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

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The Herald

77 DRC medical specialists arrive

Herald Reporters
SEVENTY-SEVEN medical specialists from the Democratic Republic of Congo
arrived in Harare yesterday on a three-year working programme which is
expected to ease pressure on the staff strapped Ministry of Health and Child

The delegation headed by Mr Lukali El Fataki comprises 54 doctors, 11
pharmacists and three radiographers. They will be deployed to the country's
provincial and district hospitals.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, Mrs
Elizabeth Xaba, who received the delegation, said the deployment would be
done soon to hospitals most in need throughout the country.

Mrs Xaba said the gesture symbolised the friendship between the two

"We are happy that our protocol is the first to reap from the long standing
relationship with the DRC", she said.

In response Mr El Fataki said: "We have a feeling of joy because we have the
blessing of our two presidents. A few months ago we had the Zimbabwean
soldiers in the DRC, today we have the DRC doctors in Zimbabwe. This shows
the maturity of our relationship."

The DRC doctors come at a time when the country's junior and middle-level
doctors have gone on strike, which has been declared illegal by the Public
Service Commission.

In February the country also received a delegation of 74 doctors and other
medical practitioners from Cuba.

The move then was described by the Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr
David Parirenyatwa, as a brave show of patriotism by the Cuban doctors.

Dr Parirenyatwa was voicing his concern over the huge exodus of Zimbabwean
doctors mainly to the Western countries citing poor remuneration and working

Mrs Xaba dismissed the issue of language barrier as trivial, citing the
example of the Cuban doctors who have not reported any major communication
problems since their arrival in February.

At a Press conference late yesterday, the Minister of Health and Child
Welfare, Dr David Parirenyatwa said the arrival of doctors from DRC was a
historic event for Zimbabwe as it showed that relations between the two
countries were solid.

"I wish to make it clear that the doctors from DRC did not come in Zimbabwe
to relieve the striking doctors," said Dr Parirenyatwa.
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The Scotsman

Threat of death for Harare animal lifesaver


MERYL Harrison said it was the worst day she has experienced in her
three-year struggle to save or mercifully kill some of the millions of
domestic animals in Zimbabwe that are starving, being tortured and dying as
anarchy increases under President Robert Mugabe’s tyrannical rule.

For the sake of some distressed milking cows, she narrowly escaped being
axed to death two days ago. Ms Harrison, recipient of several international
awards for courage, had also just learned that if she does not have a heart
operation within a month she could die anyway.

On Thursday Ms Harrison went to a former commercial farm 20 miles outside
Harare, now occupied by so-called war veterans, in an attempt to rescue 260
starving pedigree dairy cows.

"It was a crazy situation," she told The Scotsman. "Baines Hope was once one
of the best dairy farms in Zimbabwe, but five months ago the government
drove the owner, William Hughes, from his land. War vets were settled there
and they confined the cows to just four hectares of land. They have eaten
every single blade of grass, they haven’t been milked and they’re in
shocking condition, just skin and bone."

When Ms Harrison, chief inspector of the Zimbabwe National Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ZSPCA), arrived to negotiate with the
"veterans" - so young that they could not have fought in Zimbabwe’s
liberation war - she met intense hostility.

"They told Mark [Manhuwa, the ZSPCA senior inspector] to leave immediately.
Then one of the youngsters came at me with an axe and insisted that I dance
and sing Pamberina ZANU-PF with them."

Pamberina ZANU-PF, or "Advance with ZANU-PF", is one of the anthems of Mr
Mugabe’s party. She had previously always successfully refused such demands,
but on Thursday she surrendered.

"The axe man was too threatening and insistent. I didn’t want to be a dead
heroine, so I did it," said Ms Harrison, who has survived time and again
because she has a sense of the ridiculous.

She once persuaded police to give her an armed escort to rescue 12 tortoises
from a farm, while nearby police refused to escort an ambulance to help a
couple, both 90, who had been under siege for 40 days; the husband had
broken his leg.

