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Africa gives Mugabe its blessing to fight West's sanctions

The Times
March 30, 2007

Rob Crilly in Dar es Salaam and Jan Raath in Harare
Zimbabwe's neighbours fell in behind the brutal regime of Robert Mugabe
yesterday and demanded that the West lift all sanctions on his country.

With opposition growing at home and a crumbling economy, pressure was
mounting on the heads of surrounding states to urge their friend and comrade
to reconsider his position. But in a communiqué issued at the end of what
was billed as a make-or-break summit of the Southern African Development
Community (SADC), 14 leaders reaffirmed their solidarity with the veteran
President of Zimbabwe.

Their words will come as a crushing blow to campaigners who believed the
tide to be turning against his increasingly autocratic 27-year rule.

Mr Mugabe smiled as he pushed past rorters in the Tanzanian capital, Dar es
Salaam, and declared himself satisfied. "Excellent meeting," he cried,
clapping his hands gleefully, before climbing into a waiting limousine.

Related Links
  a.. Rebels drag soldiers' bodies through streets
The one concrete result of the meeting was the appointment of President
Mbeki of South Africa - criticised by many for choosing the path of "quiet
diplomacy" on Zimbabwe - to help to encourage dialogue between Mr Mugabe and
his Opposition.

As that decision was being announced, nine activists of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change were brought to court in Harare in connection
with a series of petrol bombings, lawyers said. One, Alec Muchadehama,
confirmed that seven were being held on allegations of attempted murder.

Ian Makone, an MDC national executive member, was accused of having an
unlicensed pistol. Another official faces charges of illegal possession of
explosives. Mr Makone has had to be treated in hospital for injuries
allegedly caused by police assault since October. It is not clear if he was
assaulted in his latest spell in police cells.

The magistrate ordered all nine to be held in custody overnight after
lawyers said that they had been denied access and had been unable to take
instructions. An application to the Harare High Court demanding the release
of opposition activists was filed yesterday, but lawyers were still waiting
for a hearing as night fell.

Police said that nine bombings had been carried out since March 12, which
had injured two people, both police officers, with severe facial burns. They
reported that four police stations had been hit, as well as township homes
or shops of members of Mr Mugabe's ruling Zanu (PF) party.

A passenger train, a railway line and, in the latest attack on Wednesday
night, a fuel tanker had been targeted. Only minor damage had been reported.
All but one of the attacks - in the western city of Bulawayo - have been in

The MDC has denied government charges that it is mounting a "terror bombing
campaign". Police swooped in Harare on Wednesday, raiding about 20 homes
before dawn and MDC headquarters at lunchtime, arresting about another 60

Mr Mugabe's Government has faced mounting criticism from Western countries,
which have already imposed a broad array of sanctions on his regime,
especially since the arrest and beating of Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC
leader, this month. Mr Tsvangirai was said to have been among those arrested
at the headquarters, but was released for medical treatment, still suffering
from dizziness from his original beating.

At the end of the two-day SADC meeting, its chairman, President Kikwete of
Tanzania, said that Zimbabwe was characterised by confrontation.

"We have the Opposition complaining that their democratic rights have been
infringed and we have a Government also complaining," he said. "And we have
an Opposition engaging in violence." He added that dialogue was the only way

Mr Mugabe had outlined Zimbabwe's economic state to the 13 other
representatives of Southern African nations, blaming "illegal" sanctions
imposed by the West for spiralling inflation - of 1,700 per cent - and a
lack of basic commodities.

He also detailed plans to bring forward parliamentary elections slated for
2010 so that they would coincide with next year's presidential vote.

The MDC's leading faction reacted angrily last night to the outcome of the
summit. Tendai Biti, the MDC secretary-general, demanded to know why the
summit leaders had failed to condemn the recent wave of violent repression
against the Opposition.

"I don't hear them condemning the violence, the state of emergency, the
banning of public meetings," Mr Biti said. "I'm very sceptical."

The neighbours

- Southern African Development Community formed as Southern African
Development Co-ordination Conference in 1980, with nine members

- Adopted its present name in 1992

- The headquarters are in Gaborone, Botswana

- Total membership is 14 countries, numbering more than 200 million people

- It approved military intervention in Lesotho in 1998 to restore order
after an army mutiny

- It approved a new security pact in 2003

Source: Reuters, SADC

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African leaders duck showdown with Mugabe

Financial Times

By Tony Hawkins and Alec Russell in Johannesburg
Published: 29/3/2007 | Last Updated: 29/3/2007 20:15 London Time

Southern African leaders shied away on Thursday from taking President Robert
Mugabe to task over Zimbabwe's escalating crisis, instead calling for the
easing of western sanctions and for renewed dialogue between Mr Mugabe and
his opponents.

An an emergency summit SADC leaders mandated South Africa's President Thabo
Mbeki to facilitate mediation efforts. The move marked South Africa's formal
re-engagement in the search for a political settlement in Zimbabwe - after a
hiatus of several years - due to Pretoria's frustration at the lack of

In an apparent gesture to Mr Mugabe however, they also called for Britain to
honour historic commitments to fund Zimbabwe's land reforms.

Mr Mugabe reportedly left the summit without making any comment but his
spokesman earlier said that the Zimbabwean leader would "continue to tell
the west to go hang as long as those [western] concerns undermine the
sovereignty of the country."

Expectations for the meeting were low, given the Zimbabwean leader's track
record for holding sway over southern African peers who still regard him as
the doyen of the region's liberation-era leaders.

However, the summit took place amid growing alarm within the region at the
potential repercussions of Zimbabwe's spiralling economic collapse on
neighbouring countries, and with officials from South Africa and some other
countries issuing rare criticism of recent repression of Zimbabwe's

In the run-up to the meeting there were repeated calls in the west for
southern Africa leader's to break with their policy of "quiet diplomacy" by
publicly condemning Mr Mugabe's repressive rule and persuading him to step

However, officials in South Africa and elsewhere in the region cautioned
during the meeting that any condemnation risked only strengthening Mr Mugabe
who has long capitalised on his record of defiance of western pressure.

In an interview with the Financial Times Trevor Manuel, South Africa's
finance minister, defended South Africa's record saying: "What would it
achieve bugling from the rooftops?"

