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- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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        SA man shot dead while on holiday in Zimbabwe

            June 23 2003 at 05:03PM

      Bulawayo - A South African tourist was shot dead by three unidentified
gunmen at Hillside Dams, a family resort in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe police
confirmed on Monday.

      Inspector Langa Ndlovu, of the Zimbabwe Republic Police in Bulawayo
confirmed the killing but said that no suspects had been arrested.

      The dead man, who was touring the country in the company of his
girlfriend, her father and her two young sisters, was identified as Conan
Thomas, a sound and lighting student at Allenby College in the Boksburg area
of Gauteng.

      Leon Bezuidenhout, the father of Thomas's girlfriend, said the gang of
three assailants caught up with them as they were sight-seeing around the
Upper Hillside Dam.

      "As they drew level with us, one of the guys pulled out a pistol and
shot Thomas without saying anything. We were ordered to lie down as the
gunmen took off our shoes, wallets containing cash in various denominations
and jewellery in the form of diamond rings. They then fled into the bush.

      "We tried mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on Thomas but he died as we
watched," said Bezuidenhout.

      The tourists had arrived in Bulawayo a day before and were supposed to
have left on the day disaster struck.

      "We stayed on because Thomas had insisted on seeing the Hillside Dams
since this was his first time in Zimbabwe. We did not know that we were
going to watch him die like that. The girls are so traumatised," said

      Although the motive of the attack has not been established, the
assailants took wallets containing cash in various denominations, credit
cards, cheque books and diamond rings.

            The motive of the attack has not been established
      Thomas's body is still at a private funeral parlour in Bulawayo. It
will be flown to South Africa as soon as funeral arrangements are completed.

      Bezuidenhout said Thomas's death was the second blow to the family in
two months, following the death of a brother who was struck by lightning in
Johannesburg two months ago.

      Security around Zimbabwe's tourist destination has deteriorated badly
since February 2000 when armed Zanu-PF supporters and veterans and of the
1970s liberation war invaded commercial farms and killed commercial farmers,
an act that kick-started ongoing violence.

      It has since spread to the countryside and tourist resorts. Early this
year, an Australian tourist was stabbed to death in the northern resort of
Victoria Falls.

      The Zimbabwe government, which has been accused of promoting violence
with impunity, has consistently denied that there is lawlessness in the
country. - Sapa

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Independent (UK)

Curse of Zimbabwe hits southern Africa
Mugabe's regime is damaging the tourist trade in neighbouring countries,
says Joanne Watson
21 June 2003

As the obnoxious regime of President Robert Mugabe continues to abuse human
rights, few tourists are travelling to Zimbabwe. Unlike Burma, there is no
concerted tourism boycott of the country - rather, a collective sense of
moral outrage at what Mugabe is doing to his country and people is keeping
travellers away. But the stance many have adopted is severely affecting
other southern African countries.

Victoria Falls, for many an essential component of any trip to southern
Africa, is virtually deserted. Less obvious perhaps are the consequences for
the tourist trade of Zimbabwe's neighbours, as the town is also a conduit
for those wishing to cross the border into Botswana or Zambia.

The airport on Zimbabwe's side of the Falls airport is able to handle large
aircraft; the nearest airfields in the other countries cannot. Many of those
on my plane (which was about one-third full, with most passengers being
American and French) were ultimately destined for countries other than

Even if you want to get out of Zimbabwe as fast as possible you still have
to buy a visa, costing US$55 (£35) for a single entry (which allows day
trips over the border) or $77 (£50) for a double-entry visa if you stay over
in another country and intend to return the way you came. That's in addition
to the $30 (£19) fee to get out.

The US dollar is king in Zimbabwe; all trip prices are quoted in dollars and
then translated back into Zim dollars at the absurd official rate. The
parallel rate varies, but it is around six or seven times higher - or,
should you want to risk getting either mugged or arrested, even greater via
the youthful local moneychangers in the town centre.

