ECB chief quits over Zimbabwe row Press
Association Wednesday April 28, 2004 1:27 AM
Des Wilson has
resigned from the Management Board of the England and Wales Cricket Board
after failing to persuade them to take a stronger stance about the
controversial proposed tour to Zimbabwe later this year.
vice-chairman of the Liberal Party was appointed chairman of the ECB's
Corporate Affairs and Marketing Advisory Committee last year with a brief to
formulate a policy for England's controversial tour to Zimbabwe this
But after failing to persuade enough members of the ECB
Management Board to take a more aggressive stand about the tour and the
oppressive regime of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, Wilson has resigned
and launched a scathing attack on the International Cricket Council, the
world's governing body.
"I really thought I could make some
difference," Wilson is quoted as saying in several broadsheet newspapers.
"They liked the idea of someone coming in with fresh ideas but the trouble is
that when it comes to putting them into action, they don't like the
"I have no desire to offer succour or support to the ECB's
critics at a difficult time," he said. "This is not an 'I'm right, you're
wrong, I'm off' resignation.
"We simply differ, but the differences
are profound. It is right, therefore, that I should go and thus enable the
board to unite around the course it believes to be right.
"The fact is
the ECB has been placed in an intolerable position by the ICC's inflexible
and, in my view, malevolent enforcement of its international tours programme
with draconian and disproportionate penalties that would devastate the
English game, forcing the ECB itself into insolvency and bankrupting up to a
third of the first-class counties.
"In the short term, I believe the ECB
should make such a tour only under protest . . . In so doing it would be seen
to exercise both moral judgment and accountability to UK political, public
and cricket stakeholder opinion and take a first step to rejecting the
unsustainable proposition that moral concerns have no place in
"Even if this tour goes ahead, I believe the ECB should commit
itself to fight for as many years as it takes to change the protocol so that
no other country can be coerced in this way. Alas, there appears no appetite
for that course of action either."
(AP)--Zimbabwe's government said Tuesday that it had revised its extradition
policy in order to extradite 70 suspected mercenaries accused of plotting a
coup in the oil-rich west African nation of Equatorial Guinea.
An official notice said Zimbabwe drafted an extradition treaty for the first
time with Equatorial Guinea, effective immediately. The notice meant the 70
suspects could be sent to Equatorial Guinea for trial on allegations of
plotting the overthrow that country's government.
"statutory instrument" said it amended Zimbabwe's existing extradition
agreements with several other countries to include Equatorial
The 70 suspects - who include South Africans, Namibians,
Angolans, Congolese, a Zimbabwean and a British national -were detained after
their aging Boeing 727 landed at Harare International Airport on March
Most of them are former members of South Africa's
apartheid-era military forces.
The suspects appeared in a
makeshift court at the maximum-security Chikurubi prison outside Harare on
Tuesday. Some reporters, including a representative from The Associated
Press, were barred entry by prison guards, despite a court order saying the
hearing was to be public.
Prison guards said they were instructed
not to admit an AP reporter -a Zimbabwean freelancer who they said could not
be both a member of the public and a reporter.
had said they were to ask for the release of some of the suspects on grounds
they broke no laws in Zimbabwe. They were also to protest the refusal of
entry to reporters and ordinary spectators normally allowed into regular
Prosecutors had said they could not guarantee security to
bring the suspects to an open court in downtown Harare, but a High Court
judge allowed hearings to be held in Chikurubi prison, 30 kilometers north of
Harare, as long as they were open to all visitors willing to go through
lengthy security checks before entry.
allege that Equatorial Guinea's Spanish-based rebel leader Sever Motto
offered the group $1.8 million and oil rights to overthrow the government in
the former Spanish colony. Another 14 suspected mercenaries are in custody in
the west African country.
Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro
Obiang Ngeuma has also alleged the suspects were plotting to overthrow the
governments of Sao Tome and Principe and of Congo.
held in Zimbabwe deny the accusations, saying they were headed to security
jobs at mining operations in eastern Congo. Court papers indicate some had
contracts for that work.
They face five charges, including
conspiring to carry out a coup with weapons purchased in Zimbabwe. They are
also accused of violating Zimbabwe's immigration, firearms and security laws.
If convicted, they could face life in prison.
groups say they believe at least one of the suspects held in custody in
Equatorial Guinea has been tortured to death.
where Obiang has ruled for 25 years, is ranked by rights groups as one of the
world's most repressive countries. Offshore oil strikes since 1997 have made
it Africa's third-largest oil producer after Nigeria and Angola.
