on what is going on in Mugabe’s mind and the cronies
around him.

      “It is also up to the people to continue in the mode of the struggle
for change,” says Ross.

      However, for any significant change to happen there should be general
factors or trends moving in a certain direction with a movement or
organisation pioneering the way with an effective leader or leaders at the

      If one or more of these elements in the combination is missing then,
change may not happen or will come slowly.

      Given the polarity of the Zimbabwean political equation, characterised
by intractable positions taken by both Zanu PF and MDC, change might be long
coming for Zimbabwe.
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Daily News

      Watchdog urges Mugabe to stop harassing journalists

      6/20/2003 11:19:34 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) executive director Ann
Cooper this week wrote to President Robert Mugabe urging him to end
harassment of journalists in Zimbabwe allegedly by state security agents and
supporters of the ruling ZANU PF party.

      In a letter dated 17 June, Cooper wrote: “We call on you to do
everything within your power to see that the unpunished harassment of
independent journalists ceases immediately, and that journalists are able to
practice their profession freely, without fear of reprisals.

      “We condemn the ongoing harassment of journalists in Zimbabwe. Ruling
party supporters and police frequently attack and threaten journalists with
impunity. This has created a climate of fear and intimidation, and has
increased the dangers for journalists reporting on matters of legitimate
public concern.”

      The New York-based CPJ is the leading watchdog overseeing the
protection of journalists and their right to disseminate information across
the globe.

      Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba was yesterday not available to
confirm whether Mugabe had seen Cooper’s letter. His personal assistant said
Charamba would only be available on Monday next week.

      The government, which has enacted a series of laws inhibiting the
freedom of journalists to do their work, has in the last two years cracked
hard on the media as part of a wider clampdown on growing dissension against
its rule.

      The Public Order and Security Act makes it illegal for reporters to
criticise Mugabe while the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act (AIPPA) forbids journalists from working in the country unless they are
registered with the state’s Media and Information Commission (MIC).

      The MIC also has the right to withdraw its registration certificate
from journalists perceived as not toeing the line.

      Several journalists have been brought before the courts by the
government allegedly for breaching clauses of the draconian AIPPA but none
to date have been found guilty by the courts.

      A regional media watchdog, the Media Institute for Southern Africa,
says Zimbabwe was last year the most hostile country for journalists
followed by Swaziland and Zambia.

      The Zimbabwe government last month deported a correspondent for the
Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Andrew Meldrum, from the country allegedly for
writing negative things about the country despite a court stay order.

      The police last week raided the home of independent documentary film
producers Edwina and Newton Spicer purportedly in search of subversive
material. The pair’s Spicer Productions produces documentaries about
Zimbabwe’s deepening political and economic crisis.

      And pro-government militias have also attacked and victimised
journalists and in some cases destroyed copies of independent newspapers
they accuse of being unpatriotic for questioning the government’s handling
of the collapsing economy.

      None of the militias have to date been jailed for attacking the media.
And likewise no one has to date been arrested in connection with the bombing
of The Daily News’ printing press over two years ago.

      Journalists in Zimbabwe and their unions accuse the state of doing
little or nothing to bring to book people and groups who have continued
harassing the Press in the country.

      Cooper told the Voice of America radio station on Wednesday that the
working environment for journalists in Zimbabwe was deteriorating but said
she had written to Mugabe and his government only for the record because she
did not expect Harare to do much to improve the situation for journalists.

      Cooper said: “We have decided to send the letter and see if Zimbabwean
government does not react. We don’t expect much from the Zimbabwean
government. We are just doing this for the record.”
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Daily News

      Government to build more national youth service camps

      6/20/2003 11:20:10 AM (GMT +2)

      Zerubabel Mudzingwa in Gweru

      PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe yesterday said the government was planning to
build more national youth service training centres to help inculcate a high
sense of patriotism and good manners among the youth.

      Addressing more than 20 000 ZANU PF supporters at a rally held at
Vungwi Primary School near Chachacha growth point in Shurugwi, Mugabe said,
“We are going to establish more Border Gezi camps throughout the country to
help inculcate a high sense of patriotism and good manners in order to help
our youths escape the scourge of HIV/AIDS.”

      Graduates from the controversial national youth training programme
have allegedly unleashed terror throughout the country harassing people and
hunting down suspected supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic

      Mugabe, virtually admitting pro-government veterans of Zimbabwe’s
1970s liberation war were terrorising Zimbabweans, called on the
ex-combatants to stop beating up people.

