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

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Barren fields belie Zimbabwe's announcement of bumper crop

Farmers contradict government claim that country is ready to export again
and food aid can cease

Rory Carroll in Lundi
Monday May 17, 2004
The Guardian

If the Ndlovu family had a television, they would learn that Zimbabwe has
just harvested a maize crop so bountiful that there is no longer any need
for emergency food aid.
For the last week, government officials and economists have appeared nightly
on the state broadcaster, ZBC, to marvel that a country recently stricken
with hunger is now a breadbasket.

The Ndlovus are not celebrating. They get their information from the field
beside their mud-brick house, and there the news is not good. A pile of
maize bound with twine is the sum of their harvest.

"It's been pretty poor -might last us till September," said Sichelesile
Ndlovu, 30, sitting among five of her six children at their home in Lundi, a
village west of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city. And after September?
"We'll see."

The one certainty is that the family will not see international food aid,
because the government has reported a harvest of 2.4m tonnes, one of the
highest in decades, which would allow Zimbabwe to feed itself and export a
sizeable surplus.

The agriculture minister, Joseph Made, attributed the bumper yield to the
land reform that transferred white-owned farms to black peasants and
commercial farmers. There was no more need for the UN's World Food Programme
or relief agencies, he said.

But those in other villages near Lundi said the same thing as the Ndlovus:
despite decent rain, a shortage of seeds and fertiliser during the planting
season had produced a poor to moderate harvest which would run out in

Patrick Dube, 48, was one of the few farmers to have enough seed and money
to rent a tractor for his three hectares (eight acres), but even his family
would run out by December, he said. "If we share with neighbours it won't
last that long."

Human rights groups fear the discrepancy between government rhetoric and
reality means President Robert Mugabe is preparing to use hunger as a
political weapon.

"If independent assessments are correct, the risk is that food will be used
for political ends and food supplies will go first and only to supporters of
the ruling party," said Amnesty International.

Pius Ncube, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo and a leading
government critic, said the govern ment was preparing for general elections
due next year.

"They will use food politically," he said.

Independent estimates suggest Zimbabwe's harvest is less than 1m tonnes. The
Commercial Farmers' Union estimates 700,000 tonnes and the Friedrich Ebert
Foundation, an independent German thinktank, estimates slightly more.

No one knows for sure, because two weeks ago the government kicked out the
UN's crop assessment team before it could survey the country.

Outside the government, there is a consensus that Zimbabwe cannot feed
itself this year. "There is no doubt that certain segments of the population
will need food aid," said Robinah Mulenga, the head of the World Food
Programme's sub-office in Bulawayo.

There was no evidence that the government intended to starve communities to
death, as had been seen in the recent history of Afghanistan and Ethiopia,
relief groups said. The plan, rather, was to use imports and an existing
stockpile of 250,000 tonnes to attempt to gain more votes.

Yesterday the Observer reported that the government had struck a secret deal
with a group of US firms to provide thousands of tonnes of grain in exchange
for tobacco and minerals.
But even if enough food was imported, the delays and uneven distribution
could put the lives of children, the elderly and the sick at risk, said one
aid worker. Poor nutrition speeds the onset of full-blown Aids for those
with HIV.

Eddie Cross, a senior official with the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, and who advised Mr Mugabe on agriculture in the 1980s, said the
authorities were adept at using hunger. "They can threaten people: if you
want food from the government, don't vote against the government. The
message is clear, it's simple," he said.

As an Ndebele area, Lundi should be an opposition stronghold, but when Mrs
Ndlovu was asked if she would vote for a party which gave her family food,
she nodded. That attitude is likely to extend to cities, where shops are
well stocked but with goods at prices that the growing number of destitute
people cannot afford.

Fari Dube, the deputy headteacher of Bulawayo's Nkwalongwalo primary school,
said that before the WFP donated maize to make porridge, children used to
faint in their classrooms. "In truth, some of the staff are also starving."
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New Zimbabwe

Mugabe grooms traditional chiefs for political roles

By Ray Matikinye
Last updated: 05/16/2004 23:56:35
THE institution of chiefs has come under the spotlight in Zimbabwe following
government intention to bestow greater powers and authority on its
traditional leaders.

The age-old concept of traditional chiefs remaining mere custodians of of
cultural values and interceding with the ancestors in rain-making ceremonies
appears set to be turned on its head as government seeks to enhance their
status for political expediency.

Observers says government is all set to co-opt and groom them for greater
political roles.
President Robert Mugabe emphasised the new political role of traditional
chiefs when he said chiefs should no longer remain 'repositories of oral

"You should be guardians of our national sovereignty and guard against those
who delight in associating with our detractors and those who work in cahoots
with powers that seek to mislead our people," Mugabe said on Thursday last
Mugabe and his henchmen strongly believe only staunch Zanu PF party
supporters qualify to claim having the sole right to be 'guardians of
national sovereignty'.

Mugabe assigned Zimbabwe's 276 chiefs assembled at the Great Zimbabwe, one
of the country's prime tourist monument and World Heritage Site for their
fourth annual conference the task to speak to the new generation about the
cultural and moral decadence associated with adopting Western values. "These
are the forces which seek to undermine our sovereignty," Mugabe said.

But Professor Claude Mararike of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the
University of Zimbabwe says although there is need to improve the role and
operations of chiefs, greater caution should be taken to prevent abuse of
any authority granted.
"Chiefs are unable to operate effectively because of the dualism of using
the Roman Dutch Law as the basis of our legal system and the traditional
system of government which has been in place for a long time," he said.

But he warns of latent problems. "There could be serious problems unless the
traditional system of government is clearly separated from the political
party system whereby chiefs are expected to act in a partisan way." Mararike
"Chiefs operations will be more comfortable if they are not used as tools by
political parties and politicians," he added.

Traditional chiefs in Zimbabwe have unwittingly become hatchet men for the
Robert Mugabe's tyrannical rule, acting as coercing agents for his ruling
Zanu PF party. Mugabe is keen to reward the chiefs for their role in
frog-marching poverty-stricken peasants in rural areas to polling booths
since the internationally condemned watershed general elections in 2000 and
subsequent parliamentary and local bye-elections.

