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

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sporting life


England's preparations for their second one-day international against
Zimbabwe today were hit by a small political demonstration outside their
hotel as they left for the Harare Sports Club.

As England's players left for the ground they were greeted by three
demonstrators carrying placards which protested against the controversial
tour and demanded the release of imprisoned opposition MP Roy Bennett.

The placards read: "No Justice, No Cricket, Free Roy Bennett," but the
protest was quickly moved on by hotel security guards and police reservists
to allow the coach to leave for the ground.

Away from the political controversy surrounding the tour, England named an
unchanged line-up for the second game in the four-match series with Gareth
Batty, Simon Jones and Matt Prior once again missing out.

Captain Michael Vaughan, concerned at the manner in which his team finished
Sunday's opening clash, also won the toss for the second time in successive
matches but this time chose to bat first.

Zimbabwe made two changes as they attempted to secure their first victory in
14 matches since the losing their 15 'rebel' players in April.

Batsman Vusi Sibanda, who scored just six in 17 balls on Sunday, was dropped
for Hamilton Masakadza while Gavin Ewing became the first rebel to return to
the national side when he replaced Doug Hondo.
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England protest at 'political' coverage

Paul Kelso in Harare
Wednesday December 1, 2004
The Guardian

Politics is so all-pervading in Zimbabwe that it was naive to think
England's cricketers could avoid being exploited by the propaganda that
passes for mainstream media here, and yesterday they got their first taste
of what may become routine attempts to make political capital from this
Yesterday's edition of the pro-government Herald newspaper used selected
quotes and photographs from Ian Bell's media interviews on Monday to support
a piece claiming England's cricketers were happy to be here and eager to
return to Zimbabwe soon.

It prompted a statement of disapproval from the England and Wales Cricket
Board and increased tension as the squad prepared for today's second one-day

Yesterday the England coach Duncan Fletcher claimed that "politicisation" of
the tour had already affected the players, and the story has done nothing to
dispel the suspicion that the team's presence is helpful to the ruling
Zanu-PF party, whose national congress also begins today.

Under the headline "England players appreciate Zim", the paper claimed: "One
by one, England's players are queueing up to give their approval of their
tour to this country.

"Among the touring players," the piece continued, "are some who believe in
sticking to their business of playing cricket and leaving politics to the
politicians. One of them is opener Ian Bell."

Bell is then quoted, accurately, as saying: "We are very comfortable at the
moment and we are being looked after very well . . . I didn't know what to
expect but I have been pleasantly surprised. This is somewhere that I would
like to come back and play more."

The article is illustrated with a picture of Bell admiring a local artefact
in a market near the team hotel, a photo opportunity set up by the ECB that
it may now regret. In a statement the media officer Andrew Walpole said the
ECB was disappointed at the politicisation of Bell's comments.
"We are very disappointed that the newspaper concerned has chosen to
politicise what was essentially a piece of sightseeing," he said. "We are
disappointed in the way it was reported and nothing that Ian Bell said was
intended as a political comment."

Further evidence that the tour has entered the political arena came as
Morgan Tsvangari, the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, slammed England's decision to fulfil their fixtures in a speech in

"We appealed to the cricketers to realise [Zimbabwe's president] Mugabe is
the patron of cricket in Zimbabwe. We have from the very beginning condemned
anything that will give legitimacy to Mugabe, including the English cricket
tour," he said.

The row over the Herald's treatment came as Fletcher spoke for the first
time since returning to the country of his birth. Guarded in front of the
media at the best of times, the coach was loath to comment on the situation
in his homeland, but did say that the uncertainty of the last week had
harmed the squad's preparation.

"You can't hide away from the fact before the game there was a strange
feeling in the camp because the build-up to this game has been different,"
he said. "That may have contributed to the way we started."

Fletcher said that the mood in the camp had lifted as the game progressed,
and defended the decision to give the players most of Monday off. Some of
the squad played golf and others went on a game drive outside the city.

He admitted that there was still uncertainty about what could happen on
match days, and despite the absence of protesters or an official government
presence on Sunday, the squad will clearly not relax until they arrive in
South Africa next Monday.

