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

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Zimbabwe's accidental ambassador
Ron Reed

HEATH Streak knows by now what to expect when unfamiliar reporters dressed
in suits start turning up at his media conferences.

Politics is about to become entangled with sport again, and that's one of
the Zimbabwean captain's pet dislikes.
And so it was yesterday when today's game at the MCG ran a distant second on
the agenda to the controversial matter of whether the Australians should
keep their appointment to tour his country in May.

He hopes desperately that they do but it's not something he can influence
either way.

Streak, 29, has become used to having to act as a spokesman for his troubled

While most international cricket captains are expected to be authorities on
all manner of topics, the circumstances in Zimbabwe make his a tougher gig
than most.

And when you consider how much he has on his cricket plate -- he is by far
Zimbabwe's best bowler, near enough to its most reliable batsman, and
strategist, mentor and father figure to a young and struggling team -- he is
making a massive contribution.

Streak is the leading wicket-taker in this summer's one-day competition with
12 from six matches at the respectable economy rate of 4.64 and is now
batting as high as six.

The workload is not unenjoyable -- he loves everything about playing cricket
in Australia, especially against two of the world's best teams -- but he
admitted having to do so much could become "a little bit of a burden" at

That's especially the case with the off-field stuff.

"Because of the period we are going through politically and economically,
I've been in the firing line a lot," he said.

"That has put a lot more responsibility on my shoulders as captain.

"It's not just about cricket. I've been expected to give a lot of
information . . . in regards to what's happening outside the boundaries.

"I've tried to keep as focused as I can.

"There's only so much I can control as an individual and I try not to worry
about the uncontrollable.

"It's not something I enjoy doing, but something I've grown used to.

"I just hope we can get through this period in our history and I can answer
some more cricket questions."

Streak knows more about Zimbabwe's many problems than most, his father,
Dennis, having been jailed once for refusing to give up his land.

The family runs a game park near Bulawayo and Streak would be loath to ever
leave, as many of his fellow white citizens and some of the best cricketers
have done.

Despite everything, he is fiercely patriotic.

"My heart's there. I love my country," he said.

"Obviously there's a lot happening but it doesn't change one's love for your

"I have thought of leaving.

"Everyone thinks of a life elsewhere but I wouldn't do that by choice. It
would be a case of have to go than want to go."

He is confident that cricket will survive, saying his team's improved
performances over the past three games -- despite losing senior players
Craig Wishart and Mark Vermeulen to injury -- are an encouraging sign.

He has also observed that where once kids kicked footballs in the streets,
now they are playing cricket with makeshift bats and tennis balls.

So he will continue to lead the way, at least until the next World Cup and
hopefully for two or three years after that.

"We have to put things in perspective, but I'm pretty happy. Obviously
there's a lot of room for improvement, but we're a very young side and they
have learnt a great deal," Streak said.

"Hopefully we can pull off a win soon."

Now that would be something he'd enjoy talking about.

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The Scotsman

      'Spivs' Squandering Zimbabwe Aid Claim

      By Sian Clare, Political Staff, PA News

      The Government came under pressure today to prevent European Union aid
money to Zimbabwe being squandered by “spivs” supporting President Mugabe.

      Tories, at Commons question time, highlighted a report claiming most
EU money is wasted because of corrupt Zanu-PF officials.

      International Development Secretary Hilary Benn promised to
investigate further.

      But he told MPs the £62 million in humanitarian assistance which had
gone directly from the UK since the crisis began in 2001 had not been
subject to political interference.

      The UK Government was concentrating on feeding people, as six million
were at risk of starvation. The number was higher than previously thought,
he added.

      Britain was the second largest contributor to humanitarian aid in
Zimbabwe and also provided cash to tackle HIV/Aids.

      John Bercow, for Tories, said: “I would urge you to conduct an
assessment, given that the EC Court of Auditor’s report for 2002 has shown
that no less than 89% of EU aid money is wasted because Zanu-PF spivs buy
hard currency at official rates, sell it at black market rates and pocket
the exorbitant difference between the two.”

      He called for donor states and the EU to take control of the
conversion of aid into local money.

