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A walk on the wild side
2005/01/11 10:48 

DUST-laced, heat-smudged, sun-fired; that is the Zimbab-wean horizon. Dawn-embraced, addle-sore, lion-loved; that is the African Encounter survivor.
Yes, lion-loved. Perhaps alternatively interpreted as, lion-mauled, scratched, or pounced. But for those in the know, it is the leading love-bite, the ultimate acceptance, the greatest and hopefully painlessly-scarring compliment. It is the jewel of a much-maligned Zimbabwe . It is Antelope Park , Gweru. It is Walking with Lions.
"Where else in the world..." asks the ranch welcome mat proudly. Where else indeed, gasp the glowing visitors wonderingly.
All this is a far cry from the glass and steel horizon of Shanghai , and not everyone's idea of a treat. But from the moment I stumbled across the bewitching website ( "Walking with Lions" was the ever-returning specter haunting my thoughts.
Antelope >Park , a 3,000-acre Zimbabwean Game Reserve, offers a superlative-defying tourist opportunity serving a serious conservational purpose. Uncontrolled hunting, diminishing natural habitats and diseases like feline immunodeficiency virus mean that the wild lion may be entirely lost from the continent in the next decade. Striving to avert such an event, Andrew and Wendy Connelly have worked determinedly since 1987 to establish Antelope Park as a pioneering lion-breeding facility. Their efforts are invaluable to the World Wildlife Fund's urgent drive to re-introduce a quality gene pool of lions to the wild. It is a project funded entirely by the Park's tourist attractions, with the "cub loving" headlining the activity listings.
Tourist-accompanied walk
I arrived at this remarkable camp, not a little tired, not a little overwhelmed by the African beauty around me, as inadequate an expression as any cliche. The camp itself is comprised of thatched African lodges, set upon the shores of "the world's only circular river", (wink-wink) with every modern convenience tactfully woven into the sweeping landscape. The camp oozes Africa, it radiates cultural authenticity. It employs hundreds of members of the local community, weaving their own mohair products from the park goat herds, crafting all furniture and accommodation at the workshop, cultivating crops, and affording the camp a virtual self-sufficiency, of which the ever-welcoming staff are fiercely proud.
The centre piece - an open-sided, thatch-roofed dining area - fits comfortably into the tranquility of the bush backdrop. Rolling away from your early morning coffee is an Eden of giraffe, zebra and wildebeest. Underscoring your parched-afternoon Cola - Obey Your Thirst - throbs the call of the African fish eagle; "the sound of Africa." Low-lighting your evening meal, the flickering campfire and soft-glowing night sky. Here, the stars really twinkle, the moon really smiles. And people really are beautiful. Over 250 international travellers come to Antelope Park every month, mixing indiscriminately with one-day-ago-strangers, forming warm one-evening-friendships, offering guitar led sing-alongs to the night cacophony of frogs, bats and bugs. Together they recount stories of the day's equine adventures, canoeing incidents, elephant-back swims, game-drives, and, most importantly, "cub loving."
Perhaps "cub" is an initially misleading term. Banish all kitten-sized images immediately; on my first day at Antelope Park, three "cub" went AWOL from their tourist-accompanied walk, and took down a large donkey. Bad news for the donkey, but enormously rewarding for the project directors. For the rehabilitation process aims to introduce these semi-tame walking lions to a large reserve in Zambia by the middle of 2005, where, it is hoped, they will be able to fend for themselves and have cubs of their own, genetically strong and confident in all the skills of the bush. Their cubs will be chipped and released into the wild-proper, where they will be monitored but left free from human contact to reclaim the birthrights of their ancestors. A successful donkey hunt takes the park's current walking cubs one step closer to that Zambian reserve.
Tourists crash helpfully into the picture for cub walking, an exercise that encourages the cubs to develop survival instincts in the bush. At 15 months, the cubs are retired from tourist walks as Jo P's safety becomes increasingly dubious. And believe me, lion cubs are immensely affectionate creatures, to whom social bonding is of elementary importance. Once their trust is gained, you are warmly welcomed as a member of their pride, but they can also be staggeringly "naughty." Social acceptance is all about interaction; namely grooming, stalking, pouncing and play fighting, with much pawing, clawing and chewing along the way. For better or worse, their faces are hopelessly expressive, and one quickly becomes acquainted with "the naughty look" that dances into their exquisite, hypnotic eyes.
If those exquisite, hypnotic eyes are trained on yours, with four, or eight, or even 12, giant paws soft-pad-padding towards you, you know you're about to receive tooth-articulated feline adoration. Love really does hurt. Yet, with gleaming eye and terror-perfumed enthusiasm, (most) lion walking novices will breathlessly insist "Cub love!? Cub love!" even as a 350 lb "cub" bounds toward them, ("that naughty look" leading) tumbling the blissfully-fear-frozen individual in the name of affection.
Cub loving
A guide like Bobby, Antelope Park's cheeky and frequent swoon-inducing - so I've been told - head guide, has known the cubs from three weeks old. He can do anything with them - lift them, cuddle them, trip them - and they, being dragged, rolled and pounced by the undisputed man-king of the beasts, simply gaze back.
At times his guidance is invaluable; "You shouldn't try and copy everything you see the guides do," he suggests, pushing his whole hand into Luke's 11-month-old, needle-sharp-tooth-peppered mouth and drawing forth the great adoring, feline-pink tongue. "Don't get eaten," he advises, eyes shining with as much of "that naughty look" as any of his cubs might radiate in an entire walk of love-loaded incidents. Yet watching the lions respond to the guides is a humbling experience.
Of course, it isn't all glamour. Poachers have to be fought; two-hour snare-sweeps are exhausting in the angry kisses of mid-afternoon sunshine. Cubs must be fed; usually with grisly, less-than-fresh hunks of meat and bone. Enclosures need to be cleaned; all that green, antelope meat has to go somewhere, in all its pungent glory. Cubs get sick; as I write, my favourite cubs, Bill and Ben, fast going blind, barely able to walk due to a rare disorder, are waiting to be put down at just 10 months old. Cute cubs are also dangerous killers; the park owner, Andrew Connelly, breezes around camp with one arm and an empty sleeve.
But then, who can remain unmoved by those crimson tear-streaked sunset, or untouched by the enthusiasm of the Eds and the Andys, that guide in the park? Is it possible to forget the swift bubbling joy of galloping through the bush, bare-back and out of control around thorn trees like bending poles, or giggling lazily around a midnight-blue campfire? It is impossible not to eulogize that first cub-love moment. Every cub-love moment. And no-one who has experienced Antelope Park can argue with the guest-book tributes; "The walk with the lions was the highlight of my entire life!"

By Natalie Hunt
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Zim Online

Zimbabwe's media 'hangman' threatens new weekly
Tue 11 January 2005
  HARARE - The government's Media and Information Commission has threatened
to close down Zimbabwe's latest newspaper, the Weekly Times, within seven

      In a letter to Mthwakazi Publishing House, publishers of the
community-based paper, commission chairman Tafataona Mahoso, accused the
publishers of lying that their paper would be a general news product when
according to him it was "running political commentary through and through."

