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

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Tsvangirai escapes 'assassins' in Harare
          July 02 2004 at 05:03PM

      Harare - Axe-wielding assailants tried to kill opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai on Friday but he escaped unhurt, his spokesperson said.

      Tsvangirai was addressing a provincial assembly east of Harare when
the attackers arrived in a convoy of eight vehicles, spokesperson William
Bango said.

      "They attacked our meeting. This was a clear assassination attempt on
our president," Bango said.

      "Mr Tsvangirai is unhurt but Mr Tsvangirai also feels and believes
that this is the beginning of a violent campaign for next year's
parliamentary election."

      Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change is locked in an often
violent power struggle with President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF. There
was no immediate independent account of the event.
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Africa Zimbabwe Opposition Leaders Attacked
      Peta Thornycroft
      02 Jul 2004, 17:12 UTC

      The president of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change,
Morgan Tsvangirai, and several leading party members were attacked Friday at
a meeting of about 400 provincial leaders north of Harare, but escaped
unharmed. Several party officials were wounded and taken to a hospital.
      An account of the attack in the village of Mvurwi, 100 kilometers
northwest of Harare, was given by Mr. Tsvangirai's personal assistant,
William Bango. He said it occurred during a meeting of elected provincial
leaders who gathered in an enclosed area behind a garage owned by an MDC

      He said six pickup trucks and two trucks filled with ruling Zanu PF
supporters arrived at the meeting as Mr. Tsvangirai finished addressing
party officials, and as plain clothes policemen left the area.

      Mr. Bango said the militants blocked the only exit from the meeting
area and started a fight with stones and makeshift weapons. He said the Zanu
PF supporters were chased away and Mr. Tsvangirai was then able to get into
his vehicle and leave town.

      Mr. Bango said he did not know how many people had been injured but
that he saw the driver of an MDC national executive member, whose name was
not immediately available, covered in blood, and that a woman carrying a
baby was wounded.

      After returning to Harare, Morgan Tsvangirai said ruling Zanu PF
militia continue to roam Zimbabwe attacking opposition supporters without
being restrained by the police.

      The opposition leader was last attacked in February, and is now
traveling with bodyguards and his aides say he is under constant
surveillance by state security agents.

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Was Mugabe EVER the legitimate leader of Zimbabwe?  This extract from the UK
Parliament House of Commons debate on Zimbabwe yesterday 1 July 2004 is very

Sir Nicholas Winterton (Con)
Zimbabwe is only one of the United Kingdom's overseas problems, but Britain
has a unique and unprecedented responsibility. It was this Parliament, under
a Conservative Government, that granted Zimbabwe independence and brought
Robert Mugabe to power. I remind the House that a United Kingdom Government
promised, to outlaw all intimidation during the 1980 election; but
then—again, I am deeply ashamed of this—the Government and their
representatives proceeded to ignore hundreds of affidavits testifying to the
sustained intimidation that finally ensured Mr. Mugabe's outright victory.

Despite the recommendations of the acting governor, Christopher Soames—who
suggested to the Foreign Secretary at the time that certain areas should be
taken out of the election because of the levels of intimidation—the Foreign
Secretary refused to allow the exclusion of those areas. As a result, Robert
Mugabe came to power.

Mr. Bellingham : That was Peter Carrington.

Sir Nicholas Winterton: Yes, it was Lord Carrington. I know what happened
for a fact, because the chief executive of Cheshire county council, Sir John
Boynton, was returning officer for the election in Zimbabwe. Many
representatives of the Cheshire constabulary were also there to monitor the
election, and ensure that it was free and fair. The views that they
expressed on their return to this country suggested that in many areas it
was far from free and fair.
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ECB under fire for Zimbabwe concession

Wisden Cricinfo staff

July 2, 2004

            Morgan and Lamb: under renewed fire © Getty Images

The England and Wales Cricket Board came under fire again last night after
it was revealed that it had agreed to England playing an extra one-day
international against Zimbabwe in October.

News that England would play five matches was announced by Ehsan Mani, the
ICC's president, during its executive board meeting at Lord's. "The ECB
announced yesterday at our board meeting that they will be going and will be
prepared to play more matches than originally agreed," Mani said. "They were
originally playing four and now say they may play five. It's very

The ECB immediately came under fire, but Tim Lamb, the outgoing chief
executive, denied accusations that this was a concession to the Zimbabwe

"It's not an extra match, it's the reinstatement of the original fifth
match," he said. He explained that the original itinerary had been for two
Tests and five ODIs, but that this had been trimmed as it was felt to be to
onerous on the players. "In the time frame available it was too heavy a
workload," he added. "Now that the reason for the reduction has gone away -
no Test matches - space has been freed up for us to reinstate the fifth

"If the reason for reducing from five to four was because of the political
process they might have a legitimate argument. But it wasn't. We shouldn't
see the reinstatement of an originally agreed match as in some way
endorsement of the Zimbabwean regime."

But Mike Soper, chairman of the First Class Forum, was unimpressed, and was
especially angry that David Morgan, the ECB chairman, had told the ICC about
the extra match seemingly without clearing it with the board's management
committee. "I am alarmed to hear this apparent confirmation," Soper said. "I
am urgently contacting my colleagues on the management committee. As far as
I knew no decision was being taken until the next board meeting. He is
talking out of turn."

