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

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Comment from ZWNEWS, 20 May

The great canard

By Michael Hartnack

One of the great ironies of the Zimbabwean crisis is increasing acceptance
by African National Congress in South Africa of the lie that Zimbabwe's
opposition party is a front for "right-wing Rhodesians," Britain and the
United States. Behind Movement for Democratic Change members of Parliament
such as Roy Bennett and David Coltart is seen the sinister hand of Western
liberal capitalism. This canard is based on the racist delusion that black
people are incapable of feeling discontent without white incitement - a
replay of South African Nats blaming white liberals for fomenting black
discontent under apartheid. President Thabo Mbeki, writing in ANC Today on
May 8, said in all apparent seriousness that Zimbabwe's crisis arose from
Robert Mugabe's "genuine concern" to meet the needs of the poor, and things
had innocently gone awry due to a few sad economic snags. No Zimbabwean with
any pride in their country would appeal for foreign pressure on Mugabe,
Mbeki added - a grotesque remark coming from the leader of a movement that
had sportsmen, academics, and even musicians blacklisted for having any kind
of contact with South Africans under the old regime.

An opposition is not the puppet of foreign interests because it indicts its
ruling elite before the bar of world opinion, as anti-apartheid forces did
1948-1992, and as Zimbabwe's dissidents are doing now. There is a world of
difference between, on the one hand, a tyranny fomenting insurrections for
selfish ideological ends, or to exploit illicit trade in blood diamonds and
endangered hardwoods, and on the other hand a lawful political movement
demanding peaceful foreign pressure for reform, especially after it has been
cheated at the ballot box. The ANC appears fearful of letting the MDC appeal
to the court of world opinion - lending credence to suggestions the ANC is
frightened of finding itself in the dock one day. Mugabe's Zanu PF elite has
endeavoured to exploit the ANC's paranoia to the full, and a prominent
figure in their propaganda offensive is Matumwa Mawere. Mawere is a South
African-based business associate of Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is parliamentary
speaker, secretary for administration of the Zanu PF party, and who was
named in a UN report last October on looting in the Congo. Mnangagwa also
aspires to succeed Mugabe. In the 1990s, Mawere got South African newspapers
to send black reporters to Zimbabwe "to find out the real truth.'' Mawere
has been a persistent lobbyist for the Mugabe regime, and one need not look
far for the source of recent articles trashing the MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai
as a potential successor to Mugabe, while lauding Mnangagwa. Mawere knows
that the very "ordinariness" of Tsvangirai, a veteran trade unionist, gives
him a special appeal to the majority of voters in this country. A report in
the Johannesburg Sunday Times on May 11 contained the following preposterous
public relations handout description of Mnangagwa: "An exceptionally
calculating man who intimately understands the nature of power; a man with a
reputation in the West for getting things done and keeping the troops in
line." Mnangagwa, this ludicrous panegyric went on, is uniquely placed to
give Mugabe requisite guarantees of an undisturbed retirement, since he
shares blame for the 1982-1987 Matabeleland atrocities (when he headed the
Central Intelligence Organisation). Human rights outrages are not usually
boasted about on a CV.

Mbeki must face the fact that Zimbabwe will continue to be a political and
economic millstone around South Africa's neck until there is a sufficiently
radical change to satisfy the IMF, the World Bank and international donors.
They will not be content with the old Mugabe gang under Mnangagwa. Nor will
they be satisfied with less than complete rejection of the lawlessness
displayed last Friday when my colleague Andrew Meldrum was abducted and
thrown out of the country, after 23 years, in contempt of three separate
High Court orders. As for relying on internal resources to repair the
damage, Zimbabwe will never be able to support its population while only the
political elite enjoy security - fleeting security - to engage in any kind
of productive or professional activity. No modern economy can work without
protection from criminals.  Mugabe was in South Africa last week and
according to our state media enjoyed spectacular success at Fort Hare
University and at Walter Sisulu's funeral in projecting himself, as he loves
doing, as Africa's great beacon of anti-white sentiment. The ANC may have
been intimidated, as he intended, by this attempt to appeal over its head to
black sentiment. Meanwhile, the courage of Zimbabweans' own defiance was
reflected in an amazingly daring MDC advertisement in independent
newspapers, alluding to South African and Nigerian demands the opposition
endorse Mugabe's bogus 2002 election for a further six-year term. A cartoon
showed a well known figure being pursued by a crowd of passers-by crying
"Thief! Thief! Thief!". "Do you recognise him?" a caption asked.   "Yes, of
course we recognise him. We recognise him as the senile thief who stole your
voice in March 2002. We recognise him as the father of militia who murder
and rape. We recognise him as plunderer of our national resources, pensions
and all. We recognise him as the one denying us the right to express
ourselves." No white or Western agent incited that. It is how Zimbabweans
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Nigeria to seek Zimbabwe's return to Commonwealth

