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In a wide-ranging, exclusive interview with Sky News' Africa Correspondent, Stuart Ramsay, President Mugabe talks about the economy, land reform, Zimbabwe's relationship with the international community, Tony Blair and George Bush, the domestic opposition, allegations of political repression and corruption - and cricket...

Here is the full transcript of his interview:

STUART RAMSAY: Mr President, there are a number of issues I'd like to talk to you about. I'll start first with the political situation in Zimbabwe today. One of the impediments to substantive negotiations between ZANU PF and the opposition MDC was the opposition's demand that you step down from office. Now they have told us that that demand has gone away, do you think it is now time for negotiations between the two parties to get underway?

ROBERT MUGABE: Well if there is business to negotiate about we will welcome negotiations but if there is no business I don't see why we should talk about negotiations. What I mean is if you have a democratic system running and if your ruling party, naturally it has its policies and is trying to effect its policies on the one hand and the opposition on the other, well the real functions, respective functions of the two are clear. The government is there to govern, the opposition naturally to keep watch, try to criticise government as much as possible in the normal way. They are in parliament, they get their voices heard in parliament, their criticisms are made there and that's the normal way of running a democratic system.

STUART RAMSAY: There are those who say that the election wasn't fair and that they actually...

ROBERT MUGABE: That's what they say. We say the election was fair. We say all the African groups pronounced the election fair. There might have been one odd one which went the way Europe wanted things to go and of course they are a voice not of themselves, not of our people, that is them to see, the voice of Europe, the voice of Mr Blair, Mr Bush.

STUART RAMSAY: International observers were critical of the election.

ROBERT MUGABE: Which international observers?

STUART RAMSAY: A variety of countries.

ROBERT MUGABE: Which ones?

STUART RAMSAY: Britain obviously was one of them, Australia...

ROBERT MUGABE: Great Britain, you know the attitude of Britain, they will never accept anything as right when it is done by us.

STUART RAMSAY: Do you not disagree that the polling stations were closed down in Harare, a million people it's said weren't able to vote.

ROBERT MUGABE: No, that is not true. We opened stations in Harare and the people were able to vote, were then on the third day which the MDC demanded, the stations were opened. What noticed is that those who had voted before were trying to vote again in large numbers and so the stations got closed.

STUART RAMSAY: But before the election took place, I remember it clearly, the voter rolls were confused, people weren't sure where they would vote, which part of the country they had to vote in.

ROBERT MUGABE: No, there might have been some confusion here and there but by and large things were quite correct. I mean we were not running the election for the first time, we had run elections before and we are very faithful to our democratic system and the demands of that system. We have held elections timelessly, every five years and there was very little to learn you know for this last election. Sure, there might have been hitches here and there and there are always hitches, not just here but even in democratic countries, let alone in developing countries and we were prepared to look at the hitches and to try and correct things as effectively as we could but generally the elections went quite smoothly.

STUART RAMSAY: One of the concerns of the international community, and concerns from inside the country as well, has been the level of political violence that appears to accompany Zimbabwean elections. Now there were claims yesterday that ZANU supporters attacked MDC headquarters, there are concerns voiced by Amnesty International that human rights abuses take place, that ZANU PF thugs carry out intimidation and attacks on the opposition. How do you, do you accept that there is political...?

ROBERT MUGABE: You are just looking at violence, alleged violence affecting ZANU PF, what about the other side, have you looked at it also?

STUART RAMSAY: I think it is conceded that is...

ROBERT MUGABE: This recent election, by-election in Lupane, they went there armed, axes, spears, [inaudible] and all, and you saw what the member of Chimanimani did even in parliament, there is more violence from the MDC than there is from ZANU PF.

STUART RAMSAY: One of the allegations is that the ZANU PF youth supporters come from youth training scheme camps, I've been to one of the camps. Why do youths need to learn survival skills and marching on parade grounds, what is the reason for that?

ROBERT MUGABE: Why does a country ever have to run a programme of National Service, that's what you're asking.

STUART RAMSAY: I'm not asking about National Service, this is a youth training scheme, it's basically...

ROBERT MUGABE: It is National Service in a sense, it is a training scheme yes, why not? Why shouldn't we train them?

STUART RAMSAY: Because the outcome is that they take their patriotism too far, take to the streets and believe they are following the party line.

ROBERT MUGABE: No, no, no. Where have they done so? I want examples, they haven't done so, these are the allegations being made by people who do not want us to train the youth, who fear perhaps we are training the youth to be nationalistic, to respect their own culture and respect the African personality, that that might be a danger, you see, to them because then when the situation is amorphous and people do not have that sense of nationalism, then of course you can be undermined very easily and undermined by external forces, that's why, what countries like Britain want us to be so they can be using their neo-colonialist methods, you see, to try and affect our countries by way of sabotage, by way of trying to rule us indirectly.

STUART RAMSAY: But these youths are still, the question is why do they need to have any type of military training? I can't see the point in it. Why aren't they being taught the history in school rather than...?

ROBERT MUGABE: We want National Service, we want to prepare them for any eventuality which might demand, for the country to defend itself.

STUART RAMSAY: Are they brutalised in these camps? There are allegations of raping taking place.

ROBERT MUGABE: No, no, no, no, no, no. Those are allegations, you are just looking at the negative. Why don't you look at the aspects that are promoted that are positive? The youth must be developed and developed in respect of all skills. They must think Zimbabwean, feel Zimbabwean and be nationally conscious. That is what they what they are to be.

STUART RAMSAY: But is that not just following the ZANU PF party line, that they are not seeing another side of the argument, that there is...

ROBERT MUGABE: ZANU PF is the party in government and the policies of ZANU is what we are there to implement in effect, we do not stand for the MDC.

STUART RAMSAY: Your position in the country for 24 years is obviously paramount in the politics, do you think now it is time for you to stand down? You have talked about succession...

ROBERT MUGABE: Why do you want me to stand down?

STUART RAMSAY: I am asking if you think it is right to stand down. Jonathan Moyo was saying that the discussion about whether the succession issue has caused problems in even elections because those in ZANU PF were considering who would be next...

ROBERT MUGABE: Who said that?

STUART RAMSAY: Jonathan Moyo.

ROBERT MUGABE: The discussion, yes, sure, of course people even without the discussion would still have had to discuss succession, those of them who feel it is an important subject and just a few in the leadership who want naturally to look ahead and I have said there is nothing wrong in people discussing the issue but what is wrong is really they are trying now to put themselves in positions, you see, which might be regarded by the generality of the people as unacceptable.

STUART RAMSAY: Do you have a successor?


STUART RAMSAY: No one in mind?


STUART RAMSAY: And how long do you think you are going to stay on as President?

ROBERT MUGABE: For as long as the people want me to stay but not for eternity of course.

STUART RAMSAY: Would you stand in the next election?

ROBERT MUGABE: I don't think so, I also want to rest and do a bit of writing.

STUART RAMSAY: Can I ask you about another issue, this is the view of the international community toward you and towards them. Recently at the National Chief's Convention you described Tony Blair as a colonist who still thinks he owns Zimbabwe. Surely that isn't really the case.

ROBERT MUGABE: That's the case. That man, I don't know how Britain came by him. You can see some of the mad things he has done and the world now is in turmoil.

STUART RAMSAY: You don't think that Tony Blair or Britain for that matter considers Zimbabwe a colony, surely not?

ROBERT MUGABE: Yes, he does, he does. He doesn't say so but his actions do say so. What has he not done to try and control how things should go here? He has opposed us in my election, he has called upon nations to in fact regard Zimbabwe as a lawless country, a country where democracy is not respected, where there is no rule of law, where human rights do not exist and all that is a lie.

STUART RAMSAY: But he is by no means the only international leader'

ROBERT MUGABE: No, no, no, no, it is him and...

