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

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Reuters

Zimbabwe union fires 15 rebel players

Mon May 10, 2004 10:33 PM HARARE (Reuters) - The Zimbabwe Cricket
Union (ZCU) has fired former captain Heath Streak and 14 other rebel players
who went into dispute with the board last month.
A ZCU statement on Monday said the players had violated a 21-day
breach clause in their contracts by not returning to work by May 7.

The decision was taken at a ZCU board meeting earlier in the day.

The dispute started on April 2 when Streak's tenure as Zimbabwe
captain ended after he questioned the composition of the selection panel.

Fourteen other white players allied themselves with Streak, and the
group demanded arbitration on his removal from the captaincy, the
composition of the selection panel and alleged poor conduct of ZCU
officials.

The ZCU's decision to fire the players reached them while they were
meeting with their lawyer to draft their agreement to the board's offer of
mediation to resolve the dispute.

"We were talking about officially accepting mediation and we were
going to make ourselves available for practice," Stuart Carlisle, one of the
rebels, told Reuters.

"Then we got a phone call to say our contracts have been terminated."

Carlisle said the ZCU did not appear to have acknowledged that the
players suspended their boycott last week and made themselves available,
albeit temporarily.

"They did not accept that we remedied our original breach of contract
when we went back to practice last week," he said.

Carlisle said the ZCU had demanded that the players return their
sponsored vehicles by Wednesday and would pay them until Friday.

Carlisle said the dispute could end up in the civil courts.

"If they sue us, we will definitely counter-sue," Carlisle said. "We
feel we have a very strong case, and we're going to get an advocate
involved."

The dispute led to Zimbabwe selecting an inexperienced squad for the
one-day series against Sri Lanka, which the visitors won 5-0.

A team drawn from a similar squad lost the first test by an innings
and 240 runs on Saturday.

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news.com.au

Zimbabwe 'rebels' to sue
From correspondents in Harare
11may04
THE 15 white cricketers who had their contracts terminated today by the
Zimbabwe Cricket Union for "absenting themselves from work" will countersue
the union for breach of contract.

An advocate is being engaged by their lawyer Chris Venturas.

"I will serve the writ in the next few days on behalf of all the players. We
are going to court over this," Venturas said.

"We were at a players' meeting and were just finalising our letter to ZCU,
which was a formal agreement to a mediation process and setting out how we
saw a timetable, when they dropped this bombshell on us," he added.

"We were very much aware of the 21-day ultimatum to them to resume practice
and make themselves available. In fact that was going to happen tomorrow."

Three weeks ago, ZCU chairman Peter Chingoka gave the players until May 7 to
give up their dispute and return to training, and at the same time offer
themselves for selection "or face action".

Despite well-publicised moves by the players preparing to agree to a
mediation process - though they hoped this would develop into an arbitration
that was legally binding - the ZCU dropped the bombshell just hours before
the players were due to submit their letter.

A statement by the ZCU offered any of the players the chance individually to
make themselves available.

The board of directors said they were willing to "keep the door open" for
any willing and committed players to return to the fold.

Venturas said he felt certain the 12 players would stick together and that
none of them would break from the group and take up this offer.

It means that the team to meet Sri Lanka in the second of two Test matches
at Bulawayo, starting on Friday, will be similar to the one beaten by an
innings and 240 runs in Harare within three days last Saturday.

The ZCU statement said: "At a board meeting held in Harare on Monday May 10
the Zimbabwe Cricket Union agreed that as of Friday May 7 the dissenting
players who have been absent from work have violated the twenty-one day
breach clause as stated in their contracts. As a result the contracts of
these fifteen players has been terminated.

ZCU has, through legal counsel, officially informed legal counsel of the
fifteen players about the termination of their contracts."

It then goes on to make the offer to players to ask for their jobs back.

"They will be considered subject to their commitment, form and fitness."

It also invited the players to submit the name of a representative by June
30 "to assist with any future conflict resolution".

The 15 referred to are down to 12 as three are negotiating contracts in
England.
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VOA

Infighting Tears at Zimbabwe's Ruling Party
Peta Thornycroft
Harare
10 May 2004, 16:55 UTC

Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF Party is in turmoil, with a battle under way
between some veterans from the nationalist struggle of 25 years ago and more
recent appointments to President Robert Mugabe's cabinet. The latest
infighting centers on the accreditation of a team of television journalists
from Britain.
Late last week, British journalists from Sky News were accredited for a
series of reports from Zimbabwe. They became the first journalists from
Britain in more than three years to be allowed to operate legally in
Zimbabwe.

It has created some controversy. The arrival of the journalists was
facilitated by a veteran nationalist, Nathan Shamuyarira, who is the
official information spokesman for the Zanu-PF Party.

His colleague is Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, the volatile former
academic who shepherded the toughest media laws in Zimbabwe's history ahead
of presidential elections in 2002. That legislation included requirements
that all journalists be accredited, both domestic and foreign. The row over
Sky News's accreditation was apparently triggered by the fact that it was
done against the wishes of the information minister. The conflict was
highlighted in small-circulation, privately-owned newspapers that largely
support the ruling party, but not Mr. Moyo.

The Sky team broadcast its initial report Sunday, including the first
official visit of a foreign news crew to youth militia camps.

Mr. Shamuyarira was the Zanu-PF official interviewed by the Sky News
journalists.

Henry Dzinotywei, political analyst from the University of Zimbabwe, says
Zanu PF is riven with dissent, exacerbated by the country's continuing
economic crisis and the uncertainty over whether President Robert Mugabe is
going to retire and who would replace him.

Mr. Dzinotywei says the unstable politics of Zanu-PF indicates party leader
Mugabe is overstretched and not fully aware of the deep divisions.

The analyst also says the situation is becoming increasingly fractious as
Zanu-PF heavyweights jockey for position before parliamentary elections
scheduled for early next year.
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Zimbabwe: Private Schools Reopen

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

May 10, 2004
Posted to the web May 10, 2004

Johannesburg

Most private schools closed by the Zimbabwe government last week are set to
reopen, the Department of Education told IRIN on Monday.

An official confirmed on Monday that 43 of the 45 schools shut down by
government over a fees dispute had been cleared for reopening, and
discussions were ongoing over the fate of two others - a resolution
regarding them could soon be announced.

The 45 schools were closed last week after breaching the Education Act when
they increased fees and levies by more the allowed 10 percent without
seeking permission to do so from the Permanent Secretary for Education.

About 30,000 pupils were affected by the decision to close private schools.

Education department spokesman Beredias Nyanhete told IRIN that by Monday
letters had been sent to police, notifying them that 43 schools had "come to
some accommodation with the ministry" over the increased fees and were
allowed to reopen.

