|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
Zimbabweans left in the dark
|BBC News examines
how the row over England's cricket tour is being portrayed in Zimbabwe
"Have You Taken The Days Off Yet?"
These were the words of an advertisement for the series between Zimbabwe and England, placed in the sports pages of Thursday morning's Herald newspaper.
At the time of publication, it looked extremely out of place, with the tour in grave doubt, and the possibility of matches being rescheduled.
But the millions of Zimbabweans who rely on the state-run media knew little about what was taking place.
Government controls the country's electronic media and the two main daily newspapers, and the dramatic events ahead of England's scheduled departure were totally downplayed.
It was only on Wednesday evening, when the team failed to board the plane in Johannesburg, that Zimbabwe Television briefly acknowledged the situation.
The Herald's correspondents have made no mention of the events, the only report to have appeared being a brief story from a news agency.
On radio, the first acknowledgement of the fact that the Zimbabwe government had initially denied accreditation to 13 journalists came on Thursday lunchtime.
That was when the Information Ministry made its surprising U-turn and gave the go-ahead to the BBC, Daily Mirror, The Sun, The Times and Daily Telegraph.
As Robert Mugabe's government holds onto power, tight control of the media has been a key issue.
Since 2000, most of the foreign correspondents based in Zimbabwe have either left the country or been forced out.
Cricket reporters have also been affected.
In May, the Daily Telegraph's Mihir Bose was deported from Harare, and a Reuters correspondent was denied access to cover the Sri Lanka tour.
Visitors have often been caught up in brinkmanship, and government is used to having its way.
Last month, government ordered the deportation of a South African trade union mission, describing their trip to assess conditions in the country as "not acceptable".
So it came as no surprise that the 13 cricket reporters were initially refused accreditation, given the suspicion with which government view their organisations.
Yet cancellation of the England tour would cause the Zimbabwe government serious embarrassment.
As the economic situation has deteriorated in the country, government has been quick to realise the value that sport has in lifting the morale of the public.
The state-run media has been used to hype-up the tour, and while a great many Zimbabweans are too preoccupied with their daily hardships, significant interest has been generated.
The new-look Zimbabwe team, which now consists mostly of young black players, is being portrayed as an example of black empowerment.
Captain Tatenda Taibu is a household name, instantly recognisable to most Zimbabweans, who are well aware of the wealth that cricket has brought him at the age of 21.
Bowlers Douglas Hondo and Tinashe Panyangara are also well-known sporting idols, as cricket has become the second-most popular sport in the country.
But there has been no international cricket in the country for over six months, and the England tour is crucial if the sport is to move forward in Zimbabwe.
Enough is Enough
We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!
25 November 2004
Bowling Out Cricket in Zimbabwe
Once again Zanu PF bungling merges sports and politics, creating a quagmire for the players, the ICC, the ECB and cricket fans the world round. Yet another slap in the face has been administered to the English players who were scorned in the last episode involving cricket in Zimbabwe.
The scheduled one day matches set up to take place in Zimbabwe over the next ten days recently precipitated a hot debate over the moral standing of both the ICC and the ECB, with economics finally taking precedence over human rights abuses and the matches given the green light to go ahead.
Yesterday 13 British journalists were barred from covering the matches and denied accreditation in dubious accordance with Zimbabwe’s draconian and repressive press laws. The English team were to have arrived in Harare on Wednesday night, but have been directed by the ECB to remain in Johannesburg until such time that the ICC reaches a decision over the validity of Zimbabwe’s paranoid and tyrannical stance.
Under the ICC’s Future Tours Programme, tours can only be cancelled on the advice of a government or because of overriding security and safety concerns. The ECB could face a fine of $2 million by the ICC and suspension from international game if England pull out of its commitment to Zimbabwe for any other reason.
Zimbabwe remains hamstrung by a government who insists on the right to mix sports and politics.
Kuwait News Agency
Zimbabwe humanitarian aid must continue, MPs
Zimbabwe humanitarian aid must continue, MPs
LONDON, Nov 25 (KUNA) -- Britain should continue to provide
assistance to countries like Zimbabwe even if it helps prop up brutal
British MPs said Thursday.
A House of Commons all-party committee said the Government faced a
because humanitarian aid could help maintain regimes whose very
causing the humanitarian crisis.
But it said Britain was right provide aid to prevent more deaths''.
The report by the International Development Committee into the work
department also backed the Government's controversial decision to
from several middle income countries to fund the reconstruction of
Aid groups have criticised the decision to close operations in Peru
Honduras, but the committee said the arguments in support of
involvement in Latin America would now seem to have been outweighed
pressing needs of Iraq''.
The committee also raised concerns over the security of aid workers
Three UN workers, including Northern Irish election observer Mrs
Flanigan, were freed this week after spending 27 days in captivity in
And Dublin-born aid worker Mrs Margaret Hassan was murdered by her
The committee said it was vital the distinction between humanitarian
and security work was maintained.
It said security was a prerequisite for development, but military
objectives must never encroach on humanitarian objectives. (end)