Along with many others, I do
not doubt, I find my lifelong love for cricket struggling for survival in
the muddy waters of our dealings with Mugabe's Zimbabwe. I am not sure
whether it is waving or drowning. When you have as many happy memories of
the game as I have - as a spectator, not a player - you invest it with a
From early childhood in 1921, when my father
took me to the Oval for a glimpse of Warwick Armstrong's Australians,
cricket has granted me a vast album of portraits. In the last days of August
1939, I spent a lovely day with a friend at the Oval, watching the West
Indies knock our bowling about. Such a day helped me through the
Why do I find the behaviour of cricket's custodians so
distasteful? It is because the qualities I have come to associate with the
game seem to count for nothing. As Stephen Robinson explained on this page
recently, the International Cricket Council - not all of them, dare I add,
totally unsympathetic to Mugabe - threaten us with a hefty fine if we cancel
This has scared the pants off our England and
Wales Cricket Board (ECB), whose conduct seems far removed from the
cricketing characters I admired as a boy, such as Jack Hobbs, Patsy Hendren,
Maurice Tate, Frank Woolley and many others since then.
feel sympathy for Michael Vaughan, a relatively new England captain, who
rightly does not wish to be seen throwing his weight about and so will do,
against the grain, as the ECB wishes.
Admittedly, I have deep
feelings about Zimbabwe, still such a beautiful country though so much less
bountiful than it was, which I do not expect the ECB to share. But to have
dealings with a man who manipulates the food aid that the ruined Zimbabwe
now has to be given, with a view to feeding political supporters and keeping
opponents hungry, is contrary to every value over-romantic people like me
attribute to cricket.
Francis Thompson 's poem At Lord's
expresses it: "And I look through my tears on a soundless clapping host/ As
the run-stealers flicker to and fro, To and fro:- / O my Hornby and my
Barlow long ago!"
Mabeza THE Government is drawing up a revised policy framework for
indigenisation as it strives to get more black Zimbabweans involved in major
national economic activities.
The permanent secretary in the Ministry
of Industry and International Trade Retired Colonel Christian Katsande said
this when he met the deputy resident representative of the United Nations
Development Programme in Zimbabwe Mr Bernard Mokam.
partnered the Government in the project Technical Support for the
Indigenisation Policy Programme that commenced in 1997.
"The aim of
the project was to assist the Government of Zimbabwe to come up with a broad
policy framework and strategies on economic indigenisation," Mr Mokam
Cabinet adopted the policy framework in 1998.
the policy, economic indigenisation refers to economic empowerment of the
historically disadvantaged Zimbabweans.
"The revised policy framework
will look at the review of legislation, industrialisation, the Empowerment
Act and the proposition of an empowerment council.
"The council will
push for indigenous entrepreneurship, skills development and mobilisation of
funding," Rtd Col Katsande said.
He added that through the indigenisation
drive, economic activities and generation of employment is set to
The permanent secretary said empowerment should focus
particularly on women and youth.
"Experience has shown that
empowering women and youth in all sectors and sub-sectors of the economy has
a larger ripple effect," Ret Col Katsande said.
Mr Mokam pointed out
that an equitable redistribution of resources is not possible without the
empowerment of the indigenous population.
"We need to ensure that the
policy framework is broadly debated by all concerned and fully implemented,"
Mr Mokam also said that the institutional arrangements have to
be put in place as the project is going to be moved to the new Department of
Indigenisation and Empowerment in the Presidents Office.
economic indigenisation policy is the national policy for socio-economic
development in order to achieve poverty reduction, national building and
development of a democratic social system.
"The policy seeks to address
the income difference that existed before independence and correct the
inherited anomalies by empowering the indigenous population and developing a
domestic private sector with a broad ownership structure," Government said
in a statement.
Watershed meeting in city on Zim elections
October 4, 2004
By Basildon Peta
politicians and activists are in Pretoria for talks in which they hope to
enlist the support of South African civic society groups in lobbying for an
environment conducive to free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.
