The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
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The Age

Issues not black and white for Gray
June 18 2003
By Nabila Ahmed


When the anti-Robert Mugabe protesters line up outside the Zimbabwean
embassy in London for their weekly rally this Saturday, they might be
shocked by the presence of an unexpected visitor.

Malcolm Gray, outgoing president of the International Cricket Council and
driving force behind its controversial decision to make cricket teams,
including England and Australia, fulfil their schedule in Zimbabwe during
this year's World Cup, might just decide he has something to say.

"I might go and say, 'Listen! I'm this bloke and I agree with everything you
say!' " Gray told The Age.

The 63-year-old, whose three-year reign as ICC president ends in London this
week, has always maintained he held a personal view on whether cricket
teams, or indeed any sporting side, should go to a country ruled by a
tyrannical despot.

As president of cricket's governing body, he maintained it was not up to
sporting teams to make political statements and that playing matches in
Harare and Bulawayo did not necessarily translate to an endorsement of the
Mugabe regime.

When England refused - after weeks of agonising deliberations from both
players and officials - to play its match against Zimbabwe in Harare in the
World Cup, the ICC took the four crucial points and awarded them to

In the face of extreme pressure, including hundreds of letters from
Zimbabwean residents to Gray and newspapers around the world, he held firm
in his belief that he did not have the mandate to make a political judgement
and that matters of the state were far beyond the jurisdiction of a sporting
body anyway.

But in a recent interview with The Age, Gray revealed his true feelings on
the matter, telling of his attendance at an anti-Mugabe rally in the months
before the World Cup.

"About 12 months or so ago, I was in London and it was a Saturday . . . each
Saturday, the anti-Mugabe people hold a rally outside the Zimbabwean embassy
so I went along to that," he said. "I didn't say who I was or anything," he

Gray's eyes well with tears even now when he thinks of the turmoil Mugabe's
government has caused for many residents.

"I would get these letters, hundreds of them. Some were terrific, well
written, cogent, good letters. Others were almost hate mail. You know, 'you
weak so and so.' There's a couple of them where they'd write about what was
happening to their mother. They would make you weep - some of them did make
me weep."

But Gray claims the ultimate decision to make teams play in Zimbabwe during
the World Cup was not difficult to make.

"I suppose what some people were arguing was that by going there you are
helping the regime. I argued differently . . . I think that by going there,
the whole furore focused huge international attention on the issue, which
Zimbabwe wouldn't have got," he said.

While not regretting the decision he made, Gray remains disappointed with
the British and the Australian governments, which cautioned the teams
against going to Zimbabwe but left the final decision up to the respective
national bodies.

"I believe that our stance was absolutely, completely and utterly correct
and not only for that time, but for every time in any sport when politics
are involved, not politics of the sport but national politics, it's up to
the governments to be decisive about it.

"But politicians are clever and hide behind the sports administrators -
that's what the British Government did."

The Zimbabwe issue, coupled with the New Zealand team's refusal to play in
Kenya because of security concerns, had the potential to widen further the
growing split in world cricket between the East - namely the subcontinental
teams - and the West - traditionally England, Australia and New Zealand -
when India willingly went to Harare and Sri Lanka to Nairobi.

But it was the ICC's firm stance and eventual punishment of England and New
Zealand that averted a full-scale disaster.

Gray believes the East-West divide is caused in part by deep-rooted beliefs
stemming from historical conflicts.

"It is human nature for people to flock together and grow a colour mentality
. . . One thing I've learned in this job is just how racist people are. I
didn't realise everybody was as racist as they are," he said.

While Gray is reluctant to acknowledge a split as such, he cannot see the
problem going away any time soon, either. But, he hopes that in the end,
people will put aside their small-minded squabbles for the good of the game.

"It's constantly brought up that there may be a split. I believe the real
threat of it is not as high as people think . . . ultimately, common sense
will prevail that if there is a split, they're just going to ruin the sport,
which ultimately will ruin their own patch, their own power, their own

Already, the governance of cricket is being highlighted by Gray as the major
challenge for the sport in coming years.

He believes cricket has been ill-equipped historically to deal with
modern-day challenges, with administrators unable to handle the amounts of
money the sport can generate.

"One of the big dangers for cricket is that the sport doesn't necessarily
have the ability to handle big amounts of money and I would say that of the
Australian Cricket Board," he said.

"I am more convinced than ever that the most significant issue still
confronting international cricket is its own governance.

"I think there is a slow realisation that the governance has got to get
better. Some people resist that change and resist it passionately usually
because it's taking some of their power or their ego satisfaction away. But
I think we're slowly getting there."

Gray pinpoints the achievements of the anti-corruption unit as the highlight
of his tenure, but warns that cricket needs to remain vigilant if the
disease that brought the sport to its knees is to be kept away.

A former boss of the ACB, Gray leaves the game largely satisfied with his
work and has vowed not to return to cricket because "there's nothing worse
than boring old men hanging around making constant reference to the good old

This weekend, when his work is done at the ICC headquarters at Lord's, he
will fly back home to Melbourne, his family and real estate business.