So far, the Traditional Chiefs Act has reposed the maintenance of law and
order in traditional chiefs' hands in their areas of jurisdiction. It is in
the process of being
amended to allow judgements passed at the chiefs' traditional court to
become incontestable in the magistrates courts unlike in the past. The Rural
District Council was amended as well to restore powers to allocate land in
resettlement areas which were taken away from tradition chiefs in 1982 when
rural district councils were established.

Few traditional leaders have legal training to dispense modern forms of
Mararike said the institution of chiefs needs to be reviewed to ensure that
it moves ahead with the times.

"Young, educated and professional men should be appointed as chiefs
otherwise the current crop would need support staff to dispense justice
without biases among rural communities," Mararike said.

Mugabe is willing to sacrifice Zimbabwe's economic well-being by pampering
traditional chiefs with vehicles estimated to cost the state Zim $19,3
billion for the 276 chiefs. Last month chiefs untaxed allowances were
doubled to Zim$1million way above the Zim$78 000 minimum wage or an ordinary
and twice the salary of a qualified primary schoolteacher.

To express the chiefs gratification for the pampering on behalf of his
colleagues, expose his fears that the undeserved largess could be stopped by
a more economically astute, sensible administration when Mugabe goes,
president of the Chiefs' Council, Chief Jonathan Magwende implored the
ageing tyrant to maintain his grip on power. "We made a splendid job of
campaigning for you during the presidential election and my colleagues are
disturbed by rumours that you want to retire. We want you to stay."

Analysts say Mugabe has diminished the institution of chiefs by transforming
them into political tools for the ruling party just as he would wish with
all civil servants.

Mugabe wants an institution of learning specialising in cultural development
where students study ways of promoting "our cultural values, dancing and
music" to be included in the Border Gezi millitia training centres' syllabus
as recommended by a Parliamentary report on youth training centres.
Matikinye is the Features Editor of the banned Daily News
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Sent: Sunday, May 16, 2004 11:06 PM

A WOZA Tribute to Dudu

This week I was arrested and spent 24 hours in custody with Dudu and 8 other
women. Dudu tells me she was born in 1980 the year Zimbabwe became
Independent. She could be referred to as a 'Born Free'. She is already a
mother of a 6 year old and is 6 months pregnant. We were together in a
demonstration calling for a new constitution. Women of Zimbabwe Arise, WOZA
partnered with the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) and about 400
women, old and young answered that call braving arrest and a possible
beating by police. Many men also joined in and we marched through the
streets of Bulawayo during lunchtime on Wednesday. Eight of us were arrested
first off and Dudu, Juliet and a man arrived later. The police opted to
release the man and keep pregnant Dudu in custody despite our pleas for her

WOZA is pressure group for women, the word WOZA is a Zulu word meaning '
come forward' and women in Zimbabwe are coming forward to speak out rather
than suffer in silence in their homes. We ask women to come out into the
streets and join us in solidarity rather than weep in their homes until the
tears flow out of the front door into the streets.

This was my twelfth arrest and Dudu's first for participating in peaceful
demonstrations and exercising basic freedoms allowed for by God and the
constitution. Riot police arrested us and crammed us in their Defender
vehicle, forcing us to squash in and then seating themselves around us to
hide us from public view. Were they also embarrassed at having to arrest
peaceful women? The same riot policemen were even more embarrassed later
when they were called in to identify whom they had personally arrested. One
of the younger officers insisted he had arrested Patience, so she removed
his hat in order to see his face clearly. The Investigating officer tried to
tell her she had committed an offence in removing his hat but she replied
that she had removed the hat of her 'child' as she normally does to be able
to see his face. No one argued back. Inspector Ncube with pips all over his
shoulders and a Zimbabwe Flag on his lapel puffed up his chest saying he had
arrested Patricia and myself identified as the ringleaders. Next came the
identifying of who had been carrying which piece of 'evidence'. The evidence
was 3 pieces of material, one a flag and 2 scarves printed with the WOZA
message: Enough is Enough - Zvakwana - Sokwanele. They also had some
pamphlets calling for a new constitution, taken off the man they set free.
All the evidence was recorded as having come from us. A lawyer from the
Lawyers for Human Rights arrived and was told to leave without seeing us or
being able to lobby for Dudu's release.

After further intimidation we were then sent off to the cells. Those of us
who had expected arrest had dressed up for a cold jail cell but an unfeeling
female officer watched us undress and made sure we only had one article of
clothing up and down. We managed to share the spare warm clothing around and
got Dudu a warm tracksuit top. After this we were taken into cell number one
where a cold cement floor and the stench of an unflushed toilet awaited us.
There were no blankets and requests for one were ignored. We sang and danced
to keep warm but had to stop when a police officer came and told us they
would hose us down with cold water if we did not stop. We were tired and
hungry but happy to see the face of one of our friends risking arrest to
bring us food. She had been in the demonstration but had escaped arrest. We
pondered on why none of the churches had come to give us some food. We
later found out that the church leader felt that they should not get
involved in 'politics' and gave the order not to bring provisions to us. We
said our evening prayers, huddled up and tried to get some sleep.

The next morning we were taken for interrogation, finger printed and
photographed like common criminals. There was some negotiation on charges
and in the end, charges on the Public Order Security Act (POSA) could not
hold and the investigating officer opted to charge us under the
Miscellaneous Offences Act, the essence of the charge being 'blocking the
pavement and conduct likely to breech the peace'. Our lawyer said we had an
option of paying a $ 5000 admission of guilt fine or going to Court. We
opted to go to Court as felt we had committed no wrong. It was amazing that
we would be taken to Court within 24 hours as under POSA we could be held
for 48 hours, we presumed that friends were telephoning the police station
and putting them under pressure to release us.