"As far as the politicisation is concerned we will only really find out
[what will happen] as the tour progresses, but we feel that we just want to
get on with the cricket. It has already had an effect to some degree from
the point of view that the guys were nervous before the first game."

Sunday's match was more notable for the good-natured atmosphere than the
quality of the cricket, and the broadly positive coverage of the match added
fuel to the accusations of Peter Hain, the leader of the House of Commons,
that the tour is a "propaganda victory" for Robert Mugabe.

Zimbabwe (probable): *Taibu, Taylor, Matsikenyeri, Sibanda, Ebrahim,
Vermeulen, Chigabura, Panyangara, Utseya, Hondo, Mpofu.

England: *Vaughan, Solanki, Bell, Strauss, Pietersen, Collingwood, G Jones,
Giles, Gough, Wharf, Anderson.
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Business Report

      Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank governor on platinum road show in SA after
sparking panic over forex earnings

      Gono to show investors the eye of his investment storm
      December 1, 2004

      By Alex Dawson

      Harare - Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank governor, Gideon Gono, is in
Johannesburg today to address the country's business community and
apparently to try to salvage a huge South African platinum investment that
he may have jeopardised.

      Last Friday Gono announced in the Zimbabwe press that he was taking a
platinum road show to Johannesburg.

      He will probably want to explain the tremors he set off when he told
the industry in October that it could no longer keep foreign currency
earnings offshore despite agreements to do just that, which the
international owners of the mines Mimosa, Unki and Zimplats had struck with
the Zimbabwe government from 1992.

      The platinum mining houses say they are obliged to keep their foreign
currency earnings offshore or else foreign investors will not back them.

      The Reserve Bank insists the mining houses should keep their foreign
currency in domestic foreign currency accounts but because the Reserve Bank
frequently raids these for scarce foreign exchange, no one trusts them,
especially not big players who need vast injections of foreign capital, like
the platinum industry.

      When Gono - either ignorant of the special dispensations negotiated by
the platinum industry or perhaps just desperate for foreign currency to pay
for Zimbabwe's fuel and other essentials - made his announcement in October,
it sparked panic among South African investors.

      These investors had been ready to pour at least $1 billion (R6
billion) into expansion of the three mines - the biggest South African
investment in Zimbabwe and the largest injection of capital into this
economy in a decade.

      In about 12 years it would have provided a 10-fold increase in
production, beginning after five years of massive job creation, housing,
injections into industries like construction, in central Zimbabwe.

      The investment and the expansion is reportedly on hold. So is the
proposed deal by the black economic empowerment Nkululeko consortium to buy
a 15 percent share in Zimplats with the backing of South African banks.

      Industry sources said that President Thabo Mbeki had called Gono to
ask him to reverse his decision and make this clear to the platinum

      The investment and the expansion would not happen unless he did so.
And even if he did, new agreements would have to be negotiated and the
start-up would be delayed until about September next year.

      Something else he will need to clarify today is his statement last
Friday to the Zimbabwe Independent that Zimbabwe wanted to reap the rewards
of beneficiation of platinum matte, which is now done in South Africa at one
of only five platinum refineries in the world.

      Most mining sources north and south of the Limpopo shrugged off his
statement as just a smokescreen to cover his massive October platinum
blunder, as the technology and construction of a refinery were so expensive
that there would be no returns for decades.

      Refined platinum adds about 7 percent in value to the raw platinum
that contains traces of several other metals.

      So the industry will be listening carefully to what Gono says today,
packaging his message, no doubt, with his success in cutting hyperinflation
by more than half since January, though the results of this have not been
felt by the man in the street.

      He will probably also sincerely criticise those officials of his
government who continue to damage the economy by arresting tourists and
invading the few remaining commercial farms and foreign estates.

      Gono is Mugabe's front man in a multipronged effort to restore the
Zanu-PF government's international respectability.

      But he will have to sort out the platinum problem first.

