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Magistrates refuse to Preside over MDC MP’s case

http://zimbabwemetro.com

By Raymond Mhaka ⋅ zimbabwemetro.com ⋅ June 11, 2008
All Magistrates in Rusape have refused to preside over the MDC-T MP-elect
for Buhera West, Eric Matinenga’ s case, who is facing charges of inciting
public violence.

Chief public prosecutor Florence Ziyambi said that the magistrates had
refused to handle the matter, saying she was not sure whether Matinenga
would be released or further detained.

“Most magistrates refused to hear the matter on the basis that they once
worked with Matinenga while others just showed no interest for unknown
reasons,” said Ziyambi.

It has emerged that Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander,Constantine Chiwenga
ordered jailed MDC MP Eric Matinenga to be re-arrested and locked up “Until
I die”. He personally called the police and instructed them to disregard any
orders from the courts.

The High Court had earlier ordered the police to release Matinenga.

Chiwenga is reportedly furious over the High Court application against the
army that Matinenga successfully lodged ordering Zimbabwe Defence Forces
(ZDF) commander General Constantine Chiwenga to remove soldiers from Buhera
and other rural areas where he says they are harassing and assaulting MDC
supporters.

Chiwenga filed opposing papers. The ZDF chief claims in his papers that
Matinenga’s application was based on false and incorrect information that
soldiers were deployed in rural areas to target opposition supporters for
harassment.

“I am not aware of any members of the defence forces who are targeting
members of any political party whatsoever,” Chiwenga wrote in affidavit to
court.


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Zimbabwe bars use of satellite dishes


Published in: Legalbrief Today
Date: Thu 12 June 2008
Category: Legislation
Issue No: 2088



Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has passed a law prohibiting the use of satellite dishes for television reception in the country.

According to a report in Beeld, the opposition claims the Zimbabwe Government has effectively banned access to e.tv, SABC, Botswana TV and DStv stations to control information dissemination. Zimbabweans will now only have state-controlled television to watch.
Full Beeld report

[Unfortunately the Beeld report is in Afrikaans... below is the best online translation I could get]

zim: 'remove jul tv-dishes'
jun 11 2008 08:30:35:250pm††-†(sa)††

media24-africa-office

the zimbabwiese government have instruct that people who over satellietskottels for tv-reception dispose, diť dishes of their houses se roofs remove.

surgical operation dzikisai madishi (subtract your satellietskottel) is according to the movement for democratic change (mdc) thereupon toegespits at/to zimbabwiŽrs access to e.tv, the sabc, botswana tv, as well as certain dstv-channels to ontsÍ.

it include nuusprogramme in which hoogs critical contents over the mugabe-bewind being broadcast (get).

it let zimbabwiŽrs now/narrow with just the programmes of the zimbabwiese uitsaaikorporasie, that/what under staatsbeheer is and only in stedelike areas proper reception enjoy. reception in landelike areas is in the reŽl very poor.

“diť surgical operation is part of ’a berekende effort by the rťgime at/to all channels which can be used at/to information obtain, to be closed and in this way the verkiesing to steal,” sÍ the mdc in ’a statement.

surgical operation dzikisai madishi follow aŠ surgical operation makavotera papi (how are you having gestem?), that/what inducement being given have to large scale violence against kiesers that/what in the verkiesing of 29 march for the mdc gestem have.

surgical operation dzikisai madishi have past week already in matabeleland-south beginning and (get) according to the mdc now/narrow nationwide been done by elements of the power station intelligence-organisation, the military, the police and jeugmilisie.

reuters report out harare the mugabe-bewind has announced hes going to in areas where the mdc the biggest sustain enjoy, still more oorlogsveterane deployed.

in the masvingo-province, in which/where zanu-pf different parliamentÍre setels lost have, have some-amptenare at the zimbabwiese broadcasting service gesÍ they/them/their goes the campaign toespits “on probleemgebiede in which/where mdc-structures they/them/their ingegrawe have”.

“our set units of oorlogsveterane together at/to this areas within to goes and this people and companies which they support, to confront,” have retiree genl.maj. alex mudavanhu, zanu-pf se masvingo-chairman, gesÍ.

“our goes on the people tell that zanu-pf not this verkiesing goes lost not,” have he gesÍ.


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We will pull the silent trigger - defiant voters

The Zimbabwean

Tuesday, 10 June 2008 11:01

BY STAFF REPORTERS
HARARE
Since Zanu (PF) lost the March 29 elections to Morgan Tsvangirai and
the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) some 10 weeks ago, Robert Mugabe
and his military junta have reduced Zimbabwe to a state of anarchy - where
terror reigns.

