JOHANNESBURG - The
United States has accused Zimbabwe of adopting a "pattern of intimidation"
against journalists in the country.
It was reacting to news
that four journalists working for foreign news organisations have fled the
country in the past week after being threatened by Zimbabwe's secret police.
They were accused of transmitting "material prejudicial to the
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said "an
open environment for journalists and opposition" was
"The administration noted a pattern in Zimbabwe where
the opposition fears for its safety, where restrictions were being placed on
civil society and where newspapers were being shut down," he
The US has described Zimbabwe as an "outpost of tyranny",
although this has been criticised by neighbour South Africa as "an
Angus Shaw who wrote for AP news agency, Brian
Latham who contributed to the Bloomberg financial wire service, Jaan Raath
of the UK newspaper, The Times, and Zimbabwean freelance television producer
Cornelius Nduna, fled the country after raids on their
Andrew Moyse from the Media Monitoring Network
Zimbabwe said accusations of anti-state activity against the four
journalists were absolute rubbish and an attempt to silence the
international media in the run up to parliamentary polls on 31
"It could only have been an attempt to intimidate them.
My only regret is that it was successful."
The US has
imposed targeted sanctions on the Zimbabwean leadership - banning President
Mugabe and his associates from traveling to the US, and freezing
The European Union - which has accused Mugabe of using
violence against the political opposition and perpetrating human rights
abuses - has also renewed its sanctions against the
Mugabe accuses the US and the EU of opposing black
rule, citing criticism of his policy of seizing the land of white farmers
for redistribution to blacks. - BBC
Full text of European Union sanctions
Date: 23-Feb, 2005
Full text of the
Council of the European Union agreement renewing sanctions against President
Robert Mugabe and 96 others
COUNCIL DECISION of 17 February
2005 extending the period of application of the measures provided for by
Decision 2002/148/EC, concluding consultations held with Zimbabwe under
Article 96 of the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement
THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European
Community, and in particular the second subparagraph of Article 300(2)
Having regard to the Internal Agreement on measures to
be taken and procedures to be followed for the implementation of the
Partnership Agreement signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000
(1), hereinafter referred to as the 'ACP-EC Agreement', and in particular
Article 3 thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the
(1) By Decision
2002/148/EC (2), the consultations held with the Republic of Zimbabwe under
Article 96(2)(c) of the ACP-EC Agreement were concluded and the appropriate
measures specified in the letter attached to that Decision were
(2) The period of application of the said measures was
extended until 20 February 2004 by Decision 2003/112/EC (3) and until 20
February 2005 by Decision 2004/157/EC (4).
essential elements cited in Article 9 of the ACP-EC Agreement continue to be
violated by the Government of Zimbabwe and the current conditions in
Zimbabwe do not ensure respect for human rights, democratic principles and
the rule of law.
(4) The period of application of the measures
referred to in Article 2 of Decision 2002/148/EC should therefore be
HAS DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:
The application of the measures referred to in Article 2 of
Decision 2002/148/EC shall be extended until 20 February 2006. These
measures shall be reviewed on the basis of an in-depth assessment of the
situation in the light of the parliamentary election scheduled to take place
in Zimbabwe in March 2005.
The letter attached to this
Decision shall be addressed to the President of Zimbabwe.
This Decision shall enter into force on the day of
its publication in the Official Journal of the European
Done at Brussels, 17 February 2005.
the Council The President J.-C. JUNCKER EN L 48/28 Official Journal of the
European Union 19.2.2005 Brussels, . LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF ZIMBABWE The
European Union attaches the utmost importance to the provisions of Article 9
of the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement. As essential elements of the
Partnership Agreement, respect for human rights, democratic institutions and
the rule of law are the basis of our relations. By letter of 19 February
2002, the European Union informed you of its decision to conclude the
consultations held under Article 96 of the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement and
to take certain 'appropriate measures' within the meaning of Article
96(2)(c) of that Agreement. By letters of 19 February 2003 and 19 February
2004, the European Union informed you of its decisions not to revoke the
application of the 'appropriate measures' and to extend the period of
application of such measures until 20 February 2004 and 20 February 2005
respectively. Today, at the end of a new 12-month period, the European Union
considers that democratic principles are still not upheld in Zimbabwe and
that no significant progress has been achieved by your country's Government
in the five fields cited in the Council Decision of 18 February 2002 (end of
politically motivated violence, free and fair elections, freedom of the
media, independence of the judiciary and end of illegal occupations of
farms). Bearing in mind the above, the European Union considers that there
is no question of the appropriate measures being revoked and it has decided
to extend the period of their application until 20 February 2006. These
measures will be reviewed on the basis of an in-depth assessment of the
situation in the light of the parliamentary election scheduled to take place
in Zimbabwe in March 2005. The European Union would like to emphasise that
it attaches paramount importance to the holding of free and fair
parliamentary elections and, to this effect, it hopes that you and your
Government will do everything you can to ensure that the political and
electoral environment is conducive to the holding of free and fair
parliamentary elections. This would enable a dialogue to be conducted on the
basis of the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement, which could lead to the lifting
of the suspension of the signing of the 9th EDF National Indicative
Programme for Zimbabwe thereby making possible the resumption of full
cooperation instruments in the near future. Yours faithfully, For the
Commission For the Council EN 19.2.2005 Official Journal of the European
Union L 48/29
JOHANNESBURG - An
outcry has broken out in Botswana over plans by the government to deport an
outspoken university academic who last week accused President Festus Mogae
of practising "silent diplomacy" in his relations with the Zimbabwean
Professor Kenneth Good was declared a prohibited
immigrant and given 48 hours to leave the country last Friday. Following an
urgent appeal lodged the following day, Prof Good was granted an extension
by the High Court.
Botswana is regarded as a model of democracy
in Southern Africa and the government's intolerant move has surprised many
in the country.
Prof Good's paper entitled "Presidential
Succession in Botswana: No model for Africa" was scheduled to be presented
Prof Good made headlines last week when he joined a
Botswana member of parliament, Paul Rantao, in criticising the government's
handling of the immigration problem with Zimbabwe.
complained that Botswana was wasting resources in deporting illegal
Zimbabwean immigrants, only for them to return to the country immediately
afterwards. Rantao warned that war could break out between the neighbouring
countries as a result of frequent clashes between Botswana and Zimbabwean
nationals, who are often accused of raising the country's crime
Prof Good urged President Mogae to confront Mugabe
directly over the immigration issue, and he accused Mogae, Vice President
Ian Seretse Khama and the Defence Minister of practicing "silent
This was in apparent reference to the "quiet
diplomacy" of South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki, which has earned him a
lot of flak.
