National Post, Canada
U.S., U.K. Move
Steven Edwards, Canwest News Service Published: Tuesday, June 24, 2008
UNITED NATIONS - The United States and Britain pushed at the United Nations
yesterday for Morgan Tsvangirai, the Zimbabwean opposition leader, to be
recognized as president in the absence of a fair run-off election.
Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, warned going ahead with Friday's vote
in the current climate would only "produce a result that cannot be
Against strong opposition from South Africa, the United States and Britain
drafted a statement for the UN Security Council that would effectively call
for Mr. Tsvangirai to be declared president if violence continues to render
the runoff poll a sham.
"Until there is a clearly free and fair second round of the presidential
election, the only legitimate basis for a government of Zimbabwe is the
outcome off the 29 March 2008 election," the draft said.
The results of the election were delayed for more than a month, with some
electoral officials claiming Mr. Mugabe had been a victim of fraud.
After a recount, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announced on May 2 Mr.
Tsvangirai won 47.9% of the vote to Mr. Mugabe's 43.2%, not enough to avoid
a run-off. This gave Mr. Mugabe, in power for 28 years, a second chance to
He has since unleashed a wave of state-sanctioned kidnappings and killings
aimed, say international observer groups, at dissuading opposition
supporters from voting.
Mr. Tsvangirai withdrew from the poll on Sunday, saying he could neither
"participate in this violent, illegitimate sham of an election process," nor
ask his voters to risk their lives.
Yesterday, Mr. Ban avoided aligning himself with the U. S.-British call for
the March 29 poll to be declared a basis for the effective conditional
transfer of power to Mr. Tsvangirai.
Although he said he was "distressed" by the level of violence in the
country, and he understood the MDC leader's decision to withdraw from
Friday's ballot, he added he preferred to wait for the finding of all 15
members of the Security Council on the issue.
But Mr. Ban also spoke out against a movement -- led by South Africa inside
the Security Council -- arguing the Zimbabwe crisis is principally an
internal matter that the council, whose mandate is to consider events that
threaten international peace and stability, should leave off its agenda.
However, the UN head argued effectively South Africa was wrong.
"What happens in Zimbabwe has importance well beyond that country's
borders," he said. "The region's political and economic security are at
stake as is the very institution of elections in Africa."
Mr. Tsvangirai was until recently in self-imposed exile in South Africa,
where he fled for his safety. His announcement to withdraw from Friday's
election appears to have been equally designed to push African leaders to
take a stand.
By Investigations Unit ⋅ © zimbabwemetro.com ⋅ June 23, 2008 ⋅
Metro has received unconfirmed reports from two sources that three members
of the Joint Operations Command (JOC) visited incarcerated Movement for
Democratic Change(MDC) Secretary General, Tendai Biti,MDC-Harare East.,in
Our sources reportedly saw Constantine Chiwenga,Augustine Chihuri and
Paradzayi Zimondi at Matapi Police Station in Mbare at 3 O’clock Monday
This story will continue to be updated as details become available.
Please if you have any tips on this story and others
email,firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1202 684 6621 and leave a message we
will call you back.
By Staff ⋅ © zimbabwemetro.com ⋅ June 23, 2008 ⋅
The MDC MP for Nkayi South, Abednico Bhebhe and Sen. Robert Rabson
Makhula,MDC-Nkayi., have been arrested.
Bhebhe and Makhula were arrested at Nkayi Police Station when they went to
report a political violence case.
Police immediately told them that a South African car they were driving was
not properly registered.
The vehicle was impounded.
Early this month police impounded the MDC leader’s South African registered
BMX X5 and villagers in Lupane say police are now using it for their
To date 4 MDC campaign vehicles are still being held by the police in
Hwange. The MDC Youth department’s car that was impounded more than 3 weeks
ago is still at Jambezi police station and villagers say the vehicle has
been vandalized and the wheels taken off. Another vehicle has vanished,it
was seen on the week-end at Hwange it has been seen being driven around by
police. 2 Other MDC vehicles are also being held by police in Binga.
The MDC MP for Nkulumane , Thamsanqa Mahlangu, is battling for his life in
an intensive care unit in a Harare hospital after he was severely assaulted
by Zanu PF militia on Sunday. Mahlangu is also the MDC National Youth
Violence is escalating unabated even after the MDC has withdrawn from the
The MDC Councillor Mwebe of Pashu in Binga was abducted by ZANU PF militia
in the morning on his way to addressing a meeting. Also in Binga MDC
councillor Fanuel Siamdimba was arrested yesterday on unspecified charges.
Yesterday, Joram Mpofu , the MDC’s chief election agent for Tosi
Sansole,MDC-Hwange East., was also picked up by the ZANU PF militia and CIO
in Hwange townand beaten.
This morning in Hwange armed men in a pick-up arrived at Hwange secondary
school looking for an MDC councillor Winnie Ncube who is a teacher there.
When they were told she was not there they said they would like to leave her
a message and said “in fact we should just shoot you, that will be the
message”. They left the school leaving everyone feeling very intimidated.
By Norbert Jacobs ⋅ © zimbabwemetro.com ⋅ June 23, 2008 ⋅
Tanzania’s president, Jakaya Kikwete, has become the first African president
to raise the issue of military intervention in Zimbabwe if the government
crackdown on the Movement for Democratic Change(MDC) worsens.
“We will certainly consider it (Miltary intervetion)if asked,” said Kikwete
“If we get there, to a point where military action is needed, if it’s a
multilateral project, then we’ll do it. At the moment we do not think that
will be necessary’
Tanzanian People’s Defense Force is made up of close to 30 000.The manpower
available for military service is a combined 14 387 010 two times Zimbabwe ’s
manpower available for military service which stands at 5 464 100.
This comes as the U.N. Security Council issued a unanimous statement on
Monday that a free and fair presidential election run-off in Zimbabwe was
impossible because of violence and restrictions on the opposition.
The adoption of the non-binding statement by the Security Council, which
comprises China France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, United
Burkina Faso,Italy,Viet Nam,Costa Rica,Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,Croatia and
Panama was its first formal action on the crisis in the southern African
Before the 15-nation Security Council adopted the statement, U.N.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “There has been too much violence and
too much intimidation. A vote held in these conditions would lack all
Daily News, Los Angeles
By Bridget Johnson, Columnist
Article Last Updated: 06/23/2008 07:42:44 PM PDT
WHEN human-rights activist Monique Mujawamariya was smuggled out of Kigali
in the early days of 1994's Rwandan genocide, she made a beeline for the
United States. After all, who better to tell about the machete-wielding
horror befalling her nation? Who better to ask for help?
Instead, Mujawamariya found out where Africa ranks on the foreign-policy
totem pole - genocide be damned.
"A congressional official responsible for Africa gave me an explanation
which was discouraging but also enlightening," Mujawamariya said in the
"Frontline" documentary "Ghosts of Rwanda."
"He said, `Listen, Monique, the United States has no friends. The United
States has interests. And in the United States, there is no interest in
Instead, Washington pressed forward with a "compromise" to withdraw 90
percent of peacekeepers from the country. Before the world would come to
grips with the gravity of its dithering, 800,000 Rwandans were dead.
