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

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LAGOS, 23 Sep 2002 (IRIN) - Leaders of a three-member Commonwealth committee on Zimbabwe ended talks in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, on Monday without agreement on fresh sanctions against President Robert Mugabe.

Australia's John Howard, South Africa's Thabo Mbeki and Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo were expected to review sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe in March following controversial elections - hotly disputed by the opposition and condemned by foreign observers - which returned Mugabe to power.

"There was a difference of opinion," Howard said at a press conference held jointly with Obasanjo and Mbeki.

"We've agreed that it's necessary to continue to try to engage with President Mugabe in the interests of all the people of Zimbabwe," Mbeki was quoted as saying.

The Commonwealth, which unites Britain and 53 of its former colonies, set up the committee at the last summit of the group in Australia early this year.

Zimbabwe is facing its worst political and economic crisis since independence in 1980, with Mugabe's policy of seizing white-owned farms under his land resettlement programme coinciding with a severe drought affecting most of Southern Africa.

Mugabe had declined an invitation by the Australian prime minister to attend the Abuja meeting as "offensive" and an indication he would be facing a "court-martial" at the talks.

"The meeting is going ahead without Mugabe and will generally stick to the previous agenda of reviewing the sanctions imposed by the Commonwealth against the current situation in Zimbabwe," a senior aide to Obasanjo told IRIN.

A meeting in Abuja late last year brokered by Obasanjo, in which Britain and Zimbabwe were represented, had agreed a deal whereby Harare would suspend the land seizures. The British government, as the former colonial power, was in turn expected to honour its obligations to fund the land reform process as agreed under the terms of the country's independence.

But critics of Mugabe accuse him of continuing land seizures and forceful eviction of white farmers contrary to the agreement.

Current symbolic sanctions against Zimbabwe by the Commonwealth, which essentially forbids diplomatic contacts with Harare, are due to come to an end in March 2003. Diplomatic sources in Abuja said they had expected the current meeting, in the absence of Mugabe, to prepare grounds for tougher action that could include outright expulsion by next year.

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September 19, 2002


In Quietly Courting Africa, U.S. Likes the Dowry: Oil






Africa, the neglected stepchild of American diplomacy, is rising in strategic importance to Washington policy makers, and one word sums up the reason: oil”.


Africa already provides about 15 percent of the United States' crude oil imports, but its share is expected to grow rapidly from new production in West Africa and construction of a pipeline linking southern Chad to Atlantic ports.  Within the next decade, recently discovered offshore reserves are expected to enable West Africa to outproduce the North Sea's oil rigs and capture

as much as 25 percent of America's oil-import market. Though the Persian Gulf will remain the nation's primary source of imported crude, the new African oil could reduce dependence on countries like Saudi Arabia, whose relations with the United States have been strained in the

year since the Sept. 11 attacks.


"The key to security of supply is diversity of supply," said Robin West, chairman of the Petroleum Financing Company, a consulting firm for the industry. "And I would argue that West Africa in the near to medium term will be a more important source of oil to international markets than Russia."


The Bush administration demonstrated its growing interest in Africa by sending Secretary of State Colin L. Powell there two weeks ago on a three-nation tour. President Bush has said he intends to visit early next year. "Energy from Africa plays an increasingly important role in our energy security," Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham told the House International Relations Committee in June.


New African oil will probably not flow fast enough to compensate for lost Iraqi production if the United States begins an invasion. In the first half of this year, the United States imported 110 million barrels of crude oil from Iraq. But African sources could eventually help soften price shocks during times of upheaval in the Middle East. African oil has other advantages. Much of it lies beneath the Atlantic or near the West African coast, which makes it simpler to transport to the United States than oil from the Persian Gulf or the Caspian Sea. Moreover, Nigeria is the only sub-Saharan country that belongs to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which means that much of Africa's new production will not be constrained by any cartel quotas. Gabon was an OPEC member but quit in 1995, and Nigeria is considering quitting, a move that analysts believe would sharply weaken the organization's grip on world markets. "There is a long-term strategy from the U.S. government to weaken OPEC's hold on the market," said Roger Diwan, a managing director of the Petroleum Finance Company, "and one way to do that is to peel off certain countries."


The Bush administration has not trumpeted its interest in African oil, partly to avoid antagonizing its Middle Eastern allies and partly to avoid generating a perception that it cares only about Africa's resources. But the administration has intensified its diplomatic activity with several African governments, sending clear signals that it is paying closer attention.

Secretary Powell, for example, visited Angola and Gabon, both major oil exporters to the United States that rarely receive high-ranking American officials. (He was the first American secretary of state to visit Gabon.) On Monday he addressed the United Nations on the New Partnership for Africa's Development, a multinational group seeking to increase investment in the continent. Last Friday, Mr. Bush met with the leaders of 10 African countries at the

United Nations, urging them to uphold agreements to end conflicts in Congo and elsewhere, and requesting their help in the effort against terrorism.  The president has also announced plans to visit Africa early next year, with a possible stop in Nigeria, the largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa and the fifth-largest exporter of oil to the United States.

"I think the administration is cognizant that we need to engage across the

board with Africa," said Representative Edward R. Royce, California Republican and chairman of African subcommittee of the House International Relations Committee. "Paying Africa the diplomatic attention it deserves is important."


The State Department also plans to reopen a consulate in Equatorial Guinea that was closed for budgetary reasons in the 1990's. American oil companies have been expanding operations there to take advantage of recently discovered offshore reserves. During his visit to Angola, Secretary Powell broke ground for an embassy building in Luanda, where American diplomats have been working for years in temporary buildings known as the Trailer Park. "This has been the end of the food chain for many years," Secretary Powell told embassy employees during the ground breaking. "But we're here to stay."


There has also been discussion in Congress and the Pentagon about increasing military exchanges with West African countries and perhaps establishing a military base in the region, possibly on Săo Tomé, an island nation in the Gulf of Guinea. In their meetings with African leaders, administration officials have talked less about oil and more about getting African governments to end regional conflicts, reduce corruption, protect human rights, improve schools and expand social services. As an incentive to better government, they have offered increased American aid through a new program called the Millennium

Challenge Account. But administration officials acknowledge that greater stability will

Enhance oil production and encourage investment and trade. At a time when South American oil exporters like Venezuela and Colombia are enduring civil war and unrest, officials say, many African countries  including Angola and Congo have made progress toward resolving long-standing conflicts.


"Ultimately, it is the market that determines how many barrels are produced," said a senior State Department official. "But greater stability and transparency makes them more efficient sources. If you have petroleum dollars increasing the health and education of their people, and not flowing into someone's Swiss bank account, that makes for more efficient



Oil analysts project that a quarter of all the new, non-Persian Gulf oil that comes onto the world market over the next five years will come from sub-Saharan Africa.



"In the industry, there is a lot of excitement about West Africa," said Daniel Yergin, chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates. "Its politics may be complex, but the transportation and logistics are easier."



Nigeria is expected to raise production over 3 million barrels a day by 2007, from 2.2 million now, according to the Petroleum Finance Company. Angola's daily production is projected to double, to nearly 2 million barrels. Chad is expected to produce 225,000 barrels a day once a $3.5 billion pipeline through Cameroon is completed in 2004. Production in tiny

Equatorial Guinea is expected nearly to double, to 350,000 barrels a day, within three years.

Before the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States viewed Africa mainly as a cold war battleground. Washington pumped aid into governments that proclaimed themselves anti Communist and supported Jonas Savimbi's efforts to oust the pro-Moscow government in Angola.



During the 1990's, the Clinton administration tried to increase trade and investment in Africa, while promoting efforts to fight AIDS. But there was not a sense that the continent was strategically important. Oil is changing that perception. "The oil stakes in Africa are rising," said J. Stephen Morrison, director of the Africa program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based policy group. "The question is: to what degree can growth in production be accelerated, and to what degree is our political posture toward these countries important to the flow of oil?"

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Zim Standard

      overthetop-Troubled cops show their colours
      By Brian Latham

      COPS from several southern African countries last week proved their
commitment to human rights and democracy by electing as their leader, the
top cop from a troubled central African nation.

      The move was seen as significant because the police force in the
troubled central African nation has, over the last two and a half years,
shown the world interesting new standards in various fields of police work.

      At the same time, the region's top cops signed a document stating
that: "In the performance of their duties, police officials shall respect
and protect human dignity and maintain and uphold all human rights for all
persons. No police officer shall inflict, instigate or tolerate any act or
other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment to any person.
They are required to ensure protection of health of persons in their custody
and secure medical treatment where needed."

      Citizens of the troubled central African country were left perplexed
by both the election of their top cop and the signing of this document,
pointing out that there were certain.inconsistencies.

