Zimbabwe Current Affairs
This site is intended to give an apolitical insight into current affairs in Zimbabwe in an attempt to promote thought and reason between International Parties leading to 'a peaceful solution'. The writer has researched the root causes and other key players involved in the current economic decay and political unrest currently, effectively covered up by international political rhetoric and propaganda, duplicated in many Third World countries. It is suggested that without addressing same there will continue to be political unrest and economic instability throughout the Third World.
It is hoped that all Commissioners of the UN Human and Rights Commission will make the time to read the various pages as they contain actual accounts of Human and Civil Rights Abuse.
Constructive criticism/ simple remedy is given of those more important issues of Justice and avenues of complaint within the Third World currently neglected by such bodies as the International Bar Association, Amnesty International and the various Law Faculties, Schools of Jurisprudence of the Worlds Major Universities. A major cause of Civil Unrest, the Political Coup, Terrorism and the gradual increase in International Organised Crime.
The writer has attempted to give a brief draft insight into various sectors and, is available for research or advice to any party with a serious intent to resolve the current impasse and, by so doing, revitalise the Zimbabwe economy thus promoting peace.
This web site is split up into various pages and subjects:-
The Home Page including Introduction,General, Criticism of UN Internal Policy offering constructive criticism of policies adopted by the Human Rights Commission as they must appear to the general public and those victims of Human Rights abuse. Sanctions illustrating the extent, economic effects on the innocent and negative political effects. Charities addressing the critical situation, misuse of donor funds and First World legislation effecting the raising of funding for emergency relief.
The Land Issue giving a detailed, researched, referenced in part, in-depth insight into its root causes with the historic background, including extracts from the minutes of the House of Commons Select Committee Examination of Peter Hain on Zimbabwe, within the British government, as appropriate.
Justice and Democracy of particular interest to the UN Human Rights Commission discussing the very infrastructure of the Third World system of Justice, the administration of Justice and reasons for its failure, along with the suggested remedy. Including, actual Human and Civil Rights Infringements which may never be served by Justice without the involvement of the Commission and access to the International Court of Law.
The Economy illustrating factors that caused its decay prior to the land issue, privately known by involved first world countries and world financial institutions but unpublicised. Recommending the use of excellent independent research on Zimbabwe's economy, which took over two years to prepare, undertaken by a now accredited research economist to the UN, in preference, to that publicly promoted by the First World and its news media, in decision making.
Security largely of concern to the EU, USA and perhaps Switzerland concerning activities of suspected organised crime unconnected to Zimbabwe, requiring, further investigation and cautious monitoring. (By necessity, in the promotion of peace and stability, this page is password protected, the password being in the personal possession of the United States Ambassador to Harare, Zimbabwe.)
Note:- Originally, all sections were password protected as this site was never intended for public consumption.
The writer considers it of importance, great importance, for any Ambassador to be in possession of all historic facts when addressing members of the local business community in Zimbabwe or elsewhere as, this not only reflects badly on the country he represents but, additionally brings into doubt other aspects of the address. Accuracy gains respect, an opinion the First World needs desperately to regain from the Third World.
It is sad, in times of International Security Crisis, that it was felt unnecessary to view the Security section. (All pages of this site contain a hit counter)
The web site has only been slightly edited to make it appropriate for UN Commissioners viewing, the writer requests consideration for the resultant obvious risk to his personal safety, witnessed by some of the sensitive content.
If what the writer has researched and drafted on this web site promotes thought and reason leading to the saving of the life of a child or, an improvement of the quality of life for the poor and underprivileged with justice for all, then it will have been worthwhile.
(The webmaster may be contacted via the email link at the base of this page)
It is sad that Zimbabwe, Britain and the USA continue with inflammatory rhetoric rather than constructive dialogue. Inflammatory rhetoric is, by its very nature, destructive and, it were better to remain silent than to fuel racism and violence against the innocent.
Criticism of UN Internal Policy
Qualification to make criticism.
It happened, just over forty years ago and a few months after the Independence of Malawi in late December, that two school boys of British and American nationality, 17 and 18 respectively, returning from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro were resident for a night at the Malawi Border.
Both boys instinctively assisted the duty police officer in the capture and arrest of twelve French speaking heavily armed commandos. No one was injured or killed in the arrest. The writer, one of the schoolboys, questioned the officer in schoolboy French.
Neither of us could be said to be in a condition of prime fitness, the writer suffering from frostbite in the feet and both from the effects of living on radiator water and biscuits whilst stranded for days in the midst of the Tanzanian Desert.
A further problem was that the indignant local villagers surrounded the tiny police station and it became a far greater job to protect the captives than to arrest same.
Whilst the BBC Overseas Service reported hundreds of road blocks throughout Malawi, tanks crossing the border, the invasion actually amounted to the commandos captured.
Due to heavy rains, roads were impassable, and it took several days to be relieved by the Army Battalion despatched from Zomba, the then Capital and Army HQ.
The two boys, one the son of an Overseas British Civil Servant and the other the son of a University Professor of LA University in the USA were guests of the Minister of the Northern Province and advised it was a matter of State Security, that we should not divulge any information to any party including our parents when it may affect their local careers. There was, to the writers knowledge, no media reporting of the facts of the incident and it was hard for two boys to remain silent.
The officer, claiming to have been a officer in the French Foreign Legion, gave me the address of a certain Major of the French Foreign Legion in Paris with a recommendation to same, should the writer wish such a career.
