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

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Zim Online

Fri 26 November 2004
  HARARE - The cash-strapped Zimbabwe government will beginning next year
tax the informal sector and expatriate workers of foreign organisations in a
bid to finance a Z$27.5 trillion budget presented to Parliament yesterday.

      The informal sector, expanding because of a collapsing formal sector,
and some expatriate workers of foreign organisations based in Zimbabwe were
previously exempt from paying tax.

      Acting Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa told the House the measure was
necessary to raise extra cash to finance the budget which he said was going
to be funded entirely from domestic funds because Zimbabwe's isolation had
crippled foreign direct investment.

      Murerwa said: "I propose to amend legislation to require foreign
employers to register for PAYE purposes through resident agents with effect
from January 1, 2005. Strategies to bring the informal sector into the tax
net, rationalising zero ratings and exemptions in the Value Added Tax

      He however did not say how much the government expected to raise from
the informal sector and workers of foreign organisations, most of which are
non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that are expected to pull out because
of a proposed law that puts severe restrictions on such bodies.

      Turning on economic performance, Murerwa said Gross Domestic Product
will this year decline by 2.5 percent, contradicting Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono's projection of a 5 percent drop in GDP.

      GDP, which is a country's total production, declined by 8.5 percent in

      Painting a rosy picture of Zimbabwe's crumbling economy, Murerwa said
the agriculture sector, which contributes about 16 percent of GDP will make
strong recovery in 2005 after registering a relatively marginal decline of
3.3 percent in 2004.

      He said: "The sector is projected to grow by 28.0 percent in 2005. The
projected recovery in agriculture is underpinned by increases in production
of tobacco, sugar, maize, wheat and cotton."

      The mining sector which contributes about 4 percent to GDP is
projected to register a positive growth of 7.5 percent in 2005, after
recording an estimated growth of 11.6 percent in 2004, according to Murerwa.

      Growth in mining was mainly due to increased output of gold, platinum,
nickel and palladium, he said.

      But Murerwa, who is acting on behalf of Chris Kuruneri who is in jail
for allegedly siphoning foreign currency outside the country, said the
manufacturing sector, was going to decline by 8.5 percent in 2004.

      Of the total budget allocation, $5 trillion will go towards capital
expenditure, while $22.5 trillion will be recurrent expenditure. Murerwa
said $11.49 trillion of the recurrent expenditure will go towards public
service employment costs.

      Murerwa said the country's overall balance-of-payments deficit had
worsened to US$523 million this year, from a deficit of US$335 million in

      But the current account deficit had however improved from US$581
million in 2003 to US$338 million in 2004, Murerwa said, adding this was due
to good performance of exports in the agricultural, mining and manufacturing

      The capital account recorded a US$185 million deficit because of low
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and portfolio inflows against high scheduled
outflows. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Government seizes four farms from top ZANU PF officials
Fri 26 November 2004
  HARARE - The government has seized four farms from deputy Speaker of
Parliament, Edna Madzongwe, and Local Government Minister, Ignatius Chombo,
who are among powerful politicians who grabbed several farms each under the
guise of state land reforms.

      Armed police this week barricaded Allan Grange and Oldham farms in
Mashonaland West province, both owned by Chombo who grabbed the two
properties from their previous white owners at the height of the
government's chaotic and often violent land redistribution programme.

      Police were also on guard at Bourne and Coburn farms in Mashonaland
West to prevent Madzongwe and her staff from entering the two properties
repossessed by the state.

      Former governor of the province Peter Chanetsa, who is said to own six
farms, was also ordered to surrender some of his farms to the state.

      Special Affairs Lands Minister John Nkomo, tasked by President Robert
Mugabe to repossess all excess farms grabbed by senior government and ZANU
PF politicians against the state's stated one-man-one-farm policy, could not
be reached last night to establish whether the crackdown on multiple farm
owners was going to be extended to all provinces.

      But police spokesman, Wayne Bvudzijena, was quoted in the local Press
saying the law enforcement agency had been instructed to repossess land from
multiple farm owners.

      Nearly all senior government and ZANU PF officials, their wives,
relatives and friends grabbed most of the best land vacated by white farmers
while black peasants, in whose name land redistribution was carried out,
were pushed to farms in the poor and drier parts of the country.

      Some surrendered the farms at the behest of Mugabe but many did not
and are still holding on to the farms. - ZimOnline
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   November 26, 2004

                        Bemoaning the destruction of beauty, promise . . . a
                        By Simon Barnes

                        I REMEMBER my first trip to Zim. It was 1990. The
optimism of those days! The feeling that Robert Mugabe was going to meld the
best of old Rhodesia into the best of the new Africa and produce a great new
country! Good to be alive in that African dawn! Mugabe had been a demon
figure for white Rhodesians. But once in power, he assumed the way of
compromise and reconciliation, the air was promise-crammed and every foot
was forward.
                        I remember a more recent trip, five years ago. So
beautiful that tears pricked my eyes on a daily basis. I went rhino-tracking
with a one-eyed veteran of the Bush War (black) and we walked to within a
cricket pitch of the lovely prehistoric bicorned bugger. I visited a
wild-dog den with a native speaker of I forget which African language
(white) and relished his determined, gentle effectiveness.

                        I visited a cattle trough - that's a big deal, by
the way, watering thousands of cattle daily - a school and a clinic, all run
with money siphoned directly from wildlife tourism. Zim was working: the
best of the old, the best of the new, a partnership between races. Not
Utopia, nobody said that, but a great place to visit, a great place to live.
If I'd been 25, I'd have stayed.

                        That is what makes its present state so terrible to
behold. Where the tourist dollars, the cattle trough, the school, the
clinic? Where the rhino? Because there are no bloody tourists, that's for
sure, and that's the very least of the problem.

                        The last trip I made was for business, a cricket
World Cup match in Bulawayo. The place had fallen apart: Mugabe the great
statesman had gone. Instead, we had Mugabe clinging to power by any means.

