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

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From SW Radio Africa, 28 April

NCA demo - many arrests

The National Constitutional Assembly attempted to hold a peaceful
demonstration in Harare today. The police were waiting for the demonstrators
outside Parliament, and therefore another group started marching from a
different location. During the march, three NCA youth members were assaulted
by police, and there were several arrests. Police also arrested NCA leaders
in Bulawayo last night. In addition, they carried out a swoop on Mutare
railway station yesterday evening. Any young person they found there without
luggage who was intending to travel to Harare, they locked up on suspicion
of planning to join the demonstration. We have not yet been able to
ascertain how many people are still in police custody. For once, the
chairperson, Dr Lovemore Madhuku was not arrested. He thinks this is because
it always causes such an international outcry. He says however, that he is
being closely watched by the police. Tabitha Khumalo, the committee chair
for Gender within the NCA who accompanied the wounded members to hospital is
appalled by the police violence. The NCA is a peaceful movement, and Ms
Khumalo says that when the ZRP attack citizens, who can we turn to for
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Cricket-Rebel Zimbabwe players hand ZCU deadline

April 29, 2004 17:09:34

      HARARE, April 29 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's rebel players have given the
Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) a deadline of Tuesday to agree to arbitration
or face a fresh boycott.

      The 15 experienced players walked out this month when Heath Streak was
replaced as captain by Tatenda Taibu after he questioned the composition of
the selection committee.

      Zimbabwe were forced to select an inexperienced team for the
five-match one-day series against Sri Lanka, which they lost 5-0.

      The rebels agreed on Wednesday to make themselves available for
selection from Friday, subject to the establishment of a dispute resolution

      The players' lawyer delivered a letter on Thursday to his ZCU
counterpart issuing the Tuesday deadline.

      "Our clients believe that for the sake of the game of cricket that the
only way forward is that a dispute mechanism be established forthwith and a
format be agreed to bring this matter to closure," the letter read.

      "This should be in the form of a panel of three arbitrators. "Our
clients have complete confidence in the offices of Mr Muchadeyi Ashton
Masunda of the Commercial Arbitration Centre and feel that he should be
assisted by an international cricketer and a foreign administrator involved
in cricket.

      "We believe that the arbitration should be held at a neutral venue and
that this should be held as soon as possible and not later than 21days from
today's date."

      The letter listed the players' terms of reference for the arbitration
as "selection criteria", "transgressions by board members", and "unlawful
termination of Heath Streak's captaincy".

      "Our client wishes to make unequivocally clear that its agreement to
return to practice and selection is dependent upon the consent of the ZCU to
submit this matter to arbitration in the manner outlined and the
reconstruction of the national selection panel," the letter said.

      "We would kindly request that due to the urgency of this matter and
the impending test series that we receive a substantive response to the
above by close of business on the 4 May, 2004."

      The first of two tests between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka starts in Harare
next Thursday.

      A player who did not want to be named told Reuters the players would
mount a fresh boycott if the Tuesday deadline was not met.

      "We are going to practise tomorrow (Friday), and we will be
available," the player said. "But if the ZCU hasn't agreed by Tuesday that
they will go to arbitration we will pull out again."

      ZCU chairman Peter Chingoka said the board needed time to discuss the

      "Our lawyers passed it on to us this afternoon, and I need time to
discuss it with my colleagues on the board," Chingoka told Reuters.
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ZIMBABWE: Hundreds of thousands may be out of school

BULAWAYO, - About 800,000 Zimbabwean orphans and disadvantaged children who
depend on state assistance to pay school fees may be unable to enrol when
the new term begins next week.

Under the Basic Education Assistance Model (BEAM), the government had
allocated Zim $3.8 billion (about US $753,000) to pay the school fees of
orphans and disadvantaged children, but Lancelot Museka, the Public Service,
Labour and Social Welfare permanent secretary, announced this week that the
money had run out after just one term of the school year.