By Dominic Evans

LONDON, May 20 - Nigeria said on Tuesday it would campaign for Zimbabwe's
early readmission to the 54-nation Commonwealth and accused President Robert
Mugabe's critics of trying to patronise and blackmail Africa.
       Foreign Minister Sule Lamido told Reuters in an interview his
country, which hosts a summit meeting of Commonwealth leaders in December,
had always opposed Zimbabwe's suspension from the group of mainly former
British colonies.
       The 12-month ban, imposed in March 2002 in protest at alleged
election-rigging and the seizure of white-owned farms for landless blacks,
was later extended until the December summit in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.
       But the political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe has split the
Commonwealth, which groups 1.7 billion people around the world, with several
African countries angered by what they say is a Western agenda to ''punish''
       ''The government of Nigeria does not believe in the suspension of
Zimbabwe because we don't think it's the best way to get it out of its
problem,'' Lamido said after a meeting of Commonwealth ministers in London.
       Lamido said Nigeria and South Africa, two countries in a troika set
up to pilot the Commonwealth's Zimbabwe policy, had reluctantly accepted
last year there was a consensus across the organisation for Zimbabwe's
       He said his government would try to persuade Australia -- the third
troika member and a vocal campaigner for tougher steps against Zimbabwe --
to reverse the move before the Abuja summit.
       ''The troika will still remain engaged and between now and (December)
anything can develop...I'm optimistic,'' he said.

       Mugabe, 79, has ruled his southern African country since independence
from Britain in 1980. London accuses him of leading Zimbabwe to economic
disaster and a collapse in the rule of law.
       ''Mugabe loves Zimbabwe. Mugabe fought for Zimbabwe,'' Lamido said.
''I find people are so patronising about their concern for the welfare of
the people of Zimbabwe. It should be seen from the perspective of the
African people.''
       He dismissed as ''blackmail'' warnings from rich nations that
investors would be scared away from business in the world's poorest
continent unless African countries put pressure on Zimbabwe to reform.
       ''There are 54 independent sovereign countries in Africa and you
can't take Zimbabwe as a parameter for all of us,'' he said. ''We have our
problems. We are saying understand us, then appreciate us. Stop patronising
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Independent (UK)

'I will never forgive Mugabe and anyone else who bears his name'
By Basildon Peta
21 May 2003

Fred Muza (not his real name) had never experienced President Robert
Mugabe's brutality first hand until he joined other cricket fans at the
Zimbabwe-Australia World Cup match in Bulawayo in February.

Mr Muza, 28, insists he entered the Queens Sports Club in Zimbabwe's second
largest city purely for the cricket. "I had no intention of partaking in any
anti-Mugabe demos. I am no activist, much as I disapprove the systematic
destruction of Zimbabwe at the hands of the Mugabe regime," he says.

But Mr Muza's crime was to sit near a small band of people who had smuggled
placards into the ground and began demonstrating a few minutes into the

Heavily armed riot police immediately swooped and arrested more than 20
protestors, including Mr Muza who had no placard. They were all imprisoned.

He tried to plead with his tormentors that he was not part of the protesting
group, but to no avail. Four days of torture and heavy beatings followed at
the hands of the riot police.

"I will never forgive Robert Mugabe, his children, his
great-great-grandchildren and anyone else who bears his name now and who
shall bear it in the eternal future," Mr Muza says.

He says his incarceration was in violation of Zimbabwe's laws, which require
the police to detain anyone for a maximum of only 48 hours before sending
them to jail.

He says he was kept in filthy conditions, with lice feeding on his body. He
only had a small wet blanket for cover on a floor drenched in urine.

He was denied food, water and contact with his family. Policemen took turns
to beat him on the soles of his feet. He says that he was released after
four days, but was never told what crime he had committed.

Mr Muza thinks that the British cricket authorities are "heartless and
cowards" for ignoring abuses in Zimbabwe by hosting the "highly politicised"
Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU). Mr Mugabe is the official patron of the ZCU
and its letterhead bears his name.

"The Zimbabweans there [in London] should stop these piecemeal placard
waving demonstrations ... They should invade the pitch and totally disrupt
the match from going on on Thursday," Mr Muza says.
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Labour Movement Plans Indefinite Stayaway

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

May 20, 2003
Posted to the web May 20, 2003

Henry Makiwa

THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has said that it shall call for
an indefinite mass job stayaway at the end of the month and advises
Zimbabweans to stock up food and keep some money when they get paid in the
next few weeks.

Lovemore Matombo, the ZCTU president told unionists in Kadoma on Friday
evening to "store a bucket of mealie meal and save a penny" in anticipation
of an indefinite job action at the end of this month.

He said labour would "withdraw its services" unless the fuel prices were
reduced to previous levels. The government has in the past ridiculed the
ZCTU's demand for cheaper fuel saying the union "was dreaming".

Matombo said: "The government has to clearly, unreservedly and unambiguously
reduce the fuel prices if they dream to see the labour machine roll out

"We want you (workers) to go home and let the message filter to others who
are not here that they should store a bucket of mealie meal and some savings
of their meagre earnings at home because when we go on stayaway this time
around we will not come back until our demands are addressed," he said.

Matombo accused the government of constantly taking labour for granted and
disregarding its demands to peg the minimum wage at $125 000 per month.

