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

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Mail and Guardian

Robert Mugabe... Joseph Stalin

      Angela Quintal | Cape Town

      06 September 2002 09:14

Nobel laureate and Northern Ireland politician David Trimble drew parallels
on Thursday between the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin in the 1930s and
Zimbabwe under President Robert Mugabe.

Addressing the Cape Town press club, Trimble said that what was really
needed to ensure sustainable development in the developing world, was
stable, responsible, government.

"There is only so much that can be done in terms of aid, at the end of the
day it really has to be peoples themselves that address their own particular
circumstances and problems.

"There is a crying need in some areas for stable, responsible, government.
It is not a coincidence, that those areas most affected by poverty and
famine are also areas in the world where there is war, conflict and
dictatorial governments."

Just as democracies did not fight each other, democratic leaders did not
impoverish their own people, Trimble said.

Referring to Zimbabwe, he said: "We are seeing not to far from here a famine
developing which is not natural, but is largely man-made.

"It seems to borrow not a little from the tactics of Stalin in the Ukraine
in the 1930s. It's getting as bad as that."

Early in Stalin's reign the Soviet leader imposed a system of
"collectivisation" whereby all privately-held land in Ukraine was

The system was ultimately blamed for the deaths of millions of Ukrainians
during the winter of the 1932-33. It is widely believed that Stalin
perpetrated the famine to stamp out any aspirations of Ukrainian

On the 1998 Good Friday Agreement which resulted in a power-sharing
government in Northern Ireland, Trimble said: "We are in the middle of a
transition which is not complete.

"There had been a lot of progress, but we haven't actually completed it. I
don't think we are going to go seriously into reverse, but we could get

If this happened things could get messy, "but I don't think the whole thing
will collapse", he said.

Trimble, who as the Ulster Unionist Party leader, has to contend with an
anti-agreement lobby in his own party, said he did not believe these members
were as much "anti-agreement, as anti-Trimble". - Sapa
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Mugabe lobbyist quits
By David Rennie in Washington
(Filed: 06/09/2002)

One of Robert Mugabe's most vocal overseas mouthpieces has abruptly severed
his connections with the government of Zimbabwe.

Ari Ben-Menashe refused to say why he had stopped representing the regime.

The former Israeli secret agent from the Canadian lobbyists Dickens and
Madson is a key government witness in a treason case against Morgan
Tsvangirai, the Zimbabwean opposition leader.

Mr Tsvangirai is accused of plotting to murder Mr Mugabe. The Zimbabwe
government says that a video, secretly shot by Mr Ben-Menashe, shows Mr
Tsvangirai agreeing with Mr Ben-Menashe's suggestions that Mr Mugabe be

Mr Ben-Menashe said he stood by his accusations against Mr Tsvangirai,
saying: "The tape speaks for itself."
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ZIMBABWE: Farmers seek greener pastures
      IRINnews Africa, Thu 5 Sep 2002

      ©  IRIN

      Farmers will have to work with the local population

      JOHANNESBURG, - Zambia on Thursday cautiously welcomed moves by
Zimbabwean commercial farmers to resettle in the country and continue

      "We have an open policy toward investors, whoever they may be. Yes, we
are pleased that they [Zimbabwean farmers] have expressed interest in our
agricultural sector, but we are mindful of the impact that this could have
on the local population. We certainly don't want to see a similar situation
like that in Zimbabwe," the director of national agriculture, Peter Masunu,
told IRIN.

      The number of Zimbabwean commercial farmers seeking greener pastures
in neighbouring countries has reportedly increased as a result of the
government's land-redistribution programme.

      Already, 20 Zimbabweans are working in Mozambique's Manica Province.
Angola and Botswana have also encouraged the farmers to settle in their
respective countries.

      About 125 commercial farmers have expressed interest in areas in
Zambia's fertile Northern Province. Masunu said the northern agricultural
town of Mbala was conducive to farming because of the "good rainfall and the
fishing opportunities".

      Zambia has the potential to significantly increase its agricultural
output, analysts say. Currently, only 20 percent of its arable land is
cultivated. The agriculture sector has suffered from poor rural
infrastructure, the lack of credit for farmers, and the high price of
fertiliser and other inputs.

      Some of the Zimbabwean farmers were interested in moving to the
Copperbelt region, Masunu said, which was "particularly good for our
agricultural development, since we are considering diversifying our economy
and not just relying on copper production".

