Globe and Mail, Canada
From Friday's Globe and Mail
April 17, 2008 at 10:38 PM EDT
JOHANNESBURG — South African President Thabo Mbeki, lambasted from all sides
for his approach to the political turmoil in Zimbabwe, was forced to cede
his “quiet diplomacy” strategy yesterday, as his government took its
strongest stand ever on the machinations of Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party.
Government spokesman Thembo Maseko called the situation in Zimbabwe “dire”
and said Mr. Mugabe's government should release results of a presidential
ballot held three weeks ago tomorrow, a vote that the opposition is widely
believed to have won.
“We are concerned about the delay in the release of the results and the
anxiety this is causing,” he said after Mr. Mbeki met with his cabinet
yesterday afternoon. “We're obviously concerned about the incidence of
violence and the possibility that the incidence will increase if the results
are not released speedily.”
Last weekend, Mr. Mbeki flew north to meet with the autocratic Zimbabwean
leader. He emerged from their talks holding Mr. Mugabe's hand and said there
is “no crisis” in Zimbabwe.
This despite more than 160 people hospitalized after beatings by police and
militias this week, inflation of more 168,000 per cent and food supplies
that have all but run dry.
Mr. Mbeki's words drew strong international condemnation, but they
particularly irritated South Africans, who see the visible proof of a crisis
in the three million Zimbabwean refugees in their country, and were seized
upon by the considerable constituency here that seeks to drive Mr. Mbeki
The leadership of his own African National Congress has now openly turned on
him, saying it may open its own “crisis talks” with the Zimbabwean parties.
“He lost the debate even within cabinet; he's isolated,” said political
analyst Aubrey Matshiqi. “Clearly there is a growing disjuncture between the
feelings of ordinary Africans and those leaders … that don't want to take an
Mr. Mbeki is the chief international mediator in Zimbabwe and for the past
five years, he has pushed his policy of “quiet diplomacy,” insisting that
behind-the-scenes talks with Mr. Mugabe and the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change would be the best way to ensure a peaceful, democratic
But many are weary of this approach, or see it as thinly veiled cover for
doing nothing. They accuse Mr. Mbeki of emphasizing loyalty to Mr. Mugabe, a
former comrade in the liberation struggle, over the rights of Zimbabweans.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice became the latest critic yesterday,
when she said African states must “do more” about Mr. Mugabe's regime, which
she called “an abomination.” British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said
earlier this week that there must be regional pressure on Mr. Mugabe. Crowds
of protesters outside the United Nations, where Mr. Mbeki tried to keep
Zimbabwe off the Security Council agenda on Wednesday, also slammed his
Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said yesterday that he has
asked the Southern Africa Development Community, the top regional body, to
replace Mr. Mbeki as a mediator and to give the job to Zambian President
Levy Mwanawasa, who has been more critical of Mr. Mugabe.
There are rumours that regional leaders will hold a second emergency meeting
tomorrow, a week after they last gathered to discuss the Zimbabwe situation.
Diplomats who attended that meeting said that Mr. Mwanawasa, as well as the
Tanzanian, Malawian and Botswanan leaders, all expressed frustration with
both Mr. Mugabe's intransigence and Mr. Mbeki's approach.
But the heat the South African leader faces at home is worse. Every senior
figure of the ANC leadership – from which Mr. Mbeki was ousted last
December, over matters that included Zimbabwe – has now contradicted his
“The [new leaders] are a totally different generation from Mbeki, … and they
see the idea of quiet diplomacy undermining the idea of a liberation
movement,” said William Mervin Gumede, the author of Thabo Mbeki and the
Battle for the Soul of the ANC. “Whereas Mbeki sees a liberation movement
giving Mugabe a soft landing.”
On Wednesday, ANC leader Jacob Zuma spoke of a “deepening crisis” in
Zimbabwe, a not particularly subtle rebuttal of Mr. Mbeki's “no crisis”
declaration. Mr. Zuma is a canny populist who recognizes that there is a
huge constituency in South Africa that would like to see the government
doing something forceful about Zimbabwe. Many of the refugees, whose numbers
swell by the day, are blamed by South Africans for increasing crime and
draining social services.
Mr. Zuma is viewed with suspicion in the West because he faces an imminent
court case on corruption charges and, last year, was acquitted of rape in a
sensational trial. In Zimbabwe, he sees an issue where he can carve out
respectable territory. And his fiercest supporters, who want Mr. Mbeki to
step down to make room for Mr. Zuma as president, see an issue on which Mr.
Mbeki may have fatally stumbled.
Indeed the stakes are now sufficiently high that, Mr. Matshiqi said, it has
people speculating about why Mr. Mbeki has clung so determinedly to his
Mr. Matshiqi said that Mr. Mbeki may have been unfairly criticized over
Zimbabwe. “South Africa and Mbeki are not as influential as some tend to
assume. You're dealing with Mugabe as a head of state who is quite
impervious to external opinion,” he said. “It's quite possible that he
settled for quiet diplomacy purely by default but not by design … and to the
extent that quiet diplomacy failed, the other alternatives have failed too.”
By Sebastien Berger in Johannesburg
Last Updated: 3:26am BST 18/04/2008
Zimbabwe was close to a smooth hand-over of power from Robert Mugabe
to Morgan Tsvangirai before talks collapsed, the opposition leader claimed
Morgan Tsvangirai said his Movement for Democratic Change party was
approached by Mr Mugabe's envoys about forming a unity government that would
include members of the ruling Zanu-PF party, only a day after the disputed
March 29 election.
"In fact they were suggesting how many and they were talking about a
panel from which we were going to choose," Mr Tsvangirai told the BBC,
indicating that the talks were well-advanced.
But they collapsed after a few days when some members of the ruling
party would not accept a deal with the opposition and indicated they were
prepared to fight for power.
Mr Tsvangirai said that under the deal, he was prepared to offer Mr
Mugabe a guarantee that he would not be prosecuted, but would now consider
putting him on trial for trying to "suppress the people" if he took power.