                        That the change should come over a man is a tragedy,
and it might have been written by Euripides. That such a change should come
over a nation is a matter of such sorrow and pity that no pen could do it
justice, and no lap-top neither.

                        That a sport should play a part in this is bizarre.
That the ICC should play the part of Mugabe's court jester is nothing less
than grotesque. Cricket played the role of honour in apartheid. In the
Zimbabwe affair, it has played the Fool.
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The Times

            Simon Barnes

                        November 26, 2004

                        Immoral, unjust, oppressive dictatorship. . . and
then there's Mugabe
                        By Simon Barnes

                        ROBERT MUGABE'S Government is pushing through
legislation designed to prevent human rights organisations from operating in
Zimbabwe. Nice one, eh? It has long ago succeeded in forcing through
legislation that makes the ICC booster, cheerleader and mischief-maker
extraordinaire on behalf of the Mugabe Government.

                        And so, in this country, people are calling for the
sacking of David Morgan, chairman of the ECB. Excuse me if the logic of the
thing escapes me. Morgan is not exactly the first choice for villain of the
piece here.

                        No, that, clearly and unambiguously, is Mugabe
himself. This is not because he is black or wears glasses or is antiEnglish:
it is because he runs a country by means of the single policy of subduing
the opposition, a process that involves arbitrary arrest, torture and
extrajudicial execution.

                        Every country, including our own, has its sordid and
disgusting secrets. But Mugabe's Government has long ago crossed the line
and become a pariah nation. A visit to Zimbabwe is both ludicrous and
desperate, tragic and comic. Zimbabwe is Fawlty Towers, in which Basil goes
in for punitive rape and murder.

                        All right, we've established the idea that Zimbabwe
is bad. The second idea we have to establish is that England is different to
other cricket-playing nations. Note to overseas readers: not better. We
really have grown out of that idea over the course of the previous century.

                        But England is unquestionably different to the rest.
Cricket is the game of the Lost Empire, and there is only one mother
country. What are the great rivalries in cricket? India v Pakistan.
Australia v New Zealand. In recent years, India v Australia, especially when
the match is in India.

                        And England v anybody. For reasons of history,
mismanagement, injustice, superciliousness, arrogance and every other
colonial ill, the former subject nations just love the chance to beat up
England and the fact that beating England has sometimes been pathetically
easy has never detracted from the pleasure.

                        England, more than any other nation, is the defeated
opponent of choice. England is the opponent that stirs the blood, that adds
more to any series than mere sport.

                        This gives a zing not only to international cricket
but also to international cricket politics. So the ICC has cosied up to
Zimbabwe and connived at Mugabe's enormities. The latest nonsense about
banning journalists is just another example of how Zimbabwe's No 1 agenda is
to make itself look like a serious nation by pouring various humiliations on
the England cricket team and those associated with it.

                        England have been ordered to tour Zimbabwe. The
attitude is basically, "we went, so you can go and just bloody well get on
with it". And if they don't, they face a threat of suspension from the
international game. Morgan believes this threat to be sincere. That belief
gives him two options. He can say, "stuff the lot of you", or he can say,
"we'll do the bare minimum for the sake of the game". He has chosen the last

                        He has been forced into it by the anti-England
tendency of the ICC. No one in the ICC is prepared to consider that this is
exactly what Mugabe wants of them. Rather worse, no one in the ICC has felt
that support for a murderous dictator is not morally sound.

                        An England trip to Zimbabwe has rather more
emotional resonance than a trip by Sri Lanka or Australia. But the ICC will
not accept that. Thus it denies an obvious truth: relish a politically
expedient lie and watch England's resulting discomfiture with glee.

                        Whingeing Poms, bloody English, so arrogant that
they are reluctant to support torture and murder! How squeamish can you get?
And as the ICC politicos assume their posture for the next round of power
struggles in the game of cricket, so members of the Movement for Democratic
Change in Zimbabwe are murdered.

                        England no longer runs an Empire (second note to
overseas readers: nearly all of us are aware of that these days). England no
longer has the right to dictate unilaterally the politics of the world or
the way in which cricket is played. The sub-continent is emerging as the
keeper of the heart and soul of cricket, and I relish that with a full

                        England has no right to any kind of special
treatment, only recognition of the fact that for the former colonies, all
brushes with the Mother Country carry a piquancy that is not duplicated
elsewhere. Look on England as Manchester United: nowhere near the top of the
league, but still the club everybody longs to beat.

                        Therefore, an England cricket tour is particularly
attractive to, say, mischief-making, murderous dictators. And if Zimbabwe's
actual cricket team is in a poor state, never mind: the scoring of political
points by Mugabe will afford him deep pleasure and give added confidence to
his absurd and deadly regime.

                        The ICC has done nothing to support England in its
problems with Zimbabwe: has refused to consider that a moral issue even
exists. It has allowed Zimbabwe to needle and humiliate England. England's
reluctance to tour has allowed the other members of the ICC to assume a
moral high ground. Observe this: those that claim the moral high ground in
international cricket do so by condoning torture and murder.

                        Once again, the ICC is relishing England's
discomfiture. And if a few more Zimbabweans have to wear electrodes on their
balls as a result, that's a small price to pay for pleasure.
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The Independent (UK)

Cathy Buckle: 'We don't give a damn about cricket - we're worried about how
to feed people'
The Zimbabwean writer gives her view of the furore
26 November 2004

It's totally inappropriate that the tour is going ahead. It's sickening
England are coming and that the issue was over money and players' fees. I
don't believe that the England players wanted to come. Most of us who live
here don't give a damn about cricket: we're worried about how to feed people
and treat the sick. The situation is one thousand times worse in Zimbabwe
than it was even four years ago.

This may well be the last week that a large number of non-governmental
organisations (NGOs) operate in the country.

This week parliament began forcing the NGO bill through the required stages.
The bill has gone to its second reading, It's now a fait accompli and it
will become law in the next week or two.