Laterally, the writer was given a character reference by President Banda on the letterhead of the Residential Palace signed on his behalf by his personal aide, Major Grey (Formerly of the British Guards), on his admission to the Royal Air Force a few years later.
We did not act for money or reward, receiving just private thanks for our efforts, acting simply out of civic duty but, it is thus, that we became possibly, the first ordinary British and American residents of any newly Independent Country to act in the defence of same, instinctively following the principals that should be adopted by the UN Security Council and our respective countries.
Sadly, the Governments USA and Britain, in the eyes of the world, seem not to have followed the lead of their two schoolboy nationals and the UN Security Council seems to put internal political differences above duty.
Resultant of the above and other acts the writer feels that he has earned the right to offer the constructive criticism below:-
It is beyond reason that any individual who commits crime against humanity or another individual, be he a Head of State or CEO of a large Multinational, may escape justice normally applied to any other individual on the basis of influence, position, wealth or diplomacy.
There should never be occasion to veto or abstain from voting on any Human Rights Issue within the Human Rights Commission on the basis, that to do so, automatically renders the party, complicit to the crime after the fact, in international common law.Trade Agreements and political affiliations should be set aside in any deliberation leaving only the issue of 'did it happen or is it continuing to happen' open for debate.The right to abstain or veto is abhorrent on any Human Rights Commission.
Diplomats in the UN are simply unqualified to Judge or vote on an individual or individual countries guilt or innocence and should simply vote to refer such matters to the International Court where the Defendant has a right to appear. Intelligence and research is often flawed.
It is only where the Defendant fails to appear and an international warrant of arrest is issued that it should become a matter for the UN and International Community.In such cases the UN and First World has superior air power, the surveillance and manpower capabilities to effect an international cross border arrest as was undertaken in recent years with war criminals -
All UN member countries should be obligated to support such an arrest.
These is a serious need to minimise the loss of innocent lives and the destruction of property, world historic religious monuments and artefacts belonging to our children and their descendents, the economic infrastructure of a country, in the pursuit and arrest of a handful of individuals. It should be the right of any member or Member State of the Human Rights Commission to individually take any matters of Human Rights Infringements to the International Court.
An example of dilemma within member states of the UN Commission of Human rights resultant of the above is contained in Jack Straws opening address on Zimbabwe to the British Parliament on the 1st July 2004 : -
We have been in the lead in respect of sanctions on Zimbabwe. We could easily have put sanctions ourselves on the political elite but that would have raised the question - so what? If they had been able to travel to the rest of the EU and the US and if there had not been opprobrium by the Commonwealth it would have been we who had been mocked and not Mugabe. The effect of our engagement in the EU is to get the rest of the 15 and now 25 countries, many of whom have no history with Zimbabwe, to accept our case, against strong African lobbying, for sanctions.
In the United Nations, we discuss Zimbabwe regularly with the UN Secretariat and Agencies, who are fully seized of the situation there. For three years, the EU has tabled a resolution in the UN Commission on Human Rights drawing attention to the widespread violation of human rights by the Government in Zimbabwe. Regrettably, other African members of the Commission have used procedural motions to block discussion of these resolutions. That highlights again the fact that there are many countries, including Zimbabwe's neighbours, who see the situation differently from us.
Exposing those differences in a body such as the Commission on Human Rights is one thing; but it would be only be counterproductive to do so, as some Hon Members have suggested, in so high-profile an arena as the UN Security Council. I am as certain as I can be that President Mugabe would dearly like us to seek action by the Security Council, as it would deliver him the propaganda coup of exposing divisions in the international community. But our clear view is that doing so now would put the cause of democracy in Zimbabwe back, not forward."
The above statement lends itself to numerous observations:-
1. If you take a case to the UN Commission on Human Rights and, other countries including Zimbabwe's neighbours see things differently then, there is a need, democratically, to review your research and ascertain the root cause.
2. If you feel that other member countries of the Commission do not believe in Human Rights then you resign your membership, as to remain a member, by extension, implicates you.
3. It is hardly adhering to democratic principals when you act unilaterally whilst continuing to remain a member of a Human Rights Commission that sees things differently, specifically when you aver that, complaints you made, are in pursuit of democratic principals in Zimbabwe.
4. To state publicly that bringing an issue before the UN Security Council "would put the cause of democracy in Zimbabwe back, not forwards" is an unjust personal affront to all member states. Similarly, to act unilaterally because you feel an issue will go against you cannot be promoted as being in the best interests of democracy and rather, promotes double standards.
5. There is a serious need to recall the base reason for the establishment of the UN which was, to promote world peace, not war.
6. Human Rights are ostensibly not about politics but about crime against humanity which, in the end, must be accounted for within the law. In the final accounting there should always be research into the root cause.
For example, if the economic collapse of a country is a direct consequence of World Bank and IMF blunders which you supported at the time, its basic infrastructure will have collapsed as well along with the resultant inflation, resulting always in increased crime, high taxation, political unrest and violence.
There is a need to bring those financial institutions to account as well and, as a minimum, assess the culpability as to whether it is criminal negligence and/ or culpable homicide, demanding full restitution of the countries infrastructure including that of industry and commerce.
If a bus driver may be held accountable in law for his negligence and culpable homicide so should institutions of world authority who's erroneous principals were economically imposed on another by the EU and USA, facts already researched by at least one UN accredited research economist of EU nationality.
