On Tuesday afternoon at
around 1pm the two leading members of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union - Peter
Chingoka, the moderate president, and Ozias Bvute, widely labelled a
hardliner - will attend a meeting at Lord's of that large organisation which
runs English cricket, the Management Board of the England and Wales Cricket
Board, to firm up England's tour of Zimbabwe this autumn. Two months ago the
Management Board was on the verge of postponing the tour. Armed with a letter
from the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, which was "as near as you will get to
an instruction [not to tour] in a democratic country" as they themselves
said, the ECB was going to draw a line in the sand and cough up £1.2 million
in compensation to Zimbabwe. But on Tuesday all of this recent history will
be forgotten in a flurry of glassy smiles and forced bonhomie through gritted
teeth. "Peter! How are you, old chap? Ozias, it's so wonderful to see you! Do
come in and have some hemlock - I mean, sherry." No mention will surely be
made of the unofficial guidelines drawn up by Des Wilson, one of the 16
members of the Management Board, on the subject of 'Why We Shouldn't Play
Odious Regimes Like Zimbabwe.' Nobody will be so undiplomatic as to ask how
Zimbabwe is getting on outside the Commonwealth, or how many of its people
are starving. Mr Straw's letter to the ECB had made much play of these facts
before concluding: "The EU, the US and others maintain targeted restrictive
measures against leading members of the Zimbabwean regime, and the UK has
taken a leading role in this issue. You may wish to consider whether a high
profile England cricket tour at this time is consistent with that approach."
And only if another member of the Management Board, the chairman of Middlesex
and former England left-arm spinner Phil Edmonds, is in particularly puckish
mood will anybody ask of the Zimbabwe delegates: "Got any players left if we
do come this autumn?"
Last month the ICC turned what had been a
gentleman's agreement that every country should tour everybody else into a
regulation which, if violated, would result in a massive fine and a year's
suspension from international cricket. If that was not enough to ensure an
ECB volte face on Zimbabwe, then came the Government's wish to stage the 2012
Olympics in London. Any postponement or cancellation of the tour would, of
course, put paid to any votes from African nations. So now England's
cricketers will be touring Zimbabwe in November. When interviewed on Sky
Sports in Antigua last Sunday, the ECB's chief executive Tim Lamb, a master
of situations, said that England would be touring in the absence of "an
instruction" from the Government: this, so soon after Mr Straw's letter, was
"as near as you will get to an instruction". The ECB, however, will seize on
any sign of insecurity or disorder in Zimbabwe in the coming months to call
off the tour on safety grounds - allowed by the ICC. Whether England will
have a competent team to play against in Zimbabwe is an entirely different
matter. By Friday the ZCU had suspended 15 leading players, all of them
white, and started the process of suing them for breach of contract. What is,
in effect, a non-white team has been selected for the first
one-day international against Sri Lanka in Bulawayo on Tuesday: a handful
have played Test or one-day cricket, but only two are
Wednesday's meeting between the two Zimbabwe delegates and
the ICC will therefore be highly important. The ICC president, Ehsan Mani, is
in Capri this weekend, where his mobile phone has not always been working.
"It is an internal matter for the ZCU but it's obviously a concern," he told
The Telegraph. "On the one hand we have to be sensitive to a
country's sovereignty but on the other we have to be sensitive to wider
issues like the game's future." On the same unclear mobile Mani spoke to
Chingoka on Friday and heard enough to persuade him that "the lines of
communication" were still open between Chingoka and the white dissidents, led
by the former captain Heath Streak. There is no specific provision in the
ICC's constitution to deal with an eventuality like a national team which
keeps on being bowled out for 30; but we can assume that ICC officials on
Wednesday will spell out that, if it should happen, the other Test countries
could lose patience and vote to suspend Zimbabwe (seven out of the other
nine would have to agree), and the TV money would sooner or later dry up.
