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

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Sent: Saturday, April 10, 2004 4:20 PM
Subject: Healing Hands

Dear Family and Friends,
More than 3 million Zimbabweans have fled the country since February 2000
are scattered all over the world, living in exile like a lost tribe. They
left their friends and families, their hearts and memories, the sights,
and smells that make Zimbabwe home. Some have gone for economic and other
reasons but many thousands have literally run for their lives, after
threats, rape, intimidation and extreme persecution for their political
They have gone to countries where they have no jobs, nowhere to live, no
and no friends. One of these people who was forced to flee his country under
extreme circumstances is Gabriel.

In January 2003 Gabriel was an ordinary upstanding member of Zimbabwean
society. He was a human rights lawyer who had often spoken out about the
in our society. He was called to defend an opposition Member of Parliament
was in trouble. Whilst consulting with his client, Gabriel was seized by
police. At first he was held in a prison cell but then he was removed,
into a yellow vehicle, had his head covered with a black hood and was taken
to an unknown place. Gabriel was taken down three flights of stairs,
completely naked, had his hands and feet shackled and was abused, assaulted
interrogated for many hours. Gabriel was forced to drink his own urine and
his own vomit off the floor. At times he was hung upside down and beaten on
soles of his feet, at other times he had wires attached to his toes and
and was repeatedly tortured with electric shocks. Gabriel was forced to
and sign documents implicating himself and other senior members of the
opposition. Three days later a High Court ordered that Gabriel be released.
Charges of trying to destabilize the government were thrown out of court but
then came the death threats which finally made Gabriel flee for his life to
South Africa.

Gabriel Shumba may be plagued by nightmares of his own ordeal but he is
determined not to be another statistic, not to be a silent victim. He has
repeatedly spoken of his ordeal and recently addressed the US Congress for
Rights. Gabriel is the legal regional director of the Accountability
and with others is involved in the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum. Their aim is to
Zimbabwean exiles by providing social, legal and educational assistance to
people who have lost everything. The ZEF wants to rid exiles of the
destitution and pain that comes from being strangers in a strange country.
want to bring Zimbabweans together, help them to survive, heal and learn to
and trust again so that they will be proud, patriotic and ready to come back
help rebuild their lives and their country. At the moment it is a tall order
the ZEF have no resources, no office that people can come to and not even
transport needed to find the thousands of Zimbabweans who are forced to beg
highways, prostitute themselves and sleep under bridges. Gabriel knows of at
least 13 000 Zimbabwean asylum seekers and torture victims in Johannesburg
that need urgent humanitarian assistance. They do not arrive to loving arms,
warm beds and kindly counsellors. Gabriel says asylum seekers arrive hugely
traumatized, have no relations, money, accomodation or jobs. The South
government admit they have only given asylum to 11 people and that thousands
have been turned down on the grounds that "there is no civil war in
Gabriel says it is agonising to see the immense suffering of fellow
in exile and not even be able to offer a "warm hand of significant support."
you would like to know more about the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum or hold out a
helping hand of healing to exiles in distress, contact Gabriel Shumba at :
Thank you for reading the story of a brave and truly inspirational
man. Happy Easter. Until next week, with love, cathy. Copyright cathy buckle
10th April 2004.
My books on the Zimbabwean crisis, "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are
available outside Africa  from: ; ; ;  in Australia and New Zealand: ;  Africa:

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Chief executive overruled by government appointee

      Up to 12 Zimbabwe players 'sacked'

      Wisden Cricinfo staff

      April 10, 2004

      The crisis threatening Zimbabwe's cricketing future took a depressing
twist late last night when a senior official of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union
(ZCU) told reporters that he had sacked up to a dozen white players.

