Straw has rejected suggestions that there should be military intervention in
Speaking during a debate on the issue, Straw told the Commons
that the government was doing everything it reasonably could to put pressure
on Robert Mugabe's regime.
He also reminded Conservative MPs demanding
tougher action that "20,000 people were slaughtered in Zimbabwe in the 1980s,
which went largely unremarked by the British government of the
Tory MP Nick Gibb asked why the government was not considering the
use of force to resolve the situation in the country.
He reminded the
foreign secretary that the prime minister had "effectively announced a new
doctrine of intervention where states oppress and brutalise their
Straw said there was no possibility of a military operation to
"Our judgement is that taking it to the [UN]security
council and failing would undermine what we all want which is a democratic
and free Zimbabwe," he said.
He added that it had taken a great deal
of hard work by the government to convince the international community to
impose wide-ranging sanctions on the country.
"We have hit Mugabe
where it hurts, freezing his assets and restricting his movements and those
of his henchmen," Straw said.
He said that the idea that "we as a former
colonial power could take action beyond that is pie in the sky and would feed
the Mugabe propaganda that we are still after a colonial presence".
added that the situation was "a test for Africa" rather than for
Aid Straw also reminded the house that the government had
given £67 million in humanitarian and food aid since 2001, with £26.5 million
on fighting Aids, and was actively involved in supporting those working for
The foreign secretary indicated that this was
realistically all the government could do.
He added that the
Conservatives, while criticising the government for its inaction, had failed
to produce any alternative plans.
Shadow foreign secretary Michael Ancram
slammed the "inertia" of the international community that was leading to a
"victory for despotism".
He added that he was not advocating a military
Parliament has passed a tough new Bill that allows police to hold suspects
for three weeks before they are brought to court, an opposition lawmaker said
The Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill was
passed late on Wednesday despite stiff resistance from the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said the party's shadow justice
minister David Coltart.
"This is the most fascist legislation passed
by this Parliament yet, reminiscent of the worst apartheid-era provisions,"
Under the Bill, suspects arrested on suspicion of
corruption or violating security laws would be detained for up to 21 days
instead of the 48 hours previously allowed to schedule a court
The Bill will now be presented to President Robert Mugabe who
is expected to sign it into law.
Mugabe's government had argued that
the longer detentions were needed to investigate allegations of financial
crimes such as money laundering, illegal foreign currency dealing or gold
The opposition sounded the alarm after sections of Zimbabwe's
strict Public Order and Security Act (Posa) were added into the Bill, raising
concerns that it would be used to clamp down on strikes and other forms of
Coltart said suspects could be detained for weeks under
a section of the security law on "subverting the constitutional government"
that "has been the most used provision to oppress the
Mugabe announced new anti-graft regulations in February,
shortly after his government declared "war" against corruption, but
Parliament had to enact them within six months.
Officials in Zimbabwe
say foreign currency amounting to $6-billion was illegally siphoned out of
the country into foreign bank accounts by the end of last year.
government has blamed the country's economic crisis, which includes inflation
of more than 400% and chronic foreign currency shortages, on corrupt
businessmen and government officials.
Several high-profile Zimbabweans,
including Finance Minister Christopher Kuruneri, have so far been arrested in
the government's anti-corruption drive.
Earlier this week Justice
Minister Patrick Chinamasa defended the Bill as a necessary tool for rooting
out corruption, and said it was in line with the Constitution.
legal conscience is very clear," Chinamasa told Parliament.
"This Bill is
going to be a roll call for those who are for corruption, and for those who
are against corruption."
However, MDC lawmakers shouted him down, saying
the law gives too much power to the police and does away with the presumption
of innocence. - Sapa-AFP
Ancram: A five-point plan for Zimbabwe Speech in the
House of Commons on Zimbabwe
"I welcome this debate. It is not before
time. It is in fact extraordinary that in seven years of government this is
the first time we have had a debate on Zimbabwe in government time. I am
nevertheless grateful. I only hope that this belated recognition by the
Government of the need to debate it is an indication that at last they are
beginning to address this issue with the seriousness it merits.
could after these seven years indulge in a sort of 'recherche du
temps perdu'. It would serve little purpose. Zimbabwe's problems may be
rooted in the past. But they are very much current and in the future. Four
years on from the last rigged parliamentary elections, and two years on from
the 'stolen' presidential election, preparations for the next
parliamentary elections are already being made. The problems are worse, and
they must urgently be addressed.