"It has always been futile talking to the government about workers' woes
because they behave so inhumanely. It is like talking to an insensitive
Chimpanzee-they feel no remorse about the current crisis," said Matombo.

"But I promise you that if workers unite, we will tame the Chimpanzee. We
want all workers to earn at least $125 000 by the end of June," Matombo said
to a tumultuous approval from the 500 plus workers' representatives who
braved the early winter evening chill to converge at Kadoma's Rimuka

"Even if there are state agents and the secret police among you, surely even
the CIOs should by now know that the life workers are living is
unsustainable and unpractical. How do you expect a worker who forks out at
least $56 000 on transport fares a month to survive on a $47 000 pay?" The
ZCTU executive council was holding a weeklong general meeting in this
Midlands town to map out a strategy to cajole the government into addressing
workers' grievances.

At the same meeting, Raymond Majongwe, the Progressive Teachers' Union of
Zimbabwe secretary general, urged workers to "cane" any teacher seen going
to work during their ongoing strike.

Teachers across the country downed chalk last week in protest of low pay and
poor conditions of service.

The ZCTU's leaders were yesterday expected to continue with their mission to
win over workers' hearts for a nationwide mass action with a meeting in
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Commonwealth Zimbabwe row threatened health deal

By Dominic Evans

LONDON, May 20 - Deep divisions within the Commonwealth over tackling the
political crisis in Zimbabwe nearly scuppered a weekend meeting of the
54-nation organisation's health ministers, delegates said on Tuesday.
       They said South Africa's Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang
threatened to walk out of the meeting in Switzerland, taking southern
African countries with her, unless Zimbabwe was allowed to attend.
       The Zimbabwean minister, whose country is suspended from the
Commonwealth, was in Geneva for a separate meeting of the World Health
       ''The meeting was hugely disrupted. South Africa threatened to walk
out and take SADC (Southern African Development Community) countries with
it,'' one delegate who attended the talks told Reuters. ''It was quite
       After an hour's disruption and discussions during a lunch-break,
Tshabalala-Msimang backed down, the delegate said.
       The meeting had aimed to agree a code of conduct on wealthy countries
employing health workers from the developing world. In the end, around 20
states signed up to the agreement.
       Zimbabwe was suspended from the decision-making bodies of the
Commonwealth, a group of mainly former British colonies, for a year after
President Robert Mugabe was re-elected in March 2002 elections amid
widespread accusations of vote-rigging.
       Mugabe's government had already attracted international criticism
over the violent seizure of white-owned farms for redistribution to landless
       Two months ago the Commonwealth extended the suspension until a
meeting of heads of state in December, despite opposition from some members.
       African heavyweights South Africa and Nigeria say Mugabe's government
has recorded enough progress over the past year -- in land reform, human
rights and democracy -- to merit re-admission to the Commonwealth.
       But Australia and Britain insist there is no sign of Zimbabwe
returning to democratic rule under Mugabe.
       Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon, speaking after a meeting
of Commonwealth foreign ministers in London, said on Tuesday there was a
''wide range of views'' on Zimbabwe.
       But he said the overall consensus in the organisation was to maintain
the suspension.
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Independent (UK)

Activist tells of raids, beatings and death threats
By Paul Peachey
21 May 2003

Duran Rapozo, 28, will be demonstrating at Lord's - with good reason. He has
been arrested at least six times, beaten on several occasions and threatened
with death.

His activities as a prominent human rights campaigner in Zimbabwe have led
to his home being raided twice and all his documents and papers being

By the time he fled Zimbabwe in July 1999, he had a cracked bone in his leg
from a beating with a baton during one of his interrogations. It needed an
operation but he was too scared to have one in a Zimbabwean hospital. He
feared being identified and injected with slow-acting poisons by members of
Robert Mugabe's Central Intelligence Organisation.

Mr Rapozo, now a student in Britain, will bring 100 other protesters from
Manchester to Lord's tomorrow. "I feel that this tour should not have gone
ahead," he said. "We need the international community to assist the people
of Zimbabwe."

Mr Rapozo, an organiser for the Movement for Democratic Change in the UK,
was one of the youngest people to be voted on to a senior position of the
Zimbabwean Human Rights Association (ZimRights). As an organiser of
protests, he became a marked man. He was arrested after a student
demonstration in 1996 and held for 48 hours before he was bailed.

He was later approached by a member of the secret intelligence service who
threatened to shoot him. With the help of passers-by he disarmed the man and
handed the weapon to police. His would-be assassin has never been arrested.

He was arrested again after criticising the Mugabe regime at a conference in
the United States in 1998. Mr Rapozo, who believes he was under constant
surveillance, was detained as soon as he returned to Zimbabwe.

During his periods of detention he was beaten by his interrogators, but only
decided to flee after the two raids on his house. "That's when they made me
think twice and I came to the UK," he said.
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Independent (UK)

MPs attack cricket chiefs for allowing Test tour
By Ben Russell, Political Correspondent
21 May 2003

Almost 100 MPs condemned the English cricket authorities for "putting profit
before principle" yesterday and allowing Zimbabwe's test tour to go ahead.

