SOUTHERN AFRICAN MIGRATION PROJECT

Migration News - February 2001

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FEBRUARY - Click on the country titleabove the headlines for the entire article.

Regional:
SADC proposes to scrap visas for tourists

Angola:
Fleeing Angolans to be given safe refuge
Zambia, Angola, Namibia to work for common border security
Angolan army has control of Zambian border region: Dos Santos

Botswana:
More asylum seekers continue to arrive
Foreign Affairs minister decries xenophobia
Complaints about conditions in Dukwe refugee camp
Brain drain of nurses from Botswana
Refugees in Botswana to send petition to Geneva
UNHCR denies involvement in extradition of Botswana nationals

Malawi:
Dual citizenship deemed illegal
Malawi deports illegal immigrants

Mozambique:
Flooding in Mozambique creating a major refugee problem
Visa decision angers travel agencies

Namibia:
Refugee camp said to threaten local San

South Africa:
Tourism set to fuel big surge in Cape growth
Police raid employers of migrants in Kwazulu
Britain 'is poaching South African teachers'
UK 'raid' on SA teachers angers Asmal
Why teachers are leaving
Concern over UK jobs for SA teachers
SA lashes out at 'brain drain' raids
Canada 'looting' South African doctors, claims Makgoba
British govt to look into recruitment of SA teachers
Physicians deserting South Africa
Portuguese ambassador won't be recalled
Tshwete placates Portuguese
Acrimony abating in Tshwete-Portuguese row
Mining firms start ot test workers for AIDS
Tshwete's letter to Portuguese community
Cabinet to decide soon on smart cards
South Africa losing doctors to Canada
New immigration law promised in 2001
Review of immigration laws and procedures welcomed
Calls for Mbeki to censure Tshwete for attack on Portuguesecommunity
Top teachers headhunted by UK agencies
Mbeki hints at labour market review
Immigration law review to attract skills
New bill will facilitate skilled immigration, claims DHA
Update on conflict over immigration white paper
Academics, Business suggest ways to plug brain drain
Canadian provinces face criticism for recruiting doctors
Home Affairs explains draft Immigration Bill
Home Affairs commentary on illegal immigration
SA 'is losing its best brains'
SA's brain drain is 'thrice the real number'
South Africa losing its best brains
Police raid Hillbrow brothels
25 Ugandans with South African passports deported by Egypt
New deportation figures for 2000

Tanzania:
2000 Tanzanians flee Pemba Island
Zanzibar cracks down on illegal immigrants
Zanzibari refugees pour into Kenya
Zanzibar refugees reject amnesty
Zanzibar govt calls on refugees in Kenya to return
Fleeing opposition supporters not refugees: Tanzanian minister
Tanzanian refugees continue to enter Kenya: UNHCR
Tanzania drops envoy to Nigeria over citizenship
Tanzania declares 4 public figures aliens
Canada pledges assistance to refugees in Tanzania

Zambia:
Refugee influx drops
Zambia debating citizenship for refugees
Refugees at Osire need medical facilities
Gen Tembo will not be deported - State
Fears that refugees camps harbouring UNITA

Zimbabwe:
Media Institute criticizes expulsion of journalists
Journalist's account of expulsion from Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe says expelled journalist was Unita sympathizer
Zimbabwean tourist industry difficulties
Govt admits it deported two foreign journalists for alleged bias
Mugabe targets journalists, foreigners ahead of poll
Mugabe says foreigners are meddling in Zimbabwe
Journalist granted deportation stay
British journalist in Zimbabwe seeks refuge at embassy
Zimbabwe to tighten ban on dual citizenship
UK protest over expulsion of journalist
Zimbabwe expels two foreign journalists
Nurses leave Zimbabwe in large numbers
South African journalist served deportation order
Zimbabwe judges seek to leave country
Political refugee's advice for Mugabe
Exodus of judges looms
Zimbabwean farmers reopen legal actions against government
Refugees held in Mugabe 'assassination alert'

Regional

SADC proposes to scrap visas for tourists(Johannesburg, News 24, 19/02) - Southern African statesshould scrap visa requirements for tourists from major countriesoutside the region, a Southern African Development Community(SADC) committee said on Monday. It proposed that this be donewithout insisting on a quid pro quo from the countries that wouldbenefit from such a move. “We need them; they don’tneed us,” co-ordinator of the SADC tourism sector SoobahaFowdur said at Mid rand. He was briefing reporters about therecommendations the sector would submit to a meeting of the SADCcouncil of ministers at Midrand later this week. Fowdur said thelifting of visa requirements should as a trial project only applyto tourists from ten or twelve countries such as the UnitedStates, Britain, and Australia. The concession should not beextended to SADC citizens as this would open a loophole forillegal aliens. It would still take some time for a protocol onfree movement within the region to be finalised. Fowdur saidtourism was the sector with the biggest potential for creatingnew jobs and bringing foreign currency into the region.International tourism was expected to triple in the next 20years. “If you want to get more tourists you must have asystem that facilitates travel. You can’t have a touristfrom France waiting for three days in Johannesburg to get a visato go to Mozambique,” Fowdur said. Tourists should bewelcomed and cared for. “When a tourist arrives at theairport, you should not look at him as a potential criminal. Heis coming here to spend money,” Fowdur said. Head of theRegional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa SheperdNyaruwata said the number of tourists visiting the region hadrisen from 8,7 million in 1995 to 12,4 million in 1999.“Given the kind of negative publicity the region hasreceived in recent years, the continued growth indicates thestrength of the attractiveness of the region’sproducts.” Nyaruwata said the SADC tourist sector was not ina position to pressure regional political leaders into beingsensitive to the damage their actions could do to tourism.“What you do is to advise the appropriate ministers. We haveannual ministerial meetings where we tell them what ishappening.” How such information was used was up to thepolitical leaders, Nyaruwata said.

Angola

Fleeing Angolans to be given safe refuge(Nairobi, IRIN, 28/02) - Namibian soldiers in thenorthern border town of Rundu were on Tuesday expected to handover about 50 Angolans found in the combat zone in southernAngola to UNHCR, 'The Namibian' reported. An immigration officialwas quoted as saying that the people were Angolans who had askedNamibian soldiers to take them to the Osire refugee camp. 'TheNamibian' said the soldiers came across the asylum seekers duringone of their cross-border raids in pursuit of suspected UNITArebels.

Zambia, Angola, Namibia to work forcommon border security (Lusaka, Xinhua, 11/02) -Zambian, Angola and Namibia have agreed on measures to set upsecurity along their common borders, the Sunday Times of Zambianewspaper reported. According to the newspaper, the presidents ofthe three countries agreed on security measures at a tripartitemeeting held in Luanda on Saturday. Angolan President Eduardo dosSantos said Angola, Zambia and Namibia should use political andmilitary means to defend the sovereignty of their territories.Zambian President Frederick Chiluba had the situation in theDemocratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) at the top of his agendaduring his unprecedented visit to Angola. As chief mediator inthe DRC civil war, he is trying to arrange a summit for next weekto revive the peace process. Hopes for peace in the DRC have beenraised by the accession to the presidency of Joseph Kabila,following the assassination of his father, Laurent Kabila, lastmonth. Chiluba had expressed optimism that all warring factionsin the DRC civil war would attend a peace conference which mightbe held on Tuesday in Lusaka. But on return from Luanda, he saidconsultations are still going on and a date will be announcedlater. Later, Presidential Affairs Minister Eric Silwamba toldjournalists that the political committee on the DRC is scheduledto meet on Monday and the program will go on as initiallyplanned. The political committee consists of ministers fromZimbabwe, Namibia and Angola, allies of the DRC government, andthose from Uganda and Rwanda, supporters of the DRC rebel groups.The rebels are also represented and so is Zambia.

Angolan army has control of Zambianborder region: Dos Santos (Luanda, Sapa-AFP, 10/02) - AngolanPresident Jose Eduardo dos Santos said Saturday that his army hassecured the region along the 1,200-kilometer (720-mile) borderwith Zambia. "The FAA (Angolan Armed Forces) have control ofthe regions along the borders with Zambia," Dos Santos tolda press conference after a summit with his Namibian and Zambiancounterparts. Dos Santos did admit that his "troops are notable to observe every movement along the borders." ZambianPresident Frederick Chiluba has deployed troops to the borderregion in a bid to contain the violence there. At the summit, thethree leaders agreed to create a tripartite commission with"permanent character" to boost defense along theircommon borders. The deal aims to put an end to a two-year disputebetween Angola and Zambia, in which Lusaka has accused Luanda ofattacks on border villages, while Angola has accused Zambianofficials of supporting the rebel National Union for the TotalIndependence of Angola (UNITA). Angola and Namibia reached a dealone year ago allowing Angolan forces to pursue rebels ontoNamibian soil. Angola fears the rebel National Union for theTotal Independence of Angola (UNITA) will stage attacks fromneighboring countries to continue the 25-year civil war.

Botswana

More asylum seekers continue to arrive(BOPA, 27/02) - Refugees and asylumseekers continue to come to Botswana with their number currentlystanding at 3 072, the Minister for Presidential Affairs andPublic Administration Thebe Mogami has said. He said whenpresenting the 2001/2002 budget for State President last weekthat the refugees come from Namibia, Angola, Somalia, theDemocratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Burundi, Sudan and Rwanda."Despite the repatriation exercises of Namibian refugeesconducted in 1999, Botswana still hosts 1 964 Namibian refugees.Last year alone 412 Angolans and 416 Somalis came to seek asylumin Botswana," he said. He said as a result, accommodation atthe Dukwi Refugee Camp was inadequate with some residents havingto stay in tents. Mogami said there was need to refurbishdilapidated facilities and to construct additional structures atthe camp. The minister said positive developments had been madeto afford Angolan refugees local integration while arrangementswere underway to repatriate some Namibians interested in goingback. On another issue, he said damage caused by the 1999/2000floods was estimated at over P1 billion.  Although the flooddisaster was reasonably well managed, some weaknesses wereexposed in the government' management system and preparedness,Mogami said. He said efforts were being made to strengthen thedisaster management capacity by considering the introduction oflegislation in that regard.   Repairs to infrastructure,particularly roads, are being undertaken under the developmentbudget, but unfortunately this will have to be phased over anumber of years because of the substantial amount of moneyinvolved," he said. He emphasised the importance ofincreasing the country's preparedness for floods and otherdisasters such as veld fires. Therefore, he said P3 million wasallocated to disaster relief activities. The minister saidschools should be targeted to develop disaster management andawareness early in the lives of children. Effective regionalcollaboration was also being given serious attention under theauspices of SADC as some disasters affected the entire region,Mogami said.

Foreign Affairs minister decriesxenophobia (Gaborone, Mmegi, 16/02) - Foreign AffairsMinister Lieutenant General Mompati Merafhe this week appealed tohis colleagues in parliament and the general citizenry not to betoo harsh on foreigners in the country. The minister said he wasparticularly worried that Batswana were becoming stridentlycritical of foreigners. However he acknowledged that Batswana areincreasingly being disturbed by the untoward behaviour of someforeigners. He was apparently referring to reported cases ofracial slurs and assault of Batswana by foreigners. The ministersaid that he was uncomfortable with the approach used to dealwith such cases. In keeping with his diplomatic inclination, theMahalapye MP suggested "quiet diplomacy" as the moreappropriate mechanism of solving the problem. He said there wasalready concern that Batswana were too proud and condescendingtowards their foreign brothers. "There is a growingperception amongst some foreigners that Batswana are becomingmore and more arrogant because of our relative wealth. But weshould not allow ourselves to be construed in that manner. Weshould avoid conflict with our friends." The minister warnedthat the future was unpredictable for any country and that ifBotswana were to one day recede into economic decline or someother crisis Batswana could find themselves unacceptable tocountries whose citizens they patronised. At that point, the MPfor Kanye Omphitlhetse Maswabi rose to say that he suspected theanger of Batswana was provoked by administrators who were nottaking action against arrogant foreigners. However Merafhe said"utmost restraint" was required in dealing with suchcases. In contrast, Merafhe's soft approach to the expatriatesquickly changed when he dealt with his opposition colleagues, theBotswana National Front. A visibly angry Merafhe engaged in ashouting match with the speaker Ray Molomo nearly ruled him outof order. The minister felt Molomo, was too lenient andover-protective of the BNF, whom Merafhe said like hecklingruling party MPs without the speaker interfering. When it comesto defending BDP policies, the General is uncompromising and canfire the most virulent of shots. Merafhe glorified the budgettheme of "economic diversification" as consistent withBDP's sound economic policies. He said it was commendable thatjust within two years, from 1998 to 2000, unemployment had fallenfrom 21% to 15.8%. He added that the opposition could notcriticise the economic direction of the country when they had noalternatives and were pursuing failed economic policies of theEast. "The economy is open. Every body is free to findhimself a niche. That is why we are educating people," hesaid vociferously.

Complaints about conditions in Dukwerefugee camp (The Namibian, 07/02) - A Senior UNHCR official in Pretoria saysthe refugee body will address complaints about living conditionsat the Dukwe Refugee Camp in Botswana, where over 2 000 Namibianslive. Last Friday thousands of Namibianpolitical asylum seekers and refugees from other countries sent apetition to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees'headquarters in , Switzerland protesting against what theyclaimed were deplorable living conditions at the camp. Therefugees complained about poor housing, bad sanitation, inhumantreatment from officials and sub-standard food rations. Thecomplainants, who also included people from the DRC, Burundi,Rwanda, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Mozambique and Angola,said malaria is also rife at Dukwe due to the high prevalence ofmosquitoes in the area. In the statement, that was also copied toBatswana authorities and a number of media organisations, therefugees said they were suffering from diarrhoea and dysenterybecause of poor sanitation caused by overused pit latrines.Mengesha Kebede, the Head of the UNHCR's Regional Office inPretoria, yesterday acknowledged that the UN refugee agency hadreceived the petition. Concerning the complaints, he said:"Dukwe is not a five-star hotel . ...some of the demands,though we do appreciate them, are just unrealistic. We feel therefugee situation is not the ideal situation. All of us mighthave wishes but it does not necessarily mean we have the materialmeans to meet our wishes." "He said the refugees' callfor fish and beef to be added to their current rations, whichconsist mostly of beans, dried fish, rice and thick porridge, wasunreasonable." "If we are looking at the kilo-caloriescontent of the food it is in accordance with internationalstandards," he said." "Basically there is room forimprovement....we are looking at the issue of sanitation, we arelooking at the issue of primary education and we are looking atthe whole issue of service provision and how to strengthen theBotswana Council for Refugees in terms of its ability to deliverbetter services to refugees at Dukwe," he said.""There have been discussions with government with regard tothe whole issue of strengthening the Botswana Council forRefugees," Kebede said. Dukwe is home to at least 2130Namibians, who fled to Botswana from the Caprivi Region wherethey say they were harassed by security forces rooting out afledgling secessionist movement.

Brain drain of nurses from Botswana(BOPA, 05/02) - The steady"exodus" of Botswana nurses to the United Kingdom insearch for greener pastures is likely to prompt Batswanaprofessionals to discover themselves and start venturing outsidethe country as expatriate workers. According to availableinformation, very few Botswana professionals serve ininternational organisations like the Organisation of AfricanUnity (OAU) and the United Nations (UN).   The UN and OAUstaff is made up of different nationalities from all memberstates. Botswana is under-represented at these organisations,despite being up-to-date with subscriptions. At the UN,Botswana's desirable range goes up to 14, but there are only twoBatswana, Richard Malikongwa who works for Human ResourceManagement and Nthiwane Motsete-Phillips of the Department offinance. Atamelang Ngwako, who was with the UN EconomicCommission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia had an earlyretirement. Although the international job market is verycompetitive people believe Botswana's professionals compete withthe best in the world, but the problem is that they are notadventurers. Deputy foreign affairs permanent secretary, CharlesNtwaagae, told BOPA that his minister was concerned about thelack of Batswana in international organisations, especially thosewhich Botswana is a member. He said the ministry assists indisseminating information on employment opportunities ininternational organisations through the press and the Directorateof Public Service Management. He described Botswana as a loyalmember and pays her dues to organisations such as theOrganisation of African Unity, Southern African DevelopmentCommunity, and the United Nations. On what could be contributingto the situation, Ntwaagae said our economy is short of skilledmanpower, and the little of it available has tended to beabsorbed and left no room for people to seek employmentelsewhere. "Governments are generally discouraged fromproviding support except where possible, but it's up toindividuals to take up the initiative to apply." He said theministry only makes the information available because they areadvantaged in having contacts. Ntwaagae however said a highprofile international position such as that of the SecretaryGeneral of the UN, is political and as such the Botswanagovernment can propose a candidate for it. He said this proposalis done at the regional level, explaining that there areprocedures followed in filling high profile international posts.Ntwaagae said as Africa is divided into five regions ­ eastern,southern, west, central, and north ­ the OAU can make a decisionto have somebody from a certain region as  secretarygeneral, the region would then decide who to choose. With theprocess of globalisation catching up, many people believe thatBatswana will soon start marketing themselves to internationalemployers.Following the democratisation of South Africa in 1994,a number of Botswana professionals got employed in that country.

Refugees in Botswana to send petition toGeneva (Windhoek, Pana, 03/02) - Reports reachingWindhoek from Botswana say that thousands of Namibian politicalasylum seekers and refugees from other countries have sent apetition to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees headquarters inGeneva, Switzerland, protesting against deplorable livingconditions at the Dukwe Refugee camp. At the centre of thepetition are poor housing, bad sanitation, inhuman treatment fromofficials and below-standard feeding. The camp is home to closeto 3,000 Namibian asylum seekers, mostly those who escaped thegovernment crackdown of suspected secessionists before and afterthe August 1999 attempted rebellion to secede the north-easternCaprivi region from the rest of Namibia. Other refugees at thecamp are from Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, DRC,Tanzania, Mozambique and Angola. A statement sent from theBotswana camp to the Namibian media Friday said that due to thepoor sanitation caused by overused pit latrines, refugees andasylum seekers have now been exposed to diseases such asdiarrhoea and dysentery. Malaria is also rife due to the highprevalence of mosquitoes in the area, the statement said. Theprotest note, which was handed to the Botswana governmentauthorities, further complained of inhuman housing structures andappealed to the government to take remedial measures before thesituation got out of hand. The statement did not, however,indicate of any deaths or illnesses of the feared outbreaks,apart from warning that cholera also was imminent. The refugeesalso petitioned against inhuman treatment by those officialsassigned to look after their grievances, adding that they wereregarded as outcasts deserving no mercy. There was no immediatecomment from either the Botswana authorities or the SouthAfrica-based UNHCR representative in Johannesburg, Isaack Kabede.A spokesman for the Home Affairs Ministry in Windhoek said Fridaythat they were not aware of the petition as this was purely aninternal matter for the government of Botswana.

UNHCR denies involvement in extraditionof Botswana nationals (Pana, 01/02) - Commissioner forRefugees (UNHCR) has denied that it was involved in theextradition of 15 Namibian refugees from Botswana to stand trialfor high treason in their country. The 15 refugees were allegedlypart of the Caprivi secessionist attack at the town of KatimaMulilo on 2 August 1999. UNHCR regional representative forsouthern Africa, Kebede Mengesha, told the Namibia News Agency(NAMPA) in a telephone interview on Tuesday that it is beyond themandate of his organisation to get involved in the extraditionaffairs of any refugee back to his country. Mengesha said thatsuch issues should be handled by the two countries concerned,namely, the country where the accused person has been givenasylum or refugee status and the country of origin of thatparticular person, through justice shared by the two countriesand on the agreement of the two parties. Meanwhile, an AssistantAttorney-General from Botswana's Ministry of Justice, LizoNgcongco, who is dealing with the case, told NAMPA on inquiry onWednesday that the extradition case will be filed before theGaborone magistrate's court on 31 March and 2 April this year forhearing. Ngcongco confirmed that the Namibian government hasalready sent their documents with a view to convincing theBotswana government that the 15 suspects needed in Namibia fortrial were actually involved in the August 1999 secessionistattack. He stressed that the magistrate's court in Gaborone isstill processing the case. Two former DTA MPs, Francis Sizimboand Mukelabayi Walubita and former Caprivi governor JohnNabutunga Mabuku, are currently detained at Kagisong refugee campin Botswana, waiting to tbe granted refugee status by a thirdcountry. Mishake Muyongo and his cousin, Chief Boniface BebiMamili, were last year granted political asylum in Denmark.

Malawi

Dual citizenship deemed illegal(Blantyre, Allafrica.com, 15/02) - Immigrationauthorities in Malawi are investigating the much travelled SouthAfrica-based midfielder, Ernest Mtawali for allegedly holdingdual citizenship. Mtawali has been reported to possess bothMalawian and South African passports, which according to theimmigration law in Blantyre is illegal. Malawi's immigration lawspermits only children under aged 17 to hold dual citizenship.Mtawali, 34, plays for the Orlando Pirates and ironically he hasbeen invited to play for his country of birth, Malawi, againsthis adopted South Africa in a World Cup qualifier in Blantyre onFebruary 24. The investigation, however, would not bar him fromplaying the match as he is due to arrive in camp on Monday. ButMalawian Immigration boss, Hudson Mleme said if Mtawali hasacquired a South African passport, then he has to denounce hisMalawian citizenship. Mtawali would not be eligible to play forSouth Africa if he drops his Malawian passport because accordingto FIFA regulations, he has already played for the Flames.Mtawali was born of a Malawian father and a South African motherin Blantyre. He first played for Malawi at 16 and has since beena regular. Professional football took him to South Africa in 1984to play for Bloemfontein Celtic and later Mamelodi Sundowns. Inthe early 90s, Mtawali had a short spell with Newell's Old Boysof Argentina before joining French side Toulouse. A move toPirates came after the midfielder played for a Saudi Arabian sideAl Wadh. The Football Association of Malawi have refused tocomment on the issue, saying it is beyond them. Last month theImmigration Department also refused to issue a passport toanother South Africa-based player Phumulani Dindi, after herefused to denounce his South African citizenship. Dindi, who wasborn of a South African mother and a Malawian father wants toplay for the Flames due to the competition involved to win aplace in the Bafana Bafana side. The passport probe on Mtawalicomes as European governments have launched a massive clamp downon fake documentation of foreigners in the various leagues. SouthAmerican players in France, Italy and Portugal have been underinvestigation recently for possessing fake passports, someclaiming citizenship on the grounds that their ancestors wereborn in the European countries.