Perhaps more important for Mr Mugabe is Friday's meeting of the central
committee of his ruling Zanu-PF party to discuss the timetable for
presidential elections and effectively his own future as leader of the

At the party's politburo meeting on Wednesday Mr Mugabe's supporters said
agreement had been reached on the timing of elections and on who would be
the party's candidate in the election scheduled for March next year.

One scenario being floated on Thursday was for the party to hold a
presidential primary to choose its candidate.

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Mugabe told not to contest elections at African summit

Independent, UK

By Basildon Peta in Dar es Salaam
Published: 30 March 2007

Southern African leaders, gathered in Tanzania to discuss the crisis in
Zimbabwe, have told Robert Mugabe not to stand in next year's elections and
to engage his opponents in writing a new constitution.

He was given this "polite" advice at an extraordinary summit yesterday of
the Southern African Development Community (SADC). South Africa's President
Thabo Mbeki was put in charge of mediating between President Mugabe and his

The news came as nine Zimbabwean opposition activists were charged for
allegedly being "operatives" involved in fire bombings. The main opposition
party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has denied it is involved in
an armed terror campaign.

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, who is the current SADC chairman, said
yesterday that the issue of Mugabe's retirement had not arisen. But sources
have told The Independent that the SADC leaders had "politely" urged him not
to seek re-election next year.

President Mugabe responded by saying the final decision rested with his
party. But a senior official of one of the SADC states said they were
confident he would not seek re-election.

Another official said it would have been foolhardy to expect SADC leaders to
deride Mugabe by publicly announcing that they had urged him to retire.

Today, the Central Committee of President Mugabe's ruling ZanuPF party is
due to meet in Harare to decide on his future.

On his previous insistence that he wouldn't talk to opposition or allow the
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai to rule the country, President Kikwetesaid
President Mugabe was willing to be bound by the decisions the summit had

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ZANU PF urges party youths to 'silence opposition'

Zim Online

Friday 30 March 2007

      By Chenai Maramba

      KAROI - Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU PF party political commissar Elliot
Manyika has called on party youths and war veterans to prepare for a
campaign of violence against the opposition, which he said had to be
"silenced at all costs".

      Zimbabwe holds a presidential election as scheduled next year as well
as early elections for Parliament after President Robert Mugabe abandoned
plans to postpone the presidential poll to 2010.

      The 83-year old Mugabe expects ZANU PF's central committee meeting
today to endorse him as candidate for the party in the presidential poll
although some senior officials in the party are pushing for him to quit at
the expiry of his term in March 2008.

      Manyika, who spoke on Wednesday night at a hotel in the farming town
of Karoi about 180km north-west of Harare, said the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) had to be taught that Zimbabwe's independence "was
won through blood".

      The youths and veterans of the country's 1970s independence war would
spearhead ZANU PF's campaign for next year's election while the army and
police would back the ruling party, according to Manyika.

      He said: "We have to gear up for violence against the opposition and
we have to silence them at all costs especially here in the home province of
our President (Karoi is in Mugabe's home province of Mashonaland West). We
have the army, police on our side and let's teach them lessons that this
country was won through blood."

      War veterans and the youth militias have been the centrepiece of
Mugabe and ZANU PF's electioneering machine since 2000, unleashing violence,
terror and murder against MDC supporters to ensure victory for the ruling

      On the other hand, the army and police have been accused of either
aiding ZANU PF youth militias or war veterans in committing violence against
government opponents or simply turning a blind eye.

      At least a hundred MDC activists have been killed during political
violence since 2000.

      The European Union, United States, New Zealand, Switzerland and
Australia have imposed targeted sanctions against Mugabe and his top
officials in part to punish them for allowing war veterans and youths
militia to commit political violence and human rights abuses.

      Mugabe and ZANU PF deny condoning political violence and human rights
abuses and say the Western sanctions are a punishment for their seizure of
land from white farmers for redistribution to landless blacks.

      Manyika's call for violence against the opposition comes as Southern
African Development Community leaders this week met in Tanzania to try and
push Mugabe to agree to dialogue with the MDC to find a solution to Zimbabwe's
political and economic crisis. - ZimOnline

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SADC to pay dearly for dithering on Zimbabwe

Zim Online

Friday 30 March 2007

By Tsungai Murandu

HARARE - Analysts have warned that southern Africa could ultimately pay a
high price for "soft peddling" on Zimbabwe's deteriorating political crisis
as the Harare economy continues to blight the region's growth.

The analysts charged that the longer Southern African Development Community
(SADC) leaders took to solve Zimbabwe's crisis, the greater the likelihood
of their own political landscape and economies catching the "Harare breeze".

"There is a false sense of security amongst most SADC leaders who don't
realise that the best way to safeguard your own house from a fire in the
neighbour's house is to ensure that you help that neighbour to quickly put
out a fire at his house," said political scientist Eldred Masunungure.

The analysts spoke as SADC leaders met in Tanzania for a special regional
summit to discuss the deteriorating political situation in Zimbabwe and the
Democratic Republic of the Congo.

President Robert Mugabe's government, accused of intolerance of political
opposition, has come under fire since the arrest and subsequent torture of
its opponents early this month.

The government on 11 March arrested main opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai and about 50 other government

Tsvangirai was subsequently assaulted by suspected army commandos in police
custody, triggering an international outcry calling for Mugabe to respect
the rule of law and to tolerate dissension.

However, most observers in Harare were yesterday of the view that
notwithstanding public pronouncements that might come out of the Tanzanian
summit, SADC leaders would fail to pin the 83-year-old Zimbabwean leader who
has escaped previous censure from his regional colleagues.

"The best we can expect from the summit is an acknowledgement that a
settlement has to be found to the Zimbabwe crisis but none among the leaders
can stand up to Mugabe to tell him his actions are hurting the rest of the
region," said an economist with one of Zimbabwe's biggest commercial banks
who spoke on condition he was not named.

The economist said the central position of Zimbabwe should be a good reason
for the SADC leaders to want to seek a lasting settlement to the country's

Zimbabwe is in the middle of the 14-member regional bloc that stretches from
South Africa to Tanzania and is targeting the setting up of a free trade
zone by 2008.