The consequences will be diabolical. There is this absolute paranoia in the
regime that any funding coming in will give money to the opposition. NGOs
will be forced to close or relocate. Despite an adverse report by the
parliamentary legal committee, which said the Bill contradicted the
constitution on 12 counts, it now seems inevitable that the NGO bill is
about to become law. NGOs are frantically making preparations as I write.

Some say they will go underground, others will relocate to neighbouring
countries and many more will simply cease to exist. Welshman Ncube, the
chairman of the parliamentary legal committee, described the NGO bill as a
"pervasive attempt to curtail and extinguish the fundamental freedoms of the
people of Zimbabwe". He said the bill "does not seek to regulate but to
control, to silence, to render ineffective and ultimately shut down
non-governmental organisations".

With the NGO bill we risk our people being arrested and our assets seized.
Under these circumstances cricket is insignificant.

People in my own town with HIV and Aids, when they are too sick to leave
their beds, the families hire cars and take them out into the countryside to
die. They then bury them there to save on the cost of coffins. The brain
drain is such that there are only two people left in the entire country
qualified to perform a post-mortem examination. Whenever there is a shooting
or a killing the bodies have to join the queue to be seen by these two.

There are more than 700 unemployed and virtually destitute people with HIV
and Aids in Marondera, a farming town of more than 30,000, 90 miles
south-east of Harare. In addition there are more than 900 orphans in the
town and 21 households headed by children. In all cases these men, women and
children are almost entirely dependent on the goodwill of strangers, on food
and clothing handouts and charitable donations from NGOs such as the Red
Cross or the Rotary Club under whose umbrella our little Christopher
Campaign operates in Marondera town.

There are thought to be in excess of 3,000 NGOs in Zimbabwe employing more
than 20,000 people who, in turn, help literally millions of people in need
in Zimbabwe. There are NGOs working to help the very young and the very old,
the sick, the hungry and the downtrodden. There are NGOs working in the
cities, towns and remotest of villages.

These are the darkest of days in Zimbabwe. So many people get from one day
to the next thanks to the kindness of strangers and the goodness of
charitable organisations.

How they will survive once these organisations are outlawed lies only in
God's hands. Please remember Zimbabwe in your prayers.

Cathy Buckle is a Zimbabwean author who lives in Marondera. She writes a
weekly online letter about conditions in her country. To read them, go to
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The Times

            Journalists face hostile sojourn
            By Owen Slot, Chief Sports Reporter

            THE Zimbabwe Government has detailed files on British
journalists and will certainly not be short on information on the media who
are travelling to Africa in the hope of covering the England tour of

            There may have been little uniformity in the Government's
decision-making as to which journalists it intended to welcome into the
country and which - initially, at least - it did not. However, it has
certainly done its homework.

            It is 21 months since British sports writers were last allowed
into Zimbabwe. That was for the World Cup and the deal with the ICC was that
anyone requesting accreditation should be allowed in. In effect, the
Zimbabwe Government had no power of veto.

            On arriving in Harare, however, journalists were given a 48-hour
window within which they had to present themselves at the Ministry of
Information to have their visas certified.

            It was at the Ministry that it became clear exactly how much
information was on hand. Behind a desk was a man with a cuttings file
containing articles from various British titles and journalists. One
journalist was subject to detailed questioning about stories that he had

            That, of course, was the World Cup when the England team failed
to pitch up for their date in Harare. As soon as the England team reneged on
their match there, phone calls started to be made from the Ministry of
Information telling those British journalists who had been given visas that
they should now leave.

            A week later, another British journalist tried to enter the
country for another World Cup match that did not involve England. He was
denied a visa and instructed to turn around and get himself on the next
plane out.

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The Telegraph

Morgan is a mouse caught in Mugabe trap
By Kate Hoey
(Filed: 26/11/2004)

Speaking from the Meikles Hotel, Harare, David Morgan told journalists that
members of the England cricket squad, in limbo at Johannesburg Airport,
would be "confused . very confused".

The truth is that neither they nor the British public, who earlier this week
on BBC Radio Five Live voted 98.5 per cent in favour of calling off the tour
of Zimbabwe, are the slightest bit confused, nor are they surprised by the
behaviour of Robert Mugabe and the agents of his vile dictatorship. The only
thing that has baffled us all is why Morgan, as chairman of the England and
Wales Cricket Board, and the International Cricket Council should want to
cosy up to the Zimbabwe Cricket Union - recently rebranded as Zimbabwe
Cricket - who have clearly shown themselves to be tools of the Zanu PF
dictatorship, along with the so-called war veterans once led by 'Hitler'
Hunzvi and the 'Green Bombers', the youth militia set up to brainwash and
dehumanise Zimbabwe's young people.

Every year Zimbabwe Cricket dutifully re-elect Mugabe as their patron and
have allowed political vetting by Zanu PF's commissars to become part of
their team selection process. Mugabe heads a dictatorship that I witnessed
at first hand when I visited the country under cover last year. His
government have disregarded their obligations under the Zimbabwe
constitution and breached international law on human rights and regional
protocols on democracy and freedom of speech. Against such a backdrop the
notion that it is a triumph to have the Zimbabwean authorities honour
under-takings given to the ECB or the ICC after an 11th-hour climbdown is
utterly laughable.

All along, I have, with many others, warned the ECB not to be drawn into a
position where they would be used by the master manipulator Mugabe as a pawn
in his battle for unfettered power. Now they have ended up looking pathetic
with Morgan, in particular, resembling nothing more than a half-dead mouse.

The fact that late in the day British journalists have been allowed into
Zimbabwe is unlikely to be the end of this sordid saga. The Daily
Telegraph's Mihir Bose went to Zimbabwe in April this year to report on the
Sri Lanka cricket tour and was immediately expelled because he might try to
foment trouble. The actual danger, of course, is not that journalists will
foment trouble but that they will report truthfully to the outside world on
the real trouble in Zimbabwe - Mugabe's reign of terror.

