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Old March 1st, 2008 #61
Alex Linder
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[Canadian prof reviews new novel dealing in more or less PC way with Zimbabwean farm seizures. Don't you know itz a privilege to be murdered by savage niggers?]


An opportunity lost

DARRYL WHETTER

March 1, 2008



UNFEELING

By Ian Holding

Key Porter, 243 pages, $27.95

Along with love, death, memory, identity and home, justice is one of the central subjects of the literary novel. Legend has it that in the shadow of the American Civil War, when president Abraham Lincoln met Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, he said, "So this is the little lady who made this big war."

More recently, in many post-independence countries in Africa, the justice of land reclamation has prompted some of the best postcolonial novels, including Doris Lessing's The Grass is Singing, J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace and [jew] Nadine Gordimer's July's People. With his debut, Unfeeling, Zimbabwean Ian Holding attempts to add to this impressive canon by addressing Zimbabwe's farm redistributions, the timely and moving conflict of 21st-century postcolonial citizens confronting the descendants of the colonialists.

In Unfeeling, white, privileged, 16-year-old Davey Baker survives a lethal night-time attack on Edenfields, the massive Zimbabwean farm his Dutch grandfather built up by exploiting and beating his black labourers. With genuine insight, Holding depicts the neighbouring white farm families as aghast and afraid of the attack, but quickly wishing that Davey, both witness and victim, wouldn't stick around as a reminder of their inaction and vulnerability. Only Mike's godmother, Marsha, attempts to do anything more than clap Davey on the shoulder, but her invitations don't really reach a young man adrift in rage, fear, guilt and accelerated maturations both sexual and political.

Holding's concentration on a 16-year-old male, with one servant who brews his tea and another who cooks his meals, is a costly focus for a story that wants to be an inquiry into justice, loyalty and social evolution. Finally emboldened on his plan for revenge, Davey has "a resolve he knows only boys who grow up on farms possess." But the adolescent revenge plot limits the complex social portrait Holding seeks to render.

Unfeeling is most intelligent and timely in its attention to the paradoxical loyalties of the shrinking white community, in which rage at an attack on a neighbour is also relief that one's own farm and family are spared. Shifting loyalties extend to the indigenous population, as well, as they endure inequities that make guns cheap and plentiful, but education costly and rare.

Regrettably, these intelligent social observations are few and far between. Contemporary adult farmers think of their illegal night plans with trucks and rifles as part of "a crusade." The novel's obsession with the transfer of farms from one male generation to the next should have afforded some variation in and self-consciousness toward the systemic racism so violently addressed in Zimbabwe's notorious farm attacks.

Instead, Davey plows on blindly, with the same exploitative disregard as earlier generations, shooting his pellet gun at the feet of the impoverished "piccanins," who endure him because they know one day he will be "the Big Baas." Even the name of the contested farm, Edenfields, is fraught with Christian hegemony and unexplored irony.

The lack of social evolution across multiple generations is a lost opportunity for the novel's realism, not just its politics. Here, as elsewhere, Holding forgets that his protagonist, like his audience, operates within contemporary mores, not those of the past. In life, people do struggle with inherited gender roles and self-serving but indefensible politics. In art, though, those struggles need to be made not only palatable but also illuminating.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl.../Entertainment

Last edited by Alex Linder; March 1st, 2008 at 03:35 PM.
 
Old March 1st, 2008 #62
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Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has launched his re-election campaign by calling the opposition a group of "witches, prostitutes and charlatans". He told supporters in Harare that he was certain of victory in next month's presidential and parliamentary polls. Mr Mugabe also called his rivals "traitors and two-headed creatures". The economy has collapsed under Mr Mugabe, with the annual inflation rate at more than 100,000%. He is accused of rigging the last election in 2002.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7271611.stm
 
Old March 1st, 2008 #63
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Mugabe partially admits failing Zimbabweans



February 29, 2008

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has, for the first time, admitted that his government is partly to blame for the country's downfall.

Unveiling the party's election manifesto in Harare today, Mugabe urged his ruling Zanu-PF party candidates to tell the electorate the truth about his administration's failures and successes.

Thousands descended for the unveiling of the party's manifesto. As expected, the ruling party is hoping to win on the basis of its stand against western influence and to resuscitate the ailing agricultural sector.

Mugabe was, however, bold to take some blame for the country's crisis. "Let's tell the people we failed here and there. We have failed to keep up with our promises and one such area is that of developing of our infrastructure...”

