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New Zimbabwe

History's judgement of Robert Mugabe
Last updated: 04/20/2004 11:32:34
IMAGINE yourselves two or three generations from now telling the story of
Zimbabwe to your great grand children in the comfort of your modest home.
You have to be a bit on the optimistic edge as we all know that life
expectancy for an average Zimbabwean has been drastically lowered by the
ill-health delivery system that cannot cope with the sickness that pervades
and also the poor wealth distribution that makes it impossible to fend for
Survival to that ripe age permitting, imagine yourself surrounded by your
eager great grand children who would be eager to know why there are so many
areas designated graves of the forgotten victims. Imagine yourself faced
with the responsibility of telling the truth about the destruction of a
nation's people and the nation itself by one mad man! What would you tell
your little progeny about the beast called Mugabe?

Would you not tell the little brats how you cowered as Mugabe and his goons
terrorized whole communities? Would you not tell them how you and the rest
of the people neglected their duties as the citizens of Zimbabwe to restrain
the madding dictator as he ran amok killing and maiming innocent people?
Would you not for once take responsibility of your failure to act when the
situation called for all good citizens to come to the aid of the burning

What are you going to tell your great grand children? Would you hide behind
a false sense of national unity and not tell them about the atrocities that
were committed willingly by Mugabe and his morons armed with killer instinct
instilled upon them by the North Koreans? Would you not tell them about the
painful days of Gukurahundi and the silent funerals for the victims of the
armed cowards?

As the startled children of your progeny listen pensively, will you not tell
them how the armed men came and easily conquered unarmed civilians? Would
you not tell them how the men with North Korean guns introduced the most
advanced forms of brutality during the space age? Would you choose to
protect the tormentor in the name of some unity accord signed by people with
their own political ambitions that were different from those of the people?

Imagine yourself faced with the responsibility of telling the truth to
little kids! Would you tell them a lie just to appear politically correct?
Would you not be selling your soul and the souls of your great grand
children by refusing to tell them the truth? Imagine yourself faced with the
dilemma! What would you do?

You would have to tell them the truth as it happened. You would have to tell
them how Mugabe mutilated the flesh of their great grand kith and kin. You
would have to tell them how the dictator, perhaps buried in some obscure
grave in Zvimba, made life for the people unbearable. You will have to tell
them how others who would have long perished through age, AIDS and
unexplained deaths, ably aided him.

You will be called upon to mention names. You would be a fool if you did not
mention Mnangagwa, Sekeramayi, Perence Shiri, Enos Nkala and others of
similar ilk. You would be failing in your small lesson in history if you did
not mention those stately organs that aided and abetted the cause of the
dictator. You would have to mention the CIO, the Youth Brigades, the Fifth
Brigade and the generality of the ZANU-PF party.

You will not say your chilling tale in hushed voices. There would be no CIO
to fear. There would be no Green Bombers to be weary of. There would be no
fear of reprisal from the state. Change would long have come. Freedom of
speech would be boldly enshrined in the constitution. Democracy would be in
action. Good governance and accountability would be the order of the day.

You will freely tell your great grand children how people cowered as
communities fell under the murderous brigade trained by the evil North
Koreans. You will tell them how the victims just fell with no-one mentioning
their plight. You will have to be bold and tell them how the other tribes
and races rejoiced in a false sense of security as the people of
Matebeleland fell. You would have to be frank and name names.

In your candidness, you would have to tell them how the other tribe make
sick jokes about the falling victims of Mugabe's madness. You will recall
from your memory the songs that were sung by the state radio services urging
the killer brigade to do the job with callosity and efficiency. Perhaps you
would want to sing for them the evil song 'Zenda Makomo'. This, you will
tell them, was a song meant to show that there was going to be brutality
especially at Tjolotjo District that was particularly mentioned by the song!

As you tell the lucky brats about the brutal past, do not forget the
inactivity of other races too. Tell them how people of other races were
disinterested in the issue as they found it below their esteem and dignity
to mention. Do not make heroes out of cowards. Tell the children that as
Mugabe's men traded death in Matebeleland, the white people removed
themselves actively and morally from the equation as they sought to make
money faster than a whizzing bullet. Tell the kids that those races that
ignored the tribal conflict were accessories to genocide as they took side
with the perpetrator. Tell the children that the neutrality of the Whites
meant that they acquiesced with the brutality. Good men would have spoken
against the genocide as it happened; not decades after it had happened!

Those children, born out of a free society may ask for the names of those
whites who are culpably guilty for the murder of the people of Matabeleland.
Give them a few names. Imagine scratching your head trying to recall the
names of the guilty ones: Then you come up with some names; Culverwell, Ian
Smith, Andy Cross, Timothy Stamps and many others who thought Mugabe was
doing great by killing and maiming the people of Matabeleland.

Imagine yourself telling the children the truth!

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New Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Some paradoxes of non-participation

Last updated: 04/21/2004 06:15:09 Last updated: 04/20/2004 11:07:34

THE late MDC MP David Mpala who was stabbed with knives by ruling Zanu PF mobs. He later died from the injuries
A DIFFICULT choice for the opposition in Zimbabwe is whether to participate in the March 2005 general election, now less than a year away. Escalating political violence and erosion of the rule of law, draconian Acts that treat criticism as a serious crime and anti-democratic altering of electoral laws make it impossible for the opposition to win - and dangerous to try.

Last month, in preparation for possible South African-brokered talks with the ruling Zanu PF party and as alleged state-sponsored by-election violence erupted, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change reserved the right to boycott the 2005 poll.

Since then government has published changes to the Electoral Act that strengthen its grip on elections, including the electoral commission (led by military figures), observers and monitors (only civil servants allowed), voter education (only by government) and who is able to vote.

Decreed by President Robert Mugabe before a flawed 2002 presidential poll but later ruled unconstitutional by the courts, the amendments have been slammed by civic groups, among other things for violating universal and Southern Africa Development Community electoral norms and standards.

In a briefing note on 16 March the MDC said that terror wreaked by Zanu PF supporters and youth brigades during the Zengeza by-election, which the ruling party won, showed yet again that the government was prepared to violate SADC protocol regarding conduct of elections:

'The MDC continues to be denied access to the voters' roll, state media remains the exclusive domain of the ruling party, MDC campaign efforts are frustrated by a politicised police force whilst Zanu PF youth militia are permitted to intimidate and attack voters without fear of prosecution.'

