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

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The Guardian

ECB chief quits over Zimbabwe row
Press Association
Wednesday April 28, 2004 1:27 AM

Des Wilson has resigned from the Management Board of the England and Wales
Cricket Board after failing to persuade them to take a stronger stance about
the controversial proposed tour to Zimbabwe later this year.

The former vice-chairman of the Liberal Party was appointed chairman of the
ECB's Corporate Affairs and Marketing Advisory Committee last year with a
brief to formulate a policy for England's controversial tour to Zimbabwe
this October.

But after failing to persuade enough members of the ECB Management Board to
take a more aggressive stand about the tour and the oppressive regime of
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, Wilson has resigned and launched a
scathing attack on the International Cricket Council, the world's governing

"I really thought I could make some difference," Wilson is quoted as saying
in several broadsheet newspapers. "They liked the idea of someone coming in
with fresh ideas but the trouble is that when it comes to putting them into
action, they don't like the reality.

"I have no desire to offer succour or support to the ECB's critics at a
difficult time," he said. "This is not an 'I'm right, you're wrong, I'm off'

"We simply differ, but the differences are profound. It is right, therefore,
that I should go and thus enable the board to unite around the course it
believes to be right.

"The fact is the ECB has been placed in an intolerable position by the ICC's
inflexible and, in my view, malevolent enforcement of its international
tours programme with draconian and disproportionate penalties that would
devastate the English game, forcing the ECB itself into insolvency and
bankrupting up to a third of the first-class counties.

"In the short term, I believe the ECB should make such a tour only under
protest . . . In so doing it would be seen to exercise both moral judgment
and accountability to UK political, public and cricket stakeholder opinion
and take a first step to rejecting the unsustainable proposition that moral
concerns have no place in sport.

"Even if this tour goes ahead, I believe the ECB should commit itself to
fight for as many years as it takes to change the protocol so that no other
country can be coerced in this way. Alas, there appears no appetite for that
course of action either."

© Copyright Press Association Ltd 2004, All Rights Reserved.
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Zimbabwe Changes Laws To Extradict Alleged Coup Plotters

      Copyright © 2004, Dow Jones Newswires

      HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP)--Zimbabwe's government said Tuesday that it had
revised its extradition policy in order to extradite 70 suspected
mercenaries accused of plotting a coup in the oil-rich west African nation
of Equatorial Guinea.

      An official notice said Zimbabwe drafted an extradition treaty for the
first time with Equatorial Guinea, effective immediately. The notice meant
the 70 suspects could be sent to Equatorial Guinea for trial on allegations
of plotting the overthrow that country's government.

      The official "statutory instrument" said it amended Zimbabwe's
existing extradition agreements with several other countries to include
Equatorial Guinea.

      The 70 suspects - who include South Africans, Namibians, Angolans,
Congolese, a Zimbabwean and a British national -were detained after their
aging Boeing 727 landed at Harare International Airport on March 7.

      Most of them are former members of South Africa's apartheid-era
military forces.

      The suspects appeared in a makeshift court at the maximum-security
Chikurubi prison outside Harare on Tuesday. Some reporters, including a
representative from The Associated Press, were barred entry by prison
guards, despite a court order saying the hearing was to be public.

      Prison guards said they were instructed not to admit an AP reporter -a
Zimbabwean freelancer who they said could not be both a member of the public
and a reporter.

      Defense attorneys had said they were to ask for the release of some of
the suspects on grounds they broke no laws in Zimbabwe. They were also to
protest the refusal of entry to reporters and ordinary spectators normally
allowed into regular courts.

      Prosecutors had said they could not guarantee security to bring the
suspects to an open court in downtown Harare, but a High Court judge allowed
hearings to be held in Chikurubi prison, 30 kilometers north of Harare, as
long as they were open to all visitors willing to go through lengthy
security checks before entry.

      Zimbabwe's prosecutors allege that Equatorial Guinea's Spanish-based
rebel leader Sever Motto offered the group $1.8 million and oil rights to
overthrow the government in the former Spanish colony. Another 14 suspected
mercenaries are in custody in the west African country.

      Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Ngeuma has also alleged
the suspects were plotting to overthrow the governments of Sao Tome and
Principe and of Congo.

      The suspects held in Zimbabwe deny the accusations, saying they were
headed to security jobs at mining operations in eastern Congo. Court papers
indicate some had contracts for that work.

      They face five charges, including conspiring to carry out a coup with
weapons purchased in Zimbabwe. They are also accused of violating Zimbabwe's
immigration, firearms and security laws. If convicted, they could face life
in prison.

      Human rights groups say they believe at least one of the suspects held
in custody in Equatorial Guinea has been tortured to death.

      Equatorial Guinea, where Obiang has ruled for 25 years, is ranked by
rights groups as one of the world's most repressive countries. Offshore oil
strikes since 1997 have made it Africa's third-largest oil producer after
Nigeria and Angola.