      Mahoso also accuses the Weekly Times of impartiality and takes offence
that the paper, which published its first issue last week, had given space
to Catholic archbishop Pius Ncube, who is a known government critic.

      The commission chairman is also unhappy the paper's publishers began
selling copies of the first issue on January 2 before first sending some
copies to its offices.

      Mahoso's letter dated January 5, 2005 reads in part: "We understand
that the paper came out on Sunday, 2 January 2005 and was being sold on the
streets here long before copies were delivered at the Commission. As a
result, the Commission had to purchase a copy on the streets on 4 January,
after receiving several calls from surprised readers."

      The government's media watchman said because of the alleged offences,
he was going to suspend or cancel the paper's registration certificate and
gave the publishers, "seven days, to show cause why your publishing licence
should not be suspended or cancelled."

      The publishers and the editor of the paper were not readily available
for comment yesterday. Three newspapers including the country's only
independent and biggest circulating daily paper, the Daily News, were shut
in the last two years under tough state media laws. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Tue 11 January 2005
  HARARE - President Robert Mugabe yesterday overruled his ruling ZANU PF
party's elections directorate ordering it to permit party functionary and a
leader of the violent invasion of white-owned farms, Joseph Chinotimba, to
contest a party internal election to choose candidates for March's election.

      Mugabe had to drive to the party's headquarters, where the directorate
was reviewing appeals by mostly the party's Young Turks barred from
contesting, to tell party political commissar to let Chinotimba contest an
internal poll to select ZANU PF's candidate for Harare's Glen Norah

      After talking to the directorate, Mugabe addressed about 500 of
Chinotimba's supporters protesting outside the party headquarters against
the decision to bar him from contesting the election.

      Mugabe told the demonstrators, most of them workers at Chinotimba's
Edlan Security firm, that he was going to be allowed to contest the party
primary election.

      "The President (Mugabe) had to drive here to quell the noise. He then
went into a meeting with the national elections directorate and told them to
allow him (Chinotimba) to stand," said a source, who did not want to be

      According to the source, Mugabe only dealt with Chinotimba's case and
did not inquire about other prominent officials who have appealed to the
directorate after being barred from contesting the party primary election.

      Government information minister and propaganda chief Jonathan Moyo and
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa are among ZANU PF's leaders barred from
representing the party in the crucial poll.

      Manyika could not be reached for comment on the matter while
Chinotimba deferred all questions to Manyika.

      He said: "Comrade Elliot Manyika is the only one in ZANU PF who should
comment. People without authority in ZANU PF are the ones who want to
prevent me from standing. They will be embarrassed." - ZimOnline
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New Zimbabwe

Moyo wants Charamba fired from government

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 01/11/2005 05:18:01
ZIMBABWE'S embattled Information Minister Jonathan Moyo has fired an angry
letter to the Chief Permanent Secretary in the President's Office demanding
that disciplinary action should be taken against George Charamba, New can reveal.

Moyo is furious after Charamba, his subordinate and Permanent Secretary in
the Ministry of Information and Publicity rebuked the State-run Chronicle
and Herald newspapers for their "zealous advocacy" for Moyo and "being
aggrieved on behalf of a private party member".

"Until Professor Moyo, strictly as a member of his party, expressed public
dissatisfaction with decisions of his party (to expel him from the politburo
and central committee)," Charamba said in a press statement, "newspapers had
no right or reason to invent a grievance for him."

Moyo who is currently on holiday in Mombasa, Kenya, was so angry with
Charamba's comments that he asked President Robert Mugabe's chief of staff
Misheck Sibanda to take action.

Moyo's letter was also sent to the editors of the Chronicle and Sunday News
who, however, buckled and chickened-out of publishing it, New
was told.

A source who saw the letter said last night: "Moyo said Charamba had no
right to criticise him so publicly for allegedly impairing the line between
civil servants and politicians."

The latest spat between Moyo and a top figure in the President's Office
could mean that Moyo will never be able to work with some of his Cabinet
colleagues and senior civil servants should he return from his long holiday.

A source said: "Moyo has effectively thrown two challenges to the
government. He wants to be allowed to stand in Zanu PF primary elections for
Tsholotsho constituency and he wants Charamba disciplined, and possibly
removed from his position. If both requests are rejected, then I think he
will make a major political decision, and that may mean he will resign."

Moyo's latest troubles came as Zanu PF debated his petition to the party's
national election directorate challenging his disqualification from running
in primary elections which get underway next weekend.

New was also told last night that Zanu PF national chairman
John Nkomo was going to Tsholotsho on Wednesday to dissolve the Zanu PF
district cordinating committe which is thought to be aligned to Moyo.

Tsholotsho has been declared as one of the constituencies reserved for
women. It is believed that of the five women who have submitted their CVs,
Zanu PF wants Bulawayo governor Cain Matema's wife to be the candidate to
represent the party in the parliamentary elections in March. However, party
chiefs believe the Tsholotsho DCC is sympathetic to Moyo and might seek to
disrupt the primaries.

Meanwhile the government was last night said to be investigating a case in
which it is alleged that Moyo's mother who was corruptly allocated a farm,
abused ARDA equipment and staff.

Government sources say Moyo's mother who is married to a Zambian and
occasionally makes forrays into the country used over 150 000 litres of
government diesel ploughing her farm.

Sources say she would go to ARDA and shout instructions to terrified staff.
The government has already repossessed a farm which was registered in the
name of Moyo's cousin under its one man one farm policy.
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      Zimbabwe opposition says can win election if fair

      January 10, 2005, 20:45

      Zimbabwean opposition party leader Morgan Tsvangirai said today his
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) could win parliamentary elections in
March, but only if the election process was transparent.

      Tsvangirai, on a visit to Zambia, said the election system in Zimbabwe
was flawed and the MDC needed assurances that President Robert Mugabe's
government would observe rules on free and fair elections as practised in
the 14-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC).

      "We expect to run a free and fair election, but a free and fair
election will only be held once the electoral management system is
transparent as it has always been an inhibiting factor," Tsvangirai told
journalists in Lusaka.

      The MDC has accused the ruling Zanu-PF party of rigging the last two
major polls in 2000 and 2002, and has threatened to boycott the March 2005
election unless reforms are put in place to ensure what it calls a level
playing field.

      Mugabe, (80) and in power since independence from Britain in 1980,
denies manipulating previous elections. No date has been set for the polls,
but Mugabe has said they will be held in March.

      Tsvangirai said he was visiting Zambia to brief its president, Levy
Mwanawasa, on what he said was "the economic malaise" in Zimbabwe.

      "The situation in Zimbabwe has become worse. We are here as part of
our diplomatic initiative to appraise regional leaders on the crisis in
Zimbabwe, which has degenerated in the last five years," he said.

      Tsvangirai said claims by Mugabe that the MDC was a puppet of western
powers was a smear campaign to discredit his party, adding the MDC could
offer Zimbabweans better leadership.

