Reporter Last updated: 05/12/2004 08:47:04 THE government has announced a
further 50pc pay rise to civil servants after the matter went to
Civil servtants went on strike earlier in the year demanding
600 percent salary adjustments, while doctors and nurses embarked on a
parallel strike action demanding 8000 percent.
Public Service Minister
Paul Mangwana said the government had agreed to pay the 50pc pay rise on top
of the 250pc adjustment awarded earlier this year.
Lawrence Gabilo proposed the 50 percent top-up following submissions by both
government and civil servants.
"The figure being demanded by the unions
would be difficult to implement as this would trigger the inflation to go up
considerably and force prices of goods and services to go up in response,"
Zimbabwe has rampant inflation of nearly 600 percent and
civil servants said the government's initial offer of 100 percent would set
them back in the face of rising costs of goods and services.
also revealed that the minimum wages for domestic workers had been increased
by over 60 percent following recommendations by the Wages and Salaries
A grade one gardener now earns $83 000 a month, up from
$12 000; a grade two cook/housekeeper now earns a monthly salary of $90 300,
up from $13 060.
No famine here, says hungry Zimbabwe By Peta Thornycoft
in Harare and Tim Butcher in Johannesburg (Filed:
Zimbabwe, where more than five million people face
famine, claimed yesterday that it had enough food to feed its population and
would not seek aid supplies this year.
The claim was dismissed as
ridiculous by agricultural experts and aid workers who said it was an attempt
by the regime to secure full control over food supplies before next year's
While there have been relatively good rains this
year, the claim by Paul Mangwana, the labour and social welfare minister,
flew in the face of all empirical evidence.
"We don't need food aid
from outside the country," Mr Mangwana said. "We generally believe we
produced enough for local consumption, and we have told our international
partners about this.
"There are some areas that would have food deficits,
but these would be covered through internal food distribution."
would be asked only to assist in development programmes "and if we have good
rains again this year, we will kiss goodbye to food imports and donor food
The regime of President Robert Mugabe has a history of
exploiting food shortages. In a country where scores have died of starvation
in recent months, food is a powerful political tool as the ruling Zanu-PF
government has a record of giving supplies only to loyal
Two years ago the head of the air force was ordered by Mr
Mugabe to fly to Johannesburg with a bag full of dollar bills to buy food
that could then be given to party loyalists.
Paul Themba Nyathi,
spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, said: "This is
typical of Zanu-PF. It's callous and cruel as they will distribute the little
food we do have for political gain, with no consideration for the plight of
The government's claims were dismissed by
independent analysts and aid experts who said 5.5 million Zimbabweans, 2.5
million of them in urban areas, needed food assistance.
In March, 63
people, including 48 children, were reported to have died from hunger in the
second city, Bulawayo.
"This is not the right time to come up with a
proper decision about food needs as we do not have accurate estimates yet,"
said Norbert Dube, chairman of the non-governmental organisation Forum in the
southern Matabeleland province, where hundreds of thousands of people have
been kept alive by donations from the West.
Zimbabwe needs about 1.8
million tons of maize a year for its human and livestock needs, and
independent agencies estimate a shortfall of 900,000 tons.
Once a net
exporter of food with its well-designed irrigation system and rich
agricultural land, the country has been turned into a food-aid beggar by the
economic mismanagement of the regime. By destroying Zimbabawe's commercial
farming sector, Mr Mugabe removed an important source of foreign currency as
well as a generator of employment that benefited millions.
who used to have a steady income now have nothing and are forced to rely on
The announcement yesterday came only days after Mr Mugabe's
government suspended the work of United Nations crop assessors who were
visiting from South Africa.
The UN's World Food Programme said at the
weekend that it wanted to assess Zimbabwe's harvest after providing food aid
for two years.