The two-day conference is organised by the South African Council of Churches
in partnership with the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference, Centre
for Policy Studies (CPS), the Institute for Democratic Alternative in South
Africa and the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR).
President Robert Mugabe's government has declared that Zimbabwe is not bound
by the recently agreed Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)
standards and norms on free and fair elections.
opposition MDC has already suspended participation in elections until Mugabe
implements the new SADC norms.
Zimbabwean activists said they hope
to lobby the South African government to help foster electoral
Molefe Tsele, the general secretary of the SACC, said the
primary objective of the conference was to identify and define how the South
African community and the SADC region could support furthering democracy in
Zimbabwe by building consensus on the expected minimum standards for
Bishops line up against Mugabe's latest
restrictions October 4, 2004
Harare - Zimbabwe's seven
Catholic bishops have denounced state media control, and other Christian
groups have called for outright defiance of planned laws curbing charity
The bishops sent a pastoral letter to churches yesterday
demanding a "credible electoral process" and peaceful campaigning ahead of
the March presidential election.
In a separate move, also seen
as a crackdown on dissent, the government proposed criminalising charity
work done without a government permit, and banning charities and private
groups focusing on "issues of human rights and good governance" from
receiving foreign funding.
The bishops say it is important that all
political parties have access to media coverage so that they can inform
citizens about how they intend to govern if they are
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo said the government
would deny media access to the "disloyal" opposition, and ignore Southern
African Development Community rules on election conduct, the state-run
Sunday Mail reported.
"When a political party has no loyalty,
then it should not expect to be treated fairly," the paper quoted Moyo as
Christian groups say the efforts to limit charity work
jeopardise crucial relief work in the country, where the UN says 2-million
people may need food aid before March.
Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo has accused President Robert Mugabe of
using food to buy votes.- Sapa-AP
Call to Boycott Zimbabwe Tour News and opinion by Neil
There can't be many individuals left in England who
would still argue that top-class international cricket ought to continue to
be held in Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe dictatorship. Curious then, that it
should be the England & Wales Cricket Board which appeared to be doing
the most to ensure the England side to play a series of one-day
internationals in Mugabe's benighted country next month will be strong
enough to justify official international status. The strength of their
opponents is another matter entirely.
The strong moral stance taken
by leading fast bowler Steve Harmison in declaring himself unavailable for
the tour could, and perhaps should, have led to a rash of similar decisions
by his team-mates and the sending of a seriously second-rate touring party,
which would at least have been a declaration of disapproval by the players
if not the board. But, in a series of back-room compromises recalling the
great days of imperial diplomacy (perhaps Mr Mugabe and his cronies would
quibble about the word 'great'), ECB Chairman David Morgan and Chairman of
Selectors David Graveney managed to ensure that the bulk of England's first
choice squad will make the trip. So a tour that really ought not to be
taking place at all will now go ahead with the effective full support of the
It was always likely that Harmison's lead would be
followed by his good friend Andrew Flintoff. But Flintoff was spared the
agonies of decision by coach Duncan Fletcher's inclusion of him on a list of
players who were to be 'rested' in advance of the tour to South Africa later
this year. Also on this list were opening batsman Marcus Trescothick,
spinner Ashley Giles and captain Michael Vaughan. But, in a clear signal
that the ECB wished to avoid charges of sending a second-rate team,
Vaughan's resting was overruled by Morgan and Graveney and he will lead the
team as usual. Once it was confirmed that Vaughan would tour, Giles, who is
the captain's closest friend in the team, opted to tour as well, so as to be
there to offer the captain his support. Trescothick was thought to be
considering a similar choice, but wiser cousel prevailed.
beginning of this sorry affair, the ECB has appeared terrified of the
possibility of having sanctions levied against them for cancelling the tour,
or for sending out a sub-strength side. The very action taken by the ICC
against Zimbabwe will have given them further cause for concern, their
suspension from Test cricket being the result of poor standards on the
field, rather than political concerns. Had the ECB dispatched a touring
squad featuring few senior players, or none at all, might England too have
suffered suspension from international cricket? Perhaps, or perhaps not. And
probably not unless the side were so weak as to be defeated by Zimbabwe. But
the question marks will have been prominent enough to cause a few sleepless
nights in St John's Wood.