STUART RAMSAY: The Commonwealth wanted you to remain suspended, you've removed yourself from the Commonwealth. Now why would they do that? They are doing that because they also have concerns about the rule of law and democracy?

ROBERT MUGABE: Who is the Commonwealth? Who is the dominant character there? It's Britain and Britain supported by the other white countries, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and they call the tune, you see. The Africans try to oppose but they were not heard, they were ignored. There it is, fine, what is the Commonwealth just now?

STUART RAMSAY: It obviously concerns you though. It is said that, you were obviously angry by the fact that you weren't able to have your suspension lifted and you have removed your country from the Commonwealth but it must still have some relevance to you.

ROBERT MUGABE: Well the relevance is that it is a kind of club where there is a comradeship and you discuss issues of all kinds, political issues, issues that have to do with the international situation. You discuss economic issues as well but at the end of the day you do nothing about them, you see, except maybe gang together, have a cup of tea and actually, practically do nothing.

STUART RAMSAY: It is not just Britain of course, it is not just Commonwealth, Botswana has been critical in the past, South Africa and the Sadak nations, another club that you are a member of.

ROBERT MUGABE: Critical of what?

STUART RAMSAY: Critical of the fact that for example 1.3% of its economic growth in South Africa didn't happen almost as a direct result of...


STUART RAMSAY:...20 to 30,000 jobs didn't happen.

ROBERT MUGABE: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

STUART RAMSAY: Trade declined by 15 billion rand.

ROBERT MUGABE: No, we were not the cause of that, we are not the South African economy.

STUART RAMSAY: But you were vitally linked to it at one point but now'

ROBERT MUGABE: Our trade with them has always been good, and they admit it, that in spite of the sanctions the trade has been rising, rising, rising in terms of volumes and all of the...

STUART RAMSAY: What trade is that? It's declining, not increasing.


STUART RAMSAY: The trade is declining it's not increasing.

ROBERT MUGABE: No, no, no, you go and ask Irwin, he will tell you that in spite of all that has, you know, been done to Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe's trade with South Africa has always been rising, not declining.

STUART RAMSAY: Countries like Britain and the United States having given, what, Britain £51 million in the last 18 months to assist Zimbabwe and yet you only have critical words for Britain and the United States.

ROBERT MUGABE: What is this?

STUART RAMSAY: They give financial assistance to aid agencies directly to bring in food and whatever general assistance is needed here.

ROBERT MUGABE: We have expressed our gratitude to WFP for its assistance.

STUART RAMSAY: The major donors are Britain and the United States.

ROBERT MUGABE: Well yes, sure, so when we say thank you to WFP we were saying thank you to the donors of WFP aren't we?

STUART RAMSAY: Are you saying thank you to Great Britain?

ROBERT MUGABE: We are saying thank you to WFP.

STUART RAMSAY: Why do you...what are your links with Britain? Why are you unhappy with Britain to such an degree? You were friends for a very long time.

ROBERT MUGABE: To tell you the truth we are not unhappy with Britain as Britain, with Blair's Britain yes, we are unhappy, that is the rulership of Blair, very unhappy and unhappy, first of all he is a man, I don't know he considers himself as a super human, he doesn't want dialogue, he doesn't want to talk. I haven't had any discussion with him except in Scotland during the Commonwealth summit there. We have asked for discussions, for dialogue...he won't have it.

STUART RAMSAY: Why do you think he won't have it?

ROBERT MUGABE: He won't have it because he doesn't want to talk to us. We are inferior, he is a super human, no, and he won't be drawn into any discussions with us, he has got that stance.

STUART RAMSAY: One of the reasons why...

ROBERT MUGABE: And we have been asking, we are open. We talk to everyone who wants to talk to us.

STUART RAMSAY: Would you like to talk to Britain again, would you make efforts now to negotiate and to discuss?

ROBERT MUGABE: We've made enough efforts. If Britain wants to talk we are ready, we have said so again and again and even the people he has asked to intervene, Obasanjo, Mbeki, have asked to try and have dialogue with us. There is a Zimbabwe which some countries would want to regard as a pariah state and never say any good about it, everything that it does is bad but we are not bad. Stay here and you will see that our people are free, you will see that they are able to say things that they would want to say about government, criticise us as much as possible, there is an opposition, not just the MDC, we also have small other groups which have not succeeded naturally in raising members of parliament but they are vocal, they say things against us and they are not arrested. Also things have been said, bad things, personal criticisms even.

STUART RAMSAY: But I have met people who have been beaten and they say they are beaten for putting out leaflets calling for industrial action. He was beaten and taken into a field and left.

ROBERT MUGABE: But you will get those actions happening even in Britain. Are you saying you don't have...

STUART RAMSAY: Trade Union leaders do not get taken out and beaten and left for dead by the police in Britain.

ROBERT MUGABE: I saw Mr Prescott box one person, whether he had been...

STUART RAMSAY: That was a totally different incident. Mr Prescott did not then go and get the police to take that man outside and...

ROBERT MUGABE: Goodness me, you mean the whole prime minister and deputy prime minister beats a person, boxes a person and that person falls down, that is more acceptable than the violence of a small group that might just be mistaken in its own belief that violence will work.

STUART RAMSAY: That is not a small group though, the allegation is that it is a large group and that...

ROBERT MUGABE: What group is that?

STUART RAMSAY: ZANU PF supporters as we've gone through this before are involved in regular attacks.

ROBERT MUGABE: What supporters, we have millions of supporters in the country but you also get small groups naturally that act in order to demonstrate that they are strong in particular areas especially when they are provoked and in the majority of cases because of the provocation of MDC, they will react and we have called upon our party to be as peaceful and as non violent as possible. So have we also called upon the MDC to campaign, if it is a campaign they have embarked upon, to campaign as peacefully as possible but of course they also have youths and leaders who believe in violence.

STUART RAMSAY: You alluded to personal attacks and Archbishop Desmond Tutu described you as a cartoon figure of the archetypal African dictator. Now why would a well respected man of the church say that?

ROBERT MUGABE: He is an angry, evil and embittered little bishop, you see, who thinks that his own view should hold.

STUART RAMSAY: He's talking generally, he's not talking about a specific incident, I understand the context by which you think he disagrees'

ROBERT MUGABE: What he has to say is in the background.

STUART RAMSAY: It might be in the background but the point is he is talking about events, modern history, today.

ROBERT MUGABE: What history is that?

STUART RAMSAY: He is talking about issues that we will come on to shortly about land reform, he is talking about the rule of law not being adhered to in Zimbabwe and democracy and not being looked at which is why he uses the term archetypal African dictator.

ROBERT MUGABE: So one little bishop becomes the proponent of our political system here?

STUART RAMSAY: No, but he is widely respected throughout the world.

ROBERT MUGABE: Respected for his religion perhaps.

STUART RAMSAY: No, respected for the Reconciliation Committee, for being a man who was able to go through the whole of the apartheid era and still speak out against a repressive regime. He has identified a repressive regime.

ROBERT MUGABE: He was a frightened man during the apartheid era and the little he did was perhaps just to criticise and criticise even in an innocent way. Apartheid, when called upon to do something, something that would distinguish him as supporter of the ANC, he didn't. He didn't, he wouldn't go that way.

STUART RAMSAY: The World Food Programme says that urban food shortages are approaching critical. A United Nations memo to say that you could reach the level of tonnage that is being estimated is complete nonsense and quite impossible. The farms, outsiders say, simply aren't producing enough food. You've got bread prices that the state media says could go up by 50%.

ROBERT MUGABE: So what is WFP wanting us to do?

STUART RAMSAY: What they are saying is you need food aid and therefore...

ROBERT MUGABE: We need food aid and not the land to produce, we don't need to produce?

STUART RAMSAY: No, they are saying you need produce more and you need food aid. You're saying you don't need food aid. In fact last week you were saying you would produce 2.3 million tons which far exceeds anything ever produced before. You are saying you do need food aid?