The accreditation of the Sky News
crew, which was in the country purportedly to produce a documentary aimed at
countering the negative publicity the country has been receiving, has
expired, the Department of Information and Publicity in the Office of the
President and Cabinet has said. "The Department notes that you claim
completion of the first part of your assignment for which you were
accredited. This in effect means that your accreditation has expired as of
today, 10 May 2004," said the department in a letter to Mr Ben de Pear, a
producer of Sky News who was in the country with the crew. The department
said a request by the Sky News crew to interview President Mugabe should only
be made from the crew's home country, which is Britain, through the
Zimbabwean Embassy in London. The Sky News crew entered the country illegally
late last month before securing accreditation and despite advice from the
Department of Information and Publicity. The department had strongly objected
to the arrival of the crew before agreement on the proposed television
documentary project featuring the President and also outside the
accreditation rules and procedures under the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act. The case took a new twist last week when it
emerged that a Ugandan national, Mr David Nyekorach-Matsanga, and not Zanu
PF, was behind the crew. Contrary to media reports that the ruling party had
organised the visit by the team, Mr Nyekorach-Matsanga, a Ugandan who has
been in and out of Zimbabwe since the presidential poll in 2002 for as yet an
unknown mission, claims to be the one behind the news crew. According to
sources, Mr Nyekorach-Matsanga had been claiming that it was up to him to
decide whether or not the news crew would proceed with the interview they
were seeking with the President and senior Zanu-PF and Government
Mafia-style hit, the chief executive officer of Bindura Nickel Corporation
(BNC), Leonard Chimimba was shot dead outside his Harare house on Monday
night. The Daily Mirror is informed that the mining executive was shot once
through the back of the head as he was driving towards the gate of his place
of residence. Chimimba was said to be returning from a series of meetings
with some bank executives. While confirming the gruesome murder, the mine's
company secretary, Fraternity Ndhlela said: "I don't have any details at the
moment because I have been running around and so we still haven't got the
finer details." The company's corporate services director, Isaac Matunhire,
sent a bereavement message to BNC workers: "It is with deep shock and sadness
that we regret to advise of the tragic death of the chief executive officer
Dr L R Chimimba. Dr Chimimba was shot by an unknown assailant at the entrance
to his home in Harare on the evening of Monday 10 May 2004, and passed away
in hospital shortly afterwards." Mourners were said to be gathered at his
home at 29 Hogarty Hill Lane in Hogarty Hill, Borrowdale. Funeral
arrangements would be announced in due course.
There were unconfirmed
reports that Chimimba was set to meet the governor of the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe, Gideon Gono, yesterday before his death. The veracity of the
appointment and nature of the discussions could not be established at the
time of going to press.Police spokesman, Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka last
night confirmed the murder but said investigations were still in progress.
"The victim had a gunshot wound in the head and we believe that the incident
occurred at around 8.30pm. He was rushed to the Avenues Clinic but died 30
minutes later. The police however managed to recover a spent cartridge and
one live bullet at the scene of the crime." Mandipaka appealed to members of
the public to advise the police if they knew anything about the shooting. The
nickel producing company was in the news for the wrong reasons in early March
this year when two trucks carrying a total of 40 tonnes of nickel worth
US$600 000 (about Z$3 billion) destined for South Africa from BNC,
disappeared. It was rumoured that this was an inside job amid allegations
that some locals and foreigners were operating in cahoots with criminals in
There were innuendoes that this was part of a well
orchestrated Mafia type syndicate operating in South Africa especially given
that this had been followed by a similar heist of 36 tonnes of platinum from
Zimasco's Mimosa Mine in Zvishavane, that was also on its way to South
Africa. The drivers of the trucks of BNC's nickel were said to have been held
at Alberton Police Station in South Africa, but the case seemed to have died
a natural death, as further developments have not been revealed. Leading
conglomerate Anglo American Corporation (AAC) was once the major shareholder
of BNC but sold its 52,94 percent stake to a consortium, Mwana Africa
Holdings for US$8 million in April 2003. Mwana Africa is a consortium of
African businessmen from Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia,
Kenya, Ghana and South Africa. Kalaa Mpinga, a Congolese and Zimbabweans
Oliver Chidawu and Ngoni Kudenga are also said to be directors of the
consortium. Chidawu is also reported to have been instrumental in the
transfer of other companies in AAC's stable-namely Bard Discount House and
First Merchant Bank - to African Banking Corporation. Mpinga chairs the board
of BNC with Retired Air Chief Marshall Josiah Tungamirai as an alternate
director. Other directors include Kudenga, Muchadeyi Masunda, a Mazula, J
Schwarz and T Wadeson. Upon deciding to dispose of its shares in BNC, AAC had
cited the restrictive foreign exchange regulations in Zimbabwe that
threatened the company's viability.