Malawi deports illegal immigrants(Blantyre, Pana, 15/02) - Malawi has clamped down onillegal immigrants accused of being behind the escalation ofarmed robberies, illegal sex trade and other crimes in thecountry. Home Affairs Minister Monjeza Maluza told PANA Thursdaythat since January this year, Malawi has deported 55 illegalimmigrants, whom he said had no proper documents. "Thisexercise will continue, we are not stopping here. We will deportany immigrant without proper papers," he warned. Maluza saidmost of the deported immigrants were mainly from India, Pakistan,Nigeria, Somalia and Pakistan. He said Malawi had beenexperiencing a proliferation of illegal immigrants since theeconomy was liberalised in 1994. Illegal immigrants believed fromNigeria and Somalia come to Malawi as refugees and engage invarious economic activities. Officials said that while theimmigrants from Central and West Africa engaged in trade andalleged criminal activities like money laundering and travellerscheques fraud, those from neighbouring Tanzania, Zambia andZimbabwe are mostly women engaged in alleged sex trade. Maluzasaid to stem the illegal immigration, government would speed up anational identity programme, designed to issue IDs to Malawiansabove age 18 and people who have legal status to stay in thecountry.

Mozambique

Flooding in Mozambique creating a majorrefugee problem (SABC News, 27/02) - Heavy rain iscontinuing to fall in the central provinces of Mozambique.Sluices of the heavily pressurised Cahora Bassa Dam alsocontinues to pour large quantities of water into the Zambeziriver. Rescuers must evacuate about 80 000 people from the townsof Marromeu and Luabo, which authorities fear will soon beswallowed by the flooded river. Rescue operations are beingcarried out at flooded areas of the Tete province, where peopleare being moved to higher ground, and at the coastal town ofQuelimane. The evacuations come as large waves of water arerolling down the Zambezi. Flooding along the border has createdan international refugee problem, with up to 3 000 Malawianscrossing into Mozambique to seek higher ground, while anestimated 100 000 Mozambicans are crossing into Malawi. At least41 people have died in flooding this year, and an estimated 400000 have been affected by the flooding. The South African AirForce is also expected to join in the rescue and aid operationslater today or tomorrow.

Visa decision angers travel agencies(Maputo, Pana, 14/02) - Mozambican travel agencies haveexpressed serious concerns over a decision by the South AfricanHigh Commission in Maputo not to allow them to request visas fortheir clients.To avoid the lengthy queues at the High Commission,many Mozambicans visiting South Africa used to apply for visasthrough travel agencies. Though the step cost a little more dueto the agencies' commissions, it was much more convenient. But ina letter dated 6 February, South African High Commissioner JessieDuarte informed the travel agencies that as from 12 February,they would no longer be able to submit visa applications. Fromthat date, each and every Mozambican wishing to visit SouthAfrica would have to apply in person. Duarte wrote that she wasupholding a South African immigration law, which stipulates that"Any person applying for a visa to enter South Africa shallpresent himself or herself in person to a South AfricanConsul". Meanwhile, the agencies, which are naturallyannoyed at their impending loss of revenue from the commissions,have agreed to have a representative body to meet with the HighCommissioner on the matter.

Namibia

Refugee camp said to threaten local San(Windhoek, Mail & Guardian, 14/02) - Anorganisations in Namibia fear that the planned move of a hugerefugee camp to the northeast of the country will disrupt thefragile way of life of the largely illiterate Sanhunter-gatherers there. Officials say that as a result of thatconcern, the ministry of home affairs has agreed to commission anindependent feasibility study before moving the 20 000 refugees -mostly Angolans fleeing civil war - from Osire, in the centre ofthe country, to a former army base at M’kata, inBushmanland. The commissioner for refugees at the ministry ofhome affairs, Elizabeth Negumbo, confirmed that the MengeshaKebede, a representative of the UN High Commissioner forRefugees, had warned the government that the international donorcommunity was concerned about the impact 20 000 new amvals in thearea might have. The Osire refugee camp’s population hasincreased nearly tenfold since Namibia allowed Angolan troops toattack rebels from Namibian soil late in 1999. Both local andinternational humanitarian organisations fear that relocationwould harm the !Kung, !Xu and Ju/Hoansi culture of the estimated6 000 San living in the area. Chief John Arnold, the leader ofthe !Kung traditional authority, wrote a letter to the ministryto warn that 20 000 people in such a fragile environment couldendanger various self-development programmes his people havelaunched over the past few years, sources with WIMSA (WorkingGroup for Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa) said. Quotingfrom a copy of the letter, a WIMSA official said the !Kung wereafraid that a conservancy they had created would collapse frompoaching by the refugees, a problem that has contributed topressure to move the refugees away from Osire, which is situatedamong commercial farms. The chief also expressed fears that 20000 refugees could bring the HIV-AIDS virus into the community,as well as overwhelming local health care and schoolingfacilities. Other international organisations involved withfeeding Namibia’s burgeoning refugee population said theirorganisations had invested “hundreds of thousands ofdollars” in creating infrastructure at Osire, including aclinic, a school and various other amenities. “To simplyabandon this infrastructure is not going to be acceptable to oursponsors in the international donor community,” said oneofficial.

South Africa

Police raid employers of migrants inKwazulu (SABC News, 24/02) - The SABC has uncovered anemployment scam involving illegal immigrants and severalindustries at Mandeni on the KwaZulu north coast. The industriesbased at the KwaSithebe Industrial Area are employing illegalimmigrants and paying them wages of between R20 and R300 a month.16 illegal immigrants were arrested this week during a policeraid at one of the factories. One of the manufacturing companiesat Mandeni nearly went up in flames on Wednesday when a group ofangry unemployed people stormed the gates demanding to seemanagement. The factory is one of eight allegedly employingillegal immigrants. The unruly crowd vowed to leave no stoneun-turned until all illegals are rooted out. The arrested peopleare being kept in police cells at a nearby police station, whileinvestigations of illegal employment practices are continuing.It's believed the workers are transported in trucks to Mandenifrom the Mozambican-South African border.

Britain 'is poaching South Africanteachers' (The Telegraph, 16/02) - The South Africangovernment severely criticised Britain yesterday for luring newlyqualified teachers away while Pretoria is trying to repair thedamage to education caused by apartheid. Kader Asmal, theEducation Minister, described recruitment drives in South Africaby British local education authorities as "raids" andaccused the Government of failing to consult Pretoria. The rowovershadowed a visit to South Africa by Clare Short, the overseasaid minister. She returned to London yesterday promising to raisethe matter with David Blunkett, the Education Secretary. IfLabour restricts the recruitment it will go against its"globalisation" policy, the subject of a White Paper,which encourages the international transfer of skills. Therecruitment drives are organised by authorities with teachershortages, mainly through TimePlan, a private British agency.Councils such as Tower Hamlets, in east London, where pupilsmainly come from ethnic minorities, want to recruit from the highproportion of black and Asian teachers in South Africa. TheBritish High Commission in Cape Town said the issue was beingconsidered, but the Government was not directly involved.TimePlan said nearly all the teachers would return to SouthAfrica eventually because their contracts only covered two orthree academic terms.

UK 'raid' on SA teachers angers Asmal(The Star, 15/02) - British education representativesarrive in the country next week to recruit South Africanteachers, a move which has angered Education Minister KaderAsmal. South African teachers are considered highly trained andsought-after internationally. Asmal compared the recruitmentdrive to a raid on the country's teaching profession, and whichwas not helpful to the development of education here. He beratedthe recruiters for not speaking to the government before therecruitment drive. But Don Pasquallie of the SA DemocraticTeachers' Union (Sadtu) said the government should improveworking conditions if they wanted teachers to stay. However, hesaid that although teachers could not be forced to remain inSouth Africa, Sadtu urged them to stay.

Why teachers are leaving (Pretoria, News24, 15/02) - Teachers leaving the country can hardly beblamed, as there is little job certainty for them in SouthAfrica, and they can earn up to Ri 100 a day in Britain.Education unions say it does not help for Minister of EducationKader Asmal to make controversial statements about this matter.Asmal this week expressed his concern at the presence of Britishconsultants in the country to recruit teachers.Asmal said the“raiding” of teachers at this critical point in thecountry’s history does not promote development in education.It would be more fitting if British officials approached thedepartment before they started with a recruitment drive, headded. He was not against the individual right of teachers towork overseas, especially in a temporary capacity, “butconsultation between the two governments would ensure that theinterests of both countries could be taken into account”.Asmal said the department’s experience was that well-trainedteachers were being attracted, and not those who could not getwork. There was a “distressing tendency to recruitprofessional people who have received excellent training atuniversities and technikons”. Chris Klopper, spokespersonfor the South African Teachers’ Union (Satu), said it wasexceptionally advantageous for teachers to work overseas.  “Matters like job security, an adjustment in pension fundscales which will come into effect soon, and financialconsiderations, play a huge role in their decision.” He saidthe salaries of local teachers left much to be desired desiredand “many of them want to work in a more orderly, crime-freesociety”. He said a survey at a former education college inPretoria showed that more than 40 percent of the students thatcompleted their studies last year had not found employment, and aconsiderable percentage went to work overseas. Dave Bait, deputypresident of the National Professional Teachers’ Union(Naptosa), said teachers who worked overseas for a year or 18months gained a lot of experience which they brought back to thecountry. Teaching in Britain was extremely demanding, andteachers who returned had a new appreciation for the SouthAfrican system. He said it was teachers who had recently finishedstudying, and were unable to obtain work, who were goingoverseas. Haseen Lorgat, spokesperson for the South AfricanDemocratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu), said the union sharedthe minister’s concern but “things will not improveuntil the situation improves in their own country in terms ofsalaries and other benefits. The pity is that the cream ofmathematics, science, technology and special education teachersare especially popular”. Just as there are no statistics toshow how many nurses and doctors have left the country; there arenone for teachers. An unrepresentative survey in Gauteng showedthat between 55 and 80 teachers left every year to work overseas.According to statistics from the education department, about 8000 teachers have left the country in the last ten years.

Concern over UK jobs for SA teachers(Pretoria, Dispatch Online, 15/02) - Thevisiting British secretary of state for internationaldevelopment, Clare Short, yesterday agreed to take up the matterof the recruitment of South African teachers for the UnitedKingdom with her education colleague, a spokesperson for theBritish High Commission said. Mike Doig said Education MinisterKader Asmal raised his concerns about the recruitment with Shortduring their meeting in Cape Town. In a statement yesterday,Asmal said the imminent arrival of a team of consultants andprincipals from the UK to recruit South African teachers was acause for concern. "Such raids on the teaching profession ata critical time in our history are not helpful for thedevelopment of education in South Africa." In principle hewas not opposed to the right of teachers to take up posts abroad,especially temporary ones. However, he added: "It would havebeen better if those concerned had spoken to us first so that thecampaign and its usefulness could be properly evaluated."According to Asmal many teachers might take up offers withoutbeing fully informed of the nature of the work and theenvironments in which they would work. "Our experience inSouth Africa has shown that it is good, qualified teachers whoare lured away from the country and not teachers who areunemployed or no longer working as teachers." This causedconsiderable disruption for the schools concerned, the statementsaid. Asmal said there was a general agreement with the UK thatin strategic areas such as health, for instance, there would beno poaching of staff from South Africa. He believed this alsoapplied in the case of education, the statement said. The SouthAfrican government last week raised concerns, similar to those ofAsmal, about the recruiting of its doctors, who were desperatelyneeded locally, to Canada. Officials estimated that about 1500South African doctors were working in Canada, the New York Timesreported. Speaking in Ottawa, the head of the South AfricanMedical Research Council, Dr Malegapuru William Makgoba, saidCanada should compensate South Africa for "looting"doctors. Under an international "code of ethics"advocated by Makgoba, rich countries like Canada would berequired to pay for every doctor they recruited in South Africa."It's a new form of looting that we need to address from aprincipled position," he said. Indirectly supportingMakgoba's concerns, the Canadian Medical Association Journalnotes in an article that nearly one in five doctors practising inthe Saskatchewan province earned their first medical degree inSouth Africa. South African-trained Martin Vogel is president ofthe 1530-strong Saskatchewan Medical Association. Vogel says heand his family emigrated because of violence. The president ofthe Canadian Medical Association, Dr Peter Barrett, was reportedas saying South Africans should ask themselves honestly why theycould not keep their own doctors. "When I talk to SouthAfrican doctors who've come here, they all give the same reason.They've left because of the violence and real fears for thesafety of their families." Asmal's complaints came a weekafter he and British High Commissioner Ann Grant signed anagreement whereby the British Department for InternationalDevelopment (DFID) would make about R242million available over aseven-year period to fund a school development programme in theEastern Cape. They told reporters the grant was the largestsingle one the Education Department had received and also thelargest commitment of the DFID to South Africa to date.

SA lashes out at 'brain drain' raids(Cape Times, 15/02) - Britain and Canada have come underheavy fire from South Africa for their attempts to recruitdoctors, nurses and teachers. Medical Research Council presidentMalegapuru Makgoba has called on Canada, as a wealthy country, tocompensate South Africa for "looting" doctors.Officials estimate that about 1 500 South African doctors areworking in Canada. Last year, Health Minister MantombazanaTshabalala-Msimang told parliament the direct cost to SouthAfrica from the emigration of doctors and dentists over two yearswas about R80-million. But Peter Barrett, head of the CanadianMedical Association, said the blame lay with South Africa for notbeing able to keep its doctors. "In Canada, we are short ofdoctors, and South African doctors say they have left because ofthe violence and fears for the safety of their families."Martin Vogel, a doctor who said he had moved to Canada sevenyears ago to flee crime at home, said he doubted whether effortsby the South African government to stop the exodus would havemuch impact. "You cannot create a high level ofprofessionalism by closing the door and putting up bars. You haveto create an environment where people are safe, where they canflourish and prosper." Sibani Mngadi, a spokesperson forTshabalala-Msimang, said governments such as Canada's shouldconsider the damaging effects of their recruitment. The SAambassador to Canada, Andre Jacquet, said the west was"unethical" in luring doctors from South Africa andelsewhere in the developing world. On Wednesday, EducationMinister Kader Asmal described the imminent arrival of principalsand education consultants as a "raid on the teachingprofession", saying: "Our experience has shown it isgood, qualified teachers who are lured away." Theconsultants were from a teacher recruitment company, Timeplan,which has lured about 7 000 teachers to Britain in the past 10years, said Alan Taylor, spokesperson for Asmal. Taylor said thatin terms of the recruitment drive, the minister wanted agovernment-to-government agreement with some advantage to SouthAfrica. Asmal was not opposed to teachers taking up temporarypositions abroad. However, he said South Africa had an agreementwith Britain not to "poach" staff in key areas, such ashealth. Education was also a strategic sector. A British HighCommission spokesperson said Britain's position on therecruitment of South African teachers would probably be madeclear on Friday. Visiting Secretary of State for InternationalDevelopment Clare Short agreed this week to take up the matterwith her education colleague. UCT researchers estimate about 40000 people, mostly skilled workers, left South Africa between1994 and 1997.

Canada 'looting' South African doctors,claims Makgoba (Ottawa, Independent Online, 14/02) - Canadashould compensate South Africa for "looting" doctors,Malegapuru William Makgoba, head of the SA Medical ResearchCouncil, said in Ottawa this week. Under an international"code of ethics" advocated by Dr Makgoba, richcountries like Canada would be required to pay for every doctorthey recruit in South Africa. "It's a new form of lootingthat we need to address from a principled position," hesaid. And he would raise the issue at an upcoming meeting withmembers of Canada's Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.Indirectly supporting Dr Makgoba's concerns, the Canadian MedicalAssociation Journal notes in an article that nearly one in fiveof doctors practising in Saskatchewan province earned their firstmedical degree in South Africa. And South African-trained MartinVogel is president of the 1530-strong Saskatchewan MedicalAssociation's president. Dr Vogel says he and his familyemigrated because of violence. Pretoria's high commissioner,Andre Jaquet, recently asked each of Canada's 10 provinces torefrain from recruiting South African doctors, nurses,pharmacists and other trained medical professionals. Allresponded but only one province, Nova Scotia, made a firmcommitment to comply with Jaquet's request. In Ottawa to delivera speech, at a Black History Month event, on African efforts toachieve economic and cultural renaissance throughout thecontinent, Dr Makgoba said rich countries should be encouraging"developing nations to develop (and not) pillaging theirresources of development, which is human capital". It was"like having a banker who is a thief", he said.

British govt to look into recruitment ofSA teachers (Pretoria, Sapa, 14/02) - Visiting BritishSecretary of State for International Development, Clare Short, onWednesday agreed to take up the matter of the recruitment ofSouth African teachers for the United Kingdom with her educationcolleague, a spokesman for the British High Commission said. MikeDoig told Sapa Education Minister Kader Asmal raised his concernsabout the recruitment with Short during their meeting in CapeTown. In a statement on Wednesday, Asmal said the imminentarrival of a team of consultants and principals from the UK torecruit South African teachers was a cause for concern."Such raids on the teaching profession at a critical time inour history are not helpful of the development of education inSouth Africa." In principle he was not opposed to the rightof teachers to take up posts abroad, especially temporarypositions. However, he added: "It would have been better ifthose concerned had spoken to us first so that the campaign andits usefulness could be properly evaluated." Asmal said itwas regrettable that the campaign involved an official visit bymembers of the British education authority. As the teachers wouldbe recruited to fill posts in government schools in the UnitedKingdom, it would have been appropriate if the British educationauthorities had approached their South African counterpartsbeforehand. "A government-to-government consultation wouldhave ensured that the best interests of both countries could bediscussed and an arrangement worked out in which both countriescould benefit," the statement said. According to Asmal manyteachers might take up offers without being fully informed of thenature of the work and the environments in which they would work."Our experience in South Africa has shown that it is good,qualified teachers who are lured away from the country and notteachers who are unemployed or no longer working asteachers." This caused considerable disruption for theschools concerned, the statement said. "There is adisturbing trend for recruitment campaigns to be run in SouthAfrica to recruit professionals due to the excellent highereducation provided at our universities and technikons. However,those doing and supporting such campaigns often have littleconcern for the development needs of South Africa and the costsand effort that has been put into producing good qualitygraduates." Asmal said there was a general agreement withthe United Kingdom that in strategic areas such as health, forinstance, there would be no poaching of staff from South Africa.He believed this also applied in the case of education, thestatement said. Doig said the main purpose of Short's visit toSouth Africa was to emphasise the message of a White Paper of herDepartment for International Development (DFID), entitled"Making globalisation work for the poor". In the policydocument the value of cross-fertilisation of skills betweencountries was emphasised, he said. "We are aware thatdeveloped countries respond to (their) shortages of skills ininformation technology, health, and as it now seems, education,by recruiting from low and middle income countries." Therecould be benefits for both developed and developing countries ifthe latter's skilled staff went to developed countries andimprove their skills, which they would then be able to bring backwith them to, for example, South Africa, Doig said. The UK alsorecognised that the outflow of human resources in areas wherecountries had a shortage of supply themselves, had a negativeimpact on the developing countries concerned. As Asmal hadpointed out, the British national health service had a set ofethical guidelines to rule the recruitment of people from certaincountries, Doig said. He said Short would look into the matter ofthe teacher recruitment at her return. More research wasnecessary on the recruitment of skills, he added. The SouthAfrican government last week raised concerns, similar to those ofAsmal, about the recruiting of its doctors, who were desperatelyneeded locally, to Canada. Officials estimated that about 1500South African doctors were working in Canada, the New York Timesreported. Dr Peter Barrett, president of the Canadian MedicalAssociation was reported as saying South Africans should askthemselves honestly why they could not keep their own doctors."When I talk to South African doctors who've come here, theyall give the same reason. They've left because of the violenceand real fears for the safety of their families." Asmal'scomplaints came a week after he and British High Commissioner AnnGrant signed an agreement whereby the DFID would make up toUK22-million (about R242-million) available over a seven-yearperiod to fund a school development programme in the EasternCape. They told reporters that the grant was the largest singleone the Education Department had received and also the largestcommitment of the DFID to South Africa to date.