And now, the world must face what's happening in Zimbabwe.
Since the country gained independence from its white-minority rulers in
1980, Mugabe has been the self-appointed - "God appointed," according to
Bobby himself - autocrat who has driven Zimbabwe into the ground with the
single-minded focus of removing all land from white farmers and viciously
stifling dissent. Unemployment hangs around 80 percent, an estimated quarter
of the population is infected with HIV, and hyperinflation is so severe that
U.S. dollar equals more than 7 billion Zimbabwean dollars.
Torture, kidnappings, arbitrary arrests, rape and murder are all synonymous
with the rule of Mugabe. Those who dare to oppose Mugabe are savagely
beaten, or worse.
But one man, Morgan Tsvangirai, has stood up to Mugabe - and along with
Tsvangirai, the common man who is tired of the fear and intimidation. And
that is what makes the Movement for Democratic Change a grass-roots
phenomenon - not, as Mugabe likes to contend, an American or British
But in the farce known as this year's presidential elections in Zimbabwe,
each outrage has been supplanted by an even greater one. First, Tsvangirai
supposedly didn't win enough votes in the first round of voting March 29 to
beat Mugabe outright. This after the government delayed the release of vote
totals for days after the election, just enough time to massage what wasn't
rigged in the first place.
And then it only got worse. Tsvangirai's return to Zimbabwe was delayed by
an assassination plot. The man who revealed the plot, MDC No. 2 Tendai Biti,
faces charges of treason and a possible death penalty. Since the first round
of voting, the MDC counts more than 70 supporters killed; inside government
sources put the figure even higher. The 27-year-old wife of Harare's new
mayor, an MDC member, was kidnapped last week and bludgeoned to death with
rocks and iron bars. The government turned away international food aid after
swearing it was tainted by ulterior humanitarian motives of Western nations.
The MDC didn't lack the will to go on, but the party was certainly mindful
of Mugabe's threat of full-scale bloodshed perpetrated by his "war veterans"
militia should he lose the runoff vote.
With Mugabe vowing not to honor an election loss, and the international
community dithering as always in the face of the newest bloodletting and
intimidation, the MDC backed out of the runoff election. Mugabe's ruling
party, the Zanu-PF, did its best to influence the decision by blockading the
site of the MDC's main campaign rally Sunday.
The U.N. issued a statement afterward calling the MDC's pullout "a deeply
distressing development that does not bode well for the future of democracy
in Zimbabwe," but harassment of the opposition is nothing new; it's just
that no opposition has heretofore posed such a threat to the Mugabe regime.
Mugabe, said Tsvangirai in announcing his decision, has "declared war by
saying that the bullet has replaced the ballot," and thus proceeding with
simple democratic processes put everyday Zimbabweans in too much danger.
"We now urge SADC (South African Development Community), the AU (African
Union) and the United Nations to intervene and stop the genocide,"
Tsvangirai told reporters.
As he called on the world Monday to not recognize Mugabe's rule (that means
you, South Africa!), marked man Tsvangirai was forced to take refuge at the
Dutch embassy in Harare.
As Rwanda was not America's burden alone, so must the rest of the world
reflect on how the ball was dropped back in 1994, and decide how they could
prevent wholesale bloodshed waged by a crudely armed regime and a
humanitarian catastrophe from happening again.
Because Mugabe is not done, by far, with the MDC.
Bridget Johnson is a columnist at the Daily News.
Tuesday, 24 June, 2008
SBS senior correspondent Brian Thomson has been speaking to an opposition
activist who was brutally assaulted in the election-related violence and to
a lawyer who knows only too well what the victims are going through.
Patson Muramoga is just one of the latest opposition activists to flee to
South Africa after being beaten senseless by thugs from Zimbabwe's ruling
Recounting his experiences brings tears to eyes. His wounds are as fresh as
his emotions are raw.
His crime is to be a youth organiser for the movement for democratic change.
"They attacked me with an axe.They started to beat me on my head then they
beat me in this right hand and it was broken already," Patson said.
Patson carries the xrays of the injuries to his hand with him. They show the
hook the perpetrators lodged into it.
He has a visa to remain in south africa for just one more day and he has no
money to renew it.
"If I go back to Zimbabwe they will kill me, because most of the guys are
killed. Right now I don't have a house because when I was in Harare they
burnt it down".
Patson's wife is 8 months pregnant, she remains in Zimbabwe but he knows
nothing of her fate.
His story is all too familiar to human rights lawyer, Gabriel Shumba.
At his office in Pretoria he documents cases of abuses in Zimbabwe.
The stories he hears bring back painful memories.
"Before i fled I was arrested 14 times," he said.
Gabriel is also Zimbabwean.
He used to represent members of the opposition and for his efforts he almost
paid with his life.
"They stripped me naked..."
Gabriel says he was hung upside down and beaten mercelessly, but there was
worse to come.
" I was so assaulted..."
At the end of the torture session Gabriel found himself sitting in a pool of
his own blood urine and excrement.
His torturers forced him to eat it.
"It was really a nightmare and my crime was simply to practice human rights
law in my country", he said.
Both men are angry at the regime's claims that violence against the
opposition has been overstated.
"These people they are liars. Mugabe is a liar, Mugabe is a thug," Gabrile
Gabriel hopes that one day he will be able to bring the perpetrators to
But for the time being all he can do is gather the evidence and wait for a
change in government.
International Herald Tribune
The Associated PressPublished: June 24, 2008
CANBERRA, Australia: New Zealand's Parliament voted unanimously Tuesday to
condemn atrocities and violence in Zimbabwe, blaming President Robert
Mugabe's regime, while Australia's foreign minister welcomed growing
criticism of Mugabe by other African leaders.
"We welcome very much that there now appears to be a growing chorus from the
African states that the campaign of intimidation and violence in Zimbabwe
has to cease," Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said.
"The brutal Mugabe regime has no electoral or democratic legitimacy so far
as Zimbabwe is concerned," Smith told Parliament.
Both Australia and New Zealand have been calling on countries in the
Southern African Development Community and the African Union to pressure
Mugabe to hold fair elections.
Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai announced on Sunday that he has
withdrawn from a presidential run-off election on Friday because of the
Smith said he agreed with statements from the United Nations that Friday's
poll would not be fair and should be postponed.
New Zealand's Parliament, meanwhile, voted unanimously to express outrage
that violence and intimidation in Zimbabwe had led to Tsvangirai's
withdrawal and called on Mugabe "to step down for the good of his country."
"The next few days are crucial. We look to African leaders, including
President (Thabo) Mbeki of South Africa, to engage with strengthened resolve
in efforts to close this crisis," Foreign Minister Winston Peters told
24 June 2008
THE move by Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) to pull out of Friday's election runoff was hailed as an informed
decision by speakers at the release of the Observatory for the Protection of
Human Rights Defenders' 2007 annual report in Johannesburg yesterday.
Pansy Tlakula, SA's Independent Electoral Commission chairwoman
and a member of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights,
described the situation in Zimbabwe as not meeting the standards for free
and fair elections.
