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

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The latest development on the ACP-EU JPA meeting in The Hague.

17/11/2004: EPP-ED Group threatens to boycott the ACP-EU JPA. Maria Martens

The EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament will boycott the 8th session of
the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly scheduled on 20-25 November in the
Hague if a banned Zimbabwean representative is present. The EPP-ED Group has
called on the other Groups to follow its example.

Group Co-ordinator Maria Martens sent a letter to the Dutch Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and Development last month requesting it not to issue an
entry visa for Mr Kumbirai Kangai, number 22 on the list of Zimbabweans
banned from entering the EU. Kangai and others are banned because they are
being held responsible for grave violations of human rights under the Mugabe

However, it is legally difficult to enforce the travel ban if the journey
concerns the ACP-EU JPA or other international meetings which are governed
by a multi-lateral agreement.

Maria Martens said:  "Parliament has other means to put pressure on
Zimbabwe. Our group is very active in this field and our approach is
successful. In November 2002, the EP denied access to its buildings of
Christopher Kuruneri, Deputy Finance Minister and number 25 on the list, and
Paul Mangwana, Minister of Justice and number 35 on the list. This resulted
in the cancellation of the ACP-EU JPA meeting. To prevent a second disaster,
the ACP countries themselves put pressure on Zimbabwe which resulted in a
promise by the Zimbabwean Parliament not to send representatives on the EU
blacklist in future."

Despite this promise, Kumbirai Kangai was sent to Brussels for a meeting on
22-23 September. The EPP-ED threatened to boycott the meeting if Mr Kangai
acted as the official representative. Mr Kangai was subsequently replaced by
the Zimbabwean Ambassador so that the meeting could be held.

Maria Martens said: "It is a pity that on that occasion, the Socialists and
the Liberals did not follow our example. Like us, they are against issuing
entry visas to banned persons but they didn't stick to their guns when it
came to the crunch. I am calling on all groups to follow our example and
walk out if Zimbabwe is represented by a blacklisted person".-ends-

more information:

Eduard Slootweg, EPP-ED press service. tel. + 32 475 721 280
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Daily News online edition

      Students roast Mugabe over youth militia

      Date: 19-Nov, 2004

      CAPE TOWN - The Southern African Students Union (SASTU) has blasted
the Zimbabwean government for "preaching democracy while acting

      SASTU secretary-general, Fidas Muchemwa told The Daily News Online at
the start of a two-day meeting in Cape Town to discuss the militarisation of
the youth in Zimbabwe that President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF had failed to
transform from a liberation movement into a democratic government.

      "People went to war so that they could have freedom of assembly,
freedom of association.but Mugabe is now denying people those freedoms which
they fought for," Muchemwa said.

      He said Zanu PF had misled the nation into believing that the sole
reason why people went to war was to win back the land.

      "It's not true. We also want those freedoms which he (Mugabe) is
denying us," said Muchemwa.

      Muchemwa said Zimbabwe was no longer a safe place for youths and the
meeting would seek ways of stopping the government of President Mugabe from
continuing its youth militarisation programme.

      He said Mugabe was using the youth to stay in power even when it's
clear that he had lost the mandate of the people.

      He said there was consensus among students and youths in Africa that
Mugabe had lost the plot and the meeting would discuss ways of putting an
end to the practise.

      The Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU), International Students
Union Africa region, African National Congress Youth League, the Young
Communists Youth League and a number of youth groups and students from
across the region and Africa are attending the meeting.

      The meeting is taking place at a time the Zimbabwean government has
announced that it would increase by two more centres the number of national
youth training institutions to 12.
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Daily News online edition

      If these are our values, then get me out of here

      Date: 19-Nov, 2004

      By Munodii Kunzwa

      IN the 1980s, the acting white editor of a Zimpapers title, The Manica
Post, was virtually ejected from a confidential briefing of editors at
Munhumutapa Building.

      The briefing was being given by Robert Mugabe. Nathan Shamuyarira, was
the Minister of Information. It wasn't clear at the time why Maurice Wood
was being given the heave-ho. But a few people suspected it had to do with
his colour. There was then a very solid anti-white slant in Zanu PF
politics, the harbinger of what was to occur in 2000 over the land issue.

      An unidentified insider (he would be, wouldn't he?) said he had
eavesdropped on a conversation during which the fear was expressed that Wood
might pass on the gist of the proceedings of the briefing to persons known
to be against the government, like Ian Smith. For those too young to
remember who Ian Smith was....there can't be many of them, surely?

      Shamuyarira once publicly berated the acting editor of The Herald over
an editorial critical of the government. Shamuyarira was also in charge when
Willie Musarurwa got the boot as editor of The Sunday Mail. As a former
journalist himself and a long-time working colleague of Musarurwa,
Shamuyarira was nevertheless ruthless with the media, government and

      Former journalist colleagues accused him of wanting to be more Zanu PF
than Zanu PF because of his past association with the Front for the
Liberation of Zimbabwe (Frolizi), whose leaders included the veteran
nationalists James Chikerema and George Nyandoro.

      Another Minister of Information, Victoria Chitepo, once slipped out of
a function commemorating World Press Freedom Day in Harare, shortly after
delivering her anti-independent media speech. Editors from the independent
media, who responded to her speech, found themselves addressing faceless,
bloodless civil servants.

      One minister of information, wisely unnamed for this purpose,
suggested Zimpapers refuse to print one issue of an independent weekly, to
sabotage their sales. The management refused to carry out such an outrageous
act of perfidy.

      Chen Chimutegwende, who held the portfolio when ANZ, the publishers of
The Daily News was launched, virtually frothed at the mouth at a conference
in Nyanga, almost swearing (it seemed to many) that he would strangle this
new baby at birth.

      But all these high-profile shenanigans against the independent media
paled into nothingness when Jonathan Moyo landed on the scene, like a
creature from some dark, dank lagoon in the wildest part of Hades. Nobody in
the independent media created his problems with the Ford Foundation in
Nairobi or the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.

      All they did was report on them. Some concluded that his dark past was
catching up with him, as happens to most people who leave a trail of some
sort in their path. But Moyo seemed to accuse the media of creating
falsehoods about him. He seemed and still seems determined to have them pay
for it with their blood, if not their ink.

      None of the former information ministers, people generally beholden to
Mugabe for their political rise, sank to the depths of media hate Moyo has
achieved against the independent media.

      The last straw must be his latest fulmination: he speaks of the media
being required to promote the values of the country. These values must
include a subservient media which, if public television is to be taken as an
example, must publish his picture every day on its front page.

      These values must include no real criticism of the president or the
cabinet or the government or the ruling party. Then he spoke of his
definition of "regime". It would not jell with George W Bush's definition,
or anybody else's, for that matter. A regime to Moyo is simply a government.
But when Bush speaks of a "regime change", he specifically refers to a
replacement of the Mugabe regime by another.