ROBERT MUGABE: We have produced that before.

STUART RAMSAY: You are not going to produce it this year though.

ROBERT MUGABE: We are producing it this year, definitely. Our estimates are there and they are showing us we will have enough food for the country and with a surplus.

STUART RAMSAY: 800,000 tons the shortfall is estimated.

ROBERT MUGABE: Why is WFP wanting to feed us when we are saying that...

STUART RAMSAY: Because they don't want people to starve.

ROBERT MUGABE: We are not hungry. It should go to hungrier people, hungrier countries than ourselves. They need the food and we urge it to go and do good work there.

STUART RAMSAY: The Archbishop of Bulawayo....

ROBERT MUGABE: Why foist this food upon us? We don't want to be choked, we have enough.

STUART RAMSAY: He says that as many as 10,000 people died as a direct result of starvation, lack of food, perhaps illnesses.

ROBERT MUGABE: No, no. That's another Tutu, the bishop, an unholy man, he thinks he is holy and telling lies all the day, every day. Oh come on, 10,000 people, where did they die? Even show me a single person who died of hunger that is.

STUART RAMSAY: When we first arrived here a couple of weeks ago, government ministers estimated crop production at 1.5 million, many thought that that was a little high. In two weeks it went up to 2.3, now how did that happen? You didn't suddenly have a bumper harvest and they'd got their figures wrong. The fact is, and the view from the outside is that you will get 2.3 million tons but you will do it by buying it from outside, probably from Zambia.

ROBERT MUGABE: Do you want to wait here until the harvest is over and then you will see....

STUART RAMSAY: I'd like to come back and see it and I'd like to see'.

ROBERT MUGABE: Well come back, you'll be free, you are invited to come back.

STUART RAMSAY: Are you going to be buying food from outside?

ROBERT MUGABE: No. Definitely no, never. Not this year.

STUART RAMSAY: So why are all these estimates wrong Mr President?

ROBERT MUGABE: From agriculture. We have an agricultural system which is second to none in Africa.

STUART RAMSAY: Had is the argument, not has. It is no longer producing the...

ROBERT MUGABE: Have, we have.

STUART RAMSAY: So why are these estimates so wrong?

ROBERT MUGABE: The whites who were here were mere actor farmers, ill educated and we brought in a system which is much more enlightened than the system they had, you see. Go everywhere and you will see agronomists, you will see our agritects, exchanging officers who are well educated and they give us these estimates across the country.

STUART RAMSAY: Are you perhaps just believing these estimates because they are telling you want to hear?

ROBERT MUGABE: I travel. I travel, I travel quite a lot across the country, there is no corner of the country I don't know.

STUART RAMSAY: Why does a headmaster at the Portafarm Camp tell me that if he doesn't have food aid, drink supplements, his children will starve?

ROBERT MUGABE: Portafarm here?

STUART RAMSAY: Why would he say that?

ROBERT MUGABE: Of course if he has no food his children will starve if they don't have food, but there is food.

STUART RAMSAY: And that food is coming from the international donors, that is exactly what he said.

ROBERT MUGABE: He had food next to him, there are farms with lots of maize next to him, he is talking nonsense, absolute nonsense.

STUART RAMSAY: Why would he do that? He said the food comes from the World Food Programme.

ROBERT MUGABE: Because he wants to please you, he knows your mentality.

STUART RAMSAY: He doesn't want to please me, he doesn't want to please me, he said...

ROBERT MUGABE: He knows your mentality, the mentality of the whites, it is always negatives so it is the negative they must be fed on when they are here. You have some of the people with that kind of thinking.

STUART RAMSAY: Why is it always a race issue, why is this?

ROBERT MUGABE: Well this is what we wonder. Why is it that white men always think white. There are also black men on this continent you know and they also matter, that's what you must tell Blair.

STUART RAMSAY: At the 24th Independence Day rally - the whites are continuing to show contempt, they must have their resistance broken once and for all. This is antagonistic wording. If you have won the war and you have won the revolution, why are you still having to point out differences between blacks and whites?

ROBERT MUGABE: Because the whites are still contemptuous, they are still racist and we don't want that in our society.

STUART RAMSAY: Do you want them out of your society?

ROBERT MUGABE: That kind, yes. Out they must go. The good ones can stay and we have quite a good many good ones who are just and the Britons for one reason or another have that difficulty, psychological difficulty to adjust to rule by blacks. The Afrikaaners in South Africa, no. Yes, you may get a few extremists but they are adjusting and they say they have nowhere to go but perhaps the problem we have about Britons here is they still think Britain is their home, you see. They have two homes, their Zimbabwean home and the British one. In some cases they are three-legged and they have Britain, Zimbabwe, Britain, South Africa.

STUART RAMSAY: And you would like these people to leave your country?

ROBERT MUGABE: Yes, the three legged or two legged ones, sure. We want just those who will have their legs here.

STUART RAMSAY: Or will not raise their heads above the parapet, will keep quiet, not complain about their farms being taken off them.

ROBERT MUGABE: No, of course they must complain and we are saying these complaints are legitimate. Britain should listen to them and pay their compensation.

STUART RAMSAY: Britain of course says they paid £500 million worth of compensation.

ROBERT MUGABE: 500 million? When did they pay that?

STUART RAMSAY: That's since the Lancaster House...

ROBERT MUGABE: Come on, that is forty, about forty million, what's that? It's peanuts.

STUART RAMSAY: But you didn't follow your part of the bargain either did you?


STUART RAMSAY: You just decided to take the farms rather than pay compensation.


STUART RAMSAY: Well the law did change.

ROBERT MUGABE: Do you know, you should follow the history, the history from Lancaster House. That was paid by the Conservatives, forty, and do you know what they demanded, they wanted a pound for a pound. We place our pound on the table, the desk and then they come with their own and that's how it went and it was only towards the end we say no, this was not what we agreed upon at Lancaster House and then Mrs Thatcher changed it, the rest, I think it was the last ten million came then without that requirement or counterpart and then she said it was all over, they had done enough. But we had only settled about 57,000.

STUART RAMSAY: And then it went into limbo and only really came up as a major issue again at the turn of the century.

ROBERT MUGABE: No, no we didn't go into limbo, we continued on our own but always asking Britain, always asking Britain to play its part and when Major took over we approached him on this and he agreed to send a team here, a six man team came here and that was about 1995/96 and it concluded its mission, it talked to us, talked to the commercial farmers, to chiefs and so on and wrote out a report. You better go and read that report, Mr Blair will have it in his office. That report recommended that government continue to, you know, fund the land reform programme here and that...

STUART RAMSAY: But you change the rules so that you could actually appropriate farms.

ROBERT MUGABE: No, no, no. Why do you want to want avoid this part? Major was putting a package together naturally in response to our request that they continue to recognise their colonial responsibly. But then he was defeated, the Conservatives were defeated, Blair then took over and it is Blair and his government who really deviated from the course that Major had taken and started now showing arrogance. Their philosophy was we are the Labour party, we only recognise poverty alleviation as the policy that should be applied to Zimbabwe and other developing countries and this colonial responsibility, it was a decision by the Conservatives. We ran our government or our Labour government on the basis of Labour polices and we cannot therefore succeed to policies of the Conservative party and don't talk to us about colonial responsibilities, said Clare Short. Ireland was once a colony and it is all over and so on and so forth.

STUART RAMSAY: It seems manifestly unfair though to read in a gazette that your farm has been taken off you. That is the situation now with farms that are going to be redistributed.

ROBERT MUGABE: How do you mean, read in the gazette what?

STUART RAMSAY: That the farm is next on the list. At least it used to go through the court, it doesn't even bother going through the courts now.

ROBERT MUGABE: No, but people are served with notices, they are told.

STUART RAMSAY: The notice doesn't need to be even served any more, it can be published in the paper. That was how the law changed.

