|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) has confirmed an Australian tourist,
reportedly murdered in Zimbabwe, was from Adelaide.
Local reports suggest the man was attacked as he walked out of a rainforest near Victoria Falls.
It is understood the victim was stabbed several times and died at the scene.
The department has not released the man's age or name at this stage.
|Zimbabwe cricket team prepares for World Cup|
1/2/2003 10:27:26 AM (GMT +2)
By Edison Chikamhi
THE 15-member Zimbabwe cricket team goes into camp tomorrow to step up preparations for the forthcoming limited overs World Cup tournament starting next month.
Babu Menan, the Zimbabwe
team manager, yesterday said the team would assemble in Harare.
Peter Hain, who is Welsh Secretary, said this year's tournament should be moved to South Africa, the co-hosts.
Mr Hain asked the players to "show some moral backbone" by refusing to play in Zimbabwe if the event goes ahead.
The government has said it wants England to pull out of February's game against Zimbabwe because of the human rights record of President Robert Mugabe's regime.
If Mugabe gets his way and the event proceeds, England should not go
England cricket captain Nasser Hussain has echoed this stance and asked the government to make the decision on behalf of English cricket.
Mr Hain said the credibility of the International Cricket Council and the Commonwealth depended on the whole event being switched to South Africa.
He wrote in the Independent on Sunday: "If Mugabe gets his way and the event proceeds, England should not go.
"But if their international sister organisations will not stand up for morality against oppression, if other governments will not back our own government's stand, then it is still important for English cricket to show some moral backbone.
"What will they do if ordinary Zimbabweans protest against the matches - as they well might - and are clubbed away mercilessly, maybe to death?"
The Independent on Sunday claims Mr Mugabe had been considering banning both the Australian and England cricket teams when the controversy first blew up, but decided against it.
Meanwhile the Sunday Telegraph reports that ministers will tell the England players not to shake hands with the president if they insist on going to Zimbabwe.
The warning, to be delivered by Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell and Foreign Office minister Baroness Amos at a meeting with the England and Wales Cricket Board on Thursday, is because they fear handing the Zimbabwean leader a propaganda coup.
The International Cricket Council last week said it stood by its decision to go ahead with matches in Zimbabwe.
Mr Hain said Mr Mugabe would exploit the World Cup to convey a sense of normality.
He accused the president of destroying the country for his own gain.
The minister first attracted widespread public attention for his efforts to disrupt the Springboks' 1970 rugby tour by staging pitch invasions and even gluing the locks on the players' hotel rooms.
From The Zimbabwe Independent, 3 January
ACP states in bid to break Zim/EU stand-off
The African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) states, who have been feeling the pinch in the fall-out between Zimbabwe and the European Union, are working at pressing President Mugabe to relax his offensive against Brussels. Anxious to restore normal ties, the ACP states are reportedly hoping to see Mugabe ahead of the EU/Africa summit scheduled for Lisbon in April and the next plenary session of the EU/ACP joint parliamentary assembly to be held in Congo-Brazzaville later the same month. The Zimbabwe Independent heard this week that ACP secretary-general Jean-Robert Goulongana of Benin and other officials were due in the country later this month for talks with Mugabe as part of an effort to break the stalemate between Zimbabwe and the EU. "Goulongana is a reformist and so is willing to see this resolved," a source said. "He will try to convince Mugabe not to send people barred from visiting Europe for these meetings in future." The source said Goulongana had realised that the EU was firm in its decision not to further entertain any of Mugabe's banned emissaries.
While it was not clear who would accompany Goulongana, sources told the Independent that ACP countries like Botswana, Senegal and Mozambique were worried that the continued stand-off between Harare and the EU would sabotage prospects of further aid. Sources said details of Goulongana's visit would be finalised "anytime after January 6". The Independent heard that Portugal and France have been mobilising ACP countries to support their idea of talks between Harare and the EU. Portugal is labouring to restore relations between Zimbabwe and the EU to save the summit to be held in Lisbon. France is also sensitive about the Francophone summit to be held in February. France is seen as having a soft spot for the Harare administration and may campaign among French-speaking African countries who are also members of the ACP to support Zimbabwe's attendance at the Lisbon summit. Portugal, which has interests in its former African colonies, is reportedly anxious to save the summit which African countries have threatened to boycott if Zimbabwe is barred for its failure to end political repression and human rights violations.
In November the ACP member states boycotted the EU/ACP joint parliamentary assembly in Brussels after the EU insisted on barring Mugabe's two ministers, Chris Kuruneri and Paul Mangwana, leading to the meeting being aborted. The ACP is reportedly favouring dispatching Goulongana as opposed to a fact-finding mission proposed by the European Socialists in the EU. Both the ACP states and Portugal are worried that Mugabe could refuse to allow a fact-finding mission into the country on the EU's terms, further spoiling relations and ultimately sabotaging the Lisbon summit. The European Socialists have already set terms demanding that Mugabe should relax his sanctions regime and allow banned British MEPs like Glenys Kinnock into the country as part of the mission to investigate the abuse of human rights in Zimbabwe. The EU slapped Mugabe and his associates with smart sanctions last year following failure to combat lawlessness in the run-up to the March presidential election. Since then, relations have continued to deteriorate with the EU accusing Mugabe of fomenting famine and steering terror campaigns in the hinterland to emasculate the opposition's support base.
