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

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3 June 2004 Monitoring of e-mails

ZISPA (Zimbabwe Internet Service Providers Association) is the official
independent body that represents all registered ISPs in Zimbabwe. ZISPA can
confirm that its members have received a proposed amendment to the existing
franchise agreements between TelOne and the ISPs.  The current agreements
cover the provision of Internet bandwidth by TelOne, the state-owned
telecommunications company, to ISPs.

This proposed amendment is currently subject to discussion and negotiation
between the ISPs and TelOne over its content.

ZISPA wishes to confirm that there is no monitoring of any sort of any
e-mails by any of its members at the moment and that none of its members
have signed the proposed contract amendment.

ZISPA is committed to providing e-mail and Internet users with regular
updates on this matter and will update the website with new developments.

Shadreck Nkala Chairman, ZISPA
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Zimbabwe opposition blames govt for blocked emails

June 04, 2004, 21:34

Zimbabwe's main opposition accused president Robert Mugabe's government
today of blocking its electronic mail to subscribers to suffocate dissenting
voices. A local Internet service provider (ISP) notified subscribers on the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change's (MDC) electronic mailing list
that an e-mail from the party had been blocked because "it contains
sensitive content".

Officials at the company were not reachable for comment. Several similar
alerts have been sent out to MDC mail subscribers in the past two weeks.
"The blocking of emails from the MDC is yet another ploy by the regime to
deny people access to as wide a variety of views as possible," an MDC
spokesperson said.

He said today's e-mail was an invitation to local media to a news conference
where the leader of a smaller party announced he was joining the main
opposition. He said the MDC was seeking legal advice over the blocked mail.

The privately-owned Standard newspaper reported last weekend that the
government wanted to force all Internet service providers to sign a contract
compelling them to block "politically sensitive, objectionable, unauthorised
or obscene" e-mails. Government officials have not commented on the report.

French-based press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders denounced the
reported move as a threat to freedom of expression in a statement today. "It
is necessary to fight such things as racial hatred and child pornography on
the Internet, but it is very important this does not reduce the right of
Internet users to express themselves openly," said the watchdog, which ranks
Zimbabwe at 141 out of 166 countries on its press freedom index.

The MDC accuses Mugabe's government of enacting harsh security and media
laws to muzzle critics as the country grapples with an economic crisis
widely blamed on state mismanagement.

The government says the media laws instil professionalism in private media
it accuses of spreading Western propaganda against its seizure of
white-owned farms for landless blacks.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional sections of
new post legislation which allowed Mugabe to order the monitoring of
electronic mail and telephone conversations. - Reuters
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Zimbabwe rebels abandon struggle
Fri 4 June, 2004 15:27

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's rebels have abandoned their bitter struggle
with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU).

"My clients want to move on," the players' lawyer, Chris Venturas, told
Reuters on Friday.

"They talked about it and decided it is time to disband and fly north. I
think there is a very remote chance that they will play for Zimbabwe again."

Zimbabwe have been forced to pick a second-string team since April 2 when 15
white players made themselves unavailable over what they see as racially
driven selection policies.

Their stand was sparked by Heath Streak's removal from the captaincy after
he questioned the composition of the selection panel.

The inexperienced Zimbabwe team has since lost 10 consecutive matches to Sri
Lanka and Australia and the dispute also led to last month's test series
with Australia being called off over concerns about Zimbabwe's test playing

The ZCU fired the players for the stand they took, and the rebels asked the
International Cricket Council (ICC) on May 20 to form a dispute resolution
committee to arbitrate.

Venturas said his clients had yet to receive a response from the ICC.

"We gave the ICC seven days to get back to us and we haven't heard
anything," Venturas said.

"We have to assume that nothing is happening, or even if it is it's too late
for my clients. They want to move on."


A statement signed by 13 of the rebels and released on Friday said they took
their action "in solidarity with our national captain, Heath Streak, who was
unlawfully dismissed, as well as in protest at the unfair and discriminatory
employment practices perpetrated against us by individuals of the ZCU".

The rebels alleged that ZCU officials committed transgressions, including
interfering with the selection process and making threats to try to ensure
teams included more black players.

"It was our hope that meaningful dialogue and negotiation would address our
problems with the ZCU," the statement said.

"Long hours in meetings with them were spent trying to achieve our goal to
safeguard the future of Zimbabwe cricket.

"For the record, our actions have never been racially or politically
motivated. In fact, through our years of service and dedication we feel we
have been an example of a successful and multi-racial team.

"Despite some perceptions, we have proven time and time again that
Zimbabweans of all colours can work together and achieve excellence as shown
in our last two World Cups."

The statement was signed by Streak, Grant Flower, Stuart Carlisle, Craig
Wishart, Trevor Gripper, Andy Blignaut, Gary Brent, Travis Friend, Sean
Ervine, Ray Price, Barney Rodgers, Neil Ferreria and Richard Simms.