      This regime has its own peculiar qualities. It has little respect for
good governance as it is understood by other nations - in the Commonwealth,
for instance. The Mugabe regime, as represented by Moyo himself, believes
the media in any country has a national duty not to attack the government,
which he translates into "undermining" the government. For an educated man,
he must be one of the most dangerously ill-informed people on earth.

      Or he has such a deep contempt for people who disagree with Zanu PF's
policies of benevolent dictatorship he is convinced they are a bunch of
nitwits. The "values" he talks about bear little relationship to democracy
as it is understood by the rest of the world. His pet monster, the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act is not like any other press law in
the world, despite vile attempts by his department to liken it to the press
laws of a number of Western countries.

      Most of the countries named have no government newspapers. They have
no editors who are appointed by a government minister. They have no such
information departments which organise biras or galas or bashes for dubious
occasions. But most of all their governments do not mistake the people or
the country's values for the ruling party's values, which can only be
concerned with the party's hold on power.

      In any other country, Moyo would be a political laughing stock. In
Zimbabwe, where his special brand of political tomfoolery seems to appeal to
the lunatic fringe, he seems to have acquired celebrity status, as Goebbels
did before the Nazis were wiped out.
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Daily News online edition

            Rebel cricketers, ZCU bury hatchet

            Date: 19-Nov, 2004

            REBEL Zimbabwe cricketers and the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU),
the mother body that runs cricket in the country have buried the hatchet
paving the way for the return of the country's top cricketers to the
national team.

            For the past eight months, cricket union officials and rebel
white players have been involved in a wrangle which resulted in the white
players quitting the national side.

            The cricketers have withdrawn from the alternative dispute
resolution process set up by the International Cricket Council in July to
resolve outstanding issues between the two parties.

            The Zimbabwe Alternative Dispute Resolution Tribunal was formed
with the agreement of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union to work on a number of
issues including the dispute over the issue of captaincy, the selection of
the national team and relations between the players and some of the ZCU
board members.

            With the dispute now put to rest, the rebel cricketers led by
former captain Heath Streak could soon make themselves available for
national duty.

            Their imminent return is expected to strengthen a squad which
had become the whipping boys of international cricket.

            After the withdrawal of the rebel players, Zimbabwe was so
weakened that the ICC ordered them not to play Test cricket until next year
by which time the international body believed that either the young players
would have gained experience or the rebel players would have been back.

            It is not clear if the rebel players will be back in time to
face England in one day matches in Harare and Bulawayo next week.

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Daily News online edition

      Video captures plight of Zimbabwean refugees

      Date: 19-Nov, 2004

      JOHANNESBURG - A local non-governmental organisation, Solidarity Peace
Trust, has produced a video, No War in Zimbabwe, which captures the South
African government's indifference and insensitivity to the plight of
thousands of Zimbabwean refugees in South Africa.

      The Trust says the 52-minute video would be used to raise awareness on
the state of the Zimbabwean refugees in the United Kingdom and South Africa
where the majority of are staying.

      Zimbabweans are now the biggest group of foreign Africans in South
Africa, although very few are have been granted political refugee status.

      The South African Home Affairs ministry has told them that they cannot
be granted asylum status because "there is no war in Zimbabwe."

      The video, based on extensive research over one year looks at why
Zimbabweans are leaving their country and whether South Africa is meeting
its international obligations towards refugees.

      In the video immigrants recount horror experiences at the hands of
South African authorities and how some died by jumping from moving trains to
avoid deportation.

      Speaking after screening of the video to refugees at the Central
Methodist Church, a Solidarity Peace Trust official said the video would be
used to conscientise the African government and population about the plight
of the Zimbabwean refugees.

      Socks Chikowore, a Zimbabwean refugee, said: "This video is good and
we are going to use for lobbying here so that our situation could be

      Another refugee said: "I hope this video would be used to change
things here and at home."

      A South African who declined to be named said: "What I saw in the
video is disturbing. I lived in exile in many countries and I was never
treated that way."

      A young male refugee who claimed that his father used to cook for
President Thabo Mbeki when he was exiled in Harare said South Africans must
remember they are now free because of the assistance they got from fellow
African brother and sisters.

      Hundreds of Zimbabweans are dying in South African detention centres
and are being buried as paupers.

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Daily News online edition

      Embassy in roadshow to counter anti-UK propaganda

      Date: 19-Nov, 2004

      BULAWAYO - In a surprise development, Zimbabweans are learning that
far from being a public enemy and the cause of most of their economic and
political problems, Britain is in fact the second largest donor of bilateral
aid to vulnerable people in this country.

      The British government has earmarked 26 million pounds sterling (about
Z$300 billion at auction rate) to combat HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe over five
years, and it is supporting community projects across the country through
its Small Grants Scheme.

      Over 7 000 Zimbabweans studying for United Kingdom qualifications each
year sit their examinations in Harare and Bulawayo, courtesy of the British

      This is the message of a British Embassy roadshow that has visited
such places as Bulawayo and Mutare to explain the work of London in

      It comes against a backdrop of an increasingly strident propaganda
campaign by President Robert Mugabe and the government spokesman,
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, to demonise British Prime Minister Tony

      The British government is accused of ganging up with the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change in a bid to effect regime change in the
country. It is also accused of trying to reverse the controversial land
reform programme that saw thousands of white commercial farmers evicted from
their properties.

      Zimbabwe's parliamentary elections, due in March next year, have
already been dubbed the "anti-Blair" polls, with the ruling Zanu PF urging
its supporters to give a crushing blow to the "imperialists".

      The roadshow, at which queries about British passports and
nationality, trade and investment are being handled, also provides an
opportunity to learn how to apply for a UK visa.

      An estimated one million Zimbabweans have fled the country to settle
in the UK as economic refugees. The majority survive by illegally performing
menial jobs, despite the high professional qualifications they often hold.

      But with one British pound trading around Z$15 000 on the local black
market, there is no end in sight of the lure of the great trek northwards.

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Cape Argus
      Tsvangirai warned not to return home
      November 18, 2004

      Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's government has accused opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai of mobilising support for more sanctions and warned
him not to bother returning home to face the consequences of his actions.

      Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told parliament Tsvangirai should
not return home if he continued lobbying for new sanctions against the
Mugabe regime. He said the MDC's continuing call for targeted sanctions was
making Tsvangirai "the state's enemy number one".

      "I don't think he would want to come back to this country," said

      Tsvangirai has said he was opposed to any sanctions that hurt the
ordinary people of Zimbabwe but has called for a tightening of targeted
sanctions against individual members of the Mugabe regime, a move that
Mugabe has previously equated to treason.