There will be few people at the ECB who
have not at some stage felt battered and bruised by the Zimbabwe affair.
Memories of the World Cup debacle 18 months ago were stirred afresh this
week by former captain Nasser Hussain, whose forthright new autobiography is
ruffling feathers in committee rooms and commentary boxes across the land.
Outgoing ECB Chief Executive Tim Lamb took both barrels of Hussain's latest
twelve-bore full in the chest in the shape of some strong-worded criticism
of his handling of the affair. Lamb, a decent and considerate man, expressed
himself "saddened" by the former skipper's words, but he can hardly have
been surprised. As for poor David Morgan, the whole business blew up just a
few weeks after he took over the job from Lord Ian MacLaurin, and he has
been gripped in its drooling jaws ever since.
Say what you like about
the level of competence displayed by the ECB over the course of this matter,
they have found themselves placed in a near impossible position. Public
opinion in the UK has long favoured abandoning sporting links with Mugabe's
Zimbabwe. Sports fans here remember well the long and worthy boycott on
sporting links with apartheid South Africa, something felt less keenly
perhaps on the Indian subcontinent which had never had the benefit of such
links on the first place. But while the ECB would like nothing better than
to fall into line with public demand and cancel the tour, the ICC has stuck
to its guns and insisted that only in the event of an official UK government
instruction not to tour would withdrawal be acceptable.
Now this is
where the fine differences in political culture between west and east come
in. On the Indian subcontinent national cricket boards are inextricably
linked with government politics. Their functionaries are generally political
appointees, bound by loyalty and by law to follow government instruction. In
the UK it is a different matter entirely. The ECB is an independent
organisation whose powers are devolved to it by the 18 professional county
clubs, it exists in complete separation from government and is not beholden
to it in any real way. As such, the government has no actual power to
instruct the ECB to cancel the tour or to impose any sanctions upon it after
the event. No such ban or sanction would stand up in court. Margaret
Thatcher tried to get the British Olympic Committee to join the US boycott
of the 1980 Moscow games (in protest at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan),
but to no avail. If she couldn't pull it off then no-one could.
don't believe for a minute that any of this is news to the people at the top
of the ICC or of those national boards which continue to offer succour and
support to Mugabe's vile regime. Stupid people do not get to run such
bodies. But there are plenty of other faults a person can have besides
stupidity. Mob rule, violence, targeted starvation and intimidation are
facts of life in Zimbabwe today. Certain people in prominent positions in
world cricket seem to have no problem with this or to think that cricket can
remain aloof and detached from it all. Some of these people twenty or thirty
years ago would have been defending the boycott of South Africa with all the
gravity they could muster.
So here are a few brief questions for
those people to ask themselves:
1. Do you still believe that the
apartheid era boycott of South Africa was an appropriate and effective
2. What are the differences which made the boycott of South
Africa right at the time and make a similar boycott of Zimbabwe now
3. If the current racial and domestic situation in Zimbabwe is not
bad enough for a sporting boycott to be imposed, then what would have to
happen there, or in any other state, for a boycott to become
Most of all those questions should be directed to the United
Cricket Board of South Africa, who wake up every day to experience the
benefits brought to their country by the apartheid boycott, yet who, in a
gesture of the most appalling cynicism, have refused to let the England team
prepare for the Zimbabwe tour in South Africa. The idea, presumably, was
that England should have to spend as much time as possible in Zimbabwe to
make their embarrassment and discomfort yet more lengthy. England have
instead made alternative arrangements in Namibia.
One final thought.
