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

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The Village Voice, NY

Nat Hentoff

Land of Fear, Rape, and Hunger
The City Council Welcomes a Dictator
October 4th, 2002 4:00 PM

People have been detained and tortured. In the country now, literally, no
one's safety and security is guaranteed if there is even the slightest doubt
of support for President Mugabe.
-Adotei Akwei, Africa advocacy director of Amnesty International USA, The
New York Times, September 16


In the rape camps of Zimbabwe, young girls are horrifically abused-often to
punish Mugabe's political opponents. . . . Mugabe has stationed two officers
from his feared Central Intelligence Organisation in every village; merely
talking to a murungu, or white man, can lead to interrogation or beatings.

-Christina Lamb, Sunday Telegraph, London, August 25


On September 12, Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe-once its liberator and
now its brutal dictator-was welcomed to New York's City Hall. Invited by
voluble city council member Charles Barron of Brooklyn, Mugabe spoke to a
dozen or so councilmembers, most of them members of the black and hispanic

The rest of that deliberative body stayed away, including council speaker
Gifford Miller. Although saying he was 'deeply troubled' by reports of human
rights abuses in Zimbabwe, Miller properly opened a conference room for what
amounted to a tribute to Mugabe because, he said, it would have been "a
terrible mistake" to deny him free speech.

Also obviously entitled to free speech and free association by the First
Amendment were the councilmembers who could have come and countered Mugabe's
flow of self-justifications. Their questions and rebuttals would have
educated the public and the media about a country on the brink of mass
starvation, where Mugabe denies food to those who voted against him.

In Washington, on August 20, Andrew Natsios, the administrator for the
United States Agency for International Development, said, "We now have
confirmed reports in a number of areas in the most severely affected region
of this country, which is the south, that food is being distributed to
people who are members of Mugabe's political party and not being distributed
based on need." (Emphasis added.)

Why were Gifford Miller and other members of the City Council, who are aware
of Mugabe's ruthless rule, not present to confront him? Surely, some
wouldn't have stayed away years ago if the head of South Africa's apartheid
government had come to City Hall.

Were they afraid of offending Charles Barron? In the September 16 New York
Times, Joyce Purnick noted that few of Barron's colleagues-"even those
offended by the Mugabe visit-will criticize the councilman publicly, saying
they fear he'll find a way to register his displeasure."

To be sure, the vivid Mr. Barron very vigorously and articulately exercises
his First Amendment rights. But when I called him-never having spoken to him
previously-before I could even say "Mugabe," the cordial councilmember spoke
enthusiastically of something I had written long ago about a jazz original,
Pharoah Sanders. When we did get to the subject at hand, Barron called for
"balance" in reporting on Zimbabwe.

"Everybody wants to talk about human rights," he told me, "but what about
the white farmers who so long have taken and held the land belonging to the
people of Zimbabwe?"

Indeed, Mugabe makes much of how he is liberating these farms so that their
rightful owners, the people, can take them back. Well, speaking of balance
in reporting on Zimbabwe, there is this dispatch, distributed by AllAfrica
Global Media (, which appeared in the September 20 Daily News
of Zimbabwe's capital, Harare (formerly Salisbury). Some members of the
press in that country, at considerable personal risk, keep speaking truth to

In his account, Pedzisai Ruhanya, the paper's chief reporter, writes:

"Monica Chinamasa, the wife of the Minister of Justice, Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa, has joined other VIPs in the
scramble to take over prime farms under the pretext of resettling landless
peasants. . . . She joins other high-ranking . . . officials, senior civil
servants, business people, and top military officials who have acquired
prime land under the government's controversial fast-track land resettlement

Had Gifford Miller and other City Council members been present at the
reception for Mugabe, they could have asked further about his views on
equitable redistribution of the land. They might also have asked the maximum
leader about Andrew Natsios's claim-in speaking of parts of Zimbabwe being
on the edge of a famine-that "the children of opposition party members have
been driven away from school supplementary feeding programs in rural areas."

Since Charles Barron is clearly very knowledgeable about the life force of
jazz, I would think he might be interested in finding out about the life
prospects of these children whose grave offense to the nation is that their
parents voted the wrong way in the last election.

And the civil libertarians on our city council could have asked Mugabe about
the following report from the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, which has
been an invaluable source of information on Mugabe's Zimbabwe. The
committee, referring to the Public Order and Security Act, passed by the
Mugabe-controlled parliament in January of this year, notes:

"The Act makes it an offense to make a public statement with the intention
to, or knowing there is a risk of, 'undermining the authority of or
insulting' the President. This prohibition includes statements likely to
engender 'feelings of hostility towards' the President, cause 'hatred,
contempt, or ridicule' of the President, or any 'abusive, indecent, obscene,
or false statements about him personally, or his office. The use of the word
'or' here indicates that even true statements are considered criminal."

Since Charles Barron is an irrepressibly free spirit, he is fortunate he is
not a citizen of Mugabe's Zimbabwe, because at some point, his own zest for
free speech would do him in.

Next week, a message from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who persistently fought
against apartheid and now has engaged Robert Mugabe.
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Mugabe's 'Speeches' Beside the Point

Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)

October 4, 2002
Posted to the web October 4, 2002

Osmond T Chinhema

WHETHER our illegitimate president was jeered or cheered at the World Summit
is besides the point, the truth is Mugabe is suffering from mental

Whenever he addresses a gathering, be it at the Taliban acre or
international guests, the man just runs out of ideas.

His speeches are full of vitriol and are vulgar.

Whatever he says is silly and stupid.

Mugabe and his bootlickers who have ruined the once promising economy in
Africa can no longer hoodwink the nation.

Joining the fray is the stammering and foolish Namibian president who
demanded that "the EU must give Africa money", just like that. That's
poppycock. Anyone in his right mind will not give credibility to such a
muddle of words. Money to build militia camps and torture opposition
supporters who are regarded as "enemies" yet the ruling party is the real
enemy of the people!

These guys are fast becoming senile. It is high time they became fiction

Robert and Sam must get real, the world is watching and history will
ruthlessly judge them. They must be reminded that they are now diplomatic
garbage. How can they waste their time pouring vitriol at Western leaders
yet their populace is languishing in poverty whereas Westerners have almost

Had madness been a virtue, these guys deserve some accolades. Unfortunately
madness is a vice. They try and outdo each other speaking nonsense as if
there is a price for insanity.

Regardless of the audience and the occasion, Mugabe uses the same speech if
ever it's worth the name, what he regularly changes are the dates.

He is always confused like a cockroach, thus he ends up deviating from the
norm because he is feeling the heat as each day passes.

Problems in Zimbabwe are too numerous to mention all because of Mugabe and
his cronies who terrorise defenceless civilians for their own selfish ends.
Some among the top echelons in the ruling party give their workers shoes and
bicycles as exit packages when their "businesses" fold because they use bank
loans to live lavish lives, buying new cars.

I wish I could be innovative so that I could design a condom going for over
$1 million because there are ruling party fat cats and friends who provide a
ready market since they want the most expensive thing available. These are
just well fed dogs that bark for their master until reality catches up with

Whether the number of MPs or councillors that each party has means anything
about the people's wishes or not, the truth is Zanu PF cannot win a free and
fair election. The way the economy is being run is a replica of what is
happening in Mugabe's cronies' businesses.

Take heart beloved Zimbabweans, though our hearts bleed because of the
current fiasco, one day we will rejoice. Expect the worst and hope for the
best. Let us pray for the civic society for their unwavering desire to see a
just and well-fed society. May God richly bless them. To the ruling party's
fat cats who are holding people to ransom, let them be warned:

Zimbabweans must not be in bondage forever, everything has its season.

By the way, does the weird claim that "the economy is the land and the land
is the economy" still hold any water? To me it's just a myopic view of the
economy which is being mortgaged to the Libyans in exchange for oil.

Have you ever realised that when Gaddafi greets black people he wears white
gloves? Any comradeship to talk about? Food for thought.
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MOZAMBIQUE: Focus on a decade of peace

Thursday, 03 October 2002

MAPUTO, 3 Oct 2002 (IRIN) - Returning to a country after many years away can
bring surprises. But few are prepared for all the changes that have taken
place in Mozambique.

Barnaby Phillips, who worked as the BBC correspondent in Mozambique eight
years ago, found himself lost sometimes, despite having lived in the
capital, Maputo, for several years.

"I am staying at the 'Avenida' a posh hotel that didn't exist in my time. I
ate at the famous Mundos Restaurant yesterday, which also didn't exist. And
after dinner I tried to find my old flat, which used to be just in front of
a huge gaping hole in the ground. That hole also no longer exists. I got
lost. Then I realised that instead of the hole there were these high rise
luxury apartment blocks, some of which were for sale," he told IRIN.

The fact the apartments were for sale was also a new phenomenon, in what was
just over 10 years ago a Marxist Leninist oriented one-party state, where
houses were owned by the state.

Even driving from Johannesburg in South Africa to Maputo was a dramatically
different experience for Phillips. "Before we used to take our lives in our
hands driving from the capital, Maputo, to the border. There was a risk of
armed bandits, and the road was a single carriage-way, badly lit and with
large potholes."

Today, thanks, to a huge US $1.4 billion investment project, the road from
Johannesburg to Maputo is "astonishingly good", said Phillips.

Indeed today, Mozambique is one of the top destinations for investments in
Africa. And most of these investments and changes are due to 10 years of
peace in the country.

Before 1992, Mozambique was ravaged by an 18-year civil war. Half of the
country's population was dependent on food aid for their survival, an
estimated quarter of the population was displaced by the war and one million
Mozambicans had sought refuge in neighbouring countries.

The General Peace Accord marks its 10th anniversary on 4 October. Over the
past decade, two multi-party elections have been held, refugees have long
returned, people are now farming, landmines are slowly being cleared and the
economy boasts a 13 percent growth rate - although international aid still
plays a critical role in the economy.

But it has not all been a smooth ride nor will it continue to be. According
to the 1998 Mozambique National Human Development Report, sponsored by the
UN Development Programme, despite the growth in the country's economy,
Mozambique has the lowest per capita GDP, the most precarious school
enrolment rate and one of the lowest life expectancy indices in the region.
Some 69.4 percent of the 18 million population live in absolute poverty.

Martins Cumbane, a security guard in Maputo, admits that his life is much
better now. He had served for 20 years in the army fighting in the bush
first against Ian Smith's white minority regime in what was then Rhodesia,
and then Renamo rebels in Mozambique. Cumbane can now live peacefully with
his wife and four children. But, he said, "my wage is not enough. Wages do
not correspond to reality."

