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PosOnderwerp: ZIMBABWE....THE BREWING SOUTH-AFRICAN BAROMETER   Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:10 pm


Robb , Derby: Jun 11 2010

Zimbabwe :
For football fans around the world, today could not arrive quick enough. A month of football games with the eventual winners being crowned world champions.

Whilst we have seen a rugby world cup staged in South Africa (which the hosts won – who can forget that game?), there has never been a football championship like this in South Africa.

There has been much work, planning, building and observations made as the clock has ticked down to the kick-off of the first match this afternoon between hosts Bafana Bagana and Mexico.

But, whilst the world watches 22 men kick around a sphere of air in an attempt to put it in the opposition’s goal, we should be very careful not to lose focus on the true crisis brewing in Southern Africa.

Zimbabwe is a mess - and the man responsible for that situation is being hosted as a guest at the opening ceremony later today. Robert Gabriel Mugabe reportedly begged Jacob Zuma, South African President, to give him an invite to the ceremony.

And, having received that invitation, he has gone to South Africa - with a 50-man delegation - and will be there for three days… all paid for by the longsuffering Zimbabwean people.

Meanwhile, it has been announced that the electricity supplier in Zimbabwe, ZESA, will not be carrying out the scheduled load shedding in Zimbabwe for the duration of the tournament to allow the people to watch the games on television.

My question is very simple. How can ZESA suddenly have enough magetz (electricity) to power Zimbabwe for the whole month, but cannot do it in normal times? Does sport now supersede the needs of the Zimbabwean population?

I have written much about the threat that exists of an impending reign of terror that Mugabe will have his security forces, war veterans and youth militia unleash upon the population of Zimbabwe once the final whistle has blown at the last game of the tournament on 11 July 2010.

If there was no threat, then why has Mugabe not come forward and said so? Not that I would have believed him…

Why has Mugabe not sought to assure the population that he does not intend any harm on the people he purportedly leads? For that matter, why have we not heard from the Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, on the subject?

Mugabe will now allow Zimbabwe to enjoy the FIFA world cup, secure in the knowledge that, at the very least, the tournament will have bought him another month at the top of the Zimbabwean political tree, and will allow him to hatch more plans to seize more power, unilaterally take from the MDC pot, and prefer spurious charges against more of the MDC MPs, whilst he plans his final military coup in Zimbabwe.

And, let’s face it, what Mugabe is perpetrating is a military coup - but, unlike the coups we see and read about elsewhere in the world, his is quiet and time-consuming, but equally deadly and equally destructive.

Is the 11th of July the end of the surreptitious power-grabbing rule of Mugabe, and the beginning of a ‘no holds barred’ dictatorship from the man who calls himself “Hitler” and his party call the “second son of God”, or will common sense finally prevail in Southern Africa?

Robb WJ Ellis
The Bearded Man

Laas bewerk deur KVB000000002 op Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:15 pm; altesaam $s keer bewerk.
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PosOnderwerp: Re: ZIMBABWE....THE BREWING SOUTH-AFRICAN BAROMETER   Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:11 pm

The Guardian UK

Scant attention to renewed attacks on white farmers in Zimbabwe may be explained by fascination for Africa's first World Cup

David Smith in Johannesburg

Sunday 13 June 2010

Terror returned to Zimbabwe's white-owned farms last week when supporters of president Robert Mugabe launched a fresh land grab. That was the claim of the Commercial Farmers Union, representing the remaining 300 white farmers still on their properties. It said a new surge of violence erupted on 16 farms with the looting of crops and equipment.

In eastern Zimbabwe, a black farm foreman was beaten unconscious and a farmer's wife was barricaded into her homestead and given four hours to leave, the union alleged. It said police had not responded to calls for help.

The attacks received scant attention in the international media, where all eyes were turned on Zimbabwe's neighbour to the south as it counted down to Africa's first football World Cup. Such is the intense fascination with the competition in South Africa that other African news could find it hard to compete. The Not-the-World-Cup agenda includes the Democratic Republic of Congo's 50th anniversary of independence from Belgium at the end of June, which will also signal the withdrawal of 2,000 UN peacekeepers from the vast country. President Joseph Kabila's goverment has expressed a desire for the rest of the world's biggest peacekeeping operation to follow sooner rather than later. But UN officials have warned that a hasty pullout could undermine humanitarian efforts and allow a resurgence of rebel violence against civilians.

The presidential election in Guinea on 27 June is unlikely to get much airtime against two World Cup second round matches scheduled for the same day. But the stakes could hardly be higher 18 months after a military coup that was followed by the massacre of more than 150 political demonstrators.

The coup leader, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, was shot six months ago, leaving General Sekouba Konate to assume control. Konate insists he will not run as a candidate in the election, raising hopes of democratic new start.