      Hew said: “You were front-runners of the war of liberation, you should
also be front-runners of the rule of law. We want disciplined cadres.”

      Mugabe also castigated school teachers for striking last month to
press the government for more pay.

      “Boycotting classes or going on strikes is a show of bad manners, bad
conduct and irresponsibility of the worst order,” the ageing president said.

      Mugabe was accompanied by Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa and
other senior government officials
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Daily News

      Zimbabwe to run out of bread in a week

      6/20/2003 11:22:10 AM (GMT +2)

      Precious Shumba

      ZIMBABWE will run out of bread within a week because international
freighters will not release 62 000 tonnes of wheat bought by the Grain
Marketing Board (GMB) because the parastatal has not paid for the shipment
of the grain, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) vice-president
for Harare David Govere told a meeting of business leaders in Harare

      Govere, whose ZNCC is the biggest representative body for industry and
commerce in the country, said Zimbabwe would be without bread before the
week was out because the GMB had exhausted its wheat stocks.

      The GMB, which under Zimbabwe’s law is only company permitted to buy
or sell wheat, is the sole supplier of wheat to millers.

      Govere said: “The GMB has no single bag of wheat and the country has
run out of flour. Bread will disappear from the shelves before the week is

      “ About 62 000 tonnes of wheat are at Beira port in Mozambique and the
GMB has failed to pay for the movement of that wheat. Most bakeries now are
trying to maximise profits in the face of these shortages and are just
making rolls and buns. That wheat should have come into the country long
back but it has actually been at Beira for the past six weeks.”

      The ZNCC official spoke as it emerged another 60 000 of the staple
maize grain bought by the GMB from Argentina was also stuck at ports in
South Africa and Mozambique because the state-grain utility had not paid
freighters for transportation of the maize.

      According to a report by the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), three
vessels laden with maize for Zimbabwe were docked at South Africa’s East
London port and at Beira but will not offload because the GMB had not yet
paid them for moving the maize.

      The CFU report released this month read in part: “At present, three
vessels currently outside East London, Republic of South Africa, and
Mozambique ports holding approximately 60 000 tonnes, are waiting for
payment before discharging them into the country.”

      GMB chief executive officer Samuel Muvhuti refused to take questions
on the matter instead accusing The Daily News of wanting to tarnish the
image of the ruling ZANU PF party, the government and its parastatals.

      Muvhuti, who is a former colonel in Zimbabwe’s army said, “What good
is it talking to you? I will not talk to you. You have done everything to
demonise ZANU PF, the government and its companies. let us not waste each
other’s time.”

      Authorities at Beira port could not be reached for comment on the
matter yesterday while a trade adviser at South Africa’s High Commission in
Harare James Kaziboni refused to speak on the issue.

      Bakers Association of Zimbabwe chairman Armitage Chikwavira yesterday
told this newspaper that the cash-strapped GMB had told the bakers it was no
longer able to supply millers the 6 000 tonnes of wheat they were giving
them each per week.

      Chikwavira said the baking industry was considering laying off some of
the 20 000 workers it employs because of the wheat shortages, which he said
they had been told were because the National Railways of Zimbabwe did not
have enough locomotives to move wheat from Beira to Harare.

      He said: “The only wheat that is left for Zimbabwe is at Beira and the
Forbes Border Post near Mutare. That wheat cannot be brought into the
country because, as we understand it, the National Railways of Zimbabwe has
no locomotives to pull the 204 wagons to Harare. “The situation is desperate
and we are considering retrenching part of the 20 000 labour force in the
bakers’ industry.”

      An official at the NRZ’s head office in Bulawayo yesterday confirmed
the rail company did not have enough locomotives. The officials said: “Most
of our locomotives have been transporting maize to Matabeleland region where
the drought hit most.”

      According to the CFU report the maize bought by the GMB was scheduled
to have arrived in Zimbabwe by the end of last month but owing to logistical
constraints, including the unavailability of money to pay for the storage
and the transportation it was still stuck at ports in the two neighbouring

      Zimbabwe is in the grip of severe food crises after poor rains in the
last farming seasons and chaotic government land reforms combined to cut
food production by more than 50 percent.