As the House knows I have been
shouting about Zimbabwe for the last two years and more. I have sometimes
been criticised for spending so much time on it. I make no apologies. This is
not, as someone once admonished me, just another African country upon which
we should not seek to impose our values. Zimbabwe is a country which has
enjoyed democracy and the Rule of Law. Zimbabwe is a country which has known
prosperity and full stomachs and economic stability. All of these are now
lost or under threat.
Nor is Zimbabwe a far away country of which we know
little. Zimbabwe is a country we know well, for which we must still feel a
sense of responsibility, if only a moral one. We cannot say that it has
nothing to do with us, that to seek to interfere smacks of neo-colonialism.
That is not what the dispossessed black farm workers told me when I met them
in the woods outside Harare two years ago. That is not what the politicians
and the many other victims of Mugabe's brutality told me. They believed that
we had a moral duty to act. They felt a sense of betrayal at what they saw as
That is why I welcome this debate today.
simple fact is that month after month the situation in Zimbabwe is getting
worse. It was bad enough when I was there. It is considerably worse now. I
saw some pretty horrifying sights of ethnic cleansing, of
political intimidation and of food queues. My Rt Honourable Friend for
Buckingham - who cannot be with us today because he is in Darfur - visited
only a few months ago. The situation he witnessed was far, far worse. We are
watching, the birth of a failed state, the victory of crude despotism, and
the failure of the international community to respond.
I am baffled by
the inertia with which the international community has responded to Mugabe's
vile regime. To quote the most recent International Crisis Group report of
19th April "the response . has been inadequate and ineffectual at all levels.
Their (the US and the EU) policies do not begin to address the roots of the
crisis". I am not advocating a military solution; I am asking for
international action. More of that later.
First it is worth reminding
ourselves of the nature of the crisis in Zimbabwe. It can best be described
as a series of deficits.
First the democratic deficit. A patently rigged
parliamentary election four years ago. A stolen presidential election two
years ago after which the Foreign Secretary told us "we do not recognise the
result or its legitimacy." What we have seen is a systematic undermining of
the principles of free and fair elections, and the flouting of the
(ironically) named Harare Principles and the SADC principles. What we have
seen over these last years has been dishonest voter registration which
allowed Mugabe effectively to rig the Register, rigged vote counting with
ballot papers going missing, voter intimidation and bribery, and the physical
persecution and even murder of political opponents. And now we learn that
voter registration for next year's elections has begun, without any
independent supervision or verification - and in one case at least without
the sitting opposition MP being told until after it was completed. And Mugabe
announces that he will have no observers in Zimbabwe for this election. The
democratic deficit is almost complete.
Then the Rule of Law deficit.
Many opposition members of Parliament in Zimbabwe have been subject to murder
attempts, torture, assault and arrest. A recent survey of MDC members of
parliament found that 42 percent claimed to have been assaulted in the past
four years, most commonly by the police, while 24 percent said they had
survived assassination attempts. And because of the politicisation of the
police and of the judiciary there is rarely any legal comeback. The once
proud rule of law in Zimbabwe, despite the immense courage of many Zimbabwean
lawyers, lies in tatters.
The independent judiciary, one of the pillars
of democracy, has been severely compromised, with the Bench packed with
Mugabe supporters. The 'Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act',
adopted before the elections of 2002 requires journalists to provide detailed
information about themselves. If they do not, they will not receive a
journalist license. The law has been used to close Zimbabwe's only
independent daily newspaper and to arrest people for "suspicion of
journalism." The state now claims a virtual monopoly of written and broadcast
media; foreign correspondents, meanwhile, are a thing of the past. The Public
Order and Security Act restricts the freedom of association. The government
in Zimbabwe has used it to stamp out any form of activity or protest by
The rule of law has been exchanged for the rule of
tyranny and of the organised mob. And then there is the Law and Order
Deficit. Mugabe has skilfully created a society in which his orders to kill,
maim and destroy are easily carried out. His private militias, the so-called
Green Bombers are evil. The methods in which they are trained in special
camps to which often they are abducted include not only systemised violence,
but also organised rape and brutal abuse and humiliation. The first hand
accounts of these from some former members who have fled to South Africa are
chilling. And then the Economic and Social Deficit. Zimbabwe's economy is
among the fastest-shrinking in the world. Unemployment has risen to more than
70 per cent . As recently as 1997, Zimbabwe was twice as rich as the
median sub-Saharan nation. Now it is crashing. Inflation still rides high at
over 440 per cent. GDP has shrunk by one-third in 5 years . The black
market exchange rate still flourishes, despite legislation to outlaw it. At
the official exchange rate, £1 is worth Zimbabwe $815, on the black market,
£1 buys $7,000.