But first, he has a long-standing Saturday morning date.
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From The Times (UK), 17 June

Campaign questions Zimbabwe hangings

From Michael Hartnack in Harare

Four men have been hanged at the prison complex where Morgan Tsvangirai, the
Zimbabwean Opposition leader, is awaiting trial on treason charges,
prompting allegations that President Mugabe was seeking to intimidate his
political rival. Mr Tsvangarai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
described the hangings as "a brutal show of force". Campaigners in the
country for the abolition of the death penalty condemned the sudden
execution of the four, which took place without any warning to their
families. Mr Tsvangirai, who was detained on June 6 on fresh charges of
treason, is awaiting the ruling of Judge Susan Mavangira on his application
to be released on bail. She is expected to hand it down later this week. The
new charges arise from the MDC’s campaign of public protests, which took
place earlier this month, to demand an end to Mr Mugabe’s 23-year rule. Mr
Tsvangirai and two other MDC leaders had been free on bail during their
ongoing trial on previous allegations of committing treason by plotting the
assassination of Mr Mugabe, 79. David Coltart, the shadow Justice Minister,
linked the timing of the executions to Mr Mugabe’s statement to a rally on
Friday that he was "glad Tsvangirai is in state house (prison) now". Two of
those executed, Stephen Chidhumo and Elias Chauke, were among a group of
four who escaped from Chikurubi maximum security prison, on the outskirts of
Harare, six years ago, while serving sentences for robbery. One of them,
shot dead before recapture, snatched a rifle and killed a warder. The fourth
escaper broke his leg and died of his injuries in his prison cell. Judge
(now Chief Justice) Godfrey Chidyausiku sentenced Chidhumo and Chauke to
death saying "it did not matter who fired the fatal shot". No details were
released of the crimes for which William Mukurugunye and John Nyamazana were
also hanged on Friday. Both were alleged to be murderers.

From The Daily Telegraph (UK), 17 June

Zimbabwe judge broke into white homestead

Harare - A High Court judge broke into a white farmer's homestead in
Zimbabwe after snatching the kitchen keys from a bewildered maid, it emerged
yesterday. Mr Justice Ben Hlatshwayo took over Vernon Nicolle's home at
Gwina farm near Banket, 55 miles north-west of Harare, in breach of an order
issued by his own court. Mr Nicolle, 59, is on holiday and will return to
find that he has lost his homestead on a farm owned by his family for more
than 50 years. "The judge wouldn't have broken into the house if my father
had been in the country," said Mr Nicolle's son, Chris, 32. "He waited until
he was gone." President Robert Mugabe's seizure of about 90 per cent of
white-owned land has started a chaotic scramble for the spoils among the
black elite. Judges and police have joined the rush for loot. Mr Justice
Hlatshwayo is among 12 judges who have either been allocated farms or simply
seized them. Two weeks ago, he ruled that the opposition's general strike
was illegal. The following week, he drove on to Gwina farm in his official

Mr Nicolle said he grabbed the kitchen keys from a maid and entered the
homestead. But a locked internal door prevented the judge from reaching the
bedrooms and the living area. So he persuaded a farm worker to break down
this door before moving into the house. Mr Justice Hlatshwayo had earlier
seized a slice of Gwina farm and tried to grow a maize crop. The wilting
results of his farming efforts are described as "miserable". He also tried
to grow a winter wheat crop, but the seed arrived too late for planting. In
January, the Nicolle family secured a High Court order banning Mr Justice
Hlatshwayo from the farm. They accuse the judge of ignoring the rulings of
his own court and are preparing to leave. "We are moving out simply because
it is impossible to get court orders obeyed here," said Chris Nicolle, who
lives on neighbouring Koodoo farm. It was targeted for occupation by Wayne
Bvudzijena, police assistant commissioner and official police spokesman. He
arrived on the farm and announced that he would move into the large,
thatched homestead with or without Mr Nicolle's approval. Under this
pressure, the farmer let Mr Bvudzijena enter. The police officer declined to
respond yesterday.

Mr Justice Hlatshwayo, a veteran of the war against white rule, was promoted
from legal obscurity when Mr Mugabe sought to pack the High Court bench in
2001. He denies that the court order issued against him is still valid and
was not available for comment yesterday. A former law lecturer at the
University of Zimbabwe, Mr Justice Hlatshwayo served on the official
commission charged with drawing up a new constitution in 1999. Critics said
this body, handpicked by Mr Mugabe, was packed with supporters of the ruling
Zanu PF party. The commission's proposed constitution was resoundingly
defeated in a referendum. During his two years on the bench,
Harvard-educated Mr Justice Hlatshwayo has infuriated the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change. When the party petitioned the courts to
overturn the election result in a parliamentary seat where Zanu PF gangs had
tortured one MDC supporter to death, the judge dismissed its application.
Instead, he praised the "thorough and systematic" campaign of the Zanu-PF
candidate in Mberengwa East. Several members of the Nicolle family have
already left Zimbabwe and the remainder are preparing to.
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From ZWNEWS, 17 June