      However, the Zambian authorities would monitor the situation closely
"to avoid the land controversy in Zimbabwe".

      "We have made it clear that the local population will not be
displaced. Like all investors, the farmers will have to create jobs for the
local people in those areas. Also, individual farmers will be prohibited
from owning thousands of hectares at the expense of our own people. They
will not be given more land than they can actually use," Masunu said.

      Prior to Zimbabwe's controversial land-reform programme, in which
2,900 farms have been expropriated, white commercial farmers owned the bulk
of the country's prime land.

      Mozambican officials have been equally vocal on the amount of land the
commercial farmers would be entitled to. Up to 15O mainly dairy and tobacco
farmers from Zimbabwe have expressed interest in relocating to Mozambique.

      "We are not giving more than 1,000 hectares to avoid a social crisis
... There was a request for 400,000 hectares ... but it would have
represented a type of colony, and Mozambique immediately rejected this
request," Mozambican agriculture minister, Helder Muteia, told the
Portuguese newspaper, Diario de Noticias, this week.

      "We are settling them throughout [the country] to ensure they are not
grouped together and can therefore easily learn about the situation in
Mozambique," said Muteia.

      The minimum investment required before a project was authorised was US
$50,000, and each farmer had to create at least 100 jobs. Apart from Manica,
the government had received requests for farming rights in Zambezia, Nampula
and Sofala provinces, Muteia said.
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This is London

Straw attacks "failed" Zimbabwe

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw will risk the wrath of Robert Mugabe by
likening Zimbabwe to "failed states" such as Somalia, Congo and Afghanistan.

In a speech ahead of the first anniversary of the September 11 terrorist
attacks on the US, Mr Straw will call on the international community to act
like doctors diagnosing ill health in countries like Taliban-ruled

His speech to diplomats, MPs, academics and business leaders follows
applause when Mugabe and his allies attacked Britain at the Earth Summit in
South Africa.

Mr Straw is set to say that international patience with Iraq is not
unlimited and that it would be irresponsible to say that military action is
not an option.

His speech at Birmingham University will say that September 11 dramatically
showed how the disintegration of a state like Afghanistan can affect
people's lives thousands of miles away.

"As we approach the first anniversary of the attacks, we need to remind
ourselves that turning a blind eye to the breakdown of order in any part of
the world, however distant, invites direct threats to our national security
and wellbeing."

The Foreign Secretary will stress the importance of identifying states at
risk of failure, establishing an "at risk" category of countries which
threaten global order.

States which fail to control their territory and guarantee the security of
their people, fail to maintain the rule of law and promote human rights and
to deliver economic growth, education and healthcare could be said to have

"Even a rough and ready application of these indicators would have started
alarm bells ringing for states like Somalia and the Democratic Republic of
Congo long before they collapsed," Mr Straw will say.

"And under Robert Mugabe, it is hard to argue that Zimbabwe doesn't fall
into this category too."
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Cape farmer calls on SA to try Mugabe under Rome Statute
Parliamentary Editor

CAPE TOWN A South African dispossessed in Zimbabwe's programme of land grabs has asked for President Robert Mugabe to be charged with crimes against humanity and tried in a SA court, under an international statute recently adopted by Parliament.

Mugabe this week used the platform of the World Summit on Sustainable Development to defend his land reform programme and to insist that contrary to reports no Zimbabwean farmers were being left without any land.

His intervention came after reports at the weekend of ruling Zanu (PF) militias using rape to punish women in opposition party strongholds.

Richard Barry, from Robertson in Western Cape, said yesterday his farms had been confiscated by Zanu (PF) in what was a systematic campaign targeting white farmers and their workers.

He made his actions public at a Democratic Alliance press conference called by its justice spokesman, Tertius Delport.

Barry said in an affidavit, faxed to national director of public prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka that SA had passed and promulgated the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which gave SA's courts the jurisdiction to try genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in other countries if the perpetrator was apprehended on SA soil.

The statute defined crimes against humanity as murder, deportation or forcible transfer of the population, imprisonment or other severe deprivation, rape, sexual slavery and enforced prostitution, and "persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender grounds", Barry said.

Barry said he was calling for Mugabe to be arrested and tried not only on behalf of white farmers, but also on behalf of all Zimbabweans and particularly farm workers who were victims of Mugabe's programme.

Delport, when asked if he was not trivialising crimes against humanity by applying the concept to expropriation of white farms in Zimbabwe, said the facts in Zimbabwe showed an extreme situation, which under no circumstances could be seen as trivial.