Such a political environment precludes a free and fair election in March 2005, said the MDC, which decided against participation unless there is 'genuine commitment' by Zanu PF and Mugabe to manage the poll freely and fairly. The party drafted 15 conditions to participation, based on SADC protocols that Zimbabwe ratified in 2001. In summary they are:

1. A genuinely independent electoral commission (IEC) to run the electoral process and election.

2. The exclusion from the IEC of partisan officials and members of the military.

3. A fresh voter registration exercise conducted by a new IEC with UN assistance.

4. An electronic copy of the voters' roll for all political parties and interested people.

5. Repeal of aspects of draconian media laws that curtail media freedoms.

6. Repeal of aspects of harsh security laws that curtail election campaign freedoms.

7. Electoral Act changes to conform with SADC norms not covered by the 15 conditions.

8. Reversal of decisions that closed The Daily News and stopped media operating freely.

9. Liberalisation of the broadcast media and fair coverage by the state media of all parties.

10. Complete disbanding of the youth militia

11. Translucent plastic ballot boxes of secure, single-piece, construction

12. Sufficient numbers of polling stations to enable voting to take only one day

13. Unhindered access to elections by international, regional and domestic observers.

14. Counting of ballots at polling stations in the presence of polling agents and observers

15. Use of visible, indelible ink to identify people who have voted.

Systematic oppression using bad law and brutal force, along with unfair electoral conditions in Zimbabwe provide the foundations for a solid argument against participation in the March 2005 election. But boycotts are a serious - and frequently paradoxical - matter.

Non-participation by a major opposition party founded on credible problems undermines the legitimacy of a poll and the government it elects. At the same time, it enables a ruling party to easily sweep back into power, claim some popular support and cling to vestiges of legitimacy still widely afforded polls that are flawed but at least held.

Boycotts can be powerful democratic statements by the oppressed, who by refusing to vote can erode an unchallenged ruling party's claims to popular support by forcing a low turn-out. This stay-away tactic was used in neighbouring South Africa by Asian and mixed-race people who rejected, with sometimes single-digit turnouts, the apartheid state's attempts to co-opt them into self-determination via separate, race-based Parliaments.

Again there is a tension, because non-participation is political action stripped of any hope of making a difference - a cause without an effect. In the case of Zimbabwe, the waters would further be muddied by high levels of political intimidation and violence, which will deter voting as surely as any stay-away.

The Zimbabwean government, its supporters and the security forces are accused of waging a campaign of oppression against the MDC and of committing thousands of human rights abuses including murder, assault and torture.

For its part, Zanu PF claims that its supporters are also being intimidated and attacked by the MDC, which is intent on overthrowing the government by force, and that political turf wars are to blame for much electoral violence. While elections might be marred by political violence, says the government, they are nevertheless legitimate.

Current levels of political violence raise the moral question of whether opposition supporters ought to be asked to vote at all, given the dangers involved. If an MDC victory is impossible, why take the risk of voting? The same could be asked of MDC leaders, who have suffered gross rights abuses in the past four years.

A recent study by the Cape Town-based Zimbabwe Institute, 'Playing with Fire', revealed that nine in 10 MDC MPs surveyed had suffered rights abuses at the hands of security forces or Zanu PF supporters. A total of 78 MPs and parliamentary candidates had experienced 616 incidents - and in no case had a perpetrator been arrested or charged.

Three MPs had died after vicious assaults, a quarter had survived murder attempts and three had had staff murdered. Over a third of MPs had been assaulted, two thirds arrested and 16% tortured. MPs houses had been burned, cars stoned, relatives and colleagues abducted and some killed. The message, reports the Institute, is clear:

'Any person who contemplates standing for the opposition in 2005 in the existing environment is well aware that they will pay dearly for this choice.'

Further, there comes a time when participating in an illegitimate regime becomes morally dubious, as it lends credibility to that government. The MDC worries that its credibility is also put at risk by its continued advocacy of patience to supporters without any tangible result - or any reciprocal self-control on the part of Zanu PF.

Against these problems are pragmatic concerns for Zimbabwe and its people. Even if the MDC is not allowed to win, there is an argument that by continuing to secure Parliamentary seats for its leaders the party keeps at least some democratic space open in an increasingly repressed society, media and legal system. Were it not for this space, the party might be less able to thwart calls to arms from some angry supporters.

Writing in South Africa's The Star, commentator Allister Sparks argued that the setting of a 2005 election date will spur South African President Thabo Mbeki - the world's 'point man' on Zimbabwe - to take action in getting the parties to the table for talks. And indeed, Mbeki met separately with Zanu PF and the MDC leaders in Pretoria last month.

But brokering an agreement will not be easy, Sparks comments, and even if MDC conditions are met the cards will be stacked against the party - first, under the Constitution Mugabe can appoint 30 MPs of his own choosing, meaning the opposition has to win a 64% majority to control Parliament and, second, even if this is achieved Mugabe will be able to choose his Cabinet and rule by decree until the next presidential election in 2008.

To remove either obstacle requires the Constitution to be amended, which needs Zanu PF's cooperation or Mugabe to step down so that both general and presidential polls can be held:

'Neither appears likely. So the question is: Can Mbeki mount enough pressure to remove this Catch 22 which makes success for the opposition virtually impossible? If not, the whole thing becomes a pointless exercise.'
This column is provided by the International Bar Association - An organisation that represents the Law Societies and Bar Associations around the world, and works to uphold the rule of law. For further information, visit the website

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New Zimbabwe

Voyeur causes panic in UZ ladies' bathrooms

By Mabasa Sasa
Last updated: 04/20/2004 09:27:54
STRANGE things are happening at the University of Zimbabwe.
In a bizarre incident that has shocked the institution of higher learning, a
male student claiming to be corresponding with the Zimbabwe Open University
(ZOU) was on Saturday morning accosted by the university security personnel
and students when he was discovered to have visited a ladies' hall of
residence in female clothing.

The student, who is his the early twenties,was dressed in a bra stuffed with
socks to make it look as if he had breasts, a short nightdress and a braided

Although his name could not be established, he claimed he was a ZOU student
and had entered Swinton Hall to watch female students as they bathed.
Security personnel said they were alerted of the presence of the 'she-male'
when a female student became suspicious of the "strange looking girl" as she
prepared to take a shower.

She promptly informed the warden and janitor who in turn called in security
personnel who managed to intercept him as he tried to leave the hostel.
A crowd of students from other halls of residence got wind of the strange
happenings and gathered at the entrance of Swinton Hall threatening to mete
out instant justice.

Said Clayton Bepete, one of the first students at the scene: "Nyika yashata.
Chero kurikuda vakadzi hazvifanire kusvika ipapo. Ndosaka mvura isiri kunaya
(The world has gone bad. That is why it isn't raining). Even an obsession
with women should not go that far. That is why we have droughts).Another
student, Owen Taruza said, "Imbanje chete. (He must be high on marijuana.)
They should test him for substance abuse."

However, one of the security guards who accosted him said there was a strong
possibility that the suspected transvestite was actually a thief and had
planned to steal clothing while disguised as a resident student.

Said the security man: "We are taking him for now while we consider whether
or not to take him to the police.

"He could be a thief because this morning we caught another one at Manfred
Hodson Hall."

The cross-dresser hinted that it was not the first time he had done such a
thing, saying it was a hobby of his to watch female students bathing in both
Swinton Hall and Carr-Saunders hostel.
From the Daily Mirror
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MP Masaiti and Councillor Pemhiwa are being held at Harare Central while the
other 14 are at Mabvuku Police Station. They should appear in the
Magistrates Court Rotten Row some time today. It is reported that Pemhiwa
has been assaulted while in custody.