Cuddly human rights violator

By Michael Hartnack

Something long expected happened last week - and it was not the Mugabe
regime arresting opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on more treason
charges, and parading him before a sniggering mob of paramilitary guards in
prison clothes, manacled and leg-ironed. It was the front page of Saturday’s
state-owned Herald newspaper. When it became clear Mugabe would spare no
effort to prevent a new national leadership being selected through free
elections, we knew sooner or later we would get omens of change in the form
of attempts in the state media to create a new national messiah. The Herald’
s giant photograph of Parliamentary Speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa - filling
half the front page of a broadsheet newspaper - does not necessarily signify
that Mugabe is about to hand over to him, or has approved Mnangagwa as his
heir. It showed that the Mnangagwa faction feels bold enough to stage this
promotion for its presidential candidate. Other factions will have been
gravely discomfited. Information Minister Jonathan Moyo must have had his
devious hand in it. If anything were to "happen" to Moyo, it would show the
Mnangagwa faction has overplayed its hand, or lured Moyo into a trap.

The courageous Dr. John Makumbe of the University of Zimbabwe long ago
discerned the ground rules Mugabe set up for the pattern of fiefdoms by
which he first subdued and then went on to bankrupt Zimbabwe. Mugabe's
lieutenants were encouraged (in the name of encouraging indigenous
entrepreneurship) to develop business empires, staffed by their relatives
and henchmen, in what were designated to be "their" areas. While they kept
these areas loyal to Mugabe they were spared all manner of irritations such
as loan repayments, income tax, licence and planning inspectors. As their
business empires grew, they and their extended families thus became hostages
to Mugabe through their ever-lengthening records of shady dealings. If they
stepped outside their designated fiefdoms by, say, convening rallies in
other parts of the country, the party machine would ensure no one turned up.
The significant point is that the Mnangagwa faction now feel it can aim for
a national constituency, although in the June 2000 parliamentary elections
Mnangagwa lost his Kwekwe parliamentary seat to a candidate for Tsvangirai's
Movement for Democratic Change. The personality cult of Mnangagwa is
focussed, predictably, on an imaginative attempt to present him as a hero,
second only to Mugabe, in the fight to overthrow white rule in former
Rhodesia. It also aims to rid him of the image he acquired as head of the
Central Intelligence Organisation during the 1982-1987 Matabeleland
atrocities when up to 20 000 people died, according to human rights lawyers
and Roman Catholic churchmen. If Zimbabwe had a satirical equivalent of
Private Eye in Britain it would surely produce a spoof version of the Herald
report headed, "Meet your friendly neighbourhood human rights violator."

Mnangagwa told the Herald, "People think I'm a hard person but those close
to me know I'm as soft as wool." We are told that Mnangagwa strongly opposed
the death penalty. Yet, when he was justice minister he forestalled attempts
to outlaw executions, and dozens of hangings took place, 13 of them in
secret because the Pope was about to make an ill-advised visit to Zimbabwe.
The Herald eulogy made no mention of Mnangagwa’s responsibility for the
exponential growth of the CIO, its culture of impunity, and its vendettas.
These included the long detention of customs officers John Austin and
Kenneth Harper who got too close to members of the elite smuggling drugs and
stolen cars. "I've seen a lot of death in my life. I don't want to kill. War
is not nice," said Mnangagwa. The Herald glossed over Mnangagwa’s youthful
flirtation with Joshua Nkomo's Zapu and skated round his Zambian roots,
which led the Rhodesian authorities to deport him after serving his sentence
for sabotaging a rail line in 1964 (there was no heroic jailbreak, as
sometimes claimed). Mnangagwa, described as from the royal family of
Mapanzure chiefs, protested, "I have no aspirations to (the) presidency at
all … My only wish is to continue serving the country. I'm above average
intelligence (but) how do you aspire for a position where there is no
vacancy?" Mugabe may find this dangerously ambiguous statement reassuring.
Or he may remember how the late Malawian dictator Hastings Banda crushed his
finance minister, Aleke Banda, once speculation started that Aleke might be
the next "life president." Either way, The Herald article will be kept on
file by those who, like George Orwell's hero Winston Smith in 1984, want to
see how a propaganda machine rewrites history and constantly re-invents the
Big Brother figure.

The Mnangagwa faction is trying to create a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Business elements previously linked to the reformist element in Zanu PF are
in the meanwhile raising voices, in private, against Tsvangirai. Desperate
for relief from current financial strains they are urging Tsvangirai to
offer concessions and find someone he can work with - if not Mnangagwa, then
someone else acceptable to Mugabe. They have leaked reports of secret talks
between Zanu PF and Tsvangirai's MDC involving the churches - when all the
churches have done is solicit uncompromising views from both sides. What the
outside world needs to note is that just when Tsvangirai looks at his most
vulnerable, in a prison cell, with a second hanging offence against him, the
Zanu PF monolith is trembling and cracking. There may be a long process of
subterranean strain as invisible pressures build up. Or there may be a
sudden landslide. But, as they say in earthquake zones, The Big One is
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Zim train up in flames
17/06/2003 14:57  - (SA)

Harare - Goods worth millions of dollars were destroyed on Tuesday when a
train carrying diesel fuel and building materials derailed and caught fire
at Colleen Bawn, near Gwanda, 400km southwest of Zimbabwe's capital Harare,
state radio reported.