ROBERT MUGABE: No, but we will still serve people with notices, it will be ridiculous of course just to go to court and publish in the gazette that this farm has been taken by government without informing the person who still owns it. No, why should we do that? I don't think we have that kind of practice. We deliver the notice to the individual who owns the farm and warn him that government wants to take it over and give him time to prepare for it.

STUART RAMSAY: You have been applauded by the opposition even for your moves to fight corruption. Is it not the case that the party has become corrupt under your stewardship which is why in 2004 it has been adjudged that you are going to have to move.

ROBERT MUGABE: Why the party? What are you talking about?

STUART RAMSAY: The Finance Minister has been saying...

ROBERT MUGABE: These are corrupt individuals. I suppose you get corrupt individuals across the board. You are now telling me that your government is absolutely pure, without....

STUART RAMSAY: I am not representing our government, I am simply asking questions.

ROBERT MUGABE: But I am putting it back to you, you have a government in your country and you get individuals who are corrupt naturally. If you get them it doesn't mean that everybody else is corrupt.

STUART RAMSAY: The chief communications of ZANU PF said to me that that is wasn't just....?


STUART RAMSAY: Of ZANU P F, said it wasn't just a disease it was actually an epidemic of corruption and it was high time it was addressed. You are addressing it, but the question still remains, how has corruption been able to develop.

ROBERT MUGABE: The same way as it developed in other countries, surely you shouldn't ask that question. Corruption develops, the human being is greedy, in some cases he wants to enrich himself by adopting irregular methods of attaining the wealth he desire and this is what happens. There are thieves who think the shortest way to enriching themselves is by way of possessing that which doesn't belong to them.

STUART RAMSAY: A regular allegation from the outside world is that Mr President, you are corrupt as well.

ROBERT MUGABE: Oh come on, come on, come on.

STUART RAMSAY: It is an allegation that's made. Critics point to the building of your new home, how could you afford that house? $25 million.

ROBERT MUGABE: Who said it was $25 million? I was given that by the party very early on, 1984/85 and the party gave me that and we started building, the party was going to assist me, it was not able to do so and we have been ourselves trying to build it from our own resources starting in 1986 and it has been buying bricks and we have got a company, an enable company which is Yugoslav and we agreed that we would be providing materials little by little and we pay just for their labour. They agreed and we have had assistance of course, some countries have donated, they have got some timber from Malaysia thanks to my good friend, former Prime Minister Mayatia, the Chinese also have donated some materials, tiles and so on.

STUART RAMSAY: So you are not using foreign currency to pay for these things?

ROBERT MUGABE: No, no. For foreign currency, if we have to get things from South Africa we go to the bank and we negotiate so if we are getting a few things from South Africa we don't have panes here, we go to get them from South Africa, we go through the bank and that's what everybody else should do.

STUART RAMSAY: How much do you think it is going to cost in the end?

ROBERT MUGABE: I don't know, will estimate the cost and....

STUART RAMSAY: Not $25 million?

ROBERT MUGABE: Of course not.

STUART RAMSAY: It sounds fairly lavish from everything I've read, obviously it is difficult to go and see it.

ROBERT MUGABE: Because it is attractive, it has Chinese roofing materials which makes it beautiful but they have been donated to us, the Chinese are our good friends you see.

STUART RAMSAY: Can I move quickly on to the economy, I know we are running short of time here. I interviewed the Reserve Bank governor who does seem to be a man determined to turn things round but he has huge problems. Inflation, 600%, maybe more, maybe over 1000%. 40% contraction in the economy between 1999 and 2003. You owe the IMF $273 million and the World Bank and the IMF will no longer lend you any money. The economy is in a right mess isn't it, Mr President?

ROBERT MUGABE: It was, yes. It is now improving, it is getting out of that mess, sure, yes, with sanctions imposed on us.

STUART RAMSAY: The sanctions are mainly imposed upon individual members of....

ROBERT MUGABE: No, no, no, no. This is a game where you don't understand your Prime Minister. What did he do? He said personal sanctions because that was the more acceptable form of sanctions to some of his allies but behind us he says no to countries, stop your aid and so on and don't invest and so we have had real sanctions, economic sanctions.

STUART RAMSAY: But you don't think your country's own economic mismanagement has been perhaps compounded by the Land Reform Programme which took away a lot of potential exporters.

ROBERT MUGABE: No, if anything the Land Reform Programme is going to reinvigorate the economy, get it to revive. Just now the revival that is taking place is due to that, to the fact that now this season is a good season and agriculture is going to yield quite a good percentage of our GDP and so that we will assist the process. Of course in the financial sector, the measure we are taking, the monetary policy that has been enunciated and we are getting now countries that belong to the other world than the Western one, you know, interested in us and...

STUART RAMSAY: Yet the estimates are that there are real concerns about direct foreign investment isn't there, because of the instability.

ROBERT MUGABE: We would rather not have Western investment any more and we are going East with China, we have the Tigers, they are interested, India is interested and I think we will get the necessary investment coming from those countries.

STUART RAMSAY: One of your good friends is the Libyan leader, were you surprised when Tony Blair turned up in his tent shaking his hand?

ROBERT MUGABE: Yes, yes I was, I was actually surprised and I knew that the idea was not just to get Libyan oil but also to get Libya to desist from assisting us.

STUART RAMSAY: You think that's his specific attempt to try and stop him.

ROBERT MUGABE: An attempt, yes.

STUART RAMSAY: But it does seem to have worked, the various deals that were put in place for fuel and...those have been put on the back burner.

ROBERT MUGABE: No, we are still working together with Libya, he is still a good friend of ours in spite of that.

STUART RAMSAY: What did you say to him about Tony Blair?

ROBERT MUGABE: About Tony Blair? I said I was surprised that he was meeting with Tony Blair but of course they are entitled to have relations with Britain. We do have relations with Britain you know, British Airways, I'm sure you flew by them to here and they make lots of money flying to Zimbabwe, enabling people to go to the Victoria Falls. We have nothing against the Britons as such, it is just this one man who we think is really an anachronism and should never have been Prime Minister in Britain.

STUART RAMSAY: Two questions for you, Mr President, to finish. Firstly, this is somewhat off where we have been going but there has been a lot of controversy about the cricket, what do you think about that?

ROBERT MUGABE: Why do you think we should affect ordinary people who want to play? And this is Blair again wanting to use cricket, the cricket bat as a weapon against Mugabe who should never be President of Zimbabwe.

STUART RAMSAY: Are you disappointed though that there are even discussions taking place that this current test series might be downgraded which would mean Australia leaving? It must disappoint you that the country finds itself with sport and politics entwined.

ROBERT MUGABE: Well it is unfortunate that that happens but it is a phase obviously, it will go. Why affect the cricket world, the football world, and so on and so forth, it is very unfortunate. That if things go that route which is as I say unfortunate, then what do we do? We just leave things as they are until people rethink and review the situation and being to interact again. It is a pity, a real pity that politics has come into cricket. I admire cricket, I love it and have followed cricket for a long, long time. I was patron of the Cricket Association.

STUART RAMSAY: Do you see yourself going to Lords to watch another test match some time?

ROBERT MUGABE: I am persona non grata!

STUART RAMSAY: Would you like to see that change?

STUART RAMSAY: Of course I want to be a free man but Blair says no. Yes, you can travel to any part of the world but not here, the gates are closed, the doors are closed and he has got his European allies also to close doors to me. But I say fine, close your doors. Our doors are open, we haven't closed them to anyone and that's the difference.

STUART RAMSAY: President Bush was asked this question recently, has he made any mistakes? He didn't give a very convincing answer, have you made any mistakes Mr President?

