The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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SOKWANELE

Enough is Enough

Zimbabwe

PROMOTING NON-VIOLENT PRINCIPLES TO ACHIEVE DEMOCRACY

We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!

Sokwanele reporter

16 March 2004

On the 18th we will told by our masters that we must celebrate. What is celebration? We normally celebrate when there is something to cheer about!

The people of Zimbabwe will be reminded, by their illegitimate and selfish rulers, exactly why they should dance and sing. In reality the people will be thinking that the familiar personalities that will blurt away from podiums are those that have stolen their lives from them. Stolen their hopeful futures and stolen their country, literally! These are those that have destroyed the land they love and brought misery into virtually every household whilst enriching themselves.

We will hear the propaganda, how they have developed the economy and how they have brought land to the people. In actual fact we are all learning how they have ruined the economy and dispossessed millions in their greedy, lustful bid to satisfy their insatiable appetite for anything that is not theirs. They have raped the country of its wealth, bought bus companies and businesses, and built mansions using our money! We know that their salaries could not have been big enough. Then they stole the farms from their rightful owners and made us starve.

What a contradiction when we will be viewing and listening to endless programmes on the liberation of the country when these very same people had no intention of improving the lives of the majority of our people. We will look at them and listen to them knowing that they have created a man made disaster. Look at where we were in 1980 and where we are now. Where is

the free health and education that we used to take for granted? Where are the new roads and factories that used to spring up? Look at the peeling pant and broken down infrastructure. We all know that this bunch of geriatrics have no interest in the future of younger generations and hence their savage destruction of our beautiful and bountiful land.

People of Zimbabwe, do not be deceived, do not accept this any more and demand that you are given back your country, your hopes and the future for you and your children.

Be strong and stand up against evil. Be ready to despatch these ruthless kleptomaniacs when your chance comes. It will and you will have the final say.

The chefs and their opportunistic and gullible friends will only be remembered by how much people hated them.

They will be replaced by those that care and those that will rebuild your country and ensure that you will all share in a better future.

enough is enough

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MDC PRESS

16 April 2004

MDC Congratulates South Africa For Conducting a Free and Fair Election

The MDC congratulates President Thabo Mbeki, the government and the people of South Africa for conducting a predominantly peaceful and free and fair election. We also congratulate the ANC for coming out victorious.

The manner in which the South African election was held speaks volumes on the growth of democracy in South Africa only ten years after the demise of apartheid. What has happened in South Africa is what the MDC, through its 15 demands for a free and fair election in Zimbabwe, has been asking for twenty-four years after independence.

The government of Zimbabwes continued obstinacy towards emulating the democratic progress being made by its SADC neighbours represents a tragedy for the people of Zimbabwe and a scar on the SADC region. Zimbabweans are desperate to experience the joys of participating in a genuine democratic election and having a role in how our country is governed. The fact that we continue to be denied such basic freedoms is simply wrong.

We therefore urge SADC countries to help rectify this chronic democratic injustice by exerting pressure on the Zimbabwe government to honour its obligations vis--vis the SADC protocol on elections.

We reiterate that all that the MDC, and the people of Zimbabwe, are asking for is that the Zimbabwean authorities should conduct elections in the same manner that we have just witnessed in respect of the South African election. The people of Zimbabwe are not asking for any special dispensation or favours, but are simply demanding that the SADC minimum conditions for elections we have seen operate so well in South Africa should be applied in Zimbabwe.

Paul Themba Nyathi

Secretary for Information and Publicity

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Sent: Saturday, April 17, 2004 3:32 AM
Subject: Executive Mayor Mudzuri fired

Elias Mudzuri has been fired as Executive Mayor of Harare at 17.00 Friday
16th and has been given 7 days to vacate the council guest house.

This action by the illegitimate mugabe regime confirms yet again their
contempt for democracy and their willingness to do whatever it takes to
maintain their tyrranical grip on power.

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Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
Monday April 5th - Sunday April 11th 2004
Media Update 2004-14

CONTENTS
* General Comment
* Ati-graft campaign or succession war?
* Human rights abuses