And now we hear threats of wholesale nationalisaton of
agricultural land, despite the fact that current land seizures have already
led to the collapse of the once prosperous agriculture sector with all the
attendant consequences on food production.
And of course there is the
Humanitarian Deficit. Zimbabwe has lived on food aid since 2001 and last year
6.5 million people, more than half the population, depended on international
Mugabe is now refusing help from the United Nations World Food
Programme. Regime officials say that Zimbabwe will have a bumper maize crop
this year of 2.4 million tons, more than enough to meet domestic needs. Yet a
report from the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee - a government
body - concludes that 2.3 million people in rural Zimbabwe "will not be able
to meet their minimum cereal needs during the 2004/05 season".
why Mugabe lies. By keeping the UN and aid agencies out of Zimbabwe, he can
ensure that his regime controls all food aid.
Mugabe thinks he can feed
his people by doing black market deals to buy grain and then tell the world
it is home-grown.
It is of serious concern that two American companies
are in cahoots with Mugabe. Sentry Financial Corporation and Dimon
Incorporated are both involved in the tobacco-for-maize scam. Surprisingly
our Government does not seem to know about it. I quote from Baroness Amos,
who said only last week: "I am aware of the rumours with respect to Zimbabwe
selling tobacco in exchange for maize." These aren't rumours. They are real.
At least the that the US authorities are aware of what is happening. Both
Congress and the Treasury are now investigating the two firms
Aids is rife. A third of the population has HIV. The
government's Aids levy is failing to get through to the frontline services.
Hospitals and clinics cannot afford even the most basic of Aids testing kits.
I wonder if the money is actually being directed to the fight against
A recent National Audit Office's report on DFID's HIV/AIDS strategy
was highly critical. It found that DFID's own country assistance plans do
not address the issue of HIV/AIDS consistently, and many of them "failed
to consider the effect of the epidemic on poverty reduction" .
that the Minister will address these points when he speaks later on in this
debate. And on the day that the ICC meet there is the thorny question of
cricket. Sometimes I am told that I should not try to bring politics into
sport. This is not a question of sport versus politics. It is a question of
morality versus money. Given the situation I have described in Zimbabwe, I
cannot see how in conscience England's cricketers should be asked to play
even one-day internationals in Zimbabwe this autumn. The Tests have gone, but
we are told these matches are still on. The ZCU, whose patron is Mugabe, has
already played cynical and apparently racist politics with its own team
selection. Anything that gives comfort to them or to Mugabe in terms of sport
should be abandoned. The Tour should not take place, full stop. The
Government should clearly and unequivocally say so, and say so now. The
greatest deficit is in the international response. It has been lamentable.
For a start far greater pressure must be brought to bear on President Mbeki
of South Africa. He must be told the bald truth that his policy of quiet
diplomacy is dead and buried. What happened to his vain promise to President
Bush last year that by June 2004 Zimbabwe's problems would be solved? Just
last week Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Aziz Pahad is on record again as
saying: "it is clear that we will not meet the June deadline"."I have no
other alternative to quiet diplomacy, so we will continue with quiet
diplomacy." The truth is that it has failed and our Government should
I have been to New York and asked why the UN does not get
involved. The response, I have to say, is pathetic. I am fobbed off with the
answer that because the Zimbabwe crisis is an internal or domestic problem,
the UN can't get involved. Tell that to some 127,000 Zimbabwean refugees are
trying to get into Botswana each month. Is the UN blind to the refugees which
flee over the border to Botswana, to South Africa and to Malawi,
bringing economic havoc in their wake? And doesn't the demolition of human
rights, or ethnic cleansing, or genocide concern the UN. If not, why then
their sudden interest in the appalling problems of Darfur in Sudan? Come
to think of it the UN response is to put both Zimbabwe and Sudan on the UN
Commission for Human Rights. Is it surprising that the people of
Zimbabwe feel betrayed? And then there is the EU and their much-vaunted
sanctions. EU sanctions are pretty toothless. The red carpet treatment Mugabe
received in Paris a year ago was disgraceful. It totally undermined the
credibility of EU sanctions both internationally, and in Zimbabwe where they
are a laughing stock. There is a strong suspicion in Zimbabwe that some
European members tacitly wish to support Mugabe. When there is a need to
comprehensively strengthen these sanctions, we hear that there are voices in
the EU that are arguing that they should be abandoned. So much for a common
EU foreign policy. The EU has a chance of imposing real pressure on the
Mugabe regime. When will it accept its moral responsibilities and act
effectively? The sad reality is that by the time the EU sanctions come up for
review next year, Zimbabwe could well have become a failed state with all the
domestic and international implications which that involves. What defines
a failed state? "In general terms, a state fails when it is unable:- · to
control its territory and guarantee the security of its citizens; · to
maintain the rule of law, promote human rights and provide
effective governance; and · to deliver public goods to its population
(such as economic growth, education and healthcare)."
