Reporter Engineers are working flat out to bring Morton Jaffray Water
Treatment Works back to full capacity as Harare City Council introduces
24-hour water cuts in some southern suburbs to divert water to the north-east
suburbs where there have been no supplies for several days
reservoirs were low on water yesterday after equipment breakdowns at Morton
Harare City Council director of works Mr Psychology Chiwanga
said there was only one working compressor, one air blower and two wash water
pumps out of the five which were supposed to be working at any given
"This has resulted in reduced clear water output from the plant,"
Mr Chiwanga said engineers from a private company together with
those of council were working on the repairs.
He said council had
responded by implementing a water demand management exercise by closing off
water flows to the southern suburbs for 24 hours.
The plan is meant to
allow the flow of water into Letombo and subsequent pumping to the north
The areas to be affected include Waterfalls, Eastlea,
Park Meadowlands, Hillside, Braeside, Chadcombe and St
Supplies in these areas will be cut from 9am and would only be
temporarily restored at 9am the next day.
"The City of Harare wishes
to advise residents of Harare that due to the current water supply
disruptions as a result of the technical problems at Morton Jaffray, a water
demand management exercise has been put in place to allow flow to areas which
had gone for days without water," the city said in a statement.
bowsers were deployed to the affected areas in the north-east, but residents
in these areas complained that they were not being serviced.
said council had ordered the spares.
He said the water problems had
nothing to do with the supply of water treatment chemicals.
last had crippling water shortages in February when areas such as Greendale,
Eastlea, Tafara, Msasa and Chisipite went for as much as 10 days without
The present water shortages are haunting residents who have gone
for almost five days without water.
Stranded residents are having to
rely on the goodwill of neighbours with boreholes and some are having to walk
for several kilometres to fetch water by wheelbarrows.
these areas were yesterday phoning The Herald to register their displeasure
with the manner the water shortages were being handled
They accused the council of deliberately targeting the
areas each time there was a water problem in the city because it was assumed
most households in the areas have boreholes.
The actual problem is the
distance and altitude and the need for double reservoirs and pumping into an
area where there has been major housing development in recent
Water has to be pumped up to the huge Letombo reservoir near
Msasa, the city 's largest. From there, water has to be pumped into other
reservoirs in the north-east. Water for consumers is allowed to flow by
gravity from these secondary reservoirs.
If water supplies do not meet
demand, as happens in very hot weather or when there are technical problems
at Morton Jaffray, the north-east reservoirs at the end of the distribution
chain go without water unless the council deliberately diverts water from
other suburbs to Letombo.
South African President
Thabo Mbeki is willing to see Zimbabweans used as sacrificial lambs.
Zimbabwe's leader, Robert Mugabe, attended the recent swearing-in ceremony
for Mr. Mbeki's second term. Upon his entry, Mr. Mugabe received a standing
ovation. The deference to Zimbabwe's persecutor in chief didn't stop there.
Mr. Mbeki made clear that Mr. Mugabe would always be welcomed in South
Africa, despite his transgressions against the people of Zimbabwe - both
black and white. "We pledge to all the heroes and heroines who sacrificed
for our freedom [in the struggle against apartheid] that we will never betray
the trust that you bestowed on us," said Mr. Mbeki. This statement was
presumably directed, at least in part, toward Mr. Mugabe, who played a key
role in trouncing apartheid in Zimbabwe. But Mr. Mugabe also has delivered on
Zimbabwe, formerly southern Africa's breadbasket, a severe food shortage,
epidemic homelessness, financial collapse and soaring unemployment, due to
his divisive land "reform" policies, which have greatly benefited his family
and associates. By failing to recognize Mr. Mugabe's blight on Zimbabwe,
Mr. Mbeki is aiding and abetting the plight of his neighbors. Mr.
Mbeki continues to conjure a decade-old and defeated injustice (apartheid),
at the expense of the currently suffering Zimbabweans.
swearing-in, Mr. Mbeki said, "Africa is sure to emerge as a place of hope."
This soaring rhetoric contrasts sharply with the applause for a despot. If
Africa is to fulfill the goal that Mr. Mbeki invoked, it must be willing to
apply African solutions to African problems. Mr. Mugabe is a problem for
Zimbabwe, and for Africa. Africa's problems are severe and exponential,
particularly the HIV/AIDS crisis. If African leaders don't respond to the
epidemic aggressively, it can only grow worse. But according to an April 16
report by the International Crisis Group, "Too many African governments fail
to recognize that AIDS is more than a public health issue but also threatens
their states' stability and potential security." The report also found that
the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) "pays too little
attention, particularly to the pandemic's impact on economic development,
stability and conflict." Since Mr. Mbeki conceived of the NEPAD initiative,
we hope he read the report. Mr. Mbeki must do more to solve the
problems of today, rather than dwelling on the wrongs of the past. If he and
other key leaders fail to do so, there is little cause for hope.
President Robert Mugabe and Namibian President Sam Nujoma have joined hands
to start a new regional newspaper called the New Sunday Times to "counter the
threat from the global media to African values".
But critics have called
the project "stupid", and said the two leaders should rather devote their
resources to feed the poor in their countries.
The newspaper will be sold
in all Southern African countries and will start publishing on July 1,
according to an announcement on Wednesday.
But it seems the real aim of
the new newspaper is to offer competition to South Africa's Sunday Times,
which has been persistently demonised by the Mugabe government, as the "chief
culprit" in publishing "anti-Zimbabwe stories".
'I dismiss the
project as wholly stupid' The new publishing project comes in the wake of a
warning by Nujoma at the weekend to use the Namibian army to defend Zimbabwe
militarily should it be attacked by "colonialists" bent on removing Mugabe
The New Sunday Times will be jointly published by the
state-run Zimbabwe Newspapers Group (Zimpapers) and Namibia's New Era
Publishing Corporation, a company wholly owned by Nujoma's
However, a senior Namibian journalist, who did not want to be
named, described the project as "doomed from the start" because it
"The project is unsustainable," he said.
don't see how readers and advertisers can sustain Mugabe and
Nujoma's propaganda tool. In fact, at the risk of sounding disrespectful, I
dismiss the project as wholly stupid."
"The two leaders are better
advised to feed the poor in their countries instead of wasting their
taxpayers money on this kind of project."
