Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Church reps slam war against poor

Church reps slam the razing of the shanty towns...

The government mouthpiece, The Sunday Mail, defended the action.

"The fact that the president has thrown his weight behind the clean-up must mean it is a well thought out programme," the newspaper said in an editorial.

Yup... the president is always correct..even if his greatly beloved people don't think so.....

And those whose homes were burned have started rioting

Hundreds of residents from one of Zimbabwe's townships rioted on Wednesday after police destroyed street stalls in an ongoing crackdown on vendors and other illegals in the capital, witnesses said.

Residents used old cars and scrap metal to set up roadblocks along the main road leading into Glen View suburb, a working class area south of the capital...

Police spokesperson Oliver Mandipaka was quoted by the state and private media as saying that 10 114 people have so far been arrested, up from 9 725 arrested since last week, and that the crackdown launched a week ago would continue.

"We will continue to clear such illegal structures and we will not hesitate to arrest anyone involved in any illegal activities country wide," Mandipaka told the state-run Herald.

No fuel, no money, one passenger...

The economy is in shambles, and there are long gas lines...so why not let your airline take off with only one passenger?

To make it worse, it was not a local flight, but one to Dubai...

For once, Reuters has it right: They posted it under "oddly enough news"....

Zimbabwe to nationalize all land

Remember a few days ago, when there was a proposal to invite back white farmers to help ease the crisis in food?

Well, forget it...now ALL land will be nationalized.

White farmer with his workers
The move will prevent white farmers reclaiming land
Zimbabwe is to proceed with plans to nationalise all farmland, a ruling party official has said.

Zanu-PF spokesman Nathan Shamuvarira said the party would amend the constitution so as to abolish rights to private ownership of land.

Now, traditionally NO ONE owns the land, but the tribe apportions land to each family. This is why men work in town, but their wives are left home to farm...if the wives move to town, they lose their "right" to the land, and will not have any way to support themselves when they retire...

He said the move would end "ceaseless litigation" by white farmers whose property has been expropriated by decree over the past five years.

Well, there goes rule of law...

Under the proposed new system, land would be leased for 99-year terms.

All the former farmers can do after these amendments would be to contest the amount of compensation
Nathan Shamuvarira
The statement appeared in state media.

"Through the amendments we are going to push for when parliament resumes sitting in June, all land will become state land, with farmers leasing it on a 99-year lease basis," Mr Shamuvarira said.

"This will dispense with the ownership litigation process.

"All the former farmers can do after these amendments would be to contest the amount of compensation."

Zanu-PF has a large enough parliamentary majority to push through constitutional changes.

However, some party officials who are themselves landowners are understood to be unhappy with the proposal.

As I said earlier, in the Philippines, the land was given to our tenant farmers to own with land reform..as a result, they became prosperous.....but in Zimbabwe, often the farm and the equipment was given to government big shots...now they might have their land confiscated....not...wait a few days and you'll see a new law exempting the big shots from the law...

The move comes after some white farmers won court cases against the government after contesting the expropriation of their land.

Nope. can't have rule of law..

Monday, May 30, 2005

World must end Mugabe mahem

So says Robert Robert
of the Kennedy School of Government's Program on Intrastate Conflict and Conflict Resolution at Harvard University, and president of the World Peace Foundation...

He gives a good summary of Mugabe's evil...but writes in a Canadian paper...note his sarcastic summary:
Dictators who abuse their people mercilessly, not only in the Middle East, deserve to be pushed out.

Translation: OK...you wanted to stop Sadam Hussein who killed five million Iraqis (not to mention invading Iran and Kuwait)...we here at Harvard think you are terrible, but this is my favorite project, so whine whine why don't you take out Mugabe...

OF course, if Bush did, you'd hear he was after the Chromium etc. mines..

Well, this was written for a Canadian newspaper. I have a great idea. Have Canada do it....naaah, too practical. Better to preach like this and blame the USA for everything...

Sunday, May 29, 2005

White Bwana alert

Actually, bwana is not a mashona word...but comes from the movies, where the superior white people think that because they have white skin, that danger and the laws of nature don't apply to them.

So we have a stupid European woman from the UK who, instead of driving her own car, or flying, actually takes a local bus...and then when the bus crashes, sues the bus company...

Look, lady, I'm sorry you lost a leg in a bus accident, but those are the dangers involved in traveling on buses. Heck, in the Philippines, if I ride on a ferry, and it sinks, do I sue for being that stupid? I mean, a couple ferries sink here every year, it's part of the package of living in the Third world.

And the million Rand/pounds you are asking for compensation would feed a lot of starving people...

Ah, but you are "environmental biologist"...so I guess you only care for trees and animals, not poor people...

Well, maybe if you say please...

Maybe, just maybe, Mugabe will let the UN send food in to the 7 million who will be short of food...

Machinga, Malawi - Zimbabwe will probably allow the United Nations to launch a food-aid operation to help alleviate the impact of a late-in-the-season drought across the nation, says the UN's special envoy for southern Africa....