Armed militias have been given free reign throughout the countryside,
and now even in the urban areas, to steal, torture, rape and pillage in the
name of Zanu (PF). The police, partisan at the best of times, have become
the major perpetrators of the barbaric, state-sponsored mayhem.
Despite a High Court order for soldiers to withdraw from the rural
areas and return to barracks, they continue to wage war on the defenceless
population whose only crime has been to exercise their democratic right to
vote for whomever they choose - they chose Morgan Tsvangirai. And they are
being punished.
The police have set up roadblocks countrywide, ostensibly to stop guns
being moved around the country. But Zanu (PF) is the only party with guns
and they are moving them at will wherever they please. The real purpose of
the roadblocks is to disrupt all movement of the MDC election campaign
machinery.
It is clear that everything being done by the junta is focussed on one
end - getting Mugabe a victory at the run-off scheduled for June 27. MDC
activists are being kidnapped in large numbers, tortured and in some cases
killed. The operation is known as Project Decapitation.
A prominent political analyst said Mugabe and the junta had abandoned
all pretence of campaigning for the election run-off.
"They have no ideas, no solutions for Zimbabwe's problems. They simply
want to remain in power and they are terrorising the people and stealing
their vote right now, before the election, by taking away their IDs," he
said. "What is happening in Zimbabwe today is not an election campaign, it
state-sponsored terrorism."
Morgan Tsvangirai's campaign activities have been thwarted at every
turn. He and his officials have been arrested on a number of occasions and
held at remote police stations for hours to prevent rallies taking place.
Zanu thugs have invaded rally venues, as police stand by and do nothing to
stop them. MDC activists were prevented from putting up campaign posters in
Bulawayo by police who told them "This is Mugabe's country". High Court
orders demanding that rallies be allowed to go ahead without interference
have been ignored.
The junta's cynical disregard for the law is paramount. It has even
sunk as low as to steal Tsvangirai's bullet-proof BMW. The car, provided
because the police said they were unable to protect Tsvangirai when he
returned to Zimbabwe last month, was taken from him by the police on the
pretext that it was registered in South African and the driver had no letter
from the owner authorising him to drive it. It was supposedly in police
custody, but MDC officials issued a statement this week saying it was seen
being used by Zanu militias to campaign for Mugabe.
The Zanu strategy in the rural areas is nothing short of diabolical.
They round up the people in an area where Zanu (PF) lost the March
elections, particularly in areas formerly believed to be Zanu strongholds,
such as Mashonaland. Then the thugs drag one person, usually an elderly
woman, to the front and start beating her. The villagers are encouraged to
"confess" voting for MDC. The beating does not stop until they do. Once they
have "confessed", their IDs are taken destroyed - making it impossible for
them to vote on June 27.
Reports have been received of people being "baptised" in the name of
Zanu (PF) after such confession sessions.
In many cases starving people have been told they can get food in
return for surrender of their IDs. Many thousands have been displaced by the
violence and burning of their properties, and have effectively been robbed
of their vote because they cannot return to the constituencies where they
are registered.
Remarkably, in the face of such brutality, the spirit of the majority
of Zimbabweans remains indomitable. Reports pour in constantly of the
people's determination to "pull the silent trigger" on June 27 that will
finish Mugabe off once and for all.
"People are saying that they have been stunned by the demonstration of
Zanu (PF)'s viciousness and brutality in the past two months and there is no
way they will vote for continued rule by such a party," say analysts. "They
are battered, bloodied and down - but not out. Never before have such levels
of cruelty been seen - on such a scale - in Zimbabwe. People are determined
to end it."
Mugabe was dealt a fatal blow on March 29 and the people know it. He
is at his weakest now - having lost the popular support he enjoyed for three
decades. He now rules only by terror and people are determined to deliver
the decisive knock-out blow - as long as they can hang on to their precious
IDs until June 27.
In the midst of the mayhem, there is no sign of the international
observers tasked with monitoring the pre-election period. However, given
their craven pro-Mugabe stance at the last election, many believe their
presence or absence is irrelevant.
International human rights bodies said this week that any chance of
holding a free and fair election in Zimbabwe had evaporated. In a report
entitled "Bullets for each of you", Human Rights Watch says soldiers
threatened to come back and shoot villagers after the elections if they
dared vote for Tsvangirai.
Political analysts say its behaviour during recent weeks demonstrates
that Zanu (PF) never made the transition from guerrilla army to government.
"They just don't know how to govern. Mugabe and Zanu (PF) obviously never
made the psychological adjustment from waging war to governing in peace."


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Harare diary: Descent into violence

BBC
23:30 GMT, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 00:30 UK

An infant cries in a makeshift open air cmp among some 34 adults and 106 children in the town of Mutare in eastern Zimbabwe on April 17, 2008 after their homes were burnt down

Esther (not her real name), 28, a professional living and working in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, is writing a regular diary on the challenges of leading a normal life.

Zimbabwe is suffering from an acute economic crisis. The country has the world's highest rate of inflation and just one in five has an official job.

One hears horrendous stories of torture, violence and unbelievable cruelty being perpetrated against rural folk.

A headmaster of a school in my rural home was abducted from his home and severely beaten.

City dwellers are seen as the troublemakers, talking about "change" and about the news broadcasts aired on satellite TV
His wife found him in the woods nearby. They then fled to Harare to stay with their children here, but he died about two weeks after the incident.

Then there is a business client of my company who told us she had gone out to the countryside for her three-year-old niece's funeral. She was also killed during political violence.

The little girl was allegedly dropped on the ground by a man who had abducted her from her parents' home, to punish the father for supporting the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party.

I have also heard that if you absolutely have to go to the rural areas, you should aim to get there late at night, after the militiamen have gone off to their "bases" for the night's rally.

If you arrive in broad daylight, you run the risk of paying for the fact that you are from the city.

Remove satellite dishes

City dwellers are seen as the troublemakers, talking about "change" and about the news broadcasts aired on satellite TV.

Zimbabwe Presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement For Democratic Change party greets supporters in Bubi near Bulawayo, Sunday, 8 June
It can be dangerous to support Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC

Actually, there are reports that people are being told to take down their satellite dishes in some areas.

And one of our independent papers had a picture of a man burnt to death on the front page of this week's edition.

He died when the MDC office in Jerera was petrol bombed.

Jerera is a rural area where opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai held a surprisingly large rally in March.

I think the editor decided to go with that photo to shock us out of our denial (for those who still doubt these atrocities are taking place), and he succeeded.

I sought out the paper because a couple of distraught friends had asked if I'd seen the picture.

The latest rumour is that war veterans plan to set up their bases in cities. These bases are where "re-education" of opposition supporters (actual and accused) takes place.