While we were in the Law and Order offices, a new officer we had not met
before, now the second in command of law and order came in and asked us why
we were demonstrating. I answered that we were exercising our God given
right to call for a new constitution. He then said we would never be able to
demonstrate again. Thinking he was referring to our being taken to Court, I
said we would see what happened in Court. He replied that he was not talking
about a Court solution but that he would stop us permanently. Seeing the
evil intention in his words, I felt I had to give him a second chance to
retract the threat on our lives. My own heart was beating loudly at the evil
in his words. I calmly told him that I would pray for the devil to leave his
heart. Instead he repeated his threat by telling me that I would not even
have time to pray for him. Strange though it seems, I still only felt love
for him and said we would still pray for him. His threat was delivered in
the presence of one female officer and directed at myself and the other WOZA

It is Sunday today and we have gone to church to pray for this officer,
Inspector Ndlovu. We were released that afternoon on one hundred thousand
dollars bail, an amount that shocked even the prison officers. Perhaps if we
had not made bail we would not have been alive to pray for Ndlovu today but
God is in control not Satan. We go back to court on 28th May on remand and
will continue to be alert to threat on our lives but we will not be deterred
from our struggle for women's rights. We will keep up the pressure for a
better form of governance to ease the suffering in our nation. The most
important objective of WOZA is to foment a spirit of hope. We work in the
streets so that Dudu, a Born Free Zimbabwean and her children will take back
their citizenship, enjoy sovereign power and be free to elect accountable
leaders who respect those who elected them.

Today we heard that over 20 of our colleagues in the NCA were beaten by
Gweru police and are languishing in cells there being denied legal access.
Dr Lovemore Madhuku is amongst them. A message from an NCA friend reminded
me that 'We are our own liberators', to do this we must continue to make
injustice visible and sacrifice some hours in custody to have a more genuine
freedom for the future.

Jenni Williams
Harare, Sunday 16th May 2004
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East African Standard

Foreigners in their own land
By Standard Correspondent

Ian King who owns a 320-hectare farm lives in fear.

He is oblivious of what tomorrow holds for him, the nights, he says are even
more dreadful.

Ian, a third generation white farmer lives on a land he inherited from his
father. He cannot tell whether he will be the next victim to be forced out
of the land alive or dead.

"I live in fear, fearing for my life, fearing that my lifetime investment
could be gone in minutes. In this district, out of 63 farmers, only three
remained," he said.

Ian got a Zimbabwean partner last June who has settled on part of his farm
to do commercial farming.

His parents had lived in Mazowe District since 1952 developing the land into
one of the most productive commercial farms in Zimbabwe.

Ian employees over 300 Zimbabwe natives who work on his flower farms. He
exports two to three million stems of rose flowers to the European market
and produces some 300 metric tones of maize per harvest. He also rears over
50 cows.

Ian's story represents the plight of the remaining white farmers living
under the mercy of President Robert Mugabe since after the forceful invasion
of white-owned farms in 2000.

The President's declaration last week that the land acquisition programme
has moved a notch higher-to what will soon be a major take-over of chunks of
commercial farms -classified as A2 land-and those owned by multi-nationals
from white farmers is worrying.

No doubt the land acquisition programme was vital but the method used was

The way it was done has hurt the economy in a major way because the new
farmers have no inputs and most of those allocated the land were not

They are either politicians from the city or militiamen. It is therefore
difficult for the new farmers to contain sustainability in these farms
because farming needs skills a lot of efforts.

"White farmers, once a vital factor in Zimbabwe's growing economy are moving
away to Zambia and Nigeria where they are given land for commercial use,"
says a bitter Ian. Others have moved to neighbouring Mozambique and Namibia.

Ian believes that the invasion of the farms was used as a political rhetoric
to bring back Mugabe to power in the 2000 General Election.

Ian says production has not been sustainable as a result of the invasion.

He denies that those in the manufacturing industry were sabotaging the

"That is an excuse, there is no money, commercial farmers cannot borrow from
banks due to stagnating production and most of the new farmers are growing
sugar beans which is not viable.

"At the same time, the new farmers have no equipment and for those who were
lucky to get them on the farms after chasing the white farmers, they still
cannot repair the equipment," he said.

About his new partner, Ian says they are trying to work saying it is hard to
trust somebody who wants a share of your 30-year investment.

"We are still working on the modalities with him to see how we can be
partners because there is no two way about it, the government's decision is
final," he adds.

"I have nowhere to go, though even here, my security is not guaranteed," he

Ian says after the invasion, milk production dropped from 240 million litres
per year to between 120-140 million litres.

"Before, there were 55,000 cows in production but currently there are only
about 25,000 cows," he says.

The farmers have continued to receive quit notices.

From about 4,500 white farmers who owned more than half of land in Zimbabwe,
only less than 400 of them remain now.

Forty-seven-year-old Zimbabwean farmer Mr Richard Bvukumbwe has been
re-settled on a 1,800-hectare piece of land formerly owned by a white

He grows tobacco, sugar beans, commercial maize, and seed maize and rears
cattle too. Bvukumbwe was lucky to be settled on a farm with a completely
furnished farm house, a swimming pool and a beautiful environment with
security lights.

In the compound, some of the equipment was grounded.

The swimming pool has dried up and some of the security lights are not

Most of the granaries are worn out probably due to lack proper maintenance.

Bvukumbwe has no regrets or apologies to make about the invasions.

"Total liberation for Africa means being in control of your country
including land.

"We have no beaches, we boast of our land without which we are not
independent," he said.

Bvukumbwe believes that it is the British who sparked off the fight because
it had refused to compensate its brothers and sisters who were occupying
land. "We could not tamper with the constitution for 10 years and when we
got the opportunity, we tampered with it to fight for our right to land and
that we have done and won," he says.

Bvukumbwe says the invasions and the right for Zimbabweans was not meant to
impress anybody else apart from the indigenous Zimbabwean.
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Sunday Times (SA)

Zimbabwe two-day by-election completed

Monday May 17, 2004 06:43 - (SA)

HARARE - Voting ended in a key two-day by-election pitting Zimbabwe's
President Robert Mugabe's ruling party against the main opposition, state
television said here.