Zimbabwe Finance Minister
Chris Kuruneri, who has been detained for almost three weeks on charges of
violating foreign exchange and citizenship regulations, was denied bail in
the Zimbabwe High Court yesterday. Justice Ben Hlatshwayo ruled that Kuruneri
was likely to abscond if given bail as he had "family connections, friends,
and abundant means of survival outside the country". "The charges are very
serious, and the punishment upon conviction is likely to be so severe as to
induce the applicant, who has both substantial means, family, friends and
connections abroad, to abscond." Hlatshwayo said the chances that Kuruneri
could flee were real because he was facing "very serious charges involving
enormous amounts of money and possible severe punishment". Of the five
charges relating to the illegal export of funds and holding dual citizenship,
the judge said three were "quite strong", and the accused's explanations
"very weak or even improbable". Earlier yesterday Kuruneri appeared before a
magistrate for a routine remand hearing. He was remanded to May 26. Kuruneri
was arrested on April 24 on allegations of exporting large amounts of foreign
currency to buy and build properties in South Africa. He was reported to be
building a R30m mansion in Cape Town and to have bought a Mercedes Benz
valued at R547734. Kuruneri has said he did not export the money but earned
it through consulting for foreign companies. He is also accused of holding
Zimbabwean and Canadian passports at the same time, which is illegal under
Zimbabwean citizenship laws. He said he had never held a Canadian passport,
merely becoming a permanent resident after living in Canada for 11
years. Kuruneri's lawyer said he would read the bail judgment before
deciding whether to appeal. A number of prominent businessmen, including Zanu
PF officials, have been arrested on corruption charges. Several
business executives, especially bankers, have fled the country to escape
President Robert Mugabe's anticorruption crackdown.
Zimbabwe Judge Refuses to Dismiss Case Against Suspected
Mercenaries VOA News 12 May 2004, 17:08 UTC
A Zimbabwe judge
has refused to dismiss a case against 70 suspected mercenaries accused of
plotting a coup in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea. The judge, Magistrate Mishrod
Guvamombe, told a makeshift court in a Harare prison Wednesday he is
satisfied there is a "reasonable suspicion" the men committed a
The 70 suspects, most of them South African, are awaiting trial in
the maximum security prison. They have been charged on several counts
including immigration and aviation violations after their plane landed in
Harare in March.
The Zimbabwe government says they were headed to
Equatorial Guinea to overthrow the government there. Prosecutors told the
court they have obtained a contract which they say was signed between the
alleged leader of the mercenaries, Simon Mann, and Equatorial Guinea's exiled
opposition leader, Severo Moto. The lawyers say the contract stipulated a
monetary payoff, but they did not tell the court what the alleged payment was
The suspects deny the charges. They say the were en route to the
Democratic Republic of Congo to provide security for a mine.
information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.
Fifty-seven people died of malaria in Zimbabwe last
week, bringing the toll to 500 since the start of the rainy season this year,
government medical officials said on Tuesday.
Medical experts have
attributed the rising number of deaths to the heavy rain in most parts of the
country, coupled with a lack of funds and chemicals to carry out routine
Since 2001, Zimbabwe has been part of the "Roll Back Malaria"
initiative, launched in partnership with the UN Children's Fund
UNICEF spokeswoman Shantha Bloemen said "excellent"
anti-malaria programmes in many districts had been affected by lack of funds
and the country's high inflation rate.
She pointed out that the price
of a mosquito net had spiralled from Zim $14,000 (US $2.63) to Zim $40,000
(US $7.54) in the past few months. In previous years district administrations
had provided the nets to people at a subsidised rate, but with the hike in
price in recent months, they had been unable to do so.
the malaria initiative had bought US $100,000 worth of malaria drugs, using
funds received from the Norwegian government. "We now have an ample supply of
drugs, but the problem is ensuring that rural people have access to
Dr Biggie Mabaera, medical director of Mashonaland Central
province, where the largest number of cases occurred, said the situation had
been aggravated by the lack of chemicals. "We have only been able to spray
part of the areas prone to malaria outbreaks, due to these [funding]
Dr Stanley Midzi, head of disease control in the ministry
of health and child welfare, said 3,500 malaria cases had been reported up to
the end of the wet season [in early June], almost a third more than the 2,500
reported countrywide in the same period last year.
government has launched several awareness campaigns to encourage villagers in
malaria-prone areas to use mosquito nets, wear clothing that covers most of
the body at night, and use insect repellant creams.