      (END) Dow Jones Newswires

      April 27, 2004 18:41 ET (22:41 GMT)
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      Flower fury at ZCU

      Grant Flower has attacked the Zimbabwe Cricket Union and says the 15
rebel players will not return to practice.
      They are refusing to appear for their country and are holding out in a
row over selection and board politics.

      "It is a mess. They cannot get anything right. You can take it from me
we will not be at practice," said Flower.

      "We want to resolve this but the ZCU's cocked it up. The arbitration
panel's chairman is out of the country and so is our lawyer. What are they

      A shadow Zimbabwe side, captained by Tatenda Taibu, is currently 4-0
down against Sri Lanka in the one-day international series.

      Flower also made it clear that the group would not return without
Heath Streak being reinstated as skipper.

      He added: "In any case everybody should understand we want Heath
Streak as our captain.

      "If they continue to refuse, it could be a deal breaker. We are quite
determined about it."

      ZCU chief executive Vincent Hogg said the players would face sanctions
if they failed to go along with the arbitration process.

      "It was agreed that in the meantime the players would turn out for
practice and be available for selection," he said.

      "If they don't do that, certainly by 8 May, our ultimatum to them to
return to duties by that date or face disciplinary action will come into
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The Herald

'Blend rate will not affect fuel price'

THE Petroleum Marketers Association of Zimbabwe (PMAZ) said on Monday the
new blend exchange rate will not have any major impact on the price of fuel.

PMAZ chairman Mr Masimba Kambarami told reporters that there had not been
any significant change on the fundamental factors that determine the price
of fuel, which are the offshore price and the cost of foreign currency on
the auction market.

"There should not be any substantial increase in the price of fuel because
international prices are stable while the exchange rate has also remained
steady on the auction market," Mr Kambarami said.

He said the directive by the central bank for interest rates to come down
was also a positive development that would ensure the price of fuel remained

"If interest rates fall, lending rates will go down and this means the
finance cost per litre will also go down and compensate for any increase in
the blend (exchange) rate," he said.

Interest rates for 30-day maturities have fallen to around 50 percent, while
rates for 90-day maturities are now in the range of 90 percent.

Central bank governor Dr Gideon Gono last Wednesday announced new incentives
for various economic sectors that saw the blend exchange rate coming to $5
344 to the US$, against the ruling auction rate of $4 712 to the greenback.

Zimbabwe has been facing fuel shortages since 2000 owing to the shortage of
foreign currency to import the commodity.

In an effort to improve the availability of fuel, the government last year
deregulated the oil industry to allow private players to participate.

Prior to the de-regulation, the procurement of fuel was only done through
the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe. - New Ziana.
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From The Times (UK), 28 April

Food is currency on the lean streets of Zimbabwe

From Jan Raath in Bulawayo

A bucket of tomatoes is all that stands between Alice Dhliwayo and the
starvation of her two children. Six days a week, Alice rises before 5am and
queues at the market for tomatoes. Then she takes her place by the side of
the road with other women and builds a neat pyramid of fruit to attract
passers-by. A miscalculation on the likely profit from the bucket of
tomatoes means that she risks going home after a 14-hour day unable to
provide supper for her two sons, Daniel and Dingane. Mrs Dhliwayo, 26, who
is divorced, is from Tshabalala township in Bulawayo. She is one of
thousands of women street traders trapped with no other means of survival in
Zimbabwe's hostile economic climate of 600 per cent inflation and
unemployment of 80 per cent. Sometimes she sells nothing and has to take her
chance selling the same tomatoes, now bruised and overripe, the next day.
Often she walks the five miles back home to save the minibus fare. Dingane,
3, suffers chronic pneumonia and is classified in the local clinic as
"growth faltering"- the stunting that occurs with long-term deprivation of
vitamins and proteins. In Alice Dhliwayo's home, the evening meal is
inevitably stiff maizemeal porridge with a vegetable relish. Once or twice a
month, she can buy an egg. Alice and Dingane, who had just left the local
clinic, were admirably turned out in their best clothes. "They are too proud
to look untidy," a nurse said. "I don't know how they do it."

Last month the Bulawayo municipality reported 63 deaths from hunger-related
illness, 48 of them children under 4. The World Food Programme, the famine
relief arm of the United Nations, estimates that 2.5 million urban people in
Zimbabwe are starving. "We've been feeding just over double that in the
rural areas, and it's prevented widespread starvation," said a UN
consultant, who asked not to be named, "but the practicalities of food
distribution in a huge urban conurbation are completely different. The best
we can do now is targeted interventions, like supplementary feeding
programmes at clinics and school-feeding programmes." Yet the continuation
of international famine relief to Zimbabwe is uncertain. In February,
Western diplomats said, the Government privately told the UN office in
Harare that its Zimbabwe operation would be wound up in June. Diplomats, aid
agencies and opposition figures have no doubt that it means that President
Mugabe plans to seize total control of food distribution to the eight
million people threatened by starvation, before parliamentary elections due
in March next year.
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      Zimbabwe announces banks now change money at diaspora rate 2004-04-29 00:44:24

          HARARE, April 28 (Xinhuanet) -- The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
announced here on Wednesday that members of the public will now get the same
exchange rate as that applying to Zimbabweans living overseas.