Like many, our trip was to see the game in Botswana's Chobe national park
and to see the Victoria Falls from the Zambian side. In visiting both, it
was immediately evident how they are being affected by the dearth of

Botswana, which has targeted an upmarket clientele, now finds its swish
lodges on the border equally deserted. At $200 (£130) a night they used to
do good business; now many people aren't prepared to travel through Zimbabwe
to get there. The large boats that once cruised up and down the river are
moored, redundant, on the banks. During a morning game-drive we saw just
three other vehicles. An attempt to change some $50 bills into smaller
denominations failed, as the hotel cashier said that they hadn't had any
business generating dollars to make the currency available.

It's a similar story in Zambia. The nearest town to the falls is
Livingstone, about seven miles from the border. Whereas hotel prices on the
Zimbabwean side have fallen in a desperate attempt to generate business,
those on the Zambian side have, bizarrely, multiplied. One hotel that quoted
$120 (£75) a night last year is now asking $340 (£215), but there are few
takers. Even the bungee-jumping operators on the grand old iron bridge over
the Zambezi are trying in vain to drum up business.

A salutary lesson came in the deserted curio market. While we haggled over
the price of a wooden hippo, another young stall-holder asked us for our
used plastic water-bottles. They were wanted, he said, to put paraffin in as
bottles were in short supply. So, too, is hope.
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Analysts Believe Mugabe Will Call Early Elections
Peta Thornycroft
23 Jun 2003, 15:46 UTC

Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, has instructed civil servants to begin
preparing for a general election. Mr. Mugabe's call comes two years before
parliamentary elections are scheduled.

Mr. Mugabe is on the campaign trail, even though the next major elections
are not until 2005. He is on a tour of the country, and on Sunday he
announced that departments that control elections should immediately begin
preparing voters' rolls and making other arrangements for elections.

To some political analysts, Mr. Mugabe's announcement seems to be part of a
plan for his honorable exit from power.

In an interview Monday, political analyst Brian Kagoro, a long-time human
rights activist, said he expected Mr. Mugabe to remove himself gradually
from the political spotlight.

In the scenario outlined by Mr. Kagoro, the long-time president of Zimbabwe
would reform the constitution by abolishing the post of executive
president - the position he now holds - and would bring back the post of
prime minister. He would then appoint one of his closest aides as prime
minister, and finish his six-year term as president in a purely ceremonial

According to Mr. Kagoro, by removing himself from power, Mr. Mugabe would
satisfy the wishes of regional leaders, who have come to consider him a
liability. And once Mr. Mugabe is no longer leading Zimbabwe, said Mr.
Kagoro, the international community would be able to lift sanctions against
leaders in the ruling ZANU-PF party, and begin restoring aid and financial
support for bankrupt Zimbabwe. Most foreign agencies have suspended aid to
Zimbabwe in response to Mr. Mugabe's autocratic policies.

For the last two Saturdays, the state-controlled Herald newspaper has run
long biographies and interviews with two men who are considered Mr. Mugabe's
preferred candidates for the job of prime minister.

One is the speaker of the parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and the other is a
former home affairs minister, John Nkomo, who is now a minister in the
president's office.

Other political analysts do not go into the detail that Mr. Kagoro does in
predicting Mr. Mugabe's political maneuvers, but most believe he will call
early parliamentary elections, hoping to win a two-thirds majority.

Such a majority would allow him and his ruling ZANU-PF party to change the
constitution, without needing any support from opposition members of

For Mr. Kagoro and virtually all other analysts in Zimbabwe, Mr. Mugabe's
main aim is to ensure that his ruling ZANU-PF retains hold on all the major
institutions of power, and does it in such a way as to satisfy African
leaders in the region.

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Zim farmers off to Zambia
23/06/2003 17:32  - (SA)

Jeff Kapembwa

Lusaka - Thirty white farmers who've fled Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe's aggressive land reform programme have secured lease agreements to
settle in southern Zambia.

The farmers have secured 10-year leases, along with an initial 10 farmers
who recently secured work permits to settle in northern Zambia.

Agriculture co-ordinator for the Choma district, Namu Musulwe, said the 30
maize, tobacco and rice farmers would be settled in the south.

Musulwe said 13 of the farmers had been allocated land in Choma while
another 14 would settle in Kalomo.