The success of the free trade area - part of a raft of economic milestones
set up between 2008 and 2016 - is premised on the condition that there is
peace in southern Africa and that all the economies are stable.

A moribund Zimbabwean economy could put spanners in the works to the
regional plans.

A politically volatile Zimbabwe could significantly curtail the free
movement of goods and people across the region. The country offers the
shortest and cheapest route for imports by countries in the north of the
Zambezi river.

"Delays in finding a settlement to the Zimbabwe crisis has, therefore,
far-reaching implications for the region than just political solidarity the
leaders have always cited whenever the country comes up for discussion,"
said the bank economist.

The analysts warned that there is also the likelihood that Western countries
such as the United States and Britain could start squeezing regional
economic powerhouse South Africa to take stronger action on Harare.

These countries could easily initiate the collapse of the South African
economy in retaliation to President Thabo Mbeki's "quiet diplomacy" stance
on Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwean economy - adjudged by the World Bank to be the world's
fastest shrinking economy outside a war zone - has forced many people to
leave for other countries, with more than two million now settled in South
Africa and several more in Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia.

At about 1 730 percent, the country's inflation is the highest in the
world. - ZimOnline

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Time may be short for Mugabe, but what then?

The Telegraph

By Con Coughlin
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 30/03/2007

      Inside abroad


      Imagine a world without Robert Mugabe. Imagine Zimbabwe, once the
economic jewel of the African continent, restored to its former glory.

      When officials at South Africa's foreign ministry start whispering to
visiting American businessmen - as they did earlier this week - that a coup
in Harare is on the cards for some time in mid-April, there is every reason
to believe that the wind of change is about to blow the cantankerous old
devil out of his presidential palace.
      The sudden change in Pretoria's attitude to Mugabe is just one of the
many factors that have raised expectations throughout Africa that the
dictator's 27-year rule of fear is finally drawing to a close.

      But if Mugabe goes, will Zimbabwe's salvation inevitably follow?

      Getting rid of the dictator would certainly be a step in the right
direction, a move that finally seems to have found acceptance within South
Africa's ruling African National Congress party (ANC), which previously had
been unwilling to criticise openly a fellow comrade from the long struggle
against white oppression.

      If Mugabe wanted to crack the heads of a few white farmers and drive
them from their farms, that was his affair.

      And if he wanted to terrorise Zimbabwe's only effective opposition
party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the South African
government would turn a blind eye, especially as most senior ANC officials -
including the current president, Thabo Mbeki - regard the MDC as little more
than a front for disfranchised white colonialists.

      That the ANC cadres are finally losing patience with their northern
neighbour is bad news for Mugabe.

      One sign of the subtle change taking place in the Mbeki government's
outlook was the not-so-secret visit Joice Mujuru, Zimbabwe's vice-president
and long-time Mugabe crony, made to South Africa last week for private talks
with ANC officials.

      Mujuru is just one leading figure within Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF
party who is opposed to the 83-year-old Mugabe's proposition that he extend
his presidency until 2015.

      Nor are the South Africans confining their diplomatic overtures to

      Despite the ANC's visceral dislike of the MDC, several senior
officials from the opposition group were invited this month to talks in
Pretoria which the South Africans described as "very positive".

      And there are many other factors that suggest events are spiralling
beyond Mugabe's control, such as the widespread devastation caused by the
drought Zimbabwe has experienced this summer.

      Past chronic food shortages in Zimbabwe have been caused by the
government's gross mismanagement of the country's agriculture, and the
regime has been bailed out with grain shipments from its African neighbours.

      This time Mugabe needs to look elsewhere for assistance, namely Europe
and America, and neither Brussels nor Washington are inclined to lend
assistance without first securing a commitment from Mugabe to cease his
wilful violation of the constitution.

      Add to this the groundswell of public discontent within Zimbabwe at
the country's appalling economic plight and it is obvious to all but the
most obdurate of politicians that radical change is not only necessary but

      Mugabe is not just obdurate; he is violent and capricious, as his
decision to order the arrest of MDC leader Morgan Tsvangerai earlier this
week amply demonstrated.

      Tsvangerai was arrested hours before Mugabe was due to fly out to
Tanzania to attend a summit of southern African leaders where he faced sharp
criticism. It was Mugabe's way of telling his fellow Africans, "I'm still in

      This claim, though, has an increasingly hollow ring, especially as key
figures within ZANU-PF, such as Mujuru, are no longer making any attempt to
conceal either their disaffection or their ambition.

      One of the more depressing features of the current crisis is that,
even if Mugabe were to go, his successor will most likely emerge from among
the Marxist cohorts that control ZANU-PF.

      The West, of course, still clings to the hope that a more moderate,
less ideological figure might surface, which is why it has been unequivocal
in its support for the MDC.

      But even before Mugabe launched his latest clampdown, the MDC was weak
and divided.

      Joice Mujuru, generally regarded as holding pole position in the
succession stakes, is hardly a figure to inspire confidence.

      A veteran of the guerrilla war that eventually brought ZANU-PF to
power, she owes her political prominence to her husband Solomon, who for
many years commanded Zimbabwe's armed forces, and therefore bears
responsibility for many of the atrocities committed against the country's
civilian population.

      Solomon Mujuru, who acquired vast personal wealth while the rest of
Zimbabwe starved, is credited with being instrumental in Mugabe's
appointment following independence in 1980; but the country's dire economic
situation has prompted even him to ditch his loyalty to his erstwhile
protégé, and he has been wooing support from British, American and French

      When South African officials talk of a potential coup in Zimbabwe,
Solomon Mujuru's name is never far from their lips.

      For those desperate to see the back of Mugabe, the replacement of a
political dictator with a military one might have its attractions, but this
would completely fail to serve Zimbabwe's long-term interests.

      What Zimbabwe needs is not more of the autocratic Marxist dogma that
has brought the country to its knees; it needs to start again, just as it
did after the 1980 Lancaster House agreement ended years of bloody civil

      The wounds Mugabe has inflicted on the country's constitutional and
democratic fabric will need outside help if they are to heal properly.