Please circulate this and, if you can, get to the courts to show solidarity

Mike Davies

From: E S
Sent: Sunday 18 April 2004 19:02
Subject: Football - not cricket

On Saturday, the day before Independence, the youth of Mabvuku, being
excluded from official national celebrations because of their political
affiliation, organised a special sports event. There were to be 2 football
matches and 2 women's netball matches. People from many areas of Harare were
invited to come and watch and participate. A budget for refreshments was
drawn up and money raised.

It was a doubly special day because the Mabvuku teams also had just been
given new kit including boots. Although the team has been playing for nearly
2 years, many have been playing barefoot up until now. Mabvuku is not
blessed with riches.

The first match, Mabvuku 2nd (in the old kit)vs Mbare kicked off at 10.30
am. The atmosphere was happy and peaceful. Pitch invasions by an army of 7
year olds each time the home team scored were the nearest that could be
described as unrest. Polite applause for the visitor's goals. Mabvuku 2 won

There were a handful of pale visitors among the spectators. They left after
the first football match - and as they were driving away were greeted by a
small group of older men who shouted "Pamberi ne Zanu" at them with clenched

Mabvuku 1st (in their new red kit) won 4 -1.

Mabvuku women's netball team dispatched the visting tem from St Mary's by a
score too great to count.

The second netball match was underway when the Zimbabwe Republic Police riot
squad pounced.

The crowd of spectators - some from other areas of Harare - had swelled.
This was obviously an "Illegal gathering". Many were beaten. The crowds ran
from the onslaught. There was chaos. Property was damaged, including a shop
belonging to the acting mayor of Harare, Sekesai Mukwavarara.

16 have been arrested, including the MDC MP for Honde Valley, Evelyn Masaiti
who had come to join in the fun. All 16 were held in Mabvuku police station
cells last night (saturday) and remain there tonight (sunday).

The Officer in Charge is named Chiobvu. The telephone number is Harare
491073. This is not the first time that Mabvuku police have used force to
stop the
community coming together.

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From The Herald, 20 April

Chiefs get hefty allowances

From Bulawayo Bureau

Traditional chiefs will now be paid monthly allowances of $1 million each,
backdated to January this year. Deputy Minister of Local Government, Public
Works and National Housing Cde Fortune Charumbira who himself is a chief in
Masvingo announced the hike during an assembly of 23 chiefs from
Matabeleland region at a hotel in Gwanda at the weekend. He said the
non-taxable allowances for the chiefs would rise from $500 000 to $I million
and this would be backdated to January this year. "President Mugabe has
approved the increment and were it not for his Excellency and Minister
Ignatius Chombo's respect and recognition of the role chiefs play as
traditional leaders in our community this recommendation would have been
thrown out," said Chief Charumbira. He said some civil servants were not
keen to see chiefs given "reasonable " allowances as they felt it was
degrading to earn less than a chief. "What they do not realise is that you
can not compare a chief to a civil servant. To put the chief in some form of
a rank is a futile exercise," Chief Charumbira said.

He said they had not received much support from the Ministry of Finance when
the issue of increasing allowances for chiefs was raised. "In civil service,
people are considered on the basis of qualifications, performance and other
such criteria for salary increments but as chiefs we have no such things.
The qualification one requires to be a chief is birth and blood that makes a
chief a unique leader," he said. He said increments for allowances for
headmen, village heads and chief's aides or messengers had not yet been
finalised. However, Chief Charumbira said it had been recommended that
headmen get 40 percent of what chiefs would get and this will put their
allowances at $400 000 per month. It has also been recommended that a chief'
s aide or messenger should be given an allowance of $250 000 per month up
from $57 000. Chief Charumbira said that it had also been suggested that
village heads be given allowances of $40 000 per month. They currently get
$10 000 per month. "Although the allowances for headmen, Village Heads and
messengers have not been endorsed we are optimistic that they will be
approved,"he said.

Earlier during the meeting some chiefs had complained that payment of
allowances for traditional leaders took a long time in some instances.
District administrators at the meeting attributed this to lack of transport
and cumbersome payment procedures that require officials from the Provincial
Administrator's office to travel to Harare to collect the cash for the
payment of allowances. The Deputy Secretary, in the Ministry of Local
Government Public Works and National Housing, Mr Fanuel Makwiviri who was
accompanying Chief Charumbira pledged to ensure that these problems would be
ironed out. Chief Charumbira also took the opportunity to inform his
colleagues that Government was working on a scheme to procure vehicles for
chiefs. Under the proposed scheme Government will meet 50 percent of the
cost of the purchase of the vehicles, with the chiefs paying the remainder
in monthly instalments. Currently the cost of the vehicles is $58 million
each but Ministry officials were negotiating for the removal of duty on the
cars as they will be imported. Members of Parliament benefited from a
similar duty free scheme. "If our negotiations are successful the price will
come down significantly. The procurement of the cars for the 268 Chiefs in
the country will be done in phases with vehicles coming in batches of about
30 per month," he said.
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From The Guardian (UK), 20 April

Local side with a nationalist agenda

Telford Vice profiles the community club now at the vanguard of change

When Andy Flower and his father Bill started Takashinga cricket club in
Harare they planned it as a development project in the heart of Harare's
main black residential area. Now, with the Flowers long since kicked out,
the club is playing a major part in the Zimbabwe crisis. To the Flowers it
had seemed a perfect plan: build a club with access to decent facilities
surrounded by schools in the suburb of Highfield from which it could draw a
steady stream of talent for years to come. Today Takashinga is synonymous
with a different approach. It was Takashinga's chairman Givemore Makoni who
threw Henry Olonga out of the club for the black-armband protest with Flower
to "mourn the death of democracy in our beloved Zimbabwe" at last year's
World Cup. He described the pair's actions as "disgraceful" and criticised
Olonga "because he was a hero and role model to black cricketing
communities". Steven Mangongo, Zimbabwe's new convenor of selectors, is also
a Takashinga man. An administrator of Asian descent met him last week. "When
this whole Streak issue came up, Steven looked at me and demanded, 'Are you
with the whites or the blacks? You guys must decide,'" said the

With Mangongo at the helm of selection, Takashinga has found prominent
representation in the new-look national team: its captain Tatenda Taibu will
today lead what is almost certain to be the first entirely black XI to be
fielded by Zimbabwe in the first of five one-day internationals against Sri
Lanka in Bulawayo. The suddenly senior batsman Stuart Matsikenyeri will join
him. Takashinga is synonymous with the drive for more black players in the
game. According to the list of transgressions put together by the players
who are refusing to play for Zimbabwe until Heath Streak is reinstated as
captain, Makoni allegedly threatened a pitch invasion to try to force the
inclusion of more black players in a team selected for a particular match.
Makoni escaped punishment by the Zimbabwe Cricket Union for head-butting an
opponent during a match. He was wearing a helmet at the time, and his victim
was the nephew of the former selection convenor Ali Shah. It did his
standing with the ZCU little harm. He was subsequently appointed the general
manager of the Mashonaland Cricket Association, a position he still holds.