From The Independent on Sunday (UK), 5 January
England should not play into the hands of Mugabe's odious regime
Hit Zimbabwe hard by transferring all its World Cup games to South Africa
It's hard not to sympathise when England's cricket captain, Nasser Hussain, pleads for others to take moral decisions for him over staging some of the World Cup matches in Zimbabwe, though the idea that this crisis has come out of the blue is risible: everyone has known for months, from their television screens, of the violence and mayhem that the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, has wreaked on his people. But listening to the views of cricketers and their officials reminds me of the 1960-70 era. Then, they just wanted to play South African teams, regardless of the fact that blacks were denied by apartheid laws from doing so, that sport was a weapon of white South African tyranny, and that our sports boycotts of that era delivered what Nelson Mandela later confirmed was a mortal blow to apartheid. Although the cricketers' scheduled visit to Zimbabwe raises different issues from apartheid in sport – because cricket there is multi-racial – the common principle is that sports people cannot divorce themselves from life and the moral decisions of life. What made apartheid South Africa unique was that all sport – from school to club to provincial to national level – was organised on racist lines. From the bottom to the top of all sports, blacks and whites could not be members of the same team. Politics in the old South Africa infected the very organisation and spirit of sport as no other tyranny, whether communist or fascist, had done then, or has done since. At the time, other tyrannies – from military regimes in Pakistan to fascist juntas in Latin America, Spain or Portugal, to Stalinism in Russia – were abhorrent. But their nasty politics rarely, if ever, infected their sport. If South African-type boycotts and protests had been applied to every country deemed to have strayed from democracy and freedom, international sport would have ground to a halt.
Equally, let us be clear, sport has always been mixed up with politics. For example, in his rapprochement with China in 1971 President Nixon used "ping-pong diplomacy". In 1973 the French cancelled a sports tour to Australia after protests about French nuclear tests in the Pacific. And so on. Additionally, there were moments when to proceed with a prestigious sporting event was to endorse tyranny. That was true of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, which Hitler milked mercilessly. It was the case, too, with the Moscow Olympics in 1980 following the invasion of Afghanistan (which I argued – unsuccessfully that time – should be boycotted). As arrangements in Harare and Bulawayo have confirmed, Mugabe wants to exploit the cricket World Cup to project an image of normality: as if the civilised ambience of the village green – its peaceful decency, its multi-racial tolerance – applies in Zimbabwe today. But, of course, it doesn't. Zimbabweans who don't support Mugabe are deliberately deprived of food aid: in all, seven million people – half the population – are estimated to be starving. Opposition supporters are violently attacked and sometimes killed. Elections are rigged. The country is being devastated by a man interested in one thing only: his personal enrichment and absolute power. The shameless way he and his élite have destroyed the economy, driven away investment, pushed inflation up to 150 per cent, eliminated the rule of law and transformed an African success story into a crying failure is nothing short of criminal. When Mrs Mugabe helped herself to a farm recently she followed others in the ruling élite who had not only driven a white farmer off the land but 100 or more skilled black workers too. And even worse, these captured farms have become derelict: instead of being the "breadbasket" of southern Africa, Zimbabwe is now dependent upon imported food and aid.
I wonder whether Mugabe and his henchmen ever recall the spirit of the freedom struggle that they so bravely waged, with the active support of many in the West. It was both a struggle against white oppression and a fight for freedom, democracy and non-racialism: the very same values that they are so ruthlessly destroying today. It is important for British opinion to be absolutely consistent. Black tyranny is no better than white tyranny. It is tragic that Mugabe is no better than the leader of white Rhodesia, Ian Smith, who locked him up, and whose security services bred exactly the kind of terror inflicted on Morgan Tsvangirai and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change today. But consistency also requires acknowledging hypocrisy. What a comfort it is to see Conservative politicians and right-wing newspapers fearlessly leading the charge against Mugabe. But where were they in the fight against apartheid? They were backing sports tours to the hilt. They were fraternising with white South Africa's rulers and betraying Nelson Mandela and the rest of us involved in the anti-apartheid struggle. No wonder the black and brown cricketing nations have greeted the white attack on Mugabe with some sourness.