Far from the joy and celebration of the World Cup, a food crisis is gripping Niger after drought caused crops to fail and food prices to increase by up to 30% in some areas. Nigeria is attempting to keep a lid on sectarian violence. Somalia's government, rocked last week by resignations, is clinging on against Islamist militias. Tensions are also rising in Rwanda ahead of elections in August. Human rights groups say president Paul Kagame's Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) has become increasingly intolerant of dissent and criticism in the run-up to the vote.

Indeed, Rwanda's genocide remains one of the most notorious examples of the storms that can be unleashed when the world is looking away. An estimated 800,000 Rwandans were killed in 100 days from April 1994 – the same month that Nelson Mandela won South Africa's first multiracial election.
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PosOnderwerp: Re: ZIMBABWE....THE BREWING SOUTH-AFRICAN BAROMETER   Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:12 pm

Mugabe accused of pursuing diamond fields
By Jan Raath

Harare - Attempts by President Robert Mugabe and his top aides to wrest control of controversial diamond fields in eastern Zimbabwe could have serious consequences for the peace and stability of the country, a report by a leading human rights group said on Monday.

It claimed that Mugabe and his military elite were trying to secure the Chiadzwa diamond fields through abusive military operations and suspect deal-making, to finance renewed campaigns of violence against their opponents if the current power-sharing arrangement - between Mugabe and pro-democracy Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai - ceases to serve their interests.

The report was by Global Witness, a member of the Kimberley Process (KP) Certification Scheme founded in 2000 to close down trade in conflict diamonds used to fund civil wars in Africa.

Mugabe's government drew international condemnation in late 2008 for its brutal military campaign to drive off 35 000 illegal diggers who had flocked to Chiadzwa for easy pickings when the country's economy crashed.

Human rights organisations said more than 200 people had been killed and thousands more tortured, assaulted and raped. They were also forced to dig for diamonds for the military, who then smuggled the rough stones out of the country.

In 2009, KP suspended Zimbabwe and was banned from selling Chiadzwa diamonds. But the organisation gave the bankrupt government a chance to export its diamonds again, on condition that it withdrew the military, established law and order in the area and set up professional mining operations under a transparent administration.

However, the Global Witness report claims that six months on, the military presence remains in 97 percent of the fields, diamonds continue to be smuggled into neighbouring countries and Zimbabwe has breached the agreement by exporting shipments of diamonds to the United Arab Emirates.

The government has also allegedly granted mining concessions to two little-known South African companies in joint-venture agreements with the state-owned mining corporation, but no tenders had been called for.

Due diligence examinations of the South African companies had been held after Mines Minister Obert Mpofu approved them, and reportedly handpicked board members who included a relative, his personal assistant and a former air vice marshal of the Zimbabwe Air Force.

The questionable manner in which these deals were conducted leaves the door open for state looting and corruption, Global Witness said.

Its study follows a report last week by South African businessman Abbey Chikane, who was appointed in April to monitor how Zimbabwe was following through on the undertakings it made to the KP to restore order to the diamond field.

Chikane's recommendation that Zimbabwe should immediately be allowed to export gems from the troubled area, since it had met the minimum criteria, prompted widespread shock and anger.

Lifting the ban on Chiadzwa exports would mean letting blood diamonds on to international markets, said Global Witness spokesperson Elly Harrowell.

The Kimberley Process meets in Israel on June 21 where it is due to consider Chikane's recommendation. Observers point out that with strong objections from the human rights organisations that make up a third of the body, it is unlikely to be passed.

On Sunday, Mpofu said: "We have met the criteria and what is now left is to start exporting the diamonds."

The South African's week-long visit was clouded in controversy, as he reported that he had been followed wherever he went by Mugabe's secret police, who also allegedly rifled his briefcase and gave copies of confidential emails to state media.

He admitted to informing authorities that human rights activist Farayi Maguwu - who helped expose the atrocities in 2008 - had given him a classified military document that confirmed there were many cases of indiscipline among soldiers on the diamond field, who were still engaged in smuggling and violence.

Maguwu was arrested the day Chikane left the country on charges of publishing falsehoods prejudicial to national security. - Sapa-dpa
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PosOnderwerp: Re: ZIMBABWE....THE BREWING SOUTH-AFRICAN BAROMETER   Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:14 pm

China values its traditional friendship with Zimbabwe and hopes to push forward relations between the two countries as well as the two armed forces, said Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie here on Sunday.

Liang made the remarks in a meeting with Zimbabwean Commander of Defence Forces Constantine Guveya Chiwenga.

Liang hailed the traditional friendship between the two countries. He spoke of Zimbabwe's defence forces as a "good friend and partner" of People's Liberation Army (PLA).

Since the establishment of China-Zimbabwe diplomatic ties 30 years ago, cooperation between the two nations had continuously deepened in the areas of politics, economics and trade, culture, education and health, Liang said.