Last week Minister of Education Aeneas Chigwedere instructed police to
prevent the start of the second term at private schools until they had
reached agreement with the state over school fees. The letters sent out over
the weekend and on Monday requested the withdrawal of "police cadres" from
the premises of the 43 schools that had agreed to cut fees.

Private schools argued that the 10 percent increase allowed by the Education
Act fell far short of the cost of maintaining education standards and school
facilities.

Inflation in Zimbabwe has hovered around 600 percent as the country's
economic crisis pushes up prices for goods and services.

The closure of the private schools followed the suspension of 92 school
heads last term over the same issue.
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Photographer Detained

Media Institute of Southern Africa (Windhoek)

PRESS RELEASE
May 10, 2004
Posted to the web May 10, 2004

On May 4 2004, Desmond Kwande, a photographer with the Daily Mirror, was
detained for one hour by the police for attempting to take a picture of a
banner at a school that was under police guard.

According to the Daily Mirror of May 4 Kwande visited Eaglesvale High
School, which is one of the 45 schools closed by the government over
unauthorized hiking of school fees. Kwande was about to take a photo of a
banner at the school when a police officer, identified only as Constable
Chirenje, approached him demanding to know why he wanted to take the
picture. The police officer allegedly informed Kwande that he could not take
the pictures as it might result in the officer losing his job.

"Why do you (want to) take pictures of me which would make my bosses think I
was sleeping at work. In am here for a purpose, I am representing the
state," the police officer reportedly asked.

When told that the picture had nothing to do with him, the officer insisted
that Kwande's fate could only be determined by his superiors. The
photographer was released after the arrival of the officer in charge of
Marimba police station, situated in a suburb of the capital Harare.

BACKGROUND

On May 4 the Zimbabwe government closed 45, mostly private, schools which it
accused of hiking fees without approval. The police was deployed to enforce
the closures.
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Sunday Paper On the Cards

New Era (Windhoek)

May 10, 2004
Posted to the web May 10, 2004

Harare

NEW Era Publications Corporation and Zimbabwe Newspapers are set to launch a
Sunday weekly newspaper to be called The New Sunday Times.

The newspaper whose staff will be based in Windhoek could be launched as
early as July. This follows the signing a memorandum of understanding which
will see the two companies publishing the regional newspaper.

Plans to launch the regional newspaper follow the signing of a similar
memorandum of understanding by Zimbabwean Minister of State for Information
and Publicity Professor Jonathan Moyo and his Namibian counterpart, Nangolo
Mbumba, which paved the way for media organisations in both countries to
explore business opportunities in each country.

The memorandum of understanding between Zimbabwe and Namibia is aimed at
strengthening good relations in the field of information and was signed in
February this year.

Zimpapers group chief executive Justin Mutasa and New Era chief Executive
Protasius Ndauendapo signed the memorandum of understanding on May 4 in
Harare.

The New Sunday Times will carry news articles from Zimpapers, New Era and
others from the Southern African Development Community region, written from
an African perspective.

The Herald Assistant Editor Moses Magadza will be seconded as editor of The
New Sunday Times. New Era shall appoint an assistant editor.

Magadza will be based in Windhoek, Namibia.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Zimpapers chairman Herbert Nkala said from
its Namibia-based head office, The New Sunday Times would be marketed in
Namibia itself and Zimbabwe as well as the rest of the Sadc region.

He said while previous tendencies had been to look beyond the region for
investment, there was now "a paradigm shift that focuses on what we can do
for ourselves to create wealth for our countries, jobs for our people,
promote closer interaction and exploit the opportunities that already exist
within and outside our borders."

He noted that while the primary purpose of the joint venture was business,
it was also no secret that both Namibia and Zimbabwe, as well as other
countries in the region, were under threat from the global media, which has
sought to undermine the political gains that have been achieved by attacking
"our sovereignty, values and aspirations."

"With this newspaper, we will be entering a new era in regional co-operation
and translating political rhetoric that our governments have been well known
for into real business ventures," said Nkala.

Mutasa said the new publication would create business opportunities for
Zimbabwe, Namibia and the rest of the region.

Ndauendapo said the venture would give Zimpapers and New Era Publications
the opportunity to explore new avenues that would generate wealth.

He added that apart from establishing a Sunday newspaper, the joint venture
between the two institutions shall also set up a regional tourism magazine
during the course of this year. Ndauendapo further pointed out that the
relationship between his corporation and Zimbabwe Newspapers would also
cover co-operation in the field of exchange of news and information,
secondment of personnel to each other's institutions, training and capacity
building as well as exploration of other business and co-operation avenues.

He strongly refuted allegations being reported especially in the South
African media that the envisaged Sunday paper is a political creation by
President Sam Nujoma and President Robert Mugabe, saying that the initiative
to start the paper is an idea that was developed by the two institutions
without influence by a third party, including the two presidents.

He added that before the paper is established proper costing that includes
feasibility and viability studies, have commenced to ensure that it becomes
a viable business enterprise that is able to sustain itself.

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IPS

"We are everywhere" Says Shadowy Pro-Democracy Group

Wilson Johwa

BULAWAYO, May 10 (IPS) - "When they were interrogating me, they kept asking
about 'Zvakwana!'," says activist Gorden Moyo, describing his recent
detention by security officials in Zimbabwe. "I told them I don't know what
it's about."

Moyo is one of several campaigners and opposition party members who have
been questioned about this underground pro-democracy movement, whose Shona
name means 'enough'. Also referred to in Ndebele as 'Sokwanele!', the
organisation has Zimbabwean authorities scratching their heads in
exasperation.

Its central message is that the 24-year rule of President Robert Mugabe
should come to an end - this after four years of increasingly repressive
governance in the Southern African country. Zimbabwe has been in political
and economic turmoil since 2000 when veterans of the independence war and
other militants began occupying white-owned farms in a state-sanctioned
campaign.

Parliamentary elections held in 2000 and the presidential poll of 2002 were
both marred by political violence, much of directed against the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change. Zimbabwe now finds itself in the grip of
food shortages, triple-digit inflation and soaring unemployment.

At present, demonstrations and other forms of public protest are restricted
by legislation - ideal conditions, some would say, for the emergence of an
underground democracy movement.

During the past year, news of Zvakwana! has spread via word of mouth after
internet surfers spotted its web site (www.zvakwana.com). This quotes Polish
writer Ryszard Kapuscinski: "The indispensable catalyst is the word, the
explanatory idea. Uncontrolled words - circulating freely, underground,
rebelliously, uncertified - frighten tyrants."

