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

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Zimbabwe: Minister says government "will do all it can" to fund fuel imports

January 1, 2003 7:42pm


Energy and power development minister, Comrade Amos Midzi, says he is
confident the government will do all it can to provide the necessary
financing for fuel imports to ease fuel shortages in the new year.

Comrade Midzi said the problem of foreign currency will continue to be
experienced in the country for some time until the economy improves. He,
however, said he is confident that the government will try its best to
ensure that his ministry gets the necessary financing.

Fuel supplies continue to be erratic throughout the country and this has
affected travel plans for the new year, holiday for many people.

On Monday National Oil Company of Zimbabwe, NOCZIM, pumped out more than
1.3m litres of petrol throughout the country. Out of this total Harare
received 776,000 litres, Bulawayo 280,000, while the rest of the country got
430,000 litres.

Zimbabwe has suffered intermittent fuel shortages since 1999 after NOCZIM
credit lines were cut over a 9bn dollars [currency not stated] debt which
has since been cleared. The country has been experiencing irregular fuel
supplies, owing largely to foreign currency shortages. Declining export
earnings have also added to the woes.

Libya has renewed a 360m US dollar financing facility for Zimbabwe to cover
the importation of fuel for another year. The facility would deliver
quarterly tranches of 90m US dollars as part of a trade investment and fuel
supply agreement.

Zimbabwe needs about 40m US dollars of fuel imports each month.

Source: ZBC Radio 3FM, Harare, in English 1100 gmt 1 Jan 03
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The Herald

War vets at loggerheads with city council

Herald Reporter
A showdown looms between the Harare City Council and members of the Zimbabwe
National Liberation War Veterans Association over a decision by the city
fathers to reverse an earlier resolution that gave preferential treatment to
the former fighters in the allocation of residential stands.

The decision, which was passed by council at its last general meeting, will
affect war veterans and landless people who were allocated 100 stands in
Crowborough North.

City spokesman Mr Cuthbert Rwazemba declined to comment on the issue
yesterday, but a council official said the department of housing and
community services had been instructed to demolish the structures.

"The council is sticking with its earlier decision and wants those people at
Crowborough North to leave. The area has been reserved for residential
purposes and is meant for people on the housing waiting list,'' said the
official who declined to be named.

However, a member of the war veterans at Crowborough North said no one was
going to move.

"We have not received any communication from the city fathers regarding the
latest development and, therefore, we will not move.

"In fact, moving out of the area is completely out of question because we
are busy constructing our dwellings,'' he said.

At their last meeting, councillors resolved to suspend all policies which
accorded preferential treatment in the provisions of goods and services to
the public pending confirmation of such policies or adoption of new ones.

It also resolved that relevant heads of departments affected by such policy
report to an appropriate committee of council for confirmation or review.

The director of housing and community services, Mr Numero Mubaiwa, had
reported that the Crowborough houses were now ready for allocation and was
seeking ways from council of treating the 100 stands which had been reserved
for war veterans.

The Education, Health, Housing and Community Services Committee expressed
the need to abide by the resolution which reversed the decision to allocate
land to war veterans.

The decision was then adopted by the general council meeting.

The latest development comes barely a month after a number of council
workers were injured by landless people in Budiriro while trying to demolish
illegal structures in the area.
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Daily Telegraph

Sport and politics must unite against the Mugabe regime
By Kate Hoey  (Filed: 28/12/2002)

I have always thought the maxim that sport and politics should not mix is a
nonsense. Unfortunately, it is because too many sportspeople have believed
this myth that governments have been able to get away with putting sport at
the bottom of the league when setting their funding priorities. Sport has
never been able to influence with the same success as the Arts. This is
rather ironic because when I was minister I found sport was riven with
back-stabbing and constant infighting - much more so than in the House of

Nevertheless, the maxim has been used by politicians when considered
expedient. As a result, when it comes to difficult decisions in sport,
particularly those with a moral dimension, government can avoid the issue by
proclaiming the mantra, 'nothing to do with us'. So far that is what they
have done over the Cricket World Cup in Zimbabwe. The current Minister for
Sport, Richard Caborn, has resolutely stuck to the line that it is up to the
International Cricket Council to make the decision over whether Zimbabwe
should host the early stages of the tournament.

Tim Lamb, chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board, has added
his words of wisdom: "The ECB are not a political organisation and do not
take decisions on that basis."