1. GENERAL COMMENT

Recent comments on Press freedom from Information Minister
Jonathan Moyo clearly confirmed the suspicion that repressive media
laws such as AIPPA and POSA reflect government's pathological terror
of a free media environment in Zimbabwe.
ZTV (7/4, 8pm) and The Herald (8/4) quoted Moyo dismissing the
universally held doctrine of democratic societies that media freedom is
an indivisible element of freedom of expression when he addressed
diplomats at a luncheon during the week. He told the diplomats that
Zimbabwe did not believe Press freedom was a basic constitutionally
guaranteed human right because it was merely "the baggage of uni-
polarism" that "only came about after the end of the Cold War".
Said Moyo: "We do not agree that there is something called media
freedom and that it is a fundamental value and that we should
kick ourselves and spend sleepless nights trying to achieve that".
Typically, the two media organizations allowed Moyo's comments to
pass without inquiry - and robustly refused to seek comment from his
"diplomatic" audience.
The Herald also quoted Moyo justifying his control of the media saying
it was meant "to put across our national views and not those of
the United States or Britain or the Voice of America" thereby
preserving the country's sovereignty.
He stated that this was the reason ZBC had scrapped CNN bulletins.
Unwittingly revealing who controls ZBC's content, he vowed: "We will
never have it (CNN) again as long as we are still around".
Interestingly, the authorities have previously denied government control
of ZBC's programming.
This obsession to control media content has resulted in the authorities
abusing the media they run for their own political interests - and a
classic example demonstrated this fact in the same week.
The Chronicle (2/4) and The Herald (3/4) both ran a bizarre story that
tried to divert public attention away from an alleged affair Moyo had
with a Kadoma woman, Irene Ali, by portraying the minister as a victim
of his political "detractors".
Ali claims Moyo fathered her son.
Instead of treating the matter as a personal dispute, the two papers
gave the story prominent front-page space and sought comments from
"political analysts" to lend credence to their conspiracy theory that
there were politicians bent on derailing Moyo's campaign to represent
the Tsholotsho constituency.
As The Zimbabwe Independent (8/4) wondered, it remained unclear as
to how "this private matter turned out to be a campaign strategy to
elicit the comment of any self-respecting political analysts".
The Herald and the Chronicle's (5/4) passive coverage of the issue
was further demonstrated by the manner in which they handled Ali's
subsequent arrest under criminal defamation laws. The papers
presented Ali's arrest as proof of Moyo's innocence.
This contrasted with the way the private media handled the matter.
For example, The Zimbabwe Independent, The Tribune (9/4) and The
Standard (11/4), offered an alternative view on the issue when they
cited officials from women and human rights organizations challenging
Ali's arrest. The groups accused the police of "being used to
advance the interests of Moyo" and they challenged Moyo to take a
paternity test to prove his innocence.
As the week ended, The Standard reported Ali as having gone missing
following her arrest. Subsequently, the media have not explained her
whereabouts.

2. ANTI-GRAFT CAMPAIGN OR SUCCESSION WAR?

A double-pronged approach characterised the government-controlled
media's coverage of the effects of government's anti-corruption
crusade on the political and economic fronts in the week under review.
The government electronic media generally used the development to
spruce up ZANU PF's image ahead of Zimbabwe's 24th independence
anniversary, while the government press presented it as a committed
effort by the authorities to eradicate graft.
Revelations that some directors of ZANU PF companies had fled to
Britain following the ruling party's decision to investigate its own
companies, were craftily presented by the government Press to relay
this notion.
As such, these newspapers failed to ask pertinent questions about the
circumstances surrounding the alleged flight of directors Jayant Joshi,
his brother, Manharlal Chunibal, and their colleague, Dipak Pandya.
But this was hardly surprising as they sought to absolve the ruling party
of any wrongdoing by shifting the culpability to the alleged fugitive
directors and giving the impression that the companies were operating
independently of ZANU PF.

As a result, they were blind to other political manoeuvres, such as the
current jostling for President Mugabe's post within ZANU PF, which
was seen by some of the media as a factor in precipitating the probe
and possibly a potential purge of some of the frontrunners in the
succession issue.
This angle only appeared in the private media.
Following up on The Sunday Mirror's breaking news (4/4), The Herald
(5/4) reported that the escape of the three directors was facilitated "by
a top politician who has worked with them over the years". The
paper did not name the politician.
Rather, its comment of the same day likened the probe to a fulfillment
of the adage, "charity begins at home," adding "President Mugabe
and his Government's commitment to this war [on graft] is now
beyond debate".

This fixation with endorsing government's anti-graft campaign resulted
in The Herald (7 & 8/4) reducing its reports on the saga to mere follow-
ups on the flight of the directors at the expense of vital information
disclosing the operations and set-up of the companies.
A clue on the composition of the companies' directorship only
appeared in The Financial Gazette and The Zimbabwe Independent
(8/4).

The papers revealed that the Speaker of Parliament, Emmerson
Mnangagwa, long touted as President Mugabe's heir apparent, and the
three fugitives were among the directors of the ZANU PF holding
companies, M & S Syndicate and ZIDCO.

The Gazette thus noted that the investigation into ZANU PF
investments was "focused on him [Mnangagwa] as the immediate
past finance chief for the party".
An unnamed "senior" ruling party official was quoted saying, ". this
whole thing boils down to the succession issue. as you know,
Mnangagwa has always been seen as the front runner."
However, not all private papers agreed. The Sunday Mirror (11/4) for
example, dismissed the succession angle, saying it was "unfortunate
that such perceptions should exist, worse that they should even
gain currency".