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From News24 (SA), 28 January

'Fed up by Menashe's antics'

Harare - Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, charged with
treason, testified Tuesday that he walked out of a meeting with political
consultant Ari Ben Menashe because he did not trust his motives. "It was
clear Menashe had ulterior motives and we walked out (of the meeting). I was
fed up by Menashe's antics," he told the Harare High Court. The state
accuses Tsvangirai, who attended a meeting in Montreal in December 2001 with
Ben Menashe, of requesting help to kill Mugabe ahead of 2002 presidential
elections. Tsvangirai said that he had stated that the army would have to
respect the outcome of the election. A grainy and partially audible black
and white videotape has been produced in court as evidence of his last
meeting with Ben Menashe. Tsvangirai earlier told the court that he and two
party officials were duped into believing Ben Menashe was genuinely
interested in promoting the MDC's image. Ben Menashe had promised Tsvangirai
and two senior members of his party, Welshman Ncube and Renson Gasela, that
he would help promote and lobby for international support for the MDC and
raise funds for the opposition party. The MDC leader claims he was set up by
Ben Menashe, who secretly video-recorded their last meeting in Montreal, to
destroy his political career.

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ICC chief: 'England will not tour Zimbabwe'
10.30AM, 28 Jan 2004

The president of the International Cricket Council, Ehsan Mani, has said he
thinks England's proposed winter tour of Zimbabwe will not go ahead.

Mani met senior England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) officials earlier this
week and he cannot see the controversial tour taking place.

He said: "I think the reality is that England will not tour Zimbabwe in

The ECB is set to meet to discuss the issue on Thursday although an
announcement on its final decision is not expected until next month.

Chairman of the ECB David Morgan said: "We haven't yet decided not to go.
Cancellation would be extreme; postponement would be a middle way. Playing
matches at a neutral venue would be another."

Such a solution would not go down well with Zimbabwe Cricket Union chairman
Peter Chingoka, who took the unusual step of e-mailing England's 18
first-class counties earlier this week to warn them of the possible
financial consequences if the tour is cancelled.

His actions appear to have backfired however, with Worcestershire chief
executive Mark Newton insisting the counties would not be bullied into a

He said: "You can always put pressure on people if you want to, but that
doesn't mean they will necessarily respond to it and I fail to see how
sending an e-mail like this is going to help Zimbabwe cricket at all.

"The counties have allowed the Management Board [of the ECB] to make that
decision for us because we believe they are the best qualified to do that."

ICC rules dictate that countries can only cancel tours if there are safety
concerns or are banned from doing so by their government.

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Zimbabwe: Growing Problem of Child Labour On Farms

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

January 28, 2004
Posted to the web January 28, 2004


When a lorry carrying farm workers crashed this month outside the capital,
Harare, killing 22 people, a number of children were among the fortunate

The tragedy came at the beginning of the new school year, when a rise in
school fees had forced many former farm workers - among the poorest of the
rural poor - to pull their children out of school. The children on the
lorry, aged between 13 and 18, were seeking piecework on neighbouring farms
to earn the money to continue with their schooling.

Prior to Zimbabwe's land reform programme in 2000, an estimated 320,000 to
350,000 farm workers, often from neighbouring countries, were employed on
commercial farms owned by about 4,500 white farmers. Their dependents
numbered around 2 million - more than 20 percent of the national population.

As a result of land reform, some 90 percent of commercial farms have been
redistributed, the majority broken up and parcelled out to newly settled
small-scale farmers.

The farm workers, many from neighbouring countries who had lived on the
commercial estates for generations, were suddenly faced with an uncertain
future. Not only did they lose their jobs, many also lost their entitlement
to free housing, education, basic health services and subsidised food.

Gertrude Hambira, secretary-general of the General Agricultural and
Plantation Workers' Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ), told IRIN that the new
settlers were able to absorb only a fraction of the former farm workers they
found living on the plantations. Many of those of Zimbabwean origin returned
to their rural homes, others turned to gold panning or migrated to the
towns. The rest were left with little option but to become squatters,
surviving by offering their services to the neighbouring farms.

The lives of the former farm workers remained precarious, said Hambira. They
were barely able to make ends meet and provide sufficiently for their
children, thus the high rate of child labour and school absenteeism. The
prevalence of HIV/AIDS, which the UN Development Programme's Relief and
Recovery Unit estimated at 43 percent on the farms, had led to many
child-headed households and still less children in school.