      This week Tsvangirai met Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson and
Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds among other officials in Stockholm. He is
due to have meetings with senior politicians in Britain, France, the
Netherlands, Belgium and Norway as part of his aggressive drive to have the
Mugabe regime isolated and forced to implement a new SADC charter on free
and fair elections.

      Tsvangirai has reportedly reiterated his call for the tightening of
targeted sanctions in his meetings with European leaders.

      The Mugabe regime had managed to keep Tsvangirai under virtual house
arrest for close to three years while he answered to trumped-up treason
charges. The High Court acquitted him of the charges last month.

      The Mugabe government is so annoyed by the audiences that foreign
leaders are giving Tsvangirai that its tightly controlled media dismissed
President Thabo Mbeki as a virtual sell-out when he became the first foreign
leader to meet Tsvangirai soon after his acquittal.

      Tsvangirai himself seems aware of the dangers that await him when he
returns home. Sources close to him said his programme had been arranged in
such a way that he would meet all the foreign leaders that he wanted to meet
before he returned home in two weeks' time. This had been done to ensure
that if he were arrested and charged upon his return, he would already have
accomplished his mission abroad.

      It is understood the state has already been contemplating amending the
terms of Tsvangirai's bail conditions on his second treason charge so he has
to surrender his passport.
      The second charge arose from mass protests called by Tsvangirai early
last year.

      The state said the protests had been called to illegally topple the

      Tsvangirai was released on Z$10m bail but his passport was not covered
as it had already been seized over the first treason charge of which he was
acquitted last month.

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Mail and Guardian

Tsvangirai branded 'state enemy number one'


      18 November 2004 14:30

President Robert Mugabe's government has labelled opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai as state enemy number one, the official Zimbabwe media reported
on Thursday.

Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa also issued a veiled threat of
unspecified action to be taken against Tsvangirai, the head of the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), when he returns from a lengthy international

Chinamasa was quoted in the state-controlled daily Herald newspaper as
telling Parliament on Wednesday that Tsvangirai was the government's worst
enemy for lobbying for sanctions on his fellow countrymen.

"I can't think of any other description other than to say state enemy number
one," he said.

"If Mr Tsvangirai called for sanctions, I don't expect he would want to
return to this country," he added, without elaborating.

The former national trade union leader has been on an international tour for
nearly three weeks. Government officials returned his passport after his
acquittal on treason charges last month.

A campaign of smart sanctions against Mugabe and his political inner circle
began in 2001 in retaliation against the Zimbabwe government's violent
repression of its opponents and the lawless seizure of white-owned farm

The United States, the European Union, Australia, New Zealand and
Switzerland banned Mugabe and senior ruling party and government officials
from travelling to their countries, and from holding bank accounts there.
There are also bans on arms supplies to Zimbabwe.

Tsvangirai was banned from travelling for two years when he was forced to
surrender his passport for the length of the treason trial in which he was
accused of plotting to assassinate 80-year-old Mugabe. The judge said the
state had provided no evidence to support the charges.

He left Harare on October 23 for talks with Southern African leaders, flew
on to West Africa where he met the leaders of Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana and
Burkina Faso, and then to Europe. He was reported on Wednesday to be in
Sweden from where he will go on to Denmark, Norway and The Netherlands. He
was also due to meet European Union leaders and the EU secretariat.

In London, he would address members of the estimated 1,2-million Zimbabwean
diaspora who had fled economic collapse and political repression to live in

MDC deputy Secretary General Gift Chimanikire said the party wanted to
explain their view of the democratisation of Zimbabwe and the need for the
restoration of the rule of law.

Tsvangirai has also been urging international leaders to force Mugabe to
stick to internationally accepted guidelines for parliamentary elections set
for March next year.

Tsvangirai was widely regarded as the winner of presidential elections in
2002, but Mugabe won with 1,5-million votes against Tsvangirai's
1,1-million. Independent observers, including the Commonwealth, dismissed
Mugabe's win as the result of violent intimidation. - Sapa-DPA
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Petition Calling for the Release of Roy Bennett

 In October 2004, Roy Bennett (MDC MP for Chimanimani) was sentenced by a partisan committee dominated by ZANU (PF) of the Parliament of Zimbabwe to an effective one-year in prison with labour. This sentence is unprecedented throughout the world.

 His “crime” was to push over in Parliament the Minister of Justice, Patrick Chinamasa, who during debate had insulted and provoked Bennett beyond reason, calling his late father and grandfather “thieves and murderers”. This “offence” would have attracted a small fine had it been tried in a Zimbabwean court. 

 The imprisonment of Roy Bennett is the culmination of over four years of relentless, state-sponsored attacks against himself, his family, friends, workers and colleagues and is designed to prevent Bennett from standing as a candidate in the March 2005 Parliamentary General Election.

 If you believe that Roy is a victim of political persecution, has been unfairly imprisoned and should be released immediately then please print out this form (if possible back to back) and sign below. Do not simply type in your details. The form must be printed and completed in the form of a “hard copy”.

 We encourage you also to send copies of this petition to as many people as possible on your mailing list

 You can also contribute by copying this form and challenging at least 100 people to sign. Send the completed forms (if possible before 15th December 2004) to

      1.       Free Roy Bennett, Box 3231, White River 1240, South Africa.

      2.       MDC offices in Bulawayo.

3.       MDC offices in Harare.

4.       Or you may scan the completed forms in ADOBE and send them to

 The petitioners’ aim to present the petition before 31 December 2004 to the following

·         The Speaker of Zimbabwe Parliament

·         SADC Parliamentary Forum

·         Inter Parliamentary Union

·         Parliamentarians for Global Action

·         Commonwealth Parliamentary Association


                                    Petition Calling for the Release of Roy Bennett 



District or Town

Or Country

ID No.





















































































































































































































































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Dear All,

As Roy enters his third week in custody, his family are becoming
increasingly concerned about his wellbeing. With only one visit, for 10
minutes, every two weeks it is difficult to get an accurate picture of how
he is being treated. He is sunburnt and the lack of nutrition is beginning
to become apparent. In addition, his long hours in the sun mean that as Roy
sweats the lice become more active and increasingly painful. Roy is still
not allowed any additional food or medication and continues to share a cell
designed for four people with 17 other prisoners.

We continue to pursue every avenue to secure his release but are constantly
frustrated by bureacracy and intransigence on the part of the government and
all arms of State Security.

On Tuesday 9th November Judge Hungwe heard our High Court appeal against the
severity of Roy's sentence for a relatively minor crime. Judgement has still
not been handed down in this matter.

We believe that the fact that Patrick Chinamasa, the man Roy pushed, is the
Minister for Justice,
Legal and Parliamentary affairs may have something to do with this delay.

