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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index


Dozens of foreigners arrested in Zimbabwe
          October 19 2004 at 11:46AM

      Harare - Thirteen South Africans were among a group of 26 people
arrested in Zimbabwe's Chirundu National Park, Zimbabwean police said on

      An Australian and 12 Zimbabweans were also arrested at the park's
Pirinhengu Camp, according to an announcement made by the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).

      "We are investigating whether they entered the country illegally and
how they came to establish the camp," police spokesperson Oliver Mandipaka
told the broadcaster.

      ZBC said an Australian flag and a South African flag were found flying
at the fishing camp.

      It is not illegal to be in possession of foreign flags in Zimbabwe and
they are commonly displayed at sporting events.

      The arrests come a week after Zimbabwe's Tiger Tournament, the world's
biggest freshwater fishing competition held at the nearby Kariba Lake.

      Police also impounded eight four-wheel drive vehicles and two lorries
belonging to the detained tourists.

      The tourists are now being detained in Makuti, a small settlement on
the main highway between Harare and the Zimbabwe border with Zambia. - Sapa

Back to the Top
Back to Index


'Foreigners fined for posing as Zimbabweans'
          October 19 2004 at 04:52PM

      Harare - Zimbabwean police have arrested 26 campers, including 13
South Africans and an Australian citizen, at a northern government-run
campsite for failing to pay camping fees in a foreign currency, a police
spokesperson said on Tuesday.

      The group, which had hoisted the South African and Australian flags at
the site, were briefly detained on Tuesday and freed after admitting guilt
and paying a fine of ZIM$25 000 (R28) each.

      "Police picked up some 26 people. Among the 26 were 13 South Africans,
one Australian and 12 Zimbabweans," said police spokesperson Oliver

      He said the 14 foreigners arrested at Chirundu border town, were
charged with contravening laws that make it mandatory for foreign tourists
to pay in US dollars for entry and use of national parks' campsites.

      Members of this group, however, masqueraded as Zimbabweans and paid
ZIM$6 000 (R6,37) which is the fee locals were charged.

      The group's leader, a Zimbabwean, was expected to appear in a local
court on Tuesday for "misrepresenting the facts to the parks officials"
facing fraud charges.

      "It was his duty to indicate to the parks officials that there were
some foreigners among the group," said Mandipaka.

      "What attracted our attention at Chewora Camp in Chirundu was that
they were flying South African and Australian flags next to their tents. We
sought to make some verification and in the process it was discovered that
they had not paid the appropriate fee," said the police spokesperson.

      He said the group arrived in the country on Thursday last week and
proceeded to the camp "allegedly for a fishing tournament".

      Chirundu is situated on the banks of the Zambezi River on the border
to Zambia, about 300 kilometres northwest of the capital.

      Fishing competitions for the country's most voracious predator, the
tiger fish, are often hold around this time of the year. - Sapa-AFP
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Please could anyone who has any anecdotes or interesting stories about Tommy Orford (ex National Parks & hunter) contact Bryan on
Back to the Top
Back to Index

      Rebel players fuming over ICC decision
      Tuesday, October 19 2004 18:46 Hrs (IST)

      London: Refusing to take things lying down, former Zimbabwe cricketer
captain and middle-order batsman Stuart Carlisle has termed the decision of
the International Cricket Council (ICC) to clear the Zimbabwe Cricket Union
of accusations of racism as nothing but "a big joke".

      The ICC had inquired the ZCU after 15 white players were wielded the
axe for backing Heath Streak, who was stripped of the captaincy.

      "The fact you can categorically state there is no racism in Zimbabwe
cricket is a joke. I don't really know where we go from here. We probably
could still go to arbitration but there's almost no point in that," Carlisle
was quoted as saying in The Guardian.

      It may be pertinent to mention that the ICC began its inquiry after
former skipper Heath Streak and the rebel players had questioned the ZCU's
selection policy.

      But much to their dismay, a 73-page report prepared by South African
judge Steven Majiedt and India's solicitor general Goolam Vahanvati have
rejected the allegations.

      Carlisle said they were disappointed but not surprised at the ICC's

      "The ICC has sat on the fence in the past few months and in the past
few years on other issues. They've swept the problem under the carpet. They
think it's going to go away but it won't," the paper quoted.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Star

      Zim's best chance won't last long

      Morgan Tsvangiarai's acquittal promotes an environment for change
      October 19, 2004

      By Allister Sparks

      The acquittal of Zimbabwe's opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, of
charges of high treason opens a window of opportunity for the South African
government to follow up with diplomatic pressure for more positive steps to
enable the parliamentary elections due early next year to be free and fair.

