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Zimbabwe opposition supporters clash over Senate

Zim Online

Wed 19 October 2005

      MUTARE - Police here had to intervene to break up violent clashes on
Tuesday between rival factions of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
party as sharp differences over contesting next month's Senate election
threaten to tear apart the opposition party.

      The six-year opposition party has failed to agree on whether to
contest the November 26 election with leader Morgan Tsvangirai insisting the
MDC should boycott the election while the party's national council, many of
whose members hope to win seats in the new Senate, says they should contest
the poll.

      Violence broke out in Mutare, Zimbabwe's fourth largest city, when a
group of MDC supporters that backs Tsvangirai's position stormed the party
provincial offices to voice their displeasure at the provincial leadership
who are in favour of contesting the poll.

      But the provincial executive was quick to act, mobilising its own
backers to counter protests by the pro-boycott faction with violence ensuing
almost immediately as the two factions met each other.

      Police spokesman Joshua Tigere told ZimOnline: "We managed to restore
order after MDC supporters clashed over internal party issues."

      Tigere could not say whether there were any injuries or whether the
police had arrested any of the opposition supporters.

      MDC chairman in Manicaland province under which Mutare lies, Prosper
Mutseyami declined to talk to the Press about the clashes saying he would
only do so after the "dust settles".

      He said: "Our party is faced with major difficulties. I would rather
not talk to the Press over that issue until the dust settles."

      The sharp differences over whether to contest the Senate poll have
brought to the fore divisions in the MDC over what strategy to use to unseat
President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party.

      Analysts have warned that the divisions that have been simmering for
long could see the break up of the six-year old party that has since its
formation in 1999 posed the greatest threat yet to Mugabe and ZANU PF's
25-year hold on power.

      Already, deputy secretary general Gift Chimanikire has written to the
party's 12 provinces instructing them to begin nominating candidates for the
election saying this was the position taken by the national council.

      The council is said to have voted 33:31 in favour of participating in
the election. But Tsvangirai insists the vote was deadlocked at 50:50 and
that he had to use his casting vote in favour of a boycott.

      Tsvangirai has also written to party provincial councils ordering them
to ignore Chimanikire's instructions to select candidates.

      The opposition leader last Friday wrote to the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission that runs elections telling it the MDC was not standing and that
any of its members submitting their names as candidates were doing so in
their individual capacities.

      But commission head High Court Judge George Chiweshe has indicated
that the commission would ignore Tsvangirai's letter.

      Tsvangirai - a fiery trade unionist during his stint at the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions - has vehemently opposed the Senate election saying
it will be rigged by ZANU PF and that in any event the proposed Senate would
be of no value in a country that should be better directing meagre resources
to fighting starvation threatening a quarter of its 12 million people.

      He is backed in his position by the party's key youth and women's
wings. But several other top leaders of the MDC say the party should not
surrender political space to Mugabe and ZANU PF by boycotting the Senate

      The other faction of the MDC pushing for the opposition party to
contest the election is said to be led by secretary general Welshman Ncube
and includes executives of at least six of the party's 12 provinces. Both
Tsvangirai and Ncube however deny their party is riven by factionalism. -

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Fear of red-tape forces SA church leaders to give up Zimbabwe mission

Zim Online

Wed 19 October 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - South African church leaders on Tuesday gave up clothes
they had sourced for victims of Zimbabwe's slum clearing campaign to
immigrants from that country living in South Africa because of fear of
red-tape involved in getting aid to Harare.

      South African Council of Churches (SACC) provincial organising
secretary Reverend Gift Moerane told ZimOnline that the council had decided
that given the bureaucratic hurdles encountered the last time they sent aid
to Harare, it was better to donate the clothes to Zimbabwean immigrants in
South Africa who were also in need.

      "The paperwork and all the procedures at the border were strenuous. In
a meeting last week, we agreed that it was better to focus on Zimbabwean
refugees who are based here because they are also living in dire straits,"
said Moerane, as he handed over the clothes to the immigrants at Yeoville
Recreational Centre in Johannesburg.

      More than 300 immigrants were at the centre to receive the clothes.

      Six thousand blankets and 37 tonnes of food raised by the SACC for the
slum clearing victims remained stuck at Beitbridge for several weeks as
Harare customs authorities first demanded duty for the goods, this despite
the fact that Zimbabwe does not charge duty on aid.

      When the government finally agreed to waive duty after heavy lobbying
by Zimbabwean non-governmental organizations, it still would not allow the
food into the country saying it first wanted proof that the food was not

      Zimbabwe and several other southern African governments prohibit
genetically modified food over safety concerns.

      The food consignment was allowed into Zimbabwe several weeks later and
only after the South African Department of Agriculture issued a certificate
confirming the food was not organically produced.