The disclosure of the proposed deal came as Mr Tsvangirai accused Mr
Mugabe of misplaced priorities in importing a controversial shipment of arms
from China which could be used against his people, rather than buying food
to feed them.
South Africa, which until Wednesday had been virtually silent on the
Zimbabwe crisis, said it was powerless to stop the weapons including small
arms ammunition, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades, passing through its
territory to Zimbabwe.
The Chinese boat, An Yue Jiang, off Durban, had the proper
documentation and there was no arms embargo on Zimbabwe, South African
Mr Mugabe's regime stepped up its battle to retain power yesterday,
accusing Mr Tsvangirai of conspiring with Gordon Brown to bring about
"regime change". Treason is a capital offence in Zimbabwe.
"It is clear that Tsvangirai along with Brown are seeking regime
change in Zimbabwe, and on the part of Tsvangirai, this is treasonous,"
Patrick Chinamasa, the justice minister, told the Herald newspaper, a
His comments came after Mr Brown told the United Nations Security
Council on Wednesday that "no one thinks Robert Mugabe has won" the
The Herald yesterday printed a report headed "Tsvangirai's bid for UK
military intervention exposed", based on what it claimed was an internal
document from the MDC.
The newspaper said he sought backing for armed insurrection from an
unlikely alliance of the MDC, farmers, businessmen, far-Right South Africans
and that country's Democratic Alliance opposition.
It claimed Mr Tsvangirai's helicopter pilot, arrested during the
election campaign, was linked to MI6 and flew weapons into the country.
A letter from Mr Brown was also cited - and pictured - as alleged
evidence, but the language is unlike anything to have previously emerged
from Downing Street. The British High Commission in Harare denounced the
letter as a fraud.
Mr Tsvangirai yesterday called for South African president Thabo Mbeki
to stand down as a mediator.
Thu 17 Apr 2008, 22:13 GMT
By Jeremy Lovell
LONDON, April 17 (Reuters) - Members of Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF were
negotiating for a government of national unity days after last month's
elections but hardliners scuppered the deal, opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai said on Thursday.
The results of a March 29 parliamentary election have been declared, giving
Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) a majority, but those for
a presidential poll have not.
Tsvangirai says he won the presidency, but President Robert Mugabe, in power
since then Rhodesia won independence from Britain 28 years ago, has not
conceded. He has called for a recount of part of the parliamentary vote and
a rerun of the presidential race.
"We were prepared to consider the issue of an inclusive government,
including some members of ZANU-PF, in fact, they were suggesting how many
and we were talking about a panel from which we were going to choose,"
Tsvangirai told BBC television news in an interview recorded in Johannesburg
He added that the approach came from Mugabe's party. ZANU-PF said earlier
there had been an approach for talks from the MDC.
Tsvangirai said part of the deal had been that no one should lose their jobs
or face prosecution. The immunity deal would include Mugabe, he added.
But he said the atmosphere of the talks suddenly changed.
"The very same people who were coming to us for discussions organised the
meeting and did not turn up for almost two hours, our guys left and we
realised that the situation had totally changed, they were back to their
plan," he said.
"I am sure that the hardliners just put a stand through the military," he
added, suggesting that Mugabe had been prepared to go but that he had been
persuaded to stay by senior members of his party who were afraid of
The interview came the same day as South African President Thabo Mbeki, who
has been criticised for saying there was no crisis in his northern
neighbour, called for prompt publication of the election results.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, on a visit to the United States, told a
meeting of the United Nations in New York on Wednesday that Mugabe was
trying to steal the election.
The sharp language was endorsed on Thursday by U.S. President George W. Bush
who told a news conference after meeting Brown he supported his stand on
The former breadbasket of Africa is in the throes of economic and social
meltdown with inflation running at an annual rate of over 160,000 percent
and reports of widespread famine and deaths.
Mugabe blames a colonial plot for the troubles he barely admits the country
is suffering. (additional reporting by Ibon Villelabeitia) (Editing by
By a Special Correspondent
Friday, 18 April 2008
Mike had reached the safety of a hospital in Harare after being attacked by
President Robert Mugabe's youth militia a week ago. The 20-year-old's arms
were heavily bandaged from fingertip to elbow, and his face was scorched
from bundles of burning grass that been thrust at his eyes and hands.
Struggling for clarity through a heavy dose of painkillers, Mike told a
story that has become all too familiar as Mr Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party
take revenge for their unexpected setback in the elections last month at the
hands of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Zanu-PF lost its parliamentary majority, and the result of the presidential
contest has still not been released, almost certainly because Mr Mugabe
finished well behind the MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.
"On Friday I was taking supplies to a shop my family has in Mudzi [in Mutoko
district, about 90 miles east of the capital]," Mike said. "About 9pm I was
attacked by Zanu-PF youths from the local area. They said it was because I
am a member of the MDC, but I couldn't identify any of them because they
were shoving burning grass in my face. My hands were burnt when I put them
up to protect myself."
Mike's attackers beat him with thick wooden staves, breaking his right arm
and dislocating two fingers of his left hand before looting his shop. Police
took him to the local hospital, but, crippled by Zimbabwe's economic
collapse, it had no drugs to treat him and Zanu-PF's other victims. The MDC
had to pay for two trucks to bring them to the capital.
Many patients had similar stories. In one room lay an uncle and nephew, the
former with both arms broken, the latter with a broken leg. In another was a
man with his left arm broken, a fingertip missing from his right hand and a
severe wound in his leg. He said a man wearing an MDC T-shirt knocked on his
door and asked where he could find a local party activist. When the ruse
failed, they attacked him instead.
Zimbabwe Doctors for Human Rights said it had treated 173 victims of
organised violence and torture between 29 March and 14 April.