      But given the world's past temerity in confronting Zimbabwe's plight,
it is unlikely that Mugabe's removal will lead to any tangible or immediate
improvement in the country's fortunes.

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Mugabe spies get massive salary hike

Zim Online

Friday 30 March 2007

By Regerai Marwezu

MASVINGO - President Robert Mugabe's cash-strapped government has awarded
hefty salary increments to feared Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO)
agents who are credited with keeping the veteran leader in power.

In a confidential memorandum dated 1 March 2007, which was leaked to
ZimOnline this week, the government promised to constantly review the
salaries of the secret state agents in line with country's rampant

"Your salaries have been increased with immediate effect to cushion you from
the economic hardships in view of the good work you have been doing for the
government and country.

"Details of your salary structures will be communicated to individuals. We
appreciate the good work in view of attempts by the West to divide the
country," read part of the memorandum.

Although the memo did not mention any figures, sources within the CIO said
the lowest paid member of the spy agency now takes home about Z$5 million a
month, up from the about Z$600 000 that they used to earn before.

The new salaries are way above the Z$90 000 that ordinary workers earn in

The new salaries are also way above what professionals like doctors and
nurses, who downed tools for over two months last December to demand better
pay, are taking home in Zimbabwe.

Provincial Intelligence Officers (PIO), who are normally in charge of
provinces, had their salaries increased to about Z$10 million a month, up
from the Z$1 million that they used to earn before the increment.

Apart from salaries, CIO agents also get generous entertainment allowances.

State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa who is in charge of the spy agency
confirmed the salary hike but refused to disclose any figures.

"Everyone has been getting salary increments and so did members of the CIO.
I cannot say how much they received because one's salary is confidential,"
said Mutasa.

The secret state agents together with the military are credited with keeping
Mugabe in power over the past 27 years. Human rights groups accuse the spy
agency of brutally suppressing the opposition to keep Mugabe in power.

Mugabe is currently facing renewed pressure from the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party and Western governments after he
indicated that he would seek re-election at the expiry of his term next
year. - ZimOnline

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Harare denies Mujuru resignation reports

Zim Online

Friday 30 March 2007

By Patricia Mpofu

HARARE - The Zimbabwean government last night rejected as "false and
malicious" media reports that Vice-President Joice Mujuru had resigned.

In its lead story yesterday, the United Kingdom-based The Zimbabwean
newspaper said Mujuru tendered her resignation letter to President Robert
Mugabe about two weeks ago.

The newspaper said Mugabe had however turned down Mujur's resignation.

Mujuru, who was until last month considered among the front-runners to
succeed Mugabe, is said to have fallen out with the veteran President
following Mugabe's statement that he would seek re-election next year.

At a hastily arranged Press conference last night, Zimbabwe's Information
Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu categorically denied that Mujuru had resigned
saying the newspaper reports were a complete fabrication.

"It is not only malicious and hurtful to the honourable Vice-President
Mujuru but is a complete falsehood which is the work of our political
enemies who dream for such a development to happen," said Ndlovu.

Relations between Mugabe and Mujuru are said to be strained after the
President publicly attacked his vice-president in a television interview on
the succession issue on  the eve of his birthday last February.

A faction of the ruling ZANU PF party led by former army commander Solomon
Mujuru, Joice's husband, is also said to be at the forefront in efforts to
scuttle plans by Mugabe to stand in next year's election. - ZimOnline

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'Time's Up for Mugabe'

Cape Argus (Cape Town)

March 29, 2007
Posted to the web March 29, 2007

Basildon Peta And Joe Lauria

President Thabo Mbeki and other Southern African regional leaders decided
last night to tell President Robert Mugabe it is time to go, well-placed
regional intelligence sources said.

They would tell him they could no longer support him and that he should
retire when his current term expires, the sources said.

Their recommendations were to be tabled today at the summit of the
14-country SADC in Dar es Salaam.

The move was apparently agreed by the group of six countries - known as the
double troika - that make up the executive committees of the SADC.

Mbeki was invited to join them last night because of South Africa's
influence in the region.

The sources said the executive committees had agreed that Mugabe should be
told that his violent crackdown on his political opponents and the meltdown
of the Zimbabwean economy had made it impossible for SADC to continue
supporting him.

They had recommended that he also be told that the spiralling political and
economic crisis in Zimbabwe was affecting the region badly.

As a result, it was recommended that the SADC leaders advise Mugabe not to
stand again - as he has vowed to do - when his term expires next year, nor
extend his term until 2010 by changing the constitution.

The double-troika meeting also recommended that an Eminent Persons Group of
former African presidents, headed by former Mozambican leader Joaquim
Chissano, should be appointed to facilitate political dialogue between the
ruling Zanu-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) political
opposition as well as civil society.

This would address constitutional issues and the rule of law.

In the UN's Human Rights Council today, the European Union and others
attacked the Mugabe government over its violent suppression of demonstrators
and political activists opposing Mugabe's rule, AP reports.

But Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said Zimbabwe would be much
better off if the UK stayed out of its affairs.

"I think Zimbabwe would be better managed if there wasn't so much obsession
about Zimbabwe," she said in New York last night amid mounting criticism
about the government's approach to the crisis.

"Britain should actually let the Zimbabweans find a solution for themselves,
not impose one," she said in an interview with the Foreign Service.

"Any sustainable solution would put Zimbabweans in conflict with the people

She said criticism of the government's response was "unjustified".

"We hope at the end we can manage it out of the crisis rather than pushing
it to a further crisis."

Asked whether South Africa's standing would be damaged if Mugabe could not
be persuaded to step down next year, she said: "Why should we speculate
about something that has not happened?"

Dlamini-Zuma was in New York to chair a Security Council meeting on
strengthening ties between the African Union and the UN.

The Security Council, at Britain's insistence, is to hear a briefing today
from a UN official on the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe.

South Africa decided not to use its position as current council president to
try to block the briefing.

But it made it clear it does not believe the council should act on Zimbabwe
or even include it on its agenda.