      An acute foreign currency crisis has hampered efforts by the
government and its GMB to import food.
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Daily News

      Political violence claims five lives by June: report

      6/20/2003 11:22:53 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      FIVE people died in Zimbabwe because of political violence in the
first six months of this year as state security agents allegedly took a
leading role in human rights violations, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum
(ZHRF) said in its latest report this week.

      The ZHRF said hundreds of innocent Zimbabweans were between January
and June this year illegally assaulted, abducted or arrested by people
reportedly dressed in Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) or Zimbabwe National
Army (ZNA) uniforms.

      Of the five people who died because of political violence four were
supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) while one
belonged to the ruling ZANU PF party.

      The five men killed in political violence in the last six months are
Samson Kombo, Tonderai Machiridza, David Matinyarare and Stephen Tonera –
all believed to have been MDC supporters – and Tonderai Mangwiro.

      The ZHRF report read in part: “The majority of the perpetrators were
reportedly dressed in army and police uniforms and as such plausibly
concluded them to be ZNA and ZRP personnel.

      “Such identity appears to have been confirmed by the use of police and
army vehicles and by the arrest and detention of members of the public at
police stations following the acts of torture.”

      Zimbabwe Defence Forces spokesman Alphinos Makotore refused to comment
on the charges that the army had committed human rights abuses, saying he
needed to read the ZHRF report first before speaking about it.

      Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena could not be reached for comment on
the matter.

      Human rights violations in Zimbabwe had escalated in the period under
review with the government using its draconian Public Order and Security Act
(POSA) to curtail Zimbabweans’ right to the freedoms of expression,
association and assembly, the ZHRF said in the report.

      The ZHRF, which is a coalition of nine of the biggest human and civic
rights groups in the country, said some of the worst human rights violations
were committed when the government adopted strong iron-fist tactics to put
down mass protests organised by the opposition in the last six months.

      “Reports indicate that the violations pertaining to freedom of
association and expression were perpetrated mainly around incidents such as
the demonstrations held by MDC women in the Harare city centre and the MDC
one-week mass action held from 2 to 6 June,” the umbrella human rights body
said in the report.

      Hundreds of people claim they were beaten or tortured by
pro-government militias and men in ZNA and ZRP uniforms for heeding MDC
leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s call earlier this month for job stayaways to
force President Robert Mugabe to resign or agree to negotiate with the
opposition party a solution to Zimbabwe’s deepening political and economic

      Police arrested more than 800 other opposition activists for taking
part in the mass protests that shut down Zimbabwe for a week and Tsvangirai
was slapped with fresh treason charges allegedly for calling for the
unconstitutional removal of Mugabe from office. He denies the charge.
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Daily News


      ZANU PF needs lessons in diplomatic tact

      6/20/2003 8:37:35 AM (GMT +2)

      Marko Phiri

      For the Zimbabwe government, everything has to be seen through the
eyes of the ruling party. Sadly, this has also meant that even the opinions
of diplomats posted to this country on what they report to their governments
must be what Zanu PF defines as the reality here, and therefore fit for
international consumption.

      Even the ruling party’s own imaginings about the activities of
diplomats, especially European ones, have inspired accusations of fancy
plots, with some diplomats accused of being spies disguised as legitimate
emissaries. Zanu PF tends to believe tales told to it – especially by The
Sunday Mail – that is if that paper does not receive its tips from the party

      Threatening a member of the opposition with arrest and death is one
thing, but threatening a diplomat with deportation is taking the fight
against imperialism a bit too far. Since the violent land-grab became the
vogue after the failure of the “Yes” vote in the country’s first
post-independence referendum in the year 2000, members of diplomatic
missions, particularly from the European Union and the United States have
had a taste of the stuff the ruling party is made of.

      The violent fringe of the liberation war veterans invaded
non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from countries thought to be critical
of the violent seizure of white commercial farmland and the killing of white
farmers; they demonstrated outside embassies and sent shivers down the
spines of diplomatic staff. The exhortation to “strike fear into their
hearts” was being extended even to diplomats.

      At the opening of the three Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
leaders’ treason trial, diplomats who wanted to attend the proceedings were
shoved around by state security agents, a sure sign that in this country,
regardless of who you are, you can be considered an opposition party

      Foreign diplomats have been misquoted by Zanu PF-controlled
newspapers. Embassy staff distributing food aid have had the misfortune of
being chased away for allegedly working in cahoots with the MDC, and the
United States mission has had to demand an apology from the Zimbabwe
government a number of times, after such attacks by ruling party activists.

