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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index


Sacked Zimbabwe rebels taking case to ICC
Fri 21 May, 2004 18:22

(adds ICC comments)

HARARE, May 21 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's 15 rebel players have been sacked
again and have referred their dispute with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU)
to the International Cricket Council (ICC), the players' lawyer said on

"The ZCU lawyer called me to say the players are all fired, and that they
must return their cars to the ZCU," players' lawyer Chris Venturas said.

"So most of them will be catching buses or be on bicycles from tomorrow."

The players, who had made themselves unavailable for selection, were first
sacked on May 10, in part of a continuing saga.

"We have referred the matter to the ICC and we have asked them to form a
dispute committee, which they can do, to arbitrate in this dispute,"
Venturas said.

"We have tried to resolve it domestically, but we have run out of room to do

ICC President Ehsan Mani confirmed that the ruling body had received the

"We received yesterday from the lawyer of the 15 players a request to submit
a dispute to the ICC dispute process," Mani told a news conference in

"Should this matter go before a hearing under the ICC Disputes Resolution
process, given the nature and complexity of this dispute, I would think that
it would be several months before this process would be finalised," Mani

The news of the players' latest sackings broke simultaneously with the
announcement of a decision taken by the ZCU and Cricket Australia to call
off the two tests their teams were scheduled to play until a later date.

Instead, Zimbabwe and Australia will play three one-day internationals in
Harare on May 25, 27 and 29.

Venturas said: "We have been told that they are not wanted for the one-day
series against Australia."

Zimbabwe had to select an inexperienced team to play Sri Lanka, who won both
tests by an innings and the one-day series 5-0.

The 15 rebels, who include former captain Heath Streak, say the Zimbabwe
board allows politicians to dictate the make-up of the team and rushes young
black players into the side prematurely.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe

Monday May 10th – Sunday May 16th

Weekly Media Update 2004-19









News of the ill-treatment of Iraqi prisoners by members of the US army at Abu Ghraib jail in Baghdad presented the government media with a platform to dismiss legitimate condemnation of Zimbabwe’s human rights record by the West as hypocritical.

For example, ZTV and Power FM (10/5, 8pm) claimed the revelations demonstrated that America and Britain were “far from being the champions of democracy and human rights” and were “gross human rights violators” who have no “right to lecture other countries about human rights”.

ZTV’s Face the Nation programme (13/5, 9.30pm) then featured the government’s Media and Information Commission chairman, Tafataona Mahoso, to defend ZBC’s slanted coverage of the issue.

But instead of a rational analysis of human rights abuses, Mahoso claimed that Britain was condemning Zimbabwe’s human rights record because it had become “the apartheid State” after the collapse of apartheid South Africa.

Said Mahoso: “… Apartheid has gone back to where it came from. Britain now has to intervene directly in the affairs of Zimbabwe because apartheid is no longer there in South Africa to always wield its threats over the heads of Zimbabwe… So Britain is the power that now feels it must protect not only white racist interests but even cooperate with all those who benefited from apartheid…”

Four viewers called in during the programme and praised Mahoso for his “incisive” analysis of the issue. Only one viewer was critical saying, “Zimbabwean prisons were worse off”. He was however abruptly cut off air.

The government media have consistently ignored vocal domestic criticism of the government’s human rights abuses.

The Editor’s Memo column in the Zimbabwe Independent (14/5) provided some credible analysis of the government media’s preoccupation with human rights abuses in Iraq.

The column pointed out that while the government media were “voyeuristically fascinated” by the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, they have remained silent on widespread human rights violations in Zimbabwe.

It noted that the government media was trying to fudge what is happening in Iraq” in an attempt to “mask the difference between sadistic abuse of prisoners of war by soldiers on the one hand, and human rights violations by government on the other”.

However, the author’s argument was undermined by his apparent attempt justify the ill-treatment of Iraqis saying, “American and British soldiers are fighting a deadly war, they are not human rights campaigners…what does constitute human rights abuses is the role and attitude of the political authorities”.

While the government media capitalized on America and Britain’s human rights abuses, Studio 7 and Short Wave Radio Africa carried about 13 fresh reports on continuing rights violations by government officials and security force personnel during the week.

Some of the reports also appeared in the private Press, particularly the violent dispersal by the police of NCA demonstrations in several cities during the week and a civic society meeting in Gweru at the weekend. The government media all but ignored these events.





The media, especially those from the government-controlled stable, failed once more to encourage transparency in the conduct of local elections as illustrated by their inability to demand unconditional accountability in the way the authorities prepared for and held the just ended Lupane by-election. 

As a result, this compromised the fairness and quality of the news the electorate received, and indeed, the atmosphere under which the poll was held.

For example, all 11 stories the national broadcaster carried on the electoral process were handouts from the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) and merely echoed the commission’s sentiments on the poll without question.

Consequently, a thorough examination of the electoral process was ignored. The government media merely gave information on the number of registered voters, election monitors and the location and the total number of polling stations.

Even then, this crucial information was only made available to the electorate on the eve of the election.

The private media did not fare any better in the 13 reports they carried on the elections. These media largely quoted the MDC accusing ZANU PF of intimidating the electorate without corroborating the veracity of the claims.

Neither did they cover the election manifestos of the candidates for the electorate to make informed choices.

Typically, the government-controlled Press carried nine articles campaigning for ZANU PF’s candidate while ignoring the campaign activities of the opposition MDC and its candidate. In fact, the opposition and its candidate were either denigrated or blamed for causing violence in Lupane in the four articles in which they were mentioned.

ZBC followed a similar trend in the eight stories it dedicated to ZANU PF’s campaign activities. Only Studio 7 aired the activities of the MDC candidate on two occasions but featured none on the ZANU PF candidate.  

But while reports in the government media were saturated by either the ESC’s one-sided assessments of the poll as generally free and fair or partisan reports on ZANU PF’s campaign trails, only the private media queried the environment in which the by-election was being held by raising concerns of alleged violence and intimidation against the MDC by ruling party supporters. 