Tetchy cross-border relations with Botswana BULAWAYO, 12 May 2004 (IRIN) - A
packed minibus stops at the Plumtree border about 100 km southwest of
Zimbabwe's second largest city, Bulawayo, where the commuters alight and head
for the immigration post.
A few stride confidently towards the building
for a quick passage to the buses that will take them across the
Zimbabwe/Botswana border, while the rest amble forward nervously,
anticipating hassles by the Batswana immigration officers.
on weekends is less of an ordeal, when immigration officials are exhausted
and less alert," said 28-year-old Pamela Tshuma, a regular traveler who works
as a hairstylist and informal trader in Botswana's capital,
Pamela plaits hair at 30 pula (US $5) a head in the suburbs of
Gaborone. "If one works hard and is lucky to get customers, it is possible to
make 3,000 pula a month (US $605), which translates into a lot of money back
home," she explains.
Zimbabweans have been making shopping trips to
Botswana for almost three decades, but the steadily deteriorating economic
conditions in their country have caused thousands, both skilled and
unskilled, to trek to Botswana's cities, towns and mines in search of jobs.
Many enter the country illegally along secret paths in the dead of
Although scores of them are deported every week, the desperate
Zimbabweans still find it worthwhile to sneak back into the country in search
of opportunities and a better life.
Recent media reports on the
alleged ill-treatment of Zimbabweans by Batswana nationals have soured
relations between the two countries.
In turn, the Zimbabwean authorities
have accused Botswana of hosting a Voice of America radio transmitter that
broadcasts "hostile propaganda aimed at regime change by the Americans",
beamed at Zimbabwe by exiles. Botswana has denied any wrongdoing.
presenting his credentials to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe recently,
Botswana's new envoy to Zimbabwe explained that the radio transmitter had
been in operation for the past 25 years, and scoffed at the alleged ill
treatment of Zimbawean nationals. "It is a traditional custom in Botswana for
traditional chiefs to flog petty criminals. We don't put people in prison for
Bostwana's presidential spokesman, Jeff Ramsay, accused
sections of Zimbabwe's media of "fuelling misguided xenophobia", saying:
"Botswana has noted with growing concern openly hostile reports against the
government and the people of Botswana, which can only be interpreted as a
deliberate and systematic attempt to fuel hatred and xenophobia between our
Tsokolo Matibeli, a Zimbabwean electrical engineer working in
Botswana told IRIN: "It is those people who have no residence permits, those
that overstay and the illegal immigrants who face problems with the
authorities - like in any other country."
"Naturally, people view foreigners with disdain - that cannot be taken as
But Zimbabwean traders and job seekers in Botswana are
afraid the recent stand-off between the two countries could jeopardise what
has become a lifeline for their families.
"I hope accusations do not
develop into retaliatory actions. Botswana is the only country in SADC
[Southern African Development Community] that does not require entry visas,
unlike South Africa, Mozambique and Namibia," observed Nkululi Langa, a
Zimbabwean motor spare parts dealer who frequently
Major hospitals in Masvingo are battling with an
increasingly unmanageable high number of corpses in their mortuaries, with
most of them holding bodies double their carrying capacity.
hardest hit are Chivi, Chiredzi, Mwenezi and Masvingo hospitals,
whose mortuaries have a combined capacity of 67 bodies, but are carrying
The situation is more serious at Chiredzi District
Hospital, which has 60 bodies but can accommodate only 32 bodies at a
Masvingo provincial medical director Dr Tapiwa Magure yesterday
confirmed that most of the province's hospital mortuaries were overcrowded
"The most affected hospitals are Chivi, Mwenezi, Chiredzi
and Masvingo General Hospital which is also storing bodies from Ndanga
Hospital in Zaka as the mortuary there is out of order.
moment, Chiredzi has 60 bodiesbut its carrying capacity is 32, while at the
Masvingo General Hospital mortuary, there are 35 bodies against the carrying
capacity of 17, with Mwenezi carrying 18 bodies compared to its capacity of
nine bodies," said Dr Magure. He called on relatives of the deceased who have
funeral policies to utilise funeral parlours to help ease the overcrowding at
Most of the bodies have been lying in hospital
morgues for weeks before collection by relatives, a situation which Dr Magure
said was worrying.