One of the rebels spoke yesterday of his dislike at playing against
Takashinga, whose players have been sent home from development clinics by
the national coach Geoff Marsh for turning up in T-shirts and bandanas
supporting the ruling party Zanu PF. "Every time they play against white or
Indian clubs there are problems," the player said. "There are always racial
things said, and arguments on the field. Except when Taibu and Matsikenyeri
play, then they keep quiet. They seem to be able to keep the other players
under control. They are so political it's frightening. The sledging is so
aggressive. I remember playing against them last season and they had a
bowler who started saying 'you've never seen pace like this before' even
though he was nothing more than medium pace. The player said Takashinga had
become the darlings of the ZCU. "The ZCU makes them a powerful club, because
they want them to be powerful. They have some real radicals and that suits
some people at the ZCU down to the ground. "But people forget that Andy
Flower and his father, Bill, started Takashinga. So now we joke and blame
them for everything." Takashinga has moved on a long way since the Flowers.
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The Australian

Mugabe racist on cricket: Downer
By John Kerin
April 21, 2004
FOREIGN Minister Alexander Downer has launched a stinging attack on the
Zimbabwe Cricket Union over its decision to sack captain Heath Streak and
impose a "racist" selection policy on its national team.

In a move that will put pressure on Cricket Australia to reconsider a
planned tour to Zimbabwe, which begins in weeks, Mr Downer said last night
that Australia had sought a "formal explanation" from the Zimbabwean
Government on the selection policies.

"If the allegation that Zimbabwe cricket players are on strike because the
ZCU is selecting players on the basis of race, that is disgraceful," Mr
Downer told The Australian last night.

"Australia absolutely condemns racial profiling of the Zimbabwe national
cricket team and the selection of national teams on the basis of race or
because of the political opinions or positions of the players," he said.

Mr Downer's comments follow 13 leading Zimbabwean players' refusal to play
in protest at the sacking of Streak for his claims of racial discrimination
in selection of the national team.

Mr Downer said Zimbabwe authorities seemed to be targeting members of the
team who were sympathetic to the opposition MDC which has been brutally
suppressed by dictator Robert Mugabe.

Mr Downer stopped short of urging Cricket Australia to cancel the Zimbabwe

"Whether the tour goes ahead or not is a matter for Cricket Australia ...
they are a professional organisation and are best placed to make that
judgment," he said.

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Mozambique Still Calling for Dialogue in Zimbabwe

Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (Maputo)

April 20, 2004
Posted to the web April 20, 2004


Mozambican Foreign Minister Leonardo Simao told reporters in Maputo on
Tuesday that the Mozambican government is continuing to encourage
Zimbabweans to find "a climate of dialogue" to solve the problems plaguing
their country.

Speaking during a press conference, Simao said he was convinced that an
agreement between the Zimbabwean government and the opposition will be

This optimism has been displayed many times before, by both Mozambican and
South African officials - yet hopes of an agreement between President Robert
Mugabe's government and Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) have always been dashed.

Simao also revealed that discussions are under way between the Mozambican
and South African authorities seeking to abolish the requirement for entry

So far only holders of diplomatic passports are exempt from visas. An
ordinary Mozambican citizen wishing to visit South Africa, and an ordinary
South African visiting Mozambique, must apply for visas. "Now we want to
extend the exemption from holders of diplomatic passports to other
citizens", said Simao. He said there was now "mutual interest" in the
abolition of visas.

Indeed a "political understanding" in this regard was reached last year
between the two presidents, Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique and Thabo Mbeki
of South Africa. However, the practical implementation of this understanding
had not yet been worked out.

Simao said the discussions would have already concluded had it not been for
an interruption because of South Africa's general elections.
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Zimbabwe: Think-Tank Calls for New Strategies to Resolve Crisis

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

April 20, 2004
Posted to the web April 20, 2004


An international political think-tank has called for a "new" strategy to
address Zimbabwe's deepening political crisis, arguing that previous
diplomatic attempts have largely failed.

In a new report, "Zimbabwe: In Search of a New Strategy", the International
Crisis Group (ICG) recommended a shift in policy focus from an interparty
settlement, which it claimed appeared unachievable, to "the promotion of a
free and fair process for the March 2005 parliamentary election".

The Brussels-based organisation noted previous attempts to kick-start
stalled talks between the ruling ZANU-PF party and the main opposition
Movement Democratic Change (MDC), but said these interventions had either
failed or were on "life support".

The Zimbabwean government walked out of political talks with the MDC in
April 2002 after the opposition went to court to challenge the presidential
election result.

The only effort that had retained some potential was an independent move by
church leaders based in Manicaland province. While the clergy had yet to
obtain any clear commitment from either party, they had managed to maintain
a dialogue with the MDC's top leadership and had met with President Robert

According to the report, the church-led initiative had also received support
from civil society, the opposition and sections of ZANU-PF, but the
confidence expressed by the clergy was not supported by developments on the
ground, mainly due to ZANU-PF's determination to stall talks.

"It [ZANU-PF] does not have a coherent agenda to bring to the table, is
opposed to a rerun of the 2002 presidential election, and recognises that
serious talks would eventually have to bring up the difficult issue of
succession to Mugabe, which ZANU-PF has not resolved even to its own
satisfaction," the ICG said.

The MDC, on the other hand, had on several occasions indicated a commitment
to talks and had reaffirmed its position that resolution of the crisis
should start with negotiations at the party's annual conference in December

But so far negotiations between the parties had remained at the "talks about
talks" level, which the ICG contended was unlikely to produce a settlement

Given the current inaction on resolving the political imbroglio through
dialogue, the report suggested that the international community now turn its
attention to pressuring the authorities in Harare to create conditions that
would ensure free parliamentary elections in 2005.

It recommended that the US and the European Union (EU) appoint envoys to
travel and work together with key political players within the country and
in the region.

A fundamental aspect of this cooperation would be the forging of a broad
international consensus on benchmarks, including minimum conditions and
timelines for the electoral process, based on the Norms and Standards for
Elections of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

This would mean repealing recent legislation, which rights groups in
Zimbabwe have claimed restricts civil liberties, and an audit of the voters'
roll, with a new registration of voters under UN supervision if required.

The ICG report called on ZANU-PF to work with the UN and other bodies to
meet the minimum guidelines established in the SADC norms and standards for
a free and fair parliamentary elections process.

It also urged the ruling party to enter into immediate negotiations with the
MDC, at least to establish conditions for credible parliamentary elections.

The MDC and civil society should develop strategies to promote a non-violent
democratic transition, including more relevant and effective civil
disobedience to address state policies it felt were illegal.

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20 April 2004


South Africans celebrated 10 years of democracy with an election conducted
in a manner that provided a huge lesson to all of us in Zimbabwe.

Free and fair elections encourage people to participate in national affairs.
They give hope and courage to the majority. They encourage development and
give confidence to local and foreign investors. Genuine elections
consolidate the ideals of good governance and assist in the maturity of
institutional practices necessary to safeguard national sovereignty and
human dignity.