For example SW Radio Africa, which alone carried six stories on the matter, quoted several MDC officials complaining about various electoral irregularities during the poll.

MDC Secretary-General Welshman Ncube told the private radio station (10/5) that the level of intimidation in Lupane was “very high” and that local villagers had been threatened with “the return of the Gukurahundi should they not vote for ZANU-PF”. MDC spokesperson Paul Themba Nyathi (SW Radio Africa (14/5) echoed Ncube’s claims, adding that traditional leaders were also involved in the harassment of opposition supporters.

Studio 7 (15/5) cited three incidents where chiefs were said to have been moving around polling stations wearing ZANU-PF regalia and mobilizing people to vote.

The government media suffocated this apparent abuse of traditional chiefs by ZANU PF to win elections for them. For example, the Chronicle (13/5) merely reported Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo telling 600 Lupane “traditional leaders… that the government was committed to improving their welfare” during a campaign rally.

In fact, the Zimbabwe Independent (14/5) revealed that government had set aside an “unbudgeted $27,5 billion on chiefs’ vehicles and other perks”.  The paper viewed this as a move calculated to win their support ahead of parliamentary elections currently scheduled for March.”

However, the Council of Chiefs secretary-general Fortune Charumbira defended the move saying the scheme was similar to that for parliamentarians where government provided them with loans to buy vehicles.

The Chronicle (13/5) reported without question that chiefs from Silobela and Lower Gweru had “pledged to ensure that ZANU PF regains the two parliamentary seats in their areas it lost in 2000 after they were given a prominent role in the selection of candidates”.

The government media were clearly unwilling to examine these unorthodox electoral campaign tactics and largely ignored the ruling party’s intimidation of the Lupane electorate.

And where they were obliged to admit to outbreaks of violence in the constituency, they vaguely referred to them as “clashes”, (Radio Zimbabwe 13/5, 1pm) or “skirmishes” (Power FM 11/5, 8pm) to obscure the identity of the perpetrators and soften the ugly impact on the conduct of the poll.

Only where the MDC was accused of being responsible for the violence were these media specific (Power FM, 11/5, 8pm, 12/5, 1pm; the Chronicle, 12/5; and Radio Zimbabwe, 14/5, 1pm). No due care was made to balance or corroborate these accusations with independent sources.

For example, the Chronicle (12/5) reported that a ZANU PF supporter was “suddenly attacked” and allegedly axed by MDC’s “weapon wielding activists” while putting up campaign posters for the ruling party’s candidate. The paper claimed that the campaign had been “peaceful until (the) incident”.

But contrary to this report by the Chronicle (and Radio Zimbabwe), The Tribune (14/5) quoted the MDC district information secretary David Nyathi giving more context to the circumstances leading to the violence.

He claimed MDC supporters had retaliated after ZANU PF supporters had attacked them while they were putting up their own campaign posters. Nyathi said the police had only arrested MDC activists, including the party’s polling agents. He said: “There is no justice for us. We cannot complain to the police because ZANU PF supporters will never be arrested.”

Nyathi’s account found corroboration from reports in The Zimbabwe Independent and The Daily Mirror (13/5).

SW Radio Africa (13/5) reported a Lupane magistrate discharging 11 of the arrested MDC activists for lack of evidence.

The Standard (16/5) reported that the police had arrested two other MDC activists who claimed they had been kidnapped and tortured by war veterans but who the police accused of perpetrating violence against ZANU PF supporters.

The two were allegedly arrested when they went to report their ordeal to the police. However, no comment was sought from the police.





Government’s decision to stop a joint crop assessment team from two international food relief agencies seeking to establish Zimbabwe’s food needs, captured the imagination of the media in the week under review.

The Harare authorities stopped the team from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) from completing its work on the grounds that Zimbabwe no longer needed food handouts because the country was expecting a “bumper harvest”.

The move, reminiscent of the misleading declaration by Agriculture Minister Joseph Made in May 2001 (The Herald) that Zimbabweans would have adequate food during that year, seemed to replay itself this year with the same minister again predicting a surplus food output amid independent forecasts to the contrary.

Radio Zimbabwe (11/5, 12/5, 6pm & 8pm) and The Herald (12/5) quoted Made saying results from the “final crop assessment” for the 2003/2004 season showed that more than 2,4 million tonnes of maize would be produced this season. He added that if the total tonnage of sorghum and millet were to be included, the country would have more than 2,8 million tonnes of cereal, a figure he said, that surpassed the country’s requirement of between 1,5 million and 2 million tonnes.

While Made reportedly arrived at his 2001 harvest predictions on the basis of an aerial view from a helicopter, the methods used to assess this year’s crop were not disclosed. Neither would the government media challenge him to explain how and when government conducted the evaluation.

On the contrary, they quoted Social Welfare Minister Paul Mangwana simply saying the country will “not require food imports or food aid”.

Again, these media did not quote alternative food experts or carry independent investigation to verify the claims.   

However, the private media wondered at the timing of the mysterious development, especially as it came amid unprecedented economic turmoil less than a year before the country’s next parliamentary election.

The varied opinion accessed by these media either interpreted the government move as designed to spruce up the image of its controversial agrarian reforms or a calculated move to cause State-induced hunger among the citizenry, which it would capitalize on in the 2005 parliamentary poll to buy votes from a famished electorate. 

In fact, despite the authorities’ claims that the UN food assessment team had been sent home on the basis of a projected harvest surplus, SW Radio Africa (10/5) revealed that Made had admonished the group “a few days into the mission” for being in the country “without his approval”.

The radio station claimed this was in spite of the fact that “a government newspaper has seen a letter from Made’s ministry dated 30 March, 2004, inviting UNWFP officials to come and estimate the country’s food aid needs”.