      "Of course, much depends on the interpretation of the words in the
agreement," an official from the More Drink Coming party pointed out. "What
might be cruel and inhuman to me might be standard procedure down in the
stinking cells of a certain police station in the city centre."

      Another official pointed out that the word "person" was also subject
to different meanings. "As with much of the curious legislation coming out
of parliament these days, we fully expect new laws to define person as an
individual who supports the ruling Zany party and holds the most equal of
all comrades in the highest esteem," he said, adding that the new law would
make over half the population of the troubled central African country

      Meanwhile, people in surrounding countries showed remarkable
consternation at the election of the troubled central African nation's top
cop. They pointed out that the move heralded the way for police inaction in
cases deemed political, not to mention interesting new interview techniques
that involved blows to the soles of one's feet and an entrepreneurial
approach to traffic offences.

      Still, others pointed out that all these problems had long existed
throughout the Sad And Demoralised Community, Sadc, where a police uniform
was a license to make money and beat civilians at will. In fact, to the west
of the region, there was one country in particular that had taken violence
to new levels, while in the east there was one that was so superbly clever
it even managed to fine motorists for wearing sunglasses.

      Meanwhile citizens of the southernmost country in the region pointed
out that one of their policemen had recently shot to death five petrol pump
attendants because he didn't like petrol pump attendants.

      All this pointed to the election of the troubled central African
country's top cop as entirely natural and not to be unexpected. "In a region
where police brutality and corruption are routine from south to north and
east to west, it seems sensible to elect to the top position the one man who
is determined to maintain our high standards," said a policeman from an
indecisive southern African nation. "We welcome this brave new development
as it means we can continue on our present path with impunity."

      All policemen who attended the conference vowed to stick by the letter
of the agreement they signed, just as soon as they managed to work out what
it meant or found a lawyer willing to interpret confusing phrases like
'human rights' and 'inhuman treatment.'
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Zim Standard


      Never a dull moment in Zimbabwe
      By Chido Makunike

      PEOPLE unfamiliar with our inept political establishment, may think
that the only thing its members do-apart from bungling their way through
life under the guise of leading Zimbabwe-is threaten, impoverish and
embarrass us all. While they may do all these things rather well, they are
also good for a lot of laughs, if one can momentarily forget the pain and
misery they are causing us.

      Top cop, Augustine Chihuri, decided to attempt to kill a mosquito with
a machine gun by over-reacting to a newspaper story which alleged that many
of his fellow cops think he has been too ill for too long to be effective,
and that he should perhaps begin to think of life beyond being a policeman.

      For reasons that are not at all clear to me, it was the regime's chief
propagandist, Bee Ess Mafikizolo, renowned for almost always saying the
wrong thing, who initially responded with an insipid and typically
over-the-top statement. Then Chihuri himself came out swinging with a harsh,
long-winded statement denying that he was ill. In what I'm sure was sheer
coincidence, the reporter was thrown into jail a few days later on an
"unrelated charge" intended to cool him off.

      Now you tell me, was the reaction likely to salvage the police
commissioner's wounded pride and reputation, or was it simply likely to get
even more tongues wagging about why exactly he had become so hot and

      Long after he has been enshrined at Heroes Acre, we will remember
President Mugabe not only for the state he has brought Zimbabwe to, but also
for some major rhetorical blunders.

      One that will haunt him long after he has gone was his boast of having
"degrees in violence." Another was his reference to this country as "my
Zimbabwe" during his now famous (or is it infamous) Johannesburg speech, in
which he solved all of Zimbabwe's many problems through yet another spirited
attack on his nemesis, British prime minister, Tony Blair while waxing
lyrical about the soil of Zimbabwe, its roaring lions and so forth.

      His wife, too, has had her fair share of bloopers. She turned many
people off with her imperious reference to "my people", a few years ago and
very recently when she used the phrase "cats and dogs" to refer to the many
rude, misguided Zimbabweans who think her husband a loser. Many hooted with
laughter and uttered some unprintable words when she famously said "neniwo
ndiri gandanga", perhaps claiming to be a war veteran, a very hip and
fashionable claim nowadays in Mr Mugabe's Zimbabwe.

      But the one blunder I will always remember her for, because I howled
with pain as I spilt hot coffee all over my shirt with incredulity as I
watched her say it, was when during a TV interview several years ago, she
sweetly quipped: "I am a born again Christian." In all fairness, the cats
and dogs remark came after this pious claim, so she could have had a change
of heart about her religious convictions since the interview.

      An expression I have only recently become acquainted with but whose
sharp irreverence I enjoy is 'chicken hawks' which usually refers to people
too chicken hearted to put their lives on the line for an ideal and who
instead become extremely belligerent and hawkish even when there is no
personal cost or danger to them.

      The real veterans of armed conflict never romanticise it because of
their personal experiences of the hell of war, while the chicken hawks who
have experienced war only through novels or the movies, like to pretend to
be the toughest, 'baddest' guys in town.

      We have quite a number of chicken hawks in our present cabinet.
Liberation war credentials are very important in Mr Mugabe's regime, and are
recalled whenever the regime has to defend itself against its failure to
govern successfully but some of the ministers who are not war veterans
become very self-conscious about it.

      While some of his peers were fighting the Smith regime from
Mozambique, one of the two most prominent chicken hawk ministers was taking
music and political science lectures in the safety of sunny, laid back
California but the same minister is now a real rhetorical hell raiser,
always talking about 'the third Chimurenga' and so forth. Some people
believe that Zimbabwe's image would not be so bad if he did not constantly
vomit out so much putrid bile, but with the cockiness derived from his
recent reappointment to his portfolio by comrade Mugabe, there ain't no
stoppin' him now!

      What disappoints me about him is that whenever he misfires one of his
frequently thrown rhetorical bombs and 'the enemy' fires back, hitting him,
he doesn't bravely defend himself from his safe ministerial bunker but
scurries for cover under the skirts of his lawyers like the typical chicken
hawk he is.

      Perhaps its just as well he was in California during the liberation
struggle! Given how he shoots himself in the foot every time he opens his
mouth, he would surely have crippled himself for life if he had been allowed
to handle an actual gun.

      As the economy continues its free fall under the stewardship of Mr
Mugabe-the conquering lion of the British empire, rhetorical slayer of the
Western dragon, president of presidents, mighty spokesman of the world's
downtrodden, and much feared ruler of 'his' Zimbabwe, crime levels have
reached unprecedented levels.

      Almost everyone has a tale to tell about some violation of their
property or personal safety. As times get more desperate, and as people
trust and fear the law enforcement authorities even less, the criminals are
becoming ever more daring.

      But the cruelest, most humiliating statement about the security
situation in Mr Mugabe's Zimbabwe was the brazen theft of US$100 000 from
the hotel room of the minister of the dreaded CIO. Knowing who he was, and
the dire, possibly fatal consequences of robbing this well guarded (or
perhaps not so well guarded) top spy of the country, the thieves apparently
stole the money from right under his nose.

      Some rude people have suggested that the CIO minister was not robbed
at all, but had merely changed the money on the lucrative black market, but
I trust and fear the minister, and therefore believe his version of events.
I suspect it was the British who sponsored the humiliating theft, to test
our readiness for an invasion because they are so sore about comrade Mugabe'
s principled, heroic stand on the land issue.

      If I am right, we need to pull up our socks. The CIO may score very
highly in the area of causing great fear amongst innocent Zimbabweans who
just want to exercise what they mistakenly thought to be their right to
reject Mr Mugabe for two decades of non-performance, but they may not be so
fierce against neo-colonialists trying to make fools of them.

      Zimbabwe may be hurtling towards disaster, but there is never a dull
moment on our way there.
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Zim Standard

      Families collapse as the 'great trek' continues  9/21/02
      Story by By our own staff

      AS hordes of people continue to inundate Harare International Airport
heading for overseas destinations, especially the United Kingdom and the
United States, the destruction of the country's social fabric gathers

   Bank teller, John Magama, left for the UK in 2000 and was among the
first hordes to flee the suicidal policies that President Mugabe has
embarked on in his bid to cling to power. He went with the intention of
finding any type of job that would earn him a decent living. Magama is now
working at an old people's home as an aide and he supplements his income by
doing many other part-time jobs.

      Although he promised to return "soon", news reaching his wife in
Harare's high density suburb of Mufakose is that Magama is now staying with
a Zimbabwean woman, Stella, the daughter of a Mrs Rufaro. Their baby is said
to be due anytime now.