Grant Flower has attacked the
Zimbabwe Cricket Union and says the 15 rebel players will not return to
practice. They are refusing to appear for their country and are holding
out in a row over selection and board politics.
"It is a mess.
They cannot get anything right. You can take it from me we will not be at
practice," said Flower.
"We want to resolve this but the ZCU's
cocked it up. The arbitration panel's chairman is out of the country and so
is our lawyer. What are they thinking?"
A shadow Zimbabwe
side, captained by Tatenda Taibu, is currently 4-0 down against Sri Lanka in
the one-day international series.
Flower also made it clear that
the group would not return without Heath Streak being reinstated as
He added: "In any case everybody should understand we want
Heath Streak as our captain.
"If they continue to refuse, it
could be a deal breaker. We are quite determined about it."
chief executive Vincent Hogg said the players would face sanctions if they
failed to go along with the arbitration process.
"It was agreed
that in the meantime the players would turn out for practice and be available
for selection," he said.
"If they don't do that, certainly by 8
May, our ultimatum to them to return to duties by that date or face
disciplinary action will come into effect."
Marketers Association of Zimbabwe (PMAZ) said on Monday the new blend
exchange rate will not have any major impact on the price of fuel.
chairman Mr Masimba Kambarami told reporters that there had not been any
significant change on the fundamental factors that determine the price of
fuel, which are the offshore price and the cost of foreign currency on the
"There should not be any substantial increase in the
price of fuel because international prices are stable while the exchange rate
has also remained steady on the auction market," Mr Kambarami said.
said the directive by the central bank for interest rates to come down was
also a positive development that would ensure the price of fuel
"If interest rates fall, lending rates will go down
and this means the finance cost per litre will also go down and compensate
for any increase in the blend (exchange) rate," he said.
rates for 30-day maturities have fallen to around 50 percent, while rates for
90-day maturities are now in the range of 90 percent.
governor Dr Gideon Gono last Wednesday announced new incentives for various
economic sectors that saw the blend exchange rate coming to $5 344 to the
US$, against the ruling auction rate of $4 712 to the greenback.
has been facing fuel shortages since 2000 owing to the shortage of foreign
currency to import the commodity.
In an effort to improve the
availability of fuel, the government last year deregulated the oil industry
to allow private players to participate.
Prior to the de-regulation, the
procurement of fuel was only done through the National Oil Company of
Zimbabwe. - New Ziana.
A bucket of tomatoes
is all that stands between Alice Dhliwayo and the starvation of her two
children. Six days a week, Alice rises before 5am and queues at the market
for tomatoes. Then she takes her place by the side of the road with other
women and builds a neat pyramid of fruit to attract passers-by. A
miscalculation on the likely profit from the bucket of tomatoes means that
she risks going home after a 14-hour day unable to provide supper for her two
sons, Daniel and Dingane. Mrs Dhliwayo, 26, who is divorced, is from
Tshabalala township in Bulawayo. She is one of thousands of women street
traders trapped with no other means of survival in Zimbabwe's hostile
economic climate of 600 per cent inflation and unemployment of 80 per cent.
Sometimes she sells nothing and has to take her chance selling the same
tomatoes, now bruised and overripe, the next day. Often she walks the five
miles back home to save the minibus fare. Dingane, 3, suffers chronic
pneumonia and is classified in the local clinic as "growth faltering"- the
stunting that occurs with long-term deprivation of vitamins and proteins. In
Alice Dhliwayo's home, the evening meal is inevitably stiff maizemeal
porridge with a vegetable relish. Once or twice a month, she can buy an egg.
Alice and Dingane, who had just left the local clinic, were admirably turned
out in their best clothes. "They are too proud to look untidy," a nurse said.
"I don't know how they do it."
Last month the Bulawayo municipality
reported 63 deaths from hunger-related illness, 48 of them children under 4.
The World Food Programme, the famine relief arm of the United Nations,
estimates that 2.5 million urban people in Zimbabwe are starving. "We've been
feeding just over double that in the rural areas, and it's prevented
widespread starvation," said a UN consultant, who asked not to be named, "but
the practicalities of food distribution in a huge urban conurbation are
completely different. The best we can do now is targeted interventions, like
supplementary feeding programmes at clinics and school-feeding programmes."
Yet the continuation of international famine relief to Zimbabwe is uncertain.
In February, Western diplomats said, the Government privately told the UN
office in Harare that its Zimbabwe operation would be wound up in June.
Diplomats, aid agencies and opposition figures have no doubt that it means
that President Mugabe plans to seize total control of food distribution to
the eight million people threatened by starvation, before parliamentary
elections due in March next year.