We have had an overwhelming response from people asking for a copy of the
petition calling for Roy's release and someone in your neighborhood should
have a copy so please ask around and sign it and get your friends to sign as
well. If you cannot find a copy then please e-mail us with the word
"petition" in the subject line.

Heather and the family are grateful for the support and prayers from all of
you. In these dark times it means a great deal.

Thank you all.


Free Roy Bennett .

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From Business Day (SA), 18 November

Top international lawyer leads bid to free Zimbabwean MP

Wife tells of Roy Bennett's life of hardship in crowded prison cell

Business Day Correspondent

Heather Bennett, wife of jailed Zimbabwean opposition MP Roy Bennett, and
celebrated human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa have launched an
international campaign for his release. Bennett, a Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) MP, was "sentenced" by Zimbabwe's parliament on October 28 to
an effective one year in prison with hard labour. The sentence, now being
served in Harare Central prison, is unprecedented throughout the world, says
Mtetwa. Bennett's "crime" was to push over Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa in parliament after Chinamasa had racially insulted him, for which
he was not reprimanded by Acting Speaker Edna Madzongwe. Chinamasa also said
that Bennett could never again set foot on his Chimanimani farm Charleswood
which despite six court orders has not been returned to him. Bennett and his
family were evicted in April by Zimbabwe Defence Industries, who evicted the
senior management from the farm and put up a boom manned by armed personnel
to deny Bennett access to his farm.

A month after the incident, at a privileges committee meeting , Tendai Biti,
the opposition MDC MP for Harare East, questioned Chinamasa about the
seizure of Bennett's farm. Biti asked him if he was aware that court orders
were being flouted. "I am not aware, but I just want to emphasise that
notwithstanding these court orders we are going to take the land," Chinamasa
replied. Mtetwa says that the chain of events in Bennett's case proved that
the judiciary in Zimbabwe was not independent. "In about 1998, the speaker
of parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa, himself stressed the importance of a
separation of powers of the executive, parliament and the judiciary. Yet,
when the Bennett-Chinamasa fracas came before parliament, interested parties
were not excluded. Before Roy's sentence was handed down by parliament, we
tried to get the court to block it. "But Judge Omerjee was given a
certificate by Mnangagwa precluding him from hearing the matter. This was
given on the grounds that it was a parliamentary matter. "Yet last week when
we applied for bail, when it was no longer a parliamentary matter, Justice
Charles Hungwe, who had been issued by another certificate by the speaker,
reserved judgment until a later date. "We may only hear if it was been
approved next week."

Meanwhile, Bennett has to sleep on a concrete floor with one blanket in a
cell meant for four with 17 other inmates. He spends his day scrubbing
floors in the prison, and is fed one cup of sadza (mealiemeal porridge) a
day and one cup of cabbage or bean soup, says his wife, who is permitted to
visit him for 10 minutes once every fortnight. "He has been issued with only
one substandard prison uniform. When he washes it, he has to wash the top
while wearing the bottoms and then wash the bottoms while wearing the top.
He then puts them on wet," she said. "I am particularly worried about the
fact that tuberculosis is rife in the prison, and I am afraid he might get
infected", she said. Heather Bennett is passionate about securing her
husband's release. In 2000 Bennett, as a white Shona-speaking candidate, won
a traditionally Zanu PF seat in Chimanimani.

Since that time she and her husband have lost all their property, seen their
workers brutalised and been driven off their farms. After one incident, when
she was held hostage by Zanu PF supporters and forced to watch two of her
workers being brutalised, she miscarried the baby she was carrying. Heather
Bennett says they have been punished by the ruling party for her husband's
popularity in a rural area where nearly all the people who voted for him
were black. The latest battle she is fighting while her husband is in prison
is for payment for 120 tons of their export-ready coffee, which they say was
seized by the government and sold to the Hamburg Coffee Company in Germany.
The matter is now under litigation. Last week the International Bar Council
in Britain condemned Bennett's sentence as harsh and degrading. It also
described the sentence for such an offence as "unprecedented" and
"fundamentally unsafe".
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From The Times (UK), 17 November

Return will be a death trap

By Jemma Chapman

The thought of returning to Zimbabwe evokes the deepest fears in
Tanyaradzwa. Three years ago the Zimbabwean, 27, was raped and beaten by
five men. Her crime: taking part in a voter education programme for the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change and dating a white Zimbabwean man.
Tanyaradzwa fled Zimbabwe soon after the attack and hoped to start a new
life in London. She now faces a forced return. "I'm devastated. This is the
worst news," she said yesterday. "Before, I was having hope because I
thought there was no way we would be sent back." Tanyaradzwa said that she
had discovered she had HIV as a result of the rapes. She added: "My hope is
just for things to change." But the country was a "death trap" now. "Because
you are an asylum-seeker you will be targeted from the day you set foot in
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Masvingo, Chinese Provinces to Be Twinned

The Herald (Harare)

November 18, 2004
Posted to the web November 18, 2004

Masvingo Bureau

MASVINGO Province will next month sign a memorandum of understanding with
Jiangxi Province of China that will result in the twinning of the two
provinces, a senior Government official has said.

The Resident Minister and Governor for Masvingo Province, Cde Josaya Hungwe,
told delegates at the recently ended National Economic Consultative Forum
annual retreat that the twinning would enable the development of key
industries in the province and the provision of irrigation infrastructure to
A2 farmers resettled in the Lowveld.

The Masvingo Provincial Administrator, Mr Felix Chikovo, also said the
signing of the MOU would enable the province to exploit the good relations
already existing between Zimbabwe and China.

"In the spirit of the good relations already existing between Zimbabweans
and Chinese people, we hope to attract China to either invest or run joint
ventures in the province," said Mr Chikove.

He added that the signing of the MOU is expected to encourage possible
Chinese investment in the province's irrigation rehabilitation scheme.

"We require capital injection to enable the rehabilitation of our irrigation
infrastructure," he said.

Twinning is not a new concept in Zimbabwe.

Other towns and cities to undergo this process include Gwanda and Bulawayo.
Bulawayo twinned with Durban and Polokwane while the former twinned with
Makhado and Messina, all of which are provinces in South Africa.

The process facilitates foreign investment into the country and enables
local business people to penetrate regional and international markets.

Meanwhile, Masvingo recently negotiated for the resettlement of A2 farmers
in the province's Lowveld.

Two thousand hectares have since been cleared while 700 hectares have been
put under sorghum, millet and maize.
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      Michael Howard: The fundamental principles of a Conservative foreign

      "At the start of this new century, the world was rocked by the
terrible events of 9/11. They ushered in a new age in foreign policy which
will continue for many years to come. On that day international terrorism
became the greatest threat to our way of life.

      The war against it has only just begun. We are still finding our feet,
sometimes faltering, sometimes successful. The battle lines are constantly

      Today, I want to say something about what British foreign policy
should be and how it can best be effectively and consistently implemented.