We congratulate the African National Congress and President Thabo Mbeki for
the victory in their third national election. It was a victory for democracy
and freedom. It was a victory for SADC. By giving the ANC almost 70 percent
of their vote, the South Africans led by example, displaying to the
opportunities open to democracy if the people are accorded the necessary
political respect and confidence.

By comparison, Zimbabwe's third election in 1990 recorded a much lower voter
turnout and was a bloody affair. Patrick Kombayi, the Gweru businessman and
politician, was almost killed by a CIO agent and attacked by Zanu PF
activists in an election conducted in manner which exposed a high level of
intolerance in the Zanu PF leadership. Ten years later, dozens of MDC
supporters died in the Parliamentary election.

At 24, we are much older than South Africa. We have held national elections
here four times more than the South Africans. We have a population that is
more literate than South Africa in percentage terms. We claim to have more
experience in multi-party democracy than Pretoria. But a comparison in the
way we conduct our elections shows that we are still decades away from
allowing our people to benefit from their experience and independence.

Zimbabwe knows that for any election to match what happened in South Africa
last week, the Mugabe regime must regularize and open-up the country to free
political activity. Specifically, the regime must ensure freedom of the
Press and of association, suppress and punish the perpetrators of political
violence and allow political parties to campaign in an unhindered manner.
The regime will remain with its pariah status as long as the people are
denied the right to choose a government of their choice.

The South African election was carried out by an independent electoral
commission and, despite the large number of voters; the exercise took place
in a single day with results being counted at the polling stations. In
Zimbabwe, it takes us two days to allow a mere 16 000 - in the case of the
recent Zengeza by-election - to cast their vote.

While South Africans encourage people to come out and vote, the Zanu PF
regime places all kinds of impediments to discourage people from registering
their will. Militia bases are set up to intimidate voters; our voters roll
is suspect; harassment, beatings and deaths are commonplace; and the entire
exercise is run by partisan institutions.

Although South Africa still faces numerous challenges, the least President
Mbeki and the ANC has offered their people is their freedom. The process
continues to consolidate itself and elections in South Africa enjoy both the
legitimacy of the local population and the world at large. In case of any
electoral dispute, a clear conflict resolution mechanism is in place to
handle grievance and ensure that there are minimum points of disagreement.

In Zimbabwe, the electoral conditions are an organized recipe for
confrontation and perpetual contest. Zimbabweans, SADC and the
international community are aware of the flaws in our electoral system. But
little has been done to beseech the regime from continuing with the

Since 2000, we have constantly condemned the perennial descent into
thuggery, lawlessness and mayhem in the general body politic in Zimbabwe. We
have argued that elections, which should reflect the exercise of our
sovereignty in the selection of our leaders should never become open seasons
for murder, torture, beatings and violence. While we have made inroads in
gaining the understanding and sympathy of the region, including South
Africa, we believe more pressure must be exerted on the Zanu PF regime to
allow the people to exercise their sovereign will and put a government of
their choice into office.

Much has been said about the collapse of democracy and basic human freedoms
in Zimbabwe in the past five years. Also recorded were the attacks on the
judiciary, on Press freedom, on civil society and on the opposition,
especially the MDC. The violations continue to this day, making ordinary
Zimbabweans tremble with fear at the prospect of another election.

As Zimbabweans we have a duty to keep up the pressure in order to take
charge of our own destiny and to wrestle power from a tyrannical
nationalistic elite, supported by a parasitic bureaucracy, which is
determined to deny the nation essential freedoms.

None of the South African candidates from the 37 political parties which
contested last week's election was tortured, lost property to
government-sponsored hooligans or was threatened in any way.

By contrast, in Zimbabwe all opposition MPs and candidates, even for local
council elections, have a sad story to tell. They were brutalised for
voicing their interest in the MDC. The case of the Chinhoyi municipal
elections where our candidates were brutally barred from submitting their
nomination papers is still unresolved to this day.

In Harare, Engineer Elias Mudzuri - a mayor elected by the whole city of
nearly a million voters -- was fired from office by Robert Mugabe on trumped
up charges. This signified a denial of democracy in the capital. We
acknowledge the forced, technical victory of Zanu PF in the battle for
Harare. That victory, like Mugabe's declaration that he won the 2002
Presidential election, is a mere paper crown. The people are clear about the
way forward. They realise that Harare is just a symptom of a much bigger
problem - that of Zanu PF misrule. They know the cause of our national
problem and they have a permanent solution to the crisis.

Among the similarities between South Africa and Zimbabwe is the link to the
liberation struggle. Our people gallantly fought against oppression and all
forms of political discrimination. We all have a sizeable population of war
veterans. But in South Africa none of their war veterans were reported to
have caused mayhem during the recently concluded election.

The South African government put together a political culture that places
emphasis on delivery and election issues rather than personalities. Like in
Zimbabwe, the people fought a war for freedom and not for to a particular
political class to entrench itself in power.

Many of the attacks on our MPs and activists are well documented and backed
by medical reports, photographs and media reports at the time events
occurred, as well as by court or police records. The regime instead of
showing a sign of repentance tries to justify these attacks in the name of
sovereignty. The regime claims the nation is at war with an imaginary
foreign enemy when it receives food handouts from that same enemy. We are a
disgrace to the SADC region, a region that has shown tremendous advances in
empowering its own people by extending the freedom from colonialism through
free and fair elections.

In all cases that hinder the conduct of free and fair elections in Zimbabwe,
the perpetrators are government agencies or those working with government
agencies, including the Zimbabwe Republic Police, the Central Intelligence
Organisation, the Zimbabwe National Army, war veterans and, after November
2001, ZANU PF youth militia.

You will recall that at least 14 MPs and scores of activists survived direct
assassination attempts, ranging from attacks on moving vehicles, to being
ruthlessly assaulted and left for dead, to being shot at with sub machine
guns, or doused with fuel with the intent of being burnt to death. Three MDC
MPs who had been assaulted subsequently died. Another three have had their
entire homes burnt to the ground, resulting in 100 percent loss of all their
entire belongings.

A further 19 had their homes vandalised by government supporters, some on
repeated occasions. Seven lost their businesses; 23 had their cars attacked,
again in some cases resulting in the vehicles being burnt entirely. This is
the sad reality of our electoral process. No wonder many dread the prospect
of getting into another exercise, conducted under similar lines, in 2005.
For the ordinary people, working for change presents a serious political

Working for MDC or any opposition party in Zimbabwe 24 years after
independence can result in a disgusting violation of your human rights.
Three MPs have had members of their staff brutally murdered. One had 18
homesteads in her constituency torched by government supporters.

In a Zimbabwean election, it is common for candidates to relocate their
families to safer areas because of constant threats and attacks. The latest
case was that of James Makore in Zengeza. The Zengeza seat, as you know,
became vacant after Tafadzwa Musekiwa felt totally insecure even after
winning the 2000 Parliament election. Musekiwa joined many others, though
unsuccessful in 2000, who felt compelled to flee the country earlier.