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation said the driver of the goods train was
injured but was extricated from the wreckage by rescuers. There were no
reports of other casualties.

The ZBC said the accident occurred early on Tuesday morning at the same spot
on the privately-operated Bulawayo Beitbridge Railway where a derailment
occurred in April. An investigation is under way. - Sapa-DPA
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Tobacco prices surge at Zimbabwe auction

June 17, 2003 4:20am

Harare, Zimbabwe (PANA) - Tobacco prices on Zimbabwe's auction floors surged
Monday, reaching a seasonal high of 2.06 US dollars a kilogramme.

Industry officials said the surge in prices, which had broken the 2-dollar
mark for the first time this year, was due to delivery of top grades of the

The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) said a total of 12.6 million
kg of tobacco had so far been auctioned since the selling season opened in
April, earning Zimbabwe 22.9 million dollars.

The crop is the country's biggest export, but this year's auctions have been
plagued by transport blues caused by fuel shortages and repeated labour

TIMB said farmers had now began to deliver top quality grades derived from
the leaf, as opposed to the stalk. He expressed optimism prices would
continue to firm.

"Leaf group continued to rise in proportion to constitute just below one
quarter of total offering," the board said.

Zimbabwe this year expects to market 100 million kg of tobacco, down from
167 million kg last year.

Publication: Panafrican News Agency (PANA) Daily Newswire
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JAG Security Update June 17, 2003


Security Update No. 1

Harassment and attempted seizure at Excelsior farm

Sunday the 16th of June

Yesterday at 3:30pm, a dark coloured Pajero, with 9 uniformed Border Gezi
youth inside came to Excelsior Farm, which is leased and farmed by Roy
Bennett MP.

They were armed with steel bars and whips, and threatened and harassed the
farm manager, Mr Brown Laston, asking the whereabouts of `Bennett' and
demanding his cell phone number. Their spokesperson, who called himself
Gorilla, told Mr Laston, that they had `taken' the farm, it now belonged to
them, and that Bennett must finish up his farming operations and move off.

They left two cell phone numbers, Gorilla gave his number as 011422838.
Bayisa gave his number 023289315. When Gorilla obtained Mr Bennett's cell
phone number they called him, saying `we have taken your farm, come and pay
your workers', before he hung up on them.

This follows actions on Friday where 4 people arrived at Excelsior farm in
Ruwa in a dark Blue Mercedes-Benz sedan, licence plate number 622 928V.
They spoke to the guard at the gate, and asked who owned the farm. When
they were informed that the manager was not present, they claimed, "We own
this farm, we will be coming back to take it, to move in" before driving

The leader of this first group was one Felix Shame Mangozho of 4 Montiose
Rd Mt Pleasant, Ph 301335.

These actions are obviously in pursuance of Mugabe's statement on Thursday
that Bennett's farm must be taken, and given to more `loyal' citizens.
Mugabe's statements are openly in contempt of court orders These orders
against the police, the army and the CIO to prevent them interfering with
the operation of Roy Bennett's Charleswood Estates in Chimanimani.

Transcript of Mugabe speech at Nyakomba Irrigation Scheme in Nyanga as
broadcast on ZTV 8 pm Newshour, 12/06/03

Robert Mugabe: Our country deserves to be an important country. To all of
you citizens of Manicaland. It was liberated by the blood of your children,
it was liberated by the power of your children, it was liberated by your
wish. Protected villages were in abundance in this country, and all of you
are aware of that. During the minority white rule, the ordinary African was
subjected to a lot of harassment, and you are all aware of that. Because of
that, you, the same people who suffered under colonialism, can not feed,
can not house or can not shelter the MDC because they want to destroy the
gains of our armed struggle, for which your sons and daughters died.

You can see that the thinking in the MDC is childish, it is childish.
Enough is Enough. I don't know if they really believe that we would sit
back and ignore the Court ruling declaring the stayaway is illegal, the
mass action is illegal, that we should just sit on our laurels, because it
was Tsvangarai and his British. We know that the British are behind this.
This guy called Mr Donnelly, if he continues doing it, we will kick him out
of this country. So we knew about it. So we said no, this will never
happen. If they try it again, they will see how far we will go with them.
So we hope they have learnt their lesson. If they haven't, they will learn
it the harder way. Harder than it has been so far.

These Bennetts and the De Klerk, are not deserving cases in regards to
allocation of land, because they are destabilizing out society, they are
for illegality; they are supporting a party in its program of pursuing an
illegal course to power. All those who are working in this illegal way, in
this manner of destabilizing our society, do not deserve a portion of our
land at all. If they have it, if they have that land, that land will be
taken from them and be given to more loyal citizens, so I don't want to
hear that there is a Bennett, that there is a de Klerk who continues to
destabilize our well being, they must go from here.

Those who closed their businesses during the stayaway, fine. We want them
to be given sanctions. They closed their businesses in solidarity with the
MDC. Those ones, we will revoke their operating licenses, so that they will
not repeat such a thing. After we have done that, if it is a factory, if it
is a grocers shop, we will give these to the workers. The government will
help them to run these businesses.