HARARE, April 28 (Xinhuanet) -- The Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe announced here on Wednesday that members of the public will
now get the same exchange rate as that applying to Zimbabweans living
Governor of the central bank Gideon Gono said in a
statement that the exchange rate of 5,200 Zimbabwean dollars to the US dollar
would now apply to individuals who want to change money at any commercial
bank in the country, up from the current auction rate at
The announcement of the special 5,200 Zimbabwean dollars
rate follows Gono's monetary policy review last week, in which he announced
this rate as a special 'diaspora floor price' for money sent by
Zimbabweans living abroad through registered money transfer
Previously, banks exchanged foreign currency at the
foreign currency auction rate but they can now exchange it at the
diasporarate or auction rate, if it becomes higher.
said many people were not sure of how to go about changing their money
legally or were afraid of being asked the origin of the money at the
"Any individual with foreign currency can go to any
registered commercial bank and change it at a rate of 5,200 Zimbabwean
dollars to the US dollar or the corresponding rate for other currencies,"
"No questions will be asked as to where the money
came from," he added.
Money sent through registered money
transfer agencies can be paid to recipients in Zimbabwe in foreign currency
as cash, travelers' checks or bank drafts.
It can also be
changed into local currency at the diaspora floor price or the auction rate,
whichever is higher.
Those who opt to be paid in local currency
do not pay any commission while those who opt for payment in foreign currency
would be charged commission when they change the money at a
Zimbabwe is facing foreign currency shortages as a result
of poor export performance and withdrawal of financial support by some
world financiers. Enditem
Leading lawyers cannot see how the Minister of Finance
and Economic Development, Cde Chris Kuruneri, could remain a Member of
Parliament and minister if it was found he was a Canadian
While it seems just possible that a person could be a
non-citizen permanent resident and MP, this loophole can only apply to people
who were not Zimbabwean citizens after 1985.
The lawyers, who did not
want to be quoted, said Zimbabwe did not allow dual citizenship and so adult
citizens of other countries could not be citizens of
Questions are being asked whether Cde Kuruneri is, in fact, a
citizen of Zimbabwe, and if he is not whether he can remain an MP and be a
If he is found to be a citizen of Canada he automatically loses
his Zimbabwean citizenship and almost certainly his registration as a voter
in terms of a 2002 Supreme Court judgment.
A person who has lost
Zimbabwean citizenship can reapply to the Minister of Home Affairs to have
this citizenship restored, which could give Cde Kuruneri a
Since it is not an offence for a Zimbabwean to change his or
her citizenship, or to acquire a foreign citizenship, the matter of
Cde Kuruneri's citizenship will not come before the courts in any
criminal proceedings, including those that started with his remand in custody
There are only three offences listed in the Citizenship
Act: deliberately making false statements on a material particular, being a
foreign citizen who uses a Zimbabwe passport without permission, or being a
Zimbabwean citizen using a foreign passport without the permission of the
It is the third offence that forms one of the
allegations against Cde Kuruneri in his present criminal case.
three offences carry a maximum fine of $2 000 or a jail term of up to two
years or both.
Citizenship status is purely a civil matter and if any
query over this status ever gets as far as a court, it will be a civil court
If Cde Kuruneri does, in fact, hold a Canadian passport, and
this has yet to be proved, he still need not be a Canadian
All countries reserve the right to issue their passports to
non-citizens, granting such people their protection in a foreign land without
While the practice is rare, Zimbabwe itself has
granted such protection to the odd foreigner.
The Canadian Embassy in
Harare yesterday declined to state whether or not Cde Kuruneri was a Canadian
citizen. Canadian officials were bound by a law protecting privacy, embassy
staff said, and so could not comment on anyone's citizenship status to a
But if Cde Kuruneri does have Canadian citizenship, then he
automatically ceased to be a Zimbabwean citizen at the end of 1985 or, at the
latest, early 2002, if he held the citizenship then, or immediately on
acquiring the citizenship if he became Canadian later.
that came in 2001 changed the way a foreign citizenship had to be renounced.
Before, renunciation was in terms of a Zimbabwean law. After that amendment,
it had to be in terms of the law of the relevant foreign country. So after
early January 2002, it was impossible to renounce a foreign citizenship and
still retain it because of different laws.
If it was shown he had lost
Zimbabwean citizenship, this would almost certainly disqualify him as a
voter, a requirement to be nominated to Parliament.
There is a very
small loophole for some non-citizens to qualify as a voter. A dwindling group
of permanent residents who were non-citizen residents before the end of 1985
can be registered as voters.