Mugabe's chief spin doctor,
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, and his Namibian counterpart, Nangolo
Mbumba, have already signed a memorandum of understanding for the two
countries to jointly publish the regional newspaper.
was followed by another agreement signed in Harare on Tuesday by the chief
executives of New Era Publications Corporation
Assistant Editor of Zimbabwe's state run Herald
newspaper, Moses Magadza, will edit the New Sunday Times from Windhoek. The
Herald said the New Sunday Times would carry news articles from Namibia,
Zimbabwe and other Southern African countries "written from an African
.. This article was originally published on page
1 of The Cape Times on May 06, 2004
LONDON (AFP) -
International Cricket Council (ICC) president Ehsan Mani on Wednesday
launched a bitter attack on British Prime Minister Tony Blair accusing him of
inaction and inconsistency on the thorny subject of England's tour of
Zimbabwe. "It is disappointing but unsurprising that a politician should
attempt to shift the blame in this way," said Mani.
"Mr Blair is
seeking to divert attention away from his own inaction in dealing with
Zimbabwe by attempting to exert inappropriate pressure on an international
sporting body to make a political decision.
"At no stage has he or any of
his people sought to get the facts on this matter from the
Earlier Wednesday, Blair said he didn't think England should tour
Zimbabwe, but added that the decision rests exclusively on the shoulders
of international cricket chiefs.
"We would prefer them not to go,"
said Blair during his weekly question session in the House of
But he added: "There is a difference between doing that and
ordering them not to go which I think would step over the proper
He added that his foreign secretary Jack Straw would be meeting
the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Thursday to discuss the
He added: "I think many people believe, I think rightly, that
the problem actually resides with the ICC."
However, Mani was incensed
by Blair's stance.
"It is difficult to accept the proposition that the
ICC should be making a special case for England when not even the England and
Wales Cricket Board has attempted to argue that it be exempted from its
promise to tour Zimbabwe unless it is unsafe to do so," said the ICC
"Unfortunately, the one consistent aspect of Mr Blair's approach
to Zimbabwe has been its inconsistency.
"His government maintains
diplomatic links with Zimbabwe, allows British companies to invest heavily in
and trade openly with Zimbabwe, and welcomes athletes representing Zimbabwe
to the UK.
"Given that this issue has been on his radar for more than 18
months it appears that his intransigence on Zimbabwe is now linked in some
way to his overwhelming desire to secure the Olympics for London."
England pull out of the tour, scheduled for later this year, the ECB could
face a two million pound fine and a one-year suspension if they cancel the
tour without the British government specifically telling them not
By Jeffrey Gogo THE
National Parks and Wildlife Authority has launched an investigation into the
operations of two safari operators who include a top Harare businessman and a
South African national amid allegations that the two may have prejudiced the
country of millions of dollars through non-disclosure of their hunting
operations and proceeds.
Under the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe regulations,
safari operators are expected to declare foreign currency earnings through
foreign currency declaration forms known as CD1 forms which are available at
Allegations levelled against the two safari
operators stem from their operations in the lucrative area in Matabeleland
which boasts of thousands of game.
It is alleged that a National Parks
warden (name supplied) in an animal sanctuary was last year paid over $30
million as bribe by the South African businessman, "to turn a blind eye" on
the illegal hunts that were being undertaken by his company.
emerged yesterday that the South African businessman is not registered in the
country as a legal safari operator.
The warden is understood to have
granted the South African concessions to hunt game that was not on the
pre-hunt registration and directed proceeds (trophies) of their efforts to
South Africa through unorthodox means.
The South African hunter (name
supplied) did not only transgress the country 's regulations by not paying
the two percent hunting levy to the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, but allegedly
bribed almost every personnel at the wildlife site to cover up his illegal
It is also alleged that several officials within the National
Parks and Wildlife Authority received kickbacks from the South African
businessman so as not to disclose information regarding his hunting
Said the sources: "The tour operator shot a lion at Gwaai
using lion calls on a tape recorder. The businessman also poached leopards
from several parts of Matabeleland.
"The lion population has been
drastically depreciating as a result of the cat's poor mating
The company is alleged to have been engaged in unregulated
activities as "pre-hunts were signed on a land-rover bonnet by torch light at
It is alleged that the South African, with the help of the top
local businessman (name supplied), managed to rubberstamp earnings made from
the hunts and misrepresented the company's income on foreign
currency declaration forms.
The local businessman is alleged to have
been acting as a front for the South African company in its foreign currency
dealings, where millions of dollars are understood to have been clandestinely
siphoned out of the country.
Efforts to get a comment from the South
African businessman proved fruitless yesterday.
However, the local
businessman refused to comment on the matter and said, "I shall call when I'm
ready to comment."
National Parks and Wildlife director-general Dr Morris
Mtsambiwa confirmed the develop-ments.
"We have initiated
investigations into this whole business of safari operators," he
"We are working with the central bank in this process and we fear
the country could have lost substantial amounts of foreign currency in
these underhand deals.
"However, we are not certain how much money
could have been lost, but definitely, it runs into millions of
Dr Mtsambiwa said, "We are stern in these investigations and
those involved should be brought to book."
There are fears that the
country could have lost billions of dollars in foreign currency in the shady
deals while the parks and wildlife authority might also have been siphoned of
substantial sums in income.
An elephant trophy now costs US$10 000, male
buffalo US$1 200 and zebra US$450.
The hunting industry has over the
years been generating substantial sums of foreign currency through hunting
excursions, which have continued to attract large numbers of foreign
It has since emerged that proceeds, mostly in hard currency,
were not finding their way into the official channel.
IN what is seen as a monument to the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)'s diplomatic ineptitude, Zimbabwe's
increasingly litigious opposition party this week took the unusual step of
instituting legal action against South African President Thabo Mbeki, a key
broker in the country's stalled inter-party political dialogue.
The surprise move is meant to force Mbeki -widely perceived as having the
political and diplomatic clout to help resolve the Zimbabwe crisis -
to produce documentation compiled by two South African judges who monitored
the controversial 2002 presidential election.
The South African
Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) named the judges as Dikgang Moseneke and Sisi
Khampepe. Matthew Walton was named as the MDC's lawyer.
believes that the judges produced a highly damaging and incriminating report
on Zimbabwe's last presidential election. It believes that the secret report
could help the party unravel the ugly face of ZANU PF 's election rigging
However, in a more bizarre episode in the MDC's
long-running litigation, the party's leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, and
its secretary-general, Welshman Ncube, quickly moved to pour cold water on
the decision to sue Mbeki.
"I would not be naïve to sue Mbeki,
considering the important role he is playing in trying to resolve the
Zimbabwe crisis. I will therefore write to him apologising for any
misunderstandings that could have been caused by the statements attributed to
our lawyers," Tsvangirai was quoted as saying by a South African
He reportedly agreed to instruct the Cape Town lawyers
to secure the release of the judges' report but denied having asked them to
apply for a court order citing Mbeki as a respondent.