Sending a child to school in the rural areas costs about US $110 a year for
basics such as school uniforms and fees. But the salaries of farm workers
currently range from US $10 to US $20, which must not only cover household
expenditures, but also farming inputs like seeds and fertiliser. According
to Peter Mazadzise, GAPWUZ national coordinator, some of the newly settled
farmers pay their workers no more than US $5.50 a month.

Many children are thus pulled out of school by parents who cannot cope.
"When parents can't pay, they simply select a few of their children, whom
they think can do well, and the rest assist them on the farm," explained

She added that even many of those in school had to provide some kind of
labour to assist with covering education costs. Some areas, such as the
tobacco and tea plantations, have an "Earn and Learn" school system where
children study some of the time and work part-time to help raise the money
for their fees.

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Long Queues Resurface

The Herald (Harare)

January 28, 2004
Posted to the web January 28, 2004


LONG winding queues resurfaced in the capital as building societies grappled
to meet increased demand for cash following massive salary increments for
most workers.

The queues emerged as people sought to withdraw hard cash to meet their
school fees payments and settle regular monthly accounts.

Most building societies have since started limiting maximum cash

Beverly Building Society branches shut down their ATMs in Harare and were
allowing an over the counter maximum cash withdrawal of $100 000.

Central African Building Society (CABS) was also allowing maximum
withdrawals of $100 000 from within the banking hall and $40 000 from ATM's.

Intermarket Building Society was offering $200 000 from its ATMs but was
restricting the clients to a mere $100 000 from the banking hall.

Most banking officials said they were overwhelmed by the sudden increase in
demand for cash.

The situation was different at commercial banks most of which, were allowing
withdrawals of up to $2 million.

Most of the commercial banks have reasonable reserves of cash, which cushion
them in the event that there is a surge in the demand.

Officials from some of the building societies said the long queues were a
result of the recent wage and salary increments, which has seen their
clients making more transactions.

Most workers got salary and wage increments at the beginning of the year.

It also emerged that most of the building societies had failed to process
salary and wages in time, which has resulted in all the people wanting to
make their withdrawals at once.

Civil servants have had their pay dates staggered to avoid congestion.

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Further wrongs of trade union rights in Zimbabwe 28/1/2004

Brussels, January 28 2004 (ICFTU online): The International Confederation of
Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) today strongly condemned the dismissal, on Friday
23rd January, of Lovemore Matombo, President of its member organisation in
Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU). The ICFTU said his
dismissal was arbitrary and politically motivated.

The ZCTU leader was dismissed from his position at Zimbabwe Post (ZIimpost)
for attending an international trade union gathering in Sudan. In line with
his role as President of the country’s national trade union centre, Matombo
was in the Sudanese capital to take part in a congress of the Khartoum-based
Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU).

Matombo was accused by his employers of being absent from work without
official permission yet the ZCTU, and Union Network International, have both
confirmed that Lovemore Matombo had fulfilled standard procedures for
gaining “special leave” to attend the Khartoum meeting. Matombo is also
President of CAZWUZ, a Zimbabwe UNI-affiliate. The ICFTU is also informed
that Zimpost’s management had earlier agreed not to take any steps against
Matombo following his trip to Khartoum.

In a letter addressed to the Zimbabwean Minister for Labour, the ICFTU
General Secretary Guy Ryder said, “This succession of events strongly
suggests that Mr. Matombo was in fact fired under pressure from the Zimbabwe
Post Board, itself acting on political instructions”.

The ICFTU is calling for an immediate reinstatement of Lovemore Matombo to
his position at Zimpost. It underlines the hypocrisy of the dismissal since
the labour leader was attending a meeting concerning African unity, which
the Zimbabwean government claims to strongly support. The ICFTU warned the
Zimbabwean government that failure to take urgent action to reinstate
Matombo would result in a formal complaint to the UN’s International Labour
Organisation (ILO) and a mobilisation of the international labour movement
against his unjustified sacking.

The ICFTU represents over 151 million workers in 233 affiliated
organisations in 152 countries and territories. ICFTU is also a member of
Global Unions:

For more information, please contact the ICFTU Press Department on +32 2 224

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        Mugabe eyeing foreigners' farms

            January 28 2004 at 02:26AM

            By Basildon Peta

      Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's government has advertised more
farms owned by South Africans for compulsory seizure.

