Sent: Saturday, September 11, 2004 7:18 PM Subject: Our mates from
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
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
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
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.
After England's easy win in their opening Champions
Trophy game against Zimbabwe at Edgbaston, both teams' captains commented on
their side's performances
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.
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 fashion.
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.
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 along.
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.
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.
A US lobby group has
accused Zimbabwe of preventing aid agencies from helping tens of thousands
left homeless by its land redistribution programme. Refugees
International says former commercial farm workers had, in effect, been
abandoned, with some facing attacks by government supporters.
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.
reduced harvests of recent years show that, for the moment at least, it has
done the opposite.
International estimates that 150,000 are displaced and largely without
Many have no access to clean water or medical
The government should recognise there have been
problems and should address these problems
Lari Refugees International Among the hardest hit are
the workers who used to be employed on large, white-owned
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.
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
Refugees International says many are repatriated without
ever seeing an immigration official.
Of 5,000 applications for
asylum, fewer than 20 have been granted.
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
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
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
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
The legal representative for the men, Francois
Joubert, said the prison terms were disappointing.
that the offences are minor, we feel that the sentences are a bit harsh," he
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
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.
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.
British army officer Mann was expressionless when he was sentenced on
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
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
Huge sections of both the city's wealthy northern and poorer
southern suburbs will have no water from 3pm to 8.30am the following
Meanwhile the city council will also limit water supplies to the
satellite city of Chitungwiza, where a million people live.
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.
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.
'SADC must show its teeth' 11/09/2004 18:40 -
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 power.
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 test.
Without forcing the
holding of free elections in Zimbabwe, other countries - including South
Africa - risked losing international support for political and economic
"The entire region is waiting for the regime in Zimbabwe to
start moving in the right direction for the benefit of all," Tsvangirai
The government says it will form an independent commission to
organize elections previously run by state officials.
protested, saying the new commission would be biased.