ROBERT MUGABE: Yes, I have and that is how I have developed. You develop by making mistakes that naturally you correct. If you make mistake and don't correct them then you won't develop at all. But the mistakes must not be in the majority, form the majority of your thinking, of your actions, of your deeds, they must be just the exception to the positive, affirmative and correct actions you take. Otherwise you are a mistaken personal the whole way through and you become devil then. But I don't think I have become that devil. You judge yourself by firstly your ability to achieve the goals you set yourself, secondly by ensuring that in your performance you have the actions, the thinking and the co-operation of others and then you judge your performance that others also are able to judge you and if your own judgement of yourself is the same judgement as others make of you, then you are a happy man. But if you are gong to say I'm right when others say you are wrong, you will get self opinionated and that is what the likes of Bush and Blair are, you see. They knew they were wrong by deciding to attack Iraq, they deceived the world with lies, lies of mass deception, by telling them that there were weapons of mass destruction, and they thought the world was gong to be cheated for all time. You can only cheat the world, the majority of people, for a short time, you can't cheat them for all time. And there you are now, the chickens have come back to roost. They attacked Iraq thinking that it is a small country, we are a powerful nation, we drop the bombs and capture Saddam Hussein and it will be all over. Naïve thinking. What has happened?

STUART RAMSAY: Do you think you will outlast them all?


STUART RAMSAY: Do you think you will outlast Bush and Blair?

ROBERT MUGABE: No, I don't compare myself to them, I just do things in accordance with the wishes of my people, sit down, we talk and that's it. I am a man of the people actually, I am born peasant family, I have a peasant background and I know what it is to work with people, to hear them talk, to allow them to play a part in your life and this is I think what has carried me to this day. Although I sit here as president, I know that that post I owe to the people.

STUART RAMSAY: President Mugabe, thank you very much for joining Sky News.


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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.

   "I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind
and real freedom
of discussion as in America."

 - Alexis De Tocqueville

Letter 1.  Subject: Grain to Zimbabwe

My friend Myke Ashley Cooper, of Capetown, isn't taking this dirty business
lying down of a USA Co., (SENTRY FINANCIAL INTERNATIONAL, in Salt Lake
City, Utah) trading with mug's thugs in Zim. & doing a lucrative tobacco
for maize swap. He is going at them like an enraged terrier.  Will send
subsequent emails on this too. Let's follow his attack with letters of our
own, to let these people without any sense of integrity or propriety know
how we feel about their greed & lack of principle!!

Col ___________________________________________


Letter 2.  Subject: Immoral Little Boys

Vice President Msika has recently made an outstanding comment about some of
the members of his own Zanu PF.
He has referred to them as "IMMORAL LITTLE BOYS."

*Is it just possible that Mr. Msika is now starting to feel guilty about
the people of Zimbabwe suffering over the last five years?

*Does Mr. Msika perhaps think that the enormous suffering precipitated as a
result of the unlawful behaviour of some his "Immoral Little Boys" could be
blamed on himself?

*If the above assumption was correct, it could well be that some of the Old
Men, like Mr. Msika, have come to realise that time is no longer on their
side, and also that in due course the historians will write about of this
period in Zimbabwe - the Third Chimurenga.Mr. Msika will be recorded as
describing certain elements of Zanu PF as Immoral Little Boys and not
supporting what they have done.

*The question we need to ask Mr. Msika is - how many is he referring to?
There seem to be many thousands of them - behaving like this for over four
years now.

And lastly:
 - who will listen to Mr. Msika?
 - how can we prove the sincerity of Mr. Msika or anybody else?
 - did Mr. Msika really object to Mr. Freeth's prayer or not?

Biographer Abroad.

All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.
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(Meaning: Come Holy Spirit/ Cleansing Wind)
Write: Box FM701, Famona, Bulawayo Ph: 011-213-885 / 09-63978
Email: <> (plain text emails only)
WOZA means 'Come forward'.  By women for women and with women, across race,
colour, creed, class or political persuasion. Empowering women to be
courageous, caring, committed and in communication with their communities.

March with us on Saturday 29th May to DEMAND our Right to Education!
EDUCATION FOR ALL! It is Global Campaign for Education Week.

In 1980, our government promised us the RIGHT to EDUCATION. This right is
also in The African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, in the African
Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, and in our Education Act.
The international community also undertook to provide EDUCATION FOR ALL by
2015 and an equal number of boys and girls in school by year 2005!

NO! Government must provide education for our children for all children.
Sixty percent of those out-of-schools are GIRLS! Worldwide numbers reveal
shocking levels of inequality in education between boys and girls: 860
million adults cannot read or write, two thirds of these are women says the
Global Campaign for Education.

Government money spent on schools almost all goes to teachers' salaries.
There is nothing left for books, stationery, buildings, maintenance, sports,
equipment, cleaning etc. So parents are told to pay for everything else, and
school fees go up and up and up!

The information was taken from a report by the Zimbabwe Women's Resource
Centre and Network. "Hands Up for Girls' Education," Challenges In 2004.
Table (Vi and Vii): Primary Education and Secondary Education Allocation
2004 Source: Blue books

Allocation to Primary Education 60%:
Salaries 99% School Service 0.45% Furniture & Equipment 0.011%

Allocation to Secondary Education 35%:
Salaries 98.5% School Services 0.74% Furniture & Equipment 0.066%

spending money on the wrong things, and do not consult us when making
Examples are: National service, teaching our children violence and lies;
Buying more equipment for the armed forces and employing more Police and CIO
to stop us speaking out and Cars for chiefs.
We want free EDUCATION - SKYROCKETING SCHOOL FEES is draining our pockets.
HANDS UP FOR GIRLS EDUCATION if you want to build a nation!

Kofi Annan, Secretary General- United Nations said, "To educate girls is to
reduce poverty. That is the lesson that unites us today. No other police is
a likely to raise economic productivity, improve nutrition and promote

It was Africa Liberation Day! Did women enjoy the freedom they fought for!
According to a United Nations Survey, Women do 90% of the work but only earn
10% of the income and own 1% of the wealth of nations. If this was a cake,
we would only receive the small slices, and the rest of the cake would be
eaten by men.
Is this WHAT we WANT? Is this WHAT we WANT for our DAUGHTERS?
IN ZIMBABWE women are 52% of the population. Women also make up the majority
of voters in Zimbabwe despite this they are in the minority in terms of
running for political office. In next years parliamentary election we only
see 4 women make it to parliament, the lowest number of women since
Independence? Come on Sisters; let us join hands to change this. Surely with
40 women in parliament there could be an end to this suffering? We remember
the words of Yvonne Mahlunge, legal practitioner and a politician "The
biggest tragedy for the future of every woman and unborn girl child in
Zimbabwe is if we as the women are caught unprepared and miss the political
bus once again."

Women have strengths that amaze men! These are the skills that we must use
to make Zimbabwe great. WOMEN CAN:
CARRY hardships, they carry burdens but they hold happiness, love and joy.
SMILE when they want to scream and sing when they want to cry.
CRY when they are happy and laugh when they are nervous.
FIGHT for what they believe in and stand up for injustice.
DON'T TAKE "NO" for an answer when they believe there is a better solution.
GO WITHOUT so their family can have.
MOURN the loss of a relative, yet they can be strong when they think there
is no strength left.
GIVE a hug and a kiss to heal a broken heart.
The heart of a woman is what makes the world spin!  Women have a lot to say
and a lot to give, they can SPEAK OUT!

In the next issue: World Refugee Day March Sat 19 June. Do we want to become

Ask your WOZA community leader for a copy of the Sisterhood Bond / Sungano
Yemadzimai / Isibopho Sabomama.
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The Herald

Police hunt down British national

From Masvingo Bureau
POLICE in Masvingo have launched a manhunt for a British national Simon
Wadhams (40) who is wanted in connection with the externalisation of large
sums of foreign currency estimated to be the equivalent of Z$3,5 billion.

Wadhams is the managing director of Steam Team Engineering in Masvingo and
is suspected to have fled to South Africa after learning that the police
were looking for him.