      The SACC had in August said it would launch a massive relief operation
dubbed "Operation Restore Hope for Zimbabwe" to help some of the 700 000
people that the United Nations said were left without shelter or means of
survival after President Robert Mugabe ordered police to demolish shantytown
homes, city backyard cottages and informal business kiosks.

      The UN said another 2.4 million people were also affected by the
operation that was widely condemned by the international community but which
Mugabe defended as necessary to smash crime and restore the beauty of
Zimbabwe's cities.

      While Mugabe's government is stalling on a request by the UN for the
world body to raise US$30 million worth of aid for the victims of the urban
clean-up campaign, it appears hurdles it placed in the way of the SACC in
August effectively knocked flat the zeal of the council to assist internally
displaced Zimbabweans. - ZimOnline

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Chief slapped with Z$25 million fine for detaining MDC election candidate

Zim Online

Wed 19 October 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwe's High Court has ordered a traditional chief to pay
Z$25 million (about US$1 000) in civil damages to an opposition official he
illegally detained for addressing a rally in his area in the run-up to last
March's disputed election.

      In a ruling delivered on Wednesday this week, Justice Samson Kudya
found Chief Saunyama of Nyanga district, about 290km north-east of Harare,
guilty of unlawfully detaining Douglas Mwonzora, who unsuccessfully stood
for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party in Nyanga
constituency in the parliamentary poll.

      The chief was also ordered to pay interest on the amount together with
costs of the lawsuit.

      The court was told that on January 29 2005, the chief backed by hordes
of his bodyguards, stormed Nyatate business centre where Mwonzora was
addressing an election campaign rally.

      They bundled Mwonzora and his supporters into their truck and forcibly
took them to Nyanga police station.

      The chief was said to have paraded his hostages at major business
centres in Nyanga boasting that he had "arrested sell-outs." The chief then
demanded that the police at Nyanga detain Mwonzora for addressing an
"illegal" rally in his area.

      But the police refused to do so saying Mwonzora had complied with
tough state security laws governing political activities in the country. The
police also told Chief Saunyama to return his 'hostages' to Nyatate.

      In an affidavit submitted to court, Mwonzora said: "I thought it was
genuine ignorance (on the chief's part) and had thought this was a once-off

      "But when Chief Saunyama called a meeting of all the 14 village heads
under him, threatening punitive action if ever they allowed me to hold
rallies in the area, it convinced me that the chief was acting as a
political agent and decided to sue."

      Mwonzora lost the Nyanga seat to the ruling ZANU PF party's candidate
Paul Kadzima. He is however challenging the result at the Zimbabwe Electoral
Court (ZEC) alleging massive violence and intimidation ahead of the
election. Kudya is yet to rule on Mwonzora's main application to have the
poll result overturned.

      But the ZEC, which was appointed by President Robert Mugabe earlier
this year to deal with electoral disputes, has so far dismissed three cases
brought by the MDC challenging ZANU PF candidates' election victories.

      The opposition party accuses the government of using traditional
chiefs - who it pays hefty salaries as well as giving them cars - to
intimidate their subjects to vote for the ruling party. Both ZANU PF and the
Chiefs' Council deny the charge. - ZimOnline

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Zimbabwe jail guards feed on prisoners' food

Zim Online

Wed 19 October 2005

      CHINHOYI - Prison officers in Chinhoyi town, about 120km north-west of
Harare, have turned on food meant for inmates saying they can no longer
afford to buy their own meals.

      Zimbabwe is going through a severe economic crisis which has seen
prices of basic foodstuffs spiraling out of control with for example the
cheapest loaf of bread costing Z$28 000 or slightly more than one American

      Prison guards, among some of the worst paid civil servants, earn a net
salary of about $3 million a month which is way below the $9 million that
the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe says an average family of two parents and
four children requires for basic services and goods per month.

      "I can't afford to buy breakfast as well as lunch or supper when I am
on duty and all what I have to do is eat what is there. It is unfortunate
that the food is meant for prisoners," said a prison officer who refused to
be named for fear of victimisation.

      Prison officials in Chinhoyi refused to take questions on the matter
while Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, whose department oversees prisons,
could not be reached for comment.

      Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights executive director Arnold Tsunga
said it was not surprising that jail guards have resorted to eating rations
meant for inmates saying the incident only highlighted the magnitude of the
hunger gripping Zimbabwe's poor working class as the country grapples severe
economic recession.

      "It's unfortunate that the officials are doing this as it is unlawful
. . . but I am not surprised at all because this shows the magnitude of
hunger that has hit the working class. We are prepared to probe further and
highlight it to the authorities," said Tsunga.

      In addition to hunger, Zimbabweans must also grapple acute shortages
of fuel, electricity, essential medical drugs and nearly every other basic
commodity because there is no hard cash to pay foreign suppliers.

      Critics blame the six-year old economic crisis on mismanagement and
repression by President Robert Mugabe in particular his chaotic and often
violent seizure of productive land from white farmers which destabilised the
mainstay agricultural sector causing a 60 percent drop in food output.

