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

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Sydney Morning Herald

It's not just cricket
January 6 2003

Everything is almost ready Zimbabwe's big contest - except some of the team,
Olga Craig writes from Harare.

As Henry Olonga powers down the pitch, his dreadlocks drenched in sweat from
the blazing sun, Andy Flower lowers his head, steadies his stance and
tightens his grip.

With a crisp "thwack" he sends the ball soaring in a perfect arc. "Yes, well
hit," Olonga yells.

A smattering of fans have turned out to watch the Zimbabwe cricket team's
first new year practice at the Harare Sports Club after a 10-day Christmas

The finishing touches are being added to new stands and media facilities
that have been built in preparation for the cricket World Cup, which will
open in the stadium with England against Zimbabwe on February13.

That, at least, is the plan. But Harare Sports Club has become a political
arena where a tense propaganda war - against the backdrop of a country
ravaged by violence and starvation - will be played out in the next few

For the Zimbabwe cricket team, it has been a tense time, as the Australian
and British governments have voiced concerns over the morality of playing in
and against a country governed by an oppressive regime that has forced its
white farmers from their land and its black community into poverty and

The Zimbabwe team - all bound by strict contracts - have by default become
their country's official spokesmen. Sport has no place in politics, they
have said. The World Cup is about cricket, not the rights and wrongs of
Robert Mugabe's regime.

Their private views, however, are not so clear-cut. Several desperately -
but privately - hope England and Australia will decide not to play in

"Put it like this," one team member says. "If you air your true views in
public you will be writing off your career in Zimbabwe cricket and you will
be on a one-way ticket out of here.

"It simply isn't possible to say too much of what you think. But how can I
possibly agree with Zimbabwe being portrayed as one big, happy multiracial
society, which is the image Mugabe wants the world to see at the World Cup?
... England can't come. It would be morally wrong."

Others share his view. "What is happening here is abhorrent and deplorable.
I see our countrymen without food, scrabbling for a living," says another
player. "Someone has to make a stand. Perhaps that time has come."

A World Cup boycott would be a cruel blow for the players' careers. As
Olonga, Zimbabwe's fast bowler, points out: "For me, this may be a
once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If it doesn't go ahead I will probably never
play a World Cup match in front of my home crowd. I guess it all depends on
how strong [the English and Australian teams'] convictions are."

Flower, who until 18 months ago was the world's top-ranked batsman, is more
sceptical. "Yes, it would be great to have World Cup cricket here, but there
are big issues at stake ... My own opinion, I will hold in reserve."

Some 280 kilometres south-east of Harare, Scemai Marambanyinka, 30, stands
shielding her one-year-old baby's head from the sun and trying to soothe his

As she queues outside a high school in Marambinda waiting for World Food
Program workers to dole out her bags of maize meal, pulses and corn soya
blend, she wearily wipes her baby's tear-stained cheek. It is two days since
her six children have eaten and four since she last had a meal.

"What do I know of cricket?" she says dully. "Cricket doesn't feed my

The Telegraph, London
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Mugabe's bizarre cricket threat blocked

      January 04 2003 at 07:51PM

By Basildon Peta and Caroline Hooper-Box

In a bizarre twist to the cricket World Cup row involving Zimbabwe,
President Robert Mugabe's cabinet this week talked him out of forbidding the
English and Australian cricket teams from entering Zimbabwe.

But in return for backing down and to quell his security fears that the
arrival of multitudes of British and Australian cricketers, officials and
fans would provide cover for British MI6 agents to unleash its operatives to
carry out a plan to kill him, elaborate security measures have been agreed.

Authoritative Zimbabwe government sources said while debate raged on in
England and Australia about whether the two countries' cricket teams should
play in Zimbabwe, Mugabe himself also wanted the teams barred from his

      Three agents will be assigned to each cricketer
If Mugabe's view had carried it would have relieved those in England and
Australia of a difficult decision amid mounting political pressure not to
play in Harare and Bulawayo.

The sources said Mugabe strongly believed that British Prime Minister Tony
Blair and other "western detractors" were working with the opposition on a
plot to kill him after their hopes that he would lose the March presidential
election were dashed.

Mugabe, who has already banned Blair, Don McKinnon, the Commonwealth
secretary-general, and all British government officials from his country,
had told his cabinet that he did not want the English or the Australian team
in Zimbabwe. But, sources said, in a series of meetings before Mugabe went
on leave on Friday, the view of virtually all his ministers prevailed that
the players and officials must be admitted.

The cabinet agreed the visitors would be subjected to stringent but
surreptitious security measures, ranging from having their accommodation and
telephone lines bugged to monitoring their movements.

It is understood that Mugabe's spy agency, the Central Intelligence
Organisation, will be deployed in this role.

      'Mugabe would rather not have these people here'
At least three agents will be assigned to each British and Australian
cricketer or official. The plan is that they will track the visitors, and
watch meetings with people in Zimbabwe, especially with opposition

Mugabe apparently also wanted the England and Australian teams to play their
matches in Bulawayo, away from the Harare cricket grounds across the road
from his official residence. Sources said his desire to keep the teams out
of Harare had not been pursued with cricket authorities in Zimbabwe.

Apart from the security fears, sources said, Mugabe also thought that
prohibiting the cricket teams would be in retaliation for the sanctions
imposed on him and his officials by the European Union, Australia, Britain
and United States.

But his ministers felt that hosting the World Cup matches would be a major
diplomatic coup for Zimbabwe, particularly after Blair and John Howard, the
Australian premier, had made public their views on the matter. Both have
urged their countries' teams not to play in Zimbabwe.

The hosting of the matches would also showcase Zimbabwe to the world as a
normal country, the ministers argued. Reporters accredited to cover the
matches would be ordered to focus on the cricket matches only.

"The fact is that Mugabe would rather not have these people here... he
doesn't care if they don't come," said one official.

"He thinks that after humiliating Blair at the Earth summit and after the
failure of the West to remove him from power, the focus is now on killing
him. He thinks British intelligence are working full-time on that."

In another development, Peter Hain, Britain's secretary for Wales, and a
former minister who was a powerful force in the sports boycott of apartheid
South Africa, has argued for English cricket to "show some moral backbone"
by pulling out.

"The odious Robert Mugabe regime would gain an enormous propaganda victory i
f the World Cup went ahead there," Hain said, "which is why it shouldn't."

"Listening to the views of cricketers and their officials reminds me of the
1960-70 era. They just wanted to play South African teams, regardless of the
fact that blacks were denied by apartheid laws from doing so, that sport was
a weapon of white South African tyranny, and that our sports boycotts of
that era delivered what Nelson Mandela later confirmed was a mortal blow to

"Although the Zimbabwe cricket visit raises different issues from apartheid
in sport - because cricket there is multiracial - the common principle is
that sports people cannot divorce themselves from life and the moral
decisions of life."

Ngconde Balfour, the minister of sport, this week urged all the countries
participating in the World Cup to support the International Cricket
Council's (ICC) decision to play the six scheduled matches in Zimbabwe.

This position was "in line with government policy," said Graham Abrahams, a
spokesperson for the minister.

"We don't determine those matches. All we are saying is that we need to
abide by the decision of the ICC on this.