          Governor of the central bank Gideon Gono said in a statement that
the exchange rate of 5,200 Zimbabwean dollars to the US dollar would now
apply to individuals who want to change money at any commercial bank in the
country, up from the current auction rate at 5,047.

          The announcement of the special 5,200 Zimbabwean dollars rate
follows Gono's monetary policy review last week, in which he announced this
rate as a special 'diaspora floor price' for money sent by Zimbabweans
living abroad through registered money transfer agencies.

          Previously, banks exchanged foreign currency at the foreign
currency auction rate but they can now exchange it at the diasporarate or
auction rate, if it becomes higher.

          Gono said many people were not sure of how to go about changing
their money legally or were afraid of being asked the origin of the money at
the banks.

          "Any individual with foreign currency can go to any registered
commercial bank and change it at a rate of 5,200 Zimbabwean dollars to the
US dollar or the corresponding rate for other currencies," Gono said.

          "No questions will be asked as to where the money came from," he

          Money sent through registered money transfer agencies can be paid
to recipients in Zimbabwe in foreign currency as cash, travelers' checks or
bank drafts.

          It can also be changed into local currency at the diaspora floor
price or the auction rate, whichever is higher.

          Those who opt to be paid in local currency do not pay any
commission while those who opt for payment in foreign currency would be
charged commission when they change the money at a bank.

          Zimbabwe is facing foreign currency shortages as a result of poor
export performance and withdrawal of financial support by some world
financiers. Enditem

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Kuruneri Risks Losing Seat, Say Lawyers

The Herald (Harare)

April 28, 2004
Posted to the web April 28, 2004


Leading lawyers cannot see how the Minister of Finance and Economic
Development, Cde Chris Kuruneri, could remain a Member of Parliament and
minister if it was found he was a Canadian citizen.

While it seems just possible that a person could be a non-citizen permanent
resident and MP, this loophole can only apply to people who were not
Zimbabwean citizens after 1985.

The lawyers, who did not want to be quoted, said Zimbabwe did not allow dual
citizenship and so adult citizens of other countries could not be citizens
of Zimbabwe.

Questions are being asked whether Cde Kuruneri is, in fact, a citizen of
Zimbabwe, and if he is not whether he can remain an MP and be a minister.

If he is found to be a citizen of Canada he automatically loses his
Zimbabwean citizenship and almost certainly his registration as a voter in
terms of a 2002 Supreme Court judgment.

A person who has lost Zimbabwean citizenship can reapply to the Minister of
Home Affairs to have this citizenship restored, which could give Cde
Kuruneri a chance.

Since it is not an offence for a Zimbabwean to change his or her
citizenship, or to acquire a foreign citizenship, the matter of Cde
Kuruneri's citizenship will not come before the courts in any criminal
proceedings, including those that started with his remand in custody on

There are only three offences listed in the Citizenship Act: deliberately
making false statements on a material particular, being a foreign citizen
who uses a Zimbabwe passport without permission, or being a Zimbabwean
citizen using a foreign passport without the permission of the Zimbabwean

It is the third offence that forms one of the allegations against Cde
Kuruneri in his present criminal case.

All the three offences carry a maximum fine of $2 000 or a jail term of up
to two years or both.

Citizenship status is purely a civil matter and if any query over this
status ever gets as far as a court, it will be a civil court that sits.

If Cde Kuruneri does, in fact, hold a Canadian passport, and this has yet to
be proved, he still need not be a Canadian citizen.

All countries reserve the right to issue their passports to non-citizens,
granting such people their protection in a foreign land without granting

While the practice is rare, Zimbabwe itself has granted such protection to
the odd foreigner.

The Canadian Embassy in Harare yesterday declined to state whether or not
Cde Kuruneri was a Canadian citizen. Canadian officials were bound by a law
protecting privacy, embassy staff said, and so could not comment on anyone's
citizenship status to a newspaper.

But if Cde Kuruneri does have Canadian citizenship, then he automatically
ceased to be a Zimbabwean citizen at the end of 1985 or, at the latest,
early 2002, if he held the citizenship then, or immediately on acquiring the
citizenship if he became Canadian later.