      But the Zimbabwean leader denies ruining the country blaming its
problems on economic sabotage by Britain and its Western allies out to fix
his government for seizing land from whites and giving it over to landless
blacks. - ZimOnline

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Mugabe is the epicenter

Washington Times

October 19, 2005

Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's despot, has given new meaning to the axiom
absolute power corrupts absolutely. He's tried all manner of tricks to shed
blame on his turning southern Africa's breadbasket into an agricultural
basketcase. He's even laid blame on Mother Nature, saying a drought, not his
violent land confiscation a few years back, shriveled up his country's
farmland. This week, Mr. Mugabe blamed the lesser forces of man, or two men,
to be exact.
    In a speech anticipated to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the U.N.
Food and Agriculture Organization, Mr. Mugabe departed from his scripted
message and instead plunged into a rant against President Bush and British
Prime Minister Tony Blair. His rhetoric traveled a circuitous tour around
the globe, claiming the two Western are trying to unseat him and other heads
of state:
    "Must we allow these men, the two unholy men of our millennium, who, in
the same way as Hitler and Mussolini formed [an] unholy alliance, formed an
alliance to attack an innocent country? ... The voice of Mr. Bush and the
voice of Mr. Blair can't decide who shall rule in Zimbabwe, who shall rule
in Africa, who shall rule in Venezuela, who shall rule in Iran, who shall
rule in Iraq."
    Mr. Mugabe is the epicenter. He starves his own people of food, water
and medicine (the United States has given an estimated $110 million in food
aid alone). Indeed, since the World Food Summit of 2002, the Mugabe regime
has: destroyed the lives, homes and jobs of nearly 3 million people (or
one-fifth of the population); forced 3.5 million to flee to South Africa,
Namibia and other neighboring nations; pillaged its $700 million-a-year
agricultural sector, which barely brings in $200 million now; created what
experts are calling the "fastest-shrinking economy" in the world; created a
water and energy crisis; put in motion a public-health crisis.
    The U.N. Security Council has the necessary tools to take quick and
decisive action. Do the members have the requisite political wherewithal?
    Christian and humanitarian organizations have, in recent months, spoken
decisively about the potential crises that lie in the very distant future if
the repressive policies and violent henchmen are not stopped. "Leaders of
dictatorial regimes out there can no longer hide behind so-called principle
of non-interference in the affairs of another state in order to get away
with murder with impunity," Namibia's National Society for Human Rights said
this summer. The Methodist Church of Southern Africa called the unfolding
crises in Zimbabwe a "recipe for genocide."
    The case for vigorous U.N. intervention has been made. The next step is
obvious. But we must not step blindly into Zimbabwe: Mr. Mugabe's favorite
pastime is his largess -- and that includes political patronage, as well as
maize and other foodstuffs.

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JAG Open Letters Forum No. 390


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


"What lies before us and what lies behind us, are tiny matters compared to
what lies within us"

Letter 1:

Dear JAG,

I have received a barrage of letters incriminating me of being "ignorant"
about Zimbabwean History simply because I disagree with a shallow analysis
of the current socio-economic and political crisis in Zimbabwe. I actually
think the problem facing Zimbabwe is bigger than Mugabe.Even if Mugabe
leaves or dies tomorrow Zimbabwe will remain a complex tumour to deal with.

To those who try to defend the colonial legacy, let me remind them that the
Colonial administration in Zimbabwe was a dictatorship more brutal than
what Mugabe is currently doing in Zimbabwe.  Anybody who was unfortunate to
be black during UDI will tell you why Smith's regime was a bad example for
democracy.  How can one justify the forced removals of millions of
indigenous populations during the Land Apportionment Act of 1931? This was
the most brutal human rights abuse in Zimbabwe just like Operation

While I totally agree with the fact that Mugabe is a brutal dictator, He
was educated by missionaries and his politics is purely Rhodesian!! Look at
all the laws that Mugabe rejuvenated including civic unfreedoms; they are
nothing new but were used by Ian Smith's UDI regime to suffocate millions
of black Zimbabweans who were not even allowed into cities since these
cities were reserved for "Whites".

When some respondents to my letter try to educate me on Zimbabwean history
they forget that history has a notorious tendency of repeating itself,
especially where injustices are concerned. We are all not campaigning for
the "forceful removal of White farmers" We support White farmers and
anybody who is a victim of Mugabe's brutality, but we also need to remind
farmers of their past; when Smith's regime treated them like royal game.

Genuine land reform remains crucial to all Zimbabweans in order to undo
historical injustices. Whoever takes over or replaces Mugabe should
understand that no meanderings are acceptable!  One person tried to glorify
White farmer paternalism (farm schools and clinics). But nobody is foolish
enough not understand why White farmers provided schools and clinics. We
know that farmers were not pro-social justice; they were like slave owners
who wanted educated and healthy labour! The idea that White farmers were
generous is a blatant misrepresentation of historical facts. So many people
died in farms and were often shot or maltreated by farmers without recourse
to justice.