A compromise has to be reached. Perhaps Zimbabwe will become like the
West Indies where white cricketers, once dominant, have withdrawn into the
higher echelons of the economy. Or else they will try to gain contracts in
county cricket under the Kolpak ruling. But for a while yet the ZCU and
the dissidents need each other. Among the immediate bones of contention are
the composition of the national selection panel, and the non-white quotas
which an independent body from PricewaterhouseCooper's proposed and which
Bvute has enforced. In the meantime, the country's cricketers become ever
more politicised and polarised. Heath Streak yesterday called for the ICC
to become involved in the dispute. "The ICC can insist that the ZCU get
some mediating organisation in to solve the problem," he said.
Zimbabwe rebels head for hills as warring factions dig in
Telford Vice in
Durban Monday April 19, 2004 The Guardian
rebels took to the bush yesterday to ease the strain of defying the Zimbabwe
Cricket Union ahead of one of the most crucial weeks in the country's short
history as a Test-playing nation. Several of the group of white players,
whose number has reportedly risen from 13 to 15 with the possible addition of
Charles Coventry and Gavin Ewing, spent the weekend at a remote hunting lodge
near Kwekwe, where they were unlikely to have read reports in British
newspapers claiming three black players were thinking of joining their
The country's cricket future would seem to hinge on events that
will take place in separate hemispheres tomorrow. In Bulawayo a team bereft
of experience will take on Sri Lanka in the first of five
oneday internationals. Across the globe in London the ZCU chairman Peter
Chingoka, will take his board's case to the International Cricket
At stake is whether Zimbabwe is represented by a reasonably
strong team who seem to be constantly in conflict with their administrators,
or an inexperienced team loath to rock the boat. One of those teams is
mainly white, the other almost exclusively black, as are the
Zimbabwe is likely to field its first all-black XI in
Bulawayo after the rebels refused to play against the Sri Lankans unless
Heath Streak is reinstated as captain, the selection panel changed and the
ZCU acknowledges transgressions the players say were committed by board
The rebels and the board are at loggerheads and last week they
issued writs against each other for breach of contract. The dire situation
was complicated by media reports that three black players were on the verge
of joining the rebel ranks but two of the players named said yesterday
they would take their places in the team to play tomorrow.
selected to play for Zimbabwe on Tuesday, I will play," said the batsman Dion
Ebrahim, who said he believed his name came to be linked to the boycotters
because he missed a domestic first-class game last weekend with food
Ebrahim said the inevitable breakdown in communication between
the players and the board had taken its toll those who were on the outside of
the struggle looking in.
"I don't know the full story behind either
side's position, because the problem is that neither the union nor the
players who have gone on strike have been in contact with the other players,"
"We've been left in the dark and that's been very
frustrating because we're all trying to make some sense of all
However, Ebrahim said he was "more hopeful than not" of the
parties finding common ground and resolving their differences. Another black
player named as a potential rebel, the mediumpacer Mluleki Nkala, also
confirmed his availability for the match.
"I'll play if I'm picked,"
Nkala said. "I didn't even know my name had been mentioned, because I haven't
been involved in all this. It hasn't helped anyone who has been involved in
this situation. From what I can see, there's been a complete lack of
Streak agreed. "The meetings we have had have been held
in such a bad spirit, and there have been tempers and people walking out and
shouting and banging on tables," he said.
"You can't find common
ground like that, you just rile each other and become more adamant to stand
by what you think is right instead of backing down a little to try and get
Streak felt arbitration was needed. "I would encourage the
ZCU to find a mediator, someone respected and trusted by ourselves as players
and the union."
It looks very much as if those who
govern international cricket are going to be seriously embarrassed by the
turn of events in Zimbabwe, and it serves them right. By turning a blind eye
to the political antics of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union, whose patron is Robert
Mugabe, they got it wrong.
