Geldof: Mugabe a 'scar on the face of Africa' Rock star backs fund
to stop Zimbabwe rights abuses Wednesday, April 21, 2004 Posted: 10:30 AM EDT
LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Live Aid founder Bob Geldof
called President Robert Mugabe a "grotesque tyrant" and lent his backing to a
fund to counter human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.
The Irish rock star
turned poverty campaigner endorsed the fund at a media briefing on Tuesday
"(British Prime Minister) Tony Blair has said Africa is a scar
on the conscience of the world. Mugabe is a scar on the face of Africa,"
"He's one of the grotesque tyrants of the planet, and the
sooner we can get rid of him, the better," he added.
fund, whose patrons are two of southern Africa's top clergymen, will raise
money for human rights-related lawsuits and to campaign for legal
The Zimbabwe Defence and Aid Fund accuses Mugabe of corrupting
the legal system. It says the law is routinely used as a tool of repression,
with many facing torture, illegal detention and malicious
Zimbabwe has faced increasing international isolation since
the start of a government-sanctioned land grab that accompanied a general
election in 2000.
The country has been suspended from the Commonwealth --
a 54-nation group of mainly former British colonies -- since Mugabe, in power
since independence from Britain in 1980, won a widely-criticized presidential
election in 2002.
Mugabe says criticism is a post-colonial plot to
maintain the dominance of the country's mostly white commercial farmers who
formed the backbone of a once-thriving agricultural economy that is now
In a statement issued by the fund, patron and South African
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said: "It is a situation where we cannot
stand by watching a tragedy unfold without becoming complicit through our
"In South Africa a similar fund saved many of our
people," Tutu said. "Nelson Mandela himself might not have been saved from
the gallows without the efforts of the international community and those who
selflessly strove to see that justice prevailed."
The fund's second
patron is Pius Ncube, Catholic Archbishop of Zimbabwe's second city,
Bulawayo, and a long-standing critic of Zimbabwean
In February, Prime Minister Blair appointed Geldof
to his newly-formed international commission on Africa.
Tuesday, Geldof told a gathering of human rights lawyers he hoped the
commission could help deliver massive aid flows to Africa and needed to take
a wide-ranging approach.
"Will it narrow itself to the very piecemeal
solutions that conjured it into being, as opposed to the very totality of
fear in the South (hemisphere)?" Geldof said.
"More than likely. But I
will fight non-stop to prevent that happening and should I fail I'll
FOLLOWING LISTINGS OF SECTION 8 orders of Compulsory Acquisition under the
recently ammended Land Acquisition Act are the first orders to be listed
under the new act.
Farmers must take note that it is no longer necessary
under the new law for the acquiring authority to serve Section 5 Notices,
Section 8 orders or Section 7 admin court papers.
All Farmers listed
below are advised to avail themselves of the Section 8 orders from the
acquiring authority. Those farmers requiring legal advice as to how to
proceed should contact JAG as a matter of urgency or their legal
practitioners, especially those farmers still on their farms and particularly
Take note also that the new acquiring authority is J L NKOMO,
Minister of Special Affairs in the Presidnet's Office in Charge of Lands,
Land Reform and Resettlement.
LAND ACQUISITION ACT (CHAPTER
20:10) Vesting of land, taking of materials and exercise of rights
NOTICE is hereby given, in terms of paragraph (iii) of
subsection (1) of section 8 of the Land Acquisition Act (Chapter 20:10), that
the President has acquired compulsorily the land described in the Schedule
for resettlement purposes.
J L NKOMO, Minister of Special Affairs
in the President's Office in Charge of Lands, Land Reform and
DATE, PAPER NO., TITLE NO., OWNER, DISTRICT, FARM NAME,
LOT 1 SECTION 8 16.04.2004
16.04.2004. 1. 1506/82. Darwin
Tobacco Estate (Private) Limited: Bindura: Azikara Estate: 1 369,4555
ha 16.04.2004. 2. 6204/72. Nyawta Estates (Private) Limited: Bindura: Lot
1 of Lot 1 of Dunmaglas: 419,7948 ha 16.04.2004. 3. 1730/89. Paki Farm
(Private) Limited: Bindura: Glen Divis: 1 316,4682 ha 16.04.2004. 4.
2140/92. Uchania Farm (Private) Limited: Bindura: Lot 1 of Uchania: 669,7421
ha 16.04.2004. 5. 1488/83. Loch Nagar Farm (Private) Limited: Darwin:
Mshawa: Estate 404,3686 ha 16.04.2004. 6. 9657/99. Aranbira Farm P/L: Darwin:
Lot 1 of Aranbira B Extension: 427,4198 ha 16.04.2004. 7. 4279/77. Dolphin
Park P/L: Darwin: Riviera Estate: 685,4242 ha 16.04.2004. 8. 6745/80.
Dunbarton Estate (Private) Limited: Darwin: The Remaining Extent of
Dunbarton: 2 527,31245 ha 16.04.2004. 9. 8422/96. H F Schrale (Private)
Limited: Darwin: Remainder of Silverstroom: 1 344,6005 ha 16.04.2004. 10.
318/96. Oeall Farming (Private) Limited: Darwin: Allways: 1 285,1158
ha 16.04.2004. 11. 5339/84. Tomislav Theodore Crnkovic: Darwin:
Satsi Vale: 1 014,3245 ha 16.04.2004. 12. 4822/84. Michael John Peall:
Darwin: Runyararo: 1 060,2713 ha 16.04.2004. 13. 326/94. Chiripiro Farms
(Pvt) Ltd: Darwin: Chiripiro Estate A: 1 463,8591 ha 16.04.2004. 14.
65/63. Stephanus Christian Daniel Erasmus: Darwin: Mutwa Estate: 6 032,3556
acres 16.04.2004. 15. 7970/2000. G F Dollar (Pvt) Ltd: Darwin: Tzoro:
954,3391 ha 16.04.2004. 16. 14/73. Dolphin Park (Private) Limited: Darwin:
Lot 1 of Nteto Park: 637,2886 ha 16.04.2004. 17. 3607/97. Club House
Investments P/L: Darwin: Everton: 2 765,0032 acres 16.04.2004. 18.
3259/76. Patrick Michael Fitzgerald: Darwin: The Remaining Extent of Linton:
563,9977 ha 16.04.2004. 19. 3357/78. George Stam: Darwin: The Remainder
of Welkom: 766,3174 ha 16.04.2004. 20. 3560/77. Christopher Henry
Fenton-Wells: Darwin: Maddola Estate: 718,7655 ha 16.04.2004. 21. 5948/94.
Aranbira Farm (Private) Limited: Darwin: The Remainder of Aranbira 'B'
Extension: 934,2801 ha 16.04.2004. 22. 5930/90. D & M Farming (Private)
Limited: Darwin: Oban: 2 315,7305 ha 16.04.2004. 23. 2107/81. Lochnagar
Farm (Private) Limited: Darwin: Remainder of Lochnagar: 1 004,6680
ha 16.04.2004. 24. 4782/92. Benflora P/L: Darwin: Lot 1 of Birdwood:
614,0204 ha 16.04.2004. 25. 4783/92. Benflora (Private) Limited: Darwin:
Silverstroom Estate: 1 365,2103 ha 16.04.2004. 26. 0018/98. D J
Bezuidenhout & Company (Private) Limited: Darwin: Eureka: 714,2578
ha 16.04.2004. 27. 4707/78. Richard Alan Gibbs: Darwin: Lot 1 of Kwarate:
442,4883 ha 16.04.2004. 28. 1735/95. Ian Johnstone (Private) Limited: Darwin:
Lot 1 of Chipiri: 1 354,7124 ha 16.04.2004. 29. 6664/74. Tullamore Estates
(Private) Limited: Goromonzi: Subdivision A of Ndiriri: 285,9281
ha 16.04.2004. 30. 10593/97. Crakehall Investments (Private)
Limited: Goromonzi: Kilmuir Annexe of the Meadows: 61,4009 ha 16.04.2004.