The changes that came in 2001 changed the way a foreign citizenship had to
be renounced. Before, renunciation was in terms of a Zimbabwean law. After
that amendment, it had to be in terms of the law of the relevant foreign
country. So after early January 2002, it was impossible to renounce a
foreign citizenship and still retain it because of different laws.

If it was shown he had lost Zimbabwean citizenship, this would almost
certainly disqualify him as a voter, a requirement to be nominated to

There is a very small loophole for some non-citizens to qualify as a voter.
A dwindling group of permanent residents who were non-citizen residents
before the end of 1985 can be registered as voters.

The Supreme Court decided in 2002, almost on the eve of the presidential
election that year, that those who became permanent residents later, and one
way was by losing citizenship, were disqualified for registration as voters.

Under the Constitution, a person is disqualified for election as an MP if
they are disqualified for registration as a voter, although it is not clear
if the person seeking election actually has to be registered.

There is no requirement in the Constitution that an MP has to be a citizen
of Zimbabwe, only that he has to be at least 21, not disqualified as a voter
and has been resident in the country for five of the previous 20 years
before nomination.

While an MP convicted of an offence under the Electoral Law and disqualified
from voting as a result of that conviction loses his seat, there does not
appear to be any specific provision for an MP who loses the right to vote as
a result of a non-criminal matter.
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$9bn Set Aside for Completion of Airport

The Herald (Harare)

April 28, 2004
Posted to the web April 28, 2004


GOVERNMENT has earmarked $9 billion for the completion of the Joshua Mqabuko
Nkomo Interna-tional Airport in Bulawayo, which is expected to open for
business in October.

The commissioning has been set for December 22 to coincide with Unity Day

This was revealed by an official at the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe
stand during the first day of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, which
started yesterday.

He said most of the work at the terminal had been done, while the rest is
expected to be completed in time for the opening.

At the moment the piling foundation work has been finished while the
structural steel work is in progress.

Civil works for access roads and car park and the refurbishment of the
existing terminal are also underway.

The construction and refurbishment of the terminal began in January last
year, but progress has been hampered by the shortage of fuel and building
materials, which affected the country last year.

The project - which was initially estimated to cost $5,6 billion - is now
expected to cost about $16 billion owing to the increase in the price of
building materials.

"Everything is now going on according to plan because fuel and building
materials which were in short supply last year are now readily available.

"With the money that has been made available for the project, the terminal
will definitely open as scheduled," the CAAZ official said.

Between April and May last year, work on the airport came to a standstill
owing the shortage of cement.

"The terminal is expected to meet international standards. With plans that
have been put in place for the airport, it will certainly be on the world
map as it is also expected to have facilities to entertain tourists when
they arrive in the city," he said.

The airport is being constructed in three phases, with the first phase
concentrating mainly on the refurbishment.

The second phase includes the extension of the runway and apron to
accommodate larger planes and to ensure that two wide and one narrow-bodied
airplanes can be processed at the same time.

The third and final phase includes the development of an aero-city, which
consists of commercial zones with infrastructure such as a five-star hotel,
golf course for leisure purposes, banks and other tourism-related

The upgrading and expansion of the country's international airports is part
of the Government's contribution towards the tourism recovery programme and
is meant to enhance airports' capacity to handle large traffic as well as
promote tourism.

The project will include the upgrading of the Harare and Victoria Falls
international airports.

There are also plans to refurbish domestic airports in Mutare, Gweru and
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Conference Communiqué By the Media Lawyers Network of Zimbabwe

Media Institute of Southern Africa (Windhoek)

April 28, 2004
Posted to the web April 28, 2004


The members of the Media Lawyer's Network, journalists present at the
conference resolved upon the following:

Reaffirming the obligations of our government under the African Charter on
Human and People's Rights in particular article 9

Recalling Article 9 guarantees as follows "every individual shall have the
right to receive information and every individual shall have the right to
express and disseminate his opinions within the law"

Recognising the declaration of principles of freedom of expression in Africa
adopted by the African Commission on Human and People's Rights meeting at
its 32nd Ordinary Session in Banjul, Gambia from the 17th to the 23rd of
October 2002

Recognising that freedom of expression is a fundamental human right
guaranteed by the Zimbabwe Constitution, the ACHPR, the Universal
declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights

Considering the key role of the media and other means of communication in
ensuring full respect of freedom of expression in promoting the free flow of
information and ideas in assisting people to make informed decisions in
facilitating democracy

Noting the legislative and practical encumbrances that have been placed on
the media in Zimbabwe in its endeavor to enjoy the freedom of expression

Mindful of the effect such measures have had on the enjoyment of freedom of
expression by the public and the adverse effects it has had on employment
and the welfare of media workers.

Reaffirming the need to speedily deal with infringements of the freedom of
expression by the judiciary who are the custodians of the bill of rights

Determined to carry out our duty in defence of media freedom, we have
resolved that:

International bodies such as the African Commission on Human and Peoples'
Rights, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and such other bodies
should be resorted to in the absence of effective domestic remedies and/or
their exhaustion.

