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

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Genocide in D Minor.

Thabo Mbeki has just spent 5 days in the Ivory Coast. This is on top of
several intensive face-to-face meetings with rebel leaders and the current
Ivorian leadership. The reason? The Ivory Coast has imploded politically and
economically and most serious of all - they have started killing each other.
The French army has arrived to protect French interests and lives and to try
to restore some order and in doing so they have incurred the wrath of the
incumbent and taken a number of casualties. In retaliation the French simply
destroyed the Ivorian Air Force, demonstrating the superior capacity of the
French military over the local.

The Ivory Coast has been independent for several decades, was once the
brightest star in West Africa under a benign dictator who was more French
than he was African in many ways. Suddenly, it was just another failed
African State and everyone, Mbeki in the lead, rushed in to try and patch
things up. Not easy once the situation reaches the state that the country is
in after all these years of corruption, maladministration and dictatorship.

The parallels with Zimbabwe are many. We are a small central African State
that has lived under a dictatorship for 25 years. For most of that time we
were regarded as the star in the region - an example to others of
reconciliation, moderate economic policies and reasonable, if slightly
corrupt administration. Mugabe, for all his UK phobia, is a real
Anglophile - Seville Row suits and shirts and ties made in England.

Then suddenly all hell breaks loose. Our government goes crazy and destroys
the heart of the economy - our commercial agricultural system, goes on to
savage other industries like mining and industry and oversees the collapse
of much of what they had built up in the first 20 years of independence. The
skilled and experienced have fled and more than half the adult population
now lives (subsists) outside the country.

Our GDP has crashed to 60 per cent of what it was in 1997; exports are down
by two thirds and employment by over 40 per cent. Living standards have
collapsed, savings been destroyed and life expectancy has fallen from 59
years in 1990, to 35 years today - the most dramatic decline in such
measurements in any country in the world.

We are now a country with all the symptoms of a failed State - infant
mortality is at record levels, maternal mortality is over 15 per cent, over
1000 people die every day - four times the norm in this country and
unbelievably, our national population has fallen from an anticipated level
of 16 million by 2004, to under 11 million and is still declining. These are
statistics on a par with the great famine in Ireland, the collapse in
Somalia and the genocide in Rwanda and Cambodia.

But, we are not killing each other with guns and panga's and the world pays
little or no attention. Mbeki flies over our heads to deal with a crisis
that is 4000 kilometers away in Francophone Africa where he has little or no
interests. He steadfastly ignores what is happening on his borders and in
his own backyard. And because he does so, the rest of the world say's "why
bother" and his African colleagues in the AU and the SADC take their lead
from his stance and likewise do nothing.

Two and a half million Zimbabweans have fled to South Africa where they are
treated as ordinary economic illegal immigrants and no special assistance
given. They slip into the overcrowded slums of Johannesburg and Cape Town
where they turn to crime to earn enough to send home to keep their families
alive. They will kill for a cell phone. They deny South Africans hundreds of
thousands of low-income jobs in the service sector where they can hide until
they get the required papers to claim South African citizenship.

Last week I watched a conference in South Africa attended by South African
Ministers including Essop Pahad from the Presidents office. The subject
"free and fair elections in Palestine". "The world and Israel, have an
obligation, to see to it that Palestine has a credible election for new
leadership after the death of Arafat." Pahad saw no discrepancy between the
oft-expressed view that the question of the future of Zimbabwe was an issue
to be decided by Zimbabweans without the benefit of intervention by its
neighbor, South Africa. Why the distinction? South Africa, like Israel, has
real power over the leadership in Zimbabwe. Free and fair elections are an
impossible dream if South Africa does nothing and the consequences of
neglect are just as unthinkable.

We are being backed into a corner from which we may well have to fight our
way out. Is that what it will take to get the attention we deserve from
those who have power and influence and therefore have responsibility?

28 000 American troops failed to restore order and sanity in Somalia and
were withdrawn when they lost men in combat conditions. Millions of Somalis
have died and been forced into exile after that failed intervention. Somalia
still does not have a government and guns rule the streets. Sudan defies the
whole world after decades of civil war and millions of deaths - most of them
unseen and unsung. Liberia, the Ivory Coast, the Congo and a dozen other
African nightmares - are virtually beyond help unless someone is willing to
go in and knock heads and lose lives.

Zimbabwe on the other hand still has what it takes to turn around and get
back on the path of stability and growth. It still has a democratic
opposition, which is capable to taking over and running the country. It
still has a civil service, teachers in classrooms and nurses in hospital
wards. It still has speed traps on the main roads. It still has a
functioning infrastructure - water in taps, electricity in switches. It can
be turned around, quickly and painlessly and without further bloodshed. But
we cannot do it alone - any more than the Ivory Coast or Palestine.