My great sadness is that both English and international cricket now look
morally bankrupt and that the Government have lamely wrung their hands and
allowed Mugabe to make them look like fools. Financial obligations and the
threat of penalties have dominated what should have been a straightforward
moral judgment. Ministers should have been prepared to beef up their
language and, instead of saying they would prefer the tour not to go ahead,
they should have made a formal request for the ECB to call it off.

The latest duplicitous talk by officials from Zimbabwe's pantomime Ministry
of Information about the accreditation process and their jumpiness whenever
the name of Mugabe is mentioned demonstrates the fear that is everywhere in
Zimbabwe. I saw it on my visit last year when it was dangerous to even wave
to a friend across the street because the symbol of the opposition party,
the Movement for Democratic Change, is the raised open palm of a hand.

I now wait uneasily to hear from my friends in the country what horrors of
beating, incarceration and torture might be visited on those opposition
activists who dare to stage protests for free speech and democracy near the
cricket grounds where England will play over the coming days.

Young cricket fans I met in Bulawayo last year had clubbed together during
the cricket World Cup to form 'Cricket Supporters for Democracy'. They
showed me the scars and told me of the brutality they experienced for having
dared to make a peaceful protest. I'm sure they will be there this time,
too. I salute them and all those who are struggling for freedom and
democracy in Zimbabwe.

It shames British sport that our national team should be playing cricket in
a state that perpetrates such outrages against human rights.
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The Star

      Mad Bob's mate and the Englishmen in pyjamas
      November 26, 2004

        By Kevin McCallum

      The inadequate, ineffectual and increasingly bizarre notion of "quiet
diplomacy" that the South African government has been pampering Robert
Mugabe with was shown up for the poppycock that it is by a group of grown
men armed with little more than international public opinion and a load of
willow bats.

      Pyjama diplomacy won the day yesterday. The power of a group of men
who wear sporty pyjamas on an oval field shocked the Zimbabwean Minister of
Misinformation and Insecurity, Jonathan "I like shopping in South Africa"
Moyo into suddenly remembering that he had not got around to processing 13
of the 55 applications received by the gents and ladies of the English media

      "They're here somewhere," he said, rustling through the trays on his
desk. "I know I left them here. Damn my secretary and her
colonialist-inspired notions of setting up a filing system. Now I never know
where anything is."

      He searched through the OUT tray, but nary an accreditation did he
find. He quickly skipped through the IN tray, and found the forms of the
lucky 32 journalists who had been let in. Then he went to tray labelled KEEP
'EM OUT, a large tray two piles of A4 paper wide and a metre deep, and with
a deft sleight of hand produced the names of the unlucky 13.

      "See, I told you. It was just an administrative oversight. Welcome to
Zimbabwe, where we have no famine, no protest, no independent newspapers, no
inflation worries and no sense of right or wrong.

      Oh, and we also have no white cricket players," he said, smiling
through teeth shone to dazzle with South African toothpaste. "Sorry, what's
that? There are a couple left? Damn it man, how did that happen? Don't you
worry, we'll sort that out. Now, when would you like to meet the patron of
Zimbabwe cricket, President Robert Mugabe?"

      The reply from the England team will be "never", after a decision
taken by many of them to do their best to ignore the man slowly sucking the
life out of his own country and ignoring the cries of hunger of his own
people. One wonders, though, whether the powers that be (although a more
powerless sporting organisation I have yet to see) at the International
Cricket Council would have shaken Mugabe's hand if asked to. They said
yesterday that they "welcomed" Zimbabwe's decision to issue the outstanding
accreditations. Welcomed? Mate, when they heard that Moyo had changed his
mind, they got down on their knees to thank their lucky gods that Zimbabwe
had realised just how daft they would have looked had the tour not gone

      The ICC, together with the British government, have been quite
pathetic in dealing with the Zimbabwe issue. They wimped out on the racism
charge against the ZCU and then sighed with relief when it was brought to a
premature and highly unsatisfactory end. They ran for cover during the World
Cup when the worries about security in Zimbabwe and Kenya came up. Quite
what they would have done had England decided that a couple of weeks extra
in South Africa would be preferable to playing four limited-overs matches in
Zimbabwe, we will now never know.

      It is a pity, in a way, that England are going. It would have been
nice to see if the ICC would have sanctioned Zimbabwe or, even, have hit
England with a $2-million fine. Now the reluctant men in pyjamas will
scuttle through their matches as quickly as possible, before making a quick
exit to South Africa. Pyjama diplomacy, Thabo, is the way to go. People seem
to listen to boycotts.

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JAG JOB OPPORTUNITIES: Updated 25th November 2004

Please send any classified adverts for publication in this newsletter to:
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How Morgan blew his last chance

The ECB chairman had a get-out card but his blind persistence played into
the despot's hands

Mike Selvey
Friday November 26, 2004
The Guardian

OK, here is one of those multiple-choice questions, the sort that we carry
each day inside the back of G2. Ready? The government of Zimbabwe, or Robert
Mugabe as it should be called, denied accreditation to a sundry bunch of
cricket journalists because it was: a) concerned about the credentials of,
say, Derek Pringle, former England cricketer and now of the Daily Telegraph,
to report and comment on said game, suspecting instead subterfuge and
sedition; or b) it was taking the Michael out of Vaughan and his chums;
having a larf.
Personally, although it has not been altogether easy to piece together the
thought processes of those Zimbabwean representatives who have fronted up on
radio and used their worst endeavours to explain the inexplicable, I would
tend towards the latter.

Even now, the despicable despot himself must be cackling away at another
coup to rival the day the myopic Jack Straw was hoodwinked into shaking his

For a full day he managed to string out the joke, sending the chairman of
the England and Wales Cricket Board, the Tony Blair of English cricket,
scurrying this way and that in Harare while the team were slouching around
in their latest accommodation in Johannesburg hoping beyond hope that this
finally was it. No mas. No more except a big silver bird flying back to home
and sanity.