"There are major implications if the decision is not to play in Zimbabwe,
for relations between South Africa and the rest of Africa, Pakistan and so

"Thirty-eight days down the road [until the matches start] is late for any
person to think of switching position.

"Nobody is calling for a sports boycott against Zimbabwe - they are quite
content to play against Zimbabwe in South Africa.

"As the Zimbabwe captain said, 'there are double standards against us',"
Abrahams said.

"Our experience visiting Zimbabwe is that the team is essentially white, but
the spectators are black.

"So are we saying hundreds of thousands of kids are starving and oppressed,
but that we are taking away the little entertainment as well?"
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Urgent Message from Reverend Graham Shaw

Following the prayers held at the Church of Assisi on Saturday afternoon for
Abednico Bhebhe and Ferdinand Dropper, we understand that they will be
produced in the Magistrates Court, Tredgold Buildings, tomorrow (Monday).
Our information is very sketchy (especially on the timing) but we do want to
show our solidarity with them and their families, and therefore some of us
will be at the Magistrates' Court at 9.45 a.m.  If we gather at the main
entrance at this time we can plan our strategy from there.  Do please
support this as you can.

Yours in the service of the God of justice and truth.
Graham Shaw


This has been a busy weekend for the WOZA ladies and volunteers. Firstly
there was the prayer meeting on Saturday afternoon which went off without
incident and was very uplifting for all who attended. The rest of the
weekend was spend in locating the familes of the two men and in providing
them with support on a roster basis.

The ladies who visited Droppa's mother on Sunday afternoon were deeply
touched by their visit. The aged lady doubles as mother to Droppa's young
children. She confessed to having only heard of her sons arrest on Friday
evening but unsure how to locate him as she is unfamiliar with townlife.
Speaking in the venacular she said the last days had been "very black days".
When the group asked her if she would like to go to the police station and
visit her son, tears sprang to her eyes and she quickly brushed them away to
prepare to accompany us.

The intimidation of the two continues with threats to block police bail on
Monday and to relocate them to Khami prision where they would have very
limited access.

Thank you for all your messages of support and encouragement.


Jenni Williams
A Reminder...........  "Christians Together For Justice and Peace" have
organised a combined service for the whole of Bulawayo. "Christians Together
For Justice and Peace" was formed to present a united Christian front to
pursue justice and peace. Their Vision and Objectives are detailed after
this announcement.

Interdenominational Service for Peace and Relief from Suffering  on Saturday
18th January 2003 at St. Mary's Cathedral Roman Catholic Church , Bulawayo
at 8:30 am

Should you wish to know more about the Service or how you can get involved
with Christians Together For Justice and Peace. Please Contact :Fr.
Barnabas Nqindi on  +263-9-240582 or e-mail him on
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Aussie tourist slain
January 06, 2003

A 27-YEAR-OLD Australian man has been stabbed to death at Victoria Falls,
one of Zimbabwe's busiest tourist destinations.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said the body of the
man, who was from Adelaide, was found yesterday, with the likely motive
being robbery.

The man's name has not been released.

"It appears the man was stabbed to death during a robbery attempt that went
tragically wrong," the spokeswoman said.

She said an official from the Australian High Commission in Harare was en
route to Victoria Falls to liaise with local authorities investigating the

Australian consulate officials were assisting the victim's family, she said.

Chief Superintendent Alexio Paradzai, a senior officer commanding police at
Victoria Falls, said the tourist was repeatedly and fatally stabbed "as he
stepped out of the Rain Forest", a fenced and closely-guarded area with
spectacular views of the two kilometre-wide waterfall.

Mr Paradzai said no arrests had been made.

He said two cameras were found beside the tourist's body.

In the past three years of political unrest linked to President Robert
Mugabe's self-declared "civil war" against white farmers, Zimbabwe's tourist
industry has suffered near-collapse, with bed occupancy rates at Victoria
Falls, once a world centre for visitors, falling as low as four per cent.

Travel advice on the department's web site said Australians in Zimbabwe
should maintain a high level of personal security.

"Australians should avoid walking city streets at night, particularly in or
near parks and the city centre," the web site said.

"Incidents of muggings, car jackings and pick-pocketing, particularly in
urban centres and tourist areas, are increasing."

DFAT confirms Aust tourist killed in Zimbabwe

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) has confirmed an Australian tourist, reportedly murdered in Zimbabwe, was from Adelaide.

Local reports suggest the man was attacked as he walked out of a rainforest near Victoria Falls.

It is understood the victim was stabbed several times and died at the scene.

The department has not released the man's age or name at this stage.

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The Herald

Airzim plane grounded in Mauritius

Herald Reporter
AN Air Zimbabwe Boeing 737 aircraft is grounded in Mauritius and passengers
were delayed for several hours after the plane developed a technical fault
on Saturday, airline sources said yesterday.

The plane which departed for the Indian Ocean island on Saturday, was
supposed to have returned on the same day by 9.15 pm, but a technical fault
has delayed the flight back to Harare.

Maintenance of the grounded Airzim plane was said to be underway yesterday
and no time schedule had been set for the arrival of the plane.

Air Zimbabwe has three Boeing 737s, which operate on the airline's domestic
and regional routes and two Boeing 767s which operate on the carrier's
international routes.

At present, only one Boeing 737 aircraft is flying while two others are
parked in the hangar at the airport.

The airline's spokesman, David Mw-enga could not be reached for comment.
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War vets behind food riots

Harare - War veterans in Zimbabwe were behind food riots that rocked the
southern African country's second city of Bulawayo two days ago, a
state-controlled newspaper alleged on Sunday.

The Sunday News, published in Bulawayo, made the unusual accusation against
the pro-government group after police reportedly questioned a top war
veteran in the area, Jabulani Sibanda, over allegedly masterminding Friday's
riot, which saw 39 people arrested.

Veterans of the 1970s fight for independence are normally staunch supporters
of President Robert Mugabe and his Zimbabwe African National Union -
Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) party.

The riots broke out at a grain depot in Bulawayo over claims of unfair
distribution of maize, the national staple in Zimbabwe, which is in the
throes of crippling food shortages threatening more than two-thirds of the
population of 11.6 million.

Sibanda, who is also Bulawayo's Zanu-PF party chair and is alleged to be
using "his" war veterans to intimidate grain distribution officials, has
denied organising the riots.

"What happened was a simple spontaneous protest by the residents. Maize is
not reaching the people, so they have decided to speak," he told the Sunday
News. "Maize is being used by big fish to spin money," he added.

Top officials

Separately, and in a rare criticism of his party, a top Zanu-PF official has
accused members of seizing scarce maize reserves and selling them on at
exorbitant prices, another newspaper reported on Sunday.

Phillip Chiyangwa, the Zanu-PF chair in Mashonaland West province, accused
politicians of taking the maize on promises of distributing it to needy
constituents, the state-run Sunday Mail reported.

Politicians are said to be given special allocations at grain depots, which
oversee sales of the scarce commodity. But the officials then sell on the
grain at black market prices, the paper said.

This week the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) accused
Zanu-PF of supplying the black market with the national staple.

"It is done by Zanu-PF functionaries who are exploiting the starving
masses," the opposition charged.

Zimbabwe needs to import more than 300 000 tons of maize between now and
March, but supplies are only trickling in at 22 000 tons a week, opposition
officials say. - Sapa-AFP
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      Five die in train-bus smash in Zimbabwe

Five people have been killed and 95 injured when a freight train crashed
into an overcrowded bus in Zimbabwe.