All of these
apply to Zimbabwe today. This is not my defintion. It is the definition of
the FS in a speech in September 2002. I agree with him. He even offered a
solution. "Experience suggests that the prevention of state failure depends
on a scarce commodity: international political will. If we are to secure
public and international support for action, we need to make the case for
early engagement much more strongly." I could not agree more. So why the
failure on the part of the Government to act decisively or even to take a
firm lead? Why the relcutance to lead from the front? The Americans have
no such hang-ups. Christopher Dell, the newly nominated next Ambassador to
Zimbabwe, with experience in Kosovo, Mozambique and Angola, explained to the
Ambassadorial nomination hearing last week that "In Kosovo, I witnessed
firsthand how misrule by one man and his regime in pursuit of narrow
political advantage devastated the lives of millions of his citizens, both
Albanian and Serb, and I'm proud to have helped in the effort to bring about
Slobodan Milosevic's departure from power by Democratic means." A clear
message to Zimbabwe which we would do well to emulate. So what would we
do? I have a five-point plan which I believe should now urgently be pursued.
First we must, if necessary by invoking the benefits of good governance in
return for Nepad aid, persuade South Africa and the other SADC countries to
insist on the SADC norms for the March 2005 parliamentary elections. We must
be prepared to criticise South Africa's culpable inaction in the face of the
evil of Mugabe. Second, the UN should join with the SADC to produce free and
fair parliamentary elections in Zimbabwe by supporting any SADC benchmarks
that are developed to determine whether the process is credible. We must see
SADC and UN teams in Zimbabwe as soon as possible to observe the entire
electoral process. UN personnel on the ground must be demonstratively
effective in their monitoring and humanitarian advocacy. Mugabe must never
again be allowed to select which countries can send observers. Third,
pressure should be brought to bear by not only the EU but also the US to
repeal of the Public Order and Security (POSA) and Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy (AIPPA) Acts and amendment of the Electoral Act. Fourth
there is an increasingly urgent need for EU and US targeted sanctions to be
revised to include the family members and business associates of key Zanu-PF
figures. Freezing the assets of those who bankroll Mugabe would have an
immediate and dramatic effect. Fifth and finally it is time the British
Government tabled a Resolution to send UN observers to Zimbabwe to monitor
the fair distribution of food. This would at last internationalise this
crisis. The FS argues that we would never get a Resolution through. Perhaps
not at the first attempt. He should then persist, in his own words "making
the case for engagement more strongly", shaming those who vote against such a
resolution, until he succeeds. One thing is certain; if he doesn't try he
will never succeed. For too long Zimbabwe has been the crisis from which the
world has averted its gaze. South Africa has murmured about quiet diplomacy
on the one hand and feted Mugabe on the other. The EU have imposed targeted
sanction which have then been more honoured in the breach. And the British
Government has wrung its hands and walked by on the other side. The time of
walking by is over.
Zimbabwe cries out for international
We should take the lead in making sure they get it."
PRESIDENT Thabo Mbeki met Zimbabwean opposition leaders in
Pretoria last Sunday to assess progress in efforts to resolve the current
political and economic crisis in that country.
The meeting was seen as
a last-ditch attempt by Mbeki to make good on his promise that the main
protagonists in the Zimbabwean political dispute would have come to a
settlement by the end of this month.
