Wednesday, July 22, 2009


WASHINGTON, DC - July 20, 2009 - African-Americans are up in arms against President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe for his constant use of pejorative adjectives to describe African-American officials. In an open letter from the African American Unity Caucus, it condemned President Mugabe's disparaging remarks made against the new U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Ambassador Johnnie Carson, who Mugabe referred to as "an idiot."

Entitled "THE IDIOT COMMENT: Robert Mugabe's Affront to the African Diaspora", the letter states as follows

    -President Robert Mugabe’s recent public characterization of Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson as “an idiot” was a serious affront to African-Americans, and indeed to all people of African descent. The President’s earlier characterization of Jendayi Frazier, Ambassador Carson’s predecessor, as “that little girl trotting around the globe like a prostitute” was equally offensive, and AAUC believes much beneath the dignity of a sitting Head of State.

    One must wonder why President Mugabe seems to reserve these demeaning, off-color and totally unnecessary barbs for distinguished representatives of the African Diaspora community. The AAUC is confounded by President Mugabe’s apparent callous disregard for the sensitivities of this community, which supported him in his liberation struggle and has largely defended him against harsh criticism during his long administration. When the President has needed the African Diaspora, he never hesitated to ask for its support, but he doesn’t offer respect to those who now happen to disagree with him in any way on the harsh realities of Zimbabwe.

    President Mugabe has missed an early opportunity to refocus Zimbabwe’s relationship with the United States. That relationship has been marred by rancor and name-calling due largely to his unshakable resentment of Great Britain as the former colonial power and his perception of the United States as a country that did not support his liberation struggle. However, President Mugabe’s intransigence and lingering resentments do nothing to relieve the sufferings of the Zimbabwean people, sufferings which, in no small measure, are the results of Mugabe’s own hubristic and callous policies. While the AAUC was not privy to the dialogue between Assistant Secretary Carson and President Mugabe, it is clear that Ambassador Carson, who served as America’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, was putting forth ideas to help raise Zimbabwe from the chasm into which it has fallen. Make no mistake, a nation whose inflation rate only recently was incalculable needs all the help it can get.

    Through a series of poor governing decisions, the Mugabe administration has ruined his country’s economy sector by sector – from commercial farming to manufacturing to small and medium enterprises to the vendor on the street. His government’s determination to win elections at all cost has been at the sacrifice of the freedoms of speech and assembly, and he has presided over the disintegration of institutions such as the judiciary by forcing out judges whose loyalty was to the rule of law rather than to the ruling party. President Mugabe seems to have thrown any semblance of good governance and respect for human rights to the wind.

    In his Africa policy speech in Ghana, President Obama said that the West was not responsible for the destruction of Zimbabwe’s political and economic systems. He said that what Africa needs are not strong men, but strong institutions, which is the opposite of what Mugabe has wrought in his country. If Zimbabwe is to be restored to the successful and productive nation it was even recently, there must be dispassionate and serious engagement by the Mugabe government with the rest of the world. Playing the blame game will not accomplish this.

    Our government appears ready to engage. Efforts have been made in recent years to begin discussions on how the United States can help Zimbabwe, but Mugabe and his loyal lieutenants only want to dredge up the past to criticize those who refuse to offer uncritical support. If a workable relationship is to be established, one must ask, can President Mugabe put the colonial past behind him and move forward? Can he govern justly and wisely for the benefit of his people and the future of Zimbabwe?


    The African American Unity Caucus (AAUC), established in 2002, is a non-partisan alliance of committed leaders and organizations of African ancestry focused on issues affecting Africa and the African Diaspora. The mission of the AAUC is to marshal human, material and social capital in order to enhance the overall sustainable development of African people. Through strategic decision-making, the AAUC will initiate and foster actions, and forge effective partnerships, among public and private entities in Africa and the African Diaspora and impact U.S. foreign policy. The AAUC is a program of the Constituency for Africa (CFA)
    316 F STREET, NE, SUITE 101, WASHINGTON, D.C. 20002
    PHONE (202) 371-0588 FAX (202) 371-9017

MDC activist brutally assaulted 

Another MDC activist, Ebba Katiyo, 31, is battling for her life in a private hospital after she was brutally attacked by Zanu PF thugs in Uzumba, Mashonaland East province on 12 July 2009. Katiyo, who can hardly speak or move in her bed, was brutally assaulted twice in a space of two weeks on accusations that she was still a member of the MDC.

"I was called by the village headman of Katiyo kraal who is also my uncle for a public meeting at his homestead where I was asked why I continued to support the MDC.

"After the meeting, he asked youths gathered to beat me up and I was beaten all over the body," said Katiyo.