Treatment of people hurt in the accident in Harare was impaired by a lack of
emergency blood for transfusions, newspapers report.

Fifteen people were seriously injured, but the state-run Blood Transfusion
Service told doctors emergency supplies had run out. No explanation was
given for the shortage.

The accident happened when a 75-seater bus, overcrowded with 115 passengers,
failed to stop at a rail crossing in a western suburb of Harare.

Story filed: 12:49 Sunday 5th January 2003
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ABC Australia

Sunday, January  5, 2003. Posted: 15:11:18 (AEDT)

Zimbabwe begs England not to boycott World Cup
Zimbabwean cricket authorities are asking England not to boycott their
controversial World Cup game in Harare next month.

British Government ministers including Peter Hain, who campaigned against
apartheid in South Africa, are urging the England team to boycott the match
in protest at the regime of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

But the Zimbabwe Cricket Union's president Peter Chingoka was quoted in
British Sunday newspapers as saying that a boycott would hit ordinary
Zimbabweans rather than the Government.

"We have spent 400 million Zimbabwe dollars ($US7.21 million) and we believe
we deserve a return on that investment," he told a BBC radio programme,
according to the reports.

"Directly, the World Cup organisation employs 220 people so the extended
family means at least 1,000 mouths are fed through cricket," Chingoka said.

Zimbabwe are scheduled to host six of the 54 matches in the World Cup
tournament being staged mainly in South Africa from February 9 to March 23.
Kenya are hosting two games.

The British Government has said it cannot order the England team not to play
in Zimbabwe, while the England and Wales Cricket Board have said they want a
decision from the Government.

British Cabinet Minister Hain, who rose to prominence as an activist against
apartheid in the 1960s, told the Independent on Sunday that the
International Cricket Council (ICC) should withdraw all six matches from

But the ICC, who last month ruled Zimbabwe safe on security grounds, have
said that the staging of the matches in the country would only be reviewed
if the security situation deteriorated.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that ministers will tell the England team they
can go to Zimbabwe but must not shake Mugabe's hand. Ministers are due to
meet the ECB on Thursday.

The paper quoted a minister as saying: "It is up to the ECB. I think the
tour will go ahead, but the team will be told not to meet Mugabe. There will
be no handshakes with Mugabe."

The Australian Government has also raised concerns about playing in
Zimbabwe, where their team are scheduled to meet the host country in
Bulawayo on February 24 in another match in England's group.

But India and Pakistan, the other leading teams in the group, have said they
have no qualms about playing in Zimbabwe.

The group is completed by Namibia and the Netherlands.
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Outlook India

      Don't shake hands with Mugabe: Ministers to England cricketers
      LONDON, JAN 5 (PTI)
      Protesting Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe regime's alleged human
rights abuses, England's Ministers, among others, have asked their country's
cricket team not to shake hands with the African ruler if they insist on
playing in the World Cup tie in Zimbabwe next month.

      Tessa Jowell, the secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and
Baroness Amos, the Junior Foreign Office Minister, will tell representatives
of England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), the sport's governing body, next
Thursday to convey their request to the cricketers, to deny Mugabe a
"propaganda coup".

      Jowell and Baroness Amos are resigned to the cricketing authority
rejecting demands by Prime Minister Tony Blair to boycott the match in
Harare, according to a report in The Sunday Telegraph today.

      Meanwhile, Peter Hain, the cabinet minister who rose to fame by
campaigning against sporting links with South Africa, has urged
International cricket authorities not to stage matches in Zimbabwe in
protest against the country's human rights record.

      In an article in today's Independent, a daily, Hain argued that ICC
should move the six one-day matches to South Africa, one of the co-hosts of
the tournament. If they go ahead in Zimbabwe, the England team should
unilaterally refuse to play there, he said.

      "As the Zimbabwean opposition is pleading, the ICC should act to
transfer every game to be played in Zimbabwe to South Africa, which is a
beacon of multi-racialism, tolerance and democracy, just as Zimbabwe is a
beacon of the very opposite," he said.

      "If Mugabe gets his way and the event proceeds, England should not go.
But if their international sister organisations will not stand up for
morality against oppression, if other governments will not back our own
government's stand, then it is still important for English cricket to show
some moral backbone," Hain said.

      "What about those Zimbabwean youngsters unable to play because they
haven't been fed? What will the English team do if British sports
journalists are blocked from covering not just the overs and the runs, but
the context too? What will they do if ordinary Zimbabweans protest against
the matches - as they well might - and are clubbed away mercilessly, may be
to death? The temperature on the streets in Zimbabwe is rising. It could
well erupt around the World Cup as people demand food and freedom."
According to the Telegraph report, one minister said: "It is up to the ECB.
I think the tour will go ahead, but the team will be told not to meet
Mugabe. There will be no handshakes with Mugabe." The demand will cause
consternation in the England camp. An official close to the team told the
newspaper: "None of the players wants to shake hands with Mugabe, but it is
ludicrous for the Government to try to impose some kind of ban." Avoiding an
embarrassing meeting with Mugabe is likely to prove impossible for the
players. He is the patron of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union and is expected to
attend all the World Cup matches in his country.

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England must pull out of Cup matches, says Zimbabwe cricketer

Andrew Meldrum in Harare and Gaby Hinsliff
Sunday January 5, 2003
The Observer

Zimbabwean cricketers yesterday called for the World Cup matches in their
country to be cancelled in protest at Robert Mugabe's brutal regime, in a
move that will redouble pressure on England to abandon their tour.
Players, speaking out despite the threat to their careers, said while the
matches would give a huge boost to cricket in the troubled African state
there were bigger issues at stake.

'Ethical issues must be taken into consideration. It would be wrong to hold
any World Cup matches here,' said one member of the national squad, speaking
anonymously for fear of retribution. Robert Mugabe is patron of the Zimbabwe
Cricket Union.

'With a multiracial crowd and teams playing here, are we not painting too
rosy a picture of a country that is battling starvation, terrible poverty,
corruption, human rights abuses? The matches will give credence to the
organisation that is in charge.'

However, the Zimbabwean team captain, Heath Streak, insisted the games
should go ahead to avoid mixing politics and sport and prevent a 'disaster'
for the national game.

In London, a delegation from the England and Wales Cricket Board will meet
Ministers on Thursday to discuss the dilemma.

Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, and Foreign
Office Minister Baroness Amos are expected to repeat the Government's view
that the team should not go to Zimbabwe, but will reject cricketers' demands
for state compensation if they are fined up to £1 million by the
International Cricket Council (ICC) for refusing to play.

The meeting is also likely to cover Zimbabwe's planned Test tour of the UK
this year. Ministers are expected to follow the precedent of the
Commonwealth Games, when Zimbabwe was told its athletes were welcome but
officials were not. 'Richard Caborn [the Sport Minister] has certainly taken
the Commonwealth view that sanctions that have been taken against Zimbabwe
are against its government, not its people,' said a spokesman for Caborn's

Even on the well-groomed pitch of the Harare Sports Club, where the Zimbabwe
team practises, it is impossible to avoid signs of the famine, fuel
shortages and human rights abuses plaguing the country. Fuel queues stretch
within blocks of the club, and food riots broke out on Friday in the second
city of Bulawayo, where three of the six February matches will be held.

