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Archive for December 5th, 2008

Thomas Jefferson (Letter to James Monroe, January 1, 1815)

Posted by African Press International on December 5, 2008

If the American People ever allow the banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers occupied. The issuing power of money should be taken from the bankers and restored to Congress and the people to whom it belongs. I sincerely believe the banking institutions having the issuing power of money are more dangerous to liberty than standing armies.

We are completely saddled and bridled, and the bank is so firmly mounted on us that we must go where they ill guide.

The dominion which the banking institutions have obtained over the minds of our citizens…must be broken, or it will break us.

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Bankers Manifesto of 1892
We (the bankers) must proceed with caution and guard every move made, for the lower order of people are already showing signs of restless commotion. Prudence will therefore show a policy of apparently yielding to the popular will until our plans are so far consummated that we can declare our designs without fear of any organized resistance.

Organizations in the United States should be carefully watched by our trusted men, and we must take immediate steps to control these organizations in our interest or disrupt them.

At the coming Omaha convention to be held July 4, 1892, our men must attend and direct its movement or else there will be set on foot such antagonism to our designs as may require force to overcome.

This at the present time would be premature. We are not yet ready for such a crisis. Capital must protect itself in every possible manner through combination (conspiracy) and legislation.

The courts must be called to our aid, debts must be collected, bonds and mortgages foreclosed as rapidly as possible.

When, through the process of law, the common people have lost their homes,
they will be more tractable and easily governed through the influence of the strong arm of the government applied to a central power of imperial wealth under the control of the leading financiers.

People without homes will not quarrel with their leaders. History repeats itself in regular cycles. This truth is well known among our principal men who are engaged in forming an imperialism of the world. While they are doing this, the people must be kept in a state of political antagonism.

The question of tariff reform must be urged through the organization known as the Democratic Party, and the question of protection with the reciprocity must be forced to view through the Republican Party.

By thus dividing voters, we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance to us, except as teachers to the common herd. Thus, by discrete actions, we can secure all that has been so generously planned and successfully accomplished.

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Tape release dates agreed upon between parties now that interested groups have cooled off

Posted by African Press International on December 5, 2008

The atmosphere for release is good now that interested parties have cooled off and tempers shelved aside, emotions reduced and tears dried. The long awaited release of the tape will now be realised as soon as the practicalities are worked out between the parties, API/MBOs.

The timing has been something parties had to agree on and modalities worked out so that havoc will not be realised anywhere on the day of release.

One has taken into consideration the huge number of people for and against the release andhad to take all precautions so that the program of the release is not leaked to avoid any form of distraction as has been experienced twice before.

API Editorial

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Comments on moderation

Posted by African Press International on December 5, 2008

We are now in moderation and will open when we have time to control all the comments to avoid big mouthed comments

By site monitor

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A summary of events between 15th October and 15th December in book form discussing the US elections and people’s emotional feelings published for historical record purposes to remain in public libraries as a reference book

Posted by African Press International on December 5, 2008

The characters in the book are many Americans who have been active on the subject in question.

The thought to have the book is to have a record of a journey that API and the American peoplehas taken together from the 15th of October and expected to end on the 15th of December when the Electoral College takes their decision on Mr Barack Obama who is the president elect for now. This journey has not been an easy one.

To suit this journey taken by API and the American people, the book – (“The American people and historical elections: A journey dictated by feelings, emotions and distress,”) is supposed to keep all events between the 15th October through 15th of December.

The US elections was a thrill to many people. Even nations of the world got involved in the elections because, as they put it, wanted to be part of a history making. What history, we ask?

When API broke the now famous story on the Michelle Obama tape on the 15th of October, API did not expect the outcry that followedand divided the American people. Many Americans got very involved in the story and wanted to be either part of it one way or another. American lawyers placed in their requests to represent API in case of legal problems and many Radio stations and TV networks put in their request to have the exclusive rights for the tape. Whichever way one chose, emotions took over people’s feelings and that led to many abuses exchanged by all parties involved. Some people almost lost their relationships because of their commitment to be deeply involved.

These emotions revealed in the book will help us to learn not to loose our minds and real feelings giving way to emotions to lead in such situations that will face us every four years.

The tape has not yet been released, API has refused to be dictated by any parties involved and instead has planned for release either before the 15th of December or immediately thereafter, but not after the US presidential inauguration day. API and the MBOs have decided to do it this way in order to avoid emotional Americans getting carried away one way or another if things do not go the way they so dearly wish after the tape is released.

The Imam document on Mr Obama as concerns his originality is also one of the things that has given the American people a lot of emotional feelings and the book will dwell deeply on the divisions the document has caused among API readers. Emotions deeply rooted that seems to have endangered people’s lives.