Prominent among the figures involved in the Zimbabwe wranglings during the
last World Cup was Professional Cricketers Association supremo Richard
Bevan. Both he and the PCA have been notably silent this time around. A pity
this. Strong action from the PCA, possibly going as far as an organised
player boycott of the tour, might have forced the ECB to stand their ground
rather more firmly. But it is probably too late for that now. Short of some
bold bit of gamesmanship by the ECB (naming the vigorous anti-Mugabe &
Gay Rights campaigner Peter Tatchell as tour manager for example...), it
seems certain now that this shabby, unworthy tour will go ahead. An old
fashioned notion perhaps, but it's just not cricket.
Reporter ZIMBABWE and Iran are set to further strengthen their relations by
establishing a cultural course at the University of Zimbabwe, the head of
the embassy's cultural section, Mr Amir Ahmadi, has said.
that in line with the country's promotion of dialogue among different
nations, Iran was willing to begin the course on cultural relations soon and
hold seminars in Zimbabwe to promote the exchange of ideas.
experts, he said, would be invited from Iran to conduct the seminars and
Zimbabweans would also be sent to Iran to share knowledge about each other's
"It's good to have dialogue among our countries to exchange
ideas because dialogue promotes a framework to foster peace among people,"
said Mr Ahmadi.
He said the initiative by Iran to promote dialogue among
nations came about in response to the need for peaceful resolution of
Iran, he said, has gone down in history as the standard bearer
of inter-nation dialogue.
Both cultural and trade relations between
the two countries have been good with tobacco and asbestos dominating
Zimbabwe's exports to Iran, while imports from Iran have been mainly
agricultural equipment and industrial materials.
Through the joint
Permanent Commission on Economic, Trade, Technical, Industrial and Cultural
Co-operation established in Teheran, the Iranian capital, last year, the
Government of Iran extended a line of credit to Zimbabwe of US$15 million,
which is more than the value of trade between the two countries.
credit facility is for the importation of tractors and other agricultural
From George Maponga
in MASVINGO THE battle for the control of the Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial
executive has taken a new twist after some ruling party supporters, led by
war veterans, were successfully granted a court order interdicting the
Daniel Shumba-led executive from operating from the party's offices in the
The move follows an abortive "putsch" last month by war
veterans, war collaborators and ex-detainees, who temporarily closed the
ruling party's offices at Kyle House by placing key blockers.
offices were reopened by police who had to guard them to enable party
workers to carry on with their work.
The closure of the offices
angered senior Zanu-PF members in the province.
Magistrate Mr Timeon
Makunde last week granted a final order barring Cde Shumba and his executive
from visiting and operating from Zanu-PF offices at Kyle House after an
application by Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association
provincial chairman Cde Isaiah Muzenda and six other party
"It is ordered that the first respondent (Cde Shumba), his
executive and all those who work through him on Zanu-PF business be and are
hereby interdicted from operating and/or working at, visiting Zanu-PF
offices at the third floor of Kyle House, Masvingo," ruled Mr
He also ordered the first respondent to pay the applicants'
costs of litigation.
The final interdiction order was granted after
Cde Shumba did not turn up at the Masvingo civil court to oppose a
provisional order that was granted by the same court last month barring him
from operating from the Zanu-PF offices in Masvingo.
Cde Muzenda said
they were now expecting Zanu-PF national commissar Cde Elliot Manyika to
come and set up a new interim executive that will assume office.
are not going to disturb the workers at the party offices from conducting
their business because they are not politicians. We will allow them to carry
on with their work.
"We are waiting for Cde Manyika to come and install
an interim executive that will administer the party," said Cde Muzenda
Last month, Zanu-PF supporters, led by the provincial leaders
of war veterans, war collaborators and ex-detainees, said they no longer
have confidence in the leadership of Cde Shumba, citing that his executive
had failed to run the office.