This is not a situation which warrants either the attention or the
intervention of the western powers. This is an African crisis that can be
solved very quickly by African leaders acting in concert. There is consensus
on the way forward - we need a democratic electoral process and it has to be
put in place soon if it is to work. No rocket science needed here, no men
with blue hats and guns in their hands or white UN armored vehicles. Just a
bit of old fashioned hardball diplomacy conducted by men and women with

But it looks to me as if it is not going to happen and this represents a
tragically lost opportunity for African leadership. Are African leaders
really as hopeless a bunch as they seem? If so, God help us all.  In fact
for those of us who reject violence in any form as a means of effecting
change, it is perhaps only to God that we can look in these circumstances.
On Saturday our Men's Fellowship at Church discussed this and we agreed that
we should approach this new crisis point in our lives with three things in
mind: -

1.                   Give the Zanu PF regime over to God, as we do not have
the power or the means to deal with the crisis at a political or practical

2.                   Recognise in our own lives, the life of our family,
Church and community, that ultimately God is supreme and He can not only
guide and provide, but in the end He will prevail; and

3.                   We need to share this perspective with others who are
in the same predicament as ourselves and help each other to do what we can
to ameliorate the situation until real change comes - as it must in the end.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, 12th December 2004

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Washington Times

The yoke on Zimbabwe

The ruinous role of Zimbabwe thug-in-chief Robert Mugabe is causing much
misery in his country and eroding the credibility of the African Union and
the democratic leadership of African governments. Last week, Mr. Mugabe
tightened his repressive yoke on dissent. Perhaps now events in Zimbabwe
will claim the notice of its neighbors.
    On Thursday, Zimbabwe's Parliament, which is dominated by the ruling
party, approved legislation that would effectively bar foreign or
foreign-supported nongovernmental organizations from calling out the
government's violations. The Nongovernmental Organizations Bill, which
passed by a 48-28 vote, prohibits domestic and other groups from accepting
foreign money or other support to, for example, promote human-rights or
"issues of governance." Under the legislation, nongovernmental groups must
disclose their financing, budgets and supporters, and the government can
dissolve any group it claims is misusing money or violating regulations. A
Zimbabwean living abroad is deemed a "foreigner" - convenient for the
government, since at least one-quarter of the country's citizens live
outside the country, probably to escape Mugabe policies. The law covers all
activities by houses of worship, which have been defiant critics of Mr.

    On Friday, the International Bar Association accused Mr. Mugabe of
conducting a reign of terror and said he should be brought to international
justice. The London-based association, which comprises 190 bar associations
and law societies from around the world, said there was staggering and
well-documented evidence his government has committed murder, rape,
abduction and enslavement. He has systematically denied food to opposition
members - a powerfully coercive move, given the food and other shortages in
a country that was previously a breadbasket of the continent. Mark Ellis,
the association's executive director, said there had been a "woeful response
to Mr. Mugabe's crimes" by many African governments. Mr. Ellis said in a
supplement published in South Africa's Mail and Guardian weekly: "His
systematic oppression of an increasingly impoverished people and his
government's widespread policy of subverting the press, the rule of law and
human rights are a desperate and brutal attempt to retain political power at
all costs."
    The African Union, which was formed to promote solidarity on the
continent, has been largely silent about Mr. Mugabe's violations. That is
unfortunate, since the AU says on its Web site that one of its objectives is
"to promote democratic principles and institutions, popular participation
and good governance" and "to promote and protect human and peoples' rights
in accordance with the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and
other relevant human rights instruments."
    The union and individual governments across the continent must decide
whether they stand with the people of Africa or with repressive dictators.
Time is running out to take a stand in Zimbabwe. Crucial parliamentary
elections are slated for March.

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Daily News online edition

      Mbeki*s quiet diplomacy attacked

      Date: 13-Dec, 2004

      Cape Town - President Thabo Mbeki should make his silent diplomacy on
Zimbabwe more transparent, a leading African expert on monitoring and
evaluation has said.

      The Sunday Times quotes Sulley Gariba of the International Development
Evaluation Association saying the New Partnership for Africa's Development
(NEPAD) and the African Union were unlikely to win international support for
the diplomacy headed on their behalf by Mbeki until the world had a better
idea of what they were doing.

      "Nobody knows what kind of engagement NEPAD and the African Union have
with Zimbabwe - it is not transparent enough," said the Ghanaian.

      Mbeki and the AU have consistently rejected Western calls for public
pressure on President Robert Mugabe to halt human rights violations and
create conditions for free and fair elections.

      Mbeki has refused to give details of his interaction with Mugabe.

      The African National Congress (ANC) last week sent a strong message of
support to Zanu PF's congress.

      Gariba said a better explanation of Africa's strategy on Zimbabwe
might not win an international approval but could win an understanding of
the strategy.

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Termites amongst us
Saturday 11th December 2004

Dear Family and Friends,
It is just weeks now until Zimbabwe's parliamentary elections and to be
honest, things are not looking at all good. The opposition MDC have still
not said if they are going to participate in the polls and the electoral
playing field has not shown any signs of improving and this week 3 more
pieces of repressive legislation were rammed through parliament.

There is little doubt that all is not well within ZANU PF as we approach the
elections and in-fighting and power struggles seem to be the order of the
day. Zimbabweans have been watching with widening eyes and growing amusement
as even the state media has been reporting on "plots", "secrets meetings",
"the tug of war for succession", and "the night of the long knives". For a
change none of these dire and dirty deeds are being committed by our usual
enemies who the State say are The British, The Americans, The Rhodesians,
The Selous Scouts or The Neo Colonialists, but this time the evil doers are
people within Zanu PF itself. The most graphic way to describe the
atmosphere is to give you some of the more quotable quotes from the just
ended ZANU PF Congress and leave you to draw your own conclusions.