The report quoted journalist Andrew Meldrum attributing the reasons for the expulsion of the UN team to government’s fears that independent observations of the real crop situation in the country were likely to discredit government’s assertions that its land reforms had boosted productivity.

Meldrum reported public fears that the government intended to deliberately starve people with the aim of using the maize in its custody as a “political weapon” in the forthcoming election.

Studio 7 (14/5) supported this sentiment when it cited Amnesty International raising the same suspicions. It noted that government had “manipulated” food aid “over the past couple of years”, with little regard to people’s “fundamental right to food, upon which all other rights are dependent”.

So did The Zimbabwe Independent (13/5). It observed that government’s inflated crop yield projections to justify its decision to turn down food aid would leave the electorate “at the mercy of the ruling party, which in the past has demonstrated a penchant for using food as the carrot in its often vicious campaign strategy”.

But the government media censored the government’s banishment of the UN crop assessment group from the country, choosing instead to celebrate Made’s projections in their reports saying the development demonstrated the success of the land reform programme.

For instance, in its comment, Bumper harvest shames detractors, The Herald (14/5) observed that the projected yields had shown that previous food shortages were not due to land reforms but “four consecutive droughts” which “coincided with the massive exercise to redistribute land”.

Similarly, ZBC used government’s unverified predictions of plentiful food as a tool to “shame” Zimbabwe’s “detractors” over what they thought government’s agrarian reforms “will never achieve”, ZTV (12/5, 6pm and 8pm).

Amid this euphoria, Studio 7 (13/5) reminded its listeners that last year government had made similar claims of projected good harvests only for it to make a surprising U-turn later and approach the UN for aid.

The station (12/5) also quoted Harare-based independent agro-economist Roger Mupande watering down government’s bumper harvest predictions as “surprising” since the current season had been impacted negatively by late rain, under-utilization of resettled farms and shortages of equipment and inputs.

Mupande noted that the projections would have been more authentic “if other agencies like FAO and WFP were allowed to assess the crop situation”, the results of which would then be fed into the SADC Early Warning Food Systems.

SW Radio Africa (11/5), Studio 7 (13/5), The Zimbabwe Independent and The Sunday Mirror (16/5) also cited other farming experts, as revising government’s maize output forecasts for the year from the estimated 2.4 million tonnes to between 600 000 and 900,000 tonnes.

The Independent quoted the UN as describing the projected harvest as an “impossibly big figure” and a “complete nonsense”.

Meanwhile, SW Radio Africa (12/5), revealed that government was working on a tobacco-for-maize deal with an unnamed American bank, to ship maize over to Zimbabwe, package it in GMB sacks and then claim it as local produce.

Likewise, Studio 7 (13/5) and the Independent reported that government was clandestinely importing maize from Zambia and storing it in Mashonaland West GMB silos.

However, Studio 7 also quoted Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union’s Silas Hungwe denying the allegations saying, “the government has never imported maize from Zambia”.



The MEDIA UPDATE was produced and circulated by the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe, 15 Duthie Avenue, Alexandra Park, Harare, Tel/fax: 263 4 703702, E-mail:


Feel free to write to MMPZ. We may not able to respond to everything but we will look at each message.  For previous MMPZ reports, and more information about the Project, please visit our website at

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Times of Oman

      SA unwilling to play Zimbabwe

      JOHANNESBURG - South Africa would be unwilling to play against a
weakened Zimbabwe team next year, according to United Cricket Board
president Ray Mali.

      Mali said yesterday's decision to postpone the two-Test series between
Australia and Zimbabwe, scheduled to begin today, was "very much in line
with our thinking".

      He said the UCB would be making every effort to ensure the home series
against their neighbours, set for February 2005, would be competitive.

      "We would not like to play against a very inferior Zimbabwe team and
so we will be doing everything possible to assist them in the development of
a top-class side," Mali said. Zimbabwe's team has been decimated by a
dispute between 15 rebel players, who walked out after Heath Streak was
sacked as captain. - Reuters

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Times of Oman

      ICC chief welcomes putting off of Australia, Zimbabwe Test series

      LONDON - The International Cricket Council (ICC) welcomed the Zimbabwe
Cricket Union (ZCU) decision to postpone the two Test matches against

      ICC President Ehsan Mani said the decision would help ensure the
integrity of Test cricket and did not threaten Zimbabwe's Test status
although that could be discussed at the ICC meetings at the end of June in

      "I am pleased that the ZCU and Cricket Australia (CA) have agreed to
postpone these two matches to a date yet to be fixed. This course of action
was first suggested by the ICC two weeks ago and protects the integrity of
Test cricket," he said in a statement.

      "Over recent days all ICC Full Members have worked hard behind the
scenes to help find a resolution and their work is appreciated. The ZCU has
now revisited the proposal to postpone this series and this decision will be
positively received throughout the international cricket family." - AFP

Back to the Top
Back to Index


Zim rearrests journos for mine murder story

      May 21 2004 at 06:18PM

By Stella Mapenzauswa

Harare - Zimbabwean police rearrested and charged two journalists on Friday
over a story accusing senior government officials of plotting the murder of
a mine executive.

The weekly Standard's editor Bornwell Chakaodza and reporter Valentine
Maponga appeared in court under tough laws prohibiting publication of false
statements prejudicial to the state.

Police first detained them on Wednesday after the Sunday paper reported that
the family of Leonard Chimimba, late chief executive of Zimbabwe's leading
nickel producer Bindura, had accused senior government officials of plotting
his fatal shooting last week.

      Chimimba died of a gunshot wound to the back of his head
The men were released without charge after a few hours on Wednesday when
police said they wanted to interview more people.

The charge sheet against them on Friday said the Standard "lied in their
story that the story had been based on the views given by a named relative
of the diseased but whom they had never approached nor interviewed to
substantiate the story".

"The two accused persons negligently published their paper with the
intention of inciting or promoting public disorder or public violence," it

Police say Chimimba died of a gunshot wound to the back of his head after he
was found lying in a pool of blood next to his vehicle outside his Harare
home. A man has since been arrested in connection with what police say was
an attempted hijacking.