      Meanwhile, many South African investors, whose properties have already
been seized, are battling to get the South African government's assistance
to have them returned.

      Among hordes of new farms being advertised for compulsory seizure in
state newspapers are at least 15 large-scale farms owned by South African

      A list of the new South African owned farms designated for seizure has
been compiled and submitted to South African authorities by concerned
farmers, sources said.

      South African investors in Zimbabwe have been complaining about what
they perceive as their government's inaction and failure to protect their
properties in Zimbabwe from the Mugabe regime's arbitrary seizures. They
claim their investments should be protected under a bilateral investment
protection agreement between Zimbabwe and South Africa as well as in the
context of Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) investment
protection protocols among member states. They say Mugabe's regime has
willfully ignored these.

      Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa recently
said the South African government was doing as much as it can to help South
African investors in Zimbabwe.

      The South African embassy in Harare was working on the issue and he
hoped an agreement between the main political foes in Zimbabwe, Mugabe's
ruling Zanu-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), would help
resolve the issue.

      There are hundreds of South African farmers in Zimbabwe who properties
have either been seized or designated for compulsory confiscation without

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Mail and Guardian

Consultant called for Mugabe's 'removal'


      28 January 2004 07:18

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai told a court hearing his trial on
Tuesday that a Canada-based political consultant had tried to convince him
of the need to assassinate Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe, but denied he
had in any way agreed to such a plot.

Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, is charged with
plotting to assassinate Mugabe in a case that carries the death penalty if
he is convicted.

The charges hinge on a grainy and barely audible four-and-a-half-hour video,
secretly recorded in 2001 at consultant Ari Ben Menashe's Montreal offices,
in which Tsvangirai is accused of calling for Mugabe's "elimination."

Under cross examination in his long running trial, Tsvangirai said Ben
Menashe spoke of the elimination of Mugabe by "sinister" means that could
cause the leader harm.

"I was really upset. The meeting was getting so tense. Mr Ben Menashe was
pushing this agenda. It was my feeling that there was a sinister meaning,"
Tsvangirai told Judge Paddington Garwe.

The early part of the meeting on December 4 in 2001 focused on Mugabe's
exclusion from presidential elections in 2002 through a retirement deal or
his possible defeat at the polls, Tsvangirai said.

Ben Menashe had promised to lobby for international support for a new

Tsvangirai said Ben Menashe then changed track, calling for the physical
removal of Mugabe, and demanded his response.

Cross examined by state attorney Bharat Patel, Tsvangirai said it was clear
Ben Menashe was proposing the violent removal of Mugabe.

Patel asked: "The sinister removal of President Mugabe was on the table. Did
you think about it?"

"Yes," replied Tsvangirai.

But he said he did not think Mugabe's murder was an option to remove him
from office. "I discussed the principle of Mugabe going, not the method,"
Tsvangirai said.

Tsvangirai was charged two weeks before he ran against Mugabe in 2002
presidential elections. Mugabe narrowly won re-election in the vote, which
independent observers said was swayed by intimidation and vote rigging.

Defence attorneys argue Tsvangirai, who is free on bail, was entrapped by
Ben Menashe who already was working as a consultant for the Zimbabwe
government when the secret video was recorded.

Ben Menashe, who claims to be a former Israeli intelligence agent, was
acquitted by a US federal jury in 1990 of illegally arranging a $36-million
deal to sell US-made military cargo planes to Iran in exchange for the
release of four American hostages.

Israel denies he did intelligence work for the country but says he served
briefly as a junior clerk in its civil service.

Ben Menashe visited Zimbabwe last week to offer to sell the government oil
from Azerbaijan, government officials confirmed.

Zimbabwe is suffering acute fuel shortages. - Sapa-AP

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MDC wants sanctions extended
28/01/2004 08:25  - (SA)

Brussels - Leading members of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) on Tuesday urged the European Union to extend its current list
of targeted sanctions against President Robert Mugabe to include business
friends and cronies of the Zimbabwean leader.

