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

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Volunteer doctors and nurses provide health care
HARARE, 27 Apr 2004 (IRIN) - A number of initiatives aimed at extending
medical services to the rural poor have been launched by enterprising
doctors in Zimbabwe.

Many Zimbabweans are finding it harder to pay for medical treatment as
inflation of around 600 percent translates into soaring fees for private
doctors and shortages of medicines in public hospitals. Private hospitals,
doctors and dentists increased their fees by between 50 percent and 100
percent at the beginning of April, hard on the heels of a similar price hike
three months ago.

General consultation fees have leaped to almost Zim $70,000 (about US
$13.80), with specialist doctors demanding Zim $150,000 (US $29.70). Deposit
fees at private hospitals, which offer better services than poorly resourced
state hospitals, now range from Zim $220,000 (US $43.50) to Zim $1.6 million
(US $317).

Recognising the gap in health care provision for the rural poor, a group of
doctors started the Community Medical Outreach Service Trust (CMOST), in
which doctors and nurses volunteer their services, time and expertise free
of charge. The organisation extends health care services to the unemployed
and low-income groups in rural areas.

"As medical practitioners, we are cognisant of the fact that there are
thousands of underprivileged people who cannot access medical services. The
plight is particularly marked in remote rural areas," said CMOST chairman Dr
Edwin Muguti.

Since its inception in October last year, CMOST has conducted general
consultations for more than a thousand ill people in Masvingo, Mashonaland
Central and Matabeleland provinces, Chitungwiza town and Harare.

The organisation has 80 medical doctors, drawn mostly from the capital,
Harare, who are assisted by a group of nurses. The doctors include ear, nose
and throat specialists, gynaecologists, urologists and paediatricians.

"Specialist doctors tend to be concentrated in the big urban centres. They
shun rural areas because they are afraid that their surgeries might
collapse, since the general rural population lacks the capacity to pay for
medical services. In addition, rural hospitals are mostly understaffed and
are inaccessible to many," Muguti added.

"We therefore decided to offer these marginalised people, who could
otherwise die due to conditions that require simple attention, free and
voluntary medical help. Busy as we are, we have resolved to spare one day
every month to do an outreach programme in which we visit [rural] areas and
attend to the sick," Muguti explained.

CMOST has also assisted 73 patients requiring specialist attention. Local
communities help to identify people needing CMOST's services, and voluntary
community health workers gather the patients at specified points for
treatment by the CMOST team.

"We try as much as possible to be comprehensive and versatile. We also try
to touch base with pharmacists and drug manufacturers so that, after we have
attended to our patients, they are guaranteed of [receiving] the prescribed
drugs," Muguti said.

One of the main obstacles to the CMOST outreach programme is a scarcity of
resources. "Reaching out to needy communities is a costly exercise that
requires a lot of funding. Money is needed for transport, fuel and members'
food. In addition, the patients camp at designated points well in advance of
our arrival and they should be provided with food," Muguti explained.

The Zimbabwe Medical Association (ZIMA), to which most Zimbabwean doctors
are affiliated, runs a similar project aimed at benefiting low-income
groups. Their initiative started early this year and has so far helped about
900 people in Masvingo, Mashonaland Central and the country's second city of

"Our programme was born out of the philosophy that we should not wait for
outsiders to help out the needy people in this country," said ZIMA president
Dr Paul Chimedza.

He told IRIN that his organisation was currently negotiating with one of the
country's largest referral hospitals for the donation of an unused operating
theatre, while the army has provided manpower and tents for visiting teams
and the patients seeking medical attention.

Chimedza said his organisation had approached the corporate world for help
in cash or kind, but the "response so far was not good enough". He bemoaned
the lack of infrastructure on newly resettled farms, adding that most
general hospitals were also inadequately furnished.

"Even though we focus on rural communities, we also try as much as possible
to help the poor in urban areas by identifying poverty-stricken suburbs," he

Eyes for Africa is yet another voluntary organisation assisting those unable
to afford or access health care. They conduct outreach programmes every last
weekend of the month, devoting three days to an area.

"We have been offering free eye services for a number of years, but of late
we have witnessed a growing number of people coming to us for help as the
economic situation declines and medical costs rise dramatically," said Eyes
for Africa chairman Dr Solomon Guramatunhu.

The ZIMA chairman also told IRIN that the organisation intended to inform
policy on medical aid provision by identifying gaps during their visits, and
advising the government and other stakeholders accordingly.

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Mugabe gets standing ovation at SA democracy party

April 27, 2004, 14:06

Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwe president, received a standing ovation as he
arrived for today's inauguration of President Thabo Mbeki; a party also
marking 10 years of post-apartheid democracy.

South African and foreign dignitaries rose to their feet at Pretoria's Union
Buildings as the Zimbabwean leader arrived for the inauguration ceremony,
accompanied by his wife Grace.

Thousands of party-goers attending a public concert on lawns below the
buildings whooped and cheered as huge television screens showed Mugabe's

"He is a hero as far as the African struggle is concerned. He has done so
much to liberate the African people. We know the problems that are going on
in Zimbabwe, but they will bounce back," said Ludwe Solwandle, a 27-year-old

Mugabe was among African heads of state invited for today's inauguration,
which coincided with celebrations of South Africa's historic all-race
elections in 1994 that ended centuries of white rule in the country.

Other guests included the presidents of Nigeria and the Democratic Republic
of Congo as well the two men who guided South Africa's transformation in
1994 - F W de Klerk, the country's last white president and anti-apartheid
icon Nelson Mandela, its first black one.

Mugabe, accused of political repression at home following his re-election in
2002 polls described as rigged by domestic opponents and some Western
countries, has been at the centre of a media controversy since arriving in
South Africa on Sunday.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the South African foreign minister, confirmed that
at least one South African hotel had refused to host the controversial
Zimbabwean leader, although she said he did not want to stay there anyway.

"It seemed to us that the feeling was mutual," Dlamini-Zuma said today.

Simon Moyo, Zimbabwe's ambassador to South Africa, accused the South African
press of spreading "distortions and falsehoods" about the visit, and said
today Mugabe's rapturous welcome in Pretoria showed most South Africans
backed him.

"We take pride in the great cheer the people gave President Mugabe, who
clearly is welcome here despite attempts by some people to demonise him,"
Moyo said. - Reuters
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'Mercenaries' seek release
27/04/2004 20:38 - (SA)

Harare - Defence lawyers on Tuesday asked a court in Zimbabwe to release 70
suspected mercenaries charged with plotting a coup in Equatorial Guinea and
produced a witness who said they were hired to guard a mine in the
Democratic Republic of Congo.

The 70 men, mainly from Angola, Namibia and South Africa, were arrested at
Harare International Airport on March 7, allegedly en route to oil-rich
Equatorial Guinea to topple the government.

