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

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      Mugabe's mansion now a 'shoot-and-kill' area

            May 02 2004 at 10:58AM

            By Basildon Peta

      Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has designated the area around which
he is building his private multimillion 25-bedroomed mansion a "protected
area" as he faces calls to disclose the source of foreign currency for
exclusive imported materials being used at the mammoth project.

      The designation of the area as "protected area" means access is now
severely restricted and anyone who strays or is caught taking photographs
might land in hot water.

      The police can now legally shoot and kill anyone who strays into the
area without authority as has been done at Mugabe's official residence,
Zimbabwe House, where several motorists have been shot and killed over the

      Mugabe's private mansion in the suburb of Helensvale, near Borrowdale,
has been under construction for the past five years and is now expected to
cost more than US$25-million (about R) on completion.

      Apart from bricks, gravel and cement which have been sourced locally,
sources say everything else
      at the property, particularly all the interior finishings and roofing
materials have been imported from China and Europe.

      The house is being built mainly by a Yugoslav company, Energo Project,
though some work is subcontracted to other companies.

      The project also involves the construction of two sizeable dams around
the mansion and extensive landscaping work.

      Mugabe is now facing calls to disclose where he has been getting the
foreign currency to purchase all the imported materials for his house
particularly after the arrest of his finance minister, Christopher Kuruneri.

      Kuruneri is in jail after being arrested for illegally exporting
foreign currency to South Africa where he is reportedly building a
R30-million mansion in Cape Town.

      Zimbabwe is mired in its worst foreign currency crisis after the
collapse of the tobacco farming sector in the wake of Mugabe's land

      The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has therefore imposed stringent rules to
prioritise the use of scarce foreign currency to importing fuel and

      A spokesman for the anti-corruption watchdog, Transparency
International (Zimbabwe Chapter) said in view of that background, it becomes
"absolutely essential" for Mugabe to disclose where and how he has been
getting foreign currency to pay for all imports for his private mansion.

      Scores of manufacturing companies have folded due to lack of foreign
currency to meet essential imports.

      Kuruneri claimed that he got his money to pay for his Cape Town
mansion from consultancy work.

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The Guardian

ECB need government lead - Ancram
Press Association
Sunday May 2, 2004 7:17 PM

Shadow foreign secretary Michael Ancram has called on the government to
provide a clear statement that they are opposed to England touring Zimbabwe
this autumn.

England and Wales Cricket Board bosses are facing up to the fact that they
will have to fulfil their obligations or face fines, a potential suspension
from the International Cricket Council and subsequent loss of revenue while

They meet with foreign secretary Jack Straw on Thursday to discuss the
situation further.

And Ancram insists a formal letter expressing the government's displeasure
at the national side playing in a country gripped by Robert Mugabe's
abhorrent regime will aid England's hopes of missing the tour.

"What I would like to hear and what the ECB would like to hear is a clear
statement from Jack Straw that this tour should not go ahead," Ancram told
Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme.

"He cannot ban it but he can make it absolutely clear that it is the
government's view that it would be wrong for this tour to proceed.

"What we need now is a clear statement which the ECB can then take to the
ICC and say 'the government does not want us to go'."

Ancram visited Zimbabwe last year and believes a strong stance by England
will emphasise the atrocities in the African country.

"It will certainly give a signal that we are not turning our backs on what
is happening," Ancram added.

"When I was last there the message was 'don't let the rest of the world
forget what is going on here'. It's totally unacceptable to give any comfort
to a dictator who is, essentially, carrying out ethnic cleansing in his own
country, using starvation as a political weapon and literally destroying the
rule of law."

© Copyright Press Association Ltd 2004, All Rights Reserved.
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Zim journos 'face crackdown'
02/05/2004 19:48  - (SA)

Harare - Journalists in Zimbabwe still risk arrest and imprisonment if they
publish anything the government deems untrue or unfairly critical, with no
sign of a let-up in a two-year-old crackdown on the media.

Despite repeated calls for a review of the tough media laws that came into
force in 2002, local journalists say there is little hope that the
regulations will be changed under President Robert Mugabe.