31. 4945/83. Patrict Francis Mellon: Goromonzi: Remaining Extent of Bellevue
Farm: 1 266,5172 ha 16.04.2004. 32. 3013/79. Terrance Shepperson Payne:
Goromonzi: Remainder of Buena Vista: 630,6231 ha 16.04.2004. 33. 226/47.
Wilton Tobacco & Estate Company Ltd.: Makoni: Wilton: 1 059
morgen 16.04.2004. 34. 4849/90. Maureen Rhoda Klug: Makoni: Subdivision D
of (Thabor and Sandilboom): 342,3946 ha 16.04.2004. 35. 5747/90. H & L
Farms P/L: Marandellas: Lot 17 of Wenimbi Estate: 521,60 ha 16.04.2004.
36. 108/81. Forest Lodge Nursery P/L: Marandellas: S/D 'A' of Forest Range:
414,8828 ha 16.04.2004. 37. 76/87. Milanark P/L: Marandellas: Borrowdale:
976,7872 ha 16.04.2004. 38. 140/85. Brondesbury Farm P/L: Marandellas: R/E of
Hopeful of Alexander: 404,8016 ha 16.04.2004. 39. 7303/83. Mazuri Farms
(Private) Limited: Marandellas: Murrayfield: 843,6417 ha 16.04.2004. 40.
1949/81. Martin Gore Stewart: Marandellas: Mem bge of Carruthersville 'E':
303,725 5 ha 16.04.2004. 41. 2763/59. Amershal Investments
(Private) Limited: Mazoe: Subdivision B portion of Brotherton: 1 215,4384
morgen 16.04.2004. 42. 404/82. T A G Estate (Private) Limited: Mazoe:
Holmhead of Umsengedsi: 809,3568 ha 16.04.2004. 43. 3934/2001. Simon
Dennis Marshall Sherwood: Mazoe: Rosetta Rust: 822,5557ha 16.04.2004. 44.
3539/76. Abraham Herculaas Van Eeden: Mazoe: Remaining Extent of River View:
451,0166 ha 16.04.2004. 45. 2580/95. Inyoni Estate (Private) Limited:
Mazoe: Pennyrhyn of Mapere of Barwick Estate: 615,7100 ha 16.04.2004. 46.
200/64. Nicholas George Alenander Browne: Mazoe: The Remaining Extent of Farm
25 of Glendale: 436,1717 ha 16.04.2004. 47. 1318/85. Felton Farms (Pvt) Ltd:
Mazoe: Felton: 1 717,415 morgen 16.04.2004. 48. 6440/2000. Rhino Kop
Properties (Private) Limited: Mazoe: Lot 1 of Simoona Estate: 101,1711
ha 16.04.2004. 49. 2590/88. Gerhard Wilhelm Breytenbach: Mazoe: Brinsham:
1694,0457 ha 16.04.2004. 50. 5945/80. David Sole P/L: Mazoe: Farm 13A
of Glendale: 580,4289 ha 16.04.2004. 51. 12846/99. Redbud Farming
(Private) Limited: Mazoe: Farm 16A of Glendale: 80,5394 ha 16.04.2004. 52.
4416/85. E P Fynes-Clinton (Private) Limited: Mazoe: Lot 1 of River View:
309,5714 ha 16.04.2004. 53. 1960/94. Holmfield Enterprises
(Private) Limited: Mazoe: Lot 1 of Kaba Estate A: 957,9583 ha 16.04.2004.
54. 8395/90. P & B Farming (Private) Limited: Mazoe: Subdivision A of
Subdivision A of Marshfield: 202,3584 ha 16.04.2004. 55. 668/88. Sandhurst
Farm (Private) Limited: Mazoe: Lot 2 of Kaba Estate: 730,0618
ha 16.04.2004. 56. 2044/72. Sangere Farm P/L: Mazoe: The Remainder
of Sangere North: 185,9672 ha 16.04.2004. 57. 1073/96: Laga Farming P/L:
Mazoe: Remainder of Claverhimm South of Claverhill: 649,3507
ha 16.04.2004. 58. 7012/86. Patrick Maria France Krambergar: Mazoe:
Mandindindi: 883,0700 ha 16.04.2004. 59. 4883/2001. Crawken Properties
(Private) Limited: Mazoe: Lot 1 of 32A of Glendale: 658,4669
ha 16.04.2004: 60. 6282/69: Kachere (Private) Limited: Mazoe Rhambahoobe
of Fochabers of Moores Grant: 1 129,0979acres 16.04.2004. 61. 491/80.
Nyawta Estates (Private) Limited: Mazoe: Remainder of Lot 1 of Dunmaglas:
502,6219 ha 16.04.2004. 62. 2148/2000. Malberry Farming P/L: Salisbury:
Duiker: 1 104,0246 ha 16.04.2004. 63. 4737/87. A W C Teague Company
(Private) Limited: Umtali: Remaining Extent of Essex: 203,7159
ha 16.04.2004. 64. 1215/64. Vumba Coffee Estates (Private) Limited:
Umtali: "Eggardon Hill": 499,9917 acres 16.04.2004. 65. 3030/97. H J Vorster
(Private) Limited: Umtali: Valhalla Estate A: 561,2487 ha 16.04.2004. 66.
7099/94. Millham Enterprises P/L: Darwin: Riodora: 2 209,7784 acres
send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to email@example.com with "For Open Letter
Forum" in the subject
257 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- THOUGHT
FOR THE DAY I came across this verse, and thought that although it was
written about another time and place, it certainly applied to Zimbabwe
today. Kind regards Brigitte Theuma By the rude bridge that arched the
flood, Their flag to April's breeze unfurled, Here once the embattled
farmers stood, And fired the shot heard round the world. -- Ralph Waldo
Emerson (1803-1882), from "Concord
1. Subject Whites up against Tsvangirai Dear Jag,
The Herald Reporter
is to be commended for reading an alternative viewpoint to that of The Herald
by reading the Open letters Forum. However I am concerned by the title of the
article - "Whites up against Tsvangarai."
I feel that I must point out
that at no stage in my letter did I indicate what colour Soap I was. I
believe it to be somewhat unprofessional to assume that I am as white as Lux.
In fact I have been classified as being dark in Australia. It is worrying
that The Herald Reporter has perhaps become confused or short sighted by the
froth and bubbles of the Third Chimurenga, and decided that Human Rights and
Property Rights are all about the colour of the Soap.
I must also
inform The Herald Reporter that the Australian people are very well informed
about Zimbabwe, and the Third Chimurenga, and what has happened to all the
average Joe Soaps that are not well connected politically. They find it
extremely ironic that Zimbabwe is now short of food after displacing 90% of
its large scale commecial farmers. Australia encourages large scale
agriculture and exports vast amounts of agricultural commodities around the
globe. But what the Australian people, the Commonwealth and the world at
large are particularly interested about is the "cleaning up" in Matabeleland
in the early 80s by the 5th Brigade under Brigadier Shiri. They are aware
that thousands of Joe Soaps and their families (of many colours) were killed
and want to know how and why it all happened.
circumstances the killing of thousands of ordinary Joe Soaps and their
families is actually referred to as Ethnic Cleansing - regardless of the
colour of the Soaps or the style of execution. I would be most grateful if
The Herald Reporter could investigate what happened in Matabeleland when the
5th Brigade was there, and why, and report it on the Jag Open Letter Forum,
regardless of his or her colour of course. It will give The Herald Reporter
the opportunity to write a world class article for and to the International
2. 'Joe Bloke' - Misinterpretation
We displaced farmers should be the
last to assist Mouthpiece Moyo in misinterpreting Morgan's statements on
putting the Humpty Dumpty of commercial farming back together again in a post
Zanu PF Zimbabwe. No one can really think it is possible to return absolutely
to the status quo pro ante the farm invasions. It is a toothpaste tube so
thoroughly squeezed that only a limited amount of toothpaste can be pushed
back into the tube - a pristine full tube is beyond the bounds of
practicality. Morgan's statements were simply a recognition of that
A return to law and order and the restoration of property
rights are the cornerstones of MDC policy but some people will have to settle
for compensation rather than restitution. That is all the man
Farmer --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Letter
3. Dear JAG people,
I wrote the following article some time ago,
having been sickened by the double-talk and outright untruths propagated
under the guise of "land reform" It is based on my personal observations, and
has also been "bounced off" a number of fairly prominent ex-farmers in order
to try and make it as accurate as possible.