The judiciary is called upon to speedily depose with matters of public
interest which are brought before it such as those involving freedom of
expression or any other matter dealing with fundamental human rights

The state is called upon to ensure that all its organs are properly equipped
and have the resources to function effectively in discharging its duties;
particularly make them aware of the country's obligations under
international treaties and provide these treaties to these organs and also
provide training. The state must mitigate the effect that its actions have
on journalists - financially and morally. The media practitioners and media
lawyers are called upon to cooperate and work together in the furtherance of
freedom of expression.

Civic society and the public at large are called upon to complement the
efforts of media practitioners in the their efforts for greater freedoms.
Parliament must be urged to amend or repeal the current laws like BSA,
AIPPA, POSA that militate against media freedom In achieving this MPs are
encouraged to consult stakeholders in coming up with a new legislative

The Media Lawyers network was formed by MISA-Zimbabwe in 2002 to mobilize
the legal fraternity in the defence of media and freedom of expression. It
is made up of human rights lawyers in various cities of Zimbabwe.

Regional Programme Manager: Media Freedom Monitoring

*Above is a communiqué issued by the Media Lawyers Network of Zimbabwe at
the end of its 2004 annual conference, held at the Great Zimbabwe Hotel
Masvingo, on April 25 2004

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Business Day

Zimbabwe cricket players to continue boycott


HARARE - Zimbabwe's 15 rebel white cricketers will not as thought practice
or make themselves available for future matches on the present Sri Lanka
tour after hearing the arbitration process over their concerns could take
another month to be arranged.
They are continuing their rebellion - over the sacking of captain Heath
Streak and other selectorial policies - because the Zimbabwe Cricket Union,
which agreed to independent arbitration, did not set it up as the players

The move will cause a shock when it becomes known, because the agreement for
mediation in return for an end to the players' rebellion was seen as the
first step to reconciliation.

Instead of attending arbitration, the senior Zimbabwe professionals in
dispute were addressed by a former national captain, former union president
and lawyer David Lewis, who explained that it takes at least a month to
prepare for an arbitration process.

Senior player Grant Flower, who with captain Heath Streak is the main
spokesman for the group of 15, confirmed they would not practice today in
preparation for the fifth and final one day match with Sri Lanka which an
inexperienced Zimbabwean side are trailing 4-0.

"It is a mess. They cannot get anything right. You can take it from me we
will not be at practice," said Flower after finishing a fitness session at a

"We want to resolve this, we really do. But the ZCU has cocked it up. The
chairman of the arbitration panel is out of the country."

"Our lawyer is also out of the country. What are they thinking about? In any
case everybody should understand we want Heath Streak as our captain. If
they continue to refuse, it could be a deal breaker. We are quite determined
about it."

Flower added that their boycott now continues for as long as necessary.
"Even into the Australian tour (which runs from mid-May to mid-June)," he

The ZCU chief executive Vincent Hogg said Flower was being disingenuous as
it had been agreed the players would return to training while the
arbitration process was underway.

"It was agreed in good faith that we will set up an arbitration mechanism
and we are working on that. We are abiding by that. David Lewis made it
clear to them (the players) that it can take a month or even six weeks."

"It was also agreed that in the meantime the players would turn out for
practice and be available for selection. If they don't do that, certainly by
May 8, our ultimatum to them to return to duties by that date or face
disciplinary action will come into effect."

This could mean suspension or dismissal, probably the former as the ZCU
appears to be trying to keep the door open.

Because of the setback, Sri Lanka will once more have to play against a weak
and very young Zimbabwe side, the best available, in the last match of a
series of five one-day internationals.


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      Zimbabwe players reach agreement with ZCU

      Wed April 28, 2004 11:26 PM HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's rebel
players have agreed to make themselves available for selection, the Zimbabwe
Cricket Union (ZCU) said on Wednesday.
      "It has been agreed between the ZCU and the 15 cricketers who have up
to now been unavailable for selection that... (they) will be at practice
with effect from April 30," said the ZCU.

      The players had demanded the reinstatement of Heath Streak as captain,
a new selection panel and for the ZCU to acknowledge transgressions the
players say were committed by officials.

      But the dispute, sparked on April 2 when the ZCU isntalled Tatenda
Taibu as captain after Streak questioned the composition of the selection
panel, is set to continue at arbitration.

      "The 15 cricketers will be communicating through their legal
practitioners to the ZCU's legal practitioners a proposal for a dispute
resolution procedure, which the ZCU will consider when received," the ZCU
statement said.

      One of the players, who declined to be named, told Reuters the saga
was not over.

      "We have agreed to go back on Friday but we're certainly still trying
to push for arbitration," the player said. "It's definitely not the end of
all this.

