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

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The Times

            November 25, 2004

            Zimbabwe cricket tour back on after ban lifted
            By Philippe Naughton, Times Online

            England's controversial cricket tour to Zimbabwe is back on
after the Mugabe Government lifted its ban on 13 British journalists
travelling with the one-day squad.

            A team spokesman in Johannesburg said that players and staff
were now due to take a flight to Harare tomorrow at 10.30am, although the
opening match will have to be rescheduled.

            "The ECB is committed to playing a five-match series," said the
spokesman, Andrew Walpole."We will sort out the dates later."

            "The whole incident has been regrettable but it has now been
resolved," added David Morgan, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket
Board (ECB). "We would now expect the tour to go ahead."

            Zimbabwe had denied visas to the journalists, including Richard
Hobson of The Times, because it said they were known to be hostile to
Zimbabwe and did not represent "bona fide" media organisations.

            But with the ECB on the verge of cancelling the five-match tour
with the backing of the International Cricket Council (ICC), the Zimbabwean
Government performed a U-turn this morning and a spokesman said it had all
been an administrative confusion.

            "The confusion came initially from the fact that people had
applied as a group rather than as individuals as is required by our law,"
Major Anyway Mutambudzi said. "We have cleared everyone."

            Mr Morgan, who has been in Harare negotiating with Zimbabwean
officials, had said earlier that the tour would not go ahead unless a
"significant" number of the banned journalists were allowed in.

            The 13 journalists came from nine media organisations, including
the BBC, whose reporters have been barred from Zimbabwe since 2000.

            The ECB yesterday cancelled the team's flight to Zimbabwe,
making it all but impossible for tomorrow's opening game to go ahead.

            There has been no public reaction yet from any of the England
players, who are said to be increasingly disenchanted with the whole saga.
Yesterday's decision to delay the team's departure came only after the
players had already checked in for the flight and followed expressions of
anger on their part.

            Mr Morgan was flying back to Johannesburg today to brief the
players and give them the chance to raise any concerns they have.

            Before the media ban was lifted, the ECB had been hoping to get
a green light from the ICC to cancel the tour. The ECB is reluctant to call
the tour off without approval from the ICC because, it says, it could face
hefty fines and even a suspension from the international game.

            Earlier this morning, Kate Hoey, the former sports minister,
said the Government should have intervened earlier and presented a united
front with the ECB against the tour.

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      Labour's shameful U-turn on Zimbabwe Cricket tour

      Shadow Development Secretary Alan Duncan has accused the Blair
Government of being "duped" after President Robert Mugabe lifted his ban on
British journalists covering the English cricket tour of Zimbabwe.

      The move cleared the way for the contest to go ahead - although the
first one-day match was postponed to give the team time to properly prepare.

      But Mr Duncan condemned Foreign Office Minister Denis MacShane of
performing a policy U-turn, acused him of conniving with the Mugabe regime,
and denounced him for helping the tour proceed when it should have been

      He told "Last night Denis MacShane fought
vociferously for journalists to be allowed into Zimbabwe. He should not be
facilitating this tour he should be opposing it. Whatever happened to the
Government's 'preferring' that this tour did not go ahead. In a complete
U-turn. MacShane gave tacit support to the tour going ahead."

      Describing the lifting of the ban as the worst of all worlds, Mr
Duncan added: "The UK Government has been totally duped by President Mugabe.
Now the ban on journalists has been lifted, a cricket tour most people don't
want to go ahead, will now go ahead. Having used cricket as a political
weapon internationally, he will now be free to use starvation as a political
weapon domestically. This battle is not primarily about journalistic
freedom, it is about freedom for Zimbabweans to live without fear and

      He said: "The lifting of the media ban is the worst of all worlds. It
is bad for English cricket, it is bad for the people of Zimbabwe and it is
designed purely to embarrass and trap the United Kingdom. It is a perverse
logic that dictates that it is OK to fight tooth and nail on behalf of
journalists but not for food monitors. The Mugabe regime is pushing through
the NGO Bill, which seeks to ban civic organisations operating in the areas
of governance and human rights, yet we hear nothing from the Foreign Office.
The beleaguered people of Zimbabwe must feel utterly betrayed."
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England left reeling by on-off farce
By David Lloyd, Evening Standard
25 November 2004
England's bemused cricketers are back where they were 21 months ago - trying
to get their heads around playing an international game after being pushed
from pillar to post.