"As an electoral practitioner myself, the current atmosphere in
Zimbabwe is not conducive for free and fair elections. It would be difficult
to operate in that kind of an environment," Tlakula said.
Harrison Nkomo, a human rights defender and lawyer from
Zimbabwe, who suffered persecution himself and is out on bail , said the
situation in Zimbabwe was very bad as both national and international
observers, journalists and humanitarian organisations were being attacked by
Zanu (PF) loyalists.
He said the MDC has been very patient throughout and persisted
in contesting the elections regardless of the many deaths being reported.
"The move by the MDC to pull out of the election runoff is well
informed. This is the best political decision Morgan (Tsvangirai) has ever
made in his political career," he said.
The pull-out, according to Arnold Tsunga, the vice-president of
the International Federation for Human Rights and member of the Zimbabwe
Human Rights Association, would make President Robert Mugabe even more of an
illegitimate leader, without the participation of Tsvangirai in the contest.
"Zanu (PF) is using mass starvation and violence to manipulate
and make people comply with their political agenda."
He said the political situation was fertile for anything,
including a civil war.
The report shows that human rights defenders - anyone involved
in the promotion and protection of human rights - were subjected to
repressive laws and violent attacks.
The continuing illegal arrests and assault of journalists, human
rights activists and the obstruction of humanitarian organisations in
Zimbabwe were given as examples.
Tlakula said freedom of expression and information was the very
basis on which strong democracies could be built, "and there could be no
independent and fair elections without a free media".
She said the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights ,
as far back as 2002, had made recommendations on various aspects of human
rights in Zimbabwe.
"Although there is a challenge in SADC (Southern African
Development Community) countries, over years there has been great progress
She said the only hope of addressing the challenges was with the
establishment of an African court on human and people s' rights.
Tsunga said countries such as Zimbabwe, Cameroon and the
Democratic Republic of Congo were known for their persecution of human
24 June 2008
SIMBA Makoni was always going to be at the forefront of Zimbabwean politics.
Yet, depending on who you speak to, he is worshipped as the charismatic
politician cut out for the job of saving Zimbabwe or criticised as the
spoiler bent on undermining a victory for Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Before the March elections, he had a big presence in SA, with his campaign
often advertised in SA's media.
Makoni's participation in the March 29 presidential election earned him 8,3%
of the votes, costing Tsvangirai the clear-cut lead he needed to avert a
With polarisation between Zanu (PF) and MDC, Makoni could have been the
kingmaker, helping the two sides reach a power-sharing agreement.
The 58-year-old appears fully conscious of his likely role in the political
gridlock in which Zanu (PF) and the military have no desire to hand power to
anyone except one of their own.
Similarly, the MDC would not accept a Zanu (PF) victory.
"Soon after the March 29 polling, some of us started canvassing that leaders
immediately engage each other towards an accommodation," Makoni said in
Johannesburg last week.
"We pleaded that we should not wait until there were bodies to bury.
Regrettably, we are already too late."
A struggle background, a PhD obtained from a British institution and his
appointment as deputy agriculture minister at the unlikely age of 30, give
Makoni unmatched credentials, helped by his moderate, well-cultivated
persona. The similarities with President Robert Mugabe are stark.
"He is the nearest to what Mugabe used to be," says University of Zimbabwe
political science lecturer John Makumbe.
Makoni seems to appeal to those in the black middle class opposed to Mugabe
yet also uncomfortable about Tsvangirai's liberalism.
Makumbe describes Makoni as a schemer pushing for a government of national
unity, hoping to be included in it.
"He's a thoroughly great guy, but I think he's really trying to short-change
both guys (Mugabe and Tsvangirai) and benefit himself," he says.
When Makoni was executive secretary of the Southern African Development
Community in the mid-1980s, talk was the foreign appointment would shield
the likely heir from Zanu (PF)'s more ruthless presidential hopefuls.
So too was his deployment at state-controlled Zimpapers, when the media
company had some of its best years.
His appointment as finance minister seemed to signal his rising star. But he
quit after an apparent fallout with Mugabe over Mugabe's aversion to
economic reform, which enhanced Makoni's reputation for
Makoni says his Mavambo-Kusile-Dawn movement, launched in February, is
motivated by a desire to save the country. Yet some are suspicious of his
middle-ground approach to politics, particularly his reluctance to endorse
"Simba is a product of Zanu (PF)'s internal succession battles and lack of
renewal policies rather than emerging from the broad masses," says a
Makoni's bid for office could best be described as stirring but not shaking
the Zanu (PF) establishment.
Even then, some of his reformist backers still in the ruling party are seen
as having lost ground to the rival faction headed by Rural Housing Minister
But with Mugabe still in the running, Makumbe believes that most in the
senior leadership will not take any chances on backing Makoni because they
will still wish to benefit from Mugabe's largesse.
Brian Raftopoulos, an Institute for Justice and Reconciliation researcher,
says Makoni's movement would advance Zimbabwe's position only if he
acknowledged the results of the March 29 elections and accorded respect to
Mandy de Waal digs into a Mugabe contract Caxton turned away - but Naspers
grabbed for a subsidiary part funded by the Gates Foundation.
Mandy de Waal*
24 Jun 2008 07:12
As Naspers prepared to release its financial results this week a small story
skidded under South Africa's media lens and fell through the grates. The
story was about one of Naspers' subsidiaries, Paarl Web, which printed
millions of rands worth of electioneering pamphlets for Robert Mugabe's
Business Day ran a minor snippet on the story in its "The Insider" column in
which it says that the print job was originally destined for CTP Caxton,
which passed up on the deal after Chairman Fredrick van zyl Slabbert,
threatened to resign if the printer went ahead. This after it had already
received a R3m deposit from the Zimbabwean Central Bank.
A similar story ran in the international media a week back which focused on
WPP subsidiary, Imago Y&R, recreating Robert Mugabe's election campaign. One
of the largest ad agencies in the world, WPP expressed outrage when it heard
the news with CEO Sir Martin Sorrell ordering the immediate divestiture of
the 25% share held in the Zimbabwean based subsidiary. At the time
spokesperson Bernard Barnett of Y&R was quoted in the London Times saying:
"This is a disgraceful regime and we want no connection between Y&R and it."
Back in South Africa, the market anticipates good numbers from Naspers
Limited (JSE: NPN) (LSE: NPSN) when it announces its results at 09h00
tomorrow (Wednesday 25 June 2008). According to a trading statement issued
by the group, earnings per share is expected to be between 35% and 45%
higher, with headline earnings forecast up between 20% and 30%.
The Cape Town based multinational media company enjoys global reach with
operations that span sub-Saharan Africa, China, Russia, central and eastern
Europe, the Netherlands, Brazil, the United States and Thailand. One would
think that a scandal that links Napers' brand to Robert Mugabe would reach
the highest echelons, capturing the attention of top leadership eager to
protect the global reputation of the firm.
My first call to get conformation of the story was to Naspers' head of
Investor Relations Meloy Horn who informed me she was unaware of the story
but would investigate and revert back to me within an hour.