"They will start farming soon," he said.
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ZIMBABWE: Feature - Judicial system under strain
      IRINnews Africa, Mon 23 Jun 2003
      [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United

      ©  IRIN

      MorganTsvangirai: Jail conditions are a "scandal yet to explode"

      JOHANNESBURG, - The resignation this month of 10 senior magistrates
citing low pay is the latest blow to hit Zimbabwe's struggling justice

      A parliamentary report into Zimbabwe's prisons in June found that
inmates awaiting trail can spend up to four years in jail as a result of
court backlogs, due to staff shortages.

      A statement last week by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
expressed the group's concern. The ZLHR said understaffing and low morale at
the magistrate's courts had led to "disturbing incidences of delay in the
remanding of accused persons as well as the delivery of judgments in

      The ZLHR also noted delays in the passing of judgements in cases
deemed "political". It urged law enforcement agents and the courts to be
mindful of the constitutional rights of accused persons that they be tried
"within a reasonable time".

      The parliamentary report stressed that Zimbabwe's prisons were
seriously overcrowded. Slightly more than 25,000 men and women are serving
prison terms or are on remand. The prisons, however, have only the capacity
for 16,000. Under the congested conditions, diseases such as diarrhoea,
scabies and HIV/AIDS-related illnesses were rife.

      The country's food crisis, which affects around half of all
Zimbabweans, represents an additional problem for inmates and was
highlighted at the weekend by the country's most high-profile prisoner,
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

      Freed on bail on Friday after two weeks in detention on treason
charges, Tsvangirai told the BBC that jail conditions were a "scandal yet to
explode". He shared an overcrowded cell with 75 other people who "have very
little food and their health condition is deteriorating".

      "It is well known we have food shortages in Zimbabwe. It is only
logical that prisoners feel the effects," Zimbabwe Prisons Service (ZPS)
spokesman, Frank Meki, said at the begining of the year.

      Women's organisations say the plight of female prisoners can be
particularly bad. The separation of male and female prisoners is the
furthest the law goes in recognising differences between the sexes,
consultant Jill Makarati told IRIN. She said, for example, the law was
silent on the provision and disposal of sanitary supplies for menstruating
women, or facilities for breastfeeding mothers.

      ZPS was allocated Zim $15 billion (US $19 million) for its 42 prisons
in this year's national budget. But according to Meki, funds have all but
run out halfway into the budget year, and ZPS has been forced to apply for
supplemtary financing to meet its obligations.

      Stopgap measures like granting amnesty to prisoners seemed to have
done little to avert the problem of overcrowding. A total of 5,500 prisoners
were released in January this year in an amnesty granted by President Robert
Mugabe. But the number of inmates is climbing back to its original level.

      Zimbabwe has a community service programme under which offenders can
be sentenced to do community work at public institutions like hospitals and
schools while living at home. That option was not being properly utilised,
according to High Court Judge President Paddington Garwe.

      He recently told a meeting of judicial officers that most prisoners in
Zimbabwe's jails had committed petty crimes and should be considered for
community service rather than prison terms.

      Minister of Justice Patrick Chinamasa said the government planned to
construct seven more prisons to deal with the problem of congestion. "Our
prisons are overcrowded, making it difficult to maintain acceptable health
standards. There is, therefore, a need to increase the number of prisons, as
it is the only way we can ease congestions," he was quoted as saying.

      Critics, however, have argued that building more jails would not solve
the underlying problem. This included a serious shortage of magistrates,
prosecutors and legal officers at the Attorney General's office, which had
brought the functions of the courts to a near halt.

      Overall the magistrate's courts have a backlog of 60,000 cases. By
mid-March this year, the backlog of criminal cases in the capital, Harare,
alone stood at 3,200, while pending civil cases were at 12,000. By April,
the same courts had vacancies for 59 magisterial posts.

      A former magistrate, who declined to be named, alleged that the high
staff turnover was due to the justice ministry undervaluing the
contributions of magistrates.

      "Our colleagues in private practice charge at least Zim $200,000 [US
$256] for a one-day bail application at the High Court - that is slightly
above the monthly salary of a senior magistrate," the former magistrate told

      The ZLHR statement said that while it appreciated "the constraints
under which the members of the judiciary and the magistrates are operating",
a deliberate effort "has to be made by the judiciary to hand down judgements
efficiently, fairly and with reasonable promptness".