      If food aid is given to starving rural populations by foreign
missions, should it then be the norm that if it is sourced by an opposition
MP, the rural people who will have not tasted a decent meal in weeks must be
punished for accepting it, as if there was anything wrong with the aid in
the first place?

      This is the same twisted logic that was seen early this year when
Morgan Tsvangirai toured Harare’s high-density areas and bought an apple
from one of the many women vendors.

      After the dust had settled, ZANU PF supporters reportedly visited the
unfortunate vendor and beat her up for selling an apple to someone who is
trying to sell out the country to whites!

      However, considering the amount of work diplomatic missions have put
into this country, the treatment that they have been getting from the ruling
party in recent years, obviously with the blessing of the highest office,
should have seen them withdrawing their personnel in protest.

      Millions’ worth of developmental projects have been initiated by the
foreign missions, but reports of Zanu PF youths interfering with their work
should have led to local jail cells being packed with these characters. But
because in Zimbabwe the law has literally become an ass, they hold their
heads high and are in fact rewarded for their efforts by the ruling party.

      In the past the work of NGOs was never questioned, because they offer
services the government cannot manage on its own. But ever since the ruling
party saw its popularity waning, it figured it knew who was working hard to
discredit it: it was the NGOs campaigning for the MDC, under the pretext of
feeding rural communities.

      The many statements that have emerged in the pages of the
government-controlled Press have manifested that diplomacy and diplomatic
language is the last thing Zanu PF is worried about today. It is more
interested in smoking out sell-outs and imperialists than in watching what
it says.

      The government will only wake up to the seriousness of its diplomatic
crimes when the foreign missions decide enough is enough and recall their
ambassadors and high commissioners.

      Considering the disregard for all ideals that should form cordial
bilateral and multilateral relations, the threat of deporting the British
High Commissioner Brian Donnelly could be more than a bluff.

      Peter Longworth, whose shoes Donnelly filled some two years ago, was
himself not spared the same verbal salvos from the government. The threat of
Donnelly’s expulsion from the country, for charges of having a hand in the
opposition-organised mass stayaway, could be a step to seemingly dealing
with the British question once and for all.

      However, the question could still be: how far is Zanu PF willing to
go, as it rides roughshod over both the general population here and the
world at large?

      As should be known, tact has always been an integral part of
diplomatic relations, but when that courtesy and diplomatic etiquette is
thrown out of the window for some reason, it becomes obvious that the
offending country is disregarding all international conventions.

      Zanu PF has shown it will treat diplomats stationed in this country in
the same manner it has dealt with everybody else with whom it does not
agree. The ruling party has also shown a breathtaking disregard for all
efforts to return the country to the international fold, where countries
with the resources would actually make a beeline to bail it out of its woes.

      The same diplomatic tact that is demanded of Zimbabwe is the what Zanu
PF has lauded
      from its African brothers, who have been unwilling to crack the whip
at President Robert Mugabe’s regime. If Mugabe and others can make those
disparaging statements about the British, the Americans (remember Tafataona
Mahoso and his opinion of Colin Powell being an “Uncle Tom”?) and everybody
else, why then do the Nigerians and the South Africans not grab their
counterparts by the ears, whip them into line and use the same language?

      It is perhaps because they still believe in diplomatic etiquette,
never mind that it has yet to have any effect here.
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Daily News

      State to raise US$500 m for stake in Cahora Bassa

      6/20/2003 11:58:22 AM (GMT +2)

      MacDonald Dzirutwe

      THE government will have to raise US$500 million (Z$412 billion) in
the next three years to finance the acquisition of a 25 percent stake in
Mozambique’s Hydro Electrica Cahora Bassa (HCB), it was learnt yesterday.

      It also emerged yesterday that the government had agreed to reduce its
shareholding in the country’s power generation plants.

      Speaking at a Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce-organised meeting
on the impact of power shortages on industry, Zimbabwe Electricity Supply
Authority (ZESA) grid asset manager Cletus Nyachowe said the HCB investment
would guarantee the country 500 megawatts (MW) of electricity.

      But he said the government would have to raise hard cash for the
acquisition before 2007, after which the Southern African region would no
longer have excess electricity that Zimbabwe could import.

      ZESA imports some of its power from the region so that it can meet
domestic demand.