Soper, who has been a vocal critic of the way the ECB has been run of late,
is expected to oppose Morgan when he stands for re-election in the autumn.

"If we have to go to Zimbabwe than we should minimise our presence there,"
Soper continued. "The cancellation of the Tests was a godsend. Now all we
have to do is stay in South Africa and fly in and out. We shouldn't be
giving any succour to Zimbabwe's regime."

And Richard Bevan, the players' representative, was also not convinced. "I
know it's getting closer to October but the Zimbabwe issue is far from
sorted," he said. "We still need to finalise a number of issues."

© Wisden Cricinfo Ltd
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From The Daily Mirror, 2 July

Villagers at war with Mohadi

Pamenus Tuso

Villagers resettled at Lot 10 in Jopembe block of Beitbridge under the A1
resettlement model have vowed to defy a High Court order to vacate the farm
over which Home Affairs minister, Kembo Mohadi claims ownership. Last month
Justice Maphios Cheda, sitting in Bulawayo, ordered the eviction of the 48
settlers, who also claim ownership to the farm. The villagers, who were
allocated land on the sprawling farm in 2000, told the Daily Mirror recently
that they would not leave the farm despite the interim High Court order. "We
will not accept a situation where a person uses his or her ministerial
influence to displace 48 families. We were properly allocated land at the
farm and he, Mohadi, is fully aware of the situation," said one of the
affected settlers. The settlers accused Mohadi of using his ministerial post
to grab the 3 000 hectare plot which has got vast citrus fruits left by the
farm's previous owner, one Wheeler. The settlers, who have since sought
political intervention from the Zimbabwe National War Veterans' Association
(ZNWVA) and the ruling party, also accused the minister of circumventing
government's one man one farm policy by registering farms in relatives'

Contacted for comment, Mohadi said he was not aware that the settlers on the
farm were defying the court for them to vacate it. "I am not aware of any
defiance of a court order and my lawyers have not advised me of such a
situation. I will check on that," said Mohadi. Mohadi rears cattle on the
farm. The minister, alongside the late provincial governor for Matabeleland
South, Steven Nkomo and the then district administrator for Beitbridge, one
Mbedzi, were also the first people to be allocated land at Bea Range but the
minister reportedly swapped the land with one Pickson Mudawu under unclear
circumstances. In July last year, settlers illegally occupying Induba farm
in Bubi, owned by businessman and publisher, Ibbo Mandaza, and a consortium
of other businesspersons defied a high court eviction order that was served
to them by Bulawayo deputy sheriff on July 3. During the aborted eviction,
the war veterans and the settlers impounded a truck belonging to the deputy
sheriff and severely assaulted the farm's workers before looting property in
full view of police details from the nearby Inyathi police. Mandaza says he
has already lost millions of dollars worth of property at the farm. Mohadi's
lawyer, Mthombeni, Mukwesha and Associates recently told a weekly paper that
he was "already working with the deputy sheriff because we have also
obtained an eviction order."
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      Zimbabwe media loses its voice

            By Alastair Leithead
            BBC, Zimbabwe

      Driving through Zimbabwe listening to the radio, or watching
television in the evenings, all you see or hear is Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation, the state controlled media.
      Unless you have access to short wave radio or can afford satellite TV,
which few people can, you only get one side of the story, and that is the

      Combine that with the way the independent press has been silenced and
you realise the government is only telling the people what it wants them to

      There really is not a voice for opposition or criticism in the

      'Fiction writing'

      "Sometimes they just completely invent stories," said Andrew Moyse,
who runs the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe, an independent organisation
based in the capital Harare.

      "During the run-up to the presidential election they claimed for weeks
that there were anthrax attacks against ruling party officials and they were
all utterly fictitious.

      "In fact it ceases to become journalism, it's just fiction writing -
propaganda fiction writing."

      The project monitors the news content of the private and
government-controlled media.

      One of the workers said that the presenters of the news programmes
hardly believe in what they are saying.

      "They will tell you there is no choice as a journalist as there is
just nowhere to work and times are hard - so in the end they just take their
salary and lie," he said.

      There are many state-controlled papers, but few independent voices

      What used to be the biggest selling daily in the country - The Daily
News - was closed down last year along with the Daily News on Sunday, under
the government's controversial Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act.

      Information gap

      Its editor William Saidi believes the main aim of the act was to
destroy his newspaper.

      "The Daily News had overtaken the government's newspaper The Herald in
circulation and was accused of influencing the elections in 2002, so as some
form of punishment the government decided they would ban the Daily News.

      "There are people who come up to me in the street and ask: 'When is
our paper coming back' - there is a now huge gap in information," he added.

      This gap makes life very difficult for the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change, which cannot get its message out to the people.

      State media does not report its viewpoint or its criticism of the

      "Freedom of expression is limited to a few weekly newspapers read by a
tiny fraction of the population with perhaps circulation of 200,000," says
John Robertson an independent economist based in the capital Harare.

      "The government knows that it has the votes wrapped up because it can
get to them with radio and television and it has absolutely prohibited any
form of opposition in that territory."

      Parliamentary elections are to be held next March - and unless changes
are made soon, the media will be a weapon in the hands of the ruling party.

      The BBC is banned from reporting inside Zimbabwe. Alastair Leithead is
now back in South Africa after his clandestine visit.
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