At the opening of the ZANU PF congress, Reverend Obediah Musindo set the
tone by saying: "It's my prayer that President Mugabe should live longer to
deliver us to the promised land."

Vice President Joseph Msika said about suggestions that President Mugabe
should step down: "Mugabe go? Go Where? He should rule even if it means he
is walking with the aid of a walking stick. He is the father of our nation;
he is entitled to rule us forever."

President Mugabe speaking about the top party officials he suspended because
they tried to oppose the appointment of Joyce Mujuru at a secret meeting in
Tsholotsho: " minds that can be bought, hearts that can be sold, are
political prostitutes. This party has no room for political prostitutes."

Jonathon Moyo's response to accusations about the secret meeting at
Tsholotsho : "Ugly lies" , "pure fiction". "It was a mere speech and prize
giving ceremony."

Enos Chikowore reporting on Zimbabwe's top ministers and politicians who
grabbed multiple farms: " Top members of the party ignored even calls by the
presidency to surrender the extra farms." "There are termites within our
party, they are not people."

Enos Chikowore reporting on the dismal production on Zimbabwe's grabbed
farms: " I am calling for attitudinal change within our newly resettled
farmers. Under the regime of Ian Smith and up to 1999, 4000 white farmers
produced enough food for the nation and had more left over for export.
Today, after the land reform programme, there are over 12 000 farmers (A2)
but they are failing to do what their predecessors did."

And, to anyone who thinks Zimbabwe has a chance of a free and fair election
in March, we wonder why the budgetary allocation to the CIO (secret police)
has just been increased from 62 billion dollars this year to 395,8 billion
for the coming year.
Until next week, love cathy.
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Zimbabwe Mirror

MDC eyes disgruntled chefs
Staff Writers

As the nation waits with bated breath for the announcement of Zanu PF's
Politburo, it has emerged that some senior ruling party stalwarts
disgruntled by Amai Joyce Mujuru's ascendancy to the vice-presidency are
being courted by the opposition MDC and could be dropped from the party's
supreme decision-making body.

According to highly placed sources within Zanu PF, the ruling party had
since established that some senior party members had been approached by the
MDC, which was interested in giving the individuals powerful posts within
the MDC in exchange for these Zanu PF politicians turning their backs on the
ruling party and President Robert Mugabe.

However, Zanu PF information director Stephen Chidawanyika dismissed the
claims saying he was not aware of anyone liasing with the MDC because they
were displeased with Amai Mujuru's appointment.

He added that the Politburo would be announced soon.

At the time of going to press the presidium and some top Zanu PF officials
were understood to be in a meeting whose discussions were reportedly centred
on the nomination of potential politburo members. In an interview with the
Sunday Mirror held on Thursday, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said, "There
are some people we are talking to but I can't mention any names." This
triggered speculation that there are major rifts within the ruling party and
the President wanted to ensure potential allies of the opposition were
weeded out to ensure a semblance of unity existed in the new Politburo. The
Politburo is Zanu PF's supreme decision-making organ outside Congress and
those who are appointed to the body wield the most power within Zanu PF and
it is from the same body that most ministerial appointments are made.

In dismissing the claims, Chidawanyika said, "That is simply Tsvangirai's
opinion. It is healthy to have opinions but we as Zanu PF follow a party
line and respect decisions that are reached at the highest party levels in
consultation with the people in accordance with set structures." He added
that if it was true that there were Zanu PF chefs negotiating with the MDC,
then those were probably power hungry individuals and their failure to
respect party decisions meant they were effectively no longer ruling party

Regardless, a source within the ruling party said, "President Mugabe would
probably want to be sure that in the aftermath of the Tsholotsho Declaration
no rogue elements remained within the upper echelons of the party.

"Parliamentary polls are on next year and as such it would be disastrous to
have saboteurs within the Politburo when the real campaigning starts."
Chidawanyika said President Mugabe was taking his time in appointing members
of the Politburo so as to come up with the best possible combinations, in
cognisance of the body's importance to the running of the ruling party.

The Tsholotsho Declaration, which has been described as a thinly veiled
coup, was reportedly an undertaking made by a number of top Zanu PF
officials apparently led by the Minister of State for Information and
Publicity in the Office of the President and the Cabinet, Jonathan Moyo to
sabotage Amai Joyce Mujuru's rise to the Vice Presidency.

Moyo has since been dropped from the central committee and indications are
that he will not make it into the Politburo. Moyo's political agenda remains
murky and the deafening silence from the usually outspoken minister over the
Tsholotsho Declaration has raised eyebrows over his future in the party he
poured so much vitriol on a few years ago.

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Zimbabwe Mirror

'White capitalists' and Zanu PF
Staff Writers

THE questions arise: where did the money that made the Tsholotsho
Declaration possible come from? Who received money and what was the money

Speaking in Matebelenad North last month, President Mugabe exploded: "There
are mischievous individuals misleading people by using money from white
capitalists. Their names will be revealed before the forthcoming congress.
Their actions are meant to sideline the old leadership of the party through
clandestine ways, divisive ways and cunning methods to sway you. Don't be
divided, don't be purchased, we are not for purchase!" The identity of the
mysterious but powerful "white capitalists" remains locked up in a crucible
of speculation and allegations with no tangible and visible links tying any
particular individual or group of individuals to the Tsholotsho Declaration.

