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

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If you would like to protest at the French Govenment's invitation to Robert Mugabe, you may send a message  direct to French President Jacques Chirac at this website:

Bonne Chance!
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Mugabe seizes weather service
By Philip Sherwell

     HARARE, Zimbabwe - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who has clamped
down on the opposition, driven white farmers off their land and banned
foreign journalists, now has turned his attention to the weather forecasts.
     The president's office took control of the forecasting service last
week after learning that the drought-affected country is facing two more
years of low rainfall.
     "The government does not want any information on the weather to be
leaked," an official from the Meteorological Office said. "All our forecasts
are to be sent to the president's office, and only then can they be
     The president's office is expected to remove the most negative aspects
before authorizing their release, the official said.
     Informed sources said Mr. Mugabe feared that the revelation that no
early end to the drought was in sight would heighten discontent at a time
when nearly half the country's 13 million people are going hungry. Food
riots have already erupted in the capital, Harare, and the southwestern city
of Bulawayo this month.
     The development came as the World Food Program said the harvest of the
staple food of maize would be poor for the next two years. "The government
and humanitarian agencies need to begin preparing for serious and widespread
food insecurity for 2003/2004," it said in a report.
     The impact of the regional drought has been compounded by Mr. Mugabe's
crude land- redistribution program, which has crippled the country's
agricultural sector and left swaths of fertile land unplanted.
     James Morris, a U.N. special envoy on southern Africa, yesterday
lamented the loss of the country's white farmers. "A highly productive part
of the agricultural community is no longer engaged in agricultural
production," he said during a visit to Harare.
     Nearly all of Zimbabwe's white commercial farmers, who numbered 4,500
three years ago, have had their land seized by the government.
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England consider Zimbabwe plea
Nasser Hussain
Hussain has a lot to think about
English cricket officials are at loggerheads as players consider requesting their match in Zimbabwe be switched.

The players, through their representative Richard Bevan, will release a statement on Monday outlining their position on the match to be played in Harare on 13 February.

The chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), David Morgan, revealed on Friday players were "examining their consciences".

He admitted England captain Nasser Hussain had sought him out to express moral concerns after receiving letters threatening violence at the games.

"Nasser advised me that players who were ready to go a week ago were less ready now," Morgan said.

We are totally surprised at David Morgan's comments
Richard Bevan
Professional Cricketers Assoc.

Bevan said on Sunday he was incensed Morgan would suggest the players were not unified on the matter.

"Maybe we expected to get ambushed by the media but not by the chairman of the ECB," he said on BBC Radio Five Live.

"Players have had reservations for a number of weeks but that's not to say they wouldn't commit to the ECB and go."

Bevan also criticised the British government for not providing England with a lead they could follow.

"If the government had made it clear back in March that there were going to be sporting and economic sanctions maybe players would have taken a stronger lead," Bevan said.

Tim Lamb
Lamb understands players' concerns

"What is the point in them putting massive pressure on them six weeks before the tournament to make a decision that could financially crucify them?"

The ECB decided on 20 January not to boycott the match, saying the only way players would not be required to honour their contracts is if their safety was at risk.

The ECB's chief executive, Tim Lamb, said he saw no reason for the matches to be switched.

"I have confidence in the security directorate of the ICC and the word seems to be that it is safe for the matches to be played.

"We understand that the players are concerned about the deplorable events that are going on in Zimbabwe but the best information we have is that the players are fully committed to going.

"I very much hope the outcome of the statement will be that the players reaffirm their intention to go provided the security situation is kept under review."

I don't think in life people should take the easy option and grab get out of jail cards
Malcolm Gray
ICC president

Each participating nation has been assured players will be cocooned by a heavy police presence both in the build-up and during matches.

However, Bevan said that the team had "serious concerns for safety and security".

"In England there is a common sense view that the fixtures should be moved from Zimbabwe and Kenya to South Africa," he said.

The International Cricket Council on Friday confirmed the match, one of six in Zimbabwe, would go ahead.

But representatives of all 10 Test-playing nations will meet again in a further telephone hook-up next Thursday to discuss the matter.

The ICC would not take the "easy option" and move the games on grounds of security, said president Malcolm Gray.

"Zimbabwe is a full member of the ICC and has the same right as every other member to host part of the World Cup when it is in their region," Gray said.

"The ICC is made up of 85 member countries, all coming from different cultural, religious and political backgrounds.

"At this stage we will be proceeding with the matches."