The University of Botswana Academic and Senior
Support Staff Union (UBASSSU) issued a statement expressing outrage at the
action taken against Prof Good. It described his deportation as an "assault
on academic freedom and an affront on the fundamental values of
UBASSSU chairman Dr. Alfred Tsheboeng said in the
statement to Mmegi/The Reporter that members of the union had also expressed
concern at the growing tendency towards authoritarianism by the
"Prof. Good is an eminent scholar with outstanding
academic credentials. He has demonstrated unparalleled, sound and
intellectual appreciation of national and international
Prof Good's colleagues vowed to support him to the
"very end" and announced a programme of action that includes a march to the
Office of the President to present a petition demanding the lifting of the
They would enlist the support of
universities around the world on the matter and ensure that Prof Good's
paper entitled "Presidential Succession in Botswana: No model for Africa"
would be presented as scheduled
JAILED MDC Chimanimani legislator Roy
Bennett has taken his wife Heather, Zanu PF candidate for the constituency
Samuel Undenge and two others to the Electoral Court seeking the
nullification of the result of last Friday's nomination, ahead of next
month's parliamentary elections. Bennett is contending that the decision by
the nomination court to disqualify him from the March 31 parliamentary race
had no basis at law because incarceration is not cited in the Electoral Act
as one of the reasons to disqualify would-be candidates. In papers filed
with the newly created Electoral Court on Monday, the constituency electoral
officer and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) were cited first and
second respondents. Undenge, and Heather - who subsequently replaced her
husband as the MDC candidate - are third and fourth respondents. Bennett
is urging the court to compel first respondent to convene another nomination
court on March 18. The fiery legislator doing time in Mutoko Prison after he
was jailed for one year by Parliament for contempt of the House, is also
seeking the court to declare the appointment of one constituency election
officer for Manicaland as unconstitutional. He argued that regulations
published in the extraordinary Government Gazette of February 17 2005
appointing one election officer for the eastern province was
unconstitutional. In the interim, the legislator is seeking that: ". any
further proceeding under Section 49 of the Electoral Act in relation to the
election of a Member of Parliament for the Chimanimani constitueny should be
suspended pending determination of this appeal." The court is yet to set
a hearing date for the matter. Besides the application filed in the Electoral
Court, Bennet filed another urgent chamber application in the High Court
seeking his release from prison when the Fifth Parliament of Zimbabwe is
dissolved on March 30. "In terms of Section 63(8) of the Constitution of
Zimbabwe, upon the dissolution of Parliament all its proceedings are
terminated and any other business should lapse. "I contend that this
applies to the sentence I am serving which can be counted up to the 30th
March 2005 at which it would lapse by operation of law," said Bennett in his
affidavit. He further argued that provisions of the Privileges, Immunities
and Powers of Parliament Act were also clear that his jail term must only
cover the House's term. Bennett claimed Section 109 of the Prisons Act
branded him an 'exemplary' model prisoner, displaying good behaviour and had
"employed" his skills to benefit fellow inmates. The matter has been set
down for Friday before Justice Bharat Patel. Harare law firm Kantor and
Immerman is representing Bennett in both cases.
A GROUP of soldiers last Sunday
allegedly beat up three MDC parliamentary candidates and other party
officials in Manicaland as they returned from the launch of their party's
election manifesto in Masvingo. Manicaland police confirmed receiving a
report on the matter, but the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) in Mutare and
Harare could neither confirm nor deny the incident. MDC spokesperson and
Gwanda North legislator, Paul Themba Nyathi alleged the attack took place at
around 6pm at Wengezi Business Centre in Chimanimani. "The MDC officials were
at Wengezi Business Centre in Manicaland when a group of about 50 soldiers
disembarked from two army trucks and about 20 of the soldiers started
assaulting the MDC members. "Among the MDC officials were three candidates
for the 2005 general elections, namely Pishai Muchauraya the candidate for
Makoni East, Edwin Maupa candidate for Mutasa South and Gabriel Chiwara the
candidate for Makoni West," claimed Nyathi. He added that the soldiers
assaulted and injured Chiwara and his election agent Joseph Munhumumwe
accusing the two of selling the country to the British. Chiwara and
Munhumumwe, Nyathi alleged, were treated and discharged at Mutare General
Hospital before they reported the matter to Mutare Rural Police Station. The
case number is RRB0412126. He said the MDC was seriously concerned about the
incident as it came hardly a week after another group of soldiers assaulted
opposition supporters in Nyanga. "The MDC believes that these attacks are
being carried out by members of the Zanu PF youth militia who have been
drafted into the army in recent months. Only brainwashed young people would
carry out these barbaric acts with such passion. We urge all members of the
professional army to encourage the unruly elements among them to desist from
their activities as they continue to tarnish the name of the professional
force," said Nyathi. Joshua Tigere, police provincial spokesperson for
Manicaland, confirmed that one Gabriel Chiwara had reported an assault to
Mutare Rural Police. "The position is that I checked with Mutare Rural
Police. They have confirmed that they received such a report from Gabriel
Chiwara, case number RRB O412126. That is the information I have. It is
unfortunate that I was unable to get the circumstances surrounding the
assaults, like who assaulted Chiwara and why," explained Tigere. The
Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) Press relations office in Harare referred The
Daily Mirror to 3 Brigade in Mutare for comment. "It's news to me, contact
our Brigade major in Mutare," said a deputy director for press relations who
only identified himself as Masuku. A major at 3 Brigade in Mutare would not
comment on the issue: "We do not talk to you (the Press). Those in Harare
should speak to you." The ZNA Harare office then referred this newspaper to a
Colonel Ushe, who could not be reached at the time of going to press last
night. During the countdown to the 2000 and 2002 parliamentary and
presidential elections, the MDC claimed that members of the army assaulted
and maimed its supporters in both rural and urban areas. The government
reacted by arresting a number of people it claimed were army deserters for
allegedly perpetrating the violence to tarnish the image of the
State. Although the arrests were made public, the fate of the "deserters" was
kept under wraps.
Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (ZESN) has called on the government to
overhaul the electoral observation process to improve transparency in
conducting elections in the country. ZESN information officer, Ellen
Kandororo, noted that the status quo hindered observers from contributing
meaningfully to the electoral process. "At the moment we are not allowed to
say anything at the polling stations and if we notice any anomalies we just
have to note them down and include them in our reports," she
said. Addressing a one-day training seminar for provincial election
co-ordinators convened by the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) in
Harare on Tuesday, Kandororo emphasised the need to notify authorities of
the anomalies as and when they happen. Observers, she said, should
deliver their reports to the ESC 14 days after election, but the supervisory
body was not obliged to adopt their recommendations. "The reports we
produce after elections are supposed to be handed over to the ESC 14 days
after elections and the ESC are under no obligations to consider our
recommendations. This has resulted in instances where the same
recommendations are repeated after every election," she said. Kandororo
said ZESN's objectives were being compromised by government accusations of
supping with the opposition every time they produced an adverse report on
the conduct of elections. As a result, some of the reports tended to be
watered down for fear ZESN might be denied accreditation in subsequent
elections, she added. ESC chairperson, Theophilus Gambe, however, said state
of affairs did not provide for other monitors or bodies to run
elections. "The running of the elections has been bestowed on two bodies,
essentially ourselves, a creature of the constitution, whose independence
is enshrined therein, that is the ESC on the one hand. On the other hand is
our brother the Independent Zimbabwe Electoral Commission,' he
said. Gambe said a perception by observers locally and especially from the
West that free and fair elections only occur when the opposition wins,
compounded the present scenario.
MDC candidate for Shamva
in next month's parliamentary election, Godfrey Chimombe and five supporters
were arrested on Tuesday while putting campaign posters at Madziva Market in
Shamva - Mashonaland Central. Provincial police spokesperson Assistant
Michael Munyikwa confirmed the arrests saying the suspects would be charged
for contravening provisions of the Public Order and Security Act. He said
the six putting up campaign posters at Madziva Market, a property of the
council, without notifying the police or the local authority itself. "They
did not notify the police that they wanted to put up their
campaign materials and will be charged under POSA," Munyikwa said. The six
accused persons were still in police custody yesterday awaiting arraignment
in court. Chimombe would fight it out with Zanu PF candidate and also state
security minister Nicholas Goche for the ticket to represent Shamva
constituency in Parliament. The MDC's Mashonaland Central chairman Tapera
Macheka said their candidate and supporters were denied access to food in
police custody. "The police have arrested our candidate for putting up his
campaign posters. The candidate and other five youths are still being
held in police custody where I understand they are being denied access to
food. "We are going to consult our lawyer to intervene because our followers
are now afraid of intimidation," Macheka said. The opposition recently
expressed concern over the way its supporters were being treated in the
province. The party claimed that it was being denied the right to campaign
poaching of wildlife is reportedly rife in the Midlands Black Rhino
Conservancy in Kwekwe, threatening the future viability of the vast
protectorate and the government has been called upon to intervene quickly to
stop the rot. Members of the Sebakwe Black Rhino Conservancy Trust, the main
financiers of the conservancy, told The Daily Mirror that the conservancy
had been engulfed by a spate of wildlife and firewood poaching in the past
two months and that some game species risked becoming extinct as a
result. "We are really concerned by the rampant poaching in the conservancy.
The situation on the ground needs government intervention to stop the
extinction of wildlife which is the core of the conservancy," said a member
of the Trust on condition he is not named. The Trust's chairman, John
Cripper, in a recent meeting with members, expressed uncertainty over the
future of the conservancy due to widespread poaching. The Trust was also
planning to establish a conservancy education centre amid reports that
several farms making up the sanctuary have already been designated after
being served with section 8 notices. Following discussions with Midlands
Governor Cephas Msipa, the government reportedly offered 37 hectares of
State land to Sebakwe Country Club in 2002 to construct the conservancy
education centre at a cost of $100 million. Because of high inflation, the
cost of the project has now ballooned to $200 million, a situation that
inside sources said had forced the Trust to put all development plans on
hold till government assurance that the sanctuary would remain
intact. The proposed multi-million dollar fully equipped state-of-the-art
centre comprises an education and interpretation centre, the conservancy
headquarters and resource centre, home for conservators, accommodation for
visitors, staff and guards and a kitchen, a canteen, storerooms and a
workshop. Msipa could not be reached for comment yesterday as the
governor was said to be in Harare attending a meeting.
farmer was yesterday fined $300 000 for illegally granting a hunting
concession to four German tourists in 2003 - prejudicing the government of
US$5 700. Trevor Jack Greaves (65) of Goeie Hoop Farm was convicted on his
plea of guilty to two counts of contravening the Parks and Wild life Act and
the Tourism Act and was ordered to pay the fine or spend one month in prison
by provincial magistrate Omega Mugumbate. Passing sentence, Mugumbate
said although Greaves had contravened the law; she took into consideration
the trauma that the farmer had endured after being placed on remand for over
a year. In mitigation, Greaves' lawyer Chris Mhike pleaded with the court to
caution and discharge his client because he had committed the offences
believing animals killed were on his private property. Mhike dismissed
the State's view that the Germans were tourists, saying they were Greaves'
visitors and he was only being hospitable, adding that his client did not
benefit from the offence as the meat was given to his farm workers. He
also said the skins and trophies of the animals were retained at the farm
where they were recovered by the police upon Greaves' arrest. Prosecutor
Barbara Mufawaenda told the court that some time in 2003, Greaves received
some visitors from Germany, Wilfred Luchmunn, Wolfgang Schuchard, Gerhard
Siekmunn and Florian Wegehaupt at his farm. The four intended to hunt in
Greaves' game park. Greaves and the four Germans killed eight impalas, three
wildebeests, three tsessebes, one eland, two kudus, one reedbuck and one
steenbuck all valued at $670 000 at the material time. Before allowing
the Germans to hunt, Greaves did not ascertain whether they had complied
with provisions of the Parks and Wildlife Act. Following investigations by
the police, skins and heads of the beasts were recovered from Bromley
Gameskins Tannery where they had been sent for taxidermy by Greaves. On
the second count, when the German tourists arrived at Greaves' farm they put
up a guest room in the farmer's house and paid US$5 700 for the services
provided. Mufawaenda said Greaves was not licenced to operate a tourist
facility or a safari and therefore breached the Tourism Act. He also did
not declare the foreign currency he earned to the government
THE Supreme Court
yesterday reserved judgment in an application in which seven Zimbabweans
resident in the United Kingdom are seeking an order compelling the
government to grant them the right to vote in next month's parliamentary
elections . During the hearing conducted by the full bench, the applicants
represented by Happius Zhou - instructed by Kantor and Immerman - sought and
were granted the right to amend the order to restrict the case to them
only. The original order had sought the inclusion of every Zimbabwean who is
outside the country to be allowed to vote in the general election and all
future polls and referendums. The application by Jefta Madzingo and six
others cited the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs,
Patrick Chinamasa and the Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede as the first and
second respondents respectively. The Electoral Supervisory Commission and
the Attorney General, Sobuza-Gula Ndebele were cited as the third and fourth
respondents. Ernest Jena of the Civil Division of the AG's office appeared
for the respondents.