Several rebels have made arrangements to play elsewhere, while an unofficial
tour by them as a team has also been mooted.

Pace bowler Streak will play for Warwickshire, while Blignaut has been
signed by Tasmania and fellow all rounder Ervine has moved to Perth and will
also play for Hampshire.

Batsmen Gripper and Flower will play club cricket in England.
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Farmer Remanded in Hospital

The Herald (Harare)

June 4, 2004
Posted to the web June 4, 2004


Peter Spero-Landos, the white commercial farmer who allegedly shot and
killed a resettled black farmer and injured another one over a farm boundary
dispute in Odzi two weeks ago, has been remanded in a private hospital to
next week by a Mutare magistrate.

Spero-Landos (45) was allegedly injured after some newly-resettled farmers
tried to disarm him when he allegedly shot and killed Mike Mufambi in the
chest on May 24 this year.

The farmer is being charged with murder and attempted murder.

He appeared in court on May 26 and was not asked to plead by a Mutare
magistrate, who remanded him on his hospital bed under heavy security guard
to June 9.

The State alleges that Spero-Landos allegedly had a misunderstanding with
Mufambi, Tichaona Mafuruse and another resettled farmer over boundaries at
Riverside Farm.

The four quarrelled and Spero-Landos opened fire, killing Mufambi instantly,
it is alleged. He also shot and seriously injured Mafuruse on the shoulder,
the charge reads.

Mafuruse has since been discharged from Mutare General Hospital where he had
been admitted.

Some newly-resettled farmers who witnessed the shooting tried to disarm him
and Spero-Landos was allegedly injured in the process.

The Government last year subdivided Spero-Landos Riverside Farm and
resettled new farmers.

The white farmer retained part of the farm for his own use and he was
supposed to co-exist with the resettled farmers.

Spero-Landos allegedly wanted to keep the whole property to himself
resulting in endless clashes with his resettled neighbours.
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Nettavisen, Norway

Hydro's farm occupied in Zimbabwe
Carin Pettersson 04.06.04 11:23

Activists have allegedly occupied a production farm in Zimbabwe which is
partly owned by Norwegian company Yara.

Sable Chemicals production farm Sebakwe, where the Norwegian Hydro company
Yara owns about 20 percent, has been occupied by activists since the middle
of May.

Sable Chemicals is Zimbabwe's only producer of fertilizers. The pumping
station at the company's factory is affected by the occupation, and the
activists are threatening to stop all the production of chemical fertilizers
at the company, reported the website Norwatch, a Norwegian watchdog

«If the water supply is removed permanently, it will produce great problems
and it will have serious consequences, not only for Sable, but also for
farmers and companies which are dependent on the supply from the company,»
said a Zimbabwean journalist to the website.

Yara stated that the company is not classifying the situation as a high
priority issue.

«Due to the current situation in Zimbabwe, this is not a high priority for
us, and as it appears from articles from the African press, this is a
greater problem for the industry's clients than for Sable Chemicals,» said
Ingegerd Rafn, spokesperson for Yara, to NorWatch.
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From Business Day (SA), 4 June

Mbeki urged to play Zimbabwe mediator

Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane yesterday said President Thabo Mbeki should
upgrade his involvement in the talks between Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu PF and
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change to that of facilitator. With
pressure on Mbeki to follow through on his promises last year that there
would be a peaceful solution to Zimbabwe's political crisis by this year,
Ndungane said SA's president had a window of opportunity in which to make a
difference ahead of Zimbabwe's elections next year. Despite his earlier
commitment , Mbeki has not addressed the issue during the World Economic
Forum (WEF) in Maputo, Mozambique. Mbeki should take a more prominent role
in facilitating the discussions because the election was imminent, Ndungane
said. Speaking at the forum, Ndungane said he had spoken to both Zanu PF
leader President Robert Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai about this
issue, and he said both had agreed that negotiation was the only solution to
the current impasse. He also said that these discussions should result in a
set of agreed benchmarks that could be used to assess whether Zimbabwe's
election next year would indeed be free and fair. These benchmarks, he said,
should include a free press and a proper election-monitoring body to oversee
the process. The credibility of next year's election would be a key concern,
given the condemnation from various election-monitoring groups after 2002's
presidential election, he said. International Monetary Fund (IMF) deputy
director for Africa, Siddharth Tiwari, said during discussions yesterday
that he saw Zimbabwe's progress as being linked to political dialogue.
Ndungane said Zimbabwe's problems included the racially loaded land issue,
human rights concerns and the country's political process.
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From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 4 June

To hell with art

By Mike van Graan

Robert Mugabe's cupboard is bursting with "been-there-done-that" T-shirts.
He's done pretty much everything by now. He's done the courts. He's done the
media. He's done sport. He's even done Archbishop Desmond Tutu. So it was
only a matter of time before the champion of "your-vote-is-my-vote"
democracy realised that he didn't have a "been there. Done [in] the arts!"
T-shirt. (This is probably one time when it's a good thing for the arts to
occupy the nether-nether land of the political agenda.) Raisedon Baya won
the National Arts Merit Award for scriptwriting in Zimbabwe last year. His
play, Super Patriots and Morons, had been touring our northern neighbour and
international venues for more than a year. Set in a fictitious African
country, the piece deals with some of the major contemporary issues facing
Zimbabweans. But after it was performed at the Harare International Festival
of the Arts a couple of months ago, the censorship board decided that the
play could be interpreted as a comment on Zimbabwe and, accordingly, the
board banned all further performances as these would "disturb the peace" in
the country.