For, as Kate Hoey sensibly pointed out in our
sports pages a few days ago, the ZCU has undoubtedly been infiltrated by Zanu
PF thugs. Mainly interested in black empowerment, this combination is playing
ducks and drakes with Zimbabwe's international - and white - players, thus
threatening to turn a forthcoming series against Sri Lanka into
How this turns out for Zimbabwe remains to be seen but we are left
looking wrong-headed and silly. Alongside what those brave enough to be
Mugabe's political opponents have to put up with, our fussing about the
financial penalties we might suffer if we scrapped a cricket series with
Zimbabwe seems petty. By pushing aside principle and insisting that
monetary considerations come first, we have made cricket look
Mugabe's supporters will talk their way out of little local
difficulties over their team's selection. They are well practised at pulling
the wool over doubtful eyes. We shall find our own behaviour harder to
The events of the last fortnight have left Zimbabwean
cricket in turmoil, but at least they have finally dispelled any lingering
suggestions that the Zimbabwe Cricket Union is an independent, non-political
organisation. The emergence of a political hard core has been made public,
and suspicions that Vince Hogg, the chief executive, and the chairman Peter
Chingoka have become little more than powerless figureheads proved to be
The actions of the ZCU following the sacking of Heath Streak as
captain bear all the hallmarks of the way that Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party
runs the country. Bullying, rewriting of the facts (usually courtesy of the
Daily Herald, its discredited mouthpiece) and scattergun accusations of
racist plots to bring down the government/board.
Hogg's attempts to
broker deals with the rebels had the rug pulled from under them when his
offer to allow them to miss the last round of Logan Cup matches was overruled
by Ozias Bvute, a board member with no authority to do so. But his power
comes from on high.
And the increasingly impotent Chingoka has fallen
right in line with the new powers behind the throne. Last week he used the
Herald to claim that the rebels were all part of a plot to "destroy
Zimbabwean cricket". He explained that the group included players, parents of
players, and future players, and that it was a response to what Chingoka said
was a perception that the game had been hijacked by blacks.
part, the rebels dismiss the allegations, countering that it is the ZCU which
stands accused of racial and ethnic discrimination in the selection of the
national team. They also claim that the ZCU is now acting as a tool for
Mugabe, and that anyone who opposes the party line - black or white - is
being victimised. And in Zimbabwe, opposition often ends up
with imprisonment, and far worse.
Yesterday's Observer carried a
report from a black Zimbabwean journalist - Mehluli Sibanda - who explained
what happened when he wrote an article accusing the selectors of favouring
players from two clubs. "Since that article came out I have been receiving
threatening calls on my mobile from a ZCU board member and I am convinced
that he is making these threats on behalf of some people. He threatened me
with unspecified action and also threatened to report me to the Minister of
State for Information and Publicity in the office of the president and
cabinet, Jonathan Moyo, that I am siding with a white man."
been widely reported as someone who takes direct orders from Moyo, and he and
Max Ebrahim, one of the selectors, are in the vanguard of the decision to
escalate the racial cleansing of the national side. Henry Olonga, who fled
Zimbabwe after the World Cup last year, said that he knew where Bvute and
Ebrahim stood because of the way they "used to talk about white
Olonga, also writing in The Observer, added: "The players are
right when they claim that there has been 'racial and ethnic discrimination
in the selection of the national team'. Any reasonable person will realise
that they have been targeted because they are white. Racism cuts both
The ZCU no longer acts in the best interests of cricket in
Zimbabwe, but is merely a tool of a corrupt and disgraced government. As with
most aspects of life under Mugabe, increased interference has led to
increased inefficiency, and widespread corruption, and will probably result
in the disintegration of the game.
What is happening in Zimbabwe
under the feeble pretence of acting against plots and plotters is in every
way as indefensible as actions under South Africa's old apartheid regime.
White racism and black racism are equally abhorrent.
What is certain
is that the International Cricket Council can no longer take a convenient
back seat and pretend that all is well. Too many accusations have been made
by both sides, and while it might be seen by many as a little local
difficulty, for the sake of the game globally, the ICC has to look into what
is happening before it is too late and cricket's flickering light is snuffed
out in Zimbabwe.
Southend: Mugabe man set to face protest Zimbabweans
from all over the country are to descend on Southend to protest against a
local businessman who has links with Robert Mugabe.
Stalin Mau Mau, who
owns the Zim-Link shop in Hamlet Court Road, Westcliff, was a political
candidate for Mugabe's Zanu PF party in the south
Leading figures from Southend's Zimbabwean community
say he has connections with the party, which has caused international
controversy over alleged human rights abuses and imposing a blanket ban of
Washington Ali, who is at the forefront of the
campaign against Mr Mau Mau, said: "We have got to a point where we as
Zimbabweans feel we are not being treated seriously - we want to know why
nothing has been done.