The veteran leader still remains defiant on his strained relations with Britain and America, he said: "Down with you Mr Brown, down with you Mr Bush when it comes to Zimbabwe."

http://www.sabcnews.com/africa/south...165094,00.html
 
Old March 1st, 2008 #64
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Mugabe accuses foreign mining firms of sabotage


By Torby Chimhashu

02/29/2008


ZIMBABWE will press ahead with its threatened seizure of foreign-owned mining firms despite objections by the business community that the move will scare away investors from the troubled southern African country.

Addressing his ruling Zanu PF party supporters and candidates for the March 29 elections, President Robert Mugabe said he will seize mines to empower indigenous people.

“Mining has remained a place closed for us. Unless we are there as owners or shareholders of mining (firms), we continue to be cheated. We have very little gold. We have very little earnings from mining," Mugabe said to cheers.

The Zimbabwean leader said a new law which requires a 51% stake in all mining firms to be held by indigenous black Zimbabweans would be complemented by claiming more mines.

He accused the white-owned mining companies of smuggling precious minerals out of the country. As a result, he said, gold annual tonnage had fallen from 27 tonnes to 17 tonnes and expected it to further slide to 11 tonnes.

Mugabe said: “In a country rated as having gold resources and deposits in large quantities, it is a shame. We need to have an inspectorate that is effective. We must capacitate our people in that area. It is in these areas that we have people we don’t trust.

“It’s not just the blacks. The blacks are the workers. The whites are the ones doing the externalisation and sabotage of our economy. It’s important that our minerals become ours. We are getting practically little from precious minerals. There are those who say we will scare away investors but we are already losing."

However, Mugabe refused to blame his cronies for plundering the minerals despite audits carried by the intelligence services and the central bank which implicated Zanu PF big wigs in the looting of gold and diamonds.

Finance Minister Samuel Mumbengegwi told Parliament in November 2007 during his budget presentation that Zimbabwe had lost minerals worth US$10 billion in the year as a result of smuggling.

http://www.newzimbabwe.com/pages/mines37.17825.html

Last edited by Alex Linder; March 1st, 2008 at 04:12 PM.
 
Old March 1st, 2008 #65
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Last edited by Alex Linder; March 1st, 2008 at 04:01 PM.
 
Old March 1st, 2008 #66
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Old March 1st, 2008 #67
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Quote:
Van Hoogstraten's arrest is the latest in a long line of clashes with the law. In the Sixties Van Hoogstraten - who has referred to his tenants as 'scum' - was jailed for four years for arranging for a hand grenade to be thrown through the window of someone who owed him money. In 2002 he was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years in jail after a business associate, Mohammed Raja, was shot and killed by two hired hitmen. He appealed against the conviction, which was overturned in 2003. In 2005 a civil court ordered that Van Hoogstraten pay the murdered man's family 6m in damages.
Hoogstraten is one ugly nasty Jew, he owns a shit load of property (real estate) in Brighton England where I live. And although I've never met him personally I know people who have. I also knew all about the hand grenade business which happened on Portland Road in our neighbouring town of Hove. Mohammed Raja was no saint either, I know he didn't like to pay those stupid enough to work for him, and although his murder was no great loss, it is typical that the Jew got away with it.
 
Old March 8th, 2008 #68
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Zimbabwe health system collapses

07 March 2008

WHEN Zimbabwe attained Independence in 1980 Prime Minister Robert Mugabe promised people universal access to healthcare.

Twenty-eight years later millions of Zimbabweans have been reduced to paupers and can no longer afford basic healthcare, even at public institutions because of the high cost of treatment.

Foreign currency shortages have resulted in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare not being able to provide essential drugs to clinics and public hospitals, which in the past used to cater for people in the low-income group.

More than a dozen babies are born in each district of the country on a daily basis, but maternity care is no longer easily accessible as a result of the spiralling cost of living that has pushed clinic and hospital fees beyond the reach of many.

Consultation fees at public hospitals are $10 million while for maternity, a normal delivery now costs between $200 million and $300 million.

A caesarian section, which is birth by surgery, costs between $2 billion and $3 billion
depending on the time you spend in the hospital after the operation.

Private hospitals are charging $3 billion for a caesarian, $1,2 billion for a normal delivery after paying a registration fee of $400 million and these are "top-up" fees for those on medical aid.