It referred to as re-education because you are being taught how to vote in the presidential run-off on 27 June for those who cast their ballots "wrongly" on 29 March.

Intolerant

When I heard this for the second time on my way to work, I said to my friends, "Let them try to set up those camps. Towns belong to the MDC, we will beat them so hard, they will never try to intimidate us again."

A Zanu-PF poster in Zimbabwe
President Mugabe of Zanu-PF faces Mr Tsvangirai in the run-off

Later, as I thought about what I had said, I realised I was becoming like the very people I blame for all our woes - full of hate, intolerant of views contrary to my own, seeing violence as a perfectly acceptable way of settling differences.

I am not that person, I refuse to become that person. I am civilised and abhor violence in all its forms.

But it seems now it calls for a conscious effort to decide what one stands for, to rise above the situation, to influence one's environment rather than be influenced by it.

I learnt the other day that fighting broke out between ruling Zanu-PF and opposition supporters in Chitungwiza, a town about 15km (nine miles) out of the Harare.

The Zanu-PF supporters arrived at a local market and tried to restrict the area to card-carrying ruling party members.

Apparently when some MDC youth heard about this they arrived at the market to drive them, telling them to go to Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe, an area where President Robert Mugabe won an overwhelming majority in the first round.

Fighting broke out, and the Mugabe supporters fled as they were outnumbered.

I am worried that as people take it upon themselves to defend their party's territories we could have a serious escalation of violence in the urban areas as well, and end up with total anarchy.


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Appeal from a reader

Sent: Thursday, June 12, 2008 4:21 PM
Subject: zimbabwe situation

Mr. PC Hamadziripi a well known headmaster of Nyahukwe primary school 26
kmtrs along the Nyanga Road east of Rusape in Makoni was abducted by armed
men driving a blue Mitsubishi on 9 June at 3pm from the school.His family up
to now do not know where he is.

The defeated Zanu councilor known as Masango was seen in company of these
Zanu militias a day before the abduction accompanied by a former sabhuku in
the village known as Chihuri.The two are said to be leading the cios in the
area pointing out the people they feel are behind Zanu defeat in this makoni
area.

Mr Hamadziripi is my dad and we really do not know what to do. He is not an
active member of any political party.


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Military 'run Mugabe campaign'

BBC
04:46 GMT, Thursday, 12 June 2008 05:46 UK
By Ian Pannell
BBC News, Zimbabwe

Two MDC supporters who say they were beaten by Mugabe supporters - 3/5/2008
MDC supporters say they have been attacked by Zanu-PF supporters

Documents obtained by the BBC suggest for the first time that the Zimbabwean military is actively involved in running the re-election campaign for Robert Mugabe.

More than 60 people have been killed, thousands have been beaten and many more have been driven from their homes in related violence.

The papers outline plans by Zanu-PF, the ruling party, to harass and drive out opposition supporters, especially from rural areas.

Testimony from eye-witnesses and victims from across Zimbabwe as well as internal party documents show that violence and intimidation are being used to try to guarantee the re-election of Robert Mugabe against the challenger, Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), on 27 June.

Detail of copy of internal Zanu-PF party document obtained by the BBC
The documents outline the use of covert operations against the MDC

The documents suggest that the JOC, or Joint Operations Command, is now actively helping to conduct the president's campaign, running logistics and operations. The JOC is made up of the heads of the military and state security organisations.

Another document lays out the party's tactics, including the use of scarce food supplies as a political weapon.

"Basic commodities should be sold from either people's shops or pro-Zanu PF shops," it says. "Emphasis should be in party strongholds."

It talks about giving the notorious and feared war veterans, responsible for much of the violence in Zimbabwe, a "leading role in Zanu-PF campaigns".

Fight for survival

The document also outlines the use of covert operations against the MDC including harassing supporters and driving them out of Zanu-PF strongholds and declares a "no-go area" to rural constituencies for the MDC.

We're told to vote for Zanu-PF and they told us it's not now a secret vote - you have to vote in front of your commanding officer
Police officer

The BBC is banned from reporting in the country, which makes it difficult to authenticate some of this material but our investigations found that all of the tactics mentioned in the document are being used by Zanu-PF and its supporters.

The Zimbabwean Deputy Minister of Information, Bright Matonga, denied that the ruling-party is responsible for the violence and he refused to comment on what he described as "illegal documents."

But speaking anonymously, a Zimbabwean police officer confirmed to the BBC that officers had been given orders to support Zanu-PF and turn a blind eye to violence perpetrated against MDC supporters.

Morgan Tsvangirai (R) addresses a rally in Kwekwe, 220km from Harare, on 8 June 2008
Mr Tsvangirai says he will not accept a victory for Mr Mugabe in the run-off

We met in a dark car park in Harare. He told me "we're told to vote for Zanu-PF and they told us it's not now a secret vote, you have to vote in front of your commanding officer".

He complained that the police were no longer independent: "Our police is now politically motivated, whereas it is supposed to be an organisation that stands for not taking part."

Posters supporting Robert Mugabe are plastered across the walls of the capital. The party has brought in private PR consultants to give the campaign a far more positive image.

It is a slick strategy that promotes sovereignty, independence and empowerment. But under-writing the campaign are the resources of the central bank and a monopoly of air-time in the state-controlled media.

Often the MDC and its supporters are portrayed as the perpetrators of much of the violence but all the evidence points the other way and that is also the conclusion of many observers.

The US ambassador to Harare insisted that Robert Mugabe wants to "to retain power through any means possible."

He said Zanu-PF, the military and the war veterans were responsible for most of the violence against those who voted for the MDC in the first round, "ensuring that, number one, they'll be too afraid to vote and, number two, that they're not in their district and cannot vote".