How nice of them to "allow" food aid...

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe accused aid agencies in the past of working to further the political agenda of the opposition under the guise of food distribution.

Yup. Evil NGO's fed people, even those who voted against him...how dare they...

Last year he said his country had more than enough food, forcing aid agencies to scale back distribution. But the WFP carried on feeding almost a million of the most vulnerable, including many children orphaned by Aids.

Forcing agaencies? what happened...did the maize stand up and chase out the NGO's? Or did a ghost do it? Actually, there wasn't enough food last year...

Zimbabwean officials say the country needs 1,2-million tons of maize, but many aid workers say they doubt the government has the foreign exchange to afford it.

Morris, who is due to meet Mugabe next week in Harare, says he expects the government to become more helpful, given that the drought has impacted on Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi as well as his country.

"My perception is that the government is working hard to ensure food is available," he said. "I think they'll want our help. We'll leave the politics to others but our priority is that people don't starve."

Yes, if you beg hard enough, maybe the government will let you feed the starving...

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Raid leaves thousands homeless.


Harare - Police set fire to shacks in townships and squatter camps around Zimbabwe overnight, leaving thousands of poor people homeless on Friday in what the government calls a campaign to clean up cities.

Residents of other townships rioted on Thursday night when police moved in after dark and began burning their homes.

All the demolished shacks were in areas that voted for the opposition, Movement for Democratic Change party, in March 31 parliamentary elections......

Friday, May 27, 2005

Ghost towns

Again, cut and paste:


The original story was in Zimbabwe independent, but the link won't work, probably because the story was taken off line...the FR link will last for awhile...

The report is about the small towns that no longer exist since the white farms and also the small factories have departed.

BEEB report

Link here:


Cut and paste: Blogger isn't placing the link thingie on my blog today...

State radio said the arrests were made in the town of Gweru in the centre of the country.

It brings the number of people arrested in Zimbabwe over the last week to more than 17,000.

Zimbabwe state radio said the people were arrested for hoarding scarce goods like maize, dealing in foreign currency and gold panning.

The town of Gweru lies in a rich mining belt and thousands of unemployed people have moved there in recent years to eke out a living looking for gold.

Some of the people arrested have paid fines; others have been taken to court.

There have been large numbers of police on the streets of Gweru and 1,000 extra officers are patrolling the capital, Harare, to prevent any violent reaction to the arrests.

On Wednesday, when the police burnt an informal market in the Harare suburb of Glen View, street traders threw stones at the police and then looted several shops.

Despite the tensions, the police say the arrests will continue.

The government says it wants to stop the damage the black market is doing to the economy, namely stoking an already high rate of inflation.

But more than 80% of the people in Zimbabwe are jobless and for the majority of the population, the informal economy is the only way of making a living.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

82% of communities have crop failures



The rainy season starts in September...if the rains come later, often people can re sow crops in December, or sow dry crops (sorgham instead of maize)...

If the rains haven't come by January, there will be a famine, although most people store grain enough for two years, so they can tolorate one dry season. Since there was crop failure for two years so far, it doesn't take an expert to say that famine will be a problem...

Zimbabwe's new Colonialists

A few days ago, I posted about Zim's government clamping down on the black market including second hand goods sellers who were undermining the prices of chinese imports...I have also noted how Chinese are helping Mugabe to monitor their internet etc. from dissenters.

Now the Weekly standard points out the growing links, and the implications...

Monday, May 23, 2005

Zimbabwe: A PRAYER



Oh! Lord in case you forget, the basic commodities remain elusive in Zimbabwe. No-one seems determined for a cause as we do to the endless queues. In case our prayers have not reached you my Lord, we remain banned to discuss matters pertinent to development and governance.

China remains our friendliest nation donating numerous electronic gadgets to monitor our movements and loyalty to a regime long bent on sadistic rule and acrimony. The only new development worth noting is the purchase of 2 MA60 passenger aircrafts through a 'buy two get one free' deal, although my Lord, I understand that the free one failed to complete a 400 km return trip from Bulawayo. ...

Were the elections free?

The BBC has a discussion...LINK

Note many pro mugabe comments...and remember: China sold Mugabe's government snooping capabilities to monitor the internet...and most people in rural areas don't have phones, let alone email...

Radio zimbabwe may close

The voice of freedom for Zimbabwe may close for lack of money...

Nairobi - An award-winning Zimbabwean radio station in exile on Sunday warned it could be forced to close down by the end of this month if pledges of donor funds are not delivered, its manager said.

In April, the Vienna-based International Press Institute (IPI) awarded SW Radio Africa, which broadcasts to Zimbabwe on shortwave from London, the 2005 "Free Media Pioneer" prize for being a "voice to the voiceless".

The radio will receive the price on Tuesday at the end of the ongoing IPI general assembly in the Kenyan capital.