Investigations have so far revealed that between 1997 and 2001, Wadhams
externalised over Z$3,5 billion into his account with Yorkshire Bank in the
United Kingdom.

About two weeks ago, police impounded over R75 000 and other small amounts
of foreign currency equivalent to Z$88 million from Wadhams which he was
hiding in a safe in a toilet at his Rhodene home in Masvingo.

He was also found with badges of the Rhodesian forces, ammunition and
bayonets hidden in the house and was fined $400 000 for contravening the
Defence and Firearms Acts.

Masvingo police spokesman Assistant Inspector Elvis Nekapi yesterday
confirmed that they were looking for Wadhams.

"We are looking for Wadhams in connection with the externalisation of
foreign currency since 1997.

"We have so far managed to find receipts of externalised forex up to 2001
but we believe he could have externalised more than that.

"At the moment, we are carrying on with investigations and we suspect he
might be in South Africa where he is hiding," he said.

Wadhams is alleged to have externalised US$ 635 204, R164 629 and 295 000
British pounds.
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The Herald

Councils identify 5 farms for expansion

From Bulawayo Bureau
THE Victoria Falls and Hwange councils have identified five farms for the
expansion of their respective towns, said an official in the Ministry of
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.

This was said by the provincial officer for operations in the Public Works
Department, Mr Herbert Karuma, during the Provincial Development Committee
meeting held in Bulawayo last week.

Mr Karuma said the farms identified for the expansion of Hwange are an area
known as Stateland C area and Chikombe Farm while those identified by the
Victoria Falls authorities are Okavango One, Okavango Two and Ursula Farm.

The hectarage for Stateland C is 10 500ha while that of Chikombe is 500ha
and the hectarage for the farms intended to be acquired by the Victoria
Falls authorities was unavailable at the time.

Victoria Falls, which has a population of slightly above 60 000, has a
housing waiting list of about 10 000. Most residents in the town have
resorted to building illegal shacks known as imikhukhu or baghdads.

The shacks started sprouting up in the early 1990's and have since been
growing as many house owners have been taking advantage of the acute housing
shortage in the town to establish as many baghdads as their yards can hold
to maximise on the money they get for rentals.

In February this year, each baghdad was attracting rentals of about $20 000.
In a section of Chinotimba high density area, known as emaRailway or
KumaRailway, most yards hold more than 10 baghdads and in some cases one
cannot even see the main houses because the shacks obscure them.
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The Herald

Missing vehicles sold at illegal auction - Shoko

Herald Reporter
CHITUNGWIZA mayor Mr Misheck Shoko yesterday said the council's missing
vehicles were sold at an illegal auction in 2000 but said the vehicle
licences and insurances were being regularly updated to avoid detection.

Three pick-up trucks, nine tractors and 11 lorry trailers, worth an
estimated $1,5 billion are missing from Chitungwiza Town Council.

"We were shocked to learn of the insurances for vehicles believed to have
gone under the hammer some five or so years back with registration books
being stamped 2004," Mr Shoko said.

He said town clerk Mr Simbarashe Mudunge had confirmed that most of the
missing vehicles were sold at the auction.

"He (Mr Mudunge) told me that the vehicle auction was done way before he
came into office in 2000, although he was part of the council," Mr Shoko

Efforts to get a comment from Mr Mudunge were futile yesterday.

However, Mr Shoko said they had discovered that one of the missing vehicles
had been registered twice.

"Another revelation was that one of the missing vehicles was actually
registered twice," he said.

He said council was making concerted efforts to ascertain how many vehicles
were missing and how the auction was conducted.

"As much as we would want to investigate, I think we have to leave the
matter to the police who are professionals in handling such cases," he said.

Mr Shoko said he had instructed council officials not to conduct any
investigations saying that might interfere with police investigations.

"We do not want to be seen interfering with police investigations as we do
not have anything to hide," he said.

He said he was prepared to see the matter to its logical conclusion saying
the scam could have occurred before he came to office in 2002.

Investigations have so far indicated that senior officials, working in
cahoots with junior workers, allegedly sold the three trucks and shared the

The Herald also revealed that one of the trucks, a Mazda B2200, is now
registered in the name of a company in Mahombekombe suburb in Kariba, while
another one, a Datsun pick-up, is registered with a Harare carbreaker.

Also missing are nine tractors - three Buffalos, five Massey Fergusons and
one Ford - and their whereabouts are still a mystery, yet their registration
books are at the municipality offices.
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The Herald

Paradza to appear before disciplinary committee

Herald Reporter
ZANU-PF MP for Makonde Cde Kindness Paradza will this Thursday appear before
a five-member disciplinary committee in Mashonaland West province to answer
to charges of alleged misconduct.

Cde Paradza was suspended last month from carrying out party work in his
constituency pending a disciplinary hearing.

He is being accused of undermining party and Government programmes and
policies by serving foreign and enemy interests.

The committee comprises the Zanu-PF Mashonaland West provincial vice
chairman Cde John Mafa, provincial commissar Cde Philip Muguti, secretary
for legal affairs Cde Pheneous Mariyapera, the deputy chairperson of women's
affairs Cde Plaxedes Zezai and deputy youth chairman Cde Ndambakuwa.

In a letter to Cde Paradza yesterday, Cde Mafa said the MP could be given
minutes of the meeting at which it was resolved to suspend him saying there
was no constitutional basis.

"There is no constitutional basis or provision that stipulates that a member
facing disciplinary action can or should be furnished with minutes of the
party's meeting(s) concerning such member," Cde Mafa said.

This was in response to Cde Paradza's letter dated May 20 in which he
requested the minutes.

Cde Paradza also wanted to know the composition of the disciplinary
committee, the time and the venue of the hearing.

"To enable me to prepare for the hearing, could you please furnish me with a
copy of the minutes of a provincial executive meeting held on April 26, 2004
which resolved to issue me with a prohibition order.

"Be advised also that I will exercise my right as prescribed under Article
10, Section 69 of our Constitution," Cde Paradza wrote.

Investigations into Cde Paradza's conduct arose following reports in the
Press that he was trying to buy a controlling stake in Africa Tribune
Newspapers (Pvt) Limited - the publishers of the weekly Tribune - and was
seeking the help of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe officials to secure
financial support from Britain.

Cde Paradza has dismissed the reports.
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Daily News, Sri Lanka

'Toothless tiger' still holds good
By Elmo Rodrigopulle

Richie Benaud, the former illustrious Australian skipper tagged the
International Cricket Council as a toothless tiger, and went on to say that
other than for meeting to decide when to meet again, does simply nothing for
the game. How true!

What Benaud said then, still rings true. If this is not so how can one
explain the Zimbabwe cricket fiasco and the negative approach by the ICC.

The lords at Lord's recognised the Test series between Sri Lanka and
Zimbabwe as official, and then turned around and said that the Tests between
Australia and Zimbabwe would be unofficial.

The Aussies gave the ICC a thundering slap and said that there was no way
that they would play the two Tests, if they were going to be tagged
unofficial. It was good thinking by the Aussies.

The ICC realised that if the Aussies were to play the Zimbabweans, the
kangaroos would make a mockery of the game by slaughtering the Zim lambs.

What is interesting would be to see whether the lords would have the guts to
rule the Sri Lanka-Zimbabwe Tests unofficial. They would dare not do that.

But to allow the Three one-day games to proceed as internationals, is to
make a mockery of those games. The Aussies are the best in the world in all
forms of the game and are sure to break some of the existing records in the
one-day game.

A batting record that is likely to be broken is the one held by Pakistani
opener Saeed Anwar who holds the record with a blistering 194. Batsmen of
the calibre of Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Andrew
Symonds are sure to have a go at this record.

Ban Zimbabwe

What the ICC must do is to strip Zimbabwe of Test status, until they get
their house in order. As the impasse stands now, there is not likely to be a
settlement between the white players and the Zimbabwe Cricket Union.