Cumbane finds providing quality health care and education for his children
especially difficult. He acknowledges that many new schools and health
facilities have been rebuilt since the war (half of all schools and health
facilities were destroyed by Renamo). "But the state-run clinics are not so
good. Even the tablets they give you have sometimes expired," he said.

However, the new private health clinics that have sprung up are expensive,
averaging around US $20 for a consultation, just about US $10 less than the
minimum wage.

Cumbane's eldest daughter received a poor education. She had to attend the
last shift of school, which begins at 6.30pm and ends at 11pm. Apart from
the obvious problems of studying at night when a child is tired or should be
playing, "transport home was very difficult for her," said Cumbane.

However, a few people have become very rich, some of whom are benefiting
from flourishing organised crime and corruption. Mozambique has become one
of the most important corridors for drug traffickers, mainly for the South
African market.

Unsurprisingly, fear exists around the investigation of organised crime. One
of the country's most renowned journalists, Carlos Cardoso, a father of two
children, was shot and killed in the heart of Maputo almost two years ago.
At the time he was delving into the disappearance of millions of dollars
from one of the main banks. One of the six people held in a maximum security
prison for Cardoso's murder was able to escape last month just before his
trial was due.

Mozambique is vulnerable to natural disasters too. Floods in February 2000
left about 700 dead, one million people displaced and economic activity
disrupted in the southern part of the country. Today, a drought and
resulting food shortages, although not nearly as severe as in neighbouring
Zambia and Zimbabwe, threatens about five percent of the population.

But the most serious modern day disaster for Mozambique is HIV/AIDS.
Mozambique now has one of the world's highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates with
about 12.2 percent of the adult population infected. In 1999 an estimated
600 people became infected every day.

Life expectancy will drop dramatically due to AIDS and the already high
infant and child mortality rates in Mozambique are expected to increase by
at least 20 percent, according to UN figures.

HIV/AIDS particularly affects adults between the ages of 20 to 49, who are
often the income earners and the most productive members of society.
Households will face the costs of increased health care, funeral expenses
and loss of income due to illness and death. Moreover, many families will
have to absorb children orphaned by AIDS.

How Mozambique copes with the devastating HIV/AIDS epidemic, rampant
poverty, corruption and organised crime will undoubtedly be key to how its
notable economic developments really benefit its people over the next 10

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express permission of the original owner. All materials copyright © UN
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2002
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Epiphany under the sun

Almost 40 years ago, Paul Theroux was an idealistic young teacher in Malawi.
In this exclusive extract from his new book, he returns to find his former
school in ruins and the country in crisis

Saturday October 5, 2002
The Guardian

Paved roads ran where there had once been only rutted tracks; the train line
to Balaka that I had taken in 1964 to a Mua leprosarium by the lake was
defunct - and so was the leper colony.
The ferry at Liwonde across the Shire River had been replaced by a bridge.
All this was progress, but still on these new thoroughfares the Africans,
buttocks showing in their tattered clothes, walked barefoot.

I did not arrive in the hill-town of Zomba until after dark. The main street
was unlit, people flitting and stumbling in the dark. Zomba had been the
capital of Malawi's British incarnation, the little tea-growing protectorate
of Nyasaland.

The still small town was a collection of tin-roofed, red-brick buildings
clustered together at the edge of Zomba plateau. The Zomba Gymkhana Club had
been the settlers' meeting place and social centre in British times but,
absurdly, membership was restricted according to pigmentation, whites
predominating, a few Indians, some golden-skinned mixed-raced people known
then as "coloureds". Even in the years just after Malawi's independence in
1964 the club was nearly all white - horsey men and women, cricketers and
rugger hearties.

Back then, I was not a member of any club, but was sometimes an unwilling
party to rants by beer-swilling Brits, wearing club blazers and cardigans,
and saying, "Let Africans in here and they'll be tearing up the billiard
table and getting drunk and bringing their snotty little piccanins in the
bar. There'll be some African woman nursing her baby in the games room."

This was considered rude and racist, yet in its offensive way it was fairly
prescient, for the rowdy teenagers now at the billiard table were stabbing
their cues at the torn felt, the bar was full of drunks, and a woman was
breast-feeding her baby under the dart board. But if the fabric of the place
had deteriorated, the atmosphere was about the same as before. Some relics
remained - the sets of kudu and springbok horns mounted high on the wall,
the glass cases of dusty fishing flies. The calendar was months out of date,
the portraits were gone, the floor was unswept.

Soon my friend arrived and greeted me warmly. He was David Rubadiri, whom I
had first met in 1963, when he had been headmaster of my school, Soche
Hill - Sochay, was the correct way of saying it. The shortage of college
graduates at independence meant that Rubadiri was plucked from the school
and put into the diplomatic service.

The prime minister, Hastings Banda, appointed him Malawi's ambassador to
Washington. There, Rubadiri prospered until three or four months after
independence, when there was a sudden power struggle. The cabinet ministers
denounced Hastings Banda as a despot and held a vote of no confidence in

From a distance, Rubadiri joined in, but Banda survived what became an
attempted coup d'etat, and he turned on his accusers. Those who had opposed
him either left the country or fought in the guerrilla underground. Banda
remained in power for the next 30 years.

Rubadiri was disgraced for taking sides, and lost his job. He went to Uganda
to teach at Makerere University. After it became known that I had assisted
him - I delivered him his car, driving it 2,000 miles through the bush to
Uganda - I was accused of aiding the rebels and branded a revolutionary. I
was deported from Malawi late in 1965, ejected from the Peace Corps ("You
have jeopardised the whole programme!"), and with Rubadiri's help, was hired
at Makerere.

One week I was a schoolteacher, the following week a university professor.
The combination of physical risk, social activism, revolutionary fervour,
Third World politics and naiveté characterised this drama of the 60s.

So our careers, Rubadiri's and mine, had become intertwined. We had been
friends for 38 years. His fortunes had risen again with the change of
government in Malawi. In the mid-90s he was appointed Malawi's ambassador to
the UN, and after four or five years, was made vice-chancellor of the
University of Malawi.

He had two wives and nine children, and was now almost 70, grizzled and
venerable. It was wonderful to see him again. We went down the hill to the
University Club, another glorified bar from the 20s. One man I recognised
almost immediately as an old student of mine - the same chubby face and big
head on narrow shoulders, the same heavy-lidded eyes that made him look
ironic. His hair was grey but otherwise he was Sam Mpechetula, now wearing
shoes. I had last seen him when he was a barefoot 15-year-old, in grey

He was now 52, in a jacket and necktie. He was married, a father of four,
and a teacher at Bunda College, outside Lilongwe. So at least I could say
that one of my students had taken my place as an English teacher in a Malawi
classroom. That had been one of my more modest goals.

"Do you remember much about our school?" I asked. "It was a good school -
the best. They were the best days of my life," he said. "The Peace Corps
guys were wonderful. They brought blue jeans and long hair to Malawi."

"What a legacy," I said. "They talked to Africans. Do you know, before they
came, white people didn't talk to us."

Dinner was at Rubadiri's house, the former home of the British High
Commissioner - a sprawling one-story colonial mansion. His wife, Gertrude,
stayed up late, drinking tea and monologuing. She was intelligent and, for
her generation, highly educated, having gone to Fort Hare university in
South Africa. Robert Mugabe, later guerrilla fighter and erratic president
of Zimbabwe, had been one of her classmates.

"Mugabe was so studious - we called him 'Bookworm'."

Fearful of offering an insult, I at first tentatively suggested that on my
return to Malawi I was seeing a country greatly reduced. Gertrude seized on
this, for she too had been away for a long time - perhaps 25 years.

"Things are worse," she said decisively. "When I came back in 1994 the
poverty here really shocked me. I could not believe the people could be so
poor... The people were dressed in rags. The streets were littered with
rubbish. The foreign charities here are doing our work for us - so many of
them! What progress are they making? Will we have them for ever? There were
not so many before. Why do we still need them after so long? David says I am
a pessimist, but to tell the truth I am a bit ashamed."

I set off the next morning to revisit my school, 45 miles down the road from
Zomba. I had been imagining this return trip down the narrow track to Soche
Hill for many years. It was a homecoming in a more profound sense than my
going back to Medford, Massachusetts, where I had grown up. In Medford, I
was one of many people struggling to leave, to start my life; but in Malawi,
at Soche Hill school, I was alone, making my life.

The African world I got to know was not the narrow existence of the tourist
or big-game hunter, or the rarified and misleading experience of the
diplomat, but the more revealing progress of an ambitious exile in the bush.

In Malawi I began identifying with Rimbaud and Graham Greene, and it was in
Africa that I began my lifelong dislike of Ernest Hemingway, from his
shotguns to his mannered prose. Ernest was both a tourist and a big-game
hunter. The Hemingway vision of Africa begins and ends with the killing of
large animals, so that their heads may be displayed to impress visitors with
your prowess.

That kind of safari is easily come by. You pay your money and you are shown
elephants and leopards. You talk to servile Africans, who are generic
natives. The human side of Africa is an afternoon visit to a colourful

Of all the sorts of travel available in Africa, the easiest to find and the
most misleading is the Hemingway experience. In some respects the
feed-the-people obsession that fuels some charities is related to this, for
I seldom saw relief workers who did not in some way remind me of people
herding animals and throwing food to them, much as rangers did to the
animals in drought-stricken game parks.

Fearing the draft, I had joined the Peace Corps and been sent to Nyasaland,
an African country not yet independent. So I experienced the last gasp of
British colonialism, the in-between period of uncertain changeover, and the
hopeful assertion of black rule. That was lucky, too, for I saw this process
at close quarters, and African rule, necessary as it was, was also a tyranny
in Malawi from day one.

My work justified my existence in Africa. What I liked then was what I still
like, village life, and tenacious people, and saddleback mountains of stone
and flat plains. The road from Zomba had everything - vistas almost to
Mozambique, the savannah of scattered trees, small villages, roadside stands
where people sold potatoes and sugar cane - famine food, for the maize was
not yet harvested.

I liked the sweet somnolence of rural Africa. I stopped at the nearby town
of Limbe, which began abruptly, the edge of the town slummy, with outdoor
businesses, bicycle menders, car repairers, coffin makers - the rest of it
chaotic, litter and mobs, and a proliferation of bars and dubious-looking
clinics. I went into a bank to get a cash advance on my credit card.

The clerk said, "This transaction will take three days." An African behind
me in line sighed on my behalf and said, "That should take no more than an
hour. That's disgusting."

He was a Malawian, Dr Jonathan Banda, a political science teacher at
Georgetown, in Washington DC. He had left Malawi while quite young, in 1974,
had travelled and studied in various countries but had finished his PhD in
the United States. He had just come back to Malawi and he was disappointed
by what he saw.