The only difference between now and February last year is that the match
facing them will be against Zimbabwe.

Last year, Nasser Hussain's England refused to travel to Harare for a World
Cup game and the International Cricket Council's decision to dock them four
points knocked the stuffing out of their campaign before it had even begun.

This time, following a Zimbabwe government decision to admit 13 previously
banned British spor ts journalists, Michael Vaughan's band of reluctant
tourists are faced with playing five one-day internationals just a few hours
after thinking the trip was about to be cancelled.

Today's development is either a spectacular U-turn by Robert Mugabe's
government or a devious move to leave England feeling thoroughly

Take your pick. But, once again, the cricketers find themselves pawns in a
far bigger game.

Vaughan and his squad only agreed to embark on this controversial tour after
much soul-searching. They were clearly anxious about visiting Mugabe's
brutally oppressed country but decided to go because they believed England
could be heavily fined or even suspended for not fulfilling the ICC's

By last night, though, most of the players looked as though they had been
through enough.

England and Wales Cricket Board chairman David Morgan told them to stay in
Johannesburg, rather than catch their scheduled flight to Harare, but they
would have been in no mood to travel anyway with the tour seemingly set for

Now England must try to think about playing - presumably as early as
tomorrow if the first match still goes ahead as planned and is not put back
24 hours.

Vaughan, Paul Collingwood, Jimmy Anderson and Ashley Giles went through all
of this uncertainty during the World Cup when they were holed up in a Cape
Town hotel.

But for newer England players - like Matt Prior, Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen
and Alex Wharf - this week's events will have left them confused and maybe
even disillusioned.

This morning they heard that Morgan had stated categorically the tour would
be cancelled unless the journalists were allowed to make the 12-day trip.
Everyone would have told them there was little chance of an aboutturn by
Zimbabwe and, in all probability, most of them were mentally preparing to
fly home tonight. Now a flight to Harare, rather than Heathrow, lies ahead
of them. But who knows if that will be the end of this story.

The British journalists still have to be allowed through Zimbabwe
immigration - and there is the whole question of whether the games
themselves will pass off peacefully and without political interference.

England's cricket bosses are back where they started. Morgan has led
negotiations for the banned reporters to be reinstated but, now they have
been, there is no escape clause.

It will be scandalous, however, if this saga does not count against Zimbabwe
in the longer term and stir the ICC into decisive action. The governing body
has long followed a policy of keeping politics out of sport - even when
dubiously elected politicians clearly rule the sport, as in Harare and

But Mugabe's decision to meddle in a tour that was only going ahead anyway
on a wing and a prayer has clearly tried, and ought to have exhausted, the
ICC's patience.

ICC president Ehsan Mani has been in contact with leaders of the game
worldwide to gather their views. He wanted to know how they regarded a
blatant example of political interference in Zimbabwean cricket - and
Morgan's unusually bold statement earlier today strongly suggests sympathy,
for once, was on England's side.

Now it is up to the likes of India, South Africa and Australia to take a
lead in trying to solve a problem they have been happy to ignore.

There is already a proposal on the table to make Zimbabwe play their 2005
Test matches at home because they are too weak to attract any interest

But if trips to Zimbabwe are going to result in one problem after another,
why offer them even that comfort?

"This is a cause of great concern for us and it has come out of the blue,"
said Mani in response to questions about the banning of bone fide cricket

It is only eight years ago that English journalists were royally treated in
Harare and Bulawayo during a tour that saw Zimbabwe draw two Tests against a
team led by Mike Atherton.

Most of the home players then were white but talented black youngsters, like
Henry Olonga and Pommie Mbangwa, were starting to break through and the
future for Zimbabwean cricket looked bright.