Physicians deserting South Africa(Johannesburg, The Globe and Mail, 14/02) - It’s aFriday night at the huge Johannesburg General Hospital, and thenurses and doctors in the rundown emergency ward know what’scoming. Over the next 12 hours they will treat at least 100patients -- and there are only two doctors and four nurses onduty, less than half the staff needed. “It’s chaos inhere. It’s pathetic. We just do what we can,” saidnurse Wanifta Parker, 37, a skilled trauma specialist who lookstired even before the night begins. “We immediately treatpeople who need resuscitation or are bleeding to death. Everybodyelse has to wait, some for five to six hours. People get veryan,.... They don’t understand what we’re upagainst.” South Africa’s health system is facing acrucial shortage of doctors and nurses, who are disappearing atan alarming rate to richer, English-speaking countries. Canada isa popular destination for the health workers, who say they arefleeing harsh working conditions, low pay and high crime rates.Canada, facing its own shortage of health workers, is activelyrecruiting medical professionals from South Africa, despiteappeals from the South Africa to stop. In a recent letter to aCanadian medical journal, South Africa’s ambassador toCanada, André Jaquet, argued that it is unethical for the Westto recruit from developing countries such as South Africa, whichhas too few doctors, cannot replace lost skills, and isstruggling to cope with millions of poor people and Physiciansdeserting South Africa. Mr. Jaquet has also written toCanada’s provincial health officials, saying the recruitinghad “affected South Africa’s ability to reform the poorhealth infrastructure inherited from our apartheid past.”Last year, South Africa’s foreign minister quietly raisedthe issue with Canada. The other side of the argument, of course,is that people should have the right to seek a better life, andthat it is the responsibility of developing countries to retaintheir skilled professionals. Peter Barrett, president of theCanadian Medical Association, says South Africa is pointing thefinger of blame in the wrong direction. “We are short ofdoctors, in every province literally,” he said. “Butwhen I talk to South African doctors who have come here, they allgive the same reason. They’ve left because of the violenceand the fears for the safety of their families.” But thereis no underestimating the damage emigration of skilledprofessionals is wreaking on a country that needs at least500,000 trained, experienced workers in a variety of professions.The South African Network of Skills Abroad estimates that 234,000people emigrated between 1989 and 1997, and the exodus continues.“When you see the hardships doctors and nurses endure, youcan’t blame them for leaving,” said JaniceChetwvnd-Palmer, director of Durban-based Newlands Immigration,which has helped move 550 workers to Canada. The Network foundthat the more qualified people are, the more likely they are toleave. One in three doctoral graduates from the University ofCape Town live abroad. The highly skilled are being lost in areasof acute shortage -- some 1,500 South African physicians work inCanada alone. South Africa has 90,000 registered nurses, of whom11,500 have specialist qualifications such as intensive care andpediatrics. It is the specialists who are leaving in droves, withnearly athird of them moving in 1999; in all, 3,300 left thatyear. Last year, the figure was 200 a month, a nurses group says.Low wages, huge workloads and poor conditions are major factorsin the emigration, but South Africa also has a weak currency thatmakes salaries elsewhere seem very high. Skilled nurses earnroughly 9,000 rand (about $1,700) a month, but take home justhalf that after taxes and deductions. “We have a crisis andit’s getting worse. Every time we turn around, more nurseshave left,” said Eileen Brannigan, national nursing managerfor Netcare, which has 44 hospitals around the country.Recruitment competition is hot worldwide. “We would fallover backwards to bring foreign nurses here, but our currency istoo weak,” Ms. Brannigan said. Ms. Parker, a single motherwho works at one public hospital and overtime at JohannesburgGeneral, is thinking of emigrating to Brunei. “1 could earnup to 18,000 rand a month untaxed there. . . I will probablygo.”

Portuguese government responds to Tshweteattack (Woza, 13/02) - Portugal’s ambassador toSouth Africa, Fernandes Pereira will not be recalled to Lisbon inprotest against a letter by Safety and Security Minister SteveTshwete lambasting a group of Portuguese anti-crime protesters,SABC Radio reported on Tuesday. However, the Portuguesegovernment is reportedly treating the matter“seriously”. The Portuguese embassy reportedly saidthat the embassy had received a copy of Tshwete’s letter andhad sent it to Lisbon for reaction from the Portuguesegovernment. In his letter, Tshwete accused an East Rand communitycrime action group of politicising the issue of crime and ofbeing racist, colonialist and contemptuous of President ThaboMbeki, his government and Africa as a whole. The Benoni-basedorganisation, Crime Awareness Campaign, led a 12 000-strong marchto the Union Buildings in Pretoria on November 15 last year,where they handed a memorandum to President Thabo Mbeki heavilycriticising the government for its perceived failure to actagainst crime in the country. Tshwete and Justice MinisterPenuell Maduna held ‘fruitful” talks with Pereira forover an hour in Cape Town on Monday afternoon, Tshwete’sspokesman, Andre Martin, told Sapa. Martin said that Pereira had“wanted to seek clarity on the issue and reafirm the twocountries’ good relations,” and that Tshwete hadindicated that his letter was not directed at the Portuguesecommunity as a whole, but at the anti-crime group who had handedover the “insulting” memorandum. To back this up,Tshwete cited the following paragraph from his letter: “Thegovernment and those of our citizens who are interested injoining hands in the struggle to build a new and better SouthAfrica, including members of the Portuguese community, willcontinue to do everything they can to achieve thisobjective.” Meanwhile, the secretariat of Portuguesecommunities overseas, a department within the Portuguese foreignministry, has called on its government to demand an apology fromPretoria, saying in a statement that the Portuguese governmentfound Tshwete’s comments unacceptable’’. Portugalmight recall its ambassador “unless the South Africangovernment retracts Tshwete’s accusations”, thestatement said. Tshwete, however, told reporters in parliament onMonday that he stood by his letter, while Deputy Foreign AffairsMinister Aziz Pahad accused the media of “creating astory”. Intelligence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu called for theissue not to be blown out of proportion, while presidentialspokesman Bheki Khumalo said the presidency had no comment.

Tshwete placates Portuguese (Pretoria,News 24, 13/02) - Safety and Security Minister SteveTshwete had assured Portugal that he had no intention to attackor isolate the local Portuguese community, Portuguese envoyFernandes Pereira said on Tuesday. “I believe this couldlead to a positive result,” Pereira told Sapa from CapeTown. Pereira, Portuguese ambassador to South Africa, saidTshwete had also agreed to meet representatives of the Portuguesecommunity in South Africa. He met Tshwete and Justice MinisterPenuell Maduna on Monday to convey his government’s concernsabout Tshwete’s sharp reaction to the Portuguesecommunity’s concerns about crime. “It was a longmeeting, and our discussions were frank and fruitful,”Pereira said. "I conveyed the outcome to my government,which I believe could contribute to clearing up misconceptionsthat had arisen. In a five-page letter last week, Tshwete beratedthe Portuguese community for an anti-crime memorandum theydelivered to the government in November last year. The documentwas handed over after about 12 000 people, many of them membersof the Portuguese community, marched on the Union Buildings inPretoria. In his response to the organisers of the protest, theCrime Awareness Campaign, Tshwete described the memorandum as“a conscious political act driven by your opposition to thegovernment”. Many members of the Portuguese community cameto South Africa because they knew that the colour of their skinwould entitle them to join the ‘master race to participatein the exploitation of the black majority”. The memorandumshowed contempt for the president, Tshwete wrote. Tshwete’sreaction drew wide condemnation from opposition parties. Pereiraon Tuesday said the letter had also received extensive publicityin Portugal, which prompted the Portuguese government to seekclarification on the matter. He emphasised that Portugal had nowish to meddle in South African domestic affairs. “Mybusiness was to convey the concerns of my government, and toacquire clarification that would enable my government to give anexplanation to the public in Portugal.” Pereira said auseful step would be for Tshwete and Maduna to meetrepresentatives of the Portuguese community, including theorganisers of the anti-crime protest and memorandum. “Bothministers indicated that they were quite willing to do so,”Pereira said. Chairman of the Crime Awareness Campaign on Mondaysaid the body would seek a meeting with Tshwete, adding:“The minister’s reply is not what we have expected.This is a political response to crime, and we are not interestedin politics.”

Acrimony abating in Tshwete-Portugueserow (Independent Online, 13/02) - The worst acrimonyappears to be over in the row between Safety and SecurityMinister Steve Tshwete and the local Portuguese community overthe country's high crime rate. Amid indications on Tuesday thatdiplomatic tension between South Africa and Portugal over thematter had been defused, both Tshwete and Portuguese leadersseemed willing to discuss their differences amicably. Portugueseenvoy Fernandes Pereira said Tshwete on Monday assured him thathe had no wish to attack or isolate the local Portuguesecommunity. "I believe this could lead to a positiveresult," Pereira told Sapa. Pereira, Portuguese ambassadorto South Africa, said Tshwete also agreed to meet representativesof the Portuguese community, including the organisers of lastyear's anti-crime protest. About 12 000 people, many of themmembers of the Portuguese community, delivered an anti-crimememorandum, for the attention of President Thabo Mbeki, to theUnion Buildings in November last year. A leading member of thePortuguese community, Manuel Ferreirinha, said a meeting withTshwete would be in the interest of all the parties concerned."It could be fruitful and clear up misunderstandings. Ouraim is not to take on the government, but they have aresponsibility towards us." Ferreirinha is chairman of acommittee that organised the march on the Union Buildings. Thememorandum delivered called for tough action against crime.Responding to the memorandum in a five-page letter last week,Tshwete berated the Portuguese community for what he described as"a conscious political act driven by your opposition to thegovernment". Many members of the Portuguese community cameto South Africa "because they knew that the colour of theirskin would entitle them to join the 'master race' to participatein the exploitation of the black majority". The memorandumshowed contempt for the president, Tshwete wrote. Tshwete'sreaction drew wide condemnation from opposition parties, andraised questions in Portuguese government circles. Pereira metTshwete and Justice Minister Penuell Maduna on Monday to conveyhis government's concerns about Tshwete's sharp reaction."It was a long meeting, and our discussions were frank andfruitful," Pereira said. "I conveyed the outcome to mygovernment, which I believe could contribute to clearing upmisconceptions that had arisen." Pereira on Tuesday said theletter had also received extensive publicity in Portugal, whichprompted the Portuguese government to seek clarification on thematter. He emphasised that Portugal had no wish to meddle inSouth African domestic affairs. "My business was to conveythe concerns of my government, and to acquire clarification thatwould enable my government to give an explanation to the publicin Portugal." Pereira said a useful step would be forTshwete and Maduna to meet representatives of the Portuguesecommunity, including the organisers of the anti-crime protest andmemorandum. "Both ministers indicated that they were quitewilling to do so," Pereira said. Democratic Alliance MPManny da Camara on Tuesday called on Tshwete to refrain fromvilifying the Portuguese community. Giving notice of a motion inthe National Assembly, he urged the minister to apologiseunconditionally to the organisers of the anti-crime march and thePortuguese community in general. Afrikaner Eenheidsbewegingleader Cassie Aucamp also introduced a motion criticising Tshwetefor his statements.

Mining firms start ot test workers forAIDS (Johannesburg, Reuters, 13/02) - Major mining firmshave started to test miners anonymously for AIDS in an attempt tocome to terms with a disease that threatens to devastate theirworkforce.The testing of miners’ saliva is expected to showthat roughly a quarter of the country’s 500 000 miners areliving with the disease and, in the absence of expensiveanti-AIDS drugs, will die, health experts and economists said onTuesday. Testing represents a breakthrough in often hostileunion-employer labour relations which has prevented mining firmscarrying out HIV tests on their workforces because of unionobjections on human rights grounds. Miners are acutely vulnerableto HIV-AIDS because they are often migrant workers far from lovedones, living in single-sex hostels that are surrounded byprostitutes. Results of the testing, carried out by worldplatinum giant Anglo American Platinum with union agreement, willbe completed by the year-end, according to company officials.Whatever the results, the toll will be grim. “We’regoing to lose people to HIV-AIDS,” said Anglo Platinummanaging director Barry Davison. The pool of data is likely toemerge as a vital tool for health planners and economists who arescrambling to come up with comprehensive responses to thedisease. Official South African AIDS data, which estimates thatone in ten, or 4.2 million, South Africans is living with thedisease, is mainly based on a narrow test of pregnant women atantenatal clinics. For the world’s biggest producer of goldand luxury metals such as platinum and palladium, infection ratesof around 25 percent would have far-reaching effects onproductivity, labour costs and their skills base. Platinumproducer Impala told investors last week that an assessment ofthe possible impact of AIDS on its future costs and productivityis receiving close attention. For the economy, which depends onthe mining industry as the mainstay of its foreign exchangeearnings, damage to the mines will be a setback in thecountry’s drive to boost economic growth and create badlyneeded jobs. The impact of AIDS on the economy is set to dominatethe business environment over the next 10 years as the millionswho contacted the virus as it spread in the 1 990s lose theirfight against the disease. The issue has become a leadingnational issue after President Thabo Mbeki controversiallyquestioned the causal link between HIV and AIDS and appointedso-called “AIDS dissidents’, some of who deny that AIDSexists, to his AIDS advisory panel. Economic consultancy WEFASouthern Africa estimates that more than four million semi- andunskilled South African workers will be lost to the diseasebetween 2010-15, with the biggest impact felt in the miningsector. The AIDS research division of Metropolitan Life estimatesthat costs for companies relating to medical aid, group life anddisability could double by 2005. An earlier study carried out byanalysts Deutsche Securities and world number one gold producerAngloGold showed HIV infection rates as high as 33 percent atsome of its South African operations.

Tshwete's letter to Portuguese community(Johannesburg, News 24, 12/02) - This is the full textof the letter sent bySafety and Security Minister Steve Tshwetein response to the anti-crime petition from “the Portuguesecommunity” delivered to President Thabo Mbeki in Novemberlast year:

Ministryfor Safety and Security

MrN Ferreirinha
Projecto Contra 0 Crime
P 0 Box 9027
BRENTHOODPARK 1606

DearMr Ferreirinha

Onthe 15th November, 2000, you, together with other people youidentified as coming from “the Portuguese community”,delivered a Memorandum at the Union Buildings addressed to thePresident of the Republic. The President forwarded the Memorandumto me for my action since you were seemingly concerned aboutissues of crime. I have studied your Memorandum very carefullyand accordingly wish to communicate to you the views of ourgovernment on the matters you raise.

Itis perfectly clear to us that your initiative to march to theUnion Buildings and deliver a Memorandum addressed to ourPresident was a conscious political act driven by your oppositionto the Government. I would even make bold to say that, inaddition to your defining yourselves as our political opponents,you hold the Government, our President and our continent incontempt. The “demand” you made to our President thatyou must receive’’ a public response by no later thanthe close of business on 22nd November 2000”, is symptomaticof the contempt of which we speak. It is also clear to us thatyou timed your initiative with the aim of influencing the outcomeof the local government elections that took place on December 5,2000.

Ourcountry has had a considerable Portuguese community for sometime, including the apartheid years. We know of no occasion whenthis community marched to the Union Buildings to present amemorandum to the apartheid Presidents demanding an end to theapartheid crime against humanity. You know very well that, in itscampaign of repression, the apartheid regime claimed the lives oftens of thousands of our people and those of others throughoutSouthern Africa. In the face of countless massacres, you remainedsilent. You took no steps to express the abhorrence of thePortuguese community of the willful (sic) and countless statemurders that contributed to making apartheid South Africa apariah among nations. If we search the Government archives, weare certain that we will find absolutely nothing indicating thatyou sent any communication to the successive apartheid regimes tothe end slaughter. (sic)

Someamong the Portuguese community you claim to represent, came tothis country because they did not accept that the Mozambican andAngolan people should gain their freedom and independence fromPortuguese colonialism. Accordingly, South Africa became a secondhome for these people, because our own people were not free.These came here because they knew that the colour of their skinwould entitle them to join “the master race”, toparticipate in the oppression and exploitation of the blackmajority and to enjoy the benefits of white minority domination.It is perhaps because you have not outgrown these whitesupremacist ideas and practices that you wrote your Memorandum,which you delivered to the Union Buildings. We fought the systemof white supremacy over many decades and defeated it. We willcontinue to confront its legacy and will eradicate that legacywhatever form it assumes and however long the struggle takes.

Youare the only language community in our country that has sought toidentify itself as being a particular and special victim ofcrime. Yet you know very well that all sections of our peoplehave been exposed to the unacceptable levels of crime with whichwe are all concerned. The black majority has been a victim ofgeneralised crime for many decades, with police resourcesdedicated to the protection of the white population and thedefeat of the anti-apartheid struggle. Again, we know of noinstance when you addressed even a mild protest note to theregimes that created the crime legacy with which we have tocontend, calling for the protection of the black majority.

Yourmemorandum to the President and your march suggests that membersof the Portuguese Community are merely victims of crime. You makeno mention of the fact that this crime is committed, amongothers, by members of the same Portuguese community. You saynothing about any steps you have taken to assist the lawenforcement agencies to stop these law-breakers. Within the last12 months these agencies have arrested and brought before ourcourts significant numbers of people who belong to the Portuguesecommunity. These have been charged with a wide variety ofcriminal offences. These include:

ArmedRobbery;
Hijacking of vehicles;
Drug trafficking;
Theft of containers;
Trading in stolen goods through unregistered businesses;
VAT and customs fraud;
Smuggling of goods across our boarders (sic);
Bribery and corruption;
Illegal trade in ivory; and
Illegal trade in liquor.

Thislist is by no means exhaustive. We will have occasion in futureto give you a more comprehensive report of the involvement of themembers of the Portuguese community in crime in the hope thatthis will persuade you that you, too, like everybody else havethe responsibility to participate in the fight against crime. Youmight, accordingly, change your “Crime AwarenessProject” into a “Crime Combating Project.”

Youare aware that our Government was elected by an overwhelmingmajority of our people. These masses do not share the contemptyou have for our Government and President. They remain confidentthat the Government they freely-elected will, working togetherwith them, succeed to eradicate the legacy of apartheid, whichyou seek to blame on our Government. These masses need to knowabout your view of their Government. We will therefore take thenecessary steps so to inform them. The Government will continueto take all necessary and possible measures further to intensifythe offensive against crime. The largest numbers of the victimsof crime are the very people who elected us into Government. Theyelected us because they are confident that we will persist in ourefforts to guarantee the safety and security of all SouthAfricans. We will never betray or disappoint that confidence,however long it takes us to overcome a scourge that has been partof the daily lives of the majority of our people for manydecades. Those, like yourselves, who believe that they havesomething to gain through the politicization of the issue ofcrime, are free to pursue their counter­productive agenda. TheGovernment and those of our Citizens who are interested injoining hands in the struggle to build a new and better SouthAfrica, including members of the Portuguese community, willcontinue to do everything they can to achieve that objective.Those who vainly hope for the restoration of white minoritydomination will not distract them and us from the path that themajority of our people have chosen.

Signed
STEVE TSHWETE MINISTER
Cc President Thabo Mbeki
H.E The Ambassador, Embassy of Portugal

Cabinet to decide soon on smart cards(Parliament , Sapa, 12/02) - Cabinet approval for amulti-purpose "smart card" to replace the currentidentification document is expected later this year, Deputy HomeAffairs Minister Charles Nqakula said on Monday. Briefingjournalists at Parliament, he said the department of home affairswanted to start issuing the cards during 2001. "We want itto start happening this year... I don't know the timetable, butthe issues must be dealt with this year." Nqakula said thecard would not just replace the identification document, butwould also be linked to all government structures, making taskssuch as the issuing of driving licences and welfare payments muchsimpler. A list of recommendations - following an extensiveinvestigation into the new smart-card system - was beingprepared, and would be presented to Cabinet soon. The card wouldbe linked to the R800-million Home Affairs NationalIdentification System (Hanis) project, which aimed to create anational database storing the fingerprints of every South Africanresident. It would include both visual particulars andfingerprinting, which would help cut down on corruption and fraudin state payments. In future, all personal information -including banking and medical aid details - would be linked tothe card. "It will allow South Africa to leapfrog ahead ofother countries." It would be easy for the department toreplace lost cards, because all personal particulars would belinked to the system. Public Service and Administration MinisterGeraldine Fraser-Moleketi said the new system was part ofgovernment's drive towards an "integrated and seamless"delivery of key services. Residents would only have to provideinformation once to government, and this would then beautomatically shared through the system. "The approach is tobe guided by key life events, such as birth, starting work,marriage and death, to name but a few. "Such life eventsmark the interaction between members of the public and thestate," Fraser-Moleketi said. The information would allowgovernment to plan, schedule and forecast for a wide range ofservices, such as education facilities, housing and townshipdevelopment, and job creation, she said. Government also hoped touse information technology (IT) to remove some of the blockagesin the state bureaucracy. "We see IT as an enabling tool...to take services to different parts of the country,"Fraser-Moleketi said.

South Africa losing doctors to Canada(Johannesburg, International Herald Tribune, 12/02) - Inhis travels through the bustling towns and remote villages ofNorth America, South Africa’s ambassador to Canadadiscovered hundreds of South African doctors working inCanada’s gleaming hospitals and clinics. And when he learnedof Canada’s plans to hire even more foreign doctors, hehowled. Last week, in a leading Canadian medical journal, SouthAfrica went public with its battle to stop the Canadiangovernment from recruiting its desperately needed doctors, whoare fleeing South Africa by the hundreds as they tire of highcrime rates and chronically understaffed and underfinancedhospitals. The ambassador, Andre Jaquet, argued that it isunethical for the West to lure doctors from the developing world,particularly from South Africa, which has too few doctors, andstruggles to provide medical care for millions of impoverishedpeople and to cope with the AIDS epidemic. Last year, the SouthAfrican Foreign Minister quietly raised the issue with Canada.Mr. Jaquet wrote to provincial health officials, saying that therecruiting had “affected South Africa’s ability toreform the poor health infrastructure inherited from ourapartheid past.” South African doctors plan to press thecase with Canadian counterparts in Ottawa. Officials estimatethat about 1,500 South African doctors are working in Canada. Butso far, Mr. .Jaquet admits, the Canadian medical establishmenthas not been terribly sympathetic - in part because Canada hasits own shortage of doctors. Doctors are among the tens ofthousands of people who have emigrated from South Africa in thepast six years. Researchers at the University of Cape Townestimate that 40,000 people, most of them skilled workers, leftbetween 1994 and 1997 alone; according to the most recentofficial statistics available, 8487 left in 1999, a figure thatdemographers suspect was actually much higher. During theapartheid years, doctors left to avoid military service or toprotest the all-white regime. But the numbers appear to havesurged along with fears about crime and about affirmative actionlimiting job prospects for white children. “If you take twoSouth African doctors to rural Canada, that’s great forthose two villages, but that means a whole section of Chris HaniBaragwanath closes,” Mr. Jaquet said, referring to thehospital that serves Soweto. “And it leaves us less preparedto deal with the biblical plague of AIDS that has hit us.”But Peter Barrett, president of the Canadian Medical Association,says South Africans should ask themselves why they cannot keepdoctors.