Ncube:"The MDC's legal team that has been working to gather evidence for the
2002 presidential election petition advises that the court application is a
routine procedure to obtain evidence and that it is up to the South African
courts to decide whether or not the MDC is entitled to the documentation it
"It also advises that the party respects the fact that the
South African government is entitled in terms of South African law to
refuse access to certain information subject to the court's power to
determine whether the grounds for refusal are valid."
added: "However, the MDC leadership was not consulted by the legal team in
the decision to proceed with the court action and has therefore instructed
the team not to proceed with the said court action."
Harare however said the move to correct the "political and diplomatic
miscalculation of significant proportions" was a little too late because the
damage had already been done.
Tsvangirai's sentiments, they said,
were therefore unlikely to reassure MDC critics, who felt that diplomatically
it was a gross error of judgment to pressure Mbeki through the courts to
release confidential material.
Mbeki's spokesman, Beki Khumalo,
yesterday said he was not in a position to comment as he had been instructed
by their lawyers not to get involved in the mess.
"We are not
going to comment on the matter as instructed by our lawyers," Khumalo said.
"They don't want us to get involved, but I understand they (MDC) have
withdrawn the case."
The move, which could put the MDC's already
uneasy relationship with the South African government under severe strain,
has cast a dark shadow over Zimbabwe's route to a negotiated
Mbeki, who has been in good credit even with President
Robert Mugabe's furious critics, especially Britain and the United States of
America, has been at the centre of the delicate arbitration between the MDC
and ZANU PF for over two years.
It is however widely believed
within the MDC that Mbeki is not an impartial and credible broker. He has
been accused of being good on words minus action as he has failed to exert
pressure on President Mugabe to agree to a negotiated
Mbeki has even become From Page 1
scapegoat for discontent over the deteriorating political situation in
Zimbabwe. The South African leader wields considerable influence on
the Zimbabwe leader, whom he knew from the days of the liberation struggle.
The fact that South Africa is Zimbabwe's biggest trading partner has
also produced a deeper rapproachement between the two countries.
Constitutional law expert Lovemore Madhuku had this to say about the MDC's
move against Mbeki: "It's a disturbing turn of events. The excuse that the
lawyers made such a decisive move without consulting is feeble. As it stands,
anyone in the MDC can wake up and make decisions on behalf of the party. That
type of confusion can be costly. The ball is in Tsvangirai's court to assert
his authority and stop people from making decisions on behalf of the
"If it is true that the lawyers went to court without
consulting, then it goes to show that they have been allowed to feel so
comfortable that they can make decisions without necessarily consulting the
Political analyst Joseph Kurebwa said the idea
of dragging the South African leader to court could only have come from
certain sections of the MDC which believed Mbeki had not done enough to
persuade his Zimbabwean counterpart to end the current crisis.
"It's unheard of given that Mbeki has been the key peace broker in
our crisis," Kurebwa said. "For the MDC to force Mbeki to release
confidential documents is going too far. The move will definitely throw them
in bad light."
President Mugabe insists he won the 2002
presidential poll freely an fairly and that Tsvangirai should subsequently
recognise him as the legitimate head of state, while on the other hand the
opposition leader maintains the election was rigged and should be
Tsvangirai has found support from key Western countries
such as Britain and the United States of America, both accused by the
government of being bent on effecting regime change in Zimbabwe. The two
countries' instinct has been to work against the government of President
Mugabe since the disputed election.
MDC spokesman Paul Themba
Nyathi was also quoted by SABC as saying should the government of South
Africa have the information the opposition needs, he expects it to make the
report available to his party.
South Africa's opposition Democratic
Alliance (DA) party led by Tony Leon said it would soon raise the matter in
parliament since public funds had been used to compile the
DA chairperson Joe Seremane said: "The presidency's
reluctance to make the report public suggests that the conclusions reached by
the judges contradict South Africa's official position on the outcome of
Zimbabwe's 2002 presidential elections."
THE Speaker of Parliament, Emmerson
Mnangagwa, who is ZANU PF's immediate past finance chief, has twice been
called to explain the intricate activities of the ruling party's octopus-ike
business interests which are currently under probe, The Financial Gazette has
Mnangagwa, who is widely seen as the likely candidate to
succeed President Robert Mugabe, who could be seeing out his last term, is so
far the only heavyweight hauled before a ZANU PF anti-graft committee as
the team continues to sift through the elaborate ruling party
Although the sources who spoke to this newspaper could
not provide details of the evidence given by Mnangagwa, they said it had
since emerged that apart from the seven ZANU PF companies previously
mentioned in the probe, there were others that had sprung up, which could
bring the total to 16.
They also said a number of ZANU PF
lightweights, including the party's chairman for Manicaland province, Mark
Madiro, and senior managers within entities under investigation had also been
interviewed by the committee, set up towards the end of March this
News of the interrogations came as it emerged that the
committee, which swooped on 88 Manica Road, the former ZANU PF headquarters
now being used by the party's Harare province on Tuesday this week, is also
toying around with the idea of requesting an amnesty for one of the
companies' directors so that he could help with investigations.
Attempts to demand the extradition of three directors of ZANU
PF-owned companies who packed their bags in a huff and fled to Britain when
the net started closing in on them have hit a brick wall. Lawyers
representing some of the directors hinted last week that there were no firm
grounds on which the three could be extradited.
sources told The Financial Gazette this week that the anti-corruption
committee, led by the Governor and Resident Minister of Mashonaland East,
David Karimanzira, had made contact with Dipak Padya, the finance chief of
Zidco Holdings. Padya skipped the country together with the other two
directors, Jayant Joshi and his brother Manharlal.
investments are basically housed under two wings, M & S Syndicate, set up
before independence in 1980, and Zidco, whose board comprises the Joshis,
Padya, Mnangagwa and Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi.
becoming difficult to put together all the pieces of the jig-saw puzzle
without these directors, hence attempts to lure Padya, who may help with
information," said a source.
Mnangagwa, through his secretary,
referred all questions pertaining to the investigations to Karimanzira, while
Madiro professed ignorance of the investigations.
"He said if it
is to do with that committee, speak to the chairman of that committee. He
(the chairman) knows everything," Mnangagwa's secretary said.
Karimanzira was tight-lipped about the issue when contacted for comment
recently. He said: "I cannot talk about that now, especially
when investigations are still in progress."
Analysts said the
move to quiz Mnangagwa, the feared ZANU PF secretary for administration,
could be manipulated by ruling party heavyweights jockeying either to succeed
President Mugabe or fight for their candidate to replace the ageing leader
who turned 80 in February.