"The overwhelming majority of the accused were merely passengers in
transit," defence lawyer Francois Joubert told the court.

Called as a defence witness, Samuel Kaunda, a former South African soldier
who has been working as a private security guard, told the court that he and
the 70 detainees were hired by a private security firm to guard a mine in

Kaunda said the men were hired on March 3 by a company called Military
Tactics Suppliers and offered a monthly salary of $6 000.

When asked by Joubert if the men had any business in Zimbabwe, Kaunda said:
"Nothing, no. We were all ready to go to the DRC mine."
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Zimbabwean Cartoonist Receives 'Courage in Editorial Cartooning' Award

International Freedom of Expression Exchange Clearing House (Toronto)

April 26, 2004
Posted to the web April 27, 2004


It is announced by the Cartoonists Rights Network International of Burke,
Virginia that they have given their annual award for "Courage in Editorial
Cartooning" to a Zimbabwean cartoonist, Mr. Tony Namate.

During 2003 and well into 2004, Mr. Namate has been under constant threat of
physical harm and arrest by the repressive regime of Robert Mugabe in
Harare, Zimbabwe. After publicly refusing to comply with what he felt was an
illegal new law requiring all journalists to register with the government,
Namate was subjected to televised threats by various Ministry officials,
calling him disloyal and accusing him of working to undermine the
government. These accusations have become code words that signal imminent

Journalists in Zimbabwe have been beaten, arrested and otherwise abused
during recent political upheavals.

Namate had gone on public record that to register with the government was
tantamount to the Nazis in Germany during World War II requiring Jews to
wear Star of David arm bands. The offices of his paper, The Daily News, were
bombed and many of its investigative and editorial reporters were arrested

Mr. Tony Namate has received this award, given each year to an editorial or
social cartoonist who demonstrates exceptional courage in the face of
overwhelming power that seeks to keep them silent. Namate has consistently
refused to be intimidated and continues to draw powerful and cutting edge
cartoons about the Mugabe regime, and life for the common man under its
harsh policies.

CRN is the world's only human rights and freedom of expression organization
dedicated exclusively to the protection and monitoring of editorial and
social cartoonists who find themselves in trouble because of the power and
influence of their cartoons.

CRN has affiliate organizations and country representatives all over the

From their Eastern European Regional Office in Romania, CRN sponsors an
annual cartoon competition called "Freedom in Journalism", now in its third

Tony Namate will be attending the annual convention of the Association of
American Editorial Cartoonists in Lexington, Kentucky from April 22 to 25,

He will be receiving his award at a special dinner given to honor him.

CRN President, Mr. Kevin Kallaugher, cartoonist for the Baltimore Sun and
The Economist magazine, will hand out the award.

Web copies of Namate's cartoons are available by contacting CRN.
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Airzim Workers Go On Strike

The Herald (Harare)

April 27, 2004
Posted to the web April 27, 2004


AIR Zimbabwe employees yesterday went on strike demanding a 120 percent
salary increase.

The workers gathered at the airline's offices at Harare International
Airport, where they were seeking to be addressed by their chief executive,
Mr Rambai Chingwena.

The workers, however, dispersed after they failed to get an audience with
the chief executive.

The employees had been expecting the salary increase to be effected this

Mr Chingwena said management was still looking at the feasibility of
effecting the increase.

"The matter is still under consideration because we are still looking at
whether we can raise the money that is required," he said.

On the failed attempt by the workers to seek an audience with him, Mr
Chingwena said proper channels had to be followed if the workers wanted to
be addressed.

"As management, we took a deliberate policy on addressing workers. We do not
just address workers unless things are done properly," he said.
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Making the Law Less of an Ass

Wilson Johwa

BULAWAYO, Apr 27 (IPS) - As thousands of Zimbabwean women have discovered,
the law is a blunt instrument when it comes to domestic disputes that
threaten health and well-being.

A distress call from a squabbling family has no guarantee of eliciting a
reaction from the police, who can do nothing unless there are indications of
physical violence. Bookings normally result when assault has been committed.

Now, a new law has been proposed to broaden the scope of activities that
abusive family members can be called to account for. The draft 'Prevention
of Domestic Violence Bill' is expected to come under discussion during the
current session of parliament, and may become law before the end of the

The bill does not only define domestic violence in terms of physical or
sexual injury; it also takes intimidation, harassment and stalking into
account, as well as the abuse that can result from traditional practices
that degrade women. These include virginity testing, female genital
mutilation and forced marriages.

Additionally, the bill outlaws 'economic abuse', such as denying someone the
right to find employment, and the unreasonable disposal of household effects
or other property in which the complainant has an interest. It also forbids
actions to deprive a family member of economic resources which that person
needs, like funds to cover medical expenses and school fees.

Teresa Mugadza, a consultant with the Musasa Project which shelters and
counsels abused women (and which has been one of the driving forces in
efforts to reduce domestic violence), says a study conducted by the project
in 2000 showed this abuse was one of the leading causes of death for
Zimbabwean women in the 15-40 age bracket. This is the most recent study of
its kind conducted by the shelter.

The 2000 findings backed up research done by Musasa in 1996, which showed
that one in four women had at some point been physically abused. A similar
number had been forced to have sex with their partners, while one in six was
prevented from getting a job or going to work.

"The effects of domestic violence can be quite devastating, particularly in
these days of HIV/AIDS," Mugadza told IPS in an interview from Zimbabwe's
capital, Harare, adding: "An increasing number of women incarcerated for
murder or culpable homicide of their partners have a history of having
suffered domestic violence."

The fact that legislation addressing these matters is being debated has been
welcomed. Nonetheless, some activists are still frustrated by the fact that
it has taken so long to address domestic violence constructively.

Lawyer Nomsa Ncube, who was involved in the campaign against abuse at its
inception in the 1990s, thinks the process has dragged on because "maybe it
was not a priority".

Although it is pervasive, domestic violence remains something that many
would rather not discuss. "Most people want to pretend it doesn't exist,"
Ncube said, during an interview in the southern town of Bulawayo.

Mugadza believes the problem stems from the fact that police and social
workers often lack the skills to deal with the peculiar mix of personal,
emotional and economic factors that come into play with domestic abuse.

"Domestic violence is complex in that it occurs within intimate
relationships, and police officers, the courts, communities, churches and
hospitals have often failed to deal with it appropriately for lack of a
framework on how to deal with it."

The fact that Zimbabwe is male-dominated society has also led to a situation
where violence against women is not really perceived as a crime, adds

The proposed bill allows police to arrest someone who is about to commit an
act of domestic violence. It also compels the authorities to obtain shelter
for the complainant - or advise them on where this can be found - and it
provides for protection orders and domestic violence counselors.