Maybe unsurprisingly, none
of the Zim papers felt bold enough to publish it. Some of you may also
remember that I was peripherally involved when JAG was first formed, mainly
in defining the JAG point of view at that time.
The lies used by Mugabe's to justify his
land grab must rank among the most blatant dishonesties ever told in
Zimbabwe. He and his party knew they were lies, the people of Zimbabwe knew
they were lies and yet in a bizarre version of "the kings new clothes" all
and sundry pretended that there was some rationale or justification to the
process. Even the principal victims fell into this trap!
his Zanu Pf party manipulated the constitutional referendum in 2000 so that
it became instead a vote of confidence in him and the party. To their horror
and dismay, they lost the vote. A shocked Mugabe conceded defeat and appeared
on television where he announced, "the people have spoken." Within two weeks,
the first farm invasions began.
For more than twenty years Mugabe and his
party had been talking vaguely about land reform. Nothing much had happened,
especially after financial support from the UK was withdrawn when it became
apparent that the primary beneficiaries of resettlement were political
cronies. Not only that, but the resettlement programme itself had not been a
success story. The vast majority of people put on what had once been
commercial farms produced only enough to feed themselves, or not even
In 1998 an international conference was held and a great deal of
money was promised for agrarian reform in Zimbabwe, with the provision that
it be open and transparent and that the major aim was the alleviation of
poverty. Mugabe and his government never took up this offer, and it is
essential to remember this fact when we consider the Big Lie that was to come
only two years later.
What the reader needs to know is that there is
no shortage of undeveloped agricultural land in Zimbabwe. There are millions
upon millions of acres of totally unused virgin bush. There are three primary
types of agriculture in Zimbabwe; peasant subsistence farming, small-scale
commercial farming and large-scale commercial farming. Each has its own
character, which briefly is as follows.
In peasant subsistence farming
the land is communally held, but one individual or family normally does the
farming itself. Generally yields are low because of a lack of fertiliser and
insecticides and also skill levels are very low. Small-scale farmers often
own their own land, skill levels are higher and yields are higher. These
farmers also often employ outside labour. Large-scale commercial agriculture
is characterised by a high level of mechanisation and a high level of skill
and capital utilisation. All land is owned and the owner holds title deeds.
Yields are high, often as high as on First World farms.
pattern is not unusual for any developing country. With possibly one
exception, that exception being that the majority of large-scale commercial
farms was owned by white citizens. Why more black Zimbabweans had not
ventured into large scale agriculture is something of a mystery. There
certainly were no constraints. However, a small number did go into commercial
farming and have been successful at it.
The final fallacy is what could
be called the myth of "the right to land." In countries where communal
agriculture is still practiced it is obviously necessary to set aside a
portion of the land for communal agricultural use. If it's assumed that every
citizen has an inalienable right to land, a nonsense soon occurs. The country
has about thirty two million hectares of agricultural land, and let's assumes
a population of sixteen million. That means that everyone should get about
two hectares of land. There is not a great deal one can do with that! But to
divide it any other way is manifestly unjust, if all have an equal claim. And
when the population grows, what then?
I hope that I have now set the
background for what was to become the Big Lie? Mugabe has just lost a vote of
confidence and is in a panic. He comes up with a truly brilliant solution -
give the large commercial farms to his followers.
But how does one
justify such a blatantly illegal and racist move? The answer of course is to
organise "spontaneous" invasions of commercial farms by so-called landless
peasants. These invasions were organised and orchestrated by the Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO) because the riff-raff who played the part of
the landless peasants could not have organised a party in a brewery! All over
the country white farms were invaded and the farmers and their families
subjected to the maximum humiliation in order to enhance the propaganda
aspect of the strategy. Farm workers too were terrorised, but deliberately no
mention was made of what was to become of these people when the farms were
"resettled" by gangs of the unemployable.
You also make loud claims
about reclaiming ancestral land that was "stolen" from your ancestors, as
well as bleat very loudly about the fact that most of the large-scale farmers
are not black - as if it was their fault! You are careful to totally ignore
the fact that they are citizens with equal rights to all other citizens. You
specifically and publicly target "white" farmers when racial discrimination
is explicitly barred under the constitution. On the quiet though, you
dispossess black and coloured (mixed race) farmers as well, if they are not
loyal party members.
The next cunning move was to force the dispossessed
farmers to pay "retrenchment packages" to their now redundant workers. This
helped to destroy the support the farmers had from their workforce, and had
the additional benefit that is cost the government nothing. It was another
act of breathtaking cynicism.
Once the peasants had served their
purpose, they were unceremoniously cleared off the most prized farms, which
were then taken by eminent party members, judges, senior police officers and
other well-connected hangers-on. Naturally, a number of disputes broke out
over the division of the spoils and these were resolved not through the by
now extremely compromised courts but by pure power and influence within the
In summary, every part of the Land Saga in Zimbabwe has been a
huge and barefaced lie. The white commercial farmers "stole" no land, there
was ample virgin land available for agricultural reform and extension,
the imbalance in numbers between white and black commercial farmers was
purely because more blacks had not risen to the challenge and finally, in
all countries commercial agriculture means that a relatively small number
of people own the majority of the most fertile land. And this is the only
way it should logically be; those who can best utilise a resource should
have most access to the
letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions of the
submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice for
President Robert Mugabe's
ruling party in Zimbabwe plays host to a conference this week of former
liberation movements in southern Africa to make the case for land reform, a
senior party official said on Tuesday.
The three-day conference opening
on Wednesday in Harare is meant to "strengthen" the struggle against the
remnants of colonialism, said Didymus Mutasa, the secretary for external
affairs for the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front
"There is a lot of criticism of our land reform programme and
we want those who are supporting us to understand why we are doing it," said
Invitations to the gathering described as "one of the first of
its kind" have been put out to former guerrilla movements from Angola,
Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.
abroad, Zanu-PF, which waged a seven-year war against British colonial rule
in the 1970s, has invited solidarity groups of blacks from Britain, the
United States and aboriginal groups from Australia.
"Naturally we want to
strengthen ourselves and to say that the struggle continues," said Mutasa of
the gathering. He added that he did not know specifically who would be
Zimbabwe's controversial land reforms is expected to be a
highlight of the forum, while good governance will be discussed among other
After the opening ceremonies, "we will go straight into the
discussion of the land reforms," said Mutasa.
The delegates will be
taken on a tour of former white-owned farms which have been seized under the
program and distributed to blacks.
A small group of about 4 500 whites
farmers used to own a third of the country's land including 70% of prime
farmland before the government launched the programme in February
Now fewer than 400 white farmers remain in the country and possess
just three percent of the country's land.
Mutasa said the meeting will
also shine a spotlight on the rights of non-whites in Western
"Is there any good governance in the so-called civilised
world?" he said, citing aboriginal groups in Australia, Maoris in New Zeland
and natives in Canada.
"Nobody ever questions why these people are not
regarded as human beings, with any rights," he said.
The meeting of
former liberation movements is the brainchild of Mugabe himself, who in
February slammed "the majority" of his counterparts in Africa for succumbing
to Western influence and turning against African revolutionary
He said that a few militant leaders reminiscent of former
staunch nationalists remained, "but the majority have gone the Western
"They are listening to the enemy, they are being dictated to by the
enemy and it's a pity that [the] old type of leadership has vanished the
scene," he told the state broadcaster.
In a bid to get African
countries to continue to resist Western tendencies, Mugabe promised to host a
forum of former liberation movements this year to sustain "the level of
revolutionary zeal ... by interacting with them".
"We would want the
forum of former liberation movements to be resuscitated," he said. -
Aboriginal groups invited by Mugabe Australian
Indigenous groups have been invited by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to
attend a land reform conference.
The three-day Harare conference will
open today and intends to "strengthen" the struggle against colonialism
remnants, said Didymus Mutasa, the secretary for external affairs for the
Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).
African liberation movements along with Indigenous groups from Africa,
Britain and the Americas have also been invited.