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MDC appeals for help
23/06/2003 12:47  - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwe's main opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), on Monday launched an appeal for help in raising the steep bail set
last week for the release of its leader Morgan Tsvangirai, charged with

"The president of the MDC was granted bail of Z$10m on Friday. Given the
limited ressources that the party is operating on it has become necessary
for the party to appeal to all Zimbabweans to pay this amount,"
said an ad published in the independent Daily News.

Tsvangirai was arrest on June 6, the last day of week-long anti-government
protests organised by his party, and charged with treason for allegedly
inciting Zimbabweans to violently oust the government of President Robert

Four days later a magistrates court charged him with treason - the second
such charge brought against the MDC leader - and he was ordered to be held
in custody for one month.

Treason is punishable by death in Zimbabwe.

Tsvangirai's lawyers were given leave to apply for bail, but that hearing
dragged on and Tsvangirai had spent 14 nights in prison before a High Court
judge set his very stringent bail conditions and he was released on Friday.

In addition to the Z$10m bail, the court ordered Tsvangirai not to make "any
statement that advocates the removal of the government or the state
president by violence" and to lodge title deeds for property worth Z$100m
with the court.

"We remain firmly of the view that Mr Tsvangirai is innocent," the ad said.

"He is being persecuted for fighting for justice and peace in Zimbabwe. He
is being persecuted for fighting for the people of Zimbabwe to have enough
food. We also believe that the state seeks to kill the MDC through excessive
bail payouts and legal fees."

The MDC blames Mugabe's regime for exacerbating Zimbabwe's economic and
social woes through misgovernance, and had called on Zimbabweans to protest
against the government by not going to work and by holding "peaceful marches
for democracy."

About 70% of Zimbabwe's workforce is unemployed, annual inflation exceeded
300% last month, and nearly half the country's 11.6 million people are
threatened by famine caused by a drought and chaotic land reforms.

The work stoppages called for by the MDC were generally well followed in the
southern African country's cities, but attempts to hold marches were put
down, often forcibly, by security forces and pro-Mugabe militia groups.

Tsvangirai faces another charge of treason, along with two key members of
his party, for allegedly plotting to eliminate Mugabe ahead of the 2001
presidential poll, which Mugabe won.

The three deny the charges. A treason trial involving the three has been
underway since February.
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Zanu PF, Frelimo in talks to consolidate relations

24 June 2003
An eight-member delegation from Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo party is in the
country on a three-day visit aimed at consolidating the relationship with
the ruling party, Zanu PF.

The delegation is being led by Frelimo’s secretary general, Armando Emilio

The Mozambican delegation has already visited the Midlands province as part
of its visit which will see it meeting with members of the ruling party.

Zanu PF and Frelimo have a long standing relationship dating back to the
time of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle.

In the 1980’s, Zimbabwe played an instrumental role in bringing peace to
Mozambique when the country was threatened with destabilisation.

The Mozambican delegation was taken on a tour of A1 and A2 farms in Kwekwe
district where they met with new farmers who briefed the delegation on their
various activities.

Cde Guebuza told Newsnet that they were impressed with what they had seen on
the farms noting that the portrayal of the land reform exercise by some
sections of the western media is negative.

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Opposition Supporters Flee Terror in Nkayi

The Daily News (Harare)

June 21, 2003
Posted to the web June 23, 2003

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party yesterdays said
several of its supporters in Nkayi communal lands in Matabeleland South
province have fled their homes after being attacked by suspected ruling ZANU
PF party militias.

MDC Member of Parliament for Nkayi Abednico Bhebhe said many of the
villagers had fled to Bulawayo where they have sought sanctuary with
relatives and friends.

Ncube, who claimed that some of the vehicles that have been used to ferry
the youths to their victims' homes appeared to have been painted in Zimbabwe
Republic Police colours, accused the law enforcement agency of turning a
blind eye to the marauding youths.

He said, "Vehicles (painted like) police vehicles are being used to ferry
the youths who carrying out the attacks."

Police at Nkayi however dismissed the allegations that police vehicles had
been used to transport the marauding youths. "Why should the police involve
themselves in politics? We don't have such a report," an officer at Nkayi
Police Station said.