The paper's opinion was echoed in The Sunday Mail (11/4). It quoted
Police Commissioner Chihuri dismissing the speculation as "bizarre"
and "one of the strangest things that I have ever heard".
Moreover, the paper provided him with a political stage to accuse
Britain of trying to "politicise criminality" by frustrating government
efforts to punish those accused of economic crimes who had fled to
that country: ".Britain is becoming the only country, which is
establishing itself as a safe haven for our local criminals. This is
being done for none other reasons but political [sic]".
If the government newspapers glossed over the reasons behind
government's investigations into ZANU PF companies, its electronic
media was equally guilty of being used to portray the probe as part of
Zimbabwe's economic achievements ahead of its 24th independence
anniversary.

It was therefore not surprising that only government sources, or those
aligned to it, were given platforms in these media to propagate one-
sided assessments of the country's economic accomplishments.
Consequently, the subjective successes of government's controversial
agrarian reforms and anti-graft campaigns were sanitized and
presented as the beacon of hope from which all Zimbabweans should
derive inspiration and celebrate independence day (Radio Zimbabwe,
7/4, 1pm and 8pm).
Earlier, ZTV, Radio Zimbabwe and Power FM (6/4, 8pm) passively
quoted Information Minister Moyo claiming that Zimbabweans would
celebrate Independence against a background of "high rainfalls, a
successful land reform (and) a good harvest"

Said Moyo: "We have a reason to celebrate. the people are
saying finally, we have taken the land. we have started using it.
to empower ourselves as a nation."
President Mugabe, Finance Minister Chris Kuruneri and pro-
government analyst Augustine Timbe were also quoted reinforcing this
notion (ZTV, 6/4, 6 pm and 8pm).

While ZTV and Radio Zimbabwe (6/4, 8pm) claimed that
independence celebrations came at a time "when the country's
economy is on the path to recovery, thanks to government
policies", they unwittingly revealed the extent of the collapse when
they quoted a Reserve Bank statement saying the economy had
shrunk by 48 percent since 1999.

This revelation was given more flesh by Studio 7 (6/4), which was the
only the private media organisation to expose the lie of the government
media's propaganda. It reported that Zimbabwe's 24th independence
anniversary would be held under the worst economic conditions ever
experienced with inflation currently pegged at 600 percent and
unemployment at 80 percent.

Meanwhile, recent private media predictions that the Reserve Bank's
anti-corruption campaign against errant financial institutions would
soon be forced to compromise was seemingly vindicated by revelations
that the Bank had abandoned its hard-line policy against these
organizations.
The Zimbabwe Independent (8/4) revealed, albeit belatedly, that the
RBZ had "granted amnesty to banks caught dealing in foreign
currency on the parallel market on condition that they do not
commit a similar offence..
"Banks.fined for selling foreign currency on the parallel market
were subsequently refunded the principal penalty". It also noted
that the amnesty had been granted in January.

The Financial Gazette (8/4) only referred to the amnesty at the end of
one of its stories, while Studio 7 (7/4) broke the story, saying the
persecution of the banks was affecting confidence in the industry.
However, it remained unclear why government, (as revealed by ZTV,
Power FM, 6/4, 8pm, The Herald and Chronicle, 9/4), still took
Barclays, Kingdom and Interfin banks to court on the same charges
despite the amnesty.

In fact, The Zimbabwe Independent criticised the prosecution of banks
and other companies for dealing on the parallel market, saying
government should consider the circumstances that led them to
engage in such transactions. It said the practice was so common that
"every bank and business which has been involved in the
country's economic life over the past few years could be dragged
before the courts".

The directors of ZANU PF-owned Tregers group of companies echoed
this view, saying that if they had not dealt on the parallel market some
of their companies would have been closed (Sunday News, 11/4).

Thus the Zimbabwe Independent observed: ". So long as there is a
failure to acknowledge government's role in encouraging state
companies to survive as best they could on whatever market they
could find.and allowing the private sector to do the same, the
current purge will appear unfair and even vindictive".

3. HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES

On-going human rights violations continued to receive scant attention
from the government media.
As a result audiences of these media have largely remained in the dark
on the violence, intimidation, and in some cases, torture of opposition
supporters and their perceived sympathisers perpetrated by mainly
suspected ZANU PF activists.

For example, out of about 37 stories on politically motivated violence
and other human rights violations carried in the media in the week, only
nine stories appeared in the government-controlled media.

Even then, the government media's stories were either basic
announcements or follow-ups on previous rights abuses and generally
lacked detail.

For example, ZTV (8/4, 7am) merely reported that government had set
up a board of inquiry to investigate claims by "18 suspected terrorists
that they were tortured by prison officers" without elaborating. In
fact, instead of properly investigating the allegations, the national
broadcaster ironically appeared more interested in articulating the
concerns of Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa about the
circumstances under which the suspected terrorists' lawyer, Jonathan
Samkange, "was able to interview his clients a few minutes after
the alleged torture."
The Herald (8/4) carried a similar report.