Penalties for committing an act of domestic violence have been set at a fine
or five years imprisonment, or both.

"We would have wanted more deterrent sentences, but these should do," says

But, whether tighter legislation will provide for a more harmonious family
life in Zimbabwe remains to be seen. Social worker Sheba Dube says due to
growing poverty in the country, "women are more disempowered than before".

Gia Christophides who heads Childline Zimbabwe, a child protection agency,
feels that the proposed legislation will not serve much purpose unless it
closes the loophole created when a perpetrator is given bail.

"We have brought many cases to court only to be frustrated when the alleged
perpetrator gets bail and heads straight home to continue abusing a child,"
Christophides told IPS from Harare. "The cases get dropped because the child
has been intimidated."

The new bill marks an attempt by the Zimbabwean government to meet its
international commitments for ending violence against women, as set out by
the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) - which was ratified by Harare more
than a decade ago.

Almost 180 states have signed up to CEDAW, which was adopted by the UN
General Assembly in 1979 - and which highlights the need for legal reforms
to ensure that men and women receive equal treatment under the law.
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Saraki's Agrarian Revolution in Kwara

Vanguard (Lagos)

April 26, 2004
Posted to the web April 27, 2004

Dayo Omotoso

The Executive Governor of Kwara State, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki is poised
to create an agrarian revolution in the state. He is convinced that once
hunger is adequately addressed, a people's poverty level becomes negligible
and infinitesimal. In order to make Kwara State self-sufficient in food
production and transform it into a leading food basket of the nation, the
charismatic administrator has set machinery in motion for the people to go
back to the land and make use of the abundant, but untapped resources which
nature has endowed the state with.

In July last year, barely three months after he assumed office, Governor
Bukola Saraki took a bold and pragmatic step by launching the Back-to-Farm
agricultural scheme.

The aim of the scheme is to encourage Kwara State farmers by providing
incentives for profitable farming. And the objective is to provide food
security, gainful employment for the youth; reduce poverty by empowering the
people, and encourage small and medium scale agro-allied industries. The
impact of the novel scheme has been instant and far-reaching.

For instance, in the last nine months, Kwara State farmers had planted
maize, cassava, soya-beans and rice on 704 hectares of land in 54 farms
spread across the three senatorial districts of the state to boost the
Back-to-Farm programme. Buoyed by the massive enthusiasm and support
generated by the programme, Governor Saraki has made 4,000 hectares of farm
land his target this year. He has promised that rice cultivation will
receive priority attention through construction of earth dams for irrigation
and all-year-round farming.

Last year, the government bought 22 new farming tractors and refurbished six
old ones. The government also took delivery of 12 new tractors with support
from the federal government with the intention of adding to the fleet when
the need arises.

Governor Saraki has assured the farmers that their efforts at making Kwara
State numero uno in food production will not go unrewarded as government
will act as buyer of last resort. The government will buy off every grain of
rice or maize and every tuber of cassava that is produced.

The government has also established a Farmer Experimentation Group of about
900 farmers through the Kwara State Chapter of the Council of Nigerian
Farmers. The farmers are now working in 46 locations of 20 hectares each
across the state, planting maize, rice and cassava.

Governor Saraki's government paid the farmers to clear the land themselves.
The government also bought all the input, including seedlings, chemicals and
fertilizers which were sold to the farmers on credit at subsidized rates.
The farmers also enjoy technical backup by an extension worker from the
Agricultural Development Programme at each farm location. In order to
demonstrate his commitment, Governor Saraki is personally supervising the
Back-to- Farm project.

One major project very dear to the heart of the governor is how Kwara State
will benefit from the current bilateral negotiations going on between the
federal government and some white farmers and agricultural experts from
Zimbabwe. The large scale farmers are leaving the Southern African
sub-region to seek investment and farming opportunities elsewhere and some
of them who visited the country recently, have identified Nigeria as a
favourable place for investment in large scale integrated farming.

In January this year, the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Rural
Development, Mallam Adamu Bello, on the directives of President Olusegun
Obasanjo, held a meeting with some selected State Governors, the National
Security Adviser and the Presidential Economic Adviser to discuss the
opportunities provided by the coming of commercial farmers in Southern
Africa to Nigeria. The Governors who attended the meeting were Boni Haruna
of Adamawa State, George Akume of Benue State, Donald Duke of Cross River
State, and Sam Egwu of Ebonyi State. Others included Mohammed Markarfi of
Kaduna State, Abubakar Bukola Saraki of Kwara State, Abdulahi Adamu of
Nassarawa State and Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State.

The Agric. Minister had emphasized the fact that "the agricultural
relationship between Nigeria and South Africa has been cordial and it had
culminated in the signing of Agricultural Corporation Agreement between the
two countries in the year 2001".

Mallam Bello stressed that "farming in South Africa is highly mechanized and
project oriented with effective cooperative system ". He argued that the
coming of the white farmers would be highly beneficial to Nigeria.

Governor Bukola Saraki who spoke to the press after the meeting expressed
his administration"s readiness to work with the white Zimbabwean farmers in
order to transform peasant farming. He said Kwara State has vast hectares of
arable land largely underutilized.

Dr Saraki declared that "the future of Nigeria"s economic emancipation lies
not in the oil sector but in the expansive agricultural sector". Speaking
with conviction and conviviality, Saraki disclosed that he wanted to show
that farming can be profitable. His words: "We want to show that farming can
be profitable. We want to show all our youths currently wandering around the
cities that they can be gainfully employed through farming. We want to show
that we can feed this country. We want to show that we can use agriculture
to lay the foundation for the industrialization of our state."

The white farmers who were recently in Nigeria paid a visit to Kwara State
and also had an audience with President Obasanjo at the Aso Rock villa in
Abuja. While in Kwara State, the chatty and breezy white farmers enjoyed the
warm hospitality of Governor Saraki"s government.

They visited the Duku-Lade Irrigation Scheme; the Nigerian Sugar Company
Limited, Bacita; the Stored Products Research Institute, Ilorin and the
International Tobacco Company, Ilorin . The white farmers" visit to the four
agricultural establishments was an eye-opener to the pitiable condition of
these neglected institutions and the vast agricultural potentials of Kwara

At the Nigerian sugar Company Limited, the sole Administrator, Engineer S.A.
Adeniyi, told the visiting investors that the problems facing the
organization are surmountable, as the company offers very bright future
prospects as the leader and reference point of Nigeria"s sugar industry.

Adeniyi disclosed that NISUCO possessed suitable and fertile land for sugar
cultivation and room for expansion. The plant capacity, at full development,
will be about 60,000 tornes of sugar per annum. In addition, the company has
one of the best workshops and foundary in the country.