The Supreme Court decided in 2002, almost on
the eve of the presidential election that year, that those who became
permanent residents later, and one way was by losing citizenship, were
disqualified for registration as voters.
Under the Constitution, a person
is disqualified for election as an MP if they are disqualified for
registration as a voter, although it is not clear if the person seeking
election actually has to be registered.
There is no requirement in the
Constitution that an MP has to be a citizen of Zimbabwe, only that he has to
be at least 21, not disqualified as a voter and has been resident in the
country for five of the previous 20 years before nomination.
MP convicted of an offence under the Electoral Law and disqualified from
voting as a result of that conviction loses his seat, there does not appear
to be any specific provision for an MP who loses the right to vote as a
result of a non-criminal matter.
GOVERNMENT has earmarked $9 billion for the
completion of the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Interna-tional Airport in Bulawayo,
which is expected to open for business in October.
has been set for December 22 to coincide with Unity
This was revealed by an official at the Civil
Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe stand during the first day of the Zimbabwe
International Trade Fair, which started yesterday.
He said most of the
work at the terminal had been done, while the rest is expected to be
completed in time for the opening.
At the moment the piling foundation
work has been finished while the structural steel work is in
Civil works for access roads and car park and the refurbishment
of the existing terminal are also underway.
The construction and
refurbishment of the terminal began in January last year, but progress has
been hampered by the shortage of fuel and building materials, which affected
the country last year.
The project - which was initially estimated to
cost $5,6 billion - is now expected to cost about $16 billion owing to the
increase in the price of building materials.
"Everything is now going
on according to plan because fuel and building materials which were in short
supply last year are now readily available.
"With the money that has been
made available for the project, the terminal will definitely open as
scheduled," the CAAZ official said.
Between April and May last year, work
on the airport came to a standstill owing the shortage of cement.
terminal is expected to meet international standards. With plans that have
been put in place for the airport, it will certainly be on the world map as
it is also expected to have facilities to entertain tourists when they arrive
in the city," he said.
The airport is being constructed in three phases,
with the first phase concentrating mainly on the refurbishment.
second phase includes the extension of the runway and apron to accommodate
larger planes and to ensure that two wide and one narrow-bodied airplanes can
be processed at the same time.
The third and final phase includes the
development of an aero-city, which consists of commercial zones with
infrastructure such as a five-star hotel, golf course for leisure purposes,
banks and other tourism-related infrastructure.
The upgrading and
expansion of the country's international airports is part of the Government's
contribution towards the tourism recovery programme and is meant to enhance
airports' capacity to handle large traffic as well as promote
The project will include the upgrading of the Harare and
Victoria Falls international airports.
There are also plans to
refurbish domestic airports in Mutare, Gweru and Kariba.
Conference Communiqué By the Media Lawyers Network of
Media Institute of Southern Africa
PRESS RELEASE April 28, 2004 Posted to the web April 28,
The members of the Media Lawyer's Network,
journalists present at the conference resolved upon the
Reaffirming the obligations of our government under the
African Charter on Human and People's Rights in particular article
Recalling Article 9 guarantees as follows "every individual shall have
the right to receive information and every individual shall have the right
to express and disseminate his opinions within the law"
the declaration of principles of freedom of expression in Africa adopted by
the African Commission on Human and People's Rights meeting at its 32nd
Ordinary Session in Banjul, Gambia from the 17th to the 23rd of October
Recognising that freedom of expression is a fundamental human
right guaranteed by the Zimbabwe Constitution, the ACHPR, the
Universal declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights
Considering the key role of the media and other
means of communication in ensuring full respect of freedom of expression in
promoting the free flow of information and ideas in assisting people to make
informed decisions in facilitating democracy
Noting the legislative
and practical encumbrances that have been placed on the media in Zimbabwe in
its endeavor to enjoy the freedom of expression
Mindful of the effect
such measures have had on the enjoyment of freedom of expression by the
public and the adverse effects it has had on employment and the welfare of
Reaffirming the need to speedily deal with infringements
of the freedom of expression by the judiciary who are the custodians of the
bill of rights
Determined to carry out our duty in defence of media
freedom, we have resolved that:
International bodies such as the
African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, the United Nations
Commission on Human Rights and such other bodies should be resorted to in the
absence of effective domestic remedies and/or their exhaustion.