      Under the present Government we have had no shortage of grand
rhetoric. Its earliest manifestation - if you cast your mind back to those
heady first days of New Labour - was the much vaunted "ethical foreign

      Its contradictions were exposed very early on. Since then, the foreign
policy of the Government has passed through many metamorphoses. The
different parts have not always added up to a coherent whole. And even the
Government's strongest proponents would find it difficult to argue that its
implementation and application have been entirely consistent. Perhaps
complete consistency is too much to ask in the field of foreign policy. But
it's not too much to ask that a country's government should have a clear and
coherent view of its place in the world, of what it can and can't achieve,
and how its objectives can most effectively be realised.

      A Conservative Foreign Policy
      Let me, therefore, start by setting out the principles of the foreign
policy which a Conservative Government would pursue.

      Obviously our overriding objective would be to safeguard and advance
the British national interest.

      First and foremost comes the duty to protect our citizens. This
objective cannot be too narrowly drawn. We no longer expect to be at the
receiving end of a foreign military invasion. Today's threats are less
obvious. But they are no less dangerous and no less sinister. The most
formidable is the threat posed by world terrorism. Later in the speech, I
shall return to a discussion of this threat in the context of Iraq.

      However, in this context, I want to talk about the changing nature of
the threats facing us since the end of the Cold War. These have forced us
all to look beyond the doctrine of Containment and Deterrence to the
evolving doctrine of pre-emption. We live in a world where there have been
and will again be times when the needs of international peace and security
dictate that we cannot wait for the threat to be realised before dealing
with it. There will be a continuing need for pre-emption. Sometimes as in
Iraq it will be military. On other occasions, for instance in the current
case of Iran and the very real threat of nuclear proliferation there, it can
be diplomatic and political. I welcome the progress that has been made with
Iran by the UK, France and Germany and hope that it can be put on a formal
and sustainable footing.

      There will also be opportunities for economic pre-emption.
Humanitarian crises - those vortices of poverty and deprivation - may
sometimes geographically seem a long way off. In the end they affect us all.
None of us are untouched by their fall-out, both human and economic. There
are many occasions when international economic action to pre-empt such
humanitarian crises can prevent the emergence of failed and failing states
with all the international instability which history teaches us can flow
from them.

      Pre-emption is a reality in today's world. We must always be sure to
use it wisely and within the limits of international law. But international
law must recognise the realities of the world we live in.

      It is also because of the threat of terrorism that we have a national
interest in international peace and prosperity. Although one should always
be very careful of a simplistic connection between terrorism and
deprivation, it is reasonable to assume that the greater the extent to which
the world is a peaceful and prosperous place, the less fuel there is likely
to be for international terrorism.

      One of the best ways of encouraging world-wide prosperity is to
encourage free trade.

      Ancient Athens prided itself on its openness, its international
markets and its capacity for adaptation. In Ancient Greek, the verb "to
trade", katalussein, also meant "to turn a stranger into a friend."

      Trade also provides us with a whole range of goods and services, some
absolutely vital to maintain the security of our country. One obvious
example is food. Another is energy, particularly oil and gas. And, of
course, there are others.

      For international trade we need to encourage free enterprise. There is
no better system for spreading the fruits of man's labour to many than free
enterprise. No better system to lift people out of poverty. No better system
to advance human achievement.

      I agree with President Bush that the promotion of democratic values
across the world is a worthy and important goal. Those values are not just
about elections and the democratic institutions which flow from them. They
are also about the broader shared human values which underpin them. The
right to representative governance is a human value which is not necessarily
only found in western democratic models. The basic rights of free speech, of
gender equality, of property, of religious freedom and of equality before
the law are all human values which can and should be universally acceptable
in a modern world. Indeed the common thread behind them all should be the
Rule of Law.

      In terms of democratic institutions, different countries from China to
the Gulf will develop at different speeds. What is important is that we work
to establish together those basic human values which are part of the
democratic concept but which do not necessarily need fully fledged western
style democratic institutions to be applied.

      So this, in summary, is a statement of our principal objectives.

      The question which then arises is: how do we achieve them? There is no
doubt at all that we are potentially in a position of great influence. We
are the fourth biggest economy in the world. We are capable of deploying
limited but formidable military force.
      We are, uniquely, a member of the Security Council of the United
Nations, of the European Union, of NATO, of the G8 and of the Commonwealth -
the latter, a potential global resource which I believe is enormously under

      I set out my views on our relationship with the European Union in a
speech I made in Berlin earlier this year. I do not intend to repeat these
remarks this evening.

      But there is no doubt that we are capable of playing a significant
part in the world's affairs - both to protect and advance our national
interests and as a force for good in the world. The question is: are we
making the most of that influence?

      There is an abundance of evidence to suggest that we are not. It is
possible to take more than one view about the extent to which you should
disagree in public with your closest allies. But public harmony must be
accompanied by private candour if this influence is to be maximised. So far
as the current Prime Minister is concerned, we have unprecedented first-hand
testimony from his own Ambassadors about the extent to which he has failed
to use this influence.

      On Iraq, Sir Christopher Meyer has said that the Prime Minister had -
and I quote - "failed to get our views into the [US] Administration and
adopted on how you handle Iraq after Saddam Hussein." Sir Christopher went
on to say that "the Downing Street mantra was always total support in public
and total candour in private. Well" - and these are his words - "we have had
as near to damn it total support in public but I don't think we have always
had enough candour in private."

      Sir Stephen Wall, another of the Prime Minister's Ambassadors, had
this to say after a meeting between Mr. Blair and President Chirac over
reform of EU finances and of the CAP. "There were times" Sir Stephen said
"when I wished there had been some Thatcherite genes that would have made
[Mr. Blair] swing some metaphorical handbags".

      This falls some way short of a ringing endorsement of the willingness
of the Prime Minister to make the most of the influence which this country
is undoubtedly capable of exerting.

      Nowhere is this more clear than over events in Iraq.

      As I have said time and again, I believe it was right to go to war.
Saddam Hussein was in flagrant breach of the United Nations' resolutions. He
had provoked two wars in the Gulf. He had used chemical weapons against
other nations and against his own people. No one knew if and when he would
get his hands on more weapons of mass destruction. I have no doubt: the
world is a better place without Saddam Hussein. I read what President Chirac
has said. I don't agree.

      I still think it was right to go to war. But I also think it's my
right - and my duty - to criticise the Prime Minister where he has done the
wrong thing.

      I have two specific criticisms to make. And I make those criticisms
because I believe both of his mistakes could have grave consequences for the
future conduct of British foreign policy under this Prime Minister.