At the Nigerian stored products Research Institute, Ilorin, the white farmer
saw local and imported post harvest handling, preservation, processing and
storage on display.

Over the years, Nigerian farmers had lost several million metric tonnes of
agricultural products to poor harvest handling, poor preservation method, or
lack of it, and shoddy storage arrangements. The intervention of the white
farmers could bring in the much desired transformation and relief to local

The areas which may be considered for possible investment by the white
farmers include the following: Livestock sub-sector, namely dairy production
and processing, beef production and processing, veterinary drugs and
vaccines production, animal feed production, day-old clicks production,
poultry eggs processing for mayo maize and ice cream production, ostrich
farming and quail farming.

In the crop sub-sector, the visiting white farmers could invest in rice
production, maize production, root crops processing like turning cassava
into chips, pellets, starch, flour and livestock feeds, etc; oil seeds
(soyabeans, ground-nut and sunflower) into vegetable oils, soap and other
products; fruits and vegetables packaging, merchandising and export of
mango, banana, plantain, guava, cashew, pineapple, fruit juice and wine
production from mango, orange, grapes, lemon, lime etc.

The country could also benefit from the expertise and financial backing of
the farmers in the area of industrial fishing like tuna fishing and canning;
aquaculture development, namely fish farm establishment and development,
fingerling production (hatcheries), fish feed production, shrimp culture,
cage culture, homestead fish farms, backyard Fadama, land fish ponds, pen
cultures, ornamental fish production and aquaculture construction and
installation. The nation could equally benefit from investment in commercial

There are reports in the press that some Senators are opposed to the federal
government"s invitation to the white farmer. The lawmakers, led by Senator
Bode Olowoporoku, are said to be entertaining fears that the presence of the
white farmers in Nigeria could ignite racial conflict or land dispossession.

The agriculture minister, Mallam Bello, has dismissed such fears as
unfounded as the white farmers are experts and investors and not land
grabbers. He counseled that what the farmers are bringing to Nigeria is
investment and integrated farming. This write shares the minister"s views
and believes that President Obasanjo should be commended for welcoming the
Zimbabwean farmers to Nigeria. The move should not generate any bad blood in
the Senate or between the president and the lawmakers.

If Nigeria is enjoying the benefits of foreign expertise and investment in
some key areas of the economy like petroleum, telecommunications, power and
steel, education and the hotel industry, why should agriculture be an
exemption? We need the expertise and investment of the white farmers in our
country for positive development and quick transformation of our current
primitive farming method. It is a laudable project that deserves the support
of every patriotic Nigerian.
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The Barbados Advocate

Why trade with these countries?
Web Posted - Tue Apr 27 2004
Cuba, China, Haiti, Zimbabwe? Why is Barbados trading with these countries?
They kill and imprison citizens and journalists who don't agree with them.
If you want schoolchildren to learn Spanish, why no cultural and business
trade with Venezuela, only 50 air-minutes away? Why Cuba? A nation of slaves
whose elite are the only ones allowed to leave with no free election in 50
years. Why China? No free elections. A nation which puts its dissidents in
slave factories.

Why Zimbabwe? A nation which kills farmers to give land to Mugabe's cronies
instead of using the international rule of law to overcome past political

Mr. Prime Minister, I have been coming here for decades and to outsiders it
appears you are saying you want a free society but your actions speak loudly
otherwise. You are not assuring potential investors by this course of

Editors, you have printed dozens of letters on cricket but none on the
latest effort to trade with Zimbabwe. I hope your editors will raise my
concerns in case some day you find yourself not free to do so.

David Thornton
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Brandes opposes Zim tour

Former Zimbabwe bowler Eddo Brandes believes there is no point
Australia touring the African nation next month.
As well as the moral implications of the tour, there is also the
question of whether Australia playing a weakened Zimbabwe devalues cricket.

"If I was an Australian player I would not want to be playing
sub-standard opposition and I'd want to have the trip postponed," said

"If it can't be sorted out, it's the history of the game being

Brandes, who is now coaching on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, settled
in Australia with his family partly because of the troubles in Zimbabwe
under Robert Mugabe's regime.

Australia leg-spinner Stuart MacGill has decided not to make himself
available to tour on moral grounds, and there have been reports that other
players could follow suit.

The player withdrawals to hit the Zimbabwe team due to the row over
selection policy and board politics have put further doubts over the tour.

Zimbabwe were bowled out for a world record low score of 35 in the
third one-day match against Sri Lanka on Sunday.

Australian Cricketers Association chief executive Tim May said:
"There's no doubt about it, it devalues international cricket.

"We won't be surprised at what may happen with a substandard side."

Former Zimbabwe coach and Australia fast bowler Carl Rackemann,
however, said the tour would give Zimbabwe cricket a welcome boost at a
troubled time.

"International tours are vitally important for Zimbabwe, obviously to
fund the game through TV rights, but also for the juniors and the
badly-needed development of the game for the sake of the kids," said

"It's disappointing to see there's players out and they're having
those difficulties, so obviously I'm hoping to read some good news."
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Rebel Zimbabweans divided

Telford Vice
Tuesday April 27, 2004
The Guardian

Heath Streak: divisions among Zimbabwe rebels?

The players who have rebelled against the Zimbabwe Cricket Union were
divided last night over the schism within the game in their country. The 15
rebels have refused to play for Zimbabwe until grievances including the
composition of the selection panel have been addressed.
Yesterday the ZCU said the sides had reached agreement on a mediator, the
respected arbitrator Much Masunda, and a mediation process. The players, led
by the former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak, disputed those claims because
they have yet to make decisions among themselves on those issues.

"The most recent discussions with Streak have indicated that there is every
hope of a speedy and amicable resolution and an assurance has been received
from Streak that the players are anxious to come back into the fold as soon
as possible, as is the desire of the ZCU," said a media release from the

"That's rubbish," one player said. "It does irritate us that Heath keeps
talking about Much Masunda and keeps talking about mediation, but in his
communication to us we're not sure what's happening."

Another player said: "If Heath Streak goes on his own he is going to be out
on a limb. He is saying things and making decisions which you could say are
going against us." However, he was adamant that the players still stood
together. "There's no division - none of us are going to go back unless
things are sorted out. What if a few of us go back and they start wielding
the axe because we dug up some dirt on people in positions of power?"

The player said they harboured no ill feelings against the lambs the ZCU had
lined up for slaughter by Sri Lanka in their absence. "I felt so bad
yesterday," he said with reference to the world-record low score of 35 the
weakened Zimbabwe side scored in the third one-day international. "I really
feel sorry for the guys who are playing now. We have no grievances against
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The Telegraph

Desperate Zimbabwe try a deal
By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
(Filed: 27/04/2004)

Near terminal upheavals in Zimbabwe cricket are not over yet, despite an
optimistic statement issued by the Zimbabwe Cricket Union late yesterday
pledging independent mediation if 15 white players make themselves available
immediately for selection.