Sources close to the talks said
Mbeki met a delegation from Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) led by the party's secretary-general, Welshman Ncube.
is understood that, among other things, he discussed the electoral reforms
proposals released by Zanu (PF) last Friday.
The reforms, which formed
part of electoral guidelines recommended to Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe by the Southern Africa Development Community, include limiting the
voting period to one day.
They also allowed for the
establishment of a new Zimbabwe Electoral Supervisory Commission,
whose members were recommended by parliament and appointed by
Reforms also included the use of transparent ballot boxes and the
counting of votes and announcing results at the voting stations.
MDC is said to have told Mbeki that while the envisaged reforms were a step
in the right direction, they were "woefully" inadequate to improve
the hostile political climate for the general election next March.
MDC indicated to Mbeki that a "conducive political environment" for polls was
needed, in addition to a new legal electoral framework which the government
Ncube's delegation is said to have highlighted the need to
repeal other repressive laws, disband Zanu (PF) militias, stop violence and
intimidation and allow foreign election observers to monitor the
Although no date for the meeting was given, Mbeki is now
expected to meet the Zanu (PF) team, led by Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa and inform them about the MDC's concerns.
Mbeki, who visited
Harare last December to meet Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, had
been pushing Zanu (PF) and the MDC to find a negotiated settlement to the
current crisis in Zimbabwe.
Jul 01 2004 09:14:57:000AM Dumisani
Muleya Business Day 2nd Edition
JOHANNESBURG, July 1
(Reuters) - South African President Thabo Mbeki has acknowledged his policy
of quiet diplomacy has so far failed to resolve Zimbabwe's political crisis,
his spokesman said on Thursday.
Mbeki has admitted his self-imposed
deadline to end the political impasse in neighbouring Zimbabwe -- declared at
the World Economic Forum summit in Durban a year ago -- passed on June 30
with no results, spokesman Bheki Khumalo said.
Informal talks between
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party and the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), initiated by Mbeki, have failed to
progress into full negotiations.
"The target cannot be met. The talks
have been too slow," Khumalo said.
He said Mbeki would press on with his
diplomatic efforts in Zimbabwe despite fierce criticism because he still
believes there is no alternative to dialogue.
On Sunday Mbeki summoned
the MDC leadership to Pretoria and met with a delegation led by MDC Vice
President Gibson Sibanda. Mbeki told them he was frustrated by the slow pace
"The president has said all along that the talks have been
moving too slowly, and he would like them to move a little bit faster,"
"And he was meeting with them to discuss in fact what we
can do next," he added.
The MDC did not immediately comment on the
Zimbabwe has been in political and economic turmoil since
foreign and local monitors alleged Mugabe rigged his re-election in 2002 and
was persecuting his opponents.
Mugabe denies the charges and alleges a
plot against his rule by Britain and other Western powers opposed to his
seizure of white-owned farmland for redistribution to landless
The European Union and the United States have imposed limited
sanctions on Mugabe's government.
Mbeki has drawn strong condemnation
at home and abroad for what critics see as his soft approach to Mugabe.
Opponents say Mbeki's policy makes a mockery of his championing of greater
democracy and good governance across Africa.
Mbeki traveled to Harare in
December to meet Mugabe and, for the first time, MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai. Khumalo could not confirm if Mbeki would make another trip to
After the Harare visit Mbeki announced in January that Mugabe's
ZANU-PF and the MDC had agreed to start formal talks. But contacts between
the two sides have remained informal, with Mugabe showing signs of further
consolidating his grip on power.
THE government should demonstrate its commitment to the
resuscitation of agriculture in its forthcoming fiscal policy review,
They said recent policy decisions continued to show an
overarching tendency to give priority to short-term but counterproductive
political conveniences that did not guarantee long-term economic recovery,
which depended largely on the state of agriculture.
sentiments come in the run-up to the mid-term fiscal policy statement due to
be presented by acting Finance and Economic Development Minister Herbert
Economic commentator Eric Bloch said the government had failed
to either bring about social transformation or to comprehensively prop up
commercial agriculture, dismantled by the land reforms of the past three
years, which some political analysts have denounced as a cheap politicking
"There is inadequate funding for recovering agriculture, yet we
preach everyday that our land is our prosperity. We also seem not to have the
right fiscal policy to reduce inflation to acceptable levels, although
the monetary policy seems to be faring relatively better. There is simply
no complementarity between the two policies," Bloch said.
the bedrock of the economy, got only Z$439,8 billion from the finance
ministry's 2004 portfolio of projects budgeted at close to Z$8 trillion, and
37 percent from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)'s concessional finance
Bloch urged harmony between fiscal and monetary targets to
overcome temptation on the part of the government to finance inflationary
budget deficits by borrowing from the RBZ.