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Five foreign journalists arrested in Zimbabwe

      January 26 2003 at 04:15PM

By Cris Chinaka

Harare - Zimbabwe has arrested five foreign journalists for allegedly
entering the southern African country under false pretenses, and might
charge them under tough media and security laws, police said on Sunday.

The five from the United States, Finland, Kenya and two from Germany were
"picked up" on Saturday together with a Zimbabwean reporter from a private
daily newspaper after travelling to Zimbabwe's central district of
Zvishavane on their assignment, the police's chief spokesperson said.

Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said the police were not yet ready
to release details of those detained, but it was investigating them on a
number issues.

      'Technically, they are not yet under arrest'
"Technically, they are not yet under arrest, but we picked them up on
information that they entered the country under false pretenses, declaring
that they were working for some aid agency, and had come to monitor food
distribution," he said.

Bvudzijena was responding to a report in the official Sunday Mail newspaper
that some journalists were under arrest.

"Our laws say foreign journalists must apply to come into the country, and
these journalists also have some interesting documents suggesting they could
be on some clandestine mission," he told Reuters.

"If we charge them, we could charge them for entering the country under
false pretenses or under the Public Order and Security Act while the local
journalist could be charged with assisting in contravening national laws,"
he added.

The Sunday Mail said the foreign journalists were "suspected to have been
sent into the country to secretly write stories aimed at tarnishing the
image of the government."

The Zimbabwean government has waged a relentless campaign against the
Western press in the past three years, accusing some journalists of
spearheading a hate campaign against President Robert Mugabe's government.

Last year, the government passed tough media laws to a clamour of protest
from media freedom organisations, banning foreign journalists from being
based permanently in Zimbabwe and requiring journalists to apply to come
into the country for short periods.

Media houses and Zimbabwean journalists are obliged to apply to a
government-controlled media and information commission for permission to
operate and work in the country.

The law punishes "abuse of journalistic privilege," such as publishing
falsehoods, with fines and up to two years in prison.

More than a dozen journalists have been charged under the media laws,
including a US citizen and correspondent for Britain's Guardian newspaper,
Andrew Meldrum, who was acquitted last July of charges of reproducing a
false story.

Meldrum, a Zimbabwe permanent resident, is challenging his subsequent
deportation from the country.

In November, Zimbabwe's Supreme Court reserved judgment on a challenge by
journalists against the media laws.
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The Weekend Australian

Zimbabwe - the doubts persist
By Jon Pierik
January 27, 2003
RICKY Ponting has admitted Australia is still uncertain over whether it will
go ahead and play its World Cup match in strife-torn Zimbabwe.

The Australian one-day captain revealed he and his teammates have some
reservations about playing in the troubled African nation where they are
slated to meet the host nation in Bulawayo on February 24.

"I really don't know what to expect when I get there, if we go," Ponting

"That decision is probably still up in the air a little bit. It's not in
concrete yet as to whether we are going to go or not."

Asked whether there was some concern among the team, Ponting replied: "A
little bit, I think there will always be."

Ponting's comments place a query over whether the Australian Cricket Board

will reconsider its decision to procede with the match.

The board continues to take advice from the International Cricket Council,
who at the weekend said it was happy with the safety and security measures
in Zimbabwe.

The ACB is also being guided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
and will take "private and independent" advice closer to the match.

"We reserve the right not to go there right up until the last minute," an
ACB spokesman said. "Even if we arrive at the airport and have to fly out
straight away we will."

DFAT's latest travel advice warns Australians to "maintain a high level of
personal security awareness. Australians should avoid large gatherings or
public demonstrations, especially in Harare, regional cities and towns. The
deteriorating economic situation is leading some people to desperate and
criminal activity, and has increased the risk of incidents of civil

Already England players have been threatened with violence if they obey the
decision by their board to play Zimbabwe in Harare on February 13.

The chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, David Morgan, said the
players received written threats at their team hotel in Sydney before last
Thursday's first VB Series final.

The letters said that if England attempted to play against Zimbabwe there
would be riots and other disruptions.

England's players have raised questions about the moral implications of
playing in a country ruled by despised President Robert Mugabe.

Captain Nasser Hussain has long made it clear the moral issue was of
paramount importance.

Through their players union boss Richard Bevan, England is expected to
release a formal statement today outlining its concerns about the fixture.

"It's not going to be world shattering news, it's just what the side thinks
at the moment," Hussain said.

The ICC has insisted it is not a political organisation and is only
concerned with the security and safety of the players.

Morgan believes the security issue in Zimbabwe has worsened in recent weeks
following incidents relating to further food and fuel shortages.

Hussain said he had "no idea" whether the game would ultimately gp ahead but
said it had become a major talking point among the players.