"In the last 12 months we have seen the crackdown on the media being
intensified and taken to new heights," said Abel Mutsakani, president of the
Independent Journalists Association of Zimbabwe (IJAZ).

"We saw a situation where the media has been brought under the control of
the central government," he said, referring to a recent court decision
upholding that the state had a right to demand that journalists and their
employers had to register before operating in the country.

Under Zimbabwe's media laws journalists and their employers need to be
licensed by a state-appointed commission, while the communication of false
information carries a fine or maximum five-year prison term under security

The IJAZ, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa-Zimbabwe), the
Zimbabwe Union of Journalists and the Media Monitoring project of Zimbabwe
said in a report to mark press freedom day Monday that more than 100 people
working in the media had been arrested under the media and security laws
since 2000.

"The past four years have seen some of the worst media and freedom of
expression violations being perpetrated on journalists," they said, adding
that the media environment in the troubled southern African state "can best
be described as anarchic", they added.

"Media practitioners face detention, arrest, imprisonment and even death,"
said Misa-Zimbabwe. "Working as a journalist or media practitioner
especially for the independent media, has become a hazardous if not
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Zimbabwe Mirror

Shamuyarira, Moyo stand-off ends
British Sky News to go ahead with Mugabe interview
Innocent Chofamba Sithole

THE bruising clash between Zanu PF information and publicity secretary,
Nathan Shamuyarira and his deputy, Jonathan Moyo has fizzled out following a
decision by the ruling party to allow the British Sky News crew to go ahead
with a planned documentary on the Zimbabwean situation.

Reliable sources told the Sunday Mirror that the embarrassing dislocation of
consensus between ruling party and government over the Sky News saga,
manifested in the apparent clash between Moyo and Shamuyarira, ended after
higher authorities in Zanu PF okayed the Sky News documentary.

On Thursday, Moyo, in his capacity as Minister of State for Information and
Publicity issued a hardline statement condemning the entry of the Sky News
crew into the country without fulfilling the country's stringent
accreditation laws. Moyo effectively asked the Sky News team to return to
"their country of origin" from where they would then seek permission to fly
back into the country for purposes of accreditation. "Failure to comply
would, quite naturally, trigger a decisive response from agencies whose duty
it is to uphold the rule of law in the country," he warned.

However, the Sunday Mirror understands that Moyo's radical national defence
line, expressed through his insistence upon the fulfillment of legal
requirements pertaining to accreditation of foreign journalists, came
against a background of numerous instructions from his party boss,
Shamuyarira, to make arrangements for the Sky News team's visit to the
country. Documents in the possession of this newspaper show that the Sky
News team's visit had been on the cards as far back as September last year.
The ruling party, swayed by the need to mount a formidable international
public relations campaign, mooted the idea of inviting Sky News to cover
both the December Zanu PF conference in Masvingo as well as such fundamental
issues as the country's national youth service programme and the land reform
exercise. Initially, Sky News had proposed to carry out live broadcasts,
including an interview with President Robert Mugabe. However, after
suggestions from Shamuyarira, on behalf of Zanu PF, the broadcaster agreed
to film a documentary, covering topics proposed by the ruling party,
including the presidential interview.

As recently as April 13, Adrian Wells, the head of foreign news at Sky News,
wrote to Shamuyarira accepting the conditions under which they would shoot
the documentary.

"We would be very keen to feature, as discussed, youth training camps;
resettled Zimbabwean farmers, key cabinet ministers, the governor of the
Reserve Bank (Gideon Gono), members of parliament in the parliament building
and other issues as relevant," Wells said.

The Sky News team, which was initially scheduled to start filming on April
26, could not do so, Wells said, since its top news team was currently
filming with American military forces in Afghanistan. Subsequently, Wells
suggested that the filming begin on May 3 (tomorrow).