Eleven former Labour ministers, including the former sports minister Kate
Hoey and the former international development minister George Foulkes, were
among 94 MPs who condemned the tour.

The motion urged the Government to intensify diplomacy aimed at resolving
the Zimbabwe crisis and bringing an end to "the gratuitous suffering of
millions of ordinary Zimbabweans". It stated: "The tour will misleadingly
suggest that the situation in Zimbabwe is getting back to normal."

Michael Ancram, the shadow Foreign Secretary, highlighted the number of
Labour MPs calling for a tougher stance on President Robert Mugabe. He said:
"So much for Jack Straw's quiet diplomacy. His own party wants him to speak
out against Mugabe's regime."

Protesters plan a peaceful demonstration at the first Test against Zimbabwe,
which opens at Lord's tomorrow.

Members of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group resolved to maintain
Zimbabwe's suspension from the organisation and said Mr Mugabe had none
nothing to engage with the international community. Yesterday Commonwealth
foreign ministers received a report on Zimbabwe, which remains suspended
from the councils of the organisation until the heads of government meeting
in Nigeria in December. Zimbabwe was suspended in March last year over
politically motivated violence during the presidential elections.
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Financial Times

      Zimbabwe crisis 'has cost region $2.5bn'
      By John Reed in Johannesburg and Tony Hawkins in Harare
      Published: May 20 2003 18:34 | Last Updated: May 20 2003 18:34

      Zimbabwe's political crisis has shaved a cumulative 1.3 per cent off
South Africa's GDP growth and cost the region's economies about $2.5bn
(€2.1bn, £1.5bn) since 2000, according to a study to be published on
Wednesday by the Zimbabwe Research Initiative (ZRI), a non-profit think

      Lost trade with Zimbabwe, unpaid invoices, forgone foreign investment
and tourism and related pressure on the rand have delivered a R15bn ($1.9bn,
€1.7bn, £1.2bn) hit to South Africa's economy, according to the report's
"conservative" estimate.

      "The effects of this crisis are actual, they're real, and they're
here," said Mike Schussler, author of the study.

      Companies and officials in southern Africa have long complained that
Zimbabwe's problems are costing them business. The report is believed to be
the first serious attempt to quantify the losses.

      Zimbabwe's economic output has fallen sharply over the past three
years, after President Robert Mugabe's controversial land seizures and
disputed elections that prompted his political opponents to stage mass

      South Africa lost R6bn in trade with Zimbabwe in 2002 alone, according
to the report's author. Alongside lost trade and tourism revenues and unpaid
bills to state utilities, the weaker rand has kept inflation 1.2 percentage
points higher on average than it otherwise would have been, Mr Schussler
said, with a corresponding impact on interest rates.

      The report also estimates at R18bn the direct cost in 2000-2003 of the
Zimbabwe crisis to the Southern African Development Community, comprising 14
of the region's states.

      Meanwhile, official figures showed on Tuesday that a near-trebling of
petrol prices took Zimbabwe's inflation rate to a record 269.2 per cent in
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In this communique:
   Speech of the Holy Father
   Zimbabwe tour can put focus on human rights



15 MAY 2003

Utmost vigilance is therefore called for in safeguarding the rights and
protecting the welfare of all citizens. Public authorities must refrain
from exercising partiality, preferential treatment or selective justice in
favour of certain individuals or groups; this ultimately undermines the
credibility of those charged with governing. In his famous Encyclical
Letter Pacem in Terris, my predecessor Blessed Pope John XXIII, quoting
Pope Leo XIII, summed up the situation thus: "The civil power must not
serve the advantage of any one individual or of some few persons, inasmuch
as it was established for the common good of all" (par. 56). In fact, when
everyone is treated on an equal basis - a sine qua non for a society firmly
based on the rule of law - the value, gifts and talents of each member are
more easily recognized and can be more effectively tapped for building up
the community. As traditional wisdom handed down in an African proverb has
put it: Gunwe rimwe haritswanyi inda (many hands make work lighter).

Making reference to your Government's land reform programme, Your
Excellency has remarked that this is a vehicle for improving the people's
standard of living, achieving equity and establishing social justice. In
many countries, such agrarian reform is necessary, as noted in the document
"Towards a Better Distribution of Land" published in 1997 by the Pontifical
Council for Justice and Peace, but it is also a complex and delicate
process. In fact, as this same document points out, it is an error to think
that any real benefit or success will come simply by expropriating large
landholdings, dividing them into smaller production units and distributing
them to others (cf. No. 45). There are first of all matters of justice to
be considered, with due weight being given to the various claims of land
ownership, the right to land use and the common good. Moreover, if land
redistribution is to offer a practical and sustainable response to serious
economic and social problems in a given country, the process must continue
to develop over time and must ensure that the necessary infrastructures are
in place. Finally, and no less important, "indispensable for the success of
an agrarian reform is that it should be in full accord with national
policies and those of international bodies" (ibid.).