During the week, the government media also masked the political
affiliation of Ernest Mutsotso whom they reported as having appeared
in court after he was arrested on suspicion of murdering MDC activist
Francis Chinozvinya during the Zengeza by-election when "MDC and
ZANU PF youths clashed" (The Herald, 7/4, ZTV, 8/4, 8pm, Power
FM and Radio Zimbabwe, 9/4, 6am).
SW Radio Africa (7/4) and The Daily Mirror (8/4) also carried the story,
and like the government media, did not identify the political party
Mutsotso belonged. Neither did they give any background of the man.

This only appeared in The Tribune (9/4). The paper carried a front-
page picture of Mutsotso standing behind Mines Minister Amos Midzi
and noted in its caption that the suspect was a "former managing
director of an ex-combatants run firm, Sankorp".

By comparison, The Herald (6/4) was categorical on the violence
allegedly perpetrated by MDC supporters on their way to Chinozvinya's
funeral. The paper claimed the MDC mourners had gone "on the
rampage beating up anyone wearing the ruling Zanu PF party's
regalia" and tearing down the posters of ZANU PF's victorious
Zengeza candidate, Christopher Chigumba. But the paper made no
attempt to investigate the circumstances leading to the alleged
violence.

The private media carried a total of 28 stories depicting the
deteriorating human rights situation in the country. Eighteen of these
were reported by SW Radio Africa and Studio 7.
For example, SW Radio Africa (6/4) reported that CIO agents in
Mukumbwa, Mashonaland Central had abducted MDC district
chairman for Mt Darwin North, Force Chapfuruka, after they accused
him of "acting as an agent for the 70 suspected mercenaries who
were arrested in Harare last month".

Further harassment and beatings of MDC members were reported in
Victoria Falls, Sunningdale, Masvingo, Lupane, Chimanimani and
Mutasa.

Meanwhile, the report of an investigation by the Parliamentary Portfolio
Committee on Youth, Gender and Employment Creation into the
National Youth Service training camps added a new dimension to the
recent BBC Panorama documentary on the activities of the
controversial youth camps that so enraged government.

The Zimbabwe Independent reported that the committee had
"slammed living conditions at national youth training centres"
saying they were "deplorable". A member of the committee, MDC MP
Evelyn Masaiti, was quoted as saying "the principle of national
youth service is noble in those countries where there is
democracy" but "here in Zimbabwe the way it is used is that of
oppressing the people".

In fact, The Financial Gazette quoted MDC MP Gabriel Chaibva
revealing that the abuse of the youths by ZANU PF to silence its
opponents was not a new idea in Zimbabwe. Chaibva reportedly told
Parliament that he also underwent a similar training programme in one
of the camps created soon after independence "at the behest of
Didymus Mutasa, now State Minister in charge of anti-corruption".

Said Chaibva: "When we went there, we spent two weeks. We
were.taught. on how to deal with ZAPU and to kill opponents
to ZANU PF's rule.in the 1980s. So the historical origin of this
programme is very acquainted to me".
Ends.

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From News24 (SA), 16 April

Zimbabwe set for gala bash

Harare - As Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's party prepares for a
spectacular bash on Sunday to fete the country's 24th independence
anniversary, the opposition and many Zimbabweans have little to cheer about.
Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF party remains firmly in control despite crippling
economic problems. The once-prosperous nation is in its fifth year of
recession. Now 70% of Zimbabweans are unemployed, inflation is more than
600% and 80% of the country's 11.6 million people live in poverty. Mugabe,
an 80-year old former guerrilla leader who spent 10 years in prison under
the white minority regime of Ian Smith saw his hold on power threatened by
the formation of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) five years ago.
The party of Morgan Tsvangirai won nearly half of all contested seats in
general polls in 2000, many of them in the cities. But following Mugabe's
controversial re-election in a presidential election two years ago, the MDC
has lost ground. In the last four years Zanu PF has won back four seats. The
party has also enjoyed significant victories in recent urban council
elections, despite a crippling economic crisis that critics blame on the
party. Last month Zanu PF took a crucial parliamentary seat in the town of
Chitungwiza in polls marred by the fatal shooting of an opposition
supporter.

"We stand united as we head towards a resounding victory in the 2005
elections against reactionaries and puppets of the western world who have
already started scampering for cover," Zanu PF chairman John Nkomo wrote in
a special Independence editorial column in The Voice, the party's paper.
Analyst John Makumbe said it was "time for soul-searching" for the main
opposition MDC, which had to decide whether to boycott next year's elections
or "dance on an uneven floor". Makumbe said the MDC was starting to
recognise that "dictators are not removable by democratic means". The ruling
party denies being the villain, and instead accuses the opposition of being
Western stooges bent on returning Zimbabwe to colonial bondage. State radio
and television have been broadcasting a daily countdown to Independence Day,
chronicling the sacrifices made by the country's nationalists, many of whom
are members of the ruling party. MDC secretary general Welshman Ncube
accused Zanu PF of trying "to appropriate independence for itself." "We
don't accept for a moment that people now in the MDC did not bring about our
independence," adding that party members were detained by the former white
regime and many others were commanders and fighters against minority rule.
In 1963, a constitution was chalked up favouring whites in power. Two years
later, the government unilaterally declared independence from Britain. UN
sanctions and a guerrilla uprising then led to free elections in 1979 and
independence - and the renaming of Rhodesia as Zimbabwe - a year later.
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From The Times (UK), 16 April