China expressed appreciation for Zimbabwe's firm adherence to the one-China policy and its support to China's peaceful reunification, said Liang. He also thanked Zimbabwe for support on issues concerning China's core and major interests.

Chiwenga expressed appreciation for China's long-standing support to Zimbabwe in various areas. He reaffirmed that his country would continue to stick to the one-China policy and was willing to further enhance exchanges and cooperation between the two armed forces.

He also said Zimbabwe attached great importance to cooperation with China, and hoped to strengthen friendly cooperation with China within the framework of China-Africa Cooperation Forum.

Earlier Sunday, Chiwenga also met with Chief of the General Staff of the PLA Chen Bingde.

Chinese troops have been seen on the streets of Zimbabwe's cities, according to local witnesses.

Earlier, 10 Chinese soldiers armed with pistols checked in at the city of Mutare's Holiday Inn along with 70 Zimbabwean troops.

One eyewitness, who asked not to be named, said: "We've never seen Chinese soldiers in full regalia on our streets before. The entire delegation took 80 rooms from the hotel, 10 for the Chinese and 70 for Zimbabwean soldiers."

Officially, the Chinese were visiting strategic locations such as border posts, key companies and state institutions, he said. But it is unclear why they were patrolling at such a peaceful time. They were supposed to stay five days, but left after three days to travel to Masvingo, in the south.

Zimbabwe and China have close military ties. Robert Mugabe has signed extensive trade pacts with the Chinese as part of the "Look East" policy forced on him by his ostracising by Western governments over human rights abuses. The deal gave the Chinese mineral and trade concessions in exchange for economic help
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PosOnderwerp: Re: ZIMBABWE....THE BREWING SOUTH-AFRICAN BAROMETER   Fri Jun 18, 2010 11:56 pm

UN: Zimbabweans top asylum-seekers worldwide
HARARE, ZIMBABWE Jun 18 2010 16:06

The United Nations refugee agency says Zimbabweans top the list of people seeking asylum abroad.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees said in its latest report 158 200 Zimbabweans sought asylum last year, fleeing political and economic turmoil and uncertainties over a fragile coalition government.

By comparison, about 48 600 people from Burma applied for asylum.

They were followed by about 39 000 Afghans, 39 200 Colombians and 37 900 Somalis.

The report, available in Zimbabwe's capital on Friday, says nine out of 10 Zimbabwean asylum-seekers sought refuge in neighbouring South Africa. -- Sapa-AP

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PosOnderwerp: FARMERS AT WAR AGAIST THE ZIM PARASITES   Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:47 pm

White farmers in Zimbabwe struggle against increasing violence

The Southern African Commercial Farmers Alliance (SACFA) has reported a spate of farm seizures and arrests in recent weeks.

By Leah Hyslop, Telegraph.UK
Published: 9:39AM BST 11 Jun 2010

Farmer at War: Ian Ferguson: And some pics from happier times. These are elands.

Ian Ferguson's conservation farm, seized in April, is now littered with the remains of his slaughtered animals. And some pics from happier times. These are elands.

On May 25, Geoff Carbutt and his wife Shirley were evicted from their farm in Inyathi at gunpoint. Mr Carbutt was then arrested at his farm for occupying state land without a permit.

On the same day, farmer Ed Grenfell Dexter was arrested in Bulawayo, whilst a few days later on May 28, James Taylor and his son Matthew were arrested on their farm and taken to police cells in Nyamandhlovu .

But according to the SACFA, most of the affected farmers had official permits protecting their land from seizure.

Chris Jarrett, Chairman of the SACFA, commented: "For a while, things were quiet, but all of a sudden there has been a real burst of activity against white landowners.

"As far as we're concerned, all these seizures have been completely illegal. Most of the remaining white farmers exist on tiny portions of their original land, and have every right to stay there. The land acquisition notice for James Taylor's estate was withdrawn several years ago. The Carbutts have already given up most of their land for resettlement, and had a High Court order saying they could stay on the remaining section. Ed Grenfell Dexter doesn’t even live on his farm any more and was lured out to be arrested.

Farmer At War: Ian Ferguson: Mazunga Pools

"People think that there may be a period of quiet now until the World Cup is over, but we can’t be sure. It’s an unsettling time for farmers.”

Land reform in Zimbabwe began in 1979, when the Lancaster House Agreement between Britain and Zimbabwe pledged to begin a fairer distribution of land between the white minority who ruled Zimbabwe from 1890 to 1979 and the landless black population. At this stage, land acquisition could only occur on a voluntary basis.

By March 2000, however, little land had been redistributed and frustrated groups of government supporters began seizing white-owned commercial farms.

Since the seizures began, agricultural production in Zimbabwe has fallen dramatically.