Ms Harrison realised Thursday’s work had got out of hand and after the
singing she signalled to Addmore Chinhembe, a colleague, to move slowly back
to their vehicle. "Another youth came at me with an axe. He prodded its
handle in my face and told me that if I ever returned something would happen
to me and the story would be very big on News Letter [a television news

It was just another day in Ms Harrison’s work, which has put such strain on
her heart that she could die unless she has a heart operation within a
month. The operation is unavailable in Zimbabwe and the ZSPCA is trying to
raise funds for her to be operated on in Johannesburg.
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New York Times Into Africa To the delight of its liberal critics, the Bush administration has taken a constructive interest in the problems of Africa. Mr. Bush's trip to South Africa, Botswana, Uganda, Niger and Senegal early next month symbolizes that concern. So does the administration's promises of increased aid, its global H.I.V./AIDS initiative and its outspokenness for African democracy. Africans now suffer more from war and H.I.V./AIDS than the inhabitants of any other continent. And they remain among the world's poorest people, even in resource-rich countries like Angola, Nigeria and Congo. The main reason is misgovernment and official corruption. Shamefully, though, American farm subsidies block the exits from poverty for some African countries by making it impossible for their crops to compete with ours. In contrast, Mr. Bush's commitment to spend $15 billion fighting AIDS worldwide over the next five years is welcome. Compared with the costs of war or farm subsidies, this investment, which can save hundreds of thousands of lives, is remarkably cost effective. Africa's three main conflicts cry out for more effective intervention. More than three million people have been killed in nearly five years of fighting in Congo and some two million in two decades of civil war in Sudan. Liberia's dictator, Charles Taylor, is responsible for wars that have killed hundreds of thousands. Mr. Bush is sending his special envoy to Sudan and has told Mr. Taylor to step down now. He also needs to work for a stronger United Nations peacekeeping force in Congo. Another destructive African leader is Robert Mugabe, whose resort to fraud and thuggery undermined the legitimacy of his latest re-election as Zimbabwe's president. Washington rightly demands a return to democracy there. That needs help from South Africa, whose president, Thabo Mbeki, claims to champion democracy and better governance in Africa. But he has so far refused to press for those values where he has the most influence, in neighboring Zimbabwe. Africa's problems may still seem remote to some Americans. Mr. Bush recognizes that they are not.
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New York Times
Zimbabwean Urges U.S. to Act Cautiously Against Mugabe

JOHANNESBURG, June 27 — Seizing on President Bush's call for a change in
leadership in Zimbabwe, the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said today
that his Movement for Democratic Change was developing a plan it hoped would
lead to a peaceful transition of power in a country rocked by political and
economic strife.

But Mr. Tsvangirai also said the United States should not overreach in
southern Africa as it pressures President Robert Mugabe to step down.
Rather, he said, "there must be a balance in how outside pressure can be
applied in order to bring results," an apparent acknowledgment that Mr.
Tsvangirai's party remains vulnerable to Mr. Mugabe's charge that it is
simply a puppet of Britain and the United States.

"These are very delicate issues," Mr. Tsvangirai said in a telephone
interview from his home in the suburbs of Harare, Zimbabwe's capital. "We
have specific suggestions on how outside pressure can help." He said the
opposition's leadership planned to meet over the weekend to come up with a
plan to end the crisis, one that will include a call for new elections,
something Mr. Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party has rejected.

Mr. Tsvangirai's cautious embrace of Mr. Bush's call for change in Zimbabwe
underscores just how difficult it will be to resolve the crisis there. It
demonstrates why leaders in the region, including South Africa's president,
Thabo Mbeki, have been reluctant to press Mr. Mugabe to step down despite
general agreement that his departure from office after 23 years would be
best for Zimbabwe and its neighbors.

"The real situation is far more intricate and complicated than people
realize," said Chris Landsberg, a political analyst and lecturer at the
University of the Witwatersrand here. "I don't think it is as easy for South
Africa to move on Zimbabwe as people make it out to be."

Mr. Mugabe has cast his struggle to retain power as a battle between African
liberation and neo-colonial power, a strategy that has made it difficult for
other African leaders to urge him publicly to step aside.