Then, with the timing of a top comedian, Mr M sat them on a whoopee cushion
to end all whoopee cushions. Guess what lads, just when you thought you had
it taped; just when the Sons and Daughters of News International had
delivered their 11th-hour get-out trump a la Cape Town; just when, for the
very first time, the members of the International Cricket Council, a body
with all the natural flexibility of a whalebone corset, had moved onside,
you are all coming to play after all because we are letting your scribblers

Can't you just see his little legs kicking in the air as he lies on his
back, clutching his ribs at the mirth of it all. Do not put it beyond him,
even now to be contemplating a chuckle-worthy encore by pitching up at a
game, offering to shake hands with David Morgan (who has had protocol
instruction from the master of it, Straw) and then thumbing his nose and
blowing a raspberry instead.

It really is as comical as that, the way that English cricket has been
duped, used, hoofed around like a practice ball at a Millwall training
session. Mugabe, who, as Des Wilson has pointed out, should not be blamed
for acting as the barbarian he is, has taken them to the cleaners, with the
complicity of the British government, who offered countless weasel words of
support for a strong ECB stance, but when push came to shove, were more
concerned about their precious Olympic bid than common decency and morality.
If the saving of the tour is being touted as a triumph of diplomacy, rather
than a piece of reverse-colonial subservience, then we might as well all
pack up and watch tiddlywinks instead.

This was a chance missed. For a period of time - plenty long enough - in
Johannesburg on Wednesday, everything was in place for England to do what
the majority of civilised people, not least the players themselves, the
blokes at the sharp end, have wanted for the past 20 months since the World
Cup fiasco in Cape Town, and pull out of the commitment to tour that
desperate country and in so doing lend it credibility.

Media accreditation applications had been submitted months ago and there had
been ample time for even the most primitive bureaucracy to process them.
When the baker's dozen were refused - arbitrarily, it seems, given that this
paper and the two Mail titles, as vociferously anti-Mugabe as any, were
deemed acceptable - there was an opening, and it really should have been
seen for what it was.

Now, one does not wish to harp on too much about things Australian. But
given a similar set of circumstances it would be hard not to see them simply
saying, "Stuff it, mate, we are out of here, hang the consequences, we'll
deal with those another time." Nor would they be enticed back.

But Morgan has been singleminded in his efforts to ensure the tour takes
place. In his head, since he was ambushed by his International Cricket
Council peers at a high-level meeting in Auckland in the spring, has been
the bottom line, the truly absurd belief that world cricket, knowing not
least the income generated for other countries by the English game, would
agree to bankrupt it while actively supporting a Zimbabwean game riddled
with corruption and racism.

Now, though, according to ICC sources, not only had the other members of
this elite started to change their sympathies towards England, there was, as
a result, little to no chance of any sanction being placed on England other
than an obligation to pay out their contract with Zimbabwe cricket. It
really is not possible to spell it out in plainer language: this may be a
one-off and we don't like it, but you are off the hook, get out of here and
count yourself lucky.

There you are, though. It used to be the team that was accused of not being
able to seize the moment. Now that they have got it right, it seems to have
been handed down to the administration. Carpe diem ? That's fancy Japanese
goldfish, isn't it?
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The Telegraph

England to arrive with sense of betrayal
Derek Pringle in Johannesburg
(Filed: 26/11/2004)

England's cricketers will arrive in Harare this morning but only after much
persuasion from their employers, the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Despite the Zimbabwe government's surprise change of mind about banning 13
British journalists, Michael Vaughan and his team still have misgivings and
are set to withdraw should assurances over security be broken.

A two-hour meeting with John Carr, the ECB's director of cricket, and
Richard Bevan, their representative from the Professional Cricketers'
Association, raised several issues. But while the most important concerned
assurances over safety and security, there was anger too from the players
that 20 months after the World Cup mess, they were once again cooped up in a
South African hotel discussing issues that the ECB's management board should
have dealt with.

"There was disgruntlement from the players, but they were unanimous in their
decision for the tour to proceed," Bevan said. "When John Carr and I
travelled to Zimbabwe before the tour, we received detailed assurances on a
number of issues. We'll be taking any breaches very seriously."

Bevan, who flew to join the team on Wednesday, revealed that the players had
been angered by the Zimbabwe government's decision to ban journalists. Yet
once that ban had been lifted, the players had either to tour or risk losing
the sympathy of the cricket world, something that ECB chairman David Morgan,
had always insisted would be ruinous in light of threatened punishment from
the International Cricket Council.

"The players were saddened by that, especially as it was done at the last
minute," Bevan said. "When it was reported by a spokesman from the Zimbabwe
ministry of information that it was a political decision, it became
unacceptable for the game of cricket. Sport is often used to convey world
messages. Cricket and cricket players have sent a powerful message to the
Zimbabwe government."

Carr's presence, after hotfooting it down from Harare where he had been
assisting Morgan in forcing Zimbabwe's U-turn, suggested that there was
still unrest simmering among the players. After spending four hours in
meetings, he said he was just there to "update players on the situation",
and "was pleased that they were moving forward to Zimbabwe together".

For Vaughan, Ashley Giles, Paul Collingwood and James Anderson, who had been
involved in the interminable discussions over England's game in Harare
during the last World Cup, the sense of betrayal would have been strong.

After promises from Morgan that they would never again be placed in such an
invidious position, leadership has failed them once more. Yet apart from
misjudging their mood over the issue for the past year, the timing of this
latest tangle is far from ideal, coming as it does before the team's two
biggest Test series, against South Africa next month and Australia next

With the team scheduled to arrive at lunchtime, the first game today had to
be cancelled. England, however, are committed to playing a five-match
series. The latest news is that the Zimbabwe board have requested that the
first two one-dayers are back-to-back, the first played tomorrow at Harare
Sports Club.

While Morgan has mostly showed weak leadership over this affair, his
successes in Harare over the past day or so have proved significant.
President Robert Mugabe does not often climb down from external pressure, so
this was a coup for the chairman, assisted by the energetic ICC president,
Ehsan Mani.

