Volunteer doctors and nurses provide health care HARARE, 27 Apr 2004 (IRIN) -
A number of initiatives aimed at extending medical services to the rural poor
have been launched by enterprising doctors in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabweans are finding it harder to pay for medical treatment as inflation
of around 600 percent translates into soaring fees for private doctors and
shortages of medicines in public hospitals. Private hospitals, doctors and
dentists increased their fees by between 50 percent and 100 percent at the
beginning of April, hard on the heels of a similar price hike three months
General consultation fees have leaped to almost Zim $70,000 (about
US $13.80), with specialist doctors demanding Zim $150,000 (US $29.70).
Deposit fees at private hospitals, which offer better services than poorly
resourced state hospitals, now range from Zim $220,000 (US $43.50) to Zim
$1.6 million (US $317).
Recognising the gap in health care provision
for the rural poor, a group of doctors started the Community Medical Outreach
Service Trust (CMOST), in which doctors and nurses volunteer their services,
time and expertise free of charge. The organisation extends health care
services to the unemployed and low-income groups in rural areas.
medical practitioners, we are cognisant of the fact that there are thousands
of underprivileged people who cannot access medical services. The plight is
particularly marked in remote rural areas," said CMOST chairman Dr Edwin
Since its inception in October last year, CMOST has conducted
general consultations for more than a thousand ill people in Masvingo,
Mashonaland Central and Matabeleland provinces, Chitungwiza town and
The organisation has 80 medical doctors, drawn mostly from the
capital, Harare, who are assisted by a group of nurses. The doctors include
ear, nose and throat specialists, gynaecologists, urologists and
"Specialist doctors tend to be concentrated in the big
urban centres. They shun rural areas because they are afraid that their
surgeries might collapse, since the general rural population lacks the
capacity to pay for medical services. In addition, rural hospitals are mostly
understaffed and are inaccessible to many," Muguti added.
therefore decided to offer these marginalised people, who could otherwise die
due to conditions that require simple attention, free and voluntary medical
help. Busy as we are, we have resolved to spare one day every month to do an
outreach programme in which we visit [rural] areas and attend to the sick,"
CMOST has also assisted 73 patients requiring
specialist attention. Local communities help to identify people needing
CMOST's services, and voluntary community health workers gather the patients
at specified points for treatment by the CMOST team.
"We try as much
as possible to be comprehensive and versatile. We also try to touch base with
pharmacists and drug manufacturers so that, after we have attended to our
patients, they are guaranteed of [receiving] the prescribed drugs," Muguti
One of the main obstacles to the CMOST outreach programme is a
scarcity of resources. "Reaching out to needy communities is a costly
exercise that requires a lot of funding. Money is needed for transport, fuel
and members' food. In addition, the patients camp at designated points well
in advance of our arrival and they should be provided with food," Muguti
The Zimbabwe Medical Association (ZIMA), to which most
Zimbabwean doctors are affiliated, runs a similar project aimed at benefiting
low-income groups. Their initiative started early this year and has so far
helped about 900 people in Masvingo, Mashonaland Central and the country's
second city of Bulawayo.
"Our programme was born out of the philosophy
that we should not wait for outsiders to help out the needy people in this
country," said ZIMA president Dr Paul Chimedza.
He told IRIN that his
organisation was currently negotiating with one of the country's largest
referral hospitals for the donation of an unused operating theatre, while the
army has provided manpower and tents for visiting teams and the patients
seeking medical attention.
Chimedza said his organisation had approached
the corporate world for help in cash or kind, but the "response so far was
not good enough". He bemoaned the lack of infrastructure on newly resettled
farms, adding that most general hospitals were also inadequately
"Even though we focus on rural communities, we also try as
much as possible to help the poor in urban areas by identifying
poverty-stricken suburbs," he said.
Eyes for Africa is yet another
voluntary organisation assisting those unable to afford or access health
care. They conduct outreach programmes every last weekend of the month,
devoting three days to an area.
"We have been offering free eye services
for a number of years, but of late we have witnessed a growing number of
people coming to us for help as the economic situation declines and medical
costs rise dramatically," said Eyes for Africa chairman Dr Solomon
The ZIMA chairman also told IRIN that the organisation
intended to inform policy on medical aid provision by identifying gaps during
their visits, and advising the government and other stakeholders
Mugabe gets standing ovation at SA democracy party
Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwe president, received a standing
ovation as he arrived for today's inauguration of President Thabo Mbeki; a
party also marking 10 years of post-apartheid democracy.
and foreign dignitaries rose to their feet at Pretoria's Union Buildings as
the Zimbabwean leader arrived for the inauguration ceremony, accompanied by
his wife Grace.
Thousands of party-goers attending a public concert on
lawns below the buildings whooped and cheered as huge television screens
showed Mugabe's arrival.
"He is a hero as far as the African struggle
is concerned. He has done so much to liberate the African people. We know the
problems that are going on in Zimbabwe, but they will bounce back," said
Ludwe Solwandle, a 27-year-old businessman.
Mugabe was among African
heads of state invited for today's inauguration, which coincided with
celebrations of South Africa's historic all-race elections in 1994 that ended
centuries of white rule in the country.
Other guests included the
presidents of Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo as well the two
men who guided South Africa's transformation in 1994 - F W de Klerk, the
country's last white president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, its
first black one.
Mugabe, accused of political repression at home
following his re-election in 2002 polls described as rigged by domestic
opponents and some Western countries, has been at the centre of a media
controversy since arriving in South Africa on
Falsehoods? Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the South African foreign
minister, confirmed that at least one South African hotel had refused to host
the controversial Zimbabwean leader, although she said he did not want to
stay there anyway.
"It seemed to us that the feeling was mutual,"
Dlamini-Zuma said today.
Simon Moyo, Zimbabwe's ambassador to South
Africa, accused the South African press of spreading "distortions and
falsehoods" about the visit, and said today Mugabe's rapturous welcome in
Pretoria showed most South Africans backed him.