"It is dirty - it's awful," he said. "The people are greedy and
materialistic. They're lazy, too. They show no respect. They push and shove.
They are awful to each other."

I asked him about charities and aid agencies - the agents of virtue in white
Land Rovers. What were they changing? "Not much - because all aid is
political," he said.

"When this country became independent it had very few institutions. It still
doesn't have many. The donors aren't contributing to development. They
maintain the status quo. Politicians love that, because they hate change.
The tyrants love aid. Aid helps them stay in power and it contributes to
underdevelopment. It's not social or cultural and it certainly isn't
economic. Aid is one of the main reasons for underdevelopment in Africa."

I walked up the main street to see if the Malawi Censorship Board was still
operating. Indeed it was, still a government office in its own substantial
building at the east end of town. I knocked on a door at random and found an
African man in a pinstripe suit sitting at a desk, a Bible open at his

"I can sell you this," he said, and handed me a pamphlet titled Catalogue of
Banned Publications, Cinematograph Pictures and Records, with Supplement,
dated 1991.

"Please give me five kwacha." He then opened a ledger labelled Accounts
Section Censorship Board, and filled out a lengthy receipt in triplicate,
stamped it, and tore out a copy for me.

"Don't you have anything more recent than 1991?" "Please wait here. I will
need your name."

This Malawian catalogue of banned books would have constituted a first-year
college reading list in any enlightened country. Flipping through the
pamphlet I saw that it contained novels by John Updike, Graham Greene,
Bernard Malamud, Norman Mailer, Yukio Mishima, DH Lawrence, James Baldwin,
Kurt Vonnegut, Vladimir Nabokov and George Orwell.

Animal Farm was banned, as well as - more predictably - many books with
titles such as Promiscuous Pauline and School Girl Sex. Salman Rushdie's
name was on the list - the president, Mr Muluzi, was a Muslim, that could
explain it - and so was my name; after all these years, my novel Jungle
Lovers, set in Malawi, was still banned.

The censorship officer was still down the hall. It seemed to me that the
wisest thing to do was leave the censorship board before they linked my name
with that of the pernicious author on their list.

I drove out of Limbe by a familiar route: uphill through a forest that had
once been much larger, past a village that had once been much smaller, on a
paved road that had once been just a muddy track. My hopes were raised by
this narrow but good back road that ascended to the lower slopes of Soche
Hill, for I assumed that this improved road implied that the school too had
been improved.

But I was wrong, the school was almost unrecognisable. What had been a set
of school buildings in a large grove of trees was a semi-derelict compound
of battered buildings in a muddy open field. The trees had been cut down,
the grass was chest-high. At first glance the place seemed abandoned: broken
windows, doors ajar, mildewed walls, gashes in the roofs, and just a few
people standing around, doing nothing but gaping at me.

I walked to the house I had once lived in. The now-battered building had
once lain behind hedges, in a bower of blossoming shrubs, but the shrubbery
was gone, replaced by a scrappy garden of withered maize and cassava at one
corner. Tall elephant grass had almost overwhelmed it and now pressed
against the house. The building was scorched and patched and the veranda
roof broken. Mats lay in the driveway, mounds of white flour drying on
them - except that falling rain had begun to turn it to paste.

To someone unfamiliar with Africa the house was the very picture of
disorder. I knew better. A transformation had occurred, an English
chalet-bungalow turned into a serviceable African hut, not a very colourful
hut, even an unlovely hut. But it was not for me to blame the occupants for
finding other uses for the driveway, or chopping the trees up for firewood,
or slashing the hedges, or growing cassava where I had grown petunias.

I met two teachers standing in the wet road, chatting together. They
introduced themselves as Anne Holt from Fife in Scotland, and Jackson Yekha,
a Malawian - new teachers here.

"I've read some of your books," Anne said. "I didn't know you'd taught
here." She was 22, as I had been here at Soche Hill, and so as a ghost I was
visiting and haunting my earlier self, and seeing myself as I had been:
thin, pale, standing on a wet road in the bush, with a foxed and mildewed
textbook in my hand.

It was Jackson Yekha, not I, who bemoaned the poverty and disorder in the
country. He said, "Things are terrible. What can we do to change?" I said,
"First you have to decide what's important to you. What do you want?" "I
want things to be better. Houses. Money. The life."

"What's stopping you?"

"The government is not helping us."

"Maybe the government wants to prevent things from becoming better."

I sketched out my theory that some governments in Africa depended on
underdevelopment to survive - bad schools, poor communications, a feeble
press and ragged people.

They needed poverty to obtain foreign aid, they needed ignorance and
uneducated and passive people to keep themselves in office for decades.

"The NG0s pull out the teachers," Jackson said. "They offer them better pay
and conditions."

That was interesting - the foreign charities and virtue activists, aiming to
improve matters, coopted underpaid teachers, turned them into food
distributors in white Land Rovers, and left the schools understaffed.

The library, a large substantial building, had been the heart of the school.
It had never been difficult to get crates of new books from overseas
agencies. My memory of the Soche library was an open-plan room divided by
many high bookcases and filled shelves, 10,000 books, a table of magazines,
a reference section with encyclopedias.

It was almost in total darkness. One light burned. Nearly all the shelves
were empty. The light fixtures were empty too.

"What happened to the books?"

"Students stole them."

I thought: I will never send another book to this country. I also thought:
if you're an African student and you need money, it made a certain criminal
sense to steal books and sell them. It was a justifiable form of poaching,
like a villager snaring a warthog, disapproved of by the authorities but
perhaps necessary.

I looked around the dismal school and thought how I had longed to return
here. I had planned to spend a week helping, perhaps teaching, reliving my
days as a volunteer. This was my Africa.

"You're planting a seed!" Some people had said. But the seed had not
sprouted and now it was decayed and probably moribund. I wanted to see some
African volunteers - caring for the place, sweeping the floor, cutting
grass, washing windows, glueing the spines back on to the few remaining

Or, if that was not their choice, I wanted to see them torching the place
and dancing around the flames; then ploughing everything under and planting
food crops. Until either of those things happened I would not be back.

On my return to Zomba I drove to Blantyre (named after David Livingstone's
birthplace in Scotland) and stopped at a shop on a side street, Supreme
Furnishers, to see another of my students, Steve Kamwendo. He was now branch
manager, aged 51, father of six, a big healthy man. I told him where I had
been. His face fell.

"You went to Soche?" he said. "Did you shed tears?" He lamented that the
school was in a bad way, that crime was terrible and life in general very
hard. His own business was good. Malawian-made furniture, and bedsteads and
lamps from South Africa and Zimbabwe, were popular because furniture
imported from outside Africa was so expensive.

"Your old students are doing well, but the country is not doing well. People
are different - much poorer, not respectful."

"What about your kids, Steve?"

"They are in America - four of them are in college in Indiana. One is
graduating in June."

By any standards, his was a success story. All his savings went towards
educating his children elsewhere and, though he was gloomy about Malawi's
prospects, he was encouraging his children to return to the country to work.

"It's up to them now," I said.

I returned to Zomba sooner than I had expected, with an unanswered question
in my mind. Why were the schools so underfunded?

"I can tell you that," Gertrude Rubadiri said.

"The money was taken."

It seemed that two million American dollars, earmarked for education from a
European donor country, had recently been embezzled by politicians in a scam
that involved the creation of fictional schools and fictional teachers. The
men were in jail, awaiting trial, but the money was gone.

After dinner one night, I sat with David Rubadiri. In his expansive mood he
was a romantic. He had lived through the worst years of Malawi, he had
occupied high positions, he had been an exile, and he was now powerful
again, running the national university, though it was millions in debt and
so behind in salaries that all classes had been cancelled. Students were
threatening to hold demonstrations in Zomba. "Your children are doing so
well," he said.

"When I was in London one of them had his own TV show and the other had just
published a novel. Clever chaps."

"Thanks," I said. Though I was flattered, I found it hard to say more. My
feeling of annoyance had turned into physical discomfort.

"What I would like," David said in an emphatic way, a little theatrical, "is
for one of your children to come here for a spell."

After what I had seen since entering Malawi weeks before, I found the idea
shocking and unacceptable, like Almighty God instructing Abraham to
sacrifice Isaac. Shock gave way to incredulity and bewilderment.

"What would either of my sons do here, for goodness sake?"

"He would work, he would teach, he would be a source of ideas and
inspiration." It was the old song, but just a song. I said, "But you've had
plenty of those people. Years of those people. Years and years."

"I want your son." What he meant as praise and, perhaps flattery, offended
me. Now in his insistence he sounded like one of Herod's hatchet men, just
before the Slaughter of the Innocents. I want your son. Why were these
murderous Biblical metaphors occurring to me? Perhaps because Malawians were
such a church-going bunch.

"How many children do you have, David?"

"As you know, nine."

"How many of them are teaching here?"

"One is in Reno, one in Baltimore, one in London, one in Kampala,
another..." he stopped himself and looked tetchy.

"Why are you inquiring?"

"Because you're doing what everyone does - you're asking me to hand over one
of my kids to teach in Malawi. But Marcel taught in India, and Louis was a
teacher in Zimbabwe. They've had that experience - have yours?"

I was a bit too shrill in my reply. He took it well but he saw me as
unwilling, someone no longer persuaded by the cause. He suspected that I had
turned into Mr Kurtz. He was wrong. I was passionate about the cause. But
though my children would be enriched by the experience of working in Africa,
nothing at all would change as a result of their being here.

Still trying to control my indignation I said as quietly as I could, "What
about your kids? This is their country. They could make a difference. They
are the only people - the only possible people - who will ever make a
difference here."

This was my Malawian epiphany. Only Africans were capable of making a
difference in Africa. Everyone else, donors and volunteers and bankers, were
simply agents of subversion.

Back in Blantyre, I saw a man on the sidewalk lying in wait for me. Seeing
me, the man smiled and frolicked ahead, flapping his arms to get my
attention. Then he crouched in front of me, blocking my path, and said, "I
am hungry. Give me money." I said "No", and stepped over him and kept

· This is an edited extract from Paul Theroux's book Dark Star Safari:
Overland from Cairo to Cape Town (Hamish Hamilton, £17.99).

· This is an edited extract from Paul Theroux's book: Overland from Cairo to
Cape Town (Hamish Hamilton, £17.99). To order a copy for £15.99 plus p&p
call Guardian book service on 0870 066 7979.
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Globe and Mail, Canada

Global Fund fights AIDS with tied hands

Kofi Annan's ambitious initiative against disease
in developing countries struggles with unpaid bills,
unkept commitments and corrupt governments. As STEPHANIE NOLEN
reports, its head office doesn't yet even have voice mail


      Saturday, October 5, 2002 - Page F6

      It was announced as a bold new solution for the world's worst problem.
It was to be an unprecedented partnership between rich nations and
multinational companies to vanquish AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, the
triumvirate of diseases that are the worst killers in poor countries.