They instead proposed a new interim
executive that was to be led by Retired Major Alex Mudavanhu.
to contact Cde Shumba were fruitless as his mobile phone could not take
incoming calls, while the phone of his deputy, Cde Tinos Rusere, was not
The problems in the Zanu-PF Masvingo camp could impact
negatively on the ruling party's campaign for the impending Masvingo South
parliamentary by-election and in next year's general elections scheduled for
March if no urgent solution is found to bring the feuding sides to a
NGO BILL TO FLUSH 10 000 JOBS DOWN THE DRAIN Mon 4 October
HARARE - More than 10 000 jobs will be lost if the government
passes a new law that will severely restrict the operations of
Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the country, according to a survey
by the national association of NGOs (NANGO).
lawyer and consultant for NANGO Jacob Mafume told ZimOnline that some NGOs,
scared by the proposed legislation, were already scaling down operations in
Zimbabwe while others were relocating to Botswana, Mozambique and South
Unemployment in Zimbabwe stands at more than 70 percent and
the job loses from closure of NGOs would only make an already bad situation
Mafume said: "We tasked someone to do research on the impact
of the NGO Bill on jobs in the sector and preliminary indications show job
losses will be in their thousands. More than 10 000 people will lose their
jobs if you look at all the NGOs involved in the HIV/AIDS sector
that receive foreign funding and a host of others that deal with governance
and democracy issues."
The NGO Bill, expected to be enacted when
Parliament resumes tomorrow, bans foreign NGOs involved in governance and
democracy issues from operating in Zimbabwe.
It also bans
foreign funding to approved local NGOs. Many civic organisations, who have
been carrying out voter education, on the strength of foreign donations will
have to close shop.
Other NGOs involved in human rights and
governance issues will be barred from receiving foreign funding. An
NGO Council to be appointed by the state will deregister and shut down NGOs
that fail to comply with the new law.
Critics say the hand
picked Council will do to NGOs what the Media and Information Commission
(MIC) has done to the media. The MIC, handpicked by Information Minister
Jonathan Moyo, has shut down three mainstream newspapers in
Civic society activists say the proposed law will see aid
to Zimbabwe including humanitarian support drying up because donors always
link humanitarian aid with support for basic human rights and good
Meanwhile, a magistrate court in Chegutu town has set
free a group of 48 women activities arrested last Tuesday for marching
against the NGO Bill.
The court dismissed allegations by state
prosecutors that the women, who belong to Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
pressure group, were disturbing peace by engaging on the 440 kilometre march
from Bulawayo to Harare. They were arrested after covering 300
A spokeswoman of the activists, Magodonga Mahlangu,
said the women were going to resume the march to Harare.
said: "We are waiting for the dust to settle before we resume our march. The
morale among the ladies is still high and we are still full of energy to
complete our historic journey."
The women plan to demonstrate at
Parliament and to hand in a petition urging legislators to block the NGO
Bill. - ZimOnline
Secret agents crack down on MDC activists Mon 4 October
BULAWAYO - Zimbabwe's feared spy agency, the Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO), has embarked on a crackdown against
opposition Movement for Democratic Change(MDC) supporters in Bulawayo to
force them to reveal the party's campaign strategy ahead of parliamentary
elections next March.
The secret agents unleashed an orgy of
violence and terror at the weekend after they abducted and beat up about 20
MDC supporters from the city's western suburbs, according to opposition
The CIO agents are said to be targeting opposition
party supporters drawn from a list obtained by the police when they raided
the MDC offices recently.
The MDC activists were allegedly
beaten up with planks and whips and threatened with death by the spies at
the CIO offices in the city at the weekend. The agents wanted the activists
to reveal the party's campaign strategy ahead of next year's
The youth activists say they were
tortured during the night and were only released at about 4am.
One of the youths, a 20-year-old man from Emganwini high density suburb, who
spoke on condition he was not named for fear of reprisals, said he was
picked up at his home on Friday at about 3pm by two men driving a maroon
"It seemed they already knew my name and address. They
showed me a paper bearing a letterhead written "President's office" and told
me to get into their vehicle. When I asked them why they were taking me
away, they said I should just get into the car or else I would not
come back. There were two other men in the car and we were taken to an
office in town," recounted the man.
He said the agents took turns
to beat them up till morning. The youth sustained several scars all over the
body as a result of the beatings.