The Karimanzira-led committee comprises
retired army chief Solomon Mujuru, former finance minister Simba Makoni,
Matabeleland North Governor Obert Mpofu and the ruling party's deputy
secretary for transport and welfare, Thoko Mathuthu.
appointed Minister of State responsible for Anti-Corruption
and Anti-Monopolies Didymus Mutasa expressed ignorance of what was taking
place and said: "I don't know anything about what the committee is doing. We
wait to hear from them on that one. As far as I am aware, they are
still investigating and no stone will be left unturned."
probe is being perceived as a dangerous political game in the succession race
where ZANU PF heavyweights are positioning their candidates, while
discrediting others, ahead of the ruling party's congress slated
Although President Mugabe seems to have set a
distant departure date, he is widely expected to drop a bombshell and
announce his exit and retire to pave way for a new leadership which analysts
say he would still be able to manipulate long after he is gone.
THE High Court has
ordered ZANU PF activists and members of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) and
police to immediately vacate opposition legislator Roy Bennett's Charleswood
Estate in Chimanimani, Manicaland, and to stop interfering with operations on
Justice Antonio Guvava granted the order following a
successful application by Bennet's lawyers, Honey and Blanckenberg, to evict
the "invaders" who have camped on the farm since the Easter
Charleswood Estate falls under the Export Processing Zones
Retired soldier and newly appointed Manicaland provincial
governor, Michael Nyambuya, Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, Commissioner
of Police Augustine Chihuri, Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi and the
Commander of the Zimbabwe National Army, Constantine Chiwengwa, were cited as
respondents in the case.
According to the application, the
occupation led to the displacement of more than 1200 workers, loss of 12
vehicles, 2 200 litres of petrol, 1 800 litres of diesel, eight tractors and
850 head of cattle belonging to the legislator.
was also occupied.
The applicants were also granted an order to
remain and carry out their duties without interference from the respondents
and authorised the displaced workers to return to the farm.
However, in an opposing affidavit, Zimbabwe Republic Police
Assistant Commissioner Conwell Dube said the occupation was instigated after
reports from the provincial governor and chief lands officer that
Charleswood Estate, which had been offered to the Agricultural Rural
Development Authority, had been re-allocated to the Zimbabwe Defence
"We were requested to assist by providing guards at
vital points and make sure all properties were safe and that no thefts take
place," he said.
In a related matter, Justice Ben Hlatshwayo also
granted an order by consent that the respondents return the looted property
from the Mawenje Lodge (Private) Limited, a division of Charleswood
"Respondents . . . hereby interdicted from interfering in
any way with the second applicant's business operations and activities on the
property and are ordered to immediately vacate the premises," the order
THE High Court has
again postponed to Friday the hearing of an urgent bail application by
disgraced Finance Minister Christopher Kuruneri, who is facing charges of
dealing in foreign currency and possessing two passports.
the third time Kuruneri's bail application has been postponed by the same
court, this time on the basis that the judge who is supposed to make the
ruling on the urgent bail application was not available.
Joseph Jagada of the Attorney General's Office confirmed the
"It is true that the case has been postponed to
Friday, but I don't know whether or not it will be heard in chambers," he
Kuruneri, widely seen as a technocrat more than a politician,
was arrested a fortnight ago on charges of externalising foreign
currency involving R5.2 million, 34 371 pounds, 30 000 euros, US$582 611. 99
and possessing two passports - one Zimbabwean and the other
It is against Zimbabwean laws to hold dual
He was arrested in the wake of reports by a South
African newspaper, The Sunday Times, which blew the whistle on Kuruneri's
investments in Cape Town - a story which was later splashed in the local
The minister became the first high profile case in the
clampdown against corruption, but is the second Cabinet minister in President
Mugabe's government to be arrested following that of then Lands and
Agriculture Minister Kumbirai Kangai in 2000.
THE Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) is undertaking a mass mobilisation of civic groups
and its supporters to force the ruling ZANU PF to concede to its demands for
a level playing field ahead of the 2005 parliamentary elections.
The MDC has outlined 15 conditions that should be met by the ZANU
PF government before the 2005 plebiscite.
Welshman Ncube, the
MDC secretary-general, told The Financial Gazette this week that there were
indications the government, which has vowed to go ahead with the elections
with or without the opposition party's participation, would concede to the
demands, which include the creation of an independent electoral
He said: "At the moment, we are mobilising our
supporters and the civic society to press ZANU PF to accept our demands of
levelling the playing field ahead of next year's parliamentary
"Make no mistake about it, they will concede to our
The latest development comes hot on the heels of renewed
efforts by church leaders to bring the two rival parties, ZANU PF and the
MDC, back to the negotiating table to end Zimbabwe's political crisis. The
talks collapsed over a year ago.
It also comes at a time when
the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) has stepped up demonstrations for
a new constitution.
The country's electoral laws have been widely
condemned as tilting heavily in favour of the ruling party, which has been
accused by the MDC and the international community of using law enforcement
agencies, the public media and other state machinery to its
Independent analysts have urged the MDC not to take part
in the crucial 2005 polls, arguing its participation in the flawed
electoral process would be suicidal.
Ncube's sentiments are in
line with remarks made by the MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, in his address
to about 5000 supporters in Chienda-mbuya recently.
who is currently awaiting judgment on allegations of plotting to assassinate
President Robert Mugabe during the run-up to the hotly contested 2002
presidential election, said the MDC was making progress in garnering public
"National consensus on the way forward is fast emerging
throughout the country. Our campaign for an even playing field continues.
Initial results show we are making progress."
party is challenging President Mugabe's re-election in the 2002 presidential
poll and has more than 12 court petitions against the ruling party's victory
in the 2000 parliamentary polls.
As part of the demands, the MDC
also wants the government to stop muzzling the press as witnessed by the
abrupt closure of newspapers in the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe stable
- The Daily News and The daily News on Sunday.
It also wants the
government to scrap repressive laws such as the Public Order and Security Act
and Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, through which many
journalists and civic society activists have been persecuted.
THAT ZANU PF, a
seemingly close-knit party only known for subtle internal political fights,
could be riven over Kondozi Farm, a little-known agro-concern tucked away in
the middle of Odzi, has perplexed even its most ardent
Even at the height of the controversial land reform,
when the government's back-to-the-land idealism took root, no farming concern
ever brought senior members of the party and the Cabinet into such sharp
conflict as the one that has erupted over the seizure of
Everybody is watching as fissures erupt within the
government and ZANU PF over the designation of the previously unknown but
lucrative Kondozi Farm.