      The group understood that they had been given permission by Vince
Hogg, the ZCU's chief executive, to miss this weekend's round of domestic
matches so that they could try and find a solution to the dispute between
players and the board which followed Heath Streak's removal as captain. But
Ozias Bvute - the ZCU board member in charge of racial quotas - sent them
all messages saying that that he had dismissed them for not turning up to

      The news came as a particular blow to Hogg, who had been working
tirelessly in recent days to try and broker a compromise which would stave
off the planned mass resignation of leading players that we first revealed
last week. But Bvute's unilateral action undermined not only those attempts,
but also Hogg's authority to act on behalf of the board.

      Those who now control the board are clearly at odds with the bulk of
the players - and a number of its own officials. The faction hell-bent on
implementing the wishes of the Mugabe government have won the internal
battle and now control the ZCU.

      Streak himself called on the ICC to intervene, requesting it to "come
here and investigate the grave situation at all levels of the game". He
added that he was happy to continue as a player under Tatenda Taibu, but
only if his demands regarding the selectors - which triggered this whole
situation - were met. "Unless they are, " he said, "I will not play for
Zimbabwe again." Given that the board is now openly hostile to the bulk of
the team - and Streak in particular - there is almost no chance of it
backing down over selection.

      Former Zimbabwe batsman Murray Goodwin, who quit the country a while
back and now plays for Sussex, said that he had spoken with "some of the
players and they are not happy with the situation." He continued: "There
isn't enough depth in Zimbabwe cricket to cope with the loss of 14 players
and still compete effectively at international level."

      Zimbabwe's Test and one-day series against Sri Lanka is due to start
in less than a fortnight. Unless there is a dramatic change of policy, there
is every chance that the Zimbabwe side which takes the field will contain no
white cricketers, and, more to the point, will be so weak as to be

      © Wisden Cricinfo Ltd
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From SW Radio Africa, 9 April

Attack on Charleswood

Armed soldiers and police descended on MP Roy Bennett's farm in Chimanimani
early Friday morning and forcefully evicted all the farm workers and their
families. Defying court orders that protect Charleswood Estate from
acquisition, soldiers with AK 47s and police units with dogs and baton
sticks began arriving last night, and truckloads more arrived at about
6:00am. They forced hundreds of men, women and children out of their homes
and told them to gather by the gates to the farm without any of their
property. Several people were assaulted during the chaos that followed. A
roadblock has been set up to prevent anyone from entering the area, and all
vehicles at Charleswood have been impounded. It is not known where the
families are supposed to go, and what is to happen to the much sought after
farm, but the soldiers allegedly announced that Charleswood now belonged to
Mike Nyambuya, the governor of Manicaland. Nyambuya, along with local
government minister Ignatius Chombo, announced 2 weeks ago at the
inauguration of chief Chikukwa, that there was soon going to be a final
assault on Charleswood. They openly told the gathered villagers that Roy
Bennett would then not qualify for re-election as MP for Chimanimani if he
did not live there.
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Comment from The Mail & Guardian (SA), 8 April

Lost in Jingle-land

Everjoice J Win

Rhodesia. The Seventies. "This is the Rhodesia Broadcasting Corporation.
Combined operations headquarters reports that 15 terrorists were killed in
Muzarabani. In Rushinga 11 more terrorists were killed this evening." The
news on radio was always about "terrorists" killed or captured. This is the
abiding memory of the media in my childhood. Fast-forward to Zimbabwe in the
early 21st century at my parent's home in Gweru. I don't have a watch, and I
need to know the time, so I turn on the radio. I could be turning back the
clock because the broadcaster is now as biased as it was during the colonial
era! Any of the four Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation stations will do. At
27 minutes past, or three minutes to every hour, Sendekera will play.

This land/soil that you see is what is called Zimbabwe.

The land is now ours.

We are happy.

It gives us pride.

Let 'them' be upset.

'They' are mad.

If it rains this year we shall fill our granaries . Sendekera.

Sendekera, son of the soil, our land is our prosperity.