      "We're trying to show good faith once again and we're going to
practice but if certain things aren't sorted out we're going back to square

      The rebels will not play in the fifth and final one-day international
against Sri Lanka in Harare on Thursday but, barring further fallouts with
the board, they will be available for first of two test matches in Harare
from May 6.

      Zimbabwe had to select an under-strength squad for the one-day series
and Sri Lanka won the first four matches.
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Probe Into Zanu-PF Companies Reaches Advanced Stage

The Herald (Harare)

April 28, 2004
Posted to the web April 28, 2004


The Zanu-PF probe into the operations of its companies has reached an
advanced stage with the committee conducting the investigations having gone
through "mountains" of evidence and interviewed some of the key ruling party
officials associated with the running of the companies, it has been learnt.

Well-placed sources said the investigations were almost complete and some
top Zanu-PF officials were interrogated for over three hours at a time to
establish the range of companies said to be either owned by or linked to the
ruling party in order to determine the true position, their financial
operations, directorships, shareholding structures, business performance and
benefits to the party and its membership.

As the investigations intensified, three former directors of the companies
under probe fled to Britain last month and have since been specified by the

However, the three directors, who include two brothers - Jayant and
Manharlal Chinibal Joshi - and Dipak Pandya yesterday distanced themselves
from allegations of corruption and fraud and pledged to co-operate with
investigations into the companies, almost a month after the investigations

Through their lawyers, Byron Venturas and Partners, they claimed they feared
returning to the country because of the "media hype" that followed their
alleged fleeing, noting they would only return in the near future when they
were confident their security was not under threat.

But police chief spokesman Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said
these were just lame excuses as other people facing similar charges were
still in the country and no harm had befallen them.

He said if the three directors chose to remain in the United Kingdom the
police would still get them.

The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parlia-mentary Affairs Cde Patrick
Chinamasa said if the three had not committed any crime, they should return.

The three said various statements in the Press had inferred that they were
involved in various corrupt and dishonest activities either through Zidco
Holdings or in their personal capacities.

"We vehemently deny any involvement in such activities and are prepared to
co-operate with authorities in order to prove our innocence.

"We are prepared to co-operate fully with the investigations, and this
intention has been communicated through our lawyers to the relevant
authorities, who have been permitted total and unfettered access to our
business premises, company documents and accounts. We have not attempted to
withhold any information from these authorities."

The three said they had no plans to frustrate investigations and that they
had not fled the country and sought permanent refuge in the UK.

Nevertheless, the Government recently froze their assets under the
Prevention of Corruption Act following allegations that the three directors
had started selling their properties and assets in Zimbabwe.

Although the three directors claimed that they had invested over 24 years of
their lives to the country financially and personally and that their loyalty
and dedication to this country was unquestionable, they had continued to
hold onto their British citizenship and passports since Zimbabwe's

The three directors said they supported the anti-corruption drive and
condemned activities that destroyed the growth of the economy.

They were directors of some companies with links to the ruling party being
probed by the committee set up by the Zanu-PF Politburo.

The companies include Treger Holdings, which has been deeply mired in
foreign currency deals, Zidco Holdings, M&S Syndicate, First Banking
Corporation, Ottawa, Catercraft and Zidlee Enterprises.

The Politburo appointed a committee chaired Zanu-PF secretary for finance
Cde David Karimanzira, who is also the Governor and Resident Minister for
Mashonaland East, retired army commander, General Solomon Mujuru, former
Minister of Finance and Economic Development Dr Simba Makoni, Matabeleland
North Governor Cde Obert Mpofu and the party's deputy secretary for
transport and welfare, Cde Thoko Mathuthu, to probe the companies.
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State Repossesses 1,261 Mining Claims

The Herald (Harare)

April 28, 2004
Posted to the web April 28, 2004


THE Government has repossessed 1 261 under-utilised mining claims around the
country to make way for serious investors.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Cde Jason Machaya,
yesterday said the ministry confiscated the claims after those that had been
given the rights to mine were found not to be developing them.

"We are in the process of ensuring that investors do not protect their
claims by just paying us $30 000 a year (required to maintain unprocessed
mining rights) when they merely are sitting on the claims," Cde Machaya

He said the ministry had already started implementing strict measures that
include going through all mining claims on a weekly basis to check if work
was being done on them.

"We were in the past years having problems with investors who came in for
speculative purposes, but we are flushing out such elements.

"If there are investors who feel we treated them unjustly they should come
forward within 21 days and make an appeal to the Chief Mining Commissioner,"
Cde Machaya said.

The Chief Mining Commissioner, Mr Fredson Mabhena, yesterday said Gwanda had
the highest number of claims, at 496 that were forfeited as from last

Mpule and Sibali, which are run by TKS Development, lost 81 mining claims,
while 274 claims registered under Oversite Private Limited were also

In Gweru 296 gold mining claims were forfeited from big establishments like
Condor and Maligreen.