Seven hours later she would not confirm whether Paarl Media did in fact
print the ZanuPF pamphlets, nor would she confirm that Paarl Media is a
subsidiary of Naspers. She advised that the story: "Was not a head office
issue" and that I would need to speak to Stephen van der Walt, Paarl Media's
His cellphone was off so I called his office where I was advised to speak to
Paarl Media's Gauteng division, Paarl Web. The product of a BEE partnership
between Paarl Media Group and loveLife!'s Kurisani Investments, Paarl Web's
stakeholders include the US-based Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and the
South African Government, while the printer's BEE partners receive their
major funding from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates
At Paarl Web I first spoke to Press Manager Kevin Wright who issued a terse
"no comment" and put the phone down on me. This was followed by a call to
Jandré de Milander, MD of Paarl Web who advised me that the job was briefed
to them by an existing South African client and that they were paid in South
African rands for the job.
He refused to name his client citing that he had signed a confidentiality
agreement. When asked what he felt about Paarl Web doing work for Mugabe's
regime he answered: "It is irrelevant what my feelings now are. This has
nothing to do with you. Is ZanuPF a terrorist organization? Why shouldn't we
do business with them? I have nothing further to say to you. I can't give
you any further comment."
Finally I spoke to Stephen van der Walt, CEO of the Paarl Media Group who
asked that I strike all previous comments from the record, as those
contacted were not part of the communications team.
Van der Walt confirmed that the print job had been given to them by an
existing client. That an up front deposit was requested as the job exceeded
the client's credit limit with Paarl Media. Van der Walt maintains that the
quoting and the briefing on the job were done blind without the sales person
or production team viewing the material in question. He went on to say that
the job was then slotted into their digital production process without
anyone seeing what the job was.
"I want to state categorically that we did not know at all that it was a
ZanuPF job. It was printed inadvertently at Paarl Gauteng, which is part of
our group. We had no interface with ZanuPF, we never received payment from
ZanuPF and we have no relationship with anyone from ZanuPF. Mugabe's party
placed the order, provided for it and paid for it through a South African
company which is our client," said van der Walt.
Van der Walt went on to explain that the only screening policy the printing
group has is against pornography which is easily identifiable. He refused to
name the client but stated he would try and raise the client, to get their
permission to be named or interviewed. At the time of going to press this
information was yet forthcoming. When asked whether his group would do
business with this client again he stated: "It would be doubtful under these
circumstances. It is unlikely that we will be doing business with them
While this story missed local headlines, there were other stories that
didn't. They include Mugabe stepping up violence, Morgan Tsvangirai seeking
refuge in the Dutch Embassy in Harare following his withdrawal from the
run-off elections, ZanuPF youth militia attacking MDC supporters, together
with daily stories of the murder, torture, rape and abduction of ZanuPF
opposition. This as Mugabe's stranglehold 28-year rule shrinks the
Zimbabwean economy for 10th year and inflation reaches 355 000 percent.
When it is all over for Zimbabwe and the terrible losses are counted, one
wonders whether there will be an international tribunal or court of law that
will hold those who buoyed Mugabe's rule accountable for contributing to his
reign of terror. Whether there will be a forensic investigation into the
trail of blood money that has links Mugabe to companies willing to make a
quick buck from his violent rule. And, whether a tribunal would consider
ignorance as a justifiable defence.
a.. A former broadcast journalist Mandy de Waal spent twenty years in
branding marketing before returning to her first love, journalism. Read
Artificial Intelligence, her blog on new media, current affairs and business
24 June 2008
IT IS hard to see what else Morgan Tsvangirai could have done. It was clear
that the junta running Zimbabwe wouldn't allow him to be declared the winner
of this week's presidential election. His candidature risked bestowing a
semblance of legitimacy on the whole wretched business; and in the mean
time, it was intensifying the violence: Zanu (PF) gangs were assaulting
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) candidates and displacing their voters.
Unlike many African opposition movements, the MDC has tried to stick to
nonviolence. Seventy of Tsvangirai's party members have been killed, and
thousands of supporters terrorised but, so far, he has not authorised the
arming of militias. His hope is that international pressure might force
democracy on Zimbabwe without a civil war. Yesterday, he repeated his plea
for the outside world to facilitate peaceful change.
Whether this happens depends largely on the ruling African National
Congress - just as it fell to their white predecessors to bring down Ian
Smith. President Thabo Mbeki and his ministers should ponder that parallel.
Then, as now, a minority regime in Rhodesia was prepared to plunge the
country into bloodshed rather than relinquish power.
Then, as now, it was condemned by almost the entire world - except SA. But
SA's rulers came to look beyond their ideological links and act in the wider
interests of humanity.
If SA shows a similar magnanimity today, Zimbabwe might yet become a stable
and prosperous neighbour. If not, full-scale conflict will be inevitable.
Zanu (PF) was founded in the belief that, when there is no democracy, armed
resistance is justified. It may soon find itself on the receiving end of
that doctrine. London, June 23.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
We must express our disappointment in the decision of Mr Morgan Tsvangirai,
the leader of the Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), to pull
out of Zimbabwe's presidential run-off election scheduled for this Friday.
For we had hoped that Mr Tsvangirai would have endured the state-sponsored
intimidation and violence being unleashed on his supporters and himself to
contest the vote. Even though we had strongly suspected that the results
would have been rigged in favour of President Robert Mugabe, the man who has
now become Africa's biggest despot and who has finally been openly described
by some of that continent's other leaders as an embarrassment.
We fear that the current United Nations Security Council debate on the
crisis in Zimbabwe may amount to too little too late. For Mr Mugabe has,
over the past three years, and increasingly so in recent months, made no
secret of his shameless disregard for democracy.
Just last week, in an address to business people in Bulawayo, he was
reported as saying that the MDC will never ever be allowed to rule Zimbabwe.
"Only God who appointed me will remove me - not the MDC, not the British,"
Later, at a rally in that same city, he was quoted as telling supporters:
"We will never allow an event like an election to reverse our independence,
our sovereignty, our sweat and all that we fought for ... all that our
comrades died fighting for."
Up to that point, the international community, except for Britain, largely
sat by and watched the atrocities of the Mugabe regime as it cracked down on
dissent, muzzled the press, destroyed a once thriving economy, bulldozed
people's homes, rigged elections, and used food as a weapon against
opponents of the Government.
We are particularly bothered by the continued silence of Caricom on the
disgraceful events in Zimbabwe, particularly given the history of this
region's relations with that country and the support we gave to its struggle
for freedom from apartheid.
We refuse to believe that Caricom leaders simply have no interest in
ensuring that democracy is preserved and respected in Zimbabwe. Neither do
not expect that they are waiting until they are all gathered at their heads
of government conference in Antigua next month to actually break their
strange silence on this issue.
True, the Jamaican Government has voiced concern about the state of affairs
in Zimbabwe. However, the collective voice of the region, we believe, would
have made a stronger statement, and one which should let Mr Mugabe know in
no uncertain terms that his actions are highly unacceptable and that he is
no longer welcome in this region.