ZANU-PF waged a
seven-year war against British colonial rule in the 1970s.
guerrilla movements from Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania
and Zambia have also been invited to the gathering.
"Is there any good
governance in the so-called civilised world?" Mr Mutasa asked.
is a lot of criticism of our land reform program and we want those who are
supporting us to understand why we are doing it," he told AFP.
said the meeting will also shine a spotlight on the rights of non-whites in
"Nobody ever questions why these people are not
regarded as human beings, with any rights," he said.
want to strengthen ourselves and to say that the struggle continues," said Mr
Mutasa. He added that he did not know specifically who would be
Zimbabwe's controversial land reforms are expected to be a
highlight of the forum, while good governance will be discussed among other
After the opening ceremonies, "we will go straight into the
discussion of the land reforms," said Mr Mutasa.
The delegates will be
taken on a tour of former white-owned farms which have been seized under the
program and distributed to blacks.
A small group of about 4,500 whites
farmers used to own a third of Zimbabwe's land, including 70 per cent of
prime farmland before the Government launched the program in February
Now fewer than 400 white farmers remain in the country and possess
just 3 per cent of the country's land.
The meeting of former
liberation movements is the brainchild of President Mugabe himself, who has
slammed "the majority" of his counterparts in Africa for succumbing to
Western influence and turning against African revolutionary causes.
said that a few militant leaders reminiscent of former staunch nationalists
remained, "but the majority have gone the Western way".
listening to the enemy, they are being dictated to by the enemy and it's a
pity that (the) old type of leadership has vanished the scene," he told the
In a bid to get African countries to continue to
resist Western tendencies, Mr Mugabe promised to host a forum of former
liberation movements this year to sustain "the level of revolutionary zeal
... by interacting with them".
"We would want the forum of former
liberation movements to be resuscitated," he said.
Wed April 21, 2004 10:13 AM By Julian
Linden SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia leg-spinner Stuart MacGill has
refused to take part in the upcoming tour of Zimbabwe on moral and ethical
MacGill told Australia's selectors he had made himself
unavailable for the tour because he "did not believe he could tour Zimbabwe
and maintain a clear conscience."
MacGill, currently playing
county cricket in England for Nottinghamshire, was due to hold a news
conference at Durham on Wednesday to explain his decision.
Cricket Australia officials said they understood MacGill's decision and would
not force him to tour or banish him from future selection.
chief executive James Sutherland said the rest of the team had agreed to go
ahead with the tour, in May and June, despite the political turmoil in the
troubled African state.
"Our head of cricket operations, Michael
Brown, and I have had a number of group and individual discussions with
players since before the World Cup and the broad playing group, including
with a number who have personal concerns about the ethics and morality of
playing in Zimbabwe," Sutherland said in a statement.
understand the difficulty and complexity of the issue, but Cricket Australia,
the player group and the ACA (Australian Cricketers Association) have agreed
that, on balance, playing Zimbabwe cricketers in Zimbabwe is appropriate for
the continued development of cricket as a global sport."
MacGill's decision is a further escalation of the ongoing cricketing crisis
in Zimbabwe. Fifteen rebel white players are in dispute with the Zimbabwe
Cricket Union (ZCU) which began when former captain Heath Streak questioned
the composition of the selection panel.
The selectors named a
weakened side for the current series with Sri Lanka, raising fears of a
horrible mismatch when they play the world champions from
Several teams, including
Australia, have been under intense political pressure to boycott the country
as world leaders express serious concerns about the government of Zimbabwe
president Robert Mugabe.
However, the International Cricket Council
has threatened international suspension and a $2 million fine for teams who
refuse to tour, unless there are either legitimate safety or security
concerns or they are asked not to go by their governments.
England appear likely to tour Zimbabwe in October, despite reservations about
the host country's government, after a meeting at Lord's on Tuesday with ZCU
chairman Peter Chingoka.
Sutherland said Australia's position was
clear: "We go there to play cricket with other cricketers to fulfil our
obligations to world cricket through the ICC future tours program, and for no
Justice system is being
destroyed, says Chairman of the Bar
By Joshua Rozenberg, Legal
Zimbabwe's judges are being bought or bludgeoned into toeing
the line of President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF party, the leader of
barristers in England and Wales said yesterday. Stephen Irwin, QC, Chairman
of the Bar, said after a three-day visit to Zimbabwe that the country's
judges were under attack. "What is happening here is the destruction of a
once fine, working justice system ... in order to hold on to political
power," he said. The system had been "very severely compromised". Apologising
if he sounded "over-trenchant", Mr Irwin said that reading about a country
was different from "going there and smelling the fear". He added: "Unless
things change radically before the elections in 2005, I believe that the
combination of the political atmosphere, the level of threat and the
constitutional and legal failures mean the outcome of any election will not
be representative." The Bar chairman was allowed to visit Zimbabwe last week
with a delegation of lawyers from Scotland, Ireland, Australia and South
Africa. He asked South Africa to pressure Zimbabwe to change. "We have seen
South Africa go through a decade of change and come through with flying
colours, and I ask those in charge of South Africa to think... given what
they have achieved, shouldn't they be asking for the same standards in their
neighbour? We see ... the rule of law working in South Africa and yet just up
the road it is breaking down," he said.
Mr Irwin said a
significant number of senior judges had been granted farms under the land
resettlement scheme. The grant was at the will of the government and the
farms could be taken back at any time without compensation. "I cannot think
that it can be right, or that any judiciary can have the necessary
independence in looking at such issues, if they are both beneficiaries and
judges over something as complex and difficult as the land resettlement
scheme," he said. Mr Irwin noted that 36 petitions had been lodged with the
Zimbabwe courts, challenging the validity of parliamentary elections in 2000.
None had yet been resolved, even though another parliamentary election was
expected in May next year. He said case allocation had been taken over
personally by the president of the High Court, Justice Garwe, creating an
opportunity for abuse. Judges had resigned and it was clear that at least
some had stepped down because of political and other pressures. Many judges
were politically appointed and the few who continued to maintain their
independence were vilified in the state-run media. "You have got to remove
the ambiguous position of the judges. You have got to remove the threat to
judges and the pressure on the way they do their jobs. There is the
opportunity if the political will and the governmental will were to change
... to produce justice on time. This government could do it. The challenge to
Africa and to the region is to get them to do it," he said. Zimbabwe has been
increasingly isolated since a government-sanctioned land appropriation
accompanied a general election in 2000. It has been suspended from the
Commonwealth since Mr Mugabe, who has been in power since independence from
Britain in 1980, won a widely-criticised election in 2002.
project to support civil society in Zimbabwe was launched yesterday at St
Paul's Cathedral in London. The launch coincided with a lecture delivered by
Sir Bob Geldof and hosted by the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and
Wales, in which Geldof called for a massive deployment of resources to help
Africa. "Africa has slipped out of the world safety net. They drift away from
us propelled by the enormity of their poverty and our
exhausted indifference," Geldof said in a wide-ranging and passionate speech.
"They have entered a category of their own. Composed of the most vulnerable
and marginalised, most put upon and ignored. They have become a new category
of misery, a continental underclass - a fourth world." Speaking to the
press after his lecture, Geldof turned his attention to Zimbabwe. "The fact
that Mugabe is still in power brings shame on the whole of Africa. The
fight against Mugabe is nothing to do with the Western world, we now live in
an independent world which should have no truck with this thug. Mugabe has
not just tipped into this madness. He is clever and intelligent and has
always presented his case with spurious arguments. Essentially he is a
divisionist thug, he has been killing the Matabele people for 20 years, he is
a murderous ...., and one of the grotesque tyrants on the planet. The
sooner he goes the better." Two Funds have been formed. They are the
Zimbabwe Defence and Aid Fund, and its sister organisation, the Zimbabwe
Aid Foundation. The Patrons of the Funds are Desmond Tutu, Archbishop
Emeritus, and Pius Ncube, Archbishop of Bulawayo. The Funds have
wide-ranging objectives, but in particular have a remit to support those who
have become the victims of illegal detention, malicious prosecution and worse
by the Zimbabwe state machinery.
