On whites in Zimbabwe
We have not stopped singing to the theme of unity and the theme of love. Even
the whites are free to live here. But they must change. Your kind - the British
kind - are very difficult to change. We rate them as the most conceited the most
arrogant the most selfish and the most racist in our situation. I do not mean
you Mr Dimbleby, this is not you in person - but the ones we have here.
I would have been an [Idi] Amin if I was racist
We ourselves should not ever ever... as government, as a party, as individuals within the party, be seen to be acting in a racist way, blacks against whites, we refuse to do that. The whites wouldn't be here if I was like that. I would have been an [Idi] Amin if I was racist... we can't do things like that.
On his disappointment that Harold Wilson's government in London did not take a firmer line against Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965:
We didn't get from Wilson the assurances we wanted. We asked him would the British Government use troops. He said no. Then we knew that UDI would take place. We said why wouldn't you use troops? He said because the British public wouldn't stand for it.
On Rhodesian army attacks on Zanu guerilla bases:
Of course we didn't want Lancaster [settlement talks] anyway - we wanted to carry on fighting
You get so aggrieved and it works on you and works on your emotion in such a way that you can never forgive the perpetrators of an action of this nature.
On the Lancaster House peace talks in 1979:
I didn't believe that Lancaster was going to yield anything, to tell you the truth, and of course we didn't want Lancaster anyway - we wanted to carry on fighting.
On the attitude of rival leader Bishop Abel Muzorewa:
We were fed up because they were just saying yes yes yes yes - baa baa black sheep. I was saying what are you people except obedient servants saying yes yes yes to the master
On intimidation before Zimbabwe's first election:
I don't think our people were intimidating the voters as such but of course, where people are still confronting each other you can't do away with some measure of strong action
On security force involvement in the Matabeleland killings in the 1980s:
Even to this day I don't believe it was just the 5th Brigade which operated and is now being accused of the atrocities I don't think they are the only ones who stand accused if the accusations are sustainable.
On recent violence and land invasions:
Yes, maybe horrifying, but worse could have happened and worse can still happen...
When I went to prison and when I spent all those years in exile during our struggle I did it to get our land back - and that is precisely what the war veterans are doing. I mustn't be seen as negating myself.
On his government's failure to uphold the law:br
[White farmers] suffer that very little inconvenience, against the inconvenience that we have suffered as a people for decades
The law of the land must also work for moral justice - if I lead the people on the land and then get time to bring about law and order then it is a far better proposition, a better approach than one which will pit the forces against the masses of people now occupying the land and there would be greater death greater bloodshed - this is just a little row of trespass.
Elsewhere those who commit murders are being arrested, those who commit robberies are being arrested, other crimes are being taken care of and there is greater law and order.
Only in the little area of trespass on the farms, where there has in fact been injustice all along by the farmers and if they suffer this very little - shall I say? - inconvenience of their land being occupied. And they suffer that very little inconvenience, against the inconvenience that we have suffered as a people for decades.
On the conditions which the UK has attached to financial assistance for land reform:
Who brought human rights to Zimbabwe? We did. And [UK Foreign Secretary]
Robin Cook is telling the people who actually introduced democracy, who
introduced human rights who introduced transparency, the rule of law - telling
us that these aspects must be observed by us - the British Government never
observed them in respect of Rhodesia.
[Labour Party] appear as arrogant little fellows - people who have suddenly come into leadership - who probably never expected to do so.
One shouldn't talk from the top of the hill and looking down on another country one believes to be down the hill and therefore talking down to it.
Mrs Thatcher never made a U-turn. She came here in a very humble way - tough as she was, iron lady that she was - knowing that certain situation require that discussions be held.
Not so Labour. They have taken an attitude that they are greater than ourselves, more noble than ourselves - which I doubt - and therefore we must be treated like midgets.
They appear as arrogant little fellows - people who have suddenly come into leadership - who probably never expected to do so.
On homosexuality - and being targetted in London by gay activist Peter Tatchell:
I understand they [the Labour party] have gays amongst them but that's their own affair. What we do not want and desire is for them to foist their own inhuman tendencies on us...
It is our criticism of homosexuality here at home that has offended them. I had a meeting with them that lasted two hours - I thought it a very friendly meeting. The following morning he [Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain] had his Mr Tatchell ambush me outside the hotel. I felt I was assaulted but he just managed to put his hand here on this arm.
I don't want to bring [Tony] Blair into this but I know Peter Hain is reputed to be gay and to be the wife of Tatchell, that's what the papers say. And so if the following morning the husband ambushed me and the previous night I had had discussions with the wife, the conclusion I come to is that the two had discussed it.