He said after their release, they
tried to report the assault at Bulawayo Central police station in the city
centre but were turned away by police officers who accused them of lying.
They later reported the assaults at Nkulumane police station in the western
Police spokesman, Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena
could not be reached for comment. However, a police officer at Nkulumane
police station confirmed receiving the reports of beatings by the CIO
"We received the reports on Saturday morning and we are
investigating them...," said the police officer.
The MDC has
suspended participating in all elections until the playing field is
levelled. It has however hinted that it may participate in the March
parliamentary elections if the government fully implements a new regional
code on free and fair elections.
It is meanwhile going ahead with
preparations for the March elections in the hope that Mugabe complies with
the SADC protocol. - ZimOnline
Mugabe courts Museveni in bid to boost image Mon 4 October
HARARE - President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda is expected in
Harare today after an increasingly isolated Robert Mugabe invited him to
visit Harare for trade talks.
Museveni becomes the first
African leader to land in Harare on a state visit in a very long
Although they generally stand by Mugabe at public
gatherings, it seems African leaders are warry of being seen as getting too
close to their Zimbabwean counterpart and many have shunned private visits
Sources said Mugabe planned to woo Museveni to help him
improve his image on the regional and international political
A lot of hype has already been created in Harare over the
Museveni visit, with portraits of the Ugandan leader displayed on major
streets in the capital.
Government sources said Mugabe
requested Museveni, who is being portrayed as an "ally" and "patriotic
colleague", to visit Zimbabwe after indicating that he had lost faith and
trust in President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa. He thus wants to recruit new
"He is no longer as enthusiastic about Mbeki as he was in
the past. He has also lost faith in Obasanjo (Nigerian President). He says
these two are insisting on him having to talk to Tsvangirai as well as
mending his relations with the West. Now, it appears he wants to
try and court Museveni," a source said.
Museveni, who is widely
considered a dictator, runs a one-party political system in Uganda. He
however remains a darling of the West who has ensured economic reform and
stability in his country.
Efforts by Mbeki and Obasanjo to bring
Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai to the negotiating table have failed
as the two political leaders stick to their hardline positions.
Until recently, Museveni was considered to be among the few African leaders
who genuinely opposed Mugabe. In fact relations between Zimbabwe and Uganda
remained frosty during the late 90s when the two countries backed opposing
sides in the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Mugabe deployed troops to shore up the Kabila government while Museveni and
Rwanda backed rebel armies. The opposition and civic society groups are
known to have regarded Museveni as an ally until the end of the DRC war when
he began to warm up to Mugabe. - ZimOnline
HARARE - Information and Publicity Minister Jonathan Moyo has banned Econet
Wireless adverts on national radio and television despite the fact that the
telecommunications firm is sponsoring the country's richest football
Econet, which is sponsoring the $250 million
Buddie Challenge Cup, is owned by prominent businessman Strive Masiyiwa whom
the government accuses of supporting the Movement for Democratic Change
Authoritative sources said Moyo issued a directive to the
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH) to spurn Masiyiwa's adverts. The move
will cost the financially-troubled state broadcaster $4 billion in potential
Moyo is said to have ordered that the name
Econet, or Buddie - the brand name for the network's prepaid facility -
should never be mentioned on national radio or television.
news bulletins, the Buddie Challenge Cup is now being merely referred to as
the "Challenge Cup" or the "Knockout Tournament" after Moyo's
A senior Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings reporter,
who preferred not to be named said: "We are under strict instruction never
to mention the name Econet or Buddie in our reports. The issue is very
serious to the extent that one marketing executive had to be summoned by
Moyo after he had tried to push for the airing of adverts for the tournament
that were going to raise $4 billion for both radio and television
ZBH boss Rino Zhuwarara said: "Its entirely up to ZBH to
decide what adverts to show and what not to show."
executive at Econet told ZimOnline that even efforts to have matches
screened live on television were frustrated by ZBH.
initially claimed that they had little space but later told us clearly that
their hands were tied because of some political directive," he
An official from the Premier Soccer League who also spoke on
condition he was not named blasted Moyo's decision, calling it "taking
politics to childish levels".
