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

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More Zim players get the sack 12/04/04
Cricket crisis goes into tailspin

The crisis facing Zimbabwean cricket has worsened, with four players reportedly sacked a week after former skipper Heath Streak’s demise.

Streak was stripped of the captaincy after making demands on the way he believes the national team should be run, and now Craig Wishart, Ray Price, Travis Friend and Sean Ervine have also been dumped, according to CricInfo.

The quartet did not play for Mashonaland in the Zimbabwean domestic competition at the weekend after being given permission to miss the game by Cricket Union Chief Executive Vince Hogg.

But that decision was later reversed, and ZCU member Ozias Bvute is then believed to have told the four they will not play in this weekend’s first Test against Sri Lanka.

The dismissal of Streak from the squad may also result in the remaining white members of the team also quitting, with Grant Flower and Andy Blignaut to tell the ZCU on Tuesday what the players’ response is to the situation.

The ZCU did receive a boost though with the news that England Cricket Board head David Morgan has announced England is likely to go ahead with its upcoming tour of Zimbabwe, unless there is a dramatic turn of events.

"The only way that I can see us not fulfilling the tour is either because of government directive or because of safety and security," Morgan told The Independent on Sunday. "And let me emphasise we don't see them as being issues at the moment."

Morgan also admitted that the ECB’s willingness to travel to Zimbabwe stems from new International Cricket Council regulations that state that countries refusing to honour tour commitments can be heavily fined or suspended from competition.

"I have little doubt that if without acceptable non-compliance we decided not to go, the members of the ICC would find it necessary to ensure that we paid an appropriate financial penalty," Morgan said.

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Morgan rips up Wilson report

Monday April 12, 2004
The Guardian

England will tour Zimbabwe in October unless the government or security fears dictate otherwise, the England and Wales Cricket Board chairman David Morgan confirmed yesterday.

The ECB will not follow the recommendation of its board member Des Wilson, the former Liberal party president whose report said moral issues should be taken into account when considering whether to go ahead with the tour.

"I am certain that the ECB must not take a political or moral stance," Morgan says. "It is for government to do that."

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004
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Business Day

SABC journalist arrested in Zimbabwe


A journalist from the SABC, Shandukani Mathagu, was arrested on Saturday in
Zimbabwe, the SABC confirmed.

Mathagu was held on the Zimbabwean side of the Beit Bridge border post as he
allegedly did not have a passport and had entered Zimbabwe illegally.

According to Manas Tshungu, head of SABC's Limpopo news service, Mathagu had
been writing a story about the long queue of trucks on the South African
side of the Beit Bridge border post.

Tshungu said a South African customs official had told Mathagu that the
cause of the trucks' delay was on the Zimbabwean side of the border and had
invited the journalist to accompany him into Zimbabwe.

The official had reportedly assured Mathagu that he could cross into
Zimbabwe without a passport as long as he was accompanied by a South African

The Zimbabwean police had different views, Tshungu said, and arrested the

After supplying Zimbabwean authorities with Mathagu's passport, the
journalist was released, Tshungu said.

A spokesman for South Africa's Department of Foreign Affairs, Ronnie
Mamoepa, confirmed the incident.

Trucking queues have presented problems at Beit Bridge in the past.

In late 2002 trucks spent more than a week queueing in temperatures of above
40 degrees. Some were carrying hazardous chemicals.

The jam was the result of construction work on the Zimbabwe side of the
border that had been delayed by plant equipment not being able to be
supplied with diesel as a result of the Zimbabwe crisis.

Trucks had been bound for many Southern African Development Community
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Cape Times

      Zimbabwe police hunt fleeing tycoons in UK
      April 12, 2004

      Harare: Zimbabwean police commissioner Augustine Chihuri says he has
sent senior officers to Britain to hunt down prominent bankers and
businessmen who fled President Robert Mugabe's blitz on white collar crime -
which critics say is a smokescreen for a political witchhunt.

      Chihuri said he had formally asked Interpol for the extradition of
four prominent Zimbabwean bankers and three members of the country's
wealthiest Asian family, the Joshis.

      The Joshis were until recently closely associated with top members of
Mugabe's politburo on the boards of ruling Zanu-PF party companies.

      The opposition Movement for Democratic Change claims "selective
justice" is being applied, with the government targeting associates of rival
factions in the race to succeed Mugabe, 80.

      "Internationally, Britain is becoming the only country which is
establishing itself as a safe haven for our local criminals," Chihuri told
the government-run Sunday Mail.

      "They (the British) are creating lame excuses for not wanting to
co-operate and facilitate the return of the criminals," said Chihuri, adding
that he had also sent officers to South Africa to investigate the hijacking
of trucks containing billions of dollars of platinum and nickel on its way
to refineries. - Sapa-DPA
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The Telegraph

Zimbabwe row 'not racial'
By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
(Filed: 12/04/2004)

The white members of the Zimbabwe team want two new selectors to join the
panel to choose the national squad, both of them black.

This emerged yesterday as one of the key issues of dispute with the Zimbabwe
Cricket Union which led to Heath Streak being forced out of the captaincy.
Streak has said he would not play for Zimbabwe unless various concerns were
addressed, the most prominent surrounding the selection panel.

A source close to the players said: "This is all going to be interpreted by
some as racism by white players. This is not the case. They want two members
of the selection panel to be replaced by Ethan Dube and Mpumelelo Mbangwa,
both blacks with considerable international experience."