Amongst other things, the site also provides "Activist tips" that include
pointers on how to deal with riot police ("Organise yourself in pairs. Keep
an eye out for your partner at all times. Make sure that you know their
personal details and who to contact in the event that they are hurt or
arrested.") and tear gas ("Stay calm and focused...When your body heats up
(from running or panicking, for example), irritation may increase.")

Zvakwana! describes itself as a "non-partisan, non-profit group
of...volunteers and visionaries - (who are) working to keep Zimbabweans
informed about...civic campaigns and public meetings and events." It also
claims to have "an activist wing that engages in non-violent civic actions."

The group appears unconcerned that Zimbabwean officials could burrow beneath
the anonymity of the internet to find out who its organisers are.

"The regime is fighting so many fires...that they do not have the resources
to find all their detractors," said the body in response to questions posted
on its website by IPS.

One of the "non-violent civic actions" that Zvakwana! is claiming credit for
was carried out before the Independence Day celebrations on Apr. 18. Some
activists spray painted lamp posts and the sewage pipe along Tongogara Road
in the capital - Harare - which Mugabe normally uses to travel to the
National Sports Stadium (where the celebration was held).

The activists also painted a Zvakwana! slogan, 'Get UP Stand UP', on
turnstiles and walls at the stadium. "There was so much graffiti," says the
group, that "the regime couldn't repaint it before Mugabe's trip, so he had
to take a different route!"

Another gimmick focuses on inserting messages of defiance into matchboxes,
which are then distributed.

Zvakwana! has even come up with a 15-track compact disc (CD) (the 'Get UP
Stand UP' compilation) to promote its cause. The CD, featuring 'Get Up Stand
Up' by Bob Marley, can be ordered free of charge. South African singer Hugh
Masekela's 'Change', which implores long-standing African leaders,
particularly Mugabe, to "say goodbye" is also included on the album. It
comes with Zvakwana!'s "revolutionary condoms" bearing the campaign logo, a
black 'Z' inside a yellow background.

In its e-mail interview with IPS, the group also claims to have distributed
hundreds of copies of a British Broadcasting Corporation documentary on the
camps where Zimbabwean youth are allegedly being trained to form a
paramilitary force that can be deployed against government opponents.
(Authorities claim the camps are simply training grounds where a sense of
national pride is instilled in young men and women.)

As CDs and videos don't come cheaply, these claims beg the question of who
is financing Zvakwana!. When asked about this, the group said it was "a
locally sponsored campaign in all respects. Pro-democracy groups and
supporters are putting their money towards creating positive change in
Zimbabwe."

So far, Zvakwana! appears to be enjoying some success in providing 'nuisance
value'. Police have stepped up efforts to locate those masterminding the
campaign, with spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena recently telling a weekly paper
that "These people...have been...spreading material and literature aimed at
inciting members of the public to lawlessness." He added that officials
would be "interested in talking to them."

Officers have questioned local artist Leonard Zhakata, who has a song
featured on the CD. Three weeks ago another man, who wanted to be identified
only as "Mehluli", was picked up by police who were looking for those who
had painted yellow hand prints, an emblem used by the opposition, across
Bulawayo. The authorities suspected a link between the hand prints and
Zvakwana! graffiti - although the group denies any association between the
two.

A friend of Mehluli's also had his home searched for the incriminating
yellow paint. "I think these guys don't know what they looking for," he told
IPS, requesting anonymity. "They are just fishing in the dark."

Zvakwana! says it will continue using alternative, non-violent means in its
campaign: "The regime can look for us, but we are everywhere."

With government last week ordering the closure of yet another newspaper, The
Tribune, the space in which Zimbabweans can express themselves has been
restricted still further. The fact that Zvakwana! has no office building, no
spokesperson or known campaign leader gives it an elusiveness which, given
current conditions, is a highly valuable commodity. (END/2004)
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MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE
BRIEFING NOTE
10 May 2004

For Further Information Please Contact:
Nkanyiso Maqeda, MDC Director of Information: 00263 91 248 570
James Littleton: 00 27 727 310 554 or 0027 21 447 9587
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"We are campaigning for the forthcoming elections. We are busy consolidating
our political hold countrywide. However, we must remain convinced that no
free and fair election is possible without substantial changes in the status
quo.I am happy to report that a national consensus on the way forward is
fast emerging throughout the country. Our campaign for an even climate
continues. Initial results show that we are making progress," said MDC
President Morgan Tsvangirai (4 May 2004)

MDC RALLIES
- 24 April, Hatcliffe (Harare).
Keynote Speakers: Morgan Tsvangirai ( MDC President) Prof Welshman Ncube
(MDC Sec Gen), Isaac Matongo (MDC Chair), Trudy Stevenson MP

- 25 April, Glen Norah (Harare)
Keynote Speakers: Morgan Tsvangirai, Priscilla Mishhairabwi - Mushonga (MP)

- 2 May, Makoni North (Manicaland)
Keynote Speakers: Morgan Tsvangirai, Isaac Matongo, Evelyn Masaiti MP,
Timothy Mubhawu (Provincial Chair)

- 8 May, Kambuzuma (Harare)
Keynote Speakers: Morgan Tsvangirai, Nelson Chamisa MP (MDC Youth Chair),
Elias Mudzuri

- 8 May, Lupane
Keynote Speakers: Njabuliso Mguni (candidate), Gibson Sibanda (MDC Vice
President) Prof Welshman Ncube

- 9 May, Dzivaresekwa (Harare)
Keynote Speakers: Morgan Tsvangirai, Lucia Matibenga (MDC Women's Chair),
Nelson Chamisa, Elias Mudzuri

POLITICAL VIOLENCE/INTIMIDATION

"Amnesty International is gravely concerned by the conduct of the Zimbabwe
police, who continue to illegally and arbitrarily arrest, harass and
ill-treat Zimbabwean citizens as part of a systematic clampdown on freedom
of expression, freedom of association and assembly." 5 May 2004

Zanu PF Supporters Attempt To Disrupt MDC Rally in Lupane
Zanu PF supporters attempted to disrupt an MDC campaign rally in Lupane on
Sunday 2 May. The rally was aimed at mobilising support for the MDC's
candidate in the forthcoming by-election, Njabuliso Mguni. The by-election
is scheduled to be held on 15-16 May.

According to reports on the ground, a convoy of cars and trucks marked with
Zanu PF symbols arrived at the venue of the rally carrying scores of Zanu PF
supporters. The Zanu PF supporters then proceeded to encircle the hundreds
of MDC supporters who had gathered peacefully to listen to speeches from the
candidate and other party members. Fearing a violent attack from the Zanu
PF contingent, many of the crowd fled, however, the majority stayed and
refused to be intimidated by the callous Zanu PF tactics.