Many women of childbearing age are finding themselves in the same predicament as Juliet Nhamo, a young expecting mother who had registered to deliver at a clinic in Highfield.

Nhamo thought she was going to have a normal birth, but things did not go according to her plan as she went into labour two days before the due date.

Upon arrival at the clinic, she was told there were complications with her pregnancy and she had to be rushed to Harare hospital.

The staff at the clinic informed Nhamo that there was no ambulance to take her to the hospital and since there was no time to waste it would be wise for her husband to hire a cab.

To her horror, upon arrival at Harare hospital she was told that the only doctor qualified to operate on her only does caesarians on Thursdays.

She was admitted but told that some of the medication she required was not available and she would have to buy it from a private pharmacy.

Her husband did not have the money after paying $150 million for the car he hired to ferry his wife to the hospital.

While she lay in hospital waiting for the doctor her husband would have to raise the hospital bill which would probably be above $2 billion.

Such is the ugly picture of what many Zimbabweans are being forced to go through every time they have to seek healthcare.

To buy a drip from a private pharmacy one has to fork out $60 million while a packet of 10 painkillers costs between $15 million and $30 million depending on the brand.

For those on HIV treatment the cheapest brand of anti- retroviral drugs, Stalanev, which is locally manufactured, is now $300 million per course and only covers 30 days.

A local surgeon who specialises in male reproductive health who was contacted by the Zimbabwe Independent last week said he was charging more than $20 billion to perform corrective surgery.

It is not only the cost of healthcare which is a cause of concern but also the shortage of equipment and human resources.

Stacks of unserviceable beds, electronic equipment, leaking pipes, crumbling walls and bare dispensary shelves are a common sight at government hospitals across the country.

Year after year, bids by the Ministry of Health for more funding have been cut to basics.

This has resulted in staff from public health institutions leaving the country for greener pastures.

Recent statistics from the parliamentary portfolio show that the public health sector has a vacancy level of more than 40%. The current doctor to patient ratio is 1:12 000 while the ideal ratio should be around 1:200.

In rural areas most district and mission hospitals are being run by nurse aids without doctors.

Only 738 doctors are still practising in the country out of an establishment of 1 590 and less than 50 of them offer specialised care at public institutions.

There are only 37 registered obstetricians and gynaecologists in Zimbabwe yet there are more than four million women of childbearing age.

Harare and Bulawayo account for 60% and 30% respectively of all public-sector doctors and nurses. The rest of the smaller cities and towns share the remainder but serve larger populations as general hospitals and provincial referral centres.

The president of the Hospital Doctors Association, Amon Severegi, told the Independent this week that government should prioritise the health sector in its budget as many lives are being lost due to lack of resources at public hospitals.

"We feel as doctors working in the public sector that it is important that our health delivery systems are well resourced in terms of drugs, human resources and consumables," said Severegi.

"These are our expectations as professionals as well as the general public," he added.

"We hope the responsible authorities will be able to come in and assist hospitals to get drugs as it’s costing patients more to buy drugs from private pharmacies than it would cost them if they got them at hospitals," said Severegi.

Efforts to get comment from the Ministry of Health were fruitless.

The chief executive of Parirenyatwa Hospital, the county’s largest referral centre, Thomas Zigora, said he could not comment on the condition of the hospital in terms of services.

"At the moment I cannot comment as we are still working on a statement addressing the issues that have been in the media concerning our operations that will be issued early next week," Zigora said.

Zigora said that there had been many falsehoods about Parirenyatwa Hospital that have been peddled by people who have not made an effort to seek his office’s comment.

A state weekly newspaper two weeks ago reported that Parirenyatwa Hospital had suspended all surgical operations as a result of lack of anaesthetic, general equipment breakdowns and a shortage of painkillers used to ease pain after surgery.

An orderly at one of the hospitals said: "The situation at our public hospitals is scary, there are no drugs, some of the machines are not working and doctors are not always there. It is becoming difficult for us to bring our relatives to such hospitals which have very little to offer," she said.--Lucia Makamure

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/inde...ries&Itemid=66
 
Old March 8th, 2008 #69
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[Investors' view of Zimbabwe]

[...]

According to Tony Hawkins at the University of Zimbabwe, there has been a 51 per cent fall in agricultural output between 2000 and 2007, a 47 per cent fall in industrial output, and a 35 per cent fall in resources output. Over the same period, GDP per capita has fallen back by more than 40 per cent. At the same time, inflation has risen to near the 100,000 per cent mark. The UN World Food Programme estimates that 4.2m Zimbabweans - a third of the population - will face serious food shortages in early 2008. [? Supposedly a third of the population of 12m has left the country, leaving 8m. Sounds like more than half those face food problems.]