      First, in the run-up to the war, I am afraid that Tony Blair did not
give a truthful account of the intelligence he had received. I have made my
views on this clear elsewhere and I don't intend to repeat them this

      Second, Britain should have ensured that there were plans in place for
post war Iraq. Michael Ancram kept pressing the Foreign Secretary on this
very point. We now know there were none - despite the Prime Minister's
assurances that plans were "in hand".

      There should have been plans for Iraq's own security forces to play
from the start a greater role in securing public order. Instead, they were
dismantled. There should have been plans to prevent insurgency from gaining
a foothold. There should have been plans to give post-Saddam Iraq employment
and hope rather than despair and a ready excuse for hostility. In each case
there were no plans. That has made the job of bringing peace, stability and
democracy to Iraq much more difficult.

      The lack of a coherent post-Saddam Hussein plan, and the rapid
collapse of Ba'athist authority in Iraq, created a vacuum. Insurgency has
spread, and thousands of anti-Western militants have crossed the borders
into Iraq to join in - exploiting unemployment, despair and the lack of
adequate security.

      There are many uncertainties ahead. What new threats are posed by the
insurgents? Will it be possible to hold next January's election across the
whole of the country? What will the results bring? Can the religious
rivalries be held in check?

      We need an action plan.

      First, local democracy.

      It is more than likely that the Constituent Assembly, elected in
January, will be Shia dominated. The danger could come from the Sunnis
feeling excluded from the political process. This is something that should
be addressed. One way forward would be for a proper structure of local
democracy to be put in place at an early stage and for local elections to be
held. This is likely to enhance the prospects of Sunni participation in the
democratic process.

      Second, it is not too early to begin serious discussions on the
creation of a possible federal structure for Iraq which would ensure a
substantial degree of self-determination for Sunnis in areas largely
populated by them.

      Third, measures against terrorism. There are two aspects of the
violence in Iraq at present: domestic insurgency and terrorism fuelled by
foreign fighters. While domestic measures and economic progress will help
tackle insurgency, foreign terrorism must be tackled by cutting off the
supply of terrorists from outside. That means a substantial increase in
border security and targeted, intelligence-led raids designed to capture or
kill foreign terrorists.

      Fourth, we must accelerate the programme to train Iraqi police and
security forces. And we may need to pay them more. They know the
neighbourhoods. And they can work more easily with the local community.

      Fifth, an effective job creation programme. Much more direct
international aid and investment are needed for job creation programmes,
organised under the direction of the Iraqi Government. Job creation
programmes should concentrate on labour-intensive, infrastructure
programmes - such as paving roads, clearing rubbish, rebuilding the sewer
system, bringing in street lighting. These bring highly visible improvements
to the quality of life.

      This is a comprehensive programme which will, over time, make a
significant contribution to achieve the objectives in Iraq which I wholly
share with the Government. A free and stable Iraq is in the interest of Iraq
itself, of the region and also of ourselves.

      The Middle East
      Nothing in the Middle East is unaffected by the Israeli-Palestinian
dispute - now brought into even sharper focus by the death of Yasser Arafat.

      This dispute remains one of the most intractable international
conflicts in the world. It is the key to understanding much of the
underlying tension in the Middle East. It is the unavoidable backdrop to
events elsewhere in the region. Its effective resolution is an indispensable
element to any overall regional settlement.

      It is in many ways a unique tragedy. Unique because, for all its
difficulties, the solution that will eventually be reached can already be
identified. Sooner or later, peace will be made on a basis similar to that
which was so nearly accepted at Taba almost four years ago.

      Taba may not have provided all the answers but it showed, that
flexibility and accommodation on previous seemingly intractable problems are

      The question that remains unanswered is: how many more people, on both
sides, have to die before that proposal proves acceptable? Ultimately this
will not happen until a modicum of trust is established between the two
sides. But meanwhile the world should not simply look on as an interested
but helpless bystander.

      The Conservative Party supports the Road Map to peace in the Middle
East. In government we would make every possible contribution towards the
implementation of a peace settlement. The death of Yasser Arafat presents an
opportunity for the Palestinian leadership to return to the negotiating

      I am a realist and I do not underestimate the great difficulties. But
I am also an optimist. Disputes which once seemed totally intractable have
been solved. Enmities that had seemed for ever irreconcilable have eased.
Conflict can be converted to co-operation. We have seen it in most notably
in South Africa. We are seeing it in Northern Ireland.

      I hope those on both sides, the Israelis and the Palestinians, will
draw what lessons they can from the way these conflicts were resolved. The
simplest things are often the truest.

      There has to be trust. So it is important that people get to know one
another personally. Personal chemistry matters. That is how you build trust.

      Negotiations can often be painful. But never as painful as the deaths
of innocent people. But that requires an act of will.

      One of the reasons for success in South Africa was that the
negotiations were all-inclusive, involving all parties. In that way, the
solutions were owned by all.

      The other great lesson from South Africa is that each side had a
leader, Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk, who had the stature to deliver what
they promised.

      We have a strong President in the White House, confirmed in office by
a convincing election victory. There is an Israeli Prime Minister who has
shown himself able to take tough decisions. And there may now be a new
Palestinian leadership emerging after their January elections.

      The world is crying out for strong leadership in pursuit of peace.

      I would like to make two suggestions. Firstly, I would encourage
President Bush to consider appointing a senior and powerful American figure
with the authority and influence to create the momentum and commitment
needed to bring the two sides together and to keep them talking. I see such
a figure performing, albeit on a much larger stage, the same sort of
facilitating role which Senator George Mitchell successfully provided some
years ago in Northern Ireland.

      Secondly, I would like to see discussions beginning to provide
acceptable international security support in Gaza and eventually the West
Bank too, to help the Palestinian Authority provide and maintain public
order and counter-terrorism assistance as the Israelis withdraw.

      The peace process will of course ultimately be a matter for the two
sides themselves. America and Europe can however help to create and maintain
the best environment in which that process can be taken forward.

      American European relations
      We are also not short of some international tensions nearer home. They
are of a quite different order, but nevertheless of enormous significance.

      In the events leading up to, and in the aftermath of, the war in Iraq
serious tensions have arisen between the United States and some European
countries. I understand those. But I very much regret them. Even before the
Iraq war, I was becoming increasingly concerned about a growing rift. That
is why, when I was on the back benches, I established the non-partisan
Atlantic Partnership, a think-tank which seeks to promote close
relationships between Europeans and Americans.

      One of my worries is that for some people, the main motive for greater
political union in Europe is to establish a rival to the United States. I
don't want rivalry. I want partnership.

      Let me share with you one of the specific things which concerns me:
how we best handle our relations with China today. China is now becoming a
major economic power. Goldman Sachs has predicted that by 2050 China will be
the world's largest economy. China's economic rise in the twenty-first
century could be as significant as the arrival of the US on the global scene
in the nineteenth century. Tomorrow's "world economic order" will be very
different from today's "world economic order".

