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

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Zimbabwe - Plea for Our Country

I am an ordinary Zimbabwean and I feel compelled to write to my compatriots,
not tomorrow nor the next day but now !!

I came to this beautiful country in the late '70's from a farming family in
Australia to find a land of real hope, one that was happy and prosperous
despite the conditions that prevailed at the time. It was everything I had
dreamed of and it wasn't long before I made a life long commitment. That
commitment is reinforced by events today.

What really impressed me, after I had arrived with a pack on my back,
walking over Beit Bridge, was the quality of it's people of all races, their
spirit, enterprise, work ethic, moral values and respect for their fellow
countrymen and the rule of law. It's beauty startled me, it's sporting
courage and proud tradition amazed me and I fell in love with the country I
now proudly call my home. The red ball sunsets, the cry of a fish eagle,
vistas of kopje, msasa in spring, the mopani veld all evoke emotion every
time I experience them. I am overwhelmed by what has been built in little
over a hundred years . I swell with pride when we, almost incredibly,
perform at the highest level on the world stage, be it the Chelsea Flower
Show, Cricket, Ballroom Dancing, Athletics, Tennis, Tobacco, Football,
Engineering, Textiles...I could go on forever.

I know and believe that Zimbabwe will prosper and re-establish it's rightful
position as the jewel of Africa, if not the world. It is up to us to
determine when that will happen. That is, all of us.

Remember, it is not our country that is to blame but simply the situation
that we have all allowed, in one way or another, to develop to the point
where we find ourselves today. Don't judge Zimbabwe unfairly ! Judge it as
it should be and will be when it is healed and back to good health (As you
would your friend) providing everything that you would ever want in terms of
quality of life and expectation. Zimbabwe has served us all so well and it
is simply a Rolls Royce being driven by a bunch of irresponsible, unlicensed
thugs.

It is up to us to be winners and not losers and strive for what is ours. We
will overcome our problems and realize the true extent to which our country
will benefit us all. The prize it too great to give up. We are at the edge
now and must keep pushing and the monument to evil will topple into the
abyss below where it belongs crushed never to arise again. To stop now would
mean giving away everything that we hold dear, giving up an exciting future
to be built on solid values where hard work, honesty and fighting spirit is
rewarded. To stop now would be tantamount to stripping the honour from those
before who fought for this country in so many different ways. It would
dishonour those that have died recently in the quest to secure a future
filled with aspirations that we all share - a future that will penalize
those that do wrong and protect those who uphold the system. We must accept
the challenge to succeed in what we feel so deeply about.

Don't give up on your country now!

Don't make hasty judgements at a time of absolute abnormality. It is not the
time to make a decision about one's future when thought is clouded by
emotion and negative thinking. Don't make a mistake that you will regret.
There will be a resolution. Bring it forward by making a stand for yourself
and those less able than you are - the elderly, the uneducated and
exploited, the poor, those brutalized by lawlessness, the children who are
our future. Don't abandoned your responsibilities. We can and WILL win !!

Zimbabwe has a rich and proud heritage. We are renowned for our fighting
spirit. Don't forsake it ! We must respect those that have built our land,
some of whom remain as senior citizens dependent on the commitment of
subsequent generations.

What are needed now are people of courage and determination, people who
uphold real principles for which they are prepared to fight.

This is not an endless vision but one that is clearly set ahead of us in the
not too distant future. We must dig deep and be resolute in our
determination to win and gladly accept the prize that awaits us. The prize
that is each one of us secure in the knowledge that the country we love will
be expressing openly the values, ideals and standards we uphold in every
aspect of life. There is light at the end of the tunnel and it is up to each
and every one of us to choose whether that light will beam strongly. We have
a choice to determine if that light is there or not and we have to believe
it is if we are to win this struggle, probably the most critical episode in
our country's history.

Neither I, nor my family, are going anywhere. I belong and, like others,
must solve the problems that we all helped create, largely through apathy
and lack of principle when it came to standing up for what is right and
condemning what was wrong. That's history. It is the future that counts now
and it is up to us, not "the others" to do our bit. Don't relent, don't
concede, don't wilt under pressure. We will win this battle, a battle of
wills, together.

Simon Spooner
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Business Day

Mugabe conquers in bitter Zanu-PF power showdown

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF old guard has emerged on top after a bitter power
struggle in the deeply divided party during its five-yearly congress, which
ended yesterday.
Zanu-PF leader and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his veteran
loyalists left the five-day congress in an unassailable position, with
Mugabe retaining his position without contest alongside his colleagues from
the 1970s anti-colonial struggle, Joseph Msika, Joyce Mujuru and John Nkomo.

Mujuru, who was elected the first female vice-president at the congress,
called for unity in the party, saying she had "no hard feelings" against
those who had opposed her.

In the context of Zimbabwe and African society's domination by males, few
expect Mujuru's election to pave the way for her to become Africa's first
female president, but it has prevented Mugabe's male rivals from vying for
the powerful post close to him.

The power struggle in Zanu-PF has left a faction led by Mugabe's hitherto
heir apparent, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and the embattled presidential spin
doctor Jonathan Moyo, in disarray.

Moyo, who is also information and publicity minister, was the greatest loser
after Mugabe removed his name from the ruling party's decision-making body .
This means Moyo, a former trenchant critic of Mugabe, will not make it into
the supreme administrative organ of the party, the politburo. It is also
likely that Mugabe will drop Moyo from the cabinet after the general
election in March.

There has been a groundswell of discontent within and outside Zanu-PF about
Moyo's inflammatory and divisive rhetoric. In a bid to clip Moyo's wings,
Mugabe had since November 22 attacked his voluble spokesman at every turn.
This followed a secret meeting which Moyo organised at his rural Tsholotsho
home to allegedly plot a palace coup against the party leadership.

Moyo's meeting was attended by members of the Mnangagwa camp who were
battling a rival group led by retired general Solomon Mujuru for power .
Mugabe described the Tsholotsho meeting as "clandestine" and "illegal".

Six provincial chairmen and the leader of the war veterans body, Jabulani
Sibanda, were suspended for six months and four years respectively for
attending the meeting. Moyo was reprimanded .

In his closing address to the congress on Saturday evening, Mugabe lambasted
"political prostitutes" in his party who could be bought or wanted to use
money to purchase political power.

Choking with emotional intensity, Mugabe hysterically denounced both
Mnangagwa and Moyo for scheming to replace the current party leadership.

Business Day with AFP
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Daily News online edition

Massive food aid needed to avert crisis: MDC

Date: 7-Dec, 2004

THE opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says the country
needs massive food aid from the international community if it is to avert a
humanitarian crisis next year.

Renson Gasela, the shadow minister of Agriculture in the opposition
MDC told journalists in Harare on Friday that Zimbabwe would require
substantial amounts of food aid from the international community in order to
prevent an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in 2005.

"With an average monthly consumption of 158 000 tonnes, the country
would still run out of food in the new year even if the 224 554 tonnes is
actually imported from South Africa," Gasela said.