      Magama's wife said she has resorted to her "own means" of survival.
"Although he occasionally sends money, the fact that he is now staying with
another woman means that he no longer loves me and the family. Waiting for
him would be a waste of time. As a result, I have resorted to my own means
of survival." She however, declined to reveal what those "means" were but
did disclose that she had plans of her own to "fly" to the USA. "A (male)
friend of mine will be sending me a ticket and I will be off to the USA. I
will leave the children with my mother."

      An uncertain future now awaits Magama's three children. Magama's case
is just one of many which have seen Zimbawean families break up as spouses
join the great trek to the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia and neighbouring
countries. Some couples which left together have broken up once overseas.

      "People have no choice but to flee the economic terror Mugabe has
unleashed on this country," said an emotional Solomon Hungwe of Highfield,
who added that he was making his own plans to flee to the UK.

      The great trek is not confined to one class. The wife of Gerald Ndura,
a company executive, left for the UK so that they could have money to build
their dream house. "My wife is a senior nurse who left for the UK last year.
It was a welcome move because we desperately need to complete the
construction of our house at Zimre Park. But I am now worried about the
children as they miss their mother's care. I am finding it extremely
difficult to care for them on my own," he said.

      Sports administrator, Wilfred Pawadyira, who is the former director
general of the sports and recreation commission, went to the UK for the
Manchester Commonwealth Games and never returned home. His family don't not
even know where he is at the moment.

      Life overseas is not all roses, however. Reports reaching the country
are that some of its sons and daughters, out of desperation, are engaging in
activities such as pornography and prostitution in pursuit of the pound.

      Gloom and doom continue to hang over the country as things fall apart
as some families come under severe strain and others collapse.
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Zim Standard

      Power cuts cost Byo businesses millions  9/21/02
      Story by By Cynthia Mahwite

      BULAWAYO-The business community in Bulawayo has lost millions of
dollars in the last two weeks as a result of power cuts experienced in the
city, Standard Business has established.

      Bulawayo has been experiencing frequent power cuts during the day; in
some cases as many as four power cuts are experienced per day.

      Estimates from the Matabeleland Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries
(CZI) indicates that companies in the production sector are losing about $7
million each day due to the unscheduled regular ZESA cuts.

      What has irked residents of the city is that the power failures have
been occurring continuously with no explanation or apologies from the
bankrupt power utility.

      Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries President, Ken Jerrard, said
power failures have had a negative impact on production and also affected
the working conditions of many employees.

      Jerrard said most industries in the city have had their sales and
production highly interrupted and workers were being forced to work overtime
so as to meet production levels.

      "In order to meet delivery dates some workers have had to work on
weekends which also means employers have to pay them overtime,"said Jerrard.

      A number of businesses with computer systems without uninterrupted
power supply (UPS) networks have also been seriously affected by the
unscheduled power cuts.

      Regional Director for ZESA Bulawayo, Sindiso Chimbima, told Standard
Business that the numerous power failures in the city were a result of a
technical fault caused by the instability of network protection in the
electrical cables.

      "A big chunk of this network protection is not operating as expected
and this results in the tripping of the electricity. We are not
load-shedding but Bulawayo operates a complex network of electricity feeding
from three sectors and what we are experiencing now is a technical fault in
the system which has resulted in four cable faults," Chimbima said.

      He said ZESA was implementing a temporary measure where all protective
schemes are being recommissioned and a radial network adopted.

      Chimbima dismissed allegations that the power failures were due to
shortage of foreign currency in the country."These technical faults are due
to unstable electrical networks and our technicians were out in full force
rectifying the problems when they occurred," he said.

      The numerous electrical failures in the city come at a time ZESA
employees are negotiating for a 5% cost of living adjustment.

      "Electrical failures in Bulawayo are not linked to this collective
bargaining, as the issue is currently being negotiated.We actually have our
technicians working overtime to fix this current problem," Chimbima said.
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Corpses Detained At Hospital

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

September 23, 2002
Posted to the web September 23, 2002

Vimbai Kandemiri

AS medical institutions fight to stay afloat in the harsh economic
environment, it has emerged that Harare Central Hospital now detains corpses
in a desperate effort to force bereaved families to pay the medical bills
left behind by their departed

Investigations by The Standard have revealed that the hospital, one of
Zimbabwe's major but ailing health institutions, demands cash up front
before releasing corpses to relatives, forcing the cash-strapped among them
to delay the funerals or abandon the corpses altogether

This has caused untold anguish to the affected families who have to cope
with the added trauma of letting strangers bury their relatives

Speaking to The Standard some of the families said that they had been left
with no option but to settle for a pauper's burial for their deceased after
failing to cough up the required amount

"My relative stayed in hospital for some months before he died, leaving
behind a huge bill. We couldn't meet it and he may have by now had a
pauper's burial," said a distraught woman from Mbare

Ishmael Machado of Kuwadzana, whose sister-in-law died last week said: "They
demanded that we pay $12 000 before they could give us the deceased for
burial and they warned us that we would not be allowed to collect the body
if we failed to pay up, so we had to scrounge around for the money. It was
only after a relative chipped in with the money that we were able to collect
the body. Sekuru vaadzimai vangu ndivo vakabhadhara," he said

When The Standard visited Harare Central Hospital last week, relatives of
deceased persons could be seen running backwards and forwards between the
accounts office and the parking area, consulting with family members as they
battled to raise the required amounts

One man had to get assistance from the social welfare department in the form
of an affidavit before being allowed to process the papers of a relative
identified as Tony James

Another family confirmed that they had been asked to pay an outstanding
hospital bill of $3 652 before they could collect their relative's body

Another sorrowful looking man whose relative spent only a night in hospital
also showed The Standard receipt No 427804 for one Shaibi James

Mortuary attendants confirmed that people were leaving their relatives'
corpses for as long as a week while trying to source the money demanded by
the hospitals

Authorities in charge of mortuary administration are demanding full payment
of bills alleging that relatives will be difficult to trace once they have
been given the corpses of their loved ones

In an era in which the country is hard hit by the deadly HIV/Aids virus,
most patients accumulate huge hospital bills due to their prolonged stay in

"The average person cannot afford the hefty fees charged which sometimes
amount to as much as $100 000 when they have to also contend with funeral
expenses which are sky rocketing because of the high death rates," said one
Harare hospital mortuary employee who spoke on condition of anonymity

At Parirenyatwa hospital, an adult admitted to the hospital is charged about
$3 000 per night and a child $1 500 whilst Harare Central Hospital which
caters for the majority of referral cases from remote clinics and rural
hospitals charges $252,00 per adult per night

These fees cater for bedding and meals but in most instances, relatives are
asked to provide the medication which is unavailable at hospital pharmacies

Ironically, hospitals are on record as complaining that mortuaries were over
crowded because relatives were failing to claim corpses on time

Health minister, Dr David Parirenyatwa, said his ministry had not sanctioned
the detention of corpses

"It is not the ministry's policy to make relatives of those who have died at
the hospital, pay outstanding hospital bills before they can collect the
corpse from the mortuary. I am not aware of this and I am going to find out
from the authorities of these hospitals since it is a serious issue."
Efforts to obtain comment from the medical superintendent of Harare Central
Hospital, Dr Chris Tapfumaneyi, were fruitless as he was said to be
constantly busy

A lady who was at the reception denied The Standard access to Dr Tapfumaneyi
saying: "It is against our policy to grant strangers permission to see our
medical staff without prior arrangement. It's for their safety, we don't
know your motive. What if you harm him? Go back and make a formal
appointment with him or his secretary-maybe then you can see him. He is a
very busy man." The lady would not reveal her identity nor the position she
holds at the hospital.

Daily News

      Residents demand explanation on wombs saga

      9/23/02 8:19:54 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE chairman of the Bulawayo United Residents Association, Edward
Simela, has called on the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare to explain
its position on claims that Cuban doctors working at Mpilo Central Hospital'
s maternity wing have been removing the wombs of Bulawayo women without
their knowledge.

      In the last five months alone, the Cuban doctors are reported to have
surgically removed more than a hundred wombs without the women's knowledge.

      Medical practitioners say under normal circumstances, a hundred wombs
would be removed in five years and it is usually only those with cancer or
fibroids which are

      The permanent secretary in the ministry of Health and Child Welfare,
Elizabeth Xaba, declined to comment while the minister, David Parirenyatwa,
could not be reached.
      Said Xaba: "I cannot comment. I am in some other country attending to
some business."

      Simela said:"Reports of what is going on at Mpilo appeared in the
newspapers more than a week ago. If they are not true, the ministry should
deny them and not just keep quiet.

      "If they keep quiet, then we will start asking questions, such as: why
is this taking place in Bulawayo and not other parts of the country? People
might end up reading too much into this issue."