      We should not underestimate the enormous contribution that China has
made in the last decade in reducing world poverty. The biggest reduction in
poverty the world has ever seen.

      Trade with an increasingly prosperous China is, therefore, very
important and welcome. And it explains why there are some within the EU,
notably France, who want to lift the arms embargo against China. The
attitude of the British Government at best has been ambivalent.

      But this involves much more than trade and economics. It also raises
serious issues about human rights. The Foreign Office recently voiced
"serious concerns" about China's record on human rights - the extensive use
of the death penalty, torture, harassment of political dissidents, and
severe restrictions on the freedoms of speech, association and religion.

      It also impinges directly on our national interest. For that reason, I
am firmly against Europe unilaterally lifting the embargo. It is quite clear
and understandable that for strategic reasons America does not want to see
US military technology being made available, however indirectly, to the PRC.
[People's Republic of China]. If Europe lifts the embargo, the US will
simply cease to provide any EU country with that technology, which in
Britain's case is vital to the effectiveness of our military and defence

      For all these reasons I would oppose any moves by the European Union
to lift the embargo on arms exports to China.

      And let us remember: this is an arms embargo - not a trade embargo.

      Partnership with the United States is vital in today's difficult and
uncertain world. We are all in the front line against the constant threat of
international terrorism.

      It is vital that we maintain our military capabilities and have armed
forces with the strength and capability to match our commitments.

      The men and women of our armed forces are Britain's greatest asset.
History teaches that new military technologies cannot replace boots on the
ground. That it why, I believe, we must maintain the size of our Army, at
least in its present strength, and why we are wholly opposed to any cuts.

      The James Review of Taxpayer Value has already identified efficiency
savings, from both within the defence budget and from other government
departments, which will allow us to spend an extra £2.7 billion more over
three years on our frontline defence forces.

      I mentioned just now the importance, in our defence planning, of
matching capability to commitment. There is an important wider point here.

      A foreign policy has to be practical. It has to be realistic. Yes, it
has to address humanitarian issues. But it has to achieve results. It is
easy to boast of grand ambitious objectives. But if they cannot be achieved
it is frankly self-indulgent rhetoric.

      The Prime Minister talks a lot about Africa as a whole. He
occasionally talks about specific countries like the Sudan. He hardly ever
talks about Zimbabwe. Generalities about Africa as a whole are not going to
solve the acute problems we are seeing today in Darfur and Zimbabwe.

      In his 2001 Conference speech the Prime Minister promised: "I tell you
if Rwanda happened again today as it did in 1993, when a million people were
slaughtered in cold blood, we would have a moral duty to act there also."

      The US Congress and the former Secretary of State have declared the
situation in Darfur to be `genocide'. It is what the UN has rightly
described as "the world's worst humanitarian crisis". The rate of death is
comparable to the death rate in Rwanda at the height of the genocide in

      Last week the Prime Minister said that, if anything, it was getting
worse and that he was watching the situation carefully. Today the UN is
again discussing Darfur. African Union observers speak of their frustration
at having no power to intervene in the conflict.

      Clearly there is now an urgent need for action. First the UN Security
Council should pass a new resolution to change the African Union force's
mission from monitoring to peacekeeping, and to increase the size of the AU
force so it can carry out its mission. Second, there is a need for the
no-fly zone to be enforced. Aid agencies have described previous resolutions
as `little more than empty threats'. Finally, we should take seriously
Amnesty International's proposition that there is a need for an arms embargo
on Sudan.

      We have been pressing for each of these things for months. The
Government has been free with warm words, but no action has been taken. And
people are still dying. Why has the Prime Minister not echoed Colin Powell
last month in describing what is happening as genocide?

      I want to conclude by reaffirming a statement of the obvious which can
all too easily be forgotten in the complexities of today's world.
      Britain's influence comes from our unique geographical position, from
our extraordinary history and from our highly talented people, enriched over
the centuries by people from many lands. We enjoy an amazing network of
remarkable and rewarding relationships - with the United States, with our
European partners in the European Union, with the countries of the
Commonwealth and with countries wider still because of our extensive trading
links across the globe. We are engaged with countries through alliances,
treaties, defence and trading arrangements. So inevitably Britain finds
herself having to work alongside our friends and partners, doing deals, with
give and take. That is the nature of the modern world.

      It's a complicated world. And those engaged in the wheeling and
dealing can often become mesmerised, even seduced, by it all. But we should
never lose sight of the fact that the only effective foreign policy is one
that protects, safeguards and benefits our people.

      These are the fundamental principles of a Conservative foreign

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Margaret Thatcher's Son Charged in Plot

Associated Press Writer

November 18, 2004, 6:45 AM EST

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea -- Equatorial Guinea prosecutors confirmed
Thursday they have charged Mark Thatcher, son of former British Prime
Minister Margaret Thatcher, in an alleged coup plot in the oil-rich west
African nation.

Thatcher is accused of having helped finance the coup attempt, Attorney
General Jose Olo Obono said.

Thatcher was added to the existing list of 19 other defendants, all accused
mercenaries, on Tuesday, Obono said.

Equatorial Guinea intends to seek Thatcher's extradition, a legal official
close to the government's case told The Associated Press earlier this week.

Equatorial Guinea alleges Thatcher and other, mainly British financiers,
worked with Equatorial Guinea opposition figures, scores of South African
mercenaries, and six Armenian pilots in a takeover plot here.

The coup plotters intended to force out the 25-year regime of President
Teodoro Obiang, installing an exiled opposition figure in his stead as a
figurehead leader for Africa's No. 3 oil producer, Equatorial Guinea claims.

The alleged plot was exposed in March by South African intelligence
services, and scores of accused mercenaries arrested here and in Zimbabwe.

Thatcher was arrested in August at his home in South Africa.

Trial resumed Thursday, with prosecutors' lead witness formally facing the
death penalty after repudiating his alleged confessions in the case in court
on Tuesday.
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Daily News (SA)

      Zim NGOs plan to leave the country
      November 18, 2004

      Harare: Zimbabwe's non-governmental organisations are thinking about
moving to neighbouring countries after President Robert Mugabe's ruling
party fast-tracked new legislation that will see the banning of unwanted
human rights groups and the tightening of political restrictions ahead of
general elections next year.

      The ruling ZANU-PF used its appointed majority in parliament to
suspend standing orders and procedures and over-rule objections to the
Electoral Bill and the Non Governmental Organisations (NGO) Bill by
parliament's own legal committee.

      The Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC), which is tasked with
scrutunising all bills for compliance with the constitution before they are
passed, had issued adverse reports about the bills. It was particularly
scathing on the NGO Bill which it said would deprive Zimbabweans of
virtually all rights enshrined in the constitution.

