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Olonga's "life in danger" - Time for Zimbabwe to be banned

Neil Pickup

Cricket Web Moderator

According to Britain's Daily Telegraph, "Henry Olonga's international career came to an end last night in dramatic circumstances with a secret journey to a safe house somewhere in South Africa. He will hide until he is able to start a new life in a different country".

Plain Clothes Officers believed to be from the Zimbabwean Secret Police watched Zimbabwe's 74-run defeat by Sri Lanka on Saturday, with the apparent intention of "******ing him home" to answer a charge of treason.

In Zimbabwe, treason is punishable by Death.

Following the Sri Lanka match, Olonga retired from International Cricket, with a statement reading: "It is with great sadness that I am officially announcing my retirement from international cricket. My continued involvement with the Zimbabwean team has become untenable for the following reasons:

The stand I took earlier in the World Cup has undoubtedly had repercussions that have affected both my career and my personal life. I have received threatening e-mails which, I believe, make it dangerous for me to return to Zimbabwe.

I was never under the illusion that my stand would have no consequences but I believe that one should have the courage of one's convictions in life and do all one can to uphold them.

I believe that if I were to continue to play for Zimbabawe in the midst of the prevailing crisis I would only be neglecting the voice of my conscience. I would be condoning the grotesque human rights violations that have been perpetrated - and continue to be perpetrated - against my fellow countrymen.

To my fellow Zimbabweans: the Zimbabwe we dream of must merely remain in our hearts. We must be strong, stand united and strive to give our children the brighter day in which they belong."

Olonga is expected to apply for asylum in Britain, and no-one can deny that it is truly deserved for a man who showed incredible courage in a very difficult situation.

I feel that it is impossible for Zimbabwe to continue playing in International cricket whilst basic human rights such as freedom of expression are so flagrantly violated on such a large scale, and team selections (i.e. Ebrahim and Matsikenyeri) are dictated solely on race rather than on ability.


International Debutant
Good bless Olonga the man is a bloody legend and I think we can all take some insperation form his couragus actions.

I cant even begin to describe how much respect I have for Henry Olonga and Andy Flower now.

I think somthing has to be done and soon the atrocitys being sufferd by the people of Zimbabwe are totaly unacaptable.


Cricket Web Staff Member
Totally abhorrent situation.

Stop the tour!

If Henry is going to apply for asylum in Britain, the only people he's got to worry about are the Daily Express and Daily Mail with their vile anti-asysum seeker diatribes.


U19 Cricketer
Henry Olonga is a hero.

He had the chance to play Test Cricket for his country but he put others above himself.

But can someone tell me why has Andy Flower not been "watched by plain clothes police officers with the intention of ******ing him home to answer the charge of treason"??


Cricket Web Staff Member
hourn said:
Henry Olonga is a hero.

He had the chance to play Test Cricket for his country but he put others above himself.

But can someone tell me why has Andy Flower not been "watched by plain clothes police officers with the intention of ******ing him home to answer the charge of treason"??
I would guess that Mugabe and his cohorts would expect criticism from what they would see as 'Old Colonials', but for a product of 'Brave New Zimbabwe' to have the audacity to be anything other than thrilled at the Zanu-PF version of 'democracy' sticks in their collective craw.


International Regular
I fully support Henry Olonga and Andy Flower, wholeheartedly.

If anyone has an email address for either of them, I'd love it if the passed it on via u2u or email.

One thing is for sure, Cricket Web will proudly support men of the calibre of Olonga and Flower.


International Coach
Nothing needs to be said, his statement brings me out in goose-pimples because it is one of the bravest things I've heard, to still stand up for what you believe in while under the threat of death is amazing. Cannot really put it into words. Also something should be done about Zimbabwe on world stage not just cricketing stage. I think CricketWeb should acknowledge him if possible with us all showing our support to a courageous bloke. Even The Daily Mail won't have any complaints I don't fink.
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Cricket Web Staff Member
The Commonwealth countries today stated that Zimbabwe's suspension from the Commonwealth is to continue for the forseeable future.

It's not surprising it's been missed, under the circumstances.


Hall of Fame Member
Andy flower can porbably be contacted at Essex county cricket club, if you email them they might give you his personal email too

Neil Pickup

Cricket Web Moderator
Re: Re: Olonga's "life in danger" - Time for Zimbabwe to be banned

warrioryohannan said:
Punishment of death for what? just for a peaceful protest by wearing black arm bands????:!(
Yeah, and his "death of democracy" statement - it's Treason, apparently.


Olonga and Flower have been role models, they must have given hope to so many Zimbabweans black and white, that someone is willing to make a stand for what is right, I can only wish them every luck with their future careers in England...

And yes im not surprised that he can be tried for treason, Zimbabwe is a "police state"..

I wonder how the rest of the team are feeling right now. I wonder if they have to stand in queues just to get bread and petrol?


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Punishment of death for what? just for a peaceful protest by wearing black arm bands????
It's all about perspective, mate. What you and I (and any reasonable person, really) see as a peaceful protest could be interpreted by the Mugabe government as undermining the government and being in opposition to its policies so much so as to be a traitor to it. This is why treason would be the main charge against him and as has been said, treason is punichable by death. Mind you, for all those who think that's barbaric, remember the same penalty exists exists for the same charge in the USA.


Cricket Web Staff Member
I'm not sure that treason is punishable by death in the UK any longer.

As far as I know, the last offence which could carry the death penalty was 'Arson in Her Majesty's Dockyards' - and that got knocked on the head a number of years ago.


Cricket Web Staff Member
Repealed in the House of Lords, March 1998 without a vote.

There were no objections (although a number of Tories spoke against the abolition), the matter was referred back to the House of Commons for subsequent ratification.

Maybe it's still sitting in Tony's 'in tray' or filed under 'S' for 'Socialism', which means it'll never see the light of day again.

Footnote : The last person executed for treason in the UK was William Joyce ('Lord Haw-Haw') in 1947.
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Neil Pickup

Cricket Web Moderator
I missed that :)

I remembered the 56-years-ago bit properly however.

So we'll end this cul-de-sac here, I think :)