      He said it was possible that Bulawayo women were being used as guinea
pigs in experiments being conducted by the Cubans.

      "We should not just point fingers at the Cuban doctors. Maybe there is
a much bigger hidden hand which has authorised the use of our women in some

      Women who were interviewed more than a week ago said after delivering
at the hospital's maternity wing, they were informed by nurses that their
wombs had been removed by the doctors. This means they won't be able to have
more children

Daily News

      Cataract operations in Rusape

      9/23/02 8:23:31 AM (GMT +2)

      By Columbus Mavhunga

      EYES For Africa will carry out cataract operations at Rusape General
Hospital this week as it fights a disease which has blinded more than 100
000 Zimbabweans.

      Dr Dennis Sibanda, the Eyes for Africa board secretary, last week said
the organisation was looking forward to operate at least 100 patients in
Rusape between 27 and 29 September.

      "At each camp we set up, we aim to surpass the 100-mark of
underprivileged people who are now blind as a result of cataract as they
cannot afford to pay hospital fees," said Sibanda.

      Dr Solomon Guramatunhu of Harare chairs Eyes for Africa, which is made
up of mainly eye surgeons (ophthamologists). It was officially launched in
April this year and aims to remove cataracts from sufferers in Africa.

      It has conducted five cataract operations in Harare (April), Chivhu
(May), Kwekwe (June) and in Mutare and Binga (July) and more than 500 people
have had their eyesight restored.

      "We plan to go to Bindura in November and Zambia and Mozambique soon
after that, as we are regional," said Sibanda.

      "We feel this is the only way we can assist the underprivileged who
cannot pay hospital fees."

      Cataract affects mainly the elderly, children and diabetics and often
results in blindness.

      "There is no way yet we can prevent it, but it is reversible through
the operations we are carrying out," said Sibanda.

      "We have between 100 000 and 120 000 people in Zimbabwe with cataracts
and each year the figure increases."

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Church Leaders Charged Again

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

September 23, 2002
Posted to the web September 23, 2002

Cynthia Mahwite

Ten Bulawayo church leaders who were arrested while praying for their
detained colleague, Father Noel Scott, of the Anglican church, on the
pavement of the central Police station in February, are to be charged again
under the infamous Public Order and Security Act (POSA), it has emerged

The ten-Graham Shaw, Kevin O'Doherty, Peter Botright, Ron Marillier, Trevor
Leonard, Palany Rojah, Davi Marolong, Barry Dickenson, John Stakesby Lewis
and his wife Joan- had their charges earlier dismissed due to the
prosecution's failure to build a case against them

However, last week, they received fresh summons last week ordering them to
appear in court on Wednesday. Shaw, who is a pastor with the Methodist
church, confirmed to The Standard that they were set to face charges under

"We have been issued with fresh summons and are required to appear in court
on 25 September this year," he said

If convicted of the alleged offence, the church leaders face a maximum
sentence of 10 years imprisonment or $50 000 fine, or both

A month before the hotly disputed presidential elections, police using the
discredited POSA, denied Christians permission to hold a traditional prayer
procession in the city

Police also arrested Father Scott who was organising the prayer session and
detained him at the central police station. Worried about his safety, 10
church leaders from the Catholic, Methodist, Anglican and Presbyterian
congregations went to the police station but were denied permission to see

They were then arrested while praying for Scott and charged with
contravening a section of POSA. They were alleged to have "in concert
unlawfully and intentionally contravened the POSA by blocking the movement
of traffic in and out of the Bulawayo central charge office and disturbing
the free movement of the public outside the charge office, thereby causing
disorder and disturbing the public peace." The church leaders were arrested
and remanded out of custody but their case was later dismissed in court

President Mugabe has repeatedly attacked the churches, in particular the
Catholic Church, accusing its Archbishop Pius Ncube of taking MDC party
politics to the pulpit

Christians who spoke to The Standard expressed outrage and disgust at the
charges saying church leaders were being persecuted

"It seems we no longer have freedom of worship. How can people be arrested
for praying?" asked a Roman Catholic church member who declined to give his

Others pointed out there was nothing sinister about Christians holding
prayer meetings in Bulawayo and Mugabe was on a collision course with church
leaders in the region

"Every year, we hold a major prayer procession starting at the Catholic
church. After service, the procession heads to the next church which has
always been the Anglican Church. This procession is normally attended by
hundreds of people and is something we do every year, with an escort from
the same ZRP," said another Christian.
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Zim Standard

      Smuggling spawns fuel crisis in Vic falls
      By Kumbirai Mafunda

      THE resort town of Victoria Falls is facing an acute shortage of fuel
amid reports that the precious commodity is being smuggled into neighbouring
Zambia where it is in great demand in nearby Livingstone town.

      A visit by Standard Business to the border town last week revealed
that cars with Zambian registration were constantly coming in and out of
Zimbabwe. These vehicles were seen dominating the winding queues at the town
's two service stations

      "After filling their vehicles' tanks, these guys will then later drain
and resell the fuel on the black market in their country. Some of them are
going to the extent of making artificial tanks under their vehicles to
accommodate more fuel," said one disgruntled Zimbabwean motorist who stays
in the town.

      Some motorists who were interviewed said they were getting a raw deal
from the Zambians as they were buying scarce fuel in Zim dollars before
selling it in US dollars in their own country.

      A source in the ministry of energy and power development confirmed
that the new ministry was aware of the practice.

      "The ministry is aware of this and is deploying a team to investigate
the problem in all border towns. We are told that some Zambians are getting
the most of our precious commodity," the source said.

      Philip Chiyangwa, the chairman of the parliamentary portfolio
committee on foreign affairs, international relations and trade, said
smuggling of fuel into Zambia had to stop.

      "We have to undertake investigations together with customs officials
and the police so that these vehicles are impounded. There is no way we can
allow that to happen," he said.

      Zimbabwe has been paralysed by fuel shortages since 1999 as a result
of foreign currency shortages caused by a slump in exports and aid cuts by
international financial institutions, outraged by the Zanu PF government's
self serving policies.

      The fuel crisis is threatening tourism activities in the resort town
of Victoria Falls which is endowed with rich tourist attractions
whichinclude game drives, canoeing and boat cruises and the world's
wonder -the falls themselves.

      The imposition of price controls on basic foodstuffs and other
products has resulted in increased regional demand for Zimbabwean consumer
goods which are seen as cheap.

      The tourist resort of Victoria Falls is close to Zambia's Livingstone
town where the smuggled fuel is in demand.
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Dear Readers,
Try and imagine going through this and being told to "get out".   Where on earth do these people go, they have invested their whole lives on these properties - and what about all their employees, many of whom have been with these farmers for years and years.   This is indeed a great tragedy.
-----Original Message-----
From: chiredzi ranching []
Sent: Thursday, September 19, 2002 9:37 AM
To: John Davey
Subject: Chat and CRZ news: 18th Sep 2002