Meanwhile, on-fire CAPS United
edged Dynamos 1-0 in the Buddie Challenge Cup quarter-final match played in
Harare. In the other matches, Shabanie Mine beat Amazulu 3-1 and Railstars
won 1-0 against Wankie. - ZimOnline
Civic groups plan massive protests Mon 4 October
HARARE - Representatives of Non-Governmental Organisations
(NGOs) say they have planned demonstrations against a proposed law, that
will severely curtail their operations, when Parliament resumes sitting
Organisers said they had planned the protests to coincide
with the opening of Parliament tomorrow to send a "loud and clear" message
to members of parliament that the proposed law was totally
The Non Governmental Organisations Bill seeks to ban
foreign funding to all approved NGOs. It will virtually shut down all NGOs
involved in governance and democracy issues.
It establishes a
council, handpicked by a minister, to approve and register all NGOs that
will be allowed to operate in Zimbabwe.
Organisers said the
protesters will also denounce the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Bill which
paves way for the setting up of a commission to run elections in the
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and
civic society groups have dismissed the proposed commission as a joke. They
say it will remain beholden to President Mugabe who appoints
The National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations
(NANGO), which is organising the planned protests, urged MPs to completely
reject the Bills.
But that seems unlikely as the Bills require
a simple parliamentary majority to become law. ZANU PF MPs have already been
whipped into line.
President Mugabe told his ruling Zanu PF party's
politburo meeting last week that the NGO Bill had to pass at all costs as
its passage would ensure victory for Zanu PF in next March's parliamentary
But civic groups are not giving up.
Bill must be opposed until we achieve something. It is therefore necessary
that NGOs and other members of the civil society unequivocally make the
statement to legislators when the House resumes sitting on Tuesday," NANGO
The MDC has vowed to do all it can to oppose the two Bills
though its chances of stopping their passage are limited. -
Zimbabwe civic groups lobby their South
African counterparts Mon 4 October 2004
PRETORIA - Top
Zimbabwean politicians and civic society activists are in Pretoria for a
conference at which they hope to enlist the support of South African civic
society groups in lobbying for an environment conducive to free and fair
elections in Zimbabwe.
The two-day conference, which opens today
(Monday), is organised by the South African Council of Churches (SACC) in
partnership with Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC),
Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), the Institute for Democratic Alternatives
in South Africa and the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation
The conference opens at a time when President Robert
Mugabe's government has declared that Zimbabwe is not bound by recently
agreed Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) standards and norms on
free and fair elections.
Leading lights in Zimbabwe's civic
society and opposition political circles were already in Pretoria last
night. Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa was also expected in Pretoria
representing President Mugabe's government while ZANU PF spokesman Nathan
Shamuyarira is expected to represent the ruling party.
Zimbabwean civic society activists said last night they hoped to use the
conference to demonstrate how democratic space is being continually eaten
away on a daily basis in Zimbabwe. They said they hoped to engage their
South African counterparts and enlist their support in lobbying
President Thabo Mbeki's government to help foster electoral reforms in
Molefe Tsele, the General Secretary of the SACC, said in
a statement: "The coming parliamentary elections in Zimbabwe offer a
historic opportunity to turn the course from an intractable stalemate
towards a path of long-term peace and stability."
"As the South
African Civil Society, we cannot afford the luxury of ignoring the
opportunity these elections offer to the people of Zimbabwe. Through this
conference, we hope an environment can be built for confidence and
participation in electoral processes and the lessons in Zimbabwe can be
drawn to assist the region."
He said the primary objective of the
conference was to identify and define how the South African community and
the SADC region could support the process of furthering democracy in
Zimbabwe by building consensus on the expected minimum standards for
The conference would examine and debate the various
electoral reform proposals put forward by key stakeholders in Zimbabwe, in
the context of both the current situation, the regional and international
pronouncements and benchmarks on electoral standards.