"For the past six months since April to October, an average of 12 000
tonnes every month has been delivered to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB)
from outside. The government is playing with our lives and we are fast
running out of food."

The government is said to be clandestinely importing maize from South
Africa. Gasela said the little food that is available is now way above the
reach of the common man due to rising costs.

"The government's mendacity on the food situation is being driven by
two cynical objectives ahead of the parliamentary elections," he said.

"The first is the desperate need to sustain the myth that its land
reform programme is the panacea of food security when in reality this
programme, while noble in principle, has been poorly managed in its
implementation stages resulting in an alarming drop in food production that
risks plunging Zimbabwe into a protracted humanitarian crisis.

"The second is a desire to have a complete monopoly over food aid
distribution during the run-up to the March elections. Inflating crop yields
not only provides a useful pretext for terminating food relief efforts by
international Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs.) It also creates a
convenient smokescreen behind which the government can coerce a hungry
electorate in the run-up to the elections."

In its first report to parliament last month, the Parliamentary
Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Water Development, Rural
Resources and Resettlement on food stocks, said the country would run out of
food next year.

Zimbabwe's food crisis is blamed on President Robert Mugabe's
haphazard and often violent land reform programme which disrupted the
commercial sector.

About 4 500 white commercial farmers were evicted from their
properties as President Robert Mugabe's militant Zanu PF supporters and war
veterans occupied the commercial farms.

Authoritative government sources have said that the embarrassing
situation the government found itself in was a direct result of Joseph Made,
the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement who misled the
nation and the President on the food projections.

Made's future in Mugabe's Cabinet looks bleak after a disastrous
performance at the recent Zanu PF's Fourth Peoples' Congress held in Harare.
He came under attack from Vice-President Joseph Msika after he
misrepresented the issue of interest rates charged on loans to resettled
farmers by the Land Bank (Agribank).

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'Mafikizolo' Moyo Feels Wrath of Dictator Scorned

Sunday Times (Johannesburg)

OPINION
December 5, 2004
Posted to the web December 6, 2004

Johannesburg

WHILE the South African music group Mafikizolo were celebrating being voted
the best-styled group at the Metro Awards last weekend, a different breed of
mafikizolo was fighting for his political life across the Limpopo River.

Mafikizolo, as those with the most pedestrian grasp of isiZulu will tell
you, is a loose translation of "Johnny Come Lately", a term of endearment
that has been used in reference to the Zimbabwean Minister of Information
and Publicity in the Office of the President, Professor Jonathan Moyo.

But it wasn't the bestowal of the award on the music group that miffed Moyo,
who himself recently tried his hand at singing and composing songs for
government radio stations controlled by him. Rather, what is making the good
professor's life at the top unbearable is Robert Mugabe, the man to whom he
has been singing for his supper for four years.

After events at the ruling Zanu-PF congress this week, it seems Mugabe has
heard enough of the professor's grating voice - and has reprimanded him,
telling him to keep silent ... or else.

I suppose it's common knowledge that Mugabe and the politburo of the ruling
Zanu-PF this week decided to suspend six provincial party chairmen.

However, what is under debate is whether their suspension was the result of
them having attended a secret meeting convened by Moyo at his native village
of Tsholotsho, or whether it stemmed primarily from a long campaign they had
spearheaded to undermine Mugabe. Their campaign involved pushing for the
appointment of a woman, Joyce Mujuru, Zimbabwe's Water Affairs Minister, as
one of the two vice-presidents.

Moyo, it seems to me, is driven by that famous utterance by Cassius who, in
appealing to Brutus to join him in a conspiracy against Caesar, says that
there is a tide in the affairs of man which, taken at a flood leads to
fortune, omitted might lead to a life lived in regret.

With Mugabe's infamy firmly established, the professor seems to be of the
opinion that it's time to start preparing for the putsch.

But he seems to be approaching it too hastily and carelessly for the wily
fox I had him pegged as. He even invited the one and only Emerson
Mnangagwa - Mugabe's longtime buddy recorded in history books as one of
those who masterminded the Matabeleland Massacres of the mid-1980s - to his
Tsholotsho meeting.

Maybe the professor is beginning to believe his own lies - that the
massacres never took place.

For the record, I asked the professor in 2000 how a person from
Matabeleland, who would have been affected in one way or another by the
massacres, was now the most virulent apologist for, if not foot soldier, of
Mugabe.

He said that what happened in his home province had been nothing but a
necessary government intervention against treasonous elements from the
south.

I did note at the time that the Stalinist streak in him, the inclination to
airbrush some persons and events from the picture books of history, might
return to haunt him one day.

Mind you, before he became the other face of Mugabe, he had been one of the
ruler's most outspoken critics.

His conversion and subsequent sycophancy, of course, endeared him to Mugabe.
But the old guard of Zanu-PF, the likes of Mnangagwa, were heard to grumble
about how this mafikizolo was outshining them.

Indeed, Mnangagwa last week went public about the professor's invitation to
him, pouncing on the opportunity to launch a comeback against the
mafikizolo.

If anything, the Tsholotsho debacle has helped Mugabe consolidate his grip
on power, which Moyo had been slowly but surely undermining.

The four-year suspension of the chairman of the Zimbabwe National Liberation
War Veterans' Association Joseph Sibanda, who was being promoted by Moyo as
one of the vice-presidents, means that he won't be available to run on a
Zanu-PF ticket come election time next year.

And the other six provincial chairmen have been suspended for six months,
putting them out of the running for election next year.

Moyo's own position looks precarious. If he is found to be "troublesome"
again in the near future, he might find himself rocking in the same boat as
Sibanda, which would forever thwart his political ambitions - as long as
Mugabe and his trusted lieutenants from the north are still around.

Speaking in Bulawayo ahead of this week's politburo meeting and the party
congress, Mugabe sounded very hurt when he spoke about his young, vibrant
minister of Information. "At first we thought the professor was getting the
resources, wherever they come from, to improve the area [Tsholotsho], but
what is now frightening us is this thrust to defy the party."

And beware of a dictator scorned and offended.

Since a season of migration to the south might well be on the cards for
Moyo, it's a pity he failed to establish a glowing record at Wits University
where he was once employed.

And other job opportunities don't spring to mind as we've got our own
Mafikizolo, anyway.
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New Zimbabwe

DANIEL FORTUNE MOLOKELA: FACING REALITY

The dilemma of the Professor

Last updated: 12/07/2004 01:14:35
WOW! How have the might fallen! And what a spectacular fall it has
been! I mean the apparent demise of the hitherto ever-fledging political
career of one Professor Jonathan Moyo. Indeed once touted as a dark horse in
the race to replace the ageing Robert Mugabe in 2008, the Professor's
presidential ambitions have collapsed completely like a deck of casino
cards.

As I write, the Professor is busy licking his fingers, having narrowly
missed out on a big opportunity to cut for himself the biggest slice in the
Zimbabwean power cake. He cannot believe it that all his grandiose delusions
and dreams of power have suddenly become a nightmare of a monstrous
political failure.

Yet at the beginning of November, the Professor looked invincible and
unstoppable to both his foes and friends alike. He seemed to be destined for
the highest echelons of political power. At that time, he appeared well on
course to storm into the State House.