Zimbabwe's economic crisis has led to job losses, making it impossible for
growing numbers of parents to pay tuition fees. Unemployment now stands at
80 percent, and is rising as businesses continue to fold. For those still
employed in the formal sector, low wages in a hyperinflationary environment
have worsened a situation that is often already desperate.

The announcement that the BEAM had run out of funds came after hard-pressed
guardians of BEAM beneficiaries had made representations to government to
expand the programme to include the purchasing of exercise books.

"We had budgeted Zim $3.8 billion to pay school fees for HIV/AIDS orphans
and disadvantaged children this year. However, the money has run out because
the schools are constantly hiking fees, leading to an early exhaustion of
the funds and a drastic decline in the number of beneficiaries," Museka

Most schools have hiked tuition fees to an average of Zim $500,000 (US $913)
per term, with some private institutions demanding as much as Zim $2.5
million (US $4,900), in defiance of a government directive to seek prior
approval for an increase from the ministry of education. The schools cited
high inflation, currently around 600 percent, and a need to maintain
educational standards as reasons for the increases.

Primary school textbooks now cost between Zim $50,000 (just under $10) and
Zim $100,000 (just under US $20), while the lowest-priced textbook for
secondary school costs Zim $80,000 (about US $15). Exercise books range from
Zim $3,000 (US $0.59) to Zim $7,000 (US $1.30) each, translating into an
average expenditure of Zim $168,000 (US $33) on exercise books alone for one
upper secondary school pupil.

Minister of Education Aneas Chigwedere acknowledged that the per capita
grants allocated to schools for the acquisition of textbooks were
insufficient, given the high inflation rate, but alleged that negligence by
schools was aggravating the situation.

"Schools are given per capita grants every year. Yes, the money may not be
enough, because it is not meant to be enough anyway. The major problem is
that schools do not take care of their textbooks. Most are stolen and
re-sold at black market prices on street corners," said Chigwedere.

The BEAM programme was set up in 2001 to pay tuition and examination fees
for the growing number of children being forced to drop out of school
because their parents or guardians could not afford to keep them there.

Since 2001, 1.7 million pupils have benefited from successive BEAM
allocations. The total number of beneficiaries for 2004 was projected at
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Violence, Torture and Brutality by the Police Force in Zimbabwe Increases

International Bar Association (London)

April 28, 2004
Posted to the web April 29, 2004

The International Bar Association (IBA) is appalled that police brutality
and politically motivated violence in Zimbabwe is increasing. The number of
lawyers denied access to their clients or who suffer threats and attacks by
members of the police force as they try to protect citizens rights has risen
over the last month.

On 22 April students taking part in a peaceful demonstration suffered
violent attacks at the hands of the police who were deployed to break up the
meeting. Lawyer Otto Saki attended the scene to represent Tinashe Chimedza,
one of the detained students. Saki was denied access to his client. Saki
stayed at the scene and later witnessed the torture of his client. Chimedza
was handcuffed whilst the police assaulted him using booted feet, batons,
open hands and a broken broom handle. Chimedza was later rushed to a clinic
to receive treatment for his injuries.

Two other human rights lawyers, Advocate Bhatasara and Jacob Mafume, who
also attended the scene, were subjected to abuse and threats as they tried
to secure the release of their clients. Advocate Bhatasara was threatened by
one Police officer who shouted '...I respect the flag more than anything and
anyone! Today someone is going to die! Shots will be fired today!'. The
police then detained Advocate Bhatasara for allegedly refusing to remove his
cap. He was later released.

Zimbabwean human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, who has herself suffered a
violent assault at the hands of the police, stated, 'I am appalled at the
increasing number of violent attacks suffered by lawyers defending their
clients in Zimbabwe. How can we possibly talk of rule of law existing here
when such attacks continue?'