He said the treatment of farmers was "inhumane" and qualified as crimes against humanity because there had been trauma, injuries and death.

Mugabe had evidently already left SA by the time the moves were made. Sapa quoted foreign affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa as saying all heads of state visiting the summit had diplomatic immunity.

The Rome Statute, however, explicitly excludes diplomatic immunity as a protection against arrest for the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. Legal sources said if the reports coming out of Zimbabwe were true, they would certainly qualify as crimes against humanity as defined in the statute. Sep 05 2002 12:00:00:000AM Wyndham Hartley Business Day 1st Edition

Annan, Mugabe talk about human rights  AFP [ WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 04, 2002  9:09:43 PM ]
JOHANNESBURG: UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Wednesday said he spoke to President Robert Mugabe about the human rights situation in Zimbabwe when they met on the sidelines of the UN Earth Summit here on Monday.

"We did raise the issue of human rights and I did raise concern at the reports in the press that the distribution of food is being politicised," Annan told journalists shortly before the 10-day summit was due to close.

He was referring to accusations by aid groups that Mugabe's government is denying food aid to regions that voted for the opposition in March presidential elections while some six million Zimbabweans, about half the population, face starvation in the next six months, according to UN figures.

"The president assured me that it was not the case, that there was no politicisation," Annan said.

He added however that he planned to send the head of the UN World Food Progamme, Jim Morris, who is also his personal envoy to six southern African nations facing dire food shortages, to the region.

"He will be looking at some of these issues," Annan said.

Amnesty International has again denounced the human rights situation in Zimbabwe after a senior member of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was arrested on Monday and an independent radio station blown up last week.

Annan said he believed land reform was necessary in Zimbabwe but said he wanted to see "a credible land reform programme, phased, funded, legal and fair to everybody."

He added that the United Nations had tried to push for this since Mugabe began his controversial land redistribution programme two years ago but "things moved very fast and we could not get this done."

Annan declined to comment on Zimbabwe's bitterly disputed presidential elections which saw Mugabe cling to power, saying the matter was sub judice as the MDC was contesting the outcome in court.

"You have a case a court, the opposition has taken the elections results to court, it is being adjudicated and I prefer not to comment on that at the moment," he said Copyright © 2002 Times Internet Limited. All rights reserved

Uproar as Powell backs NZ on Mugabe 05.09.2002 By KEVIN NORQUAY

United States Secretary of State Colin Powell caused an uproar at the World Summit on Sustainable Development yesterday when he openly criticised Zimbabwe.

Mr Powell mounted only the second serious attack on the regime of President Robert Mugabe - after NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark had been unsupported for two days.

Security guards had to eject at least one man from the auditorium, as several outraged listeners heckled Mr Powell during a speech that echoed New Zealand criticisms.

Several times Mr Powell - in Johannesburg for the final session as President George W. Bush would not come - was forced to break a speech that ended amid loud booing.

Helen Clark was in the auditorium and said she fully agreed with everything Mr Powell said.

Speaking of Aids, famine, economic mismanagement and wasteful land use in Africa, Mr Powell turned his guns on Zimbabwe, going further than Helen Clark by naming it.

"In one country in this region - Zimbabwe - the lack of respect for human rights and the rule of law has exacerbated these factors to push millions of people forward toward the brink of starvation."

Booing, followed by loud chanting, prevented him continuing.

It was the second time this year Mr Powell had expressed solidarity with New Zealand. In Washington in March, he told Helen Clark New Zealand and the US were "very, very, very good friends".

Until yesterday, Helen Clark had been alone in using her address to the summit to list her objections to Mr Mugabe's regime.

On Monday, she told more than 100 world leaders that famine in Zimbabwe had been worsened by "deliberate and cynical Government policies". New Zealand is bitterly opposed to Mr Mugabe's policy of evicting white farmers from their land, a process he yesterday called "agrarian reform".

Helen Clark was left to go solo on the issue by allies such as British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who avoided the issue in his address, then dodged it at a press conference as well.

While her speech was greeted with polite applause, the address later by an aggressive Mr Mugabe was interrupted three times by loud acclaim.


Mugabe warns white farmers to hand land over to blacks or leave
HARARE Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe returned home yesterday, triumphant from a row with British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the world summit in Johannesburg.

Mugabe again warned white farmers to hand their land over to blacks or leave the country.