      The rejection of the PLC's report means the two bills will now easily
sail through parliament and only need Mugabe's signature to become law.i

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Yorkshire Post Today

England tour helps our cause - Flower
Chris Waters
ANDY FLOWER, the former Zimbabwe batsman who made one of the most powerful
and courageous protests in the history of sport when he wore a black armband
during last year's World Cup to mourn the "death of democracy" in his
beloved homeland, believes England were right to honour their controversial
In an admission that will reverberate through this country and beyond,
Flower said it would have been pointless for England to have taken an
isolated stance against President Robert Mugabe's regime and maintained that
their visit next week would help publicise the plight of the Zimbabwean
Flower said the only way to achieve positive results was through a unified
boycott and that he sympathised with the England and Wales Cricket Board,
who faced the possibility of a seven-figure fine and possible suspension
from the international game had they cancelled the trip.
Flower said that although there had clearly been a moral issue for England
to consider, he felt they had taken the right course of action by agreeing
to the series of five one-day internationals, the first of which takes place
in Harare on November 26.
"I don't think a lot of practical good would have come from an England
boycott," said Flower, who is currently at The Bradford School of Management
studying for the ECB Level Four coaching award.
"The only result I could see was the ECB being isolated. Financially, of
course, to pull out of the tour would have created big problems over here
and would have had a big effect on all levels of the game.
"I understand perfectly why some people wanted the tour to be boycotted;
people have to stand up for what they think is right, and I don't for one
minute regret my black armband protest with Henry Olonga during last year's
World Cup because we were also standing up for what we thought was right.
"But I don't see how England pulling out of the tour would have had much
effect on the Zimbabwe government; all it would really have done is penalise
"If there was more of a concerted effort to boycott Zimbabwe, however, it
might have some power. I could see good results coming from a collective
"You only have to look at what happened in South Africa to see how that can
work. Sanctions against that country had a tremendous effect because those
sanctions were pretty much universal. They had a positive impact because it
was all done in partnership.
"Had the English authorities acted in isolated fashion, it would have been
easy for the Zimbabwe government to have pooh-poohed their stance. It
wouldn't have carried the same weight if they'd operated alone.
"Personally, I think the tour will have benefits in that it will help raise
the profile of what's happening in Zimbabwe.
"It will keep the plight of the Zimbabwean people firmly in the news at a
time when events in the Middle East have taken centre stage.
"That kind of media spotlight is healthy because it focuses attention on
Zimbabwe. It is important to keep things in the public eye."
Flower, who believes media exposure is a tangible way of putting pressure on
the Zimbabwe government, said the tour would assist in the country's
cricketing development.
Zimbabwe cricket remains in crisis due to a complete breakdown in relations
between leading players and the Zimbabwe Cricket Union following the
controversial sacking of Heath Streak, the captain, a row that has led not
only to a seriously weakened Test side but which threatens to undermine the
game at all levels.
"The tour will be a big help in that the Zimbabwean people will be able to
see some of the top English players at close quarters," said Flower.
"They will be able to watch some cricket and enjoy some reasonable quality
"No one would pretend that the tour will be anything other than a total
mis-match; Zimbabwe were not a strong international side at full-strength,
let alone without many of their finest players, but at least the Zimbabwean
people will be able to see some games, and that will be important to them."
Flower, 36, fears for the short-term future of Zimbabwean cricket. One of
the greatest players in Test history, let alone Zimbabwe's, with an average
of 51.54 from 63 games, he acknowledged they do not possess the bounteous
reserves of talent that most of their rivals enjoy and reiterated his
long-held belief that they were lucky to be granted Test status in the first
"I think cricket in Zimbabwe will struggle during the next 10 years or so,"
said Flower, who plays for Essex and who hopes to pursue a future career in
"It does not have a big, strong player base, unlike the vast majority of
Test-playing nations, and that has a big effect on the quality of performers
coming through.
"There are one or two good young players around, but those players have been
exposed far too early to the international scene, which is extremely
"Some of those youngsters are actually the senior members of the side, which
speaks for itself.
"I was surprised when Zimbabwe were given Test status initially and felt
incredibly lucky to be able to play against the top countries. I really
appreciated what I had.
"I just hope cricket in Zimbabwe will prosper once more and that things will
improve across the board. We can only hope for better times."
18 November 2004
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From: "Trudy Stevenson"
Sent: Thursday, November 18, 2004 7:06 PM
Subject: House breaks record - & note

Below is the Herald report on the marathon Tues night/Wed morning session -
Note that ZanuPF MPs are campaigning for their primary elections now,
therefore in our view they are forcing us to do this nonsense for their own
selfish reason to go back to their consituencies as much as possible!  We
did not sit much in August or September, and have only been sitting two
afternoons a week since resuming late October - there is no need to punish
us like this!  However, we have also been warned by Chinamasa we will do the
same thing next week. - Trudy

Last Updated: Thursday, 18 November 2004
House breaks record

By Tandayi Motsi
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Bill and the Non-Governmental
Organisations Bill finally passed the second reading stages in the early
hours of yesterday after Parliament sat for 16 hours without recess —
breaking its 2002 record of 13 hours.

The House, which sat on Tuesday, only adjourned the next day — at 6am
yesterday — after a protracted debate between ruling Zanu-PF and opposition
MDC legislators on the two Bills.

The legislators will certainly not easily forget this marathon sitting
considering the fact that the House normally adjourns at 6:55pm but this
time proceedings spilled over into the next day.

Considering it’s summer, and the sun rises at about 5:45am, the somewhat
fatigued and haggard legislators came out of the House to a bright new day.

The last time that Parliament had sat longest was in 2002 during debate on
the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill when the House adjourned at around 3am.

Parliament on Tuesday threw out adverse reports that had been issued by the
Parliamentary Legal Committee on the two Bills which finally passed the
second reading stage. The House had to be divided on the second reading of
the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Bill with 69 Zanu-PF MPs voting in favour
of the motion and 38 MDC legislators opposing.

Parliament had to be divided again on whether the Non-Governmental
Organisations Bill should be read for the second time and Zanu PF-lawmakers
won again, this time by 56 votes against MDC’s 31. Earlier on, the House had
adopted a motion by Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Cde
Patrick Chinamasa seeking to suspend the automatic adjournment of Parliament
at 6:55pm.

The two Bills are scheduled to go for the committee stage next Tuesday.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Bill seeks to establish an independent
authority to administer all elections and referendums in Zimbabwe. The
envisaged commission will direct and control registration of voters and
ensure proper custody and maintenance of voters’ rolls.

The Non-Governmental Organisations Bill seeks to provide for an enabling
environment for the operations, monitoring and regulation of
non-governmental organisations. It seeks to, among other measures, bar
foreign donations to organisations involved in governance issues.
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