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Mugabe Has Totally Failed to Take Care of the Jewel

The East African Standard (Nairobi)

March 30, 2007
Posted to the web March 29, 2007

John Mwazemba

Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe once wrote a frightening indictment about
African leadership: 'Ordinary citizens in Africa are like sane people who
find themselves trapped in a dangerous and rowdy madhouse. The lunatics may
be outnumbered, but they own the place.'

The latest lunatic to break from the asylum is Zimbabwe's President Robert
Mugabe. In African villages, mad people stone or beat others with sticks.

In a bout of madness of equal or more degree, Mugabe took a big stick and
cracked opposition leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai's skull. It is not the first
time Mugabe has lost it. Indeed, there was a time the demons struck so hard
that his bishop was fed up and prayed for his death.

Writing in Hello Africa, Tell Me How Are You Doing, veteran Ghanaian
journalist Kofi Osei captures the moment when the Bishop gave up: 'Desperate
times required desperate measures. Who ever thought that a day would come
when a disciple of Christ would pray for the speedy death of a member of his
Church Ñ and a Head of State at that?

'It happened in Zimbabwe on the eve of another fraudulent election (in
2005). The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo, Monsignor Pius Ncube, told
the world he had prayed for the President to die to end Zimbabweans'

Hero and villain

This astounding revelation was akin to Catholic theologian Dietrich
Bonhoeffer who, believing the death of Hitler would be for the greater good,
joined a plot to assassinate the Fuehrer in the 1940s. It backfired and the
unfortunate Bonhoeffer was hanged at a Nazi concentration camp'.

What has been surprising is the kind of respect and even admiration that
Mugabe has received. He has got standing ovations from many African forums
and has been praised by Internet bloggers as a hero!

As a continent, we must be in real want of heroes if Mugabe is one. Osei
writes about a survey by the punchy, London-based New African in August,
2004, that asked readers to nominate Ôthe greatest 100 Africans of all time'
(continental and diasporan).

'Mugabe came a thunderous third after former South African President Nelson
Mandela and founding Ghanian President and Pan-Africanist Kwame Nkrumah.
Mugabe was considered greater than South African President Thabo Mbeki, then
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere
and former Mozambican President Samora Machel.

He was also rated higher than former South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
Achebe, Shaka the Zulu, Hannibal, the Queen of Sheba and Diaspora greats
such as Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jnr and Muhammad Ali,' the
magazine wrote.

Mugabe's terror constitute genocide

Kofi wonders: 'Why are so many Africans ready to applaud a patent despot who
has run to the ground a gem of a country and visited so much hell on his
people? Does it all boil down to the emotional kick we get from his ability
to kick in the teeth of the whites in Zimbabwe?

What lies behind this mystifying inability, or refusal, by most leaders of
the African Union to be Ôjudgmental' on the disastrous, some say criminal,
behaviour of President Mugabe?'

Do African leaders have to wait for US Secretary of State Ms Condolezza Rice
and British Prime Minister Tony Blair to speak before they can gather
courage to condemn Mugabe's actions? The silence has encouraged Mugabe and
of late he has taken his dictatorship a notch higher.

Joshua Kurlantzick aptly put it: 'Mugabe's terror may even constitute
genocide since he has deliberately organised mass murder against his
opponents. All the while, Africa's new democrats say virtually nothing.'

It is a surprise that African dictators have been allowed by other leaders
in the continent to muzzle democracy, kill dissidents and shut down media
houses without a voice of condemnation.

He has thrown the jewel to dogs

Sudan's President Omar el Bashir is roasting civilians with aerial
bombardment in Darfur and Mugabe is clobbering the leader of official
opposition. But our leaders turn a blind eye.

There should have been a chorus of condemnation by African leaders from the
African Union, Igad or Nepad and threats of sanctions to sober up Mugabe's

Instead, he receives standing ovations and praises for daring whites and
their agents Ñ the opposition in his country. He should be ashamed of
running down a country that was once a breadbasket to a point where its
citizens are begging for food.

It is reported that at independence in 1980, Nyerere told Mugabe: 'Robert,
you have inherited a beautiful jewel Ñ make good use of it.' He did not.
Instead, he has thrown it to dogs and it has become a country of famished
people. African leaders concerned about the continent should condemn
Mugabe's actions from the rooftops.

In African Democracy: A Lost Promise, Tutu is quoted saying: 'We Africans
should hang our heads in shame. How can what is happening in Zimbabwe elicit
hardly a word of concern, let alone condemnation, from us leaders of Africa?
Do we really care about human rights?

Do we care that people of flesh and blood, fellow Africans, are being
treated like rubbish, almost worse than they were ever treated by rabid

The writer is the publishing manager of Macmillan Kenya Publishers

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Zimbabwe Opposition Picks Up Pieces Following Headquarters Raid


      By Irwin Chifera, Blessing Zulu, Howard Lesser
      29 March 2007

Officials of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change gave
reporters a tour Thursday of their Harare offices that police raided the day
before, arresting more than 60 officials and staff, most of whom who
remained jailed 24 hours later.

Officials of the MDC faction led by party founder Morgan Tsvangirai said
police seized computers and documents and caused damage estimated at
US$200,000 in the raid, staged Wednesday morning just before Tsvangirai was
to speak to reporters.

Authorities arrested more than 60 MDC officials, staff and supporters as
well as some journalists who had shown up for the news conference, faction
officials said.

Faction Secretary General Tendai Biti deplored what he said was escalating
official violence against the opposition. He rejected police accusations
that the opposition had been stockpiling ammunition and was behind a recent
string of firebombings.

Correspondent Irwin Chifera of VOA's Studio 7 For Zimbabwe reported from

Meanwhile, a lawyer representing MDC officials, staff and activists arrested
in the crackdown said some of them had been tortured while being held by

Of the more than 60 activists held by police, only nine appeared in
magistrate court, Thursday. The nine were charged with attempted murder,
firebombing police stations and other facilities, and the illegal possession
of explosives.

MDC lawyers filed an urgent high court application seeking relief for their
clients and a hearing was set for Friday. The lawyers said police have
denied them access to their clients, whom they say have also been deprived
of food and medical care.

Intelligence sources said the crackdown was ordered by President Robert
Mugabe. Security sources said the president's office had ordered the Central
Intelligence Organization to punish opposition members under "Operation Bash

Lawyer Alec Muchadehama said all of the nine who appeared in court today
were remanded back into police custody despite their serious injuries.