We are in the struggle for justice but let's not forget history.

GGGG Scotland


Letter 2:

Stuart Chappell

I suppose that publicly admitting to, and apologising for murdering at
least 30,000 BLACK Matabeles in the early 1980's (I think he commented that
his actions were "regrettable" by way of apology) could make Mugabe a
'thoroughly honest and decent' man (your words {OLF No. 387}, certainly not

Yes, your compatriot, Nicholas Van Hoogenstraten has supported Mugabe to
the hilt, and he has managed to retain his land.  You must be so proud of

If you are happy to sell your soul to the Devil in order to own land in
Zimbabwe, then Good Luck to you.

Veronica Scott
Zimbabwean-born White owning property (for now) and living in Zimbabwe


Letter 3:

Dear Jag,

Unfortunately for us, Britain's politically correct world is today full of
lowlife know-alls like Stuart Chappell; I beg to differ with those who
label him naive. He knows full well what he is about in supporting anarchy.
He might even gain a few temporary windfalls in doing so, although he and
his ilk get most of their satisfaction in the recognition they receive
through the outrage they cause and the responses they provoke. Chappell is
a p***k. My advice is, treat him like one. Ignore him.

Brian Ruff.


Letter 4:

To that British ignoramus who wants to buy farmland in Zimbabwe.

Yes please come and set up your farming venture in Zimbabwe. Once all is up
and running, including the clinic, the school and the houses for the
workers and their extended families, I'm quite sure that you will be able
to sit back and feel good about yourself on the verandah of one of the
originally stolen farms. I'm sure you will relish all your do-good thoughts
and acts and ponder on about the mistakes those white farmers made.

Just let me know when all is done 'cause it will then be my turn to take
your farm and violently evict you.

Rest assured, I wait in anticipation.



Letter 5:

Dear Stuart Chappell,

Let me start by saying, read, listen and learn all you want, you British
people with your benefits schemes and free housing will never know what
hardship was.

Let me ask you if you worked with your heart and soul and built a product
to feed the nation and bring an honest wage to many as well as a hard
earned income to your family then Tony Blair walks in with the whole of
cabinet and armed to the hilt and says get of your land now and take
nothing but the clothes on your back.  obviously you would stand up to him
as it is yours, you paid your taxes and bought it.  he then takes you, ties
you up, and your children and rapes your wife.  He then beats you and
leaves you for dead.  This happened to black and white alike.

Martin Old's who's wife is disabled and still on the run with her children.
How dare you question Zimbabweans and think you know better.  You probably
have never stepped out of your safe little country into any land where what
you earn is what you live on.

You think we treated our workers with such contempt.  Where in this country
can you get a job where you get free housing, schooling, medical.  No
where, you can get all of the above if you don't work but the working class
citizens are paying for the people who don't work.  If a young lady back in
Zimbabwe falls pregnant, she doesn't get house from Mugabe, more likely if
she is black she gets stoned or has to find a living on the streets.

You want to buy a property there, go ahead.  have your heart broken, your
family destroyed and don't go to sleep at night because the last thing they
want is a British person living there!

You say we betrayed the black people stealing the land well actually its
your forefathers that did that and now all the generations later can't come
back here because your government doesn't want them.  You are the ones that
have betrayed us.

Get a life, get a grip and do something useful and sweep the problems on
your own doorstep with the homeless and racial issues here before you come
and preach to us.  You should be ashamed of yourself stirring the damage
and trauma to all Zimbabweans!  Do what you want and learn the hard way. 
I give you 3 months.  lets see what you feel then

Jacque Gillwald.


Letter 6:

Dear Jag

I read the open letter forum out of interest, and am occasionally
stimulated by some of the content, but not enough to write a response until
the drivel from a so-called Stuart Chappell. The content of his last letter
reveals that he may be using a pseudonym, and his positive assertion that
Mugabe will return land to whites on 99 year leases betrays his cause. He
may have stimulated many people to refute his logic, but the facts are
historical, be they right or wrong, and serve little or no purpose to what
has happened or will transpire over the years ahead. As for the hang-up
over real estate agents, the man has a small axe to grind based apparently
on the availability of web-sites!

Fact - Mugabe has dispossessed white and black Zimbabweans of their
lawfully acquired agricultural land and in many cases allowed the theft of
personal possessions in the form of agricultural equipment and household
property, without adequate protection from the constitutional and
legislative laws of the country, and without compensation in a fair manner.
Mugabe has flouted the same laws that he has used to perpetrate this crime
against citizens and ruthlessly destroyed the homes of already poor

No past wrongs can justify present wrongs. What has happened is past. Where
is the future? We can only change the future. Knowledge of the past can
help to avoid mistakes in the future, but cannot change what has happened!
The rules of the game change, or may not exist, but they are certainly not
confined to the legislation of the day.