Security Update No. 2

Armed Zanu-Pf youth occupy and loot Excelsior farm, refuse police entry

Monday, 16 June 2003 12:51 PM

On Sunday the 15th of June in the afternoon, a group of CIO officers in a
black Pajero lead a group of 150 Border Gezi Zanu-Pf youth to occupy
Excelsior farm in Ruwa on the command of Robert Mugabe. Excelsior farm is
currently leased by Roy Bennett MP.

The farm labourers who work on Excelsior farm have fled at the approach of
the youth, in fear of a repeat of the violent and extreme beating they
received in March by Zanu-PF operatives again led by CIO officers.

The CIO operatives were armed with handguns and an AK47, with which they
threatened to kill anyone who worked for Bennett. They were driving a black
new model Pajero with tinted windows.

The youth have almost completely looted the farm. They have killed one of
Mr Bennett's cattle, three of his sheep, looted everything from the
workshop including 2000 litres of diesel, and have stolen 53 bags of maize.
Trucks have been coming and going from the farm with stolen goods all
yesterday and today. There are also reports that they have stolen farm

They have broken in to the farm manager's house, and have stolen $183,000
in cash and looted all his possessions.

Many of the youth are armed weapons, including at least four guns,
including a shotgun stolen from the gun safe on the farm.

Mr Bennett immediately informed Epworth police station, who stated that
they were unable to act as it was `political'. Finally the Asst Inspector
Mupazaraio, accompanied MR Bennett's security Manager, Sgt Dube to the
farm. When they arrived late last night, they were refused entry by the
youth. When they returned again this morning, they were refused entry by
youth armed with guns, lead by Zanu-PF activist and commander for the area
who goes for the name of `Baiyso'. Baiyso stated that `We are operating on
President Mugabe's orders that Bennett must have nothing, so we are taking
everything' You police have no jurisdiction because we are under
Presidential orders.

For more information or an interview with Mr Bennett, please call the
office of Roy Bennett on 04748240 or 04748241




JAG Hotlines:
(011) 612 595 If you are in trouble or need advice,
    (011) 205 374
       (011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us -
       (091) 317 264
    (011) 207 860 we're here to help!
(011) 431 068

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Senator Russ Feingold, one of Zimbabwe's great crusaders in the United
States Senate, made the following statement on Monday, June 9, 2003:

Mr. President, today I draw my colleagues' attention to the situation in
Zimbabwe, where courageous citizens continue to protest the political
repression and economic collapse that have plunged their country into

Since 2000, President Mugabe has made a series of decisions intended to
tighten his grip on power regardless of the cost to the country, trampling
on the independence of the judiciary, harassing the independent media,
manipulating the political process, intimidating opposition supporters,
destroying the economy, and exacerbating a food crisis.  A very real and
legitimate issue the need for meaningful land reform was for a time
employed as a fig leaf for the regime. But it has long been clear that this
government is not interested in justice, only in power.

Last week's general strike has been the latest manifestation of public
dissatisfaction.  Reports from the region indicate that security forces are
violently suppressing efforts to demonstrate in the streets, using rubber
clubs, rifle butts, water cannons, tear gas, and live ammunition to
disperse crowds, according to the Associated Press.  Some 300 people have
been arrested, including opposition parliamentarians.  At this difficult
time, it is important that the people of Zimbabwe know that the world is
watching, and that like the Zimbabweans demanding change, the international
community has not lost hope for the country.

I was proud to work with the distinguished Majority Leader, Senator Frist,
on the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, a bill which was
passed into law in the last Congress. This legislation makes it clear that
when the rule of law is restored in Zimbabwe, and when the civil and
political rights of citizens are respected, the United States will come
forward to help the country recover, rebuild.  We will continue to fight
the AIDS pandemic that is taking such a terrible toll on Zimbabwean
society.  I look forward to the day when we can follow through on that
commitment, Mr. President, and help Zimbabwe to realize its tremendous
potential as an engine of growth and model of participatory democracy in
the region.  Time after time, news reports confirm that Zimbabwe is full of
patriots -- citizens who refuse to allow their country to be hijacked by a
self-serving cabal, independent journalists who risk torture when they seek
to report the truth rather than the ruling party line, parents who want
their children to grow up in a Zimbabwe free from repression and
corruption.  These people deserve our support and our admiration.

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Zimbabwe's annual inflation rises to 300%
      June 17, 2003

      By Sapa-AFP

      Harare - Zimbabwe's runaway annual inflation rate climbed nearly 31
percent to just above 300 percent last month, the state-run Herald newspaper
reported Tuesday.

      The rise, which puts the annual inflation rate at 300.1 percent, was
due to steep price increases of foodstuffs, consumer durables and services.

      With inflation at 300 percent in May, the objective of Finance
Minister Herbert Murerwa to bring the annual rate back down to below 100
percent appears to be out of reach.

      Murerwa made the pledge to stem runaway inflation when he presented
the budget for 2003 at the end of last year

      Zimbabwe's rampant inflation is a reflection of the deep-seated
economic crisis that is battering the country. Food, fuel and foreign
currency are in short supply here, and some 70 percent of the working
population is unemployed.