Zimbabwe descend into state of anarchy over sacking of 13

By Geoffrey Dean

Zimbabwean cricket slipped closer to the abyss yesterday after it emerged
that the 13 white players who aired their grievances in a statement on
Wednesday are to have their contracts terminated by the Zimbabwe Cricket
Union. The ZCU, which is expected to release the news today, is ready to sue
the players for breach of contract. As a result, a 14-man squad of largely
untried, woefully inexperienced youngsters has been picked for the first two
one-day internationals against Sri Lanka in Bulawayo next week. The group of
13, led by Heath Streak, the former captain, heard of their fate "on the
grapevine" yesterday, as one of them put it. "The lawyers are dealing with
it now," the player, who wishes to remain anonymous, said. "I've been told
the ZCU are taking legal action and we'll have to decide if we
counter-claim." Unable to tolerate any further what they described as
"racial and ethnic discrimination in the selection of the national team",
the group, among other things, called in their statement for the replacement
of selectors who are without the requisite cricketing experience. Without
any question, they were referring to Max Ebrahim and Stephen Mangongo, two
politically motivated individuals with minimal cricketing backgrounds.
Mangongo was instrumental in getting Henry Olonga thrown out of his club
side, Takashinga, after the joint statement with Andy Flower 14 months ago
deploring the "death of democracy" in Zimbabwe.

Not altogether unsurprisingly, the ZCU yesterday replaced not Ebrahim and
Mangongo but the three selectors who are properly qualified - the convener,
Ali Shah, a former national player, John Brent, once a provincial player,
and Geoff Marsh, the coach and former Australia opening batsman. In their
place, Mpumelelo Mbangwa, the former Test bowler, and Richie Kaschula, who
played for Rhodesia in the 1970s, were named, although Mbangwa was unaware
of his new post until he read about it on the internet. He declined it,
citing "conflicts". The new "appointments" were welcomed by the 13 rebels,
who reiterated their opposition to the two "politicos". They also issued a
new statement with several demands, notably that the ZCU acknowledges, in a
public statement, certain "transgressions", including the financial carrot
offered to Mark Vermeulen to give his place in the team for a recent one-day
international to a non-white player. Streak's reinstatement as captain was
also called for. "Heath was representing our collective grievances," the
statement read, "and we feel he was unlawfully dismissed from his playing
duties in retaliation to our stance, and that the board has been
vindictive."

Peter Chingoka, the ZCU chairman, dismissed any possibility of Streak being
reappointed, saying that he had stepped down voluntarily and that his
"resignation" had been accepted. "There is no business in the world that can
possibly operate under threats from employees - and that is what they are,"
he said. "We simply cannot be dictated to." One of the rebels said yesterday
that some of the black players picked against Sri Lanka "do not want to play
and are supporting our cause". He added: "We're not having any more
meetings. We have been in meetings for two weeks. We are sick of meetings.
It's getting dirty. Everything's coming out. I have no idea what the
consequences are going to be but we are not budging until they meet these
fair demands of ours. It's been very tough for everyone. It goes deeper,
your families, wives, girlfriends - they are all affected and the last week
has been very tough for them. We're willing to be unemployed from next week
onwards and we're willing to risk legal action . . . to save Zimbabwe
cricket. We also know that some of the provinces are very upset with the
ZCU."

There was no statement from the International Cricket Council (ICC) last
night, despite the prospect of a farce next week when Zimbabwe put out what
one rebel's father predicted would be "a bunch of schoolboys". Tatenda
Taibu, 20, will become the youngest captain in Test-match history against
Sri Lanka, starting on May 6. "The ICC will do absolutely nothing," the
rebel's father said. "The ZCU have got what they wanted - to get rid of the
whites in the side - but a bit earlier than they expected. They thought a
few hollow concessions would persuade the rebels to play in the series
against Sri Lanka and Australia (in May)." The player sent a text message to
his father last night, urging him not to worry and saying that he would come
out of the experience stronger. Zimbabwean cricket cannot possibly do.

TIMETABLE OF TURMOIL

Apr 2: Heath Streak says that he would "consider his position" as captain if
his demands are not met. The ZCU claims Streak had given them ultimatum to
cut the number of selectors from five to four and demands that selectors all
had to have first-class experience. It treats his position as a resignation
and announces the appointment of Tatenda Taibu as captain.