To many people, he had the complete confidence of Mugabe, his only but
very influential political benefactor. To some, he had everything going for
him and as such, it was only a matter of time before assumed supreme control
of the nation's highest political office.

But alas, this was not to be!

As I write, the Professor is facing one of the darkest moments of his
very tempestuous life. At the moment, he has found himself in the biggest
fallout of his political career. If anything, it appears as if he is
inextricably locked in the thorny horns of a political dilemma that will
prove virtually impossible for him to extricate himself out of it.

Put in other words, the Professor is in deep trouble, the ship of his
political career has hit the dire straits. He is clinging dangerously on a
political cliffhanger and easily appears on the precipice of total collapse.
His political career is hanging by the thread. Anything can or will happen
to him anytime from now.

As I write, the professor has completely lost control of his political
career options. His political destiny appears no longer in his hands. To
make matters worse, his perceived friends have abandoned him or have been
severely silenced and cowered into passive submission. There is absolutely
no one at the moment, who is willing to put their neck on the line for the
sake of saving the Professor.

On the other hand, his presumed enemies have taken control of the
entire Zanu-PF political process. To add woes and trepidation to the
Professor they have one thing in their minds; how to come up with the
proverbial sucker punch that will stuff the political life out of the
Professor. They are busy hovering around him, having drawn out long knives,
anxiously looking for a good chance to hit him with the most fatal of all
blows.

The Professor is definitely down and might sooner than later find
himself out.

If what transpired in the past two weeks is anything to go by, then
the worst is yet to come for the embattled Professor. It is however, most
likely that he will be dropped from the Politburo and then subsequently axed
from the Cabinet. Added to that, his political labours in Tsholotsho will
avail to nothing since his ambitions to represent Zanu-PF there will also be
thwarted by the party's bigwigs.

At the moment, everyone is busy wondering how his end will transpire.
There are about three or so main permutations that have emerged amid the
speculation about his uncertain future. These can be summed up as follows:

(a) The Professor Might Flee Zimbabwe

The Professor still has possibly, one ace up his sleeve. That is to
take the cue from his former technocrat Cabinet colleague, Dr Nkosana Moyo
and skip the country. He has the option of faxing his resignation from a
remote island in the Indian, Pacific or Atlantic Ocean. Whichever of these
he may choose to be safer for him. In that he will not only be able to save
his life but also be able to launch is vengeful attacks on Zanu-PF.

(b) The Professor Might Be Arrested

The Professor might soon be arrested. As usual, Zanu-PF might not be
keen to have a sulking and bitter former high ranking official freely moving
around them. It is obvious that the Professor now knows a lot about the
party's dirty secrets. If anything, he has been their worst henchmen in the
party's history.

As such, in order to avert possible embarrassment from fallout with
him, the party might unleash drummed up fraud charges against him. The
moneys he has been splashing around like wedding confetti in Tsholotsho and
the various musical shows might be an obvious god starting point. Once
arrested, tried and convicted, the disgraced Professor will permanently
cease to be of any consequence to the party.

(c) The Professor Might Be Eliminated

The party might even opt for the ultimate option. That is, to
sacrifice the Professor on the altar of political expediency. We might soon
learn that he has died in a freak car accident. Or if he is initially
arrested, he might never come out of the detention cells alive again.

Whichever one may choose to see things, there is one outstanding
reality that the Professor has to face. He is presently inextricably locked
in the horns of a dilemma of which it might prove impossible to extricate
himself. As such, everyone should start fearing for the worst for the
Professor. Sooner than later, we might hear the sad news of the tragic end
of his political career. Or even the end of his very short but controversial
life.

Zanu-PF never ceases to amaze me comrades! - danielmolokela@yahoo.com
Daniel Molokela is the National Co-ordinator of the Peace and
Democracy Project
Johannesburg, South Africa. His column appears here every Monday

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Sportinglife.com
Picture
Zimbabweans make their point. (Getty Images)

PLAYERS SHIELDED FROM PROBLEMS

By Myles Hodgson, PA Sport Cricket Correspondent, Bulawayo

England's players flew back to South Africa having been almost completely shielded from the problems in Zimbabwe during their controversial four-match one-day series.

Several days of deliberations about whether the tour should go ahead following the media accreditation dispute built up tension among the players as they flew into Harare nearly a fortnight ago.

The players were aware that 99% of British people polled about the tour were actively against England travelling to Zimbabwe because of the tyrannical regime of President Robert Mugabe and his appalling human rights record.

But, after the initial reservations, once the cricket began and it became clear that neither Mugabe or any of his government ministers would attempt to meet the team and politicise the trip - an incident which would almost certainly have caused the team to fly out on the next plane - England settled down to the tour almost like they would any other.

They were confronted with two incidents which reminded them of the sensitivity of this tour and brought home the seriousness of the situation for many in Zimbabwe and provoked further questions about the motivation for continuing with the trip.

On the opposite corner from their luxury hotel in Harare, a message that read: "England Go Home - Shame on England," was on full view and they were also greeted by three protesters holding placards supporting the imprisoned opposition MP Roy Bennett as they boarded the coach for the second one-day international at the Harare Sports Club.

The three protesters ran across the road with the placards reading: "No Justice, No Cricket, Free Roy Bennett," but were quickly moved away by security staff and police reservists and England continued onwards to the ground.

Other than those two minor incidents, however, the England party were shielded from the worst excesses of Zimbabwe - the burnt-out farms reclaimed by the war veterans supported by Mugabe, the thousands of people starving because of his land reclaim policies, the long petrol queues whenever a garage received a delivery of fuel and the vicious and terrible regime which locals are forced to endure on a daily basis.

It is not the players' fault they were shielded from such stark images and in that respect it is no different from any other tour - during last winter's tour to Bangladesh England stayed in a five-star hotel in Dhaka with palm trees around the luxurious pool area shielding guests from the shanty slums just the other side of the wall.

That is the nature of modern international tours and England, like many other international cricket teams, usually do their best to help the local community and have visited Aids centres, orphanages and hospitals on the sub-continent and in Africa in the past.

They did not do so on this tour because every comment and expression was immediately interpreted as positive backing and support for Mugabe and his regime as young batsman Ian Bell discovered when he gave bland but positive comments about the hospitality they had received in Harare during a press conference.

It is to England's credit they did not make the same mistake again but for David Morgan, the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, to hail the tour as a success on and off the field is naive in the extreme.

England battered a sub-standard Zimbabwe line-up forced to make do with the best of their young talent by the walkout of 15 experienced rebel cricketers in April because of alleged racism within their selection policies.

Captain Michael Vaughan showed his disgust at the standard of opposition by bowling eight different players in the final one-day international at Bulawayo and it would be no surprise if he raises the point again during the next International Cricket Council meeting of the international captains.

Even for Morgan to claim the tour was successful away from the cricket is surprising to say the least.