The unlucky ones paid the ultimate price. Titus Nheya, an MDC election
candidate from election 2000 was himself beaten to death with iron bars
while campaigning in the Presidential election in 2002: Elliot Pfebve,
another 2000 candidate had his brother Mathew murdered during that campaign.

Our calls for change and the subsequent emergence of competitive politics in
Zimbabwe in 1999 through the formation of the MDC have seen the worst forms
of repression enter into our political culture. The Mugabe regime was driven
into a permanent election mode and is battling to survive at all costs. But
the people have turned their backs. The only salvation is through a free and
fair election, similar to the one in South Africa last week.

The perversion of our electoral system has become visible through express
violence, open intimidation and a flawed legal management which compromises
the secrecy of the ballot.

We have argued in the past that no free and fair election is possible when
political activity and democratic space are at premium. Our right to
assemble, move around and communicate has been severely curtailed. Robert
Mugabe must stop deceiving himself that the 2005 election can give his
regime the necessary legitimacy if Zanu PF believes such recognition can be
attained through a violent plebiscite similar to what we saw in Zengeza.

A faster way of moving out of the current political impasse requires
discussions around our electoral conditions. We are prepared to support an
amendment the existing Lancaster Constitution in order to fashion out
conditions for a genuinely free and fair election that will give birth of a
legitimate government.

One crucial change would see the setting up of an Independent Electoral
Commission. SADC and the United Nations are willing to assist us put
together a new election management institution mandated to attend to all
election needs in an impartial and non-partisan manner.

A transparent election management system operating in an open environment in
which the public media plays a critical role in exposing various
alternatives to the people is an absolute necessity in our democracy.

As we congratulate President Mbeki and the South Africans for once again
expressing their democratic will, we implore upon the region to focus on
Zimbabwe with a view to harmonise SADC's political systems as an integral
part of a holistic and harmonised development agenda.

Morgan Tsvangirai

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20 April 2004
Mutare Mayor under seige

More that 2500 Zanu PF women and youths have beseiged theMayor of Mutare's offices at the Civic Centre in Mutare. The Zanu PF mob, who were ferried in Arda Chisumbanje, Arda Middle Sabi,Arda Banketand Zanu PF truckshave sealed off the offices since 8.00am this morning, and are carrying a coffin inscribed "MDC rest in peace" and "Kagurabadza rest in peace". They have been supplied with food from TNT food outlet, which belongs to Shadreck Beta,a Zanu PFCentral Committee member. Kagurabadza has made nine calls to the police, who have not responded.

Details can be obtained from the MDC Provincial information Officer, Pishai Muchauraya on 263 11 761 080.

MDC Informatin and Publicity Department

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Combined Harare Residents Association


20 April 2004

CHRA unreservedly condemns the dismissal of Executive Mayor Mudzuri on
Friday 16 April 2004. This latest move by the Mugabe regime should come as
no surprise to the residents of Harare; we are under no illusions regarding
the regime's lack of respect for democracy, especially at local government

Mayor Mudzuri was elected in March 2002 with the overwhelming support of
residents. He polled more than five times as many votes as the zanu-pf
candidate and was given a clear mandate to run Harare. This mandate has been
consistently undermined by the regime which refuses to acknowledge the
democratic will of the people of Harare. It is clear that from the start,
Minister Chombo has been determined to prevent a successful MDC-lead
administration of the city. The incessant interference coupled with
suspensions and dismissals of councillors is obvious evidence of this
strategy. The subversion of councillors and the imposition of a governor are
the latest tactics in this grand plan to restore zanu-pf control over the
city and regain access to its substantial resources.

While the Urban Councils Act certainly permits the Minister of Local
Government to act with almost unlimited power, he has abused its provisions
to assume a managerial role in the city. The Act must be amended to reflect
the rights of residents to insist on democratic, transparent and accountable
local government and CHRA is spearheading efforts towards this goal.

The regime has appointed two committees to investigate the Mayor and the
Council, yet has failed to make the reports public. If there was any
evidence contained therein to substantiate the allegations, surely the
regime would publicize this to support its position.

CHRA has already called for a boycott of Council rates and charges until the
2004 budget is revised. We had negotiated with Council to suspend further
increases but the interference of the regime has prevented the Council from
meeting to ratify the agreement. This latest move only serves to reinforce
our call upon Harare's residents to refuse funding the illegitimate regime's
clique that is now in control of Town Hall. Until such time as democracy is
restored to Town Hall, all responsible citizens of Harare should heed this

Be assured that Harare will survive this latest attack upon its
institutions. CHRA will continue to defend the interests of its residents
now and in the future.

Combined Harare Residents Association
11 Armagh Avenue Eastlea
P.O.Box HR 7870 Harare
Tel: 263-4-746019
Cell: +26311612860
E-mail: <> <>
Web: <>
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Zim hosts land reform talks
20/04/2004 20:21 - (SA)

Harare - President Robert Mugabe's ruling party in Zimbabwe plays host to a
conference this week of former liberation movements in southern Africa to
make the case for land reform, a senior party official said on Tuesday.

The three-day conference opening on Wednesday in Harare is meant to
"strengthen" the struggle against the remnants of colonialism, said Didymus
Mutasa, the secretary for external affairs for the Zanu-PF.

"There is a lot of criticism of our land reform programme and we want those
who are supporting us to understand why we are doing it," Mutasa said.

Invitations to the gathering described as "one of the first of its kind"
have been put out to former guerrilla movements from Angola, Mozambique,
Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.

Further abroad, Zanu-PF, which waged a seven-year war against British
colonial rule in the 1970s, has invited solidarity groups of blacks from
Britain, the United States and aboriginal groups from Australia.

"Naturally we want to strengthen ourselves and to say that the struggle
continues," said Mutasa of the gathering. He added that he did not know
specifically who would be attending.

Land reform the highlight

Zimbabwe's controversial land reforms is expected to be a highlight of the
forum, while good governance will be discussed among other issues.

Mutasa said the meeting will also shine a spotlight on the rights of
non-whites in Western countries.

"Is there any good governance in the so-called civilised world?" he said,
citing aboriginal groups in Australia, Maoris in New Zealand and natives in

The meeting of former liberation movements is the brainchild of Mugabe
himself, who in February slammed "the majority" of his counterparts in
Africa for succumbing to Western influence and turning against African
revolutionary causes.

In a bid to get African countries to continue to resist Western tendencies,
Mugabe promised to host a forum of former liberation movements this year to
sustain "the level of revolutionary zeal ... by interacting with them".
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Health Conditions in Prisons Worrisome - Parirenyatwa

The Herald (Harare)

April 20, 2004
Posted to the web April 20, 2004

Beatrice Tonhodzayi

THE Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr David Parirenyatwa, says there
is need to urgently improve health conditions in the country's prisons.

Dr Parirenyatwa said it was disturbing to note that a short stay in prison
can easily damage a person's health forever.

