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

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News24

New Zim crackdown: Editor held
19/05/2004 20:50 - (SA)

Harare - The editor of Zimbabwe's only independent Sunday newspaper was
arrested late on Wednesday with one of his reporters for questioning about
an article on the killing of a mining company executive.

The May 16 report said family blamed unidentified "senior government
officers" for last week's shooting.

Six police arrived on Wednesday at The Standard's Harare offices demanding
that editor Bornwell Chakaodza and reporter Valentine Maponga accompany them
for questioning, said deputy editor David Masunda.

"They were told it would take only a few minutes, but when they got there,
they were arrested," said Masunda.

Police were not available for comment.

The arrests are part of a heavy crackdown on dissent in Zimbabwe.

Chakaodza, who previously edited the state-run Herald, was dismissed from
that newspaper in June 2002 after publishing editorials criticising the
government's often-violent seizure of thousands of white-owned farms for
redistribution to black Zimbabweans.

Since his appointment at The Standard last year, Chakaodza has been arrested
six times for allegedly defaming the government and its employees.

He has so far not been tried on any of the charges.
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Reuters

Zimbabwe series in crisis as rebels rule out return

Wed May 19, 2004 8:51 PM HARARE (Reuters) - The threat to Zimbabwe's
home test series against Australia grew on Wednesday after a group of
leading 'rebel' players said they did not feel "physically or mentally fit
enough" to take part.
The players, involved in a bitter dispute with the Zimbabwe Cricket
Union (ZCU) over team selection, said they would make themselves available,
however, for a later one-day series against the world champions. Their
proposal has been sent to the ZCU.

"In terms of the proposal, the players will go back to practice and
will make themselves available for the one-dayers against Australia, but
they don't feel they are physically or mentally fit enough to play in the
test matches," Chris Venturas, the rebels' lawyer, told Reuters.

That decision puts further doubt on this month's tests matches going
ahead.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is to hold an emergency
meeting on Friday to discuss whether to strip the two-match series of its
test status, just 24 hours before the start of the first game in Harare.

The ICC fears Zimbabwe, without its rebels, will field a severely
weakened side unworthy of playing at the highest level. Australia suggested
earlier on Wednesday that they would return home if the series was
de-classified.

Fifteen of Zimbabwe's leading white players refused to play last month
after accusing their selectors of allowing politicians to dictate the
make-up of the side and of rushing young black players into the side before
they were ready.

The ZCU, which follows a policy of promoting black players to reflect
the country's population, first offered to negotiate but then lost patience
and sacked the players.

It fielded a young, largely black side which was subsequently thrashed
by Sri Lanka 5-0 in a one-day series and 2-0 in the tests.

Two test players in neighbouring South Africa backed the ICC line on
Wedneday.

"Zimbabwe have had their problems, but if you don't put our best team
on the field you are taking the mickey out of test cricket," wicketkeeper
Mark Boucher told Reuters from Cape Town.

All rounder Jacques Kallis added: "You want proper tests, you don't
want to play against second-rate sides."

The ZCU has further frustrated the ICC by inviting its chief executive
Malcolm Speed to address them in Harare this week over the issue, then
barring him from the meeting at the last minute.

The rebel players are also sticking to their demand for arbitration
over Heath Streak's loss of the Zimbabwe captaincy, which originally sparked
the row with the ZCU in April.

The board had announced that Streak, one of the rebels, had retired
from all cricket only for the fast bowler to issue a denial.
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New Zealand Herald

Cricket: Zimbabwe rebels ready to play

20.05.2004

HARARE - Zimbabwe's white rebels last night decided to make themselves
available to play again, but have run out of time to meet Australia in the
upcoming test series.

Just a day after the rebels gave up on representing their country again, the
players declared they would make themselves available for the three proposed
one-day matches against Australia next month.

Players' spokesman Grant Flower confirmed the development, but said the
players had given up on playing in the test series.

The group, including deposed captain Heath Streak, have decided to pursue a
new avenue of action and yesterday met Charles Robertson, a provincial
cricket administrator.