While Morgan and Carr held talks at all levels on the ground in Harare, Mani
met representatives of Zimbabwe's High Commission in London, probably a more
direct conduit to the government than the officers of the cricket board,
despite close ties with Zanu PF, the ruling party.

Morgan's threat to cancel the tour, if the ban on certain journalists was
not lifted, would certainly have concentrated minds, though not as much as
money about to disappear. Zimbabwe Cricket, in keeping with the country's
economy, are cash-strapped and the television rights for the series were
sold to Sony Asia for around £500,000 (peanuts for most series). They cannot
afford to squander any potential income.

One theory is that the Zimbabwe authorities were always engaged in a game of
brinkmanship and that accreditation for all was likely in the end. If true,
the information minister's explanation that all he was waiting for was more
information on those banned (none was forthcoming from either the
individuals not accredited or their organisations) did not wash.

Red lights are not much observed by drivers in Harare so when journalists
got the green light from men chauffeured in big flash cars, nobody was quite
sure what it meant. Uncertainty and obfuscation are the stock-in-trade of
places like Zimbabwe and this tour is by no means settled.
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Enough is Enough



We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!



“Mauritius Watch”


The Zimbabwean Elections:

(Monitoring SADC Protocol Violations)


Issue 5.   22 November 2004


On August 17 2004, SADC leaders meeting in Mauritius adopted the SADC Protocol – Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.  Zimbabwe, as a member of SADC, also signed the Protocol and committed itself to implementing its standards.


“Mauritius Watch” provides a regular, objective and non-partisan assessment of Zimbabwe’s compliance with the Protocol.  In the run-up to the 2005 Parliamentary Elections we note any significant failures to adhere to the SADC standards.





SADC standards breached




Zimbabwe’s parliament was rushing through legislation last week that will shut down human rights groups and other organizations critical of Robert Mugabe and his government. The Non-Government Organizations Bill will force all the estimated 3,000 private voluntary organizations to register with a state commission or be closed, have their staff arrested and their assts seized.  Those not already on the Social Welfare Ministry’s voluntary register will be regarded as illegal as soon as the law comes into force.  The Bill also threatens charities that provide water supplies, famine relief, seed and farming implements, literacy and support to much of the one third of the population stricken by HIV/AIDS – and this in a country where most government services, including health, education and welfare are now in ruins. 


Earlier this month a report from the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Lands and Agriculture revealed that only 2.3 per cent of the official maize harvest projections had been realized. On this basis, and even taking into account the grain imports the government has been reluctant to admit, Zimbabwe is moving towards a serious grain deficit by early in the new year.  Meanwhile senior government ministers have been implicated in a scam involving the export of desperately needed seed from their newly-acquired farms.

Agencies concerned with so-called “governance “issues, including voter education, will be banned from receiving foreign funding. Foreign human rights organizations, including the local office of Amnesty International, will be outlawed.


The parliamentary legal committee has reported that the Bill violates the Constitution on 12 counts.  But the ruling ZANU PF has used its parliamentary majority once again to push aside all objections, voting to suspend parliament’s standing orders which would have required a three-week delay to redraft the legislation to bring into line with the Constitution.  Mugabe wants this and other draconian Bills passed into law before the ZANU PF Congress commencing December 1.


Professor Welshman Ncube, chairman of the parliamentary legal committee which submitted the adverse report described the Bill as “a determined and pervasive attempt to curtail and extinguish the fundamental freedoms of the people of Zimbabwe”.  He added: “It does not seek to regulate but to control, to silence, to render ineffective and ultimately shut down non-governmental organizations.”


(Reported in The Times (UK) -  and the Daily Telegraph (UK) -

2.1.1.        Full participation of citizens in the political process


2.1.8          Voter education


4.1.1.          Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of the citizens


4.1.2.          Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections


7.4.                (Government to) safeguard the human and civil liberties of all citizens including the freedom of movement, assembly, association, expression and campaigning …









New restrictions proposed under the government’s Non-Government Organizations (NGO) Bill will hamper the reporting of human rights’ violations in Zimbabwe, Amnesty International has said.


In a statement Amnesty spokesman, Joseph Dube, said that “if such provisions were enacted several human rights organizations would not be able to operate legally in Zimbabwe.”


The removal of any mechanisms for monitoring and reporting human rights abuses can only have a negative impact on the human rights situation in the country – a situation which has already attracted adverse comment both in the region and world-wide.  It would also make it easier for breaches of SADC election standards to pass unnoticed.


(Reported by Zim Online  -


7.4.                (Government to) safeguard the human and civil liberties of all citizens …


7.5.                (Government to) take all necessary measures and precautions to prevent the perpetration of fraud, rigging or any other illegal practices throughout the whole electoral process …







The President of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), currently on a European tour, was branded an  “enemy of the state’ by Zimbabwe’s Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa.  Speaking in parliament and with reference to the opposition leader’s reported lobbying for renewed sanctions against Mugabe and his entourage, Chinamasa said that he (Tsvangirai) was “state enemy number one”.  He added: “If Mr Tsvangirai called for sanctions, I don’t expect that he would want to return to this country”.    MDC members of parliament objected to the description of their leader as “state enemy number one” but their objections were rejected by the ZANU PF Speaker of Parliament.


(Reported by AFP )

2.1.3        Political tolerance


4.1.2.      Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections


7.4              (Government to) safeguard the human and civil liberties of all citizens including the freedom of … expression





Tons of police anti-riot equipment and other military hardware worth millions of dollars have been ordered by the Mugabe regime from China in preparation for the March 2005 poll. The Cape Argus quoted “authoritative sources” confirming that the police and the military were being fully prepared to deal with internal disturbances which might occur if the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) decides not to contest the elections. The newspaper was unable to ascertain the precise details of the order but quoted officials who said that police anti-riot equipment, including “several tons of teargas”, would constitute the bulk.

(Reported in The Cape Argus (SA)  -

4.1.2        Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections












Police in Harare arrested a number of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) members who were protesting  against proposed new legislation imposing severe restrictions on non-governmental organizations (NGOs)   Different reports gave the number arrested between 16 and 31. 