Those times of promise are long gone, however.

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Morgan backs himself into a corner

Martin Williamson

November 25, 2004

The last 48 hours have turned into a nightmare for the England & Wales
Cricket Board. The one thing that the board wanted to avoid from the off was
a repeat of the near-farcical scenes which surrounded the boycotted match in
Harare during the 2003 World Cup. But that is just what has happened.

The sight of players wandering aimlessly around the team hotel after their
flight to Harare on Wednesday evening had been cancelled, as clueless as the
accompanying media as to what was happening, and holding meetings to discuss
their position, were almost a carbon copy of what went on 19 months ago.

But what was most galling was the supine approach of the ECB, and in
particular David Morgan, its chairman. After weathering flak for much of the
year over the trip, the Zimbabwean government's decision to ban journalists
gave the ECB the perfect escape route. The players didn't want to go, the
British public felt likewise (98% voted for the tour to be scrapped in a BBC
Radio poll on Wednesday) and at the 11th hour Morgan and his board were
handed a get-out on a platter.

Even the ICC, repeatedly cited by Morgan as the only reason England had to
tour, wavered and Ehsan Mani, its president, admitted that there would be "a
huge amount of sympathy for the ECB after the way this matter has been
handled by the Government of Zimbabwe." It was the nearest thing to a green
light for cancellation that England were likely to be given. While the
situation called for decisive leadership, what it got was feeble indecision.
It was as if Morgan was the only person left who continued to believe that
England would be punished if they refused to travel to Harare.

Morgan blew it, and lost the respect of many of the players and, if he had
any left with them, the cricket-loving public in England. He also managed to
be outmanoueuvred by the Zimbabwe government, an organisation with a track
record of repeatedly scoring public-relations own goals. The concessions he
won were not worth the cost.

Had Morgan seized the opportunity and immediately said that the tour was
off, the blame would have been heaped on the Zimbabwe government. By
travelling to Harare and continuing discussions with his counterparts on the
Zimbabwe board, he backed himself further into a dark and lonely corner. If
the Zimbabweans backed down, England had to tour; if they didn't, he was
left looking foolish and the matter was still up in the air.

On Thursday morning, his rhetoric grew even more feeble when he said that
England's tour would be cancelled unless "a significant number" of the
journalists were admitted. What was never exactly a hardline strategy grew
limper by the hour.

And in meeting with Zimbabwe Cricket, Morgan did the one thing he always
maintained was outside his remit. He played politics. The Zimbabwe board
maintained all along that the decision to ban the journalists was taken by
the government and was outside its control. That didn't stop Morgan's
venture into appeasement.

Predictably, Morgan and his acolytes tried to pass off his efforts as a
success during a press conference on Thursday night. The reality is that
they represented little more than shameless pandering to a corrupt and
tyrannical regime.

In today's Guardian, Des Wilson, who argued against the tour from within the
ECB until he got fed up and resigned, said that the current crisis was as
avoidable as it was inevitable. "[The ECB] had a well-argued and
well-supported strategy for withdrawing from the tour presented to it, and
all it had to do was call the ICC's bluff," he wrote. "But," he added, the
problem was "a chairman whose main concerns seemed being re-elected for a
second term and being acceptable at the international dinner table."

Events of the last day or so leave Morgan's position highly vulnerable and
his board widely discredited. When leadership was needed, he was submissive.
His position as a credible figurehead for English cricket is in tatters. An
increasingly isolated figure, and one with little credibility remaining, his
days are surely numbered.

Martin Williamson is managing editor of Wisden Cricinfo.

© Wisden Cricinfo Ltd
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Zimbabweans left in the dark
BBC News examines how the row over England's cricket tour is being portrayed in Zimbabwe

The England Tour
When England failed to board the plane in Johannesburg, Zimbabwe Television only briefly acknowledged the situation

"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.

Zimbabwe spectators
The Zimbabwean people were left mystified by the England saga

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.

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Enough is Enough



We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!


Sokwanele reporter

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. 