"We urge the EU to not only renew targeted sanctions against Zimbabwe but to
also include companies which are owned by people close to the Mugabe
regime," MDC vice-president Gibson Sibanda told reporters.

Sibanda, who met members of the European Parliament as well as European
External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten, said the EU's current arms
embargo against Zimbabwe, and visa ban on the Zimbabwean leader and his
government was working.

Feeling the pinch

"We are quite convinced that they are feeling the pinch," Sibanda insisted,
adding that increased international pressure, including from Zimbabwe's
African neighbours, was needed to bring Mugabe to the negotiating table and
the country back to normalcy.

The MDC vice-president said "nothing has happened" since recent South
African press reports that President Mugabe was ready to resume talks with
the opposition. "There have been no contacts whatsoever," he said.

Sibanda also warned that a planned tour of Zimbabwe by English cricketers
could be viewed as a "pat on the back for Mugabe" and said he wanted the
United Nations Security Council to discuss the "scale of violence" in the

The European Parliament is also pressing for EU sanctions to be extended,
saying pro-government business leaders and their families should face visa
restrictions on travel to Europe.

The EU is expected to discuss sanctions against Zimbabwe on February 20,
with diplomats saying the current system will probably be rolled over with
some extension of the visa ban list. - Sapa-dpa

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Business Day

Check-up sparks talk of Mugabe successor

Need for medical attention may add to urgency in tough succession battle
International Affairs Editor

ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe was in Pretoria over the weekend for
medical attention, the second time within months, which could generate
greater urgency in the tough succession battle currently being fought out in
Zanu (PF).

Although sources said his condition was not serious, the 79year-old
president was flown to Pretoria several times last year, evidently for
medical attention.

Rumours circulated after each visit about the seriousness of his condition,
and the frequency of his visits may indicate a problem that requires regular

Uncertainty and confusion continued to hang over the prospect for talks with
the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The MDC insisted yesterday it had no knowledge of proposed talks with the
ruling party.

In its latest security notice the US advised its citizens to leave Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwean foreign affairs ministry said the US warning was
"mischievous", and aimed at hurting Zimbabwe's tourism sector.

"The humanitarian crisis is expected to worsen in coming months and may lead
to unrest and possible large-scale migration of Zimbabweans to urban or
border areas, with further disruption and an increase in crime and
instability," the US notice stated.

Also yesterday, Zimbabwe's foreign ministry rejected the suggestion that
Mugabe's weekend visit was to discuss ways of pushing talks forward.
President Thabo Mbeki's spokesman, Bheki Khumalo, said Mugabe had "not
requested a meeting and no meeting was arranged".

Mugabe's weekend visit comes days after Mbeki said he expected serious talks
would begin soon between Zanu (PF) and the MDC. Both parties have denied
there are talks in the offing.

Last week Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo backed up Mbeki's prediction
of imminent talks. But yesterday the MDC denied weekend speculation that the
party was expecting to be involved in talks anytime soon.

The party's spokesman said Mugabe was continuing to play a game of, "delay,
delay, and delay".

Last week police raided the MDC's offices in Harare in search of subversive
literature a move the opposition party views as not conducive to creating an
environment for talks.

The MDC said 15 policemen, some in riot gear, raided the offices, and then
took away party material, which included a policy document, in-house
magazines, contact books, and personal documents.

A report in yesterday's UK Sunday Telegraph said Mugabe had been airlifted
to SA for emergency treatment. He allegedly collapsed at his residence in
Harare after a violent vomiting fit.

Last year there were also rumours he had collapsed and required urgent
medical treatment.
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Zimbabwe: Numbers in Need Increase Dramatically

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

January 28, 2004
Posted to the web January 28, 2004


The number of people forecast to be in need of food aid in Zimbabwe over the
next few months has risen dramatically to 7.5 million, up from an earlier
estimate of 5.5 million.

Aid officials told IRIN an as yet unreleased urban vulnerability assessment
would indicate that the number of people in need of assistance in urban
areas had increased sharply due to the country's economic decline. This
follows the revision upwards last year of the number of rural people in need
of food aid.

In an appeal for donor assistance in April last year, the humanitarian
community said 5.5 million people, of which 1.1 million were urban dwellers,
would need food aid up to April this year.