"We take pride in the
great cheer the people gave President Mugabe, who clearly is welcome here
despite attempts by some people to demonise him," Moyo said. - Reuters
Harare - Defence lawyers on Tuesday asked a court in Zimbabwe to
release 70 suspected mercenaries charged with plotting a coup in Equatorial
Guinea and produced a witness who said they were hired to guard a mine in
the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The 70 men, mainly from Angola,
Namibia and South Africa, were arrested at Harare International Airport on
March 7, allegedly en route to oil-rich Equatorial Guinea to topple the
"The overwhelming majority of the accused were merely
passengers in transit," defence lawyer Francois Joubert told the
Called as a defence witness, Samuel Kaunda, a former South African
soldier who has been working as a private security guard, told the court that
he and the 70 detainees were hired by a private security firm to guard a mine
Kaunda said the men were hired on March 3 by a company called
Military Tactics Suppliers and offered a monthly salary of $6
When asked by Joubert if the men had any business in Zimbabwe,
Kaunda said: "Nothing, no. We were all ready to go to the DRC mine."
Zimbabwean Cartoonist Receives 'Courage in Editorial Cartooning'
International Freedom of Expression Exchange Clearing House
PRESS RELEASE April 26, 2004 Posted to the web April 27,
It is announced by the Cartoonists Rights Network
International of Burke, Virginia that they have given their annual award for
"Courage in Editorial Cartooning" to a Zimbabwean cartoonist, Mr. Tony
During 2003 and well into 2004, Mr. Namate has been under
constant threat of physical harm and arrest by the repressive regime of
Robert Mugabe in Harare, Zimbabwe. After publicly refusing to comply with
what he felt was an illegal new law requiring all journalists to register
with the government, Namate was subjected to televised threats by various
Ministry officials, calling him disloyal and accusing him of working to
undermine the government. These accusations have become code words that
signal imminent arrest.
Journalists in Zimbabwe have been beaten,
arrested and otherwise abused during recent political
Namate had gone on public record that to register with the
government was tantamount to the Nazis in Germany during World War II
requiring Jews to wear Star of David arm bands. The offices of his paper, The
Daily News, were bombed and many of its investigative and editorial reporters
were arrested recently.
Mr. Tony Namate has received this award, given
each year to an editorial or social cartoonist who demonstrates exceptional
courage in the face of overwhelming power that seeks to keep them silent.
Namate has consistently refused to be intimidated and continues to draw
powerful and cutting edge cartoons about the Mugabe regime, and life for the
common man under its harsh policies.
CRN is the world's only human
rights and freedom of expression organization dedicated exclusively to the
protection and monitoring of editorial and social cartoonists who find
themselves in trouble because of the power and influence of their
CRN has affiliate organizations and country representatives all
over the world.
From their Eastern European Regional Office in
Romania, CRN sponsors an annual cartoon competition called "Freedom in
Journalism", now in its third year.
Tony Namate will be attending the
annual convention of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists in
Lexington, Kentucky from April 22 to 25, 2004.
He will be receiving
his award at a special dinner given to honor him.
CRN President, Mr.
Kevin Kallaugher, cartoonist for the Baltimore Sun and The Economist
magazine, will hand out the award.
Web copies of Namate's cartoons are
available by contacting CRN.
BULAWAYO, Apr 27
(IPS) - As thousands of Zimbabwean women have discovered, the law is a blunt
instrument when it comes to domestic disputes that threaten health and
A distress call from a squabbling family has no guarantee of
eliciting a reaction from the police, who can do nothing unless there are
indications of physical violence. Bookings normally result when assault has
Now, a new law has been proposed to broaden the scope of
activities that abusive family members can be called to account for. The
draft 'Prevention of Domestic Violence Bill' is expected to come under
discussion during the current session of parliament, and may become law
before the end of the year.
The bill does not only define domestic
violence in terms of physical or sexual injury; it also takes intimidation,
harassment and stalking into account, as well as the abuse that can result
from traditional practices that degrade women. These include virginity
testing, female genital mutilation and forced marriages.
the bill outlaws 'economic abuse', such as denying someone the right to find
employment, and the unreasonable disposal of household effects or other
property in which the complainant has an interest. It also forbids actions to
deprive a family member of economic resources which that person needs, like
funds to cover medical expenses and school fees.
Teresa Mugadza, a
consultant with the Musasa Project which shelters and counsels abused women
(and which has been one of the driving forces in efforts to reduce domestic
violence), says a study conducted by the project in 2000 showed this abuse
was one of the leading causes of death for Zimbabwean women in the 15-40 age
bracket. This is the most recent study of its kind conducted by the
The 2000 findings backed up research done by Musasa in 1996,
which showed that one in four women had at some point been physically abused.
A similar number had been forced to have sex with their partners, while one
in six was prevented from getting a job or going to work.
of domestic violence can be quite devastating, particularly in these days of
HIV/AIDS," Mugadza told IPS in an interview from Zimbabwe's capital, Harare,
adding: "An increasing number of women incarcerated for murder or culpable
homicide of their partners have a history of having suffered domestic
The fact that legislation addressing these matters is being
debated has been welcomed. Nonetheless, some activists are still frustrated
by the fact that it has taken so long to address domestic violence
Lawyer Nomsa Ncube, who was involved in the campaign
against abuse at its inception in the 1990s, thinks the process has dragged
on because "maybe it was not a priority".
Although it is pervasive,
domestic violence remains something that many would rather not discuss. "Most
people want to pretend it doesn't exist," Ncube said, during an interview in
the southern town of Bulawayo.
Mugadza believes the problem stems from
the fact that police and social workers often lack the skills to deal with
the peculiar mix of personal, emotional and economic factors that come into
play with domestic abuse.
"Domestic violence is complex in that it occurs
within intimate relationships, and police officers, the courts, communities,
churches and hospitals have often failed to deal with it appropriately for
lack of a framework on how to deal with it."
The fact that Zimbabwe is
male-dominated society has also led to a situation where violence against
women is not really perceived as a crime, adds Mugadza.
bill allows police to arrest someone who is about to commit an act of
domestic violence. It also compels the authorities to obtain shelter for the
complainant - or advise them on where this can be found - and it provides for
protection orders and domestic violence counselors.
committing an act of domestic violence have been set at a fine or five years
imprisonment, or both.
"We would have wanted more deterrent sentences,
but these should do," says Mugadza.
But, whether tighter legislation
will provide for a more harmonious family life in Zimbabwe remains to be
seen. Social worker Sheba Dube says due to growing poverty in the country,
"women are more disempowered than before".
Gia Christophides who heads
Childline Zimbabwe, a child protection agency, feels that the proposed
legislation will not serve much purpose unless it closes the loophole created
when a perpetrator is given bail.