      The idea was born in mid-2001, and in January, United Nations
Secretary-General Kofi Annan formally announced the creation of a Global
Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis. He said about seven to 10
billion new dollars a year were needed to tackle the diseases, and the fund
would put those dollars directly into the hands of the people best able to
use them.

      Applicants, whether developing nations or independent organizations,
would design their ideal anti-AIDS programs and submit proposals to the
fund. The fund would assess those applications rigorously, based on the
technical soundness and transparency of the programs. If the plans were
good, money -- unprecedented amounts of money -- would arrive, and fast.

      But nine months in, the fund has raised only a sliver of the money it
needs, at the most conservative estimates; it has announced $1.6-billion
(all figures U.S.) in grants to poor nations, but not given out a dime. The
state of the fund has activists harping and its own staff apologetic: If
this is the radical solution, things don't bode well for the problem.

      "There's been no money for months, nothing has come in, and there is
no plan extant on who owes and how they will pay," said Stephen Lewis, Mr.
Annan's special adviser on AIDS in Africa. "We're really in trouble unless
it gets turned around."

      An estimated 40 million people worldwide are infected with HIV, and
250,000 die from AIDS each month, the vast majority of them in the
developing world. In a bleak tandem with HIV come tuberculosis -- to which
HIV patients are hugely vulnerable, and which kills two million people a
year -- and malaria, which weakens thousands and kills a million more. The
spread of these three diseases is rapidly undermining the gains made in
public health in the Third World in recent years.

      The first 58 fund applications were approved in April, with a total
value of $1.6-billion. They include bed nets soaked in insecticide for East
Africa, and a push to widen access to the anti-AIDS retroviral "cocktail" in
West Africa. A second round of applications was submitted last week and
approvals will be announced in January. But will the fund have any money to
give out?

      The sum total of pledges to date is $2.1-billion over five years, a
fraction of what Mr. Annan wanted. Actual cheques are quite another thing --
right now there is only $500-million in the fund's account. Canada has
pledged $150-million (U.S.) over four years; the first $37.5-million payment
has been delivered. There have been no significant corporate donations; the
only big non-state pledge is $100-million from the Bill and Melinda Gates

      Anil Soni, adviser to the fund's executive director, acknowledged the
widespread worries. But he said the first payments will go out this month, a
pace he called "remarkably quick" in comparison with other large
multilateral organizations.

      Still, the fund is further hobbled by the fact that it must create an
international organization totally outside existing structures. This is not
a UN fund, and it was created with a promise that it would not use any
existing multilateral bodies to manage its money; at the same time, it must
be "light" and poised to disburse funds fast.

      The U.S. administration made it clear, early on, that in keeping with
the President's larger campaign against "wasteful" foreign aid, the fund was
going to have to prove it was unlike existing donor mechanisms if it wanted
American support. So it was obliged to create its own infrastructure,
accounting and procurement operations -- not just at its head office in
Geneva but in every country where it operates.

      A British public-health expert named Richard Feachem has assumed the
job of executive director, but the fund still lacks many senior staffers,
and the Geneva office doesn't yet have even voice mail. More gravely, it
lacks a financial plan.

      Next week, Dr. Feachem is expected to announce a schedule for when
money will go out, and a plan for wresting money from apathetic donors. One
proposal on the table is a formula to calculate what the richest nations
should donate, based on gross domestic product, in much the same way UN dues
are tabulated. Its success will depend on its reception in the White House.

      The "bold new initiative" has other problems as well. With only one
round of applications approved, it is already clear that the process is not
"unfettered." Malawi, for example, was approved last month for $196-million
over five years. But the small southern African nation, where an estimated
one in four adults has HIV, initially asked for $1.6-billion over four

      The official story is that the fund board praised Malawi's ambition
but was not confident that its National AIDS Commission could absorb that
money. Malawi redrafted the proposal repeatedly, until the $196-million
version was approved.

      Supporters such as Erasmus Morah, a Canadian who directs the UNAIDS
operation in Malawi, says this was reasonable. "The feeling was, don't take
such a big piece of pie that you choke on it, and you ruin the possibility
of more pie later," he said. "The country felt pressure to submit a proposal
that has a 'reasonable budget,' not relative to the need, because the need
is insatiable, but relative to what they think can do."

      Certainly, Malawi's government has a troubling track record on
transparency and corruption. Ominously, after the grant was announced,
responsibility for the AIDS commission -- and its funds -- was removed from
the office of the widely respected vice-president to the less-trusted

      But others -- including Jeffrey Sachs, renowned Columbia University
poverty theorist -- accused bilateral donors (including the British
Department for International Development and USAID) of beating the proposal
down, threatening to withhold their vital "partner approval" because they
feared losing their influence if such a massive amount of money went
directly to the government. Prof. Sachs suggested they did not like the
competition for donations.

      Amir Attaran calls it stinginess -- "it is a long-standing practice of
aid donors, particularly on HIV/AIDS, to practise demand management, to
limit what countries ask for" -- with ominous consequences for Malawi's
fight against the diseases.

      "The $200-million version is more likely to fail than the larger
version would have been," said Prof. Attaran, a Harvard expert on health
issues in developing nations. Very little of it will go to infrastructure,
he said. "As I see this unfolding, crate upon crate of medicine will arrive
at Lilongwe Airport, to a country with grave logistical and human-resource
problems -- not through any wrongdoing on their part, but because they are
poor, and everyone is dying."

      Prof. Attaran was also sharply critical of the first round of
approvals, which included middle-income developing nations such as Chile and
Argentina. "Chile, with $8,000 GDP per capita, got grants -- Chile does not
need grants," he said. "The fund was supposed to be for the poorest, most
disease-ridden countries. If none of the poorest submitted good enough
proposals, [they should] hold on to the $80-million and let Chile go to the
World Bank for loans."

      Another founding principle, a stipulation for good governance, was
undermined by awards to Zimbabwe and North Korea, Prof. Attaran added.

      But Mr. Soni, the fund adviser, countered: "I think that's an example
of what the fund is doing right: If what we require of the government in
Haiti or Cuba is to sit down with NGOs [non-governmental organizations] and
figure out what they need, that supports not only the fight against the
diseases but also the democratic institutions that will help the country
perform better. In Haiti, for example, that money won't go bilaterally to
[the government]; it will come from the fund to the NGOs."

      But the relationship between states and NGO applicants is another
uncertain issue. A project in the South African state of KwaZulu-Natal has
been granted $75-million (U.S.) for an AIDS-care project that includes
providing anti-retroviral medication -- in defiance of the South African
government's stated opposition to the drugs, which it says are toxic.

      The government said it would shut the project down before it let them
have the grant; the fund said the cash would be awarded there or not at all.
The situation is unresolved, but fund watchers have been waiting to see Dr.
Feachem speak out in this test case and tell South Africa that the fund will
watch closely to make sure the project gets the cash.

      But what cash? The fund may soon find itself writing cheques for money
it doesn't have, and Prof. Attaran says that may be a necessary strategy, as
it will embarrass the donors. "They can either parcel out funds in a
pusillanimous way to one country after another and have no country get
what's adequate," he said. "Or they can say, 'Our core principles require us
to approve amounts of money commensurate with the problems of AIDS,
tuberculosis and malaria, when a proposal is technically good, the country
genuinely needs the money, and it practices good government. So we will
operate on those criteria. We will overcommit. We will go into a deficit
situation. And if the international community doesn't like that, it needs to
publicly reverse the commitment that this fund will have $7-billion to
$10-billion a year.' "

      Mr. Soni pointed out that the next test for the fund is how the first
recipients do with their new infusion of cash: "We've placed enormous trust
in those partnerships, and the challenge is to now support those countries
so they get results." Otherwise, it will more difficult than ever to wrest
money out of reluctant donors, Mr. Lewis added.

      Mr. Morah, surrounded by the devastation of AIDS in Malawi, remains
cautiously optimistic that the fund's problems can be resolved. "They wanted
a bold approach. They said they needed to get out of the box [in] handling
these issues, and tap new funds, especially private funds," he mused. "But
when you're out of the box completely, it's hard to move out there, on your

      Stephanie Nolen writes on foreign affairs for The Globe and Mail.
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East London Dispatch

No govt knows of Ryan and his R800m project

By Eddie Botha

Business Editor

EAST LONDON -- Both the Mozambican government and Zimbabwe's Commercial
Farmers Union (CFU) have sided with the British government in denying all
knowledge of a R800 million project to relocate Zimbabwean farmers to

A Daily Dispatch investigation yesterday revealed that potential investors
were being lured locally to invest in the project which claims support from
the British and Mozambican governments.

Despite these denials, the initiator of the project, Christopher Ryan, who
allegedly signed the deal with investors and apparently promised huge
returns on investments, insisted it was on track.

Mozambique High Commission spokesman Bernardo Serage told the Dispatch that
he had never heard of the project. "I am sure that neither the ambassador
nor the government knows about it."

CFU director David Hasluck said from Harare that his organisation would have
known about the project, but that he also had not heard about it. "My farm
borders with Mozambique and I can assure you that there are no such plans. I
also have never heard of a Ryan," he said.

Earlier the British High Commission denied all knowledge of the project and
spokesman Nick Sheppard said it would also not endorse such a project.

However, Ryan, who phoned the Dispatch from London where he currently lives,
maintained that "this was a fantastic project".

He insisted that the project would create jobs for about 500000 people in
Mozambique and would result in making Mozambique independent of food aid in
three years.

"The farmers and Mozambican government and British Parliament all agree that
this is one of the most beautiful (mooiste) projects," said Ryan, who spoke
in Afrikaans.

He admitted that at least one investor had not been paid back what had been
promised in the contract.

The Dispatch yesterday reported that the investor had been promised, within
six weeks, returns of 10 times the amount he had invested in June.

Until this week he had received nothing.

"I have sent documents to attorney Hannes Schoeman and asked him to deal
with this claim."

Ryan insisted that he had discussed the project with the British government,
which he claimed had been very supportive.

"If it had not been for the assistance from so many British members of
parliament, I would not have progressed this far."

Ryan said that he would soon reveal the names of all the project's

"I have a list of investors. The American and Mozambican investors will
contribute the largest part and they will become members of the new

He would also reveal the names of top people in the banking industry who
back the project.

"There are many wealthy people who decided to get into the bus with us after
studying the project."