Apr 5: Streak denies resigning and is seeking legal advice, his father,
Dennis, says.

Apr 8: Senior cricketers consider striking after union refuses to back down.

Apr 11: Reports that four members of the Test squad - Sean Ervine, Travis
Friend, Ray Price and Craig Wishart - have been dismissed.

Apr 13: Open statement is released by Streak and 12 other named white
Zimbabwe cricketers, criticising the "cancer" of politics that is "eroding
the game in Zimbabwe".

Apr 14: Union proposes a compromise. A team of selectors will include two
men favoured by Streak, but two that he has opposed.

Apr 15: Thirteen players refuse to play in the home series against Sri
Lanka, due to begin next week.
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Reuters

Players, Zimbabwe union sue each other

Fri April 16, 2004 9:23 PM By Telford Vice
DURBAN (Reuters) - The Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) and a group of 13
rebel players have issued writs against each other for alleged breach of
contract.

The ZCU said the group, which includes former captain Heath Streak,
had breached their contracts after they failed to turn up, as ordered by the
union, at a practice session in Harare on Friday.

"They didn't arrive," ZCU managing director Vince Hogg told Reuters
from Harare. "There is a process we need to follow on breach of contract and
the next stage is letters to the individuals asking them to remedy their
breach."

The players, in turn, have accused the ZCU of being in breach of
contract.

"I feel we have enough to allege a fundamental breach of their
contract," Chris Venturas, the players' lawyer, told Reuters from Harare.

"It's an implicit term of a contract that you have a reasonable board
of selectors and that they have a requisite proficiency. I believe there is
consensus that that hasn't happened."

Both parties have 21 days to remedy the alleged breaches, failing
which, matters will go to court.

Venturas said: "We want to settle this, we believe we can find a
solution. It can still be fixed, they can still apply their minds to fixing
the breaches."

Hogg said: "The door is always open from us. It always has been, but
there are no meetings scheduled at this stage."

SELECTION PANEL

Earlier this week, the players threatened to quit over what they
described as an "unprofessional manner of selection" that allows
"interference of a non-sporting agenda."

They have also alleged "racial and ethnic discrimination in the
selection of the national team."

On Thursday, the board attempted to defuse the affair by slimming down
the selection panel from five to four but they retained Max Ebrahim, who the
players oppose because he has not coached or played at first-class level.

After their refusal to play in the series against Sri Lanka, which
starts in Bulawayo on Tuesday, the ZCU was forced on Thursday to select a
second-string squad.

Only four of the squad, captained by 20-year-old wicketkeeper Tatenda
Taibu, played in Zimbabwe's last test and one-day side against Bangladesh in
February and March.

The crisis was sparked earlier this month by a ZCU announcement that
Streak, a world-class bowler and the mainstay of the side, had quit all
cricket.

The board said he had resigned because he was unhappy with the
composition of the selectors' panel, although Streak's father denied his son
had quit.

The 13 rebel players, who are all white, are Streak, Stuart Carlisle,
Grant Flower, Craig Wishart, Andy Blignaut, Raymond Price, Gary Brent, Sean
Ervine, Travis Friend, Barney Rogers, Trevor Gripper, Richard Sims and Neil
Ferreria.
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VOA

Zimbabwe Government Says it Does Not Need More Food Aid
Peta Thornycroft
Harare
16 Apr 2004, 15:18 UTC

According to a new report, the Zimbabwe government says it does not need
more food aid this year and that even if there is a shortfall in cereal
production, it will be able to afford imports to make up any deficit. The
claim is contained in the report published this week by the long-established
regional Famine Early Warning System, FEWSNET, which closely monitors food
production.
In its latest report, FEWSNET says the Zimbabwe government is estimating its
maize harvest at between 1.2 and 1.7 million tons.

If the lower prediction figure is accurate, it will be only 500,000 tons
short of the country's annual need.

FEWSNET also said the government is insisting that regardless of the size of
the harvest, it will be able to finance any shortfall.

The network adds that the crop estimates need independent verification. But
it says that Zimbabwe's only cereals trader, the government's Grain
Marketing Board, cannot cope with the management and distribution of the
nation's maize needs.

FEWSNET's report warns that inflation running at more than 600 percent means
that a majority of Zimbabweans are unable to eat properly and that donated
food kept more than four million people alive in the past year.

For the first time since independence in 1980, Zimbabwe needed massive food
aid for more than two years. It was one of the largest emergency relief
operations in the region in more than a decade.

The United Nations says the disaster was caused by drought and massive
disruptions of commercial agriculture after the Zimbabwe government seized
90 percent of productive white-owned land for resettlement.

Most of the food distribution was handled by the United Nations World Food
Program. WFP's Zimbabwe director, Kevin Farrell, said Friday the United
Nations will do its own calculating of the food production harvest at the
end of the month and expects to have its statistics ready in May.