'The IBA reminds the authorities in Zimbabwe that the role of the police
force is not to obstruct justice but to protect it. The police force must
not identify lawyers with the politics or acts of their clients, and police
officers are obligated to allow lawyers access to their clients,' said Mark
Ellis, Executive Director of the IBA. 'The authorities are obligated under
international law to investigate cases of alleged police violence and
torture, and bring charges where sufficient evidence is found. The
Government's complete silence on the use of police torture and violence
gives tacit consent to these illegal practices'.
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Zim 70s fate sealed
29/04/2004 19:15  - (SA)

Bulawayo - Zimbabwe has agreed to hand over to Equatorial Guinea 70 men
accused of plotting a coup against President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, an
official said on Thursday.

The decision was taken following talks between President Robert Mugabe and
Obiang in Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo, said the official who asked
not to be named.

"The president agreed to extradite the 70 mercenaries so that they could go
and face trial in Equatorial Guinea," he said.

An official statement on the decision was being prepared, he said.

The 70 men, all of whom were travelling on South African passports, were
detained on March 7 at Harare International Airport when their Boeing 727
stopped to refuel and pick up military equipment.

The Zimbabwe authorities arrested them, claiming they were on their way to
join 15 suspected mercenaries arrested in Equatorial Guinea on similar
charges of plotting to overthrow the government of the oil-rich central
African nation.

The men deny they were involved in a plot to overthrow Obiang and contend
they were on their way to the Democratic Republic of Congo to guard diamond

South Africa said on Thursday it would not oppose the possible extradition
of the suspected soldiers of fortune to Equatorial Guinea where they could
face the death penalty.

"There is no legal basis for South Africa to demand that its nationals
should not be extradited to another country," the foreign ministry said in a

It added that the South African embassy in Zimbabwe had not been officially
informed by Zimbabwean authorities of the extradition.

Obiang last month said that the 15 men arrested in Equatorial Guinea could
face the death penalty.

'Will kill them'

"If we have to kill them, we will kill them," said Obiang, who has ruled the
country for 25 years.

On a visit to Zimbabwe earlier this month, Equato-Guinean Interior Minister
Manuel Nguema Mba said the 15 men wanted to wipe out Obiang's entire family.

Zimbabwe last week added Equatorial Guinea to the list of countries covered
by its extradition legislation.

The men held in Harare have been charged with breaching Zimbabwe's security,
aviation, firearms and immigration laws.

Lawyers for the group had asked the court in Harare to drop the case,
arguing that there were no grounds for the charges.

The same court on Tuesday ordered an investigation into torture claims that
came up as defence lawyers were pressing for the release of the 70.

Simon Mann, 55, the man Zimbabwe believes to be the leader of the group,
told the court he was tortured in custody and forced to sign a statement.

Magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe said, according to the evidence brought before
the court so far, the alleged torture had not been carried out by the police
or prison authorities, but by "other forces".
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The Scotsman

      Thorpe Undecided on Zimbabwe


      Test batsman batsman Graham Thorpe has not ruled out the possibility
of boycotting England's autumn tour to trouble-torn Zimbabwe.

      Thorpe is back representing Surrey in the Frizzell County Championship
following his return from the successful Test series in the West Indies.

      But he has criticised the Government and the England and Wales Cricket
Board for not making a firm decision on whether the team should play in
against the African nation later this year.

      "I don't agree with what is going on in Zimbabwe but I am a cricketer
and if the Government does not make a decision and your cricket board does
not make a decision for you as cricketer you have to decide whether you
become a politician overnight," Thorpe told Radio Five Live.

      "It is unfair to feel under pressure to make a decision about whether
to tour Zimbabwe or not.

      "It is a bit hard to be throwing moral judgements at cricket when that
is what they (the Government and the ECB) do for a living.

      "Zimbabwe is two Test series away and in four months' time if I am
still good enough I will make my decision then - if the situation has not

      "As the clock ticks more questions get asked and all you can do is be
honest about it. I can't definitely say      I would tour]."

      "It (playing for England) is like being in the army - sometimes they
have to go to places they don't want to as well."
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New Zimbabwe

Kondozi Farm worker shot by police

By Agencies
Last updated: 04/30/2004 03:22:36
THE Transport Manager of the disputed Kondozi Estates has been shot and
injured by police for driving a farm vehicle after the government seized the
huge farm for resettlement.