She said before she had recovered from the assault, she was again called for a second meeting by the headman who again ordered that she be beaten.

"Again I was assaulted all over the body this time with sticks, booted feet and clinched hands," she said.

After the second assault, Katiyo could not even move until her relatives sought help from the MDC who then referred her to hospital where she is currently receiving treatment.

A police report was made on Friday at Mutawatawa Police Station and the police officers said they would investigate the case but although the assailants have been identified, no arrests have been made.

The culprits have been identified as Headman Katiyo, Zanu PF district chairperson, Teguru, Albert and Sarah Mutopo.

Scores of MDC supporters across the country have in recent months been victims of politically-motivated violence at the hands of Zanu PF thugs, despite the formation of the inclusive government in February.

By Robert Borsak

Well here we were Cheryl & I, in Bulawayo for the start of our two week trip into the Omay on Lake Kariba, northern Zimbabwe. Two bull elephants were on the agenda as we headed up the road north, through the rain, donkeys, cattle and goats that surrounded us in the Toyota Landcruiser.

Our Professional hunter on this trip was Deon Pistorius, a veteran PH, with 15 years hunting experience, just another day at the office for Deon.

Our original plan had been to fly by charter flight up to the Omay block, landing on the strip next the croc farm. No such luck, we faced a 10 hour trip by road, 6 hours on tar and the last 80 klms in 4 hrs, along rough dirt roads. The late season heavy rains, low cloud and generally untidy weather prevented the charter from flying.

The ride though uncomfortable at times was very interesting, as we sped through the morning, dodging & weaving around donkey carts and stray cattle. We hit the Bulembi Safaris camp at about 5.00pm, stiff and a bit sore, but ready for anything. The camp is located at the confluence of two rivers, the Ume & the Metaya, that then run north for a short distance to Lake Kariba. To the east over the Ume is the vast Matusadona national park, green & verdant, a dozen elephants already visible, as if taunting us.

 The first hunting morning opened wet & dull, getting up for breakfast at 4.30 am, we were gone down the rough road by 5.15am. It rained hard on & off during the day, it turned into a real wash out. This was the story for the next two days, dark & wet, all tracks washed out and impossible to follow. We did several abortive tracking efforts as we hunted through the jess looking carefully for the elusive bulls. Several hunts ended in disappointment as we either lost the tracks or ran out of day light. Six and a half hours on the trail one day, ended up dry, as we gave up due to loss of light.

Several times what with being bogged to the axles & losing the trail, the tension of the hunt built. It was only a matter of time until we caught up with a nice bull. This happened on the fourth day out, we hooked onto his trail after a tip off in the maize from a young local. Shorty & Jumana our two expert trackers were veterans of the hunt. Neither smoked or drank, fit Shona’s, Shorty at least 65 & Jumana about 50 years of age. These two guys were amazing, true professionals, in the game their whole lives.

The bull lead us a merry chase through the thickest riverine jess, crossing the river a total of 5 times, each time causing me to remove my boots, whilst watching for the ever present crocs. As the crow flies, we did not cover more than 5 or 6 kilometres, a long arc that at first left the maize fields, then headed back. We trailed him for some three & a half hours, huge piles of droppings the size of soccer balls, greener and warmer as we got closer. They were flecked with corn & sorgum, the odd melon seeds interceded, bright yellow green. We were close.

Deon called us to a quick & silent halt, as he strained to listen, desperate whispered words were exchanged with the trackers as they moved ahead. Next a thundering crash as Deon passed me heading in the opposite direction, the bull was coming! I turned & dodged behind the largest tree I could find some 10 metres away, then nothing. The bull was not headed in our direction, but away from us, phew!! We had frightened him just as much as he had frightened us, we were about 5 metres from him when Shorty saw him and the bull took off. Apparently he had not winded us, but was frightened away by the small noise that we made, on the wet grass and sand.

 Whatever he thought we were, after his initial dash, he ran along the river and again crossed at a rapid pace. We followed, catching him again some 30 minutes later, in the thick stuff. Deon again heard him breaking branches and feeding, he motioned me forward beside him, on all fours we crawled up to him. There looking up some 20 metres away I first saw a leg, then tail and arse as he fed in a little break in the jess. “Get ready Robert” Deon whispered, “he may feed up to us”, the bull turned slowly and revealed a tusk, I stood up.

