for their second one-day international against Zimbabwe today were hit by a
small political demonstration outside their hotel as they left for the
Harare Sports Club.
As England's players left for the ground they were
greeted by three demonstrators carrying placards which protested against the
controversial tour and demanded the release of imprisoned opposition MP Roy
The placards read: "No Justice, No Cricket, Free Roy Bennett,"
but the protest was quickly moved on by hotel security guards and police
reservists to allow the coach to leave for the ground.
Away from the
political controversy surrounding the tour, England named an unchanged
line-up for the second game in the four-match series with Gareth Batty,
Simon Jones and Matt Prior once again missing out.
Vaughan, concerned at the manner in which his team finished Sunday's opening
clash, also won the toss for the second time in successive matches but this
time chose to bat first.
Zimbabwe made two changes as they
attempted to secure their first victory in 14 matches since the losing their
15 'rebel' players in April.
Batsman Vusi Sibanda, who scored just six in
17 balls on Sunday, was dropped for Hamilton Masakadza while Gavin Ewing
became the first rebel to return to the national side when he replaced Doug
Paul Kelso in Harare Wednesday
December 1, 2004 The Guardian
Politics is so all-pervading in Zimbabwe
that it was naive to think England's cricketers could avoid being exploited
by the propaganda that passes for mainstream media here, and yesterday they
got their first taste of what may become routine attempts to make political
capital from this series. Yesterday's edition of the pro-government
Herald newspaper used selected quotes and photographs from Ian Bell's media
interviews on Monday to support a piece claiming England's cricketers were
happy to be here and eager to return to Zimbabwe soon.
It prompted a
statement of disapproval from the England and Wales Cricket Board and
increased tension as the squad prepared for today's second one-day
Yesterday the England coach Duncan Fletcher claimed
that "politicisation" of the tour had already affected the players, and the
story has done nothing to dispel the suspicion that the team's presence is
helpful to the ruling Zanu-PF party, whose national congress also begins
Under the headline "England players appreciate Zim", the paper
claimed: "One by one, England's players are queueing up to give their
approval of their tour to this country.
"Among the touring players,"
the piece continued, "are some who believe in sticking to their business of
playing cricket and leaving politics to the politicians. One of them is
opener Ian Bell."
Bell is then quoted, accurately, as saying: "We are
very comfortable at the moment and we are being looked after very well . . .
I didn't know what to expect but I have been pleasantly surprised. This is
somewhere that I would like to come back and play more."
is illustrated with a picture of Bell admiring a local artefact in a market
near the team hotel, a photo opportunity set up by the ECB that it may now
regret. In a statement the media officer Andrew Walpole said the ECB was
disappointed at the politicisation of Bell's comments. "We are very
disappointed that the newspaper concerned has chosen to politicise what was
essentially a piece of sightseeing," he said. "We are disappointed in the
way it was reported and nothing that Ian Bell said was intended as a
Further evidence that the tour has entered the
political arena came as Morgan Tsvangari, the leader of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change, slammed England's decision to fulfil their
fixtures in a speech in Brussels.
"We appealed to the cricketers to
realise [Zimbabwe's president] Mugabe is the patron of cricket in Zimbabwe.
We have from the very beginning condemned anything that will give legitimacy
to Mugabe, including the English cricket tour," he said.
The row over
the Herald's treatment came as Fletcher spoke for the first time since
returning to the country of his birth. Guarded in front of the media at the
best of times, the coach was loath to comment on the situation in his
homeland, but did say that the uncertainty of the last week had harmed the
"You can't hide away from the fact before the game
there was a strange feeling in the camp because the build-up to this game
has been different," he said. "That may have contributed to the way we
Fletcher said that the mood in the camp had lifted as the game
progressed, and defended the decision to give the players most of Monday
off. Some of the squad played golf and others went on a game drive outside
He admitted that there was still uncertainty about what could
happen on match days, and despite the absence of protesters or an official
government presence on Sunday, the squad will clearly not relax until they
arrive in South Africa next Monday.
"As far as the politicisation is
concerned we will only really find out [what will happen] as the tour
progresses, but we feel that we just want to get on with the cricket. It has
already had an effect to some degree from the point of view that the guys
were nervous before the first game."
Sunday's match was more notable for
the good-natured atmosphere than the quality of the cricket, and the broadly
positive coverage of the match added fuel to the accusations of Peter Hain,
the leader of the House of Commons, that the tour is a "propaganda victory"
for Robert Mugabe.
Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank governor on platinum road
show in SA after sparking panic over forex earnings
show investors the eye of his investment storm December 1,
By Alex Dawson
Harare - Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank
governor, Gideon Gono, is in Johannesburg today to address the country's
business community and apparently to try to salvage a huge South African
platinum investment that he may have jeopardised.
Gono announced in the Zimbabwe press that he was taking a platinum road show
He will probably want to explain the tremors he
set off when he told the industry in October that it could no longer keep
foreign currency earnings offshore despite agreements to do just that, which
the international owners of the mines Mimosa, Unki and Zimplats had struck
with the Zimbabwe government from 1992.
The platinum mining
houses say they are obliged to keep their foreign currency earnings offshore
or else foreign investors will not back them.
The Reserve Bank
insists the mining houses should keep their foreign currency in domestic
foreign currency accounts but because the Reserve Bank frequently raids
these for scarce foreign exchange, no one trusts them, especially not big
players who need vast injections of foreign capital, like the platinum
When Gono - either ignorant of the special dispensations
negotiated by the platinum industry or perhaps just desperate for foreign
currency to pay for Zimbabwe's fuel and other essentials - made his
announcement in October, it sparked panic among South African
These investors had been ready to pour at least $1
billion (R6 billion) into expansion of the three mines - the biggest South
African investment in Zimbabwe and the largest injection of capital into
this economy in a decade.
In about 12 years it would have
provided a 10-fold increase in production, beginning after five years of
massive job creation, housing, injections into industries like construction,
in central Zimbabwe.
The investment and the expansion is reportedly
on hold. So is the proposed deal by the black economic empowerment Nkululeko
consortium to buy a 15 percent share in Zimplats with the backing of South
Industry sources said that President Thabo Mbeki
had called Gono to ask him to reverse his decision and make this clear to
the platinum industry.
The investment and the expansion would
not happen unless he did so. And even if he did, new agreements would have
to be negotiated and the start-up would be delayed until about September
Something else he will need to clarify today is his
statement last Friday to the Zimbabwe Independent that Zimbabwe wanted to
reap the rewards of beneficiation of platinum matte, which is now done in
South Africa at one of only five platinum refineries in the
Most mining sources north and south of the Limpopo shrugged
off his statement as just a smokescreen to cover his massive October
platinum blunder, as the technology and construction of a refinery were so
expensive that there would be no returns for decades.
platinum adds about 7 percent in value to the raw platinum that contains
traces of several other metals.
So the industry will be listening
carefully to what Gono says today, packaging his message, no doubt, with his
success in cutting hyperinflation by more than half since January, though
the results of this have not been felt by the man in the
He will probably also sincerely criticise those officials
of his government who continue to damage the economy by arresting tourists
and invading the few remaining commercial farms and foreign
Gono is Mugabe's front man in a multipronged effort to
restore the Zanu-PF government's international respectability.
But he will have to sort out the platinum problem first.
COSATU CALLS FOR URGENT MEETING WITH ANC OVER ZIMBABWE Wed
1 December 2004 JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions
(COSATU) yesterday called on the African National Congress (ANC) party to
arrange an urgent meeting to discuss President Thabo Mbeki's handling of
Zimbabwe and other differences threatening to split South Africa's ruling
The tripartite alliance, which is led by the ANC, also
includes the South African Communist Party (SACP).
calling on the ANC to exercise its leadership role," COSATU general
secretary Zwelinzima Vavi told reporters in Johannesburg. He added: "We want
an end to this (wrangling over Zimbabwe and other issues). If we had the
choice we would be in a meeting as we speak to iron out the
Vavi, who said some ANC leaders had already informally
agreed on the need for a meeting, spoke after a meeting of COSATU's national
leadership and its affiliates to discuss mounting tensions within the
alliance over Pretoria's stance on Zimbabwe and its black economic
COSATU has wrangled with the ANC after its
fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe was bundled out of that country by
President Robert Mugabe against an order by the Harare High Court barring
the mission's deportation.
Mbeki and the ANC, who have refused to
openly criticise Mugabe insisting on "quiet diplomacy" towards Harare, did
not come to the defence of COSATU, and instead chided the union for sending
the mission in the first place.