Ryan said that he has been a financier all his life, operating in
Johannesburg and Cape Town.
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Daily News

      Kunonga's critic gets death threat

      10/5/02 9:26:25 AM (GMT +2)

      By Pedzisai Ruhanya Chief Reporter

      THE infighting in the Anglican Church in Harare took a dark turn this
week when Pauline Makoni, a critic of the embattled Bishop Nolbert Kunonga,
on Monday received an anonymous death threat.

      Mrs Makoni is the wife of well-known banker, Dr Julius Makoni, and the
daughter of the retired bishop of the Anglican Church, Peter Hatendi.

      It is reported that a vehicle came up the driveway of her Highlands
home and an envelope was tossed over the gate. By the time the gardener
picked up the envelope the vehicle had already taken off at high speed.

      When Makoni read the letter, addressed to her personally, she was
brought face-to-face with the threat of death.

      "'Please note," the letter reads, "that your church executive you are
in (sic) should resign not later than today or you will face death. This I
assure you and if you do not tell your members . . ."

      The last part of the letter contains more threats, this time in Shona,
but unprintable in a family newspaper, with obscene references to Mrs
Makoni's private parts.

      Pauline Makoni refused to discuss her ordeal yesterday. "Who gave you
that letter?" she said when contacted by The Daily News. "I cannot discuss
the letter with you because of the pending court case. But I can assure you
I am not in any way scared."

      The letter to Makoni did not bear the name, address or signature of
the writer.

      The matter was reported to Highlands Police Station the same day, but
yesterday the police refused to comment.

      This was the latest incident in the ongoing upheavals that have rocked
the Anglican Church in Harare since the appointment of Kunonga as head of
the Harare Diocese.

      The threat to Makoni's life follows an application in the Harare
Magistrates' Court by Kunonga in which he seeks the court's authority to bar
the leadership of the Cathedral of St Mary and All Saints in Harare,
including Makoni, from attending services and visiting church buildings in
the Harare Diocese.

      As a result of Kunonga's application, Makoni said the leadership of
the Harare Diocese, including herself, were on Saturday barred from church

      In his affidavit, Kunonga alleged the leadership had disrupted church
services by joining other parishioners in accusing him of abusing his
position by preaching pro-Zanu PF sermons.

      But in her affidavit, filed in the court yesterday on behalf of the 18
other parishioners by Beatrice Mtetwa of Kantor and Immerman legal
practitioners, Makoni said the ruling to stop them from carrying out their
duties should be reversed because Kunonga did not have the legal power to
take such a decision. Under Chapter 8.6 of the Acts of the Diocese, any
legal action had to be taken with the consent of the diocesan trustees.

      She said one of the trustees, Chris Molan, confirmed that the diocesan
trustees did not authorise Kunonga to bring the matter to the court.

      It was noted that Kunonga did not have the power to remove duly
elected councillors and wardens because they were not there to serve the
personal interests of the sitting Bishop as their power derived entirely
from the diocesan acts and not from the Bishop.

      "Kunonga also appears to have totally ignored that the respondents are
a creature of the vestry and that they are obliged to carry out the lawful
instructions and resolutions made at the annual vestry meeting.

      "If he has a problem at all with the proceedings of the vestry
meeting, his course of action is not to seek to undo what was achieved
through a democratic process of the church through the back door,'' she

      Makoni said that as councillors legally elected in a vestry meeting
which was lawfully held on the authority and request of Kunonga, "our
mandate is to act in the best interests of the ecclesiastical division and
to ensure that Christian principles are at all times upheld".

      She denied that any of the respondents did anything improper and
Kunonga's failure to particularise the allegations of improper conduct could
only serve to demonstrate that there was nothing to substantiate the

      They said they wanted the court to dismiss Kunonga's application and
allow them to do their duties in accordance with laid out church

      "Kunonga has no power to stop any of the respondents from attending
church and I challenge him to point out the Act and regulation under which
he believes he can bar members from worshipping at any of the diocesan
parishes,'' she said.

      Kunonga is a known Zanu PF supporter and is the only clergyman in
Zimbabwe to be slapped with a travel ban by the United States of America,
joining President Mugabe and other government and party officials, on
allegations of human rights abuses and the break down of law and order.
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Daily News

      Drama as Sheriff attaches ZBC news crew's vehicle

      10/5/02 9:00:05 AM (GMT +2)

      By Lloyd Mudiwa

      A Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) news crew covering a story
at the Harare Magistrates' Courts yesterday turned into a juicy story
themselves when their vehicle was attached outside the court by the office
of the Deputy Sheriff, to the titters from amused by-standers.

      The drastic action against the cash-strapped corporation was taken
over a $3 million debt the government-owned broadcaster owes a private

      The news team, led by the courts and crime correspondent, Tonderai
Katswara, was covering the initial remand hearing of Tichaona Munyanyi, the
MP for Mbare East.

      Munyanyi is a suspect in the murder of Ali Khan Manjengwa, a Zanu PF
activist allegedly assasinated inside Nenyere hostels in Mbare last month.

      But the ZBC car was confiscated and towed to Ferreira's Auctions where
it is expected to be auctioned to offset a $3 million debt the corporation
owes Comms Africa (Pvt) Ltd for compact disc players supplied in January.

      Meanwhile, Justice Moses Chinhengo of the High Court in Harare on
Thursday ordered Munyaradzi Hwengwere, the ZBC's chief executive, to assist
the Deputy Sheriff to attach the corporation's property over a $3,7 million
debt owed to another company, Fawcett Security Operations (Pvt) Ltd, for
security services rendered.

      ZBC had barred the Deputy Sheriff from entering its Pockets Hill
headquarters so he could attach its property, despite court judgments
permitting the seizure.

      The corporation claimed its premises were off-limits as they were
protected by the Protected Places and Area Act.

      Chinhengo granted Thursday's order with the consent of the ZBC and
Hwengwere, represented by Wilson Manase.

      Fawcett was represented by Innocent Chagonda.
      Chinhengo, in an earlier judgment, blasted ZBC for refusing to repay
the debt and barring the Deputy Sheriff from attaching its property.

      He also attacked the member-in-charge of Borrowdale police station for
failing to assist the Deputy Sheriff to attach the property from the
premises, guarded by ZBC's own guards, armed police and soldiers.

      The ZBC had refused to settle the debt, saying that it is in "dire
financial constraints".
      The corporation blamed the armed police and soldiers for barring the
Deputy Sheriff from attaching their property.

      ZBC said the uniformed forces refused to take orders from the
corporation, but only from the ministries of Home Affairs and Defence.

      Chinhengo ordered Borrowdale police to help the Deputy Sheriff and to
ensure the ZBC paid the costs of the application.
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Daily News

      Todd suffers stroke

      10/5/02 9:00:39 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE former Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesian, Sir Garfield Todd,
93, suffered a stroke and was admitted at Mater Dei hospital in Bulawayo on

      His daughter, Judith, said yesterday: "My father was taken ill on
Monday and is recovering at Mater Dei hospital where he has been ordered to
take a complete rest. He is not allowed any visitors."

      Sir Garfield was prime minister of Southern Rhodesia from 1953 to 1958
when he was defeated in an election largely because he was seen to be too
sympathetic to the Africans' cause for a share of political power.

      He was detained by the illegal Ian Smith regime in 1965 and 1972 for
his stand against the Unilateral Declaration of Independence and the
settlement proposals struck between the Smith regime and Britain in 1971.

      Early this year he won a case in which the government had denied him
the right to vote saying he was not a Zimbabwean citizen.
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Daily News

      Losing MDC candidate vows to continue her fight for political change

      10/5/02 9:02:43 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      AFTER losing in the violence-marred rural district council elections
at the weekend, Francisca Ngwende, the MDC candidate for Ward 24 in Murewa
South, is still determined to continue playing her part in agitating for
political change in the country.

      Ngwende, 38, has been assaulted, threatened with death and had her
Macheke house set on fire in January allegedly by Zanu PF militants.

      All that has not deterred her, as she vowed this week to continue to
fight for change as an MDC member rather than join forces with the ruling

      Last Saturday, she sustained a fractured left arm in an attack by
suspected CIO operatives.

      Ngwende, married to war veteran Raphinos Madzokere, and the mother of
five children aged between six and 18 years, said the Zanu PF youths had
tried since the June 2000 parliamentary election to force her into
renouncing her MDC membership.

      She said she was abducted from a bus stop in Macheke and severely
assaulted by suspected CIO men driving a cream Peugeot 504 registration
number 395-377G.
      "We were waiting to deploy our polling agents at the roadside when the
car stopped for us," she said. "Three of our agents got into the car going
to the Waterloo polling station. There was only the driver. I remained
behind waiting for other agents to go."

      Ngwende said 30 minutes later, the vehicle returned with three people
inside. She said they stopped their vehicle and flashed some employment
identification cards.

      But before she could make out what was happening, the three men
bundled her into their vehicle together with Wilbert Chimbwedza, 27, another
election agent and sped off along the Murewa Road with them.

      She said they severely assaulted her with fists, fan belts and sticks.

      "They accused me of using the driver to transport MDC agents when he
belonged to the Zanu PF government," she said. "He even said President
Mugabe would have the driver fired from work if he was found assisting the
MDC agents to travel to polling stations."

      She was dumped by the wayside and walked to Macheke police station
where she made a report to Constable Sumwa.

      Instead, she was fined $100 for alleged misconduct before the police
and Chimbwedza was fined $200 for alleged public violence.
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Daily News

      Nhema pleads lack of resources to curb rampant poaching

      10/5/02 9:05:29 AM (GMT +2)

      By Columbus Mavhunga

      FRANCIS Nhema, the Minister of Environment and Tourism, says the
country cannot curb rampant poaching and environmental degradation because
it does not have enough resources.

      Nhema spoke in Parliament on Tuesday as he presented the Environment
Management Bill, which seeks to concentrate and harmonise the responsibility
for all environment issues under his ministry.

      At the moment environmental legislation is fragmented, with about 20
pieces of legislation administered by five different ministries.

      The main one is the National Resources Act of 1940.
      As a result of the multiplicity of overlapping legislation, vehicle
emissions have become a health hazard in most urban areas and there is
rampant cutting down of trees and poaching of wild animals, especially in
the newly resettled areas.

      Nhema said the proposed Bill would tighten the loopholes.
      "The present legislation allows a fragmented approach to the
management of natural resources. Therefore, the existing laws do not
consider the environment in its totality, nor do they take into account the
international agreements to which Zimbabwe is party.

      "Moreover, the fines for causing environmental damage are too low, and
they do not include the precautionary principle."

      But most members of parliament who contributed to the debate on the
Bill as it went through its Second Reading, said environmental degradation
and poaching would continue as long as the government did not observe the
rule of law.

      Gabriel Chaibva, the MDC MP for Harare South said: "What we need is
the rule of law. This simply means that following on whatever laws we would
have put in place and that has nothing to do with Britain or America.