"If the funds promised by our donors do not arrive before the end of the month, we will be forced to stop our activities," said Gerry Jackson, the founder and manager of radio.

However, it was not clear how much money the exiled station needed in order to continue operating.

Jackson, a Zimbabwean journalist, set up the station in December 2001 after being forced to leave Zimbabwe following the closure of an independent station he set up after being fired from a public radio station.

According to IPI, the radio, which has nine employees in London, "remains a rare independent voice" in Zimbabwe.

The Harare government regularly jammed broadcasts in the months before the March legislative election, and continued after them, according to the press watchdog, which also in its report in March chided the Southern African nation for limiting press freedom.

Hey Hollywood, got a couple extra dimes?

Blackmarket clampdown

Major government crackdown on the black market...

10,000 arrested...

then there is this:
Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, said President Robert Mugabe was seeking an excuse to impose a State of Emergency and had ordered the crackdown to stop second-hand dealers undercutting cheap imports from China.

hmmmm....wonder if he's getting bribes from China? Nahh. couldn't be....

Indelible Ink scandal

The SA commission has a long report whitewashing the Zimbabwe election...but did find one problem: They used indelible ink unwisely...
In it, the MPs point a finger at Britain for "biased" international views of Zimbabwe and also state that they could not find evidence of intimidation prior to the election.

The final report is far from unanimous as the mission leader, ANC chief whip Mbulelo Goniwe, said from the outset that no minority views would be included in the final report.

Ah, no...can't have someone point out you are ridiculous...it might embarass you...tch tch...

After only two days in Harare, the Independent Democrats representative, Vincent Gore, pulled out in protest. Other opposition parties later broke ranks when their views could not be accommodated by the 12 ANC members.

Well, that's one way to keep the whitewash unanimous...

From its daily reports attached to the main report, it appears the MPs were able to verify one one case of intimidation. While listing several allegations almost daily, it states in each case that it could not be verified. It is not clear from the report whether they tried, what methodology they used and whether in fact the allegations were refuted.

Only one case of intimidation? Maybe because all the other cases of intimidation were too intimidated to complain?

It could also find "no verifiable evidence" of the allegations about "food for votes" and the use of traditional leaders to influence voters, nor of the fact that not all parties had equal access to the media.

I mean, just because you jail journalists, openly stop NGO's from distributing food fairly, and control the opposition media doesn't mean that there is "evidence" you did it...as Rummy would say: Absense of evidence is NOT evidence of absence...

Apart from "a more economic use of indelible ink", the only other recommendation to Zimbabwe was "to reduce the number of people turned away on voting day, political parties should also play a role to ensure voters are registered correctly".

Yup...5 million people in danger of starvation, but let's get our priorities straight. Stop overusing indelible ink....

SA Blacks reject Mugabe

Poor mukomana, even South African blacks don't like you....
JOHANNESBURG - Only 11 per cent of black South Africans believe that President Robert Mugabe is doing a good job as leader of Zimbabwe.
At home, South Africans want jobs, not land, and are more attracted to life in town than on the farm. They believe in a free media and reject any move towards a Zimbabwe-style land grab. And the much-touted xenophobia towards blacks from the rest of Africa is a myth.

Now, if they can only get their army to remove Mugabe like Nyerere removed Idi Amin.....

Thanks for the headsup from TimBlair

Sunday, May 22, 2005

White farmers say no


Ah, Mugabe has found the answer to his country's famine and economic collapse:
The prospect of a return for white farmers was dangled by Mr Gono, Mr Mugabe's leading economic policy maker, in a rambling three-hour statement in which he also announced a 31 per cent devaluation of the Zimbabwean dollar.....

Fat chance...Here's one reason why.

During the evictions, some white farmers were murdered and many others were beaten and their families abused. The evictions prompted the collapse of the agriculture sector, the traditional engine of the economy.

Those who took over the farms had no specialist knowledge - and most farmland now lies uncultivated. The machinery has been stolen, buildings have been plundered and the former workers are starving.

Here's anothercomment:

Eddie Cross, the economics spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (said)...

He wants to regain some credibility with multilateral institutions. He has meetings with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank next month. This is about having something to say to those guys. The only salvation will be a change of government and a return to the rule of law.

"Until then, no one's going to invest here or come back. Who on earth is going to do anything in agriculture when there is such dispute over land ownership? They'd be mad."

No, I always carry $500 000 in my briefcase

More on the court case...of Zimbabwe's ex Finance minister...and, alas, the story is.still about taking money out of the country, not about the corruption that lets Finance ministers get rich...

Ncube v Mugabe

The Archbishop again blasts Mugabe...

Archbishop Ncube who, at 58, is 24 years younger than Mugabe, drives the president apoplectic with rage. It’s one of the great traditions of African society that the young must respect their elders. Ncube routinely ignores this custom .

BAD BISHOP...ignoring the customs...if a person is an old, murderous dictator, it's more important to respect his age than to defend the people...