Those at war want to give it continuity. While it goes on the game and
players are left to suffer. The Aussies are threatening to press for the
exclusion of the Zimbabweans from the big league.

The Aussies must not only threaten, but must go through with it, so that it
will serve as a deterrent.

According to Eshan Mani, the lord of the Rings, there is no way that the
Zims would be stripped of Test status. Then the question to Mani is: For how
long would he allow the ugly situation prevailing in Mugabe land to

As for us we are still at a loss to understand how Zimbabwe were hugged into
the Test playing league, considering that they sadly lack in infrastructure
and have only two Test playing venues.

If the ICC gave Zimbabwe Test status to broadbase the game, the Zims have
sadly not lived up to those expectations. So it would not be wrong to strip
them of that exalted status.
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New Zimbabwe

MDC, Zanu PF competent enough to pull Zim out of mess

By Msekiwa Makwanya
Last updated: 05/25/2004 08:39:32
THE idea of "Peace Talks" in Zimbabwe expected largely between the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) and Zanu PF is predicated on the premise that
diologue will result in a positive outcome of a political settlement in
terms of what is perceived to be good for Zimbabwe.
To the ordinary person in Zimbabwe "talks" should result in the
affordability, availability, and accessibility of basic needs such as health
services, education, food, clothing and shelter.It is however very difficult
for someone to understand that, if all that Zanu PF and the MDC need to do
is to talk each other and people's lives return to normalcy why has it taken
so long, if we have right thinking politicians?

There is an assumption by some hawks in the ruling party, that their party
will not engage in talks with the MDC because it is a British sponsored
party. Jonathan Moyo and George Charamba seem to feel that under the current
constitution, elections can only be held after a specified period. Clearly
the situation in the country is grave, and what constitution on earth would
stand in the way of people's attempt to resolve their problems through

The Patriotic Front led by the late Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe were able
to go all the way to Britain and engage in talks with Ian Douglas Smith (the
then racist Rhodesian Prime Minister) and Bishop Muzorewa which resulted in
political independence after the Lancaster House Agreement in 1979. Why then
is it difficult for Zanu PF to engage with the MDC a recognised party that
literally and statistically represents almost all the urban consituencies in

The issue is about the cost of telling the truth once one decides to engage
in talks and face the consequences. The cost of awareness is reponsibility.
For many of us responsibility equals struggle, effort, pain, and suffering.
The analysis of the conditions in Zimbabwe at the moment shows that there is
a crisis of expectations among Zimbabweans, with some people expecting some
people (especially political leaders) to pay for what has happened in the
country, while other people are giving too much authority to the MDC.

The international community has not been very helpful, as it has not been
helpful in the Midle East. People have had very high expectations of the
neighbouring countries without realising that the world order is changing
and hypocrisy is taking over under the leadership of George Bush and Tony
Blair on both sides of the Atlantic.

The truth of the matter however is that, if our leaders in Zanu PF and the
MDC do not stop their nonsense, not only will the povo continue to suffer
but the children of the ruling elite will not continue to enjoy luxury in a
sea of poverty. Poverty can tempt people to sell everything they have in
order to survive, including their sovereignty although this is not
acceptible, but desperate measures in desperate times make people
unpredictable and dangerous.

The panacea of the crisis in Zimbabwe is social justice, and any talks that
do not address social justice will miss the point. Social justice will
require the MDC to address the undue influence of the wealthy sections in
their party, and for Zanu PF accepting responsibility for state of the
economy for the time they have run the country is a serious moral
obligation.It is important for both parties to realise that problems in
Zimbabwe cannot only be blamed away on other people.

Zimbabwe has been so fortunate that it has people who are so patient but we
should not allow ourselves to miss opportunities to solve our problems
through negotiating because very few countries have used this peaceful
route, especially in Africa. The cost of not talking to one another is too
much and not worthy to pay by anyone. Every day that passes with Zimbabwe in
crisis is disaster accumulating.

It takes courage to admit our limitations, and allow others to carry on from
where we fail. It also takes love on the part of the leaders to see
objectively and know the effect of their actions on ordinary people. Our
leaders have a choice to make and they know the truth.

This is not an issue for Thabo Mbeki, George Bush or Tony Blair. We do not
need to give South Africa or Britain so much power as to ask us to talk to
each other. Zanu PF and the MDC should not doubt their competence to solve
the problems in Zimbabwe without outside help if they are the parties worthy
leading the country.

I strongly agree with Brian Kagoro that a compromise is possible. The MDC
can drop the election petition and Zanu PF withdraws their charges against
Tsvangirai, and elections should be agreed to be held under free and fair
conditions monitored by at least by the UN, and SADC as well as the
Makwanya is a Social Psychologist based in London
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New Zimbabwe

Grace Mugabe's brother faces prosecution

By Agencies
Last updated: 05/25/2004 07:52:51
ALMOST eight years after being awarded the highest single claim of more than
Z$800 000 for wounds sustained during the liberation war, Reward Marufu will
now finally be prosecuted for allegedly defrauding the War Victims'
Compensation Fund in 1996.

As the government embarks on a clean-up exercise to rid itself of those
deemed corrupt, the net has finally closed on Marufu with the
Attorney-General's Office recalling his docket, which the police have been
sitting on for more than three years after its completion.

Marufu is brother to First Lady, Grace Mugabe.

Should the prosecution take off, it is bound to open a can of worms
considering that Marufu was not alone. Some Cabinet ministers, senior
government, army, police and Central Intelligence officials were also
accused of siphoning off more than Z$23 million of the Z$1,5 billion which
is alleged to have been looted from the fund.

"It's (Marufu's docket) outstanding. It is with the police and we are
waiting for one of the officers, we tasked to bring the docket. We want to
recall the docket so that we finalise the matter. I know that it has been in
the pipeline and it has been a long pipeline," said an officer with the
Atttorney-General's Officer this week.

Despite a recommendation seven years ago by the Geoffrey Chidyausiku
Commission that Marufu be charged with defrauding the War Victim's
Compensation, he still has not been brought before the courts to face the

In 1997, Marufu was hauled before the Geoffrey Chidyausiku judicial
commission to answer charges that he had defrauded the War Victims'
Compensation Fund.
In his recommendations, Chidyausiku said Marufu used false documents in his
application for compensations.

Marufu, who received Z$822 668 for a 95 percent disability claim, obtained
documents stating that he had failed to join the army in 1980 because of
injuries sustained during the war when he had actually joined the army and
resigned on his own in 1989. Because of the documents, Marufu was
compensated at a higher rate, which is meant for those who failed to join
the army because of injuries suffered during the war.

Justice Chidyausiku in his recommendations said: "The main issue with your
claim is that you used a false statement in order to get a higher rate. It
is a criminal offence, it is up to the Attorney-General to prosecute or

In 1997, the AG's Office said Marufu would not escape prosecution if he was
found to have a case to answer and since then the Attorney-General's Office
has been waiting for the docket from the police. It was only in 1999 after
Marufu was recalled from Zimbabwe's embassy in Canada over charges of
assaulting his 16-year-old daughter that the police quizzed him in
connection with the fraud allegations.

During the same year, retired High Court Judge George Smith questioned why
Marufu had not been prosecuted over the alleged fraud. The Judge's comments
were contained in a ruling he gave in a case of a civil servant, Amen
Sithole, who was accused of allowing Marufu and others to allegedly defraud
the fund.

In March 2000, the AG's Office received Marufu's docket, but it was referred
back to the police for further investigations. More than 18 months later in
December 2001, the Acting Attorney-General Bharat Patel told a local weekly
that Marufu had not been prosecuted because the police were looking for him.

The matter was ready for prosecution in 2001 but three years on he still has
not been brought before the courts. Marufu's life has been dogged by
controversy with a recent case where he grabbed Leaopardvlei farm near
Glendale in 2002.