New immigration law promised in 2001(Parliament, Sapa, 12/02) - New immigration laws aimedat attracting much-needed skills to boost economic growth shouldfinally be in place this year, according to deputy home affairsminister Charles Nqakula. Addressing reporters and diplomats atParliament, he said a workshop would be held soon to finalise theissue. This follows President Thabo Mbeki's announcement in hisstate-of-the-nation address last week that immigration laws andprocedures would be reviewed urgently, to enable South Africa toattract skills, especially in information technology. SouthAfrica's new immigration policy has been five years in themaking, and has stalled both in the National Assembly's homeaffairs committee and Cabinet. Nqakula said there had been"exhaustive discussions" around the new immigrationbill, and the upcoming workshop would also look at "ways andmeans to facilitate programmes to attract people withskills". Current immigration laws have made it difficult toattract the necessary skills, with the British Chamber ofBusiness in Southern Africa reportedly complaining that it is"impossible for skilled foreigners investing in SouthAfrican and running development projects to secure workpermits". On how the government would attract skilledworkers, Nqakula said the International Marketing Council wouldbe one of the vehicles relied on. Minister in the Presidency,Essop Pahad, said government believed there was a pool of foreignworkers with the necessary skills who were either under-paid orunemployed, and who would be willing to work in South Africa.Pahad identified India as a possible source of informationtechnology specialists, and Russia for scientists. He said SouthAfrica would also shop elsewhere on the African continent. Theministers, including Public Service and Administration MinisterGeraldine Fraser-Moleketi, were silent on concerns raised by somemembers in Cabinet last year that the policy might undermine theeconomies of poorer countries by encouraging a brain drain toSouth Africa. The ministers were also silent on how governmentplanned to stem South Africa's own brain drain, which hascontributed to the country's skills shortages. Meanwhile, Mbeki,in a televised interview on Sunday said the review of immigrationlegislation would include a review of the department of homeaffairs. The department ranks among one of the country's leasteffective. Mbeki also mooted the establishment of specialisedbody to deal with immigration, which would not be the soleresponsibility of a single government department.

Review of immigration laws and procedureswelcomed (SABC News, 12/02) - Jonathan Klaaren, anassociate professor at the University of the Witswatersrand lawfaculty, has commended the president's statement that thecountry's immigration laws and procedures will be reviewedurgently in order to attract skills into South Africa. Thisfollows reports of corruption and mis-handling of immigrationissues by the department of home affairs. Klaaren says hewelcomes the state's decision as there are quite a number ofproblems with the existing laws. "As for the immigrationpart, the problem is that the department of home affairs does notseem to have the administrative capacity to bring in the kind ofskilled immigration that the country seems to need." Klaarensays it will also be better if the new legislation had clearguidelines in the stipulated Aliens Control Act. President ThaboMbeki, in his state of address on Friday, also announced thegovernment's approval of a human resource development strategythat will enable it to speed up the launch of a skillsdevelopment programme.

Calls for Mbeki to censure Tshwete forattack on Portuguese community (Johannesburg, Sapa, 11/02) - DemocraticAlliance (DA) leader Tony Leon has called on President ThaboMbeki to censure Public Safety Minister Steve Tshwete for a"vitriolic and extreme attack" on the Portugeusecommunity regarding a memorandum sent by an East Rand crimeaction group to the President. Leon described Tshwete'shard-hitting response to the group's memorandum, handed overafter a 12000-strong march on Union Buildings in November lastyear, as "vicious invective against all Portuguese-speakingpeople in South Africa". The memorandum was from "thePortuguese community" protesting crime levels. Noting thatthe minister did not address the issue of crime in his five-pagereply, Leon said in a statement on Sunday: "Worst of all,Tshwete issues a direct threat to the organisers of the marchwith the words 'the masses need to know about your view of theirgovernment. We will therefore take the necessary steps to informthem'." The Benoni-based organisation -- Crime AwarenessCampaign - made Tshwete's letter available to the DA. ShelleyLoe, MPL and DA member for public safety, said the memorandum hadbeen strongly-worded but nevertheless was a sincere attempt fromordinary citizens to get answers to the crime situation."The memorandum demonstrates the levels of frustration andanger building up amongst the public of South Africa over thenever-ending incidences of violent crime," Loe said. Thememorandum had said: "Our government simply does not havethe political will to implement the same measures which have beensuccessfully deployed in other countries to combat crime andcorruption." "Why is the government incapable ofenforcing the laws of the country to ensure all the citizens oftheir constitutional rights of safety and security in their dailylives?" it added. Tshwete, in his repsonding letter, saidmany members of the Portuguese community in the country now hadcome to South Africa "because they knew that the colour oftheir skin would entitle them to join the 'master race' toparticipate in the exploitation of the black majority and toenjoy the benefits of white minority domination". He saidthe memorandum showed contempt for the Presidency and noted thatthe Portuguese community had never spoken out against thecriminality of apartheid. However, Leon said that if Mbeki wassincere about his intention to build on the threads that bind allSouth Africans, as he stated in his opening address to Parliamentthis week, he must publicly distance himself from Tshwete's"divisive and self-defeating remarks".

Top teachers headhunted by UK agencies(Johannesburg, Mail & Guardian, 09/02) - Britishrecruitment agencies are aggressively poaching South Africans toaddress the severe teacher shortage in that country. The head ofeducation personnel for Britain's Department of Education, ChrisWilliams, will arrive in South Africa this month on yet anotherrecruitment drive. "They [the recruitment team] went lastyear, and they were really successful, so they are going to do itagain," says Michelle Jarvis, principal personnel officerfor the British education department. Teaching expertise isleaving South Africa fast and several schools are battling tofind qualified teachers to fill posts. Experienced maths andscience teachers are in very short supply. "There is amathematics and science expertise shortage " it is now up tous to get out there and find them," says John Lobben, theprincipal of King Edward Vll High School in Johannesburg. RogerCameron, principal of St John's College in Johannesburg, agrees:"Although we have sufficient maths and science teachers,qualified maths and science teachers are more difficult to comeby because these subjects are more richly rewarded when you areout of the teaching profession." Lobben had a mathematicsteaching post available this year, and battled to fill it."I was looking for a maths teacher. I got one by the skin ofmy teeth with 48 hours to go [to the start of the schoolyear]." Britain has always relied heavily on teachers fromCommonwealth countries. One of Britain's biggest teacher supplyagencies, TimePlan, has a branch in South Africa. Under theheading "Overseas teachers" its website reads:"What is important is that Headteachers [school principals]in the UK have the highest regard for South African teachers,whilst TimePlan does not discriminate between South African andUK/European teachers in either jobs or rates of pay." KarenGamblin, the manager for TimePlan's South African branch, reports"an overwhelming response to every ad we put in".Supply teaching, as it's known in the industry, is a result ofactions by Britain's Labour Party to address education standardsin the country. This includes reducing classroom numbers,instituting more stringent qualification requirements and movingthe retirement age from 60 to 65. The Labour Party offered apackage deal for those who wanted to leave ahead of the newmeasures, prompting somewhere in the region of 65 000 teachers totake the package and leave. Now Britain is shoring up shortage byrecruiting teachers from around the world " including SouthAfrica. "They earn up to £120 [about R1?400] a day. Whatthey make there in a week, they only make here in a month,"says Robert Schipholt, a regional manager for Capita EducationResourcing. He explains that local teachers are attracted by theopportunity to broaden their horizons and learn more. ProfessorMichael Kahn, the mini-sterial adviser on science, maths andtechnology, thinks the migration of teachers is beneficial toSouth Africa " if they return to the country and utilisetheir newfound skills here. "Personally, if teachers want tospend a year or two abroad, have the opportunity to engage withother curricula and then come home, I think that is beneficial tous." Out of the 38 000 matriculants who wrote the highergrade mathematics examination last year, 19 000 passed, withblack students comprising only roughly 3 000 of that. Only 5 000black students passed the higher grade physical scienceexamination " 56 000 students wrote the examination. A studyby the Human Sciences Research Council, conducted in 1998/1999and involving 194 schools and 8 147 grade eight pupils, foundthat less than 0,5% of South African pupils were among the top10% of pupils internationally. South African pupils were comparedto pupils in countries including Tunisia, Chile, England and theUnited States. "We should see this in a global context anddo our best to push ourselves forward," says Kahn. "Ifyou view the BSc and postgraduate diploma as the cream of the[math and science] crop, South Africa produced only 100 mathsteachers and 60 science teachers last year," says Kahn.

Mbeki hints at labour market review(Business Day, 09/02) - In an upbeat speech at theopening of parliament on Fñday, President Thabo Mbeki hintedthat there would be a review of the labour market — a themehe touched on last year — and the high cost of labour. Mbekisaid his government would continue consultations aimed atreforming the labour market, “as well as investigations intothe feasibility of reducing the cost of labour without reducingworkers’ wages.” “Investment in the economicinfrastructure will be prioritised to support the high growthareas, the integrated rural development strategy and the urbanrenewal programme. He said an additional R6bn had been set asidefor this purpose over the next three years. As government wasconcerned about access to capital, the regulation of thefinancial services sector would be reviewed in the comingparliamentary year, he said. “New partnerships withfinancial institutions will be explored and the micro-financesector will be mobilised in support of entrepreneurship andproductive activities” Mbeki also said that a new governmentHuman Resource Development Strategy will focus on the review ofthe immigration laws to attract necessary skills to the country.With the immigration bill having been stalled for some time owingto in-fighting in the department and ministry of home affairs anddifferences within the cabinet over policy, Mbeki’sannouncement is of particular importance. He said that theprocedures applying to immigration, a ministry headed by lnkathaFreedom Party leader and Home Affairs Minister MangosuthuButhelezi, would be reviewed. In particular SA would beinterested in attracting people with maths and science skills.This would be prioritised, said the president. “We recognisethe fact that competitiveness is drive by technological advancesand innovation. In recognition of this investment in research anddevelopment is one of the focal points of our integrated planaimed at attaining a cutting edge in key areas such asbiotechnology.”

Mbeki promises new approach to skilledimmigration (Parliament, Sapa, 09/02) - President ThaboMbeki says the country's immigration laws and procedures will bereviewed urgently to attract skills into South Africa. In hisstate-of-the-nation address on Friday, he said government hadalso approved a human resource development strategy that wouldenable it to launch an accelerated skills development programmefor those areas critical to a more competitive economy. TheDepartment of Home Affairs has repeatedly come under fire for itshandling of immigration issues. Mbeki did not elaborate on thechanges to immigration laws. He said improvements in mathematicsand science education would also be prioritised. "Werecognised the fact that competitiveness is driven bytechnological advances and innovation. "In recognition ofthis, investment in research and development is one of the focalpoints of our integrated plan aimed at attaining a cutting edgein key areas such as biotechnology." At the same time,government would continue with consultation aimed at reformingthe labour market, as well as investigation into the feasibilityof reducing the cost of labour without reducing workers' wages,Mbeki said.

New bill will facilitate skilledimmigration, claims DHA (I-Net Bridge, 07/02) - TheDraft Immlgrations Bill provides for a number of dramatic changesto the existing laws on border control, none less so than theclause allowing South African corporations to effectively issuework permits to foreign nationals. Speaking at a conference onborder control held at Pretoria University, Claude Schravesande,director of Aliens Control at the Department of Home Affairs,explained how the Bill will work. “The Bill will make itpossible for corporations to enter into agreements with theDepartment of Home Affairs, allowing it to effectively issue workpermits, a similar situation as in the UK,” he says. The UKHome Affairs Department, he explains, give companies permissionto bring people into the country to occupy a specific posts. Thisclause can only be invoked by companies in South Africa requiringspecific skills from individuals abroad. That company notifiesHome Affairs and a visa is issued for that individual within acouple of days. “To have a similar situation in SA wouldmake it far easier to get a work permit in South Africa - we allknow that it can take many months to get a work permit in SouthAfrica, by that time that person can have taken his skills toanother country,” Schravesande explains. He says that hisDepartment is holding thumbs that Cabinet will greenhlght thebill, slashing the procedural red tape that frustrates thosehoping to work in this country. While he did not elaborate on thespecifics, Schravesande points out that this clause can only beinvoked by companies in South Africa requiring specific skillsfrom individuals. Nor is this the only clause in the ImmigrationsBill with potentially dramatic repurcussions. The Bill, onceenacted, also establishes a brand­new South African ImmigrationService. “The Bill, once enacted, also establishes a SouthAfrican Immigration Service that assumes a large portion of theimmigration duties currently performed by the Department of HomeAffairs,” says Schravesande. According to the Bill, thisService will be a distinct new government entity headed by aboard, although that board will be chaired by the Minister ofHome Affairs.

Update on conflict over immigration whitepaper (Cape Town, Business Day, 08/02) - SA willcontinue losing skilled international migrants if the politicalsquabbles dogging Parliaments home affairs portfolio committeecontinue unabated this year, Mario Ambrosini, special adviser toHome Affairs Minister Mangosuthu Buthelezi, said yesterday. Bythe end of last year, the committee had to adjourn without havingpassed the white paper on international migration because ofpolitical clashes among opposition MPs and those from the AfricanNational Congress (ANC). Committee chairman Aubrey Mokoena andButhelezi crossed swords a numbers of times on the matter.Mokoena had vehemently opposed Buthelezi’s“interference” with legislative process. Yesterday,Mokoena was positive that all parties in the committee would findcommon ground on aspects of the white paper. While the ANC arguesfor a controlled and conservative immigration bill that does not“open the sluice (gates)”, opposition parties such asthe Democratic Party are proponents of a more liberal policy.Ambrosini expressed concern that more than two years had lapsedwhile the committee grappled with the white paper. He said thisbothered companies as they could not recruit skilledinternational labour.

Academics, Business suggest ways to plugbrain drain (Johannesburg, Business Day, 07/02) - SouthAfrica is in the throes of a brain drain, but according to aleading academic, this does not have to be the case. The extentof the skills loss is alarming. The International Monetary Fundestimates that 8% of highly educated South Africans emigrate.Tomson Financial Bankwatch, a US-based credit rating agency,believes that 16% of South Africans with tertiary education liveabroad. A 1999 Economist survey found that the likelihood ofSouth Africa professionals emigrating was among the highest inthe world. Reported migration includes only self-declaredmovements. The reality appears to be far worse. The University ofCape Town's (UCT's) SA network of skills abroad reports that233609 SA emigrants arrived in Australia, Canada, New Zealand,the UK and the US between 1989 and 1997. For the same period,Statistics SA reports total emigration of 82811. And the drainhas accelerated, with 56% more professionals emigrating annuallysince 1994 than in 1989. The dawn of democracy marked thebeginning of the brain drain. One-third of enterprises havereported a significant loss of people since 1994, according to astudy by the SA Migration Project. Only 2% had before then. Thebrain drain is a classic example of a bandwagon effect, says ProfDon Ross of the UCT school of economics. According to Ross, thephenomenon was initiated by a (small) group of skilled SouthAfricans intent on emigrating. Once their emigration becamenoticeable, SA's skilled began to fear the consequences of theeconomy's rich core shrinking significantly. This bandwagoneffect is accelerated as the ever-rising costs of emigration makemoving more difficult. Potential destinations will tighten theirentry controls as emigration increases. The SA Migration Projectcategorises 192000 skilled South Africans with high emigrationpotential. This is a full 12% of the estimated skilled total.Chief areas of dissatisfaction are costs of living, tax levels,safety and security, and the standard of public and commercialservices. Ross says there is a solution: government must addressits dynamic to stop the bulk of emigration. A clear indicationthat SA's professional environment is not in decline needs to beconveyed. Skilled immigrants are easily mobile and thus immune tothe bandwagon effect. A significant and steady inflow of skilledimmigrants would therefore alleviate the anxiety fuelling thebrain drain. Since November 1998, the home affairs department hasapproved about half of all work permit applications. Thedepartment is seen by enterprises hiring overseas employees asobstructing their efforts. The postponement and loss of privatesector growth and job opportunities has been cited as a result.SA Chamber of Business (Sacob) CEO Kevin Wakeford says that as SAis competing with other frontier economies for specialist skills,the net export is both alarming and revealing. He says SA wouldexperience net immigration if authorities were sensitive toinvestors' needs to import personnel. Ravi Moodley, president ofthe SA Institute of Artisans, says that immigration could plugcertain specialist competency areas in which SA is deficient. Itis important, though, that work contracts operate to build skillscapacity, ensuring that such dependence is eradicated. Accordingto Julian Pokroy, Sacob's spokesman on immigration, home affairshas improved its immigration services tremendously. Pokroy saysthat a noticeable upswing in highly professional foreignersbetween 25 and 40 applying for full immigration is alsooccurring. Ross, originally from Canada, is one such example.However, if SA is to end the brain drain, both cultural andinstitutional xenophobia, which limit immigration, will have tobe addressed. Government must take the lead, and improvements,particularly legislative, are necessary.

Canadian provinces face criticism forrecruiting doctors (The Toronto Star, 06/02) - SouthAfrica’s high commissioner to Canada has issued anunprecedented appeal to this country’s premiers, pleadingwith them to stop recruiting South African physicians. “Wefeel it would be better for developed countries like Canada totrain more doctors of their own rather than snatch up doctors atbargain-basement prices from us,” Andre Jaquet said in aninterview from Ottawa. Jaquet sent a letter to every provincialpremier after Ottawa and the provinces signed a health-careaccord in September that promised $23 billion more in federalfunding for health care. Lie is concerned that given the shortageof health-care professionals in Canada, the money will be used torecruit doctors, nurses, oncologists, radiologists, pharmacistsand other health-care specialists from South Africa. The issue isthe subject of an article published today in the Canadian MedicalAssociation Journal. “Targeted recruiting of this nature byregional health authorities in some Canadian provinces in therecent past has already affected South Africa’s ability toreform the poor health infrastructure inherited from ourapartheid past, and this leaves us even less able to grapple withthe serious Lily-AIDS pandemic,” Jaquet states in hisletter. The response from the provinces was disappointing, hesaid. Only Nova Scotia agreed in principle to stop recruitingfrom South Africa. The others, including Ontario, replied thatmigration was a fact of life and there was nothing they could do,Jaquet said. There are already close to 1,500 South Africandoctors in Canada. Dr. Martin Vogel, a South African doctor whoemigrated to Canada seven years ago and is now president of theSaskatchewan Medical Association, said some physicians who leavethe country want to avoid compulsory community service, whileothers are fleeing the high level of crime and economic problems.Dr. Peter Barrett, president of the Canadian Medical Association,said that without foreign doctors, Canada ‘would be in deeptrouble because the country doesn’t produce enoughphysicians to replace those who retire or die.” One-quarterof all doctors practising in this country are foreign-trained,Barrett said. Current medical school enrolments stand at justover 1,700, but at least 2,000 spots are needed, he said.“The reality is physicians are human beings... The UnitedNations regularly tells us Canada is the best country in theworld to live. Why wouldn’t they want to come here?”But Dr. Cheryl Leavitt, a researcher and family physician atMcMaster University in Hamilton who has studied global medicalmigration, said privileged countries are taking advantage ofvulnerable nations such as South Africa. “Politicalexpediency doesn’t make it right. It’s like a richcousin stealing from a poor cousin because they have somethingnice that you want,” said Leavitt, a South African who cameto Canada in 1977. She proposes creating an international code ofethics for recruiting doctors from less-developed countries, suchthat countries gaining doctors reimburse losing nations for thecost of their medical education.

Home Affairs explains draft ImmigrationBill (Johannesburg, The Natal Witness, 06/02) - SouthAfrica’s Director of Aliens Control for the Department ofHome Affairs, Claude Schravesande, explained how the Draftlmmigrations Bill will work at a conference on border controlheld at Pretoria University on Tuesday. The bill provides for anumber of dramatic changes to the existing laws on bordercontrol. “The bill will make it possible for corporations toenter into agreements with the Department of Home Affairs,allowing it to effectively issue work permits, a similarsituation as in the UK” Schravesande said. UK Home Affairsgives companies permission to bring people into the country tooccupy specific posts. The company notifies Home Affairs and avisa is issued for the individual within a couple of days.“To have a similar situation in SA would make it far easierto get a work permit in South Africa - we all know it can takemonths to get a work permit, by which time that person will havetaken his skills to another country,” Schravesandeexplained. He said his department is hoping cabinet willgreen-light the bill.

Home Affairs commentary on illegalimmigration (SABC News, 06/02) - The number of illegalimmigrants entering South Africa has dramatically increased since1994. This is according to the Department of Home Affairs whopresented their views on the issues of border controls andimmigration at a conference held at the University of Pretoriatoday. Conflict and economic hardship in African countries arethe main reasons why immigrants come into South Africa illegally.The department says it fights the problem through arrests anddeportations. It is also clamping down on people who help illegalimmigrants to get South African documents and employment. It saysit is looking into the the reasons why deported immigrants make aspeedy return to the country. "We have asked the SouthAfrican Migration Policy department of IDASA to investigate thesituation, we have heard that this problem exists but we are notsure to what extent the problem is, we will wait for the reportand that will give us further direction on what steps totake," Claude Schravesande from the Department of HomeAffairs said. Idasa's Migration Policy Department is also lookingat a reduction of border controls between South Africa andLesotho. This will allow easier movement between the twocountries. Almost 90% of Lesotho's work force is currentlyemployed in South Africa. A report on the matter will be sent togovernment when it is completed.