All day long, Sendekera hums in your head. It is played every 30 minutes on
all four radio stations. It is mandatory to play it and, by extension, to
listen to it. Two days of going to bed at 8.05pm is enough to drive anyone
crazy. What else can one do in Gweru after the news headlines? Usually
nothing important happens, if we don't count which high- ranking official
has died or got married. The past few weeks have been an exception. First it
was the denials and then trashing of the BBC documentary on the Green
Bombers. Then it was the arrest of the alleged mercenaries at Harare
airport. For more than two weeks ZBC/TV has been filled with strident
denials from government officials and the youths themselves. One young
woman, in an attempt to show that they were not violated during the
training, nor taught terror tactics, boldly told the nation: "I learnt a
lot, [during National Youth Service Training]. Now, when I am told turn
left, I can turn left. And when they say turn right, I can turn right." And
we thought people learnt this stuff in Grade 0. This was on a programme
called News Hour, which starts with the supposedly rousing Sendekera jingle.

News content is a mixture of fact, fiction and outright propaganda. There is
no pretence at sophistication and everything comes back to that old bogey -
colonialism. The state broadcaster's take on the mercenary drama unfolding
in Zimbabwe, for example, goes like this: "The mercenaries plotted to topple
the government of the sovereign nation of Equatorial Guinea, whose President
Obiang has fallen out of favour with the Western imperialist powers, led by
America and Britain who are against his stance on his country's oil, just
like President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, who has had a similar problem with
these imperialist governments over land." All of this in one breathless
sentence! Anti-government sentiments are not allowed anywhere near our
broadcaster. There is no debate of fundamental issues. The Broadcasting
Services Act gives the minister of information and his hand-picked
Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe the power to issue licences to other
broadcasters. Nobody has received such a licence to date, and ZBC/TV has a
monopoly of the airwaves. Radio content must now be 100% local. On the few
occasions when listeners get on to phone-in programmes to criticise the
regime, they are switched off.

Gone from the airwaves and from our television screens are programmes that
civil society groups (now seen as anti-government) used to produce. These
ranged from HIV/Aids awareness to opportunities for the public to
participate on national issues. The regime will argue that 100% local
content is about patriotism and it's about promoting local artists and local
values. These values are, of course, only for those who can't afford
alternatives, the poor black majority. Those of us in a higher income
bracket or with the right connections, don't have to be subjected to
Sendekera. By the flick of our remotes we can watch SABC Africa, BBC or
Movie Magic, and we listen to our compact disk collections. No government
official worth his salt will invite friends round to watch soccer on ZBC on
Sunday afternoon. It's English football or South African. The Third
Chimurenga is fought by poor patriots. The fruits are enjoyed by those with
political power.
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The real danger lurks in the shadows

Martin Williamson

April 10, 2004

The crumbling façade of independence and reason the Zimbabwe Cricket Union
has tried to maintain against a backdrop of social disintegration in the
country finally collapsed on Friday. The final semblance of normality was
wiped away with the revelation that Vince Hogg, the board's chief executive,
had been overruled on a key matter by Ozais Bvute, the man charged with
implementing racial quotas in team selections.

Bvute's formal role within the ZCU is vague, but it is his presence, and
that of one or two others with dubious cricketing backgrounds, which sparked
the showdown between Heath Streak and the board. Streak made clear his
objection to non-cricketing individuals being involved in selection, and
comments he made to Hogg on this subject triggered the chain of events which
led to the board replacing him with Tatenda Taibu.

The government-controlled Herald immediately branded Streak a racist. That
was utterly predictable, as anyone who has opposed any part of Robert
Mugabe's regime is tarred with the same brush. But those who know Streak
also know that the accusation is risible.

The subsequent meeting between the ZCU and a group of players - who are all,
incidently, white - was nothing to do with Streak, although he attended, as
did Hogg and Bvute. With the ZCU refusing to contemplate Streak's
reinstatement - given that its political faction had ousted him, it was
never a possibility - stalemate ensured. Hogg realised that the loss of up
to a dozen leading players would cripple the already disintegrating Zimbabwe
side - there are only about 70 first-class players in the country all told -
and so gave the dissenters the weekend off to consider how the situation
might be resolved.