Malcolm Speed, the chief executive of the ICC, was keen to ensure we had no
illusions about his organisation. He answered all questions by insisting
that the ICC "simply did not make political judgements - they are for
politicians." So politicians do not interfere with sports administrators'
decisions and sports chiefs do not meddle with politics.

To me, that cop out is not good enough when dealing with the ECB's decision
to support the ICC's decree that the six matches in Harare and Bulawayo
should go ahead in February.

I was part of the student generation who sat down to protest against the
South African cricketers playing against England in the 1970s. We felt
strongly that the system of apartheid in that country was repugnant. We
wanted a boycott of everything to do with the regime. Boycotts can work,
especially if they are part of other international sanctions.

So far Zimbabwe's suspension from the Commonwealth and the European Union
sanctions have been fairly patchy. To allow a Zimbabwean team to take part
in the Commonwealth Games in July was wrong and sent out a signal that
condemnation of President Mugabe's regime was half-hearted.

The message which will be sent out worldwide if England play their World Cup
match in Harare is that Zimbabwe is a normal functioning country. This is
patently untrue. It is a country where nothing is normal. The shortage of
basic food stuffs is acute in both rural and urban areas. Half the
population - more than six million people - are starving or on the verge of
starvation. The country is grinding to a halt with everything in short
supply except violence, disease and death.

International pressure is needed to make Mugabe account for his despotic
misrule and sport can help make that happen. A boycott of the Cricket World
Cup has happened before - Australia refused to play in Sri Lanka in 1996 and
still reached the finals.

At the ICC press conference announcing the decision to stick with Zimbabwe,
Speed expressed his hope that the country would reap benefits from the
tournament. Can someone in his position really be so naive? Of course there
will be financial rewards - that seems to be the reason for holding World
Cups - but does anyone other than the apologists for Mugabe think that the
money will go anywhere but the pockets of the dictator?

So what about other countries with undemocratic governments, is the cry when
a sports boycott is suggested. Yes, there are many terrible regimes in the
world, but that does not mean we should do nothing. As the former colonial
power Britain has a particular responsibility for Zimbabwe. For the English
team to refuse to go would be a huge morale boost for all the brave men and
women who are struggling for freedom.

I understand the pressures on the cricketers. They are professionals and it
is a World Cup. However, I cannot believe that if they really think about
what playing in Zimbabwe would mean that they would choose to go. Any
decision not to play would be made much easier if a lead was given by the
Prime Minister. I would urge him to leave the war room and the maps of Iraq
for a short while and concentrate on the tragedy of Zimbabwe. Not a penny
need be spent.

All he needs to do is make a statement that it is not possible for sport to
be played where human rights have been so violated. He could refer to the
thousands of white farmers who have been forced off their farms, now sadly
left barren and neglected.

He could remind us of the 900,000 black farm workers who have lost
everything and have been reduced to foraging for food. Then he could tell us
that he would not play cricket in a country where tyranny rules and ethnic
cleansing is the norm.

It is not too late for the ECB to understand that sometimes even they have
to face up to their wider responsibilities. Sport and politics should unite
and tell the evil Mugabe that the English cricket team will not be a
propaganda weapon for his odious regime. They should not go.
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The Times

            Streak's straight bat fails to convince
            By Owen Slot, Chief Sports Reporter

            JUST when it seemed that the message was getting across that
Zimbabwe is not such a splendid place at present, up pops Heath Streak again
to disabuse us of the notion. "I think things should go ahead," he said
yesterday in an interview with the BBC World Service. "I believe the
security of the team coming here is perfect. We are looking forward to
hosting those matches."
            This is the same Heath Streak - the one who is captain of the
Zimbabwe cricket team - who made the startling comment in August that "there
are no problems in Zimbabwe". Particularly startling that one, given that
four days earlier his father, Dennis, had completed 72 hours in a prison
cell for disobeying instructions to hand over three quarters of his farm.

            It appears astounding, too, that Streak should be dealing in
such opinions when members of his team are beginning to find their voice and
speaking out against their country's role as host to six World Cup matches
starting next month on the condition of anonymity. Even that is an act of
some bravery, given that the voice they have found is in opposition to
President Robert Mugabe, the patron of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU).
"The game has to stop," one said.