The NCA is a coalition of human and civic rights groups, pro-democracy organizations, labour, churches and opposition parties campaigning for a new and democratic constitution for Zimbabwe.


About 300 supporters of the coalition converged in central Harare, singing and waving placards denouncing the NGO Bill before heavily armed police, who had kept tight surveillance throughout the city since the morning, pounced on the protestors, beating them up and arresting some.  In addition to the arrests at least 16 people were reported to be seriously injured during the police charge.



(Reported by Zim Online  -  and in the Zimbabwe Independent -

2.1.1.      Full participation of the citizens in the political process


2.1.2.       Freedom of association


2.1.3.       Political tolerance


4.1.2.      Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections


7.4.              (Government to) safeguard the human and civil liberties of all citizens including the freedom of movement, assembly, association, expression and campaigning … during the electoral process






The Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (ZESN), a non-partisan non-governmental organization concerned with electoral issues in Zimbabwe, has published a detailed analysis of the reforms proposed by the Mugabe regime.  Commenting on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Bill and the Electoral Bill 2004 which are now before parliament and which constitute the total package of the proposed reforms, ZESN says that the fundamentals in these two Bill are worse than the existing legislation governing elections.


The ZESN report notes that nowhere in either of the electoral Bills are there provisions for fair access to the only electronic media,  the partisan Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.  All other independent broadcasters have been closed down by force.  Election observers “will have to be accredited by a committee dominated by nominees of various government ministers, including the President’s Office, and only persons invited by a minister or by the (existing) Electoral Supervisory Commission will be eligible for accreditation”,  reads the ZESN analysis.  “The Bill will require state employees, including members of the defence forces, the police force and the prison service, to be seconded to the Electoral Commission during elections”. 


Further the report notes that “the Bill’s provisions regarding access to voters’ rolls are similar to those in the present Act” which means there is no fixed date to check on the  accuracy of the current roll, nor access to the electronic version.


(Reported in The Pretoria News  -


 2.1.5        Equal opportunity for all political parties to access the state media

2.1.6.      Equal opportunity to exercise the right to vote and be voted for

2.1.7.      Independence of the Judiciary and impartiality of the electoral institutions

4.1.3.      Non-discrimination in the voters’ registration

4.1.4.      Existence of updated and accessible voters’ roll

7.3              (Government to) establish impartial, all-inclusive, competent and accountable national electoral bodies …

7.5.              (Government to) take all necessary measures and precautions to prevent the perpetration of fraud, rigging or any other illegal practices …






On the basis of these and numerous other daily breaches of the SADC Protocol on Democratic Elections, it can be seen that the Mugabe regime has yet to show any serious intent to change its ways or to begin to prepare for anything resembling fair and free elections.  In fact the reforms they are proposing will result in a situation even worse than the situation which obtained during the Parliamentary Elections of 2000 and Presidential Election of 2002,  both of which were heavily criticized by observer missions from the international community.


And the March 2005 Parliamentary Elections are now a matter of weeks away …..


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Sporting Life

England stars "saddened" by Zimbabwe drama

England's players hit out at cricket's authorities tonight and claimed they
had been used as "political pawns" after the Zimbabwe government produced a
spectacular U-turn to ensure the controversial one-day series will go ahead.

Just 20 months after being promised they would be kept out of any future
dispute over tours, having spent days debating whether to play a World Cup
match in Harare, England's players were again at the centre of discussions
to decide whether their troubled one-day series should continue in Zimbabwe.

It prompted Richard Bevan, the chief executive of the Professional
Cricketers' Association, to criticise senior officials for allowing players
to be drawn into the dispute once again after the tour was again put in
doubt by the Zimbabwe government banning several members of the British

Zimbabwe lifted that ban at lunchtime today and effectively removed any
reason for England withdrawing from the tour without facing sanctions from
the International Cricket Council, the world's governing body, for failing
to comply with the Future Tours Agreement.

But Bevan and the players were still "extremely disappointed" with the way
the issue had been handled having had another day of long meetings with John
Carr, the ECB's director of cricket operations, and will fly to Harare
tomorrow still uneasy about playing cricket in a country run by the regime
of President Robert Mugabe.

"From the players' perspective, the last 24 hours has been extremely
disappointing and saddened the players for a number of reasons," said Bevan.

"It's very disappointing that the Zimbabwe government decided at the last
minute to drop a bombshell by deciding certain members of the media would
not receive accreditation.

"It's naive to say that sport and politics don't mix, but you are able to
draw a line in the sand and say you should not cross that particular line
and certainly using players as political pawns is unacceptable."

Today's dramatic events followed an earlier ultimatum from England and Wales
Cricket Board chairman David Morgan to pull out of the tour if the 13 banned
journalists from the Times and Sunday Times, the Daily and Sunday Telegraph,
The Sun, the Daily Mirror, the News of the World and BBC radio and
television were not allowed access to the tour.

Morgan had been in talks with Peter Chingoka, president of Zimbabwe Cricket,
over the issue.

And he will continue those discussions about the make-up of the remainder of
the tour now tomorrow's opening one-day international has been delayed by
England's delay in South Africa.

Zimbabwe want to reschedule tomorrow's game to Saturday, to set up
back-to-back fixtures over the weekend, but England's management have been
consulted over their thoughts, which are believed to be against rescheduling
the fixture.

Bevan said: "The players have acted in a proper manner throughout by
supporting the ECB in a very difficult position.

"They have also asked the ECB to re-consider the issue of replaying the
match that has been cancelled tomorrow."

Instead of playing that opening fixture in the series at the Harare Sports
Club, England will be touching down at the airport.

They will land 36 hours after their scheduled arrival, still privately
seething the tour is taking place.

They have reserved the right to reconsider their position during their stay
in Zimbabwe if assurances, which were given to Bevan and Carr during their
recent safety and security visit prior to the tour, are not met.