MP for Mutasa Evelyn Masaiti and 5 others arrested by riot police
near Mabvuku on Saturday are still in police custody. They have been
charged under POSA for allegedly looting a shop belonging to Sekesai
Makwavarara, the controversial acting mayor of Harare who defected to Zanu PF
last month. According to her version of events, Masaiti dropped off some
youth at a sporting event in Mabvuku and was clear on her way to Harare when
she was arrested. The youth had accompanied her to the funeral of an MDC
official who passed away in Mutasa. When news of the violence reached
policeman at Mabvuku station, Masaiti was already in custody.In a separate
incident, MDC councillor Oscar Penhiwa was arrested while relaxing at a pub
with some friends in Mabvuku . He too is being charged under POSA although
no-one has identified him in connection with any crime.
hope for the 15 rebels of Zimbabwean cricket and the game in their country as
a multiracial enterprise may rest today with the ICC and its ability in a
meeting in London to persuade two members of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU)
to adopt a new approach to negotiation by softening its stance. The rebels -
sacked last week for publicly criticising the ZCU - hope that an arbitration
body will be invited to settle their dispute. However, in a round of goodwill
meetings yesterday, Peter Chingoka, chairman of the ZCU, and Ozias Bvute, a
director, suggested that they were not inclined to budge. "The door is still
open," was their message, yet they simultaneously ruled out arbitration and
said that they would not concede to the players' demand to have Heath Streak
reinstated as captain. If this already sounds like game over, Chingoka cannot
have eased the situation in a briefing with journalists in which he went on
the offensive against the very players with whom he is supposed to be making
peace. He accused Streak of besieging the ZCU with threats and exhibited a
letter as evidence. "There is no reverse gear on the captaincy," he said.
Furthermore, he repeated his claim that there were external influences - a
number of the players' fathers - operating and manufacturing the rift in the
game. This was the same story that he told Zimbabwe's Daily Herald on Friday,
about the clandestine group of "disgruntled hardcore Rhodesians" who were
plotting to "destroy Zimbabwean cricket". Hardly the stuff of
The same hardline stance was on view in a meeting
yesterday morning with Richard Bevan, the Professional Cricketers'
Association chief executive. "The ZCU were clear and adamant that they had
walked the extra mile," Bevan said. "They thought they had done everything
they possibly could and they thought they would never go into any form of
arbitration or mediation." Meanwhile, the rebel players in Harare are not for
softening their position. While the international fledgelings of the "new"
Zimbabwe went down fighting in a one-day international against Sri Lanka in
Bulawayo yesterday, some of the 15 were already beginning to look at their
options elsewhere in the business world. Such is the wave of sympathy, there
is apparently no shortage of opportunities. They would come back on the right
terms, but they are not of the opinion that the ZCU has moved an inch, let
alone a mile. They feel that any apparent movement towards conciliation by
the ZCU is for show and that yesterday's charm offensive was merely top-spin.
"We have come this far and it is no good turning around now," one player
said. "We want to save the game here. We want the cancer out of cricket. Even
if that means one or two of us being fired, so be it."
despite the apparent impasse, Bevan suggested that his had been a positive
meeting and that he was "confident that they might be able to resolve this".
It would appear that he is setting great store by today's meeting between
Chingoka, Bvute and the ICC, and the governing body's ability to force them
to see sense and accept an arbitration body. The ECB, meanwhile, continues to
bob around at the surface of the issue, unable to influence its own fate. The
board had been moving towards pulling out of its autumn tour to Zimbabwe, but
was forced to change tack when punishment by the ICC and possible bankruptcy
loomed as a repercussion. The ECB met Chingoka and Bvute at Lord's and John
Read, the communications director, confirmed afterwards that the tour was
still officially on. "This is a totally invidious position for us," he said.
"We are aware that there is a strong, almost unanimous view among the three
main political parties, probably large sections of the media and the British
public, that they disapprove of the tour going ahead. But we are faced with
potentially horrendous ramifications. It is asking a lot of any organisation
to peer into that financial abyss." The ECB had just been entertained to
a performance of smoke and mirrors by Chingoka and Bvute, who began
by declaring that the board of the ZCU was multiracial and that the fact
that there were four blacks, four whites and four Asians proved it. Put this
to one of the 15 rebels, however, and this is the response: "That is
typical scapegoat language. We're not looking at colour. There is a black guy
on the board, Mike Moyo, and he is very good. There was another, Zed Rusike -
he was good, too, but left two months ago in disgust at the way cricket
is being run." Chingoka left the attendant media at Lord's with these
words: "You are all very welcome to come to Zimbabwe." Hours earlier, the
only British journalist to get to the match in Bulawayo was being
Why did Mugabe think I was
such a danger to his regime?
By Mihir Bose
8am in a government office in Bulawayo, I signed an order presented by a
Zimbabwean immigration officer, agreeing to be deported from the country.
Seven hours later, I boarded a flight for Johannesburg. As the plane took
off, a rainbow appeared in the sky - after the wickedness of Robert Mugabe's
regime, South Africa seems like heaven. I was lucky. I could have spent a
night in one of Mugabe's jails. The order was to remove me immediately from
Zimbabwe; since, at that time, there were no flights, I should have been kept
in jail until I got on the plane. But the immigration officer took pity on a
sports journalist. Political journalists have suffered much more. They have
been punished for writing the truth about the Mugabe regime; I was deported
for failing to get accreditation for a cricket match. Even as I was being
deported, journalists who had arrived with me in Bulawayo to cover the
Zimbabwe-Sri Lanka series were being accredited. But they don't hold a
British passport. I do. My country and my trade - journalism - make me
dangerous to the Mugabe regime.
I had little inkling of this when I
arrived at midday on Monday. Along with me were other correspondents of
different nationalities, and several cricketers, Ian Healey, the former
Australian wicketkeeper, among them. I had been told the best way to get in
to Zimbabwe was to lie to immigration and pretend I was a British tourist
(British tourists do not require visas). Then, once inside, I could gather as
much material as possible, and then start my writing once I'd left the
country. I preferred to be upfront; so I told immigration that I was covering
the cricket tour and I was given a visa. Immigration could not have been more
helpful. I was charged 55 American dollars, and the officer even gave me the
change in US dollars and not Zimbabwean dollars, which are worthless. I first
became unnerved on the way to the hotel, when we hit a police roadblock. The
driver warned us to hide our foreign money, as policemen were known to rob
tourists, but he somehow managed to sweet-talk his way through by saying that
we were his friends. Once in the hotel, where the Sri Lankan and Zimbabwean
teams and officials are staying, it was like covering any other international
My main concern was to talk to as many people in order to
understand the crisis that faces Zimbabwean cricket. This has seen the former
Zimbabwean captain, Heath Streak, lead a revolt of 15 colleagues (all white)
against what they say is the politicisation of the cricket union, and
their replacement by a very inexperienced, virtually all-black team led by
a 20-year-old who has become the youngest ever international cricket
captain. During the course of my interviews, I became aware that cricket
officials were very fearful. One asked not to be quoted; another would only
speak in my hotel room once he'd closed the curtains and checked that he
wasn't being followed. When I mentioned Zanu PF, the ruling party, in public,
all conversation stopped and people furtively looked around to see who
was listening. On Monday evening, having interviewed the new Zimbabwean
captain and coach, I was about to file when I received a call asking me to
come down to reception. I thought the call was from the cricket union
regarding my accreditation. There, waiting for me in the lobby, was the head
of immigration in Bulawayo, accompanied by two officials. He motioned me to
a sofa in the lobby, asked me to produce my passport and then said he
would confiscate it. I was to report to his office at 7.45am on Tuesday. When
I asked what I had done, he told me that he had received orders from on
high in Harare that I was to be deported. He did all this with great
courtesy, but with a bemused air. He could not understand why a cricket
writer should be asked to leave but, as a good civil servant, he followed
Round about me in the lobby, the world went on as normal. Sri
Lankan cricket ers chatted up some local women; Muttiah Muralitharan , their
extraordinary spinner, was presented with a cake by a well-wisher. Hannah
Arendt has spoken of the banality of evil in relation to the Nazi crimes;
Mugabe is not in that class but I now understood how commonplace wickedness
can be. Friends advised me that a word from the Zimbabwean Cricket Union
would sort it out. But their managing director, Vince Hogg, said they had to
follow government orders and referred me to the cricket union's spokesman,
Lovemore Banda, who, far from living up to his name, merely pointed to a
government edict which said that, to get accreditation, you must apply a
month before the event. What nonsense. In 1994, I covered the Winter Olympics
at 48 hours' notice and, last month, I got accreditation for the
Pakistan-India series, despite being a month late. In both cases, the
organisers, the IOC and the Pakistan Cricket Board, did everything they could
to help me. Is the Zimbabwe-Sri Lanka series bigger than the Olympics? One
reason the immigration official gave for my deportation was that the
powers-that-be in Harare feared that, as a British journalist, I might try to
foment more trouble between the Zimbabwe authorities and the rebel
cricketers. Before yesterday, I had backed the Sri Lanka tour. This bullying
attitude has made me change my mind; I now agree with my friend Kate Hoey,
the Labour MP, that England should not go to Zimbabwe for its series. A
sports body that cannot protect the integrity of its own sporting event does
not deserve to host it. And the country that gave the world cricket has to
show courage and integrity and set an example.