The anonymous player criticised the ICC for being 'wishy washy' in limiting
its investigation into Zimbabwe hosting the matches to safety, and failing
to get assurances that international journalists would be allowed to cover
the games.

'They should have looked at wider political issues, because now this has
blown up in all of our faces,' he added. He said if he voiced opposition
openly 'my cricket career would end without a doubt by action from our
cricket board'.

· You've read the piece, now have your say. Email your comments, be as frank
as you like, we can take it, to or mail
the Observer direct at

Daily News 02 Jan 03
Zimbabwe cricket team prepares for World Cup

1/2/2003 10:27:26 AM (GMT +2)

By Edison Chikamhi

THE 15-member Zimbabwe cricket team goes into camp tomorrow to step up preparations for the forthcoming limited overs World Cup tournament starting next month.

Babu Menan, the Zimbabwe team manager, yesterday said the team would assemble in Harare.

He said their arrangements would not be affected by the national league which is due to resume this weekend after a two-month break, and the provincial Logan Cup tournament.

Menan said players would be allowed to represent their clubs over the weekends.

Zimbabwe, who have had a poor build-up to the World Cup which they will co-host with South Africa and Kenya, last week named the final squad for the tournament. The injured captain Heath Streak was also included.

Streak, who dislocated his shoulder when he was involved in a road accident during the International Cricket Council Championships in Sri Lanka last September, is expected to be fit in time for the tournament.

He has been undergoing rehabilitation in South Africa.
The Zimbabwe Cricket Union is confident Streak would have fully recovered by 9 February, when the World Cup gets under way.

Zimbabwe are also scheduled to host South Africa A later this month to fine-tune after putting up one of their worst performances against Pakistan.

They suffered a humiliating 5-0 defeat at the hands of visiting Pakistan but recovered to beat lowly ranked Kenya in their final one-day internationals Zimbabwe are expected to kick off their World Cup campaign against another lightweight, Namibia, on 10 February before they engage England three days later.

Other teams they are expected to face in their group are Australia, Pakistan, Holland and India.

Harare Sports Club will host three games while the same number of games will be played at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.

A record 14 countries will take part in the world’s premier cricket tournament which will be played in Africa for the first time since its inception in 1975.

Out of the 54 matches, Kenya will host two while the remaining 46 will be played in South Africa. The final will be on 23 March at The Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

Zimbabwe squad

H Streak (captain), G Flower, T Taibu, A Blignaut, D Ebrahim, M Vermeulen, S Ervine, D Hondo, A Flower, C Wishart, H Olonga, B Murphy, G Whittall, D Marillier. G Marsh (coach), B Menan (team manager), B Robinson (physiotherapist).

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Pianist rejected by Britain fears Mugabe's police

Talented gay Zimbabwean musician is refused asylum as anger over cricket
World Cup trip grows

Vanessa Thorpe, arts and media correspondent
Sunday January 5, 2003
The Observer

He is one of the most promising young pianists playing in Britain. Now he
faces the threat of violent persecution after Britain refused his
application for political asylum and decreed that he should return to his
native Zimbabwe.
Michael Brownlee Walker, 25, who is gay, received a letter from the Home
Office last month turning down his application for asylum and informing him
he must leave the country, in spite of his fears of victimisation.

Brownlee Walker, who won a place five years ago to study classical piano at
the prestigious Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, is the
great-grandson of one of Zimbabwe's earliest white settlers. His family ran
a large farm near Bulawayo in the south of the country, but last Easter the
property was overrun by supporters of President Robert Mugabe. His parents
and brother have since fled the country.

As the son of a prominent former landowner, Brownlee Walker believes that
his surname alone is likely to ensure he is harassed and possibly detained
if he goes back to Zimbabwe. What is more, in recent months the accomplished
accompanist has attended several protest events organised in London by
exiled members of the opposition group, the Movement for Democratic Change
or MDC.

But Brownlee Walker says it is his sexuality that is prompting his greatest
fears about his safety in Zimbabwe. Attitudes to gay people there have
always been oppressive, he argues, but with the recent deterioration of law
and order in the country reported incidents of organised violence have

'There is no rule of law any more,' said Brownlee Walker. 'If the police say
they want to detain you, there is very little you can do.'

Mugabe once denounced homosexuals as 'worse than dogs and pigs', and asked
police to help 'root the evil out'.

Gay activists, members of the organisations Gay and Lesbians in Zimbabwe and
GayZim, suggest that they support any Zimbabwean's right to seek asylum. In
Britain, the gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell also supports Brownlee
Walker's case.

'Victimisation of the gay community is universal and constant in Zimbabwe,'
Tatchell said. 'But every gay person is at risk of being picked on and made
an example of. In these circumstances no one is safe.'

Brownlee Walker, who has lost a lot of weight and received hospital
treatment during the period of his asylum application, now has no income.
His £29.89 a week asylum seekers' allowance was stopped before Christmas and
he is no longer allowed to accept offers of work. He is living in London at
the home of the acclaimed concert pianist, Leslie Howard, an old family
friend. Howard believes Brownlee Walker has an unusual musical talent and
would be unable to pursue a career in Zimbabwe.

'There are only a few people around who can sight-read and accompany singers
quite like Michael can,' said Leslie. 'I would say a dozen at the most. It
would be terrible if he had to drop his career at this stage, and, of
course, he can't play professionally in this country either now.'

Brownlee Walker was able to perform publicly while in this country as a
student and he immediately applied for asylum when he left college in August

'I wanted the chance to work again,' he said. 'At the time of my original
application my parents were still on the farm but things were looking grim.
It was a matter of time until it affected them.'

In the following months his mother was frequently intimidated in her shop by
supporters of the ruling Zanu PF party and levels of poaching on the farm
increased dramatically. Then 200 armed 'war veterans' invaded the farm and
forced his parents to dance in the yard, chanting 'Down with the Brownlee

'I have no family there now,' said Brownlee Walker. 'They were all advised
to evacuate because it was so dangerous. They had started to kill farmers
including people we knew. My parents are in South Africa, so I don't have to
worry about that. But I worry for myself.'

His first refusal from the Home Office came through in November 2001 and an
appeal was launched that resulted in a court appearance late this summer.

The court decision was upheld at a subsequent tribunal and, while Brownlee
Walker can still vote or be called to sit on a British jury, he cannot work
or pay tax. He has already had to turn down concert work in Prague and a
contract to play on a cruise ship because he would not be allowed back into
Britain afterwards.

'Either friends have to continue to help him or he goes to a detention
centre,' said Howard. 'I am very angry. I know we can't afford to take in
six million starving Zimbabweans, but it does astonish me that we haven't
stood up more to what is going on. We should be saying that this is now the
most awful regime.'

For Brownlee Walker there are few avenues left, although he is hoping to
send in a fresh application for asylum on the grounds that his family
circumstances have radically altered. The Home Secretary suspended enforced
deportations to Zimbabwe a year ago, following a series of articles in The
Observer, but the threat is still there.

'Everything turns on this situation for me now. I have spent all my adult
life here, but if everything was all right in Zimbabwe I would love to go
there, to help develop music,' he said.