      The country was offered a stake in HCB earlier this year.

      “For the HCB investment, we would need US$500 million and at the
moment, we are also looking at realistic projects which can increase our
electricity output in the short term,” Nyachowe said.

      Meanwhile, Power and Energy Development Minister Amos Midzi yesterday
said the government had agreed to dilute its shareholding in the country’s
power-generating plants.

      He said Zimbabwe needed to invest heavily in power-generating plants
because it would soon be unable to rely on the region for power imports.

      Midzi added that the government, which is battling to raise foreign
currency for fuel and electricity requirments, was attempting to raise the
US$500 million needed to purchase the 25 percent stake in HCB.

      “You might want to know that the government has agreed to dilute its
shareholding in electricity-generating plants and we will be inviting the
private sector to come in,” Midzi told representatives of the private sector

      “Such investments (HCB) would guarantee access to 500 MW, thereby
improving the supply situation. Efforts are under way to raise the required
finance,” he added.

      Statistics made available by ZESA yesterday show that the
cash-strapped parastatal, which is in the process of unbundling its
operations to create four separate business units, has foreign currency
arrears amounting to US$109.7 million (about Z$9 billion).

      ZESA’s foreign loans amount to US$142.7 million (Z$117.5 billion).

      The parastatal requires US$5 million (Z$4.1 billion) for power imports
every month, US$5 million for debt servicing each month, US$500 000 for
wheeling electricity through Zambia and Botswana and US$350 000 (Z$288.4
billion) for spare parts every month.

      Nyachowe revealed that ZESA, which has not been able to undertake new
investments in power generation in the last 16 years, would begin work on
two new generators at the thermal coal-fired Hwange Power Station (HPS) by
the end of next year. The project, which requires at least US$368 million,
would add a further 500 MW of electricity to the 480 MW already produced at
the power station, although HPS has a capacity to produce as much as 920 MW.

      There are also two major projects that have been planned by ZESA but
which need joint venture participation.

      The Gokwe North thermal and Batoka Gorge hydro power stations, which
need a total of US$2.4 billion to complete.

      The power stations would add 2 080 MW of electricity to the 1 165 MW
currently produced.

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Daily News


      Let us not be deadened into inaction by Mugabe exit talk

      6/20/2003 11:12:32 AM (GMT +2)

      The propensity for Zimbabweans to be gullible is so huge that it is
not possible for us to move forward as long as we remain so innocent.

      Every time some professional liar from the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation comes up with a well planned idea that President Robert Mugabe
might retire, we get excited and we tell the whole world that we are going
to be liberated.

      We start to discuss such futile topics as exit plans, Mugabe’s
immunity from prosecution, succession, caretaker governments, rebuilding the
economy, etc.

      Zimbabwe is one of the most academic nations in Africa, and there lies
its problem. We like to theorise on everything and half the time we miss the
obvious facts looking us in the face.

      Mugabe knows this and uses it to maximum effect.

      Jonathan Moyo knows this but is not very good at using it in any way.

      The facts are plain:
      Mugabe cannot leave office and also avoid prosecution. The courts can
accept a negotiated immunity deal between the opposition and ZANU PF, but
that could not include any private lawsuit raised by any private citizen
whose child, spouse, brother, etc was slaughtered during Mugabe’s reign.

      Any immunity deal can be reneged on by the incoming government, as
happened in Chile and Zambia. It is a matter of time before Kenya starts on
the big fish. This is more so if it can be shown that large sums of money
were siphoned out of the country for personal use.

      Any incoming government would politically gain by recovering the
money, and it cannot do so without putting the siphoner through the courts.

      All the operatives around Mugabe know that they would not be included
in any immunity deal. They have everything to lose by helping to negotiate
any exit plan. Nobody in their shoes would allow Mugabe to leave office.

      The African leaders with influence are not interested in Mugabe
leaving under the current climate. This is mainly because that would raise
the African expectation for the leader to leave office when he/she has
failed the nation.

      Look round and try to think of any African leader who left because he
thought he could hand over to someone younger with fresh ideas for a
different era. Only Nelson Mandela comes to mind, and many believe that he
regrets his move, in view of the quality of leadership he handed over to.

      Of the three leaders who came to Zimbabwe to look at the problem,
President Olusegun Obasanjo is not without legitimacy questions, President
Bakili Muluzi believes he should be allowed to rule forever, and President
Thabo Mbeki contradicts his African Union and New Partnership for Africa’s
Development rules each time he opens his mouth.