SA 'is losing its best brains'(Johannesburg, Mail & Guardian, 05/02) - QualifiedSouth Africans - include information technology (IT) experts,engineers, senior business staff, doctors, nurses and teachers -are leaving the country in droves, endangering the country’sfragile future, say migration consultants. The economic impact ofthe brain-drain has not yet been closely analysed, but expertssay it could be massive in a country restructuring its economyafter the apartheid years, and where an HIV/Aids pandemic ishitting qualified workers hard, especially teachers and nurses.“You are seeing the cream of the intelligentsia leaving thiscountry,” says John Gambarana, a consultant with theInternational Immigration Alliance (llA) in Johannesburg.‘We are losing our best brains.” In 1999, for the sixthyear in a row, South Africa had a net outflow of some 4,000people - 8 402 emigrants against 3 669 immigrants, according toStatistics South Africa. But those are the official figures, andmigration experts say the real number of those leaving is atleast three times higher. The University of Cape Town recentlystudied emigration to the five most popular destinations -Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the United States -and reported that close to a quarter of a million South Africanshad settled in those countries between 1989 and 1997. Gambarana’soffice helps 35 to 40 families emigrate each month, andopposition Global Visas is now processing some 55 families amonth, up from 35 a year ago. Both say the number of thosewanting to leave has risen since 1996-98, a relatively steadyperiod following “the great white fear” of 1994 when ablack majority government came to power for the first time amid(unfulfilled) white expectations of a racial bloodbath. Thoseleaving all voice the same concerns, the consultants say: fear ofthe violent crime prevalent in South Africa; worries over thecost and quality of health and schooling; and uncertainty overjob prospects for themselves and their children in the face of“affirmative action”. The exodus is not just white.“When I hold a seminar in Durban, I am besieged by Indianprofessionals; in Cape Town by disenchanted coloured (mixed-race)people; here [in Johannesburg] I’ve young black ITwhizz-kids wanting to go to the United States,” Gambaranasaid. The oufflow is sharpened by an acute shortage ofprofessionals in such developed countries as Britain and Ireland,who are only too happy to allow South Africans to fill the vacantposts at salaries undreamed of here.

SA's brain drain is 'thrice the realnumber' (The Star, 05/02) - Qualified South Africans areleaving the country in droves, say migration experts who areadvertising in local media and actively recruiting professionals.So high is the number of doctors leaving the country that theDepartment of Health has been forced to request overseascountries to stop actively recruiting SA doctors. Healthdepartment spokesperson Sibani Mngadi said on Monday they wereconcerned about the number of doctors and nurses leaving thecountry. Mngadi said they have had talks with countries likeCanada to discourage them from recruiting professional medicalstaff. Many South Africans go overseas promising to return oncethey have gained experience. But migration consultants say oncepeople leave, they don't come back. "They all intend to comeback. They never do," said Dirkje Oberholzer, a migrationconsultant with Global Visas. The brain drain has been going onfor years, but shows signs of intensifying. In 1999, for thesixth year in a row, South Africa had a net outflow of some 4 000people - 8 402 emigrants against 3 669 immigrants, according toStatistics South Africa. But those are official figures, andmigration experts say the real number of those leaving is atleast three times higher. The University of Cape Town recentlystudied emigration to the five most popular destinations -Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the United States -and reported that close to a quarter of a million South Africanshad settled in those countries between 1989 and 1997. Thoseleaving include information technology (IT) experts, engineers,senior business staff, doctors, nurses and teachers. They flockto companies organising visas and job searches, whoseadvertisements feature in SA newspapers. "You are seeing thecream of the intelligentsia leaving this country," said JohnGambarana, a consultant with the International ImmigrationAlliance (IIA) in Johannesburg. "We are losing our bestbrains." His office helps 35 to 40 families emigrate eachmonth, and the opposition at Global Visas is processing about 55families a month, up from 35 a year ago. Both said the number ofthose wanting to leave has risen since 1996-98, a relativelysteady period following "the great white fear" of 1994when a black majority government came to power for the first timeamid (unfulfilled) white expectations of a racial bloodbath."Every time something happens with the rand, or if there isa big crime splashed in the papers, the morning after we areflooded with calls and inquiries from people wanting toemigrate," said Oberholzer. "We also had a lot ofinquiries after the farm invasions and violence inZimbabwe." Those leaving all voice the same concerns, theconsultants said: fear of the violent crime prevalent in SA;worries over the cost and quality of health and schooling; anduncertainty over job prospects for themselves and"affirmative action". At the same time, said Gambarana,"they feel they are letting the side down; they feel they'redeserting". And the exodus is happening among all populationgroups. "When I hold a seminar in Durban, I am besieged byIndian professionals; in Cape Town by disenchanted colouredpeople; in Johannesburg young black IT whiz kids want to go tothe US," Gambarana said. Marjory, a black teacher fromUmtata, was committed after attending an IIA emigration seminarin Johannesburg. "The environment (in South Africa) is notgood. There is no possibility of upliftment, ofprogression," she said. "I can't wait to go. If thingsgo well, I don't intend to come back, but bring my family with melater on." She hopes to settle in Britain before the end ofthe year. The outflow is sharpened by an acute shortage ofprofessionals in such developed countries as Britain and Ireland.They are only too happy to allow South Africans to fill thevacant posts at salaries undreamed of here. The economic impactof the brain drain has not yet been analysed closely, but expertssaid it could be massive in a country restructuring its economyafter the apartheid years, and where an HIV/Aids pandemicafflicting one in every 10 South Africans - 4,2 million people -is hitting qualified workers hard, especially teachers andnurses.

South Africa losing its best brains (SABCNews, 05/02) - Qualified South Africans, most of themwhite, are leaving the country in droves, endangering thecountry's fragile future. "They all intend to come back.They never do," says Dirkjie Oberholzer, a migrationconsultant with Global Visas. The brain-drain has been going onfor years, but shows signs of intensifying. In 1999, for thesixth consecutive year, South Africa had a net outflow of some 4000 people. The University of Cape Town recently studiedemigration to the five most popular destinations: Australia,Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the United States, and reportedthat close to a quarter of a million South Africans had settledin those countries between 1989 and 1997. Those leaving includeinformation technology (IT) experts, engineers, senior businessstaff, doctors, nurses and teachers. They flock to companiesorganising visas and job searches, whose advertisements areprominent every weekend in the business pages of South Africa'snewspapers. "You are seeing the cream of the intelligentsialeaving this country," says John Gambarana, a consultantwith the International Immigration Alliance (IIA) inJohannesburg. "We are losing our best brains." Hisoffice helps 35 to 40 families emigrate each month, while GlobalVisas assist more than 50 families every month, up from 35 a yearago, who are leaving. Both say the number of those wanting toleave has risen since 1996-98, a relatively steady periodfollowing "the great white fear" of 1994 when a blackmajority government came to power for the first time amid whiteexpectations of a racial bloodbath. "Every time somethinghappens with the rand or if there is a big crime splashed in thepapers, the morning after we are flooded with calls and inquiriesof people wanting to emigrate," said Oberholzer. "Wehad a lot of inquiries after the farm invasions and violence inZimbabwe, which began in February last year," he added.Those leaving all voice the same concerns, the consultants say:fear of the violent crime prevalent in South Africa; worries overthe cost and quality of health and schooling; and uncertaintyover job prospects for themselves and their children in the faceof "affirmative action". The exodus is not just white."When I hold seminars in Durban, I am besieged by Indianprofessionals; in Cape Town by disenchanted coloured people. InJohannesburg I've young black IT whizz kids wanting to go to theUnited States," Gambarana said. The economic impact of thebrain-drain has not yet been closely analysed, but experts say itcould be massive in a country restructuring its economy after theapartheid years, and where an HIV/Aids pandemic afflicting one inevery 10 South Africans, or 4,2 million people, is hittingqualified workers hard, especially teachers and nurses. Officialsseem to have abandoned the "good riddance" approachuttered by many a ruling party politician as whites quit. SouthAfrica's ambassador to Ottawa, Andre Jacquet, for example,recently appealed to Canada, through the British Medical Journal,to stop its "aggressive medical recruiting" of SouthAfrican doctors in the name of medical ethics. Officials incountries seen as desirable by would-be emigrant South Africanscounter by saying that they are not actively recruiting SouthAfricans nor indeed citizens of any other country. Some 1 500 arealready working in Canda, and many others in other countries,endangering the hoped-for expansion and reform of the poor healthinfrastructure inherited from the apartheid government.

Police raid Hillbrow brothels(Johannesburg, Sapa, 03/02) - Police arrested 37 peopleincluding two under-aged girls in raids on two Hillbrow brothelson Friday night. A team of about 60 police officers, accompaniedby Johannesburg area commissioner Perumal Naidoo and a highpowered legal team, took part in the raids on the Summit Club andthe Dorchester Hotel. The 54-year-old co-owner of the Summit Clubwas also arrested for contravening the Liquor Act. The mainlyAsian girls, wearing criminally short dresses, were loaded intopolice vans and taken to the Hillbrow police station. Anembarrassed-looking brunette was also loaded into one of thepolice vans for “impersonating a police officer” - onstage. The charges against them ranged from soliciting, being inthe country illegally and being in the possession of illegalsubstances. The underage girls were to be taken to a place ofsafety. The raids, Naidoo said, were part of a police crackdownon prostitution in the city centre. “This isn’t thefirst time we’ve been on a raid like this. We’ve beendoing this type of thing for a long time, but we will beintensifying the fight against under-aged prostitution from nowon,” he said. Recent media reports have exposed severeunderage prostitution in Hillbrow, specifically at the infamousEuropa Hotel. Although Friday’s raids did not include theEuropa, Naidoo promised there would be far more raids in comingmonths. Police spokeswoman Director Henriette Bester said thatthe raids were planned in early August. ‘The police were notreacting because of the media reports, they were a long timecoming,” she said. Bester said that a raid required massivemanpower, time and co-ordination. ‘You cannot arrive at abrothel with four or five officers, the people there would laughat them. You have to hit them with a massive group, then theyhave no choice but to cooperate.” Naidoo said that it wasunfair to accuse the police of colluding with brothel owners.“Any member of the police who is involved in corruption willbe rooted out,” he said. “You can see we are committedto doing our jobs. It is painful to see what is happening to someof these children, the police are intent on stopping it.” Hesaid that the police could not merely walk into a club and closeit down. “We do not have the legal right to do that. We canonly act on police issues. “Closing a brothel down is a jobfor departments like the Assets Forfeiture Unit and theDirectorate of Public Prosecutions.” He said that evidenceagainst the brothels and their owners had to be gathered first,and that often took months. Police spokesman Superintendent ChrisWilken said that child prostitution and prostitution was asocietal problem. “People come in here and hire the girls.This is where the owners of these places get their money, andlots of it,” Wilken said. “Communities should askthemselves where the demand for these places comes from beforethey point any fingers.”

25 Ugandans with South African passportsdeported by Egypt (Kampala, The Monitor, 02/02) - Twentyfive Ugandans have been arrested in Egypt enroute to the UnitedKingdom with forged South African passports. The group wasreportedly going to the UK in search of Kyeyo (casual work),which is now lucrative and earns Uganda more revenue than coffeeand fish, which were, until recently, the leading foreignexchange earners. The group, comprising mainly Ganda youth, werearrested on Jan. 22 and deported the following day. The 22 adultsand three children were still being held at Jinja Road and KiraRoad Police Stations by press time yesterday. According to RobertKanuma, a Senior Immigration Officer with the Uganda ImmigrationDepartment, the group boarded an Egypt Air flight from Nairobi,Kenya, to Cairo in Egypt, from were they were to connect to theUK. Immigration officials in Cairo became suspicious and calledthe South African High Commission, which, on interrogation, foundthat the travellers were not South Africans. "Usingdiplomatic skills, the South African officials queried then inmost of the native South African dialects. They were deported toKenya, the country of origin of the flight which took them toCairo," Kanuma said. When they were told that they were tobe taken to South Africa the group confessed that they wereUgandans. The Uganda High Commission in Kenya took the custody ofthem and returned them to Uganda via Malaba border. When TheMonitor visited the Immigration Department head officesyesterday, the 22 deported adults were recording statements. Theywere all elusive when asked how they had acquired the passports.But an officer told The Monitor on condition of anonymity thatmost had confessed having bought the passports from a femaleUgandan dealer. The prices allegedly ranged from Shs 2m to Shs 3mper passport. Although Uganda is a member of the Commonwealth,Ugandans are required to acquire visas to travel to the UK.Because of the massive migration to Europe, travellers from manyAfrican countries are required to have visas. However, nationalsof prosperous and stable South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland arenot required to present visas on entering the UK. Aninternational racket is reportedly involved in stealing passportsof these nationals, substituting the photographs, and sellingthem to Ugandans, Nigerians and Congolese.

New deportation figures for 2000(Woza, 01/02) - The exact number of illegals in SouthAfrica is unknown, but is believed to be upwards of 4 million,although the government repatriated only 170 000 last year,department of home affairs liaison officer Hennie Meyer told WOZAon Thursday. ‘The estimate for the exact number of illegalimmigrants is a wild one at best. The only official figures wecurrently have are from a Human Sciences Research Council reportdating back to 1994 - that put the number of illegals at anythingbetween two and four million,” he said. “Last year werepatriated about 170 000 illegals, and looking at the estimatednumber of them in the country, this is pretty much a drop in theocean in what is a continuing problem,” said Meyer. Onaverage, about 14 000 are repatriated a month. An illegalimmigrant is defined as someone who is in the country without thecorrect documentation. The person could have arrived in thecountry legally, and then allowed their documentation to expire,or they could have entered the country illegally in the firstplace. There is only one repatriation centre in the country,Lindela, located just outside of Krugersdorp on the West Rand.Lindela is able to house about 1 000 illegals, for a period neverlonger than 5 days. “According to the law, these people canonly be held for a maximum of 30 days, so the whole process israther quick. Everyone who is repatriated comes through Lindelaand the ‘turnover’ is obviously high”, Meyer said."The conditions at Lindela are definitely not those of aprison. Of course it is not a five-star hotel either, but it isdefinitely comfortable. It is a holding facility, and the mainobjective is to keep people from leaving the grounds,” hesaid. “Inmates” at Lindela have access to telephones,internal shops, and are free to interact as normal provided thatthey remain in the camp, which is guarded around the clock. Meyersaid that the vast majority of illegals come from SA’simmediate neighbours - those countries with which we share acommon border. Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique and Zimbabwe are byfar and away the most common countries of origin. “Together,Mozambique and Zimbabwe are responsible for about 90% of theillegals found in this country. Last year alone, we repatriated107 000 Mozambicans and almost 50 000 Zimbabweans,” he said.The department of home affairs has over 90 countries of origin ontheir list, including such places as China, Cyprus, Israel andNepal. ‘There is a major problem with our neighbours - inthe pre­1994 days, the borders were far more secure, as theywere protected by an electrified fence which was on at all times.However, this has been switched off for the last few years andpeople are able to cross the border far easier”, Meyer said.“The SA National Defence Force is responsible for thepatrolling of these borders, so as to why the fence is notactivated, we don’t know.” Last week, the DemocraticAlliance reported that the government was spending over R60million a year in repatriating illegals. Official figures paint avastly different picture - the department of home affairs claimsto have spent approximately R35 million on repatriation lastyear. lllegals are repatriated by train or by plane, depending ontheir country of origin. “In almost all instances ofrepatriation, the taxpayer foots the bill, although the costs dodiffer from case to case. If someone is in the country on areturn ticket, but their documentation has expired, then they aresimply returned to their country of origin on their ownticket,” Meyer said. If a person is unable to pay for theirreturn, then the SA government does, Meyer said. In certainhigh-profile instances, illegals are accompanied overseas by aSouth African escort, further increasing costs. The vast majorityof illegals are transported home by train -the easiest way to getthem back to their African countries of origin.

Tanzania

2000 Tanzanians flee Pemba Island (Dar esSalaam, The Times of India, 26/02) - Police inTanzania's northeastern town of Tanga are holding more than 100people from Pemba island who were trying to flee the country toneighbouring Kenya, newspapers said on Sunday. More than 2,000Tanzanians have fled the semi-autonomous off-shore twin-islandstate of Zanzibar and Pemba to Kenya since January 27, when atleast 33 people, most of them supporters of the opposition CivicUnited Front (CUF) party, died in running battles with police.Although Tanzanian government authorities have repeatedlyappealed to those who had fled to Kenya to return home, sayingthe situation had normalised, CUF officials have, however,claimed that police and security agents continue to persecutetheir supporters. Reports from Tanga, the Tanzanian port nearKenya's southern Indian Ocean coast border, said that more than100 people from Pemba were arrested shortly after their arrivalat Pangani area in two dhows, the independent local Kiswahilidaily Majira reported. "Most of them resisted arrest andwere throwing stones at police and security agents," Majiraquoted a witness as saying. Tanga regional police commander FaithAmour told Majira that there were plans to send the would-berefugees to Dar es Salaam. On Friday, state-ownedTanzania-Zanzibar radio claimed that more than 1,000 refugeesfrom Zanzibar islands had returned home from Kenya after spendingtwo weeks at Shimoni camp near the Kenyan port city of Mombasa.Government officials of both Tanzania and Zanzibar have launcheda campaign to convince Zanzibaris who took refuge in Mombasa toreturn home, "because Zanzibar is now free ofviolence." But opposition supporters claim the authoritieswant the refugees back so they can arrest those behind the banneddemonstrations. However, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR) said in Nairobi on Friday evening that as many as 100refugees from Pemba were still arriving on the Kenyan coast everyday and were claiming that police harassment is continuing thereunabated. The CUF organised the January 27 demonstrations to callfor a rerun of elections held in October amid widespreadcriticism.

Zanzibar cracks down on illegalimmigrants (Dar es Salaam, Pana, 17/02) - Authorities inthe politically agitated islands of Zanzibar on Friday started acrackdown on aliens living there without proper residence or workpermits. Most of those hauled in the search by the police andimmigration officials are Kenyans, but the nationalities ofothers have not been established. A senior immigration officer inTanzania's federated islands, George Jacob Kaswende toldjournalists that foreigners caught in the surprise swoop would betaken to court next week to answer charges in connection withtheir illegal stay in the islands. Kaswende said the Kenyans wereworking either as handicraft dealers or tour guides on theeastern shores of Zanzibar. Reliable reports from the islandssaid many Kenyans had immigrated to Zanzibar and adopted newnames so that they could 0be recognised as bona fide Tanzanians.One of them, 30-year-old Joseph Nyagiti Osiri, was convicted ofthe offence, fined 50,000 shillings (1US dollar = TShs 800) andordered to leave the island immediately. The crackdown on illegalimmigrants in Zanzibar came in less than four days after threeZanzibaris, believed to be members of the government'santi-smuggling naval unit, or KMKM, were nabbed in a camp hostingTanzanian refugees near Mombasa in Kenya. Kenyan officials saidthey did not intend to prosecute the marines but they would handthem over to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees wheninvestigation is completed. Zanzibar has been in a politicalturmoil since the bloody riots on 27 January and the subsequenthigh-handed reaction by authorities to clamp down on supportersof the main opposition party, Civic United Front (CUF). Thegovernment blamed the CUF leadership for staging the riots, butthe opposition in Tanzania charges that the ruling Chama ChaMapinduzi party and its government have been overbearing in theirattitude towards other parties. Clashes between security forcesand CUF supporters in Zanzibar have driven hundreds of people outof the country to seek asylum in neighbouring Kenya. In a bid toquell the political storm on the islands, the government ofZanzibar and that of the Tanzania union recently appealed to therefugees to return home. At stake was Tanzania's reputation,which in the past four decades of independence from Britishcolonial rule had been politically stable while it hostedthousands of refugees from different countries in Africa. To theamazement of the government, the first Tanzanian refugees in thecountry's history have rejected the gesture maintaining thatenough calm had not returned to the islands to guarantee theirsafety. The CUF leadership too has added its voice to the theirconcern. Strangely, though, other opposition parties seem to havea split opinion on the Tanzanian refugees issue. After a visit toPemba island, located north of the main Zanzibar island, lastweek some Members of Parliament who represent the opposition saidthe mass exodus of refugees to Kenya was triggered by incentivesallegedly promised by CUF leaders to their supporters. Dr AmanKabourou, secretary general of Chadema party and MP for Kigomaconstituency charged that leaders of CUF had solicited the partyzealots to go into voluntary exile, promising to pay them 2,000shillings (about 25 US dollars) daily. However, Kabourou said theclaim of such payment was only part of his team's findings andthat the government was planning another fact finding tour forthe legislators to the refugee camp in Mombasa. In a relateddevelopment, the Tanzania government has sent a mission abroad,headed by foreign affairs and international co- operationminister Jakaya Kikwete to counter what officials said was"negative propaganda" by the CUF on the prevailingsituation in Zanzibar. The delegation is touring the UnitedKingdom, the United States, France and the Netherlands, amongother countries "to put the record straight before theinternational community" in connection with what theofficials say is a distorted image of Tanzania, portrayed by CUF.CUF secretary general Seif Sharrif Hamad has been on a tourabroad trying to convince the donor community to put developmentaid to Tanzania on hold in the wake of the disputed results ofthe general elections held October and November 2000 in Zanzibar.CUF insists that a rerun of the polls should be held in Zanzibarbecause the last voting was not free and fair. It was the party'sinsistence on the issue that led to the mayhem on 27 January.

Zanzibari refugees pour into Kenya(Nairobi, 15/02) - Scores of refugees from the troubledZanzibar islands are seeking safety in Kenya despite an amnestyoffered by the Tanzanian government, a U.N. official saidThursday. Newton Kanhema, a spokesman for the U.N. HighCommissioner for Refugees, said an average of 100 people a dayarrive on the Kenyan coast from the Indian Ocean archipelago _ asemiautonomous region of Tanzania _ where scores of people werekilled by police last month amid political demonstrations. Sincethe Jan. 27 clashes, 1,097 supporters of Zanzibar's mainopposition party, the Civic United Front, have arrived inShimoni, 75 miles south of Mombasa, Kenya's main coastal town,Kanhema said. More than 30 of the refugees have been treated forgunshot wounds or beatings and one man had to have his legamputated, Kanhema said. Sixteen legislators were among therefugees. On Tuesday, Tanzania's government called on therefugees to return home and said they would not be treated ascriminals. Opposition party leaders rejected the amnesty. U.N.workers have become increasingly concerned about the condition ofthe refugees fleeing Zanzibar as their numbers increase, and theKenyan government's failure to grant them refugee status so far.``These people have been kept in a bay and the area is so smallthat some are sleeping in the open. We have tried to providetents but the space is too small,'' Kanhema told The AssociatedPress. ``We would like them to get refugee status, then ...provide them with a new site where we can provide assistance in abetter way.'' Ministry of Home Affairs spokesman A.O. Obonyo saidthe government was still assessing the Zanzibaris' situation.``We are signatories to international protocols (for refugees)and we are not going to kick them out if they want to livehere,'' Obonyo said. Opposition officials say 70 people have diedas a result of the clashes in Zanzibar. Police say 23 people,including a policeman, were killed.