"It's become a huge story," he said. "When you are getting things in the
dressingroom in Sydney and stuff players do think we have to have a chat.

"We do chat, we are just not numb-heads that bury our heads in the sand.
Especially some of the senior players get together and have a chat.

"It has been in the back of my mind."

Shane Warne, like Ponting, said he would continue to be guided by the ACB
and ICC.

"I think for a cricketer it's probably the ultimate to play in a World Cup,"
Warne said.

"If that means we'll have to play in certain countries, where-ever that is,
that means we'll play there."
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Zimbabwe Mirror

Will Troika act against Zim?
Tawanda Majoni

SHARP differences might emerge in the Commonwealth troika ahead of its
meeting in March to assess the progress made by Zimbabwe since its
suspension from the Club 10 months ago.

The differences, The Sunday Mirror has learnt, arise from contradicting
interpretations of the mandate of the troika when the 12 months of
suspension Zimbabwe was slapped with in March 2002 expires.

South African President, Thabo Mbeki insists that the troika will not have
any mandate to act on Zimbabwe at the end of the 12 month suspension period,
while the troika secretariat in London says it will have the authority to do

In addition to Mbeki, the troika also comprises Prime Minister John Howard
of Australia and Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

In a recent address to the South African parliament, Mbeki reportedly
pointed out that the troika's mandate ended when it decided to suspend
Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth following allegations of human rights abuses
and political intolerance by the government.

"And that's the beginning and the end of the mandate of the committee,"
Mbeki is quoted in a South African weekly, The Sunday Times, as saying when
he addressed parliament.

However, a London based spokesman for the Commonwealth Secretariat, Joel
Kibazo had a different view, saying the troika still had the power to
deliberate on Zimbabwe even beyond March this year when it meets to give its
verdict on whether the country should be fully suspended or re-admitted to
the Club. The venue of the troika meeting, the Commonwealth secretariat has
said, is yet to be decided. "They (troika members) have not exhausted their
mandate, but are still tasked with the issue of Zimbabwe until Chogm
(Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) meets again in December in
 Abuja," Kibazo is quoted by The Sunday Times as saying.

Speaking in a telephone interview from London Kibazo, told The Sunday Mirror
that the troika would deliberate on Zimbabwe, adding however that there was
a general agreement that Chogm would decide the way forward.

Acknowledging that Zimbabwe was "an important part of the Commonwealth",
Kibazo played down the possibility of a split in the troika. "We are not
necessarily talking of divisions within the troika. Even family members
sometimes have different points of view but that does not mean they are no
longer one. The Commonwealth is a family," said Kibazo.

This would not be the first time the troika has been split on matters of
position. In September, Mbeki and Obasanjo vetoed Howard's attempt to throw
Zimbabwe out of the Club when the troika met in Abuja, Nigeria. Howard's
hopes to have Zimbabwe banned from the Commonwealth in Abuja were dashed
when Mbeki and Obasanjo rejected the idea, insisting that Harare should be
given up to March this year before a comprehensive decision could be made.

Mbeki and Obasanjo, some analysts say, allowed themselves to be overshadowed
and bullied by Howard and McKinnon at Marlborough on March 19, 2002 when it
was agreed to suspend Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth.

The two leaders' decision to agree with the suspension was seen as a move to
woo funds from the G-8, which had promised to bankroll the New Partnership
for Africa's Development (Nepad), an economic blueprint ostensibly designed
to improve the continent's economic situation.

However, when the money did not come the two leaders became disillusioned,
analysts say, hence their determined effort to put their weight behind

The issue of the mandate has been thrown into further confusion by
interpretations being given by different diplomats.

The Australian government, through their High Commission spokesman in South
Africa, Tim Huggins, said the troika said could act further against Zimbabwe
even without referring any issue to the Commonwealth.

He added that stronger measures might need to be considered since "nothing
has improved" in the country.

The Australian High Commissioner to Zimbabwe, Jonathan Brown differed with
Huggins. He said after compiling its report based on findings made by the
troika, the three heads of state would need to consult with the Commonwealth
secretary general on the way forward.

"I suppose the troika will have to dialogue with the Secretary General of
the Commonwealth to find the way forward," said Brown. The South African
chief government spokesperson, Joel Nechitenje in an attempt to clarify
Mbeki's statement in parliament, acknowledged the confusion that had arisen
from his President's statement.

He said Mbeki "might" have meant that whatever findings the troika would
make, they were only entitled to make recommendations to the Commonwealth
for decisions.