Joseph Kapfidze who was doing coordinating duties in Mutare for the sister
organisation Mitchell and Mitchell was detained over night at Mutare Central
Police without treatment until the following day.

Vice President Joseph Msika's authority faced a test this week after
state-owned Agricultural Development Authority (Arda) workers refused to
vacate the hotly disputed farm, backed by ruling party lightweights.

After meeting a 70-member delegation comprising 28 chiefs and their headmen
at his Munhumutapa offices last Thursday, Msika is understood to have issued
a directive to Manicaland provincial governor Major-General Mike Nyambuya to
ensure that Arda vacates Kondozi Farm.

Arda has demanded all the farm property.

Kapfidza was driving in Mutare town when police spotted the Kondozi vehicle
and he was stopped. A police spokesman said Kapfidze refused a police
instruction to stop and ignored warning shots before he was shot on the
ankle through the driver's door.

But witnesses deny the police version of events. They said the police shot
at the car and when it stopped they approached it and went on to assault him
although it was clear to them that he was injured.

"Arda guards and some militia also kicked him all over his body in the
presence of the police," a witness said.

Subsequently Kapfidza was taken to Mutare Central Police where he was
detained over night. He was only released the following day through the
intervention of Trust Maanda a human rights lawyer based in Mutare. Kapfidza
was released without charge because it had come out that he was driving a
company car.

The Herald today published a story suggesting the car was stolen.

"The man was arrested after police officers investigating the disappearance
of assets at the farm after the Agricultural Rural Development Authority
took over the property, spotted him driving the car near Mutare General
Hospital," the paper said in it's distorted version of events.

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The Australian

Australia accused
By Jon Pierik
April 30, 2004
CRICKET AUSTRALIA was under savage attack last night after England boss Tim
Lamb accused Australia of being the primary force in introducing heavy
sanctions against countries which refused to tour Zimbabwe.

English newspaper The Guardian reported yesterday that Australia had ensured
countries risked not only a hefty fine of almost $3 million but would be
suspended for 12 months from the ICC if they resisted visiting the troubled
African nation.

It was claimed Australia had hatched the plan the night before last month's
two-day ICC meeting in Auckland.

The decision was subsequently endorsed by the ICC executive board.

Australia wanted suspension measures introduced to ensure England toured
Zimbabwe later this year.

It's believed this decision would help strengthen its links with cashed-up
India which is a firmer backer of Zimbabwe cricket.

But Lamb's comments were thunderously dismissed by CA officials yesterday.

"That is a load of crap," said one high-level board member.

"There is no semblance of truth in that at all."

CA general manager public affairs Peter Young said the board had no official

"As far as board meetings are concerned, we have an absolute view that we
don't talk about what happens in board meetings," he said.

The high-level board member suggested hefty fines had been in place for
about three years - which has been the case - while suspension for not
fulfilling tours without an adequate excuse had long been part of the game's

But had the latter been the case, England would have been suspended for not
travelling to Zimbabwe in last year's World Cup.

Lamb, the chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board, was
adamant Australia had sided against its traditional ally.

"I think certain members of the ICC, who were concerned about England not
completing the tour [to Zimbabwe], discussed what could be done and saw a
change in regulations as rather an elegant way of putting pressure on
England," he said.

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War on Zim mayors
29/04/2004 14:27  - (SA)

Kodzevu Sithole

Harare - Being a mayor in Zimbabwe these days is no easy task.

President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF party is increasingly clamping down
on opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) mayors in Zimbabwe's
urban centres.

The mayors believe there is a grand plan being orchestrated by Zanu PF to
usurp the control of the urban centres - which have been the MDC's
stronghold - ahead of the 2005 parliamentary election.

The MDC seized control of Harare, Bulawayo, Victoria Falls, Gweru, Masvingo,
Gwanda and Kariba in the last municipal elections.