The ZCU said in a statement that they had informed Heath Streak, the deposed
captain, of the proposal and that if the players responded positively an
independent mediator would intervene to thrash out their grievances by later

This is a climbdown by the ZCU and a tacit admission that the rot in
Zimbabwe cricket has gone far beyond any quick fix. It is an admittance that
fundamental issues such as selection and the behaviour of some ZCU board
members has to be addressed or the game is more or less over so far as
Zimbabwe as a Test cricketing nation goes. On Sunday in their match with Sri
Lanka, the team were dismissed for 35, the lowest score on record in a
one-day international.

Streak, taking a break in a holiday resort with his family, said yesterday:
"This is a proposal given to me, as an individual, and I still have to meet
with the players in Harare and pass this on as I have understood it. It is
then up to them to think it over and make a decision.

"There is so much distrust of the ZCU that their promises will not be
believed by any of the players."

Streak said the question of his captaincy was not an issue and he would tell
players, as he had in the recent past, that if their grievances were sorted
out he would be prepared to play under the new captain, Tatenda Taibu.

"Maybe some of them will not want to play unless I am the captain," Streak
said, "but that is not the issue. The issue is the grievances. When those
issues are sorted out, then the rest will fall into place."

A mediator, Much Musunda, a prominent and well-liked businessman, has been
agreed by Streak and the ZCU and he will put his name forward to the
dissident players, who will then have to decide whether or not to accept

Streak said: "They are looking for a neutral person. I will recommend Mr
Musunda but it is up to them. There is not going to be an immediate solution
here. It may take some time."

Meanwhile, the Australian government should consider paying a fine to allow
the country's cricket team to withdraw from their tour of Zimbabwe, a senior
member of prime minister John Howard's Liberal party said yesterday. Bronwyn
Bishop, a former cabinet minister, said she had problems with the Australian
team touring Zimbabwe. She said she backed player Stuart MacGill's decision
to make himself unavailable.

She said the government should pay up to 1.1 million to the International
Cricket Council to enable Australia to withdraw and allow players a
conscience vote on the issue.
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Gulf Daily News

Democrats in disguise

By Eddie Cross in Bulawayo

We've just turned 24 - I can still recall sitting in the stands at
Rufaro Stadium in Harare on Independence night 24 years ago. I was in an
excellent position as I had been a small cog in the process of the
transition from the previous government to the new one led that night by
Robert Gabriel Mugabe. Just in front of me was Mrs Ghandi - the then Prime
Minister of India, soon to be assassinated. To my immediate left was the
podium and Prince Charles who was there to lower the flag (with great relief
in the UK) on a tumultuous 84 years of white settler rule.

It was quite a spectacle - the four armies paraded and the dignity of
the event burnt an indelible memory in my mind. But it was more than just a
handover - it was a celebration that a transfer of power was taking place in
Africa after a genuine "one man one vote" electoral process. For many
Zimbabweans it was the first time they had ever voted and just for that
alone it was a memorable event.

Mugabe himself was a reluctant participant even though he was the
winner. He had wanted Ian Smith to fight on - a "fight to the finish" and
then to march down the main street of the capital at the head of his armed
forces in a victory parade. He also wanted the space to build what he
envisaged was a perfect state - a state of peasants ruled by a benevolent
dictatorship that governed in perpetuity. I knew this from an extraordinary
meeting with Mugabe just after his release from prison 5 years before, just
a few days before he went over the border into Mozambique to participate in
the Zanla struggle for power. At the time I had dismissed the talk as just
so much rhetoric from someone who had been in jail for a decade. Only when
the Khmer Rouge did just that and killed hundreds of thousands of Cambodians
in the process did I appreciate what he meant.

I suspect that Lord Soames - the man sent to preside over the hand
over, understood this but like Lord Mountbatten in the independence struggle
in India - his job was to get the UK out of this mess with as little pain as
possible. Mugabe was the way to go and that is what happened.

Mugabe has never been a democrat - like many I am convinced that
Tongogara did not die in that car accident in Mozambique, it was just too
convenient. Once he secured power in Zimbabwe, Mugabe vowed never to
relinquish it and that is why we are in the mess we are in today. Had he
done a Mandela on us he would have gone down in history as a real hero. But
he wanted that and all the rest - a one party state (in reality if not in
law) and a lifetime presidency.

So we have had 24 years during which our government has worn the
clothing of democracy as a disguise. When it suited them they used it to
achieve what they wanted - in 1987 to wipe out the remains of Zapu power in
the south. In the cities, to secure total control and political direction.
They signed up to all the right things in the process, but paid little heed
to what those agreements and commitments translated into on the ground.

All the rest of the world wanted was to see Zimbabwe behave reasonably
so that they did not have to be concerned by yet another crisis in Africa.
All African states - themselves guilty of also wearing the same disguise at
one time or another, simply played along. So Mugabe had his way and if we
are not careful, we are about to become another closed, failed state,
isolated and alone but ruled by a small oligarchy supported by the military.
The parallels are North Korea and Myanmar.

The easy solution is to just dig a deeper ditch for the Limpopo river
and then let Mugabe and his crew have the ship which will quickly be
abandoned by over half its crew who will live abroad and help support the
other half who will live in abject poverty at home. Morgan Tsvangirai - the
hero of democracy will remain virtually a prisoner without a passport,
allowed to speak to the occasional journalist who will then have to retreat
back over the river to write his story.

The ANC in South Africa have won the election there in impressive
manner - this was really a victory for Mbeki. Last time he was riding on the
tails of Mandela, this time he is his own man and this was his day. He now
has five years in which to write his own version of African history. Africa
will see many elections this year - Namibia next month, Malawi, Zambia,

In Zimbabwe we also have an election coming and we look forward to it
with nothing but fear and apprehension. What will "they" do to us this time?
Murder, mayhem and propaganda is all we can look forward to and then when we
vote it will be under the gun and we know full well that if day one does not
produce the result required, the state will simply stuff ballot boxes with
hundreds of thousands of false ballots and then cry victory on Monday

All we ask for is a free and fair, one person, one vote, election. Is
that too much to ask? Is this not what the whole struggle up to the 18th
April 1980 was all about? What we want from the new South African government
is simply that - a chance to vote for the leadership we choose to take us
out of this cull du sac in which we find ourselves. The MDC does not wear
democracy as a disguise - we actually believe it is the only way forward -
for the continent and for ourselves. We celebrate with all South Africans
their achievement of yet another historic, free and fair election. Now it's
our turn, please.