"I suppose that what the President meant was that whatever deliberations the
troika made, its authority would be limited to making recommendations to the
Commonwealth as a body," said Nechitenje.

However, when Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth on March 19th
2002, the troika had earlier been mandated by a decision made in Coolum,
Australia by Chogm, to "determine appropriate Commonwealth action on

The troika suspended Zimbabwe from the councils of the Commonwealth
following an adverse report that implicated the government of President
Robert Mugabe in voter intimidation, a flawed electoral system and
harassment of journalists in the run-up to the presidential elections, which
were held from the 9th to the 11th of March. The Marlborough House
Statement, which was issued when Zimbabwe was suspended, while acknowledging
that land formed the core of Zimbabwe's problems then, called for
reconciliation between Zanu PF and the Movement for Democratic Change as
well as addressing issues of food shortages, economic recovery, the
restoration of political stability and the rule of law and peaceful conduct
of future elections.

Some commentators have pointed out that some of the stipulations have become
irrelevant, saying that there has been a marked decrease in political
violence and instability while the fast track land reform programme is
winding up.

But Kibazo maintained that there was a whole range of other things to be
considered, without elaborating.

The taskforce comprising the three heads of state was empowered to decide on
measures that ranged from a statement of disapproval to complete suspension
from the Commonwealth.

Concerns have been raised over the method of gathering information that the
troika will use to assess the situation in the country, with some analysts
saying there was a great likelihood that most of that information would be

Kibazo was however upbeat about the validity of the evidence gathering
process. "The secretary general is very well versed. He will depend on a
wide range of reliable sources that include the Commonwealth political
division, diplomatic sources as well as discussions with several governments
involved," he said.

He however bemoaned the fact that the Commonwealth secretary general, Don
McKinnon's efforts to interact with Zimbabwe had been frustrated by
government officials, contrary to the commonwealth resolution that called
for dialogue with Harare. A diplomatic attache based in Harare said Mbeki's
interpretation of the mandate of the troika was incorrect. She said it would
be inconsistent for the troika to wind up business at the expiry of the
twelve months period during which Zimbabwe was under Commonwealth scrutiny.

"Mbeki involves himself in a contradiction. When the Commonwealth tasked the
troika to monitor Zimbabwe's progress in the wake of allegations of excesses
in governance and human rights matters, it was clear that it had the power
to act against the suspended member," she said.

She added that the South African President might have foreseen the
difficulty that his country and Nigeria might find themselves in if the
report was damning. She said Pretoria was afraid of being labelled an
African traitor, in spite of Mbeki's "celebrated call for the African
Renaissance", if Zimbabwe was banned. Mbeki has been accused in the media
and by western countries of being too soft on Zimbabwe. Pretoria was
persistently criticised for its quiet diplomacy when dealing with Harare.

Responding to the charge that South Africa was too close to the government
of Robert Mugabe to assume an objective and, if need be, tough stance,
Nechitenje said what was crucial was for Zimbabwe to be given the chance to
solve its own problems.

"Our ties with Zimbabwe have a historical basis in that the ruling party was
a revolutionary movement with which the ANC (African National Congress) had
a symbiosis during the fight against colonialism.

"However, we do appreciate the need for international support based on the
principle of autonomous problem solving by Zimbabweans themselves," said
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The Weekend Australian

UK vetoes Mugabe Paris trip
From The Sunday Times' Peter Conradi in London
January 27, 2003

BRITAIN has blocked a French invitation to Zimbabwe's President Robert
Mugabe to attend a summit of African leaders in Paris, setting the stage for
a row over sanctions against Zimbabwe at a meeting of European Union foreign
ministers in Brussels today.

The British Government had been expected to give a green light to the French
request for a temporary waiving of a travel ban on Mr Mugabe, allowing him
to go to the meeting, which begins on February 19. In return, Paris was
expected to agree to drop objections to the renewal of EU sanctions against
Zimbabwe - including the travel ban on Mr Mugabe and more than 80 of his
associates - which expire the day before the Paris summit.

In an apparent about-turn, Britain on Saturday formally registered its
objection - a move backed by Germany, Sweden and The Netherlands, which also
have misgivings about any action that could be seen as legitimising Mr

The invitation will now be discussed at the Brussels meeting, which will be
dominated by the question of sanctions.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and his European counterparts will also
have to address the even more ticklish problem of whether to allow Mr Mugabe
to attend an EU summit in Lisbon in April. Diplomats said it was still
possible that some deal might yet be done to permit Mr Mugabe or an
associate to attend.