"The players have been considering the issue of whether to tour Zimbabwe for
the last 18 months," explained Bevan.

"Deciding to tour Zimbabwe does not condone the issues that are going on in
the country and we have discussed on many occasions whether this tour should
take place.

"When John (Carr) and I went to Zimbabwe on the safety and security visit we
discussed and had detailed assurances on a number of issues.

"We'll be monitoring those throughout and should there be any breach of
those assurances we will take it extremely seriously and review it when it
may or may not happen."

England and the ECB will still make the two-hour flight tomorrow conscious
they do not have the support of the general public back home for the tour,
whether the media have been excluded or not.

Some 99% of people who took part in a poll for BBC Radio yesterday showed
their opposition to the tour.

But Carr and the ECB have remained firm in their belief that withdrawing
from the tour could result in costly financial penalties or even a worldwide
ban - sanctions the English game can ill afford - despite suggestions from
the ICC that would not be the case.

"Over the past months the British public may have got bored with the
Zimbabwe issue but ultimately they have to understand the board's position
and what a difficult position the board are in," claimed Carr.

"The general level of understanding that the board are potentially between a
rock and a hard place has moved the situation on a bit. I have heard the
results of polls showing huge opposition to the tour taking place, but I
don't know how much of that was related to the decision about media

"I think a lot of people who follow cricket closely sympathise with the
board's position and understand why the board decided originally why this
tour must take place. And now the media accreditation issue has been dealt
with, the tour must proceed."
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Journalists want to cover tour on own terms

Owen Gibson
Friday November 26, 2004
The Guardian

Media organisations were last night considering the terms under which they
will cover England's cricket tour of Zimbabwe, insisting they would resist
signing away their rights to cover the controversial trip in its wider
Following a u-turn by the Zimbabwean authorities to allow 13 banned
journalists, including those from the BBC, the Daily Telegraph and the Sun,
to join the tour they were last night heading for Harare considering the
conditions under which they would do so.

The Zimbabwe government had originally refused accreditation for 13 of the
55 journalists who had applied to cover the tour, citing political grounds.
One newspaper last night was considering withdrawing its correspondent from
the trip altogether, in protest at their treatment by the Zimbabwean

While there are no statutory restrictions on what journalists can write, the
frosty relationship between the Robert Mugabe regime and foreign reporters
is likely to require them to sign forms detailing the conditions under which
they can remain in the country.

A succession of foreign journalists have been denied entry or thrown out of
Zimbabwe since Mugabe began a media crackdown in the wake his disputed
re-election in 2002, introducing laws which made it a crime to publish a
newspaper or work as a journalist without a government-issued licence.

The BBC, which has sent a team from Radio Five, and national newspapers are
waiting to see what conditions the Zimbabwean authorities would insist upon
in order to allow them to cover the five one-day internationals.

The corporation is planning to maintain a stance of limiting its reporting
to the on-field action but will assert its right to cover the wider context
if it impacts on the sport.
Similarly the Guardian will accept that it will report only on the cricket,
on the condition that it can do so in the widest possible sense, but it will
not accept any censorship or specific requirements over the tone of coverage
or future articles in the paper. Other newspapers are expected to adopt a
similar stance.

The BBC's news reporters are still banned from Zimbabwe, although it is
attempting to use undercover domestic journalists to get stories out of the
stricken country. Last week BBC2 aired a documentary on the effects of
Mugabe's decision to refuse food aid, shot by local reporters.

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The Times

            Eighteen months on and lessons still not learnt
            By Alec Stewart

            A LITTLE more than 18 months ago, I was a member of an England
team that was left to agonise over whether they should go to Zimbabwe to
play a World Cup match and well remember being assured that they would never
have to go through that kind of thing again.
            That assurance seemed pretty hollow yesterday when Michael
Vaughan and his side encountered exactly the same kind of thing before
finally deciding to take a different decision from Nasser Hussain and the
rest of us in that side and go ahead with the one-day international series.

            I know exactly what they were going through. The World Cup is
the biggest one-day tournament a cricketer can play in and I had gone to
South Africa purely concentrating on preparing for that. Instead, we had
three days of meetings, which was the last thing any sportsman needs before
an important tournament.

            We were told this, we were told that, we were lied to - I can
say that, now that I am no longer playing - and it was then that Hussain was
very good at taking it upon himself to confront the whole problem of
Zimbabwe with the support of his team.

            We felt very isolated. The ICC just said that we were going and
gave us no help at all. The British Government basically said that they
would like us not to go, but that was the end of their involvement. The ECB
was more concerned about the financial penalties and how they would ruin the
game back home. While I could understand that to some extent, I was left
wondering: "What about the 14 players and the coaching staff who will have
to go to Zimbabwe? What will everyone think of them?" We were left out on
our own but fortunately Richard Bevan, the Professional Cricketers'
Association and their legal team gave us all the support we needed.

            We all just wanted to go and beat Zimbabwe and take the four
points and progress to the Super Six stage, but the moral side of it said
that there was no way we could go.

            If we had gone, there would have been demonstrations and England
playing Zimbabwe would have resulted in people dying, if not at the ground
then two miles down the road because of the way Robert Mugabe and his
henchmen handle these things.

            On top of that, we had death threats from the Sons and Daughters
of Zimbabwe and while cricketers might be trained in how to play a forward
defensive shot or bowl an outswinger, they are not trained to deal with
threats like those.

            It was farcical. All Ali Bacher and his organising committee
were concerned about was running a smooth tournament because they wanted to
show the world that they could stage the football World Cup in 2010.

            Now, 18 months on, I find it staggering that nothing has been
learnt. Zimbabwe had just been put on the back burner. We had a great tour
of West Indies, we played very good cricket all summer and here we are going
to Zimbabwe with the same questions being asked that were asked before the
World Cup. I sat in those meetings with some of the players who will be on
the plane to Harare today and they were adamant that they would not go to

            But, as Vaughan put it, if he does not go, some other bloke will
have to captain England in a very difficult situation. He has my sympathy.
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