"I never thought we would find so much support. People applauded until I had sat down and they all rushed to congratulate me," he told hundreds of supporters who were bussed into Harare airport to welcome him back from SA.

The 78-year-old leader gave a resumé in the local language Shona of his speech to the summit on Monday, during which he accused former colonial power Britain of interfering in Zimbabwe's affairs.

"Keep your England and let me keep my Zimbabwe," Mugabe told Blair to enthusiastic applause from a number of the delegations.

Blair had earlier told the summit: "Zimbabwe is potentially one of the richest grain nations in the world and yet because of the way he (Mugabe) has ruined the country it is having to import grain for its people."

The British leader said: "It's a terrible, terrible tragedy."

Britain has spearheaded European Union and Commonwealth sanctions aimed at isolating Mugabe's government over allegations of massive voting fraud and human rights abuses during the presidential election in March.

Mugabe is also under fire from the west for his decision to hand 2900 white-owned farm to landless blacks at a time when 6-million people about half the population are facing the threat of starvation.

Opponents say his land policy, which recently saw more than 300 white farmers arrested for refusing to leave their land, is undermining agriculture and contributing to the food crisis.

Mugabe hit out again yesterday at the white farmers. "Amongst them are those who have been going to Britain and asking Britain to impose sanctions on us, asking Britain to send troops to Zimbabwe," he told his supporters.

"These do not deserve to be in Zimbabwe and we shall take steps to ensure that they are not entitled to land in Zimbabwe."

Mugabe also made specific reference to two white parliamentarians from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Roy Bennett and David Coltart. He said that they were "not part of our society".

"They belong to Britain and let them go there. If they want to stay here, we will say: Stay here, but your place is in jail'," Mugabe said. Sapa-AFP
Sep 05 2002 08:11:50:000AM  Business Day 2nd Edition Thursday 05 September 2002

Time for appeasement of Mugabe is long past
THE United Nations (UN) invited Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to address the World Summit on Sustainable Development. It is said that this was an act of hospitality to a head of state.

The world body appears to have forgotten that no credible observer mission was prepared to declare the Zimbabwean presidential elections free and fair.

Every time Mugabe is invited onto the world stage, his illegitimate election becomes that much more entrenched and takes on the veneer of respectability.

It is necessary to secure by acts, not words, that Mugabe is brought to account for charges of torture, of tyranny and the methodical destruction of a society.

Our own country speaks of moral regeneration. We are signatories to an international convention against torture. We sign with one hand a document that obliges us to legislate into place domestic laws to arrest and try those accused of institutionalised torture, but then we embrace him with both arms in an act of seeming solidarity.

It is necessary to address those who wish to call Mugabe brother, to those who believe keeping the door open to discussion will somehow assist the people of Zimbabwe and our region and to those who wish to see him only as a leader who once brought freedom to a country and aided others in their freedom struggles.

There comes a time when expediency and sentimentality has to submit to moral integrity.

Half a century ago, Albert Camus wrote: "If you keep on excusing, you eventually give your blessing to the slave camp, to cowardly force, to organised executioners, to the cynicism of great political monsters; you finally hand over your brothers."

No democratic society should pardon Mugabe's destruction of the structures of Zimbabwean society. He has made law-abiding citizens fear the apparatus of state. He does not apply the law but acts in contempt of it. Those who gave Mugabe an ovation should consider that the systematic violation of basic rights by a tyrant brooks of no debate.

Those who may still wish to engage him in debate should be reminded of the well documented massacres in Matabeleland.

Those who felt obliged to share a podium with him may not be adequately informed of the undermining of the judicial process and the rule of law by Mugabe and his appointees.

Mugabe proclaimed more than 10 years ago "the government cannot allow the technicalities of the law to fetter its hands .... We shall, therefore, proceed as government ... and some of the measures we shall take are measures which will be extralegal."

Also, Mugabe has a history of giving amnesty to criminals convicted of acts of violence and arson in the 1990 and 2000 elections. These were crimes mainly committed by ruling party supporters against supporters or supposed supporters of political parties in opposition.

Land reform in Zimbabwe is necessary, provided it is effected in accordance with a constitution whose core civil rights values have not been bastardised. Leaving aside the issue of expropriation without compensation, there is an entire population of farm workers who have lived on the land and have been dependent on it for sustenance.

They were legitimate occupiers with a prior claim to remain where they have been for generations. If a law is to be introduced to protect them, then it is too late. They have been kicked off the land by the new land barons.