But Bvute immediately overruled him and seized on the chance to strike -
when the dissenters didn't appear to play for their sides in the weekend's
Logan Cup matches, he banned them all. It was opportunist, and as unsubtle
an implementation of the government's will as it is possible to have. So
isolated, and so out of touch with reality, is the Mugabe regime that it
probably believes that Zimbabwean cricket can lose almost all its white
cricketers and emerge stronger. It is in for a frighteningly rude awakening.

What is emerging is that Bvute is perhaps the most powerful figure within
the ZCU. His appointment was made by the ruling Zanu PF party, and local
observers say that he is charged with ensuring 'political loyalty' to
Mugabe. Last year, Mugabe's position of the ZCU's patron came up for
re-election. It was assumed that he would be returned unopposed. But a ZCU
member suggested that the matter should be discussed. "If the member knows
what's good for his health," Bvute warned, "he will desist from asking such
questions." So much for being apolitical.

Bvute is also the man who personally threw Henry Olonga off the team bus
following his black-armband protest in the World Cup, and he also demanded
that Olonga stop wearing any official Zimbabwe team kit. He was also
involved in the attempts to drop Andy Flower from the side, a move thwarted
by another threatened strike by several of the side. One former player is
quoted as saying that Bvute "constantly tells team members that he has been
to [information minister] Jonathan Moyo's office and been talking to him
about cricket issues. If that's not being involved in politics in Zimbabwe
today, nothing is."

Peter Chingoka, the ZCU's chairman, who has consistently maintained the line
that the board is independent and is widely considered to be a good man, is
also becoming marginalised. An insider at Friday's meeting said that Bvute
and Max Ebrahim (another selector) repeatedly shouted Chingoka down when he
tried to raise the subject of Streak's concerns. Ebrahim is believed to be a
supporter of Mugabe, and his father, Ahmed, headed the task force which
cleansed the side of dissidents. Chingoka is shrewd enough to realise that
in a dictatorship, you don't upset people with the ear of the leadership,
and that you have to make compromises to survive.

Another insider said that the board had gradually isolated and removed
people who were genuinely apolitical, with the result that while it was
until recently independent, in recent months it had become "dominated by
politics". Chillingly, the insider added: ""I think the ZCU should be
renamed the Zanu PF cricket union. There are certain individuals who are
using the way the country's being run as a blueprint for the ZCU."

In ten days time Chingoka is due at Lord's to discuss this autumn's proposed
tour of Zimbabwe by England - Bvute is also in the delegation - but it is
hard to see how he can seriously hold those talks when his position - and
that of his chief executive - are clearly utterly irrelevant. The England &
Wales Cricket Board must be eyeing the situation as its Get Out Of Jail Free

These developments should also be worrying the International Cricket
Council. To date, it has repeatedly put the self-interest of certain
factions within it ahead of any semblance of morality. Even Malcolm Speed,
its hardline chief executive, might struggle to maintain its stance if the
ZCU carries on as it has in the last ten days.

Those with hidden agendas will probably try to play a combination of the
race and colonial cards. But those now look convenient and too irrelevant.
In yesterday's Times, Simon Barnes eloquently argued why the Zimbabwe
situation cannot be ignored. "The contention that the Government of Zimbabwe
is worthy of cricket's support is unacceptable," he wrote. "The contention
that cricket should not concern itself with politics is impossible. In other
words, there are only two possible ethical arguments for the ICC's support
of Zimbabwe and neither stands up."

© Wisden Cricinfo Ltd
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The movers and shakers of this world may not watch Oprah, but this might be
a way of spreading the word?  The following suggestion was on a

Love her or hate her, MILLIONS around the world watch and respect Oprah. A
good suggestion by Ruth on Rhodesiawassuper website:

Ok people lets do something about it!!
Zimbabwe's torture training camps

LET'S GET Hilary Andersson the BBC Africa correspondent who did the above
show on Zimbabwe's Torture training camps ON THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW AS AN
INCREDIBLY GUTSY WOMAN! submit your reasons to:
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