Lately, he said, it was becoming common that if one stayed in prison even
for a short stint, one would be exposed to HIV/Aids.

"It is a serious problem and one that needs to be addressed.

"The chances of an HIV negative person coming out of prison still negative
are slim and that disturbs me greatly," he said.

Dr Parirenyatwa was speaking at the inauguration of the Public Health
Advisory Committee in Harare recently.

He challenged the board to look into the issue seriously and advise him on
how best to tackle the problem.

Homosexual practices in the prisons, he said, were the main cause of the

"As a health advisory board, make it your responsibility to look into this
matter and do something about it because action is what matters most," Dr
Parirenyatwa said.

He also challenged the board to address the mental health issue, saying it
was a neglected area. Turning to health staff turnover, Dr Parirenyatwa said
there has been a disturbing trend of health personnel leaving the country
for greener pastures in the past few years.

Health professionals have staged numerous strikes over the years to press
for improved remuneration and conditions of service.

Dr Parirenyatwa said he was happy that there now was a Health Services
Commission, which catered specifically for the health sector.

This has made it possible for staff in the health sector to have their
packages and conditions reviewed separately from other civil servants.

"We had a problem in the past because if staff in our sector had their
remuneration reviewed, the whole civil service would be in an uproar. But
all that is now past and we can have our own changes in the sector," he
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England tour of Zimbabwe looking likely
Tue 20 April, 2004 19:55

By John Mehaffey

LONDON (Reuters) - England appear likely to tour Zimbabwe in October despite
reservations about the host country's government after a meeting at Lord's
with Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) chairman Peter Chingoka.

"It's fairly certain that England will have to honour the commitment so long
as it's safe and secure," England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman
David Morgan told the BBC.

Chingoka, who attended the brief meeting with ZCU member Ozias Bvute,
expressed optimism that the tour would take place.

"We had the opportunity to state our case very clearly to the ECB," Chingoka
told reporters. "We're hoping in a couple of weeks' time they'll come up
with a decision that's correct and that's a decision to tour as scheduled in
October and November.

While Chingoka argued Zimbabwe's case at cricket's world headquarters, a
seriously weakened Zimbabwe side minus most of their leading players were
making a gallant fight of the first one-day international against Sri Lanka.

Fifteen white players were not considered for the first of five one-day
matches after a two-week dispute that escalated when former captain Heath
Streak queried the composition of the selection panel.

Sri Lanka finally won the rain-affected match by 12 runs on the
Duckworth-Lewis system but not before Zimbabwe's 20-year-old captain Tatenda
Taibu had struck a gallant unbeaten 96.

"I was given a young side which I don't mind because the guys are willing to
work hard," said Taibu, the first black man to captain Zimbabwe.


Morgan's statement on Tuesday follows an uncompromising stance by the
International Cricket Council (ICC), which has threatened international
suspension and a $2 million fine for teams who refuse to tour unless there
are either legitimate safety or security concerns or they are asked not to
go by their governments.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair's official spokesman said last month the
government had serious concerns about President Robert Mugabe's
administration but made it clear that a final decision on whether to tour
lay with the British government.

England under former captain Nasser Hussain refused to play in Zimbabwe
during last year's World Cup because of security concerns and British
newspaper reports have suggested players may be allowed to make up their own
minds about whether they want to tour.

Chingoka said he hoped England would send a full-strength team.

"That is their prerogative," he said. "We will play against the best side
that is available from England."


In a statement released after the meeting, Chingoka said the ZCU remained
willing to talk to the rebels.

He said the board had agreed to restructure the national selection panel,
reducing it from six to four selectors and including two new members in
former national player Richie Kaschula and under-19 coach Walter Chawaguta.

Streak had been critical of the lack of cricketing experience of some
members of the panel.

The statement said the ZCU agreed to pay 100 percent of the costs associated
with running the Zimbabwe professional cricketers' association and 50
percent in subsequent years.

It also said the ZCU issued a "categorical denial" against what it described
as a "mischievous racist agenda" suggesting it was trying to drive white
players out of the game.

"We believe that we have run the extra mile and walked the extra yard to get
the best team playing in Zimbabwe," Chingoka told reporters. "Hopefully, all
the players will come back to work as soon as possible."

Chingoka and Bvute will meet ICC officials on Tuesday night and again on
Wednesday morning before returning home. So far the ICC has declined to
comment on the Zimbabwe issue although a spokesman said there could be a
statement on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka will play four more one-day internationals and two tests against
Zimbabwe while world champions Australia are also scheduled to tour this

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Sporting Life

Mihir Bose, a sports reporter with The Daily Telegraph, has been kicked out
of Zimbabwe.

Bose travelled to Bulawayo on Monday ahead of Tuesday's one-day
international between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka but within hours of arriving
was told to leave the country.

He had been intending to do a series of interviews with leading figures in
Zimbabwean cricket regarding the possible cancellation of England's tour to
the southern African country later this year.

Speaking from Bulawayo airport on Tuesday afternoon, Bose said: "An
immigration officer visited me last night at my hotel, took my passport away
and told me I had to leave the country. There was no heavyhandedness but I
was told I would be imprisoned if I failed to do so.

"I only arrived yesterday and had just got to the hotel. I was intending to
report on the wider implications of England's tour to Zimbabwean cricket."

Bose's expulsion comes as officials from the Zimbabwe Cricket Union
travelled to Lord's to plead with the England and Wales Cricket Board not to
scrap the tour.
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'Stop Zim legal system abuse'
20/04/2004 15:57 - (SA)

London - A senior British lawyer on Tuesday called for pressure on President
Robert Mugabe to stop abusing Zimbabwe's legal system to retain his hold on
power, including his practice of granting land to senior judges.

Stephen Irwin QC, chairperson of the Bar Council of England and Wales, said
South Africa and other regional governments should try to persuade Mugabe to
stop abusing Zimbabwe's legal system ahead of parliamentary elections in May

Irwin, who has just spent three days touring Zimbabwe with lawyers from
Scotland, Ireland, Australia and South Africa, said the country's legal
system was increasingly "severely compromised" and without radical changes,
the election results would not be representative.

"What is happening here is the destruction of a once-fine working justice
system," Irwin told a London news conference.

"Land is part of the story, but the issue is justice. I am sorry if I sound
over trenchant, but you know what it is like; if you read about something it
is different from going there and smelling the fear."

Irwin noted that a significant number of Zimbabwe's senior judges had been
granted farms under a resettlement scheme. The grants were made at the will
of the government and the farms could be taken back at any time without
compensation, he said in the report.

"I cannot think that it can be right or that any judiciary can have the
necessary independence in looking at such issues if they are both
beneficiaries and judges over something as complex and difficult as the land
resettlement scheme."

Irwin also noted that 36 petitions were presented challenging the validity
of parliamentary elections soon after national elections in 2000. But none
had reached a conclusion yet.

