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

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epolitix.com

Straw rejects military action in Zimbabwe

Jack Straw has rejected suggestions that there should be military
intervention in Zimbabwe.

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 day".

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 people".

Straw said there was no possibility of a military operation to remove
Mugabe.

"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".

He added that the situation was "a test for Africa" rather than for Britain.

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 peaceful change.

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 solution.
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Mail and Guardian

Zimbabwe adopts 'fascist' law

Ryan Truscott | Harare

01 July 2004 12:57

Zimbabwe's 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 on Thursday.

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," said Coltart.

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 appearance.

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 smuggling.

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 civil
protest.

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 opposition".

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.

The 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.

"My 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
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conservatives.com

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.

I 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 our
inactivity.

That is why I welcome this debate today.

The 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 opposition groups.

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 help.

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".

We know 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 involved.

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 Aids.

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" .

I hope 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 acknowledge it.

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 action.

We should take the lead in making sure they get it."
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Business Day

Mbeki smokes peace pipe with MDC chief

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Harare Correspondent

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.

It 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

Continued on Page 2

establishment of a new Zimbabwe Electoral Supervisory Commission, whose
members were recommended by parliament and appointed by Mugabe.

Reforms also included the use of transparent ballot boxes and the counting
of votes and announcing results at the voting stations.

The 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.

The MDC indicated to Mbeki that a "conducive political environment" for
polls was needed, in addition to a new legal electoral framework which the
government was proposing.

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 elections.

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

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Reuters

Mbeki admits Zimbabwe policy failing - spokesman
01 Jul 2004 18:00:38 GMT

By John Chiahemen

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 of dialogue.

"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," Khumalo said.

"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 meeting.

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 blacks.

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 Zimbabwe.

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.
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Govt Urged to Show Land is No Gimmick

Financial Gazette (Harare)

July 1, 2004
Posted to the web July 1, 2004

Munyaradzi Mugowo
Harare

THE government should demonstrate its commitment to the resuscitation of
agriculture in its forthcoming fiscal policy review, economists say.

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.

The economists' 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 Murerwa.

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 game.

"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.

Agriculture, 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 window.

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 among themselves.

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 population.

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.

"Realistic 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.
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IOL

'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.

"The reports 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 home.

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 to
blacks.

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 suffering.

"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.

The plight of the black rhino in Zimbabwe stands in contrast to the
rest of Africa, where the lumbering colossus is on the rebound.

The World 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.

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Sports Illustrated

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.

If the Zimbabwe Cricket Union and its players can't resolve the issue, the
ICC said Thursday it would "make a decision" to break the deadlock.

Also Thursday, 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.

Mani 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 England."

"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.
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Daily Mail, UK

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 year.

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 board
meeting.

England, according to Mani, are now considering playing five one-day matches
instead of the previously agreed four.

He said: "The ECB announced yesterday at our board meeting that they will be
going and will be prepared to play more matches than originally agreed.

"They were originally playing four and now say they may play five. It's very
encouraging.

"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."

Financial sanctions

England 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 from us."

Zimbabwe will resume Test cricket when they tour Bangladesh in January and
the ICC are determined to try and keep them in the Test arena.

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 Zimbabweans.

"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 period.

"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 does."

The ICC intend to appoint "an eminent person" to investigate the racism
allegations and Mani said: "There is no place for racism in cricket."

Zimbabwe rehabilitation

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 September.

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.

"By providing the opportunity for Zimbabwe to continue at this level, the
ICC are ensuring that cricket in Zimbabwe is given every opportunity to
survive.

"More than 50,000 people are playing cricket there - more than ever before -
and it is important they have the chance to continue."
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