Reports indicate Mugabe's wife is the recipient of prime land as are cabinet members and high ranking military and police officers. Although land is supposed to be a scarce resource, it is reported that more than 1,5-million workers and their families could end up being displaced. Mugabe's failure to protect farm workers' rights to occupy land demonstrates his true colours.

There are those who may be tempted to trust what he says. It is well to remember the time Mugabe was putting the final touches to his speech at the summit, independent radio station, Voice of the People, was bombed at the weekend in what was an efficient military-type operation. It is the third bombing of offices belonging to the independent media.

It is no good to say crimes against a people can be ignored while Mugabe and his associates remain beyond the reach of international justice. Mugabe's acts are rendered no less abhorrent because there is not yet a tribunal to which he is accountable.

The invitation given by the UN to Mugabe, the applause he received and the laughter he elicited demonstrates the world community will not of its own accord bring Mugabe to justice.

It becomes necessary for concerned organisations to pool skills and other resources and find effective ways of bringing Mugabe, and those who have gained through him, to justice, to have them disgorge what they have plundered, and to compensate the victims of their tyranny.

Spilg is a senior advocate and the convener of the Human Rights Committee of the General Council of the Bar of SA. He writes in his personal capacity.  There comes a time when expediency, sentimentality has to submit to moral integrity Sep 05 2002 12:00:00:000AM Brian Spilg Business Day 1st Edition

Zimbabwe Problems Unchanged by Mugabe Speech
JOHANNESBURG -- Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is not only one of the world's longer serving presidents, after 22 years in power and nearly six to go. He is also one of the most highly educated.

Those assets were on display when he addressed the Earth Summit in Johannesburg with a blend of passion and oratory that was a contrast with the monotone efforts of his peers.

"We wish no harm to anyone, we are Zimbabweans, we are Africans, we are not English, we are not Europeans. We love Africa, we love Zimbabwe, we love our independence," he said.

There was applause in the hall, from more than a few heads of state as well as journalists and observers, after the 78-year-old former guerrilla slammed Britain, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United Nations, official host of the 200-nation summit, Reuters reported.

A day later, Mugabe's political opponents were still baffled by the enthusiastic reaction.

"It just hit me that people were clapping. It shocked me, after the infantile demeanor that he presented in his speech," said Tendai Biti, foreign affairs spokesman for the movement for Democratic Change (MDC), on Tuesday.

"Yes, a few of those leaders clapped but not one of them would ever consider copying his policies," Biti said during a brief stay in Johannesburg. He came to the summit to try to put the case against Mugabe, five months after presidential elections that were condemned as rigged by observers from Southern African Parliaments and the Commonwealth.

As the butt of most of Mugabe's invective, British Prime Minister Tony Blair did not mince his words on Tuesday.

"... this rubbish about neo-colonialism, that is just a cloak, a cover, for what is a corrupt and ruinous regime," Blair said on his return home from the summit.

For a senior African diplomat involved in moves to mediate in Zimbabwe, Mugabe's fiery speech was a disappointment.

"It looks like nothing has changed. One had hoped there might be some reconciliation but this shows the administration in Harare is digging in, hardening its positions," he said.

---Castro, Chavez, Mugabe --- In the absence of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, Mugabe was probably the most senior left-wing president in town, closely followed by Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.

Invoking nationalist and socialist principles, Mugabe has refused to consider a devaluation of Zimbabwe's dollar, even though it trades on the black market at one-twelfth of its official rate of 55 to the U.S. dollar.

The distortion is so huge that analysts reckon 80 percent of basic foods are now bought and sold at the black market rate.

Inflation is expected to reach 150 percent by December.

Southern Africa's former breadbasket is empty, and the government says six million of its 14 million people are facing famine.

An estimated two million Zimbabweans are economic refugees in South Africa and other neighboring states. Many of the young waiters and waitresses serving summit delegates at restaurants in the plush Sandton suburb were Zimbabwean illegal aliens.

For the European Union and the United States, both of which have clamped personal sanctions on Mugabe and his inner circle, Zimbabwe is in crisis because its policies are disastrous.

But for Mugabe and his ruling Zanu-PF, Zimbabwe is a battlefield between good and evil, the poor and the rich, the Black and the White.

They say their country is paying the price for daring to take on the White world through a sweeping program of land redistribution. Mugabe has vowed to press ahead with the eviction of 2,900 of Zimbabwe's 4,500 White commercial farmers, a majority of whom are of British extraction.