For as Mr Ban Ki-Moon, the secretary-general of the United Nations, said
yesterday, Zimbabwe's problems pose a grave threat to international peace
Given his track record, we expect that Mr Mugabe will scoff at yesterday's
draft statement out of the Security Council demanding the recognition of the
March 29 election results until there is a clearly free and fair second
round of the presidential election.
If, as we suspect, he disregards the UN, he will only isolate his country,
and the people of Zimbabwe will suffer even more hardships. But then again,
that has never seemed to have concerned Mr Mugabe.
24 June 2008
HOW President Thabo Mbeki or any of his mandarins involved in the tragic
events in Zimbabwe can remain hopeful that a viable settlement can still be
found at this late stage truly boggles the mind.
More disturbing is the fact that this misplaced hope also exposes
fundamental flaws in the South African government's understanding and
approach not only to the crises in that country, but also to how the
democratic process needs to be deepened and who should be at the centre of
Since their defeat in the elections preceding this Friday's sham
presidential runoff vote, Robert Mugabe and the ruling Zanu (PF) have simply
reverted to type. A systematic campaign of terror and torture has all but
reversed the gains that were the unintended consequences of electoral
reforms ushered in as part of measures that the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) put in place to ensure a degree of respectability in a
deeply flawed electoral process.
As matters stand in Zimbabwe, it is clear that any semblance of a democratic
process to determine who governs that country has been perverted. The
decision on the part of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to withdraw
from the runoff hardly comes as a surprise and rips the carpet from under
those who still wrongly argue for some sort of government of national unity.
It is instructive to note the language used by the South Africans involved
in the behind-the-scenes manoeuvring. Mbeki, who met both Mugabe and Morgan
Tsvangirai last week, said: "From our point of view the leadership of
Zimbabwe should get together and find a solution to the challenges that face
Zimbabwe." On the face of things, there can be nothing wrong with this
statement. But it ignores that it is the Zimbabwean people, and not its
political leadership, who should be at the centre of the process. The
distinction between the political leadership and the people broadly is not
simply an academic point or a matter of semantics. Especially not when one
unpacks the historical context of Zimbabwe's liberation from colonialism and
its struggle to rid itself of a kleptocracy headed by a former liberation
movement that has turned on its own people.
The Zimbabwean people have spoken through the ballot more than once. Each
time their message was clear. Which is why the South African government's
insistence on some sort of government of national unity between Zanu (PF)
and the MDC is misplaced and out of step with the democratic decisions taken
by the Zimbabweans themselves. Yet Mbeki and his advisers continue to press
the case for Zanu (PF)'s inclusion in a future government. No wonder Mugabe
believes only God can remove him from power. This twisted logic is no doubt
informed by Mbeki and Mugabe's shared notion of vanguardist and forced
hegemony and their belief that leaders are anointed, rather than elected. In
truth, Mugabe and Zanu (PF) have long lost the right to be called liberator
or liberation movement.
In April this year, the South African Communist Party succinctly described
what ails Zimbabwe in its publication, Umsebenzi Online: "The principal
cause of the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe is that of a degenerating
national liberation movement, which once fought a heroic struggle, but is
now paying the price of being trapped in state power that is not buttressed
by the people's will." The party went on to say that it was important that
SA and SADC "do not pander to the whims of the Zimbabwean elites", and
should allow the realisation of democratic aspirations of the poor people of
Zimbabwe. Failure would set a bad precedent for the SADC region, if not
Africa as a whole.
As the continent and the rest of the world holds its collective breath in
anticipation of what happens in Zimbabwe next, Mbeki and his advisers would
do well to note that unless the Zimbabwean people are instrumental in the
reshaping of Zimbabwe's political and economic future, democracy in Zimbabwe
will only end up being shortchanged. We dare not let that happen.
.. Brown is political editor.
24 June 2008
WITH the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) out of the presidential
election runoff, not much can happen in Zimbabwe, failing decisive African
action, except for things getting worse.
Without a legitimate government in Harare, no recovery is possible. And
legitimacy is unlikely to be enhanced by the creation of a government of
national unity without the MDC: few could be fooled by a different facade on
the bones of the same government, even one with apparently more acceptable
ex-Zanu (PF) figures, such as Simba Makoni. This is less a "third way" than
a dead end.
For while one can suspend or rig and election, one cannot suspend or rig an
economy. Economic reform and rehabilitation for the masses will not happen
in the circumstances. Inflation will likely continue at its stratospheric
levels, and nearly all Zimbabweans will continue to get poorer. If MDC
leader Morgan Tsvangirai had won this Friday, against all intimidation and
rigging odds, there was some prospect of recovery . But he would have had to
focus his limited time and direct donor resources to three key tasks.
First, to stabilise the economy, probably by issuing a new currency, thereby
bringing inflation under control. This would have required carefully managed
The second task would have been to
re-establish the rule of law, using his leadership and mandate to re-orient
the army to external functions and police to the maintenance of law and
order - not repression - and thereby reinstate the populace's confidence in
state institutions. This would have been an initial step along the road to
depoliticising the civil service.
Third - and most importantly - he would have had to reinstate the productive
sectors of the economy, notably farming, on which so much clearly depends.
This would have demanded getting together with the farming and donor
community to work out a land reform strategy that is orderly, fair and
geared towards sustainability. It would of course be politically and
administratively difficult to turn back the clock to the status quo before
Mugabe started his devastatingly costly land grab in 2000.
But it would be crucial to return skills and capital to the land. New
farmers - not party hacks who have been given farms as political pay-offs -
could be helped, perhaps through a national trust fund. Dispossessed farmers
might be encouraged to return to share their skills through a combination of
land restitution, financial compensation and partnership with the new
farmers. And donors would have to be kept to their earlier promises in this
sector, notably the British government. No doubt a President Tsvangirai
would have a very difficult task ahead. But he would have one big advantage.
He is not Robert Mugabe.
This scenario might still take place, but apparently not this week. In the
interim, the even more difficult short-term scenario has now happened - the
aborting of the run-off election. This creates a major crisis for the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) mediators, tainting their
efforts and standing, and delaying the prospects of stability and recovery.
But they - and those African democrats concerned about their continent's
credibility - do possess a few other options.
First and foremost they will need to protect Zimbabwean opposition leaders.
This may have to involve the deployment of more than hotel-bound election
They will need, second, to signal collectively and definitively that Mugabe's
and Zanu (PF)'s actions are beyond unacceptable. Words are unlikely to be
enough given Harare's political autism: Zimbabwe's suspension from SADC and
the African Union would cost Africa little, but could pay much through the
restoration of a semblance of African credibility.
And then they should find ways to get
the election process back on track. This is not about pathetic attempts to
paper over serious abuses through governments of national "unity" when this
is premised more on continental African than local Zimbabwean needs.
To achieve this, African mediators would have to pull the levers to which
Zanu (PF) will be sensitive. International and continental isolation is one.
A stipulation of international supervision of central bank inflows and
outflows is another.