Doubt over extent of electoral reform ahead of poll
[ This report does
not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
Feb 2005 (IRIN) - Even before the ballots are cast in Zimbabwe's legislative
elections next month, controversy has surfaced over the fairness of the
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has argued that
recent reform of the country's electoral laws has been too little and too
late. They contend that repressive legislation governing public assembly and
free speech remain on the statute books, and together with growing political
violence, will serve to undermine the poll's legitimacy.
Zimbabwean government has countered that by the standards of the region, its
electoral process is above board.
"It is now again the time to
demonstrate to the world that it is we who established democracy in
Zimbabwe," President Robert Mugabe told ZANU-PF delegates at the launch this
month of the ruling party's campaign, a reference to the nationalist
struggle that ended white minority rule in 1980.
The fears of the
opposition and pro-democracy groups are based on the experience of the
legislative election in 2000 and the presidential poll in 2002 - both won by
President Mugabe and ZANU-PF - but marred by serious irregularities,
according to observers.
The MDC, formed only a year earlier, challenged
the 2000 results in a number of constituencies, and its leader, Morgan
Tsvangirai, is still contesting the presidential election results in the
The party pointed to problems with the voters' roll and accused
government-instituted electoral bodies, such as the Electoral Supervisory
Commission, the Registrar-General's office and the polling personnel, of
International monitoring bodies, including the European Union
(EU) and the Commonwealth, also voiced their reservations.
last year Zimbabwe adopted Southern African Development Community (SADC)
guidelines governing democratic elections and subsequently modified its
electoral laws, but the government has rejected calls from the MDC and
pro-democracy groups for a still more level playing field.
African government - under pressure to mediate in Zimbabwe's political
crisis since 2000 - recently expressed the hope that its neighbour's 31
March poll would be credible.
"There are some positive developments,
which give us hope that Zimbabwe should come as close as possible to the
protocols that have been agreed by SADC," Joel Netshitenzhe, a South African
government spokesman, told Zimbabwe's official Herald newspaper
Among the changes to the electoral
process are that voting will be conducted on a single day, instead of on two
or three days as was previously the case, in order to minimise the
possibility of irregularities.
Translucent ballot boxes will now be used;
the number of polling stations will be increased; and verification of
ballots will take place at the stations, again to avert rigging.
accordance with the SADC principles, the new legislation specifies that an
electoral court will deal with disputes among individuals or political
parties arising from the conduct of polls.
Another new law, the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Act, also passed recently, provides for an
independent electoral body - the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) - to be
responsible for preparing and conducting elections and
President Mugabe has announced the members of the ZEC,
headed by George Chiweshe, a High Court Judge and former army
Chiweshe claims the commission is geared for the work ahead, and
has opted for a senior civil servant, Lovemore Sekeramai, to be his chief
election officer for the March poll. ZEC agents will be drawn entirely from
the civil service.
Prior to the establishment of the ZEC, elections
were conducted by the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) and the
The ESC will supervise the ZEC, with justice minister
Patrick Chinamasa saying that Zimbabwe was following models in countries
like Mauritius, where the electoral body is monitored by another
Despite these reforms, politicians and commentators feel
much more needs to be done to ensure democratic elections in March and
The Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (ZESN), a coalition of
NGOs formed to co-ordinate electoral activities, said in a recent report,
'The SADC Electoral Principles and Guidelines and Zimbabwe's New Electoral
Legislation', that the country was not ready for free and fair
"There is little in the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Act or the
Electoral Act to ensure an environment in which human and civil rights are
fully enjoyed ... The freedoms specifically mentioned in the SADC principles
- freedom of assembly, association and expression and political tolerance -
are not respected in Zimbabwe," ZESN alleged.
The biggest attack on
the reforms has centred on the independence of the ZEC.
Chimhini, director of the Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust (Zimcet), said the
positive electoral changes were being overshadowed by "lack of clarity
[regarding the] independence" of the ZEC.
"From last year, when
government began to make changes, many people were optimistic that good
things were coming. However, the latest developments, particularly regarding
the setting up of an independent electoral body, have dampened that
optimism," Chimhini told IRIN.
"The ZEC will not be independent at all,
considering that it will have to be monitored by yet another body - the
Electoral Supervisory Commission - whose members are elected by government.
It is confusing - why there has to be another body above the ZEC - and one
might be tempted to believe that there are fears that the ZEC might become
too influential, considering that it also consists of top figures from the
MDC and [the] ZANU (Ndonga) [opposition party]," he added.
were bound to be sceptical of the electoral bodies, Chimhini said, because
the ESC and the Registrar-General's office had been tainted by alleged
irregularities in previous polls.
"[The ESC supervision of the ZEC] takes
away the independence of the ZEC, and it would be safe to say the government
has failed one of the most important tests of SADC because, in the absence
of an independent body, free and fair elections cannot be guaranteed," he
Also, given that the Registrar-General presided over the
much-maligned voters' roll, the ZEC will have to rely on a document it had
no hand in compiling.
As a former military figure, Chiweshe is viewed
by the opposition as too pro-government to be an impartial head of the ZEC.
ZESN noted its concern over the Electoral Act provision allowing civil
servants, including soldiers and policemen, to be seconded to the staff of
the ZEC and ESC.
Chinamasa has defended Chiweshe, saying the new chair of
the commission had vast knowledge of electoral issues, having been a member
of the constituency delimitation commission, as well as a judge. In an
interview with the Herald shortly after the names of the ZEC members were
announced, Chinamasa described Chiweshe as an objective and impartial
Legal experts and civil society groups
have bitterly complained that some of Zimbabwe's laws are too restrictive to
ensure free and fair elections, and run contrary to SADC guidelines on
They often cite the Public Order and Security Act
(POSA) and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA),
which can restrict freedom of assembly, the right to make an informed choice
of a candidate and the freedom of expression required for credible
"For as long as POSA and AIPPA exist in their current form, we
can just as well forget about democratic elections. They run contrary to the
tenets of free and fair elections, and something should have been done long
back to amend them," James Mutizwa, a member of the Law Society of Zimbabwe
POSA, which purports to "make provision for the
maintenance of public order and security", became law in January 2002, about
two months before the presidential elections, replacing the Law and Order
(Maintenance) Act (LOMA) promulgated by Ian Smith's Rhodesia to deal with
nationalists fighting for the independence of the country.
though POSA replaced LOMA, experts say it has retained most of the
repressive provisions in the Rhodesian legislation.
Under sections 17
and 19, the law defines a political gathering as a group of two or more
people and requires those intending to hold meetings in a public place to
notify the police four days in advance at the latest, failing which the
police might restrict or prohibit the meeting (sections 25 and 26), and are
entitled to shoot to kill if there is resistance (section 29).