"We have brought many cases to court
only to be frustrated when the alleged perpetrator gets bail and heads
straight home to continue abusing a child," Christophides told IPS from
Harare. "The cases get dropped because the child has been
The new bill marks an attempt by the Zimbabwean government
to meet its international commitments for ending violence against women, as
set out by the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) - which was ratified by Harare
more than a decade ago.
Almost 180 states have signed up to CEDAW,
which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979 - and which highlights
the need for legal reforms to ensure that men and women receive equal
treatment under the law. (END/2004)
The Executive Governor of Kwara State, Dr. Abubakar Bukola
Saraki is poised to create an agrarian revolution in the state. He is
convinced that once hunger is adequately addressed, a people's poverty level
becomes negligible and infinitesimal. In order to make Kwara State
self-sufficient in food production and transform it into a leading food
basket of the nation, the charismatic administrator has set machinery in
motion for the people to go back to the land and make use of the abundant,
but untapped resources which nature has endowed the state with.
July last year, barely three months after he assumed office, Governor Bukola
Saraki took a bold and pragmatic step by launching the
Back-to-Farm agricultural scheme.
The aim of the scheme is to
encourage Kwara State farmers by providing incentives for profitable farming.
And the objective is to provide food security, gainful employment for the
youth; reduce poverty by empowering the people, and encourage small and
medium scale agro-allied industries. The impact of the novel scheme has been
instant and far-reaching.
For instance, in the last nine months, Kwara
State farmers had planted maize, cassava, soya-beans and rice on 704 hectares
of land in 54 farms spread across the three senatorial districts of the state
to boost the Back-to-Farm programme. Buoyed by the massive enthusiasm and
support generated by the programme, Governor Saraki has made 4,000 hectares
of farm land his target this year. He has promised that rice cultivation
will receive priority attention through construction of earth dams for
irrigation and all-year-round farming.
Last year, the government
bought 22 new farming tractors and refurbished six old ones. The government
also took delivery of 12 new tractors with support from the federal
government with the intention of adding to the fleet when the need
Governor Saraki has assured the farmers that their efforts at
making Kwara State numero uno in food production will not go unrewarded as
government will act as buyer of last resort. The government will buy off
every grain of rice or maize and every tuber of cassava that is
The government has also established a Farmer Experimentation
Group of about 900 farmers through the Kwara State Chapter of the Council of
Nigerian Farmers. The farmers are now working in 46 locations of 20 hectares
each across the state, planting maize, rice and cassava.
Saraki's government paid the farmers to clear the land themselves. The
government also bought all the input, including seedlings, chemicals
and fertilizers which were sold to the farmers on credit at subsidized
rates. The farmers also enjoy technical backup by an extension worker from
the Agricultural Development Programme at each farm location. In order
to demonstrate his commitment, Governor Saraki is personally supervising
the Back-to- Farm project.
One major project very dear to the heart of
the governor is how Kwara State will benefit from the current bilateral
negotiations going on between the federal government and some white farmers
and agricultural experts from Zimbabwe. The large scale farmers are leaving
the Southern African sub-region to seek investment and farming opportunities
elsewhere and some of them who visited the country recently, have identified
Nigeria as a favourable place for investment in large scale integrated
In January this year, the Federal Minister of Agriculture and
Rural Development, Mallam Adamu Bello, on the directives of President
Olusegun Obasanjo, held a meeting with some selected State Governors, the
National Security Adviser and the Presidential Economic Adviser to discuss
the opportunities provided by the coming of commercial farmers in
Southern Africa to Nigeria. The Governors who attended the meeting were Boni
Haruna of Adamawa State, George Akume of Benue State, Donald Duke of Cross
River State, and Sam Egwu of Ebonyi State. Others included Mohammed Markarfi
of Kaduna State, Abubakar Bukola Saraki of Kwara State, Abdulahi Adamu
of Nassarawa State and Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State.
Minister had emphasized the fact that "the agricultural relationship between
Nigeria and South Africa has been cordial and it had culminated in the
signing of Agricultural Corporation Agreement between the two countries in
the year 2001".
Mallam Bello stressed that "farming in South Africa is
highly mechanized and project oriented with effective cooperative system ".
He argued that the coming of the white farmers would be highly beneficial to
Governor Bukola Saraki who spoke to the press after the meeting
expressed his administration"s readiness to work with the white Zimbabwean
farmers in order to transform peasant farming. He said Kwara State has vast
hectares of arable land largely underutilized.
Dr Saraki declared that
"the future of Nigeria"s economic emancipation lies not in the oil sector but
in the expansive agricultural sector". Speaking with conviction and
conviviality, Saraki disclosed that he wanted to show that farming can be
profitable. His words: "We want to show that farming can be profitable. We
want to show all our youths currently wandering around the cities that they
can be gainfully employed through farming. We want to show that we can feed
this country. We want to show that we can use agriculture to lay the
foundation for the industrialization of our state."
The white farmers who
were recently in Nigeria paid a visit to Kwara State and also had an audience
with President Obasanjo at the Aso Rock villa in Abuja. While in Kwara State,
the chatty and breezy white farmers enjoyed the warm hospitality of Governor
They visited the Duku-Lade Irrigation Scheme; the
Nigerian Sugar Company Limited, Bacita; the Stored Products Research
Institute, Ilorin and the International Tobacco Company, Ilorin . The white
farmers" visit to the four agricultural establishments was an eye-opener to
the pitiable condition of these neglected institutions and the vast
agricultural potentials of Kwara State.
At the Nigerian sugar Company
Limited, the sole Administrator, Engineer S.A. Adeniyi, told the visiting
investors that the problems facing the organization are surmountable, as the
company offers very bright future prospects as the leader and reference point
of Nigeria"s sugar industry.
Adeniyi disclosed that NISUCO possessed
suitable and fertile land for sugar cultivation and room for expansion. The
plant capacity, at full development, will be about 60,000 tornes of sugar per
annum. In addition, the company has one of the best workshops and foundary in
At the Nigerian stored products Research Institute, Ilorin,
the white farmer saw local and imported post harvest handling, preservation,
processing and storage on display.
Over the years, Nigerian farmers
had lost several million metric tonnes of agricultural products to poor
harvest handling, poor preservation method, or lack of it, and shoddy storage
arrangements. The intervention of the white farmers could bring in the much
desired transformation and relief to local farmers.