Howard is organising a Concert For Zimbabwe at St John Smith Square on 30
April. Money raised will go into a charitable trust to promote classical
music in Zimbabwe.
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Players hit out over Zimbabwe
By Huw Turbevill  (Filed: 05/01/2003)

The Government have been attacked by the professional cricketers for their
"very weak lead" on the issue of whether England should play in Zimbabwe
during the World Cup on Feb 13.

Richard Bevan, managing director of the Professional Cricketers'
Association, said there had been no Government strategy, even though they
had known for four years that Zimbabwe would be hosting matches.

He added: "Last March, when the various nations were signing the
participation agreements, the British Government said nothing to the England
and Wales Cricket Board nor asked for any meeting to discuss the issue.
Changes to the structure of the tournament could possibly have been made if
pressure had been brought to bear earlier last year.

"With six weeks to go before the start of the competition, the Government
are just playing politics with the game of cricket and demonstrating a very
weak lead."

Bevan said the PCA were unaware of any player "about to break his
contractual obligations", but he believed that the cricket authorities of
England and the other boards involved would not discriminate in future
selection against anyone supporting a boycott.

The PCA's criticism of the Government has been supported by the FICA, the
international players' organisation.

Tim May, the FICA chief executive, said that cricketers were ill-equipped to
make political decisions. He added: "Zimbabwe cricket is an important part
of the international cricketing community and they should not suffer because
of the deficiencies of their government."

May's comments conflict with the pro-boycott view of England's chairman of
selectors, David Graveney, May's FICA colleague and chief executive of the

Bevan expects the games in Zimbabwe to proceed as planned unless the
governments of Britain, Australia and New Zealand lobby the International
Cricket Council.

The PCA do not expect to talk to the players again on the subject until
Thursday, when the ECB are due to meet Government officials.

Bevan has given Nasser Hussain and the England players a file of advice on
the issue.

There have been no meetings on the subject during the Ashes tour, but
members of team management are likely to discuss the crisis with ECB chief
executive Tim Lamb after the end of the current Test in Sydney.

Peter Chingoka, chairman of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union, has again urged
England and Australia to honour their "obligation" to play.

He said his country deserved a return on the money they had spent on
structural improvements at the two grounds and on a dedicated World Cup
office, adding that a boycott would deprive hundreds of households of

He said: "Over the past two years we have put in a lot of effort to make
sure we can get our two venues up to standard.

"Directly, the World Cup organisation employs about 220 people. So the
extended family means at least a 1,000 mouths are fed through cricket."

Further pressure has been brought on the Zimbabwe team. Senior officials
within Robert Mugabe's discredited regime have said that players could have
their passports confiscated and be banned from leaving the country if any of
the matches are moved to South Africa.

And it is believed that Sam Nujoma, President of Namibia and friend of
Mugabe, would take similar action if Namibia's players failed to honour the
fixture against Zimbabwe on Feb 10.

Holland have said they will be going ahead with their scheduled match in
Zimbabwe on Feb 28. Defending the decision to play, their captain, Roland
Lefebvre, formerly of Somerset and Glamorgan, said: "The game is about sport
and not politics."

Rene van Ierschot, president of the Royal Dutch Cricket Federation, said:
"We totally conform to the position of the ICC. Staying away would not help
people in Zimbabwe."

Most of the Dutch team have already started training in Zimbabwe.
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Sunday, 5 January, 2003, 00:35 GMT
Hain urges cricket boycott
President Robert Mugabe
President Mugabe denied rigging his election win
England's cricketers have been urged to boycott their World Cup match in Zimbabwe by a British minister who made a name for himself agitating against sporting links with apartheid-era South Africa.

Peter Hain, who is Welsh Secretary, said this year's tournament should be moved to South Africa, the co-hosts.

Mr Hain asked the players to "show some moral backbone" by refusing to play in Zimbabwe if the event goes ahead.

The government has said it wants England to pull out of February's game against Zimbabwe because of the human rights record of President Robert Mugabe's regime.

Peter Hain
If Mugabe gets his way and the event proceeds, England should not go

Peter Hain
But it cannot force such a move and the cricketing authorities in England have said the decision is a political one and not for them to make.

England cricket captain Nasser Hussain has echoed this stance and asked the government to make the decision on behalf of English cricket.

Mr Hain said the credibility of the International Cricket Council and the Commonwealth depended on the whole event being switched to South Africa.

He wrote in the Independent on Sunday: "If Mugabe gets his way and the event proceeds, England should not go.

"But if their international sister organisations will not stand up for morality against oppression, if other governments will not back our own government's stand, then it is still important for English cricket to show some moral backbone.

"What will they do if ordinary Zimbabweans protest against the matches - as they well might - and are clubbed away mercilessly, maybe to death?"

Ministers' warning

The Independent on Sunday claims Mr Mugabe had been considering banning both the Australian and England cricket teams when the controversy first blew up, but decided against it.

Meanwhile the Sunday Telegraph reports that ministers will tell the England players not to shake hands with the president if they insist on going to Zimbabwe.

The warning, to be delivered by Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell and Foreign Office minister Baroness Amos at a meeting with the England and Wales Cricket Board on Thursday, is because they fear handing the Zimbabwean leader a propaganda coup.

The International Cricket Council last week said it stood by its decision to go ahead with matches in Zimbabwe.

Peter Hain demonstrating against apartheid
The radical: Mr Hain campaigning against apartheid
There has been an international outcry about Mr Mugabe's treatment of white farmers and opposition politicians, while millions face starvation in a humanitarian crisis.

Mr Hain said Mr Mugabe would exploit the World Cup to convey a sense of normality.

He accused the president of destroying the country for his own gain.

The minister first attracted widespread public attention for his efforts to disrupt the Springboks' 1970 rugby tour by staging pitch invasions and even gluing the locks on the players' hotel rooms.

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From The Zimbabwe Independent, 3 January

ACP states in bid to break Zim/EU stand-off

Mthulisi Mathuthu

The African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) states, who have been feeling the pinch in the fall-out between Zimbabwe and the European Union, are working at pressing President Mugabe to relax his offensive against Brussels. Anxious to restore normal ties, the ACP states are reportedly hoping to see Mugabe ahead of the EU/Africa summit scheduled for Lisbon in April and the next plenary session of the EU/ACP joint parliamentary assembly to be held in Congo-Brazzaville later the same month. The Zimbabwe Independent heard this week that ACP secretary-general Jean-Robert Goulongana of Benin and other officials were due in the country later this month for talks with Mugabe as part of an effort to break the stalemate between Zimbabwe and the EU. "Goulongana is a reformist and so is willing to see this resolved," a source said. "He will try to convince Mugabe not to send people barred from visiting Europe for these meetings in future." The source said Goulongana had realised that the EU was firm in its decision not to further entertain any of Mugabe's banned emissaries.

While it was not clear who would accompany Goulongana, sources told the Independent that ACP countries like Botswana, Senegal and Mozambique were worried that the continued stand-off between Harare and the EU would sabotage prospects of further aid. Sources said details of Goulongana's visit would be finalised "anytime after January 6". The Independent heard that Portugal and France have been mobilising ACP countries to support their idea of talks between Harare and the EU. Portugal is labouring to restore relations between Zimbabwe and the EU to save the summit to be held in Lisbon. France is also sensitive about the Francophone summit to be held in February. France is seen as having a soft spot for the Harare administration and may campaign among French-speaking African countries who are also members of the ACP to support Zimbabwe's attendance at the Lisbon summit. Portugal, which has interests in its former African colonies, is reportedly anxious to save the summit which African countries have threatened to boycott if Zimbabwe is barred for its failure to end political repression and human rights violations.