These actions will be summed up in (THE HISTORICAL ELECTIONS –  “American people, their feelings, desperation and uncontrolled emotions”)

To make the book juicy, comments received by API has been entrenched in it. API is pleased and thankful to some of the people who have released to API their photographs used in the book to accompany their comments. Most of the email messages appear in the book but without email addressesand IP addresses to avoid harassment of any kind.

API has enjoyed dealing with most readers and will continue to keep the relationship going in order to get some assistance in case it becomes necessary while working on the final chapter of the book which will have 500 pages in total

PS/ THIS ARTICLE MAY BE EDITED WHEN THE CHIEF EDITOR RETURNS FROM CANADA

The book has been written by editorial staffled by the Site Monitor. The Chief Editor will be shown the manuscript when he returns and hopefully he will approve it with or without changes.Those who may wish to have any say before the book is out may contact the editorial directly to the attention of Jimmy. Write the “subject” API BOOK so that it is channeled to the right person.

By API Editorial/ Site monitor

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Zimbabwe: Water crisis and cholera funerals

Posted by African Press International on December 5, 2008

Harare (Zimbabwe) “Funerals of people dying of cholera are a common feature of our daily lives,” said Tapiwa Hove, a resident Budiriro, a high-density suburb of Harare. “But it seems no one cares. Sewage is flowing all over. It’s like living in hell.”

Budiriro was teeming with aid workers frantically trying to distribute water from big water bowsers to desperate residents. There is commotion and the exchange of harsh words, as children, men and women with toddlers strapped to their backs try to secure at least a bucketful of clean drinking water.

All across Harare, people tell of how healthy-looking people are dying within hours of consuming the dirty water that many residents have resorted to in the absence of clean drinking water. “People are dying at an alarming rate. There are funeral wakes in many households. The government might try to deny this, but the reality is there for all to see,” said Hove.

Local rights groups such as the Zimbabwe Doctors for Human Rights estimate the death toll is already over 1000, much higher than the government admits.
And there are fears that the situation will only grow worse. “What I am afraid of is that now that the rain season has come, all faeces lying in the bushes will be washed into shallow wells and contaminate the water,” health minister David Parirenyatwa told state media.

CARE International, Red Cross Society and United National Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) are building latrines, distributing medicines and hygiene kits and have taken over ZINWA’s responsibility of delivering water, and repairing blocked sewers across Zimbabwe to mitigate the cholera emergency.

Most of Zimbabwe’s urban areas have gone for several months without water. Many urban households are unable to use their toilets, which are completely blocked by overflowing sewage. Last month, key institutions such as the High Court and Parliament buildings in Harare had to be closed because of the acute lack of water.

Zimbabwean cities have battled to provide water and refuse collection services while the country is subject to frequent power cuts, a result of a severe foreign currency squeeze. To the daily search for currency, bread, oil and transport, Harare residents now spend much of their time looking for water. Those still fortunate enough to be in formal employment now carry with them an empty bucket of water to work every day, in case there is clean water at the work place. Those in other hard-hit areas such as Budiriro and Glen View have to walk distances of up to five kilometres to get water at local council boreholes.

Those still receiving water from the taps hardly dare risk using it. “The water comes out with a heavy smell. It’s sometimes greenish in colour, other times brown. It’s never helpful at all, in fact, we only use it to clean the toilet,” said Tadiwa Chireya, a gardener in the upmarket suburb of Greendale.

President Robert Mugabe’s government blames the water woes on sanctions that it says were imposed on Zimbabwe by Western countries. The European Union and United States have imposed targeted sanctions on senior Zimbabwean officials because of authoritarianism and human rights abuses. International donors from these countries are feeding nearly one-half of the population and in recent years have provided most of the drugs used in government health service including those that are now used to treat water and victims of cholera.

The first democratically-elected mayor of Harare, civil engineer Elias Mudzuri is just one of the experts who warned several years ago that the city’s water distribution and sewage systems were on the verge of collapse and needed urgent attention. In 2004 the running of water affairs was transferred from local authorities to ZINWA.

“ZINWA took over responsibility of water provision, equipment such as cars and other engineering equipment but reneged on taking over the responsibility of repairing the infrastructure, yet it had taken away all the monetary means of meeting such responsibility which came with revenues of water usage,” said a Harare City Council engineer who asked for anonymity.

Under this arrangement ZINWA would collect revenue for water usage but the responsibility of fixing and maintaining Harare’s water system was left to Harare City Council engineers whose financial capacity has been drastically reduced. At one point the city council was faced with an exodus of disgruntled engineers. Many others left the country for neighbouring countries while those still in employment often refuse to take instructions from ZINWA.