I mourn the self-inflicted damage to the social, economic and physical
structure of a country that has so much potential and was forging ahead on
most fronts except that of the political popularity of the Mugabe regime 8
years ago. Perhaps the saddest part is that one man has been allowed to
inflict such pain on a nation just to cling to his pre-independence vows to
give the land and the houses of the farmers to the black people. He has
achieved his personal ambitions at the expense of the nation. He is not a
great leader, but instead an egotistical despot, and that is why he has
earned himself a chapter in a book on tyrants. He will pass on his power
leaving a country worse off than when he was entrusted with that power. He
has forced a nation of generally law-abiding citizens into one of beggars,
thieves and dishonest citizens who have become lawless as they follow the
example of those in power (the Darwinian concept of adapt or die). How sad,

but life moves on and it will be either for better or worse.

Anyone interested in the future of the country should be looking forward,
not behind. How can you see where you are going if you are forever looking

I wish the best for Zimbabwe, and its people, flora and fauna but cannot
see much hope with the present system of rule.

Responsible Rights

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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JAG Open Letters Forum No. 391


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


Letter 1:

Dear JAG

While I have mostly admired the thinking of the white man (who hides out in
South Africa) writing under the pseudonym of "Canaan", I feel he is utterly
wrong to use the first name of a disgraced black politician as his
pseudonym when writing to anyone. I suggest that he sticks to his "normal"
pseudonym which is common knowledge to many activists in Zimbabwe.

Out of consideration to his dreadful paranoia, I will not mention even that
name in this email in case not only the Zimbabwe authorities get him but
also the South African authorities!

Myke Ashley-Cooper
in South Africa


Letter 2:

ref : Mr Chappell's letter.

Dear young man,

At your age, in 1970, I travelled through Africa, very quickly, so as not
to be contaminated by those terrible white people in South Africa and
Rhodesia. I had heard ALL about them in the British Press and the Student
debates, well really - they were as bad as the Russians trying to destroy
the good life that God had promised everybody.

I settled in Zambia but after a short time, being continually stolen from,
no matter how good and considerate I was, I began to look into the mindsets
of the Black African living there and I left and came to Rhodesia. Zambia
is still the same as it was when I left 30yrs ago, buildings unpainted,
dirt roads etc. etc.

Whatever you have learnt in England bears no relationship to living in

In Zimbabwe because of a population which strive for more, it is still a
most beautiful place to be, even with corruption, inflation, lack of work,
spasmodic electricity, little water. The black hierarchy here seem
determined to cause genocide - something which never happened before. We,
the white people born here to the first, second, third generation or
immigrants who have lived here since before you were born will manage, many
black people are and will die.

Before you write again please contact some of our people who have been
forced to live in England, I have two children there, nearly every family
here, both black and white have people there. In every town and City there
are Zimbabweans some working to send money to their relatives put their
children through school. Young people who can't work here, professionals
who have no future under the present regime.  In Zimbabwe, we have teachers
especially trained to look after the many children traumatized by missing

With regrets for the disillusionment you must suffer, yours sincerely,

A mother and housewife


Letter 3:

Dear Jag,

Hitler's spin doctor, Goebles, said himself that if you repeat a lie often
enough, people will start to believe it. That is exactly what Mugabe and
the Zanu PF propaganda machine have done for 25 years. Here is a list of
some of the lies:

- We used child labour.
- We paid appalling wages
- Our workers lived in abject conditions
- We owned 70% of all fertile land
- The West is to blame
- Colonization prejudiced the black people of Africa etc. etc.

Well look at the conditions today of those very people we are supposed to
have abused. Children can't go to school, they have to work for the new
"owner" for a bag of maize a month (donated to the "owner" by an aid
organization). Wage negotiations are at a stalemate because the new
"farmers" don't want to pay decent wages. The workers have been thrown out
of the "hovels" they lived in on the farms, by soldiers now squatting on
the land. 70% of the fertile land in Zimbabwe today is my vegetable garden.
Who feeds the African peoples today? George Bush and Tony Blair's
governments among others. And lastly if it hadn't been for the colonizers
of Europe, Africa would still be in the stone age today.

There is no independent nor objective press coverage on Zimbabwe today and
the truth has also been politicised.



Letter 4:

Dear JAG,

I recently came across Chris Jan Coetzee from USA who is trying to contact
an old friend of his - Gert Willemse, who used to be on Enhoed Estates in
Chipinge.  If anyone knows his whereabouts, please contact Chris Jan as or Kathy Hull at Thanks
very much for your help.