Robertson will approach the Zimbabwe Cricket Union on the players' behalf
and also planned to meet chairman of selectors Stephen Mongongo.

But the group is unlikely to be considered for the two tests against
Australia.

Zimbabwe's second-string side - thrashed by an innings in each of the two
recent tests against Sri Lanka - are likely to be named today to take on the
world champions.

"They [the rebels] are not ready mentally and physically to play Australia,
but they do want to play cricket again," said Clive Field, a representative
of the players.

Mongongo said any Zimbabwe player of international standard would be
considered for selection.

Zimbabwe coach Geoff Marsh welcomed the news, but conceded the players would
struggle to be ready to play Australia.

"It's going to be hard for them," he said.

"We probably needed this a week ago."

While the players' careers may be getting back on track, cricket in Zimbabwe
is in disarray.

The stand-off between the two parties - over the rebels' concerns about team
selection policies - has put doubt on whether the two scheduled tests
against Australia will be played, and if they are, whether they will be
given test status.

The presidents of the International Cricket Council's 10 test-playing
nations will vote on the issue in a telephone hook-up today, 24 hours before
the first match is due to start.

If seven of the 10 presidents vote to strip the matches of their test
status, it could mean either Australia stay in the country and thrash a
Zimbabwe X1 in a pointless farce or consider going home, as Ricky Ponting's
team were reluctant tourists from the start.

"The Australian cricket team have gone to Zimbabwe to play test matches and
one-day games," Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said. "If
they are not going to play those, then I'm not sure if it's appropriate for
us to be here."

The debate about suspending Zimbabwe's test status will also come up in the
ICC meeting because of the debacle of the Sri Lankan series.

The crisis began last month when the Zimbabwe board announced that Streak,
one of the few world-class players in the team, had resigned as captain and
retired from all cricket after complaining about the selection panel.

- REUTERS

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Sydney Morning Herald

Rebels make themselves available for one-dayers but tour is looking doomed
By Chloe Saltau, in Harare
May 20, 2004

Most of Australia's bewildered cricketers played golf on Wednesday. Others,
including Jason Gillespie and Matthew Hayden, went fishing, and Glenn
McGrath went to a game reserve outside Harare.
They seemed as worthy pursuits as any for a group of players whose common
question amid the circus that has broken out in place of their cricket tour
has become: why are we here?

Just days before the first Test is scheduled to begin, no one knows the
answer. As Zimbabwe's white rebel players made themselves available for
one-day matches only - although this decision was far from being set in
stone - there seemed to be increasingly little point in the Australian tour
continuing.

Australia's tour match, in which they bowled out Zimbabwe A for 151 and then
cruised to 448, was called off before tea on the second day, an indication
that nothing more could be gained from the thoroughly uninspiring affair.

No one wants to play Tests against a team of club-standard kids, nor do they
want to hang around and play first-class games in their place. That would be
an even bigger farce.

Replacing the Tests with one-day internationals is untenable because it
would pose nightmarish logistical problems for Cricket Australia, which
would need to rush to have one-day specialists Michael Clarke, Andrew
Symonds, Brad Hogg and Shane Watson released early from English county
contracts.

That is why Australia will most likely be on the first plane home if seven
out of 10 presidents of ICC member countries vote to strip the matches of
Test status on Friday.

Cricket Australia could argue its players are not obliged to come back and
play the postponed Tests later because they were here and ready to play, and
the Tests were jeopardised through no fault of their own.

The ZCU insists the schedule of two Tests and three one-day internationals
is set in stone.

"As far as we are concerned we are pressing ahead with the Test matches as
scheduled," said chairman Peter Chingoka, who said he had kept in contact
with Cricket Australia chairman Bob Merriman on the issue. When it was
pointed out that Zimbabwe's two losses against Sri Lanka were among the top
dozen worst defeats, Chingoka said: "Well that's fine, so you do have a
record of 10 others that are worse or 12 others that are worse."

Unfortunately, these losses were not an apparition; there is no sign that
without Heath Streak and his comrades Zimbabwe will competitive again in the
near future.

Chingoka denied that ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed had been locked out
of a ZCU board meeting, despite a statement issued by ICC president Ehsan
Mani.