MDC Supporters Attacked After Attending Rally
After a rally held in the constituency of Makoni North on 6 May, several MDC
supporters were brutally attacked in their homes by Zanu PF supporters. Zanu
PF gangs conducting door to door searches, hunting down people suspected of
having attended the MDC rally.

MDC supporters Douglas Chipinduka his wife Joyce Katunga, Judith Chikadiwa,
Barbara Munyaradzi and Marshall Muchipi were abducted by a group of about 20
Zanu PF thugs and taken to Makombe business centre where they were severely
assaulted. The five were tortured for over eight hours before being
released. The police have made no arrests despite the fact that some of the
perpetrators have been named.

Innocent Couple Fight For Their Lives
A couple from South Africa, visiting relatives in Lupane last week, are
fighting for their lives after being viciously assaulted by a group of Zanu
PF supporters. Jacob Tshuma and his wife Sicingeni, neither of whom are
involved with the MDC, were attacked after being accused of funding MDC
rallies in Lupane.

Harrassment/Intimidation of MDC Mayors
In municipal elections held in August 2003, the MDC built on the previous
successes in Harare, Bulawayo, Chegutu and Kadoma by winning control of
Victoria Falls, Mutare, Gweru, Masvingo, Gwanda, Redcliffe and Kariba.
Overall, the results left the MDC in charge of Zimbabwe's 12 major towns and
cities, a clear endorsement from the people.

Rather than accepting the will of the electorate, the Zanu PF government
appears determined to reverse these democratic gains, through whatever means
necessary, a perspective that has been substantiated by developments in
recent months:

- Mugabe has appointed governors in Harare and Bulawayo in a move clearly
aimed at usurping the powers of the elected MDC mayors.

- The Mayor of Harare, Elias Mudzuri, was dismissed two weeks ago by Mugabe
on spurious grounds.

- The Mayor of Mutare, Misheck Kagurabadza, was recently subjected to gross
intimidation when scores of Zanu PF supporters were bused in to besiege his
offices. The police refused to intervene. He returned the following day to
witness police escorting Zanu PF supporters to his office whereupon they
proceeded to tie the handles of his office door with wire.

- The Mayor of Kariba, suffered similar treatment to his MDC counterpart in
Mutare, when his office was recently surrounded by Zanu PF supporters.

The Mayor of Chegutu, Blessing Dhlakama, has been threatened with eviction
from his council offices on several occasions by Zanu PF supporters.

Note: According to an article published recently in the Standard, the
Governor of Harare, has started to recruit members of the notorious Zanu PF
youth militia to council positions. This move is clearly aimed at removing
the MDC's influence in council affairs which is no doubt an integral part of
Zanu PF's strategy ahead of next year's parliamentary elections.

NCA Arrests
On 28 April, three members of the National Constitutional Assembly were
severely assaulted by police and several others arrested after the NCA
attempted to hold a peaceful demonstration in Harare.

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PRESS FREEDOM

Since the draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
(AIIPA) was promulgated in March 2002 over a 100 journalists have been
arrested for purportedly violating its stringent provisions. All the
journalists arrested were from Zimbabwe's increasingly besieged independent
press. To date no journalists working for the state media have been
arrested.

Last week, junior Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo, the chief architect
of Zimbabwe offensive media laws, issued further threats against journalists
operating outside of the comfort zone of the sycophantic state media. He
warned that there 'was enough space in Zimbabwe's prisons for journalists
caught dealing with foreign media houses'. In the same week, Tafataona
Mahoso, the Chair of the notorious Media and Information Commission (the
body responsible for closing down the Daily News) threatened to close down
The Tribune, an independent weekly paper, on the grounds that it was
operating 'illegally'. All this happened in the same week as the world
celebrated World Press Freedom Day.

"Today, on 'World Press Freedom Day' the MDC congratulates the thousands of
brave journalists worldwide who continue to stand up to oppressive regimes
and courageously expose their criminal failings, at great personal risk..The
MDC congratulates in particular those journalists in Zimbabwe working for
the independent media. These journalists are heroes of democracy," said Paul
Themba Nyathi (3 May)

MISA[1] Slams Zimbabwe Press Freedom
In its annual report published last week, MISA confirmed that Zimbabwe has
the worst record in terms of media freedom. According to MISA's findings,
54% of the total of 188 alerts issued last year on possible violations of
press freedoms concerned Zimbabwe.

Media Lawyers Lobby Parliament
At its recent conference in Masvingo, the Zimbabwe Media Lawyers Network
adopted a resolution to lobby parliament to amend or repeal laws that
undermine press freedoms:
"Parliament must be urged to amend or repeal current laws like the
Broadcasting Services Act, Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act (AIPPA) and the Public Order and Security Act (POSA)"

ECONOMY

On April 21 2004, the Reserve Bank Governor presented his Monetary Policy
Review Statement (MPRS). Set out below are some of the salient points raised
by Hon Tendai Biti (MDC Secretary for Economic Affairs) in his critique and
analysis of the MPRS.

- The Review failed to deal with the structural crisis vis--vis the
Zimbabwe economy

- Whilst there has been a slight decrease in monthly inflation, the problem
for ordinary Zimbabweans is that inflation as they experience it is still
well in excess of the official rate of 584%, whilst incomes have failed to
keep pace resulting in a continuous decline in living standards.

- The introduction of an auction 'floor' rate of Z$5,200 to the US$ is
nowhere near sufficient to restore the viability of the export market. The
MDC's estimate is that a devaluation to at least Z$6000 is necessary
immediately, plus the removal of the 25% surrender requirement (equivalent
to a 39% devaluation from the previous blend rate).

- It is clear from the MPRS that the regime intends to continue its policy
of suppressed interest rates, even for so called non-productive lending.
This being the case, what the interest rate policy will continue to do is
expand the inflationary base of the economy, impose a heavy tax on savers,
encourage excessive borrowing and increase financial sector vulnerability.

- The Governor notes that the budget was fortuitously close to being
balanced in 2003 and assumes that this performance will continue in 2004.
However, even if the underlying revenue and expenditure are kept in balance,
RBZ's own money supply management, which has had the effect of enormously
increasing government debt, coupled with a much higher interest rates in
Treasury Bills, will mean an enormous increase in the interest burden this
year. The funding of top-ups to reach the auction floor-price of Z$5,200/US$
will also have adverse fiscal consequences which are not properly analysed
in the MPRS.