      If ever there were a chance for President Thabo Mbeki's "quiet
diplomacy" to bear fruit, this is it. But the window is narrow and won't
remain open for long.

      Few observers of Zimbabwean affairs are in any doubt that the
judiciary has been politically compromised. A number of courageous
independent judges have been squeezed out and replaced by political
appointees, several of whom have been given prize commercial farms under the
land-grab programme. Such compromising of the principles of independence
inevitably invites the assumption that court judgments in Zimbabwe are
politically influenced. And so the question is being asked: Why was
Tsvangirai acquitted?

      The case against him was so obviously spurious, based on a crude plan
by the government to entrap him so that he could be put out of the way until
after the elections - and perhaps for much longer.

      So why has he been allowed to go free? Here is my analysis.

      Last August at a regional summit meeting in Mauritius the Zimbabwe
government, under pressure from South Africa and other members of the
13-nation Southern African Development Community, signed a new SADC protocol
setting out the principles and guidelines for free and fair elections.

      Nothing Zimbabwe has done over the past five years has revealed any
willingness to allow the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to
engage in free political activities. The government has done everything
possible to bully, restrict, intimidate and disable the MDC. It has shown a
single-minded determination to retain power indefinitely despite growing
public disaffection with its policies. And the continent of Africa, to its
shame, has turned a blind eye to all this and continued to lionise Mugabe as
a great "liberator".

      But with the SADC protocol now in existence, and Zimbabwe's signature
on it, the government could hardly afford to be seen jailing the main
opposition leader a few months before a general election. Everyone in the
regime must have understood that no-one, not even their closest friends, was
going to buy a conviction in this patently trumped-up case.

      The prosecution claimed Tsvangirai had approached a Canadian
"political consultant", Ari Ben Menashe, and in three separate meetings
asked him to arrange the assassination of Mugabe and to carry out a coup to
install himself as president.

      But under withering cross-examination by that doughty veteran of so
many political and human rights cases, George Bizos, the tawdry truth came
out. The Mugabe government had paid Menashe, a man of dubious background, a
whopping $615 000 (about R4-million), ostensibly for "consultancy services"
but in fact for a sting operation to entrap Tsvangirai.

      Menashe approached Tsvangirai and offered to raise large sums of money
in North America for the cash-strapped MDC, which Tsvangirai accepted.
Menashe then secretly video-recorded the meetings, in which he claimed
Tsvangirai made the assassination requests. Tsvangirai strenuously denied
this, saying it was Menashe himself who repeatedly raised the question of
"eliminating" Mugabe to goad the MDC leader into incriminating statements.

      In the end the crux of the trail lay in the video recordings. When
they were played to the court it became clear to everyone that they failed
completely to substantiate Menashe's version of the discussions. Instead
they substantiated Tsvangirai's.

      There simply was no case, a fact so obvious to everyone who follows
events in Zimbabwe that the ruling Zanu-PF elite must have realised that had
Tsvangirai been convicted and jailed ahead of the election, SADC would have
no choice but to declare the elections not free and fair.

      This Mugabe could not face. He may be quite willing, even eager, to
thumb his nose at criticisms from Britain, the United States and the rest of

      e white Western world, but he cannot risk being ruled out of order by
his own African peers.

      This is what opens the window of opportunity for President Mbeki.

      The Tsvangirai judgment has done two things. It has relaxed the high
level of tension that has kept Zimbabwe in a state of political paralysis.
Suddenly the embattled MDC are feeling more hopeful, which makes the
political atmosphere in the country more amenable to negotiations.

      It has also started a positive momentum which makes it possible for
Mbeki to encourage Mugabe to follow through with more reforms to meet the
requirements of the SADC protocol, so ensuring that the elections are
validated and Zimbabwe can return to international acceptability.

      It will not be easy; Mbeki's task in the whole Zimbabwe affair has
never been easy. But this is his last best chance.

      He should try to persuade Mugabe to follow through on this positive
development by meeting with the MDC to negotiate agreement on reforms that
satisfy the requirements of the SADC protocol. The MDC has said it will
withdraw its decision to boycott the elections if that happens.