The Zimbabwe squad's unhappiness with two of the four selectors is founded
on allegations of regular non-appearance at key games, and "irrational"

Up to 12 of Zimbabwe's top players, all whites, are considering leaving the
team even though most have no jobs to go to, and several are homeless since
their farmer parents were illegally dispossessed of their land.

Ten members of the side were dismissed on Friday when they failed to turn up
for provincial fixtures despite having had their absence sanctioned by Vince
Hogg, managing director of the ZCU. He was overruled by the ZCU board.

On a brighter note for Zimbabwe cricket, a threat of suspension has
apparently forced the England and Wales Cricket Board to put aside their
misgivings about touring in October. David Morgan, the ECB chairman, has
said that any thoughts of England withdrawing had been scrapped under
International Cricket Council pressure.

"The only way that I can see us not fulfilling the tour is either because of
government directive or because of safety and security reasons," he said.
"We don't see them as issues at the moment.

England refused to play in Zimbabwe during last year's World Cup because of
security concerns. However, last month the ICC warned England they faced a
suspension from international cricket and a $2 million fine if they failed
to fulfil their obligations.

Morgan added: "The consequences of us not fulfilling the commitment would be
immense. I am certain that the ECB must not take a political or moral
stance, it is for Government to do that."
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'Mercenaries': No extra food
11/04/2004 13:51  - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwean police and prison authorities have barred those awaiting
trial in Chikurubi maximum security prison outside Harare from having food
brought to them from outside.

A statement released to state broadcasting said the ban was with immediate
effect and was imposed "for security reasons".

It was imposed a day after 70 suspected coup plotters, arrested at Harare
International Airport last month, complained they had been beaten by guards.

The authorities did not deny the assault, but said they would investigate
how a lawyer for the 70, alleged to have been on their way to Equatorial
Guinea, was able to hear about the alleged incident within an hour of its

Last week the 70 were also refused permission to see representatives of
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who went to the prison to gather evidence
of involvement of opposition leader Severo Moto, who is in exile in Spain.

Jonathan Samkange, who is representing the 70 alleged mercenaries, said he
brought food to the prison on Friday as a planned "Easter treat".

Chicken and fruit

It included roast chicken and fresh fruit, following complaints the
prisoners made to magistrates about bad food and prevalence of lice.

"On a daily basis we have been bringing them food to supplement what they
are getting. I was told at the gate that inmates were no longer allowed to
get food from outside for security reasons. I do not know what security they
are talking about," said Samkange.

A police spokesperson refused to comment on the security concerns that
prompted the ban.

The detained men include South Africans, Namibians and Angolans. They allege
they were on their way to undertake mine security duties in the Democratic
Republic of Congo when their Boeing 727 aircraft was seized on landing at
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Financial Times

      Zim cricket crisis deepens
      By FT sport staff
      Published: April 11 2004 19:49 | Last Updated: April 11 2004 19:49

      The crisis in Zimbabwe cricket appeared to worsen on Sunday with
reports that four members of the Test squad have been sacked following the
removal of Heath Streak, the former captain.

      The players, all-rounders Sean Ervine and Travis Friend, spin bowler
Ray Price and batsman Craig Wishart, are all white veteran members of the
squad scheduled to host Sri Lanka in the Test and one-day series starting
this month.

      The four were said to have been sacked by the Zimbabwe Cricket Union
member responsible for racial quotas. This followed reports of a possible
walkout by up to 11 white members of the side after Streak's ousting as
captain in favour of Tatenda Taibu, 20, the wicketkeeper who is set to
become the youngest Test captain in history.

      Streak has said he is happy to play under Taibu but called for the
dismissal of team selectors without top-level experience, and one who works
as a television commentator. The former captain called on the International
Cricket Council to "come here and investigate the grave situation at all
levels of the game".
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Sydney Morning Herald

Fears of financial ruin force England U-turn on Zimbabwe tourApril 12, 2004

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London: England will go ahead with their controversial cricket tour of
Zimbabwe later this year, amidst growing fears that cancellation would prove
financially ruinous.

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) officials had hinted they would
boycott the trip in protest at the policies of Zimbabwe President Robert

But ECB chairman David Morgan, announcing their latest U-turn on Zimbabwe,
told British broadsheet the Independent on Sunday: "The only way that I can
see us not fulfilling the tour is either because of government directive or
because of safety and security. And let me emphasise we don't see them as
being issues at the moment."

Under new sanctions agreed at an International Cricket Council board meeting
in Auckland last month, England risk a $US2 million ($2.62m) fine if they
fail to tour Zimbabwe in October. They could also lose their lucrative
status as hosts of September's ICC Champions Trophy one-day tournament.
Worst of all, they could be suspended from international cricket, which
would prove disastrous for English cricket as a whole, as international
matches provide some 85 per cent of the ECB's annual turnover of £55 million

"I have little doubt that if without acceptable non-compliance we decided
not to go, the members of the ICC would find it necessary to ensure that we
paid an appropriate financial penalty," Morgan said.

His comments came just when the Zimbabwe team itself appeared to be heading
towards collapse.

As many as 14 senior players are considering quitting international cricket
following the decision by the Zimbabwe Cricket Union to strip Heath Streak
of the captaincy.

The ECB's management board is due to discuss the tour at an April 20 meeting
at their Lord's headquarters, where three ZCU officials have been invited.

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