But the powerful union declared
it would defy Mbeki's softly-softly approach towards Harare by sending
another fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe next year.
it is also going to blockade Zimbabwe's lifeline Beitbridge border with
South Africa this month to protest human rights violations by Mugabe and his
COSATU this week also readily weighed in with support
for internationally respected retired Anglican archbishop Desmond Tutu who
attacked senior officials of the ANC for failing to challenge Mbeki's
controversial policies on Zimbabwe and his handling of the Aids
Until now, Mbeki and his Foreign Affairs Minister,
Nkosazana Dhlamini-Zuma, have dictated policy on Zimbabwe with little
challenge from the ANC's former allies in the struggle. - ZimOnline
Secret service agency to gobble Z$396 billion next year Wed
1 December 2004
HARARE - Zimbabwe's dreaded spy agency is set to
gobble a massive Z$395.8 billion next year, according to expenditure
estimates released yesterday.
The Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO) secret service, which falls directly under President
Robert Mugabe's office, receives a budget under the special services
allocations which is not subjected to parliamentary scrutiny.
The massive surge in expenditure by the CIO, is six times more than the Z$62
billion which had been approved for 2004.
This year alone, the
secret agency spent Z$101.6 billion, way above its Z$62 billion budget
allocation. No parliamentary approval was sought for the
A separate equipment procurement account for special
services is also set to increase from Z$10 billion to Z$61.3 billion in
2005. It could not be established what sort of equipment the secret agency
The decision to pump in more money into the CIO comes
a few months before Zimbabwe holds a crucial parliamentary election when
Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF party squares up against the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) next March.
Human rights groups have
consistently accused Mugabe of using secret service agents to crush voices
of dissent in the country in a bid to hold on to power.
feared spy agency is accused of systematically master-minding the harassment
and torture of opposition MDC supporters in the run up to elections in
Zimbabwe. - ZimOnline
ZANU PF congress kicks off amid crunching poverty Wed 1
December 2004 HARARE - The ruling ZANU PF party begins its congress in
Harare today amidst a crumbling economy, food shortages, record poverty and
unemployment but analysts yesterday said long-suffering Zimbabweans should
expect little from the gathering.
They said the four-day
congress, held after every five years, will have little to do with resolving
the country's deepening political and economic crisis but more about solving
power struggles within ZANU PF.
University of Zimbabwe lecturer and
political commentator Heneri Dzinotyiwei said: "It does not concern ordinary
citizens as it is not expected to solve the political and economic problems
prevailing in the country. It is very much to do with power
struggles in the party which are not going to help address current
Instead of coming up with solutions to a painful
five-year economic recession that has seen shortages of every life-saving
commodity, ZANU PF - which has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from
Britain in 1980 - is expected to use the meeting to mobilise its ranks in
order to win next year's general election and retain power.
"(The congress) will concentrate on mobilisation of membership ahead of next
March's parliamentary elections," he said.
Assembly chairman Lovemore Madhuku said although the congress was expected
to usher in Water Resources Minister, Joyce Mujuru, as ZANU PF's second
vice-president, firmly putting her in line to succeed Mugabe as party and
possibly state president, nothing else would change.
whose assembly fights for a new and democratic constitution for Zimbabwe,
said: "The congress is not significant to the ordinary person. It must be
He said the congress would have had impact on Zimbabwe
if it was going to usher in a completely new leadership for ZANU PF, which
could have seen the ruling party probably changing direction and
But Mugabe - the only ruler Zimbabweans have ever known -
will be retained as ZANU PF leader after all the party's 10 provinces
unanimously selected him as their preferred choice.
other vice-president, Joseph Msika and party chairman, John Nkomo, are also
retained in the four-member presidium with Mujuru, a Mugabe loyalist, as the
only new addition. - ZimOnline
US$20 million Reserve Bank bond flops Wed 1 December
2004 HARARE - A US$20 million bond floated by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
in October to raise hard cash flopped as investors fearful of the country's
risk rating shied away from the junk bond.
The one year foreign
currency denominated bond, referred to by market players as a junk bond
because of Zimbabwe's poor credit rating, was floated on October 1. The
offer closed on November 1.
The central bank said the bond, which
was open to foreign investors, resident and non-resident Zimbabweans was to
"assist in mobilising foreign exchange for the country's critical import
But finance industry sources told ZimOnline there
were virtually no takers for the bond.
An analyst with a Harare
investment company, who spoke anonymously for professional reasons, said:
"The bond was a flop because of a variety of reasons including the perceived
high risk of doing business with Zimbabwe.
"The other reason was
that the central bank packaged the bond under its Homelink initiative which
might have resulted in other investors, who are not necessarily Zimbabweans
living abroad, failing to see it."