"We are not happy that this man is being allowed
to run a business over here.
"It sends a clear message not enough is
being done about the situation - we want this man sent back
Stalin Mau Mau, who is currently in Zimbabwe, has previously
admitted being a supporter of the Zanu PF party but denies being guilty of
any wrong doing.
GOVERNMENT yesterday reiterated that there is no going
back on the acquisition of Kondozi Farm in Odzi.
It dismissed a story
published in the weekly Standard newspaper quoting Vice President Msika as
saying that he had ordered the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority
(Arda) off the farm until "proper channels" were followed.
Minister of State for Information and Publicity, Professor Jonathan Moyo,
yesterday dismissed the story in the paper, saying it represented wishful
thinking for the "treacherous Standard and its evil sponsor".
no single right-minded Zimbabwean person who would believe that The Standard,
of all newspapers in this world, can report authentically the Government's
position. Obviously the paper sought to abuse the views of the Vice-President
on behalf of its usual white racist sponsors.
"The true position that
reflects the collective decision of Government is that there is no going back
on Kondozi, come rain, come sunshine, and Arda as an institution is there to
stay and relevant authorities will ensure that happens."
said the Government of Zimbabwe does not make statements through The Standard
"or any of these British mouthpieces".
Prof Moyo said reports about a
High Court order were a figment of imagination peddled by people who wanted
to confuse a very straightforward matter.
He said Mr Edwin Moyo did
not own the place, had not owned it before and would never own it as it
belonged to the State and, therefore, to the people of Zimbabwe.
sooner everyone interested in the matter recognises this point, the better
for them," he said.
Kondozi Farm was recently acquired by Government for
Arda and the decision to acquire it was a non-negotiable Government decision.
The Government has said both the law and policy were very clear and would be
pursued vigorously without fear or favour.
Arda started operations at
the farm last week after its former owner, the De Klerk family who had
refused to vacate, made way for the authority.
The De Klerk family and Mr
Edwin Moyo are said to have had formed a joint venture company that had
purportedly been running the farm and were refusing to vacate the farm after
its acquisition by the Government.
OPINION April 19, 2004 Posted to the web April 19,
Changu Chandagwinyira Harare
The story in The Herald issue
of April 15 2004 about President Olusegun Obasanjo luring white Zimbabwean
former farmers must not come as a surprise to anyone who knows the behaviour
In my article entitled "Howard ill-advised on Zimbabwe"
published in The Herald of December 2 2003, I mentioned that our brothers
from Nigeria were the least trustworthy lot in the whole of
This was not and will never be an exaggerated
By nature our brothers appear very friendly and sincere, but
ask anyone who has had an encounter with these people and you get to better
understand President Obasanjo's behaviour.
I have met quite a few
honest and hard-working Nigerians who also complain about the behaviour of
the majority of their countrymen.
Nigerians are gifted at befriending
other people, use them for their selfish ends and desert them at the honour
The U-turn on Zimbabwe made by President Obasanjo before the
Common-wealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Abuja, the Nigerian
capital, in 2003 is unprecedented in African politics.
Obasanjo's policy on Zimbabwe crumbled like a deck of cards before the 2003
CHOGM under pressure from British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Australian
Premier John Howard and Commonwealth secretary-general Don McKinnon is not an
President Obasanjo showed his true colours when he left
President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa hung out to dry on the Zimbabwean
It is well-documented that had it not been for President Mbeki
and some leaders within the Southern African Development Community (Sadc),
Zimbabwe would have actually been expelled from the Commonwealth by Blair,
Howard and McKinnon!
What did Nigeria do to have the Zimbabwean
situation dealt with fairly at the Abuja summit? Nothing.