I took a deep breath to settle my nerves & let it out slowly, it looked like he was going to walk right up to us through the green screen of bush. Mentally I went through the routine, rifle ready, safety off here he comes. In a matter of 5 seconds he was there, not walking straight up, but angling to my left, a great huge head with a small hazel eye stared down at me, clearing the jess, as I swung the Heym onto him. My reflexes took over as the rifle fired the right barrel at 6 paces from the brain of the giant, he went down, as if in slow motion. Deon on my left whispered “fire again”, I put the second barrel into the top of his head and it was all over. He flattened a vast area of jess as he hit the ground, as silently as his approach. It was awesome, he did not know what had hit him. I started to shake, this hunt was over.

Four days into the hunt I had taken the first of my two bulls. The 500 grain Woodleigh solid had found its mark, above the left eye, angling across the skull, through the lower brain, cleanly and instantly killing the bull. The fun was now only about to start, there in front of me lay 4 tonne of elephant meat, with tusks weighing in at about 45lb a side. It was 4.30pm, 12 hours since we had got up in the dark in quest of a shootable bull.

We headed foot sore and weary back toward the truck, 30 minutes in, we met the first of the locals heading with uncanny direction right to where the bull lay. A few short words from the PH, put them straight, the skinning and meat distribution would take place in the morning, on the morrow.

I had time to quietly contemplate what had happened there in the deep jess, as we bumped back toward camp. Days & days of anticipation, hours & hours of legging through the thick jess. Time & again straining myself to hear the tell tale sounds of the elephant in the bush. Wondering if he would wind us, hear us or sense us? Then all too soon it was over, in a flash, 37 years of shooting and hunting experience brought to bear with a shot at the bull just on a trunks length away. I could still see that small hazel eye, looking at me, without recognition, before the bullet put out his lights forever.

The following morning, after an early breakfast we headed back to the downed bull, over tar road & rough potted dirt tracks. Upon arrival we were greeted by over 200 local subsistence farmers, wives, children, young and the very old, all now ready to join in to the feast.

The process of skinning, chopping out the ivory and butchering of the bull took all day. Organised chaos accompanied us to where the bull lay, and the whole process ran from about 9.00am, until 4.00pm. We dropped dog tired back at camp that evening at 6.30pm, the events of the day before now a slowly fading memory, held forever in my mind and in the digital files of the cameras I used to take dozens of pictures. This is what I had come to Zimbabwe again and again for, the call of the hunt, the rhythm of the wild.

Now for the next hunt, I had just over one week to scout around for my second bull. I was really having a great time, the rain continued, but I didn’t care a bit.

The bull flung his head up as I touched the front trigger of the Heym 458 Win Mag, the jess obstructed him thoroughly, I couldn’t see a thing. I waited what seemed like an age for him to drop into the red ochre coloured wallow that he was knee deep in. It didn’t happen! The bull spun on the proverbial American dime piece, and rapidly headed for the hills.

Shooting with both eyes open, handling the Heym as if it were my Berretta 682 12 guage, the barrels flicked after him as the Brno 375 H & H carried by my PH Deon, barked out loud. Seeing no change in the passing pace of the bull I consciously swapped to the second trigger whilst locking onto the appearance of a side on huge red ochre rump, of the rapidly disappearing bull, with my left eye. The Heym barked again at a range of about 25 metres, placing the 500 grain FMJ Woodleigh though the hip into the spine. He crashed down immediately, skidding to a halt in amongst some obstructing branches of surrounding Jess.

As he came down there was an unearthly scream as the full weight of the falling bull collapsed his heaving lungs, expelling through the trunk and sending an involuntary shiver through me. On the ground now, on bended knee the ochre coloured wet bull thrashed around with its trunk, paralysed unable to move. I reloaded as the empties flicked over my shoulder & the PH yelled to drill him again. As I approached I moved in quickly, not being sure at all exactly at that time what had happened. As I approached with some caution he lunged as far forward as his trunk & position allowed, trying to grab me. At this I placed two frontal brain shots into the now almost defunct bull and it was all over.

All this took approximately 30 seconds of seething action, I had to literally reconstruct the events as I replayed them in my minds eye, to try and understand what I had just done! We had made the final stalk to this second bull on day 12 of my hunt to within 10 metres, again at an awkward three quarter angle, obstructed by the jess. The bull was wallowing & spraying himself with muddy red ochre coloured water in a knee deep (for the elephant) pool of fetid rain water. He stunk like a wet old billy goat. Muddy water sprayed all around, some even splashing on my shirt has he hoisted his trunk in preparation.

Crouching in awe of the bull, watching for an opportunity at a shot, he didn’t know we were even there. Standing almost directly in front of him, in his shadow, Deon whispered, “take the shot when you see his fore head”. That is exactly what I did, I waited what seemed ages as he moved, spraying & swaying behind the screen of obstructing green foliage. The bull moved into what I took to be a good position, I ideally would like to have moved even closer than the ten metres where we crouched, but to move now may have caused him to flee or charge.