"The decision by the ZCU to withdraw its invitation to Speed was
unfortunate," Mani said.

The truth is Speed was furious, and the attitude of member countries,
particularly the Asian nations, has hardened against Zimbabwe if the rebels
are not available.

Whether or not the tour goes ahead could hinge on Merriman's vote on Friday.
In the past Australia has been reluctant to offend Zimbabwe.

The rebels met Zimbabwe's provincial stakeholders on Wednesday and, having
gained an undertaking that their issues would be addressed at a grassroots
level, declared they wanted to play again. But they said they were not
physically or mentally ready for Test cricket and did not wish to be
considered for the Australian Tests. Awaiting a response from the ZCU, they
trained privately on Wednesday.

A representative for the rebels, Clive Field, said: "Malcolm's presence in
the country certainly has acted as some kind of a catalyst and I think he
probably had words yesterday which made it clear this thing can't be allowed
to continue for much longer, otherwise Test cricket could be over in this
country."

Meanwhile, in Colombo, a threat by Muttiah Muralitharan not to tour
Australia next month has unnerved Sri Lankan cricket authorities, who are
pressuring the off spinner to reconsider.

"If Murali decides he is not going to Australia it will be one heck of a
challenge for us," Sri Lanka captain Marvan Atapattu said. "It will be a big
struggle trying to contain the strong Australian batting line-up without
him."
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The Age

Cricket greats say come home
By Nabila Ahmed, Trevor Marshallsea, Bevan Eakins
May 20, 2004

Zimbabwe should be stripped of its Test-playing status and the Australian
team should return home immediately from Harare, according to former
Australian cricket greats and exiled Zimbabwean player Henry Olonga.
Former Australian Test captains Greg Chappell and Kim Hughes, bowlers Dennis
Lillee and Kerry O'Keeffe and wicketkeeper Ian Healy were among the voices
expressing concerns about the state of Zimbabwean cricket, which has been
left with a second-string Test team after the Zimbabwean Cricket Union last
week fired 15 senior players for opposing their racially based selection
criteria. The 10 members of the International Cricket Council are meeting by
telephone hook-up tomorrow and if, as expected, at least seven members vote
against Zimbabwe, the two Tests are likely to be downgraded.

Cricket Australia's sub-committee on international cricket, headed by CA
chairman Bob Merriman, held a crunch meeting last night to discuss the
position it will present at the tele-conference.

If the Tests are downgraded, Australia is expected to pull out of the tour.
"The Australian cricket team has gone to Zimbabwe to play Test and one-day
cricket," said CA chief executive James Sutherland.

"If we're not going to play that, then I'm not sure whether it is
appropriate for us to be there."

Hughes said the Australians should come home.

"Absolutely. I think it's a farce and if you're not good enough to play Test
cricket, then you're not good enough to play one-dayers. End of story."

Speed demon Lillee and Olonga agreed.

"They went there on the understanding they were going to play Test matches.
If the goalposts have moved, what's the point of being there?" said Lillee.

"I'm sure they would have no problem about returning home and they would be
within their rights to do so."

Olonga said: "I'd imagine that if the ICC is to avoid a farce, and if the
ICC is going to have any credibility, they're going to call this tour off."

Olonga gave the ICC measured praise for "finally" swinging into action, but
said it was regrettable the vote had been prompted by fears of another
embarrassing outcome on the cricket field for Zimbabwe's second-string side,
rather than for moral reasons.

"The motives for (tomorrow's) meeting are not as pure as they could've been
. . . but I'm glad it's happening and I hope they call it off. Any
reasonable, intelligent person will know that this tour shouldn't carry on."

Former Australian Test spinner O'Keeffe last night criticised the decision
to send the team to Zimbabwe in the first place, and said the ICC had "again
sat on their hands".

"I don't think we should have gone. Even at the time (when the team left),
the circumstances looked very poor," O'Keeffe said.

"For years a lot of former players have put the slipper into the ICC for
good reasons. Again they seem to have sat on their hands . . . The ICC has
to intervene to preserve the integrity of Test cricket."