In an Op-Ed article in The New York Times on Tuesday, Secretary of State
Colin L. Powell urged Zimbabwe's neighbors — South Africa in particular — to
take a more active role in defusing the crisis.

But experts here say Mr. Mbeki is reluctant to push Mr. Mugabe because
bowing to Western pressure to shun him would cost Mr. Mbeki politically at
home and diminish his standing among African leaders. Still, political
analysts here expect that Mr. Bush will press Mr. Mbeki to act in Zimbabwe
when the two meet in Pretoria next month.

Once an economic powerhouse in southern Africa, Zimbabwe has descended into
political and economic turmoil since last year's presidential election, won
by Mr. Mugabe. Marked by widespread fraud, the election was not recognized
by the United States and Europe.

With his popularity waning, Mr. Mugabe has carried out an often violent
program of land reform in which black squatters have taken land by force
from white farmers. The country's agricultural output, once among the
highest in Africa, has plummeted by 50 percent. Inflation is rampant at
supermarkets in Harare, where cashiers weigh fat bundles of Zimbabwean
dollars rather than count them because the currency's value has fallen so

Mr. Tsvangirai, who won more than a million votes in the election last year,
has twice been charged with treason and was jailed for two weeks after a
recent series of mass protests in Harare and Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second
largest city.

Mr. Tsvangirai said that his party was ready for unconditional talks with
the ruling Zanu-PF but that a new election was the only way out of the
current morass.

"The question is really the restoration of legitimacy of the government," he
said. "It can only be restored by the free mandate of the people of
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Arab News

      Starvation in Africa: The Real Issues
      Amir Taheri • Arab News Staff

      Are you looking for an inexpensive way to get publicity? Well, look no
further: All you need to do is to make some noise about how the world is
ignoring black Africa.

      This is what pop singers Bono and Bob Geldof have been doing for

      African famine became a globally fashionable subject in 1984. Remember
those TV images of starving children and dying mothers? They made Ethiopia
the most famous African country throughout the world. According to estimates
by the Organization of African Unity, now renamed African Union, in the
decade that followed, Ethiopia received something like $1.5 billion in
foreign aid or the equivalent of a 10 percent annual growth rate.

      And, yet, we are back where we were in 1984. But why?

      Before we tackle that question let us straighten out a few points.

      First, it is the height of arrogance to ask, “Have we done enough for
Africa?” Such an approach puts the entire African continent in the position
of a mere object of history. That kind of Africa is worse than a beggar
because a classical beggar at least does some begging.

      The question is not only insulting but also unfair. Most estimates
show that each year twice as much money flows out of Africa, into Western
banks and businesses, than the other way round. The truth is that many
African political and business leaders are plundering their nations and
putting the proceeds into the safe havens of the West.

      The second issue that needs to be sorted out is what we mean by

      During the past three decades 18 of the 53 African nations have
experienced what the World Food Program describes as an “emergency”.

      Of these, eight suffered famine because of civil war or other forms of
armed conflict. Three others were stricken by famine at the end of long wars
that destroyed part of their agriculture. A further five were pushed into
food “emergency” because of the arrival of large numbers of refugees from
neighboring countries. (Africa, with just 15 percent of the world’s
population, produces some 60 percent of all refugees.)

      The remaining two famine-stricken nations were victims of poor
decision-making by their respective governments.

      Now let us return to the crucial question of why a nation suffers
famine. The Nobel prize-winning economist Amaryta Sen insists that there is
famine because people are too poor to buy food.

      So what should one do?

      If one provides cash to buy food with, the affected Africans will
simply turn to Western producers who are capable of offering the type of
food needed at the time desired. This would leave no opportunity for African
agriculture to raise its head, even in the best years. If, on the other
hand, one provides free imported food, again there will be no incentive for
local producers.

      Over the past two decades the 18 countries concerned have received
something like $12 billion of aid in various forms.

      It is quite possible that the aid in question has been, at least in
part, responsible for the persistence of famine in most of those countries.
Such a claim might sound outlandish but let us examine it further.