(Peter Hain dismissed this as "the kind of nonsense that unfortunately that only President Mugabe in his state and his attitude to life could utter or remotely believe".)
On the relevance of the liberation struggle to today's politics:
The younger ones will say "we know nothing about this liberation struggle, don't talk history to us what we want is money, incomes, your government is no good for us".
But the majority of the people will not do that.
On the possibility of an opposition election victory:
That probability should never be entertained. I can never concede that they have the capacity to win so in dreamland perhaps yes, I could see them in power but when I get up I say that is a dream, never a reality. Do you want us to talk about dreams now?
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - The most fiercely contested election in Zimbabwe's history was badly tainted by a pre-election campaign of political violence and threats, international observers said Monday as they watched preliminary results trickle in.
With Zimbabwe's economy in shambles and the government riddled with corruption, the newly formed Movement for Democratic Change posed the strongest challenge yet to President Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front party since it led the country to independence from white-minority rule 20 years ago.
Election officials said Monday that the opposition had easily won the first three parliament races in which votes were counted, but those were from districts in southern Zimbabwe, where the opposition was expected to win. It was too early to tell if the results foretold problems elsewhere for Mugabe's ruling party.
In the lead-up to the vote, at least 30 people were killed and thousands beaten and threatened - mainly by ruling party militants. The two-day parliamentary elections ended Sunday.
``The term free and fair elections is not applicable to these elections,'' Pierre Schori, head of the observer mission, said in an interim assessment of the elections.
Ruling party ``leaders seemed to sanction the use of violence and intimidation against political opponents and contributed significantly to the climate of fear so evident during the election campaign,'' Schori said.
Schori was referring in part to the occupation of more than 1,600 white-owned farms by ruling party militants. As part of his campaign, Mugabe has supported the protests, promising to seize the farms and turn them over to poor blacks.
Opposition supporters also waged attacks, but they were far fewer and their leaders were clear in their condemnation of the violence, Schori said.
He praised the efficiency and professionalism that marked the actual vote and emphasized that the election process was complex. He said he would not issue a final assessment until July 3, after the votes are counted and the country's reaction to the results assessed.
Vote counting began Monday morning with election monitors and party agents checking the seals of ballot boxes before they were opened. Monitors and police stayed with the boxes overnight and there were no complaints of tampering in central Harare. More results were expected later Monday
In London, Foreign Secretary Robin Cook declared that Zimbabwe's elections were rigged, and threatened international pressure against Mugabe if he carries out a threat to appoint the next government, whatever the result.
``The voters' rolls were rigged, the boundaries were rigged and there was systematic brutality intended to deter people from voting for change,'' Cook said in a British Broadcasting Corp. radio interview.
He added that if Mugabe dismissed the election results ``there will be consequences and Britain will certainly be playing an active part in the Commonwealth and in the international community to put pressure on President Mugabe to implement the will of the people.''
Both Mugabe's ruling party and the Movement for Democratic Change postponed media briefings until after the first results were known.
The official Zimbabwe News Agency, meanwhile, reported that riot police were deployed in the volatile southwestern Harare suburb of Budiriro, where tensions rose between rival party supporters as they waited for polling results.
Youths had expected their district's result to be among the first from urban areas. The opposition is favored, and police feared preparations for victory celebrations could erupt into violent clashes, the state news agency said.
Despite the months of threats, Zimbabweans voted in huge numbers, many waiting in line for hours to cast their ballots.
Mariyawanda Nzuwah, head of the elections directorate, said he expected at least a 60 percent voter turnout, the highest level of voting since the first post-independence elections of 1980. Only 29 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the 1995 parliamentary elections.
Late Sunday night, squads of riot police armed with rifles began blocking roads leading to Harare's main police barracks, next to Mugabe's house. Police would not comment on their actions.
``These elections are about real freedom, real freedom from corrupt, inept, arrogant, egoistic leadership that has been running this country,'' said Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
If his party does not win a majority of the elected seats, then the vote will have been rigged, he alleged.
Even a strong victory, however, may not guarantee the MDC control of the 150-member parliament. Since 30 members are appointed by Mugabe, Tsvangirai's party would need to win at least 76 of the 120 contested seats to have a majority. Tsvangirai predicted it would.
A win that large would be a near-revolution in a country where the ruling party controlled all but three of the seats in the previous parliament.
Mugabe has two years left on his term and would not step down unless the opposition gained a two-thirds majority in parliament and then changed the constitution to remove him, said John Nkomo, chairman of the ruling party.