Not surprisingly, the reaction of most emerging- markets investors has been to run as far away as possible. Consequently, foreign direct investment collapsed from more than $400m in 1998 to $30m in 2006. Even the International Finance Corporation reported that Zimbabwe is one of the worst countries in the world to do business in, partly because of legislation aimed at imposing at least 51 per cent ''indigenous ownership'' of businesses.

In these circumstances, it's hard not to disagree with Slim Feriani, managing director of Progressive Asset Management who runs its frontier markets fund, when he declared that "at present Zim represents one of the most contrarian bets a global investor can make". Still it's one that Feriani and many others are quietly making, in small but noticeable ways. He says: "Our pan-African managers are almost unanimous that Zim will offer huge opportunities when things start to turn around." [Talk about buying on the dips!]

This contrarian view is backed by researchers at Australian bank Macquarie. In a recent report on Zimbabwe, they spelled out three scenarios for the future. The "best" scenario - at 60 per cent probability - sees a transfer of power from president Mugabe to a successor, possibly Simba Makoni, and reform within the ruling Zanu PF party. The "boring" scenario - with 30 per cent probability - is an indefinite stalemate and no stock market recovery. And the "bedlam" scenario - with 10 per cent probability - involves collapse of governance, regional contagion and devastation.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/53eedc9a-e...0779fd2ac.html
 
Old March 8th, 2008 #70
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Hi, party people! Remember to vote for me!

 
Old March 8th, 2008 #71
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A scintillating array of nigs for your selection... Choose wisely!



I'm voting straight Diet Party. The one man, the mudman, the philtrum at the fulcrum...

...Robert P. Mugabe, mudmaniac sans pareil.
 
Old March 8th, 2008 #72
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[China sniffs opportunity]

The People's Republic of China will continue giving the Zimbabwe Defence Forces more technical support to boost the cordial relations between the two countries, head of the People's Liberation Army Instructors Training Team has said.

Speaking at a welcome and farewell reception for PLAITT officers attached to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Senior Colonel Sun Xu hailed the friendship between the two countries. Col Xu said that his country would assist Zimbabwe in all aspects including agricultural development. "China will continue to work with the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and we will continue to make contribution to build the friendship between the two countries. "We would also continue to offer technical assistance to Zimbabwe even in agriculture so that farmers can produce sufficient food for the people," he said.

Snr Col Xu said Zimbabwe boasts of vast tracts of fertile lands that could be sufficiently utilised hence the need for technical assistance from other countries.
 
Old March 8th, 2008 #73
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[Niggers are greedy and stupid. Even if they are raised by Catholics, trained by Jesuits, awarded degrees from major Western institutions. For example, Mugabe wants 51% of the mineral profits while doing 0% of the work.]


[...]

President Mugabe made this statement in the context that he has no intention to relent or reverse on his plans to promulgate legislation in terms of which 51% of all mining companies must, at the least, be owned by indigenous Zimbabweans (and, in fact, the proposed legislation entrenches a 25% holding for government itself, with a minimum of 26% to be held by other indigenous Zimbabweans).

This intent can not only preclude any future development and growth of mining, but must bring about an immense contraction of that which already exists.

It defies the wildest stretches of imagination to expect investors to provide 100% of required investment capital, all necessary technology transfer, access to markets, and much else, only to be deprived (without compensation!) of at least 5l% of the venture they have brought into being.

What is more, not only are they to be so deprived, but the mining operations are to pay ongoing taxes and immense royalties to the state, to an extent that any investors who are non-indigenous Zimbabweans are reduced to having a 49% holding of next to nothing — and that is supposed to attract investment.

Zimbabwe has an immense potential wealth in mining, for it is rich in resources of platinum, gold, nickel, coal, methane gas, diamonds, and very much else.

But that wealth can only be realised by effective investment of capital, and of mining technology and skills, and Zimbabwe does not have sufficient of either of those resources, so it must interact with the international investment community.

But, to be of interest to that community, Zimbabwe must offer a "fair and square" deal, instead of the patronising, demanding, and economically unrealistic path that it persists in following.

[...]