The areas which
may be considered for possible investment by the white farmers include the
following: Livestock sub-sector, namely dairy production and processing, beef
production and processing, veterinary drugs and vaccines production, animal
feed production, day-old clicks production, poultry eggs processing for mayo
maize and ice cream production, ostrich farming and quail farming.
the crop sub-sector, the visiting white farmers could invest in
rice production, maize production, root crops processing like turning
cassava into chips, pellets, starch, flour and livestock feeds, etc; oil
seeds (soyabeans, ground-nut and sunflower) into vegetable oils, soap and
other products; fruits and vegetables packaging, merchandising and export
of mango, banana, plantain, guava, cashew, pineapple, fruit juice and
wine production from mango, orange, grapes, lemon, lime etc.
country could also benefit from the expertise and financial backing of the
farmers in the area of industrial fishing like tuna fishing and
canning; aquaculture development, namely fish farm establishment and
development, fingerling production (hatcheries), fish feed production, shrimp
culture, cage culture, homestead fish farms, backyard Fadama, land fish
ponds, pen cultures, ornamental fish production and aquaculture construction
and installation. The nation could equally benefit from investment in
There are reports in the press that some Senators
are opposed to the federal government"s invitation to the white farmer. The
lawmakers, led by Senator Bode Olowoporoku, are said to be entertaining fears
that the presence of the white farmers in Nigeria could ignite racial
conflict or land dispossession.
The agriculture minister, Mallam Bello,
has dismissed such fears as unfounded as the white farmers are experts and
investors and not land grabbers. He counseled that what the farmers are
bringing to Nigeria is investment and integrated farming. This write shares
the minister"s views and believes that President Obasanjo should be commended
for welcoming the Zimbabwean farmers to Nigeria. The move should not generate
any bad blood in the Senate or between the president and the
If Nigeria is enjoying the benefits of foreign expertise and
investment in some key areas of the economy like petroleum,
telecommunications, power and steel, education and the hotel industry, why
should agriculture be an exemption? We need the expertise and investment of
the white farmers in our country for positive development and quick
transformation of our current primitive farming method. It is a laudable
project that deserves the support of every patriotic Nigerian.
Why trade with these countries? Web Posted - Tue
Apr 27 2004 Cuba, China, Haiti, Zimbabwe? Why is Barbados trading with these
countries? They kill and imprison citizens and journalists who don't agree
with them. If you want schoolchildren to learn Spanish, why no cultural and
business trade with Venezuela, only 50 air-minutes away? Why Cuba? A nation
of slaves whose elite are the only ones allowed to leave with no free
election in 50 years. Why China? No free elections. A nation which puts its
dissidents in slave factories.
Why Zimbabwe? A nation which kills
farmers to give land to Mugabe's cronies instead of using the international
rule of law to overcome past political abuse.
Mr. Prime Minister, I
have been coming here for decades and to outsiders it appears you are saying
you want a free society but your actions speak loudly otherwise. You are not
assuring potential investors by this course of action.
have printed dozens of letters on cricket but none on the latest effort to
trade with Zimbabwe. I hope your editors will raise my concerns in case some
day you find yourself not free to do so.
Former Zimbabwe bowler
Eddo Brandes believes there is no point Australia touring the African nation
next month. As well as the moral implications of the tour, there is
also the question of whether Australia playing a weakened Zimbabwe devalues
"If I was an Australian player I would not want to be
playing sub-standard opposition and I'd want to have the trip postponed,"
"If it can't be sorted out, it's the history of
the game being affected."
Brandes, who is now coaching on
Queensland's Sunshine Coast, settled in Australia with his family partly
because of the troubles in Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe's
Australia leg-spinner Stuart MacGill has decided
not to make himself available to tour on moral grounds, and there have been
reports that other players could follow suit.
withdrawals to hit the Zimbabwe team due to the row over selection policy and
board politics have put further doubts over the tour.
bowled out for a world record low score of 35 in the third one-day match
against Sri Lanka on Sunday.
Australian Cricketers Association
chief executive Tim May said: "There's no doubt about it, it devalues
"We won't be surprised at what may happen
with a substandard side."
Former Zimbabwe coach and Australia fast
bowler Carl Rackemann, however, said the tour would give Zimbabwe cricket a
welcome boost at a troubled time.
"International tours are
vitally important for Zimbabwe, obviously to fund the game through TV rights,
but also for the juniors and the badly-needed development of the game for the
sake of the kids," said Rackemann.
"It's disappointing to see
there's players out and they're having those difficulties, so obviously I'm
hoping to read some good news."
The players who have rebelled against the Zimbabwe Cricket Union
were divided last night over the schism within the game in their country. The
15 rebels have refused to play for Zimbabwe until grievances including
the composition of the selection panel have been addressed. Yesterday the
ZCU said the sides had reached agreement on a mediator, the respected
arbitrator Much Masunda, and a mediation process. The players, led by the
former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak, disputed those claims because they have
yet to make decisions among themselves on those issues.
"The most recent
discussions with Streak have indicated that there is every hope of a speedy
and amicable resolution and an assurance has been received from Streak that
the players are anxious to come back into the fold as soon as possible, as is
the desire of the ZCU," said a media release from the board.
rubbish," one player said. "It does irritate us that Heath keeps talking
about Much Masunda and keeps talking about mediation, but in
his communication to us we're not sure what's happening."
player said: "If Heath Streak goes on his own he is going to be out on a
limb. He is saying things and making decisions which you could say are going
against us." However, he was adamant that the players still stood together.
"There's no division - none of us are going to go back unless things are
sorted out. What if a few of us go back and they start wielding the axe
because we dug up some dirt on people in positions of power?"
said they harboured no ill feelings against the lambs the ZCU had lined up
for slaughter by Sri Lanka in their absence. "I felt so bad yesterday," he
said with reference to the world-record low score of 35 the weakened Zimbabwe
side scored in the third one-day international. "I really feel sorry for the
guys who are playing now. We have no grievances against them."
Desperate Zimbabwe try a deal By Peta Thornycroft in
Harare (Filed: 27/04/2004)
Near terminal upheavals in Zimbabwe
cricket are not over yet, despite an optimistic statement issued by the
Zimbabwe Cricket Union late yesterday pledging independent mediation if 15
white players make themselves available immediately for selection.