In November the ACP member states boycotted the EU/ACP joint parliamentary assembly in Brussels after the EU insisted on barring Mugabe's two ministers, Chris Kuruneri and Paul Mangwana, leading to the meeting being aborted. The ACP is reportedly favouring dispatching Goulongana as opposed to a fact-finding mission proposed by the European Socialists in the EU. Both the ACP states and Portugal are worried that Mugabe could refuse to allow a fact-finding mission into the country on the EU's terms, further spoiling relations and ultimately sabotaging the Lisbon summit. The European Socialists have already set terms demanding that Mugabe should relax his sanctions regime and allow banned British MEPs like Glenys Kinnock into the country as part of the mission to investigate the abuse of human rights in Zimbabwe. The EU slapped Mugabe and his associates with smart sanctions last year following failure to combat lawlessness in the run-up to the March presidential election. Since then, relations have continued to deteriorate with the EU accusing Mugabe of fomenting famine and steering terror campaigns in the hinterland to emasculate the opposition's support base.

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From The Independent on Sunday (UK), 5 January

England should not play into the hands of Mugabe's odious regime

Hit Zimbabwe hard by transferring all its World Cup games to South Africa

Peter Hain

It's hard not to sympathise when England's cricket captain, Nasser Hussain, pleads for others to take moral decisions for him over staging some of the World Cup matches in Zimbabwe, though the idea that this crisis has come out of the blue is risible: everyone has known for months, from their television screens, of the violence and mayhem that the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, has wreaked on his people. But listening to the views of cricketers and their officials reminds me of the 1960-70 era. Then, they just wanted to play South African teams, regardless of the fact that blacks were denied by apartheid laws from doing so, that sport was a weapon of white South African tyranny, and that our sports boycotts of that era delivered what Nelson Mandela later confirmed was a mortal blow to apartheid. Although the cricketers' scheduled visit to Zimbabwe raises different issues from apartheid in sport – because cricket there is multi-racial – the common principle is that sports people cannot divorce themselves from life and the moral decisions of life. What made apartheid South Africa unique was that all sport – from school to club to provincial to national level – was organised on racist lines. From the bottom to the top of all sports, blacks and whites could not be members of the same team. Politics in the old South Africa infected the very organisation and spirit of sport as no other tyranny, whether communist or fascist, had done then, or has done since. At the time, other tyrannies – from military regimes in Pakistan to fascist juntas in Latin America, Spain or Portugal, to Stalinism in Russia – were abhorrent. But their nasty politics rarely, if ever, infected their sport. If South African-type boycotts and protests had been applied to every country deemed to have strayed from democracy and freedom, international sport would have ground to a halt.

Equally, let us be clear, sport has always been mixed up with politics. For example, in his rapprochement with China in 1971 President Nixon used "ping-pong diplomacy". In 1973 the French cancelled a sports tour to Australia after protests about French nuclear tests in the Pacific. And so on. Additionally, there were moments when to proceed with a prestigious sporting event was to endorse tyranny. That was true of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, which Hitler milked mercilessly. It was the case, too, with the Moscow Olympics in 1980 following the invasion of Afghanistan (which I argued – unsuccessfully that time – should be boycotted). As arrangements in Harare and Bulawayo have confirmed, Mugabe wants to exploit the cricket World Cup to project an image of normality: as if the civilised ambience of the village green – its peaceful decency, its multi-racial tolerance – applies in Zimbabwe today. But, of course, it doesn't. Zimbabweans who don't support Mugabe are deliberately deprived of food aid: in all, seven million people – half the population – are estimated to be starving. Opposition supporters are violently attacked and sometimes killed. Elections are rigged. The country is being devastated by a man interested in one thing only: his personal enrichment and absolute power. The shameless way he and his élite have destroyed the economy, driven away investment, pushed inflation up to 150 per cent, eliminated the rule of law and transformed an African success story into a crying failure is nothing short of criminal. When Mrs Mugabe helped herself to a farm recently she followed others in the ruling élite who had not only driven a white farmer off the land but 100 or more skilled black workers too. And even worse, these captured farms have become derelict: instead of being the "breadbasket" of southern Africa, Zimbabwe is now dependent upon imported food and aid.

I wonder whether Mugabe and his henchmen ever recall the spirit of the freedom struggle that they so bravely waged, with the active support of many in the West. It was both a struggle against white oppression and a fight for freedom, democracy and non-racialism: the very same values that they are so ruthlessly destroying today. It is important for British opinion to be absolutely consistent. Black tyranny is no better than white tyranny. It is tragic that Mugabe is no better than the leader of white Rhodesia, Ian Smith, who locked him up, and whose security services bred exactly the kind of terror inflicted on Morgan Tsvangirai and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change today. But consistency also requires acknowledging hypocrisy. What a comfort it is to see Conservative politicians and right-wing newspapers fearlessly leading the charge against Mugabe. But where were they in the fight against apartheid? They were backing sports tours to the hilt. They were fraternising with white South Africa's rulers and betraying Nelson Mandela and the rest of us involved in the anti-apartheid struggle. No wonder the black and brown cricketing nations have greeted the white attack on Mugabe with some sourness.

But they, too, have some questions of consistency to answer. I know Commonwealth leaders detest Mugabe's atrocities. I know African leaders are appalled by what he has done to Africa's name, and the way he has shaken international investor confidence. I know because they and their colleagues have told me so. But what are they actually doing about Mugabe? What are they doing to help oppressed Zimbabweans? As the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary have made clear, an African solution is needed to this desperate problem – one that would immediately attract support from donor countries such as ours. The truth is that this World Cup is not really about the anguish of English, or now Australian, cricketers. It is about the credibility of the International Cricket Council and the Commonwealth – white, brown and black member countries all together. As the Zimbabwean opposition is pleading, the ICC should act to transfer every game to be played in that country to South Africa, which is a beacon of multi-racialism, tolerance and democracy, just as Zimbabwe is a beacon of the very opposite.

If Mugabe gets his way and the event proceeds, England should not go. But if their international sister organisations will not stand up for morality against oppression, if other governments will not back our own government's stand, then it is still important for English cricket to show some moral backbone. What about those Zimbabwean youngsters unable to play because they haven't been fed? What will the English team do if British sports journalists are blocked from covering not just the overs and the runs, but the context too? What will they do if ordinary Zimbabweans protest against the matches – as they well might – and are clubbed away mercilessly, maybe to death? The temperature on the streets in Zimbabwe is rising. Starvation and desperation is widespread. It could well erupt around the World Cup as people demand food and freedom. If international cricket doesn't care about this then what are its values? What does it really stand for except the right to bat on regardless? The odious Mugabe regime would gain an enormous propaganda victory if the World Cup went ahead. Which is why it shouldn't.

Peter Hain, Secretary of State for Wales, was minister for Africa, and before that a leading anti-apartheid campaigner

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ABC Online

Monday, January  6, 2003. Posted: 09:40:43 (AEDT)

Zimbabwe to spy on cricketers: report

Zimbabwe will reportedly spy on British and Australian cricketers playing in World Cup matches because President Robert Mugabe believes British agents are planning to assassinate him.