In return, Ncube says he has been denounced by the president as an HIV-positive homosexual who has raped and impregnated nuns. Mugabe has also accused him of “Satanic betrayal” for campaigning against English cricket tours of Zimbabwe.

Yup. Campaigning against cricket tours. How low can you get?

The president repeatedly accuses the archbishop of working with Tony Blair to overthrow him. Ncube shrugs this off. He feels that the more international leaders who condemn Mugabe the better.

His advice for the British Prime Minister is: “Simply say to Mugabe, ‘Look after your people. Your people are starving. Your people have no jobs. Your people cannot afford housing. Three million Zimbabweans, 20% of the population, have fled the country. It’s all because of you. It’s all your fault. Stop blaming other people.’”........

Ah, but there is more...

The archbishop is particularly distressed by the 50,000-strong National Youth Militia, Mugabe’s personal storm troopers who have been compared to Hitler’s Brownshirts, a group that spearheaded early Nazi attacks on Germany’s Jewish population. The Youth Militia, known as the Green Bombers for their bottle green uniforms, chant slogans in praise of Mugabe on parade and end with denunciations of Blair. Ncube says Mugabe had brainwashed young people in the Green Bomber camps.

“They specialise in violence,” says the archbishop. “This is killing off the souls of young people.”

Everyone is on a Hitler meme...but actually, this is closer to Ruanda...a country that proved you don't need high tech gas chambers to kill a million people...machetes and drug crazed militias will do....

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Bank corruption....

This article discusses a bank approving illegal money transfers by a government minister.


The article discusses how transferring the money is illegal...

Not mentioned in the article is where Kuruneri got the 5.2 million rand in the first place...

HMMMM....Maybe...nah. He probably saved it from his salary....
Willie Sutton, call your office....

Good news: Mugabe rejects NGO bill

According to this SA paper, Mugabe has rejected the bill that restricts NGO's....this is the report on what this bill was about:

"The NGO Bill was sent to the president for assent and he did not do so because of one or two issues he wanted to be addressed," Minister of Social Welfare Nicholas Goche told the state-controlled Herald newspaper.

The minister did not say what the issues were.

The proposed law, which drew widespread criticism from rights groups around the world, barred the registration of foreign NGOs if their work was purely for the promotion and protection of human rights.

Several human rights groups in Zimbabwe have since 2000 been chronicling alleged abuses by Mugabe's government.

Critics said the law would be used to shut down perceived opponents, just as a controversial press law passed in 2002 was used to shut down four independent newspapers critical of the government.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Help is on the way...the UN HAS ARRIVED

From the Scotsman...

THE United Nations envoy Joaquim Chissano arrived in Zimbabwe for talks with the president, Robert Mugabe, yesterday, as the country plunged deeper into economic crisis, with mass arrests of black-market traders, long lines for petrol and stampedes for scarce food like sugar.

How wonderful...they are going to talk about it.

Mr Chissano, the former president of Mozambique, was due to hold discussions with Mr Mugabe on proposed UN reforms, according to Zimbabwe state radio.

Oh, he's from Mozambique. How wonderful...after they threw out the Portuguese and set up a communist government, they have a couple million starve to death there, so he's an expert...what, you didn't hear about that famine? That's because a) we were busy saving Ethiopia at the time and b) no rock stars heard about Mozambique...I was going to say it was because the government was communist, but come to think about it, so was the government of Ethiopia back then...since then Mozambique has become a poster child for "reconstruction" and "reconciliation"...which is good, but excuse me if I note an ounce of prevention would have saved a lot more lives.

The meeting was also expected to touch on growing food shortages in Zimbabwe, which used to be the "bread basket" of southern Africa.

James Morris, head of the World Food Programme, is due to visit the country, which has an estimated five million people in urgent need of food aid, next week.

They need food aid NOW...the harvest was zilch, thanks to no rain...but they are still in the talking phase, not the shipping phase...

Before parliamentary elections in March, Mr Mugabe insisted that the country had a "bumper harvest" of maize and would be self-sufficient in food. But shortly after the poll - won by the ruling Zanu-PF party with a huge majority amid allegations of the use of food as a political weapon to secure votes - the government said it would have to import 1.2 million tonnes of maize.

Think about it: 1.2 million tonnes...into rural areas with dirt roads...the nearest port in South Africa (or Mozambique, if they managed to repair the railroad to the port there)....AND THEY ARE JUST STARTING TO TALK ABOUT IT...

Nope, no problem here....
local traditional healers

Posted by Hello


The BBC has a post about traditional African herbalism...

Now, there are various people lumped together as native healers...you have the N'ganga who uses herbs and performs healing ceremonies (think family doctor/psychiatrist)...you have the n'ganga who diagnoses witchcraft and mainly performs ceremonies (think priest) ...

And then you have witches, who are shamans who cast spells for revenge or to get power...the reason n'gangs are called "witchdoctors" are not because they practice witchcraft, but because they diagnose the spells cast by these witches...