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The Herald

Paradza faces possible probe

Herald Reporter
ZANU-PF Makonde MP Cde Kindness faces possible investigation and
disciplinary action by the party following reports that he is seeking
British support to fund the Tribune newspaper.

The party's Mashonaland West provincial chairman Cde Philip Chiyangwa said
party structures in the province and war veterans had made representations
for Cde Paradza to be investigated.

The Sunday Mail reported at the weekend that Cde Paradza was trying to buy a
controlling stake in Africa Tribune Newspapers (Pvt) Limited - the
publishers of the weekly Tribune - and was seeking the help of ANZ officials
to secure financial support from Britain.

The paper said Cde Paradza travelled to London last Friday to meet some
officials of a British organisation ready to fund his takeover bid.

However, Cde Paradza, who is in Luton (Britain), yesterday denied that he
had gone to Britain to seek funding.

He also denied that he met ANZ chairman Mr Strive Masiyiwa and chief
executive Mr Sam Sipepa Nkomo seeking help to take over the Tribune.

"There is nothing like that. I have never talked to Strive Masiyiwa since
1996 and I have never talked to Sam Sipepa Nkomo and they are not involved
in any way in the take over of the Tribune.

"We have since taken over the Tribune as management and we have paid for it
in full using our own resources," said Cde Paradza.

The reports were also fuelled by the fact that the Tribune recently wrote an
editorial bemoaning the demise of the Daily News.

But Cde Paradza said he was not involved in editorial matters and only
handled management issues.

"I am not the editor of the paper, I am the publisher.

"Right now I am in Luton where I am meeting Zimbabweans whom I want to
contract to sell my paper. I also want to attract advertising by bringing
the paper to Zimbabweans here. Other Zimbabwean newspapers are sold here. I
am not here to seek any British funding," he said.

Cde Paradza said the meeting to discuss his position in the party should go
ahead because he had nothing to fear.

"They can go ahead with the meeting, I will go to Makonde and I win hands
down," he said.

In his maiden speech to Parliament three weeks ago, Cde Paradza criticised
the country's media laws, the Broadcasting Services Act and the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act, saying they were too restrictive
and discouraged potential investment in the media.

Cde Chiyangwa said youths in the province held a meeting at Trelawney
Training Centre at the weekend, where they expressed concern over Cde

They called for the expulsion of Cde Paradza from the party for gross
indiscipline and undermining party and Government programmes.

"The youths officially stated that they want Cde Paradza out but as the
provincial chairman of Zanu PF I told them we are going to have a meeting
with the top six provincial politburo members," Cde Chiyangwa said.

He said the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association had not
taken a position as they were still carrying out investigations.

Cde Chiyangwa said party procedures would be followed to decide whether Cde
Paradza would be suspended or expelled.

When contacted for comment, ZNLWA vice-chairman Cde Joseph Chinotimba said
the investigations were in progress. He, however, said if Cde Paradza was
found guilty of the charges the war veterans would take the matter to its
"logical conclusion".
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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


"However energetically society in general may strive to make all the
citizens equal and alike, the personal pride of each individual will always
make him try to escape from the common level, and he will form some
inequality somewhere to his own profit."

- Alexis De Tocqueville

LETTER 1. Subject: The Truth
Dear Jag,

The Third Chimurenga has had varying effects on nearly all Zimbabweans. For
those Zimbabweans in the country, the day to day survival of making their
money stretch to feed themesleves and their family, and pay their other day
to day expenses, coupled with the break down of law and order is an example
of the effects. For those Zimbabweans that have left the country, coming to
grips with a new system in a new environment with new challenges like
finding employment or starting a new business are the examples of the
effects on those individuals. Generally speaking we all tend to see the
situation from our own personal perspective - that of trying to surmount
these new challenges that were not there for us four years ago.

Taking the USA, the UK, Canada, Europe, Australia, South Africa, Malawi,
Zambia and Tanzania as examples it would appears that these nations have
now taken in over a million Zimbabweans over the last four years.

If we pause for reflection and detach ourselves from our own problems
momentarily, we will see that the Third Chimurenga has created an
international network that will work against The Third Chimurenga over a
period of time. The resultant "deployment" of millions of skilled
Zimbabweans around the world is actually part of the dissemination of the
Truth about the Third Chimurenga. Every Zimbabwean that is out there in the
rest of the world has their own story to tell.

One of the finest examples about a story being told is in cricket. Over a
year ago Andy Flower left Zimbabwe and is now playing cricket in Australia.
The wearing of a black armband denoting the death of democracy, by Flower
and Olonga was the beginning of the story - it created interest in the
story in the cricket spectating world. Now a year later, there are a number
of Australian cricketers that have found out that the story told by Flower
and Olonga was not Science Fictional but Biographical. The recent
happenings in the cricket world show the power of having over a million
ambassadors around the world to disseminate the Truth. Is the rest of the
world going to listen to Peter Chigoka or a million Zimbabweans abroad? The
ECU seems to have started to comprehend the truth at last - no matter how
much Brittania Waives The Rules.

It is four years since Martin Olds was murdered in Nyamandlovu. That story
is also Biographical not Science Fictional.
It is twenty years since the Fifth Brigade went through Matabeleland - that
story is also Biographical.
Is the rest of the world going to listen to Jonathon Moyo science fiction,
or a million Zimbabweans in exile abroad? Time will tell.

The power of a million Zimbabweans around the world with e-mail, armed with
the truth is yet to be fully harnessed and felt.

Eighteen months ago the Green Bombers went to a little village about 40 km
from Bulawayo and torched the entire living quarters of about five hundred
people. The occupants were then given food, clothing and shelter by the
International Red Cross. The motive was to destroy a productive export rose
and citrus operation that employed about a hundred people - to financially
break and drive away the white proprietor. In this instance the owners of
the houses were black but it did not matter. For the Green Bombers it was
"mission accomplished." Attached are the photographs of what they left
behind - to verify the Biography of course.

*Is the world going to give the Government money for this type of land
reform - I wonder?
Biographer Abroad.