- One of the key omissions from the MPRS is the huge increase in domestic
debt consequent on the profligate way in which the Reserve Bank set about
shoring up poorly managed banks and doling out cheap finance to any borrower
who could present themselves as 'productive'. One of the costs of this
ill-considered strategy has been a 135% increase in domestic debt in just
three months from the end of December (Z$590.7 billion) to end of March
(Z$1,387.9 billion).

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FOOD CRISIS

"In the past the regime has demonstrated a consistent, callous, indifference
to the suffering of the people by only giving food aid to those who
demonstrate unwavering loyalty to Zanu PF. This evil strategy will no doubt
become the dominant theme of Zanu PF's election campaign over the coming
months as Zimbabwe moves towards crucial parliamentary elections, scheduled
to be held in March 2005," said Paul Themba Nyathi (10 May 2004)

MDC Shadow Agriculture Minister, Renson Gasela, has produced a detailed
assessment of crop forecasts for the next 12 months. Hon Gasela estimates
that Zimbabwe will have a shortfall of at least 600,000 tones of grain,
perhaps as much as 900,000.

Research conducted by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation, has warned
that eight million Zimbabweans face severe food shortages this year due to
the dramatic drop in grain production. FES pointed out that the food deficit
is being made deliberately worse by the policies pursued by the Zimbabwe
government and its statutory monopoly, the Grain Marketing Board.

The price of bread recently increased by 50% due to the chronic shortage of
flour. Bread is now selling in most shops for between Z$2,800 and Z$3,000

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END

[1] Media Institute for Southern Africa
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ZW News

Notes from St George's...
Brendan Tiernan
Date posted:Mon 10-May-2004
Date published:Mon 10-May-2004

Back to previous page
It was 3.40 pm Monday 3rd May...

Some Notes by St. George's College headmaster on closure of Private
Schools in Zimbabwe

It was 3.40 pm Monday 3rd May, the day before the Second Term was due
to reopen. The Staff Briefing of the morning was over; the crisp clear blue
of a wintry Zimbabwean sky gleamed through my windows and the noisy chatter
of returning boarders keen to meet up with their fellows, if not eager to
have returned to school, filtered in from the background.

Incongruously enough two police constables were shown into my office,
Dzvairo and Mutinyinde; they said they had come from 'DISPOL' (the rather
Orwellian abbreviation for Harare District Police Headquarters) to tell me
to close the school with immediate effect. To do such a serious thing, I
replied, I needed written authorization; please could I see it. No they had
none, but I could phone their superior officer. Several attempts to do this
were unsuccessful, so I asked them to record my extreme reluctance to carry
out this instruction without having sight of any official document. On their
way out, I suggested that if the school had to close tomorrow, they should
go and warn our near neighbour and parent (His Excellency, the President)
that he could not send his son to school . a wry grin indicated their
reluctance to perform this frivolous request.

In truth this police visitation did not take us completely by surprise
as messages from schools in the country areas about police closing their
gates trickled in from midday. The day's headlines in the 'official'
newspaper had also indicated that something was afoot; although the Chairman
of the ATS - the local private schools' umbrella association - had been
assured by the Permanent Secretary only a week before that school closures
were not on the agenda and this had lulled us in to believing that closure
was not a likely outcome. Any remaining doubts were dispelled the next
morning when a couple of police constables were manning our gates by 6.00
am. , and we were left with no alternative but to ask boarders to return
home, and the day scholars were not allowed through the gates.

A 'softening up' process was launched on Wednesday evening whereby
various Heads around the country were arrested, and maintaining the fiction
that they were responsible for raising fees, the Police brought charges
against them for supposedly violating the Education Act. Two rather
aggressive young constables knocked on my door at 7.00 pm. And said that
they were taking me in. This was a little euphemistic; they had been sent on
foot from Harare Central Police Station - a distance of about 5 kms - and
unless I could provide transport, on foot we would be returning. On the
grounds that I would phone to borrow school transport, I was able to make
several calls for assistance before I drove us to the Police Station.

A rather unpleasant Inspector Rugara oversaw the taking of my
particulars before I was led below to the holding cells to be detained
overnight, according to them. No charges were preferred. Happily for me, I
was released about half an hour later - the result, I think, of a phone call
from someone in authority. Ordered to report back at 8.00 am. on Thursday, I
was indeed charged with violating the Education Act by raising fees and then
released. My friend and colleague, Jon Calderwood, the Rector of Peterhouse
was detained for 18 hours at Marondera Police Station.

More cheerful information reached us on Thursday that an application
to the High Court by the PTA of our Prep. School to have the Minster's
closure of schools declared illegal was successful. The Prep school was
permitted to open on the Friday and the police at their gate removed.
Despite this successful legal outcome other schools including ourselves
continued to be blockaded by the Police. School Authorities were informed to
collect documents from the Ministry of Education office which were to inform
them what fees could be charged, to sign their agreement to these documents,
and to return them by Friday at 4.00 pm. or risk the 'nationalization' of
their schools. If they signed, the police would be removed and schools would
be allowed to open on Monday next.

In our document we were to be allowed to charge approximately one
third of what our Finance Committee had recommended. Board Members hastily
gathered on Friday and consensus was quickly reached that this was not a
viable option. The document was not signed and we now await the response to
this situation with some apprehension. According to local media, however, a
majority of schools have signed and will be allowed to open on Monday. We
may follow the Prep. School's route and seek an injunction in the High Court
to have the closure declared illegal.

The issue of fees is, of course, related to hyper inflation which is
at levels of 600%. (At Independence in 1980 the Zimbabwean Dollar was on a
par with the UK Pound. A Pound now trades at close to Z$10000) In order to
retain staff most schools have endeavoured to keep salaries on track with
inflation. Schools are self-supporting, depending entirely on their fee
income for survival. Inflation and mismanagement have wrought havoc with the
government education sector; we were informed by the media that 80
government and mission school Headmasters were recently suspended by the
Ministry for increasing, with parental consent, their 'voluntary' levies
without Ministry approval.

Fees in the private sector, and levies in the government sector do
require Ministry of Education approval; but the Education Act also requires
the Ministry to respond to any such applications 'without delay'. Perhaps
fearing the wrath of their political masters should they give the wrong
answer but also recognizing the problems on the ground, the Ministry has
become increasingly dilatory about making any responses to applications,
seeking refuge in silence, and schools have gone ahead and implemented their
fee and levy increases without formal approval. (We submitted our
application for fee increases in December and prior to the current
contretemps had had no formal response.)