South African newspaper the Sunday Independent reports Mr Mugabe wanted to ban the Australian and English cricketers because he feared British MI6 agents, working in cahoots with the Zimbabwean opposition, would use the occasion to kill him.

The paper said Cabinet persuaded Mr Mugabe last week that hosting the matches in February and March would be a diplomatic coup for Zimbabwe after pressure from the British and Australian governments for a boycott of the matches in the southern African nation.

The newspaper, citing unidentified Zimbabwean Government sources, said the Cabinet agreed that the Zimabwean spy agency, the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), would assign at least three agents to each British and Australian cricketer or official.

The CIO will also bug the visitors' accommodation and telephone lines, and closely monitor their movements, it said.

"The fact is that Mugabe would rather not have these people here ... he thinks after humiliating (British Prime Minister Tony) Blair at the Earth Summit (in Johannesburg last year, when Mugabe blamed Blair for Zimbabwe's problems) and after the failure of the west to remove him from power, the focus is now on killing him," an official, who declined to be named, told the newspaper.

"He thinks British intelligence are working full-time on that."

The British and Australian governments argue that playing matches in Zimbabwe would be tantamount to endorsing Mugabe's regime, which stands accused of human rights abuses and rigging presidential elections in March.

The cricket showpiece begins on February 8 with an opening ceremony in Cape Town. Most of the matches will be played in South Africa, but Zimbabwe will play its group matches at home, and two matches will be played in Kenya.

Members of the English and Wales Cricket Board are due to meet British government ministers this week to discuss the current situation.

Australia has meanwhile said it will seek to organise a collective ban on staging World Cup matches in Zimbabwe with Prime Minister John Howard saying Australia would be willing to pay for the re-scheduling of games.

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Daily News 2 Jan 03
Tsvangirai, beware of Zanu PF’s Trojan horse Dyke

1/2/2003 9:45:04 AM (GMT +2)

By Paul Taylor

The remarks in this article are directed specifically towards the MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.

My cynical father once told me always to remember Cicero’s statement that politicians are not born but excreted. I don’t want you to take the line personally. I am sure you will admit, looking at the situation in which Zimbabwe finds itself, that Cicero had a point.

But, for two reasons, I am prepared to believe that you are a better man than the average politician. The first reason is that people who know you well believe you are genuinely committed to the creation of an intensive human rights culture and a fully participatory democracy. Of course, we shall have to see.

The second reason is that it would be arrogant in the extreme of me not to support the verdict of the majority of voters, who did you the honour of electing you President of Zimbabwe.

There is no getting away from this fundamental fact: You were elected. That the election was comprehensively rigged by Zanu PF to cheat you of office and to cheat our people of their sovereignty is neither here nor there. You know it; I know it; the voters know it; the people who rigged the proceedings know it; and President Mugabe knows it better than anyone else.

And because he pretends otherwise, there is a terrifying void at the heart of our constitutional life. Each and every citizen is aware of the gaping wound that has been inflicted on the legitimacy of the State.

The people who have to defend the indefensible can no longer rely on propaganda and pantomime to maintain the lie that Robert Mugabe is our elected President. They have to use harsher and cruder laws and greater levels of violence aimed at ordinary citizens to force them to accept it. Until the crisis of legitimacy ends, the trend will continue.

Mugabe is prepared to go to his grave – and take Zimbabwe with him – clinging to the fiction of legitimacy. His younger, smarter supporters realise that the game is up. When he goes they will have to face the nation, and the international community. These people are understandably nervous about that. Slobodan Milosevic is at The Hague.

They intend to neutralise you, Tsvangirai. They might yet use violence, but as a last resort. Should anything happen to you the country will go into a meltdown. Nonetheless, please check your cars’ brakes and tyres regularly. You are all the more dangerous in the eyes of dangerous men now that the treason trial gambit has backfired so spectacularly. You have shown you will not be intimidated. The machinations of Zanu PF propagandists and State security agents have transformed you into a symbol of Zimbabwean democracy.

A Zimbabwean stand-off has developed. In one part of Harare the democratically elected president awaits trial, and across town, behind barbed wire and guards with automatic weapons, an unelected president rules.

Zanu PF ministers may be stupidly selfish, but they are cunning. They are coming under increasing pressure, due to the rapid implosion of the country, to do something to break the logjam. Something had to give.

Someone had to come knocking at your door. So the security establishment looked for a soldier they could trust, whom you might think you could trust too.

It was Lionel Dyke.

To which one well-informed observer of our politics asked me: “Lionel Who?”

This ex-soldier and clearer of minefields features in the Catholic Church report on Gukurahundi, Breaking the Silence, Building True Peace from time to time. I am sure that by his lights he is an honourable man. But is he a heavyweight figure, a credible mediator in crucial negotiations where the entire future of the nation is at stake?

I would have to say not on your Nellie, Mr President. I say this on the basis of reports of things Dyke has said himself about Gukurahundi.

A sample of his remarks: “You often have to be cruel to be kind. Had an operation like (the 5 Brigade’s) not taken place, that battle could have gone on for years and years as a festering sore. And I believe the Matabele understand that sort of harsh treatment far better than the treatment I myself was giving them, when we would just hunt and kill a man if he was armed. The fact is that when 5 Brigade went in, they did brutally deal with the problem. If you were a dissident sympathiser, you died. And it brought peace very, very quickly.”

Really? He was talking about 20 000 dead people and a type of violence which has now become the ruination of the entire country.

Whatever his strengths, Dyke cannot be accused of having a sophisticated understanding of civil society or the complex
crucible in which our country’s future is being forged. He may enjoy the confidence of Emmerson Mnangagwa, but this does not mean he enjoys the confidence of many other stakeholders. He has wandered into a minefield that he cannot clear.

But peace cannot come at just any price. If you were to allow Mugabe to step down and Zanu PF to hold on to power for another two years, while the international community relaxed its pressure, what guarantee is there that we will ever see the tenacious and resilient opportunists in Zanu PF and the soldiers marching out of civilian affairs?

Tsvangirai, you have the people’s mandate to take the initiative and clear up this mess. It is time to set out the basis on which you are prepared to allow the orderly withdrawal from power of Robert Mugabe and his cohorts. This should be done publicly and clearly and it should stipulate the mediators you are prepared to accept, a timetable for negotiation, and the mechanisms you wish to implement towards a peaceful transition.

It is time for Zanu PF to realise its day is done and no amount of wriggling, squirming or dirty tricks will prolong it any further. The country is falling apart. The country and indeed the world are ready to listen.

And please, don’t talk to men like Dyke behind closed doors again.

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Daily News 2 Jan 03
Can 2003 be a better year for Zimbabwe?

1/2/2003 9:37:07 AM (GMT +2)

VERY few Zimbabweans would predict with any earnestness that the year 2003 could be a better year for their country than 2002. There would be no basis for such a prediction.

The government, whose economic policies have crippled the country, particularly since the disastrous land invasions of 2000, made promises to turn around the economy in the National Budget presented to Parliament in November.

In all fairness, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Herbert Murerwa, did concede that the country needed God Almighty to rescue it from its impending catastrophe.