Voting in the vast rural area around the town of Lupane, some 600 kilometres
(400 miles) west of Harare, had been marred by allegations by the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) of vote-buying and intimidation.

The MDC also said two of its members were abducted and tortured.

It said Saturday that Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union, Patriotic
Front (Zanu-PF) was involved in vote buying through the sale of cheap maize.

MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi on Sunday said village heads were recording
the names of people casting their votes in at least half of the polling

He said the village heads, who were often involved in the identification of
beneficiaries for relief food, were being used by the Zanu-PF government "to
threaten people into voting for it."

Two MDC activists, allegedly abducted and tortured by ruling party
supporters on Thursday and arrested when they made a report to police on
Friday, were meanwhile still in custody at Lupane police station late
Sunday, MDC information official Nkanyiso Maqeda told AFP.

MDC lawmaker David Mpala won the seat in the 2000 general elections. He died
in February, allegedly of torture wounds.

Voters in the Lupane district were part of the electoral force that won the
fledgling MDC nearly half of all the 120 contested seats in parliamentary
elections in 2000.

But the opposition has since lost ground, losing five of its original 57
seats to Zanu-PF, which has increased its parliamentary majority to 66.

Results of the two-day poll were expected later today.

If the ruling party wins the Lupane seat it would only need another three
seats to have a majority to change the country's constitution in parliament.

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Independent (UK)

Zimbabwe election marred by violence
By Michael Hartnack in Harare
17 May 2004

Two opposition activists were reportedly detained by police yesterday after
trying to lodge a complaint that they had been abducted and tortured by
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party militants in the north-western
Lupane parliamentary constituency.

The constituency registrar, Willard Sayenda, said of the 12,173 voters who
had cast their ballots in the by-election by the end of Saturday,more than
1,000 were "assisted to vote" because they claimed illiteracy or other

Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change,
claims that "assisted voting" gives the authorities the power to punish or
reward voters, especially over distribution of food relief.

An opposition spokesman, Nkanyiso Maqeda, said the two menwere kidnapped and
tortured last week by self-styled former independence war guerrillas. When
they were released on Friday and went to report the matter, "police said the
two were against Zanu-PF supporters."

Police spokesmen could not be reached for comment yesterday.
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Fox Sports

Second Test in jeopardy
By Malcolm Conn
May 17, 2004

ZIMBABWE and Australia have discussed the possibility of abandoning the
second Test in Bulawayo late this month and replacing it with two one-day

In the wake of the continuing strike by 15 of Zimbabwe's leading white
cricketers, neither Zimbabwe Cricket Union chairman Peter Chingoka nor
Australian team manager Steve Bernard would rule out the possibility of a
change to just one Test and five limited-overs matches.

While the itinerary remains two Tests and three limited-overs
internationals, with the first Test scheduled to begin in Harare on
Saturday, a failure to resolve the dispute by tomorrow could prompt a

Chingoka did not sound hopeful of a resolution, saying the ZCU would retain
its right to appoint the captain and selection committee, a right he claims
is enjoyed by every other Test-playing nation.

The stark reality of a continuing slaughter by Sri Lanka in the second Test
in Bulawayo yesterday combined with increasing behind-the-scenes pressure
from the International Cricket Council is likely to force some form of

ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed is flying to Harare today in a bid to
resolve the dispute.

Sri Lanka were 3-703 at tea on the third day in reply to Zimbabwe's 228.
Captain Marvan Atapattu made 249 and Kumar Sangakkara 270.

A meeting of the rebels is planned for today in Harare after the ZCU offered
the 15 dissidents a further 21 days to return to practice and make
themselves available for selection before their contracts would be

Rebel spokesman Grant Flower remained sceptical.

"Obviously they want us to play against Australia to prop up the system,"
Flower said.

"We want to get back and play but if this dispute is not resolved properly
our stand will be a waste of time."

The Australian

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Independent (UK)

Henry Blofeld: England may pay price for failing to make a stand over
The sight of the ECB wringing its hands and not knowing which way to turn
has been sickening
17 May 2004

Of course the England and Wales Cricket Board is in an impossible situation
over Zimbabwe. But far from winning any medals for gallantry, it has made
its own situation worse at every turn since the imbroglio - more than a year
ago in the World Cup - over whether or not the England side should visit
Zimbabwe. It would have done well to remember through all of this that faint
hearts never won very much.

The Government has refused to let the ECB off the hook by ordering the team
not to go. Its approach has been just as pusillanimous as the ECB's and one
cannot avoid the hollow feeling that its determination not to forbid the
side to go may have been reinforced by the fear of having to pay a
substantial amount of compensation. Perish the thought.

It has been up to the ECB to take a lead, therefore, but rather than do that
it has ducked and weaved in front of the punches thrown by the International
Cricket Council. This august body appears to have resorted to what amounts
to industrial blackmail. It is more concerned with embarrassing England than
the poisonous Robert Mugabe, whose policies have turned current
international cricket in Zimbabwe into a mockery.

If England do not go to Zimbabwe the ICC has threatened substantial fines,
and then suspension for a period from international cricket, which would
naturally cost considerably larger bucketfuls of money. A figure of 50m has
been bandied around, an absurd figure useful only for headlines.

These flexed muscles made those who run the ECB quake at the knees just as
the ICC hoped and expected. The dreaded Mugabe, whose principal dislike is
England, must be positively salivating at the way in which England's cricket
is being made to grovel. There will be no need for him to try and shake
hands with the England players if and when they start next winter's series:
the damage will have been done the moment the wheels of the aeroplane
carrying the team touch down in Harare. Mugabe will by then be howling with

The sight of the ECB wringing its hands and not knowing which way to turn
has been sickening. How much better it would have been - by now it is surely
too late - if it had dug in its heels and said that, come hell or high
water, it had no intention of sending its cricketers to give comfort to
Zimbabwe's appalling regime.

It would have been surprised how much respect this would have won. Strength
is a quality that is admired. This business of likely suspension from
international cricket would never happen. England provides as much if not
more money for the game than any country except India. Would South Africa be
happy if they were not allowed to entertain England this coming winter?
Would Australia give a skip and a jump if they were told to forget about
touring England next year? Not half they wouldn't.