Wells also welcomed the opportunity to discuss with Zanu PF how his team
could film or illustrate the economic situation obtaining in the country. He
was, however, still to be advised on a date for the interview with President
Mugabe. Letters from Shamuyarira to Moyo in our possession indicate that the
former frequently updated his party deputy on developments on the Sky News
visit. Contacted for comment on Friday, Shamuyarira was rather guarded, only
revealing that he had referred the matter to the party leadership. Moyo
yesterday switched off his phone after this writer identified himself to

Earlier on Thursday, information and publicity department secretary, George
Charamba had insisted that even though the Sky News trip had been arranged
by the ruling party, the department did not accept visiting journalists
through third parties. "All the party can do is to recommend them, otherwise
the obligation to seek accreditation lies with the journalists themselves,"
he said.

The Sky News advance team, comprising producer Ben Depear and cameraman
Martin Smith, who are staying at a Harare hotel, are scheduled to complete
their accreditation process tomorrow (Monday). A source close to the
beleaguered journalists on Thursday said Sky News had assumed that Zanu PF
had liaised with government on their accreditation and had not foreseen such
complications as emerged.

Sky News had also forwarded an outline of questions, which they intended to
pose to President Mugabe in their proposed interview. The 24 questions fall
under four broad categories, namely: economic crisis; land reform;
international community, and domestic opposition.
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Sunday Times (SA)

Press freedom in Africa declining: RSF

Monday May 03, 2004 07:03 - (SA)

PARIS - Reporters Without Borders said that journalists in Africa faced
worsening working conditions in 2003 and warned that the continent's
independent media were in the process of disappearing in several countries.

"2003 was not a very good year for press freedom in Africa," the
international press freedom advocate said in its annual report, released to
coincide with World Press Freedom Day.

Two journalists were killed in Ivory Coast and a third probably executed in
the Democratic Republic of Congo, RSF said, adding that many others had been

"Independent news media are becoming scarce throughout Africa and
journalists continue to flee with a heavy heart."

In Ivory Coast, ranked 140th of 193 countries for press freedom by the US
Freedom House organisation, Kloueu Gonzreu, a journalist working for the
Ivorian news agency AIP, was killed in a war zone and Jean Helene, a
correspondent for Radio France Internationale, was shot dead in Abidjan.

A Franco-Canadian journalist Guy-Andre Kieffer, the subject of violent
attacks in the government-supporting press because of his critical stance,
has not been seen since mid-April.

Independent press was an "endangered species," Reporters sans frontieres
(RSF) cautioned.

"Worrying examples include the closure of 'The Daily News' in Zimbabwe, the
closure of several news media in Gabon, the continuing ban on any
privately-owned press in Eritrea, the harassment of the only opposition
newspaper in Djibouti and the censorship that was temporarily imposed on
radio stations in Burundi and Chad."

The wars and intermittent fighting in some African countries played a major
role in this declining freedom and it is becoming more and more dangerous to
cover a war in Africa, RSF said.

Journalists must also "face the wrath of aging regimes clinging to power and
protective of their authority. They all balk at liberalisation, especially
when broadcasting is involved," it said.

Ten countries in sub-Saharan Africa have maintained a monopoly of radio and
television broadcasting.

Free expression also suffered serious setbacks in Mali, Niger and Senegal,
RSF said, listing expulsions and arrests of journalists and the closure of
several privately-owned radio stations in Niamey.

Significantly, for the first time since World War II, journalists were
convicted of inciting murder and violence in a high profile hate media case
at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which prosecutes the key
perpetrators of the 1994 genocide.

Three former leading journalists with Rwandan news media received sentences
ranging from 35 years to life imprisonment for "inciting genocide" in 1994,
when at least 800,000 people were slaughtered.

"It was hoped these sentences would be a warning to those who continue to
put out hate messages elsewhere in Africa," RSF said of the ruling by the
international tribunal.

But it noted that several newspapers in Ivory Coast "often cast oil on the
flames, stirring up hatred towards foreigners and pitting communities
against each other."

RSF highlighted Mozambique for the "exemplary" trial into the murder of
journalist Carlos Cardoso, which saw six people receive long jail sentences.