President Mugabe's government said it was not legally bound to follow the
electoral guidelines agreed at the SADC regional summit in Mauritius in
August because they were not law.
"Why should we be following
something from outside especially if it's just guidelines? Why not insist on
Zimbabwean laws, why not insist on Zimbabwean rules," Mugabe's spokesman,
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, was quoted as saying by
The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party has
already suspended participation in all elections until President Mugabe
implements the new SADC norms. - ZimOnline
Zimbabwe, SA sign deal to halt exploitation of immigrant
farm workers Mon 4 October 2004
PRETORIA - Zimbabwe and South
Africa have signed an agreement to end the exploitation of illegal
Zimbabwean migrant workers on South African farms.
Africa's labour minister Membathisi Mdladlana acknowledged at the weekend
that the exploitation of Zimbabwean immigrant workers was a widespread
practice on South African farms. He said his ministry would put in place a
mechanism for the recruitment of Zimbabweans to work on South African
Mdladlana accused mainly white South African farmers
of hiring illegal immigrants and giving them fake identity documents. The
farmers often threaten to deport the illegal immigrants during disputes over
salaries and working conditions.
The latest agreement will
eventually see the creation of an agency to act as a recruitment centre for
South African farmers looking for labour. It is envisaged that Zimbabweans
will also register at the agency for employment on South African
Labour minister Paul Mangwana who signed the agreement on
behalf of Zimbabwe said: "We do not encourage our citizens to cross into
South Africa illegally. We want to put in place a mechanism to ensure that
Zimbabweans wanting to work in South Africa are properly
There are over three million Zimbabweans living in
South Africa with an estimated 20 000, most of them illegal immigrants,
working on the farms.
Most of the illegal immigrants opt to eke out
a living by providing cheap labour on the farms after running away from
economic hardships at home. - ZimOnline
Mnangagwa distances himself from Mawere Mon 4 October
HARARE - Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa is breathing
fire over reports linking him to business mogul Mutumwa Mawere.
He has begun to threaten newspapers with lawsuits unless they withdraw
reports that he was Mawere's godfather until they fell out recently and that
he is now behind the business mogul's woes.
distanced himself from numerous Press reports linking him to Mawere and
refutes claims that he is in fact related to the business
Mnangagwa has also vehemently rejected claims that he
favoured Mawere with government guarantees on which the latter built his
vast business empire.
Several Press reports have suggested that
Mawere is a close crony of Mnangagwa and the two are in fact related. The
reports, also carried by ZimOnline, have said Mawere bought the
Shabanie-Mashaba Mines in 1996 from a government guarantee that he got
while Mnangagwa was Acting Minister of Finance. Reports say Mnangagwa
had interests in the asbestos mines.
Mnangagwa says this is all
Mnangagwa partly bares his soul in a letter to Ibbo Mandaza,
publisher of the Mirror newspaper, which has also carried reports linking
the parliamentary speaker to Mawere. He threatened to sue the newspaper
unless it retracts all the statements it has published on the
The Zimbabwe government unsuccessfully tried to have Mawere
extradited from South Africa to stand trial in Harare on allegations that he
prejudiced the state of $300 billion in revenue from his asbestos
A South African magistrate dismissed the government's
application to extradite the business mogul after finding the application
faulty. Reports have suggested that the government is pursuing Mawere after
he fell out with top politicians, who made him, mainly
They portray Mawere as a victim of a political vendetta
driven by the parliamentary Speaker after their fall out.
in his first ever rebuttal of such allegations, Mnangagwa insists that he
has no links with Mawere and he is not at all related to him. He denies
claims that he has controlled interests in Mawere's mines and other
He says he has also never discussed the financing of
the ZANU PF Congress with Mawere as claimed by reports which suggest that
the parliamentary speaker got very annoyed when Mawere turned down his
requests to fund the ZANU PF congress in December.
says he had at no stage discussed the conference with Mawere and any
suggestions that he is behind the businessman's troubles are totally
mischievous. He says he is not part of any scheme to destroy Mawere. -