      What example did they bring to Zimbabwe? Africa is deficient of
standards and, therefore, has nothing to use when advising fellow

      Progress in Zimbabwe is in the hands of the estimated 71 percent of
the people who now know that Mugabe is not the right man for the job, and
that waiting for his death spells the death of the nation, since the economy
is depreciating faster than Mugabe is ageing.

      We also now know that our fate is not in the hands of the United
Kingdom, European Union, the United States, or the United Nations. Although
their help is welcome, it should not be paramount.

      Mbeki will always work against us as long as Mugabe stays in power. If
we peacefully show beyond any doubt that we now want change, even Mbeki and
Obasanjo would support us.

      Meanwhile, we should not put any faith in any of them. Events in
Zimbabwe should overtake and derail any silly efforts they are planning.

      Some say that making positive decisions means certain death from the
police and army. I say our options are few. We are currently being murdered
one by one. We can choose to be murdered in the open. The numbers either way
are the same. Think about it.

      Meanwhile, I urge those very few police and army men who still serve
the country to continue keeping secret logs of all of your colleagues who
commit human abuse crimes.

      Joseph Sibanda
      Zimbabwe Crime Registry
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The Herald

Mat South will get special attention, says President

Deputy News Editor
The Government will give special attention to the drought-prone Matabeleland
South province to help people and livestock with food, President Mugabe said

Addressing a rally in Matobo, Cde Mugabe said he would personally ensure
relevant Government authorities worked round the clock to make food
available to people and livestock in the province. Matabeleland South was
declared a disaster area following the drought which has affected people and
livestock with an estimated 50 000 cattle dying of hunger.

"In Zanu-PF and in Government, we value people’s needs and concerns. If
there are hungry people here I must be troubled at heart. I must ensure they
survive all of them. That is why I am saying Government must do all it can
so that you survive," President Mugabe said.

Cde Mugabe said Government’s policy was to treat all citizens of the country
equally regardless of their tribe or standing.

Chief Bidi had earlier told the President during a briefing with traditional
leaders that food aid was not being moved on time.

He said out of about 10 000 tonnes of maize that were supposed to have been
distributed in the area, only 2 000 tonnes had been moved into the area
because of the shortage of diesel.

President Mugabe said although the country was experiencing fuel shortages
Matabeleland South should get priority in diesel supplies to move food aid.
"There must be diesel in areas affected by food shortages. I want to assure
you that we will address that. I want to pay attention personally to that.
We will make sure diesel is available to move food."

Cde Mugabe called on people to remain united and urged the people in the
province to continue supporting the Government and Zanu-PF.

"There are two things that Father Zimbabwe (the late Vice President Joshua
Nkomo) said I should ensure . . . maintaining unity and giving land to

"So when we part ways and you vote for MDC during elections, are you
following Cde Nkomo's wishes?

"Now, we have lost his brother, Cde Stephen Nkomo and umama uMafuyane. I
want you to ask yourselves. What respect, what honour do we give them when
we vote for MDC. Are you respecting them? Are you honouring them when you
vote MDC?" said Cde Mugabe.

Zanu-PF won only two seats in Matabeleland South in the 2000 parliamentary
elections but has bounced back by winning most wards in rural district
council elections.

Zanu-PF Matabeleland South provincial chairman Cde Llyod Siyoka told Cde
Mugabe that the ruling party was back on its feet in the province after the
victories in council elections.

The President said the Government would fulfil the promises it made to
chiefs to electrify their homes, provide them with cars and boreholes as
well as improve their allowances.

"I am not making empty promises. I don’t want to make empty promises. My
ministers must work (to fulfil the promises) otherwise we will have big

He said delays in providing chiefs with electricity had partly been due to
problems at the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority where there were
boardroom wrangles over guaranteeing of loans for rural electrification.

Cde Mugabe said the current Zesa board would be dissolved to make way for a
new one to expedite the Expanded Rural Electrification Programme.

"We are going to overhaul that board. As from the July 1, there will be an
overhauled authority at Zesa."

The President said the problem of poor roads and the need to upgrade
existing ones was one of the major issues raised in all the provinces he had

The Ministry of Transport and Communications needed to come up with a plan
to address the matter, Cde Mugabe said.