Dear  John 
When I last wrote I said that the weekend prisoners had no charges to answer. This was from the prosecutor's point of view. The cynics said this was because he did not want to lose all the cases in court - which would not do much for his success rate. The zrp  (Police) were a different matter. They refused to release them as they had not been discharged! In fact this was more about not having seen them in court, and they evidently felt they were losing face. Much wrangling and hot words between the defence lawyer, the prosecutor, and the zrp. Each with his own agenda, but essentially the latter two were at eachother's throats. Eventually they were released reluctantantly in the late afternoon, but it was touch and go or they would have spent another night in chookie. Despite the high spirits I wrote you about, there is no doubt that the experience has made a deep impression on everyone - both by those who went inside and those who remained out. In the end it is a matter of the extreme injustice of it all, and so little with which to defend oneself. The whole community feels intimudated and defiled.
This is a situation which has now become pervasive throughout the country. You must have read about the  farmer Bezuidenhout who accidently drove into a squatter and killed him when he fled the mob in his vehicle. A young white mother spent last night in Triangle jail on a trumped up charge of crimen injuria. Touch and go or she would have spent another night. You will recall that GH was severely assaulted ( the first time ) at the ranch a couple of months ago by a mob of 20 assailants. He is now the one being charged - with illegally pointing a firearm - which he never did - and is to appear at short notice. No subpoena or charge sheet have been served on him; he was merely informed by phone. False evidence by witnesses is the danger. Especially when there is a biased court. Of course his assailants ( who also stole the rifle ) have had nothing to answer for. Both GH  (Peter's son)  and I have been warned by staff that the stated intention is to get whitey every Friday and see that he spends the weekend locked up, and to first single out those who have not yet been arrested. Probably just shaking the tree to see who falls out. The stated intention is to cause harassment until the farmer abandons his land.
Essentially it is all a state-sponsored assault on whites and their property. Farms for now, but if the regime survives they will not hesitate to seize urman businesses and homes. Nonetheless, as you have written before, the land exercise, apart from its perceived benifits to the plunderer, is a smokescreen to disguise the real goal of permanently taking control of the population by violence and intimidation. The whites are indeed a high-profile diversion of attention. Unofficial opinion is that starvation, assaults, murder and rape on blacks are far worse and widespread than the media is able to report. We have a classic case of what your friend Jean Franscois Mercier writes of Africa, where the leaders have blended the corruption example they have observed in the west and Marxist population manipulation methods to concoct a heady elixir of profit and suppression in order to remain in power permanently.
Thank you for all your e-mails; sorry I have taken time to respond. Not only are they very informative, but I continue to take great courage from your support.
The Eddie Cross response to the Patrice Lumumba Coalition group is well put. The inference is very disturbing. Anti-white racism is obviously deeply entrenched in the Afro-American lobby. I would imagine that this is a fringe group. Nontheless it would have the ear of many eager listeners dying to hear of the excesses of a tiny white tyrant group hogging all the best land in Zim at the expense of the desperately poor and deprived black peasants. You have been so right when you say that the farm seizures are depicted as a white problem, with no mention of the plight of the huge labour force and their extended families, who are in the end the real victims. Robert Hood taking from the rich and giving it to the poor.
 The horse torture on eviction farms. Yes, I agree this is just a shrewd way of intimidating westerners, abhorrent as it is. It serves the same kind of purpose for blacks as the rape camps in Chipinge. I share your enjoyment of Mr Mercier's thoughts; please keep sending them on. I get an occasional e-mail fom Ralph Langemann. Very informative when I receive one, and much head-scratching to compose an adequate reply.
19th September: If I had completed this e-mail yesterday, I was going to write that we are all O.K. for the present. That has now changed, of course, as you must have learned from the media. The acquisition "law" was amended an rushed through parliament yesterday, which effectively removes all our legal protection. It seems that the a new Sec 8 would also serve as an eviction order, and give one 7 days to vacate the property. If Bob has not yet signed it into law, then I suspect he may keep it up his sleeve for his confrontation next week with the Commonwealth "Troika".
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'Troika did not invite Mugabe'

Harare - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is not attending a special
Commonwealth meeting in Nigeria to discuss his country's status with the
body because he was not officially invited, a newspaper said on Monday.

The state-controlled Herald quoted unnamed officials at the Commonwealth
headquarters in London as saying: "President Mugabe is not attending the
meeting because the bottom line is that he was not invited."

They cited a "diplomatic foul-up" for the oversight.

Earlier reports said Mugabe had snubbed the meeting and risked full
suspension from the 57-nation body over alleged human rights and democratic
abuses in the southern African country.

Monday's "troika" meeting in Abuja, comprising President Thabo Mbeki, Prime
Minister John Howard of Australia and Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo
is due to examine those issues.

"Mr Howard, with the apparent connivance of the Commonwealth Secretariat in
London, put an unsigned invitation on the internet," The Herald quoted
diplomats as saying.

Unnamed government officials told the paper that Howard's unsigned
invitation was "arrogant, racist, undiplomatic, crude and rude".


Zimbabwe's information minister, Jonathan Moyo described the troika meeting
as "a circus".

"John Howard should disabuse himself of the folly that he can treat Africans
the same way he treats Aborigines," Moyo told The Herald.

"The whole thing stinks of an orchestrated media event designed to insult
the president and demonise Zimbabwe at the behest of Britain with Australia
playing the role of a cheer leader," Moyo added.

The meeting takes place six months after Zimbabwe was suspended from
Commonwealth diplomatic committees following reports that a March
presidential poll did not reflect the will of voters.

The main political opposition in Zimbabwe claims that electoral violence and
fraud is continuing.

A government land reform programme that aims to resettle white-owned farms
with new black farmers is forging ahead despite international warnings it
will aggravate a famine facing more than half the country's 12 million

The Zimbabwe government accuses white Commonwealth countries such as
Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand of trying to undermine its
national sovereignty. - AFP


Zim courting disaster as Mugabe snubs troika

      September 23 2002 at 06:34AM

Abuja, Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe faces the prospect of greater international
isolation after President Robert Mugabe refused to attend a meeting of
Commonwealth leaders on Monday.

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, South African President Thabo Mbeki
and Australian Prime Minister John Howard - the Commonwealth "troika" on
Zimbabwe - are expected to have harsh words about Mugabe's regime and could
strengthen sanctions on his troubled country.

They are frustrated that since the 57-nation body suspended Zimbabwe's
membership of its diplomatic committees in March this year, there has been
no sign that Mugabe is ready to address concerns about human rights and

Mugabe's domestic opposition still faces oppression and violence, and a
campaign to forcibly evict white farmers and seize their land has continued
and gathered pace, despite international criticism.

      'The situation cannot be allowed to continue indefinitely'
In a further sign of defiance, Mugabe made a last-minute decision to snub
the three leaders, whose invitation to the Abuja meeting he had previously

"I think it reinforces the fact that he's indifferent to the views of
Australia, South Africa and Nigeria and that's relevant in our
considerations," Howard said.

The meeting will, however, go ahead as planned, and Commonwealth officials
said that the prospect of tougher sanctions - perhaps a full suspension of
Zimbabwe's membership - was on the table.

All the delegations were careful, however, to insist that no decisions had
been taken in advance of the meeting, which will examine the situation in
Zimbabwe six months after Commonwealth sanctions were imposed.

"The situation in Zimbabwe is very important. The situation cannot be
allowed to continue indefinitely," Obasanjo said after a meeting with Howard
at his official Abuja residence, Aso Rock.

Obasanjo said the troika was most concerned about the "humanitarian issues"
arising from Mugabe's policy of throwing white farmers off their land and
from his handling of a catastrophic drought that has brought millions to the
brink of starvation.

In Harare, officials were unrepentant, and claimed that Howard's letter of
invitation to Mugabe had been an inappropriate message to a head of state.

In a newspaper interview Jonathan Moyo, Zimbabwe's Minister of State for
Information and Publicity, derided the meeting as "a monumental waste of

The troika suspended Zimbabwe's membership of the organisation's ruling
structures in March after a violent, disputed election and amid a violent
campaign to evict commercial farmers, mainly whites, and seize their land.

"You've got to remember what this all goes back to. It goes back to a rorted
(sic) election and that's what people are concerned about," Howard said,
using an Australian term for badly fouled up.

"It was a perfectly normal and formal and courteous invitation."

Under the current suspension, Zimbabwe is barred from Commonwealth heads of
government meetings and ministerial meetings such as the foreign ministers'
meeting at the United Nations earlier this month.

Now it could face full suspension from the body: missing out on Commonwealth
technical assistance for its development, losing its officials at the
Commonwealth secretariat and missing the next Commonwealth Games.

"He wanted to talk about the background to the farm invasions, to explain
himself," said one Commonwealth official. "But when he saw what we planned
to talk about he realised that wasn't going to be it." - Sapa-AFP
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Business Day

Tougher curb on Zimbabwe ruled out

South Africa yesterday ruled out tougher measures by the Commonwealth to
curb political violence and restore the rule of law in Zimbabwe.
The leaders of South Africa, Nigeria and Australia are meeting today in
Abuja to review the Commonwealth's approach to the political and economic
crisis in Zimbabwe.

Earlier this year, the Commonwealth suspended Zimbabwe for a year after it
judged President Robert Mugabe's bid to extend his 22-year rule in
presidential elections as neither free nor fair. But Mr Mugabe has continued
undeterred with a controversial land reform programme and the repression of
political opposition.

South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki, Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo and John
Howard, Australian prime minister, are expected to consider today Zimbabwe's
indefinite suspension from the Commonwealth and setting Mr Mugabe specific
governance targets.

Australia, alongside the UK, New Zealand and other Pacific states, have
called for greater isolation of Mugabe's regime in response to his "total
defiance" of world opinion. They believe stronger condemnation of seizures
of white-owned farm land and repression of political opposition needs to be
made, particularly by their African counterparts.

But Aziz Pahad, deputy foreign minister, said an indefinite suspension or
expulsion from the organisation were unlikely.

''We are not at a point where African and Asian countries have reached a
stage where they think (these options) are a solution to the problem,'' he

South Africa is widely considered as the country that can do most to assist
in bringing stability to Zimbabwe and reversing economic collapse. But it
has opposed public condemnation of Mr Mugabe and sanctions.