      Mugabe's party has dismissed the MDC as a puppet of Western powers it
says have sabotaged the economy in retaliation for Mugabe's seizure of
white-owned farms for redistribution among land less blacks since 2000. But
Tsvangirai said his party would not change the land policy if voted into
power because it agitated for the policy.

      Tsvangirai said the poor handling of the land redistribution exercise
by Mugabe's government had led to the departure from Zimbabwe of the
majority of its 4,500 white commercial farmers.

      "The land policy is a national consensus, but we differ with Zanu-PF
in the way it has been done," he said. - Reuters
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Will Tsvangirai, the Trade Unionist-Turned Politician Be Zimbabwe's Next President?

The Times of Zambia (Ndola)

January 10, 2005
Posted to the web January 10, 2005

Austin Kaluba

TRADE unionism has been a spring board to jump into the world of politics.
Examples include names like Lech Walesa of Poland, the former head of state
Frederick Chiluba and many early Zambian politicians who started their
political careers in welfare societies.

Despite this legacy, Morgan Tsvangirai , the leader of the Movement for
Democratic Change MDC who is in the country despite enjoying wide popularity
in his country seems to be facing several hurdles in his long walk to plot
one because of President Robert Mugabe's maverick yet enviable governance.

Mugabe has shown the world that he is among the remnants of African leaders
who can tell off Western leaders who were trying to meddle in African
affairs with their arrogance and know-it-all stance.

Tsvangirai who has been labelled a puppet and an Uncle Tom seems to be
finding problems to match Uncle Bob who does not mince his words regardless
of who crosses his path, be it American President George Bush, whom he has
accused of playing God or British Prime Minister Tony Blair who Mugabe calls
a crony labelled him Bush's prophet.

However, the wind of change seems to be blowing in the land of the great
Zimbabwe ruins with some people calling for change in a country that is now
fraught with economic woes largely brought about by economic sanctions and
the mass dismissal of white farmers in the infamous land reforms.

Many white farmers whose land has been grabbed owned the country's best land
like was the case in Uganda where many Asians controlled Uganda's economy
during Idi Amin's dictactorial rule.

According to the MMD national secretary Vernon Mwaanga, Tsvangirai is
visiting the country with a four-man MDC delegation after the Zambian
Government accepted his party's request to come to Zambia for consultative
talks tomorrow.

"The MMD looks forward to having fruitful discussion particularly that it's
them that have requested to meet the ruling party here. Zimbabwe is an
important neighbour in many aspects so it would be imperative and
interesting to know what was happening in that country," he said.

Tsvangirai would meet President Levy Mwanawasa at State House tomorrow.
Because of the sour relationship between Zimbabwe and Zambia in the Second
Republic and the Chiluba-run MMD, the New Deal Government has informed the
Zimbabwean authorities and its ambassador in Zambia about Tsvangirai's

The MDC would be visiting several other SADC countries on various issues in
preparation for the parliamentary elections in March that would see two
rivals Mugabe and Tsvangirai battle it at the polls to determine who would
rule the country.

Last year, the MMD and UNIP sent a team each to attend ZANU-PF congress
attended by 11, 000 delegates.

"We'll do the listening and less talking but we will issue a Press statement
possibly after our meetings with the MDC," Mwaanga said.

Tsvangirai is the top contender to the Zimbabwean presidency and the
arc-rival of Mugabe who has been at the helm of the country's politics since

He is a tough-tested leader who is focused and unshaken by harassment from
the authorities.

Who is Morgan Tsvangirai? Because of his strident condemnation of Mugabe's
land grabbing policy, the Western Press especially the British media has
over-praised Tsvangirai hailing him as a self-made person, a solid
administrator, competent thinker, charismatic leader, democratic team player
and above all, a compassionate family man.

"He has an unshakable appreciation of the key challenges facing Zimbabwe as
a country and Zimbabweans as a people.

Tsvangirai is a product of important social movements in this country, which
include the labour and constitutional reform movements," said the BBC in
article on Tsvangirai.

Whether the Movement for Democratic Change MDC leader is all these is
debatable. But what is true is that Tsvangirai has been a leader to reckon
with for sometime.

He is the former secretary general of the powerful Zimbabwe Congress of
Trade Unions (ZCTU) and is the founding chairperson of the National
Constitutional Assembly, a group that advocates a new constitution for

Like Chiluba who ran the Zambia Congress of Trade Union for 17 years while
Kaunda remained at the helm of UNIP and the Government condemning the one
party system for the suffering of workers, Tsvangirai has been a thorn in
the flesh of Mugabe's ZANU-PF.

Tsvangirai is a graduate of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of
Government, where he attained a diploma from the school's Executive Leaders
In Development Programme, in June 2001.

Apart from this academic attainment, Tsvangirai like Chiluba can be
described as a leader with humble education but very vast knowledge of what
affects his society and a born leader who is keen to learn new things.

Tsvangirai who is the first born son in a family of nine was born in 1952 in
Buhera in Gutu Masvingo and attended Munyira primary school and then
Silveira and Gokomere high schools.

His father was a bricklayer who had to struggle to put food on the table for
the large family. This forced young Morgan to leave school after GCE
O-Levels to help support his family being the first born.

At 20, he was working at Mutare Clothing as a textile weaver where he had
his first taste of trade unionism as a member of the local textile union.

Two years later he joined the Trojan Nickel Mine in Bindura. He spent 10
years at the mine, rising from plant operator to general foreman.

His working in the clothing factory can somehow be compared to Chiluba's
stint in Tanzania where he worked in a sisal firm before trekking back home
to Zambia to start unionism - offering the Kaunda regime challenge that has
not been matched up to now.

Tsvangirai became branch chairman of the Associated Mine Workers Union and
was later elected into the executive of the National Mine Workers Union
before becoming secretary general of the ZCTU in 1988.

Tsvangirai has also held several high-ranking positions in many regional
labour movements. He has been a guest speaker at various faculties of
various universities on the continent and beyond.

He has also been a guest speaker and presenter at various conferences
including at the World Trade Forum, trade union related forums, and both
non-governmental and government organised seminars.

Like Chiluba, he is an eloquent speaker who can sway a crowd with his
oratory skills. He is also a multi-talented person and displays an amazing
amount of energy, which drives his hard work.

From the time Tsvangirai who led the ZCTU away from its alliance with the
ruling ZANU-PF souring the union's relationship with the Government up to
1989 when he was imprisoned for six weeks on charges of being a South
African spy, his experience can still be compared to Chiluba's who was also
imprisoned by the Kaunda government.

In the late 1980s, Tsvangirai used the ZCTU which had been set at Zimbabwe's
independence as a springboard for his political career a decade later.

In December 1997 and early 1998, Tsvangirai led a series of strikes -
so-called "stay-aways" - against tax increases which brought the country to
a standstill.

These forced the government of President Mugabe to cancel two tax increases
and, as it turned out, also to abandon a promised tax to help fund war
veterans' pensions.

This was an ironic foreshadowing of the political confrontation between the
veterans and Tsvangirai's supporters over the issue of farm occupations.

He has also been a victim of premeditated and government inspired harassment
and violence.

There have been three assassination attempts on his life, which include the
1997 attempt, where unknown assailants burst into his office and tried to
throw him out of a tenth story window.