A United States embassy spokesman in Harare told IRIN that the Famine Early
Warning System Network (FEWS NET) recently revised its estimate of
vulnerable rural Zimbabweans from 4.4 million to 5 million.

"We understand that a recently concluded, but as yet unreleased, urban
vulnerability assessment will conclude that 2.5 million urban Zimbabweans
are now food insecure. These revised estimates are due principally to
hyperinflation and the resulting unaffordability of basic food commodities,"
the spokesman said.

World Food Programme (WFP) spokeswoman Makena Walker told IRIN on Wednesday
that an April 2003 figure of "1.1 million [people in need in urban areas]
was only an estimate" at the time. She confirmed that an urban vulnerability
assessment had recently been conducted by the Zimbabwe Vulnerability
Assessment Committee (ZIMVAC).

"If you take into account the rapid economic decline, the fact that
factories and industries have closed, that inflation is at 600 percent, then
it's obvious that a lot more people have become food insecure - people who
could possibly afford food the previous year no longer can afford to
purchase food," she explained.

This was evident from the rise in the prices of maize sold by the state's
grain monopoly, the Grain Marketing Board (GMB). "The 50 kg bag of GMB maize
sold at Zim $580 [about US $0.16 at current auction rates] last year - this
year the prices for the same quantity vary from Zim $8,500 [about US $2.35
at current auction rates] to Zim $40,000 [US $11.07 at current auction
rates]," said Walker.

These prices varied from area to area and availability was a problem.
"Supplies are not high and are very erratic. [Consequently], most people
would have to rely on the parallel market [for their food purchases], so
it's possible that the number of food insecure people is much higher than
what was estimated almost a year ago," she concluded.

The ZIMVAC is an inter-agency committee in which UN agencies, government and
the Southern African Development Community participate. Their report will be
released once the government has given its approval.

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Beef Prices Fall

The Herald (Harare)

January 28, 2004
Posted to the web January 28, 2004


THE price of beef has gone down by more than $5 000 a kilogramme at most
butcheries in and around Harare, a survey by The Herald has revealed.

Most supermarkets and butcheries have lowered the prices of most beef grades
following the introduction of Value Added Tax which replaced Sales Tax at
the beginning of the month.

The introduction of VAT means that goods and services whose Sales Tax was 25
percent now attract a tax of 10 percent.

Beef, together with bread and some electrical goods, falls into this

First grade beef now costs $19 500, down from $23 000 a kilogramme.

Other grades such as shin, choice, and brisket now cost between $12 500 and
$20 000 a kilogramme depending on the outlet.

Major dealers like OK Bazaars, TM Supermarket, Spar, Food Chain Group and
several othermeat retailers across the city have hailed the current plunge
in beef prices saying it would improve their sales.

Mr Wellington Machokoto who operates butcheries in Glen View and Warren Park
said the decline in beef prices would improve the lives of the average
Zimbabwean since it is now affordable.

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EU Business

Zimbabwean oppositon calls for tougher sanctions against Mugabe regime

      28 January 2004

Zimbabwe's opposition leader in parliament, Gibson Sibanda, on Wednesday
urged the European Union to slap "targetted sanctions" on the regime of
President Robert Mugabe in order to put an end to what he said was an
increasingly dire situation in the African country.

"We want targetted sanctions against the ruling elite," Sibanda told
reporters ahead of a meeting with foreign ministry officials in Paris.

"We really need France and the European Union to back us in order to put an
end to this desperate situation."

He noted that French President Jacques Chirac had pledged to work very hard
to resolve the issue of human rights violations in Zimbabwe during the
France-Africa summit in Paris in February of last year.

Sibanda said that his country had plunged into a culture of violence and
repression under Mugabe's rule and added that the president no longer had to
account for his actions since pulling out of the Commonwealth in December.

"He (Mugabe) goes overseas for treatment while women in his country are
delivering their babies in the street," he said.

He said the opposition planned to ask the United Nations to send a
commission of enquiry to Zimbabwe to study the human rights situation.

Sibanda is the deputy head of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
whose leader Morgan Tsvangirai is on trial for treason.
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Probe Crisis in Financial Sector: MP

The Herald (Harare)

January 28, 2004
Posted to the web January 28, 2004


DZIVARASEKWA MP Mr Edwin Mushoriwa (MDC) yesterday moved a motion in
Parliament requesting the Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance,
Parastatals and Economic Development to investigate the crisis in the
financial sector.