Zimbabwean Security Budget 3 Times Higher than Healthcare
Spending Peta Thornycroft Harare 21 Apr 2004, 16:46 UTC
Zimbabwe government has stepped up its intelligence operations, according to
human rights workers, trade unionists, and journalists. The 2004 national
budget has tripled funds for the Central Intelligence Organization. The
figures show spending on security in Zimbabwe has skyrocketed. The budgets
for intelligence and internal defense operations, as well as an unallocated
fund that bypasses parliamentary scrutiny, have swollen to more than $300
This number is more than three times what Zimbabwe spends on
Almost every aspect of life in Zimbabwe is increasingly
being monitored. Recently, a visiting journalist found himself under scrutiny
when he arrived to cover an international cricket match.
the Zimbabwe government says are its enemies are reporting an upsurge in
monitoring of their day-to-day activities.
Brian Kagoro, co-chairman of a
political pressure group called the Crisis Coalition, says there has been
what he described as a phenomenal increase in public spending on home
affairs, defense and security.
He says Zimbabweans now live in what he
calls invisible prison cells, and have to be careful what they say and to
whom they say it.
Mr. Kagoro says the increase in intelligence monitoring
is deeper and more sustained than anyone believed possible. He says this
includes intelligence-gathering on activities of some leaders in the ruling
ZANU PF party, as the party's internal power struggle intensifies over who
will eventually replace President Robert Mugabe, who is 80 years
Jim Holland, systems administrator for Mango, Zimbabwe's oldest
internet service provider, says only one such company, which has its own
satellite access, can be sure that e-mail is not subject to intelligence
There are also more traditional types of security
Most opposition members of parliament, candidates, and
councilors in rural and municipal areas have been arrested at one time or
another since the main opposition party was formed in September of
In one recent incident, an opposition member of parliament, Evelyn
Masaiti, and a Harare city councilor and 13 soccer fans were arrested last
weekend at a game celebrating the 24th anniversary of independence in an
impoverished township east of Harare.
Police told them to disperse
from the township, an opposition stronghold, because too many people had
gathered to watch the game. The state accuses them of looting a
Some intelligence operatives are easy to spot, and will admit
their profession, if asked. They can often be seen in hotels, cafes and
sports clubs, keeping watch on people in the area.
academics, lawyers, trade unionists, and particularly journalists say that
the monitoring of their daily lives has recently increased to unprecedented
Fletcher drops tour hint Press Association Wednesday
April 21, 2004 6:32 PM
Coach Duncan Fletcher has hinted at the first
signs of a possible disagreement between the England squad and their England
and Wales Cricket Board employers over the controversial proposed tour to
Zimbabwe later this year.
The ECB met their counterparts from the
Zimbabwe Cricket Union at Lord's and indicated that the proposed sanctions
for not meeting their tour commitments next October could prove too costly to
the domestic game in England.
But although the England squad are content
for the ECB to handle the decision-making, Fletcher hinted the players may
come to their own conclusions nearer to the time when the tour is due to take
Fletcher, who grew up in Harare and still has relatives in the
area, said: "I think it's very important the ECB deal with the matter and
take it out of the players' hands and let them concentrate on the cricket
"We'll have to wait and see about Zimbabwe. We'll make the decision
once we get closer to Zimbabwe and the tour is definitely on.
bosses are discussing it at the moment and we're employed by the ECB and
we'll just leave it to them.
"I have discussed it with them, but it's up
to them now to make a decision and at this stage I will go along with the
decision they make."
ICC adopts two-way approach over Zimbabwe Wed 21 April, 2004
LONDON (Reuters) - The International Cricket Council (ICC) says it
will play a two-way role in the dispute between the Zimbabwe Cricket Union
(ZCU) and its players.
Following two days of talks between the ICC and
the ZCU, cricket's ruling body plans to balance the interests of the global
game against the sovereignty of Zimbabwe's administrators in addressing their
own domestic issues.
"The ICC recognises and respects the sovereignty
of its members in dealing with often difficult disputes with stakeholders in
the game, including players," ICC president Ehsan Mani said in a statement on
"It is recognised that issues such as the appointment of
captains and the composition of selection committees are matters that fall
solely within the jurisdiction of the member board.
"At the same time,
the ICC recognises and has discussed with the ZCU the international
implications of this dispute and its potential effect on international
cricket," Mani added.
"Over the coming weeks, through the agreed process
of discussions, the ICC will be able to monitor this issue and protect the
interests of the game while, at the same time, respecting the sovereignty of
the ZCU in dealing with the specifics of the dispute."
chairman Peter Chingoka and ZCU board member Ozias Bvute held their talks in
London with Mani and ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed, a seriously weakened
Zimbabwe side has begun a one-day series at home against Sri
Fifteen white Zimbabwean players were not considered for the first
of five one-day matches on Tuesday after a two-week dispute that escalated
when former captain Heath Streak queried the composition of the selection
Chingoka has said the ZCU are willing to
talk to the rebels, adding that his board will restructure the national
selection panel, reducing it from six to four and including two new members
in former national player Richie Kaschula and under-19 coach Walter
On Tuesday, the ZCU issued a "categorical denial" against what
it described as a "mischievous racist agenda" suggesting it was trying to
drive white players out of the game.
"We believe that we have run the
extra mile and walked the extra yard to get the best team playing in
Zimbabwe," Chingoka told reporters. "Hopefully, all the players will come
back to work as soon as possible."
Following this week's London talks,
the ICC has a better understanding of the issues within the Zimbabwean game
and has addressed the claims of racial bias and political interference
levelled against the ZCU.
"The Zimbabwe Cricket Union has provided the
ICC with a comprehensive understanding of the issues involved in the current
dispute and provided assurances and supporting evidence that the dispute is
not about race or politics as it has sometimes simplistically been
portrayed," Mani said.
"The ZCU has invested heavily in players from all
backgrounds in Zimbabwe and representative teams below the international
level reflect this investment with players from all races represented in the
"The reality is that the issues involved in this dispute are very
complex and simplistic portrayals of them do little to identify
Sri Lanka will play four more one-day internationals and two
tests against Zimbabwe while world champions Australia and England are also
scheduled to tour there this year.
Man of principle Comment by Steve Waugh April 22,
STUART MacGILL told me acouple of months ago he was
considering boycotting the tour of Zimbabwe.
So his announcement
yesterday that he was pulling out wasn't a spur of the moment decision, as
many people may think. He has obviously thought everything
I admire any person who can stand up and make a bold
decision like that and I think he's entitled to be listened to.
When I first spoke to him, he was pretty strong in his belief not
Now he has followed through and, to me, that shows a
lot of character.
If there was going to be one person to make a
decision like this it was Stuart. He's a highly intelligent person, who knows
more than most about what is going on around the world.
widely and extensively and is always up to date on
He's also the type of person who stands up for
what he believes and is not easily swayed nor influenced by peer-group
His decision to make himself unavailable for the tour
puts the spotlight on the grey line between sport and politics.