Mr. Farrell also said that if the Zimbabwe government's predictions were
wrong, and if it asked for emergency assistance, the WFP would be ready to
respond with small quantities later in the year.

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Mail and Guardian

UN will not probe Zim rights abuses

Harare, Zimbabwe

16 April 2004 16:46

The United Nations Human Rights Commission has given Zimbabwe a clean bill
of health by deciding against an international probe into alleged acts of
politically motivated violence and other abuses, Harare's state-run press
said on Friday.

"The UN has once again given Zimbabwe a clean bill on human rights," said
the Herald daily.

Twenty-seven largely African and Asian member states out of the 53
commission members on Thursday rallied around a "no action" motion, warding
off a debate on the Southern African country's human rights record.

Last year Zimbabwe also escaped a probe over its rights record after African
and Asian states in the UN human rights forum voted against scrutinising the
country's human rights record.

"It's a victory for Zimbabwe and the Third World countries which have stood
against abuse of the [human rights] commission by Western countries,"
Zimbabwe's Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told the Herald.

"The Third World countries have resisted manipulation by the West. The West
was intimidating African and Asian countries on the issue of Zimbabwe,"
Chinamasa said.

The European Union had put forward a draft resolution at the Geneva-based
commission accusing Harare of violating human rights.

Debate on Zimbabwe could have culminated in an international probe into the
alleged abuses.

Twenty-four countries, including European, Latin-American nations and the
United States, had wanted to pursue the effort, while Brazil and Mexico
abstained. In 2003, only Brazil had chosen to sit on the fence.

Many countries felt the resolution was simply designed to resolve a dispute
between Zimbabwe and its former colonial ruler, Britain, over the
controversial land reforms in the Southern African country rather than an
attempt to investigate rights violations.

Zimbabwe says it is prepared to discuss any problems that Britain has with
its land reform programme in which white-owned farms have been seized and
redistributed to blacks.

But Mary Whelan of Ireland, speaking on behalf of the EU, reiterated the
EU's concerns over what she said were continuing rights abuses such as
politically motivated killings, torture, sexual abuse of women, arbitrary
arrests, restrictions on the independence of the judiciary and restrictions
on freedoms of assembly. -- Sapa-AFP
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Zimbabwe: 'No Action' Vote By South Bloc Defeats Human Rights

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

April 16, 2004
Posted to the web April 16, 2004

Johannesburg

A Zimbabwean human rights body has criticised an African-Asian grouping,
which shot down a draft resolution on the human rights situation in Zimbabwe
for the second year at the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
(UNHCHR) in Geneva on Thursday.

The draft resolution, mooted by the European Union and supported by the
United States, would have expressed "deep concern" at what it said were
"continuing violations of human rights in Zimbabwe, in particular
politically motivated violence, including killings, torture, sexual and
other forms of violence against women, incidents of arbitrary arrest,
restrictions on the independence of the judiciary, and restrictions on the
freedoms of opinion, expression, association and assembly".

The proposed resolution also expressed concern over the "failure to allow
independent civil society in Zimbabwe to operate without fear of harassment
or intimidation" and "urged the Government of Zimbabwe to take all necessary
measures to ensure that all human rights were promoted and protected".

However, an African group of 15 countries, including the Democratic Republic
of Congo (DRC), Sierra Leone, Nigeria, South Africa, Swaziland and Nigeria
backed a no-action motion on the draft resolution. The motion against the
resolution was carried by 27 votes against 24. It received the support of 10
Asian countries, Cuba and the Russian Federation.

"It is disheartening to note that a matter related to the human rights of
the people of Zimbabwe has been reduced to the flexing of muscles between
the global South and the global North," Brian Kagoro, national chair of the
Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum.

"The tragedy of Zimbabwe is that there is so much haggling over the racial
contortions of the crisis here. The fact that the lives of Zimbabweans have
been reduced to mere votes makes the entire issue totally meaningless," he
added.

The Zimbabwean minister of foreign affairs, Stan Mudenge, was quoted in the
official Herald newspaper as saying that the country "was pleased with the
outcome of the vote and grateful to the international community and the
country's friends, particularly from Africa, for supporting it for the
second year running".

During the debate on the no-action motion, Roger Menga, the DRC
representative, said the Zimbabwean government had been "demonised because
of its redressing of the uneven distribution of land that had been
perpetuated since colonial days", a UNHCHR statement said.

The African group urged the authors of the draft resolution "to open real
negotiations with Zimbabwe and to avoid this path of confrontation. It was
recognised that Zimbabwe had some problems, but those issues should be
addressed nationally and, possibly, regionally or at the continental level,"
said the press release.

The United States representative at the Commission, Richard Williamson, said
no-action motions "amounted to approval of the human rights abuses being
perpetrated by nations that disregarded the fundamental principles of the
Commission. The world community should resolutely condemn the repressive
policies of the [President] Mugabe regime that denied the Zimbabwean people
their inalienable human rights, and should publicly express its support for
and solidarity with the Zimbabwean people".