Nowhere does the land issue touch raw nerves more painfully than in Africa, which was carved up by European colonizers.

A Ugandan delegate at the summit, Ndawula Kaweesi, agreed that Mugabe's speech on Monday lacked diplomacy. But he added: "African countries really are supporting him, he is trying to identify the grassroots problems. Unlike in Europe, politicians in Africa deal with grassroots because the problems we have are very basic."

--- Zimbabwe Offers Mbeki Advice --- Mugabe and his main ally, 73-year-old President Sam Nujoma of Namibia, chose the sensitive venue of South Africa to make their highly publicized attacks on Europe.

At home, South African President Thabo Mbeki is often decried by his white minority for being soft on Mugabe and for perversely portraying the March elections as legitimate.

Yet a vocal Black minority in South Africa accuses Mbeki of selling out to rich Whites and failing to push through a radical land program of his own.

Zimbabwe's Justice Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, stirred things up on South Africa's leading radio phone-in on Tuesday.

"My advice to South Africa is start now on land reform.

Don't wait until the pressures are too overwhelming," he said.

"If you think that in South Africa you will be freed from what is happening in Zimbabwe and you don't anticipate those changes, I feel sorry for you because as things are South African Blacks are in a worse situation than Zimbabweans," Chinamasa added.

The speeches by Mugabe and Nujoma were diametrically at odds with what Mbeki has been selling to the West -- a vision of an investor-friendly continent ready to do business in the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

"The two old guys enjoyed snubbing their noses at Mbeki. But as Mbeki says, the entire population of Namibia is less than half the size of Soweto, so why worry?" One South African analyst said.

"President Bush and the American people have an enduring commitment to sustainable development" - US Secretary of State Colin Powell Powell heckled at Earth Summit  4 Sep 2002.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell was heckled and booed during his speech at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg. Environmentalists whistled, jeered and shouted throughout the address, forcing Mr Powell to pause several times to wait for the noise to die down.Security guards hustled a number of demonstrators out of the conference hall. Two protesters held a banner reading: "Betrayed by governments".
South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who was chairing the session, called for the hecklers to stop and described the outbursts as "totally unacceptable."

Delegates were initially angered when Mr Powell criticised President Robert Mugabe for exacerbating the food crisis in Zimbabwe and pushing "millions of people to the brink of starvation."

Heckling continued when he went on to condemn Zambia, which is also facing a hunger crisis, for rejecting genetically engineered corn that Americans "eat every day".

Campaigners also registered their dissent when Mr Powell defended his administration's environmental record and its efforts to help the poor in the developing world.

A wave of noise erupted when he said: "The United States is taking action to meet environmental challenges, including global climate change."

The US has been hammered for refusing to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, which many countries view as crucial for reversing a global warming.

The Earth Summit is set to draw to a close later, after ten days of wrangling over environmental safeguards and strategies to minimise poverty

Delegates have reached a compromise deal and UN officials are preparing the agreed proposals for final adoption by the full summit.
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Religion Today Summaries
4 September 2002

World Relief President Clive Calver Heads to Zimbabwe

World Relief President Clive Calver will land in Zimbabwe on Sept. 4
to oversee the organization's response to the famine facing Zimbabwe
and other Southern African nations. World Relief is the humanitarian
arm of the National Association of Evangelicals. Its mission is to
alleviate human suffering around the world. The World Relief disaster
response team is tackling the food crisis throughout Southern Africa
by forming alliances with various churches such as the Free Methodist
Church to conduct targeted food distribution.

Member denominations throughout Southern Africa are compiling lists of
the neediest food aid recipients including the sick, orphans, pregnant
or nursing women and deliver food to them with support from World
Relief. In Zimbabwe alone, World Relief and the Free Methodist Church
hope to assist more than 150,000 people over the next seven months.

During a U.S. Department of State briefing on the food crisis in
Southern Africa, Andrew S. Natsios, administrator of USAID, outlined
the importance of funneling the necessary aid through "NGOs and church
groups" to insure proper distribution among the needy. Calver
explained that churches are vital in the response to the growing food
crisis in Southern Africa because they [churches] understand the needs
of their communities better than outsiders do and can distribute aid
more effectively.
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Sacob Deplores Situation in Zimbabwe

South African Press Association (Johannesburg)

September 5, 2002
Posted to the web September 5, 2002


The South African Chamber of Business deplored the deteriorating situation
in Zimbabwe and considered the actions of the Zimbabwe government to be
challenging the founding principles of the New Partnership for Africa's
Development, Kevin Wakeford, chief executive of Sacob, said in Johannesburg
on Thursday.