            But who exactly is being brave here? And what exactly does
anyone really mean? I spent half an hour on the phone to Dennis Streak
yesterday, the last five minutes of which were taken up rewinding through
his words and working out exactly what he said and what could be published
without him losing that final quarter of his land, too.

            It is clearly no fun being opposed to the Government in Zimbabwe
right now, but neither is being a Mugabe puppet. The opposition to Mugabe
may be oppressed, but it is hardly flattened. After first giving the
infamous thumbs up to his country in August, Heath Streak fell like a stone
from a stratospheric peak of popularity and he was the target of a
considerable hate campaign, the exact details of which his father was
particularly loath to share. You simply cannot be too careful. And it cannot
have been too easy for Streak to have gone back on the record yesterday,
making public an allegiance to the status quo.

            Those who know Streak have been less quick to condemn him. They
question what deal-making might have been done. Some kind words, Heath, and
the family keeps that final quarter. Who knows? The words he used could
hardly have been more careful. Studied closely, they are by no means a jolly
old pat on the back for his chum at the presidential palace. Asked what
exactly had happened to his father, he said: "Unfortunately, Dad was picked
up and spent the weekend in town."

            What is certain is that when you are captain of the national
cricket team and you step outside the party line you will not be in office
very long. Remember Stuart Carlisle? Captain of Zimbabwe early last year, a
little too forthright and opinionated and now not captain, not in the
national squad, not even in his provincial team. And why has Alistair
Campbell, another former captain, not been picked in the World Cup squad? It
was an eccentric decision to drop him if it was based on form.

            So even though Streak Sr, a former cricketer who was in the
national team with Duncan Fletcher, spent three days in prison as a guest of
the patron of the ZCU, he is entirely supportive of cricket, the hosting of
the World Cup and his son. "I lost out back in the Rhodesia days because of
sanctions," he said. "So I know what it is like to be isolated from
international sport. We didn't have Test status then, but maybe we'd have
got it earlier. When I retired, Zimbabwe cricket was strong.

            "I don't believe politics should play any role in sport. I've
been surprised by the recriminations that have followed Heath. Quite often
they have come from people who didn't realise we live on a farm. He's now
been targeted by a group called Zim-Activism, the kind of people who think
the only way to bring the Government down is to oppose everything. I do
discuss this with Heath. Heath likes to concentrate on cricket matters, but
as a captain he has a role to play and he believes he is duty bound to talk
about these things."

            After retiring as a player, Streak Sr went on to be manager of
the national team. He is now skipper of the Zimbabwe lawn bowls team, which
is a less stressful position from which to lead the country than that
occupied by his son.

            One issue that recurs for the England cricket team is, if they
do end up playing their match in Harare on February 13, would Nasser Hussain
et al shake hands with Mugabe? Tim Lamb, the chief executive of the ECB, has
already talked about the necessity of having talks with Hussain about it. He
has refused to rule out the handshake with Mugabe and that, in itself, has
made a back-page headline. The Daily Mirror's front page on Tuesday was a
photo montage of Hussain and Mugabe, their hands mid-shake, with the
screaming headline "Howzat!" So if this is the intensity of the issue for
the England team, imagine what it is like for the Zimbabweans. Rumours
abound that there are players who want to snub the presidential handshake,
there have been discussions about it and the deal apparently is that either
the whole team is in on it or no one is.

            And when the World Cup is played, there is a biography of one
member of the squad to be published that contains revealing opinions and
revelations. The book is in cold storage until more sane times prevail
because if it came out now the player's future would be jeopardised. Do not
expect sales to be too big in Zimbabwe. In fact, under the present regime,
do not expect the book to be sold there at all.
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I have nearly finished reading DARK STAR SAFARI by Paul Theroux, and
although it is long and sometimes a wee bit tedious it is one of the most
realistic and honest books about Africa that I have read. Here is an extract
from it, a longer version of which you can find at,6000,804668,00.html 
- it gives a good idea of what he found on his journey from Cairo to the
Cape. I recommend it.  Barbara

The African world I got to know was not the narrow existence of the tourist
or big-game hunter, or the rarified and misleading experience of the
diplomat, but the more revealing progress of an ambitious exile in the bush.