Feelings of disenfranchisement or of being unjustly treated only serve to
foment tension and discord. Justice must be made available to all if the
injuries of the past are to be left behind and a brighter future built.
Insofar as the authentic common good prevails, the fundamental causes of
civil strife will disappear. The Catholic Church pledges her full support
for all efforts to construct a culture of dialogue rather than
confrontation, of reconciliation rather than conflict. This in fact is an
integral part of her mission to advance the authentic good of all peoples
and of the whole person.


Telegraph- Zimbabwe tour can put focus on human rights
By Andy Flower (Filed: 27/04/2003)

Zimbabwe tour details

It was with much relief that I boarded the plane to leave Zimbabwe. I know
that this is probably not the most flattering thing to say about one's
country but that is exactly how I felt.

I went back there for a week after the World Cup had ended for us in East
London. Some thought I was mad to do so after Henry Olonga and I had made
our black-armband protest against Robert Mugabe's regime, but I had to. I
am keeping my house there and there were many things to organise and a
number of friends to whom I wanted to say a proper goodbye.

I did feel a little worried after the threats that Henry and I had received
but nothing happened and I can now start my new life, six months here
playing for Essex and six months playing for South Australia, with my wife
and three children. It will be a great adventure for us all.

I have not ruled out returning to Zimbabwe one day because I believe that
it can again be a wonderful place to live. But there will have to be a
great deal of change in both the Zimbabwean leadership and my family (ie my

My parents will definitely not be returning. Their life is now in England.
That leaves just my brother, Grant, in Zimbabwe to fend for himself.
Playing cricket for Zimbabwe is his life and he continues to delude himself
that he can do so until he is 48.

Someone who will not be playing again for Zimbabwe is Henry. We speak
regularly and have definitely become closer friends since we made our stand
over "the death of democracy" in our country. I realise that he had much
more to lose than I did over this issue and my respect for him is immense.

He was a black icon in Zimbabwe and the perfect role model for youngsters.
The easy path for him to have taken would have been to stay in cricket and
not say anything. But he is brave and chose the harder route.  Many doors
may have closed for him in Zimbabwe but others will open elsewhere.

He is now getting his life sorted out over here. He is a smart, charismatic
guy who will not be short of career options, whether it is cricket
commentary, music or art.  I would be very disappointed if it is true that
none of the other Zimbabwean players have been in contact with him, but not
necessarily that surprised because during the tournament very few of them
were willing to discuss our statement. We all got on fine but their shying
away from the situation mirrored the fear within the whole of the country,
where nobody wants to speak up.

I was extremely angry at the shabby treatment meted out to Henry when he
announced his retirement. He was not allowed on the team bus and was then
asked to pay his own hotel bill. Very sad.

It will certainly feel strange when the Zimbabwean side arrives in England
this week, not being with them fighting the cause, especially since my only
other tour here in 2000 was not a personal success.  It was, indeed,
peculiar seeing the scorecards from their recent series in Sharjah without
my name on them, having been involved with the national side since 1988.
But I will endeavour to see them as much as I can given the busy county
schedule, and Essex play them in a one-day game at Chelmsford, in which I
will be keen to play.

I will be especially looking forward to batting against Grant, whom I have
not faced since our schooldays. He was obviously the favourite of the
family and was sent to the posh, private St George's College while I was
relegated to a small government school. Launching him into the River Chelm
should set the record straight!

Selection of Zimbabwean sides and the policies and criteria for such
selection have been huge bones of contention over the last couple of years.
Quotas, or goals as some put it, based on the colour of one's skin, have
kept emotions running high among players, policy-makers and public alike. A
clear vision, some clear thinking, transparent communication and an
understanding of what is required of international cricketers would go a
long way to calming a highly charged situation.  I know that he has now
retired but I feel that Alistair Campbell has had a particularly raw deal.
He was left out of the World Cup squad and I just feel that his past, or
rather his past criticisms of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union, caught up with

Craig Wishart is unlucky not to be on the tour. He has made great strides
under coach Geoff Marsh. And Brian Murphy, too. He is a genuine
wicket-taker whom I think could have troubled England.

I have mixed feelings about whether this tour should take place. There will
be demonstrations and I actually think that will be a positive thing
because it will give the human rights activists a chance to highlight the
problems in Zimbabwe. But I do not think that sporting sanctions against
Zimbabwe will necessarily work. They did during the apartheid years in
South Africa because of the importance South Africans attach to sport. But
the Zimbabwean leadership have their hands rather full these days, what
with their own business interests and rapidly deteriorating economy - and
an increasingly hungry, and therefore restless, population.

Andy Flower played for Zimbabwe from 1988 to 2003 in 63 Tests and 213
one-day internationals
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'Chaos' at Lords
20/05/2003 21:15  - (SA)

Julian Guyer

London - Stop the Tour organiser Peter Tatchell said his organisation could
not be held responsible for any "chaos and mayhem" at Lord's cricket ground
when the first Test between England and Zimbabwe gets underway there on

On Tuesday, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the owners of Lord's cricket
ground, rejected a request from Tatchell, who wants the tour called off
because of what he says are the human rights abuses carried out by Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe, to have a dedicated spot inside the ground.