"We believe that the African Union in conjunction with the Southern African
Development Community should urgently assess the Zimbabwean situation and
come up with a pragmatic and sustainable plan to deal with the situation
there," Wakeford said.

He said since Sacob toured Zimbabwe in April 2000, human rights abuse had
reached an all time high and that despite ongoing attempts by the South
African government, more clarity and a decisive plan of action to rectify
the situation were urgently required.

"Added to the human rights violations is the worsening food crisis in the
region with millions facing imminent starvation.

"We believe that the international community should urgently formulate a
strategy to address this situation before it becomes a humanitarian
catastrophe," he said.

"God alone knows what will happen around this time next year," he said.
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If it's war on Saddam, why not on Mugabe?
By Boris Johnson (Filed: 05/09/2002)

You may think there is something a little bit preposterous about Big Tone's swagger on Tuesday, tucking his thumbs into his belt as he told that pesky varmint Saddam Hussein to quit the corral. And, OK, there is something comical about this gifted actor-prime minister. Whatever happens, Britain will not make any decisive military contribution in Iraq. But that is not why they lurve him in the Pentagon. They need him, because he is just so charming and persuasive on the international stage. He has that special British cachet. He is the Hugh Grant of diplomacy.

When they set out to bomb Kosovo, Clinton was slick, but Blair was sincere. When they bombed Afghanistan with B52s, Bush was bumbling, while Blair was a fluent and hot-gospelling evangelist for war. And while Bush seems to have difficulty convincing his own pop of the need to topple Saddam, Blair can now be relied upon to woo those tricky and discerning European audiences.

Once again, Tony takes the role in which history has already twice triumphantly cast him - the informal porte-parole of the American war machine.

We should be proud of him, grateful to those drama tutors at Fettes, because they have given him, and us, a voice on the world stage. We should not mock the Prime Minister, just because he is essentially the front man for someone else's war. His task is difficult, and his stance, in its way, is brave. The grim reality, a year after September 11, is that America is even less popular around the world than it was before that massacre. Listen to the hideous booing of Colin Powell in Johannesburg. Look at the cretinous anti-American slogans daubed on the walls of Italian towns. Drink in the moronic, ignorant sermonising of students in every campus bar in the land. It is the settled view of the audience of Rupert Murdoch's Sky News, by a majority of two to one, that George Bush is more of a threat to world peace than Saddam Hussein.

In arguing for military action in Iraq, Blair must now overcome the deep scepticism of his backbenches, a simmering revolt in his cabinet, the dismay of his European counterparts, and the mistrust of a huge proportion of the British public. In fact, I hope readers will not be too shocked if I say I have a few questions of my own, which it would be nice to answer before giving wholehearted support to this venture.

Most of us are perfectly willing to be convinced that Saddam is a threat to the region, possesses weapons of mass destruction, and must be taken out. But we have not so far been convinced, and it would be nice to feel that someone was making an effort to do that. More important, most of us need to be filled in on how this "regime change" is to be accomplished, without a revolting and unjustifiable loss of life in Iraq.

And some of us, finally, would like a clearer articulation from Mr Blair about the priorities in British foreign policy. It is an irony, to say the least, that we are about to make war on Saddam Hussein, who directly threatens no British citizen, when we are doing nothing to stop Robert Mugabe, who has purged or murdered thousands of farmers, many of whom still carry British passports.

Let me ask a simpleton's question: why Saddam, and not Mugabe? It can't be the military difficulties. If the US Air Force can fly stealth bombers from Missouri in transatlantic round trips, and spend three months and $3 billion bombing Serbia and Kosovo on behalf of the Albanian farmers, why can it do nothing to help the 800,000 blacks and 12,000 whites being persecuted by Mugabe? If regime change is possible in Baghdad, which has one of the most fearsome armies in the world, why not in Harare, which is guarded by two men and a hyena?

It's not as though the geopolitical consequences are unthinkable. Any ferment in southern Africa would be nothing to the reaction in the Arab world, if and when an attack on Saddam is launched. Saddam may be an evil dictator; but then Mugabe patently stole his election, and has no democratic legitimacy.