      "There is rampant cutting down of trees everywhere in places such as
the Henderson
      Research Station in Mazowe. Ministers, the police, MPs from that area
see it and do nothing about it. So whatever pieces of legislation (are in
place) the situation will not change until we observe the rule of law. The
police and the army are involved in the poaching."

      He said there was need to address poverty if there was any commitment
to the fight against poaching.

      "There are more than two million people who have no means of
livelihood as a result of displacement by the land policy. They have now
resorted to poaching," Chaibva said.
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Daily News

      MDC attacks EU laxity on sanctions

      10/5/02 9:10:41 AM (GMT +2)

      Political Editor

      THE MDC has strongly criticised the European Union for allowing senior
Zanu PF
      officials and government ministers to travel to Europe despite the
targeted sanctions against them.

      Moses Mzila-Ndlovu, the MDC shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, said
the EU
      was legitimising President Mugabe by debating whether Zimbabwe should
be invited to the Sadc-EU summit in Copenhagen in November.

      "The MDC is surprised that the EU policy on application of smart
sanctions, has so far not been effective. It is being undermined by the EU
itself as it has allowed targeted
      persons, including the regime's Foreign Affairs Minister, Stan
Mudenge, to travel to Europe. This has rendered the policy an 'all bark and
no bite policy'," said Mzila-Ndlovu.

      He said there should be no debate on whether or not Zimbabwe should be
allowed to attend the Sadc-EU summit in Copenhagen.

      "By succumbing to Sadc pressure for Zimbabwe to be allowed to attend
      meeting, the EU would be guilty of endorsing the Zanu PF culture of
violence and vote-rigging as witnessed in the recent local government
elections, which were held under an atmosphere of violence and lawlessness."
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      Zanu PF youths accused of arson

      10/5/02 9:12:04 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Mutare

      FIVE families from Makwenjere village in Mutasa district were on
Wednesday left homeless after Zanu PF youths celebrating their victory in
the rural district council elections allegedly set their homes on fire.

      The houses belong to MDC members Tobia Tsadziva, Luke Dambaza and
Elias Makwenjere.

      In Mutasa, Zanu PF won all the wards.

      Pishai Muchauraya, the MDC provincial spokesman, said the attack took
place at around 4pm when Zanu PF supporters were celebrating their victory.

      Asked why the incident was not reported to the police, Muchauraya
said: "We have been reporting cases for a long time now and nothing is
happening. Instead, we are arrested."
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      Farm inputs business low after evictions

      10/5/02 9:16:35 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      DUCOUDRAY Duke, the managing director of Banket Farmers' Centre in
Banket, says his business has suffered seriously after the departure from
the area of nearly 250 commercial farmers.

      Duke said the government's land redistribution programme had seriously
affected farm equipment companies such as his.

      "Things have changed for the worse," Duke said. "Expenditure towards
capital investment has dwindled. Can you imagine that in 1997, I sold 77
tractors but I have not sold a single tractor for the past three years since
this land exercise started?"

      He said he used to import agricultural machinery like fertiliser
sprayers from France.
      But since the government began implementing its controversial land
redistribution exercise, he had not imported anything.

      Duke, whose farm equipment firm serviced Kadoma, Mutorashanga,
Raffingora, Darwendale and Chinhoyi, said he had lost about 75 percent of
his potential income.
      He said commercial farming sustained the small town of Banket.

      "Our overhead account cannot be sustained any more. We have been
digging into our reserves which were held in stock but unfortunately, these
are dwindling fast and it's frustrating."

      He said presently his business received on average 40 communal
customers a day who only bought such small items as newspapers, coffee and
occasionally some cutting blades.

      "This heralds the demise of a once viable agriculture enterprise,"
Duke said. "It is imperative that the agricultural sector remains alive,
otherwise it will be very difficult to restart commercial agriculture."

      He said several productive commercial farmers in the Banket area
wanted to continue but the government and war veterans had barred them.

      The government in August served Section 8 eviction orders under the
Land Acquisition Act to about 1 900 commercial farmers in Zimbabwe.

      Under that law, the farmers were ordered to cease all farming

      Duke said he hoped the current problems in the agricultural industry
would one day be resolved and allow productive-minded people to implement
their development projects, in order to revive the economy.

      About 500 000 former farm workers were affected by the controversial,
and sometimes violent, land acquisition exercise.

      The programme has caused serious food shortages, leaving about half
the population of Zimbabwe in dire need of food.
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      Police accused of complicity in rape

      10/5/02 9:17:09 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo

      LUPANE police reportedly delayed the arrest of a senior Zanu PF
official on a charge of raping a minor so that he could run the party's
campaign in last weekend's rural district council elections.

      The rape allegations against Cliford Sibanda, the provincial secretary
for Lupane, came to light on Tuesday last week.

      The police, acting on orders from "above", allegedly refused to arrest
Sibanda until Monday this week after the elections, won easily by Zanu PF.

      Lupane police on Thursday refused to comment on the matter.
      Sibanda, 41, on Tuesday appeared for initial remand before Lupane
magistrate, Felix Ndlovu, facing one count of rape. He was not asked to

      Allegations against Sibanda were that on 29 September at a house at
the Lupane district administrator's compound, he grabbed the girl, aged 14,
and dragged her to a room in the house.

      The girl was described as a maid at the compound and was sweeping a
room when the alleged offence took place.

      It is alleged that Sibanda raped her once and then tried to buy her
silence with $310.

      The offence only came to light when the young girl was asked about the

      She spilt the beans and the matter was reported to the police who
reportedly reacted a week later.
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      Polling agents abducted

      10/5/02 9:17:37 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Masvingo

      FOUR MDC polling agents were allegedly abducted from their polling
stations and severely beaten up by suspected Zanu PF youths from Mushagashe
training centre.

      The youths are alleged to have carried out a vigorous campaign of
violence against the opposition during last weekend's rural district council

      Police in Masvingo yesterday confirmed they had received a report on
the violence but that investigations were still in progress.

      Lovemore Nyikavanhu, Vincent Chemhere, Pikirai Pikirai and Chenjerai
Bhobho, were abducted from their polling stations in Masvingo North
constituency on Saturday morning and taken to Mushagashe training centre
where they were allegedly beaten up by the Zanu PF youths The former skills
training centre was this year turned into a training institution for Zanu PF
youths undergoing so-called national service.
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      Public blasts government over fuel crisis

      10/5/02 9:15:14 AM (GMT +2)

      By Chris Mhike Business Reporter

      'Motorists condemn government for lying with a straight face about the
fuel crisis currently rocking Zimbabwe'

      Members of the public, captains of industry, social commentators and
the MDC have blamed the government for the country's erratic fuel supply

      The country has been experiencing irregular fuel supplies for the past
four years while the government has been insisting that the country has
adequate stocks.

      However, each time the government insists there are enough supplies,
      outside most filling stations country-wide tell a different story.
Sometimes the government blames the shortages on panic buying and hoarding.

      A snap survey by The Daily News yesterday showed that fuel was in
short supply or unavailable at numerous filling stations in Harare.

      Motorists, in most cases find petrol and no diesel at most fuel
outlets. There is never a situation where both are available at the same

      Reuben Marumahoko, the Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development
told Parliament on Thursday that large amounts of fuel were being pumped out
from the Msasa depot and he was surprised by the presence of fuel queues.

      Marumahoko said: "There is no need to panic because the country has
enough fuel. Right now we have called in all the distributors to find out
where the fuel is going. We are still investigating.

      Members of the public interviewed by The Daily News yesterday however
dismissed statements by government officials as "cheap talk."

      "This talk of the nation having abundant fuel supplies is a lot of

      "Ironically, as we queue for fuel while listening to our car radios,
we are told that the country has enough stocks." said an irate motorist in
Harare yesterday.

      Farai Zizhou, acting chief executive of the Confederation of Zimbabwe
Industries said: "It is disturbing to note that the statements coming from
government officials are contradictory to reality.

      "If government is claiming that we have a lot of fuel then, the onus
is on them to explain what is happening," Zizhou said.

      Brian Raftopoulos, a social commentator and Associate Professor at the
University of Zimbabwe's Institute of Development Studies said government
was being dishonest in its statements.

      Raftopoulos said: "Obviously government is not telling the truth about
the fuel supply situation. They must be having serious problems with
payments for fuel. I suppose there are problems even with the Libyan

      "Whatever is happening, the bottom line is that they are not telling
us the truth," Raftopoulos said.

      Meanwhile, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) yesterday issued a
statement in which it blamed government for the chaotic fuel supply
      The MDC said the shortage of fuel being experienced in Harare and
other cities was only a symptom of the bigger crisis of governance by the
present government.

      Paul Themba Nyathi, the party's secretary for Information and
Publicity said: "The recent denial by both the illegitimate regime's
ministry of transport and energy, and officials from the fuel industry that
the country is facing a fuel crisis, only serves to confirm our fears that
the Mugabe regime is now beyond redemption and will unashamedly lie to the
nation with a straight face."

      He said there would be no need to hoard fuel if, indeed it was readily

      Zimbabwean streets have in the past month, been marked by frequent
fuel queues.

      President Mugabe travelled to Libya two weeks ago with, among other
officials, Herbert Murerwa, the Finance and Economic Development Minister;
and Gideon Gono, chief executive of Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe, the bank
that is responsible for Zimbabwe's fuel transactions with Libya.
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Daily News

      Inflation threatens publishing industry

      10/5/02 9:17:59 AM (GMT +2)

      By Colleen Gwari Business Reporter

      MOST media and publishing houses are experiencing a major slump in
business due to the escalating cost of newsprint and the economic downturn
facing the nation.

      Elias Rusike, chief executive officer of The Financial Gazette, who
spoke at length in a telephone interview with The Daily News, expressed
concern over the challenges facing the media and the publishing industry.

      "Things are extremely difficult and most media houses are failing to
cope," said Rusike.

      He said it was sad to note that most papers and publishing houses were
faced "with collapse if no immediate solution to the socio-political and
economic crisis gripping the country was found".

      Economic problems characterised by a severe shortage of foreign
currency, high inflation, unemployment and a critical shortage of basic
commodities has contributed to the fall in newspaper sales.

      "Surely with all these problems facing the country, the newspaper and
publishing industry has been a sacrificial goat," said Rusike.

      With inflation soaring to record levels of 135 percent, costs of key
raw materials such as newsprint have risen significantly putting a strain on
most media and publishing houses.

      A tonne of newsprint which was selling at $295 000 late last year, has
gone up to $350 000.

      Rusike said most media houses were facing serious cash flow problems
and urgent intervention strategies were being sought.