In Malawi I began identifying with Rimbaud and Graham Greene, and it was in
Africa that I began my lifelong dislike of Ernest Hemingway, from his
shotguns to his mannered prose. Ernest was both a tourist and a big-game
hunter. The Hemingway vision of Africa begins and ends with the killing of
large animals, so that their heads may be displayed to impress visitors with
your prowess.

That kind of safari is easily come by. You pay your money and you are shown
elephants and leopards. You talk to servile Africans, who are generic
natives. The human side of Africa is an afternoon visit to a colourful

Of all the sorts of travel available in Africa, the easiest to find and the
most misleading is the Hemingway experience. In some respects the
feed-the-people obsession that fuels some charities is related to this, for
I seldom saw relief workers who did not in some way remind me of people
herding animals and throwing food to them, much as rangers did to the
animals in drought-stricken game parks.

Fearing the draft, I had joined the Peace Corps and been sent to Nyasaland,
an African country not yet independent. So I experienced the last gasp of
British colonialism, the in-between period of uncertain changeover, and the
hopeful assertion of black rule. That was lucky, too, for I saw this process
at close quarters, and African rule, necessary as it was, was also a tyranny
in Malawi from day one.


[I met] a Malawian, Dr Jonathan Banda, a political science teacher at
Georgetown, in Washington DC. He had left Malawi while quite young, in 1974,
had travelled and studied in various countries but had finished his PhD in
the United States. He had just come back to Malawi and he was disappointed
by what he saw.

"It is dirty - it's awful," he said. "The people are greedy and
materialistic. They're lazy, too. They show no respect. They push and shove.
They are awful to each other."

I asked him about charities and aid agencies - the agents of virtue in white
Land Rovers. What were they changing? "Not much - because all aid is
political," he said.

"When this country became independent it had very few institutions. It still
doesn't have many. The donors aren't contributing to development. They
maintain the status quo. Politicians love that, because they hate change.
The tyrants love aid. Aid helps them stay in power and it contributes to
underdevelopment. It's not social or cultural and it certainly isn't
economic. Aid is one of the main reasons for underdevelopment in Africa."


 I walked to the house I had once lived in. The now-battered building had
once lain behind hedges, in a bower of blossoming shrubs, but the shrubbery
was gone, replaced by a scrappy garden of withered maize and cassava at one
corner. Tall elephant grass had almost overwhelmed it and now pressed
against the house. The building was scorched and patched and the veranda
roof broken. Mats lay in the driveway, mounds of white flour drying on
them - except that falling rain had begun to turn it to paste.

To someone unfamiliar with Africa the house was the very picture of
disorder. I knew better. A transformation had occurred, an English
chalet-bungalow turned into a serviceable African hut, not a very colourful
hut, even an unlovely hut. But it was not for me to blame the occupants for
finding other uses for the driveway, or chopping the trees up for firewood,
or slashing the hedges, or growing cassava where I had grown petunias.


I sketched out my theory that some governments in Africa depended on
underdevelopment to survive - bad schools, poor communications, a feeble
press and ragged people.

They needed poverty to obtain foreign aid, they needed ignorance and
uneducated and passive people to keep themselves in office for decades.

"The NG0s pull out the teachers," Jackson said. "They offer them better pay
and conditions."

That was interesting - the foreign charities and virtue activists, aiming to
improve matters, coopted underpaid teachers, turned them into food
distributors in white Land Rovers, and left the schools understaffed.
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Ban On Foreign Media in Zimbabwe Naive

Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)

December 20, 2002
Posted to the web December 27, 2002

Lance Guma

THE banning of foreign media organisations from operating in Zimbabwe by
denying their foreign crews and reporters leave to enter the country or
refusing to renew the work permits of those already here is a miscalculation
that draws strength from naivety and a deep sense of wanting to be seen to
be doing something by the minister responsible. The new policy typifies a
government not normally associated with the truth and eager to drum up a
"patriotic" excuse for a blatant blockade of news in the country.

While the official line is that foregn media houses in the mould of CNN,
BBC, AFP etc must employ local journalists to cover news for them,
government is aware this is not always possible for a myriad of reasons,
especially with regard to the electronic media. Common sense dictates it is
not always necessary to have a reporter for every country in the world. One
reporter in most organisations can cover as many as 10 countries on their
own. Basildon Peta who works for the Independent newspaper group is a good
example. He is currently covering 14 countries in the Southern African
region alone. In a country like Zimbabwe which rewards laziness, corruption
and over-staffed institutions, maybe such myopic thinking from "Rocket
Scientists" is acceptable.