7. If it is felt there is a Human Rights case to answer then there are always the lawful facilities of the International Court and it is, in itself, contrary to any International Democratic principal and International Law to ignore their authority or existence.
8. If the UN Security Council has become ineffective due to the internal political divisions and differences of the member states then there is an urgent humanitarian need to change UN Civil and Human rights internal policy.
The remedy is simple, in the event that the Human Rights Commission feel there is an infringement they approach the International Court instead of the UN Security Council. Armed with a Court Order from the International Court they approach the Security Council for assistance and not decision. There should be financial penalties for those member states that are unsupportive, representative of, their world authority and position on the UN Security Council. For example, those member countries that fail to react/ respond should be made to pay the full financial costs of the operation.
9. It is so very sad that those brave young UN relief officials are despatched by the UN to provide emergency humanitarian relief facing, violence, rape, abduction and death without the decisive deterrent support of the entire UN Security Council. It is totally inadequate and inhumane for the UN to simply issue a statement of dissatisfaction or condemnation for acts of aggression against relief workers.
10. Finally, if such are the observations of a very ordinary, insignificant man what, must be World opinion in general?
Zimbabwe is in economic chaos, a country now requiring food aid as stated in the British Parliament, without urgent compensation political and economic stability is a myth. No Human Rights Commission should ever subscribe to the principal that compensation to victims of international government and world financial institutions blunders will only be paid on the change of their Third World Government. This, in itself, is an infringement of Civil and Human Rights and Democratic Principal.
There is a serious need for the UN Commission on Human Rights to urgently assess the bill in Zimbabwe's case and send same to the World Bank, IMF and those countries and bodies that imposed the erroneous financial policies on Zimbabwe, the economic facts being, within the UN administration and framework since the year 2000. Fail to attack the root cause of an illness and you become responsible for the resultant epidemic
Save, in the event of an act of war or invasion of another state by a member state the UN should have no powers except to neutralise the act by military intervention as happened in Kuwait. Thereafter, International Law should take its course with the support of the UN.
The UN and its diplomats are simply not qualified to unilaterally impose judgement or sentence either on an individual or a country, containing many innocent.There is a need for the UN to protect the innocent rather than harm them and to promote a civilised and democratic approach whilst maintaining the rule of law.
In retrospect, in the case of Iraq, there can be no doubt that a case should have been brought against Saddam in the International Court when the situation in Kuwait was neutralised, rather than have the situation where a suspected criminal was diplomatically permitted to continue to rule a country under sanctions. Thus illustrating, diplomatic immunity awarded from prosecution for crimes against humanity on the basis of influence, thereby promoting double standards to the world in general.
Sanctions had no effect on Saddam resultant of personal wealth, and merely caused economic decay in Iraq which affected the innocent.
Again, irrespective of guilt, to allow a former Head of State to be tried, in effect, by his successor, is clearly unconscionable and smacks of revenge, wide open to abuse. It, were clearly better, that the International Court was utilised in the promotion of Democracy and Justice where he could be tried in terms of Iraqi Law (Automatically becoming International law where no common International Law, accepted by all member states, exists.)
There may be many diplomats and politicians who prefer the current powers of the UN allowing diplomacy to resolve crimes against humanity rather than, the International System of Justice as applied to mere mortals but this, neither makes it fair nor lawful.
In any third world war it is unlikely that the first world would succeed, resultant, of being over-equipped for the following reasons:-
1. As opposed to the methods of standard commercial enterprise where the successful company tries to conduct business with friends as opposed to customers, seeking to promote their customers company into expansion thereby promoting greater orders and growth, the first world governments tend to prohibit and control the production of finished goods from the Third World having greater interest, in trying to independently monopolise the supply of goods to the third world resultant of aid funds provided by another first world institution or government.
There is a serious need for the USA and EU to take note of the President of Botswana's statement on his return from China as it is now the general view within the Third World. i.e. "We are treated as equals by China."
By giving Aid without ties, China complies with the standard methods of commercial enterprise and, is likely in the long term, to take the place of the EU and USA as preferred trading partners in the Third World.
These unfair erroneous Trade Agreements and policies are the root cause of poverty in the Third World and are largely ignored by all Human Rights Organisations.
A prime example is the G8 World Trade Agreement in which the overall policy is to source only raw materials and agricultural necessities on an as and when required basis from the Third World. This is also the policy adopted by the World Bank in Washington where it is decided that Africa doesn't need oil refineries and by definition, industrial promotion.Whilst the very same African countries were colonies, refineries were considered essential by private enterprise and foreign owned Oil Monopolies.
If such a reduction to primary products was even muted, never mind promoted, by any Head of State in any First World country in respect of his own country, how long would he remain a Head of State?
Whilst advocating free trade and the removal of trade protection subsidies and/or duties in the Third World where subsidies and trade protection duties are essential to permit internal growth, the First World, in an international display of double standards, continues with subsidies and trade protection within its own countries.
It is such restrictive Trade Policies, better described in the economic section of this site, that have created world instability where, the First World with its divisions, now scrambles for the only remaining lucrative business of supplying weapons of war and claiming Third World oil and mineral rights.
It has created the world refugee situation and the resultant instability within the First World as education continues within the Third World where, University Graduates no longer have the offer of employment or lucrative employment within their own country. Hence the instability within the First World where, all immigrants, migrants and refugees must feel a certain loyalty towards their roots and customs.