Tsvangirai, has been married to his wife Susan since 1978. They have six
children. Their eldest son is 22-years-old and the youngest are twins who
are eight-years of age.

When not in the office or out meeting people, Tsvangirai likes to read and
spend time with his family.

His political career is enviable despite hurdles from Mugabe's ZANU-PF
machination. In the June 2000 general election his young party, the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), despite being a new party gave leaders in the
ruling ZANU-PF a run for their money.

The MDC gained 57 of the constituency-based seats, against 62 held by
ZANU-PF - a result without precedent in Zimbabwe, where opposition parties
had never held more than a handful of seats.

Tsvangirai himself was not elected. Turning down the opportunity of a seat
in one of the cities, where the MDC's support is strongest, the MDC leader
chose instead to stand in his home district - which, like most rural
constituencies, was won by ZANU-PF.

By helping to inflict a dramatic defeat on the government over its
constitutional reform bill the previous February, Tsvangirai won an aura of
credibility which was enhanced by the general election result.

Since the formation of the MDC in 1999, the new party had made great
headways politically. It defeated the government over its referendum on
constitutional reform, which included clauses allowing the seizure of
white-owned farms without compensation.

It was the most dramatic political setback for President Mugabe since

But even this was eclipsed by the MDC's election showing.

Tsvangirai is seen as representing a younger generation of Zimbabweans,
particularly urban workers, who are less interested in Mugabe's historical
role as Zimbabwe's founding father than what they see as his recent record
of economic mismanagement.

Zimbabwe's economy has continued performing poorly, a situation Tsvangirai's
MDC is harping on by promising citizens that things would improve when the
party takes over the ruling ZANU-PF.

However, some Zimbabweans still consider Mugabe to be a hero by removing the
government of Ian Douglas Smith and by grabbing land from whites in what
could have been another Chimurenga-revolution.

Only time will tell if Morgan Tsvangirai will be Zimbabwe's next president.
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The Mercury

      Mugabe returns to divided party

      Zanu-PF squabbles may aid MDC in elections
      January 10, 2005

      Harare: Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe returned home yesterday
from holiday to find his ruling Zanu-PF party divided by damaging squabbles
over candidate selection for a general parliamentary election expected in

      Political analysts say the unprecedented fighting among Zanu-PF
members and simmering anger over the promotion of a high-flying politician
may work in favour of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change at the
March polls.

      "The fears are real. A divided Zanu-PF will struggle to put up a
strong campaign against the MDC... and for the MDC the longer these quarrels
run the better," said political analyst Heneri Dzinotyiwei of the University
of Zimbabwe.

      The government-controlled Sunday Mail reported complaints came from
all 10 provinces.

      Only three provinces had registered complaints just five days ago when
a group of Zanu-PF supporters demonstrated against the exclusion of some
candidates and detained a senior party official in charge of selection.

      Zimbabwe's private Sunday Mirror newspaper reported that Mugabe's key
war veteran supporters warned the party to handle the selection of the
candidates carefully, saying the drive against so-called rebels could help
the opposition.

      More than a dozen officials, including controversial Information
Minister Jonathan Moyo, have been purged from Zanu-PF's top bodies and from
the election race after an earlier row over Mugabe's likely successor.

      Moyo has appealed to the party to reverse a decision which stops him
from contesting the parliamentary elections.

      He was dropped last month from the party's top bodies over charges he
and other officials tried to block the rise of Joyce Mujuru as one of
Zimbabwe's two vice-presidents, putting her in line to succeed Mugabe upon
his expected retirement in 2008.

      Moyo and six other senior officials, who were suspended from the party
for five years, are being punished for seeking to promote Speaker of
Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa as a candidate against Mujuru.

      Mugabe has not made a public comment on the squabbles since he arrived
back in Zimbabwe after his holiday, but local media reported that a number
of Zanu-PF provincial councils were going to meet yesterday or in the next
few days.

      The MDC - which says Zanu-PF rigged the last two major polls in 2000
and 2002 - has threatened to boycott the March election unless reforms are
put in place to ensure what it calls a level playing field. The actual date
for the elections has not yet been set, but Mugabe has said they would be in

      Mugabe, 80, and in power since independence from Britain in 1980,
denies manipulating previous elections. His Zanu-PF party dismisses the MDC
as a puppet of Western powers it says have sabotaged the economy in
retaliation for Mugabe's seizure of white-owned farms for redistribution
among landless blacks. - Reuters
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The Times

            Why Brown's plan to cure ills of Africa is doomed
            By Bronwen Maddox

            IT IS a pity that Gordon Brown likened his wish-list for Africa
to the Marshall Plan.
            The comparison with one of the few great successes in half a
century of development aid only emphasises the weaknesses of the Chancellor's
scheme.Beginning tonight, as he embarks on a trip to Africa, he will lay out
again the case for a new international drive to help the continent. The
cause is undoubtedly a personal passion, but it is also an astute piece of
politics. What his plan is not, however, is a solution to the continent's
deep problems.

            There is a kind of dark comedy in the way that Tony Blair and
Gordon Brown have been jousting to promote their own visions of Africa's
salvation, given all the other fronts available on which they can feud. Why
now? Britain's presidency this year of the G8 group of leading countries is
one lure: a chance to insert personal favourites on to the world agenda.

            Africa was a good candidate, as support for doing something
about debt write-offs grew strongly at the autumn meetings of the World Bank
and International Monetary Fund.

            The tsunami is another catalyst: a demonstration of the feeling
among British people for humanitarian causes. No politician could ignore a
chance to attract that force on to a parallel issue close to his heart.

            Both men's interest in Africa stretches back years. As well as
personal conviction, that displays excellent political instincts. Both have
long been convinced that development issues are a means to reach young
left-of-centre voters who have not been much inspired by party politics but
are easily stirred by environmental and humanitarian causes.

            The "visions" of the Prime Minister and the Chancellor are not
very different, although Brown's is cast in more financial terms. In a rush
of speeches, he has called for three steps.

            First, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund should
write off the poorest countries' debt. Secondly, he wants to dismantle trade
barriers, particularly on agriculture. Thirdly, he wants a new investment
fund of $50 billion (£26.7 billion) a year.

            The attack on tariffs is the best. Brown has performed the great
service of attacking the "scandal and waste" of Europe's Common Agricultural
Policy. His other points present more problems. There is, indeed, a fair
amount of developed-world support for writing off debt that countries cannot
pay and for not burdening their populations with the mismanagement of past
rulers. It makes no sense for aid promptly to be returned as interest
payments, many donors feel.

            For the past eight years, the HIPC initiative (Highly Indebted
Poor Countries) has wrestled with trying to write off $70 billion of debt
for 27 countries. There are proven successes, such as Uganda, where money
that would have been spent on interest payments has been spent on schools.

            But which countries should be let off? Only the most indebted?
That penalises poor countries that have managed their finances comparatively
well, such as Bangladesh, while others are "rewarded" for their incompetence
and corruption.