Tatchell, who has tried to have Mugabe arrested on several occasions, wanted
a space to display a protest banner, even though MCC ground regulations ban
spectators from bringing in flags and banners.

And he was furious when the request from his London-based group was turned
down by an MCC executive board meeting earlier Tuesday.

"We were willing to compromise but the MCC rejected our offer to call off
the planned disruptions in exchange for a visible symbolic protest inside
the grounds," Tatchell said.

"Having been spurned, we are under no obligation to show restraint. The MCC
and ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) must bear full responsibility for
any chaos and mayhem."

A separate protest, organised by the Zimbabwe Cricket Campaign (ZCC), is
also due to take place outside Lord's on Thursday.

Made up of mainly exiled black Zimbabweans, ZCC organiser Washington Ali
told AFP on Monday that it would be a peaceful gathering and and that there
were no plans to disrupt the match itself.
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Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) News Update 19th May 2003

34 female teachers arrested and forced to pay fines

WOZA is in receipt of information that approximately 60 female teachers went
to the Ministry of Education on Monday to meet with officials and to press
for an end to the 'retribution or forced transfers' of female teachers. They
met with an official who attempted to 'pass the buck' by referring them to
the Public Service Commission (PSC). They refused to be referred, arguing
that the PSC does not deal with transfers; they left their demands promising
to return next Monday 26th May 2003.

Just before noon, they left Ministry offices in Ambassador House and walked
through Harare CDB in twos and threes without displaying their placards.
They were out of city bounds, close to the Harare Polytechnic when Police
Defenders swooped and arrested a group of 10 women. 24 women came upon their
colleagues being loaded up and insisted that they too be arrested. All 34
were then transported to Harare Central, where they were made to pay a fine
of ZD $5 000 each for conduct likely to breach the peace.

Mothers Day Bulawayo arrestees also observed the same phenomena. The
Zimbabwe Republic Police now resort to fundraising as they too feel that the
Public Order Security Act (POSA) cannot stand constitutional scrutiny.

WOZA founders and members fully support the demand made by our learned
sisters for an immediate end to the 'retribution or forced transfers'. We
also note the excessive targeting of female teachers and call upon the
Ministry to take the demands and the deadline of one week seriously as it is
our social fabric at stake.

WOZA fully support the Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) and
especially the Women's Empowerment Department in their campaign to ensure
due respect, dignity and fair remuneration is availed to the teachers, as it
is in their hands we place the learning of our future generation.
We pray that as Monday 26th May 2003 approaches and there has been no end to
the tearing apart of families and teachers have not been re-instated in a
dignified manner, Zimbabweans will not be lacking in solidarity. We
therefore call on all self-respecting mothers and fathers to support any
democratic and peaceful activity related to PTUZ lobbying. It is time to
stand up and be counted - after all who taught us how to count?

Women of Zimbabwe Arise 19th May 2003 email :

We forward this statement issued by the PTUZ Women's Empowerment Department.

Targeting married woman teachers for transfer's damages families
Women Empowerment Department, Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe May
15, 2003

In October 2002 the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) called for
a strike to press the government for better salaries for teachers.

The result of the strike saw teachers getting a salary increment of about
100%, which was not what we demanded. We also saw 627 teachers being
suspended from the service for 3 months without salary. 404 of them were
women. This was a blow to the teachers considering that they had no savings
from their peanut-shell salaries. The PTUZ managed to give some allowances
to the affected teachers although but these were clearly inadequate.

This period also saw the death of 3 of the suspended female teachers. One of
them taught at Warren Park High School and she died because she could not
afford to get treatment at West-End Clinic, as she could not produce a
current pay slip to show Medical Aid deductions.
Her death was a result of the cruel penalties set by the Ministry of
Education. If not for her suspension she might have survived.

6 months after the strike teachers started to be penalized for their
participation in the strike action. These penalties included:
· No promotion
· Reprimands
· Transfers

Some of the teachers who had been charged with striking where found not
guilty. We can only now wonder what criteria were used to determine the
application of penalties. Surely all teachers who participated in the strike
should have been subjected to the same penalties.
We, the Women Empowerment Department (WED), have noticed a worrying trend.
Teachers targeted for transfers have mainly been women. These women are
being transferred to schools outside Harare, far from their families.

We note with great concern that the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture
is promoting the spread of HIV/AIDS and child abuse by separating families
in this way.
For example, a woman who is a mother and wife is transferred to a school in
Mtorashanga, far from home. She is forced to leave her husband alone in
Harare. With the salary she gets she can only afford one visit a term. What
this means is that substitutes are found for her in the home. This in all
likelihood promotes promiscuity and the spread of HIV/AIDS. She is forced to
leave her 7 and 13-year-old daughters and a 9-year-old boy alone without a
caregiver. With the high incidence of sexual assault prevalent in Zimbabwe
there is a great risk of the 7 year old being raped. She cannot disclose
this to Dad because he is never home in time.