He said more money would be made available for cattle restocking, feeding
and drilling of boreholes for livestock after only $300 million of the $1
billion required for the exercise was disbursed in the province.

Also addressing the rally, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural
Resettlement Cde Joseph Made said the Grain Marketing Board would be ordered
to move grain as a matter of urgency into the province.

Cde Made said the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority would also be
asked to provide maize to the province from its farms under irrigation. He
said the Cold Storage Company had set aside $10 billion for a cattle rearing
scheme and Matabeleland South would also benefit from the scheme.
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SADC Meeting to Discuss Regional Plan

Business Times (Dar es Salaam)

June 20, 2003
Posted to the web June 20, 2003

Wilfred Edwin

THE next Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional meeting to
take place in Dar es Salaam next August will discuss the Regional Indicative
Strategic Development Plan (RISDP).

The plan, which was formally endorsed by heads of state and government
before its adoption at the Luanda ministerial council last March, seeks to
propel economic growth of member countries in the block.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Jakaya
Mrisho Kikwete, said in Dar es Salaam last week that apart from the RISPD,
another plan to be tabled at the summit is the formation of four

The RISDP is one of the three studies that were undertaken by SADC as part
of a process of operationalising the transformation of its institutions.
Others are an audit of assets and projects in member states and a study on
implementation of the new organization structure.

According to Kikwete, the move to form new directorates that are to replace
the current 21 national coordinating units is bound to make the regional
economic body more vibrant.

The two-day meeting will be held from August 28, and about 2.2 billion
shillings is expected to be spent to host it. It will be the last in the
schedule as the preparatory standing committee will meet on August 20-22.

The ministerial council of the SADC will meet between August 23 and 24,
whereas the first ladies from the organization member states will hold their
meeting on August 25 and 26 This opportunity to host the meeting became
automatic following President Benjamin Mkapa's appointment last year as
deputy chairman of the 14-member body. About 700 delegates are expected to

The new directorates will operate under categories of trade, industry,
finance and investment; infrastructure and services; food, agriculture and
natural resources; social and human development, and special programs.

Kikwete said the RISDP takes into account Africa-wide initiatives such as
the New Partnership for Africa's Development(NEPAD), apart from other
responsibilities. It also carries a clear definition of the SADC vision,
mission and its strategic objectives along with the sharing of policy
framework required to achieve such objectives.

Member states had the first opportunity to comment on the first draft of the
RISDP at the meeting held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from February 11
to13 this year.

However, Kikwete said the SADC organs on defence, politics and security
would remain unshaken by the waves of structure reforms. Among issues to be
discussed at the summit are the current burning crisis of Zimbabwe land
reforms and insecurity in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The costly meeting will require about 138 top class cars, most of them
Mercedes Benz, in order for the host to meet SADC minimum standards. But
Kikwete is optimistic that Tanzania will be advantageous, if only special
measures to portray its positive image in such sectors as tourism will be
taken into account.
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A Struggle for Survival, as Man Engages Hungry Animals

James Hall

MAPUTO, Jun 20 (IPS) - A battle is raging throughout the African
sub-continent between subsistence farmers, usually the poorest villagers of
the region, and game parks over crop destruction wrought by hungry wild

”A wart hog doesn't recognise property, only food,” says Sam Kunene, a
farmer in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa.

”To a buffalo or other foraging animal, there's no difference between a herb
that grows wild in the bush and a stalk of maize, except the latter is more
tasty,” says Sipho Vilane, a game ranger in Swaziland.

”As for elephants, they can destroy a farmer's field in minutes. Sometimes
it isn't even food they are after. They can just be destructive,” Vilane

It is not a new battle, but for millions of peasant farmers, it is a matter
of life and livelihood. Game animals are wild, and if their movements are
not restricted they will wander outside the parametres of parks and into
neighbouring communities. Their agenda is simply to find new supplies of

It is a worrying problem for the area's proliferating number of game parks,
which depend on the good will of neighbours.

”I totally sympathise with a farmer who sees his entire crop wiped out by
animals,” Ted Reilly, Swaziland's top nature conservationists and founder of
the country's park system, told IPS. ”How is he going to feed his family?”

Farmers living near game parks have little recourse but to guard their
fields, and scare away game animals when they appear.

”It is not easy to scare an elephant,” Kunene says.