      "The only solution lies in the total transformation of the political
and economic environment," said Rusike.
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Daily News

      Providing food for mourners now nightmare for most urban families

      10/5/02 9:18:45 AM (GMT +2)

      By Colleen Gwari

      WITH the severe shortage of basic commodities gripping the country and
prices escalating to record high levels, providing food at funeral
gatherings has become a nightmare for most bereaved families.

      A majority of households are failing to secure daily basics such as
mealie-meal, bread and cooking oil for their families, thus rendering the
provision of food at funeral wakes something of a luxury.

      It has become common for people attending funeral wakes to go without
food. Gone are the days when food and alcohol were available in abundance at
such vigils.

      The situation is quite bad in urban areas, but in rural areas it has
become a nightmare.

      While a few affluent families can still afford to feed relatives and
friends at funerals, the situation is chaotic for the relatively poor where
mourners reportedly fight for food.

      A snap survey by The Daily News around major supermarkets in and
around Harare shows that the situation is getting worse by the day with most
shelves running empty. However, in cases where a sought after commodity is
available, the price is just but unaffordable to the ordinary man.
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Leader Page

      Greed and political survival driving so-called land reform

      10/5/02 9:27:26 AM (GMT +2)

      GREED and political survival are the engines driving the country's
so-called land reform programme.

      While the government likes to portray the exercise as peasant-driven,
several factors have unmasked its purported agrarian reform as nothing more
than naked acquisitive greed, perpetrated in the name of the common people
of this country.

      From the beginning, the distribution of the land acquired by the
government has never benefited the ordinary people.

      The strategy has been to create a facade - make a lot of noise about
villagers resettled on land mainly inappropriate for resettlement of those
previously trapped in the communal areas.

      Ever since the government started taking land for resettlement, the
best farms have gone to senior government and ruling party officials, and
those in the security agencies - the police, the army, the air force and the
secret service.

      Clearly, the rationale behind extending this gravy train to the
security agencies is to ensure they will defend what the government is
doing, as they too will be defending their interests.

      But the avaricious greed that has been propelling the so-called
agrarian reform is illustrated by the several farms, farm homesteads and the
proceeds from the farming activities that have been seized.

      A number of government politicians have acquired several farms. Just
how this is supposed to rectify a historical injustice and make more land
available to the landless is puzzling, especially as the outcome is the
creation of land barons out of politicians, government ministers and their

      Justice for Agriculture (JAG) has listed several farms owned by
government ministers and Zanu PF politicians, exposing the government's lies
as to what this so-called agrarian reform seeks to do.

      A recent illustration of the avarice propelling the government
ministers and politicians to evict commercial farmers and grab their land is
the wealth the farms are generating for the farmers.

      A recent court case heard proceeds from flowers and vegetables from a
farm forcibly taken over was valued at nearly $130 million.

      For a government that has a history of rapaciousness dating back to
the Willowgate car scandal, the lure of millions is being disguised as land
redistribution. An agricultural operation generating nearly $130 million is
very tempting for the barracudas in the government.

      This is one of the little explained reasons behind the rushed and
forcible acquisition of farms.

      The political leadership are envious of the wealth the commercial
farmers have created and now they want it.

      That they are greedy is also demonstrated by attempts to prevent the
commercial farmers from removing their agricultural equipment from the
listed farms. These politicians are so unashamed they want farms that are
ready-made for them.

      It is likely many of them want to acquire these farms purely for
speculation, so they can make a fat killing.

      But several factors could render their excitement and celebrations as
Zimbabwe's new land barons short-lived.

      The first is that through organisations such as JAG, the commercial
farmers could ensure that any exports from the government's "new farmers"
are seized on arrival in Europe and the money paid to the evicted commercial

      Such a development will close all the markets for agricultural or
horticultural produce from this country in Europe, save for Cuba, Libya and

      The second is to launch legal action outside the country, as
demonstrated by relatives of victims of the 2000 parliamentary election. The
outcome would be the seizure of Zimbabwe's assets abroad in order to
compensate commercial farmers who have been kicked out of their properties,
with just the clothes on their backs.

      But it is also possible that a change in government - which is
inevitable - could result in the land grab being reversed and the commercial
farmers getting back their farms or, with the help of the international
community, being adequately compensated.

      The only way the government politicians and their associates can enjoy
their ill-gotten gains is to ensure the security agencies, whose leadership
has benefited, would do their utmost to prevent any real change from taking
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Leader Page

      Zimbabweans of all colours leaving the country must examine their consciences

      10/5/02 9:28:01 AM (GMT +2)

      THERE is an old saying: "When the going gets tough, the tough get
going" and these words are particularly apt in Zimbabwe in 2002.

      It seems that everywhere we turn to, we meet a friend who is leaving
the country.

      At every function we go to, whether it is business or social, there
are people talking about leaving Zimbabwe.

      Middle class Zimbabweans, be they black, brown or white, are flooding
out of Zimbabwe for what they perceive to be the greener pastures of New
Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.

      White people have perhaps got the greatest reason to be leaving the
      At every turn we've been made to feel as if we are no longer welcome
in Zimbabwe anymore.

      When the wife of the Commander of the Zimbabwe National Army, Jocelyn
Chiwenga, recently evicted a farmer, she said she had not tasted white blood
for 22 years and she got away with her obscene, racist words.

      Almost every day we are insulted by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation, by ministers and even by the President himself.

      We've been called "pink-nosed racists"; we are repeatedly blamed for
every single thing that is wrong in the country and for everything that is
in short supply.

      We have no legal, human or constitutional rights and our rural homes
and businesses have been taken from us.

      But when all is said and done, there are not an awful lot of us with
white skins in Zimbabwe who have done a damn thing about what has been
happening for the
      past 30 months.

      We have allowed our leaders to insult us, we have not stood up for
what is right, we have not put our heads in the spotlight and have justified
our behaviour by saying: "Aaah, but we are few, what can we do?"

      We have allowed ourselves to be victims and now, when things fall
apart, we cash in our assets and leave the country for greener pastures.

      We should be utterly ashamed, but we are not alone.
      Middle class black people are also pouring out of Zimbabwe in 2002.
      Doctors and dentists, teachers and lawyers, middle and upper
management professionals can't get out of Zimbabwe fast enough anymore.

      The moment an opportunity arises they are gone without a single
thought for those that are left behind.

      I wonder what their justification for leaving is.
      Many say they can no longer afford to stay here.
      I don't believe them because frankly, anyone who can raise $2 million
for four air fares for their family to get to the United Kingdom and another
$2 million to have their belongings containerised, is not that hard up and
does not need to leave Zimbabwe
      Some say they are going because of their children or because the
schools and hospitals are collapsing.

      If these services are falling apart, it is because the doctors, nurses
and teachers are leaving.

      Others say they are leaving because there is no future in Zimbabwe
      If you really feel this way, then why are you sending back foreign
currency and investing in luxury homes in Harare?

      Is it because when the problems are over and the stress has gone, you
will come back to live in the lap of luxury and say with pride that you are

      What all the people leaving do not seem to realise or do not want to
accept is that with every departure they are taking Zimbabwe one step closer
to collapse.

      As each Zimbabwean leaves, they take with them a skill that we
desperately need, a service that we depend on for survival, a talent that
will not be easily replaced.

      With every Zimbabwean that leaves, they take with them another little
piece of hope, another voice that should be heard, another vote that could
be used.

      I wonder, when you leave, if you stoop to the African soil and thank
God for everything Zimbabwe has given you in the years that went before.

      All the Zimbabweans - black, white and brown - who are leaving may
very well
      justify their decisions with a host of reasons, or perhaps they are
excuses, but I believe they need to look to their consciences and then be

      You are leaving because you have given in to despair.
      You are leaving because you think that this evil that has become our
daily lives will last.
      It will not and when it is over each and every single Zimbabwean
should be able to say they played their part in its end.

      I have no doubt that many of my words will raise anger amongst people
who are leaving Zimbabwe. They will say I do not understand.

      But I do: I am white, a woman, a single mother and an ex-farmer, but
Zimbabwe is my home.

      If I have to wait and then start again, there is nowhere else in the
world that I want to wait than here, and nowhere else I want to start again,
except here, in Zimbabwe.

      I would like to change that old saying to: "When the going gets tough,
the tough keep going."
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Dissident Christians face arrest in Zimbabwe

      October 05 2002 at 05:10PM

By Angus Shaw

Harare, Zimbabwe - Dissident Christians opposed to their bishop for his
support of the ruling party face arrest if they defy an order banning them
from weekend services or church activities, their lawyer said on Saturday.

Bishop Nolbert Kunonga, head of the Anglican Church in Harare, won a court
order banning 19 church wardens, officials and choir members after they
disrupted his sermons to protest their political content and praise of
President Robert Mugabe and his regime.

Zimbabwe has been gripped by more than two years of economic turmoil and
political violence, widely blamed on the increasingly authoritarian ruling

      They can be arrested, even if someone invites them to a parish house
for tea
The parishioners, who want politics kept out of the church, will appeal for
their banning order to be struck down by the Harare magistrate's court on
Tuesday, their lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa said.

The interim order banned them from worshipping at the main Anglican
Cathedral in downtown Harare and from visiting church-owned buildings and
activities until further notice.

"It means they can be arrested, even if someone invites them to a parish
house for tea," Mtetwa said.

In court documents dated September 25, Kunonga accused the 19 church
officials of disrupting services, with choir members refusing to provide
choral music and on one occasion leading the congregation into
"uncontrollably" singing hymns to stop the service.

He also alleged some church wardens failed to follow routine administrative
and financial procedures and were intent on subverting the authority of the
bishop's office.

      'Uncontrollably' singing hymns to stop the service
Mtetwa described Kunonga's court application - and the granting of it -as
irregular. Under diocese and parish rules, diocesan trustees needed to agree
before any legal action was taken.

Disputes in the church were normally considered first by the church
chancellor and two registrars, all three of them lawyers.

Kunonga was elected bishop last year after being accused of using ruling
party influence to secure the post. He was also accused of firing priests
who opposed his nomination.

Strict security laws passed earlier this year that ban public gatherings
without police permission have affected some meetings of church leaders
critical of the government.

Last month, a group of Christians was briefly arrested during a prayer vigil
outside a police station where a member of their congregation was being

About half Zimbabwe's 12,5 million people face severe food shortages blamed
on drought and the government's seizures of thousands of white-owned farms. - Sapa-AP
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News just in .. British national Rachel Ranson (26) has been charge with
'Obstructing the course of justice and has been fined Zd$ 60 and released
from custody.
News Release
(On behalf of Justice for Agriculture - JAG)

A total of 65 farmers from the Matabeleland region have, as of Saturday 5
October, been evicted from their homes by members of the police force and
war veterans. More than half of these (26 in total) were arrested during the
early August nationwide sweep of commercial farmers, following the expiry of
Section 8 Notices. They were however either released on bail, or the courts
had ruled in their favour.