Why is this rape possible? The eagle realizes the chicks have been left

The 13 year old starts her menstrual cycle but cannot confide in Dad. She
becomes isolated from others because she does not know what to do. Even if
she rushes to the supermarket with her pocket money she cannot find cotton

The 9-year-old boy needs special attention. He is a child of special needs
and when Mum leaves life is going to be hell for him. They will all wish
that mummy were home.

The WED representing the Women Teachers cannot watch this happen. We are in
the process of mobilizing women teachers and any other organizations that
sympathize with women to press demands on the Ministry of Education to
withdraw all of these destructive transfers.

For more information:
National Secretary
Judith Chiyangwa
+263-(0) 91-355096
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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Letter 1: Patrick Ashton

Dear Sirs,

 From an early age I have admired INTERPOL.

 So I'm sure it must an oversight, but I gather your wonderful
organisation has honoured Zimbabwe's Commissioner of Police with a Vice

 I am also sure that you must be unaware of the appalling human rights
abuses that this man is associated with.

 From my own experience, I can show any body who might care to know, that
his actions have directly contributed to the deaths of some of my staff at
my Farm in Mutorashanga, Zimbabwe. (I refer Zimbabwe High Court No 1145/02
(In public record) Chihuri's Police have done nothing!! and so many go

 There are many other tragedies much much worse than I know personally.

 Please prove my childhood admiration worthy of todays.  At least follow
this up.

 You can get hold of me on Zimbabwe tel No 091 308 244 or by return E-Mail

Yours faithfully
Patrick Ashton


Letter 2:

I have a four-day timeshare at Victoria Falls which is available to any
farmer worthy of a break!  The dates are from the 16th - 20th June 2003.

Please contact JAG offices for further details.


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

'Attendants diverting fuel to black market'

Herald Reporter
AS fuel shortages persist, attendants at most service stations are now
allegedly diverting fuel to the black market instead of selling it directly
to the public.

It has emerged that motorists are spending days in static queues while the
delivered fuel would be siphoned from the tankers into drums for sale on the
black market.

Attendants were also said to be demanding bribes before selling fuel to the
few cars on the forecourt.

In Chitungwiza, commuter omnibus drivers on Monday night threatened to burn
down Wedzera Service Station in Chitungwiza following allegations that fuel
allocations meant for the public transporters were being diverted and sold
on the black market.

Several commuter omnibuses blocked the main entrance out of the service
station barring a tanker that had just offloaded fuel from leaving unless
the fuel was sold to them.

The tanker was said to have delivered both diesel and petrol at around 4pm,
after it had brought another consignment in the morning. The fuel had not
been sold, the commuter omnibus operators alleged.

Mr Tichaona Chapfika said he had been in the queue since Saturday morning
and had not been able to buy fuel.

"It pains us that we blame the Government for the problem of fuel which is
being worsened by some corrupt service station owners, and at times, some
unscrupulous attendants," he said.

Mr Chapfika alleged that the fuel delivered that morning was sold to private
companies and individuals who had jumped the queue.

"We watched them buy and fill their containers and we thought there was
enough for all of us, but after two commuter omnibuses were served, we were
told there was no more fuel," he said.

Some alleged that the same tanker had in the morning delivered fuel to a
bakery situated behind the service station.

"We are going to burn-down this service station if we are not allocated
another place to get our fuel from," said a commuter omnibus driver.

According to one of the bus drivers, the attendants were allegedly demanding
bribes of up to $10 000 before they could sell the diesel or petrol.

It is believed that up to 15 000 litres of diesel is allocated at the
service station and far less than that is sold to the public transport

A supervisor at one of the Wedzera service stations in Harare last night
said a meeting was supposed to have been held with some senior workers at
the Chitungwiza branch to iron out the problems.

"We heard the workers there clashed with the commuter omnibus drivers and a
meeting was supposed to have been held with them," he said.

But an employee at the Chitungwiza branch said the meeting was not held
because the situation had been brought under control and the fuel was later
sold to the commuter omnibus operators.

She denied allegations that the service station was selling fuel on the
black market.

"We used to serve some private companies but we have since stopped," she

At another service station in St Mary's, there were long and winding queues
despite fuel having been delivered in the morning.

One motorist said the same vehicles that had been queuing for fuel at the
service station on Monday night were still in the queue last night.

"Although we are issued with numbered cards and see the commodity delivered,
fuel is not served to those in the queue but to people who can afford to
bribe the attendants," said the motorist.

He said he was seventh in the queue and had been given a number confirming
that on Sunday, but had not yet been served while some people who came with
containers were being served.

"Most of the fuel is being sold very late at night while most of us are
tired from the days endless waiting and asleep," he said.

"These days you have to be associated with these people. We are told there
is fuel reserved for people willing to pay an extra," he said.

More than 100 vehicles were in a queue at another petroleum service station
and some motorists indicated that the fuel was delivered on Monday but was
still being sold under unclear circumstances.

"The queue is not getting any shorter, we are the same people who were
waiting here on Monday night and we will sleep here again tonight," a Mr
James Masahwa said. Men and women of all ages are having to undergo some
very harsh conditions with even senior citizens having to spend a night or
two in fuel queues in this cold weather.