One can only wonder when it will ban all future performances by Mugabe
since, clearly his record-breaking, one-man impersonation of a dictator with
a pessimistic Afro, appears to be the greatest threat to peace in Zimbabwe.
But such is the nature of fascist politics. Ban the symptom. Ignore the
cause. (The censorship board might also have taken umbrage at the title of
the play, Super Patriots and Morons, which could have been a direct
reference to it.) We have a lot to be grateful for down south. For one, we
don't have a censorship board any longer. Ours has been dumped in the
dustbin of history along with the total onslaught, compulsory conscription
and bald politicians with hats. Here, we only have the National Arts
Council, which tells award-winning playwrights to rewrite their scripts to
be more politically correct before they can be considered for funding. And
we only have minister-appointed chairpersons of publicly funded entities who
may be super or morons, but who might consider it their patriotic duty to
protect the political status quo against any challenge, real or imagined.

And here, we don't ban plays after they have been performed at a national
arts festival; we just don't give them money - or give them money so late -
so that they can't perform at the festival in the first place. Baya's play
had been touring for more than a year before the censorship board saw it and
decided to ban it. If it had banned it 12 months earlier, who knows? Peace
could have broken out in Zimbabwe a lot sooner. But this is the problem with
officials. They get appointed to be in charge of a particular area, but they
simply never get to see the plays or see the exhibitions or read the books
for which they are responsible. The same, I'm pleased to report, cannot be
said of our National Arts Council. It will meet for three days in mid-June
to consider applications for funding, and applicants for funding for the
festival will know whether they have National Arts Council support on June
15. A fortnight later, the full board will again meet for three days in
Grahamstown. It will have all its expenses paid to meet at the festival, and
perhaps even take in a few shows. Moral of the story? If you want to
participate in the National Arts Festival and need funding from the National
Arts Council to do so, it would be better for you to serve on the National
Arts Council than to apply to it. The National Arts Council board is off to
Grahamstown. The artists can (still) go to hell.
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Introduce National Health Insurance Scheme

The Herald (Harare)

June 4, 2004
Posted to the web June 4, 2004


EVERYONE agrees that Zimbabwe's health system faces an unbearable financial
crisis due to the escalating prices of medical equipment and drugs as well
as the cost of labour to care for patients.

Yesterday we carried a story that Harare Central Hospital is detaining 28
mothers and their newly-born babies. They will only be allowed to leave
hospital after the millions they owe the institution in maternity fees are

Some mothers in the post-natal wards said that they were ordered to remain
in the maternity wing by hospital officials as they had no money to settle
their hospital bills. These women are supposed to be enjoying motherhood and
celebrating their successful deliveries.

But alas, they cannot do this until they pay their bills, which run into

True, people have an obligation to pay for services rendered. Others may
argue that their husbands should have planned and saved enough money when
they knew that their wives were expecting.

But circumstances do change. Most of the women are simply, not by choice,
referred to the hospital by clinics when they face complications.

We feel what Harare Central Hospital is doing is immoral. The hospital
should follow the rules of natural justice by not forcing people to incur
extra costs while in hospital detention. They are not solving anything.

We would like to believe that hospitals are not permitted to detain babies
or their mothers who fail to immediately pay for services but have a duty to
verify the identities of such patients and then follow them up for their
indebtedness later.

It is certainly an offence to hold someone against their will. It is
kidnapping, an offence that is so serious that whoever is responsible for
the detention of babies or their mothers can be convicted of.

Police are the only authority with the power to detain people while
hospitals have limited powers to hold people but for medical reasons only -
not for debts.

What happened to the debt collectors who used to collect money from patients
on behalf of the hospital? If they are failing, that means there is
something wrong in their operation. They should overhaul and tighten their
debt collection methods.

We are not suggesting that people should get free treatment at hospitals. We
are aware of the escalating costs of medicine and skills by the day.

The idea of a national medical aid scheme should be pursued vigorously to
accommodate those not on medical aid. The idea has been floated several
times, of the National Social Security Authority running a basic health
insurance scheme similar to that of its very basic pension scheme.

Although this might not solve some hos pitals' financial problems, it will at
least remove a large block of non-paying patients from the list.

The financial problem is not beyond solution. It is one of those problems
where careful juggling with money would produce good results.

The problem is how to source the money, which is why we are suggesting
expanding the insured population.
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