I asked him whether there was any way you could conclude that this election is either free nor fair. His answer was swift: "Absolutely none."

We met people across Zimbabwe who all had almost identical stories to tell. Many had been beaten or burnt, many had broken limbs, some had relatives killed, thousands had been driven from their homes.

They were all targeted because they voted for the opposition.

Robert Mugabe has called this an "all-out war". He and his supporters are engaged in a fight for survival and what is now clear is that they will use any means necessary to achieve that.


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Mugabe says won't flee country

Afrique en ligne

Harare, Zimbabwe - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, under growing poli
tical pressure, declared on Wednesday that he would not flee the country and
seek refuge elsewhere even if he lost a crunch election at the end of the
month.

The veteran leader faces a resurgent opposition in the 27 June presidential
elec tion run-off vote, having lost an earlier poll in March to rival
politician Morgan Tsvangirai.

However, both did not obtain enough votes in the first round to win
outright, he nce the second round. Mugabe, 84, quashed rumours he was
seeking refuge outside Zimbabwe, fearing prosecution if the opposition,
which accuses him of human right s violations, came to power.

Addressing a meeting of his supporters, the Zimbabwean leader said he would
never flee the country.

"Why should I run away from the country? Why should I wish to die in another
country?" he asked. He expressed confidence he would win the poll, despite
being beaten in the first round.

There have been persistent rumours Mugabe might flee Zimbabwe if he lost the
ele ction, the hardest he has had to fight since coming to power 28 years
ago.

Harare - 11/06/2008

Pana


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Police detain Malawians fleeing from S Africa

http://www.thezimbabwetimes.com

June 12, 2008

By Owen Chikari

MASVINGO - Zimbabwean authorities have arrested at least 14 Malawian
nationals who have fled xenophobic violence in South Africa after their bus
caught fire just outside Masvingo city.

Some of the passengers on the bus lost their travelling documents in the
fire.

The police in Masvingo said the Malawians were by yesterday still in police
custody as the Zimbabwean government wanted to establish their identities
before they were sent back to their country of origin.

The police are also arguing that given the political situation in the
country, some returning Zimbabweans might be masquerading as Malawians with
the intention of causing havoc in the country.

The officer commanding Masvingo district, Chief Superintendent Lancelot
Matange, confirmed the arrest of the 14, saying that the police were still
liaising with the Malawian embassy in Harare before making a decision on
their fate.

Matange said: "You know the political situation in the country and,
therefore, we cannot allow people without identity documents to roam our
streets.

"We are screening the suspects with the assistance of the Malawian embassy
and if all the arrested 14 prove to be genuine (travellers) who are en-route
to their country of origin, we will release them."

The bus said to have been carrying about 100 Malawian nationals on board
caught fire on Monday about 10 kilometres outside Masvingo city along the
Masvingo- Beitbridge highway.

Property worth trillions of Zimbabwean dollars went up in smoke as the
Malawians watched helplessly. Travelling documents along with luggage were
destroyed in the fire believed to have been caused by an electrical fault.

The Malawians were fleeing from the recent violent attacks on foreigners in
South Africa. More than 60 aliens, including Zimbabweans, were massacred in
the brutal attacks.

Some of the Malawians aboard the luxury bus managed to rescue their
travelling documents and proceeded to their country by other transport.

The 14 who lost their luggage and documents were offered temporary
accommodation in two local hotels for one night. They were then handed over
to the police.


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Mugabe's infirmities underscore his stubbornness

http://www.thezimbabwetimes.com

June 12, 2008

By Rose Maindiseka

ZIMBABWEAN leader Robert Mugabe's physical infirmities as described in the
most read article of the past few weeks by Zimbabwe Times Managing Editor,
Geoffrey Nyarota, underscore his obdurate and wily disposition.

The media does not focus on the octogenarian's health woes out of
insensitivity or because they are unusual in a man of his age. A national
leader's health is a matter of legitimate public interest and concern
because the fate of a country hinges on his sound judgment and leadership.
Mugabe's physical woes spark special public interest because of what they
reveal about him.

Most people in their ninth decade of life readily make concessions to their
age and acknowledge that they no longer have the energy and stamina to
continue to do certain things. Insisting on going against nature and the
vagaries of time is a maladaptive response that in this case also represents
a metaphor for Mugabe's belief that he is the only person fit to govern
Zimbabwe.

I recall that when my paternal grandfather was in his 80s, there was a role
reversal when he deferred to my father and his siblings and let them tackle
most important issues that pertained to the clan of which he was the
patriarch. He indicated that he was always ready to provide advice and
guidance pertaining to traditional precedents but that as times had changed
and he was no longer as strong and sharp as he used to be, they should deal
with the issues according to the prevailing societal values.

Families headed by venerated but nevertheless aged patriarchs and matriarchs
whose ideas are no longer in sync with the modern order of things often
devise diplomatic and respectful ways of making the old folks feel important
and needed while focusing on what is pragmatic and acceptable to the younger
generations.

The tragedy for Zimbabwe is that the very person who must make concessions
to his age and whose judgment can no longer be relied upon refuses to make
way for a younger generation of leaders.

He is holding the nation to ransom by insisting his word alone is law. Worst
of all, he is surrounded by a self-interested clique of sycophantic
individuals who urge him to stay on as insurance against the loss of their
ill-gotten wealth and undeserved opulent lifestyles.

The sight of Mugabe's elephantine leg highlights the cruelty of these
characters who have no qualms about pushing forward as their bogey man
someone struggling with physical challenges that may also include poor
hearing and sight. Mugabe is reputed to regard himself as a principled
revolutionary who neither walks away from a fight nor countenances
compromise. He must prevail whether he is right or wrong and regardless of
the price to be paid for such inevitably pyrrhic victories.