Kathy Hull


Letter 5:

Dear Jag,

Stuart Chappell sounds like any other British devious opportunist. He is
ignorant as he suggests, and if he does have a private line to Mugabe to
discuss land issues, he is even more untrustworthy than he sounds and is
disliked by both white and black Zimbabweans alike. I suggest he stays at
home in England. Life in Zimbabwe would be difficult for him and he would
waste his money.

Zimbabwean Citizen.


Letter 6:

Dear Sir,

Please allow me to take issue with a part of Mr. McCormack's letter on your
open letter forum.  He says "Unfortunately we joined the fray....the white
community , and especially the farmers , should have kept out of politics
or even supported Mugabe to the hilt.  We should have sold our souls to the
devil and continued with the good life ......"

Mr. McCormack surely did not write these words seriously.  What is Mr.
McCormack's definition of politics?  If it is standing against tyranny and
murder then nobody with any semblance of knowledge of the difference
between right and wrong can agree with him.  Does he really believe that if
we had failed to try to stand against tyranny and murder we would have been
left alone ?  Did Hitler vilify the Jews because they were involved in
standing against him?  No, he vilified the Jews because he was playing to
the gallery of anti Semitism that was based on jealousy.  The Jews were the
scapegoat.  Every dictator has to have a scapegoat for the mess he leaves
in his wake.

Mr. McCormack appears to have missed the political boat entirely.  The
reason that the white farmer was the scapegoat was not because he owned 18
percent of the land ; but because he employed 25 percent of Zimbabwe's
population on that land.  It is difficult to beat a population into poverty
and food dependence while such a situation exists.  Bring a population into
food dependency and you can control it at will.  Stalin did.  Mao did .
They were his teachers.

I am afraid Mr. McCormack that "the good life" was a dream.

Yours sincerely

Ben Freeth

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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Zimra busts smuggling ring, $8bn cigarettes recovered

The Herald

      Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 October 2005

      From Bulawayo Bureau
      THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority has bust a smuggling syndicate
involving fuel tankers and recovered contraband worth more than $8 billion
at the Plumtree Border Post as Operation Integrity spreads to the private

      Zimra intercepted three fuel tankers stuffed with cigarettes worth
more than $8 billion destined for Botswana at the Plumtree Border Post on

      The revenue authority confirmed the incident saying this appeared to
have been going on for quite some time.

      "We received some information and tracked the fuel tankers all the way
from Harare to Plumtree.

      "These tankers would be cleared at the border posts under the pretext
that they were going to import fuel.

      "In the case of the three tankers, they had already been cleared and
were about to leave the Zimbabwe border when they were intercepted by our
investigations team," said Zimra assistant corporate communications officer
Mr Nickson Kanyemba.

      It is believed that a lot of machinery could have been smuggled out of
the country in the same manner.

      When reporters visited the border post on Monday, Zimra officials had
cut open the three fuel tankers and were removing hundreds of cartons of
cigarettes that were stashed inside.

      One of the drivers said they were not aware of what they were carrying
and were merely driving the trucks to Botswana.

      "I am just given a vehicle to drive and I was driving this vehicle to
Botswana and I did not know about the vehicle having anything. I just
assumed that they were empty," he said.

      Mr Kanyemba said it appeared that the owner of the truck would open
the tankers and stash the contraband inside and close them again and
smoothen the opened part before repainting the tanker to avoid detection. On
arrival at the destination, the tankers would be opened again, the cargo
removed and closed again and then return to Zimbabwe full of fuel.

      Operation Integrity was launched by Zimra early this year to weed out
corrupt individuals within the organisation.

      "Operation Integrity was notably targeted at our own in-house clean-up
to rid the organisation of corrupt officials and practices but it does not
necessarily mean that was its only scope.

      "We spread it to include the private sector and also to weed out
corrupt tendencies at our border involving our suppliers and customers and
it has proved to be a success so far," said Mr Kanyemba.

      He refused to name the businessman who owns the tankers saying he was
expected to appear in court this week.

      A band of smugglers has been targeting Plumtree Border Post because it
does not have sophisticated scanning equipment to detect hidden goods.

      Beitbridge Border Post had such equipment installed early this year.

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Third Quarter Monetary Policy review expected tomorrow

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Shame Makoshori
issue date :2005-Oct-19