      Mugabe has met some of the SADC requirements, such as using
transparent ballot boxes which can't be stuffed, having voting take place on
a single day and not transferring the boxes overnight so that
      no-one can tamper with them. But these are not enough. What Zimbabwe
needs are reforms to make free electioneering possible.

      Restrictions on the MDC's ability to hold meetings and canvass in
rural areas must be removed and police intimidation stopped. The SADC
protocol's insistence that there must be equal access to the
state-controlled media must be implemented, the independent Daily News
newspaper must be allowed to republish, and retrogressive amendments to
electoral procedures and institutions that the regime has already passed
must be revoked and reversed.

      The first involves the Electoral Commission. The SADC protocol
specifies that this must be independent. Mugabe has just had parliament pass
a law creating an Electoral Commission that he himself will appoint, and
which will be subject to an existing Electoral Supervisory Commission which
his party already controls.

      A bill to regulate NGOs, which threatens to close a whole series of
vital organisations such as the Electoral Advisory Network which is
responsible for the independent supervision of all elections, should be
withdrawn. Other pending legislative amendments must be stopped.

      It will not be easy to persuade Mugabe to do this, but Mbeki must try.

      There is little time. If the mood of optimism in the MDC is not
sustained by the hope of more positive steps, it will quickly fade and the
political atmosphere will freeze over once more. The chance will be lost.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Teachers' Strike Fizzles Out

The Daily News (Harare)

October 19, 2004
Posted to the web October 19, 2004


The much-publicised national strike by teachers yesterday failed to
materialise as most teachers affiliated to the two major teachers' unions
reported for duty.

According to Raymond Majongwe, the president of the radical Progressive
Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) and Erison Huruba, the president of the
Zimbabwe Teachers' Association (Zimta), teachers have agreed to continue
working until both unions negotiating with the government over working
conditions and remuneration packages for next year complete their task.

Majongwe said: "The situation on the ground is that teachers have gone on
strike. Teachers resolved that they would not disrupt the school
examinations that began on Monday for the Grade Seven pupils. Teachers at
their respective schools will be invigilating because it is not our
intention to use school children.

"We are just calling on the government, the Public Service Commission (PSC)
and the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture to appreciate that
teachers have genuine concerns that need to be addressed.

Majongwe said the unions would not seek in any way to disrupt the
examination process because ultimately, it would be the parents of pupils
who suffer most because they have paid large sums of money for the

He said the PTUZ has written several letters raising concern to both
President Robert Mugabe and the First Lady, Grace Mugabe requesting their
intervention to save the country's education system but their letters have
remained unanswered.

Huruba said Zimta had laid down principles which have been agreed upon by
the employer.

"We are looking forward to see the principles being implemented," Huruba
said. "Afterwards we would communicate the results to our members and advise
on their suitability of the remuneration package.

What we have done is simply to communicate the ongoing negotiations with our

"Like everyone, the teachers are angry and frustrated and when people are
frustrated and angry, they can do anything beyond our control. As far as we
know, our people have said we can continue to negotiate for the packages for
2005 although there was a serious hitch with the 2004 negotiations."

Teachers have been calling for a strike since the government awarded hefty
salary increases to most civil servants.

Teachers feel strongly that their salaries are too low in the face of rising
cost of living and inflation.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

19 October 2004


Now that the treason trial has ended, may I take this opportunity to thank
you all for the unwavering support and conviction you showed towards my
family, myself and the MDC for a long two and half years of constant
vilification and political persecution.

The prosecution and the charges were politically motivated. This was the
second time I have been through indicted for treason. As you are aware, I
still have another one pending.

I wish to thank our legal team for the sterling work they put in this case -
Advocate George Bizos, the team leader, Senior Counsel Chris Andersen,
Advocate Eric Matinenga, and Mr. Innocent Chagonda.  I am happy that the
party, the MDC, remained focused and determined to see this through. Our
friends and supporters at home and abroad merit special mention for all the
messages of support and solidarity. My family, in particular my wife, Susan
and the children deserve commendation for their patience and resilience
during these trying times.

As with all political trials, it was inconceivable that one could look
positively to this process and to the result with optimism. Because of our
experiences, we have serious reservations about the state of our criminal
justice system and the rule of law in Zimbabwe today.