      Three-quarters of Zimbabweans live below the poverty line, and nearly
half the population of some 11.6 million are at risk from famine, sparked by
a drought and by chaotic land reforms introduced by President Robert
Mugabe's government. - Sapa-AFP
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Cape Argus

      Threat to block entrance of goods
      June 17, 2003

      By Basildon Peta

      Zimbabweans, angered by South Africa's continued silence on the
"unreasonable" imprisonment of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai by
President Robert Mugabe's regime are planning action on the border to
prevent goods from entering Zimbabwe.

      "Silence amounts to approval," said Lovemore Madhuku, a spokesman for
Zimbabwe's largest civic group, the National Constitutional Assembly.

      "There is no other reasonable inference from South Africa's actions
other than that its government fully supports efforts by the Mugabe regime
to wipe out the MDC."

      Madhuku said there was no way President Thabo Mbeki could play the
role of an honest broker in the Zimbabwe crisis if he kept silent on blatant
human rights violations in Zimbabwe as shown by Tsvangirai's arrest.

      Chairman of the anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International,
(Zimbabwe Chapter), John Makumbe, said South Africa's "deafening" silence
over the manner in which President Mugabe was "dehumanising" Tsvangirai was

      South Africa had kept silent on most gross human rights violations in
Zimbabwe, and one would have thought Tsvangirai's unjustified incarceration
would have provided the Mbeki government with the chance to set the record
straight, Makumbe said.

      Concerned Citizens Abroad President Jay Jay Sibanda said his group was
now planning to travel to Musina and forcibly shut the Zimbabwe/South Africa

      "Since President Mbeki has ignored all calls to use his leverage on
Mugabe, we will go and forcibly shut the border for him so that no South
African goods enter Zimbabwe ... There are many of us (Zimbabweans) here and
we are appealing for help to hire buses and travel to the border."
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Zimbabwe opposition chief back on trial for treason

HARARE, June 17 — Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was
returned for trial for treason on Tuesday, hauled from a prison cell where
he is waiting to hear whether he will be bailed on a second, separate set of
treason charges.

       Tsvangirai was arrested on June 6 following a five-day protest by his
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the greatest threat to President
Robert Mugabe's 23-year rule, and charged with treason for trying to
overthrow the president.
       The new charges triggered a week's adjournment in the MDC leader's
original trial for allegedly plotting to assassinate Mugabe. Tsvangirai and
two other party officials accused in the first trial could face the death
penalty if convicted.
       The state's case against the three hinges on a videotaped meeting in
Montreal between Canadian-based political consultant Ari Ben-Menashe and
Tsvangirai, who allegedly discussed Mugabe's ''elimination.''
       Ben-Menashe, challenged as an unreliable witness by the defence, has
admitted he videotaped the meeting solely to get evidence for the government
but denied entrapping Tsvangirai or that he was paid for it.
       On Tuesday defence lawyer George Bizo quizzed state witness Happyton
Bonyongwe, head of Zimbabwe's national spy agency, over why a contract the
government later signed with Ben-Menashe did not mention $200,000 he had
been paid in advance.
       Bonyongwe denied the contract was deliberately misleading, saying the
$200,000 was the sum total of a number of smaller amounts detailed
separately in the agreement, and denied defence allegations that the
government still owed Ben-Menashe $400,000.
       The defence team says the video was doctored to discredit the MDC,
the most potent challenge to Mugabe's power since he led the country to
independence from Britain in 1980.
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Wankie Colliery Rescued By Foreign Loan

The Herald (Harare)

June 17, 2003
Posted to the web June 17, 2003

Masimba Karikoga

Wankie Colliery has finally received the US$5,3 million from the African
Export-Import Bank after the Government provided the necessary guarantee and
will use the cash to buy spares.

An additional US$543 000 has been provided by the Government through the
Ministry of Mines and Mining Development as efforts to rescue the coal giant

Wankie has been running at half capacity because of a lack of spares.

The Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Mr Edward Chindori-Chininga,
confirming the arrival of the funds through Jewel Bank said production
should now rise.

Wankie Colliery Mine managing director Mr Kudzai Bwerinofa last week said
only 18 percent of the 55 heavy-duty vehicles were operational.

The rest have broken down due to unavailability of foreign currency to buy
the necessary spare parts.

Equipment grounded includes coal hauliers, dump trucks, rope shovels,
bulldozers, graders, wheeldozers and cranes.

Wankie has failed to supply demand threatening the survival of fertiliser
manufacturers, cement producers and tobacco farmers.

In recent weeks, cement producers were forced to suspend operations owing to
the coal shortage while some tobacco farmers have failed to cure their crop
on time.

Despite being listed on the Johannesburg and London Stock Exchanges, the
benchmark of trade activities in Africa and Europe respectively, the company
has continued to make serious losses.

Last year, Wankie made a loss of $5,6 billion.

There have been allegations of mismanagement levelled against top

The Government, which has a 40 percent stake in the mine, asked the entire
board to resign but the board refused to go, asserting that the mines
ministry had no power to remove board members.

Mr Chindori-Chininga refused to discuss the matter last week. The Government
was still studying the situation at the colliery.