"The case is worthy of note, and should serve as a model for other African
countries to follow. It should also be a warning to the murderers of
journalists who are still at large in Angola, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast,
Nigeria and elsewhere that they, too, will one day have to answer for their
actions," RSF concluded.

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The Telegraph, Calcutta India

      Mbangwa sacked, reinstated
      Harare: Former Zimbabwe international Mpumulelo 'Pommy' Mbangwa,
covering the Sri Lankan tour as a commentator, was reportedly sacked and
reinstated by the chairman of the ZCU marketing committee Ozias Bvute.

      The incident occurred during the final ODI last Thursday.

      According to the terms of the ZCU contract with TV company Octagon,
Bvute has the power to fire commentators. Bvute told Mbangwa, according to
TV personnel present, that he took exception to the latter "criticising the
Zimbabwe team".

      Later that day, Mbangwa wanted his dismissal reconsidered and Bvute
relented, according to an Octagon senior staff. (AP)

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Rebel writes about board blackmail

Wisden Cricinfo staff

May 3, 2004

A Zimbabwean rebel player has alleged that Zimbabwe cricket officials
threatened to dig up the pitch for an international match if five black
players were not selected for the series against Sri Lanka. The player wrote
to an Australian friend last week, just as hopes for an end to the crisis
were raised.

The Sun-Herald reported that the player, who chose to be anonymous,
explained to Ross Barrat - the chief executive of Albion, a cricket apparel
company - that the rebels had made it a legal matter, and that a number of
them were considering moves to Sydney and Perth.

"Things have gone mad here. We've had non-stop meetings with these ... for
the last three weeks," the player said. "We're forcing them into
arbitration, which they don't like because they're so guilty. It's a
dangerous move, but we're doing it to try to save Zimbabwe cricket." He
added that he had "heard Heath Streak is Sydney-bound, but I'm not 100 per
cent sure".

However, the conflict appeared to be heading towards a resolution on Friday,
when four rebel players - including Streak - were selected to play for
Zimbabwe A in a four-day game against the Sri Lankans. Ray Price, Trevor
Gripper and Sean Ervine were the others.

© Wisden Cricinfo Ltd
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Business Day

Take a stand

I am horrified at the lack of outrage against Robert Mugabe in this country.
Business Day has been almost silent on the issue but prints columns such as
Christine Qunta's, Cheering crowd sees Mugabe as an African hero (April 30).
As far as I know from first-hand information and articles in other
newspapers, many people are starving to death in Zimbabwe.

How dare we sit back and pretend Zimbabwe is okay, that this man is a hero
didn't we recently throw out apartheid because it was an abusive system?

Is it okay, because this tyrant is black and he is doing it to black people,
to allow atrocities to continue?

Does his autocratic leadership look like democracy? Why are you not speaking
out? Where is your free thinking, your ethics, your stand on democracy and
where is your outrage at his repression of the media in Zimbabwe?

Ashley Berman

Highlands North
May 03 2004 07:42:20:000AM  Business Day 1st Edition
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The Star

      It was Ian Smith who fought for liberation
      May 3, 2004

      The Star's editorial April 21 2004, "Zim's new challenges" propagates
a rather odd view of Zimbabwe's history when it attempts to re-cast it as
struggle against British colonialism.

      Ian Smith in his autobiography Bitter Harvest: The Great Betrayal
2001: page 3, correctly states the position, "... we were never governed
directly from Whitehall, and therefore never came within the category of
being a colony."

      The struggle was not even for independence. Southern Rhodesia had been
self-governing since 1923.

      If anybody was fighting for independence it was Ian Smith's government
which unilaterally declared independence in November 1965.

      Independence was opposed by Mugabe unless at the same time it forced
black majority rule onto the Smith government. Mugabe was fighting for black
majority rule and his greatest ally in this endeavour was the British

      With this background it is very strange nowadays to hear Mugabe claim
to have been fighting British colonialism. It is even stranger to read The
Star echoing these claims.

      Robert W Vivian
      Linmeyer, Johannesburg
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