He said they were liaising with the Department of
Social Welfare to work out plans that would result in bodies that have been
certified for paupers' burials being disposed of as part of efforts to clear
"We are also liaising with the police to find ways of
reducing this backlog as most of the bodies are brought by the police," said
Among the 35 corpses at the Masvingo General Hospital mortuary
is the body of a Masvingo man which has been lying there for two years but
cannot be bur ied as his family is demanding compensation from his alleged
killer before burying him. The Social Welfare Department has turned down a
request for a pauper's burial in this case as the relatives of the deceased
Shortage of funds has been inhibiting the expansion of
mortuaries at most hospitals in the country in the wake of the high number of
deaths, mainly due to the HIV/Aids scourge.
Miners say they 'relinquised' Zim
Mining giants Rio Tinto and Anglo American have decided to abandon some
prospecting rights in Zimbabwe, before the African nation decided to revoke
the licences, the companies said on Wednesday.
weekly official gazette, made available to Reuters on Tuesday, said the
government had nullified four rights issued to Rio Tinto Zimbabwe Ltd and
seven held by Prospecting Ventures, owned by Anglo's Zimbabwe
The two companies said they had actually applied to the
government to abandon the licences, before they were revoked.
"We had done everything we wanted to do with them.... Rather than... having
to carry on work in circumstances in which there was nothing to find, we
decided to abandon them," Rio Tinto Zimbabwe head, John Nixon,
Nixon said applications to abandon the rights to
prospect for diamonds and gold were submitted at the end of last
A spokeswoman for Anglo American, the world's third
biggest diversified miner after BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, said "relinquish"
would have been a better word instead of "revoke".
there has been a misuse of the word 'revoked'. What they actually mean is
relinquished," the spokeswoman said.
"We've actually given back.
These things (rights) were not going to be used in the near future," she
added. Anglo's rights were for the exploration of chromites. Zimbabwe is
attempting to clamp down on under-utilisation of mining rights, and local
media have reported repossession of hundreds of unused mining claims from
companies and individuals since the beginning of the year to make way for
what it calls serious investors.
In a monetary policy quarterly
review in March, central bank governor Gideon Gono said Zimbabwe's mining
sector continued operating below capacity, with some potential investors
keeping mining claims for years without "tangible operational
Gono urged mining authorities to put in place deadlines
within which mining claims should be utilised, saying this had been done in
Zimbabwe's mining ministry issues exclusive
prospective orders for a renewable term of two years but can cancel these if
the company fails to begin exploration work on time.
Zimbabwe's maize crop is 'much higher' than its
May 12, 2004, 12:32
Zimbabwe will produce 2.4
million tonnes of maize this year, much more than it needs, a final
government crop estimate has shown, state media said today. The government of
Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president, has told international donors that
it will not require emergency food aid for the first time in three years
after the bumper harvest, although farmers and aid agencies were sceptical of
the new figures.
Joseph Made, the Agriculture minister, said this
year's maize harvest would surpass the country's annual requirement of
between 1.5 million and two million tonnes thanks to above-normal rainfall,
the state owned Herald newspaper said. "Made said results from the final crop
assessment for the 2003/2004 season showed that 2 431 182 tonnes of maize
would be produced this season," the newspaper said.
battled food shortages since 2001, which aid agencies blame mainly on
disruptions to agriculture linked to the seizure of white-owned commercial
farms to resettle landless blacks. The Herald quoted Made as saying that the
land reform programme had enabled new black farmers to show that Zimbabwe's
agricultural productivity was far higher than had been assumed. The country's
average annual maize production has been at around 1.3 million tonnes over
the past five years, although it fell sharply during 2001/02.