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Water Resources, Munacho Mutezo, under whose leadership ZINWA falls, has refused to comment on the catastrophic water shortages.

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API/source.

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Zimbabwe: Watershed for Mugabe as soldiers rampage

Posted by African Press International on December 5, 2008

Harare (Zimbabwe) – President Robert Mugabe appears to be losing his 28-year iron grip on the military, with protests by soldiers this week raising fears that a revolt could be brewing in the armed forces.

As the economic meltdown intensified and a cholera epidemic spread, sources told Business Day the Mugabe regime was trying to contain growing discontent within the armed forces. Its members staged protests twice this week against poor salaries and working conditions.

It is the first time that Zimbabwean soldiers have taken to the streets. On Monday, a group of uniformed soldiers rampaged through Harare to protest at poor salaries and working conditions. A similar riot happened last Thursday — although that was confined to a small section of the city.

Mugabe was already facing widespread strikes and protests by discontented public servants, including doctors and nurses .

The groundswell of discontent poses a serious threat to Mugabe’s regime, and if bolstered by military disturbances it could erupt into a nationwide anti government campaign. The incident on Monday, which resulted in injuries to onlookers, looting and damage to property, shook the Mugabe regime and marked a watershed in Zimbabwe’s political and economic crisis.

Military sources said soon after the riot by troops that Mugabe’s Joint Operations Command (JOC) — which consists of the army, police and intelligence chiefs — held an emergency meeting. Sources said the JOC recommended that the army be placed on high alert and that serious measures be taken to contain the situation before it deteriorated into an uprising. This led to the rapid deployment of military police.

The army also immediately launched an investigation into the incident, with Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi warning on Tuesday that “those found culpable will be brought to justice”. There were reports yesterday that 150 soldiers, mainly from 2 Brigade in Harare, had been arrested after the riot.

Based on the slogans chanted during the riot, army commanders feared the protesting soldiers were pursuing a “mutinous agenda”. The soldiers chanted “hondo” meaning “war” as they ran through the city streets. This initially puzzled bystanders but many joined the soldiers.

Police intervened to stop destruction of property but showed marked reluctance to deal with the rioters. There were some clashes between soldiers and the police, but the police did not arrest any of the soldiers. Troops that were picked up were allowed to escape .

While the government was showing signs of panic, there has been speculation that the troops’ revolt was engineered by elements within the state.

Some observers claimed the riots were instigated by the embattled regime, which desperately wants to create conditions for a state of emergency. There was speculation the government wanted to use the army “rebels” protest as a pretext to clamp down further, possibly even declaring a state of emergency.

An observer said a state of emergency would allow Mugabe to rule without the MDC and deal decisively with the economy by taking extraordinary measures against anyone deemed a “financial terrorist”.

“This is a planned and calculated action and it is not going to stop any time soon. “Not until the final planned action, a state of emergency.”

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API/source.Business Day (South Africa) – December 4, 2008.

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Zimbabwe: 70 arrested as police crush worker protests

Posted by African Press International on December 5, 2008

Harare (Zimbabwe) – Zimbabwe police on Wednesday arrested labour secretary general Wellington Chibebe and about 70 union members as they ruthlessly crushed nationwide worker protests to force the countrys central bank to scrap limits on the amount of cash people can withdraw from banks.

Chibebe, who is secretary general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), was later released to allow him to attend a meeting on the cash crisis with central bank governor Gideon Gono on Friday.

He has been released after the intervention of the governor, said ZCTU president Lovemore Matombo confirming Chibebes release. You imagine the depth of the crisis when a central bank governor intervenes for the release of an arrested person.

ZCTU information officer Khumbulani Ndlovu told ZimOnline that police arrested more than 70 people throughout the country; 35 in Gweru, six in Zvishavane and the rest in Harare in a crackdown the main opposition MDC party immediately condemned as heavy handed and unjustified.

The Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC said the governments violent reaction to the protests raised questions about President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF partys commitment to a power-sharing agreement with the opposition.

Union leaders arrested in yesterdays crackdown by the police included ZCTU deputy secretary general Japhet Moyo, Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe secretary general Raymond Majongwe, South African Broadcasting Corporation correspondent John Nyashanu and several members of the ZCTU general council.

Police arrested Wellington Chibebe while he was addressing workers in Harare soon after holding a meeting with the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Gideon Gono and Deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga, Ndlovu said.

The ZCTU secretary general had gone to hand a petition to the central bank chief outlining the workers grievances regarding cash shortages and the withdrawal limits that the RBZ has set.

Gono and Matonga had assured Chibebe that the workers concerns would be looked into and had agreed that he could go and address workers but that is when he was arrested and taken to Harare Central police station, Ndlovu said.