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Zim Online

Wed 1 December 2004
  JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU)
yesterday called on the African National Congress (ANC) party to arrange an
urgent meeting to discuss President Thabo Mbeki's handling of Zimbabwe and
other differences threatening to split South Africa's ruling alliance.

      The tripartite alliance, which is led by the ANC, also includes the
South African Communist Party (SACP).

      "We are calling on the ANC to exercise its leadership role," COSATU
general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi told reporters in Johannesburg. He added:
"We want an end to this (wrangling over Zimbabwe and other issues). If we
had the choice we would be in a meeting as we speak to iron out the issues."

      Vavi, who said some ANC leaders had already informally agreed on the
need for a meeting, spoke after a meeting of COSATU's national leadership
and its affiliates to discuss mounting tensions within the alliance over
Pretoria's stance on Zimbabwe and its black economic empowerment policy.

      COSATU has wrangled with the ANC after its fact-finding mission to
Zimbabwe was bundled out of that country by President Robert Mugabe against
an order by the Harare High Court barring the mission's deportation.

      Mbeki and the ANC, who have refused to openly criticise Mugabe
insisting on "quiet diplomacy" towards Harare, did not come to the defence
of COSATU, and instead chided the union for sending the mission in the first

      But the powerful union declared it would defy Mbeki's softly-softly
approach towards Harare by sending another fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe
next year.

      COSATU said it is also going to blockade Zimbabwe's lifeline
Beitbridge border with South Africa this month to protest human rights
violations by Mugabe and his government.

      COSATU this week also readily weighed in with support for
internationally respected retired Anglican archbishop Desmond Tutu who
attacked senior officials of the ANC for failing to challenge Mbeki's
controversial policies on Zimbabwe and his handling of the Aids crisis.

      Until now, Mbeki and his Foreign Affairs Minister, Nkosazana
Dhlamini-Zuma, have dictated policy on Zimbabwe with little challenge from
the ANC's former allies in the struggle. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Secret service agency to gobble Z$396 billion next year
Wed 1 December 2004

      HARARE - Zimbabwe's dreaded spy agency is set to gobble a massive
Z$395.8 billion next year, according to expenditure estimates released

      The Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) secret service, which
falls directly under President Robert Mugabe's office, receives a budget
under the special services allocations which is not subjected to
parliamentary scrutiny.

      The massive surge in expenditure by the CIO, is six times more than
the Z$62 billion which had been approved for 2004.

      This year alone, the secret agency spent Z$101.6 billion, way above
its Z$62 billion budget allocation. No parliamentary approval was sought for
the expenditure.

      A separate equipment procurement account for special services is also
set to increase from Z$10 billion to Z$61.3 billion in 2005. It could not be
established what sort of equipment the secret agency is acquiring.

      The decision to pump in more money into the CIO comes a few months
before Zimbabwe holds a crucial parliamentary election when Mugabe's ruling
ZANU PF party squares up against the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) next March.

      Human rights groups have consistently accused Mugabe of using secret
service agents to crush voices of dissent in the country in a bid to hold on
to power.

      The feared spy agency is accused of systematically master-minding the
harassment and torture of  opposition MDC supporters in the run up to
elections in Zimbabwe. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

ZANU PF congress kicks off amid crunching poverty
Wed 1 December 2004
  HARARE - The ruling ZANU PF party begins its congress in Harare today
amidst a crumbling economy, food shortages, record poverty and unemployment
but analysts yesterday said long-suffering Zimbabweans should expect little
from the gathering.

      They said the four-day congress, held after every five years, will
have little to do with resolving the country's deepening political and
economic crisis but more about solving power struggles within ZANU PF.

      University of Zimbabwe lecturer and political commentator Heneri
Dzinotyiwei said: "It does not concern ordinary citizens as it is not
expected to solve the political and economic problems prevailing in the
country. It is very much to do with power
      struggles in the party which are not going to help address current

      Instead of coming up with solutions to a painful five-year economic
recession that has seen shortages of every life-saving commodity, ZANU PF -
which has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980 - is
expected to use the meeting to mobilise its ranks in order to win next
year's general election and retain power.