France, which retains close ties with its former African colonies, including
war-torn Ivory Coast, has been critical of the effectiveness of sanctions
against Zimbabwe. It claimed it wanted to use Mr Mugabe's presence in Paris
to press the case for an end to farm seizures and respect for human rights.

Diplomats said the invitation was also prompted by fears that leaders of
other African countries might embarrass French President Jacques Chirac by
boycotting the event if Mr Mugabe were barred from attending.

Britain's International Development Secretary Clare Short said last week it
was "unimaginable" the French could contemplate welcoming Mr Mugabe.

The British move was expected to be welcomed by the Zimbabwean opposition.
Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, said he was
opposed to Mr Mugabe going to Paris or Lisbon.

"Any avenue granted to Mugabe to attend international meetings at which he
is treated as a statesman and an equal is an affront to the people of
Zimbabwe," he said.

The latest twist in the affair came as members of the England cricket team
received anonymous letters threatening them with violence if they travel to
Zimbabwe for next month's World Cup.

David Morgan, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, said letters
warning of riots and disturbances had been sent to the players' hotel in

The International Cricket Council decided on Friday all six of the matches
to be played in Zimbabwe would go ahead after reviewing security
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'Fully committed'

ECB chief claims England players all set for Zimbabwe
Posted: Sunday January 26, 2003 11:29 AM

LONDON (AP) -- Tim Lamb, chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket
Board, believes England will play its World Cup match next month in Zimbabwe
despite reports that players have concerns about going.

Players' representative Richard Bevan said Sunday cricketers had "been put
under a massive amount of pressure" and would make a statement Monday about
their plans for the Feb. 13 match in Harare.

"I very much hope the outcome of that statement is that the players reaffirm
their intention to go provided that the security situation is kept closely
under review in the run-up to the match," Lamb said.

"But all I can do is to assure you that the ECB would never knowingly send
its players into any country, Zimbabwe or anywhere, if it felt that those
players were under threat."

"But the best information we have, and I'm in regular touch with Richard
Bevan ... is that the players are fully committed to going."

Bevan, managing director of the Professional Cricketers Association, called
the decision "one of the most difficult positions that the game has had in
many years."

Sunday newspapers in Britain widely reported that England players are
opposed to playing in Zimbabwe, but understand they are bound by contract to
play there.

The British government has opposed England playing the match and has put
pressure on the England and Wales Cricket Board to withdraw, citing human
rights violations committed by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

On Saturday, England cricketers in Australia said they received leaflets
threatening protests at the Feb. 13 match. There was no suggestion of
violence, but the leaflets did sew doubts about security arrangements.

The ECB has said security was a concern about playing in Zimbabwe, but said
it was satisfied with the arrangements.

The World Cup opening ceremony is Feb. 8 with most of the matches scheduled
for South Africa.

"Myself and my colleagues at the ECB have never sought to support or condone
what's happening in that country (Zimbabwe), so I can understand the
misgivings of the players," Lamb said.

Bevan said he was angry with ECB chairman David Morgan, who was the source
of many of the stories in Sunday's newspapers.

Malcolm Gray, president of the International Cricket Council -- the
organizing body for the World Cup -- defended Zimbabwe's right to host

"I don't think in life people should just grasp for get-out-of-jail cards,"
he said. "You don't just take the easy option.

"Zimbabwe is a full member of the ICC and has the same right as any other
member to host part of the World Cup when it's in their region."

Asked what his reaction would be if there were trouble, he replied:
"Obviously, if it did happen, I would be very upset, the same as I was at
Lord's a year or so ago when a full beer can was thrown at a player on the
balcony, or when there were demonstrations at another major ground in

"Wherever it happens round the world, if there are disturbances, obviously
it's a worry and we don't like it."

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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to:
Open Letter Forum <>


There are three emails in this edition of the Open Letter forum. Two focus
on the issue of the World Cup Cricket, whilst the third takes issue with
the policies of the CFU in a rather imaginative manner.

Letter 1: Ben Freeth


With the World Cup Cricket taking place very soon, the debate being played
out in the media and in all our minds is "Should the worlds' cricketers
play in Zimbabwe or not?"

 The question centres around whether sport and Politics are separate or
intrinsically linked.  In an ideal world sport is about sportsmanship and
it is a very healthy pastime in any society.  Whether we like it or not
though sport has been hijacked by politics and the two go hand in hand.
Hitler in the 1936 Olympics was very quick to use sport for his
nationalist agenda. He stood in the Olympic arena and made huge political
capital for the Nazi Regime out of those Berlin Olympics. The communists
used sport in a political manner to exactly the same ends. Huge resources
were put towards sport in the communist world culminating in the Moscow
Olympics where many countries decided that they would Boycott in 1980,
after the invasion of Afghanistan.