In a statement marking Zimbabwe's independence day today, the US ambassador,
James McGee, said: "We have disturbing and confirmed reports of threats,
beatings, abductions, burning of homes and even murder, from many parts of
Zanu-PF suffered in the election because voters in its heartland – the three
provinces of Mashonaland, across the north and north-east of Zimbabwe –
dared to turn to the opposition. It is here that the retaliation has been
most brutal. The MDC says at least two of its supporters have been killed
and scores more badly beaten. One man recognised his local Zanu-PF MP among
A senior MDC official, who asked not to be named because of a wave of
arrests of party figures, said reports were coming in of villagers' huts and
granaries being torched and livestock being killed. Last week, dissident
policemen said they had been given orders to seal off areas while the
inhabitants were terrorised by "war veterans", party militias and members of
the security forces.
According to an affidavit seen by The Independent, people in Murewa West, a
rural area of Mashonaland East province where the Zanu-PF MP lost her seat,
were forced to attend a meeting last Thursday. Zimbabwe's Minister of
Health, Dr David Parirenyatwa, threatened them with death if they voted
again for the MDC in a presidential election run-off.
Back in his hospital bed, Mike has just one question for the outside world.
"Why is Zimbabwe being overpowered by one person?"
18 April 2008
Last June the then US ambassador to Zimbabwe, Christopher Dell, made a
prediction that must have sent shivers down the spines of every Zanu-PF
Within six months, he predicted, Robert Mugabe’s government would be
How so? N o government in history ever survived with an inflation rate of
more than 100000 percent.
Mugabe was almost thumped out of office by Morgan Tsvangirai last month. The
jury is literally still out on the final verdict of the presidential
election, but Mugabe will know he came within a whisker of being thoroughly
humiliated by a man he loves to call names.
Mugabe’s reaction to Dell’s prediction was very political .
Many believe he could have reacted by addressing the inflation conundrum. He
could have made an impassioned appeal to the Chinese to lend him enough
yuans to pay off his arrears to the International Monetary Fund and have
them restore his country’s entitlement to balance of payment funds.
With that grand gesture of penance, he probably would have persuaded the US,
European Union, Australia, New Zealand and Canada to resume normal trading
relations with Zimbabwe.
But Mugabe has convinced colleagues they are still fighting the cold war and
that imperialism is still the No 1 enemy. Nothing matters more than
sacrificing even the lives of children and expectant mothers in this fight.
The immediate “solution” was to decree a price freeze on essential
commodities, which immediately emptied the shop shelves and must have thrown
thousands out of jobs and sent would-be investors running.
Unfortunately for Zimbabweans, Mugabe has very rarely considered their
urgent need for health, shelter, education, food and transport in the same
context as his mortal combatant with The Enemy.
Take the origin of the farm invasions. They were launched after he lost in a
referendum over a new constitution. Again, he reacted politically to the
There was no ready blueprint for a smooth takeover of the former commercial
farms. The funds were just not there for such a massive undertaking. But he
was ready to apply ad hoc measures to satisfy his and his friends’ political
What mattered most was the political objective – to sock it to the West.
Even if you go as far back as Gukurahundi, politics was the primary
consideration. There was a perceived attempt to overthrow the politically
dominant Zanu-PF element of the coalition government. That challenge had to
be ended once and for all and if, in pursuit of that goal, 20 000 citizens
were killed, didn’t the end justify the means ?
If the present impasse on the election results is not ended equitably,
Zimbabwe is in for prolonged strife. Eventually, politics could destroy the
country, if it hasn’t done so already.
Bill Saidi is deputy editor of The Standard in Zimbabwe.
By Jonga Kandemiiri
17 April 2008
Lawyers representing members of the Zimbabwean opposition arrested Tuesday
in the midst of a general strike called to pressure the Harare government to
release election results said some 27 of the detained were freed late
They said the activists were freed after signing statements admitting guilt
to offenses such as blocking traffic, and paying fines of Z$40,000 - less
than one U.S. cent. The country's currency has vastly depreciated amid
hyperinflation of 165,000%.
Members of the Movement for Democratic Change formation headed by Morgan
Tsvangirai freed Thursday included Shepherd Madamombe, recently elected
house member for the Harare constituency of Mabvuku-Tafara, accused of
But more than 100 others, including MDC staffers Kudakwashe Matibiri and
Luke Tamborinyoka, and freelance journalist Frank Chikowore, were still
detained in connection with the burning of a bus Tuesday in Warren Park,
MDC lawyer Charles Kwaramba told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that about 120
people have been held by police since Tuesday.
Wall Street Journal
April 18, 2008
Robert Mugabe is putting on a clinic for African despots. A lost election,
inflation at 200,000% and the contempt of his people can't budge the
The Mugabe regime wobbled, briefly, after the March 29 elections. Opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai humiliated the strongman by winning close to or
above 50% of the vote in a three-man presidential race, according to tallies
from individual polling stations. His Movement for Democratic Change also
wrested control of Parliament from the ruling ZANU-PF party. Optimists in
Harare speculated that Mr. Mugabe was about to resign.
That turned out to be wishful thinking. Instead, Mr. Mugabe regrouped.
Official presidential results haven't been released, and the regime, which
somehow let the parliamentary results slip out, is now reviewing votes in
enough districts to make sure ZANU-PF gets back Parliament. The counting is
unsupervised by independent observers.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mugabe let his goon squads loose. So-called war veterans,
often led by military professionals, are out in force. "There is growing
evidence that rural communities are being punished for their support for
opposition candidates," the U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe, James McGee, said
yesterday. "We have disturbing and confirmed reports of threats, beatings,
abductions, burnings of homes and even murder, from many parts of the
This blunt repression has stopped the opposition's postelection momentum. It
also makes it harder to find a way out of the crisis. In such a violent
environment, a second round in the presidential race is all but impossible.
The regime appeared to rule out that prospect yesterday by accusing Mr.
Tsvangirai of "treason." The Justice Minister claimed that the opposition
leader plotted with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to bring "an illegal
regime change in Zimbabwe."
The old white colonial bogeyman is another Mugabe favorite. With four in
five people out of work, millions faced with starvation and millions more
forced to flee abroad, not many Zimbabweans will fall for it. Yet people are
frightened and unwilling to stick their necks out if the country's
establishment won't do so first. A general strike call this week went
A way out would have to start with Zimbabwe's African neighbors, who have
propped up the regime for the past decade. Thabo Mbeki is the worst
offender. The South African President declared last weekend in Harare that
there was "no crisis" in Zimbabwe. Yesterday his government modified its
tone, expressing "concern" about the delay in the release of election
results. But also last weekend, at the meeting of southern African states in
Zambia, no one had a critical word to say about Mr. Mugabe.