      "(The congress) will concentrate on mobilisation of membership ahead
of next March's parliamentary elections," he said.

      National Constitutional Assembly chairman Lovemore Madhuku said
although the congress was expected to usher in Water Resources Minister,
Joyce Mujuru, as ZANU PF's second vice-president, firmly putting her in line
to succeed Mugabe as party and possibly state president, nothing else would

      Madhuku, whose assembly fights for a new and democratic constitution
for Zimbabwe, said: "The congress is not significant to the ordinary person.
It must be dismissed."

      He said the congress would have had impact on Zimbabwe if it was going
to usher in a completely new leadership for ZANU PF, which could have seen
the ruling party probably changing direction and policies.

      But Mugabe - the only ruler Zimbabweans have ever known - will be
retained as ZANU PF leader after all the party's 10 provinces unanimously
selected him as their preferred choice.

      The party's other vice-president, Joseph Msika and party chairman,
John Nkomo, are also retained in the four-member presidium with Mujuru, a
Mugabe loyalist, as the only new addition. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

US$20 million Reserve Bank bond flops
Wed 1 December 2004
  HARARE - A US$20 million bond floated by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in
October to raise hard cash flopped as investors fearful of the country's
risk rating shied away from the junk bond.

      The one year foreign currency denominated bond, referred to by market
players as a junk bond because of Zimbabwe's poor credit rating, was floated
on October 1. The offer closed on November 1.

      The central bank said the bond, which was open to foreign investors,
resident and non-resident Zimbabweans was to "assist in mobilising foreign
exchange for the country's critical import requirements."

      But finance industry sources told ZimOnline there were virtually no
takers for the bond.

      An analyst with a Harare investment company, who spoke anonymously for
professional reasons, said: "The bond was a flop because of a variety of
reasons including the perceived high risk of doing business with Zimbabwe.

      "The other reason was that the central bank packaged the bond under
its Homelink initiative which might have resulted in other investors, who
are not necessarily Zimbabweans living abroad, failing to see it."

      Homelink is a scheme launched by the central bank earlier this year to
entice Zimbabweans living abroad to send hard cash home through official
channels and not through the black market.

      Economic analyst and an RBZ adviser, Eric Bloch, said the bank had
failed to attract investors because of poor timing. He said: "The bond
flopped because the timing was just incorrect. Another bond will be
re-floated onto the market through a tap issue."

      To lure a sceptical market, the central bank had offered to pay
investors the full amount of the bond plus interest in hard cash on the day
of maturity.

      Zimbabwe is in the grip of a foreign currency crisis that has
manifested itself through shortages of electricity, fuel, essential drugs
and other basic commodities because there is no hard cash to pay foreign
suppliers. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

File on High Court judge's suit disappears
Wed 1 December 2004
  HARARE - A file on the matter in which Judge President Paddington Garwe is
being sued for illegally occupying a farm has gone missing at the High
Court, sources told ZimOnline last night.

      The missing file has delayed the hearing of the application in which
white farmer, Christopher Geoffrey Tracey, is accusing Garwe and his
business partner of unlawfully taking over his Mount Lothian Estate in
Mashonaland East province.

      Tracey is also accusing Garwe and retired army colonel, Godfrey
Mutemachani, with whom the judge is jointly occupying his farm of failing to
pay for US$30 000 worth of farm equipment he sold to them.

      "The case was expected to be an urgent application but proceedings
have been delayed because of the disappearance of the file. We cannot locate
it but we are investigating," said an official in the Registrar's office,
who did not want to be named for
      fear of victimisation.

      The High Court registrar could not be reached for comment on the
missing file last night.

      Officials at the Attorney General's office had two weeks ago told
ZimOnline that they were under pressure to speed up the case and use it to
embarrass Garwe as punishment for his October acquittal of opposition
Movement for Democratic Change party leader Morgan Tsvangirai on treason.

      The matter between Tracey and Garwe is a civil one and the AG is not
normally involved in such cases.