Brendan Tiernan, Headmaster St. George's College

Footnote: In May 2002 Brendan Tiernan was charged with violating
Zimbabwe's notorious Public Order and Security Act when he expressed to the
parents of the school his opinion that the 2002 Presidential Elections had
not been free and fair. No court case has yet resulted.
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Trinidad and Tobago Express

Press under pressure

By Raymond Ramcharitar

Monday, May 10th 2004

AT the ripe old age of 31, when most of her peers in the metropolitan
countries, and even from our own fantasy of cosmopolitanism (Diego Martin)
are out partying, starting families, or enjoying the fruits of their
education, Nqobile Nyathi has been arrested twice, and lives in fear of
harassment by police, soldiers, and government thugs in her home, Zimbabwe.

This might sound like the opening of a down-on-the-luck kind of story,
but in this case, it's not.

Nyathi is the editor of Zimbabwe's Daily News newspaper, and being a
journalist in that country is a not nearly as pleasant as being a journalist
in our (by comparison) fair isle.

During a feature address she recently delivered at the recently
concluded Commonwealth Journalists Association conference at UWI, St
Augustine, Nyathi spoke about the tactics that Robert Mugabe has used to
keep his grip on power since his re-election in a dubious election in 2003.
These include the passing of laws which make it a crime to insult him, which
she has been arrested for. The Daily News published a cartoon of a man
running from a crowd of people calling him "thief".

But standing in the foyer at the UWI's Learning Resource Centre, last
Tuesday, apart from the all-black outfit Nyathi could have been a UWI
post-graduate student, right down to the harassed look-but this because her
luggage arrived a day after she did.

She had by then given her address the previous night, and as we stood
talking at least two people interrupted to congratulate her effusively,
which congratulations she accepted almost uncomfortably.

The Daily News began publishing in 1999, but is published sporadically
these days because of harassment, a bombing of the press in 2001, and legal
problems and police harrasment brought on by Mugabe's licensing laws.

According to the BBC website, the Daily News was published last
Saturday for the first time in six weeks, but this was apparently in
violation of a court order, and the paper was raided by police.

All this Nyathi-the arrests, harassment, intimidation-she relates with
equanimity, a patience beyond her years. This is because this struggle has
been hers all her adult life. Literally. She does not appear to have much
time for anything but journalism.

At 31, she has no partner, and no plan to get married.

"Journalism takes up all your time," she says. "There really isn't
time for anything else."

She grew up in the city (Harare) the daughter of a nurse and the
manager of a milling company. She studied (on scholarship) in Rhodes
University in South Africa, and took her first degree in media and
journalism. According to the terms of her scholarship, she was supposed to
have worked as a journalist for a year at home, then returned to do
post-graduate work.

But it didn't quite turn out that way.

"Once I started working as a journalist, I really got into it," she
says. She was promoted to business editor of the Daily News at the age of
27, and has not looked back since. While it might seem unusual for a young
woman to have risen at that rate, Nyathi says that it is not unusual for
young women to enter the profession in Zimbabwe. She notes approvingly that
in Trinidad, many young women are also in journalism, and many are in
positions of power. "That's really impressive," she says.

But her stories of being a journalist are not like the stories you'd
be likely to hear from a local practitioner. While she has been arrested
twice, she has never been detained. The jail conditions she described in her
address are remarkably reminiscent of our own. "The cells," she said in her
lecture, "are often not fit for human habitation. A large number of people
are crammed into small spaces originally intended to accommodate only four
or five.

"Most of those detained have to sleep on the floor and have to contend
with lice and sometimes human waste flowing from crude and unsanitary toilet
facilities.

These people are not allowed to wash until the day they are released
or are due to appear in court."

She has been able to evade detention, so far, she said, by hiding when
the police came home to arrest her. "They would come on a Friday night, so
you'd have to spend the weekend in jail," she says impassively.

More than ten journalists have been arrested in Zimbabwe since 1999,
and at least two have claimed they were tortured while incarcerated. The BBC
report about the reappearance of the Daily News also mentioned that 18
journalists had been detained.

After a three-day visit, Nyathi left Trinidad to return to Zimbabwe
last Wednesday.

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The Herald

RBZ sets up banking facility for diplomats

Business Reporter
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has formally introduced a special banking
facility specifically targeted at the diplomatic community, non-governmental
and international organisations in its efforts to harness all sources of
foreign currency.

The facility, the first of its kind to be availed to the respective
communities by the central bank, commenced with three products, namely,
corporate foreign currency accounts (FCAs), individual FCAs and a local
currency cash encashment service for all FCA holders.

The facility, which is the brainchild of the governor of the Reserve Bank,
Dr Gideon Gono, will not attract any extra charges and will also be
available to Zimbabweans who work for diplomatic missions, non-governmental
and international organisations.

Under the facility, daily foreign currency withdrawal by members of the
institutions has been increased from US$500 to US$5 000 while cash
withdrawals for travel purposes will be limited to the current level of US$1
000.

Officials said service would be provided at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
headquarters along Samora Machel Avenue.

Foreign currency deposits of both cash over the counter and wire transfers,
through secure communication lines, will also be available under the
facility while all transactions will be at the rate of $5 200 to the US
dollar or the auction rate whichever is higher.

A nominal charge will be levied to clients, plus recovery of direct costs.
Transactions will be conducted in strict compliance with the laws and
regulations of the country particularly the Exchange Control regulations.

Foreign exchange generation has become a priority at the central bank. Dr
Gono has already introduced incentives to harness foreign exchange from
exporters and Zimbabweans living abroad.

Foreign exchange from the diaspora has been given greater importance. The
Reserve Bank has set up a team that is going to negotiate with Zimbabweans
abroad on finding appropriate ways of bringing back home funds through
formal channels.

Importance of diaspora funds has gained significant prominence in world
financial flows, with the World Bank estimating that as much as US$95
billion is transferred worldwide each year.

In countries like Mexico, diaspora funds transfers bring in as much as
US$13,2 billion per year, becoming the second largest foreign exchange
earner after oil exports while in Senegal, remittances of labour payments
are estimated to constitute 90 percent of household incomes.

In order to encourage members of the public holding foreign currency within
the country and outside Zimbabwe to sell their holdings voluntarily, the
Reserve Bank has asked banks to purchase such funds from walk-in clients
with no questions being asked.
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The Telegraph, Calcutta

Streak sorts out farming issues
Harare: Former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak met with a government
representative on Sunday, not to determine his cricketing future but rather
his family's farming interests.

Streak was removed as team captain last month after he demanded
changes to the national selection panel. When that were rejected, Zimbabwe
Cricket Union chairman Peter Chingoka announced a decision to remove Streak
"by accepting his resignation". Streak, though, insists he has not resigned.

On Sunday, Streak joined his father Dennis and a group of farmers at
the Turk Mine Sports Club about 40 km north of Bulawayo to meet up with
Robert Mugabe's governor for the Matabeleland area where they live.