Many of thetraditional herbs work, but as the article mentions, the knowledge is often "secret" and not passed to other n'gangas, and of course, there is a problem with dosages and cross contamination....

Many of the hers work, and are used by locals often as a first line medicine...
The native healers often serve a purpose and treat routine problems. Our TB officer worked with them, instructing them if the person did not get better with treatment, and was coughing, to send them for an x ray.

One example was "muti cuts", where superficial scratches were made and medicine rubbed into the scratch. This is similar to counterirritation and will relieve pain...we could always tell where the pain was because of the muti cuts.

There are various types of n'gangas. Some are mainly herbalists. But since much illness would be attributed to either a spell or the revenge of a spirit, much of their work would be diagnosing the problem and performing a ceremony...

For example, if your child was sick, it might be because you mistreated your elderly mother before she died, and her spirit was getting revenge. Obstructed prolonged labour was blamed on the woman's infidelity. (before you think: primitive thinking, remember many people in the US and Europe think the same way).

Then there are people who actually will place a spell for you... what we would call witchcraft or voodoo, i.e. putting spells on people who have harmed you. Don't laugh. One medical problem we ran into was people being poisoned, or who found snakes in their hut. One duty of a N'ganga is to diagnose if this was done to you...and why. Often they pointed out YOU needed to repent, and held a ceremony. Think: Court system arbitration.

Then there is actual witchcraft, where people murder people for power. Usually, if you are starting a store or business or want success, you hold a ceremony and kill animals to the spirits...think Santera...but the dark extreme of this belief is murder...There were recent British reports of young African boys reported missing, and several killed and mutilated. This is the dark end of such things, and indeed, why traditional Africans would kill such people as witches...

Before you think: Primitive people...who would murder for power? Answer: the USA has a million abortions a year, mostly for social reasons, so the mother --or more commonly the father who pressures the woman's "choice"---isn't burdened with an inconvenient child...

But this article, of course, ignores the non scientific part of the traditional medical practice....

With the HIV epidemic, many people are turning to native medicine...most of them to the herbs that treated and cured their ancestors.

Alas, some of them are also turning to the practice of witchcraft to cure their disease...

Thursday, May 19, 2005


This editorial blasts the UN for hypocracy...both in the lack of food aid, for ignoring the human rights disaster, and for ignoring the prosecution of journalists...

As blogfather says: READ the whole thing...

Ncube hammars gov't

Two article on Archbishop Ncube's protests against the government ...he points out the danger of demonstrations, and blasts the government for not asking for food aid until the last minute.

He was speaking as the South African-based Solidarity Peace Trust unveiled a film documenting claims by Zimbabweans that food was used as a political tool in the run-up to polls -- a charge made by rights groups which Mugabe's government denies.

Ncube said this practice had continued after the elections, which extended the 25-year rule of ZANU-PF.

"Now you find trucks of food going to those places where the government got support while people of (southern pro-opposition city) Bulawayo will not be given any sugar or mealie meal".

Now, if I remember my dialects correctly, Ncube is Matabele, not MaShona...Bulawayo is the capital of the Matabele tribe, a warlike offshoot of the Zulus who settled there at the time of Chaka Zulu.

Mugabe is a Mashona. There is little love between the tribes, so this denial of food aid has a double meaning: First, withholding from opposition. Two: Tribal warfare/genocide. Even before the present crisis, much aid was denies the Matabele...

But if there is an uprising, there is always the danger of civil war...

But the threat of withholding food aid is also to Mashona areas, nor is the opposition only by Matabale. My friend mentioned her brother hiding out because he is a member of a pro democracy movement...that was two years ago, and her letters are vaguer now...

yes we need Food aid...but

Mugabe says yes, Zimbabwe needs food aid...BUT
He doesn't want it tied to "any political conditions"....
Mugabe, who was accused of using access to food as a weapon in recent parliamentary elections, had earlier accused donors of seeking to choke Zimbabweans with unwanted aid and told them to take their aid elsewhere.

In another part of the article we read:
Between two million and five million Zimbabweans face starvation unless 1,2-million tonnes of grain are imported quickly.

so much for unwanted food aid. ..but it gets worse:

He has also refused to remove the government Grain Marketing Board's monopoly on the distribution of grain.
...In 1998, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund withdrew budget support because of chronic financial indiscipline, including sending 14 000 troops to the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"The Zimbabwean government is clear that the primary responsibility of ensuring that Zimbabweans are provided with food is its own," said Charamba.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change is attempting to import an initial 200 000 tonnes of grain for its own relief effort, but fears shipments will be seized at the border by customs, on ministerial orders.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Malaria kills over 300 so far this year.
Malaria has killed 329 people in Zimbabwe since the beginning of this year, according to the malaria statistics issued by the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare on Monday.

The statistics showed that a total of 267,396 reported malaria cases, 329 deaths were recorded from January to April of this year.

This figure is a massive reduction from the 567 deaths and 300,021 cases reported during the same period last year.

I wonder how accurate the death rate is...