It is thus that in the First World, it is likely, that any Third World War may well be fought from within and impossible to overcome.
It is the duty of the UN Human and Civil Rights Commission to examine such policies and agreements along with their implications in the promotion of World Peace and Stability on the basis of a simple democratic vote, devoid of veto, and for the UN Security Council to be supportive of their assessment.
2. Nuclear Power facilities and Warheads are discussed with threats of war by UN Security Council Members, one of the reasons promoted in error for the invasion of Iraq, and yet, they are, in reality, weakness rather than strength, erected out of lack of understanding and research.
Nuclear Power Stations are in effect a bomb capable of destroying all life for many miles dependent only on wind.
In Britain, for many years there has existed in Northern Scotland, a breeder test reactor. In layman's terms the fuel uranium is akin to living matter in the sense that it can be made to reproduce or breed. It is thus that this reactor makes exceptional profit from scientific heat tests on various materials for various countries including Russia and from the supply of uranium fuel to other nuclear power reactors world wide.
This reactor has been in a critical state on many occasions where automatic emergency police evacuation teams throughout Northern Scotland have at times been on red alert.
On any safety inspection there is a need to view what cannot be seen and that may well have been neglected over the years, resulting in massive contamination of the environment.
It is the writers information that the original contractors did not construct the underwater sea raw waste pipe to the required specification. Simply put, it was shortened on the basis that no one was likely to check same. Local fishermen gave confirmation of same and were restricted from fishing in the area resultant of contaminated fish.
However, fish such as Salmon and others tend to migrate and it would now be impossible, in the writers view, to, from sight, distinguish between contaminated fish save those seriously affected with signs of mutation and those suitable for human consumption.
With the advent of the EU and other EU countries such as Spain and France fishing in the immediate or indeed any vicinity it is quite possible that contaminated fish are now served in EU restaurants.It were additionally possible that such distinguished politicians as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom or a member of his family has become thus, inadvertently contaminated, from consuming or being in contact with fish. What of the sea birds and those birds and animals preying on dead fish washed up on the shore?
Illustrating double standards, we require that oil rigs are not sunk adjacent our shores when oil naturally leaks into the ocean from those cracks and crevices in the ocean floor and yet, we recklessly pump radioactive waste into the sea. Recent news centres on one contaminated individual in London whilst there exists the very real likelihood of a national dilemma and disaster.
Irrespective of any security enhancements to Nuclear Facilities they remain a threat to the nation that supports them from accident, negligence and attack. Britain's nuclear facilities, if bombed simultaneously with well placed small explosives, could not only turn Britain into a desert but take with it part of Europe from the resultant fallout.
In assessing National and World safety, those Scientists and Politicians who promote nuclear power should be asked if they can give absolute guarantee as to whether those in control of same would never be negligent, consume alcohol, work whilst on medication or have hidden deep psychological problems and this should include those politicians of senior rank with access to military nuclear defence/ attack systems.
America and other First World countries are faced with similar national security situations. In fact, with sophisticated computerisation, no codes or activation procedures are absolutely safe and automation significantly increases the dangers.
There are naturally, many more examples.
If Iran and others were educated on the vulnerability of the First World along with, the dangers of copying its weaknesses, they may come to the self realisation that they are considerably more powerful and nationally secure without same.
Nuclear power and physics may well have it uses in the perpetual space travel of the future providing, a regenerative power source in the interests of humanity, but, its current misuse needs to be effectively controlled.
The Latin phrase of ancient times, "Doctina habet onus", loosely translated as, 'Learning brings with it Responsibilities', has still much to offer civilised society and should be extended to include position as well.
It is irresponsible to allow the very infrastructure of a country collapse, people suffer and die (including some of your own nationals) simply because you don’t like what one man in the country of their residence said or did, it matters not whether he is a President or a Criminal.
It amounts to an absolute waste of a University Education and, contrary to political rhetoric, what you destroy may never be rebuilt or replaced, as, the human race has yet to achieve the capability to rebuild the individual along with his personal ingenuity and/ or expertise.
Economic Sanctions rarely, if ever, affect wealthy politicians who at most may suffer resultant unemployment and targets instead the innocent, the poor, the children and the elderly where, more innocent are directly affected than any known individual act of terror.
Whilst the writer seeks not to justify any act of terror which he condemns, he emphasises the need for society in general to accept that any act of economic sabotage amounts to a serious act of terrorism.
To state in our parliaments that ‘the ends justify the means’ is in itself the most common rational used by the average terrorist.
We justifiably condemn to death the common terrorist that bombs a few of the innocent but we accept starving a million innocent to death as justifiable and, in the best interests of democracy. It may be that the notable absence of research by foreign embassies and research agencies fuels the erroneous policy making decisions by foreign governments.
It is appreciated that reliable research input is difficult to acquire in the Third World as industrialists and local economists tend to relate information to their personal financial benefit being monopolies, employees of monopolies, pro opposition or government, organised crime as the case may be. Again, with the veritable maze of propaganda and counter-propaganda bereft of fact and truth, even the vast majority of locals in Zimbabwe have been misled, including, many of the captains of industry/ commerce and politicians on all sides.
As a consequence, most local happenings need to be researched at source.
In Zimbabwe, as publicly jointly stated by all EU and the US Diplomatic missions, sanctions are only imposed on certain individuals and companies and there are no general sanctions on Zimbabwe. In reality, this is neither factual nor true, being devoid of frankness.
