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

Sent: Saturday, September 11, 2004 7:18 PM
Subject: Our mates from Mauritius

Dear Family and Friends,

This Friday I did something I haven't done for a very long time and bought
a copy of the government owned and run Herald newspaper. It is now three
weeks since President Mugabe met with friends, neighbours and African
leaders in Mauritius and signified in writing that Zimbabwe would abide by
the SADC's new electoral principles and guidelines. I flipped the pages of
the Herald looking for signs of change.

In Mauritius Zimbabwe signed up to "upholding civil and political
liberties". On page 3 of the Herald was the story of how MDC MP Nelson
Chamisa was arrested in a private home in his own constituency together
with 12 other people, detained in police custody for 2 nights accused of
holding a political meeting without police permission. The spirit of
Mauritius falters.

On page 9 of the Business Herald is an election notice which reads:
"...Since only one candidate, Chiota Phineas Chavazve of Zanu PF Party was
nominated, he was accordingly, in terms of subsection 17(b) of Section 46
of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2) duly elected Member of Parliament for
Seke Constituency with effect from 25th September 2004."  No mention is
made of the fact that the reason there was only one candidate for the Seke
by-election was because the MDC are not taking part in any more elections
until the Zimbabwe government abides by the electoral principles they
agreed to in Mauritius along with all the other members of the SADC.

Sadly I didn't find any signs of improvement, change or democracy in the
Herald newspaper but then I did get a bit sidetracked by those amazingly
absurd adverts about land acquisition. Covering four and a half pages were
lists of 345 farms the government intends to seize. The vast majority
appear to be farms that have already been listed in 2000, relisted in 2001
and 2002 and 2003 and are now being listed all over again. It is totally
and utterly absurd. Reading the lists I see names of farmer friends who
were violently thrown off their farms over three years ago; I see names of
people who were evicted from their homes and now live on other continents
and I even see names of people for whom the stress of losing their farms,
homes and lives was so enormous that they have passed away in the last
three years. And yet the government keeps on listing the same old farms,
again and again in what is either mindless propaganda or yet another
attempt to try and legitimize what they have done in the last 54 months.

After ploughing through pages and pages and pages of propaganda in this
Fridays' Herald, I do not see a free press, signs of civic or political
liberties or even the slightest hint of equal access to the media. I
wonder if our mates from the Mauritius meeting know, or even care. Until
next week, with love, cathy.

Copyright cathy buckle 11 September 2004.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Taibu - 'I have to be patient'

Wisden Cricinfo staff

September 11, 2004

            Tatenda Taibu: 'It was very tough' © Getty Images

After England's easy win in their opening Champions Trophy game against
Zimbabwe at Edgbaston, both teams' captains commented on their side's

Michael Vaughan

On the result
It's a good win, and we've won convincingly. These games are always a bit of
a banana skin, so they're nice to get out of the way. It's nice to win, we
played ok. We didn't set the world alight, but we got through it and now
we've got a few days off to prepare for next Friday.

On accusations of English over-confidence
If you look at our batting order, people play their natural game, and every
now and then you're bound to get out. That's why we set the order in that

On Paul Collingwood
Collingwood at No. 6 is the perfect man for that position if we're 120 for
4. His job is to see us home and get us a big total on the board, and that's
exactly what he's done. We speak about roles and he played his role
perfectly well. No. 6 in one day cricket is probably the hardest position to
play because in every game every situation changes, and you have to be good
enough to read it. He did it against the Indians at The Oval and has done it
again here, doing what we asked him to do.

On winning the tournament
The carrot is there to end this fantastic summer. We know if we win next
Friday we're in the semi-final, and that we're two wins away from a huge
result. We realise what's ahead of us. It will be a tough game against the
Sri Lankans, but the way we're playing, and the way we played against India,
means we can take a lot of confidence into that game.

Paul Collingwood

On his batting tactics
I pretty much had to play low-risk centre shots. I realised we had to build
an innings and build a partnership as we were four wickets down, and that
was the key to building a big score on that wicket. It was a good wicket and
we looked for three or four an over and realised the boundaries would come

On batting at No. 6
I love it. I think there's a lot of satisfaction when you play the role
well. It is a difficult role, but obviously the role changes. But when you
play it well it does give you a lot of satisfaction.

Tatenda Taibu

On the Zimbabwe bowling
I can't really say I'm happy with the way we bowled. The England guys batted
well. Michael Vaughan and Andrew Strauss batted well, but it doesn't really
help when you're bowling a lot of no-balls and wides.