Outside powers that are interested in change and recovery should involve
themselves in working with their African partners to devise strategies to
this end. To attempt to do so alone is likely only to inflame sensitivities,
not extinguish them. This would not stop them also from ratcheting up the
pressure by encouraging multinational businesses to withdraw or open their
books to scrutiny.
Failing decisive action, the potential for widespread violence in Zimbabwe
has never been greater. And its corrosive effects will not stay at home but
will be felt throughout the region in a deteriorating continental image,
burgeoning refugee flows, and a pernicious climate of fear and hopelessness.
a.. Dr Mills heads the Johannesburg-based Brenthurst Foundation.
Editorial of The New York Sun
June 24, 2008
When Secretary of State Rice was confronted with the latest news from
Harare, the decision of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to withdraw from
Friday's presidential election amid a wave of regime sponsored violence, she
said, "The Mugabe regime cannot be considered legitimate in the absence of a
runoff." The United Kingdom's foreign secretary, David Miliband on the BBC
that day was even tougher. He said President Mugabe's "claims to legitimacy
have absolutely no basis because if anyone has legitimacy it's the people
who won the parliamentary elections and the presidential elections in
These words can be given meaning only by action on the part of the community
of free nations to recognize Mr. Tsvangirai as the elected, legitimate
leader of Zimbabwe. His Movement for Democratic Change won the elections
held on March 29. Robert Mugabe quickly moved to prevent the publishing of
the official vote count, called for a re-vote, and unleashed the state's
military and police to detain, beat, torture, and kill the political
opposition the dictator could not best in the polls.
Recognizing Mr. Tsvangirai as the leader of Zimbabwe could be accompanied by
the expulsion of Mr. Mugabe's diplomats from Turtle Bay to their home
country. Ordinarily we'd suggest a dock at the Hague, but the United Nations
tribunal is not an institution to which one wants to look for justice.
Wouldn't it be something were Secretary General Ban to invite Mr. Tsvangirai
to address the General Assembly. Or to see a group of Zimbabwe's neighbors
convened to provide the opposition with the money, guns, and diplomatic
cover that would be required to take back the elections Mr. Mugabe has
At this point, it's hard to imagine what is gained by an American
administration, of either party, recognizing the current regime in Harare or
hosting its diplomats in Washington. This kind of diplomacy is not
unprecedented. In the late 1990s, Secretary Albright met with the Kosovo
Albanian government, even as Slobodan Milosevic tried and failed to cleanse
the Albanians from what he considered Serbian territory.
In a phone conversation yesterday, John Prendergast, a former Clinton
administration Africa hand and codirector of the Enough project aimed at
ending genocide, said, "President Mugabe's actions inside Zimbabwe over the
last seven years and particularly the last few months since the elections
ought to result in a stripping of his recognition as the head of state."
So far, the rest of the world is not quite there. The reaction from the
United Nations has been a plea with Mr. Mugabe to delay the vote scheduled
for June 27. Meanwhile, Mr. Tsvangirai has asked for asylum in the Dutch
embassy as the police raid his party headquarters and one of his top
deputies sits in jail on charges of treason. He, too, is calling on the
world deny any recognition of the upcoming election in which his Movement
for Democratic Change can no longer participate. The better strategy would
be for the democratic powers to go further and recognize the results of the
March 29 elections. If the democracies cannot muster the courage to do this
for Zimbabwe, what hope will there be the next time a tyrant in Asia,
Africa, or the Middle East tries to counter with force the politics of his
24 June 2008
PRESIDENT Thabo Mbeki is said by spokesman Mukoni Ratshitanga to be "very,
very encouraged" by the fact that Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change
has not given up on the prospect of reaching a negotiated settlement with
the totalitarian regime that refuses to relinquish control of the country.
It is hard to understand what he finds so encouraging, especially since
Mbeki's own failures as a diplomat, mediator and regional leader have played
no small part in pushing Zimbabwe down the blind alley in which it now finds
itself. When the choice was between violent suppression of free political
activity followed by a rigged election, or handing victory to the Mugabe
dictatorship by refusing to participate, there is precious little to be
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has been criticised for waiting too long before
pulling out of Friday's scheduled presidential runoff, thereby exposing his
supporters to unnecessary violence. Certainly, it was clear from immediately
after the disputed first poll that President Robert Mugabe intended using
the run off to reverse the setback caused by the loss of Zanu (PF)'s
majority in Parliament.
However, as has been pointed out repeatedly by this newspaper, the region's
habit of appeasing Mugabe left Tsvangirai between a rock and a hard place.
With SA doing everything in its power to protect Mugabe from international
pressure and the Southern African Development Community content to put its
faith in Mbeki's behind-the-scenes manoeuvring, the only alternative to a
highly flawed democratic process was vague talk of a negotiated government
of national unity.
Given Mugabe's track record of reneging on deals, his open rejection of any
process that entails handing over power, and the climate of fear that has
been created through his brutal use of militias to intimidate and kill
opposition supporters, Tsvangirai can hardly be blamed for being sc eptical.
Nor can he be blamed for refusing to put more of his supporters' lives on
the line, especially since it was increasingly obvious that the outcome of
the poll would be rigged.
Mbeki's refusal to condemn Mugabe's brutal tactics, and his eagerness to
encourage a settlement that subverts the will of the Zimbabwean people,
reveal a chilling cynicism towards the viability of democracy as a system of
government in Africa. Mugabe is on the verge of being rewarded for quite
literally sticking to his guns; given the similar manner in which the
democratic process was manipulated in Kenya recently to avoid further
bloodshed, this does not augur well for the continent.
The only real, albeit faint, encouraging signs are indications that regional
leaders are finally losing patience with Mbeki, and that the broader
international community has reached the end of its tether too. The United
Nations needs to play a more active role, along with the African Union and
those regional leaders that have broken ranks with Mugabe, to ensure that
whatever agreement is reached will eventually lead to free and fair
Quiet diplomacy has been thoroughly discredited, and SA risks being rendered
irrelevant if it continues to insist on a softly-softly approach to Mugabe.
If Mbeki refuses to be part of the solution by take a principled stand
against tyranny, he must not be surprised if he is considered part of the
problem, and treated as such.
San Francisco Chronicle
Monday, June 23, 2008
It didn't seem that things could get any worse in Zimbabwe, but they have.
And that country's maniac despot, Robert Mugabe, seems intent on finding out
just how much the people of Zimbabwe can bear before the sad, inevitable
Right now, the man who has dedicated 10 years of his life to challenging
Mugabe's rule - Morgan Tsvangirai, who won the presidency of Zimbabwe
according to election results in March - is hiding in the Dutch Embassy,
afraid for his life. Mugabe's minions are traveling the country, openly
butchering his supporters and poll workers. In a desperate bid to motivate
the international community into action, Tsvangirai has withdrawn from
standing in yet another presidential "runoff election" (sure to be rigged
better this time) this week, leaving Mugabe as the only name on the ballot.
Meanwhile, Mugabe's supporters in the United Nations (including South
Africa, a country that should really know better) are still blocking any
serious efforts there. Clearly, the steady flood of Zimbabwean refugees into
their own countries - and the social turmoil that has come with them - isn't
enough of a threat for them to take a stand against this Orwellian monster.