Political analysts are saying if President Robert Mugabe is serious about
dealing with corruption, Marufu should be prosecuted. Mugabe is on record
saying he will not shed a tear if a relative or friend is arrested for
From the Business Tribune
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New Zimbabwe


      Food as a weapon of control
      Last updated: 05/25/2004 07:14:31
      THE kind of socio-economic decline and political upheaval taking place
in Zimbabwe is far from new to the human experience. All peoples at some
stage in their development seem to have gone through dark periods like
Zimbabwe is experiencing, and that unfortunately Africa in recent times has
seemed to have had far more than its fair share of. So that politicians will
serve interests quite the opposite of those of the people they insist they
act on behalf of is not at all unique to Zimbabwe.

      Yet for someone like me knowing that the many evil things going on in
Zimbabwe are a sad part of the negative part of human nature allowed to run
rampant is not much of a consolation for seeing one's beloved country fail
and shoot itself in the foot on so many fronts. It is one thing to
intellectually know that this phase in the country's development has been
undergone by many other peoples over thousands of years on all continents.
But that does not make it that much easier to deal with what is going on
here now. It is also one thing to read about similar happenings in some
distant land in a different age, but quite another to be personally in the
eye of the storm.

      One would think someone who has lived in Zimbabwe through the period
of fast deterioration of the last few years would have a jaded "anything can
happen" attitude towards what any day may bring. Indeed there seems no limit
to the crazy ability of the ruling regime to think of new ways to make
itself look bad before the world while making life ever more miserable for
the people.

      Yet the regime of Mugabe never seems to run out of shock moves that
seem to defy logic. An astonishing recent example of this was the
announcement by the government last week that because a "bumper harvest" was
expected this year, international food aid was no longer required. Food self
sufficiency should be a matter of great pride for any country, so after
several years of being dependent for handouts, this should be welcome news.
Like much of Africa, the problems of donor fatigue and the dependency
syndrome are real causes of concern. Why then has there been so much
consternation about what would seem to be a positive pronouncement by the
Mugabe regime?

      One reason is that it's credibility with regards to issues of food
security and other life or death matters is very low. The last time the
minister of agriculture Joseph Made predicted a bumper harvest after a
cursory helicopter trip around the country a few years ago, there was great
hunger and many Zimbabweans depended on the goodwill of donor agencies for
their sustenance. So a lot of the reaction is because many who have forecast
this year's harvest positively in relation to previous years, but much less
rosily than the government, simply believe that the governments statistics
are either too hopeful or are outright lies.

      But surely no matter what the Mugabe regime has been accused of over
the years it wouldn't be so heartless as to endanger the welfare of many of
its poorest citizens by denying them access to food aid they might really
need, would it? Many believe the government is quite capable of just that.
      But what could be the reasons for refusing aid if the government knew
it was needed, or even if they were merely not certain that the harvest
would be enough for the country's needs? Even if there were a bumper
harvest, isn't it strange that a country coming out of years of a shortage
would refuse help that would help it store its surplus for another drought
year likely to come sooner rather than later?

      It has been very awkward for the Mugabe regime these past few years to
reconcile being dependent on food handouts while claiming to be organising
an agricultural revolution. This has been a great source of embarrassment,
and particularly a few months before a general election, what the government
would be willing to do to try to convince the world that this anomaly had
been corrected by increased production must not be underestimated.
      But the pronouncement of claimed food sufficiency was not just in the
spirit of "thank you for keeping so many of our citizens afloat all these
years, we think we are okay now." It was instead a rude, hostile "to hell
with you donors." Why is this? Again, electoral considerations influenced
the decision to push the donors out greatly. They have long been accused of
using food aid to influence opinion against the government and of being
sympathetic to the opposition.

      You certainly don't want such dangerous subversives wandering around
the countryside influencing the people against the government, which in
spite of its bravado and bluster and recent election wins seems less sure of
its real hold on the people's minds than ever before. I suppose part of that
is because having bribed large sections of the rural electorate to vote for
it previously, they know only too well what a powerful weapon of control
food is. Believing as they do in a grand world conspiracy against it, one
can sort of understand how they would be terrified of that weapon being used
against them, the same way they themselves have so effectively used it to
achieve their ends!

      There are reports of grain being surreptitiously bought from Zambia
for strategic storage and/or electioneering, and being claimed to be
evidence of Zimbabwe's "bumper harvest." For the eventual recipient of the
grain it doesn't much matter where it came from, but the government would
rather buy the grain with hard currency it could use for many other pressing
needs for which there are no donors, than take the risk of losing political
leverage by having food supplied by international donors!

      Even if there were a bumper harvest, the shortsightedness of slighting
even a "neutral" donor like the United Nations in telling them to
effectively buzz of is breathtaking. If the aid organisations leave in a
huff as seems likely to happen with at least some of them, what would happen
if there were a drought or something else a few years down the line that
threatened famine?

      Surely we should not be surprised if the world reacted with very
little concern after the way these donors, never really on the best of terms
with the regime in recent years because of the widespread disagreement with
the regime's policies and methods, have been told to go to hell pretty much.
Zimbabwe will be in a precarious economic situation causing much hardship
for the poorest citizens for some time to come. It simply doesn't need to
lose any more friends than it has done over the years, but it seems the
paranoia levels are so high it is thought quite acceptable to gamble with
the well being of millions of people this year and possibly in the future by
attracting the maximum international ill will.

      I don't want to be like the minister who made an economic forecast on
the basis of a helicopter ride. Yet it is striking how in virtually any
direction you travel on the country's highways, the lush fields of previous
years are simply not in evidence. One did not need to see figures showing
Zimbabwe's agricultural prowess-it was so abundantly self-evident. If the
land reform exercise has indeed produced the bumper harvest claimed by
government, it is very strange that all the activity now takes place far
away from sight.

      One does hear of some new farmers, particularly amongst the few who
got allocated land replete with all kinds of infrastructure pretty much as a
going concern, making valiant efforts to farm seriously on a large scale.
But the stories of their efforts are still mostly anecdotal rather so
numerous and obvious that they are readily apparent. It is very strange that
one can drive through hundreds of kilometers of previously lush farmland in
a year of a bumper harvest and see so little evidence of it. I have
previously joked that perhaps our biggest, most successful new farmers are
too modest to want to show their skill by growing their bumper crops where
we can see them!

      As the old cliché goes, we are all for land reform and want Zimbabwe
to work again. But we are not helping ourselves by deluding ourselves as we
do about so many things, from how easily and quickly we can recover from the
farming upheavals and train a new commercial farming corps, to the prospects
of realistic economic recovery any time soon.

      I am afraid all the signs continue to point to a long steep slide
ahead of us. I would dearly love to be proved wrong in my prediction for my
own sake and that of the country.

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      Zimbabwe lashes out at Israel for offensives against Palestinians 2004-05-25 04:28:26

          HARARE, May 24 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwe lashed out at Israel on
Monday for its latest military offensives against Palestinians, which had
resulted in the death of scores of women and children.

          In a statement, the Zimbabwean Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged
the international community, particularly the United Nations,to intervene
and restrain Israel.

          In the latest clashes between the two sides, at least 32
peoplewere killed and several homes destroyed, particularly in the refugee
camps of Rafah and Jenaina.

          The ministry said Israeli actions ignored all "norms of
international humanitarian law and sanctity of the value of human life" and
had worsened the plight of Palestinians in the conflict.

          "Zimbabwe expressed grave concern at the tragic and violent acts
being perpetrated daily against the Palestinians, a people who have an
inalienable and sovereign right to live in peace within secure borders," it

          "Whilst we welcome the UN Security Council resolutions condemning
Israel's actions, we call for an immediate cessation ofall Israel military
operations which have resulted in the loss of human life and destruction of
homes and properties," it added. Enditem

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