He said the crisis had resulted in the public losing confidence in the

"The situation obtaining in the financial sector is partly as a result of
previous lax supervision by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe," Mr Mushoriwa

The legislator questioned the wisdom of the central bank of establishing a
fund to assist troubled banks.

"This again will make the public lose confidence in the banking sector
because institutions which are poorly managed are being protected and we
wonder whose interests are being protected," he said.

He said it appeared ENG Asset Management Firm had been the only one that had
been sacrificed when other financial firms were being protected by the
central bank.

The Reserve Bank established the Troubled Banks Fund in a move to restore
confidence and investors in the financial sector.

Seconding the motion, Harare East MP Mr Tendai Biti (MDC) said the crisis in
the financial sector was ample evidence for the need to put in place
legislation to curb corruption in the sector.

The challenge, he said, was to come up with laws that specifically dealt
with corruption in the sector.

Mr Biti said the foreign currency auction system introduced by the RBZ had
the effect of devaluing the Zimbabwe dollar.

He said the system meant that the auction rate would be the prevailing rate
of the Zimbabwe dollar.

"The multiplying effect of this system is that there will be a further
decline in the production sector because of the lack of confidence in this
system and questions must be asked why exporters are not taking part in the
auction system," he said.

The Zimbabwe dollar gained a further 1,4 percent against the United States
dollar at the auction on Monday to close at an average Z$3 563,31 to the
green back.

So far the clean-up exercise in the financial crisis has seen the arrest of
two ENG directors for allegedly failing to repay $61 billion owed to

The ENG saga has also seen the arrest of Chinhoyi MP Cde Philip Chiyangwa
(Zanu-PF) who is facing charges of attempting to defeat the course of
justice or obstructing the same, contempt of court and perjury.

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Sporting Life

By Myles Hodgson, PA Sport Cricket Correspondent

English cricket's most influential figures will gather at Lord's tomorrow
charged with the responsibility of deciding whether to adopt a report
designed to avoid a repeat of the current crisis over Zimbabwe.

The 16-man management of the England and Wales Cricket Board will assemble
for their regular meeting with the eyes of the cricket world burning down on
them as they discuss a report written by Des Wilson, the chairman of the
their own corporate affairs and marketing advisory committee.

Wilson's 6,000-word paper suggests England could cancel future tours for
reasons other than safety and security by claiming cricket must take a
broader view and consider political and moral issues.

That suggestion has since been strongly denied by the International Cricket
Council, cricket's world governing body, who have indicated that England
could face financial penalties once again if they cancel October's tour for
anything other than safety and security reasons.

The ICC have accepted that a postponement is inevitable, having held talks
with the ECB, and the next stage of that is tomorrow's meeting of the
management board - whose members include ECB chairman David Morgan, chief
executive Tim Lamb and several county chief executives.

Tomorrow's meeting was supposed to be decision day for the ECB, who had
brought forward their verdict on the proposed tour from next month after
seeking advice from the Government.

But no sooner had the ECB taken that decisive action than they postponed
their verdict once again after consulting with the ICC - Lamb stressing:
"The decision the management board will have to take is a very difficult one
and involves balancing a whole range of factors.

"We must do this decision justice, and the management board feels it needs a
little more time to make a thoroughly informed decision. Obviously, the
Government's explicit view on the tour will be carefully considered - and
we're pleased to have it."

The ECB, and particularly the counties, felt the financial backlash last
time this situation occurred when England boycotted a World Cup match in
Harare last February and the ICC withheld part of their share of the
tournament's vast profits.

But if the management board accept Wilson's report and adopt his guidelines
England will face inevitable financial penalties - with figures of around
£1million already suggested as possible compensation to Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwe Cricket Union, who attempted to increase the pressure on their
English counterparts this week by sending an e-mail to all the counties
outlining why the tour should go ahead, have already dismissed other
possible venues like Sharjah for the series.

Vince Hogg, managing director of the ZCU, claimed: "If England don't come it
will be catastrophic for Zimbabwean cricket...this tour is vital for our

Australia, due to tour Zimbabwe in May and June, are in a similar dilemma to
England - with their government also stopping short of demanding they do not
go, leaving Cricket Australia with the final decision.