Nigerian government was busy accrediting opposition Movement for Democratic
Change legislators as members of the Press. Notice
Here I am not complaining about what happened at the
Abuja CHOGM, that is history, and it's good we are out of that useless
I am giving the facts merely to reinforce my argument that the
latest jibe by President Obasanjo should not come as a
Remember it is the same Nigerian government that refused the
Sadc (minus one of our neighbours) statement denouncing the treatment of
Zimbabwe at CHOGM 2003 to be read in Abuja.
The statement was only
issued after the Sadc leaders were back in their respective
Zimbabwe, I think, should not make a fuss out these white
farmers relocating to Nigeria.
Let them go there and they will soon
realise what sort of people they are dealing with. In that way they will
appreciate that without arrogance and racism, Zimbabwe is big enough for
everyone to have a piece of land to farm on regardless of race.
(white farmers) will, hopefully, appreciate that the majority of Zimbabweans
are honest, hard-working and have unsurpassed
President Obasanjo obviously does not know
that in Zimbabwe agricultural expertise is with the blacks, while capital,
farming equipment and the best land were owned by the whites.
President Obasanjo said he wanted to see Zimbabwe's agricultural
skills remain in Africa rather than be lost to the continent is an exercise
The white farmers who left Zimbabwe for Australia,
New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom are not doing any farming
Instead, they are taxi drivers, couriers, bartenders precisely
because they cannot farm.
In Australia, for example, farming is
strictly a family business; the father, mother and children actually do all
the farm work, ie, ploughing the fields, harvesting and tending to
It is not a secret that in Zimbabwe many white farmers cannot
drive a tractor, let alone a combined harvester; all they do is ride on
their motorbikes and supervise and abuse their black workers.
precisely why some within the so-called Justice for Agriculture still dream
of a return to the pre-2000 situation.
But what can one do about such
people? Let them continue to dream. Some of them still dream of the pre-1980
Several of these white Rhodie farmers have relocated to
Mozambique and Zambia but we never got word to say they met with President
Levy Mwanawasa or President Joaquim Chissano.
behaviour is, therefore, unfortunate. Unfortunate because all along he
purported to be a neutral figure in Zimbabwe's frosty relations with Britain
over the land question.
While President Obasanjo as head of a sovereign
country is entitled to pursue polices that benefit his people, but to do so
at the expense of other people you cheated into believing you were on their
side is disheartening.
What exactly President Obasanjo was promised by
Western countries is open to speculation.
There are those of us who
believe that this once African statesman was pressured into abandoning
Zimbabwe by the very same Western countries that are working day-in day-out
to effect regime change in Zimbabwe.
In return, the same Western
countries would turn a blind eye to the blatant human rights abuses and
vote-rigging in Nigeria. Otherwise how does one explain the statement issued
by a whole Department of State of the only superpower in the world condemning
the results of a by-election in Zengeza where one person was killed through
My sixth sense tells me someone at the US State
Department thinks Zengeza is a country on its own.
Fifty people are
killed in Nigerian local elections and the same US State Department says
nothing! Do you see the conspiracy here?
All those former commercial
farmers intending to go to Nigeria must to do so now and leave us alone to
manage our Zimbabwe.
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - President Robert Mugabe marked the
country's 24th anniversary of independence from Britain, saying the
impoverished country's economy was improving and vowing to continue the
seizure of white-owned farmland.
Mugabe told thousands gathered Sunday
in Harare's national stadium that British Prime Minister Tony Blair ``still
thinks he owns Zimbabwe.''
Appearing thin and sounding hoarse, the
80-year-old Mugabe delivered a 40-minute speech saying he was now in the
``mop up phase'' of his land reform policy that has seen the often violent
seizure of about 5,000 white-owned farms for redistribution to blacks. He has
been leader of the southern African nation since independence in
The ceremony featured a flyover of aging Soviet MiG jet fighters,
rather than British Hawk jets that were once the backbone of Zimbabwe's air
force but have been grounded for lack of spare parts.
white-owned export-oriented companies of ``continuing to show contempt for
his land policy and said ``such land owners must have their resistance broken
once and for all.''
Last week, a white-owned coffee processing plant and
European vegetable exporter in the eastern district were raided by police and
``As expected, this far-reaching policy has not endeared us to
those countries of the West led by Britain and the United States, which
are unfortunately linked to us by the cruel history of colonial occupation
and other forms of imperial plunder,'' Mugabe said.