That feeling was echoed by Chappell. "We can't afford to have the standard
of Test cricket denigrated from within. I think that's got to be fiercely
protected," Chappell said.

He also called on sport to lead the way in bringing justice to Zimbabwe,
saying an apartheid-style boycott of the nation was the only way to resolve
the problem that resulted in the 15 white players striking.

"I think the whole thing needs to be resolved. Until it is resolved, I think
the only way to deal with it is to take away their status.

"Unfortunately, I think it's a wider issue than cricket. The only similarity
I can think of is South Africa 30 years ago and really the only way it could
be sorted out was through change of politics, a change of attitudes at that
level."

His brother Trevor, also a former Australian Test player, said the ICC would
have to suspend Zimbabwe and set the ZCU a criteria to meet before being
allowed to play Tests again.

"It will be tragic for Zimbabwean cricket but I think they should be
suspended. I think suspension is better than banning them straight away. I
guess it puts some pressure on to Bangladesh, although they seem to be
improving," said Trevor, a former coach of Bangladesh.

Healy said if the meeting decided to strip the two Tests of their status,
Australia should come home immediately.

Hughes and Lillee said the ICC should re-examine its policy of nominating
minnow nations for Test status. "To be a member of the ICC, one of the
criteria should be that the national team is picked on merit," Hughes said.
"If a country is not picking its team on merit, it should forfeit its
membership. It's very simple."

Lillee said there should be a prompt review of the situation.

"I'm not being unkind to the minnows, but the idea of promoting them was
designed to fill space on pay TV," he said. with West Australian
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Courier Mail, Brisbane

Meeting to decide cricket tour fate
Michael Crutcher in Harare, cricket
20may04
ANGRY cricket nations are on the verge of an unprecedented move to save the
credibility of Test matches by scrapping Australia's series against rogue
nation Zimbabwe.

The world's most influential cricket officials are preparing to withdraw
Test status from the series when the International Cricket Council board
meets tomorrow, less than 24 hours before Australia is set to play Zimbabwe
in Harare.

It is believed Asian powerbrokers India and Sri Lanka will vote together
with the likes of England and South Africa in a rare show of unity in
cricket's complicated political landscape.

Seven of the 10 nations must agree for a decision to be carried.

International sources believe enough officials will vote against the series.

If Test status is withdrawn, Australia would be unlikely to play any
pointless first-class matches.

"The Australian cricket team has gone to Zimbabwe to play Test and one-day
cricket. If we're not going to play that, then I'm not sure whether it is
appropriate for us to be there," Cricket Australia chief executive James
Sutherland said.

Cricket Australia is expected to vote for Test status to be withdrawn
although the body has wrestled with a decision.

The ZCU made a belated move last night to save the series with a panic peace
deal offered to the rebel players, who have maintained a hardline stance.

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Lawyers Ask Zimbabwe to Extradite Suspected Mercenaries
VOA News
19 May 2004, 15:54 UTC

Lawyers representing 70 suspected mercenaries held in Zimbabwe are
taking legal action against the South African government to force it to
intervene on their client's behalf.
The 70 men are all citizens of South Africa.

Their lawyers say they filed papers with the High Court in South
Africa's capital, Pretoria, Wednesday. They are asking the court require the
South African government to seek the suspect's extradition.

The lawyers are also requesting the court to stop the 70 men from
being extradited to Equatorial Guinea. Zimbabwe has accused them of plotting
to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea.

Zimbabwe has not said whether or not it will extradite the 70 suspects
to Equatorial Guinea, but it has recently revised its laws allowing it to do
so.

The 70 suspected mercenaries were arrested in March after their plane
landed in Harare. They have been charged in Zimbabwe on several counts,
including immigration and aviation violations.

They have denied the charges, saying they were headed to the
Democratic Republic of Congo to provide security at a mine.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.
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Fuel Price Goes Up

The Herald (Harare)

May 19, 2004
Posted to the web May 19, 2004

Harare

THE price of fuel has gone up over the past week with some filling stations
selling petrol at around $3 500 a litre following a surge in oil prices
worldwide.