The ruling party has already created the position of governors for
Zimbabwe's two largest cities, Harare and Bulawayo, which analysts say are
meant to neutralise the powers of the popularly elected executive mayors.

'It's a political issue'

In Harare, Zimbabwe's capital, Harare executive mayor engineer Elias Mudzuri
was last week dismissed by President Robert Mugabe for "incompetence". His
dismissal had been engineered by Ignatius Chombo is the Minister of Local
Government, Public Works and National Housing.

Even in the eastern border town of Mutare, there are signs of a campaign
aimed at getting rid of elected mayor Misheck Kagurabadza and replace him
with a government-appointed commission.

"The events are building up very fast. Last week, a group of people wanted
an audience with Chombo and demanded they mayor's resignation," said a
senior Mutare counci official.

Already at the Civic Centre, which houses the Mutare mayor, names of two
senior Zanu PF officials are being touted as the possible appointees of the
new commission to run the affairs of the city.

But Kagurabadza said the events in Mutare, where the council consists of 17
MDC councillors and one Zanu PF member, were worrying and detrimental to the
development of the eastern border city.

"Initially I thought it was purely a civic matter which we could address
amicably but I have realised that it is political. Their demands are
unrealistic and this not good for the development of the city," said

Analysts said the demonstrations were an attempt by Zanu PF to create
"imaginary disgruntlement" by residents of Mutare and this would give Chombo
an excuse to intervene on the pretext of trying to rescue the situation.

Door handles tied with wire

According to the MDC information department, more than five thousand Zanu PF
supporters blocked Kagurabadza from entering his office on Monday. The
demonstrators were carrying a coffin inscribed "MDC rest in peace" and
"Kagurabadza rest in peace" and demanded the resignation of the mayor and
council to pave way for the appointment of a commission to run the City of
Mutare. Police were alerted, but did not do anything to move away the mob.

At about 08.30 on Tuesday morning, more than a HUNDRED demonstrators,
allegedly escorted by the police, tied the handles of the door to the
mayor's office with wire to prevent him from entering and started assaulting
suspected MDC supporters, with two - Huggins Kashiri and Nyasha Katsidzira -
having been seriously injured.

The same situation occurred last week in the resort town of Kariba which
fell into the hands of the MDC last year. Zanu PF supporters converged on
the council offices and blocked the mayor from going in. They however later

Bulawayo executive mayor and vice-president of the Urban Councils'
Association, Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, said although Chombo had not threatened
him with dismissal, events on the ground were leading to a collision with
Mugabe's appointee, Bulawayo governor Cain Mathema.

Ndabeni-Ncube said Mathema was trying to create conditions for the two to
clash, a development which would be "used against me by the authorities".

Worried about larger cities

Masvingo executive mayor Alois Chaimiti said it was possible any MDC mayor
could face the same fate as Mudzuri.

"However, it appears they are not very worried about the small local
authorities like us but larger cities, where their influence matters most,"
said Chaimiti.

Blessing Dhlakama, the Chegutu executive mayor has on several occasions been
threatened with eviction from council offices by Zanu PF supporters, with
his deputy, a Zanu PF stalwart, assuming the office of mayor. The deputy,
despite being found guilty of embezzling over Z$50 million of council funds
mid-last year, was allowed by government to remain in office.

He was only arrested recently on the orders of the recently appointed
anti-corruption minister, Didymus Mutasa.

In Harare, Chombo has already appointed a team led by Jameson Kurasha to
monitor the city's service delivery system. Ironically, Kurasha headed the
committee that probed Mudzuri's activities at Town House.

Mudzuri, dismissed by Mugabe on allegations of mismanagement and corruption
last week, had been on suspension since April 29 last year.

The swoop on mayors by Zanu PF comes amid reports that the ruling party was
enticing poverty-stricken MDC councillors to resign en masse from the
opposition party in return for houses and monetary rewards before the 2005
general elections.
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