There is also the skill factor, especially in broadcasting, that has to be
considered. I had the good fortune of working with CNN journalists Jeff
Koinange and Charlayne Hunter-Gault during the March 2002 presidential

Going through the CVs of the two is like going through a hall of fame. They
personify talent. Jeff Koinange was with Reuters Television from 1995-2001.
From 1999 he was its Chief Producer covering 15 African countries and
overseeing the coverage of 24 nations. In 1999 he was a finalist in the Prix
Bayeaux for the coverage of the war in Sierra Leone. He holds a Bachelor of
Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism from New York University. He has covered
notable events like the hijacking of an Ethiopian Airlines plane, the
overthrow of Mobutu Sese Seko, the assassination of President Kabila, the
election of Thabo Mbeki and the war in Sierra Leone.

Charlayne Hunter Gault joined CNN from National Public Radio where she was
Chief Correspondent in Africa. She worked 20 years for PBS. She began her
career as a reporter for the New Yorker, then became anchor for WRC-TV in
Washington. She worked for the New York Times for 10 years. She has won two
Emmy awards, two Peabody Awards and Amnesty International's Media Spotlight
Award. In 1986 she was awarded the Journalist of the year award from the
National Association of Black Journalists. These are two journalists who
have covered real news and have the experience in reputable news
organisations that enabled them to knock on the CNN door and be accepted.

Try to imagine CNN or BBC making a decision on which journalist from ZBC to
employ to replace the two. Looking at the options, we have the inaudible
Freedom Moyo, pompous Reuben Barwe, mistake-laden Supa Mandiwanzira,
over-zealous Makhosini Hlongwane or the ever-shallow Happison Muchechetere.
Better still, why not employ Mr Mass Communication himself, Dr Tafataona
Mahoso? You can clearly see the propositions would be in order if we were
recruiting characters for a circus.

The ZBC in its new bastardised mandate is no longer a viable breeding ground
for broadcast journalists to build international reputations simply because
it is innocent of any professionalism. Zimbabwe's Alice Chavunduka is an
anchor for CNN because a professional establishment, the SABC, honed her raw
skills to international standards. There are a lot of Zimbabwean journalists
who have the talent to emulate Alice but will never get that exposure and
experience because of the ZBC's sterile productions resulting from a naked
monopoly and bootlicking station managers who can't even lie convincingly.

Reporting on the commissioning of boreholes, tomato prices at Mbare Musika
market, fictitious crises in the opposition, and speech and function
reporting is hardly the stuff that will ignite international interest in our

Jonathan Moyo's handling of the media shows he is green behind the ears on
how it works. People plucked from classroom situations, ie teachers and
lecturers like Moyo and Mugabe, usually exhibit a patronising attitude as
they tend to think everyone around them is a student needing guidance at
every turn. Most journalists who have met Moyo will testify that he loves to
lecture on how the media should work. Teachers make good dictators, I always
joke, they simply turn the whole country into a classroom, the chalk becomes
a gun and the blackboard a burial ground.

Whoever told Mugabe that "political scientists" like Moyo necessarily make
good politicians might as well have told him donkeys have horns. Inevitably
the print media in Zimbabwe has assumed the mantle of torch bearer and has
helped put our journalists in the limelight.

That I chose to major in broadcast journalism given our prevailing
environment is a choice I have to stomach for the rest of my life. The
misfortune though has moulded me into a better person. At college I used to
fantasise about being a television celebrity like Reuben Barwe (ZBC's Chief
Reporter) but now realise I would need to be moving around with a gun to
protect myself from dissatisfied viewers nauseated by Zanu PF's propaganda.

It is quite obvious, Jonathan Moyo, the unelected Junior Minister realising
the incompetence of his department to counter international coverage of his
party's evils, merely sought to shoot the messenger and the message in one
fell swoop. The ban however has merely fuelled demand for news on Zimbabwe
(they love creating black markets), and government via Moyo's naivety has
denied itself an equal platform to respond. Nobody outside a zoo believes
anything the ZBC, the Herald and the other motley crew of pseudo-independent
papers broadcast or publish.

- Lance Guma is a Zimbabwe-based freelance journalist and former
secretary-general, Harare Polytechnic SRC.
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