judiciary is called upon to speedily depose with matters of public interest
which are brought before it such as those involving freedom of expression or
any other matter dealing with fundamental human rights
The state is
called upon to ensure that all its organs are properly equipped and have the
resources to function effectively in discharging its duties; particularly
make them aware of the country's obligations under international treaties and
provide these treaties to these organs and also provide training. The state
must mitigate the effect that its actions have on journalists - financially
and morally. The media practitioners and media lawyers are called upon to
cooperate and work together in the furtherance of freedom of
Civic society and the public at large are called upon to
complement the efforts of media practitioners in the their efforts for
greater freedoms. Parliament must be urged to amend or repeal the current
laws like BSA, AIPPA, POSA that militate against media freedom In achieving
this MPs are encouraged to consult stakeholders in coming up with a new
The Media Lawyers network was formed by
MISA-Zimbabwe in 2002 to mobilize the legal fraternity in the defence of
media and freedom of expression. It is made up of human rights lawyers in
various cities of Zimbabwe.
Regional Programme Manager: Media Freedom
*Above is a communiqué issued by the Media Lawyers Network of
Zimbabwe at the end of its 2004 annual conference, held at the Great Zimbabwe
Hotel Masvingo, on April 25 2004
- Zimbabwe's 15 rebel white cricketers will not as thought practice or make
themselves available for future matches on the present Sri Lanka tour after
hearing the arbitration process over their concerns could take another month
to be arranged. They are continuing their rebellion - over the sacking of
captain Heath Streak and other selectorial policies - because the Zimbabwe
Cricket Union, which agreed to independent arbitration, did not set it up as
the players expected.
The move will cause a shock when it becomes
known, because the agreement for mediation in return for an end to the
players' rebellion was seen as the first step to
Instead of attending arbitration, the senior Zimbabwe
professionals in dispute were addressed by a former national captain, former
union president and lawyer David Lewis, who explained that it takes at least
a month to prepare for an arbitration process.
Senior player Grant
Flower, who with captain Heath Streak is the main spokesman for the group of
15, confirmed they would not practice today in preparation for the fifth and
final one day match with Sri Lanka which an inexperienced Zimbabwean side are
"It is a mess. They cannot get anything right. You can take
it from me we will not be at practice," said Flower after finishing a fitness
session at a gymnasium.
"We want to resolve this, we really do. But
the ZCU has cocked it up. The chairman of the arbitration panel is out of the
"Our lawyer is also out of the country. What are they thinking
about? In any case everybody should understand we want Heath Streak as our
captain. If they continue to refuse, it could be a deal breaker. We are quite
determined about it."
Flower added that their boycott now continues
for as long as necessary. "Even into the Australian tour (which runs from
mid-May to mid-June)," he said.
The ZCU chief executive Vincent Hogg
said Flower was being disingenuous as it had been agreed the players would
return to training while the arbitration process was underway.
agreed in good faith that we will set up an arbitration mechanism and we are
working on that. We are abiding by that. David Lewis made it clear to them
(the players) that it can take a month or even six weeks."
"It was also
agreed that in the meantime the players would turn out for practice and be
available for selection. If they don't do that, certainly by May 8, our
ultimatum to them to return to duties by that date or face disciplinary
action will come into effect."
This could mean suspension or dismissal,
probably the former as the ZCU appears to be trying to keep the door
Because of the setback, Sri Lanka will once more have to play
against a weak and very young Zimbabwe side, the best available, in the last
match of a series of five one-day internationals.
Wed April 28, 2004 11:26 PM HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's rebel players have
agreed to make themselves available for selection, the Zimbabwe Cricket Union
(ZCU) said on Wednesday. "It has been agreed between the ZCU and the 15
cricketers who have up to now been unavailable for selection that... (they)
will be at practice with effect from April 30," said the ZCU.
The players had demanded the reinstatement of Heath Streak as captain, a new
selection panel and for the ZCU to acknowledge transgressions the players say
were committed by officials.
But the dispute, sparked on April 2
when the ZCU isntalled Tatenda Taibu as captain after Streak questioned the
composition of the selection panel, is set to continue at
"The 15 cricketers will be communicating through their
legal practitioners to the ZCU's legal practitioners a proposal for a
dispute resolution procedure, which the ZCU will consider when received," the
ZCU statement said.
One of the players, who declined to be
named, told Reuters the saga was not over.
"We have agreed to go
back on Friday but we're certainly still trying to push for arbitration," the
player said. "It's definitely not the end of all this.
trying to show good faith once again and we're going to practice but if
certain things aren't sorted out we're going back to
The rebels will not play in the fifth and final
one-day international against Sri Lanka in Harare on Thursday but, barring
further fallouts with the board, they will be available for first of two test
matches in Harare from May 6.