As union leaders were arrested, more police wielding batons charged at workers attempting to march to the central bank offices in Harare and beat up the marchers five of whom had to receive treatment after they were severely injured.

Police also dispersed at least 100 protesting doctors and nurses who had marched to the Ministry of Healths Kaguvi building head office in Harare. Health workers have been on a lengthy strike over low salaries, poor working conditions and to pressure the government to act to save the public health sector from total collapse.

In Bulawayo the countrys second largest city armed police raided the regional offices of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) around mid-morning accusing the ZLHR staff of harbouring some ZCTU members but left later after failing to locate any union members at the offices.

The raid on the offices of the ZLHR which provides free legal aid to human rights defenders came hours after the abduction of Jestinah Mukoko, a prominent human rights activist and director of Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), which documents rights violations and politically motivated violence.

API/source.ZimOnline (Zimbabwe/SA) – December 4, 2008.

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Zimbabwe: Soldiers’ protests rock Harare (analysis)

Posted by African Press International on December 5, 2008

Harare (Zimbabwe) – Zimbabwe is facing widespread protests by discontented soldiers feeling the heat of the countrys collapsing economy.

Some analysts are forecasting that continuing army revolts and economic instability could force President Robert Mugabe to share power with the opposition, putting the country’s shattered economy on the road to recovery.

The rising groundswell of anger within the army over poor salaries and cash shortages poses a serious threat to Mugabe, who has traditionally relied on the loyalty of the army to keep the opposition in check.

Dozens of soldiers have been taking to the streets of Harare since November 27, clashing with anti-riot and military police deployed in the city centre to counter the protests. There have been sporadic exchanges of gunfire in the capital as dissident soldiers and military police clash.

A pact signed by the military and Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono in November set up a scheme where soldiers could access cash weekly from army barracks. However, soldiers say the facility is being abused by top generals, who are making hefty withdrawals daily, leaving the rank-and-file in the army with nothing. Government regulations only permit withdrawals from banks of 500,000 Zimbabwe dollars a day, hardly enough for a single fare on public transport.

Military experts are warning the riots are a precursor to mutiny, while pro-government analysts say the disturbances were just a simple case of indiscipline within the ranks. Army sources said the military courts are currently overwhelmed with cases related to indiscipline in the rank-and-file of the army as rebellious troops protest against mounting hardships. The troops on December 1 were also objecting to appalling conditions in the army barracks, where they complain of being forced to subsist on a diet of the staple sadza (a maize meal mush) and beans only.

The bloody rebellion of soldiers could lead to Mugabes ousting, warned Harare-based political commentator Ronald Shumba. “Its a situation becoming rapidly explosive,” he said. “This is a sign of a deep-seated problem in the army in Mugabe’s regime, in fact.”

An official police spokesman tried to downplay the near mutiny, claiming it was a simple case of “theft and robbery”.

Some analysts said the protests herald the beginning of the end for Mugabe, 84, who is beginning to lose the support of powerful factions in his own party and the increasingly disaffected army, police and security forces. Mugabe, who has been in power for 28 years, has ruled with fear and patronage. But now a combination of an unprecedented economic collapse and growing opposition within his security forces and the ruling ZANU-PF party present the clearest threats to his rule.

There is palpable anger in the police and army over low salaries and the fast-track promotions of ZANU-PF loyalists and veterans of the guerrilla war that ended white rule in 1980, according to a private in the army.

“Morale in the army has hit rock bottom,” he said. “Everyone is complaining about the increasing hardships. It would seem the majority are blaming President Mugabe himself for causing the hardships. They think its better for him to share power with the opposition to rescue the economy.”

He was unwilling to be identified for fear of reprisal.

Professor Jonathan Moyo, Mugabe’s former information minister and currently an independent member of parliament, dismissed suggestions that the revolt in the security forces opened the possibility of a coup.

He said it was just a symptom of Mugabe’s failure to reward the soldiers with privileges, including generous payouts, as the economy collapses that is responsible for the protests. “He is fast losing the support of his most reliable supporters, but suggesting its a precursor to a coup is pie in the sky,” he said.

However, Professor Heneri Dzinotyiwei, an opposition deputy who is also a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, said Mugabe faced trouble from his army, which used to be considered solidly loyal to the president.

“I think to a large extent it is an indication of the intensity of frustration in the army,” he said. “As to what might happen? It depends on how the banking community in collaboration with armed forces are able to contain this. But you cant blame the soldiers.”

A banking analyst who declined to be named said Mugabe was committing regime change himself through his disastrous economic policies, now manifested in the military protests.

“I think its the end-game,” he said. “Things have reached a critical point.”

* Chipo Sithole is the pseudonym of an IWPR journalist in Zimbabwe.

API/source.Institute of War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), by Chipo Sithole* – December 4, 2008.

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