Mr Jarrett said there had even been occasions when local people gathered in support of persecuted white farmers: "I think it would be true to say that it is widely accepted in Zimbabwe now, as in the rest of the world, that our economical and financial problems are due to the seizure of these farms. It was the white farmers who often provided the local community with support – providing work, or sending their men to fix things like piping problems in the village.

“When the police tried to take Gary Godfrey’s farm in Nyamandhlovu a few weeks ago, his workers and the local veterans went to see the superintendent and insisted it stopped. Most of the seizures have been taking place in Nyamandhalovu and Inyathi, districts which are traditionally very independent. People there are very tired of being dictated to by the police."

Farmer at War: Ian Ferguson: Mbukwe Pan

Ian Ferguson, a farmer in Beitbridge whose land was seized in April, said that the situation was become increasingly difficult for white land owners to bear: “I spent twenty five years setting up a wildlife conservation farm in a semi desert area which the government had officially declared no interest in. All of a sudden, it was seized, and now there is nothing left.

“In the past month, machinery has been ripped apart, solar panels stolen and nearly all my animals shot. 80 per cent of the impalas are dead, and the attackers have skinned over 100 zebra for their hides. In just a few weeks, they have inflicted a level of devastation which I would have thought would take three or four months.”

“Two thirds of my family have left Zimbabwe now, and I think it’s probably the best thing for them. This is nothing more than ethic cleansing – pure and simple.”

Dr Steven Chan, a professor of international relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, said that the farm seizures were "likely to be related to an eventual election, next year or further in the future, when Zanu-PF might lose its command over Zimbabwe. They become a hedging of bets, seizing assets while it is still possible."

There are now fewer than than 400 white farmers in Zimbabwe. In 2000, this was number was around 4500.

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PosOnderwerp: Re: ZIMBABWE....THE BREWING SOUTH-AFRICAN BAROMETER   Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:49 pm

South African farmer accuses Zimbabwe authorities of ethnic cleansing

By Violet Gonda, SW Radio News
22 April 2010

Farmer at War: Ian Ferguson: Scops Camp

South Africa citizen, Ian Ferguson, who built up Denlynian Game Ranch in Zimbabwe’s dry Beitbridge area into a prized tourism destination, has accused the Zimbabwean authorities of ‘ethnic cleansing’ under the guise of land resettlement.

The white commercial farmer is the latest casualty of the government’s land reform programme.

The commercial farmer said he took over the farm when it was derelict 24 years ago and got a ‘letter of no interest’ from the government. Ferguson built it up and installed electricity and pumping points, only to have a group of people calling themselves the ‘Zhovi Conservancy’ invade the farm recently.

Ferguson said there is currently widespread looting and asset stripping by the group who invaded the game ranch last Wednesday. 20 staff members, including game guards, were evicted and dumped along the Bulawayo road. His son, Arthur, was arrested in front of his young children and spent a night behind bars at Beitbridge police station.

Farmer at War: Ian Ferguson: Umzingwane River

The farmer said there is no law and order when it comes to the land issue and those taking over the ranch include police officers, civil servants, municipal workers and communal farmers. ZANU PF vehicles were also reportedly seen on the property.

“The property has the highest density of plains game in Zimbabwe and a very sensitive ecosystem. Our fear is that they are going to slaughter the game and destroy it within weeks if not days.” Ferguson breeds a unique pack of wild dogs and the wildlife ranch is home to animals including antelopes, giraffes, eland, kudus, bushbucks and zebras.

He pointed out that there is a major river that runs through his property and on the opposite side is land that was purchased by government in the early 1980s. The farmer said this particular land, which is three times the size of his wildlife conservation farm, was fully developed when it was acquired by the authorities but has been completely neglected.

“It’s totally derelict with not a single person living on it. So the whole thing doesn’t make any sense at all. It’s nothing to do with land resettlement, it’s purely ethnic cleansing. That’s all it is.”

He said the ‘new settlers’ claim they have offer letters ‘but they won’t give us the offer letters and we have been told that the offer letters are not legal because they were created in Beitbridge and not by the ministry’.

Red for Danger, by Rhodesia Min. of Info (PDF)

Ferguson said the South African Embassy in Harare have told him that his farm is not protected under a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA), signed by South Africa and Zimbabwe last year. According to this agreement any property which was gazetted for acquisition before 2009 is not protected under this BIPPA. He said his farm was originally gazetted for acquisition in 2007.

He added: “But as a South African citizen the South African government is still obliged to protect one’s interest in foreign countries and we can’t complain, they are doing everything they can and they are being very cooperative and are concerned.”

It is understood the South African embassy has approached the Zimbabwe Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the issue but it is not known what the response has been.

Reports also claim that co-Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, who comes from Beitbridge, is behind this latest land invasion, but we have not been able to get a comment from the Minister.

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