      But acting AG, Bharat Patel said his office was involved because
Tracey had also named the Ministry of Lands as a respondent because he
alleges it improperly issued Garwe and Mutemachani letters allowing them to
occupy his property.

      Garwe, who is head of the High Court, surprisingly dismissed state
charges that Tsvangirai had plotted to murder Mugabe ahead of the March 2002
presidential election when many had expected him to convict the opposition
leader and sentence him to at least a long prison term. - ZimOnline
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The Scotsman

Opposition Leader Seeks More Action Against Mugabe

By Nicola Boden, PA

The Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is in London today to
rally support against President Robert Mugabe's government before the
country's elections next March.

It is the 52-year-old former union leader's second visit to Europe since he
was cleared of plotting to kill his rival by the Zimbabwean High Court last

Mr Tsvangirai's tour has already brought him to London once but he is
expected to call for further international action against Mugabe and his
brutal regime.

The former weaver lost the 2002 presidential election to the dictator but
the result was disputed and condemned by international human rights groups.

As leader of the opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), he
is now calling for Europe to do more to ensure that the parliamentary
elections in March are fair.

The EU has long criticised Mugabe's regime and has slapped sanctions on
Harare, including a travel ban on Mugabe and key government figures.

But Tsvangirai said in Paris this week that the sanctions have not been
applied forcefully enough.

On his visit to Brussels on Monday he also condemned England's cricket tour
to the country.

He said it was seen as conferring legitimacy on the current regime, which
has brought famine, conflict and economic decline to Zimbabwe.

The country is due to hold parliamentary polls in March but the MDC has said
it will not take part unless changes are made.

They want the process to be in line with guidelines set by the Southern
African Development Community (SADC).

Mr Tsvangirai had his passport taken away during his year long trial for
treason, during which it was claimed he had plotted to kill the President.

But it was returned when he was acquitted by the Zimbabwean High Court last

Since then he has been travelling around Africa and Europe to gather support
against Mugabe.
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New Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe appeals Tsvangirai acquittal

By Constantine Chimakure
Last updated: 12/01/2004 11:01:26
ZIMBABWE'S chief prosecutor has filed papers with the Supreme Court
challenging the acquittal of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on treason
charges relating to an alleged plot to overthrow the government of President
Robert Mugabe.

Acting Attorney General Bharat Patel filed papers with Zimbabwe's top court
Monday as Tsvangirai was winding-up his tour of Europe before flying back to
Zimbabwe on Thursday.

"An application for leave to appeal against Tsvangirai's acquittal by the
High Court was lodged with the Supreme Court on November 29 this year. This
sets the motion for our appeal," Patel said. "I cannot show the court papers
to you at the moment because I am out of my office. Come tomorrow."

However, MDC secretary for legal affairs David Coltart said he was not aware
of the Supreme Court application. He said he needed to consult Tsvangirai's
lawyers as he was of the opinion that the Attorney General's office had not
lodged an appeal within the stipulated time.

"I am not aware of the application for leave to appeal. I need to consult
Tsvangirai's lawyers," Coltart said. "To me it seems the Attorney General's
office is late in filing the application. I would have thought that their
time to lodge the application expired."

Coltart, a Bulawayo-based lawyer, said normally applications for leave to
appeal and appeals were done within 21 days.

But, last night Patel said he was not sure of what Coltart was referring to.
"I don't understand what he meant. Anyway we needed to get the High Court's
final judgment record before we could proceed with the application. We have
followed the law," Patel said.

High Court Judge President, Justice Paddington Garwe on October 15 found
Tsvangirai not guilty of high treason.

He was accused of plotting to kill President Mugabe ahead of elections
controversially won by the Zanu PF leader in 2002.

Tsvangirai's defence was that State security agents framed him, and Garwe
ruled that the evidence was not sufficient to convict the MDC leader.
The case revolved around the testimony of Ari Ben-Menashe, a Canada-based
consultant who was dismissed as unreliable by the judge.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa hinted that the State would appeal
against the judgment, arguing that Justice Garwe had played down the
evidence tabled in court.
Daily Mirror

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