Some local newspapers have linked Chimimba's death to the disappearance
earlier this year of a large Bindura consignment of nickel and platinum en
route to South Africa.

"(The Standard story) implied that the government was covering up and
eliminating people who had evidence to the theft," the state said in its

Because of Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation and sliding dollar the potential Z$100
000 fine they face is worth just $18.75 (about R140).

But a conviction would lend credence to the government's charge that private
media have spearheaded a Western-backed campaign against it over its seizure
of white-owned land.

Chakaodza and Maponga were not asked to plead and Harare magistrate Sukai
Tongogara granted them Z$50 000 bail and ordered them to return to court on
June 8.

Bindura, which produces nickel, copper and cobalt, operates Trojan mine in
Bindura town, 80km north-east of Harare, as well as another mine, a smelter
and a refinery.

Police have arrested several Standard staffers in the last two years, mainly
under harsh media and security laws critics say are aimed at muzzling
critics of Mugabe's government.

The government says the laws are needed to restoring professionalism in
journalism as it faces a barrage of criticism from home and abroad over
policies like the seizure of white-owned farms and Mugabe's controversial
2002 re-election.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Sporting Life

International Cricket Council chief executive Malcolm Speed recommended on
Friday that England delay a decision over their autumn tour of Zimbabwe
until after next month's ICC meeting.

The postponement of Zimbabwe's two-Test series against Australia earlier
today has placed England's trip to the troubled African nation in further

The England and Wales Cricket Board are due to meet on June 8 to discuss the
future of a tour which has been heavily criticised by opponents of Robert
Mugabe's despotic regime.

But Speed suggests the ECB halt their discussions until the end of June when
the ICC are scheduled to hold a series of meetings with the Zimbabwe issue
at the top of the agenda.

"The ECB are better off waiting to see what happens when we meet next month
before making a decision," Speed said.

"The debate over whether England should complete this tour began very early
and there were always going to be many twists and turns."

It has been suggested that the ongoing crisis in Zimbabwean cricket could
lead to a suspension from the international game but Speed insisted that
such a drastic course of action was not under consideration.

He also played down fears of England being hit with the same punishment
should they decide not to proceed with the tour to Zimbabwe.

"The suggestions of a year's ban for England popped up some time ago," he

"Suspension of a Test-playing nation can only occur if a majority of ICC
directors vote for it - we're not even close to that.

"No-one is contemplating England's suspension. Any country can be suspended
if they're in breach of regulations but suspension for England or Zimbabwe
is not an idea on the ICC's agenda."

It had been expected that an ICC vote would be instigated after a lunchtime
teleconference was called to discuss whether the matches between Zimbabwe
and Australia should be accorded Test status.

The Zimbabwe Cricket Union however decided overnight to act and offer to
defer the Test series as previously suggested by the ICC.

Zimbabwe, weakened by the loss of 15 players due to a dispute between them
and the board, were heavily beaten in their recent Test series against Sri

It was feared that their forthcoming series against the all-conquering
Australians would be a huge mismatch that would tarnish the international

ICC president Ehsan Mani said: "The ZCU have made the correct decision. It
is important to protect the integrity of Test cricket.

"The ZCU were aware of our fears and this affected their decision on whether
the series should go ahead.

"We were concerned over what might happen against Australia after seeing the
recent series against Sri Lanka. It was only right that we stepped in at
this stage."

Although the Test series has been put on indefinite hold, the three one-day
matches against Australia will still go ahead and Mani outlined the reasons
for this.

"One-day cricket is different to Test matches," he said. "Zimbabwe's
performances in the one-dayers against Sri Lanka were not so bad.

"By keeping these games the younger players will receive exposure to
international cricket."
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe opposition blame police over mob attack

By Stella Mapenzauswa
3:48 a.m. May 21, 2004

HARARE - Zimbabwe's main opposition accused police on Friday of standing
aside as ruling party supporters attacked its office after a parliamentary
debate over government seizures of white-owned farms.

Supporters of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF smashed the entrance to the
headquarters of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) on Thursday in a
protest against the MDC's Roy Bennett, who was involved in a scuffle during
the debate.

Riot police cordoned off the entrance to the building, and kept watch as the
angry crowd of about 2,000 Mugabe supporters sang revolutionary songs and
waved placards denouncing Bennett.

In a statement on Friday, MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi said the episode
occurred "in full view of the police who in fact protected (the protesters)
and watched in glee as they carried out the destruction."

"The police did not arrest a single individual of this group. After the
completion of their destruction, the police escorted them back to their
office," he said.

Nyathi added that the police "instead arrested MDC members of staff and some
activists who were in the building."

The MDC has apologised for Bennett's scuffle with Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa, but said the white lawmaker had responded to racial slurs and
extreme provocation over the government's seizure of his farm under a
programme to confiscate white-owned land for redistribution to landless

Formed in 1999, the MDC came close to winning nearly half the 120 contested
seats in 2000 parliamentary polls held against the background of an economic
crisis widely blamed on government mismanagement. The opposition says it
would have won were it not for a violent ZANU-PF campaign against its

The MDC and several Western countries say Mugabe rigged 2002 presidential
elections to win another six-year term in office.

But Mugabe, who says the MDC is a puppet of former colonial power Britain,
insists he won fairly.

Mugabe denies charges that his rule has caused an economic meltdown with
soaring inflation and unemployment, as well as persistent shortages of
foreign currency.

The veteran leader, in power since independence in 1980, blames the ruin on
sabotage by local and foreign opponents of his forcible redistribution of
formerly white-owned commercial farms.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

All-rounder driven into retirement
By Victoria Laurie
May 22, 2004

WITH a letter clasped in his hand, and his father by his side, 21-year-old
Sean Ervine walked into the Zimbabwe Cricket Union headquarters last week,
past the historic Harare Sports Club ground where the first Test against
Australia was scheduled to begin today.