            Corruption is perhaps the most important point. World Bank
officials acknowledge that they are chastened by the bank's failure in
Africa on so many fronts over four decades. Of all the reasons for that
disappointment, said Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel prizewinner and the bank's
one-time chief economist, the greatest was the failure to recognise that if
a country lacked stable, honest government, all aid could be wasted.

            Writing off the debt of past governments may do nothing to
improve the behaviour of present ones; indeed, it removes a lever against

            Brown's comparison with the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe
after the Second World War is disingenuous: it ignores the length of the
tradition of government that those countries had enjoyed before the war.
Finally, on his new investment fund, the Bank and the IMF point out gently
that his scheme could deprive them of interest repayments, which they could
use to help other countries.

            So: excellent politics, perfect timing and perhaps enough of
each to get the G8 to agree. But that does not mean that Brown has found the
answer where billions of dollars and half a century of the world's best
economists have failed.
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Zim Online

Harare may exploit tsunami to increase repression: Amnesty
Tue 11 January 2005
  JOHANNESBURG - Amnesty International has warned that President Robert
Mugabe and his government could take advantage of international spotlight
shifting to tsunami-hit south-east Asia to intensify repression against the
opposition ahead of a critical general election in March.

      The world human rights watchdog's South Africa office said the tsunami
which killed more than 150 000 people in Asia was a convenient cover for
governments such as the Zimbabwe's and Sudan's to crack down on opponents.

      "We are reminding the media and human rights organisations that we
must continue to monitor, capture and highlight abuses in countries like
Zimbabwe and Sudan," Amnesty's chairperson in South Africa Samukelo Mokhine
told ZimOnline in an

      Political violence and human rights abuses, mostly blamed on militant
supporters of the government, traditionally intensify in Zimbabwe towards
elections. - ZimOnline.
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Zim Online

Lawyers challenge new anti-money laundering law
Tue 11 January 2005
  HARARE - The Law Society of Zimbabwe yesterday applied to the Supreme
Court requesting the court to declare unconstitutional sections of a new
anti-money laundering law requiring lawyers to report suspicious
transactions and to disclose client information to authorities.

      In an affidavit filed with the country's highest court, society
president Joseph James has requested the court to strike down Sections 24,
25, 26, 27, 28 and 29 of the Bank Use Promotion and Suppression of Money
Laundering Act, which requires legal practitioners to report and disclose
client information.

      James argues that the six sections are inconsistent with Zimbabwe's
Bill of Rights and that by imposing disclosure and reporting obligations on
lawyers, the Act, passed three months ago, violated lawyer/client
confidentiality, a core value of the legal profession.

      Zimbabwe's Finance Minister, Attorney General and the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe are cited as first, second and third respondents respectively.

      The new law will inhibit clients' ability to fully disclose
information to their lawyers for fear it could be passed on to the
authorities, a situation that could eventually compromise the accused's
right to a fair trial, James argues in his court papers.

      The society's lawyer, Stanford Moyo, told ZimOnline: "Clients become
apprehensive about disclosing information to lawyers and the effect of that
is to negatively affect prospects of a fair trial.

      "We are also arguing against the compulsory recruitment of lawyers
into law enforcement agents as opposed to being part of the defence. Such
obligations are unconstitutional, null and void insofar as they relate to
legal practitioners." - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Zimbabwe crumble in Bangladesh
Tue 11 January 2005
  CHITTAGONG - Zimbabwe's greenhorns crumbled on their return to Test
cricket to give Bangladesh a historic maiden Test victory in Chittagong

      The humiliating 226-run rout of the inexperienced Zimbabwe has
compelled the country's cricket union to plead with rebel white players who
walked out on national duty to return to the fold urgently.

      Zimbabwe were playing first Test since May, when their Test programme
was suspended because the country could not field a competitive side
following the row between Zimbabwe Cricket and 15 regular white players.

      The fall of debutant seamer Christopher Mpofu, caught on five by
Mohammad Ashraful at silly-point off unheralded six-wicket hero Enamul Haque
in the second session, sparked off wild celebrations on and off the field as
Bangladesh tasted their first ever Test victory in 35 attempts.

      Zimbabwe took to the field on the fifth and final day of the first
Test on 46 for 3 chasing an improbable 381-run victory target, but the
visitors had no answer to the left-arm spin magic of 18-year-old Haque, who
finished on 6-45, the best Test figures by a Bangladeshi since their Test
initiation in 2000.

      Only Hamilton Masakadza, who made history by becoming the youngest
centurion on Test debut in 2001, offered some resistance to the wizardry of
Haque but eventually went out after a spirited 56, which included eight

      Zimbabwe had then hoped Tatenda Taibu would once again come to the
rescue after saving a follow-on with a gutsy 92 in the first innings, but
the 21-year-old skipper went out for a duck after being caught by Aftab
Ahmed at short-leg.

      Brendan Taylor was the only other batsman besides Masakadza to score a
notable 44 runs before his dismissal signalled the demise of the youthful

      Bangladesh went into their second innings in the driving seat after
scoring an unbelievable 488 in the first innings, but Zimbabwe only managed
to avoid a follow-on after going all out at 312.

      But when the visitors were all skittled out for 154 yesterday, the
greatest moment in the history of Bangladesh's cricket
      had arrived.

      Back home Zimbabwe Cricket is making frantic efforts to lure back
former captain Heath Streak and other senior players who revolted against
the union protesting Streak's dismissal.

      "Zimbabwe Cricket has always maintained that its doors are open to the
dissenting players," the union said in a statement at the weekend.

      "Against this background and in line with a Sports and Recreation
Commission recommendation, the Zimbabwe Cricket board has set up an
independent and impartial ad hoc committee, which starts work with immediate
effect, to engage former national players, noting that Gavin Ewing and
Barney Rogers have already returned to the fold."

      The committee will review and recommend the inclusion of the
dissenting players back into the national fold. It was not clear however
whether the union would consider any of the rebels for the second Test
against Bangladesh due to start in Dhaka on Friday.

      Zimbabwe second innings (overnight 46-3):
      S. Matsikenyeri B Haque 20
      B. Rogers C sub (Rana) b Baisya 0
      V. Sibanda Lbw b Baisya 0
      H. Masakadza C and b Haque 56
      B. Taylor Lbw b Haque 44
      T. Taibu C Ahmed b Haque 0
      E. Chigumbura C Mashud b Mortaza 10
      M. Nkala B Mortaza 5
      G. Cremer C Saleh b Haque 2
      D. Hondo not out 6
      C. Mpofu c Ashraful b Haque 5
      Extras (lb1, nb4, w1) 6
      Total 154
      Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-2, 3-42, 4-112, 5-115, 6-126,
      7-138, 8-143, 9-145.
      Bowling: Mortaza 17-4-45-2
        Baisya 10-6-20-2
        Haque 22.2-5-45-6
        Rafique 15-6-43-0
      Overs: 64.2
      Result: Bangladesh wins by 226 runs
      Toss: Bangladesh
      - ZimOnline
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Domestic Debt Hits Z$3 Trillion Mark

The Daily News (Harare)
January 10, 2005
Posted to the web January 10, 2005

ZIMBABWE'S domestic debt, which stood at $590.5 billion in December 2003, had ballooned to nearly $3 trillion by November 5 last year.