Part II, sections 12, 15 and 16, POSA says it is illegal to engage in
activities that might cause disaffection for police officers or members of
the defence force; or communicating a statement that promotes disrespect for
the president or institutions of government.
AT THE DISCRETION OF THE
Chimhini, the director of Zimcet, said the police often misapplied
the law when dealing with public gatherings.
"There is confusion
among police officers regarding the handling of public gatherings. The law
directs that those wishing to hold meetings should merely notify the police
of their intention but, since the law came into force, they have been
insisting that the law enforcers should authorise the meetings," he
"In most cases, where the opposition is concerned the
notifications have been declined, with the police giving one excuse or
another; where meetings have gone ahead, they have often been violently
disrupted," Chimhini told IRIN.
"The obvious effect is that citizens
are denied the right to fully participate in the political process, as
stipulated under Section 2.2 of the SADC guidelines," he pointed
The police have often been accused of applying POSA selectively.
"One gets the impression that POSA was created for the MDC, civic society
and the opposition. I am yet to come across an instance of ZANU-PF
supporters being arrested for holding an unsanctioned rally, yet we know
they have been organising so many of them," Chimhini alleged.
police have also been accused of raiding meetings in non-public places, such
as the recent arrest of an MDC campaign manager during a meeting with
candidates in a hotel room.
According to analysts, AIPPA also denies
the electorate the freedom to make informed decisions regarding their votes
because of the restrictions it places on the media.
adhere to stringent requirements in order to be registered by the
government, and the act also criminalises the publication of falsehoods,
which law experts and media analysts say has not been clearly
Since AIPPA's enactment in 2001, numerous journalists - all
from the private media - have been arrested for allegedly publishing
falsehoods, but none have been convicted.
The MDC, a broadbased party
formed in 1999, is the main political challenge to President Mugabe and
ZANU-PF's hold on power. In 2000 the party clinched 57 parliamentary seats
against the ruling party's 62 elected seats - a result whittled away in
With xenephobia rising, electrified border fence hailed
[ This report
does not necessarily reflect the views of the United
CHANGATE, 23 Feb 2005 (IRIN) - The word "Zimbabwean" gets
Motswana traditional leader Jackson Ofentse hot under the
"Please don't ever mention to me the criminals from across the
border," he told IRIN. His village of Changate in northern Botswana is only
5 km from the frontier, and he has nothing good to say about his
"Our women can no longer gather firewood in the bush for fear
of being raped; our houses are not safe any more, and even our livestock
find their way across the border," he complained.
Ofentse is looking
forward to the day when the Botswana government flicks the switch on a
four-metre high electrified border fence that snakes across the scrubland,
ostensibly to control the spread of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) from
Two outbreaks of FMD in two years, which hit Botswana's
lucrative beef exports to the European Union, were sourced to Zimbabwe. Jobs
were lost and thousands of cattle slaughtered.
While the 500-km long
fence officially aims to block the mixing of herds on common pasture,
Ofentse and many other Batswana hope it will also keep out the thousands of
Zimbabweans escaping poverty at home, who sneak cross the border looking for
work in more prosperous Botswana.
An estimated 36,000 illegal migrants
were deported last year alone and, with xenophobia now firmly on the rise,
Zimbabweans have become the target of a growing vigilante
The solar-powered fence, which will deliver a nasty but not
fatal 220-volt shock, is due to become operational in June, and will be
patrolled 24 hours a day by the security forces. A survey by the Southern
African Migration Project found that a majority of Batswana supported its
The villagers of Changate, 140 km northeast of Botswana's
second city Francistown, may feel more secure behind the new barrier, but
they have lost the perks of proximity to Zimbabwe. Gone are the cheap
shopping trips across the border, and easy access to relatives on the
"We had relied on labour from Zimbabwe for a long time.
It was also nearer to travel to Plumtree in Zimbabwe to do your shopping
than travel to Francistown," explained local journalist Khumbulani
Residents in the border villages used to buy cheap Zimbabwean
livestock, and enjoyed an easy supply of fruit and vegetables. "When I was
growing up, my brothers even went across the border to have a drink in the
Nswazi village [in Zimbabwe]," said Kholi.
Now, getting to Zimbabwe
entails a two-hour walk to the nearest border post at Maitengwe, and for
those who don't have passports, a 140-km journey to the immigration office
"We don't hate Zimbabweans here," said Kholi. "We are only
tired of elements that come to steal from us."
Committee To Protect Journalists Accuses Zimbabwe Government of
Harassment And Intimidation By Joe De Capua
Washington 23 February 2005
The Committee to
Protect Journalists has sent a letter to Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe,
saying it is "outraged at the government's harassment and intimidation of
three Zimbabwean journalists."
It says freelance reporters Angus Shaw,
Brian Latham and Jan Raath were forced to leave the country, while a fourth
journalist, Cornelius Nduna, has been forced into hiding. Julia Crawford is
the spokesperson for the Committee to Protect Journalists. From New York,
she spoke with English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the latest
developments in Zimbabwe.
She says Shaw, Latham and Raath are now in
exile and have no plans to return to Zimbabwe for the March 31st elections.
As for Cornelius Nduna, she says he faces accusations of having a tape of
government youth camps where militia are allegedly being trained. Militia
have been blamed for attacks on members of the opposition MDC
Ms. Crawford says, "Well, it seems very disturbing, not entirely
unexpected. There seems to be again a clampdown, a systematic campaign, of
harassment and intimidation of independent voices in Zimbabwe in the run-up
to the March 31st elections. At least that is what we're hearing from the
ground. And that seems to be why police last week paid repeated visits to
the offices of three freelance journalists."
The CPJ letter to
President Mugabe, signed by Executive Director Ann Cooper, says, "We urge
you to ensure that police harassment of journalists stops immediately and
that our Zimbabwean colleagues who have been driven into exile can return to
cover elections in their country without fear of arrest or
Police investigating claims of assault by soldiers
[ This report does not
necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
Feb 2005 (IRIN) - Zimbabwean authorities are investigating claims by the
opposition that a group of soldiers attacked their officials at the weekend,
a police spokesman told IRIN.
According to Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi, the officials were at a rural business
centre in Manicaland in eastern Zimbabwe - traditionally MDC territory -
when soldiers disembarked from two army trucks and started assaulting
Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said the authorities were "still
verifying the incident", and added that not only supporters from the MDC but
also the ruling ZANU-PF had been victims of assault in other incidents
reported across the country, but he was unable to provide details on
Among the MDC officials allegedly attacked were three
candidates standing in the 2005 general elections - Pishai Muchauraya, Edwin
Maupa and Gabriel Chiwara. Themba Nyathi claimed the soldiers had assaulted
Chiwara and his election agent, Josphat Munhumumwe, and accused them of
"selling the country to the British".