President Thabo Mbeki is expected to argue at the meeting for renewed
efforts to promote stalled negotiations between the ruling Zanu-PF and the
Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

South Africa's insistence on engagement rather than increased international
pressure is likely to draw criticism from the MDC.

''The objective of the leaders of the (Commonwealth) Troika should be to
pressurise Mugabe to step down so that we can start to create a framework
which will ensure that a re-run of the presidential election can take place
under free and fair conditions and under the auspices of international
observers,'' said Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC's leader.

Mugabe will not attend the Abuja meeting. The Zimbabwean leader "said the
invitation (from Mr Howard) gave the impression that he was going to be
court-martialled,'' said a Nigerian official.

Financial Times
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Business Day

'Throw the book at Mugabe' says Leon

The Democratic Alliance called for the full suspension of Zimbabwe from the
The DA's statement came as the Commonwealth troika, comprising President
Thabo Mbeki, Australian Prime Minister John Howard and President Olusegun
Obasanjo of Nigeria, was meeting in Abuja, Nigeria today to discuss the
Zimbabwean land crisis.

The Commonwealth Chairperson's Committee on Zimbabwe should "throw the book"
at President Robert Mugabe, DA leader Tony Leon said in a statement.

"The troika should instate a full suspension of Zimbabwe from the
Commonwealth," he said.

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Aziz Pahad said yesterday that the three
leaders needed to review developments in Zimbabwe after its suspension from
the Commonwealth at a meeting at Malborough House in London six months ago.

The three would be joined by the Commonwealth secretary general, Don
McKinnon, although Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe declined Howard's
invitation to attend.

In his statement, Leon said Mugabe "has done nothing but thumb his nose at
the Commonwealth and its principles", to which the Zimbabwean government
committed itself as recently as in the 1991 Harare Commonwealth Declaration.

Furthermore, at a meeting of the Commonwealth in Abuja just over a year ago,
the Zimbabwean delegation gave a number of "assurances".

These included that there would be no further occupations of farm lands, the
process whereby farms not meeting set criteria were de-listed would be
accelerated, occupiers of farms that were not designated would be moved to
legally acquired lands, and the rule of law would be restored to the process
of land reform.

"Each and every one of these undertakings has been observed only in the
breach. The Abuja agreement seems to have as much effect as a sneeze in a
thunderstorm," Leon said.

"It is clear that the partial one-year suspension has had absolutely no
influence on the Mugabe regime's rights-delinquent behaviour.

"A stronger message is called for. Zimbabwe should be completely suspended
from the Commonwealth, only to be re-admitted once democracy and the rule of
law have been restored," Leon said.

Other measures that could be considered were limitation of
government-to-government contacts, people-to-people measures and trade

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Commonwealth group split over Zimbabwe sanctions

ABUJA, Sept. 23 - A three-nation Commonwealth group ended talks on Monday
split over whether to toughen sanctions on Zimbabwe for its land policies
and political violence, an official communique said.

       Commonwealth officials said privately the inconclusive talks in the
Nigerian capital marked a major setback for the group of largely former
British colonies. The Zimbabwe crisis has driven a wedge between the group's
poorer African members and their white colleagues.
       The ''troika'' of the presidents of South Africa, Nigeria and the
prime minister of Australia was meeting to review what steps Zimbabwe had
taken to avert further sanctions after it was suspended from the
Commonwealth in March following Mugabe's controversial re-election.
       The Commonwealth and Zimbabwe's opposition said those polls were
       But the troika failed to reach agreement because of objections from
South African President Thabo Mbeki and Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo, the
communique said.
       Australian Prime Minister John Howard, the committee's chairman, was
isolated in pushing for tougher sanctions.
       Mbeki and Obasanjo are longtime allies of Mugabe.
       Diplomats say Mbeki's hands appeared tied by the uncompromising
opposition of his ruling African National Congress (ANC) to sanctions
against Mugabe.
       ''The ANC is due to hold its annual congress in December and Mbeki
dare not agree to sanctions,'' an African diplomat said.
       ''The ANC regards sanctions against Zimbabwe as a white plot,'' added
the diplomat, asking not to be named.
       Both the ANC and Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF came to power after battling
white minority rule in their neighbouring states.
       ''Whilst all members of the troika strongly believe that efforts to
engage the government of Zimbabwe should continue, one member, Australia,
supported the full suspension with immediate effect,'' the committee's
communique said.
       Diplomats at the talks had earlier said the Commonwealth, a 54-nation
group of mainly former British colonies, was left with little choice but to
toughen the symbolic sanctions.
       Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe boycotted the talks, with Nigerian
officials saying Mugabe complained of being made to feel he was going to be
''court martialled.''

       The statement said Nigeria and South Africa wished to see how
Zimbabwe responded over the next six months to the measures imposed in
March, ''at which point stronger measures might need to be considered.''
       The troika has the Commonwealth's mandate to recommend sanctions and
suspension, and could make such a move in March 2003 when current measures
against Zimbabwe run out.
       Full suspension would cut off Commonwealth development aid at a
critical time for the southern African nation in the throes of economic
       Diplomats described the atmosphere at the talks, overshadowed by a
war of words between Zimbabwe and Australia, as tense.
       ''It was hot in there. The jackets were off,'' said one diplomat.
       Earlier, Zimbabwe launched a scorching attack on Howard, with
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo quoted as saying: ''John Howard should
disabuse himself of the folly that he can treat Africans the same way he
treats Aborigines.''
       Australia's 400,000 Aborigines want a formal apology from the
government for past injustices.
       Howard told a news briefing he pushed for a tougher line against
Zimbabwe because Mugabe had shunned all Commonwealth efforts to resolve the
issue of forceful seizure of white farms by landless blacks and to end
political violence between government and opposition supporters.
       Obasanjo said he and Mbeki asked for more time because the
reconciliation process had already begun with the opposition freely
challenging the disputed elections in court.
Mugabe had pledged to respect the court verdict, he added

Independent (UK)

Mugabe escapes new sanctions
By Basildon Peta in Johannesburg
24 September 2002
A Commonwealth meeting to review the crisis in Zimbabwe decided against
tightening sanctions on President Robert Mugabe's government after South
Africa and Nigeria opposed such a move.

The South African and Nigerian presidents want to see how Zimbabwe responds
over the next six months to limited measures imposed in March, after which
"stronger measures might need to be considered", a statement said after the
meeting of the Commonwealth "troika" in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

The Mugabe government accused the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard,
who was the third leader at the meeting, of trying to turn the Commonwealth
into a "kangaroo court" by pressing for Zimbabwe's expulsion from the group.
Mr Mugabe boycotted the summit, saying that he feared a "court martial".

The decision on sanctions enraged Zimbabwean civic groups, which accused the
Commonwealth of abdicating on its responsibility to uphold democratic
standards. Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the opposition MDC, accused the
Commonwealth of giving Mr Mugabe a "blank cheque".
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The Australian

Hal G. P. Colebatch: Monster of Malcolm's making
23 September 2002

MOVING the Commonwealth to clean up the mess in Zimbabwe is like moving a
boulder with a papier-mache crowbar. But John Howard just might do it. After
all, his leadership role in liberating East Timor three years ago
demonstrated the Prime Minister's ability to get the best reasonably
possible outcome from an apparently hopeless situation.

Howard, remember, has already organised the support of South Africa and
Nigeria to have Zimbabwe suspended from the Commonwealth. It wasn't much,
but it told Zimbabwe's people the world is not entirely indifferent to their
fate, and was a little encouragement to Robert Mugabe's brave opponents.

Howard has also secured some Pacific states' support for tougher action,
though he is opposed to sanctions on the grounds that they would hurt the
wrong people. There is a lot riding on the Prime Minister's mission to
Nigeria and London this week. The task is herculean.

Ironically, the mess Howard must clean up can be seen as being partly of his
old boss Malcolm Fraser's making. Fraser's 1987 biographer Philip Ayres has
written: "The centrality of Fraser's part in the processes leading to
Zimbabwe's independence is indisputable. All the major African figures
involved affirm it." Tanzania's president Julius Nyerere considered Fraser's
role "crucial in many parts", while Zambia's president Kenneth Kaunda, whose
own achievements included making his country a one-party state, called it

Mugabe is quoted by Ayres: "I got enchanted by [Fraser], we became friends,
personal friends . . . he's really motivated by a liberal philosophy."

Duncan Campbell, former deputy secretary of the Department of Foreign
Affairs and Trade, has claimed Fraser was a "principal architect" of the
agreement that installed Mugabe and that "he was largely responsible for
pressing Margaret Thatcher to accept it". Former Australian diplomat and
Commonwealth specialist Tony Kevin has also claimed that Fraser "challenged
Margaret Thatcher's efforts to stage-manage a moderate political solution".
Veteran British Tory politician Julian Amery also commented on Fraser's
activities, though in less favourable terms.