Inside the club, Ervine handed his letter of retirement to ZCU chief
executive Vince Hogg. It was a curious threesome: the head of a
disintegrating cricket fraternity; the father who had played cricket
alongside his friend Hogg for the former Rhodesia; and a son about to kiss
goodbye to his career in Zimbabwe cricket.

"I think (Hogg) was expecting it," Ervine said. "He said 'that's fine', and
ran it through the lawyer. I walked out and I felt much better. I felt like
I had been released."

Within 24 hours of resigning, Ervine boarded a plane for Perth to start a
new life with girlfriend of 14 months Melissa Marsh, whose father Geoff, a
former Australia opening batsman and current Zimbabwe coach, will also leave
the troubled African nation when his contract ends in September.

Ervine met Melissa on four previous visits to Australia; in recent days, her
emails urged him to make a one-way trip. "Maybe it's time to move on with
your life," she wrote.

But Ervine's exit is less about love than the crisis engulfing Zimbabwe
cricket. Zimbabwe last night faced the looming threat of being stripped of
its Test country status by the International Cricket Council.

The more experienced -- and mainly white -- players have been locked in a
stand-off with the ZCU over political interference in player selection and
the promotion of black players they say are not ready.

A week ago, Ervine became the first rebel player to quit. A year ago, he was
dropped from the team "for a guy of colour to come in" for a World Cup match
against Kenya.

"I felt devastated," Ervine said. "I just thought that with my performance
they'd at least give me a chance to play, but they didn't."

It was a reasonable assumption. Ervine had just shared a dazzling
partnership with Heath Streak in which they made a world record of 63 runs
in three overs during Zimbabwe's World Cup match with New Zealand.

"I actually thought of leaving (Zimbabwe) then, of starting afresh somewhere
else," he said. "I phoned my folks that night and told them. They said 'hang
in there', so I did."

He played 42 one-day internationals and five Tests, and the talented
all-rounder looked set to fill the void left by exiting top-shelf players
Andy Flower and Murray Goodwin.

In February in Adelaide, with four black players in the team, Ervine felt
team morale was still strong. So was his; he scored his first century in
international cricket.

"It was probably my proudest moment because Andy Flower was watching."

But after that, Ervine sensed Zimbabwe's morale was slipping. "We played
Bangladesh in March, my fourth and fifth Test matches, and I got 86 and 76,"
he recalls proudly.

"But that's where the problems started -- because it was Bangladesh, they
put the weaker guys in the team to give them experience."

Zimbabwe lost two of three games "and we shouldn't have lost any", Ervine

Fifteen players, including Ervine, tabled grievances that included
disruptive tactics by a few zealous ZCU board members who threatened to
sabotage cricket pitches if black players missed selection.

"We thought we had to stick together and fight this out," Ervine said.
"Heath said 'if you don't sort these things out, I'll resign'. Basically
they fired him and they didn't want to act on our recommendations."

Things got worse. In the recent Test series against Sri Lanka, one of the
most one-sided in cricket history, an almost all-black team was destroyed
after the rebel players were sidelined.

Ervine signalled his intention to pull the pin just before the Test series
against Sri Lanka. Other players protested. "But I said 'guys, I've got my
life to carry on with and it's getting too much for me'."

This time, Ervine's parents, who run the farming side of a rural orphanage
for 90 children, gave their blessing. "Dad knew there was no future for me
in Zimbabwe," he said.

The Australian
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Mozambique And Zimbabwe Abolish Diplomatic Visas

Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (Maputo)

May 21, 2004
Posted to the web May 21, 2004


Mozambique and Zimbabwe have agreed to abolish definitively visas between
the two countries for holders of diplomatic passports. People living in the
border areas will also be allowed to cross from one country into the other
without visa formalities.

According to a report in Friday's issue of the Maputo daily "Noticias", a
document to that effect was signed in the northern Mozambican city of Pemba,
between Miguel dos Santos, and Augustine Xihure, the general police
commanders of Mozambique and Zimbabwe respectively, on Thursday.

Mozambican Interior Ministry spokesperson Nataniel Macamo said that the two
parties also agreed to put an end to the tension along the common border,
where shooting by Zimbabwean troops has been often reported, resulting in
the death of some Mozambican citizens.

"Because the two countries concluded that there are good cooperation
relations, it was decided to encourage and strengthen the exchange of
experiences, and to work to sort out any differences. Thus, measures will be
taken in both countries giving clear instructions to punish any
misbehaviour", he said.

The disturbances, occurring particularly in the area of Kuchamano, on the
border between Zimbabwe and the western Mozambican province of Tete, are
started by the Zimbabweans.

The border in that area, on the Zimbabwean side, is garrisoned by a military
unit, while Mozambique entrusted border security to the police.

Macamo explained that land conflicts between the population on both sides
arise because of the lack of fencing along parts of the 4,212 kilometre long
border, in both Tete and Manica provinces. Zimbabweans, coveting the fertile
land on the Mozambican side, sometimes farm illegally within Mozambican

Macamo said that the best way to solve such situations is not to resort to
violence, but to seek ways of living together peacefully.

Macamo said that the police in both countries have submitted a formal
request for the relevant authorities to demarcate the border.

For his part, dos Santos said that to facilitate circulation of people and
goods between the two countries, it was decided to provide better equipment
to the simplified border posts, particularly to cater for the people living
near the border, and also to strengthen joint patrols, in order to
neutralise any cross border contraband.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Misa-Zimbabwe Re-Launches Community Radio Initiatives in Mutare And Masvingo

Media Institute of Southern Africa (Windhoek)

May 21, 2004
Posted to the web May 21, 2004

On May 14 and 15 2004, the Media Institute of Southern Africa
(MISA)-Zimbabwe's Advocacy Department re-launched its community radio
broadcasting initiatives in Mutare and Masvingo.