Then there is the matter of the fine for not carrying out apparent
international obligations. Seven of the 10 Test-playing countries would have
to vote against England for this to happen. If England had dug in their toes
throughout the whole affair and taken this strong line, a number of doubting
countries would still have been on their side even after the legacy of
England's appalling performance over Zimbabwe in last year's World Cup.
After all, the situation in Zimbabwe, where Mugabe has now openly
politicised his country's cricket, has gone from bad to worse and can only
be ignored by supreme pacifists or ugly monsters.

It is hardly surprising that the rest of the cricket world is now fed up,
not to say outraged, at the way England's administrators have shuffled
around this issue, frightened by every shadow they see. It has been as
pathetic as it has been humiliating for England's reputation - and not only
on the cricket field. The legacy is that it will be a long time before this
issue has been forgiven and forgotten. England's cricket has never needed
strong leadership more than it does now.

That the ICC has been as unsympathetic as it has to England's cause is
unsurprising. The chairman, Ehsan Mani, is the most level-headed of men and
it is his job to try and look after the game while taking accounts of the
interests of all the countries involved. It is no secret that the manager of
Indian cricket, Jagmohan Dalmiya, the Panjandrum of Calcutta, has never
wasted an opportunity to embarrass England. It requires little imagination
to see him doing his best to tie Mani's hands behind his back over all this.
Giving England a bloody nose seems more important than taking a moral stand
about Mugabe.

As far as the rudderless ECB is concerned, it has reaped no more than it has
sown. It is now almost impossible to see how the matter can be resolved
other than to England's profound and embarrassing long-term disadvantage.
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East African Standard

Tsvangirai's nod on land reforms, faults work plan

East African Standard correspondent Caroline Mango interviewed Zimbabwe
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Below are excerpts of the exclusive

Once a country with food surplus levels, we now have to do with very low
levels of food reserve because of bad agricultural policies.

The new farmers were just dumped on the pieces of land and most of them had
no idea of what farming was all about. At the same time, the government has
not taken any initiative to empower the indigenous farmers.

Generally, although the land reform was inevitable, a workable formulae to
distribute the land would have minimized the problems we now have.

The invasions have plunged the country into an economic abyss that will take
a lot more time to get out of.

Q. Then how would one rectify the mess?

A. The mess will have to be rectified through a systematic assessment of who
owns what.

There is need to form an independent commission and come up with a clear
policy that is legal and transparent.

Q. Is it your view therefore that the whole process of re-settling
Zimbabweans was biased and not transparent?

A. The distribution and allocation of land was totally unfair and biased.

Those who benefited were only Zanu PF supporters. They received huge chunks
of land simply because they were allied to Mugabe in one-way or another.

Proof to this is that to date, the communal areas are not yet de-congested
but the government continues to lie that it is on that process of
decongesting these areas.

His strategy has turned a majority of Zimbabweans into peasant farmers. We
need an industrialization strategy and not a peasant strategy.

Q. If you were elected president today, what would be your priorities in
terms of land allocation and policy in general?

A. As much as one cannot go back to what happened in 2000, I would not
condone the invasions.

Compensation for the white farmers who were unfairly ejected from the farms
would be a must and a priority too.

I would mobilise international resources for compensation. That way, we will
uphold the rule of law in agriculture, which so far does not exist.

Q. What do you think about President Mugabe; do you have respect for him?

A. Mugabe is simply an educated dictator. He dictates in an educated manner.
My respect for him is now measured. I respected him once during the first 10
years of independence, but now the respect I have for him is very little if
not none.

Mugabe has wiped out his own legacy, which is contradictory. His is from a
hero to zero. Have you ever heard of a man who fought for his people and
then turns against them?

Mugabe continues to blame his leadership problems on the colonialists. Those
talking about the mistakes of colonialists and not their own are simply

Q. What do you think about the 57-hectare Heroes Acre put aside to burry
those who fought for the country's independence?

A. The Heroes Acre has been set-aside for those who qualify to be heroes
according to Mugabe. Only those who fought for independence and were loyal
to Mugabe are laid there.

The criteria used to declare one a national hero is partisan, selective,
biased and that decision is only made by Zanu PF top officials.

Q. What is your general view of the economy of the country and the efforts
put in place by the new governor, Mr Gedion Gono?

A. Measures to resuscitate the economy are very vital but what Gono is doing
is insufficient.

There is need for a more serious fiscal policy and monetary police. One
policy alone cannot work. Moreso, the political confidence and stability of
the country can make room for investors. But currently, investors are
running to South Africa due to serious social and political problems facing
the country.

Increasing interest rates to 100 per cent is also too expensive especially
in such an ailing economy.

Q. What do you think about the anti-corruption drive launched by the

A. At last, Mugabe has finally admitted that his government is full of
corrupt persons that?has plunged this country into poverty and
underdevelopment. However, my sincere view is that the anti-corruption drive
is too little too late.

It is also not sincere because the drive should start at his doorstep where
corruption is rife. He should first start with the big fish and then move on
to the small ones.

Q. Mugabe has recruited most of the war veterans and generally those who
fought for the liberation struggle into his government. What do you think
about this idea?

A. There was nothing wrong in recruiting the war veterans, however, the
people he recruited have no skills, and they were not trained to carry out
government work. They were dumped in various offices to ensure loyalty. To
me that was social dumping which will have a long lasting impact.

Q. How is the freedom of the Press in this country?

A. The media in this country is under siege. The only one TV station in the
country is state-controlled, focuses daily on Zanu PF propaganda. The
opposition has totally been excluded. We are never covered and we cannot
even buy space. There is totally no ethics. What features in the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation is state propaganda.

International journalists are kicked out of the country without any reason
and media houses that criticise the government or act as watchdogs are
closed down. A good example is the Daily News newspaper that had massive
sales, which has been closed down.

On the other hand, although we have a strong civil society, church
organisations and student organisations, the environment under which they
operate are very harsh, intimidating and generally undemocratic.