In thecurrent budget, for
instance, the finance ministry indicated the government would borrow Z$1,9
trillion from the domestic market, a policy decision that might crowd out
investors, depriving the productive sector of critical funds for expansion in
a country with a jobless rate of 70 percent.
The government's most
glaring disservice to the agricultural sector, the economists say, has been
lack of transparency in its land reform process, with ruling Zanu PF party
heavyweights allegedly seizing commercial farmland and "redistributing" it
These allegations have raised questions about the
government's commitment to agrarian reform as a vehicle to national
prosperity and poverty alleviation for the majority black
Economic commentator and farmer Jonathan Kadzura deplored the
lack of agricultural support schemes and the fragmentation in the
agricultural industry, promoted by the government-sponsored rivalry between
the Commercial Farmers Union and the Zimbabwe Farmers Union, as setbacks
that have brought unprecedented "confusion" in the sector.
prices must be given to farmers. It's not difficult to fill up GMB (Grain
Marketing Board) silos at all. Agriculture must be subsidised at the producer
level and not at the consumer level.
"Besides, the government must also
ensure that all agricultural units in the country are brought under one
umbrella headed by people who have an idea what agriculture is all about so
that the minister only deals at a legal-institutional level with umbrella
organisations. A fragmented agricultural industry gives birth to unscrupulous
organisers," Kadzura said.
'Poaching is wiping out Zimbabwe's wildlife' July 01
2004 at 02:09PM
By Ed Stoddard
Johannesburg - Rare
species like the black rhino are being wiped out in Zimbabwe because of
rampant poaching and human settlement on private game reserves seized by the
state, a conservation group said on Thursday.
"At the moment the
situation really stinks," said Johnny Rodrigues, the head of the Zimbabwe
Conservation Task Force, a wildlife advocacy group.
we're getting from the guys on the ground are that all the wildlife stocks
have been completely wiped out in the private conservancies, there's nothing
left," he told Reuters in a telephone interview from his Zimbabwe
Rodrigues said private reserves, once one of the backbones
of Zimbabwe's thriving wildlife and tourism industries, were being decimated
by President Robert Mugabe's seizure of white-owned land for distribution
The black rhino population has halved in four years
and the African wild dog is in danger of extinction in Zimbabwe, he said.
Elephant numbers have also dropped.
Game reserves as well as
farms have been targeted under Mugabe's land redistribution policy. Rodrigues
said only 12 of the country's 88 private conservancies had not been
confiscated by the state.
Impoverished settlers are snaring animals
for food and reducing habitat by cutting trees for firewood while
unscrupulous rangers are bringing in foreign trophy seekers for uncontrolled
hunting, he said.
The government has frequently denied reports of
an upsurge in poaching linked to lawlessness and a collapsing economy, which
has experienced fuel and foreign currency shortages along with food supply
problems linked to the farm seizures.
But Rodrigues said there
was growing evidence Zimbabwe's once magnificent herds of wildlife were
"In 2000 there were 400 to 500 black rhinos in the
country but we now estimate there are only 200 left, if that... We know of at
least eight that have been poached this year," he said.
plight of the black rhino in Zimbabwe stands in contrast to the rest of
Africa, where the lumbering colossus is on the rebound.
Conservation Union and the wildlife preservation body WWF International said
last week that black rhino numbers in Africa now stood at around 3 600, a
rise of 500 over the last two years.
Poachers typically hack off
the horns, valued in East Asia for medical purposes, and leave the hulking
carcasses to rot under the African sun.
ICC gives Zimbabwe deadline to settle suit Posted:
Thursday July 1, 2004 2:27PM;
LONDON (AP) -- The
International Cricket Council has given Zimbabwe's cricket officials two
weeks to settle a bitter dispute over player selection.