The latest bust-up over the status of
the farm has given a fresh face to the power struggles within the ruling
party, which is taking its time to clean up the chaos created by the emotive
and, to a certain extent, controversial land reform. But most importantly, it
has also exposed the government's failure to produce faultless land reform
laws without internal contradictions.
Of much interest, however,
will be the outcome of the tussle pitting Vice-President Joseph Msika, who
vowed last week not to rest until the takeover of Kondozi had been reversed,
and three Cabinet ministers insisting there will be no going back on the
The tussle has set tongues wagging as to where the three
ministers who have "stood up" to their senior, Vice President Msika, but with
seemingly no political clout, are drawing their power from.
has sparked heightened speculation that there could be an invisible hand
pushing the ministers. The Vice-President, widely seen as the tough-talking
angry man of ZANU PF politics, has loudly protested against the government's
acquisition of the farm. But so far, it would seem, he has been barking up
the wrong tree, which obviously raises the question of whether the seat of
power is now shifting in ZANU PF.
John Makumbe of the University of
Zimbabwe described the fiasco at Kondozi as another classic case of the ZANU
PF circus in which senior politicians clash with those in lower
"I think it is a question of who actually has power. Does
the Vice-President have power or the minister? From the way I see it, I
think the Vice-President is running the risk of losing not only Kondozi, but
his power base as well because the old man (President Robert Mugabe) is
likely to agree with the minister (Moyo)," said Makumbe.
conflicting positions from the same Cabinet, whose members have never been
known to disagree in public, have obviously raised questions such as: Why so
much interest on this particular farm? Is it the nation, through Arda, that
really stands to benefit from the expropriation of the export oriented
Not only that, but questions have also been raised as to why
top government officials were not singing from the same song sheet over
the issue when it is claimed that a decision was taken at a Cabinet level
for the government to acquire the disputed farm.
All this has
called into sharp question the sincerity of the feuding parties in the
Kondozi saga. Could it be that there is more to it than meets the
Surprisingly, hordes of farm labourers have previously been
displaced from farms acquired by the government over the past four years and
dumped into a life of destitution and social deprivation but this had not
raised as much hue and cry from any government quarters. But Vice-President
Msika seems to have developed a soft spot for the 5 000 Kondozi
workers affected by the latest government move.
the general manager of the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA), admitted
this week that acquisition of the farm, which had gained an EPZ status, took
the authority by surprise.
"We have 22 EPZ projects which are
agro-based and are on farms, but nothing has happened to the majority of
them. I don't know what has made it (Kondozi) very attractive," he said,
adding that the authority had written to the government about the
"At the end of the day, the government makes the decisions.
The government amended the Land Acquisition Act about two months ago to say
EPZs and government-to-government projects would be looked at on their
That Kondozi had survived violent land seizures sparked off
by the ex-fighters of Zimbabwe's liberation struggle ahead of the
2000 parliamentary elections won by ZANU PF was a miracle, analysts said.
With infrastructure worth billions of dollars and the good soils that were
raking in upwards of US$15 million annually, it had to fall one day, they
They were agreed that Kondozi had survived up to this far
because of back-scratching relationships between senior politicians. But all
hell had broken loose when the farm owners stopped pushing the brown
Like the elephant endangered because of its
money-spinning tusks and hide, the massive 224-hectare resource, which
produces for supermarkets in Britain, Europe and South Africa, had become the
most sought-after farm.
It was during the Easter holiday that the
lives of about 5 000 workers at the farm and their families took a dramatic
turn for the worst after alleged ZANU PF supporters kicked them off
The seizure of Kondozi has continued despite the
intervention by traditional leaders in the area, who met Vice-President Msika
last month after being touched by the situation at the farm.
government-owned Herald quoted the Minister of State for Information and
Publicity, Jonathan Moyo, as saying Edwin Moyo, who claims to have a
controlling stake in the project, did not own Kondozi, had not owned it
before and would never own it as it belonged to the state.
sooner everyone interested in the matter recognises this point, the better
for them," Minister Moyo was quoted as saying.
contradicted Vice-President Msika's position that ARDA, the Agricultural
Rural Development Authority, which is now running the farm, should move out
Minister Moyo's stance was given credence by remarks
made by the white partner in the project, Piet de Klerk, that Kondozi was
relocating to Mozambique. Yet the public had been made to believe that Edwin
Moyo had total control over the farm.
This was seen as
effectively confirming that Edwin Moyo was just being used as a front by De
Klerk, otherwise in what capacity could De Klerk speak on behalf of a project
in which he was not an interested party?
"Yes, small institutions
like ARDA and DDF (the District Development Fund) are very important, ladies
and gentlemen, but I can't support someone who will evict 15 000 women and
children and throw them on the streets.
"I won't support that. Even
if all of you support that and I remain alone in my view, I'll die with my
views," this newspaper quoted Msika as saying last week.
a government parastatal agency which deals with state farm production mainly
involving large agricultural and rural development projects.
Other observers said Kondozi was still the De Klerk's baby, adding Edwin Moyo
had indeed been brought in to save the farm from compulsory acquisition,
hence the hurried move to register the project as an EPZ.
the loss of the project to ARDA could also derail an alleged plan by Moyo to
establish linkages between Kondozi, his other project in Marondera operating
as Mitchel & Mitchel and the newly acquired Trans Zambezi Industries
The alliance, they said, would create the critical mass
needed by TZI to operate profitably. As it was, TZI had no sufficient
out-grower base feeding into its subsidiaries, Fresca and
It, however, appears that there are other ZANU PF
officials interested in taking over the farm through the back
While it may not be possible to wrest the farm directly, the
best way would be to park it for sometime under ARDA and work out a way
of transferring it into their hands once the dust has settled.
Most of the designated farms have been parcelled out to ZANU PF chefs, with
fresh revelations suggesting that 200 000 hectares or 400 farms
were recovered from multiple farm owners.
It has also emerged
that only 134 000 people were allocated land under the haphazard land reform,
a far cry from the 300 000 people touted by the government. Of this figure,
30 percent of the people were still to take up land.
ARE things finally
falling apart for Zimbabwe's main opposition political party, the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), which is, just like other opposition parties
before it, seemingly failing to keep its course in the country's treacherous
Political commentators this week said the MDC,
which is led by former firebrand trade unionist Morgan Tsvangirai and has
been thriving on voter anger and general disillusionment over the country's
rapid economic meltdown, risked relegating itself into political oblivion if
the current rifts among its rank and file continued.
that the opposition party could have touched the self-destruct button can be
explained in terms of reported bitter inhouse squabbles within the
Insiders say there has been acrimonious wrangling in the
party stemming from sharp differences between the so-called intellectuals and
the trade unionists.