Homelink is a scheme launched by
the central bank earlier this year to entice Zimbabweans living abroad to
send hard cash home through official channels and not through the black
Economic analyst and an RBZ adviser, Eric Bloch, said the
bank had failed to attract investors because of poor timing. He said: "The
bond flopped because the timing was just incorrect. Another bond will be
re-floated onto the market through a tap issue."
To lure a
sceptical market, the central bank had offered to pay investors the full
amount of the bond plus interest in hard cash on the day of
Zimbabwe is in the grip of a foreign currency crisis that
has manifested itself through shortages of electricity, fuel, essential
drugs and other basic commodities because there is no hard cash to pay
foreign suppliers. - ZimOnline
File on High Court judge's suit disappears Wed 1 December
2004 HARARE - A file on the matter in which Judge President Paddington
Garwe is being sued for illegally occupying a farm has gone missing at the
High Court, sources told ZimOnline last night.
The missing file
has delayed the hearing of the application in which white farmer,
Christopher Geoffrey Tracey, is accusing Garwe and his business partner of
unlawfully taking over his Mount Lothian Estate in Mashonaland East
Tracey is also accusing Garwe and retired army colonel,
Godfrey Mutemachani, with whom the judge is jointly occupying his farm of
failing to pay for US$30 000 worth of farm equipment he sold to
"The case was expected to be an urgent application but
proceedings have been delayed because of the disappearance of the file. We
cannot locate it but we are investigating," said an official in the
Registrar's office, who did not want to be named for fear of
The High Court registrar could not be reached for
comment on the missing file last night.
Officials at the
Attorney General's office had two weeks ago told ZimOnline that they were
under pressure to speed up the case and use it to embarrass Garwe as
punishment for his October acquittal of opposition Movement for Democratic
Change party leader Morgan Tsvangirai on treason.
between Tracey and Garwe is a civil one and the AG is not normally involved
in such cases.
But acting AG, Bharat Patel said his office was
involved because Tracey had also named the Ministry of Lands as a respondent
because he alleges it improperly issued Garwe and Mutemachani letters
allowing them to occupy his property.
Garwe, who is head of the
High Court, surprisingly dismissed state charges that Tsvangirai had plotted
to murder Mugabe ahead of the March 2002 presidential election when many had
expected him to convict the opposition leader and sentence him to at least a
long prison term. - ZimOnline
Chimakure Last updated: 12/01/2004 11:01:26 ZIMBABWE'S chief prosecutor
has filed papers with the Supreme Court challenging the acquittal of
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on treason charges relating to an
alleged plot to overthrow the government of President Robert
Acting Attorney General Bharat Patel filed papers with Zimbabwe's
top court Monday as Tsvangirai was winding-up his tour of Europe before
flying back to Zimbabwe on Thursday.
"An application for leave to
appeal against Tsvangirai's acquittal by the High Court was lodged with the
Supreme Court on November 29 this year. This sets the motion for our
appeal," Patel said. "I cannot show the court papers to you at the moment
because I am out of my office. Come tomorrow."
However, MDC secretary for
legal affairs David Coltart said he was not aware of the Supreme Court
application. He said he needed to consult Tsvangirai's lawyers as he was of
the opinion that the Attorney General's office had not lodged an appeal
within the stipulated time.
"I am not aware of the application for leave
to appeal. I need to consult Tsvangirai's lawyers," Coltart said. "To me it
seems the Attorney General's office is late in filing the application. I
would have thought that their time to lodge the application
Coltart, a Bulawayo-based lawyer, said normally applications
for leave to appeal and appeals were done within 21 days.
night Patel said he was not sure of what Coltart was referring to. "I don't
understand what he meant. Anyway we needed to get the High Court's final
judgment record before we could proceed with the application. We have
followed the law," Patel said.
High Court Judge President, Justice
Paddington Garwe on October 15 found Tsvangirai not guilty of high
He was accused of plotting to kill President Mugabe ahead of
elections controversially won by the Zanu PF leader in
Tsvangirai's defence was that State security agents framed him, and
Garwe ruled that the evidence was not sufficient to convict the MDC
leader. The case revolved around the testimony of Ari Ben-Menashe, a
Canada-based consultant who was dismissed as unreliable by the
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa hinted that the State would
appeal against the judgment, arguing that Justice Garwe had played down the
evidence tabled in court. Daily Mirror