Another stolen Zimbabwe election, amid closed regional eyes, reinforces the
worst stereotypes about Africa. A rare encouraging sign comes from Jacob
Zuma, the new African National Congress President who is next in line for
South Africa's presidency. He rebuked Mr. Mbeki this week, saying, "The
region cannot afford a deepening crisis in Zimbabwe."
Zimbabwe's long-suffering people are no different from Serbs in 2000 or
Filipinos in 1986 who seized an election opportunity to push an illegitimate
ruler out. The principle of "one man, one vote" is as valid in Africa as
anywhere else. Unfortunately for Zimbabwe, one man – Comrade Bob – stands in
Globe and Mail, Canada
DAVID MOORE AND DAVID SANDERS
Special to Globe and Mail Update
April 17, 2008 at 7:18 PM EDT
Only Robert Mugabe and his cronies benefit if Zimbabwe's deepening,
desperate impasse remains. The concatenation of vote rigging, international
intervention and talk of governments-in-exile merely buy time for the
As the regime's sell-by date lingers, Zimbabwe rots. Its whirling decline
and rocketing repression bring more brutality, nastiness and pestilence to
all but the parasitic elite. Any government of “national unity” – the South
African and international community's mutual mirage – will fail unless it
encompasses the popular will demonstrated by the Movement for Democratic
Change's fourth victory since real electoral races began in 2000.
A unity government will only consolidate Zimbabwe's exchange-rate-rich
bourgeoisie. Progressive elements of the MDC and civil society can either
accept this blight or halt Mugabeism by other means. Some historical lessons
might enable the means and ends to a better prospect.
Zimbabwe's political past tells us that Mr. Mugabe has answered challenges
with repression for 32 years now. Back then, he was opposed by
constellations resembling today's democratic impulses and radical projects.
There were elements of civil society, younger generations, party-building
efforts, radical democracy, pushes to national unity – even factions of the
military. If the democrats against him now forget this history, they're
myopic. If they remember its ideological and political elements but ignore
the military, they are utopian. Coercion, consent and negotiation were
wrapped up in the war of liberation. The Zimbabwean state's current heavy
securitization means the military role still cannot be ignored.
In 1975, efforts by South Africa and Zambia to create a
government-in-waiting of national unity among factions of Zimbabwe's
national liberation movement (for which Mr. Mugabe was released from
Rhodesia's prisons) failed. Zimbabwean African National Union national
chairman Herbert Chitepo was assassinated and the party disintegrated.
A group of young Marxists filled the vacuum, restarting the liberation war.
Resembling some of today's civil-society activists, they tried to unify
liberation armies, establish innovative educational structures and work with
progressive regional power-brokers. However, in 1976, Mr. Mugabe travelled
to Mozambique to join the eastern flank of the liberation struggle. His move
to the top culminated in his alliance with British and U.S. foreign-policy
makers who sought to stem the rise of Zimbabwean radicalism. By early 1977,
those attempting to unify the armies of ZANU and ZAPU – the Zimbabwean
African People's Union, led by Joshua Nkomo – were dumped in Mozambique's
prisons at Mr. Mugabe's instigation. Hundreds of young supporters were
brutally incarcerated in ZANU training camps.
Although these militarily and ideologically savvy young Turks trained
thousands of recruits in the Tanzanian and Mozambican camps, they failed to
make strong alliances with the core of their army's security forces. Mr.
Mugabe brought the leaders of the military's old guard to his side after
their release from Zambia's prisons, where they were held under suspicion of
having murdered Mr. Chitepo. This was the undoing of the new united army,
ZIPA. In 1978, more “dissident” cadres were tortured and imprisoned in
Mozambique. After independence, an assault on ZAPU in Matabeleland by ZANU's
notorious 5th Brigade logically followed. As many as 20,000 were killed
between 1982 and 1986.
In 2000, ZIPA's core reappeared in the Zimbabwe Liberators' Platform,
genuine war veterans countering the many posers enrolled in ZANU-PF's
land-invasion strategy against the MDC. The veterans' initial activist
inclinations were resurrected as they joined the Crisis in Zimbabwe
Coalition, which was temporarily paralyzed by secret police infiltrators.
Now back in action, it urged last week that parliament be immediately sworn
in to oversee the electoral process's next stage. It called for genuine
liberation war fighters and security commanders to “uphold their
constitutional duty to respect the outcome of the election as the genuine
sovereign expression of the popular will of Zimbabweans. To act otherwise
would be a treasonable offence for which they will stand accountable and
answerable jointly and severally.”
This statement echoes ZIPA's recognition of the importance of the fusion of
military, civil and political fronts. Now, civil society and party activists
must look to the soldiers and police, most of whom are from the working and
middle classes. They suffer along with their families, and most do not
support Mr. Mugabe – the forces meting out the current repression are
paramilitary and ragged “war vets,” not regular troops.
It may be that peace-loving people, including intellectuals, will find it
necessary to resist by force the violence of the Mugabe thugs. In any event,
the task at hand is to persuade the fusion of progressive fronts to take
forward the process begun in 1975.
Progressive Zimbabweans must make strategic alliances and maintain the
mobilization. The next stage is just over the horizon.
David Moore teaches politics and development studies at the University of
KwaZulu-Natal and has been researching and writing on Zimbabwean politics
since 1984. David Sanders, a Zimbabwean, heads the School of Public Health
University of the Western Cape
Church Times, UK
18 April, 2008
by Pat Ashworth
THE POLITICAL impasse in Zimbabwe is hampering the humanitarian aid
effort, says a statement issued by Save the Children last Friday. It
estimates that one third of children in rural areas are chronically
“Children we are working with are trying to survive on bitter wild
fruit that they mix with ash to soften the taste,” said Rachel Pounds, the
charity’s country director in Zimbabwe.