The alleged rift is reportedly widening and
some party members blame it for the loss of the Zengeza seat, won by the
ruling ZANU PF after the MDC leadership reportedly imposed James Makore as
Political analyst and University of Zimbabwe
lecturer Heneri Dzinotyiwei said: "This is going to cause a very serious
dilemma for Zimbabweans who have pinned their hopes on the MDC mainly because
of their hostility against a government they believe has run down the
country. If they (MDC) are not careful, they may lose the vote they have
always been counting on in the past.
"The MDC needs to position
itself well so as not to lose votes in elections just around the corner. So
far, there has been lack of coherence on their part and they need to address
this issue before going to any election because they may lose the
The shocking defeat in Zengeza, widely seen as a stronghold
of the opposition, was a wake-up call for the MDC.
in an impromptu no-holds-barred leadership crisis meeting, held at the
holiday resort of Mazvikadei.
At the meeting, apart from
accusations and counter-accusations over the loss in Zengeza, party officials
reportedly took a swipe at each other for issuing conflicting statements in
the local press about the possibility of boycotting the 2005 parliamentary
Insiders who attended the meeting indicated that there
was a whiff of panic in the MDC bunker over heightened fears that the party
was losing its grip on urban voters despite the deep-seated disenchantment
among urbanites over economic mismanagement by the ZANU PF
The other sticking point was the party's failure to
penetrate ZANU PF' s rural stronghold.
The MDC has lost four out
of seven contested by-elections to the ruling party, namely Kadoma Central,
Insiza, Bikita West and Zengeza.
It retained Highfield, Kuwadzana
and Harare Central in by-elections that were marred by voter apathy,
intimidation, violence and systematic bullying blamed on the ruling ZANU
Last week, violence within the MDC raised its ugly head once
again after a group of suspected opposition youths attacked the home of St
Mary's legislator Job Sikhala, which later led to the arrest of the
parliamentarian on charges of kidnapping and attempted murder. Sikhala is
currently out of custody on $300 000 bail.
The attack on
Sikhala, who has had his fair share of brushes with law since getting into
Parliament on an MDC ticket in 2000, came amid reports that the MDC was soon
to undergo a restructuring exercise in his constituency.
counter that, Sikhala has allegedly reorganised himself, securing support at
grassroots level in Chitungwiza ahead of "any invasion". He has allegedly
declared himself commander-in-chief of the youths in that area, a situation
that could further split the party's structures.
maintained that the MDC risks losing next year's crucial election if the
opposition party does not retain the democratic conventions that resulted in
its birth in 1999 after a fusion of various civic groups that included the
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions.
The MDC, widely seen as the only
formidable opposition political party with a realistic chance of dislodging
ZANU PF from its 24-year reign, has been kept on the fringes of power as the
electoral laws are heavily tilted in favour of the status quo.
Chairman of Crisis Coalition Zimbabwe Brian Kagoro said MDC members should
avoid petty squabbles stemming from perceived factionalism and instead
concentrate on confronting their common enemy - ZANU PF - which sees them as
a Western front being used by Britain and America to reverse the gains of the
land reform programme.
"I have always insisted that ZANU PF is not
a party, but a culture," Kagoro said. "I hope that the MDC has the
intelligence and wisdom to avoid petty squabbles based on factionalism and
fights among workers and intellectuals as being reported in the press. They
must try by all means to avoid splitting themselves up and stop this
foolishness when they have an enemy that is strengthening
He added: "The leadership must have systems in place for
conflict resolution. They (leadership) must intervene to ensure that this
The MDC has already hinted at boycotting next
year's elections if the playing field remained skewed in favour of ZANU
Regional leaders including South African President Thabo Mbeki,
seen as having a degree of influence on his counterpart President Robert
Mugabe, have made several attempts, including state visits to the country,
to persuade the Zimbabwean leader to create a conducive political
environment for elections.
But they have met with limited
success. Instead, President Mugabe has since introduced governors for Harare
and Bulawayo to consolidate the ruling party's power in the provinces seen as
Political commentator Joseph Kurebwa said: "The
unnecessary fighting within the MDC goes to show that the party lacks
discipline. By now the MDC should have transformed from a movement to a
full-fledged political party with structures to discipline their members.
They simply lack discipline, hence the continuous squabbles.
"The MDC risks being trounced by ZANU PF in next year's elections if they
will not be focused on what their goals an objectives are."
political analyst, Alois Masepe, said it was inevitable that MDC members
would squabble among themselves as this was part and parcel of a purification
"I was actually surprised by the absence of divisions and
splits in the MDC because it's a normal process where an organisation
purifies itself," Masepe said.
"But the problem is that it has
come at the wrong time. It's either they were managing divisions effectively
or they were avoiding them, which is not healthy for a mass
"I was worried that the MDC had not purified itself. They
now have to handle the situation intelligently or the confusion may be costly
to them in light of next year's elections," he said.
Paradza meets Shamuyarira in fire-fighting
Staff Reporter 5/6/2004 7:24:23 AM (GMT
TROUBLED ZANU PF legislator Kindness Paradza, who is fighting
for political survival, met the ruling party's secretary for information
and publicity, Nathan Shamuyarira, this week over his
The Member of Parliament for Makonde, who stumbled into
a snare of problems with fellow ZANU PF members over his takeover of The
Tribune weekly newspaper, went on a fire-fighting mission soon after his
arrival from Britain early this week.
Paradza confirmed meeting
the veteran politician yesterday but declined to give details of the
"I am back and I will face my accusers. This has
nothing to do with the party. It is personal," he said.
met Shamuyarira and briefed him thoroughly about my suspension. I have also
met my lawyers. We are going to institute a massive legal suit against The
Sunday Mail, The Herald and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation for
publishing and broadcasting falsehoods without verifying facts as prescribed
in basic journalism."
Shamuyarira declined to comment saying, "I
have nothing to say at the moment."
The Mashonaland provincial
executive suspended Paradza last week on allegations of misconduct including
disrespecting the party leadership and President Robert Mugabe, a charge he
The suspension bars Paradza from conducting any party
activities in Makonde until he appears before a provincial disciplinary
committee by the end of the month.