But they, too, have some questions of consistency to answer. I know Commonwealth leaders detest Mugabe's atrocities. I know African leaders are appalled by what he has done to Africa's name, and the way he has shaken international investor confidence. I know because they and their colleagues have told me so. But what are they actually doing about Mugabe? What are they doing to help oppressed Zimbabweans? As the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary have made clear, an African solution is needed to this desperate problem – one that would immediately attract support from donor countries such as ours. The truth is that this World Cup is not really about the anguish of English, or now Australian, cricketers. It is about the credibility of the International Cricket Council and the Commonwealth – white, brown and black member countries all together. As the Zimbabwean opposition is pleading, the ICC should act to transfer every game to be played in that country to South Africa, which is a beacon of multi-racialism, tolerance and democracy, just as Zimbabwe is a beacon of the very opposite.
If Mugabe gets his way and the event proceeds, England should not go. But if their international sister organisations will not stand up for morality against oppression, if other governments will not back our own government's stand, then it is still important for English cricket to show some moral backbone. What about those Zimbabwean youngsters unable to play because they haven't been fed? What will the English team do if British sports journalists are blocked from covering not just the overs and the runs, but the context too? What will they do if ordinary Zimbabweans protest against the matches – as they well might – and are clubbed away mercilessly, maybe to death? The temperature on the streets in Zimbabwe is rising. Starvation and desperation is widespread. It could well erupt around the World Cup as people demand food and freedom. If international cricket doesn't care about this then what are its values? What does it really stand for except the right to bat on regardless? The odious Mugabe regime would gain an enormous propaganda victory if the World Cup went ahead. Which is why it shouldn't.
Peter Hain, Secretary of State for Wales, was minister for Africa, and before that a leading anti-apartheid campaigner
Monday, January 6, 2003. Posted: 09:40:43 (AEDT)
Zimbabwe will reportedly spy on British and Australian cricketers playing in
World Cup matches because President Robert Mugabe believes British agents are
planning to assassinate him.
South African newspaper the Sunday Independent reports Mr Mugabe wanted to ban the Australian and English cricketers because he feared British MI6 agents, working in cahoots with the Zimbabwean opposition, would use the occasion to kill him.
The paper said Cabinet persuaded Mr Mugabe last week that hosting the matches in February and March would be a diplomatic coup for Zimbabwe after pressure from the British and Australian governments for a boycott of the matches in the southern African nation.
The newspaper, citing unidentified Zimbabwean Government sources, said the Cabinet agreed that the Zimabwean spy agency, the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), would assign at least three agents to each British and Australian cricketer or official.
The CIO will also bug the visitors' accommodation and telephone lines, and closely monitor their movements, it said.
"The fact is that Mugabe would rather not have these people here ... he thinks after humiliating (British Prime Minister Tony) Blair at the Earth Summit (in Johannesburg last year, when Mugabe blamed Blair for Zimbabwe's problems) and after the failure of the west to remove him from power, the focus is now on killing him," an official, who declined to be named, told the newspaper.
"He thinks British intelligence are working full-time on that."
The British and Australian governments argue that playing matches in Zimbabwe would be tantamount to endorsing Mugabe's regime, which stands accused of human rights abuses and rigging presidential elections in March.
The cricket showpiece begins on February 8 with an opening ceremony in Cape Town. Most of the matches will be played in South Africa, but Zimbabwe will play its group matches at home, and two matches will be played in Kenya.
Members of the English and Wales Cricket Board are due to meet British government ministers this week to discuss the current situation.
Australia has meanwhile said it will seek to organise a collective ban on staging World Cup matches in Zimbabwe with Prime Minister John Howard saying Australia would be willing to pay for the re-scheduling of games.
|Tsvangirai, beware of Zanu PF’s Trojan horse Dyke|
1/2/2003 9:45:04 AM (GMT +2)
By Paul Taylor
The remarks in this article are directed specifically towards the MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.
My cynical father once told
me always to remember Cicero’s statement that politicians are not born but
excreted. I don’t want you to take the line personally. I am sure you will
admit, looking at the situation in which Zimbabwe finds itself, that Cicero had
|Can 2003 be a better year for Zimbabwe?|
1/2/2003 9:37:07 AM (GMT +2)
VERY few Zimbabweans would predict with any earnestness that the year 2003 could be a better year for their country than 2002. There would be no basis for such a prediction.
The government, whose
economic policies have crippled the country, particularly since the disastrous
land invasions of 2000, made promises to turn around the economy in the National
Budget presented to Parliament in November.
|Zanu PF squabbles over governor|
1/2/2003 9:07:58 AM (GMT +2)
From Chris Gande in Bulawayo
THE selection of a provincial governor for Bulawayo province is threatening to split Zanu PF in Matabeleland.
Party insiders said one
faction wants the post to be taken by George Mlilo, the former Bulawayo City
Council director of engineering services, while the other faction, consisting
mainly of the party’s old guard, feels that Mlilo’s political record is not
impressive and would prefer either party veterans Sikhanyiso Ndlovu or Dumiso
|Mugabe’s hate speeches|
1/2/2003 9:48:01 AM (GMT +2)
For some time I thought that President Mugabe was well aware of the economic state of the country.
I also thought that it was
for this reason that he chose to put together a “war cabinet”.