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From The Times (UK), 27 April

Shackled: the diamond dog of war

By Mattthew Hart

Old Etonian mercenary Simon Mann is the leader of 70 foreign soldiers
accused in Zimbabwe of plotting to topple an African tyrant. Our
correspondent describes his last encounter with the former SAS man amid the
murderous world of cash, guns and private jets in the diamond lands of

I met Simon Mann on a blustery night in Johannesburg seven years ago, a
night with enormous piles of dark cloud toppling across the Rand. We were
staying at the Hilton and I sat on a terrace adding cigarette smoke to the
humid air and gazing at the turmoil of the sky. Mann came out and leaned on
a low wall, not exactly joining me. He was of medium height, tight and trim,
with a short-sleeved military-style shirt and chinos with a knife-edge
crease. He had a perfect poker face. I never saw anything register on it but
surmise. I thought of this when I saw Mann's picture in The Times last
month, shackled and handcuffed to another prisoner as he and 70 other
mercenaries shuffled through the yard at Chikurubi prison in Harare. They
had been caught in a trap after Mann had apparently tried to buy weapons.
Zimbabwean troops snatched them from their Boeing jet and imprisoned them
for a supposed "dogs of war" plot to overthrow the tyrant of oil-rich
Equatorial Guinea. Mann had hoped to trick the Zimbabweans into allowing him
guns and passage, claiming that he aimed to back a rebel Congo group whose
success would help Robert Mugabe to gain access to diamond revenues, badly
needed by his impoverished regime. The Zimbabweans hadn't fallen for the
story, and Mann and his troops were arrested when they landed at Harare.
"They were imbeciles," Colonel Des Burman told me from his home near Cape
Town. Burman served with the Buffalo Battalion, a commando unit of the old
South African Defence Force. Several of the men arrested with Mann were
Buffalo veterans. Burman himself had worked as a mercenary, earning $10,000
a month for running security for oil companies in Angola. "Mann broke every
rule," he said. "He was in Zimbabwe to buy weapons; you never buy weapons in
Africa. You buy everything offshore and have it delivered to your theatre.
Second, always operate from a safe country. Zimbabwe's not safe, and neither
is South Africa. The South Africans are embarrassed by all the mercenaries
operating here, and they've been trying to catch them. The South African
security forces set Mann up."

In the photograph, Mann looked much as he had when I'd met him seven years
earlier - in possession of himself, somehow outside his immediate
circumstances. He had a scraggly beard and crumpled prison shorts, and yet
transcended them. Things were as bad as they could be for him, and he must
have known that the blunder was his own. (Life in prison is not likely to be
easy for him. Last week 12 Zimbabwean prison officers were charged with
assaulting some of the 70 men with whom Mann is detained.) Mann was already
famous when I met him, his name linked to the bloody diamond-rich milieu of
Southern Africa, but he stood out from that world's usual run of thugs. An
Old Etonian, he was the fifth member of his family to attend the school. His
antecedents were brewers and sportsmen; his father and grandfather had both
captained the England cricket team. But other sirens were calling Mann. He
passed from Eton into the Scots Guards, and then the SAS, and finally into
that ocean of cash and guns, of jets that land without running lights in the
diamond lands of Africa. That night at the Hilton we talked about the little
diamond company that he and his friends were promoting. DiamondWorks was
then a small Vancouver firm with some mining rights in northeastern Angola,
then the great dream-cake of the diamond world, gushing some $600 million a
year in diamonds from its rivers. Most of it flowed from the insurgent Unita
army. The diamonds were run out of Angola in hair-raising operations on
Ilyushin cargo jets that landed on dirt strips in the middle of the night.
Off came Russian tanks and on went the goods. The warring parties in the
interminable civil war were in a fragile truce, and Mann's job was to
convince a group of stock-market analysts that if they invested in
DiamondWorks, of which he was then Operations Officer in Africa, they would
get diamonds, and not ruin. (Mann has not had any involvement with
DiamondWorks since 1997.) The following morning, Mann and I were going in to
have a look. "Bit of a risk for an investor," I said to Mann. "That area?
Pacified," he replied.

On a speckless, blue morning in 1997, DiamondWorks' chartered jet circled
out over the Atlantic and landed at Luanda. Once a ravishing city, the
Angolan capital had been reduced to tatters by 20 years of civil war. We
taxied past rows of Antonovs and battered Ilyushin freighters. A white
pickup came tearing across the runway. Mann got in and sped away. In those
days clearing Luanda airport could take hours. To avoid forcible inoculation
or "tests" for Aids, it was wise to fold US dollars into your vaccination
document before presenting it. But when Mann returned, we were whisked
straight through. A man in his forties joined us, an affable character in
loafers and Docker chinos. He was the governor of Lunda Sul province, and
Mann was giving him a lift back to his capital, Saurimo. In return he
supplied us with resolute assurances that the region we would later visit
was as peaceful as a hamlet in the shires. "The people are eager to return
to their villages," he said. "Which people?" I asked. "The Unita fighters."
"And are they actually returning?" "They are eager to." At Saurimo we
transferred to a cavernous Russian Mi6 helicopter and went racketing north
across the rolling bushveld, a landscape dotted with villages of
straw-topped huts and laced by footpaths. We crossed into Lunda Norte
province. Soon the brown serpentine of the Chicapa River hove into view, and
we clattered into the DiamondWorks camp. The place was called Luo, from the
name of a stream that joins the Chicapa there. I had wanted to visit since a
pair of South Africans with a suction pump had hoovered a 24-carat pink
diamond from the riverbed two years before. They took it out of Saurimo in a
Lear jet and sold it on the diamond bourse in Johannesburg for $4.8 million.
One week later the stone was resold in New York for $10 million, sawn in
half and polished into matching pears. The Sultan of Brunei's younger
brother paid $20 million for them.

This stone was the talk of the diamond world, and diamonds then were my
single focus. I wanted to meet the men who had found it, and one summer's
day in Johannesburg I drove to a walled subdivision of pink concrete houses.
Brian Attwell had been a security policeman and Piet Cronje had fought in
the Buffalo Battalion, harassing Namibian guerrillas by raiding their
Angolan bases. Attwell was quiet and watchful, Cronje a massive Afrikaner
with a pistol in an ankle holster and one hand mangled by an exploding
grenade. "In the diamond business," Cronje told me, "people must understand
one thing about you. They must understand that they cannot .... with you."
And I guess they did understand it, because when Attwell and Cronje arrived
on the Chicapa their equipment included heavy machine guns, mortars and
rocket-propelled grenades. By day they ransacked the riverbed and by night
they traded fire with Unita. "Only at night, though," Attwell said. "During
the day we were both too busy digging diamonds." Cronje and Attwell took $60
million of gems out of the Chicapa in a single year. Into such rich if
perilous terrain a certain kind of person longs to rush, and one was Simon
Mann. The DiamondWorks camp was set among trees and ruled by a slovenly
South African. He was recovering from malaria, for which the treatment
seemed to be a tumbler of whisky, never out of his sunburnt paw. He took
great pride in the feast, including prawns flown in from in the coast, that
he had spread beneath the thatch for the visitors. In the heat, a high smell
came off the tables, and we mostly kept to beer. It was a pretty stretch of
river; trees sagging with white blossoms drooped into the water.
DiamondWorks had a barge in the middle of the current, tethered by lines to
either bank. Divers descended into the murk and raked through the swirling
sediment with suction hoses. Although miners had worked this stretch of the
Chicapa since colonial times, there seemed to be plenty left. A 106-carat
high-colour white had come out of the river only weeks before, and while we
were there they found a 50-carat stone worth $150,000. Upriver from the
barge, DiamondWorks had diverted the channel to expose the floodplain
gravels, which they trucked to a small recovery mill. But their ambitions
were larger. They had identified a promising diamond target at Yetwene, 60
miles away, and we boarded the helicopter again and went rattling down the
Chicapa for a look.