This is a country that throws MPs into prison for a year's hard labour for the most minor of offences and censors the media to such an extent that Lovemore Banda, Zimbabwe Cricket's Media Relations Manager, spends the majority of his time studying political comments about Mugabe and the government rather than performing his duties with the national cricket side.

Quite simply, England should not have sent a representative side to this country no matter what sanctions were threatened by the ICC.

Zimbabwe's policies have brought widespread moral criticism throughout the world and just by being here, Vaughan's line-up has helped Mugabe and his Government become more accepted.

Asked if he would come for a Test tour if it was arranged in the near future, Vaughan was non-committal but if the ECB has learnt anything from this 10-day trip it should be never to set foot in this country again while the present regime remains.

The ECB would doubtless argue they are not politicians and their only concern is cricket, but they should perhaps have spoken to Bob, a taxi driver many of the media used during their stay in Harare, for evidence that politics and cricket are closely inter-twined in Zimbabwe.

Bob, like many of the black population in Zimbabwe, has become interested in cricket in the last year or so because of the predominantly black side they are now forced to put out because of the boycott by the 15 rebel cricketers.

He follows all the matches on television and bombarded us with questions about each game.

Asked why he did not go along to a game - even when we offered him a free ticket - Bob declined, saying: "I don't want to go to watch the cricket because that's just what Mugabe wants us to do."

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Do stop it Aggers
Dec 5 2004

By Neil Farrington,The Sunday Sun

The name Morgan Tsvangirai may not mean much to you now - or
ever, if Robert Mugabe gets his way.

But I'd rather take the word of Mr Tsvangirai than that of
Jonathan Agnew on England's cricket tour of Zimbabwe.

While BBC radio's chief cricket correspondent crassly celebrated
the happy-clappy atmosphere at the opening one-day international - how
Hitler would have welcomed him into the commentary box when our footballers
visited Berlin in 1938 - Tsvangirai was preparing to fly to Europe in a bid
to rescue his nation from tyranny.

Agnew had always struck me as a capable media operator, albeit
as spectacularly unspectacular as he was a cricketer.

But I fear his summing up of the aforementioned one-day match
will be as long remembered as the day he and the late Brian Johnston giggled
about getting his leg over.

And, judging from the way he has been moved to defend himself on
the BBC's cricket message boards, Agnew is just as worried.

It was all very well him pointing out that England's first tour
game went ahead without protest.

But his waxing lyrical about black and white children playing
together on the outfield, never mind that black and white elsewhere in
Zimbabwe are being disenfranchised and starved, sounded like a party
political broadcast for Mugabe's Zanu-PF regime.

Agnew argued otherwise in an off-the-cuff online riposte to the
many listeners who thought the same, insisting he was merely reporting facts
and has strong views on the Zimbabwe issue that he will not force upon the
public.

Fair enough, other than that he robbed himself of the right to
play that straight bat when he described the match as "a triumph" for
Zimbabwean cricket.

Strange how, by last Wednesday, he was describing its national
team as such unworthy opposition for England as to "threaten the integrity
of international cricket".

Perhaps, just perhaps, Tsvangirai's rather less heartwarming
picture of life in Zimbabwe under Mugabe - delivered in London on Tuesday -
had reached Harare, insulated as it is from the horrors elsewhere in the
country.

"The electoral environment is such that it is impossible to run
free and fair elections precisely because the regime has created conditions
that are impossible for free campaigning, free media practice or an
independent electoral commission," said the leader of Zimbabwe's political
opposition.

And Tsvangirai should know, having beaten a false charge of
treason - and with it the death penalty - earlier this year.

"The regime has used violence as instruments of cohesion in
order to win votes and support," he added.

I don't know what Jonathan Agnew thinks, but it was my
impression that British policy against such regimes was a touch less
friendly than to play them at cricket and talk glowingly about their
weather.

"Aggers, for goodness sake, stop it!" Johnston famously pleaded
with his Test Match Special co-commentator in their infamous exchange back
in 1991.

I now know how Johnners felt.

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From Reuters, 6 December

Zimbabwe's Mujuru faces test as Mugabe's deputy

Harare - The woman picked by Zimbabwe's ruling party as President Robert
Mugabe's new deputy earned her stripes as a teenage liberation war fighter.
But Joyce Mujuru's latest rise in rank has largely been attributed by the
local media to her husband - a former army commander - who is said to be
keen to stop a political rival from occupying the post. "She has earned her
place in the past, but in this case she is coming through as a pawn in a
deadly political game," said analyst Eldred Masunungure. Mugabe's ruling
Zanu PF party confirmed Mujuru on Saturday as the party's vice president,
virtually guaranteeing her appointment to a similar position in the
government. The position was left vacant after the death last year of
veteran politician Simon Muzenda. Political analysts say despite Mujuru's
selection as Zimbabwe's first woman vice president, jockeying for Mugabe's
position would continue until he retires. Mugabe's state presidential term
ends in 2008, but few expect either Mujuru, who is likely to face more
political challenges in future, or first vice-president Joseph Msika, who
will be 86 then, to succeed him. Mugabe bowed to pressure from a Zanu PF
faction led by Mujuru's husband, General Solomon Mujuru, to give a woman the
second vice-presidency post - effectively sidelining speaker of parliament
Emmerson Mnangagwa, widely seen as his favoured heir, the analysts say.
While Mugabe himself has never publicly commented on speculation that he
preferred Mnangagwa, analysts said negative publicity linking Mnangagwa to
controversial deals involving party companies might have lost him points.

Mujuru is an affable character, who many say has been able to balance her
public political life with her role as a wife and mother in a traditional
African environment where women high-fliers are admired but still expected
to retain low-profile positions at home. Mujuru, now 49, joined Zimbabwe's
liberation war movement at their military bases in neighbouring Mozambique
in 1973 at the age of 18 and trained as a guerrilla fighter. She fought in
the war under the guerrilla name Teurai Ropa (spill blood), and then rose to
become one of the first women commanders in Mugabe's Zanla forces. In 1977
she married Solomon Mujuru -- known then as Rex Nhongo -- who was deputy
commander-in-chief of Zanla. She continued to use the name Teurai Ropa
Nhongo name after independence but later changed to Joyce Mujuru when her
husband adopted his birth surname. Mujuru was born in Zimbabwe's
northeastern district of Mt Darwin, and had completed two years of secondary
education when she decided to join the liberation war.

After Zimbabwe's independence from Britain in 1980, Mujuru became the
youngest cabinet minister in Mugabe's government when she was appointed
minister of women's affairs at age 25. Since then Mujuru has held various
cabinet portfolios, including a brief stint in the powerful position of
defence minister. She has also gone back to school and acquired a higher
secondary school certificate and is currently studying for a degree in
public administration. Mujuru's elevation has created unprecedented tension
in Zanu PF, opposed by a number of top officials who felt the party was
being hijacked by a faction bent on consolidating power in Zimbabwe's
northern Mashonaland provinces. "It's going to be very difficult for Mrs
Mujuru's name to be seen outside this political saga, the impression is that
she was imposed and a lot of people were purged to pave the way for her,"
Masunungure said. Mugabe suspended seven party officials on Tuesday for
allegedly attending a meeting convened by Information Minister Jonathan Moyo
to push for Mnangagwa's candidature.
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Independent (UK)

Two wheels good
It's small, it's nippy - and it can be fixed in seconds by just about
anyone. The Uhuru ambulance reaches parts of the Third World that 4-x-4s
can't. Rose George tells its story
06 December 2004

" You read about a new malaria vaccine and you think, 'Great. Children's
lives will be saved.' But they won't if the vaccine ends up stuck in a
warehouse," says Barry Coleman. "People know about aid, but they don't think
about how it gets there." As co-director of Riders for Health, a small
non-governmental group that supplies transport solutions to health workers
in Africa, Coleman knows more than most about the "invisible issue" in aid
and development: sensible, sustainable transport.