Looking at what is happening to human rights in Zimbabwe, you'd have to think
hard about whether to go.
One of our strengths within the
Australian cricket squad is showing compassion for others and taking a step
back to ensure we see a clearer perspective on issues.
that, like all sports people, they have to balance the interests of their
chosen sport and their professional careers.
In finding that
balance we sometimes need to rely on the relevant authorities who are much
better informed to give advice and guidance.
In making the decision
to pull out based on moral grounds I guess you have to be sure you are going
to make a positive impact.
There are times when you tour a place
and start asking if it is right to be there.
But each time there
has been something positive come out of the cricket with the goodwill it has
created for the people and the positive vibe it has given off.
perfect example is the Test and one-day series between Pakistan and India in
regards to strengthening the relationship between these
With regards to cricket it is also influenced by
the decisions of the ruling board in each country and the ICC,which has put
down a mandate that all cricket nations must be toured unless there are
On the cricket front, Zimbabwe seems to be at a
crisis front with their topline players and captain being sacked in the last
couple of weeks.
The side they are planning to put out for the Sri
Lankan and Australian tour might be giving younger players an opportunity but
in the longer run may damage their careers. This is a real danger for
Zimbabwe cricket as they have very few experienced players at the best of
ICC need to step in and find a resolution and have some sort
of mediation process.
At the moment the Zimbabwe cricket board
and their players are just clashing heads with no solutions appearing on the
If things go ahead as they are at the moment, I can't see
it being a positive for Zimbabwe cricket.
The Age Time to declare 'enough' Comment By Greg Baum April 22,
2004 Enough is enough. Zimbabwe has gone too far, so Australia must not go
at all. There are more reasons now for Australia not to make its scheduled
tour of Zimbabwe next month than there are to persevere with
Stuart MacGill has already stood down, bravely, for it is not as if
he can walk back into the side when and as he chooses.
are said to be uncomfortable, and it is they who will be on the philosophical
front line. Just this week, captain Ricky Ponting expressed reservations
about playing a Zimbabwe team emasculated by bans, boycotts and massive
Previously, this column has argued that Australia
had to go because it owed a duty of care to Zimbabwean cricket, and because
sport could not allow itself to be subverted for a political purpose. But
Zimbabwean cricket plainly has been hijacked by that wretched country's
tyrannical government, and is acting as an arm.
deported a respected sports journalist, ostensibly because of a problem with
accreditation, in fact because it feared he would tell the
Advertisement Advertisement "I had not written a word," the
Daily Telegraph's Mihir Bose said. "One of the excuses given for my
deportation was that (as) a British journalist I might try to foment trouble.
Until I came here, I believed England's cricket team should go to Zimbabwe
(in November). In view of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union's behaviour, I have now
changed my mind."
Although all deny it, the truth is simple enough.
Robert Mugabe's Government has insinuated sympathisers with little cricket
knowledge or standing on to the Zimbabwean cricket board and selection panel.
Their purpose, like the Government's, is not merely to marginalise white men,
but drive them out altogether.
Fifteen cricketers, all white, went on
strike, captain Heath Streak either resigned or was sacked and the Zimbabwe
team that played against Sri Lanka two days ago was scarcely of club
The issue in Zimbabwe is not race, but the politics of
race. Reportedly, three of that team were loath to play, for their sympathies
were with the rebels, but were forced not only to play, but to deny
misgivings. Mugabe's dead hand was apparent everywhere.
The upshot is
that Australia, the best team in the world, would be playing a ghost team of
little- and unknowns in what would be farcical mismatches. Zimbabwe at near
full strength was twice thrashed by Australia last year. Ponting said
Australia would have little interest in playing.
"It would be
disappointing for the player group to go there and play a second or
third-string side," he said this week.
The Australian board has said that
it would proceed with the tour because there was no security risk and because
it was obliged by the ICC future tours program to play everyone. But the
future tours program was meant to propagate the game.
the Australian team as announced yesterday and the Zimbabwean team as it
stands would hold cricket up to ridicule. Matthew Hayden might reclaim his
world record in a day, but it would be hollow.
While Zimbabwe was still
able to field uncompromised teams, it was important for Australia to show
solidarity with the country's beset cricket-playing community. Now it would
be turning a blind eye to the unconscionable.
The issue in Zimbabwe is
not race, but the politics of race. Zimbabwe is a mainly black country
represented by a mainly white cricket team. This can be reversed, but not
Zimbabwe already had adopted a quota system, but that was not
enough for Ozias Bvute - the new board member in charge of quotas - and
Maqsood Ebrahim, newly appointed to the selection panel.
protested at Ebrahim's appointment and influence, demanding someone with more
cricket experience, and for his troubles was accused of plotting to destroy
This was grossly unfair, since Streak has stayed when
it would have easier and more lucrative for him to go to England or
Australia, and despite the imprisonment of his father. His patriotism is
Pigment has become irrelevant; attitude is black and
white. Streak's nomination for the selection panel is a black former player.
A black journalist has been threatened for writing about nepotism in
Zimbabwean cricket. Bose, the deported journalist, is
Henry Olonga, the black cricketer who famously protested
against the Mugabe Government by wearing a black armband in last year's World
Cup, sees the grey. "Heath Streak and Andy Blignaut speak the vernacular
languages of Zimbabwe just as well as other African kids, and are in one
sense culturally as African as the next person," he wrote in the London
Observer. "But obviously, they are white, and it seems it's a bad time to be
white in Zimbabwe."
Racism is abhorrent in any form. If indeed the
only acceptable white in Zimbabwe now would be Cameron, Australia should stay
TODAY the nation awaits the review of the monetary
policy by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Dr Gideon Gono.
policy has become a central instrument to Zimbabwe's economic
Normally, reviews are done every six months, but present
circumstances need shorter periods between appraisals.
For the past
three months, the monetary policy has, to a large extent, been instrumental
in changing the economic landscape.
When the new policy was launched,
inflation rates were accelerating, fuelled by an even faster rate of growth
in money supply and a faster rise in the parallel exchange
Bringing growth in money supply under control and using the
auctions to wipe out the parallel market for foreign currency has seen the
major economic ulcer, inflation, declining steadily since the beginning of
The month-on-month inflation, which reached 33,6 percent in
November last year, dropped to 5,9 percent in March, although modest
increases are expected before the decline continues.
rates have been rising after an initial decline in January. The rates now
hover around 300 percent as the central bank has left them to be determined
by market forces.
Borrowing, as was probably intended in the new policy,
is expensive although efforts are being made to inflate the economy without
inflating money supply by having a special fund at a concessionary rate for
It is no longer possible now to borrow at low
interest rates and use borrowed funds to create paper fortunes through
The banking sector has coped with an eventful quarter that
saw the closure of some banks and reorganisation of others.
the monetary policy has brought back confidence with both local stakeholders
and some international organisations expressing optimism on the progress made
However, there is need for a relook of some of the policies and
strategies adopted so far for the economy to move into a firm revival
It is against this background that Zimbabwe and some interested
external partners eagerly await the review of the monetary policy statement
scheduled for this afternoon.
Key among the issues expected to be
addressed today is the concern of exporters over 25 percent of their
earnings, which they offload at $824 to the United States dollar, while the
balance is paid at the prevailing auction rate.
Exporters view this as
a tax on exports and as a serious limit on Zimbabwe's ability to boost
Since the beginning of the year, most exporting companies have
either scaled down on exports or have suspended business altogether, arguing
that the blend rate has made their businesses less
Representations have been made to the central bank and to the
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development over the issue.
thus, expected that the matter will be fully addressed to ensure
the generation of more foreign currency through exports.
been a steady flow of foreign currency through the foreign exchange auction
system, but increased inflows are required to meet the country's
So far, more than US$175 million has passed through the auction,
which has registered huge successes since its launch on January
More efforts need to be directed towards reducing inflation which,
though declining, has remained unsustainably high.
sector, on which economic revival is premised, also beckons. More resources
need to be allocated to this sector to ensure farmers, particularly the
recently resettled, realise their potential.