Some of the villagers who escaped the youths told this newspaper of how
their relatives and loved ones were severely tortured by the militia men and
of how they themselves were lucky to escape to the safety of Bulawayo.

MDC secretary for Nkayi district Aleck Nkiwane recounted how he fled to
Bulawayo after being tipped off that the suspected ZANU PF militias were
looking for him. But the opposition official said the pro-government mob
kidnapped his wife whom they are now holding as ransom until Nkiwane
surrenders himself to them.

Nkiwane said: "I heard that there was a meeting where it was discussed that
they wanted me so I fled. But I have heard they are holding my wife to force
me to surrender myself."

Another MDC official Vita Masuku, who contested last year's rural council
election on behalf of the opposition party but lost, said she fled at the
middle of the night after being informed that the suspected ZANU PF militias
were planning to raid her home in Nkayi.

Masuku, who said several villagers from her area had been severely injured
during torture sessions by the militias, said, "They are taking people to
their base near Ngwalande Clinic where they torture them. Some of my
neighbours are actually living in the bush for fear of the youths."

Political violence and human rights abuses have escalated across Zimbabwe
with the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum (ZHRF) this week reporting that five
people, four of them supporters of MDC, had been killed because of political
violence since January this year.

The ZHRF, which brings together nine of the biggest human and civic rights
groups in Zimbabwe, said in a report released this week that state security
agents had allegedly taken the leading role in human rights violations.

Most of the mainly opposition supporters victimised for their political
beliefs had reported that their attackers were people dressed in ZRP or
Zimbabwe National Arm uniform, the ZHRF said in the report.
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EU Calls for Dialogue to Resolve Crisis

The Daily News (Harare)

June 21, 2003
Posted to the web June 23, 2003

EUROPEAN Union (EU) head of delegation in Harare Francesica Mosca this week
said the powerful bloc backed efforts to find a solution to Zimbabwe's
worsening political and economic crisis through dialogue.

Mosca, who said the group was constantly reviewing the Zimbabwe crisis, told
The Daily News: "The EU, faithful to the principle of dialogue, urges both
the government and the opposition to opt for this highly democratic

One of Zimbabwe's biggest trading and development partners, the EU last year
cut all non-humanitarian aid to the country and imposed punitive targeted
sanctions against Zimbabwe's leaders after disagreeing on land reforms,
human rights, the rule of law and democracy.

Mosca said a travel and financial ban slapped by the EU on President Robert
Mugabe, his wife Grace and officials of his government was under constant
review by the European body.

The EU's top diplomat in Harare said: "The sanctions are kept under constant
review and are renewable every six months."

Several development and trade meetings between the EU and the regional
Southern African Development Community have been aborted because the
European body would not participate in such meetings if Zimbabwe was also
included while the African countries argued they did not want to ostracise
Zimbabwe out of issues affecting the region.

But several Zimbabwean government officials have exploited United Nations
gatherings to to visit EU territory.

Mosca refused to speak on the effectiveness of the EU sanctions in bringing
Mugabe and his government to change their controversial policies.

Once a showcase economy for Africa, Zimbabwe is crumbling because
international investors and capital have fled political violence and human
rights abuses in the country.
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Foot-and-mouth outbreak hits Zimbabwe


      Xinhuanet 2003-06-24 05:06:24

            HARARE, June 23 (Xinhuanet) -- An outbreak of foot-and-mouth
disease has hit Chivi and Gutu districts in Zimbabwe's Masvingo province,
forcing the Department of Veterinary Services to suspend the movement of

        The outbreak that comes at a time when new farmers are still moving
their cattle from their old homes has severely affected Chivi where farmers
were allocated land outside the district.

        Chivi has no farms and all new farmers were resettled in Mwenezi,
Zaka, Masvingo and Chiredzi districts.

        Chief animal health inspector in Masvingo Ben Tigere confirmed the
outbreak on Monday, saying a critical shortage of vaccines was hampering
efforts to control the disease.

        "We suspended the movement of livestock in the two districts after
an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease that was first reported at the
beginning of this month," he said.

        Tigere said the current shortage of fuel was aggravating the
situation because it was hindering the movement of animal health inspectors.

        Masvingo has about 850,000 head of cattle and the outbreak of the
disease could affect the country's beef export. Enditem

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