In more recent years, during the apartheid regime in South Africa, sport
and politics were one and the same thing in the quest by the world to
destroy the apartheid regime.  Any sportsman that dared to play sport in
South Africa was banned from playing sport anywhere else in the world
subsequently.  A whole generation of South African sportsmen were confined
to playing sport in their own country and black-listed from playing sport

 The debate to-day is should the cricketers in the 6 matches that are
taking place in this current world cup next month come to Zimbabwe and
play in the world cup or should they boycott or should they put pressure
on the ICC to remove those matches from Zimbabwe and have them in South
Africa instead?

It is very clear that in the Zimbabwean situation politics and sport are
linked.  The President of Zimbabwe is the Patron of The Zimbabwe Cricket
Union. The cricket is undoubtedly being used as a showpiece to take the
eyes of the world off the terror that is currently reigning in Zimbabwe.

 The Zimbabwean regime is responsible for draconian laws far worse than
apartheid South Africa. It is responsible for severe Human Rights abuses.
It is responsible for the death of 20,000 people in Matebeleland and it is
responsible fully for the deliberate and malicious starvation of six to
eight million people. For the world to endorse the ICC's decision to come
to come to Zimbabwe is to endorse the policies that the Patron of
Zimbabwean cricket is responsible for.  The world has not recognized the
March 2002 Presidential elections and the president of Zimbabwe is, in
consequence an illegitimate President.  For the cricketers to come to
Zimbabwe would be to legitimise the illegitimate.  In the words of the
anti-apartheid campaigners, who included politicians like Peter Hain "You
cannot have normal sport in an abnormal society".

The players and the public alike who are coming to watch the match seem to
be intent only on looking after the safety of those players and the public
coming to Zimbabwe to watch the matches.

The safety of course has to guaranteed by the law enforcement agencies in
Zimbabwe. It is the law enforcement agencies that have been responsible
for the massive deprivation of Human Rights in Zimbabwe; the resultant
starvation; the loss of property rights; and the lack of the freedom of
the Press, the freedom of speech, the freedom of association, the freedom
to earn a living and the freedom to have a home.

President Mugabe is quoted as having said that he wanted cricket to be the
way Zimbabweans functioned in the future, because it's a game about
Gentlemen - about gentlemen and fair play'.  That was more than 20 years
ago.  In Zimbabwe to-day 'gentlemanly' behaviour is not something that is
enjoyed.  The total breakdown of the Rule of Law is about the total
breakdown of 'gentlemanly' behaviour. The principal is a very simple one -
like it or not it's about justice.  For the cricketers and their
mealie-mouthed organisations and Nation states to come to Zimbabwe, they
are evidently supporting double standards and the continuation of
injustice.  Where South Africa was concerned they were not prepared to
play but where Zimbabwe is concerned with its huge excesses of
ungentlemanly behaviour, they are prepared to play.  That is simply NOT


Letter 2: Marty Pereira (to the ICC)

Dear Sir,

                As a Zimbabwean I would like to inform you that the
cricket fraternity and British media has completely (and dangerously I
must add) missed the point in the Zimbabwe Cricket controversy.There is
very little danger from the opposition party who are peaceful, the danger
comes from the people who will be guarding the cricketers. Anybody who
does not believe that our Zanu pf will not hastate to murder an English
cricketer and arrest MDC members for the crime if they think it will
soften the British attitude towards them ,has no idea of who they are
dealing with.The police and legal system have perfected the art The army
and police true to their word to Mr Speed are already clubbing and
torturing opposition members to ensure that your cameras will see only
peace and order.

                To all the Barmy Army supporters I would suggest extreme
caution.... Do not turn left after leaving the cricket ground as you have
a 70% chance of being shot by an increasingly more paranoid presidential
guard. The average meal in Harare's fine hotels costs around 14000 Zim
Dollars for 2; a bottle of wine an extra $9000. The average monthly wage
for a family is Z$ 7000, a months supply of maize meal $6000 and this only
to Zanu PF Party card holders but party officials sell on the black market
for 3 times the price to others when available.  70 % are unemployed and
rely on their employed extended family. Bon Apartite The Media is banned
but not once have we heard an official objection by the News Channels and
they will screen the matches

             I would like to ask a favour of the English cricketers....
Please set aside 30 seconds of your time, just before you fall asleep and
use it to imagine what it feels like to have 50000 volts shot through your
genitals and repeated for 24 hours.