Hoisting the Heym as his right eye & forehead appeared, I took the shot as carefully as the short window of opportunity would allow. The rifle barked, but as I have written the bull didn’t fall, this was not supposed to happen. The text book says even for an angling side brain shot the bullet should traverse the skull transversely taking the brain out as it penetrated through the skull. No such luck, this time, my later investigation showed one major problem, he was standing lower than I had realised. I had not made allowance for him standing knee deep in the muddy wallow. The angle, penetration & flight of the Woodleigh was good, what was not good was that it did not angle upwards any where near enough. The bullet passed harmlessly through the skull, under the brain, exiting in front of & subsequently through the left ear. So much for tall elephants and shooting from a semi crouching stance, through a peep hole in the jess!

As it turns out the saving grace of the second barrel of the double, along with plenty of two eyed wing shooting practice on quail & ducks with the 12 guage, kept the rifle swinging, eyes watching and mind ticking over. Without the instantaneous second barrel the bull would still be running the hills of Omay today, relatively unscathed, to wallow another day. The use of the old bolt rifle would not possibly have allowed the automatic reflex shooting afforded the hunter using a good quality ejecting double.

My PH Deon flung what could possibly have been a good neck shot at the fleeing bull, but it missed the mark. He fired almost immediately I did, before I had a chance to recover from the recoil & realise what had happened. The bull had continued on his way until I put the left barrel into his rear spine. Deon complained that the short barrelled Heym was a little noisy at close quarters. It should be, the 500 grain Woodleighs were leaving the barrels at just over 2,250 feet per second, hand loaded by my old mate Garry Lendich so that he couldn’t get another grain of powder into those short stubby 458 cases. The most I could take on the Silverdale 50 metre range was 10 shots off the bench, as I regulated it before leaving for the Zambezi Valley. Even those left my shoulder black & blue. Yet as always with these things, in the heat of the hunt, one rarely hears or feels a thing, all senses strained at the quarry, not at all thinking about that heavy, noisy extension on the end of your arm!

The build up to this retrospective lesson in hunting followed from another 5 days wet grinding hunt, though the rutted roads of the north Omay concession. As with the first 7 days hunting many a kilometre was spent on the track of bulls & cows looking vainly for opportunities at a likely bull. As described in my previous article it was much the same hairy encounters with cranky old cows, not willing to take no for an answer. When they step out of a wall of jess onto the track in 15 metres in front of you, ears three metres wide, trunks extended, shit can very rapidly become trumps! This happened on the morning before we got onto the trail of the second bull.

We cut his trail on the sandy intersection of the fishing village road (loosely called a road by the mugs who drove it), about 5 klms from where we had seen them 2 days before. Deon insisted it was the same bull, his foot to my untrained eye seemed a little smaller then the big foot I had shot on day 7. Who am I to argue, I said to Deon “there’s a bull out there today with our name on him”, so it turned out to be. He had become a little dejected by all the rain, and false starts, I was revelling in it!

The bull weaved his way back toward our main camp, though offcourse in practice he never really got anywhere near it, as he veered off to the north long before we would have taken the road down the peninsula to our camp on the river junction. He walked & we trailed him over 10 kilometres that day, parts of it on the road, at other times cutting across the bush, heading toward the thickest jess in the area. To our luck, he veered his course, away from the impenetrable tangle into more hunter friendly surrounds.

In what had become now familiar procedure Deon first heard him breaking branches & feeding in the jess at a range of about 100 metres. The wind being right, we closed the gap to the aforementioned shooting position, all the time pin pointing him in the jess by his gastronomic pleasures and bowel movements! Here and there also, steaming piles of still hot droppings, twisted broken branches, and chewed clumps of discarded grasses and fetid pools of bubbled yellow & white urine, strong in odour of it seemed to me ammonia and salt.

The rest of the action has been here already described, the hunt was great, this second bull a little smaller on the ivory front about 35 – 37lb a side, not to shabby, a fitting end to an excellent two weeks hunting in the Omay! I’ll be back, to hunt the bulls again, possibly March of 2008.

Macdonald's game council thrill killer

ROBERT BORSAK went to northern Zimbabwe to hunt elephants. On a two-week trip he killed several, including a bull elephant he shot in the head from a distance of six paces.

"My reflexes took over as the rifle fired … he went down, as if in slow motion," writes Mr Borsak in an article entitled Bulls in the Rain posted on the internet. "It was awesome. He did not know what had hit him."