When Fraser was working to install Mugabe, Rhodesia actually had a black
majority government of sorts under Bishop Abel Muzorewa, a moderate without
Mugabe's Marxism or association with atrocities. He was also prepared to
work closely with whites, and he was apparently favoured by Thatcher. There
had already been considerable changes late in the Smith regime, with, for
example, the armed forces taking black officers. Rhodesia was committed to
universal adult suffrage and a parliament with 72 black and 28 white seats.

Muzorewa might have failed, but it is hard to imagine that a Muzorewa-led
Zimbabwe, retaining the whites' agricultural expertise, would have been a
worse outcome for Zimbabwe's people than what actually transpired, despite
Kevin's claim that "however much Mugabe may be guilty of, Zimbabwe has
enjoyed peace and security for more than 20 years". Mugabe, before turning
on the white farmers, thus threatening national starvation, waged a
quasi-genocidal war on the Ndebele, with an estimated 20,000 murdered. He
later committed thousands of Zimbabwean troops to a vicious, largely
pointless war in the Congo.

Mugabe was put into power tainted with atrocity. Members of the Patriotic
Front, of which he led the biggest faction, cut noses and lips off
unco-operative blacks and shot down civilian airliners - in one case
massacring the dazed and injured survivors, men and women, as they escaped
from the crash site. Naturally no one was prosecuted for these major war

There seems to be no record of Fraser protesting about this or Mugabe's
persecution of political opposition or the recent corrupt and fraudulent
election, despite his membership of the Commonwealth Group of Eminent
Persons focused on African affairs and chairmanship of a UN committee on
African commodity problems in 1989-90.

He was also chairman of CARE Australia in 1987 and president of CARE
International in 1990. Early last year, Mugabe thugs raided the Zimbabwe
offices of CARE International and abducted the Canadian director. According
to London's Daily Telegraph, police called by Canadian officials did

The head of a German aid agency was also abducted and held hostage. Both
incidents appear to be part of Mugabe's terror campaign to destroy
infrastructure that might aid his political opponents. Again, despite
Fraser's intimate connections with CARE, there seems no record of him

Fraser's silence on Zimbabwe gets louder every day and is becoming
significant in itself. On April 20, 2000, a letter-writer in The Australian
asked Fraser to comment on Mugabe's behaviour.

The editor wrote: "Malcolm Fraser has been recovering from surgery. He will
write on this subject for The Australian next week." To the best of my
knowledge he never did, either then or after many subsequent challenges to
do so.

His latest and loudest non-mention of it was his 2002 Walter Murdoch Lecture
last Wednesday. He produced more-or-less snide attacks on the Howard
Government's alleged lack of respect for human rights, and the memorable
injunction that "we should not seek to live in a state of denial concerning
our past". Human rights in Zimbabwe didn't get a mention, though a word from
Fraser with his laboriously cultivated "African" credentials might have
meant a lot.

Fraser suggested in the Murdoch Lecture that Australia was deficient in
respecting the "rule of law". The fact Mugabe had just arrested a retired
High Court judge, Fergus Blackie - who was brought into court manacled and
who had previously dared to find a Mugabe minister guilty of contempt of
court - apparently escaped his notice.

Fraser has often invoked our "national pride" and "important Australian
values", which on this page on February 12, 1997, he identified as funding
Radio Australia, the Institute of Sport and the National Institute of
Dramatic Arts.

On Zimbabwe, however, he simply can't abdicate responsibility, especially
since he is so ready to criticise Australia and in a sense undermine
Howard's international position. As chairman of the committee of
Commonwealth leaders, Howard has responsibility for action. It is a matter
not only of his own pride but, more importantly, of Australia's national

Hal G.P. Colebatch, a regular contributor to Quadrant, is author of Blair's
Britain (Claridge, 1999).
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Daily News

      Musekiwa accuses Jonathan Moyo of telling lies in court

      9/23/02 8:19:09 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      Tafadzwa Musekiwa, the Member of Parliament for Zengeza, last Friday
accused Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of Sate for Information and Publicity,
of lying when he gave evidence in Musekiwa's trial on a charge of breaching
a section of Posts and Telecommunications Act in the Harare Magistrates'
Court on Friday last week.

      Musekiwa is charged with threatening Moyo with death in telephone
calls to the junior minister on 10 September last year.

      He is denying the charge. Moyo was not in court on Friday.

      Musekiwa told regional magistrate Virginia Sithole that he was
"shocked to see a man of Moyo's stature stand in front of this court of law
and lie".

      He said: "He is the Minister of Information and Publicity and people
are supposed to believe him. He was lying with his eyes so wide open. I
wonder where our country is going."

      Musekiwa said he could not threaten a minister in the President's
Office who had himself threatened senior police officers, judges and others.
After Never Katiyo, the prosecutor, protested, Sithole told Musekiwa to
confine his testimony to issues concerning the case.

      Asked by Simbarashe Muzenda, his lawyer, why Moyo would lie in court,
Musekiwa said Moyo, a former fierce critic of President Mugabe and his
government, wanted to show the Zanu PF government that he was now one of

      In his testimony about two weeks ago, Moyo alleged that he was
threatened by an unknown caller and investigations had led to the opposition

      But Musekiwa on Friday said he had identified himself on all three
occasions. He said he was trying to get the results of the Bulawayo mayoral
and council elections after failing to get them from two senior members of
his own party.

      Musekiwa said: "Moyo knew who he was talking to when he said that one
of the voices was Sikhala's, but when he reported to the police he did not
say so."

      Job Sikhala, the MP for St Mary's, who with others was with Musekiwa
when the alleged offence was committed, was acquitted of a similar charge to
Musekiwa's on 2 August.

      The trial continues on Friday.
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Daily News

      MDC petitions C'wealth troika

      9/23/02 8:26:11 AM (GMT +2)

      By Pedzisai Ruhanya Chief Reporter

      MDC MPs have written a petition to the leaders of South Africa,
Nigeria and Australia, urging them to tell President Mugabe to step down to
allow for a fresh election, when they meet him in Abuja, Nigeria, on Monday.

      President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Nigerian President Olusegun
Obasanjo and Australian Premier John Howard, who comprise the Commonwealth
troika handling the Zimbabwe crisis, are expected to meet Mugabe to review
the situation after the country's suspension from the Commonwealth.

      The three leaders, on behalf of the 54-nation group, declared the
March presidential election, won controversially by Mugabe, not free and

      Mugabe, who was invited to Abuja, has not yet indicated whether he
will go to Nigeria. The MPs, led by Fidelis Mhashu (Chitungwiza), the shadow
minister for education, delivered their petition to the High Commissions of
South Africa, Nigeria and Australia in Harare on Friday.

      The petition reads: "We, the MDC MPs, wish to bring to your attention
the fact that the illegitimate Mugabe government has not moved an inch to
solve the political crisis in Zimbabwe.

      "The MDC urges the leaders of the troika to make a concerted effort to
encourage Mugabe to step down so that a fresh presidential election can take
place in Zimbabwe under free and fair conditions and the rule of law and
democratic legitimacy can be restored."

      They said that if Mugabe rejects the proposals, then "it is our appeal
that tough action and additional punitive measures should be taken against
the Mugabe regime well in advance of the March 2003 deadline".

      Addressing journalists before handing over the petition to the three
missions, Mhashu said the Commonwealth could also impose travel restrictions
against Mugabe and his inner circle.

      The MDC said if the three leaders have any doubts on the seriousness
of the situation in Zimbabwe, they should visit the country and see the
confusion and human misery being caused by Mugabe. They said Zanu PF pulled
out of the talks with the MDC, initiated by South Africa and Nigeria to
provide a possible avenue for a redress of the fraudulent election result.

      "Since being suspended from the Commonwealth in March, the incumbent
regime has made no effort to stop electoral violence and fraud, restore the
rule of law, end State-sponsored political violence and restore democratic
legitimacy to the country," the petition read.
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Daily News

      Chinamasa scuttles MDC motion to debate police brutality in parliament

      9/23/02 8:22:57 AM (GMT +2)

      By Columbus Mavhunga

      GIBSON Sibanda, the MP for Nkulumane, and the opposition leader in
Parliament must have left a wounded man on Wednesday when the House
adjourned before it finished debate on his motion on police brutality.

      Sibanda's motion was initially shelved after he had agreed with
Patrick Chinamasa, the leader of the House, that the motion would be debated
after the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill had been passed.