The aim of the project is to engage communities in these cities to develop
community radio station programmes. The launch also saw the stakeholders
nominating interim committees to spearhead the initiatives until March 2005.

Present at the Mutare launch were representatives of non-governmental
organisations, religious leaders, media practitioners, media lawyers, the
business community, members of the city council, the public and police.

In a speech read on his behalf, Mutare Mayor Misheck Kaugurabadza, expressed
gratitude for the role to be played by the proposed radio stations which he
said, if realized, would positively enhance the life of the community by
educating, entertaining and informing the residents of the city.

"Mutare city council has taken cognizance of the fact that residents should
not only be consulted but should also participate and contribute in all
civic matters in a bid to enhance transparency, accountability and social
responsibility. In this regard, Council has come up with an advisory
committee for the city, which is made up of its key stakeholders in the
furtherance of its purpose of existence, goals, objectives, strategic vision
and mission. It is through the establishment of the proposed community radio
station that the information on developmental matters will be disseminated
to residents of the city," said the mayor.

Mayor Kagurabadza said the proposal was a welcome development to the council
as it would provide a ready and accessible channel of communication with and
amongst residents of Mutare.

At the launch of the Masvingo initiative that was also attended by members
of the civic society, the Mayor of Masvingo Mr. Alois Chaimiti urged all
stakeholders in Masvingo to support the initiative that is going to focus on
strengthening developmental processes while serving interests of the

"Zimbabwe permits community radio stations under the Broadcasting Services
Act, (BSA), although it has not as yet issued an announcement for community
radio license applications. There will be need for aspiring community
broadcasters to be informed of any regulations and procedures that will
enable them to broadcast," he said

He urged MISA-Zimbabwe to facilitate the formation of the radio stations by
providing financial and technical support.

Facilitating the launch of both initiatives, the Acting Advocacy Officer for
MISA-Zimbabwe Wilbert Mandinde said it was the responsibility of the
respective communities to propound ways in which they could lobby for the
introduction of radio stations in the community. He pledged MISA-Zimbabwe's
support at every stage in the formulation of ways of enhancing the community
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Mercenary Sting Backfires On SA

Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg)

May 14, 2004
Posted to the web May 21, 2004

Jean-Jacques Cornish

By participating in an elaborate sting operation involving dozens of its
citizens, the South African government was seeking to ram home the message
that the country is no longer a breeding ground for mercenaries.

Instead it has created a rod for its back, as two of the more odious regimes
in Africa play fast and loose with the legal mores that underpin the South
African Constitution.

The South African government believed it knew what the planeload of
militarily trained men were up to when they left Polokwane airport on March
7. Hours later the men, those waiting to meet them at the airport in
Zimbabwe and the flight crew - numbering 70 in all, each with a South
African passport - were locked in Chikurubi maximum security prison,
suspected of plotting to overthrow the unsteady regime of Teodoro Obiang
Nguema in Equatorial Guinea.

The suspicion was based on information from Pretoria; then-intelligence
minister Lindiwe Sisulu admitted as much a few days after their arrest. She
hailed the collaborative efforts of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Equatorial
Guinea in foiling the recruitment of mercenaries who had done so much damage
on the continent.

The sting, however, has been compromised by Nguema's admission that he is
incapable of conducting a fair trial of the 13 men he is holding on similar
charges. He has officially requested South African assistance in making the
case against those suspects - but in his customary contrary way, he has
withheld adequate consular access to the men by South African officials from
Pretoria and the embassy in Gabon.

Still, it is Zimbabwe, once again, that is making the most ofits neighbour's
inability to protect its citizens when they get into trouble in other

Unable to substantiate charges more serious than infringement of aviation
and immigration laws against the 70 men it is holding, the Zimbabwe
government is now seriously weighing up extraditing them to Equatorial
Guinea. No such legal niceties prevail in Equatorial Guinea, where Nguema
came to power by murdering his uncle and has habitually used alleged coups
as a pretext for thinning out his opposition.

Days after the arrest of the 70 men, Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
said the suspects would face the might of the law in Zimbabwe and Equatorial
Guinea and would then have the book thrown at them when they came home.

She said they could expect no more than a no-frills consular service. But
providing even that has proved problematic. This week, for example, the
South African embassy staff in Harare has been able to see only seven of the
70 men individually. It has based its assurances that they are well on
observations at their trial, which is being conducted in the prison. The men
made another appearance there on Wednesday.

But having its citizens facing the death penalty has now concentrated the
South African government's mind.

This week Deputy Minister of Foreign Aziz Pahad said the suspects were being
treated like any South Africans in distress abroad. In addition to consular
access, this would entail demanding a fair trial for them in accordance with
international law.

He made it clear South Africa is not about to accede to the demands by the
suspects' families that they be expatriated for trial in South Africa. But
he indicated that the government would be obliged to get involved if they
were sentenced to death.

Even then, however, this would be limited to using its persuasive powers
with countries whose leaders have not shown a predilection for taking

The South African Human Rights Commission got involved in the issue this
week, reminding the government of its duty towards its citizens detained
abroad. As the sting operation goes increasingly from bad to worse, the
government can expect this point to be driven home repeatedly.

On Wednesday Harare Magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe rejected a defence motion
to free the 70 suspects, saying there was reasonable suspicion against the
men. He ordered them remanded to custody until their next appearance on May
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Moyo Under Attack

Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg)

May 15, 2004
Posted to the web May 21, 2004

Vincent Kahiya

May, so far, has not been a particulary good month for Zimbabwean Minister
of Information Jonathan Moyo.

Last week Moyo was jeered in Maputo at the headquarters of the Mozambican
Journalists Union (SNJ) by a group of journalists who prevented him from
addressing a press conference.

Earlier in the week the petulant minister was also the subject of a veiled
attack by the small Zimbabwean Tribune newspaper. The paper's publisher,
Kindness Paradza, is a Zanu-PF MP.