Back in Australia, Mr Borsak has bagged another prize. The big game hunter and former vice-chairman of the Shooters Party is being paid $342 for each sitting day as chairman of the Game Council of NSW, one of 58 quangos which operate under the Primary Industries Minister, Ian Macdonald.

Mr Borsak hopes to run for the Shooters Party at the next election. If successful, he would join a party that now holds the balance of power in the upper house and is holding the Government to ransom after Mr Macdonald failed to negotiate through cabinet the right to shoot in National Parks.

It is an example of the kind of interests the embattled Mr Macdonald is accused of helping to protect in some of the committees and statutory bodies he oversees.

Mr Borsak is being paid $342 a sitting day for his part in regulating hunting in this state. Conservationists say the Game Council's only purpose is to win the Shooters Party votes.

Last week there were revelations the minister spent close to $150,000 on a wine industry council he set up, chaired by his friend Greg Jones; and that the minister had put other Labor identities - such as union boss Russ Collison and former Labor MPs - on quangos.

The Herald learned yesterday Mr Macdonald appointed a friend of 25 years, John Gerathy, the law partner of former Labor deputy prime minister Lionel Bowen, to the wine council and the Homebush motor racing board.

Mr Macdonald is under siege.

Yesterday the acting Opposition Leader, Andrew Stoner, referred him to the Independent Commission Against Corruption over claims he gave special treatment to another Labor mate, the former construction union president John Maitland, over granting an exploratory licence for a Hunter Valley mine.

The Premier, Nathan Rees, refused to comment yesterday when asked if the Left assistant secretary Luke Foley, who wants Mr Macdonald's upper house seat, would be a better cabinet minister than Mr Macdonald.

As for Mr Borsak, he was resentful yesterday that he might be included in a story to do with Mr Macdonald.

The Game Council has received more than $11 million in government funding since 2002 and $3.5 million last year, despite promises from Mr Macdonald it would end up being self-funded.

Mr Borsak said the Game Council was set up in 2002, before Mr Macdonald was minister, and should not be lumped in with other committees as it was a statutory body. He said he was a businessman who received "a grand total of $1368 for last financial year for about 60 days' work for the council".

"Why would there be a conflict of interest," Mr Borsak said, when asked whether his involvement in the Shooters Party might mean he should not be involved in the Game Council. He said of the Zimbabwe hunt: "The fact is I do it [the hunt] and I do it legally and I did it as part of licensed conservation programs. The … tusks belong to the Zimbabwean Government."

The executive director of the Nature Conservation Council, Cate Faehrmann, said it was time the Game Council's "activities were thoroughly scrutinised".

Mr Maddonald's "aggressive support of the establishment of game reserves and hunting in National Parks is all the more insidious when you realise at least one of the people behind this push likes to kill elephants in his spare time," she said.

"By pumping millions of dollars into the Game Council, Minister Macdonald is sanctioning bloodsports."

Mr Stoner called for Mr Macdonald to be sacked. "It seems every day there are more doubts raised about Ian Macdonald … There will be more, so Nathan Rees should do the right thing and sack this minister."

Mnangagwa declares Mugabe supreme leader

Emmerson Mnangagwa, one of the Zanu PF high ranking official has re-ignited the party’s succession debate by declaring that his province Midlands has endorsed President Mugabe as the supreme leader ahead of the party’ youth, women and national congress.

Addressing party supporters in Gweru, Mnangagwa said the Midlands Province Coordinating Committee has endorsed President Mugabe as the supreme leader ahead of the youth and women conferences as well as the national congress to be held in December.

Mnangagwa said as a province they agreed that they are satisfied and committed to the leadership of Mugabe who is also the Party’s First Secretary.

A similar test for Mugabe’ leadership was started a few years ago, when some provinces started declaring Mugabe as their candidate for last year’s elections.

A fierce fight arose as other provinces that were aligned to the Mujuru camp opposed the idea leading to the reversals of the decision during the party’s conference held in Goromonzi two years ago.

Ray Kaukonde who was leading the Mujuru camp at a time when he was the Governor of Mashonaland East later skipped the country after an assassination attempt on him.

Zanu PF is expected to hold a youth conference next month, followed by the women conference.

A final national congress in December that is supposed to deal with the succession of Mugabe.

After a frosty relationship in 2005, Mnangagwa is now one of Mugabe’s favoured candidates to replace him.

However the Mujuru camp is also fighting for the control of the party.


A person who shoots a defenseless magnificient creature is a sicko.
What is the problem with old white men, trying to prove their bravado by slaughtering innocent creatures? Can't get it up with Viagra ?

I thought poachers were the only unintelligent beings on the planet that kill pointlessly. I can only hope that someday nature grabs you by the throat and carries your dead carcass back into the forest. What a lamer!

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