“Many have been forced to drop out of school because they have no
clothes, are too weak to travel the long distances, or have to try and find
work in an attempt to get food or money for their families.” Children are
also bearing the brunt of the HIV and AIDS epidemic in Zimbabwe.
Aid organisations are finding themselves unable to deliver aid, said
Ms Pound. She spoke of undistributed stocks of mosquito nets and kits to
help children look after relatives with AIDS and not become infected
“None of [this] can be delivered until there is a resolution to this
crisis. The chronic shortages in the country are also impeding what we can
do. We can’t even buy seed to distribute in preparation for next year’s
The failure of Zimbabwe’s neighbours, the Southern African Development
Community (SADC), to do more than recommend the “expeditious” release of the
election results provoked fury and despair this week.
Amid clear evidence of the intimidation, torture, and abduction of
voters who supported the opposition party, the Movement for Democratic
Change, the Bishop of Natal, the Rt Revd Rubin Phillip, called on South
African church leaders to rediscover their prophetic voice. They should
engage the country’s politicians on the question of Zimbabwe.
Speaking from Natal on Tuesday, Bishop Phillip said that despondency
had “grabbed the hearts” of Zimbabweans. “They had really hoped SADC would
pull them out of this mess by at least setting some deadlines for Mugabe.
Nothing has happened. Local people fear it could drag on for months.”
The Bishop promoted an ecumenical mission from churches in Durban and
Pietermaritzburg before and during the election. The mission confirmed the
heavy pre-election bias of state-run media: “The few reports on other
political parties were always negative to the point of being abusive.”
The mission also observed ZANU-PF “using food, tractors, buses,
computers, and many other goods to entice the voters”. It is in possession
of a letter stipulating that people had to be approved by ZANU-PF in order
to get food from the Grain Marketing Board.
Bishop Phillip, who this week received photos of people who had been
tortured and beaten in the aftermath of the elections, declares himself
“perplexed by the muted response of many of our leaders in South Africa, and
their lack of urgency in the face of imminent civil strife”.
He also expressed himself grieved by the “weak and pathetic” response
of the Anglican Church in South Africa, which had been so prophetic on
apartheid. The only public comment on Zimbabwe that the synod of bishops had
made was within a general Easter statement that included a hope that
“elections [in various societies] must not fall into chaos, manipulation or
By Alec Russell in Johannesburg and William Wallis in,London
Published: April 18 2008 03:00 | Last updated: April 18 2008 03:00
South Africa faced fresh embarrassment over its relations with Zimbabwe last
night as officials confirmed they had cleared a shipment of arms to dock at
the port of Durban for transit to its northern neighbour.
The case threatens to embroil Beijing, Harare's most important ally in
recent years, as the ship carrying the cargo, the An Yue Jiang, is Chinese.
With China facing embarrassment over its crackdown in Tibet and over its
links with Sudan, diplomats say the last thing it needs ahead of the Beijing
Olympics is a furore over its ties with Zimbabwe.
The South African newspaper Beeld said a copy of the ship's cargo
documentation showed it was carrying almost 3m rounds of ammunition suitable
for AK-47 assault rifles. There were also reports that the shipment
contained mortar bombs and rocket-propelled grenade equipment.
Police confirmed that the shipment included arms, sparking an outcry and
demands from the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, for it to
be impounded. The discovery comes at a sensitive time for South Africa's
government as it faces international criticism of its "quiet diplomacy"
towards Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's president.
Mr Mugabe faces accusations of trying to steal last month's presidential
election. Harare's electoral authorities have not released the results
almost three weeks after the polls closed. Supporters of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change - which says it won the election - are being
intimidated by statesponsored militias.
Themba Maseko, the South African government's chief spokesman, said the
authorities could not prevent the shipment reaching its destination. Mr
Maseko said South Africa had to be seen to be "treading very carefully" in
its relations with Zimbabwe, given its role as chief mediator between the
MDC and Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF.
Arms control lobbyists disagreed. "The South African government has a legal
obligation, as well as a moral obligation, not to issue the permit to allow
the weapons to leave Durban port," said Joseph Dube, Africa co-ordinator for
the International Action Network on Small Arms, a global weapons control
Mbeki urged to quit Zimbabwe role
Pretoria's year-old role as chief mediator in the Zimbabwe crisis was thrown
into doubt last night after Morgan Tsvangirai, the Zimbabwean MDC opposition
leader, called on South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki to step down.
In a sign of the increasing divisions in the region, Mr Tsvangirai called on
the Southern African Development Community, the regional grouping, to lead a
new initiative led by the Zambian government. "President Mbeki needs to be
relieved of his duties," Mr Tsvangirai said.
He said Levy Mwanawasa, Zambia's president, who last year described Zimbabwe
as a "sinking Titanic", should head a new effort to resolve the crisis.
Mail and Guardian
Sam Sole | Durban, South Africa
18 April 2008 07:10
The South African government is determined to allow the export
of a large consignment of Chinese weapons and ammunition to the Zimbabwe
Defence Force (ZDF).
The Mail & Guardian has confirmed that AB Logistics, state-owned
Armscor's transport arm, has been approached to handle the transport of the
weapons to Zimbabwe, after several private logistics firms backed out of the
transport contract because of the sensitive cargo and concerns about the
ability of the Zimbabwean government to pay the transport costs.
The government's role flies in the face of growing evidence of a
campaign of human rights abuse intended to intimidate supporters of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) -- and independent observers'
assessment that there is a de facto military government in Zimbabwe.
This week, noseweek editor Martin Welz blew the whistle on the
arms shipment, following the leaking to noseweek of the delivery
The documents, which the M&G has obtained, show that six
containers of weapons destined for the ZDF were shipped to Durban by the
Chinese government-controlled conglomerate Poly Technologies for onward
transport to Harare. The consignment comprises three million rounds of AK-47
ammunition, 1 500 rocket-propelled grenades and more than 3 000 mortar
rounds together with mortar tubes.