Many farmers have failed to
operate effectively due to inadequate resources.
The central bank has
previously provided funds to the sector, but much more is required.
topical issue over the past few months had been the suggestion by
some stakeholders for the central bank to declare an amnesty for
banks, corporates and individuals who have externalised huge amounts of
The central bank and the police have been on a major
hunt for the culprits, but some argue that better results could be achieved
through an amnesty.
It remains to be seen how Dr Gono will deal with this
one and a whole list of other issues at hand.
The need for congruency
between the monetary and fiscal policies has also come to the fore.
has been argued that not much has been happening on the fiscal side for the
two to complement each other in reviving the economy.
Namibian judiciary "facing Zimbabweanisation" afrol News, 21 April - Human
rights groups in Namibia are alarmed at what they call the
"Zimbabweanisation" of their so far democratic institution. Especially the
independence of the national judiciary is threatened, they claim, pointing to
"intimidation of independence-minded Namibian judicial officers, most of whom
The National Society for Human Rights of Namibia (NSHR) today
in a press release said it was "alarmed at insidious but systemic
Zimbabweanisation of not only the socio-economic and political, but also
judicial, system in this country." The group was observing an "ongoing
erosion of judicial independence and circumvention of its
- Judicial independence means that judges and magistrates
can decide cases before them without fear or favour, based on the law and the
facts of a particular case, NSHR executive director Phil ya Nangoloh reminded
Namibian authorities today. "With an independent judiciary, cases will be
decided on their merits. All litigants know that their case will be decided
according to the law and the facts, not the vagaries of shifting political
currents or the clamour of partisan politicians," Mr ya Nangoloh
The Namibian human rights body claims that these standards of
judicial independence now are threatened by the 14-year-old government of
President Sam Nujoma and his SWAPO party, who have totally dominated Namibian
politics ever since independence in 1990. President Nujoma repeatedly has
expressed his admiration of Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe and may be set
to change the Namibian constitution to allow for his fourth presidential
The NSHR is expressing "grave concern" at verbal attacks directed
by high-ranking Namibian government and ruling SWAPO party officials at
what they term "white" and "foreign" judges in general and in particular
Justice Elton Hoff following his 23 February unpopular ruling in alleged
Caprivi secessionist case.
The case of the Caprivi secessionists has
obtained much attention in Namibia and large parts of the public were shocked
at Justice Hoff's dismissal of the case because the accused had been
illegally detained outside Namibia. "A truly independent judicial is there to
protect the rights of those promoting unpopular views," the human rights
group notes, "including those representing minority viewpoints or factions
and accused of serious crimes."
The group further denounced what it
called the "rancorous victimisation and intimidation against Magistrate
Walter Mostert" in 2001. Magistrate Mostert, a white Namibian citizen, was
"unconstitutionally transferred" from his permanent post, according to the
NSHR. After complaining, the "independent-minded judicial officer" has been
denied his annual leave and suspended.
Through an investigation, NSHR
said it had "reliably established that ever since he challenged the
unconstitutionality of his transfer, Magistrate Mostert is faced with several
vindictive omissions or commissions from certain officials of Ministry of
In 2003, the Namibian Parliament had enacted new legislation to
give effect to orders of transferring unpopular judicial officers. Mr ya
Nangoloh holds that this new legislation "is one of the worst pieces of
legislation ever passed by Parliament in the history of our country's
constitutional order, in so as judicial independence is concerned." The act,
according to the NSHR leader, "promotes executive impunity and entrenches
executive interference in both the decisional and institutional independence
of the judiciary."
- The systematic erosion of judicial independence in
Namibia has alibis in Zimbabwe, the Namibian group says in its statement.
Since the prime targets of Zimbabwean-style land grab drive in Namibia were
white farmers, it was logical to conclude that the Namibian government would
also target primarily white Namibian judges, magistrates, prosecutors and
lawyers as "allies of white farmers," the group holds. Hence, a
Zimbabwe-style divide and rule strategy was now being employed "to divide the
judiciary along racial lines."
Several other parallels could also be
drawn between the situation in Namibia and that in Zimbabwe since 2000, when
President Mugabe's land reform campaign started in earnest, the NSHR warns.
Like President Mugabe in Zimbabwe, the Namibian government had repeatedly
demonstrated its disdain for judicial independence. "This is witnessed by the
numerous verbal attacks as well defamation and intimidation of judges who
deliver politically unpopular rulings," the group says.
hosting a meeting of former African guerrilla leaders and freedom fighters to
argue for land reform. An official from the ruling Zanu-PF party -
itself once a guerrilla force - said the meeting would focus on Zimbabwe's
moves to redistribute land.
Talks would also seek ways of
boosting the anti-colonial struggle, he said.
Mugabe's policy of violently taking the farms of minority whites and handing
them to landless blacks has sparked global condemnation.
western nations have severed ties with President Mugabe's government, blaming
his policies for Zimbabwe's economic crisis and food shortages.
But in a recent speech marking the 24th anniversary of
Zimbabwe's independence from foreign rule, Mr Mugabe said the country's
difficulties stemmed from a Western plot to re-colonise it.
Observers say President Mugabe's government will hope the summit
shows domestic opponents it still has historic allies in the region - despite
its international isolation.
to the meeting have been sent to the representatives of former freedom
movements in Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and
Didymus Mutasa, the external affairs secretary,
told the Agence France Presse new agency he could not confirm who would be
He said delegates would be taken on a tour of farms
formerly owned by whites that were now in black hands.
a lot of criticism of our land reform programme and want those who are
supporting us to understand why we are doing it," he said.
Other issues on the agenda are said to include the status of
black minorities in western countries and methods of reviving the struggle
Mr Mugabe recently lambasted fellow African
leaders for betraying the anti-colonial struggle by "listening to the
Thousands of white farmers left Zimbabwe after President
Mugabe authorised peasant supporters of his Zanu-PF party to take over their
farms in February 2000.
Fearing for their assets, foreign
businesses and investors fled Zimbabwe, while agricultural output in the
farms that had changed hands dropped drastically.
A MUM-OF-SEVEN who found sanctuary in Leeds said today she feared
for her life if the British Government deports her back to
Deirdre Humphreys, 43, fled the troubled Southern African
country with her daughter Jessica leaving one of her sons behind. Two of
Mrs Humphreys sons are in London and the rest of her children have left
Zimbabwe and are scattered across the globe. For four years she has lived at
a number of addresses in West Yorkshire, most recently in Leeds, relying on
temporary work permits. Petrified But she says she faces the horrific
prospect of going back to the land ruled with an iron fist by President
Robert Mugabe after the Home Office refused her asylum bid. Mrs Humphreys
has launched an appeal, which will be heard in a few weeks' time. But she
is petrified that if that fails she will be forced to return to the country
where she believes she will face imprisonment and possibly death. "I would
rather go back to Zimbabwe in a box," she said. "When they try to put me on
that plane back I will not go. "There's no democracy there, no law and order.
Why would I be any safer now then when I fled four years ago?" The Home
Office states that Mrs Humphreys would only face risk of violence or death if
she tried to live on the family farm in the country and suggested instead
living in Harare. It added: "The hostility shown to the white minority by the
present government has in practice been limited thus far to the farming
community and not all sections of the white community. "There are no
grounds for you to fear persecution in Zimbabwe on the basis of your ethnic
or social group." Mrs Humphreys added: "The same regime is in power. My
partner had links with the Movement for Democratic Change and if I go back I
will be labelled an enemy of the state and imprisoned. "I was arrested
once by the police and taken to a police station in the capital,
Harare. "Do you think they will welcome me back with open arms. I cannot let
my family go through that again." She escaped the clutches of marauding
gangs who took over many white-run farms where she lived in Zimbabwe in June
2000 with her youngest daughter and just a few suitcases. Her mother and
stepfather, Jessica and Richard Simpson who both hold British passports and
live in West Yorkshire, paid for their flight to the UK. Mum and daughter,
now 13, have both received extensive counselling for the trauma they suffered
before and during their escape and are under the care of a psychologist. A
Home Office spokeswoman said: "We do not comment on individual cases. She
said people who failed to be granted asylum would not at present be forcibly