Therein lies the problem. It is not difficult to see that just as Mugabe
rants relentlessly but irrelevantly that "Zimbabwe will never be a colony
again", he must have also convinced himself that he will never surrender to
the realities of the human condition such as ageing and mortality.
Disturbingly, research shows that physical problems in old people can also
have a damaging effect on mental function as the stresses of coping with
these conditions, especially if they are painful, are bound to take their
toll.

Mugabe's grotesquely swollen ankle as shown in the picture accompanying
Nyarota's piece brings to mind the pitiful figure of Malawi's former ruler,
Hastings Kamuzu Banda, became in the dying stages of his dictatorship (the
pun is unavoidable), when speculation about his demise was always rife.

When he attended a Non-Aligned Movement summit in New Delhi, India, in 1985,
leaning heavily on a walking stick and favouring one leg, one press report
said while other leaders discussed weighty issues, Banda was there solely to
prove he was still alive. He was too senile and unwell to follow
deliberations.

The point is that a stage is reached in life when a man of Mugabe's age
should retire voluntarily so as to put his swollen feet up. Mugabe's
complaint about the size of the font used by the state-controlled Herald
making the words look like ants further confirms his failure to view things
nationally rather than from a purely personal perspective.

Mugabe's telephone call to Information and Publicity minister Sikhanyiso
Ndlovu instructing him to do something about the size of the font shows he
wanted the paper, which is supposed to serve the whole nation, to change its
templates to accommodate his failing sight. This is no different from Mugabe's
intransigent insistence on sacrificing the welfare of Zimbabweans and the
future of the country at the altar of his time-warped ideas and policies.

Sikhanyiso Ndlovu's readiness to lean on the Editors at The Herald to
abandon a worldwide newspaper standard instead of diplomatically advising
the aged leader to either buy a magnifying glass or bifocal spectacles with
a section for reading speaks volumes about the calibre of ministers Mugabe
likes to surround himself with and the quality of interaction with the
President their portfolios entail.

These "yes men" tell him what he wants to hear rather than the truth, to the
detriment of the nation. The question is how many other costly adjustments
are being made at great national cost to accommodate the idiosyncrasies of a
man in his dotage.

I have a dear old aunt who I argue with each time I visit my rural home
because of the excessive amounts of sugar she puts in her tea, which is not
good for her health.

She used to argue that she needs so much sugar in a cup of tea because the
sugar manufactured nowadays was no longer as sweet as that which was
available in the past. She did not appreciate, until I pointed it out to
her, that it was her taste buds that had been blunted by age making it
necessary to use more sugar to achieve the same sensation that two or three
teaspoons used give.

My aunt's failure to realize that it was she who had changed rather than the
sugar she was faulting is analogous to Mugabe's insistence on blaming
scapegoats when he is responsible for driving this once prosperous country
aground by remaining inextricably rooted in the past.

This failure to age gracefully and adapt to change and realities is a thread
that runs through Mugabe's public career. After almost 30 years of
independence, Mugabe has failed to transform Zanu-F from a liberation
movement to a 21st Century governing party.

Most of Zimbabwe's self-inflicted problems are as a result of its leader
clinging to archaic ideas and philosophies that no longer apply in a changed
world. He is still breathing fire about colonialism and wasting national
resources fighting phantom wars with America and Britain because of this
failure to move with the times.

Commenting on the challenges of ageing, Hollywood hell-raiser, Jack
Nicholson, who is in his 70s, has been quoted as saying that whether one
likes it or not, one's character improves as one gets older.

"Nature forces you to become a better person and that's a good thing", he
said.

This apparently does not apply to Zimbabwe's 84-year old ruler, who has
become more ruthless and cunning in his dotage. He is fighting everyone and
everything, including the ageing process. It would be a first, however, if
despite physical deterioration that can no longer be concealed, he prevails
over the relentless march of time.


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Mugabe, al-Qaida links uncovered

World Net Daily

Analyst confirms junta's generals met with terror campaign factions

Posted: June 11, 2008
9:02 pm Eastern

©†2008†WorldNetDaily

Editor's Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.

LONDON -- British intelligence agents working for MI6 in Africa have established that President Robert Mugabe's top generals, who control Zimbabwe's Joint Operations Command, have met with two extremist terror groups linked to al-Qaida about plans for an "Islamic empire" in southern Africa in which Zimbabwe would play a crucial role, according to a report in Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.

The meetings were held while Mugabe was in Rome last week as a guest of the United Nations conference on the world food shortage.

Intelligence agents at the conference confirmed Mugabe was in daily touch with the generals to discuss details of their secret meetings with the PAGAD and Qibla groups -- regarded by London and Washington as two of the most dangerous terror organizations operating on the African continent.

"The purpose was to see how the groups could provide the arms that China failed to deliver recently when the ship's cargo was turned away from African ports and forced to return to China," confirmed a senior intelligence source.

The meetings were held in Bulawayo in a government safe house last week.

Chairing the discussions was Gen. Constantine Chiwenga, the country's overall military chief. With him were Augustine Chihuri, the Zimbabwe chief of police; Gen. Paradzai Zimondi, head of the prison service, and the fourth member was Air Marshal Perence Shiri, the commander of the country's air force.

All four fought in Mugabe's guerrilla force during the war against white rule in the 1970s.

An MI6 intelligence analyst described the quartet as "the junta which is now running Zimbabwe on a daily basis. It was they who stopped Mugabe from quitting when he lost the first presidential election in March. It was they who ordered the attack on British and U.S. diplomats last week and control the continued campaign of terror against the opposition, Movement for Democratic Change."