A task force drawn from the Ministries of Industry and International Trade,
of Transport and Communications, of Finance and Economic Development and of
Mines and Mining Development is expected to meet later this week to start
work on ending the coal crisis.
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ZIMBABWE: Concern over government's strike ban
      IRINnews Africa, Tue 17 Jun 2003

      The labour ministry can change the list to include workers previously
not on it

      JOHANNESBURG, - Zimbabwe's Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has
expressed concern over the government's decision to ban strikes in essential
services and its ability to redefine what an essential service is.

      Collen Gwiyo, acting secretary-general of the ZCTU, called the new
legislation "draconian" and said removing the right to strike presupposed
that the existing mechanism to resolve disputes was efficient.

      "But it is not," said Gwiyo. "The government wants to curtail any
freedom of movement and expression."

      In March the Labour Relations Amendment Act came into law. It does not
contain a definition of what an essential service is, leaving it to the
discretion of the labour minister to decide what profession can be listed.

      Explaining the new legislation, National Constitional Assembly head
Lovemore Maduku said that while banning strikes in essential services, like
nursing and fire brigades, was not uncommon internationally, the fact that
the list of essential services was allowed to be changed at short notice was

      He said this meant that if a sector not included on the list warned
that it was about to strike, the current legislation allowed the minister to
issue a last-minute declaration, changing the list to include that sector
and ban the strike.

      "So in the Zimbabwe context, the service may not necessarily be
essential, but it is what the minister considers essential," Maduku told
IRIN. He added that the previous law set out what an essential service was,
whereas the current one leaves it up to the minister.

      The current list includes employees of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation, the Zimbabwe National Railways and the Zimbabwe Electricity
Supply Company, he said. However, the list no longer automatically includes
all civil servants, with teachers absent from the list at present.

      Maduku, a constitutional lawyer, said an important point in the
legislation was that the strike ban did not cover stayaways - regarded as
political actions.

      "A strike is limited to a dispute between an employee and an employer
over wages or working conditions. A stayaway is not illegal in terms of
labour legislation. This is covered under the Public Order and Security Act,
which makes it compulsory to seek police clearance," he said.

      Earlier this month the opposition launched the latest in a series of
anti-government stayaways, reportedly bringing most business to a halt for a

      A last-minute court order banned the stayaway, and MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai was arrested and charged for treason for his role in organising

      The material contained in this article is from IRIN, a UN humanitarian
information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United
Nations or its agencies. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post any item
on this site, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or
extracts should include attribution to the original sources. All graphics
and Images on this site may not be re-produced without the express
permission of the original owner.
      All materials copyright © UN Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs 2003
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The Herald

New fuel deal for firms

Herald Reporters
THE oil industry has set up a scheme to enable local companies with foreign
currency import fuel through players in the sector to alleviate the impact
of fuel shortages on businesses.

Under the deal, the companies would first have to obtain import licences
before approaching individual oil companies for assistance.

The minimum amount of fuel that can be imported under the scheme is 25 000

"Companies with foreign currency accounts can now import fuel in US dollars
through one scheme where they will be issued with coupons, which can then be
exchanged for fuel," said the oil companies in a statement yesterday.

The oil companies would procure the fuel, clear it at the border, transport
and store it on behalf of the businesses.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development, Cde Reuben Marumahoko,
said the scheme was part of the deregulation of the fuel industry.

"That is their own arrangement and there is nothing wrong with the facility.
Noczim will be ordering fuel mostly for the strategic reserves.

"The fuel industry has been deregulated and what it means is that we are
allowing the oil industry to bring its own fuel," said Cde Marumahoko.

The deregulation of the fuel industry was part of the arrangements for the
country’s economic revival under the National Economic Revival Programme
launched by the Government this year.

Oil industry spokesman Mr Stanley Njenga said the scheme was introduced to
help businesses that wanted to import their own fuel.

"The businesses are given import licences and they come to oil companies
because they do not know how to import. We charge them for transport and
storage," Mr Njenga said.

But he acknowledged that the facility was being abused by some who resold
the fuel on the parallel market.

He said stringent measures should be put in place to ensure the imported
fuel was not directed to the unofficial market.

Government recently directed that only senior officials in the Ministry of
Industry and International Trade approve licences for importing fuel
following a discovery that many businessmen were working with junior
officials and abusing the system.

There had been numerous allegations that junior officers were offering
licences randomly to undeserving recipients in return for favours.

The scheme by the oil industry comes at a time some service stations in
Harare are said to be selling fuel at prices above those stipulated by the

The commodity is being sold at prices between $1 000 and $2 000 a litre,
instead of the stipulated $450 a litre for petrol and $200 a litre for

Cde Marumahoko said though he was not aware of such a practice, those
selling the fuel at prices above those prescribed should stop the practice.

"I am not aware that they are doing it. We expect those selling the
commodity to comply with the gazetted prices," he said.

At Beitbridge Border Post, Government was now allowing tankers carrying fuel
to be cleared under special delivery orders.

The facility was put in place after several new players joined the fuel
industry following Noczim’s failure to import adequate supplies.