For the record, you will recall that on the eve of the Presidential election
in 2002, an unclear video recording was broadcast showing a meeting between
me and officials of an Ari-Ben Menashe-led company, Dickens and Madison, in
Montreal, Canada. You were told that there was an audio tape with sufficient
supporting evidence to corroborate the existence of a criminal plot and
explicit details of criminal behaviour on part.

You will further recall that the broadcast was meant to show me as
requesting Dickens and Madison to assassinate Robert Mugabe, my main
opponent in that Presidential election. You are also aware that the timing
of the broadcast was particularly devastating for me, the MDC and the people
of Zimbabwe.

I said at the time that the broadcast, which was repeatedly aired until the
Election Day, was one of Mugabe's last campaign cards in that election. A
few weeks before, the generals from the uniformed forces and CIO declared
publicly that they were not prepared to respect an electoral verdict that
was against Robert Mugabe. A battery of repressive legislation was imposed
and several decrees were put in place, including one that denied Zimbabweans
abroad an opportunity to vote in that election.

At the time Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede had continued to register new
voters secretly despite having officially closed the process in January.
Meanwhile thousands of people, including farm workers, were displaced and
disenfranchised. Violence was on the rise. I only managed to address eight
campaign rallies, out of the 90 that we applied for. We were denied access
to the voters roll. My party was denied access to the supplementary voters

Several parts of the country were declared no-go areas for the MDC. Our
rallies were either cancelled or disrupted while hundreds of MDC activists
were either killed, displaced or severely brutalized. None of these
desperate measures, including the Ben-Menashe video clip, dampened the
spirit for change.

Mugabe then decided to interfere directly with the process by setting up a
command centre to receive voter returns. We were denied access to this
centre, which as you know was run by the military. The number of polling
stations in urban areas was drastically reduced. The voting process was
slowed down in these few stations.

Voters were tear-gassed and dispersed at the few polling stations in Harare
and Chitungwiza. The result, as you all know is now history. The behaviour
of our opponents taught us a range of invaluable lessons, strengthened our
resolve to rid the nation of political thuggery and guided us towards the
new Zimbabwe we seek to build. We took an oath, for the sake of our future
generations, never to allow our nation and society to be dragged towards
another precipice simply because of political greed and avarice.

Whatever happened at the time failed to satisfy Mugabe and his regime. They
realized that they had lost your hearts and minds. Secretary General
Welshman Ncube, Shadow Agriculture Minister Renson Gasela and I were charged
with treason soon afterwards. Our travel documents were seized. We were
slapped with restrictions on our movement and required to report to the
police twice a week. For almost two years, I would be forced to live under
conditions of virtual house arrest.

A marathon trial followed, pinning all of us down to the High Court for a
long time. From the day the allegation was tendered to us, it was clear that
this was a political trial. Prof Ncube and Minister Gasela were later
acquitted. The state then amended the charge and I remained as the sole
accused person in this treason case.

The trial has now come to an end. Zimbabwe is far worse off than at the time
this debacle started to unfold. Any political trial, indeed trials anchored
on political intrigue, repressive legislation and dishonesty hardly achieve
a meaningful national good.

There is new global thinking emphasizing respect for basic rights,
encouraging participation in governance and supporting national healing.
Zimbabwe needs to embrace this new culture in order to fit into the spirit
of the international community, raise the country's international profile
and empower its citizens through freedom.

I am particularly saddened by the continued chaos in agriculture. Up to this
minute, the nation remains unsure as to the source and availability of fuel,
seed, agricultural chemicals and fertilizers. The regime is broke. The
regime has no friends. The regime refuses to take in ideas from the people
on the way forward.

Fiddling with time, chasing shadows and imaginary enemies, surely does not
put food on the table neither does it create jobs for a nation with 85
percent unemployment. The uncertainty in the farming sector, our economic
mainstay and food security base, means reduced food supply and even lesser
employment for all of us in the new year.

We must drop all the political experiments of the past five years and get
real. Zimbabwe needs a new start. Zimbabwe needs a new beginning. We are
ready to play our part depending on the seriousness of those who pushed the
nation to a cliff-edge and abandoned the people. We are determined to
rebuild; to start afresh. I am confident that together we can recover as
nation from bankruptcy and lawlessness. Through elections, and by democratic
means, we can easily retire the dictatorship and move on.