ZCU said in a statement that they had informed Heath Streak, the
deposed captain, of the proposal and that if the players responded positively
an independent mediator would intervene to thrash out their grievances by
This is a climbdown by the ZCU and a tacit admission that
the rot in Zimbabwe cricket has gone far beyond any quick fix. It is an
admittance that fundamental issues such as selection and the behaviour of
some ZCU board members has to be addressed or the game is more or less over
so far as Zimbabwe as a Test cricketing nation goes. On Sunday in their match
with Sri Lanka, the team were dismissed for 35, the lowest score on record in
a one-day international.
Streak, taking a break in a holiday resort
with his family, said yesterday: "This is a proposal given to me, as an
individual, and I still have to meet with the players in Harare and pass this
on as I have understood it. It is then up to them to think it over and make a
"There is so much distrust of the ZCU that their promises will
not be believed by any of the players."
Streak said the question of
his captaincy was not an issue and he would tell players, as he had in the
recent past, that if their grievances were sorted out he would be prepared to
play under the new captain, Tatenda Taibu.
"Maybe some of them will not
want to play unless I am the captain," Streak said, "but that is not the
issue. The issue is the grievances. When those issues are sorted out, then
the rest will fall into place."
A mediator, Much Musunda, a prominent and
well-liked businessman, has been agreed by Streak and the ZCU and he will put
his name forward to the dissident players, who will then have to decide
whether or not to accept him.
Streak said: "They are looking for a
neutral person. I will recommend Mr Musunda but it is up to them. There is
not going to be an immediate solution here. It may take some
Meanwhile, the Australian government should consider paying a fine
to allow the country's cricket team to withdraw from their tour of Zimbabwe,
a senior member of prime minister John Howard's Liberal party said yesterday.
Bronwyn Bishop, a former cabinet minister, said she had problems with the
Australian team touring Zimbabwe. She said she backed player Stuart MacGill's
decision to make himself unavailable.
She said the government should
pay up to £1.1 million to the International Cricket Council to enable
Australia to withdraw and allow players a conscience vote on the issue.
We've just turned 24 - I can still recall sitting
in the stands at Rufaro Stadium in Harare on Independence night 24 years ago.
I was in an excellent position as I had been a small cog in the process of
the transition from the previous government to the new one led that night
by Robert Gabriel Mugabe. Just in front of me was Mrs Ghandi - the then
Prime Minister of India, soon to be assassinated. To my immediate left was
the podium and Prince Charles who was there to lower the flag (with great
relief in the UK) on a tumultuous 84 years of white settler
It was quite a spectacle - the four armies paraded and the
dignity of the event burnt an indelible memory in my mind. But it was more
than just a handover - it was a celebration that a transfer of power was
taking place in Africa after a genuine "one man one vote" electoral process.
For many Zimbabweans it was the first time they had ever voted and just for
that alone it was a memorable event.
Mugabe himself was a
reluctant participant even though he was the winner. He had wanted Ian Smith
to fight on - a "fight to the finish" and then to march down the main street
of the capital at the head of his armed forces in a victory parade. He also
wanted the space to build what he envisaged was a perfect state - a state of
peasants ruled by a benevolent dictatorship that governed in perpetuity. I
knew this from an extraordinary meeting with Mugabe just after his release
from prison 5 years before, just a few days before he went over the border
into Mozambique to participate in the Zanla struggle for power. At the time I
had dismissed the talk as just so much rhetoric from someone who had been in
jail for a decade. Only when the Khmer Rouge did just that and killed
hundreds of thousands of Cambodians in the process did I appreciate what he
I suspect that Lord Soames - the man sent to preside over
the hand over, understood this but like Lord Mountbatten in the independence
struggle in India - his job was to get the UK out of this mess with as little
pain as possible. Mugabe was the way to go and that is what
Mugabe has never been a democrat - like many I am
convinced that Tongogara did not die in that car accident in Mozambique, it
was just too convenient. Once he secured power in Zimbabwe, Mugabe vowed
never to relinquish it and that is why we are in the mess we are in today.
Had he done a Mandela on us he would have gone down in history as a real
hero. But he wanted that and all the rest - a one party state (in reality if
not in law) and a lifetime presidency.
So we have had 24 years
during which our government has worn the clothing of democracy as a disguise.
When it suited them they used it to achieve what they wanted - in 1987 to
wipe out the remains of Zapu power in the south. In the cities, to secure
total control and political direction. They signed up to all the right things
in the process, but paid little heed to what those agreements and commitments
translated into on the ground.
All the rest of the world wanted was
to see Zimbabwe behave reasonably so that they did not have to be concerned
by yet another crisis in Africa. All African states - themselves guilty of
also wearing the same disguise at one time or another, simply played along.
So Mugabe had his way and if we are not careful, we are about to become
another closed, failed state, isolated and alone but ruled by a small
oligarchy supported by the military. The parallels are North Korea and
The easy solution is to just dig a deeper ditch for the
Limpopo river and then let Mugabe and his crew have the ship which will
quickly be abandoned by over half its crew who will live abroad and help
support the other half who will live in abject poverty at home. Morgan
Tsvangirai - the hero of democracy will remain virtually a prisoner without a
passport, allowed to speak to the occasional journalist who will then have to
retreat back over the river to write his story.
The ANC in South
Africa have won the election there in impressive manner - this was really a
victory for Mbeki. Last time he was riding on the tails of Mandela, this time
he is his own man and this was his day. He now has five years in which to
write his own version of African history. Africa will see many elections this
year - Namibia next month, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique.
Zimbabwe we also have an election coming and we look forward to it with
nothing but fear and apprehension. What will "they" do to us this
time? Murder, mayhem and propaganda is all we can look forward to and then
when we vote it will be under the gun and we know full well that if day one
does not produce the result required, the state will simply stuff ballot
boxes with hundreds of thousands of false ballots and then cry victory on
All we ask for is a free and fair, one person,
one vote, election. Is that too much to ask? Is this not what the whole
struggle up to the 18th April 1980 was all about? What we want from the new
South African government is simply that - a chance to vote for the leadership
we choose to take us out of this cull du sac in which we find ourselves. The
MDC does not wear democracy as a disguise - we actually believe it is the
only way forward - for the continent and for ourselves. We celebrate with all
South Africans their achievement of yet another historic, free and fair
election. Now it's our turn, please.
Herald Reporter ZANU-PF
Makonde MP Cde Kindness faces possible investigation and disciplinary action
by the party following reports that he is seeking British support to fund the
The party's Mashonaland West provincial chairman Cde
Philip Chiyangwa said party structures in the province and war veterans had
made representations for Cde Paradza to be investigated.