The gleaming white four-by-four - acronym on the side, flag on the roof -
may be the image of transportational altruism, delivering aid and
benevolence from the First World to the other, poorer parts of the planet,
but it's a misleading image. The vehicle of mercy and development is no
different to any other vehicle: everything breaks down, sooner or later.

At a meeting of several agency logistics chiefs last year in Holland, it was
calculated that, of the 45,000 vehicles they were responsible for, they
spent more than $800m (416m) a year running and maintaining the fleets. The
problem is that the NGOs budget for a vehicle, but not for its breakdowns,
so they end up spending more money than they meant to. "Maintenance
failure," says charity Transaid, "is the greatest cause of operational
failure in transport activities throughout the developing world."

Vehicle supply is big business: at trade and aid fairs, competition is
fierce between leading dealers like Toyota Gibraltar and Ford, against
upstarts like Mahindra and Mitsubishi. But the talk is of accessories and
fuel tanks, not hidden maintenance costs or the fact that the punishing
climates the vehicles work in can lead to breakdowns after only a year.
George Fenton, the logistics director for World Vision, a huge NGO at the
meeting, admits the money includes "a lot of waste".

Partly, this is due to naivety. One four-by-four dealer, when asked how to
service his vehicles in Chad, for example, suggested contacting the nearest
authorised dealer. There aren't any in Chad, or in many other places in the
regions where his vehicles are expected to operate. Martin Dalton, the head
of logistics at the Irish agency Concern, makes sure his fleets are stocked
with vehicles that can get parts easily, even in Africa, and that can be
serviced locally.

But less experienced NGOs are often as clueless as dealers. "They order
vehicles with electronic parts," Dalton says. "Ones built to European
specifications." And when they break down in Africa, they stay broken. So
the more sensible logistics managers keep their vehicles simple: they'll fit
extra fuel tanks as standard, because fuel is hard to come by, even in urban
Africa. They'll fit VHF radio and desert or mud tyres. "When one part breaks
down, it can fail the whole vehicle," Coleman says. "Agencies buy vehicles
and expect a blow-up as part of the cost. Well, it shouldn't be. So many
programmes fail because the vehicles fail."

This is what Riders for Health is responding to. Already, it runs more than
500 bikes and 500 four-by-fours for the Zimbabwean health ministry. And,
more importantly, with its Academy of Vehicle Management in Harare, Riders
trains health workers to service their own bikes - five minutes a day; only
the simple things like nut-tightening and changing oil filters - in the
quest for zero breakdowns.

Now Riders has gone further. The Uhuru (Swahili for "freedom") is a
motorbike ambulance, water pump and goods vehicle. Attached to a low-tech
200CC Yamaha, accessories for the Uhuru are locally made in Zimbabwe,
including the stretcher and a pop-up seat for women in labour. "Attach the
rear wheel to a water pump," explains Andrea Coleman, Riders' other
co-director, "and it can pump 120 litres."

Is it comfortable? "Not as much as an ambulance you'd want to go to hospital
in," she says, "but it's better than walking 10km or giving birth in a
field."

The biggest health problem facing Africans, she says, isn't malaria or TB
but exhaustion, which leaves people more susceptible to other diseases.
Three-quarters of transport throughout Africa is by foot. The nippy Uhuru -
being trialled in 15 Zimbabwean districts and two in Kenya, and usually
ridden by female health workers - provides mobility, and that saves lives.

Aid agencies do a great job with the large-scale mechanical deliveries, says
Paul Starkey, an export on rural transport, but intermediate transport - the
motorbike, the donkey cart - is neglected. "A lot of money goes into
building roads," he says, "but not into the intermediate networks and
transports that get to the roads. A road is fine for big mechanised
transport, but a woman carrying a load on her head needs a good footpath." A
district hospital serving hundreds of villages might have one Toyota
Landcruiser ambulance. That's all well and good, but most of its patients
need to get there by alternative means.

It was on a trip to Somalia a few years ago that Riders for Health was born.
Barry Coleman noticed vast numbers of broken-down motorbikes, particularly
ones belonging to the Ministry of Health for its outreach workers. "The
bikes had 800km on the clock and they told us that the motorbikes weren't
suited to Somalia," he says. "It was too dusty, or something."

But, as an experienced motorcyclist, Coleman didn't believe that. The
answer, rather, was breakdown management. "There are plenty of skilled
mechanics in Africa," he says, "but they weren't trained in preventive
mechanics." Riders for Health runs and maintains fleets of motorbikes and
4WDs for the Gambian and Zimbabwean health ministries and UN agencies. It
proved itself first by running a 47-motorcycle fleet for the Lesotho
Ministry of Health for seven years without a breakdown.

"We knew that any vehicle needs regular interventions, and in Africa there
were a lot of enthusiastic and skilled mechanics, but they weren't trained
in preventive maintenance," he says. Something must be working: one
ambulance has 500,000km on the clock and has never broken down.

An environmental health technician in Zimbabwe, M Marime, told Riders he had
covered 90,000km "with zero breakdown". His bike helped to save lives during
a cholera outbreak.An outreach worker at Bindura Provincial Hospital, S
Zanamwe, was equally effusive. "Your defensive riding training is very
good," he wrote. "I have not had an accident since 1998," despite helping
19,000 people and covering thousands of kilometres.

In Binga district in Zimbabwe, there are 10 health workers with motorbikes
and maintenance training. In the neighbouring province of Gokwe, there are
three. Binga's malaria rates have gone down by 20 per cent in a year;
Gokwe's have not. "Look, we're not saying that's down to the motorbikes,"
says Coleman. "But Binga and Gokwe are similar areas with similar
conditions. It might have something to do with it. If you can't deliver the
nets or supervise the spraying, it must make a difference."

This holistic message is not lost on the bigger NGOs and UN agencies. Fenton
of World Vision has been instrumental in setting up Fleet Forum, with the
International Federation of the Red Cross and the World Food Programme. It's
the first attempt by agencies to consult on logistics issues.

Fenton hopes this is the way ahead. "We can save significant amounts of
money if we manage our vehicles better. But logistics is undervalued, so
there's not enough training provided." Logistics isn't sexy; it doesn't
seduce aid donors. But it should. Any motorbike stretcher-bearer knows that.
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IOL

Family of 'Harry's girl' linked to Zim regime
December 06 2004 at 11:17AM

By Barbara Jones

The wealthy father of Prince Harry's new girlfriend has benefited from
extensive links with the regime of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, it
was claimed on Sunday night.