You see, the Mashona don't have native immunity to malaria...
Most people live in higher altitudes were malaria used to be rare...Ironically, since where I lived was 5000 feet altitude, we saw no cases--except in one of our nuns who had visited the lowveldt (lower altitude area)...indeed, we had two nuns who contracted cerebral malaria when I was in Africa, one Irish nun at our mission, and one African nun at a nearby mission...I did not take anti malarials in Zimbabwe. Indeed, we saw very few patients with it, mostly visitors...

The Europeans had confiscated nearby African land and resettled the locals to near Kwekwe...into a malaria area, and many of them did develop malaria in the new "free" lands...because they had no native resistance...and many died....something to remember when you hear crying over confiscation of European farms.
(my objection is that they need these farms for food, and that they are not given to the farmworkers, like the land reform here in the Philippines, but often given to cronies of the government to run, and they can't run them).

Most of my malaria experience was in Liberia, where I had malaria and treated many many cases...

So it makes me wonder is now malaria is in higher elevations....

Monday, May 16, 2005

Food shortage? solution: fix prices....

With the food shortage, the prices are going up up up...so the solution is to fix prices...


Many traders had last month increased their prices by much more than what has been granted, resulting in some of them being arrested and fined for overcharging and stashing away goods in anticipation of the price rises approval.

Supermarket shelves in Zimbabwe have been empty of many essential goods ....

The goods have been readily available on the informal market - but at prices up to three times those set by the authorities......

Zimbabwe's economy has been on a downturn in the last five years characterised by runaway inflation and perennial shortages of basic commodities.

Critics partly blame the crisis on controversial land reforms that have compromised food production and the country's isolation from its traditional trading partners in Europe following the 2002 presidential elections which western observers charged were rigged. - AFP/dpa

Hunger bites

Hunger returns to Zimbabwe (did it leave?)

The maize harvest has been the worst in memory, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, which says that only a third of the 1,8-million tons consumed a year has been grown this year. There are also concerns about the slow planting of winter wheat.

Over the past few weeks, maize shortages have been accompanied by widespread shortages of other staple foods and commodities, largely due to the spin-off effect of the government’s price controls. Many of these are now available only on the black market at three times the price. The government has reacted by threatening to jail manufacturers and retailers not observing the price controls.

The black market for foreign exchange, which had receded in the past few months, is booming again with the parallel rate at a record high of more than Z$20000 to one US dollar while the official auction rate straddles Z$6000 to the dollar.....

As usual, our foreign minister’s response has been to accuse those criticising the situation in Zimbabwe of racism.

But don't worry, help is on the way....not...

The light at the end of the tunnel may be the visit of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to Zimbabwe at the end of the month in a bid to address the political and economic

Presumably if they don't go along with the proposals of Kofi Annan, they will be sent a letter saying he is werry werry angwy...(like Hans threatened to send in Team America)...

Hunger bites after hubris of Zimbabwe's election

Hunger returns to Zimbabwe (did it leave?)

The maize harvest has been the worst in memory, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, which says that only a third of the 1,8-million tons consumed a year has been grown this year. There are also concerns about the slow planting of winter wheat.

Over the past few weeks, maize shortages have been accompanied by widespread shortages of other staple foods and commodities, largely due to the spin-off effect of the government’s price controls. Many of these are now available only on the black market at three times the price. The government has reacted by threatening to jail manufacturers and retailers not observing the price controls.

The black market for foreign exchange, which had receded in the past few months, is booming again with the parallel rate at a record high of more than Z$20000 to one US dollar while the official auction rate straddles Z$6000 to the dollar.....

As usual, our foreign minister’s response has been to accuse those criticising the situation in Zimbabwe of racism.

But don't worry, help is on the way....not...

The light at the end of the tunnel may be the visit of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to Zimbabwe at the end of the month in a bid to address the political and economic

Presumably if they don't go along with the proposals of Kofi Annan, they will be sent a letter saying he is werry werry angwy...(like Hans threatened to send in Team America)...,

Hans Blix, call your office...

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Steyn alert

Yes, I know. Mark Steyn's article is about the tsunami aide waiting for the corrupt bureaucracy in Indonesia to clear it so it can get to Aceh...but the comments can be applied to how the international community pretends Mugabe really won the election.

And, alas, it is about how NGO's, who really try, are frequently prevented from getting aid to really needy people due to the corruption of political leaders in all too many countries...

The part of the tsunami aid operation that worked was the first few days, when America, Australia and a handful of other nations improvised instant and effective emergency relief operations that did things like, you know, save lives, rescue people, restore water supply, etc. Then the poseurs of the transnational bureaucracy took over, held press conferences demanding that stingy Westerners needed to give more and more and more, and the usual incompetence and corruption followed....
even when the entire planet is on the same side, the 24/7 lavishly funded U.N. humanitarian infrastructure can't get its act together....
When rent-a-quote senators claim to be pro-U.N. .....-- that when something bad happens the United States should commit to working through the approved transnational bureaucracies and throw even more "resources" at them, even though nothing will happen (Sri Lanka), millions will be stolen (Oil for Food), children will get raped (U.N. peacekeeping operations) and hundreds of thousands will die (Sudan).