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/inde...ment&Itemid=63
 
Old March 8th, 2008 #74
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[On the upcoming election and niggy SA's standing by brother Bob]


Opposition candidates are not able to campaign freely - they and their supporters continue to be harassed, arrested, abducted, beaten and killed. Some have had their homes burnt; their meetings banned or broken up; the electoral rolls are in hopeless disorder, which will allow thousands of dead, departed and other “ghost” voters to cast ballots; food aid is being distributed though ZANU PF offices to buy votes; the media are not free with the state-owned newspapers, television and radio services hopelessly biased in favour of Mugabe and his ZANU PF party; independent newspapers such as the popular Daily News remain closed; and most independent journalists have been hounded out of the country. Mugabe has even decreed that only “friendly” observer teams will be allowed into the country to monitor the elections, and if they run true to form they will turn a blind eye to all these grotesque abuses and validate the outcome.

All this reflects shamefully on the SA government and the SADC as a whole. They have failed miserably, politically and morally. Most shameful of all has been the applause accorded Mbeki at last month’s SADC summit for his supposed success in negotiating a deal between ZANU PF that would ensure a free and fair election … and Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad’s echoing of that false claim of success back here in South Africa. This was the sheerest sophistry. It was true, as Pahad said, that the four negotiators - two representing ZANU PF and one each from the Tsvangirai and Mutambara wings of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) - had reached agreement. But, as Pahad added, “All that remains is for the agreement to be processed” - well knowing there was no time for the agreement to be processed into law before the election.

http://mandebvhu.bundublog.com/2008/...y-for-bob-yet/
 
Old March 8th, 2008 #75
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Zimbabwe has banned observers from Western countries from monitoring elections later this month.

Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said African countries would be allowed to send monitors, as would allies such as China, Iran and Venezuela.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7283061.stm


 
Old March 8th, 2008 #76
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MONEY that is being used to prop up President Robert Mugabe’s brutal regime, keep his military onside and win over voters in the run-up to Zimbabwe’s elections this month is being printed by a German company.

With inflation topping 100,000% and the highest value 10m Zimbabwe dollar note worth just 20p, heavily guarded planeloads of banknotes are flying into Harare almost every day to keep up with the demand.

Documents obtained by The Sunday Times show the Munich company Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) is receiving more than €500,000 (382,000) a week for delivering bank notes at the astonishing rate of Z$170 trillion a week.

“The regime is surviving by printing money,” said Martin Rupiya, professor of war and security studies at the University of Zimbabwe. “At this stage there is no other way.”

According to a source at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, G&D delivers 432,000 sheets of banknotes every week to Fidelity printers in Harare, where they are stamped with the denomination. Each sheet contains 40 notes and the current production is entirely in Z$10m notes.

Last week some of this money was used to award huge pay rises to the army in an apparent move to buy their loyalty ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections on March 29. Teachers belonging to a union supportive of the government were also given large sums.

Soldiers received windfalls of between Z$1.2 billion for privates and Z$3 billion for officers, while teachers received Z$500m on average. Those belonging to the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe, which criticises Mugabe, were excluded.

“Mugabe is giving soldiers a lot of money as a way of buying allegiance,” said Raymond Majongwe, the Progressive union’s general secretary. “Mugabe is planning to rig the elections in March because he must win at all costs. He, however, believes that we teachers do not deserve increased salaries because he says we are agents of regime change.”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle3466861.ece
 
Old March 9th, 2008 #77
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[File it under 'Monkeys never learn.' Having seized White farms in 2000, producing starvation and general economic catastrophe, Mudman Mugabe now proposes to seize whatever remnant of White business remains. Nigger, you can only kill the golden goose once. But that's the thing about niggers: if they could learn from their mistakes, they wouldn't be niggers.]


Zimbabwe to restrict white-owned firms

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — President Robert Mugabe, campaigning for upcoming elections, has signed a new law requiring foreign- and white-owned businesses to hand over 51% control of their operations to blacks, state media reported Sunday.

Cranking up his campaign theme of "economic empowerment" in the impoverished African nation, Mugabe also unveiled plans to distribute tractors, generators, gasoline and cattle to black farmers who have resettled on white-owned land seized by the government since 2000.

"This equipment and implements now form a critical mass that should be deployed effectively so as to meaningfully uplift productivity levels," the state-owned Sunday Mail reported Mugabe as saying at a Harare ceremony Saturday.

The new program comes three weeks before Zimbabweans vote in crucial presidential, parliamentary and local council elections in which Mugabe, 84, is running against former finance minister and ruling party loyalist Simba Makoni, 57, and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, 55.