Zimbabwe is unlike Kenyan where the voice of the civil society, the church
and the students can speak freely and act as watchdogs to the government.

Over 250 MDC supporters have been killed in the past one-year as a result of
rallies, apart from their houses getting torched. That is what democracy is
all about in Zimbabwe.

Q. Is it true that there is economic sabotage by the white farmers, who
control the manufacturing industry?

A. What do you expect when you initiate unwarranted invasions on people's
farms, we are talking of an estimated 100 dairy farmers?

Mugabe's policy and programme that is self-inflicting led to the collapse of
over 100 dairy farms.

Currently, about 70 per cent of manufactured products are imported and the
pressure of the high costs is being passed on to the consumer. The question
of sabotage therefore does not arise. It is misappropriation and

Q. How is your party doing on the ground and what is its future?

A. With 57 seats out of 120, you realise that we control major cities in the
country. We have representation even in the rural areas.?Out of 12
provinces, we control 11 of them. We also have 300 full time workers in out
offices countrywide

If free and fair elections are held, Zanu PF will be history.

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Two Australians arrested at Bulawayo test match

Sun May 16, 2004 9:34 PM HARARE (Reuters) - Two spectators were
arrested and fined for displaying a banner at the second test between
Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka in Bulawayo on Saturday.
The travelling cricket fans, Australians Luke Gillian and Darren
Moulds, were charged with 'waving an inflammatory placard in a public place'
and fined Zim$25 000 each.

They had displayed a banner reading, 'Charles Dempsey eat your heart
out,' with reference to South Africa's successful bid to stage soccer's 2010
World Cup.

South Africa's bid to host the 2006 World Cup failed because FIFA
delegate Dempsey, from New Zealand, abstained from voting.

Signs at Queens Sports Club where the test is being played state that
'no banners of any type can be taken into or displayed at the ground'.

The Australians and their banner appeared on the live television
broadcast of the match, and they were arrested by police who took them to a
police station.

"We were pretty scared for a while but it all turned out okay," Moulds
told reporters.

More than 30 spectators were arrested and fined during the 2003 World
Cup match between Zimbabwe and Australia in Bulawayo for displaying banners
declaring their opposition to president Robert Mugabe and his government.
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Times of Oman

Rebels have no place in Zimbabwe 'A' side

HARARE - None of the 15 white rebel Zimbabwe players were named in a
'A' side to play a two-day match against Australia starting today in a sign
that a resolution to the crisis is no closer.

The rebels declared they were unavailable for selection last month in
a dispute with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) over the end of Heath Streak
's tenure as captain, the composition of the selection panel and the alleged
poor conduct of ZCU officials.

The board fired the players today after the players had accepted in
principle to the board's offer of mediation.

On Friday, the ZCU issued a statement saying the players had 21 days
to return to work, raising hopes that an end to the impasse was in sight.

However, the Zimbabwe 'A' team named by the ZCU for a two-day match
against Australia in Harare from today did not include any of the rebels.

In their absence, Zimbabwe have lost a One-day series to Sri Lanka and
were defeated in the first Test by an innings and 240 runs within three

The 'A' team will be captained by Blessing Mahwire, who was left out
of the current second test against Sri Lanka in Bulawayo after he was
reported for a suspect bowling action following the first Test.

Zimbabwe A: Wisdom Siziba, Greg Strydom, Eric Chauluka, Vusi Sibanda,
Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Tafadzwa Mufambisi, Rangarirayi Manyande, Blessing
Mahwire (captain), Amos Maungwa, Waddington Mwayenga, Ryan Bennett.

- Reuters
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Arrests cast shadow over Zim by-election

May 16 2004 at 04:27PM

Harare, Zimbabwe - Two opposition activists were reportedly in police
detention Sunday after trying to lodge a complaint against abduction and
torture by President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party militants in the
northwestern Lupane parliamentary constituency.

Constituency registrar Willard Sayenda said 12 173 of the 47 000
registered voters had cast their ballots in the sprawling rural constituency
by-election by the end of Saturday. He said 1 189 would-be voters were
turned away while over 1 000 were "assisted to vote" claiming illiteracy or
other disabilities. Voting ends late Sunday.

Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, claims that "assisted voting," permitted under recent electoral law
changes, gives the authorities power to punish or reward voters, especially
over distribution of food relief.

Loss of the opposition-held seat would increase the number of Zanu-PF
lawmakers to 98, only two short of the total needed to amend the
constitution. Tsvangirai's MDC currently holds 51 and another small
opposition party one.

The Lupane seat was left vacant by the death of the previous MDC
lawmaker, allegedly as a result of ill-treatment received in police
detention. The area was the scene of widespread atrocities during 1982-88
post independence unrest and was considered an anti-government stronghold
but has recently suffered acute food shortages.

On Friday Amnesty International appealed to Mugabe not to use relief
as a political weapon after announcing Zimbabwe needs no further foreign
aid. His government predicts a 2,4 million ton bumper harvest but many
experts believe only 700 000 tons will be reaped, leaving eight million
Zimbabweans at risk of starvation.

Opposition spokesperson Nkanyiso Maqeda said party campaigners
Demadema Ncube and Luke Sibanda were kidnapped by self-styled former
independence war guerillas. They were released Friday night after having
been tortured.

"When they went to police to report the matter, police said the two
were violent against Zanu-PF supporters. They are still in police
detention," said Maqeda. Police spokesmen could not be reached for comment

On Saturday, police arrested constitutional reform campaigner Lovemore
Madhuku and 60 other people attending a meeting on strengthening civil
society in the Midlands city of Gweru.

Firing teargas and wielding batons, riot squad members dispersed the
gathering, claiming it lacked advanced official clearance.

On Thursday an opposition lawmaker Nelson Chamisa was arrested
attending a Harare meeting on HIV/Aids which police deemed illegal. Both
Madhuku and Chamisa are still being held in cells. - Sapa-AP
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Sad to see Zimbabwe struggling

By Justin Langer
Australia Test batsman in Zimbabwe

There are two distinct differences between this Australian tour of
Zimbabwe and the one I was on four years ago.