Their cowardice makes them culpable in the bloodshed that's sure to follow,
when the people of Zimbabwe finally run Mugabe out of office.
A revolution of some kind is likely, because Zimbabweans increasingly have
nothing to eat and nothing to lose. After the sham election, Mugabe will no
doubt isolate himself even further from the populace, emerging only to issue
belligerent statement about how "only God" will remove him from office, and
churning out press releases about his wonderful deeds in a country where
industry is dead and inflation is over 1 million percent. Mugabe is 84 years
old, but shows no sign of loosening his tyrannical grip on the country. The
only question is, how much damage will he inflict on the way out?
The United States has been pushing to put Zimbabwe on the United Nations
Security Council Agenda, and it must continue that push - and encourage all
its allies to promote sanctions against the country if necessary. Any action
taken against the hacker of Harare will be better than none.
Published: June 24 2008 03:00 | Last updated: June 24 2008 03:00
There is now no doubt - if any had remained - that Robert Mugabe will "win"
Friday's presidential run-off in Zimbabwe. The withdrawal of Morgan
Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change,
guarantees that this brutal dictator who has shamed Africa and bludgeoned
the political opposition to death will stay in power. Mr Mugabe is waging a
horrific terror campaign against his people and has stolen an election.
Zimbabwe's neighbours, led by South Africa, have tolerated this tyranny for
too long. They should refuse to recognise his re-election.
Mr Tsvangirai's decision to pull out of the contest is unfortunate but
understandable. Many of the party's grassroots supporters would have run the
risk of being killed by gangs of pro-Mugabe thugs had they tried to monitor
polling stations. Nearly 90 are said to have been killed already. That Mr
Tsvangirai himself was yesterday reported to have sought refuge overnight in
the Dutch embassy suggests that worse is to come.
Mr Mugabe is on the verge of a sham victory. He will use the result of
Friday's rigged poll to try to claim legitimacy for his despotic rule. The
violence he has orchestrated means he can claim nothing of the sort. The
election has ceased to have any value or meaning.
As the economic crisis in Zimbabwe worsens, the rest of the world must not
stand by. There is little point in Mr Tsvangirai setting up a government in
exile. It is to the MDC's credit that Zimbabwe's neighbours have begun to
criticise Mr Mugabe. African Union leaders should go further when they meet
this weekend. They should suspend Zimbabwe from the AU and endorse Mr
Tsvangirai's call for properly observed and supervised elections.
Thabo Mbeki, South Africa's president, who has sought to resolve the crisis
with a Kenyan-style national unity government, should accept he has failed.
There is no way any western nation will send international aid to a regime
that has Mr Mugabe or Zanu-PF at the helm. An MDC government that included a
small Zanu-PF contingent would be an acceptable price for ending the
violence, but is unlikely to happen.
The US and Europe must toughen sanctions against Zimbabwe's leadership.
Travel curbs on senior Zanu-PF figures are in place. The assets of
politicians and their suspected middlemen should be frozen and the travel
ban extended to prevent their children studying in foreign schools and
universities. Western financial institutions should be debarred from
operating in Harare. Anger is not enough. The Mugabe regime should be made
National Post, Canada
National Post Published: Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Speaking to supporters on Sunday, Zimbabwean strongman Robert Mugabe said he
was confident his ZANU-PF party would "romp to victory" in a presidential
runoff election on Friday. No kidding. Having murdered more than 80
opposition politicians and supporters, and beaten thousands more, since
March's first round of balloting, Mr. Mugabe has all but eliminated everyone
who might defeat him. On the weekend, his chief rival, Morgan Tsvangirai,
leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), announced he would be
withdrawing from the race rather than witness any more of his supporters
being killed, beaten or kidnapped. Winning the presidency for the fifth time
now will be as difficult for Mr. Mugabe as scoring an empty-net goal after
the other team has skated off to their dressing room.
This is a travesty, and a preventable one, too. If international
organizations such as the United Nations and the Commonwealth had spoken up
sooner, it is doubtful Mr. Mugabe could have pulled off the fraud that seems
destined to return him to office for another six years.
Mr. Tsvangirai's MDC won a clear majority in March's parliamentary vote. So
great was their triumph that not even Mr. Mugabe's handpicked electoral
commission could paper over the win and declare MDC candidates to have
captured a majority of seats.
And they tried.
Through March and April, Zimbabwean officials attempted to rework the
results in two dozen of the closest parliamentary races, but the task proved
too great. Not even they were shameless enough to falsify the outcomes to
the degree needed to award ZANU-PF the victory.
But the presidential race was much closer. According to MDC scrutineers, Mr.
Tsvangirai captured just a fraction over the 50%-plus-one needed to avoid a
runoff with Mr. Mugabe. That margin the Zimbabwean electoral commission
could steal, and did.
For more than a month, officials refused to release the results, then when
they did, they made the improbable announcement that neither man had won a
clear majority, and a second round of voting would be needed. This gave Mr.
Mugabe a second chance to win, and his party launched a campaign of killing
and terror to make sure they didn't lose again.
The regime has set loose roving bands of armed thugs. Paramilitary troops
scour the streets looking for MDC organizers, breaking up rallies and
tearing down their posters. On the weekend, thousands of youth militia loyal
to President Mugabe attacked an MDC rally in Harare, beating journalists and
forcing election observers to flee.
Another gang routed 60 MDC supporters from the party's headquarters,
arresting the teens and adults and forcing Mr. Tsvangirai to take refuge in
the Dutch embassy in the Zimbabwean capital. A Zimbabwe police spokesman
denied there had been a raid on MDC headquarters, then explained that anyone
who had been removed from opposition election offices had been taken away
for "health reasons."
British Foreign Office Minister Lord Malloch-Brown said Mr. Mugabe's violent
tactics violated Zimbabwe's constitution, so he could no longer be
considered the "legitimate leader" of his country. But it was too little,
The world needed to speak out in March after Mr. Mugabe had so clearly lost,
or in April when bureaucrats loyal to him were refusing to release the
official results, or when the campaign of intimidation began. But while the
UN, Commonwealth and European Union all confessed their concern, none would
go further than to say they hoped bloodshed could be avoided and that fair
elections would occur. The predictable outcome of these mealy-mouthed
pronouncements was that Mr. Mugabe was able to use bloodshed to steal yet
another presidential vote.
The Zimbabwean dictator has run his country into the ground, destroying its
agriculture and bankrupting its economy. One of the few wealthy,
self-sufficient countries in Africa has become one of the most decrepit and
corrupt thanks to him.
Likely all that was needed to end his repressive rule was a willingness by
the international community to recognize Mr. Tsvangirai as the winner two
months ago. But even that was too much for the likes of the politically
correct denizens of the UN and other international organization. Now, as a
result of their reluctance to identify Mr. Mugabe for what he is, the moment
to win democracy in Zimbabwe may well have passed.
New York Times
Published: June 24, 2008
Zimbabwe's presidential runoff election is still scheduled for Friday. But
President Robert Mugabe has already stolen the vote.