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The Scotsman

      Tour 'Will Boost Mugabe's Murderous Rule'

      By Jane Kirby, PA Political Staff

      Commons Leader Peter Hain condemned President Robert Mugabe's
"murderous rule" today and said he did not believe the England cricket team
should be visiting Zimbabwe.

      He described the situation in Zimbabwe as "outrageous" and said
President Mugabe's power was "tyrannical".

      He continued: "We are opposed to this tour, we wish it hadn't happened
but the England Cricket Board is not a department of the Government and it's
free to make its own decisions."

      He believed "this tour will give comfort to Mugabe's murderous rule".

      During questions on future Commons business Tory Andrew Mackay
(Bracknell) described the situation in Zimbabwe as "dreadful" and told Mr
Hain the overwhelming majority of the House agreed with his views.

      But, he added: "It's a pity that your robust line has not been taken
up by the Foreign Secretary and other ministers.."

      Mr Hain insisted "we are at one on this matter" and praised Mr Mackay
for highlighting the "abuses of freedom" and oppression in Zimbabwe.
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Amnesty calls for withdrawal of draft Electoral Commission Bill

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 25 Nov 2004 (IRIN) - Amnesty International (AI) has called for
the withdrawal of Zimbabwe's draft Electoral Commission Bill, arguing that
the proposed legislation is "flawed" and needs to be "appropriately

The New-York based rights group said that while the establishment of an
electoral commission was a "step in the right direction", the bill lacked
key provisions that would ensure the independence of the commission during
general elections in March next year. The bill is currently being debated in

AI said in a briefing paper on Thursday that, in at least four key ways, the
provisions fell short of the benchmarks for democratic elections recently
agreed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), of which
Zimbabwe is a member.

It noted that the bill failed to "adequately restrict" top party officials
from being appointed as commissioners, and provided opportunities for
government meddling in the work of the electoral authority.

Amnesty urged the greater involvement of groups "outside the presidency and
ruling party" in the appointment process, recommending that "ministerial
interventions in the operations of the commission should be removed, and the
commission should be made responsible only to parliament".

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has also objected
to the proposed law, noting that it was a "serious deviation" from the SADC

MDC legal affairs secretary David Coltart told IRIN that so far, efforts to
"dilute" the bill had been unsuccessful. "There has been no progress at all
in getting any of the crucial elements of the bill changed. The provisions
allow for handpicked appointments and is largely left open to government

He noted that the MDC this week had managed to push through a "few
amendments", such as: at least two women will sit on the envisaged electoral
commission; and only after exhaustive investigation and proof that they are
guilty of misbehaviour can commissioners be removed from office.

Coltart said there was ongoing concern that the provisions governing voter
education had infringed the SADC Principles and Guidelines by giving the
commission far-reaching powers in this area.

"According to the bill, only the commission and political parties would be
able to conduct voter education. Under the bill, the commission can force
anyone providing voter education (other than a political party) to furnish
it information, including funding sources. If they fail to comply they could
be liable to a fine or to up to two years of imprisonment. This is in
complete violation of the constitution, which enshrines the freedom of
expression and association," Coltart commented.

The official Herald newspaper reported that Minister of Justice Patrick
Chinamasa had said the bill barred organisations involved in voter education
from receiving foreign donations, because some NGOs were diverting funds
meant for development to projects aimed at undermining the government.

President Robert Mugabe has accused local and international NGOs of siding
with the opposition and fomenting anti-government sentiment. A draft
Non-Government Organisation Bill effectively bans foreign NGOs from
operating in Zimbabwe if their work involves issues of governance, and
prohibits local NGOs from accepting foreign funding or donations. The NGO
bill passed the second reading stage after parliament threw out an adverse
report that had been issued by the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the
constitutionality of the Bill.

The bill defines "issues of governance" as including "the promotion and
protection of human rights".

Coltart said: "We had hoped that the government would concede that its
definition of 'governance issues' was too broad and would have far-reaching
effects on the humanitarian aid groups who inadvertently deal with rights
issues such as housing and health. But it seems that the bill will go
through as is."