According to the US Treasury web site accessed, by clicking the link www.treas.gov/ofac , "all U.S. persons and entities (companies, non-profit groups, government agencies, etc.) wherever located". are affected by their sanctions on Zimbabwe.
The problem with the above is that American Companies and Individuals are not sure who or which company is connected to those individuals on whom sanctions are imposed, hence effective sanctions are imposed on all businesses, the general public and its entities/ charities. - few, if any, American Companies will do business with Zimbabwe and this attitude spreads to the EU. Directly affecting the poor, local American subsidiary companies are even banned from producing vegetable oil from produce purchased from local "stolen farms".
If you wish to impose such sanctions it were better that you supply the poor with the imported equivalent or protect the innocent from hardship.
In direct contradiction of public government statement by America and Britain financial sanctions are imposed on the general public of Zimbabwe. By example :-
Jack Straw said in his address to the House on the 1st July, 2004 :-"There are two things we are not going to do. We are not going to impose economic sanctions on the people of Zimbabwe and we are not going to contemplate military action."
The “Economic Sanctions” notification copied below is in “real time” and was imposed on the 16th July, 2004, just 15 days after Jack Straws statement.(Date extracted from hidden reference HTML on their web page)
|Error 3029. Due to US economic sanctions you are not authorised to access the PayPal system. You can obtain further information from PayPal at 08707 307 191 or from the Office of Foreign Assets Control at www.treas.gov/ofac|
At first sight it appears that this was implemented by the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the US Treasury. However, PayPal (Europe) Ltd. is regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the United Kingdom as an electronic money institution. (PayPal FSA Register Number: 226056) Thus, these are EU financial sanctions as well.
Results of an appeal, state, "unfortunately you cannot use Paypal from where you are at present (Zimbabwe)". It goes on to list other neighbouring countries from which you may access your account.
These particular sanctions apply only to those with bank accounts in the EU and America, mainly the innocent and Nationals of those countries. According to the US Ambassador they may be resultant of 9/11 imposed unilaterally on Zimbabwe.
In reality, all the funding and combined US manpower thrown into the imposition of US sanctions, according to the US Treasury, has resulted in a pathetic total of US$80,000 in frozen assets, in spite of the news media and first world's political rhetoric that there existed properties and untold wealth belonging to local Zimbabwe politicians.
Sanctions possibly cost Zimbabwe Commerce and Industry US$80,000 an hour or minute in loss of production and turnover.
It were far better that all this sanctions funding had been given to the poor, the needy and towards the payment of compensation to those local Zimbabwe Farmers divested of assets.
To consider any form of sanctions on Zimbabwe, a country who's people have already suffered the effects of 15 years of sanctions throughout the UDI years of Rhodesia is inhumane. Example of the extent and effect on the civil and human rights of the innocent is as follows.
During UDI the writer, a victim, lost his home, fully paid for, in the United Kingdom resultant of sanctions against Rhodesia.
It happened that the writers home in the United Kingdom, comprehensively insured with what was considered a reputable insurer, Guardian Royal Exchange, was burnt to the ground in the late seventies.
At the time the writer was permantly resident in the UK and the appropriate insurance claim where insurance loss assessors valued damage at £96,000.00 sterling.
Later, in 1978, when it was muted that peace was imminent in Rhodesia, the writer went to Rhodesia leaving his affairs in the hands of the British bankers, Barclay Bank.
The insurers claimed that as the writer was now resident in Rhodesia they were unable to action his claim or rebuild the property being bound by British Sanctions.
Barclay bank said that had the writer had a morgage then the insurers would have paid out. It is the writers view that the settlement or claim should have been placed in a trust account or they should have simply replaced/ rebuilt the property.The writer at all times possessed no duel nationality, had no connection to the either the Rhodesian Government or its millitary.
After Independence the writer appointed lawyers in Britain. The claim was now considered out of time!!
It is thus a privately owned twenty - three roomed furnished property was completely lost and even the land transfered to another without any compensation to date of any kind.(Surely, this has to be a contravention of Article 17, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
In Countries where any kind of sanctions are imposed, innocent people lose jobs, their life savings, their property,their assets,family businesses that have survived genrations are forced to close. It is insufficient and a Human Rights infringment for those coutries imposing sanctions to simply restore the infrastructure of any country leaving the innocent destitute as most will be unable to regenerate life savings and assets.It is also inhumane to treat those thus divested as refugees and, whilst it may be the opinion of some "that the ends justify the means", it nevertheless remains a massive Human Rights Infringment contrary to the very concept of the Human Rights Charter. There is also a need for any Human Rights Commission to consider the suffering and trauma on the innocent and take full responsibility.
Consequential loss being international base common law since biblical times, surely there is a base need for the UN Human Rights Commission to start enforcing full restitution to all innocent.To require those countries imposing sanctions to take full responsibility for their actions.To examine such artices as Article 17 and others and consider whether or not the UN, on such occasion, is in breach of its own charter by allowing the imposition of sanctions on any country.
This would have the financial deterrent value to imposing inhumane sanctions unilaterally on the innocent in the first place.How may any innocent individual resident in a country on which sanctions are imposed flee the country with his home, assets and business?
The writer would welcome any Civil and Human Rights assistance from any party to redress compensation, the broad base of all law - the estinated value of the claim with interest being now in access of £ 1.5 million pounds.