At Yetwene they had cleared a broad swath of riverbank and started to erect
a mill. We circled the site for ten minutes, peering through the open hatch
while Mann's geologist, shouting above the engine noise, poured out
statistics about grade and throughput. As we flew back along the Chicapa to
Luo, I surveyed the banks. That stretch of river had fed a lot of money into
Unita's pockets, and I doubted that they had abandoned it. There was
evidence of mining. "Who's working the river here?" I bellowed at Mann. He
shook his head. "Nobody. They've been cleared out." Yetwene opened, and six
months later Unita came out of the bush and stormed the mine. Mann's troops
set up a fierce resistance, and the firefight lasted for an hour. Five
DiamondWorks people died; Unita took captives and vanished into the bush.
All through the region diamond miners shut down their operations and pulled
out. Mann's diamond faucet coughed a few last times, then quit. Investors
flattened DiamondWorks' share price. (That was seven years ago, of course. A
spokesman for the company points out that is now under new management and a
new shareholder register, including a number of prominent UK and European
Institutions, and has a market capitalization of $230 million. It is now
involved predominantly in oil and gas, and has only one project in common
with the old DiamondWorks.) I heard no more of Mann until his capture at
Harare. "He's luckier than the other guys," Des Burman told me, referring to
a group of men arrested in Equatorial Guinea and charged with being part of
the plot to overthrow the President. "Those guys will hang. The Zimbabweans
will lock up Mann and the others for five or ten years, get as much
publicity as they can, then let them go."
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Zimbabwe orders probe into "torture" of mercenaries

By Stella Mapenzauswa

HARARE, April 27 (Reuters) - A Zimbabwean magistrate ordered a probe on
Tuesday into accusations by 70 suspected mercenaries that security agents
tortured them into signing documents soon after their arrest.

Zimbabwe detained most of the men, mainly South Africans, Angolans and
Namibians, when it impounded their Boeing 737 aircraft at Harare airport on
March 7 and has charged them with plotting to topple the government of
oil-rich Equatorial Guinea.

Last Friday prison authorities said 12 prison officers had been charged with
assaulting some of the prisoners by hand and with batons, injuring some of
the suspected mercenaries.

At their sixth court appearance on Tuesday, the pilot of the aircraft, Jaap
Steyl, said unidentified officials tortured him at length after the arrest
before making him sign "a piece of paper". Steyl told the court that after
going for days without food and water, "I was ready to sign anything."

Harare magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe ordered the attorney general's office to
investigate the charge and said all the men should be medically examined.

State prosecutor Stephen Musona earlier dismissed the torture claims, saying
the suspects had initially given statements "freely and voluntarily" in the
absence of their lawyers but later changed their stories.

Defence lawyers also lodged an application to dismiss the state's case
against the men, who say they stopped over in Harare to refuel and pick up
essential equipment en route to the Democratic Republic of Congo where they
were contracted to provide mine security.

Zimbabwean authorities insist the group was on a mission to depose
Equatorial Guinea's leader Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.

The men have been charged under stringent public order and security laws as
well as with immigration, firearms, and aviation offences.

"The facts relied upon by the state are insufficient to warrant a prudent
man concluding that a reasonable suspicion exists that any of the accused
have committed any of the offences alleged," the defence said in its

State lawyers have said the 70 suspected mercenaries face life imprisonment
if convicted, although defence lawyers say the maximum penalty would be a
fine of 200,000 Zimbabwean dollars ($38.46) per charge.

($1 = 5,200 Zimbabwe dollars)
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Fox Sports

Streak peace doubts
By Jon Pierik
April 28, 2004

FORMER captain Heath Streak has cast major doubt on the sincerity of the
Zimbabwe Cricket Union's attempt to end its hostile three-week dispute with
its players.

The ZCU yesterday provided Streak and the 14 other rebel white players with
a list of requirements it hopes will defuse the heated issue.

The union wants the players to return to practice as soon as possible and to
make themselves available for selection.

That could mean they play in the last of five matches in a one-day series
against Sri Lanka tomorrow.

The ZCU, in response, has agreed to set up an independent arbitration, run
by Harare businessman Much Masunda, whose organisation will examine all the
issues that instigated the players' strike.

But Streak last night remained sceptical about a resolution.

"There is so much distrust of the ZCU that their promises will not be
believed by any of the players," he said.

"This is a proposal given to me, as an individual, and I still have to meet
with the players in Harare and pass this on as I have understood it. It is
then up to them to think it over and make a decision.

"I will recommend Mr Masunda but it is up to them.

"There is not going to be an immediate solution here. It may take some

Another senior player, Grant Flower, said he had yet to see the terms of

The ZCU's bid to end the stalemate comes after the host nation was dismissed
for a record low of 35 in a one-dayer against Sri Lanka on Sunday.

The row began when Streak claimed the national selection panel was racist
against whites and wanted the panel changed.

He was subsequently sacked and 14 of his teammates joined him in protest.

If the dispute drags on, Zimbabwe will have to field a third-rate side in
the two-Test series against Sri Lanka beginning on May 6 and possibly in the
ensuing three one-dayers and two Tests against Australia next month.

Despite growing public angst about going, Australia is still expected to
play three one-dayers and two Tests in the strife-torn nation.

As the dispute rolls on, it has emerged that India and Pakistan have leapt
into the political bunfight and pressured Cricket Australia into ensuring it
goes ahead with the tour.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India, through powerful president
Jagmohan Dalmiya, and the Pakistan Cricket Board have told CA they would
look unfavourably upon, and may consider pulling out of future tours of
Australia, if Ricky Ponting's men do not fulfil their commitment to the
Zimbabwe trip.

When contacted by the Herald Sun last night, Dalmiya did not want to
elaborate on the contentious Zimbabwe issue but said: "When we have our next
ICC meeting we will give our opinion."

But a high-level Indian board member later confirmed the BCCI had contacted

"There has been an attempt to convey their thoughts in the form of a
disapproval," he said.

"India and the Pakistan Cricket Board will scuttle any attempts by Cricket
Australia to scuttle the tour."

- with agencies

Herald Sun

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