Or, of course, it will be given to the cronies of the dictator, so that they can stash it in their Swiss bank accounts...

Nope, nothing going on here, folks, just move along

Another South African praises the "election" in Zimbabwe...

They were run "impeccably"...
a defiant Khunou said there had been no political violence or repression in Zimbabwe and the election was peaceful.

Translation: Since they didn't stuff the ballot boxes, it was a "fair" election...as I said earlier, yes, counting the vote was fair...because if it was unfair, he would have gotten 90 plus percent of the vote, like Saddam Hussein.

But the "unfair" part was pre election.
First, dead people voted. Nothing new here. In the USA, it is a joke about the dead in Chicago voting. Then there are voting twice. Again in the USA< there is a joke: Vote early and vote often...

But when I lived in Zimbabwe, it was pointed out to me that it was easy to intimidate voters. Unlike accusations that voters were intimidated in Florida because there was a policeman a block from the election site, or that they had to wait an hour to vote...in Zimbabwe what would occur is that in the middle of the night, a hut would be set on fire..after the door was barred. Since the huts have grass roofs, this kills those inside.

But it is an open secret that there has been a drought and food is low...and Mugabe has discouraged food shipments by NGO's...his government wants to distribute the food...and if your village votes against him, guess what happens?

"There was no verifiable evidence to justify food discrimination claims against MDC (opposition) supporters," said Khunou.

And guess why there was no evidence? Aside from kicking out the NGO's, I mean...

She said the laws used to shut down five newspapers and force the opposition to get police permission to hold political meetings had been properly implemented to "enforce law and order".

As Rummy says: The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence...20 million Ukrainians died and the NYTimes ignored it...Saddam Hussein killed hundreds of thousands, but CNN ignored it so they could station a reporter in Baghdad...so who is going to go to isolated villages and find the real truth?

Fair elections? FAIR ELECTIONS?????

Lady, you are a liar...but what goes around comes around

Remember: Chinyoka chidyawo...

Birds of a feather

Isn't it amazing how the "axis of evil" manages to stick together with other genocidal tyrannies?

Iran lauds Mugabe

The Iranian ambassador said, in his part, that the parliamentary election of Zimbabwe was a "great success" for the country.

Yup. The Mullahs know how to steal elections too: Just prevent the undesirable from being on the ballot, censor free speech etc. But even the Mullahs didn't threaten to stop food shipments from villages that voted against them...although after hearing about protests from Arab minorities, maybe they are a bit biased..

He also noted that the last January visit to Zimbabwe of President Mohammad Khatami and signing 12 memoranda of understanding (MOUs) during his visit indicated Tehran-Harare good relations in all fields.

The ambassador added that Tehran contributed 150 million dollars to various projects in Zimbabwe.

Ah, that's nice.... but will it be used to fund jet fighters? Or just put in Swiss bank accounts?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

No problem here, you racists

The South African minister says the outrage on the black takeover of white farms is racist.
"This whole hullabaloo is about black people are taking land from white people. There is an element of racism," the minister said. She stressed that South Africa believed in a more orderly way of land redistribution. "In South Africa we are going through a process of buying back land. We believe these things must be done in this orderly fashion. "

AH, that's the point, it's NOT being done in an ordelry fashion...

However, South Africa would not police Zimbabwe. "This is not how we conduct our relations. When it rains there is a border between us, when there is no rain there is no border. So we know the problems of Zimbabwe better than anyone," the minister said.

She said if Zimbabwe should collapse Britain, the US or the EU would not be affected. "South Africa will be affected. If there is a crisis, even the white people will have to cross over to South Africa to get flights to Britain."

Problem one: The "white farms" produced most of the produce for the cities. Like Stalin throwing out the Kulaks, or the Czar throwing out the Jews, the dirty little story of history is that if you get rid of the most productive people in the country, especially the most productive farmers the result is economic collapse and /or starvation.

Second problem: Unlike here in the Philippines, where our family's large land was given to our tenant farmers and we were allowed only to keep a few hectacres each, in Zimbabwe the land is being taken from the white farmers and given in small plots to the farm workers but to Mubage's thugs, who can't run large farms.

Problem three: If there is economic collapse, white farmers can leave. But in many small villages, people will die. But of course they won't be white people, but black people. Who's the racist here?

Human Rights commission

I started this blog when I read about the UN Human Rights organization again allowing Mugabe's government to have a seat. However, it took me a little time to get a link.
Here is the Houston Chronicle editorial.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Local blogging from Zimbabwe

If you are not up on Cathy Buckle's letters, you need to read them...