The basis on which he would make such an appeal is tenuous, to say the least. His government’s catalogue of brutality against God’s innocent people is so well-documented most people would doubt very much that He would take Murerwa’s plea seriously.

The government’s credibility has been so eroded that very few people can take their word at its face value. The fuel crisis provides a poignant example of the impunity with which they have peddled falsehoods to desperate users.

The Minister of Energy and Power Development has appeared on television many times in the last few days, assuring the nation that there would be more fuel supplies being delivered to the service stations.

Each time he makes such declarations in public – and there is no significant reduction in the length of queues at the service stations – his and his government’s credibility take another knock.

In other countries, Amos Midzi would have resigned, conceding defeat and giving the President the freedom to choose someone else, perhaps more energetic and qualified.

The truth, unhappily, is that most of the Cabinet posts are now held by people more enthusiastic about promoting their personal political and financial fortunes than in developing the country.

Most of them have found refuge in the Hondo yeMinda land reform programme: as far as they are concerned, this haphazard redistribution of land to the landless has provided their party with the perfect solution to the people’s discontent with their performance since independence.

They have added to the propaganda an element of racism which is nauseating in its content. To the gullible citizen, they are saying repeatedly, the problems of this country can be blamed entirely on the machinations of the former colonial masters and their allies.

They are saying the shortage of foreign currency, which is one of the major reasons why the economy is in a tailspin, can be traced to the tomfoolery of the British, the Americans, the Germans and the French.
There is little mention of the fact that once the government abandoned the rule of law, persecuted the judiciary, the clergy, the media and all other critics of its high-handed, ham-fisted style of governance, it lost many friends.

The only way it can bring them back, and with them the respect the country requires to forge ahead politically and economically as a respected member of the Global Village, is to abandon immediately the arrogant practices for which it has been isolated.

For instance, it must ensure there is true freedom and fairness in the conduct of crucial by-elections in Kuwadzana and Highfield this year.

It must abandon the use of the so-called war veterans and the “green bombers” to bash the heads of the voters into submitting to the will of their candidates. The two urban seats are held by the opposition and there is no doubt Zanu PF would love to win them back.

If the campaigning is as violent as it has been since the 2000 election, then we will know that 2003 will be no different from 2002. It will be another bloody year for a country now regarded as The Sick Man of Africa.

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Daily News 2 Jan 03
Zanu PF squabbles over governor

1/2/2003 9:07:58 AM (GMT +2)

From Chris Gande in Bulawayo

THE selection of a provincial governor for Bulawayo province is threatening to split Zanu PF in Matabeleland.

Party insiders said one faction wants the post to be taken by George Mlilo, the former Bulawayo City Council director of engineering services, while the other faction, consisting mainly of the party’s old guard, feels that Mlilo’s political record is not impressive and would prefer either party veterans Sikhanyiso Ndlovu or Dumiso Dabengwa.

Mlilo lost his job with the council after he stood as a Zanu PF mayoral candidate last year and was defeated by Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube of the MDC.

Ndlovu, the former Deputy Minister of Higher Education, and Dabengwa, the former Home Affairs Minister, both lost their parliamentary seats to the MDC in the 2000 election.

Ignatius Chombo, the Minister of Local Government and National Housing, announced last week that governors for Bulawayo and Harare would be nominated soon.

The two cities are classified as provinces but have not had governors.
Both Dabengwa and Ndlovu, however, yesterday said they had not been approached over the matter.

Ndlovu said: “That is mere speculation because I don’t even know that there is a position of governor. Just leave speculation to speculators. I don’t comment on hypothetical questions because I am a practical person.”

Sources within Zanu PF said Ndlovu’s candidature was being advanced by people from the former MP’s Mpopoma constituency who still benefit from his efforts to source maize-meal and initiate other developmental projects.

Dabengwa said he could not comment because all that he had heard was what had appeared in the newspapers.

The MDC has said the new post of governor has been created to frustrate the work of the MDC mayors in the country’s two major cities.

Currently, the country has eight provincial governors.

Dr Lovemore Madhuku, a lecturer and chairman of the Department of Public Law at the University of Zimbabwe, said yesterday that President Mugabe was empowered by the Provincial Councils Act to appoint more than eight governors.

“However, under the Constitution, only eight governors are allowed to be Members of Parliament. It should be noted that Harare and Bulawayo are provinces under the Act.

“They are not political provinces as people mistakenly say,” Madhuku said.

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Daily News 2 Jan 03
Mugabe’s hate speeches

1/2/2003 9:48:01 AM (GMT +2)

For some time I thought that President Mugabe was well aware of the economic state of the country.

I also thought that it was for this reason that he chose to put together a “war cabinet”.

I had thought that the war was an economic war since the main opposition party the MDC is so peaceful, civil war is not its option
Strangely, he told the nation during the Chinhoyi feast that he would start looking into the problems bedevilling the country. He may not have been informed about food scavenging and fuel queues.

Someone had to inform him.
Somehow this ruining party does the opposite of what ordinary people expect from a ruling party.

When Kenneth Manyonda had his election win nullified, Mugabe made him minister. When Mnangagwa lost in his constituency, he was given a top job and now earns much more than he would have earned as an MP.

When Amos Midzi lost the mayoral elections, Mugabe decided to award him with a top job, far more than Midzi ever aspired to hold.

When Andrew Langa shot an MDC supporter in front of the police, Mugabe went ahead to make him MP of the disputed constituency.

When Mnangagwa and top army men were implicated in diamond looting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mugabe chose to ignore the call to investigate these people despite their counterparts in the DRC being investigated over the same allegations. There is much more that Mugabe has done in time to go against the people.

Instead of disarming the large army and make them work for food in the newly acquired farms, Mugabe will dish out the scarce land to a few top men in the army and keep the rest guarding his misguided principles.

Instead of buying simple cars like Mazda 323s for policemen, Mugabe and Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri think Zimbabwe manufactures Mercs and would rather buy these expensive vehicles instead of procuring fuel for the country or sourcing food for most starving Zimbabweans.

They think the country is under threat. One wonders which western country is interested in colonising Zimbabwe at this age.
They buy top armoury to crush riots and strikes because they made themselves enemies of the people.

Instead of buying seed, farming equipment and invest more in agriculture since they destroyed the backbone of the country’s economy, they resort to financing the Border Gezi camps.

Instead of sending out a message of safety and peace to Zimbabweans, Mugabe chose to make it known that the British and the West were his enemies.

He took the platform to declare that he would make life more difficult to “their kith and kin” here in Zimbabwe.

I would love to ask Charles Barron, a New York councillor who is very supportive of Mugabe, to tell us what form of logic there is in Mugabe’s utterances.

Later Barron and his Harlem people would think journalists are bent on saying bad things against his friend Mugabe, but he is the one who broadcasts his ill-gotten policies of hate, destruction and shame.

To clarify exactly what Mugabe meant, the more the US government’s policies are against him, the more he will kill whites in Zimbabwe.
I am a Zimbabwean and Mugabe’s speech is his and will never represent the spirit of right thinking Zimbabweans.

Finally, Mugabe is fast creating himself enemies in the world and in his country.

His policies are so old he should have said what he says in the bush when they were fighting for liberation.

This is not the language of someone who has stayed at State House for 22 years.


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