Apart from John Bredenkamp, there is another "white capitalist", Billy
Rautenbach, who has been speculatively linked to Zanu PF in the past. But
both men profess to have no influence in Zimbabwean politics, although both
their names have surfaced in past 'dubious' dealings involving the
Zimbabwean eco-political and industrial-military superstructure and Speaker
of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa and unnamed senior army personnel.

Bredenkamp has long since distanced himself from Mnangagwa and the other

"Those are the kind of allegations that float around without any substance,"
said Costa Pafitis, Bredenkamp's consultant- cum- spokesperson.

"You (The Sunday Mirror) had a lot of that culled from the wire in your
profile but if John did anything illegal why was he not brought to book?
Surely anything he has done must have been done above aboard. Your profile
mentioned the proposal to bring in fuel into the country at the time of the
fuel crisis but alleged that we had inflated prices. The truth of the matter
is that we put in a tender and we were the cheapest. John actually put up a
personal guarantee of US$ 12million to come to the aide of government which
was having foreign currency problems at the time," added Pafitis.

At the height of the accusations, Rautenbach denied the allegations, telling
the foreign press: "I started mining in the Congo about a year before the
war started. So all of a sudden, the war is there because of me. It's
unbelievable." Rautenbach, who also has substantial economic muscle in not
only Zimbabwe, but in a number of African countries. He has been dogged by
more, albeit largely unsubstantiated, controversy over the years
notwithstanding an alleged involvement in the murder of Yong Koo Kwon,
general manager of Daewoo and was reportedly on the list of the top 20
criminals in South Africa before he fled back to Zimbabwe after assets of
his worth R60 million were seized on fraud charges. Again Rautenbach denied
the charges believing that he had a raw deal: "As one of the officials told
me: 'At the wrong time, at the wrong place.' Although his name cropped up
alongside Rautenbach's, Bredenkamp denies any links with him.

"I have never met Billy. I knew his father. I am 65 and Billy is 42," said

Sources who know Billy Rautenbach attest to his overriding zeal to make
money and when Bradenkamp was asked if this did not put him in the same
league with the man he claims to have never met he said, "Of course I love
making money, but I believe you have to do it with some decorum, some
dignity." Rautenbach's cobalt and copper mining ventures through Ridge
Pointe in the DRC started after 1997 visit to Laurent Kabila (allegedly
facilitated by a top Zimbabwean politician- name supplied). After managing
to secure mining concessions he rose to become the Chief Executive of
Gecamines - a state-owned mining company. Rautenbach was subsequently
unceremoniously booted out of the country after some contractual
disagreements. Investigations have revealed that Rautenbach's entry into the
lucrative DRC mining deals was engineered from Zimbabwe although Bredenkamp
had initially been involved and put in all the initial financing but was
allegedly ousted after a two- hour high profile meeting in the top echelons
of Zimbabwean politics in which he was asked to give up his mining stake in
the DRC failure of which would lead to dire consequences. Billy denied the
charges that he had muscled his way into the Congo or that he had bribed
officials and said at the time: "I started mining in the Congo about a year
before the war started. So all of a sudden, the war is there because of me.
It's unbelievable.The perception is . that you just go around bribing people
and you get whatever you want. It's not like that." Yet the whole DRC saga
is clouded in mystery and a lot perception rather than fact. Although it
could not be substantiated and no tangible documents could be found, it is
alleged that two high ranking Zimbabwean politicians (names supplied) are
receiving monthly cutbacks of US30 000,00 each while a high ranking DRC
minister is receiving US$20 000, 00.

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Zimbabwe Mirror

. . . I am not one of them: Bredenkamp
Staff Writers

WORLD ranking business tycoon John Bredenkamp has reiterated in an exclusive
interview with the Sunday Mirror that he had no hand in the Tsholotsho
debacle and that he had no ties with Speaker of Parliament Emmerson

The infamous incident now dubbed the Tsholotsho Declaration has been
labelled a coup attempt meant to scuttle the then vice-presidency hopes of
Joyce Mujuru while elevating Mnangagwa to one of the two VP posts, roping in
Thenjiwe Lesabe to the old Zapu PF VP interest while, Patrick Chinamasa
would have come in as the party's national chairman and the alleged
architect of the whole affair, Jonathan Moyo becoming the secretary for

The November 18 meeting saw elements from Harare being flown to Tsholotsho
in a chartered aircraft allegedly hired by the Ministry of Information. The
whole plot was allegedly funded to the tune of Z$7 billion. But as it
emerged that the meeting was illegal, questions arose how a ministry could
have hired the plane and where did all the money come from? President Mugabe
brought up the spectre of shadowy white capitalists working in cahoots with
political prostitutes in Zanu PF, while Bredenkamp emerged as the initial
usual suspect. "I can understand how my name was dragged into the whole
thing. I think it's a question of perception. But I am really apolitical and
I don't want to have to fight with anybody. I belong to group of people who
are a in minority situation and have come out in public many times saying
hey guys, stay out of politics. Stay out of it, we can't influence it. That
has been my position for a long time.