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is expected to present the Third Quarter
Monetary Policy review tomorrow.
However, several negative developments affecting the economic turnaround
drive have occurred since the last review in July.
 For instance, year-on-year inflation shot up from 265 percentage points in
August to 359.8 percentage points last month as RBZ governor Gideon Gono
prepared for tomorrow's review.
The new development in inflation movements inflicted huge setbacks on the
central bank's turnaround strategies, coming as it did in the backdrop of
the worsening fuel and foreign currency availability.
Central bank governor, Gideon Gono has since his arrival at the central bank
in 2003, hinted that inflation was the major variable militating against the
realignment of the country's economy, whose Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has
plummeted by 30 percent in the past five years.
Recent events have indicated that the central bank has been waging a lone
war and could be headed for the doldrums.
Key stakeholders are not playing their part. For instance, billions of
dollars in foreign currency remain locked up in foreign accounts of
exporting companies.
There are loopholes in the management of imports at the country's boarder
posts with reports that the shipping industry has been employing a lot of
tactics to evade duty payments.
On the other hand, law enforcement agents have struggled to deal with the
fledgling black market of basic commodities, foreign currency and illegal
trade in mineral resources.
While the slogan has been restraint on inflation movements, increments of
prices of goods and services have in the past five months shot up by more
than 500 percent.
The price of a 2 kg of white sugar has surged to $40 000 from around $17
000, a bar of washing soap now costs $80 000 up from $25 000 while a  10 kg
packet of mealie meal has shot up to $120 000, up from $18 000.
Urban councils have also increased their rates by margins ranging between
500 and 1 000 percent.
Companies argue that the increments are necessitated by the shooting costs
of production.
 The RBZ unleashed more that $2 trillion in Productive Sector Facility (PSF)
funds to boost industrial production, which last year took an 8.6 percent
Apart from failing to repay the funds, industry has failed to return to
levels that would trigger sustainability the supply side of the economic
Instead of channelling the funds into production, several companies are
alleged to be diverting the PSF into non-core activities.
This has led to product shortages on the market amid high upward
Key ministries such as the Industry and International Trade and Finance and
Economic Development have virtually folded their hands and critical Foreign
Direct Investment (FID) inflows have drastically dwindled.
At the foreign currency auction floors, demand has been outstripping supply
as companies are demanding up to US$150 million against less than US$20
million availed at every auction.
The manufacturing sector says its capacity to produce has been severely
crippled by the non-availability of the hard currency to procure imported
raw materials,
RBZ devaluation of the local currency from $9 000 to the US$ to $17 500,
which was expected to stimulate foreign currency inflows has struggled to
bring in the hard currency.
This is despite call by industrial bodies prior to the devaluation for an
adjustment of up to $15 000 to the US$.
Through the carrot and stick measures implemented last year, foreign
currency inflows shot up to US$1.7 billion in 2004 from US$301 million in
2003, but the inflows have been sucked up by high demand for fuel imports,
food procurement and other key requirements such as electricity.
The mining sector was expected to be the cornerstone of increased foreign
currency inflows but it has in recent months produced below-market results,
especially in the half year to June 2005.
"The other hurdle that the governor faces is the recent expansion of
ministries because the ministers and their deputies all need perks
commensurate with their positions and significant amounts of foreign
currency would be needed to acquire such things as vehicles," said a
University of Zimbabwe lecturer.
He pointed out that at least seven million people face starvation due to the
drought that has just hit the country, meaning significant amounts of the
hard currency has to be channelled toward food purchases.
Government recently released billions for the procurement of inputs for
wheat production, but the bulk of the farmers have failed to access the
funds, as a result production has remained below demand.
"This has to be supplemented by imports, while inter parastatal debts have
been ballooning and weighing heavily on the state companies' ability to
deliver," the analysts said.
Members of the public interviewed  by this newspaper yesterday said the
pinned their hopes on the latest review, saying they expected the RBZ to
deal with the rising costs of  living.

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Heath Streak resigns

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Simba Rushwaya
issue date :2005-Oct-19

Zimbabwe star Heath Streak has quit international cricket effectively ending
his career with the national team. The Zimbabwe vice-captain has signed a
two-year contract to be the new Warwickshire captain for 2006 and 2007.
Reports from England yesterday said the former Matabeleland  all-rounder,
has chosen to retire from international cricket to take up the position.
Streak, 31, the BBC wrote,  takes over from Nick Knight, who has stepped
down after a seven-year tenure at the helm.
He said: "I'm looking forward to working with the players, staff and
supporters to bring more silverware."
He went on: "I've enjoyed playing for Zimbabwe immensely but I have decided
to retire from international cricket in order to fulfil my contractual
commitments with Warwickshire.
"I hope that one day I can assist Zimbabwe cricket again in its efforts to
develop." Knight, a formidable former England batsman, will continue as a
player. Warwickshire's director of coaching Mark Greatbatch, himself a new
appointment, said: "Heath has had an outstanding international career and we
are fortunate to secure his services. "He has all the qualities that are
vital in a club captain. All the players and management staff are looking
forward to having him back next season."
 Streak played for the club in each of the last two seasons, helping them
win the County Championship in 2004 with some excellent displays with both
bat and ball. Streak first played Test cricket in 1993 against Pakistan in
Karachi. Since then he has proven to be the pillar of the team and was, at
one point, the captain of the side until a rebellion last April.Streak and
other 14 white players quit the game in huff after he differed with Zimbabwe
Cricket (ZC) over selection criteria.
Streak and the rest of the rebel players only came back after the
intervention of the Sports Commission and had since featured in Zimbabwe's
Test matches against South Africa, New Zealand and India.