The Zimbabwean representative, Chitsaka Chipaziwa, was quoted in the UNHCHR
release as saying that whenever a similar resolution had been mooted, the
Commission had wisely rejected these "dreadful beasts dressed as cuddly
lambs". He also said "any human rights problems in the country were not out
of the ordinary and allegations on that front should not take up any more of
the Commission's attention".

Nigeria said it was committed to "a peaceful solution for the country, both
at the Commonwealth and African level. All [countries] should join hands in
the dialogue with Zimbabwe and avoid any action that might continue the
isolationist trend related to the country. In the light of these views, and
without prejudice to Nigeria's commitment to human rights and fundamental
freedoms, Nigeria would endorse the position of the African Group on the
no-action motion".

Nigeria, host of the Commonwealth summit in its capital, Abuja, in December
2003, was among the countries which voted for Zimbabwe's continued
suspension from that body. Zimbabwe was initially suspended from the
Commonwealth in 2002 following allegations that Mugabe had won the
presidential elections by vote-rigging and intimidating the opposition.
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Times of India

Rebel cricketers face sanctions

AFP[ SATURDAY, APRIL 17, 2004 12:12:54 AM ]

HARARE: White Zimbabwe cricketers in dispute with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union
(ZCU) over the dismissal of captain Heath Steak are to be disciplined after
they defied instructions to report for training on Friday.

The 15 players defied an ultimatum to join a practice session Friday in
spite of the ZCU making it clear they would face action if they did not show
up.

This could mean dismissal and loss of perks, including cars and allowances.

A ZCU official said a meeting of the directors would decide shortly on
"appropriate action". The number of white players in dipute has now risen to
15 with Charles Coventry and Gavin Ewing joining what Peter Chingoka,
president of the ZCU called the "dissidents".

Meanwhile the players' lawyer Chris Venturas met some of the players at his
office on Friday in a bid to persuade them to show up and keep the
negotiating door open. But they ignored his advice.

That was despite Chingoka making it clear that the Streak resignation -- as
he put it -- is no longer for discussion. Streak left Harare on Thursday for
his ranch and safari operation near Bulawayo, 450 kilometres west of the
capital, where Zimbabwe play Sri Lanka next week.

Some of the other players were at a suburban coffee shop while the Zimbabwe
team selected to play Sri Lanka on Tuesday and Thursday practised at Harare
Sports Club under national coach Geoff Marsh in drizzly conditions.

One of the players in dispute, batsman Grant Flower said they would be
sending their replacements -- a "good luck message" on a
cricketer-to-cricketer basis.

Zimbabwe 's new look squad

Zimbabwe cricket chiefs have named just two white players in a 14-man squad
for the opening One-dayer against Sri Lanka next week as the crisis in the
sport deepened on Thursday.

The 13 white rebels who refused to either train or have their names put
forward for selection following the controversial dismissal of skipper Heath
Streak were all ignored for the game in Bulawayo on April 20.

The team will be skippered by 20-year-old Tatenda Taibu, who is set to
become the youngest ever international skipper, with Dion Ebrahim as his
vice-captain.

Both have international experience, as has Douglas Hondo. Stuart
Matsikenyere, Alester Maregwede, Vusimusi Sibanda, Mluleki Mkala and
Waddington Mwayenga have also played at the top level while the others are
all newcomers to international cricket.

The squad's two white players are Brendan Taylor, a highly promising
18-year-old batsman and Edward Rainsford, a reliable player in first class
cricket.
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Namibian

Friday, April 16, 2004 - Web posted at 10:16:40 GMT

SA's Nedcor in merger talks with Zim bank

JOHANNESBURG - South African banking group Nedcor said yesterday it had entered formal talks about a possible merger with Zimbabwe's Trust Bank.

Nedcor unit Nedbank Ltd and the Zimbabwe unit of its majority owner insurer Old Mutual had signed a memorandum of understanding about the possible merger.

The link-up would join Trust Bank with Merchant Bank of Central Africa, which is indirectly majority-owned by Nedbank and Old Mutual Zimbabwe, a statement said.

"While Nedcor's main focus continues to be on its South African banking operations, its strategy includes building a strong base throughout southern Africa," the statement said.

A crisis hit the banking sector in Zimbabwe last December, but institutions with strong controls such as Trust Bank benefited, Nedcor said.

Zimbabwe's central bank has indicated the need for consolidation in the sector.

"This makes it an ideal opportunity for Nedcor to expand its operations in Zimbabwe at a relatively low cost," Nedcor said.

Trust Bank, which focuses on the corporate and commercial banking sector, has 14 branches, mostly in Harare and Bulawayo.

Trust Bank shares closed at Z$36 on Wednesday, while Nedcor ended at R61,50 on Tuesday, before a holiday in South Africa on Wednesday for elections.

- Nampa-Reuters

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