He said court orders had been ignored or disobeyed by the government and
others sympathetic to the government on many occasions when there had been
no legal challenge to their validity. In addition, some judges and
magistrates had been attacked in their courtrooms.
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The Zimbabwe Crisis

Non-white trio 'played under duress'

Wisden Cricinfo staff

April 20, 2004

Nothing is straightforward where Zimbabwean cricket is concerned these
days. Less than 24 hours after three of the current new-look Zimbabwe side
issued a public denial of weekend reports that they were planning on joining
the banned rebels, a local journalist has claimed that the three only did so
under duress.

On Sunday, several media outlets carried articles suggesting that Dion
Ebrahim, Douglas Hondo and Mluleki Nkala were all on the verge of
withdrawing from the Zimbabwe squad.

On Monday, the Zimbabwe Cricket Union issued a statement on behalf of
the three, which concluded: "We the undersigned have no intention of
boycotting or pulling out of the squad. We are proud to be selected and will
fulfil our commitment to Zimbabwe cricket."

But the local pressman, who does not wish to be named, overheard a
heated exchange in the team's hotel on Monday which left him "convinced that
[the players] were forced to make the statement".

He apparently witnessed Stephen Mangongo, Zimbabwe's new convenor of
selectors, shouting at Hondo. "You are being stupid," he yelled. "How can
you side with those white racists?"

Mangongo, a known pro-Mugabe hardliner, is a key official at
Takashinga, a club closely linked with the drive for more black players in
the Zimbabwe game. An administrator of Asian descent met him last week, and
the conversation is quoted in today's Guardian. "When this whole Streak
issue came up, Stephen looked at me and demanded, 'Are you with the whites
or the blacks? You guys must decide'."

There is also confusion surrounding the relationship between Dion and
Maqsood Ebrahim. The ZCU statement claimed it was "untrue and false" that
the two were related. But that doesn't tally with what Dion Ebrahim has said
in the past. "I once spoke to Dion Ebrahim and he told me that he is related
to Maqsood Ebrahim," said a local source. "He said Maqsood is his uncle, and
now I am shocked that he is denying it."

The demoralising effect events are having on Zimbabwe's cricketers was
highlighted by comments from one of their up-and-coming players (who again,
for obvious reasons, didn't want to be named).

"It's so sad it has come to this," he said. "I remember when I was 12
or 13, watching a Test match from the nets at the Harare Sports Club and
looking at the players on the field, wishing ... hoping that one day I would
have the honour of playing for my country and wearing the prized baggy
green. My Test cap sits at home now: whether I will have the pleasure of
donning it once again is uncertain.

"Why can't I just play cricket and fulfil a lifelong dream of one day
walking off the field for the last time while the sun goes down at the
Sports Club, take my cap off and leave because it's my time ... Sit in the
changing-room and say farewell to all my friends who too have fought for the
honour to wear and fight under the baggy green. What a nightmare this is for
all of us."

Wisden Cricinfo Ltd

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The Star

ICC must resolve Zimbabwe row - SA players
April 20, 2004

Bulawayo - South Africa's cricketers have urged the International
Cricket Council to step in to end a racially-charged row in neighbouring
Zimbabwe as Sri Lanka prepared to meet a second-string team.

Long-running wrangling over racial quotas in the white-dominated sport
have spilled over in the last fortnight with 13 leading white players
refusing to play, forcing the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) to select a squad
of inexperienced players to face Sri Lanka in today's first one-day match.

"It is clear the situation cannot be resolved internally in the
current environment," said Tony Irish, chief executive of the South African
Cricketers' Association.

"Every player association around the world believes firmly in
resolving its own issues wherever possible, unless there are extreme
circumstances which have international implications, and these are both
extreme and international."

Sri Lankan captain Marvan Atapattu steered away from the controversy
ahead of the first one-day international today.

"We will approach this series just as we approach all the others,"
said Atapattu. "It's not for us to say who Zimbabwe should pick in their

"We are here to represent our own country and we will play as hard as
we always do."

But Australia captain Ricky Ponting said he hoped to meet a
full-strength side when he leads his team to Zimbabwe straight after the Sri
Lanka series.

"It would be disappointing for the player group to go there and play a
second or third-string side," Ponting said. - Reuters

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The Telegraph

Zimbabwe to be grilled on boycott
By Simon Briggs
(Filed: 20/04/2004)

Three delegates from the Zimbabwean Cricket Union will be questioned in
London today over their role in the dispute that has led to 15 leading white
players refusing to play for Zimbabwe in protest at the country's selection

On a day of gruelling meetings, the most important for the ZCU party will be
the last: a dinner with Ehsan Mani and Malcolm Speed, president and chief
executive of the International Cricket Council, at which Zimbabwe's
selection of a second team for today's one-day international against Sri
Lanka in Bulawayo is sure to be probed.

The delegates - ZCU chairman Peter Chingoka, legal expert Alwyn Pichanick
and controversial board member Ozias Bvute - are in town to address a
management board meeting of the England and Wales Cricket Board, who will be
delighted that their decision over whether to tour Zimbabwe in October has
been temporarily pushed into the background.

Zimbabwe's problems began when former captain Heath Streak was dismissed for
demanding changes to the selection panel. As a result, 15 white
professionals effectively went on strike and of the team for today's game,
10 will be black or of mixed race. The disaffected players appear ready to
turn their backs on their careers in support of Streak, and in defiance of
their own lawyer's advice.

The 15 have been given until May 7 by the ZCU to change their minds, report
for practice, and make themselves available.

Today's meeting at Lord's was expected to be a crunch moment for the ECB,
but the crucial vote on the tour of Zimbabwe has been delayed, mainly to
prevent the board's bosses from having to commit themselves before they meet
Home Secretary Jack Straw and Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Tessa
Jowell for a final discussion of the issues early next month.

After an informal meeting with ECB chairman David Morgan last night, the ZCU
delegation will face three separate inquisitions today, starting with a
meeting with Richard Bevan, joint chief executive of the Federation of
International Cricketers' Associations.

Bevan, who should be known to the ZCU for his bullish role during last
year's acrimonious World Cup dispute, will call for neutral mediation
between the board and the rebels. While the FICA may not have the highest of
profiles, they have real influence among Australia's players, and could give
the ZCU a headache if they refuse to support their scheduled tour of
Zimbabwe next month.

The ECB meeting is likely to be the most straightforward of the three, if
only because Morgan and Co have no reason to press for the sudden
reconciliation of all parties in the Zimbabwean dispute. "I'm sure those
questions will arise," Morgan said. "And we're bound to hear their side of
that particular story, but essentially that is the domain of the ICC."

Asked about the prospects for England's tour, Morgan said the situation was
changing all the time.

The ECB meeting will not just be devoted to Zimbabwe: other issues will
include an early report from the Domestic Structure Reform Group, who are in
favour of merging the National League and County Championship, and a debate
on limiting the number of overseas players.

Tatenda Taibu will, at 20, become the youngest captain in one-day
international cricket when he leads out Zimbabwe today for a game at which
there is talk of a possible crowd demonstration in support of former captain
Heath Streak, whose ranch, farm and safari operation are close to Bulawayo.
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