Figures from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)'s weekly economic highlights show that the country's domestic debt was $1.4 trillion at June 25 2004, $2.5 trillion at August 27 and $2,8 trillion at September 24.

The debt stood at $346 billion in December 2002. Analysts say the domestic debt will continue to soar because of the need to fund various imports such as electricity, grain and providing financial support for newly-resettled farmers.

They said the high interest rates coupled with increased borrowing that tied up a high percentage of the nation's resources would continue to be a burden on the fiscus.

"This is an interesting figure considering that the government also wants to give $3 trillion to agriculture," an independent economist, said.

The economist said this would double the debt because government will have to borrow the $3 trillion.

"Besides the increase in the domestic debt, borrowing by government results in crowding out of the business sector," he said.

"Government borrows money to pay wages and recurrent expenditure and this increases inflation unlike the business sector which borrows money for productive purposes."

When he took over as RBZ governor in December 2003, Gideon Gono said the current debt overhang had an adverse impact on money supply and efforts to fight inflation.

He said treasury and monetary authorities and the private sector were engaged in active discussions over the idea to ring-fence this debt and come up with innovative instruments to deal with the entire outstanding domestic debt.

Gono then proposed a special facility bond where government issues a zero-coupon bond which investors purchase at a discount. He also proposed a weighting system to determine the discount factor for the said bond.

The governor said government, together with the private sector, would request friendly countries to issue foreign currency-denominated bonds in international capital markets.

The foreign currency raised would then be sold to the RBZ and the local currency used to extinguish domestic debt while the foreign currency with the RBZ could then be used to repay part of the foreign debt or meet the country's import requirements.

Zimbabwe's balance of payments position has remained weak largely as a result of poor export performance and continuing importer demand.


Copyright © 2005 The Daily News. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (
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Malnutrition Seen Rising in Zimbabwe – Report

HARARE - Zimbabweans in rural areas are finding it harder to afford staple cereals and levels of malnutrition could rise by March, a US based food monitoring agency said.

Prices of staple foods were too high for the poor majority and the southern African country's social protection programmes were inadequate, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) said in its latest monthly report.

The programmes are meant to cater for the aged, orphans and the chronically ill.

Zimbabwe has suffered intermittent food shortages over the past four years due to drought and disruptions to agriculture linked to controversial land reforms.

Last month President Robert Mugabe's government said planting in the current season ending March was sharply lower than forecast.

In the report dated January, FEWSNET said cereals like the staple maize were becoming less available in most rural areas with rising prices limiting the ability of poor households to buy sufficient food.

"Food insecure households in both urban and rural areas are responding through reducing their consumption. Over time, levels of malnutrition and related diseases are expected to rise, peaking in the January to March 2005 period," the unit said.

"The targeted feeding programs currently allowed by the government cannot adequately address the food insecurity problem facing both urban and rural communities in Zimbabwe," it added.

Mugabe's government accuses some agencies of working with the opposition to destabilise the country under the guise of humanitarian aid.

It has largely stopped food aid distribution which the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation says 40 percent of the population needs.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change has predicted major food shortages this year, citing inadequate financial support for cash-strapped farmers from the government.

In December the government, which has redistributed thousands of white-owned farms among landless blacks since 2000, admitted that only a tenth of targeted land had been prepared for the 2005 crop due to input constraints.

Mugabe denies mismanaging the country since assuming power at independence from Britain 25 years ago, leading to chronic shortages of food, foreign currency, fuel and record inflation and unemployment.

The veteran leader charges in turn that his government's domestic and foreign opponents have deliberately undermined Zimbabwe's economy as pay-back for its white farm seizures.

Story Date: 11/1/2005

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The Scotsman   
Tue 11 Jan 2005
Mortuaries fill up as doctors leave Zimbabwe


THE bodies of dozens of suspected murder victims in Zimbabwe have been piling up in hospital mortuaries since the middle of last year because there are no forensic pathologists to carry out post-mortem examinations, medical officials said yesterday.

Some have been there since last May, when the government’s only forensic pathologist, Dr Alex Mapunda, resigned.

"Yes, the bodies that require that service have been piling up since Dr Mapunda resigned. This is not our fault," the chief surgical and clinical pathologist Dr Max Hove told the state-owned Herald newspaper.

He said that there were 14 such bodies lying in the mortuary of Parirenyatwa Hospital, Harare’s biggest hospital.

Without forensic evidence, murder investigations cannot proceed, said a police spokesman. Distressed families have to wait for months before they can bury their relatives.

General pathologists are allowed to perform post-mortem examinations after car crashes and mainly accidental deaths. But only specialised forensic pathologists are qualified to gather criminal evidence to be presented in court, Dr Hove said.

"For people who succumbed to violent death, those regarded by the police to have been murdered, there is nothing we can about it," he said. No official reason was given for Dr Mapunda’s resignation.

But medical professionals have left Zimbabwe in droves over the past four years in search of better salaries and a safe political climate, leaving local health institutions with a critical shortage of staff.

The government of Robert Mugabe, the president, accuses Britain, a former colonial power, and other Western countries of unfairly "luring" its health personnel abroad.

This article:
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Zanu-PF row cuts Mugabe's holiday short    Basildon Peta
    January 11 2005 at 08:48AM

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has cut short his scheduled month-long holiday in Asia to return to Harare to try to sort out the chaos in his ruling party.

Hundreds of disgruntled party officials invaded the ruling Zanu-PF's headquarters on Monday to voice their discontent over what they perceive as the imposition of the party's candidates for the March election and the sidelining of those who are not in harmony with party leaders.

Mugabe has cracked the whip against party officials who convened a secret meeting at the home of his spin doctor, Jonathan Moyo, to try to plot a strategy to block his anointed successor, Joyce Mujuru, from being elevated to the vice-presidency.

 Many of those who were struck off the Zanu-PF candidates list have been linked to the Moyo plot. Moyo himself has been expelled from the party's top structures.

He and other party members have been barred from standing in the March election. Some have been suspended for five years.

Monday's well-organised protest, to coincide with Mugabe's return from Asia, has prompted speculation that it was sponsored by Moyo and other sidelined party faithful.

Moyo has appealed against the bar on standing in the March poll. Zanu-PF's elections directorate started hearing appeals from prospective candidates who had been similarly sidelined.

It yesterday heard complaints from candidates from Harare province. The semi-literate war veterans leader and self-styled commander of farm invasions, Joseph Chinotimba, who has also been linked to Moyo's meeting, was successful in his appeal and will now stand in Harare's Glen Norah constituency in.

Sources said Moyo was unlikely to be successful because he was out of favour with members of the elections directorate.

Mugabe has not commented on the deep divisions within his party since returning from Asia.

This article was originally published on page 6 of The Star on January 11, 2005
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The Herald

Building societies urged to review mortgage rates

Business Reporter
BUILDING societies should adjust mortgage rates in line with falling lending rates, says the Zimbabwe Institute for Regional and Urban Planners (Zirup).