CFU sceptical Zimbabwe's Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), which
represents many of the remaining white farmers in the country, was sceptical
about the new government forecast. "We think the crop will be similar to last
year which is around 700 000 tonnes. We don't know where these figures are
coming from," Doug Taylor-Freeme, the CFU president, said. "Even the seed
that was sold does not add up to that (output)," he said.
week Zimbabwe officials abruptly cancelled crop assessment missions by the UN
World food programme and food and agriculture Organisation, which officials
had hoped would deliver a clearer picture of the country's grain balance.
Made said if sorghum and millet were included, the country's grain output
would total 2.8 million tonnes, of which 1.2 million tonnes would be
delivered to the government-run grain marketing board.
suffered from severe food shortages in 2002 and 2003, affecting up to seven
million people, and recently international aid agencies have estimated that
the country might face a shortfall of as much as 900 000 tonnes of maize this
year. Made was not immediately reachable for comment. Zimbabwe's food crisis
has been one sign of an economic crisis that has also brought acute shortages
of foreign currency and fuel, one of the highest rates of inflation in the
world and an unemployment rate of over 70%.
Critics blame the
government for shortages Critics blame the crisis on mismanagement by
Mugabe but the veteran leader denies the charge, and in turn accuses
opponents of his land reforms of sabotaging the economy.
government says Zimbabwe's food shortages were largely a result of drought,
and that land redistribution was necessary to correct colonial imbalances
that left the bulk of Zimbabwe's prime farming land in the hands of minority
whites. - Reuters
'Cricket Tour Must Be Stopped' - Zimbabwe Opposition
By Tim Moynihan, PA News
Zimbabwe's opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai today urged the England and Wales Cricket Board to call off
the tour of his country planned for this autumn.
His message was read
at a Westminster news conference by Trudy Stevenson, another leading member
of the Movement for Democratic Change.
Mr Tsvangirai, who awaits judgment
in Zimbabwe after a year-long trial for treason, called on Commonwealth
countries to work together to boycott the Zimbabwe Cricket Union.
said: "It is our view that, since cricket is largely a Commonwealth
game, Commonwealth nations should be lobbied to support the boycott and to
come together as members of ICC (the International Cricket Council) to tell
the ICC board to endorse the boycott.
"This will take pressure off
individual teams and nations, and will respond to the ICC's stance that 'we
simply do what our members tell us to do'.
"Members, tell the ICC that
Zimbabwe must be boycotted until the game of cricket there has been put back
on a proper footing and until (President Robert) Mugabe's regime allows its
sportsmen and women the same rights as those enjoyed in the rest of the
The ECB is under growing pressure to scrap the tour in
protest at President Mugabe's regime.
But it faces potentially
crippling fines from the sport's ruling body unless it can prove players'
security is at risk.
The British government says it would prefer the tour
to be postponed but says it has no power to order players not to go. And it
is too early to assess whether players would be in danger.
The general consensus is that, out in Zimbabwe where
Sri Lanka are steamrollering their acquiescent hosts, Test cricket is being
Quite what Zimbabwe's looming series against Australia
will do to the sport's reputation does not bear thought.
May, the Australian players' representative, is presently trying to get the
International Cricket Council to stop the uneven bout before
May, a former Test cricketer, reckons the player
crisis in the crippled southern African country "makes cricket look stupid",
and he is not alone.
India captain Sourav Ganguly has echoed a
familiar May refrain, calling for a two-tier championship system to preserve
the "competitive edge of Test cricket".
To Peter Sleep, a former
team-mate of May's, the gap among the 10 Test-playing nations was large
enough before Zimbabwe's 15 rebels were sacked, leaving the national team
devoid of genuine first-class talent.
"There were no easy matches
when I played but there are now," the former leg-spinner, who played the last
of his 14 Tests in 1990, told BBC Sport.
"That's because the ICC
has let the weaker nations in, and I can understand why because they're
trying to get cricket played around the world.
"But the 10-team
Test championship format needs to be looked at. Test cricket is being
cheapened enough at the moment and I think the standard is poor to be
"At the moment, Kenya are probably better than Bangladesh,
and maybe even Zimbabwe. But do you let them in?"
within the cricket fraternity are obvious, but they are held at a time when
the ICC contemplates giving Kenya Test status and boasts proudly of the next
World Cup holding more teams than ever before.