He blamed the
country's current economic turmoil on sanctions by Western powers. The
European Union and United States have frozen bank accounts and imposed travel
embargoes on prominent Mugabe regime members.
He also blamed corrupt
officials for stealing the country's gold and foreign currency.
attacked the almost 3 million Zimbabweans who fled the country to work abroad
calling them ``people who have run away to wash the bodies of elderly people
``Yet we are giving farms to people here - what are you
running away from?''
He said inflation was beginning to fall and the
country was on the verge of an economic boom resulting from land reform.
Annual inflation is estimated at 602 percent, one of the highest
The country also faces acute shortages of food, medicine, hard
currency, gasoline and other essential goods. Unemployment is estimated at
over 70 percent.
United Nations agencies say about 5.3 million
Zimbabweans will need food aid in the next year following the collapse of
Mugabe's administration has cracked down on dissent
since his disputed re-election in 2002 amid reports of vote rigging and
Opposition leaders, trade unionists and independent
journalists have been arrested, and the country's only independent daily
newspaper has been shut down under sweeping new media laws.
ZCU chairman tries to persuade England to tour Mon 19 April,
By John Mehaffey
LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe
Cricket Union (ZCU) chairman Peter Chingoka will try to persuade England to
go ahead with their tour in October at a meeting at Lord's on
Chingoka and ZCU board member Ozias Bvute will attend an England
and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) management meeting called to discuss the
The meeting takes place on the same day as a
one-day international between Sri Lanka and a Zimbabwe side seriously
weakened by the absence of 13 rebel white players.
The 13 were dropped
after a fortnight of increasing acrimony with the ZCU which began when former
captain Heath Streak questioned the composition of the selection
An ECB statement said no decision about the tour would be made on
Tuesday and there would be no news conference.
A report from ECB
management board member Des Wilson this year said moral issues as well as
security concerns should be taken into account when considering whether to go
ahead with the Zimbabwe tour.
However, last month the International
Cricket Council (ICC) said any team failing to fulfil their tour obligations
faced suspension from the international game and a $2 million fine unless
there were legitimate safety or security concerns.
On the same day
British Prime Minister Tony Blair's official spokesman said the government
had serious concerns about Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's government but
made it clear a final decision on the tour remained with the ECB.
ECB are expected to make a final decision next month after
consulting government ministers. England refused to play in Zimbabwe in last
year's World Cup because of security fears.
World champions Australia
are also due to tour Zimbabwe this year.
Former Zimbabwe fast bowler
Henry Olonga, who wore a black armband during the World Cup in protest at the
Mugabe government's policies, said hardliners within the ZCU seemed to want
Zimbabwe to field an all-black team.
"The transition from a mainly
white team to a mainly black or all-black team can't be achieved overnight,
although this is what Bvute seems to want," he told The Observer
"But apart from sending a message to the Mugabe government
that they are an abhorrent regime, I don't know what will change in the
country if England stay away."
From: "Trudy Stevenson" Sent: Monday, April 19, 2004 8:29 PM Subject:
Morgan Tsvangirai in Hatcliffe - Saturday 24 April 12 noon
be a Star Rally in Hatcliffe (football ground) with Morgan
TSVANGIRAI Saturday 24 April 12 noon
Other speakers listed
Isaac Matongo, National Chairman Welshman Ncube, Secretary
General Nelson Chamisa, National Youth Chairman Tendai Biti, Secretary
Economic Affairs Pauline Mpariwa, Secretary Labour & Social
Welfare Trudy Stevenson, Secretary Policy & Research - Host Harare
Province, Harare North District and Councillors
COME HEAR THE TRUTH &
JOIN HANDS IN SOLIDARITY FREE & FAIR ELECTIONS to COMPLETE THE
CHANGE! .......... Please pass this information on - especially to
supporters living around Hatcliffe/Borrowdale/Domboshawa/Glen
Forest. **Anyone willing to help with TRANSPORT or any other way - please
contact me! Thank you.