"Chiwara and Munhumumwe
sustained injuries all over their bodies as they were kicked and beaten with
booted feet and fists," Nyathi said, noting that his party was "seriously
concerned", as only last week members of the army allegedly assaulted and
injured several MDC members in Nyanga, also in Manicaland.
four Zimbabwean journalists who were reportedly threatened with arrest
during police raids have fled the country.
The New York-based Committee
to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has written a letter to President Robert Mugabe
expressing its "outrage" at the government's alleged "harassment" and
"intimidation" of the journalists.
Last week, the CPJ said, police
repeatedly searched the office shared by Angus Shaw, a freelancer who
contributes to The Associated Press, Jaan Raath, who contributes to the
Times of London, and Brian Latham, who contributes to the Bloomberg news
agency. The police were also investigating espionage allegations against
Cornelius Nduna, a freelance television producer, who has since also left
Bvudzijena confirmed that the police was investigating the
ANC on A-list of Zim poll guests Beauregard Tromp
February 23 2005 at 10:27AM
Getting an invitation to attend the
Zimbabwean parliamentary elections seems to be more difficult than cracking
the nod for a Nelson Mandela birthday party.
And when Zimbabwe
finally put up the "A-list" to attend the latest showcase for democracy on
Tuesday, it was clear that everyone had to have their struggle credentials
up to date.
With parliamentary elections on March 31, Zimbabwe has
handpicked countries to be allowed to attend the proceedings.
Invited are parties who fought for liberation in their countries, with
President Robert Mugabe inviting former Namibian president Sam Nujoma's
Swapo party to attend.
The election party will be joined by the
likes of the ANC, Frelimo from Mozambique and the Sudan People's Liberation
As the guest list became available, Deputy Minister of
Foreign Affairs Aziz Pahad said he hoped observers would enjoy unfettered
movement. "The quicker the various observer missions go in, the better they
will be able to help contribute to making sure that the guidelines are
None of the "governments of gay gangsters" or
"imperialists" - as Mugabe affectionately refers to Western governments -
have been invited this time around.
As expected, the African
Union, Southern African Development Community and Common Market for East and
Southern Africa, along with the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement and
the Caribbean Community, will send teams.
One organisation from
the United States - the December 12 Movement - has been
Other than SADC countries, African countries invited
include Algeria, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda.
where Mugabe has forged strong ties as his country has become increasingly
isolated, China, India, Indonesia and Malaysia have received invitations.
Also invited is Iran.
The only European country invited is Russia,
with four South American countries making the list.
the recent arrest of 40 Zanu-PF youths was an indication of a reduction in
violence in Zimbabwe.
"That kind of action helps towards an
atmosphere conducive to free and fair elections," he said.
also referred to the EU-SADC troika meetings, which were "on stream" now
after numerous "technical problems" earlier.
Since the EU imposed
targeted sanctions on Zimbabwe, which include travel bans on government
officials, it has created an impasse between the two organisations regarding
representation from Zimbabwean government officials.
think that we have overcome the whole thing. I think everybody is waiting
for the election," said Pahad.
On Tuesday, the EU renewed sanctions
against Zimbabwe but agreed to review the situation after the parliamentary
Meanwhile, SADC will meet in Lesotho at the end of the
month to discuss, among others, democracy, governance and election
Ministers will also discuss the African peer review
mechanism, a comprehensive "report card" of a country done by eminent
Africans to encourage foreign investment.
States has accused Zimbabwe of adopting a "pattern of intimidation" against
journalists in the country. Four journalist working for foreign news
organisations have fled the country in the past week after being threatened
by Zimbabwe's secret police.
They were accused of transmitting
"material prejudicial to the state".
State Department spokesman
Richard Boucher said "an open environment for journalists and opposition"
"The administration noted a pattern in Zimbabwe where
the opposition fears for its safety, where restrictions were being placed on
civil society and where newspapers were being shut down," he
The US has described Zimbabwe as an
"outpost of tyranny", although this has been criticised by neighbour South
Africa as "an exaggeration".
Three reporters fled last
week: Angus Shaw who wrote for AP news agency, Brian Latham who contributed
to the Bloomberg financial wire service and Jaan Raath of the UK newspaper,
It has now emerged that Zimbabwean freelance television
producer Cornelius Nduna, who police were looking for, has also left after a
raid on his office.
Andrew Moyse from the Media Monitoring
Network Zimbabwe said accusations of anti-state activity against the four
journalists were absolute rubbish and an attempt to silence the
international media in the run up to parliamentary polls on 31
"It could only have been an attempt to intimidate them. My
only regret is that it was successful."
The US has imposed
targeted sanctions on the Zimbabwean leadership - banning President Mugabe
and his associates from travelling to the US, and freezing
The European Union - which has accused Mr Mugabe of using
violence against the political opposition and perpetrating human rights
abuses - has also renewed its sanctions against the country.
Mugabe accuses the US and the EU of opposing black rule, citing criticism of
his policy of seizing the land of white farmers for redistribution to
Reporter ZIMBABWEANS should be patient with the economic policies being
implemented by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe because the benefits are not
Instead, they should roll up their sleeves and be ready to
execute the central bank's collective turnaround programme to its logical
"If you want honey, you must be prepared to be stung by the
bees," said Dr Gideon Gono when he addressed the Zimbabwe National Army
(ZNA) Joint Command and Staff Course Number 18 on management of change on
Monday at the ZNA's staff college.
Zimbabweans should be ready for
the gritty and narrow path leading to success since the journey attracts
critical vultures which would "tirelessly circle and hover around to strike
our heads and prey on the collective efforts for their own selfish
Dr Gono said despite threats by some quarters to derail the
turnaround programme, the central bank would forge ahead to ensure the
completion of Vision 2007 even if it meant ending up with "no friends except
a battalion from the ZNA"."We shall never allow them the comfort to build
their thorny nests on our heads,"he said.
However, the governor said
lack of execution was the missing link between strategy and
"It is not good enough just to have a vision, but implementation
and action transform the vision into reality; at the central bank we have
decided to implement," he said.
Change managers were easy targets for
abuse in every form and manner possible because all eyes are focused on
them. He said one of the prerequisites of change was to have a credible
vision with excitement and clear deliverables, which he said was the central
bank's aspiration for the country.
Dr Gono said another critical
pillar of change management was the need for strict discipline and
unreserved conformity with the turnaround vision.
"As key guardians and
custodians of the security, as well as sovereignty of our great nation, it
is indispensable that discipline becomes an inextricable part of our
everyday life, so as to lead by example," Dr Gono said.