      A number of MDC MPs, notably Gabriel Chaibva (Harare South) and David
Coltart (Bulawayo South) tried to stop Chinamasa from reading the Bill until
Sibanda's motion had been exhausted but they were silenced by Chinamasa who
said he had liaised with Sibanda.

      When the Bill had gone to the Parliamentary Legal Committee, Sibanda
tabled his motion but when the committee came back, the debate was dropped.

      It was supposed to resume after the Land Bill had been passed but,
Chinamasa immediately moved for the adjournment of Parliament to 1 October.

      Asked when Sibanda's motion would be debated, Chinamasa said: "In
      Introducing the motion, Sibanda said he had been "alarmed by reports
of people being tortured by the ZRP"

      He said the civilians were being subjected to "inhuman and degrading
treatment" by the police despite the government's signing of international

      "The police are expected to discharge their duties impartially and
professionally," said Sibanda. "But the ZRP is far from that."

      He said the police had chosen to attack three people's genitals after
the death of Ali Manjengwa, a senior Zanu PF member in Mbare last month.

      "Members of Parliament, such as Fletcher Dulini-Ncube, Renson Gasela,
Tafadzwa Musekiwa and Tapiwa Mashakada also experienced police brutality,"
said Sibanda. "If such brutality can be perpetrated on MPs, one wonders what
happens to ordinary members of society."

      He said he wanted the police to be probed for their alleged brutality.

Daily News

      Tsvangirai sues Moyo

      9/23/02 8:08:01 AM (GMT +2)

      By Sam Munyavi

      *Demands a total of $52m from Moyo, The Herald, ZBC, Mahoso and Hungwe

      Morgan Tsvangirai, the president of the MDC, is suing Jonathan Moyo,
the Minister of State for Information and Publicity, the State-controlled
media and three individuals for a total of $52 million for defamation over
their claim that he called resettled farmers "Stone Age scavengers" when he
addressed a meeting in Harare on 9 September.

      Muzenda and Maganga, Tsvangirai's lawyers, have written to Moyo, The
Herald and its editor Pikirayi Deketeke, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation (ZBC), Tafataona Mahoso, a government and Zanu PF apologist, and
Silas Hungwe, the president of the Zimbabwe Farmers' Union, demanding that
they retract their comments on Tsvangirai's speech or face lawsuits.

      The lawyers said that Moyo, the State-controlled media, and the
individuals concerned had distorted Tsvangirai's "Stone Age scavengers"
remarks at the Mass Public Opinion Institute meeting.

      The relevant statement by Tsvangirai, when he was speaking on the
erosion of the people's basic freedoms by President Mugabe's government,
reads: "The total emasculation of people's political power has been
complemented by another strategy to reduce the majority of the population
economically to the level of Stone Age scavengers available for manipulation
and abuse by Mugabe and his cronies."

      The lawyers' 13 September letter to Moyo reads in part: "The words
that you used to describe our client in that article are clearly defamatory
of our client and were calculated to stir resentment of the Movement for
Democratic Change.

      "What is most disturbing is that the words were based on distorted
information. We submit that it was necessary and prudent for you to have
perused a copy of the full text of his speech before pouring venom on our

      The lawyers said Tsvangirai was defamed as a result of Moyo's calling
him a "puppet singing a colonial song for his puppeteers".

      They are demanding damages of $10 million if Moyo does not retract his
comments and publish in The Herald an "unconditional and unequivocal"
apology for seven consecutive days from the date he receives the lawyers'

      Muzenda and Maganga made the same demands each on Deketeke and The
      Gula-Ndebele and Partners, the lawyers for Deketeke and The Herald,
said in their reply to Tsvangirai's lawyers on Thursday last week: "We are
in the process of getting full instructions from client and will revert to
you as soon as we are able to."

      Tsvangirai is suing the ZBC for $20 million.

      His lawyers wrote on 17 September: "As a result of your publication,
viewed by nearly everyone who has access to a television, as it is the only
station in the country, our client suffered defamation in the estimated sum
of $20 million."

      They demanded that the ZBC broadcast, during News Hour, a retraction
on the same conditions as those demanded from Moyo, Deketeke and The Herald.

      In a letter dated 17 September to Mahoso, Muzenda and Maganga reminded
him that he had claimed in The Herald's story that Tsvangirai's utterances
were typical of Rhodesian terminology, which described African life as

      The lawyers said: "You further claimed that even our client's audience
was shocked by the utterances as there was no applause after the utterances.
Nothing could be farther from the truth."

      In their 17 September letter to Hungwe, the lawyers said he had been
quoted in The Herald as having said, among other things,: "Tsvangirai has
gone mad, he lacks a deep understanding of the programme, where does he
himself stand?"

      The lawyers said: "You are further quoted as having said that our
client's reasoning had been so clouded by the millions of dollars given to
him by his Western backer that he sees fit to insult his own people."

      They said: "We wish to advise that you made your unfortunate comments
on the basis of a falsehood"

      It could not be readily established whether Moyo, the ZBC, Mahoso and
Hungwe had responded to Tsvangirai's lawyers.
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Business Day

      SA being hurt by silence on Zimbabwe'

      UK says stance scares investors away
      Trade and Industry Editor

      PRETORIA The UK fears that President Thabo Mbeki's failure to
aggressively condemn events in Zimbabwe is scaring off foreign investment
into SA.

      The warning by the local director of British Trade and Investment,
Michael Mowlam, was given at a seminar in Pretoria organised by Trade and
Investment SA, a division of the trade and industry department.

      Mowlam said disquiet over SA's stance on Zimbabwe was the number one
concern of potential foreign investors in SA. The recent rapid fall in the
rand, concerns over black economic empowerment and the small size of the SA
market constituted the other major worries.

      Mowlam said that as long as SA authorities failed to make a noise
about Zimbabwe, there would be a perception that SA supported the land
seizures and the human rights abuses in its northern neighbour.

      "People say that the fact that there is very little overt criticism
from SA implies that SA believes Zimbabwe is doing the right thing and the
same thing could happen in SA," Mowlam said.

      "This is an important issue, and I am not sure people here realise how
important it is for investment. People in the UK or in the US who have money
to invest instinctively link the two countries."

      He said he had no doubt that SA was doing its best diplomatically, but
argued that the only way to reverse perceptions abroad would be by "putting
out strong and consistent messages".

      The CE of the SA-German Chamber of Commerce, Matthias Boddenberg,
echoed Mowlam's message, saying German businessmen in SA had warned that the
situation in Zimbabwe was eroding their confidence in SA.

      And the SA representative for the Belgian region of Flanders, Mieke
Pynnaert confirmed that the situation in Zimbabwe was one of the top
concerns of potential investors from her region of Europe.

      Mowlam said the recent decline in the rand was also a worry to foreign
investors who were seeing the value of their assets in SA eroded in
sterling, dollars or euros.

      Boddenberg agreed that the depreciation of the rand had negatively
affected the foreign investment community.

      Mowlam said there was also a lack of understanding abroad about black
economic empowerment, with ignorance about the issue having contributed to
it being seen as negative. "There is a job to be done in projecting its
positive aspects."

      In a rare display of growing private-sector impatience, Sasol has
warned of the consequences of the regional governments' failure to tackle
the Zimbabwean leadership. Sasol chairman Paul Kruger warned in the fuel
group's annual report last week that the political and economic crisis in
Zimbabwe was undermining the entire continent's credibility. With Dave Marrs

      Sep 23 2002 12:00:00:000AM John Fraser Business Day 1st Edition

      23 September 2002
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The Times - letters

            September 23, 2002

            Zimbabwe pensions
            From Mr Hugo Swire, MP for East Devon (Conservative)

            Sir, Mrs Elaine Kriedemann (letter, September 19) is quite
correct to draw attention to the plight of pensioners resulting from the
catastrophic state of Zimbabwe's economy. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary
of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Baroness Amos, made it
clear in a letter to me in June that:

            The Lancaster House Agreement ensured that the Zimbabwe
Constitution would contain provisions relating to pensions payable in
respect of service of a public officer, and that pension benefits would
continue to be paid to those no longer resident in Zimbabwe. There was no
such guarantee for employees of parastatal organisations or other company
pension funds.

            Lady Amos went on to say that there was never any question of
the British Government assuming responsibility for the payment of pensions
in the event of non-payment by the Zimbabwean authorities.

            Any British national who has returned to this country from
Zimbabwe should contact their local benefits agency as they may be eligible
for certain benefits subject to the normal conditions of entitlement. Other
than that, those affected must wait until the despotic Mugabe is removed
from the scene and Zimbabwe is given the chance of prosperity once more.

            Yours faithfully,
            HUGO SWIRE,
            House of Commons.
            September 19.

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