"211 mining claims were taken from Masvingo. Independence Gold had 20 claims
forfeited, while Rio Tinto Zimbabwe Limited lost three claims in the Chivi
area," Mr Mabhena said.

Other mining claims for magnetite, chrome, copper, limestone, mica and
galena were also forfeited from various individuals in Masvingo.

Of the 137 claims that were forfeited in Kadoma, Mr Mabhena said, 49 were
forfeited from Kinross Holdings' Gold Reef.

Mashonaland Central lost 91 mining claims, Hwedza Glossal Investments 10,
while Bulawayo had 20 taken.
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Sunday Times (SA)

'West has no role to play in Zimbabwe'

Wednesday April 28, 2004 15:00 - (SA)

Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa said the West should "not act as a prefect"
over Zimbabwe, adding that the country's political and financial woes should
be solved by its own citizens.

Speaking on a visit to South Africa, where he attended the inauguration of
President Thabo Mbeki on Tuesday, Mwanawasa said he believed the situation
in Zimbabwe was greatly misunderstood, particularly by the West.

"I refuse to accept that Britain, the European Union (EU) and the United
States have any role to play," said Mwanawasa.

"It is not right for any country, for any president, for any prime minister
to act as a prefect on the affairs of Zimbabwe," he told SABC public radio.

Mwanawasa said he believed only Zimbabweans could solve their problems,
adding that the West's isolation of President Robert Mugabe was hurting
citizens of the country and not their leader.

"When you ostracise Zimbabwe the person you are punishing is not Robert
Mugabe. You are punishing ordinary people in Zimbabwe," he said.

Mugabe has come under increased isolation including sanctions from the
United States, Britain and the EU for alleged human rights abuses and
undemocratic practices.

Mugabe's government says its four-year old land reform programme, under
which farmland has been taken from white owners and redistributed to
landless blacks, has been a success, Western countries, the opposition and
aid agencies say it has severely disrupted Zimbabwe's once-prosperous
farming sector and contributed to famine.

His critics also point to the fact that the land reforms were accompanied by
the sometimes violent occupation of white-owned farms and the eviction of
thousands of black workers.

But for many of his supporters, Mugabe is merely paying the price for daring
to repossess land from whites.

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Zambia achieves food surplus,becomes maize exporter
By Manoah Esipisu

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Zambia has transformed itself into a food surplus
country after years of dependency on handouts by international donors,
President Levy Mwanawasa said on Wednesday.

He told South African public broadcaster SABC in an interview that Zambia
had enough of the staple maize crop for its internal needs and had also
become a net exporter.

"We can now feed ourselves and we have started exporting. We even made a
donation to Tanzania because they are suffering drought. This is one of the
main successes of my administration which put down policies to reverse years
of dependency on food aid for survival," Mwanawasa told SABC's Africa

Zambia has forecast production of white maize to rise to 1.4 million tonnes
in 2004, up from 1.2 million tonnes in 2003 and has allowed the Food Reserve
Agency that stores strategic grains to export 50,000 tonnes due to the
expected good harvest.

Maize production was only 600,000 tonnes in 2002.

In the last nine months Zambia has exported more than 100,000 tonnes of
maize to Zimbabwe, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mwanawasa
said it also made a food donation to drought-hit Tanzania but gave no
further details.

Agriculture had also received a boost from white Zimbabwean farmers settling
in neighbouring countries after their farms were forcibly taken by the
government there for redistribution to landless blacks, Mwanawasa said but
gave no further details.

Zambia experienced one season of punishing drought in 2001/2002, leaving
nearly three million people in need of food aid. But rains returned to
normal last year and the country has since been producing surplus maize.


Turning to other issues, Mwanawasa said his far-reaching crackdown on
corruption was not a personal vendetta against predecessor Frederick Chiluba
but a commitment to clean government made as an election pledge to Zambians
two years ago.

Zambian police questioned Chiluba nearly two weeks ago over fresh counts of
graft during his 10-year rule that ended after 2001 elections that brought
Mwanawasa to office.

Chiluba is on bail after pleading not guilty to theft involving $40 million.

Handpicked to succeed the outgoing Chiluba in 2001, President Levy Mwanawasa
launched a wide-ranging crackdown on corruption which has become the main
focus of his rule.

He has vowed not to spare even his former mentor.

"Dr Chiluba has not been persecuted. He still keeps all the trappings of an
ex-president, staff, security, pension. Our investigation into corruption
does not target him. We are committed to clean government and recovering
money looted from government coffers," he said.