Our members and supporters in the MDC are clear about the ultimate
objective. Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF never intended to address the land
imbalances inherited at independence in 1980. Their plan was to displace and
disenfranchise a farm-worker constituency which they assumed to support the
MDC. The on-going evictions in the former commercial farms show that there
was never a desire to deal with historical distortions in the land ownership
pattern in this country. Communal lands are still as congested as they were
in 2000. Our government, an MDC government, shall reverse that negative

Seed is being diverted to the more favourable export market by none other
than Zanu PF officials, a fact the regime confirms. Even if we get good
rains, we are still far from the threat of famine. An MDC government shall
attend to agriculture as a national emergency in order to revive the
economy, create jobs and place food on the table. An MDC government shall
honour the people's human right to adequate food at all times. We pledge to
resolve the land reform process through justice and equity.

Let us remain focussed on goals. We are winning at every stage of our
struggle, as shown by the Friday verdict. Once again, I wish to thank you
all for your support.

Morgan Tsvangirai

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News online edition

      Recovery claims mere talk, says IMF

      Date:20-Oct, 2004

      THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called on Zimbabwe to
reintegrate itself into the international community to reclaim its credit
worthiness and donor support.

      Speaking at the 2004 annual meeting of the World Bank and the IMF, the
deputy director for the African Department, Siddharth Tiwari rejected
reports that Zimbabwe was undergoing an economic renaissance as repeatedly
claimed by the government and by the Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono.

      "Zimbabwean authorities must adopt effective macroeconomic policies to
return the ailing economy on the recovery path," Tiwari said.

      He said in the last four or five years, output had declined by 30
percent and inflation was in the realm of 300 or 400 percent. Zimbabwe's
inflation rate however dropped by 62.9 percentage points to 251.5 percent in
September down from 314.4 the previous month.

      "There's clearly a need for policies to be adopted that are good for
Zimbabwe," said Tiwari.

      He said the policies that the government should adopt to reform the
sweltering economy include structural reforms, in particular the chaotic
land policy that stripped citizens of their property rights and displaced
many productive farmers.

      "And without, broadly, these two sets of policies, it's going to be
very difficult to move ahead in Zimbabwe," he said.

      Tiwari said it was imperative that Zimbabwe reintegrated itself into
the international community to reclaim its creditworthiness and donor

      "It's a two way street. Zimbabwe needs to move and the donors would
need to move," he said.

      In July, media reports saw Gono and President Robert Mugabe jointly
claiming that economic recovery efforts were bearing fruits.

      "This fifth session takes place at a time of an ongoing socio-economic
turnaround, a time of brighter prospects for our country. What enhances this
overall national food security is the evident revival of our economy," said
Mugabe in an address to Parliament.

      In turn, Gono boasted that his monetary policy measures were working
as evidenced by the deceleration in annual inflation currently measured at
314 percent from a high of 622 percent in January.

      Gono recently headed a high-powered delegation drawn from key economic
sectors that was in Washington to try and charm the Bretton Woods
institution to unblock aid.

      The delegation included representatives from the financial services
sector, tourism, mining and the Real Estate Institute of Zimbabwe, among

      Government critics say the appeal is an exercise in futility as the
Bretton Woods institution has already made a decision to shut down its
Harare office at the end of this month.

      In December the fund's executive board meets to finally decide on the
recommendation to expel Zimbabwe from the 184-member fund.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News online edition

      Students* leader left for dead

      Date:20-Oct, 2004

      HARARE - Police beat up and left for dead Philani Zamchiya, the
president of the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) last Thursday.

      Zamchiya is battling for his life at a private hospital in Harare.

      The Zinasu president was accused by the police of organising street
demonstrations against the government of President Robert Mugabe ahead of
the delivery of the judgment in the high treason case involving the
president of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Morgan Tsvangirai.

      Zamchiya had bruises all over his body when The Daily News Online
visited him at the private hospital.

      Attempts to talk to him were fruitless as he battled even to move his
jaws. His face was severely bruised and he had calipers holding his neck in

      Itayi Zimunya, the former vice-president of ZINASU confirmed the
beating and said they were monitoring his condition on a daily basis.

      He said the police bundled him into their vehicle and severely
assaulted him until he collapsed.