The March 29 vote takes place amid an economic meltdown — including a shrinking economy, rocketing inflation, shortages of most basic goods and collapsing public services — in the nation once known as Africa's bread basket.

Since the government began ordering the seizure of white-owned farms in 2000, production of food and agricultural exports has slumped drastically. Zimbabwe has the world's highest official rate of inflation: 100,500%.

One-third of the nation's 12 million people received emergency food aid in January, U.N. food agencies said. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization predicted shortfalls in local harvests in coming weeks and said just 10% of fertilizer needed in the last planting season is available to farmers.

Since December, the Central Bank has spent at least $43 million to import corn, Zimbabwe's staple food, from neighboring countries, bank Gov. Gideon Gono said Saturday.

The Sunday Mail said the government new program will put Zimbabwe "back at work" with state-of-the-art generators, buses, tractors, 300 buses, motorcycles and some 3,000 cattle.

No details about the cost of the equipment — funded by the state central bank, much of it in scarce hard currency — was provided. In the past, similarly free equipment mainly has gone to supporters of the ruling party.

Mugabe blames the crisis on economic sanctions imposed by Britain, Zimbabwe's former colonial power, and its allies, to protest his land reforms.

"This hate program by Britain and her fellow racists imposed unjustified sanctions on Zimbabwe in futile attempts to frighten us off our land," he said. "They should remember we are not that easily scared away," he said.

The Economic Empowerment Act requires "indigenous Zimbabweans" to hold a minimum 51% stake in every business and public company, and to have a controlling stake in every investment or company merger.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2...e_N.htm?csp=34
 
Old March 9th, 2008 #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Linder View Post
A scintillating array of nigs for your selection... Choose wisely!



I'm voting straight Diet Party. The one man, the mudman, the philtrum at the fulcrum...

...Robert P. Mugabe, mudmaniac sans pareil.
Alex, I will have to roll the chicken bones before making my selection.

As a side note, how long until we here in Amerikwa are left with this exemplary trifecta of tyranny to choose from? Oh, wait, we are......
 
Old March 10th, 2008 #79
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Would be funny to make graphic comparing these three with our three choices here in AmeriKwa. Who has the worse selection?
 
Old March 15th, 2008 #80
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Not too late

15th March 2008

Dear Family and Friends,

A Zimbabwean in the Diaspora phoned me this week and told me how desperately she longs to come home. She misses everything so much: familiar faces and beautiful places, old friends and casual acquaintances, the overwhelming friendliness of people and of course the glorious climate and magnificent countryside. She asked me how things were now in Zimbabwe and I replied that they are very bad, and still getting worse. You cannot really describe what a hundred thousand percent inflation looks like, or shops without food or hospitals without medicine. My friend, like so many others that have been struggling to survive these years in exile in foreign countries, wonders when she will be able to come home. She says she meets Zimbabweans all the time and always the talk is of home and plans for the day when they can return. Everyone wonders if it will be soon, asks if March 2008 will finally see an end to the need for exile.

My friend asked if anything was as she remembered it at home and I looked out of the window. On the surface and for a few minutes nothing at all had changed. The sun is still bright and the sky blue; babblers and bulbuls splash in the birdbath; the Msasa trees are covered in new pods and the wild orange trees in hard, green, cricket-ball fruits. In the canopy of trees overhead the voice of an Oriole sings out again and again and a Paradise Flycatcher, still with its long orange breeding tail, flits backwards and forwards. Children still play on the streets with home made footballs and roll bicycle rims along dusty paths. On the roadside women still sit selling tomatoes and avocadoes that they've carefully arranged into pyramids. Some even have a few ground nuts for sale but like most things they are a luxury - an enamel cupful for two and a half million dollars tipped into a newspaper cone. The ordinary people are still the same too, friendly, courteous, smiling, welcoming and generous.

After the conversation with my friend, I felt so sad about this great extended family of Zimbabweans now living away from home. Such trauma we have all been through these past nine years - those of us who have stayed and those who have gone. But we still have one thing in common and that is that now, after nine years of struggle, we have all had enough. Now it is time for families to be reunited, communities to be rebuilt and for Zimbabwe to stand straight, tall and proud again. It is not too late.

I close with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi:

"When I despair I always remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall, always."

Until next time, thanks for reading, with love cathy.

http://www.cathybuckle.com/march2008.shtml
 
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