In an interview, Zirup president Mr Percy Toriro said for urban infrastructure in the country to develop, it was necessary to put in place an environment where mortgage loans were not only accessible, but affordable to prospective home-owners.

"Interest and lending rates are falling. Under normal conditions, building societies should review their mortgage rates as well. They should be in line with reviews that are happening in the financial sector as well as following the inflation direction. Very few people can afford mortgages in Zimbabwe at the current rates.

"There are so many incomplete houses and projects because many people cannot afford or do not qualify for the mortgages on offer. It is difficult or next to impossible to buy or complete a house these days," Mr Toriro said.

"An individual earning between $8 million and $10 million only qualifies for a mortgage loan of between $60 million and $80 million. Such an amount is not enough to build a house or buy a stand. If there are to be any development on the 250 000 stands that the Government will be allocating every year mortgage rates should be reviewed. "The world over, mortgage finance is the main source of funds for building houses, but it has not been the case in Zimbabwe. Ten years ago it was possible, but today about five percent of the top market, who already have more than one house, are the only ones that can afford such mortgages," he pointed out.

Government last year embarked on a housing scheme under which it will allocate 250 000 stands countrywide during the next five years. The scheme is aimed at reducing the housing backlog in Zimbabwe.

He said it was disturbing to find that there had been very little headway in terms of building houses or improving existing buildings. This had serious implications for young professionals, who were forced to live in rented accommodation or sub-standard lodgings.

Central Africa Building Society (CABS), the country*s largest building society, has been funnelling part of its cash resources into mortgage loans in a bid to reduce the amount of money locked up in statutory reserves.

By contrast, Beverley Building Society has cut its monthly mortgage advances from between $4 million and $10 billion in the past to $2 billion. This was induced by a combination of conservative lending on the part of the building society and a fall in the demand for mortgage loans.

In its year-end results published recently, the building society group hinted it would be turning to the Productive Sector Fund for additional funds.

As a general rule, the country*s building societies appear to have tightened the screws on mortgage finance in light of the growing number of defaulters.

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The Herald

Investment levels surge

By Martin Kadzere
ZIMBABWE continues to register remarkable growth in investment levels as 87 projects valued at about $353 billion were approved by the Zimbabwe Investment Centre in 2004.

According to statistics released by the ZIC, total investment went up from 76 projects valued at $25,6 billion approved in 2003, against the backdrop of economic sanctions imposed by the West and negative media coverage by the international Press.

The figures show that China contributed the highest level of investments at $126 billion followed by India with $92,8 billion, confirming that the Government*s "Look East" policy is beginning to bear fruit.

Australia had investments totalling $23,2 billion and the United Kingdom $10,1 billion while South Africa and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) weighed in with $29 billion and $1,14 billion respectively.

"We are very happy that investments are going up and there is need for the country to participate in world promotion summits.

"There is also need to rebuild the country*s image and thwart the bad publicity that it has been receiving for the past five years from international and local private media institutions," said ZIC.

Investment proposals were received for various sectors of the economy, including manufacturing, which had 45 projects (about half of the total projects approved).

The rest of the proposals were split up as follows: mining (11), tourism (10), transport (10) and services (11).

When fully implemented, the investments are expected to generate exports amounting to $38 trillion.

Foreign investors accounted for 29 of the projects — with a projected contribution of about $311 billion — approved by ZIC. On the other hand, local investors are expected to contribute about $46 billion from 50 projects.

"The figures are based on the initial projection that we made last year, but these projections could be decreased after a follow-up which we are going to conduct early this year," said ZIC.

Under its operational modalities, the parastatal is expected to make follow-ups after a gestation period of between six and 18 months.

Projects approved last year are expected to be implemented during the first half of this year.

Zimbabwe has witnessed phenomenal growth in the number of foreign investments during the period under review, a clear indication that investors are regaining their confidence in the country as a sound destination for their investments.

The increase in investment levels is likely to create about 6 000 jobs across all sectors.

Over the past five years, Zimbabwe has suffered a decline in direct foreign investment (FDI) owing to Western-inspired sanctions and criticism of its land reform programme.

That notwithstanding, the country*s economy has been on a makeover since the beginning of 2004, as the new monetary policy unveiled by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) in December 2003 continues to pay dividends.

Analysts have, however, emphasised the need for greater input by local investors to target all sectors of the economy, especially agriculture, to boost the country*s turnaround efforts.

"Participation of the locals during the period under review is satisfactory, but there is need to mobilise resources for them to venture into businesses under various sectors of the economy," said a Harare-based economic analyst.

Delivering the 17th State of Nation Address in December, President Mugabe said "2005 should be the year of investment during which the country must consolidate the gains made in the revival of the economy".

"Foreigners can only come to an economy which is driven by the confidence of its real owners. As true owners of Zimbabwe economy, we have to work singularly hard for its growth," he reminded the nation.

ZIC is a parastatal established by an Act of Parliament in 1992. As a one-stop shop whose mandate is to facilitate and co-ordinate investments by promoting local and foreign investors, it has been in the business since 1993.

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Rhodes to coach the World, Warne to captain

Shane Warne will captain a reasonably strong but certainly exciting World XI that will take on New Zealand in three ODI’s in aid of the Tsunami victims.

The team is player managed by former South African jack-in-the-box Jonty Rhodes and includes, arguably, Zimbabwe’s two greatest cricketers of recent times, Andy Flower and Heath Streak. Streak has, of course, in recent times been more of a spectator at the Queens Club and in Harare than donning whites, pardon the pun.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive Martin Snedden confirmed a three-match limited-overs series in January between New Zealand and a World XI. The matches will be played at Christchurch on Jan. 22, Wellington on Jan. 24 and Hamilton on Jan. 26 and replace the abandoned one-day series against Sri Lanka which has yet to be rescheduled.

Sri Lankan offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan, so effective for Asia in Monday’s fund raiser, will play for the World XI, joining Warne in a pairing of the world's two top wicket-takers, and will also play in the later test series, Snedden said.

They will be joined by the likes of Englishman Graeme Hick, Australian Justin Langer, Sanath Jayasuriya and Lance Klusener which should ensure a slug fest of a form. The team is slanted to Australian and Sri Lankan players who would have been in New Zealand in the ordinary course of business save the Boxing day disaster.

"It will be expensive to hold but the benefits for the home cricket season and the Black Caps, as well as those who benefit from our fund-raising activities, will make the series more than worthwhile," Snedden said.

World XI itinerary:
Jan. 22, vs. New Zealand, Christchurch; Jan. 24, vs. New Zealand, Wellington; Jan. 26, vs. New Zealand, Hamilton.