Note:- Laterally, in the late eighties, a further, fully paid for, five bedroomed, fully furnished property 344, Marsh Lane, Bootle, Liverpool, UK, was demolished under a dubious Compulsory Purchase Order in Britain without any reference to the writer. British police were requested to investigate the disapearance of the property by a surveyor. More fully described in the 'Land Issue' on this web site, the writer fails to understand why compensation has not been forthcoming and why, local government are not required to provide the writer with another home in the total absence of compensation.
Conversely, Shell, broke sanctions supplying fuel to Rhodesia, totally owned a weapons manufacturing plant, Crusader Engineering (pvt) Ltd, which supplied automatic weapons to the illegal Rhodesian Government for effective use against Britain. Presumably, a major source of political funding in Britain they evaded prosecution and lost no assets.
Sadly, it is only the multinationals, politicians and ultrawealthy that are unaffected by Sanctions, the very individuals they were directed against.
Resultant of inflation and Zimbabwe's economic decay and those factors that caused same Zimbabwe is said to have the worst suicide rate amongst the elderly in the world. Those promoters of sanctions should be made to view death and starvation first hand!
Although the writer is the secretary of a local Lions club charity the views depicted are not necessarily the views of Lions International or its other members but simply the individual opinion and views of the writer.
With economic decay local charitable donations dry up, in fact the writer cannot recall a donation save those from members.
We hear of massive donations from overseas but, with few exceptions, no charity seems to have had receipt of same.
An example of this was the recent destruction of the shanty town local areas of Harare. Resultant of international media propaganda it was wrongfully portrayed as destroying opposition supporters residences. Logic provides that to be a voter you require a fixed address and shanty towns don't provide same, so, none could be voters.
The local populace in the shanty towns survived in the main on crime with their crime bosses building large houses without planning permission as depicted on BBC - With economic decay and inflation it was cheaper by far to buy a ready built property in an upmarket residential suburb than to build same in a slum. Police in pursuit of criminals were often afraid to enter these shanty towns in fear of their life and it is thus, that main access roads to the Harare International Airport and South Africa were ambushed after 18.00 hrs on a daily basis.
International propaganda did two things, it advertised the plight of the poor even if it utilised criminals to get there and, it promoted donations from all over the world. Sadly, the adverse local and international political propaganda caused unduly harsh treatment of genuine cases.
The writer has yet to hear of any local charity or worthy individual who benefited from the massive donations. One of the few worthy causes was an orphanage which was demolished as depicted in the international press. The courageous young British lady who built same, and the writer is proud to have as a personal friend, stood terrified and alone with thirty ophans arguing with the army as children were made to demolish the orphanage at gunpoint. She had planning permission and provided the funding - there was simply no communication between the City of Harare and the Army, incensed with the adverse publicity- although still suffering from trauma she wants desperately to rebuild the orphanage and relocate her children most of whom she has known from birth - she has yet to receive any funding or assistance from any party.
The Elderly in Zimbabwe
These are, without doubt, one of the more critical sectors of the population irrespective of race or creed. (Most suicides are within the white community.) Resultant of inflation pensions are now valueless and, making matters worse, the change of currency combined with the poor eyesight of the elderly lends itself to loss of income.
The elderly, being proud, are very difficult to locate and assist, needing various levels of support. Younger family members have either immigrated to greener pastures or died of AIDS leaving the elderly unsupported.( HIV tends to affect the young and middle aged hence it is not uncommon to find only the grandparents living.)
Within the white sector the elderly are now, by far, the largest proportion in spite of having the most per capita fatalities.They have substantially different needs some being unaccustomed to local diet. At one stage the Senior Citizens Club adjacent the US Embassy supplied subsidised meals to any attending elderly once or twice a week. There is a need for local embassies to fund the reopening of the kitchen and dining room, re-establishing this central venue where the elderly can get two or three meals a week.
There is a need to explain the effects of inflation on pensions and savings. Eight years ago an elderly man and his wife decided to sell their house and put the proceeds in a Building society for a 'rainy day'. The house was in a fairly good suburb and they sold same, a four bedroomed house with swimming pool for Z$800,000.00, at the time equivalent to US100,000.00.
One month ago, and eight years later, the man went to the dentist and was asked to prepay Z$45,000.00. He found that the investment account with the building society only held Z$16,000.00 in new currency, the equivalent to US$5.00. Such is the inflation and devaluation in Zimbabwe that causes suicides, that Jack Straw pledges to rebuild with the help of the international community once the current government has changed. How do you give such people their lives and savings back? .
Many elderly sold their homes to supplement their poor pensions which funds have since evaporated. Being unable to afford rent they are now totally reliant on the charity of others.
There is a need to deal with such issues as the plight of British pensioners resident in foreign countries, a large group in Zimbabwe, the inequality of their pension with that of a pensioner resident in Britain when they have made identical contributions. The way consecutive British governments have allowed their aged, resident overseas, to be reduced to beggars reliant on the charity of foreign society and foreign governments.
Simply put, in the case where you made full pension contributions while employed in Britain: -
1. If you retire in the United States you get the full pension that you paid for with the same increases as a pensioner in Britain.
2. In the former colonies you are restricted to the level of pension you were receiving when you left Britain, mayhap thirty years ago, without the standard inflationary or statutory increases.