"But I guess what happened was when this whole thing happened people asked
who are Mnangagwa's friends? Who has that kind of money to do this? And
quite naturally the first name to come up is mine." Bredenkamp however
pointed out that he had not had any direct dealings with Mnangagwa for 15
months until he was invited to the wedding of the Speaker's daughter in
October this year, which was being held at Borrowdale Brooke Golf Course,
which is owned by one of his business interests.

"I agonised - do I go or don't I go and was finally counselled to go by
colleagues for the simple reason that it was being held at my golf course
and the president would be there. It would have been impolite not go knowing
that the president was going to be there- so I went." Whether Bredenkamp
agonised over his attendance there or not is besides the point, for it would
seem that as events unfolded in November, the fact that he had been there
probably helped to bolster the perception that he was allied to Mnangagwa
leading to the allegation that he was behind the lucrative sponsorship of
the botched Tsholotsho junket. $7 billion is said to have been floating
around in Tsholotsho.

"It's peanuts. What is it, US$82 0000, 00 or so? It could have been quite
easy for someone else to bring in that kind of money and it is virtually
untraceable," said Bredenkamp, adding to the aura of mystery surrounding the
Tsholotsho declaration. Since his personal plane has been placed out of the
whole puzzle, he offered some advice.

"It is my understanding that the aircraft in question was a hired, twin-
engine propeller driven aeroplane," he said.

But who paid for it? The Department of Information has since said it paid
over $9 million dollars to Central Air Transport Services (CATS) to charter
the flight.

A CATS representative said the company was not part of any conspiracy theory
and this was the first time they had dealt with Professor Moyo.

"We have nothing to do with Bredenkamp but we were expecting a flood of
people to come asking questions." He said the five-seater Beachcraft Baron
took off with Professor Moyo and Justice Minister and failed Zanu PF
national chairman aspirant Patrick Chinamasa after the Information Ministry
had requested their services.

It remained unclear how and why Professor Moyo secured clearance so quickly
when air traffic regulations require flight plans to be submitted at least
48 hours before take-off.

Squadron Leader Chipere, mentioned in an internal communiqué instructing
that a payment be made out to CATS, refused to comment saying he had nothing
to do with the Tsholotsho Declaration.

The role of the military in the whole 'project' remains murky though
information gathered indicates that emergency flight applications are
cleared at the Harare International Airport with the assistance of the
Airforce. A source, however, said that facilitating emergency clearances was
one of the ways the military made some of its money. Another point that has
been questioned is why the Department of Information released funds for an
unsanctioned meeting. It was also not established where the delegates
attending the Tsholotsho Declaration were accommodated and who paid for

About a fortnight ago, sources alleged that police seized about $500 million
at a roadblock along the Harare-Bulawayo road.

Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said, "That was just a rumour. I
heard about it too but when I reffered the matter to Tsholotsho police, they
revealed that nothing of the sort had happened." The web of intrigue
surrounding the Tsholotsho Declaration is far from having been fully
unravelled, leading one observer to say, "I think we are about to see either
the unravelling of one of the most intricate plots in post-independent
Zimbabwe or a cover-up of magnificent proportions."
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Zimbabwe Mirror

Aborted match costs ZC $3,7 bn
Sports Reporter

THE Department of Information and Publicity's overzealous and ill-advised
decision to initially bar 13 British journalists from covering the recently
ended One Day International Series featuring hosts Zimbabwe and England,

saw Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) losing about $3.7 billion after one of the
scheduled matches had to be aborted at the eleventh hour.

The much talked about series, deemed controversial by some people, has come
and gone but the last minute cancellation of the scheduled first match of
the series has seen ZC counting the costs as it had not anticipated such an
outcome. The series turned out to be a four-match affair after the first
match was scrapped off when the England team failed to turn up in time for
the game. The first one-day international was scheduled for 26 November, but
England did not turn up. Apparently, Michael Vaughan and his troops refused
to make the trip to Harare from Namibia - where they had played their
warm-up matches - when the British scribes were initially denied entry into
the country. Although the government reversed the decision, in a desperate
attempt to save the tour, the damage had already been done and ZC claims to
have a made a loss of about US$600 000 from the cancellation of the first
match of the series. with its sponsors and international television
companies. To compound the woes of the cricket mother body, the England and
Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has said it will not co-operate over repeated
claims for compensation for a cancelled match as the development was not of
their own making. "We continue to attribute any loss to the delay in
accrediting the 13 UK journalists," England and Wales Cricket Board
spokesman Andrew Walpole told BBC Sport. However, England believe the
deficit, which they have no intention of paying, is in any case less than
one-tenth of ZC's estimate. Ozias Bvute, the acting managing director of ZC,
said: "We will meet the England and Wales Cricket Board soon to discuss the
matter and deal with it in an amicable and professional manner." However,
the cricket mother body is unlikely to recover the billions as the ECB is
justified in distancing itself from the fiasco that saw the scribes being
barred from covering the controversial series.

Over the years, ZC has proved to be one of the most profitable sporting
organisations in the country as it had continued to register substantial
profits at a time when some sporting associations have found the going
tough. However, this huge loss of revenue is likely strain the ZC coffers,
which will be further drained by next month's scheduled tour of Bangladesh.
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Zimbabwe Mirror

Harare's troubled waters
In 1995, the then Minister of Local Government, John Nkomo had a torrid time
trying to sell the law setting out the functions and powers of an executive
mayor. One sticky issue back then was how far winning candidates from
opposition parties would be allowed to enjoy the fruits of a popular
electoral victory in a heavily polarised political dispensation.