For months, Mr. Mugabe's henchmen have brutalized opposition politicians and
voters who dared to imagine an end to the dictatorship. On Sunday, Morgan
Tsvangirai - the opposition leader and winner of the first round - withdrew
from the runoff. That night, he also took refuge in the Dutch Embassy in
Zimbabwe's capital while police raided his party headquarters.
This cannot continue. The United States, Zimbabwe's African neighbors and
the rest of the international community must immediately press for a
postponement of the balloting.
And since Mr. Mugabe appears to have lost all sense - he has now declared
that only God, not the voters, can remove him from office - they must
pressure the generals who enable his reign of terror to abandon Mr. Mugabe.
Since the first balloting in March, at least 85 people have been killed,
thousands beaten - some with iron bars - and thousands driven from their
homes. Mr. Tsvangirai was detained five times and his party's chief
strategist is being held on specious treason charges.
Western and African leaders have done little but wring their hands. Finally,
late Monday, the United Nations Security Council issued its first
condemnation of the violence sweeping Zimbabwe, regretting that the
"campaign of violence and the restrictions on the political opposition have
made it impossible for a free and fair election to take place on 27 June."
It was unclear if the council retained an important acknowledgment that was
in an early draft: "Until there is a clearly free and fair second round of
the presidential election, the only legitimate basis for a government of
Zimbabwe is the outcome of the 29 March 2008 election" - which Mr.
We fear it will take more than words to save Zimbabwe. The international
community must back that up with serious punishments for Mr. Mugabe's
generals and cronies. Mr. Mugabe bought their loyalty with land and other
government largess. Only very personal punishments - freezing their foreign
bank accounts and denying visas - will make them recalculate their
We are also waiting for South Africa's president, Thabo Mbeki, to act.
Instead of defending Zimbabwe's people and their right to democratic change,
he has shamefully chosen to protect Mr. Mugabe.
The United States, Europe and African governments must all make clear that
if the runoff election is not delayed - so that Mr. Tsvangirai can campaign
without the threat of violence - they will no longer recognize Mr. Mugabe or
his government and will use all their powers to punish and isolate them.
His campaign of terror will keep him in power, barring an international
Tuesday, June 24, 2008; Page A16
ROBERT MUGABE'S campaign of terror against the people of Zimbabwe is
succeeding. On Sunday, Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader who defeated
him in the March 29 presidential election, withdrew from a runoff election
that had been scheduled for Friday, citing the murder of 86 of his
supporters and the torture, beating or displacement of tens of thousands of
others. Yesterday, Mr. Tsvangirai sought refuge in the Dutch Embassy in
Harare; he has been repeatedly detained by police while attempting to
campaign, and his deputy has been imprisoned on treason charges. As a host
of world leaders affirmed, Mr. Tsvangirai's decision was justified. But it
also opened the way for Mr. Mugabe to hold a rigged vote and then award
himself another mandate as president.
Only concerted and aggressive intervention by the United Nations and
Zimbabwe's neighbors can now prevent this crime, brazenly carried out in
front of the world, from going forward. Mr. Mugabe is betting there will be
no such action -- and the record of the last three months backs him up.
While the United States and Britain have repeatedly condemned Mr. Mugabe's
terror and have tried to inspire action by the U.N. Security Council or the
Southern African Development Community (SADC), they have been blocked by Mr.
Mugabe's allies -- foremost among them Thabo Mbeki, South Africa's lame-duck
Yesterday the Western leaders tried again. A strong statement from Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice said Mr. Mugabe's regime "cannot be considered
legitimate in the absence of a runoff." She also demanded that it be "held
accountable" for failing to protect its own people; under a new U.N.
doctrine, that could justify international intervention. British Prime
Minister Gordon Brown proposed new sanctions. Last night, the U.N. Security
Council passed a non-binding statement saying that "the campaign of
violence" had made a free and fair election on June 27 impossible.
But Mr. Mugabe isn't listening, and there is no indication that Mr. Mbeki
has tempered South Africa's obstructionism of action, as opposed to
statements by the United Nations. Other southern African leaders have begun
to speak out, including the presidents of Zambia and Botswana. But without
the support of Mr. Mbeki, who has been the SADC's designated mediator for
Zimbabwe, they can have only limited influence.
Mr. Mbeki has appeared to be exploring the possibility of a compromise that
would create a coalition government -- the formula adopted in Kenya
following its tainted election this year. But there is no hope of political
peace or economic recovery in Zimbabwe until Mr. Mugabe leaves office. That
must remain the starting point of U.S. policy.
24 June 2008
CRICKET SA (CSA), has decided to suspend its bilateral agreements with the
Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) until further notice.
This was announced by CSA President Norman Arendse in a media release
"In light of the worsening situation in Zimbabwe, CSA has reviewed its
position in relation to Zimbabwe cricket.
"We have decided to suspend our bilateral agreements with the Zimbabwe
Cricket Union until further notice.
"In the past, CSA has defended Zimbabwe cricket against heavy odds, but the
general situation in Zimbabwe has now made this untenable.
"We will continue to comply with the International Cricket Council's future
tours programme regarding Zimbabwe, because we are bound to this programme
as a full member of the ICC.
"However, CSA will suspend its bilateral agreements with the ZCU, which
include development and administrative programmes, and the participation of
Zimbabwe teams in CSA's domestic competitions," the release said. Sapa
Tue 24 Jun 2008, 5:59 GMT
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's rand steadied against the dollar on
Tuesday and was seen under pressure from Zimbabwe developments while dealers
will also turn their attention to local inflation data from Wednesday.
Local stocks looked set to open in slightly positive territory, with the
blue chip Top-40 September futures contract up 0.6 percent ahead of market
opening at 0700 GMT.
At 0645 GMT, the rand stood at 8.0550 to the dollar, not far off its last
New York close of 8.0515.
Dealers said the rand could weaken further as concerns over Zimbabwe raise
investor risk aversion.
"We are expecting to see further rand weakness. We're looking at 8.12/dollar
and if we break that up to 8.17 and 8.25, top side risk remains," said
Brigid Taylor, dealer at RMB.
Zimbabwe's political future remains in limbo after opposition Movement for
Democratic Change leader, Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out of a run-off
presidential election that was set for Friday.
Taylor said the market would also be watching for local inflation data
releases on Wednesday and Thursday and the U.S. Federal Reserve interest
rate decision on Wednesday.
The CPIX consumer inflation for May is expected to surge to a new 5-1/2 year
high of 10.8 percent year-on-year, after breaching the the top end of a 3-6
percent target in April 2007.
South Africa's government bond yields dipped.
The yield on the two-year bond dipped one basis point to 11.655 percent and
that on the 2015 issue fell two basis points to 10.60 percent.
Independent market watchers ETM said with CPIX likely to peak around 12.5
percent in August, the central bank would be justified in raising rates by
at least one more 50 basis points.
"Whilst this has been largely priced in by the markets, an adjustment of a
further 100 basis points in rate hikes has not".
The central bank has raised rates by 5 percentage points to 12.0 percent
since June 2006, in an effort to arrest inflation.