It is thus over the passage of time, with inflation within foreign countries, proud pensioners permanently employed in Britain throughout their lifetime, are reduced to living literally on bread and water as local charity dries up. Whilst British Parliamentarians discuss Food Aid in Zimbabwe they expect Zimbabwe to provide facilities and assist British Pensioners. In effect those pensioners resident in the UK with free health and other benefits are being given inflationary increments presumably from the savings made from those British Pensioners living overseas and therefore not utilising UK social services.
On the 18th March 2003. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Amos) said :-
Baroness Amos: "My Lords, British pensioners in Zimbabwe, of whom there are 4,036, are not paid through the banks at the official rate of exchange."
The writer does not feel it appropriate to require that British pensioners break local laws to survive on their British Pension and, it is, possibly, the first time any British Government has openly encouraged foreign 'black market' illegal operations.
Surely, the use the illegal money market has to be an individual decision and no Government has the right to coerce the elderly to have no choice but to break the law - many elderly are emotionally concerned.
Funds should be paid via banks to pensioners if they request same for a number of reasons - to protect the elderly from fraud and injury when trying to convert funds on the illegal parallel market. There is a need to simply increase the British Pensions.
".......Zimbabwe's independence constitution, agreed during the Lancaster House negotiations, made it clear that the UK Government would not protect Zimbabwe pension payments against the effects of fluctuating exchange rates."
Lord Waddington: "My Lords, I declare an interest as president of the Overseas Service Pensioners Association. When will the Government give help to those former colonial civil servants who worked in Southern Rhodesia before UDI and whose pensions were guaranteed under the independence constitution agreed at Lancaster House but have become almost valueless as a result of the decline in the Zimbabwean dollar? Is it not ridiculous that the Government should refuse to help them when they are affording help to all the colonial civil servants who served in other colonial territories?"
"My Lords, I am aware of the wider issue. Indeed, I remember answering a Question on this matter on behalf of my noble friend, and then receiving what was by far my largest postbag. To increase the basic state pension by inflation for all overseas pensioners not protected by bilateral agreements would cost us some £400 million. The Government have made it clear that our priority is UK pensioners resident in the United Kingdom.”
Does any Government have the right to pick and choose which of its pensioners will have their pension increased by inflation?
And in a display of double standards, seeking to pressure the Zimbabwe Government into inflationary pension increases whilst considering it too expensive to do the same with British Pensions:-
“or indeed the value of their pensions having fallen so much that they are virtually worthless. I receive a number of letters on the issue, and we have raised it many times with the Government of Zimbabwe. Until the economy of Zimbabwe improves, I doubt whether those pensioners will receive the pension that they deserve.”
"My Lords, I am confident that our High Commission is doing everything that it can. As regards those pensioners who were locally engaged-and who are therefore in receipt of Zimbabwean pensions-the staff are sending, on average, three letters and six e-mails each week to the pensions authority in Zimbabwe. Indeed, they have had meetings with the authority.”
“That is why we have made every effort to ensure that their pensions are respected.”
Parliamentry reference to suicides amongst pensioners : -
Baroness Park of Monmouth:
"I understand from many quarters in Zimbabwe that pensioners are receiving pay through the banks at the official rate. The economy works on a parallel rate, and inflation is running at 200 per cent. The effect is that these people are destitute in many cases and in some cases they are starving. They cannot pay the costs of their old-age homes and are in despair. I ask the Government to consider doing something more effective to save the situation. There have been suicides, and the situation is desperate. I note that the Government have continued to charge for passports and visas at the parallel rate, which is the rate that applies there for everything affected. How is it that pensioners cannot be assured of a similar parallel rate?"
With reference to passport renewal for British and EU pensioners and nationals, although it refers to permenant residency stamps the cost of the actual British Passport has become beyond the means of many local British Nationals :-
Viscount Goschen: "My Lords, if what the Minister says is the case, is she confident that the British High Commission in Harare has done everything it possibly can to explain how the pensions could be paid to the pensioners' advantage? Is she aware that the cost of obtaining a permanent residency stamp on a passport is 250,000 Zimbabwe dollars? At the official rate, that is nearly £3,000. How can it possibly be right for such a large sum to be required in payment for a government service?"
According to The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Amos) there are 4036 British pensioners not allowing for those that have died since 2003. There will be a significant amout of other EU pensioners as well although their pensions are paid in full and, of course, those many pensioners that were civil servants whilst Zimbabwe was a British colony who recieve unsustainable local pensions.
There is a need for the British or EU government to do the following on an urgent basis :-
1. Given there are 4036 British Pensioners in Zimbabwe, the combined savings in UK of not being asked to supply health care and social services warrant a Social Services expert on the aged being permanently attached to the local British Embassy.
2. To review the lot of those former government employees of the Rhodesian Government whilst a British Colony, mainly of British and EU extract, and ascertain whether it be humanitarian and in accord with civil rights to simply pass on the responsiblity of their pensions to another in an agreement in which, the beneficiaries paid no part.
3. Given the substancial numbers of pensioners, to appoint a local GP paid either through the National Health in UK or via Social Services.
4. To locate and transport those pensioners that have become too incapacitated to care for themselves either through the normal aging process or resultant of violence/ rape occasioned by the upsurge in crime and inflation back to the EU for the proper care that they deserve.
5. To assist finacially and urgently with the ressusitation of such establishments and organisations as the Senior Citizens Club and "meals on wheels" to provide social support and backup for the elderly.