The junta's links with Qibla and PAGAD have raised serious concerns within MI6 and other Western intelligence services that Zimbabwe soon could face a full-scale blood bath.


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Regard For Human Life Hits Another All-Time Low in Zimbabwe

Digital Journal

Posted 4 hours ago by† Can Tran (TFactor)
It is no secret that the militia of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has
been conducting acts of violence and brutality in the country to remain in
power.
As a means to keep Robert Mugabe in power, a military junta seems to have
taken over. It seems that Zimbabwe is sharing the same fate as Burma, which
is also run by a military junta. Western diplomats have said that Mugabe has
ceded power to the shadowy organization called Joint Operations Command
(JOC) run by General Constantine Chiwenga, the head of Zimbabwe's military
forces.

It is said that Mugabe remained in power because of support by the JOC.

Opposition candidate and leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
party Morgan Tsvangirai said that the country has been run by a junta. He
adds that the people of Zimbabwe has been exposed to government supported
brutality and violence.

The violence is deemed a means of using fear, intimidation, and violence to
force the people to vote for Mugabe in the runoff election on June 27. There
have been many attacks on members and supporters of the MDC. The UN and many
human rights groups accuse Mugabe and his supporters instigating most of the
violence.

Men went in three trucks to the Mhondoro district. They were seeking Patson
Chipiro, the MDC leader of that district. But, they settled for his wife,
Dadirai, a former pre-school teacher.

They chopped one of her hands and both of her feet. Dadirai was thrown into
the house as the men threw a petrol bomb inside. She was mutilated before
being burned to death.

The wife of a local councilman in Harare was also burned to death. She was
pregnant at the time. The son had died in the flames.

This is the most recent act of violence that seems to have been orchestrated
by the Zanu-PF Party. So far, many within the Zanu-PF are bent on preventing
Tsvangirai from getting into power.

Tsvangirai had won the elections; but, did not win enough to avoid a runoff
election. Jendayi Frazer, the top US diplomat to Africa, accuses Mugabe's
administration of trying to steal the election and remain in power.

Thabo Mbeki, South Africa's President has taken the help of being the
mediator. However, Mbeki has been criticized for his reaction towards the
violence. Tsvangirai said that Mbeki was no longer fit to mediate.


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Mugabe Must Go - Museveni



The Monitor (Kampala)

12 June 2008
Posted to the web 12 June 2008

Rodney Muhumuza
Kampala

Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe must quit the presidency if he loses to opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the run-off election, President Yoweri Museveni
said yesterday.

"If he loses elections he must go. How can you stay without winning
elections? It's impossible," Mr Museveni told the BBC's Network Africa
programme, arguing that it is important for Mr Mugabe to have "the
permission of the population" if he's to stay at the helm.

Asked if the conditions in Zimbabwe are conducive for a free and fair
election, Mr Museveni said: "Not at all."

It was the first time that Mr Museveni has spoken out in terms not exactly
sympathetic to the Zimbabwean leader, who has ruled the southern African
nation since independence in 1980. Both presidents are former Marxists, and
it is said that Mr Museveni has a lot of admiration for Mr Mugabe.

Mr Museveni, who came to power in 1986 after an armed struggle, has
sometimes been compared to Mr Mugabe, who is accused of using his security
agencies to cling to power. Both men, lauded for their early efforts to
uplift their countries, are increasingly criticised for their reluctance to
leave power.

And both tend to find scapegoats, especially colonialism, to explain their
internal problems.

Mr Museveni's remark that Mr Mugabe should quit if he loses the popular vote
is clearly at odds with what he has said or done to stay in power.

In 2006, as FDC leader Kizza Besigye energised the electorate to present
himself as a formidable challenger, Mr Museveni reportedly said
"revolutionaries do not leave like chicken thieves."

The remark was understood to mean that he would not leave power in the event
that he lost the popular vote. Mr Museveni's public comments since then
suggest that he will seek re-election when his current term expires in 2011.

In the BBC interview, he was measured in his criticism of the Zimbabwean
leader, insisting that Mr Mugabe should not just give up power because he
has held it for long. "As long as the people are elected, I don't really
think the issue of who leads is crucial," Mr Museveni said.

He also refused to blame the economic crisis entirely on Mr Mugabe, saying
there are "many players" responsible for the country's economic crisis.
"It's not just Mugabe; it is Mugabe plus [some other players]," Mr Museveni
told interviewer Kirsty Wark.

Mr Museveni, who was in London to attend a Commonwealth meeting, also
speculated on why Mr Mugabe may have moved to implement his controversial
land reform policy that alienated many white landowners and put him on a
collision course with the West.

Zimbabweans vote in a run-off election that could end Mr Mugabe's rule or
bring Mr Tsvangirai to power.

But human rights groups now say that there is no chance that the elections
will be free and fair.

The US-based Human Rights Watch said in a new report that there isn't any
chance of a free and fair presidential election in Zimbabwe.


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French FM expresses concern over Zimbabwe to S. African counterpart

africasia

PARIS, June 12 (AFP)

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner expressed concern Wednesday over
the worsening situation in Zimbabwe during a meeting with South African
opposite number Nosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the foreign ministry said.

Speaking before a runoff presidential election in Zimbabwe on June 27,
Kouchner "thanked South Africa for its efforts since March 2007 to try to
resolve the political crisis" there, a statement said.

But he "stressed his concern at the worsening of the situation since the
announcement of the opposition victory in the general elections, the
violence that has reigned for two months, the campaign of intimidation being
carried out there and the decision by the authorities to suspend the
activities of NGOs."

The French minister "noted the assurances by Mrs. Dlamini-Zuma on the
sending of some 300 observers from the SADC (Southern African Development
Community) and the AU (African Union) for the second round of the election."