It is aboard the Chinese vessel An Yue Jiang, which was, at the
time of going to press, still waiting for a harbour berth in Durban.
An employee of AB Logistics in Durban, who asked not to be
named, said: "We have been asked to assist this tie because their usual
agents couldn't handle this delivery ... At AB we all have the necessary
security clearance, but it's up to the government to say whether the
shipment must take place."
But government spokesperson Themba Maseko said on Thursday that
South Africa was "not in a position to act unilaterally and interfere in a
trade deal between two countries".
"South Africa is not at all involved in the arrangement: it's a
matter between the two countries. It would be possible, but very difficult
for South Africa to start intervening and saying that we will not allow the
shipment through," Maseko told a media briefing.
Indications are that the consignment is a rushed delivery. It
left China on March 15, days before the Zimbabwean elections, and apparently
arrived off Durban on April 10 without the necessary documents to allow its
entry into port.
Defence Secretary January Masilela said he had issued a
conveyance permit on Monday after being alerted. He said the permit,
allowing the weapons to transit through South Africa, was issued in terms of
powers granted to him to make determinations between sittings of the
national conventional arms control committee (NCACC).
Normally such permits would be sought well ahead of the shipment
of the weapons.
Masilela said he had "informed" Defence Minister and NCACC
chairperson Mosiuoa Lekota and Local Government Minister Sydney Mufamadi of
the permit issue. He said: "The position on arms to Zimbabwe is that we
trade normally with Zimbabwe; there is no embargo."
Asked whether consideration had been given to NCACC policy,
which discourages weapons exports to conflict zones and countries involved
in the "systematic violation or suppression of humanitarian rights and
fundamental freedoms", Masilela said he could not take account of
He said there was no United Nations or African Union embargo on
the supply of weapons to Zimbabwe, nor was there a Cabinet decision, as in
the case of Israel.
Attempts to get comment from Mufamadi were unsuccessful.
The M&G has also established that the chief inspector of
explosives -- whose approval is also required for the shipment to proceed --
dispatched an inspector to Durban from Pretoria on the first flight
available on Thursday morning. He is expected to check safety aspects of the
consignment as soon as the vessel docks, but the policy decision has already
been taken by the NCACC.
Meanwhile, the International Action Network on Small Arms has
called on the South African government to prevent the trans-shipment of the
weapons to Zimbabwe "in view of the strong likelihood that such arms will be
used in Zimbabwe ... to contribute to the violent attacks on civilians and
the abuse of fundamental human rights including the suppression of
Democratic Alliance defence spokesperson Rafeek Shah said on
Thursday: "If the government allows the weapons consignment to cross South
African territory unhindered, and stands idly by while these weapons are
used to suppress the Zimbabwean people, then any pretence that we are an
honest broker in the Zimbabwean electoral process will be exposed for the
sham that it is."
International Herald Tribune
By Graham Bowley Published: April 18, 2008
The verbal salvos over Zimbabwe's disputed election escalated on Thursday,
with the government accusing the opposition of treason, South Africa
toughening its position by calling for the release of election results and
the Zimbabwean opposition demanding that South Africa bow out as the
mediator of the political standoff.
Zimbabwe's government, in a state-run newspaper, said it had uncovered a
plot by the opposition to conspire with Britain to topple President Robert
Mugabe, who has led the nation since its independence 28 years ago. The
government paper printed a 2,200-word document — which both British and
opposition officials have dismissed as fake — laying out a plan to "bring
about change at any cost."
"This amounts to treason," said Patrick Chinamasa, Zimbabwe's justice
minister, according to local news reports.
Zimbabwean opposition officials said the government was simply trying to
manufacture a case to round up opposition leaders.
"The intention is to justify atrocities," said Nelson Chamisa, a spokesman
for the main opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change.
Chamisa said that the atrocities had already begun and that hundreds of
opposition supporters had been detained and badly beaten. He said that
opposition leaders were worried after seeing the article in the state-run
newspaper that the crackdown was only going to get worse.
"Nobody's safe," he said.
Zimbabwe has been pitched into uncertainty since a presidential election
last month between Mugabe, an 84-year-old former guerrilla fighter, and
Morgan Tsvangirai, the top opposition leader. Independent election monitors
have said that Tsvangirai won more votes, but Zimbabwe's election commission
has refused to release final results, and now it appears the two men are
headed toward a run-off. Many Zimbabweans fear it could get bloody. A court
case on the government's demand for a partial recount was postponed on
Thursday until Friday.
Tsvangirai's party has complained bitterly that South Africa, the most
powerful country in the region, is not putting enough pressure on Mugabe to
step down. Last week, South Africa's president, Thabo Mbeki, urged the world
to be patient and denied that Zimbabwe was in the throes of a political
The country's economy is in a free-fall, with an official inflation rate of
more than 160,000 percent, and millions of impoverished Zimbabweans have
already fled into South Africa.
On Thursday, the South African government seemed to change tack, calling for
election results to be released as soon as possible.
"The situation could escalate and soon get out of hand," said Themba Maseko,
a South African government spokesman.
These were the most alarmist words yet from South Africa, but still, they
did not satisfy Zimbabwe's opposition leaders. On Thursday, Tsvangirai said
at a news conference that Mbeki should step down as the mediator between
Mugabe and the opposition. Mbeki has been appointed that role by a regional
bloc of 14 African nations.
Chamisa, the opposition spokesman, said that Mbeki's approach of soft
diplomacy and non-confrontation was pointless with a government that was
intent on using intimidation and brutality to stay in power.
"If you could just see the people here, they're all walking around shaking
their head at what Mbeki is doing," Chamisa said by telephone from Zimbabwe.
South Africa's government bristled at the criticism.
"Our president has been the only leader who has rolled up his sleeves and
talked to both parties," Maseko said.
He said that it was thanks to the steady, pre-election mediation efforts by
South Africa that Zimbabwe's voting was as transparent as it was, with the
results from each polling station tacked to the door.
"This will go down in history as one of the most peaceful elections in
Zimbabwe's history," Maseko said.