If British Pensions were increased to pensioners overseas as they should be, by inflation, thus providing all British Pensioners wherever they decide to live with the pension they paid for and deserve, subsidised accomodation and/or facilities provided locally could be utilised for others.
If British Pensions were increased to pensioners overseas as they should be, by inflation, thus providing all British Pensioners wherever they decide to live with the pension they paid for and deserve, subsidised facilities provided locally could be utilised for others.
Additionally, there are those British Pensioners that would help friends locally that were reliant on local Zimbabwe Pensions, the situation is indeed one of survival.
To ignore or debate such an issue because they are too old, out of sight, bereft of funds and cant complain is both sad and inhumane. There is a need for urgent effective action and decision to save lives even if the UN or EU takes the lead and apportions the bill/ cost later - the elderly have no voice and are often too proud to ask for charity.
Resultant of HIV and inflation there are many orphaned/ abandoned children of all races and orphanages are full to capacity.There have even been children abandoned in the toilets at Harare International Airport as parents flee the country.
Other than assistance from a few NGO's there is little evidence of international charitable donations reaching the orphanages.
The writer and his colleagues took 900 orphans and underprivileged to a pantomime complete with all the usual trimmings and sweets, a tradition of our club at this time of year, just a day before writing this.
The plight of street children has been internationally advertised when the streets were cleared and funds were donate to same by international donors. The situation was not however properly researched prior to publicity.
These children are in two categories, a mixture addicts and the product of professional beggars. The addicts, mainly addicted to glue resins, run away from homes as they are housed and require a combination of professional help. There are no ordinary orphans in this category as they would be considered trespassers and harshly dealt with by the others. The only way to assist the others who are the children of professional beggars is to treat the root cause, the adults.
Resultant of international political publicity donors provided funds to a new organisation. The situation of street children remains the same and the organiser has a farm, at least two upmarket residences in Harare and a veritable string of new cars. We used to donate a large percentage of our income to this charity but now ignore same and try instead to explore other avenues of assistance.
Inflation affects all races and it is not uncommon to see white children begging for food door to door in the suburbs resultant, of their parents being unemployed, or a father discreetly scraping breadcrumbs from the floor in a local supermarket next to a bread slicing machine to take home to his family. There are no social services and with companies closing so the situation worsens. There is a need for all races to appreciate that, in Zimbabwe, the poor and underprivileged come in all colours and creeds as they do in Europe. It is sad that most humanitarian aid from the First World targets only one race or colour.
UN Food Aid
Whilst all food aid is welcome there is a need for the UN to discreetly police the system. It is the writers information, with absolute evidence, that a senior UN Food Aid official normally resident outside Zimbabwe's borders at a central UN office, purchased an upmarket farm via the local foreign exchange parallel market whilst building at least two prestigious homes in elite suburbs with foreign currency, all, in a period of six weeks.
Additionally, a new truck and vehicles appeared, being given freely to family members and children are educated locally at expensive private schools. (An approximate visible monthly expenditure of around US$400,000)
It seems inappropriate that UN individuals are permitted to get rich out of UN Food Aid, there needs to be accountability.
EU Charitable Donations
Most of the EU general public have a tendency to only donate to those charities which provide tax relief or taxation credits.
In Britain, Inland Revenue Charities maintain that in order to access Gift Aid or Tax relief donations must be made only to UK Charities. UK charities may not collect donations on behalf of sister branches in the Third World and any payment to sister charities automatically forfeits tax benefits. It is thus that Third World established Charities and International Disaster Funds are no longer acceptable charitable pursuits by Britain and only a UK recipient charity may issue an authorised receipt.
An extract from a Technical Executive of Inland Revenue charities in Britain is as follows :-
"Charity trustees must have discretion over how they apply their funds. So UK charities can apply their funds overseas at their own trustees discretion. However, a gift that simply passes through a UK charity to an overseas body is not a gift to the UK charity - the charity is simply being used a conduit and the gift is not being applied at the discretion of the UK charity."
Thus, even a gift to a charity "Save the Children Fund, intended for Save the Children fund in Zimbabwe" would not fit into UK taxation criteria being now considered money laundering. It would be impossible for any charity in the UK to operate without local branches in the Third World which automatically become local bodies, considered overseas bodies within the UK.
Lions International is established world-wide, all branches being officially registered in the USA, monitored both locally and regionally yet, the UK taxation authority states the following :-
"Only bodies established in the UK can potentially register as charities. Each Lions charitable fund is a separate entity. Only those in the UK can register as charities (provided they meet the criteria) Overseas Lions funds (whether charitable or not in the overseas country) are not charities for UK tax purposes as they are not established in the UK and so donations to them are not eligible for the Gift Aid scheme"
Incentive appears to be given to those charities that squander up to, and over, 90% of charitable donations on overheads, that can afford expensive taxation lawyers and massive advertising, as opposed to those charities who believe that all donations belong with the underprivileged and intended beneficiaries.
By comparison no member of the writer's Lions Club has ever claimed even transport costs and, it needs to be said that there are longstanding members who have engaged in charitable work for decades who now find themselves in need of assistance themselves resultant of local inflation, who consider engaging in three months caring in the UK every year in order to survive and continue to support their local charity.
It is hoped that those bodies and individuals of the UN on reading the content of this web site see the urgent need to addess the situation in Zimbabwe thus providing the much needed relief for its population.