Political analyst John Makumbe said that the new law would have a
"devastating" effect on the most vulnerable among the population. It is
estimated that 30,000 NGO employees will be out of work as a direct result
of the legislation.

"A further worry is that the NGOs were feeding and clothing the most needy -
a task which was supposed to be undertaken by the government. A lot of
foreign currency in circulation was due to the presence of these
international NGOs, but this will also dry up," Makumbe told IRIN.

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25 November 2004
MDC Salutes Heroic Efforts by Parliamentarians
The MDC is immensely proud of the heroic efforts by our parliamentarians to try and dilute the anti-democratic elements of the Electoral Commission Bill and NGO Bill when these respective Bills were debated in committee stage in parliament on Monday and Tuesday of this week.
Even though our MPs are outnumbered in parliament by their Zanu PF counterparts, this has never deterred them from courageously fighting on behalf of the people in parliament and holding the government to account.  They have helped to keep the flickering flame of democracy alive. This continues to be a source of great inspiration to the people of Zimbabwe.
Our MPs, led by Hon Pauline Mpariwa (who is also the Chair of the Pan African Parliament Women’s Caucus) remained in the august chamber until the early hours on both Monday and Tuesday to try and pressure the government into accepting a series of amendments to the Bills in question.
A number of our amendments were accepted by the government. This underlines that pressure from the people is continuing to create political victories for free and fair elections. Although the government’s rejection of the majority of the amendments proposed by the MDC means that both bills continue to fall short of what is expected under the new SADC election standards, the government knows that it is finding it increasingly difficult to quench the peoples thirst for a new beginning. 
Both Bills, if passed in their current state, will do further damage to the government’s image in the eyes of the people of Zimbabwe and our bothers and sisters across the SADC region.  Ensuring that the people are able to fully participate in the democratic process is a standard good governance benchmark that is adhered to across the SADC region.
The misguided decision by the government to push through parliament legislation that is likely to further distance Zimbabwe from this basic condition of good governance will further alienate it from the people of Zimbabwe and the rest of the SADC.
The people though are not despondent. Instead they are increasingly galvanised by the government’s intransigence towards restoring their basic rights and freedoms.
The people know that core grievances, such as lack of food and lack of jobs, can only be properly addressed once democracy and legitimacy have been restored via a free and fair election. Their collective desire to see a free and fair election fought on these issues means that popular pressure for genuine political and electoral reform will continue to grow.
It would be pure folly on the government’s part to assume that they can crush the people’s desire for a new beginning.
Hon Gibson Sibanda
MDC Vice-President
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Zimbabwe Predicts Economic Recovery
11.25.2004, 01:27 PM

Acting Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa said Zimbabwe is on the road to
economic recovery, predicting growth of 3.5 percent to 5 percent next year,
as he presented his annual budget to Parliament on Thursday.

The recovery would be driven by a revival of the key agriculture sector and
slowdown of inflation, which soared to 622 percent at the beginning of 2004,
Murerwa told legislators.

"Our country has the potential and the resources to ensure that every
citizen is guaranteed improved standards of living," Murerwa said. "Our
success is in our hands."

Zimbabwe's economy has contracted by 30 percent in the past three years,
with unemployment of over 70 percent and acute shortages of food, medicine,
gasoline and other essentials.

President Robert Mugabe's government blames the economic crisis - the worst
since independence in 1980 - on a devastating drought and the refusal of
Western financial institutions to cooperate with his regime.

Independent analysts, however, blame government mismanagement, pointing to
the often violent seizure of 5,000 white-owned farms for redistribution to
black Zimbabweans since 2000.

Murerwa said agricultural output would increase by 28 percent in 2005, with
massive financial incentives to thousands of new black landowners to start
production. He also predicted improvements in the mining and tourism

Inflation would drop to below 50 percent by the end of the year, Murerwa

Anthony Hawkins, a leading Zimbabwe economist, questioned Murerwa's claims,
arguing it would take at least 10 years to repair the damage of the last

He noted the International Monetary Fund has predicted inflation will reach
300 percent as Zimbabwe runs into serious difficulties over food supplies.