But international criticism of the elections have been widespread. Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday that Zimbabwe's African neighbors
had to do more to solve the crisis, and described Mugabe's last few years of
rule as an "abomination."
The election has been particularly difficult for foreign journalists to
cover. Most who applied for official permission to come to Zimbabwe as
journalists have been denied. Several journalists have been arrested,
including Barry Bearak, one of The New York Times correspondents based in
South Africa. Bearak was released from the country on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Jonathan Clayton, an Africa correspondent for the Times of
London, left the country after being jailed, tortured and interrogated by
the Zimbabwean security services, the Times said.
Clayton was arrested last Wednesday after flying into the country, but was
quickly spirit away by the authorities.
"The chief interrogator kicked the soles of my feet and then hit me across
the face," Clayton said, according to the Times. "He warned me that he'd
count to five and do it again. He tried to make me stand on my head and
stand on one leg. I did very badly and got angry."
Clayton was eventually acquitted of the primary charge of falsifying his
immigration form but found guilty of making a false declaration and fined.
Graham Bowley reported from New York and a Zimbabwean journalist contributed
from Harare, Zimbabwe
by Susan Njanji 2 hours, 40 minutes ago
HARARE (AFP) - Zimbabwe's beleaguered President Robert Mugabe was set to
make Friday his first keynote speech since the country's disputed polls at
celebrations to mark the 28th anniversary of the country's independence.
Mugabe was scheduled to be the main speaker at a rally at the Gwanzura
stadium in Highfield, a suburb of Harare which was once one of the hotbeds
of opposition to the erstwhile whites-only regime of Ian Smith.
The 84-year-old president, still regarded as a hero in many parts of Africa
for his leading role in the 1970s liberation war, is facing the biggest
threat to his grip on power which began with independence on April 18, 1980.
His ruling party lost control of parliament in elections on March 29 and,
even though the results have yet to be announced, his camp has already
acknowledged he failed to win a majority over opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai in a simultaneous presidential election.
While Mugabe has made few public comments since the elections, he told a
group of youngsters on Thursday that it was vital to defend the country
against British "imperialism".
"We should not let our children down by dropping our guard against
imperialism, British imperialism, which is surreptitiously and clandestinely
weaving its way through our society trying to divide us," he told hundreds
of children at an eve-of-independence party in the capital Harare.
Mugabe was expected to expand on his theme at the independence day
celebrations which he has previously used as an opportunity to paint
Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) as puppets of the
Tsvangirai was set to be absent from the anniversary celebrations, having
been accused by Mugabe's government of "treason" after he allegedly courted
Britain to intervene militarily in its former colony.
The correspondence, published in the state-run Herald newspaper, was
dismissed by the British embassy in Harare as a hoax.
In a press conference in Johannesburg on Thursday, Tsvangirai said the
country known as Rhodesia during British rule was facing its darkest days
"This is the saddest independence day since our liberation from colonial
rule," said Tsvangirai in an address to reporters in which he also accused
Mugabe's followers of embarking on a campaign of violence and intimidation
against supporters of the opposition MDC.
In an independence day message, the US ambassador to Zimbabwe also charged
that MDC supporters had been murdered, abducted and forced from their homes
in a spate of violence in rural areas since last month's elections.
"Sadly, as Zimbabwe celebrates its 28th birthday, many Zimbabweans are
unable to celebrate. What should be a proud and joyful day for Zimbabweans
is overshadowed by uncertainty and fear," Ambassador James McGee said.
International pressure for the release of the poll results has been steadily
growing with the South African cabinet calling on Thursday for the outcome
to be declared as soon as possible.
Frustrated at South African President Thabo Mbeki's refusal to publicly
criticise Mugabe, Tsvangirai has called for Mbeki to be "relieved of his
duties" as a mediator in Zimbabwe.
US President George W. Bush has also criticised the softly-softly approach
of some African leaders.
"I appreciate those in the region who have spoken out on this issue --
appreciate the fact that some in the region have spoken out against
violence. More leaders in the region need to speak out," Bush said after
talks with Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Thursday.
April 18, 2008, 07:15
Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says today is the saddest
Independence Day in Zimbabwe. Today marks 28 years since Zimbabwe's
independence from Britain in 1980.
President Robert Mugabe is set to address the main celebrations in the
capital Harare. Results from last month's presidential elections are still
outstanding, almost three weeks after the poll. Tsvangirai says there is
nothing to celebrate. "Zimbabwe is among the worst humanitarian case of the
new century, Zimbabweans have no food, no schools and hospitals because of
Mugabe's policies" says Tsvangirai.
Yesterday President Mugabe urged hundreds of youths to defend the country
against what he called British imperialism. He said the British were trying
to divide the people of Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile Tsvangirai has called on Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa to lead
new mediation efforts to resolve the election crisis. Tsvangirai yesterday
said President Thabo Mbeki should be relieved of his duties as mediator, as
the new initiative will expand beyond him.
Executive Director of Research at Unisa, Professor Tinyiko Maluleke, says
Tsvangirai's call for Mbeki to recuse himself as mediator is nothing but an
expression of frustration.
April 18, 2008, 06:00
Zimbabweans living in South Africa will march in Musina, Limpopo, today to
demonstrate against their country's independence celebrations. The group,
known as the Peace and Democracy Project, are also calling for the release
of Zimbabwe's election results.
Today marks the 28th anniversary of Zimbabwe's independence from Britain in
1980. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is set to address the main
celebrations in the capital Harare amid a climate of political uncertainty.
Results from last month's presidential elections are still outstanding, more
than two weeks after the poll. Shrugging off the delayed results saga,
Mugabe kicked off Independence Day celebrations with a children's party in
Public attendance and participation in the celebrations will be watched
keenly as many feel disillusioned by the results impasse. A controversial
recount of ballots in 23 constituencies is set to get underway tomorrow.
Welcome everyone we are a group of people that have decided to FREE ZIMBABWE
from zanu pf and we are doing it through calling the zanu pf ministers and
officials and giving them a piece of our minds so if you would like to join
in our bid for freedom then choose any one of the numbers here and call the
person and let them know that it is time for them to pack and leave....