In 2004, Harare stands out as a rather tragic answer to those fears and
questions. On Thursday, 9 December 2004, government appointed an eight
member commission led by Acting Mayor Sekesayi Makwavarara tasked with
implementing a turn around strategy for the bedevilled city. MDC councillors
who had come into office in 2002 have over the past two years been wilted
away as the battle for supremacy raged between them (under the helm of
Executive Mayor, Elias Mudzuri)and the current Minister of local Government,
Public Works and National Housing Ignatius Chombo. The MDC council
complained of detrimental interference from their minister while the
ministry alleged that the councillors were incompetent. Mudzuri was relieved
of his duties on allegations of corruption. 16 MDC councillors eventually
resigned in protest while one was disqualified for missing consecutive
council meetings.

This is a sorry state of affairs, particularly given the fact that this is
not the first time that a commission has been put in place to run the
affairs of the city. Indeed ,it is a tragic reflection of how differing
political views in Zimbabwe have been allowed to gain precedence over the
will of the people and what is good for them. Both the opposition and the
ruling party have been guilty of this crime for whenever they have disagreed
and fought, it is not them who eventually suffer but the people.

And this is simply not on.

It is high time that Zimbabwean politics and national institutions were not
allowed to go into a freefall as a result of a tendency by concerned parties
to cut theirnoses in order to spite their faces. We sincerely hope that the
new commission will be able to deliver, but we still harbour reservations
over the way partisan politics has been allowed to destroy the national
fabric as epitomised by the Harare tragedy.
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From The Sunday Times (SA), 12 December

Mbeki urged to change stance on Mugabe

Brendan Boyle

A leading African expert on monitoring and evaluation has urged President
Thabo Mbeki to make his silent diplomacy in Zimbabwe more transparent.
Sulley Gariba, the Ghanaian president of the International Development
Evaluation Association, said the New Partnership for Africa's Development
(Nepad) and the African Union were unlikely to win international support for
the diplomacy headed on their behalf by Mbeki, until the world had a better
idea of what they were doing. "Nobody knows what kind of engagement Nepad
and the AU have with Zimbabwe - it is not transparent enough," he said in an
interview on the sidelines of a four-day conference of the African
Evaluation Association in Cape Town. Mbeki and the AU have consistently
rejected Western calls for more public pressure on Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe to halt human rights violations and create conditions for free
elections. Mbeki has refused to give details of his interaction with Mugabe.
The ANC sent a strong message of support to Zanu PF's annual congress last
week. Gariba said a better explanation of Africa's strategy on Zimbabwe
might not win international approval, but could win an understanding of the
strategy. Andrew Donaldson reports that in London this week, Stephen Irwin
QC, chairman of the Bar of England and Wales, criticised Mbeki for his
perceived indifference towards, if not tacit approval of, conditions in
Zimbabwe. "How can Mbeki be silent about this? Why can't he follow the
example of Archbishop [Desmond] Tutu?" Irwin was speaking at the launch of a
hard-hitting international law report this week which found that Zimbabwe's
judges and courts had been "profoundly compromised" by Mugabe and Zanu PF's
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From The Zimbabwe Standard, 12 December

Zanu PF delegates accused of stealing hotel linen

By our own staff

Zanu PF delegates, among them members of the central committee who attended
last week's congress reportedly stole some bed linen and towels from hotels
they were staying, The Standard can reveal. According to impeccable sources,
members of the central committee were booked at the Cresta Jameson while
chiefs stayed at the Cresta Lodge. Zanu PF employees were booked at the
Cresta Oasis. Sources said the hotels' managements were reluctant to report
the thefts to police for fear of ruffling the feathers of the Zanu PF
leaders. Others were afraid of losing business from the ruling party known
to be a big spender. "In any case, even if we report the theft, we doubt if
police would make serious investigations because the police commissioner
himself has said he is a Zanu PF member," said a source. The sources said it
was easy to identify the thieves. "We know which rooms were raided and we
know which delegates were booked into those rooms so it would not be
difficult to identify the culprits," she said.

Also annoyed by the behaviour of some of the delegates were grounds men at
the Harare Sheraton and Harare International Conference Centre, the venue of
the congress. During the course of the congress, more than 9 000 delegates
were being served food from tents pitched on the hotel grounds. However,
some of the delegates used trees and flower bushes on the hotel grounds to
relieve themselves. Although makeshift toilets were provided, they soon
became dirty because of the heavy rains, which fell, forcing the delegates
to resort to the bushes on the grounds. Four women, in the full glare of
male delegates, were seen relieving themselves behind some flower bushes at
one point. "These people were just messing up the whole place by urinating
all over the place," said one of the groundsmen. Senior hotel managers were
however said to be over the moon with the level of business generated by the
congress. "With tourist arrivals reduced to a trickle, the business
generated by congress was unprecedented," said one hotelier.