Zanzibar refugees reject amnesty (BBCNews, 14/02) - The leader of Zanzibar'smain opposition party, Seif Sharrif Hamed, has said during avisit to Mombasa, on the Kenyan coast, that it is not safe enoughfor refugees who fled there to return. On Tuesday, the TanzanianGovernment called on opposition supporters who arrived in Kenyaafter violence two weeks ago to return home saying that they willnot face prosecution. But the authorities in the semi-autonomousislands of Zanzibar say that all those who return will bearrested. Almost 1,000 people, including 14 Civic United FrontMPs, are now in a refugee camp in Shimoni having fled the recentviolence which left at least 30 dead. Among them were twoTanzanian intelligence officers, who were discovered by therefugees in the camp, and are now being questioned by Kenyanpolice. The two members of Tanzania's anti-smuggling unit werehanded over to police. The CUF opposition say that recentelections on the islands were fraudulent and should be annulled.A delegation from the Tanzanian Parliament, accompanied by localjournalists, has left for Zanzibar on a fact-finding mission. Thegroup is led by Tanzanian Interior Minister Mohammed Seif Khatib,and includes legislators from both the government and opposition.They are to investigate opposition claims that police havecontinued to harass their supporters in Zanzibar. Tanzania'sopposition parties have announced they will take the governmentto court over the deaths during the violence two weeks ago. Astatement of intent was signed in the legislative capital Dodomaon Monday. In the strongly-worded document Tanzania's 12opposition parties said that they intend jointly to take legalaction against the government. They also want the United Nationsto set up a tribunal to try President Benjamin Mkapa inconnection with the deaths. The exact number who died on theweekend of 27 January is still the subject of angry exchanges.The police say that 23 people lost their lives, while theopposition Civic United Front claims to have a list of 75 names.

Zanzibar govt calls on refugees in Kenyato return (Zanzibar, The Times of India, 14/02) - Thegovernment of Zanzibar has called on the hundreds of its citizenswho fled to Kenya because of political violence to return home,promising that they would not face criminal charges. According tothe United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) some890 people from Tanzania's semi-autonomous offshore state ofZanzibar, and the island of Pemba in particular, have fled toKenya since police clashed with opposition demonstrators onJanuary 27. The protesters were calling for a rerun of lastyear's elections which returned Tanzania's long-ruling Chama ChaMapinduzi (CCM - Revolutionary Party) to power in Zanzibar, whichhas its own government and legislature. The polls were widelydescribed as undemocratic by several international electionobserver groups. Many of those now in Kenya are seeking politicalasylum. Fourteen opposition members of Zanzibar's parliament areamong the refugees. A message broadcast on state television lateMonday said that the "Zanzibar Government welcomes back homeall its citizens living as refugees in Mombasa and elsewhere. Itis now peaceful and no one will be charged in court for anything.The Government shall make sure the wounded get propertreatment." At least 33 people were killed in the clashes,which saw police open fire on protesters calling for a repetitionof elections held last year. The opposition put the toll at 51,the police at 23. Some of those reaching Kenya suffered gunshotwounds and said they had been unable to seek medical treatment athome. Reports from Pemba meanwhile, said police there havecontinued to harass and intimidate supporters of the oppositionCivic United Front.

Fleeing opposition supporters notrefugees: Tanzanian minister (Dar es Salaam, Xinhua, 12/02) - TheTanzanian government has said that some of the members of theopposition Civic United Front (CUF) claiming to be seekingpolitical asylum in neighboring Kenya are riotous fugitivesfleeing arrest for participating in the recent bloodbath in thesemiautonomous Zanzibar region. It also reiterated that it doesnot recognize the opposition supporters who have gone to thesouthern Kenyan port of Shimoni as refugees. ‘These peopleare not refugees because they have nothing to run awayfrom,” Minister for Home Affairs Mohamed Khatib said here onSunday. He further said official records showed that about adozen or so suspected rioters were among the 409 Zanzibaris whohad fled to Kenya. ‘We will communicate with our Kenyancounterparts on how to deal with about 13 people who are nursinginjuries in hospitals. These are probable suspects who wereinvolved in the violence in Zanzibar,” said Khatib. However,he said the majority of the people who had fled to Kenya by boatsand canoes were innocent civilians. “Many of them are womenand children who have nothing to fear about. We urge them toreturn to the country and they will live peacefully,” hesaid. But he reiterated that the government would not force theopposition supporters to return to the country, saying they werefree to come home voluntarily. Unconfirmed reports said that atleast 14 CUF members of the House of Representatives of Zanzibarhave arrived in Kenya, claiming they were escaping violence onthe islands. The politicians are said to have arrived in Kenyawith about 700 other Zanzibaris who say they are seekingpolitical asylum if persecution of opposition supporterscontinues. Khatib denounced the opposition’s claims ofpersecution and alleged police brutality, saying the authoritieswere only cracking down the suspects involved in the January 27bloodbath in Zanzibar, which cost 23 lives, including onepoliceman. Violence has dogged the Zanzibar Isles, which joinedwith mainland Tanganyika to form Tanzania in 1964 but keeps itsown president and government, since the general elections lastOctober. Observers alleged the elections in the isles were marredby ballot-rigging and police intimidation. The CUF refused torecognize the ruling party’s victory and protested when theelectoral commission ruled that revote would only take place in16 of the 50 legislative districts in the isles. It boycotted thepartial revote and demands a fresh reelection.

Tanzanian refugees continue to enterKenya: UNHCR (Nairobi, The Times of India, 11/02) - Atleast 890 Tanzanians fleeing political violence on the island ofPemba have entered Kenya over the past two weeks, the UNHCR said.The figure would likely reach 1,000 because boats were continuingto leave both Pemba and nearby Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean, theUN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a statement.The Tanzanian asylum seekers are currently located at Shimoni,some 120 kilometres (74 miles) south of Kenya's Indian Ocean portcity of Mombasa, where they are receiving assistance both fromthe Kenyan government and the UNHCR. The UNHCR dispatched anassessment mission to Shimoni on February 2 to evaluate thehumanitarian needs of the refugees and distribution of food andnon-food items by the UNHCR started there earlier this week, thestatement released late on Friday said. The first group arrivedin Kenya on day after after bloody demonstrations in Zanzibar andPemba islands on January 27, which the opposition said killed upto 51 people. Fishermen rescued most of the refugees-including 15opposition Civic United Front (CUF) members of the Zanzibarlegislature-when they were adrift in rough seas, and brought themto Shimoni. The new arrivals told UNHCR officials their leadershad managed to organise the escape and carried their woundedfollowers from the chaos surrounding the brutal suppression ofthe January protests. Thirteen of the injured, some of whom hadbullet wounds, received treatment on arrival in Kenya and wereall in stable condition. The UNHCR statement said most of the newarrivals qualified for refugee status, although the Kenyanauthorities said they only consider them as persons in need ofhumanitarian assistance.

Tanzania drops envoy to Nigeria overcitizenship (The Guardian, 05/02) - Tanzanian HighCommissioner to Nigeria Timothy Bandora and three other prominentpersons have been declared non-Tanzanians by the government.Bandora, Jenerah Ulimwengu, chairman of the Tanzanian SportsCouncil and Anatoli Amam, boss of the ruling Charna Cha Mapinduzi(CCM) party in the North-Western Kagera region have also beenstripped of their posts and asked to apply for resident permitsbefore considering naturalisation. The fourth person is a formerpublicity secretary of CCM in Zanzibar, Mouldine Castico who issaid to be a Zambian. While Bandora and Ulirnwengu are alleged beRwandans, Arnani is said to be a Ugandan. A report by theTanzanian Immigration department on the nationalities of thequartet has been submitted to President Benjamin Mkapa. Althoughthe four personalities insist that they were born in Tanzania,their parents were, according to agency report, foreigners whonever applied for Tanzanian citizenship. Before his appointmentas Tanzanias envoy to Nigerian, Bandora was a principal assistantto Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Secretary-General SalimAhmed Salirn in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He also served as a seniorofficial with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and InternationalCo-operation. Ulimwengu, a rising youth leader during the regimeof Tanzanias founder president, the late Julius Nyerere, servedfor 10 years as Secretary-General of the Pan-African YouthMovement in Algiers, Algeria. He also held the positions ofdistrict commissioner and director of sports before joiningpolitics as a parliamentarian.

Tanzania declares 4 public figures aliens(Dar es Salaam, Pana, 04/02) - Tanzanian government hasdeclared four prominent persons as non-citizens and relieved themof their posts, officials said. The decision Friday was said tohave followed investigations by the country's immigrationDepartment which established that two of the public figures wereRwandan citizens and the other two a Ugandan and Zambian. Thosedeclared aliens include Tanzania's High Commissioner to Nigeria,Timothy Bandora, and the chairman of the National Sports Council,Jenerali Ulimwengu. Both are said to be Rwandan nationals,according to the immigration Department inquiry. An InteriorMinistry probe also established that a former outspoken publicitySecretary of Tanzania's ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party (CCM) inZanzibar, Mouldine Castico, is a Zambian. The fourth person,Anatoli Amani, currently the CCM chairman for the western Kageraprovince, has been declared a Ugandan. "Although the fourprominent persons insist that they were born in Tanzania, theirparents were foreigners who never applied for Tanzaniancitizenship," said an Interior Ministry official who askedfor anonymity. He said the four had been informed about thedevelopment and asked to apply for resident permits beforeseeking naturalisation. A report on the four has been reportedlysubmitted to Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa. Before beingappointed Tanzania's envoy in Nigeria, Bandora was a PrincipalAssistant to the OAU's Secretary-General Salim Ahmed Salim. Healso served as a senior official of the country's Foreign Affairsand International Co-operation Ministry. Ulimwengu, a youthleader during the regime of Tanzania's late President JuliusNyerere, served for 10 years as Secretary- General of thePan-African Youth Movement in Algiers, Algeria. He also held thepositions of District Commissioner and Director of Sports beforebeing elected a parliamentarian. Tanzania's immigrationDepartment has instituted strict measures on the country'scitizenship.

Canada pledges assistance to refugees inTanzania (Dar es Salaam, Xinhua, 03/02) - Canada haspledged to give Tanzania 550 million Tanzanian shillings (about687,500 U.S.dollars) to assist refugees staying in the eastAfrican country. According to a statement issued here on Fridayby the Canadian High Commission, the assistance will cater forthe care and maintenance of the refugees in the Kigoma Region,west of Tanzania. Tanzania has been one of the majorrefugee-hosting countries in Africa. Due to instabilities causedby civil conflicts in their home countries, refugees fromneighboring Burundi. the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwandastill keep entering the country.

Zambia

Refugee influx drops (Times of Zambia,15/02) - The number of refugees fleeing into Zambia hasdrastically fallen due to scaled down skirmishes in war -tornAngola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. All the entry pointsin Luapula, Northern, Western and North-Western provinces werereceiving less numbers of refugees. United Nations HighCommissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesman Kelvin Shimo saidyesterday that the refugee body had recorded less figures thisyear as compared to the previous year. ‘Only very fewarrivals have been recorded this year. The situation is the samefor both Angola and DRC,’Mr Shimo said. Mr Shimo said thisyear’s 1,000 refugee entrants country-wide was better ascompared to last year’s mass entries recorded over regularshort periods. This was also a positive development for theGovernment in off-setting the problem of refugees in Zambia. Atthe close of last year, the UNHCR recorded a total country-widepopulation of 250,000. And Mr Shimo said the issuing of securityidentity cards for the refugees in the urban areas was going onsmoothly and would soon be extended to the rural areas. The movewas aimed at safeguarding the lives of the refugees and that oflocals. And the UNHCR will turn Mwangi refugee camp into anagricultural camp to enable refugees sustain themselves. Mr Shimosaid the refugees had overstayed at the camp and would notcontinue being looked after by UNHCR. The refugees would beequipped with farming equipment and knowledge to enable themdevelop skills that might assist them.

Zambia debating citizenship for refugees(Independent Online, 09/02) - Zambia, which hosts tensof thousands of refugees from war-torn neighbouring countries, isconsidering granting citizenship to such people who have beenliving on its soil for at least 30 years, a state-owned dailyreported on Friday. The Zambia Daily Mail quoted Home AffairsMinister Peter Machungwa as telling parliament on Thursday thathis ministry was considering amending the law to allow suchrefugees to be granted citizenship, along with their children.Machungwa was expected to present the proposed legislation toparliament in the near future, the paper said. Ordinarilyforeigners have to stay in Zambia consecutively for a minimumperiod of 10 years before they can be granted citizenship, butthat law does not apply to refugees. Zambia currently hosts morethan 250 000 refugees, mostly from the neighbouring states ofAngola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some of them havebeen in Zambia for more than three decades.

Refugees at Osire need medical facilities(The Namibian, 07/02) - Officialsfrom the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)and the Red Cross say the Osire refugee camp is in desperate needof a well-equipped clinic. During a visitto the camp at the end of last week, UNHCR Representative inNamibia, Hesdy Rathling, said the camp - now home to close to 20000 refugees - was in dire need of such help. Rathlinghighlighted the situation at a handover of medical equipmentdonated by the World Health Organisation (WHO). He called onlocal business people and individuals to support the refugees atthe Osire Camp." "The UNHCR strongly welcomes this typeof support .....We are facing a tremendous shortage of basicmedical equipment and close to 75 per cent of our daily ailmentsare referred to Otjiwarongo." "The situation is simplyworsening by the day as more and more refugees come to Osire on adaily basis. What we need here is a clinic fully furnished withbeds and sufficient medical equipment," the UNHCR officialsaid. He added the situation at the camp was in sharp contrast toplaces like neighbouring Okakarara." "If you comparethe population of Okakarara with that of Osire then you willrealise that much more people are living at Osire but Okakarararesidents are better off compared to those living here at therefugee camp." "There are much more people at Osire andthe numbers are increasing daily but yet this place does not haveits own hospital with a doctor and sisters. We have to refer mostof our cases to Otjiwarongo," he said. Rathling announcedthat the equipment donated by the WHO would be shared with theOtjiwarongo State Hospital "because the UNHCR is also awareof the heavy constraints the refugees put on the Government'sbudget", he said. He added that it was difficult forGovernment, which has obligations of its own towards the peopleof the country, to have to deal with the problems at the refugeecamp as well. Head Co-ordinator of the Namibian Red Cross forOsire, Alex Meroro, echoed Rathling's sentiments. He added thatthe survival of the refugees depended on support frominstitutions such as the WHO." "What Osire needs is afully-fledged clinic with 20 to 50 beds which could be turnedinto a dispensary. The current situation is just undesirable asall our serious cases are referred to Otjiwarongo." "Wehave two ambulances at the camp at the moment and the vehicleshave to cover 120 kilometres two to three times per day, takingthe worst cases to Otjiwarongo to see a doctor," Merorosaid. He explained that new arrivals at the camp were often in apoor condition. "If there are some serious cases then theyare immediately referred to the nearest hospital for treatment.The Namibian Government carries most of their medical costs whichis really too heavy on the host country," he added.""The situation in Angola is really bad. After 30 years ofcivil war the agriculture has collapsed and the people comingfrom that country are mostly sick on arrival before they areresettled by the UNHCR." "The Red Cross officialpointed out that the UNHCR provided material like tents,mattresses and blankets to the refugees while the duty of the RedCross was mostly to render humanitarian assistance. He noted thatthe Red Cross had so far provided the refugee camp with six solarpower boreholes and 31 hand pumps, while the UNHCR had drilledthree boreholes and Government had donated three electricalboreholes.

Possible deportation of Vice-President toMalawi (Times of Zambia, 02/02) - InformationMinister Newstead Zimba yesterday denied Government wanted todeport Vice-President Christon Tembo to Malawi and described theinsinuations as an atrocious lie. At a Press briefing in Lusaka,Mr Zimba said a Post newspaper story that the General Tembo wouldbe deported ahead of this year’s presidential and generalelections was malicious. He added that Government had never sentanybody to Malawi to try and recruit people who could accept Gen.Tembo as a relative, to pave way for his deportation. ‘At notime has the Government contemplated the deportation of theVice-President of the Republic of Zambia. The malicious reportwhich was carried by The Post newspaper this week is the work ofpolitically and evil persons inside and outside Zambia who arehell-bent on alarming the country and destabilising theMMD,’ Mr Zimba said. He also disclosed The Post newspaperlied when it said Gen Tembo confirmed his impending deportation.‘The Vice-President never uttered the words they usedpurporting he confirmed he was going to be deported. It is clearthat this lie is being orchestrated by the enemies of the MMDGovernment, especially those who are threatened by the strengthand unity of the ruling party, and would therefore like to see itdivided,’ he said. The nation was very much aware that theMMD was a credible party that had stood the test of time and evenwithstood the pressures of its adversaries in the past. He saidGovernment and the MMD would not allow itself to fall prey tosuch Òevil and malicious misinformation’ designed to splitits leaders and members as the elections approached. Mr Zimbanoted that while Government was committed to Press freedom, thefreedom enjoyed by the media should not be abused. The fact thatairwaves and the media in general had been liberalised did notmean newspapers should start distorting facts. He said The Posthad shown that it was a newspaper that based its reporting oninnuendoes, especially against the head of State. On Monday ThePost carried a story in which it alleged that the Gen. Tembo wasto be deported for being anti-third term calls. Sections ofZambians have recently asked President Chiluba to go for anotherterm. The President has not responded to these calls. The reportalleged that Gen. Tembo had presidential ambitions and that hewas consequently going to be deported so that Dr Chiluba couldhave no opposition from within the MMD.

Fears that refugees camps harbouringUNITA (London, Angola Peace Monitor, 01/02) - There aregrowing fears that remnants of Jonas Savimbi's army are hidinginside United Nations refugee camps in Zambia. Zambia received ahuge influx of Angolan refugees following the Angolan armyvictory at the former UNITA base of Jamba in December 1999,leading to the creation of Nangweshi refugee camp. The UNMonitoring Mechanism pointed out in a report to the UN SecurityCouncil (see APM no. 4 vol. VII) points out that there is "aconsiderable risk that this camp also functions as a kind of aclandestine UNITA base or safe haven", and its leadershipconsists "of persons that had important functions in the"old Jamba". The Mechanism also warns of the "riskof forced recruitment of minors and to the likelihood that thecamp is also being used as a safe haven for UNITA soldiers".The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) states that itintends to move the Nangweshi refugee camp away from the borderwith Angola because of the tense situation. The UNHCRrepresentative in Zambia, Oluseyi Bajulaiye, told the Pan AfricanNews Agency on 5 January that the refugees would be relocated toa new site in Kaoma, western Zambia because of national securityconcerns. He said that it has not been easy to monitor activitiesand deliver supplies to the camp because of its location and thebad conditions of the roads. The camp hosts nearly 13,000Angolans, and there are allegations that senior UNITA militaryfigures operate from within the camp. Some estimates put thenumber of UNITA soldiers in the camp as high as 8,000.

Zimbabwe

Media Institute criticizes expulsion ofjournalists (BOPA, 26/02) - The Media Institute ofSouthern Africa (MISA) has expressed its sadness at what it terms"the worsening media environment in Zimbabwe" after theexpulsion of two foreign journalists based in Harare. A newsrelease issued by MISA director Modise Maphanyane describes theexpulsion of BBC correspondent Joseph Winter and Mail andGuardian's Mercedes Sayagues, as "a pathetic example ofmanagement gone awry". "This is an uncalled forreaction by a government which is a signatory not only to theUN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but also the WindhoekDeclaration," the release says. MISA has also criticised thedeclaration by the minister of agriculture and an immigration topofficial that they would not abide by a court order instructingthem not to harass the two journalists. MISA says the Zimbabweanappalling situation is not of the making of the media. MISA,therefore, calls on the Zimbabwean government to "calm downand deal with its serious social and political problems in acivilised and concerted manner" which will take on board allthe spectrum of the Zimbabwean society, the media included.

Journalist's account of expulsion fromZimbabwe (BBC News, 24/02) - As I write this piece onthe plane back to London, I'm feeling a deep sense of sadness atthe manner of our departure, and relief that we managed to leavewithout discovering at first hand exactly what the men who triedto break into our house had really wanted. I'm also angry at thevindictive way we were treated by the Zimbabwean authorities. Atheart, I'm a natural optimist, a rare and possibly out-of-placequality for a journalist. When the two immigration officerssummoned me to their headquarters on a Saturday morning, when thebuilding would normally be deserted, I thought to myself, theycan't give us 24 hours to leave, the message another foreignjournalist had been given through the state-owned press earlierin the week.

Zimbabwe's secret police do not enjoy a reputation forbeing polite and gentle as they conduct interviews - Butthat was exactly what they said. After spending Saturdayafternoon trying to get a judge to make an injunction against ourdeportation, I told my wife, Anne-Marie, "Don't worry.They're not going to come and drag us out of our beds in themiddle of the night." How wrong can you get? Luckily, mywife was much less rosy-eyed. She insisted on us packing ourbags, just in case. If she hadn't, we would have fled to SouthAfrica with just the clothes we had thrown on as our kitchen doorwas being smashed down. As it is, we left all our daughter's toysbehind, along with my wedding ring, which I forgot to grab as weran out of the house in a state of panic. Just hours afterfinishing our packing, the doorbell rang at 2:00am. Even inrelatively genteel Harare, burglars don't ring doorbells, leavingno doubt that it was the visit we had been dreading. We phonedour lawyer, who advised us not to answer. Maybe they were tappingour phone, because almost immediately, they went to the back ofthe house, jumped over the wall, and began hammering away on thekitchen door, making a noise loud enough to raise even thedeepest sleeper, except miraculously, our daughter of just 20months. Then we heard other noises, as they, whoever they were,tried to break in. Now when we moved into this house two yearsago, we laughed at the paranoia of the landlord. He had installedthick metal bars over every window, and padlocks everywhere, evenbolts on the outside of the toilet door, so that if someone brokein through the window, they could be locked inside. Between 2:00and 2.30 last Sunday morning, these elaborate safety precautionsproved their worth. The two of us were sitting in our bedroom,scared out of our wits. Zimbabwe's secret police do not enjoy areputation for being polite and gentle as they conductinterviews. But I didn't have time to consider what specific fatemay await us. I just felt a blank, generalised terror, knowingthat what was happening wasn't in our best interests.