Zimbabwe Cricket Union and its players can't resolve the issue, the ICC said
Thursday it would "make a decision" to break the deadlock.
the ICC announced Zimbabwe would resume its test-match commitments from
January 2005. In early June, the ZCU agreed to call off all its test matches
for the rest of the year.
Fifteen players were fired by the ZCU after
going on strike in support of captain Heath Streak, who was dismissed before
Sri Lanka's tour of Zimbabwe in April. Streak had complained the union's
cricket selectors weren't fielding the strongest Zimbabwe team by omitting
experienced white players.
"We recognize that this is a Zimbabwean
dispute, and our clear preference is to have it resolved in Zimbabwe by
Zimbabweans," ICC president Ehsan Mani said.
If there is no agreement,
Mani said he and new ICC vice president Percy Sonn would make a final
decision on application of the ICC's disputes resolution process.
said one-day internationals would continue in an effort to develop cricket in
Zimbabwe, confirming the outcome of an earlier meeting in Dubai last month.
That means England will tour Zimbabwe in November. Mani said five one-day
matches might be played instead of four.
"The ICC is keen that cricket in
Zimbabwe is given every opportunity to survive," Mani said. "The ZCU has
taken the game to 50,000 young cricketers every year, and the one-day game
enables players to develop their skills."
Zimbabwe will also take part in
the ICC Champions Trophy in England in September.
Zimbabwe forfeited a
two-test series against Australia in May, just as five striking players were
set to rejoin the national team. Australia easily won three one-day
internationals in Harare.
Meanwhile, the ICC postponed a decision to name
new headquarters because of a late submission by the UK government "in
relation to arrangements concerning the ICC's operations in
"Proposals from the UK, Dubai and Malaysia were under
consideration at the ICC board meeting," Mani said.
The ICC's current
headquarters are located in London and Monaco.
Controversy as England agree to Zimbabwe tour 14:04pm
1st July 2004 England are set to undertake their controversial cricket tour
of Zimbabwe in November. They will fulfil their one-day international
commitment and may even play an extra match.
The decision was revealed
by Ehsan Mani, president of the International Cricket Council, who also said
Zimbabwe's suspension from Test cricket will be lifted at the start of next
Mani said the ICC had been told that England will definitely tour
by England and Wales Cricket Board chairman David Morgan at yesterday's ICC
England, according to Mani, are now considering playing
five one-day matches instead of the previously agreed four.
"The ECB announced yesterday at our board meeting that they will be going and
will be prepared to play more matches than originally agreed.
originally playing four and now say they may play five. It's
"The only question is whether England play four or
five one-day matches but, of course, it is subject to safety and security
issues which are always relevant."
had the threat of huge financial sanctions - believed to be up to £1million -
hanging over their heads if they refused to tour.
But Mani insisted: "The
penalties were pure speculation. There has never been any specific threat
Zimbabwe will resume Test cricket when they tour Bangladesh in
January and the ICC are determined to try and keep them in the Test
World cricket's ruling body is also anxious to resolve the dispute
between Zimbabwe's currently suspended leading players and the Zimbabwe
Cricket Union, as well as investigating allegations of racism which have
emerged during that dispute.
Mani continued: "The ICC have now
provided the ZCU and the players with 14 days in which to agree a process to
resolve their dispute.
"We recognise this is a Zimbabwean dispute and our
clear preference is to have it resolved in Zimbabwe by
"If there is no agreement on the process, the newly elected
ICC vice-president, Percy Sonn, and I will make a final decision on
application of the ICC's disputes resolution process after this 14-day
"The ZCU are firmly of the view that this system has no
jurisdiction but the ICC's legal advice is clear in saying that it
The ICC intend to appoint "an eminent person" to investigate the
racism allegations and Mani said: "There is no place for racism in
As part of the preparations to
rehabilitate Zimbabwe to Test cricket, both Pakistan and England will play
one-day internationals there in the autumn, India A and South Africa A will
play four-day matches there this month and next and Zimbabwe will take part
in the ICC Champions Trophy one-day competition in England in
Mani added: "The team will continue to play one-day
international cricket, which is an important pathway in providing players
with the skills and exposure to perform at international level.
providing the opportunity for Zimbabwe to continue at this level, the ICC are
ensuring that cricket in Zimbabwe is given every opportunity
"More than 50,000 people are playing cricket there - more
than ever before - and it is important they have the chance to continue."