But farmers are hamstrung by tough game protection laws that make it a crime
to kill protected species. While sympathetic to his neighbours' plight, game
park owner Reilly recommended that they contact the park, so that game
rangers might capture the runaway animals. Farmers complain they have no
phones, and by the time rangers would arrive, crop damage would already be

”It only takes minutes. Often the animals arrive at night, when we are
asleep. When we get up in the morning, we see our maize is gone,” Kunene

In Kenya, the authorities have been responding to the farmers' pleas. This
year, Kenya game wardens have shot dead at least ten jumbos; last year they
shot two, and farmers killed another 10.

In Namibia, private developers are being encouraged to purchase the animals
to prevent clashes with peasants.

'Farmers versus the myriad members of the African menagerie' has been a
theme for a century. In the first half of the 1900s, wild animals were shot
as ”pests”, and whole areas were cleared of animals in preparation of land
cultivation by white farmers and large-scale agricultural enterprises. In
Swaziland, professional hunters were used to clear the lowveld of thousands
of herds of animals, to make way for sugar plantations.

Bounties were offered for African buffalo and antelope when diseases like
rinderpest were rampant. Cattle owners feared diseases that spread in the
wild would infect their herds.

Today, large herds of wild animals are worth their weight in tourist gold.
Most foreign visitors to Southern Africa flock to Tanzania's Serengeti,
Botswana's Central Kalahari or South Africa's Kruger National Park to see
the Big Five - elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard and rhino - and other game
animals in their native habitats.

”What were once 'pests' are now big business,” Reilly said.

Last year 9,000 foreign tourists hunted 34,000 animals in South Africa,
turning the country's booming hunting industry into an R800-million-a-year
(about 107 million U.S. dollars) foreign exchange earner, according to
official statistics.

Hunting is also popular in Zimbabwe.

Last year Zimbabwe earned about 30 million U.S. dollars from sport hunting
at its wildlife safari areas, up from 22 million U.S. dollars in 2001,
according to the country's department of national parks and wildlife

Tanzania, too, offers good sport hunting for foreigners. Between 1989 and
1993 the government revenue from the hunting industry increased from around
2.5 million U.S. dollars to 7.4 million U.S. dollars. In 2002, the
government earned 9.3 million U.S. dollars from tourist hunting, says
Tanzania's ministry of natural resources and tourism.

In 2003, it is no longer big agriculture that is concerned with wild
animals, which have been hunted to extinction in most parts of the
sub-continent. Now it is another endangered species, the small landholding
or peasant farmer, who must contend with the growing tourism industry.

Tourism operators have governments on their side in the fight to protect
game animals. Southern African nations look to tourism as a perfect
sustainable growth industry. Tourism draws in hard currency, helps national
debts and balance of payment worries, and provides the incentive for protect
the environment.

Game parks are growing in number by several dozen a year throughout the
region, as are nature reserves, national parks and government-protected
ecosystems. At the same time, national populations are growing. More farmers
are in competition for agrarian land. They are being forced into marginal
areas, and are exploiting lands near game parks where no cultivation had
been undertaken before.

One game park ranger who chose not to give his name, though he said his
views are shared by other park workers and environmentalists, said, ”The
little family farms add nothing to the economy. They cannot create food for
a whole year for the family. People still need town jobs to bring in cash.
But these farms are damaging to the environment.”

The ranger also noted that some park fencing is stolen by neighbours. ”They
don't use it to fence their fields, which they need to do if they are
complaining about warthogs. They just sell it,” he said.

Reilly warned that farmers whose fields are damaged have a right to file a
claim with a park, and an investigation would be conducted to see whether
game animals were responsible. ”But they mustn't become vigilantes, and
start killing protected species. This has been done in the past as an excuse
for poaching, and the perpetrators just get into trouble,” Reilly said.

Nature conservationists told IPS that the way out of the dilemma is to
involve the communities around game parks in the park operations. Rather
than damage the environment with a growing number of unprofitable little
farms to accommodate the population boom, some communities have pooled their
land resources, and started their own game parks.

”Community-owned game parks are growing in popularity,” said Simaye Mamba,
of Swaziland's National Trust Commission, which runs two game parks. ”We
have several in this country. They are raising the standard of living for
community members, by providing jobs. They are unique cultural tourism
attractions. Guests can visit homesteads to see how Africans live,” Mamba
said. (END/2003)
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