We learned later that they had returned at 4:20am, andhad finally succeeded in smashing their way through the assortedlocks, bolts and padlocks - I was frantically diallingaway on the phone. The lawyer said she would come straight away.The photographer, who from the beginning had wanted some actionphotos of our deportation, rushed round, along with otherjournalists and a British diplomat. Of this assortment of friendsand allies, it was the flash of the camera, illuminating thewhole road like lightning, which drove the so-called securityagents away. I had previously learned, in somewhat similarcircumstances, that such people don't like being filmed as theydo their dirty work. When it was obvious that they had gone, wegingerly opened the door to the suggestion that we go and spendwhat was left of the night with the British High Commission. Thisprospect of safety sounded far more appealing than even the mostluxurious hotel. We grabbed a few small bags, along with ourdaughter, still fast asleep, and jumped into the car. We learnedlater that they had returned at 4:20am, and had finally succeededin smashing their way through the assorted locks, bolts andpadlocks. Even as I write this, the last I heard was that apolice officer was still preventing anyone from entering thepremises, despite the pictures of me in South Africa being beamedaround the world. Even in the sanctuary of the British HighCommission, the slightest sound had us jumping up from our beds.On Sunday, we continued with our legal battle. Aroundlunchtime, we finally had some good news. The government lawyershad agreed to us remaining for another five days - not thecancellation of our expulsion that we had wanted, but a far morereasonable time to wind up our affairs in a country after fouryears. And a judge issued a court order to this effect, whichalso barred state agents from interfering with us or our propertyin any way.

When the door was closed on that plane, I knew we werefinally safe, and a wave of overwhelming relief swept throughoutmy body - But our reprieve was short-lived. The lawyerphoned a couple of hours later to say that everyone, from theInformation Minister who had organised this whole sorry episode,to the police officers inside our house, had refused to obey whattheir own legal representatives had agreed to. It was obviousthat they really had it in for us. While we may have had themoral high ground, we were up against the whole force of thestate machinery, and it was an uneven contest. When our landlordlater phoned to say that the man he had sent to look after bothhis and our property had been chased away by secret policewielding machine guns, all our thoughts turned to: how do we getout of here? Luckily, the far-sighted BBC South Africa BureauChief had already made reservations on a flight to Johannesburgfirst thing the next morning. When the door was closed on thatplane, I knew we were finally safe, and a wave of overwhelmingrelief swept throughout my body. We arrived to see the dramaticpictures of our midnight escape splashed across the localnewspapers. It was incredible walking around a Johannesburgshopping mall, as stranger after stranger came up to us, saying,"We're so sorry about what happened. Don't worry. Keep upthe good work," or asked, "What is Mugabe up to?"I almost broke down in tears when three Zimbabwean waitressestried to comfort us, mothering us like wounded chicks. But as wenow fly away, my thoughts are with those we leave behind. Afterintimidating opposition supporters, local journalists, lawyers,judges, and now the foreign press, who will be next, as RobertMugabe pulls out all the stops to remain in power?

Zimbabwe says expelled journalist wasUnita sympathizer (Harare, Pana, 23/02) - Zimbabwe saidon Friday a journalist working for the South African Mail &Guardian newspaper it expelled last week was a supporter of theAngolan rebel UNITA movement. Mercedes Sayagues, who had beenbased in Zimbabwe for nine years, left the country on Thursdayafter being ordered out by the authorities because ofirregularities with her work permit. Justice Minister PatrickChinamasa said the journalist was a strong supporter of JonasSavimbi's UNITA rebel group, which is fighting to topple theAngolan government, a close ally of Zimbabwe. "This lady wasa UNITA supporter, an immense UNITA supporter," he toldParliament which is probing the expulsion of Sayagues, togetherwith that of British Broadcasting Corporation reporter, JosephWinter. President Robert Mugabe, visiting Tanzania, said onThursday the two reporters were involved in "otherthings" besides reporting, implying spying. "There havebeen these two journalists. One British and I say journalist inquotes, but he was doing many other things than journalism. Thenone who was reporting for the Mail & Guardian of SouthAfrica, and also she was doing lots of other things," hesaid. Winter, who had been working in Zimbabwe for the past fouryears, left the country on Monday.

Zimbabwean tourist industry difficulties(Harare, Business Day, 23/02) - One of Zimbabwe's largest hotel groups said yesterdaythe once-thriving hotel sector had in the past few months lostmore than 5000 jobs as companies struggle to survive their worstviability crisis so far. Rainbow Tourism Group said more than 100registered tourism operators had also closed business as Zimbabwecontinued to suffer from a wave of bad international publicitythat has kept well-heeled tourists away. Chairman Ibbo Mandazasaid that Zimbabwe's tourism industry, which normally generatesmore than Z6bn a year in foreign earnings, experienced its worsttourist arrivals in a decade last year, resulting in a 60%decline in arrivals compared with the previous 12 months. Majorcontributory factors included the current fuel crisis, theperception of Zimbabwe as an unsafe destination, thecontroversial land reform programme, the withdrawal of somedirect overseas airline arrivals and Zimbabwe's negative image,particularly last year. As a result virtually all major sourcemarkets issued country warnings to their travelling citizens,generally advising them against travelling to Zimbabwe. Thedecline in tourism arrivals had resulted in reduced occupancylevels at hotels, substantial operating losses, the direct lossof about 5000 jobs and the closure of more than 100 registeredoperators. Industry analysts, however, estimate that job losseswere in excess of 6000 while gross foreign earnings last yearfell to less than Z3bn. Rainbow itself offered voluntaryretirement and retrenchment packages to nearly 400 workers in thepast few months.

Govt admits it deported two foreignjournalists for alleged bias (Harare, Sapa-AP, 22/02) - Thesecond of two foreign journalists expelled by the government leftZimbabwe Thursday, scoffing at authorities' allegations herreporting was biased. Authorities initially claimed that thedeportations of the two journalists had no motives other thanirregularities in their work permits which rendered them invalid,and the preparation of new media accreditation regulations. OnWednesday, however, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa toldParliament the two were expelled for professional misconduct andwhat he called distortion of events in Zimbabwe and"propagating falsehoods" in their reporting to mediaorganizations abroad. Officials Saturday ordered MercedesSayagues, a free-lance reporter of Uruguayan nationality workingfor the weekly South African newspaper Mail and Guardian, andJoseph Winter, a British Broadcasting Corp. correspondent, toleave the country within 24 hours. They won court orders allowingthem to remain in Zimbabwe until Friday, but Winter and his wifeand baby daughter left Zimbabwe Monday after Zimbabwe securityagents broke down the door of their Harare apartment in the earlyhours of Sunday morning. The government said the agents hadintended to serve a deportation order on Winter but did notexplain why it was to be done at 2 a.m. Information MinisterJonathan Moyo has accused Winter of colluding with an official inthe information department who renewed his permit to 2002 withoutauthority. Winter had worked in Zimbabwe for four years andSayagues for nine years. Sayagues was staying at a secret addressbefore her departure after Moyo said the government was not boundby a court ruling ordering the government to stop harassing thetwo journalists. Ruling party supporters have threatened violenceagainst those who oppose the government. Sayagues on Thursdaysaid accusations made by Chinamasa that she was `'an immensesupporter" of the UNITA rebel movement were bizarre.Zimbabwe is a close ally of the Angolan government, which hasbeen fighting the rebels for more than two decades. "I findit totally bizarre now to be (accused of being) a UNITA ally.When we took in food aid, UNITA always said we were allies of thegovernment," she said. Officials at Harare airport madeSayagues sign papers Thursday accepting her status as a"prohibited immigrant" that would indefinitely bar herfrom returning to Zimbabwe. Sayagues, who boarded a flight toSouth Africa with her 9-year-old daughter, told a score ofwell-wishers at the airport she would challenge that status inthe courts. She said she had applied for permanent residence inZimbabwe, having lived in the country longer than the five-yearrequirement for prospective residents. Last month, a series ofbomb blasts damaged the printing presses of Zimbabwe's onlyindependent daily newspaper, The Daily News. The paper continuedpublishing without interruption. No one has been arrested in thebombings. Moyo had earlier described the paper as a threat tonational security and ruling party militants burned copies on thestreets.

Mugabe targets journalists, foreignersahead of poll (Harare, Sapa-AP, 20/02) - PresidentRobert Mugabe accused foreign election observers of interferingin Zimbabwe's internal affairs and said their "dirty,interfering hands" will not be welcome in future elections,according to state media Tuesday. Mugabe's comments andincreasing restrictions on foreign journalists are part of agovernment effort to thwart foreign scrutiny and might be part ofa plan for Mugabe to call early presidential elections this year,the opposition said Tuesday. Instability in the country andMugabe's increasingly authoritarian rule has crippled theeconomy, scared away foreign investors and drawn scathingcriticism from the international community. Internationalobservers monitoring parliamentary elections last June saidpre-election violence, mainly committed by ruling partymilitants, had tainted the result. Addressing foreign diplomatsMonday evening, Mugabe said the parliamentary elections saw"a massive degree of external interference" and hisgovernment would not tolerate the "prevailing practice ofobserving elections for purposes of interfering with them.""Zimbabwe ... will never in future brook the phenomenon ofdirty, interfering hands in its domestic affairs," he said.The government announced Saturday it was deporting two foreignjournalists. It has also said it would announce new rules Fridaygoverning foreign reporters. The government has also put pressureon judges who have ruled against it, forcing Chief JusticeAnthony Gubbay into early retirement last month under threats ofviolence and refusing to protect the other four Supreme Courtjustices from ruling party militants. The main oppositionMovement for Democratic Change said the government was panickingahead of upcoming presidential elections. "It is clear it isacting like it is under siege and therefore hitting out ateveryone it perceives to be an enemy," MDC leader MorganTsvangirai told the British Broadcasting Corp. "All thisscenario is being built toward an early presidentialelection" to be called probably around August, Tsvangiraisaid. Mugabe's 6-year-term expires next March. Under theconstitution, Mugabe, 76, can only call an early election if heresigns, leaving his deputy to act as caretaker during thecampaign. Mugabe might prefer to face voters before the country'ssituation further deteriorates, analysts said. Mugabe's party wona narrow majority of 62 of the 120 elected seats in the Juneelections, the biggest challenge to his hold on power since heled the nation to independence from colonial rule in 1980. In theprevious parliament, Mugabe's party controlled all but threeseats. Restrictions on foreign journalists continued Tuesday withseveral newly arrived reporters receiving accreditation for onlyfive days, instead of the usual four week passes. The journalistswere told to reapply after five days, when new media regulationswill be in force. Officials have indicated those regulations willrequire foreign journalists to apply for visas through embassiesin their home countries. The embassies would seek approval fromthe Ministry of Information attached to Mugabe's office. Foreignjournalists already in Zimbabwe would be expected to leave andreapply. The government said Saturday it was deporting BBCcorrespondent Joseph Winter and Mercedes Sayagues, a reporter forthe South African Mail and Guardian newspaper, allegedly afterirregularities were found in their work permits. A court ruledthey could remain in the country until Friday to get theiraffairs in order. Winter fled the country Monday with his wifeand daughter after security agents broke into their Harareapartment after 2:00 a.m. Sunday. Officials said the agents hadonly wanted to serve him with the deportation order. Sayagues, aUruguayan citizen, is staying at an undisclosed diplomaticresidence ahead of her departure. Last month, a powerfulexplosion wrecked the printing presses of Zimbabwe's onlyindependent daily newspaper, The Daily News. The paper continuedpublishing without interruption. No one has been arrested in thebombing.

Mugabe says foreigners are meddling inZimbabwe (Harare, Sapa-AFP, 19/02) - ZimbabweanPresident Robert Mugabe on Monday blasted what he called foreigninterference in his nation's affairs, and insisted that landreform was needed to maintain the country's stability."Zimbabwe is a sovereign nation and will in the future neverbrook the phenomenon of dirty hands in its domesticaffairs," Mugabe told a reception for foreign ambassadors,according to the state ZIANA news agency. He also attacked whathe said was foreign influence in June parliamentary elections,and the negative image portrayed overseas of his controversialland reform scheme. "Any attempts by outsiders to exploit... the prevailing practice of observing elections for purposesof interfering with them and undermining our people's sovereignright to decide who shall govern cannot be tolerated," hesaid. He defended his so-called "fast track" landreform scheme, saying its aim was to "achieve that idealenvironment, for this country can never experience peace andsecurity in the future if present colonial disparities areperpetuated." Mugabe plans to resettle five million hectares(12 million acres) of white-owned lands to poor blacks, in schemedeclared illegal by the Zimbabwean Supreme Court. The landreforms have also been accompanied by a violent squatter movementon white-owned farms for the last year, with farmers and farmworkers alike subjected to beatings and other intimidation.

Journalist granted deportation stay (TheDaily News, 19/02) - The High Court yesterday grantedJoseph Winter, the BBC correspondent given 24 hours to leave thecountry on Saturday, his application to stay until next Friday.Winter, who has worked in Zimbabwe for four years, had beendeclared persona non grata on Saturday after his work permit wascancelled. The order, granted by Justice Esmael Chatikobo, wasmade with the consent of the government. Mercedes Sayagues, theZimbabwe correspondent of the Mail & Guardian newspaper inSouth Africa, was granted a similar order. She had been orderedto leave on Saturday, but was allowed back to fetch hernine-year-old daughter. The orders restrain State officials from“harassing or interfering in any way whatsoever” withthe two and their property, and allows them to apply for anextension of the period to the relevant authorities. But Winterand Sayagues are barred from working. Immigration officials,acting on the orders of the Department of Information andPublicity in the President’s Office, cancelled Winter’swork permit which was valid until February next year. It wasissued about three weeks ago. The Minister of State forInformation and Publicity in the President’s Office,Jonathan Moyo, was quoted by The Sunday Mail $80m needed assaying Winter’s deportation was merely an application of therule of law. But this is not the first time that Winter has had abrush with Moyo. In December last year Moyo summoned Winter andordered him out of the Zanu PF special congress at the CitySports Centre in Harare, accusing him of disseminating“falsehoods” about Zimbabwe. On Friday, Immigrationofficials failed to find Winter and when he called at theiroffices on Saturday, they told him the procedure for accreditingforeign journalists had Beatings will changed and he had toreturn to Britain and reapply from there. His deportation wasstayed when he asked for time to make travel arrangements. In theearly hours of yesterday, about six men in civilian clothesreportedly tried to break into Winter’s flat in centralHarare. The BBC journalist telephoned his lawyer, British HighCommission officials and journalists. The men fled in a waitingcar when the journalists arrived. Winter, his wife and youngdaughter were taken away by British officials. Winter said tojournalists at the scene: “We were terrified, and we thoughtthey were going to kill us. We don’t know who these peoplewere.

British journalist in Zimbabwe seeksrefuge at embassy (Harare, DAWN, 19/02) - A BBCcorrespondent ordered by the government to leave Zimbabwe within24 hours took refuge on Sunday at the British High Commission inHarare after a gang tried to break into his flat. Joseph Winterclaimed that while the gang failed to gain entrance to his gardenflat in the capital, police later forced their way in after heand his family were taken to the high commission overnight.Winter and another journalist Mercedes Sayagues, a citizen ofUruguay, who writes for South Africa's Mail and Guardiannewspaper, were on Saturday ordered to leave the troubledsouthern African country within 24 hours. Legal sources said thepair were Sunday seeking a High Court judge to obtain anextension of the deportation until Friday, and to ask police notto harass them. The order was expected to be heard later Sunday.The attack on Winter's house and the expulsion orders come amidan onslaught on the media and the opposition which, according toanalysts, is linked to next year's presidential elections whichPresident Robert Mugabe fears he may lose. The printing pressesof the privately-owned newspaper the Daily News were bombed atthe end of January, hours after a government minister made aveiled threat against the paper, while local reporters have beendetained and harassed. Mugabe has accused the foreign and localindependent media of plotting to destabilise the country. OnFriday, the leader of the main opposition Movement for DemocraticChange (MDC), Morgan Tsvangirai, was formally charged withinciting violence during a speech he made last year. And in whatis considered an attack on the independence of the judiciary, twosupreme court judges have been pressed to resign within the pasttwo weeks following the departure of the chief justice, who wastold his safety could no longer be guaranteed. Legislativeelections last June saw the ruling party face its first everserious opposition when it lost nearly half of the contested 120seats to the MDC. Winter said he had sought refuge with the highcommission as a safety precaution after unknown men in plainclothes scaled the wall to his flat and tried to break in aftermidnight. "I was scared for my safety and that of my family.We did not know who these people were," Winter said. He saida neighbour had told him that police had broken into his flataround 4am, about a hour after a British diplomat had taken heand his family to the high commission. "They have brokeninto my house," Winter said, adding that he had seen threemen, two in police uniform, standing guard outside the premiseswhen he drove past Sunday morning.

Zimbabwe to tighten ban on dualcitizenship (Harare, Reuters, 19/02) - The Zimbabweangovernment said on Sunday that it would tighten a law againstdual citizenship in a move likely to hit thousands of whites ofBritish descent. A government spokesman told state-run radio thatan amendment to the Citizenship Act would be tabled in parliamentthis week to close loopholes being exploited by some people toretain dual citizenship. The move comes after the government saidit would withdraw passports from critics who were undermining itsimage abroad and pushing for international sanctions against it.The spokesman said the amendment was necessary after the SupremeCourt ruled that a law prohibiting dual citizenship wasimpractical as it did not contain a provision requiring a personto present evidence of having renounced any other citizenship.“The effect of this (new bill) is to amend section 9 50 thatnow a person who wishes to retain Zimbabwean citizenship willhave to renounce his foreign citizenship,” the spokesmansaid. The official Ziana news agency also said the government wascutting to five years from seven the time in which a citizencould stay out of the country “without lawful excuse”before losing Zimbabwean citizenship. It quoted a governmentspokesman as saying President Robert Mugabes ruling Zanu-PF party- which faces an unprecedented challenge sparked by a severeeconomic crisis - had been forced to tighten the rules tosideline opponents hiding under dual citizenship. “There areconcerns that those with dual citizenship are behind efforts todiscredit the government to use diplomatic and other means totopple the Zanu-PF government,” the spokesman said.“Lines of credit, aid and other forms of assistance havebeen systematically stopped over the last couple of years topressure the government,” added the state-run Sunday Mailnewspaper. Government officials estimate that up to 20 000 whiteswith Zimbabwean passports also hold British passports or canclaim British citlzenship. Whites make unless than one percent ofZimbabwe’s 12.5 million people, but are currently underpressure from the government, which accuses them of bankrollingthe main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).Self-styled independence war veterans have invaded hundreds ofwhite-owned farms in the past year in support of a programme toseize and reclaim land “stolen” from blacks when thecountry was colonised by the British in the 1890s. Politicalanalysts say Mugabe and his supporters have embarked on acampaign to intimidate and muzzle the media and opposition aheadof next year’s presidential elections. The government hasordered the expulsion of two foreign journalists, one of them aBBC correspondent, but a court on Sunday ruled that they couldremain in the country until Friday.

UK protest over expulsion of journalist(BBC News, 18/02) - Joseph Winter hasuntil 23 February to stop his expulsion. The UK Government hasstrongly criticised Zimbabwe for what it called its intimidationof a BBC journalist who has been ordered to leave the country.The journalist, Joseph Winter, was forced to take refuge, alongwith his family, at the British High Commission after a group ofmen tried to break into his house during Saturday night.Meanwhile, a lawyer representing Mr Winter has obtained a rulingfrom a court in Harare delaying the expulsion for five days. Theruling - which also applies to a journalist working for a SouthAfrican newspaper, Mercedes Sayagues - prevents officials fromharassing Mr Winter in any way. However, he says governmentofficials, including the Minister of Information and ChiefImmigration Officer, have refused to accept the order and saythey will not abide by it. In condemning the expulsions, a seniorBritish Foreign Office official called for press freedom to berespected. "Expelling journalists cannot prevent the worldfrom seeing what is happening in Zimbabwe or anywhere else,"said Brian Wilson. Describing Saturday night's intrusion, JosephWinter said the unidentified men had climbed a garden wall andbegun banging on doors and shouting for him to open up as a carwaited outside with its engine running. A Reuters reporter andother journalists who arrived at the scene saw about six men incivilian clothes run away from the flat and escape the scene in aMazda car. "We were terrified, and we thought they weregoing to kill us," said Mr Winter, whose wife and smalldaughter were in the flat at the time of the incident. All threewere driven away by officials from the British High Commissionshortly afterwards, who gave them refuge. The ZimbabweanInformation Minister Jonathan Moyo told state television onSaturday that Mr Winter had been ordered out because his workpermit was invalid and obtained fraudulently. But Mr Winter, whohas worked in Zimbabwe for four years, said that was"absolute rubbish". His work permit was renewed threeweeks ago, and is valid until February 2002. "The BBCbelieves he has a valid permit to work and stay in the countryand therefore has made representations to the relevantministries," said a BBC spokesman. The other journalistbeing expelled - Mercedes Sayagues, of the South African Mail andGuardian - has been in Zimbabwe for nine years, but is currentlyin South Africa. She was allowed to fly back into the countryfrom Johannesburg only to pick up her nine-year-old daughter. Theexpulsion orders come amid an apparent media crackdown inZimbabwe, which began with the bombing of the printing presses ofthe privately-owned newspaper the Daily News in January. Shortlybefore the bombing, a government minister made a veiled threatagainst the paper, which had frequently criticised thegovernment.