The human rights group Amnesty International expressed outrage about
Wednesday's arrest of Tsvangirai and other MDC officials and staff.

Amnesty Zimbabwe country specialist Rowley Brucken told VOA reporter Howard
Lesser that Harare police must end what his group called "the brutal
harassment, torture, and intimidation of opposition activists."

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Zimbabwe's Ills Mostly Self-Inflicted, Say Bishops

Zenit, Rome

Date: 2007-03-29

Issue Appeal to End the Violence

ACCRA, Ghana, MARCH 29, 2007 ( A fact-finding group sent by
bishops to evaluate Zimbabwe's situation came to a stark conclusion: Largely
self-inflicted violence, chaos and anarchy are leading to despair in the
southern African nation.

The Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM)
sponsored a fact-finding mission to the embroiled country.

Members of its standing committee are meeting this week to reflect on the
findings and have issued a report. They echo the observations made by the
Zimbabwean bishops' conference in a recent pastoral letter.

The SECAM message said Zimbabwe is characterized by the collapse of
political, social, educational and economic structures.

It found that in the chaos, political opponents and "ordinary citizens
(have) become victims of violent acts, meted out for no legitimate reason"
while basic needs are hardly met with food unaffordable.

"Drugs and medical services are far beyond the reach" of most of the
population, the bishops said.

"The situation in Zimbabwe is not the result of a natural catastrophe or
only of adverse international conditions," their message said. "It is
largely self-inflicted. It is a crisis of moral leadership and of bad

The bishops' report called it a "situation of despair" and explained that
some 4 million Zimbabweans have left the country in exile. Neighboring
countries are thus also affected by Zimbabwe's situation, they explained.

Today, meanwhile, African leaders put South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki
in charge of defusing Zimbabwe's deepening political crisis, leaving him to
mediate between President Robert Mugabe and his opponents, according to

A special summit of the Southern African Development Community also urged
the West to drop sanctions against Mugabe's government and appealed to
Britain to "honor its commitments" to fund land reforms in its former
colony, the agency said.

In Jesus' name

The SECAM bishops, in their message, asked "the government of Zimbabwe, in
the name of Jesus, to immediately stop the violence. And we urge all the
political leaders of Zimbabwe to be fair, just and compassionate in
governing their people."

The bishops also appealed to many African leaders, including President John
Agyekum Kufuor, chairman of the African Union, to "prevail upon the
government of Zimbabwe to immediately take measures to stop the violence and
carnage that is engulfing the country."

"The major motivation of the Church's involvement in the development of
people has been the promotion of the dignity of the human person, made in
the image and the likeness of God," the bishops said.

"As a Church we are aware of the challenges that lie ahead of us and will do
all within our means to play our prophetic role and carry out the divine
mission entrusted to us. That is why we shall continue to speak out for the
voiceless, the marginalized and the oppressed in society."

Finally, the bishops requested prayer: "We also urge all churches and people
of faith and good will in Africa to join the people of Zimbabwe in their
national day of prayer scheduled for April 14."

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The Prayer Meeting that never happened

The Save Zimbabwe Campaign

On Sunday the 11th of March a Day of Prayer was to be held in Harare. It was
organised by the Save Zimbabwe Campaign, a broad alliance made up of
Churches, Women's Organisations, Trade Unions, Opposition Political Parties,
Student Bodies and other organisations. There were many reasons why they
felt their country needed prayer.

When reduced to statistics Zimbabwe is a place of staggering sadness.
1 in 4 children in Zimbabwe are orphans - many orphaned as a result of
Murambastvina- Mugabe's urban cleansing pogrom where 700,000 homes
destroyed. An unbelievable 1 in 3 Zimbabweans have fled their country.
Zimbabwe has a total population of 12 million. Of this 3 million Zimbabweans
are believed to be in South Africa with another million in the UK and other
countries. They have fled the world's highest inflation rate of over 1700%
and rising, an unemployment rate of over 85%, and the world's lowest age
expectancy - just 34 years for women and 37 for men. And things are set to
worsen. Zimbabwe - a net exporter of maize just a few short years ago - will
need to import 1.2 million tonnes of maize in the year ahead to prevent mass
starvation. The Broad Alliance had so many reasons to pray for their

But the Prayer Meeting never happened.  The Zimbabwe Government unleashed an
orgy of violence to make sure that it didn't happen. The World watched and
listened in horror as a young MDC activist, Gift Tandare, was shot and
killed by Police in scenes reminiscent of Sharpeville. The world watched
Morgan Tsvangirai and 50 other Alliance leaders hobble out of the Court
building, nursing cracked skulls and broken arms and legs, injuries
sustained at the hands and feet of the Zimbabwean Police Force. The world
listened as the husband of 64 year old Sekai Holland described his wife's
savage beating - "She's been beaten all over her body. She's got lacerations
and very extensive bruising. In her case there were 15 thugs taking turns
and a woman jumping on her with her boots. When they finished, they
deliberately broke her arm and foot and then forced her to walk on it."

Mugabe knew the World was watching. He told the Western Leaders they could
'go hang' and said he would continue to 'bash' the opposition. And he has.
Nelson Chamisa, MDC spokesman, was pulled out of car at the Harare
International Airport by 8 Government agents and beaten with iron bars.
Chamisa was on his way to an EU parliamentary meeting in Brussels. He is now
fighting for his life in hospital with a fractured skull and other injuries.
Since Sunday the 11th literally hundreds of opposition leaders have been
beaten and tortured in an orgy of state sponsored violence, six have been
shot. And in act of crass brutality Mugabe's CIO agents stole Gift Tandare's
bloodied corpse and gave it a pauper's burial- so as to prevent his funeral
from becoming a rallying point.

And still the World has done nothing. The poor, bleeding and beaten people
of Zimbabwe, who have had war waged upon them by their own government for
the last seven years, have been waiting for the World to help them - in vain
We know Mugabe will do nothing to help his people. In a recent speech he
said "We e will never collapse, never ever. We may have
our droughts, our poverty, but as a people we shall never collapse,
never ever. We pride ourselves as being top, really, on the African
ladder. We feel that we have actually been advancing rather than
going backwards." And just this week he ordered his Reserve Bank to raise
Three Million rand to build a shrine to commemorate his life.