On the match
It was very tough. But as batsmen you have to ride through the tough times
and spend some time at the crease for you to get better. We fancied our
chances when we had them five down yesterday, but Collingwood came in and
played really well with the wicket keeper [Geraint] Jones. We took the match
as practice, and wanted to spend some time at the crease and get close to
230 or 240.

On being given the captaincy
It has been hard, especially early on. But it has made me learn that things
don't go my way all the time. I have to be patient with these boys to help
them improve later on in life.

© Wisden Cricinfo Ltd
Back to the Top
Back to Index


      Zimbabwe 'prevents' homeless help

            By Grant Ferrett
            BBC Africa editor

      A US lobby group has accused Zimbabwe of preventing aid agencies from
helping tens of thousands left homeless by its land redistribution
      Refugees International says former commercial farm workers had, in
effect, been abandoned, with some facing attacks by government supporters.

      It says South Africa is denying rights to asylum to most who apply for

      Zimbabwe's land redistribution programme was intended to revolutionise
the country's agricultural sector.

      It was also meant to boost productivity and eliminate poverty.

      The dramatically reduced harvests of recent years show that, for the
moment at least, it has done the opposite.

      Risking lives

      Refugees International estimates that 150,000 are displaced and
largely without work.

      Many have no access to clean water or medical care.

            The government should recognise there have been problems and
should address these problems

            Andrea Lari
            Refugees International
      Among the hardest hit are the workers who used to be employed on
large, white-owned farms.

      The organisation's spokesman, Andrea Lari, says the essential first
step is for President Robert Mugabe's government to acknowledge the
difficulties created by its policies on land.

      "For the sake of these people, the government should recognise there
have been problems and should address these problems, providing basic
services and immediate assistance.

      "We understand that it's not going to be an easy task, but denying
that these groups exist is counter-productive and could put a lot of lives
in jeopardy."

      For now though, Refugees International says the Zimbabwean government
has put an increasing number of obstacles in the way of aid workers trying
to help.

      And it fears that conditions for those displaced and the agencies
seeking to help them will worsen in the run-up to elections scheduled for

      For the hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans who flee across the
border in South Africa, the picture is little better.

      Refugees International says many are repatriated without ever seeing
an immigration official.

      Of 5,000 applications for asylum, fewer than 20 have been granted.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


MDC confirms decision to boycott elections

September 11, 2004, 17:08

Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu(PF) was "wasting time" by implementing electoral
reforms without taking part in talks with the opposition, Morgan Tsvangirai,
the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said today.

Speaking to an enthusiastic crowd of about 15 000 supporters, Tsvangirai
said president Robert Mugabe's decision to implement electoral reforms
created a "challenge" for the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
This week the Zimbabwe government announced it would establish what it
called an "independent electoral commission" to oversee future elections in
the troubled country.

The MDC immediately dismissed the reforms as a sham. "The onus is on the
Mugabe regime to play ball," said Tsvangirai. "They have no choice. They
must end violence, they must end intimidation, they must open the space for
the MDC on public radio and television. They must place the running of
elections in the hands of an impartial electoral body approved by the whole
nation. As things stand, they are wasting time."

Tsvangirai also castigated reforms announced by Zanu(PF), saying, "Zanu(PF)
will not carry the spirit of the Mauritius Declaration (one electoral
practices). The cosmetic changes they are proposing are designed for the
preservation of the pillars of dictatorship."

The MDC leader called on Paul Berenger, the current SADC chairperson, and
Mauritius premier to "show that SADC has teeth". "SADC must push Mugabe to
honour his word, and to do so early enough for us to have our elections in
March 2005," he said. - Sapa

Back to the Top
Back to Index


Lawyers to appeal against 'harsh' sentences
          September 11 2004 at 01:17PM

      By Bruce Venter and Peta Thornycroft

      Legal teams representing 65 South Africans jailed in Zimbabwe say they
will appeal the "harsh" sentences.

      The men, accused of plotting a coup in Equatorial Guinea, were
sentenced to various prison terms in a Zimbabwe court on Friday.

      The men have been held in Chikurubi prison for the past 27 weeks.

      After pleading guilty to breaking Zimbabwe's immigration and aviation
laws, the 65 alleged mercenaries were sentenced to 12-month prison terms.
They were arrested on March 7 after their Boeing 727 stopped in Harare to
collect a weapons consignment purchased from Zimbabwe Defence Industries by
suspected coup mastermind, Simon Mann.

      Magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe sentenced Mann to seven years'
imprisonment for attempting to purchase dangerous weapons. The two pilots
were both handed 16-month sentences.

      The legal representative for the men, Francois Joubert, said the
prison terms were disappointing.

      "Considering that the offences are minor, we feel that the sentences
are a bit harsh," he said.

      Joubert said the jail terms were heavier than had been anticipated and
the men could possibly lodge an appeal. "We will definitely appeal the
sentences if that course of action becomes necessary," he said.

      Joubert said Guvamombe had taken the 27 weeks the men had already
spent in jail into account when passing sentence.

      Speaking from Zimbabwe, wife of flight engineer Ken Pain, Marge, said
she had yet to speak to her husband. "I am trying to make arrangements to
see Ken, but things are not looking promising," she said.

      Pain said she was bitterly disappointed with her husband's sentence.
"We honestly believed that the court would impose a fine ... the offences
were minor and don't warrant such lengthy prison terms," she said.

      Thandi Lobelo, girlfriend of former Koevoet member Michael Kavari,
said she was relieved the
      27-week ordeal was over.

      "At least we now have clarity as to how long the men will remain in
prison and we can plan our lives accordingly," she said.

      Harry Carlse, a former Special Forces operator, and Louwtjie Horn,
were released and returned to South Africa last week after all charges
against them were withdrawn.

      Former British army officer Mann was expressionless when he was
sentenced on Friday.

      A group of 19 other men are currently standing trial in Equatorial
Guinea on accusations of plotting a coup.

       .. This article was originally published on page 1 of Saturday Star
on September 11, 2004

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Business Day

Harare may run dry in a month


Water supplies to huge swathes of Zimbabwe's capital city will be cut to
just six hours a day because of severe shortages, according to the Harare
City Council.

Huge sections of both the city's wealthy northern and poorer southern
suburbs will have no water from 3pm to 8.30am the following day.

Meanwhile the city council will also limit water supplies to the  satellite
city of Chitungwiza, where a million people live.

"This is a temporary arrangement while a lasting solution is found," said
Harare City public relations manager Leslie Gwindi.

Meanwhile Harare's former opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
mayor, fired by the ruling Zanu-PF local government minister Ignatius Chombo
last year, said the city's remaining water supplies were contaminated.

Former mayor Elias Mudzuri said: "We have to alert people that Harare is
likely to run dry in October. I have done investigations and things have
fallen apart. One day the city could wake up without a drop of water because
of a looming collapse of the water treatment system."
Mudzuri added: "The water currently being consumed has a bad smell because
of the untreated raw sewage flowing into the lake and I have since stopped
drinking it."

Harare pumps most of its water from Lake Chivero on the western outskirts of
the city.

Last month the ruling Zanu-PF party assumed virtual control of Harare when
the opposition MDC-dominated council resigned in protest of human rights
abuses in the country.

Back to the Top
Back to Index


'SADC must show its teeth'
11/09/2004 18:40  - (SA)

Harare - The opposition urged southern African countries on Saturday to
force Zimbabwe's government to reform its election laws so his party can
contest parliamentary polls next March.

Having vowed last month to boycott elections until the government meets
regional election standards, ends political violence and repeals repressive
media and security laws, the Movement for Democratic Change said fair
elections were key to ending President Robert Mugabe's 24-year grip on

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said the 14 member countries in the
Southern African Development Community, or SADC, were obliged hold Zimbabwe
to election protocols signed by Mugabe in August.

"SADC must prove it has teeth. SADC must push Mugabe to honor his word, and
to do so early enough for us to have our elections in March," Tsvangirai
told some 15 000 supporters during Saturday celebrations marking the fifth
anniversary of the opposition party's founding.

Since signing the protocols at the SADC summit in Mauritius, the government
has announced a series of planned electoral reforms, but the opposition says
they don't go far enough to conform with the regional standards.

Tsvangirai said Mugabe put the sincerity of regional leaders to a crucial

Without forcing the holding of free elections in Zimbabwe, other countries -
including South Africa - risked losing international support for political
and economic advancement.

"The entire region is waiting for the regime in Zimbabwe to start moving in
the right direction for the benefit of all," Tsvangirai said.

The government says it will form an independent commission to organize
elections previously run by state officials.

The opposition protested, saying the new commission would be biased.
Back to the Top
Back to Index