South African President Thabo Mbeki said Wednesday that levels of violence
in the approach to Zimbabwe's run-off presidential election are a cause for
"serious concern."

Mbeki is the 14-nation SADC regional bloc's chief mediator on Zimbabwe,
where opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is hoping to unseat veteran
President Robert Mugabe in just over a fortnight.

His reluctance to publicly criticise Mugabe has infuriated Tsvangirai who
has called for the South African to be stripped of his role.

The French and South African ministers also discussed a European Union-South
Africa summit to be held in Bordeaux on July 25.

Kouchner said that "during the negotiation of the Economic Partnership
Accords between the EU and the SADC, France will make sure that the concerns
of the African countries are fully taken into account."


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New Zimbabwe: new heart

The Zimbabwean

Tuesday, 10 June 2008 10:15
In all probability it would seem that we shall have a new Government
in power in Zimbabwe soon - it will have a huge task on its hands.
BY ANDREW HOPE-HALL
Firstly, it will have to begin to turn the nation to a path of
recovery and redevelopment to restore a measure of prosperity to this land
which has been destroyed in recent years.
Secondly it must prove to the world that it goes against the trend in
Africa of one corrupt government replacing another.
In the MDC we seem to have a number of people of principle and high
moral standards. However there is a third element required that will always
bring success to the nation - and that is the Lordship of Jesus Christ
stamped upon the government, the civil service, the population.
When Britain was following superstition and paganism it was a nation
of no account. However in the blossoming of Christianity in the Reformation
and the 300 years after it - the nation grew immensely powerful for its
size, hugely influential and a world driver in sciences, industry and
agriculture.
The stamp of Christianity brought with it a massive reduction in
nepotism and corruption along with honesty in government. The after-effects
are still there in to be seen despite Britain's decline back into secularism
and paganism. Britain has a much lower rate of corruption than nearly all of
its European neighbours. The United States founded its Constitution using
many of the precepts found in the Westminster Confession of Faith and look
where it is today.
Zimbabwe has a great chance to set out on a new path that could bring
it a similar greatness to be not only a jewel of Africa but a new standard
in the world.
The members of parliament and municipal councillors should take time
to read Biblical Principals For Africa by Dr Hammond of Frontline Fellowship
based in Cape Town (www.frontline.org.za). The author is distributing this
book to Zimbabwe activists in the UK, while Collen Makumbirofa of Foundation
of Reason & Justice (www.zimbabwehope.org) is distributing it to Zimbabweans
in South Africa.
The book is currently being read and learnt at the highest levels in a
couple of SADC countries - especially Zambia where leading Generals and
Policemen are using the principles taught to model their operations. Unlike
current Zimbabwe Generals and Commissioners who were schooled only in
patronage, violence and terrorism.
Already there is a vast difference in government between that of
President Levy Mwanwasa and many of the other SADC members and this is
evidence that the Lord God does not lie.
There is already one opportunity given to the people of Zimbabwe by
the Lord God - a wonderful potential in agriculture. As the new President,
Morgan Tsvangirai, would have the opportunity to restore agriculture, which
alone would massively turn around the economy and bring prosperity not least
because of the massive leap in world food prices which would reap huge
benefits by exports. This would offset the spiralling oil prices, and
agriculture could be used as has already been done to create bio-fuels
thereby reducing imports.
The boom in agriculture would refuel the manufacturing, retail and
commercial sectors. A stable nation could renovate its transport links and
tourism would also boom.
There would be no more talk of black and white in a Christian nation
for all people are descendants of Adam and there are only two races of Adam,
those who are saved and those who are not saved. The true Christian will
help his brother. It is good to see that Morgan Tsvangirai himself is a
Christian and used a Bible reference in his recent speech tp Parliament.
Let us seize this opportunity while it is there, and make a covenant
to serve the Lord and never more bow the knee to paganism, secularism or
communism.
Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the
earth.
Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his
wrath is kindled but a little.


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Desperate in Zimbabwe

Ohio.com

Robert Mugabe escalates his attack on a democratic election

Published on Thursday, Jun 12, 2008

It is brazen how Robert Mugabe and his government are subverting the
electoral process in Zimbabwe. If they were forcibly taking money away from
their rivals, it would be called daylight robbery. The robbery, in this
instance, is denying the opposition the right to a free and fair contest for
power.

The dismay is that Mugabe, the president since Zimbabwe won independence in
1980, is conducting the blatant assault on the democratic process with
apparent impunity.

It took Zimbabwe's election commission five weeks to announce the results of
presidential elections held March 29. The long silence only bolstered the
accusations of fraud by the opposition candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, and
suspicion that the government was fixing the vote counts to give Mugabe the
victory. When the official results eventually were released, the commission
said Tsvangirai had won the majority of the votes, but not enough to avoid a
runoff election, scheduled for June 27.

Little has happened since in the southern African country to offer
encouragement that the next election round will be free of fraud or that the
Mugabe regime will play fair against a determined opponent. Far from it.
Supporters of Tsvangirai's opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change,
are facing mounting intimidation and violence. According to the party, at
least 30 supporters have been killed. Hundreds more have been injured in
attacks.

With the runoff election a couple of weeks away, the opposition faces
increasing harassment and violence, its rallies banned. In the past week,
Tsvangirai and some of his party officials were arrested and briefly
detained as they made campaign trips.

More distressing, the regime's campaign to hang on to power has extended
beyond efforts to suppress political opposition. Accusing humanitarian aid
groups of assisting the opposition, the government last week ordered a halt
to all relief work by agencies such as CARE, Save the Children and Oxfam.
For a regime that has driven its economy into the ground and its people to
poverty and desperation, the indifference to the welfare of Zimbabwe and its
people is mind-boggling.