      "They accused him of planning massive street demonstrations in
solidarity with Tsvangirai at the High Court," Zimunya said. "Zamchiya was
only taken to hospital by a good Samaritan lady who found him lying
unconscious on the street. That demonstrates how the government treats its

      The police also assaulted Gladys Hlatshwayo, the secretary general of
the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Students Union.

      Wayne Bvudzijena, the police spokesman could not be reached for
comment. His office said he was out on business.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

American Stock Exchange

      Malawian president bars local anti-Zimbabwe protests

      2004/10/18 22:17:56

    Oct 19, 2004 (BBC Monitoring via COMTEX) -- Interdenominational prayers
which a group of NGOs organized in Blantyre last Saturday [16 October] to
seek divine intervention against an amended NGO bill in Zimbabwe failed to
take place following President Bingu wa Mutharika's last minute decision
which led to police barring entry to the BAT [British American Tobacco]
ground scheduled, venue of the prayers.
       Mutharika is meeting 10 NGO leaders this morning to ask them not to
hold any prayers or demonstrations for fear of destabilizing Malawi's
relations with Zimbabwe. One of the organizers of the prayers Rafiq Hajat
said he was summoned to the office of the commissioner of police (South)
together with another organizer Emmie Chanika where they were told to cancel
the prayers until they meet the president. "But while we were locked up in
the meeting which lasted for 90 minutes, a group of police officers were
deployed to the BAT ground to stop the prayers," said Hajat. He said
although the police convened a meeting with the NGO leaders, they had
already decided to stop the meeting. "It was already a forgone conclusion
and not negotiable and the meeting was a cynical ruse to keep the main
organizers occupied while their support systems were being quietly
dismantled in the background," said Hajat. He said Malawi is still a police
state which is "under polite democratic camouflage". Human Rights
Consultative Committee (CHRR) national coordinator Rodgers Newa confirmed
that 10 NGO leaders will meet Mutharika at 10 a.m. Monday [18 October].
[Passage omitted]
       Source: The Nation web site, Blantyre, in English 19 Oct 04
       BBC Mon AF1 AFEau 191004/

       BBC Monitoring. Copyright BBC.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


Streak paid for king-size howlers
By Simon Briggs
(Filed: 19/10/2004)

Six months after Heath Streak first threatened to resign as Zimbabwe
captain, a line has finally been drawn under the whole sorry saga.

According to the findings of the Inquiry into Racism in Zimbabwe, released
over the weekend and conducted by the International Cricket Council, Streak
was guilty of issuing an "unfortunate" and "miscalculated" ultimatum to the
Zimbabwe Cricket Union. The ZCU, in turn, have been cleared of all charges.

That, at least, has been the headline news from the ICC over the last couple
of days. But nothing is ever so simple where Zimbabwe's moral maze is

The admirably lucid 15,000-word report makes for fascinating reading if you
have been following the Streak affair. Skip to the bottom, and you will find
the judges' first and most widely circulated conclusion: "We do not find any
evidence of racism within Zimbabwe Cricket." Yet the rest of their findings
actually serve as a vindication of Streak's original grievances.

Streak sent his ultimatum to Vince Hogg, the ZCU's managing director, on
March 24. He had three main beefs, which he had been pressing Hogg to deal
with for months: (a) that the selection of the team was a shambles, (b) that
the players needed a union, and (c) that certain ZCU directors were wielding
an awful lot of power without reference to either Hogg or ZCU chairman Peter

Two of these concerns are taken up in the inquiry's recommendations: "There
must be broad based selection . Competent selectors [should be] appointed .
the ZCU should take steps to set up a players' association."

And while the report does not specifically address Streak's third point, it
does suggest that Chingoka should try "to rein in younger and more
enthusiastic people and control their aggressiveness". This is clearly a
reference to Ozias Bvute, the ZCU director who is believed by many in
Zimbabwe to have close links with Robert Mugabe's ruling party Zanu PF.

Streak, we can only conclude, was close to the mark. Which makes it all the
more unfortunate that he and the other players have had to sacrifice their
international careers to make their point. So here we come to the crux: if
the players were in the right, how come the ICC have found so decisively in
favour of the ZCU?

The answer is that Streak and company have made some king-sized howlers.
Their biggest was allowing this debate to slide into the arena of racial

Yes, Bvute's attitude was provocative, at one point the ZCU lawyer virtually
concedes the players' allegation that he threatened to dig up the pitch if a
particular Zimbabwe team did not include five blacks. But his attitude is
just one aspect of general mismanagement within the ZCU, who would have been
vulnerable on other fronts.