He said with
discipline, communication lines, strategy execution and command structures
The governor said at the onset of his term of office
the nation was faced with a number of challenges, among them high
unemployment levels, the HIV/Aids pandemic, deteriorating and over-burdened
urban and rural infrastructure and unpredictable weather patterns and
Identifying these challenges enabled the central bank
to come up with a clear statement of the vision of the turnaround programme
and that it was a matter of time before the country regained its glitter of
Soldier fined $300 after blunder 23/02/2005 20:44 -
Harare - A Zimbabwean army commander has been fined just over
$300 after one of his subordinates accidentally shot 14 spectators during a
mock battle at a fair last September.
In addition to the fine, court
martial president Rodney Munyanduki sent lieutenant Stanley Mugombe, who
pleaded guilty, for re-training.
Munyanduki said Mugombe would not be
promoted for the next three years, but did not give details of the
Three people were seriously injured while the others have since
recovered from shrapnel wounds in what the prosecution said was the first
accident of its kind in Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in
The accident happened at an agricultural show in Marondera, 65km
east of Harare, when live ammunition was used during a mock battle, but
details of the incident remain sketchy.
Another soldier who also
pleaded guilty will be sentenced this week, while the other five have
pleaded not guilty and will be tried later.
Mugombe, 29, who was in
charge of the group, pleaded guilty to charges of breaching the defence law
by "failing to carry out necessary safety precautions".
the court for a lenient sentence, Mugombe's lawyer said he was leading
soldiers handpicked from various camps and had "very little control over the
soldier who fired live shots".
"The young lieutenant (Mugombe) is a
victim of circumstances who had no control over the situation that prevailed
at the time," the lawyer said.
"He had no control over the movement of
live ammunition where it was not required," he added.
The lawyer said
the soldier who opened fire "was ill-trained", adding that it was the
responsibility of the army to ensure that "soldiers should be trained to be
on their guard every time".
SA can play key role in
pressurising Zimbabwe, US insists
The US stood its ground yesterday over its criticism of
Zimbabwe, urging SA to exert more pressure on Harare to ensure that it
adheres to the region's electoral guidelines. The implicit criticism of
President Thabo Mbeki's "quiet diplomacy" approach to Zimbabwe follows a
stinging attack by the South African president on US Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice labelling Zimbabwe as one of the world's six "outposts of
tyranny". The US statement follows a meeting yesterday between US ambassador
to SA, Jendayi Frazer, and Mbeki yesterday, although the embassy said the
meeting had been scheduled well before Mbeki's remarks, made in an interview
with the Financial Times. "As a regional leader and as a democratic nation,
SA can play a key role in putting pressure on the Mugabe regime to adhere to
the spirit as well as the letter of the electoral principles established
unanimously last August by the Southern African Development Community
(SADC)," an embassy official said last night. US embassy spokeswoman Judy
Moon said that the Financial Times interview had been discussed briefly,
however. Mbeki had said in the interview that putting Zimbabwe alongside
Burma, Cuba, North Korea, Iran and Belarus as an "outpost of tyranny" was
"an exaggeration", and that SA's government would continue with its current
The US statement indicated a degree of frustration over
SA's policy of restraint towards Zimbabwe and the lack of progress towards
resolving the crisis in that country. It also amounts to a warning of strong
expectations that the region uphold the SADC principles and guidelines
governing democratic elections. "We welcome SA's engagement on Zimbabwe and
we believe that President Mbeki shares our hope to see Zimbabwe restore
democratic principles and practice," said Moon. The statement comes after
signs that SA played a major role in persuading a legal SADC task team not
to visit Zimbabwe ahead of the March 31 polls to examine whether SADC's
guidelines were in fact being followed. Following that move, SADC's
intentions in respect of Zimbabwe should become clearer towards the end of
the week when a number of SADC foreign ministers meet in Mauritius. Further
clarification of how SADC intends to uphold its guidelines is expected at
the weekend when electoral experts from the region meet to discuss the
guidelines in Maseru, Lesotho.
Agriculture doctorate for Mugabe,
81, as Zimbabwe's farms go to seed
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who turned 81 on
Monday, has received a rare birthday present - an honorary doctorate in
agriculture. This came at a time when Mugabe, the oldest sitting president
in Africa, is being accused of ruining the country's once-vibrant
agriculture through a haphazard land reform programme. Mugabe was conferred
the doctorate by the Zimbabwe Open University. He already has seven
studied-for degrees and about a dozen honorary ones. The university said it
honoured him for his "outstanding contribution to the land reform
programme". Mugabe has been accused of destroying Zimbabwe's agriculture,
the mainstay of the economy, through his chaotic land reform redistribution
exercise, which began in 2000. Thousands of white-owned farms were seized,
worsening the country's economic crisis. The country's grain deficit,
attributed to the land reform programme and droughts, has caused widespread
starvation. Relief organisations say up to 6-million Zimbabweans, about half
the country's population, would need food aid this year. However, Mugabe
also got an unwelcome present from the European Union, which extended
targeted sanctions imposed on him and his cronies in 2002.
February 23, 2005 Posted to the web February 23,
LOCAL observers accredited for the forthcoming
parliamentary elections will be required to submit a preliminary report on
the election before results are announced, the Electoral Supervisory
Commission (ESC) chairman, Mr Theophilus Pharaoh Gambe, said
Mr Gambe, who was addressing provincial election co-ordinators
during a one-day workshop in Harare, said the submission of the reports had
been made obligatory in order to prevent or deal effectively with
dissatisfaction or conflicts that might arise after the announcement of
results and to further ensure the acceptability of the outcome to all
"It is common for local observers to declare that elections have
been conducted in a free and fair manner before the announcement of election
results and to change their stance once the results go against their
expectations," he said.
Under the Electoral Act, local observers are
required to submit their reports to the ESC soon after the conclusion of an
Speaking at the same occasion, ESC commissioner Mrs Joyce
Kazembe said the role of observers was to follow and study the voting
process with a view to coming up with recommendations or reports that would
assist local election agents to improve the way elections are conducted in
the country. She said the role of the ESC was to facilitate the movement of
the observers through accreditation and she urged the co-ordinators to be
vigilant if challenged by unaccredited persons.
She said observers
were allowed to gather information by carrying out on-site fact-finding
missions to assess whether elections are credible and transparent without
intervening in the process, as was the case with election
However, Mr Gambe said in the case that observers discover
irregularities during the course of an election, they should point these out
to the monitors, who would then take up the issue with the presiding
officer, rather than wait to raise the issue in their report.
civil servants that fall under the Public Service Commission, which excludes
members of the prison services, police and army, would be considered for the
role of monitors.
