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Malawi and Zimbabwe

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  • Weber
    This paragraph from a friend who s been in England the last month..... Did you see where Bill Gates gave £29 million to an English medical research facility
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 3, 2000
      This paragraph from a friend who's been in England the last month.....
      Did you see where Bill Gates gave £29 million to an English medical
      research facility to help beat Malaria? There was a reference
      to 3 countries in the article here, one being Malawi.
      And this from the Guardian.....
      Strike brings Zimbabwe's cities to a halt

      Special report: Zimbabwe
      Chris McGreal in Harare and Andrew Meldrum in Norton
      Thursday August 3, 2000
      The Guardian
      A general strike shut down all of Zimbabwe's major cities yesterday in protest at the government's arbitrary application of the
      rule of law as President Robert Mugabe insisted that he will press ahead with the wholesale confiscation of white-owned farms.
      The widespread support for the strike called by Zimbabwe's trade union confederation, and backed by the main political
      opposition party and farmers, was a further demonstration of disillusionment with the government a day after a one-third
      devaluation of the national currency.
      Zimbabwe is facing its worst economic crisis since independence 20 year ago.
      Many township residents are also angered at the deployment of the army in poor neighbourhoods where soldiers regularly beat
      presumed opposition supporters.
      South Africa's president, Thabo Mbeki, added to the pressure on Mr Mugabe at a summit in Harare yesterday. South Africa is
      deeply worried about the cross-border impact of its neighbour's crisis. Mr Mbeki said he rejected a request for a meeting from
      Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
      The Zimbabwean government's decision this week to quadruple the amount of white-owned farm land targeted for redistribution,
      and the severe economic consequences if it happens, will do nothing to bolster international confidence in the region. The South
      African rand was driven down further yesterday by the devaluation of the Zimbabwean dollar.
      Mr Mugabe said yesterday that his government would press ahead with the expropriations but said war veterans would be
      removed from any farms not on the list for confiscation.
      "There is a process now going on of acquiring land in accordance with the law, and in the context of that acquisition we will then
      be resettling those in need of land _ we will be removing all war veterans from the rest of the farms," he said.
      Riot police were deployed in many parts of Harare yesterday to prevent anti-government demonstrations but there were no
      reports of violence. Most people stayed at home as the strike closed almost all factories, banks and large businesses although
      some smaller establishments opened. Harare's streets were largely deserted but some people took advantage of the day off
      work to join the long queues for fuel. Even those who might have wanted to go to work could not because public transport shut
      Many schools were shut. Where teachers did go to work, some parents kept their children at home for fear of violence. The
      university closed after lecturers and students joined the protest.
      Hopewell Gumpo, president of the national students union, said: "We condemn the heavy-handedness of the police and the
      army in parts of Harare. We demand among other issues a transparent land redistribution programme to the landless in a
      peaceful and orderly manner."
      Even some civil servants defied the implicit threat of dismissal and heeded the strike call, although one finance ministry worker
      enjoying the day in a Harare park said he intended to tell his boss he had tried to come to work but was threatened by strikers.
      At least one white farmer who joined the strike had his property seized by war veterans as a punishment. But that did not
      discourage many others, including Jim Sinclair in Serui Source 45 miles south of Harare, from joining the protest and telling his
      labourers to take the day off.
      "We must feed our pigs, because pigs don't know about strikes, but otherwise we have shut everything down. All the farmers
      have shut down to protest the lawlessness throughout the country.
      "We need to get a message across that this country cannot go on like this. We are at one, my employees and myself. We have
      suffered work interruptions, invasions, threats of violence. We've had enough," he said.
      The day before the strike, one of Mr Sinclair's neighbours was threatened by a group of armed supporters of Mr Mugabe.
      They forced him to sign away his farm and told him to leave his home.
      Mr Sinclair expects the Mugabe government will "take some form of action to punish us for participating in this strike. But I
      believe we still have to do it and we may have to do it again. We need to impress that violence cannot be used to run our
      •Zimbabwe's white farmers went to the supreme court yesterday to try to halt the seizure of more than 3,000 farms for
                                       © Copyright Guardian Media Group
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