Other filling stations have, however, maintained lower prices of between $3
000 and $3 150.

Recently diesel and petrol were selling at between $2 700 and $2 950.

According Fuel Facts, an update produced by the oil industry and other
business organisations, the increase was a result of a surge in oil prices
worldwide.

"This has been necessitated by surging oil prices worldwide. Motorists are
reminded that a single US one cent increase in the pump price of fuel
translates into an increase of $300 per litre," Fuel Facts said.

"As oil prices continue to rise, this will ultimately lead to an increase in
the price of fuel in Zimbabwe and motorists are urged to adopt 'smart'
driving practices."
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VOA

Zimbabwe's Legislators Criticized For Clash in Parliament
Peta Thornycroft
Harare
19 May 2004, 17:21 UTC

Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change and civil rights
activists have criticized legislators for a verbal and physical clash in
parliament on Tuesday. During the session, a government minister verbally
attacked a white member from the opposition, who lost his temper and pushed
the man and another government minister to the ground.
The Crisis Coalition, which represents most non-governmental organizations
in Zimbabwe, called the clash "despicable." The group said the members of
parliament are not giving national issues the serious attention they
deserve, and are not providing a good example to the country's young people.

Opposition legislator Paul Themba Nyathi criticized his colleague Roy
Bennett for pushing the two government ministers to the floor, saying he
should not have lost his temper. But Mr. Nyathi also criticized Justice
Minister Patrick Chinamasa for his sharp verbal attack that precipitated the
incident. Mr. Nyathi said it was the worst racial barrage he has ever heard
in the chamber.

During the verbal attack, Mr. Bennett pushed Mr. Chinamasa to the floor, and
in the ensuing scuffle another minister, 69-year-old Didymus Mutasa also hit
the floor.

The ruling ZANU-PF party criticized only Mr. Bennett, with no mention of the
harsh comments by Minister Chinamasa. Mr. Chinamasa said Mr. Bennett would
suffer for the crimes of his ancestors, and would never return to his family
farm.

Government supporters took over Mr. Bennett's farm in April as part of
Zimbabwe's controversial land reform program, in spite of more than 10 court
orders allowing him to stay.

During the period leading up to the confiscation, many of his workers and
their families, including young children, were regularly beaten, and many
rapes took place on his farm. Mr. Bennett himself has been repeatedly
arrested and tortured and barricaded inside his house, and his wife's
pregnancy was ended by one prolonged attack.

After the incident in parliament, Mr. Bennett said he had simply lost his
temper, and said he was not proud of what happened. But he did not
apologize.

Mr. Bennett, who is white, is particularly despised by members of the ruling
party, in part because he won his parliamentary seat in an area where
Zimbabwe's liberation struggle against white rule began. Now that he has
been evicted from his farm, he may not be eligible to run for parliament
from that district in the next election, scheduled for next year.

Mr. Bennett is to be brought to parliament for a disciplinary hearing. If
found guilty he could be suspended, fined or imprisoned.
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WFP Workers Strike

The Herald (Harare)

May 19, 2004
Posted to the web May 19, 2004

Harare

WORKERS at the World Food Programme office in Zimbabwe have gone on strike
demanding a salary increase.

The workers began the strike on Monday and The Herald understands that they
are demanding a salary increase backdated to January.

It is understood the workers' salaries were way below of their colleagues
working for other Untied Nations agencies.

According to sources, the strike was also precipitated by the fact that the
WFP had announced that it would not renew the workers' contracts after
expiry.

The WFP is a UN humanitarian agency involved in food relief distribution to
the needy.

When The Herald visited the WFP's offices in Belgravia, a security guard who
only identified himself as Dennis barred it from entering the premises.

"You are not allowed to enter into the premises," he said.

By midday yesterday, the workers could be seen basking in the sun.

They broke into song and dance when an official tried to address them.

Efforts to get a comment from both the workers and management were futile as
they refused to talk to the Press.
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Zimbabwe's Claim Of Bumper Harvest "Fantasy" - UK Min

Copyright 2004, Dow Jones Newswires

JOHANNESBURG (AP)--The U.K's minister for Africa Wednesday criticized
Zimbabwe's rejection of emergency food aid, calling the government's
predictions of a bumper harvest "fantasy."