Then, the atmosphere and mood was one of optimism and hope.

The first Test match between the two countries was seen as a major
breakthrough for Zimbabwe in their quest to earn respect and prove they were
worthy of Test status.

There was a true feeling of festivity and joy that we were in Zimbabwe
playing international cricket.

In doing so there was a real sense that we were not only promoting
this country but also the game of cricket on the global scale.

The tide has certainly changed.

Now there is controversy after controversy, pessimism, criticism and

To me, this is a terrible shame.

My fond memory of last time here is one of arriving in Zimbabwe to a
greeting of blossoming jacaranda trees, crisp clean air, beautiful cricket

There were happy, energetic people wanting to see Australia in action
against the young but hopeful Zimbabweans.

As fate would have it, our arrival back then was like the changing of
the guard and the start of our incredible run of sixteen straight Test match

Ironically Geoff Marsh, the current Zimbabwean coach, had stepped
aside as our coach and was replaced by John Buchanan.

Arriving this time my distinct and lasting memory will be one of
stepping off the plane into smoky night skies and quiet, sleepy, lifeless

As a cricketer my hope for this tour is that we can provide some
entertainment and hope for those people who may be struggling in this

Justin Langer
From an outsiders point of view, the heavy air was almost symbolic of
where the county seems to be now compared to then.

The lifeless streets and clear lack of enthusiasm for this tour
represents the state of Zimbabwean cricket which is facing an incredibly
tough time.

There is no doubt from our position that we will all be disappointed
if we don't play against the best team Zimbabwe have to offer.

Test cricket is about exactly that. It is about being tested by the
best your opposing country has to offer.

It is about testing your skills and your wits against the best of the

From all accounts this won't happen in the next two Tests we are here
to play.

When we were in transit in Johannesburg, Sean Irvine, the talented
young all-rounder, was flying to Perth to start a new life and new career,
in effect retiring from international cricket at the tender age of 21.

This act is sadly indicative of what seems to be happening here in
Zimbabwean cricket.

It would be ignorant of me to comment or become embroiled in the
political correctness of Australia touring this country.

There has been so much said over the last few months in Australia and

All I will say is that as a cricketer my hope for this tour is that we
can provide some entertainment and hope for those people who may be
struggling in this country.

In doing so we may also provide some inspiration for some young boys
and girls here and around the world.

I would rather see children running around with a smile on their faces
playing with a bat and ball than playing with some of the other toys that
are being played with today.

From Zimbabwe, JL
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Mbeki 'not party to agreement'
16/05/2004 12:30 - (SA)

ZB du Toit

Johannesburg - President Thabo Mbeki did not attend a meeting between
President Robert Mugabe and President Teodora Obiang Nguema of Equatorial
Guinea (EG) where it was allegedly decided to exchange South African
mercenaries for fuel.

Mbeki's spokesperson Bheki Khumalo vehemently denied such a meeting: "Such a
meeting never took place. It is an infamous lie."

Khumalo reacted on a report on Friday in the Zimbabwean Independent that the
three heads of state met in Pretoria on April 27 and decided that the 70
South African men held in Harare would be exchanged for oil. According to
the newspaper the agreement was confirmed during talks between Mbeki and
Nguema in Bulawayo the next day.

Equatorial Guinea, one of the biggest oil exports in Africa, allegedly
agreed to give Zimbabwe about R8.4m worth of fuel in exchange for the South
Africans, the newspaper said.

The South Africans were arrested on March 7 when their plane landed in
Harare to allegedly take arms on board. They were allegedly on their way to
join a group of 15 other South Africans in EG in a bid to overthrow the
government of that country.

Khumalo said South Africa is not involved in the matter since the South
Africans were arrested according to Zimbabwean law. He reiterated foreign
affairs deputy minister Aziz Pahad's statement that South Africa would not
interfere, unless the South Africans were found guilty and sentenced to
death. Only then the government would talk to the government of EG.

Meanwhile, the SA Human Rights Commission has asked the government to step

On Tuesday the commission stated that the government had a duty towards
South Africans being held in a foreign country.

Jan Henning, SC, deputy director of national prosecution, who visited the
men in EG, said investigations to determine whether the men were in fact
planning a coup, were nearly completed.

If the men are found guilty of a crime, the government will have to decide
whether to request their extradition or not. Henning doubted whether they
would get a trial "according to South African standards" in EG.

Khumalo confirmed that the South African security forces warned the
Zimbabwean government the plane was on its way to Harare. It was still
unclear whether the South African officials were in a position to arrest the
men on South African soil before their departure.

If it was possible, they should have done so as it is illegal to plan a
crime to be executed in another country on South African soil.

Legal experts say it is nevertheless South Africa's duty to support its
citizens in a foreign country.
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The Herald

Forget about rebels, legislator tells ZCU

By Augustine Hwata
THE Member of Parliament for Murehwa North Victor Chitongo has urged the
Zimbabwe Cricket Union to forget about the rebel cricketers and concentrate
on grooming new talent.

A group of white cricketers had its contracts severed with the ZCU and is
now suing the association after it rebelled playing for Zimbabwe until some
of its demands, including the reinstatement of pace bowler Heath Streak as
team captain, were met.

In a statement that will be presented to Parliament soon, Chitongo said ZCU
and the Sports Commission should quickly work on finding a lasting solution
to the problem.

"Mr Speaker, Peter Chingoka (ZCU president) and his board should just forget
about the racists and concentrate on grooming the youthful team under
Tatenda Taibu currently playing for the country," said Chitongo.

Chitongo said people should not dwell much on that the new-look Zimbabwe
cricket team was losing heavily to Sri Lanka with the next matches being
against Australia under Taibu's captaincy because the old side also lost
even under Heath Streak and Andy Flower.

"Therefore the argument of losing under Taibu is not new and totally

"Sports is about winning and losing with dignity. These racists must be
exposed and be done away with once and for all," said Chitongo.