Saddam may be a menace, but Mugabe is already causing the starvation of his own people, most of whom would rejoice to be rid of him. Why, then, is military action against Mugabe not on the agenda? Why is it so little discussed that it seems somehow bizarre even to raise the question? There are several answers. The first is that America has no interest in the area, or certainly no interest comparable to Britain's. Zimbabwe is not a notable hotbed of al-Qa'eda; it is not part of the Axis of Evil.

Blair supports Bush over Iraq, because he rightly sees that the war against terror enlists us all. There is no question, however, of America making any kind of reciprocal gesture when British interests are at stake. Nor, frankly, would Britain ever dream of asking.

The idea of a neo-colonial escapade makes New Labour shudder. It was not for this that they spent their years in the anti-apartheid movement. They know there is something deeply unfashionable about sticking up for the Zimbabwe farmers, who are about as popular, in their personal pantheons, as the Ulster Unionists or the Serbs. In fact, they think, there is something faintly racist about the whole protest. That strikes me as shameful, as shameful as Mugabe's assertion that Africa is a continent exclusively for the black man. But never mind.

We are going to war with Saddam, and enormous efforts will accordingly be made to discover ways in which he threatens the interests of the British people. We are not going to war with Mugabe, and the Government is accordingly doing nothing to publicise the destruction of British lives and livelihoods already going on. That may be very sensible. But there is something sickening about it. Boris Johnson is editor of the Spectator and MP for Henley  © Copyright <

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Straw labels Zimbabwe a "failed state"
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has further incurred the wrath of Robert Mugabe by likening Zimbabwe to other ''failed states'' such as Somalia, Congo and Afghanistan.
In a speech ahead of the first anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US, Mr Straw called on the international community to act like doctors, diagnosing ill-health in countries such as Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.
He told an audience of diplomats, MPs, academics and business leaders that international patience with Iraq is not unlimited and that it would be irresponsible to say that military action is not an option.
Mr Straw, in a speech at Birmingham University, said that September 11 dramatically showed how the disintegration of a state such as Afghanistan can affect people`s lives thousands of miles away.
``As we approach the first anniversary of the attacks, we need to remind ourselves that turning a blind eye to the breakdown of order in any part of the world, however distant, invites direct threats to our national security and well-being.
``The shocking events of that day were planned, plotted and directed by a group which exploited domestic chaos to commit the most heinous international crime.``
The British Foreign Secretary was stressing the importance of identifying states at risk of failure, establishing an ``at risk`` category of countries which threaten global order.
Giving the example of a doctor using indicators to spot medical conditions in patients, he said the international community should use a set of criteria to assess states which could become the next Afghanistan.
States which fail to control their territory and guarantee the security of their people, fail to maintain the rule of law and promote human rights and to deliver economic growth, education and healthcare could be said to have failed, Mr Straw said.
``Even a rough and ready application of these indicators would have started alarm bells ringing for states like Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo long before they collapsed,`` Mr Straw said.
``And under Robert Mugabe, it is hard to argue that Zimbabwe doesn`t fall into this category too.``
He added: ``In the case of Zimbabwe, Commonwealth, EU and US sanctions have left Robert Mugabe under no illusions about the strength of international opposition to the Zanu-PF regime.
``These multilateral measures have had far greater impact than any unilateral action by the UK could have done, though they cannot in the short term alleviate the pain and suffering of the Zimbabwean people.``
Mr Straw cited African countries such as Somalia, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo where central government has collapsed and law and order are non-existent.
But Iraq, he said, is an example not of a failed state but of a country where the central authority is ``all too powerful``.
He added: ``In his single-minded pursuit of an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein has undermined global security - and flouted international law - for over a decade.
``No other country but Iraq has so persistently undermined the UN Charter and the authority of the Security Council.
``No other country but Iraq has annexed a fellow UN member state. No other country but Iraq poses the same unique threat to the integrity of international law.
``No other country but Iraq has the same appetite both for developing and using weapons of mass destruction.
``Until Iraq meets its UN obligations in full, there can be no guarantee that it will not use chemical, biological or even nuclear weapons, the burden of proof is on Saddam.
``It would be widely irresponsible to argue that patience with Iraq should be unlimited, or that military action should not be an option.
``Unless the international community faces up to the threat represented by Iraq`s weapons of mass destruction, we place at risk the lives of civilians in the region and beyond.``

But threats to global order should be dealt with ``within the existing legal framework``, he said.
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