Mail reported at the weekend that Cde Paradza was trying to buy a controlling
stake in Africa Tribune Newspapers (Pvt) Limited - the publishers of the
weekly Tribune - and was seeking the help of ANZ officials to secure
financial support from Britain.
The paper said Cde Paradza travelled to
London last Friday to meet some officials of a British organisation ready to
fund his takeover bid.
However, Cde Paradza, who is in Luton (Britain),
yesterday denied that he had gone to Britain to seek funding.
denied that he met ANZ chairman Mr Strive Masiyiwa and chief executive Mr Sam
Sipepa Nkomo seeking help to take over the Tribune.
"There is nothing
like that. I have never talked to Strive Masiyiwa since 1996 and I have never
talked to Sam Sipepa Nkomo and they are not involved in any way in the take
over of the Tribune.
"We have since taken over the Tribune as management
and we have paid for it in full using our own resources," said Cde
The reports were also fuelled by the fact that the Tribune
recently wrote an editorial bemoaning the demise of the Daily
But Cde Paradza said he was not involved in editorial matters and
only handled management issues.
"I am not the editor of the paper, I
am the publisher.
"Right now I am in Luton where I am meeting Zimbabweans
whom I want to contract to sell my paper. I also want to attract advertising
by bringing the paper to Zimbabweans here. Other Zimbabwean newspapers are
sold here. I am not here to seek any British funding," he said.
Paradza said the meeting to discuss his position in the party should go ahead
because he had nothing to fear.
"They can go ahead with the meeting, I
will go to Makonde and I win hands down," he said.
In his maiden
speech to Parliament three weeks ago, Cde Paradza criticised the country's
media laws, the Broadcasting Services Act and the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act, saying they were too restrictive and discouraged
potential investment in the media.
Cde Chiyangwa said youths in the
province held a meeting at Trelawney Training Centre at the weekend, where
they expressed concern over Cde Paradza.
They called for the expulsion
of Cde Paradza from the party for gross indiscipline and undermining party
and Government programmes.
"The youths officially stated that they want
Cde Paradza out but as the provincial chairman of Zanu PF I told them we are
going to have a meeting with the top six provincial politburo members," Cde
He said the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans
Association had not taken a position as they were still carrying out
Cde Chiyangwa said party procedures would be followed to
decide whether Cde Paradza would be suspended or expelled.
contacted for comment, ZNLWA vice-chairman Cde Joseph Chinotimba said the
investigations were in progress. He, however, said if Cde Paradza was found
guilty of the charges the war veterans would take the matter to its "logical
send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to email@example.com with "For Open Letter
Forum" in the subject
260 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- THOUGHT
FOR THE DAY
"However energetically society in general may strive to make
all the citizens equal and alike, the personal pride of each individual will
always make him try to escape from the common level, and he will form
some inequality somewhere to his own profit."
- Alexis De
Tocqueville --------------------------------------------------------------------------- OPEN
LETTER 1. Subject: The Truth Dear Jag,
Chimurenga has had varying effects on nearly all Zimbabweans. For those
Zimbabweans in the country, the day to day survival of making their money
stretch to feed themesleves and their family, and pay their other day to day
expenses, coupled with the break down of law and order is an example of the
effects. For those Zimbabweans that have left the country, coming to grips
with a new system in a new environment with new challenges like finding
employment or starting a new business are the examples of the effects on
those individuals. Generally speaking we all tend to see the situation from
our own personal perspective - that of trying to surmount these new
challenges that were not there for us four years ago.
Taking the USA, the
UK, Canada, Europe, Australia, South Africa, Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania as
examples it would appears that these nations have now taken in over a million
Zimbabweans over the last four years.
If we pause for reflection and
detach ourselves from our own problems momentarily, we will see that the
Third Chimurenga has created an international network that will work against
The Third Chimurenga over a period of time. The resultant "deployment" of
millions of skilled Zimbabweans around the world is actually part of the
dissemination of the Truth about the Third Chimurenga. Every Zimbabwean that
is out there in the rest of the world has their own story to tell.
of the finest examples about a story being told is in cricket. Over a year
ago Andy Flower left Zimbabwe and is now playing cricket in Australia. The
wearing of a black armband denoting the death of democracy, by Flower and
Olonga was the beginning of the story - it created interest in the story in
the cricket spectating world. Now a year later, there are a number of
Australian cricketers that have found out that the story told by Flower and
Olonga was not Science Fictional but Biographical. The recent happenings in
the cricket world show the power of having over a million ambassadors around
the world to disseminate the Truth. Is the rest of the world going to listen
to Peter Chigoka or a million Zimbabweans abroad? The ECU seems to have
started to comprehend the truth at last - no matter how much Brittania Waives
It is four years since Martin Olds was murdered in
Nyamandlovu. That story is also Biographical not Science Fictional. It is
twenty years since the Fifth Brigade went through Matabeleland - that story
is also Biographical. Is the rest of the world going to listen to Jonathon
Moyo science fiction, or a million Zimbabweans in exile abroad? Time will
The power of a million Zimbabweans around the world with e-mail,
armed with the truth is yet to be fully harnessed and felt.
months ago the Green Bombers went to a little village about 40 km from
Bulawayo and torched the entire living quarters of about five hundred people.
The occupants were then given food, clothing and shelter by the International
Red Cross. The motive was to destroy a productive export rose and citrus
operation that employed about a hundred people - to financially break and
drive away the white proprietor. In this instance the owners of the houses
were black but it did not matter. For the Green Bombers it was "mission
accomplished." Attached are the photographs of what they left behind - to
verify the Biography of course.
*Is the world going to give the
Government money for this type of land reform - I wonder? Biographer
Old Etonian mercenary Simon Mann is
the leader of 70 foreign soldiers accused in Zimbabwe of plotting to topple
an African tyrant. Our correspondent describes his last encounter with the
former SAS man amid the murderous world of cash, guns and private jets in the
diamond lands of Angola.