Zimbabwe had to select an
under-strength squad for the one-day series and Sri Lanka won the first four
Probe Into Zanu-PF Companies Reaches Advanced Stage
April 28, 2004 Posted to the web April 28,
The Zanu-PF probe into the operations of its companies
has reached an advanced stage with the committee conducting the
investigations having gone through "mountains" of evidence and interviewed
some of the key ruling party officials associated with the running of the
companies, it has been learnt.
Well-placed sources said the
investigations were almost complete and some top Zanu-PF officials were
interrogated for over three hours at a time to establish the range of
companies said to be either owned by or linked to the ruling party in order
to determine the true position, their financial operations, directorships,
shareholding structures, business performance and benefits to the party and
As the investigations intensified, three former directors
of the companies under probe fled to Britain last month and have since been
specified by the Government.
However, the three directors, who include
two brothers - Jayant and Manharlal Chinibal Joshi - and Dipak Pandya
yesterday distanced themselves from allegations of corruption and fraud and
pledged to co-operate with investigations into the companies, almost a month
after the investigations opened.
Through their lawyers, Byron Venturas
and Partners, they claimed they feared returning to the country because of
the "media hype" that followed their alleged fleeing, noting they would only
return in the near future when they were confident their security was not
But police chief spokesman Assistant Commissioner Wayne
Bvudzijena said these were just lame excuses as other people facing similar
charges were still in the country and no harm had befallen them.
said if the three directors chose to remain in the United Kingdom the police
would still get them.
The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parlia-mentary
Affairs Cde Patrick Chinamasa said if the three had not committed any crime,
they should return.
The three said various statements in the Press had
inferred that they were involved in various corrupt and dishonest activities
either through Zidco Holdings or in their personal capacities.
vehemently deny any involvement in such activities and are prepared
to co-operate with authorities in order to prove our innocence.
are prepared to co-operate fully with the investigations, and this intention
has been communicated through our lawyers to the relevant authorities, who
have been permitted total and unfettered access to our business premises,
company documents and accounts. We have not attempted to withhold any
information from these authorities."
The three said they had no plans to
frustrate investigations and that they had not fled the country and sought
permanent refuge in the UK.
Nevertheless, the Government recently froze
their assets under the Prevention of Corruption Act following allegations
that the three directors had started selling their properties and assets in
Although the three directors claimed that they had invested
over 24 years of their lives to the country financially and personally and
that their loyalty and dedication to this country was unquestionable, they
had continued to hold onto their British citizenship and passports since
The three directors said they supported the
anti-corruption drive and condemned activities that destroyed the growth of
They were directors of some companies with links to the
ruling party being probed by the committee set up by the Zanu-PF
The companies include Treger Holdings, which has been deeply
mired in foreign currency deals, Zidco Holdings, M&S Syndicate, First
Banking Corporation, Ottawa, Catercraft and Zidlee Enterprises.
Politburo appointed a committee chaired Zanu-PF secretary for finance Cde
David Karimanzira, who is also the Governor and Resident Minister
for Mashonaland East, retired army commander, General Solomon Mujuru,
former Minister of Finance and Economic Development Dr Simba Makoni,
Matabeleland North Governor Cde Obert Mpofu and the party's deputy secretary
for transport and welfare, Cde Thoko Mathuthu, to probe the companies.
THE Government has repossessed 1 261 under-utilised
mining claims around the country to make way for serious
The Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Cde Jason
Machaya, yesterday said the ministry confiscated the claims after those that
had been given the rights to mine were found not to be developing
"We are in the process of ensuring that investors do not protect
their claims by just paying us $30 000 a year (required to maintain
unprocessed mining rights) when they merely are sitting on the claims," Cde
He said the ministry had already started implementing
strict measures that include going through all mining claims on a weekly
basis to check if work was being done on them.
"We were in the past
years having problems with investors who came in for speculative purposes,
but we are flushing out such elements.
"If there are investors who feel
we treated them unjustly they should come forward within 21 days and make an
appeal to the Chief Mining Commissioner," Cde Machaya said.
Mining Commissioner, Mr Fredson Mabhena, yesterday said Gwanda had the
highest number of claims, at 496 that were forfeited as from
Mpule and Sibali, which are run by TKS Development,
lost 81 mining claims, while 274 claims registered under Oversite Private
Limited were also forfeited.
In Gweru 296 gold mining claims were
forfeited from big establishments like Condor and Maligreen.
mining claims were taken from Masvingo. Independence Gold had 20
claims forfeited, while Rio Tinto Zimbabwe Limited lost three claims in the
Chivi area," Mr Mabhena said.