Zimbabwe expels two foreign journalists(Harare, Independent Online, 17/02) - Zimbabweanimmigration authorities on Saturday expelled two journalists -one working for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) andthe other for South African weekly newspaper Mail & Guardian.The BBC's Joseph Winter, 29, said he had been given 24 hours toleave the country, but was allowed to stay on until Tuesday athis request. "I was told to leave the country within thenext 24 hours because the Ministry of Information has changedregulations for accreditation of journalists," Winter toldAFP. A BBC spokesman said in London on Saturday: "The BBCbelieves he has a valid permit to work and stay in the countryand therefore has made representations to the relevantministries." Mercedes Sayagues, 47, of the Mail &Guardian, was initially barred from re-entering the countrySaturday when she returned from a two-day visit to South Africa."First they refused me entry and wanted me to fly back toSouth Africa. It was only after I pleaded that I wanted tore-unite with nine-year-old daughter that they gave me 24 hoursto leave the country," Sayagues told reporters at Harareairport. Winter's temporary employment permit was renewed lastmonth and was due to expire in February 2002, while Sayagues' wasdue to expire on February 26 this year. The BBC plans to appealthe deportation order. Sayagues, a citizen of Uruguay who hasbeen in Zimbabwe for nine years, said her temporary employmentpermit which was to expire at the end of the month had beenrevoked by immigration officials at the airport. "They toldme they had orders to refuse me entry into the country. They saidmy permit had been revoked and I have to go back right now."I have been given just 24 hours to wrap up nine years ofresidence," she said. "I am only one of thosesuffering, and that involves a general onslaught on thejudiciary, the rural people of Zimbabwe," Sayagues said.Winter said he was launching legal action against the expulsionwhile his office would write a protest letter to the Zimbabwegovernment. "We are appealing and protesting," he said.

Nurses leave Zimbabwe in large numbers(Harare, Financial Gazette, 15/02) - As economichardships bite and employment options dwindle, the trickle hasturned into a stampede as Zimbabweans, young and old, black andwhite, exit the country to try their luck elsewhere. Majordestinations have included South Africa, Australia, Canada, theUnited States and the United Kingdom. Other people have been moreenterprising or perhaps more daring and have ended up in lessfashionable destinations like Thailand or Saudi Arabia. The mostpopular vehicle to immediate employment for most expatriateZimbabweans has been to go into nursing either as students or, ifalready trained, to do a short conversion course before fullemployment. It is arguable that there are now more trained nursesworking abroad than can be found in Zimbabwean healthinstitutions. What has been happening is that as soon as oneperson settles in a particular area or at a particular hospital,they tell friends and relatives back home and that route becomesa well-beaten path. Whereas in the past, Zimbabweans used to bescattered all over London, mostly, now they live in clusters allover the United Kingdom. One such cluster is at WolverhamptonHospital which, in some Zimbabwean circles, is now referred to as"Churu Farm". I mention Wolverhampton Hospital becauseit has become the source or centre of a controversy that is setto affect most, if not all, Zimbabweans intending to join or arealready in the nursing profession in the United Kingdom. Severalweeks ago, British tabloid newspapers went into overdrive when itwas revealed that the British National Health Service (NHS) had"hired African nurses with HIV". However, as the storyunfolded, from merely being "trainees from a part of Africawhere HIV infection and AIDS are rampant", it was soonestablished that five of the 10 health workers were fromZimbabwe. As the story broke, ministers ordered an inquiry intohow a group of HIV- positive African students had all ended up atone particular nursing school, and after a day of growing alarm,they admitted that the presence of the Zimbabwean students at asingle college was "very unusual". This raised fears,which ministers and officials fought to calm, that the nursesmight pass on the AIDS virus to patients. It also raisedquestions about whether training the nurses would benefit the NHSor whether the ultimate cost of treating their illness couldprove a greater burden. The nurses in question have completedhalf of their three-year course at Wolverhampton School ofNursing and Midwifery and have been working in local hospitals.Shadow Health Secretary Liam Fox has accused the Britishgovernment of raiding the Third World for NHS nurses. Perhapswhat Fox does not realise is that if there were lorries and shipscoming into the UK from countries like Zimbabwe, many peoplewould stow away in order to slip into the UK as many eastEuropean illegal immigrants are doing. Things are that desperateand anyone who has the means to try other options is doingexactly that, never mind their state of health. Health MinisterGisela Stuart says however: "Just because someone carriesHIV doesn't mean they develop full-blown AIDS. There are verycareful procedures that ensure that the nurses are not working inhigh-risk areas. There have been no cases where a patient hasbeen infected by a health care worker." Still, many peoplewriting in to newspapers remained sceptical. Darren Smith ofMiddlesborough was more forthright: "We shouldn't allowforeigners who are HIV-positive into the country, let aloneemploy them as nurses. Admittedly the risks involved are lowerthan most people think, but why should there be any risk atall?" There, however, have been voices of reason too. TR ofBirmingham said it was time people woke up and realised thatpeople with HIV are just normal people trying to live their liveslike everybody else. The major fallout of all this is the stigmanow attached to all health workers from Zimbabwe. As JR Pearsonpoints out, the employment of HIV positive nurses from Africawill put black nurses already employed by the NHS in animpossible situation. "Many patients will now panic whenthey see any black nurse heading their way, assuming they are allHIV positive." In fact, reports filtering through say thatmost NHS Trusts have now started quietly testing Zimbabweannurses in training or already qualified and in their employment,with some being returned to their homes. Due to circumstanceswell beyond my control, this is, regrettably, the last of theCrossroads articles.

South African journalist serveddeportation order (Windhoek, MISA, 15/02) - MercedesSayagues, a Harare-based correspondent for the South Africanweekly "Mail and Guardian" has been given twenty-fourhours to leave Zimbabwe after her temporary employment permitexpired, "The Herald" newspaper reported on Thursday 15February 2001. In a letter to Sayagues, the Department ofImmigration stated that after careful consideration, no furtherextension of her permit would be granted. "It is nownecessary that you should go with this letter to ImmigrationHeadquarters, so that departure arrangements are made", readpart of the letter, which was quoted in "The Herald".The newspaper also reported that foreign journalists seekingemployment permit extensions should go to the Department ofInformation and Publicity. Deputy Permanent Secretary MunyaradziHwengwere, a spokesperson for the department, said that withoutthe letter, no permit could be issued. In the meantime, thedepartment has frozen the issuing of any permits until a newaccreditation system is put in place. Following the abolition ofthe Ministry of Information Posts and Telecommunications, theDepartment of Information and Publicity has been formulating anew system for accrediting both local and foreign journalists."The Herald" reported that successful candidates wouldbe accredited and that foreign journalists may be considered foremployment permit extensions once they satisfy the necessaryrequirements. Hwengwere confirmed that the department will sooncomplete its work on the rules and regulations of the newaccreditation process. However, he also stated that until theyare in place, no permits will be renewed. This means that thoseforeign journalists whose permits expire will have to leave thecountry. "Everyone should wait until we make a statement toapply. The laws of the country require that those without therequired documents should take leave," Hwengwere said. Thegovernment has not made known when the new accreditation systemwill become operational. Foreign journalists in Zimbabwe havebeen severely criticised by the government for negativereporting, especially with regard to the current land crisis,Zimbabwe's collapsing economy, lawlessness and the 2000parliamentary elections, which were preceded by violence.BACKGROUND: On 16 December 2000, Joseph Winter, a BritishBroadcasting Corporation (BBC) correspondent in Harare, wasejected from the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front(ZANU-PF) ruling party's congress for allegedly fabricating astory. On 17 December, Information and Publicity MinisterJonathan Moyo was quoted by "The Herald" as saying thatthere is no need to accredit journalists if they are not going tobe factual and objective. It is feared that the new Freedom ofInformation Bill, which Moyo is expected to present to parliamentsoon, will apply stringent accreditation measures on foreignjournalists. If this succeeds, a complete blackout of news aboutZimbabwe in the international press would be achieved by thegovernment. It is important to note that presidential electionswill be held less than a year from now. They are expected to beeven more violent than the 2000 parliamentary elections.RECOMMENDED ACTION: Send appeals to authorities: - calling forclarification on the processes of accreditation and immigrationfor foreign journalists - asking when the new regulations arelikely to be made public, and what alternatives, other thanleaving the country, are open to foreign journalists who areworking on assignments in Zimbabwe APPEALS TO: Jonathan MoyoMinister of Information and Publicity c/o The Office of thePresident Munhumutapa Building Samora Machel Avenue, Third StreetPrivate Bag 7700 Causeway Harare, Zimbabwe Tel: +263 4 707 091 /707 098 / 707 099. John Nkomo Minister of Home Affairs 11th FloorMukwati Building Box CY 165 Causeway Harare, Zimbabwe Tel: +263 4791 180 / 724 084. Please copy appeals to the source if possible.For further information, contact Zoe Titus or Kaitira Kandjii,Regional Information Coordinator, MISA, Street Address: 21 JohannAlbrecht Street, Mailing Address; Private Bag 13386 Windhoek,Namibia, tel: +264 61 232975, fax: +264 61 248016, e-mail:research@misa.org.na or kkandjii@misa.org.na, Internet: http://www.misanet.org/ Theinformation contained in this action alert is the soleresponsibility of MISA. In citing this material for broadcast orpublication, please credit MISA.

Zimbabwe judges seek to leave country (Harare,Business Day, 09/02) - Several Zimbabwean judges havebegun searching for alternative employment elsewhere in southernAfrica because of frustration over their governments siege on thejudiciary. The move by the judges became known just as Zanu (PF)announced that Vice-President Simon Muzenda will chair a caucusmeeting of ruling party legislators in Harare today to consider,among other issues, a resolution for the ‘removal of alljudges of the supreme court”. Judges interviewed this weeksaid the volatile period leading to the 2002 presidentialelections could see a number of judges quitting the bench infrustration to go into private practice or take more lucrativeemployment elsewhere in the region. Two high court judges saidthey knew of at least three other colleagues who were alsohunting for employment outside Zimbabwe. They spoke on conditionthey were not named for ethical reasons. “Although most ofus have been determined to stay on, sometimes you just end uptelling yourself that it is not worth it. We are being labelledMDC judges’ even by some of our colleagues here,” onesaid. The MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) is Zimbabwe’sbiggest opposition party. “The greatest fear some of us haveis that we might end up being eliminated physically.” Theother judge said he had “frightening information” onthe government’s attempts to dilute the character of thejudiciary, which is under incessant attack by President RobertMugabe and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa for refusing tobend the law to suit Zanu (PF)’s whims. The judge said heand colleagues with whom he had shared this information no longerfelt secure remaining on the Zimbabwe bench. He could not yetshare the information with the media. “It seems that for oneto be accepted as a fair judge you have to discard the book ofrules and pass judgments in favour of the government and theruling party,’ the judge said. Mugabe, Chinamasa andInformation Minister Jonathan Moyo have made no secret of thegovernment’s intention to ‘revamp” the operationsof the judiciary, which they brand “colonialist”. Onesenior judge said he understood that measures under considerationby the government included appointing more judges of appeal tothe supreme court to “neutralise the influence of thepresent justices, perceived as being antiZanu (PF)”.

Political refugee's advice for Mugabe(London, The Financial Gazette, 08/02) - Inan exclusive inter-view with the Financial Gazette last week,Arthur Molife, a long-standing critic of Mugabe and thegovernment, said he belie-ved it was within the President'scapability even at this eleventh hour to change the course ofhi-story. He said Mugabe owed it to all Zimbabweans to do theright thing and that he also needed to do it for himself."If Mugabe does not want to leave office in disgrace, heshould change direction now and we'll support him," hedeclared. That would be good for Zimbabweans at home, hecontinued, and it would also benefit those abroad, particularlyin Britain, where Mugabe's policies have meant that blackZimbabweans are now subjected to revenge ra-cism. He went on:"Hundreds of black Zimbabweans visiting the UK are beingreturned home because the authorities here are saying: 'You arerunning away from Mugabe - go back and sort him out.'"Molife was aware that British authorities did not like to hearwhat he had to say but he felt it had to be said, uncomfortablethough as it might be. This was because it was true. "Butwhat the British do not seem to realise is that the sameZimbabweans they return home go back to join the war veterans whoin turn give white farmers a really hard time," he argued. AHome Office spokes-man denied a few weeks ago the existence of ablanket policy applying to all black or white Zimba-bweans,asserting that each person was dealt with individually anddepe-nding on their individual circumstances. Zimbabweans, inMo-life's view, were being used as a political football and as aresult they were suffering. This was only one of many reasons whychange was needed. But how would change come about and what sortof change was he looking for? Molife, 56, whose father was killedin March 1982 during the Fifth Brigade's Gukurahundi operationsin the Midlands and Mata-beleland provinces, sho-wed nobitterness. In fact, in talking about change, he was not thinkingabout his own party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), ofwhich he was almost dismissive for lack of experience. "Theway forward," he argued, "is for Mugabe to changedirection and we'll support him." His blueprint wouldnecessitate the use of presidential powers by Mugabe to form aninterim government headed by a prime minister with a specificbrief to make good the situation. The appointment of a primeminister, answerable to Parliament, would go a long way torestoring confidence in Zimbabwe's political system. He wasconvinced that even the British govern-ment, which appearsinnately opposed to Mu-gabe, would change its tune. But what madehim think that a prime minister appointed by Mugabe would makeany diffe-rence? That was precisely the point. If Mugabe followedthis advice but appointed a prime minister who would merely behis master's voice, then this would be evidence that Mugabe willnot have changed at all. "It is Mugabe who should changedirection and the way he does things. He should abandon thecourse he is pursuing at the moment and adopt a different way ofdoing things and I think he is capable of doing this," hemaintained with some feeling. It would appear, how-ever, thatMolife's position is hugely optimistic. Some political analystsare sce-ptical about Mugabe's ability to change, especiallyhaving been in office continuously since 1980. However, Molife'sd-etermination was evident. He said what motivated him was hisdeep concern for Zimbabwe. He wrote to Mugabe in February lastyear expre-ssing these views and he was now going public. Insaying this, however, he was not condoning the wrong thingsMugabe had done. In his view, Mugabe, like everybody else, wasnot above the law. He would have to answer any allegations put tohim when he leaves office.But the difference, if he changesdirection as su-ggested, would be that Mugabe would leave officeon a positive note and history would look kindly on him. "Weall know that Mugabe is innocent until proved guilty," hewent on. "We also know that even though he was and still isthe commander - in - chief of the armed forces, Mugabe himselfnever killed anyone personally in Matabeleland and he could mounta good defence." For these reasons, said Molife, Mugabeshould move swiftly to do the right thing with confidence. Such achange would have an immediate impact on the way blackZim-babweans are treated in the UK. This advice is made moresignificant by the fact that it is coming from a long-time criticof the government. Molife describes himself as a refugee who waslast in Zimbabwe in 1996.The conciliatory tone may reflect achange of policy in the MDC although Molife made it clear he wasspeaking on his own behalf. But there is a sting in the tail inthe form of a thinly veiled threat. If this advice is ignored andMugabe does not change direction, says Molife, then he would haveonly himself to blame.

Exodus of judges looms (The FinancialGazette, 08/02) - The move by the judgesbecame known just as ZANU PF announced that Vice President SimonMuzenda will tomorrow chair a caucus meeting of ruling partylegislators in Harare to consider, among other issues, aresolution for the "removal of all the judges of the SupremeCourt". Judges interviewed by the Financial Gazette thisweek said the volatile period leading to the 2002 presidentialelections could see a number of judges quitting the bench infrustration to go into private practice or to take more lucrativeemployment elsewhere in the region. One High Court judge said hewas being considered for a judicial job in Namibia while anothersaid he was scouting for alternative employment in Botswana. Thetwo judges said they knew of at least three other colleagues whowere also hunting for employment outside Zimbabwe. The judgesspoke to this newspaper on condition they are not named forethical reasons. "Although most of us have been determinedto stay on, sometimes you just end up telling yourself thatit’s not worth it. We are being labelled MDC judges even bysome of our colleagues here," one of the judges said. TheMovement for De-mocratic Change (MDC) is Zimbabwe’s biggestopposition party which nearly toppled ZANU PF in landmarkparliamentary elections last June. "Our conditions ofservice have remained poor. The greatest fear in some of us isthat we might end up being eliminated physically," the judgesaid. The other judge said he had "frighteninginformation" on the government’s attempts to dilute thepresent character of the judiciary, under incessant attack byPresident Robert Mugabe and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasafor refusing to bend the law to suit ZANU PF’s whims. Thejudge said he and colleagues, with whom he had shared thisinformation, no longer felt secure remaining on the Zimbabwebench. He said he could not yet share the information with themedia. "It seems that for one to be accepted as a fair judgeyou have to discard the book of rules and pass judgments infavour of the government and the ruling party. This is skewedreasoning on the part of some political upstarts who have nowcompletely discredited themselves by doing more talking thanthinking," the judge said. Mugabe, Chinamasa and InformationMinister Jonathan Moyo have made no secrets thegovernm-ent’s intention to "revamp" the operationsof the judiciary, which they brand colonial. One senior judgesaid he understood that part of the measures being mulled by thegovernment include appointing more judges of appeal to theSupreme Court to "neutralise the influence of the presentjustices who are perceived as anti–ZANU PF". Law expertLovemore Madhuku said there was nothing in law to stop thegovernment from appointing more judges of appeal to the SupremeCourt. "The Constitution does not set a maximum number ofjudges who can be appointed to the Supreme Court. It only statesthe minimum number of Supreme Court judges at five so there isnothing at law to stop the government from doing that," hesaid. "By appointing more ZANU PF judges of appeal, thegovernment can always ensure that it wins its cases. It ishowever a heavy handed way of muzzling the judiciary." ZANUPF’s chief whip Joram Gumbo said tomorrow’s caucusmeeting had been called specifically to discuss last week’sSupreme Court judgment that overruled Mugabe’s decree whichsought to nullify court challenges by the MDC against 39parliamentary seats won by the ruling party in the June ballot.Muzenda would chair the meeting because of its importance, hesaid. Gumbo said the Supreme Court, by nullifying Mugabe’sdecree, had effectively usurped the role of the legislature inmaking laws. "The situation now confronting the nation isone in which the Supreme Court has arrogated itself both theexecutive and legislative powers and functions," he charged.He said the caucus would consider a resolution to remove allSupreme Court judges and ensure that the doctrine of theseparation of powers contained in the Constitution wasmaintained. Meanwhile, the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) thisweek re-affirmed its confidence in the judiciary, including theSupreme Court and Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay, who was forcedinto premature retirement by the government last week. Thesociety, in a resolution passed at its annual general meeting,said it deplored all attempts by the government to impair theindependence of the judiciary and create a partisan bench."Criticism of the judiciary should be legitimate and itshould not be aimed at coercing judges to hand down partisanopinions," the LSZ said. It also condemned violence againstthe media, violence in the redistribution of land and thegovernment’s interference with the freedom of procession andassembly. LSZ head Sternford Moyo said government media reportsthat the society’s meeting which agreed these resolutionswas attended by more whites than black lawyers were a completedistortion of facts. Many senior and highly respected blacklawyers had attended the meeting and voted in favour of theresolutions, he said.

Zimbabwean farmers reopen legal actionsagainst government (Harare, Business Day, 07/02) - Commercialfarmers in Zimbabwe are reopening legal challenges against thegovernment over proposed seizures of farms without payment andare abandoning the policy of conciliation and dialogue.Commercial Farmers’ Union president Tim Henwood told theyearly meeting on Wednesday that the return to the courts wasbecause the government had gone back on moves to restore law andorder on the farms. An action would be launched in the SupremeCourt to get the government to pay compensation for land that istaken compulsorily. In August Henwood said all litigation againstthe government was being withdrawn to encourage dialogue andunderstanding. “We have again seen ministers’instructions countermanded and police action curtailed. Whatappeared to be a very positive move with police evicting warveterans from farms was very soon stopped.” The economy wasin ruins, said Henwood, and the most important task facing thegovernment was to restore the rule of law. If the governmentcontinued to ignore property rights for commercial farmers thesector would be devastated and the economy would be halved insize. “Most Zimbabweans would see their lives slump to adepth of poverty never before experienced here, leading to civilunrest, and massive migration of refugees across ourborders.” Union officials said that the policy of trying toget an agreement with the government on farm invasions andseizures had failed. “Farmers now want to resume all courtcases, including those which order President Robert Mugabe toevict invaders”, said one official.

Refugees held in Mugabe 'assassinationalert' (Harare, Independent Online, 01/02) - Zimbabweanauthorities have detained 30 refugees from Africa's Great Lakesregion over fears some of them could be on a mission toassassinate President Robert Mugabe, the privately owned DailyNews reported on Thursday. Government officials were unavailablefor immediate comment on the report by the newspaper, whoseprinting press was wrecked in a weekend bomb blast. The DailyNews said the refugees from the central African region were beinginterrogated at Harare Central police station by state securityagents who suspect that some of them could be rebels from theDemocratic Republic of Congo conflict sent to assassinate seniorZimbabwe officials. "According to some of the refugees, themove was meant to protect President Mugabe from elements opposedto (late President Laurent) Kabila, who might sneak into thecountry under the guise of seeking asylum," it said. Thepaper quoted Zimbabwe's Chief Immigration Officer Elasto Mugwadias saying the refugees were being deported because they hadrenounced their refugee status. Mugwadi was also unavailable forcomment on Thursday. Mugabe deployed 11 000 troops - overone-fourth of the Zimbabwe army - to prop up Kabila against aUgandan- and Rwandan-backed rebellion that broke out in August1998. Namibia and Angola are also supporting the Congolesegovernment. Kabila was shot dead by one of his bodyguards earlierthis month. His son Joseph was sworn in as his successor onFriday. The Daily News has been critical of Mugabe's government,in power since 1980, and blamed Sunday's bombing of its printingpress on government supporters.

This page last updated 09 July 2004.