I met Simon Mann on a blustery night in
Johannesburg seven years ago, a night with enormous piles of dark cloud
toppling across the Rand. We were staying at the Hilton and I sat on a
terrace adding cigarette smoke to the humid air and gazing at the turmoil of
the sky. Mann came out and leaned on a low wall, not exactly joining me. He
was of medium height, tight and trim, with a short-sleeved military-style
shirt and chinos with a knife-edge crease. He had a perfect poker face. I
never saw anything register on it but surmise. I thought of this when I saw
Mann's picture in The Times last month, shackled and handcuffed to another
prisoner as he and 70 other mercenaries shuffled through the yard at
Chikurubi prison in Harare. They had been caught in a trap after Mann had
apparently tried to buy weapons. Zimbabwean troops snatched them from their
Boeing jet and imprisoned them for a supposed "dogs of war" plot to overthrow
the tyrant of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea. Mann had hoped to trick the
Zimbabweans into allowing him guns and passage, claiming that he aimed to
back a rebel Congo group whose success would help Robert Mugabe to gain
access to diamond revenues, badly needed by his impoverished regime. The
Zimbabweans hadn't fallen for the story, and Mann and his troops were
arrested when they landed at Harare. "They were imbeciles," Colonel Des
Burman told me from his home near Cape Town. Burman served with the Buffalo
Battalion, a commando unit of the old South African Defence Force. Several of
the men arrested with Mann were Buffalo veterans. Burman himself had worked
as a mercenary, earning $10,000 a month for running security for oil
companies in Angola. "Mann broke every rule," he said. "He was in Zimbabwe to
buy weapons; you never buy weapons in Africa. You buy everything offshore and
have it delivered to your theatre. Second, always operate from a safe
country. Zimbabwe's not safe, and neither is South Africa. The South Africans
are embarrassed by all the mercenaries operating here, and they've been
trying to catch them. The South African security forces set Mann
In the photograph, Mann looked much as he had when I'd met him
seven years earlier - in possession of himself, somehow outside his
immediate circumstances. He had a scraggly beard and crumpled prison shorts,
and yet transcended them. Things were as bad as they could be for him, and he
must have known that the blunder was his own. (Life in prison is not likely
to be easy for him. Last week 12 Zimbabwean prison officers were charged
with assaulting some of the 70 men with whom Mann is detained.) Mann was
already famous when I met him, his name linked to the bloody diamond-rich
milieu of Southern Africa, but he stood out from that world's usual run of
thugs. An Old Etonian, he was the fifth member of his family to attend the
school. His antecedents were brewers and sportsmen; his father and
grandfather had both captained the England cricket team. But other sirens
were calling Mann. He passed from Eton into the Scots Guards, and then the
SAS, and finally into that ocean of cash and guns, of jets that land without
running lights in the diamond lands of Africa. That night at the Hilton we
talked about the little diamond company that he and his friends were
promoting. DiamondWorks was then a small Vancouver firm with some mining
rights in northeastern Angola, then the great dream-cake of the diamond
world, gushing some $600 million a year in diamonds from its rivers. Most of
it flowed from the insurgent Unita army. The diamonds were run out of Angola
in hair-raising operations on Ilyushin cargo jets that landed on dirt strips
in the middle of the night. Off came Russian tanks and on went the goods. The
warring parties in the interminable civil war were in a fragile truce, and
Mann's job was to convince a group of stock-market analysts that if they
invested in DiamondWorks, of which he was then Operations Officer in Africa,
they would get diamonds, and not ruin. (Mann has not had any involvement
with DiamondWorks since 1997.) The following morning, Mann and I were going
in to have a look. "Bit of a risk for an investor," I said to Mann. "That
area? Pacified," he replied.
On a speckless, blue morning in 1997,
DiamondWorks' chartered jet circled out over the Atlantic and landed at
Luanda. Once a ravishing city, the Angolan capital had been reduced to
tatters by 20 years of civil war. We taxied past rows of Antonovs and
battered Ilyushin freighters. A white pickup came tearing across the runway.
Mann got in and sped away. In those days clearing Luanda airport could take
hours. To avoid forcible inoculation or "tests" for Aids, it was wise to fold
US dollars into your vaccination document before presenting it. But when Mann
returned, we were whisked straight through. A man in his forties joined us,
an affable character in loafers and Docker chinos. He was the governor of
Lunda Sul province, and Mann was giving him a lift back to his capital,
Saurimo. In return he supplied us with resolute assurances that the region we
would later visit was as peaceful as a hamlet in the shires. "The people are
eager to return to their villages," he said. "Which people?" I asked. "The
Unita fighters." "And are they actually returning?" "They are eager to." At
Saurimo we transferred to a cavernous Russian Mi6 helicopter and went
racketing north across the rolling bushveld, a landscape dotted with villages
of straw-topped huts and laced by footpaths. We crossed into Lunda
Norte province. Soon the brown serpentine of the Chicapa River hove into
view, and we clattered into the DiamondWorks camp. The place was called Luo,
from the name of a stream that joins the Chicapa there. I had wanted to visit
since a pair of South Africans with a suction pump had hoovered a 24-carat
pink diamond from the riverbed two years before. They took it out of Saurimo
in a Lear jet and sold it on the diamond bourse in Johannesburg for $4.8
million. One week later the stone was resold in New York for $10 million,
sawn in half and polished into matching pears. The Sultan of Brunei's
younger brother paid $20 million for them.
This stone was the talk
of the diamond world, and diamonds then were my single focus. I wanted to
meet the men who had found it, and one summer's day in Johannesburg I drove
to a walled subdivision of pink concrete houses. Brian Attwell had been a
security policeman and Piet Cronje had fought in the Buffalo Battalion,
harassing Namibian guerrillas by raiding their Angolan bases. Attwell was
quiet and watchful, Cronje a massive Afrikaner with a pistol in an ankle
holster and one hand mangled by an exploding grenade. "In the diamond
business," Cronje told me, "people must understand one thing about you. They
must understand that they cannot .... with you." And I guess they did
understand it, because when Attwell and Cronje arrived on the Chicapa their
equipment included heavy machine guns, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.
By day they ransacked the riverbed and by night they traded fire with Unita.
"Only at night, though," Attwell said. "During the day we were both too busy
digging diamonds." Cronje and Attwell took $60 million of gems out of the
Chicapa in a single year. Into such rich if perilous terrain a certain kind
of person longs to rush, and one was Simon Mann. The DiamondWorks camp was
set among trees and ruled by a slovenly South African. He was recovering from
malaria, for which the treatment seemed to be a tumbler of whisky, never out
of his sunburnt paw. He took great pride in the feast, including prawns flown
in from in the coast, that he had spread beneath the thatch for the visitors.