Other mining claims for magnetite,
chrome, copper, limestone, mica and galena were also forfeited from various
individuals in Masvingo.
Of the 137 claims that were forfeited in Kadoma,
Mr Mabhena said, 49 were forfeited from Kinross Holdings' Gold
Mashonaland Central lost 91 mining claims, Hwedza Glossal
Investments 10, while Bulawayo had 20 taken.
President Levy Mwanawasa said the West should "not act as a prefect" over
Zimbabwe, adding that the country's political and financial woes should be
solved by its own citizens.
Speaking on a visit to South Africa, where he
attended the inauguration of President Thabo Mbeki on Tuesday, Mwanawasa said
he believed the situation in Zimbabwe was greatly misunderstood, particularly
by the West.
"I refuse to accept that Britain, the European Union (EU)
and the United States have any role to play," said Mwanawasa.
not right for any country, for any president, for any prime minister to act
as a prefect on the affairs of Zimbabwe," he told SABC public
Mwanawasa said he believed only Zimbabweans could solve their
problems, adding that the West's isolation of President Robert Mugabe was
hurting citizens of the country and not their leader.
ostracise Zimbabwe the person you are punishing is not Robert Mugabe. You are
punishing ordinary people in Zimbabwe," he said.
Mugabe has come under
increased isolation including sanctions from the United States, Britain and
the EU for alleged human rights abuses and undemocratic
Mugabe's government says its four-year old land reform
programme, under which farmland has been taken from white owners and
redistributed to landless blacks, has been a success, Western countries, the
opposition and aid agencies say it has severely disrupted Zimbabwe's
once-prosperous farming sector and contributed to famine.
also point to the fact that the land reforms were accompanied by the
sometimes violent occupation of white-owned farms and the eviction
of thousands of black workers.
But for many of his supporters, Mugabe
is merely paying the price for daring to repossess land from
Zambia achieves food surplus,becomes maize exporter By Manoah
---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---- JOHANNESBURG
(Reuters) - Zambia has transformed itself into a food surplus country after
years of dependency on handouts by international donors, President Levy
Mwanawasa said on Wednesday.
He told South African public broadcaster
SABC in an interview that Zambia had enough of the staple maize crop for its
internal needs and had also become a net exporter.
"We can now feed
ourselves and we have started exporting. We even made a donation to Tanzania
because they are suffering drought. This is one of the main successes of my
administration which put down policies to reverse years of dependency on food
aid for survival," Mwanawasa told SABC's Africa channel.
forecast production of white maize to rise to 1.4 million tonnes in 2004, up
from 1.2 million tonnes in 2003 and has allowed the Food Reserve Agency that
stores strategic grains to export 50,000 tonnes due to the expected good
Maize production was only 600,000 tonnes in 2002.
last nine months Zambia has exported more than 100,000 tonnes of maize to
Zimbabwe, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mwanawasa said it also
made a food donation to drought-hit Tanzania but gave no further
Agriculture had also received a boost from white Zimbabwean
farmers settling in neighbouring countries after their farms were forcibly
taken by the government there for redistribution to landless blacks,
Mwanawasa said but gave no further details.
Zambia experienced one
season of punishing drought in 2001/2002, leaving nearly three million people
in need of food aid. But rains returned to normal last year and the country
has since been producing surplus maize.
to other issues, Mwanawasa said his far-reaching crackdown on corruption was
not a personal vendetta against predecessor Frederick Chiluba but a
commitment to clean government made as an election pledge to Zambians two
Zambian police questioned Chiluba nearly two weeks ago over
fresh counts of graft during his 10-year rule that ended after 2001 elections
that brought Mwanawasa to office.
Chiluba is on bail after pleading
not guilty to theft involving $40 million.
Handpicked to succeed the
outgoing Chiluba in 2001, President Levy Mwanawasa launched a wide-ranging
crackdown on corruption which has become the main focus of his
He has vowed not to spare even his former mentor.
Chiluba has not been persecuted. He still keeps all the trappings of
an ex-president, staff, security, pension. Our investigation into
corruption does not target him. We are committed to clean government and
recovering money looted from government coffers," he said.
by Manoah Esipisu, editing by Ian Jones))
New snag means Australia may play Zimbabwe A By Trevor
Marshallsea April 29, 2004 The chance that Australia will be pitted
against a stop-gap selection of Zimbabwean youngsters next month in perhaps
the most lop- sided cricket mis-match ever has increased after indications
the country's player strike will be settled later rather than
Hopes had risen this week that the bitter three-week-old dispute
might be heading towards a resolution after the Zimbabwe Cricket Union
offered to set up an independent mediation process.