"We hope that Zimbabwe is heading for a good harvest, but we believe
that the predictions being made are fantasy and could result in hunger for a
very large number of innocent Zimbabweans," Chris Mullin said on a visit to
neighboring South Africa.

Zimbabwe's government recently ordered three crop assessment teams
from the United Nations' World Food Program and Food and Agriculture
Organization to stop a survey of rural areas, saying its own forecasters
expected a 2.4 million metric tons maize harvest this season.

Zimbabwe's figures were contradicted by The Friedrich Ebert
Foundation, an independent German think tank, which predicted a harvest of
up to 900,000 tons, about half of what is needed.

President Robert Mugabe's often violent seizure of thousands of
white-owned farms for redistribution to black Zimbabweans, coupled with
erratic rains, has crippled the country's agriculture-based economy.

The WFP is currently feeding 650,000 Zimbabweans a month, down from
about 5 million at the height of the lean season early in the year.

Britain, Zimbabwe's former colonial ruler, is the second largest
contributor to WFP feeding programs in the country after the U.S.

"We hope that Mr. Mugabe's government will allow the World Food
Program to continue feeding that part of his population which his government
appears to be unable to feed unhindered," Mullin said at a news briefing in
Johannesburg.

Mullin flew to South Africa on Tuesday for meetings with the country's
two deputy foreign ministers, political leaders and representatives of civil
society.

Among the issues discussed were the establishment of a new
international commission aiming to tackle the continent's woes, including
poverty, conflict and HIV/AIDS.

U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair launched the Commission for Africa in
February, and it held its first meeting in London earlier this month.

The U.K. will next year hold the chairmanship of the Group of Eight
leading industrialized nations and the presidency of the European Union, and
Mullin said it intended "to put Africa very high on the agenda."

He expressed particular concern about the conflict that has driven
close to 1 million people from their homes in Sudan's western Darfur region,
calling it the "most serious humanitarian crisis in Africa at the moment."

He demanded an end to the "huge violence," the disarmament of
government-backed Arab militias that have terrorized black Africans,
unrestricted access for humanitarian agencies, and the deployment of
independent observers to the region.

Mullin continues Thursday to neighboring Mozambique for a two-day
visit, which will include talks on the country's upcoming elections.
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Review Anti-Graft Commission Bill, Parliament Urged

The Herald (Harare)

May 19, 2004
Posted to the web May 19, 2004

Harare

SOME members of the public and representatives of civic organisations
yesterday called for a review of the Anti-Corruption Commission Bill, which
is currently before Parliament.

In their submissions to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign
Affairs, Industry and International Trade during a public hearing on the
Bill on Monday, they called for a review of sections three, four, five,
seven, eight, nine and 13 of the Bill.

Section three deals with the establishment of the commission, section four
deals with the appointment of members of the commission while section five
and seven deal with the qualifications of the chairperson of the commission
and conditions of service for members.

Sections eight and 13 deal with the disclosure of interests by members and
powers of the commission.

The deputy director of the Human Rights Trust of Southern Africa, Mr Noel
Kututwa said the independence of the commission should be emphasised.

There were concerns about the independence of the commissioners since they
were appointed by the President.

Mr Kututwa said the appointment should be done through nominations by
Parliament or a parliamentary committee which would then submit the
nominations to the President for appointment.

"This further implies that Parliament or a select committee thereof is
desirable as an oversight body as Parliament is representative of the public
interest

"This will make the vetting more transparent and lend the commission the
necessary legitimacy," he said.

Mr Kututwa also said it was important that the clause should reflect gender
sensitivity by stipulating that at least four of the appointees should be
women.

The stakeholders also called for the scrapping of age restrictions on
commissioners, which has been set at 40 years.

Mr Paddington Japajapa said age should not be a restricting factor since
there were examples of young people who are holding high positions in public
office.

"There are a lot of brilliant minds out there who are under 40 years who
should not be prejudiced because of their ages," he said.