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Schools to close ahead of Senate polls

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Oct-19

SCHOOLS will close early this term to enable the smooth running of
Senatorial elections scheduled for November 26.
Secretary for Education, Sport and Culture, Stephen Mahere yesterday said
schools would close two days before the elections. "The Ministry of
Education, Sport and Culture would like to inform all its clients and
stakeholders that schools will close early for the year on November 24
instead of 1 December 2005.
The move has been necessitated by the need to facilitate the forthcoming
senatorial elections," he said in a statement. The Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission uses most schools as polling stations during elections while
teachers form the bulk of staff employed to conduct elections. The Senate
elections will also be held the same day as the Gutu North by-election.

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Chihuri fumes over treatment of police

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Oct-19

POLICE Commissioner Augustine Chihuri yesterday said the country's uniformed
forces were increasingly becoming disgruntled over poor salaries, working
conditions and shortage of manpower.
He said the organisation was "dangerously under funded" adding that despite
financial dire straits, the authorities had indicated they would allocate a
paltry $1,7 trillion instead of $27 trillion required by the force.
The police chief said this before a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on
Defence and Home Affairs, where he appeared as part of a high-powered
delegation that included senior police officers, the Registrar General,
Tobaiwa Mudede, the chief immigration officer, Elasto Magwadi and permanent
secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Melusi Matshiya.
"We are running down the organisation because of under funding. We have run
down the organisation and we are busy running down the organisation. It is
entirely (up) to us as Zimbabweans whether (or not) we want to improve the
organisation," Chihuri said.
He added that members of the police force were not happy with the current
Chihuri who did not mince his words said this had resulted in the police
losing credibility both locally and internationally.
He said one of the reasons for loss of credibility was the failure by the
force to pay companies and individuals contracted by the police for services
"Now we have ordinance stores where we should be keeping materials, but they
are empty, as empty as nothing. Over the years we have been saying the same
things over and over again that we are dangerously underfunding the
organisation and this has not been taken seriously. At the end of the day we
reap what we sow and people should not blame us or start finger pointing,"
Chihuri added.
The  salary reviews, despite them being meagre, took up to a year to be
effected. Chihuri said the current economic situation in the country calls
for monthly salary reviews.
On corruption in the police force, Chihuri said it involved bribes of small
amounts ranging between $20 000 and $50 000. He said cops intending "to buy
cabbages for the family" accepted the bribes
Chihuri accused the Ministry of Finance of being biased against members of
the police force, arguing that security guards at the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ) and Zimbabwe Revenue Authorities (ZIMRA) were paid better
than his staff.
Chairman of the committee, retired colonel Claudius Makova - who is also
Zanu PF legislator for Bikita West - said the Parliamentary committee would
soon convene a meeting with the finance ministry to iron out some of the
problems faced by the police force.
Chihuri also said his force was facing transport problems, adding the
Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) had only 1 500 vehicles instead of 7 000. He
said the current fuel crisis in the country did not spare ZRP since it was
getting petroleum products "in drips and drops.""We are currently being
given 20 000 litres of fuel. It is equal to one (police) station.  How do I
distribute 20 000 litres to Zimbabwe when we need 260 000 litres (per month)
I am not trying to be funny, but this is the situation that is currently
obtaining," Chihuri added.
Chihuri also told the committee that ZRP does not have adequate uniforms, a
scenario which did not spare him.
He said the lack of uniforms appeared as if he "was sending people to do
work naked."
Chihuri decried that there were people who expect the police force to
deliver, but gave little attention to their requirements.
He said work at the Sadc Interpol regional offices in Harare was  near
completion, but needed more funds to finish building the structure.
Chihuri added a report on that had been sent to the regional Sadc offices, a
situation he said was not good for the country's image.
Chihuri said he was surprised that the Central Investigations Department
(CID) offices expected to be complete within three or four months were now
going to take up to five years due to financial constrains.
The home affairs permanent secretary and Mudede also chipped in on behalf of
Chihuri saying things needed to be improved in the police force.
Machaya said when he was coming to the meeting he had met some police
officers who had urged him to raise the issue of salaries, while Mudede
weighed in saying the Parliament of Zimbabwe must come up with solutions to
problems facing the police force.
Machaya said the police had lawsuits to the tune of US$3million, but had so
far managed to secure US$2 million from the central bank, but was finding it
difficult to source the remainder.
He did not state who was suing the police and the cases involved.
The Parliamentary portfolio committee member and MDC Kambuzuma legislator,
Willias Madzimure, said the situation has gone so bad in ZRP that on
Saturday when some people went to a police station to lodge a report they
could not do so because the police officer there did not have a pen.

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