It should have been obvious to the white players that they were picking the
worst possible battleground to fight their case on. Their former domination
of Zimbabwe's cricket team was totally disproportionate, given that the
country's population is over 99 per cent black and Asian.
Counter-allegations were inevitable, such as the claim - featured in the
report - that on last winter's tour of Australia the team travelled in
separate buses for whites and blacks.

The fact that the hearings were held in Harare made life especially
difficult for witnesses such as the journalist Mehluli Sibanda, who claimed
he had been threatened for siding with a white man. Sibanda had to be
smuggled into the hearings, as he clearly feared further reprisals for this
breach of black solidarity.

If Bvute is one of the report's villains, another is the players' lawyer,
Chris Venturas. His tactics during the original dispute prevented any
rapprochement between the players and the ZCU's more reasonable elements.
Later, during the hearings, the two judges admit to feeling "embarrassed"
while watching him squabble with his opposite number Norman Arendse.

Streak should draw some comfort from the light this report has shone into
the ZCU's dark and squalid corners. But if the players had wanted something
concrete to take away, they - and their lawyer - needed to be cannier. As
John Kerry might say, this was the wrong inquiry, held in the wrong place,
at the wrong time.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe rebels pin hopes on Bevan

Telford Vice and Neil Manthorp
Tuesday October 19, 2004
The Guardian

Zimbabwe's rebels are pinning their hopes on Richard Bevan, the chief
executive of the Professional Cricketers' Association, the England players'
union, as a last resort in their battle with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union.
Bevan is in Zimbabwe with John Carr, the England and Wales Cricket Board
director of operations, to assess security for England's tour there next

The rebels' cause was dealt a significant blow at the weekend when the
game's ruling body, the International Cricket Council, decided that the ZCU
was not guilty of racism, which was the basis of the rebels' argument.

The finding, which followed a constrained ICC investigation that was
hampered by blustering lawyers on both sides, cleared the ZCU to continue
its business as usual.

That means the slight chance the rebels had of resuming the cricket careers
they interrupted, when they railed against what they considered
discriminatory policies and inappropriate conduct by ZCU officials, is
almost certainly gone.

"I don't really know where we go from here," Stuart Carlisle, one of the
rebels, said yesterday. "We probably could still go to arbitration but
there's almost no point in that.

"I think we should have a chat with Bevan in the next day or two and see if
there is a way forward for us."

It might well fall to Bevan to tell the rebels to pack their kit for good.

In fact, they already seem to be doing so. The rebels once numbered 15, but
they have dwindled to "myself, Trevor Gripper and Heath Streak", Carlisle
said. Most of the rest are "getting on with their lives".

Doug Marillier is playing league cricket and selling property for a living.
He remains unavailable for national selection, but an erroneous or
mischievous newspaper report that said he had returned to the ZCU fold cost
him money recently - a prospective client was no longer interested in
dealing with him if he had broken ranks with the rebels.
Carlisle holds a degree in marketing from a South African university, and is
considering joining a promotions company in Harare. Gripper is selling
electrolyte water.

Carlisle said the rebels were "disappointed but not surprised" at the ICC's
decision. "The ICC has sat on the fence in the past few months, and in the
past few years on other issues," he said. "They've swept the problem under
the carpet. They think it's going to go away, but it won't.

"There's racism all over the world, and the fact that you can categorically
state that there is no racism in Zimbabwe cricket is a joke."

The ICC finding also means the inexperienced Zimbabwe team that has lost all
13 of its one-day internationals is in line for further strife, particularly
when it returns to Test cricket next year.

"The ZCU might have won the battle, but they've lost the war for cricket,"
Carlisle said. "Zimbabwe cricket is the loser."

Although an ICC panel decided the ZCU was not practising racism, its
recommendations to remedy a clearly desperate situation leaned markedly
towards the rebels' positions. If the ZCU takes them seriously, Carlisle and
his men may yet be hailed as victorious.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


      Mugabe calls on ruling ZANU-PF to campaign for parliamentary elections 2004-10-19 06:48:56

          HARARE, Oct. 18 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
on Monday advised the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic
Front (ZANU-PF) Members of Parliament to campaign for the 2005 parliamentary

          Speaking during a ZANU-PF parliamentary caucus meeting held at the
party headquarters in Harare, the President said the ZANU-PF MPs would "have
themselves to blame," if they lost in the elections as there was "much to
talk about which the government had done to lift the standards of living of
the people."