From this weeks' letter she discusses standing in line for petrol (gasoline)

As the day got hotter and the sun higher, still the tanker didn't come and people started giving up. I gave up after three hours. A fruitless line for a few litters of petrol seemed a far cry from the incessant crowing on the propaganda TV and radio all week about our newly acquired Chinese aeroplanes. If the propaganda is to be believed these two new aeroplanes are going to "turnaround" the economy, "revive tourism" and flood the country with foreign currency. I can't help wondering if these Chinese planes also need fuel to operate as frankly the irony of new planes and no fuel is just too staggering.

Yup. Mugabe has his priorities right...jet planes, not food...

Monday, May 09, 2005

Elephants, not people


Well, one reason Mugabe can starve his people is that they had little rain...however, when I worked there twenty years ago, they had little rain...and the elders pointed to the very very severe drought in the 1950's, when they were kept alive with Kenyan maize (to this day, yellow corn sadza is called kenya)...

I'm an Okie. When they complain, I just think: Dust bowl.
But in the 1930's people could move to California, so although poverty was severe, few actually starved.

And in Zimbabwe, they didn't starve in the 1950's, nor in the 1970's nor even in the bad drought in the 1980's....like most modern starvation, it's political...

The answer: Irrigation, stupid. It works for Kansas...

Ah, but where do the PC want the money to go? Elephants.

Predicting the regional impacts of global climate change is not an exact science; but in Africa, home to the "big five"' symbolic species - elephant, rhinoceros, lion, leopard and buffalo - computer models predict that overall, areas which are currently dry will become even dryer as well as warmer.

Yup. and if you look at the paintings in the sahara, you find that 6 thousand years ago, it was a savannah...climate is indeed changing. This doesn't mean that the religion of global warming is based on fact...if it was, my old stomping grounds in Minnesota would still be under 200 feet of glacier

In pre-industrial times, animals threatened by these changes could simply have migrated, but human development means that option has largely disappeared.

Yup. Damn those humans. Not the nice white ones living on Long Island, but those useless eaters who insist on growing maize and sweet potatoes to feed their kids.

"Protected areas are now islands," said Dr Leakey. "The wildlife and fauna and flora are pretty well tied in by boundaries which aren't oceans, in the sense of islands, but development.


In an attempt to find solutions, Dr Leakey has convened a high-level three-day seminar at Stony Brook University near New York, where he is a visiting professor.

He will attempt to convince representatives of bodies such as the World Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep) that they should set up a new fund of around $100m to research the issue, and find ways of protecting wildlife from climate change.

Ah, more money for bureaucrats and to line the purses of government officials...

With that kind of money, we could buy air cons for the elephants...

Paul Volker, call your office...

Spying on the opposition

There is no secret that Mugabe is murdering the opposition, not to mention preventing food aid to areas that oppose him...which is why he got 70 percent of the "honest" election (If the election was completely dishonest, he would have gotten 99 percent, like Saddam Hussein).

Ah, but although there is no money for food (except for cronies) the Scotsman reports that there is plenty of money to buy advanced spying and wiretapping equipment from China and Cuba to prevent the news from getting out.

My friends write nothing about politics...because they know the letters are opened. Now they are monitoring both news going in and the internet...

First to suffer is a popular UK-based shortwave radio station that sends out anti-Mugabe stories to Zimbabwe seven days a week. The independent radio station, SW Radio Africa, has been experiencing jamming problems all this year from transmitters installed in the Zimbabwean Midlands.

The station’s founder, Gerry Jackson, flies to Nairobi, Kenya, next week to pick up the International Press Institute’s Free Media Pioneer Award for courageous journalism.

"Mugabe will do anything to stop the truth being heard in Zimbabwe," she says.

Hi-tech bugging includes updated versions of pirated Israeli-made equipment which enters Zimbabwe through Cuba. It’s a copy of the sophisticated equipment Mossad uses to spy on Palestinians.

Wilf Mbanga, who edits the new weekly paper, the Zimbabwean, said: "The plan is to tap all landlines belonging to anyone of importance or prominence in Zimbabwe."

After this year’s general election Mugabe told party hardliners that he had turned again to the East.

On Independence Day (April 18), to cheers from party loyalists, he said: "We are returning to the days when our greatest friends were the Chinese. We look again to the East, where the sun rises, and no longer to the West, where it sets."

Well, my friends say there are no computers at the local high schools anyway, let alone internet...but if there were, you could be sure that they would be monitored...

mugabe makaipa

I'm living in the Philippines, but spent a couple years living in Zimbabwe. Things are getting worse there, but the liberals only love politically correct people, so aside from Nicolas Kristoff, the news is all about playing pet the doggie in abu grave, not about the stolen election in zimbabwe.

Last week, the news said that Zimbabwe is now again on the UN Human Rights commission. What kind of M****** F****** place is the UN where mass murderers are allowed to judge human rights violations?

So this is my rant and if we manage to keep our landline running, I will post some of the worst stuff here.

Anyone from Zimbabwe or anyone interested can post comments.

Fambai Zvakanaka
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