In the heat, a high smell came off the tables, and we mostly kept to beer. It
was a pretty stretch of river; trees sagging with white blossoms drooped into
the water. DiamondWorks had a barge in the middle of the current, tethered by
lines to either bank. Divers descended into the murk and raked through the
swirling sediment with suction hoses. Although miners had worked this stretch
of the Chicapa since colonial times, there seemed to be plenty left. A
106-carat high-colour white had come out of the river only weeks before, and
while we were there they found a 50-carat stone worth $150,000. Upriver from
the barge, DiamondWorks had diverted the channel to expose the
floodplain gravels, which they trucked to a small recovery mill. But their
ambitions were larger. They had identified a promising diamond target at
Yetwene, 60 miles away, and we boarded the helicopter again and went rattling
down the Chicapa for a look.
At Yetwene they had cleared a broad
swath of riverbank and started to erect a mill. We circled the site for ten
minutes, peering through the open hatch while Mann's geologist, shouting
above the engine noise, poured out statistics about grade and throughput. As
we flew back along the Chicapa to Luo, I surveyed the banks. That stretch of
river had fed a lot of money into Unita's pockets, and I doubted that they
had abandoned it. There was evidence of mining. "Who's working the river
here?" I bellowed at Mann. He shook his head. "Nobody. They've been cleared
out." Yetwene opened, and six months later Unita came out of the bush and
stormed the mine. Mann's troops set up a fierce resistance, and the firefight
lasted for an hour. Five DiamondWorks people died; Unita took captives and
vanished into the bush. All through the region diamond miners shut down their
operations and pulled out. Mann's diamond faucet coughed a few last times,
then quit. Investors flattened DiamondWorks' share price. (That was seven
years ago, of course. A spokesman for the company points out that is now
under new management and a new shareholder register, including a number of
prominent UK and European Institutions, and has a market capitalization of
$230 million. It is now involved predominantly in oil and gas, and has only
one project in common with the old DiamondWorks.) I heard no more of Mann
until his capture at Harare. "He's luckier than the other guys," Des Burman
told me, referring to a group of men arrested in Equatorial Guinea and
charged with being part of the plot to overthrow the President. "Those guys
will hang. The Zimbabweans will lock up Mann and the others for five or ten
years, get as much publicity as they can, then let them go."
Zimbabwe orders probe into "torture" of
---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---- By
HARARE, April 27 (Reuters) - A Zimbabwean magistrate
ordered a probe on Tuesday into accusations by 70 suspected mercenaries that
security agents tortured them into signing documents soon after their
Zimbabwe detained most of the men, mainly South Africans,
Angolans and Namibians, when it impounded their Boeing 737 aircraft at Harare
airport on March 7 and has charged them with plotting to topple the
government of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea.
Last Friday prison
authorities said 12 prison officers had been charged with assaulting some of
the prisoners by hand and with batons, injuring some of the suspected
At their sixth court appearance on Tuesday, the pilot of the
aircraft, Jaap Steyl, said unidentified officials tortured him at length
after the arrest before making him sign "a piece of paper". Steyl told the
court that after going for days without food and water, "I was ready to sign
Harare magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe ordered the attorney
general's office to investigate the charge and said all the men should be
State prosecutor Stephen Musona earlier dismissed the
torture claims, saying the suspects had initially given statements "freely
and voluntarily" in the absence of their lawyers but later changed their
Defence lawyers also lodged an application to dismiss the
state's case against the men, who say they stopped over in Harare to refuel
and pick up essential equipment en route to the Democratic Republic of Congo
where they were contracted to provide mine security.
authorities insist the group was on a mission to depose Equatorial Guinea's
leader Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.
The men have been charged under
stringent public order and security laws as well as with immigration,
firearms, and aviation offences.
"The facts relied upon by the state are
insufficient to warrant a prudent man concluding that a reasonable suspicion
exists that any of the accused have committed any of the offences alleged,"
the defence said in its outline.
State lawyers have said the 70
suspected mercenaries face life imprisonment if convicted, although defence
lawyers say the maximum penalty would be a fine of 200,000 Zimbabwean dollars
($38.46) per charge.
FORMER captain Heath Streak has cast major doubt on the sincerity of
the Zimbabwe Cricket Union's attempt to end its hostile three-week dispute
with its players.
The ZCU yesterday provided Streak and the 14 other
rebel white players with a list of requirements it hopes will defuse the
The union wants the players to return to practice as soon
as possible and to make themselves available for selection.
mean they play in the last of five matches in a one-day series against Sri
The ZCU, in response, has agreed to set up an independent
arbitration, run by Harare businessman Much Masunda, whose organisation will
examine all the issues that instigated the players' strike.
last night remained sceptical about a resolution.
"There is so much
distrust of the ZCU that their promises will not be believed by any of the
players," he said.
"This is a proposal given to me, as an individual, and
I still have to meet with the players in Harare and pass this on as I have
understood it. It is then up to them to think it over and make a
"I will recommend Mr Masunda but it is up to
"There is not going to be an immediate solution here. It may take
Another senior player, Grant Flower, said he had yet to
see the terms of agreement.
The ZCU's bid to end the stalemate comes
after the host nation was dismissed for a record low of 35 in a one-dayer
against Sri Lanka on Sunday.
The row began when Streak claimed the
national selection panel was racist against whites and wanted the panel
He was subsequently sacked and 14 of his teammates joined him in
If the dispute drags on, Zimbabwe will have to field a
third-rate side in the two-Test series against Sri Lanka beginning on May 6
and possibly in the ensuing three one-dayers and two Tests against Australia
Despite growing public angst about going, Australia is still
expected to play three one-dayers and two Tests in the strife-torn
As the dispute rolls on, it has emerged that India and Pakistan
have leapt into the political bunfight and pressured Cricket Australia into
ensuring it goes ahead with the tour.
The Board of Control for Cricket
in India, through powerful president Jagmohan Dalmiya, and the Pakistan
Cricket Board have told CA they would look unfavourably upon, and may
consider pulling out of future tours of Australia, if Ricky Ponting's men do
not fulfil their commitment to the Zimbabwe trip.
When contacted by
the Herald Sun last night, Dalmiya did not want to elaborate on the
contentious Zimbabwe issue but said: "When we have our next ICC meeting we
will give our opinion."
But a high-level Indian board member later
confirmed the BCCI had contacted CA.
"There has been an attempt to
convey their thoughts in the form of a disapproval," he said.
and the Pakistan Cricket Board will scuttle any attempts by Cricket Australia
to scuttle the tour."