The issue of whether observers could point out
irregularities was raised by an official with the Zimbabwe Election Support
Network (ZESN) when she was narrating how her organisation had been
incapacitated when it was relegated to an observer function as opposed to
its former role as a monitor.
She said that her organisation also faced
the challenges of being accused of working and sympathising with the
opposition because of the content of their reports.
However, Mr Gambe
said the key reason why ZESN was being labelled as such was because of the
long-seen inclination within both local and foreign observers to believe
that elections are free and fair if the opposition wins.
EDITORIAL February 23, 2005 Posted to the web February 23,
NO Zimbabwean, genuinely interested in the political and
economic advancement of their country, could have harboured any doubts about
the need for an equitable redistribution of the land.
That a few
thousand white commercial farmers owned most of the prime land was not only
unjust, but patently immoral. The land redistribution had to be on the basis
of the population of the country.
What made the implementation of the
programme in 2000 as unjust and immoral as the status quo was the manner in
which it was transformed into a political pawn.
Today, the government
can boast that there was a blueprint showing in meticulous detail how this
was to be done. We suspect there was no such blueprint. Political expediency
became the most potent force driving the programme.
How else can one
explain the emergence of the cellphone farmers President Mugabe complained
of last Monday at a graduation ceremony of the Open University in Harare?
These fly-by-night fat cats were not the original intended beneficiaries of
the reform programme. They managed to sneak in only because the programme
had become political.
They were not the landless peasants condemned to a
few hectares of infertile soil in the remotest parts of the country. They
were not the victims of successive colonial legislation depriving the
Africans of their land - the Land Apportionment Act, the Land Husbandry Act
and the Land Tenure Act. They were "city slickers" with connections in high
places which, in Zimbabwe, invariably translates into Zanu PF.
moaning about the cellphone farmers, President Mugabe came the nearest he
has ever been to admitting that the land reform programme was a
Five years after the war veterans killed a number of white
farmers and their black workers, the land reform programme has not produced
the "dream harvests" that were predicted by its proponents.
there is chaos: corruption in the ownership of farms, some of it featuring
some of Mugabe's closest political allies, a shortage of fertiliser and
other vital inputs, including draught power and many others.
speaks of a bumper harvest of any crop any more, unless they believe
Zimbabweans are still as naive as they were when they swallowed every lie
forced down their throats by Zanu PF. Nature has intervened,
But President Mugabe knows the task before him: to remove
the cellphone farmers from the land, and to give the land to people who know
how to make it yield the results that made Zimbabwe the breadbasket of the
region so many years ago. The allocation of the land this time must not be
political, or we will reap the whirlwind again.
Vickers Last updated: 02/23/2005 23:08:13 AN inspection team in Zimbabwe
has discovered that the goalposts at most of the country's football stadiums
have incorrect dimensions.
With the new season starting next month, some
grounds risk bans after officials unearthed some alarming errors.
Maglas stadium in the town of Zvishavane, the crossbar at the southern end
was found to be 10 centimetres too low.
The posts at that end had sunk
further into the ground each rainy season.
All five stadiums visited so
far by referees and officials from the Premier Soccer League (PSL) have been
declared unfit for top-flight football.
The grounds all have wrong-sized
goalposts, and some of them also require building renovations.
trying to bring professionalism to football and we need to take some bold
decisions," said PSL secretary Chris Sambo.
When the posts were measured
at Barbourfields stadium in Bulawayo, one goal was found to be 10cm too wide
and the other too big by a gaping 14cm.
In other words, if a goal is
scored there with the ball going in off the post, it really shouldn't count
"We measured the posts at Barbourfields towards the end of last
year and decided to allow them to continue up to the end of the season,"
said Zimbabwe Soccer Referees Association chairman Gladmore
"But they must be adjusted before the start of this
Stadiums in Harare will be checked this coming weekend, but
there has already been one extremely disturbing error in the
The crossbar at the National Sports Stadium, the venue of most
of the national team's matches, was 10cm too low ever since the stadium's
construction in the early 1980s.
The error was discovered after a
World Cup qualifier last June, when the visiting Algerians queried the
dimensions, and has now been corrected.
"The distance was wrongly
measured from the outside of the bar to the ground, rather than the inside,"
If the bar had been the correct height, some
international matches would certainly have had different
According to Fifa regulations, goalposts should be 7.32 metres
wide and 2.44 metres high.
When the league gets underway next month,
the goalposts will quite literally have been shifted in Zimbabwean football
- For South African Zimbabwe Investors - by Crawford von
SA ZIMBABWE INVESTORS, received 21.2.2005
by Crawford von Abo
SA ZIMBABWE INVESTORS
past 12 months it has become possible for lawyers, acting on behalf of
clients to be directly remunerated for their services by accepting a
percentage of any settlement if and when such a settlement is achieved,
either by way of a court judgement or through negotiation. The advantage for
the clients is quite obvious in that they are not exposed to open ended legal
bills, without any certainty that they may succeed in getting satisfaction at
the end of the process. It is at the same time a motivating factor for legal
representatives to give their very best, since there is no remuneration
should they fail in achieving a settlement.
The Concerned Investors in
Zimbabwe was formed as a group about 2 years ago in order to investigate all
possible avenues of redress for South African Investors who has been
dispossessed through land invasion in Zimbabwe. As convener of this group I
now invite you to participate in a class action against the South African
government for failing to offer any effective diplomatic protection as
required by the South African constitution and as undertaken in Parliament by
We were all along entitled to this protection, but
the cost implication and financial risk attached to enforcing these rights
had until now been prohibitive.
Some lawyers have now accepted to act
for us under the new dispensation under which the only monies involved would
be direct costs such as travel, accommodation, etc. No direct legal fees
will be charged except in the event of a successful settlement and then only
a percentage of the settlement.
The more individuals involved, the
smaller will be the direct costs to each and the smaller also will be the
percentage, which can be negotiated with the legal team. It is important
also to note that any compensation to us will be in SA Rand and not in Zim
I strongly advise that you join in this action and therefore
request you to fill in the form attached and post it back to Concerned
Investors, Box 81, Bloemfontein, 9300 and fax it to (051)
_____________________ CRAWFORD VON
SOUTH AFRICAN CITIZEN DETAILS Full
Zimbabwe resident number
Size of farm
Valuation (Converted to Rand
at time of valuation)
Income per year X years (lost) (Converted to
Total value of claim in Rand
Contact details Postal
address Phone number Fax number E-mail
Provisional agreement to
participate in this action is required to enable an estimation of direct
costs to individual participants as well as to negotiate a percentage of the
total value of the claim involved.Only after such a process is completed will
a final agreement to participation be requested from all