It is brazen how Robert Mugabe and his government are subverting the
electoral process in Zimbabwe. If they were forcibly taking money away from
their rivals, it would be called daylight robbery. The robbery, in this
instance, is denying the opposition the right to a free and fair contest for
power.

The dismay is that Mugabe, the president since Zimbabwe won independence in
1980, is conducting the blatant assault on the democratic process with
apparent impunity.

It took Zimbabwe's election commission five weeks to announce the results of
presidential elections held March 29. The long silence only bolstered the
accusations of fraud by the opposition candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, and
suspicion that the government was fixing the vote counts to give Mugabe the
victory. When the official results eventually were released, the commission
said Tsvangirai had won the majority of the votes, but not enough to avoid a
runoff election, scheduled for June 27.

Little has happened since in the southern African country to offer
encouragement that the next election round will be free of fraud or that the
Mugabe regime will play fair against a determined opponent. Far from it.
Supporters of Tsvangirai's opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change,
are facing mounting intimidation and violence. According to the party, at
least 30 supporters have been killed. Hundreds more have been injured in
attacks.

With the runoff election a couple of weeks away, the opposition faces
increasing harassment and violence, its rallies banned. In the past week,
Tsvangirai and some of his party officials were arrested and briefly
detained as they made campaign trips.

More distressing, the regime's campaign to hang on to power has extended
beyond efforts to suppress political opposition. Accusing humanitarian aid
groups of assisting the opposition, the government last week ordered a halt
to all relief work by agencies such as CARE, Save the Children and Oxfam.
For a regime that has driven its economy into the ground and its people to
poverty and desperation, the indifference to the welfare of Zimbabwe and its
people is mind-boggling.


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Canadian healthcare companies provide medical aid for people of Zimbabwe

Health Partners International of Canada

Date: 10 Jun 2008

Montreal, QC (June 10, 2008) -- The people of Zimbabwe are in a desperate
situation and Canadian healthcare companies are responding with significant
donations of medical aid through Health Partners International of Canada
(HPIC).

Medicines and medical supplies worth more than $3 million are being packed
in a container that will leave the HPIC Distribution Centre in Mississauga
in mid-June to be delivered to the Salvation Army Howard Hospital, located
80 km north of the capital city of Harare.

The Howard Hospital is best known to Canadians as the place where conjoined
twins were born in 2004, and flown to Toronto to be separated at Sick Kids
in March 2005.

The community has been devastated with the combination of the downward
spiral of the economy, the ravages of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and food
insecurity. In this context, medicine for the hospital pharmacy is often not
available or not affordable.

Canadian Dr. Paul Thistle, chief medical officer - and presently the only
full-time physician - at the Howard Hospital said, "The donation of medicine
and medical supplies from HPIC will go a long way to bridge the gaps in the
provision of basic health care services at Howard Hospital. It will allow
our hospital to be a beacon of hope in a very difficult environment."

According to Glen Shepherd, Executive Vice-president and COO of HPIC, this
shipment illustrates the good things that happen when people and
organizations come together. "It's all about partnership. Here we have a
dozen healthcare companies from different sectors of the industry, the
Salvation Army, a handful of financial donors, a Canadian doctor and HPIC.
Together we will bring healing to thousands of people."

"I have been personally involved with both the Howard Hospital and HPIC,"
said Dr. Keith Martin, Official Opposition Critic for International
Development and Member of Parliament for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca. "It gives
me great pleasure to see these two organizations working together to bring
some relief to the suffering people of Zimbabwe. These medications from HPIC
are going to save lives. Thank you once again for meeting the basic needs of
a people the world has forgotten."

Her Excellency Florence Chideya, Zimbabwe's ambassador to Canada, expressed
her appreciation on behalf of Zimbabweans, both here and at home. "The
government of Zimbabwe is grateful for the generosity of Canadian companies
and is pleased to facilitate the entry of this medical aid into the
country."

HPIC (Health Partners International of Canada) is a medical aid organization
dedicated to improving access to health care and medicine in the developing
world. Since 1990, HPIC has provided more than $250 million of medical aid
to 116 countries. www.hpicanada.ca

For more information contact:

Margaret Buchanan
Manager, Media Relations
Toll-free: 1-800-627-1787
Tel: 514-695-0007, ext. 117
email: mbuchanan@hpicanada.ca

Health Partners International of Canada is officially registered with the
Canada Revenue Agency as a charity. As such, HPIC may issue a tax receipt
for qualifying donations to Canadian donors. Registration Number:
119031524RR0001


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Help for England players on Zimbabwe

The Telegraph

By By Paul Bolton
Last Updated: 2:48am BST 12/06/2008

The head of the players' union last night assured England's cricketers that
they would not be allowed to become political pawns if Robert Mugabe were to
win the presidential election run-off in Zimbabwe scheduled for June 27.

Test batsman Andrew Strauss has suggested that some England players would
consider boycotting the planned two-Test and three-match one-day series next
summer if Mugabe was to stay in office.

But Sean Morris, chief executive of the Professional Cricketers'
Association, said that efforts would be made to prevent the players having
to make a political protest. "We have to see what happens in the election
run-off - we could be in a different position after the election," Morris
said.

"After the election we will sit down with the Government, the England and
Wales Cricket Board and the players and make sure that the players do not
become pawns in a political situation. We will not let that happen again."

Zimbabwe are suspended from Test cricket and the situation is not expected
to change before next summer. But the one-day series is due to go ahead and
Zimbabwe are also scheduled to compete in the ICC Twenty20 Championship in
England.

Meanwhile the counties have won their fight with the ECB to be allowed to
see the questionnaire that will form the basis of market research into the
future structure of the county game.

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