Mugabe's claims of a bumper grain harvest have been questioned even by his
own parliamentarians, who fear millions will be dependent on foreign food
aid next year.

Murerwa's speech was delayed by over an hour as legislators waited for
Mugabe to arrive. No explanation was given.

Murerwa is filling in for Finance Minister Christopher Kuruneri who was
jailed in April on corruption allegations.  AP
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ANC welcomes Cosatu's move to return to Zimbabwe

November 25, 2004, 16:45

The ANC has welcomed Cosatu's resolution to resume its fact finding mission
in Zimbabwe in January next year.

Cosatu's first visit to Zimbabwe proved disastrous last month when its
delegates were expelled by president Robert Mugabe's government.

This sparked a heated public exchange between Cosatu leadership, the ANC and
the government. The ANC and government argued that Cosatu should have asked
for permission to go to Zimbabwe. ANC's Smuts Ngonyama says they hope Cosatu
will respect Zimbabwe's sovereignty.

A defiant Cosatu says it wants to return to Zimbabwe and while trying to
dialogue, the union federation will stage pickets and a border blockade to
help improve worker rights in that troubled country. Zwelinzima Vavi, the
Cosatu secretary general, says they want to talk with Zimbabwe government
but at the same time want to do what any trade union movement should do -
begin picketing so the issue can find the necessary attention it deserves.

Cosatu's Plan of Action includes pickets outside the Zimbabwe High
Commission and later the blockade of the Beit Bridge border post - Plans
it's hoping all unions in Southern Africa will back. The tough love approach
is winning support but it's drawn more than a few sharp words from within
the tripartite alliance. A partnership that Cosatu describes as cosy before
the election and a bit chilly now.

Vavi says the message to Cosatu is very clear, keep quiet and move out of
the politics and be a quite lap dog, if you don't want to comply then walk.
He called on the tripartite alliance to meet as soon as possible, Cosatu is
also squaring up for a fight. The trade union federation says it won't allow
the rift with the ANC to stop it from helping Zimbabwean workers in need.
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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
policies were
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
of the
department also backed the Government's controversial decision to
divert aid
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
by the
pressing needs of Iraq''.
The committee also raised concerns over the security of aid workers
in Iraq
and Afghanistan.
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
in Iraq.
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)

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The Scotsman

Mugabe's Land of Starvation, Repression and Aids

By Caroline Gammell, PA

When Zimbabwe won independence in 1980, there was real hope of prosperity in
its own right for the southern African country.

With its rich soil and warm climate, agriculture continued to flourish and
the country's reputation for high quality fruit and vegetables as well as
its tobacco trade remained in tact.

The new age was led by Robert Mugabe, a man whose impact was felt
immediately - his pictures adorned office walls and streets were named after

Moving away from colonialism, there was hope that the country could succeed
on its own and for a while, it did.

Tourism grew as the romance of Victoria Falls and the lure of spotting
exotic wild animals drew visitors in their thousands.

Agriculture was so successful that Zimbabwe became the world's third biggest
source of tobacco.

But as Mugabe's rule stretched from years into decades, his grip on reality

His increasingly dictatorial style and determination to stay in power meant
any opposition was - and still is - crushed.

Judges resigned, independent newspapers closed down and challengers such as
Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of Movement for Democratic Change, were slung in

His ruling party, the Zanu PF, relies on force and fear to ensure the
election results and to crush dissenters.

After the controversial re-election of Mugabe in 2002, Zimbabwe was
suspended from the Commonwealth. In December 20003, he pulled out of the
Commonwealth completely.

In January this year, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw described the situation
in Zimbabwe as "bleak, and is deteriorating".

He went on: "Political repression remains a daily reality for many
Zimbabweans, particularly those who are active in civil society, the
independent media or opposition politics."

One of the most destructive factors in Zimbabwe has been Mugabe's land
reforms, which involved confiscating land from the white farmers under the
guise of returning the land to the black Africans.