Moyo's Department of Information and Publicity two weeks ago attacked
Paradza's maiden speech in Parliament, describing the MP's contribution as

Paradza's crime, it appears, was to criticise on Zimbabwe's media laws,
which he said did not promote investment in the industry. A former
journalist, he has since been suspended by the provincial executive of his
party on charges of denigrating party policy.

As Zimbabweans read the uncharacteristic attack on Moyo by Paradza, the
minister was receiving similar treatment in Mozambique.

Reports from Maputo said protesting journalists accused Moyo of trying to
address a meeting "in the victims' house" - a reference to the imprisonment
of journalists and lack of press freedom in Zimbabwe.

The protesters carried banners reading "A snake is always a snake, wherever
it is" and "Moyo, go away, you are not welcome here". They protested loudly
against the closure of newspapers in Zimbabwe.

Moyo, who was on an official visit to the Mozambican capital, was not
prepared for such antagonism. He had enjoyed cordial talks with Mozambican
government officials, and visited various media institutions such as the
Mozambique News Agency and Radio Mozambique.

The reports said he remained in the room, hoping the protesters would
eventually calm down. However, he finally had to leave without speaking.

Hilário Matusse, general secretary of the union of journalists, expressed
surprise at the demonstration because he was "fully convinced that the press
conference was in the interest of all journalists".

Moyo returned from Maputo to be greeted by invective directed at him by the
usually demure Tribune in an article titled "Paradza back in town".

Paradza was responding to allegations published in the state media that he
was planning to team up with exiled Zimbabwean businessman Strive Masiyiwa -
a major shareholder of the closed Daily News - to run the Tribune newspaper.

The state media also alleged that he would get money from the Britain for
the venture, and to obtain the funds he had to attack the government.

Paradza was abroad when the allegations were made. This week he confirmed
that he was suing the publishers of The Herald newspaper and Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Holdings, which owns the television and radio company Newsnet.

While the article did not name Moyo specifically, Paradza's comments left
little to the imagination. He also made a veiled attack a senior party
official in Mashonaland West.

"I know the two elements that tried to destroy me," he said. They should be
ashamed of what they did.

"Actually after this unprecedented onslaught on my person, I have emerged
stronger than ever before.

"The good thing is that the whole nation knows that these elements have no
morals. Both of them joined Zanu-PF in 2000 and their past smells like
rotten eggs."

He said the party leadership should take action against the "unscrupulous
characters who want to destroy the party from within by peddling

He added: "If they can abuse the state media and spread a lie like this, how
much other false information have they told the party leadership, let alone
the president?

"It is not surprising, because one of them is a former Rhodesian police
reservist who used to kill freedom fighters during the liberation war, while
the other worked for an imperialist organisation with direct links to the
American spy agency, the Central Intelligence Agency."

Moyo worked for the Ford Foundation, a US think-tank, before joining Zanu-PF
in 2000 when he was first appointed to the Constitutional Commission.

Vincent Kayiha is the news editor of the Zimbabwe Independent
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Herald

Urbanites battle to tame rising crime

By Sifelani Tsiko
INSECURITY and a rising crime rate are now forcing the city's well-heeled
residents to barricade roads leading to their upmarket homes in a growing
trend that reflects staggering security challenges ahead.

Already, fear of crime has prompted Zimbabwe's top sporting personalities,
soccer player Norman Mapeza, golfer Nick Price and tennis player Byron Black
to barricade a road leading to their sprawling homes to keep out hijackers,
burglars and other criminals.

Along Folyjon Crescent lined with mansions on some vast and spacious acres
of land swimming pools, tennis courts, well kept lash green lawns and trees
all punctuate the scenic view of this unique spot in Glen Lorne.

But fear of crime behind the affluent homes has seen a new phenomenon in the

Booms manned by security guards seal off this area in a feat that has seen
the city's super rich making "unofficial road closures" in a number of other
affluent northern suburbs.

Security specialists say crime is the main reason why people may want to
seal themselves off, a phenomenon that was previously identified with South
Africa, which has one of the highest crime rates in the world.

"There is huge demand for security services in the country due to rising
crime," says Mr Victor Chitongo, the managing director of Chitkem Security
and chairman of the Zimbabwe Indigenous National Security Association.

"Everyday you have 12 to 15 people making serious inquiries about safety and
home security."

Armed robberies and carjackings are on the rise and a number of people have
been killed by criminals inside or closer to their homes in recent months.

Last week, Bindura Nickel Mine chief executive Dr Leonard Chimimba was shot
dead by carjackers outside his Hogerty Hill home, in a case that has sent
shockwaves down the spines of top executives and other rich people in the

The carjackers failed to steal Dr Chimimba's Toyota V6 vehicle because the
car had an anti-hijack system.

One of the suspects in this case has since been arrested.

In February, a prominent architect Andy van de Ruit was killed by robbers
who broke into his Hogerty Hill home in a spate of armed robberies that has
seen many people in the affluent suburbs losing property and cash running
into millions of dollars.

A total of 76 incidents were reported to the Anti-Hijack Trust last year
while the police recorded 372 cases of armed robberies in Harare, 259 in
Bulawayo, 106 in Mashonaland East, 160 in Mashonaland West and 58 cases in
Manicaland over the same period.

Killings of policemen and those of security guards are also on the rise.

Last week, two policemen were killed at a roadblock near Mukumbura Border

Mr Chitongo says a number of security guards have been killed or injured on

"Robbers have become very daring," he says.

"I don't have figures but this (security guard attacks) is certainly on the

Safety and home security is now a major priority for many people who are
weary of robberies which has seen most losing electronic gadgets like DVDs,
television sets, radios, VCRs, cars, jewelry, cash and other assets.

In most high-density neighbourhoods, street alleyways popularly known as
"maSandlines" or "mukoto" have been closed to keep out burglars and other

Durawalls with broken glass spikes are now common in these areas just like
the rich have them with razor wire and spikes in the affluent northern

For those who can afford, new security devices like anti-hijack systems for
cars, motion sensors, high-tech alarms and many others are fast becoming
popular as communities grapple to find effective anti-crime barriers.