          Mugabe also advised the MPs to visit their constituencies, in
order to win party primary and the election, saying there's need for
aspiring candidates to devise tactics to win the elections, particularly in
urban areas.

          "We must win and win we shall," he said. Enditem

Back to the Top
Back to Index

JAG OPEN LETTER FORUM 18th October 2004

Email: ;

Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have
perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we
are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained."
         --- Marie Curie


Letter 1.  Subject: In Memory of Dave

Dear Family and Friends,

By all accounts Friday the 15th of October looked like it was going to be
an historic day for Zimbabwe. From as early as 7am radio news bulletins
were heightening the tension and ratcheting up the fear factor with
warnings from the police that unruly behaviour would not be tolerated. This
was the day the verdict would finally be handed down in the treason trial
against opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai. The headlines on one newspaper
were: "Police put on high alert" and the atmosphere was tense with reports
of roadblocks throughout Harare and police standing in pairs or groups at
every intersection in the capital city.

When the not guilty verdict was handed down just before midday, there was a
national, audible sigh of relief. Talking to the press after the acquittal,
Morgan Tsvangirai said the verdict was unexpected and came as a relief.
These were words that were echoed by us all. Although no one could see how
any court would find Tsvangirai guilty with the evidence the way it was, we
don't take anything for granted in Zimbabwe. Tsvangirai voiced all our
thoughts when he said that we were all hoping for the best and preparing
for the worst. The opposition leader also said that the verdict signaled a
"good basis for national reconciliation," and I hope and pray that he is

In the four and half years that Zanu PF has been turning itself inside out
in order to stay in power, almost everything has reached the point of
complete collapse and ruin. We have crumbling health and education systems,
collapsing banks, crippling inflation; massively high unemployment and a
life expectancy which has plummeted to just 34 years. We have very dubious
food security and complete and utter chaos on our farms with resettled
people continuing to be thrown off land even now when the rains have
started and everyone should be planting.

Perhaps now that Morgan Tsvangirai has been formally acquitted, regional
and international leaders will put pressure on the Zimbabwean government to
hold free and fair elections in March next year - without them not a thing
can or will change in Zimbabwe.

I end this week with a message of condolence to the families and friends of
the Zimbabweans who were so tragically killed in the air crash in Canada a
few days ago. Happy times from years gone by will never be forgotten and I
write this letter today in memory of Dave Lamb. Until next week, with love,

Letter 2.  Subject: JAG Open Letter Forum 15th October 2004

Letter 4a.  Subject: Farm Labour

It really "pee's" me off when I read a letter like the one sent in by
Gideon Mostert. Where has he been for the last four and a half years and
why has it taken him so long to write in ? Has he ever heard about
advertising? Does he know how many willing workers he needs? Does he have
adequate accommodation to house the thousands who will be willing to work?
I'd strongly suggest that he talks to the powers that be, possibly an
organisation like zanuPF, to provide free transport to Chipinge. In the
meantime, congrats to JAG, keep up your excellent work for the people you
are serving so well.

Regards etc
Learnmore Mangwana

Letter 3.  Subject: Open Letter Forum

I also read the letter from Eddie Cross and thought it was very inspiring -
it was a sentimental letter, rather painful as we left Zimbabwe exactly a
year ago and his letter brought back traumatic memories. Looking back, I
only remember the good things about Zim. Whatever my family and I miss
about Zimbabwe has nothing to do with politics and economics. However, the
politics and economics of the country we live in today have allowed us to
sleep at night in peace and quiet, to save for that lovely holiday and to
finally plan for the future again. It's great to buy bread and milk today
that cost the same a year ago. Life carries on. Best regards,

Johanna Schermuly

Letter 4.  Subject: JAG Open Letter Forum 15th October 2004 OLF 302

Dear Linda Costa

The letter written by Mr Cross was beautiful accept it for that, we need
beauty wherever we are, whatever we are doing and especially if we are in


Helen Clarke

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


JAG Hotlines:
(091) 261 862 If you are in trouble or need advice,
(011) 205 374
(011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us -
(011) 431 068
                                we're here to help!
263 4 799 410 Office Lines
Back to the Top
Back to Index