Fuel was not available at most Caltex service stations while at most Exor
service stations there were signs that fuel was being sold. The situation at
these garages was in most cases however chaotic.

According to a motorist queuing at a service station along Seke Road, people
were made to pay up to $2 800 a litre for petrol and $2 600 for diesel.

Around the city centre, most service stations appeared dry although some
motorists were confident that the fuel would be sold late at night.

Police spokesman Inspector Andrew Phiri said police were closely monitoring
the situation at all service stations around the country to ensure there
were no cases of corruption.

He said police would not hesitate to deal with service stations believed to
be hoarding fuel and selling it on the black market or demanding payment in
foreign currency.

"If motorists observe such dealings, they must alert the police urgently so
that they dip into the tanks to see if there is any fuel being with-held.
This is a serious crime considering that fuel is a scarce commodity," Insp
Phiri said.

He said owners and workers of such service stations risked being charged
with hoarding.

"Police are investigating the alleged corruption at the Chitungwiza service
station and others believed to be depriving motorists of their allocated
fuel," Insp Phiri said.
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MCC reject plans for anti-Mugabe protests at Lord's

LONDON: Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the owners of Lord's cricket ground,
have rejected a request from an anti-Robert Mugabe protest group to have a
dedicated spot inside the ground when the first Test against Zimbabwe starts
there on Thursday.

Peter Tatchell, one of the organisers of the Stop the Tour campaign which
wants Zimbabwe's two Test tour of England cancelled in protest at what it
says are the human rights abuses carried out by the Zimbabwe president,
asked for a spot inside Lord's to make their point.

Tatchell wanted a space to display a protest banner, even though MCC ground
regulations ban spectators from bringing in flags and banners. An MCC
executive board meeting turned down Tatchell's request on Tuesday.

Afterwards MCC spokesman Iain Wilton said: "We're happy for them to have a
safe, peaceful and non-disrupive protest outside the ground and so are the

A protest is due to take place outside Lord's on Thursday morning. Organiser
Washington Ali says it will be a peaceful gathering. A group of protestors
are due to travel through central London on an open-top bus to the Zimbabwe
High Commission to hand over a letter to the High Commissioner calling for
an end to what the protestors called "state sponsored political violence in

Protesters will be handing out black armbands to spectators in the hope
these will be worn inside the ground while the match is in progress.

This follows on from the protest during this year's World Cup by Zimbabwe
cricketers Andy Flower and Henry Olonga. During Zimbabwe's opening match in
February, against Namibia in Harare, the duo wore black armbands and issued
a statement lamenting the 'death of democracy' in Zimbabwe under Mugabe.

Both men, who have since quit international cricket, are in England. Flower
is playing county cricket for Essex while Olonga, who was reported to have
only narrowly escaped arrest by Zimbabwe security personnel in South Africa,
is playing for a club side in Kent.
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Business Day

Zim inflation continues skyrocketing


Zimbabwe's annualised inflation continued to skyrocket last month, jumping
41.2 points to reach 269.2 percent, the government said.
"The year-on-year inflation rate for the month of April 2003 as measured by
the all-items consumer price index (CPI) increased to 269.2 percent, gaining
41.2 percentage points on the March rate of 228 percent," the Central
Statistical Office (CSO) announced.

The steep increase in inflation last month was accounted for by hikes in
prices of vegetables, fruits, beverages, rent, service rates and petrol.

Food inflation, which is prone to transitory shocks, stood at 294.4 percent,
according to the CSO.

However, recent increases in the prices of commuter train fares, postage
fees and telephone charges were not factored in the April inflation "due to
timing differences" said the CSO.

At the same time last year Zimbabwe's annual inflation stood at 114 percent
having jumped from 113.3 percent the previous month.

Zimbabwe's inflation rate has risen steeply from an average annual rate of
22.6 percent in 1995.

The government introduced price controls two years ago, but these have
largely been ignored and controlled goods are only found in the underground
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Commonwealth Continues Suspension of Pakistan, Zimbabwe

Voice of America, May 20, 2003

Commonwealth foreign ministers have decided to keep in place, for the time
being, the suspensions of both Pakistan and Zimbabwe from the grouping.

Ministers from the organization of Britain and its former colonies, meeting
Tuesday in London, said Pakistan needs to make more progress in restoring
democracy before it is readmitted to full membership.

The ministers from the Commonwealth's Ministerial Action Group welcomed
parliamentary elections held last year in Pakistan. But they noted the
parliament has remained deadlocked on the issue of sweeping constitutional
changes instituted by President Pervez Musharraf.

On Zimbabwe, the ministers said they will continue to keep the suspensions
in place at least until the next meeting of the Commonwealth heads of
government later this year.

Officials have said there is a split in the 54-nation Commonwealth about
whether to continue the suspension of Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe has been suspended from the grouping to protest irregularities and
fraud in last year's elections that kept President Robert Mugabe in power.
Pakistan was suspended in 1999 following General Musharraf's military coup.
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