Matabeleland Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) Farming Associations number 14 -
Beit Bridge / Bulawayo Landowners/ Figtree/ Gwaai Valley / Gwanda /
Insiza/Shangani / Inyathi / Marula / Matetsi / Matopos South/ Mberengwa /
Umzingwani / Nyamandlovu / West Nicholson. There are 319 members of the
Commercial Farmers Union on a total of 562 farms.

Estimates to hand indicate that these latest evictions leave only 25% of the
farms with resident owners with varying degrees of operation. Matabeleland
is an arid region with most farming operations being ranching, game farming
and animal husbandry (Ostriches) and some cropping such as paprika and

This latest spate of eviction seen over 15 workers assaulted and scores
evicted along with their owners.

In Nyamandhlovu, 4 game scouts from Mike Wood's GlenCurragh Farm were locked
up on Thursday night, without food or water, by war veterans. Mr. Wood's
dogs, which had not eaten since his eviction, were finally fed on Friday
morning after one of the female settlers pleaded with her counterparts to
allow the maid into the yard to give them food.

On Wally Herbst' s farm, war veterans demanded that the dogs be removed, the
animals had to be driven off the property and abandoned under pressure.
Meanwhile, two war veterans, both about 30 years old are now ensconced in
the main house on Thursday evening.

In Umguza district, Clive Biffen managed to remove some items off the farm,
however, war veterans barricaded the road on Thursday. Mr. Biffen called the
police who came out and impounded the vehicles.  Police are refusing to
release the items before they are inspected.

In Gwaai, armed police broke into the premises of Nemba Safaris, where there
was an Australian hunting client. A war veteran spat in the face of the
professional hunter, the client had to be evacuated for his safety.

Three men arrived on Jonathan Taylor's farm, at about 10am on Thursday
morning stating that they were the new owners of the property. They were
Sipho Gama (of Bulawayo), Ben Ncube (of Lupane) and Colin Ndebele (of
Lupane). They proceeded to help themselves to 4 lister engines, 1 water
tank, 1 band saw and 1 disc harrow, all valued at approximately Zd$ 5

They also told the staff that the tractor must not leave and they would be
moving in later in the day.  Taylor has had to cancel his next safari as a
result of this eviction.  A report was made to the police, who arrived later
in the afternoon and told the staff not to remove any of Mr Taylor's
property, including firearms belonging to the game scouts.

It is of interest to note the chain of command being followed by the
eviction parties. The Lands representative, Melusi Sibanda reports to the
Mrs Mafa, the regional lands officer who reports to the Matabeleland North
Governor, Obert Mpofu. They are supervised by a member of the Central
Intelligence Organisation, Mr Moyo and the Officer in Charge of Nyamandlovu,
Mr R. F. Ncube with Officer Commanding Rural North Chief Superintendent Moyo
and Assistant Commissioner Sibanda and his Provincial Police Chief for
Matabeleland North. This exercise falls under the total control of Deputy
Commissioner of Police - Mr Matanga, himself a beneficiary of a farm in
In Umzingwane, Matabeleland South, on Scott Buchan' s farm, war veterans
broke into the fenced area and tried to get the workers to leave the farm
village. They disarmed the security guards (took their handcuffs and
torches), and 20 workers, mostly women, went to the police station to report
the matter. There were still about 50 workers left in the village. A
Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) bus later arrived with the
notorious youths known as "green bombers" who proceeded to harass some of
the workers.

A further onslaught ensued when 8 war veterans arrived at midnight and told
the workers to leave by 4 pm on 4/10/02. The workers resisted and the war
veterans retreated only to return with reinforcements an hour later, 20
strong and armed with 3 pistols.  Four workers were beaten unconscious.  Two
workers were able to run away and went to the police to report the matter,
however when the Police 2nd in Command arrived, he said his hands were tied
and there was nothing he could do and told the workers to leave.  The four
workers are in hospital.

Late update 4 pm Saturday
Yesterday, Johan Kriedl (70) (Austrian subject)- He did not move so on
3/10/02 about 20 people arrived in 4/5 vehicles at approximately 16h20pm -
they put him in the back of one vehicle and took some of his clothes and put
them on the front seat and drove to the Esigodini Zanu PF offices.  This
group left 4 men at the house and they promptly looted household good. The
group took him to the Zanu PF office in Esigodini (a small farming town
Matabeleland South). He was assaulted and is badly bruised and shaken as one
of the invading party shot Kriedl' s pistol into the air above Kriedl' s
head. Mr Wally Kriedl, upon hearing of his father's predicament, traveled to
the farm only to himself be 'abducted' to the Zanu PF offices. Pressure
being brought to bear by the Austrian Embassy, resulted in the farmer and
his son being transferred to the Police station and then subsequently
released. Mr Kriedl went to see the Lands Committee today (4/10/02), who
told him, they would extend his eviction period and give him another 12
hours and further pressure resulted in an extension to Monday.

5/10/02 - Bill McKinney's property.  Armed police and Lands committee
arrived at the gate.  The two girls went out of the fenced area to talk to
them and locked the gate behind them. They refused to let the police into
the yard and hand over the keys. The police threw Rachel Ranson (26) (A
British subject) to the ground and handcuffed her and put her into the back
of the vehicle and have taken her to the police station.  Having left the
farm at 11 am the Police truck arrived just after 3:30 at Inyathi Police
Station and we await news of what Rachel will be charged with.

Saturday, 5 October 02

For more info, please contact Jenni Williams
Mobile (+263) 91 300456 or 11213 885 or on email
Or Fax (+2639) 63978 or (+2634) 703829 Office email:
A member of the International Association of Business Communicators. Visit
the IABC website
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Herald Sun - Australia

Another great terrain robbery


A SECOND leader determined to rid his country of "arrogant" whites has
emerged in southern African.

Namibian President Sam Nujoma this week ordered the seizure of more than 200
foreign-owned farms, confirming fears the evil unleashed by Zimbabwean
strongman Robert Mugabe would infect neighbouring countries.
Nujoma, who has claimed foreigners spread homosexuality, plans to give the
land to peasant farmers ahead of elections in 2004.

The move mirrors events in Zimbabwe. There, Mugabe stepped up often-violent
land-grabs ahead of elections in 2000 and 2002.

Nujoma this week also banned foreign television programs, saying they
corrupt the nation's youth.

The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation was ordered to televise only those
programs "that show Namibia in a positive light".

US soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful and science fiction series Dune
were the first casualties. They were replaced by a program on a recent
meeting of the ruling Swapo Party.

Nujoma, who has been in power since independence from South Africa in 1990,
has become increasingly outspoken recently.

He has threatened to arrest and deport homosexuals, and promised to ban gay
tourists. He has also referred to AIDS as a man-made biological weapon.

At the Earth Summit in South Africa last month he praised Mugabe, pinned the
blame for Zimbabwe's troubles on British Prime Minister Tony Blair and told
foreign donors he did not want their aid.

"We don't need your investment. You can keep your money. We will develop our
Africa without your money," he said.

But it is his land seizure program that threatens to condemn Namibia to
international isolation.

Among farms listed this week for seizure were 91 owned by South Africans and
99 by Germans. The rest were owned by US, Dutch and British nationals.

Nujoma told the farmers to co-operate or expect the same treatment as their
counterparts in Zimbabwe.

About 4000 whites own 36 million hectares -- 44 per cent of all land -- and
Swapo is determined to correct the imbalance.

By law, the Government has first refusal on any farm for sale, but since
1990 has bought only 100.

The whites whose land has now been earmarked for seizure will receive the
market price.

The party has also introduced legislation which would ban foreigners from
buying land.

Whites make up 6 per cent of the two million people who live in Namibia,
which was a German colony until 1918 and was controlled by South Africa
until 1990.

Nujoma is in his third term as president, having changed a law restricting
him to two five-year terms, but he must go to the polls in 2004.
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From The Zimbabwe Independent, 4 October

BAT pulls plug on Williams award

Vincent Kahiya

In what looks like an embarrassing case of corporate cowardice, British
American Tobacco Zimbabwe (BATZ) pulled its sponsorship from the
Communicator of the Year award this year because one of the nominees was
Justice for Agriculture (JAG)'s spokesperson, Jenni Williams. Zanu PF has
chosen to demonise JAG as opposed to land reform. Correspondence at hand
shows that BATZ gave an ultimatum to the organisers of the event, the
Zimbabwe Institute of Public Relations (ZIPR), to withdraw Williams'
nomination or the tobacco company would cancel its support for the event.
The award ceremony was due to take place last Friday but was scrapped after
the sponsors pulled out citing fear of courting controversy by recognising
Williams. Williams has over the past year articulated the story of the
commercial farmers who have lost their properties due to the current
agrarian reform programme. JAG advocates judicial recourse so government is
held to its own laws. Williams was Commercial Farmers' Union spokesperson
before she switched to JAG.

"We are uncomfortable with this year's awards becoming socially and/or
politically controversial and we therefore confirm that as representatives
of ZIPR, Pro-Comm are to approach Ms Jenni Williams or the people who
nominated her to either withdraw from the competition or withdraw their
nomination," said BATZ corporate affairs manager Peter Parirewa in a letter
to Pro-Comm on September 19. Pro-Comm handles public relations for ZIPR.
Williams however responded four days later refusing to withdraw. "On being
made aware of this and after consultation with my proposers, I refuse to
withdraw my nomination," said Williams in a letter to ZIPR. "I do this on
the basis that I am a professional communicator and as such am not political
and my role as a communicator should be separate to that of the product I
communicate - I should be judged on the professionalism under which the
product, view or issue is communicated by me and my company," she said. "I
take great exception to this attempt to violate certain norms and
understandings and request that BATZ make a principled and ethical stand and
allow the competition to go ahead with all the original and valid nominees
intact, thus allowing the judges their unfettered 'courtesy of choice' which
is the BATZ motto," she said.

Asked to comment on the cancellation of the event, Parirewa first professed
ignorance of the BATZ ultimatum. "I am not aware of that," he said. But when
told that the Independent was in possession of a letter he signed he quickly
questioned who had supplied the paper with the letter and promised to come
back with a response. In a statement yesterday BATZ said the event was
cancelled after consultations with ZIPR. "British American Tobacco, the
sponsor of this award felt that some of the entry conditions had not been
met by some possible candidates. Being a prestigious award it was prudent on
the part of BATZ after consulting with ZIPR that the cancellation of this
year's event be effected," the statement said.
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