"All vehicles carrying fuel are cleared under that facility which means
clearance papers are handed to Customs well after those cars have left the
border post," said a shipping agent at the border.

In the past all haulage vehicles, including those ferrying fuel, had to
queue at the border post and would only leave after being cleared.

Shipping agents said there had been an increase in the number of companies
importing fuel, with some companies importing up to 175 000 litres of both
petrol and diesel daily.

Although the volume of haulage trucks coming through the border had
generally gone down owing to the scarcity of foreign currency, activity in
the fuel sector showed a marked increase with at least five out of every 15
truck arrivals being fuel tankers destined for either Zimbabwe or Zambia.

Farmers, individuals and other companies with offshore accounts had of late
started importing fuel after the shortage threatened to ground various

But some of the imported fuel has of late found itself on the parallel

The fuel parallel market is thriving all the way from Harare to Beitbridge
and youths wait for trucks along the main road to buy the commodity for
resale at unbelievable prices of up to $60 000 for 20 litres of either
petrol or diesel.

The Government had also relaxed fuel importing conditions for individuals
under the Open General Import Licence now allowed to bring up to 200 litres
a day duty-free. Those not eligible for the monthly rebate could bring only
up to 100 litres a day.

All fuel has to be carried on the vehicles of the importers and in safe

The fuel supply situation remains critical in most parts of the country with
motorists now going for weeks without receiving either diesel or petrol.

Cars and trucks are now gathering dust in petrol queues at garages in and
around Harare, as the precious commodity is no longer available on the open

Queues of minibuses and commuter omnibuses stretching for long distances
snake around designated garages as fuel supplies remain critical leading to
public transport shortages.

But the Government was pursuing a number of initiatives to resolve the fuel
crisis, including resuming imports from Libya.

Libyan minister of African Unity Dr Ali Tarki was in Zimbabwe recently to
discuss ways of reviving fuel supplies to the country.

Last year Libya renewed a US$360 million fuel deal with Zimbabwe to cover
the importation of fuel for another year.

Under the deal, Libyan companies were to invest in Zimbabwe or import
commodities such as sugar, beef and other agricultural products in exchange
for fuel.

The deal collapsed when Zimbabwe was unable to supply the goods owing
largely to the drought that hit the country last season.

The Government hopes that the Libyan deal, the liberalisation of the oil
industry and allowing individuals and companies to import fuel would help
ease fuel shortages as the country battles to find a lasting solution to the
fuel woes.

Zimbabwe has since 1999 suffered erratic fuel supplies due to the foreign
currency squeeze.

Noczim requires more than US$40 million a month to import 67 million litres
of fuel, but the oil company had its credit lines cut over mounting debts.
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The Herald

President’s legitimacy not negotiable: Moyo

Herald Reporter
The legitimacy of President Mugabe as the Head of State is not negotiable,
Zanu-PF said yesterday.

Party deputy secretary for information and publicity Professor Jonathan Moyo
said media reports that the MDC was seeking unconditional dialogue with
Zanu-PF to address what it says are issues of legitimacy were a waste of
time because no one would listen to them.

Zanu-PF was reacting to a story in yesterday’s Daily News, which quoted MDC
secretary-general Professor Welsh-man Ncube saying his party was ready to
resume dialogue with the ruling party to "resolve the issue of legitimacy".

"What is particularly preposterous about the reports is that Ncube, who is
facing treason charges before the High Court of Zimbabwe, is said to have
had the temerity to assert that the issue of legitimacy is subject to
negotiation," said Prof Moyo.

"The time has come for British media mouthpieces and puppets that are being
used by Rhodesian Selous Scouts running the MDC to get it in their thick
heads that President Mugabe’s legitimacy as Head of State is not subject to
any negotiation.

"To say that the President’s legitimacy is subject to negotiation is
tantamount to putting a totally unacceptable precondition to any talks and
the povo that makes up Zanu-PF will not accept that nor will law-abiding
Zimbabweans at large," he said.

MDC says it does not recognise Presi-dent Mugabe’s victory in last year’s
presidential election and is challenging the results in the High Court,
seeking a re-run of the poll.

President Mugabe has said Zanu-PF is prepared to resume dialogue with the
MDC but the opposition party should recognise him as the legitimate Head of
State following his victory in the presidential election declared as a free
expression of the will of Zimbabweans by several observers.

"This is because everyone with any modicum of sense knows that legitimacy is
first a product of the will of the people as a matter of democratic practice
done in accordance with the laws and constitution of the land.

"When there is doubt or question about this democratic and constitutional
position, the forum for that is the High Court of Zimbabwe and not the
streets or any negotiation," said Prof Moyo.

He said those who wanted to negotiate the legitimacy of the President
happened to be the same people who threaten illegal street marches, defy
High Court orders and plot coups because they are lawless hooligans who are
no better than terrorists.

"So Zanu-PF will not negotiate with anyone, let alone Welshman Ncube and his
sellout MDC, the legitimacy of President Mugabe.

"The issue of legitimacy is not negotiable and will thus not be negotiated
because it was decided by the people as an expression of their sovereignty
in terms of our laws and constitution.

"If the MDC sellouts do not know or understand this, then they have a big
problem," said Prof Moyo.
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