|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
2 April 2003
THE MDC PRESIDENT’S STATEMENT ON THE CURRENT STATE-SPONSORED VIOLENCE AND THE BRUTALISATION, MALICIOUS PROSECUTION AND TORTURE OF THE LEADERS AND SUPPORTERS OF THE MOVEMENT OF DEMOCRATIC CHANGE.
The arbitrary arrest of the MDC Vice President and leader of the official opposition in Parliament, Mr. Gibson Sibanda on the flimsy accusation of demanding the accountability of the Mugabe regime to the people is a clear demonstration that the war against the people announced by Mugabe has now been fully declared.
Mr. Sibanda is being held like a common criminal, barred from visits even by his wife. His only alleged “crime” is to fulfil his democratic duties as a leader of a legal and legitimate opposition party challenging an illegitimate, murderous and dictatorial regime steeped in the blood of thousands and pegged on the skeletons of innocent Zimbabweans.
The reality of the situation is that the arrest of Sibanda, and the general threats to the entire leadership and supporters of the MDC, is the regime’s response to the resounding expression of the people’s democratic choices in the Kuwadzana and Highfield by-elections. This regime cannot handle, and rejects all, democratic processes.
Two weeks after the 18 and 19 March 2003 peaceful stay away by the people, the wave of state sponsored violence against defenceless citizens, which started during that period has now been intensified to the point whereby it is now extremely dangerous for ordinary citizens to go about their normal business, reside in peaceful neighbourhoods and enjoy the comfort of their own homes. They are routinely haunted and hounded in their neighbourhoods and brutalized and tortured in their homes.
As the chief enforcer of a violent and illegitimate regime Mugabe cannot handle peaceful protests that expose his dictatorship in the eyes of the world. Consequently the current violence and murder are intended to create dangerous situations similar to the conditions of a civil war in the context of which he will proceed to physically eliminate all the leaders of the MDC. We aware of active plans and the timing by the Mugabe regime to implement this genocidal policy.
We want to warn Mugabe once again that murder has never been an effective policy in the resolution of political problems. The inspiration he proudly draws from Adolf Hitler ought to inform him about that fact. The crimes against humanity which his regime perpetrates daily are pushing the people of Zimbabwe to levels of desperation the consequences of and reaction to which can never be foreseen. The people of Zimbabwe will not remain sitting ducks while an illegitimate regime continues to brutalize them.
We appeal to all democratic forces, civil society and the Church to stand up and confront this evil. We urge them to demand the immediate withdrawal of the police, the army and ZANU PF militia from all the residential areas. Life expectancy in the high density suburbs is now measured in seconds.
We want to state it on record that we are a peaceful, democratic political party committed to the pacific resolution of the Zimbabwean crisis. The people of Zimbabwe demonstrated this by staying in their homes during the mass stay away two weeks ago, but the agents of the regime brought violence into these homes.
Peaceful modes of protest are legitimate ways of expressing political views in all countries governed by elected governments. This is what Zimbabweans are being denied. We therefore ask all the elected heads of SADC states to take serious note of the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe and Mugabe’s deliberate attempts to put in place the ingredients of a civil war. A civil war has serious repercussions for the entire region.
We further appeal to the international community to react to this murderous dictatorship in the same manner that it has always handled regimes that wage wars against innocent citizens.
Zimbabweans are determined to complete the change through collective action for national survival.