      The aid in question has enabled the governments concerned to divert
their resources from providing food for their citizens either to war or to
corruption. The completely senseless war that Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a
couple of years ago cost them a staggering $4 billion. Before that Ethiopia
had been involved in wars in Ogaden and Tigre, not to mention the Eritrean
war of liberation that lasted 20 years.

      The case of Angola, No. 4 on the African list of famine-stricken
nations, is equally instructive. During the past three decades Angola has
earned almost $80 billion from oil and diamond exports, enough to make it
one of the continent’s richest nations. And yet half of is population is now
on the edge of famine. The reason? A long civil war that ended only a year
ago, and a government that is universally regarded as a kleptocracy.

      War and corruption are also at the root of starvation and famine in
other concerned countries, from Mauritania to the Sudan and passing by
Liberia and Zimbabwe.

      According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Africa is
now more prone to famine than it was a generation ago when it was still
largely under colonial rule. Since the 1960s Asia has cut the famine
probability rate from 43 percent to less than 13 percent. In the African
countries concerned, however, that rate has risen from 18 percent to 38

      Famine is not a natural phenomenon; it is the inevitable result of the
policies of despotic regimes that cannot survive without war and internal
repression. More than food, Africa needs freedom. For where there is freedom
there is no famine.
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      Rich elite prosper in Zimbabwe's economic crisis

      ANGUS SHAW, Associated Press Writer   Saturday, June 28, 2003


      (06-28) 00:06 PDT HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) --

      Ruinous government management has left Zimbabwe's once vibrant economy
in shambles, and some of its millions of people are forced to sell their
furniture to survive -- if they have any.

      But agencies selling limousines and even luxury cosmetics have
reported record sales and the few rich in the country enjoy boom times.

      "The people who could fix the situation are the ones who are making a
fortune out of it," said Harare economist John Robertson.

      The chaotic government seizures of thousands of white-owned farms have
been blamed for three years of political violence and disruptions in the
agriculture-based economy that have led to acute shortages of food, fuel,
power and medicines.

      President Robert Mugabe's ruling party elite and their business
associates control much of the hugely profitable black market in goods and
hard currency. Meanwhile, nearly half of the population will need food aid
this year to avoid starvation, according to the U.N. World Food Program.
About 80 percent of the population lives in poverty.

      In regular stores the shelves are bare, but advertisements in the main
state newspaper offer foodstuffs, cooking oil and even bank note counting
machines to help traders in the hyperinflationary economy do their business.

      The black market gasoline sells for four times the government's fixed
price. It keeps the traffic moving in Zimbabwe.

      Other ads regularly offer "fuel available" and give the mobile phone
numbers of merchants for price quotations.

      Most gas stations in the capital have not received fuel deliveries for
a month because of hard currency shortages for fuel imports by the state oil
procurement monopoly.

      Zimbabwe's Central Statistical Office said last month that annual
inflation reached a record 269 percent and unemployment exceeded 70 percent,
driving many unemployed to scavenge for goods to sell furniture and other

      Ordinary Zimbabweans "get up in the morning and try to find something
to survive on," Robertson said.

      About 6,000 Zimbabwe dollars now buy what 100 Zimbabwe dollars bought
in 1995. The official exchange rate rose from about 8 Zimbabwe dollars to
the U.S. dollar in 1995, to 824-1 this year, alongside a current black
market exchange rate of up to 2,700-1.

      Mugabe, 79, who has been in power for 23 years, traveled to Libya this
week to discuss resuming gasoline supplies that were cut off after Zimbabwe
didn't pay $62 million in arrears for previous shipments.

      Anti-government strikes called by the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change shut down much of the economy June 2-6 but street protests
demanding democratic reform were thwarted by a massive show of force by
police, soldiers and ruling party militiamen.

      The protests appeared to be of little concern to one pro-Mugabe
businessman who threw his 50th birthday party soon afterward. He hired a
replica of a Mississippi paddle steamer on Zimbabwe's northern Lake Kariba.

      The calligraphy for the handwritten dinner place name cards alone cost
five times Zimbabwe's average annual per capita income.
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