The parliamentarian said sportspersons should be disciplined and submit to
the authority of their associations.
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The Herald

Stock thefts threat to land reform exercise: minister

Herald Reporter
THE high incidents of stock theft in Zimbabwe threaten to derail the
successes of the land reform programme, a cabinet minister said last week.

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Cde Patrick Chinamasa said
there were scores of people in the rural areas whose only source of
livelihood was livestock, but these were being stolen by people who wanted
to discredit the successes scored so far by the land reform programme.

Cde Chinamasa was speaking in Parliament during debate of the proposed Stock
Theft Amendment Bill which received an adverse report from the Parliamentary
Legal Committee.

The proposed legislation seeks to make it mandatory to jail for an effective
nine years anybody convicted of stock theft without the option of a fine.

"The problem is now like corruption and has reached unsustainable levels.
Unless we are hard on it, we risk losing wealth for the country," said Cde

He said by introducing the Bill, the Government seeks to protect the
population in the country's rural areas who relied on animals like cattle
for draught power.

"This law should come hard on people who want to reap where they did not
sow," said the minister.

He said where the courts find special circumstances in cases of stock theft,
it might not impose the mandatory nine years imprisonment.

Contributing to the same debate, Harare South Member of Parliament, Mr
Gabriel Chaibva (MDC) said it would be a good idea if chiefs presided over
such cases.

Chief Mukota of Mashonaland East said the proposed nine-year jail term was
welcome because the problem of stock theft has become rampant in rural

He said cattle in particular were a target of thieves, some who travelled
from urban areas to the rural areas specifically to steal beasts and sell
them in order to make quick money.

Giving an example, the chief said he once gave a lift to a man from his area
to Harare, only to be told a few days later that the man had been arrested
of stock theft in the same area.

"Jailing stock thieves for up to nine years is okay because while the
thieves are behind bars during that period, the cattle will have a chance to
breed and increase in numbers.

"Stock thieves deserve even more than nine years in jail," said the chief.

extremely harsh and offends against the requirement that punishment must be
fair and more importantly that it should not be grossly disproportionate to
the offence," said Prof Ncube.

Cde Chinamasa said he would give a full response to the MP's concerns next
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The Herald

Tobacco for maize deal story false: Made

Herald Reporter
THE Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Cde Joseph Made,
yesterday dismissed allegations by a British newspaper that Zimbabwe has
entered into a secret deal with a United States company to import maize in
exchange for tobacco.

He described the newspaper report as false and mischievous.

Such assertions, the minister said, were being circulated by people who did
not know the correct situation on the ground in Zimbabwe.

He reiterated Government's earlier position that the country would have a
bumper harvest this season and does not, therefore, need to appeal for food
aid from donors.

Cde Made's comments came in the wake of a report in the British Observer
newspaper alleging that the Government had entered into a secret agreement
with a US firm, Sentry Financial International, to exchange tobacco for
maize ahead of next year's parliamentary election.

"The said company has been doing business in Zimbabwe for donkey years and
there is no secrecy about it. It is a figment of one's imagination because
the West is opposed to the country's agrarian reform, which is now bearing
fruit," said Cde Made.

He said Zimbabwe would have a good harvest this year and the situation on
the ground bore testimony to that fact.

"These people who allege there are secret deals entered into by the
Government in exchange for food are the country's enemies who have now
realised that the land reform programme is irreversible and has succeeded,"
Cde Made said.

The newspaper alleged that about 70 000 tonnes of grain would arrive in the
country this month under an agreement allegedly shrouded in secrecy because
of its political sensitivity.

"The Government has been able to deliver its promises to the nation and
obviously we are going to win the elections. It is too late for our
detractors to make such stupid allegations," he said.

The Government last week said it would not be asking for international food
aid because it predicts a harvest of 2,4 million tonnes of staple maize,
much higher than the minimum requirement of 1,8 million tonnes to feed the
nation and livestock.

It said some aid agencies would, however, continue to provide food
assistance in the country but only to vulnerable groups like Aids orphans
and elderly people.

Western aid agencies and the opposition MDC have been predicting food
shortages as part of their campaign to taint the land reform programme.

The anticipated good harvest comes after four consecutive years of drought
and cyclone-induced flooding.
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The Herald

Varsity law degree saga deepens

From George Maponga in Masvingo
The Great Zimbabwe University law degree saga deepened last week after the
university's tuition fees account with the Jewel Bank was temporarily frozen
after the students filed litigation at the Masvingo civil court.

Students at the university are up in arms with the university authorities
over the law degree which has not been recognised by the Council for Legal

Magistrate Mr Crispen Mberewere granted a provisional order in chambers
barring the Great Zimbabwe University acting principal Dr Hilda Matarira and
the Jewel Bank branch manager in Masvingo from withdrawing or allowing the
withdrawal of money from the GZU tuition fees account.

The GZU, Dr Matarira and the Jewel Bank branch manager in Masvingo were
cited as first, second and third respondents in the affidavit filed by the
university's Student Representative Council vice president Mr Simon Chabuka.

"It is ordered that pending the determination of the petition, the first and
second respondents or anybody claiming through them be and hereby
interdicted from withdrawing any money in the tuition fees account.

"The Zimbabwe Republic Police are empowered to arrest any respondent in the
event of failure to comply with the granted order," read the provisional

The university and Dr Matarira were also ordered to pay the cost of the
legal suit by the students and were given up to May 20 to show cause why the
order should not be confirmed with costs.

The affidavit by Mr Chabuka representing the GZU students stated that the
university had refused to address the plight of law students and map the way
forward and therefore were not entitled to use their tuition fees.

"Since the release of the report declining to designate the law degree for
reasons stated therein, the second respondent has refused to address the
students in a bid to map the way forward," said Mr Chabuka in the affidavit.

The freezing of the GZU tuition fees account could be a severe blow to the
church-run institution which uses the tuition fees for its day to day

The university was early this month ruled ill-equipped to offer a law degree
by the Council for Legal Education.

Some students are already said to be leaving the law department for other
institutions while some have vowed to fight to the bitter end citing the
millions of dollars they have paid and the time they spent at the
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