Details of the talks were not available but discussions dealt with
Streak's farming, ranching and hunting safari operations.

Their Robins farm and Entsokozweni safari camp have been occupied by a
large number of local settlers since Mugabe began his land reform programme
in 2000.

Streak, 30 will play for Warwickshire in July, August and early
September. (Reuters)

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IOL

Lessons in tyranny as Mugabe targets schools

May 09 2004 at 10:16AM

By Basildon Peta

Already shocked at being used as scapegoats for the forced closure of
private schools, Zimbabwe's dwindling white population is bracing for yet
another onslaught from President Robert Mugabe.

About 46 private schools were closed after Mugabe branded them racist for
charging exorbitant fees to "block access" to poor black pupils. Mugabe has
since threatened to convert them into public schools.

Despite a court order that nullified the closure, 30 000 children were out
of school this week.

"They [private schools] throw Africans out by hiking fees," said Aeneas
Chigwedere, the education minister, on state TV. "We are dealing with racist
schools here. They are all racist." However, after the exodus of whites from
Zimbabwe following the seizures of their properties, only 20 percent of the
pupils in private schools are white.

"It is the same old story of scapegoating the white population for this
regime's failures," said a white Zimbabwean who preferred to remain
anonymous. "We fear the worst."

Most of the schools remained shut on Friday with a heavy police presence at
their entrances. White fears are being fanned by the populistic tactics the
government has adopted to garner votes ahead of the March poll. Despite
declaring his land invasions at an end in December 2002, Mugabe has
continued to seize land. His attention has now shifted to larger plantations
owned by multinational companies. The Zimbabwe Independent newspaper singled
out the productive Triangle Sugar Estates "as the government moves to
expropriate all private farmland".

Emmerson Mnangagwa, the speaker of parliament, announced government plans to
acquire the estates last weekend at a Workers' Day rally in Chiredzi .

The Zimbabwe Independent said Triangle Ltd and Hippo Valley Estates had been
designated for compulsory acquisition. Anglo American Corporation and
Tongaat Hulett, who own the two estates, have lodged objections with John
Nkomo, the minister of special affairs responsible for land reform.

Last month the government forcibly ejected the owners of Kondozi Farm in
Odzi, the prominent De Klerk family and their black partner, Edwin Moyo.
Kondozi Farm earns about $15-million (about R105-million) annually in
horticultural exports .

The Zimbabwe National Army has remained at Charleswood Estate in eastern
Zimbabwe despite a high court order to vacate the property in favour of the
white owner, opposition Movement for Democratic Change MP Roy Bennett. The
government also plans to seize Surrey Abattoir, Zimbabwe's biggest abattoir,
as well as Foyle Farm in the Mazowe area, which has high-tech dairy
production facilities and irrigation equipment. - Foreign Service

.. This article was originally published on page 5 of The Sunday
Independent on May 09, 2004
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Independent (UK)

ICC seek to extend their power after huge defeat in Harare
The Zimbabwe crisis: World governing body want freedom to act after
one-sided victory opens up the prospect of farce
By Stephen Brenkley
09 May 2004

Discreet efforts are being made to give the International Cricket
Council more authority after Zimbabwe's defeat yesterday by an innings and
240 runs. The ICC have been derided recently for their policy towards the
country, but officials have been powerless to act beyond agreed boundaries.

The issue of broadening the ICC's mandate will be discussed at the
executive board meeting in London next month. But the incentive for moving
before then is becoming transparent each time Zimbabwe take the field. If
the team's weaknesses are agreed to be self-evident, the pressure will grow
on all other full members to allow the ICC to do something.

Zimbabwe, containing five debutants, were defeated in the First Test
against Sri Lanka before tea on the third day in a predictably one-sided
match, which will be remembered because Muttiah Muralitharan broke the
Test-wicket record. The only bright spot was the prospect of a possible
settlement in the dispute between the Zimbabwe Cricket Union and 15 of their
leading white players. A mediator has been appointed, prompting the rebel
players to make themselves available for the Second Test next Friday.

Given that several accomplished players had already departed, Zimbabwe
are effectively fielding a third team in the series against Sri Lanka, and
are shortly due to play Australia. Although there has been no official
comment, ICC officials have been fearful of the international game being
turned into a laughing stock.

The extent of the ICC's power was put into perspective by their
president, Ehsan Mani, last week. He said: "The ICC have no mandate or
authority from their members to unilaterally interfere in disputes between
the people who govern the game in a particular country and the people who
play cricket there. Malcolm Speed and his team have no authority to
intervene in this dispute and are unlikely to be given any such authority by
the other Test-playing countries."

Speed, the ICC's chief executive, and other senior officers, have had
a series of talks behind closed doors with the ZCU that were believed to be
"very frank", but public comment has been impossible. The long-simmering row
between the players and the union reached a head after the captain, Heath
Streak, wrote a letter detailing his concerns about the composition of the
selection panel and that the side was selected on racial grounds. The union
then announced Streak's immediate retirement, and the players responded by
walking out.

The impasse since then has diverted attention from the continuing
debate about England's scheduled tour to Zimbabwe in October. At the same
time, however, it has also heightened the dilemma. Allegations about the
conduct of President Robert Mugabe's government in the country at large,
which have fuelled the moral argument about touring, have been augmented by
the apparent machinations of the government inside the ZCU.

Amid this, the ICC and Speed have been regularly criticised for
inaction at best and promoting despotism at worst. But the ICC can only
carry out the wishes of their members and operate in the confines set down
for them, while also trying to avoid splits in that membership.

Brendan McClements, the general manager of corporate affairs, said:
"The ICC have a certain mandate from members. It was different during the
World Cup last year because that was an ICC tournament, but series between
two countries are the responsibilities of the individual boards involved."

But it is clear that Zimbabwe are ill-equipped to compete, and the
longer they keep being crushed the more the international game looks
ridiculous. The fact that Muralitharan took his tally of wickets to 521,
overhauling Courtney Walsh's 519, was almost the least of it. Mur- ali was
bound to do it against someone.

When Zimbabwe were 18 for 5, New Zealand's 1956 record low of 26
loomed briefly into view. A recovery of sorts to 102 was staged, but the
distinct prospect remains of worthless records being set.

Another aspect of the dispute causing increasing anxiety is the
treatment of cricket journalists in Zimbabwe. Two have been expelled
recently - Mihir Bose of the Daily Telegraph and the South African freelance
Telford Vice. The case of Vice, who had all the appropriate accreditation,
particularly concerned the ICC.