Finding the right anti-crime security measures is a problem worldwide.

Security experts say there is a sharp growth of "gated communities" in many
countries particularly in countries with high social and income inequalities
like the United States, Brazil and South Africa.

Burglar bars on windows and doors, they say, have almost turned homes into
prison for many people fighting against rising crime.

"We have burglar bars on our house, but thieves are still daring," says Mrs
Emily Mabandla of Belvedere.

"They have broken into my house many times and honestly I don't know what to
do next."

She says boom gates can be a useful anti-crime barrier even though this is
not legal.

"The city council can say this is illegal but what has it done to protect
residents from robbers?" she says.

"Right now my children have no TV to watch. We have to do all we can as a
community to protect our assets from burglars."

But critics say sealing off suburbs is not a plausible solution in the fight
against crime.

They charge that it may promote racism or elitism as a certain group may
cluster on its on away from the rest of the population.

Restrictions, routine questioning of visitors and pedestrians has some
colonial attachments which critics say resemble the harsh pass laws, which
existed during the Ian Smith regime era.

"I don't think its anything to do with elitism or racism," says one
Borrowdale Brook resident.

"Criminals have become sophisticated and daring. People feel they have to
protect whatever they have got from thieves.

"These are hard times and when thieves steal your TV set where will you get
$2 million for a simple basic TV set?

Others suggest that boom gates simply divert crime to other areas.

Daring criminals are often lured to affluent sections of Harare where they
believe they can steal valuable items unlike in high-density suburbs where
the risk of death is high given the propensity for people to mete out
instant justice.

Some people are now taking dogs inside to keep out burglars as there is now
a growing tendency to poison them when outside as a way of clearing the way
for them to break in.

But finding the right anti-crime barriers could be as tough as coping with
HIV and Aids pandemic which has no easy answers until now.

It points to the price that humanity has to pay for urbanisation.

And, people in so-called modern societies pacing around nervously in their
heavily fortified homes have no easy answers to crime.

They only have to marvel about how pre-colonial African communal societies
managed to live without the police, boom gates, security guards and other
sophisticated crime fighting devices.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Herald

Sky News holds interview with President

Herald Reporter
A Sky News crew yesterday held an interview with President Mugabe as per the
standing agreement between the Government and the Sky News.

In a statement yesterday, the Department of Information and Publicity in the
Office of the President and Cabinet said the Sky News crew held an
hour-and-half long interview with the President at Zimbabwe House.

"The interview with the President which is expected to be flighted on Sky
News on Monday 24th May, 2004, was pre- ceded by a series of articles on
Zimbabwe already broadcast, arising from impressions the crew had from its
extensive tour of the country and contacts with a cross-section of
Zimbabweans, in- cluding those in opposition," read the statement
Back to the Top
Back to Index


      Australian Players Asked to Back Zimbabwe Rebels With Boycott
      May 21 (Bloomberg) -- The international cricketers' union is asking
Australian players to boycott three one-day international matches in
Zimbabwe next week in support of 14 rebel Zimbabwean players who were fired

      The Zimbabwe Cricket Union, which has been in dispute for seven weeks
with its senior players, today agreed with Cricket Australia Chairman Bob
Merriman to scrap two Tests and go ahead with the three-match one-day

      The rebels, predominantly white and led by former captain Heath
Streak, are demanding changes to the ZCU's selection process and accuse the
board of racism and corruption. Cricket Australia's compromise has
undermined their position, according to the players' union. The Zimbabwe
board terminated the players' contracts this morning for the second time in
two weeks and ordered them to return their sponsored cars.

      ``Bob Merriman has robbed us all,'' Richard Bevan, board member of the
Federation of International Cricketers Association, told reporters in
London. ``Those Zimbabwe players were about to take to the table with the
ZCU to discuss resolving the issue.''

      The group originally numbered 15. Sean Ervine, one of the dissenters,
has since retired from internationals aged 21.

      The compromise angered Australian players because they'd hoped that a
teleconference between International Cricket Council executives would help
improve matters for the Zimbabweans, Bevan said. The agreement to cancel the
two Tests removed the need for the ICC to discuss whether to downgrade the
matches to unofficial status.

      Not Happy

      ``People are accepting that the Zimbabwe rebels are not playing but we
are not happy with that and neither are a lot of players around the world,''
Bevan said.

      Bevan said he's spoken to FICA chief executive and former Australia
player Tim May about six times today and has received ``about eight calls''
from rebel Zimbabwe players, mostly Streak. May is in discussions with
Matthew Hayden, Australia's team representative.

      Should the Australian players decide on a boycott, they'd be breaking
their contracts with their employer, Cricket Australia, which has agreed to
honor the one-day internationals.

      ``We would be very surprised if the players did not fulfill the
matches as they have a very healthy relationship with their cricket board,''
ICC spokesman Brendan McClements said in an interview.

      The one-day matches are scheduled for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
next week.


      The ICC arranged the teleconference amid concern for the integrity of
Test cricket because Zimbabwe fielded an understrength team and suffered
heavy defeats. In the striking players' absence, Zimbabwe conceded 713-3
against Sri Lanka in last week's Test match and was dismissed for a world
record low 35 against the same opposition in a one-day match.

      The ICC will debate the issue further at its annual executive board
summit next month.

      Suspending Zimbabwe from the ICC, on the grounds it is unable to field
a team strong enough to compete at elite level, is not ``on the cards,''
said Ehsan Mani, the ICC's president.

      England, scheduled to tour Zimbabwe in November, should wait until
after the ICC's June meeting before making a decision on whether it will
fulfill its commitments, ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed said.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Richard Sydenham at Lord's  at

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
James Ludden in London at
Last Updated: May 21, 2004 13:26 EDT
Back to the Top
Back to Index