World XI squads:
Game one: Shane Warne (Australia, captain), Andy Flower (Zimbabwe), Ian Harvey (Australia), Graeme Hick (England), Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka), Lance Klusener (South Africa), Nick Knight (England), Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka), Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka), Heath Streak (Zimbabwe), Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka), Jonty Rhodes (South Africa, player/coach)

Game two: Shane Warne (Australia, captain), Andy Bichel (Australia), Matthew Elliott (Australia), Andy Flower (Australia), Ian Harvey (Australia), Graeme Hick (England), Sanath Jayasuriya(Sri Lanka), Lance Klusener (South Africa), Nick Knight (England), Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka), Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka),
Heath Streak (Zimbabwe), Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka), Jonty Rhodes (South Africa, player/coach)

Game three: Shane Warne (Australia, captain), Michael Bevan (Australia), Andy Bichel (Australia), Matthew Elliott (Australia), Andy Flower (Australia), Ian Harvey (Australia), Graeme Hick (England), Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka), Justin Langer (Australia), Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka), Kumar Sangakkara
(Sri Lanka), Heath Streak (Zimbabwe), Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka),Jonty Rhodes (South Africa, player/coach).

© 2004 - Rivals Digital Media
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Tue, January 11, 2005

Bail hearing in fake charity charge

THE FIRST person accused in Toronto of running a fundraising scam for tsunami relief in South Asia will have a bail hearing today. As his pregnant wife and an unidentified man looked on in a crowded North York court yesterday, Elmon Muringwa, 44, a native of Zimbabwe, made a brief appearance before being remanded back into custody. The refugee claimant is charged with fraud and theft under $5,000.

He was arrested Friday after a police officer pulled over a car for unpaid parking tickets and became suspicious of receipts and a Red Cross ID and pamphlets.

Police claim the driver collected money after going door to door telling residents he was raising funds for tsunami relief.

A pledge sheet listed 21 donors, Det. Colin Greenaway said yesterday. Some of the donations were made in west Toronto, others along Danforth Ave. in the east part of the city.

"Most were for $5, $10, and $20 ... the most I saw was for $50," Greenaway said.

Since the arrest, a 22nd person contacted police to complain about the questionable fundraiser, Greenaway said.

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Mail&Guardian Online
'The party will not impose candidates'
Harare, Zimbabwe 11 January 2005 11:13< td>
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe on Monday backtracked over the controversial banning of some ruling-party candidates in primary elections set for January 15.

Demonstrators from the ruling Zanu-PF party held an unprecedented second demonstration outside their party headquarters, protesting against the imposition of candidates.

Primary elections are being held within Zimbabwe's political parties ahead of parliamentary polls set for some time in March this year.

The Zanu-PF political commissar announced last week that several seats have been reserved for women and aspiring male candidates will not be allowed to stand. Among those affected is Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, who is appealing against his banning.

"We are here to address your concerns," Mugabe told Zanu-PF protesters on Monday.

"Zanu-PF is a democratic party where everyone's wishes are respected. It is now up to you to go and select candidates of your choice who are capable of leading you because the party is no longer going to impose candidates on you."

Still, the move by Zimbabwe's 81-year-old leader may not help a number of would-be candidates.

"Those members of the party who have disciplinary cases against them are not eligible for elections.

"We are not going to change the date for the elections. All primaries will take place on January 15," Mugabe said.

While details of Zanu-PF's disciplinary procedures remain secret, it is known that several hopefuls have fallen from Mugabe's favour in recent months. Among them is Moyo, who organised an unauthorised meeting in the western province of Matabeleland.

Also out of the running is reputed Mugabe relative and MP for the northern town of Chinhoyi, Phillip Chiyangwa, currently in prison awaiting trial for espionage.

The self-appointed leader of Zimbabwe's notoriously violent farm invasions, Joseph Chinotimba -- linked to Moyo's Tsholotsho meeting in Matabeleland -- could also see himself out of the running.

Chinotimba has repeatedly sought a parliamentary seat in Harare, an opposition Movement for Democratic Change stronghold. -- Sapa


Mugabe addresses Zanu(PF) supporters

January 11, 2005, 11:30

Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president, has addressed protesting members of his Zanu(PF) party, apparently making concessions on the party's choice of candidates. The party members were demonstrating outside Zanu-PF's headquarters in Harare.

Zanu(PF)'s political commissar announced last week that several seats had been reserved for women, and that certain male candidates, including cabinet ministers, would not be allowed to stand in national elections expected in March. Mugabe has told the protesters they must now select their own candidates, as the party will no longer impose candidates on them. Zanu(PF) holds primary elections on Saturday to choose candidates for the March polls.

It is not clear if Mugabe's statement applies to the restrictions already announced. - Sapa

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Two Oceans champs return
Tue, 11 Jan 2005

The winners of the 2004 Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon have indicated that they will be returning to defend their titles.

Marco Mambo from Zimbabwe, who won the ultra event last year as a novice, is very keen to repeat his win, which was not expected at the time.

Marco's winning time was 3:07:41. Since 1997 when Zithulele Sinqe repeated his 1996 win, no runner has been able to successfully defend his title.

In the women's race, the Russian twins Yelena and Olesya Nurgalieva will also be back to attempt to repeat their 2004 domination of the event.

Yelena beat her sister in a time of 3:37:51. The last repeat women's winner was Angelina Sephooa who won in 1997, 1998 and 1999.

Online entries for the 2005 event, which takes place on Easter Saturday, March 26, are open and runners can enter at

Entries for the 56km event have been capped at 10 000 and for the 21km at 8 500. Entries close on February 28, or earlier if the maximum numbers are achieved.


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Hungry Zimbabweans scrape the barrel
    January 11 2005 at 10:03AM

Harare - Zimbabweans in rural areas are finding it harder to afford staple cereals and levels of malnutrition could rise by March, a United States food monitoring agency said.

Prices of staple foods were too high for the poor majority and the southern African country's social protection programmes were inadequate, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) said in its latest monthly report.

The programmes are meant to cater for the aged, orphans and the chronically ill.

Zimbabwe has suffered intermittent food shortages over the past four years due to drought and disruptions to agriculture linked to controversial land reforms.

Zimbabwe has suffered intermittent food shortages over the past four yearsIn December President Robert Mugabe's government said planting in the current season ending March was sharply lower than forecast.

In the report dated January, FEWSNET said cereals like the staple maize were becoming less available in most rural areas with rising prices limiting the ability of poor households to buy sufficient food.


"Food insecure households in both urban and rural areas are responding through reducing their consumption. Over time, levels of malnutrition and related diseases are expected to rise, peaking in the January to March 2005 period," the unit said.

"The targeted feeding programmes currently allowed by the government cannot adequately address the food insecurity problem facing both urban and rural communities in Zimbabwe," it added.

Mugabe's government accuses some agencies of working with the opposition to destabilise the country under the guise of humanitarian aid.

It has largely stopped food aid distribution which the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation says 40 percent of the population needs.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change has predicted major food shortages this year, citing inadequate financial support for cash-strapped farmers from the government.

In December the government, which has redistributed thousands of white-owned farms among landless blacks since 2000, admitted that only a tenth of targeted land had been prepared for the 2005 crop due to input constraints.

Mugabe denies mismanaging the country since assuming power at independence from Britain 25 years ago, leading to chronic shortages of food, foreign currency, fuel and record inflation and unemployment.

The veteran leader charges in turn that his government's domestic and foreign opponents have deliberately undermined Zimbabwe's economy as pay-back for its white farm seizures.