While the ICC insist that this is a matter for the ZCU to sort out,
they are gently seeking more influence, aware that when Australia tour
Zimbabwe there will be more reporters present, some from England. If they
are not allowed to do their job, it will make the game look even more
ridiculous. The Cricket Writers' Club in England and South African reporters
have written to the ICC expressing disquiet.

Zimbabwe's team for the Second Test will be announced imminently. If
the rebel players are largely ignored by selectors, the cricket world may
have to do more than stand and stare in disbelief. The repercussions could
be enormous.

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MDC PRESS

10 May 2004

Decision to Ban UN Crop Survey Team Is Deeply Disturbing

The decision by the Zanu PF government to ban representatives from the UN World Food Programme from conducting an assessment of crop forecasts and food stocks in Zimbabwe, is deeply disturbing given Zanu PFs penchant for using food as a political weapon.

The ban is not surprising. The government has predicted absurd crop forecasts for this year, claiming that the country will produce 1.7 million tonnes of maize. Their forecasts have been dismissed by aid agencies as a gross distortion of the reality on the ground. At a recent press conference the MDC publicised the findings of our own extensive research into crop forecasts. We estimated that the government will have a shortfall of at least 600,000 tonnes of grain, perhaps as much as 900,000.

It is clear that the UN team would have exposed the lie that characterises Zanu PFs crop forecasts, an exposure that would underline the inherent failings of their mismanaged land reform programme.

What is more disturbing however is the sinister political agenda that the MDC suspects lies behind the decision taken by the government. By preventing the UN from carrying out their assessment, the government has, in effect, began the process of terminating their involvement in the area of food aid support for the foreseeable future. .

This deliberate and politically motivated move will place millions of hungry Zimbabweans at the mercy of Mugabe and Zanu PF for food support. In the past the regime has demonstrated a consistent, callous, indifference to the suffering of the people by only giving food aid to those who demonstrate unwavering loyalty to Zanu PF. This evil strategy will no doubt become the dominant theme of Zanu PFs election campaign over the coming months as Zimbabwe moves towards crucial parliamentary elections, scheduled to be held in March 2005.

For the sake of millions of innocent Zimbabweans, the MDC urges the UN and aid agencies to be resolute and remain involved in food distribution. If food distribution becomes the sole domain of Zanu PF Zimbabwe risks a politically motivated humanitarian catastrophe that will result in huge loss of life.

Paul Themba Nyathi

MDC Secretary for Information and Publicity

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misna

REFUGEES REMAIN IN ZIMBABWE: "IT IS TOO DANGEROUS IN KIGALI"
Peace/Justice, Brief

Despite declaration by Rwandan President Paul Kagame on security in
his nation, thousands of refugees prefer to remain abroad rather than return
to their villages in the Thousand Hills nation. The Rwandan refugees in
Zimbabwe have for the moment decided to remain in the large camp of
Tongogara in Chipinge, in the south, which hosts around 500, as well as the
over 3-thousand spread out in the suburbs of the capital Harare. But Kigali
and Rwanda are still too dangerous, as stated by the refugees to
representatives of the UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees),
that for days have been attempting in vein to convince Rwandans to adhere to
the repatriation programme promoted by the UN. "It is still too insecure to
return to Rwanda, because the people are being abducted by government
agents", stated to the UN Irin news service John Bagabo, a Rwandan that
took refuge in Zimbabwe in 1998 and never returned since. According to Irin
news, the refugees are for the most part Hutus, who fled toward Harare in
1994 during the months of the genocide, in which between 500-800thousand
Tutsi and moderate Hutu were killed, after which power was seized by the FPR
(Rwandan Patriotic Front) of Kagame, who today is Head of State. In Zimbabwe
there are also another 10-thousand refugees from the Democratic Republic of
Congo and Burundi, the other two nations of the African Great Lakes Region
torn by wars that in the past years caused the flight of hundreds of
thousands of people.

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IOL

SA high commissioner to visit 'mercenaries'

May 10 2004 at 02:55PM

A consular visit by the South African High Commission in Harare to the
70 South Africans being detained on charges of planning to overthrow an
African government will take place on Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Affairs
Minister Aziz Pahad said in Pretoria on Monday.

Pahad said the visit, scheduled to take place on Friday, had run into
"technical problems" but would go ahead on Tuesday. This is the first
official visit by a group of embassy officials to monitor the well being of
the prisoners and to relay any messages.

The department of foreign affairs said, however, that ambassadorial
visits had taken place on a number of occasions.

Pahad again reiterated that the government would not interfere in the
judicial process despite announcements by lawyers representing the alleged
mercenaries, that a free and fair trial would be impossible.

Pahad however added that if they were found guilty and sentenced to
death, the South African government would enter into discussions with the
country concerned.

"As you know we are against the death penalty," he said.

But until then the trial had to run its course in court, Pahad said
explaining that if the government did intervene it would set a precedent.

"We can't challenge the capacity of countries to hold fair trials.
South Africans are filling up jails in Latin America and Asia with drug
related charges," Pahad said. If the government intervened in one case it
would be asked to do so again.

Seventy South Africans have been detained in Zimbabwe on allegations
that they were on route to Equatorial Guinea to partake in a coup. Other
South Africans are currently on trial in Equatorial Guinea. - Sapa

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Water Blues Resurface in Mabvuku, Tafara

The Herald (Harare)

May 10, 2004
Posted to the web May 10, 2004

Harare

SOME parts of Mabvuku and Tafara have gone for days without water as the
Harare City Council battles to normalise supplies after one of the city's
water treatment works developed problems.

Harare City Council public relations manager Mr Leslie Gwindi said the
affected areas lie on high ground and take longer to get water.

Mr Gwindi said pumping at Morton Jaffray Waterworks had started and that
would improve the water level at the Letombo reservoir, which would
subsequently pump to the northern suburbs.

He said as part of the ongoing efforts to improve water supplies to all
areas, places such as Highfield and Southerton were expected to have been
cut off at the weekend on Saturday to facilitate fitting of 750mm pipes at
Letombo.

However, residents in suburbs such as New Mabvuku said the situation was
critical as they had gone for days without water forcing residents to get
water from unprotected sources like Cleveland Dam.

Secretary-general of the Mabvuku Residents' Association Mr. Mike Banda said
the situation had affected key services such as such health institutions and
schools.

"It is worrying that the water problems come when the efforts of Harare
Resident Minister Cde Witness Mangwende are bearing fruits as we now have a
clean environment," he said.

Residents have since resorted to fetching water from unprotected sources or
from some enterprising people who have taken advantage of the situation to
sell water.

One resident said it was distressing that they were now having to pay double
to get water and expressed anger at council for not coming up with a lasting
solution to the problem that seems to have become a perennial.
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