Britain's highly-respected opposition shadow chancellor, Eddie Cross, said
the wildlife hunting safaris which made the fortune of British-born Charles
Davy - whose daughter Chelsy has been dating the prince for eight months -
are dependent on the corrupt Zimbabwe regime.

And he claimed the background to Davy's wealth included a business
partnership with a controversial Mugabe lieutenant accused of orchestrating
widespread violence during the country's elections, and the need to gain
government favours.

Chelsy will be introduced to the royal family in the new year
The revelations came after it emerged that Harry, 20, and Chelsy, 19, are
planning to spend a romantic pre-Christmas break on a remote island off
Mozambique.

The prince flew Chelsy over to join him on a ranch holiday in Argentina in
November and has told friends she is his "first love". Close friends say
Chelsy will be introduced to the royal family in the new year, and Harry was
invited to meet the Davys in Zimbabwe.

But Cross said it would cause sadness if the prince were to visit Chelsy's
family and become part of the Zimbabwe social scene while the country is on
the brink of disaster. "We cannot burden children with the sins of their
parents, but the truth is the Davy family's offspring have been given a life
of luxury off the back of political patronage in a country where many
suffer," he said.

"It would be a sad day when the British royal family showed tacit approval
for the business practices here."

Davy, one of Zimbabwe's biggest ranch owners, is thought to control about
one percent of all agricultural land in Zimbabwe. His business empire
includes luxury safari camps on the banks of the Zambezi River near Victoria
Falls and a huge agricultural complex.

Cross said: "The financial success of hunting safaris depends entirely on
licences granted by the government. It is a process plagued by allegations
of corruption from the minister down."

One of Mugabe's leading henchmen, Minister for Policy Implementation Webster
Shamu, is a business partner of Davy. "He is suspected of murder and is a
savage individual."

Clarence House refused to comment on Harry's relationship.

This article was originally published on page 3 of Pretoria News on December
06, 2004
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findlaw.com

How the Abusive Protect the Repressive at the U.N.
By JOANNE MARINER
----
Monday, Dec. 06, 2004

Sudan, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, Russia: one thing these countries have
in common is that their governments violate human rights flagrantly and
systematically. But another thing they share, astonishingly enough, is
membership on the U.N. body meant to monitor and prevent human rights
violations.

Pakistan, China, Egypt, Congo--the list goes on. When it comes to
rights-abusing countries, the 53-member U.N. Commission on Human Rights has
plenty of depth.

An official U.N. report released last week owns up to the problem.
Acknowledging the commission's "eroding credibility," it notes that counties
that "lack a demonstrated commitment" to human rights are not particularly
well-suited to the task of promoting respect for human rights globally.
(This is a diplomatic way of saying that known robbers should not be hired
as cops.)

It would be wonderful to be able to say that the United Nations has now come
up with a good plan to address this problem, and that reform is on the way.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. While the U.N. report includes a plan,
it's not a good plan, or even an adequate one.

Protecting the Abusive from Censure

Groups such as Human Rights Watch have been complaining about the U.N.
commission's membership problem for years. The focus of the abusive
governments on the commission, Human Rights Watch warns, is on "minimizing
the exposure of their own human rights record rather than on stigmatizing
the worst human rights violations in the world and devising methods to bring
about effective responses to these abuses."

The recently-released report on the future of the United Nations deserves
credit for acknowledging this issue, except that the problem is clearly too
glaring to ignore. Eight months ago, at its last annual session, the
commission's trend toward rejecting censure of its most abusive members was
unmistakable.

Not only did the Commission on Human Rights fail to pass resolutions
critical of China, Russia (for Chechnya), and Zimbabwe, but some of these
resolutions were not even discussed. Both the Chinese and Zimbabwean
governments relied on a procedural device, known as the "no-action motion,"
to prevent their resolutions from coming to a vote.

The commission's response to the Darfur crisis also left something to be
desired. At a moment when tens of thousands of refugees were fleeing ethnic
cleansing in Sudan, the commission failed to pass a resolution condemning
the country's grave violations of human rights and international
humanitarian law, instead adopting a decision expressing watered-down
concerns about the situation.

Even worse, the following month, the United Nations Economic and Social
Council (ECOSOC) voted to keep Sudan on the commission for another three
years. (ECOSOC's decision to reelect Sudan was reminiscent of its decision,
in 2003, to reelect Cuba to another term on the commission in the immediate
wake of that country's crackdown on political dissidents.)

No one would suggest seating Jean-Claude Duvalier and Gen. Augusto Pinochet
on the International Criminal Court, so why put the countries that are their
equivalents on the U.N.'s main human rights body?

Reforming the Commission

The new U.N. reform report grasps the problem but fails to propose an
effective solution for it. Indeed, judging from recent events, its main
recommendation on membership - to expand the commission to include all 191
U.N. member states - could even worsen the situation.

The record of the U.N. General Assembly, which includes all U.N. member
states, is instructive. Just two weeks ago, the General Assembly's human
rights committee rejected a resolution condemning violations in Darfur.
Ninety-one countries voted in favor of the "no action" motion that killed
the resolution, while only 74 voted against it.

John Danforth -- the U.S. representative to the United Nations, who has
worked hard to draw attention to the atrocities committed in Darfur --
didn't mince words in responding to the vote. "The message from the General
Assembly is very simple," he said. "'You may be suffering, but we can't be
bothered.'"

He continued: "One wonders: If there can't be a clear and direct statement
on matters of basic principle, why have this building? What are we all
about?"

Membership Criteria

A better proposal for reform has been made by Human Rights Watch. Rather
than expand the commission to include any country, no matter what how awful
its track record, Human Rights Watch recommends that the commission develop
membership criteria that would bar abusive countries from joining.

Most obviously, countries that have recently been condemned by the
commission for human rights violations should not be given a seat. Other
membership requirements could include: ratifying the main human rights
treaties; being up-to-date with reports to the United Nations on compliance
with human rights conventions; and cooperating fully with U.N.
investigators. And one might add that any country that is under U.N.
investigation for genocide and crimes against humanity should be barred as
well (in other words, a country like Sudan).

The U.N. reform report opposes creating criteria for membership on the
commission, concluding that such proposals might further politicize the
issue of human rights. It does not explain the reasoning behind this view,
but one can assume that the authors of the report were afraid that the
politicized debates that currently take place in the substance of the
commission's work would simply extend to the debate over membership.

There are two ways of responding to this concern. First, the U.N. should
concentrate on developing clear criteria that can be objectively applied,
like the ones listed above. While these requirements might not be entirely
effective in sorting the good countries from the bad in terms of human
rights, they will at least screen out a meaningful number of the worst
violators.