"We've had some preliminary discussions with the Department of Foreign
Affairs and Trade for an update on Zimbabwe security," revealed James
Sutherland, Cricket Australia's chief executive.

"We'll turn our minds to Zimbabwe far more seriously from March when Cricket
Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association will visit there to
assess the situation first hand.

"Such visits are routine before all overseas tours - and as always, safety
and security is our only issue. We will travel only if we are satisfied it
is safe to travel.

"Once the inspection visit is over, we will start the detailed business of
talking to the Australian Government for its advice on the international
safety - talking to other safety experts, monitoring the expert advice and
doing all of the other things we need to do before travelling abroad
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Anz Technically Illegal - Judge

The Herald (Harare)

January 28, 2004
Posted to the web January 28, 2004

Alfred Chagonda

CHIEF Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku yesterday agreed with the Media and
Information Commission that the Associated Newspapers Group was operating
without a licence hence, technically, it was an illegal publication.

He said the bone of contention in the MIC and ANZ dispute was the operation
of the latter without a licence and the MIC had appealed to the Supreme
Court because the newspaper group was publishing without a licence.

The Chief Justice was hearing arguments between the MIC and the ANZ over the
wrangle between the two parties that has been heard by the Administrative
Court and the High Court and has now spilled into the Supreme Court as a
constitutional matter.

"The bone of contention is the issuance of a licence. Were you issued with
an operating licence as required by the law?" Chief Justice Chidyausiku
asked ANZ lawyer Mr Mordecai Mahlangu of Gill, Godlonton and Gerrans, who
replied in the negative.

The Chief Justice, who heard the matter in chambers, said the law was clear
that only mass media houses issued with a licence could operate.

Chief Judge said police had moved against the Daily News because it was
operating illegally.

"The police moved in to enforce that judgment, and have been doing so until
recently . . . A decision of the Supreme Court cannot be amended or set
aside by a decision of an inferior court," he said.

He postponed the hearing to today to allow counsels to prepare their papers
and heads of arguments before the legal wrangle between the two parties is
finalised once and for all.

The MIC, which regulates and issues operating licences to mass media houses
in the country, wants the court to bar The Daily News from publishing until
an appeal in the Supreme Court has been finalised.

Earlier on, Justice Chidyausiku had heard arguments from the two parties,
with the MIC represented by Mr Johannes Tomana of Muzangaza, Mandaza and
Tomana law firm saying the matter was an urgent one.

He said the newspaper house was publishing without a registration
certificate thereby contravening the provisions of the Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Act.

"They are not complying with the provisions of the law. There is now
confusion as to what law is governing the operations of mass media services
in Zimbabwe," said Mr Tomana.

He said it was in the interest of both parties that the dispute be settled
once and for all.

Mr Tomana said from the judgement handed down in the Supreme Court in
September last year, The Daily News was operating illegally without a
licence and there was no reason why the police who had been enforcing a
court order at the premises of the newspaper had left.

Said Mr Tomana: "There was no reason why the police had left the premises
because the law is clear, it says all mass media institutions should apply
and be issued with an operating licence before resuming publication or

"But The Daily News chose to operate a mass media business in contravention
of the Act, they should simply desist from publication."

According to the Act, the provision that deals with the registration of mass
media services outlines that a mass media service shall operate only when it
is issued with a certificate of registration by the MIC.

However Mr Mahlangu said there was no need for the court to rush hearing the
matter because it was not urgent.

He said other applications related to the matter in the High Court had not
been heard and there was no need for the MIC to rush and seek relief in the
Superior Court.

"This is an abuse of the process of court and the matter should not have
been brought here," said Mr Mahlangu.

Justice Chidyausiku said any aggrieved party had the right under the
constitution of the country to approach the Superior Court in any
constitutional matter.

The MIC last week filed an urgent chamber application at the Supreme Court
seeking an order barring the ANZ from publishing pending the finalisation of
appeals before the court of the last resort.

This was after ANZ published The Daily News despite the fact that the
publishing group and its journalists are operating illegally as they have
not yet been registered by the MIC as is required by the law.

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