            Sleep well and enjoy your cricket

            Harare Zimbabwe


Letter 3: J.L.Robinson
The Chairman,

Dear Sir,

Zimbabwe is facing one of its worst agricultural, and social crises in
living memory and I am aware that you have made a valiant attempt to avert
at least some of the suffering - through your efforts over the last eight
months when you first envisaged the situation that we now find ourselves
in. This exact same situation actually occurred in Zululand one hundred
and seventy six years ago, according to E.A. Ritter in his book about
Shaka, King of the Zulu, (so named because he was the illegitimate child
of Nandi).

In October, 1827, Shaka's mother Nandi assed away. Nandi's passing had
such a profound effect on the King that apart from more than 7000 people
being massacred, he also decreed that "no cultivation should be allowed
during the following year; no milk should be used, but as drawn from the
cow should be all poured upon the earth; and all women should be found
with a child (thereafter) during the year should, with their husbands, be
put to death."

"After about three months, the country was in a parlous state" a gentleman
by the name of "Gala, of the Biyela clan determined to end the tyranny* he
went to Bulawayo and halting at the private enclosure of the royal kraal,
he shouted to the King within:

"Hau! O King, you have destroyed your country. What will you reign over?
Will you create a new race? Shall all die because your mother died?
Senzangakona died too; but there was not done what you do. And your
grandfather, Jama, died; yet these things were not done. You have
destroyed the country. Your country will be inhabited by other kings; for
your people will perish of famine. The fields are no longer weeded, the
cows no longer milked. They will be milked by those kings will cultivate
the soil; for your people no longer eat, no longer bear and the cattle are
no longer milked. As for me, O King, I say you are dead yourself through
this mother of yours.'

To Gala he gave fat cattle, acknowledging that the man had advised him

This did happen a long time ago, but I feel we can learn from Gala, and
that you can empathize with the man fully. Firstly, he recognized the
problem. Secondly, he did something about it. Thirdly, Gala only took
three months to act.

Next month the Farm Invasions celebrate their third birthday - years - not
months I may add - where cultivation has been prohibited on the basis of
the colour of your skin, and we now face a shortage of milk. I seek your
assistance, in that I am not an anointed one from the Private Enclosure of
the Royal CFU Kraal, and am ore of an Intestinal Beetle or
illegitimate/unwanted child to them, it seems. Please could you go to
Bulawayo, and find us an equivalent of that wise old man Gala of the
Biyela clan, from a hundred and seventy five years ago.

Yours faithfully, J. L. Robinson

All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not necessarily represent the official viewpoint
of Justice for Agriculture.

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JAG Sitrep January 26, 2003

ZRP Member in Charge Matobo, In Flagrant Contempt of High Court Rulings


Yesterday at midday six men in a pickup truck arrived at Anglesea Farm,
owned jointly by Mr Ian Pattullo and Joan Dodman, demanding that they
remove their cattle from Gladys farm next door. Gladys farm was originally
jointly owned by Anglesea Farm (Pvt) Ltd and the current owner, John Bull,
but is now leased by Anglesea Farm. It is under section 8 order, but
eviction notice has yet been delivered. Manie Delport, Ian Pattullo's
manager, refused to comply, stating that they could not be removed without
an eviction order. In the light of last years High Court Interim Relief
ruling from High Justice Cheda, there can be no eviction without a section
9 notice, and then only after the matter has been heard in court. The six
men left the farm at between nine and ten last night, and soon afterward,
five ZRP details in a ZRP vehicle visited Anglesea farm together with an
unidentified civilian. The member in charge of Matobo police station,
Inspector Sigulki, demanded that Ian Patullo and Manie Delport visit the
station for questioning in an attempt to resolve the issue.  He kept
deferring to the civilian behind the scenes. Pattullo stated that the
issue could be discussed and resolved on the farm. However, the MIC
guaranteed that they would not be arrested or harassed, so they came

Promises notwithstanding, the pair were both arrested. Dave Conolly and
Martin White, the FA Chairman, went to the station with a copy of the High
Court Interim Relief Ruling, but the member in charge said that he had no
knowledge of this High Court ruling, and refused to contact his superiors
to ascertain its authenticity.

After much argument they agreed to release Manie Delport, but Ian Patullo
is still being held. David Conolly is contacting lawyers today with a view
to bringing a contempt of court order against said member in charge.