The policy has been carried out with brute force, leading to many of the
farms being burned down and crops destroyed.

An obvious knock-on has been the plunging rate of food production.

Earlier this year, the Word Food Programme estimated that about six million
people were starving and reliant on emergency food aid in Zimbabwe.

In a country with an estimated 12.9 million people, that is almost half of
the entire population. Life expectancy now rests at 34 for men and 33 for

Aid agencies have attributed part of the problem to the new land policy
while the government blames the entire situation on the recent drought.

To add to the misery of famine is the staggering rise in the number of
people suffering from HIV and Aids.

It is estimated that 25% of people between the ages of 25 and 45 in Zimbabwe
are infected with HIV and more than 2,000 people die every week from
Aids-related illnesses.

According to Zimbabwe's Independent newspaper, three quarters of the country's
soldiers die of Aids within a year of leaving the army.
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Daily News online edition

      Demonstrators back Cosatu mission

      Date: 25-Nov, 2004

      JOHANNESBURG - Members of the Concerned Citizens of Zimbabwe Abroad
(CCZ) on Wednesday demonstrated outside the Congress of South African Trade
Unions (COSATU) in support of the labour movement's efforts to bring
normalcy to Zimbabwe.

      About 100 placard-waving CCZ members, chanted revolutionary songs and
danced as the COSATU executive committee met to decide on what action to
take following the deportation of its fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe last

      They handed a petition to COSATU secretary-general, Zwelinzima Vavi,
who assured them that they would be briefed on the course of action that
COSATU would pursue.

      The details of the meeting were not readily available.

      "The secretary-general told us that he would brief us fully about the
outcome of today's meeting that the executive committee would consult before
implementing the resolutions that would come out of today's meeting," said
CCZ official, Jay Jay Sibanda.

      According to the petition, CCZ wants COSATU to urge regional and
international organisations to condemn Zimbabwe for human rights abuses
among other ills.

      "We hereby petition you to take the lead in a mass protest at
Beitbridge border post to highlight that the Zimbabwean crisis is a SADC
issue and to encourage the South African government to find a homegrown
African solution to the Zimbabwean crisis," read part of the CCZ petitition.

      Sibanda said CCZ supported the initiatives being taken by COSATU in
"trying to resolve the madness that has gripped our country." He said by
sending a fact finding to Zimbabwe, COSATU had shown, the Zimbabwe problem
was now a SADC issue.

      "The members (COSATU) witnessed the levels of poor governance and
intolerance. The barbaric action by the authorities proves beyond doubt the
lawlessness in our country," Sibanda said.

      He said the millions of Zimbabweans that now live in neighbouring
countries wanted to go back home but could not do so when unemployment is at
80 percent and human rights abuses and violence were rampant.

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Daily News online edition

      Manyonda loses central committee seat to novice

      Date: 25-Nov, 2004

      BUHERA North MP Kennet Manyonda lost his Central Committee seat to a
political newcomer and rural businessman identified only as Mutomba.

      Manyonda, a former provincial governor for Manicaland, made headlines
in 2000 after he upstaged MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the tussle for
Buhera North constituency.

      The election has however since been nullified by the High Court which
cited massive intimidation and violence against MDC supporters by the ruling
Zanu PF members.

      Two MDC activists were killed in the campaign. But in a sudden turn of
events, Manyonda, the deputy minister of Industry and International Trade is
experiencing dwindling political fortunes after his unexpected defeat at the

      He polled 95 votes against 126 garnered by Mutomba.

      Mutomba is also challenging Manyonda in the primaries for Buhera North
ahead of next year's primary elections.

      Businessman Aaron Mudekunye, who is eyeing the Buhera South seat was
also elected into the Central Committee. Kumbirai Kangai, the incumbent MP
for Buhera South, did not contest because he already sits in the Politburo.

      Top tobacco farmer and businessman Charles Pemhenai and transport
tycoon Esau Mupfumi were also elected into the Central Committee. Others who
made it into the central committee are Paul Kadzima (Nyanga) Enock
Porusingazi (Chipinge) and Munacho Mutezo (Chimanimani).