The provision was
that the 15 striking white players led by sacked captain Heath Streak again
made themselves available for selection.
But Streak believes the players
will agree only to return to training and will wait until the mediation
process ends before making themselves available to play.
legal advice predicts the mediation process could take at least a month to
set up. This bodes ill for hopes of avoiding high farce for at least a large
part of the Australians' tour, given that they are scheduled to arrive in
Zimbabwe only two weeks from today.
The players, who withdrew their
services while calling for Streak's reinstatement and an end to Zimbabwe's
racially-based selection quotas, are understood to view the coming Australia
tour as a useful bargaining chip. They hope the ZCU will want to avoid an
even bigger humiliation on the playing field in the two Tests and three
one-dayers against Ricky Ponting's men than that now being dealt to
20-year-old Tatenda Taibu's side by Sri Lanka, which has easily won the first
four matches of their one-day series in Zimbabwe.
But the ZCU, seen as
an increasingly politicised arm of the widely discredited Robert Mugabe
Government, has played hard-ball throughout the dispute. It might not be
swayed by fears of two embarrassing series against Australia. An amount of
bureaucratic bungling also appears to stand in the way of a speedy
Release of MISA's Annual Publication, 'So This Is Democracy?: State of
Media Freedom in Southern Africa'
Media Institute of Southern
PRESS RELEASE April 28, 2004 Posted to the web
April 28, 2004
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) will
again this year be releasing its annual publication, "So This Is Democracy?:
State of media freedom in Southern Africa" in commemoration of World Press
Freedom Day on May 3. This is the tenth consecutive year in which MISA has
issued this publication which records incidents of media freedom violations
monitored by MISA in the previous year. The current edition therefore details
media freedom violations in 2003.
MISA issued 188 alerts in 2003 about
media freedom and freedom of expression violations in SADC countries. This is
an decrease of 9,7 per cent over the 208 alerts recorded in the previous
The countries monitored include Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi,
Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
MISA is in the process of resuscitating its media freedom monitoring
activities in Angola.
MISA's Regional Programme Manager: Media Freedom
Monitoring, Zoé Titus, says in the publication that "although this figure
(188) marks a decrease of 9,7 percent from the previous year, the nature of
alerts and their bearing on the psyche of journalists have culminated into an
environment in which journalists practice self-censorship, where media
organisations are either closed down by governments through the application
of repressive legislation or as a result of degenerating economic conditions
and where the pursuit of independent journalism is often labelled as
"In Zimbabwe the forced state closure of the Daily News on
September 12 2003, on charges that it was publishing illegally without a
state license, was undoubtedly the worst media freedom violation recorded in
2003"', she says, adding that the application of the repressive Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act in that country has translated into
Zimbabwe accounting for 54 percent of all media freedom and freedom of
expression violations MISA recorded in 2003".
She warns, however, that
it must be noted that those countries where the media freedom situation has
not overtly deteriorated, there remains a need for media law reform as the
environment is still littered with legal hurdles that stifle media
BREAKDOWN OF THE 2003 ALERTS
A breakdown of the 188
alerts issued in 2003 reveals among others, that 33 journalists were
attacked, 53 detained, 37 censored whilst 8 victories - either through the
adoption of positive legislation or where charges were dropped against a
journalist - were recorded. No journalists were killed as a result of their
work in 2003.
TRENDS DETECTED DURING 2003
The alerts for 2003
reveal the emergence of new themes of professional importance to journalists
and to MISA. These include the increase of civil defamation cases against the
media and concerns about the high financial penalties being awarded to
successful litigants, the emergence of more independent media councils
(voluntary media complaints bodies) or attempts to do so, the establishment
of national editors forums, increasing concerns about the wages and working
conditions of journalists, the struggle for the appointment of statutory but
independent broadcasting authorities, developments around the introduction of
Access to Information legislation, and the rise of media civil society
coalitions (including associations of journalists in the state owned media)
for media freedom advocacy and legal reform purposes. All of these issues
have a direct bearing on media freedom and the quality of journalism in the
A new feature of the alerts is a gender
component in terms of which media violations are broken down to show how many
men and women were affected by violations of their media rights. In 2003, 24
female and 115 male practitioners were affected.
HOW TO OBTAIN A
Hard copies of the publication may be ordered from MISA's
Regional Secretariat. Contact Eric Libongani at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
The publication may also be downloaded from MISA's website at http://www.misa.org
Media Institute of Southern
Regional Programme Manager: Media Freedom Monitoring