In complete contrast, poorer delegates from rural districts were complaining
about the state of accommodation they were allocated. "We have to be moved
from Danhiko Centre, (a school for disabled people on the outskirts of
Harare). The place is dirty, human waste is lying around. I wonder how this
school is being run," fumed Emma Guvava, a delegate from the Midlands
Province, as she sought the attention of the administration team. The place
is stinking and the food is bad. This is not good," she went on. According
to her, male delegates accommodated at Danhiko, whose patron is Mugabe's
comfort-loving wife, Grace, had resorted to sleeping outside as the
dormitories were in a sorry state. And standing by her side was John Sithole
from rural Matabeleland South province who claimed mosquitoes feasted on him
and his fellow delegates at the nearby Harare Polytechnic where they were
housed. "There are no windows and the beds are urine-stained. I cannot leave
my home to come and be housed in such conditions," he fumed. Other delegates
were tucked in far away places such as Rusununguko School in Bromley.
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From The Zimbabwe Standard, 12 December

Cricket crisis

By Lloyd Mutungamiri

Association hit by staff exodus - SRC probes cricket body

Zimbabwe Cricket is reported to have blown close to $1 billion in two
months, in restructuring its marketing department in an exercise that has
seen the purchase of new office equipment and refurbishment of offices,
Standard Sport has learnt. In addition, the cricket body is said to have
recruited six marketing managers and a division secretary without the posts
having been advertised. This has raised eyebrows amid allegations of unfair
labour practices. It has also been alleged some vehicles meant for the use
of contracted players have been diverted elsewhere, with reports ZC are
mulling withdrawing cars from some players on trumped-up charges of misuse
and indiscipline. The association has also been hit by five high-profile
resignations in the past eight weeks, with Duncan Frost, who was in charge
of operations, former board director Mike Moyo, former academy
administration manager Kisch Gokal, his secretary Anthea Reeler, former
administration manager Ian Robinson, all having quit in a huff. Robinson is
said to be holding on to ZC property after contesting the way he was forced
out and is said to have handed his case to his lawyers, which could not be
confirmed up to yesterday.

In addition, ZC is said to be in financial difficulties despite spending
close to $600 million in its recent controversial re-branding and on
staggering salaries and perks for its top executives. In addition, morale
among staff at head office is said to have hit rock bottom due to some
alleged bullying tactics by a named top executive, which - according to
insiders- could see more disgruntled staff abandoning the crisis-ridden
organisation, once the epitome of sound sports administration in the
country. ZC spokesman Lovemore Banda, confirmed ZC had recruited the new
marketing managers, and also confirmed the departure of Frost. He professed
ignorance on the other resignations. "There has been some recruitment of
staff for the commercial division. Duncan Frost has left but I will have to
check on the others. As for the players being denied cars, I would have to
go and look at each and every player's contract to see whether he is
entitled to a vehicle or not," Banda said.

Meanwhile, Standard Sport can reveal the Sports and Recreation Commission
(SRC) recently commissioned an independent committee to investigate and
compile a report on the goings-on in local cricket. Veteran sports
administrator and former SRC chairman, David Mutambara, headed the
five-member committee. On Friday, Mutambara confirmed they had been tasked
by the SRC to do a case study of problems afflicting local cricket. "It was
a five-member committee that I headed and it took quite some time to compile
the report. We have since completed our investigations and we presented our
findings to the SRC two weeks ago." Mutambara would not reveal their
findings but sources told StandardSport it is a damning report that paints a
gloomy picture of the state of affairs in domestic cricket. SRC Director
General Elias Musengeya could not be reached for comment. He was said to be
on leave until January. Patience Kabanda, who was said to be acting in his
place, would not field questions from Standard Sport.

In a related development, the crisis in Zimbabwean cricket, in which some
clubs in the Mashonaland Cricket Association have given a
vote-of-no-confidence in Zimbabwe Cricket over the mother-body's alleged
free-spending, has taken an ugly turn with MCA General Manager Givemore
Makoni being accosted by suspected hired thugs at Harare Sports Club, who
were in the company of ZC's Human Resources Manager Wilfred Mukondiwa on
Friday. According to Makoni - who has apparently fallen out with ZC in
recent weeks over his alleged sympathising with the revolting MCA clubs -
the men were demanding keys to the ZC car assigned to him and keys to the
MCA offices. Mukondiwa was not immediately available for comment. "When they
came, the men claimed they were police officers and demanded keys to the
office and my car. When I refused, they became violent and that is when I
decided to check if they were real police officers. I was then told they
were ZC security men, yet there is no such thing at Zimbabwe Cricket. Things
have become so frightening, we now fear for our lives," said Makoni, who was
in the company of another under-fire MCA board member Cyprian Mandenge.
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The Telegraph

Thanks for your military service in Iraq, but you can't have a passport
By Matilda McLean
(Filed: 13/12/2004)

A former Army captain who saw active service in Iraq and Kosovo has been refused a British passport partly because he has been out of the country for more than 90 days a year on active service.

Col Jeremy Strong and his wife, Deanne
Col Jeremy Strong and his wife, Deanne, with the paperwork for their son's citizenship application

Captain Warwick Strong, 29, whose father and grandfather were both colonels in the Army and held British citizenship, served with the Royal Artillery for four years. He was born in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, where his parents were living at the time, and came to Britain on an ancestral visa, which has been renewed until October 2006.