Second, the U.N. should remember what's at stake. While it can be difficult
to keep politics from tainting human rights judgments, it is not impossible.
If the Commission on Human Rights is to do meaningful work, these issues
should be addressed before countries become members. If the U.N. waits until
Zimbabwe and Sudan have seats on the commission, then it's already too late
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Daily News online edition

Air Zimbabwe: how not to run a parastatal

Date: 6-Dec, 2004

REPORTS that Air Zimbabwe was prejudiced of more than $10 billion
between January last year and October this year by employers who abused the
10 percent discount facility for staff travel is not a new thing within
Zimbabwe's parastatals.

Most, if not all parastatals in the country are ill-managed by teams
that are appointed by cabinet ministers, to whom they owe loyalty and for
whom they will bent over backwards to please at all cost.

Most of the managers at parastatals such as ZESA, National Railways,
GMB, ZBC, PTC have let the people down by failing to deliver good services.

Some have even lined their pockets in addition to running down the
parastatals. According to the state-run Herald newspaper, Air Zimbabwe
employees abused the facility by extending it to relatives and friends who
travelled worldwide for next to nothing.

Air Zimbabwe is a classic example of what happens when there is
political inference in the running of a parastatal. The national airline has
witnessed a high turnover of chief executive officers and skilled workers
during the last 20 years.

Most if not all chief executives are appointed not on merit, but on
party patronage, regionalism, favouratism and tribalism. They report to a
board of directors whose members are also appointed along the same lines as
the chief executive officer.

The result is chaos of the highest order. Business ethics are often
ignored totally or thrown out of the window and at times the airline is run
like the personal property of none other than President Robert Mugabe who
diverts planes to whatever destination at will.

At the moment, the national airline has only two viable aircraft which
are not in the best working condition.

Not so long ago, an Air Zimbabwe plane was held for several days in
Egypt while workers raced home to repair some part that needed attention.
Insiders said staff decided not to inform the head of state as this would
show their shortcomings.

The point is, if people at the top, people who should lead by example
are not themselves up to scratch, what do you expect of their subordinates?

The Minister of Transpport and Communications Christopher Mushowe, who
has his own skeletons in the cupboard, dating back to the time he was
working in the president's office and was awarded a master's degree yet he
had failed his examination, must really do a lot of shaking up of the entire
management team at Air Zimbabwe.

He should first understand how an airline operates and learn from
others how it should be run. Our neighbours, South Africa, operate a viable
and highly competent national airline and Minister Mushowe should learn a
lot by simply studying how others manage their affairs.

Concentrating on trivial issues like the recruitment of air hostesses
should really not be one of his tasks because there are much, much more
important matters to be attended to than that.
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Daily News online edition

Exiles attack ANC*s endorsement of Mugabe

Date: 6-Dec, 2004

JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabweans living in exile here have slammed the
African National Congress (ANC) for praising President Robert and his ruling
Zanu PF during the party's congress last week.

They said the ANC's actions showed that it was not a neutral
arbitrator in the Zimbabwean crisis.

They said Mugabe's regime had run down the economy, raped and tortured
its own people and only "mad" people could support such a regime.

"This is irresponsible," said Tapera Kapuya a Zimbabwean student in
Durban.

ANC representative and former secretary-general of the party, Henry
Makgothi on Thursday told the Zanu PF congress in Harare that his party
firmly supported Zanu PF and its policies.

Kapuya said the ANC stance clearly showed that it wanted the Mugabe
regime to completely run down Zimbabwe's economy.

Another Zimbabwe, Taka Jamu of Pretoria West told Daily News Online
that any sensible political party in the region must not behave like the ANC
but should act towards bringing down the Zanu PF regime.

"The sooner Mugabe goes, the better it is for all Zimbabweans," he
said

Gloria Gono said she was shocked by the ANC's unquestionable support
for Zanu PF.

"How can the ANC support Zanu PF when it is clear that Mugabe is on a
warpath with his people and the economy?" said Gono.

Scores of other Zimbabweans said following the ANC's public
endorsement of Mugabe, President Thabo Mbeki could therefore not be an
honest broker in the Zimbabwean crisis.

South African opposition party, the Democratic Alliance condemned the
stance taken by the ANC.

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Zim Online

Two governance-related NGOs to be shut down
Mon 6 December 2004
HARARE - A senior Zimbabwe government representative at the ongoing 36th
session of the Africa Commission on Human Rights, David Mangota, has
indicated the government will shut down the country's two biggest
non-government organisations (NGOs) because they were allegedly working to
unseat it from power.

Ministry of Justice permanent secretary David Mangota told a public
session of the commission that the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)
and Crisis Coalition of Zimbabwe (CCZ) were working with foreign enemies of
the government to undermine its hold on power.

Mangota told the commission that Harare was prepared to work with
civic society but threatened action against the two organisations because
they were "conduits of foreign policies, through which interference in
governance is achieved."

The NCA campaigns for a new and democratic constitution for Zimbabwe.
Supporters of the group have on several occasions clashed with the police
while demonstrating against what they say is the government's autocratic
rule.

The CCZ is pushing for a negotiated and democratic settlement to
Zimbabwe's deepening economic and political crisis.

Mangota also told the commission that a controversial NGO Bill that
will severely restrict civic society in Zimbabwe was necessary to protect
"the national interest of the generality of the people."

Under the Bill that is expected to be passed into law before year-end,
NGOs will be barred from carrying out voter education while those working on
human rights and governance-related issues will be barred from receiving
foreign funding.

An NGO Council will be appointed by the state to monitor civic
organisations and close down those perceived as working against state
interests. - ZimOnline
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England happy to leave but a bad smell lingers

The tour to Zimbabwe ends successfully and trouble-free, but clouds of
oppression and discontent are not forgotten in a country where cricket faces
an uncertain future

Paul Kelso in Bulawayo
Monday December 6, 2004
The Guardian

So England have "closure". David Morgan, the chairman of the England and
Wales Cricket Board, used the Americanism as the most divisive tour in a
generation came to an end yesterday. That it should have ended with another
facile victory simply emphasised the sporting irrelevance of a contest on
which the English game was willing to stake its credibility.
"With the peaceful conclusion of these games we have brought closure to the
Zimbabwe affair, something which is of huge importance to England's standing
within international cricket," he said. "Had we not fulfilled these matches
the Zimbabwe saga would have rolled on and on and been a painful running
sore."

Morgan can claim finality with confidence. England have an outstanding
two-Test series to play here at some point, games deferred after the sacking
of Heath Streak and 14 rebel players, but they will not be back for at least
five years. Australia are also due back, and Morgan confirmed that the ECB
would not consider touring before they have fulfilled their commitment. He
would not be drawn on a date but the Australians' recently published
five-year schedule does not feature Zimbabwe.

The sight of the ECB chairman alongside his counterpart at Zimbabwe Cricket,
Peter Chingoka, and Ehsan Mani, president of the International Cricket
Council, at last night's presentation ceremony underlined that this tour has
always been primarily an exercise in diplomacy.

Judged on the narrow terms by which he defined the affair, Morgan at least
can look back on the past fortnight with some satisfaction. With moral
considerations discarded and financial imperatives the prime motor, he
delivered on his promise to make the tour happen and gained credit within
the ICC. Some of the damage wrought by the World Cup shambles has been
repaired.