Sleep has joined a
growing list advocating a divisional system, which would replace the current
set-up which demands each full ICC member face eac h other home and away
every five years.
May has tabled his ideas to the ICC - as well as
his plans for a one-day shake-up - but hitherto the ruling body is
May suggests ODI plan
"There's a way
around it, and I think a two-tier solution is it," Sleep says.
"The promotion/relegation system works well in football. Why couldn't we do
it in cricket?
"You would get better cricket and it would be more
competitive. Teams would have something to play for."
believes cricket's name is being tarnished, and says the ICC has a case to
"If I were the ICC, I would put a ban on Zimbabwe so that
no one goes there until they sort out their problems with politics and other
matters," he reasons.
"They've just let things go and hoped
things would work out by themselves.
"They clearly haven't and
they've got to take some of the blame by letting things ramble
"I don't think getting belted by Sri Lanka and Australia will
help Zimbabwean cricket at all."
Sleep does not envy his
Australian Test successors, nor the reluctant England cricketers who look
destined to tour Zimbabwe later this year.
"With all the politics
in Zimbabwe at the moment, it would be difficult for anybody to go
"I'm sure none of the Australian Test team really wants to
go, and England will have the same problem later on.
harder to get in the team than get out and a lot of their places would be in
"They don't want to go but they don't want to lose their
Of the Aussies, only Stuart MacGill has pulled out of the
Zimbabwe tour - but there are more who would like to follow suit, if only to
save the name of the game.
Zambia to lease state farms to foreigners
May 12, 2004
By Shapi Shacinda
Lusaka - Zambia was
offering the first leases on government land to foreign and local farmers,
including some from Libya and Zimbabwe, as it tried to diversify the economy,
lands minister Judith Kapijimpanga said yesterday.
An area of
100 000ha in central Zambia would be ready for occupation this year, once
roads were constructed and power provided.
The land is the first to
be put up for lease under a government policy to establish farms in all nine
provinces of Zambia, which has faced severe food shortages in the
Kapijimpanga said Zambia hoped to woo farmers who would grow
cash crops for export as the country diversified its economy from copper
and cobalt mining to agriculture.
"We have demarcated land into
small-scale farms, semi-commercial and commercial farms. They measure between
20ha and 10 000ha."
Kapijimpanga said soil tests showed the land
was good for growing cash crops such as wheat, maize and
Foreign applicants for land included the Libyan
government, which wanted to start growing wheat for export, she
"The Libyans approached us for land as they want to grow
wheat on a commercial scale and we are in serious discussions with them,"
She said Zambia would welcome white
Zimbabwean farmers who had fled their country since the start of the seizure
of white-owned farms there.
White Zimbabweans were already farming
in Zambia on land leased from private owners.
"We have a number
of [white] Zimbabwe farmers who have settled in the Mkushi bloc [in central
Zambia] ... they too are free to apply and [we] already have a number of
applications that are being processed," she said.
indicate that only 3 million of Zambia's 45 million hectares of arable land
are used for farming, partly due to the fact that the impoverished country is
thinly populated with only 10 million people.
LAGOS - The
central Nigerian state of Kwara has agreed to lease farmland to white
Zimbabwean commercial farmers who are planning to emigrate to the
west African country, according to a government spokesman.
Zimbabweans were here last week. We held fruitful discussions with
them before they left for home. It is true that we have agreed to lease
some farmlands to them," state government spokesman Tajudeen Kareem told
Press reports said the state government agreed to lease 15 farms of
1,000 hectares each equipped with basic infrastructure like roads,
dams, telecommunications, security and houses to the farmers.
lands are to be leased for between 50 and 99 years with the first batch of
farmers arriving the country within four months, reports said.
Zimbabwean farmers have emigrated or plan to do so to escape the political
crisis in their own country, and in particular President Robert Mugabe's
policy of seizing white-owned land for redistribution to blacks.
have already settled in other parts of southern Africa, while a number of
them approached Nigeria for assistance.
In March, a delegation from the
Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe visited Nigeria and met with both Kwara
State Governor Bukola Saraki and President Olusegun Obasanjo in