But despite being praised for his military record, he has been told by the Home Office that he does not qualify for citizenship partly because of his absence from the country as a result of being posted abroad.

Qualification for a passport demands that the applicant must not be out of the country for more than 90 days the year before applying.

"My initial reaction to being denied a visa was complete disgust," Mr Strong said yesterday.

Warwick Strong
Warwick Strong at his passing-out ceremony

"At the end of the day I have gone out to protect the interests of the country and have been denied the opportunity to be a citizen.

"I feel very angry. The Government uses you when you are of some value to them but when you want something back they say thank you and goodbye."

He was refused a passport because he was not physically present in Britain on a date five years before his application. Despite his service in the Army and his family's military background, the Home Office said Mr Strong had not provided "outstanding military service or other service of direct benefit to the UK" that would exempt him from meeting those criteria.

His grandfather, Colonel Cecil Strong, served in the British Army for 32 years, having fought in both world wars, and was awarded the MC and OBE.

Col Cecil Strong
Col Cecil Strong in 1945

His father, Colonel Jeremy Strong, was commissioned into the Royal Artillery and was awarded the prestigious Sword of Honour as the Royal Military Academy's leading cadet. His grandmother, Jean Strong, who was born in Bristol, served in Queen Alexandra's Royal Nursing Corps.

Col Strong said that he was "livid" with the way his son had been treated, especially in the light of allegations that David Blunkett allegedly helped to fast-track a visa for the nanny of his former lover Kimberly Quinn.

"Had my son been nanny to the Home Secretary's mistress and not opted to defend the citizens of the free world, it would appear that by now he would have had the right of abode in the UK," said Col Strong, who lives near Cirencester, Glos.

Mr Strong, who also lives in Cirencester, was praised for his contributions to the Army when he left earlier this year.

Brigadier Chris Wilson CBE, ADC, the Director Royal Artillery, wrote to Mr Strong stating: "I must thank you on behalf of 26 and 19 Regiments for they have good cause to be grateful for all that you have done for them."

In 1998, Mr Strong enrolled at Sandhurst and after passing out spent the first six months with 19 Regiment Royal Artillery at Larkhill in Salisbury training before being transferred to Gutersloh, Germany.

He served as a platoon commander as part of a peacekeeping force working for the Black Watch regiment in Kosovo, and was sent to Basra as a command post officer for three months from February 2003.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, the Conservative MP for the Cotswold constituency, has taken up his case. "It's terrible that people are prepared to lay down their lives serving in the armed forces but can't get citizenship," he said.

Col Strong has been petitioning the Home Office for the last 17 years for British citizenship for his son.

Both Col Strong and his wife Deanne were born in Zimbabwe but have always held British passports, as do their parents.

In 1987, he applied for his son to be granted British citizenship but it was rejected as the family lived in Paris then because Col Strong's job with Norwich Life Insurance required him to travel.

Warwick was at boarding school in England, but returned to South Africa for university before joining the Army and deciding that he wanted to settle in Britain, where his family now live.

"When I decided to attend Sandhurst I was told that by serving in the British Army it would help towards immigration, settling and getting a British visa but in fact it has hindered me," he said.

He applied for British citizenship in 2002 but was rejected because he fell short of the criteria.

He has written to various MPs in an attempt to have his application reviewed, but has been told by the Home Office that he will have to make a fresh application.

Mr Strong is completing a masters degree at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester, but said he did not know what he would do when his visa expires in October 2006.

A Home Office spokesman said that it could not comment on individual cases but was still studying Mr Strong's application.

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East African Standard - Saturday 11th December

      Mugabe urged not to sign Bill

      The United States yesterday urged Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe not
to sign a Bill into law that effectively bans all foreign-funded human
rights and advocacy groups.

      Adam Ereli, a State Department spokesman, said the Bill, passed
Thursday by Zimbabwe's parliament, "will stifle political debate and the
exercise of civil liberties in Zimbabwe by preventing international human
rights groups from operating there".

      He said the Bill would specifically prohibit domestic groups working
on human rights and governance issues from receiving foreign funding from
any source, including Zimbabweans living overseas.

      Ereli said the legislation would set up a mechanism for government
oversight of non-governmental organisations that would be intrusive and
subject to manipulation. -AP
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      Zimbabwe to hunt for economic criminals abroad 2004-12-13 01:38:13

          HARARE, Dec. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwean Home Affairs Minister
Kembo Mohadi said Sunday that the government will pursue all people who had
fled the country after they committed economic crimes.

          "The anti-graft campaign will spare no one irrespective of their
station in life nor the level of political connections. We shed no tears on
the arrest of economic saboteurs who derive gratification from the suffering
of our people," Mohadi said in Harare.

          "Those who fled the country will be pursued through Interpol
structures," he said.

          He said that the government had learnt lessons from past
crisesthat undermined the country's economy.

          "As the government, we cannot afford to reward such morally
bankrupt elements in the business sector for having caused so mucheconomic
hemorrhage and wreckage," Mohadi said.

          He said that the decline of good governance had left the economy
in bad state and efforts were being made to restore normalcy to the
country's economy.

          A total of 2,695 criminals have been arrested and convicted
forvarious economic crimes since January this year, while a total of 6,376
people have been arrested in connection with cases of economic crimes.

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