Below are the numbers with the names......
If dialing by direct access from uk put 141 before your number. Cannot be
traced that way.
There is a very serious effort now taking place to force Zanu PF and Mugabe
to rightfully concede defeat and give us our country back.
A phone campaign started on Monday evening on Newzimbabwe.com has swept
across the globe and Zimbabweans abroad are taking action by phoning top
Zanu PF people, government departments and others associated with refusal to
hand over power to the people. Due to the presence of Zimbabweans across all
time zones in the world, we have managed to disrupt Zanu activities and
spark the fear of people power deep in their hearts. We have effectively
jammed their lines of communications!
They took away our diaspora vote but they cannot silence our voices.
Please do your bit and call today and tell them we want the presidential
results out, we want Mugabe out of office and we want our country back.
If you wish to hide your number, use phone cards, dial 141 first if in the
UK, *67 in Canada, etc. Do not be afraid to call. There are literally
thousands doing so right now. If you get a busy tone, congratulate yourself
because someone else has gotten through.
Please pass this e-mail to everyone you know abroad and let's show them how
much we want our country back.
Hamuyarira Nathan SHAMUYARIRA : 04 862073 6
7 RUBIDGE CL BORROWDALE
SAMUEL MUMBENGEGWI MUMBENGEGWI S C: 04 882930
22 STOUR ROAD VAINONA BORROWDALE
CHIMUTENGWENDE C C C: 04 251386
8 SAN FERNANDO 130 FIFE AVE HARARE
CHIHURI AUGUSTINE: 04 862410
431 BINTON RD BORROWDALE
Mnangagwa - 011 605700
OFFICE OF PRESIDENT 04 252440
MUNHUMUTAPA BLDG S MACHEL AVE HARARE
Francis Nhema: 04 882926
3 FARTHINGHILL P O BORROWDALE
BVUDZIJENA WAYNE: 04 884971
75 SRONECHAT LANE BORROWDALE
CHIYANGWA P HON: 04 883148
8 HOBOURNE HILL BALLANTYNE PARK HARARE
KANGAI K M: 04 861944
25 GLENFOREST RD BORROWDALE HARARE
MANGWANA P M: 04 797845
9 BATH RD AVONDALE
TOBAIWA MUDEDE MUDEDE T: 04 860033
903 TOP CLOSE HATCLIFFE BORROWDALE
O.MUCHINGURI(mugabe's ex-girlfriend): 020 61840
4 BAHUNIA CLOSE MUTARE
CIO boss BONYONGWE H: 04 497849
76 ORANGE GROVE DR HIGHLANDS
Ministry of CIO NICHOLAS T.GOCHE: 0718 2204
CERES FARM SHAMVA 0718 2205
SEKERAMAI S T THE HON: 04 860042
MADE J M: 04 492982
101 HARARE DR ATHLONE HARARE
CHOMBO I DR HON: 067 25297
221 CHITOMBORWIZI CHINHOYI
MUJURU JOICE T.R: 04 443062
18 COGHLAN RD GREENDALE
BARWE REUBEN: 04 740245
51 LAWLEY AVE BELVEDERE HARARE
MSIKA J W (Vice PRESIDENT): 04 883097
11 NIGELS LANE HIGHLANDS
Dydimus MUTASA(CIO): 02582 2087
STD NO. 201 HEADLANDS
Saviour Kasukuwere:04 369444
19 TWICKENHAM DR MT PLEASANT
Patreck Chinamasa( this one crafting all the laws to oppress the masses):04
2 HONEY BEAR LANE BORROWDALE HARARE
Joseph Chinotimba(War vet idiot): 04 614826
State House Office of the President:
700071, 700073-76, 700098, 701947, 701956, 708682, 708690, 708691, 708712
Augustine Chihuri: 250008/792621/ 700171
Home Affairs Minister
Kembo Mohadi: 011-605424/ 430422/ 794628/ 703695
Text him 011-605424
State Security Minister
Didymus Mutasa: 011200532-774189
Resident Governor for Matabeleland
Cain Matema: cell no: 011871431
Work no: 09 887596 .
ZVINAVASHE VITALIS: 062 2371 or 062 3007
MERTON PARK FARM NORTON
CHIWENGA CONSTANINO GUVEY: 04 862530
614 NICK PRICE RD BORROWDALE HARARE
MORE NUMBERS ON
Amos Midzi: 04 301712
Charm Muchinguri: 04 496629
Minister of Economic Development
Sylvester Nguni: 04-862032 / 04-862035
Obert Mpofu: 09 246060
Bulawayo CID: 09 884132
SAMUEL MUMBENGEGWI: 04 882930
22 STOUR ROAD VAINONA BORROWDALE
Shamuyarira Nathan: 04 862073
67 RUBIDGE CL BORROWDALE
MPOFU OBERT 04 852033/4
2501 GAYDON RD GREYSTONE PARK BORROWDALE
Lt Co, Mazaiwana: 04 741 604
Chihuri cell is: +26311808290
Bvudzijena cell is: +26311801172
Lt Co Sedze L: 04 860533
Herald House and ask for the Editor: 708296 / 704088 / 794893 / 705199
Lt Tsodzai: 04 860 953
Made: 04 860 953
CHIHURI AUGUSTINE: 04 862410
Chihuri cell: +263 11808290
CHIWENGA: 04 862530
BUKA FLORA :04 745342
14270 STRAKER AVE GUNHILL HARARe
BONYONGWE Happyton ( CIO director): 04 497849
76 ORANGE GROVE DR HIGHLANDS
Here are some FAX numbers:
President's Office: +263 4 708848
Fidelity Printers: +263 4 486474
RBZ: +263 4 707800 / +263 4 706450
Min. Info & Pub: +263 4 790402 / +263 4 707768
Min. Ind & Int Trade: +263 4 704116 / +263 4 729311
Min. Of Chombo: +263 4 792307
Gono's Office: 703096
Presidential guard: 707745 or 707451---2156