The ZANU PF legislator
courted trouble when he openly attacked the draconian Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Act, saying its provisions scared away potential
investors in the media industry
MUTARE - Plans
by the United Nations (UN) to repatriate thousands of Rwandan refugees in
Zimbabwe have hit a snag amid reports that the immigrants are resisting
efforts by the world body to return them to their country, purportedly for
The refugees reportedly told officials from the
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Harare that they
feared for their lives if they returned to Kigali.
reeling from a barrage of economic problems, has become home to at least 13
000 refugees mainly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda
and Burundi, who perceive the southern African country as a safe haven for
asylum seekers from the troubled Great Lakes region.
there are about 3 500 Rwandan refugees in Zimbabwe with at least 500 of them
living at Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge, while the rest are scattered in
the country's urban areas.
The UNHCR head of mission in Zimbabwe,
Grebe Kriston, and the agency's protection officer Ester Kigaro visited the
camp two weeks ago and held a meeting with the asylum seekers in frantic
efforts to persuade them to return home.
However, the refugees
indicated to the UNHCR officials that they were unwilling to do so as they
feared for their security.
"It's not yet safe to return to Rwanda
because people are still being kidnapped by government agents," said John
Bagabo, a Rwandan national who has been in the country since 1998, when
internecine strife in the DRC further compounded the instability in the Great
Another refugee who preferred to remain anonymous
said: "There is a planned repatriation of Rwandans, but we will not go back
because the security situation is not yet stable. Those currently fleeing
Rwanda say the future is not promising."
Reports from Rwanda say
the Tutsi-dominated government in Kigali has been beefing up security on its
border with the DRC to repel attacks by Hutu rebels calling themselves
Rwandan Democratic Liberation Forces.
The Rwandan government has
reportedly stationed troops in the north-eastern part of the country and
further south near the Burundi border, while the Tutsi-led government of Paul
Kagame is alleged to have launched a witch-hunt trekking down Hutu
intellectuals, professionals and politicians.
Officials from the
UNHCR office in Harare referred all questions to Isaac Mukaro, the
commissioner of refugees in Zimbabwe, who refused to comment on the planned
The Rwandans, predominantly from the Hutu ethnic
group, have been staying in Zimbabwe since 1994 when Kagame and his forces
(then a rebel group) invaded Rwanda from Uganda to end 100 days of bloodshed
which saw over 800 000 mainly Tutsis and Hutu moderates being brutally
Hutu extremists reportedly masterminded the genocide.
TIME was when Bulawayo, the country's second
largest city and industrial capital, was swamped by the who is who of the
corporate world from both sides of the Atlantic.
That was when
every country and company throughout the world fell over each other to get
that sought-after exhibition space at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair
(ZITF), which now should aptly be called the Zimbabwe Regional Trade Fair
because that is what it has degenerated into. Hardly would there be any empty
spaces like was the case this year.
The United States of America,
the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, France, Canada, the Asian dragons and the
so-called emerging economies, to name but a few, would come in droves. At the
turn of independence, they were keener than ever before to participate in the
showcase. It is this lead in the popularity stakes that culminated in
Zimbabwe hosting the All Africa International Trade Fair in
It is important to note that companies' appetite for
exhibitions is based on the conviction that they will be able to negotiate
alliances and business mandates, cut deals and establish contacts, among
other things. And in Africa the ZITF, which played an inestimable role in
putting Zimbabwe on the international map, was the place to be to realise
these. But not any more.
Now, at a particularly irksome moment,
when Zimbabwe is entrenched in recession, key industrialised countries, most
of which have a long-running diplomatic stand-off with the government, which
they accuse of a serious democratic deficit have, to all intents and
purposes, written off Africa's hitherto biggest economic
Admittedly, we have to a large extent ourselves to blame
for this tragic turn of events. But it still gives cause for concern. That
the lengthy economic crisis has dragged on unresolved for a long time
is emblematic of everything wrong with the way we deal with crisis
situations in Zimbabwe. Even here at home, although we initially had high
hopes for a quick economic recovery, the longer we waited for the elusive
recovery, the less we hoped!
As a result, the countries
mentioned earlier on which made ZITF the envy of African trade fairs, do not
want to touch the ZITF. Not even with the proverbial barge pole. They have
obviously done a cost benefit analysis of how they would gain from exhibiting
their wares in a country not only wallowing in a deepening economic crisis,
but reeling from a defection of multinational companies and therefore faced
with the danger of being reduced to a branch office economy.
Consequently but not surprisingly, the erstwhile African premier business
exhibition has sadly lost its glitter. It does not provoke as much enthusiasm
and interest as it used to. Nor does it inspire confidence. And there is the
real danger that it will, in-the-not-too-distant future, deteriorate into a
huge embarrassing flop if this has not happened already.
Lest we be
misunderstood, we have to categorically state that first, the unfolding sad
story of the ZITF mirrors the crisis of confidence in the country sparked off
by the unprecedented dip into an economic meltdown, which marked the reversal
of the country's economic expansionary dream. Zimbabwe is fast losing its
credibility, prestige and friends and as a national event, ZITF cannot be
marketed in isolation. Secondly, while this situation is a sad reflection of
the shrunken state of the economy, it is also to a lesser extent a function
of the diplomatic rift between Zimbabwe and key industrialised nations,
underlying once again what we have said before - that no country is an
If anything, the absence of these countries from the annual
exhibition signals a deep alienation between Zimbabwe and the greater
international community which in turn is hurting annual exhibitions like the
ZITF. Of course, Zimbabwe being what it is, we have had public posturing by
some misguided government ministers who are bent on painting
a-rosier-than-real picture of the frightening situation on the
Instead of looking at ways of modifying the ZITF to make it
relevant by giving it greater appeal, restore its former lustre, soothe
business fears and convince the international community that Zimbabwe's back
is no longer against the wall, these government officials, who know much
more about propaganda than economics even though they are supposed to be
running key economic ministries, are doing worse. They would want the world
to believe that all is well with the ZITF when nothing could be further
from the truth. They, in their "wisdom", which has seen political
measures suggested as solutions to economic woes, certified this year's
fair successful! Indeed the mind boggles.
These ministers who
look at issues through a political veil should be dismissed with the contempt
they deserve. They have repeatedly put their feet in their mouths and will
inevitably soon choke on their own words. Only recently, against the grain of
national aspirations, they told everyone that Zimbabwe does not need the
International Monetary Fund, which of course would be laughable were it not
for the gravity of its implications given the officials' positions in
However, whatever these government officials say, the
fact is that ZITF has degenerated into a sad joke. One can safely say that
most of those African countries that have been participating at the trade
fair for the past three years or so have been doing so more as a show of
solidarity with Zimbabwe in the face of international isolation than for
purely business purposes. And this will not help us much.
MILK production has
reportedly plunged by an estimated 40 percent during the past 12 months owing
to lack of confidence in the sector as government continues to issue eviction
notices to commercial farmers.