On the conditions of service for the commissioners, it was proposed that the
clause be altered to give Parliament or a select committee the role of
setting conditions of service which would in turn be submitted to the
Minister of Finance and Economic Development.

"Alternatively a commission with the status of the Public Service Commission
or the Judicial Services Commission can be setup.

"This is desirable because the recommendations should be public documents to
encourage transparency," he said.

It was also proposed that in terms of section eight, which refers to
disclosure of assets by commissioners, they should disclose their assets to
Parliament as opposed to the President.

The stakeholders also commended the Bill for specifying that the budget of
the commission would not come from any line ministry, saying that this would
ensure independence.

On the powers of the commission, it was felt that the commission should be
accorded arresting and prosecuting powers to get around the problems that
have been affecting the security agents and judicial officers.

Mr Bobby Maguranyanga said the Attorney-General's Office could not be relied
upon to effect prosecution given the high number of cases that were being
thrown out despite the excellent work that the police were doing in their
investigations.

Consumer Council of Zimbabwe chairman Mr Phillip Bvumbe said it was critical
to give the Commission prosecuting powers since this would ensure the
successful prosecution of suspects.

"This would mean that there would be continuity since members of the
commission will be able to investigate and see the case through prosecution
rather than the current system where cases are investigated by the police
and handed over to judicial officers who then prosecute," he said.

Murehwa North MP Cde Victor Chitongo said it was important to keep the age
restriction at 40 since the positions called for mature people.

He also said that a clause should be inserted in the Bill barring the
commission from fundraising since this would compromise its impartiality.

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SABC

SA and Britain both want democracy for Zimbabwe: Mullin

May 19, 2004, 16:52

Britain and South Africa appear to agree in principle, on the desired
outcome of the Zimbabwean crisis. However, Chris Mullin, the British
minister for Africa, says the two countries disagree on tactics.

Mullin met with movers and shakers from government and various organisations
today. Facing the media this morning, he lamented Zimbabwe's decision to
suspend food supplies from the World Food Organisation. This is his second
visit to South Africa.

Zimbabwe heavily relied on food aid in the recent past. But this year the
Zimbabwean government expects a good enough maize harvest to feed the
starving population. "The Zimbabwean governments predictions are fantasy ...
and could result in hunger for a very large number of people," said Mullin.

Mullin said South Africa and Britain both want to see a democratically
elected government in Zimbabwe. He admitted that they differ on strategy,
but he dismissed President Thabo Mbeki's critics saying: "President Mbeki
has done his best, Mugabe and his government are difficult customers."

On Britain's extradition request for two citizens implicated in the
Equatorial Guinea coup plot, Mullin said there is a legal process to be
followed.

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MDC PRESS

19 May 2004

Both Roy Bennet and the Minister of Justice Must Be Held Accountable For Their Actions

The MDC deeply regrets the unfortunate incident that took place in Parliament yesterday involving MDC MP Roy Bennet and the Minister for Justice, Patrick Chinamasa. The conduct of both legislators has brought Parliament into disrepute and both must be held accountable for their actions.

Whilst the actions of Roy Bennett are not to be condoned, neither should the abusive, demeaning, hurtful, wicked, barbaric and provocative racial and personal slurs and insults hurled at Bennett by the Minister of Justice. No parliamentary representative, regardless of his political, racial or tribal background should be subjected to the tirade of insults that Honourable Roy Bennet was subjected to yesterday.

Parliament is supposed to be a forum in which the important national issues of the day are subject to sober and constructive debate by elected representatives. All legislators, regardless of their political affiliation, have a duty to uphold the integrity and moral authority of Parliament.

The parliamentary committee that is to be set up to investigate this incident must ensure that its enquiry is non-partisan and not driven by a political agenda bent on retribution. The enquiry must fully investigate the conduct of both legislators and the circumstances that led to the incident in question. The terms of reference of the inquiry must also include an investigation into why the chairperson of committees failed to intervene and censure the Minster of Justice for using racial and abusive language against a fellow legislator.

Paul Themba Nyathi

Secretary for Information and Publicity

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