((Reporting by Manoah Esipisu, editing by Ian Jones))
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The Age

New snag means Australia may play Zimbabwe A
By Trevor Marshallsea
April 29, 2004
The chance that Australia will be pitted against a stop-gap selection of
Zimbabwean youngsters next month in perhaps the most lop- sided cricket
mis-match ever has increased after indications the country's player strike
will be settled later rather than sooner.

Hopes had risen this week that the bitter three-week-old dispute might be
heading towards a resolution after the Zimbabwe Cricket Union offered to set
up an independent mediation process.

The provision was that the 15 striking white players led by sacked captain
Heath Streak again made themselves available for selection.

But Streak believes the players will agree only to return to training and
will wait until the mediation process ends before making themselves
available to play.

The players' legal advice predicts the mediation process could take at least
a month to set up. This bodes ill for hopes of avoiding high farce for at
least a large part of the Australians' tour, given that they are scheduled
to arrive in Zimbabwe only two weeks from today.

The players, who withdrew their services while calling for Streak's
reinstatement and an end to Zimbabwe's racially-based selection quotas, are
understood to view the coming Australia tour as a useful bargaining chip.
They hope the ZCU will want to avoid an even bigger humiliation on the
playing field in the two Tests and three one-dayers against Ricky Ponting's
men than that now being dealt to 20-year-old Tatenda Taibu's side by Sri
Lanka, which has easily won the first four matches of their one-day series
in Zimbabwe.

But the ZCU, seen as an increasingly politicised arm of the widely
discredited Robert Mugabe Government, has played hard-ball throughout the
dispute. It might not be swayed by fears of two embarrassing series against
Australia. An amount of bureaucratic bungling also appears to stand in the
way of a speedy resolution
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Release of MISA's Annual Publication, 'So This Is Democracy?: State of Media
Freedom in Southern Africa'

Media Institute of Southern Africa (Windhoek)

April 28, 2004
Posted to the web April 28, 2004

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) will again this year be
releasing its annual publication, "So This Is Democracy?: State of media
freedom in Southern Africa" in commemoration of World Press Freedom Day on
May 3. This is the tenth consecutive year in which MISA has issued this
publication which records incidents of media freedom violations monitored by
MISA in the previous year. The current edition therefore details media
freedom violations in 2003.

MISA issued 188 alerts in 2003 about media freedom and freedom of expression
violations in SADC countries. This is an decrease of 9,7 per cent over the
208 alerts recorded in the previous year.

The countries monitored include Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique,
Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. MISA is in
the process of resuscitating its media freedom monitoring activities in

MISA's Regional Programme Manager: Media Freedom Monitoring, Zoé Titus, says
in the publication that "although this figure (188) marks a decrease of 9,7
percent from the previous year, the nature of alerts and their bearing on
the psyche of journalists have culminated into an environment in which
journalists practice self-censorship, where media organisations are either
closed down by governments through the application of repressive legislation
or as a result of degenerating economic conditions and where the pursuit of
independent journalism is often labelled as unpatriotic"'.

"In Zimbabwe the forced state closure of the Daily News on September 12
2003, on charges that it was publishing illegally without a state license,
was undoubtedly the worst media freedom violation recorded in 2003"', she
says, adding that the application of the repressive Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Act in that country has translated into Zimbabwe
accounting for 54 percent of all media freedom and freedom of expression
violations MISA recorded in 2003".

She warns, however, that it must be noted that those countries where the
media freedom situation has not overtly deteriorated, there remains a need
for media law reform as the environment is still littered with legal hurdles
that stifle media freedom.


A breakdown of the 188 alerts issued in 2003 reveals among others, that 33
journalists were attacked, 53 detained, 37 censored whilst 8 victories -
either through the adoption of positive legislation or where charges were
dropped against a journalist - were recorded. No journalists were killed as
a result of their work in 2003.


The alerts for 2003 reveal the emergence of new themes of professional
importance to journalists and to MISA. These include the increase of civil
defamation cases against the media and concerns about the high financial
penalties being awarded to successful litigants, the emergence of more
independent media councils (voluntary media complaints bodies) or attempts
to do so, the establishment of national editors forums, increasing concerns
about the wages and working conditions of journalists, the struggle for the
appointment of statutory but independent broadcasting authorities,
developments around the introduction of Access to Information legislation,
and the rise of media civil society coalitions (including associations of
journalists in the state owned media) for media freedom advocacy and legal
reform purposes. All of these issues have a direct bearing on media freedom
and the quality of journalism in the SADC region.


A new feature of the alerts is a gender component in terms of which media
violations are broken down to show how many men and women were affected by
violations of their media rights. In 2003, 24 female and 115 male
practitioners were affected.


Hard copies of the publication may be ordered from MISA's Regional
Secretariat. Contact Eric Libongani at for details. The
publication may also be downloaded from MISA's website at

Luckson Chipare

Regional Director

Media Institute of Southern Africa

Regional Programme Manager: Media Freedom Monitoring
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