"Production figures in the dairy
sector have gone down by an estimated 40 percent on a year-on-year basis,
that is, March 2003 compared to March 2004," said the chief executive officer
of the National Association of Dairy Farmers (NADF), Rob van
He added that the major problem facing dairy farmers was
instability in the sector because the government was still issuing notices
to compulsorily acquire land, effectively killing confidence among the
"A producer can maintain or improve his or her
viability by growing as much food as possible on the farm, but under the
prevailing conditions, this is not possible on many dairy farms," he
"These issues require urgent attention to prevent the total
collapse of the industry. If the industry were to collapse, it would take a
very long time to rebuild . . . between 20 and 40 years," he
The country has over the past few years been experiencing
milk shortages because of a myriad of difficulties dogging the
The unplanned land reform programme
implemented in 2000 exacerbated by two years of drought has seen milk
Dairy farmers are estimated to produce
around nine million litres of milk monthly against the country's requirement
of 13 million, giving rise to a monthly deficit of four million
The country's national herd has been decimated over the
past few years as the new farmers have resorted to slaughtering cattle for
the pot while some of the beasts have succumbed to diseases and
"On the bright side, the dairy industry, given the right
environment, has tremendous potential to take advantage of regional export
opportunities between now and when other Southern African Development
Community states develop their own dairy industries," van Vuuren
"Only South Africa and Zimbabwe have substantive dairy
industries while Namibia, Zambia and Botswana have relatively small
Govt urged to play leading role in financing tobacco
Zhean Gwaze 5/6/2004 7:58:32 AM (GMT
PLAYERS in the tobacco industry have urged the government to
finance the golden leaf instead of relying on the recently introduced
contract farming, which is still mired in controversy.
president of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers' Union (ZFCU), Davidson Mugabe,
said although tobacco farmers got a major reprieve following the unveiling of
a new marketing price similar to that extended to local exporters, they would
hardly recover this season as the crop's financing was in
"We are not sure when the contractors will come forward
again because we have not seen any of them entering into any tangible
commitment this season," Mugabe said. "What the industry requires is a basic
crop that is financed by the state from as early as the seedbed stage. The
farmers will not recover in these two seasons despite the new
Tobacco output has nose-dived during the past three
years due to a myriad of viability problems.
percent of tobacco farmers' earnings are paid using the auction floor rate of
$5 200 to the greenback and 25 percent paid at $824.They also enjoy a support
price of $750 per kg from the government.
The latest figures from
the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) reveal that the mass of
tobacco sold through contract buying is far much less than tobacco sold on
the open auction floors.
According to TIMB, 4 332 665 kg of tobacco
went through the hammer at the auction rate compared to 137 081 kg sold under
contract buying on the 19th day of tobacco sales since the opening of the
The TIMB has also noted that the last contract
sales were held on April 27.
Most of the merchants are failing
to secure foreign currency and offshore lines of credit for tobacco purchases
despite the fact that growers had already signed binding agreements with the
The tobacco merchants (contractors) are under obligation to
purchase the grower's entire production.
Tobacco crop output is
expected to be about 61 million kgs.
Farmers have also expressed
concern over the price of tobacco, which is still very low if compared to the
Last year, the auction floors closed at a selling price
of US$2.25 per kg. Currently, a kilogramme of the golden leaf is fetching
ICC Criticise Zimbabwe Rebels Cricket News by Shane
The International Cricket Council seem very confused at
exactly what their role is in world cricket and the current issues affecting
Zimbabwe cricket if their recent statements are any indication of the true
state of affairs.
Although the ICC continue to follow the line that their
role is not to interfere in cricket at the local level or get involved in the
politics affecting the sport, their most recent media releases sent out by
ICC President Ehsan Mani, heavily criticise and condemn the 15 Zimbabwe
rebels who have taken a stand against racism running rampant in the sport
in Zimbabwe and also launch an attack on British PM Tony Blair for
recent comments he has made regarding the Zimbabwe issues.
the latest media release criticising the Zimbabwe rebels, goes on to
contradict itself by pointing out to us all that the ICC has no right
to intervene in the issues affecting Zimbabwe, but all the while they
continue to point out that they have sought to get involved, only to be
knocked back by the ZCU.
The ICC need to clearly make up their mind
whether or not they are going to get involved or keep their mouths shut and
leave it to those involved to sort it out. At the very least, they should
refrain from praising the ZCU, whilst they condemn the rebels for their
To try and compare the issues in Zimbabwe with those of Australia
and New Zealand is total stupidity and shows the ICC's lack of understanding
of those issues. The Aussies and Kiwis were having financial issues with
their Boards, the Zimbabwean rebels are having race issues....or hasn't the
ICC and Ehsan Mani noticed.
If this is not confusion on the part of
the ICC, I don't know what you would call it!
Another media release by
Ehsan Mani goes on to criticise Tony Blair for his attempts to escape
scrutiny over his lack of action on the Zimbabwe issues and suggest he has
dodged the issue in order to secure the Olympics for London.
Mr Mani, do you truly believe the propaganda you spout on behalf of the ICC
that this body is not a political body, nor should it muddy the waters of
politics with sport? If you do, you're a fool! Your latest media release on
behalf of your organisation clearly spells out that the ICC will get involved
in politics and political commentary when it suits the ICC's agenda, whatever
Once again, this shows a position of confusion for the
Either the ICC is going to get involved in the politics of sport or
it's not, which is it!
You may want to point out to the cricket world
Mr Mani the involvement by British entities in Zimbabwe, but is this your job
to be doing as head of World Cricket's governing body?
So again, either get involved in the real issues or keep out of it
If you cannot keep your mouth closed and follow the line that
you feed to the world's media about the ICC NOT being a political
organisation, nor will it take side's in the issues of Zimbabwe, hand the
reins of the ICC on to someone else who can. Don't merely sit there and echo
the rumblings coming out of certain sectors of India, who recently poked
their nose into the issues by tacitly threatening boycotts of tours by Asian
teams to nations who refuse to tour Zimbabwe.
Solve the true problems
and solve them now. But, I doubt you would want to do this, as it might force
the ICC to look at other cricket Nations that apply racist quota's to the
sport or even upset the agenda of a high profile media mogul in Asia who has
cricket in that geographical region by the short and curlies. We all know Mr
Mani is credited with boosting revenue from TV telecasts of matches for the
ICC, you can easily figure out whose networks he signed off with.
quoting Mr Mani in an interview with the BBC in July 2002, "We're in
a dynamic organisation but we cannot just ignore countries
self-interests. When you just push those ambitions back you create problems,"
you start to wonder whose interests he serves.