      Manyonda is believed to be bitter over the defeat, accusing the
provincial leadership of plotting against him. Efforts to contact Manyonda
were fruitless yesterday.

      Meanwhile, Zanu PF officials yesterday besieged the provincial offices
in Mutare demanding the ouster of Mike Madiro and his provincial executive
for allegedly canvassing for Emmerson Mnangagwa in the nomination for

      The demonstration has reportedly been organised by disgruntled
politician and businesman Shadreck Beta, who also lost in the central
committee elections.

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Daily News (SA)

      Politicians are not like us
      November 25, 2004

      We need to negotiate more space in our political life in this country.
Ten years into democracy and the political interaction is as crude as it was
in the days of PW Botha. All sides have a Bushesque "either you're with me
or you're against me" attitude. It is wrecking political progress,
undermining meaningful debate and cramping freedom of speech.

      The politically powerful are the first culprits. The culture of the
ANC is too often dominated by the simplistic doctrine that acquiescence to
the party line equals loyalty to the country - and vice versa.

      But at the same time too many of those outside the ANC have an
attitude that if one's views on a particular topic correspond broadly with
that of the main body of the ANC, you're called an ANC lackey and a
sycophant. This is particularly true of white South Africans. If you
approach a debate from a progressive point of view, they love to say you are
sucking up to the ruling party or to the black establishment.

      It is a symptom of the same disease we had during the last decades of
apartheid, the same disease the American nation is now suffering from: the
disease of believing that the country is the government and the government
is the country. America is George W Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld;
South Africa is Thabo Mbeki and his cabinet.

      As the head of state, President Mbeki is an important part of South
Africa. His cabinet ministers have a lot of power to influence our lives.
But they are merely the people the majority of citizens voted for at the
last elections. They are not the nation.

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  China raises stakes in Zimbabwe

Publish Date : 11/25/2004 2:53:00 PM   Source : Business News

The plan, announced by Chinese media, comes as China is upping its influence
in Zimbabwe's battered economy.

The latest stage of a long-standing relationship has seen floods of cheap
goods imported from China, and big construction deals go to Chinese firms.

China is also ramping up its presence elsewhere in Africa, from construction
in Botswana to oil in Sudan.

Air Zimbabwe is thought to have only two working long-haul aircraft,
although it expects another two from China thanks to a deal signed earlier
this year.

The Beijing flights will help service China's extensive investments in
Zimbabwe, estimated by Zimbabwe's government to be worth US$600m but by the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change to be much higher.


China's relationship with Zimbabwe dates back to the liberation struggle of
the 1970s, when troops were trained by Chinese advisers - as well as those
from North Korea and elsewhere.

Once independence came in 1980, China continued a small but reliable
economic interest in the country.

As aid dried up in the 1990s, the Chinese extended assistance, as well as
funding military improvements.

But with Zimbabwe's economic isolation of the past four years - and its
spiralling troubles, including 700% inflation and 70% unemployment - the
relationship has strengthened.


As many as 9,000 Chinese are believed to be in Zimbabwe working on a wide
range of projects.

In construction, the Chinese are understood to be working on hydro-electric
and coal power stations, bridges, airports, and the reconstruction of
Zimbabwe's most important border post at Beit Bridge with South Africa.

A Chinese consortium also has a management contract with Zisco, the state
steel firm, while technology firm Huawei has a $440m contract to supply
telecoms equipment.

In addition, the Zimbabwe government confirmed earlier this year it was
buying $200m of military equipment from China - although a spokesman later
denied it.

African resources

Zimbabwe's mineral wealth, which includes platinum, gold and diamonds, may
also be a cause of China's heightened interest.

Chinese interests have become a staple feature of the burgeoning African oil

In Sudan, the China National Petroleum Corporation owns 40% of the Greater
Nile crude project, as well as signing long-term contracts with Nigeria and

In all, China-Africa trade is expected to top $20bn in 2004.

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