Clearly the Prayer Meeting must happen. Equally clearly it cannot take place
in Zimbabwe. We, the members of The Save Zimbabwe Campaign, ask the people
and the Churches of South Africa to come together on the 15th of April to
pray for our beloved country. Please do not turn your backs upon us. Please
show us that whilst the government of South Africa, might have turned their
backs upon their neighbour, her people haven't. We ask you to Pray for

Should you wish to participate and should you require further information
please do not hesitate to contact me.

Eric de Jong


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JAG Job Opportunities dated 29 March 2007

Please send any job opportunities for publication in this newsletter to: JAG
Job Opportunities; or

(Ad inserted 9 March 2007)


We have a vacancy or business partnership available for a sober, capable,
dedicated, reliable and experienced Vegetable Farmer. Specific experience in
the growing of tomatoes, cabbages, potatoes, tobacco, onions and carrots
would be advantageous.

The successful candidate must be able to work independently, identify and
rectify problems on his own, be an improviser and maintain good labor
relations. He must have knowledge of soil preparation, pests, and disease
and the control thereof, fertilization, sprinkler, center pivot and drip
irrigation, harvesting, handling and packing process, machinery and

Remuneration package will depend on experience and abilities.

Interested individuals can e-mail their CV to   Please
mention if you are interested in employment and if you would consider a
business partnership.


(Ad inserted 9 March 2007)

Wanted Manager for Dodhill Garden Centre Restuarant.

It is a position that would suit a semi retired person, male or female, and
entails supervising the kitchen staff who are well trained, and supervising
the garden centre nursery, which also has trained staff, so all in all it is
more of a supervisory position.

The position requires a working knowledge of computers, mainly spread sheets
for stock control.

Our contact details are as follows:

P O Box 102, Chegutu, 091 273056, 053 - 3555


(Ad inserted 9 March 2007)


Help needed by elderly lady owner of a national monument garden and home
situated 5 km from stellenbosch.

 prefer retired or semi-retired couple or single lady.  Farming or similar
practical background would be a great asset.  South african residency would
be necessary.

Private accommodation in a 2-bedroom cottage in a group of cottages adjacent
to the main homestead in a peaceful and magnificent country setting only 10
minutes drive from shops.

 duties would be part time,  assisting owner with activities such as local
driving, shopping, paying garden and domestic staff, incidental faxing and
phoning, preparing occasional meals, handyman repairs and light maintenance
around the buildings and gardens, arranging for servicing  and repairs of
motor vehicles, lawnmowers and similar activities.

This is very much a flexitime position with minimal routine.  You would be
able to pursue other interests and activities in the area.

 Remuneration comprises the cottage accommodation and a salary commensurate
with duties and individual requirements, by negotiation.

 we are hoping to fill this position by late april.

Please reply, providing relevant information about yourself and with contact
phone numbers,  to the lady's son in harare, email or fax
263 (0)4 70 70 35.  Confidentiality and prompt response assured.


(Ad inserted 9 March 2007)

Position Required: GARDENER AND MAID

Ex farm gardener and wife who is a house maid require positions in Harare.
Very honest and reliable couple.

Please Contact Jo on 0912-247001 for info.


(Ad inserted 9 March 2007)

Employment Offered

1. Position for bookkeeper up to trial balance (pastel), to assist with
administration, salary by negotiation.

2. Workshop managers to supervise caterpillar and earthmoving undercarriage
repairs. Mechanical knowledge essential. Salary by negotiation.

For both positions please contact Mr J.Meintjes on cell: 011411117,
0912434293 or
263 4 447180-3


(Ad inserted 15 March 2007)

Employment Offered

Family living on a smallholding in Umwinsidale (+- 12 ha) looking for
"estate manager" to supervise labour, security guards and construction of
various projects on the property. (Boreholes/ irrigation systems/ fencing/

The successful candidate will have a commercial farming background, be good
with labour and procurement, have farm construction skills and should be
knowledgeable on irrigation systems etc.

Competitive package offered which would include allowance for accommodation.

Kindly email CV's to: Email:

Mailing Address: Private Bag 604E, Harare, Zimbabwe

(Ad inserted 15 March 2007)

Employment Offered

Financial manager (accountant or senior bookkeeper)

Experience essential with sound knowledge of computerized accounting
practices to balance sheet.
Incumbent to head a department of 3 subordinates in a long established
family business in Graniteside Harare

 Telephone - Glynis 751904/6 or 751343 or cell 011630164.  Email:


(Ad inserted 15 March 2007)

Experience essential, must be able to manage the following departments :
Transport and fuel control
Security, guard force, in-house & yard
Purchasing & stock control
Telephone - Glynis 751904/6  or 751343 or cell 011630164.  Email:


(Ad inserted 15 March 2007)


Zanzibar -Small 16 bedroomed beach resort on the island of zanzibar ,couple
needed to help in the daily running of the resort , dealing in all aspects
of the hotel, communication skills and good understanding of general
maintenance and must enjoy meeting people and have fun while doing it . must
be flexible . Please look at web site

Areas of responsibility include guest relations, room's check and guest
service. One member of the couple to be in control of housekeeping and
laundry departments and be involved in training. One member to be strong of
food and beverage management and kitchen control



(Ad inserted 15 March 2007)

Employment Offered

Two ladies needed.

Bookkeeping, using Pastel.  Computer literacy required.
Receptionist, required to do banking and pettycash.

Please contact Ann on 485514 (B) or 496261 (H).


(Ad inserted 15 March 2007)

Assistant Management Couple Required

Zanzibar - Small 16 bed-roomed beach resort on the island of Zanzibar,
couple needed to help in the daily running of the resort, dealing in all
aspects of the hotel, communication skills and good understanding of general
maintenance and must enjoy meeting people and have fun while doing it.  Must
be flexible.  Please look at website


Areas of responsibility include guest relations, room's check and guest
service.  One member of the couple to be in control of housekeeping and
laundry departments and be involved in training.  One member to be strong in
food and beverage management and kitchen control.