On the night of 20th January, Mervyn Jelliman's house was burnt to the
ground. The house was worth approximately Zim $30,000,000.  Mervyn and his
wife and children, as well as his father and mother and his brother and
wife and children, were evicted from the farm by police land's committee
and settlers in mid August 2002.  It was their only farm.  They also lost
approximately 2100 tonnes of food crops growing in their irrigated fields.
Some of this was burnt but most of it was rained on and was marketed by
the settlers as undergrade.  Mervyn and family have not been allowed to
grow any maize this summer season or continue with any of their farming
programme at all, despite the farm not fitting into any of the government
criteria for acquisition.



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The Times - Letters

            January 27, 2003

            Church's support for Zimbabweans
            From the Bishops of Southwark and Rochester

            Sir, As Bishops who have links with Anglican dioceses in
Zimbabwe, we wish to add our support to the courageous statements made by
many Zimbabwean church leaders in the last year about the worsening
humanitarian and political situation in Zimbabwe. These statements, often
produced under difficult and intimidating circumstances, testify to their
commitment to the freedom and wellbeing of all Zimbabwean people.
            The Zimbabwean Government's indifference to the suffering of its
own people is illustrated by its response to the serious food shortages. The
efforts of Churches, NGOs and other concerned bodies in responding to the
humanitarian crisis has often been undermined in many areas by a deliberate
policy of rewarding or punishing voters according to their political
allegiance. Where food is distributed along party lines, individuals,
families and communities suffer.

            We remain alarmed by recent church statements from Zimbabwe that
suggest the Zanu (PF) party has orchestrated a campaign of violence,
intimidation and torture. The Zimbabwean Government must listen to the cries
of its own people and return to the path of justice, peace and good

            We remain committed to doing all we can to serve the people of
Zimbabwe and to support the Churches, NGOs and mission agencies in bringing
urgent relief to all those who desperately need food and help.

            Yours sincerely,
            MICHAEL ROFFEN:,
            Archbishops' Council,
            Church House,
            Great Smith Street, SW1P 3NZ.
            January 23.
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Independent (UK)

UK in sanctions deal over Mugabe visit
By Stephen Castle in Brussels
27 January 2003

Britain will try today to stave off the complete collapse of European
sanctions against Zimbabwe, even at the price of allowing the President,
Robert Mugabe, to attend an international summit in Paris.

With London and Paris at loggerheads over the French invitation to Mr
Mugabe, Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, will try to ensure that some
measures against Harare continue, even if President Mugabe is able to
exploit loopholes to attend international meetings.

The EU's visa ban and asset freeze against Zimbabwe's governing elite will
expire next month, a day before Mr Mugabe is due to attend a Franco-African
summit in Paris.

EU foreign ministers will meet today to decide whether to renew the
sanctions, which also include an embargo on the export of any weaponry that
could be used for internal repression. The dispute has highlighted the
difficulty for the 15-nation bloc of forging common foreign policies.

Under the current "smart" sanctions regime, the UK could bar Mr Mugabe from
travelling to Paris and has already signalled that it is opposed to France's
invitation. But if it uses a veto, France is likely to oppose the renewal of
the sanctions, which must be agreed unanimously, an outcome that would allow
President Mugabe to travel freely in time for the Franco-African summit.

"Our aim is to find a way that we can preserve sanctions," said one British
source, adding: "Unless we keep sanctions, Mugabe will be coming to Europe
as often as he likes. But, either way, there is no way we could prevent him
coming to Paris." The visa ban on Mr Mugabe and his ministers has proved
difficult to enforce because southern African nations have backed the
government in Zimbabwe, sometimes threatening to boycott meetings if Harare
is excluded.

That has left organisers of international conferences facing a dilemma.
France, which was always lukewarm about the idea of sanctions against
Zimbabwe, also argues that many other African leaders it is inviting to
Paris also have poor human rights records. Britain, in effect cornered, is
trying to make the best of a difficult situation and to guarantee that the
sanctions remain even if there are loopholes.

It is also trying to avert the prospect of an invitation to Mr Mugabe to
attend an EU-Africa summit in Lisbon on 5 April, a meeting that is due to be
attended by EU heads of government including Tony Blair.

Under a compromise that has been proposed by South Africa, and which is
backed by the UK, Zimbabwe would be represented by its foreign minister -
even though he is on the visa ban list - and Mr Mugabe would stay away from

Although support for such a move is widespread among a group of southern
African countries, it remains far from clear whether the Zimbabweans would
accept such a situation.

The EU-wide travel ban on the Zimbabwean elite was imposed last year after
the authorities in Harare prevented European observers from monitoring the
2002 presidential elections, in which Mr Mugabe was returned to power in a
disputed poll.
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