To stick to those parameters is to ignore the full, grubby mess that this
tour has effectively endorsed. By looking no further than the well
maintained cricket grounds, luxury hotels and decent restaurants within the
reach of the moneyed, it was possible to see the past fortnight as little
more than a sporting non-event, a curiosity in an apparently tranquil corner
of Africa. But to do so is to ignore the reality of life in Zimbabwe, a
country in which all institutions, whether civil, state or sporting, are
entwined in the cloying machinations of Robert Mugabe's government.
Cricket has a rich tradition of politicisation. After Lord Harris, an MCC
president, introduced the game while governor general of India, the British
saw it as a vehicle with which they could impose their values on the
occupied. The game's political force lies in its malleability, however, and
as the grip of the Empire receded it proved a powerful symbol of
self-determination. In the Caribbean the game became a source of regional
identity and pride, whereas in the subcontinent it is the primary means by
which India and Pakistan express their differences.

In Zimbabwe something similar might have happened organically but the
transformation has been cynically imposed, and England's presence has lent
the process credibility.

It was always impossible for the tour to remain free of politics. Morgan
claimed England's visit was not intended to confer legitimacy on Mugabe, but
as the president and his ruling party, Zanu-PF, prepared for last week's
party congress with the introduction of further anti- democratic
legislation, the BBC, Sky and the British press were reporting a cheery,
incident-free one-day international attended by black and white within sight
of the president's Harare residence.

From the moment they arrived England tried to have it both ways, most
obviously when Michael Vaughan intimated that his advice from his employers
was that he should not shake the president's hand if it were offered. The
ECB has been willing to accept the upside of being here without taking
responsibility for the consequences.

Thankfully there were no major protests against the tour, action which on
past evidence would have led to violent retribution against those
responsible. Paul Themba Nyathi, a member of the Movement for Democratic
Change, said the party had decided not to target the matches.

"There is a very real risk that people will come to severe harm if they
protest," he said. "The government will have welcomed the opportunity these
games give the view that Zimbabwe is peaceful, that all is tranquil, but in
fact what we have is the tranquillity of the graveyard."

The players have been surprised at how peaceful the tour has been but
Richard Bevan, their representative, said: "They're not sure if that is a
good thing or a bad thing.

"I wouldn't say the tour has been a success, because there has never been a
win-win situation, but they have fulfilled their commitment professionally."

The protesters may have stayed away but you barely had to scratch the
surface to reveal discontent. On aeroplanes and in taxis, in bars,
restaurants and cricket grounds, black and white have voiced unhappiness and
opposition. Most spoke of a climate of fear, all were pessimistic for the
future, and many would have swapped bread for not having the one-day cricket
circus taking place in their midst.

"We live under a cynical regime intent on retaining power at all costs,"
said Alfred, a manager active in the opposition. "The tour should not have
happened, because nothing is normal here. We could protest, but once you
have unfurled the banner the cameras and the journalists walk away. Who is
there to see you arrested, to see you beaten, and in six weeks to see that
you cannot walk?"

It is one of the paradoxes of the tour that, for all its political
usefulness to the regime, there is open hostility to the England team's
presence within Zanu-PF. "Michael Vaughan's statements are inherently racist
and our people recognise this," Joshua Mzamba, a member of the party's
central committee and a young man burning with ideological certainty, said
at a reception last week. "By refusing to acknowledge the head of state he
insults all Zimbabweans and implies that they are not fit to choose who
should lead them. It is the typical attitude of the colonialist."

Given Mugabe's hostility to Britain - he has declared next year's
parliamentary election the anti-Blair election - perhaps it is no surprise
that he and his ministers chose not to attend matches in which Zimbabwe were
being so heavily defeated by an all-white England team.

For England the affair may be over, but in the country they leave behind the
sport's future remains uncertain. The young side led by Tatenda Taibu is
hailed as the first truly representative Zimbabwe team, but by forcing out
the white players the board has both weakened the side and undermined faith
in its ability to govern in the best interests of the game.

The ICC has been a willing accomplice in this process, approving Zimbabwe's
request to resume Test matches against Bangladesh and South Africa next year
with a side who have almost no first-class experience, let alone at the
highest level. Humiliation in those series will trigger opposition from
players and administrators concerned at protecting the game's integrity.

The sepia prints on the walls of the Queens Club, row upon row of all-white
teams, are a graphic illustration that things had to change in Zimbabwe. The
reality is that by hastening the transformation for their own ends, those
running the game have jeopardised its future.

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Waiting for the Bus
John Eppel

All along the road from Bulawayo
to Gwanda or Matopos or Vic Falls;
at bus-stops, lay-bys, under shadeless trees,
the people wait beside their bundled things.
All day long they wait, and sometimes all night
too, and the next day - anxiously waiting.
Waiting for the public transport to stop
and let them in and take them home. Waiting
with babies to nurse, children to comfort
and feed, chickens, the occasional goat.
They have learned to come prepared, with blankets,
izinduku, pots for cooking sadza.
Waiting for ZUPCO or SHU-SHINE, AJAY,
to get them to their Uncle's funeral,
their cousin's wedding, their baby brother's
baptism. Waiting with the new Camper Vans
cruising by. Anxious to be at work on
time. Anxious not to lose their jobs. Waiting.
They take their time now not by wrist-watches
but by the sun and the stars and the moon;
by the appearance of the mopani worms;
by the ripening of marula fruit;
by the coming of the rains. Not by bus
timetables but by birth, marriage and death.
And while they wait they count the jets that fly
to Harare and Johannesburg.
Liverish businessmen sucking whiskies
are in these jets. And Chefs with mistresses
wearing the latest digital watches,
Digital dolly-birds. All carry brief-
cases with combination locks, and next
to nothing inside: dark glasses perhaps;
and a newspaper to study the Stock
Exchange; something digital, perhaps, for
calculating profit . . . and more profit.
It's something for people to do while
they wait - counting the jets high overhead.
Often the vapour trails are the only
clouds in the sky. No Forex for buses,
They tell us, but the five-star hotels go
up, and another Boeing is purchased.
All day they wait; all night; long suffering.
And when, at last, a bus does stop, its tyres
are likely to be bald, its brakes likely
to be held together with wire, its body
battered, belching clouds of brain-tightening,
lung-collapsing smoke. Who's responsible?
"Not me," says the Chef dipping his fingers
in his girl-friend's cocktail, shifting his vast
belly, vast enough to accommodate
at least seven baby goats. "Don't look at
me," says the Managing Director, "my
bottom line is profit. I owe it to
the shareholders. Another whisky please."
And I don't think it is going to be any
different tomorrow or the next day
or the next. The time of sweet-becoming
is over. For those millions who depend
on buses, nothing has changed; only their
expectations have once again been dashed.
The time of bitter arrival is here:
not safe new buses, but the amassing
of personal wealth, the cultivation
of another crop of heroes. Street
names change, statues change; hotels go up, jets
go up, and the people go on waiting.

(c) 1995, John Eppel
From: Sonata for Matabeleland
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