All emails to:


(Ad inserted 15 March 2007)

Contracts in the DRC (Ad inserted 13/03/07)

Wanted: for  six month renewable contracts in the DRC, three Zimbabwean farm
managers.  One with experience in orchard and plantation crops especially
citrus and bananas, the second with experience in row cropping: potatoes,
maize/soya, wheat and barley and the third with experience in dairy
production.  Formal agricultural qualifications an advantage but not a

Fluency in Swahili preferable but not essential.

Contact: 011610073.


(Ad inserted 23 March 2007)


Looking for a manager for a highly productive pig unit on a Marondera Farm.
Few hundred sows.  Will be up to slaughter level. Person must be self
motivated, dedicated, have good labour relations and have record and
administration skills. Phone early mornings 0912295736


(Ad inserted 23 March 2007)


Lady to run catering organisation in Livingstone, preferably single.
Experience in outdoor catering an advantage Contact with CV to


(Ad inserted 23 March 2007)

Book Keeper/Accountant - Mornings Only

Lahama Trading (Pvt) Ltd in Southerton, Harare requires a Temp, mornings
only Book Keeper/Accountant who must know Pastel Version 8 and will be
required to do Banking and some Admin work also.

Experience in Marketing will be an advantage. Must be available immediately.
This position may become permanent.
We are a PVC Glove Manufacturer.

Phone: 780609 or 0912300995 or email:


(Ad inserted 23 March 2007)

IT Technician

Wanted - IT Technician with standard hardware and network experience.
Papers not necessary but need somebody with reasonable common sense and
motivation.  Contact Donald on 091 2 258159 or 771101/771097-9.


(Ad inserted 23 March 2007)

Farm Manager - Tanzania

Farm manger wanted in Tanzania to manage the Past Governor of the Central
Bank of Tanzania's Farm.

Please contact:  Anna Msutze - 252163/6/7, 722954, 011867328.


(Ad inserted 29 March 2007)

Employment Offered

We are looking for a mature reliable house worker with basic cooking/or
someone who is willing to learn to cook.  The person must be clean, with
recent contactable references.  We are prepared to wait for the right
person.  Excellent accommodation is offered along with a good salary.  Phone
011-614-233 or 04-301467

And a:

A mature, experienced gardener, able to work with minimum supervision,
knowledge of pool and maintaining the garden in tip top condition is
required.  Good salary along with excellent accommodation is offered.  Phone
011-614-233 or 04-301467


(Ad inserted 29 March 2007)


We have a vacancy for a mature/semi retired man to join our team.  The
position would be as workshop manager to be in charge of maintenance and
repairs of all farm equipment.  Accomodation and competitive package offered
for the right person. Situated 30km from Beit Bridge (Zim)

Please send CV/References to or




(Ad inserted 15 March 2007)

Employment Sought

Single male aged 45 mechanic by trade, keen knowledge of nature.  Looking
for a job within the wildlife environment within the SADC Region.

Contact Nick MyBurgh:

References - available on request.


(Ad inserted 15 March 2007)

Employment Sought

25 year old female recently returned from London looking for PA/Secretarial

*  6 1/2 yrs work experience (all in London)
*  Advanced knowledge of all Microsoft Office Programs and other
*  Shorthand 110 wpm
*  Typing 70 wpm
*  Eager to learn and take on new challenges

Please email Louise for cv or further details at


(Ad inserted 15 March 2007)

Active retired man with a variety of skills in the Agricultural, Veterinary
and Wildlife fields, including marketing management and research, seeks a
new, full or part time, challenge. Has the propensity to engage unfamiliar
opportunities, learn new skills and has a flair for innovation. Subject is
computer literate being familiar with most business related Microsoft
programmes. He has good communications skills being multi-lingual. Subject
has clean classes 2, 4 and 5 driver's licences. Any opportunity will be
considered. Phone: Harare 885236 or cell 0912 535737 or e mail at

(Ad inserted 29 March 2007)


Available to oversee construction operations and
alterations/modifications, assess and monitor quality control; submission of
appraisals for repairs and maintenance undertakings, and other associated

For further information please reply to the following contact.

For the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact (updated 29 March 2007)

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Drama as youths storm Angola House over ninjas

By a Correspondent

There was drama at Angola House yesterday when the militant Free-Zim Youth
stormed into the embassy and confronted the Angolan Ambassador over press
reports that President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos would be sending 2 500 of his
feared paramilitary police to  help prop up the Zanu PF government.

As part of their Africa Liberate Zimbabwe campaign, which the youths say is
ideologically built to expose the hypocrisy and question African leader's
credentials, the radical organisation said reports that Angola would be
sending troops to Zimbabwe raised concern that there would be an escalation
of violence against President Robert Mugabe's opponents.

Twelve African youths from Zimbabwe and Ghana teamed up and stormed Angola
House "demanding a clear formal confirmation on the denial that there will
be no Angolan mercenaries to be deployed to Zimbabwe on the 1st of April".

This follows the security agreement signed by Zimbabwe's Kembo Mohadi with
General Roberto Monteiro, the Interior Minister of Angola, recently.

Once inside the embassy, the youths chanted against the idea of sending the
ninjas to Zimbabwe with the Ambassador at first refusing to accept the
protesters' petition titled "Angola don't send Mercenaries to Zimbabwe". In
the petition, the youths urge the Angolan government to stand by its word
that it would not send the ninja to cause mayhem in Zimbabwe.

The Free-Zim Youth say Angola, like all the other SADC countries should
stand in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe and not the Zanu PF
government that they blame for causing so much pain and suffering in the

The Ambassador eventually reluctantly agreed to meet the youths and take
their petition. The youths were assured Angola had no plans to send any
troops to augment Harare's security plans as the resurgent opposition
continues to pose serious threats to the ruling government.

'We are not sending troops to Zimbabwe,' the ambassador said.

The youths demanded the ambassador and the Government of Angola issue a
formal response and statement on the issue. They were given an assurance
that this would be done when they threatened to continue besieging Angola
House on the same issue. The youths later presented a letter to officials at
the South African Embassy telling them that they were watching them and the
other regional leaders closely.

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